Tuesday, December 26
Faye was down with something flu-like so we both spent Christmas in Manila. Cooked for her. A lot. Compulsive cooking; I was planning dinner while making lunch. And on Christmas Eve, we downloaded lyrics and sang songs by Rilo Kiley, Gwen Stefani, Carrie Underwood, etc. until two in the morning.
Hope you all had fun Christmases. It's all about the cheer.
Friday, December 8
The second time was for a better offer. Two years in advertising and I already had an offer. Whoa! Or so I thought. I ended up writing coupon text. 50% discount on selected items. Limited offer only. Very limiting.
So I went back to my ex, mostly for sentimental reasons. The organization was opening a new department and the boss was someone I had always wanted to work with. Fucking brilliant. And a sad drunk. It was almost love. But then, he quit. And so.
Looking back now, job #5 was a highlight. Top of the pops because I was high most of the time. And drunk. And dancing to Incognito and M People in Venetia. Cocktails over ice over lunch. Dated compulsively. I started listening to hip-hop and house music and acid jazz. I was twenty-five and foolish but was making really good friends. We signed on each other’s vodka bottle; absolut scribbling of well wishes and confessions.
No wonder I burned out. But I had fun along the way.
Didn’t work for a year. Never really had a break. I was on my second job when I officially graduated. Marched. Took summer classes and was done with college on the first semester of my senior year. And not more than a two-week break since then.
So the millennium came and I was jobless. But I was in love. The freelance thing didn’t really work out for me. I spun records for my boyfriend’s café so I could earn enough to buy CDs. Just waiting for the right job to come along.
The one I’m quitting right now.
Five and a half years. A feat, really. It felt right most of the time. Never really thought of myself as a sales type of worker, but the job turned me into one. I had to meet quotas, had to wear barong, had compute annual budgets. But I was working in a library so it didn’t really matter. Until things changed.
So I’m starting the year with a trip to Hong Kong and Civil War #6. The rest I’ll figure out along the way.
Friday, November 24
Saturday, November 4
Brought my comics with me. Catching up on the All-New Atom and the Irredeemable Ant-Man. Come to think of it, I do have a thing for shrinking men...
The rest of the afternoon is purposely drawn blank. Looking forward to going to Rockwell. The boyfriend will be shopping for an outfit for his exhibit opening (Ayala Museum, have ta look extra spiffy) while I will be wandering the aisles of Fully Booked. I do wander. It's my thing. I walk around aimlessly first, grabbing titles along the way. Surveying, so to speak. Then, the hunt with a mission begins. Followed by the checking of the wallet, and the weeding of titles. My very own Glorious Mystery. This has been my ritual since I was in school, but mostly in discount book shops. The beloved Booksale, from where I have completed my Stephen King and Clive Barker titles...
32 years old.
It's all happening man. It's all happening.
Saturday, October 28
The term hangover was originally a 19th century expression describing unfinished business – something left over from a meeting – or ‘survival.’ (Wikipedia)
There's always unfinished business. Loose ends. Work in progress. Missing pages. Open endings. Hangovers.
About time I get used to it.
Monday, October 23
It has been a week for advanced birthday presents. Early bird was the Hawkman-JUSTICE action figure from Faye, and just last Saturday, two trades from W---Busiek's Astrocity: Family Album, and Seagle's It's a Bird...---which I'm writing about now because I can't sleep.
Because the language was elegant, the lessons delicate. Because I prefer reading comic books over drinking beer nowadays. Because I have been angry for the past two months. Because I am leaving my job. Because I don't mind losing. Because there's always something next. Just like a Superman comic book, Seagle says.
I have accepted who I am and who I'm never becoming. And what I want.
I will always have fun with words. I prefer geeking out at home over the company of people, corduroys over slacks, gray over black, gameboy over a cellphone, love over lust, comics over poetry, watching TV in a hotel room over sunbathing, Hong Kong over Singapore, god over religion.
I will never prescribe hows or whys or whats. Some people see it as too kind. Or lackadaisical. I call it realization. Making decisions. Growing up.
Of course, there are doubts, practically nations of them, but Faye made it really simple for me: whatever makes you happy, wherever you are happy is what makes work work.
So I'm getting myself a ticket to somewhere sunnier.
Look up in the sky.
Tuesday, October 17
1. The Worst Part by Motion City Soundtrack. From "Sound of Superman." It's dancing with tears in my eyes. Heartachy chorus soars up, up, and away: You used to call my name / Every hour of every day / How I live to hear that sound / But everytime it washes away / We wash away.
2. Wires and Waves by Rilo Kiley. From "Take Offs and Landings." And sometimes lonely hearts they just get lonelier. I think you're getting the drift.
3. Life Effect by Stars. From "Heart." Easy pitter-patting. The one-twos of moving on.
4. When You Were Young by The Killers. From "Sam's Town." Bruce Springsteen meets The Who meets dusty synthesizers. Anthemic under heavy clouds.
5. Up to My Head by Mark Kozelek. From the "White Christmas" live album. Back to my ol' worrisome self but successfully passing the sluggishness of acting, working, and writing appropriately.
6. Miss Kita Pag Tuesday by R-Jay (something). From the "Pinoy Dream Academy vol. 1" soundtrack. Heh. Saya pakinggan. Sarap maging bagets.
7. Teen Titans by Puffy Ayumi. When there's trouble you know who to call: Teen Titans! But man, who we gonna call now that the show's gone?
Tuesday, September 12
as the sheets. There was a Sharon Cuneta movie, and lots of TV. Comicbooks and expensive dinners. Nothing special but it was. Nothing planned but it felt like everything is as it should be. Contrived even.
Even how we're beginning to look alike.
Saturday, August 19
Villains United is hurting my head and not because it's badly-written, no, if anything it's turning out to be my favorite of the Countdown to Infinite Crisis titles, but it is a lot of work. Making connections in my head, the OYL and 52 storylines tangled like wires. Any wires. They all get tangled up in small, impossibly tight knots sooner or later.
How will I keep my insides in?
Thursday, August 17
8:00 and the participants are working on last night's assignments. From a personal essay to a memo. Sounds tough but they seem to be enjoying the task in a quiet, absorbed kind of way. I guess, they too miss work, plain as penmanship.
Thursday, July 20
Thank you, Joss.
From comics she was born, and to comics she shall return: Buffy the Vampire Slayer's post-cancellation adventures will soon begin anew -- penned by Joss Whedon himself -- in the pages of Dark Horse Comics. Here's an exclusive cover image (by artist Georges Jeanty) from issue No. 1. As you can see, she's kept in shape during her hiatus. (Dark Horse will debut No. 1 at Comic-Con this week.)
This isn't Buffy's first foray into comics. And it remains to be seen if it ranks anywhere near Joss Whedon's best foray into comics: the all-too-brief "future slayer" saga Fray, which follows the dystopic advetures of Buffster's 24th-century successor. (Some will persuasively argue that this is Joss' best comics effort. I will counter with a spin move and the old axe-to-the-head. So watch it.)
So what's going on in the extended Buffyverse? Well, you may recall the show ended with the creation of an army of Slayers. Now they're organized, and the tide has turned in favor of the good guys. Ah, but you know how much Whedon hates winners: Soon an "old enemy" surfaces (Dark Horse is cagey on Big Bad's identity), and Dawn starts "experiencing serious growing pains." I hope that means the Scoobies will be fighting a mutant, undead Alan Thicke.
Thursday, June 29
Have been feverish for the past couple of days, but after a pop of this bitter blue pill, I've been sweating again (I miss sweating) and have been up and about doing a few chores like making coffee though a little slower than usual and not just because it's occasionally fun to be slow.
June has been anything but slow. Lots of catching up with old friends in Singapore and W's birthday party. In the background, the Stubbs the Zombie OST in constant rotation, along with Sonic Youth's Rather Ripped, still fuzzy but with The Strokes' rootsy NY punk bohemiac swagger.
Bitter blue buzzed. Later.
Saturday, June 10
Next stop,wonderland. But no. Because it was fucking under renovation. One floor was open, so I'm not exactly complaining. Got the new Beautiful South, and, well, that's about it.
So it was walking down Tsim Sha Tsui for us until around midnight for five days. Mid-day trips to Windsor House --- Ikea, Toys R' Us, HMV, and those two floors of gadgets, and an office supply store where I spent the most HK$. W got me a moleskine notebook, and I gave him a hug.
There was also much drinking, and no, hindi ako nagpa-kulot. Kusa syang kumulot dahil sa sarap ng peking duck.
Met up with friends, too. Mida and her lovely daughter Sofie. Mida has a column right now in one of the local HK papers and also teaches English to Filipinos based in HK. *Anyone who goes to HK should try eating at the Flying Pan, an all-day breakfast diner with a jukebox that has REM, Oasis, The Verve, and yes, the ubiquitous Coldplay.* She brought us to Ap Lai Chai, an interior designer's heaven, 26 floors, all showrooms. W was estatic. My feet hurt. A lot.
So there. Hong Kong. Walking. Shoppping. Minding gaps. And more walking. Will be leaving for Singapore with W this Thursday, mostly business but I hear their HMV has a pretty good collection. If it's not under renovation.
Saturday, May 13
As we grow older, the exercise of inhaling and exhaling becomes more necessary. To regain composure after a stumble. To restrain yourself from strangling a client. To take a puff from a cigarette. Deeper inhales after smoking too much. Beathing calisthenics as you reach orgasm. Rhythmic exhales when one is pushing a life out to this world.
Struggling to breathe as we grow older.
Breathing is natural. As natural as breathing, the saying goes. It's the only task our brain tells us to do when we're sleeping. And still, it sometimes feels like we have forgotten to. Let's take a breather, we usually say. As if we've stopped processing oxygen. As if we've held our breaths in the middle of meetings, arguments, breakdowns.
I am exhausted.
It's time for that breathing exercise. In Hong Kong. Will be leaving this Tuesday with W. Vacation?, people are inclined to ask.
Just taking a breather folks.
Tuesday, April 25
Friday, April 21
Most of the week was spent planning and shooting a documentary with Dodobird. High expectations on this one. Mainly because the man we're doing this for is a demigod. Nearing historic proportions. Built a city is all. But poof went anxiety. The shots were great. The interviews brilliant. But the feet hurt like hell.
Was hoping to get out of this marketing meeting yesterday because unless they're teaching us hypnosis or granting us funding (for hypnosis classes) then there's really a rare chance that I'll learn anything new from all the big talk. Come on. Target market, situational analysis, anyone?
But the dreaded thing was moved to today. So no excuse. And guess what? It was advertising 101.
In a coma.
(Sorry. But I do love babies. But I don't want one of my own. And brain-deadness should never be wished upon on anyone. Because it already occurs often enough at Cable Car)
Same textbook scribbling from way back in 1995 at the DAP when Mabi, Felice and I --- out of ass numbing boredom --- wrote "The Ubiquitous Cup" across a styrofoam cup and rotated it around the room, from table to chair to another table, until it reached the back of the room.
Advertising is like the ex-boyfriend that rings and puts the receiver down with a bang when you answer. The bad sex you'll keep comparing other bad fucks to. The big idea that never was.
Don't get me wrong. I actually loved the work, the brainstorming, the AE bashing, the wordplay. But I hated, HATED the posturing. The JOs. The Jar-Jar Gon. And this time the Ubiquitous Cup wasn't around to save us.
Saturday, April 1
Introducing HBO's latest series: Big Love. One man. Three wives. Seven children. Under one (big) roof. Saw the pilot last night and yeah I did feel a little dirty because I enjoyed watching their lives fuck up so much. Favorite scenes: the three wives (Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny and Ginnifer Goodwin, according to order of marriage) planning their weekly schedule with their husband (Bill Paxton) and JT goes, That's okay, you can keep him for two consecutive nights. I don't mind; BP with this huge huge Viagra-ed erection suddenly realizes that his mother might just be poisining his dad; and this is not really a scene but the opening credit is funny scary with the four leads ice skating, pro graceful, then the ice begins to crack under their feet as the theme launches into its chorus: God knows how lost I'll be without you.
God knows how lost I'll be without HBO.
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan (Do you wanna) Come Walk with Me
Thursday, March 30
Ringu. Rasen. Ringu 2. Ringu 0. Creepiness that creeps like those shadow footsteps in an empty hallway. Hollywood missed the point entirely. Missed the cycle. Missed the irrational fear. Of fear.
(And so, no coffee today.)
Lately, suspending disbelief has been easier. I think I'm getting tired of asking questions or trying to make sense of things. Why things are working out as planned. Why things aren't. Why Sadako split in two. Why I just don't care about patching things up with some people. It has just been roseier with only a few concepts to believe in.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Honey Bear
Saturday, March 11
A real life terminator
'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com
A dance involving little to no clothing
'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at QuizGalaxy.com
I'm a sexy dancing killing machine. Yes!
Tuesday, February 28
Thursday, February 16
I have been trying to write haikus for the past hour. Times like this, I love my job. But the haikus are going nowhere, so MEME muna. Tagged by Starshuffler.
4 jobs I had in my life
* PR writer
* copy writer
* library manager
* TVC jingle maker
4 movies I could watch over and over again
* Vengeance trilogy (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance)
* House of Flying Daggers
* Howl's Moving Castle
4 places I've lived
4 TV Shows/Channels I love to watch
* My Name is Kim Sam-soon
* American Idol
* Jewel in the Palace
* Gilmore Girls
4 places I've been on vacation
* La Union
* Hong Kong
4 of my favorite foods
* Indian food (New Bombay!)
4 places I'd rather be by now
* Hong Kong
* At home
* Gateway cinema
* Kung sinong may oras mag-sayang ng oras..
Wednesday, February 15
W and I arrived at 1:00 p.m. for a 1:30 appointment. It hadn't been a restful weekend. W's blood analysis results were due Sunday but the doctor wasn't in. So we went to the clinic a little early on a weekday, minus lunch. As Tara would say, mammoths in the stomach. Hurling was not an option. At 1:45, W asked the front desk if the doctor was in. She was on a lunch break. She came in at 2 but was nowhere to be found. She started calling in patients at 2:30, but W's appointment was moved (our first number said #2), and moved, until we were 4th. We bitched at the receptionist who was just shrugging most of the time. All the managers were in a meeting. So fuck it. And a fuck you all!!!!!! I curse you long lines wherever you go. Bathroom lines like a Neil Gaiman book signing! May you all pee and shit in your pants. At the same time!
We waited our turn.
Toxic 2: The Doctor is out of her head.
She starts with, Yes, you have diabetes. And then...
Dr.: You see, our body is like the Philippines.
Dr.: Our main produce is ...?
Dr.: Rice. And when we run out of rice, what do we do? What do we do?
Dr.: We IMPORT! Similarly, when our body can't produce insulin, we?
Us: (We're fucked.)
Toxic 3: Where W calls me and says he's listening to Sugarfree.
I wish I could say, Lights will guide you home and ignite your bones, And I will try to fix you. I wish I could sing it and make him feel better. And it hurts me to see him put up a brave front for me. But he is brave. And all would be better. We were watching My Name is Kim Sam Soon last night, and Sam Soon, while applying for a job as a baker says, "The chocolates in my box aren't all sweet. At my age, I'm just hoping that I've finished up most of the bitter." But the bitter ones have less sugar, so from now on, bitter is good.
Saturday, February 11
A decipherable Sympathy for Lady Vengeance website is finally up with lots of purty downloadable stuff, including the film's soundtrack.
This third and final installment of Park Chan-wook's vengeance trilogy is a curious beast, visually feral, and achingly sweet. Sometimes literally. Sometimes, to a fault. Frenzy and stylish in its first hour, it's quite a struggle to connect with Geum-ja (Lee Young-ae of Jewel in the Palace!) or her thirst for vengeance. But when the puzzle is pieced together --- the gun assembled, the cake baked, the scary lesbian dead, and the snow begins to fall --- Geum-ja takes us to a totally different place and invites us to join her in her revenge. And it's an invitation that's impossible to refuse.
Not the best of the series, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is incomparable in depth and devastation, but still a satisfying (and surprisingly funny) end to Chan-wook's dissection of revenge and redemption.
P.S. Marathon tayo ng vengeance trilogy!
P.P.S. The Tartan Video releases (Mr. Vengeance and Old Boy, Region 1) have lots of juicy extras. Behind the scenes, interviews, and a properly subtitled commentary by the director and actors.
2. Too much thinking with this band thing. Over lunch, munching on what to do, M asked me why I was quiet about the entire scenario. We're not Best Before for nothing, y'know? Heh. I'll go with whatever, with whoever's decision. I've enjoyed the moment, a few more won't hurt, but hey, to each his or her own expiration date. Even this for the fun of it is turning Medical Investigation on me. Somber dissection. Second guessing.
3. Expiration. The reminders are everywhere suddenly. From a dear friend to someone's dear brother. And I feel something change in me. Like any day now, I'll start believing all that Dr. Phil shit. Like maybe, simplicity will work. Choosing the right fights. Snood logic: everything in its rightful place. Soon enough. The mouse has alwas been in your hand. Everything's a double click away.
4. Snood. Got my father into it just this morning. My sister has been staying up late just to top my score. And I'm not even the best in the office. I've been caught by the big boss playing it. Recently I discovered the Y key. Dun-dun.
Tuesday, February 7
Two fathers. Two wives. A brother. And a baby.
God bless their souls.
A year of unimaginable heartache for some us; the rest can only stand by and watch and try to unburden the bereaved with laughter and alcohol.
It's not a deathly cycle. Not a curse. Not punishment.
A bittersweet life is all it is.
And here's a prayer for more of the sweet for all of us.
Please, God. Please.
Tuesday, January 17
1. What Did You Do In 2005 That You'd Never Done Before ?
Played in Café Saguijo. Played songs I wrote in Saguijo. Soundtracked Dodo’s directorial debut!
2. Did You Keep Your New Years' Resolutions, And Will You Make More For Next Year?
Spent less on CDs. Woohoo! Spent more on DVDs. Which amounts to not much, but hey, ATM’s still loaded so I think I did pretty well.
3. Did Anyone Close To You Give Birth?
Sugar and Buttercup. My dog and cat, respectively.
4. Did Anyone Close To You Die?
Yeah. Sadly. Just recently.
5. What Countries Did You Visit?
None. Most probably this year. Planning to get Shangai’d this April.
6. What Would You Like To Have In 2006 That You Lacked In 2005?
7. What Date From 2005 Will Remain Etched Upon Your Memory, And Why?
August 9 – First StarKiller production in Saguijo. September 11 – 6th year anniversary. Thought to myself: Wow, this guy really knows me. And loves me.
8. What Was Your Biggest Achievement This Year?
Check # 1. Was rarely bored at work, too. More happy reunions with old friends. And no wandering of any sort. Oh! And winning the Inumarathon, baybeh! *Shout-outs to group members M, W, Luis and Yvette, the Kristines.*
9. What Was Your Biggest Failure?
Can’t think of any right now. `04 was a painful year full of mistakes. Thank God for `05’s kindness.
10. Did You Suffer Illness or Injury?
Killer stomach acid.
11. What Was The Best Thing You Bought?
Subscribed to DSL.
12. Whose Behavior Merited Celebration?
Old friends with a long history of violent happiness.
13. Whose Behavior Made You Appalled And Depressed?
Nothing appalling. But annoying, yes, oh yes.
14. Where Did Most of Your Money Go?
DVDs. Charity. Some weekly beer drinking fund-raising.
15. What Did You Get Really, Really, Really Excited About?
Mostly #1. Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men. Neil Gaiman’s visit. Rockestra. DivX player. Metrowalk. StarKiller Productions.
16. What song will always remind you of 2005?
Rilo Kiley's More Adventurous, Shout Out Louds' The Comeback, SugarFree's Prom, Magic Numbers' I See You, You See Me, Itchyworms’ Beer, The Guild League’s Animals, The Pernice Brothers’ Saddest Quotient, and The Lucksmiths’ Camera Shy.
17. Compared To This Time Last Year, You Are:
…more fluent in Korean, more responsible with insurance payments, but surprisingly less tolerant of whining kids.
18. What Do You Wish You'd Done More Of?
Sleeping. Hanging out with the parents. Writing. Drinking.
19. What Do You Wish You'd Done Less Of?
Easy one. Eating. And adding photos on my friendster.
20. How Did You Spend Christmas?
With the family. Some lively banter on Asian cinema and life after retirement. Had fatty, oily Noche Buena but, yeah, we were all together. Plus 8 dogs.
22. Did You Fall In Love In 2005?
Yeah. Every weekend week-recap in bed before sleep.
23. How Many One-Night Stands?
None. Puro two.
24. What Was Your Favorite TV Program?
Battlestar Galactica. Lost. Supernatural. House. Kitchen Confidential. Pinoy Big Brother. Desperate Housewives. Attic Cat. And ROME.
25. Do You Hate Anyone Now That You Didn't Hate This Time Last Year?
A few officemates, but that’s natural.
26. What Was The Best Book You Read?
Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go - pretty and savage at the same time. Ursula LeGuin’s Changing Planes – magnificent fun. Gregory Maguire’s Wicked – a difficult but rewarding read, fucked up Oz is good. Dodo Dayao’s Askals – warped redemption in heartless Quiapo. Noisy, violent frames care of Bong Leal.
27. What Was Your Greatest Musical Discovery?
Magic Numbers. Rilo Kiley. LCD Soundsystem. The Guild League. The Lucksmiths. Pernice Brothers.
28. What Did You Want And Get?
Won Bin mug. Infernal Affairs special edition set. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Old Boy region 1 DVDs. A raise.
29. What Did You Want And Not Get?
A new phone. Old one still works eh.
30. What Was Your Favourite Film This Year?
Park Chan-wook’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. Kim Jee-woon’s A Bittersweet Life. Banjong Pisanthanakun and Parkpoom Wongpoom’s Shutter. Kim Ki-duk’s 3 Iron. And the lovely, quietly heartbreaking Last Life in the Universe (Pen-ek Ratanaruang).
31. What Did You Do On Your Birthday? And How Old Were You?
Watched DVDs all night, scored by W’s soft snoring. Finally, a thirtysomething. Because the thirties is the new black. Comfy and almost always elegant.
32.What One Thing Would Have Made Your Year Immeasurably Satisfying?
Geez. Nothing. I’ve become boring.
33. How Would You Describe Your Personal Fashion Concept In 2005?
Dress coded chic.
34. What Kept You Sane?
35. Which Celebrity/Public Figure Did You Fancy The Most?
Won Bin. Jang Dong-gun. Joo Jin-mo. And Dennis Trillo.
36. What Political Issue Stirred You The Most?
Stir sila lahat.
37. Who Did You Miss?
Catching up with old friends.
38. Who Was The Best New Person You Met?
New staff. The most efficient associate editor ever. I hope she knows this. And our new marketing gal.
39. Tell Us A Valuable Life Lesson You Learned In 2005:
"With every broken heart, we should become more adventurous."
40. Quote A Song Lyric That Sums Up The Year:
"All of your failures are training grounds …" sings Jenny Lewis in The Absence of God. 2005, the year that I relaxed. Exhaled. Got addicted to Korean cinema. Got enough courage to play in a band and let friends hear my songs. Drank less. And corrected last year’s mistakes.