Category Archives: multimedia

Gender-roles and “fag hags”

Lately, I’ve been wondering why I have (had) so many gay friends. In fact, I’ve never been without a gay friend. From the time I started school through the various jobs and places I’ve been, I’ve always found it easy to befriend gay men. I also have a lot of  straight guy and women friends but it’s a whole different matter with gay guy-straight women friendships.

In my searches across the internet, I came across the term “fag hag” or women who have a lot of  or prefer gay men for friends. While I would never call my gay friends fags (lest I be bitch-slapped to death), and I’m certainly far from being a hag (well maybe during my “younger years”, but now I have better fashion sense, no small thanks to my sassy gay friends), I found it rather fascinating that there is some sort of “phenomena” behind this.

I’ve read a lot of purported reasons why women would purposely seek the company of gay men. But here’s my two cents. I think it’s because these gay guys are like me in the sense that they fall somewhere in between the gender-role spectrum. There’s the “overly feminine” and the “overly masculine” and there’s the somewhere in the middle. Before assumptions are made, I am not romantically or sexually attracted to any of my gay friends (that’s just a big no-no). Nor do I wish that they are straight. I like them just the way they are.

Let me explain further. While I would definitely identify myself as 100% heterosexual, I also tend to embody a lot of “masculine” traits which tend to either confuse or intimidate straight guys (I’m speaking from experience). What do I mean by confuse? Most of the time, just because I’m into “guy stuff” (like comics, violent video games, gory movies, military history/fiction, etc) they would assume that I’m certainly not straight or automatically relegate me to “just a friend” status . I am extremely annoyed by this. Where was it written that because I’m a woman, I can’t be interested in those things and still be straight?? Hey, I also happen to like cross-stitching and knitting! Couldn’t they exist side by side?

Sorry, I seem to have lost my composure there for a bit. But being an artist, I find it useful that I can appreciate both the “masculine” and the” feminine”. So I’ve drawn a bad-ass looking Jedi Knight, does that mean I can’t draw a great sexy pin-up of Nancy Callahan from Sin City? I don’t think so.

Another thing is, while I’m certainly far from fat, I’m not frail-as-waif  either (for body type comparison, see Battlestar Galactica’s Kara Thrace). I happen to possess bones that do not break at the slightest pressure. Is that a problem now?? Add my slightly “tomboyish” attitude. I wear make-up, dresses (I’m more of a tee/blouse and jeans person though) and all, but I guess it’s more of the way I carry myself. I hold my head high and swing my arms (not my hips!!) when I walk. And I walk rather fast. I could also be rather direct. Although I generally try to avoid arguments and would rather have things be resolved peacefully if possible. But once  my tolerance (which is considerable) is breached, then we really have a problem. I do not slap people, I’d rather punch them.

Point is, this is who I am and I don’t intend to bend over backwards to please some guy. So far, only one person (from my last relationship) has managed to understand  and like me they way I am. We had have had our differences of course (and so the relationship is sort of over) but that’s one of the things I liked about him. He had no problem with me loving gory/horror films, Call of Duty or Fallout (with the same enthusiasm that he has). Maybe because he is such a geek as well. But you know what I mean.

So, back to the topic of gay men. So my gay friends accept me for who I am. They are generally fun to be with (witty, sarcastic and funny). They call out my BS when they have to and do not let me wallow in self pity. They would boost my self confidence and give great fashion advise (I would still be wearing sweats to the office if not for them). Plus they open doors and carry my stuff for me too. And they’re not doing it to get in my pants because we love the same thing: men.

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9/23/11 – Saturday Odds and Ends

I would continue my previous post with “Liz Lemon-ing (part 2)”, but not now. Probably later in the day.

Just a few random thoughts.

WORK – Still waiting for the ax to fall. Not on my neck, I hope. No news yet whatsoever about training schedule and whatnot. I’m not quite sure whether that’s a good or bad thing. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. Aside from that, back to the regular humdrum of things.

BOOKS:

Bought a couple of books. Two from when I attended the “Manila International Book Fair” last Sunday.  Found “Storm Warning” by Jack Higgins. It’s one of the books I loved when I was a teenager. My brother and I made a sort of  radio-drama-style cassette recording of the story. Complete with sound effects. We do all the major character voices, as well as the background characters, since there’s only the two of us. It was really fun (the recordings I mean). Especially the part where the Deutschland finally foundered on the Washington Reef , and was slowly sinking. Harry Jago, Paul Gerrick (the “dashing” –at least to me, I find his intelligence and ability to break a few bones dashing– U-boat captain turned POW, I might add), Janet Munro, Admiral Reeve and some others were trying their best to get to  rescue the passengers/crew before the ship totally sank. All the sound effects we had to do to simulate the “sinking”! We yelled! Pounded the table with our fists! Rattled cups and plates, etc. Just thinking about all that makes me laugh.

I liked the chemistry between Paul Gerrick and Janet Munro (I think he left her his war medal before going off to escape somewhere). It’s kind of obvious that they were attracted to each other, but cannot do anything about it since the situation was somewhat complicated. He was a captured U-boat Captain, a German POW; while she was a stern, somewhat abrasive, cigarette-smoking American doctor. But they had brilliant conversation though. Nothing mushy. Mainly because the story is about war and how people are willing to endure overwhelming odds to go “home”. It is also about setting aside differences and having the decency to save what is truly important, our fellow human beings, no matter what side they happen to be.

Anyway, I’m reading it again. Haven’t read it since I was 1st year HS. Let’s see. 🙂

Before I get carried away, there’s that other book I got from the fair. It’s called “Stories”, a collection of works from different authors edited by Neil Gaiman. Haven’t  read a page yet, but I’m guessing it’s going to be good.

And as if I don’t have enough books on my plate. I got a copy of  “The Castle” by Kafka (yes, THAT Kafka) last Thursday. I’ve just observed that translated books are much cheaper. Not sure why. But I’m not complaining.

OTHER THINGS:

Might watch “Contagion” later. Glad it’s still showing at Market Market. Then I shall work on a project for a friend and probably finish my “Padme” drawing. I certainly do not plan on moping or sleeping all day just because I have problems (of a personal nature – I really wanted to strangle the person causing the problem. But I haven’t seen him for quite sometime now).

Ramblings of a Sleepyhead..

There. The title says it all. I haven’t slept properly today.  Wait, I haven’t been sleeping properly for almost a year now.  Let’s see how long this would last.  The truth is, I think I should really congratulate myself (applause, applause) for even managing to hang on for this long.  With my previous jobs I usually stay 6 months and “disappear”. Anyway, don’t expect anything coherent at all from this post (but of course I shall try my very best to make it so – *bow*). I’m writing this so as not to suddenly find myself being issued another paper for “sleeping” (which is yes, a terminable offense in this job, the normal body clock be damned).

And here we go..

I’ve been thinking of  doing this end of the year review. Probably will, probably won’t; as it is quite possible that I might just forget to do so. In any case, I’m glad my year isn’t as chaotic as the last. What with all the shenanigans concerning our old house. That one is over now (hopefully).

Let’s make a list.

Stuff I’d like to do & some random thoughts:

  1. I’d like to draw again. What I meant was to actually finish something, as opposed to starting some preliminary sketch and consigning it to oblivion. I have to give myself a mental poke to get my niece’s portrait finished this weekend. And start another one. The main ingredient for a successful drawing for me is “peace & quiet”. I must be completely relaxed when I’m sketching or else the results would embarrass Pollock.
  2. Been reading a couple of books. I’m into “Schindler’s Ark” (I miss that old graffiti-ed copy of mine back in high school) and “Buffy” (Book 2)  . I’d like to get the first book (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) of the millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, been hearing a lot of positive reviews about it. And the heroine looks positively kick-ass.
  3. Observation: just realized something. Don’t know if it’s good or bad. Who cares anyway, maybe I do. Must look into this.
  4. I managed to finally visit Fully Booked Bonifacio Branch sometime ago (around the end of November I think). Made me happy (it’s like a giant library except everything is for sale – you can read in a corner and no one will bother you) and quite sad at the same time. The comic book/art section suddenly reminded me of how far from my calling I am. Gave me a “glimpse” of what I should be doing instead of being stuck someplace else. Anyway, knock on wood, I’m not complaining about my current profession at all (no sir), what I’m saying is that it’s not a place where I can utilize my own talents.

Some noteworthy quotes..

Listening to: “With or Without You” by U2

A friend who apparently has nothing better to do tonight, has decided to suddenly peruse a humongous copy of the Webster’s Dictionary; and then started sending me quotes he said he found interesting (0_0). And since I myself have nothing better to do tonight (other than download a couple of songs – “Chevaliers de Sangreal” by Hans Zimmer was really excellent – and engage in a long movie marathon with a couple of friends – we are currently sitting through “Angels and Demons”) either, I compiled them for your reading pleasure:

  • “Revenge is profitable, Gratitude is expensive.” (I do not quite agree, as both of them can be either be profitable or expensive, depending on the situation.)
  • “Be silent, or say something better than silence.” (Agreed!)
  • “Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune, but great minds rise above it.” (what could be more true)
  • “He is so full of himself that he is quite empty.” (this made me laugh, as I know quite a few people for which that quote will be most appropriate).
  • “Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.”

Anyway, I was able to submit two new drawings at Deviant Art, after quite some time.

Buffy and Spike by ~leiaskywalker83 on deviantART and
Buffy Summers, Vampire Slayer by ~leiaskywalker83 on deviantART

Most of my rest day was spent drawing (a Davy Jones drawing is well underway – I know this one will be a pain, because of the texture, but I can’t help myself) and watching one movie after another (courtesy of a friend who brought all his DVDs from home).

So far we’ve seen: “The Mummy Returns” (which I was not able to finish given that I fell asleep halfway through), the entire “Lord of the Rings Trilogy” (reminded me how truly epic these movies were, and yes, seeing Eowyn slay the Witch King again was an added bonus), “Hostel 2” (which was even more pointless than the first), “Anacondas” (such a bore, I found myself rooting for the CGI anacondas – although I did like the boat guy, he reminded me mightily of  Hugh Jackman *drool*), “King Kong” (which was more like Jurassic Park- meets-A Sound of Thunder-meets King Kong! Although I did like the little subplot between the script writer/playwright and the actress – adequately played by Adrien Brody and Noami Watts) and “Final Fantasy Advent Children” (saw it first a couple of years ago in Japanese, the English version seems OK, if a little less funny. The quality of voices were much better in English though, I happened to dislike the squeaky little Japanese female voices in the original, ugh!) Maybe I’ll find time to do a mini-review of each.

Oh, yes I did receive a wonderful gift from another friend Saturday night. And if said friend is reading my blog, I’d like to thank him again. You really made my day (or shall we say weekend).

…”like a candle in the wind”

I’ve been meaning to download this song for quite sometime. Finally found the time to do it. Somehow, I think this was better than the 1997 version (written for the late Diana, Princess of Wales), make no mistake I like that rendition; however the lyrics of the original (written for actress Marilyn Monroe) was a lot more “grounded”. You can listen to the song here: Candle In The Wind (Original) by Elton John. And now I’m suddenly inspired to do a Marilyn portrait.

Goodbye Norma Jean
Though I never knew you at all
You had the grace to hold yourself
While those around you crawled
They crawled out of the woodwork
And they whispered into your brain
They set you on the treadmill
And they made you change your name

And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind
Never knowing who to cling to
When the rain set in
And I would have liked to have known you
But I was just a kid
Your candle burned out long before
Your legend ever did

Loneliness was tough
The toughest role you ever played
Hollywood created a superstar
And pain was the price you paid
Even when you died
Oh the press still hounded you
All the papers had to say
Was that Marilyn was found in the nude

Goodbye Norma Jean
From the young man in the 22nd row
Who sees you as something as more than sexual
More than just our Marilyn Monroe

Yes, I do read magazines..

..but usually not this one. For some reason I had this curiosity, bordering on “morbid fascination” to read the (shock! horror!) _____ Magazine. Nope it’s not THAT publication I know you must be thinking about at this very moment. Rather it’s a personal journal/vanity project of one of the Philippine’s most popular talk-show hosts-cum actress-cum commercial model.

I even unintentionally “bothered a friend” to get me copies (it’s buy-one-take-one at the nearest 7/11). I guess I could be “considered” a fan of her more positive attributes.

Anyway, I’m not through browsing the 2 copies yet, I found some rather useful advise about cooking, so far. I like looking at recipes (mainly so I can blackmail someone into cooking them). Because as the magazine described people such as myself,  I’m “kitchen-challenged”. Did you know that it is possible to “burn” the rice while using a rice-cooker? Well, now you know,  as proven by my own experience. I will report more when I finished both of the titles.

On to other things, I know what book to get on my next salary. It’s called “Searching for Schindler”. It would be a great companion to “Schindler’s Ark” (which was a gift from father during my high school days).

Buses and Movies..

Just a very quick post, before I resume my X-Files marathon. I just remembered an “incident” which occurred sometime last May 15, 2010. The memory was triggered by an article I found on The Agony Booth about a movie called “Shark Attack”, I’m not even sure if it’s the same movie I’ve seen on the bus that Saturday.

But here’s the story. I left early for the bus stop that day (the aforementioned mentioned May, 15 ) because it’s the day after payday, and I have to get home (meaning my house in the province) on time (bills to pay). I arrived at the bus stop at around 7:45, and my gods, there’s a long line! And no Lucena-bound buses to be found. I’m fairly used to long lines, so I tried to fight my natural irritation (must be good citizen and all that) and the urge to kick everyone in front of me (or else bawl uncontrollably). There’s nothing to be done but wait. Finally after an hour(!) or so, (Yey!) a bus bearing the sign “Lucena” made it to the terminal. So off I go.

Here’s the “good” stuff. I’m a bit too sleepy to mind the fact that I’m practically squashed in the middle of the bus’ back portion (the seat where you get “balisawsaw” because you are sitting right on top of the engine). Bus left the terminal finally, and the “torture” began. Following some incomprehensible reasoning, the bus driver decided to take Coastal Road Route, instead of the usual. I have no idea what made him think  he can avoid traffic this way! In the Philippines you cannot avoid traffic (unless you happen to be descendants of Son Gokou and can fly). Needless to say it took even longer than usual, around three hours. I fell asleep during this time, and woke up to the sight of the manila bay (although I must admit the sight was not entirely unwelcome) brushing by.

I ‘blacked out’ again and thankfully woke up to find the bus in the expressway. Maybe I should have stayed asleep! Because then, the conductor decided that it’s movie time! I have nothing against buses playing movie, as it alleviates  boredom. In fact, I’ve seen some pretty good stuff, such as Avatar, which I didn’t have time to see in the theater. There were several instances of “bus theater” that I found amusing through the years. For example, JAC Liner tends to show ‘now’ movies (I would not be surprised if they have Iron Man 2 on their playlist). Other bus lines play old Tagalog action stuff like “Bala at Rosario” (*giggles*), “Philip Salvador”, “FPJ” and even “Ian Veneracion” collections.  There was a time when I was “forced” to seat through a “Steven Seagal” (gags!), a “Jean-Claude Van Damme” (I’ve had a crush on the guy since I saw him play “Universal Soldier” during the 6th grade, so I don’t mind if his movies are a bit cheesy, what do you expect?) and a “Dolph Lundgren” (ditto! love this guy as well) compilation.

Anyway, going back to the May 15 fiasco. I was actually a bit relieved to know that it’s “traveling movie time”, because by then the expressway was so congested it would be nice to focus on something else (I’ve exhausted my MP3 playlist by this time). I really SHOULD have opted for sleep, because the movie they decided to play was something called Shark Attack. I thought it was in the B-Movie planet at that time, but turns out that it’s both in the G (as in “grrrr!) and Z (as in “zzzzzz..zzz”) category. ;p Shark Attack was extremely insulting to the human intelligence on multiple levels, I feel it’s a crime to show it to anyone! There’s the “non-plot”, “non-acting” (I have absolutely nothing against B-list actors, but these guys are nowhere near that, they’re somewhere in the black hole of acting classification), very obvious continuity errors  and the stupid effects!

Where to start? Well there’s the “plot”. Movie starts with several shots of people on the beach (the usual “pretty-babes-sun bathing”, I guess to establish that the beach was SUCH a fun place  to be..ho-hum.) Then enter 2 of the main “characters”, they are talking about er..nothing important (guy proposed or something, then they proceed to make out in the lifeguard station(!). Then there’s character number 3 (the alpha female lifeguard), and annoying characters 4 and 5 (4’s a whiny bitch and 5’s a boring stud who’s supposed to be in-lurve with whiny bitch). And let’s not forget the main antagonists..dududuuun! the big bad-CGI-goblin sharks!

So yeah, more talk about nothing and then suddenly there’s tsunami warning, a bewildering jet-ski chase (and one character, I forgot who, actually shot one of the sharks point blank range on the beach! Gosh! The shark managed to get on the sand -opening and closing it’s jaws – like a marooned whale. I’m no shark expert, but I can tell that it flies in the face of all we should know about the behavior of sharks! Next thing, the tsunami was upon the characters (they’re so busy outrunning the sharks, they forgot to heed the tsunami warning – and then there’s “make-out-girl” blabbing about the goblin sharks being extinct and that it would be the greatest discovery etc..etc.. – but I think the greatest discovery would be to find that she had a brain inside that skull of hers. So instead of RUNNING like HELL for their lives, they talk on the beach while a 50-FOOT CGI TSUNAMI approaches! And one of them was supposed to be a lifeguard, my gods!

By the time they noticed the tsunami, it’s too late, of course. So they proceed to barricade themselves inside the lifeguard station, a few meters from the beach! Now this is the movie’s greatest crime, the station get’s HIT by THE TSUNAMI AND REMAINS STANDING (with all the people warm and snug inside, sure they get a little water-logged, but…)! Now, I’ve seen tsunamis obliterate entire beachfront hotels, and unless the lifeguard station is made of ADAMANTIUM I cannot see how it could have survived the force of a 50 foot wall of water! And they had the gal to tell us (via a reporter), that this is worse than the tsunami that happened in Indonesia?? This part was when I started getting headaches!

So, er, they (the 5 annoying people) get stranded in uh, waist-deep(!!!) water, and as expected the sharks show up and I wish all the characters were all gobbled up in one attack. I did not have the power to finish the movie after the stupidity of the first act, so I slipped back to blessed oblivion, despite the uncomfortable surroundings, ignorance is bliss indeed! 😀