Music Du Jour

April 9, 2009

I cheered with a lot of people when “Falling Slowly” from the indie movie Once won the Oscar for Best Song in 2007 over the juggernaut that was Enchanted.  A recent acquaintance with Jon Mclaughlin introduced me to one of the losing songs from Enchanted – So Close.

Broke my heart first time I heard it.

You’re in my arms
And all the world is calm
The music playing on for only two
So close together
And when I’m with you
So close to feeling alive

A life goes by
Romantic dreams will stop
So I bid mine goodbye and never knew
So close was waiting, waiting here with you
And now forever I know
All that I wanted to hold you
So close

So close to reaching that famous happy end
Almost believing this was not pretend
And now you’re beside me and look how far we’ve come
So far we are so close How could I face the faceless days
If I should lose you now?
We’re so close
To reaching that famous happy end
And almost believing this was not pretend
Let’s go on dreaming for we know we are
So close
So close
And still so far


Music Du Jour

March 16, 2009


Shontelle – T-shirt


Feeling a little sentimental. 

For you.

Grim and Bear It

January 30, 2009

It is curious how the term BITCH when hurled in conniption  can inflict a swath of ego/reputation-wounding injuries.  On the other hand, when BITCH is bandied willingly it can inspire awe in some and erectile dysfunction in others.

Supposedly, us fags possess the innate ability to play tag-team with “difficult” women as bitches are otherwise known by the civilized/PC world.   The affinity stemming hypothetically from our power to grow claws and revert to our femme bestial selves when duly provoked.

[Note:  Catnip to my claws are ignorance, discourtesy and pushy fat asses on narrow bus seats.]

Another link we have, I guess, with the scarlet women and the femme fatales of real and reel life is our admiration of the traits that distinguish them from the wall-flowers: confidence, self-sufficiency, ingenuity, abhorrence of the stupid and the mediocre and a flair for style and dramatics.   Traits that may not win anyone a Ms. Congeniality sash but will certainly see one through any Survivor edition or maybe even a Terminator attack.

On-screen,  anti-heroines have more appeal to me because their characters are less trapped as caricatures [and less insipid] than the actual heroines. These frequently maligned women display dimensions and emotions closer to humanity than any two-bit cartoon heroine that ever graced Saturday mornings.  Admittedly, some of the methods employed by the anti-heroines need work. [Sure, murder and maiming and mayhem may be appealing fantasies  to  employ in the disposal of one’s obstacles but fantasies they must remain.]  However, in their defense, I submit that their less-than-ideal  responses to their issues reflect our own collective responses when faced with similar moments of pique, frustration, desperation or choice.  Knowing this, our regard to their actions may not change but, at least, they do not remain incomprehensible.

Having said more than a mouthful on the subject, my inner bitch rejoiced with the discovery of another formidale female in Cartoon Network of all places.

In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, the anti-heroine is also the heroine as all the other female character are either helpless or hapless or half-wits.  Plus, she plays with Death everyday.

Billy, the eponymous hero, for lack of a better description, is an idiot with a big nose.

Mandy hates everybody.  She was the one who fixed the limbo game that made the Grim Reaper their slave for life. Typical she is not – her eyebrows are perpetually furrowed, her mouth a constant arc of disdain or fury.and her favored hairstyle resembles horns.  Her personality is summed up in her statement (Wiki-culled) “I’m all for the abuse and exploitation of the stupid.”

A few nights ago, in the episode Pandora’s Lunch Box, Mandy utters another classic after being manipulated by a Dora the Explorer look-a-alike into setting free a host of plagues from a weird-looking lunch box – “Nobody tricks me into unleashing the plagues on humanity.  When the time come, I’ll do it on my own.”

As character, Mandy is totally subversive as she flouts every rule and every notion of what nice little girls should be – she’ll never have a kiddy product tie-up, unless it’s for Junior Chainsaws or Machetes.  In fact, she is an adult Bitch model is there was ever one – totally disinterested, quick to act,  quicker with the barbed repartee,  merciless in punishment and anonymous in altruism.  She represents Parents’ Worst Nightmare, not the least of whom are her own who cower before her.

I wouldn’t recommend The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy to your kids unless you plan on running a play-by-play commentary on Mandy and the idiots who inhabit Mandy’s world. But, hey, if you’re up to the challenge, it should be an interesting conversation.

At least it’s not another vapid reality show.


How Not to Spend Sundays

July 31, 2008


Basically if there’s something I think I need to change about myself is my inability to say “no” to people I like.  Hypothetically, if I were a girl, contraception would be a way of life for me.

Take for instance last Sunday.  All week I was looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday – the week previously I had a panic attack after gym.  I hadn’t had one for years and it kind of shook me up. But I had work so I went through the week and ended up on Friday celebrating the birthday of a friend.

The birthday had the requisite drinks – I can’t abide by beer so she thoughtfully served vodka cruisers to me which is like getting drunk on fruit juice.  Needless to say, I got drunk but since I have work on Satudays (see How To Spend Saturdays), I still had to drag my tired and still hung-over ass to work.  Since I couldn’t go to the gym in the state that I was that Saturday, I was planning to go the following day to sauna-off the 5% alcohol in my blood stream (really, I make a bad job of getting drunk).

So maybe it was the inebriation that caused me to agree to my friend’s plea that I accompany her to a live show on the Kapamilyachannel. Part of me felt like replying “Ok but I’ll be cutting you off from my life after this” but the natural sucker in me (alright, go ahead and see how many jokes you can make from the last phrase) instead asked “What time are we meeting up?”

Big mistake.

If there’s a quality I’d like to be known for, I’d want it to be for being punctual.  Whether I say I’ll be there at 5:30 am or 12 midnight, I’d kill myself to be there on time.  Sunday was no different.  I’d agreed to meet my friend at 8:30 am at the MRT station in Pasay.  I was there at 8:00 am.

Her first text message that morning at 8 am should have tipped me off – she said “The rain’s really pouring.” I refrained from texting back that I knew since I had just gone through it on my way to our meeting place. I backed off since I thought sarcasm that early in the morning was uncalled for. I merely replied by asking her if she was already on her way.  She said she was.

Actually, she said she was already near two more times before she finally texted me that she was already there.

Where we had not agreed to meet. It was 9:20 am.

My cup of bile runneth over but all I could manage to text to her was a trite “If we’re going to stand in line at the studio, I’d rather just go home.”

When we got to the studio, our other friend – the one who got the passes for the live show was miffed that we hadn’t arrived earlier.  In any other situation, I would have been apologetic. That day, I wasn’t.  For two reasons.  We were late through no fault of mine and because I knew instinctively why he wanted to come in early – so he could gawk at the stellar personalities ambling through.

Listen – by myself, I am likewise prone to gawk at stars but in a crowd of star-gawkers I am repulsed by the gawking.  Especially if I feel that the object of the gawking is a no-talent who’s only getting by via cuteness or some other attribute that had nothing to do with entertainment – at least not in the manner that entertainment is usually defined (I know, I am evil).

(End of Part Une – Part Doux with Pix)

Music Du Jour

July 30, 2008

Linkin Park has struck again.

This is “Leave Out All The Rest” from their Minutes to Midnight album.

I’ve always been a fan of the band.  I like the fact that their music is loud and makes sense. And Chester’s a sexy geek – so’s Joe Hahn.

I was lucky that when they came to the Philippines to promote their Meteora album, Eric was able to score tickets for the moshpit – my one and only experience in a moshpit. I still remember the sweaty bodies slamming into each other and me, shielding Eric from the thrusts. It was as insane and intense as I’d expected it to be. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

How to Spend Saturdays

July 29, 2008


Usually weekends are leisure days for the rest of the world. Not for me.

I have work on Saturdays.  It’s kind of aggravating travelling to and from work while the rest of the world’s planning how to spend Saturday night or on a weekend getaway or just sleeping through the day.  But what can I say? C’est la vie.

It’s not all bad, though.  Usually weekends mean less crowds at the gym.  It also means no bosses at work (because they’re enjoying their weekend).  Less traffic and it’s way easier to get a cab.

The cherry on my Saturday’s though is the Salcedo Park Open Market.  On Saturday’s the Jaime Velasquez Park in Salcedo Village becomes an organic market slash open air eatery slash cafe sidewalk where you can watch the well-heeled and, occasionally, the well known browse among the hoi polloi like moi like it was the most ordinary thing in the world.

When Eric was still here, we’d go there and eat our hearts out – on healthy (well, reasonably) and organic food like the delicious Vietnamese rolls with shrimp and meat pungent with the aroma of mint. We’d eat it with two pieces each of juicy pork barbecue (I actually ate mine down to the fat – hey, it’s grilled meat, not fried) and wash it down with buko juice.  For enders, we’d usually get my mom some millet-based suman or one made with mango slices.

Of course, the prices reflected where the stuff was being sold.  Dirty ice cream would be 30 pesos a pop.  The suman would be like 25 pesos each.  The buko juice 25 pesos a cup. Usually, I’d bitch about the prices but not here.  Here rich kids played at being ordinary vendors – until you’re tempted to ask for a discount, at which time they switch to their haute-monde faces and wonder who let you in at the gates.  Well, some of them.

But the appeal of the market was beyond that – it was just fun seeing all the stuff they’d bring down from Baguio and hawk it in this rich man’s enclave like it some Baguio market stall.  One area would have beautiful flowers and orchids like one would catch at Dangwa. The smell at the area where they sell the fresh fish and other seafood was no different from the whiff you’d catch from the wet market in Cubao (although being in an open air setting kind of sanitized the smell a bit).  People would be eating food in the designated areas like they’d do at some tianggian – dressed to hilt with beehive hairdos and the wasp-y pearls.

Last time I went, they had a Kapampangan festival.  They had the requisite carvings from Betis and the parols from San Fernando.

However, I was drawn to my favorite Kapampangan product of all time.

I couldn’t resist so I had halo-halo at 8:30 am for breakfast. And pork barbecue. And Vietnamese rolls.

That day, I added like 500 crunches to my usual number at gym. Had to.

52 Days

July 21, 2008


I have a friend who’s a psychic – well, he says he is.

He’s dabbled a lot in esoterica and wiccan lore/practice.  He reads the tarot, palms, does numerology, reads auras and has had his third eye opened by no less than Jimmy Licauco (why he had it closed is another story).  As far as I’m concerned, his credentials are legit.

During the early days of our friendship, he told me about the 52 day cycle.  Apparently, the first 52 days from the date of one’s birthday is supposedly the luckiest 52 days of that person’s life.  Inversely, the last 52 days before one’s birthday are pure hell.

I’m a hard-ass when it comes to believing stuff like the 52 days but what struck me when we had that conversation was how every year, like clockwork, the last few weeks before my birthday is when I feel my lowest, the shittiest things happen to me and depression becomes a way of life.  Like PMS.

So that explains everything, I thought.  So it’s not my fault at all why, for the past several years, I’ve felt like I was juggling emotions ranging from being anti-social, suicidal, homicidal and genocidal from mid-July to early September. It was a relief to know that I wasn’t going crazy. At the very least, I can train myself to expect the worst so the blows wouldn’t pack as much of a punch like they used to.

Like last Thursday, when I got apprehended by personnel of Makati city hall – for littering.  One would think that I’d know better after having worked and practically lived in Makati for more than 10 years – but that day, my inner-stupid kicked in and I was served. 

Thank goodness for knowing about the 52 days, a sense of humor to put my first (and hopefully the last)apprehension in perspective and Eric for telling me about “Details in the Thread” – (“You’re like an island of reality in an ocean of diarrhea”). 

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling on your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it’s a broken part, replace it
If it’s a broken arm then brace it
If it’s a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I’m doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything
Everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Hold your own
And know your name
And go your own way

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling (Go your own way)

Are the details in the fabric (Hold your own, know your name)
Are the things that make you panic (Go your own way)
Is it Mother Nature’s sewing machine

Are the things that make you blow (Hold your own, know your name)
Hell no reason go on and scream
If you’re shocked it’s just the fault (Go your own way)
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all
Hearts will hold