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!)

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

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

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

15 Books

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.