Sunday, August 31, 2008

Adieu, August

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Disarming Gestures

Stop rolling your eyeballs. I know I should cease slobbering like an idiot but for now, humor me. I'll see to it that I will--from hereon--curb the number of postings regarding my embarrassing fan-hood. Meantime you have no choice but endure my fevered/fanatic spree.

As you know Eric Kraft left a gracious comment on my previous post. In shocked disbelief I followed the link that was left on my comment box and discovered it was indeed his official website. Discarding my timidity I left him an email/comment/message in the site and posted a thank you entry later.

Lo and behold, when I opened my email inbox today this message flashed before my overjoyed eyes:

From: "Reader Comments"


Thank you again. Your comment and blog post made my day. (Actually
they made my day when it arrived on Tuesday, but I've been working on
two new books and didn't take the time to reply.)

All the best,


On Aug 26, 2008, at 4:51 PM, wrote:
>It was submitted by on: Tuesday, August, 26,
> 2008 at 16:51:24
> name: loudcloud
> comments: Your works are inspired, beguiling, awe-inspiring. Thank
> you for leaving a comment in my blog. I am still speechless! (Though
> I made a 'thank you' post.)
> A grateful admirer of your books,
> Loudcloud

All lingering skepticism melted and a wave of warmth gushed all over me. How very neat of Mr. Kraft to volley back a pleasant message! Other authors of his fame and stature would just dismiss my kind as yet another excitable fan. Worse I would be taken for as an obsessive freak latching on his fame in the hope that osmosis will rub off and lend my negligible/obscure self his luminous sheen. In a world teeming with overinflated and exploding literary egos his very laidback, down-to-earth gesture is a welcome lungful of fresh air.

His disarming graciousness motivated me to rip off the House Of Holland statement tees and create two for the The Beguiling Mr. Kraft:

Thank you muchly Eric Kraft. I have bullied a friend in New York to go hoard books by you that I do not have and ship it to me pronto. Also, dear voyeurs of this blog: Abort the decline of Literacy! Snatch copies of Eric Kraft books for yourselves.

And meet your new friend Peter Leroy.

~ ~ ~

Watch out, Misterhubs. When mean streaks hit me one of these days I will make that overdue post that has something to do with these:

While you're grinding your teeth I will be fixing myself another cup of coffee.


Enjoy the weekend folks!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pump Up The Volumes

I can't die now-I'm booked! - GEORGE BURNS

Earlier I promised to identify the titles on the second stack. Here goes:

From top to bottom:

The Afterword - Mike Bryan
Marrow – Tiffanie Darke
Model Behavior – Jay McInerney
Vile Bodies – Evelyn Waugh
A Star Called Henry – Roddy Doyle
How To Travel With A Salmon – Umberto Eco
Story Of My Life – Jay McInerney
The Fermata – Nicholson Baker
Everything Is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
Children Of God Go Bowling – Shannon Olson
Book Of Writers Talking To Writers – Believer Magazine
Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

Soumchi – Amos Oz
Ignorance – Milan Kundera
Stones From The River – Ursula Hegi
Intrusions – Ursula Hegi
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
The Year Of The Zinc Penny – Rick DeMarinis
U2 At The End Of The Wprld – Bill Flanagan
V – Thomas Pynchon
The Prince Of West End Avenue – Alan Isler
Genuine Authentic: The Real Life Of Ralph Lauren – Michael Gross
Eating Mammals – John barlow
Fair Warning – Robert Olen Butler

Life And Love, Such As They Are – Anna Shapiro
The Mezzanine – Nicholson Baker
Bright Lights, Big City - Jay McInerney
Mr. Spaceman – Robert Olen Butler
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
Maybe The Moon – Armistead Maupin
The Night Listener – Armistead Maupin
The Complete Cartoons Of The New Yorker edited by Robert Mankoff

Etc.: The Garbino trash can by Karim Rashid for Umbra and my soccer bean bag that has to do with this entry.

You. What are you reading?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear Eric Kraft

“I'm delighted to see my work in your stack—and two books at that!” - ERIC KRAFT

Dear Eric Kraft,

Speechless would be putting it mildly. I was stunned! I stared at your comment far longer than necessary, unblinking, like a comatose lizard! I was trying to convince myself that it was some prank employed by one of my insane friends. Then I clicked the link on my blog's comment box and it led me to your website, which legitimizes the message. (Unless, of course, I hear otherwise from your lawyers :-) )

Please excuse me if I'm slobbering like retard. I'm having a René Magritte moment! It's so surreal. I'm still in shock that someone whose amazing works I sincerely admire would be gracious enough to leave a note in my embarrassing blog!

Where Do You Stop was my first discovery of your engaging works (this happened many many years ago). I enjoyed it so much, enough for me to look up your other titles. (I live in the cesspit of civilization where good reading materials are scarce, or arrive in limited stock.) Then I got hold of At Home with the Glynns and after reading it I resolved to seek more of your work.

So imagine how thrilled I was when I finally saw the last remaining copies of Herb N' Lorna and Inflating A Dog. (The latter is lush with beguiling charms and comic bursts that makes me deliberately delay finishing it.)

Taking cue from your book title, this is where I stop. I have already been blabbering like an idiot and I will spare you of further embarrassments.

However, I will persist in looking for your other titles and remain as a grateful reader whom you have have given pleasure through your inspired books!

Truly yours,

~ ~ ~

I was to write a post on this:

But I got so excited I made the above entry instead (Hahaha. excuse the teenybopper giddiness. It's not everyday a writer you admire would leave a comment in your unworthy blog :P). I'll identify the books on the new stack, later. And yeah, misterhubs, you'd hate me for what I'm gonna post next.

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Narcissus Builds A Hall Of Mirrors

(More after the jump. Click the image to enlarge.)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Evidence For Cretins

Idiots are everywhere. They incubate rapidly in cyberspace. They are inescapable like the probability of another Kris Aquino billboard to glare back at you in EDSA (or the prime time airwaves getting swamped with close up shots of Boy Abunda's nostrils.) Yet I am an equal-opportunity dork so I recognize their right to exist so long as they restrain inflicting their stupidity my way (or towards the general populace at large). Normally I have a habit of ignoring pests but this one audacious commenter challenged my two previous posts (Here and here ).It” alleged that 01: “You can’t possibly own or have read all of those books and you are just providing Amazon links so you’ll come off well-read.” and 02: “You’re a fake lover of design. You have no proof!” Or something (dim-witted tirade) like it (I'm translating from Filipino). Steady your breath, cretin; I’m posting my “proof” in the hope that your disbelieving sorry self will slink off and self-combust elsewhere.

I took the above picture when I got home but my lameass phone's camera cannot capture a clearer image. For now this will do. I’ll take another photo when I get hold of a sharper camera.

Suspicious snots, may I photographically present the stuff I am currently re/reading:

On my knockoff chair (yes, a crossover of Arne Jacobsen’s Ant Chair And the now ubiquitous Series 7 Chair)
from top to bottom:

01. Drop by Mat Johnson
02. The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
03. Swagbelly by David Levien
04. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
05. The Astrological Diary of God by Bo Fowler
06. Herb N' Lorna by Eric Kraft
07. They Whisper by Robert Olen Butler
08. Inflating A Dog
by Eric Kraft
09. Chump Change by David Eddie
10. Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill
11. Bite by C.J. Tosh
12. Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson
13. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
14. Critical Care by Richard Dooling
15. Frost On My Moustache by Tim Moore
16. Unlubricated by Arthur Nersesian

Under the chair (from top to bottom):

01. Fear Of Flying by Erica Jong
02. Dissonant Umbrellas by Angelo Suarez
03. R.E.M. Fiction: An Alternative Biography by David Buckley
04. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
05. The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen
06. Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
07. Turn Of The Century by Kurt Andersen
08. $ellebrity by George Lois
09. (David Carson And) The End Of Print by David Carson & Lewis Blackwell
10. The Graphic Language Of Neville Brody by Jon Wozencroft
11. Covering the 60's by George Lois
12. American Music by Annie Leibovitz

On the fore/back/ground:

The Berenice Lamp
One unfinished painting I did and one blank canvass
On top of the pile of books: Philippe Starck's Oregon Scientific Clock

There. Now let us see you self-destruct.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

The Madness of King Don

George Lois is one of my creative gods because, as a legendary virtuoso, he can distill complex issues into clear-cut creative iterations that are full of impact and wit. His illustrious career saw exceptional covers for Esquire Magazine and that epic “I want my MTv!” campaign. My friend Nicodemus, proving his capacity to surprise and endear himself to friends gifted me with Sellebrity: My Angling and Tangling With Famous People after I raved to no end over a book I bought, Covering the '60s: George Lois-The Esquire Era.

So when it was announced that a TV series called Mad Men is being launched I was excited. Its THE Lois era. In fact, George Lois is an original member of the Mad Men. The show's very premise (i.e. the partners, suits, creative legends like Lois, politics and exploding egos) is a blueprint of the mad creative rush of the (late 50s and) 60s where agencies like Drentell Doyle Partners and Papert Koenig Lois are infamous not just for groundbreaking creative outputs but equally for their flair for glib pitches and insane boardroom antics.

(Bonus: Because I am into design porn, the constant sight of mid-century classic furniture -I’ve spotted swan chairs, the Barcelona Bed by Mies van der Rohe. And, oh, the dapper suits and skinny ties! - made me semi turgid all the time. Add to that the opening sequence that’s giving a nod to Saul Bass.)

I missed most of Mad Men's local 2nd Avenue run, which annoyed me a lot. So imagine my utter joy when I finally got hold of the DVD of the First Season.
I can barely contain a hard on! I had a viewing spree that made me forget meals, lose sleep and ignore deadlines.

My own mentor, the legendary advertising bitch who migrated to North America, used to whine to me: “These clueless kids! They think they know advertising! They are all about glamour but can’t even tell shit from gold, and don't get me started on how to sell it to a client!” (Ouch. I was a kid when she said it.)

That hoity-toity declaration still rings in my ears these days. Especially now that I got confronted with how Don Draper, Mad Men's leading protagonist, fiercely defended the “Big Idea” written by lowly office secretary turned newbie copywriter Peggy Olsen.

During the "brainstorming session" in which the office girls “test-drive” hundreds of shades of Belle Jolie lipsticks she blurted out something along the line of "not being one of those in a basket of kisses." (She's referring to a waste basket filled with Kleenex that the girls pressed their lips to remove the lipstick, leaving behind kiss marks.)

This led into a campaign where a “Mark Your Man” headline runs along a portrait of a woman and a man. It's fresh take on cosmetics marketing but the crabby client isn’t sold.

Crabby Client: I only see one lipstick in your drawing. Women want colors. Lots and lots of colors.

Client2: "Mark Your Man." It's pretty cute.

Crabby Client: Oh, you like this? Well, maybe we should cut down to five shades, or one.

Agency Account Executive: I'm not telling you to listen to anyone, but this is a very fresh approach.

Don Draper: It's okay, Kenny. I don't think there's much else to do here but call it a day. *Stands. Extends his hand for a handshake* Gentlemen, thank you for your time.

Crabby Client: Is that all?!

Don: You're a nonbeliever. Why should we waste time on kabuki?

Crabby Client: I don't know what that means.

Don: It means that you've already tried your plan, and you're number four. You've enlisted my expertise and you've rejected it to go on the way you've been going. I'm not interested in that. You can understand.

Crabby Client: I don't think your three months or however many thousands of dollars entitles you to refocus the core of our business —

Don: Listen. I'm not here to tell you about Jesus. You already know about Jesus. He either lives in your heart or He doesn't. Every woman wants choices. But in the end, none wants to be one of a hundred in a box. She's unique. She makes the choices and she's chosen him. She wants to tell the world, he's mine. He belongs to me, not you. She marks her man with her lips. He is her possession. You've given every girl that wears your lipstick the gift of total ownership.

* The client looks at Don, then at the ads, then yielding, at Don again.*

Client: Sit down.

Don: No. Not until I know I'm not wasting my time.

Client *defeated voice*: Sit down.

Mad Men! It's insane! Men with real balls!

The series is nothing short of brilliant. It's a multilayered cross section of creativity, morality and the warped tendencies of people (take note of the thick sexism that plagues the series). From the creators of The Sopranos, this series is very rich with textures and intelligence spanning advertising, history, commerce and ethical issues. Somewhere in the 8th episode Don Draper tossed out the line “No, The Universe is indifferent!” and I leaped out of my comfy bean bag and gave him a standing ovation in behalf of cynics everywhere.

But if there is one valuable insight one can glean from Mad Men it’s learning the skill and competence to sell ideas. Season 1 has terrific episodes on how great ideas are pushed by spot on pitches.

Don Draper, in an attempt to salvage the account from discontented client (check out the pilot episode) impressed everyone. Here he asserts his genius and growing reputation as Madison Avenue’s blue chip creative director. In this particular episode we witness the invention of “differentiation” and “Value Proposition.”

*Discontented Clients rise to leave the unproductive meeting.*

Don Draper: Gentlemen, before you leave, can I just say something? The Federal Trade Commission and Readers Digest have done you a favor. They've let you know that any ad that brings up the concept of cigarettes and health together...well, it's just going to make people think of cancer.

Senior Client (full of irony): Yes, and we are grateful to them.

Don: But what Lee Jr. said is right. You can't make those health claims. Neither can your competitors.

Senior Client: So...we got a lotta people not sayin' anything that sells cigarettes.

Don: Not exactly. This is the greatest advertising opportunity since the invention of cereal. We have six identical companies making six identical products. We can say anything we want. How do you make your cigarettes?

Junior Client: I don't know.

Senior Client: Shame on you. We breed insect-repellant tobacco seeds. Plant 'em in the North Carolina sunshine. Grow it, cut it, cure it, toast it —

Don: There you go. *He writes "It's Toasted" on the blackboard.*

Junior Client: But everybody else's tobacco is toasted.

Don: No. Everybody else's tobacco is poisonous. Lucky Strike's is toasted.

Roger Sterling *jubilant*: Well, gentlemen, I don't think I have to tell you what you just witnessed here.

Junior Client: I think you do.

Don: Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance: whatever you're doing, it's okay. You...are...okay.

Senior Client: "It's toasted." I get it.

The season finale is the most dazzling pitch I’ve known. Kodak is bringing out a new product, a slide projector they nicknamed “The Wheel.” A rabid competition among agencies to name and position it ensues and they came to Don’s Sterling Cooper Agency to find out what they can whip up. There was a proposition to emphasize the technology and Don, genius that he is had other plans.

Don: Well, technology is a glittering lure. But there is the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash, if they have a sentimental bond with the product. My first job, I was in house, at a fur company. This old pro copywriter, Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most important idea in advertising is "new." It creates an itch. You simply put your product in there as a kind of calamine lotion. But he also talked about a deeper bond with the product: nostalgia. It's delicate. But potent.

*lights are put out, projector turned on, Click and whirring sounds as the slides are projected onscreen*

Teddy told me that in Greek, nostalgia literally means "the pain of an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart, far more powerful than memory alone.

*slides of Don’s wife, children, slices of family moments*

This device isn't a spaceship. It's a time machine. It goes backwards. Forwards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called The Wheel. It's called The Carousel. It lets us travel the way a child travels, around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know we are loved.

*Slide flicks "Kodak introduces Carousel."*

I was stunned. It's Poetry! I wanted to cry.

Advertising, branding and design agency upstarts, pay attention!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

The United States Of Inebriation

Alibis are not necessarily required to get smashed but lately a thick funk hovers over my head. All the more reason to commune with trusty buddies and abuse alcohol in such a rate that would make AA hotlines rattle.

I'm kidding over the exaggeration, of course.

Monday night Mapplethorpe and Saville decided to have impromptu get-together at Mapplethorpe's house. We were joined by Holden, a senior designer for a hip publishing firm who tagged along at Mapplethorpe's behest. I was glum over the fact that my so-called life is becoming a redundant series of blah-ness. So inebriation is in order.

We discovered later that Mapplethorpe's domestic front is having a few crimps. In fact his beloved wifey and their little princess (our godchild) stormed off to his in-laws a few days ago. Red horse+lemon wedges kept us company till three in the morning. I got off Shaw Boulevard and staggered a few blocks, dodging the amused glances of call center folks chain smoking outside the buildings. “Fuck you and your fried lungs!” I muttered laughing under my breath. For some cosmic miracle I got to my flat's lobby in one piece, giving the guard on duty a knowing grin. He courteously opened the elevator for me. Neat dude.

Wednesday night I gargled white wine at our friend Helios' business expansion opening at The Fort. I was with Mapplethorpe, Saville, Nicodemus, Nicodemus' intern and his equally-cute sibling, and later we were joined by my best friend Aoki, who leapfrogged from their office's product launch, dragging along her funky marketing assistant.

Later that night Mapplethorpe, being a spoiled brat that he is, demanded we come with him to Sorrenti's birthday bash at a swanky hotel's bar in Makati. Saville and I, having already had our beer and wine fix declined but he threw a fit so we relented like headless idiots.

The bar was fogged with dense smoke puffing from the twanged lips of sophisticated cats and trendy dorks. Cool acquaintances and casual friends mingle with a dubious bevy of foreign models, the bored fashion pack, creative types, advertising folks, publishing hacks and assorted society page royalettes and wannabes.

“Glad you made it, bastardos!” Sorrenti threw us big hugs.

We zeroed in towards the bar like preprogrammed missiles.

Rushing to the washroom I bumped into a Japanese-Brazilian model we have collaborated with long ago. We swapped quick updates. He looked like his head is hovering somewhere in Pluto and his eyes were indicating he took something that would make Robert Downey beam. What a waste. This guy used to be a stunner and now he looked like a wreck. He asked me to keep in touch. I was tempted to suggest rehab.

While Mapplethorpe was introducing me to a booker of Brazilian models someone slapped my back and when I turned, my beaming protégée, Beirut, shoved a swirling glass of Hennessy on the rocks upon my face. Ugh. I hate cognac. I've always found cognac to be the favored drink of anyone hitting midlife crisis and contemplating on buying a Ferrari and a mistress.

“Son of a gun!” I hugged him. “What are you doing here?!”

“I'm now working for an affiliate firm owned by Sorrenti!” he shot back.

“Are you going to Embassy tomorrow?” Mapplethorpe piped in.

“What's at Embassy tomorrow?” Beirut and I chorused.

“Nicodemus is inviting us to some trendy gig.”

I rolled my eyes. Beirut laughed.

“He said he reserved a table” Mapplethorpe droned on, unperturbed, ignoring my retinal calisthenics.

Heaven help my liver.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Opening Scene Straight Out Of A Badly-Lit Porn Video

Loud knocks - no, scratch that. The manic poundings sounded like a demented mule, raging on Ketamines, decided to practice cha cha moves using all four hoofs on my defenseless door.

I drowsily reached out for my mobile phone on the floor and jolted out of unconsciousness. Holy crap! Almost lunch time!

My woozy brains tried to dredge up foggy details from last night's Red Horse+Lemon Wedges incident and staggering towards the door my groggy head half-ly imagines that the poundings (both on the door and the inner linings of my skull) are nothing but a vivid bad dream and I'm nothing short of a hung-over sleepwalking skunk.

Annoyed I opened the door. Outside stood the Building's Officer In Charge of Security accompanied by two Meralco technicians.

Oh, drat! I forgot to pay my electric bill again! Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!

This is where residues of last night's beer dissipated and my full mortification came crashing like a grand piano being dropped from the penthouse unto my half-conscious head:

Fuck a duck! I opened the door dressed in nothing but white boxer briefs!

I immediately slammed the door, ran back to the shower, grabbed a towel, wrapped it around my hips and reopened the door and beheld the amused half-smirk of the three guys in the hallway.

I tried to carry out a straight face.

Then I cracked. Acknowledging my utter humiliation with a blushing laugh. Then everyone cracked.

I apologized for forgetting the payment, got the disconnection notice from the technician, closed the door, hurriedly grabbed a toothbrush, washed my face and slipped into sneakers, denim and shirt and hurtled towards the Meralco branch in blasted Pasig.

Then I remembered the looks on their faces. I let out another hearty chuckle, dousing my lingering mortification.

Also, regretting the fact that I failed to wink at the cute moreno technician.

Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Peel me off the blankness that cloud the day.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I Swear IT Almost Had A Trace Of Human Expression

Without as much as throwing me a split-second glance my sister compassed her index finger towards the crowded shelf. I was trying to find a classic book I'm borrowing for reference and her eyes were freakishly peeled, riveted towards the idiot box. She's enraptured like a stunned frog whose retinas were directly beamed by UFO lights.

“What are you watching?” I asked.


“What's it about?”

Pregnant silence.

“What's it about?” I repeated, not letting her off easy.

Her forehead furrowed, indicating annoyance. More silence.

Intrigued I sat on the couch next to her. I didn't figure out a single shit watching the crackbrained teletravesty for fifteen minutes. Philip K. Dick must be pealing with ludicrous howls in the Grand Afterlife Space Colony In The Sky.

Richard Gutierrez as a comatose android of subnormal intelligence running on Botox?

Pure casting genius!

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Words Are Things

Intermedia poetics and language-based works.
Wednesdays at the new GREEN PAPAYA Art Projects.
#41 T. Gener St. corner Kamuning Rd., QC, 8:30pm.
This week (August 13):Raya Martin,Bea Camacho,Khavn de la Cruz,Mark Salvatus, and special guest Angelo Vermeulen.

(Last week featured Vermeulen, Adam David, Pocholo Goitia vs. John Torres, Vim Nadera w/ Mike Coroza & Teo Antonio.) Curated by Angelo V. Suarez.

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The Memo From Hell

Mariano posted this inter-office memo in his blog.

From: Ms. HR
To: Mariano Juancho
Cc: Big Brother Boss
Subject: FW: SCJP REtake[Scanned]
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2008 17:06:35 +0800

Hi Huwantso,

Please be advised that you are scheduled for a retake of the SCJP exam on August 20. The following time slots are still open – 9am, 11am and 1pm. You may coordinate with Ms. Front Desk regarding your preferred time slot.

Let me know if you have questions.

Good luck in the exam!

Ms. HR

Being a freakazoid that I am I offered unsolicited help, took the—ahem—creative liberty and crafted this opus as possible response:

From: Huwantso
To: Ms. HR aka Satan's Agent
Cc: Big Brother Boss
Subject: FW: SCJP REtake[Scanned]


I spit on your dopey questionnaire, you corporate ass-kissing maggot. I hope you froze from paralyzing brain aneurysm, you bureaucratic freak. I'll dance on your tomb and hope you grow old and die a fucking virgin.

See you at your funeral.

All the best!

~ ~ ~

loud cloud: hola!
loud cloud: hehe
loud cloud: good luck sa exams!
uliratnimariano: loud
uliratnimariano: haha
uliratnimariano: salamat
uliratnimariano: thanks for that comment
loud cloud: hehehe
uliratnimariano: hanep talaga
uliratnimariano: ahahah
uliratnimariano: muntik ko nang isend
loud cloud: dapat sinisindak ang HR
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: so yung email na yun is used in real life situation?
loud cloud: minsan nag Christmas party (in our office). eh pakana nila (the Human Retards Department) costume party daw. gaaaaaaaah. so i told them: "since you are all women come as a congregation of pregnant nuns with a cardboard around your necks that says 'the devil made me do it!'"
loud cloud: they were not amused
uliratnimariano: hahaha
uliratnimariano: ang gandang idea
uliratnimariano: ang gandang suggestion eh
loud cloud: no i always make it a point to 'anotate' their memos and mock them
loud cloud: lol
uliratnimariano: ahaha
uliratnimariano: maganda yan
loud cloud: or i post 'fake' memos
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: so far wala naman akong issue na mabigat
loud cloud: gumagawa kami ng fake memos na parang totoo
loud cloud: prank sa opis
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: wow
uliratnimariano: nakapost yon?
uliratnimariano: hanep
uliratnimariano: di ko naman kayang gawin yon
uliratnimariano: hahaha
loud cloud: "Dear employees: management is hereby directing everyone to do compulsory exercise to test productivity. When you reach the office in the morning please stand on your head and see if oxygen reaches your brains."
loud cloud: may gumawa
loud cloud: LOLOL
loud cloud: siyempre di ka dapat nagpapahuli
uliratnimariano: taena
uliratnimariano: may gumawa pa non?
uliratnimariano: shet
loud cloud: hahahhaha
loud cloud: you wont believe how gullible some people can be
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: ano ba naman yon
loud cloud: syempre kaming mga henyo ang suspects
loud cloud: hahahah
uliratnimariano: ahaha
uliratnimariano: mga pasimuno ng lagim
uliratnimariano: masyadong maliit ang opisina
uliratnimariano: saka walang natingin sa memo
loud cloud: "dear employees. Recent studies have shown that good sleep increases productivity at work. 2 hour post-lunch nap is now compulsory"
loud cloud: that one was so believed by everyone
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: puta
uliratnimariano: hahahaha
loud cloud: hahahaha
uliratnimariano: ahahahahahaha
loud cloud: dami natulog!
loud cloud: hahhahahahaha
uliratnimariano: hahahaha
uliratnimariano: kahit ako pabor ako dun!
uliratnimariano: kahit joke o hindi
loud cloud: dami nga natuwa except the HR
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: via email kasi ang mga general memos dito
uliratnimariano: kaya walang lusot
loud cloud: hack their emails!
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: negatib
uliratnimariano: ahaha
loud cloud: di pa xerox ka tapos distribute mo lunch break pag walang tao
loud cloud: LOL
uliratnimariano: ahaha
uliratnimariano: oo nga eh
uliratnimariano: magandang prank
uliratnimariano: pati sa general manager's office
loud cloud: i cant stand HR
loud cloud: and their lameass corporate policies
uliratnimariano: wala namang masyadong brutality on my part
loud cloud: dapat may suwail sa company ninyo. pwede mag apply dyan? LOL
uliratnimariano: kung pwede lang
uliratnimariano: why not
loud cloud: hahhaah
uliratnimariano: kaso close masyado mga tao dito
loud cloud: ma terrorize ko yung HR ninyo
uliratnimariano: ahahaha
uliratnimariano: oo
uliratnimariano: hawak ko nga yung application nila ngayon
uliratnimariano: kame ang gumagawa
uliratnimariano: parang gusto kong singitan ng kung ano
uliratnimariano: ahahaha
uliratnimariano: ayos!
loud cloud: application form?
uliratnimariano: sige
uliratnimariano: maghahanap pa ako
uliratnimariano: haha
uliratnimariano: parang seryoso ka ah
loud cloud: lagyan mo!
uliratnimariano: haha
uliratnimariano: wag naman, joke lang yon
uliratnimariano: application sa website
uliratnimariano: web based computer application
uliratnimariano: lalagyan ko ng kalokohan
uliratnimariano: ahaha
uliratnimariano: teka lang ha
loud cloud: "By signing the dotted line you commit to let go of your independence, bestow your full obedience, your first-born and your kidneys to the company."
loud cloud: singit mo dali!
loud cloud: LOL
loud cloud: "and you waive all your legal rights and allow management to slap your buttocks with a frying fan"
loud cloud: brb
uliratnimariano's status is now "Idle". (8/12/2008 5:08 PM)

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Tapping Morse Codes On Tan Lines

Saville and Tibor insisted I join them.

“I can't,” I yawned over the phone. “Ive got volunteer work tomorrow.”
Though I wasn't lying about the volunteer work bit, I was actually using it as a valid excuse to not go carousing Friday night.

“Mapplethorpe is already on his way” Tibor replied, ignoring what I just said. “Meet us at Some-Negligible-Watering-Hole-Frequented-By-Construction-Workers in an hour.”

“Did you hear what I just said? I cant.”

“Shaddap. Beer's on me. Happiness on Saville.”

Happiness being young giggly strippers blessed with racks that would make fruit stands proud.

Why in hell not.

After downing a couple of Red Horse with lemon wedges off we barged in a sleazy joint. The doorman met Mapplethorpe with a Cheshire grin that would make Garfield look grim.

Onstage a foxy chick's writhing like a caterpillar on speed. Or a crazed Olympic Gymnast discovering she's got hormones during a Floor Exercise routine in the competition. We settled in one booth, Mapplethorpe barking beer order to the deaf busboy. Four nymphets joined us.

“Lets get a private room!” Saville brightly declared.

Demented nods erupted all around.

The minute we plopped our semi-drunk carcasses on the ramshackled cushions of the dark private room conversations halted.

My hands automatically switched to Braille mode. Sultry Nymphet was game so we censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored.

Censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored censored .

About five o'clock in the morning we dragged our smashed selves out and hit the road home. I flicked my iPod on and The Rollingstones belched an apt tune. We sang along at the top of our lungs.

I can't get NO!
I can't get NO!
I can't get NO!

Reaching my flat I dived in bed, woozy, blissfully drunk.
I drowsily realized I'm reeking of Marlboro Reds* and the girl's cheap perfume. Then everything faded into the gravity of much-needed sleep.

(* I'm a chronic second-hand smoker. Ugh)

~ ~ ~

Post scriptum:

I was conferencing with Datu and Q at YM when this popped:

Q the Conqueror: eeeeeeeeeeewww.. cheap female perfume. eeeeeeeeeeeeew--> just read loudcloud's blog
loud cloud: LOL
Q the Conqueror: hahahahahahahhaha. let me be with your friends saville and mapplethhorpe instead
Q the Conqueror: hahahaha

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Artistic Arousals

(Being a thief that I am, I incorporated in the above illustration the works of Rachel Rillo from her "Manila" series; Mark Salvatus' "Wrapped" and Electrolychee's fantastic graphics as drop down banner slash backdraft for the awards event.)

Glamour, talent and ambition collide at this year's Ateneo Art Awards, an event I attended at the The Shang earlier. Cute people, talented people, artsy people, fashionable people, smart people all converged to toast the 2008 winners. I wasn't planning of attending but my friend Dundee Warhol sulked and threatened to self-destruct so I went. I said hello to a few young contemporary artists I know, a couple of friends working in publishing and random dorks I am fond of.

I was rooting for Mark Salvatus, Rachel Rillo and Christina Dy to bag the awards but the grand prizes were snagged by (2008 Philipp Morris Art Awards Grand Prize winner) Marina Cruz-Garcia (a well-deserved win), Kawayan de Guia and Poklong Anading. Interestingly a brief hush crashed on the wine-sipping crowd and eyebrows arched when Poklong was announced winner. Don't get me wrong; Poklong is a spectacular force in local contemporary art but there seems to be dissenting opinions on the award bestowed.

While I was busy figuring out the extraordinary identity/graphics of this year's award (designed by hip, dynamic, talented duo, Electrolychee) a friend working for a retail group sidled up to me.

“The garbs!” Swastika whispered. “So extreme!”

I look at her Jill Sander/Tyler clad self and let out a soft chuckle.

Swastika is uninitiated to the quirks of the art circuit. In an artsy event like this it is de riguer to expect a clash not only of demographics, bank accounts, sexual leanings but also of fashion sense.

While the tony philanthropic and patron set clutch on obscenely-priced "It" bags and accessory-for-murder stilettos, some of the artsy crowd arrives like they just have been playing rugby with hobos and winos at the wet market.

My chuckle got cut short when, true to form, ruggedly hot artist and this year's award finalist Robert Langenegger walked by. He's sporting a loose old T-shirt. Tattoos peek out of his sleeve and he seemed to have been lifting baskets of produce, ignored the shower and rushed to the ceremony to accept his finalist citation. Yet he's oozing that edgy, raw sexuality: every pore of his body vibrates with unsanded, pulsating animal appeal.

“Who that?” Swastika asked, probably already raping Langenegger in her hyperhormonal mind.

“Langenegger. One of the finalists.”

“Extreme” she pants, latching coital stares upon the unsuspecting artist. “But I'd do him.”

I laughed with her.

She's not alone in thinking it.

~ ~ ~

Zones Of Influence the Ateneo Art Awards 2008 runs August 1-11, Grand Atrium, Shangri-la Plaza Mall.

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Liquid Dreams

Spaces spread out like breathing continents in my mind. Everywhere I look I see ceaseless echoes of white walls, unfettered of smudges, distractions or meaning. It’s not as separate as a kiss that seeks to reinvent itself. Or a certain yearning that, by virtue of duplication, validates itself into a tactile reality. I walk the streets silhouetted by constellations of vacancies—clouds bereft of consequence shadow every weightless step. Even sleep descends evenly, self-assured, like a summer afternoon that refuses to yield to any shape of interruptions. Somewhere down the hall tonight, a karaoke shrieks off key self-affirmations of love penned by drugged up rockers trying to make sense of fame and pain. I twist the knob, dissolve into my unlit apartment, slide into linens, and, lulled by sentimental screams of lyrics flooding the hallways, I drift into unconsciousness, murmuring a name. Its syllables ripple like liquid dreams, half-whispered pirouettes trapped in momentary coals of midnight.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Blog Challenge: The Virtual Vice

Lurker, yes you, the one reading my blog. Take time to write and compete in this round of The Blog Awards Challenge.

Our generation is progressively becoming more and more virtual; Even our friendships and relationships are defined by Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook. Twitter is increasingly substituting physical interactions and 'catching up' moments are better served online. We would rather "YM or GTalk" chat revelatory details about our lives than confide with offline friends.

Did Cyberlife Kill Real Life Intimacy?

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Monday, August 4, 2008

Sound of Languor

Downcast weather is perfect to listen to the languid melancholy of this song I discovered recently:

Reminds me of Catpower's The Greatest, Lunik, Leona Naess and Vienna Teng.I'm looping it, idling at work, wishing I'm in bed.

(p.s. thankees misterhubs for helping in embedding/converting the audiofile!)

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Murder By Cuteness

Allergy is the word that pops in my mind every time someone mentions anything cutey-pahootey. So when I read Ian's review of Star Cinema's major production titled A Very Special Love, blisters and rashes started to sprout in my neck.

However I am the kind of Grinch that refuses to be one-upped so I took the bait and decided to watch the flick.

Listen. I am as shocked as you are. Cuteness overload isn't my idea of a Masochist's Sunday. (Dropping hollow blocks on my own foot would have been more fun.) This is compounded by the fact that this is a local movie and we all know homemade flicks are a ticket to mush/cheesepit where any given moment the cast will burst into a song and dance number. Or a kidnapping.

I had a plan: Here is my chance to gloat over Ian and Xienah. Ian, because he did that glowing review. Xienah, because, for some insane, incompressible reason, has this delirious girly crush on John Lloyd Cruz. Whatever she inhaled I'm not having some.

I dashed to the nearby Galleria and with a straight face gingerly whispered to the leery ticket booth clerk that, yes, I am buying a ticket to A Very Special Love. I feared she'd burst into maniacal laughter and slide off her seat in convulsions. My paranoia is heightened by the psychotic fear that anyone I might know will show up behind, armed with a digital camera and nursing blackmail in his heart. If that happened I won't live to hear the end of the tauntings and sniggery jokes. None of such misfortune transpired so I sneaked in the theater, avoiding faces as if I'm about to screen the updated version of Debbie Does Dallas.

Determined to shred the movie and lord over Ian and Xienah with smug satisfaction of having poked fun at its stars I planted my butt somewhere in the middle. Somewhere darker, to avoid being recognized.

Then the movie gut-punched me.

All the nasty lines I was crafting in my head for this blog melted along the breezy cadence of the movie. I was giggling like a fucking schoolgirl. I kicked myself three times in the dark to slap some Grinchness back to no avail. So excuse the drippy moment. Regular Grinch programming will resume as soon as I wipe the mocking grin off the face of Ian. And Xienah, if she starts making a jab at me.

A Very Special Love is not special if you take the plot. It's a formulaic mash with traces of Ugly Betty, Two Weeks Notice meeting The Devil Wears Prada. But it's a very good mash and at risk of being discovered and mocked by real life colleagues, I will dare say it's well-crafted mash: it is romantic, comedic, dramatic without murdering the audience with cuteness overkill. It has many swoon worthy moments without inundating with cloying drivels. Even clichés are given sincere treatments and you believe it without cringing. It is a compact, well developed flick and it's refreshing to note that there seems to be no superfluous or unnecessary scenes. Pruning the excess, it lets the characters shine with less to close to nil goofy gimmicks, which is a welcome treat.

A dopey premise like A Very Special Love in capable hands can come off surprisingly good and the movie is hell-bent to redeem itself with spectacular acting from the lead characters. And I am saying this with cautious conviction because I cannot stand the cute antics of John Lloyd Cruz outside this movie nor can I endure the chorus lines of Sarah Geronimo's ballads. So imagine my dazed experience when these two yanked the carpet off my cynical feet. Maybe it's too soon to say but Cruz and Geronimo are credible talents in search of great materials and roles to inhabit. Here they are palpable, real and - I'll go out on a limb here - radiant.

Cruz essays the tempestuous Magazine Publisher who is unshakably desperate to prove his worth to his clan. He storms with imperturbable ability and evil glee. He is Anna Wintour minus the tits but on perpetual PMS. At one point I was half-expecting for a dream sequence where it is finally revealed why he is such a crabby grouch: aliens have abducted him and forgot to remove his anal probe, ergo justifying his being a tyrannical sourpuss. The real reason of course is that he is an illegitimate child and is under tremendous pressure in buying the respect and acceptance of his father and half siblings. For a moment I was afraid that all his menacing fury is due to the fact that he is made to wear leather shoes sans the socks.

I can't stand too much perkiness but Geronimo dared not become Mary Poppins on steroids. Her cheerfulness is calculated, giving a billowy command on the role and the lines she's tossing. Lesser talents might have converted her role into a talking cheesecake but Geronimo dazzles even in her clichéd lines and syrupy moments. She's equally as surprising as Cruz performance-wise. Together they can make a toothache bearable and cheesy plots decent and enjoyable. (She fixes him coffee with Post-It notes containing smiley faces stuck to the mug, he retaliates fixing her coffee with a flower stuck to the mug. Under different circumstances I'd launch into projectile barfing. Instead, I giggled like I am yet to hit my first menstrual moment. Ugh.)

Maybe the Powers That Be of Star Cinema should pay heed to these two and shower them with more abundant opportunities than pumping the attention to the Sam Milby and Whatsherface tandem.

Everyone in the cast delivered. Zingers are tossed with aplomb and touchy moments are lent with such humanity that you can't contain a burst of recognition.

Aside from competent acting, well-assembled cast and a very crisp, well-paced script my biggest pleasure is the art direction. Mother Lily (aka King Midas In Reverse. “Everything she touches turns to shit.”) pay attention: This is why the movie is a visual experience! Make it look good as the case here in A Very Special Love. It appeared like no expense is spared on the set, designs, styling and locations and it pays off handsomely.

The sets are well-lighted, apt and tastefully put together. This is the first local movie I have seen in ages that looked sleek, modern, clean. Mid century classic chairs and lamps, check. (I let out a weak whistle when I saw John Lloyd's half brother's desk lamp, because I own the exact same thing plus the floor lamp version of the same design. Artemide would be proud.) Elegant and streamlined interiors, check. Fashionable wardrobes, check. (Kudos to the stylists for making the cast look so chic. Even the locations are bursting with cool factor.)

So there I was enjoying the hell out of the movie, leaving the theater with newfound respect for Cruz and Geronimo.

And yes, Ian and Xienah. Wipe out those mocking wacky smiles off your faces.

Before I do it for you.

With a mallet.

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Loitering In the Threshold Between Words And Images

Threat of impoverishment be damned I hoarded the stacks of bargain books being ignored by passersby along the connecting bridge deck of SM Makati and the MRT-Ayala station. At ninety nine bucks buy one take one, books by contemporary fiction authors I am familiar with (and some neat new discoveries) were remaindered. The thought of multiple mental orgasms had my nipples assuming the tautness of rubber erasers. So I grabbed stuff left and right in a frantic spree of a bingo player who got too many cards to blot. That or an amphetamined Hagar The Horrible looting a Balkan village. An amused clerk, seeing me clumsily juggling the titles in my arms helpfully offered a plastic basket. How very helpful. Then again, maybe he looked at me and the favorable word flashed in his head: Quota.

Of the twenty plus books I seized I am now starting reading eight—welcome additions to the two books I am simultaneously trying to finish: Robert Olen Butler's They Whisper , and Eric Kraft's Inflating A Dog.

Here's the list of the first eight I am devouring like a rabid glutton:

01. Drop by Mat Johnson – Elegant and beguiling with pretty succinct language reminding me of the previously mentioned Butler, Kraft and (at times very) Milan Kundera only more hip and current. It's possessed of rhythm that makes you want to read it out loud. Plus it's a novel about making a cut in a cutthroat professional whoring known as advertising, so it definitely got me hooked.

02. Critical Care by Richard Dooling – I remember laughing out loud on his antics in White Man's Grave. In that novel he rhapsodized about making a dump with graphic descriptions that will make Misterhubs perk up.

03. Chump Change by David Eddie

04. Swagbelly by DJ Levien

05. Martin Sloane by Michael Redhill

06. The Tapestries by Kien Nguyen

07. The Astrological Diary Of God by Bo Fowler and

08. Frost On My Moustache by Tim Moore

Enthralling fictions are escapists' convenient vehicle to mill about at the threshold of words and mental universes. You swim in brilliant imaginings, you drown in dialogues, your heart ignited, aflutter.

~ ~ ~

Because my friend Kandinsky is based in Prague and there is no way he can dash to Powerbooks to get Gelo Suarez' Dissonant Umbrellas, I am hereby pilfering bits from the book as literary hors de ouvres for my exiled friend. (If the author is reading this, please don't sue me of copyright infringement! I swear Kandinsky is buying the book through me which I am going to Fedex next week.)

Here's a sampling from Part One: Faux Dada Locomotive

In its paradigm of fins
who knows what lurks
behind the darkness? What trap
awaits the unsuspecting shadow?
A mug filled with toenails
more ghastly than spitoons
the scent of jasmine
& the radiance of severed shoulders:

there are deaths more penetrating

than a bullet thru
the heart, risks more dangerous
than a fork in the lung:
it's the hung air
of venturing into the void,
of language becoming
the jaws of a shark whose
are shards of a broken
lightbulb. A hieroglyph etches itself
on the scalp of a cat whose paw is a bone
lodged in my throat,
& the sun
is a woman
growing heavy
w/ salt
in the skylit belly of the earth: levitating
leaves in the bushfire
of your brow, pillow-soft rocks in the sack
of your chin—


Reading through that my pulse's rapid, my head reeling with pictorial explosions. Angelo Suarez, hope you won't be lazy and come up with another collaboration to ignite the waning interest in wordplay!

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