Monday, February 28, 2005

sick and sin

Honestly, I've been in denial about this. Her impending departure is always pushed to the back of my head, superseded by tons of work yet to be accomplished and various other concerns. But now there is no way to escape it--only three days to go and one more of my dearest friends will have left the Philippines.

Bespren M and I have known each other since we were classmates in Prep. That's more than twenty years, more than three-fourths of our lives. More than four-fifths even. Bespren M and I have been through thick and thin, through sick and sin. And now she is leaving, for the land Down Under. Maybe my feeble, sentimental emotional center cannot process the fact that she will be gone for at least two years, and maybe, just maybe, forever. I think I cannot bear the thought of her not being a (local) phone call away on weekends; of not being able to meet up for a shopping date when we're both playing hooky. She will be Gone.

I am not giving her up for dead, of course not. But it seems that an invisible chain is broken, a chain that was built by being minutes away, a phone call apart. We are still a phone call apart, but Sunday lunch and three-hour conversations are now out of the question. I will miss her terribly, but I know that this is all for the best. Come to think of it, the invisible chain is not broken--instead it's just stretched really far. I will not allow it to be broken, and I hope she will neither.

staying here
M is leaving on the second day of March. We will not celebrate her birthday together this year. I am left with the other twin, Bespren J, who is equally dear, and my closest friend, who is also setting her sights on leaving. It seems my friends are leaving me one by one, and I am left here, bereft at times, fending off forms of loneliness, glad that they are in better places, but steadfastly holding on to a hope that my mother country will become a better place. Am I desperate in holding on to a hopeless cause?

Saturday, February 26, 2005

one week

For a while there, we didn't have internet access at StingyCo and we thought that it really was going to live up to its name. It was mentioned that only higher-level officers would be given access. Of course I should have more faith in the fact that I belong to the department that is actually in charge of the internet access (although I don't do that kind of work); internet access was restored, but unfortunately, work had piled up due to the holiday. Merit increases were also given, and I'm glad that I wasn't one of those who only got three-digit increases (yes, Virgina, there is a StingyCo). We mustn't be compared to other branches in the region, whom, it was pointed out, didn't even get increases. Their cost of living doesn't increase ever so significantly every year. Sigh.

to hell and back
I don't care what critics may say, I thoroughly enjoyed Constantine. I wasn't moved to be more pious in my non-practiced Catholic faith, but I had a great time watching. The background mythos of it all was quite interesting and though I've never read a Hellblazer comic, I just might look around for someone to lend me some. It's most interesting to note that the John Constantine of the comic was actually based physically on Sting. Hehe.

The twists and turns (never mind the plot-holes) were interesting, and there were some literally-almost-jump-out-of-your-seat scenes; the casting of Tilda Swinton at her androgynous best was wonderful; and then we got to see Papa Gavin (Rossdale, squee!). And I love Rachel Weisz. Totally. Wasn't able to see the final scene after the credits, but a lot of people have graciously posted what it was, so I didn't see the need to see the movie again. Does Keanu have a new franchise? Will he ever learn to act? Ah, we'll see.

wine as a metaphor for life
Virginia Madsen will probably not win the Oscar Best Supporting Actress for what A.O. Scott of the New York Times called the most overrated films of the year. Sideways was an intriguing, thinking movie; it didn't seem poised for commercial success but they were able to build up the hype. Meanwhile, Paul Giamatti's portrayal of a depressed wine-lover and Thomas Haden Church's non-hatable cad were also wonderful. Maleen left the theater feeling heavy because she had channeled Giamatti's depression; meanwhile, it didn't do any good for my contempt for most members of the opposite sex. Heh.

mathilde et manech
Superb. This is a gem of a movie, half-romance, half-war mystery. A lot of familiar faces provide Audrey Tautou support, and the visuals are wonderful, but what was most significant was the experience of watching Mathilde labor through her search for Manech, doubting sometimes but knowing always that her love was still alive. It's a movie about hope, something that we could use a lot of these days.

my newest godchild
...is DnA's son, who turns two months old on Wednesday. Welcome to the Christian world, Mari Alejandro. Your parents are blessed to have you; and you are blessed to be born into a family (and a god-family) filled with love.
Ali's baptism

Last Song Syndrome : Drift Away - Bo Bice's version

Friday, February 18, 2005

the weirdness in me

_pagan helps unleash the weird:


What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!


Last Song Syndrome : Anak ng Pasig - Geneva Cruz
(ok now tell me that isn't weird...)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

celebrate life amidst acts of death

I'm glad I'm alive. I'm glad that no one in my immediate circle was in the vicinity of the Ayala-Edsa blast (don't know how close y_slaybelle was though), nor the GenSan and Davao bombings. I cannot imagine how those who lost their loved ones could feel. Unlike the Rizal Day bombing of 2000, I was nowhere near the area, as we were wary of the commercial district on Valentine's Day. When we got home, however, it was on the news, and I can't help but condemn groups like these, which make it their business to sow terror in the common tao without any notable or worthwhile (well at least not to us) goals.

However, in the midst of the shock, there was jubilation. The former boss, who now works in the Singapore office of StingyCo is finally pregnant, after trying for more than eight years. I remember everything about her life being so perfect except for that one aspect that she and her husband really wanted. Their prayers have finally been answered, thankfully. And then of course DaMike is turningthirty today, this huggable, moody-yet-lovable, action-figure-collecting good friend of mine. My wish for him is that he remains that strange blend of childlike and cynical; and that his lovelife will finally be sorted out.

Events like the bombing as well as Ms. R's answered prayers and turningthirty make you re-evaluate your faith, both in people and in your Higher Power. How can we be happy with a life about to burst forth when they will be entering a world with soulless bastards that bomb anonymously, killing husbands, wives, fathers, friends? But we are, because in the midst of despair, new birth always signifies hope.

[Congratulations, Ms. R. You will now be in my prayers often because a first pregnancy at 42 is quite difficult. Heck, stress nowadays contributes to difficult pregnancies at any age. But I'm sure that your exultation regarding this welcome news will more than make up for that. Here's to life!]

viva geneva
One officemate asked, "Kailan?" and then JP and I simultaneously burst into song: "Kailan, kailan mo ba mapapansin ang aking lihim?" Hahahaha! Viva la Smokey Mountain! The songs of our youth come back to haunt us at the strangest times.

Last Song Syndrome : Kailan - Smokey Mountain

the ones that weren't guessed

Thanks to amyslayer for the reminder to post those songs that weren't guessed. I had meant to do this last weekend but between Phantom, A Very Long Engagement and a visit to DnA, I didn't have time to blog over the weekend.

Anyway here they are:

4. A clouded dream on an earthly night / Hangs upon the crescent moon / A voiceless song in an ageless light / Sings at the coming dawn - The Mystic's Dream by Loreena McKennitt. Also the theme of the Mists of Avalon miniseries, which though a bit disappointing was nonetheless heartening that they would dramatize Marion Zimmer Bradley's book.

5. Lately it’s occurred to me / That I’ve had enough of that / And lately I’ve been satisfied by simple things like breathing in and breathing out - Not In This Life by Natalie Merchant. Anthem.

6. Oh, that boy of mine / By my side / The silver moon and the evening tide
Oh, some sweet day / Gonna take away / This hurting inside - Blue Bayou, Linda Ronstadt. Hee. Just a simple, nice, old standard.

8. Time casts a spell on you, but you won't forget me / I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me - Silver Springs by Fleetwood Mac. Baby, I don't wanna know. You go, Stevie Nicks!

10. Always I am mistaken / I look for love I find a stone / Of all the seasons winter befriends me - Momentum by Vienna Teng. Is beautiful.

13. I've no more ways to hide that I'm a desolate and empty, hollow place inside - Jezebel by 10,000 Maniacs. Natalie. I love this desolate song. Was in my head for most of 1997 and I'm still listening to it now. "I know your feelings are tender, I know inside you the embers still glow... but I'm a shadow, I'm only a bed of blackened coal."

16. I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand, sing of a lover's fate sealed by jealous hate then wash my hand in the sea. - Verdi Cries, also by 10,000 Maniacs. Am such a fangirl.

20. With an aching inside / I'll watch as her body is raised from the tide...
Her life has been taken, and I'll never know why / But I feel in that moment, a part of me died... - The Shores of The Swilly, Sinead O'Connor singing. Have a lot of Celtic-inspired songs playing.

22. When there was just a gang of us / Storming the town by train and bus
A moment of thought this heart sends to old friends - Old Friends, Everything But the Girl. Tracey rocks. This is one of my favorite EBTG songs (memories of high school) aside from Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love, Missing and Talk To Me Like the Sea.

A lot of these are really favorite songs because the playlist I used was the AchTung Baby playlist, and my memory card is only 128MB.

Last Song Syndrome : The Shores of the Swilly

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

you go, girl

Highest point of the 2005 Grammys, aside from a fun-fun opening number, was Joss Stone and Melissa Etheridge belting out Janis Joplin's Piece of My Heart. Love the song, love the people who were singing. Especially Ms. Etheridge. She was openly lesbian, and she didn't care what other people were saying. She was diagnosed with cancer middle of last year, but still she rocks. My kind of woman.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

an evening at the opera

The Phantom of the Opera, that is. Lavish spectacle, made even more remarkable by the fact that the entire cast (except for Minnie Driver) used their own voices. Unfortunately, there are some shortcomings, including Patrick Wilson's lack of charisma as Raoul, Gerard Butler's lack of menace as the Phantom (I really thought he was supposed to be more menacing, perhaps like Quasimodo with bite? you'd think they had hours to apply prosthetics to make him look more hideous), and Emily Rossum's lack of range of facial expressions as Christine. As it is also faithful to the stage musical from which it was adapted, Phantom also has some dragging parts that would not cater to a wide audience.

The spectacle of it all, though, the lavish sets, the wondrous design, and at-times breath-taking chorus scenes are magnificent, as are Minnie Driver and Miranda Richardson in their supporting roles (yet, I could be biased, because I absolutely adore these two). And the main character, Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, is the most disarming of all. Although I know some of the songs by heart, I have never heard them in the actual context of the musical; therefore it was poignant to watch Christine and Raoul singing All I Ask of You to each other; and The Music of the Night was quite thrilling.

It was a good experience, but not a great experience. It reminded me, at times, of MeatLoaf videos and seemed to try to reach the heights of one of the great movie musicals, Moulin Rouge. It does not fail, but it does not excel.

naman, naman
Hey lady. When I shelled out PhP120 for a guaranteed-seats ticket to the Phanton of the Opera at Glorietta 4, I didn't know that included listening to you singing along to All I Ask of You. Hee. Wala ka namang talent fee ah.

Last Song Syndrome : All I Ask of You

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

my playlist meme

Filched from ballerynna:

Step 1: Get your playlist together, put it on random, and play!
Step 2: Pick your favorite lines from the first 25 songs that play!
Step 3: Post and let everyone you know guess what song the lines come from!
Step 4: Cross out the songs when someone guesses correctly!


1. How do you measure a year in the life?

2. Bye bye baby, don’t be long

3. Here’s a photo I’ve been looking for / It’s a picture of the boy next door

4. A clouded dream on an earthly night / Hangs upon the crescent moon / A voiceless song in an ageless light / Sings at the coming dawn

5. Lately it’s occurred to me / That I’ve had enough of that / And lately I’ve been satisfied by simple things like breathing in and breathing out

6. Oh, that boy of mine / By my side / The silver moon and the evening tide
Oh, some sweet day / Gonna take away / This hurting inside

7. I'm not depressed / I don't get down that much
I'm not despondent / I am not dark as such

8. Time casts a spell on you, but you won't forget me / I know I could have loved you, but you would not let me

9. Just before our love got lost you said, I am as constant as a northern star / And I said, constant in the darkness, Where’s that at? / If you want me I’ll be in the bar

10. Always I am mistaken / I look for love I find a stone / Of all the seasons winter befriends me

11. Dear Marcus, you rocked my world / You had a charismatic way about you with the women / And you got me seriously thinking about spirituality

12. Years go by / Will I choke on my tears / Till finally there is nothing left
One more casualty / You know we're too easy

13. I've no more ways to hide that I'm a desolate and empty, hollow place inside

14. Since I’m only dead to you, I’m saying stay away

15. I’ll let it pass and hold my tongue / And you will think that I’ve moved on

16. I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand, sing of a lover's fate sealed by jealous hate then wash my hand in the sea.

17. Please don’t say “I love you”, those words touch me much too deeply

18. I’d rather you be mean than love and lie / I’d rather hear the truth and have to say goodbye

19. What exactly do you do? Have you ever thought it's you that's boring?

20. With an aching inside / I'll watch as her body is raised from the tide...
Her life has been taken, and I'll never know why / But I feel in that moment, a part of me died...

21. When her days are grey / And her nights are black / Different shades of mundane

22. When there was just a gang of us / Storming the town by train and bus
A moment of thought this heart sends to old friends

23. Today is gone but tomorrow will be okay

24. I might want to marry you one day if you watch that weight and keep your firm body

25. Well, I’ve been afraid of changing ’cause I’ve built my life around you / But time makes you bolder / Children get older

Last Song Syndrome : all of the above

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

texts, dermot, batteries and the chumscrubber

The other night, I was jolted out of my late-night-just-about-to-sleep reverie by a sudden text from Co-conspirator. We’re way past booty calls (or booty texts, for this matter), so I wondered what the ‘favor’ was. Apparently, CC the office lothario was looking for KP’s phone number because he ‘accidentally deleted it’. Puh-lease, how lame can you get? (Okay, benefit of the doubt.) KP was one of his first frustrated conquests in the office, although I know for a fact that they’re getting friendly now. I still gave him the number. I don’t know how KP will react to that but they’re both adults anyway, and reputation notwithstanding, I still think that CC is a nice enough guy to understand the word no, if ever. Who knows, maybe KP with her sassy, independent woman, devil-may-care attitude is just what he needs…

After that, I couldn’t seem to lull myself back to sleep. Thanks to that though, I caught Dermot in-which-backwoods-have-you-been-hiding Mulroney on Conan. Apparently, he and Debra Messing have a movie together called The Wedding Day. I then flip channels and land on AXN where, hehe, I catch the ending of My Best Friend’s Wedding. Dermot’s still yummy, even with the salt-and-pepper hair thing going. Still looks like Stallone, but who’s complaining.

I’m reading through what I’ve written and I’ve been hyphen-happy. Hee!

-oOo-

At Glorietta last weekend, PhotoWorld 2005 was underway. Browsed through various booths such as those for Kodak, Epson, Canon, and photographers such as Passion Photography and John Mateos Ong. The Apacer booth was particularly interesting because their 60X 512MB SD cards were selling for PhP3,000. Unfortunately they did not accept charge transactions so I’ll have to wait until (a) next payday or (b) sudden windfall from Factory jobs (still no word on that matter). I was able to get a 4-pack of 2300mAH rechargeable batteries for PhP348 only, though, and that made my trip a good one already. I remember the last time I scouted for 2100mAH batteries, a pair was about PhP400.

-oOo-

The Chumscrubber recently premiered at the Sundance film festival and I'm quite excited about it being shown over here. Billy Elliot's Jamie Bell plays a suburban kid taking on the craziness of suburbia, with a cast composed of (swoon) Jason Isaacs and Ralph Fiennes, Glenn Close, Richard Gleason, Allison Janney, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lauren Holly, Rita Wilson, John Heard, William Fichtner, and cute little Camilla Belle, in a film that tackles the "hypocrisy and muted subjects of our times", said the director in a post-screening interview, using comic book superheroes as an allegory. What fun.

Last Song Syndrome : Pippin's song for Denethor

Monday, February 07, 2005

congratulations New England

The New York Times > Sports > Pro Football > Patriots 24, Eagles 21: The Dynasty Is Official

I don't really follow American football, I'd take a Real Madarid game over any helmet-clad guys any day. However, I saw a Leno feature on the two teams vying for the Superbowl, and the New England patriots were much more fun. Hehe! I'd much rather have a team that was playing with some tongue-in-cheek humor stashed away.

it's monday and i'm swamped...

nicked from gamhanan:





You Have A Type A- Personality



A-





You are one of the most balanced people around
Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want
You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back
Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!
You live life to the fullest - encorporating the best of both worlds


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

how to lose a guy in...

about five weeks ago:
SlimyGuy#2: (through text and IM) hey, let's meet up soon, see a movie or something, and let's see what happens after that...
Ri: sure, but i'm really quite busy, maybe next week?

about four weeks ago:
SG2: well, what about our plans?
Ri: maybe next week, i'm really swamped, Christmas season and all...

about three weeks ago:
a YM conversation
SG2: so how are you na? what have you been up to?
Ri: work, lots of work, freelancing, the like... i haven't been going out
SG2: what about the lovelife? aren't you seeing anyone?
Ri: don't really need a relationship or commitment right now, so i'm not actively looking.
SG2: got a point there. so when are we going out?!
Ri: sometime soon, just text me.
( pointless chat banter )
Ri: by the way, i'm so fat right now. as in.
SG2: oh, really?

since then until now:
SG2: (hasn't texted or chatted)

I can only say this: Mwahahahahaha! At least I've gotten rid of him. How obvious naman. Well, obviously, it's not my loss. Heehee!

Last Song Syndrome : These Days - Bamboo