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Sunday, 29 January 2006

Let's take to the streets. You and I we're life's refugees.


I think we all know that the Great One was kidding when he said this...

My sleep habit this past week has been horrible. Awake till 3am then asleep till 11am. Which is kinda good because I get to eat only two meals a day. On the other hand, I practically ate nothing but shameful take-out food. I even committed mortal sin and ate at McDonald's even if I had already eaten there six months ago. (Trust me, even just one McDo meal a year is already too much).

As an engineer (I should say 'was'), I suffered tech-envy this week when my adviser showed off his new Mac with a 21-inch widescreen. And there I was, grudgingly connecting my Acer laptop to a Samsung monitor. The Mac is so sexy and Steve Jobs is the comeback kid poster boy. Yet, the great Steve Jobs RARELY (ie NEVER) gives any money to charity while the evil Bill Gates doesn't even blink an eye signing a £200M cheque for scholarships or £250M for HIV research, I can at least feel good that I'm a Windows slave. NOT that I chose to be a Windows slave.

I didn't get to see Crush #1 this week and Crush #2 was being really hostile to me when all I asked was if she could hand me a new calendar. Somewhere in the phrase "Can we please sort out our sked" came a diatribe on existentialism that left me clueless. So no lunch for me at Brasenose. Thank God my friend Karen invited me over to Linacre where, although the chances of me finding a pretty girl are nil as everyone eating there seems to be taken or old (as in "I survived the blitz..." old), the food is at least superb.

Scary. I got an email from my mother on my gmail account. First of all, how in heaven's name did my mother find out that I have a gmail account. And most importantly, who invited my mom to gmail?!? I love my parents. And it's nice that they are embracing technology. Yet, it's scary when they get in touch with me through the weirdest of channels. And somehow, the caller id from my dad's cellphone is amazingly off that I only know its my folks calling AFTER I've picked up the phone. I should at least know which of my many voices to use.( You know what I am talking about. I see this in my friends as well. If it's a cute girl on the phone, they'll be using a suave Barry White tone and voice. If it's their folks they'd use a hungry puppy "Mom, I'm hungry I need more money"-voice). Trust me, you don't want to answer your parents in the Barry White voice......

I missed this lecture because I fell asleep while listening to the Mozart marathon on Classic FM in the atomic force microscopy room. (It's Wolfy's 250th birthday celebration...unlike the other prim and proper composers, Amadeus lived a rock star lifestyle, shagging many women, drinking, smoking....and the mandatory biting off the head of a live bat while conducting an opera. Indeed, Mozart's nemesis Salieri was a devout Catholic but who among us can even remember any Salieri composition? So ditch the convent lifestyle and rock me Amadeus). Back to the missed lecture - Nevertheless, I would have probably fallen asleep during the lecture as astrophysics is beyond my powers. And no offense to my current school, but the really good astronomers are in my previous university (ehem). I distinctly remember after a Stephen Hawking lecture the Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees actually demonstrating the finger of God dipping into a black hole. (Okey, he was scratching his arse, and hence I did not shake his hand). Somebody slap me, as I've been name dropping but immodesty aside Stephen Hawking and I are thisclose. In fact, Stephen Hawking thought my master's thesis was sooooo bad (in retrospect, it was a bit of a mess.) he physically blocked me in the corridor to try and stop me from meeting the 4pm deadline. I miss Stephen though. He was supposed to come over to deliver one lecture but cancelled because he got sick. God does play dice Larry Flynt. (If you didn't get that last sentence, you're not watching enough Simpsons)


I finally got a chance to cook on Friday night and it was the easy to cook beef nilaga. It's one of those "ipisok-pisok mo laeng" ("throw-throw") dishes. Just plonk them all in, forget about it for an hour, then viola! In true Flipinoy style, best served with iced tea and patis/lime/sili sauce. I always seem to forget that when handling chili, it's NOT a good idea to rub your eyes AND adjust/scratch your penis and testicles (as ALL men unconsciously do). Thank heavens this wasn't labuyo or habañero and I wasn't in pain for long.

I stayed up late for the Aussie Open women's finals. Mauresmo bulldozed her way to the finals while Henin-Hardenne gave Sharapova a proper bitch-slapping the day before. And you know that global climate change is real when for the first time in my life, the game was played with the stadium roof closed. I was a bit disappointed with the finals as Justine retired because she didn't have any energy left. More importantly, this was the QUIETEST women's finals I have ever seen. Whatever happened to the grunts and hu-ah! screams? Women's tennis used to be the sexiest, most sensual, and most arousing sporting event and now it's been reduced to a silent movie. (Note to myself: Reserve Wimbledon tickets by hook or by crook and stalk Maria Sharapova. Justine is cute, but she's taken...)

His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem's Beer Recommendations. As everyone knows, only the best gets an HRO Karl Willem seal of approval. There are only six Trappist Beers in the world and although I could not find a Westvleteren (the most expensive as you have to actually be in the monastery to drink one), thankfully I stumbled on a Chimay Blue Grande Reserve 2005. Unlike normal ales which are taken fresh, Chimay improves with time. Yet, even at just a year old it gives off a nice spicy aroma and a fruity, slightly smoked flavour. I did not have a proper goblet so I used a wine glass. Chimay has a thick light chocolate head that quickly dissipates. The alcohol content is a good 9% which is twice that of a lager (like San Miguel which is 5%) yet higher than that horrible Red Horse (7.5%). Which makes one wonder, why are Trappist monks brewing extra-alcoholic beers? Best served on it's own or while watching the Pussycat Dolls singing "Don't Cha" on tv...... And never feel guilty gulping down Trappist ales as God surely gave these His blessings.

This is the best head I've had in ages. (ps. No, Ms. Eileen Flora, I am NOT an alcoholic. I only drank one Chimay today and the rest of my stash I will let age under my desk. In fact, I rarely drink. But when I do, I choose wisely and drink moderately. One cannot enjoy the gift of Bacchus when one is too drunk to appreciate it and I do not drink Red Horse beer because let's face it, it's one of the worst beers even by our third world standards.)

Forget the Oprah Winfrey book club. It's His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem's Literature Selection that matters. This week, HRO Karl Willem is reading John Berendt's City of Falling Angels. Berendt previously wrote the riveting Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and the Man himself, Clint Eastwood, did a good job turning it into a film. HRO Karl Willem is also re-reading V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. Moore is one of The Nashman's favourite writers since childhood. Moore deftly rewrote the Swamp Thing as well as doing some Batman and Superman stories. V for Vendetta is now a movie (hopefully they don't screw this up) with the biggest actor ever, Agent Smith/Elven Leader Elrond/Drag Queen of the Desert Hugo Weaving as V. Think about it, Hugo Weaving was in the two best selling trilogies. And. All. He. Had. To. Do. Was. Speak. Like. This. Which reminds me that Natalie Portman is also in this movie. And Natalie Portman used to date my Cambridge housemate's best friend, before she became Queen Amidala and then it was "I'm too good for you....so I'm going to model for Bayo and fill up all the billboards in Manila". Actually, she didn't say that, but I wonder, does anyone outside Las Islas Filipinas know she models for a Flipinoy label? (If I'm not mistaken even Alicia Silverstone does....) When I do see Natalie again, I'm going to give her a Penshoppe face towel to put over her collar (This is a strictly Pinoy fashion statement popular in Manila and the Calabarzon regions. I think I will proudly do this as well next time I'm in Milan).

HRO Karl Willem is listening to the new Suede...I mean The Tears album "Hear Come the Tears". The band sounds like Suede, because the lead singer (Brett Anderson) and guitarist (Bernard Butler) were Suede. Duh. I had to listen to Suede's back catalogue to remind myself what a very good Brit pop band they were. It's a common band affliction that the vocalist and guitarist have a falling out that leads the band to, er, disband. It's kinda like Robin telling Batman to shove the bat belt up where the sun don't shine, or Ernie telling Bert to shove the rubber duckie up.......Aaaaanyways, Butler and Anderson are back together and we can look forward to some intelligently written pop lyrics.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog (Woof! Woof!) and Happy Burns Night Lassies. To celebrate these Chinese and Scottish events, why not have, er, smoked sausages from the Pyrenees and olives and cheese from Castilla. Thankfully, Clinton dropped by (he got back from the Apple flagship store in London to ogle the new dual processor Macs) and we got something more Chinese from the, er, Oisi Master such as Unagi. Aargh, somebody ship me something authentically Tsekwa like Tikoy or Peking duck!

Monday, 23 January 2006

The flowers bloom in springtime, da? - Комитéт Госудáрственной Безопáсности


It wasn't us, it was Kaizer Sose

It's so nice that the good ol' days are back. The ФСБ (Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii) or Ruski Spooks claim that they have exposed a British Spy ring in Moscow. Apparently information among spies was passed using a new wireless hub disguised as a rock! With the advent of wifi and pdas, the classic "dead drop" maneouvre is sooo last century. Moscow is in mock surprise and Q can't confirm or deny anything. It's highly likely that this is a classic KGB ruse and everything is an elaborate hoax. But for a fan of the spy genre, I give a toast to my Ruski comrades for this bit of nostalgia. Желаю всего хорошего (I wish you the best). *the nashman gulps down a clean shot of vodka*

I wish I could say the same thing for the Philippine Military Intelligence except that it's an oxymoron.

Is it just me or did anyone else notice that even the Pope has his own private army? The Swiss Guards are celebrating 500 years of loyal service. They are having recruitment shortages from the French and Italian cantons of Switzerland. Not surprising as some requirements are "19 to 35 years old" and "celibate". A celibate 19-35 year old? That's asking for a miracle.

Now going back to spooks and men in cassocks. The last American KGB double-agent in the CIA was exposed because he went to Catholic confession. The priest he confessed to was a member of the Opus Dei. In fact the double agent was Opus Dei himself, but Opus Dei itself has it's own internal problems. Somehow, $X million was deposited to an Opus Dei account. The next day, the agent's KGB dossier ends up at the desk of the CIA director. I wish I could have made this all up, but life is always stranger than fiction.

I have a confession to make. I am an active spy. But if I were truly a spy, shouldn't I keep that as a secret? But by openly making the assertion that I am, the assertion becomes incredible because no spy will admit to being one. Therefore I am not a spy and I have kept my secret as a spy by convincing you that I am not by making the assertion that I am a spy. (Holy Pak Shet nagla-i-ngen ni Nashman, naulaw met iti tak-ke yo anya).

I wonder how many of these rocks are spying devices. On another note, I think the project manager for the resetting of the cobblestones of Radcliffe Square in front of my middle earth home is a Flipinoy. First the deadline was "before Christmas" then "before New Year", now it's "before Valentines"....I don't think so Pedro. From the looks of it this will take another 600 years to finish.

Lila is finally back in Middle Earth so it was a decadent sunday dinner at Fishers restaurant with Clinton generously sponsoring this homage to Bacchus. Inevitably, the discussion focused on lesbians.

Oysters are not recommended for single people who live alone (er, like me). It's such a waste of a good aphrodisiac. Well, I don't really now why oysters are aphrodisiacs. Is it because of how they look? The fresh "from the sea" smell? Because you need to moisten it first (with Tabasco and lemon) before sucking? How it feels on your lips? I dunno.......

Rare yellow fin tuna with pesto sauce. I know I made a promise on my previous post not to eat fish in memory of Billy (London's Celebrity Big Blubber) who didn't make it back to sea but then I realised my mistake. Billy was a whale, ergo a mammal. Therefore my 'fish abstention' promise was non sequitur.

God/Allah/Yahweh/ bless Lila for bringing me something to protect me from the arctic winter. As my vodka stash is down to a critical level, Lila brought me Agave Tequila. Ariba! Ariba! Andale! Yeehaa! (She also brought me "Cidade de Deus" and "Y Tu Mama Tambien". If the Siberian winds blow this way, at least I can stay home and be a proper couch potato)

Saturday, 21 January 2006

Non-exposure to a normal level of dirt in the early years of life might mean an underdeveloped immune system - roll up yer sleeves let's play jolens


The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars. I can't believe this album is already 34 years old. Bowie's breakthrough album changed the face of punk. No one does "concept albums" anymore and this is as good as it gets. My mp3 player can hold 20 albums but I only had this one stored for the whole week. Classic.

The sun's beginning to shine a bit in middle earth so I'm slowly recovering from SADness (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I guess this affects everyone from the tropics. It's worse this year as I haven't been home in the land of coconuts and mangoes.

I saw Woody Allen's "Match Point" earlier this week with Lourdes and Emmily (what's up with the double 'm'?) and it seemed to lift up my spirits. Sure it has a morbid ending and all the characters are baaaad but that's what movies are for. Catharsis.

Friday and Saturday was "sit in front of the telly" watching a breaking news event not seen since O.J. led the LAPD on a slow-mo car chase. This was waaay more interesting. A northern bottle-nosed whale amazingly found it's way upstream of the River Thames. Thousands lined the river bank to see this once-in a lifetime event. Papers named the whale Billy. Two funny things happened as Billy swam past Big Ben. One, the spies at MI6/MI5 headquarters came out of their fortress of a building and started waving at Billy! Uhm, riiiiight. I'm now scared for the security of the free world as we're missing a few decimal places on those I.Q. results. As the bridges of London were packed by well-wishers, clapping (at both the whale and the huge rescue effort) and taking pictures of this most unique London visitor, one bridge was packed with Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, and Danes who were exchanging recipes and sharpening their cleavers. Thankfully they were quickly dispersed and their evil intentions foiled.

Sadly, Billy did not survive despite the best efforts of the rescue team and bade us farewell at 1900 GMT on saturday. While whales are very intelligent they are also naturally curious. Hopefully measures can be made to prevent them from breaching the Thames barriers in the future, because I'd rather see those thousands flying to Las Islas Filipinas to do whale watching in a natural deep sea environment. To Billy - "It was nice meeting you, mate. I promise not to eat fish for a week" (Nada, not even Shawie's Century Tuna......).

I waited for Billy the Whale to go further upstream to middle earth where the Thames is called the Isis and turn right to the Cherwell, but honestly, I prayed he'd just go back downstream to the open sea....

Billy the Whale passing the parliament...(pictures ripped from the news agencies for posterity)

Jamaican cooking....yum! And the best part is drinking Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Rum Liquer! The most exclusive coffee blended into rum - orgasmic! After tasting this treat, Bailey's begins to taste like piss. I rarely get drunk but this was too good not to indulge.....

Friday night, I went to one of Karen's "because I feel like throwing a party" - party. It was good Jamaican soul food and I shamelessly had triple helpings of the goat curry because it's always so good when Karen makes it. It was an intimate party with the brothers and sisters of the afro-carribean society and I'm always happy to be invited. I enjoy the company of these guys because like me they are all old school. None of that bling-bling-, consumerist-, objectifying women-, or sell-out raps. This was more Ska, Reggae, and love-thy-neighbour, socially conscious street poetry rapping.

My black roots go all the way back to when I was living in the favelas of Baguio. I grew up with a black kid called Michael but we had an Ilocano name for him which was Michael Ukel-Ukel (I have NO idea what ukel-ukel means). And in college I had a classmate whose dad is Philander Rodman (Yes, Dennis' biological dad lives in the Islands). And since it was Martin Luther King day quite recently, I vividly recalled my 4th grade primary school where I proudly declaimed King's "I have a dream..." speech in front of 8000 people at the Burgos Auditorium with such conviction, passion, and showmanship that would reduce even Al Sharpton to tears. Hell, my delivery was so smooth if Michael Jackson or Mariah Carey were there, they would have never sold out to became white trash. But did the judges reward my effort? Hell no, they gave the best performance award to some girl who's chosen piece was the boring as boiled brussel sprouts 3-stanza "Oh, my captain, my captain....". It's been 15 years but I now have every right to say those judges were fuck-ups. I chose a 16 stanza masterpiece that no other 10-year old could master in a day of reading it, made Martin Luther King proud and I was robbed!

Despite this injustice, I have forgiven. (And the miniscule trophy that I got for being wrongly placed second, I gave to my mate Kenneth in exchange for nunchucks).


I woke up really late on saturday and missed breakfast with my crush. Since she was not in the dining hall and I did not need to make porma, I had a heart-attack meal that will keep heart surgeons happily employed in this century...I saw her in the corridor though and she returned my smile! I already have 3 pimples, tomorrow it'll be four....

It's always important to stop and listen to anyone singing "Guantanamera"......

I saw "Brokeback Mountain" today with Helen and her friend Janine (Janine got us plush seats on the Balcony! We're all straight, but it's a film with gay characters so might as well take the posh seats and be in touch with our gay sides). The cinematography, soundtrack, and acting was excellent, but this movie is very depressing. The ladies sitting next to me were sobbing towards the end. (Yet, it did not escape Helen's and my attention that they came to the theatre as if they were going to have a picnic with all the food they brought). I had to make a quick exit though as me and my boots had to run across town to the Holywell Music Room because Paco de Lucia's student Juan Martin had a flamenco concert. Sadly, I forgot to reserve my place for this concert and when I got there I had to wait for returned tickets. But, que horror, it was sold out. Aaaaaargh! I missed the best concert of the month! I could buy his CD but that's nothing like seeing the maestro in the flesh making those guitarra strings weep to accompany the cancion and the baile.

Depressed after the movie, and even more depressed for missing Juan Martin's flamenco masterclass I wandered like a zombie in Jericho. There were no other live events, not in Freud, the Tavern, or the Picturehouse. So I had to drown my sorrows at the Jericho Cafe....

On my way home, I finally bought a 2006 calendar so that I wouldn't miss another important event. I said goodbye to my 2005 Aaron Chang Surfer Chicks calendar and got a Larson Far Side calendar.

I went to the public library this weekend to pick up essential music. To cure my homesickness, I got Texas: Greatest Hits (In Baguio ALL the girl-fronted bands have at least one Texas song in their repertoire) and Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash (which reminds me to watch the Cash movie). For my new album fix I picked up Anka's Rock Swings (Smells like Teen Spirit and Black Hole Sun sung like Cobain and Cornell on LSD). To help me calm down Alicia Keys Unplugged, to replace my cassette tape collection AC/DC's Highway to Hell (everyone must have this album. It's another important classic. And play it out LOUD to fully appreciate Bon Scott's vocal histrionics) and the best album of the week that will undoubtedly be on my player for a loong time is Thelonius Monk and John Coltrane Live at the Carnegie Hall. This created big "can it be true"-news last year when it was discovered at the archives of the Library of Congress. No one knew this recording existed (not even those who were in the actual concert in 1957). It's an exceptional album showing the two at the height of their powers. Wicked.

Wednesday, 18 January 2006

You have insufficient funds. You have zero credits left


His Royal Orangeness gives Georgina's Cafe an HRO Karl Willem "Best Places to have Real Coffee" award

So Muscovites are trying to break into prison as their city drops to -40 (the magic number when F=C). Being a tropical boy, I can only imagine what -40 means. So I should really stop complaining about the English weather, especially in front of my Russian friends, who incidentally are from Novosibirsk, Siberia. (The probabilities of this boggles me, I can hardly find 3 random Pinoys during my walks, then I meet 5 Siberians separately in different places wearing summer gear while I am strangled by layers upon layers of clothing)

I had a long phone call from my mother today. Apparently we are ready to ship my brat niece to sunny Florida. (Can we save on fare and just box and fed-ex her? No, apparently she gets her own seat on the plane). Thank Yahweh, as I can have my room back. She's been with us for 5 years and it's a bit sad though as I probably won't see my niece for a long time because between Miami and Havana (same fare, assuming I can afford it), I'd rather fly to Havana. My mom also let me talk to my mongrel dog, Queenie, but apparently she just licked the phone. Ignorant bitch. My dog sleeps outside now as my dad's been cutting her fur again. (He's been watching too much Kevin Bacon from Beauty Shop methinks). Mother also asked me when I'm supposed to finish my PhD......

Exactly the same question Julia asked me today during breakfast at Georgina's. After five months being away (to Munich, Paris, Brussels, and lucky witch, Mauritius, practically all over the world trying to figure out what she really wanted) I got this surprising call at midnight that she's in Middle Earth for two days and that she's decided to come back next month to finally write her thesis. She then asks me how many chapters I've written.....

Zero. I don't think the Babylonians, the Indians, or the Persians need to explain to me what zero means. I look at my bank account, my love life, my thesis, my pogi points and I am the world's leading expert on the concept of zero


A candid picture of HRO Karl Willem and Julia at Georgina's for some quality time.

The bar at The Gardener's Arms. Catherine dragged me to this place last Monday but they don't serve food till Wednesday so I got tipsy on one bottle of Hoegaarden Gran Cru. Never drink on an empty stomach.....So I came back today to try the vegetarian menu.

I had this urge for healthful food so I had vegetarian Thai curry from the vegans at The Gardener's Arms.

Tuesday, 17 January 2006

Esto no es una película, ésta es vida verdadera...(Hindi ito pelikula, totoong buhay ito - Polgas of Pugad Baboy)


A postcard from Madrid......

"Before Sunrise" (NOT the Ethan Hawke version) is a passionate and intelligent romance between a young backpacker (The Nashman) and a French student (J). A chance encounter on a film set incites intrigue, and J provocatively suggests that Nash postpones his return to England and embarks instead on a spontaneous expedition to Madrid. In the course of their 14-hour relationship, the two share in their love for the unrehearsed and their appreciation for the unexpected as they explore in a powerful meeting of hearts and minds. Dawn breaks. Sad in silence, they make their way to the station. As they bid each other farewell, Nash is seized by another impulse - another encounter ?

"Aunque aparece increible, es la pura verdad" - incredible as it may appear, this is pure truth.

Just over a year ago in Toledo I was enjoying a random midnight walk in this beautiful medieval city when I found myself in the middle of a film shoot. That movie is "Volando Voy", roughly translated as "Flying I go", and it opened this weekend to critical acclaim. The movie is based on the life of Juan Carlos Delgado "El Pera". At the tender age of 9, "El Pera" stole cars and drove them like a professional rally driver. This is a wonderful coming of age story and unlike the crap movies shown at the recent Manila Film Fest, "may aral na matututunan sa pelikulang ito". I just saw the trailers and those car chase scenes through the narrow cobbled streets of Toledo are bound to be a classic.

It was while they were shooting those car chase scenes that I met J.

I never thought much about it but when I read that the movie finally opened in Spain, it put a smile on my face. I met a wonderful new friend in a film set based on a true story and our brief encounter kinda followed the plot of a movie (yes, exactly as Before Sunrise).

Life imitating art while it was itself imitating life.



Maybe someday, I'll bump into J again then we can shoot the sequel.....

Wherever you are J, here's a toast "to the freedom we give to ourselves in order to always discover the true meaning of life". Muchos Besos!

Monday, 16 January 2006

And2 na me, wer r u? and other text messages


Welcome to the twilight zone.........

I had the weirdest dream - I am at the Jollibee store, I order a chickenjoy meal, pay the cashier, eat the meal at a corner, then go out and hail a taxi. That's when I was woken up by a succession of text messages (my phone is always on vibra mode but I tragically wake up easily on a sunday morning). The dream was so weird and incomplete and left a bitter aftertaste. It wasn't a normal Nashman dream. First of all the dream sequence was totally boring. The setting was a normal fastfood store, the cashier wasn't a vampire/trapolitician that I had to blast to pieces with my uber-cool weapon that was neatly tucked in my crisp bespoke suit, there were no dodgy looking characters in the store in the act of robbing the place who I also had to blow up to pieces, and more importantly I never hire a taxi in any of my previous dreams because I could fly or I drove a Maserati, duh. I had a dream about a NORMAL event that happens in REAL life. What was the point in that?

Anyways, the two text messages that prevented me from funkifying up my dream involved one from my mother asking me about the weather (depressing) and my health (atrocious) and the other was Lourdes inviting me to brunch at Christchurch to meet her friend. I turned off my phone hoping I could go back to sleep and lead my dream to a more satisfying conclusion. I couldn't and I was a bit annoyed.

Just because Christchurch is the actual Hogwart's hall doesn't mean the food here is magical. I had brunch at my college instead because I could not stand the food at Christchurch plus one doesn't queue for coffee at Brasenose. It's served to you by the wonderful kitchen stewards on a silver pot.

I show up at Christchurch anyway and was pleasantly surprised that Lourdes' friend wasn't another card carrying member of Akbayan or Gabriela. Finally, a normal girl who isn't of dubious sexual orientation.

After kissing my "I am going to do experiments this afternoon" goodbye and doing touristy stuff in cold Middle Earth instead, coffee at The Vaults was a mandatory pit stop.

Huwag mong kamutin, i-Caladryl mo. You love my lady lumps/My humps/My humps/My humps.

Sunday, 15 January 2006

As my dad says "Just walk it off, son"

It's odd, how life works. It took a girl living in Oz, some tough love, and a cheesy country song to stop me from feeling sorry for myself. Ok not just an ordinary girl, if I should let it be known, this is the girl who first "broke" my young and fragile heart. It's an open secret anyway. Nevermind that we haven't spoken to each other for ages. The mere fact that I'm taking advice from her after what she's put me through is a mystery. Heck, let's even mention her name. Actually let's sing the song - And Aubrey was her name/A not so very ordinary girl or name/but who's to blame....From the bottom of my heart, thanks so much Aubrey for the shoulder to lean on.

Jennifer, I really really feel your pain. I'm going to wear my Team Aniston t-shirt once I get it on the post. (I should be wearing it by now but Lila "I'm in New York for frigging six weeks" couldn't be bothered to move her behind for this ONE errand I begged for her to do. How hard can it be for her to walk a few blocks from her apartment to get the T-shirt for me...)

I am very happy. I honestly am. I'm free and I'm going to dip my hands into that box of chocolates and see what I get......
Oh don't worry about me. I've been through this before. I may poop in my pants at the initial shock and fear, but I slowly recover my composure and move on. (Or this picture could also be entitled "Why not to wear white shorts when canyon hiking")

Thursday, 12 January 2006

All is fair in love and war

And we came to the point when all lovers are never sure.
I told you to "Follow your heart".
And you did.
And there's no need to say you are sorry.

Now, I'm free to follow my heart.

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Lost in Translation


A Philippine Tarsier. A more huggable mini-King Kong (photo courtesy of my friend Karina). The Philippines has many ape species, the most famous being the barong-clad tongressman/senatong which are housed at a building called the Batasan for the amusement of the public. These monkeys only eat expensive turon (deep fried bananas). Unlike other animal colonies though, we do not have an alpha ape. Instead the titular head of the Philippine animal colony is the female dwarf pig.

New Zealand should give that Pete Jackson guy a medal, a statue, or his own frigging state. I just saw his remake of the 1933 classic King Kong tonight and it was wicked, three hours of pure fun. Definitely worth seeing more than once. Heck, make that thrice. (We don't want that horrible Disney-Narnia movie to be a bigger blockbuster do we?).

That's my head and The Monalisa previously installed in the only NON-airconditioned room of the Louvre to prevent tourists from lingering too long.

I am really upset that my little backpacking trip to Istanbul has to be postponed because Turkey has the bird flu. I think the best remedy for flu is to eat tinola. Normally, this 'flu' would not deter me (nor should anyone) but I don't want to be in Troy, Izmir, or Ephesus and find the picture perfect Aegean sunset replaced with images of men in white biosuits clumsily trying to catch chickens. Now that is fowl play.

I am taking a road trip to Paris from London for my birthday which is still two months away but by booking early, my transport costs a whooping £9.00. Yes 900 pesoses. That's practically the same price of a return trip from Baguio to Manila. I will save this ticket and wave it to my dad's face the next time he says "Why don't you visit your relatives in Davao?". I will not fly on a 40-year old turbo-prop plane that charges twice as much as a return flight on a proper plane from London to Milan. Hell no. (Unless of course it's free).

So, looking for an apartment in Paris, the estate agent gave me a list of choices for my desired price range (very low) plus some rather nice descriptions:

Property A: "In an apartment with beams in one of the oldest districts of Paris, quiet , spacious and warm room with chest of drawers, piano and small marble table. Wardrobe in the corridor. Private bathroom and WC. Web access."

Property B: "In a vast private mansion built in 1890 with a garden, 6 steps to getover, beautiful bedroom ancient, style with a wardrobe, living rooms decorated with very beautiful mouldings and glosses, wooden floor, private bathroom and WC"

Property C: "Lovely bedroom with a wardrobe and a desk, overlooking a patio with trees, very quiet and bright in a pleasant apartment with fans. Web access. Sympathetic welcome. Suplementary bed possible. 20 steps to go up"


Hmmmm.... It would be nice to be in a room full of adoring fans but I want some privacy. And what exactly is a 'sympathetic welcome'? Can I get an apartment without 'beams' just for the fun of it? '6 steps to getover'?...looks like something from a religious cult. I really don't want to stay in a hotel or hostel. In fact, I want to rent a place with the weirdest landlord I can find.

And finally, as this is MY photoblog it's rare for me to post a picture not taken on my cheap digital camera but here is a wonderful Only in the Philippines picture from the Baguio news Bureau

Why pay for pot when it's here and it's free. Visit the Cordilleras, it's far far safer than Colombia, Burma, or Afghanistan! Get stoned under the watchful eye of the police.Byahe na!

Photo Translation for the non-natives: Cops raid marijuana plantation. The marijuana is taken to the town's outdoor basketball court/church parking lot/school yard. The entire police force lines up, the town officials arrive, eventually the whole village gathers. The mayor poses for the press holding a torch. The marijuana is burned. Everyone watches as the smoke envelopes the whole town. Migratory birds 'delay' their journey for a day or two. Dogs and cats suddenly love each other. Smiles on everyone's faces. Everyone goes home happy. No need for dealers, no crimes, free communal pot sessions for an entire village. Now try to beat that Amsterdam or Jamaica!

Sunday, 8 January 2006

Disjoint....again


A few adjectives to describe The Nashman. (Temporary Exhibit by The Nashman, National Portrait Gallery....actually it's an interactive wall and no sooner had I put all those glowing adjectives of myself on the left panel that someone came and re-arranged it all, the bastich, who cares who she is?)

Rainy sunday. Slept at 1am, woke up at 11 am, breakfast - 2 krispy kreme donuts while watching old Cagney and Lacey, worked for an hour getting a machine and a laptop to talk to each other, lunch - 2 sausages, 2 krispy kreme donuts, late afternoon sleep, woken up by Karen who locked herself out, before I could curse her, she cursed herself so some of my grumpiness abated, struggled to open combination safe to find master key to let Karen into her flat, back into my room to sleep, woke up and watched Grumpier Old Men on TV. Fully awake, black coffee and 2 more krispy kreme donuts.

Grumpier Old Men is a classic. When Jack and Walter finally catch the big fish then decide to let it go, man that just makes me cry. Classic. Classic. And to see that a short guy like Kevin Pollak can hook up with a tall stunner like Daryl Hannah gives fugly people like me some hope!

Sleepy again, struggling to write this blog. Insert random pictures...........snooze......

Some metro stations are so deep, dig a few more feet and you can poke a hole.....in Australia...and I like it when these escalators fail...and we are left with.....stairs......

Self-indulgent and gratuitous self-portrait of The Nashman...

The British Museum Reading Room. Where nice men like Lenin wrote his manifesto, and where inconsiderate and annoying tourists would noisily linger at the entrance "Aw my Gawd, it's beautiful...blah blah blah..."

Oh really? You think? Sorry Maximus, I placed my bet on the Lion.....(and just in case you "don't" make it back alive, I would like to take your wife for my own....)

Saturday, 7 January 2006

A dog's day out in the museum with His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem


His Royal Orangeness Karl Willem at the Gates of Persepolis. HRO Karl Willem was invited to privately view the exhibit Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia (Persia under the Great Achaeminid Kings, 550-330BC) at the British Museum.

On the underground on my way to the British Museum, I gave the worst opening line ever uttered, and I have no one to blame but my friends at PETA and the RSPCA. The stunningly-, jaw-droppingly, (insert superlative adjective here) - beautiful girl in front of me, was dressed in a fur vest. And so said I - "I'd rather you were naked than wearing fur". I seriously thought she would give me a slap. But before she got off, one station earlier than me, she leaned over and gave me a kiss. Before I could object, she was off. Gone like the wind.

I felt dirty. I had broken my vow of celibacy and was doomed to burn in hell. I looked for a Catholic church to make confession but I couldn't find one. In the end, I needed to get a double shot of bitter espresso to get the sweet taste of the girl's kiss off my lips.

HRO Karl Willem and an Assyrian king

HRO Karl Willem advises this poor egyptian to get a nose job. Preferably not from Michael Jackson's cosmetic surgeon

I am Karl Willem, hear me roar.........