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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

13 Fathers' Day Gift Ideas

Saturday, June 16, 2007

(This post, like a woman reaching for a pregnancy test, is 3 days late)

I am always seriously flummoxed when it comes to giving my dad a gift. Hypercritical gift picking can be a pain. There is a nagging voice in my head that constantly says things like... "You gave him that three birthdays ago", "Sure... he can use ANOTHER (insert typical fathers' day gift here)", "A shirt in that color? Seriously?".

I believe it is generally harder to think of a gift for a male recipient. This may be because a greater percentage of all advertising and marketing is focused on a female demographic. One can simply drop by a Bodyshop (against animal testing) or a bookstore or any department store, and the matter of picking a gift becomes a problem of picking which one?

Giving a "masculine" gift is a painstaking task, giving a gift to one's dad may be easy at first, but once the "possible gifts for Dad" list runs out (and it will), the endeavor becomes near impossible.

I've been contemplating what to give my dad, and as always, I turn to TV for ideas.

If my dad was:
Homer Simpson
The Simpsons

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "anything edible" and it'll please this lovable white collar "d'oh!"-ing dad.

#1 Gift: Doughnuts!

Duff beer, that hair grower on the cable shopping network, an electric shaver, collared shirts in technicolor, gift certificate for anger management classes, a gift certificate from West Coast Customs for a "pimped" car, a Bart tether so he can strangle Bart without getting calluses... all he gotta do is say "Why you little..."

If my dad was:
Keith Mars
Veronica Mars

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "007" and it'll please this witty, street smart, a little bit overprotective dad.

#1 Gift: An Aston Martin!

A Batman utility belt, that hair grower on the cable shopping network, one year GPS subscription to track offspring, a certified private eye trench coat, the file cabinet I won 7 or so posts ago, an original copy of The Maltese Falcon, a lifetime supply of fountain pens with bugs.

If my dad was:
Jack Bristow

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "anything non-Rimbaldi" and it'll please this emotionally retarded but extremely endearing dad

#1 Gift: An Office Building half the size of the Pentagon!

More black suits, more ties to go with the black suits, a grand piano, a lifetime supply of multi-aliased passports, yoga classes, a torture chamber, a cabbage patch kid, a psychologist (preferably Tracy from Ally Mcbeal)

If my dad was:
Frank Barone
Everybody Loves Raymond

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "republican" and it'll please this crass yet at time surprisingly sweet dad.

#1 Gift: A Carribean Vacation (without Marie)

Vinyl jazz records, a turntable to play them, plaid shirts, an EZ chair, a TV (showing only sports) for his bedroom, a mini-fridge with mini-alcohol similar to those you see in a hotel,

If my dad was:
Darth Vader
Star Wars

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "cosmic destruction" and it'll please this patent leather clad, James Earl Jones-voiced dad

#1 Gift: A Synthetic right hand!

Another death star, a yellow light saber (yellow looks good against black), a voice modulator with a range from a sexy low Barry White singing voice to a high Karen Walker shriek, ewok stew, roasted ewok, adobong ewok, etc.

If my dad was:
Michael Bluth
Arrested Development

(I'd probably shake him to reality first... why oh why would you name your son George Michael?! anywho...)
...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "anything away from the other Bluths" and it'll please this responsible yet often insanely oblivious dad.

#1 Gift: A Banana-Stand business

Two one-way plane tickets to Timbuktu, massive amounts of therapy, a vehicle with stairs used for airplanes.

If my dad was:
Hal Wilkerson
Malcolm in the Middle

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "what would a five year old love" and it'll please this uniquely kooky dad.

#1 Gift: An Asphalt Roller!

A better job, pancakes, an Xbox, Marvel comic books, all the materials and machinery he needs to make his dream "killer robot", a plasma TV with all the channels in the entire known universe, a bedroom jacuzzi.

If my dad was:
Atticus Finch
To Kill a Mockingbird

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "just and honorable" and it'll please my favorite father from literature.

#1 Gift: The Chance to witness the Emancipation

A state of the art hunting rifle, a lifetime babysitting service (no offense to Calpurnia), A kick-ass attache case (or whatever it was lawyers put their papers in in the 1930's) A sanctuary for mockingbirds (Blue jays optional)

If my dad was:
Finding Nemo

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "marine" and it'll please this overprotective clownfish dad.

#1 Gift: Sea Anemone!

Opposable thumbs, a deluxe condo unit on prime soft coral real estate, a death sentence on all electric eels, a death sentence on all jellyfish, a death sentence on all sea gulls that say "mine, mine, mine", a no-fish policy on all dentist nieces.

If my dad was:
Mr. (Noah) Bennet

...there'd probably be no problem at all (well I wouldn't be too fond of him). Think "Save the Cheerleader" and it'll please this cleft chinned adoptive dad.

#1 Gift: More Horn-Rimmed Glasses!

A sense of humor, his own Primatech Paper Company franchise, his own supernatural power like say the ability to get away with wearing horn-rimmed glasses!

If my dad was:
Martin Crane

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "no psychiatry" and it'll please this wise and down-to-earth dad.

#1 Gift: A titanium cane!

Ballantine beer, A personal veterinarian for his dog Eddie, action movie DVDs of the Van Damme (ullk) and Steven Seagal (double ullk) variety. And never, ever, ever even entertain the slightest thought of replacing his favorite old recliner.

If my dad was:
Tony Soprano
The Sopranos

...there'd probably be no problem at all (Ok I'd be scared shitless). Think "Vito Corleone" and it'll please this really complex dad.

#1 Gift: Resurrecting Pie-O-My

Confidentiality of his therapy sessions (offense means death by body of water and huge rock tied to ankles), A Pink Floyd version of Alabama 3's "Woke up this Morning", a DVD box set of all war documentaries ever made, A dream catcher.

If my dad was:
Jim's Dad
American Pie

...there'd probably be no problem at all. Think "home made apple pie" and it'll please this geeky but nonetheless lovable dad.

#1 Gift: A "Birds and the Bees" Guidebook

A head to toe makeover by Steven Cojocaru, an eyebrow tweezing, A date with Stifler's mom.

I am still no closer to a gift for my dad. *sigh*, All this gift thinking for fictional dads only left me frazzled. Oh well...

Happy Fathers' Day to all Dads!

Mine is the best!
...hence, my obsession over the perfect gift.


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All You Gotta Do Is Ask...

Monday, June 11, 2007

Last Saturday, I had a fantabulous night with three of my closest college friends. It was a post-birthday celebration of sorts. It was our version of a typical Sex and the City coffee shop scene... we weren't as thin and hair-perfect as Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, we were nonetheless as chatty and animated as they were. Between the blues and "blue moons", douchebag exes and current trysts, the joys of motherhood and the joys of singlehood, the reminiscence of past outings and the planning of future ones... it was as if none of us were twenty-friggin-something.

H.G. Wells had his time machine... I have my Teejay, my Fio and my Ems.


I saw this interesting meme on Ann's blog Fighting Gravity. A meme you ask for.

What's the most daring/interesting thing you've done (and are willing to divulge)?

I stole my first Van Gogh when I was 4. I published my first book "Lite years" when I was 5. Many found astrophysics coming from a five year old pretty ludicrous, but my book found readers. I won my first Olympic bronze medal for canoeing when I was 9 and a gold for the same event when I was 13. I stole my second (and final) Van Gogh when I was 15. I joined the Peace Corps soon after and resided in Sierra Leone for 6 years. Through some twist of fate, I found myself involved in the restoration and preservation of the marbled walls of Duomo di Milano. This is where I found my calling. I am now Donatella's personal dog walker.

My actual life is pretty bland. Between work and jet-setting, I am a normal run-o-the-mill homo sapien. I have dared to do some insane things for an acrophobic like rappelling and riding that Enchanted Kingdom seatbelt-less ferris wheel which seemed like it was gonna topple over and roll toward the plains because of the winds from the lake. But by far, this was the most daring thing I've done of the extreme-sports-ish-slash-carnival-ride variety...

Seven friends and I wrote that darn ride named "Maximum Sensation" until our insides were inverted.

As for daring in the Samantha Jones sense, I have yet to join a buck naked anti-fur protest. As for interesting... I have yet to stage a coup.

What's the story behind your header?

During my bum days post-college, I went through a kitschy, pop-art-ish phase. Given the free time then and a need to waste it on something, I covered a wall in my room with folded squares of magazine pages.

That was my attempt at creating "order in chaos". The phrase was a second choice for my blog's name because it pretty much describes my brain and my life. Making the banner on Photoshop was a whooole lot easier though than the first time I voodooed my wall with tacks. The banner contains partial images of things I love; my niece, my nephew, Chris Martin, Mr. Law, the Mavs, rubber ducks, Daria, places I've been to, album covers of artists... etc.

What do you think is your contribution to the rest of humanity?

Biologically, I believe how my body, and everyone else's, converts oxygen to carbon dioxide is my most relevant contibution. Being a part of the carbon cycle makes me feel relevant in maintaining balance in the global carbon budget.

Truthfully, I think I am a pretty selfish person who takes more from humanity (whining in the process) than I contribute (also whining in the process). I wanna, but I'm a whina.

The mere notion of comparing myself with significant people who have actually done something for humanity is just downright pretentious, but I'll do it anyway. Apple-munching Newton discovered gravity, bearded Darwin studied evolution, the perv Freud developed psychoanalysis. Lennon influenced the world with his music, Picasso with his paintings, Shakespeare with his writing, Scorsese with his movies, etc. etc.

In all fairness to us living in the twenty first century, everything worth discovering and not requiring a degree in rocket science has already been discovered. And, nearly everything has been invented, sung, painted, written and put to the silver screen already. Plus, the amount of work the great people of our past has done would be enough to entertain us and keep us busy for two earthly lifetimes.

My preemptive response to "it's the small things we contribute that matter" is yeah, there is consolation in that. I contribute to the population of pigs and cows by not devouring them. I contribute to the database of the net by blogging. I contribute to the fight against multi-million dollar company monopolies by supporting Jack Sparrows. I contribute to the betterment of Philippine cinema by not watching any of the crap they currently dish out. I contribute to the global warming movement by being scared to drive a car. The small things.

I can't help but beat myself up every now and then though, for not contributing something that really matters. Perhaps I can create a perpetual motion machine or discover the missing link or something. Some things aren't entirely ridiculous.

What do you like best about yourself?

The hollow below my neck. (Ok, I totally ripped that off The English Patient) I'll stay away from anything physical and say, my resolve to never fully "grow up". Peter Pan syndrometer goes off the charts. I am anything BUT naive and I'm 95% jaded (ask my physician) There is a repressed but influential 5% of me though where unicorns and purty butterflies roam freely.

But then again, I am one of the most likeable people in the world, no? I know you guys love me.

What do you plan to achieve in the next five years?

*Passes out*... I'd be 30+ by then... *passes out again*... a whiff of NH3.

I am not much of a planner. Dead Poets' Society had that effect on me. Carpe diem!
If I am however forced to think of it at gunpoint, I'd probably say:
  1. Total independence via geographic means
  2. A mind-blowing job
  3. Mastery of german, french and japanese
  4. The metabolism of a five year old
  5. Understanding the theory of relativity
  6. to name a few...

If you're interested to let me put you on the hot seat...

The Interview rules:
  1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
  2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
  3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
  4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
  5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


It's Independence Day tomorrow (technically) I know it should be a time to be proud of our quasi-independence... but I can't help feeling paranoid to discover a humongous disc like UFO in the sky over some landmarks.


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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I know how Tantalus felt.

He, Tantalus, was a king in Greek mythology. In an Abraham like twist of fate, he offered his son to the gods. But unlike the biblical patriarch, no angel appeared to stop him... plus, his human sacrifice was premeditated, and that small detail that he served his son in a feast. The gods were apparently appalled by parricide and cannibalism. The boy was resurrected by Fate, the goddess, piecing his chopped body parts together like lego. Tantalus was punished.

He was made to stand for all eternity in a pool of water that reached up to his neck. Whenever he bent down to drink the water, it would recede from his mouth's reach like a sadistic automated low tide. There are also fruit trees above him. Everytime he reached up to grab the fruit, the branches would raise them away from his grasp... like sadistic ents. That was his hell, temptation without satisfaction.

Although I find this method of weight reduction tantalizing (pun 100% intended), satisfaction is something I thrive on.

I am not a fan of Hannibal Lecter-ism and I am anti- of any form of -cide (homicide, genocide, insecticide) Plus I don't ever recall stealing ambrosia from the gods.

Yet, I find myself, more and more so lately, in Tantalus' water soaked shoes. I am swimming in a pool of letter sized papers filled ad nauseam with plans, specifications, details, comments, etc. etc. et cetera. The temptations that are within reach yet unreachable are free time and 8 hours of sleep.

While working on CAD drawings, the other half on my brain is busily doing three things simultaneously; planning ways to acquire the elusive free time, planning ways to spend it, and consoling itself that it will come sooner or later.

The Devil Wears Prada lies bookmarked, 3 quarters of the way, on my bedside table. Andy, when I left her, was flirting with the delectable Christian Colinsworth (who I've visualized as a more put together version of Ben Covington from Felicity) The book lacks the New York like pace of the movie, and the book version of Miranda Priestly comes out a tad too whiny compared to the regal bitch Meryl Streep played to utter perfection. Getting sidetracked here... My point... I left, and can't wait to return to, all the drama of Runway on my bedside table. I want free time!!! Arrrrrgggghhhhhhhh!!!!!
I want free time in a box.
I want free time with a fox.
I want free time in a house.
I want free time with a mouse.
I want free time here or there.
I want free time anywhere.
I want free green eggs and ham.
I want free time, Altenati-I-am.


Something I'm ecstatic to share...
I've blogged about the Tim Tang Test and last Friday I found some free time and spent it riddling. Check this out. Alas, It shows my initials and my last name, but heck it's soooo worth it. hehe


Thanks to all who sent me greetings last week. It was much appreciated. :)

Image from gapingvoid.com

That was meant to be funny. :P

I really mean it.



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