Category Archives: rants

Bridget Jones-ing (09/04)

>Daily Cigarette Intake: A stick (after “lunch” last night. Mainly because I’m stressed about the current state of my job. In fact, I would have resigned immediately as soon as I heard the words “merging” and “re-training”, but I’ve got bills to pay. So I’m waiting it out till December.)

>Weight: Not worried about my weight at all. I’m quite happy to be back in shape. All that jogging and avoiding meat seemed to have worked. All the lovely clothes from last, last year which had to be put on hiatus because they no longer fit are now back in circulation. Now it’s the “fat” jeans turn to be put on the back cabinet. I’m turning 30 next year so keeping healthy is a priority. Remember, I’m committed to spinsterhood and staying reasonably in shape will lessen the prospects of tripping over my own feet (by the time I reach 70), unable to move for days to call for help then die of starvation and possibly boredom. The neighbors will inevitably notice after a week or so (who could stand the stench after all??) Unless I happen to live in an isolated farmhouse. In which case I would be found after 3 decades or so by some random nosy kid, scare the living shit out of him/her and eventually become part of the local urban legend. Which I won’t mind actually.

>Daily Alcohol Intake: None today so far. But I just remembered that ¬†I’ve got free beer vouchers from 2 Japanese restaurants I sort of frequent. Should have no problems getting blind, stinking drunk next weekend if I wanted to. ūüėõ

It’s just one of those depressing days, really. Yes, and I’m watching “Bridget Jones Diary” (another one of my kindred spirits, aside from good old Liz Lemon). Oh, I forgot! I just noticed James Callis (Gaius Baltar from ¬† Battlestar Galactica) was in this movie. ūüôā

Not to give the misleading impression that I am spending all my days in a self-pitying torpor. No sir. Had a busy schedule this week in fact.

>Went home (meaning to the province) and spent some time with my mom and brother. Haven’t seen them for a month, I think.

>Then went out on “date” with my just-recently-single cousin (ate good food, moaned about our luck-or lack thereof-in relationships, and spent most of the day having fun). Will post our culinary adventures here sometime; when I get myself “organized” enough.

>Worked on my entry for the September 10 Painting Exhibit. Bit of progress. But I guess I should work on it more since I only have a few days left (instead of spending time writing blog posts and watching self-indulgent movies. :)) But what the hell, right??

“To Bridget, who cannot cook. But who we love, just as she is.” (best line from the movie, in my opinion)

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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.

When Flaking Out is Not an Option

The odds are certainly in favour of this film. The best book-to-screen adaptation I’ve seen in a while. Jennifer Lawrence captured Katniss’ independent, resourceful, fierce, tough-as-nails-but-still-vulnerable and occasionally arrogant personality. Yeah, I know. Bella Swan (the eherm..’heroine’ of Twilight) comparisons are raging through the net, from The Guardian to Feministe. They can’t be helped I guess.

I really tried to finish the Twilight books, but my higher brain functions were objecting at the turn of every page! Lol. So I gave it up as a bad job. I did finish Twilight and Eclipse though.¬†Anyway, back to the review. Comparisons to Bella cannot be helped, like I said. After all, there is a ‘triangle’ of sorts in The Hunger Games as well. But that’s where it ends. The similarities and differences have been discussed so much that I won’t go through the details anymore.

But here’s my two cents: Although both Bella and Katniss fell in love, Katniss will always be her own person. She is the Mockingjay, the Girl on Fire and not defined by her relationship with Peeta or Gale. Her primary concern is not whether she should choose between the two, but the survival of those she cares about and yeah, bringing down a corrupt and unjust system.

Whereas Bella was jumping off cliffs when Edward (a complete jerkass worthy of a restraining order) left, Katniss was busy strategizing with the rebels of District 13 when she and Peeta were briefly separated. Of course she felt lousy the whole time, but that’s the point!

There is nothing wrong with being in love. Hey, I’m a bit of a romantic myself. But I prefer couples whose relationship is more on equal footing (ex: Scully, Mulder from XFiles; John, Aeryn from Farscape; Han, Leia from Star Wars; Zoe, Wash from Firefly; Helo, Athena from Galactica). These couples can both kick ass and wipe the floor with the best of the best. They are certainly not perfect, but they do love one another and do not require their partners to be a limp noodle.

Oh and going back (coherence just jumped out of the window), I like Katniss’ attitude. Being the eldest and primary breadwinner of the family requires a ‘we’ll just have to grit our teeth and do it’ philosphy at times. Flaking out and being weepy is not an option to be considered. Katniss is tough but she is not uncaring, in fact she cares a great deal about the people around her. Just not in that ‘merry sunshine’ but in more of a ‘tough love’ way. And hey, she loves a good laugh too!

Why should it matter? Because if ever I’ll have daughters, I’d want them to be Katniss Everdeens or Ellen Ripleys or Hermione Grangers. Not Bella Swans.

Heels and Commandos

A few “Odds and Ends” as usual.

One. I ¬†finally got hold of the Star Wars Republic Commando Series. At least one of the books anyway. I bought “Triple Zero” yesterday at Fully Booked. They still don’t have “Hard Contact” and “True Colors” but I had the guy reserve me some copies when they do arrive. Yey! I’ve started reading it last night even though I’m supposed to be resting (as I had to go to work in a few hours). But I just can’t put it down. In fact I’m reading snippets of it as I am typing this blog entry.

Two. I gave in for a bit to my inner “girly-girl” and bought a pair of really great¬†–looking heels. Shock! Horror! They’re high heels if you really want to get¬†nit-picky – somewhere around 2 to 3 inches.¬†I think they’re a bit closer to pumps anyway. My friend (who is incidentally gay) finally convinced me to get one. Why is this news you say? Because I typically do not wear heels. Although I have a bit of love for collecting shoes, I usually wear ballerina style flats (quite stylish, but does not impede walking – because I certainly do not walk like a “lady” haha!) I caved in because I think it would go better with the rather nice dresses (on sale ) I recently bought.

I tried them on (the dress and the shoes) this morning after getting home from work. I practiced walking up and down the stairs too. I think I’ll survive. But I really must commend the women who were able to wear them all the frakking time. Because after 30 minutes or so I feel like all my toes had gone a bit numb. ūüėÄ ahaha! Not to brag, but it does feel good to dress up like a “real” girl from time to time (like last, last week when I hung out with a few friends on one of the local spots. I traded my usual pants/shirt/flats outfit for a navy-blue, greek-inspired dress, which I really loved). I do “clean up” nicely from time to time. Just not ALL the time though. Takes a lot of work, I tell you. And I’m a slob by nature. Besides,I like breathing and blue-berry cheese cakes too much to really focus much of my attention to beauty regimens. But yeah, like I said it feels nice to know you can look pretty for a bit (again, not bragging or anything, I’m not Grace Kelly. But I don’t think I’m ugly either). ūüėõ

And since we’re tackling my “girly-side” (once a century). Let’s move on to the subject of make-up. I’ve only started wearing real make up recently (meaning a year or so ago). But I’ve always known what colors will work for me. The benefits of being an artist I guess. It’s no different than drawing on paper really. I usually go for nudes, neutrals to dark colors ¬†when it comes to lipstick. My staples so far are something called “Dark Chocolate” ¬†(Avon) and “Night Valley Red” (Max Factor). For the eyes, I go with browns; although when I feel like going “gothic” I go a bit overboard with the black liner. But not too much. Let’s be thorough and talk about my hair too! But there’s nothing interesting about my hair. I just use conditioner and that’s it.

Anyway, enough with the¬†nonsense. I feel like I wasted paragraphs talking about “shallow” things like makeup. Haha! Another semi-related thing, I also bought a copy of OK! featuring ¬†Kate Middleton (I must be shot right on the spot! Oh, the horror! The horror!) But whatever, I honestly like the way she dresses. Simple and classy.

Oh, quick footnote. ¬†Our “team” at work had a little exchange gift ceremony earlier (there’s only four of us). I received most of the stuff I put on my wishlist. A laptop skin (mechanical design) and whole load of Bristol Boards (for sketching).

I have to go back to reading Triple Zero now…:P Might write a review afterwards.

Odds and Ends (the month of November to December)

I decided to change the theme yet again. This one, called “Girl in Green” is one of my “go-to” themes. The last one featuring the characters from The Hunger Games, looks far too dark and gloomy. It’s the end of the year, well almost, and enough of the gloom and doom. It’s time to look forward to some hopefully good things to come. Leave all the bad shit (excuse my French) behind for a change.

Indeed there are some really bad memories I definitely need to leave behind. In fact I am now “seething with rage” (bit of an exaggeration, but in essence true) as to why one person would fail to keep his promise nor fail to inform me as to when he actually intends to compensate me. ¬†It makes me think that he has no intention of doing so, which would have been to both our convenience if he had just been direct about it. Therefore, I would no longer expect him to and consequently move on.

The whole situation makes me think of this “old adage” I frequently see hanging near jeepney dashboards (and some buses too). It never fails to make me smile a bit. If you don’t know what it is, then you must have been pretty unobservant or totally idiotic or both. As always, I still give him the benefit of the doubt (for the one¬†hundredth¬†thousandth time I think.) I must remember to have myself lobotomized in the near future. My supposed intelligence seems to fail me when it comes to these things. I’m usually torn between wanting to kiss him and murder him (the balance shifts frequently). Right now I definitely have cold-blooded murder in mind. ūüėõ Just trying to lighten things up. I’m giving him an entire week to explain himself. A rather generous offer I’d say, considering.

With that bit of ranting out of the way, I will move on to other things.

Watched a few movies on the big screen. That means seeing a few duds once in a while.

Dud #1 is Apollo 18 aka “Blair-Witch-Project-In-Space-with-Crabs”. As one critic put it, “It’s 80 minutes of dead air.” Nothing could be more descriptive. I thought the poster looked visually intriguing so I dragged one of my friends to see what the film was all about. Well, to save you the headache and a bit of cash (in case you want to buy the DVD), the film is all about a bunch of American (and Russian) astronauts encountering deadly space crabs, all in Blair Witch style. I really wanted to sleep through the whole thing but I just have to get my 170 pesos back (too late for that though) so I forced myself to see the entire cinematic blackhole through. Needless to say, I would have been better off asleep. I’m sure any dreams I’m prone to have will be a hundred times more interesting (if it so happens that crabs will make an appearance, they will be cooked and ready to eat). ūüėÄ One of my favourite lines from the film Ghost World comes to mind, “..after seeing this one, you’d wish you had 10 beers.”

Dud #2 is The Immortals aka “The Cheerleaders, circa 12 BC”. They say curiosity killed the cat. In this case, curiosity made me sleepy (slightly comatose even). Another film I thought ¬†would be interesting (in a good way) based on the poster. It’s on the same vein as “Frank Miller’s 300” (and I didn’t like that one very much either). If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this film, it is this: no amount of “cool” special effects will cover for the lack of character depth and crappy storytelling. The hero (Theseus¬†if I recall correctly) is played so inertly by the actor that I can¬†foresee¬†him playing trees or possibly boulders in the near future. True, he seems to shout a lot but it’s “all sound and fury signifying nothing”. There’s even an almost scene for scene reproduction of the 300 “rally”. But instead of feeling inspired and ready for battle I keep expecting the “warriors” to do a cheerleader dance routine (complete with someone doing a high split). Which I’m sure ¬†was NOT what the¬†filmmakers¬†intended. I would say the Gods were pretty¬†bad ass¬†though. If only the¬†costumes¬†were a little less ridiculous.

I did see “Ghost Protocol” during the weekend though. I’d say it more than made up for the duds I had the misfortune to see. A few good films were in line the following months. There’s the American remake of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – showing this weekend; “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Charlize Theron will eat Kirsten Stewart alive. What were they thinking? But it has Chris Helmsworth. So there. ūüėõ What else? “The Hunger Games” of course. Quite excited to see this one. Plus some film entries to the Manila Film Festival. Should be enough to keep me entertained.

Still continuing with my drawings, I’m mostly working on quick sketches these days. Hopefully, I can produce at least a painting (canvas) in time for the local Mardi Gras. Crossing my fingers. I’m buying an Easel later in the day. One of the reasons I can’t draw for long periods is the lack of proper working space. The easel should solve that problem for a bit.

Sleepy and a bit hungry….

A Disquiet Follows My Soul..

(Listening to: “I Cut Class” by Christopher Libertino)

Now that is one really bad-ass title.

No. I didn’t come up with that. I just borrowed one of the episode titles from Battlestar Galactica. But it is true in essence, as a certain “disquiet follows my soul”.¬† Now before I get accused of excessively complaining (which considering that this is my blog and all, I can pretty much do if I wanted), I’m not.¬† Maybe it’s an existential thing, something about not being able to achieve your true potential (this is not an ego thing either – come to think of it I have a pretty healthy self esteem, but not of the Kanye West variety).

Anyway, before I get sidetracked by these parenthesis or whatever is the plural for parenthesis, I just want to say that although I am grateful for all the things I’ve achieved last year and hopefully this year too. I feel as though I have traded something that is an important part of myself. That is being able to be me. Contrary to my considerably well groomed appearance (see picture on the side bar, which although far from looking like Angelina Jolie, is 100 times better looking than the Yeti – no offense intended, in case the aforementioned Yeti is reading this instead of being busy scaring mountaineers); I rather enjoy being a slob, meaning in the olden days before I discovered that people tend to be total assholes when it comes to judging one’s appearance, I tend to not take a bath for “a while” or just go with whatever I happened to pull out of my closet and not comb my hair (really, that’s done on purpose).

That’s my idea of an extended “F*ck You!” to this “lookist” and superficial society we have.¬† I mean my mental capacity was in no way diminished if I do not go out looking like I have an entourage of stylists. That’s true in theory. I rather enjoyed seeing people’s reactions when I come in looking like a hippie during job interviews to corporate haunts where people are mostly expected to appear¬† like their clothes came from (insert designer brand here). They’d assume -very incorrectly- that whatever’s going to come out of my mouth would sound like this “gobbledy-gook-gfagakstbhshnks”, some interviewers would be a bit surprised that I sound articulate. How superficial can you get, really. Or that must be some primal instinct at work (that we tend to turn away from all that is unclean – even unclean looking – as it reminds us of death and decay).

Miraculously, I managed to snag some rather nice jobs through sheer force of will or talent, which again has nothing(!) to do with my face. But all through out I get a lot needling from some ehem..very well meaning people that I should really do something about my appearance. Something along the lines of¬† “why don’t you wear some make up?”, “buy decent clothes”¬† and “stop eating siomai and halo-halo three times a day”. That sort of insidious assault eventually got to me and I started cleaning up my “hobo-in-the-city” act. So now, instead of being out of the house in 30 minutes or so I have to spend an hour at most on all these rituals for the sake of being more conventional. What I’m actually saying here amidst all these ramblings is that I miss the days when things were a lot simpler, when I spend hours and hours holed up in my room just drawing, or reading. My ultimate question is that will there be a time when people would eventually get past judging by appearance and focus more on character? (oh my, what a lovely cerebellum you’ve got! ha ha) .

The alternative is to run to the hills and live the rest of my life as some kind of hermit. But well, I guess we have “The Law of Equivalent Exchange” to blame.

Enough of that for now. Time for some randomness.

I cut my finger yesterday while “heroically” washing the dishes that someone left on the kitchen sink the night before. The big bad cup with the sharp edges got me. I didn’t realize that the cut was deep enough that I did not pay attention to it, not until I saw copious amounts of blood in the sink. So I decided to rummage around looking for plain old Band-aid, as bleeding to death from such a small cut is definitely not an option. No, I did not start crying either. But alas no Band Aid can be found in the immediate vicinity. Had to run to the store. Lesson learned? Aside from be careful when washing dishes and throw out those potentially dangerous cups with broken “ears”. Always have some first aid materials at home, that way you won’t be hard pressed to buy some gauze from the nearest drugstore while trying to hold your intestines together (now that sounds a little extreme, but really you never know).

I think it’s time for some “Sanity Maintenance Day”. That’s when you attempt to preserve your waning grip on reality by devoting some due time on activities you enjoy (in my case that’s taking long walks or drawing or conversing with someone I miss badly). Well, if you’re the type of person who enjoys staring at the ceiling all day that’s fine too. I remember the last time I took “Sanity Maintenance Time” for five months in between jobs. I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping at the local park (like your everyday homeless person), drawing, writing on my journals and eating nothing (well, maybe not that part so much, as I like to eat). But you’ve got to live with the consequences¬† (the reason I spent so much time in the park was that I’m trying to escape the daily dose of potent nagging courtesy of my mother. Things like it’s time you pull your head out of the clouds as there are bills to be paid). So there, I want to go somewhere faraway on Saturday (that is if that certain someone does not show up).

I recently discovered “San Marino Tuna Paella”. It’s pretty good. The ultimate lifesaver for people like me who have problems with cooking properly. The tuna is already mixed with rice (as any normal paella dish would go). You can eat it straight out of the can. It’s Friday (last day on the job this week). Perfectly alright to stay up a little late. Don’t feel sleepy yet. Although I’m hungry.

I rarely watch TV these days (even the news, I can always get them on any DOT-com versions of the news channels anyway). I despise the current content of Philippine local TV. Especially the prime time, not to be snobbish or worse a “colonialist”, but I absolutely cannot relate to any of the characters they put out. The same reason I never watch Sex and the City or Gossip Girl, I find them shallow. I’d much rather indulge in sci-fi. But that’s me. I downloaded the DVD /Torrent incarnations of some shows (on cable) that managed to catch my attention. I liked “The Event” recently. I don’t expect it to be on the same level as Galactica, but there’s a lot of potential for character development and more (exciting? horrific?)¬† revelations. I haven’t picked any favourite characters yet. Although I am partial to Simon Lee, President Elias Martinez and Sophia Maguirre (I find her very interesting).

Just encountered a very bad-ass name at work. It’s Tywanda Bloodworth. I imagine not many people would want to mess with you if you’re named as such. Kudos to the parents (along with the wise ancestors, who had enough sense to pick the name).

Rant-o-Lantern

I haven’t written anything at all since December 15, 2010. That is not to say that nothing of import has happened. It’s just that I’m either too busy to write anything or I can’t seem to pull my thoughts in order. So, why am I writing now? For one thing, I have¬† a splitting headache, I feel like my head is about to burst. Why? Well a couple of things.

One. There’ s the recent failure of communication between me and “someone”. I don’t think the subsequent argument and all the words thrown back and forth (from both sides) are necessary, but nevertheless happened. A¬† reasoned argument would have been sufficient. Of course, I do realize that I share the blame, but still. In any case, somewhere in that moment I think I finally tied all the threads together and was close to pointing out the source of the altercation. But alas, I lost the thread to a throbbing headache. And not to mention that we are both stubborn people.

Two. There’s the problem with finances. For some reason, I have now become the sole breadwinner of sorts. Not that I’m complaining. No, wait. I am complaining. Problem is there’s not much I could do about it. It’s like having a choice between cutting off your arm or staying shackled. I really can’t begin to describe the nature of my dilemma. It has more plot twists than an M. Night Shyamalan movie. But wait let me try.

My mom got hospitalized last December, and I shouldered most of the bills. Wait before someone starts thinking I’m such an asshole, what I’m saying is that I absolutely loathe being pushed into this role. I mean it’s fine I can share “if I feel like it”, not because I have to do it, not because everyone thinks it’s what I’m supposed to be doing! I know it probably sounds like it doesn’t make any sense. Hell, maybe it doesn’t make sense. I’m not the only child! I’m not the only family member, I still have a brother and a father (who on the other hand has been sending me messages for a few days now, asking me to “help” them again! I’ve already helped them, is it now my sole obligation to SEND THEM money every month???!) I mean why can’t my brother get a steady job in the mean time? I know he’s waiting for his big break in comics, but while waiting¬† can’t he work at least part time?? So he can help out with the bills. All my plans for this year and this month has been thrown out the effing window! And no one seems to care that this is not the job I want, as long as I send the money they can continue smiling.

What, I’m supposed to work night shifts until I’m 40 or something?? In case they didn’t know, I’m 28 years old! I should at least have a life and a career of my own choosing (and that is NOT to be at a call center. As I’ve mentioned many times before. I want to be a portrait artist and nothing else). I should get to spend my earnings the way I deem fit! I just want to go to Siberia at this very moment. I don’t want to go to work anymore (but that simply wouldn’t do). If I don’t slog at this job, I’m dead. So what do I want? I just want to rest from my responsibilities. I’m tired. This thing isn’t going anywhere.

What would make me happy is that if I can resign from the job say at least a month. And get to draw and relax somewhere far away, no effing bills to think about. Just draw. Just relax. I haven’t drawn anything this year. It’s killing me.

Three. I’ve got some added responsibilities at work. For reasons unknown to me, the people I work with thinks it is such a¬† good idea to nominate me as the head of the Rewards and Recognition Committee. I might have to abdicate. I simply DO NOT have the time or the inclination. I think I’m supposed to submit a report today or something.