Tuesday, December 30

Today's Jukebox Single

Long Distance - Brandy

For the emotera in you. This one strikes a particularly ringing note with me. I think I like this one, for obvious reasons. Trite!

Alright, alright. I would like to dedicate this song to all the modern mail-order brides in the universe who spend most of their time in internet cafes. I am thinking of the one who modeled a leopard-print one-piece bathing suit in Aldea's internet cafe. (Chuck, thank you for the story, and the subsequently hilarious mental picture.) I'd also like to send this out to the 50-ish old lady I saw in Netfinity who was aiming the webcam at her cleavage. Happy New Year and best of luck!


That's what I look like right now. Like a bloated, barrel-like... thing. I'm horrendous! Horrendous, I tell you. Someone has to cart me away to fat camp and make me sweat and toil. Shut up, I know I've been whining about the weight for ages. I seem to have literally gone hog wild this holiday season. Maybe I've been enjoying myself too much.

I keep saying this every year. Groan. Something has to give, seriously. I can't take being this fat anymore! Thank goodness there's only New Year's Eve to worry about and then it's back to the daily grind of work, pollution and self-imposed starvation - also known as my life in La Sugbu.

Thursday, December 25


I have a new child. It's metallic and pink. It's sleek and sexy. It fits in my pocket. I have named it Narcissus - after the egotistic, self-loving Greek youth who drowned himself because his reflection couldn't love him back. (Yes, it's nutty like that.) Guess what Narcissus does? I'll give you an Oreo cookie if you get it right.

People think it's pretentious (Illi) or stupid (Alex) to name one's things. True, I don't name everything in my closet, but I do name the ones that actually have to work for me. As in play me my music and take my pictures. I think they deserve names.

Wait, this isn't fair to my TV and my DVD player. What shall I name those two? They're always the traditionally forgotten ones, like the broom or the airconditioner. Maybe because they stay at home all the time and never really tag along with me?

UPDATE: I've decided to give it a last name, just to shake things up. Therefore from here on out, it shall be known as: Narcissus Bellavista. And here's the picture you wanted.

Happye Holidayes

It's the holidays and I'm psyched to be out of the big steaming pot o' pollution also known as La Sugbu! Almost two whole weeks! Whee!

I'm back in my hometown of Dumaguete and so happy I could squeak. Actually, I think I have a few times. It's just so surprisingly good to be back. Something inside me has been clamoring for a taste of home - for the comfort food I love: my mom's squash con gata, mango ice cream sandwiches, buko pandan, macaroni salad, fried fish. Having fun eating bongkawil. For the activities I miss doing: going to the tabo just off the Provincial Hospital premises, buying 1/4 kilo of tomatoes for php8, buying a bunch of bananas for php22. Lee Super Plaza. Cang's. The 2-for-1 combos at the movies (right now I'm waiting for the Nights in Rodanthe/Star Wars: Clone Wars combo, it's coming soon at Ultra Vision). Driving around, using my brother's souped up motorbike. Wind in my face. 99% less smokers. Tempura nights. Sans Rival.

They aren't kidding when they say there's no place like home. For some reason, the longing for being home was sharper for me this year. It's good, getting to obey the call. Merry Christmas, everybody!

Saturday, December 13


How did I miss this?! How? How? I'm racking my brain for reasons and answers... how could I have missed Simple Plan's latest album singles? Wiki tells me it's because it's mostly webcast, and I usually am online on weekends only. Yay! New Simple Plan material! This actually, shockingly, makes me want to go out and buy their CD.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Simple Plan. Partly because I enjoy their music - be it punk boy adolescent ridiculousness, or philanthropically driven, I love Simple Plan. It's also partly because Pierre, the lead singer, reminds me of Alex. Yay, Simple Plan! Looks like I found my soundtrack of the day.

Diva la 90's

Quelle surprise - in my quiet desperation I reached for some YouTube videos of vintage Whitney Houston before she turned into a crazy crack addict. And it worked! I'm a little bit happier now. I suppose this might be a temporary form of therapy.

I forgot how empowering Whitney used to be. Yes, it helps that a number of her hits have turned into gay anthems, which appeals to my inner fag hag. Beside her, Destiny's Child/Beyonce are second-rate, trying hard copycats. This is how it's done.

That just made sound like some superfierce queen idn't it? There's no hope for me, is there. Two snaps! Two snaps and an air kiss!

Some Mariah pre-boob implants and the ever-reliable Celine Dion also helped brighten my evening just a teeny bit. I love the nineties.

How did we go from the moving, stirring songs with meaning to the crap that just keeps playing on repeat these days? Songs used to have meaning. I'm a brainwashed consumerist, true - but the poppy "hitz" of yesteryear still hold a lot of substance even now, ten years later. This is it. Proof positive that we are all on the slow march downhill to Brain-dead City.

Not Connected

I'm tired. I woke up today and realized that I'm tired. It's a bone-deep, crushing weariness - it's like I'm numb to everything around me. Nothing is stimulating. Even grocery shopping, which is normally one of my favored pick-me-up-cheer-me-up methods of therapy doesn't seem to work. I just brushed by people milling around today, busy buying Christmas gifts, and felt detached. Maybe it's the Christmas season. Maybe it's everything. Too much time in this city deadens the soul - there's no soul anywhere to be had. There's no air to breathe.

I can't wait to go on the holiday break. I'd like fresh air, clear skies and tempura nights again. I'd like to be surrounded by simplicity. I miss being young. I miss my friends. I miss the innocence of waking up and knowing your future was ahead of you.

Sometimes I feel I think too much and do too little. It's my nature - I look before I leap, and sometimes I spend too long looking. I really need to pull myself up by the bootstraps, give myself a kick in the bum region and start getting with the program.

Wednesday, December 10

Crystal Bowling


Pacquiao will be President. This I foresee. His wondrous acts of punching and jabbing, and reputation as the giant-killer of boxing will propel him to the nation's highest honor: President. Leader of the not-so-free world. We elected an actor with not much brain power; we will elect a boxer with a little more brain power and lots of fighting power. He will punch through our problems. He will deliver us from oppression, depression, stagnation, corruption and sheer disinterest and apathy with his great uppercut!

Vote for Manny. You know it's going to happen. It's only a matter of time.

Monday, December 8

Now Playing

Britney Spears - Circus
Looks like Britney Spears seems to be on her way to recovering herself after the magnificently humiliating trainwreck that's been her life for the past few years. I still remember her as a bald loony attacking a car with an umbrella, but if she continues to release more good videos, hopefully our memories will fade.

All that being said, my Mnemosyne has another new song to chew on, and I'll probably play this into oblivion. I wonder what she did to get herself back in shape, but I'd like to have whatever she's having.

Rihanna - Rehab
I am also currently nuts about Rihanna's latest single; while I have nothing against the song, is it me or is she ubiquitous? How did this happen? The video looks like a photoshoot for some glossy fashion rag. Not sure how I feel about Justine Timberlakey's posturing in this one. He is forever having to make up for his years in a boyband. Like it was a crime or something. Seriously, Timberlake. Stop it.

Shontelle - T-shirt
Lastly, Shontelle's single brings out the emotera in me. This one is sweet, and I really have done this quite a few times. Just wore one of Alex's old t-shirts when I'm missing him. I can literally swim in them, and I love the scent he leaves on his shirts. Lame-o! I'm laughing at myself and my ridiculousness. Still, every diva/brat needs a soundtrack of the week, n'est ce pas?

Sunday, December 7


Yes, I saw the Twilight movie. Feedback, on Otap Vendored. Check it out now!

Introducing Otap

Behold! Our little project is up and running - the Chucky/Illi/Nikka baby - Otap Vendored! Not much fanfare for now, it's still very raw, but it should become a monster all its own in due time. Be nice, folks. It really is still a baby.

Click the link to get otap vendored.

The Power of Cheap

Visited CD-R King earlier, needed to get another bluetooth adapter. Looks like my store of choice is now everyone's store of choice. The moment we get wind of a place where everything can be had for much much less, everyone will flock to get their piece of the action.

It doesn't help matters that each CD-R King branch is so ridiculously small, it's the equivalent of a sardine can. Everyone's squashed in like a group of penny-pinching techie wannabes all clamoring for equipment. Yes, yes. Me included. I need my pennies.

Crowds tend to give me an almost uncontrollable urge to scream. Sometimes when I'm out on the weekends (bad idea, but I have no choice) and there's just way too many people, I have to quash an urge to give in to temporary insanity and just start screaming at everyone in the building. I have this fantasy of barreling through the crowds, swinging my handbag at everyone, making them scatter.

(Yes, I have weird fantasies. The above one ranks right beside my other fantasy of doing intricate ballet moves in front of all and sundry, during the customary 3PM prayer that always happens in the department stores. Everyone stops moving. I keep wondering what would happen if I suddenly pirouette and twirl around everyone on my tiptoes. Would they move? What happens if I suddenly grab a piece of merchandise and run away? Would they break tradition and run after me?)

Where was I? Oh yes, CD-R King. It has everything but the kitchen sink... in fact, if they had a kitchen sink that could be connected to your PC via USB, they would probably be selling it too. It's a playground. It's also very gosh-darned tight. They're making so much money, you'd think they could afford to actually expand. Oh wait, they expanded in the SM Branch. And they have the same ridiculous bottle-necked set-up, forcing everyone to step over each other just to get a number and wait their turn. It's a claustrophobic, cheap, irritating set-up that has to be changed! Damn you, CD-R King! Damn you for making me need you!

Friday, December 5

All the Wrong Reasons

Word on the street is that the Bratz dolls have been shown the door. A very angry Mattel has protested because (the profits aren't theirs) of copyright infringement, and have succeeded in getting the manufacturers of Bratz to quit selling the popular dolls.

I'm personally wishing it was for all the right reasons, e.g. because Bratz dolls are major sluts and it's just wrong to have a five-year-old dressing up a little doll that looks like a tranny prostitute. The moment Bratz came onto the scene, you know teenage pregnancy was going to go into an upswing. If our generation was shocked at how big Barbie's tits were and how small her waist was, and what this could potentially do to the future of society, she was nothing compared to these dolls. Barbie was simply the suggestion of sexiness. Bratz are sex incarnate. Not just sex incarnate, they're anorexic, self-involved, trashtastic sex objects that look like they're all ready to drop it like its hot and show their stuff on the pole. And this is what we're letting the kids play with these days.
But no, it's all about corporate greed once again. Maybe copyrights were infringed, but it just smacks of jealousy and sour-graping to me.

Monday, December 1

Labor Pains

I'm working on a new project with some of the people I hold most dear, and I couldn't be happier! It's going to be an insane mash-up of reviews and whatnot.

Keep checking back, we'll be putting it up very soon!


So I finally finished Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film. By Peter Biskind, it's a long, chaotic, sometimes over-the-top read, with lots of interesting characters, soundbites, and way too many interviews. The movie business really is all for show, where people just kiss in public and look like they're all friends. This book is about the fracas behind the scenes.

Straightaway the limelight is grabbed by the gigantic Harvey Weinstein - whom the author presents as a chain-smoking, gutter-mouthed businessman who clawed his way out of the relative nothingness of Queens, and who believes all the hubris he spews about himself. The non-confrontational, passive-aggressive Robert Redford takes another prime role in the book, and he is pilloried as an irresponsible diva of an artist. Then there's Quentin Tarantino, who comes off as the world's greatest KSP, and Matt Damon/Ben Affleck, Kevin Smith, Uma Thurman... it's a famous cast with Miramax and indie films to thank for making them famous.

Don't read the book if you want to keep your illusions. Peter Biskind rips the cover off the business of producing and promoting movies, and shows you how crappy it really is underneath. Now all I can think of whenever I watch movies is how many scenes got left on the cutting room floor, who's fault it is it if it's so crappy, who had to be wined and dined to actually get the picture promoted. It's a shady business, all of it.

Or maybe it's just because this is a story about putting indie films on the cultural and consumeristic road map. It's also a chronicle of how offbeat, crazy, weird movies became a staple of our movie-goers diet, how we went from the feel good movies with happy endings, courtesy of major film studios, to the dirty, realistic view of the indie film and how, in the end, indie film isn't nearly as independent as it professes to be.