Tuesday, April 29, 2003



So I’m going through Susan Orlean’s website, because I’m a) curious to see what she has to say about Adaptation, and b) curious to read more of her stuff. And I find out that Blue Crush is actually inspired by another of her articles for The New Yorker. She has a bunch of her articles online there, if anyone’s interested.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

May 3 is Free Comic Book Day! So if you live in the US, or know anyone who lives there, email them immediately and tell them to get their ass into a comic store on that day, and tell 'em to bring their kids, if they have any. They will be treated to FREE COMICS! Wooh! Try to be early, though, there's sure to be a line.


Carlo moved his blog, and didn't tell me about it! What, is this becoming a trend now? Don't tell Ramon anything!

Friday, April 25, 2003


More excerpts from Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief:

"Laroche ran his finger along one of the curly ears and said, 'Imagine you're this plant. Why do you have petals that do this? It has some purpose, everything has some purpose. I believe in botany by imagination. I try to put myself in the plant's point of view and try to figure them out. The only ones with features that have no real purpose are the hybrids, because someone put them together and came up with an unnatural thing. That's the cool thing with hybridizing. You are God. You do the plant sex. It's a man-made hobby.'

'Are there any hybrids that occur naturally?'

'Hardly any,' he said.


He snorted. 'Well, you wouldn't, even in a fit of boredom, decide to have sex with a gorilla, right?'"


"The band started playing 'Down in the Boondocks.' The crowd clapped along through the entire song. Toward the end of the final verse, a little boy-- Chief Billie's youngest son-- ran out into the middle of the arena followed by a small, fat alligator whose jaws were held shut with duct tape. The boy was slight, bare-chested, and barefoot. In a moment he cornered the alligator and then straddled it. The crowd cheered and Chief Billie smiled, brushing his lips against the microphone. The boy arched his back. The alligator arched his back. With one hand the boy grabbed the alligator's snout and raised it in the air. With his other hand he reached up and flashed a victory sign."


"I wanted to go to the community dinner, but it was Indians-only, and no one I appealed to for permission would budge. Vinson explained that it would bother the older people to have a white person at the dinner-- that no matter how many years they'd been mixing in the non-Indian world, they still felt separate and suspicious. 'White people, it's your job to make money,' he said to me. 'Indians, we have our own job. Our job is to take care of the earth. We are different from you and we always will be.'"


"When the four of us were gathered by the tree, the ranger finally introduced me to the giants and said they were in the inmate work-release program of Copeland Road Prison, just down the road from the Fakahatchee-- I had passed it on my way in. Both of the men were bashful and spoke in tiny, mumbly voices. After we were introduced I noticed that both of them were carrying three-foot-long machetes. I'm not sure how I hadn't seen the machetes before that, but maybe it was because the men had been wading behind me most of the way. I hate hiking with convicts carrying machetes."


"We stood in the lake for a while and every now and then one or the other or both of them would raise their machetes and then smash them into the water with a frightful, squeamish look on their faces. The speed of their swings was ferocious, and the machetes smashing against the water sounded like someone getting spanked. The ranger leaned over and whispered to me that she had given the men the machetes because they were both terrified of snakes and had refused to get into the swamp without some protection. After she gave them the machetes they had agreed to get in, but even heavily armed they were as jumpy as rabbits and stood holding their hands stiff and high above the water. Every time a bubble would rise to the surface of the lake or a tree would drop a leaf or a bird would peep, the giants and I would panic. When I panicked I froze. When one of the giants panicked he would pop up nervously and then the other one would pop up nervously too, and the water displaced by their combined weight rolled in silky waves across the lake. The cold black water slapped at my belly button every time they would pop up and down. The swamp was hot and hushed except for all the splashing and the smack of the giants' machetes against the water. You could disappear in a place like this, really disappear, into one of these inky sinkholes or in the warm mulch under the thick brush. No one could find you in a place like this once you sank in. Just then I got extremely curious but decided to wait until we were out of the swamp and in a secure government vehicle before I asked the giants what they were in prison for."


And excerpts from two interviews:

"As a kid, I was a voracious mystery reader, and it's my mother's fault. When I was about ten, my mother gave me a book by a writer named Stuart Kaminsky called Murder on the Yellow Brick Road, which she had been told was suitable for 'younger readers.'

It wasn't. It was about porn film being shot on the disused Wizard of Oz sets in the late 1930s in Hollywood, and it had profanity, and guns, and sex, and man oh man was I ever hooked." -- Greg Rucka


"The Onion: Throughout your work, there's a running theme regarding the development of and subversion of sexuality. Where does that theme come from? Why does it particularly interest you?

Neil Jordan: It probably comes from being an altar boy."

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


I've been reading a lot lately. More than usual, anyway. I don't know why. Right now I'm in the middle of Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief, and yes, it's because of Adaptation, which I loved. What's amazing is that Neva bought the book at almost the exact same time, except that she's in Iloilo and I'm… well, here. And she got hers at about 40% the price I got mine-- which was already more than half off the regular price. It's a gripping, engaging book. Her writing is marvelous, because it's easily accessible and clear. I never thought I'd be so consumed by a book on flowers, but I'm sure Charlie Kaufman thought the same thing when he went through it the first time. Laroche is a genuine character, and Chris Cooper I think gave a terrific performance in the film, but so much of his character is merely implied in the film, whereas here it's in full bloom. No pun intended.

An interesting excerpt:

"When I first met him, he told me he had found the only gem-grade fossil pearl in existence, a boast so specific that I couldn't resist investigating it, and no one I talked to ever confirmed that such a thing could be true. I really wanted to confront him about it, but when he brought it up another time and I was about to challenge him, he said, 'You know why I love that pearl so much? Because as long as I have it, I still sort of have the moment when I got it. The place I got it was wild when I was there, and it's gone now, it's all developed and the woods are just gone. And I was with my wife when I found it, she's my ex-wife now, and I was with my mom, and my mom's dead now. But having that pearl is like still having that moment, my mom is alive and I'm still happily married and the place I found it is still gorgeous.' I never brought up the question of the pearl again. I'm not a sucker. It's just that questioning whether it really is the only gem-grade fossil pearl in existence felt piddling compared to what he said it meant to him-- it would have felt like telling someone deeply in love that the beloved one was ugly and short."

and mentions of our beloved country:

"In 1901 eight orchid hunters went on an expedition to the Philippines. Within a month one of them had been eaten by a tiger; another had been drenched with oil and burned alive; five had vanished into thin air; and one had managed to stay alive and walk out of the woods carrying forty-seven thousand Phalaenopsis plants."

"Carl Roebelin was another one of the great Victorian orchid hunters. He was German, mentally hard and physically fearless. At Sander's request he once went hunting on a small island in the Philippines. Just after he arrived an earthquake turned the island inside out and Roebelin was almost killed. As soon as he made it to safety he wired Sander [his employer] to tell him that he was returning to England because the island had been devastated. At the end of the wire he mentioned that he'd seen some astounding cinnamon-scented lilac vandas in the jungle right before the earthquake. If Roebelin had really wanted to leave the Philippines and come home, this was exactly the wrong thing to say. Sander wired back immediately and demanded that Roebelin return to the island and find those lilac vandas or find another employer to pay his passage home. Roebelin refused and Sander's threats became more strenuous. Roebelin finally gave in. The plant he retrieved from the wreckage was a new species that was later given the name Vanda sanderiana. It was put on display in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew when it bloomed and was such a spectacle that it drew a crowd of thousands. Many vandas grown commercially now can be traced back to Roebelin's salvaged plant."

And here's one of the excerpts I made Neva read from that Alan Moore short story I mentioned, "A Hypothetical Lizard":

"'It's like an accident I saw… a farmer, crushed beneath his cart. He was alive, but his ribs were broken and sticking through his side. I didn't know what they were at first, because it was all such a mess. There were a lot of people gathered 'round, but nobody could move the cart without hurting him even more than he was hurt already.

It was summer, and there were a lot of flies. I remember him screaming and shouting for somebody to beat the flies away, and an old woman went out and did that for him, but until then nobody had moved, not until he screamed at them. It was horrible. I walked by as fast as I could because he was suffering and there was nothing anybody could do, except for the old woman who was beating the flies away with her apron.

But I went back.

I stopped just a little way down the road, and I went back. I couldn't help it. It was just that it was so real and so painful, that man, lying there under that terrible weight and screaming for his wife, his children, it was so real that it just cut through everything else in the world, all the things that my luck and my money have built up around me, and I knew that it meant something, and I went back there and I watched him drown on his own blood while the old woman told him not to worry, that his wife and children would be there soon.

And that's why I came back to the House Without Clocks.'

There was a long hyphen of silence.

'And I still love you.'"

I was going to include next an excerpt from Cameron Crowe's Vanilla Sky, which of course isn't a book but is a film I am rediscovering my love for. But unfortunately it gives away some plot points so I decided against it, and will instead recommend it to all of you who haven't seen it yet. And if you have, see it again. It's that kind of film, like Fight Club, that rewards repeat viewings because there are so many details that you begin to pick up on once you know what's really going on. I found a website this afternoon that lists lots of secrets I didn't know about, but has also missed two that I've found, so I might email them. Check it out only if you've seen the film.


John Malkovich, in an interview about his upcoming film Art Sschool Confidential: "[Graphic novels are] not a form I know anything about-- I only found out a few weeks ago that there are even stores that sell comics. I missed this."

I post this with no malice or negative feelings towards Malkovich; he's one of my favorite actors. He's being honest here, and I'm just posting it as an example. But it's also ironic because, despite his ignorance, his production company Mr. Mudd made one of the best comic book to movie adaptations ever: Ghost World. And Art School Confidential, which is the next film by the same creative team (director Terry Zwigoff and writer Daniel Clowes; it's also based on a [short] comics story of Clowes's), is also being produced by him, along with Drew Barrymore's Flower Films. There's an unlikely pairing.

Monday, April 21, 2003

According to the University of Virginia's Oracle of Bacon, I am 4 degrees away from Kevin Bacon. The deciding "linking" movie seems to be Death Raiders, which I've never heard of. Still, woo-hoo! :)

And thanks to Eddie Garcia, I'm four degrees away from Natalie Portman, too. Yeah! Man, I must've played with this site for about an hour. :)


Potlatch sucked. Most anthologies really are a gamble. Most of the time, though, there's a fairly acceptable ratio of good and bad. But this one was mostly bad. Oh well. Good thing it was cheap. Speed Racer is amusing to me because none of the drivers (when was this done, the 60s? I'm not too sure) wear seatbelts. Also, Speed seems so quick to just punch or slap people- even women! And is that really his name? Speed Racer? First name Speed, last name Racer? Shouldn't his brother be X Racer, then, instead of Racer X? Or is it like a Japanese thing where the last name goes first and oh no I've gone cross-eyed.

Speaking of Japan, Jeline's leaving for the US and Japan to visit relatives. A safe trip to you! Wanna know why her name's a link? Because she got a blog, and didn't bother to tell us about it. Hmph. Well, let me direct you there now. She's in the links box now, along with Beth, Kathy, and Bodge. There are some more I need to add, but I don't know the addresses of others. I didn't even know Bodge had a blog; her boyfriend neglected to mention it, tsk tsk tsk. I had to find out through Kathy's blog.

And speaking of Bodge, Justin! Stephen Hawking has a new book out! It's called The Universe in a Nutshell and is already in hardcover illustrated format for us morons! P1650 at Powerbooks. If you decide to get it tell me, I'll lend you my Powercard (10% discount) and you lend me the book when you're done. :)

Also got to read, thanks to Harvey, a short story of Alan Moore's called A Hypothetical Lizard. Not really short, since it was about 40 pages. But it's another reminder why Moore's my favorite writer. It was written about a year or two after Watchmen, and it's beautiful. His language is superb. I kept reading passages out loud to Neva on Holy Thursday. It was interesting to see him work fully in a fantasy setting, though it was actually a love story, but then became a revenge plot at the end. But it was amazing.



There should be more A&Ws. They've got this burger with three patties that comes in a value meal with the same price as a Big Mac meal. And their breakfast menu is available all day! The one on Makati Ave.'s 24 hours, too. And dammit, it was bad enough when McDo lost their milkshakes (Jollibee's is made of some powdery shit that I can't stand on a regular basis), now they're no longer serving strawberry sundaes. But do they announce this? No, they trot out the fucking Rice Burger. I had to find out the worst way possible: while craving for it.


Holy Week is usually the most boring week of the year. Remember the years before cable? Man, that was torture. Nothing on TV but religious stuff. Good thing I liked to read.

Maybe two, three years ago, I was in Samar with my family, and I finished From Hell, Moore's 500-page graphic novel. Finished the anecdotes, too.

Another year, I took a walk in Makati during Good Friday, and it was spooky yet amazing: there wasn't a soul around. No cars, no people, nothing. Ghost city. Urban landscape, tall buildings, working traffic lights, not a soul to be found except me. Perfect time to get mugged, I realize now. That used to be my favorite Holy Week story.

Because of that experience, I wanted this year to take advantage of the vacancy of Makati by shooting some stuff: stock footage of empty streets, particularly popular, recognizable landmarks, places, intersections where you expect to find the teeming masses of people and vehicles.

I told Quark about it, and he thought it might make a good music video for Ciudad, and suddenly boom-impromptu music video. We shot on Good Friday, but unfortunately fate wasn't smiling on us. First, there were more cars and people than we expected. Second, the sky was overcast at times. Third, we found out only upon watching the footage that there was some dirt in one of the camera's lenses (or filters). And sometimes the auto focus wasn't switched on.

Joey talked about how, just a few years ago, he could lie down on EDSA and no car would pass for 15 minutes. Now it looked like a regular Sunday. The overcast sky meant that much of the footage came out darker than we expected (it was difficult to gauge the brightness with a small LCD screen, especially since outside, it was pretty bright to our naked eyes). And the dirt and lack of focus meant that some of the footage is actually unusable (barring taking advantage of the dirt).

So I don't know if we have enough for a music video or not. I suspect we don't. This was an experiment, and experiments can go either way: this just seemed to be more down the middle. I imagine we're going to have to shoot some more, and that means expanding the concept of the video since we obviously can't recreate those conditions without waiting another year.

Shooting it was a lot of fun, though. We only got caught once (in Makati), but there were a couple of near-misses in Ortigas and the Skyway. We saw Pearl Drive looking like an empty lot. A yellow wall that looked like it belonged in bombed-out Baghdad. The Skyway might've been the most fun, though. It was really empty, but when a car did come by, they'd be traveling at incredible speeds. One time a bus passed by so fast, the entire flyover was slightly shaking beneath our feet. Scary. We'd stop, shoot some stuff, travel a bit, stop, shoot some more, and so on until we couldn't afford to anymore for fear of getting caught.

I don't regret the experience at all. In fact, I'm thinking of ways to improve it for next year. :) Including getting permits.


And so it's happened, as it was bound to: I can't remember if I've blogged about something I was about to write. And I'm too lazy to look through the archives and provide a permalink, if ever I did write about it. Though I'm pretty sure I haven't. Anyway, it's another step in this blogger's journey. Next up: blogging about something I've already blogged about, and then: blogging about something twice, with marked differences in details. Then senility.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

I feel strange calling so many things favorites, and yet I’ll find that I don’t remember these same things completely. Or with as much detail as you’d think I would when I call something a “favorite.” I finally got around to getting my own copy of Mr. Punch, a lovely book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean that came out in 1994, when I was in freshman year high school. I loved the book then, very much; read it numerous times. It had quite an impact on me, and I remember experimenting with some art styles that I had seen in the book; it helped further pique my interest in photography. I remember making cut-outs of people and posing them against bright light so that they’d be silhouettes, and using my dad’s camera to photograph them thinking, at the time, that whatever I saw in the viewfinder was what would turn up when the photo was developed. So obviously I knew nothing about lighting. And the pictures came out horribly. Now you can do it with digital cameras.

But anyway, I’m getting sidetracked. I hadn’t read the book in years, but whenever anyone mentioned it I’d say, “I love that book, it’s a favorite of mine,” or some such thing. And I wasn’t lying. But re-reading it tonight, it struck me how much of the story I’d forgotten. I still remembered the gist of it, the plot; but certain details were forgotten, and I now realized the pictures in the beginning of the book were his two sets of grandparents. Other things, though, I still remembered, even if they’d lost their context; mostly images. The pictures of the boy looking at the camera. The lightning bolt cutting through a window. So I felt sort of guilty for calling it one of my favorite books for all this time. It’s sort of excusable in that I didn’t have my own copy and hadn’t read it in some time, but still.

I never lied about it, though. It was one of my favorite books, and still is. It’s amazing. Read it. Got my copy at Fully Booked, the laughable new name of the former Page One. It’s an easy target for a joke (Fully Priced).

If you’ve not read Philip K. Dick, start. He’s brilliant. It’s been difficult finding books of his in this country, with its bookstores, even the major ones, being woefully incomplete. So much so that incomplete in that previous sentence is an understatement. But recently Fully Booked got some of his novels when they beefed up their Fantasy/Sci-Fi section (I expect this is because of the success of Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings franchises, but whatever gets more books here is fine by me.). They’re part of some science fiction label of books. Over at PowerBooks they’ve got a collection of his short stories, led by Minority Report (probably the only reason PowerBooks even got the book). It has a bunch of his short stories in it, including the ones that inspired the movies Imposter and Total Recall, besides, of course, Minority Report. They’re all great, with terrific hooks and concepts that just string you along until you finish the story. I can see his influence on Michael Crichton, The Matrix, Grant Morrison, etc. The paranoia, the science, the questions of reality, identity, perception. It’s fun to get into short stories again. I’d always wanted to read Dick, since so many of my favorite writers mention him as an influence. Now I see why. Next I want to read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the novel that inspired Blade Runner, and A Scanner Darkly, Charlie Kaufman’s dream project now in development by Section Eight, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney’s production company.

Been trying to read a lot recently. When I cleaned up my bookshelf the other week I’d realized how many books were still on there I hadn’t read. But also it’s part of the annual tradition of the Holy Week Death By Boredom Avoidance Game.

Am now in the middle of an anthology called Potlatch, and Tatsuo Yoshida’s original Speed Racer manga, which is silly fun. I expect I’d have enjoyed it a great deal as a child.


The Core is so ordinary it’s not even funny. Oh no, wait, it is! :) Phew.

On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, which I saw with Neva. Thought-provoking, quiet, introspective, and elegiac, it’s the kind of film you talk about for thirty minutes after the last scene. His cinematography just gets better and better, it’s effective at creeping the hell out of you and making you ask all sorts of questions.

Usually on Fridays, if there’s no special event, I just stay here at the house with Neva, and we just watch DVDs. This is because I hate going out on Friday nights. The traffic, the people, dealing with parking, etc. It’s just not worth it most times. Last Friday we actually went through 3 ½ films: Apocalypse Now, parts of The Untouchables, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Talk To Her. All very good. I used to hate From Dusk, but know enough about what they were trying to do now to appreciate it in a new light. Apocalypse Now and The Untouchables are just some of the best movies ever made. Exquisite things, rare occurrences where everything just clicked. I realize now that my favorite war films are Apocalypse Now, The Thin Red Line, and following closely behind are Full Metal Jacket, Saving Private Ryan, and Black Hawk Down.

We’ve also been watching the first season of Futurama, which has been great. TV on DVD is great. I also developed a crush on Amy Wong, the Chinese intern on the show, particularly when she curses in Chinese. It’s too cute. And apparently I’m not alone: there’s all sorts of Amy Wong sites on the web, including one that chronicles all her costume changes in the first 3 seasons. Whoa.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

Absolutely delightful: The Brick Testament, scenes from the Bible acted out by Lego people. Up there you've got the scene where Lot's eldest daughter gets daddy drunk and seduces him to preserve the line. Wonderful.


Last April 7 was Astroboy's birthday! Yay! I don't know how old he actually is, but to celebrate the occasion, Tokyo's Takashimaya department store is displaying a gem-encrusted Astroboy valued at 100 million yen (that's US$845,000).


It had to happen someday: I heard a hip-hop song that sampled the theme from Knight Rider.

So, is the war over? I well and truly hope so. Now to deal with the shambles. Did they find the vaunted WMDs? Emerging details, some intriguing, others less surprising: half the American deaths were due to friendly fire. Blair wants the UN to run Iraq, Dubya wants the US to do it. The US's $287 billion deficit this year is actually $540 billion. I was watching some news channels earlier, showing Iraqis celebrating, destroying statues, tearing up posters, and it's a strange sight: I'm happy for those who truly feel liberated. But at the same time I know these images are going to be used for all sorts of propagandist purposes, and it's going to make those pro-war people so full of themselves.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

I really need shelves. And bookcases. Anything with space.

I have a small room. It currently looks like a tornado hit it, though the word currently is actually misleading; it's been this way for the past 3 years now. My desk is filled to overflowing, books and graphic novels stacked one on top of another. The bookshelves above my headboard have long been full. The headboard itself is a mess, with lots of books and DVDs and detritus on top. On the floor, magazines, some books, some CDs, some art books, a design book or two. VHS tapes. Outside my door, in the hallway, a whole bookcase that's already full: books, DVDs, but mostly graphic novels.

Last night, before I went to sleep, I suddenly couldn't take it: some of my graphic novels were gathering dust while lying on the floor, were in danger of being bent, kicked, etc. So I somehow managed to take all the graphic novels that weren't in the bookcase and put them in there, displacing the DVDs a bit and rearranging the bottom shelf where all the big books go. It was hard work, and some of the books were really heavy, and when I'd get a dusty book I'd clean it first with a cloth, and when I looked up and finally saw that it was already 3 AM, I was sweaty and partially dusty but satisfied. So I took a quick shower and slept more peacefully than usual.

There is still the problem that I need bookcases. The problem is there's nowhere to put the bookcase. Hmm...


Haven't done this in a while, but this week's batch is just too good to pass up. People have stumbled onto this blog while looking for the following:

masturbating with paternal aunt
billy corgan's wife kris
maggie cheung sexy pics
kozelek pictures
accident gore photos
Couples for Christ Bacolod
guestbook for company directors in asia
son fucking his mom badly free pics website
"my wife is a gangster" wallpaper
close up vagina wallpaper
aeon flux nude
"cogie domingo" towel

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Hmm. Leslie Cheung killed himself last Tuesday. Flung himself from his hotel room. Left a note. Emotional problems. It happened on April Fools’, so I waited a while before I believed it, but it’s all over the news now, so… *sigh*. I only really know him from the films of Wong Kar-wai (he was Tony Leung’s boyfriend in Happy Together and the main star of Days of Being Wild) and his starring role in A Better Tomorrow (though it launched Chow Yun-Fat’s career into the stratosphere, Leung was the main character). He was 46, but didn’t look it, as most of us Asians don’t when we get to that age.

And shucks, Richard Kadrey’s Nanotales are now monthly instead of weekly.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

James Kochalka, whose Fancy Froglin character is the one pointing to his jewels on the left, keeps an online diary, in comic strip form, at his website American Elf. The day's entry is always free, but to browse through the archives you've to sign up; I think it's about a dollar a month. Or you could buy the hard copies, James Kochalka's Sketchbook Diaries, of which there are 3 volumes, published by Top Shelf.


I'm indebted to Lia for lending me The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film by Michael Ondaatje. It's a brilliant, fascinating book with many interesting examples. Murch is one of those people who you think is about one thing, but is in actuality about ten different things, or more. Not only is he whip-smart, he's thankfully quite eloquent; he has a gift for explaining things, or using analogies, that makes everything so clear- essential when you're writing about a craft. Best of all, much of what he and Ondaatje talk about can be applied to other arts, not just film. Writing, in particular. And the title is apt; first time I'd read about this book in Filmmaker I thought it was a bunch of interviews with the master editor, but they're genuine conversations, and Ondaatje gives as good as he gets. Who would've thought he knew so much about film history? I learned so much from this book, I wish I'd read it in college. But it wasn't published yet.

I'm currently going through Dylan Horrocks's Hicksville, and enjoying it.


You can probably tell a lot about a culture by its television. Sometimes, late at night, I catch these strange programs on the foreign networks our cable operator has. One of my favorites is this Spanish show where average people are thrown into a ring with a bull. I assume they're volunteers. Anyway, there's the ring, there's the bull, there's around 7 schmucks, and several obstacles in the ring: boxes, usually. See, if the bull can't see you, he won't chase you. So even if he can break that box to splinters, if you're out of sight, you're pretty much safe. But several of these schmucks like to grandstand, and try to keep the bull focused on them so that they're the star of the show. And so they get gored, or trampled. Or befall accidents when they scramble up the fence too fast. Or crash into other schmucks they didn't realize were behind them (always my favorite). Then the bull gets two for the price of one. The horns must be dulled, because I've only seen massive bloodshed (beyond typical cuts and bruises) once, where fucking moron medical technicians ran into the ring wearing bright white coveralls and immediately attracted the attention of the bull, which then chased them off and trampled the injured guy (lying immobile on the ground) further. Possibly the funniest excerpt is one fool, feeling so smart by doing quick turns when the bull's reallyclose, getting crushed because the bull trips on itself, hits him with its flanks, and lands on him. Another great one is this guy who ran to hide in the water trough, except the bull was closer than he thought, so when he got into the trough and was out of sight, the bull couldn't stop itself in time and destroyed the trough, the four walls falling to the ground like a scene from The Three Stooges and leaving the idiot in plain view, eyes closed because he thinks he's underwater. There's a moment where the bull paused, maybe because he couldn't believe what he was seeing, but he regained his composure and promptly stomped the guy.

I like this French show better, though. I can't remember the name because, of course, it was in French, but it was a game show where teams of contestants are ritually brutalized and embarrassed and humiliated. They go through insane stunts and look like fools much of the time, but they love it and the audience eats it up like crazy (not unlike Takeshi's Castle, now that I think of it, but with much more physical pain). The co-host is hot, too. But the finale's the astounding thing: a water tank about 2 ½ floors high, with your partner chained to the bottom without an air tank. His job is to gather gold coins strewn about the floor, and pass them up to his/her partner, who goes in and out the tank from the top. The only way the two can breathe is strategically-placed mermaids in the tank who have air tanks, but you have to kiss the mermaids. Best of all, the mermaids are topless. And this is a family show, mind you. There are kids cheering in the stands.

I still wouldn't want to be the partner chained at the bottom, though.

Here I would normally go into what shitty shows we have, and how I don't watch anything local except strangebrew, but it's just too sad.


Hmm... I miss my Comm block. Should organize another movie marathon soon...

God Bless The Onion. They recently had a special edition on the war, check it out if you know what's good for ya. Especially funny is their Point-Counterpoint.

I think that's enough about the war. Out of me, at least. Let's just hope for a swift and peaceful resolution, even if it will unfavorably benefit those who don't deserve it. The more things seem ridiculous, there's always something better that comes along, whether it's Halliburton getting another contract (besides the fact that Halliburton is still paying VP Dick Cheney a million dollars a year), or dolphins being used by the US Navy to search for mines in Iraqi harbors.


A new art spiegelman strip here.


As I'm sure some of you know by now, myself and these misfits (along with some other people like Quark) were supposed to attend this year's Hong Kong International Film Festival. Because of this goddamn SARS, those plans have been scrapped. We were still actually thinking if we would risk it or not (when the fatalities only numbered around 15), but when the fatalities went up to 50, and the number of infected rose 1500 in a little under two weeks, it was pretty much decided for us. Damn and blast.

To hurt myself a little bit more, this is the list of films I was most excited about seeing, though I was planning on watching as much as I possibly could:

Far From Heaven
Auto Focus
City of God
Last Scene
Dirty Pretty Things
Russian Ark
Adaptation (seen on bootleg DVD, never in a theater)
Bayaning Third World (seen, but want to see again)
Spider (seen; wouldn't mind seeing again)
Sweet Sixteen
Ten Minutes Older: The Cello
Ten Minutes Older: The Trumpet
Infernal Affairs
The Eye (seen; wouldn't mind seeing again)
Chinese Odyssey 2002 (seen on Star Mandarin, never in a theater)
Standing in the Shadows of Motown
War Photographer
The Kid Stays in the Picture



Not only did Jeline get a Dean's Award, she also got the Mulry, the highest literary prize there is in the Ateneo, which they only give to one student a year, and they don't give it out every year. Kudos to her, she deserves it.


The other week me and the misfits met Joyce Jimenez and Joey Javier Reyes at a shoot. Highlights include Joyce and the following quotes from Reyes to Alexis: "Alexis, you're pretentious," and "I have come to the conclusion that I don't like this guy."



Speaking of the model, we were talking on Messenger one day about how blogging seems to have died. Certainly the fervor with which we were posting, sometimes more than once a day, and commenting and flinging retorts back and forth, has been diminished. When blogs of friends were sprouting up exponentially. Is nothing happening? Or is so much happening there's no more time to blog about it?

Both of us realized that we were less interested in recounting what had happened to us (though there is still a feeling of obligation to do so), and more interested in just posting observations, perceptions, the lessons in the small killings, the morals without the story.