Monday, December 28, 2009

Love Happens, and Christmas too

(pokes head out and sniffs the air)

“Is it over?”

Hi, folks. Guess we’re back online. If you care to know, yep, it was a particularly hard one this year. My self-taught headology explained to me that the 3rd year is a leave-don’t-go kind of phase, where memories are fading, and sometimes, even the pain recedes. But that just makes you fight harder to keep it here, right here, not letting go, because that’s one more thing to lose, and your heart will just break, or stop beating altogether if you lose one more thing that’s precious. Or at least that’s what Dr. Liv says. But don’t count it as an official prognosis; she’s 3 units short of a minor degree in Psychology. I can hear her quacking from a mile away.

How I Spent My Holidays

Anyhoo, my self-imposed hermitage did allow me to do super fantastic things such as wake up at 11 a.m., stress myself by playing Plants versus Zombies, forget to brush my teeth, cook food nobody in the house would touch with a ten-foot pole, and watch dvds one after the other.

I got all the gifts I wanted but none of those I actually desired: i.e. 320g external hardware drive versus halaya cooked by Daddy, Fundamentals of Drawing exercise book versus corny, useless, touching gift from Mummy, a book thumb ring versus 1 million pesos, and a beaded cellphone bag versus hunky, cerebral boyfriend. Kudos to my sister though for being the one bright spot during the entire wreckage that the holidays have become for me. We can’t get all we desire or want, but we get what we need. What I needed was family. She was there. Sniff, sniff.

Now enough of the Hallmark stuff.

Love Happens: The Movie

Let’s talk Aaron Eckhart and Jennifer Aniston. I haven’t the foggiest idea how their Christmas was, but I sure spent mine with them. Watched Love Happens on dvd (do you have to ask how?), and it was a spot of cure for me.

It is NOT an exceptional film, so don’t go waiting for it to be nominated in the Oscars or the Globe. It was even kind of slow going, and didn’t provide me enough full-belly laughter that would qualify it as the perfect romcom. But, and that starts with a big B, you know how some movies could just be so dreadful, but it came at the right time, and you finish the movie bringing something more with you than you did before you settled in? It was like that. Because, as lackluster as others may see it, the movie had something that reached out to me on 2 levels:

Being A-Okay

It talks about grief. Aaron Eckhart plays a motivational speaker who literally wrote the book on being A-Okay after the death of a loved one. He conducts workshops on how to move on, and the lingo he uses is familiar to me. Haven’t I been reading the same books, and telling family members the same thing? You become a sort of cheerleader and task master at the same time. But there’s a time when you just can’t be strong anymore, and you have to come to terms with the grieving still left undone. The difference between us is that, he didn’t allow other people to be strong for him, and he carries his burden alone. So even if he’s blabbering on about taking the first step, he hasn’t actually done any of it himself yet.

Meanwhile, I have been a very spoiled little girl, moaning and groaning, and the people around me ready to give me hugs and a hearty “Cheerios, girl!” greeting every time I tag along with my nimbo-cumulus cloud following my wake. Believe me, I can’t thank these people enough.

On Beng Fake for A Living

It shows the inside take on being a facilitator/ trainor. And no, my profession doesn’t get satirized in this one. In the movies today, there’s a lot of satire showing how “trainors” do all these bull to manipulate other people’s feelings so as to reach a “facipulated” goal. There’s also a lot of shit showing that self-help or capability builders are “fake” and a tad bit overdone. Maybe it’s because you have to be perky most of the time during sessions, and we all know nobody is that happy unless they’re high on something.

What very few people understand is it’s not an easy job, to switch your emotions on and off like a light bulb on meth. You have to have an energy level the same with or higher than the cumulative energies of the participants in the room; you have to diffuse positive, optimistic energy that affirms change can happen. And when it’s needed, you have to be the stern task master as well. Once inside a room, what you want takes a backseat to what the participants want and what they actually need. You walk on eggshells, radars and gears on full whirr trying to detect the slightest change in the human emotional temperature, putting out fires before they start, and other times, starting fires that you hope will keep burning for a long, long time.

So you see, you really have to believe your stuff before you conduct sessions because otherwise, you will drain your soul of optimism and life. I should know. My favorite scene was when Eckhart’s character was shown nervous and pensive outside the workshop room, waiting for his name to be called. And when it’s his cue, he walks in, flashes a great big smile, and shakes hands with everyone as if he’s Dubya on his way to claiming his Presidency.

It’s not fakery, believe me. It’s the business of change, so you need headology. They’re smiling not because they want you to believe they’re special. They’re smiling because they want you to understand you are.

Love Happens will show in theaters by January. It’s not a happy-joy-joy movie, and que-horror, Jennifer Aniston is in it, but she's not as irritating here as in her other movies and might be worth your time. If you have the chance, grab it. Relax and watch the movie.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Somewhere Else

I'm not here anymore. I'm somewhere else. I'm somewhere cold and downcast all day - the kind of weather that makes me happy. That kind of weather which makes me feel like I'm in a movie, and I'm the protagonist and something amazing is just waiting for me around the corner.

Between here and there, is there a contest? Can you blame me?

Consider me gone.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I have just finished the first season of Glee (thanks to my vid dealer, Kini), and I just realized how hooked I've become on the show. Very few shows can incorporate comedy and musicals on TV without being hokey, but somehow this show manages to tread the very narrow line bordering Hokeyville. And I have to say the songs are quite fantastic as well. Some of their songs were my standard bathroom song these last few weeks. :D Sad news is, the show's going on hiatus and won't be back until April. And no doubt that they'll be back. Fox can't cancel this show if they value their money. :D Meanwhile, we gleekers will have to content ourselves in performing our own renditions of Defying Gravity within the safety of our tiled bathroom walls.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Roiben's Tale

Earlier this morning, I woke up with a story in my head. While brushing my teeth, I realized I've written a draft with a similar storyline and it's got to be around here somewhere. So I decided to look through my old notebooks --- but this isn't an easy task. I have got notebooks everywhere. And I can't stop buying them either. So what was supposed to be a 10-minute search turned into an hour of sifting through the pages of my hyperactive imagination.

Finally, I found the lines I was looking for. In my dream, a blondish gboy was talking to an older girl --- his first crush and he was bumbling through the scene. In my notebook, he has a name and his problem was he was being initiated into the first pangs of puppy love:

Roiben's first taste of irrefutable pain came as he watched a dark lock of hair fall across Sarah Asher's face. Pain in how it obstructs his view of her dark eyes. Pain in how this simple flaw emphasizes the otherworldliness of her pale face. He wanted to reach out, brush it off her face, tuck it behind her seashell ears, and run his thumb across her ripening cheeks. The need was so overwhelming that it was like falling through thin ice, like hitting your head on something sharp and deadly, or standing in the way of a runaway train. His limbs were not responding to his brain; his heart was not his. His pain was made more excruciating in the knowledge that he can only breathe once the feel of her skin liberates the air from his lungs. He suffocates slowly because he can not touch her. Could not. May not. Roiben realized then that this is the first of a thousand small deaths and the last of his childhood dreams.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Psychology of Love

My cousin is a huge fan of Pinoy Big Brother and never fails to tune in every night. Ako naman, it’s one more reason for me to retire to my room early. Tonight though, naabutan ko yung drama between Jason and Melissa. Si Ryan kinikilig. Ako, kinikilabutan sa ka-cornihan. Ang malaking tanong, tutoo kaya?

Ganito lang naman yan eh. Sabi ng prof ko sa Psych 101, falling in love is as easy as 1-2-3.

1. Proximity – gaano ba kayo kadalas magkita? Nakakabit na ba kayo sa tadyang at alak-alakan? The more you see each other and spend time with each other, the more opportunities for you to get to know each other. And unless you look like the spawn of Godzilla with the personality of the second coming of Hitler (and maybe even then), the other person will probably find something attractive in you.

2. Similarity – The more you get to know each other, lumalabas din yung mga bagay na pareho at magkaiba kayo. Although, opposites attract, there would have to be something you share in common. I know people who keep on seeking for similarities with their intended, up to the point of wanting their whole worlds to align with each other. This should be a caveat --- allow enough difference between the two of you so you could help each other expand your horizons. But the things you do share should be cemented, or you do it together if it needs to change. Other things to keep in mind: although we all pine for the beauties and the hunks, we would most probably marry/ end up with someone within the same rank of physical beauty as we do. Sabi ko nga, hindi ako pang Tom Cruise. Pang James McAvoy lang. Chos!

3. Biology – And finally, we go back to biology. Or bio-chemistry to be precise. It’s how we smell, how big are our bees (butt, balakang and boobs – womanly, maternal tools), how proportionate our face is, and how sometimes, you just plain spark with that person.

Lahat naman ito ay haka-haka lamang ng mga siyentipiko. I for one haven’t the foggiest idea, so I latch on to these gibberish because my observations do, sometimes, validate the theories. Kaya nga minsan, naniniwala ako, given enough time anyone can fall in love with anyone. Example, you two were the last people on earth, and you are so not each others’ type? Wala, PSB will get to you and you’ll be singing a different tune after, let’s say 3 years na kayo lang.

In the end, Love is Headology, but it consists of blurry edges and colors that does not always stay inside the drawn lines. What we humans know of love will fill the universe, but the words we know to use to describe love could only fill a thimble. So, really, nobody knows.