New Year's Resolutions

With just a few more days left this year, I think it's high time that you should be drawing up a list no one should be without before the new year comes. I'm not talking about the list of people who screwed 2009 for you, even though that's a totally good idea. I mean, there have been some people this year who should totally not get anything from Santa. Yes, I'm looking at you, Andal Ampatuan, Jr.

Anyway, the list I'm talking about is the one I do every year and forget two days after I write it: New Year's Resolutions.

I've never stuck to my list before, so I've been thinking that maybe 2010 should be different. I dunno why it should be, but it will.

So, with the help of my faithful manservant Friedrich, I've come up with my newest list, which should look almost identical to lists done by mid-twenties women who have no life.

3. Explore new things. Sure, I eat at kanto carinderias that use one serving spoon for all dishes and plates washed in questionable water, but I'm not sure if that's adventurous enough. So next year I'm going to do things so daring that people will remember it for years, like going to a BIR office thirty minutes before lunch break and expect to be treated like a human being. I know, right? Gutsy!

2. Be kinder. I already am, actually. As evidenced by the fact that not one Iloilo Supermart employee has been harmed. Yet. And I also smile to people a lot. I'm drunk most of those times, but still. I think, though, that I should take the kindness thing a notch higher and make a bigger effort of not laughing out loud when Mommy D is on TV.

1. Lose weight. Fine. So, this is a teensy bit similar to most people's lists and one that has been on all of my to-do lists sice I turned 18, which was just a couple years ago, in case you're wondering. Anyway, I'm taking this one seriously next year. Why? Because, some time next year or the year after that, somebody will invent a time machine that would allow me to travel back to late 60s or early 70s and I don't wanna look like a pig when I finally meet John Lennon or Ray Davies.

And if you're thinking the pig comment is one an anorexic might say, just wanna let you know that my weight right now is my ideal weight. If I'm 5'10". So don't judge.

Three for now, but don't worry as this list will get longer as the new year nears. Now, where's Friedrich? I need my cuppa tea.

Think Happy Thoughts

One of the most awesome Pinoy writers of our time, Jessica Zafra, once said of John Carpenter atrocities: "They're a quick cure for a juvenile temper tantrum."

Personally, though, I'm more partial to anything with zombies, be they done by John Carpenter or not. Actually, I'm not sure if John Carpenter has done a zombie movie, but whatever. Point is when feeling like dung, different people have different ways to calm them. Some go for candles, others break stuff. My 6th grade teacher used to say whenever we frustrated her, that the only thing that calmed her down was taking a broom and bashing it against the wall. Poor broom, but better it than us.

Besides flesh-eating reanimated corpses, I also feel a whole lot better about the state of the world when I listen to music. Surprise, surprise. I think this one is universal and holds true for 90% of people. However, I believe that the following I'm going to share has the same effect to all people. Every time I listen to these songs, I've no choice but to be in a good mood. Enjoy!

Of Zombies and Monsters

In Iloilo City, where the drivers are half-decent, the food is scrumptious, and almost everybody is fabulous, it is very difficult to find anything that can get your temper to flare and make you want to devote yourself to the destruction of all things.

However, Iloilo Supermart employees, with their condescending tone and attitude that can only be rivaled by government employees (yes, I'm talking to you, BIR) always manage to do that. You come into the store, full of life and laughter and the promise of a good movie after getting some essentials, like cheap bottled water, and you come out mad as a hornet who has never had a boyfriend.

They're very talented, these people. They should be on a show.

The point I'm making, though, is the only thing that can get me to calm down after an encounter with a creature from any branch of this so-called pride of the Iloilo grocery industry is to plop down in front of a screen and see zombies and undeniably stupid horror movies.

Then, after watching, I not only feel better about the state of things in this city of love, I also feel quite scared because no matter how stupid a horror movie can get, I have this small twinge deep in my heart that one or all of those things can come true.

Yes. I'm a baby with an attitude.

Anyway, with hundreds of horror movies and countless sleepless nights, I'd like to share some that still gets me to think and double lock my door.

Number 3. Undin. Dunno if anybody has heard of this cute little gelatinous monster from a lake, but if you haven't, here's a bit of info. Undin is a character in one of the more entertaining Shake, Rattle & Roll movies (i.e. the ones done the past decade). She is this icky tiyanak looking creature that has more charm than an Iloilo Supermart sales person (sorry, couldn't help it). Anyway, the movie's main character played by Manilyn Reynes takes some eggs from a visit in the lake which turns out to be the Undin's babies.

So she follows her to the city and hides in the toilet bowl and kills almost everybody. No need to go into specifics as the mere mention of that already seems to be too ewww.

Nonetheless, I fancy I saw her once when I was living in our old house and I still remember her when I 'powder my nose'. I don't get scared of her coming out to get me, anymore, though. I mean, that was, like, ten years ago and she resided in a different island.

So there's no way she can come to Iloilo, right? Right? Why don't you answer me?!


Number 2. Cujo. Stephen King's creation, Cujo, is a dog that went on a killing spree. I think he may have been given food my sister cooked. Kidding. He would've died had that happened.

First time I watched this I got so scared I got sick and slept for 18 hours straight. That was one mad dog. I've never seen it again since. Don't ask me to.

And numero uno. Of course, Zombies. They are both my delight and my greatest fear. I love watching zombie movies almost as much as I hate feeling scared when planning for my hiding place should the dead decide to feast on the flesh of the living.

They are fascinating, eww-y, and one of the most entertaining characters ever created. George Romero should have a prize for this. Wait, he already did? Congrats, then.

So there. Flashbacks for some, huge laugh-trip for others. That's okay. We all have our weirdness. Mine is just more possible.

PS. Leave a comment for your own list of things that are ridiculous but you're scared of. And if you laugh at my list, that's cool. I'll just ignore you when the living dead is the dominant power in the world and I'm off to my secret hide-out that can withstand any attack from any and all zombies.

500 Days of Summer. A Review?

Let me start this post by saying that I am now slowly disentangling myself from the tentacles Robinson's Cinema has wrapped around me making me hesitant to watch movies at other places. Why?

Why what? Why can't I watch at other movie houses, or why do I feel the need to disentangle myself? Be clear.

Fine. For the first question, I like sitting like a slave on vacation when I watch a movie and Robinson's Cinema's love seats give me ample space to do that. I also need the extra space for the food I bring in that might be enough to feed at least 3 movie goers; don't judge. Second question: they had 500 Days of Summer for only a week and only 4 screenings a day. Are you kidding me? But nothing I can do, so might as well proceed with this post which, as you can very well guess, is a review of the movie that made me smile like a teenager with no insecurities.

I'm gonna let you wake up from your usual stupor and search for the movie's plot 'cause I've no energy to tell you about it when the only thing that fills my mind is how much I'd love to see this movie again. And again. And one more time after that. I've no idea yet if the magic of the movie diminishes after repeated viewing. Never got a chance to check that thanks to Robinson's Cinema! *pokes voodoo doll with Robinson's Cinema label* But what I know is that if you're one who still believes in love and is a sucker for happy clear cut endings with rainbows and cute little bunnies, then we need to talk. 500 Days of Summer is by no means about a tragedy but it's not a feel-good movie for people with limited working brain neurons either.

What it is, is a fun, a bit tragic, non-linear, laugh-out-loud look at relationships and people who get lost in them. It's not supposed to be taken seriously, much like life. And much like life, it screams truth.

Oh what the heck, let me do a proper review (as if I were capable).

500 Days of Summer stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom and Zooey Deschanel as Summer. The main plot is classic romantic with boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl is boy in the relationship with the non-committing attitude and casual treatment of boy, boy is girl in the relationship with the obsessing about how the girl feels and acting like a puppy dog. The thing is though even when you know they aren't meant for each other, you still want them to be together, if only for boy's sake.

Tom meets Summer at the office where Tom works as a greeting card writer and Summer an assistant. He knows she's the girl for him because of her 60s hairstyle and when she compliments his taste in music, singing The Smiths, “To die by your side is such a heavenly way to die.”


She doesn't want a serious relationship and he agrees even though we feel by how he looks at her that he's already planning the name of their babies. We wanna yell at him, “Wake up, fool! Just enjoy the ride.” But of course, even if Tom magically hears warnings from one who is also hopelessly in love with Zooey, he's not going to listen. I told you, he's the girl in the relationship.

We see them get into all their firsts and when she says, “Let's just be friends.” We get our hearts broken as well.

Not to say the break-up itself is one hilarious moment. Tom is oblivious to the fact that Summer is not happy with the relationship any more and when Summer cites Sid and Nancy as a couple to whom they resemble, Tom is shocked by the implication that he could ever hurt Summer the way Sid hurt Nancy (Sid supposedly stabbed Nancy to death). I laughed out loud when Summer says she's Sid in the relationship. Ah, Zooey.

I've been told that I'm biased when it comes to movies and books I love. I either ignore or am totally not aware of their shortcomings, which they definitey have, and just push through with incessant raving so much that I drive decent people away. That's why, try as I might, I've no idea what things to say that might be bad about the movie. The soundtrack was kick-ass, the actors were cast perfectly, and the dialogue was just right. And besides, no matter how sucky the movie is, Zooey can pull off such an awesome performance nothing seems to matter, e.g. Elf.

Regardless of what I'm incapable of noticing, I urge you to grab a copy of the movie when you can. If you don't wanna take it from me, fine. But don't miss a brilliant turn on an age-old story with one of the coolest actresses all girls have a crush on.

Oh, and if you've seen it, what's your favorite part of the movie? Mine was when they were in IKEA.