Sunday, January 24, 2010

Missed By A Mile

For the first time in weeks I picked up a newspaper, but I put it down as soon as I encountered this article:
Resignations, terminations rock TV world
By Nestor Torre
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Aside from the Cowell connection, the TV world is reeling from other major casting changes that threaten to negatively affect couch potatoes’ viewing options. First and most dishearteing is NBC’s decision to peremptorily pull the plug on Jay Leno’s new talk-variety show.

Quick backgrounder: Leno used to host the network’s hit “Tonight” show for many years until he opted to do his own program on its earlier time slot, and his former late-night show was taken over by Conan O’Brien.

Alas, Leno didn’t do as well with his new program, possibly because his “late-night” hosting style was deemed too goofy by his new group of viewers, who demanded “real” entertainment as opposed to generally “crazy” hi-jinks.


To make the rout complete, O’Brien also failed to click with the “Tonight” crowd, who found him even crazier than Leno! In any case, NBC has offered Leno his old time slot back—so where does that leave Conan? He has the option of coming on after Leno, but for only 30 minutes, because after him, Jimmy Fallon’s even more late-late show needs to be accommodated. So, what’ll it be for O’Brien? (News flash: O’Brien has rejected the offer.)

Full story …
I guess the writer couldn't be bothered to do a little fact-checking. No wonder people don't put much stock in what they read in the papers anymore.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Fare Thee Well, Sir

One of my favorite authors has passed away.
'Spenser' novelist Robert Parker dies at age 77
By MARK PRATT, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON – Robert B. Parker, the blunt and beloved crime novelist who helped revive and modernize the hard-boiled genre and branded a tough guy of his own through his "Spenser" series, has died. He was 77.

The cause of death was unclear. An ambulance was sent to Parker's home in Cambridge on Monday morning after reports of a sudden death, said Alexa Manocchio, spokeswoman for the Cambridge police department.

Parker's longtime agent, Helen Brann, said that the author's widow, Joan, called her Monday right after finding him dead at his desk.

"They had had breakfast together Monday, and he was perfectly fine," Brann said. "She went out to do her running and when she came back about an hour later, he was dead. We were in a complete state of shock and still cannot quite believe it."

Continued …
I'm not sure if it's weird or apt that Parker's ending sounds like a beginning for one of his books.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Philippines And Filipinos Of Literature

I've resolved to note the times something Philippine-related appears in a book I'm reading. Tips and contributions are welcome; let's see what picture emerges.

Starting things off, here's something from Wight Martindale Jr.'s Inside the Cage: A Season at West 4th Street's Legendary Tournament:
[Image grabbed from here.]
[Lambert] Shell was selected as the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year as a freshman, and he was then named Player of the Year for the next three years. He was a three-time Division II All-American, and some people claim he may have been the best Division II player ever. During Lambert’s stay at Bridgeport, the team won 103 games and lost only 31. Although Shell got a tryout with the Utah Jazz, he did not stick, so he went to Sweden for one year, after which he spent five years in the Philippines, finally leaving in 1998.
Shell still holds the Philippine Basketball Association record for most minutes played in a single game: he once played 63 minutes in a triple overtime game as an import for the Sta. Lucia Realtors in the 1990s.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Yoko To The Rescue

Bit by bit Ms. Ono is evening up her karma for blowing up The Beatles. Good job.
Lennon widow makes ¥5-million 'Ondoy' donation
Pia Lee-Brago
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Yoko Ono, widow of the late John Lennon
of the Beatles and herself an established artist, has donated 5 million yen (P2.5 million) to children affected by storm “Ondoy” which hit the country in September last year.

In a report to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine embassy in Tokyo said Ono visited the embassy upon learning of the severe and continuing suffering of Ondoy victims.

“As a mother herself, Ms. Ono feels deep sympathy and love for suffering children,” the embassy said.

It said Ono had pledged the donation before Christmas.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hey, Guys!

A friend and her friends are raising funds for the benefit of the Philippine General Hospital Children's Ward. Ich habe kein Geld so I'll help spread the word.
Want to share a bed?

Dear friends,

My high school friends and I are doing a two-part fund raising project for the benefit of PGH. We are hoping to raise P20,000 so we can purchase two hospital beds and donate it to the children's ward in PGH.

Part 1: Donate money to the CHILD FOUNDATION
You can simply deposit your monetary donation (any amount is welcome) to this account:

Account Name: Child Foundation
Account Number: 4933 0263 32
Bank: BPI Ermita Pedro Gil Branch
To Confirm: SMS 0917 5375922

Part 2: Rummage Sale
Details to follow. But if you have clothes, shoes, and other items in your closet that you no longer need and would be willing to give away for this purpose, just let me know.

We all know how much it sucks to get sick. So hopefully, a comfortable bed will ease their condition even for a moment.

[Hat tip to B. Pascual]

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My Ten

The rules: List 10 musical artists you like, in no specific order. Do this before reading the questions below. Really, don’t read the questions below until you pick your ten artists!

  1. Rage Against the Machine
  2. Eminem
  3. 311
  4. Stone Temple Pilots
  5. Eraserheads
  6. Nirvana
  7. Imago
  8. Wolfgang
  9. The Youth
  10. P.O.T.

What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
Something from Nevermind, most likely "Smells Like Teen Spirit." If we're talking heard heard, "All Apologies" off In Utero.

What is your favorite song of 8?
"Cathedral of Space." I always shout that title at their concerts, but it was only at the Ateneo College Covered Courts in 1996 that I saw the band play it live.

What kind of impact has 1 left on your life?
After listening to them I started to appreciate hip hop. That's saying something: in the early '90s, a time when "minsa'y pinag-aaway pa ang hip hop at metal," as The Youth put it, I was firmly on the rock side of the fence.

What is your favorite lyric of 5?
"'Cause time slips and slides into another place/ And try as we might to understand each other/ Doesn't really matter where you are/ It always seems too very far." It sounds more profound when Ely Buendia sings it.

How many times have you seen 4 live?
Zero, ha ha. It could also be "Zero, hu hu."

What is your favorite song by 7?
"Akap." I like Aia de Leon's vocals on it.

Is there any song by 3 that makes you sad?
Because it got overplayed, their cover of The Cure's "Love Song" from the 50 First Dates soundtrack.

What is your favorite song by 9?
"Tao Po," a commentary on the state of the Pinoy band scene in the mid-'90s.

When did you first get into 2?
In 1999, back when NU107 had "My Name Is" on its playlist. 

How did you get into 3?
I bought a cassette tape (!) of their self-titled album after hearing "Down" and "All Mixed Up."

What is your favorite song by 4?
"Interstate Love Song." If I ever learn to drive, that would be Track 2 on my "Songs to Drive By" compilation album.

How many times have you seen 9 live?
Twice, both in my hometown. For their second concert I only had a bleachers ticket, but I climbed over the coliseum barriers until I was in front of the stage.

Oh, Robert Javier had a bass guitar string snap. I haven't seen anything like it before or since.

What is a good memory concerning 10?
J and I used to murder "Monkey on My Back" and "Ulitin" before Philo 102 classes.

Is there a song by 8 that makes you sad?
The first two-thirds of "Cast of Clowns" and the whole of "Darkness Fell."

What is your favorite song of 1?
"Bulls on Parade" because of the awesome Tom Morello guitar solo, and because it was the perfect soundtrack to the Chicago Bulls' record-breaking '95-'96 season.

How did you become a fan of 10?
My boardmate had cassette copy of their debut album. We listened to that album so often that we memorized all the lyrics.

[Hat tip to Helgaholic.]

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Connect, Connect

The last book I read in 2009 was Scott Turow's Reversible Errors (2002), so I was amused to find a Turow reference in an early chapter of the first book I finished in 2010, Robert B. Parker's Paper Doll (1993):
"On the bedside table was a thick paperback copy of Scott Turow's new novel."
Then near the end of Paper Doll, the following passage appears:
I sat in the heavily draped room feeling like Newton must have when the apple hit him on the head. Dr. Cockburn looked at me with heavy satisfaction.
So what do I find in Chapter 1 of Bill Mason's Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief (2003), the book I'm reading now?
Fact is, children are bombarded with all kinds of influences, and it's nearly impossible to tell which ones had which effect. Just because it makes a good story doesn't make it true. My guess is that Newton would have figured out gravity whether that apple had hit him on the head or not, if it ever really hit him in the first place.
Coincidences are cool.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Project Exodus: September 2004

These posts from September 2004 are relieved yet horrified that the Red Sea swallowed Rameses' troops. Better them than us, they thought.