Monday, January 30, 2006

Goodbye "Sesame Street", Hello "Avenue Q"!



I’m under the “Avenue Q” spell! Yes, my three to five loyal readers. Two years after watching the cast of the musical perform “What Do You Do With a B.A. in English” on the Tony Awards (on cable, of course), I finally have the soundtrack. Thanks to tech-savvy lover, I now have the songs (e.g. "The Internet is For Porn", "Mixed Tape", "You Can Be As Loud As Hell As You Want", "I'm Not Wearing Underwear Today", "If You Were Gay")! (claps, jumps in glee…then pauses to look at readers) Okay, I’m seeing blank stares and cloud-callouts saying “What the hell is he talking about???” Forgive me. Introducing...(cue fanfare)...Avenue Q!!!

“Avenue Q” is a musical which tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account. He soon discovers that the only neighborhood in his price range is Avenue Q; still, the neighbors seem nice. There's Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fianceé Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his roommate Rod -- a Republican investment banker who seems to have some sort of secret; an Internet addict called Trekkie Monster; and a very cute kindergarten teaching assistant named Kate. And would you believe the building's superintendent is Gary Coleman?!? (Yes, that Gary Coleman.) Together, Princeton and his newfound friends struggle to find jobs, dates, and their ever-elusive purpose in life (lifted from www.avenueq.com).

The good thing about the musical is that it combines performances of actors and actors with hand-held puppets. It has been described as “South Park” in motion, and “'Sesame Street' meets MTV’s 'The Real World'”. Deliciously witty and funny! One of the funny songs where I can’t help but roll in laughter is, “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist” where the characters rant about racism and finally accept the fact that they are “a little bit racist”. It actually knocked me off my high horse! Here’s my high-riding, sanctimonious blog about segregationist attitudes:


BLAME IT ON CHARLES DARWIN
Friday, October 15, 2004

I read this article posted on Friendster about Globe’s promotion of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy show. The writer basically said that it was gay-bashing and gender insensitive. Then there’s this article about a group of Christians enraged on the impending relocation of Moslems in their area. And if I’m going to mention issues concerning “isms” that aim to exclude, blogger.com will have to kick me out for overloading their system. People who give their views about equality and condoning these acts of “isms” should be commended—or should they be, myself included?

As an advocate of justice for all, I am really fascinated with people who propagated the idea of “excluding” people because of race, religion, and personal preferences. The Ku Klux Klan, Adolf Hitler, Al Qaeda, Jews, African-Americans and Christians have experienced first hand exclusivity, as implementers or as recipients of such. But these are tragic pieces of history where we can say that a milieu hungry for and in the process of change fuels the need for and resistance to change. But let us fast-forward to current times. People say that the human race has come a long way from its barbaric, medieval, pre-industrialization, conservative views and undertakings. Have we come a long way? The sins of our fathers have seeped through an insatiable generation who constantly pushes the envelope as far as it could. History plus current times equals chaos. People shout justice and equality but we are all guilty of exclusivity and segregationist acts. I feel that it is our need for categorization and labels—an offshoot of the “convenience” modern technology offers to us. Categorization facilitates ease. But in the end, there are too many categories that are one and the same. Example: in filing, accounting files are categorized in sub-files labeled vouchers, invoices, receipts, etc. It is easier, yes. When translated in the context of sociological concepts, it is somehow aligned because it is “easier” but to the detriment of equality. Come to think of it, the influx of “movements” advocating equality are promoting exclusivity. Women having a special caboose at the LRT station (with a sign “PARA SA MGA BABAENG PASAHERO LAMANG” which reminded me of the “COLORED” signs in African-American history), gays and lesbians having their “own” sub-culture, homosexuality having a sub-classification of its own (i.e. COMMONLY SEEN TAGLINES IN GAY DATING WEBSITES/GROUPS: gay and bi men welcome but no effems. Hunky, straight-looking gay and bi males, no effems and chubs allowed), religions factions demanding for their own rights but refuse to recognize other denominations’ rights, rich-poor division, African-Americans feeling discriminated because of the absence of a black person in a corporation, Halle Berry being accused of a racist when she thanked all the black actresses who were nominated in the Oscars but never won because they were “black”. These are a result of categorizations. I wish we could just have one “file” that says PEOPLE and just remove sub-files like MEN, WOMEN, GAY, STRAIGHT, MOSLEMS, CHRISTIANS. The question is: can it be done? I guess equality will remain elusive for it is an absolute concept. The mere fact that the core of our existence as human beings is that we are unique from each other—man as his own microcosm—equality is no longer elusive but unobtainable with this premise. My suggestion is we need to learn to live in a state of co-existence and co-habitation in the midst of an undeniable and infallible diversity. To find that middle ground where we can all stand as people who are different from each other but recognize the fact that we are human beings who breathe the same air and live in the same world—too much to ask but a more realistic and doable challenge.

In the meantime, just for kicks, let’s blame Charles Darwin for this brouhaha over injustice and discrimination for coming up with theory of classification and natural selection. Modern day (pseudo-) intellectuals picked up where he left off and all hell broke lose.
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Blah...blah...blah... He he he...

Monday, January 23, 2006

An Angel in Manila

Oh, I am so excited that I got to feature my fabulous angel pics! These were taken during our company Christmas Party. Our theme was "Festival of Christmas Hats". Why the angel wings? Honey, everyone's wearing a hat, I came in with wings and voila! I'm a star... (laughs haughtily) Why try to fit in when I was born to stand out?


This is my best friend, Nilda, professional fag hag...

Sweating after dancing like hell...but digging being heavenly

My own rendition of Ragan Fox's, Fox in the City. (You have to try and listen to his podcasts. Very vulgar yet sensible.) My friend Nyl said its my impression of Claire Daines' Juliet character in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet...

My favorite picture of all. Thanks to Nilda for capturing the essence of my fabulous and heavenly characteristics...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brouhaha Over Blog Popularity and Readership


When i first discovered blogging, I thought: "This is so like the ending of Doogie Howser, M.D.!" Right? At the end of every episode, Doogie writes an entry in his electronic journal and sums up his day, mostly about his insights, learnings, and realizations. Blogging for me was exactly like that...and more of course. It has become an outlet for creative release. But now...something changed. (cue change in musical score from sweet to haunting to chilling and eerie)

I always had the perception that my blogspot is my own pseudo-private space in cyberspace. It has served as a home to my thoughts and insights almost about everything under the sun. But now, after being advised that there's this thing called a "counter" to monitor "hits" to my blogspot, and that its "better" and "nice" to know how many and who visits my blogspot (god, I just had a nosebleed with the tech terms), I find myself always checking it. Now, I seem to be bothered about the number which is supposed to reflect my readership. Especially when I have been registered in the "Pinoy Top Blogs" where I discovered that there exists a ranking system of the most popular and, I guess, most visited pinoy blogs. Then techie boyfriend said, "this is what you should do to increase your readership rate: update your blog more often, go blog-hopping and leave comments on other blogspots and leave your url, and advertise." Did those three things and I guess my readership is not really building compared to others that have thousands of hits and that of techie boyfriend's who's readership rate is faster than a speeding bullet. What do I have to do? I was gradually becoming frustrated....but then...

...I said to myself, "okay, now you allowed your self to be human and be irrational. Stop for a moment, and go back to why you started blogging." I suddenly realized: I FORGOT THAT MY BLOGSPOT IS ABOUT SATISFYING MYSELF and other blogspots are about whatever its owners want them to be. Mine is about creating a nice home for my thoughts. My sanctuary. I guess I was so caught up in the supposed-popularity-determined-by-the-hit-counter-thingy that I forgot the meaningful, sincere comments I got from those who REGULARLY take time to read, digest, and appreciate my stuff and not just make a "hit" at my blogspot. Over and above the comments posted in my blogspot, it is also about the emails I got saying, "Your blog about hickeys was hilarious" or "being desperate is not a bad thing" or "you made me laugh" or "you made me think"--I forgot about these precious moments of genuine appreciation. That by just expressing myself, I had affected people...not by inviting people and letting them in...but just by leaving my door open.

I'm happy I regained my true blogging purpose. I'm just so amazed that I still manage to surprise myself. That I am still, and will always be human, that I still get affected by...well...things :-)

P.S. I suddenly missed the TV show (who could forget his best friend, Vinnie)

Friday, January 13, 2006

I'm Sorry Dear Bridget...

I'm sure you will be surprised to see this, as it is the place least likely for me to express how deeply sorry I am for the things I have said.

How sad that this post comes after a very loving entry. But it goes to show that ours is not a perfect relationship.

Again my love, I am very sorry. Blame it on the full moon, on my being a Cancerian and a hot-headed arse, or my headache. But I know in the end it is still my fault.

Sorry readers, I know this is too personal, but I have to exhaust all means! I hope you'll understand.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My Manila Post Office Romance

Sitting in front of the post office by the fountain at the heart of Liwasang Bonifacio waiting for loved one, Jerome. So romantic. (Wanted to wait on the bench where Richard Gomez and Regine Velasquez shot most of their scenes in the movie, Hanggang Ngayon, however there was this group of young kids who were just clowning around. Hmph.) Determined to have a perfect romantic evening, I concentrated on the thought of romance in a park (in Manila for that matter where parks are synonymous to “acts of lasciviousness” and “hada”) and reminisced the time we celebrated our 7th month together as a couple at the Japanese garden in Luneta. Armed with a picnic blanket and basket filled with lasagna (which I baked), cheese, and wine (in truth it’s just 1.5-L of Zesto Dalandan), we enjoyed the night and each other, satisfying our gastronomic and romantic whims.


This makes me think of how important creating romantic moments is in nurturing intimacy. It is more about the accumulation of small yet perfect things rather than the big things that usually happen sporadically. The sweet and naughty smiles, the stolen kisses while walking, dining out on squid balls, strolls by the seawall, these are the things that make me appreciate being with someone. It makes me feel alive—every minute, every second of everyday. I just love being in love…

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Power of Yoda...I mean, Yoga...

I was tempted to put a picture of the great Yoda in homage to the Sharon entry in Calm Before the Storm blogspot, where he placed a picture of Sharon Cuneta first instead of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is the main feature of the blog. Witty and priceless...just priceless...

okay, what the hell, let's do it! This blog is not about...






...Yoda.........







...it's about Yooooooo-gaaaaa, Yoga!

There you go. Yo-ga't it! (pushing too far, right?)






Anyway, as part of laying down the foundation for a new improved, vitamin-enriched me, I am now on a no-carb, no-sugar diet. Yes. I had a Bridget Jones epiphany when I saw my ass which is, as my guru has classily and most eloquently described, "the size of Brazil." Uh-huh. In the spirit of the United Nations and the Philippines' Millenium Development Goals, I too have set very important goals for improvement of the self. (My God, the achievement of these goals will greatly contribute to the MDG's, so please don't trivialize my efforts! *haughtily turns away*). I mean, I ended the year by dyeing my hair a brown color (actually its a mixture of medium brown and mocha. fabulous!), and getting sick with acute tonsilitis which forced me to go on a diet (I just love the benefits of being sick? hurrah to disease and illness! *claps*). Anyway, as part of the things to be done to achieve my personal MDG to lose 35 pounds by the end of January 2006, I am complementing the diet with regular yoga sessions in my room. uuuuh! i so look forward to my yoga sessions which usually takes me 2 hours. Here are some of the poses that I can now do.









(Top to bottom): virabhadrasana (warrior position), parsvottanasana, trikonasana, parsvakonasana, ardha chandrasana (half-moon position), setu bandhadandasana (variation of bridge position), supta parivrttasana, sarvangasana, and halasana.

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As the fundamental pose and what I use to begin my yoga session, the picture found in the beginning of this blog is the basic pose called, tadasana (mountain pose). To cool down, I use another variation of the upavishta parivrttasana position. I can't wait to do more of the poses. I'm no yoga expert but I feel great and relaxed after each round of these poses. We often hear the phrase in yoga, "find your center", I sure have, my loves... :-)

Acknowledgment: Thank you to www.yogacards.com for the pics. Please visit the website for more of the poses.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Greatest Films Ever Made (My Version)

What is it in a movie that makes it great? It is when you want to watch it over and over again and it still has the same effect on you and makes you remember the most delicious lines ever written. The greatest films made are those where you still discover something new when you watch it.

----Jerome C. Daclison, Film Enthusiast
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Don't you just love the opening blurb? I bet you thought it came from some "can't-distinguish-from-a-true-or-pseudo-film critic." But I guess that's what watching movies is all about. It is about "you"--the audience--that determines what a great film is. As a film enthusiast, all I can do is SHARE, not IMPOSE, some films that I thought were great. So expect a series, my loves. But what I'm gonna SHARE right now are some of the films that I've watched a gazillion times already but still affects me like its the first time I've watched it. I hope you try them and post a comment if you liked or hated them. Popcorn, softdrinks, and butterfly kisses to all!


The Godfather Trilogy

Yeah, yeah. I know some of you would say, "bleech! that is so given!" Hold your horses, freakshows! Here's a question for you. Have you tried watching the three in one day? Oh please do. Ten hours of pure excellence. Lots of memorable lines: "Make them an offer that they cannot refuse" and "keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer". I've gained wisdom from the trilogy. So enjoy watching. Note: Watch what happens every time there's a shot with an orange or oranges.



Alien Series


I ask you to ponder on this: Can you think of anyone else that could play Lt. Eleanor Ripley other than Sigourney Weaver? Post a comment if you want to. But for me, she kicked ass! And who could ever forget that scene from "Aliens" where Ripley comes out in the hydraulic thingy then shouts at the alien queen, "Get away from her, you bitch!" Taraaaaaaaaay! Winner! Watch all of it. She goes through a lot of conflicts in every sequel.





Misery


Now, this is a film where you will get a heart attack every time Nurse Annie Wilkes throws a fit. Very well crafted, well-acted, and well-directed. Rob Reiner delivers his best by taking this Stephen King novel and harnessing the talents of two exceptional actors, James Caan (The Godfather) and Kathy Bates (who won the Oscar Best Actress in 1991). Oh please watch this! Please, please, please! Look out for the dinner scene where Nurse Wilkes makes a toast, "To Misery..." Damn!




Dolores Claiborne

Talk about showdown of talents with Kathy Bates and Jennifer Jason Leigh on the film. Delicious. But in this film, I love the character of Vera Donovan (played by Judy Parfitt) Oh, I hate her for having the most divine diva lines! (An accident, Dolores, can be an unhappy woman's best friend... & "...sometimes being a high-riding bitch is all that a woman can hang on to.") Hate her!






An Affair To Remember


Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant exemplifies good chemistry. Blame this movie for the existence of people demanding for romance. Once the first note of the musical score plays, I'm a goner. Floodgates. I know all the lines by heart. If you want a romantic evening with your partner, make sure you watch this. (I promise you the sex is gonna be sooooo great after watching this....)






The Hand That Rocks The Cradle


A far cry from the whining Fran Fine, the flying Mary Poppins, and Regine Velasquez in "Wanted: Perfect Mother", watch out for Rebecca de Mornay's performance as a vengeful wife posing as a nanny. This movie is a template for screenwriters and may I just say that this movie inspired me to write...






Shining Through

Word to describe my experience in watching this film: SPLENDID. Loved everything about the film. Watch out for Melanie Griffith in a ball gown and high heels while running from the Gestapo. Love it, love it, love it!






The American President

Romance between the President of the United States and an environmental lobbyist? That's the premise of this beautiful film (which I've watched a hundred gazillion times). I just love Annette Bening's character, Sydney Ellen Wade, and her witty lines: "This is not a state of mind. When I'm in a room with you, oval or any shape, I will always be a lobbyist and you will always be the President..."



Kung Ako Na Lang Sana

Close your mouths and cut the flabbergasted, astounded reaction!!!! I really love this film. I'm a Sharonian, yes. But this is one film that is really good. It accurately depicts the realities of friendship, and that most of the time, it serves as the foundation of an intimate relationship. Try it before you say, "I will not watch a movie with Sharon and Aga and Tintin Bersola-Babao!!!" At some level, you'll connect...




Bridget Jones's Diary

Of course this will be on my list!!!!!! Sacrilege for even thinking that I will even forget my guru. Love her, love her, worship her!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year? In daylights? In sunsets? In midnights and cups of coffee? In inches? In miles of laughter and striving? How do you measure a year? How about…LOVE?
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Before I break out into song ala Rent where these [favorite] lines from the song "Seasons of Love" from the same musical, let me just say that this is a good way to return to blogging (where I have been delinquent, I admit). Measuring a year in the life of a handsome, thirty-something, quirkyhappy man would be an exciting comeback. So, in homage to me and Bridget Jones, here is my year…in numbers:

Life and Work in General

Number of trips to ukay-ukay = countless
Number of ukay items purchased = 85% of wardrobe are from ukay
Number of thongs received as gift = 2 (1 red and 1 black)
Number of violent encounters with police = 1
Number of nervous breakdowns at work = 7
Number of debacles with cab drivers = 14

Number of times I was mistaken to be Anthony Pangilinan = 22 (I was tempted to say countless because this is the truth but for the sake of humility, I trimmed it down to 22)

Number of times I made my bosses squirm = 9
Number of trips to Mindanao = 13
Number of times I got to “suroy-suroy” during trips to Mindanao = 1
Number of times left by plane = 1 (and we learned our lesson…)
Number of times I worked over the weekend = I don't want to remember...
Number of Trips to Divisoria = 1
Number of Sick Days from Trip to Divisoria = 4 (last day spilled over January 1 so I was sick on New Year's Eve)
Number of pseudo-Ex-es who reconnected = 5
Number of fights with boyfriend over pseudo-Ex-es = lost track...
Number of "almost affairs" = 1 (but it didn't happen, okay?)
Number of times we moved = 1
Number of fights with Mom and my Sister= lost track…
Number of times Mom and Sister and I made up = always…

But most of all, accounting 2005 will not be complete without mentioning the love I received from my boyfriend and partner in crime ( who managed to screw this blog the minute he attempted to mess with the template)

Number of missed kisses = 13
Number of foot-popping kisses = countless
Number of mood clashes = 13
Number of fights = 18
Number of times we kissed and made up = always
Number of make up sex resulting from kissing and making up = (why do you think I always pick a fight? *smiles naughtily*)
Number of times I cried on boyfriend's shoulder = 2
Number of times boyfriend cried on my shoulder = 1 (he rarely cries...)
Number of time he loved me = 525,600 minutes

... and counting