Monday, December 31, 2007

The New Year Post


Boom! said the kuwitis.
Damn! That's just kuwitis.


As I type, fireworks are blasting away just outside our house, courtesy of the rowdy party palace this neighborhood of ours turns into every time the New Year comes around. We have thick concrete walls and good windows with metal bars, but all that padding seems to be doing very little in keeping the blasts at a minimum, since every subsequent explosion is enough to rattle the wind chimes hanging on the inside of the front door.


I don't know what they're putting in local fireworks these days, but we could start a war with some of them, methinks.

I almost had to celebrate New Year's eve with a bum leg due to a traumatized callus on the sole of my foot, but a quick trip to the hospital took care of that. Now I can positively hobble faster than a tortoise, which means that I don't need a cane to move about the house - which makes this a pretty damn good way of capping the year.

Happy New Year to you folks, and don't let the gunpowder get the best of you!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Such Geekery


Just to fill in dead air between now and New Year's eve, I'd like to talk a bit about my recent geekery. My Satoshi Kon addiction aside, and that brief Kemonozume high, I've been watching - and in the case of I Am Legend, anticipating - several other geek-worthy programs that blow a hole right through my I-am-not-a-geek proclamation.

(Just to make sure nobody forgets, though: I still maintain that I am not a full geek.)

Although I like to stress that I am pretty much a self-made man, sometimes evidence that my geekery is something built up by my two sisters, Yeyey Cruz and Caridad Cruz-Salonga, pops up. The list is long and almost endless; from Fraggle Rock to Lord of the Rings (I read the entire trilogy by the time I was ten three times thanks to my sister), I owe most of my tastes to the years wherein my decade-older siblings sat me through films and shows like A Christmas Story (which I still, for the life of me, cannot remember), Ghostbusters, The A-Team, and the like.

***

Here're a few of the newer things they've tossed my way these past few years:

Evidence 1
Joss Whedon's Firefly has been somewhere in my download list for quite some time now, due to the mad, mad reviews I see about it on the Internets. The only thing that's been keeping me from starting is the fact that Whedon was the man responsible for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, two shows that have failed to interest me whatsoever.

The other day, though, my Ate Yeyey forced me to sit down with her and watch the pilot episode of the series, and while the western motif still turns me off some, it makes for some very interesting lines ("That was one helluva shindig!") and situations (rustling cattle through space). Needless to say, I am hooked.


Evidence 2
Again, this involves my Ate Yeyey.

The other day, whilst I was out drinking with the usual suspects from the old boys' club, I received a text message from my sister telling me that the film I Am Legend was awesome condensed into a film.

Now, the last science fiction movie by Will Smith was, if I remember right,
I, Robot, a movie I and the Isaac Asimov fanboy in me enjoyed immensely. Now here's another Will Smith sci-fi film, and its all I can do to keep myself from going giggly with anticipation. My sister, an impressive judge of popular media, only served to whet my appetite, and when that movie hits Manila theaters, I am getting front-row seats.

Evidence 3
Sometime last year, Ate Carina asked me if I was watching this show on Nickelodeon that looked a little bit like the Japs animated it. She couldn't remember the name at the time, only that it involved the manipulation of the elements, and of course I didn't know what she was talking about, because the only reasons I stop at Nickelodeon were Spongebob Squarepants and utter boredom.

Then I managed to catch one of the episodes of
Avatar: the Legend of Aang, and it hits me that mebbe this was what she was talking about.

It took me a while to actually get hooked to Avatar, since I couldn't help but compare the immediate concept of the series with Xiaolin Showdown's own. It was impressively done, sure, but back at the time, I didn't know just how much research and preparation went into a single Avatar episode, and shrugged the show off as another one of them network things.

With the help of Mahal Adams' enthusiasm (and a lot of free time), though, I finally went and downloaded the first season of the series, since I wanted to know how the relationship between protagonist Aang and antihero Zuko would eventually play out.

And then I downloaded the second season.

And now, I am eagerly anticipating the moment the next episode of the third and final season hits the air. I am burning my sister the entire first half of season three just to thank her for introducing me to this amazing series.

***

And that's it for this edition of Such Geekery with Martin Cruz. Tune in next time for more geek-worthy moments in the life of a geek in denial.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Merry Christmas to All


It's amazing. Christmas always has that really amazing vibe (Anna D. calls it that citrusy, zesty smell in the air) that somehow makes sure things all end well in the end.

Exhibit A: my friend, Pao. Read his recent LJ / Multiply to find out why.

Exhibit B: me.

The past few week(s?), I've been more or less sick and unable to do anything short of filter feed and breathe. Things worsened last week when my throat decided to squeeze itself close to shut, so much so that the very act of swallowing water was torture. I spent the better part of the week fast asleep, shut away from the rest of civilization, eating the occasional bowl of arroz caldo. Due to this, I wasn't able to join the Christmas shopping crush during the last week before Christmas Eve, up until the 24th itself - which was, in a hilarious act of God, when I did and completed my Christmas shopping for the insular family.

Seriously. I went to Robinson's Place on Christmas Eve to get a check-up (didn't make it, Healthway was closing up shop for the day), and to shop.

Let it be known that when I shop, I don't go about it like the rest of the world; I don't rush from store to store, looking for what to buy. Instead, I amble along, like the good, spongiform lifeform I am, looking at odd knick-knacks and trinkets.

I managed to get my dad a "World's Greatest Dad" Kraft-Art Kalendar, my mom a Kraft notebook (which I hope to dear God she'll actually use), the kids a board game each, the brother a pair of Koss headphones, and an Idiot's Guide for the brother-in-law (he loves things like those).

For the sisters, I'm burning discs. Because really, the only things those two harridans want from me can be found contained within my laptop. Hehehe~

Anyway, a Merry Christmas to everybody. Off to see my bro make a fool of himself to his multitudinous godkids (kidding bro! hehe).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Aria Di Mezzo Carattere


It sucks entering the holidays when you're as sick as a rhinoceros with dysentery (resurgence of the word courtesy of Jon).

Just to clarify - I do not have dysentery. What I do have, however, is a bad case of engorged, pulsating (albeit pus-free so far) tonsils, that have been messing with my body both physically and mentally. Physically, because I haven't been able to work out at all since the damn thing hit me, not to mention the confabulous headaches and fevers I've been having. The word confabulous is taken from Bruce's stint with desktop widgets with the same name; the name sounds very condescending in a grand way, and should be used as sarcasm.

So I command it, so shall it be.

Anyway. Mentally, because the fevers have been giving me the most amazing dreams that are mixing my days back in high school with my days in Cagayan de Oro and marketing. Just now, before I woke up, I was discussing purchasing planning with a bunch of long-forgotten friends from LSGH in a guitar shop that can be found in Limketkai mall.

Hork. Delusional dreams, some?

Anyway, since I can't really stand looking at the screen anymore - due to the headache the radiation is inspiring - here's an awesome find. These videos, despite the bad qualities of some of the photos in the slide show, brought tears to my eyes and good memories to the surface. This is the English operatic rendition of The Dream Oath: Maria and Draco, which is the opera that can be found in Final Fantasy VI - arguably one of the finest elements of that dear, dear role-player that gives it an infinite edge over any of the later games from the franchise. Take note that this edition features the complete opera, and not the edition wherein Ultros and Locke Cole take over the stage, thus the story of Maria and Draco's love is actually presented in full.

The name of the entire musical segment is Aria Di Mezzo Carattere, a masterpiece unlike any other, and was composed by the great Nobuo Uematsu. Stephanie Wooding provides the mezzo-soprano voice for Maria (although an alto would have sounded better). Chad Berlinghieri is the tenor voice of Draco, while Todd Robinson is the baritone Prince Ralse.

The music is provided by the World Festival Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Arnie Roth.

Part One


Part Two

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Flyboy


Man was meant to fly
Icarus was just an idiot.


After seeing this video, I now want a wing suit.



I've always been fascinated with flying. I'm one of those few people who were given the chance to take their first flying experience alone, and I enjoyed it - and each subsequent experience - immensely. You won't catch me looking over the edge of some precipice, since I still have that annoying case of acrophobia, but I'm more than willing to try something that's liable to make me shit in my pants but will give me more than enough of that adrenaline rush that you just can't find in daily living.

I wonder what material they use for the wing suits. It'd have to be something really sturdy to survive something close to re-entry - at least I'm assuming it'd be somthing like re-entry, since I can pretty much see the curve of the Earth in some of the shots. Is kevlar sturdy enough to survive re-entry? Urban legend says that the older - and less reliable - wing suits were made of varying materials like canvas, wood, silk (are you bloody serious??), and whale bone.

It'd be easy to understand why they'd fail.

But if you watch the video carefully, the flocks of wingmen here are wearing suits that don't fall apart even with the massive resistance falling from an absurdly high altitude entails.

There's even this video that shows this wingman tracing the length of a ski slope. Its been said that wing suits slow down the fall of the human body to 50mph, but allows people to move forward at 70mph - so horizontal displacement isn't static, or accidental. It's a pre-meditated action.

That is seriously so cool.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Signs of the Times


There is an orange on my desk.
It is waiting for lunchtime.



For want of a real post - since the past few days have technically been unbloggable, but not due to the lack of developments in my personal and social life - I will now post a couple of photos I took with my crap camera phone.

A couple of days ago, this was how our living room looked like. My sister was fixing up an office for one of her clients, and she had to order a whole bunch of office chairs in the process. Since she didn't really have any place to store them in, the entire lot - around twenty or so chairs - were dumped in our living room in the meantime.

The temptation to use one of them was rather great, and only the plastic covering the plush seats kept me from delivering weighty justice. My nephew and niece, however, weren't as easily dissuaded, and clambered through the aptly named "forest of chairs" as if the durned things were theirs.

This photo is a winner, except for the obviously bad quality. I had to take this baby on the fly whilst riding a jeep from De La Rosa to PRC. It's actually a shoe repair shop, but for some reason, the brilliant designer of the logo decided that the S in shoe should be replaced by a circle with a shoe inside - which doesn't resemble an S at all.

Thus you end up with a sign that says "Hoe Care." Which is just so hilarious in so many levels.


That's all for now. Let me end this post with a photograph of Zardos, my juggernaut of a cat:

he has fathered around seven children, most of which came from his own children, and shows no sign of growing weary. To the left is my leg, for size comparison.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Save the Flying Congressman, Save the World


Title is taken from
Adrian Arcega's status message
this morning.
And I totally agree with him.



I didn't really like how the second season of Heroes spiraled out into its almost anti-climactic end; there were way too many plot holes, and some of the newer characters were just way too lame. Take the wonder Twins, for example; they were a horrible addition, although granted, their purpose as a device to bring Sylar back into the U.S. was pretty sound, but plot-wise, Maya and her brother could very well have been nothing more than bystanders who just happened to be a minority.


I mean, they had to replace Mendez with another chicano. Status quo and all.

The Takezo Kensei / Adam Monroe character was made of pure win, though; and now, both the heroes and the villains have an indestructible force - season three should be phenomenal, if you're going to have Peter and Claire on one side, Sylar and Kensei on the other. All Hiro has to do is teach Claire battojutsu, and they're all set.

Speaking of Hiro - seeing as he's the only other major character with the most unique abilities (Peter-Sylar, Matt-Maury, Claire-Monroe, Nathan-Claire's flying boyfriend), and he technically has the power to change anything and everything, but is way too much of a samurai to do anything about it - he could become something like a Watcher figure, akin to the eponymous characters in both the Highlander and the Marvel universes. I can't imagine him otherwise, since the only other character (so far) with the abilities to keep up with him is Peter, and that guy has a lot more to worry about than electrocuting somebody who can bend time and space. Like keeping Nathan alive.

Which leads me to the subject of this post: if you've seen the finale of Heroes: Generations, then you'll know what the title is all about. Nathan Petrelli is an all-American hero, reminiscent of Duke from G.I. Joe, or Colonel Sanders when he slapped a lawsuit on the asses of the people who bought - and eventually mismanaged - Kentucky Fried Chicken. He's the only one who can keep up with Lyle or Kyle (I really forget his name), he's the redeeming factor of the Petrelli family, and is the only one capable of preventing his supercharged brother from being a total dork and pansy.

So have a heart. Save the flying congressman, save the world.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What's in a Name?


Okay, just a quick one:

The Zeppelin's Mezzanine is now the 18th result when Googling for the terms "Martin Cruz" with or without the quotation marks. Take that, Martin Cruz Smith! Although the Yahoo SERPs are a different story altogether.

I am also the 14th result when Googling for "Uwak." "Kilawinguwak" is a no-brainer, since the pseudonym's more specific than Jehovah.

A meatier entry next time!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Insult to Injury: the Death of Pinoy Lit


If you're the type of person who has the attention span of a goldfish,
can't imagine stories without pictures,
and generally are the type of person responsible
for the slow decline of intelligence in the Pinoy society,
then don't read this.

If you are the type, but still venture forth to trudge
through this text, then you are a visionary idiot,
and any attempts to refute my thoughts will be met
with equal - if not greater - force.

If you are a kindred spirit,
then feel free to trade ideas with me
for the good of the written word.

These are just my thoughts, not
gospel truth. Dissect them, question them
there is no right or wrong
for those who know.



I was never a fan of Butch Dalisay. Wait, let me correct myself - I was once a fan of Butch Dalisay, whenever I read his Penman articles on the lifestyle pages of the Star, but back then, I hadn't read any of his 'serious literature' yet. Which is to say, that I was just reading him as a columnist, not as a writer - and yes, I differentiate literary writers from all other walks of the craft; writers are elitists and egotists as a rule, since the profound ability to slog through all those words takes a lot of patience and thorough reading, since once in a while, some genius of a wordsmith decides that the best way to write a literary piece is to play with the words to give more depth to the content - which, in the case of the Ateneans, as according to one Ken T. Ishikawa, was usually the case, resulting in beautiful poetry with very, very little depth whatsoever.


Which makes me glad that I reached my writing maturity in the loving, alcohol-laced arms of UST and the Thomasian Writers' Guild.

Just recently, my father sent me this link, which led to one of Butch's more recent articles, which he entitled "Why We Don't Write More Novels (But Should)." You can read the article here. Now, he puts forward some very, very good points, which I would like to sum up in four rather short sentences:
  1. Pinoys don't earn much from being novelists in their own country (Jessica Hagedorn is a genius for migrating to the U.S. and publishing her crap from there)
  2. We have very little vision
  3. We rarely get out of Manila, which, for its melting pot of cultural goodness, can dull the visual edge of a writer who doesn't dabble in the mad arts of drug abuse.
  4. Pinoy readers are either spastic sons and daughters of bitches with the attention span of a goldfish, or they focus too much on what they see on faster norms of media - either local (Wowowee and Marimar) or on cable (One Tree Hill and American Idol)
He also mentions three very good examples of the Pinoy novel in recent times:
  1. Alfred Yuson's The Great Philippine Energy Jungle Cafe
  2. Vince Groyon's The Sky Over Dimas
  3. Charlson Ong's Banyaga: A Song of War
Which, for all intents and purposes, is to play up the fact that he actually reads good literature, despite writing rather dull stories himself. Which we can't deny the good professor, since he still writes rather well as a journalist.

Now, somewhere in his article, he brings up something about how Pinoy writers that
do write novels tend to try and dwarf the likes of Jose Rizal, Carlos Bulosan, and - gasp! - F. Sionil Jose, which just about covers the greatest writers of varying stages of Philippine literature. Varying stages, you say? Why technically, yes. If you plot the lives of each of the three writers on a timeline that also followed the history of the Philippine Republic, you'd see that each writer was influential during a certain period of the islands' history.
  • Jose Rizal was most influential during the tail-end of the Spanish colonization era, which led to the eventual sale of the islands to the United States during the Treaty of Paris of 1898. His most famous literary works were Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, neither of which were translated into English until much later.
  • Carlos Bulosan was most active during the mid-1900's, and was a labor activist during most of his time as an American citizen, or the lack of it, since the FBI was after him for the organization of labor unions and socialist propaganda. He is best known for America is the Heart and The Laughter of My Father.
  • F. Sionil Jose is an old fart who writes better short stories than novels but is regaled for the sheer magnitude of his Rosales saga. He is bald, fat, and looks like a penguin. He is also partly responsible for the first - and possibly the last - literary award this humble author has ever received in his life. This humble author would also wish that this bastion of post-war writing would just keel over and die, since nothing - nothing - ever changes in the tone of any of his novels. Or the story. Or, for that matter, the main character. Either that, or he should just focus on his short stories, because I really like them.
All of the three aforementioned writers are geniuses in their own right, some more than the others. Rizal painted a fantastic farce of the Spanish occupation, Bulosan knew how to weave a story just right, keeping the elements in check without going overboard in the tension or the descriptions, and Sionil Jose is such an enduring monolith that he probably sold more books than Nick Joaquin, it shames me to say. But Butch Dalisay - the subject of this essay - did a pretty bad number on me when he mentioned all three writers in a heartbeat, because these three, or rather, their styles of writing is the one thing which, in my opinion, is driving Pinoy literature into the Jurassic.

That is, the sheer reliance on cultural heritage. And now I know a lot of writers will hang me for this.

But before you hang me, please let me just point out why this sheer reliance on the
rich Philippine culture is slowly going to erase the good Pinoy fiction from the face of the earth.

-- First of all, times are a-changing. If you'll notice, mini skirts are becoming shorter and shorter, Willie Revillame is combating the popularity of Tito, Vic and Joey, and the attention span of people are becoming so short that soon, you'll need a tape recorder for every individual on the street just to remember what you were thinking about.

Think
Memento. How are you going to catch the attention of a 'reader' who can't even sit through the old T.V. Patrol, back when Kiko Evangelista and Noli De Castro regaled everybody with their stylish business suits, no-nonsense attitudes, and treat-the-news-like-somebody-just-died braggadocio? If they didn't put Arnold Clavio into the GMA 7 nightly news, or if it weren't for Kuya Kim Atienza and Pia Guanio (or was it TJ Manotoc?) on ABS-CBN, people would hardly watch the news. You have to always have something to feed your audience these days, and that's hardly any different when it comes to writing a novel. Why do you think writers like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, or even Stephen King manage to sell truckloads of their stuff? Because it always offers something different! Sex sells, and so does a vivid imagination! Books are, at their very core, a medium of entertainment, and if you can't entertain with a story about a kid riding on a carabao mourning the cultural loss of his brother to his city-slicker of a girlfriend, then what makes you think you're going to be able to sell the exploits of generations of hacienderos on a fictional province to a public that's getting harder and harder to please by the day?

That is, without massive representation; more on this later.

-- The focus on language is a killer. This is, I think, a sickness that almost every Pinoy writer, with the possible exception of Bob Ong and Pol Medina Jr., is infected with. And it's a very understandable plight: what kind of writing has bad, well, writing? When you write a story, you rely on a variety of figurative devices to set the mood, to paint a picture, to move the story forward. You can't have a living, breathing story without good writing, and that's a fact. Those things just don't happen.

But then, how many readers do you writers personally know that are willing to tread through a quagmire of onomatopoeias? Do you even know anybody who can tell a vilanelle from verisimilitude (which isn't even on the same page) - or, for that matter, an Elizabethan sonnet? I tried lending Don DeLillo's
White Noise, one of the most fascinating novels I have ever read, to a friend who managed to survive Haruki Murakami's A Wild Sheep Chase - and he promptly put it down. Couldn't stand the deep language.

Let's face it. The deeper the language, the more you're bound to lose your audience. And the old school of writing - Rizal, Bulosan, Jose - tends to focus on the
old style of writing, writing as if you were trying to catch the fancy of somebody who could understand advanced literary forms. Which, naturally, is stupid, but that doesn't stop the founding fathers of the contemporary school of writing in the country from drilling in the importance of language, seemingly over content. If the gods of Pinoy writing actually read through contemporary literature, they'd see that writers like Sue Grafton, Tom Clancy, and Robert Jordan have been peddling their books on the shores of more countries than the number of stars on the American flag, they'd realize that maybe language isn't the biggest thing to focus on.

-- There's a surprisingly vivid lack of content in Pinoy writing, so much so that it actually kinda looks like a gigantic bruise pulsating in the midst of the torso that is Pinoy literature. That Ken Ishikawa comment on Ateneo poetry fits like a glove when applied to most of the novels and short stories you can find in the Filipiniana end of the market today. Or maybe it's just me. But whenever I pick up a book or read a story from the Pinoy end of the literary spectrum, it always sounds so bloody lame, it nearly makes me cry. Take these select cuts from the
Philipine Speculative Fiction III anthology:
  • Pedro Diyego's Homecoming
  • Carmen and Josephine
  • Facester (which is so damnably chic)
  • In Earthen Vessels
Of course, there are other, better titles in the anthology, such as this impressive mouthful that caught my eye:
  • The Death and Rebirth of Nathaniel Alan Sempio
but my point remains that in the title alone, the story fails to grab the attention of your readers. Maybe if you were carting your wares to people who had more time to read stories due to the lack of television or Internet at their disposal, you could - but on this day and age, we hardly live a life that isn't one way or the other wired, so you've got heavy competition.

Now, yes, I know Dalisay says that he tries to deviate from the sweeping and generalistic content that his three historical examples have provided by delving into the detective short story - but his stories still strike me as nothing new. And neither, for that matter, do most of the current Pinoy stories out there. Barring the ineptitude of most writers (myself included) in providing a halfway decent title, the stories just tend to circulate on simple themes such as love, sadness, regret, or moving on, and rely instead on a deluge of figurative language to push the story forward - which only brings us back to my previous point. Whatever happened to the slow slide into desperation due to totally unexpected reasons? Where are the ghost stories that just really serve to scare (normal Pinoy horror stories don't count)? Does everything always have to teach something, Mr. F. Sionil Jose? Can't literature just be counted as such because it keeps somebody entertained?

I think the biggest thing people have forgotten about literature - both readers and writers alike - is the fact that the very first function of any media is to entertain, because once you have captured your audience's fancy, you can begin to draw him into the meatier parts of your tale. Otherwise, your story is a failure. It is made of win and awesome, but a failure nonetheless.

-- And finally, marketability. I don't think that when Nick Joaquin was writing
The Woman Who Had Two Navels, he was thinking of releasing it as an impeccably memorable piece of Pinoy literary history. Just like everybody else, he was in it for the money - writing is, after all, still a job, no matter how altruistic your later intentions may be. The biggest problem Pinoys have in selling a good, publish-worthy novel is that they know who they're aiming for - and half the time, they're aiming for people who can understand them too, which isn't that big of a group.

Now, take people like Haruki Murakami or Neil Gaiman. These two gods have all the mental faculties to spin a good yarn, and people from all walks of life read them. I've encountered people who've read their works, people who, in a million years, I would never have expected to walk within a mile of what the literary critics call 'good writers.' So what is it that these guys have that helps them sell their image to a varied public?

I don't know the answer, at least, not fully. But I've been in the Internet marketing business long enough to know that a good campaign is enough to draw as much attention as you'd ever want to a single product. Now, this isn't to say that we commodify a work of art - but consider this. Here's a good piece of literature that you've spent years on, and when you release it, it ends up gathering dust in one corner of the
La Solidaridad bookstore. Which is the dumping ground of the rarest books this side of the country, discounting the existence of Booksale and National Bookstore (Fully Booked and Powerbooks is for the designer crowd; for really good reads, you gotta go deep into the bowels of the earth, like a dwarf mining for mithril).

Now how would that feel?

Writers often forget the beneficial properties a good marketing edge can do for their works. And I'm not just talking locally. I'm talking international syndication, or whatever the equivalent is for novels and such medium. If you're after spreading the word, then what better way to propagate than to go global? If you're after talking and interacting with as many people as possible, then this is the ticket. Wanna make money? Jeezus. GO GLOBAL.

Again, I say: I really dislike Butch Dalisay. I gave a series of reasons for this earlier, counting the fact that he was a better journalist than he ever was a fictionist - and this is a matter of opinion, but I think I'm snooty enough to have a somewhat trustworthy opinion - but after reading this otherwise well-crafted article, I have to say that he's something of a hypocrite, because he's an established writer criticizing a system that he himself is part of. He's somebody the newer players in the game look up to for guidance, and here he is, playing the fool by touting inferences as to what could be turning the Pinoy lit scene into something resembling a dying animal. And for that, my hatred for him grows even more, because his own literary backbone does nothing to represent a change in the stylistic methods that, according to him, is killing the same animal he - and million other Pinoy wordsmiths - wish to resuscitate.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Kind of Woman


The title has nothing to do with this post.
To those who opened this because of the title,
you have been hoodwinked, haw haw.



One day, Martin Cruz woke up and discovered that he had become a multimillionaire. Then he promptly fell asleep and began dreaming that he was underpaid. His rational mind decided that that was the state of all writers all over the world, and that photographers and painters who take very little time perfecting a single painting or a photograph - no offense to those reading this, and this statement technically breaks the fourth, fifth, and whatever walls of this story masquerading as a blog entry - but get paid more than a genius hack who sweats blood, tears, and alcohol for weeks to come up with a brilliant paragraph.

Right now, in his dream, Martin Cruz is sitting on his laptop, typing out something, while the news is busy telling the story of a coup d'etat happening. The Peninsula Manila has become the barracks of Trillanes, whoever he is, and he is demanding for the unholy, unmitigated, wholehearted resignation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who, during her own time and prime, did the same for Joseph "Erap" Estrada.

"Again, the hotel. Why do they always use hotels as their fortresses," thought Martin Cruz. "If I were to stage a coup, I would take over one of the big malls. Not only do you have a fortress, you have a maze. You could hide from your enemies, situate strategic shooters and spotters with very little trouble, and you could hoard items from nearby stores, such as Aji Ichiban and Starbucks, with impunity. You wouldn't run out of supplies."

Right now, he's thinking of getting his arse moving, getting dressed so that he can make his way to Gilmore to get himself a Netgear wireless router, the stuff of his dreams for weeks now. He likened it to a girl, a beautiful, cheerful looking woman. She would smile when he looked her way, maybe perhaps blush a little. He would grin at this, kiss her lightly on the forehead, and watch her snuggle into the crook of his shoulder, like a remote part of his body.

Of course, the router had very little in common with that perfect woman, but Martin Cruz imagines that the router, once acquired, would hit him in pretty much the same manner.

"Don't go out today," says Martin Cruz's father. "If things escalate, you could get in trouble."

Martin thinks, "If I had a bottle of whiskey (which I do) and somebody tried to stop me, then there'd be trouble. Otherwise, I'm good."

The news says that the door of Manila Pen just collapsed. Martin Cruz's father is laughing from the safety of his home.

Martin Cruz closes his laptop, thinks about disconnecting it so his niece could use the Internet. It's time to take a bath. The women of the world could wait, for now. The Makati situation didn't matter. All he wanted was the router that could make his insides boil with feverish strokes, his heart leap like a matador in the ring. There was nothing else that mattered as of this moment, in his dream.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Test Barrage




What Kind of Girl Will You Fall For?

You will fall for the cutie. You like girls with a personality. She's got to have a nice smile and a sense of humor. Although she doesn't have to be a model, she has to be that girl-next-door.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com



This seems to be true. Yoink.



Which Famous Artist Are You?

You are Leonardo da Vinci. You are the "Renaissance man" and you live to be productive. Great at everything you put your mind to, you have great passion and drive. But of all qualities, your curiosity is your best trait.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com


Wow, a renaissance man. I wish.



What Type of Drunk Are You?

You are an Excessive Drunk. You drink to get drunk and you won't settle for anything less.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com


True, true.



Which Springfield Resident Are You?

You are part Ned Flanders. You see yourself as morally superior to most everyone else, and the absurdity of others can drive you nuts! Despite your kindness and honesty, though, your do-good attitude can reach an annoying degree.
You are part Krusty the Clown. Being the life of the party isn't always easy. Most people adore your vibrant and unique sense of humor, even though it's just a facade disguising your cynical outlook on life.
Find Your Character @ BrainFall.com


Is it just me, or are these tests becoming more and more accurate?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Flashquake


I know it's horrible, but leave me be - I seldom do flash fiction. :D

He leapt out of the window just as the entire building collapsed into a million pieces, although the building was a metaphor; jumping was an arguable concept. The outcome was, of course, undeniably gritty.



Friday, November 23, 2007

Very Incomprehensible Ending, This


Apologies for the ending - I needed to clear my mind

It's almost been a week since my last update. I could blame the fact that I don't have readily available internet here (by readily available, I mean I don't just turn on the laptop and voila! Internet - I have to lug the machine about just to connect). It's been a week since I arrived here, and I've been at a stable 100 kilos, which I can hopefully maintain for the next few months. And since Christmas is just around the corner, we all know just how difficult that'll be, what with the food, the booze, the food, the shopping (which leads to eating out) and again, the food. I'll have to increase the amount of exercise I do just to keep up with the sudden deluge.


It really has been a pretty good week. I miss the amazing mountain air of Buena Vista, and the walks I have to do just to get around the city, but other than that, it's been awesome. The beers have been moving (or to be precise, the alcohol's been moving), the parties and gimiks have been happening. Manila really is the city where shit happens for no reason at all, and this is what I've been missing the entire time I was in Mindanao. There were very few stay-up-til-dawn gimiks back in CdO, where life was so idyllic and so irritatingly predictable, you'd wish for a sudden explosion a couple of blocks away just to keep yourself entertained. Just a couple of nights ago, I went out with an acquaintance and ended up in Greenhills with a bunch of friends and a couple of bottles - which quickly escalated to a drinkfest.

Man, those things hit me real good.

But there really is something missing. I can't put my finger on it, but one thing hasn't changed.

Well, actually, I'm lying. I know what it is. But some things you just can't control.

Whatever it is, though, I'm sure I'll be fine. I've got friends and family here, a steady mix of unwanted company and unwelcome solitude - what an ironic situation! - and no matter what happens, I am still the conqueror (according to Jon Abaca) and I will remain the conqueror, for I am, after all, a force to be reckoned with.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Clarity in Three Parts


i
Maraming beses na kitang nilayasan
Iniwanan at iba ang pinuntahan
Parang babaeng mahirap talagang malimutan
Ikaw lamang ang aking laging binabalikan

Manila, Manila
I keep coming back to Manila
Simply no place like Manila
Manila, I'm coming home

I walked the streets of San Francisco
I've tried the rides in Disneyland
Dated a million girls in Sydney
Somehow I feel like I don't belong

Hinahanap-hanap kita Manila
Ang ingay mong kay sarap sa tenga
Mga Jeepney mong nagliliparan
Mga babae mong naggagandahan
Take me back in your arms Manila
And promise me you'll never let go
Promise me you'll never let go

Manila, Manila
Miss you like hell, Manila
No place in the world like Manila
I'm coming here to stay


ii.
Too, uh, cheesy to mention. Check the lyrics here.

iii.
I've been drunk or inebriated every day of this week since Saturday last week; since I'm holding an inuman party later on tonight, it suffices to say that it will have been a week filled with alcohol, my breaks being only Wednesday - which saw me spending wads of cash at the airport - and Monday, wherein I was negotiating like a Boeing 747 with trade winds at 200kph at Cepalco. It has been a very very interesting week indeed.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Whoo


Right now, there is only one thing I want.

Yes. Just one thing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Enter Fire and Brimstone Here



Okay, the previous weekend was something else. It started out as a really small fault on my part (sloth, one of the deadly sins, is my best friend), but escalated into something really, really massive that lasted from late Friday evening and was just resolved a couple of hours ago.

Orright. So let's own up first. I'm very, very lax when it comes to paying my bills, especially my electricity bills since the damn things usually don't go beyond PhP350.00, so to make it seem like I was actually using the electricity, I usually wait for two months before paying the entire shabang. Yes, it's a bad habit, I know, one that I need to fix, but that's not the point of this now is it. Anyway. The other day, the guys from CEPALCO arrived to cut off the line - something I was expecting, anyway, so I didn't bother none about it too much. I just finished dressing up, packed up my laptop, and headed to Cafe Ganaderos for a nice cup of coffee and free wi-fi. I passed by the CEPALCO office on the way, and paid my dues. I was pleasantly surprised when the attendant on duty told me that the company would probably have the power back on by six that evening; I was expecting at least a day's worth of waiting. So it was a relatively good day, so far.

I worked at Ganaderos to something around five thirty-ish, and made myself scarce, since I had to be on site when the power was reconnected (I think I had to sign some documents that stated that the grunts were doing their jobs). I got home in twenty minutes, and proceeded to wait in the dark for the people who would re-install the metre (which, I noticed, was missing from the wall when I got back).

Two hours later, and there wasn't even a twitter on my door. So I thought that maybe okay, services here weren't any different from the ones in Manila. I could wait a day. So I pack up for the night, head out to town for a beer or two, and get back to the house to sleep (Of course, I don't think I really got to sleep any that night; adrenalin from walking home kept me up the entire time).

At around eleven AM the next day, the people from CEPALCO still hadn't shown up, so to give them a not-so-friendly nudge towards my direction, I made my way to the nearest branch. The same woman I'd spoken to the previous day was pretty shocked when she found out that the power hadn't been restored, and promised me that the servicemen would be around by three later this afternoon; I had to work, so I asked if they could make it by six pm instead, but found out to my dismay that service during Saturdays ended at four.

Well, c'est la vie, I thought. I worked on what I could work on at Cafe Ganaderos, then at two thirty, hightailed it home so that I could be on hand to brat at the servicemen when they arrived.
Again, two hours later, at exactly four-oh-ten, there wasn't even the slightest tap on the door. CEPALCO had failed me once again.

To work off the irritation, I worked out for the rest of the afternoon, took a bath, and headed to Gabby's house for the evening drinking session. We ended up finishing a bottle of Ginebra Premium Gin and a smaller bottle of GSM Blue whilst watching Cowboy Bebop and Rockstar, and we adjourned at three in the morning. I spent the night at his place, and woke up feeling rather good - or, as John and Soren called it later on when we met up at Green Haven, "very Peter Parker-ish."

Sunday was a segue of sorts. I was only mildly pissed off by the fact that I still didn't have power, and that I missed around half a day's worth of work previously. I made my way to my house, took a bath, dressed up, and headed for the lunch rendezvous at Green Haven in Limketkai (Mongolian grill eat-all-you-can for PhP180 suckaz), and after three heaped bowls of all the food I could stomach, we headed out to mall for a bit. I swear, I was to pretty girls what a lightning rod was to lightning on a stormy night that day. It only helped to bolster my mood.

Later on in the evening, some of the BOTW people cornered me at the office and proceeded to drag me to a surprise despedida party (with all the bottles of alcohol present, I needed very little convincing). I ended up with a bottle of Ben More 5 years blended Scottish whiskey, and a card with this on the back:


which really, really made my day. :) Anthony Tisara, remind me to beat you up the next time I see you haha!

The battle for electricity at #4 Hughes Apartment raged on come Monday, however. It was twelve in the afternoon, I still didn't have electricity, and I was hungrier than a Kodiak bear during the peak of the summer heat. I snarled my way to the CEPALCO office, only to be told on my face that there was a problem with my meter - it was too fast (so I was paying more than what I should have been paying??) when the guy disconnected my line, which led to the re-installation delays.

I wanted to rain fire and brimstone at the woman then and there, destroy whatever remained of her ego into miniscule itty-bitty little pieces and leave them out as carrion for the crows to eat. I wanted to know why the hell I wasn't informed by the doofus who took away my metre when I was there sulking the entire time he was hacking away at the bloody wires? Why wasn't the incident included in the payment report? Why, after all this time, do I only find out NOW that I had to go to the main office, wait in line for four hours, and argue with some feel-good customer representative as to when the line could be fixed and power restored (which was what I did after trading dead air with the bimbo at the other office).

At the end of Monday, even with the promise of power restoration the next day, I felt like getting myself a lawyer and suing the pants off each and every CEPALCO executive. I mean, I would have understood if that guy'd only been so kind as to tap on my door, tell me "Sir, naguba ra ang imong meter," one of the few sentences in Bisaya that I could understand without playing pretend. Or if I were told beforehand. I wouldn't have missed two and a half days of work. I wouldn't be going on full throttle right now, two days before I left the city, just to make up for the tasks I missed. I'd be finishing up my packing, or finding somebody to buy the closet or the desk. I'd have bought myself a bloody balikbayan box for the things that wouldn't fit in my maleta.

But NO! NIET! Nein! I just had to deal with idiots during the entire time I spent at every goddamned CEPALCO office. My power had to be disconnected by the dumbest, most unprofessional serviceman in history.

I think this is one of the reasons God made sure I never went past high yellow in either tae kwon do or karate.

The Desktop Tag Game




Okay; this is the desktop tag game, which KC tagged me to do. Here's the current desktop theme on my laptop; pretty simple, uses the default Windows XP theme. The background is taken from the anime Haibane Renmei, a pretty deep cartoon about death and rebirth. I usually don't like having a cluttered up desktop; most of the things you see here are quick icons, some documents I haven't trashed yet, some of the music from Paradise Kiss, and torrents.

To the left is one of the most impressive developments in instant messaging to date, a nifty little program called Pidgin. The window docks rather nicely at the leftmost side of the screen without limiting the screen space, and it lets me connect to a multitude of connectivity services at will.

When I'm working, however . . . .


. . . the scenery shifts to something like this. You have the browser to one side, two other documents on the other. If I could enlarge the DPI size of my screen a bit more, I'd have four windows open at once, one of the things I'm famous for.

For the people i dragged into this game, here are the mechanics:

A. Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture
by: [1] Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key). [2] Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V). [3] If you wish, you can “edit” the image, before saving it.

B. Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

C. Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

D. Add your name to this list of Free Viewers with a link pointing directly to your Desktop Free View post to promote it to succeeding participants.


I tag everybody who finds this amusing.

Next post: a rant!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Quick Note


Just FYI. My flight, due to a bunch of unknown reasons, has been moved to November 15 at 4pm. So that means that

  1. I get to work on the 14th and the 15th
  2. I get to work out on the 14th
  3. I get to take it easy on the packing and fire sale
  4. I have to stay here one more bloody day.
Ah well. What's one more day, anyway.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Working at 30 mph!


When I first acquired the Motorola L6, I was so taken by its design and functions that I told myself that I wouldn't be changing models anytime soon. It had all I needed at the time, and so long as the machine worked the way it was supposed to, I was happy.

But since I'm going back to Manila, I'm expecting a heavy storm of road trips and gimiks. But I've got work. From what I've been going through lately, lots of work. The client thinks I am inexhaustible, which is a bloody lie.

So I'm thinking of getting a new handset. And, successively, a new line. Smart, this time around. Because the Smart 3G feature has caught my attention. Imagine! Working online at speeds of 25kph! At ten pesos per thirty minutes!

The idea boggles the mind. Any ideas on a 3g-capable handset?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Addendum








I SING the Body electric;

The armies of those I love engirth me, and I engirth them;
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the Soul.

- Walt Whitman

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pork


Right now, pork is the only thing I can say.

If that's the way you want things, then I'm all for it. If it means improvement, if it means the betterment of things, then I say GO!


EDIT
Well! I finished an entire bottle of Tanduay, and I'm still spelling correctly and not messaging anybody I don't know. Damn!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Reminiscing the Past Year


Three posts in one day? Me? I must be setting a new record!

Well, maybe not. But since this is the first day of my last full week here in Cagayan de Oro, it felt like a good time to post some photos and reminisce. After all, tomorrow's Monday, and the gods of Advibe Media felt good enough to drop two more atomic bombs on my own personal Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which means that unless some miracle happens, I'll be stressed out by the end of the day for the next week.

Anyway. Let's begin our trip down last year with photos from my village, the aptly named Buena Vista Village in Baranggay Patag, Cagayan de Oro.


While this isn't exactly my street, Pearl Avenue is the one main street within the village. The avenue starts from the highway, where you will be greeted by an empty lot that always, for some reason, smells like someone had been smoking marijuana in it. The empty lot faces this pretty big townhouse and this small sari-sari store called Eddie's Place, where my former labandera lives. Further down the road, you'll run into the Opus Dei-run Kitanglad Study Center on your right, which is actually an empty villa that numeraries from Cebu take care of once every two weeks - this is usually during the weekends. I spent my second week in the city at the center, where my companions were the night guard Ponce, and the caretaker, Kuya Toto Oladria. Back when I still smoked, I shared a lot of stories with these two. Now, I see them once in a while, but since the pad where I live in is further into the village, I rarely get to spend much time with those two. I must drop by with a bottle of Tanduay one of these days.


This stretch of road you see on the right is the highway just outside my village. The damn thing overlooks a series of rice paddies down the mountainside, and in the morning, when the dew is just setting in, the sunrise can be pretty breathtaking. This section is at the foot of the mountain, so you won't see much. However, if you shift the view a little bit more to the right . . . .

. . . you'll see this little hole in the wall. The sign's too small to be visible from this shot, but this humble little shack is Bob's House of Bulalo, the legendary "Home of Creamy Shake in Town." Yes, the grammar is horrible, I know. But Mr. Bob, the owner of this place and my personal bartender of sorts, is an impressive cook, and sneers at the Batanguenyo method of cooking bulalo with corn kernels. The place is something like Manila's own Barrio Fiesta, except that you can get bowls of hot bulalo with rice for thirty-eight pesos here, and a bottle of ice-cold pale pilsen is twenty five pesos. And in case you were wondering, yes. This place also serves one of the best-tasting fruit shakes I have ever had in my entire life.










Pardon the miniscule thumbnails - just click on them for a better view. These are the front door, lobby, and the reception room, respectively, of the company I work for, Stickymedia Solutions Incorporated. The office can be found at the Merrel II building in downtown Divisoria, within spitting distance of all the bloody cabarets within the city, as well as the VIP Hotel, which was once a high-class place but has now succumbed to the pull of the economy, and now serves as the hub for majority of the pimps within downtown CdO. The office is filled with some of the biggest geeks I have ever had the pleasure of encountering; the CEO has a Naruto figurine sitting on his desk's terminal. Within the office you can find empty Herbalife canisters (thanks to Riza Rodano, the local Herbalife pusher), FHM Magazines, porn galore, an unused microwave and coffee maker (we never seem to have coffee beans, and yet the management insists on keeping that monster within the premises), and, depending on the season or the event, bags of lanzones and an ice chest full of empty beer bottles. I kid you not.


When it's time for dinner, there are myriad choices within Divisoria alone. JRJ Fried Chicken, for one, is a pretty popular choice. Imagine dining on Kentucky fried chicken-style chicken fresh from the vats, getting your choice cutlet of chicken (because you choose the slice you want to eat from a heap of chicken cuts like the photo to the right). You then eat them with your hands - cutlery is nonexistent in almost all JRJ branches - from basket plates covered with a banana leaf. The best part is the cost; each JRJ fried chicken costs anywhere from sixteen to eighteen pesos (the eighteen peso variant can only be found in the airconditioned JRJ outlet within Divisoria), while cups of rice range from three to five pesos. I tell you, this joint is the fastest, most delicious way to clogging your heart valves.


All the grease you can handle for forty-two clams.



This man to the right is John Pimentel, also known in some circles as Shazbot, within the BOTW team as Optimus Pimps, and recently - since the bastard got married and acquired for himself a ring - the Pimp Lantern. I call him Keannu Ribs. He is, without a doubt, one of the biggest geeks I know, and is currently my artist for a webcomic called Continuum because he knows he's a badass and that's reason enough for me to call him to arms. This guy is the only other writer I deem as my peer within the company (Lia is an exception because she handles the payroll), and helped make my stay here a whole lot more enjoyable.

The only qualm I have with this guy is the fact that he is a total wuss when it comes to alcohol. The first time I dragged his sorry ass out drinking, the guy shrivelled after the first pitcher of gin-pomelo and used his wife (back then, Jovie was his girlfriend) as an excuse to go home and fumigate his stomach. He never hears the end of it from me.

This guy pictured below is Soren "Kabong" Chavez, the resident corrupted gretchin of BOTW. He is rapidly expanding thanks to his introduction to beer courtesy of me, is a geek of such magnitude second only to John Pimps, and is the victim of a rather surprisingly deprived childhood, having never witnessed shows such as Batibot, Bioman, Thundercats, Silverhawks, Dino Riders, Voltron, Voltes V, Centurions, Tiger Shark, Karate Kat, Street Frogs, Gummi Bears, Mazinger Z, and a whole gamut of other cartoons that people of my generation should have immersed themselves in, and is a pushover. This guy is a more stolid drinker than John Pimps, but this other friend of ours, Joseph Javier (the only guy I know who competed in a local vale-tudo martial arts match), outdrinks him.

We call him the lapdog. I think we were threatening to mangle his penis in this shot.

This man on the left is Gabriel Medina. Just when I was despairing that everybody I went drinking with couldn't go the mile with me whenever I felt like getting wasted something awful, this guy pops up. He's thirty-seven years old, more than a decade my senior, and has a nasty stutter, but the man's worth his weight in gold. I've never encountered such a master artist (he beats even you, Bruce), and I am proud to say that he is now collaborating with me on a long-slumbering project. This guy once did a one-man show composed of ten paintings - ten of which he did from scratch within the time span of a month. A month! Portrait-sized paintings within a month! He finished a cross-hatching diagram bust of a dark-skinned character wearing a dark shirt within ten minutes! Ten bloody minutes! The man is a genius! And he can drink one small bottle of gin all by himself! I can't believe he has to live all the way here in the middle of nowhere.

He also happens to have a large collection of salakots. He even has a pair that are of the exact same design as the ones my lolo left behind. Here is a photo of me with one of the said hats. If you'll notice the furniture at the back, you'll see a series of paintings; those are just some of Gabby's works that can be found throughout their home.

Gabby also has a pair of Altec Lansing speakers. If, within the limited time alloted to me within this city, I catch him unawares and drunk, those speakers shall vanish from his house, this city, this part of the country forever.

Okay, Gab, I'm kidding.

Anyway. That's pretty much most of the things worth mentioning about my life within the loving - and sometimes, boring - arms of Cagayan de Oro. I'd love to visit this place once in a while, since it
is really beautiful, and I've made a lot of pretty fascinating friends here. But I wouldn't want to live here for very long. :P I leave you all with one of the earliest photos I took within the city: an afternoon scene in the Park Cafe.

The Park Cafe. Where beautious bodies hang out during weekends, for some reason.

Here's Something Fun


Go to Google and type in quotation marks your name and then "likes to" (ex. "Tom likes to"). Type in the first ten things that come up and repost in your own blog.


1. Martin likes to pee on people (I do not. I know someone who does, though)
2. Martin likes to paraphrase G. K. Chesterton to show that he, too, takes his polling modestly: "A drunkard uses a lamp pole for support, not for illumination." (I don't know what this implies, but I love G.K. Chesterton. My dad says I'm his reincarnation.)
3. Martin likes to say that his factory tour helps to sell guitars. (I sell guitars? Really? I wish!)
3. Martin likes to tackle the higher peaks in Scotland and also plays the fiddle and bagpipes. (I'd love to do this one day. In a kilt!)
4. Martin likes to ride his scooter, an Aprilia Habana 125. (I'd rather have a 1992 Honda Civic Hutchback. Souped up.)
5. Martin likes to drink alllllllll the diet coke in the fridge (it's healthy). (Ogh. I hate soda. Beer sounds like a better substitute.)
6. Martin likes to listen to techno, rock or a little bit of everything. (Yep, I do.)
7. Martin, likes to spend piles of time online. (This is sometimes true. Other times, I am expected to. Sigh.)
8. Martin likes to tell the story that he turned to a career in law because of a traffic accident during a visit home to Sewickley, Pa., from college. (Riiiiiiiight.)
9. Martin likes to hear. (Yes, I do. Very much so.)
10. Martin likes to have someone nearby and not feel left by himself. (Hahaha! No comment.)


I tag everybody who reads this and finds it funny.

Say Wha?


Now, I'm not one to remember most of my dreams. Ask my friends. Ask my cousins. They remember their dreams. Not me.

But once in a while, I do remember the things I dream about whilst slumbering. Take last night, for example. I dreamt of a Degrassi episode, except that I didn't know who all the characters were. The main character, though, was this girl from Mirrormask, except that her name was Maxine.

The story revolved around the trial of Mike Tyson. The defense attorney - the good guy Maxine and company was helping out - was none other than Kermit the Frog. The prosecution was Kermit's mother, who (apparently) was a more malevolent version of Hexus from Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.

I don't know where my mind got all that, but I'll have whatever it was having. I don't even watch Degrassi.

Friday, November 02, 2007

When You Can't Sleep...


Hunger is your worst opponent.

I am hungry. Very very very hungry. I only have oatmeal and rhum in the house. And I can't sleep.

I'm going into town again. The problem with that is that today (and tomorrow) are actually holidays, so I'm thinking that the chances of me finding a motorela to take me to town are very very slim.

So wish me luck, friends. Or else I walk. For two hours. In the dead of night. I'm brining an arnis stick and a knife, just to be safe.

By the way, I'd like to greet two really fantastic people, who're both celebrating their birthdays today. The first is my graphic designer and artist friend extraordinaire Camille Del Rosario, who, up to this day, is one of the few people (women!) I know capable of downing twelve shots of tequilla; and no, she technically didn't make it out alive, hahaha!

The second is my ultra-cool father, Vic Cruz, from whom I inherited the amazing Cruz legacy of imbibing enough liquor to fill a distillery. You - and subsequently, I - have inspired hosts of people who visit the hallowed grounds of Mt. Narciso to bring that legacy to new heights. My friends will attest to that.