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. 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 cafĂ© 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.