Friday, October 31, 2008

Candleglow


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Outside the lights are fading
Into crisp October nights
Where the cold is almost biting
Like air from mountain heights.

Inside the candles flicker
Reminding me of you
How much you loved the softer glow,
its warmer, gentler hue.

Soon I will be lighting candles
Upon your silent graves
Lay flowers tied in bundles
Grief assaulting me in waves.

They said the years will cure me
Of the sorrow and despair
They expect I move on swiftly
But I hardly think thats fair.

How can a child forget so soon
The hands that soothed pain?
The love that shone ever bright
A beacon through the rain?
This child leaned on majestic rocks
Dependable and strong
Now all she’s got are sticks and stones
To divine what’s right from wrong.
...
No, forgetting is a sin and I
Have plans to never fall
I’ll wait even if it means I’ll hurt and cry
Until the day I hear you call.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Lied



Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide;
The old snows melt from every mountain-side,
And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
To go - so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
Where never fell his foot or shone his face
I say, 'There is no memory of him here!'
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

-Edna St Vincent Millay (1892 -1950)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008



I’m sorry I haven’t been blogging as regularly as before. I have been… pre-occupied with something. But much better now after spending a little time with girlfriends who always say things as it is.

What happened was I have a friend who, out-of-the-blue snuck kisses on my cheek. A couple of times. Maybe it wasn’t the kiss that got me confused; it’s who was giving it. I wasn’t sure how to act. So the manang in me did, said, showed nothing. Maybe that was a mistake. Maybe I should’ve whined, slapped him or jibed about it. But my instinct had always been “shut up and think” when it comes to unfamiliar territory so my neurons were too busy processing data and failed to commandeer any show of immediate distinctive and definitive response.

I think any convent-school-raised girl will have the same stupefaction I’ve had because I have never really had guy friends growing up and those I became close with are far in-between and few. And some of them are gay. So, as for standards for how a girl and a boy who are just friends should act, I really have nothing. For all my genius and sass-talk, I am still quite socially inept.

After the initial panic, my reliable logical brain has figured out that this guy meant the kisses as a sign of affection, but probably not a lot more. I wouldn’t dwell on it anymore. Besides, I think I got my fair revenge because a couple hours later that day, I kissed him back and now let him mull that over! Two could play this game.

I’m evil, I know.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Of Weddings, Outings and Trainings

Just got back from Bicol province yesterday where I spent one week engaging in at least 1 of the 3 abovementioned things.

Friday

We flew to Legazpi and since some of my companions have never seen the city, we hired a van to tour us around. The works, nothing I haven’t seen before. Pero iba pala talaga pag may kasamang baguhan kasi parang nagiging exciting ulit. Visited Cagsawa Ruins, a couple of churches, then passed by CWC on the way to Naga where we were staying for the next 3 nights.














Saturday

Preparations for Damae’s wedding. Two words: Super stressful. Ganun pala ikasal? Nakakabaliw. And to think hindi pa ako member of the family or the bride. Damae, after one of her countless pre-church pictorials said, “Kakapagod maging bride.” I was just a damn ssecondary sponsor and emcee, but I agree. Probably because OCD and Passive-Aggressive yung organizer niya.. Organizers are supposed to handle stress well. And if you keep prodding your people to Smile!, make damn sure you smile as well. No love lost between us, for sure.

But it was all worth it if only because the wedding was beautiful. Damae was beautiful. Rael, was just basically, damp, because he was crying a lot. He wouldn’t be the only 1, because all of the bridesmaid’s section were virtually weeping with joy, moi included.

The wedding was held at the St. John the Evangelist Church, and the reception at the Clubhouse of Jardin Real. Both good places. Medyo windang yung pag-emcee namin kasi… well, not blaming it on the other person… pero there’s something to be said if you start a wedding by calling the grooms men as opposed to the groom’s parents as clearly stated in the program. And I was starting to hink he was the manager of the wedding band because he kept plugging Phantasmagoria. I wanted to sit down with him before the wedding. I tried, but he was too… lutang or distracted and I didn’t want to come across as a dominatrix, so I let it go. Kaya yun. Lutang din kami. But all in all, we both survived. Almost.
Here’s some pictures of the beautiful bride. :)








Sarah, Guada, ian, Remy, Geo, and Bing


Damae and Me


The Nervous Groom ( I would be nervous too if I'm marrying Damae) Hehe, peace!

Sunday

We couldn’t go to Caramoan, so we settled with Atulayan. It was an okay beach. It was nice that we were the only people there. But it wasn’t exactly clean waters and all. We spent some time avoiding the seaweeds floating with the changing currents. But we had a good time because… well, we chose to. Almost feels like family, LRO.

Had dinner at Bing’s house where we had all of Naga’s best food. She bought Crispy Sisig from Starmark, Chicken from Bigg’s, and Barbeque from the Plaza. Yum!




Almost Caramoan






Bathing (Survivor Style)


Monday to Wednesday

Back to reality, back to work. But work that day meant facilitating a Leadership/Strat Planning session in one of our school beneficiaries in Lagonoy, Cam Sur. The school I went to was nestled between mountain ranges. No electricity, and the running water was provided by mountain spring alone. It was beautiful, only too dang inconvenient. I feel for the people who live there. They sleep at 6 p.m., for crying out loud. They’d rather conk out than spend precious pesos on gasoline for their lamps. It’s nice to experience once in a while, but I will not survive a month in Bolo.

Thursday

Back home. TV. Light bulbs. Electric Fan. My bed!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Boyzone's Back?

Er... make that Manzone. They certainly aren't boys anymore. Boy, oh boy.

Yeah, so I was completely enamored of this guys back then. And you know what? I am not ashamed to pull up my Irish-loving jammies and still say I loved Boyzone when I was a teener. C'mon, everyobody's got their phases. My Mum loved Victor Wood -- go figure.

If only because watching them do ridiculous dances in snappy suits brings back good old memories, I can even say, I love them still. This is their newly released video for "Love You Anyway." The song is a certified LSS-inducer. I know. It's been ringing in my head for the last 28 hours. The video though is silly with a capital S. Haven't really stopped laughing since I saw it this morning. Here it is then, so you can laugh and shake your head along with me. :)

P.S. Stephen's still cute, by the way. :) But Shane and Keith are like, hotter, than I remember them to be. Is it only me or Mikey looks like Chandler Bing? And Ronan... well. He'd always be Ronan, eh?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thank God for Forgetting

I wrote this last year: It now feels like a lifetime away. Thank God!

-=--=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=

For years, you encase your heart in glass, to make sure nothing can get to it. Like lost minstrels in the woods, men come and go and some catch your eye while most do not. But you only ever give your heart to one.

If it gets broken, you retreat inside yourself, nursing the wounds, until you think you are alright. You swear off losing your heart to anyone else. And you succeed… for a while. But when you least expect it, somebody comes to break down the defenses…. again. And this time, you just know it would kill you if he cannot give back his heart in return.

I have only given my heart away twice: then and now.

The first time I jumped at the possibility. This time around I fought the feeling while kicking and screaming. The first time, I had a choice to fall or not. This time around I only realized it when it was already too late to dissuade my heart. Not even the threat of deep shame over the reality that there is a 99% chance you cannot love me back could scare me out of the feeling. Just like dropping from a twenty hundred feet drop, I fell fast and fatal.

Ang daya. Ang labo.

Hot Scots!

I've just come to realize that a lot of Scottish actors are pretty... well, for lack of a better word... hot. And talented, of course, that too. Do you know these guys?

Ewan McGregor



Hello! You must've been hiding under a rock the last decade to not recognize this hunk. His more acclaimed works has been in Moulin Rouge and Trainspotting. He also has a documentary on NatGeo about Riding down to Africa. Oh, and not bad a voice either. Not fantastic, but quite good.

Gerard Butler



He's that muscle bound man in 300 and he's been getting a lot of eyeing from the ladies since then. Even my friend Sep has fallen for his charms and I can hardly blame her. His other films are mostly released in UK but I'm sure we'll hear more about this guy in a few.


Dougray Scott



Remember that guy who played Prince Charming in Ever After? He also played another prince in the Hallmark rendition of the Arabian Nights. Last I heard, he married Meet Joe Black's Claire Forliani and I dare say their kid would be one heck of a charming tyke. The kid just wouldn't be able to help it.

James McAvoy



And of course, James. Who I am happy to say has enough acting muscles to make up for the lackluster of H-wood types. So far, all his movies have amused and amazed me and I urge all of you to see some of it for yourself.



In the movie Wimbledon



As Mr. Tumnus in the Chronicles of Narnia




As doctor to the dictator in Last King of Scotland


As Max Campion in Penelope



As James Lefroy in Becoming Jane


Alongside Angelina Jolie in Wanted


As Robbie Turner in Atonement

Upcoming:

A story about Leo Tolstoy's life entitled Last Station.

HOT SCOTS indeed. Indeed.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Wonder List

File Sharing



File sharing is phenomenal. I really can’t believe people can get away with it. So much material are just floating in cyberzone and I’ve had so much loot since I was introduced to mininova and limeware. I know there are issues about piracy and it’s so very hard to find legal content. I’m not gonna play high and mighty, I do download a lot, whether licensed or not. I know I ought to feel guilty, but… the real stuff cost a lot. Even my students have dozens of movies filed away in their laptop hardware. And now, it won’t take me forever to find books, movies or music I want to hear. Press some keys and a click and the world really is under your fingertips.Uh-mazing.


Disturbia



I’m talking about the film and not Rihanna’s song. I legally borrowed the dvd from a shop and took my own sweet time watching it. But when I did, I was literally sitting at the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing! It was seriously one heck of a suspense film. Given that I don’t go for slasher movies (I watched I Know What You Did Last Summer and Scream which led me to swear off those kind of films). So it may be that I am not exactly up-to-date about new twists in plots. But this one was sooooo believable. Shia LeBouf is a phenomenon. I now understand why he’s making such a buzz in H-wood (aside from his rockstar behaviour). It frightened me so much that I had to stand during a chase scene because I cannot stand the suspense anymore. It renewed my belief that genres really don’t matter much. A good story is a good story. To sum it up, I loved it!

Ryan Agoncillo



The rehashed channel 5 has this show which I think apes Britain’s Got Talent / America’s Got Talent and it’s called Talentadong Pinoy. Basically, anybody who’s got talent, any kind of talent, can join and win Php 50,000 pesos in cash. The reigning winner is an overweight lady who loves dressing up as a drag queen and walking on a tightwire. Yes! She can walk sa alambre, and the alambre doesn’t snap. If anything in that act is talented, I’d vote for the alambre. But I’m not really amazed about the show. What amazes me is Ryan’s return from Mars. I mean, for a while there, he looked washed up and zoned out. But now, his hair’s nice and short and he looks smashing in his tailored suit. Handsome, anyone? He is. Okay, so I might not be the best judge because I spent the better part of my college days crushing on him. But look at him now without the junkie-hairstyle, he’s really the man! Judy Anne Santos is cool and all, but… I really hate the fact she landed a diamond in the ace. Chubby rin naman ako ah? Why not meeee? Wargh!#!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Eye Candy

This post has no other purpose other than providing eye candy.








See? Utterly useless. But very sweet.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What scares her the most aren't vampires or ghouls or even robbers and rapists. Those terrific shows that paints horror as black and red aren't even close to the real terrors hidden within a man's heart. Their fangs and their knives along with the blood curdling scream does not have the same terrifying power that failure does. It does not make the heart quail or the soul shiver. No, the worst nightmare isn't naything set in the fantastic. All of it is here, quite near, embedded deep into reality.

What frightens her the most is that she would never amount to anything. What scares her is that belief that she's special, that she can do and can be, is nothing but a load of bull. She can paint majestic dreams but what use will they be if they'll be nothing but? Everyday, the reality that dreams will never be true permeates her existence. She has nothing but what she could conceive of. If they are nothing, she is nothing.

The scariest place is here. Mediocrity in reality.

It scares me.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2



Yeah, I watched it. The same way I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1. It's still the same silly premise: a pair of pants that magically fit 4 girls and supposedly makes miracles happen. I hurt just telling you about it. I mean, the premise is that bad.

But this is a movie you watch not because of the story but because of the stars. All 4 girls in the movie had moved on to become famous one way or another. My favorite, Alexis Bledel is better known for her role in the Gilmore Girls. Amber Tamblyn is Joan in the tv series Joan of Arcadia. America Ferrera IS Ugly Betty (and fabulous at it) and Blake Lively rose like a rocket because of Gossip Girl. To top it all off, ALL of them are gorgeous.

I wish I could give an apt synopsis, but that's just like asking the reasons for existence of a bimbo. Bridget (Lively) has family drama, Lena (Bledel) has boy troubles, Tibby (Tamblyn) had a pregnancy scare and Carmen (Ferrera) needed to get over some insecurity issues. That's all you really need to know. The rest is eye-candy and brain-popsicle.

But if there's one thing I did appreciate in the movie, it's this: Friendships change. But it's possible to grow into individual selves without growing apart. And that's one thing I really, really understand.

SO here's a shout out to my Sisterhood: Dre, Yel, Leah, Sep, Petit and Ryln. Finding one pair of pants that amazingly fits each of us is impossible (Leah and I cancels the possibility out), but I love how we have become ourselves and yet have managed to know we'll always be there for each other no matter what. My life is just as charmed as the movie was because I have you girls. I heart all of you.

Penelope


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Christina Ricci has always been perfect for off-the-beaten-path movies. It suits her weird aura and her quirky acting style. It's as if she instantly puts a dark tone to anything she touches. Anyhow, she'd also been stuck doing charming but undistinguishable films lately. I think this might be one of those yet again.
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This Reese-Witherspoon-produced movie was filmed back in 2006 and had been shelved for 2 years. It was finally released last February 2008 and nobody really knew why. It baffled me for a while because the names in the movie are interesting enough. Aside from Ricci, Witherspoon also stars in a blabbermouth cameo role. Plus James McAvoy of course, and Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, oh I mean, real stars for cast.
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The story revolves around Penelope Wilhern who was born with a snout of a pig due to a curse cast upon her great, grea, great grandfather. The movie wants her to come across as pig-ugly, but the miscalculation came in when they cast Ricci for the role. Instead of ugly, she actually looks cute. To lift the curse, she needs to find "one of her own who will love her until death do them apart." Yes, the curse did sound THAT stupid when I heard it too. Whoever wrote this can't even write an effectively chilling doom. Anyhow, the WIlherns assumed that these means they need to find one of their own, as in blue-blooded, old money families, so they set Penelope up to meet suitable men. They all end up running and flinging themselves through the window though. Again, this part is an exaggeration because, she isn't that ugly at all.
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Edward Vanderman was one of the men who ran, but instead of keeping mum, he went to the police station to report Penelope. Everyone thought he suffered a mental breakdown which in turn imperiled his position as heir of the family business. To prove to everyone he isn't insane, he teamed up with a reporter, named Lemon who has reasons for wanting the story, to find means to take Penelope's picture. They hired Max (James McAvoy), a down-and-out blueblood to take a picture. But within his brief encounter with Penelope, something sparked and he found himself equally charmed. His hesitation led him to be found out as a "spy" and Penelope's heart breaks. Situations with the Wilhern has become difficult and Penelope made a grand gesture for herself and ran away from home. She sold her picture and "outed" herself to the public.
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The movie had a dark fairytale feel to it, and it had a story although it needs a lot of improvement. The saving grace of the whole thing is the acting. Ricci is a veteran. And of course, I can only wax poetic about McAvoy. He truly can act. He took something shamshockled as his role in the movie and turned it into something credible. That's something, right?
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I have no idea if this will ever be shown here in the Philippines, but if it ever does, it'll be worth the ticket, sure. Just know it's supposed to be light-hearted and don't take it any more than that. :)
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Friday, October 03, 2008

Scouring for McAvoy

This silly girl is quite intent on watching ALL of James McAvoy’s movies she could get her hands on. So far, I’ve watched: Last King of Scotland, Wanted, Narnia, Atonement, Wimbledon (yes, he was there) and Penelope which Ian got for me. And my still-to-find list includes:

Children of Dune
Becoming Jane
Starter from 10
Rory O’Shea Was Here

If you guys have any idea where I can find these, I’d love to know.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Just Don't Do It


If you've been paying attention to your Yahoo News page, you'd see one of the top stories is about this middle school Math teacher convicted of sex crime with her student. Her name's Kelsey Peterson, she teaches in Lexington Middle School in Nebraska and she had an affair with her then 12-year-old student named Fernando.
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In fairness, this Fernando guy is tall, like my height, 5'8" and heavy set. Kelsey claims there came a point they didn't see age anymore and she just saw him as a man. When asked why she was even attracted to the boy, she said of the boy involved in gangs "I saw potential in him, and I think I can change this guy."

I watched the short clip on yahoo news and I expected to find that stereotypical sex offender woman. You know: withdrawn, unkempt, weird, barely coherent, broken. But I was bothered by Peterson's clarity of thought. She had a spark in her, an intelligence which probably attracted students to her as well. She said she knew it was wrong at first, but then she made choice after choice after choice which brought her deeper into shit. Her advice: Don't try to be friends with your students. They might mistake your attention for sexual attraction.

Chilling thought.

I'm not saying I have the tendencies. So far, I've taught all 4 years without a problem. But I think I understand what she meant by being drawn to certain kids, especially if they seem to be a little problematic. The bright, active ones can easily become favorites, but somehow their eagerness just emphasizes their youth to me. They give their loyalties easily, laughs at your jokes dutifully, rides your thoughts gamely and more or less follows your instructions without question. It's the difficult ones which gets to you. The aloof ones, who barely participate, and lets you into their confidence tantalizingly slow are the ones that catches your fascination.

Worse is, I stylize myself so my students will see me as a friend. I hate the teacher stereotypes. And with what we do, we often emphasize that we are facilitators and not academic mentors. I try to break down as much of the formal communication barriers as necesary so I could function more of as a counselor than an academic.

And maybe I have had that tinge of curiousity too. Where do you think the idea for that short story about that teacher and the student came from? But well, I'm a writer, I think we have license to imagine this sort of stuff. The thing is, it serves as a good outlet for the curiousity. We don't have to act it out to realize what would happen. We can set a whole scenario in our head and live the situation vicariously. Nobody gets hurt. The critical thing is to never let the fantasy set foot in reality. Then it'll be trouble.

I'm of the opinion that if everybody can just utilize their imaginations properly, crimes of sex or violence or of any sort would lessen because there'd be no use for doing the actual thing since you've kind of done everything in your head. The best part of it is that, you'd get to see the implications of what you've done without having done anything yet. So you learn a lesson before you even make a mistake. But then again, with all the neuroses coming up and the foolhardiness of human beings, imagination might be a dangerous thing as well. Nothing is ever simple.

Just take the advice and run na lang. Just don't do it.