Tuesday, December 30

Pop Lola

Text by Jose F. Lacaba

Mabuhay ka, kaibigan!

Iyan ang una't huli kong
Tagubilin at habilin: Mabuhay ka!

Sa edad kong ito, marami akong maibibigay na payo.
Mayaman ako sa payo.

Maghugas ka ng kamay bago kumain.
Maghugas ka ng kamay pagkatapos kumain.
Pero huwag kang maghuhugas ng kamay para lang makaiwas sa sisi.
Huwag kang maghuhugas ng kamay kung may inaapi
Na kaya mong tulungan.

Paupuin sa bus ang matatanda at ang mga may kalong na sanggol.
Magpasalamat sa nagmamagandang-loob.
Matuto sa karanasan ng matatanda
Pero huwag magpatali sa kaisipang makaluma.

Huwag piliting matulog kung ayaw kang dalawin ng antok.
Huwag pag-aksayahan ng panahon ang walang utang na loob.
Huwag makipagtalo sa bobo at baka ka mapagkamalang bobo.
Huwag bubulong-bulong sa mga panahong kailangang sumigaw.

Huwag kang manalig sa bulung-bulungan.
Huwag kang papatay-patay sa ilalim ng pabitin.
Huwag kang tutulog-tulog sa pansitan.

Umawit ka kung nag-iisa sa banyo.
Umawit ka sa piling ng barkada.
Umawit ka kung nalulungkot.
Umawit ka kung masaya.

Ingat lang.

Huwag kang aawit ng "My Way" sa videoke bar at baka ka mabaril.
Huwag kang magsindi ng sigarilyo sa gasolinahan.
Dahan-dahan sa matatarik na landas.
Dahan-dahan sa malulubak na daan.

Higit sa lahat, inuulit ko: Mabuhay ka!

Maraming bagay sa mundo na nakakadismaya.
Mabuhay ka.
Maraming problema ang mundo na wala na yatang lunas.
Mabuhay ka.

Sa hirap ng panahon, sa harap ng kabiguan,
Kung minsan ay gusto mo nang mamatay.
Gusto mong maglaslas ng pulso kung sawi sa pag-ibig.
Gusto mong uminom ng lason kung wala nang makain.
Gusto mong magbigti kung napakabigat ng mga pasanin.
Gusto mong pasabugin ang bungo mo kung maraming gumugulo sa utak.

Huwag kang patatalo. Huwag kang susuko.

Narinig mo ang sinasabi ng awitin:
"Gising at magbangon sa pagkagupiling,
Sa pagkakatulog na lubhang mahimbing."
Gumising ka kung hinaharana ka ng pag-ibig.
Bumangon ka kung nananawagan ang kapuspalad.

Ang sabi ng iba: "Ang matapang ay walang-takot lumaban."
Ang sabi ko naman: Ang tunay na matapang ay lumalaban
Kahit natatakot.

Lumaban ka kung inginungodngod ang nguso mo sa putik.
Bumalikwas ka kung tinatapak-tapakan ka.
Buong-tapang mong ipaglaban ang iyong mga prinsipyo
Kahit hindi ka sigurado na agad-agad kang mananalo.

Mabuhay ka, kaibigan.
Mabuhay ka.


I got this piece from Plaridel Papers, which is said to be influenced by Baz Luhrmann's Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen). "Tagubilin" also reminds me of Desiderata. The piece is essentially spoken word with music in the background, and it made me interested to get Armida Siguion Reyna's album Pop Lola. It includes her rendition of Michael V's "Sinaktan Mo ang Puso ko," which includes lines like "sinaktan mo ang puso ko/ pinukpok ng martilyo/ tinaktakan ng Ajinomoto/ ipinakain sa aso." Something like that. My brother had that Michael V album with the English versions of songs Mr V did on Bubble Gang. And now a version from the venerable Ms Siguion Reyna. That should be a riot. Hopefully, the album should be fun, unlike her recent movie. Filipinas is so intent in making sense and having this "family as microcosm of Filipino society" blah and with Richard Gomez and everyone else shouting, I wanted to pull the plug and the rug from them. That film gave me a monstrous headache.

Sunday, December 28

Not Tim Burton, no!

tim burton
You're TIM BURTON. ooooh... nice one. 'that's so
dark' no but seriously, the guy's my favourite
director :) think "Edward
Scissorhands" and "Beetlejuice"

*** which film director are you? ***
brought to you by Quizilla

Oh well, it's there already. What else can I do. I grew up watching a lot of Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder and Mars Attacks! I thought I was going to grow up like David Lynch and a few hairlines away from Stanley Kubrick or something. Or something.
Paano na ang Pasko kung walang Peyups?
Peyups.com is closed for the holidays.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your family. See you all next year.
Man, what a bummer. Hay naku. Addict kasi eh.

Thursday, December 25

Pasko na naman**

Pasko na naman
O the days are so fast
The last Christmas isn't it like when only?
Today is Christmas let us all go singing
Today is Christmas let us all become Santa.

Christmas! Christmas!
Christmas it is again!
This is the only day we've been making mithi
Christmas! Christmas!
Christmas it is again,
Love is da only king!

**Original music and lyrics by Felipe de Leon and Levi Celerio. What you read above is the barok kantogirl version.

Friday, December 19

Hirit ka pa ulit

You open your doors and you find sheets of paper on the floor, all crowded with hastily scrawled notes all apologizing creatively for submitting late. Unfortunately, most of them were not for me. It's for the roommate. One note read:
"Dear Mam:
Sorry for submitting late. I researched and wrote the paper late into the night last night. I actually got to finish my paper early. But then I went to simbang gabi and fell asleep after. I woke up just this afternoon. Hope you get this on time."
Right. One time, I'll do something like that. Sorry class, the dog ate our classwork. Hehehe.

You're an Indie Pop Kid. You like songs about
relationships and the prettiness of nature.
You're sentimental, but not certainly not emo.
Oh, and if you aren't an English Major, you
should be.

You Know Yer Indie. Let's Sub-Categorize.
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, I've always thought that maybe I wasn't indie enough for anything. Saka at least I have affirmation na English major ako. Although I don't really know what good that will do for the world. What the hell do English majors do after graduation? People who'll answer "Eh di magtrabaho sa call center" will get an extra bonk on the head.

***Have you noticed how I so love question marks these days????

Friday, December 12

Bala sa canon?

If I can't beat or join them, then maybe I'll get them to write me in them novels. Wannabe like Nick but can't whack it? Convinced that you are that gurl with the dalawang pusod because you have 2 navel rings? Then be Connie without changing your name and sweatening it! Presenting Customized classics! Lolo Nick writes it specially for you. You can be Jessel with the two navel rings, tapos happy ending. Or wanna change the ending to X and Juliet? We all drink the poison and everyone dies. Write yourself into Jessel in Wonderland and then massacre that annoying Queen. Everyone dies. Merry Christmas yes?

Sunday, December 7

geek alert

You are Julia Kristeva! You were a student of
Roland Barthes, and came up with such important
notions as intertextuality and abjection. You
are a semiotician, psychoanalyst, scholar of
literature, and dozens more things. You are not

What 20th Century Theorist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

The last part is the best part. I have no desire to make like god right now. Is all good.
days of being (un)wild

I found someone I had a super major school girl crush on--the kind that involves blushing and wringing your hands, and replying in monosyllables and I can't help but think, duh I was so stupid then--in Friendster. Kaya lang wala siyang picture. Drat. Should I friend the person? Parang ayoko baka kasi isipin niya ini-stalk ko siya. But isn't that what Friendster is for? Hmm.. Must sit on my hands before I do something utterly stupid again. Feh.

Saturday, December 6

Headless in Hollow is not a romantic comedy.

Going to the Executive House is like walking down Sleepy Hollow. So dark, not too many cars, all those creepy trees. Whatever possessed me to think that it's just a stone's throw away from the UP Press must be exorcised. Katakot ha. Feeling ko the Headless Horseman will show up with his horse breathing down my neck. Ugh. Well at least that's one exciting part from last night.
no sleep still

Well, I still didn't get a break. I couldn't sleep Thursday night and well into Friday morning. Kept staring at the ceiling cracks, and the wood is starting to warp at the corner where it meets the wall.

But I still dragged myself out of bed and psyched myself to get excited about class. I kept myself steady on the train and actually made it to school with some time to spare to walk leisurely from office to the CNB (aww, baka daw SP Lopez Hall and not WCapili Hall, awww..)

Then I noticed there weren't too many people going to the building. Everyone was like going to the opposite direction. When I got to my classroom, it was empty. It's not a game of making the teacher dedma, yes?

So I went back and tried to find someone I could ask. Good thing Mary Ann was there. Why is everyone leaving, clueless me asked. Apparently, the students have to consult themselves on who the next student regent should be. Right.

I went to school so I can go the faculty lounge to have late breakfast that's actually lunch, and make tsismis on the secret life of Shakespeare, who's actually Christopher Marlowe, and the pretty boy of Wriothesley who might just be the guy who started all this Marlowe-Shakespeare conspiracy thingie.

Then I ran some errands at the Shopping Center, then ran some more to SM North and waited it out at the Smart Center for an hour, and their customer counter got stuck to "Counter 04 now serving 1108," and it stayed there until people complained. Then I finally got my chance to talk with some smart representative, only to have her tell me to go to the Nokia center down the hall. Crap. The line at the Nokia Care counter was shorter--there's just two of us, and the reps were more accomodating, until she told me that she needs an official receipt before she can look at my phone. I handed her the manual and the sim card form for the PUK_PIN thing. That's all that's left of my phone, the rest got flooded over. Are you still going to not look at it? She took it in. Minutes later she comes back with the motherboard and tells me that they found traces of water, and it's basically a dead phone and I really should bury it. More crap.

I don't think I want to get a phone line anymore because Smart is giving me the run around, and their promos really aren't what they put on the newspapers. The promos work better if you're a switcher, and hell to the new subscriber. For that, baka prepaid forever na lang ako. I'll just get me a new phone somewhere.

Thursday, December 4

Dear kantogirl,

Do you feel a little under the weather? It is quite possible, considering all the emotional turmoil you've been through lately. It takes time to recover from those storms. As you know, the work itself is not what gets you down, but rather your worries about the future that drain your energy. Today, give yourself a break. Take some time for rest and recuperation.

Your astrologer x_x

Dear astrologer,

I would have wanted to go, as in right now, but I can't. If I could I would. I just hope the bus is still there for when I actually, finally decide to go.

Wednesday, December 3

accidental finds

Found this wonderful database of lit, art & medicine (medicine? yeah, weird I know) with annotations! Plus there are some poems there which include readings by the author. Merong "We Real Cool," kaya lang it's in RealAudio pero keri na rin di ba?
After reading "Batorsag and Szerelem"

Okay, I'm not even going to attempt to be proper and literary and be all CWish here. I'm just going to blurt this out loud:

Shyet, ang lupit ni Ethan Canin!

Now lang ako ulit na-amaze at nagreact ng ganito to a short story that I read. I really wanted to scream "wtf?!" but it's way past midnight na. There's a surprise twist, and it kept me guessing till the end, although I suppose in the back of my mind I was already trying to put my finger on it but I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was odd about the situation.

"Batogsag and Szerelem*" is a novella from The Palace Thief, and you got a boy and his older, hippie math genius brother. Kuya has a girlfriend whom he hides in a refrigerator box in their basement, and she's supposedly his lover. Kuya is speaking in a strange language with his best friend. Kuya's girlfriend makes a pass on Lil Brother.

And it's all very intriguing because the blurb at the back of Granta 45 asks this: "Ethan Canin--JD Salinger's heir apparent?" A family of geniuses? Of course I just had to read it. I read one of his stories before, also from a Granta issue on young American Novelists. He didn't particularly make an impression on me then kasi si Jeffrey Eugenides (pre-Virgin Suicides) ang wow worthy sa akin nun. But now, I *heart* Granta 45. May Nick Hornby na, good novella by Ethan Canin pa. A real find, at least for me.

Wow. Yun lang.


*I'm still trying to find out what the words actually mean. I tried searching for it, but I can't understand a word because everything is in Hungarian or something. All I know is "Servoos!"

Pps. Okay, now I know: it means "love and courage." Aww.

Tuesday, December 2

no music, no life

But I do have music. Mostly in the form of albums burned for me by friends: Kylie and Dido, John Mayer. Lately, I've noticed that I always make stops at Tower or Music One and hang around with headphones on.

Then it occurred to me that I haven't checked out the Sunday Magazine section of the NYTimes for nearly a month now since school started. That's what I miss: reading that hasn't anything to do with school. Oh I read this Nick Hornby essay in Granta about being fourteen and up and it made me laugh because it's all so true. That's just about it.

I've been scouring all sorts of book shops and living in front of my computer to do class preps. And while things are taking on a better shape than before, it's still all things happening at the same time.

And yeah, parang bawal nang magkaroon ng grammatical errors ngayon. Harsh naman ng life. So saklap. Feh.

Saturday, November 29

the classroom as existential talk show hell

kantogirl: wala akong pambili ng 7650 noh, and neither do i hav d money nw 2 pay 4 an xpensiv line. m a poor underpaid public skul teacher nw.
gboy: ngek. hndi no. u r rich, kala mo lang poor ka pero hndi.
kantogirl: wow beatitudes. blessed r d public skul teachers. salamat ha. im nt d 1 wid d car. cge, palit n lang tayo ng salary. hehehe.
gboy: Cra. utang yun noh. Ü musta teachng?
kantogirl: headles chicken p rin. ung iba mejo ok naman. but ders ds class, i dnt knw wat 2 do wid dem. para kang talk show host sa isang absurd show na lahat nkatingin lang sa iyo.
gboy: bkit ganun? cyempre u encourage guest participation kung talk show. bka parang kris na dominante sa talk show nya.
kantogirl: hindi ah. usually naman ang studio audience perky d b? bka kailangan nila ng phone in questions? ewan.
gboy: hehe, thats 4 u to find out ß may klas ka ngaun?
kantogirl: sabado kaya. m home. mejo feeling scratchy throat. ikaw, working ovrtym as usual?
gboy: late nga ako ngaun e. d2 pa ko doing my chores. tapusin ko muna b4 i go to work. kaw?
kantogirl: tryng 2 sleep sana. my bodyclock is shot kc mejo insomniac ako d b? tpos biglang forced 2 go 2 skul during daytime.
gboy: makakaadjust ka din like everybody else. cguro kool na teacher ka? hmm.. wala naimagine ko lang.
kantogirl: nah. im mor like d teacher slash wanna be host fr talk show hell.
gboy: magiging teacher ka din na gusto mo magng. kung gusto mo strict, e d strict, teror, teror.. ganun yun. kantogirl: nah. mababa lang ang standards ko. masaya na ako if they can narrate, describe, and do their expositions right. feh.

Or maybe I just need an anvil to drop from heaven. Suddenly I want to ask myself: What the hell am I doing here? Whatever possessed me to think that I have something to teach these kids. Wah.

Thursday, November 27

Holiday? What holiday?!

Spent the day doing class preps. And I'm still not done. Blast it to virus hell.

Must sleep na. Brain doesn't want to think anymore, and it's your problem anymore. Have to wake up early for the orientation thingie tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 26

Are you in Friendster?

Is a question I got several times in my classes already. I always tell them they can't, unless they have mad googling skillz and an iota of a brain for research.

There's an article in Newsbreak discussing the Wired Generation, of why Pinoy youth (and everyone else in the 17-35 age bracket. The idea that I am not in my "middle youth" alarms me. Wah, a few more years and the "I plead the ignorance of youth" line won't be taken as a valid excuse.) seems to be apathetic and impatient and would rather stare at the computer monitor all day and click the mouse than stand up in a looong line to get things done. In the first place, if you can do it the techie (or "tamad" as my mother will call it) way, why not? If you can boot a president out via texting and asking everyone to show up at Edsa wearing black clothes, why the hell not?

Also cited in the article are the various research studies done on Pinoy youth and their use of technology, and also the book Txt-ing Selves which was released by the De La Salle Press last year. (I want that book. Uuy, sa wish list ko na yan this Xmas. *wink wink*) Kids are wired and have lots of time in their hands. Their parents aren't always around, and buoyed by the "express yourself" (wear Penshoppe?) dictum, we spend vast amounts of time stalking people on Friendster. Is this the shape of things to come? Maybe we should just wage war online. You know, another fire in the hole.

So anyhow, this latest issue of Newsbreak (8 Dec 03) with the Noli de Castro cover seems interesting. Articles on Pinoy youth in general, Friendster, whether we're becoming promiscuous like all those latest studies are saying, everyday activism, and what we are reading. I wonder what the books in that list are. I'm beginning to think that people just read stuff online na lang.
I think that in the last couple of weeks, I am becoming more dyslexic by the day. I can't spell well. My handwriting slurs (if that's possible) when I write. I mix my consonants and my vowels. "Leaning grasses" become "reaning glasses."

Must get rid of this soon.

Monday, November 24

Jonathan Brandis, RIP

Via the elephant blog, got wind that actor Jonathan Brandis committed suicide.

Like most kids then, I was a big fan of movies like Honey I Shrunk the Kids and The NeverEnding Story. Of course I would like to come across a book like that in some obscure shop somewhere.

Anyhow, the Jonathan Brandis I remember is all Tiger Beat smiles and 16 poster boy grins. He adorned the backside of my notebooks, because front cover honors belonged to Joey Lawrence--that dude who wouldn't cut his hair for a million dollars and a nice role in a film. What can we do, he loved his hair.

Not too long ago, it was Jason Priestley who had a brush with dead during some Kentucky race car gig. Should I be at least not be too sad because Joey Lawrence is still alive and probably guzzling beer in some stinking cheapo bar where Hollywood has been himbos slink around?

Ah. High school is just so over now.

Sunday, November 23


Ay, bakit nawawala yung forum sa peyups? Kung kelan pa naman ako biglang sinumpong mag-log in matapos ang mahaba-haba ring panahon, tapos wala. Is the site undergoing reconstruction or something? Hm...

Ps. Okay, forum is back. Maybe it was just some sort of temporary techie glitch.

Saturday, November 22

little kitties kissing


Ang cute nila noh? I want din.

More where this came from.
Missives from the teacher

I realize the URL is too long. But I can't do anything about that because I'm still running around and with my head buried in the sand and hoping that *they* wouldn't notice. Like, yeah, right.

Can teachers play hookie? Like, say, "the door ate my key and your course outline." Right.
Ate Vi, Kuya Guy and why it's Lucky to be in Himala*

I watched Himala! The Musical! last night with Astrid and Pepper. I think the girl who played Elsa was too big boned she seemed like a guy, or a guy in drag playing Ate Guy. Plus does she really have to strike that poster image pose? I realize that because this is an adaptation from a film, they try as much as they can to get the feel of the movie. There are moments which stretch to eternity--stage slow mo and then there's that final burst of the gun and Kuya Guy goes crowd diving. I was afraid they'd slip and Kuya Guy will break her back or something.

The part where Elsa declares that there is no miracle, that "ang himala ay nasa puso ng tao. Tayo ang gumagawa ng himala," they put a coda: That the real miracles are those that happen everyday. The rain falling on the ground, the sun rising. All that Oprah-esque sh*t. I was afraid they were going to pull out Doctor Phil and bring down the house and the theater and all those people who went in late and kept shuffling their feet over our heads. But yeah, I like the part where it rained. And when you can hear the wind around you. So desperate.

I want to find the people who made "Ang Huling Birhen sa Lupa" and bonk them on their heads because if you put that movie side by side with Himala, the former would seem like some people sat around the table and said, "Pare, dali gawa tayo ng Himala pero mas bold. Tapos kunin natin si Maui Taylor kasi kamukha naman niya si Ate Guy. Di na nila mapapansin yun."

Parallels and Exhibit A to infinitum:

[1] Maui was a castout and was semi-retarded (not in the way Melanie Marquez was, though) and was therefore shunned by the village people vs Elsa was a putok sa buho and was thus also a castout,

[2] Maui, in her semi-retarded state, sees something in the dried up tree in the hills. Elsa claims to have seen the Virgin.

[3] The part where Elsa and Chayong got raped, and Ara Mina and Maui the same. Like yeah, deja vu.

[4] Cupang and the village where Maui lives are both destitute and drying up and praying for rain.

[5] Maui Taylor looks too much like Ate Guy. The only difference is that Maui can bare more flesh and silicone, and if I see Ate Guy topless, I would run away.

I like the girl who played Nimia. She tries to shock the audience too much though. There was this production number with the angels/devils from the whorehouse trying to tempt Orly the Filmmaker. It reminds me of Richard Gere's number in Chicago. What Pepper noticed was that the smaller the girl, the skimpier the outfits get. The girls all had angel wings and wore black underwear, which makes them look like they're from a Victoria's Secret catalogue. At least, that's what Pepper says. As Nimia says, "ang tunay na himala ay narito sa aking hita." Oooh, I've never seen the theater so alive.

Speaking of live audiences, there were a lot of people at the CCP last night. There were at least 3 shows going on. A PPO concert, something by the Young Critics, and then Himala. I just wish that Himala had a bigger venue. Maybe then they could get Ate Guy and not Kuya Guy. Don't get me wrong though. We sort of like Kuya Guy. Astrid thinks she was, uhm, animalistic, and er, primal? Hehehe.


*Heard over conversation inside theater. Teenager dude asks his buddies: "Tungkol saan ba itong Himalang ito? Bakit siya lucky?" Other dude says: "Bakit naman lucky?" Teenager dude: "Di ba himala means lucky?" Nyar. Dude, where'd your Tagalog go? Hay naku. Hanggang dito may Ate Vi vs Ate Guy pa rin. *charing*

Friday, November 21

Death by Drowning

At 10.15pm, my beloved and trusty phone (b. 2 Nov 2000) plunged to its horrible death deep down the toilet bowl.

Fare thee well. It was a life well lived, and you earn my respect as the only one who stood by me for 3 years (and 2 1/2 relationships. You will be missed.

I think it's really time for a brand new life.

Thursday, November 20

It's 3 am and you must be lonely

I'm going down with this ship because I'm a Slave 4 U and god is a DJ and all I need is to justify your love.

Argh. I hate sleepless nights and you can't turn up the volume too loud because the neighbors are sleeping and you aren't; even if *they* crank it up before 7am, just when you're falling asleep. Argh ulit.
Books I've bought in the last couple of weeks because I'm an addict and going through a strange Panicky attack of Must-Get-Reading-Lists-Done-and-Over-With

1. Choke, Chuck Palahniuk
2. Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
3. Design Culture, An anthology of Writing from the Aiga
Journal of Graphic Design
4. Fast Food Fiction
5. Twisted Flicks
6. The Kiss, Kathryn Harrison. It's a memoir of an affair
between father and daughter. I vaguely remember
Nathan telling me he read this and it was good. But
then again, that's Nathan for you.
7. First Time, Lara Harte. It's British, is all.
8. High Risk: An Anthology of Forbidden Writings.
9. Elvis Rising: Stories on the King (Not FPJ)
10. Fool For Love, Sam Shepard

I hope to read them all before the year ends. Right. I've already browsed through High Risk and The Kiss, and I actually finished FastFoodFiction at the bookstore before I decided I liked it enough to get a copy for myself.
The Mr. Quickie Gods must loathe me

Kasi the keys that they made for me don't exactly work and I got locked out of my own office just when I was on my way to my next class and I *really* needed to get something in my room. Who would have known that Mr. Quickie keys don't work? Hell, that's why I went to them instead of the Manong filing keys to perfection at the neighborhood kanto because I thought they were more reliable. So I had a key made and earlier in the day I returned the master key to Sandra, and she went ahead to her class and I went to my class. All was well even though I still don't have a classroom, and some of the kids from the next class was there and I told them I'll just be quick and get the materials for them and then I put in my key and it went in. It turned. So I pushed the door expecting it to open. It didn't. I pushed it some more, and it just wouldn't budge. That's when I realized it just wasn't going to work.

Just then the Utility Guy was coming down the hallway and I stopped him and told him I was locked out. He said I should have asked them to make the key copy because Mr. Quickie keys don't work all the time, even if you got them at the bottomest pit at the Shangrila mall and they have their own guys who are safe and reliable. Lesson well learned. Utility Guy went to the storage and came back with a can of discarded keys. There must have been a hundred or so of them. By this time I was attracting curious stares. Panic was probably written all over my face. Mary Ann came by and I told her I was locked out. Then Third also stopped by. They seemed amused and got around to chatting how long it took them before they got locked out of their own offices. She was locked out after two months, and he had a carefree two years before he became temporarily displaced. I win the cake: I had two days. Yey. Eventually, we found a key that worked. It looks old and rusty, but working so yey for that.

It would have been so uncool if I had to go to class and say, hey my office ate your course outline. Blech.

Monday, November 17

Was looking at the referrer thingie. Someone has been googling me. Hm.. [ 1, 2 ]
Cubao is the center of the cheapskate geek universe

Spent most of the weekend bookhunting. Have gone around Ortigas and Cubao rummaging for suitable reading material. Saturday afternoon, Dennis and I squeezed into an overcrowded MRT so we could browse at the National Superstore in Cubao. You know you're well surrounded by geeks when all the people you know turn up in the geekiest place in Manila. Dennis ran into 2 other young instructors from LB. Ah, cheap books. One thing though, how come the selection there is mostly Brit? Not that I'm complaining. It just made me realize how so Kano-centric you are. One of the teacher guys kept quipping, "Bakit ba mas gusto n'yong magkalkal ng basura ng mga puti? Bakit di na lang kayo bumili ng libro ni xxx?" Nga naman, may point. Buy Pinoy?

This afternoon, I figured out the way to get to the Books for Less Greenhills. It's so out of the way--the MRT stations are too far away, there is no overpass with which you can cross Edsa. My friend Grace and I met up in Greenhills, then took the Unimart Gate 5 jeep and got off the gas station with the KFC branch beside it. Bks4Les was just a stone's throw away. I got just one book, an anthology on Design Culture. I saw a hardbound copy of Coupland's Polaroids from the Dead but I had to restrain myself. I've bought far too many books I can't read immediately and can't be part of my reading list for my classes. But I'm sort of happy still. I got a hardbound copy of Palahniuk's Choke--for php99. Yey! I'm broke but I'm happy. Bah.

I was telling my friends this: Sometimes I get the compulsion to suddenly behave myself in public, even when I'm with my friends and am off *work*. The idea that I might run into one of the kids and I'm doing something really silly. Hmm..Why do I care, it's not like I'm the poster girl for good behavior. I just hope I don't grow up to be a stuffy creaking no joy uhm, person.

Sunday, November 16

Well, all along I thought they were named after the Pencils.

Friday, November 14

I'm trying to get rid of the annoying tables in my blog and I can't seem to get it right. *sigh*

I met up with my first ever English 10 class this afternoon. Everyone came in early, and I thought I was, drat. Must come earlier tomorrow so I can pull off my I-am-not-the-teacher trick. But that's going to be a bit difficult because I don't have a classroom still. There's an announcement that they'll have rooms assigned by November 24 (eek!) and it *might* just be at the new CAL building, although Cel thinks it's unlikely because they already heard that last sem and nothing ever happened. Oh well, sana lang if ever we get classrooms not as far flung naman in the ends of the Diliman earth.

Wednesday, November 12

Torture tested (still un-kumbinsing!)

So last Tuesday I got a call on my mobile, and since I was already low batt, the line kept getting disconnected. It was a private number so I couldn't exactly call back. From what I gathered, they wanted me to swing by the department office today Wednesday to get my class assignments. I'll be handling (2) English 10 classes and another (2) English 1 classes. I have yet to browse the syllabi. And how's this for a welcome to public school: 3 of 4 classes are TBA, which means I will have to meet them someplace "convenient" like say the steps outside the theater or some hallway. Nice noh? The good thing about this is that all my classes in the afternoon. I was sort of bothered earlier if they happen to give me the really early morning classes, and I'm hardly a morning person so it would have been really difficult to rouse me and have me do sensible talk at 7am. Bah humbug, I need my sleep.

One more important thing: I forgot to ask them whether I get to have an office na. But other than that, I have to figure out ways on how to wing this. Hm. But you know, I haven't been this sort of happy in a while. Imagine all the torture I've been spewing this past couple of weeks, and I'm happy that it turned out okay.

The only drawback I can see is that (1) They've asked me to defer admission to grad school, and (2) I might have to drop the party show. I was sort of looking forward pa naman to being able to put down on my resume that I party for a living. Feh. Oh well, we'll see how things turn out.

Monday, November 10

Because screenwriters are (obsessive, neurotic, creative) people too

A NYTimes roundtable with Quentin Tarantino ("Kill Bill") and Brian Helgeland ("Mystic River"), and why cool movies never win big awards, the best screenplays of all time and their own idiosyncratic methods.
I am Jack's f*cking khakisCWINDOWSDesktopFightclub.jpg
Fight Club!

What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
brought to you by Quizilla

Saturday, November 8

full tank but running on empty

I am really sort of glad that at least the ordeal is over. When you think about it, twas really all about poise and composture. Leche, para kang nasa beauty contest, the way they make you wait in that holding area.

Then you're finally there. And I think I tanked, royally. So if I don't get that call, I won't be surprised.

All the knots in my muscles, the tension kept me running, but I really was scraping the bottom of the barrel. I couldn't wait for the whole thing to be over, and I was already looking forward to running to closest possible spa. Which unfortunately didn't happen because it was way past the afternoon mark. Durn it.

Tanked, can you believe it?

Wednesday, November 5


Here are the objects of wrath of that "wonderful website:" [8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ]

My friends and I really felt sorry for the girl whose mother had cancer. She was really nice and I don't think that even given her progeny she deserved something as mean as that. Fashionable, schmashionable.

We were floating around theories yesterday as to who could be the culprit given the mailing list to which it was sent. It's definitely someone who's familiar with the whole CW program but who has now graduated, and knows most of the younger writers whom s/he hates with such villainy, and spouts just enough angst for perhaps not being made pansin by the older writers. S/he must also have too much idle time to actually concoct online vendettas.

That person/persons even had the gall to e-mail his list to another more established professor who writes a column for a broadsheet and serves for the university. Why that writer was spared probably means the culprit got a good grade in his class.

Ah, enough sleuthing for now.

Tuesday, November 4

Speaking of poisoned pens

Clueless me opened my mailbox this morning and got a shocker when my former thesis adviser's name was there, asking me to visit this "wonderful, wonderful website." Another former blockmate texted me about the same website, warning me: "Prepare to be shocked."

There were other writers in the list and most of the profiles border on the obscene, but also hilariously funny. This is tetaaquino for the literary set.

Whoever came up with this still hasn't perfected his/her grammar, and is possibly a homophobe, or is disgruntled because he hasn't been at the receiving end of things. Stock up ba?

Pero, t*angina, if this isn't poison pen at its vilest, then what is it?

Sunday, November 2

Dazed and confused

Can love and hate exist with each other with such vigor that it consumes you?

Saturday, November 1

Dreaming, with subtitles

I went to sleep at 6 am this morning, after sending off some friends who stayed over and watched some movies with me, among them Regal Shocker the Movie, which had nothing really horrifying except for Ruffa Gutierrez's teased bangs, neon orange one size fits no one shirt and red shoes, (more about this movie when I have the strength for it) and because the Oktoberfest was such a bust.

So I crashed on my bed and promptly started dreaming that I was standing on the ledge of an MRT station somewhere. I vaguely remember staring at my shoes, then I looked up and across to see some former flammable person (the kind that makes you want to throw gas over them and then light a match) at the other side of the tracks. For some strange reason I was sad. In a voice over I heard myself talk in an undecipherable but possibly European language. But then at the bottom of my dream screen appeared the subtitles: "Nakita ko siya with someone else. But they sure as hell did not see me." Cut to a coffee shop with a friend. We had been talking still in that strange language and I remember feeling sad.

"I just say that I don't care if hindi ko na siya makita ulit. But then there it was. My closure delivered via the MRT. "

"Ang panget naman, you're at the opposite side of the tracks," friend said.

Then my phone rang and I woke up, and I could still see the subtitles in yellow. I've heard of people dreaming in black and white, and I once dreamt with a built in techno house soundtrack, but subtitles? Ang weird lang. Buti na lang hindi dubbed.
Equal opportunity post

Ayan, para fair: Presenting the Calendar boys and girls of 2004. All hot, all Italian, but not necessarily all chaste.

[ found via the secret tango dancer, by way of the elephant blog, and metafilter ]
The Kidnap a Gnome Project

When I was a kid, there was this house several blocks down which had a reputation of being haunted. The one Christmas I went carolling with my brother and my then best friend, we didn't want to pass by that house. It was dark, nobody ever saw the owners, and they had garden gnomes. The kids said them little statues moved aorund at night. Even if we wanted to see whether it was true, the fear of seeing the gnomes actually moving sent us away in a hundred meter radius.

Maybe we should have kidnapped the gnomes na lang pala, and founded a Garden Gnome Liberation Front, like some people did in France:

PARIS (Reuters) - A French police station has been stuck with a room of homeless garden gnomes, victims of a wave of gnome abductions, after a fresh bid to trace their owners failed.

Only a trickle of people showed up for Monday's "gnome return day" at the police station in Saint-Die-des-Vosges, near the eastern city of Strasbourg, and only one person was reunited with their stolen gnome, police said.

Read the rest of the story here.

And no, they haven't been watching too much Amelie.

Read it to me, baby.

So was it as bad for you as it was for me?

No, there's no excuse for Just Being Difficult. I believe that you can make an intelligible paper, or write a book without resorting to unreadable language. Polysyllabic words does not equal smarts. In the same way that a canonical writer can be easy reading. I so hated it when I couldn't get past paragraph 1 of Joseph Conrad's The Secret Sharer, and we had to discuss that one in class. The horror, the horror talaga. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, and it feels really bad when you can't get through a single page, paragraph, or worse, even finish the first sentence:
For most scholars, bad academic writing, like bad academic sex, doesn't call for explanation -- or argument.

It's poor chemistry between writer and reader (pontificator and pontificatee, in the academic version), like lack of sizzle between jaded full professor and enthusiastic asst. prof. It's failure of Interrogator A to make the noises and gestures that work for Hegemonized Reader B. It may be Defamiliarizer A's clumsy attempt to shake up the ideological/emotional/instrumental reflexes of Overly Essentialized Reader B. It may be sheer incompetence at nouns, verbs, and adjectives.

In days of olde, lousy writers and lovers struggled to improve, or at least tried not to draw attention to themselves. But who can still remember a time when imperialist categories like "good" and "bad" didn't trigger counterinsurgency from subaltern stylists?
You see, it’s a lot of things.

I usually have an idea of what I want to do, and how to get there from here. When I want things badly enough, I get them.

[This entire ballgame has become unpredictable. The guy I banked on being included in the shortlist wasn’t there. I figured that there were too many noisy gay guys and just picked one. The structuralism girls were both there. Ms Nervous Wreck wasn’t nervous and probably knew her methodology better than me. I’m not discounting that Barong Wearing Dude could be in there. It just makes me nervous that I don’t have a handle on where I stand. I mean, do I believe Mentor Dude that I did well enough when the info came from the high exag Fairy Dear Adviser? How do I know they meant I did well in the grad skul exam and not the blasted the other project that means so much to me right now? Why is this happening to me?

Meanwhile, I have to rant because this has become my journal substitute. It’s not even my blog anymore. It’s my whine page.]

Now I don’t know if for some reason I’m reaping extra evil karma points that I might not get what I want, or I’m not good enough for it. At any rate, it leaves me a bit unsure, humbled. I’m not used to it.

And oh yeah, this is how I feel.

Thursday, October 30

The Emperor's New Blog

Wednesday, October 29

How to be Good

I don't really know how to do that, but if I get what I really really want, I will try to be. Good, that is.

Just give me a nice blank slate. I'll try to be nice. Really.
How to Flunk

[1] Ride the slowest jeep in the world. It doesn't matter if you leave the house two hours before the blasted exam. That turtle crawl from Pantranco to UP has got to be the longest 45 minutes of my life. Dammit, I did not get up and eat early so I can be late. I already have issues about punctuality, ie, I have been trying my best to come on time, if not earlier than the proposed appointment. So far I have been successful. Morning person or not, I have found myself getting up at 6.30 am to make it to school before 9am. This just upsets me so much.

So I get to the office and I was afraid they'd forfeit me the exam, but Attendant Girl just leads me down the stairs to the dungeons of hell and hands me several pieces of paper and the questions. Who would have known that Julio Cortazar is going to be my downfall?

[2] Your brain functions at the current rate of 15rpm. Slooow. Read the text handed to you 3 times. See those words? They mean something--and they want you to say something spectacularly coherent about it. But. You. Understand. Nothing.

Which is really bad, because the text we were assigned were instruction materials: How to Cry, How to Sing. I wanted to cry, badly. But the author said that I only had 3 minutes to do it. Damn. If I were reading his pieces for pleasure, I would have appreciated it more. The guy was funny. But, man. Having to explain how it all hung together organically. Just skewer me please. Since them gods think they're being funny, they should have given us "How to Die" instead.

[3] Hypersense. I don't know if that's the word for it. But I could hear every single drop of moisture from the aircon unit, another examinee's pen tapping on the corner of his desk, the shifting of feet, and my brain screaming "Dammit! Methodology? What methodology are you talking about?!"

All in all, I feel like I blasted my way to Neptune. You know that feeling that you are da bomb? And you just exploded and you just want to slink down and melt and disappear into a puddle like those witches in Oz? Yeah, that sums it up.


Related, but slightly. Okay, so The Mentor Dude has decided he wants to talk to me again. He texted me last night about my botched exam. He ran into my Fairy Dear Adviser in Malate which is just grand. But he's texting me since the Fall from the Workshop Heaven incident, so this must be good.

Or if I really want to be pessimistic about it: Mentor Dude is really just glad he's going to get rid of me, finally. My, ain't life grand?

I've never felt this shaky before. Dammit, I never wanted anything as badly as this in a long while. And if I don't get it, I have no one to blame but myself. Stupid slow jeep. Feh.

Sunday, October 26


Was what I was last Wednesday. As in the previous posts, I was geared with the thought that I had a full day: Exam, interview, dinner with friends I haven't seen in quite a while. I was pretty sure of my schedule this time because I had taken to writing them down and putting them on post its on my desk.

I realized I really wasn't a morning person anymore. It took me three attempts to read and actually understand this short story we were handed out for us to analyze. At nine in the morning. All the time I was thinking: [1] It's so damn cold and didn't bring my hoodie in exchange for this blasted cardigan, [2] Shyet, I should have reread that "Spunky French Guys you can name drop as you wing your way through sounding intellectual and pretentious" article, but I didn't, so feh.

I had lunch with my friend A+ half a galaxy away from the FC. When it was time to go back, I boarded a jeep and only then did I realize I left my hairbrush on my desk. I was supposed to have an interview and I was having a bad hair day. Feh.

It turns out I need not worry. I walked in, at the appointed hour, and this girl tells me it's going to be held tomorrow, Thursday.

"But somebody called me at home and told me it's on Wednesday."

"No, it's going to be October 23."

I wanted to shake her silly because I noted it down on my notepad. But I left the big note pad at home and I didn't have proof right there so I walked out of the office and sat on the concrete bench in the waiting shed, still feeling like I was in some time space warp. When I got home, the first thing I checked was my notepad. True enough it said: "Wednesday, interview. 1pm, Room 1017." There was no date, although she must have said October 23. But I couldn't really be sure.

Postcript to this: It went well. I sort of knew what they were going to ask me: Why I want to do this thing when I could be visibly disenfranchised economically. I wanted to go all Dustin Hoffman-ish and Winona Ryder-esque on them and say "Beats me," but I don't think they'd appreciate it. Now I will really might try to look up that French dudes article. Before I went into the holding room, there were two girls trying to put on make up and Girl in Blue asked: "Did you read up on Structuralism?" I was screaming in my head: Wtf? All I was worrying about was whether I should put on another coat of lip balm because it was cold. Durr.

Post postcript: There must have really been a rip in the time space warp last Wednesday. When I finally had my senses back, I hiked over to the MRT station in Q Ave so I could hang out in the mall a bit. Four trains came and went on the Northbound side of the tracks and no trains going South. Wtf? The tide of people waiting for their ride grew five deep. And they made no special announcements as to why it was taking them too long.


*Is how my friend W usually says it. Not "disoriented," like we'd usually say in our Sesame Street learned English. His is the remnant of days when we were forced to drop our Rs and not roll them.

Monday, October 20

I am praying

For a good hair day and a nice fit in my clothes Wednesday. And yeah, I have to hear myself talk.
I woke up way too early today.

Like a little after 8am because my phone was already ringing. So I attempted to get my brain to process the information being said to me, and then I hung up and went back to bed. Minutes later the phone was ringing again and again and again. Oh goodie.

Why do they have to pile all my appointments for Wednesday? I mean, I appreciate all the breaks and all, but why everything on Wednesday?! By the time I get to my 1pm appointment, my brain is going to be mush. It's not good, you know. I need my wits to be full bar by then. Time for fireworks, feh.

So now I'm horizontal. My veins are vibrating with some weird polytone bio-surge screaming lack of sleep. I dream of pillows and blankets and light wool, with soft red lights. Beam me some sleep please.
Lecheng Friendster

Pati si Jose Javier Reyes (self proclaimed pornographer) may Friendster, and he's got a blog too! Wow, techie guy pala siya.

Hmm...Maybe I should I Friend him so he can convince Mikee Cojuangco to make romantic comedy (eek!) movies again. Hehehe.

Friday, October 17

Singleton Nation

Is what we might be in like 10-15 years. A year ago, Newsbreak had its Singles in the City issue. A lot of young people are uncoupled, for various reasons, and we're upping the marrying age. Is it time to panic? I don't hear no clock ticking.
Kissing in fours

Is a "preserve of Paris," as this article says. It is also usually reserved to family and really close friends. The French are known to be oscillation oriented people, but the kissing map also defines how many kisses one may give or receive depending on the geographical location. Some kiss only once, in the more conservative Atlantic region of Charente-Maritime. Go the Teutonic Alsace and you get the normal two: one on each cheek. But go somewhere near the Cote d'Azur and you will get three.

Here in Manila, depends on where you are and who you're with and you will be invariably be greeted with: [a] Oy! With matching taas ng eyebrows, [b] A short primal scream, followed with air kisses which suffocate you in the other person's parfum, [c] A hug with matching "Where have you been all my life?!" After which you run away, or [d] A nod, begrudgingly given and then you go ahead with minding your own businesses. I don't. Maybe as a collective we're really not just the kissing sort, unless you count the "mano," where you bring your elder's hand to your forehead.

Prior to working, I never was one for making beso. I only learned to live with it when I had older friends who insisted on making them. Now I'm fine with it, but of course it still depends on the closeness with which I relate to them. And oh, some people really just value their personal space, which may be like 3 inches or 3 feet.
Lunch at Period 3

I am awake most nights, and only feel the stirrings of a yawn by around 3 or 4am. I hardly get up now before 10 am. I used to think that it's because I became used to writing during night time, but now scientists have another explanation: Night people may have a shorter version of the Period 3 gene, compared to those who have a longer version of the gene who usually are extreme morning people.

But scientists say that your lifestyle still has a say on how you early or late you start your day. You can always override your genes. Oh goody. This is going to be hell when I'm forced to live normal lark days. I rather like being an owl.

[via metafilter]
Nestor Torre gives tips for aspiring scriptwriters.

Uhm, okay.

But he makes kambyo naman and says that the tips are actually by Marsha Norman, playwright, so it's not all that bad. *snicker, snicker* Bad, kantogirl, bad, bad.

Here it is:

First, to be a good writer, you have to be an avid reader. Read at least four hours a day. No arguments here. Not three hours and a half, but four. Take it or leave it.

Next, don't write about your life now, it's too unclear and inchoate. Write about your past, something that's already been completed, and thus easier for you to get a handle on.

Write about something that terrified you, something you still think is unfair, something that you haven't been able to forget after all the years that have passed since it happened.

Don't write in order to show the audience how smart you are. The audience is not the least bit interested in the scriptwriter, it only wants to know-and care about-the characters.

If the audience begins to suspect that what it's watching was actually written by some other person, it's going to quit watching and listening. So keep yourself out of it!

If you have characters you can't write fairly, cut them out. Grudges have no place here. Nobody cares about your grudges but you, and you can't attract an audience!

There must be one central character. Only one. Not two, not three-one. And he or she must want something. And by the end of your script, your central character must either get it or not. Period. No exceptions.

You must tell your audience right away what is at stake in your script-i.e., how they know when the drama is over. They are, in a sense, the jury. You present the evidence, and then they say whether or not it seems true to them.

If it does, your script will work. If it doesn't seem true to your viewers, try to find out why-and don't do it anymore!

If, while you're writing, thoughts of critics, family members or the audience occur to you, stop writing and do some reading until you have successfully forgotten them.

Don't talk about your script while you're writing it. Good scripts are always the product of a single vision, a single point of view. Your friends will be helpful later, after the script's direction is established.

A script is one thing you can easily get too much help with. If you must break this rule, try not to say what you have learned by talking. Or just let other people talk and you listen. Don't talk your script away.

Keep pads of paper near you all the time. Whenever you have thoughts about your script, write them down.

Never start writing until you know what your first sentence is that day. It is unhealthy to sit in front of an unused typewriter or computer for any length of time. If, after you have typed the first sentence, you can't think of a second one, go read.

There is only one good reason to write a script, and that is that there is no other way to take care of it, or process it, whatever it is. There are too many made-up scripts being written these days.

So if it doesn't spill out faster than you can write it, don't write it at all! Or write about something else that does spill out. Spilling out is what scripts are all about. "Writing" is for novelists.


Four frigging hours? If you count webpages, maybe. I read a lot of stuff from the net now. Mag-newspaper rounds lang ako, that's a lot already. Although must admit I'm becoming slow na when it comes to books. I've had "How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents" in my backpack for more than a week now, nasa p.46 pa lang ako.
Attack of the Giant Paella! (Or the Pick your favorite colonizer day)

I like the sound of castanets clicking, don't you?

Hopefully substantial nga siya. The month long Fiesta event by the Spanish Embassy and Instituto Cervantes will hold a street party with lots of music, wine, fireworks, and the aforementioned giant paella on Saturday, 18 October at the Puerto Real Gardens in Intramuros.

I missed the Neruda poetry reading last Monday night, but hopefull I'll be able to catch the event this weekend. Unless of course you prefer to worship at the altar of the Big Bush or at the meccas of shopping in Ortigas. But traffic is probably going to be bad, and security all over the metro will be tight, so why not head to Intramuros right?

The Spanish Film Festival is also ongoing at the Greenbelt 1 cinema from 16-26 October. For other events, you can also check out their activities page here.

Thursday, October 16

Once, twice...

According to this strip, come November I'm gonna be a loser two times over. Hah!

[via elephant blog]
It's raining frogs and dogs

Watched Amores Perros and Magnolia back to back last night while waiting for a phone call. Asteeg! And I'm such a loser kasi it took two (not just one) 3hr movies for the call to push through. Aaak! But at least I'm done with it. Di na raw kailangan ng revision. Yeah! (But of course it could also be kasi pressed for time na. Dammit, I am no genius!)

Both movies had a lot of dogs in it. Parang medyo nabawasan ang potency ng Amores Perros for me. I realized that we never really knew what happened to Valeria after her amputation. Gael was still credited as "Gael Garcia" in this one. I wonder when exactly did he add the Bernal in his name. But he will always be my Gael Garcia Bernal.

PT Anderson is still mayabang, in a very good way. I like how everything in the movie is all about the "sins of the father." (Uuy, more lit theory fodder. If all else fails, blame your dad, your mom, and your imperialist oppressors.) Saka Tom Cruise still comes out as Tom Cruise in some parts, like when he was finally by the bedside of Earl Partridge. Nagpa-OA na naman ang leche.

But nothing beats the rain of the frogs, ever. A plague on both of your houses!

In other worlds, I've been watching a lot of dark comedies lately. I caught Praying Mantis at the UP Film Center earlier this week, and it was hilarious. I'm never one for peeping on middle-aged sex, but it just made me squirm in my seat when those bloated old men would reach for Jancik's hand and place them over their crotches. Yikes! Yes, call me biased and all, but all the while I was screaming "Lolo, wag po! Maawa kayo kay Lola Babes!"

I liked how the violence was underscored, the actors were so deadma. It's like "Oooh, there's a dead body on my kitchen floor, what would I do? *pause* Oh, I know." Then she reaches for the cleaver and proceeds to cut him up and put him in little giniling sa supermarket trays, complete with saran wrap. (It's so Gamitan, actually. Oh well.) I just didn't like it that after all the killings, Lola Babes still didn't get away with it. You know, crime doesn't pay and karma and all that blah. But astig sana yun if they let her get away with it.

Tuesday, October 14

Oh, I can be a brat sometimes.

When I feel like it, but I can also be an annoying adult as well. Any which way, stubborn pa rin. Time for an Oprah moment and take this emotional age quiz.
D S2pehd movie on my mind

Lea Salonga to sing "non-political songs" for Bush in Malacanang visit.
Here's my proposition:

Lea vs Salbakuta.

Now that would have been a surreal scene for George W Bush. Tipong Broadway mixed with jologs. I watched parts of the Songs from Home concert on television some weeks back, and it's becoming more obviously glaring that Lea is boring. Manangly boring. Or as some other writer put it before, she doesn't have an ounce of libog in her veins. Oh she tries to make it lively by doing "raunchy" numbers and singing dukebox staples, but argh! Just how many renditions of Tukso can you stand? And who does her clothes--Inno Sotto forever? She could have died from strangulation and asphyxia from her own shawl. Somebody give this girl a nice red strappy gown, like she the one she wore in a Cosmo cover some years back.
Miasma over Manila

Are you dukha and stressed? This article digs into the argument that the poor and jologs get all sickly and have bad skin because they have more to worry about than where they can get LV Murakami bags and Jimmy Choo shoes.

There's the theory floating back from a couple centuries that the more depressed areas have this pall hanging over them, a strange air that makes everyone fall sick. As opposed to the well to do with their well ventilated abodes, spacious and high ceilings and dwelling huge enough to contain several holes of a golf course.
Children of the Corn

Corn, the abundance or lack of it, is at the heart of the world's obesity problems. It's more pronounced in America, the land of McDonald's upsized fries and drinks, where 3 of 5 people are overweight. While lawsuits have been filed accusing fast foods that they haven't been informed that eating large servings will make them fat (duh, like they didn't know that), the same companies are making the rest of the world indulge in the surplus of corn.

Interesting article in the NY Times which traces America's health problems through its corn production. How in the 19th century the corn surplus made way for cheap moonshine and thus contributed to the alcoholism problem. Neat trivia: the ritual we know as the office coffee break started as a respite for farm hands from their daily grind. They would chug down pints of moonshine which had become cheap and affordable. When the Prohibition came, it was substituted by coffee. And now we have people downing designer coffee with lots of whipped cream and assortments of syrup.

After the Depression came ever increasing returns from the farm. The oversupply of corn can then be blamed after Nixon's time, when subsidies were given to farmers so they wouldn't have to sell their produce at a lower price. Farmers harvested more and more corn, which the government stored in their granaries, and they don't know what to do with it. So they had to "add value" to it by turning it into corn flakes, corn syrup, and fed it to cows and chickens so we had cheap corn-fed beef which they turned into burger patties which sold for $.99 in McDonalds, which in turn marketed it world wide and asked customers to "upsize" their drinks and double their burgers for an additional php5. So the usual 600 calorie meal of a burger, regular fries and drinks were bloated to a sky high 1,500 calories.

Then we wonder why we keep on getting fat. That's why McDonald's is evil and we shouldn't keep on upsizing those fries and drinks. All that because them imperialist farmers have to do something with all their surplus corn. Even if we get all high tech and postmodern* with our cell phones and wi-fi and friendster (hee!) we are all still bound to agriculture.

*In the critical lit theory class I sat in, there were arguments whether or not Pinas is a postmodern society. Kasi we're semipyudal, semikolonyal daw, and we never went from modern to industrial to post industrial and all that shit we learned from STS and Alvin Toffler so it's impossible that we jump straight to postmo. But then since Pinas is this weird place where we don't have linear history and a sense of a grand narrative, and we're really a Romantic (and rustic), where we're all stories happening at the same time, therefore we're postmo. Aak! Ang gulo noh? But yeah, anything can happen in Pinas.
Bible my foot

The CW majors reading list is online. My batch wasn't supposed to be covered by this list, but they made us guinea pigs anyway. 50 books by Filipino writers in English which by the time you graduate you should have read at least most of it. Then by the time you submit your thesis which consists of either a portfolio of poems or 50 pages worth of prose/fiction/nonfiction (or if you want to escape that, try to do something in other genres which they know nothing about, like flash fiction or comic books or maybe a screenplay). The panel gets to grill you on the books you should have read.

When I had a class on Contemporary Phil Lit in English, we had texts which were written in the 70s. Latest and contemporary na yun ha. Concession na nga na that they have Jessica Zafra on the list, but really no young writers. The list is getting really old, and they should update it more.

Wala lang, kasi I found the list while blog hopping. Reminds me of pre-thesis jitters way back in the day.

Monday, October 13

baguio was a bust

It wasn't the big big blast we expected it to be. First off, we missed looking at the bomb blasted Macoy bust probably because we were all dozing, and the bus was so freaking slow.

We had a nice breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins. Wagi yung home cured bacon nila, and I had a tinapang bangus all to myself. Little did I know that we had to eat more bangus by lunch. Ahh, death by bangus.

Then we went to the Tossed Salad Festival at the Athletic Bowl. (Would have been more fun if they actually tossed the athletes into the salad, hehehe.) It's like eating a Wendy's side salad but adding php550 for the pamasahe of going to Baguio. We all left immediately because some bands with names like "Scourge Of Marikina" was going to perform. I mean hello, Scourge of Marikina?! Plus Tootsie Guevarra was also there. I mean what if in a dozen or so years Tootsie Guevarra becomes Vice President of the country? (At least yun yung projection ni Bob Ong).

Then we traipsed down Burnham and were talking about Spongebob and Baby Bob, and then our friend's brother Kuya Bob. And then suddenly Kuya Bob's sister Mary is there with her Mom. Smallish world is shrinking even more!

Di kami nakapag-ukay ukay to death kasi most of the Bayanihan stores were boarded up with iron sheets and it wasn't too much fun to go around anymore in the new ukay place down session. The goods were really sort of expensive and all I got was a Brasil football jersey and some really strange socks.

Then it rained really really hard we had to evacuate and crash Mary's mum's hotel room in Camp John Hay. I like the cafe there because it faces a very nice courtyard and they make really nice hot chocolate.

But I think we really missed the ukay and the six o'clock habit. Wala naman kasing provisions ang ulan sa tips on how to road trip. Maybe we would have had better luck with watching Green? But any travel adventures with the Sisterhood of the Socks is welcome. Wala nga lang kaming new sorority socks this year.

Friday, October 10


Speaking of addicts, here something from the plaridel papers mailing list, about some guy protesting the use of "addict" as a brand in the mobile communications industry. It got almost nasty comments. Kasi naman eh. Ano ba, dude, is it all literal with you? Pati ba naman taglines at brand names di n'yo pinatawad. So what's next, stone Smart for false advertising?


By Dennis L. Berino

"What's in a name? A rose called by any other name will smell as sweet." So goes a line from the great playright William Shakespeare. In this day and age however of branding, a product name sends a powerful image as to what a particular product or service is supposed to convey to the consuming public.

Many highly competitive and progressive companies now undergo specialized procedures to determine the best brand name they will give their product - from executive opinion to sales force composite to focused group discussions, just to name some. The objective is not only to create brand awareness and recall but also to position the product in such a way that they will be preferred by the consuming public because of the strong positive image and utility they will get in using the brand.

Now we start wondering how a leading cell phone company ended up calling its latest offering as ADDICT MOBILE? You get a Webster dictionary and you will get a definition of the word addict as "one who is devoted or surrenders oneself to something habitually or
obsessively." That is the literal definition of the word and in that sense, you can really get addicted to a lot of things, like to chocolate, television, texting or to web surfing. They even made a Hollywood movie with the title "Addicted to Love."

But you and I know that in the context of contemporary use, the word addict is usually and generally associated with the illicit use of drugs or narcotics. And there lies the rub in using that term in branding their new service as ADDICT MOBILE.

The leading cell phone company of course, heavily advertised their ADDICT MOBILE offering in print and television to create awareness and eventually patronage from the consuming public. Advertising is a powerful tool in providing information to the consumers. What kind of information do you get with a by-line like "Get hooked" or "Gratified" which their recent ads banner and use?

The branding and advertising slant of ADDICT MOBILE is specifically of the psychological appeal type which generally aims to persuade by appealing primarily to human emotional needs and not to reason. And it raises certain moral implications in its choice of the word addict considering the word's context as earlier mentioned and the prevailing drug menace our society is experiencing right now.

In fact, the national government has put the national police and all other government regulatory bodies concerned with controlling and eradicating the illegal use and handling of narcotics, to high gear to try to stamp out and eliminate this great threat and menace to our society's well-being, especially of the youth. The youth has been the primary target market of drug pushers and it is not coincidental that the youth is also the heaviest users of mobile facilities and services.

And so there is really something not quite kosher for this cell phone company to capitalize on the contextual slant of the word addict to position and push its new mobile service to the consuming public, especially the youth which is their primary target market.

Some quarters actually objected already to this company's use of the word addict but the outcry against it did not reach a critical mass to force the hand of the mobile company to consider pulling out its new service. In fact, as of this writing, they continually show in print and on television their advertisements whose dark orientation is normally associated to the melancholia and depression that many drug addicts are prone to.

Its such a shame that such a leading cell phone company capitalizes on this grave threat to our social well-being and national security to push their new service to the consumers. It smacks of insensitivity and poor taste on their part to continue foisting their Addict Mobile service given the heightened sense of urgency right now to control and eliminate drug addiction in our environment.

What message do they send? Its cool to be an addict in relation to using your mobile phone but they cannot escape the direct attachment of that coolness to drug dependency to which, to the point of belaboring it, the term addict has been contextually attached to.

Several months back, a leading burger company pulled out its television advertisement when there was a public outcry to the wrong values it was sending to a child who was receiving some sort of a bribe from his father. Now, that is a responsive company conscious of its social responsibility role.

The drug menace is an even bigger problem which should not be trivialized because we want to appear cool and we want to capitalize on it to push a product or service. If the AdBoard or PANA or any concerned government agency cannot do anything about this situation because the company concerned might cite its freedom of expression or some other justification, then I believe we as concerned consumers can make a stand and advocate for this company to pull out its campaign in the interest of societal well-being. Boycotting this Addict Mobile service is also another option to persuade them to pull out their morally questionable service.

With due apologies to Shakespeare but a name, in this instance the branding of Addict Mobile, serves only the commercial and financial interest of the cell phone company without taking into account the issue of the common good. The name then here takes on a critical
issue which needs to be addressed. I'm sure the company can come up with a more neutral and morally acceptable brand name than what it is using right now.

The author teaches Management Science and Business Ethics in the Graduate School of Business of De La Salle University Professional School, Inc. He is assistant vice president of the Sales Operations Group of Insular Life Assurance Co.
no friendster tonight, boohoohoo

Guess what I did after running home from the PSID exhibit at the PBCom Tower? Yeah, even if it was raining hard, and we got off the cab, we ran into my room so we can freaking log on to Friendster.

Tapos down ang Friendster.

Parang nakakaleche di ba? I mean, we took a cab and all. I could have gone to UP and did some errands, but we were such huge Friendster losers kasi excited ako to add some few other people whom I found and who found me.

Tapos I'm leaving for Baguio in a couple of hours and the page says Friendster will be back 5am PST. I mean, what time exactly is 5am PST as opposed to GMT? Gah. I never learned how to calculate time zones.

I remember writing the concept paper for this (on f*cking Valentines Day if it matters), but I'm not around anymore to take part in it. It went by a different title, but basically the same sudsy story you are all familiar with: provincial lass, innocent and sweet; worldly mysterious foreigner; the brooding local hero. A langit at lupa love story, with a twist. But now it's all im-im-impyerno.

Monday, October 6

better, hopefully

I wrote my FutureMe a letter for when I'll be a quarter of a hundred years old. I'm crossing my fingers that things will be better by then.

[ link found via ursula_lear, whoever she is ;) ]

Sunday, October 5

The city of stories, again.

NYC from the pov of a Russian immigrant. How one is introduced first to the underbelly of a city, how you feel out of the loop because everyone else is better dressed, more well off than you. You love the dirty feel, the grime, then you leave to study (to better yourself, you say) and come back to a city that has been “urbanized” and is under siege from a vast future and happening presence of wealth. Tragedy strikes: terror, recession. And you are back to your culture of grime and crime. Welcome home. Yes, I will always be a city dweller, in Manila where there are disco lights by the boulevard.
Run Gloria run

So I woke up this afternoon and the first thing that greeted me on tv was PGMA in her crisp white shirt addressing the elderly Pinoys of Pampanga, and eventually declaring that she will indeed run in 2004.

Yeah, we've been half expecting it. Even if she did say before that she'll not run anymore, did anyone actually buy that? I'm really just pissed because she could have done away with her whole act of doing the right thing when all she really wanted was get a full term. The people on ANC were pointing out that the legality of it: PGma only took on the remaining years of the deposed Estrada. So she has three years. Had it been 4 years, she would have been disqualified to run na. Ha! Lucky b*tch. But I have to hand it to her as well. The woman is feisty, and probably doesn't mind the taunting she will get for changing her mind. She doesn't flinch, coup or no coup.

Side side note lang din. PGma's speech was at times interrupted by her cheerleaders going "GMA! GMA!" The entire chant sounded to me and my friend as something approaching orgasmic levels. Rhythmic kasi eh, tapos it went faster and faster and the intervals were intermittently short. I dunno. We must have been either hungry or just dazed.
Jessica Hagedorn's Dream Jungle is out. I remember reading about it in her homecoming essay in a special edition of Time Magazine a couple of months back. The Sta Mesa she wrote about was nothing like the place I knew as a kid in high school. In the article, she told about an interview she had with the man who "discovered" the Tasadays. According to the NYT review, the book while it doesn't exactly have a plot, deals with reality as manufactured truth:
Could this whole Stone Age tribe business (based on the controversy surrounding the ''gentle'' Tasaday) be a fraud? Will the fake war (based on Francis Ford Coppola's filming of ''Apocalypse Now'' in the Philippines) make contact with the real hostilities nearby? Can ''Napalm Sunset'' -- Hagedorn's perfect title for the film -- do justice to the agonizing war that inspired it? What interference (or protection) can the filmmakers and anthropologists expect from the Philippine military and the Marcos government?
The last Hagedorn book I read was still Dogeaters, which was part of my reading list for the history as narrative in my Comparative Lit class with Issy Reyes. What I noticed was most of the books dealing with that theme revolved around recollections of the Martial Law years. Everything from Killing Time in a Warm Place to State of War.

I remember arguing with my mother, who thought that Martial Law was an "orderly" period and the whole thing about missing people and salvaging was just overblown. How could I argue otherwise, when I wasn't there? Well, she had a point. My memory of the Marcos years is a hodgepodge created from reading and stories of people who almost died but lived anyway. My memory of the first Edsa nga is hazy. I just brought it up because I want to read something that approaches my current time-space zone other than the Marcos years.
Enter the Matrix

Mark your calendars for November 5, at the zero hour. During which the the last of the Matrix trilogy will open simultaneously in 80 countries worldwide. While I was admittedly disappointed with Reloaded, which I thought was a two and a half hour prologue for Revolutions, I think I will still line up on opening day to see this. I have to. I need to have that closure, dammit.

In other matrix related news (or maybe not), I woke up from this very weird dream the other day. It was a fast forward dream, wherein I had supposedly done my share of course work for my graduate studies. My thesis proposal, which I have been joking about doing sriously, was about Kris Aquino's significance in Pinoy society. (Hmm..maybe I should start saving those forwarded emails related to Kris.)

I mean, if Patrick Flowers can pass off his Noranian streak into academia--he had this paper on why Nora Aunor is the narcotic of our society. Why not parlay my morbid interest in showbiz tsismis into a worthwhile piece of, ahem, intellectualized study, right? Anyhow, the panel thought otherwise. They don't want to hear anymore about Kris Aquino. So I suggested the next best thing:

Bomba! Thirty years of bold movies in Philippine Cinema.

I could even see the chapter outlines. There would be a whole chunk devoted to agriculture and deshabille. A historical background tracing the evolution of the bold movie: from the first torrid screen kiss, to the wet look, the pene movies and Dr. Rey Dela Cruz's softdrink beauties, the late 80s ST trend, Rosanna Roces, and the rise of the Viva Hotbabes and other minutae. O di ba, bongga?

Yes, I know it's weird. It's like saying, When I grow up, I wanna be a pornographer. Just because I liked the sound of it.

Thursday, October 2

What do you think you're looking at?

New billboards are getting attention in Arizona. Some reported seeing one or two messages, but the newspaper listed all of them. Here's a list of all variations of the "God Speaks" billboards. The billboards are a simple black background with white text. No fine print or sponsoring organization is included. These are awesome... enjoy.

Tell the kids I love them.

Let's meet at my house Sunday
before the game.

We need to talk.

Keep using my name in vain,
I'll make rush hour longer.

That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing...
I meant it.

I love you and you
and you and you and...

Will the road you're on
get you to my place?

Follow me.

Big bang theory,
you've got to be kidding.

My way is the highway. -God

Need directions?

You think it's hot here?

Have you read my #1 best seller?
There will be a test.

Do you have any idea
where you're going?

Don't make me come down there.


I rather liked the last one. I mean seriously, what if companies sponsored God-themed billboards. Like if God had a Starbucks sponsored billboard, what would it say? "That mocha frap can feed a hundred kids in Africa. Finish that to the last drop of whipped cream." Or for a phone company: "There's no such thing as a low batt in my book."

I'm a lousy copy writer. Do you guys got any brighter ideas?

Wednesday, October 1

first song syndrome

sintang paaralan
tanglaw ka ng bayan
pandayan ng isip
ng kabataan.
kami ay lumaki
na salat sa yaman.
hanap na dunong
ay iyong alay.

ang layunin mong makatao
dinarangal ng pilipino
ang iyong aral,
diwa, adhikang taglay
PUP aming gabay
Paaralang Dakila
PUP, pinagpala.


ang weird pero yan ang first thought na nagpop sa consciousness ko kaninang umaga. hindi pa nga masyadong gising nun. siyempre napa-what da? ako.

then i remembered na october 1 pala ngayon. foundation day ng peyups.

at lalong weird kasi after not hearing nor singing it for like seven years, bigla siyang nag-pop sa utak ko. semi-conscious pa ako nun ha. oh well. happy foundation day sa lahat. may perya kaya ngayong taon?

Maroons forever baby,
kantogirl from Batch 96
open, close, close, open

hindi talaga ako relihiyosa or anything, but i sort of found wisdom and comfort in this one. siguro dahil natataon. siguro kung kaibigan ko si kris aquino, she would have adviced me to get my nasal bridge straightened from walking into all those closed doors. pero hindi ko friend si kris aquino so keri na rin. bitaw kung bitaw. ang problema ko lang, sabay sabay namang nagbubukasan ang mga pinto. hindi ko na alam kung anong uunahin ko.

lynched from ellen

We need to learn to thank the Lord for closed doors as we do an open door. The reason God closes doors is because He has not prepared anything over there for us. If he didn't close the wrong door we would never find our way to the right door. Even when we don't realize it, God directs our paths through the closing and opening of doors.

When one door closes, it forces us to change our course. Another door closes, it forces us to change our course yet again. Then finally, we find the open door and walk right into our blessing. But instead of praising God for the closed door (which kept our butt out of trouble), we get upset because we "judge by the appearances." And in our own arrogance, or ignorance, we insist that we know what is right.

We have a very present help in the time of need who is
always standing guard. Because He walks ahead of us, He can see trouble down the road and HE sets up road blocks and detours accordingly.

But through our lack of wisdom we try to tear down the
roadblocks or push aside the detour signs. Then the minute we get into trouble, we start crying "Lord how could this happen to me?" We have got to realize that the closed door was a blessing. Didn't He say that "No good thing will He withhold from them that love him?"

If you get terminated from your job - don't be down,
instead thank God for the new opportunities that will
manifest themselves - it might be a better job, or an
opportunity to go to school.

If that man or woman won't return your call - it might not be them, it might be the Lord setting up a roadblock (just let it go).

I'm so grateful, for the many times God has closed doors to me, just to open them in the most unexpected places. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way." -Psalm 37:23.

God gives you . . .

Enough Happiness to keep you Sweet

Enough Trials to keep you Strong Enough

Sorrows to keep you Human

Enough Hope to keep you Happy

Enough Failure to keep you Humble

Enough Success to keep you Eager

Enough Friends to give you Comfort

Enough Wealth to meet your Needs

Enough Enthusiasim to make you look Forward

Enough Faith to banish depression, and

Enough Determination to make each day a better day than the last

Life must be lived forward .... but can only be understood backwards ...

Monday, September 29

Curse of the CL class

Edward Said is dead.

He died a day after I sat in an MA class in literary theory discussing the modernists and up. So while we were discussing Orientalism, it's possible that poor Mr. Said was wheezing with his last breath.

I think I should refrain from discussing people in comparative lit classes. It's like there's a curse on people discussed in CL class. They all die. Years back, in another CL class, the story of the little mermaid was brought up, and within the week, the statue of the mermaid in Denmark was decapitated. Item no 2: For some reason I now forget, Charito Solis was brought up. Within the week, she died and went to heaven. Feeling namin nun, pinatay namin si Ina Magenta. Worst guilt ever.

Ariel, Ina Magenta, and now Edward Said. Who's next?
Or maybe it was just a really horrible coincidence?


In this week's New York Times magazine, an interesting article on the evolution of the black sheep. And whether or not this is applicable to the current involvements of Kris Aquino.
From Sarah Hepola's "Certifiable:"
I was a teacher once. Twenty-three years old, full of earnestness and swallowed literary ambitions. In fact, under the ‘Goal’ section of my résumé I actually wrote, ‘To inspire young minds.’ I handed out those résumés at job fairs to frumpy women in appliqué sweaters.

‘That’s pretty ambitious,’ they said.

I looked them in the eyes. ‘Yep.’

I was young and arrogant and I’d spent too many nights watching Dead Poets Society drunk. That film made teaching look like a kind of nifty performance space in which the teacher has the leading role, and I imagined myself in the classroom, cracking jokes, scattering Shakespeare like rose petals. Of course, at the end of Dead Poets Society a lead character kills himself. But by the time that part of the movie came around I was usually passed out.
Hmm. I wonder if I should write that down. "To inspire young minds." I rather like the tone of "To corrupt young minds," but I don't think they'd like that.

Thursday, September 25

Wag the dog?

Preamble muna: The US Secret Service collared the Philippine Press Undersecretary on top of the Waldorf hotel in New York. Mr. Undersecretary was setting up a satellite dish for President Arroyo's interviews when the helicopter sighted him. "Hey Mister! What are you going to do with that dish?" "Hey, it's just sisig, man!" Hehehe. I wish.

And to indulge everyone's favorite issue of the week, here's the full transcript of Korina Sanchez's interview with Kris Aquino in TV Patrol last Wednesday night. All the quotable quotes are there! He aimed a very long gun at her! It was huge! It was grey! It was...hell, I don't know what this country's fascination with Kris Aquino is leading to.

Hmm..maybe someday, something good will come out of all this. Like maybe I can have a dissertation on the positive effects of Kris Aquino's love life crises on the macroculture of Philippine society or something. Yeah, maybe that's it. I should just major in Kris Aquino studies to compensate for all this showbiz rumor mongering. Trust this country to lap up all things showbiz and weird.


*Remember that movie? The one where they needed an issue to divert the population's attention from the presidential sex scandal, so they created a war that doesn't even exist. This whole Kris and Joey LQ thing can be Ping Lacson's conspiracy theory so the Jose Pidal issue can be killed and buried and never to be heard from again.

Monday, September 22

Actually, Mr. Cruz, ang chaka ha.

Isagani Cruz gets his panties in a bunch over the excessively banal and trivial use of actually's and siya nga pala's and the proliferation of the bakla as comic relief in local showbiz. Everything noted with much disdain as he declares to have stopped using "actually" in daily conversations in fear that he might be construed as a showbiz denizen:
If you've watched local films often enough, you must now be familiar with the phrase, "Siya nga pala" that's always in the script. I don't know why, but the writers seem to believe that it is essential to every dialogue in the local dialect. It may also suggest that the actor does not think ahead but always remembers a thought only as it suddenly occurs to him. Everything is accidental and incidental.
Also, he decries the use of English in the opening and closing credits. Nga naman, why use "Starring" and "Directed by" when we can say "Itinatampok sina" or "Idinirehe para sa telebisyon ni" kung sino mang Poncio Pilato.

Quick, we have to find the correct translation to gaffer boy. Actually, that's going to be so mahirap because some technical stuff really don't have any direct translation in Filipino. It can be done, I suppose. Well everything just might be incidental. Who knew that I would actually click the link to Mr. Isagani Cruz's column on the wee hours of Monday morning and find an article denouncing the proliferation of actuallys and by the ways in showbiz?
Spain is the new France.

Or so proclaims the New York Times in this article. Paris is to the bourgeois and complacent nouvelle cuisine, as Barcelona is the dark and dirty but intoxicating nueva cocina. Spain is the land of the brave young chef, and the buzz word of the moment is making food taste lighter, or almost as light as air.

Meanwhile, at the Cine Europa last Friday, watched Charlotte Grey which starred the chameleon Cate Blanchett. Miss Blanchett looks very different every time in all the movies that I've seen her in. Sometimes, if I had no previous knowledge beforehand that she's part of the cast, I would find myself surprised to see her name at the closing credits. "So that was her, didn't recognize her." She loses herself in every role, that girl.

In the movie, there's this scene where she was given a test of word associations. Quick, name the first thing that comes to you mind. Man=balls, sugar=sweet, and then France. She announces, "Je voudrais acheter un billet pour le train." The doctor chastises her, only one word please.

In an earlier scene, we see Charlotte Grey in bed and in love with Peter Gregory, a soldier headed for France in the time of World War II. He doesn't know a word of French, and she was teaching him how to get tickets for the train, correcting his pronounciation and all. Hence France=love. She had this really off-world smile when she said that, and she seemed really in love. I was like, awww, how sweet.

I was a wee bit delighted to understand what she was telling him the first time. Also last week, followed Mark's links and read the transcript to Before Sunrise. In one of the scenes, Ethan Hawke was telling Juliet Delpy that he was at a train station in France, and he was practicing how to buy tickets at the metro, since he did have some French in school. But at the window, his mind went blank and all he could say was "Give me tickets, train" or something. It's all about getting tickets to get somewhere. Ah. Rusty present tense basic French still working, although slow.