April 17, 2010

and the winner is...

i only got to watch inglourious basterds, avatar and hurt locker on dvd recently, post-oscar awards. naturally, the benefit of knowing which won will affect your appreciation of the movie and will create a natural bias for films which garnered the most number of metals.

my personal vote though, however insignificant it is, goes to inglourious basterds. avatar is technically spectacular it is such a shame i didn't watch it on the big screen. but it is too pop, too cheesy, too much of a crowd-pleaser for me. 

hurt locker is a brilliant film that is possibly more difficult to produce and direct than avatar. watching it makes you feel like you're also in ground zero. the heat, the tension, the fear and loneliness is just so raw and so real you can almost taste it. but to me, it is just a straight-line depiction of the war. it is devoid of hollywood which is on the one hand impressive, but on the other hand, dragging and lifeless. 

now, my thoughts about inglourious basterds can best be described by my tweet last march 13 about the movie which says: "inglourious basterds: black humor, unrestrained violence, campy scenes here and there, contrapunto scoring, wildly tarantino. i so love it." 

i really liked the way he created a parallel ending to hitler's existence and it is quite delicious to imagine which of the two plots in the movie will succeed. the characters, the scenes, the dialogue are unforgettable. it is vintage tarantino. unapologetic. unconventional. 

quentin is probably one bastard who couldn't care less what his audience will think for as long as he could carry on his vision for his films. in the end, his films come out well-polished, engaging, memorable, iconic and very much oscar-worthy of a best picture award.

April 15, 2010

tender is the night

nighttime at our house is TV time. if we're home early and if we don't have work to do, my husband and i usually spend the rest of a usually loooong day watching cartoons with the kids. sometimes, the little one would doze off on the daybed, on the couch or in this case, the lap of her unsuspecting dad. ordinarily, we would bring her up at once to her bedroom but that night, we thought it best to leave this tender moment alone.


now that i've finally managed to figure out how this thing works, i constantly find myself editing my posts. i shave words here and there. i delete lines, sometimes whole paragraphs altogether. i rephrase. i change punctuations. i enlarge pictures, then reduce its size again. but when i press "view post", i would read it like an editor would, wondering how each line can sound better with another round of rewrite.

soon enough i realized i should put a stop to this editing compulsion (ok, editing obsession). my posts will never look perfect, as far as this perfectionist is concerned. 

and so, to celebrate the end of this madness, i present this-- a bare, unexciting, utterly imperfect post. and i think i like it.

April 3, 2010

horsing around, seriously

my eldest daughter unna, all of 7, told us on our way to tagaytay highlands that she wanted to go horseback riding on her own. i hesitated, then said yes. my husband also said yes, but he sounded more certain and more comfortable about this decision, it seemed.

when we got there, unna confidently mounted the horse. i actually also went for an assisted ride with my 6-year old laila and from a distance, i would watch my big girl negotiating the track without the help of a manong. i would later learn from unna that she also asked the manong to let go of the leash so she can maneuver it on her own.

what can i say? my daughter wants to strut her own stuff. at 7.

April 1, 2010

a short love affair with san francisco

"san francisco is a golden handcuff with the key thrown away." - john steinbeck

"san francisco only has one drawback. 'tis hard to leave." - rudyard kipling

thus said these great writers. so my expectations before stepping foot were high. and it did not disappoint.

still dazed from the 14-hour flight, i went straight to chinatown with my friend, lot legaspi, then walked to this shopping district. 

twin peaks. we had an incredible view of the entire city (that must be an exaggeration but that was what it felt like). we could see everything from here. from a distance, we could see the bridge, the crooked road, the alcatraz island, the famous houses. with this postcard-view plus the very cold weather, i couldn't help but think, "wow. i am in america."

coit tower. there's some history behind this i wasn't aware of at the time of the visit. but even as i was ignorant of its background, i was instinctive enough to pay respects as i felt that i was standing near a very important structure.

lombard road. with my brother, louie, who gave us a grand tour of the city despite his extremely busy schedule. this was taken at the famous crookedest road in the world. we walked down from end to end and wondered how the residents of the lovely houses that wall the street must've felt like, with the crazy  twists and turns of their daily living.

sausalito. another picturesque community in san francisco. everything here is beautiful. even the trash can looked poetic in the way it was deployed ;-)

golden gate. amazingly long and marvelously engineered. foggy, that day was. but it didn't dampen my excitement at finally beholding the magnificent bridge.

dropped by ghirardelli to shop for pasalubong. here i was talking to my husband and kids on the phone and i couldn't help but cry. 

ironically, this charming city can also make you feel so lonely. for the experience would have been more complete if you shared something so rich and so beautiful with loved ones you left back home.


we were caught working on the 25th floor of tivoli towers. i was talking to a client when the building swayed and i remember telling him, "oh God there's an earthquake.", as if the violent rocking further needs confirmation.

i remained seated and couldn't help but fixate on the drop light that danced wildly in the air. after a few seconds, the tremors ended, then we headed to the fire escape to walk down all 25 floors to the ground.

after an hour, when we were quite sure that there won't be aftershocks anymore, we headed back to our workplace and continued the mad rush to beat our deadlines for the day and to cram for a pitch-- tremors and nerves, aching calves and all.

whew! what a major jolt to an already crazy day.