Saturday, October 22

Friendster Top Searches

Following Butch's example, these are the popular search items in my Friendster network:

1. Soul mate test
2. personality test
3. what greek god are you?
4. love poems
5. Grace Adriano blog
7. Cynthia Yapchiongco
8. what is the meaning of my name
9. meaning of your name
10. grace adriano's blog

If you are one of those people who arrived at my page looking for Cynthia Yapchiongco, I'm sorry but I don't know who this person is. And I don't understand why loads of people are after her.

On the other hand, there are two entries for Rosanna Roces' daughter's blog. I haven't seen that blog myself but I can assure you that in showbiz circles, that's hot copy.

Seems only right that as November approaches, my showbiz gossip quotient gears up to the maximum. The Chichangs are getting ready to switch roles. And as I refuse to be drama queen, I'd be more than willing to get The Ultimate Chichang Role--that of Showbiz and Game Show Host.

Hehe. As if.

Wednesday, October 19

Zafra Online

Here's my fangirl find of the week: Jessica Zafra has a blog.

This after resisting the online temptation for a long, long time. Maybe she has more time now that she's not writing a column, not hosting a radio and television talk show, and not editing Flip anymore. She mentions that Flip is now a collector's item and I have all eight issues, nyahahaha! (Hay naku, only geeks will appreciate this.)

The Twisted blog contains the complete lyrics to the YC Bikini Briefs jingle and it also led me to this piece of news: that Fatboy Slim is planning to make an Imelda Marcos musical called Here Lies Love (which I think is taken from that scene in Ramona Diaz's docu where Imelda points to the mummified--er frozen, remains of Ferdinand Marcos in that crypt in Ilocos) to be released in March 2006.

Hollaback Girl

What exactly is a hollaback girl?

People engage in a healthy debate as they try to decipher just what Gwen Stefani is trying to say. But most entries point out that Stefani may have just invented the word and tried to pass it off as real slang.

My theory is that Gwen Stefani wants to become the sort of icon that Madonna was, who went from fishnet stockings to semi-goth to English rose. That's probably why Stefani would go to the extent of importing that Harajuku girl look, but completely missing the point.

Tuesday, October 18

Top 40 Magazine Covers

The American Society of Magazine Editors released their Top 40 magazine covers of the last 40 years list.

Time, Life and Esquire led the pack with the most number of covers featured. The Rolling Stone issue with John Lennon and Yoko Ono on the cover, which came out a month or so after Lennon was assasinated, got the top spot. A good 10% of the list was devoted to covers which featured 9/11. It included that Art Spiegelman prototype of the fallen towers which also appeared on the cover of his last book.

Next to the New Yorker Spiegelman cover, I also liked the Wired Magazine cover featured above. Although I think most people would find the Vanity Fair issue with a very pregnant Demi Moore as the most recognizable and often imitated.

Thursday, October 13


This detail from the screenshot of my blog's current referrers list. It definitely gives you an idea about my current interests right now.

I have good intentions. In want to put together the upcoming term's reading lists for my classes. I'm not sure if I want to get rid of my Hemingway/Ng twinbill in Eng11.

I wasn't really a local showbiz fan when I was a kid growing up. But in retrospect, I was just trying to suppress an already inherent interest in artistas and pop culture. Hence, the appearance of top '80s loveteam Romnick and Sheryl, whose faces graced the covers of many spiral notebooks with the same message pencilled in: "Study hard! Love, Nicko/She" I wish the notebook makers came up with a teacher version: "Teach hard! From Ma'am, With Love."

My immediate concern right now is putting together a frankenstein script: the head comes from one girl, the arms from a very tall boy with a mohawk, and the rest, I try to wing it. I remember what one of those older writers said: "If you're really a professional writer, you must be able to do it, whatever it is." You are a writer hawking your wares. The "whatever" can mean a profile, a feature article, a PR piece, speech, showbiz tsismis.

The resulting image might be more suggestive of a vendor in Divisoria. But what difference does it make? Hacking is extreme versality under very harsh conditions.

Sunday, October 9

Life in the time of Macarena

Kitty litter shares this nifty site where you can enter the year who graduated from high school and come up with (technically) the soundtrack of your life back in the age of free sizes, Mexican telenovelas are the newest rage on television, and The Future (or life as we know it) was still in a galaxy far far away.

I'm thinking whether I should have factored in the cultural lag and entered the year before actual graduation as a lot of the songs here actually became popular when I was already in college. There are comments when they are due. Please also note that Macarena appears twice on the list, but I don't know why.

Anyway, here is my high school (and very early college) soundtrack:

1. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix), Los Del Rio
My high school was very jologs, and if you wanted to be in, your barkada should double as a dance group. Hiphop was preferred, unless you were into rock alternative and would rather headbang and lipsynch to "Sweet Child of Mine." Unfortunately for me (or my high school barkada), I had very weak motor skills.

2. One Sweet Day, Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men
The 90s were also all about doowop. Sukiyaki wasn't something you ate for lunch but something you sang in between classes.

3. Because You Loved Me, Celine Dion A blockmate dragged me to watch Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert Redford and I spent most of the movie with my arms cross my chest and very very incredulous while said blockmate dabbed tissue at the corners of her eyes.

4. Nobody Knows, Tony Rich Project
5. Always Be My Baby, Mariah Carey
6. Give Me One Reason, Tracy Chapman

7. Tha Crossroads, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
I think this is the one that goes, "Boom, boom. Whatcha gonna do.."

8. I Love You Always Forever, Donna Lewis
I think I have this in an acoustic chicks compilation somewhere.

9. You're Makin' Me High / Let It Flow, Toni Braxton
10. Twisted, Keith Sweat
11. C'mon N' Ride It (The Train), Quad City Dj's
12. Missing, Everything But The Girl

13. Ironic, Alanis Morissette
I think "Hand in my Pocket" came out in my last year in high school. I knew only one other girl in high school who liked it. Then in freshman year, Alanis had a concert here. If I'm not mistaken, it was called "The Can't Not Manila Tour."

14. Exhale (Shoop Shoop), Whitney Houston

15. Follow You Down / Til I Hear It From You, Gin Blossoms
I personally like another Gin Blossoms song. But somebody I know will react.

16. Sittin' Up In My Room, Brandy
17. How Do U Want It / California Love, 2Pac

18. It's All Coming Back To Me Now, Celine Dion
If you'd seen the video for this one, complete with the motorcycle and thunder and Celine Dion in a sheer white nightgown, then this is the stuff of nighmares. But in my high school, this would have been a top pick for the annual Christmas presentation required of all the sections. Usually, if the class was pa-artsy (and this is very loosely defined), they'd go ethnic with "Ang mga tao ay magkakaugnay" (or something like that, I'm not too sure), or perhaps do an interpretative dance of Gary Valenciano's "Pasko na Sinta Ko", Meatloaf's "I Will Do Anything For Love" (from the To Hell and Back album), or Enya. If your class is jologs, you'd do a production number using the Ang TV Christmas album.

19. Change The World, Eric Clapton
The return of the oversized John Travolta came via feel good vehicles Michael, where he starred as a hefty archangel and Phenomenon, which featured this song.

20. Hey Lover, LL Cool J
21. Loungin, LL Cool J

22. Insensitive, Jann Arden
Probably part of every girl's breaking up soundtrack at one point or another.

23. Be My Lover, La Bouche
24. Name, Goo Goo Dolls

25. Who Will Save Your Soul, Jewel
I once had someone I barely knew who called me up on the phone and proceeded to play guitar and sing this and "You Were Meant for Me." Although the gesture was nice, I was too occupied with many things at the time so I said no.

26. Where Do You Go, No Mercy
27. I Can't Sleep Baby (If I), R. Kelly
28. Counting Blue Cars, Dishwalla

29. You Learn / You Oughta Know, Alanis Morissette
It says something about you if you walk into a record store and see the 10th anniversary acoustic edition of Jagged Little Pill and feel your a scream curdle from the pit of your stomach. We're old, we're old, we're goddamn old.

30. One Of Us, Joan Osborne
I belonged to an all English majors block in my freshman year and we suffered through Comm I under a Jesuit priest whose idea of a joke was to ask, "What did Samson say when he was pushing the pillars?" Every class meeting, we had a quiz where we had to write down entire poems from memory and we got 3 points for each correct line. Or else, he asked us to sing. One girl blockmate picked this song and got nice grades because it was about God.

31. Wonder, Natalie Merchant
32. Not Gon' Cry, Mary J. Blige

33. Gangsta's Paradise, Coolio
As I walked through the valley in the shadow of death... Michelle Pfeiffer kicks ass, yo. Dangerous Minds is part of the New Teacher Starter Kit. (Although puwede din ang Dangerous Liasons.)

34. Only You, 112 Featuring The Notorious B.I.G.

35. Down Low (Nobody Has To Know), R. Kelly
This term is enjoying a new surge of popularity if you know where to look.

36. You're The One, SWV
37. Sweet Dreams, La Bouche
38. Before You Walk Out Of My Life / Like This And Like That, Monica

39. Breakfast At Tiffany's, Deep Blue Something
Their lead vocalist used to be a high school English teacher.

40. 1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New), Coolio
41. The World I Know, Collective Soul
42. No Diggity, BLACKstreet (Featuring Dr. Dre)
43. Anything, 3t

44. 1979, The Smashing Pumpkins
Very important song to those who were 21 in the year 2000.

45. Diggin' On You, TLC
46. Why I Love You So Much / Ain't Nobody, Monica
47. Kissin' You, Total

48. Count On Me, Whitney Houston and Cece Winans
A go-girls anthem that I was conned into singing. My Hum I groupmates had to do a report on James Joyce (Promise, I don't know how that happened) and for some reason they wanted to sing this and the Regine Velasquez-Donna Cruz-Mikee Cojuangco friendship song. I got to play Mikee, if only for one brief moment, simply because I also couldn't sing to save my life.

49. Fantasy, Mariah Carey
50. Time, Hootie and The Blowfish
51. You'll See, Madonna
52. Last Night, Az Yet

53. Mouth, Merril Bainbridge
A girl in my high school claimed she had this playing in the background when she gave her boyfriend head. I will never look at her in the same way again.

54. The Earth, The Sun, The Rain, Color Me Badd
55. All The Things (Your Man Won't Do), Joe

56. Wonderwall, Oasis
Back in the day when even Time Magazine closely watched Brit record sales as there was very strong rivalry between Oasis and Blur and they were compared to the Beatles and Rolling Stone.

57. Woo-hah!! Got You All In Check / Everything Remains Raw, Busta Rhymes
58. Tell Me, Groove Theory
59. Elevators (Me and You), Outkast
60. Hook, Blues Traveler
61. Doin It, LL Cool J

62. Fastlove, George Michael
George Michael got caught in a public restroom doing some fastselflove.

63. Touch Me Tease Me, Case Featuring Foxxy Brown
64. Tonite's Tha Night, Kris Kross
65. Children, Robert Miles
66. Theme From Mission: Impossible, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen

67. Closer To Free, Bodeans
68. Just A Girl, No Doubt
Tragic Kingdom was an album to have back then. But most people liked "Don't Speak" more.

69. If Your Girl Only Knew, Aaliyah
70. Lady, D'angelo
71. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First), John Mellencamp
72. Pony, Ginuwine
73. Nobody, Keith Sweat
74. Old Man and Me (When I Get To Heaven), Hootie and The Blowfish

75. If It Makes You Happy, Sheryl Crow
76. As I Lay Me Down, Sophie B. Hawkins Again, I have this in an acoustic chick compilation somewhere.

77. Keep On, Keepin' On, Mc Lyte
78. Jealousy, Natalie Merchant
79. I Want To Come Over, Melissa Etheridge
80. Who Do U Love, Deborah Cox
81. Un-Break My Heart, Toni Braxton
82. This Is Your Night, Amber
83. You Remind Me Of Something, R. Kelly
84. Runaway, Janet Jackson
85. Set U Free, Planet Soul
86. Hit Me Off, New Edition
87. No One Else, Total
88. My Boo, Ghost Town Dj's
89. Get Money, Junior M.A.F.I.A.
90. That Girl, Maxi Priest Featuring Shaggy
91. Po Pimp, Do Or Die
92. Until It Sleeps, Metallica
93. Hay, Crucial Conflict

94. Beautiful Life, Ace Of Base
"The Sign" was the curse of my high school life.

95. Back For Good, Take That
I liked Boyzone better. I heart you, Ronan Keating. (And Stephen, too.)

96. I Got Id / Long Road, Pearl Jam
97. Soon As I Get Home, Faith Evans
98. Macarena, Los Del Rio
99. Only Wanna Be With You, Hootie and The Blowfish
100. Don't Cry, Seal

How to write chicklit

Radar Online, under the suspicion that chick lit is churned out by "some piece of automated fiction software developed under extreme security by a powerful cartel of publishers," hires a computer hacker slash CL grad student to look into the cogs of the machine that is chick lit. What follows is a very convenient how-to for everyone and her pet chihuahua who wants to write in the genre that the New York Observer has likened to "calling another woman a slut."

Thursday, October 6

Survival tips for students

Here are some survival tips for students, with annotations and comments:

1. If it's a big class (25 or more), recite once a meeting, but make it substantial. If it's a small class (15 or less), recite more than once--but make it substantial.

Sabi ni lola Oscar Wilde, "The first duty in life is to assume a pose." So when the sem opened, I made a resolution that my role as a grad student was to be an airhead. Effective naman. Kaya lang napasobra yata ang internalization ko dahil feeling ko nahipan ako ng hangin at naging permanent pose ko na siya. Afraid.

2. Don't try to get on your teacher's good side by:
a) agreeing with everything she says or constantly nodding your head when she's talking or otherwise doing something that can only be described as ass-kissing; or
b) disagreeing with everything she says; in fact, quibbling to the point of making a pest of yourself; and/or
c) asking silly questions.

If you're a student, being the last to leave the classroom so you can say "Bye, Ma'am" isn't going to add any points to your grade. Definitely not, especially if you're going to pass a concept paper 3 pages long and doesn't have any citations. The only thing it accomplishes is that it makes you look like a stalker.

3. Ask questions during class time so other students benefit.

4. Read the assigned texts, do the homework, be prepared, don't wait to be spoonfed, keep your lates and absences to a minimum.

5. Follow instructions. Not following instructions is a sign to your teacher that you weren't listening (and maybe you weren't, but you wouldn't want her to know that.)

6. Never use the argument, "I'm entitled to my own opinion." Not only did you just resort to the most over-used excuse for not thinking, you're actually refusing to listen.

7. Keep your religion and morality to yourself. (This is also in deference to your classmates who may believe differently.)

8. Don't take your teacher's behavior as signs of friendship or anything else. If a teacher is professional, she'll do everything within reason to assist you. Teachers have different styles. Some are "nice," some are "casual," some are "concerned," some are "terror." Neither her assistance nor her style signify anything other than her desire to do her job well and provide you with the best teaching service she can.

Also, if you are too "nice," crack a lot of corny jokes, and dress like you're one of them, the students think you're a buddy, easy to bully. This is part of the reason why I attempted to wear "teacher clothes." Even if it's such a hassle to wear teacher clothes when you commute, and that by the time you reach the fifth floor your freshness is gone, you try to dress and act the part so that they'd think you mean serious business. And it is effective. But with the kind of weather we have now and you can't do your laundry that regularly, it's still inevitable for me that I'd appear in the now occasional jeans and shirt.

9. Your teacher was once a student, so avoid spouting bullshit.
Unfortunately, if you're the teacher and you spout bull, the students will definitely notice. Also, you can't just say, "My dog ate the lesson plan and today's midterm." One, I don't have a dog. Two, what midterm? (Hehe, kidding.)

10. Don't beg for a higher grade.
I don't care if you're on scholarship. You get the same chance as everyone else, so make the most of it. If you didn't do well enough during the sem, then don't seek extra points by asking to do more papers. It's just not done.

If there are survival tips for students, I also wish that there are survival tips for teachers. The first several months were really very chaotic. But in the two years I've been titsering, I've learned

a. not to give out my mobile phone number to students
b. that it's better to have smaller classes
c. how to schedule writing assignments so you don't drown in papers to check
d. to maintain my distance
e. that titsering makes you highly conscious of how you carry yourself in public
f. you need another job to support your titsering life.

These aren't exactly survival tips, but more like things that you should keep in mind while titsering.