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)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Torch Song On Keyboard

Thanks to XanderKhan! who tweeted this song, sung by Amanda Palmer. The words are by… drumroll, please… Neil Gaiman. This is a great torch song, updated for the Internet age.

“I Google You”
Music by Amanda Palmer
Words by Neil Gaiman

I Google you,
late at night when I don’t know what to do.
I find photos
you’ve forgotten
you were in,
put up by your friends.

I Google you,
when the day is done and everything is through.
I read your journal
that you kept
that month in France.
I’ve watched you dance.

And I’m pleased your name is practically unique.
It’s only you and
a would-be PhD in Chesapeake
who writes papers on
the structure of the sun;
I’ve read each one.

I know that I
should let you fade.
But there’s that box,
and there’s your name—
somehow it never makes the pain
grow less or fade or disappear.
I think that I should save my soul and
I should crawl back in my hole.
But it’s too easy just to fold
and type your name again,
I fear.

I Google you,
whenever I’m alone and feeling blue.
And each scrap of information
that I gather
says you’ve got somebody new.
And it really shouldn’t matter,
ought to blow up my computer,
but instead…
I Google you.

(And for those who cannot view YouTube in their offices, here's hoping you can watch the video below.)

I Can Help You…

…let go.

It’s simple, really. I can block you on Twitter, take you out of Facebook, Friendster and all other social network sites we’re in, ignore or delete you in YM, and if necessary, delete your number on my phone.

But if I do that, it wouldn’t be letting go for you. That would be me pushing you away. And you might end up blaming me for making you feel bad.

No, letting go entails action from you.

Unfollow me on Twitter.
Take me off all your social network sites.
Ignore me on YM.
And if necessary, delete my number on your phone directory.

Take control of your life. Don’t let me be the one leading yours.

Then again, it is your decision. In the end, you choose for yourself.

* * * * *

(For the record: This episode of The McVie Show is not addressed to Kent. However, I got the germ of the idea from one of our text conversations in the past. So there. Now you can stop asking.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ready, Aim, Shoot

I’m your biggest fan
I’ll follow you until you love me
Papa, paparazzi
Baby there’s no other superstar
You know that I’ll be your
Papa, paparazzi

Promise I’ll be kind,
But I won’t stop until that boy is mine
Baby you’ll be famous
Chase you down until you love me
Papa, paparazzi

– Lady Gaga, “Paparazzi”

Obsession is quite a powerful force. One’s sights are telephotoed into a singular object. But obsession, which is desire magnified, makes one blind to the bigger picture. And it does not take into consideration the feelings of the subject. The subject is objectified into a prized image, valued not for who they are but for what they mean to the ones aiming their sights at them. Perhaps it is when the subject is viewed not just through one-sided, rose-colored lenses can a fuller picture of him emerge. Seen from all angles, the subject is not merely an image but a whole person, an individual imperfect with his human foibles and frailty as well as his strengths.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Call Or Text Me, Quick (The Remix)!

Because if you do, I will dance to this:

Tim In Wonderland

Why does “Alice In Wonderland” look like this?

Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter

Helena Bonham Carter as the Queen of Hearts

Anne Hathaway as the White Queen

Two words: Tim Burton. ‘nuff said.

Expect it to drop in March 2010. (pics from E! Online, courtesy of Disney)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Call Or Text Me, Quick!

Because if you do, I’ll hear this:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An Out-Of-This-World Exchange

I recently received a message from someone na itago na lang natin sa codename na Not A Grandmaster, or NAG for short, on Planet Romeo aka The Site Formerly Known As G4M, or TSFKAG4M for short. The following is our exchange of messages:

NAG 18:14
hi there sexy! wanna SEB with you Papa, hehehe.

mcvie 12:40
Well, you’re sexy too. =)

NAG 12:46
hehe.. u got place?

mcvie 12:49
Unfortunately no. Do you have a place?

NAG 12:50
la rin... steal mate... hehehe

mcvie 12:52
“Steal mate”? What do you mean by that? =)

NAG 12:53
sa chess db pag pareho wla magawa stealmate?.. tama ba tol? or hehehe

mcvie 12:56
Ah, stalemate. =)

NAG 12:59
ooppss hehehe rong mistake

And that’s when the exchange got stale. I thought of replying, “Steal mate? You mean like a partner-in-crime?” but that might just fly way past him.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all papas!

Museum After-Musings

We took a guided tour of the National Museum—actually museums, since they occupy two buildings (they own a third one, but they’re renting it out)—on a Saturday morning. We started off on the Museum of the Filipino People, which was formerly the Finance Building. It is also the venue of two television commercials we shot, so I was quite familiar with the exhibits inside since we had a chance to tour the place before. But the difference was that we had Mr. John Silva, the Museum’s senior consultant, to take us around and explain things.

Museum appreciation is, I’m beginning to realize, a discipline onto itself. One must have an innate curiosity of wanting to know, and seeing artifacts of the past and trying to contextualize them allows one to get a glimpse of what was. One point that Mr. Silva kept reiterating is how museums should “contextualize” their artifacts on display; meaning, they should give the viewers the context surrounding the artifact, so that the pieces aren’t viewed in limbo and become “objectified” or taken out of context.

Even paintings should be contextualized. We moved over to the other building, which contained the National Art Gallery. Here the main attraction is, of course, Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, a massive masterpiece dominating the main hall of the Gallery. Mr. Silva took the time to tell a 10-minute backgrounder of the painting, including how it played a big part in Jose Rizal’s journey to becoming the Philippines’ national hero. Thanks to my art teachers in grade school, as well as my high school social studies teachers and my Phil. history college professor, most of the stuff he mentioned I already knew. But to have the bits and pieces of information on history and art woven and blended into a tapestry right in front of the massive painting, which was at the center of it all, is quite an overwhelming experience. (Actually it’s very easy to be overwhelmed: the sheer size of the painting, with its dark, tragic subject, easily dwarfs the viewers and one can’t help but feel meek and small in front of such magnitude of skill and scale.)

Mr. Silva said that one of the museum’s objectives is to allow Filipinos to get to know who we were as a people before, so that we have a better appreciation and sense of nationhood. Ganito tayo noon, paano tayo ngayon? But that begged in me the question: So we understand our past and we get an idea of what we went through; so what now? Knowing and understanding is one thing; being proud of who we are as a people is another. How does knowing and understanding our past make us proud of ourselves when we see our present, still divided, still struggling, still at each other’s throats? He recounted an incident wherein the senators who help fund the museum insisted that the exhibits should equally represent the different provinces, to which he violently opposed. And I think that’s one major stumbling block to our growth as a nation; the fact that we are physically divided (1,700 islands gives us a diversity of dialects, local culture and cuisine!) made it easy for the colonists to divide-and-conquer us; years and years of pitting fellow Filipinos against one another have made it difficult for us to consider ourselves as one people. Yes, we know we are under one flag, singing one national anthem. But we still have vestiges of “wala akong paki sa di ko pami” values on a provincial and national level. I feel that on a simple level, it is easier for an individual to grasp the notion of “pride in one’s province” versus the larger “pride in our country.”

And that’s why I am more inclined to travel around the Philippines first before traveling all over the US or Europe. I love watching that local travel channel on cable that focuses on showing the beauty of the different provinces of the Philippines. I hope there will be more local museums (affiliated with the National Museum, if possible) that are accessible to the general public, because we need to appreciate ourselves then and now. And my hope is that the more these programs and museums show us how connected we are as a people, the more we get a sense of an identity as a country, the more we can be proud of ourselves as a nation.

Maybe our future lies in embracing this diversity. But instead of using it to divide us, make it our strength as a people. We need to feel proud of ourselves as one nation, one country.

Some more photos:

Currently on exhibit, one of the several paintings by Julian Schnabel, apparently a painter as well as a movie director (he directed “The Diving Bell And The Butterfly” and “Before Night Falls”).

The top of the beautiful, winding staircase at the National Art Gallery.

The staircase is a beautiful example of the architecture of its time. But look what I found underneath it…

…a Playstation control pad! Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Commercial Muna: From THE Gibbs Cadiz

For this year’s Virgin Labfest, Gibbs is again having a contest. Watch plays, blog about them, get a chance to win prizes! Click here for the first post, and an updated post here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

“The Best-Laid Plans Of Mice And Men…”

“…go oft awry.”

And that’s when we get this:

Leche plan! Aray! Awry indeed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Gray Area

People like to see things in black and white. After all, it is easier when you only have two to choose from.

But there are spaces between black and white, that gray landscape where it’s neither here nor there, right nor wrong, drunk nor sober, male nor female, love nor hate, all-mind nor all-heart. I like this gray area. It’s a special place, a much more colorful place than its name. That’s why I prefer to call it “in-between.”

Extremes are for the simple-minded. To navigate the complex in-betweens, one needs smarts. But a genius is one who can simplify the in-betweens while keeping and embracing their complexities.

They say that white is the presence of all colors, while black is the absence of color. Gray is the inclusion of, ironically if you think about it, all and no colors. That it can hold two opposing thoughts at the same time makes gray all-powerful.

Unfortunately, it’s dull as a fashion palette. Well, one can’t have everything.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Watch This, Part 2!

More romance from YouTube, this time courtesy of one of my favorites, Nigahiga:

“Ching Ching!” Bwhahahahaha!

Because Things Happen

Because no one in her family could drive and she didn’t want to bring a driver for the weekend, my friend Leigh invited me to join them for their family weekend getaway (along with her son—my inaanak—and his yaya, her sister, her mom and her uncle). Because we planned a leisurely road trip on Saturday morning, I ignored the lightheaded feeling I got when I went to the car. Because the dizzy attack intensified when we got to Puypuy (which is just past UPLB), I pulled over the side of the road and told everyone what was happening. Because Leigh’s sister is a doctor, she hopped on a tricycle to go to the nearest botika to get medicine. Because the best remedy for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is to sleep it off, I drove the car—despite the dizziness—a few more meters and pulled into the nearest resort in the area, The Forest Club (TFC). Because TFC happened to be owned by the Mercado family whose late patriarch used to be Leigh’s and my boss, the TFC staff graciously got a room for me to sleep in.

Now it so happened that the room they put me in was in front of the main reception where a bust of the late Mr. Mercado is prominently on display. While I was fast asleep, Leigh and her family went about exploring the grounds at TFC.

After an hour and a half of sleep, I woke up to the sound of shuffling feet behind me. I was lying on my side facing the wall; whoever was in the room passed right behind me and moved to the farther end of the room. I had an instant panic attack: was it the spirit of Mr. Mercado checking up on his unexpected guest? I turned around quickly and saw that it was Leigh who was in the room. Happily, my sudden head turn didn’t cause the world to spin, a good indication that my vertigo’s all gone.

“Leigh?” I called out.

She turned around and asked, “How are you na?”

I sat up. “Better,” I said. “We can go now.”

She sat on the opposite bed and said, “Guess what? I chatted with Mr. Mercado.”

For a second I thought Mr. Mercado had indeed returned to the room. Leigh noticed the look on my face and laughed. “No, silly. I was talking to his bust,” she giggled.

Then she turned serious. “You know,” she continued, “in all of the major points in my professional life, Mr. Mercado was always there to guide me and advice me. I think he wanted me to tell him about the major change that’s happened in my life now.”

I thought for a bit and said, “The last time we were here was years ago. And you know, the vertigo really got worse when we got to Puypuy.” I paused and continued, “I think Mr. Mercado didn’t want us to pass his place without stopping to say hi.”

“Yeah,” Leigh nodded.

“Did he say anything?” I asked.

Leigh smiled. “No.”

As we both smiled and fell silent, the peace and tranquility of the place surrounded us. And in that safe haven, I could hear Mr. Mercado loud and clear.

Because, for all we know, things just happen randomly, so we put meaning into them.

Watch This!

Many people think I abhor Love and Romance.

Well, McVie presents a short film about a man from Fukuoka and a woman from Tokyo, who tried to prove their love by running to meet one another.

Whether Love, Romance or Sex, it pays to play safe.

P.S. – Thanks to Cynthia Dayco (@cyndayco on Twitter) for the heads-up.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I’ve Half A Mind To…

It’s almost halfway through June, which is the halfway month of the year. Half of the time I said hello to new acquaintances, and half the time I said goodbye to others. The older I get, the more I realize that people can just come and go in your life. Even you come and go, as far as other people are concerned.

Letting go is not really learned but a grace to be received, if one should be so lucky.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Toast To Tipsy

“Kent wants to see Joel drunk. Hehehe.”

I was tipsy last night, thanks to champagne. Two of my officemates and I decided to drink after office hours at Barcino, and we finished two bottles. When Kent texted me, I mentioned to him my slight inebriation. He was curious to know how I act when I’m drunk. I said that I’ve not been drunk for quite some time.

I remember my college days. Every party was an excuse for people to get drunk. I never really liked the taste of beer, but I eventually learned to like it so that I could drink with my friends. Thanks to my initial dislike of the taste, I never really got drunk on beer alone—I couldn’t drink enough to tip me over.

The first time I got piss-drunk was also the first time I threw up—and it wasn’t thanks to beer alone. There was one Saturday when we were supposed to work on the set of the production we were mounting for our college theater group. A few of us students were already close to the janitors assigned to the building, so when we requested them to not mention to the admin that we were going to spend the night in the theater (we knew we’d finish way past midnight and didn’t want the hassle of going home at that ungodly hour), they agreed to turn a blind eye. We ended up partying afterwards with a case of beer and marijuana. While that wasn’t the first time I smoked weed, it was the first time that I drank a lot too. The unexpected combination of drug and alcohol shocked my virgin system, and soon I was reeling. I made the mistake of lying down. A few minutes later, I was hugging the toilet bowl as I threw up my innards.

I got drunk on red wine too. It was in Bed, and someone bought me two glasses just to get me drunk so he could invite me to his place. When I finally agreed to join him, he pulled a fast one on me and said someone else was joining us for a threesome. I was so drunk that I just agreed. But when we got to his place, I found myself staggering. And instead of heading for the bedroom, I rushed to the bathroom instead. Needless to say, no threesome happened that night. He ended up making coffee for me and letting me rest for a few minutes before kicking me out of his place.

And I vowed never to be throw-up-drunk ever again.

More than the painful feeling of acid gushing out of my throat, or the nauseating discomfort of vertigo, what I hate the most when I’m drunk is the loss of control and reason—two things I value the most. I’m not really a control freak; in fact, I embrace the fact that we don’t have complete control over Life. But precisely because of that, I prefer to be fully responsible for the few things that I do have control over—and that includes the amount of alcohol I consume. (Besides, I still have to drive myself home, you know.) And if there’s another pet peeve I have, it’s inebriated people who become unreasonable and uncontrollable in their words and actions.

But lest you think I’m a McPrude, hold your horses! Often I’m one of the first to open that bottle of wine at a party. I don’t like drunk, but I like tipsy. I like that special space between sober and drunk, where lips are loose and inhibitions are down, where people are more open to having fun but still have their wits about. It’s treading a tricky line, and that’s part of the fun.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

McPrescription For The Day

Oral re-hydration is the generic name of blowjob. If symptoms persist, repeat if necessary.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Pedong Kalas!

I get to the office very early and I see new green and gray wooden cabinets installed on our desks. I thought, great, we can use those.

But then I noticed them:

They’re little green Buddhas! Our interior designer actually incorporated them into her design.

But what’s up with them? We’re not a Chinese-owned company. Someone said because none of us are Buddhists, the statues look cute to us. It would be different if we went to work and found little Jesus statues on our desks. I mean, let’s face it. In a battle for cuteness, Buddha wins hands-down. Fat wins over wounded and crucified all the time.

And since we have Buddha in different poses, I guess our office can use a reclining Buddha as well:

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Be Good To Yourself

I like to think that I’m a fairly patient and understanding person, but if there’s one thing that still gets my goat, it’s people who fish for compliments so that they can feel better. At first it’s not that bothersome, because let’s face it, we all have our insecurities. And though they say that our self-esteem should be determined by us and not by what others say, the reality is that what others think of us also matters a lot. But the “I-am-telling-you-how-woeful-I-am-because-even-though-I’m-not-saying-it-out-loud-it-would-really-really-make–me-feel-better-if-you-assure-me-I’m-not-that-woeful” attitude is especially more annoying if I’ve already pinpointed that out to them and they still insist on foisting it on to me.

In the end, what others (particularly the people we deem important) think of us does matter, but the weightier one is what you think of yourself. And while you do need other people to make you feel good about yourself, people won’t give that to you if they sense that you don’t feel good about yourself. If you feel good about yourself, others will respond to that in kind.

And since the band Journey is making a comeback (thanks in part to The Sopranos, Glee and Arnel Pineda), here is a part of their song whose title is also the title of this episode:

“Lookin’ back with no regrets,
To forgive is to forget,
I want a little piece of mind to turn to.
Be good to yourself when nobody else will—
Oh, be good to yourself!
You're walkin’ a highwire, caught in a crossfire—
Oh, be good to yourself!”

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Place Where Nobody Dared To Go

For the longest time I’ve resisted looking for a place of my own, even just a rented space. I’ve enjoyed free lodging, electricity, water, and laundry service for the longest time so it was most logical for me to stay at home. Nor did I feel the need for a fuck-place, a hada-room where I can bring in boys, boys and more boys.

But now I’m beginning to feel the stirrings of having a place to myself. And it’s not because I want privacy—I do have my own room at home, and although I cannot take home pick-ups and SEBs, I can pretty much do whatever I want sans loud moaning, panting and shouting of, “Who’s your daddy?! Who’s your daddy?!

What’s pushing me to get a place of my own is the thought that I want to be able to take care of myself without the fallback support that I get at home. I want to really take care of myself. I’m sure that by doing so, I will learn new things about myself, things that will only surface when I take myself away from my comfort zone.

So mow I’m looking, and I would like to ask my viewers for help. Anyone knows of a studio-type for rent, preferably somewhere near the Fort area? But I can also go as “far” as somewhere in Pasig near C-5, or in Ortigas.

Help, please?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

What’s With The Number 9?

Suddenly there’s a spate of movies with that particular number as their title (whether as a word or a number) or part of their title. And they’re all showing in 2009. Hmmm!

If this looks and feels so Tim Burton, it’s because he produced it. Featuring the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Crispin Glover and Martin Landau.

This is the most star-studded of the nines, and probably the most musically and visually dazzling. Directed by Rob Marshall, featuring a cast that includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Fergie (yes, of Black Eyed Peas!) and Sophia Loren.

District Nine
I find the premise of this Peter Jackson-produced movie most fascinating. In the official version of the trailer, the alien’s face is pixelized and there are no subtitles, making the trailer even more intriguing.

Which of the nines are you most looking forward to watch?

Unsettled Down

Butterflies on our office walls.

* * * * *

I like Socrates. I actually like a lot of the quotes attributed to him.

One of his quotes that I’ve taken to heart is: “An unexamined life is not worth living.” I always believed that what separates us from animals is our intellect. And that is why I like dissecting things, in an attempt to understand. Because the more one understands, the more one is prone to be more forgiving.

But my quest for knowledge is always tempered by his other quote: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Indeed, the older I get, the more I realize just how ironically true this is. The more I know, the more I realize that there’s more that I don’t know.

But I guess my current favorite is this: “My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not you’ll become a philosopher.” I think I think too much, which is why I think I’m not meant for marriage, hahaha. At the back of my mind there’s a nagging thought that there’s more to life than finding a partner. Settling down and contentment is for most everyone; I’m afraid I’m cursed to walk the more difficult path of dissatisfaction and questioning.

* * * * *

(It’s amazing how the mind can configure things to suit one’s needs. And it’s amazing what a change in one’s environment can do to one’s daily musings.)

Monday, June 01, 2009

Dig Our New Digs

The whole day today we did nothing but move in and move around (reassignments meant changing the previously agreed seating arrangements). I’m not really one to hold on possessively to things, especially to seating arrangements, so moving around was no big deal for me; but too bad for the others who grumbled a bit. Hey, we’ve only been here for a few hours, peeps. Lighten up.

I’ve Twitpic’ed the following, but for those who do not follow me on Twitter, here are some of the sights from our new home.

The reception area.

Our still unfinished (and non-operational) pantry.

The accounts area before people piled in. The circular designs on the top shelves are, well, just designs.

And people moving in and unpacking. The guy in the white t-shirt is the cutest of the movers.

And now people have unpacked.

The creatives area before the unpacking...

...and during the frenzy that followed.

Our view from the window nearest my desk. Now when I have overtime work, I can look out and spot if Tim Yap is about to enter Embassy.

Change is good.

P.S. First day can get really boring: