Veranda. 7pm. A full moon is skimming over the Makati skyline. My boss and my Art Director are both howling at the top of their voices, sowing terror among the unwary 26 storeys below. Impressive, actually. Hollywood. Pelikula cheese. Name it, they can howl it. Hehe. Happy Halloween, everyone.
Fashion Police, give me a break. Specially that Nokia commercial showing a couple of la police montee a la mode. Give me an Uzi, no, a bazooka, the one that launches a smart missile. I've seen it on Discovery Channel. Ashes to ashes. Obliterate the equestrians, and the guy with the white socks, too. Spare the horses!
We have a TV commercial in the works, to be aired on November. The intended audience are teens, specifically, "tweens", the latest marketing buzzword bull, like Gen "Y", or "Metrosexuals". 10 to 14 yrs old, that age when acne, the adam's apple, and a stew of shape-altering hormones are all set to go.
True to his job description, my Art Director performs the sole role as the fashion autorite. My Art Director is also the peg, the fashion reference, with new-fangled nouvelle mode accessories hanging from his wrists, dangling on his neck, and body hugging Lycra shirts. U.K. trendy my ass. My Art Director is as Jurassic as I am. Make that Cretaceous. He is a 32 year old T-Rex.
I'm sticking with my straight-cut Levi's 517s, thank you.
The testosterone public is applauding the booty-enhancing hipster bootleg, bootcut jeans, the triumphant return of the denim mini-skirt.
And black, shiny mall tiles.
The condom has gone a long way, baby. From discreet. To bold. Condom wristbands, now available at leading fashion boutiques near you. No kidding. So, come one, come all!
The earliest I can recall ever having donned the Levi's straight cut jeans for the first time go way back during my senior years in high school. Looked best with a pair of gray-tone Travel Fox shoes. They don't travel no more. But the straight cut jeans marches on, right to where the flavor is.
My refusal to eat lunch every day that God made has not gone unnoticed. More in particular by those curious souls with great berths who see sporadic gastronomic pauses as highlights of the day. Asked why, here's the curt retort: "Photosynthesis."
Nuclear holocaust. Board made flesh by director Stephen Ngo.
The catastrophe begins with a split-second flash bang. Followed by the signature of doom to a throng of irradiated millions, a scarlet mushroom cloud rising mile-high into the stratosphere, then collapsing unto itself. A lift from National Geographic? C.G.? Hell, no! We've gone this far into pushing an irreverent idea to a renewed Christian, reluctant client, might as well shoot the darn thing.
After obtaining the uranium-rich payload from a shrivelled, deteriorating arms dealer, the next big task was pinpointing the location of detonation. Due to limited budget, the Nevada nuclear test site was out of the question. Even the bomb-battered atoll lying in the outer fringes of the Pacific, yeah, it's that little island erased from existence in a flash we see often on TV, posed a logistical nightmare.
We stumbled upon a brilliant compromise, a eureka moment - Cubao. Perfect.
On the set date, the director trained his high-speed photosonic camera northward from a roof deck in a posh Makati hotel. Over a walkie-talkie, the PA gave the go signal, then static. Poor guy. He will be missed. The camera whirs to life as every passing second Cubao undergoes a topographic transmogrification gets captured on Kodak film at a rate of 150 frames per second. The mushroom cloud hovered in the air for a few minutes. But slo-mo savvy Stephen Ngo got what he came for. With a boyish grin, he takes off his thick-rimmed UV glasses and concludes what is perhaps the shortest shoot of my life. Applause. Hand shakes. Pack-up.
Murphy's Law # 28: "When everything is going right, something will go wrong."
During the color-grading, we got the surprise of our life. Chagrin is the operative word. As the ring of sonic impact expands and radiates from the base of detonation, a monolithic bas relief totally ruins the picture. Farmers Plaza. Impervious. Defiant. Shrugging off a genocidal explosion like it was a mere gust of wind.
Resorting to Paintbox manipulation in HongKong was not option. The best way to rectify the situation was to replicate the explosion from scratch via CG.
Saw the computer-generated simularcum yesterday. Impressive. Not as visceral as the real thing though.
Project "Kaboom" is at its last leg. Dave of Underground Logic, for a CG job well done, I salute you. For the vendors, notary lawyers, residents, syndicates and felons of Cubao, your collective sacrfice will not be in vain. The commercial will break in November.
Who Shall Inherit The Earth?
Soot-black skies. Grunge-grey landscape. Charred remains. Bent steel, melted glass. A silhouette descends, held awkwardly aloft by two pairs of thickly-veined wings not made for long-distance flights, landing on the kilometric feast that lie before him. Other Homo blattodeaus have dined here before, his senses tell him. A small tribe maybe. Nevermind that. After all, roach-kind is nomadic. Moving from one patch of fermenting pasture to the next.
As he digs his mandibles on the carbon-rich filth, he raises his antennas, suddenly alarmed. Tasting the air for both familiar and vague pheromones, he soon realizes that the last of his kind to visit this decaying, oxidizing field never really moved on.
Too late. He feels a sharp prick sting his thick carapace hide. Then, in an instant, all six of his limbs go limp, paralyzed. His body drops to the ground. Immobilized. Burning. His vision blurs. Fading slowly to black. The natural act of breathing becomes laborious, even painfull, as his brain gets anesthetized, cut off.
From a short distance, a lone Homo scorpionae emerges from his burrow, claws spread out, retracting his long, venom-loaded sting. "About time.", he thought. It's been a while since he had a real decent meal.
There's a roach in my mug. Die, bastard, die!
There is a bitter, bitter glory hound in most of us, I think. It hides in the guerilla thickets in our minds, unchained when the fortuitious time comes. When the boss gives you the oh-so lame tap on the back, just like what those self-improvement books say bosses should do and dole out in generous servings. That tap of encouragement is the glory hound's Pavlov's bell. Once rung, watch the inner glory hound salivate and drool at the prospect of a Purina chow promotion.
I can smell an unleashed glory hound from miles and miles away. And its repugnant fur oil lubricant stench can not be concealed by pretty boy musks, signature colognes, eau de toilette. For over a decade, I have seen glory hounds pitch feverish territorial pissings.
Right now, my glory hound growls and quivers, roused from stupor by the adrenaline-spiked aroma of prowling glory hounds in my miniature corporate-dom.
Down, boy. Down.
Watch Out For Falling Debris
Death from above.
Sir Isaac Newton's death dirge medley sung along the lines of mass, velocity and acceleration. It could humble even the toughest American 4-by-4 Wheelers speeding 26 storeys below. Can crack a cranium, fracture it to a hundred bits of flesh and bone. A quick, irrepairable, fatal migraine multiplied a thousandfold as a tragic denouement. The autopsy reveals hemmorhage. DOA.
My coin purse, an arms cache of pesos, is a lethal one pound plus in weight. There. Watch out for falling debris.
Overheard on cable: Why is "Chilli" called "Chilli"?
Two letters, "b" and "a", can form a comprehensible whole sentence. Make that two sentences. Elevator talk, overheard ...
TV commercial director in a candid moment, which is over bottles of brewskies, was overheard saying ...
Why should there be an "s" to the word "Lisp"?
Followed up by ...
Why is the word "abbreviation" so long?
Keen. Uber keen.
Overheard on mainstream TV,
Why is the lemon juice artificially colored, artificially flavored when detergents are made of real lemon?
Came to work today wearing a grin, wearing a green shirt. The Green Lantern logo right in the middle. Worn with pride. An accounts person stops right before me, stares at the shirt, gives me a quizzical look, asks what the symbol on my chest is.
Kids, they should know their history.
Every kid I know all have a friendster account. My comic scribe el paborito Warren Ellis has a friendster account. I have a TV commercial that's due for broadcast this December that's a hundred percent friendster-inspired. Friendsters, I just bastardized one of your favorite online haunts, and I'm getting away with it. Lynch me! Mob me! Sue the advertiser!
I just found out that the average cable-grown teener can spend his entire Saturday and Sunday watching nothing but wrestling. Last time I checked, there are at least 60 channels on cable TV.
Woe to the republic.
The daily hombre ritual of tidying up, shaving, washing, etcetera, etcetera is called pogonotomy. Does pogi ring any bells?
Here's a TV ad storyline that will not, never ever, see the light of day...
Exterior shot of Chinese fast food. Cut to interior. Doors swing open, ala Hollywood's wild, wild western flicks. Cut to a pair of big red boots. Then cut to worm's eye view, four silhouetted figures standing on the doorway. Diners look over and freeze.
In front of the pack, we see Ronald McDonald with a baseball bat. Diners, sensing the impending danger, rise from their seats and abandon their dimsum dumplings and their lauriats. Walk away with a purpose.
Ronald points towards the cashier with his big, red baseball bat. Hamburglar knocks over a thawing halo-halo from a table. Grimace stand right behind Ronald, grimacing.
Then, 150 frames per second, the Chef emerges from the kitchen, his arms crossed in an apparent display of defiance. Cut to a tight shot of Ronald's face. Cut to tight shot of Chef's face.
Action sequence. Chef opens his clenched fist, raises it at eye-level, then blows hard. A cloud of pepper. Ronald, never expecting the move, temporarily blinded, gets it right smack on the solar plexus. Hamburglar goes on offense, swinging his arms, left-right-left-right, in the air. Chef wards off the blows with Jet Li efficiency. Hamburglar gets one on the jaw and goes down for the count.
Cut to exterior, we see a fuming Jollibee pacing to and fro, tapping his gloved digits on his chin. Right at the exact moment when he decides to give Ronald a hand, a chair exits through the glass wall, in a shower of shards. His mettle shrinks in an instant and he walks away.
Cut to interior. The dust settling. We see one red boot, shaking vigorously. Spasm. Next to it is a broken baseball bat, cracked right in the middle. Cut to Grimace lying still, in a coma maybe. Or worse.
Then, 150 frames per second, Chef emerges, immaculate white, as the dust part. Cut to medium shot. He crosses his arms, then nods in victory.
Fade in Chinese fast food end tag. End of commercial.
I thought there were lines reality and the comics-verse can not cross. But, lo and behold, a friggin' crossover -- I have finally met someone who utters "Arrgh!" in frustration.
Notice to the public. Warcraft 3 is actually crack digitized. One casualty to date. Korean. 3 days without bathing. 3 days without kimchi. 3-day marathon of pounding on the keyboard and clicking on the mouse. And, on the third day, didn't rise again. Game over.
The joint is a no-no to claustrophobics everywhere. It was going to be one of those intimate despedidas. Hehe. Famous last words.
Familiar (and some, totally unfamiliar) faces poured in. In trickles. Then in droves. The sign in, sign off CD was there, along with nubile, young things, all the color of crimson. The human tripod and his ... er ... atmosphere. The Bomber Moran replicant, with a 'do that paid homage to the 80s, and his semi-mute sidekick, who remains, to this day, semi-mute. She-Pokemons, two in fact, in anticipation of a feast that would never happen. A behemoth, a close friend, would share their frustration.
The Jokemeister came, followed by his prodigal son, he who wore a perennial grin. My twin sister was also there, who incessantly fussed about my little Micro-Me. The ever late Honey Prince reminded me I should've worn a bullet-proof disposition. Along came the self-proclaimed advertising hotshot whose salivary problem is unknown to himself. Blogger Royale, versuswords, with the GF. Missing were The Bottomless Pit and the Barfly. And a few others, like the late-blooming college buddy, Kilometric Indayguapa, Simeon Sigurista and Pao the happily fornicated.
But, like a sentence that ends with an exclamation mark, enter frame The Maverick with the Master Showman in tow. Master Showman was true to form that night. Literally. Figuratively. Both. Ohhh, yesss. In fact, the Master Showman would be the ubiquitous mantle of entertainment. The Saint Michael and Johnnie Walker tag team was his unraveling. What a spectacle. In a word, twat. Big time.
Later that night, that powder keg reunion, I saw the despedida celebrant, Ms. Loyalty Unrequieted herself, outside, concealed by a pseudo-marble pillar, shoulders drooped, puffing away like she had all the time in the world. All by herself. I wished her luck, the precious few times I really meant it, and bid her goodbye.
The Bomber Moran replicant laughter, flanks close to bursting I could imagine, so and so meters away, was abruptly silenced as I closed the cab door and headed home.
A true story.
In front of Greenbelt, the witching hour or sometime thereabouts. Waiting for a cab. My taxi-hailing-stopping ratio is one to a thousand. That night, my batting average improved a notch higher.
Arms flailing. Taxi shoulders. Halts. I approach. Side windshield goes down, an elbow and a head emerge.
Alexis : 'San po sila?
Driver : Malate po...
Alexis : Ay, hindi po...
Elbow and head retreat instantaneously inside the cab, windshield goes up, taxi goes from 0 to 50kph in a matter of seconds, launching into the void. I stood there frozen, my hand to my chin, figuring out just what exactly went wrong there.
A day that flatlines is not a Friday. But here's an anomaly. Sparks flew not from the tip of my fingers. I just carried on the salmon day without the proverbial flame in the belly, without the Ogilvy jugular to latch on to. I gave everyone the Garfield stare of the unamused. I laughed the laugh but my heart wasn't into it. Automaton on auto-pilot. Cruising a day that crawled. Rodney Dangerfield deceased, no Weapons of Mass Destruction, Pimp my Ride on MTV.
The bed weather tapped lightly on the window. Meanderings of the comfort of the bed. With a TV remote on my hand. Nevermind DVD, what could be on HBO this very minute?
Einstein's theory of relativity at play. And only one antidote serum I know of. MCS. Yup, none other. At last, a spike to the cardiogram. Scouring the treasure-hold of the pirates' nest is in itself a therapy.
5:56 ... 5:57 ... 5:58 ... 5:59 ... 6:00 ...
I was quicksilver. A mercury dash to the outer fringes of Makati. Touchdown. Rabid. Eyes scanning with surgical precision. Uh-oh, nothing new. Even the vendors seem to have lost their appetite to sell their forbidden wares, lost in the news broadcast on their reconditioned boob tubes straight from the gutters of Japan. On the way home, bumped into friends, with the same glazed, remote look.
Here's a cosmic aberration. A Friday that flatlined.
New wave. Much rather, old wave, perhaps the most bastardized music era of our time. Yeah, next to the advent of boy band music. Thanks to mainstream local FM and their DJs. Music snub? Hell yeah, absolutely. The extreme purist, hyphenated, anything-but type, way back when there was pretty much a point to it.
Hang the DJ, Mr. Morrisey? I concur.
Anyhoo, here's my very own top10-ish list, some of which, unfortunately, were not spared the local FM DJs' fingers of doom.
Again, not in order...
"Lions" Tones on Tail
"Lifelike Blood" Killing Joke
"Go West" The Cult
"Isolation" Joy Division
"Blue Monday" New Order
"Reptile" The Church
"The Colorfields" The Colorfields
"One Great Thing" Big Country
"King For A Day" XTC
"Bigmouth Strikes Again" The Smiths
Could the vernacular for losing one's temper, "Pikon",
a Pinoy spin of "PICK ON someone your own size"? Hmmmm....
Be warned. Mucho, mucho mush up ahead.
Mario Puzo called it Italian Thunderbolt. He knows what he's talking about.
That once in a lifetime moment when time screeches to a grinding halt, when anything that can make a sound or a melody is hushed, and everything at the edge of your vision blur, in abstract speedlines, and only for an instant. For a second maybe. And all you hear are the rapid contractions of your heart, skipping a beat, resets, resumes, but faster, and with more appetite.
Italian thunderbolt, more than a decade ago. She was tall. With a boyish strut with a cocky spring to every step. She had hair that seemed more like it was towel-dried than combed, if that's the woman term for it, with each follicle left alone to pursue their own destinations. Radiance disguised as a smile followed her around. I would define that snapshot in time by borrowing a line from a comic scribe bordering on genius, "Beatific Magniloquence." Sounds apt.
From that moment on, regardless of circumstance, I knew that Mario Puzo's phenomenon had struck without the least bit of warning, dodging, crisscrossing obstacles of different sorts in its line of sight.
Italian Thunderbolt. When a mere second stretches to infinity.
Today, tonight, more than a decade later, I'm looking forward to seeing her again, and seeing her again and again for as long as I live. My wife. My life.
And I'm counting the minutes... no, the seconds.
Pump it up had the privileged lifespan of a decade. Jazzed up is an antiquated cousin, living only in remote pockets, being fed to boardroom moustache petes. And Amped subspecie went from infancy to rigor mortis in a blink of an eye, only making it once to a CD cover, then vanished without a trace. Lexicologists, word chasers, would find the latest evolutionary elusive, as far away from all the published thesaurus of the world stitched together.
A long time coming, inspired into existence by the click of a mouse. A rapmeister who can't put a finger on something. An animator's muse and the frustration of Art Directors who bend not to change. Pimped is ushered into a world that has grown lethargic with complacency under the swelling belly of the Oxford Dictionary. Pimped.
The Lloyd Cole Coincidence
Right after having typed (typewritten?) "Lloyd Cole" on the previous post, my boss let out an exuberant eureka. Surprise, surprise -- he just found free downloadable MP3s of ... synchronicity advocates, brace yourselves ... Lloyd Cole and the Commotions.
"I am known by the company I keep", or so the cliche goes, has bastard offspring by the legion. Among these, "Whatever goes in your bag tells a lot about who you are" or somesuch.
So, what's in my bag today? Lloyd Cole, sir, an umbrella, a clorets canister, a much-abused coin purse, a cellphone charger, a bootleg swiss army knife, a vanity kit that's never been used for vanity's sake. Come to think of it, never been used at all. And yes, nestled between the flaps of the umbrella, is a book by, drumroll please, Dan Brown.
Lloyd Cole, sir, yes, I'm guilty as charged, there's a fad book in my bag.
Need I mention the title?
Worth mentioning though is the fact ... all caps ... that my procurement of the fad book is by no means through any financial effort on my part. The book belongs to my sister, who, after reading the fad book, has taken a healthy interest in all things esoteric and, what's the word, gnostic.
Second, the inner deviant has resisted all efforts to grab a book by ... JK Rollins is it? My library is innocent of round-rimmed glasses, DC Vertigo comic rip-offs given a Hollywood edge. No school for preordained wizards. No broomsticks. No Slitherin. No magic wands. Hold on, did I mention "Slitherin"?
On my way to work, MRT this morning, one hand on the rail, the other on the fad book. The other passengers eyeing me with a hint, no, a glimmer, of approval. Reminds of that Globe TV ad, "are you one of us?"
Hold on to your prayer beads, devout Catholics. I'll be done with the fad book before you ever get to the fifth mystery.
I'm not the cable channel junkie. I couldn't care less
if it spawned a whole new psychographic-slash-demographic
generation. Heck, I've been watching MTVs even before
MTV channel touch-landed local TV. And that's courtesy of
American Top 40 and the timeless Casey Casem.
But enough angst, because angst isn't what this blog is all
about, but what's to like.
Not in any particular order:
Cool action. Great CG. And Shirley Manson offing her band.
Chiaroscuro all gone wrong.
Gripping. Yeah, by the balls.
Gorillaz "Clint Eastwood"
Simians. And kickass animation.
Beastie Boys "Sabotage"
Here's what happens when you take nonsense seriously
Fatboy Slim "Weapon Of Choice"
Christopher Walken dancing, the understatement of the century.
Enya "Carribean Blue"
Like a book cover running at 24 frames per second.
DJ Dimitri "Une Very Stylish Fille"
Ahm... stylish. Fortunately, not on the Queer Eye CD.
Daft Punk "One More Time"
An ode to StarBlazers.
There's an adipose organ sitting somewhere between
the Cerebral Cortex and the medulla oblangata.
The organ is a Nicotine Receptor, that, according
to science, helps metabolize nicotine in the body.
How it got there, blame it on Charles Darwin and
his Theory of Natural Selection. Evolution in
I am guilty in furthering that evolution.
And so is Annie Lebowitz, who was quoted
"If you can find someone who can give me
pleasure 36 times a day, then I'll quit
So many times I tried to deprive the Nicotine
Receptor its daily dose of bliss, and hoping,
in the future, I'll be rejoining the greater
population of the planet that shuns the nicotine-
and-tar combo. I have failed miserably everytime,
the adult pacifier already looking like I was born
with it. That nasty little receptor is tougher
and meaner, despite the adjective "adipose".
Those times are once again upon me. The receptor
must be starved or else incur the wrath of the Wife.
Inspired by the movie "The Insider" no doubt.
The ultimatum has lapsed and, after an exhaustive
parley, reset to December. Come to think of it,
the little bugger's more persuasive than the
church-sanctioned, God-as-audience Marital Vows.
The Nicotine Receptor is cringing in fear. So am I.
Alas, Ms Lebowitz, I may share the same hedonistic
pursuit, but 36 times a day is a bit too much.
6:11 right after sundown.
And what a vista, too. 26 storeys above ground. Heck above everything else. Dusk time panorama, evening on my right and a fast setting sun on my left, and that's from where I sit.
I am about to rant on about what makes living tick. But I won't. Not today anyway. Just this thought though - how would a 3.3 earthquake feel from up here ...
Is It November Already?
Now, Isn't She A Beauty
So, What's New?
Goblins, Rascals, Every Single One Of Them
The Anatomy Of A Rant
Spamblogger, A Word Or Two...
Garlic, All Is Not Lost.
Gaiman versus Caiman
Busy ... Busy ... Busy ...
Born To Snooze
Heres My Kokote
Is It Safe?
Something To Sing About
Streaks Of Light
Hire Me ... Please
Hyung Tae Kim
Happy Tree Friends
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
Home Star Runner
Albino Black Sheep
Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog