Friday, December 28

Does anyone know how I can cross all my fingers? I need all the good karma I can possibly earn. Cross, uncross, cross. Cross, cross, cross.
Why am I not surprised that in the span of a few hours after I made my intentions known, after confirming the arrangements and all, I get a call informing me of the The Show's move to another timeslot and thus requires emergency meetings, re-editings and other unnecessary worries at this time of the year? Blast it.

My only consolation is that I am pretty excited about a forthcoming project with some masters of ennui. I can't spill the bile yet, we have yet to sit on it and chew. So that will keep me busy, and oh, it'll be exactly a week until judgment day. So tune in for the good news in a week or so.
My brother and I spent the better part of an hour trying to put together a CD rack I got for Christmas. Now I'm very bad with stuff that requires construction, but I love jigsaw puzzles. The thing is, jigsaw puzzles are obvious: if it doesn't fit and doesn't look quite right, then that piece doesn't go there. CD racks are another thing: I need an instruction manual, or at least good directions. There was no
manual, just smudged illustrations outside the box.

Four hands are better than two, hey. Which reminds me, I need to repossess all the CDs I lent out if I am to at least fill part of the rack. I'm missing videos mostly: Not One Less, The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, Time and Tide, among others. I don't want to lose any of them, because I acquired every single one of them legally -- down with the pirates! I keep tabs now of who I lent which book/CD/magazine to. I already have more than my share of books lent out and never ever returned to me, so I will have to be strict. If you're reading this, and you know who you are, it's time to give them back.
I am getting restless. If the previous plans had pushed through, I should be in Baguio by now, experiencing what turns out to be one of our coldest Christmases in recent years. But I'm still here, marooned in Manila, mainly because my supposed companions don't have their parents' permissions to go out of town, or their lack of funds. Excuses, excuses. I can understand the apprehension to spend, as we are facing a solid economic fallback. "My mommy wouldn't let me go" is something I find difficult to swallow. Yes, we live in a dangerous place, there are terrorists everywhere. Staying at home isn't exactly a safe alternative, so cut out the crap.

My friends have been talking about all this independence shit: moving out, getting a house on our own, travelling, alone. This is about being your own girl. The plan is to accomplish all these in a couple of years' time. But given the way things are, I cannot see any of this taking shape outside of the drawing board if they can't even start with one six-hour bus trip up north.

This doesn't mean though that my mother doesn't give a flying fig about me and my safety. In the past year or so that I've been traipsing all around the archipelago chasing criminals and the occasional evil spirit, I think she has slowly accustomed to herself that I have to venture out there on my own. I cannot stop her from worrying, because there is cause to worry. She would page me and call my headwriter's house just to check if I really spent the night there because we came back too late from a research trip. But I think I can pretty much take care of myself, and not do stupid things -- as I'm not about to stick my neck out too far.

On that note, I hope Vey would finish editing whatever it is she has to do so we can all hop on the bus. I want to go to Sagada. Badly.

Monday, December 24

Make way for the banana girl:

Can you imagine taho without sago?

I thought my friendly neighborhood magtataho just forgot to put them in. But he knows I like sago in my taho. He's given me my bean curd since I was little. But apparently, sago has been banned. Banned. I want to know whose brilliant idea it is to ban those little chewy stuff. The Department of Health must be the culprit, a move following the flu attacks in several schools a few months back, and I understand that borax -- the substance which makes sago a compact little ball -- even in small doses is dangerous for your well-being. So it is. But they can't; they can't possibly banish sago forever. Paano na ang gulaman at sago? Do I have to resolve to making my own taho and underground sago? This is an abomination! My taho feels kulang and naked. They must find how to make sago without borax. They have to. The collective cultural gustatory memory of Pinoy kids is at stake.
If I were a Tori Amos song, I would be Raspberry Swirl from "From the Choirgirl Hotel":

I am not your senorita
I am not from your tribe
in the garden I did no crime
I am not your senorita
I am not from your tribe
if you want inside her
boy you better make her raspberry swirl
things are getting desperate
when all the boys can't be men
everybody knows I'm her friend
everybody knows I'm her man
I'm not your senorita
I don't aim so high
in my heart I do no crime
if you want inside her
boy you better make her raspberry swirl

I know how to charm people and I have a loveable personality. It doesn't quite sound like me. I thought I'd be the carrier single from Strange Little Girls. Hm.
This came after the fact:

A package with protruding wires was found Sunday in one of the buildings in the Greenhills shopping center in the municipality of San Juan, triggering a bomb scare in the busy shopping district. San Juan police said the box was found at the entrance of the Shoppesville building's second floor around 3:30 p.m.

I rarely ever go to Greenhills, and I'd get lost in there if you leave me alone. Sure the bomb turned out to be a hoax, and it didn't happen when my friend Jonnah and I were there Saturday -- blissfully unaware as we went around trying to accomplish something for the party. Blast those damn hoaxers! Blast you!
Instead of going for a mad rush of last minute purchases at the mall, I dragged my friends over to the National Museum of the Filipino People at the old Finance Building in Luneta. I used to detest grade school field trips to museums. All the teachers did was haul and herd us to one diorama after another, and never stopped to explain to us what all those jars were doing there, and why we couldn't pause and just look at the paintings, for chrissakes. I wanted to see more than dead animals which don't look too happy with the way the taxidermist stuffed them, or more dioramas than necessary. I wanted something that you can interact with, and a place where you can at least breathe and not die of an asthma attack.

The new museum first opened a couple of years ago, in time for the centennial celebrations. To deal with the limited budget the government allocates for them, each of the galleries are sponsored by corporations. There are about three galleries dedicated to the San Diego ship wreck, the diving site at Pandanan reef in Palawan. Of course there are more jars than you can possibly see, but what's interesting are the other things found in shipwrecks. On display there are remnants of meals eaten seven hundred years ago: chicken bones and hazelnuts and the weird looking four breasted jar where they put the condiments and stuff. And I also love the cannons. It makes war a more tangible thing. Ten pounds of steel and stone get hurled at opposing ships. If you get hit on the head, I pity you. And yeah, I also like the ornate sword and the heavy metal breastplates.

(I know this sounds like I'm trivializing stuff, but war really is much simpler if you know who your enemies are, when they are right in front of you and the reality of the ten pound steel ball travelling the trajectory from their boat to your head, or the samurai splitting your skull open is much easier to comprehend than planes crashing against very tall buildings.)

You can also know what the bulol looks like when it's not sitting down, via the tribes of the Philippines section. The burial jars kind of creeped me out though -- the faces were like alien beings and one of them had snarling teeth. Sort of reminds me of that halimaw-in-a-jar movie from when I was little. Halimaw sa Banga scared me so much I wouldn't dare sit next to the huge tapayan in my grandmother's house. Closets are less scarier, believe me.

More fun can be had at the music and languages section. You can try playing air guitar or air kulintang and still make music. Or learn how to say "Magandang umaga/Good morning." in Tausug. Aliw! If there aren't too many people around, you can probably goof around as much as you wish. But this was two years ago or so: The museum people don't hound you from room to room. But then when you finally get out, they'll give you huge grins since they can see everything from their security camera.

It's just a shame that not too many people actually go out and visit the museum though, except for the afore mentioned kids on a field trip and tourists. People would rather go out and breathe the same recycled air inside the shoebox confines of the mall. It's bad enough that people would rather die than pick up a good book to read, and then complain that we're dumbing down. We were mostly the only ones this Sunday at the museum though, if you count out the busload of Korean tourists who burst into the San Diego gallery a second after I said I wanted to be a museum volunteer guide. Instant practice! And it probably won't be too long until you see a picture of me, my friends, a group of Korean guys crowding around a huge cannon floating around in the web. ;p

Btw, the Pamana shop at the ground floor also has lots of interesting items for sale aside from the usual trinkets. Got a pair of really cute brush bears which somebody'll get this Christmas. I really had such a good time there. You people should try to go and check it out. The National Museum of the Filipino People is located along Padre Burgos Street in Luneta, Manila. They're open Tuesdays through Sundays, 9am-5pm. You pay a hundred bucks on weekdays, a discount if you have your student ID. But Sundays are for free. So go! It's in the old Finance building, the huge white one across the skating rink.

Friday, December 14

Only one more production shoot for the year, and they keep postphoning it. Darn. So in the meanwhile, I have turned delinquent and spend obscene lengths of time hibernating in bed to make up for lost sleep. As though I'll ever get it back. But I really have to -- sleep, I mean, or else I'll be a grumpy companion, drink fatal doses of caffeine to keep me awake and headbanging on the company Christmas party. It cheers me though that I'm not as worse off as Wynona Ryder, who got arrested for shoplifting and, er, drug possession. She also hasn't slept much either. Yikes.

Saturday, December 8

I am a queen:

I am 65% British, just like
Sir Elton John
Roots in the UK, the rest of your hair is in the US.

Take the brit quiz. Which reminds me, in freshman high, our English teacher required us to have British accents. I miss that fag.
Do androids dream of lesbian sheep? One of the questions in Blade Runner’s Voight-Kampf test had Rachel asking Deckard if he was trying to identify her as gay or human. Anyhow, researchers have discovered sheep with low libido and homosexual rams -- but aren’t sure about the existence of gay ewes.

The gay rams are easier to spot: they have no trouble with expressing sexuality via mounting. Their problem is that no ram wants to play bottom. Lesbian sheep, meanwhile, are apparently wrestling with the “wallflower phenomenon.”
"It's very difficult to look at the possibility of lesbian sheep," Perkins explained, "because if you are a female sheep, what you do to solicit sex is stand still. You don't mount. So, it's very rare that a female sheep would mount another female sheep.”

“Maybe there is a female sheep out there really wanting another female," Perkins speculated, "but there's just no way for us to know it."
Imagine a party where everyone is just standing around waiting for somebody else to ask them to dance. But nobody has the guts to ask anyone. So they all stand around, preen into their mirrors and smoke grass. And yeah, they’re all vegetarian.

Via boing boing.

Friday, December 7

If I were a work of art, I would be Piet Mondrian's Composition A.

I am rigidly organised and regimented, although my cold and unapproachable exterior hides a clever way of thinking and a rebellious and innovative nature. A lot of people don't understand me, but I can still affect them on an emotional level.

In other words, I am a mean square bitch. Which work of art would you be? Take the The Art Test.

Thursday, December 6

Top 12 things Yoda uttereth while making love. You Jedi Master you.
I was held hostage and now I am safe back home in front of my computer. Somehow, the concept of being trapped in a hotel room, doing 12 hour stretches of work, with supervision is still alien to me. Bring back my pajamas, now.

Monday, December 3

I am also waiting for Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums, a film about former child prodigies. Although I sincerely doubt it will ever reach Manila theaters unless it gets nominated and/or wins an Oscar. Anderson is not related at all to Poul Thomas, boyfriend of uhm, Fiona Apple and director of Magnolia which starred Tom Cruise, who is starring in the upcoming Cameron Crowe movie. Vanilla Sky is adapted from Alejandro Amenabar's Abre Los Ojos. I have more faith in the original film, because although Crowe is a capable enough director, he doesn't seem to know how to end his movies. On the other hand, Amenabar also directed Penelope Cruz in the original Spanish version, and has also directed Cruise's former spouse Nicole Kidman in The Others. And if all that six-degrees line of reasoning still fails: Tom Cruise really looks purty in the poster.
I've already seen a poster for Sa tree lex, the true story of a Thai male volleyball team that competes in the national championships in 1996 with a team consisting mostly of gays, transvestites and transsexuals. The US title is Iron Ladies (2000), and whoever is the distributor for this film found a new way to create publicity for the movie:

The poster still features the bodies of the original Thai cast, but the heads have been replaced with those of the Pinoy actors who dubbed the dialogue into what I'll presume to be Filipino. The actors include those typically associated with gay roles: Eric Quizon, Wowie de Guzman, Jeffrey Quizon, John Lapus. Aiza Seguerra will provide the voice of the team’s coach. I cannot find a copy online of the altered poster, but you can find the original right here.
Has anyone out there seen the new Visa commercial with Zhang Ziyi? Kind of Crouching Tigeresque, and it's really kickass.

Sunday, December 2

My capacity to eat meat, particularly pork, has been on the wane for a while. Going all-veggie can be difficult, and I’ll definitely miss my meat. You can only eat so many ketsup-slathered burgers in your life, and when you think about it, everything just tastes like chicken anyway -- or another culture’s best friend is another culture’s lunch.
My attempt to spend Bonifacio Day away from a mall did not succeed. It started fine though, and with lots of happy food: I dragged my girl posse all the way to Diliman for lunch at the fabulous Likha-Diwa sa Gulod. Then we went to the mythical lagoon, where all sorts of, uhm, fossils are said to turn up in the morning cleanups. It was quite crowded though, and most of them were high school kids practicing some really mean dance steps. So we repaired to Odd Manila and just tinkered about. They even have CDs and vinyls now, a café, and even found some cat chimes for a friend.

In the late afternoon though, it seemed like rain. We had some errands though, which we could have bought outside the shoebox confines of a mall. The prospect of zipping around the city in a cab, in the traffic-infested streets was too much. So the mall. I’ve never seen so many goddamned people in my life. I swear, we could all lead less stressful lives if we just spent some time outdoors for a change. But then again, I think I’m allergic to crowds.
Everything is an act, a performance, albeit the masks are carefully chosen. The existence of this blog is a proof of that. But sometimes, even I am amazed at my own gullibility. Of course, it could have been worse. I realize I will always be anxious, so my tag of the moment will have to be: All lies lead to the truth.
Beatle George Harrison died of cancer barely a week before John Lennon's 21st death anniversary.
Have you ever heard of the game Six Degrees of Separation? Now imagine the game in reverse with a sexual twist and try to work out how many people have you really slept with:
If you have slept with, say, 10 people, and they have each slept with 10 people, that means that you are less than two degrees of separation away from 100 people, four degrees away from 10,000 men, and six degrees away from a whopping 1,000,000 sexual partners.
So unless you have been a virgin and plan to be for the rest of your life, you will always be part of somebody else's six degrees. After safe comes safer, but no one way is ever the safest. Just a thought to be considered in our virus filled world.
Everyone seemed to be willing the clock to hurtle past midnight so we could embarrass her by singing off-key, loudly at the already crowded Tapika Cafe in Katipunan. Part of our amusement was trying to spot Jasper (from the cell phone ad) from the horde of teenagers parading past us. After the singing, most of the group started fidgeting, and nodding off. Maybe it had to do with being there early or lack of sleep or we're just plainly getting old. We were all raring to do our Cinderella acts, but it really had been a fun night.

Oh, I doubt if she'd be reading this, but: Happy birthday, G------, who still refuses to tell me the other letters of her name.

Saturday, December 1

In the observance of World AIDS Day 2001, join all the other bloggers, Link and Think: help spread information about the disease, its treatment, those we have lost and those who survive. Because AIDS is not over and because you can make a difference.