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)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Because Many Endings Are Happening Right Now

Most romantics bristle whenever I say that I don’t believe in a love that lasts forever. In fact, even the Catholic Church doesn’t; marriage vows are covered only until “death do us part.”

Everything comes to an end. Even the universe has an end date. God Himself deemed us unworthy of immortality as human beings. (As for the promise of eternal life after Judgment Day, I’ll leave it to the theologists to discuss.)

I think their resistance comes from their fervent wish for a good thing—like love—to never end. But what’s good about endings is that even bad things come to an end. And we appreciate the good things even more when contrasted with the bad.

So let us celebrate the fleeting, the temporary and the finite; after all, we are all of that. Let us embrace the gift of the Now. And let us appreciate the love we get, temporary as they all are, for they are what makes life—fleeting, though it may—worth living.

As for the hopeless romantics who have loved ones right now, abandon all hope that your love will last forever! Instead, be happy for the relationship you have now, that will end eventually. (And even if you say that your feelings will continue long after the relationship ends, all I can say is, those feelings will end the moment you die.)

And learn to appreciate the power of goodbye, of letting go.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Summer Lovin’

(WARNING! Spoiler alert.)

I pity the fools who thought 500 Days Of Summer as a feel-good romantic comedy that screams, “date movie!” It’s not.

500 is a clever anti-date movie disguised as a date movie. Well, actually it isn’t disguised, really. In fact, even its marketing and trailer insist it’s not. The trailer says, “You should know upfront that this is not a love story.” The billboard says: “Boy meets girl. Boy falls for girl. Girl does not.” Yet people like to dismiss those details.

Romantic Tom believes in Fate, Destiny and meeting the One. Flighty Summer doesn’t even believe in Love. But the two meet cute over The Smiths, and in the course of 500 days their relationship burns brightly then flames out.

The movie posits that people who think falling in love is “fate” or “Destiny” were brainwashed by romantic Hollywood movies. Then it plays around with the fact that it is a movie about a romance: it employs a narrative voice-over; it zips back and forth in time; and there’s this hilarious musical number featuring Daryl Hall & John Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” and an animated bird.

The opening narration mentions how Tom developed a belief in the One due to “early exposure to sad British pop music and a total mis-reading of the movie 'The Graduate'.” Later on Tom and Summer watch the movie, and the iconic end shot reduces Summer to tears. She got it.
(The iconic last shot from "The Graduate")

In one brilliantly subversive and hilarious sequence, the screen splits in two, showing the difference between expectations versus reality. There it seems like one is watching two movies at the same time, one by feel-good Hollywood and the other by an angst-filled independent filmmaker.

But what I found equally subversive about it is this: the movie actually sides with both points of view. In the end, there is a surprising reversal of roles that still felt real and true. And while some may call certain events as mere coincidence, others will insist in calling them fate or destiny.

Summer tells Tom, “You weren't wrong, Tom. You were just wrong about me.” In the end, it really depends on one’s point of view. Coincidence or fate?

Tom’s younger-in-years but older-in-thinking sister Rachel tells him: “Tom, I know you think she was the one, but I don't. Next time you look back, I think you should look again.” The last shot of the movie shows Tom looking straight at the theater audience.

Definitely, 500 Days Of Summer is a movie worth watching again and again, like, 500 times.

The Villa Fabcast, Part Two

Okay, part one was sooo last season, hehehe. Sorry folks.

Anyway, here’s part two. Corporate Closet couldn’t join us in the afternoon; CC lives up to his title of French Exit Queen. So you don’t hear his voice here.

Music credit: “Boys & Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys. (Remember, I used the Blur original in part one. There is method to my music choices, folks.)

Here, enjoy!

Listen: (34 mins 49 sec)
Download this fabcast (right click and save - 33.4 MB)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Whopper Whooper

“Whopper Junior meal, please. Regular fries and drinks only. I’ll have a Coke Zero.” I gave my order to the woman at the counter and fished out a card from my wallet. Months ago Eugene gave me The BK Circle discount card. Though I rarely eat at Burger King, I always use that card whenever I do.

The woman behind the counter gave me a puzzled look. “Sir, is this a discount card?” she waved the card at me.

“Yes,” I replied.

“Ah sir,” she began, like she was unsure of what to do but was just making it up as she went along, “I’m sorry… but we don’t accept discount cards for promo items.”

Now it was my turn to be puzzled. But I was not in the mood to demand for my rights as a consumer; I just wanted a burger. So I just said, “Okay. Sure, no problem.” She returned the card to me and proceeded to punch in my order.

That’s when I glanced down at the card I gave her, and freaked out. It was my Club Bath membership card I handed to her, not the BK discount card. No wonder she didn’t know what to do with the card.

Memo to me: if I want a Whopper, I should use the BK Card; if I want a different kind of whopper, then the CB card should come in handy. And ferchrissakes, keep those cards in different compartments of my wallet!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Wake

Gibbs, Ronan and I visited the wake of Danton Remoto’s father last night. The wake was at the St. Ignatius chapel inside Camp Aguinaldo.

Now here’s something we ought to know about the Philippine military; because it is woefully lacking in funds, the people have learned to just share and share with one another their meager resources. (Ironic that the institution tasked with wiping out communist insurgents are the ones exercising a communal existence. But I digress.)

To wit: Danton’s dad is sharing a room with another military corpse. Two coffins, two groups of monoblock chairs facing them, two tables full of pica-pica, coffee and tetra-packed juice drinks at the back. And of course there were two sets of mourners.

On the Remoto side, Danton’s guests included friends and colleagues of the rainbow kind. I saw gays and lesbians of varying persuasions and get-up, from the subtle to the obvious. On the other side there was one yuppie-looking guy who kept looking at Ronan. We teased him and goaded him to introduce himself to the guy, but he declined.

“Why?” we asked.

“It would be so cheesy if friends ask you, ‘Where did you two meet?’” he said, “and your answer is, ‘At a wake!’”

“Ah,” Gibbs and I nodded.

But then this hunk of a guy wearing a green “Incredible Hulk” t-shirt walked into the room and went straight to the other wake.

“Puwede na,” Gibbs whispered under his breath.

“Naman,” I seconded.

Danton approached us. After the initial chit-chat, we eventually asked out of curiosity who the other person lying in state was. Gibbs had noticed earlier that one of the flowers displayed came from the Phil. Sports Commission.

“Oh!” Danton said in his trademark half-whisper, half-excited delivery. “He’s the chairman of the Philippine Bodybuilding Team!”


And Danton happily recounted how on the first night, his side of the room was full of fairies and trannies while the other side was full of bulky hunks.

Damn! We missed not a wake, but a soiree. I swear, the set-up is perfect for a one-act play—someone call Chris Martinez, asap!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seasons Change

Because nine is the last one before the numbers go double-digits. Because I now have a new job. Because I’ve moved from Marikina to Makati. Because I feel like it, and because I can.

Here’s to new adventures of old McVie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Channel Advisory

Okay, I might as well make it official: I’m also on blog hiatus.

Well, it’s been almost a week since my last episode, so sorry for the delayed notice. The McVie Show and its cast of one are undergoing program changes, like change of set, revision of scripts, change in direction, etc. Change is good, but change can also be a bitch on one’s timetable.

I rarely do this, so please. In the immortal words of some Anonymous Bloke, “Cut me some slacks!”

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Villa Fabcast, Part One

In which the Fabcasters, in the presence of a studio audience, interview two gay guys who also play for the “other team.”

LISTEN - this is PART 1 (23 mins 35 sec):
Download this fabcast (right click and save - 21.6 MB)

Music credits: “Mahirap Talaga Magmahal Ng Syota Ng Iba” by the APO Hiking Society; “Another Girl” by The Beatles, and “Girls & Boys” by Blur.

The Power Of Fun

Sorry I’ve been busy these past few days; new episodes still percolating in my mind. Meanwhile, here’s something I wish we can have more of: fun.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Speaking Of Signs

Astrology site: “You can distance yourself from your emotions.” (Okay, so I find daily Tweetscope posting irritating, but it doesn’t mean I don’t check on my readings from time to time.) So when I read that two days ago I thought, “Jeez, I don’t need the stars to tell me that. I’ve been doing that for years now.”

My iPod: This morning The Beatles Remastered was on shuffle, when suddenly the familiar strumming of a guitar followed by John’s plaintive voice came in. “Here I stand head in hand, turn my face to the wall. If she’s gone, I can’t go on—feeling two-foot small.” And suddenly old feelings came rushing back, knocking the wind off of me for a second. And I remembered all those times back in college when I had to suppress whatever feelings I had for my straight best friend whenever he’d excuse himself from my company because he was going to his girlfriend. “Everywhere people stare each and every day. I can see them laugh at me, and I hear them say….” I’d end up running to my friends, who of course had no idea of the storms rumbling inside my heart, and I’d laugh my head off while my heart was tossing and turning inside. “Hey you've got to hide your love away!”

Leigh: Several months ago we were discussing my leaving the agency. “You need to experience what it’s like to live on your own, away from your folks.” Maybe I do need to find myself away from my comfort zones.

My mom: “Let’s clean your room. There’s so much junk just lying around, we need to make it habitable.” True that. I find it hard to just throw stuff away, even the paper bags of stuff that I bought (unless it’s from SM, in which case that goes to our kitchen because my aunt recycles them for, oh, I have no idea what she uses them for). When our house was threatened by Ondoy’s floods, I asked my mom and brother to put the CDs and DVDs that were just piled on the floor to higher ground. I guess that’s when my mom realized I had so much real estate wasted inside my room.

Last night, an SMS out of the blue: “I’m looking for a housemate, 2BR furnished place, spacious and with balcony.” It was from a freelance broadcast producer whom I’ve worked with in one Creative Guild project, and she was looking for a housemate. The best part? There’s a maid and parking space.

Looks like 2010 is shaping up to be my year of detachment, and I just might have an early start.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I Saw The Sign

And it’s my duty to point out that there’s a difference between its and it’s, just as there’s a difference between Ninoy and Bayani. Only one’s a real bayani.

Monday, October 05, 2009

And To Think I Get Irritated By Tweetscope

Your True Love Is a Leo

Why you'll love a Leo:

A Leo has a presence and power that you find intoxicating.

Sensual and playful, you'll be thrilled to have your Leo pick you as a playmate!

Why a Leo will love you:

You're willing to let your Leo be the center of attention (both at home and in public)

And you're able to tiptoe around your lion - and put up with the occasional fit.

My Last TVC

This was my first and last project for the client Cebuana Lhuillier. And while I was creative director up until feasibility with the director, I left before they did the pre-prod with client. But I’m happy with the way the TVC turned out.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Model Interview Fabcast

Wherein the Fabcasters try to get Allan, a bikini open veteran, to open up about the behind-the-scenes of such world.

Listen: (26 mins 46 sec)

Download this Fabcast (right click and save - 24.6 MB)

Music credits: “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred and “The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Random Thoughts Of A Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

Nobody paid much attention to Typhoon Ondoy. In fact, it was pooh-poohed as a minor typhoon. Nobody prepared for it. Look at the havoc it wreaked.

Parma was touted as a super typhoon, class 5. People panicked, closed shops and offices earlier than usual. Traffic going out of Makati and along EDSA slowed to a trickle. Groceries and supermarkets ran out of stocks. Everyone hunkered down for the worst. And look at how it steered clear of Manila.

If people keep noticing each and every typhoon coming our way, maybe they’ll get really conscious and swerve to avoid us.

* * * * *

Where have all the janitor fish gone? A couple of years ago they were subject to a short-lived media scrutiny because those fish weren’t endemic to the Marikina River, yet they managed to overrun the place. Vicious and aggressive, the janitor fish managed to multiply faster and kill off other kinds of fish in the area. They taste awful, so they’ve evaded being fished and dished.

The floodwaters of Ondoy surely must have washed them all downstream, but to where? Are they now in Pasig? Or are they swimming in the Manila Bay? If so, will they end up killing other fishes in the area? Er, what other fishes?

* * * * *

It’s time I steer clear of people who are vexations to my spirit.

* * * * *

Dear Tweeple I follow on Twitter: Honestly guys, I really don’t care what your horoscope says.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Brace Ourselves

Super-dooper bonggang bonggang super bongga typhoon Pepeng is expected to hit Manila hardest at around 9pm tonight, Friday, October 2, 2009.

In Marikina there are mountains of garbage, debris and mud outside people’s houses, along the streets and beside canals. The sludge will immediately clog these waterways, so flooding will be a lot faster. That, plus Pepeng is packing winds of more than 200 kph.

Another weekend down the oh-so-clogged drain.