Thursday, September 30

"The greatest love could be... the end of every day."

Man. The Reivers. In my book, one of the greatest bands of all time. I've been hunting around for their CDs since 1994, and have been listening to their tapes since high school. Really. Hunting. Because two of their albums, the rocking "Saturday," and the unrelentingly beautiful "End of the Day," are just impossible to find. They have been out of stock since 1996; old-school CD haven CD Warehouse couldn't even find copies.

There's only one guy I know who shares my passion for the band. Dodo. He has searched for their albums all over: from the bangketas of Singapore to the small record stores in Hong Kong. Part luck, part Jedi mind-control, he completed The Reivers discography in 1997.

Over lunch today, he gave me both "End of the Day" and "Saturday." He GAVE them to me. Fucking gave them to me! To me! Wooohoooo! I don't think he realized how he's changing my musical life. I don't think I could ever, ever repay this immortal act of kindness.

Wednesday, September 29

Good Feeling

Hungover, minor headache, but slurring. At 3 p.m., which is normal enough. In a co-dependent, alcoholic way. Heh. It's just so fucking fun to be around Margie and Kristine again. I haven't had this much fun at being mean since, okay, yesterday. But still. This afternoon was special, and I will look back on this when I'm 71, and think, "--- Don't take your pants off when someone shouts HUBAD! It should be HUBO! --- Ah. The good old days."

And now, my top 10 feel-good songs at the moment:

10. Brand New Colony - The Postal Service
9. At My Most Beautiful - R.E.M.
8. Alinlangan - Sugarfree
7. Getting By - The Rentals
6. Harana - Eraserheads
5. Corporate Attire - Cambio
4. Keeper - The Mongols
3. Oceanside - The Decemberists
2. Kissing the Lipless - The Shins
1. Prom - Sugarfree

Tuesday, September 28

Loyalty Lies

Some days I think we have too many choices. There's always a better band to follow, a better tv show to get addicted to, a better (and lower-fat) brand of ice cream to devour, a better mix of a remix, and so on. No wonder marketing strategists are going mad. What ever happened to target markets? I think there are no particulars anymore: no specific age group, no rationale ratio of supply and demand. There are just too many choices. And as consumers, addicts, geeks, we never stop wanting, and we want it all.

After a failed relationship, there will always be someone who'll get fishy on you: There are other fish in the sea, sweetie. Yes, more choices. Infinite options. In a relationship, the sea is equally vast. Though in deeper water, there is still the (slim) chance that you or your partner will wander off to a better school of thought, the what-if-I-were-with-you notion. The better you or the (possibly) better partner just around the the third coral reef to your right.

In this life of too many choices, we are either selecting or swimming, around or away. Still, a few of us choose to stay. Loyalty lies here. Even when we are aware that there's something, someone better, because there definitely is always a better choice, we stay.

I stay.

Sunday, September 26

Year of the Horse

In the it's-so-bad-it's-good Kris Aquino starrer "Feng Shui," death is predicted by the victim's year of birth according to Chinese astrology. The guy who was born in the Year of the Rabbit got run over by a Rabbit bus. Heh. Stupid. Anyway, this woman who was born in the Year of the Horse fell to her death on cases of Red Horse bottles. Har har. But no so funny now after two straight evenings of Red Horse drinking.

I'm numb all over, dumb all over. It's all over.

Saturday, September 25

Something for the Longing

  • Sugarfree is becoming a weekend habit. Last night at Peligro, they played a full set, an hour and a half of soaring, deafening pop. Gig buddy and I were right there in front, inches away from Ebe. Happy M was seated on the floor, looking up at Ebe adoringly, like a child listening to a far, far away happy ending story. And I was standing in front of Ebe, swaying and smiling, but looking away everytime he caught my eye. I was afraid he would see how happy he was making me, like I haven't been happy until that night. Besides, I'm reduced to a stuttering, shy fan whenever they start playing. One recognizable riff and they win me over, in a nano-sparkle.
  • So broke. Fuck. To save on some Greenbelt-pricey dinner, M brought sisig and maalat na itlog with tomatoes to the library. We asked the caterer for garlic rice. AC paid my design efforts in pizza. And for dessert, Toblerone fondue from Old Swiss Inn. Now that's fusion dining. Also made mental note not to drink too much Red Horse because it makes me vomit, and my fusion vomit would just be too skongkrang.
  • "Something for the Longing" is an East River Pipe album. Belated Happy Birthday, dodobird. And thank you for the music.
  • Am attending a high school reunion this evening. My only peeve is that they never saw me thin. WTF. Same old Thor is good old Thor.
  • Frunk (verb): According to Jovan, it means fucken drunk. According to Thor, it's fucked and drunk. Fucked and drunk, even when I was seventeen.

Tuesday, September 21

We Rocked and We Rolled

Saturday, the 18th, was strange. The boyfriend had a crappy week and was a liitle hesitant of going to the SaGuijo gig, which was a wee bit annoying because we already had planned this a week ago. But anyway, sometime before lunch he finally decided to tag along, and I was thinking in my head, "Don't you dare be mope-y in the gig." Grrr.

And man, did he surprise me (and Margie and Kristine, as well). In our 5 years together, I have never seen him get drunk, much less drink to rock music. He was always the sweet, healthy one; always grooving instead of rocking out. Don't get me wrong, I love him for what he is and what he is not, but my going out to watch bands and getting shit-faced drunk and slurring praises (phrases, mostly) to rockstars had always been a point of contention. He just never got it.

So, SaGuijo. Is a very clean place. It is softly-lit, with artsy patterns crawling like vines (wait, yes, vines indeed) on the walls. And a huge portrait of the Virgin Mary near the door. The people who were already there were young, polite, and again, clean. And glossy fashionable. Ah, so this is what kids wear nowadays to gigs. Whatever happened to the good old black on black gig staple?

Jazz Kidding plays, first band of the night. And I suddenly get the hordes of fashionistas. The guitarist is hot, his hair well zhuzhed. They play competent rock-jazz, but it's the drummer and the bassist that really kick ass. He (the bassist) has beautiful, long fingers that slide and slither up and down the 8th and 24th bars.

Twisted Halo. Loud, grrrr gutars that officially rocked the night. Rocking, yes, but no hooks to hang on to. But it didn't really matter. Especially to M.

Wilmer was on his third bottle when Cambio started playing. Wilmer. And Strong Ice. And rock music. Live. Can only co-exist in some distant parallel universe. He proved me wrong. And just had to love being wrong.

So when Sugarfree came around to playing hits like Burnout and Sinta, we totally rocked out. Margie and I were the quintessential fans, hugging and jumping along to the beat, getting almost teary-eyed when Ebe's voice soared above the guitars: Kay tagal din kitang minahal. Wilmer was already drinking Kristine's beer, and Kristine, always the cool one, was ... cool about everything, gently nodding to the hard-candy riffs of Sugarfree.

Oh, joy.

Of course, we all rolled home. Smiling, drunk, and yes, happy.

Tuesday, September 14

45 minutes to 6 p.m.

  • The boyfriend and I celebrated our 5th year last Saturday. Movie, dinner, a concert and beers, in that order. It was ... relaxing. We have both been too caught up in our respective deadlines, and the little dramas in between, that I have almost forgotten how good, no, GREAT, it was just to hang. He made me this sweet scrapbook with photos from 1999 to the Boracay trip last summer: a smiling timeline of growing up and growing old together.
  • Erik Santos is the Best New Male Artist in this year's Aliw Awards. Sugarfree bagged 2 awards: Best Alternative Song (Burnout) and Best Rock (Mariposa). So, yeay!
  • In The Terminal. Amelia: I have to go. Viktor: I have to stay.
  • Smoking menthols now, and gagging a lot.
  • While walking aimlessly around Greenbelt 1 --- aimless with a purpose, trying to walk off too much beef kare-kare --- a promo girl gave me Korgivit-E samples. Later in the office, J saw the vitamin packs on my desk and blurted out, matter-of-factly: Thor, pang pok-pok yan. And in my head I was like, OH! Fun! So I took two last Saturday, in preparation of the, ahem, anniversary celebration. After a couple of beers after the concert, the boyfriend and I headed home. The boyfriend was being sweet and touchy and I was. Yawning. And yes, I slept through the entire thing. Woke up Sunday, 12:30 p.m.
  • I postpone my writing duties to the museum like I would my diet. Bukas na lang!

Friday, September 10

Father, Figure

My father loves stories. He likes them fantastic and impossible. He shares our addiction to Buffy, Angel and Star Trek; he gets as involved as we do when it comes to defending our favorite TV shows to non-fans, mostly relatives who want to change channels when our shows come on, which usually ends bloody. He also reads Dungeon and Dragons, has 4 sets of the Lord of the Rings series (including the original hardbound releases) from The Hobbit to The Silmarillion, is a big fan of Alvin the Apprentice (Seventh Son of the Seventh Son), Isaac Asimov and Ursula LeGuin, has finished all the available Harry Potter books and is currently reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

My father loves telling stories. He is a story teller. When we were small, he would tell us his own versions of Bambi, the Flinstones, the King Crab. But his best and most exciting would be the World War II stories.

When the Japanese invaded the country in 1942, his family had to hide in the mountains of La Union. His mother washed the clothes of the American soldiers to make a living and his father assembled and cleaned rifles and bayonets. He was the fifth of eight children, the third youngest. He would hide under bridges, cover his body, face, hands with mud and watched the Japanese kill Filipino children, stabbing the children with bayonets. He would smoke filter-less cigarettes afterwards with his brothers. He lost 2 sisters and a brother to the war. He was 7 years old.

When he turned 17, he decided to join the Philippine Navy, along with his 2 older brothers. But he was never sure if he ever killed anyone in any of his postings because there was always too many soldiers shooting, firing, dying.

He met my mother on a train ride back to Manila. He was 27, my mother was 24. He took the seat of my mom's friend and refused to budge. Then they exchanged numbers.

After I was born, my mom got a scholarship at the University of Wales. So my father resigned from his naval post and took care of my sister and I, full time, for 3 years.

My father, Eddie, 67, would like to believe that he would live forever. I really wish he would.

Wednesday, September 1

Bakit nga ba?

Watching The Mongols tonight with Margie. Went to their gig last Monday in Padi's Point, Cainta, with Wilmer. They were almost 2 hours late, went on stage 15 past 12. Was a little bit angry, very much bored. But when Yan --- chubby, dancey and surprisingly handsome Yan --- said that we were astiiig for waiting that long for the band, everything was suddenly okay. deliriously happy okay. (Gwapo, eh.)

First song, Heroine. What. The. Fuck. Hit. Me. So. Hard. Remembered halfway through the song that I promised to call Margie so she could be with us in sonic spirit.

And the rest was a haze of loud, star-scattered sonic embrace.

So tonight, again. Oh, Ely. Oh, Yan. Oh, slightly cute drummer. Oh, very efficient guitarist.

Bakit nga ba ang puso
Tumitibok kahit do mo man pilitin.
- Bakit Nga Ba?, The Mongols

Still Ely related. Got a phone call from my sis today. She and her boyfriend were shopping for new frames for her glasses at Sarabia Optical in U.P.'s Shopping Center when she saw the Pulp issue which had my Eraserheads Anthology review. She pointed it out to the boyfriend. The owner, Ms. Sarabia herself, overheard this and asked if my sister knew the reviewer. She proudly said (I think), "He's my brother." And the owner goes, "Oh! I loved the review. The writer's not just a fan; he truly loves the band and their music. And he recognizes the worth of their contribution to Filipino music. The review's just full of heart. All heart." Something like that. My sister was quoting her directly over the phone.

All heart.

Happy now.