Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I'm thankful for all the wonderful blessings and the little things that give joy to life.


Have a happy Christmas everyone. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baka Gaijin - The Tokyo Dome Experience

Sometimes, I still can't believe it was only a week ago that I was circling the perimeter of Tokyo Dome, buying Arashi merchandise while trying to catch the sounds from their concert!

The minute I got confirmation that I'm really going to Japan, I checked Arashi's concert schedule and got the next best news - their Tokyo Dome concert coincided with my last week in Japan! I promised myself I would go there, even if I have no idea where Tokyo Dome is, or how to get there, even if I had to go there alone. :)

So, as it happens, I really went there alone. After the physically punishing (but oh-so-rewarding) pasyal we did (plus, the mentally exhausting work), they have to beg off from my yaya. Me? I'm just as tired as them, but I'm a girl on a mission. Armed with my map and digicam, with my reliable nano for company, I set off from Yokohama to Tokyo Dome.

From Yokohama to Tokyo was easy; we had a lot of practice taking the Minatomirai/Tokyu Toyoko line from Nihon-odori to Shibuya. From Shibuya, I took the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon line, then at Nagatacho station I transferred to Tokyo Metro Namboku line which would take me to Korakuen station, the station nearest to Tokyo Dome City.

It was with much anticipation that I got off at Korakuen. It's not just because of all the Arashi goodies that I'd be buying, or the slight chance that I'd get to hear the ongoing concert, it's also because it was my first time going to Tokyo Dome City and I'm very excited to see the place. While I was exiting the station, I noticed some Japanese ladies lugging around rolled up papers wrapped in plastics of various colors and I know with certainty that those were Arashi posters! (Well, for one the colors of the plastics matched the assigned colors of each of the members). My pace quickened; all the while I was debating with myself whether to buy a poster. I promised I would only limit my Arashi goodies to their eco bag, cellphone strap and notebook. Let's see whether I stayed true to my promise!

And then - I was greeted by the huge stadium, the bright lights, and Arashi fans everywhere! Back in Manila, I don't personally know anyone who is an Arashi fan and now all of the sudden, I was surrounded by Arashi fans. It's kind of a nice feeling. :) And they come in all shapes and sizes and ages! I'm amazed that Arashi is supported by this very diverse set of fans. I was feeling quite gutsy and wanted to chat some of them, then I remembered I don't speak decent Nihonggo and I was overcome by shyness and intimidation. So I just went to find the booth selling the goodies. I didn't have to look long and hard as the booths were quite near the entrance.

Now the challenge: there's a sign with a drawing that means "no photos", but other than that, I can't read the instructions. I made my first mistake: I went in on the wrong side, so the staff tried to stop me and pointed me at the right entrance. I got in; since the concert had started already, there were no lines on the booths and you can flit in from one booth to another. I bought the eco bag, cellphone strap and notebook. As usual, I got what I wanted by pointing at the stuffs. The staff selling the goodies are non-English speaking, but they were very pleasant and helpful and not at all that surprised that a non-Nihonggo speaking idiot was trying to buy their goodies. THEN I also bought a clear file folder, the concert pamphlet (which was actually a photobook!) and A POSTER. The poster I had a hard time buying; it was a spontaneous decision and naturally I don't know how to say poster in Japanese! I couldn't do the point-and-buy method because the posters were not displayed prominently. After much pantomiming on my part, the staff finally understood and gave me what I wanted. Whew. I got the group poster; before I make another spur-of-the-moment decision and buy INDIVIDUAL POSTERS OF EACH OF THE FIVE MEMBERS, I immediately exited the booths. Until now, I'm still justifying that decision to myself. :( I didn't regret buying all those stuffs, I kind of regret not getting the individual posters. Aargh.

After I exited, I soon become aware of the sounds coming out from inside the Dome. And - shoot - I never felt so frustrated in my life than at that moment. I was there, really there, I was near Arashi, and I couldn't even get a glimpse of them. Then I noticed the other fans in the area who were paying much closer attention to the concert noises than I was. Some were subconsciously waving their arms in tune with the songs. Some had their ears pressed close to the walls of the Dome. I realized that if I'm feeling frustrated, then some of these fans would be feeling the same way, if not more.

I decided to walk around. I become aware of the venue and it was a pretty and dazzling place. I love the lights and the yellow autumn trees and the bigness of the area. I took a lot of pictures; I found myself in the Tokyo Dome front entrance and the Arashi anniversary bus was there, and even more Arashi fans. There was also another merchandise booth set up and I was immediately seized by the urge to get all the posters. Must. Resist. Then I clearly heard the opening riffs to "Happiness" and knew I must get away from the Dome. Must. Fight. These feelings of frustration and envy. Envyyyyy...

Tokyo Dome City was really big and pretty. I liked that I was there at night, all the more to appreciate the dazzling show of lights. I stopped at a burger store near the Dome to eat and rest my tired legs. I was leisurely eating a set meal when I heard a buzz outside: the concert has ended. Group by group, the fans exited the Dome and some of them even went to the burger store! Before I go mad with jealousy, I left the burger shop and went to a souvenir shop I saw earlier to buy some Tokyo Dome City souvenirs. I met more fans lucky enough to have watched the concert: most were wearing the Arashi t-shirts and some were cosplaying Uta no Oniisan! At the souvenir shop were more Arashi fans - the store started playing Arashi songs. When "Still..." was played, I stopped for a few seconds and said to myself: I WILL WATCH AN ARASHI CONCERT SOMEDAY. So from that day on, "Still..." will be the song that will always remind me of this experience and my dearest wish to watch an Arashi concert.

Going back to the Korakuen station was slow because a lot of concert-goers were going that way as well. It was quite tiring, but I feel I've accomplished so much. I roamed the streets of a foreign city on my own, I bought the stuffs I wanted (and more!), and found something to aspire for.

So I guess this much is obvious: until now I'm still on Arashi-high. :D I appreciate that the internet has allowed me almost free access to Arashi media, but it's a nice feeling that I get to support an artist I like, even if it's just buying their concert merchandise or a photobook. And to be surrounded by people with whom you share a common passion, even if you can't actually talk to them about it - there's just so much happiness in the air that night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Baka Gaijin, Part 1

I’ve neglected this blog for such a long time and it feels good to be writing again, however mundane this entry would turn out to be!

I promised myself I would blog about my Japan trip because I really, really enjoyed it and there's so much I learned when I was there. I wasn’t able to blog about my China trip, which was unfortunate, because while it’s not as fun and adventurous and educational, it’s still important to me because it was my first trip abroad.

Anyway, I don’t know how to go about blogging my Japan trip. There are some stuffs I want to talk about immediately *cough*Arashi*cough but I think that could wait a little longer, when the need to fangirl has subsided a bit. :D

Shoot, so where was I? Right, I’m trying to make a very structured post but if I continue planning I won’t be able to write anything at this rate. And - what the hell - I found a good starting point at telling my story: I went just a few minutes ago to the washroom and it occurred to me to write about the toilet system in Japan . Yep, this is a very inspired post, I tell you.

What I noticed was that all the restrooms in Japan (at least the ones I’ve visited) had bidet toilets. Heck, even my tiny, tiny hotel room (why do I keep referring to it as hotel anyway? It’s an inn!) had a bidet toilet. It had settings for uh, posterior cleaning and uhrm, feminine cleaning. One can also adjust the water temperature and pressure. The toilet at the office, on the other hand, had an air dryer! There’s also numerous other buttons the function of which I haven’t had the courage to find out. Then there’s also this apparatus which at first I thought was some kind of deodorizer. When you press the button, it makes a flushing sound, but I couldn’t detect any smell or any other use from it. I asked one of my male officemate if they had a similar gadget in their washroom but he just gave me a blank look. So I checked the net, and guess what? According to Wikipedia, "many Japanese women are embarrassed at the thought of being heard by others during urination". So this apparatus, or Otohime (thanks Wikipedia!), was meant to mask the sound of "wiwi". :D

The toilet at the hotel lobby was quite high tech as well. I meant to take a vid, but forgot about it so you would have to do with my description: when you enter, the light automatically opens. When you get near the bowl, the cover automatically lifts for you. The bidet buttons attached to the seat are more complicated than the one installed in my room. The thrash can, soap dispenser, sink faucet have motion sensors as well.

And speaking of hotels, the hotel, I mean, the inn that we stayed in was so small, even our Japanese colleagues were making fun of it! One of the joke was, the TV in the inn was so high tech, you don’t even need a remote control to operate it. You just extend out your arms and voila! you can press the buttons already! Of course, that’s a bit of exaggeration on their part, but you get the idea. Here’s a picture of the room for your better appreciation:


There’s a bed in the corner (which is the single biggest thing in the room); on opposite side is a long table that functions as a dresser, TV table, laptop table and dining table. There’s a chair you can sit in for grooming, for watching TV (if you prefer watching near the TV) (the TV, by the way, is flat screen HD-quality and I want to steal it), for eating (if you don’t like to eat on the bed), and for laptop use since the telephone and internet cable are also on the dresser table. The safety vault, water heater, thrash can and mini-ref are under the table. There’s no closet in the room, only a wooden clothesline pole where you can hang your clothes (but not everything at once; probably 3-5 sets of clothes piled on top of one another). A note says there’s enough room under the bed to put one’s luggage. I assumed that’s a nice way of saying that I can use my luggage as closet for the other clothes I can’t put up. Then, while everything else has its instruction translated in English, someone thought it’s a nice idea NOT to put English instructions for a very important appliance in the room: the heater/airconditioner. I did trial and error on the buttons to get my desired room temperature, but after 2 nights of alternately breaking into sweats or shivering from the cold, I just turned the unit off, let the room temperature stay at the same level and curl up inside the comforter.

But despite these complaints, I liked the inn that we stayed in. Unlike in China , some of the attendants can speak or at least understand English so it was easier to communicate with them. They’re also very friendly and helpful, and that’s saying a lot because it’s the type of inn where you don’t expect to get pampered. They don’t have security guards (a phenomenon very common in Japan that impressed me so much), they don’t have valet, room or laundry services, they don’t have bellboys. The guests are expected to carry their luggage, do their own laundry, flag down a taxi on their own. But the staff try their best to help you get directions, or explain how to use the laundry or the printer in the lobby. When one of my officemate had a mild complaint about the heater in his room, the staff apologized profusely and offered to transfer him to another room. So even if the inn is a like a dorm-type dwelling, everyone still makes sure that the guests are comfortable and secure.

There! Done with first Japan trip-related entry! (BTW, baka gaijin means "stupid foreigner".)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Once In A Lifetime

The Japan adventure has now ended. As I was walking alone in the streets of Yokohama, I was both counting down the minutes until I get back to Manila and at the same time wishing for each second to slow down and I could spend more time here. When the plane began its ascent towards the rainy sky, I was holding back tears. I’m leaving Japan, and it might be for forever.

The Japan adventure has now ended. The things left are the photos, the souvenirs, the lessons learned and the wish that someday, I could go back.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

This Is My Way of Saying I'm Back (Part whatever)

I’m writing this on my second to the last night here in a tiny hotel room in Yokohama, my home for two weeks. I’ve come to view its smallness as a source of comfort; every night I would come home to this place tired and sleepy, but knowing it’s been a very satisfactory day, be it at work or at exploring different places in Tokyo and Yokohama. Yet each time I wake up in the morning, I feel excited for the day’s events and panic that each new day means I’m one day closer to my departure date. It’s such a classic case of so little time, so much to do.

While I miss my family and friends dearly, I really enjoyed being in Japan and I’m so, so sad to be leaving. And it’s not just about the places I visited and the places I have yet and so badly wanted to visit. It’s not about the generally helpful and friendly locals I’ve met who made this non-Nihonggo speaking foreigner feel she’s not such a nuisance for asking one question too many. It’s not just about the wonderful contrasts of technology and culture that made Japan such a unique place.

The thing is, I like who I am when I was here. This is such a clichéd thing to say, but it’s true: some things are yours for the taking, but only if you have the courage to grab it. I never knew I have enough guts in me, but I took the chance. Because I love to see so many places in Tokyo, I didn’t let the language barrier nor the intimidating transportation system nor the distance nor the effort to stop me. Yes it’s scary, but it’s quite liberating as well. I did the things I never thought I could and the payoff was great – not just making it to my chosen destinations, but the getting there.

And yes, it might sound mababaw, thinking that being able to go from one place to another without getting lost was such an accomlishment. But I'm not the type to take this kind of chances. And to have this kind of feeling, feeling like you're capable of just about anything, I don't feel that way often. And I like that I get to feel that.

After a long time, I finally have something concrete that I really, really want: I want to go back to this country, on my own terms. I don’t know how long that will take me, but I know one day I will make it come true. If not, well, it’s the journey, not the destination, remember?

~ less serious, more irreverent, more detailed story of my Japan adventure coming soon! I hope. ;) ~

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Twits Ex Post Facto

Because twitter and facebook are banned in China!

8-18-09 4:42PM – This is the second time today that I heard David Pomeranz’(?) Take Me To Your Heart. That song must be big here.

8-18-09 9:02PM - Oh my bad. Google said that song was by Michael Learns To Rock! Since when did MLTR start to sound like David Pomeranz?!

8-19-09 10:02PM - Download is so sloooooow...

8-19-09 10:44PM - Big hotel room is nice on the first day, but feels a tad too big and empty after a while. Nyay drama.

8-20-09 10:06PM - Shouldn’t be enjoying Mainland China’s version of Hana Yori Dango but I am!

8-20-09 11:23PM - I’m so tired of being alone, so hurry up and get here.

8-21-09 00:04AM – Hey, it’s my birthday!

8-21-09 11:35PM – Happy and thankful that my new officemates made me feel special on my birthday.

8-21-09 11:48PM – Still not ready to go to sleep. Let me try and make sense of the washing machine with operating buttons in Mandarin.

8-22-09 00:18AM – Yay! Washing machine’s working! Trial and error push button technique FTW! Goodness. I’m doing the laundry. For real.

8-22-09 9:25PM – Shanghai World Financial Center is OMG TALL. Understatement.

8-23-09 12:02PM – China also like Emilia’s Big, Big Girl. Well, I’m a small, small girl in a big, big city.

8-23-09 3:47PM – The skyscrapers are just so… wow. Wow. WOW. Too much Discovery Channel has made me a skyscraper geek.

8-24-09 10:08PM – Slow download is still slooooooow.

8-26-09 10:17AM – I just realized I haven’t read any newspapers since I got here.

8-27-09 2:16PM - Music is like an old, trusted friend that you can always rely on to make you feel better.

8-27-09 3:02PM - Fell in love with Arashi all over again!

8-27-09 3:35PM - Aww... Blue.

8-28-09 2:45PM - Is eating fig muffin. Now I know what fig tastes like. Yey! I’m having a Hana Yori Dango moment!

8-28-09 2:52PM - Must watch Hana Yori Dango again when I get back.

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's My Day!

I'm paraphrasing again something I heard from other people, this time from Rob Thomas:

I don't grow old, I grow older. I know certain things about myself that isn't going to change, and it's kind of comforting.

Here's to more years of not growing old, but years of growing older and wiser. :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Side Trip

I have lots of kwento that I want to share, but I can't find the time nor the words to write those thoughts down. Then I saw a submission in PostSecret that hit me and I'm paraphrasing it here:

Sometimes it's scary to think that we won't ever get the chance to repeat every single moment in our lives in the exact same way and feel the exact same feelings, but it's comforting to know that those moments and those feelings DID exist.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Just Checking In...

I know my trip to Shanghai is wholly work-related, but damn! Can I just take a few seconds to think of it as a chance to see a foreign country and feel a tiny bit excitement that I'll be traveling outside the Philippines for the first time? Can I just forget all the pressures that goes with the fact that I'm new on the job and already was asked to venture into unfamiliar territory?

I feel so damn insecure and so unprepared and so scared. I'm psyching myself up with pictures of The Bund at night and the Shanghai World Financial Center. For a moment, the pressures are off.

Everything will turn out fine.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Grave Is Not Its Goal

Twenty six years ago, on the day I turned two, Ninoy Aquino was shot dead. I was much too young to comprehend the impact of such news, but it was one of my clearest childhood memories: my mom and I were in the sala, looking out of the window, the black radio delivering the news at the corner of the room. I was seated on my mom’s lap and I couldn’t see her face, but I remember that she was silent for a while. I remember that she said something like, “it’s your birthday, and Ninoy died.” Maybe it was my mom’s way of predicting that one day, the nation will revere Ninoy as a hero, and will celebrate his life every year on his death anniversary, every year on my birthday. But I didn't know that then, and neither did my mom. All I know was it was my birthday, and it was a sad day.

When the news broke out that former President Cory Aquino passed away last August 1, my first thought was: she died 20 days before the death anniversary of Ninoy. It was such a sad, sad thought for me and I don’t know why. All weekend long I tried to fight this grief. I avoided the news and specials on TV, avoided reading the tributes of newspaper columnists and bloggers. I didn’t even attempt to catch a glimpse of the cortege when it passed by Ayala Avenue yesterday. Maybe if I didn’t think about it, it never happened. Yet somehow, I found myself crying silently while traveling the length of Roxas Boulevard this morning. Maybe I was overreacting. But then, maybe all of us – those who lined up to see her casket, those who waited, welcomed and showered her casket with confettis on the streets of Makati – are overreacting. So what? We have the right to express ourselves freely, we have the right to overreact. We are free to do all these things, all because of Cory.

There’s nothing more that I could add to what has been already said about Cory’s legacy. But more than her legacy as a leader and champion of democracy, it is her belief – and Ninoy’s belief – in the inherent goodness of people that I will most remember her for. Years ago, we showed the world our best when, as a nation, we chose Cory as our President against tremendous odds, during such tumultuous times. I hope and pray that one day, we might show the world again our very best.

I am sad, but I’m eternally grateful. Grateful that I can celebrate my birthdays as a citizen of a free and democratic nation. Grateful that I can mourn a person’s death without fear of persecution or arrest. Grateful that I learned how to have faith in people to do what's good and right because my leader taught me how to. Thank you, Cory.

Tell me not in mournful numbers,
"Life is but an empty dream!"
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
"Dust thou art, to dust returnest,"
Was not spoken of the soul.
- A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Eat Slugs, Malfoy!

(Screw this! I've been drafting this blog since last week with the intention of posting one entry per day starting Thursday last week! Please excuse the lack of structure and coherency. :p)

I’m going to use Harry Potter again as an excuse to blog. Ahem.

So. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is finally, FINALLY here. I’ve already made the reservations and will be watching with Mark and Jen on Thursday. In the meantime, I will post my personal ranking of the seven HP books.

I’ve always wanted to do this ranking, but don't know how to start. I don’t want to sound like a trying hard critic judging the literary merits of the books, because I’m not. I don’t want to give the impression that I like one book better than the other, because I love all the books that make up the HP series, warts and all. Also, by ranking them, I feel that I’d be looking at the books as separate and stand-alone novels instead of parts of an over-arcing storyline.

Anyway, my basis for ranking the books are as follows:

  • The actual physical condition of the book – I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read each book so I can’t honestly say which book I’ve read more. While the books' wear and tear look may not be an accurate basis (the older books are more battered than the newer ones, plus the paperback editions will definitely show more cracks than the hardbound editions), I feel I can safely rely on this indicator;
  • Quotes – I tend to quote HP a lot. Of course, I tend to quote the lines that are most memorable to me.
  • Emotional Impact – each book affected me in various ways. Two of the books in my top three were the books that I had the insane urge to chuck the first time I read it.

This is not the most scientific nor unbiased ranking ever, I'm telling you. I’m pretty sure anyone who've read this blog can guess which book is my top one. I’d be happy to hear what you think my top three will be! This is my personal ranking and you’re free to comment/react on my reasons. As usual spoiler alert to those who have been living under the rock not yet read the books.



"Fame's a fickle friend, Harry. Celebrity is as celebrity does, remember that."
- Professor Gilderoy Lockhart

"This is what Dumbledore sends his defender! A songbird and an old hat! Do you feel brave, Harry Potter? Do you feel safe now?"
- Tom Marvolo Riddle

"Oh Potter, you rotter, oh what have you done,
You're killing off students, you think it's good fun - "
- Peeves the Poltergeist


#7: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS (Book 2)


My paperback CoS is, relatively, in pristine condition – but only because it was my second copy already! I lost my original paperback in heaven knows where, which is too bad because it was a gift. Nevertheless, I’m still quite sure I’ve not read CoS as much as the others. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy CoS as much.

The book's plot structure is very similar to the first book: we follow Harry through his second year at Hogwarts, while trying to solve a few mysteries. In this case, there's a creature roaming around school targeting Muggleborns and Squibs; a creature, legend has it, that came from the Chamber of Secrets. Harry is somehow connected, especially upon learning he has a magical ability considered to be a form of dark magic.

CoS introduced us to one Professor Gilderoy Lockhart, the new Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher. I think it was briefly implied in the Sorcerer’s Stone that the DADA post might be cursed, but in Lockhart’s case, I guess it’s not so much as the post being cursed as much as Lockhart being such an awful teacher. I love how they established Lockhart as this vain, famous, celebrity-like wizard who’s trying to give advice to Harry on how to handle his popularity (while at the same time resenting how Harry, despite not wanting the attention, is still loads more popular than he is). On the surface, Lockhart seemed like a good wizard with above average magic skills, or so the books he wrote stated. Then we get to the misadventures with the pixies (“Peskipiksi Pesternomi!”), the dueling club and the manner by which he conducts class - and you know something is amiss. Sure enough, Lockhart's more than a self-absorbed prick. What he lacked in magical skills, he made up for his cunning. JKR is good at writing morally gray characters, and Lockhart, though more of a comic relief than an actual villain, was just as gray.

Then there’s Lucius Malfoy, the magnificent bastard that he was. There’s also Dobby, who I pitied but who also annoyed me with his plans to keep Harry from Hogwarts. Not only did his plans failed, but his plans also produced disastrous results. Dobby took a level in badass later on in the book and in the series, and of course, his death in DH was one of the most heart-wrenching scenes written.

I only realize this recently, but it was in CoS that Harry learned the Disarming spell, Expelliarmus, which became his sort of signature move. And guess who taught him that, albeit unwittingly? Severus Snape, is who!

The main plot of CoS had little to do with the series’ overall story arc. Yet I love the foreshadowings in the book that played a major part later in the series. I love how the book retained the storytelling elements of Sorcerer's Stone that made me an HP fan: mysteries to be solved, tricky red herrings, plot twists that I never saw coming. I love how Harry became more confident the more he learns and yet still felt in awe to be in the presence of magic. I love that so much because I know it’s the same sort of reaction I’d have if I’m in Harry’s place!

I ranked CoS at number 7 because of the acromantulas. God, I hate spiders, especially GIANT spiders! Okay, I’m half kidding. As I said, CoS didn’t add much to the story arc as the other books did. While Riddle’s diary is important in terms of it being a Horcrux, Harry could have found out about it in other ways without the need to set up the whole opening of the Chamber of Secrets plot. That’s not to say that CoS is unimportant. The series would have been less without all the foreshadowings. The book is full of dry wit, and the twists were wonderfully maneuvered and revealed.

(Work in progress! Might revise later as I see fit! Damn unmotivated blogger.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Breaking Free

I refuse to feel guilty about my decision, but I can understand why others feel as though I’ve let them down. It’s not the best moment to leave, but I’ve been saying that same thing before. If I won’t do it now, I’m scared I won’t get the courage to do it anymore.

I’m scared. I’m sad. Most of all, I feel free. Maybe things will not work out the way I wanted, but I’ll remember this feeling and know I made the best choice.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Incomplete, Incoherent

These are some of my could-have-been blog entries; some are from way, way back, some from the not so distant past, and I just couldn’t finish any of these. Maybe I lost my thread of thought or I couldn’t write in a more satisfactory way, so these languished in the drafts section or in some piece of paper I couldn't throw away. I decided to post these in all its incomplete, incoherent glory.


***

The air is thick with the raucous sound of drunken laughter drifting from the neighbor store below through her open window. She hears without listening, oblivious to the outside voices intruding in her room. It’s a hot summer night, and she’s alone in her room, and with her thoughts.

***

I’m not good at discussing religion. I do less than what my religion expects me to, so that makes me less qualified to defend my own religion or to even criticize another.

On my way home last night, a teenage girl who looks like she’s no older than 18, asked the jeepney driver: “kuya, pwede po bang mangaral?”. When the driver said yes, she immediately started preaching. Most of the passengers looked ill at ease to be riding in the same jeepney as the young girl preaching about man’s sinfulness and excesses. I should say I must look ill at ease, too. I didn’t know whether I should take out my earphones out of courtesy (although I can still hear her even with the music blaring in my ears) and whether doing so would just call attention to the fact that I own something that might be considered “man’s excesses”. I didn’t take out the earphones but I tried to listen, but my mind was wandering: when was the last time I ever did something like this for my religion? Her preaching didn’t last more than 10 minutes, but at that short span, I felt a pang of jealousy and pity. Jealousy, because the girl has the devotion and willingness to do something for what she believed in. Pity, well, nobody in the jeepney was paying her any attention. Everyone was busy looking at the opposite direction and some even have little smirks on their faces.

Before she ended her speech, the girl handed out white envelopes to the passengers. Does it make me a bad person if I say that I felt disappointment when I saw those envelopes?

***

This is my loyal, trusted and very battered Nokia 6600 – and I’m about to, sniff, replace it. I say that with a really heavy heart. It’s like what I said before: a mobile phone, for some, might be a luxury, and for others, a necessity. For me, my phone is an extension of my personality.

***

I am going to bore you with a topic which, in the right hands, might be interesting, but because it’s me, is going to be long-winded and unintelligible. But I don’t have anyone to discuss this with, so I’m blogging about it.

If I could, I would ignore any and all news, especially concerning the global economy and financial markets, but because it’s part of my job, I HAVE to. And yes, I’ve been consuming some REALLY BAD news for almost six months now, with no end in sight and it’s hard not to be affected and get stressed over it.

Today I was doing additional reading on the Maddoff scandal. Bernard Maddoff was a former Nasdaq chairman and Wall Street market-maker who was recently charged with securities fraud. His business allegedly operated as a giant Ponzi scheme (or what we Pinoys termed as pyramid scam) which cost its investors losses to the tune of approximately 50 FREAKIN’ BILLION US DOLLARS. I don’t know about you, but to me that looks an awful lot of money to lose, and it’s not even his.

Reading the newspaper accounts, it’s not hard to imagine why people would trust Maddoff with their money. He’s not some shady guy who approaches you with a promise of double digit returns on your money; he was a former Nasdaq chairman for heaven’s sake! If I have money, I would have invested, too.

Good thing I don’t have that kind of money.

***

It’s time for Jela’s Rant For The Day, The One In Which She Tries To Be A Smartass And Rant At Someone Who Don’t Exactly Read Her Blog And, What Exactly Is The Point Of This Post?

Someone’s comment on the song “One of Us” by Joan Osbourne: “Ang stupid naman ng song na yan! God is one of us? Eh di hindi na siya God!”.

Exactly the point of the song! The song is inviting us to imagine how God would be if He's like us (“What if God was one of us?”). And anyway, the song is not a critique against God, but a song about His believers (at least that’s how I understood it). It’s simple, really: would we still worship God if He is just like us – imperfect, truly human? If we take away His mystery (“if God has a name, what would it be?...”; “if God has a face, what would it look like?...”), would we still believe?

***

Through this post I am going to bore you all by discussing something I watched on the National Geographic Channel.

I watched “Fight Science” last Saturday and it was both educational and entertaining for me. It was awesome the way they combined martial arts, motion-capture technology and biomechanics science to, in their words, “find out which discipline has the hardest hits, the fastest moves and the deadliest weapons”. Personally, I was too engrossed with the way they were beating the shit out of the crash test dummies to properly watch, but a lot of things stood out for me.

They have representatives from the various martial arts disciplines like boxing, muay thai, ju-jitsu, karate, taekwondo, kung fu and ninjitsu. My moment of ignorance came when a Filipino fighting technique, kali, was shown, and my reaction was “Huh? Never heard of it!”. I guess I was more familiar with the term arnis.

***

“Kung ikaw ang papipiliin, ano ang mas gusto mo: ang matsismis na bakla o ang matsismis na pumapatol sa bakla?”

That was a question posed to a contestant of a reality talent search competition. It just struck me as a really obnoxious question.

***

I know I’ve always said that given a choice, I’d rather be a man. Yet if there’s one thing about being female I’m thankful for, it’s that my sexuality is not questioned as much as most men’s are.

***

Time Waits For No Man

At certain points in our lives, we come to live for a particular year or event in our future. At least, that has been the case for me.

When I was about four or five years old, I was looking forward to being a doctor at the age of twenty five. For me, my life ends when I become a doctor at that age; I can’t imagine life beyond that.

When I was in elementary, I no longer wanted to be a doctor. I just can’t wait to reach college. When you’re in primary school, studying in college seemed to be the height of cool. For me, my life ends when I reach college; I can’t imagine life beyond that.

When I was twelve, a high school freshman and at the height of some silly infatuation, I can’t wait to reach the age of eighteen. At that age, I would be allowed to have a boyfriend and my crush at that time promised to wait until that day. For me, my life ends when I reach eighteen and can be with the one I love; I can’t imagine life beyond that.

***

Have you noticed how Viggo Mortensen gets hotter the filthier he gets?

***

You know, I have a reputation to protect. I am tough, bordering on the cynical. I’m a realist, damn it.

And yet, I always, always find myself sinking into the deepest pits of SHALLOW.

Boys. All because of boys.

Boys bring out my dark, superficial side.

***

Some people think I’m scared of dead people because when I go to wakes, I never approach the deceased’s casket. I don’t know if that is considered bad manners, which is why I’m not comfortable going to wakes.

The real reason is this: I don’t want my last memory of that person be of him/her lying down dead in his/her coffin.

***

Do you notice how it seemed like happiness is fleeting but grief is all-consuming?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lost In A Good Book

Two things happen whenever I come across someone else’s list of book backlogs.

First, I feel slightly less guilty about my own backlog. It means I’m not the only one who’s hoarding books faster than I could read them. My backlog seems less alarming, quantity-wise, against some whose backlog reach to hundreds! I realize I could probably finish all my unread books in about a month or two if I temporarily forget about other stuffs like TV/movie watching and gaming and social life. AND if I’m motivated enough to read new books, which I think is my biggest problem.

Second, reading through people’s booklists introduces me to other books that pique my interest, so that my list of to-read books expands! Aside from the unread books that I physically have, I also have a list of books I want to buy and read, and it’s getting longer. My wallet’s already complaining. Maybe I should check out public libraries.

There’s actually a third point, quite related to my second one. Reading through people’s booklists makes me realize how I have gaps in genres of books I’ve read. I haven’t read much science fiction or historical or chick lit novels. Maybe for some, this isn’t such a big deal, especially if they have preference for certain genres. For me it’s a case of wondering what I’m missing. I guess there’s nothing wrong with trying out something when others have a favorable opinion of it, but I wonder if that makes me a sheep.

Are there books you think I should check out?

Damn Rule 34

Apparently there's a photo of a wildly successful young Hollywood singer/actress, uh, doing something to someone, circulating the interwebs (I don't want to say her name because I don't want this site to appear in google searchesby perverts). I'm mentioning it here because after that video scandal a few weeks ago, I’m curious to see how this controversy plays out.

I doubt there will be a senate inquiry or its equivalent (there's no election coming up in that side of the globe), but who knows? It’s mostly still an internet hot topic and I’m not sure if larger medias have covered it in the US, but there’s a statement already from the actress’ rep saying it’s a fake. The hot debate in the lj comm I frequent is mostly on its authenticity, though there’s the occasional request for copies of the picture from those who missed it. I have to admit I was curious as well (I only found out about the news this morning and missed the initial post which has been since deleted), but remembered that the actress involved is only sixteen and still a minor and… yeah, really squicky (not to mention, it’s a felony). Still, it didn’t prevent some people from acting classy, tweeting stuffs like, “I hope you can suck bleep better than you can sing”.

There’s also the question of why (if the photos are real) she would even photograph herself in such a compromising position. Sure, she’s sixteen, not exactly the age when people act maturely, but she’s a popular star (and one who’s also marketed to kids and teens). Like it or not, people will always look and demand for their dirty stuffs. Why make it easy?

Which begs the question - why would other people, famous or not, who are older and who should know better, allow themselves to be photographed or videoed during their most intimate moments? I guess that falls squarely under Rule 34. So, yeah. Don’t expect scandals to go away that easily.

Monday, June 8, 2009

100 Songs To Save Your Life

I got this from Manuel Quezon III’s blog, but it actually originated from Big Baddie’s blog. The general idea is to create a playlist that you would want your future child to listen to. ONE HUNDRED looks like a big number, but trust me, it’s not easy to limit the list to just 100 songs. My first draft reached 174 and I only listed one song per artist. And it’s harder to choose one song for each artist, especially my favorite ones! The songs I chose aren’t exactly the artists’ best, in my opinion, nor my super favorites. These are the songs that played some significance in my life.



Dear future spawn,

At this point, I still have not met your future dad (or maybe I have but I don’t know it yet!). I don’t have a clue whether he’s going to be rich, gorgeous, intelligent and tall. I wish he would be. But most of all, I wish that there’s really a future dad for me to meet and mate with so that I can actually produce a spawn. Don’t you wish that, too, little yet-to-exist one?

ANYWAY. If there’s anything that I can share with you now, it won’t be riches nor strikingly good looks. It certainly won’t be HEIGHT (for your own sake, pray that future dad has oustanding height genes!). What I can share with you is my passion for three things: music, books and movies.

Let’s talk about music first. Music is like a best friend. It will always be there for you no matter what. There’s music to celebrate your milestones and triumphs, there’s music when you feel down and blue, there’s music when you fall in love, there’s music when your heart gets broken, there’s music to get you through nights when you want to hide out from the world. Music breaks down walls. Music puts into words the thoughts that you can never say.

I’m sharing with you 100 songs that saved my life. Actually, there are more than 100 songs that saved, and has continued saving, my life. For now, these will do. Someday, I will sit down with you and tell you the stories and memories I associate with each song. And I hope someday you would love music the way I do and find those songs to save your life.

Love, your future mom (IF and WHEN that moment comes!)


100 SONGS
001. 5ive, Until The Time Is Through
002. 98 Degrees, The Hardest Thing
003. Ace Of Base, The Sign
004. Adam Sandler, Grow Old With You
005. Aerosmith, Cryin'
006. Alamid, Your Love
007. Alanis Morissette, That I Would Be Good
008. Aqua, Turn Back Time
009. Arashi, Sakura Sake
010. Arkarna, So Little Time

011. Ash, Lost In You
012. Band Aid, Do They Know It's Christmas?
013. Beach Boys, Wouldn't It Be Nice?
014. The Beatles, I Will
015. Bic Runga, Sway
016. Bon Jovi, Always
017. Boyzone, And I
018. China Crisis, Wishful Thinking
019. Crowded House, Don't Dream I'ts Over
020. The Cure, Boys Don't Cry

021. Danny Wilson, Mary's Prayer
022. Dave Matthews Band, Crash Into Me
023. David Pomeranz, King And Queen Of Hearts
024. Dead Or Alive, You Spin Me Right Around
025. Depeche Mode, A Question Of Lust
026. Dishwalla, Angels Or Devils
027. Divinyls, I Touch Myself
028. Elliott Yamin, Moody's Mood For Love
029. Eraserheads, With A Smile
030. Fat Larry's Band, Zoom

031. Foo Fighters, Walking After You
032. The Foundations, Build Me Up Buttercup
033. Fra Lippo Lippi, Stitches And Burns
034. Francis Magalona, Kaleidoscope World
035. Franz Ferdinand, Take Me Out
036. From Autumn To Ashes, Short Stories With Tragic Endings
037. Gin Blossoms, Till I Hear It From You
038. Goo Goo Dolls, Name
039. Green Day, She
040. Hanson, Mmmbop

041. Harem Scarem, Something To Say
042. Heart, These Dreams
043. Hirai Ken, Canvas
044. Hoobastank, The Reason
045. Imogen Heap, Goodnight And Go
046. Introvoys, Kailanman
047. Jars Of Clay, Fly
048. Jason Mraz, I'm Yours
049. Jeff Buckley, Last Goodbye
050. Keane, Somewhere Only We Know

051. The Killers, Mr. Brightside
052. Live, Selling The Drama
053. Maroon 5, She Will Be Loved
054. Matchbox 20, Unwell
055. Metallica, The Unforgiven
056. Michael Jackson, Smooth Criminal
057. Mr. Big, Wild World
058. Muse, Can't Take My Eyes Off You
059. Nelly, Dilemma
060. New Radicals, You Get What You Give

061. Nickel Creek, This Side
062. Nirvana, Lithium
063. Noel Cabangon, Kanlungan
064. Oasis, Wonderwall
065. The Other Two, Selfish
066. Our Lady Peace, Clumsy
067. Parokya Ni Edgar, Silvertoes
068. Paul McCartney, This Never Happened Before
069. Pearl Jam, Black
070. Peter Cetera, Glory Of Love

071. Phil Collins, Groovy Kind Of Love
072. Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here
073. Radiohead, Karma Police
074. Rivermaya, 214
075. Rob Thomas, Smooth
076. Sandwich, Butterfly Carnival
077. Siakol, Lakas Tama
078. Sisqo, Incomplete
079. Smashing Pumpkins, 1979
080. Snow Patrol, Run

081. Sponge Cola, Dragonfly
082. Stonefree, Listen
083. Sublime, Santeria
084. Sugar Hiccup, Five Years
085. Survivor, Eye Of The Tiger
086. Tears For Fears, Mad World
087. Third Eye Blind, Deep Inside Of You
088. Toad The Wet Sprocket, All I Want
089. True Faith, Hi
090. Two Minds Crack, Upside Down

091. U2, Pride (In The Name Of Love)
092. Ugly Kid Joe, Cats In The Cradle
093. Urbandub, First Of Summer
094. Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want
095. Verve Pipe, The Freshmen
096. The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony
097. VST and Company, Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal
098. Weezer, Buddy Holly
099. Wilson Philips, You're In Love
100. The Wonders, That Thing You Do


P.S.
After this, you should check out the other songs of the artists I bolded.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

15 Books

Instructions:
You're not supposed to think too long or too hard on this one. List 15 books you've read that will always stick with you -- list the first 15 you can recall in 15 minutes. Don't take too long to think about it. Then tag 15 friends and see if they write their own lists (part of the challenge is to think about which 15 friends would have the weirdest or most interesting book list).

I posted this in my facebook. Feel free to post your own list and tell me about it!

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (J.K. Rowling)
  3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  4. Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  5. A Long Way Down (Nick Hornby)
  6. The Chamber (John Grisham)
  7. Artemis Fowl (Eoin Colfer)
  8. Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (Bob Ong)
  9. Haunted (Chuck Palahniuk)
  10. It (Stephen King)
  11. Protect and Defend (Richard North Patterson)
  12. Presumed Innocent (Scott Turow)
  13. The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
  14. Battle Royale (Koushun Takami)
  15. Case Histories (Kate Atkinson)

Twu Wuv


I was actually searching for youtube vids for So You Think You Can Dance (Digression. It seemed a lot of vids from SYTYCD were taken down because I can't find some videos I never had trouble finding before. I have the same problem with AI-related vids. End of digression.) when I found this video:


Pacey is so much LOVE. If I have to describe my ideal guy, I would say season 3 Pacey fit the bill. And yes, I love the story arc for that season. I love how they build up Joey and Pacey's relationship, I love the foreshadowing and I love that it didn't feel rushed or contrived. There are some scenes between the two that I like which were not included, but overall, this fanvid managed to capture their love story.

Okay, mush moment over. Time to go back to my youtube, uh, researching.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just wow

Great. So now I'm a freakin' hypocrite because I didn't watched THOSE videos (you know what I'm talking about).

Tell me, what part of "bakit pa?" is hard to understand? It isn't about being high and mighty or suddenly acting like the biggest prude in the world. I already KNOW it's a sex video; I don't need to see for myself what they are actually doing in that video to know that THAT guy is an asshole for videotaping the deed without his partners' consent. I don't need to see the video to know that it shouldn't have been circulated in the internet IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Go Kris! Go Adam!

This is the absentee fan's way of saying "I can't wait for the AI Finale!"








macros courtesy of some guys from ONTD!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shell Cottage

This picture just made me a very happy fangirl:


This picture was from the Shell Cottage filming for the Deathly Hallows movie. The presence of Helena Bonham-Carter means she’s shooting the scene as Hermione impersonating as Bellatrix Lestrange AND HOW AWESOME IS THAT? Ron was in some kind of disguise which look hilarious. Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick) was also at the shooting, only this time he’s portraying Griphook.

I’m excited beyond words for the HBP film this July, but the excitement for the last two movies is now catching up whenever I see pictures and news about the shooting. Now I just have to pray to the HP deities that Gary Oldman be included in the Deathly Hallows film, however brief his role was in the book.



(Pictures from celebrity-gossip.net)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I wish you look at me that way

Oh man, last night's videoke with Mark, Jen and Bom was full of awesome! We got to camwhore to our hearts' content, and this time we're complete! We also got to sing again (not that I'm any good at it, but still), and the songs we chose... all fun.

We ended up singing a lot of 98 Degrees songs and I didn't know until then how much I missed their songs! Yeah, I did have a boyband phase just like everybody else, but I was more into latter artists like 98 Degrees and 5ive than into Backstreet Boys and N'Sync. We sang The Invisible Man, Because of You, The Hardest Thing, I Do (I used to like this for a wedding song!), Was It Something I Didn't Say and Still.

I would probably look for their album later *coughtorrentscough*, but right now I'm browsing through youtube for the vids of their songs. I didn't expect to find a vid of Still (I luff this song!)since it wasn't released as a single, but somehow I couldn't find the other songs. This is what I found:



Don't you just love them? Classic boyband stuff, the arm stretching, the finger pointing, yes, the camwhoring! But I think Nick Lachey has a pretty great voice. Too bad the whole Jessica Simpson thing happened. He could have been a good solo artist.

Now I need to find videos of 5ive and LFO, too!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Starting Over

How does one start over again? How does one begin rebuilding something when you have nothing left, not even scrap, not even ashes, and the only proof that you have that that something even existed are the memories you have in your head? How can you start again knowing that it will never be the same again?


I lost ALL my saved DSlite games when the micro SD I used for the R4DS had a formatting error.*weeps* I have backup NDS files for some of the games and it’s quite easy to leech off the other games via torrents, but, man, I didn’t have backup SAV files, which means ALL scores, ALL completed stages were gone! For a casual gamer like myself, those scores, those completed games were my badge of honor. It took me months – MONTHS! – to finish New Super Mario Bros. (yes, that’s how much I suck at gaming) and OMG if I want to finish it again, it means I have to play again that stage where Mario has to battle giant frickin’ spiders!

Okay, so maybe I’m overreacting. At least it wasn’t the DSlite unit itself that conked out on me. But I can’t help it! I’m sooo disappointed. I don’t know whether I want to play again the games I’ve previously completed, or just download stuffs I haven’t played before. It’s a different experience when you’re playing something for the first time from when you’re repeating a game because you just like it or you’re trying to find better ways to complete a mission. I don’t know. I really do tend to overanalyze things and can you believe I’m overanalyzing video games?!

I plan to do a general cleaning of my room this weekend, but I’ll probably sneak in a few hours of gaming. Or maybe I’ll just finish a book. Or marathon watch Leverage. O maybe I’ll just sleep.

Pathetic

Gusto kong magka-crush para meron akong i-stalk sa friendster at facebook, tapos iga-grab ko pictures niya sa multiply, at maga-update ako sa twitter ng “Nakita ko si crushie!”. Tapos tatawanan ko ang sarili ko at sasabihin: “Syet, ang pathetic ko!”

Gusto kong magka-bf para ma-update ko ang status ko sa friendster at facebook, tapos maga-upload ng swit-switang pictures sa multiply, at maga-update sa twitter ng “Have a date tonight with my bf! :)”. Tapos tatawanan ko ang sarili ko at sasabihin: “Syet, ang pathetic ko!”

Gusto kong awayin si bf para ang shout out ko sa friendster at facebook ay “Sorry, baby, I never meant to hurt you…:(”, tapos magsi-send ng pm si bf para makipagbati, at maga-update ako uli ng friendster at facebook shoutout pati ang twitter ko ng: “Glad we’re okay. Love you baby!!!:o”. Tapos tatawanan ko ang sarili ko at sasabihin: “Syet, ang pathetic ko!”

Gusto kong makipag-break si bf for good para ma-update ko ang status ko sa friendster at facebook at biglang mag-reply ang mga friends kong 20 years kong hindi kinausap ng “OMG what happened? Hope you’re okay…”. Araw araw kong ia-update ang twitter account ko para malaman ng buong mundo kung aling stages of grief na ang dinaanan ko. Gagawa ako ng blog at ipo-post ko lahat ng lyrics ng mga break up songs na naka-relate ako. Ide-delete ko lahat ng pictures na inupload ko sa multiply. Ide-defriend ko ang ex ko sa friendster, facebook, multiply, etc., etc. at iiwasan siya na para bang hindi siya naging bahagi ng buhay ko. Maghahanap ako ng bagong crush na ii-stalk sa friendster at facebook at makakalimutan ko na ang ex ko. Tapos tatawanan ko ang sarili ko at sasabihin: “Syet, ang pathetic ko!”

Ang pathetic ko pala kapag in love. Kailan kaya ako magiging pathetic?


Note:
Sorry for the really, really bad Tagalog! I was having a good laugh with this line of thought and decided to post this unedited. :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Baby Talk - Sort Of

There’s a new kid in the family and every one of us is excited! Little Leila looks just like her dad when she was a day old, so much so that when my brother joked: “Am I really the father of this child?!” he was immediately shot down by everyone with: “Duh! She totally takes after you!”. Now that she’s about a week old, she’s starting to look a bit like her mother, but we’re not complaining. :D

That’s the good part of this entry. The bad part is that I’m trying NOT to write the Top 5 Reasons Why I’m Not Meant Ready To Procreate (Which Totally Does Not Include The Entry “Because She Has No Sperm Donor Husband Yet”) and I’m discovering new reasons each day. I love kids, I really do.I especially love them if I can give them back to their parents. But childbirthing scares the crap out of me. I try not to listen when mothers are exchanging war stories about the time they gave birth, whether of the normal or CS variety. Then you have to actually take care of the child. On Leila's first weekend at home, my mom and I had to look after her because my sister-in-law had a fever. And she was bawling like a… well, baby. Seriously, hearing a baby cry makes me panicky. It’s a bit scary, not knowing exactly what was wrong with her (though I learned later that it’s probably because of two things: either she’s hungry or she just finished pooping and wants to get cleaned). Plus you have to adapt to her body clock; as of now, Leila is totally awake at night (and after midnight, too). I’m not in a rush to become a mother.

I’m not immune to the whole “parenthood is very rewarding” thing. I’ve seen how becoming a father made my eldest brother a more responsible, more patient, less temperamental person and I like how much he dotes on my nephew. I can see the same thing with my new-dad brother: he’s normally stoic but you can sense his excitement and nervousness when his wife went into labor. He changes the diaper, washes the bottles, arranges the crib and puts the baby to sleep. (I try not to laugh at his choice of lullaby (it’s that TV ad that goes: “bata ka pa pero kaya mo na…”) because I haven’t even attempted to sing a lullaby to Leila). (And I know I came across as too surprised that my brothers are this involved in the parenting of their children but that’s not because I don’t believe men are not responsible enough, only that my brothers are not exactly the most dependable brothers around.)

Parenting is a, pardon the cliché, 24/7 job. You don’t even have performance bonuses to look forward to for doing a good job. Right now, seeing Leila stop squirming to pay attention to our cooing and baby-talking (or non baby-talking - most of us talk to her like she’s an adult already) is our sort of reward. It's kind of nice, really.

But I don’t see why parenthood should be the only path to a rewarding life. I’m not trying to make this into a single vs. married debate, what I just want to say is that just because I’m about to become an old maid still single doesn’t mean I'm not happy now or I won’t have a satisfying life. I’m not in a hurry to hook up with the next available man just because my biological clock is ticking. This is not because I just want to rebel against society’s norms or because I think that marriage sucks or I have a great dislike for the opposite sex (totally not true!:p). Maybe I’ll get married. Maybe I won’t. I refuse to worry about those things and I refuse to change the way I deal with it just to make myself marry-able. I want to be responsible for my life, and isn’t that how you start your path to becoming a good parent? That before you can bring another person into this cruel world and be responsible for that child’s life, you must know how to take care of yourself first?

So, yeah, right now I am nowhere near being a Mom. I hope one day I could be. In the meantime, I must learn not to panic when little Leila starts to cry.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Now I Know My ABCs...

I'm trying to write and failing spectacularly. So, interactive meme time again!

Alphabet Meme

1. Comment with something for me to talk about that starts with any letter of the alphabet. Anything.
2. One topic per letter. I will update the list with which topics/which letters have been requested.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Promises

I went to sleep today to a "Happy Easter!" text message. It was not so much as a very advance greeting but was more like me sleeping really, really late. Goodness, I was still awake by 5:30 this morning! (my reply to the text: "Happy Easter, too! Did you wake up really early or are you still trying to sleep like me?")

I finally managed to get a grade of A in Big Brain Academy after so many attempts to top my previous A minus grade. It was a bit disappointing, though, to go from having the brain of Pythagoras to having the brain of a movie critic. No offense to movie critics, who I'm pretty sure are really bright people, but I was expecting something like, I don't know, Newton? Certainly not Einstein but someone close. Makes me wonder if they just randomly assign brain types to your scores.

Anyway, Big Brain Academy was not what kept me awake until the following morning. After I beat my own score, I decided to replay some stages in Ninjatown where I didn't get the highest possible score. I'm... kind of a dork that way. The penultimate stage was still driving me nuts when I decided to check the time and realize that it's already 5 in the morning!

It took me probably 45 minutes to go to sleep. Then I had this spooky dream: I was out with friends and we were taking pictures. The problem was, my digicam shows a different background image for each shot I took! My friends were all in the picture, but the scenery changed to how the surrounding might have looked like about 50 years ago. Creepy! Do you have those moments that you are aware that you're dreaming and want to wake yourself up from that dream? So I had that moment, but I didn't wake up (not immediately, anyway). I decided to leave that place and go - to McDonald's! I was in line and there's a guy behind me who I felt was trying to look at my face. And then he made a pass on me which prompted me to splash his face with a cup of coke. The guy turned out to be an old crush of mine and I was kind of crying inside that his dream-self was a perv.

Then I woke up and it was only past 8 in the morning. Argh! I haven't been asleep for more than 3 hours! I woke up to more Easter greetings. One of the messages said: "It's morning again. Get up and wear a perfect smile! Embrace the day with sheer delight, and let us thank the Lord for an added life. Happy Easter!" This one made me grin and mutter a silent "thanks!" for another day. Then I promptly went back to sleep.

I woke up again for the second time today, about 3 hours later, and mutter another silent "thanks!" not just for an added day but for the privilege to wake up and to sleep any time I want to!

Sorry, this is such a random post. I have a weird morning today. Happy Easter everyone! :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

mushines is icky... but i kinda like it


I can be a bit cynical, but it doesn't take much to warm my cold heart. Other people's love story are enough for me to believe that love actually works, even if I'm not the shining beacon of example of it!

Yesterday I read the news of Mizushima Hiro's marriage to his girlfriend. Hiro is a Japanese actor that I adore because of his recently concluded jdrama Meichan no Shitsuji (I actually saw him first in Hana Kimi, thought he was hot, but I only have my eyes then for Toma), and the fangirl in me would normally whimper "whyyy?!" when news of this kind reach me. But the interview that he and his wife did just made me go "aawww...", especially this line:

"...she's the first person who made me feel that marriage is the natural conclusion to falling in love..."


How can you read that and not fall in love with the person saying those things? I love it when people are that in love with each other.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Muffliato

I’m re-reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (surprise, surprise), and I can’t wait for the movie to hit the big screen! Who here is excited to hear Severus Snape’s “unfixed, mutating, indestructible” speech? Alan Rickman’s voice is so going to rock that scene!

I think I already mentioned that one of my favorite, favorite scene in the ENTIRE series was when Harry asked Luna out to Slughorn’s party. It never fails to crack me up! Here’s to remind you of that awesome scene:



"How would you like to come to Slughorn's party with me tonight?"

The words were out of Harry's mouth before he could stop them; he heard himself say them as though it were a stranger speaking.

Luna turned her protuberant eyes to him in surprise.

"Slughorn's party? With you?"

"Yeah," said Harry, "We're supposed to bring guests, so I thought you might like.. I mean..." He was keen to make his intentions perfectly clear. " I mean, just as friends, you know. But if you don't want to..." He was already half hoping that she didn't want to.

"Oh no, I'd love to go with you as friends!" said Luna, beaming as he had never seen her beam before. "Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend! Is that why you dyed your eyebrow, for the party? Should I dye mine too?"

"No" said Harry firmly, "That was a mistake. I'll get Hermione to put it right for me. So I'll meet you in the entrance hall at eight o'clock then."

"AHA!" screamed a voice from overhead and both of them jumped; unnoticed by either of them, they had just passed underneath Peeves, who was hanging upside down from a chandelier and grinning maliciously at them.

"Potty asked Loony to go to the party! Potty lurves Loony! Potty luuuuuurves Looooony!"

And he zoomed away cackling and shrieking, "Potty loves Loony!"


Too bad Peeves was cut from the movie. :(

But I’m getting ahead of myself! I haven’t gotten to that chapter yet, I’m still on Harry’s first Pensieve trip with Dumbledore, to the Gaunt’s house. I wonder how much of the Pensieve scenes will be included in the film. The book is more expository so I don’t know how much liberty the director took to make the film adaptation more action/adventure oriented.

Reading the chapter on Slughorn’s first Potions lesson, I suddenly remembered an idea I have before. Here’s the deal: assume that we are in Harry Potter’s world. What would your answers be to the following questions:

  1. What would your Patronus be?
  2. What shape would your Boggart assume?
  3. What would Amortentia, the most powerful love potion, smell to you?
  4. Finally, what would you see in the Mirror of Erised?

My answers are:

  1. I think my Patronus would either be a big cat, like a tiger or lynx, or a shaggy black dog like Sirius Black!
  2. Obviously, it’s going to be like Ron’s, a big spider. Ack.
  3. The smell of the fresh pages of a new book, mango and sun-kissed skin. I don’t know how to explain the last one, I guess it’s that kind of smell that evokes beach and warm sand on the skin.
  4. This is a difficult question for me. I guess my “deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts” is not something I can just share to everybody, right? So, here’s a more share-able version: I would see myself back in school, taking up something related to the Arts or History, like Literature or Archeology. The corporate life is often too stressful that I longed for something less practical.

What would YOUR answers be to these questions? :)

(pic courtesy of Mugglenet)

Enter Sandman

Hush little baby, dont say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It's just the beast under your bed,
In your closet, in your head
Enter Sandman - Metallica


I love watching horror flicks. Although I prefer psychological thrillers, I can also watch slasher and splatter films. But just because I like watching scary movies doesn't mean I'm made of sterner stuff! A lot of things scare me shitless: spiders, waking up in a dark room, Pennywise the clown, Dementors, Pacquiao becoming President. Here are some of the things that scared me as a kid:

1. Chucky
Yes, that movie about the homicidal doll. Its recent incarnations are more of a parody of the original movie and horror genre, but the first film? Scared the crap out of me as a kid. Someone thought it was a great idea to feature this movie in a film showing for GRADE SCHOOL students. I was in Grade 2 that time and everyone in the morning classes were assembled in the school quadrangle. We had no idea what movie we would be watching, just delighted to be pulled out from our classes. And then the scarefest started. The worst part I remember was that the lights were turned off but there were little patches of sunlight streaming through the slits in the school gates and the effect was eerie. I couldn’t even squirm properly because of all the kids Indian-sit-ed on the ground. But there’s nothing more terrifying to a seven year old than the thought of a doll come to life and who would kill just about anybody – and especially its kid owner!

2. Panday
My family watched the movie the night before we’re scheduled to go to the province for a vacation. Great, just great. What better way to precede a visit to the rural countryside than the sight of a white lady gliding across a field chasing after a very scared Lando. I refused to walk on the pilapil and insisted that I be carried for fear of being snatched by a creature hiding in the shallow rice field. My grandma’s bahay kubo reminded me of the house where the white lady lived, so naturally I slept very well (not). To this day, that white lady and Lizardo’s maniacal laugh still make my skin crawl.

3. Lucila Lalu
Erap used to host this show called Hotline sa Trese. One time they featured the case of Lucila Lalu. In the late 60’s(or 70’s?), Lucila was murdered and her body parts chopped and scattered all over the metro. Yes, that show is a very appropriate viewing experience for a grade school student. When the program was over, my mom asked my brother to go to our aunt’s house a few blocks away to get something. My brother, the brave little boy he was, told me to go with him. I, the sweet and obedient sister I was, went with him. On the way to our aunt’s house, he kept muttering “andyan na ang ulo ni Lucila Lalu!” in this annoyingly scary deep voice! So each time he did that, I would say the same thing back… and increase my walking speed. And my brother would do the same thing! The whole time we were doing this scare tactic I was fully and terrifyingly aware how DARK and almost deserted the street was, and thought that random thrash cans and scattered objects we passed by were perfect places to hide Lucila Lalu’s head! Until now, headless and dismembered corpses makes me want to run away and hide.

4. Spiders
If you ever wonder why I’m scared of spiders, here’s why. One time a toy (I forgot what it was, probably a jackstone ball) rolled under a drawer. I tried to retrieve it by reaching in under the drawer through a hole that’s small enough for my arm to fit in. I couldn’t peep through the hole when I put my arm, so I blindly swiped my hands around under the drawer to find the toy. As I was doing this, SOMETHING suddenly crawled on my hands all the way to my elbow! Before I could even remove my arm from under the drawer, that spider crawled out of the hole, pass my elbow and into my shoulder! I was screaming and wriggling my arms like crazy trying to stop that thing from crawling to my face! Those who say that there’s nothing to fear but fear itself, well, dear sirs, I beg to differ. There’s nothing more terrifying in this world than a spindly many-legged creature crawling in your skin… excuse me while I curl myself into a fetal position and try to block the memories of that day.



What are your childhood nightmare fuels?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Blogs Are Made By Fools Like Me

I am going to post something, uh, more paragraph-y, but I still don't like what I drafted so far, so stupid meme to tide me over.


Instructions: Go to www.urbandictionary.com and type in your answer to each question in the search box, then write the FIRST definition it gives you. I guarantee you're gonna find some pretty hilarious results.

***YOUR GIVEN NAME: Jela
Being jealous of someone

*chokes*

*** AGE: 27
the age all rockstars die at:
jimi hendrix
jim morrison
janis joplin
kurt cobain
alexander the great
james dean
river phoenix
brad nowell (lead singer to sublime) died at the age of 28 years and 2 days (2 days from joining the club)

I knew about the 27 Club this a long time ago, and that knowledge is making me paranoid ever since I turned 27! (nyek feeling rock star!)

***ONE OF YOUR FRIEND’S NAME: Joy
Polite nickname for the female genital area.

Oops, sorry Joy!

***WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING: Sleeping
To masturbate furiously in your room while praying that your grandma doesn't come in.

*chokes some more*

*** FAVORITE COLOR: Blue
The hue of the portion of the visible spectrum lying between green and indigo, evoked in a human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 420 to 490 nanometers.

Okay...

*** FAVORITE NUMBER: 8
The ordinal number '8' is often used in place of the phonemes that would make the sound 'ate' in written English.

"He was a sk8r boi..."

*** MONTH OF YOUR BIRTHDAY: August
The idea of perfection. The 8th Month of the year in certain European and Asian cultures signifies greatness in achieving perfection, or something close to it.

*** LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO: Lorenz
A unit of measurment equal to .5 inches.

***YOUR NICKNAME: Je
French for "I."