Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Love Affairs

1. with Kate Bush.

Everytime I close my eyes, I see your face, your --- yaaaaaaaah! WTF?!

actually matagal na 'to. Listening to "The Sensual World" non-stop for days roused my slumbering poet hehe

2. The New Yorker. Eto ang bago. Just discovered this brilliant magazine at the foreign serials section of UP Main Lib. Got interested because of a Philippine Daily Inquirer article on alcoholism which cited an article from The New Yorker.

Two Bottles. One Girl.

Malcolm Gladwell on the sociology of drinking from The New Yorker website.

Reads like Reader's Digest with high IQ -- minus the fixation on health articles and debt reduction; and emotionally draining short stories about stray cats and puppies [sniff, sniff].

Stop Looking at me like that!

Browsed through their previous issues and the first thing I found was an article on Tori Amos and Bjork! The title of the article "Army of Two" is a reference to one of Bjork's songs. Wow! Holy Shit! I think I'm in love [again?]...

Where else can you find articles on two of the greatest contemporary female musical artists of my generation? or a piece on Greek archaeology discussing the Antikythera Mechanism? or an essay on Historiography and epistemology?

3. The library/archive/books

Hello there, I missed you so much. We'll have lots of fun together from now on...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

WTF? LOL FB Moments

found these in www.lolfbmoments.com. The various new media for communication and social networking has spawned a whole new phenomenon -- the proliferation of amusing scenarios unfolding online. Many of them featured in the site are cautionary tales to protect ones privacy, exercise decorum in an essentially public space, while some are just manifestations of the humor and idiocy that makes the human race so entertaining.

My top three favorites (click pics for larger view):

and finally, the piece de resistance...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ex Post Facto: The Archaeology Field Trip

Just this weekend I had an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime chance to get down and dirty with archaeologists at an actual dig in Quezon province. The experience was great, and the people were both brilliant and easy-going. This is an attempt to recapture those days and the moments that made the experience worthwhile...

The evening of January 29 until the early morning of January 30, 2010

The trip was officially scheduled to start on the 30th, with the participants meeting at the JAC Bus Terminal at 5:30 AM. This arrangement posed a dilemma for me since I was unsure if I could avail myself of transportation in the early hours of the morning at UP Campus. It was a good thing that one of my classmates in World Archaeology, Fr. Ted, extended an invitation to us to spend the night at their parish church convent.

I immediately pounced on that chance to spend a night at the convent. I have had the opportunity to spend a night in a seminary -- it was during my teaching days when the faculty of UNO-R went on a trip to Cebu; we spent one night at the seminary in San Carlos. But this was my first time in the priestly quarters in a parish church.

I was joined in our overnight adventure by Sir Butch who was, quite coincidentally, a pastor. The other one who joined our crew was RJ (he was Mr. Call Center English in my previous post)

To say that the night was eventful would be an understatement. I got to know my fellow classmates a bit better. We finally got to see how Fr. Ted arranges his piles of reading materials -- in an attempt to segregate his academics from his religious duties. Fr. Ted had attended the convention of religious which had more than 5000 priests in attendance. We got to meet the parish priests and the other members of the community over dinner. I got a chance to watch the television again. The political ads were driving me insane. We also watched the latest adventures of Santino and I marveled at the magic of editing -- one moment the police were being informed of a riot at the seminary, then we cut to the next scene of them arriving to pacify the unruly crowd. Now that was fast!

Initially it was only me and the two religious guys who were in the convent. RJ was running a bit late because he had a few things to do but it was alright since he lived nearby and had a car. So after a few hours of watching the idiot box we made our way to the night spots for a bit of fun.

It was good, clean, fun mind you people. The bar was nice; I finally got to drink Red Horse again after so many years; and the band was good. They even played one of the songs I requested which was "I Don't Wanna Wait" by Paula Cole. I figured that since the band featured drums, keyboard and bass that Paula Cole was a good choice for them. They pulled it off, though I could hear the pretty vocalist struggling a bit with the vocals but nevertheless I appreciated their effort.

It got even more interesting when we met Fr. Ted's friends. One of them immediately took to the stage and sang a song. Her performance was quite good, though the song that she sang escapes my memory as of this moment. What happened next may be blamed on peer pressure and Red Horse.

I got up onstage and sang "Boys Don't Cry" by The Cure.


In fairness, I asked my table after my performance if I did well and they said that it was good. In fact, a random stranger complimented my performance while I was on my way to the CR. May handshake pa yan ha.

But the night was getting late and we had to make our way back. After saying our goodbyes, we went back to the convent. RJ had already caught up with us at the bar and I rode with him on the way back. During the ride I discovered that he was a fan of Irish music. And so we both engaged in a discussion of the merits of Celtic music and culture.

When we arrived at the convent, we made our way to our respective rooms. I was billeted with Sir Butch but RJ, who was supposed to be alone in the next room, decided to join us after a while. The reason: He and I got into a veeeeeery lengthy discussion regarding comic books. RJ was a Deadpool and X-men afficionado and he brought along a Wolverine comic book with him. The discussion found its way into our room and the talk turned to 80s and early 90s cartoons, online gaming and movies. It was like finding a lost member of one's tribe (the tribe of "Nerd") and you could actually converse in your own secret language. Si Sir Butch kung minsan nawawala sa mga pinag-uusapan namin ni RJ.

So instead of sleeping, the three of us spent the next few hours watching Zatoichi on RJ's laptop.

It was the most fun I've ever had in one night in Manila.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pandora is basically a Local Area Network

Finally got a chance to watch the acclaimed film "Avatar" and here are some of my thoughts:

1. Saw it on IMAX 3D and there's only one fitting reaction and I'm going with one of the reactions mentioned in the James Cameron interview in Attack of the Show which goes like this:



I can tell you that you've never seen anything like it before.

2. Pandora is a planet where the biosphere is essentially one big internet: creatures come with their own USB ports, the native population have their own USB/LAN cables attached to their bodies, trees are servers, and their nature deity issues orders through wifi...duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude...

3. the visuals are awesome; the story -- well -- is familiar. People have made (unkind) comparisons to Dances with Wolves, Pocahontas, and even Fern Gully!

4. There was this one scene where Jake Sully (or Jake Sooli) is making this big speech to rally the Na'vi. In one sentence I caught the phrase "...this is..." and I went "Sparta?" while chuckling to myself.

5. How the hell do Na'vis f*ck? One animator decides to speculate...

6. I want my own flying dragon -- thing -- whatever that was!

7. I didn't want to return the 3D glasses when it was all over. For the money I paid I decided to wear it until the exit, refusing to take it off with my own hands -- I actually leaned over to the usher so he could pluck the glasses off my face.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Au Revoir, Conan!

I used to stay up at night watching Conan O'Brien and his crazy show Late Night and I have always found its humor most entertaining compared to Jay Leno or David Letterman. Perhaps its the late night time slot that this show once occupied that allowed Conan and his bevy of writers to think up the most insane, surreal, and oftentimes mildly offensive skits to assault the senses of the late night viewer. If you were awake while Late Night with Conan O'Brien was on you're either drunk, wasted or extremely bored out of your skull and a good 'ol dose of crass, juvenile, and plain idiotic humor would do you good.

My fond memories of the show...

1. In the year 2000 - always done with a surprise guest, this skit continued even beyond 2000 -- a fact that they jokingly referred to in one of their segments. I always liked the seemingly homemade production featured in this skit. Looks like this was dreamed up by the writers in their basement while stoned on something...

2. Conan O'Brien hates my Homeland -- insulting the nations of the world to figure out where the show is aired worldwide. This particular clip paved the way for Conan's foray into international politics

3. Conan O'Brien and Tarja Halonen -- only Conan can boast of this achievement: who among the talk show hosts can lay claim to having influenced an actual electoral contest? and having a country's chief executive as a look-alike?

4. Walker Texas Ranger - the man, the show, the clips, that lever.

5. Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage -- for geeks only. hehehe

6. Conan and Max small talk moment -- the stare down really cracks me up. It just comes out of nowhere...Max and the band often participates in really absurd skits.

7. The Masturbating Bear -- to clarify, the late night version really featured wanking but since the clip is from the tonight show well...at least we see the bear for one last time...

8. Manatees Gone Wild -- I only found the "Horny Manatee" clip. But you can imagine the "gone wild" part hehe

9. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog -- one of the most famous acts on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

10. Joel Goddard -- and even the announcer joins in the fun!

I'll miss Conan O'Brien and his show. But if he decides to resurface again, he's got one viewer happy to join in the craziness all over again...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Heil Landa!

Congratulations to Christophe Waltz, a.k.a. Colonel Hans Landa, for winning the Best Supporting Actor Award at the Golden Globes.

His performance in Inglourious Basterds is alternately disturbing and comedic -- with just a touch of charisma and sadism. All of his scenes are noteworthy but this one's the funniest of them all...

An Oscar is just a breath away...

WTF? Death Metal Rooster

Friday, January 15, 2010

And a New Nerd Found...

If a “gaydar” is said to exist…is there a possibly that there is also a “nerd-dar” – a social “device” to “detect” nerds?

Classmate ko siya sa Archaeo class. Una akala ko sit-in kasi second meeting na siya pumasok. Grabe pa mag-english. “Call center English” ‘ata – todo pronounce ang “t” sound at may twang pa. Siyempre di ‘rin ako patatalo sa kanya so English din ako. Pero walang twang…di yan tinuro sa amin hehe.

He arrived a bit late for our class, and since he was absent last meeting he was asking around regarding the previous discussions. That’s when we struck up a conversation. Out of nowhere he mentioned about xenoarchaeology and the possibility of life on other planets.

Silent alarms sounded in my head. I decided to test the waters…

I mentioned the possibility of extraterrestrial life was speculated upon by scientists. In fact there’s this formula…

“Oh, you mean the Roddenberry formula…” Call center English quipped.

…that was made by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, I managed to finish.


One more…to determine if he’s the “old school” nerd or more contemporary…

We were discussing hominids, hominins, the culture of the early humans when I turned to him and nonchalantly said…

“Another possibility is that the Cylons are our ancestors…”

Call center English looked at me and chuckled.

“The Cylons,” he replied,”were the reason why humans came to earth in the first place.”

There was no need for words to figure out where that came from. Battle Star Galactica. The Reimagined Series.

Huli ka. haha

Thursday, January 7, 2010

WTF? Day Job Orchestra

profanity + illegal drug reference + overdubbed gibberish + Star Trek: TNG + APPLE JUICE! = AMAZING!

Monday, January 4, 2010

See You in Manila

Warp ten na 'to...todo na 'to. hehe

Will be back in Manila this afternoon. Looking forward to the last few months. Hope everything plays according to plan this 2010...