Ending July With A Big Bad “Blag!”

31 07 2008

I woke up seconds later with a contusion at the back of my head. The size of it alarmed me but what raised my fear the most is that I am lying down on a cold drugstore floor surrounded by strangers.

Never in a hundred years did I realize how vulnerable I can be. I’ve always been tough even when sick, but this time, frailty has succumbed me. I’ve been feeling sick since last week and I kept shrugging it off fully certain that I’ll get by – until July 29.

I woke up feeling woozy and clammy so I jumped fast to the shower so I can wash the feeling off,  “Nothing’s wrong until you acknowledge it”, I told myself. It has always worked. After that I dashed to get dressed and picked the most comfortable top and pants. I checked if I still have a stash of meds for my colds and found that I had none left, so I left home early to drop by the nearest drugstore. Upon entering, the throng of people by the counter signalled me that I will have to wait before I can be serviced. It was then that I started feeling weird.

My hearing started to go out, then my vision started to tunnel. However, the tough chick in me held that this is just the ‘sick in me’ and I can think it all away. But when my hearing completely seized and my sight turned grey that’s when the realist in me kicked in, “Houston, we have a problem.” I held on to the counter and told myself to shake it off by closing my eyes, staying calm and by breathing normal intervals to stop the rush of panicky blood. But that held nothing to my weak body and I soon collapsed on the cold marble floor. And on my way down, I managed to hit my head at a shelf’s corner.

I was rushed to the ER soon after. I was taken to a wheelchair then later on a stretcher – I kept telling them I can still walk but no one seems to listen. I was asked to tell the story many times over, told to follow one of the nurses finger (by this time, I felt stupid for passing out I wanted to kick myself), hooked to wires and clamps for ECG, poked by a needle and I was drawn two test tubes of blood. Later on I was sent to get a CT scan of my upper body – mainly for my head. That was scary. I was told to keep still and lie down on the soft part of my head – which by that time is about the size of an average apple sliced in half and it hurt so bad. The machine made this eerie sound every second it took a snap of my insides. I wanted to cry, and being wheeled around a gurney did not help me calm down. The doctor said she might have to keep me for the night for observation so she can be sure. This was when I had to put a foot down, and asked for the paper I have to sign refusing doctor’s advice. She gave me a stern look.

I felt clammy and my head hurt the entire time but old habits die hard, I kept a straight face and played it cool. I even posed with a smile while my friend took my picture. I told my mom not to go see me because everything was okay and I’ll be home soon. Almost immeidately, my boss called and asked if I was to be admitted, perhaps hinting that he would want to see me. Auto-Pilot for tough girl instantly answered, “No need, I’m fine. I just need to rest.” It’s true, I was in dire need of a break but starting it off this way is just silly.

The ER is not a place for people like me who needs space. I had to share a small curtained room with an old lady who had tubes connected to her and was slowly taking on a colour similar to that of a corpse. Later on, the doctor read me her diagnosis and concluded that my low electrolyte caused me to faint and toppling over from standing straight gave me a contusion on the left side of my head. She gave me a list of things that I have to look after for the next two months and in case it happens again (the fainting spell) I have to go back ASAP because it’s indicative of something bigger. She gave me meds to take for the pain that I never took. Yeah, it hurts but if I can tolerate it, I’ll just roll with the punches. For the next two days, I still felt week and clammy. The soft side of my head also made combing problematic.

Looking back, the drugstore security guard told me that the sound of my head hitting concrete was implausibly loud. He said it was difficult to believe that I didn’t bleed or I survived such impact with nothing but pain killers … he winced remembering the sound.

I kinda knew I’m hard headed.





Notice: Short Hiatus … And Some Other Things

23 07 2008

I’ll take a time out for the remaining days of July. Read the rest of this entry »





The Dark Knight

18 07 2008

I watched an image of a ghost gloriously raise anarchy, and he helped me heave questions to challenge the balance that keeps it.

The Dark Knight is Christian Bale but Heath Ledger, no pun intended, owns the knight. His dilapidated quality is a graceful mess, one can easily get lost in his skin as he disappears in it. Although it creeps me out to hug the dead, I did do exactly that while in the darkness of the theatre. There was pain mingled with awe that such tragedy had to happen to such a great thespian. All I ever thought of was him, all I ever noticed was him and all his words resonated with such effervescent applaud, again from him. Posthumous or not, one thing is true, I was happy to watch a ghost even if I am fully aware that my walk to the parking lot will be nothing but sombre sighs for the fallen actor.

No one told me that bad make up can ever be exhilarating to watch and listen to. The dance that he had to make to egg his archenemy to tango is so disorganized it was genius. His character is well acted by Ledger that Joker becomes a storm that refuses to be boxed, to be defined and to be rooted of his origins. Somehow it tells us that it is possible ‘crazy clown’ can be just … hmm, crazy clown.  He is self deprecating explaining his thirst for chaos; he compares it to a dog running after a car, when really his aptitude is just as decent as Bruce – just on the opposite side of course. One way or another, Nicolson’s portrayal of the Joker is pale compared to what Ledger offered. Oh yeah, Jack was playing Jack as The Joker, but there is no way you can see Ledger under his performance. He was wearing The Joker’s balls and juggled it oh so gracefully and succintly. It was visceral, raw and intense one can easily believe it was the death of him.  What a way to say bye bye but with a cackle so chilling, it only means that wherever he lands,  he still wins. He does complete Batman; without him, his infallible life as a cape crusader would’ve just been a poor call for attention. But with The Joker in the picture, a need is created for heroes with conscience and then some.

Christopher Nolan’s second installment of Batman – is a visual playground  chockfull of strong tasteful violence – presents us to a Gotham that is but a cesspool of corruption, two timing, false hope and freaks. It fits perfectly that we see Batman and The Joker slug it out here. His irrational need to save and his irrational need to destroy … their tango, sublime. The thesis presented by the good and evil rings true for people in the real world, that it tips the balance of the viewers belief as it runs its two hours and thirty five minute run. Some people can bitch all they want but fans are thirsty for more.

Christian Bale’s portrayal of Batman is also well received. His sadist ways is so arrogant, he commands us to believe that this is his only choice. The suffering hero finally pushes the knife deeper when he is challenged to be torn from his rules. You can taste the violence raging in his head and somehow, in case he makes a mistake, you’ll understand. The sore spot is also goaded by the fact that he is a vigilante wanting to be normal, and yet he seems more comfortable in a mask than in his own face. He cannot deny his value, but he can’t also deny his desolation. Bale rocks it hard when he is in action and his introduction of the new Bat Pod (motorcycle), is candy to child. The way he nonchalantly impaled his Lamborghini, cool. And the way he effortlessly banged Joker’s head on the table, shrewd. I particularly loved it when his disembodied voice is heard before seeing him in a corner. Bale is a method man so fit for the tormented hero, it’s impressive.

The Dark Knight’s plot is devilishly simple – keep the bad guys at bay. However, I will not spoil your appetite by giving you the gist, just go see it. But be prepared to walk home with The Joker’s poignant haughting performance and the need to see it once more.

Ratings:

And oh about the question I conjured after hearing The Joker’s reflection of apparent disorganization? Well nothing profound really, just the same old perennial ambiguities. But if you wanted to know, I was thinking, Is our understanding of the system any different, when very little divides us from from fiction?  Think.





The Good, The Bad And The Home Alone

16 07 2008

 

 Lovely weather we’re having for a Monday. Marooned at home for the lack of resources to gallivant around town ( had to hold on to my remaining money for the Dark Knight on Thursday), I decided to enjoy the rainy day at home watching TV and eating junk. No one is around but me (mom went to work, brother had class and our help are on their restday) and my crazy dog Denim lazily pacing around. I finished all my chores before noon and after a loong leisurely warm bath (while rain was stomping all over the city) I plunked myself at the sofa to watch … until boredom hit me.

So I ambled around hoping that an idea to while away the hours find me, when I remembered how I neglected to clean my still camera and my laptop. So I went to my room, opened my terrace door (so I can watch the beautiful weather lap around), and placed everything on the floor for cleaning. My camera had been cleaned, perhaps a few months back, and was kept snugly in its case so after a few wipes here and there, and airing it dry I placed it back. However, my laptop had it bad. I use it every day and by the looks of it, it would have already rained me with profanity if it can only talk considering the amount of dust and whatnots it gathered after several months.

I stared at its poor state and pondered what I will clean it with. My still camera is well equipped with numerous junks I haven’t even used. But my dear old laptop just came with wires and a bag … that’s it. So there’s no visual reminder (like a small bottle of cleaner and cute little cotton rags) to clean it. Usually I just wipe it with anything I have in hand. My friend Abby told me to stop cleaning it with my facial wipes (yeah, sometimes I clean my face while working on an article then later on find myself wiping my laptop with the same cotton that cleaned my face with). A poor practice might cause me problems in the future so I decided to put a cork in it.

I took my camera cleaner out of its box again and used it on the laptop. I can’t believe the amount of dust it gathered; I really have neglected its hygiene. After several wiping actions, it now resembled a decent 2007 edition of a technological tool. I may be technically challenged but having it look like a dust magnet doesn’t excuse me from it. I said my sorry and placed the device back to my table. With everything in place, I looked around my tidy room to see if there is anything else I can do to pass the time.

Then I remember that I bought two DVDs that I haven’t watched. That too I managed to overlook. I attended to that for less than five minutes and found myself on the sofa again, navigating the player.

A few minutes later, the wind started to get stronger and by the sound of it, it seems like it has placed a personal vendetta to the ancient mango tree at the front yard, planning to uproot it. The rain chimed in as well. It was not only stomping but was attempting to drown the city and along with it, a loud rumble emanated at the backyard … thunder. Now that’s something I don’t like. I turned the player and the television off and took out the TV cable plug (dad said it’s the smart thing to do when there’s lightning this close). I went up to my room and by this time I’ve realized how too much of a good thing can be bad.

Feeling the need to get my mind off fear I went to my room. I popped a CD on my player (pumped the volume up, just enough for the speakers not to explode), played Claire De Lune ( my favourite is Debussy), took a pen and a paper and started writing. With the loud rumblings about, (I can still hear it, although this time it seems like it’s from a distance), I kept myself busy with the music and writing. I also had to plant a picture in my mind that I wasn’t alone.

Slowly a smile crept at the side of my lips. If anyone knew of this calming exercise, they’ll easily be frightened. Let’s just say the type of environment I have to simulate to keep myself from anxiety attacks isn’t exactly conventional. For one moment, picture me at a cold, semi dark room with a stranger at a corner reading, Claire De Lune playing, me writing, and a storm raging outside. Typically other people would just need happy thoughts to get away … I do things differently.

After this exercise, I thought to myself there’s always something good and bad in being home alone. Be brave now … you wouldn’t want your make believe company feel awkward.





Here’s Some News on Villains, Wallpapers and Movies

14 07 2008

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Darth Vader lives in the same neighborhood (Villainville) as Voldemort … and now, he’s reading about him too. LOL.

I was looking around for the new Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince movie stills when I came across this picture. I had to hold myself from laughing. I wanted to send a thank you note to whoever took this picture. I love it. Love it with a fang that I just had to make it my new wallpaper.

 

 I bet he’s rooting for his pal.

Oh, and about those new stills for the November release (mark your calendar November 17, at least in this side of the world the rest will get it by November 21)… here it is.

Director David Yates help the kids into a scene.

Our reluctant hero is about to journey the inner workings of his enemy. But before that, Professor Mcgonagall gives him a word of advise.

This is no child’s play anymore. Harry think things through after learning a secret.

Draco Malfoy is given a mission by Lord Voldemort. Will he succeed to become a murderer?

Luna Lovegood wearing her famous Quibbler Spectrespecs.

Harry being tutored by Professor Slughorn played by acclaimed British actor Jim Broadbent.

They have Voldemort for a problem but first these two need to help Ron face his fear.

Fear of … audience. We all know Ron’s a very good Keeper.

The trio discussing their strategy for the game and the current mystery they are trying to uncover.

There are rumours circulating that The Dark Knight might show The Half Blood‘s tailer. This might be true because they are both released by Warner Brothers, and Half Blood just wrapped last May 22. So far no confirmation yet, but it would be great if they did. It’ll be such a treat for all movie goers,I’m so stoked.

*Thanks to Mugglenet for the pictures.





Entertainment Weekly Special Double Issue: The New Classics

11 07 2008

There was a definite need to be entertained. I’ve mulled over the dreaded end this whole brouhaha about oil price, I unknowingly induced myself to nervous twitches.

 

I couldn’t find a book, I couldn’t find a movie I haven’t seen and I couldn’t find anything to purchase enough for the few pennies I have in my pocket. It’s terrifying. So the first thing a human had to do is find something free – bookstore. Right, a bookstore. Somewhere to escape and read anything that will take me away and suspend certainty that it’s unequivocally the end of the world – enter, Entertainment Weekly Special Double Issue June 2008.

 

It features The New Classics. It dives deep to anything and everything that’s pop in the entertainment business for the past 30 years. For one, I’ve never provided a feedback or a review about a magazine but I’ll give this one a shot (mostly jut an overview) knowing that there are several prevalent pursuits of leisure that actually shaped the world – one way or another.

 

Movies (Top 5 out of 100)

1.    Pulp Fiction – 1994

2.    The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy  – 2001to 2003

3.    Titanic – 1997

4.    Blue Velvet – 1986

5.    Toy Story – 1995

–      Out of the top five out of 100, four I agree with (I still have to see Blue Velvet, I must have been sick or got stuck under a rock when that came out). Although there are a handful of personal faves that should have been on the top five, still, this is too broad a topic one can easily shrug as acceptable.

 

My Personal Faves out of the Top 100

1.    Saving Private Ryan – 1998

2.    Moulin Rouge – 2001

3.    Edward Scissorhands – 1990

4.    Schindler’s List – 1993;  back-story: I had this movie for a review for my Social Science class. The teacher’s an idiot. She did not understand half the things I wrote about and gave me a C; I wanted to gas her … up until now.

5.    A Room With A View – 1986; I was a child when I saw this on tape, to everyone’s surprise I raved about it. They thought I was too young to even understand

6.    Fight Club – 1999

7.    Brokeback Mountain -2005

8.    Full Metal Jacket – 1987

9.    Gladiator – 2000

10. Rain Man – 1988

 

My Own New Classics That Didn’t Make The Cut… I wonder why

1.    Empire Of The Sun

2.    E.T.

3.    The Karate Kid

4.    Far and Away

5.    Big

 

Television (Top 5 out of 100)

1.    The Simpson – (1989-present)

2.    The Sopranos (1999-2007)

3.    Seinfeld (1989-1998 )

4.    The X-Files (1993-2002)

5.    Sex And The City (1998-2004)

 

–      Out of the top five, I agree with three (I wasn’t into the Sopranos and Seinfeld because the momentum was never reallly created). I’ve been pleasantly marooned to several series that are included in The New Classics yet I can’t find anything in particular that I can put my anchor on. I can pick a few faves but nothing resonates as much as my favourite local shows like:

1.    John and Marcia

2.    Palibhasa Lalaki

3.    Abangan Ang Susunod na Kabanata

4.    Ating Alamin

5.    Ora Engkantada

 

However, some of the items listed did bring smiles and I honestly did (do, for the first on the list) follow them.

1.    The Simpson (1989-present)

2.    The Sopranos (1999-2007)

3.    Seinfeld (1989-1998 )

4.    The X-Files (1993-2002)

5.    Sex And The City (1998-2004)   

 

Music (Top 5 out of 100)

 1.    Purple Rain – Prince and the Revolution; 1994

2.    The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill – Lauryn Hill; 1998

3.    Achtung Baby – U2; 1991

4.    The College Drop Out – Kenye West;2004

5.    Madonna – Madonna; 1983

 

–      Out of the top five, I agree with two (Lauryn Hill and U2 … if I can just find my copy). There are 100 albums on the list and I have a handful that I surely will put on top if I was the one who made this.

1.    MTV Unplugged in New York – Nirvana; 1994

2.    Odelay – Beck; 1996

3.    A Rush Of Blood To The Head – Coldplay; 2002

4.    Turn On The Bright Lights – Interpol; 2002

5.    Crazy Sexy Vool – TLC; 1994

 

Some I wish made the cut

 1.Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand; 2004

2.Hot Fuzz – The Killers; 2004

3.Eraserheads Anthology

4.The Lord Of The Rings The Return Of The King – soundtrack by Howard Shore; 2003

5.Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban – soundtrack by John Williams; 2004

 

Books (Top 5 out of 100)

1.    The Road – Cormac McCarthy; 2006

2.    Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – should I even tell you who wrote it?; 2000

3.    Beloved – Toni Morrison; 1995

4.    The Liars Club – Mary Karr; 1995

5.    American Pastoral – Philip Roth; 1997

 

–      I won’t say much except, I’m buying the other four that I don’t have a

copy of. And I’ll tell you later what’s up with the rage.

 

I Hope This Also Made The Cut

1.    My Story – Dave Pelzer

2.    Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro

3.    Bag Of Bones – Stephen King

4.    Trip To Quiapo – Ricky Lee

5.    Twisted Series – Jessica Zafra

 

Reading through the vast collections of The New Classics, each painstakingly put together, appraised and considered, I wonder how the team went through this calvalcade . How in the world do you take the world’s pulse and put them into paper? It’s a marvel to even think of the enormity of research and brainstorming that was put here.

 

This is a very good read. It makes me want to kick myself for being so paranoid about the world I know, it might be the end, but at least good things came out of it.

 

I feel much better now.





Reality Bites

9 07 2008

My fear gradually clicked into place, the economy is growing malignant.

 

I was at the mall earlier to buy a book and decided to pass by my favorite bakeshop to get me a small glass of iced tea and a plate of Ciabatta Pesto. Last I was here, the entire ensemble cost P91 and with a half hearted resolve I had to shell out (almost) double the price this time.

 

I felt distressed for a moment, owing to the fact that things are slowly becoming more and more miserable. The softening financial system is threatened by ripples caused by numerous inaccuracies of different power countries. So this must be the tsunami, huh? I’ve decided not to dive deeper on how these ghastly effects came about – the key is self preservation, thus one ought to roll with the punches to create a blanket of hope. Some will argue that this is false reality, true, but that is the only way we can provoke a paradigm shift – yes this will induce anomalies in your head, but you can’t deny the power of adapting. I’ve sat with a few friends over coffee just days back talking about rising gas prices and cost of living. It took me by surprise how muddled up things are; we usually sit together to unwind and talk about gratuitous subjects meant to breakaway from the tedium of corporate slavery. Now, although we didn’t set out to, we are talking about the economy – reality is finally catching up. There was an obvious struggle on our part to understand things. I thought if it was this laborious for us to dissect the matter, how much more for the common people living life by the day and earning just enough for them not to be evicted or die of hunger?

 

I, for one, am still considered lucky. A few of my earnings can still accommodate simple treats, but watching the world tumble to its current dismal state makes me wonder how soon will these consequences run before it catches up on me. Will I ever have to tighten the belt too far that I have to make sacrifices against my will? My occasional retail escape, will it one day turn into memories of the good times? Will I wake up soon realizing that my slightly-comfortable life is over?

 

Fear indeed is clicking into place and the menacing irrevocable fact lingers, there’s so little I can do about it.