goodbye 2012: some leftover love for the past year

Year-Ender

I love blogging because it compensates for my horrible memory. My mother remembers precise details – she knows when she bought the pink curtains, what month each of her children started work – and I’ve always been amazed by that. I’m not good with dates. Thank God for Facebook reminding me about friends’ birthdays.

So! The year that was. I am glad I still found the time to read books. Here’s my Top Ten reads for 2012, as told to Flipside.

I am also grateful to find the time to write, and to find people willing to publish (and read!) my work. Year 2012 saw the publication of three of my books, most recently my short story collection. Plus six poems and six short stories, with several reprints, and various pieces forthcoming.

Highlights:

Leftover Reviews from 2012

The Hobbit

the-hobbit_2409864k

You can feel Peter Jackson’s hands taking both ends of some scenes and just stretching them to justify turning a single relatively slim fantasy book into a trilogy, but Martin Freeman seems born for this role, and the lightheartedness of the adventure is a great foil to Frodo’s Fellowship. That scene where Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) first meets Gollum (Andy Serkis) is chilling and pitch-perfect.

Magic Mike – My brother watched this alone, and he kept wondering, Why did I even watch this alone? It’s entertaining, but I wished the other dancers (aside from Magic Mike and The Kid) are more three-dimensional, and I thought that last kiss was forced.

The Adventures of Tintin – I should have watched this on the big screen. Amazing animation.

John Carter – It could have been a memorable fantasy film, but the filmmakers made the mistake of hiring Tim Riggins. Taylor Kitsch seems perpetually bored, and the moments that are supposed to be comedic fall flat. I was frustrated the whole time I was watching it. Argh.

The Raid: Redemption – (The Indonesian title is The Deadly Raid, or The Raid) An Indonesian action film with brutal, well-choreographed fight scenes. It’s what you get if you jettison most of the dialogue from your favorite action flick. I would have asked for more character depth, but the film knows what it is and what it can give. Take it or leave it.

Night of Hunters

tori-amos-night-of-hunters

I am a fan of Tori Amos. I discovered her in high school when I saw a video of “1000 Oceans”, and I’ve looked for her music ever since. I remember walking home in college, listening for the first time to her debut album Little Earthquakes, and falling in love with “Silent All These Years”. She is inventive, she is a great piano player, and her lyrics are poetry. Night of Hunters contains songs that are variations on pieces by Bach, Chopin, Debussy, but the album also tells a story of a lost love in the time of ancient gods and magic. Her daughter sings as the child guide Annabelle and her niece plays the Fire Muse. The musical interlude in “Star Whisperer” (Variation on Schubert’s Andantino from Piano Sonata in A major, D 959) is heaven, and the anger and fear in “Shattering Sea” (Variation on Alkan’s Song of the Madwoman on the Sea-Shore, Prelude Op. 31, No. 8) is flawless.

I would very much love to see her play live.

Promise

Good health and a healthy weight for 2013. Diet starts now.

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In defense of Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey received a lot of flak after her “disastrous” Saturday Night Live performance, but hell, bad publicity is still publicity. I have not heard of Lana Del Rey before news spread about what happened over at SNL, but it got me curious. I watched her SNL performances on YouTube and checked out her other live performances as well. I didn’t think the performances were as horrible as other people have described online, but when I finally got the chance to listen to her album, I saw what the critics meant. You can’t help but compare. Compared to her recorded songs, she sings at a lower register and drops notes she should be sustaining when she performs live. She also appears to be very nervous.

Read more on bleepthisblank (“Ear Candy”).

And check out: Online Finds.

in sickness and so on

Jaykie and I only really get to see each other during the weekends, so it sucks when one of us ends up sick during those two (or three) precious days. We were thinking dengue or UTI or something fatal, but when we (with his brother-in-law and kasambahay) took him to St. Luke’s Global City last night (pretty place, but Makati’s one-way streets are maddening; can you imagine bleeding profusely and trying to figure out where the entrance to the ER is through those streets jesus christ you’ll die) and after the bloodwork and the urinalysis came clear and OK it was decreed that Jaykie has a throat infection. Antibiotics, paracetamol, water, and he should be as good as new.

I don’t think I’ve been to an ER before. Maybe as a child, but I remember nothing. It’s so silent. I was so used to the chaotic medical dramas.

* * *

There are no 24-hour fast food joints in Global City! It’s an outrage! Last night both McDo and Jollibee closed their doors with those plastic signs that say they’re open 24 hours oh the irony.

* * *

New old songs in my music player: The Veils, The Decemberists, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album (damn right!), and soundtrack of The Lion King (Broadway).

I am nothing of a builder/but here I dreamt I was an architect.

* * *

I realized over the weekend that you only consume 105 calories if you control yourself and eat just one-half of a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bar. That’s just 5 calories more than your regular cereal bars.

* * *

I am sooooo excited for HBO’s Game of Thrones. The pictures are fabulous!

I got the link from GRRM’s LJ blog, where he’s either “tired” or “stressed”. He’s only “happy” or “bouncy” when he’s talking about football. LOL.

* * *

While still in the condo Jaykie said he wanted to take me out on a date. We wanted to watch the Harry Potter film, but how, I said, he was burning like a bed of coals. I’m fine, he kept saying. He wanted to take me away from all this (gestures, takes in the room with his hands), even for just a few hours.

You’re the sweetest thing. Feel better and we’ll go have fun this weekend, fo’ sho’.

* * *

Have a laugh. Read this. One-hit wonder na makata hahahahahahahahaha. (Link from Kate.)

recent raves

The Blind Side – Leigh Anne Tuohy, Sandra Bullock’s character, is a Republican and sends her children to a private Christian school. While watching the film I was thinking: If ever we meet and we begin talking about her political views and her faith I may walk out on her heck I may even end up hating her but I love her in this film. Bullock’s portrayal is enjoyable. At times, Leigh Anne actually reminded me of my mother (minus the Southern accent and the crazy hourglass figure and the knowledge of football).

I did enjoy this film. I just can’t say how much of it is true, of course.

Letters from Iwo Jima – Yes, I should have seen this right after I saw Flags of our Fathers. Harrowing, heartbreaking. Boy, did this film hurt.

In “Flags of Our Fathers” the battle itself happens mainly in flashback, since the movie is in large measure about the guilt and confusion that survivors encountered upon their reluctant return home. In “Letters From Iwo Jima” the battle is in the present tense, and it is home that flickers occasionally in the memories of men who are certain they will not live to see it again.

Source.

Florence + The Machine (Lungs) – Been a while since I last loved an entire album. This is A-plus.

rip, michael

I remember watching my first Michael Jackson concert on TV (we couldn’t afford watching it live, and I wouldn’t be allowed inside anyway, small as I was back then) with my parents years and years ago. I remember marveling over the fact that fans actually fainted at the mere sight of him. So strange, the craziness of it, that level of worship. My parents said, in Michael Jackson’s concerts, that kind of reaction was normal.

It must have been terrifying, I thought.

I found out about his death early in the morning on Friday, when CNN was still saying that the reports were unconfirmed but flashed the news anyway: MICHAEL JACKSON IS DEAD. Before the news was confirmed I just remember finding it so surreal that CNN had a correspondent from TMZ. Look, that CNN anchor’s actually listening to the guy! She’s taking him seriously!

Then a call from the LA coroner, and it was official. Here are two articles about Michael Jackson:

Between Ninoy’s killing, EDSA, was ‘Thriller’

Like Orpheus, Michael Jackson was destroyed by his fans

This is one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs/videos. MJ having goofy fun with his sister – as good a memory as any.

brandon floweeeeeers

[14:33] ee_ey_vee: te te
[14:33] ee_ey_vee: ay wala ka nga palang youtube

[14:33] ee_ey_vee: anywho, the killers singing “girls just wanna have fun” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RrRSPjLvWI
[14:33] jakechew: ano na naman yan
[14:33] ee_ey_vee: PAKSHEEEEEEET
[14:34] jakechew: ay napanood ko na yan
[14:34] jakechew: hahaha keri nga
[14:34] jakechew: pogi si brandon
[14:34] jakechew: infernez
[14:34] jakechew: kaso sana mas butch last name nya
[14:34] ee_ey_vee: oo te brandon flowers amp
[14:34] jakechew: chenes
[14:34] ee_ey_vee: ang pogeeeee
[14:34] ee_ey_vee:
[14:35] jakechew: brandon thorns
[14:35] jakechew: ganyan
[14:35] jakechew: di ba mas bet
[14:36] ee_ey_vee: AHAHAHAH

I’ll have to credit Perez Hilton.

‘no comfort in the waiting room’

Was introduced to this song by Rissa. Beautiful, beautiful song/video.

As for the (French) words the girl writes, I got these translations from one of the YouTube comments:

Il m’aime = He loves me
Un peu? = A little?
Beaucoup! = Alot
A la folie = (loosely translates to) Madness
Pas du tout = Not at all

Lyrics from AZlyrics.com.

What Sarah Said

by Death Cab For Cutie

And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to father time
As I stared at my shoes in the ICU that reeked of piss and 409
And I rationed my breaths as I said to myself that I’d already taken too much today
As each descending peak on the LCD took you a little farther away from me
Away from me

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines in a place where we only say goodbye
It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds
But I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all
And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground as the TV entertained itself

‘Cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
Just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
And then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
But I’m thinking of what Sarah said that “Love is watching someone die”

So who’s going to watch you die?