Monday, June 30, 2008

The week in review

Wednesday night: Live Free or Die Hard (watched with Hanks)

Hanks and I never watched the 4th Die Hard movie in a cinema for the simple reason that we never watched its 3 predecessors. In the past few months we managed to watch Die Hard, Die Hard 2, and Die Hard with a Vengeance on DVD, and we finally got the chance to see Live Free or Die Hard this past week. Like the 3 that came before it, the movie has a lot of action and violence, requires a lot of willing suspension of disbelief (using a car to take down a helicopter, whoa!), and oh yeah, John McClane kicks a lot of bad-guy ass. This time he's up against a bunch of cyber-terrorists wreaking havoc with the country's transportation and communication systems, utilities and other computer-controlled facilities. Timothy Olyphant, who plays the mastermind Thomas Gabriel, is no Alan Rickman or Jeremy Irons, but because the whole cyber-terrorist scheme seems so brilliant (and frighteningly feasible), this new breed of villain is pretty fun to watch at work. Justin Long fills in the role of young sidekick as a hacker McClane is supposed to protect from the baddies, and he reminds me of a more refined, less entertaining Shia LeBeouf. And the man himself, Bruce Willis, is the definitive action star of his generation, IMHO; he may not have the heft and He-Man proportions of Stallone or Schwarzenegger, but what he lacks in bulk he more than makes up for in attitude. His wry humor, nonchalance in the face of danger, and complete disregard for authority make John McClane one of the most memorable and beloved action heroes from contemporary cinema,
and make Live Free or Die Hard a fun, not-so-old-fashioned action flick.

Yipeekayay, mother*bleep*.

Friday night: Get Smart (watched with Hanks and Fara)

I love watching no-brainer comedies with Fara. Hearing her peals of infectious laughter seems to make the movie funnier than it actually is. Not that Get Smart isn't funny. The plot is predictable, the gags lean towards slapstick, and the punch lines lack oomph, but Steve Carrell's signature deadpan delivery sells the whole movie. As bumbling secret agent Max Smart, Carrell is goofy and good-natured, earnest and endearing, and heckuva hilarious. As the newest agent of CONTROL, he teams up with Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway, decked out in gorgeous white trench coats and fabulous Chanel shades) to thwart the diabolical plans of enemy agency KAOS. Supporting players deliver great performances too: Alan Arkin as the gruff Chief, The Rock as macho Agent 23, Masi Oka as geeky analyst Bruce, and Terence Stamp as cultured but criminal KAOS head Siegfried. Anne Hathaway was all right as Agent 99, but I've never been able to fully accept the idea of her as the sexy bombshell-- must be vestiges of The Princess Diaries.

Get Smart is actually kind of stupid, but good for laughs, and a refreshing change of pace from all the super-cool superhero blockbusters of the American summer. One can only take so much spandex... which is not to say I'm not raring to see The Dark Knight.

Saturday dinner: Abbondanza (with my Rated R group, Raqs, Angge and Dex)

Raqs suggested we have our Rated R dinner at her law school classmate's restaurant, Abbondanza. She also told me that anyone who blogs about Abbondanza gets a freebie on the next visit, but since I presume that offer only applies to glowing reviews, I don't know if I'll qualify. Italian food is my favorite, and I'm pretty easy to please when it comes to pasta. But my standards for pizza are a bit more exacting, and Abbondanza's didn't quite meet them. We ordered the Margherita, and there was a slightly off-putting aftertaste to it. The consistency of the crust wasn't that good either. The Pasta Montanara was better: the fusilli noodles were al dente, the mushrooms were big, and there were generous amounts of sausage and salami. The Risotto al Funghi Porcini was also good, reminiscent of the mushroom risotto I love at In-yo. Based on the pasta and risotto, I would go to Abbondanza again, and sample some of the other pasta dishes on the menu. But I'll have to pass on the pizza.

Sunday lunch: Felix, and Pia y Damaso for dessert (with Pa, Hanks and Auntie Nene)

Ma was out of the country, so we took the opportunity to try out a new restaurant we didn't think she'd like. Felix in Greenbelt 5 is the joint venture of chef Florabel Co (also behind Florabel in the Podium), retail magnate Ben Chan (of Bench), and celebrity couple Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres. The menu features fusion cuisine, melding Filipino and Chinese dishes with Western fare. I had the chicken adobo and kesong puti cannelloni, Hanks had the
baked dory stuffed with shrimp and taro, Auntie Nene had the chicken fillet coated with roasted nuts, and Pa had the US Angus beef burger stuffed with foie gras. Everyone was quite happy with their entrees. Prior to that we had the "Yokohama" appetizer, which turned out to be prawns tempura served with crab fat sauce, and it didn't wow us. But my mushroom soup wasn't bad.

After lunch we headed for Cafe Pia y Damaso for dessert. I have had dinner there before with my Rated R group, so I knew the desserts would be good. Since I had already tried Ibarra's Kiss, Maria Clara's Cheesecake and Wicked Simoun, we went with the Ben Zayb, a Filipinized banoffee pie, and the Guni-guni, a sugar-free version of Sisa's Dementia ("
truffle cake with white chocolate almond pastille, dark chocolate mousse and ganache", as described in the menu)
. My dad, who's borderline diabetic, loved the Guni-guni, and declared it better than his favorite sugar-free treat, Strabucks' Sinless Bliss. Being the chocoholic that I am, I liked both. We also all enjoyed the coffees we ordered with our dessert; the lattes had just the right amount of milk, without overpowering the aroma of the coffee. I'm sure my dad won't object the next time we invite him to have dessert at Pia y Damaso.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday night: last few episodes of Ugly Betty, Season 2 (all by myself)

I just finished watching the post-writers' strike episodes of Ugly Betty, and I am now officially a convert. I used to just lovelovelove Henry the dorky accountant, but then came Gio, the sandwich guy. At first I was a little annoyed at him for stealing Henry's thunder, but then he started to grow on me, the way he flirts with Betty, makes fun of her, yet easily picks up on her moods and feelings, and listens to her whenever she needs to vent. And yes, Jo, he's hot. The episode where he tries to salvage Betty's 24th birthday is what sealed the deal for me (fireworks!), and I'm now solidly with Team Gio, although I liked his hair better in Season 1.

Henry vs Gio aside, I like how the writers keep putting telenovela touches to the storylines of this show, as an homage to the original Betty La Fea. Wilhemina's schemes to bring down the Meades and take over their publishing empire are bordering on outrageous, but just this side of ridiculous. The roller-coaster family dynamics among Daniel, Alexis and their mother can get melodramatic, but still tug at the heartstrings. The comic relief provided by the fabulous tandem of Marc and Amanda is exaggerated but extremely entertaining. And Betty's perpetual optimism and admirable selflessness may not adequately explain why she has 2 cute guys fighting over her (come on, she may have pluck but she doesn't pluck her eyebrows!), but she is no whiny attention whore a la Meredith Grey, who seriously shouldn't have so many McHotties falling all over her. Seriously.

The season finale didn't leave me in tears like the previous season's, but it was a very effective cliffhanger. I can't wait for the third season to see which guy Betty chooses, or if she chooses neither (which is my guess). I also want to see how Daniel and Alexis' strained relationship develops; I feel the writers should play up this angle a bit more (how many brother and sister-who-used-to-be-a-brother relationships are there on television?). And I look forward to the fashion too (my favorite outfit of the season: Wilhemina's delicious red and gray ensemble upon her triumphant return to the Meade offices). A love triangle, a dysfunctional family, power struggles, and bitchin' wardrobes-- what more could a show need? As Project Runway winner Christian Siriano (who cameos in one episode) would say, "Fierce!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Apparently, I still rule

Sometime last week, aliens abducted me in my sleep and surgically implanted a transmitter inside me that sends out a signal on a frequency reserved for well-meaning, matchmaking aunts.

In the past week alone, I've had 3 aunts (2 biological, 1 family friend) offer to set me up. And here I thought my reign as Kaisiao Queen was over. I went through a whole slew of set-ups in 2006 and 2007-- I have enough material to write an entire book (I have had more than one friend suggest that I do, but tempting as it is, it just wouldn't be ethical). The onslaught eased up in 2008, but right now I feel like one of those motels with the "vacancy" sign switched on and blinking madly. Oh sure, I know my aunts have good intentions and I am flattered that everyone seems to think highly enough of me to introduce me to so-and-so's son/nephew/grandson/brother/cousin, but it can also get wearying, especially when their matchmaking methods and standards are so antiquated (fortunately, 2 of the 3 aforementioned aunts are pretty hip, and I trust their judgment).

Maybe if the kaisiaos didn't keep coming one after another, it wouldn't be so stressful. I'm beginning to wonder if it's seasonal, like how there's an ideal time to hunt for deer or fish for trout. I suppose I should be grateful that people are making the effort to help me find a "suitable match"; otherwise, I would probably not get to meet any guys at all. All the good ones I know are taken, gay, younger, far older, just not my type, or just not in my league, so at least serial blind dating gives me some options, regardless of the quality of those options. Besides, once I breach the dreaded age barrier of 30, even the most solicitous of my aunts might give me up for a lost cause, and then I might actually miss being Kaisiao Queen.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Ateneo post Laureen was expecting

When my student Laureen saw the title of my blog post "No Guts, No Glory", she thought it would be an Ateneo-La Salle entry, given that the UAAP season is about to kick off. I actually hadn't been planning on blogging about my beloved alma mater and our arch(er)rivals from Taft, but then I found out that the first ADMU-DLSU match of Season 71 is scheduled on July 6, the same day as my friend Mishy's wedding. Here I go again, with the confluence of events in my life. Naturally I'll be attending the wedding (as I texted Mishy, I love her more than I do Ateneo), but I still feel bummed that I'll be missing the game. I'm hoping I can manage to catch it on TV at least, in between the church ceremony and the reception. However, I'm the lone Atenean in our high school barkada, so watching together with them will mean I'll be on the receiving end of merciless heckling and dissing the entire afternoon and evening, especially if the Blue Eagles lose. Oh well, win or lose, it's the school I choose. :p

And I suppose missing one game is better than missing an entire season. The only time that happened was in 2002 when I was studying in Beijing, and to make things even more painful for me, it was the year Ateneo bagged the championship (leading all my friends to conclude that I'm the jinx, har har). I have yet to personally witness the Eagles claiming the UAAP crown, and I'm really hoping they manage to do it this year, what with a group of prized rookies (Buenafe, Salva, Chua and Burke), and this being Chris Tiu's last season to don the blue and white for our school. I also read in the papers today that Jobe Nkemakolam will be eligible to play (after being suspended from the team for academic reasons), so he'll be joining Chris, Angelo's boy Nonoy Baclao, Yang's darling Jai Reyes, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, Eric Salamat, Kirk Long, Yuri Escueta and the rest of the Eagles in their bid for UAAP glory this season. I have high hopes for our boys. And even if they don't make it all the way, I want them to kick some Green Archer ass.

I feel sad for my cousin Jasper, who's leaving for Singapore this week to start a new job there. Ahia Jess is probably the only Atenean relative I have who is even more die-hard than I am (
he even tried to push back the date of his departure so that he can make the game on July 6!), and I know how much it kills him that he'll be missing out on future games (unless he takes a budget flight home for every Ateneo-La Salle match... and I wouldn't be surprised if he does!). I guess I should be glad I'll just be missing one. At least I hope I miss just one.

Here's to Season 71, and here's wishing our boys in blue strength, endurance, courage, fortitude, confidence, composure, and above all, puso. We believe, baby. ONE BIG FIGHT!

Monday, June 23, 2008

If there were any justice in this world, it should have been the plane

How's this for staggering numbers? Over 700 people are trapped in a capsized ferry off the coast of Romblon, and our dearest President is off on a junket in the US of A with 59 congressmen in tow. Effing 59! That's not even counting GMA's pig bastard of a husband and their 2 disgusting deadbeat sons. And of course it's just a crazy coincidence that their trip was scheduled on the very same week as the Pacquiao-Diaz fight in Vegas. Speaker of the House Prospero Nograles made a lame attempt to be upfront about it, defensively stating for the record that indeed he is watching Manny's bout, but he paid his own way, so what the hell are you tax-paying bitches whining about?

Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, one of the lucky SOBs who got to tag along to the US, was quoted as saying, "The President is so concerned about the situation there. Immediately upon landing here in
San Francisco, she immediately called and reconvened the NDCC to be able to be personally informed about the situation there so the NDCC convened at Camp Aguinaldo and all the action officers and the Cabinet members assigned gave her all the updates." Oh bite me, jerkwad who speaks in redundant run-on sentences. If she were really "so concerned", she'd take the next flight back to Manila so that she could personally oversee the NDCC's efforts herself. And are there even enough Cabinet members left back here to do more than give Her Excellency updates? Christ, the unbelievable audacity of these scumbags! I wouldn't even be so pissed if they would just shut up and stop pretending to give a damn about the close to a thousand people who lost their lives in last weekend's storm, or the passengers of the MV Princess of the Stars and the ongoing rescue operation and search for survivors. While GMA and her merry band of bandits were sipping champagne in first class, their constituents were swallowing sea water, drowning and dying. How dare they feed us bullshit that they lost any sleep
on their cushy transcontinental flight?

This Sunday when Manny Pacquiao, Filipino hero (*gag*), dukes it out with Diaz in Mandalay Bay, our sorry excuse for national leaders will be watching and whooping it up ringside, while the country for whose pride Pacquiao is supposed to be fighting, the country whose welfare our government officials are supposed to be prioritizing, recovers from the pummeling it took from Typhoon Frank. Thankfully, we have a President who is willing to take time out of her super-duper important luncheons and photo ops with Bush to grovel for international aid for the country she is "so concerned" about. Aren't we just so lucky to have her.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bookworm's progress report #2, 2008

I've been a very bad bookworm this year. Since my 1st progress report of the year, I've only managed to cross out 4 titles from my reading list. I'd blame it on the usual culprits, TV and DVDs, but I don't want to make excuses. I will strive to improve my reading rate for the remainder of the year, and hopefully my work and social calendars will allow it.

For now, the negligent bookworm humbly submits these 4 reviews:
  • The Gun Seller - For me the best writers have a very distinct "voice" which resounds throughout their work, as if I can hear the author narrating the story to me. Turns out, multi-talented actor Hugh Laurie is a pretty good writer. Fans of his TV show House will recognize his "voice" in his debut novel, a mock spy thriller that is at once irreverent, intelligent, and entertaining. Laurie's writing style bears traces of the acerbic wit of his TV alter ego, but it is not House we "hear" telling the tale of reluctant hero Thomas Lang. It is Lang himself who comes to life as the beleaguered bodyguard-slash-mercenary who gets entangled in a twist-and-turn plot involving the CIA, the British Ministry of Defense, ruthless arms dealers and terrorists. Lang is wry and self-deprecating, and makes for an engaging first POV. He is cool under fire, and has no delusions about being James Bond... and it's precisely his un-Bond-like flaws that makes him sympathetic and endearing. Judging from The Gun Seller, it's apparent that Laurie is not just a terrific Brit actor who can pull off an impeccable American accent, he's also quite the skilled storyteller. His is one "voice" I'd gladly listen to again, so here's looking forward to his next literary endeavor.
  • The Plot Against America - Reading this Philip Roth novel during the height of the frenzy surrounding the US primaries, I was struck even more by the passions that permeate their electoral process, as well as America's strong sense of democracy and patriotism. Nowadays we vilify the US as a global bully (thanks to Dubya), but The Plot Against America takes a refreshing, unique look into the heart and soul of American politics, not within the walls of the White House or up on Capitol Hill, but in the Jewish neighborhoods of New Jersey. This is a fictional autobiographical account of a nine-year-old Roth in 1940's America under the administration of an anti-Semitic, pro-Hitler Charles Lindbergh (yes, President Lindbergh). Set against the tumult and tension of World War II, Roth's Jewish family goes through years of anxiety, sorrow and fear as life in the land of the free becomes dangerous for Jews, and the horrors of the Holocaust happening a continent away seem to be forming in the home of the brave. Yet the Roths refuse to leave the country they love and call their own, demonstrating a fierce steadfastness to the principles and ideals that America is supposed to stand for.

    The details are so vivid, the narrative so natural and straightforward, the emotions so real that it's easy to forget it's all a stretch of the author's imagination. And perhaps that is what adds to the power of this novel: the idea that it's all so frighteningly plausible. It's a chilling thought, and Roth expertly delivers it through this compelling alternate reality. By telling the story of one family, he reminds us that America is not so much about the suits in Washington DC calling the shots, but about the people who comprise America, no matter what ethnicity or social class. Somehow, in this book, Roth manages to depict America as both evil and good, and the contrast makes for an all the more interesting read, especially in light of the ongoing war in Iraq and other hot topics of the day. I enjoyed this as much as (if not more than) I did Roth's American Pastoral, and based on those 2 novels alone I can tell this is one author who truly loves his country, sins of the past and present notwithstanding.
  • Then We Came to the End - Anyone who's ever worked in a cubicle can relate to this quirky account of life in a contemporary advertising firm: the office romances, the ugly politics, the all-too-efficient grapevine, the juvenile pranks, the various neuroses, the complicated social dynamics, and the constant search for an excuse to slack off. This debut novel from Joshua Ferris is like the TV show The Office without Steve Carrell's signature deadpan delivery, but with the plot elements that white-collar employees everywhere can identify with. Ferris' own real-life experience in advertising is evident not only in the specifics of his characters' work habits, creative processes and industry knowledge, but in his snappy writing style, which is fresh and fast and funny. The whole novel is told in the first person, using the corporate "we", which is a smart and effective little gimmick, save for one chapter in the middle that shifts the focus from the motley crew of employees to their boss, who has more problems to deal with than anyone actually realizes. Although I felt no real empathy with any of the characters, I was amused by them, and some reminded me of people I used to work with back when I was still stuck in a cubicle. This book may be lacking in depth, but for light reading it's more than satisfactory.
  • The Witches of Eastwick - I remember having watched the film adaptation of this novel years back. The movie starred Susan Sarandon, Michelle Pfeiffer and Cher as the titular witches, and Jack Nicholson as their enigmatic and devilish new neighbor Darryl Van Horne. I know I enjoyed the movie, so when I found out that the book had been written by John Updike, I immediately put it on my reading list. I've come to appreciate Updike since Gertrude and Claudius, and though it turns out his original Witches is very different from the screenplay he helped write, it did not disappoint. The book is more sinister, more sensual and more substantial. Updike's 3 witches Alexandra, Jane and Sukie are given very distinct and full personalities, and the changes in those personalities upon the arrival of Darryl in the sleepy town of Eastwick are deftly unspooled by the author. Though the overall tone of the book is dark, there is a certain beauty in that darkness that kept me turning the pages. Perhaps that's Updike's own brand of black magic.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


My friends Yang and Angelo are celebrating their 7th wedding anniversary today. Yang, as my few loyal blog readers would know by now, is my fellow LM girl/foodie/die-hard Blue Eagles fan, my constant YM correspondent, and my source of free legal advice and assistance. Angelo, whom I affectionately refer to as her worse half, is my verbal sparring partner/tormentor extraordinaire, and though significantly older (haha) and a Soc Sci major, I think of him as an honorary LM boy. I adore them individually (yes, even you, Angelo), but I adore them even more as a tandem. Sometimes I tend to think of them as a single unit rather than 2 separate entities (hence the collective name Yangelo), and it feels odd seeing one without the other. There's this wonderful dynamic between the 2 that brings out the best qualities in each, and watching them together makes me actually believe that uber-cheesy, vomit-inducing "you-complete-me" line from Jerry Maguire.

The Quimsons are my favorite couple for many reasons, but the main reason is that their love is the including, not the excluding, kind. You know how there are couples who just make people feel like the 3rd wheel, even in a large group? These are the pairs who are so wrapped up in (or worse, wrapped around) one another that it's uncomfortable being around them, as if you're intruding on their private time. I have never felt that way around Yang and Angelo, even back during college when we weren't that close yet. Sure, they can be all sweet and lovey-dovey (well, ok, YANG can be sweet and lovey-dovey), but you never get the impression that their love is being shoved in your face, either gloatingly or obliviously. As one of their single friends, I particularly appreciate how I am not made to feel as if my being unattached is some sort of pitiable affliction. Instead, I am made to feel that their love is so great that there's enough of it to go around and share with everyone. Their joy in being together spills over and encompasses those around them, so that you feel like you're taking part in their happiness and not just a bystander observing it.

To this day I regret that I was unable to attend Yang and Angelo's wedding in Bacolod 7 years ago. But every time I see them together, I am strongly reminded that I need not have witnessed the wedding to know that their union is one of profound love, and that I am blessed to be able to bask in its glow.

Happy Anniversary Yangelo! :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

2 instances of ineptitude

A few weeks back, I suggested that for Father's Day, we treat our carnivorous dad to a steak dinner at Discovery Suites' 22 Prime, based on a glowing review written by food blogger Lori Baltazar (thanks for the link, Yang!). Anticipating a full house because of said special occasion (and the presumption that there are many meat-lover dads out there), I called well in advance to reserve a table for our family. During the phone conversation, I specifically asked the person on the other end if they would be serving a la carte items on June 15. When the girl hesitated, then answered in the affirmative in a not-so-certain tone, I pointedly reminded her, "That's Father's Day. You're sure there's no special set menu? We can order a la carte?" There was a muffled noise as the girl covered the receiver, but I distinctly heard her asking someone in the background to corroborate the information she was giving me. She returned to the line with the reassurance that a la carte items would be available on the day we'd be dining at 22 Prime.

Silly me for being reassured. We showed up at 22 Prime on the evening of June 15 to find a Father's Day buffet and-- you guessed it-- NO A LA CARTE. I was seething in barely controlled outrage as I complained to the manager that someone from his staff (and that someone thank her lucky stars I didn't remember her name) told me we could order from the a la carte menu. Through gritted teeth, I told him that if we had known it would be a buffet-only night, we would not have come. The whole point of having chosen 22 Prime was so that Pa could try their steaks. He doesn't even like buffets! I was contemplating switching venues right then and there, but my parents-- who were nice enough to try to placate me-- said we might as well stay, there was prime rib in the buffet anyway. I was still visibly miffed though, and to his credit, the manager was profusely apologetic, and he made sure the waiter assigned to our table jumped at our every beck and call. But I was still sore, especially upon learning the price of the buffet (P1100!!), and seeing the limited selection of desserts (
we should have gone to Heat instead!). The only thing that kept me from fully blowing a gasket was 1) I didn't want to spoil Father's Day by making a scene, and 2) I was wearing a new dress with my favorite camel heels, and the outfit was too nice to throw a hissy fit in. However, I vowed I would vent my displeasure through my blog, so there you have it.

Chances are I can't be convinced to return to 22 Prime, even to satisfy my carnivorous curiosity (sorry Yang!). I'm usually quite understanding when it comes to the occasional lapse in service, but when it throws a monkey wrench in my carefully laid out plans, then it just pisses me off. You'd think an upscale hotel would train their staff better and ensure that they are knowledgeable about all aspects of their job. And it wouldn't have hurt if the manager had given us complimentary beverages to make amends (coffee and tea weren't even included in the buffet!).

It really is disappointing to encounter demonstrations of carelessness and incompetence in even the best establishments or from the best organizations. My eyes practically popped out of my head last week when I saw a blunder committed by the king of international news networks, CNN. I was lying in bed in our hotel room in Guangzhou almost drifting off to sleep when a news story came on about a heap of treasure recovered from a sunken Spanish ship off the coast of Florida. Spain's government and an American salvage company are fighting over rightful possession of the gold and silver coins, and this headline, which jolted me awake and made me sit up in disbelief, was flashed across the screen: "Who's gold?" I kid you not.

It's bad enough that lately, I've observed that the contents of CNN's newsbar (the one-liners that appear on the bottom of the screen) have become increasingly vague and frequently uninformative. For example: "Manchester United report Real Madrid to FIFA" them for what?? Or, "Man kills family with ax" ...what man?? Where's he from?? Or, "Queen's granddaughter to miss Olympics" ...why?? Is she an athlete, or a spectator? If it's the former, what sport was she supposed to compete in??
For that matter, which Queen are we talking about, and which granddaughter?? But choppy and ill-composed newsbar items, I can tolerate (it really is a challenge to be concise AND comprehensive-- SIAS, anyone?). "Who's gold?" on CNN, well that's just criminal. Off with the guilty typesetter's head!

I may be overreacting, but I believe in adhering to certain standards of competence, if not excellence (magis, baby!). And I expect to see those standards met by people and institutions who tout themselves as superior to others. So it's not that I'm being a bitchy customer or nitpicky viewer (though I won't plead innocent to either charge), it's just that my threshold for inexcusable ineptitude is low. Pardon me for being particular.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No Guts, No Glory

I just got back from a week-long business trip to China, and my blogging muscles feel tight from lack of use. I do have a blog topic lurking around my brain somewhere, but until I'm sufficiently warmed up for a proper blog workout, for now I'm just going to take the easy way out and repost this intriguing entry I came across in 2 of my Multiply contacts' blogs.

* * *

Statistically speaking, unless you are a total hermit, a social retard, or ugly as a putrid bum, there is at least one person in your multiply network who
has a crush on you, wants to date you, wants to sleep with you, or simply just wants to kiss you.

So... let's play
"No Guts, No Glory!"

The rules are simple.

  1. If you want to date the person who posted this, send a Personal Message, not a reply to this post, saying "Coffee?"
  2. If you have a crush on the person who posted this, send a Personal Message saying "You're hot!"
  3. If you just want to sleep with them & stay friends, send them a message that says "Nice shoes!"
  4. If you simply just want to kiss the person who posted this, send a Personal Message saying, "I do!"

The only rule is that, you must not make anyone who sends you a personal message feel stupid for feeling that way about you. Acknowledge. Say thank you. Move on.


SO... repost this as "No Guts, No Glory", as it doesn't matter if you're married, in a relationship, or single. You opened it, so you HAVE to repost it! A test of your bravery...

C'mon! No Guts, No Glory! :D

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Morbid musings

I don't know if it's because I'm comfortable contemplating my mortality, or if I'm just plain morbid, but I think about my death more than the average 27-year-old. The idea of a loved one dying, I don't handle well at all, but the notion of my own death doesn't really scare me. There are times I catch myself suddenly thinking, what if the plane crashes? while on a flight, or what if armed robbers gun me down? while running bank errands, or what if I'm diagnosed with cancer? while undergoing a medical checkup... and it doesn't really terrify me. I'm sure I'd be upset if I found out I was going to kick the bucket, like, tomorrow, but I don't think I'd be hysterical either. At least I hope not.

Yesterday I suddenly felt like running through my list of people I'd like to deliver eulogies at my funeral, assuming they outlive me. I first drew up this mental list years back, during my angkong's wake in 2000. I've added and subtracted names from the roster over the years, and now it reads something like this:
  • my siblings, Hanks and Bens
  • my best friend Raqs
  • my tag team partner Angge
  • my mentor Sir Tirol
  • my personal shrink Maddy
  • my students
Not ALL my students, of course. But I'm having a bit of trouble trimming down that group. I had over 200 students, not counting the members of the club I moderated, the 2 years I was in ICA. If I had to limit myself to only a handful (the funeral's going to be long enough as it is with so many eulogies), the shortlist would definitely include Jo, Rach, Tarin, Karen Ramos, and Mini-me Jen Ong.

The eulogy list covers the people who know me best, and who have known me in different capacities: as a sister, as a friend, as a classmate, as a student, as a co-worker, as a teacher. They are also the people I love and respect most, and who have been important parts of my life, no matter how long I end up living. So I would be honored if they would say a few words about me at my funeral.

I once told Raqs that I've always sensed that I would die a sudden and violent death. It's not something I can explain, it's just a gut feeling that I will go quickly, and not quietly. But regardless of how I shuffle off this mortal coil, I would find reassurance knowing that I leave behind a legacy worth eulogizing.