500 Days of Summer (Not a Review)

I have amazing news that I couldn't wait to share. Well, I could wait but, why?

The latest copy of Manila Bulletin and the churva outside Robinson's that shows what movies are showing in their cinemas – what do you call it? – confirm the information I was just guessing about the past week and that is, 500 Days of Summer is out!

Now, don't go calling me low-tech who has no idea how to download movies to avoid going stark-raving crazy while waiting for a good movie to come out. First off, I am low-tech, no need to broadcast that. Second, I want to see one of my dearest girl-crushes in the big screen as I felt a computer monitor is not enough to accommodate those big blue eyes. Yes. Zooey Deschanel has eyes even Bambi is envious of. And the fact that she can act doesn't hurt either. Ah, Zooey...

Anyway, one other reason I'm gonna traipse on to the cinemas tomorrow with no sleep just to watch this movie, not once but twice, is the fact that The Smiths is mentioned as some sort of common denominator between the two characters.

According to reviews from downloaders and people who live in cities who get to have movies shown early, the soundtrack for this piece of amazing rom-com is brilliant. At first, I wasn't sure, because what's brilliant for them might be the soundtrack to the movie Glitter, and we all know how that affects me. Oh wait, you don't? I get uncontrollable urges to smash breakable objects and/or heads. Not safe. So I researched and found out they might actually be right. The soundtrack to the movie includes The Smiths, Hall and Oates, and Simon and Garfunkel. There was also a mention of Belle and Sebastian in the movie, and that just screams “cool!”.

I'm not gonna reserve the review for my next post, 'cause that might not be for a long time if the movie is everything it promises to be, which is a love story with just enough deadpan cynicism from Zooey to make it as far from gooey as a rom-com can possibly make it. I tend to be incoherent right after watching or reading something I like. See previous review for proof. However, if the movie sucks eggs, the resulting review would not be fit for viewing. I also tend to be mercilessly abusive colored with enough swear words that make sailors blush.

Let's hope for all our sakes, and for the love I hold for Zooey, that the movie delivers.

Kris Kringle at VAT

Kris Kringle! Christmas Party! Stockings!

You say these words here at the office and you can almost feel people shake with excitement. Can you blame us? Christmas is coming, man. And unlike the year when I decided to boycott the whole shebang and just eat stale bread dunked into lukewarm coffee, this year is definitely going to be a blast.

I personally got a bit of a high when I was asked to do a wish list. A wish list?, I asked. Whatever for? You have to understand that I was raised in an environment where you don't ask for anything and just be thankful for what you get. Be it a loud pink shirt that went perfectly well with your sun-burnt skin, or hair ribbons when your hair was pixie-short, you smile and say thanks right before you hide the damn things and hope they are never found.

I'm not complaining, though. I agree with the whole idea of raising kids that way. Gets rid of the brat in you and replaces it with one who is bent on revenge. Kidding.

The art of creating a wish list is a novel experience. It means you get to think of what you really WANT and not something necessary. That's the whole point of presents, ain't it? They have to be something you wouldn't buy for yourself. Otherwise, why do the whole thing?

Being a virgin wish list maker, I made a novice mistake of writing things I like but I don't have a problem getting for myself.  You get my drift?

You see I'm a huge fan of books. Seeing a book store, especially one that sells used books, is almost an orgasmic experience for me. So when I wrote books on my wishlist - only books, nothing else - it wasn't really in the spirit of the whole thing. I mean, I can get all those things, I'm just waiting for a huge sale.

So let me take this opportunity to tell whoever got my name for the Kris Kringle, whoever you are - you magnificent example of perfection in the virtual assistance field - I'd like to change whatever's on the suggested list into a Magic 8 Ball or a huge Chowder toy or world peace. Okay, go with the ball or Chowder. Pretty please? I knew you'd understand.


Glad that that's out my chest.

Now, any suggestions for something long and juicy?

Sunday Showdown: Pacquiao Vs. What's-His-Name


If you see grown men in your neighborhood foaming at the mouth with a vacant look in their eyes while glued to their transistor radios, don't call the police in panic. First off, the police will be in entirely the same state. And second, it's not a new version of the H1N1 virus. They are acting like non-stationary cadavers with AM radio addiction because Manny Pacquiao plays on Sunday.

Yep. The Pinoy champ is playing against some guy from some country who has some belts won in some other fights with some other guys. I dunno. I'm not gonna embarrass myself by speaking 'sports' when I honestly have no idea what it is, except that people sweat when they do it. And smell.

Anyway, I know more about this fight than any other sport stuff (except 90s NBA) because I don't live under a rock. Surprisingly. My male neighbors talk about the match when they meet each other on the street, when they hang out while slugging down cheap whisky, when they lounge in front of their homes with other male neighbors, and even when they are alone. I know this because I heard my uncle argue why Cotto is getting knocked out on the 5th round and not on the 1st while feeding his chickens. By himself.

Of course, we women also share this obsession with Pacquiao and the sport of kicking people's butts. I mean we ask our sport-oriented friends, "What's Pacquiao wearing at the after party?" and we want to know, "What will they name their next child?". We share in the discussions and even get angry when some people liken his mom to Amor. We say, "Hell, no. Amor is prettier than that." See? We care.

The difference is we don't have a countdown posted on our homepage and a blog - with polls and posts as far back as 4 months ago - solely dedicated to a fight that will last all of 20 minutes. We don't get mad when our friend mispronounces Michael Cotto's name, oops sorry did it again (sorry Melv), Miguel Cotto, I mean.

Sure, we have countdowns on our blogs for Harry Potter releases, the next shoe sale, or even the opening of yet another boutique - and that proves the theory that most people might not have heard of but will surely agree with: men and women are different.

*hears gasp from reader*

Oh, don't overreact. Of course, men and women are different. We watch movies for the romance, they watch it for the explosions. We like to talk about the latest Hollywood hookup, they like to talk about the latest draft pick in some team or other. We go to the mall to shop, they go to the mall because we force them to.

One thing's for sure, though. Different as we might be, no matter what we believe in, come Sunday, all Filipinos of either gender and any affiliation located anywhere in the world will be united under one common goal. And that is to grab the remote first. Coz I ain't missing A League Of Their Own.

The Boat That Rocked: A Lesson in Rock N' Roll

I don't normally review movies I like because I end up gushing shamelessly without a thought to the reputation I've been trying to improve. However, after watching Richard Curtis' latest comedy that features guys with the sexiest accents and music that can make you sing out loud, I couldn't help but pen down my thoughts that will turn out to be incoherent as I go along. To say that the movie rocked is the biggest understatement of the year. It was funny, sexy, insightful, and filled with the most kick-ass music.

But first, I have to stop gushing and give you at least a basic idea what the movie is about.

The Boat That Rocked, aka Pirate Radio in the US, is about a pirate radio ship anchored off the coast of England in international waters playing rock and pop music for UK listeners. The exclusively rock and pop station, Radio Rock, is at odds with the government for playing rock music 24/7 and for DJs that use cuss words a lot. It is 1966 and, like most people in authority, the guv'nors have their knickers in a twist.

The movie begins with Carl, played by a cute young actor named Tom Sturridge, arriving on Radio Rock, after getting expelled from school for smoking, to bond with his godfather, played by Bill Nighy. His mother thought he might get sorted out having a father figure around, a decision that turns out to be a 'spectacular mistake'. He meets the other members of the pirate radio ship and gets into all sorts of trouble, meets a boatload of women, loses his virginity, and basically hangs out with the coolest buncha guys you could ever hope to meet.

If you have seen this movie already, you'd understand why I can barely put into words how cool it was. If you haven't and is a fan of Bill Nighy, or Phillip Seymour Hoffman, or Shaun of the Dead's Nick Frost, then you should definitely check it out. If you have seen the movie and didn't like it and think I should stop with this incessant raving, too bad.

So why do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

1. The music. The soundtrack for this movie is to-die-for. You'll hear all awesome 60s music that makes you question where modern 'rocker' posers get their inspiration from. They've The Who, The Turtles, Small Faces, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, my lover David Bowie, and their awesomeness The Kinks. Listening to the songs is enough to make you wish you belonged in that generation.

I mean, someday when we have kids, what music do we have to share them from our decade? Don't break my heart and say Chris Brown. Boy, how awesome would it be to have been alive when rock still was?


2. Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Oh, those eyebrows. They're enough to make you offer yourself. And maybe include your first born as well. I have loved Phillip Seymour since he played Lester Bangs in another movie that featured awesome music in another decade I should have been in. He's a brilliant actor and thoroughly believable as one who knows his rock music. And that voice is so powerful - when he says jump, I jump.

3. Bill Nighy. You know you've seen this guy but don't know where? He was Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean, Viktor in the Underworld movies, the crazy rocker Billy Mack in Love Actually, and will play Rufus Scrimgeour in the last Harry Potter movies. He also was the voice of Whitey in Flushed Away and was in both movies that starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.

This guy's already 60, but still exudes so much sex appeal he can still leave you breathless. And you just got to love how he speaks, such personality!

4. Men with sexy accents. There's something about British accent that makes women go wild. It's not just me, too. Ask random women and they'll tell you they're more likely to take their clothes off when pursued by a guy that speaks the Queen's English. This movie has so many guys with sexy accents I could barely keep my head straight. Nick Frost (from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), Chris O'Dowd (from the IT Crowd), Jack Davenport (from Pirates of the Caribbean), Rhys Ifans (Adam Sandler's HOT older brother in Little Nicky), who will also join Bil Nighy in the last Harry movies as Xenophilius Lovegood.

Dang, girls, you have no idea how hot it got listening to these guys talk.

5. Tom Wisdom. I know I should just have included him in the previous paragraph, but I'd like to properly introduce the new love of my life.


While I wait for Slash's divorce, Tom and I will be in a passionate, toe-curling affair that will have even the most experienced blush. As one of the 300 Spartans, I think he has what it takes to guarantee satisfaction. And mixed with his The Boat That Rocked character, Midnight Mark, the resident ladies man in Radio Rock, Tom and his leather pants are all I need in a deserted island. Mmmm, yummy...

So there. If that doesn't make you want to go and watch the movie, then you're either a Miley Cyrus fan or dead inside. There's nothing more I can do for you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I need another dose of Midnight Mark.

My Aunt's WTF Moment?

I'm not one to fall for tall stories if it happened to somebody I haven't even met. Exceptions to this rule come in the form of outstanding literature (yes, I believe there was a Middle Earth) done by any and all authors of the fantasy genre. Well, maybe not Stephenie Meyer. Okay, fine, I'll include her.

My family has heard its share of scary stories and I've told some of them myself. Believing them is an entirely different matter. Although I've to admit the one about Tenyente Gimo is one that still has me scared of going out of town with new friends. If you have no idea who he is and what story he's in, wait for my next post.

Anyway, my aunt's latest money-making exploit is to go out of town and sell stuff during market day. It's a sure fire hit if you're pushy and lucky and can carry a bag filled with a hundred bars of laundry soap that weigh almost as much as your average 4-year-old kid that eats too much.

One of the places they went to was Antique, pronounced with 3 syllables. They decided to go individually and knock on doors instead of just hanging out at the market waiting for people to convince themselves the unknown detergent my aunt's group is selling can clean as well as Tide. Fat chance.

My aunt went on a secluded looking little path that had maybe 5 houses along it, at the most. None of the houses seem to show signs of life, but she told herself maybe if she shouted loud enough, somebody was bound to buy a bar. The last house on the lane looked as empty as the others, but this time my aunt decided to knock on the front door instead of just calling out on the street outside the fence, beyond the reach of possible dogs.

When she came near the door, she noticed that there were signs of movement from inside, as evidenced by shadows stirring visible through a gap between the floor and the door. She called out, "Special offer, sir, ma'am..."

More movements, but the door remained closed. She called again. This time she heard approaching footsteps. Then a lock being removed. Finally, the knob turned. My aunt was already preparing for her special offer spiel and extending her hands filled with special offer soap when the door opened and she almost turned Caucasian with fright.

The man on the other side of the door was wearing dirty trousers and a shirt with the logo of a famous pest control brand, but what got my aunt to curse her choce of livelihood is the spit that was hanging from the man's mouth and stretching all the way to his waist. He didn't blink. He didn't say anything. He merely stared at my aunt while his saliva continued its mission of possibly reaching the floor.

Now if I were in this position, I would undoubtedly either go limp with fright and be dinner to the guy, or scream my lungs out while running like hell. My aunt was of a stronger disposition than me, bless her. What she did was still go through the spiel she prepared for the soap-selling while slowly backing out of the man's yard and never breaking eye contact. When she got clear of the man's reach, assuming his reach was that of a normal man's, my aunt high-tailed it out of there, and has now decided never to go back to that town again.

Of course we have no idea what or who the guy was. Or why he was slobbering like that. Maybe he was just so hungry (the normal way). Or maybe he was in a competition with another old man from the same village on how long they can let their drool hang out. We don't know. But with the reputation, that I only just heard of, of towns outside Iloilo being home to creatures of the night, my aunt was probably justified in reacting the way she did.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've to double lock the doors. You never know.