Friday, October 29, 2004

Primus Inter Pares

One of the Barangka Boys got married a week ago, the first of us to do so. Since I had no idea what to get the newlyweds, I asked Camille for help. She came through with a couple of suggestions. Cybs, her sister, went a step further: she volunteered to help me shop. I was touched with the offer yet hesitant at the same time. I've only met her twice, see. But Cybs said it was no trouble at all. Apparently she liked shopping for other people—using their own money, ha ha. The following day I met the two of them in SM Megamall. Over dinner they grilled me about my friend's favorite color, traits, quirks, the works! While I finished my food they went ahead to do some advance scouting. When I caught up they already had recommendations. I chose a 16-piece dinnerware set—in blue!—then we went to National Bookstore to have it wrapped. Camille picked out the nicest wrapper, ribbon, and card. The whole thing came out perfect! I had a heck of a time taking my gift home and bringing it to the wedding because of its weight, but it was worth all the trouble. My friend said he and his wife are really pleased with it. I made him promise, however, that my gift won't end up as projectiles in case there are arguments.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Mourning After

"Superman's Dead."

Until a week ago that was just an Our Lady Peace Song whose chorus had little to do with the verses. But with the passing of Christopher Reeve on 10 October 2004 it's official: Superman is dead.

Some say only the actor died. And in a sense they're correct—the franchise is alive and well. There's still a high demand for Superman toys, lunchboxes, shirts, and whatnot. DC Comics continues to publish different Man of Steel titles.

On local television I even see double—Superman rides... er, flies with the animated Justice League while on a different program and time slot, teenager Clark Kent pines over Smallville heartthrob Lana Lang.

There's also talk of a new Superman flick to be megged by Bryan Singer, the director of the insanely successful X-Men movies.

Everywhere we look, the Man of Steel lives. But tell that to those of my generation.

For those of us who grew up on—or grew up with—the four Superman films of the late 70s and early 80s, Christopher Reeve was Superman. And he's gone now.

The next actor who puts on the tights and the cape will have his work cut out for him: to own the character as Reeve once did.

Dean Cain had some success in the role during the mid-90s, but it was co-star Teri Hatcher who photographed better in the red cape.

Tom Welling is big now but he's not Superman yet. He's still Clark Kent, discovering and mastering one power at a time.

Christopher Reeve, though, was something else. First, his physical resemblance to the comic book depictions was uncanny. And even if later in his career he tried to "escape the cape," his amazing recovery from that near-fatal fall from a horse in 1995 showed he was a man of steel after all.

He acted and directed even while he was limited to a state-of-the-art, Stephen Hawking-esque wheelchair. He advocated various causes. Only a few doubted that had he lived a few more years, Reeve would walk again like he promised.

His death stunned me and my friends, and at first the news was greeted with incredulity. He can't be dead of a heart failure. Heck, even a broken neck couldn't stop him! He's Superman!

But of course, acceptance came in time. Things like this happen enough. But why is there still a dull ache in our hearts? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm not just mourning the death of a man—or a super man—but also the passing of a memory, of an ideal.

Because strangely enough, it feels like a part of my childhood died with him.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

One Of My Own

I am a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, swimming like crazy to escape a giant translucent jellyfish-like sea monster that's trying to suck me into its snout.

I give the creature a mighty kick when it's about to catch up, but my right foot hits the top bunk of the double-deck bed. I wake up. I had skinned a little toe. It stings but there's no blood. I tear the loose skin off and lay back down. The rest of the night is dreamless.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Star Sighting

Yesterday a boardmate and I saw Gary Valenciano shooting a music video at the Barangka Elementary School. They worked on a shot where Gary V. sang to the camera while a lady teacher talked to her pupils in the background. The crowd was amazed how much younger Gary V. looked in person than on TV. And he was the consummate entertainer, delighting the crowd with a smile or a wave in-between takes. The devil tried to goad me into shouting "La Salle/Alaska sucks!" but I shut my mouth. That crowd would've beaten me up.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Fat Knight Returns

I recently watched Fahrenheit 9/11. It's a solid documentary—well-researched, hard-hitting, and informative. The script is funny. And I especially liked the clips from Beretta and The Magnificent Seven.

The documentary, however, is boring at some segments. Confused, even. Michael Moore put in so many things it was difficult to tie them all up. A bit of pruning would have helped.

I don't think it's wise to enter it in the Best Picture race instead of Best Documentary in next year's Oscars. But who knows, maybe it will make history and get a Best Picture nomination. Maybe it will even win.

But even if he doesn't win an Academy Award I think Moore will feel he had done his job if and when George Dubya isn't re-elected. Moore's demolition job on the current US president is so total he makes our very own Erap seem like a genius. And that is quite a feat.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

The Earth Quacked

A lot of people texted last night to ask where I was and whether I felt the earthquake. Apparently it was strong but being the manhid that I am, I didn't feel it at all. Let's pray it didn't do too much damage. Back in 2000 my friends and I got caught in an earthquake while we were in the Glorietta area. We saw lighting fixtures swing. Concrete dust rained on us while we walked to the parking lot. I also experienced the big 1990 quake. I was outdoors, pumping water from the school poso. I remember needing to pee pero umatras 'yung ihi ko because of the tremors. It was that scary. Now I live near the Marikina Fault. But I don't sweat it—Ateneo's near, at alam nating malakas ang mga Heswita sa Itaas.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

One Time Only

I was watching the UAAP-NCAA All-Star Showdown on Studio23 when I saw something that made me do a double take. Was that Mark Cardona wearing an Ateneo warm-up jersey?

I looked again.

I did, I did saw a pussy... er, Mark Cardona in an Ateneo uniform! And Blue Eagle JC Intal, who was chosen Season 67 Most Improved Player, was wearing a La Salle shirt!