Monday, December 30, 2002

Where art thou, Melissa Auf Der Maur?

Melissa Auf Der Maur used to be the bassist of Hole, filling in after Kristen Pfaff died of an overdose. Billy Corgan recommended her for the slot. But since Hole have pretty much been on hold because of Courtney Love's desperate attempts to become famous (and her long-standing disputes with Geffen Records), she left to go solo for a while, but was promptly picked up by Corgan to fill in as bassist in Smashing Pumpkins when D'Arcy Wretzky went off to pursue her up-to-now non-existent acting career. She was only their tour bassist, since D'Arcy played bass on the band's last album Machina. However, Auf Der Maur appeared in the videos post-D'Arcy: The Everlasting Gaze, and Stand Inside Your Love.

She is the sexiest woman in rock.

And thank God she was in the Hole videos, too. Whenever it wasn't a pure-Courtney thing, anyway. Let's see: Malibu, and Violet, which I just saw earlier and prompted this entry. With her fiery red hair and freckles, just the way she straddles her big-ass bass, she is one of my #1 Crushes. She sings back-up sometimes, and it's obviously much more interesting to watch her instead of Courtney Love (especially in Malibu), and I think I actually prefer her being a back-up singer/bassist than if she were to become the frontperson of a band. Part of her mystique, I guess, is in being in the background, but being more compelling than the foreground. Does that make sense? I remember once, Ric Ocasek played on Conan O'Brien, and I didn't give a shit, but when they started I noticed he'd gotten Auf Der Maur to play bass for him and I went apeshit, trying to hook up my VHS to record it (but, alas, failed; I was missing a few cables).

So here's the thing: where art thou, Melissa Auf Der Maur? Ever since Smashing Pumpkins dissolved, does anybody know what she's been up to? She's not in Corgan's new band Zwan, and she's not in the Virgins, either (James Iha's post-Pumpkins band with Evan Dando of the Lemonheads). She's one of rock's national treasures, a damn good bassist with a damn good voice and killer looks, to boot. Mikey and I are big fans of her in Everlasting Gaze, what with that dress, the angles, and her moves. There's one part where she stamps her foot on the floor as if dashing the hopes of all lovelorn rock-geeks. Interestingly, she looks cutest in that shot where she's obviously concentrating on playing.


I tried googling her and all I could find was that she's been doing odd projects, at one point doing a fashion show with a puppeteer, and then gigs with friends like Paz Lenchantin.

Paz is another fine bassist, and also a hot rock babe. I've only seen her in pictures and that beautiful A Perfect Circle video "Judith" directed by David Fincher. But I think she's left A Perfect Circle already (not too big a deal since it was a side band anyway) to join Billy Corgan's Zwan. Man, that Corgan sure has a fine eye for the fine ladies. I suppose it's to make up for his bald pate. I remember being very impressed in high school to find out that the bassist of the Smashing Pumpkins was a woman (D'Arcy Wretzky), and one that wasn't butt-ugly. She's quite cute, actually, but sometimes her make-up can make her look haggard (Ava Adore).

So that's three fine ladies of rock, all bassists. Who are the others? Among guitarists, Carrie Brownstein immediately comes to mind, though other people may disagree with me. However, after seeing Sleater-Kinney perform twice in Boston, I was smitten. She had a broken toe and still played like a whirling dervish, jumping and spinning and striking rock goddess poses and strutting her stuff. I emptied an entire roll of film on her one night. Whatta performer. Thinking about it, the way a woman moves with a guitar can be a beautiful thing. It probably says a lot about her personality, too. And if you think about it, the cable from the guitar to the amp is a kind of leash, so it has that restraint/wild thing going for it. Hoo-hah. Or am I just thinking about this too much? I still think Juliana Hatfield's a babe. Dolores O'Riordan, but I hesitate to mention her since the quality of the Cranberries' music has taken a sharp nosedive since To The Faithful Departed. Shirley Manson definitely knows how to move, but up close she's actually not that beautiful. We've got the Fatal Posporos, all fine ladies. Kitchie Nadal is filling out nicely. I'm still in love with Bjork but her age is now undeniable.

Who are your suggestions?

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Ahh, Christmas. How you suck. The traffic just isn't worth it. That said, I'm glad it's over. We can all hopefully go back to our lives. You can always appreciate the break, but the traffic and aggravation are just hell. Plus, everything's been commercialized, commodified, compromised anyway. Got some nice gifts, and I'd like to think Neva and I gave some away, too. I got Neva Blue Monday: The Kids Are Alright by Chynna Clugston-Major.

It's a charming little book that reminds me of Archie, except with lots of swearing, and no delusions: they all know they want to get laid. And it's drawn in a cute manga style, except it's done by an American. I actually didn't want to like it when I first read it; I thought it just wasn't my thing, but I was utterly won over by the sheer syrupy-sweet charm of it all. We both liked the second book, Absolute Beginners, which I'd borrowed from Gio, so I thought I'd take a chance and get her the first book. Hope she likes it.

She, in turn, gave me Ben Katchor's The Jew of New York, a book I'd been looking at for a long time in Not Page One. I don't know how she did it, but she bought it while I was with her. While I was in the comics and film section, she got it from the Humor section (where it was wrongly placed by Not Page One) and paid for it, and then when I went over to check on it, and found it missing, I got depressed, which I'm sure cheered her up no end.

The Wednesday group had a small Christmas party in Brash last Sunday, and we exchanged gifts, those who'd remembered to bring theirs, anyway, and shot the usual shit and shared the tsismis and ate and drank. Chris gave me Summerland by Michael Chabon, a book I'd long been looking forward to reading and was actually already reserved for me at PowerBooks.

Both me and Chris are BIG fans of Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, so he's going to borrow Summerland after I'm through (I'm about a quarter in). Quark & Lia gave me the Smashing Pumpkins' Earphoria, as well as a small Aquaman toy where he looks like he's in mortal fear of a crab for some reason. Another excellent gift; I was just eyeing it last Friday (Earphoria, not the Aquaman). Got some Batang West Side swag from Alexis: posters and a mug. Gave Joey Brotherhood of the Wolf and Charade. I regret not attacking the Cookies and Cream in the freezer, though. Saw Ernan and Le Sexy Mark Lavin and Ozzy, who finally returned all those things he stole back on my birthday! Of course, he forgot my Requiem for a Dream. Typical. Alia got a dolphin from Chris, and Mich got a Jolina doll which she honestly and sincerely cherishes. She listens to it sing every morning and when we visited her on Christmas Eve she'd already made clothes for the damn thing, and the batteries were beginning to wear out because she couldn't get enough of the song. Chris also gave Ernan 3 books on bodybuilding, all written by the same guy, a Cyrus something or other who apparently has an empire of bodybuilding paraphernalia. Ernan also showed up with his new haircut, for those of you who read his blog.

I also got a terrific shirt from Mich.

Monday, December 23, 2002

So Yahoo sucks, because Yahoo Photos won't allow remote linking anymore. And I haven't updated in a long time, partly because I've been busy, partly because when I am at home I'm lazy, or tired, or sleeping, before I have to be out again. And the two previous posts are a waste because they're mostly pictures and you can't see them, and it's a real pain to go through all that trouble with actually writing code and coming up with captions and alts and have no one see the final product. And yes everyone is bugging me about getting a PictureTrail account but as I've said, I'm lazy and it's the holidays. Who's in the mood for such things?

There's a lot of things I was supposed to talk about but didn't get the opportunity to, and a lot of them may just end up forgotten, but I have to mention some, like Quark's mom's Christmas party for the Belo Medical Group, which was a blast and probably the best company Christmas party I'll ever get to go to. Held at RCBC, not only were employees and guests and friends treated to a terrific dinner, there was a show where each branch would stage a production, and there were even guest celebrities who performed, like Aubrey Miles (who sat behind Chris and laughs kinda funny). Some of us got to judge the productions (all dance numbers) and it was really impressive, especially considering they're not professionals. Lavish costumes and some ingenious choreography, the winning group even used the song Diva Plavalaguna sang in The Fifth Element. There was also a lot of prizes raffled off. Host Ogie had a crush on Chris and I was called Ramon De Vegra.

Hmm... there are more, like the one-year anniversary of The Theft, and the C3 Con held just last weekend, but I'm tired again and will save those stories for later.


Margie has a blog pala!


Things you never think about: please read this when you have the time. It's not long. Mark Leyner used the idea of everything you see being the past in the introduction to one of his books, I think it was The Tetherballs of Bougainville. But Kadrey uses it to charming effect.


I wanted to get this out of my "To Do" list so I submitted some suggestions to The Criterion Collection:

- the films of Wong Kar-Wai, especially the trio of Chungking Express, Fallen Angels, and Happy Together. The current DVD editions of these films are bare, and not particularly nice prints, at that. If they could give it the lavish treatment they did In the Mood for Love, that would be terrific.

- Hal Hartley's Amateur, which isn't even out yet on DVD, as far as I know. Perhaps his other films as well, such as Simple Men, Flirt, and Henry Fool. Flirt especially.

- Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale

- the films of David Lynch

- Tony Bui's Three Seasons

- Wayne Wang's Smoke and Blue in the Face (I understand these are to be released in March but knowing Miramax, there won't be any extras to look forward to)

- Mark Waters's The House of Yes

- Noah Baumbach's Kicking & Screaming

- Lino Brocka's Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag, as well as his other films such as Orapronobis

- Mike De Leon's Batch 81

- Mathieu Kassovitz's La Haine

- Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Delicatessen

- Anand Tucker's St. Ex

- David Fincher's The Game

- Takeshi Kitano's Hana-bi (Fireworks)

- Hideo Nakata's Ring

These are just off the top of my head. When I think of more I'll send them in.


"Crocodile Hunter The Same Way In Bed"

Thank God there are some things that are still reliable. Like The Onion. How can you not love a newspaper with headlines like "Killer Kinda Cute" and an opinion article entitled "I Didn't Mean To Lead You On By Fucking You"?


Oh, and please read this. It's short. Fucked-up, but beatiful.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Hurricane Steph blew in and out of Metro Manila like most any hurricane: sudden, forceful, and leaving a path of destruction in its wake. Destruction mostly means bleary eyes and waking up late, though. And not going to work. Steph arrived Thursday night; me and Neva and Efren and Rocky and (surprise!) Mia Loyola picked her up at the airport. It was the first time I'd seen Mia since they graduated, and she looked pretty good. Her hair's longer now, but other than that she hasn't really changed much. Right after we picked up Steph, as we were pulling out of the airport, Mia goes "Ay, dito na lang pala ako." Nyeh. She had a 1 AM flight back to Cebu (it was 11 PM) because she had duty the next day at the hospital. Seems she was only here for an interview. Sayang, but at least we got to see her for a few minutes.

From there we dumped Steph's luggage at Neva's place, where she would be staying, and proceeded to California Pizza Kitchen, where Quark, Ernan, and Chris followed. Of course, we caught Steph up on almost 2 years of stories and chismis. Ernan showed us the pictures he recently put up on his blog. When it was obvious that CPK's employees were just waiting for us to leave, we moved on over to Heckle & Jeckle, a seedy bar in the Makati Ave. area full of GROs and Caucasian foreigners, which was a regular haunt of Chris's back when he was working for Juice (back when there was a Juice). We stayed outside the place until about 4, just laughing and talking and catching up with one another. It was a lot of fun, and tiring.

The next day I met up with them for a late lunch. Them being Steph, Quark, and Harvey.

You normally need Photoshop filters to get a smile that wide but Steph can do it fine.

Harvey with his recently-shorn hair.

"Diba ganito lagi yung itsura ng mga candid conversation shots?"

Efren joined us later; he'd skipped work. Quark and Harvey had to go back to work, so after they'd left the three of us remaining went to Ateneo. Steph wanted to see the changes and additions to the campus, and we were supposed to sit in on a class taught by Larry, their batchmate and fellow Heightser, but we were too late due to traffic (Friday, payday, and sale day: triple threat).

After picking up Larry and after Redge joined us, we went to the new and improved cafeteria, and I went to the pubroom, bumping into Jeline, Naya, Sigh, and Nikko. Then everyone went to the pubroom, where we got copies of the new Heights issue. It just so happened that the damuhan group (comprising the Heightsers of Neva's batch) were planning on having a poetry reading that night, which was derailed by Steph's arrival.

Jeline caught in the headlights.

Naya attributes her weight loss to working for Clinton Palanca.

Here's Larry appraising Jeline's portfolio. A terrified-looking Jeline is to his left.

Steph, Redge, and Efren.

So we showed Steph Ateneo's new swanky cafeteria, and the Church of the Gesu (it was my first time inside it, as well).


The camera couldn't take the distance, which is why it's blurry.

There was an actual mass going on when I was taking these, and they were looking at me because I was lying down on the pews at one point. They might've been pissed, but I wasn't looking at them. Steph was just cackling like a hyena. What's the female form of hyena, anyway?

Then we convened at Sweet Inspirations, after picking up Ceres and Mely at Dunkin Donuts. Slowly, one by one, people arrived: Paul Sta. Ana, Ernan, Neva, Ivy.

Paul S, Ceres, Ernan, Efren, Redge.

Redge, Mely, Larry, Neva, Steph.

Ceres and Larry, who are usually at one another's throats, share a Kodak moment.

Mely has a job now that requires her to eat chocolate all day.

These guys were all seniors when I was a freshman at Heights, and some of them are Neva's closest friends. What I found amazing was that even though they hadn't really seen each other in a while, they were behaving as if no time had passed at all. As if it were another lazy afternoon back in the pubroom (back when it was still in Colayco and not in Gonzaga), and I had the option of going back and forth between the AMP room if I so wanted. Topics would jump crazily with abandon, and old expressions were still being used. Come to think of it, it was like that at CPK, too.

After that we zoomed over to Power Plant to catch Some Fila Thing. The only reason we were going was because Donita was going to be wearing a dress by Mich. And it's open bar, so…

I wonder why Quark is so rigid in this picture? And what's up with that eye on the left? You'd think I was trying to kill the guy or something.

Steph can't help hamming it up for the camera, even if she is in the background.

Hmm… what's Chris doing here?

O, reflexivity! You can see Chris's pic on his blog in a few days.

Lia shows off the results of her brushing nightly.

I don't even remember if we were striking a pose anymore. Doesn't look like it, though.

One of my favorite pictures of this couple. Their expressions are precious. Had to turn off the flash because I liked the color. Cute, no?

'Twas a blast. Steph pushed her flight back a couple of hours so she could attend and finally meet Mich, who she's familiar with as a blogger. They got along really well, which made us glad.

There was some contest where you had to take shots if you were wrong so Hannah went up and got everything wrong on purpose. That's Ducky with the cap.

Then it was Goldie's turn. Donita tried to trick her into revealing her real age (15) but our Goldie knows her math so she got her shot! Yay! I think Donita was getting a little pissed, though.

We then proceeded with the usual: making fun of others, catching up on chezmez, and hollering for Dos. Yes, Dos and his hair graced the event.



Hahaha! I don't like any of these clothes.

I took this so that there'd be at least one picture I could send to our high school class mailing list that wouldn't embarrass ol' Dos. That's Mich's dress Donita's wearing. And is that other guy cupping his balls?

Chris here is wincing at some joke made at his expense but I can't remember what it was. Whatever it is, it must've been funny. I mean, look at his face! Hahaha!


Chris cops a feel. Someone's getting a full stocking this Christmas.

We ate at Hapchan afterwards.

Another awww... as in "Yawwwn!"

Mich couldn't wait to get her hands on sum. Dimsum, that is.

Arty pic 1.

Arty pic 2.

Arty pic 3.


On Saturday I went to Arnold's signing at PowerBooks Glorietta.

A fan gets his book signed. Two cheap shits read on the floor in the corner.

Of course Ate Cyn was there to lend support and snap some shots.

I even bumped into Joey "Yuppie" Tolosa who was there buying Christmas gifts (or so she says; I saw her going straight for the Erotica section).

Here Arn's trying to stop Ate Cyn from recounting an embarrassing tale. hehehe

I try the arty shot on Ate Cyn.

After the signing we had a long snack at Saint Cinnamon and caught up with each other again, exchanged some newsbits, talked about this and that until Neva came and we had to go to Marikina for Neva's brother's birthday.