Friday, November 28, 2008

Fully Booked Bloggers Event

I love to read books. I've done so ever since I was a kid. I also enjoy reviewing books I've read thereby letting other people know my personal recommendations. So when I heard about the Fully Booked Bloggers Event I felt that it was an opportunity I could not miss! I had no idea what I was attending but I figured, it's for bloggers, Fully Booked is a bookstore, it has to have something to do with books! Hopefully, we get free books (at the very least!) for attending.

After registration the first thing we did was tour the facilities of Fully Booked from basement and back to the Top Shelf on the 5th floor. This is how I discovered that they had a mini movie theater set up called U-View which they rent out for public use. There were store buyers on every floor to explain the kind of books they select, which was all self-explanatory since everyone present could read (there were signs all over the place). It helped to know that Starbucks and the public restroom were both on the 3rd floor. I always wondered where the restroom was, just never got around to asking.  Whenever I go to Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street I usually go directly to one of two floors:  the basement for the sci-fi and fantasy and to the second floor for the young adult sci-fi and fantasy.  Is it obvious yet that I am into sci-fi and fantasy? 

Once we made our way back to the 5th floor our food was served. The food was beautiful and delicious! (Thanks, Az, for the photos.) To my delight the caterer for the event was Hizon's. We were served the following:
  • bagette topped with tomato and basil
  • pasta - our choice of penne or fetuccini with either carbonara or meat sauce with rolls
  • roast beef with mushroom gravy sauce
  • fish fingers with tartar sauce
  • salads

    • asian salad martini
    • green salad martini
    • maki salad in a pita roll
    • chicken bbq salad in a pita roll
    • vegetable sticks
    • fruit salad
  • about 10 types of dessert

    • blueberry creme brulee
    • strawberry pannacotta
    • tiramisu
    • coffee mousse
    • etc.
  • washed down with iced tea and water
While we were eating they decided to run a trivia game. For every correct answer, the winner of each question won a gift pack which contained a book (courtesy of Fully Booked) and a token from (pen cum 1 Gb USB flash drive). After the trivia game they made an exciting announcement:  everyone who attended were given the chance to choose two books each from four piles. Look at what I got!  Yes, they are fantasy books, hehehe.

There were a LOT of books to choose from and the hunt for a good book turned into a feeding frenzy. I had such a difficult time choosing but opted instead for these two books because I've been wanting to get them for some time and just haven't gotten around to it. Now, I guess, I will end up completing both series.

The best news, though, for me was what was announced after. Everyone who attended the event were made members of the newly formed Fully Booked Book Bloggers Club. Being a member means:
  • monthly book club meetings, which I presume means possible free books and we will need to write book reviews
  • first dibs on visiting foreign authors
  • P1,000.00 gift certificate for selected blogger of the month if your review is selected for the month.
If there are any other features I missed I'm sure we will be informed in the incoming months. At the moment, applications for membership in the Book Bloggers Club is closed but hopefully they will open soon so that my blogger friends who were not able to join the event could be part of it, too.

This event was in cooperation with Hizon's and

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hairspray by Atlantis Productions

movie poster
If you enjoyed the musical movie Hairspray, you will surely enjoy the play. Just to set the record straight --- the musical play came first. And while the stories are basically the same, there are definite differences ... in sequence and execution of scenes and the play has one more song than the movie did. Also, as I told my daughter last night, the movie version was "Disneyfied". Hairspray (the play) has many lewd and suggestive actions that actually make sense and fit in the story which are missing (or glazed over) in the movie. In my opinion, while this is a fun play, it should have a PG rating.

I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to watch the technical rehearsal of Hairspray last night (12 Nov. 2008 at 8pm) at the Star Theater (adjacent to Star City at the CCP Complex). I like watching technical rehearsals because it shows me the level of prepareness the company has before the actual performance.

I really enjoyed the show. I found all the actors were great! The cast was definitely well assembled. Vocally, though, I personally found Madel (Tracy) and Tim (Link) lacked the training that was apparent in the other actors (and this includes the ensemble). I chalk it up to not enough experience in musicals where one is required to sing, dance, and act at the same time. Despite the lack of conviction in singing, though, I found their earnestness and embodiment of their role quite endearing. Their characterization was believable, and therefore, while they didn't quite have the singing chops, I found it forgiveable.They made a really cute couple onstage and Madel, in particular, played the role of schoolgirl with a crush (in other words, "kilig na kilig") perfectly! You could almost hear her saying, "Oh Link! I can just eat you up! Ngrawr! Slurp!"

Michael de Mesa as Edna Turnblad
Michael de Mesa as Edna Turnblad was wonderful --- as I expected. He was the main reason I wanted to watch the show. The last play I saw him in was Rent in the role of Tom Collins but I have seen him in various movies and TV shows before and after that and he has proven to be a well seasoned actor who can do just about anything! In the song "Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now" I found it amusing that he was the most feminine of all the actors on stage, where every one else WAS female. I don't know if anyone else will agree with me but ... I actually preferred his performance to that of John Travolta's. Unlike in the original Broadway soundtrack Michael was even able to sound like a woman who sounds like a man, rather than a man pretending to be a woman.

Click HERE to read the interview of Female Network with Michael de Mesa on playing a woman.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo is, as always, phenomenal onstage. I last saw her as The Baker's Wife in Into The Woods and I find it incredible that the full-bodied voice comes out of that slim body. As Velma Von Tussle she is very classy and snotty and fit the role to a T.

Dulce is a singing legend and no one can doubt that she has the singing chops to play Motormouth Maybelle. Her acting left me cold, though. She knew her lines, no doubt about that. She had the correct inflection and gesticulation. But somehow, it didn't feel like she connected with the audience. At times it felt like she was so focused on her lines that she was looking inward. In the company production number of "You Can't Stop The Beat" she had a lot of words to say and she had to say it to the audience but she did not make eye contact with anyone. Perhaps it is just nerves. I'm sure she will do better during the actual run.

I knew Nyoy Volante could sing. I suspected that he could act. But I was surprised that he could dance!. As Seaweed Stubbs he had to do some moves that the other "kids" didn't do. So, he moonwalked, did a little strut, etc.

Gabe Mercado (formerly of Da Pulis) and Enchang Kaimo (former ABS-CBN newsman, Mari's better half, and accomplished thespian) were great in their multiple roles. I found myself waiting in anticipation for what character either would come out as next and laughing out loud every time they did.

The rest of the ensemble blew me away, especially the ladies who played the roles of The Dynamites. Whoooeee! Those ladies can blow!

Productions like these are judged not just for the actors on the stage for they are but one aspect of the show. We also have to take into account the stage design, lighting, sounds, costumes, choreography, and directing. The people in charge of the sound system need to step up their act. After all the rehearsals, and this close to the actual run, you'd THINK they would know their cues already. So why weren't the lapel mics turned on when they were supposed to --- like when actors entered the stage. I can be forgiving for when the sound disappears in the middle of an actor's performance --- snafu's happen. But not mics that are off during entrances. I couldn't help but think that either a) the guy on the sound board is not paying attention and therefore, keeps missing the cues or b) the guy has no idea of the cues at all and is just winging it.

From left to right: Nyoy Volante (Seaweed J. Stubbs), Tim Espinosa (Link Larkin), Monica Reynoso (Penny Pingleton), Madel Ching (Tracy Turnblad), Dulce (Motormouth Maybelle, and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Velma Van Tussle)
Cast of Atlantis Productions' Hairspray
  • Madel Ching as Tracy Turnblad
  • Tim Espinosa as Link Larkin
  • Michael de Mesa as Edna Turnblad
  • Leo Rialp as Wilbur Turnblad
  • Christine Allado sa Amber Von Tussle
  • Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Velma Von Tussle
  • Nyoy Volante as Seaweed J. Stubbs
  • Dulce as Motormouth Maybelle
  • Monica Reynoso as Penny Pingleton
  • Noel Rayos as Corny Collins
  • Gabe Mercado as the male authority figure
  • Enchang Kaimo as the female authority figure
  • The ensemble is composed of the following actors: Jordan Aguilar, Emy Alcid, Caisa Borromeo, Mayen Bustamante-Cadd, Erika Cedilla, Red Concepcion, Gerlin Francisco, Bea Garcia, Crienna House, Yanah Laurel, Cheeno Macaraig, Michael Odoemene, Anthony Ong, Myrene Santos, Mark Tayag, Lee Villoria

Hairspray is directed by Bobby Garcia, choreography by Cecile Martinez, sets and costumes by Gino Gonzales, lighting design by Shoko Matsumoto and Musical Director Archie Castillo conducts FILharmoniKA. It runs from 14 November to 07 December 2008 at the Star Theatre, CCP Complex.

For those who are still looking to purchase tickets, here is Hairspray's show buyer directory:

Day/Time Show Buyer Contact No. Email
Opening Night

14 Nov. 2008 (Friday, 8pm) Timothy Liong +639178735405
15 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 2pm) Allan Marasigan +639174382299
15 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 8pm) Fritzie Villacorta +639178337489
16 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 3pm) Michelle Chan +639175393369
16 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 8pm) Rosanne Unson +639178300312
21 Nov. 2008 (Friday, 8pm) Atlantis Productions


22 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 2pm) Camille Bautista

22 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 8pm) Shirley Alinea +639178903564
23 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 3pm) Jill Pena +639193608974
23 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 8pm) Timothy Liong +639178735405
28 Nov. 2008 (Friday, 8pm) Andrea Go +639178867968
29 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 2pm) Theody Demaisip +639209326067
29 Nov. 2008 (Saturday, 8pm) Joelle Orca
30 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 3pm) Jill Pena +639193608974
30 Nov. 2008 (Sunday, 8pm) Janna Chua
Roan Isberto

05 Dec. 2008 (Friday, 8pm) Ticketworld +6328919999
06 Dec. 2008 (Saturday, 2pm) Lorna Lopez +639179256505
07 Dec. 2008 (Sunday, 3pm) Theody Demaisip +639209326067
Closing Night

07 Dec. 2008 (Sunday, 8pm) Mae Castro +639063414559

I would definitely recommend this musical to my family and friends. Guaranteed fun for everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

When primetime TV meets porn

Saving Grace
True Blood
What's up with TV nowadays? Once upon a time the only time we see this much sex and nudity was when we watched porn. From what I've seen of these shows (Saving Grace and True Blood) the only difference between them and porn (besides the story line) is that they don't show genitalia or close up shots of penetration scenes.

To be fair, at least there IS a storyline to speak of. However, I have found the sex scene not only disturbing but at times even unnecessary to the story.

Saving Grace
This series opens with Detective Grace Hanadarko (played by Holly Hunter) having sex. Afterwards it shows her parading around her house naked ... going to her bathroom and standing in front of her window to display her nakedness to her octogenarian neighbor ... purely for kicks.

Shortly after she meets Earl, her "last chance" angel, who attempts to guide her to redemption as the series continues. The first scene shocked me, but in context, I got it. It showed how her indiscriminate sexual relations with every Tom, Dick, and Harry plus her drinking binges will get her on the elevator to eternal damnation. What I find hard to accept is ... after that point had been made, why the producers (of which Holly Hunter is one of them) find it necessary to display so much nudity (full nudity) at each and every episode. It is as if they cannot shoot an episode unless a sex scene is somewhere in there. Is Holly, perhaps, realizing a fantasy of having her sexual encounters filmed and watched by millions?

True Blood
This series opens with a girl and guy travelling at night in their car with the girl (who is driving) giving her boyfriend a hand job. *blink blink* Ok, this I can accept because the action was implied but not really seen. Partway through the episode we see a woman sitting/leaning back on a sofa naked. The camera pulls back and we see a guy was going down on her. He is completely naked, too.

Then, they show a video where the woman was standing with her hands tied and hanging from a hook with a vamp doing her from behind. Shortly after, she does the same scene with the guy she was with.

Oh, but the REAL story is about a telepathic chick named Sookie (played by Anna Paquin) and a vampire named Bill (played by Stephen Compton) ... who, so far, don't have sex together.

So, I have to ask myself, what were all the sex scenes and full nudity for? Were they REALLY necessary to the story? Was there no way to show the scene without it going to that extreme?

You know what really bothers me?  My daughter is 16 and I make it a point to watch TV shows with her.  It's our "bonding time".  This means that when those 2 shows first came out we were watching it for the first time together and I had to explain to her what was happening.  A part of me wanted to cover the screen and deny what was happening in it but the rational part of me took over and I would explain what was happening so that she wouldn't wonder about it.

Perhaps in the U.S. all that sex and nudity and violence is commonplace for teenagers, I don't know.  But here, in our house, at least, it is troubling.

I previewed Saving Grace alone, so was able to spare my daughter from it.  I watched a few more episodes in hopes that it would get better.  The story improved but the nudity ... it's still there.

True Blood ... because of the new vampire hype (because of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books and movie) my daughter was intrigued by the series.  The 2nd episode still had sex scenes in it.  I'm hoping they disappear in the 3rd episode or, I'm sorry, but I will stop watching it.

It just isn't worth it if I get upset everytime I watch it.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happiness is lotsa freebies!

I am so glad I went to the first ever Friends of Krispy Kreme party at MOA.  Just for being there, I was able to receive at total of 17 donuts, 1 cup of coffee (refillable), 1 bottle of Sola Lemon Green Tea, 1 can of Pepsi Creme Caramel Soda, 1 bottle of Propel Gala Apple Flavor, and a Team Manila tee-shirt.


I met up with Jovan at the MRT station just so we could arrive together.  Good thing we did, 'cause we didn't know anyone else there.

After signing in we were given a couple of certificates and we were told to use one of them tonight.  The certificate said:  Get 2 donuts and 1 cup of coffee and get a free gift.  I figured, I'd spend P130, thereabouts, that's ok.  But when we get to the counter to choose the donuts (and get the 1 original glaze free) and choosing the coffee I pull out my wallet and the girl says, "No, mam.  It's free today for Friends of Krispy Kreme."  And then she tells me to turn around to get my free gift.  Behind me was a table with staff handing out half-dozen boxes of original glaze and the stub for a FREE GIFT was returned to us which we were told to just keep for later.  HAPPINESS!

So ... box and bag of donuts in hand and coffee in the otherJovan and I make our way out to one of the outdoor tables so that we could monitor the activities outside.  Who knows, we might win something, right?  Sadly, we didn't but ... because we kept the stub we were told to line up once again before we left to get our SECOND box of half-dozen original glaze donuts and a Team Manila tee-shirt.  Plus, all the drinks at the counter were free so we could just take what we wanted.  Plus, we also got a couple more original glaze donuts while waiting our turn.  DOUBLE HAPPINESS!!

PLUS:  we also have a certificate for the opening (Sept. 5, Friday).  If we buy 1 dozen assorted donuts we get 1 dozen original donuts FREE!  TRIPLE HAPPINESS!!!

Thanks for loving us, Krispy Kreme!  I remain one of your loyal patrons.  BRING ON THE FREEBIES.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

AXN-Beyond Embassy party flop

Nurse Joker (Ayds), Capt. Jonathan Archer (Nick), Star Trek TOS Communications Officer Uhura (Jovan), Sydney Bristow (me), Sexy Pirate (Shey), Star Trek Voyager science officer (Duds), bankrobber Joker (Mark P.), Star Trek Voyager's Capt. Katherine Janeway (Kasuy), Tie Fighter (Ron)
  (NWAer photos courtesy of Ron)
This is, without a doubt, one of the WORST parties I have ever attended ... and, believe me, I've been to a few doozies.  So ... some friends and I decided to check out the AXN-Beyond "Out Of This World Party" that was held last night at the Embassy Club.  As the invitation stated, we had to be in costume, and you know the NWAers, all we need is the slimmest excuse to be in costume.

First of all, the invitation(s) is/are confusing.  The one I received in my email weeks ago said this.

Then a few days ago, THIS came out on the AXN-Beyond website:

This is confusing ... what time are we really supposed to be there? And then, to top it all off, the party was announced in Facebook also and it said that 7pm to 10pm was for VIPs only and 10pm onwards is for the general public.  Just to be sure, Kasuy and I went there early to find out for ourselves. We confirmed it ... cosplayers were to show up for the 10pm.  Forget my 7pm invitation (which I and a few others) received directly from AXN-Beyond.  That was obviously a mistake.  7pm to 10pm was reserved for agencies and the press.  The promised prizes was only for the earlier event and they had NOTHING planned for the 10pm onwards.

They tell us that we have to be in costume and for our efforts we get goodie bags and posters.  They were nice, but ... that was it?  There was no program of any sort planned?  What a pathetic party!

Some of the people from AXN-Beyond were nice enough and stayed long enough to mingle with us (NWAers) and even took some photos with us.  As to be expected, the most photo ops were with Nurse Joker and our resident Tie Fighter.

Some cosplayers did come in later (at around 10:30pm, I think) but they gave of the aura of "hired help" to "spice up the party".  I don't know if it worked because I didn't feel any difference.  The party was F-L-A-T.  We tried to give it a chance ... we really did.  We stayed up to a little past 11pm and then had to give up.  There was NOTHING redeeming about the party ... at all.  All AXN-Beyond did was provide a venue for cosplayers to party.  We don't need to go to The Embassy Club for that.  We geeks know how to party, we've been doing it for a long time.

The NWAers gave it a good try, though, and we did manage to have some fun.

Truth to tell, I believe we had more fun after we left.  The pirates moved on to Jill's and partied there, the X-philers ... well, they disappeared but I guess they must have found their own fun, too, and the rest of us proceeded to Ron's clinic at the hatch building and "partied" there.  Unfortunately, I had to leave earlier but I believe the rest stayed until much later and a few even slept over.

I have a card for free entrance to Embassy for the next 3 nights ... does anyone want it?  I certainly don't.

We should party at Hard Rock again.  They know how to welcome cosplayers.  Such a shame, though.  AXN-Beyond is supposed to be a sci-fi/fantasy channel ... and they don't know what to do with people who comprise their ACTUAL viewing public.

Friday, June 27, 2008

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

I understand why so many people like Twilight the best of the series. It is because it is the happiest of the 3 books (so far). It is the romantic (getting to know you) story of Edward and Bella. Most teenagers I've spoken with have mentioned that they didn't like New Moon all that much and I can understand why.

New Moon is a book that dwells on Bella's depression when Edward left her. It is angst-filled almost from start to finish. I went through a similar experience so I could intimately relate with her apathy and catatonia and seeming recklessness. While New Moon is not a happy book, I feel that it was necessary, if only for the purpose of serving as a transition between Twilight and Eclipse. For the most part because New Moon is where Bella actually gets to know Jacob Black and becomes close to him.

I have a confession. While I am enamoured with Edward Cullen, I totally agreed that Bella and Jake make sense, even though Jake is 2 years younger than her (and looks about 25). It's not just the fact that he is more human (because he is). It was something else. Bella's relationship with Edward, the way she acted around him reminded me of Catherine (played by Linda Hamilton) and Vincent (played by Ron Perlman) in the 80's TV series Beauty and the Beast (insert music of "The First Time I Loved Forever") will know what I mean. They were almost always romantic, standing close and whispering to each other, etc. With Jake, Bella was more natural, more uninhibited. More ... herself.

And then there is the difference of cold and hard as stone and warm as the sun. Edward and Jake are polar opposites --- in color, temperature, malleability, temperament, etc.

It is difficult to choose. And I know in the end she needs to choose just one. Poor Bella. This will be a tough choice for her to make.

New Moon, for me, is a "must read".

For those who haven't read the book yet, click here to read the first chapter of New Moon.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Chef for a day

I had lots of fun in someone else's kitchen.  Pots and pans like you see on the Food Network (albeit looking like they've seen a lot of use), knives so sharp you have to be extremely careful, and professional chefs to teach us how to turn out beautiful, delicious dishes.

I was invited, along with other bloggers, to join a Discovery Class last Saturday, 10 May 2008, at CCA (Center for Culinary Arts). The Discovery Class is part and parcel of the regular course offerings for new students of CCA to help them decide whether they are inclined to culinary or baking. Personally, I couldn't decide. As some of you know, I love being in the kitchen. I love to cook and I love to bake. And I am all for learning something new.

Fifteen people attended the morning session, majority of whom were bloggers. We were divided into 3 groups of 5 and each of the groups were tasked to prepare the same dish --- Caramelized Salmon with Orange-Shoyu Sauce. We also made sauteed mixed vegetables as a side dish. Our teacher for the morning session was Chef Menoy Gimenez. I had a lot of fun under his tutelage. His teaching technique is efficient, informative, and fun. I was lucky enough to be part of a group that could mostly cook and are OC so our process was also efficient and our work area was always clean AND we were all pretty good at following instructions. Check out what our finished product looked like.

In the afternoon was the baking session with Chef Anne Atanacio and we prepared Saffron Panna Cotta. This session was more casual and personal. Chef Anne showed us how to prepare the dish and then allowed us to make it ourselves. In the meantime, she would chat with us, tell us anecdotes, get to know us, and teach us when we needed guidance and jumped in when we made cooking mistakes. In the afternoon session only 9 participants were present so we were split into 3 groups of 3. My group finished first because we did not make any mistakes (thankfully!) and were eager to taste our finished product.

I, personally, had a lot of fun in this class and I fully intend to make these dishes again at home.  For me, though, the question of culinary or baking was not answered.  I want to do both!

If you are interested in taking the Discovery Class yourself, this is offered every Saturday at CCA.  The class costs P3,800 for a full day session (3 hours in the morning and 3 hours after lunch), all materials included.  CCA is located along Katipunan Avenue across the street from the Ateneo gym. The ground floor of the building is the Cravings restaurant.

I would love to enroll but that will have to take a back seat for now. I'll get Erika through college first, then we will see if there is a chef in me.

My only regret ... we couldn't bring home what we made.    I wonder ... any chance I could sit in on another Discovery Class for free? hehehe  But seriously ... I'd love it if I could.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Movies have made me paranoid

These are a list of things that I am "paranoid" about because of the movies.  Some are funny, some are practical.  It is also a work in progress so I may add a line or two every now and then.
  • I cannot get in the front seat of a vehicle (especially at night) without checking the back first for "unwanted passengers".
  • When walking around the house at night in the dark, I don't look at the mirrors in case I see someone else in them (meaning not just me)
  • I cannot face a mirror with a lit candle.
  • I sleep at night with my blanket pulled up to my chin to cover my neck.
  • I don't answer calls (on my cell) from people who's numbers are not in my phonebook.
  • I try not to piss off the people serving my food.  If they do anything I find disagreeable I have a quiet talk with the manager.
  • When I enter a bathroom (toilet and bath combo) I cannot use the seat without checking the bath area first (opening the shower curtain) to make sure I am alone in the bathroom.
  • I cannot use the toilet seat without checking that there isn't someone's head in it.
  • I cannot use the toilet seat without checking if cockroaches are not swimming or surfing in it when flush.
  • Before getting into bed I check the closet properly so that if anything comes out of it I will have early warning.
  • I don't hang my legs off the side of the bed because someone might grab my ankles from underneath.
  • There is NO WAY you will get me to say Betelgeuse three times!
What things have the movies made you paranoid about?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unsent letters

Dear Millionaire,
I have known you since high school, since I was 14, I believe. And over the months we became friends and this relationship carried over through the rest of high school, college, then later when we were both professionals. A few years ago you did something that destroyed not just our friendship but also your friendship with your supposed best friend since high school. There were emails exchanged, each of us stating our stand and in the end I really thought that was the end of that.  Imagine my surprise when a few months down the road you called me up again as if nothing happened.

Your former best friend won't talk to you anymore, and with good reason.

I've figured out a while back that the reason you keep contacting me is because you don't have that many friends. Come to think of it, you never were Mr. Popularity, really, 'cause, let's face it.You're pushy (bossy).

Every single time you call I ask myself, "What now?" My parents wonder why I still entertain your calls. Frankly, I sometimes wonder the same thing myself. I don't like you anymore. All those sexual innuendos ... they may be a joke to you but to me ... it seems to be too much and even scares me at times because I get a vibe that they are half-meant --- that there is some truth behind the jokes. It makes me uncomfortable because, while I can joke around about sex, per se, it needs to be clear to all parties that it is just that ... jokes. When I get a weird vibe I always listen to it. My senses have not yet steered me wrong.

Sometimes you would joke around and end your sentence with "I know you love me" or "tell me you love me" and lately it makes me scream inside. "No, I don't love you. No, I am not interested in you at all. Never have, never will." I don't care if you have money now (which you deny having and yet manage to run a multi-million business). I don't choose my friends based on how much they have but on who they are inside.

You also like to joke a lot about asking me to marry you. I guess that one is really just a joke because both you and I know it is never going to happen. Part of me is thinking, "I hope he isn't hoping for any other kind of intimate relationship."
  • I don't need your challenging, under-priced, overworked job offers. I don't need a new car at the price of being your work slave. If you really want me to do the job, I've already told you how much I am worth. Match it. Don't negotiate my price down and then expect me to break my back working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
  • I don't need all expenses paid intimate vacations for two in paradisaical locations all over the Philippines. While visiting these places would be nice in itself, I will admit that at the back of my mind I am thinking, "what do you want from me?"
  • I don't need to hear sexual innuendos with every other sentence. In some places, that would be grounds for harassment.
  • I don't need to go to the U.S. While it would be nice, I do not have any burning desire to less temperate climes.
You are:
  • chauvinistic
  • rude
  • inappropriate
  • disrespectful to me and to my parents
I'm not one to burn my bridges and yet, this bridge ... despite all my efforts (I still take your calls, answer your occasional email and chat message), I think you already burned it for us years ago. Sadly, I am finding it very difficult to cross and overcome. To my regret, we are no longer friends.

With regrets,
Determined Bridge Mender

Dear Freshman,

You are an okay guy. You are not the most interesting guy in the world, but neither are you the most boring.You do have your moments, I'll give you that. We get along fine because we do have some common interests. My mistake was in deciding to take the risk of getting intimate with you. The first time it happened I was so disappointed at how unskilled you are and how unfamiliar you are with the correct protocol that I vowed never to repeat the experience but to retain you as a friend. I didn't tell you how disappointed I was but I thought that it was obvious that I wasn't exactly happy. Maybe my expectations are too high but ... when you've soared to the stars several times, you WANT to experience that again, as often as you can. Apparently, a very small number of people are skilled enough (or talented enough) to accomplish that.

It turned out disappointing for me but apparently not for you because over the next few months you kept asking me for another date and I kept putting you off with one reason or another.  Admittedly, all the reasons happened to be valid, but then, if I had really wanted a liaison, I could have found the time.

And ... despite telling myself that I would NOT repeat the experience, guess what? There I was again spending another disappointing time with you.  I don't blame you for being unskilled. I am angry at myself for being too ... Nice? Generous? Forgiving? Patient? I really, really hoped that between the first and the second time you would have learned something, anything that would satisfy me.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.

You just asked me for another date.  N-O. Absolutely not! No fucking way! Let's just have coffee, shall we? I'm happy with the friendship and, as evidenced by 2 failed encounters, we really should keep it at that.

With regrets,
A Junior

Dear Sloppy Eater,

GMRC - Good manners and right conduct
That was a subject taught to us in school when we were in elementary and at home by our parents and nannies. The rules are so simple, and once upon a time you followed them, too. Why is it that you can't follow them now? And to make matter worse, when we bring your attention to your bad manners, you get all huffy and upset and walk out, or give a speech telling us how we don't show you respect. Hello! Show US some respect!
  • Sip, don't slurp.
  • Don't bang your spoon,knife, and/or fork on your plate when eating. Gently scoop your food.
  • USE THE SERVING SPOON. Don't use your own spoon (that was just in your mouth) to get food from the serving dishes. Not only is it unsightly, it is also unsanitary and will cause the food to spoil faster (if you have intentions of keeping leftovers).
  • If the food is on my other side, ask me to pass the dish, don't reach across me, thereby blocking my plate, preventing me from eating properly.
  • DON'T TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL. If you must say something, finish what's in your mouth first. Whatever it is, is not so urgent that you would have to mumble it and have people you are dining with suffer through a food spitting experience.
  • CLEAN AS YOU GO. When you are done eating, bring YOUR OWN plate, spoon, fork, and glass to the sink AND WASH THEM YOURSELF. Don't just leave them at the table expecting someone else to do it for you. Everyone pulls their own weight.
  • If there is food on the table you want and everyone is getting a piece, get a piece for yourself and save it for later, if you don't want to eat it yet. If you aren't getting any (and you are at the table with everyone) and it isn't as if people are diving into the dish anyway, then people would assume that you didn't want any in the first place. So don't complain later that no one left you a piece. Other times there are complaints when we do leave a piece, thinking someone might want it. Food gets wasted. So, either tell someone to save you a piece or get it yourself if it is right in front of you.
  • Do not get food off my plate! If it is on my plate then it is MY food. It is one thing if I offer it. It is another when your fork just zooms across the table and dips into my sauce or jabs into my viand. Yuck! Just the thought makes me lose my appetite.
I could go on but I'm just getting upset so I will end it here.

Eating Police

Dear Hottie,

I don't have any problem talking to most people, men or women. But I've discovered that whenever I find someone really attractive (and not necessarily aesthetically) I find myself lost for words. I want to talk to you but when I see you I can't think of anything to say. We end up with awkward silences which you or I just walk away from. Which is silly because, when we are chatting online, we seem to manage to talk up a storm.

I guess you're just way too hot for me.

In the past the surefire way I have found to diffuse it is to befriend the person I find myself attracted to.  Text messages, emails, coffee, that sort of thing.  I don't know if it is possible here because I didn't even try to get your number but ... in the meantime, I'll be content with shyly peeping at you around other people and grasping for something to talk about when I see you.  Darn!  Can't we just chat online?  I'm better at chat, hehehe.  I feel safe behind the laptop.

Do I want you for myself? Do I wish for a relationship? No. Not at all. I just like the giddy feeling, hehehe.

Giddily yours,

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger is dead

It's all over the internet news (so far) --- Heath Ledger is dead.

I found out because of a mailing list post of Buddy Love which I then verified on the net.  The details of his passing can be found on CNN, the New York Post, TMZ, E-Online, etc.

Cause of death has yet to be determined conclusively but evidence suggest a drug overdose.  He was found by his masseuse and housekeeper in his bedroom naked, facedown, with sleeping pills strewn across the room.  One of his friends suggested that Heath had an alcohol problem he was trying to quit.  But according to police statements, there was no mention of any alcohol in the scene.  There was no suggestion of foul play but they want to make sure.  (Bring in the CSI unit!)

The housekeeper and masseuse found him at 3:26pm (22 January 2008 EST) as they were trying to wake him for his scheduled massage and when he did not respond they called 911.  At 3:45pm he was pronounced dead by the medical examiner.

Such a waste.  Heath was 28 years old and had a whole future ahead of him.  He will be missed.