about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Coolness.

I wish I could be cool.

I'm so tired of letting all the small things get to my head and piss me off. I'm sick of being at the mercy of events and objects beyond my control, of having my day irreversably screwed up.

I wish I could just shrug everything off with the suave insouciance of a matinee idol. I'd just take a drag on my cigarette, cock my head back, thrust my sunglass-hidden eyes into the air and mutter, "Whatever."

I've heard people say I could be like that, a cool cat. But no, my personality had to be one of the brooding artist, an organic mishmash of nerves and uncultured reactions. Whatever potential for "coolness" I had had been squandered by my geekiness and propensity for passion.

Time after time I wonder how different my life would have been had I been born with a totally different personality suffused with superstar cool. Maybe I wouldn't have been laughed at so much. Maybe I wouldn't have been so rejected. Maybe more people would have actually liked being around me. Maybe pretty girls like Mariel Rodriguez or Nicole Hernandez wouldn't be so ashamed of hanging around with me and picking up "geek germs."

All these things are what-ifs now. To paraphrase Jean-Paul Sartre somewhat, I am doomed to be what I am: a hot-blooded and irritable squawkbox that scares people off like the smell of rotting eggs.

This is why I am grateful to have friends who seem to genuinely care about me. It takes guts to be my friend, I'll be the first to admit. Yet they're still by my side, no matter how often I let my emotions get the better of me, or no matter how crazy I can get.

They make me feel...like I'm cool.

The fuel economy continues

In the nine months I've been following my fuel consumption (basically ever since I started working and paying for my own gasoline), I've found that I've become a more efficient driver over time. I'm not immune to the red mist that gathers in my eyes and leads me to exploit my engine's power from time to time, but even so, I've come a long way since my college days.

My Honda may now have dents and a bit of rust, but now it also does a regular 10.98 km/L instead of the 9 km/L I did in college. Nowadays that counts for a lot. It means that a full tank of unleaded worth anywhere from PhP1,400 to PhP1,700 will last me two weeks at the very least, and close to three weeks on a regular basis.

I better enjoy the times when fuel prices are still rather cheap. Pulling up at the gas station closest to home, I filled up tonight at around PhP35 a liter. With events beyond my control happening in the Middle East or the US, the pump prices might climb right back up pretty soon.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Shards of glass

All this time I've been buoyed by a ridiculous optimism. I'm sure many people have noticed. However I am also very afraid that that same optimism, the same thing that recently made me a much better person to hang around with, might just as easily come crashing down like a house of cards.

Yes, I am afraid, I am afraid of that happening. I finally feel so good about myself, flying like the Zeta Plus aircraft model I perch on the display stand at my cubicle, but I know that I could just as easily get knocked down by a wayward limb.

The key to all this is you.

I am so afraid of pushing headlong into these hopes I built up for myself. I may hardly be able to take the frustration when it doesn't pay off, and after everything that's said and done I may just still be left by the same wayside I found myself in when you first entered my life. The whole point of this was to get inside your head and see you for who you are, and I am afraid I might never get to do that.

What do I know? You might even be a better writer than I am. You might be hiding behind that very nice smile of yours you wear everyday, but deep down, how will I know that you're not actually secretly laughing at how stupid I can be?


I still wonder how I should live my life. I can be too much like a pane of glass: too transparent, too easy to read and/or predict, yet so inflexible and very easily shattered into jagged shards that do nothing but hurt everyone.

Still, I figure it should be done. Whatever dread, embarrassment and melancholia I experience now shouldn't stand in the way of my living my life with as few regrets as possible. One day soon I will let you know that it was you on my mind all the time and that I desire to know you more.

Who knows, there's the off chance I might be the one you were looking for, too. Not that I'd ever know from looking at your smile...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

She came drifting my way

It's been a long while since I last spoke to Chen, a friend of mine from my HCP days based in San Francisco. It was a pleasant surprise seeing her online, and an even bigger one that she still recognized me after so long.

Chen and I chatted like long lost friends, which we were in a way, although we've never really met. It was nice hearing about her Cuban boyfriend who was more polite than the cocky immature white men her friends were dating. She was studying to be a pharmacist and had around five years to go, but she said she was going here this year. Perhaps by then Angiela and I could meet her somewhere and basically have a nice time.

I told her about the girl I liked and she said I should just do something crazy this Valentine's. She had a point. Generally speaking, she said all the girls can do is wait for us to make our move. I just hope I don't mess up and make a bad fist of things.

Before long, Chen had to leave. One of her girl friends was crying over her boyfriend and was inconsolable.

We'll meet sometime, Chen. It was really nice talking to you again.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dreams and drinks

The planned drinkout on February 9 isn't pushing through, sadly. Aileen has to be in Singapore on that date for work, and it was all a little sudden. The plan was to have the drinkout at her place.

So you can imagine my surprise when she invited me to go out for a drink last night. She wanted to relax with a weng-weng. Jajah and Denz were supposed to come along but we ended up just the two of us at 19 East. There we were holding hands (in a "frigid" way, mind you---Aileen's words), talking about life, interviewing each other about our lives and basically laughing our guts out.

Thanks, mare. Here's to Puerto Galera in March...and I hope it pushes through.

===

I had a wonderful dream about you Thursday night.

I had decided to forego asking people about you and just directly ask you out on a fairly casual date. You said yes and we basically had a wonderful time. You were finally opening up to me, finally comfortable with how I am, as I listened to everything you had to say. You were smiling all the time, that same cute way you always do, but the fact that it was because you were with me made them all the more special.

The only disappointment I felt was that it was just a dream and I had to wake up from it. But now I feel like making that dream a reality. It'll take longer than I thought, but it'll come.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

"I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello"

Auntie Carole flew in from LA at 1 am this morning, and she stayed at our place to recuperate from the jet lag. Thursdays being Thursdays, I saw her for just half a minute as Bianca and I were getting ready to leave for work at 6:15 a.m. but apparently she took to our dogs well. For now, she'll be staying at my grandma's in Caloocan, but not before leaving me a little present---heavy canvas cargo pants from GAP. While I think I have too many cargos in my closet, one more pair can't hurt. Thanks Auntie!

On a sad note, though, my old FINAMA1 professor Dr. Perfecto "Pert" Perez passed away at 3 a.m. on January 22nd. The balding big jolly guy was a favorite of all the MFI students and FINAMA1/2 takers alike. He was soft spoken but always a happy guy to be with, with his little jokes and jabs. He will be missed.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Craving for skin...

Not many of my friends know that I used to be a big Rick Astley fan when I was a kid of five. My dad had a couple of his albums on tape, and I used to sing along to them while riding in the passenger seat whenever we drove somewhere. I suppose it was his distinctive, unusually deep voice (for a white singer) that got me interested in singing in the first place.

It's been a while since I was touchy-feely with just about anybody, really. I didn't have any idea how I've missed the feel of a girl's skin against mine. Often people are too afraid of even rubbing elbows with others, and that's understandable, given how our crazy world works with all its sexual harrassment and whatnot.

So you, dear reader, should be able to understand how I've missed the feel of my skin against someone else's, without any intention of pulling back, or brushing it aside with an apology and saying it was a mistake. I find myself yearning for feelings that can be understood with a simple touch, without the verbosity I display on this blog. As much as I know I am good with words, I am painfully aware that they fail me too many times.

Hence, I have this song to offer. I don't know how many of you still remember something released back in 1991, but this perfectly summarizes what I feel right now.


We've been trying for a long time
To say what we want to say
But feelings don't come easy
To express in a simple way

But we all have feelings
We all need loving
And who would be the fool to say, that if you

Hold me in your arms
I won't feel better
If you hold me in your arms
We can brave this storm together

We both know there's a problem
A problem that we've got to face
So put your trust in me, lover
No one's ever gonna take your place

'Cause we all have our problems
We all have fears
But there's always got to be a way
Yes we all have feelings
We all need loving
And you would be a fool to say, that if you

Hold me in your arms
I won't feel better
If you hold me in your arms
We can brave this storm together

You only have to hold me,
Touch me to make me feel so good
You only have to hold me, feel me
To make me feel the way you know I should...


- Rick Astley, "Hold Me In Your Arms"

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lucked out

By some stroke of good luck, Migs (the "other channel" I was referring to in my last post) has an extra HGUC Gaplant TR-5 'Hrairoo' lying around in his house. It was supposed to be his, but he told me he was too busy with work to work on it and so offered it to me instead of waiting for the next order-taking period. I took him up on the offer and I'm picking it up on Saturday.

===

Last night I ate out with Aileen, Matthew, Jajah and Leejay at Yellow Cab Bicutan and we were basically laughing our guts out and being noisy hooligans over pizza and pasta. I guess they sensed I was pensive in church. We were making such a spectacle that the Indian kids at the next table were laughing along with us, probably more to chubby Matthew's jolly jokes and stories.

Jajah and I are friends, but we've gotten pretty close over the last few weeks and I like how comfortable I've become with her, despite misunderstandings in the past. Rubbing elbows and putting heads on shoulders was nice. I haven't had any of that in a long while.

Aileen was gracious enough to keep me company online after our dinner, basically letting the insomnia talk over YM.

Thanks guys, for making me feel good about myself again. Let's all get drunk on February 9.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Impulses

After a while of mulling it over I think I won’t proceed with buying that Nokia 5300. Cellphones just don’t hold much currency with me. Most likely I’ll just spring for the DVD player and a set of really nice speakers for my computer as my birthday indulgence; at least it’ll cost me half as much.

I still want a personal music player though. And no, no Ipods please.

===

Oddly enough, despite my decision to give up mecha models, there’s one new kit that’s getting my attention—the 1/144 HGUC Gaplant TR-5 ‘Hrairoo’ from the Gundam side-story “Advance of Zeta.” Yes, I know ‘Hrairoo’ is a dodgy kind of name, but the black-and-white kit itself is a very nice improvement over the original green HGUC Gaplant. And it's easily the best MS to come out of the mechanical weirdness that is "AoZ."

The only catch is it’s rather pricey for its size and scale: the Gaplant retails for PhP1600 in malls, and the ‘Hrairoo’ is reportedly JPY200 dearer. If I wanted it that bad, there are other channels, I guess.

===

Lately I’ve been learning that I haven’t exactly lived up to the promises I set for myself. I fancied thinking of myself as friendly and approachable; in reality people are scared of my cranky disposition and probably think I’m lousy company.

What got me wondering was the revelation that at least people think I’ve changed somewhat. Gracey told me when the new year had arrived they wondered why I wasn’t as confrontational as before, why I was participating in lunch more often, why I was generally mellower and nicer all of a sudden. To be honest I don’t think it was as sudden as they claim.

The same thing’s happened with my driving. There is an increasing number of nights when I couldn’t care less about delinquent drivers looking for early deaths…just as long as I’m not involved as I’m going my merry way along C5. On the times that I stretch my engine’s legs, I tend to leave more clean air between me and others than before.

So what are the factors that supposedly “changed” me? Maybe I just got tired of making things go my way all the time. I can’t call it a simple waste of effort, as effort should have a direct effect. No, perhaps all of this “my way or the highway” stuff is a waste of giving a damn, of uselessly harping about things I should have ignored in the first place. Perhaps the fact that two of my friends died in 2006 contributed something to the “change,” too.

It’s strange. I don’t feel very different, but people insist something good happened. From past experience I know I would never have had this feedback if I consciously tried.

===

At least now I can say I know a little more about you.

You say you’re afraid of me becoming cranky and having the brunt of it directed your way. You probably don’t know that the same is true of me. I am afraid of the power you now have over me.

With you I am faced with a difficult choice, like hanging off a slope while driving a car with a manual gearbox. (Of course I just had to use a car metaphor.) Times like these, it’s the clutch that does the driving. Too much clutch and I will slip backwards; too little clutch and I might smash into whatever is in front of me; and all the while I know I can’t keep hanging off the clutch forever because soon it’ll burn and leave a noxious stink. Either that or I run out of gas.

I am patently scared of falling in love, because I want to avoid making more of the mistakes I made in the past—ones that haunt me to this day. You are, as I said, the antithesis of what I find attractive in most of the women I’ve met: you’re just too quiet. I believe looks will go away, so I put great faith in good conversation.

But I don’t want to leave any regrets either. I want to let you know that yes I do like you very much and I want to learn what I can about you. I want to know why you keep playing the part of the soft-spoken smiling girl all the time when you’re obviously articulate and smart. Is it because you’re afraid I might reject you when you do speak your mind? (Let me assure you that you have yet to disappoint us, let alone me.) Is it because you’re afraid your interests might be too left-field for, ahem, “general consumption?” (I already play the role of resident weirdo, so no problem there.) Let’s just find out along the way shall we?

Do you know what I really want to do?

I want to set aside some time for me to stop being so outspoken and stop laughing like a loon the way I do day in and day out. My monologue can only run for so long before even its sole performer gets sick of the role. Instead, I’d like you to come to the stage and own it. Be yourself. Indoctrinate your audience with what you are and let them acclimatize themselves to your quirks. Make them love you.

I assure you, I will listen, even as an audience of one.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Written with insomnia

Home. What is it ultimately?

Lately it’s become nothing more than a place where I eat dinner and go to a fitful sleep. Most of the time, I simply log on to the Internet because everybody else has taken the seats to the TVs. And here everybody is, wondering why I don’t watch TV or movies on DVD anymore.

Most of the time I’m around at home, my family vegetates in front of the boob tube, hardly listening to the mundane stuff I have to say. Goodness, my mom frequently leaves the TV on when she sleeps on the couch, relying on it to go to sleep, waking up the instant someone turns it off. She really must learn how to use the “sleep” function.

As much as I would like to deep-six the remote controls strewn around the house and roundhouse-kick the TVs just to get my folks to really listen to me, I know that’s not really going to help things. All they will care about is me getting home at the time I tell them. Besides, I suppose we have enough money to stuff our little home to the gills with TVs if all of them fizzled out at once…perhaps to the detriment of other things, but that’s beside the point.

At this point in time it’s a bygone wish to have my so-called family listen to me more often. I seem to be predisposed to listen to them more. The only times I get to really speak my mind are on holidays—and how often do those come along? Not frequently enough.

Home…is where my bed is.

===

They say the whole point of marriage is to get someone to become a witness to the fact that you lived at all. To this someone, your every little move—such as singing in the rain or traveling the world—will mean something and be cherished. Even the best of friends just don’t have this bond because they’ve got their own lives to live…unless husband and wife are indeed the best of friends, of course.

Well, that’s certainly a tidy ideal. Unfortunately, husband and wife are also their own persons. It amazes me how people even get the nerve to decide to get married at all, when loving someone in the context of a simple romantic relationship can only be considered half an impulse. The impulse has to be reciprocated to lead to anything, and we know this very well if only by dint of the many, many, many movies and stories written about unrequited love.

===

Bill Dare makes a point in his novel “Natural Selection” that it’s the simple-but-unique art of making someone laugh that can seal the deal between a girl and a boy. So by that explanation, I feel like I’m on shaky ground at the starting blocks. I don’t know anything at all about her.

I wonder if my affection is indeed unrequited. This is perhaps the first time I ever opted to take a good look at someone who is the antithesis of what I find attractive in a girl. I wonder if it’s ever going to work.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The day of the week I despise

I absolutely despise Thursdays, and now I hate them more than ever.

There was once a time when I had no trouble at all sleeping the requisite 6-8 hours and waking up at the crack of dawn. Now isn’t that time. I would much rather get up when rush hour has passed.

I drive to work before 7 a.m. to avoid getting caught, then hit the gym’s machines and free weights for two hours. Then I work, all the while nodding off intermittently in front of my monitor after lunch. (A lot of times, I imagine typing in stuff in my head, but when I look at my monitor all I see is “alksjlkklllllllllllllllllllllll.” Chalk up another failure for psychosomatism.) It’s a minor miracle how I can get any work done in my semi-catatonic state—let alone put in solid metrics.

Nowadays we all miss badminton so we’ve decided to have it on Thursday evenings starting at 8:30 p.m. By this time I’ve been starved of sleep for 15 hours and my brain and body are a mess, but I play my usual game anyway (albeit skuppered due to two months of not playing from flu).

So you can imagine the general weakness I slog through on Fridays. There’s no more obligation to wake up at the crack of dawn, yes, but my muscles are all begging for a release of pent-up lactic acid and tell my subconscious to go semi-catatonic again.

Yawn. And I’ve got a nasty head cold too.

My consolation is most of the weight I gained from Christmas’ excesses has gone.

Isaksak n'yo sa baga n'yo ang Gundam n'yo

For those of you too idiotic or too dense to notice: I’m no longer part of MechaPinoy. Before I left I made sure no one would be able to use the fruits of my labor (the color translation guide) without my consent…and I’m not giving my consent to anybody.

That should teach you never to take your members for granted.

Word for the moment: Threat

On a chat with Geraldine (how I missed you, my dear) I learned that when girls are the object of one’s affection, they can actually feel threatened.

Not flattered or impressed, but threatened.

Thus the whole reason why girls that call themselves “fag hags” are what they are: they don’t feel the threat they’d otherwise feel with straight males.

Sheesh. What was the whole point then? For all the efforts of men being more effeminate and “in touch with their feelings” all in a bid to understand women more, this new discovery just threatens (*snicker*) to shoot all that effort down.

Ladies, your loss.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

At wit's end...

You just don't realize the power you have over me.

You do your quiet routine day in and day out, and you're very attractive as you are, but it's that crinkly smile of yours that captivates me and sends paroxysms of joy down my spine. Sigh. The things I'd do to have more of those directed my way.

Unfortunately I don't even have the foggiest idea of what to do to even get your attention. You're as impassive as the porcelain doll you are. I'd love to pick your brains and see what makes you smile or laugh but you're not exactly giving anything away for me to start with.

It takes more than looks to win my heart. But crikey, how easy it would be for you to make me think otherwise.

If only you bared your soul more...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

An ode to my best 'fwend'

It's that time of year when I honor the girl who got me back to blogging back in November 2003, after I effectively left this blog to rot for five months.

We've never met offline, and we may never do, seeing as she's from Leyte and I'm from Manila. But I am forever grateful for the email she sent me that fateful November night, proof that I had an audience as far away as Visayas and someone cared about the stuff I posted. The YM conversations and the text messages have kept our friendship alive over the years and I'm pretty sure we won't forget each other.

Happy birthday, Cher! I hope you have a great one, fwendie. *HUGS*

More Blogthings

The old disclaimer applies.

DISCLAIMER: Believe the following at your own risk.



You're a Shy Kisser

You *do* love to kiss, once your comfortable with it
And that means knowing the person you're kissing pretty well
You usually don't make the first move when it comes to making out
But you've got plenty of intensity in return


You Are 40% Left Brained, 60% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.


Your Geek Profile:

Gamer Geekiness: High
Academic Geekiness: Moderate
Geekiness in Love: Moderate
General Geekiness: Low
Internet Geekiness: Low
SciFi Geekiness: Low
Fashion Geekiness: None
Movie Geekiness: None
Music Geekiness: None


Your Five Variable Love Profile

Propensity for Monogamy:

Your propensity for monogamy is high.
You find it easy to be devoted and loyal to one person.
And in return, you expect the same from who you love.
Any sign of straying, and you'll end things.

Experience Level:

Your experience level is medium.
You probably have had a couple significant loves.
And you may have even had your heart broken.
But you haven't really dated a wide variety of people.

Dominance:

Your dominance is medium.
You tend to be the one with more power.
You aren't a total control freak in relationships..
But of course you don't mind getting your way!

Cynicism:

Your cynicism is medium.
You'd like to believe in true and everlasting love...
But you've definitely been burned enough to know better.
You're still an optimist, but you also are a realist.

Independence:

Your independence is medium.
In relationships, you need both "me time" and "we time."
You usually find it easy to be part of a couple.
But occasionally you start to feel a little smothered.


Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Making the most of a spoiled trip

I went to Glorietta a while ago to try replacing a gift shirt for a bigger one. It was a shame because the shirt itself was very nice to look at—unfortunately I don’t have the body the shirt requires, fitting to my unflattering features way too eagerly.

To my chagrin, I couldn’t have the shirt replaced because I had already lost its barcode tag. A shame, really. Since I was already inside the mall, I tried looking for things I could do or buy.

The first thing I did was to comparison-shop for the Nokia 5300 phone I wanted. Nokia’s official shop quotes the price at PhP15,000, but other dealers sold it for as low as PhP11,500. Not bad. At that price I could already throw in the 2GB miniSD memory card and still be at least one grand short of the official figure. I tried out its almost-identical sister unit, the 5200, and found it a good fit. (On a side note, I was amazed to see my current phone, my mom’s hand-me-down Nokia 6600, was still selling for about PhP10,000 brand new.)

Next, I went to Rustan’s again, as I remembered I had their gift checks in my wallet. I didn’t see anything worth spending them on, however. Most of my stay there had me going around in circles, trying to see how U—now known as Debenhams—had changed massively since the last time I was there. Goodness, I didn’t recognize any of the shops at first.

I was about to turn tail and leave for home when I heard Jajah calling my name. Mutually amazed that we were alone, we ended up going together, doing her groceries, browsing for books and having a chat over chicken empanadas. We even ran into Me-Ann, an old acquaintance from my college days, while Ja was looking for books. Thanks for the company Ja!

"Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo"

Gracey, Paolo C., Cora, Jho, Jacky, Jona and I watched “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” last night. We figured we should catch it before the movie theaters stop showing the 2006 Metro Manila Film Festival entries and replace them with stuff like “Eragon.”

The girls were enjoying themselves, laughing their guts silly while I was criticizing the movie from a film theory perspective—the stuff I learned from and had to submit every week in INTROFI in college. (Warning: This is not a casual observation of the film but a technical one.)


I found it odd that Jose Javier Reyes intentionally used shallow focus and kept the emphasis on Judy Ann Santos and Ryan Agoncillo, especially at the beginning. The supporting actors like Derek Ramsay and Lui Villaruz were going to be given important roles and lines anyway, so I don’t understand why they had to appear blurred in the first 30 minutes, unless Reyes wanted to drive home the point that Judy Ann and Ryan were the only actors worth paying attention to.

Reyes uses a toned-down montage technique in “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” to good effect. It certainly doesn’t distract the audience with rapid-fire cutting, and it didn’t bore them by overly long takes either. Shot placement deliberately avoids jump-cuts and seems well-done.

Judy Ann’s acting was good. She fleshed out Anj’s traits well and did not shirk from the less savory stuff, such as a scene where she lets out a loud fart in front of Ryan’s Jed, much to his disgust. Ryan was a little more one-dimensional and I consider his acting merely adequate for the role, but effective nonetheless. Both of them, however, pale in comparison to Gina Pareno’s charismatic portrayal of Anj’s boorish mother-in-law. Pareno is not known for her comedic prowess, but all the laughable things she does will make audiences think otherwise. She is totally comfortable in her role and runs away with it, almost stealing the show.

There are still some “duh” moments in “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” where the solidity of the writing shows some cracks, most of them delivered by Gloria Diaz and sadly compensated for by her rubber-faced antics. Not everything is explained sufficiently either, such as Jed’s knack for collecting Batman toys and keeping them in mint condition. Not all Pinoys will understand that collectors like Jed treat these as investments, and taking such toys out of the box rapidly erodes their value to other collectors, so even a line or two about this fact should have made it in there. Lastly, this movie’s ad placement is too in-your-face. What is this supposed to be, a movie or a 120-minute advertisement? There are ways of making the promotions more subtle.

Still, I like the little things the writers did to emphasize the importance of the marriage aspect. Jed and Anj are not shown having sex until they are married—a welcome respite from most other films that influence audiences into sex outside of the marital bond. The insistence of the couple to do things independently, without intervention/interference from in-laws is remarkable, too. The infidelity aspect of the movie felt a little undercooked, however, especially as it made for a slightly flawed climax.

Overall, this is a good movie, the kind of which should be made more often. Still a bit rough around the edges, perhaps, but “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo” ranks up there with big-name marquee foreign feel-good comedy films in many aspects. Films like this offer a beacon of hope for the Filipino film industry.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My 2001 top 100 20

This game was taken from Tin, and I know she got the rules somewhere else.

How to play:

  • Get the list of the Top 100 songs the year you graduated from high school from here.
  • Bold the songs you like.
  • Strike out the ones you hate.
  • Ignore the ones you don’t remember or care about, and
  • Underline your favorite.

Here’s what I came up with:


Top 100 songs from 2001


1. Lady Marmalade Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink
2. Fallin', Alicia Keys
3. I'm Real, Jennifer Lopez
4. Family Affair, Mary J. Blige
5. Butterfly, Crazy Town
6. Thank You, Dido
7. Don't Tell Me, Madonna
8. He Loves U Not, Dream
9. Gone, 'N Sync
10. Love Don't Cost A Thing, Jennifer Lopez
11. Hero, Enrique Iglesias
12. Hanging By A Moment, Lifehouse
13. Drops Of Jupiter, Train
14. Jaded, Aerosmith
15. U Remind Me, Usher
16. Hit 'Em Up Style, Blu Cantrell
17. Survivor, Destiny's Child
18. It Wasn't Me. Shaggy featuring Ricardo "Rikrok" Ducent
19. All For You, Janet Jackson
20. Angel, Shaggy featuring Rayvon
21. Turn Off The Light, Nelly Furtado
22. All Or Nothing, O-Town
23. How You Remind Me, Nickelback
24. Someone To Call My Lover, Janet Jackson
25. Fill Me In, Craig David
26. It's Been Awhile, Staind
27. I'm Like A Bird, Nelly Furtado
28. Bootylicious, Destiny's Child
29. Again, Lenny Kravitz
30. Let Me Blow Ya Mind, Eve featuring Gwen Stefani
31. Everywhere, Michelle Branch
32. Stutter, Joe featuring Mystikal
33. Irresistable , Jessica Simpson
34. I Hope You Dance, Lee Ann Womack
35. Nobody Wants To Be Lonely, Ricky Martin & Christina Aguilera
36. Here's To The Night, Eve 6
37. Beautiful Day, U2
38. Emotion, Destiny's Child
39. Superman (It's Not Easy), Five For Fighting
40. Southside, Moby with Gwen Stefani
41. The Space Between, Dave Matthews Band
42. Play, Jennifer Lopez
43. When It's Over, Sugar Ray
44. Drive, Incubus
45. More Than That, Backstreet Boys
46. What Would You, Do City High
47. Be Like That, 3 Doors Down
48. I Wanna Be Bad, Willa Ford
49. Peaches & Cream , 112
50. Ride Wit Me, Nelly
51. Only Time, Enya
52. Where The Party At, Jagged Edge with Nelly
53. Standing Still, Jewel
54. Pop, 'N Sync
55. This Is Me , Dream
56. Never Had A Dream Come True, S Club 7
57. Crazy, K-Ci & JoJo
58. You Make Me Sick, Pink
59. What It Feels Like For A Girl, Madonna
60. E.I., Nelly
61. Dig In, Lenny Kravitz
62. Get Ur Freak On, Missy Elliott
63. Breathless, The Corrs
64. Every Other Time, LFO
65. Yellow, Coldplay
66. Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning), Vertical Horizon
67. One Minute Man, Missy Elliott
68. I Do, Toya
69. Fly Away From Here, Aerosmith
70. I'm A Slave 4 U, Britney Spears
71. Smooth Criminal, Alien Ant Farm
72. Still On Your Side, BBMak
73. No More (Baby I'ma Do Right), 3LW
74. My Everything, 98 Degrees
75. Ms. Jackson, Outkast
76. Start The Commotion, The Wiseguys
77. Free, Mya
78. Baby, Come On Over (This Is Our Night), Samantha Mumba
79. Hemmorhage (In My Hands), Fuel
80. Drowning, Backstreet Boys
81. Around The World (La La La…), ATC
82. Thank You For Loving Me, Bon Jovi
83. AM To PM, Christina Milian
84. Izzo (H.O.V.A.), Jay-Z
85. Flavor Of The Weak, American Hi-Fi
86. What's Going On, All Star Tribute
87. Stronger, Britney Spears
88. One More Time, Daft Punk
89. I'm A Believer, Smash Mouth
90. We Fit Together, O-Town
91. Differences, Ginuwine
92. Follow Me, Uncle Kracker
93. There You'll Be, Faith Hill
94. So In Love With Two, Mikaila
95. In My Pocket, Mandy Moore
96. Mad Season, Matchbox 20
97. Bad Day, Fuel
98. What's Your Fantasy Ludacris
99. Liquid Dreams, O-Town
100. Babylon, David Gray

Wow. "Flavor of the Weak" by American Hi-Fi was one awesome song. It holds the distinction of having the cleverest song title I've heard (it's often misspelled as "Flavor of the Week"), and being one of the first songs that hooked me on NU107 way back when. It was a happy day when I found their album...and also a sad one, because I gave it away as a birthday present to my college friend Kate.

She paints her nails and she don't know
He's got her best friend on the phone
She'll wash her hair,
His dirty clothes are all he gives to her
And he's got posters on the wall
Of all the girls he wished she was
And he means everything to her

Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything about her
He's too stoned, Nintendo
I wish that I could make her see
She's just the flavour of the week

It's Friday night and she's all alone
He's a million miles away
She's dressed to kill
But the TV's on
He's connected to the sound
And he's got pictures on the wall
Of all the girls he's loved before
And she knows all his favourite songs

Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything about her
He's too stoned, Nintendo
I wish that I could make her see
She's just the flavour of the week

Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything about her
He's too stoned, he's too stoned
He's too stoned, he's too stoned

Her boyfriend, he don't know
Anything about her
He's too stoned, Nintendo
I wish that I could make her see
She's just the flavour of the week

Yeah she's the flavour of the week
But she makes me weak...


Where is American Hi-Fi now? I wonder...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Online mumblings

Ever since shunning online forum websites, I've become bored with the Internet, to be honest. What do I do now and where do I go whenever I successfully complete the archaic 36Kbps connection over my phone line? Nowadays the prospect of successfully connecting to the Internet has become more satisfying than the surfing of its contents---a rather odd development.

Since the holidays started, you could count my successful logins to Yahoo! Messenger on the fingers of one hand. It sucks. Yes, yes, we all know by now about the intensity-7.2 quake in Taiwan snapping all the undersea cables that are the backbone of connectivity to the Philippines. However, everybody else has remedied the problem somehow and returned to regular service---except Yahoo. So far the only thing I can access on Yahoo is e-mail, and that takes quite a bit of patience. Even access to Flickr (which is now incidentally a Yahoo service) proves futile.

I've visited Friendster more often recently and it's surprising how different some of my friends look like, just a few years after I last saw them in high school. My friend Tasha is nigh-unrecognizable in her photos; I had second thoughts about adding her as a friend on Friendster because she looked like someone else entirely...someone I didn't know. It was only when my friend request was done and I dug through her other photos that I was assured she was the same girl.

New friend requests recently popped up on my profile, most of them from people at work. Considering that I don't update my profile or other stuff on Friendster all that frequently (ergo, I don't attract much attention), it's a pleasant surprise that relatively new people in my life go out of their way to add me up.

I have no idea how the "featured blogs" thing works there, though. I was thinking that they would be otherworldly in content or writing style, but no, these so-called "featured blogs" on Friendster are some of the plainest and dullest blogs I've ever read.

Wikipedia has become a constant destination since I learned a lot of my usual sites (and yes, including this blog) are banned at the office. On a whim I tend to search for articles about celebrities I knew from the past or present---a sort of ongoing "Where Are They Now?" feature running in my head. So far, I've learned that Scarlett Johansson tries her best to make relationships work "in a monogamous way," Ed Harris has taken up an interest in directing, Ving Rhames' moniker is actor-friend Stanley Tucci's nickname for his birth name "Irving," Michael Clarke Duncan used to work as a bouncer...and other such unimportant but nonetheless interesting stuff.

Other than my blog and my Multiply page, that's pretty much it. Any suggestions as to what sites I can still visit on a paltry dial-up connection?

Irony on my sister's birthday

Since I still had the day off, my mom asked me to take Bianca to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) branch in Alabang to renew her driver's license. Over here, licenses expire on their holders' birthdays, and Bianx also turns 22 today, so greetings of "Happy Birthday" addressed to her are in order. Incidentally, my birthday is also coming up in a month's time and my own license due to expire, so I wanted to ask if and when I could renew mine as well.

We got there faced with a moderately long beeline. Upon handing over our licenses, Bianca was told she would have to go to the Las Pinas City Hall instead. Apparently her records weren't showing up on the LTO's computers. Meanwhile, my own renewal went without incident.

That was really odd, if you ask me. It seems the much-promoted computerization of the government offices isn't quite perfect yet, as evidenced by Bianca and other people being told to go elsewhere to renew their licenses. It was also ironic because the plan really was for Bianca to renew her license, not me, but I was the one who ended up successful.

Now my sister has to pay around PhP30 additional as penalty for renewing an expired license through no fault of her own. It doesn't seem like much, but hey, thirty bucks is thirty bucks. Then again, my sister had it easy; at least she was told from the outset she'd have to renew somewhere else. Other people in line had already paid for the medical and drug tests before they were told the ignominious news.

Lesson learned: Pinoys, renew your driver's license two months before the expiry date.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Cleanup for the new year

For once I've started to subscribe to the custom of doing some house cleaning to welcome the new year with. Only that it wasn't technically my house that I cleaned. Most obvious to you readers would be the slightly revamped layout of this blog, because I just got bored of the old one (and I hope you like it). I had the pleasant surprise of fiddling with Blogger's new layout tools and they're not half bad!

Pending cleanup is my gut. No, literally. I've put on a couple of pounds over the holidays due to having nothing else in the fridge/on the table but a combination of chocolate cakes, Krispy Kreme doughnuts (too damn sweet), booze and other stuff full of saturated fat...and not exercising enough due to post-flu weakness. Two pounds is a tame gain, I guess.

Next up was my car. Honestly it was asking for an interior cleanup session for months and I never got around to it until a few days ago. I also treated it to an overdue fresh oil change and new spark plugs (which were actually redundant as they still had 20,000 km to go). I did some minor cleanup in my terminally dusty and messy room, too, though not enough to make an obvious difference.

Apparently other people were thinking the same thing. Kitkat-chan had a fresh blog revamp, and Shiro launched a new blog altogether, consolidating his old one and injecting a hefty dose of French. Even my favorite car magazine, Autocar UK, ditched its old layout for a newer and more dynamic one.

Since the new year might lead to new things, here's a short list of stuff I'm looking forward to getting for myself. They don't have to arrive all at the same time, mind you.

  • A Nokia 5300 phone. People who know me well know I'm not much of a phone person, but this one is an exception. Cheap, simple and plays music on the go---what's not to like? (I can forego the reportedly "lousy" 1.3-megapixel camera; go buy a proper digicam if imaging is important to you, stupid nitpickers.)

  • A large-capacity Micro SD card to boost the 5300's memory.
  • A decent new DVD player; our existing one refuses to play anything. I've been taking a good look at Philips' DVP5965K and the prices have been coming down lately. Philips claim to be the "king of playability"...hmmm. Let's put that claim to the test shall we?
  • Maybe another pair of leather shoes. I got myself a dark brown pair of Rusty Lopez loafers recently and they're nice, but I think I'll need another pair in blue for variety.
  • A decent speaker system for my computer. Now that it has a smashing 19" LCD monitor, the speakers have to get upgraded as well, and they're actually overdue for one as they're malfunctioning. A set of the cheaper Creative or Altec Lansing units won't hurt.
  • An FD1 Honda Civic 1.8S with manual transmission. In red, please. Or a GD3 Honda Jazz 1.5V in gold, with a custom "hyaku" (100) decal on the C-pillar. Sadly I'll have to wait a lot longer than 2007 for this one. Aheheheh.

Ah yes, the classic conundrum of too many desires and not enough money.