Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Propimplelaxis

I haven’t had sex in a week! And this is all because of a small matter that went out of hand.

Last week I noticed a pimple in—of all places—the middle of my chest, just above the tummy but below the nipples. It was right smack in the middle. At first I didn’t mind it; at my age I rarely get pimples and the lucky few die a natural death within a day or two.

But not this one. Because my shirt kept rubbing on it, I didn’t notice that it already popped plus my shirt kept irritating it so that it got infected. A few days later I noticed that the area around it had reddened and was tighter than usual. It became painful for me to bend forward or backwards. Worse, during the grand EB with Dan & Rye, a friend poked it by mistake. OWWW! Good thing I have a very high threshold for pain. But by then I knew I needed immediate medical intervention.

The doctor ordered antibiotics and painkillers. And the results were quite dramatic. The redness remains, and the immediate area is still tender to the touch. But at least the pain is now a dull throb.

But what bad timing! A long weekend last week, and a longer one coming. Then again, the last time I was forced to be celibate was in Bohol with the family, and I lasted for more than two weeks.

This will be an unexpected, if welcome, change of pace.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

With Dan & Rye

Did anyone pass by Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or Figaro at the Bonifacio High Street last night for The Dan & Rye Show Grand EB and Podcast? We weren’t able to transfer to that venue after all. We ended up staying at Italianni’s after dinner because the orders took so long getting to our table we decided not to move anymore.

Did you miss Dan and Rye? Too bad. Had you confirmed your attendance as requested, I would have found a way of contacting you about the last-minute change of venue. (In fairness to me, I passed by CB&TL and Figaro thrice that night, even going so far as to order a drink in the former, hoping to be spotted by a would-be participant. But no one approached me.)

* * * * *

Thank you to those who dropped by last night.

I had so much fun. The reason I love listening to the two is that singularly they’re interesting, but combined they’re deadly entertainment. As in, pamatay. That kind of rapport and repartee cannot be faked or manufactured. But they are very accessible and audience-friendly. And they are very inclusive; notice how whenever Chris joins them, they become a trio instead of a duo ganging up on one?

Give these guys a real show, quick!

(I didn’t take any pictures. I’m sure they’ll post their photos in their site soon.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

De-Voted To You

Thank god my mom knew most of the candidates and had prepared a list for us. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes.

At The Car Wash


Hu-whaaat?

Theater Talk

Organized by Pinoycentric and MGG with Gibbs Cadiz, “Theater Talk atbp” held last Saturday was a fun event. They asked me to facilitate; I ended up not even introducing myself (heller?!). Floy Quintos was an engaging, passionate speaker for theater. And with several tickets for different plays raffled off, several participants in the talk now have no excuse to not exercise what they’ve learned from direk Floy.

It was also fun to meet other bloggers, all of them younger than me. Jeez. But hey, if I’m going to entrust the future of theater appreciation to anyone, might as well be to them.

Will there be a follow-up or similar events in the future? We lucky participants do hope so.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Salieri

The problem was he always believed that he was a good, nay a great actor. It didn’t help that he had high grades and was admired by many of his dorm mates. He was first cast in a supporting role; he didn’t exactly suck but neither did people take notice of him. After that he would insist that his next role should be a substantial one. But he was always passed over. He was five-foot-three-inches in height, dark-skinned and wore thick-lens glasses. His voice was high-pitched just a note below girlish, and had an effete lilt. Yet he always felt he deserved a major role. Too bad there were no plays about Napoleon then. It didn’t help that the actresses that were often cast in the female leads were at least two inches taller than him. So after getting offered less stellar roles in several auditions (all of which he turned down), he stopped joining productions altogether.

After college he started writing theater reviews for a major daily. After a while no one in the theater world liked him. He rarely gave an all-out positive review; he always had something negative to point out, be it acting, production design, direction, or whatever. Most theater folks grudgingly agree that often he raises several good points. Unfortunately his acerbic, know-it-all tone turned off a lot of theater practitioners who could have benefited from his review.

One day he moved back to his province and stopped writing theater reviews. And we never heard from him since.

Psychosomatic Addict Insane!

Hello Mr. Sandman

“Last night I had the strangest dream…”

I was in this vast building that looked familiar like it was from another dream, and then as I was going out I find myself hitching a ride with John Lloyd Cruz, a guy named Chichi Angustia who’s straight and whom I knew back when he was still in college but I lost touch with him as soon as he got kicked out after failing his third year, and an unknown girl (most of the girls in my dreams are unknown and unimportant) who was their friend, and this scenario felt familiar because in a previous dream I already hitched a ride with them, and we were going somewhere in Cubao, a bulaluhan that turned out to be an Indian restaurant set-up (sit on the floor with throw pillows and all) then we were just settling down when immediately we were at a park beside a horse-and-carabao race track where guests can ride a carabao so all three of us rode one and John Lloyd was in front of me so I’d lean on his back so that I could get a grip on the carabao’s horns and John Lloyd was so sweet cuz he allowed me to lean on him and he also leaned on me and then the carabao got testy because it didn’t want its horns to be touched and it was weird because his left horn was long and curving while the right horn was just a stub, and the carabao had to go up a platform with us on its back and then go down but its handler forced it to go back up cuz it didn’t go around the platform properly but then the carabao turned into a brontosaurus—long neck and tail and all—and was already tired so it shrugged us off its back so we walked to a table and sat down to order merienda and all around us were sea creatures struggling to stay alive out of the water and there was even a huge as in HUGE horseshoe crab that was turning and spinning on its shell before scampering off and we followed this crab into a production number featuring high school kids singing and dancing at a huge school ground so John Lloyd and the other two joined in the production number while I hung back and the song-and-dance number morphed into a CMT/ROTC clean-up drive and while the kids were cleaning up I proceeded to this rented “cottage” underneath some huge stairs where inside was just one huge bed so the boys were going to share it while the girl was going to stay somewhere else and so later on when she passed by our cottage together with her brother she turned into Pia Cayetano and her brother was director Lino Cayetano and they both said goodbye so Chichi and I were in bed trying to fall asleep and then I felt John Lloyd slipping in beside me so I turned to him and we cuddled and he placed his hand inside his pajama so I put my hand inside his pajamas too and I peered in to take a look at his cock and I saw lots of hair and then I heard Chichi move to whisper to him so I pretended I was asleep and Chichi was telling John Lloyd, “Ay naku ka,” in a partially exasperated, partially humoring tone and John Lloyd was thanking Chichi for understanding the situation and I remember thinking to myself to not rush things with John Lloyd because maybe after we have sex I’ll immediately get bored with him.

And that’s when I woke up.

“Didn’t want no one to hold you,
what does that mean? And you said…
Ain’t nothing gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground,
Oh no, I got to keep on moving!”


* * * * *

I rarely remember my dreams these days, so when something as vivid as the one above is still misty in my mind even as I’m fighting the cobwebs of sleep off, I just had to grab my pen and write it down fast before it fades away forever.

So now I have an instant Sunday episode for The McVie Show.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Age Ain’t Nothin’ But A Number

You Are 22 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.


No wonder I attract 20-year olds!

Eeee… Queue!

I’m the kid who doesn’t eat the one marshmallow immediately, but waits so that I get to eat two marshmallows.

Your EQ is 140

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Then again, I may just know how to lie for these kinds of tests.

Gee For Ehem…

One day I get a message from this guy whose profile doesn’t indicate his age. However, he looks like someone in his early 20s.

18 Oct 2007, 18:35
Him: hi! kmsta?

19 Oct 2007, 11:46
McVie: Mabuti naman, thanks. :-)

(Siyempre, politeness naman ako. But then… silence for the next five days.)

24 Oct 2007, 12:55
Him: hi!

(Hmmm. Either this guy is experiencing Time ala-Groundhog Day or he’s the type who wants my replies to lend themselves to a conversation. O sha, pagbigyan. He’s not that cute, but not bad either.)

24 Oct 2007, 13:57
McVie: So what do you have in mind aside from numerous variations of greetings? ;-)

24 Oct 2007, 21:28
Him: i want you in my life

(Whaddapakshet?! Pero still, politeness ever pa rin.)

24 Oct 2007, 21:50
McVie: I see... in what way? :-)

25 Oct 2007, 13:41
Him: as a partner...

(Ay! Bagets pa nga ito.)

25 Oct 2007, 14:07
McVie: Well, we have to get to know each other more first. And better if we can be friends first. I don’t jump into relationships that easily. :-)

25 Oct 2007, 19:49
Him: yeah, its better if we'll be friends first... anyway, are we friends?

(Bagets na, in a hurry pa. Presumptuous, aren’t we?)

26 Oct 2007, 11:02
McVie: Of course not. Friendship needs to develop organically. We don’t even know each other enough yet. Time will tell if we can be friends or just acquaintances. :-)

(In other words, gudlak sa iyo.)

Be Headed For Halloween

‘Cuz we creative folks get bored easily.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Because Leigh Requested Me

And because she’s a good friend, beef jerky supplier, owner of a Ford Explorer Sport Trac (which I love driving to Baguio and other far-away places), mother to Luc my inaanak, internationally awarded creative director and exceptional writer (one well-executed phrase from her puts whole paragraphs of mine to shame)…

I’m announcing here that her new blog, My Second Life as a Verb, is now up and running on this site.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloweendang!

Since last night this lady has been spotted at our reception area. The other tenants on our floor would do a double-, triple-take whenever they’d pass by our glass door entrance. One Española from the Spanish Embassy a few doors away actually went to our office to take a picture of her to show to her friends—in Spain, we presume.

We still have to give her a name, though. I’d call her Sadako but she’s in black, not white.

By the way, her head is actually not attached to her body; it’s actually hanging from the ceiling via a thin nylon string. And we placed an electric fan across her, so when it’s on her head shakes gently left and right. No wonder everyone passing by our office does a double-take.

Our theme is “I see dead employees” so there are headless figures everywhere…

…even on the ceiling.

And lots of cobwebs.

About Face!

Ho-hum. As of today, I am officially bored with Facebook. (And NO! that’s not an open invitation to start asking me to join StumbleUpon or tumblelog or whatever.)

Backhanded Compliment of the Night

“You fuck great, considering your size.”

“Oh,” I was taken aback. Considering your size? No one has ever told me to my face about the size of my dick. I’ve always considered mine average-sized in proportion to the rest of my body. “Well, I know I’m not as well-endowed as a horse,” I quipped.

“Yeah, but you were really good,” he said matter-of-factly. “Really.”

But I guess that wasn’t enough for me. Considering your size? I had the opportunity to find out more so I probed further. “Would you say that my dick, compared to the ones you’ve, ah, experienced, is small or average for a Filipino?” I asked.

He paused for a while, looking at the ceiling, before he answered. “Small,” he said with finality. “Sorry, I don’t mean to insult you or hurt your feelings.”

I laughed. He’s not being a dick, he’s just a size-queen bottom, I told myself. Aloud I said, “Well, that’s why I make up for the lack of size with performance level.”

“Oh yeah!” he replied. “You really know how to work that dick of yours.”

And we talked some more.

Monday, October 22, 2007

To You. Yes You. Too.

The book says he’s just not that into you if he’s not asking you out, if he’s not calling you, if he’s not having sex with you, and if he’s having sex with someone else. Obviously I’m not going to waste my pretty on someone who’s a waste of my time.

Dumbledorothy

as portrayed by the late Richard Harris

as portrayed by Michael Gambon

First, the news:

JK Rowling Outs Dumbledore As Gay
(excerpts from BBC news website)

Harry Potter author JK Rowling has revealed that one of her characters, Hogwarts school headmaster Albus Dumbledore, is gay. She made her revelation to a packed house in New York’s Carnegie Hall on Friday, as part of her US book tour.

She took audience questions and was asked if Dumbledore found “true love”.

“Dumbledore is gay,” she said, adding he was smitten with rival Gellert Grindelwald, who he beat in a battle between good and bad wizards long ago.

The audience gasped, then applauded. “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy,” she said.

“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” she added, saying Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down” and his love for Grindelwald was his “great tragedy”.

“Oh, my god,” Rowling, 42, concluded with a laugh, “the fan fiction”.

Fan sites have long speculated on Dumbledore’s sexuality as he was known for having a mysterious, troubled past.

Rowling told the audience that while working on the planned sixth Potter film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, she saw the script carried a reference to a girl who was once of interest to Dumbledore. She said she ensured director David Yates was made aware of the truth about her character.

Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell welcomed the news about Dumbledore and said: “It’s good that children's literature includes the reality of gay people, since we exist in every society. But I am disappointed that she did not make Dumbledore’s sexuality explicit in the Harry Potter book. Making it obvious would have sent a much more powerful message of understanding and acceptance.”

And a spokesman for gay rights group Stonewall added: “It’s great that JK has said this. It shows that there’s no limit to what gay and lesbian people can do, even being a wizard headmaster.”

Rowling said she regarded her novels as a “prolonged argument for tolerance” and urged her fans to “question authority”. But she added that not everyone likes her work. Christian groups have alleged the books promote witchcraft. The author said her revelation about Dumbledore would give them one more reason.

* * * * *

My reaction?

I’m happy that an author of a series as extremely popular as the Harry Potter franchise (books and films) has made clear that one of her most beloved characters is gay. Too bad she didn’t made it explicitly clear in her books. I guess from her “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy” quote that she played safe. Understandable then that she waited until the last book made a gazillion dollars before she made her revelation.

Still, as a fan of the books, I didn’t raise an eyebrow when I first heard the news. So? I said to myself. It didn’t exactly change anything in the series. In other words, Dumbledore’s being gay is a non-issue to the character and to the plot of the whole series.

However, I again feel slightly peeved that Dumbledore was “horribly, terribly let down” and his love for Grindelwald was his “great tragedy”. Sigh. How come one of the most popular gay characters in literature would have his great love as his great tragedy too? Can someone point out an extremely popular gay character who has an okay love life (I’m willing to settle for “okay” instead of “happy” or even “exceptional”) and who doesn’t end up dead?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Someone Find Me A DVD Copy Now!

Hindi naman ako obsessed, ano?






He’s Chaiwat Tong Sang, the shorter-haired guy in “Bangkok Love Story” (see my previous episode about it). Sorry Migs, minsan lang ito. Pramis, wala akong balak agawin ang korona mo.

(Thank you to http://www.justinbenedick.com/Website/BlogJB/wordpress/?p=498 for the photos.)

I See Dead Tarpaulins

Together with our clients, the advertising industry churns out a massive amount of tarpaulin materials for outdoor merchandising. In the office we asked ourselves, “Where do billboards and outdoor banners go when they die?”

Now we know.

Angono, Rizal proudly calls itself the arts capital of the Philippines. Saturday morning found me on the way there to look for a group of folks who have made a living recycling tarpaulin billboards and streamers into useable bags. Not exactly art, but creative enough.

From our house in Marikina it was a pleasant 45-minute drive through Antipolo and Taytay, Rizal. One of the reasons why I rarely hesitate to bring my friends home is because it’s an opportunity for me to know more about the ins and outs of the city—and beyond. Thank God then that I brought Nelz to his parents’ house in Angono several years ago; I didn’t get lost looking for a house in a village that’s tucked inside one of the severely narrow streets of Angono. How narrow? Even tricycles have to make way for one another. Good thing Orlando’s petite enough—and me skilled enough—to handle such roads.

Mang Nick met me at the street and I had to park because their house/shop was inside one of the narrow alleys that even a bicycle will have a hard time negotiating. Unfortunately this morning several candidates for the local branggay elections were doing the rounds, so the alley was unusually crowded.

Mang Nick and two more folks manage the TarpBags group. They hire several workers who can easily sew around 30 bags individually in a day. They proudly claim they can finish an order of 100 bags of one style given a day’s notice.

The bags I got are understandably cheap, ranging from Php30 to Php85. They also have tube-shaped bags (which I didn’t get because they won’t be of use for our mini-project) and they already have a knapsack design ready to be rolled out.

Above is one of their smallest handbags. It has a Velcro clasp to close it, plus a side pocket outside. The bags are all very bare in design—no inside pockets or divisions.


They come in two sizes!


Above we have the shoulder bag, with zipper instead of Velcro.


A bigger style of shoulder bag; instead of a zipper, it has a flap…


…and a Velcro clasp for added security.


And they come in two sizes too!

Notice that the bags have a similar look? That’s because their current and only supplier—for now—of used tarpaulins is the Nestlé company, and they only have Nescafe tarpaulins available for disposal. The TarpBag group is currently negotiating with one of the gigantic telecoms to supply them their old tarpaulins.

The designs are not exceptional, and the bags themselves smell of tarpaulin. And I have yet to test them to see how sturdy they are. But I want to use a couple of them. You know how something’s so unassuming that it’s actually cool? These TarpBags are so unfashionable, they actually look society-ing-society to me.

* * * * *

If you’re interested:

TarpBag
c/o Nick 0916-4812626
Blk 22, Lot 16
Exodusville, San Vicente
Angono, Rizal

(The way to their place is actually quite easy, but do ask for directions because there are no signs. Even Exodusville doesn’t have a gate or marker; after passing a very narrow street with a basketball court on the side, I was already in Exodusville and I didn’t even know it. Good thing I asked around.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Meanwhile

So while Manila is in the midst of a heightened alert status, I’m dying to watch this particular Thai movie:






I’m not a big, big fan of Thai men—yet. But I think I may have to change my attitude. Aminin, the short-haired guy looks hot. Heck, both look hot. Between the two of them? Why not!

Bangkok Love Story (Thai: เพื่อน...กูรักมึงว่ะ or Puen, literally “friend”) is a 2007 Thai film written and directed by Poj Arnon. Who has a DVD copy?! I want, I want, I want!

Watch the trailer:

Bomb Explodes At Glorietta 2





19 October 2007 (16:15 H Manila time)

Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon said the blast in the Glorietta 2 ground level at 1:30 p.m. was “probably caused by a bomb.”

“This was a bomb. But beyond that we can't say anything else yet because we are still investigating. What I can say is it was not [liquefied petroleum gas] that caused this,” Razon told reporters.




The explosion ripped through the roof of the mall and damaged nearby shops. Debris from the blast were scattered on the streets. At least 6 dead and 51 wounded.

Because of ongoing public safety concerns in the light of this incident, staff members are advised to avoid travel to Ayala Center and maintain an appropriate level of security awareness/ alertness. It may be prudent to exercise extreme caution in large public venues such as malls and public transport hubs as a precautionary measure. It is a common practice/rule in all potential bombings “expect a possible secondary explosion”.

* * * * *

At around 4:00pm I called the house.

“Hello?”

“Mommy, si Joel ito.”

“O bakit?”

“Narinig mo ba yung bomba sa Glorietta? Okey lang kami dito, malayo naman kami sa sumabog. Kaya wag kayong mag-alala.”

“Ha? May sumabog ba?”

That stopped me.

“Ah… eh… oo. Wala ba kayong narinig sa news?”

“Ay walang nanonood dito ngayon.”

“Aaaaaaahhh…. Okeeeeeey. Sige, manood na lang kayo sa news mamayang gabi.”

“O sige, ba-bye.”

Ahhh… ignorance is bliss.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh Limp Pic

Someone in China has an interesting sense of humor.


(Thanks to Ricky Santillan for forwarding the cartoon.)

I’m Out... Again

Jeez, I’m back to fat. My shape has always ping-ponged between in- and out-of-, and now my eternal battle with the bulge has taken a turn for the bloated. Ugh. The sad part is I realize I can’t do it alone. I’ve become dependent on a trainer to keep me in line. Otherwise it’s so easy for me to stray out of shape.

“Christmas is coming, McVie is getting fat.” Humph! Time to get back in shape again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Dan & Rye Show Grand EB!


Yes, Dan & Rye are coming to town. So calling all mga kasuys of The Dan & Rye Show Podcast: here’s your chance to meet them in person. Live. In the flesh. Wearing only their flesh. Charot.

WHEN:
Monday, Oct. 29, 2007

WHERE:
Figaro or Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (tentative—ayan yung word, Rye—to be confirmed later)
Bonifacio High Street, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

TIME:
8:00pm

They will be podcasting this one-of-a-kind event, so SALI NA! How? Just leave your name (real o pseudonym, okey lang) on the comments page of this post—it’s that easy. What for, you may ask? Well, we do need a headcount, because I want to reserve enough seats for us. (At kung lumampas kasi ng 14,000 ang pupunta, eh kailangang i-book ko na ang Araneta Coliseum! May extra 775 seats pa for mga walk-ins.)

Please confirm ON OR BEFORE Friday, Oct. 26, 2007.

Pramis, masaya ito.

Monday, October 15, 2007

“A Few Good Creative Men”

Hooray for YouTube! For those in ad agencies, you must watch this. For those who want an idea of what goes on behind closed doors in confidential areas of advertising agencies, take a peek:

My favorite line? “We write ads or people die.” Hilarious, hahaha!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

To You. Yes, You.

Please don’t make the mistake—ever—of putting on that condescending tone of voice when you tell me, “Oh, you’ve never had a boyfriend? But don’t you need a partner? Doesn’t everyone need a partner?” Between your relationship with yourself and your relationship with past partners, the former will outlast the latter, hands down. More so given your track record. So stop it with the attitude.

Spawn of “The Princess Bride”


SPOILER ALERT: Those who don’t like spoilers are advised to skip this.

The movie Stardust is actually quite engaging and entertaining. Director Matthew Vaughn throttles the narrative at a zippy pace, and earns added points for rounding up a cast of engaging actors—regardless of whether they’re big-named or are relative unknowns outside of England—who seem to be having a jolly good time going through their paces. It’s clear to me that the formula they’re going for is The Princess Bride fairly-tale recipe of old-fashioned romance served with affable humor and a dash of sly winking at the camera, and a smorgasbord of quirky unknowns and Hollywood heavyweights taking a break from Serious Acting. This movie doesn’t quite match the effortless juggling act that director Rob Reiner pulled off with his 1987 classic, but it does pull off some well-earned laughs and a couple of warm awww moments.

Those who still harbor ill feelings towards Claire Danes for the things she said about Manila and our cockroaches may want to stay away from this film. They’ll find more reasons to continue hating the poor girl. Her portrayal of Yvaine the fallen star (I’m sure her haters are loving that phrase) is spirited but not exactly groundbreaking, and not as luminescent as Robin Wright’s debut as Buttercup, the Princess Bride. She brings a certain weariness to the role (which is understandable, since as a star she’s witness to a myriad of human sufferings) but her performance lacks a certain transcendental quality that would have lifted it into a star-making turn. Pity that she needed special effects to help her shine (literally) in that role. It’s Tristan’s (played by Charlie Cox) story, yet she should have been the star of the movie.

Ah, Tristan. Charlie Cox is wonderfully guile-free and innocent as the love-struck boy who finds out he is more that what he appears to be. All earnestness, Charlie is unlike Cary Elwes’ farm boy Wesley; he doesn’t supply the additional sly winking humor to the movie. The supporting cast does that for him.

And what a supporting cast! Ian McKellen’s narration lends the right balance of gravitas and whimsy. It’s a joy to watch Michelle Pfeiffer having giddy fun playing Lamia the Witch who comes after Yvaine to cut out her heart. At first Robert de Niro’s Captain Shakespeare seemed like another walk in the park for the actor; but when his dreaded pirate captain turns out to be a flaming queen worried about his reputation (shades of Bride’s Dreaded Pirate Roberts), his performance takes off in a flight of frou-frou fancy. Ricky Gervais’ small-ish role earns big laughs at his character’s expense. Unlike Bride however, some of the stunt casting produced uneven results. Peter O’Toole is almost wasted as the wasting-away king (although his gleeful portrayal of fiendish, remorseless cunning was spot-on). And poor Rupert Everett seals his downfall from It-Boy to Cameo Queen with his character literally falling to his death within 2 minutes of his appearance on screen (still, he seemed to have fun doing it).

Still there is enough magic and stardust to keep the movie afloat. If you want a fairy tale about love aimed at an adult audience, then Stardust is 130 minutes of whimsical distraction.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Passion Versus Peace

Last night I met up with Migs and Corporate Closet. The two had very interesting updates on their love lives. They’ve blogged their stories already so I will not talk about them here (just click on their links above). Instead, let me ruminate on something that’s been bothering me for quite some time now.

I noticed that whenever anybody (including me) goes kilig over someone, my knee-jerk reaction is to flee the other way. It has actually become worrisome for me, all this reflexive, self-aware warning lights flashing. What’s happening? Am I turning allergic over something most people desire—those kilig moments? Am I turning into a kill-ig-joy?

Upon further reflection I realized I now have this inherent skepticism and wariness over intense emotions. Let me clarify: when I say “intense” I mean the high highs and the low lows of emotions, and I’ve experienced that a lot. I’m Piscean, I’m very sensitive and emotional (zodiac non-believers can drop the first part of this sentence and it’ll still hold true). They’re the type of emotions that made me want to shout out to the whole world, “I’m in looove!” or wail to the high heavens, “Why meee?” Intense emotions make me skittish, di mapakali; I want to text him immediately even though we both just put the phone down a mere second ago. Giddy, head-buzzing, butt-turning “intense” passion is what I’m referring to.

There’s a difference between those “intense” emotions and those “deeply-felt” emotions that give one a sense of pervasive calmness and serenity. I remember sitting on a cottage in Tagaytay looking at the view of Taal Lake when suddenly my mind went all blank and calm and a sense of oneness with the whole universe took over. It was so awe-inspiring and overwhelming yet oh so peaceful and uplifting. It was as close to a rapturous experience as I could ever get.

I realized that “intense” emotions come and go, but once they go we spend our lives trying to experience them again. It’s like a junkie in need of an immediate fix. It’s a drug that makes us want to repeat the highs again and again. I wanted to feel the rush again.

I realized that “deeply-felt” emotions also come and go. But there’s a big difference. I felt as if touched by the Divine, and that feeling can only be savored as a gift. It may come again, or it may not. I can only be thankful, and let it go at that.

Letting go. I think that’s what’s been fueling me these past several years. I’ve always been single all my life; when you’re single for 41 years you learn to adjust. One of the things that I had to resolve is my need/want to be with someone. Yes, everyone wants to have someone whom you can share your life with. But what if you haven’t met anyone who fits the bill? I don’t think lowering your standards will help; you’re looking for a long-time companion, not a quick bang in bed. Besides, I don’t think my standards are way too high as to be unrealistic; if you look at my closest friends, you’ll see that while they’re not run-of-the-mill ordinary, they’re not quirky out-of-this-world types either. And I have taken chances at going beyond my usual “types”, and they all ended up going nowhere.

So what do I do when I’m the only one left on the bus station and everyone else around me has found a ride? Despair is not an option; sungitness is ugliness. I’ve gone the cynic route too. Hah! Love will tear us apart, again. Again, it just leads to unhappiness and sungitness and ugliness.

Meanwhile I’m sensitive! I’m emotional! I have needs! So I keep falling head over heels, left and right. There are those who start off great, and then ka-pow! He already has a boyfriend na pala. He’s just interested in me as a friend. He’s just being friendly. He’s just after sex. After 41 years the pile of rejection letters aren’t that funny anymore.

Am I unlucky? Am I cursed? Am I doing it wrong? My golly gosh! Others have been doing it much, much wrong-er, and they get to snag a BF or two. Or three. Sometimes at the same time! So I’ve decided that the questions “Am I unlucky?”, “Am I cursed?” and “Am I doing it wrong?” are not worth asking.

So I continue to wait. But waiting isn’t exactly easy when you see people around you getting hitched one after the other. And you see couples getting together for all the wrong reasons then breaking up painfully. Or you see seemingly perfect pairings that come apart.

After 41 years I’ve learned to adjust to the waiting. And one of the things I’ve latched onto is (irony alert!) the value of letting go. There is value in detachment. Or in the words of our lola, “there’s no greater power than the power of goodbye.” I think I got that when I stumbled upon the teachings of Buddhism.

The Four Noble Truths are one of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings. The Four Noble Truths are a formulation of Gautama Buddha’s understanding of the nature of “suffering”, the fundamental cause of all suffering, the escape from suffering, and what effort a person can go to so that they themselves can “attain happiness.”

The Four Noble Truths (excerpts lifted from Wikipedia):
[1] Suffering exists in life. A more accurate simplification of this truth is “Life is full of suffering.”
[2] Suffering is caused by craving. Put very simply, it states that suffering results from expectations linked to our desires, and our attachment to those desires themselves.
[3] To eliminate suffering, eliminate craving. The third Noble Truth reflects on the belief that suffering can be eliminated. It asserts that it can be done, and that it has been done.
[4] To eliminate craving follow the Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

It does not espouse dedma-ism, which I think is a mistaken notion of detachment. Instead, it says to eliminate craving. And to do that, one must do right. What prevails is not what you want, but what is right. (CC, this last sentence is specifically for you, hahaha.)

Furthermore I prefer the Desiderata route. Passion can still have a place in the world; it can fuel the creation of great works of art. But it should be tempered with moderation. After all, real sublime art is already around us, not just in Tagaytay; one can find it when one is at peace with the world.

And the phrase “world peace” gains new meaning.

* * * * *

Whew, that was tiring to produce, much less watch! Now don’t get me started on “emotion versus intellect” or else The McVie Show will implode.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Invite to “Theater Talk Atbp” on Oct. 27

Hey there, blogging lovers! (I’m assuming that those who watch The McVie Show are bloggers themselves, hehehe.)

Have you always been interested in theater but felt intimidated by the theaterati? Do your eyes—and your brain—glaze over when you hear words like “mimesis”, “pathos” and “upstaged”? Don’t know where “stage left” and “stage right” are?

Well, you don’t need to know any of those words to appreciate theater (knowing them won’t hurt, though). And who better to tell you that than someone who straddles the hifalutin’ world of theater and the industrial grime of showbiz—and flourishes in both!

* * * * *


PinoyCentric.com and ManilaGayGuy, with the help of Gibbs Cadiz, are inviting 20 bloggers to “Theater Talk Atbp,” with multi-awarded writer-director Floy Quintos. This informal, animated, and interactive chikahan session on theater appreciation will be on October 27, Saturday, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the PLDT/Smart Exhibition Hall of the PETA Theater Center on 5 Sunnyside Drive, New Manila, Quezon City.

This is a rare opportunity for bloggers to learn from someone who has had extensive experience in theater, television, show business, and the arts.

This event is free, and you won’t starve (yes, there’s free merienda and there will be a raffle too!), but they only have slots for 20 bloggers, so head on over to this site and register. (In case the 20 slots have been filled, please register anyway; they’ll try to accommodate you when someone backs out at the last minute.)

The organizers have only one condition: click on the ads in my blog. I’m just kidding. Really. Their only condition is that you blog about this experience. They promise it will be priceless.

And maybe, just maybe, you might know the meaning of “mimesis”, “pathos” and “upstaged”, and find out the difference between “stage left” and “stage right”.

I will also be there, so if you wanna approach me to personally demand an apology about any of my previous posts… gudlak sa ‘yo. But I can explain what “mimesis”, “pathos”, “upstaged”, “stage left” and “stage right” mean.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Drum Solo

I knew that Phil Collins song is commercial-ready, but I never imagined it would be used like this.

You’re, Like, Sooo Serious!

Lighten up!
(From Benefit Cosmetics, a San Francisco-based company. Check out their website, it’s sooo happy.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Early AM Text

Early this morning I got this SMS from H., a good friend of mine:
“In a few hours D. and I will be taking our first long travel together: a one-month vacation in the U.S. We’re also celebrating 9 years together on this trip (Oct. 27). As our closest friends, please pray that we have fun, be safe wherever we go, and for this trip to bring us even closer. We’ll miss you guys! See you when we get back!”

There’s almost a 13-year age difference between H. and D. The latter was in a previous long-time relationship when he met H. who was still a college student. They’ve endured despite periods of physical separation (D. worked for a while in Singapore). They’re an example of a long-time gay relationship that has resisted—as far as we can tell—to mutate into an open relationship. I doubt if both are saints, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear of an indiscretion here or there (to be fair, I’ve not heard of any). But I guess they’re lucky both of them prefer the comfort of the familiar.

So this is the SMS I sent:
“After 9 years I think you two are as close as you’ll allow yourselves to be. So I pray instead that you guys find more reasons—or more of the same—to stay together. Bon voyage!”

With matching smiley face.

I Cast A Spell

I received the following this morning.

* * * * *

Fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs?

Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt!


* * * * *

Notice that the first paragraph goes against what’s claimed in the second paragraph. The first and last letters are not in the right place. But I was able to read the first paragraph just the same. I call it the Text Twist Disorder. Maybe the members of the La Salle cheering squad have that too.


* * * * *

Now I’ll just wait for the online petition from the La Salle community, asking me for an apology because the joke above offended them.

OMG! OMG! OMG!

Remember the Chinese-Cambodian? The one I was flirting with online, the one with the Pinoy boyfriend in Cambodia? He was supposed to visit Manila around August but his trip didn’t push through. Now I find out that he’s arriving in Manila on Thursday. And he wants to meet on Friday.

Several months ago I would have not given it a second thought. But now I’m hesitating: do I continue to have a one-night stand with him? Or do I take the moral high ground?

Pause.

Hahaha! Moral high ground, my ass.

I asked him repeatedly if he’s fully aware of what he’s intending to do and each time he said yes. If their relationship is in trouble, that’s their problem. Besides, I’m over my touchy-feely feelings for him.

Monday, October 08, 2007

“Everyone's A Little Bit Racist”

(This is from the Tony-award winning musical Avenue Q. The characters: Princeton is a fresh college graduate, Kate Monster is a monster, Gary Coleman is a has-been actor of African-American descent, and Brian is a jobless Caucasian married to Christmas Eve, an overweight Korean woman. In this hilarious musical number, the cast talks—and sings—about racism. Take note that they’re smiling when they’re singing, just like in Sesame Street.)

Princeton: Say, Kate, can I ask you a question?
Kate Monster: Sure!
Princeton: Well, you know Trekkie Monster upstairs?
Kate Monster: Uh huh.
Princeton: Well, he's Trekkie Monster, and you're Kate Monster.
Kate Monster: Right.
Princeton: You're both Monsters.
Kate Monster: Yeah.
Princeton: Are you two related?
Kate Monster: What?! Princeton, I'm surprised at you! I find that racist!
Princeton: Oh, well, I'm sorry! I was just asking!
Kate Monster: Well, it's a touchy subject. No, not all Monsters are related. What are you trying say, huh? That we all look the same to you? Huh, huh, huh?!
Princeton: No, no, no, not at all. I'm sorry, I guess that was a little racist.
Kate Monster: I should say so. You should be much more careful when you're talking about the sensitive subject of race.
Princeton: Well, look who's talking!
Kate Monster: What do you mean?
Princeton: What about that special Monster School you told me about?
Kate Monster: What about it?
Princeton: Could someone like me go there?
Kate Monster: No, we don't want people like you—
Princeton: You see?! You're a little bit racist.
Kate Monster: Well, you're a little bit too.
Princeton: I guess we're both a little bit racist.
Kate Monster: Admitting it is not an easy thing to do...
Princeton: But I guess it's true.
Kate Monster: Between me and you, I think

Both:
Everyone's a little bit racist
sometimes.
Doesn't mean we go
around committing hate crimes.
Look around and you will find
no one's really color blind.
Maybe it's a fact
we all should face.
Everyone makes judgments
based on race.

Princeton: Now not big judgments, like who to hire or who to buy a newspaper from—
Kate Monster: No!
Princeton: No, just little judgments like thinking that Mexican busboys should learn to speak goddamn English!
Kate Monster: Right!

Both:
Everyone's a little bit racist
today.
So, everyone's a little bit racist—
okay!
Ethinic jokes might be uncouth,
but you laugh because
they're based on truth.
Don't take them as
personal attacks.
Everyone enjoys them—
so relax!

Princeton: All right, stop me if you've heard this one.
Kate Monster: Okay!
Princeton: There's a plane going down and there's only one parachute. And there's a rabbi, a priest...
Kate Monster: And a black guy!

Gary Coleman: Whatchoo talkin' 'bout Kate?
Kate Monster: Uh...
Gary Coleman: You were telling a black joke!
Princeton: Well, sure, Gary, but lots of people tell black jokes.
Gary Coleman: I don't.
Princeton: Well, of course you don't—you're black! But I bet you tell Polack jokes, right?
Gary Coleman: Well, sure I do. Those stupid Polacks!
Princeton: Now, don't you think that's a little racist?
Gary Coleman: Well, damn, I guess you're right.
Kate Monster: You're a little bit racist.
Gary Coleman: Well, you're a little bit too.
Princeton: We're all a little bit racist.

Gary Coleman:
I think that I would
have to agree with you.

Princeton/Kate Monster:
We're glad you do.

Gary Coleman:
It's sad but true!
Everyone's a little bit racist—all right!

Kate Monster: All right!

Princeton: All right!

Gary Coleman: All right!
Bigotry has never been
exclusively white.

All:
If we all could just admit
that we are racist a little bit,
even though we all know
that it's wrong,
maybe it would help us
get along.

Princeton: Oh, Christ do I feel good.
Gary Coleman: Now there was a fine upstanding black man!
Princeton: Who?
Gary Coleman: Jesus Christ.
Kate Monster: But, Gary, Jesus was white.
Gary Coleman: No, Jesus was black.
Kate Monster: No, Jesus was white.
Gary Coleman: No, I'm pretty sure that Jesus was black—
Princeton: Guys, guys... Jesus was Jewish! Hahaha!
Brian: Hey guys, what are you laughing about?
Gary Coleman: Racism!
Brian: Cool.
Christmas Eve: BRIAN! Come back here! You take out lecycuraburs!
Princeton: What's that mean?
Brian: Um, recyclables. Hey, don't laugh at her! How many languages do you speak?
Kate Monster: Oh, come off it, Brian! Everyone's a little bit racist.
Brian: I'm not!
Princeton: Oh no?
Brian: Nope! How many Oriental wives have you got?
Christmas Eve: What?! Brian!
Princeton: Brian, buddy, where you been? The term is Asian-American!

Christmas Eve:
I know you are
no intending to be.
But calling me Oriental—
offensive to me!

Brian: I'm sorry, honey, I love you.
Christmas Eve: And I love you.
Brian: But you're racist, too.

Christmas Eve:
Yes, I know.
The Jews have all
the money.
And the whites have all
the power.
And I'm always in taxicab
with driver who no shower!

Princeton: Me too!
Kate Monster: Me too!
Gary Coleman: I can't even get a taxi!

All:
Everyone's a little bit racist—
it's true.
But everyone is just about
as racist as you!
If we all could just admit
that we are racist a little bit,
and everyone stopped being
so PC.
Maybe we could live in—
harmony!

Christmas Eve: Evlyone's a ritter bit lacist!