Sunday, January 31, 2010

...and these are the guys watching over our safety and welfare.

The police and the local governments have yet again reminded me why they are the last people to call for concerns on public health and safety...

As I write this, I am still stopping myself from sneezing my Chinese nose off from all the dust the store gathered, because some idiot politician decided to arrive in style at the Panagbenga Festival Kick-Off parade in a fucking PNP helicopter by landing it smack in the middle of town at Burnham Park's football field...

I'm guessing the politician, who I won't name because I cannot ascertain who he/she was is so stupid that he/she didn't consider the possibility that a chopper landing in the middle of a dusty football field with throngs of people watching a pathetic parade will send storms of dust flying for almost half a mile around... and there are a lot of children, too... think about that... it's not like the government provides real health insurance, and not some excuse called PhilHealth...

What's funnier is that the PNP's airforce didn't even bother telling stupid-arriving-in-stye-politician about the effects of landing a chopper in the middle of a populated park... no wonder planes are crashing all over the place and killing people... and yes, these are the people who are watching over our safety and well-being...

Don't you just adore the Philippine government...?

'catch you later...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CD Review: Gino Padilla (Let Me Be The One)... He's Back... (again)


Gino Padilla is back... (again)

The guy, whose strongest claim to global fame is singing on stage with Tina Turner (remember her, guys?) in a Pepsi commercial way back in the late 80's has a new album out on the shelves since very late last year. Titled “Let Me Be The One,” power singer Gino Padilla, through Viva-Vicor, offers his take on 14 classic and not-so-classic Pinoy radio fare spanning over three decades back.

Immediate standouts are immortal guilty pleasures of every music lover, the Cecile Azarcon-penned “Even If,” the Joey Albert-immortalized “Million Miles Away,” and Odette Quesada’s “To Love Again.”

"...amusing to note that the majority of the songs... were originally done by female singers... [as] testament to [Gino's] vocal range..."

Naturally, as an avid OPM lover of a musical age gone by, I have my immediate favorites off Gino’s song selection such as the ones I mentioned above. But one rather interesting surprise was him digging up Junior’s jukebox staple “But If You Leave Me” from the late 70’s (am I right? Anyone correct me if I’m wrong…). The original version remains on my playlist as a reminder of simpler times, but this tear-jerking new version does it justice.

Production values are more than decent. But considering the vocal caliber that the album is working with, almost any accompaniment can sound good. As a matter of fact, try to give a listen to Gino’s version of the once-overplayed “If” of one-hit wonder Nelson del Castillo. Another gem of songwriting is Jimmy Bondoc’s mega-hit “Let Me Be The One,” which also happens to be the album’s title. Despite the fact that everyone’s final memory of that poor song is the singer-songwriter’s constant howling like a constipated kitten through a 12-minute stretch of the song, credit to how well-written the song really is must be given to Bondoc, as evidenced by the this new clean rendition by Gino Padilla.

It’s also amusing to note that the majority of the songs Gino tackled were originally done by female singers. Further testament to his vocal range. Although some of the lyrics ended up being either too soft for a guy, or sometimes just downright odd and misplaced, as when he sang the Freestyle original “So Slow.” I mean, no self-respecting hetero-sexual guy will ask a woman to ease up and turn down a chance to do the nasty… c’mon…

The time for balladeers seems to be on a minor upswing lately, and it’s not only that a voice like Gino Padilla deserves to the recorded and heard again, but music lovers like me deserve to get more quality stuff such as this album, despite the obvious fact that the tracks are remakes. Am still on the look-out for a copy of Gino’s prior release, the Sharon Cuneta-produced “Hand of Time,” which I believe contains a few new originals.

The whole laid back groove of the album is okay, but doesn’t really fire one up. Nonetheless, if one enjoys good, clean singing, where the singer successfully connects with the listener on an emotional level, then this album deserves a spot on everyone’s player. For a few tidbits off the album, click on the video below…

video
Support [good] Filipino music! ‘catch you all later…

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Eulogy for Jennifer: Goodbye to a Baby...

Everybody thinks their dog is special from the rest of the canine world.

And the thing is, they’re all correct.

And just like every well-loved dog, Jennifer was special to us from the rest of them. In fact, canine or what, Malou and i never really considered Jennifer and the rest of her cohorts as pets. But yes, clichéd as it may sound, they were our children.

She was born last September of 2001. The last child of their line, before Malou and i decided that it was time to neuter the males to stop them from turning our little home (a.k.a. 39 sq.m. apartment) into a veritable farm. A huge batch of poisonous Pedigree dog food later, the tragic passing of Soda, Joey, JM, Marge (yes, there was Marge the poodle, before Marge the baby), and Joni, it was now Jennifer’s turn to throw in the towel... with only their 12-year old father, Stolich to survive them...
"...That space in our hearts we saved for Margaret, [Jennifer] tried to fill in every way that she could..."
Jennifer was extra special to me, because she was the only one who was born after Malou and I were married. Thus, she was the one i came home to from the moment she saw the light of day, to that one wistful moment when i can only wish i can imagine her smiling at us one last time, thanking us for the love, and the life she lived with us. We referred to her as “Baby Jennifer,” because while all of them were our children, of them all she was our baby.

In those drifty years between declaring that our honeymoon was over, and the happy-weepy day that brought us Margaret, Jennifer was unabashedly the star among our 4-legged children. She knew it, acted it, and demanded of us and our time the way she knew she had a right to. A baby in practically every sense of the word. That space in our hearts we saved for Margaret, she tried to fill in every way that she could. We knew it, felt it, and somehow she knew that we knew.

* * * * * * *

One day, I had a lump in my throat since i woke up... The smell of Jennifer's breath and discharge, which were indicative of what truly bad shape what was left of her kidneys were in, were smelling sharper than ever... She had suddenly already started vomiting, and refused to eat... I knew it wasn't going to be much longer...

Malou and Marge brought Jennifer and the others to the Makati Dog & Cat Hospital hoping that grooming and some dental work might take some pain off her and get her eating again. But her body's breakdown was already accelerating at a pace we never saw before. When we went to visit Jennifer on the morning of Vergil's wedding, she had already pee-ed on herself, and her weakened jaw totally gave during tooth extraction.

She was in bad shape. A mere shadow of her once-beautiful and zest-filled self. And she made no qualms about showing us her discomfort. She didn’t even bother acknowledging our presence.

Seeing her broke Malou’s and my heart so bad...

And we made one of the most painful decisions we ever made together and gave Jennifer the gift of taking away her pain, ending her suffering, and setting her free while the memories of her beautiful life were still fresh enough to be among her final thoughts.

"...A decision like the one we just made for
someone we hold so dear is usually filled with
maybes..."

I did notice that when Dr. Binogon came in with the blue syringe, Jennifer held her head high in that proud, beautiful way she always did in her prime. As though wanting to walk into the coming darkness with her soul as proud and beautiful as it had been in life on the earth that we know.

Then she peacefully set her head down and closed her eyes one final time.

The day was January 20, 2010.

* * * * * * *

The thing about moments like these is that one is almost always left to imagine whatever it is the dog is feeling and/or thinking. We like to imagine that maybe they’re quietly saying goodbye. We choose to not consider thinking that maybe they were wordlessly begging for one last chance to see the sun and breathe the air. But there does come that time when we guess in our hearts that maybe there are ways they wouldn’t choose to live. A decision like the one we just made for someone we hold so dear is usually filled with maybes.

But we know we did the kindest thing she would have wanted. And there will never be a “maybe” for how much we will always love her.

Not too long ago, when one of Jennifer’s older siblings passed away also from complications of renal failure, i asked Malou through misty eyes futilely, pointlessly, heartbrokenly, almost stupidly... why they (our four-legged children) always went before we did...

And in her matter-of-fact way of wisdom, she replied: “...because if we went before they did, then no one would take care of them.”

Strangely undeniable and oddly comforting. Malou always had a knack for things like that. Still hurts though... and Jennifer will always be a testament to how someone so small could leave a void so big.

‘catch you later...
video

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

it's a good time for www.nomorelonelynights.com

Ugly women of the world rejoice!

China will save you from a lifetime of loneliness!
(...as long as you're willing to live with tea-stained teeth, once a week showers, and 24/7 snorting and spitting...)

Check out the link...

The world knows how China has always favored boys over girls, which probably explains the trafficking of little Chinese girls to childless couples from all over the world...  at least some families have chosen to dispose of the poor girls in the most humane way... but don't get me started on the forced abortions of other infant girls...

So based on the yahoo link above (whose photo i am also liberally borrowing), unless China starts importing 10 million girls, the chauvinistic Chinese elders behind the "kill-the-girls-movement" Mao Zedong probably started will only have themselves to blame if they find the mainland overrun with 10 million Chinese faggots who have tired of looking for pussy that they have resorted to sodomy.

i am strongly considering capitalizing on this by creating http://www.nomorelonelynights.com/ which will send ugly women to China when those poor lonely mainlanders pay me a fee...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Review: Sherlock Holmes (Too Elementary, My Dear Watson...)


Let me get a few important things out of the way first... Bob Downey is a demi-god.
There. Now that that’s been said... let’s move forward...

The wifey and i just came home from catching a screening of the former-Mr.Madonna-directed “Sherlock Holmes,” starring the aforementioned Robert Downey, Jr. as the title character backed up more than effectively by the very capable Jude Law as the loyal Dr. Watson.


"...Law comes in nice and steady through the movie, [and] exponentially adds to the dimension... [but] Downey just totally owns everything..."

I must confess that for all my pretension of being a neo-literati of some sort, i have never, ever laid my hands on a volume of Mr. Holmes’ exploits, whether by the great Arthur Conan Doyle, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, my introduction to the concept of Sherlock was the hapless Muppet “Sherlock Hemlock” in Jim Henson’s Muppet Show (or was it Sesame Street?). So for what it’s worth, i have almost nothing to base my assumptions on as to how supposedly loyal the characterizations are. I WAS, however, at least waiting for the supposedly classic “...elementary, my dear Watson...” which i didn’t get... i wasn’t surprised at not seeing the scenes where Downey repeatedly peered through a magnifying glass...

i’ll say this again... Downey is a demi-god... whew...

But while i seriously, honestly enjoyed watching the obvious chemistry between Downey and Law, i cannot say that i enjoyed “Sherlock.” Because while Jude Law, as good an actor as he is provides an excellently sardonic counterpoint to Downey’s nonchalant, swashbuckling genius... Downey, who has exhibited his chameleon-like talents in numerous movies such as “Chaplin,” to a lesser degree “Zodiac,” and my personal favourite, “Heart and Souls,” seems to have gotten lazy this time. Either that, or Director Guy Ritchie seems to think that since Downey’s “Iron Man” was such a joomungous hit that he might as well turn in an action movie starring Iron Man, and take out the armor to stop the guys at Marvel, whose sad asses have been bought by the sadder asses at Disney from suing his much, much sadder ass...

While Jude Law comes in nice and steady through the movie, exponentially adds to the dimension already delivered by Downey, and Rachel McAdams is fetching as ever, Downey just totally owns everything. Even the scenes where Downey is absent leave the viewer just wondering when he will turn up next.

Given the potentially cerebral nature of the central character, i was half-hoping for a more psycho-thriller piece. Instead, Mr.i-screwed-madonna-like-a-thousand-other-guys Ritchie delivers a slightly generic buddy-movie action flick, which fails to maximize the potential of its two leads. And i’m almost tempted to imagine Ritchie having snuck into David Shore’s office and stole a script for “House,” then reworked it by replacing Hugh Laurie with Downey, and Robert Sean Leonard with Law, then just threw in a few excerpts from rejected James Bond scripts... then, voila... “Sherlock Holmes!”

But i’ll say this again... Downey is a demi-god...

‘catch you later...

Friday, January 08, 2010

swat... swat...


Someone is trying to pry off the band-aid i laboriously slapped on... this has got to stop... good thing i haven’t tired of swatting the fingers off... but still...


Hope to NOT catch anyone later...

Thursday, January 07, 2010

midweek weekend...

One of the things i like about a smaller, and arguably much more laid back town is that it can take as little as 5 minutes to grab a cab (when one is too lazy to drive) and chill out at the house for brief spell.
Throw in a camera, a stroll through the park on the way back to the store, and we're looking at around an hour of stolen weekend smack in the middle of Thursday...

'catch you later...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

good morning, world... 010710

Not feeling particularly negative this morning. Quite positive, in fact... but i just felt like having Adam Lambert’s heart-wretchingly screeching disaster soundtrack “Time for Miracles” as my first song for the day, oddly followed by Acoustic Alchemy’s now-classic “Playing for Time” from the critically-acclaimed “Back on the Case.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUXuG8Q_I-I&feature=PlayList&p=B9EF886159136B26&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=90

Absolutely no connection in the fact that both songs have the word “time” in them... the above link is to a youtube post of a live performance in their Sta. Lucia concert, which i have on dvd. I’ll be honest in the fact i find Miles Gilderdale’s attempt at covering for percussionist Mario Argandoña’s vocal adlibs quite awkward... must be something unsettling about a balding Englishman singing falsetto...

Just got a message from the wifey that Marge is kind of spaced out with her cold... damn January weather... left photo shows her in the La Trinidad store "getting busy."

While i’m watching from a 5-hour ride away, Maverick is all systems go. Lost a small pitch, but working on the big ones we already won late last year... smells like a good year... 'hope i'm not speaking too soon... not stopping in looking for the gravy... can't wait to get back into the Maverick action... be back there in a few more days...

Hope Marge feels better later in the day...

‘catch you later...