Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Black Night...



'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.


~William Shakespeare





On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was headless!--but his horror was still more increased on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!




It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.


. . . he would have passed a pleasant life of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put together, and that was--a woman.



*Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow)



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



^^Photos from the Halloween Night at the Greenfield Village.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Saling Pusa

Nicole Scherzinger

The lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls with a trickle of Pinay hot blood flowing in her veins is going solo and will release her debut album, Her Name is Nicole on November 20, 2007…




Be the judge, jury and executioner if you think she has what it takes to hit the big time as a solo artist and not just another pretty face and hot body who can’t sing…

Here's a video I nicked from AOL Sessions.

Happily Never After


...

Note: If you want to hear her purr some more, just MEOW

UPDATES: Rockamania

The Truth Behind Xanadu

Operation BearCat Chapter I

Master Chef

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sexy Back

Obviously Justin Timberlake never laid his eyes on this specimen when he wrote the song Sexy Back which ended up as the “longest- running number one single of 2006” on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was part of his second solo album Future Sex/Love Sounds.

What do you think ?

Hmmm…..





Blog Update: Rockamania in Unchanged Melodies

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cheap Shot


Just hours after the Glorietta 2 Bombing that killed 9 and wounded more than a hundred Filipinos, Honorable (?) Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sent a message to the media.

However, instead of condemning the people behind the attack, he launched an obvious politically- motivated offensive against the government by accusing some people close to the President of being behind the attack without proof and pieces of evidence to support his accusations.

"I believe the Glorietta 2 mall blast that killed eight and wounded hundred other persons is the handiwork of Malacanang Palace, particularly National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales and AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Chief of Staff Hermogenes Esperon."

This is a very insensitive action in a very volatile situation on a very sensitive issue that the neophyte Senator has made.

This should be the time where we should not let political intramurals undermine the conduct and result of an on- going investigation.

This should be the time where we should let the investigation run its course since even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the government of Australia have already offered their assistance in determining the true cause of the carnage in Makati and unmask the culprits. In fact, they're already on the scene as reported by the media.

Is this act, a ploy on his part to pre-empt the result of the investigation or to condition the minds of the people against the government or mislead the investigators or just an ill-advised stab on the proverbial 15- minutes of fame at the expense of the victims and their families?

How low can you get, Mr. Senator?

Read the news here and here

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Josh Groban


Much has been said about the outrageous prices of his concert tickets for the Manila stop of his Awake Tour. Much has been said about the scarcity of the tickets whenever and wherever he performs(In New York City, tickets for his Madison Square Garden Concert were sold out in 20 minutes after the opening bell!). Much has been said about many people not being able to afford them. Much has been said about all the fuzz about him and his songs by the uninitiated.

Much has been said about some fans feeling disenchanted because of the unfortunate situations above.

You can blame the unscrupulous businessmen for their stinky business savvy but blame not the man. You can blame the greedy producers for the unpalatable ticket prices but blame not the singer. You can blame the sharks in the music industry but blame not the entertainer. And you can blame the tone-deaf ignoramuses for their hatred but blame not the person.

In fact, you can also blame his legion of fans worldwide especially the ladies for swooning over his voice and pledging their undying love for the man. You can add to the blame the true music lovers of the world for his success, too.

But make no mistake about it, this man got talent and you can’t go wrong with him.

He is a complete package.


Josh Groban
, the quintessential singer of songs straight from the heart and everyone’s favorite performer is a joy to watch on the stage.

He will heal your wounded heart with his voice. He will caress your spirit with his charm. He will touch your soul with his innocence. He will bare his soul to you with his songs. And he will make you laugh with his silliness, too.

Behind the silky, soaring baritone is a passionate entertainer, a genuine troubadour, a brilliant preacher, a one of a kind showman and a proven healer of the heart rolled into one..


Here’s a teaser, a glimpse of him playing “Remember When It Rained” and hear the voice that’s taking the world by storm for several years now…

video


NOTE: You can view all my clips of his concert (almost an hour of music) and read my review entitled "Wide Awake at the Palace with Josh Groban" at the following websites/ blogs:

Rhapsody in Black

Stage Side and

Unchanged Melodies


...

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Autumn



It’s the best time of the year, they say.
Far different from the tropics where I used to play
And it is just a matter of time before I will finally
Realize the beauty that will unfold before my eyes.

They say that it is the time of year that I will remember forever
Where the birds will fly carefree in the azure sky
And warm my heart with their haunting lullabies.

They say that summer is good but fall is better
The weather’s fine and the colors are amazing
And my life will be a-ok and I will be happy.

Deep in my mind,
I almost believed them
Had it not been for one lingering question-

Why does my heart feel blue
In Autumn
When the leaves are turning bright red, orange and yellow?
#


NOTE: If you love the muse, let me take you to:
Inks & Verses

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Weird Two - "King of Nothing"

A long, long time ago I looked into the mirror and was tagged by the “me-me” fever from the Land of the Rising Sun whose strains have plagued the blogger's world for quite some time now and as of this writing I could safely say that there is no end in sight for this affliction nor was an antidote on the verge of discovery nor in the works in the hearts and minds of the people working in the Center for Bloggers Control (CBC).

I could have said the magic word like Alakazam or AbraCadabra!

And voila, I am cured of the me-me curse that is so prevalent in the blogosphere! But no, like the rest I am mandated to do what‘s been expected of me in order to develop a life- long immunity from the disease or until my blog's immune system drops and get a re-infection or relapse.

So here I am toiling, laboring and dragging my suspicious and incoherent mind at six o’clock in the morning, the neurons in disarray from lack of sleep and powered only by Coke. No it's not what you think, you with the dark thoughts and dirty minds. He-he. Yes it's actually that old reliable elixir flowing sweetly from the red aluminum can called Coca- Cola by the disciples of the soda pop world.

It was a bit weird doing err writing some weird stuffs about me for the second time eons after I did the first installment of the task that my blogger- friend from the Land of the Sushis and Animes asked me to do not to mention my spirit waving in and out of consciousness. So, this is my last chance at bat and after strike three, I'm out.

So, what do I do in this case but go to the bathroom and look once again into the mirror as Salamin would like me to and ask my blurry reflection about some things that have been hidden inside my now bloated body a result of the accumulation of toxins from greasy binges of sinful and saturated meals for years.

Secrets that were better left buried in the abyss, dark ones that were lurking in the deep recesses of my complicated mind. Secrets that should not be disturbed even in a fraction of a millisecond of my existence in this wild, weird world that I live in. Lest, an evil force might awaken and like the famed Genie can no longer go back inside the bottle once it was released in our midst.

So here I am staring like Narcissus at the face that I have always known for 37 years and what do I see?

Hmmm, aside from some new freckles that spurted in my face and a few day- old facial hairs. There is really nothing special or odd with me.

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

It is the same face that I see every morning when I wake up and walking straight into this enclosure that is part of my daily ritual. A sacred place for me and to most people where you can literally wash and flush the dirt out of your system without fear of being ostracized by society.

Then all of a sudden a weird sensation crept into my being and suddenly I found myself talking to the inner me…

“Are you talking to me? You talking to me?”

---in my best impersonation of the brilliant Robert de Niro’s character in Taxi Driver or maybe you can call it more of that lousy attempt by Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Okay, we can simply put it this way, it’s more of a comedy that can be identical to that comedian uttering the same lines from a forgettable movie, the title of which escapes me.


Weird, huh!

So here’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready now go cat go…

The Book Worm

I am a worm by nature. I could squiggle and wriggle myself in every page and find sustenance in every word and phrase of every wordsmith with a story to tell. I can still remember the stages in my life until I eventually metamorphosed into what I am today.

Let me take you somewhere back in time...

A wide- eyed little man, devouring every Tagalog Komiks that Mama Diay, my Grandma brought home from the neighborhood store, rented for 10 centavos overnight.

Colorful ones printed on cheap papers--Reporter, Holiday, Tagalog, Pioneer, Aliwan and Wakasan just to name a few were my first encounter with “Tagalog” literature.

From them I learned about “Niyebe” (Snow) in the novel Polaris that proved handy if not funny when I went to Manila for my NMAT review at the Ateneo Graduate School in Makati for a reviewer once asked the class about it. Nobody from the Manila- born and raised classmates of mine were able to fathom the deep Tagalog word.

Flashback to somewhere in my past...

A boy earnestly waiting his mother to come home from a seminar from Manila while anxiously awaiting the promised second-hand English Lit Comics bought from the sidewalks of Recto Avenue near Lerma.

Classics like Catcher in the Rye, Adam Bede, Madame Bovary, Silas Marner and The Sun Also Rises were just a few of the handouts that I got from my mother, much preferred than the marshmallows and chocolates from her trips.

Fade into the present and here I am still loving and liking books in any form and sizes and genres.

I once proclaimed that I could stay in prison with books for company and nothing more but that was before I have experienced the raging hormones of manhood but that's another story. Ha-ha.

There’s something weird about the way I read and gobble all those tales though.

If I like a particular author you can be sure that I will read most, if not all, of his works with passion.

So, you will not be surprised that I have read almost all of the works of testosterone-producing word-warriors like Ludlum, Patterson, Griffin, Forsyth, Higgins, Silva, Lustbader, Puzo, Kellerman, Clancy, Grisham, Sheldon, Marcinko and Sandford.

Also add the chic but ass- kicking ones like Patricia Cornwell, Faye Kellerman, Catherine Coultier and Alex Kava. Or like some deep, dark and mysterious like Anne Rice or heart-warmers like Amy Tan.

I recently discovered the SandMan, Neil Gaiman and have read 5 books that he penned already including Anansi Boys, Neverwhere and Stardust that was made into a movie recently.

And of course the Classics which I will never tire of reading ‘em again and again.

The weirdest thing to some people though especially for some American pals, they can’t comprehend me or any other person reading several books on a certain period of time on different topics. They told me that another Pinoy on another floor was doing the same thing. I just told them that we, Filipinos are like that. He-he.

I have a book in every nook and cranny of the apartment, in my car, at work, in the living room and the bedroom, too. NO, I am not a bathroom reader. Don’t ask me why for you will not receive a coherent answer.

I recently finished The Bible Code by Michael Drosnin, Piercing by Ryu Murakami, The Messenger by Daniel Silva, Cross by James Patterson and The Times Atlas of World History.

I am in the middle of Killing Che by Chuck Pfarrer, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, The AtoZ of Art, When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits.

I read a minimum of 5 different books at the same time prompting my landlady to ask me if I could really follow the stories of every one of them. I could honestly say that I do and it's just a matter of mental conditioning. I'm sure everybody is capable of doing this, it just depends on how much time one is willing to waste, eh?

I like it my way and I will continue to do so until my mind becomes senile or otherwise. And if ever I hit the jackpot in the MegaLotto then I will have my books and a cottage by the sea to live my life quietly into the sunset….


The Glutton

If a picture could paint a thousand words...

I am talking about MY recent pictures, people.

By adding the poundage and the flabs in the mid-section you will arrive into a conclusion that I am a voracious eater. But I have deluded myself nowadays that those days will soon be gone for I noticed that I can’t eat all the things on my platter like I used to before.

Don’t get me wrong but I am not complaining and I love it for I‘ve been trying my darndest best to combat the said issue and return to my old fighting self minus several million pounds ago. It also means that less food, less weight, a good way towards a healthy body. That is, if I can help it for most often than not it is way easier said than done.

But who doesn’t love to eat?

Heck, I know a lot of people who tried but failed to curb their appetites. They spent lots of money, tried all sorts of fads and diets and invested in a lot of time to lose some unwanted pounds or kilos to no avail.

There’s a glutton monster in every one of us and by looking around me I can say that they’re winning the war, Bariatric Surgery notwithstanding.

Or I may add that in this part of the world where I am in, obesity is the norm rather than the exception.

Food is cheap, and eating to some people is their stress- buster. And so they cook and cook and eat and eat and they grow huge and huge until it explodes.

Boom! Kaput!

I saw a picture of a local man on TV about a month ago. He was a 900- pounder being lowered in an ambulance by a crane after some really hard work by responding firefighters and paramedics so they could bring him to the hospital. The biggest I have seen so far and after asking him for a guess-timate of his weight was 500 lbs.

Actually, I am a peculiar eater but in the last months or so it even became weirder in the sense that I have developed this habit that if I like a certain kind of food I will gorge on that particular stuff for days, weeks and even months until I got sick by just the mention of its name or the sight and smell of it.

For example, I like pizza but Little Ceasars and Dominos no longer work for me which is understandable considering the fact that I have feasted on their Pepperoni too many times in the past. I guess what’s little left of the dough in my system have formed into a very potent antibody that has a Domino effect on the rest of the pizza communities for me. I guess you could say that I finally lost my pizzas. Woohoo!

Same thing with MacDonalds and Wendy’s and Burger King. All fave cholesterol loaders in the past. Their burgers have tasted so bland for my taste buds that I avoided them nowadays like a plague. It is good riddance though since I get to have a moratorium on all that grease finding into my already clogged blood streams.

Even the chips. They don’t’ fall into the right places anymore. All that junk like Doritos and Lays have lost their profound effect on me.

Also, I don't need all that junk so that I could have my humps like Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas. Give me Bruce Lee's or Manny Pacquiao's physique anytime man. But that needs a lot of Navy- SEAL- like discipline to accomplish and it's only wishful thinking on my part and that's another story. Ha-ha.

Anyway, these things only show and with due apologies to General Patton, in my mind I may finally be winning the Battle of the Bulge, huh?

Maybe. Maybe not.

Someone’s in the kitchen with….

The Bill Collector

I am an avid collector of everything that catches my fancy. I can’t remember when and where it all started. I can safely say that it started long, long ago in a land far, far away. It was back in the Philippines where I grew up and earned my badge of honor, so to speak.

I will share to you some of the treasures or trash that I accumulated through the years that even spawned a website, Rags & Riches so that I could easily track my collections but has since been in a state of neglect. It has not been updated in ages…

Ever since I am a philatelist and numismatist. I could say it runs in the family in this particular case. I like the sight of those rare stamps on the albums that I inherited from my mother and the coins, some really rare ones that I have accumulated in the years of my existence with the help of course of my Dad and Grand Pa‘s own collection that served as the ante in the pot.

I was tempted once to sell some of the coins in the sidewalks of Recto-Quiapo- Avenida- Arranque years ago when I was kind of broke but could not swallow the prices that they offered me. I got one coin alone that could easily fetch in the $300 range last time I checked in the internet.

I am a Coke addict, so I am opening my can of worms err coke for the first time here, just for you guys. I got lots of Coca- Cola memorabilia from cans to tin trays to bottles to toy cars to trash bins to glasses to clocks to playing cards to pre- war Coke magazine and newspaper ads.

Maybe in the future I could ask Coca- cola to help me build my own little red Coke museum which will be open to the public. Red is my color and I am getting red in the face by this revelation. Maybe a sip or two of an ice-cold one can bring me back to my senses.




“Time is on my side….” Yes, I can relate to that Stones' song for I always hear the ticking of time in my hand err in this case in my wrist.

I love watches and I am especially fascinated by the tourbillion and mechanical ones.

I guess you could say that I am a certified watch freak for I even studied how to repair them and have befriended many so- called and self- styled watch experts in the field when I was in the Philippines along the way.

I could easily distinguish and name the brand, make and model of watches from vintage to modern at a glance. And I could tell knock-offs from the real ones in the blink of an eye. A game that an old lawyer-friend working in one of those big law firms on Wall Street in the Big Apple used to play.

I've learned the history of some of the finest ones like the Omega Speedmaster being the first watch on the moon having been worn by Neil Armstrong when he made that one small step en route to history. Names like Abraham Louis Perellet, Breguet and Vacheron+Constantin make sense to me now.



I am no Drunken Master and Jackie Chan can have his bottle and drink it too.

But I can literally swim and drown in alcohols like an insect or maybe drink my sorrows away if I want to--scotch, bourbons, wines, gins, vodkas and beers of every purveyors and makers, I have them in my possession but only fit for the Lilliputians' consumption.

The restless spirits will always be confined inside those miniature bottles for I have no intention of letting them out and into my system.

3K+ and counting….says a lot of booze potential where every bottle can tell you a story.

All these were just a glimpse of what’s inside my dark and moldy warehouse of what I considered personal treasures. A lot has been said but the words will never approximate the memories and thrills and joys and sorrows of the hunt that goes with every single item in my treasure box.

I guess I could weirdly say that I am a collector of the inanities of life. Or I could genuinely say that I am a self- proclaimed collector of dreams and memories…

And just like Napoleon in his moment of indiscretion by crowning himself as the Emperor of France, I now crown myself as the King of Nothing.


P.S.

But what’s really weird was that you, my friends have reached this far reading this piece of idiosyncratic mumbo-jumbos coming from the mind of a somnambulist lost in the twilight zone…

But a person not in his proper state of mind is entitled to some lee-way here. I know that for a fact, for that’s what friends are for in this day and age of Bill Gates and the World Wide Weird Web.

Still, I ask your forgiveness and understanding for my transgressions.

All things considered I am bidding you all, adieu.

P.P.S.

I am in dire need of the precious Z’s in my sleep’s domain after a serious bout with the forces behind the Night of the Living Dead.

Ngork…

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