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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati

Chemical Relief

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I never could relate to the anxiety highschool students in teen movies feel (yes, I have watched quite a number of them... blame everyone from Molly Ringwald to Jason Biggs) For the most part, it was exhilirating and even during the worst episodes, it was bearable.

Some recurring storylines in such movies:
  • a cafeteria caste syste (best described in Mean Girls)
  • an ugly ducking becoming prom queen (She's All That, Never Been Kissed, and Carrie... technically, Sissy Spacek did become prom queen despite the cow's blood and the fiery demise of a whole auditorium)
  • enlightenment in detention (The Breakfast Club... a personal fave)
  • a philanthropic teacher (Dead Poets' Society, Dangerous Minds... two more movies I really like)
  • and, some form of sexual deviance with pastry.
My highschool didn't have a prom perse, it was an all boys school... correction, it was an all boys Catholic school. In our "prom", students brought dates. It was uneventful and appeared very Pleasantville-sque. We had teachers circling the auditorium like prison wards. There have been several attempts to spike the punch, but alcohol detectors hindered every single one of them. There were no prom queens, but many, I think the statistic now is the debatable 10%, would refute this.

We didn't have detention. Teachers chose either passive aggression, a visit to the assistant principal's office, or an embarassing letter to your parents. We had our fair share of really good teachers but none of them made us yell Walt Whitman's poetry on our armchairs and they didn't reward us with Butterfingers if we answered a Dylan Thomas question correctly.

Our cafeteria is more like a prison mess hall that always smells of sweat and cheddar cheese.

I loved my highschool. Those were four of my best years made memorable by the whole prison ambience and the fraternity between us jail birds. Our classrooms were nowhere near Vassar standards, heck I don't even think they were sterile. But, we never did open heart surgeries in these classrooms... so the air-borne bacteria and the mildew aroma was tolerable, even becoming.

I belonged to a semi-detached class known as the "Science" section... *Nerd Alert*. Contrary to popular belief, there wasn't much difference between our class and the "regular" sections... perhaps three additional subjects, a detailed lesson on how photosynthesis works, the expectation to comprehend advanced Chemistry, and a surprised look from teachers when you do something extremely dim-witted.

I am an admitted geek. Three classmates/friends and I used to play our version of Jeopardy... I know, this places geek on a whole new level, but our anatomy and demeanor didn't make us believable basketball players, which was what all the other students did. We made categories and questions, then alternated being Alex Trebek. One category I enjoyed immensely invented by Marcial was "Chemical Symbols". It was basically giving a clue whose answer is spelled with the chemical symbols of elements. For example:

Question: English Achtung
Clue: Calcium-Uranium-Titanium-Oxygen-Nitrogen
Answer: CaUTiON
(Get it? haha... we were weird eccentric)

This helped with the Periodic Table alot then. I never liked Chemistry before, I found the subject dreary and often times pointless. "You will need this when you graduate!", I remember my Chem professor declaring. Aside from cement mixing, Chemistry has not been at all useful in my profession. Although I did wish I listened in class more whenever I watch CSI.

The tradition of my highschool has died. It is now co-ed. It has been moved to a more antiseptic academic-looking building. Sad. Very sad. Although the old building is still being used, it would have been more appropriate to turn it into a museum with tours ala-Alcatraz.

"This is the cell... err classroom where Mr. so and so spent 4 years of solitary confinement. This is the torture chamber... I mean Chemistry laboratory. And this is the cell where 4 prisoners spelled words with Chemical Symbols."

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What is it...?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

There is a shampoo ad on TV that aired earlier this year with a song that I got obsessively hooked on for some reason. The commercial wasn't anything especially interesting, just a guy and a girl on a bench. But the song, that drasted song was so catchy. I googled lyrics, song titles, artists to no avail. I looked at forums dedicated solely to this enigmatic song. I even contemplated sending a mad e-mail to Unilever. It was that serious.

I never believed in shampoo commercials. I am using "believe" here instead of say "like" or "appreciate". They are extremely deceptive. First of all, dead things can't possibly be healthy... they can be peaceful or decomposing. Imagine reading "for shinier, more peaceful hair" on a bottle. Noone, without resorting to expensive chemical treatments, could possibly have natural hair so soft and straight, it moves like fine chiffon. Plus, the models are always happy... perky... chipper... you'd think they were selling anti-depressants, or liquefied prozac infused into the shampoo absorbed by the scalp through osmosis. A lot of people buy into it (myself included) especially if they have a catchy song that comes along with it. This wouldn't be the first time rich people got richer by selling crap in a nice easy to grip bottle.

Last friday morning was serendipitous. I left my radio on the night before and I was still half asleep when I heard that song. What is it about finding something you have been painstakingly looking for when you aren't even trying?

(Wait a sec... Jon Stewart just put Amy Sedaris on the Seat of Heat, What is it about Jon Stewart? *sigh*)


(Ok... I'm back)

Where was I? ah yes... THE shampoo song wafted into my unremembered REM dream. I usually laze in my sheets for close to half an hour before I rise, but on that particular morning I was on my feet in a microsecond rummaging through my drawers for a pen to write the title of the song. I was lightheaded from my abnormally fast arousal, so I did what any lethargic nocturnal creature would do, I crawled back into my blankets and came to work late... again. What is it about the invisible adhesive between my back and my bed? If I could work horizontally, I probably would. But then again, horizontal jobs usually involve sexual favors, grease and hydraulic jacks, or losing your eyesight under the Sistine Chapel. I think I just found a deeper appreciation for my vertical, sometimes inclined, job.

At the office, I stole some paid minutes to download the song on my office computer. "Applewire" worked invisibly behind the Photoshop presentation I was finishing. In less than 3 minutes, the song that took me three weeks to get over was flooding the office. What is it about ownership, even through felonious means that can satiate the most insatiable person? I must have played that song a gazillion times over the course of two days. It got old really fast, I never noticed how hollow the song is until I etched it on my ear drum. What is it about losing interest when the enigma is lost?

Oh and yes, the title of the song... What is it?
"Let Me" by Orange and Lemons (I'm not a big fan of this band especially after they ripped off The Chandeliers... but hey Mr. Tambourine man... play me that song)

Now, if only I could figure out the title of the song in that Bailey's ad... The one where a short haired woman in a bar, after touching a glass of this yummy concoction starts spreading the "dance fever" to the people around her.

New Tenant
Plugging my new tenant, Stumbling Through Life With Grace, I rented her out before already but her blog was undergoing a renovation... Check out her redecorated blog.

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Whiplashed to Anticipation

Friday, October 20, 2006


I am removing three words from my vocabulary... "Pohnpei Shopping Center". That's what's been keeping me extremely (and unwantedly) busy the past few days. I must have gone through a gazillion schemes of this project. I'm not gonna bore you with it. I leave my work at the office... well, most of the time.

I can't recall what led to the question, but on the way home earlier this evening, it was all I can think of as I closed the taxi door after I dropped Tine and Dona off. "What do you look forward to?".

It was Tine who said that lately she didn't look forward to anything anymore. Just as the words left her mouth, before Dona and I could come up with something good to say, the taxi veered to the right making the three of us hold on to seat belts and door locks and head rests. It was trying to overtake a blue Civic but was forced to swerve back by a speeding taxi on the other lane.

I dunno if it was the fact that we missed a head-on collision or if it was the slight whiplash... but Tine realized how morbid what she said was. She quickly muttered... "I look forward to my hot dinner. I look forward to sleeping on my bed, and I look forward to waking up in the morning!" to the ceiling of the taxi. We were laughing our asses off... telling the taxi driver we didn't look forward to bleeding internally.

You know you're getting older when you're typing some quarter-life crisis mumbo jumbo while some gag show on a loud TV goes unnoticed. Looking forward to Christmas or New Year has become ambiguous. When you're old(er), its the small, superficial things you look forward to.

I look forward to:
  • My paycheck.
  • Weekends and Days off.
  • My 100th post. (Still a long way off)
  • The Amazing Race and a delayed Project Runway 2 on Mondays and Distraction UK on Thursdays.
  • The next episode of Grey's Anatomy courtesy of "Applewire".
  • The next season of CSI Las Vegas. (How sad, I look forward to TV shows)
  • The Transformers movie.
  • The new Evanescence Album
  • The new The Killers Album
  • Finishing a compelling book and wanting more pages when you come to the last ten pages or so.
  • Sleep. Glorious sleep. Deep REM sleep without an alarm clock, without noise, without things to do, and with a great dream that I remember.

On a different note, there is this circulating text message that a bomb would be detonated in SM City Baguio (a mall) on Saturday. I've never believed in "news" leaked this way, but I wouldn't mind lurking around the outskirts of the mall on Saturday... it may be morbid and a possible hoax, but it's something to look forward to.

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Issues with the Fork

Monday, October 16, 2006

While I am typing, a saucer holding a slice of calorie-filled heaven is resting on my growing tummy... Nope, I am incapable of child birth. I need to stop eating this mocha cake with extra sweet icing... I am running out of comfortable pants. I don't look forward to my first mumu purchase.

This slice came from a half eaten cake resting on the top ledge of our fridge, a souvenir from my nephew's third birthday last Saturday. On the ledge beneath it is the second storey of a tiered cake from my brother's friend's wedding, untouched. For two days, whenever I need anything from the fridge, these are all I see... calling me... invoking my sweet tooth.

I am putting the fork down.

My nephew, Net, is a sweet, hyperactive and recently bald kid. I love him to pieces. He claims to be a Power Ranger and would hit you unintentionally hard with anything resembling a sword. On a good day, he is extremely charming. In one of our family reunions, My whole paternal clan was laughing and clapping when he danced uninhibitedly in the middle of the venue to a novelty song he really liked taking the attention away from older kids doing a performance. He was so infectious, he got our relatives with senior citizen cards and weak hips dancing along with him. On a really bad day, he throws impossible tantrums. I "think of a happy place" when he has one of them on my watch. He always makes up for his temper.

I had more fun in his birthday than I was expecting. Not only because the mascot ("Happi-Stinger") was hilarious but because I got to see my mom spell "SOS" using her knees with a balloon between her legs... in a business suit. I am not really big on parlor games, but watching friends and relatives make buffoons of themselves... priceless.

My nephew had a tremendous time chasing kids around the restaurant and accepting gifts with a euphoric smile. He used to be afraid of "Grimace", the Mcdonald's mascot (Who wouldn't be? Attack of the killer eggplant!) On his party though, He accepted the giant bee's hands without an ounce of hesitation. He is growing up so fast! *sniff*

And I am growing up so fast too! Circumferentially!!! Joy!!!!!!

I am REALLY putting the fork down...

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13 Things to do While your Blog Loads

Friday, October 13, 2006

Guess what... I'm on dial-up again. I can't be certain why the connection is down again. After trying to connect this wi-fi-less situation with the supposed misfortune Friday the thirteenth brings... I've stopped guessing. It takes a great amount of patience (which I surprisingly possess) to blog under these conditions. I know now that I am certifiably hooked to blogging.

The small changes I did with my blog layout have decreased its loading time by 0.001 seconds on dial up. Joy...

While waiting for the status bar to lengthen one micrometer per minute, here's what I did:

1. Do the daily Yahoo! crossword (for 13:49 minutes) I'm getting pretty good at this, although I always get emir, shah and imam mixed up. Just 4 wrong letters (woo hoo!)... I have no idea who 20 across is but I do know now what a 47 down is. I've always wanted to meet a crossword puzzle maker, I find their job fascinating... How they make answers fit perfectly in a symmetrical 15 x 15 box. In The Story of Us, Michelle Pfeiffer made crosswords for a living and... coincidentally also starred in a movie with the same title as today's crossword.

2. Smoke a Marlboro while waiting for 5 minutes for the printscreened image of the crossword to upload in Photobucket so that the 20 across and 47 down reference will make sense.

3. Eat a squashed fastfood peach mango pie retrieved from my now pastry smelling bag... an uneaten souvenir from dinner. AND air out bag.

4. Wrap my nephew's gift for tomorrow. (Two Tom and Jerry movies and a Justice League movie with a weird square jawed Superman) Then, place gift smack dab in the middle of the Christmas Tree, dropping a couple of ornaments in the process.

5. Replace bed sheets, moving the laptop extremely slowly making sure not to pull the phone line.

6. Stare blankly into the ceiling... thinking of an item for #6 but all you can think of are the blotches of god-knows-what on your ceiling that's shaped like the Big Dipper.

7. Marvel at the things you just bought this evening from a 3-day sale at the mall. You don't really need them... but they were on sale. Green knee-high football socks (I don't play football, I just thought they'd go well with the psychotic elf theme I'm planning to wear to a party)... Rainbow colored pony tails to coordinate with any possible outfit... etc.

8. Mentally spend the rest of your 15 day salary on things you want... Feeling completely satiated until you realize most of it will go to things you don't want... Bills, bills, bills.

9. Unload the contents of your bag... Fanning out the smell of fastfood. Discover you have 67 pesos worth of change, find your stylus that's been at large for 3 days (you were forced to use other blunt objects... pinky included, to act in its place), throw away 5 candy wrappers and remember you forgot something at the office.

10. Spend a sufficient amount of time thinking for a clever entry for #10 but all you end up doing is pumping vaporized tobacco to your lungs.

11. Realize (again) you're getting fat. So you start flailing your arms in supposed aerobic activity to Mas Que Nada. Realize (again) that you look like a moron. So you sit down again and make a mental promise to work-out tomorrow morning.

12. Forget the mental promise to work-out in the morning while you eat a Snickers bar.

13. Do a happy dance cause you squeezed in your 13 post for October with 3 minutes to spare.

Have a great weekend everyone! and Happy Thirteenth SV2G!

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39 Days of non-Christmas

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Despite my subtle efforts to prevent it from happening, our house has been christmasized. Last week, after an exhausting day from work, I was greeted by our plastic fantastic tree standing in all its tinsel glory in the living room. I have always been the designated Christmas decorator and I took comfort in the fact that I controlled when the multi-colored Christmas balls come out of their dusty mildewed boxes. I have been putting off the decorating intentionally, but unfortunately... our chipper housekeeper, Lisa decided to do a Yuletide mutiny. While I was busy designing plans of a resort... Lisa resorted to plan a design for the sparkly garlands of the tree.

I am still in a way successful in my plans to delay Christmas. Filipinos are known to celebrate the longest Christmas season. When the "-ber" months start, so do the carols in radio shows and the hanging of parols (colorful star shaped lanterns) This whole"-ber" thing supposedly refers to "brrr", the sound shivering people make when its cold, mainly due to the Barat wind. (Its interesting that barat in Filipino means "frugal" and this wind starts to show itself on December) A month-long Christmas season can, at times, be very depressing under certain circumstances... Try going through it for 4 months and 3 weeks, give or take.

My suspended christmasation lasted one month and nine days.

I can not pinpoint the exact moment when I turned from Charles Schulz' Linus to Charles Dickens' Scrooge. When the carols sounded more like Jingle Belch, Winter Blunderland and My Grown-up Christmas Hitlist. When a plastic tree is just a plastic tree.

This is just a phase I go through every year... I am actually a delightful person who loves the season and still looks at a lit Christmas tree in a dark living room with awe when no one is watching.

Bah Humbug.

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Row, Row, Row your Junk

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Brace yourself... This is another Amazing Race post.

Peter is an ass. I just wanted to get that off my chest. You'd think being a prosthetist he'd be more thoughtful of the feelings of amputees... but nooo... he makes tacky comments like "Sarah, why don't you show them your handicap placard so you can go first!", or have his soon to be ex-girlfriend (hopefully) run around on her prosthetic leg just so they can beg for money from locals. And in last night's episode, one team member had to scale a 90 foot sheer face with a mechanical ascender. And who did it? The one without the handicap placard. Peter is an ass. One big, tacky ass.

It's funny how when you discover unpleasant qualities, they become less and less human-looking. Whenever I see Peter with his smug face on that boat all I can see is ET, I know ET is a darling and to compare him to this monster is audacious, but with Peter's wide set eyes, cro-magnon forehead and bone structure... he could play ET's distant cousin... sans prosthetics. Irony, he's a prosthetist.

Sarah looks like a less prettier Naomi Watts. I wonder if she can run the race on her own.

TAR Taught Me:
  1. Peter is an ass.
  2. I never recognized the "green" connotation of Vietnamese money until James pointed it out.
  3. "I'm very auditory" said one of the beauty queens. She is an ear? I'm no grammar/ vocabulary expert but this statement just sounds wrong. "I'm very audile", or "I have sensitive ears" is what she meant... I think. Or she could have meant she was an ear. While saying this, she stopped at a trash can and listened to crickets thinking it was the auditory clue they were looking for. How nice.
  4. Karma is soooo sweet. Again, the beauty queens cut the line to reach the boats and in doing so, one of them ended up with a bleeding leg. I was laughing like crazy. Lyn and Karlyn, the team they passed, said they had that coming. I was thinking of a gorier form of retribution... perhaps broken fingernails? Or a broken tiara? I have issues with beauty queens... But I also do believe in world peace, baton twirling... and putting vaseline on your teeth.
  5. Alot of people don't know how to row a boat. Tine and I made our audition CD to Amazing Race Asia in a boat while we were rowing and a couple of friends were filming us. We would have sailed (no pun intended) in that rowing challenge.., Okay, okay... so we rowed a boat in a calm lake and it may be... just a little harder to row against strong ocean current.
  6. They used two types of boats... A Junk looks like a tug boat (in background), yes the type of boat Popeye has, and the other one is a Sampan (the one the bickering couple in the foreground are in and are trying desperately to maneuver) which looks like a regular row boat.
  7. It is probably wise to raise the anchor if you want your junk to move faster.

Tom and Terry got eliminated. Tom on Ha Long Bay: "As long as there is a Starbucks nearby, we can live here!"

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I Hate Mondays...

Monday, October 09, 2006

My Monday abhorrence started when I began school and... when I discovered the allure of procrastination. It's a huge, totally unwelcome yet inevitable hurdle after the weekend. I look forward to Mondays with the same anticipation I do flu shots.

I never did get the association of this drasted day with the Moon. Monday from the Old English Mona and the Spanish Lunes (which we also use) from the Latin Luna... both referring to the Moon. I've always associated Monday, and thought it more appropriate, with mundane, and Lunes with lunacy.

Aside from the tubbiness, the orange fur, the black stripes, the love for Italian food, disgust for spiders and an utter surrender to gravity... Hating Mondays is another thing I have in common with Garfield.

While my classmates in gradeschool went gaga over Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake or My Little Pony... I was collecting cut out Garfield comic strips from Stars and Stripes newspapers. They are yellowish now. I never got Garfield's sarcasm at that age but I did get the annoyance for drooling dogs, the indifference for hovering pet owners, and the disdain for alarm clocks.

The movies they did were blah. Bill Murray was a perfect voice but the whole Garfield sets off for another adventure plotline just sucks. Nearly all of these comic strips happen in just three places... Jon's home, the vet, or some unnamed fence where Garfield does his stand-up comedy routines.
The only thing I look forward to on Mondays is The Amazing Race and that is still 8 hours from now... *yawn*... where's Pooky?

All strips from www.garfield.com

PS. Said website is amazing, It has a vault containing all Garfield strips ever created by Jim Davis. I dug up the archived and found this strip made on the fortuitous day I was born. It's a bit prophetic. Jim Davis managed to predict that I would love watching tennis, I like vegging out, I'm a couch potato and beer... oh precious beer.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006

It was Ma'am Jan's birthday last Thursday. She is my PI boss. I am using boss loosely here because with her laid back supervision and cheerful disposition, an onlooker may look at us as colleagues.

I've always thought that "boss" is a fairly modern term. Aside from the current association with adjective+color perfumes, the word itself is very succinct and minimalist. According to Etymonline, "boss" was coined in 1649. Notable people during the 17th century include Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. "Boss" doesn't fit in this era. Don Quixote didn't say "My boss, my boss, my kingdom for a boss". In Hamlet, Polonius never called Claudius his boss... Juliet never said to Lady Capulet "Alas, Thou aren't the boss of my life!" in Act I.

Further reading makes my previous statements ridiculous. First of all the term was coined in America, a long ship ride away from Spain and England... and unless they had internet access then, the proliferation of this word would have taken a century and a day. Second, and more importantly... Both Cervantes and Shakespeare died in 1616, a good 3 decades before "boss" came to existence.

Am I boring you yet with this pointless etymology of "boss? Anyhoo... It came from the Dutch word "baas" which translates as master. In the theoretically classless democracy of the States, the term "boss" became very popular. It served as a egalitarian euphemism for "master". Now, we don't call our superiors masters unless:
  1. You're being sarcastic
  2. You're learning jujitsu, judo or some other form of martial arts
  3. You're into S & M
  4. You're playing Dungeons and Dragons
Now, bossy is an adjective we use for people who like to bark out commands. "Bossy" was first recorded in 1882 as a common cow name. How appropriate.

I have only gone through 3 companies when I started working. In the first two, I developed a friendship with both my bosses, I seem pretty lucky (or picky) with companies I apply to. In the third company (my current employer), I have 3 bosses. My PI boss, my boss from Guam and The Godfather from Oregon. They vary so much in their manner of administration that I feel like I'm three different employees switching skins depending on who I'm talking to. I get along pretty well with all three of them, but if my current job has taught me anything about bosses, there are 3.5 million species of them:

Random Boss Sampling:

The Charles Montgomery Burns
He is rich, powerful and above the law. He owns a huge corporation where employees don't usually know each other. He is pure evil and would steal candy from a baby if he were strong enough to do so. He wouldn't think twice before pushing a button underneath his desk that opens a hatch where you fall into and later find yourself in Timbuktu.

The Dr. Miranda Bailey
She is "the Nazi". She is frank, brutally honest and remarkably talented. She knows everything that happens in the workplace. She doesn't want people sucking up to her and treats her subordinates impartially. She is a mom and a professional. She is a tough boss but she always protects your best interests and you learn a lot from her.

The Donald Trump
He is rich. He is influential. He has a comb-over. He is business-savvy, successful and isn't inhibited to tell you so in a robotic cadence. He is conceited but you can't blame him... but you could hate him. He likes to exaggerate. He doesn't like any form of failure and wouldn't think twice before saying "You're fired" in the boardroom.

The David Brent
He wants to be everyone's friend and mentor in The Office. He thinks people find him hilarious and would give anything to be around him (yeah right). He is irritating and hovers above your work station. He is totally oblivious of what employees think of him. On a good day he is tolerable, but on most days... you just wanna stab him with your #2 pencil.

The Gil Grissom
He is eccentric. He is very intelligent. He doesn't believe in politics in the workplace. He has a collection of bugs in his office. He develops intimate relationships with his employees without being touchy-feely. He doesn't mind sharing the limelight. He is very passionate about his job and as a result has a semi-existent personal life.

The Horatio Crane
He is very good with his job to the point of impossibility. He seems to always have the answer and know everything which is quite sickening. He is always in the spotlight. He makes everyone one he is the boss. He delivers alot of puns and cliches and always wears sunglasses regardless of weather conditions or amount of sunlight.

end of sampling...

Trivia: A number of countries celebrate National Boss Day on October 16.

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Slamming Doors

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

On my way to work this morning, the taxi driver had an Ilocano melodrama on the radio. Although these shows are meant to tug at your heartstrings, what they end up doing is tickle your funny bone.

First of all, there are more creative ways of conveying that the stereotypical matron is gonna open her lover's hidden letter from his mistress, than having her outright say... "I am gonna open this letter!". Second, what is the deal with the over-the-top acting? Sure it must be harder for the actors to express surprise or disgust when their faces can't be seen... But why wail like a madman when weeping can suffice or cackle like a hyena when a slight chuckle is more appropriate.

The sound technicians are unsung heroes. Without them, we wouldn't know that a gun has been shot or that it is raining. They must look hilarious when they have shoes on their hands to suggest that a character is walking or when they utter spontaneous dialogue in the background to create a restaurant atmosphere. And the door slam! The staple door slam to indicate the dramatic exit of an angry mistress or the swift entry of an "in-heat" newspaper boy. When you hear a door slam you know something is up.

A taxi ride to the office lasts for 15 minutes or so. The melodrama this morning is about a young Filipina who is married to a Korean. When I got on the taxi, there was a heated argument between said woman (who I shall christen Huhnah, she said "Huh" alot) and her mother-in-law (who I shall call "Korean lady who sounds like a Chinese woman")...

(Huhnah enters bedroom)
Huhnah: You were looking for me?
(KlwslaCw slams the door)
KlwslaCw: Have you seen the water bill?
Huhnah: No... why?
KlwslaCw: It has tripled since you've lived here!!!! (heavy breathing)
Huhnah: Huh. What are you implying?
KlwslaCw: You take a bath everyday! That's what I'm implying! (more heavy breathing, I think she's gonna have a heart attack)
Huhnah: Huh. What does my hygiene have to do with the water bill?! (Huhnah is a tad slow)
KlwslaCw: I am the one paying the bills!!! As long as you are under my roof, you will take a bath only once a week!!!
Huhnah: Once a week? Are you insane?
KlwslaCw: And another thing!!! The electric bill is also very high! Very High!!! Do not open the lights in your bedroom until my son comes home from work! I am the one paying the bills!!!
(Huhnah opens the door, and with door knob in hand...)
Huhnah: Huh! (door slams)

The dialogue has been translated from Filipino... How KlwslaCw knew how to speak perfect Filipino (with a chinese accent) is inconsequential. The mere fact that they were arguing over something as mundane as daily bathing made me listen intently and desperately try to write down their dialogue in a moving vehicle. It was so absurd, it bordered on possible.

Daily bathing is a deeply rooted Filipino ritual. Much like the Japanese and the Arabs, Filipinos are very fastidious with this habit. It is almost taboo not to bathe everyday. I've always thought that the foremost reason for this is hygiene in a tropical country, but I think it has deeper reasons (sociologists... Help!). Spanish Friars of old found this native custom odd, they indoctrinated that believers shouldn't take baths on Fridays (especially the lenten Good Friday) as an act of penitence or a serious illness will afflict them. (from Bong Barrameda) That was more odd. I was googling the adverse effects of daily bathing but all I found was an article on neonatal rhesus monkeys... so I dropped it.

I got sidetracked, anyways... Huhnah told the conversation to Changki (his actual name on the show) and he was a classic mama's boy who, even if the whole argument is ridiculous, chose his mom's frugality over Huhnah's hygiene. This whole scene happened in a noisy environment which I presume was an airport. Huhnah was sobbing and doing some "poor me what was I thinking" soliloquy when I paid my fare and opened the taxi door. I was tempted to ask the taxi driver to go around in circles just so I can hear what Huhnah would do next... perhaps fight with her sister for the tweezer or wrestle her neighbor because she doesn't cut her fingernails...

Oh, screw it! (Door slam)

Picture Credits:
Old Style Radio Show
Old Radio

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Anh noi tieng Anh khong?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A third world country on the third leg. The Amazing Race sure is tough on the present teams. They were also given zero money during the onset of the leg and were not allowed to beg or sell anything they had. Such harsh conditions were usually saved for the last 5 legs of the race or so when the teams were likely to have nervouse breakdowns.

TAR taught me:
  1. Save money...
  2. 5 US Dollars = +/- 80,000 Vietnamese Dong... sheesh!
  3. A bouquet of flowers in Vietnam costs something between 2,000 to 3,000 dong
  4. Coal can be molded like Play-doh.
  5. There is a truth in the conniving beauty queen stereotype. The beauty queens should have thought twice before cutting in front of the middle-aged queens with orange shirts. Rawwrrr!
  6. There is a Hanoi Hilton, It is a prison where French colonists in vietnam interrogated/tortured political prisoners... no it is not owned by the Hiltons, although watching A Simple Life does come close to torture.
  7. There is an innate camaraderie between American southeners, or at least between two teams in the show. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books.
  8. Attractive people are attractive with or without the coal stains.
  9. Paying your respects to important historical people pays off, and in this case the prize is a kick-ass state of the art entertainment showcase.
  10. Make sure you are riding the right bus to Vac.
  11. I spotted a boom operator! Haha... last leg it was a camera man, and unless there are people in Hanoi who walk around with a microphone on a "fishing pole", then I'm sure I saw a boom operator.
  12. When a local at the airport tells you she'll bring you to your destination, have second thoughts... she may ask you to drop her off at her brother's house 30 minutes away from where you were supposed to be going. Note: Do not take her at all when you only have 11 dollars for taxi fare.
  13. Never ride a motorcycle in Vietnam. You could be charged with a 30 minute penalty or lose a couple of limbs.
  14. Oh and by the way, the title of the post is "Do you speak English" in Vietnamese... It's a lot easier to just ask it in english and wait for those who understand to talk to you... But where is the fun in that?? More Vietnamese Phrases. Cam on! (Thank You)

One of the teams I like got axed... Boo Hoo. They had the worst luck with their money management, interaction with locals and navigation. They HAD to make a perfect bird cage, I think so long as the bird couldn't get out of the cage, it qualifies as a cage. Duke and Lauren took too much time impressing the bird cage maker, and so... they were sent home on the mat set atop a rice field.

All pictures from CBS

Grip Guden
It is Norwegian for "Catch the God". The Queer Chef is raising funds for an independent film with this existential title. If you are interested in indies and would like to help, please visit this page.

My favorite color and the name of this week's tenant. This blog is owned by Rache from Bristol, UK. Oh, and I just noticed it... Rache Green, an "L" and I have a tenant from FRIENDS!

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Candles + Choir - Child = CCC

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Last night, my mom celebrated her __th birthday. She has selective amnesia when it comes to such numbers. When I was younger, a birthday party is a birthday party. The number of candles on a cake never really interested me then, all I paid attention to were the candy flowers placed on its corners. When my mom started changing the topic whenever a question about her age was raised, I took a peep at her driver's license and noted the year in one of my journals.

All day yesterday was spent tidying the house up. My dad, sister and our housekeeper Lisa were stationed at the kitchen. Me and my brother were in charge of the "physical arrangement", moving furniture, adding some from my sister's house, and placing indoor plants which were never really permanent fixtures in the house on a regular day.

My mom had a couple of visitors from the land down under, her amigas and the entire choir from her church. Introductions were made (I'm not gonna remember anyone's name) It's a good thing I ate early... The pianist took his perch on our aging, rarely played piano. He made a signal and the whole choir started singing "Halle, Halle, Hallelujah". There were singing faces everywhere in the living room and nowhere to avert my eyes to. I retreated to my room and in order to drown the kumbaya songs... I put on my headphones and played Jeopardy 2003.

When I was younger, I took an immediate liking to Jeopardy. Who new that at a young age, a show hosted by a man with a Hitler moustache would awaken my inner nerd. I didn't answer a whole lot of questions then but I did learn a lot of Potent Potables and how to pronounce Potpourri. Plus, I became skilled at mentally computing a wager that would, if everything turned out as planned, made me win 1 dollar over my nearest opponent.

Other game shows then, during the FEN (Far East Network) era, that I also watched included Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud. Together with Jeopardy, these three have names that could have been popular and violent soap operas. Fate, Fighting and Fear...

I also remember a short-lived gameshow (by our TV reception standards) named Classic Concentration, also hosted by Alex Trebek (I can't get Will Ferrell's impersonation out of my mind whenever I see him) You had a message encrypted in images, which was covered by numbered cells. To reveal the encrypted image behind, the cells need to be paired up and each pair has a prize of some sort. The other elements of the show didn't really interest me. Here is an example of an encrypted message I googled...

ST+eve R+eye+yawn = Steve Ryan
(I have no idea who heshe* is)

For lack of anything better to do I tried making a couple of CCC's (Classic Concentration Clue) blah, I'm still thinking of a better name. Here's a fairly easy one:

Who said it?

Burned a couple of brain cells yet? Here's a relatively harder one...

My Philosophy:

What a nerd does on hisher* free time is nobody's business. Oh and by the way, when I came out from my bomb shelter (my room), all the guests were nearly gone and my mom was near drunk. I love my mom.

*refer to previous post: I (Heart) Lexpionage

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