Posts

Showing posts from September, 2004
Whew!

Next month marks the fifth month of my gym ordeal. The target average improvement for the half-year period is 7%. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it's darn impressive to me given my limitations. I'll post some results (measurements, not pictures) in a few weeks.

By November, I modify the program to include a bit of cardiovascular exercise and some "slow burn" sets. Meaning, if it normally takes me 4 counts to do one repetition or rep, I prolong the rep with more emphasis on the eccentirc phase (or the part of the rep where you go back to your original position). The efficacy of the "slow burn" or "superslow" method in getting more bulk isn't supported by all (just most) fitness experts, though the consensus is that the method does add strength by keeping muscles loaded for an extended period of time.

From January to March next year, it'll back to the standard sweat-and-grunt mode, though I don't really grunt like the other gy…
Darn. I'm as bored as cow dung. :(
Easiest Quiz

Ripped this off someone's blog. Thanks, whoever you re. Heheheh

WORLD'S EASIEST QUIZ:
Make Sure You Check The Answers(Passing Requires Only 4 Correct Answers Out Of Ten...Be Sure To Do All Ten!)

1) How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2) Which country makes Panama hats?
3) From which animal do we get cat gut?
4) In which month do Russians celebrate the October Revolution?
5) What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6) The Canary Islands in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7) What was King George VI's first name?
8) What color is a purple finch?
9) Where are Chinese gooseberries from?
10) What is the color of the black box in a commercial airplane?

All Done? Check your answers through the Comments link.
Siksi Bidyos

Kyla's video for her single "Not Your Ordinary Girl" was a disappointment. While cutey rapper Jimmy Muna was doing his thang with gusto, Kyla seemed lethargic and uncomfortable. After all this time, the Pinoy R&B princess still lacks the groovin' moves. There's no doubting her singing prowess, for sure, but in a video in which she's wearing a miniskirt and a halter top, I think she needs to perform with a little more oomph. There's nothing wrong with a little sexiness.

On the other end of the spectrum, Britney Spears shoves the oomph down your throat and into your gut in her version of "My Prerogative," the 1989 Bobby Brown chart topper. The video attempts to push the Mature Britney persona more towards the edge, and yet there isn't an ounce of sexiness or even artistic value here as far as I'm concerned. (While Madonna's videos for "Justify My Love" and "Erotica" are risqué even by today's sta…
Tongues

In The Buzz a couple of weeks back, the Nakakata-Quote portion featured a starlet commenting on the proliferation of videos where she's allegedly featured, to which she comments, "Alin, 'yung siks bidyo?" The John Lapus voice over laughingly corrects her, paraphrasing, "Siks bidyo? Anim na video? O baka naman sex video."

How about that other starlet who was asked, "Ano sa tingin mo ang edge mo sa ibang starlets?"

Her response: "Edge? Edad?"

Many readers of Zaturnnah pointed to "samamabits maderpaker shet" as one of the top laugh draws.

I've had my own share of these. Saying "temptator" instead of "tempter" is one of my language battle scars. (Right, Vin?)

Let's face it. We love to laugh at these slip-ups. We ridicule those who can't enunciate English properly. Some regional accents will always be part of our humor. We laugh at "blessing from the sky" and "you can never can …
Image
Present for Andee

My niece Andee will be celebrating her sixth birthday tomorrow. It’s amazing how much she’s grown, from watching her make her first steps, to hearing her utter her first words, and presently guiding her as she makes her way through her first year of school. With that feeling of awe from witnessing the development of a beautiful human being comes the annual challenge of getting that special something for her birthday that won’t insult her intelligence.

Especially now, since the concept of the birthday present has become all too clear to Andee. My bibliophile cousin Angela has been giving books, all much appreciated by the little one. But on my end, finding the best gift has always been a challenge. I spent hours going through the aisles of Toy Kingdom last Friday and Saturday for something that’s not too hard on the wallet but at the same time provides Andee hours of distraction.

She loves playing the games on my celphone, so I decided to look for one of those LCD-base…
The Comics Geek Name Game

While on our way to Music 21 last Saturday, Buddha tossed a little game for everyone to play. The objective was to enumerate Marvel Comics characters whose names began with each letter of the alphabet. It’s one of those little off-tangent challenges that only comics geeks could appreciate.

With four comics enthusiasts playing (Buddha, Vin, Nikki, and myself), one would think that names would spill out at the drop of the hat. Strangely, there was hardly an outpour. Sometimes we’d leave the more obvious ones out, and the more obscure ones get named first. While it took a long time for “Quicksilver” to register under Q, or “Psylocke” under P, the first name under U was “Unus the Untouchable.” I don’t recall “Ultron” ever being mentioned.

After going through Marvel, we headed on to DC, whose roster is less up my alley, but I managed to contribute a few with some Legion members thrown in for good measure. I was appalled when I found out that the enigmatic White Wit…
Image
Clean Pencils

During the entirety of my making comics, I’ve never really had the need to do clean pencils on a full page, since I’m always the one doing the inks. I’d just do simple outlines on the page then go straight to inking. Sometimes I’d do clean pencils for particularly difficult poses or angles in a panel, but my usual method works better for me since I’m usually pressed for time.

It doesn’t help that I’m skewed towards the realist school of comics illustration, as opposed to the simplistic iconic styles used by such artists as James Kochalka and Craig Thompson. When I hear about Bryan Hitch being a slow artist, I can fully understand how difficult it can be to rush the kind of pages he dishes out. The man’s work is amazing, albeit frustrating fans with the waiting time.

I have to make clean pencils even if I’m doing my own inking to avoid the mistakes I don’t readily see. There’s this little rule in illustration that prompts an artist to “check” his work in the mirror. If the…
Slumps

Met up with Vin last night, and told him that I was in the middle of a creative slump. It's one of those events again, and it's been showing in the way I've been writing my blog entries. Bleechhh...

With Siglo out of the way, I'm supposed to be heavy into Jason's 15-page supernatural comics story. But I couldn't find it in me to start the artwork. With personal deadlines looming for other comics and writing projects, I'm getting worried again.

But I've started jobhunting. At this point, it's the do-your-best-God-do-the-rest principle. I don't know anymore what job to look for, so I'll be trying my luck as far as my luck goes.

I know for sure that I don't want to go back to working for an agency. I don't think that I can handle it anymore at this stage. Anyway, most of my career has been on the client side so that's the best way to go right now. With my body clock cleanly adjusted, I can go for the nine-to-six again.

Teachin…
Image
Feng Shui
Starring: Kris Aquino, Jay Manalo, Ilonah Jean, Lotlot de Leon, Joonie Gamboa
Directed By: Chito Roño
Star Cinema

You must have been dragged along by the recent wave of Asian horror films -- The Ring, The Grudge, The Eye, Acacia, Tale of Two Sisters, etc. If you've seen the lot of them, chances are you'll find what happens in Feng Shui very familiar. The Kris Aquino-starrer is far different from the Shake Rattle and Roll's of old in terms of treatment, and the freak-out factor is actually there. It's premise is very Asian, thus laudable.

Kris Aquino plays an ordinary working mother who's driven by the need to prove to her mother-in-law that she can help her husband (Jay Manalo) provide the two kids a comfortable future. One night, she brings home an old bagua (or pa kua), that octagonal Chinese good luck charm, left by some guy in a bus. Sure enough, the luck comes pouring in, but the party's spoiled by violent deaths. Aquino attempts to find the link bet…
The Simpsons

Ashlee Simpson's debut album Autobiography has edged out her elder sister Jessica's third album In This Skin in terms of record sales. Autobiography, whose first single Pieces of Me (sung as 'Pisses') topped Billboard at #5, topped the album charts and managed to hit triple platinum (over three million units) in less than three months.

Jessica's studio effort, however, has been in the charts for over a year and has only managed to rake in a double-platinum citation.

Speaking of Jessica, an article in Vanity Fair says that the 'dumb blonde' of The Newlyweds has a genius-level IQ and was a virgin until her marriage with Nick Lachey.

So does this make Jessica the real-life Lisa Simpson, and Ashlee the real-life Bart?
Paesep-esep Lang...

Here I am, blogging at Netopia - Robinson's Galleria. An hour and a half to go before gym time. Have to eat in a while for the energy reserves. My back is still a bit sore from Tuesday's session, but it's okay since I'm working the "push" muscles tonight. At month five of self-punishment, I'm changing the routine to re-shock the sinews.

- - - - - - - - -

I'm sure some of you felt the wee tremor early this morning. That was around three a.m., yes? I woke up just before it happened. I hate earthquakes.

- - - - - - - - -

I miss holding someone's hand while watching a movie. *sigh*

- - - - - - - - -

I haven't seen GMA 7's gay-oriented show Out. The single feedback I've heard about it is that... well... it ain't nice. And "ain't nice" is bad news for a show whose survival is dependent on a demographic known for partying during the show's timeslot.

Talking about it with a couple of friends, the only w…
Image
Invisible People
Will Eisner
DC Comics (The Will Eisner Library)


You see them everyday on the streets and, at the same time, are unaware of their full existence. These are the obscure personalities you run into on your way to work or school, passing you by as quickly as passing thoughts, leaving no trace in your mind as to who they are or what they’re about. These are, to us, invisible people.

Invisible People is the first-ever Will Eisner book I’ve read, containing three stories about three people whose lives spiral down into the stuff of afterthoughts. In the first story, a reclusive man is pronounced dead by the local newspaper. In the second story, a woman struggles to find self-worth after caring for her father for four decades. In the third, a man with the power to heal deals with the inability to heal his own soul.

There’s no doubt in my mind why Eisner is touted as one of the most highly respected American grafictionists around. Eisner, whose comics career started way before mos…
Image
Vigan!

In the past few years, I’ve been to Subic and Tagaytay, but the last time I was ever way waaaay out of town was in 1996, in my mother’s home province of Palawan. Like I said, I hate packing. Adding to that, I hate the travel time.

But given that I don’t have a job and I’ve only one life to live, the invitation by Nautilus Comics to help conduct the comics seminar in Ilocos Sur was a good change. And it ended up to be a wonderful experience for me.

Sure, the travel time was at least eight hours. We had a flat en route at ten in the evening, right smack in the middle of nowhere. At the seminar, the venue was hot, the acoustics were bad and the sound system was iffy. We had another flat while on a side trip to Abra.

But overall, I had a smacking good time. Elbert, Jaime and Rex were delightful companions, with free-flowing comfortable – and occasionally inane – conversation that made the long trip bearable. Thanks to our sponsors at AZcom for helping us along.

Vigan's got every…
Tripping

Tomorrow, I’ll be joining Elbert, Jaime and Rex of Nautilus Comics on a trip to Vigan to help conduct a comics seminar. I can’t remember the last time I was far away from the metropolis, so this trip would definitely be a refreshing change. The seminar is on Friday, but we’ll be there till Saturday or Sunday afternoon, depending on the mood.

By default, I dislike out-of-town trips because of the packing. I hate packing. I hate unpacking. Over- and underpacking, too. If teleportation services were commercially available, I’d be a happy camper. But, hey, a free out-of-town trip isn’t common from where I’m standing, so I might as well bite.

Angelo had been to Vigan a few months back, and the pictures he showed me were simply awe-inspiring. I can’t wait to see the old Spanish-era houses. Not to mention find for myself some wickedly flavorful Ilocos vinegar.

Next weekend, I’ll be joining my former co-workers to Subic to celebrate a couple of birthdays. We’ll be staying overnight. A…
Brilliant Marketing

A high-end Italian fashion boutique in Robinson's Galleria has a brilliant marketing ploy. It's so effective, that I felt compelled to enter the boutique.

The display window had large sign that said:

FALL/WINTER COLLECTION IS NOW ARRIVED.

Wouldn't you want to walk right into that store, just to tell the supervisor about the sign? The supervisor would then respond, "Oh, it's our sneaky way of getting people in. It works, doesn't it?"
“Help Yourself.”

I’ve taken to reading a few self-help books. My favorite so far is Dr. Phil McGraw’s Life Strategies, a one-two punch of a book that rips away your rose-colored glasses, as opposed to other books that come short of putting you on a pedestal.

Most of these self-help books have the same core message, yet each author tackles it from various angles. From Seven Habits of Highly Successful People to Thinking Big to Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, these books encourage you to take a long hard look at yourself in the sphere of existence. Being social beings, we cannot escape the fact that we are dependent on each other. Yet in the process of societal interaction, we tend to let the outside take over till we almost lose who we fundamentally are, unique human beings who are special in our own ways.

These books are in no way cure-alls. There are points in some books that are too strong or too idealistic. The key I’ve found and am working on is to add a little personal challenge ever…
Image
Optional Reading: Another Sex Entry

I may be 33, but my impression about sex still lies in the romanticist Dark Ages. While there are those in their late-teens and twenties who have their wild predatory romps, I’m akin to the old maid knitting sweaters on the front porch. I’m not queasy about sex per se, I’m just naïve about the casual circumstances that lead to it.

Take last Saturday, for instance. I was in the steam room of the gym when someone hit on me. And during the whole process, my mental mode was characterized by childlike naiveté. Even when the probing hand was heading south, I did not feel alarmed. More like, “Oh, so that’s what this is all about.”

Nothing happened; I gently brushed the hand aside and politely said, “That’s not what I’m here for.” And he was cordial enough not to push the issue. It was only when he left the steam room that the reality trickled in. “Oh my God! He wanted to have sex with me!” I had to make sure that he didn’t see me when I went to the showers.…
As a person gets older, he or she becomes increasingly susceptible to restrictive conditions. At a certain age, bone and muscle mass lowers and fat accumulation increases. Those, apart from ailments that affect mental functions. They manifest themselves in different stages of life, prompting us to give ourselves another look and make the most of what we have left.

My grandmother is lucky. She's past 80, and yet her mind still retains much of the sharpness its had in her youth. She's hardly been sick and she doesn't get tired easily. Maybe that's the real benefit of living in the province, where time seems to slow down.

Over the past years, I've been noticing some changes in my immunity system. I had developed a very mild allergy to seafood. It's nothing alarming, just a tad annoying, but it's something I've never had. It's like a latent mutant power sans the special effects.

Lately, I'm beginning to suspect that I'm becoming more lactose-int…
Just Playing

The following text is a translation made by an online translation service. What do you suppose is the original English text?

"Kung tayo ay lahat nang natural predisposed sa kagagawan masama, at we're supposed sa tumaas itaas atipan ng pawid kung we're kahit minsan sa kamtan kaunti uri ng gantimpalaan di ang afterlife , ano idikta ang kalikasan ng mabuti at masama , kailan ang daigdig kalinangan tila sa may mag-iba-iba kunin sa ano ay aral at mahalay?"

If we are all naturally predisposed to doing evil, and we're supposed to rise above that if we're ever to achieve some kind of reward in the afterlife, what dictates the nature of good and evil, when the world's cultures seem to have varying takes on what is moral and immoral?
Palanca Dreaming

Congratulations to Dean for bagging two more Palanca awards this year, in the future fiction and one-act play categories. This brings his cume to seven.

Dean has been encouraging us to get our entries all done for a shot a literary glory. While it would be nice to add another feather on my cap, I don't delude myself by thinking that I am skilled enough to win a coveted Palanca.

But maybe I'll try once or twice. In fact, I've started writing a future fiction piece, though only time will tell if I'll ever get it done, and I don't want to pressure myself into this. I still have a massive graphic novel to release next year, and I imagine myself becoming socially scarce in the process. I'm already late as it is.
Sex and Sleep

My body clock has abruptly readjusted. While recently I’d fall into Dream Land from four to six in the morning, I now feel extremely sleepy before midnight. My eyelids are heavy as I type this. This dramatic shift is so disorienting. I haven’t slept anytime before 2 a.m. in the past decade.

A part of me had assumed that this is all psychological. There are times when I’d just refuse to sleep, carrying a need to stay awake in case something happens. Don’t ask me what that something is, because I wouldn’t know myself. But since the body clock readjustment started serendipitously after last week’s intimacy episode, I’m beginning to suspect that maybe that’s what I’ve been waiting for all along, and it disturbs me. What, all I needed was a roll in the hay to get my sleeping habits back in order?

*shudder*