Saturday, August 30, 2003

Can't talk now I'm finishing some strips for tomorrow's Mos Eisley Night. A project event of the Star Wars Philippines people. Ergh! When will the hurting ever stop?

Friday, August 29, 2003

All these talks of Buicks and good old times whetted my appetite for big band music. I'm currently listening to my Tommy Dorsey CD and some of my favorite tracks include I'm Gettin' Sentimental Over You, Polka Dots and Moonbeams (Around a Pug-Nosed Dream), and I'll Be Seeing You. The last two titles has Frank Sinatra crooning the words. Read through these while listening to the tracks:
I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well

I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way
I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

Close your eyes, let the music wash over you and take you back in time. I can almost hear the "popcorn" noise the needle makes while gliding over the record.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

Hospitality this long is still characteristic of the typical Filipino.

This is the first strip I've done that has a consistent storyline and I absolutely have no idea if I'm doing a good job at it. The characters write their next move themselves, I'm just putting everything on paper.
Can anyone hear the music? No, I didn't mean it in the figurative sense. The playful, smiley, kind of piano piece that's playing in the background. That's probably the type music you'd hear if you took a tour inside my brain so it's only fitting that I took it outside and let you hear it while reading through these ramblings. Isn't it fun? I grew up listening to these types along with the usual new wave music (that's what they call alternative back in the 80s, so yeah I'm in that age already). There's something about the tinkling of the keys on a piano, the blaring brass and horns that remind me of the exciting times back then. I was crazy about anything from the 30s to the 50s. I dreamed about having one of those cars and owning an authentic prop from those era. Yeah, those were the days. Crazy, innocent, exciting, and romantic all at the same time.
I just got word that I have to submit the strip for next week's edition tomorrow since the newspaper staff's taking a vacation on Monday (Labor Day). So instead of having crunchtime over the weekend, I have to finish two strips tonight after work, edit it tomorrow and finish everything before 10 pm. Ergh. Who says comic strippers don't have fun?

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

In honor of a once in a lifetime event we'll never live to see again...

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

I realized I never did the movie Alex & Emma any justice in the reviews, at least not like how Melinda Ledman did hers. She draws a comparison between art and life experience using Kate's and Luke's characters as metaphors. Really profound. Deep stuff. Wish I had thought of it too.
I've come to the end of the book Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul and I've never felt so charged, so grateful being born as a man! *flexes muscles* ARRRRRHHH!!!
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

That's right! This world doesn't need nice harmless men anymore! Nobody notices them and they're usually found outside the door beside the welcome mat. What the world needs are take charge guys that aren't afraid to make decisions and take risks. The world needs more men like Maximus Narcissus Merida and William Wallace! Men who embrace the unknown and fight for their women. Men who are outright dangerous! The problem with us guys right now is that we're conforming, or at least trying to, to what the world and society at large dictates to us at the moment. Leaving us to grow up as either spineless wimps or selfish little boys or somewhere in between. What's worse is that we take off our shining armors the moment we settle down in marriage to our damsel (who's formerly) in distress. We begin to let go of our dreams and our identity leaving our wives to wonder what happened to the fearless dashing knight she fell in love with. Well that's wrong. Guys weren't created to be that way, and the church doesn't help things either by stifling and emasculating us men to be the "softened-neutered-nice-but-restrained-guy" the world has expected us to be. No, deep inside all men long for just three things: a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. To deny ourselves of these three things leaves us dead, bored, and very much a scaredy-cat.
So long as we are back in the old story of saving our skin, looking out for Number One, those tactics will work. We'll shrink back. But the opposite is also true. When a man resolves to become a warrior, when his life is given over to a transcendent cause, then he can't be cowed by the Big Bad Wolf threatening to blow his house down. (p. 168, A BATTLE TO FIGHT: THE STRATEGY)

To start things up, it's very important that we first admit that indeed there's something wrong with us, that are a lot of questions that need to be answered, that we are wounded and we mask those wounds from everyone in an attempt to hide the pain. If we humbly acknowledge this, then and only then will the journey of a thousand miles truly begin.

Monday, August 25, 2003

I've added another added link to the ever growing list of blogs. For reasons I dare not share (hey it rhymes!) I started searching the word "goatee" in Google to see what turns out. One of the more interesting sites that came out is the Goatee Style. Neatly managed by a well-rounded artist (and Mountain Dew addict), Ryan Wickstrand, who somehow managed to reach a minor celebrity status among various netizens by way of his wacky webcam antics (check out the archives section). Vive la'beard!
It's a long weekend and unfortunately ever since I started working in an internet café the meaning of the word "vacation" has long been forgotten. But I'm not some kind of savage philistine without some nights out. Over the weekend I managed to sneak out and watch these highly recommended movies:

Wow. She's purty.

Alex & Emma rocks because of the über-charming Kate Hudson, she plays a variety of characters with various nationalities and, boy, does she play them to the hilt. Sophie Marceau is also in the movie but she pales in comparison to the dreamy Kate. *Sigh* To those who haven't yet watched this wonderful movie, it's all about an accomplished novelist (Luke Wilson) who suffers from a really bad case of mental block and he has exactly 30 days to come up with his third novel or the Cuban mafia, whom he owes a hundred grand, will drop him on his head from his apartment window. So he hires a stenographer (Hudson) to take down the words as he dictates them from the top of his head. They didn't like each at first, in fact the word "loathe" is an understatement. But as the way romantic comedies go they develop feelings for each other halfway through the movie. You might be asking "What's so special about this movie then?" Good question. Well aside from the obvious *Sigh* it answers the query what kind of girl do guys really end up with? Do guys go for the flirty, flighty and sophisticated woman with a French accent or the simple, charming, down-to-earth girl with the electric stun gun? Right.

"First Class, International, Paris." Repeat until it happens.

View From The Top is another TOTALLY fine movie that I recommend. What you've got here is a smalltown dreamer (Paltrow) who achieves everything she wants and more in life. It's like one good advice that was said during the Sunday service last week which goes something like, "Find something you really like to do and you'll never work a day in your life." That's what she did. From being a smalltown gal working in a discount department store somewhere in Nevada to being a flight stewardess in a small unknown airport (big hair and short skirts is their motto) to being a First Class flight stewardess and something else in the end. When the love of her life broke up with her on her birthday, she didn't just curl and die. She bounced back and started having these visions of being a successful stewardess one day. She even got to befriend and be mentored by a successful and powerful former stewardess turned best-selling author (Candice Bergen), who saw a kindred spirit in her. She inspired others to live their dreams and achieve their own goals, she fought and insisted when her rights were trampled, and though she made some mistakes along the way it's well and good that everything worked out in the end. She totally rocks! (there's that word again) You'll really, reeeaaaaaaaally like this movie because it inspires us to start dreaming, and setting up goals, and, with enough faith, to make it all happen. Booyah!

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Click the image to read the strip.

If you live in Southeast Asia then there's no second-guessing who these guys are. To my sister these F4 guys are the Asian equivalent of *NSync in terms of popularity, or maybe BSB depending whose boyband fan you're talking to. They caused quite a stir here in the Philippines by way of a Taiwanese soap opera called Meteor Garden. The live-action soap in turn was based on a shoujo anime called "Hana Yori Dango." For a time almost everybody would drop what they're doing and race home to catch the series. I already watched some episodes of the series and I do admit that it’s quite engaging but it can only go so far. This strip was done during the early part of the F4 mania and well before I watched some of the episodes (I bought a cheap poster for reference). Despite the limited material on hand I'm glad I still did a good job in caricaturing the actors concerned.

The premise of this strip is the meet and greet opportunity given to two fans of the group, part of the supposed concert this month (said event has been moved to the 13th of September). This is the first of the celebrity-spoof series appearing in Fusion magazine.
I was a bit amused this morning when I saw a mother nudging her little daughter to get on the escalator. It was right after the morning service in Galleria on my way down the mall when I saw them. The hesitant girl wasn't budging; she just looked on the moving platforms wondering how come it never seems to run out. The ever-patient mother would prod her daughter but no matter what she says the girl adamantly refused to get on the constantly changing steps. I guess even the dizzying view from glass railing didn't help things either. From her perspective maybe the thought of riding on the escalator is a lot like riding the roller coaster for the first time. She's unsure whether she could survive the experience of getting on one. But after watching a line of nonchalant shoppers deftly step on the escalator did she only gather enough courage to do so herself. "Hawak ka lang sa 'kin. (Hold on to me)" I heard her mother say as the girl cried for fear of losing her balance. Sure the down view and movement of the stairs is scary, but the steady hand and the presence of her mother did more than enough to help her calm down. She did survive two consecutive rides down the thing and I bet she can't wait to go on the next ride all by herself.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

I was bored since it was a long day when I thought of doing poems the Dr. Seuss' way. Something whimsical and funny to make it a little more sunny. Not too long ago with limericks I was enamored, I did so well I knew it would be clamored. I was able to produce a dozen but sadly these days my poetic side's quite frozen. But poetry is an entirely different thing, it involves a lot of stanzas, a fine linguistic string. Now where to start and how? I found a page with works by John T. Baker, of great hilarious poems he's quite a maker.

His works are smart and with this advice I'll be know how to start. I'll be so inspired, a number of poems I'll be able to jot...


If you quibble as you scribble
and ad lib a little curse
When your current composition
gravitates from bad to worse,
And you're soon so sick of assonance
you nearly need a nurse,
Then my friend, congratulations,
welcome to the world of verse.

If you're trying versifying
and applying all your skill
To the task of best describing
a resplendent daffodil
And you mutter and you stutter
like an utter imbecile,
Go lie down at once and quickly
take a tranquilizing pill.

If you're feeling it's revealing
and appealing to emote,
And you treasure every syllable
and word you ever wrote;
When you're always on the lookout
for a literary quote,
You had better ask your doctor
for a potent antidote.

Your endeavor to be clever
may not ever earn you dough,
And the critics claim you're babbling
through your very own chapeau,
But you've wanted long to do it
and it now is nice to know
You are finally a poet
. . . and the stretch marks hardly show.

Then again maybe not.

Friday, August 22, 2003

When was the last time I answered the Friday Five!?
1. When was the last time you laughed?
Does a semi-laugh count? If it does then the last one was last night over dinner with a friend.

2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
Hmmm... Gee, I forgot.

3. Who was the last person you emailed?
My younger brother in San Francisco.

4. When was the last time you bathed?
This morning before going to work, of course.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
Bacon, rice, and fish broth.
Do you guys have any idea how wonderful it is to lounge around on a dark and rainy afternoon such as this while listening to the Songs From the Buffet Table album by Barbie's Cradle? It feels so good listening to Barbie Almalbis strum her guitar and hearing her ask in a soft lilting voice,

"Would you be interested in dancing with me?
And maybe tell me all your dreams
Talk to me like you would in your sleep
Don't censor anything
Cause I wanna hear everything..."

Why shore! Ehrhrrrm... All I need now is a big pillow, a comfy bed, a soft blankie, a good book, and hot chocolate 'cause this is the life!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Arnold Arre, comic and graphic artist par excellence, has revamped his website. I like this site much better than the old one. Not to say that the previous design wasn't clever in itself but this one's much easier to navigate and it contains a lot more of his works (his exhibited works section is definitely click-worthy).
The Philippine government will finally pass the dual citizenship bill. This is certainly good news for all concerned Fil-Ams and for me too since I have another a material for the upcoming strips.

Mental colony at work.

I regret not being able to put the title in these strips and having to subject everyone to guess what it is that I'm putting here. A thousand and one apologies to all. By the way, I changed the spelling of the word "hors d'vours" in the original submission to "hors d'oeuvres". Both are correct but the second one reads a bit more cosmopolitan.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The business of signing one's work is a funny thing. Signing your name connotes ownership of your work. That it is good enough to bear the signet of your name. Most artists will usually reserve that final act of signing a work till after everything is finished (right down to the last dot of the pen or the last swipe of the mouse or brush, depending on what medium you're using), some will only sign their works if they're satisfied with the outcome, and, for some, not at all. For various reasons they would prefer to remain anonymous. Either they think it best to remain anonymous or they think that their signature would ruin the balance of their work. Or maybe they think they find it still wanting and not knowing what to add, they just decide not to.
Have I ever mentioned that I used to be scared of growing old? The very idea of being forced to go on the slow march to the ages of 20s and 30s mortified me. Back then the mid-20s and the 30s seemed really far away, something that's only supposed to happen to adults. Being an adult means carrying back breaking responsibilities with you with stone-faced seriousness of mature people. I was still enjoying my youth and even though the tides of time carried me on after school to the open sea of jobs, I stubbornly held on to the last vestiges of my youth. I still wore oversized shirts and pants, I listened to pop and alternative music, and I kept with the times and trends in an apparent (and pathetic) denial of the inevitable. I even rebelled against the system and the stupid politicking that was rampant in my first job.

The fact that I wasn't alone in this predicament gave me some comfort. They even gave it the name "Quarter Life Crisis," a dilemma that faced people the same age as I was. Looking back then, maybe it was Dad's way of pushing the pause button in our lives and forcing us to re-evaluate what we really want in our lives. Sure, most of us felt like the years just passed by and we never had enough time to enjoy our youth. That the things we want to enjoy bypassed us and landed on the laps of the next generation. And instead of questioning the meaning of everything we've done some 30 years in the future, we asked ourselves the question now: "Who am I really? What is my place in the world? Have I contributed anything significant?" Maybe that is the problem, that we asked ourselves these questions when we know that we don't have the answers. We didn't exactly will ourselves to be born or choose to be who we are, we simply were. Now these questions are potent and we cannot expect anyone to give us the correct answers because everyone carries with him or her parts of a bigger puzzle that only relate to themselves. No, we have to bring these small pieces of the puzzle to our Dad who already saw them as a whole. And if we allow him to he'll amaze us with the way he puts them all back together, former pieces that didn't seem to fit will magically link together one by one. That is, if you'll let him.

Me? I'm not afraid of growing up anymore. Part of my puzzle showed me that it's okay to still look for fun, to laugh at the most frivolous joke, to still be fascinated with the trivial, to be who I really am. Who says that to be mature means you have to be serious all the time? Feh! Far from it being mature actually means being able to balance wisdom with whimsicality, responsibility with tomfoolery, to proceed in life with a sense of purpose, and relating to everyone with the same amount of graciousness that you yourself have received.

In fact I'm looking forward to living the next decades in the best way possible. So much so that when I'm old and on my deathbed surrounded by loved ones, I'd be able to say with full conviction that I had fun.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I got these nifty tips for beating burnout in the workplace from MSN. Here are a couple of ways to slow it down:
• If you have a break room, consider filling it with toys and games. Coloring books will bring you back to your childhood. A puzzle will take your mind off things. Games are fun too.

• If you don't have a break room, get some little toys and games and keep them on your desk. You'll be surprised how many people stop for a moment to play with your silly putty, shake a snow globe or put the magnetic beard on the man.

With that in mind I think I'm on the right track when I bought those two plastic teddy bearbanks from Toy Kingdom last Saturday. I first thought of just buying one, the last aqua-blue colored plastic bear on the shelf after a group of nuns were finished with their shopping spree. It's a simple looking bear with two black dots for eyes and a body looking more like a shiny tubby candle than hard plastic. As I fished out the needed amount for the purchase I found out that I still had an extra cash so I also bought a red one. I'm also eyeing a set of Finding Nemo bathtub toys from that same place and also the other colored bearbanks. They're all going to my shelf of collectible toys and stuff.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Just finished sending three strips online. Argh! I really, really hate crunchtime. Still, the end result is strangely satisfying.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

This is the first of a series of semi-serious pen & ink portrait sketches. (black marker, art pens, and ballpoint pen; 050903)
After watching Dexter's Lab this morning I suddenly realized how much I missed watching Saturday morning cartoons. It reminds me a lot of the old times. Not necessarily happier, but simpler times. When plopping in front of the TV still in your pajamas with a couple of pillows was the highlight of the whole weekend. It still is and I'm hoping to find that golden moment when I could relive my childhood with wild abandon. When I could just set all worries aside for just one day and laze around watching cartoons, eating chocolate powder with a spoon, climbing a tree, and playing hide-and-seek with old friends. *Sigh* When did we ever stop having fun?

Friday, August 15, 2003

Very much hurt by accusations of anti-Semitism, Director Mel Gibson "softened the story" and made changes in his movie "The Passion," to placate critics, Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson's Icon Productions said.

He edited the film to show more "sympathetic" Jewish characters who were not calling for Jesus to be crucified, said Paul Lauer, marketing director for Gibson's Icon Productions. Some of the changed scenes include the Jewish mob calling for Jesus' blood "to be on us and on our children."

"That's in the Gospel," he said. "It's not in our film."

Religion News Service reported: "In addition, Lauer said the character of Simon of Cyrene, who was forced to carry the cross for Jesus, will be clearly labeled a Jew in the film. A shouting mob will include voices opposing the execution, Lauer said.

Faced with vocal Jewish opposition, Gibson is mounting a pre-emptive public relations offensive to counter his critics - all for a film that is still being edited. After regional screenings, Gibson has lingered with his audiences to listen to their advice. "In an effort to soothe concerns, Gibson is also hoping to launch 'The Jewish Initiative' to recruit Jewish and Christian leaders to discuss the film's effects on Christian-Jewish relations."

News courtesy of NewsMax.com.
Last night was the first time I had the presence of mind to look at the planet Mars. It looked a bit orangie. Maybe this was the same planet I saw last December of 1998? It was orange too and I thought that maybe it was Jupiter.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Here's something new from the Department of Forwarded Mails.
Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level of Insanity
• During lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.

• Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.

• Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.

• Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "In."

• Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.

• Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy."

• Don't use any punctuation

• As often as possible, skip rather than walk.

• Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.

• Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."

• Sing along at the opera.

• Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.

• Put mosquito netting around your work area and make tropical sounds all day.

• Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.

• Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Hard.

• When the money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won!"

• When leaving the zoo, start running towards the lot, yelling "Run for your lives, they're loose!!"

• Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the falling economy, we are going to have to let one of you go."

Kids say the darnest things.

I've still yet to explore the kind relationship these cousins will have. Jon doesn't have a big brother and he's already "adopted" his Fil-Am cousin, Jay. The arrival of Jay's big brother, Ben Jr., somewhat complicates things and he's trying to find out what this mysterious new arrival is made of before he "adopts" him too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

In an article released today, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed concern that Mel Gibson's new film will fuel anti-Semitism by reinforcing a belief that Jews were guilty for Jesus' death.
"This is not a disagreement between the Jews and Mr. Gibson." Rabbi Eugene Korn, the head of the group's office on interfaith affairs said. "Many theologically informed Catholics and Protestants have expressed the same concerns regarding anti-Semitism and that this film may undermine Christian-Jewish dialogue and could turn back the clock on decades of positive progress in interfaith relations." And that "if released in its present form, will fuel the hatred, bigotry and anti-Semitism that many responsible churches have worked hard to repudiate." said Abraham Foxman, the ADL's national director.

But others like Ted Haggard, president of the National Evangelical Association, called it "the most authentic portrayal I've ever seen."

Dan Walker told the Los Angeles Times he had no reservations about allowing his four young children to watch the scenes. "It's the truth," Walker said. Others who have seen the film have praised its beauty and accuracy.

Clearly, this early some groups are already divided between raising their hands for and raising their fists against Mr. Gibson's portrayal of the last 12 hours of Jesus' life. Some early reviewers of the film has these to say:
• "It is an awesome artifact, an overpowering work...The moral of this Christian story--of Mel Gibson's film--is that we all killed Jesus--Jew and Gentile alike--and tortured him, and we do so every day," civil-rights activist David Horowitz wrote on his Website, FrontPageMagazine.com.

• "Some of the bad guys are Jewish, some of the really bad guys are Roman, and virtually all of the good guys are Jewish," conservative commentator/film critic Michael Medved told the Los Angeles Times, hailing The Passion as "the finest Hollywood adaptation ever of a biblical story."

• "I thought it was incredible...I actually thought they'd taken a camera and put it in the scene 2,000 years ago," the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of National Association of Evangelicals, said in the Houston Chronicle.

• "You can quote me--Mel Gibson's The Passion is not anti-Semitic," Hollywood's top lobbyist Jack Valenti, of the Motion Picture Association, told Daily Variety columnist Army Archerd. "...I found it genuinely moving, serious, a compelling tale."

Personally I'm all for showing of the film in its entirety and letting the viewers form their own opinions on the purported "anti-semitism" messages of the movie. I admire the ADL for having the Jewish people's best interest at heart, but they have to keep in mind that these people also have the right to see the film and make their own opinions about all this. And as a good Catholic all Mr. Gibson wanted to do was to portray the truth of the tragedy and not point an accusing finger on any racial or ethnic group for the Messiah's execution. The ADL charges Gibson's film portrays Jews as "enemies of God and the locus of evil," while Mel Gibson says that his film was "meant to inspire not offend." Bottomline is: It doesn't matter who carried out the execution. Christ's death was necessary and his sacrifice was already orchestrated as part of God's sovereign plan right from the beginning, so what's to be scared of?

But if in case the movie turns out to be as controversial as Steven Spielberg's movie "Schindler's List" then I think we have a winner in our hands.
I just found out they rerun last week's strip in this week's edition of the paper making it a double feature. Yehey!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Over a late lunch of Japanese food (and later over a large serving of Peach Melba) me and my good friends, LeRoy and Jo talked about a lot of things, particularly that of having the right relationships and the way priorities change as one grows older. In one's youth one could afford to have fleeting relationships (barring premarital sex that could lead to unwanted consequences) and live life the way you want it. To do the things you want to do before you finally settle down with someone permanently. These days I'm torn between deciding to look for that someone I would share my life with and just being apathetic about it. I don't want to look for that somebody just because I'm pressured to do something about it, or because friends can't make out heads or tails about me deciding to stay single at this age, or just because I look too good to be still single (this last one's just a personal opinion, hehe... sorry). It's so pathetic. There are a million things I want to do, a thousand places to visit, and a hundred friendships to make. The question of when to search still stands, I'm just not ready to do anything about it right now.

But I may just surprise myself tomorrow. Who knows?

Monday, August 11, 2003

You are NEMO!
What Finding Nemo Character are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Kid? Surprisingly, even the result of my personality test have chibi dreams.
It seems like there's too many details in everyday moments that are too valuable not to be caught on camera. For me even the smallest, most nondescript moments are worth recording in picture. Should I get a digicam or a phone with a camera? If I get a digicam I would be assured of quality pictures plus a USB cable to boot, and for almost the same price I could get a Nokia 3650. If I get the phone, I'll have a great ergonomic designed unit, a 10-sec. video cam, MMS featured text/call ID, wav files for tones, and a digicam but no USB cable. That would cost me another P4,000.00 (roughly around $74.00). So which is which? I still can't decide.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Fish are friends not food.

We just came back from watching Pixar's latest movie and it definitely is a fun movie. The visuals were stunning and the characters are hilarious! I have a lot of favorite characters there like the Australian shark Bruce who reminds me a lot of one friend if ever he turns into one. The physical resemblance is complete right from the nasty stare, the grin (he has braces), and the general build but I'm keeping this to myself lest he beats me up for saying so. The bring-a-friend and tell-us-a-joke parts of the Sharks Anonymous meeting is really funny. Second is Dory who's really perky and lively even in the face of death. Her forgetfulness and her innocence is hilarious and her "Whale talk" is just too much. She also had a couple of quotable quotes like the time Marlin first told about her about the situation with Nemo and how he promised his son that he would prevent anything bad from happening to him. Dory replied something like: "That's silly! You can't promise that nothing bad would happen to him. If you did then nothing ever will." And another time was near the end of their journey when Marlin's fear gets the better of him, Dory cheerfully egged him on to just trust her. And when they were in a dead-end situation and the only way out seemed like the worst thing they could do their conversation ran something like: "How do you know nothing bad is going to happen?" To which the eternally cheerful Dory replied, "I don't!" She just knows enough when to let go.

Another wonderful character is Ray the science teacher. He didn't have that much screen time but he was really funny during that confrontation between Marlin and Nemo. Crush the surfer turtle is another unforgettable character with his duuuuuude talk (director Andrew Stanton did a great job with the voice). Next up are the seagulls that repeat the same word over and over and over again in the course of their greed. My sister and I were laughing so much during the screening we didn't care if we were the only ones doing so. I plan to repeat this film again until it runs out.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer subjects Filipino-American Hollywood actors Lou Diamond Philips and Tia Carrere to a playful interview. They're here along with other distinguished Fil-Ams like Tristar Pictures' vice president Fritz Freidman and Gene Cajayon (Director of the film"The Debut") to grace the opening of the Cinemanila 2003. I think it's great how they're using their clout to help pass a bill that will help WWII veterans get benefits from the US government. I also read in the paper that they shot some TV ads to help promote the flagging tourism industry in this country.
There's this weekly article in the Philippine Star newspaper by Mons Romulo-Tantoco where she asks different personalities trivial questions or whatever issue is at hand. This time she asks a handful of famous artists: When And Where Are You Most Creative?
"It usually happens when I'm really very tired. This is early in the morning and I've been working for hours. I warm up and then my creative juices just flow. This usually happens at work. When I'm alone I sleep." - Joel Torre, actor/director

"Most definitely very early in the morning while everything is still quiet. And sometimes even during that brief drive to the office. Actually it even starts a few hours before I wake up. It's these design ideas that serve as my internal alarm clock." - Architect Conrad Onglao

"1) When I have a deadline to meet and I'm running out of time; 2) After seeing beautiful scenery. 3) After listening to Ennio Morrione's Love Affair and Cinema Paradiso, Dave Gruisin's Havana and John Williams' soundtracks; 4) When my family and I are just hanging around the piano in our living room." - Louie Ocampo, musical director

"I was most creative in school while daydreaming in class." - Quark Henares, director

"Ideas come to me at various times and from many sources. But it is late at night when I get to do sketching, draping, patterns and a lot of reading and research." - Inno Sotto, fashion designer

"After dinner, when I'm in my bedroom, that's the time I come up with ideas. Beside my bed are a pen and a notebook where I write my new ideas on anything. I have to write them down otherwise, I won't be able to sleep thinking about them." - Malang, artist

"My creative juices flow best when I am at my happiest or most depressed. This happens anytime, anywhere.

"I cannot be at peace unless I have said my piece about whatever. Ironically, this is why I am appreciated by others and condemned by some." - Joey Javier Reyes, director/writer

"During the magic hours, which is neither sunrise or sunset. This could be by the beaches of Boracay or Coron." - Patrick Uy, photographer

This is one of the things my friends and I talked about last Friday. Usually there's no formula to induce creativity, one way doesn't work for another. While one artist would demand total silence, another may thrive in the middle of complete chaos. It wouldn't be natural if there's only uniformity. We're not wired that way. In this aspect diversity and individuality works out best to produce the uniqueness of each work.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

From this week's MTV Ink magazine.
After closing shop last night I met up with some classmates from high school. These peeps are from that other school I went to in my senior year and it was really great seeing all of them again. Though almost all of them are already married with kids thankfully the course of conversation didn't drift to infant formulas or the kids' schooling. Peter "Balweg" Mendiola even brought along some pictures from high school and seeing oneself in the awkward stage of teenagedom is not recommended. Still I asked him if he could scan a dozen of them so I could post them online. I also learned that a lot of classmates have immigrated to the U.S., particularly in Virginia (what's up with Virginia? Why not California?). We called it a night past 2 in the morning and even then it seems like there's never enough time to catch up with each others' stories. Maybe I should organize another get-together before the year ends.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Did you know that the US Airforce uses live chickens to bird-proof test their planes' windshields? Apparently they buy their supply of live poultry from neighboring farms (the farmers keep them in constant hibernation inside large freezers). And they thaw it 24-hours prior to shooting those poor birds through a 600 foot cannon.

Really. I saw it on Animal Planet this morning.
I'm recently came back from a sumptuous feast of a lunch prepared by my friend Jorge in their office. They ordered some Chinese take out and it's just too much. There were large pieces of siomai (sort of like steamed balls of ground beef and pork with pieces of shrimp), fish fillet with vegetables, rice, noodles, and endless numbers of siopao (steamed sweet bread with prepared ground meat inside). The pleasantries were great. His older brother Joseph was also entertaining a client along with a family friend during lunch. Topics revolved around places and restaurants, food preparation, fitness and exercise, and staving off senility in old age. We had coffee afterwards and I watched as my friend played solitaire in their PC while he was answering calls. Then he let me try my hand in it while he talked to his son. I never played any card game in ages, in fact the last time I played with cards was back when I was 13 ("Noah's Ark" to those who are familiar with it). Solitaire was a lot harder than I thought, especially since I didn't have any idea what I was doing.

We had more coffee afterwards and we joined Joseph and their older friend, Tito Wally, in the dining room. Our topic revolved around art and what I do. Turns out that Tito Wally's son is also an artist and took the same course in the same university as I did (though I'm 3 batches ahead of him). In the course of our conversation I also found out that he's none other than Wally Gonzales, guitarist of the Juan Dela Cruz Band, one of the pioneers of Pinoy rock during the '70s! Wow. I'm not really familiar with any of their songs but who hasn't heard of them? I also did a quick sketch of Joseph on a yellow pad upon his request and he was beside himself with delight. Hehehe... After about an hour I bid them all goodbye and was invited to return next week.

So what can you say about this joke? ... That bad, huh?
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

What will it take 'till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you, and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

Billy Joel, "Just The Way You Are"

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Jay Hosler, an assistant professor of biology at Juniata College, has long been using comic books as a valuable resource in teaching scientific principles. His second series, "The Sandwalk Adventures" has been compiled into one volume that explores evolution and natural selection through the mind of Mara, a follicle mite living in the eyebrow of Charles Darwin. Even Michael R. Lavin, an associate librarian for the University at Buffalo Libraries, has Hosler's work among his recommended comic books on a reference Web site for librarians.
Hosler is far from the first to try to use comic books as educational tools. For nearly as long as comics have been around, there have been those who have recognized their value as instructional reading.

Will Eisner, a legend in comic illustration, penned the "Joe Dope" series to teach jeep maintenance to World War II soldiers; a series issued by the Federal Reserve taught thousands of children the principles of banking and finance; and illustrated Bible stories, many in comic book form, are a staple at most Christian bookstores.

Betty Watson, director of early childhood education at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., said the illustrations in comic books might help to engage youngsters who wouldn’t otherwise be interested in science.

But Lavin says educators would be remiss to think of comic books as tools only for reaching disinterested students. He says comics can help to stimulate even the most gifted students.

"There's a lot of us in the field that feel very strongly that this is a tremendous medium and an exciting medium to engage people at the other end of the spectrum, because it really sparks their creativity," Lavin said.

"There's no question that the combination of words and pictures can be a very exciting way to tell a story that leaves a lasting impression."

Finally, people are starting to recognize the legitimacy of comics as a valuable tool in learning. Given the right materials, I guess it would only be a matter of time before it would be recognized here in our country too.

The whole article can be read here.
This came out quite nicely. I had to wrestle with various ideas before I hit the jackpot with this one.

Another terminal case of foot-in-mouth disease.

I just realized that the thing with comic ideas is that they're a lot like taffy. You have to gnaw, twist, push, and pull at them before you can break off a bite. They're also a lot like dough that you kung fu and punch around before you get something that resembles art. Well, not exactly art but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

I know, I know traffic is right about normal in these parts of the metropolis around these hours. But a travel time that normally takes around thirty minutes stretching to almost two hours goes way beyond normal.

On the other hand I'm real happy to see Jorge again this afternoon. He's the old friend from high school I was telling you about before, the one whom I based one of my comic strip characters on. He and his brothers are sharing an office space in a condo in Makati so I bought a pizza as a peace offering for invading their place during office hours. Not that it was necessary but I just felt like bringing some grub to break the ice after a long absence. FYI, these brothers "ruled" their respective batches in terms of intimidation and braggadocio but it's a totally different story now. I'd be hard up to find any other person/s who are as humble, polite, respectful, unostentatious, unpretentious, and as appreciative of others' works as these guys. I also met his older brother's wife today (a former model and city counselor) and truth to tell I was a bit intimidated by her hoity-toitiness. I think I was too quiet than normal that Jorge had to ask me every now and then if I'm okay. I just felt a bit out of place with all those business talks that seem to float over my head. Anyway I'm invited back there to have lunch with them on Friday.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

A customer just wiped out all traces of black ink with 27 pages of school report and we're left to face the wrath of frustrated customers waiting to have their documents printed... I need an ice cream fudgie bar break.
A "Nu Yolkuh" takes a vacation in the Philippines and blogs about it. He rants about his first two days in the country but changed his mind on the third.
"Let me say my opinion has completely changed. Manila is a riot... It was completely fun, and also cheap. All I can say is I really felt like a movie star here last night."

That's the world famous Filipino hospitality for ya.

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody,
you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
~ From the movie When Harry Met Sally

Ladies and gentlemen, these two very dear (and obviously good looking) friends of mine, Andre & Chaz, are getting married today in Houston, Texas. Congratulations to you two! Wish I could be there.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Once there was a man who dared God to speak.

Burn the bush like you did for Moses, God.
And I will follow.

Collapse the walls like you did for Joshua, God.
And I will fight.

Still the waves like you did on Galilee, God.
And I will listen.

And so the man sat by a bush, near a wall, close to the sea
and waited for God to speak.

And God heard the man, so God answered.
He sent fire, not for a bush, but for a church.
He brought down a wall, not a brick, but of sin.
He stilled a storm, not of the sea, but of a soul.

And God waited for the man to respond.
And he waited . . .
And he waited . . .
And waited.

But because the man was looking at bushes, not hearts;
bricks and not lives, seas and not souls,
he decided that God had done nothing.
Finally he looked to God and asked, Have you lost your power?
And God looked at him and said, Have you lost your hearing?

Taken from the book, A Gentle Thunder, by Max Lucado.
I'm up against a deadline today (I got a reminder from the paper the other day and I only got the ideas for the strips yesterday) and, as far as it goes, I find myself furiously snarling and snapping, "Do you mind?! I'm working on something funny here!" at any poor soul who dares to distract me.

Quite ironic. I should learn to pace myself next time.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

My good friend Lyndon sent this in the Artists' Den mailing list. The Artists' Den is a support group I helped put up around four years ago. That's me with the blue hair (I haven't colored my hair in almost a year now), that's Lyndon making the sarcastic remark, and that's Camy (she not only makes one of the best brownies around, she's also a great artist).

Hehehe... I'm a regular "Jughead" when it comes to good food.

I had no idea my eyes are that small on TV.

I missed the show this morning. It was a bit deliberate on my part since I wasn't sure I wanted to see myself talking on TV. I didn't even announce this to anyone I know except for one friend from College. I easily get freaked out once people come up to me with flattering comments about being "famous" or something.

There it is! Awright!

Hmmm... I wonder how many of my works were shown. They took a lot of shots of different works and these two are just one of my favorites. I dunno if they also showed the pen sketches of the other characters. I wish they did, especially since I have no idea how long the feature was. I just hope they showed more of my work than me. I also wonder how many people watched the show? They said they'll be providing us with a copy of the segment. Maybe then I'll show it to my family and friends. Or maybe not.

More screen shots can be seen here.

Saturday, August 02, 2003

I'm going to be in TV! Channel 2's Magandang Umaga, Bayan (sort of like Good Morning America) is going to feature a special on toys and local comics in their episode tomorrow. They arranged to shoot the interview here at the shop, which is fine with me since it also gets a free promotion on air. They also interviewed the Toy Lords (a local toy collectors group), my good friends Azrael, Lyndon, and Ryan. I'm excited about all this not because I'm going to be seen in TV but because they highlighted my work! My comic strips finally get the attention it deserves. I also enjoyed the fact that one of the segment director of the show, Eric Go, remembers my strips from way back in the 90s when it was regularly published in a magazine. He was even laughing out loud while reading them. Hehehe... cool.

Friday, August 01, 2003

I got my weird sense of humor from Gary Larson. 'Nuff said.
Hey, hey! It's another round of Friday Five! OH YEAH!!
1. What time do you wake up on weekday mornings?
8:30 or 8:50. I'm not allowed to sleep beyond that. Bummer.

2. Do you sleep in on the weekends? How late?
No. I wish I had a place of my own.

3. Aside from waking up, what is the first thing you do in the morning?
I say a quick prayer of thanks, brush my teeth and browse the newspaper for anything interesting.

4. How long does it take to get ready for your day?
30 - 45 minutes tops.

5. When possible, what is your favorite place to go for breakfast?
If and when I get the chance I'd take my breakfast at Country Waffles, Eastwood City in my pajamas.

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