Monday, June 30, 2008

Ah yes, atchara

I've been making sandwiches for lunch except occasionally when I'm not working and I feel like making pasta. I've been craving for Pret's Mature Cheddar and Chutney sandwich, but since I'm in the Philippines, I can use "Cheddar" (the brand name of pasteurized processed cheese spread--deception, really) and pickles or papaya atchara. Not very appetizing, is it? But I promise it's just as good.

Ah, atchara. Remember high school, girls? You could tell which class was making atchara because the classroom would smell of vinegar, though the work was done in the kitchen. Was it Sir Mitra who sniffed and wrinkled his nose when he came in for class? I remember that Jamie Anne, Anne Marie, Marie Bianca and I (a wonder my first name isn't Bianca) were divided between the atchara lovers and... I don't recall what the other camp was.

The memory of smelling sour can also be sweet.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Transnational transgressions

In Clean (2004), Maggie Cheung is Emily, an unsmiling junkie who changes her ways to be able to see her son. The film begins with so much noise that French subtitles actually helpful. But the camera learns to focus; the overdosing quickly ends. There is no French until 30 minutes into the film. But the film is really less French than a transient, not-wanting-to-be-anchored piece that speaks to the multi-lingual, multi-location, multi-ethnic amongst us. Cheung's character becomes less of a bisexual heroin apologist than a woman with another shot at a better life, the opposite of the dead end she started out with (of which the shot of the lone car facing the oil refinery was a haunting symbol). Nick Nolte as a grandfather plays it effectively low-key. The score is great, but the singing is something else. Cheung won Best Actress at Cannes for this film, which was directed by her ex-husband Oliver Assayas. Better collaborators than husband-and-wife, no?

[image from]

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Seen and heard #5

Anyone bother to translate from Nihongo?

I found this and these funny, too.

Thanks to the people over at Sandemans New Europe tours, especially those from Berlin and Amsterdam, for linking to the blog. (Paris and London, you ought to do the same.) I'm sure to take the free walking tour if I go to Edinburgh and Munich. Hey, I'm pretty nice when giving tips!

France loves our Dante. [via Variety]

Friday, June 27, 2008

Return of the gamer girls

Initially, I wanted to play a cute MMORPG that's combat-oriented but not violently scary. But because the game clients of my first two choices wouldn't download, I ended up in Perfect World.

These are my girls--Rain, Rina, Rian and Rani--as they appeared at birth (level 1) last month. Funny that even in a world where you can be anybody you want to be, I'd still want to look like myself (I tried, guess which one). But I went wild with the others, just for kicks.

My mom saw me playing and exclaimed "Gusto ko rin niyan!" (I want that, too!) She's a Yu Mang names huntrees (not a typo) with the biggest physics-defying hammer you've ever seen. Then we couldn't find the flying hotkey so I suggested that she start over (only to find the hotkey later). She named her second character Ulster, after the Uni of Ulster, which is printed on our mousepad. I get stressed watching her play because I end up reprimanding her.

Two things are not so perfect about PW: one, you're always called young man even if your character is female, and two, the camera control is tricky. There ought to be a camera lock somewhere. Other than those two, is it really a perfect world? I don't think that's possible.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Anthology shoes

Saw anthology's lovely ballet flats at The Ramp and sighed. I adore them but I know that I can wear out the sole in a day (trust me, it's happened) and my budget for this type of shoe is a third of the P1495 retail price. Still, their men's collection coming out end-July is something to watch out for.

Spark and Style is a Bangkok-based online store "brought to you by four friends from Ateneo". Reasonable prices, but the range from women is limited at the moment. More dresses, please!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another CC

It won't make you feel good.

I hate to say this, but the Copenhagen Consensus has a point. Are economists the right people to ask about which problems of the world we need to solve first? There are economists working in every field who understand the issue, so I would say yes. In an ideal world, there would be no need for priorities. The real world being a different story, we have a duty to this generation as much as to the next.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Flash flood Frank

our backyard, the street, and the sparrows taking refuge on the bathroom window

Nonstop rain all Sunday long. There was no electricity when I woke up. The creek overflowed and there was water on the highway, in the village, on our street, and in our backyard. My dad, wearing a worn-out Collezione shirt he bought in 1975 (I counted three holes) said, "parang masarap mag-halohalo". I seconded the motion and we went to Chowking.

I will be blogging daily again. Can't help it. Besides, even when I blog every other day, I have twice the content, so what's the point?

Monday, June 23, 2008

French eyes + Chinese tummies

I was joking with my mom that taking half a day off to watch the French film fest was pagbubulakbol (playing hooky). "It's not pagbubulakbol," she corrected me. "It's intellectual development."

I wanted to see the musical film Les Chansons d'Amour, but it was pulled out of the festival. Fortunately, there was enough satisfactory music-making in Qui m'aime me suive (If you love me, follow me), a title I did not find apt for a film about a doctor who wanted to be a rock musician. I liked the casting and the lighting, which made me want to paint the scenes. The POV of one of the supporting characters is pas mal. The predictable ending is just like a certain Hollywood movie. But the realism and the film's message--that you can't please everyone--is sobering.

Ma preferred Ah! Si j'etais riche (If I were a rich man). The wife of the salon product salesman protagonist looks like Gillian Anderson, especially evident as the trailer of The X Files: I Want to Believe was shown before the movie started. Throw in a philandering boss, a pretty prostitute, a lottery ticket, and some old salesmen and you've got--no, not a PCSO-funded tearjerker--a comedy which was sometimes crude, though not entirely brainless (but does not stimulate intellectual development, either). It opens with a bird's eye view of Paris and a lively orchestral score, probably a reference to Fiddler on the Roof, otherwise not quite fitting.

Father's Day at King Bee, a fairly new but very popular Chinese restaurant between Masinag intersection and the Kingsville Marcos Highway gate.

Solidarity with ma's toothache: congee and lobster roll at Mongkok, Shangri-La Mall.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

History of Art, Art in History@the museum, DLSU-Manila

Twelve artists, mostly from the later decades of the 20th century, are featured in this exhibit, which combines older work with more recent pieces representing the progression of Philippine art. Informative as it is important, Alice Guillermo looks at the importance of art not just for beauty's sake but art as a chronicle of the social ferment of recent decades.

Most striking to me are Neil Doloricon's rubber cuts and wood cuts, Edgar Talusan Fernandez's Martsa ng Bayan Para sa Kalayaan, Jose Tence Ruiz's Mga Alamat ng Manananggal. His Kompromiso: Mona and Kompromiso: Lisa are in woefully delicate physical condition for works just 15 years old.

The museum itself as an exhibition space is ideal as a gallery: climate-controlled and in no way cramped. It also houses the Wili and Doreen Fernandez Art Collection, 416 pieces which ought to be Ateneo's. Wouldn't the Fernandezes be similarly biased if they were alive?

until August 22

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Jeans treated against rain and mud + The trouble with freelancing

And in case it doesn't rain during Roskilde Festival this year, you can still wear it the 358 other days of the year. I wouldn't pay DKK1,199 (~P11,000) for a pair of jeans. I haven't even bought jeans over P1,000 for years. But if I were to buy expensive jeans anyway, this would have to be it. Roskilde Festival-branded Diesel jeans--subtly hip classy rocker chic.

[via Springwise]

What's the worst thing about being a freelancer? Having no rights. I just did a full week's work (part-time but 40 hours cumulative) only to find that I will not get paid because the project was finished and I was not told about it (don't blame me--I reported regularly). Hmph.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Shall We Kiss?:

Bien sûr! Just kidding. Un baiser s'il vous plait was the opening film of the (free) French film festival at Shangri-La Mall cinema, part of the annual French Spring in Manila. The festival features love stories that capture the modern-day practicalities of love (and a little of its magic). For the first time, I went into the cinema thrice in a day--a great way to spend the entire afternoon. The films I saw, Changement d'adresse, Je crois que je l'aime, and Ma Vie en l'Air transported me to the streets of Paris and kept me thinking that they could be true stories.

You have until June 22 to go on your own French movie marathon. I'm itching to do it again myself. Check out for schedules. Bisous!

Friday, June 13, 2008

GIF giving

Warning: makulit post.

Too much fun with my camera and People I can count on to pose: my cousins. We're still shy at this point. How fun it would be if we were complete and everybody understood why the camera keeps flashing!

Above: Would your mom do this in the CR of her office? (It was a Saturday, but still...)
Below: Caught in the act!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Seen and heard #4

There's always something worth talking about at SM Megamall.

Corona, Agua Fresca or Obama? Near the cashier in Mexicali.

Inanimate low-maintenance pooches so you cute you cannot squeeze them. Air pets, Toy Kingdom.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Why they blog + Viva remix culture!

Two of my favorite people who blog and write for the dailies weighed in on why they blog yesterday in their respective broadsheets: Gibbs Cadiz in PDI and Jim Paredes in Philstar.

Total Recut has everything to get you started on creating content. Or is it re-creating? Appropriating? It's been done before on YouTube, you say. But there's still so much more you can do. Here's the inspiration and here's the wish list. Go!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Ice cream Sundays + podCrafting

The simple joys of my Sunday routine. After doing the groceries with ma in the supermarket, we have lunch. And then, before going home, we buy P5 ice cream from the mall. That's about 6 pence for a small scoop and a wafer cone. Not-free tryvertising from Nestle and Selecta, which have their freezers back-to-back. For less than the local price of gelato, you can have a taste of each of the six flavors of the two brands. Now that's cool.

Because I love Common Craft and dream of podcasting:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dailywikimail + WED 2008

What happens when you get a topic, plug it into Wikipedia and have it sent to yourself by email once a day? This is what you get.

Today is World Environment Day, with the celebrations centered in Wellington, New Zealand. The UN Environment Programme has a WED Alphabet and a number of personalities endorsing the cause, including these two:

Click on the images to see what they're doing to cut down on C02 emissions.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

There's a term for it + handwriting comic

I've got it. And no, it's not schaudenfreude, but it is such a relief to know that I'm not alone.

This blog comic based on danah boyd's post about writing applies to me, too. [via apophenia]

Sunday, June 1, 2008

That looks familiar + reading list + string theory idol

Found a couple of pages with my photos in the European Young Journalist Award website. One is on the human towers and the other is on being an Erasmus Mundus Journalism student. Although I'm not credited in the text, I'm credited in the source code. Fine by me.

Sanaz Raji of SOAS made a top 10 list of books with the migration/identity theme, leaning towards the Iranian diaspora.

Brian Greene looks like a young Bob Dylan, but when he talks, he is nothing like Bob Dylan. He's been on the Colbert Report twice. See the clips on the World Science Festival blog. From his TED talk alone, he became my string theory idol.