Tuesday, December 31

No more little miss nice kantogirl.

Thursday, December 12

And this is the state of the single woman, according to Betsy Israel's "Bachelor Girl: The Secret History of Single Women in the 20th Century," here's what today's single girl can get that she couldn't get 100 years ago (or at least not without a truckload of grief): a decent job, the pleasure of walking down the street by herself without being hassled by the cops, her own rental apartment, credit, effective contraception and of course the opportunity to vote. Today, if she wants children she can adopt or bear her own without marrying and without suffering under a crushing stigma. And if she's lucky enough not to want kids, then she has that much more time and money to live as she pleases -- without accounting to or cleaning up after anyone else -- an unimaginable liberty for well over 99 percent of women throughout human history, including most of those alive today.

Ah yes, a huge demographic. The sooner marketers learn how profitable this could be, the better. [ via salon ]

Flying solo.

Wednesday, December 11

Enjoying a quiet evening at home, listening to Sarah McLachlan CD, reading magazine article on the single life, got this Herotica collection and Joi Barrios' "Ang Pagiging Babae ay Pamumuhay sa Panahon ng Digma" in a Booksale bin. This is the life. :)

Sunday, December 8

Even as I Hold You

Even as I hold you
I think of you as someone gone
far, far away. Your eyes the color
of pennies in a bowl of dark honey
bringing sweet light to someone else
your black hair slipping through my fingers
is the flash of your head going
around a corner
your smile, breaking before me,
the flippant last turn
of a revolving door,
emptying you out, changed,
away from me.

Even as I hold you,
I am letting go.

--Alice WALKER
This one's for the poetry and text addicts, not necessarily in the same breath. The UK Guardian's come up with the winners for their annual sms poetry contest, which in my opinion is a good use for a peso and 160 characters. I rather like this one:

Emma Passmore

I left my pictur on th ground wher u walk
so that somday if th sun was jst right
& th rain didnt wash me awa
u might c me out of th corner of yr i & pic me up

[ via the morning news ]
This will be one of the rare occasions I will ever post about weddings and getting married. But this one's really nice and sweet. Take a peek at Mark and Petite's wedding blog. They have an astig wedding compilation album mix. I mean, the Voltes V theme? Astig. Plus get this: They're getting married on the same day as Assunta and Jules Ledesma. Celebrity wedding battle. Cebu vs. San Carlos? Read up on the wedding of the year. Hehe.

Friday, December 6

Keep it

I don’t want to know
The color of your breakfast
The shape of your birthmark
The leanings of your politics

I don’t want to experience
The smell of your gas
The stench of your sneakers
The timbre of your burp

I don’t want to see
Your vacation slides
Your kindergarten medals
Your promotion papers

So, don’t over-share
Talk to my hand
I don’t want to know
Not anymore

I don’t want to know
The way her hair smelled
The way her skin glowed
The way you melted in her kiss

I don’t want to know
I really don't

[via renaissancegirl]

Fishhead. My gills are like, bleeding. Oh, what a pretty sight. Geeze, my gills are like, bleeding. Oh, can we be friends again? No. Geeze, my gills are like, bleeding. Can you hand me that cleaver so I can give you a lobotomy?

What is it that you do not get? It's not like things have not changed --they did, quite drastically even. It's a whole different world now. And while we did say we will remain friends, that was before you dropped your bomb. Apologies don't cut it. You have no sense of history. You say, Yeah I don't. Well I do. You just can't ask me to drop my sked and trek all the way to your place. You swear we're only going to watch videos. We haven't even discussed the whole matter yet. What do you take me for, stupid? Like, wtf is that? I am not a goldfish with a five-second memory.


Thursday, December 5

Role reversals

Felicity: Julie, I'm really sorry that you heard that. I should have come to you, and told you something up front.
Julie: That would have been hard. I mean, how do you tell somebody you're trying to steal their boyfriend?
Felicity: That's not what I was doing.
Julie: God, I feel so stupid when I was asking you, if you thought there was another woman. I had no idea I was talking to her.
Felicity: Julie...
Julie: He's a good kisser, isn't he?
Felicity: I did not plan this. Julie. I am so sorry.
Julie: You know, I really don't care what the hell you are. You can be sorry or not, it doesn't matter to me. You're just a lying bitch.

I feel like doing a Felicity right now. To think that I spent eight months growing my hair. Which is the entire duration of my stupidity. It makes me want to go out and break some bones--theirs.
Woke up this morning to the Violent Femmes screaming "Blister in the Sun" on NU 107. I got this auto-flashback of Claire Danes cavorting in her bedroom as Angela Chase. She was feeling mighty fine, then several scenes later she learns that the love of her life Jordan Catalano and her supposed best friend Rayanne Graf had sex in the school parking lot. Her world like, totally crumbled.

That was how I felt like. Yes, I know I'm substituting somebody else's so-called life for mine. I tried to find the words for it, but I only had that scene in mind. A song was all I needed to invoke a whole gamut of feelings, automatically generated and pop culture recycled. It doesn't mean that what I feel is less legitimate because I only borrowed words to express them. I am trying to find a word for it. It might be something along the lines of Bibliolepsy, only audio-video.

Tuesday, December 3

Interesting bit of sociological blah from babbling point: Txt-ing Selves: Cellphones and Philippine Modernity. Can I just say that the "R U 1 of us" ad campaign is eerie?
I want to believe in an indifferent, absurd universe. I always say I do. Then whenever I'm really sold on the idea, the universe/fate --or whatever have you-- gives me a shove and a definite un-ignorable sign. So three days ago, I got one of those scam sounding novena/chain sms message. I was supposed to forward the message to nine other people except the person who sent it to me. For the heck of it, and just to see if the universe is indeed indifferent, I wasted nine bucks and forwarded it. My friend L texted me back. She said if nothing good happened to her by Monday (which was a few hours ago), she would demand a refund. I quickly forgot all about it. Until this afternoon, all things happened at once. I got my affirmation right there. So the universe is not indifferent after all. It has a really weird and absurd sense of humor. It probably got tired of me whining and floating around, and decided to tell me that yes, your take on the matter was right on the money. If you close the door, you have to at least open the windows to let the air in. Now quit whining and get on with your life. Which is exactly what I'll be doing.

Monday, December 2

I have 6 episodes worth of Six Feet Under and the Buffy musical on video, which I still haven't played despite the fact it's been sitting on my desk for 2 weeks now. Player refuses to cooperate. Have I told you that Alan Ball is a god? Bummer.
Okay, I am alive now. Still a bit dazed, but I am vertical and breathing. My weekend was packed. So last Saturday, I conned some of my friends into accompanying me to Sanctum for Cynthia Alexander's Intertwyne video launch. If we came early, we could get a free cd. But some people were late, and it was past nine when we walked from Cafea to the other side of the wall. All ten of us were crammed into those benches by the door. The last time we were there, which was also a Cynthia Alexander gig, we were right in front of the stage. This particular group of friends have a tendency to be rowdy, distance from the stage not withstanding.

I managed to get them subdued--well almost, but not all the time. I sincerely apologize to those other girls who thought my group was a bit loud. I liked the videos they showed, especially the one from a 5&up interview. Near the end of the performance Cynthia Alexander asked who had ticket # 31. It had to be in our group. I had them paw through the clutter of bottles and glasses on our table and under the cushions and seats. Laile brought out a crumpled ticket #31 from somewhere. I got my CD, had it signed, and I am one happy girl. Hehehe. If they said we were going to hell after the gig, I wouldn't have minded. Anyhow, we went to Malate after that. Since I was happy, I wanted to just hang around and dance, which we did until like 5am. Then I had to head home and sleep a couple of hours. I rushed out again just in time to go to my first godchild's baptism. The pastor had this brilliant idea of passing Stanlee Kubrick around to all the godparents. By the time the poor kid got to Erik, he must have been disoriented and scared of the long-haired goony looking guy. I would have--especially if my name is a mouthful. He came very near to becoming named "Zhang Kar-wai." But he stopped crying the moment he was back in his dad Sigfreid's arms. Astrid missed the ceremony because she had a cold.

Over lunch and all afternoon, just hung out with Pepper and JP at Sig's house. Much debate over the film homage vs. rip off issue. If we ran out of things to talk about, our catchbasin was a certain young director and all discussion would flow right out in a steady flow. Tiring weekend, but very much fun.

Sunday, December 1

I'm beat. But I have a cynthia alexander live session CD!!! For free!! yey!

Saturday, November 30

Interesting article on chill out music finding its way to us. Am currently getting my fix via Kazaa, rediscovering Portishead and Air again. But my heart still goes to Moby. I went to Music One yesterday, but they don't have "Play" in stock. Anyone know where I can get it?

Sunday, November 24

My dreamboat* grows up and learns to play the Hollywood game. There is so much buzz surrounding his films coming out this Christmas season, it must be the best comeback of all time. If it works. If it doesn't, at least he can claim to be in Scorsese's "Gangs of New York." Scorsese will get a Best Director Oscar, which is like 20-25 years delayed. Patience is a virtue.**

*This is pre-Titanic, when he was still doing those little films and he wasn't a poster on every girl's bedroom walls. But I once had a poster of him with a swan draped around his neck, a la Bjork. Of course he had to be adorable.

**I never claimed to be virtuous. These days, I am finding myself becoming too impatient. Ha.

Friday, November 22

Woke up to an sms from my friend Abi: "may natagpuang dead body sa palma hall dis a.m.!" Two years ago, this wouldn't have bothered me. I read, ate and drink to crime stories, and it didn't make me squimish. The mere mention of a massacre makes you happy in a twisted kind of way (Yey! We have a new story!) But now it makes me cringe. That's when you realize you've had enough and ship out, or maybe we've been subconsciously wishing a slow death to this crime glam on television.

Thursday, November 21

This could change my mind about Harry Potter:
Harry was transfixed by Myrtle's wet, purple lips before they disappeared under the water. A cool tingling sensation began to work its way down Harry's body. The tingling, combined with the warm pulsating jets along the length of his backside, seemed to mimic Harry's ambivalence about what was happening. On the one hand, he didn't want to be here, he didn't even like Myrtle. On the other, the pain down below was growing stronger, and he just wanted someone, anyone — even a ghost — to end it.
The above paragraph is "allegedly" part of the chapter that JK Rowling wants to include. Well, that is if the publishers are brave enough to put raging hormones in the series, parents' protests aside. If the fifth installment is really something like this, heck, I'll run out and read it in a jiffy. I always knew that there was something odd to that Harry-Hermione-Ron axis. It's a love triangle right there. Just bungle the coordinates.

"Want to play cards? Love Buffy? Perhaps you’d like to do both... Well, now you can with the Cult Buffy Trumps card game*...Ever wanted to find out what would happen if Buffy fought Giles? Or wondered if Xander or Oz is the cutest? Now you can find out with our fun card game. Pit yourself against the computer, and find out if you know your Buffy well enough to win."

This is mighty fun, especially if you're a Buffy fan. Still haven't watched the musical which Bluekessa recorded for me, but I'll get to it the soonest that I can.

*Requires Flash Plug-in

Wednesday, November 20

I refuse to watch this, even if I'm the last person on earth. I was able to dodge it last year, and I can do it again and for all the next years to come. Not even with Alfonso Cuaron directing, no.

Monday, November 18

Caffeinated lipstick? I love coffee, I hate lipstick. Coffee + lipstick = kikay convert me? No. ::shakes head vigorously, with fists raised::
Comics as dialogue

The questioning Ant asks Grumpygirl: "So what's the diff between a blog and a homepage?" Much debate which included the raising of eyebrows ensue.

[ via jill/txt ]

Sunday, November 17

Curious sidenote:  In My Best Friend's Wedding, there was this little commotion when one of the bride's entourage got her tongue frozen on the privates of  a miniature replica of David. So if I get  my own replica, I will hang a sign that says TONGUES OFF PLS. Wala lang.

A team of faculty and students from Stanford University spent a year in Italy scanning the scultptures and architecture of Michelangelo. The Digital Michelangelo Project aims to put together the complete set of 3D computer models and make these available to scholars worldwide. They even patiently scanned 1,163 fragments of the Forma Urbis Romae, a giant marble map of ancient Rome. Now, if I could only make me a replica of Michelangelo's David right in my own living room. Makes for a nice piece furniture, 'no?

Saturday, November 16

I am Michiko Kakutani. I don't know what it is about creating alteregos of oneself. Eminem is Slim Shady is Marshall Mathers. Michiko Kakutani is actually the creation of this guy who bothered to enroll her in college classes and eventually she had a life of her own. And oh, kantogirl doens't live here anymore.

Monday, November 11

I am not a lean mean kikay machine. I can be vain, but it never mattered to me. But now, things surface to prove otherwise. I don't want to be sucked by the void. Please do tell me something I don't know.
A good show, even with the moon

The good thing with November, while it is cold and not too sweet, is the meteor showers. The Leonids show is just around the corner, 19 November, with some few dozen meteors blazing the sky per hour. Last year, my chron-agnostic friend whom I've always had the urge to strangle, rang me up at three in the morning. "Get out of your house, girl," she screamed into my ears before I can even say hello. "The sky is falling." Right.

You can find ten tips to maximize Leonid viewings here, and more forecasts here.

Sunday, November 10

Time Magazine takes a look into the odd rituals of adolescent girlhood. It's tough being a girl. You can never be thin, smart or kikay enough. Other girls will pick on you for having frizzy hair or for no apparent reason at all other than they randomly hate you. It's a freaking hormonal hell. But while girls can be mean to each other, it's still your bestest girlfriends you run to when the going gets tough and you need to get better: It's a complex relationship, one among girls:
The good thing about having female friendships is that there isn't any of that sexual tension involved. I mean, I have guys who I can cry to and have fun with, but it's not the same bond. A lot of the time, girls and guys become friends because one of them thought the other one was attractive. And there's none of that involved with being friends with girls. You can just be real.

Having female friends who you can have fun with and run around with and act all giddy with and then share your most embarrassing, real moments with is worth so much. And just being able to have people who can support your choices or, even when you f*** up in your choices, still love you through anything.

There's tons of drama in the relationships between girls. Girls have catfights and girls hold grudges. But when you have your best girlfriends who you've been through thick and thin with, you get past who looks better when and who gets what guy. With a boyfriend, you don't necessarily know if you're going to be with them in a certain amount of time. But you can be sure that your girlfriends will be there.
Here's where you can find the photo essay and the book review.
Buffy as academic treatise: Salon writer Stephanie Zacharek attends an academic conference in England to read a paper about modern and mythical sexuality in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." People are deconstructing Buffy. Wish I did this for Comm I in my undergrad. Feh. This is one of those days I wish I had a subscription to Salon premium. Damn.
I'm so scared, di ba?

Guess which movie this is from. FilmWise makes invisibles quizzes.

Friday, November 8

The Police get inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The ceremonies are set for spring 2003, and "if [Sting] can get out of the studio and there's time to rehearse and the equipment is right," we might see The Police together again, a decade after their last gig at Sting's wedding.

Sana lang Sting wouldn't sell any more of their songs to Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/P.Diddy or however this guy wants to call himself.
Speaking of Spike Jonze, the man shows us how to do a commercial. Astig, man. Buy me an Ikea lamp. Now.

Thursday, November 7

Winona Ryder was convicted for 2 counts of shoplifting:
Why, Winona, why? Why did it have to be shoplifting at Saks? This is worse than Noelle Bush getting busted for forging a prescription for Xanax. This is worse than Janeane Garofalo going on a diet.
Hot damn. Let us all go out and air our grief and lamentation by dancing to "My Sharona" in convenience stores everywhere.

Wednesday, November 6

Falling in love is a time consuming thing

"First, there is the time spent with the person, talking and laughing and tracing the perimeter of his hand with my finger. And since the person happens to live in another city, there is the time spent wishing I were with the person and the time talking to friends about the person, telling the same story 10 different ways, and then there is the time spent on the phone with the person and writing emails longer than most magazine articles. I have to plan my weekends carefully. I have to reconsider my underwear. I have to puzzle over how to sign my correspondence. “With love”? “Yours”? Am I his? And do I want to be? I have to worry about the person meeting my friends. I have to worry about the person meeting my family and me meeting his family and our families meeting each other, which hasn’t happened and maybe never will and I’m galloping into the future again I gotta stop that. I have to worry about the person’s past, which I can only take his word for, and I have to pretend like no, no I’m not worried about your past at all, it's in the past, right? It’s all so exhausting that I have to go out and get drunk and then I have to of course call the person I’m falling in love with because now I’m drunk, and then say dumb, rambly things because well, I’m drunk and then wake up regretting it all and wondering if the person I’m falling in love with has discovered, as I blathered to him drunkenly, my true and twisted self which he will no doubt cast aside so I have to kick the sheets at 5am, resolved to end it all, and then wake up hours later wondering what on earth I was thinking, wanting to break up with someone I am falling in love with. I have to realize that, while being a nice and caring and well-meaning individual, I am also a bit of a maniac."

Say my name, bitch

Jessel is

jessel is mad
jessel is looking forward to an afterlife of pain
jessel is metaphorical of world
jessel is either god or death

jessel is all innuendo and allure – a kind of sexy severity
jessel is a slut in décolleté silk
jessel is here tonight to put on a show at 1900 hours

jessel is clear
jessel is there
jessel is not there
jessel is even more vague

Tuesday, November 5

Who wants to be a macho macho girl?

"There is a kind of machismo among girls now," he said. "They have the male-conquest attitude." Mr. Beckerman is the author of "Generation SLUT," to be published next year by Simon & Schuster/MTV Books. SLUT stands for "sexually liberal urban teenagers," and his book is a plea for a return to more chaste behavior. He surmised that girls may be trying to transform sex into something as meaningless as they believe it is for boys.

"All kids are scared of long-term relationships now," Mr. Beckerman said. "Our parents are all divorced, and we have never seen a successful long-term relationship. Girls don't want to think of sex as something which is about love because that will just come back and bite them later. The sex thing is just the most visible sign of disconnectedness we feel."

Can I say yeah to this one? Call it whatever you want: as the trickling down of feminism or an effect of global warming, but I think it's a good thing. We've been told that girls shouldn't just stay at home, to go out and get it. Whatever "it" means -- a great job, education, sex -- it's just about freaking time. For some it means drinking or smoking as much, but hell, if girls wanted to booze up or burn up their lungs, fine. Role reversal is a good thing sometimes, when you're put in the role of hunter rather than prey.

But then of course, it might take years to totally rewire everything.

Monday, November 4

Happy requiems for the dead and dying

How to tell the end of an era [1]
How to kill your Friends

The end of a television series, especially a successful one, is like the feeling near graduation. You're about to let go of something you know how to do very well, and at the same time you're eager to let go of something you've had enough of. I can't say I am a really huge fan, but I've watched it often enough, and it defined a specific time of my life. Friends works because it's an easy pitch:
In the beginning there was a pilot, and it featured these six: Ross, a sensitive-guy paleontologist who has been ditched by his pregnant lesbian wife; his sister, Monica, a fastidious chef who, all appearances to the contrary, is said to have suffered an unsvelte adolescence; Monica's rich-girl high-school pal, Rachel, who dashes into Central Perk in a wedding gown, having fled her appointment at the altar with an orthodontist; Monica's neighbor Joey, a vapid, hunky, aspiring actor; Chandler, Joey's smart-aleck roommate, who works as a data-processing drone; and Phoebe, the dippy vegetarian twin of a character on ''Mad About You.'' The friends were plucked from the chipper, optimistic wing of Gen X: they were as loyal and attractive and well heeled as they were aimless, solipsistic and irony-drenched.
I can't say I'm a huge fan, but I've watched it often enough and I can more or less say that Friends has an influence on television writing. Simple three-pronged plotlines, and titles with "..when Joey and Chandler had a duck" or something like that. When I first started working, I remember one teacher saying that they couldn't place see me writing for [certain tv show] because my humor is more like Friends-type, not that sitcom. I don't know if that's good or bad though. I still can't hack sitcoms.


How to tell the end of an era [2]
The end of hiss:
The tape will die, but the tactile nature aof it, and some of the lexicon, will remain: "Fast forward" will always mean something, will forever recall the chirpy, panicky sound of tape being sped to and fro, as its surgeon-fingered listeners searched for a particular few seconds of words or music; and how that gibberishy sound came to stand, as aural icon, for haste and excitement, or for admissions of guilt, or certain refrains where you don't know what the singer is singing, so you RR or FF to it, back to it, back to it, back to it, back to it: dweee-deely-wedee-deely-we-dwee-deely-wweeeeee-dweeeep.
People don't talk about doing mix tapes anymore. We download mp3s and burn them on CDs to make our own compilation albums with such irresistible titles like "Banished from the Catwalk" or "Music from the Barracks." I was talking with this friend, when I had this sudden blast of music in my head. "What song was this: Huwag nang malumbay/ang pag-ibig ay tunay/ Sabihin man ng iyong kapitbahay/na di ako nagsusuklay." I couldn't place the album, but she knew the song. "I was already back in Manila when that came out. I know what I'll give you this christmas already. It'll have all those band songs."

Making mix tapes reminds me of that scene in Virgin Suicides. The girls couldn't really talk on the phone. So the boys would call up, and play music and not talk. All their emotions condensed in the smooth vinyl relayed across the phone lines. Someday perhaps, music will be like air. Something we breathe naturally, and we will never have to acquire players and bulky stereos. But then we will lose the romance of pressing play and pause, waiting for the right moment to begin recording, unspooling tape and transmitting all our thoughts and emotions in pop songs mix tape.

Sunday, November 3

I know you people would rather have other things to do, and this person here who endorses RDL cosmetics isn't on your favorite actress list, pero pilot na namin bukas, 4 November, 7pm pagkatapos ng Frontpage. Yey!

In television, how a series is going to proceed has to be kept a mystery. I remember reading about how Chris Carter (series creator of the X-Files) had scripts printed on colored paper -- because type on colored paper cannot easily be photocopied. You don't want the whole world to know how the season is going to proceed. It's really just a big deal, especially if your pool of writers racked their brains many many nights just to make it seem different. Imagine the horror of suddenly knowing that the other series in another network made use of a device or storyline resembling yours (so eeriely similar it could only be..) What can only be more appalling is when the actor in your series does a promotional interview and begins to unravel three seasons' worth of plot twists. Mystery no more. You can only wish to decapitate the thoughtless guy. Blech.
How to create your dream network. All I can say is, I still like the rainbow better than the multi-colored heart thing. Para na ngang logo ng Selecta ice cream, o kaya banner ng Gay Pride March -- which isn't really that bad. Bongga di ba? Hehe.
To those who were 21 in the Year 2000
Are these really the years of living dangerously? I was browsing through my notebooks, looking for a particular entry when I came across this:
16 October 2000
Monday, 7.37

There is something in the air which makes me fear that we are living in interesting times. In the span of a week, a huge controverysy involving gambling, disgruntled friends and the highest official in the land has plunged the country in near chaos.

Or are we just imagining this? The peso has plummetted to Php48+, you cannot trust your leaders, what is there to turn to? And yesterday on Twisted, part of the discussion was that the Philippines has that same state of panic and anticipation as what had been in 1986. I had been hankering on and on that I had been too young to remember ever having participated in Edsa, and what if I get my wish to experience a life-changing revolution right now?

It is quite undeniable that something is bound to happen. Earlier this morning on the radio, there was news that since Thursday, ATMs have been off-line a lot. And since I'm not really fond of keeping money in my wallet, all I have at this very minute is Php 43.75. I wouldn't even be able to do anything at all if all the ATMs in the world conked out.

I am tempted to ring up people and ask them: Are we about to experience a revolution?

The huge difference between Martial Law and Edsa and now is that there are no protesters -- no banner toting students clad in red, shouting "Down with the Dictatorship!" Student activism may very well be dead, and my peers, those who are 21 in the year 2000 -- do not give a flying fuck as to what is happening in this country. They are all occupied with their mobile phones, their e-mail, their cable shows and MTV to even think of what is going to happen in the future.

What if we don't have a future? Twisted pointed out that we're the ones who should give a shit, because they've lived a life and we're only starting, and there's no foundation to build something on. We desperately need a figure head, someone to believe in, someone to cheer on, to lead us out of this miserable state. Who is brave enough to step into the melee? Who wants to be Messiah and die a horrible death?

If this is the moment to prove ourselves as a generation, then I think this should be it. This is our Days of Disquiet, Nights of Rage, the time to do something reckless, to do something as a collective. Our claim towards a usefulness, a definition of identity, something to anchor our nation's history upon.

We are in the cusp of change, if you think about it. 30 years ago there was the First Quarter Storm. 14 years ago was Edsa. In 2000, time dictates that a shift should happen. To define the difference of who we are now. Because if we don't do anything, if nothing happens, or if something does happen and we refused to make a stand, then our generation will definitely be lost adrift, anonymous, unremembered. How is that for a coming of age tale? And it's not yet even 8 a.m.
It's strange how it's been two years already. I didn't even have a mobile phone back then, and I still spent a huge amount of time hanging out in my headwriter J's house, and I'd get up early and scribble on his breakfast table. Several days prior to that entry, we all huddled in his living room. We didn't dare go out because some guy was assasinated right out into the street. All that chaos. Fast forward to now and we're all living different lives but the inflation is even worse. People you know have been victims or near victims of kidnap gangs. The Chinese are right, living in interesting times is a curse.

Tuesday, October 29

My first foray back to the outside world involved a very crowded videotheque last Monday afternoon. Went to a screening of Abre Los Ojos, which was reworked by Cameron Crowe into Vanilla Sky. (A film to which I have a dubious love-hate thingie.) People sat on the floor and stared up at the white-washed walls. No matter if legs are cramped and I frequently had the urge to kick the person sitting in front of me.

Watching the original Spanish source material was one long deja vu, or like a 2 hour plus lucid dream where you keep expecting Tom Cruise to take over. Abre Los Ojos is more gritty where Vanilla Sky is a polished Hollywood dream. Penelope Cruz is somehow less annoying. No "the pleasure of Sofia" line, which we kept guffawing about. And no "Tech support!!!" lobby scene, thank goodness. Eduardo Noriega makes a fine Cesar who can be a cad and quite charming at that. You would understand why his friend Pelayo is envious at his friend's good looks and darn good luck at being born rich. Nuria (who would be Cameron Diaz's Julianna Gianni) first appeared in an Uma Thurman Pulp Fiction pose, with the hair and the red dress.

Anyhow, my friends and I thought we could do another version, splicing Abre Los Ojos and Vanilla Sky, taking all the good parts, and completely wiping out Penelope Cruz with such glee. Although I do have to give Cameron Crowe credit because I liked the framing/shot of Penelope Cruz standing on the rooftop in her trench coat against the lovely blue sky. If only for that, we'd retain her. But only in the trailer, and then we'll push her over the building.

Friday, October 25

I am marooned here at home. I have to stay home, because literally I am turning my insides out. My joints creak with a horrible sound. Blast it, I never liked being sick.

I will be back, and I will get better. Have to.
how we do

love. slowly
tentatively engaging
in a push and toggle
of creating contingencies
negotiating plans
for every pitfall
in advance
as though love
is a disaster
waiting to happen.

it's sad
how we can never rush
at love headlong.

when all we needed
is a jarring pause
in avid conversation
to set the clock's hands
in perpetual motion.
we sit
at how we need
torrents of words
before we find the courage
to touch fingertips.


In theory class, presence is negated by absence. Always remember that everything is accompanied by the implied negation. Thus "how we do" is also "how we don't love." No matter if the ending suggests the touching of fingertips. Negation should not be denied but accepted.
the tragedy of our lives is our refusal to connect
(or my deep, dark pain is love)

There is something to be said when you suddenly wake up at 2 in the freaking a.m. and you get gripped by an incontrollable need to express your deepest, heartfelt feelings in 960 characters.

You know it's probably futile because, really, you've been through this, countless of times already that all those who know (and claim to know) you will say, "Isn't that over and done with several eons ago?"

But it's not. It refuses to go away, so it resurfaces again and again. To your chagrin, you suffer a little set back just when you thought you could live with the idea of just being back to plain friends--What are plain friends? Monochrome boring coffee non-intimacies? Hello, how r u, gudmrng?

You do it because you can't really deal with the fact that it ends there. You claim to be cynical and while you know there are no happier endings -- your post-structuralism theory class taught you that, and you got a 1.0 on that, dammit -- you desperately wish that when it happens to you, everything will be different.

You believe in the natural order and progression of things. A begets B, B begets C, like the way you know that Saturday follows Friday and not the other way around. We need those constants in our lives to prevent us from losing our sanity. When the numbers don't add up to fulfill the equation, we check and backtrack to see where we went wrong. We depend on numbers to behave the way they do, always constant, all rational.

You leave no room for individual eccentricities and issues, variables and margins of error. People and their various issues cannot be solved using numerical logic. Emotions are even trickier. Numbers do not flee the way people do when you become too close. Numbers are not afraid of creating intimacies. If they do, then you're not aware of it. There is a reason on why you were not a math major.

So you make a huge fool out of yourself. You are thanked for your openness, for being brave. You don't want the medal for that one, not when you own all the gold medals for backsliding. You were a person of resolve until recently, when your brain ceased and desisted all rational activity.

Bravery is for the foolhardy. Emphasis on fool.

Wednesday, October 23

Cat Starts Fire, Raises Alarm, Saves Family
Tue Oct 22, 9:41 AM ET
BERLIN (Reuters) - A cat saved its family by raising the alarm after it touched off a fire, German police said on Monday. Mimi the black-and-white cat was playing in the family kitchen in the northwest town of Luedenhausen when a misstep switched on an electric oven, which ignited papers stacked next to it. But Mimi then awoke the family by miaowing loudly and pushing heavy objects on the floor. "Mimi saved the family. There would have been a major fire had she not raised the alarm," a police spokesman said.

Super pussy saves the day? Uhm, maybe not.
Why do a lot of people kill themselves at age 27? Kurt Cobain did himself in because he couldn't take it that he had a measure of success but was afraid that'll be it. Then he e didn't like Pearl Jam. So is it Mr. Vedder's fault now? What's weird is having a "new" Nirvana song come out a good eight years after Cobain died. It's just like when some people thought it'd be a good idea to "resurrect the Beatles" and have John Lennon sing vocals on Free as a Bird. I'm all for people having their own fetishes, but necrophilia and rockstars?
I invite you to sit down in front of your television set... I assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.
-- Newton Minow, former chairman of the FCC

Saw this at the tail end of a friend's e-mail. Wasteland, it is. Sometimes though, when you come up with work that strives to be much better than it can actually be, it makes you excited and proud to be part of something new. Sometimes it's just routine -- make the action continuous, workable for everyone involved. Somebody from work once said that television (and writing for it) is like pulling out tissue paper out of a box. You just have to keep pulling out the sheets and then discard it afterwards. So much for longevity.

Monday, October 21

Clues for the clueless: How to successfully avoid someone and not make it seem obvious (No. 0002 of an infinite series)

1. Before you go online, make sure that your messenger and other such communication tools are set on invisible mode. It will be quite noticeable when you log in, and the one you're running away from buzzes you, do not immediately sign out.

2. If you happen to chance upon the poor schmuck in the hallway, in broad daylight, and you are within twelve inches of contact, do not avert look at him/her then stare at your toes or look at the floor. In the very least, pull out your phone and make a call. Talk to the air if you'd rather not talk to the shmuck.

3. Under no circumstances should you reason out that you just packed your bags and moved to the planet Pluto. There is no atmosphere or air to breathe in Pluto. Choose a black hole instead. That way, the poor schmuck would understand if you get vaporized and you're never heard from again.

4. Understand that avoidance is the coward's way out. If you're a reasonable person, at least offer an explanation as to why you're avoiding that person. Do not say that you miss them but unfortunately you're washing your car everyday for the next several months. Some people may be dense, but they'll catch on soon enough. When that is, is up to you.

5. Be kind. Better to obliterate the shmuck now. Make the obliteration complete. "I don't want to see you ever again" is a much better option than having the shmuck wonder what the hell happened.

Sunday, October 20

Still feeling a bit thrashed. Hung out with the girls, danced to Tropical Depression under the full moon-- well, nasa labas yung moon pero "Kabilugan ng Buwan" makes it just as good. There was this big girl who kept on stomping on my poor feet. Buti na lang di siya naka-stilleto. Then this guy in a white shirt was interested in slam dancing. At the other side of the bar, this couple attempted to do the El Bimbo. Aliw.

We stayed there until the place closed down and we crawled to Mister Kebab to munch on shawarma and pita bread. Wish we could do it more often.
I am Mulan!
Which Disney Princess are you?

Ako daw si Mulan. So which version of "Reflection" do you want me to sing? Yung kay Manang Lea Salonga or Christina Aguilera?

Friday, October 18

Clues for the clueless: Okay, so let's say that you feel that you and the object of your wrath pms whatever are going nowhere and you're contemplating doing something. For chrissakes and to preserve the peace, just do it. Don't make any more grand pronouncements that you're bored or whatnot. Lest it cost you more than just several cups of caffeinated worrying unneedlessly. The thing to do is float. Feel the air. Breathe. Just not too much.
During the meeting this afternoon, some guy from the news department said that malls in the metropolis as well as the MRT/LRT lines are under terrorist threat, and that we should stay away for like 72 hours. So we were trying to figure out where to go, which way to use getting there, considering that we had to bypass Edsa altogether. The Ortigas malls are having their quarterly sales right now, which means it'll really be hell to get from one point in the city to another. But we took the risk and ended up having pizza in CPK Shangri-la.

Over pizza, we thought that maybe the warning wasn't really true. Some product of paranoia. Some minutes ago, got the message that a bus was bombed in Edsa. Nothing is ever too paranoid when you're living in Manila.

update:The bus was somewhere near Balintawak. My friend passed it on her way home. Read the full report here.
Paul Schraeder on film and spirituality:
I think film is one of the most difficult to be used in a spiritual manner because it is so kinetic, so visceral. If you're going to do something spiritual, it usually involves slowing life down, and it's kind of hard to slow something down that moves at 24 frames per second.
Mr. Schraeder grew up in the strict Calvinist culture and had never watched a movie until he was seventeen. Most of his films have a kind of deep spirituality in them, the kind that doesn't just accept dogma as it was fed down your throat. He asks, he questions. Never mind that people take him for some devil worshipper and whose soul was burning in hell for depicting Jesus as human (in Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ"). His films also had lonely strangers sulking in their rooms, roaming the city streets at night and later erupting in pure violent rage like Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver." I like the way that he sees redemption in whatever he does. If I can do even a quarter or a little ounce of what he can, I'll be very happy.

Wednesday, October 16

Salon interviews Roger Avary, writer of "Pulp Fiction," on the delicate subject of teen movies:
I like all of John Hughes' movies, except 'Pretty in Pink,' because Molly Ringwald should have gone off with Ducky at the end. But most teen movies are made by people who don't remember what it was like. They're making a big lie, broad comedies which aren't representative of deeper emotions. In your teen years your hormones and feelings are this swinging pendulum. You're going through fits of melancholy and intense love. I wanted that gamut of emotion, that weird, profound time when small moments and broken relationships have such incredible weight and depth. I knew that if I could get that across I could do something really different from a normal teen film.
Sometimes I find it weird when somebody points out that I'm not nineteen anymore. But most of the time, I still feel like I'm nineteen, all angst and rage. I write for a teen show, and sometimes they remind me that I'm too angry, too angsty. That it's not like that for everyone. If teen is all about bubblegum, mine burst and made a mess out of my hair.
I found a less noisy internet cafe. I skipped the one with the teenage boys. Quieter here, and they're playing Eleonor Rigby. Everyone around me seems sincerely busy with their online tasks and no annoying cubicle neighbors who bug me about sending their resumes. And they have a couch! Not that I can sit there while typing here, but I do like the idea of a couch and no gunshots blasting all around me.

But of course, nothing still beats surfing the net at your own home, where you can lounge on your own couch in your underwear or whatever.
The other writer girls and I had our mug shots taken this afternoon. Supposedly, the top honcho decided that it's time for a new logo and a new tagline. We all think we're going to miss that rainbow and "where we belong" as the place we work. Anyhow, nobody really officially informed us that today was the last day for having our photos taken. Some guy texted us that we should come in a "one-colored shirt" when he meant a collared shirt. Since we really didn't take things too seriously, nobody came to the meeting in a solid colored shirt or one with a collar at that. Bluekessa wore a sando and a blazer, Abi wore a furry blouse and a hooded jacket, K had on a sleeveless blouse and a shawl. If the dictum were true, then none of us would be able to enter the network premises after the new IDs are issued. So all afternoon, we problematized what to do. Headwriter D suggested K wrap her shawl around her and pretend that it was her collar. Abi was already asking this PA we knew if we could actually borrow her shirt. Ek. Then after the meeting, we girls just trooped over to the photo place. We figured that if we just acted as though nothing were missing from our clothes, photographer guy wouldn't notice. We filled in our mug shot signs and K ran over to her car so we could fix the case of the shiny forehead. Then we all posed and smiled and just balled around. It was sort of fun. And the photographer guy never said anything about us not having any collared shirts or anything. But we'll know soon enough when the photos are returned, and we all find ourselves looking all wrong, or with eyes crossed or worse, closed.
Also reminds me of that myth from one of them Greek dudes. You know, the Androgyne that Zeus hit with a thunderbolt then the Androgyne split into two. From thereon, each of the halves were forever searching for their so-called perfect half.

Shel Silverstein is da bomb
It was missing a piece.
And it was not happy.
So it set off in search
of its missing piece.
And as it rolled
it sang this song-
Oh I'm lookin' for my missin' piece
I'm lookin' for my missin' pieceHi-dee-ho, here I go,
Lookin' for my missin' piece.

Bluekessa pointed this book to me some time back while we searching the shelves for some books I missed out on during the Bookfair. We browsed through the whole book. Simple drawings, simple words. Pero naman! Puwede na siyang feminist treatise ek. Tama si Shel Silverstein: Why do we spend our whole lives looking for The One who will make us whole, when we should be complete in ourselves.

Also reminds me of that myth from one of them Greek dudes. You know, the Androgyne that Zeus hit with a thunderbolt then the Androgyne split into two. From thereon, each of the halves were forever searching for their so-called perfect half.

Medyo sad kasi there really was No One. But yeah, here I go, here I go.

Monday, October 14

How Betty LaFea changed my life: One of the writers in our team lives and breathes Ms. Pinzon Solano that he schedules his day after the show. The same goes for some people I know from school. During one meeting, we were intently studying gap enders when somebody's mobile from one of the cubicles around us started rang. The ringtone was unmistakably Betty. Writer E stood up and it took three of us to stop him from asking some stranger to send him the ringtone.
It's like looking at a very trippy and acid laden CT scan. A whole in earth's head.
Can you guess what these are? No, it's not what your brain will look like if you shot a bullet through it. But near enough, if we're not careful.
A friend of mine sent me a link for the Mad Poets Society:
In the modern era McLean became, if anything, more literary and even fashionable. The curious "McLean chic," which culminated in the unexpected success of the movie version of Susanna Kaysen's memoir, Girl, Interrupted, can be traced to the fall of 1953, when McLean's director, Franklin Wood, admitted a Smith College senior named Sylvia Plath, who was suffering from suicidal depression. Just six years after her treatment, when she was twenty-seven, Plath realized that she could capitalize on her stay at McLean. After spotting two articles on mental health in Cosmopolitan magazine, she wrote in her journal, "I must write one about a college girl suicide ... And a story, a novel even ... There is an increasing market for mental-hospital stuff. I am a fool if I don't relive, recreate it." When Plath's novel, The Bell Jar (1971), finally appeared, it became must reading for girls, in the same way that J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye was devoured by moody adolescent boys. Wandering the fictional corridors of "Belsize" (Belknap) and "Wymark" (Wyman) Halls, thousands of American teenagers were getting a first-hand look inside McLean.
Said friend asked me for stuff to read, and off the top of my head I had this vision of Sylvia Plath and ovens. So I said get a copy of The Bell Jar, which I have 2 copies off, but refuse to part with. Or maybe some Dylan Thomas. Now she thinks I'm their (the mad poets') long lost sister. But then, every writer at one point in their lives or so, fancies being crazy.
And now, it's time for some post Star Awards prattle. Which I had managed to dodge because I had no red gown, and I despise being immobile for hours on end. What I missed: being drowned by Mme. G's hair, who obscured poor Bluekessa from the camera. (Hehehe) What I hope I missed but didn't: Watching Kris Aquino accept her award for Best Game Show host and spawning another issue regarding herself. "To the three most important people in my life. Josh, my mom, and honey--you know who you are." That spawned the theme of speeches for the rest of the night. Everyone had their own version of "Honey, you know who you are."

And honey, I wish I can strangle you. You know who you are. Blech.
Some annoying guy in the cube next to me is frequently asking me darn questions like how to attach his freaking resume to his email, which he doesn't know how to use. Uhm, I think it seems obvious that I'm busy. I swear, if he bugs me some more, there will be a news report about internet carnage tomorrow morning.
lost weekend

I don't remember doing anything much except that I watched 2 movies in a row -- Birthday Girl and 0. I had no idea what Birthday Girl was about, except that it had Nicole Kidman in it as some Russian mail order bride and Mathieu Kassovitz was in it. Ben Chaplin reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix. I sort of expected something else in the ending. If you were a bank person who spent his entire life building credibility and you just ruined it because your girl asked you to, what would you do? Especially if you learned that it was all a sham, wouldn't you want to somehow get even? Oh well. Maybe he loved the dear girl.

I love Baz Luhrmann, and his R+J was very pretty to look at.Luhrmann retained the dialogue, transported us to Verona Beach where everyone is fabulously dressed. But the thing is, even with all that eye candy and Harold Perrineau strutting around, R+J doesn't give you a sense of dread. Okay, the lovers die. Too bad. Let's get the soundtrack.

On the other hand, Palmetto Grove gives us a glimpse of the competition in a preppy high school ball club. Everyone in Palmetto Grove is scrubbed and pampered, sure. But you could feel the anxiety, the underhanded motivations and the insecurities each of those teenagers have. Josh Hartnett played Hugo, who only wanted to soar. Josh Hartnett makes a damn good Iago. His was the most fleshed out character in there. You know what his motivations are: he knows he's good, but all eyes are on that hawk Odin. His dad is the basketball coach, but Martin Sheen's favorite is Odin, and the coach loves him like he was his own son. Ouch. Then Odin wins the MVP award and he shares the booty with Mike. Odin even gets the girl. And poor Hugo ends up playing second fiddle to everyone else. The boy wants to be noticed. He's envious of Odin, and he definitely wants to do something about it. He manipulates all the insecurities of the people around him in order to get the best results. If Josh Hartnett were in soap opera land, he'd make Amor Powers shudder.

However, even the best laid plans don't always work. People, no matter how well you think you know them, don't always behave like push button clockwork oranges. Thus begins the carnage that leaves everyone dead, and Hugo is left standing. If he had the choice, wouldn't he kill himself as well? I think I read somewhere that O floated in the ether of unshown films for a while because the ending reminded people too much of Columbine. Which is about a couple of outsider teens who want to belong. O is about the in group, popular kids who get embroiled by their own insecurities. Can two incidents of carnage ever be the same?

Friday, October 11

I am so out of it, I just received an SMS I intended for somebody else but typed my own number in the "send" window. Darn. I think I have to go home now and crawl under the covers.
I called up PLDT again, but they still haven't sent anyone to fix my landline. Since it's the weekend, I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that I'll have a working phoneline in the next couple of days. Such a huge inconvenience! I haven't had dinner yet. I have just spent the entire day in front of the computer, and I had to dress up, rush out to an internet shop just to beat today's deadline. Argh.

Yesterday's lunch was ice cream and ensaymada. Today's sustenance consists of Mentos cool chews. I didn't have the luxury of variety. I ran out of Polo mints. All in all, not a very good way to live a life.

Repeat today's chant: Bah ram ewe, PLDT. Bah ram ewe!

Thursday, October 10

Here's another track for the anthem of the jilted song compilation album:
Does she talk about politics?
And all the stuff that used to make me sick?
Does she smoke cigars and stay up late?
Oh she's so great
Does she tell you what you want to hear?
And I bet that she could grow a beard
I'd feel better thinking you were queer
It's not fair
I can't compare
To an ugly girl
To an ugly girl

Ugly Girl, by Ben Folds Five.
It's like a boy version of Alanis Morisette's "You Oughta Know." In the kantogirl universe, it would be so much better if people just disappeared into some garbage bin after you've finished dating them. Just so one could be certain that you wouldn't see other person walking around with somebody else. The mantra should me, "After me, you have no right to be happy." But that's not the way the world works. Blimey.

Anyhow, I wouldn't mind much if I were exchanged for an ugly girl. Or a more kikay one. But I would be very much offended if it were an airhead. Like hello, I do have an IQ prerequisite here. Ah, I'm being mean. >:>

track borrowed from bottled bliss
Net withdrawal postcript

I was supposed to talk with a friend online the other night but couldn't go because I didn't have a frigging working landline to begin with. She said sobra daw ako mag-react. It's as though I've let go of a limb or something. And internet pa lang yung nawala ha. Sabi nga ni Ruffa Gutierrez, c.90s--Grover! Hehehe. Uulitin ko lang ulit: I want my internet back.
Banana girl thinks Daniel Clowes stole my personality. Uhm, very flattering, thanks. But I think Mr. Clowes wrote his book way before I started blogging. So unless he has a portal somewhere and he can see things from my eyes--oh, wait, that's Charlie Kaufman pala, hehe. I loved Ghost World the movie, and even more so because Steve Buscemi is in it. And of course, adolescent paranoia always draws me in.
I am surrounded by no less than twenty --yes, read that again-- twenty adolescent boys in high school uniforms. My ears are bleeding from gunshots from their frigging RPGs. I woke up early and hauled 6k of laundry to the laundromat. I was expecting to have some peace and quiet since it's a school day and kids are not supposed to be hanging out here in an internet cafe. But what do you know. They're all over the place.

Why I'm here and not silently blogging from the dark crumminess of my own home? That huge storm Tuesday night busted my PLDT landline again. Darn you, PLDT. I don't love the smell of teenage boy in the mornings.

Monday, October 7

Objets perdues/trouves

It is exactly what you think it is.

A+ was puzzled what it was all about. I told her that some days, you just have no energy left. You hear something on the radio, or read something that is so perfect, so "in the moment." I believe in the strength of found objects. It is the solution for things that you just lost. Subtle but direct, with irreversible consequences.

I have this friend, who so adored this girl. He sat behind her in a round table discussion, talking about character. "I would do anything for her," he said. Then she tells him: "You have no subtlety." He flinched. But he still adores her, hopelessly.

Then there's this thing about burning tracks in a cd, the way we all used to make mix tapes of everything. Let's say you have to banish something from your life, and you have no strength to say it yourself, but you had a cd-burner. So you compile tracks that said all that you wanted, what would they be? I.e. --
Cranberries, "When You're Gone"
Sting, "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You"
Lisa Loeb, "Stay"
The Softies, "Hello Rain"
There is no progression. I will just hand over the cd, and say, "Play track 5." Then I will walk away, and you will be banished. (Ba-ni-shed, the way the Prince in R+J declared it.) You are banished.

If I had been less of a procrastinator, this post would have been about cheerful wedding song compilations. But alas, a digression. Btw, I don't get it why that song about bringing someone to his castle is a pinoy wedding favorite now. Don't they get it? Sandcastles are as good as the next wave, inevitable and incomplacent.

Sunday, October 6

"The fear of being crap is always what makes you good."

--Ewan McGregor, 20th century boy
Overheard coffee shop conversation 3.1+

But you've been going out with the same person for the last six months. And it's still not a relationship?

That's different. We like each other, so we go out. It's not like we're committed or anything.

What if kayo na lang ni _____? Nice naman siya ah. Saka mukha namang mas loves ka nun kesa ganyan ang labo.

Yeah, but I'm already seeing ______.

Eh akala ko ba di naman kayo committed, tapos you're fencing yourself in. Baka magsisi ka pag wala na yung mga naghahabol sa iyo.

Okay lang.

Okay lang?! Hay, naku. Eh bakit di na nga lang kasi maging kayo? I don't get it.

I think I need another decaf.

+Yeah, so I'm an eavesdropper. So sue me. This is partly why I like hanging out in places where people just sit around and talk. I didn't exactly intend to eavesdrop, but darn it, their voices were just too loud.

Saturday, October 5

"Girls fake all the time. But why? Convincing everyone in the room that you're wearing a diamond when in reality it's a cubic zirconia IS fun, but it still doesn't beat a good, hard, quality — rock."

Above article taken from SATC inspired column for the Yale Daily News. Which reminds me that I miss Kule's lampoon issues. I wish we had Sex and the City when I was in high school (or college, even), not that there was any sex going on then. We had an iron clad principal then, and if she so much as caught you sitting in your arm chair with some guy within a six meter radius, you were done for. I don't know though it the lack would make for a funnier column. Over compensation. Bah.

Thursday, October 3

I don't have much to say these days, so I'm letting Pablo Neruda do the talking. Yeah, it's cheating, I know. But indulge me.

Sonnet: I Crave Your Mouth
-Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your
hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through
the streets. Bread does not nourish me,
dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the
liquid measure of your steps. I hunger for
your sleek laugh, your hands the color of
a savage harvest, hunger for the pale
stones of your fingernails, I want to eat
your skin like a whole almond. I want to
eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely
body, the sovereign nose of your
arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting
shade of your lashes, and I pace around
hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for
you, for your hot heart, Like a puma in
the barrens of Quitratue.

Sunday, September 29

Kids use textspeak in their skulpapers. A bit 2 much, i tink. Ya, esp. if u found dem n 4mal papers.

I noticed this when I had that journalism for kids workshop a month back. I had the kids make newspaper galleys, and when they presented their drafts to me, it read very much like an online conversation found via messenger or IRC. I mean, imagine the headline: "SNWYT FOUND DED!*" I had to tell them newspapers don't read like that. Some of the teachers told me it was becoming a regular occurence, and they put smileys at the end of quizzes. Neat. In a couple of years, when these kids go to college -- if they ever decide to go -- they would be making hell for English teachers. Feh.

I encouraged them to deconstruct fairy tales. But they also have a penchant for tabloid news, so there you go.

Article found via bottledbliss

Friday, September 27

Barely have time to breathe. I was up a couple of hours ago trying to finish something before I run out again to another meeting. I missed my movies. Three days in a row already, I have friends texting me an invite to go watch with them at the Shang, but always had to beg off because I had to rush home and do something. I miss hanging around doing nothing until early afternoon. Bah.

Monday, September 23

How to trace your genealogy in six crazy steps, annotated:
To spruce up your family tree, add gold stars next to the names of all the cousins you've nailed. [..If you can stand them. It's more like hammered through the door due to sheer annoyance. There's a reason why in breeding is generally repulsive. ]

If you trace your family back six generations, you should arrive at the great-great-great-great grandfather of Kevin Bacon. [ German Moreno can also be quite useful. ]

Keep in mind that entire branches of your family tree can be taken out with a simple Magic Marker. [ Ah yes. Hand me that marker. ]

Go to your oldest living relative and ask him or her about your lineage. Work your way down to the second, third, and fourth oldest until you get to someone who makes some sense. [ I would like to, but it's difficult because there's now suddenly so few of them. ]

Hey, you know who could help you, is the town historical society. They could help you find the location of the original veterans' cemetery before the county was incorporated. You should go there right now. I'll stay here and tell you how the Raiders game turned out. [ Nope, they're of no absolute help. Even if my grandmother's name is on the library and in the streets, the information still runs a bit short. ]

Note to women: In this society, it is unimportant to know anything about your lineage on your mother's side. Just skip it altogether. [This is weird, because I can trace my genealogy easier through my mother's side. I'm matronimic, what can I say. ]
One of the things I would really like to do is to fill in all the branches in my family tree. My brothers and I are generally closer to my mom's side of the family, since that's where we were raised and all. We only see relatives from our father's side occasionally. So if somebody asks me about my family, it will inevitably be my mother's. I specially loved my Memeng --my grandmother -- and how her great great grandfather traded being in the family business so he could start a ferry thing that crosses the Pasig River. He became a banquero not a banker. I could only get hazy details, and heard the same stories again and again. It was painful because I knew there were lots of stories to tell, but she was old and could only repeat those etched vividly in her mind.

My mother had been nagging me to dig up papers from the city hall and the registry, but I've been too tamad to do that. So until I actually get up from my arse and do it, kantogirl will remain rootless. As opposed to ruthlessness, I suppose it's not a bad bad thing.
CleanFlicks.com offers "sanitized" versions of films deemed to be too violent, immoral or offensive to the public. So if you order Reservoir Dogs from their catalogue, all you'd ever see are the opening and closing credits. Everything else is unfit for viewing. And we thought that the MTRCB is prudish. Natch.
He also played Nino in Amelie. He lost the glasses, and he went around collecting id photos from metro stations and worked in an adult video store, but hell, cute as hell. Hehehe.

My friend A+ and I have been discussing the many merits of actor/writer/director* Mathieu Kassovitz this past week. I first saw him at the French Film festival last June. He wasn't there, personally. But we watched "Metisse" and it was fun and hilarious, and we just had to know who the sort of geeky and scrawny looking guy with the glasses was. When we learned that he not just starred, but also wrote and directed the film...Well, that's just about it. He's not drop dead gorgeous or model boy pretty, but there's just something about him:
Kassovitz, whose legs do not go up to there and whose face is more about nose than cheekbones, harbored no illusions about becoming a supermodel. His big break came unsought and unexpected in spring 2001. He was on the jury at Cannes, unreachable, when the messages started coming: ''Lancome wants to speak with you.''
A+ also said that this other girl B said that there was a Mathieu Kassovitz Lancome standee at the Shang before, but since nobody has ever seen it but her, we consider it an urban legend. Anyhow, I checked out his filmography and turns out he was also in "The Fifth Element." Buti na lang I have that on video. I'm going to check it out again later. So if you ask me "Would you buy after shave from this man?" Well, yes. Most definitely, even if I don't need it. :)

[ Our runner up cute guy of the week was Jeremy Irons in "And Now..Ladies and Gentlemen. Nice toussled hair. Plus he looks so athletic for a guy his age. ]

*I just so like people with multiple slashes. Right, Mark? Hehehe.

Sunday, September 22

This website tells me that I was a banker, usurer, moneylender or judge in modern Spain around the year 1350. I supposedly knew how to use my opportunities, and I remained cold-blooded and calm in any situation. The lesson that my last past life brought to my present incarnation: learn determination and persistency.

Figures. I must have used up all my talents in finance, my calmness, and now tend to wallow in panic. Well sometimes. If I gain it back, do I get to be Shylock and will somebody ask me to return a pound of their flesh?

Found via ate Cyn's site. Hehehe.
Check out the 5th edition of the Cine Europa over at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall. It runs from 20-26 September, free admission as always. Already watched "Geboren in Absurdistan" from Austria. It's about two families whose children gets switched at birth. Very soap opera material. But handled very well, except for the weird orchestra at the end. Also saw France's "And now.. Ladies and Gentlemen." (Lousy title for a movie, but hey, Jeremy Irons is in it. And he's very hot, for a middle-aged guy. The movie kind of felt like Vanilla Sky, only without the tech support. Anyhow. Check it out, boys and girls. You can find the schedule here.
Had a crazy week that saw me almost not sleeping and it's not because of work. I've been bumming around Monday thru Thursday, staying at home, doing stuff. Only went out for movies twice. But for some reason, I really couldn't sleep until daybreak or morning sunshine kicks in through my windows. Argh. So when Friday rolled around, I barely had the energy to stay upright through my meeting. Considered taking sleeping pills then decided against it. Tried my darndest best to fall asleep without aid of any chemicals. Succeeded a bit.

Then here I am again. Got home a little after midnight. I turn on my phone which went dead on me sometime in the evening and get ten thousand messages saying that my other headwriter wants me to translate stuff I had submitted earlier and submit it by Sunday morning in time for a meeting during the afternoon. There goes my weekend. And I really have to go to sleep now. Bah.

Wednesday, September 18

Watched Y Tu Mama Tambien at the UP Film Center. Huge crowd, fabulous movie, and an even more nifty website. Soundtrack also very nice. Go. If I weren't too damn tired, would say something about it now.

Update: Although they said that it was going to be a "one-time only premiere," there's going to be a couple more screenings of the film on Thursday, 26 September. Still at the UP Film Center, screening times at 4 and 7 pm. The tickets cost Php100. A bit costly, yes. But trust me, it's a very fun movie. Try to catch it if you can.

Monday, September 16

A Sucker's Guide to Teen Movies claims that they have the key to teen city. Which in this case happens to be Springfield, Illinois --where most of John Hughes' films are set.

The Guide defines the teen movie ideology as something that relies more on the gag and wackiness per minute. The teen movie is comedy, not tragedy. Because according to them "teen-seriosi just doesn't work."

I came across this site while searching for a particularly obscure 80s teen movie nobody has even heard of except our headwriter. Said movie was an idiotically dumb prototype "I know what you did last summer" and/or any of the teen slasher movies crossed with Nightmare on Elm Street. So you can pretty much guess how
degenerate it is.

So if you're looking for er, in depth analysis on the merits and high points of such irresistible classics such as "BMX Bandits" or "Dazed and Confused," this is where you find them. Consider this take on the rites of passage in American teendom and its effect on world starvation:
In the "Dummies in mouths" initiation ceremony previously mentioned, girls have eggs and flour poured on them; it's like the sawdust/feathers and tar method, where you make someone look like a chicken. It's a medieval humiliation, for goodness sake!!
This kind of pathetic pagan ritualism is straight out of the 1650's, not the 1970's. And, it demonstrates that the Americans have too much food. Sorry, everyone over there, but you have too much food!! Don't waste it on initiation ceremonies. And for goodness sake, don't steal our pagan rituals that are 400 years old. We don't dance round the maypole anymore, so have some dignity: Don't go around feathering and tarring young teenage girls!! Unless you like that sort of thing, of course... And Jail.
The makers of the site are Australian, and they also pose interesting queries to our existence. Like "Why is everyone a bimbo?" and "Is this irony?" It makes me want to ask them: "Why do you even bother?" But I guess I shouldn't complain, because I was laughing so hard all the while I was browsing through the site.

Wednesday, September 11

Gusto ko lang sabihin: September 11 na pala ulit. But since we are in a different timezone, all the 9/11 celebrations -- if we can call it that--officially start tomorrow. Random stories about that soon.
This is mighty fun. Put this on your mobile phone kids:

4c2 4g2 8b1 8c2 8d2 4c2 8- 8f2 8e2 8d2 8c2 8a1 4f2 8e2
8d2 8c2 8c2 4a1 4f2 8e2 8d2 8c2 8e2 4d2 8- 4c2 4g2 8b1
8c2 8d2 4c2 8- 8f2 8e2 8d2 8c2 8a1 4f2 8e2 8d2 8c2 8c2
4a1 4f2 8e2 8d2 8c2 8c2 4d2 2c2

tempo: 125

You can also find the lyrics here.

I was going to suggest that we put a downloadable ringtone at the network's site. But the fans beat us to it. Found the notes at this thread from the Pinoy Exchange, where I've been lurking for several months now. I didn't know how to use my phone's composer then, and I couldn't find the manual. So I played like a blind girl and spent my afternoon trying to compose the darn thing. It was a hit and miss, but I got it right. Yesterday, I ran into the other writer girls at the MRT central station. I was so excited I played it for them. Guy across the train recognized the tune and couldn't help grinning all to himself. I think he was amused.

Our boss is also back, and I was so proud of my new ringtone I also played it out for everyone. Discussion stopped and I sent out the ringtone to mostly everyone in the room. There goes my phonecard load. But I don't mind. Aliw. That's all I can say for it.

Sunday, September 8

Philo Farnsworth's sketch. A bit hazy, but this is where your gamma rays go.

"Our goal is simple: come September 7, 2002, we want everybody who turns on a television set to know that date is the anniversary of the day the medium arrived on this planet - and to know the name of the man who delivered it."
--Paul Schatzkin,
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television

Yep. Television is 75 years old folks. It sits right there when you get home. It doesn't ask you any questions like where you went, or why you never called back. It keeps you company when you're down. It babysits your kids. Ah, yes. So every time you sit in front of your tv and vegetate, think of Philo and thank him for this life-changing invention. Couch kamotes would not have existed without him.

And no crummy tv writers too. But hey, every good thing has a flipside.
What I have in mind:
"I'm thinking of going to film school," You say over a glass of wine at the pub. You either say it to an undergrad colleague (to show your dedication to the craft), a co-worker (to prove that you have the courage to leave this dead-end job and follow your vocation), or your mother (to give her a good source of steady worry for the remainder of her existence) -- but at some point you say it. And at some point you fill out that extensive application, and you get accepted, and then you wonder what you can sell to pay for it.


It breaks down like this: film is a craft that requires learning and practice. Where you want to do it is up to you. If you don't like crowds get a mentor. If you need company take a workshop. If you need consistent companionship go to film school. For those who have a penchant for learning in their underwear, read a book -- get on the internet. Learning the basics is unavoidable.

You could just grab a camera, and throw yourself in there for roughly $1000 per screen minute, or universe less if you are digitally inclined. Odds are you'll learn what not to do first, and will identify in time what you (instinctively) did right. It's all part of the same process.
[ read the rest of the article here ]

I never liked Hamlet. Hamlet is a wuss. I hate that to be or not to be speech, but here I am, contemplating another variation.

Why I shouldn't go: Because there are no girl wonders in film school. It's a guy turf. Every young director that gets touted as the next best thing has something dangling between his legs. The film school brats Scorsese, Coppola, the Andersons (Wes and Paul, not related, though they sound like a 70s duet). Girl wonders in the mythology of cinema are virtually nonexistent.

Why I should go: Because there are no girl wonders in film school and I want to do an up-yours sort of thing.

As far as finances are concerned, all I can say is that photocopying a 20-page story for 10 people in writing school is so much less expensive that going around trying to take crowd shots at the MRT station. Then again, if you really want to write, you don't do it in a class where mostly everyone is churning out bits of their lives masquerading as fiction. You do it alone, in your underwear in front of a blinking computer screen.

Screw this mortal coil bit. Somebody willing to loan me a digicam?

Saturday, September 7

The amazing caravaggio on how to be an effective girlfriend: Parts 1, 2. Read and learn. As if.

Friday, September 6

Lola Rennt (Run, Lola, Run) Symbolism: Clocks
what movie symbolism are you? find out!

My wallpaper used to be this black and stark red poster from "Lola Rennt." I loved that movie's soundtrack, frenetic techno mixed by Tom Tykwer himself. Which reminds me that I have to run out to the theaters and watch "Bourne Identity" if only to watch Franka Potente. I realized that without her red hair, I wouldn't be able to recognize her. Then again, I'm always hard pressed to correctly identify a person I've only met once and stick a name to his/her face.
It's a boring day indoors. Although there are so many things one can do while trying to stay dry and sane in your room, I am torn between (a) hanging around online. Which will accomplish nothing except to gather useless knowledge which could only be of importance if somebody called me as their lifeline in a game show. (b) watch "Magnolia" again. It's a raining frogs sort of day. (c) sleep. Boring. Unless stuffed animals are your choice of company. (d) Have a marathon of sorts featuring Steven Soderbergh's "The Limey" or "Sex lies and videotape" or perhaps Joan Chen's "Xiu Xiu." Or if all else fails, it'll be back to Reservoir Dogs. Hm. Bloody cut off ears anyone?
Postscript to youth and fearlessness ek: I'm not saying that once you get a little bit older than say, thirty, you can't do as you please. I'm planning to do as I please for as long as I can get away with it. It's just that, you know, when you're younger you can always plead the ignorance of youth after you've done something really stupid. Is all. Enjoy life, everyone.

Thursday, September 5

Because Margaret Atwood rocks, here are her variations on the word sleep:

Variation on the Word Sleep

I would like to watch you sleeping.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun and three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
and that necessary

- Margaret Atwood

[ found via bottled bliss, who also led me to consider my strategies and tactics ]
Alive! Alive! Click mo mukha mo is alive!
Just got back from a screening of “Adrenaline Drive” at the Shang. It’s a misnomer, really. The premise is simple and familiar: what do you do when a yakuza den blows up and leaves you with a suitcase of bloodsoaked money? Why, take the money and run—do you have to ask? So a bumbling errand boy and a timid nurse set on a road trip, trying to escape a gang of yakuza boys and the master himself. But it’s more a romance before it is a gangster/noir, the way “A Simple Plan” was, or a human drama the way “Misteryo sa Tuwa” from the 80s was. Nice moments of deadpan comedy, but we never really got the adrenaline rush we were hoping for. All in all, very fun. The whole theater was in stitches.

"Nabbie's Love" was a different matter. Another romance, set in a small island where everyone knows everybody else, and who you end up with is dictated by the way rice grains communicate to your local shaman. The only thing going for it is its musical numbers, which also functions as some sort of Greek chorus commenting on the happenings on screen. There's the grandpa who sings lewd --well, naughty lyrics about her own grand daughter having nice round uhm, buns. Funny, that. Love wins, even if you have to wait for sixty years.

Also, the movie was a great excuse for me to hang out with the angas guys. Dennis and Jol are a blast, although when they get down to discuss Asian politics and all that blah, I tended to get a little lost. The only point of the conversation that really peaked my interest was the way Hollywood is the only cultural hold America has on Asian countries. Or something like that. I'm really not the person to discuss that with. Sorry, guys. My mind was set on devouring burgers and fries, courtesy of our yankee colonizers. Feh.

So if you have time, do drop by and check out the Eiga Sai Festival at the Shangrila Plaza Mall. This year's theme is "Life, Love and Laughter." Low cost gimik, this. Free admission. I'm looking forward to "Tomorrow" which is a series of loosely related vignettes of people carrying on with their lives after the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. We've all seen Pearl Harbor and the American take on that war, so it's time to see the Japanese side of things.
I've been spending way too much time out of the house these days. If you sum it all up, I must have spent an obscene amount of time (effort, money, all that blah) for most of this year just going out. Instead of writing, doing my laundry or reading and watching more movies, I hang out. I don't know how this contributes to the betterment of humanity, except that I've met a lot of (sub)humans -- well, some of them were very nice, but still.

After watching this movie premier last Monday with A-Plus, we hung out at this little park near Glorietta to vivisect our various preoccupations. A-Plus is right: If you are young, relatively at par with other humans, and you have a lot of things going (after/for) you, why shouldn't you enjoy it? This is the only time we can actually go out and do all the stupid stuff--not that I'm saying you should do something really stupid with your life, like say plunder several billions of pesos or something. But really, I think we should all be having fun. Oo nga naman, there is no day but today.

Tuesday, September 3

Ach! Earthquake!!!

The turtle moved. Again. The last mild quake we had was less than a month ago. This is becoming more frequent ha. I know we live in the Ring of Fire and all, so I should be used to the occasional quake.

And I thought it was just because you were rocking my world. Hehehe. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Monday, September 2

Renaissance Girl is talking about the "crimes of [her] generation" coming back to haunt her. Hairspray, Ralph Macchio, the pubescent Ricky Martin and Caselyn Francisco. It's all definitely coming back. Every day I am assaulted by hearing Madonna's "Blue Kiss" at full blast from my neighbor's stereo. Now don't get me wrong, because I love Lola Madonna. My earliest memory of her is watching a little girl in fishnets and bakal bracelets gyrating to "Like A Virgin" on the talent portion of Little Miss Philippines. I swore that I will never let myself (thank god my mother was sane) or my kid shanghaied to a kid byukon.

I have a few jarring images from the 80s. The rest of the decade is a blur, as though I passed through it with my eyes closed. But I will always remember Kuya Germs and the Bellestar Dancers, who entertain you to within an inch of your life. Only that Kuya Germs now screams "Walaaaang tulugan!"

[ Digression: I quoted that line to another friend who's, er, a bit more mature than me and she has absolutely no idea what that is. I tell her it's from Master Showman, where they still give away videos and gift packs from CY Gabriel soap or something. Still a blank stare, then a connection. "So it's like Take it away!" My turn for a blank stare. "What's that?" "You know, JQ." "Who's JQ?" I don't know what JQ looks like, if he's still alive, and neither is he in my consciousness. Anyhow, it's always disturbing when you have to explain to each other pop culture references when you live in the same country, only from different, er, time space continuums. /End Digression ]

What is indelible to me is the 90s, starting with Andrew E. and FrancisM in his ethnic phase. Now Mr. Panget is back, with Salbakuta in tow. We will have to explain what alien zeitgeist zapped our brains into turning Dayang-dayang, Macarena and Aringkingking into national anthems. Or prepare dissertations into the many allures of the Guwapings, the Universal Motion Dancers, the Jolina-Ama jokes. Are they bigger monstrosities we have to atone for? In another ten years, all this will come back to haunt us.

Sunday, September 1

I love porn.

Really. If the discussion of intimacies and what goes on inside the bedroom and people’s heads when they enter relationships is porn, count me in. It’s extremely complicated. It’s baffling. We don’t know why we do it, but we just can’t help ourselves.

It’s something that I’ve been chewing on this week. I stumbled across this review of “Possession,” a film based on the A.S. Byatt novel. The more modern pair of lovers find it more difficult to rush into love compared to their Victorian counterparts. They have this endless parade of what ifs— What if they get bored with each other, what if it ends too quickly, or what if it doesn’t end. They plot elaborate contingency plans about what to do should they get too used to each other’s presence in their lives. It’s like getting involved requires a degree in disaster management. Which really isn’t far fetched, when you think about it.

If there’s one distinct trait of romantic entanglements (and “entangle” it is—convoluted, hogtied, a mad pretzel of emotions) in our current time, it’s the reluctance to be emotionally intimate. We gripe about alienation and urban living blah, when it wouldn’t be that way had we been a little bit willing to let people into our lives. We try to protect ourselves from future pain by not getting involved.

Anonimity becomes valued, like the way the characters in “A Pornographic Affair” did. Their affair has clear rules: No names, no talk about their lives outside the hotel room where they meet for their weekly trysts. No emotions other than lust. But after a certain time, you get used to the person. More than just bodily fluids are exchanged. They talk, they laugh, they enjoy each other’s company. Suddenly the plain stranger’s face becomes beautiful, the voice transforms to that of an angel’s. They shift from performing the fantasy to making love.

The natural progression would have been to change the nature of their relationship. Nobody wants to admit that feelings are involved, that they’re in it more than just the sex. Then, they think—Ah, this happens rarely, I should risk it. But at the moment when each of them are waiting for the right time to say the words out loud, they hesitate. She thinks that he wants it to end. His face says it all. He thinks that she’s going to laugh at him.

Neither wants to be caught at “breaching” their initial agreement, the words come out: “It will never work between the two of us. I will only hurt you. So before you end up hating me, I think we should end this.” So there you go, the tragedy of our times: A possibility at finding love amid the chaos of crowds and café noise destroyed by miscommunication and pride.

We are afraid to be loved. It’s really very sad.
My mother practically tore the door down trying to rush inside my unit. "Thebusyoutakeisbeingheldhostagerightthereinthehighway." I was sleeping, and it took about ten seconds for the news to lodge inside my brain. She wanted me to contact a news crew because there were no media people there yet. Uh-huh. I ended up calling our former executive producer, even if it was a Saturday afternoon. It turns out he was in New York. Blast it. My mother was paced up and down while I texted people. "They held a whole bus hostage. Right there in front of the Iglesia ni Cristo. You have to call a camera crew." As though that would help solve the problem. Well, a news crew did arrive, and some police. I don't know what happened. No news yet.

Friday, August 30

What do you mean I'm a freaking spoon? Hand me that pitchfork, will ya?

I am getting antsy. I think I'm going to run out of the house, get on a bus somewhere and disappear. If I don't go out, I will spend my day buried under blankets or in front of this computer. It doesn't look so good, whichever way you look at it.
Why are there ants skittling along my desk? Am I too sweet for them? Hm, nah.

Thursday, August 29

Hm. I didn't know Che Guevarra looked so much like George Clooney. Hm, yummy. Hm, am incapable of words. Hm, yummy.

[ yummy Che pic discovered via blue arden ]