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, September 25, 2013


I feel numb.

Specifically, my lower left quadrant of my mouth is numb. That includes the left side of my lower lip and the left side of my tongue. It feels like that part of my mouth is swollen, but when I look in the mirror, everything is as they are.

I had a root canal back in the early 2000s. Early this year the cap came off, but I had it placed back on. Two weeks ago, it fell again, this time with a portion of the remaining tooth. During the two weeks that the space between teeth was cap-less, the gums moved into the place where the chipped part used to be. To replace the cap this time, the dentist had to cauterize part of the gum; thus, the need to inject local anesthesia.

The dentist was a fairly young woman; she looked like she was still in her 20s. I didn’t like it, but she was the one assigned to me. I asked her a lot of questions, and gauged her manner of answering them. She was fairly confident with her answers, and was able to explain thoroughly my “Why?” questions.

And she liked to err on the cautious side. “This will hurt,” she said. “Like how much?” I asked. “Like a small insect bite,” she replied, before putting the x-ray sheet inside my mouth. Afterwards I told her, “It’s not painful, just uncomfortable.”

I guess that’s why she didn’t bother to whisper or use a code when she told her assistant, “Get me the LONG needle.” And she held the injection where I can see it. Omigod, it is a long needle!

She injected me four times. Thankfully over the years I’ve learned how to take injections in stride. They weren’t painful at all.

But now I’m numb.

When I got back to the office, I told my boss how silly I felt, speaking with a quarter of my mouth sedated. She pointed to my mouth and said, “That’s painful.”

I though she was referring to the procedure. “Not when there’s anesthesia,” I said.

“Oh wait ‘til it wears off,” she warned, laughing.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What’s In A Name?

Graham Norton is a favorite British host/comedian of mine. His talk show, like most, depends on the quality of his guests. This particular episode, he had with him three of my favorite actors—two from Star Trek: Into Darkness, and one from Sex And The City. I particularly loved this exchange from the English host, the American, the British-Canadian, and the Englishman.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Monday, September 09, 2013

Dearest AJ

Happy birthday, AJ! Yesterday we the Fabcasters converged to remember you on the date that you sashayed away from mortal pain. Today we celebrate your fierce attitude and your joie de vivre. We your friends cherish life, love, and laughter because of your inimitable example.

Friday, September 06, 2013


I love Neil Gaiman’s writing. I wish more of his works would be made into movies, except that his imagination is so vast, producers and directors will have a hard time containing the budget, hahaha. (It is a realistic concern, really.)

But I love how he writes dialogue. They’re usually sparse, but occasionally one of his characters goes off into a kilometric monologue. And when he does, sometimes I am reminded of the kind of lines that Aaron Sorkin does, but with less pop culture references—and delivered much more slowly.

Here is one of my favorite monologues from Neil. I hope I can actually perform this one day, except that I’d be too terrified to do it. Which probably means I should.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

In Memoriam: Mila Mercado

If I remember correctly, Mila was one of my first account executives (AE) in Basic Advertising. She was pretty, with small facial features and a striking posture, thanks to years of ballet training and dancing. She gave that up and went into the mad world of advertising.

There she caught Wawel Mercado’s eye. He was one of the COOs of Basic. As Child Of Owner, he could have been brazen with courting her. But instead they kept it low-key.

They got married, Mila got pregnant. A few minutes after giving birth to a health baby girl, Mila fell into a coma. She eventually came out of it, but the damage was severe—it’s as if her mind was disengaged from her body. She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t speak. She would sometimes grunt and make noises. I even saw her shed tears. We had no idea if she could comprehend the sensory inputs we were throwing at her. She had no way of giving us feedback.

Meanwhile Wawel became the poster boy of The Husband Whose Love And Commitment Went Beyond Expectations. Their story was featured in a magazine and also on TV. Their daughter Therese grew up knowing a mother who could not play with her, could not feed her, could not embrace her; it was she who did those to her mother.

Last year we got the shock of our lives when we heard that Wawel passed away suddenly. At his wake, we saw Mila in her wheelchair. I’ve seen her several times in different events before, but this was the first time I thought she looked stricken. Or maybe I just wanted or needed to think that. Her doctors had said she wouldn’t last a few years after waking up from the coma. Now she outlived her husband.

Come Saturday morning, we heard that Mila quietly passed away in her sleep.

Her family requested those who knew her to speak at her wake, to let Therese know the kind of person her mother was. This is what I plan to say to her.

* * * * *

Yesterday I heard the saddest news. Mila quietly slipped away sometime Friday evening.

I first knew her as Mila Ferrer. She was not yet a Mercado, but even then everyone could see she was quite marketable. Beauty, brains, and balletic grace, rolled into one. She had softness and steel underneath her svelte figure. I was never attracted to girls, but she was that rare female that can wow me with her inner strength and outer grace. Yes, that’s it. Grace. She may have stopped dancing, but she always had that in spades. Even until the very end.

Therese, you may not have experienced Mila the Mom, but we, her agency children in Basic, were the ones blessed to have been taken under her wing. And so Therese, the next few nights you will hear what it was like to be a son or daughter of Mila.

Mila never raised her voice. Even her shouts sounded gentle. But she could throw a shoe. Yes, she had tossed one at her creative director, no less! And she knew when to put her foot down. When a dancer puts down her foot, you know it’s deliberate, you know she’s prepared for it, you know she’s given it much thought.

I remember most our quick conversations about ballet. She said she misses it, yet I never saw in her any anger or regret with her life decisions.

Grace. She bore it well as an AE, as a wife, and yes,s I believe so, even as a mother. Even the way she said goodbye to us was graceful. This wasn’t just any exit; it was a grand jeté off the stage of life.

Bravo, Mila! Truly, you are a class act.