Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The annual year-ender entry.

Back in 2008, Betty and I would always say that 2009 will be our year. Well, to tell you the truth, every time another new year comes around the corner, I do feel optimistic, but I always say that half-heatedly. I guess I've been so used to not expecting too much so everything good will come out as a surprise. But of course, I'm not that too pessimistic either, hahaha.

2009 had its good and bad moments, and I have to say that every year is always a blast no matter what.

As usual, I spent the first day of the new year with Tad's family from his mother's side for their annual family reunion. This was also the month that PJ and Joy finally got married. It was great to see a lot of the Hogi Hall there, and we also took a side trip to good old De La Salle Zobel (as Iam had persisted) and hung out and talked with Brother Ceci. As we promised him that we'd come back and share our own stories with him, little did we know back then that that was the last time we'll ever talk to him. In school, I tried checking out the Crossroads Festival as a spur-of-the-moment decision and got casted in Pragres as Marina by default, ahahaha. Nakakahiya bigla ako kay Labli, ahehe.

I ditched most of the Pasinaya festivities this year to hang out with Lawyn and a bunch of others from Spring Awakening (they had a preview at the event, along with Spelling Bee) and Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah, talking the afternoon away in Harbour Square and part of the evening with Lawyn and Mae in Westgate. And yes, Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Musikal made a comeback with a bigger cast this month. Valentine's day was a simple dinner with Tad in between Zaturnnah shows. As for our "work in pragres," like I told the kids, being 2nd best isn't so bad, as it's still one of the best.

Another little project that I auditioned for earlier during the term suddenly came back into existence. I thought that I didn't get in, because I didn't hear from any of the people in charge for about a month. I only heard from them again the day after Crossroads had ended, and yep, I was in. I thought it was just a simple thesis production with students in the cast, but when I first walked into the first reading rehearsal of Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams (Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, translated in Filipino), I almost walked back out in intimidation when I found out that I was the resident novice in the group. This month was when I also heard this phrase from Betty: "Kung walang opportunity, then make the opportunity." The term "Last Full Show" suddenly came up while Betty, Opa and I were talking over a Jollibee dinner. Ended the month by attending 9 Works Theatrical's Songs For A New World press conference.

Despite the fact that I had Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams as an outlet, I was still filled with regret because I couldn't enroll in Sir Dennis' Rehearsal and Performance Techniques workshop for the 2nd year in a row due to schedule conflicts during the first two weeks of workshop. I had a blast anyway with the thesis prod's cast and creative team, and even though I already knew most of them as friends, it was quite a new experience to work with them as co-actors. Ended the month by opening the book on Nemesis again with Betty and Opa.

More plays, more fun. I worked under 9 Works Theatrical's production of Songs For A New World as their front-of-house head, and things went pretty smoothly, especially with our fearless production manager that was ever-present at the lobby. In between weekend shows, Betty, Opa and I did an adaptation of Nemesis at the Avellana Art Gallery during Joey Cobcobo's exhibit. This was also the month when I got hooked on shrink plastic, ever since I saw blog posts by Cecile (of Chuvaness) and Reggie about Saizen. Near the end of the month, Lara had hired me to be a guest artist for both showcases of the Make Believe classes that she was teaching. It was a blast, and I ended up also sharing with the pre-teen girls stuff I've learned from my own workshops, plus I learned how to deal with the younger kids. I was really flattered when Mads let out a whoop when I said that I would want to come back next year.

Lost 2 loved ones this month. First was Tita Nila, my mom's older sister. We had celebrated her birthday earlier in the month, and we had no idea that that was going to be her last birthday. Brother Ceci had also passed away this month. Anyway, like the TP workshops, I never got to be part of this year's Virgin Labfest. Despite my regrets about not working with Tuxqs for the second year in a row, I had to decline immediately to focus on other things. A mini-reunion of sorts with 2 N's punctuated the month, and despite certain sentimentality, I didn't realize that I was finally learning how to let go of some attachments.

In exchange for not being busy with a Labfest play this year, I got involved in another thesis production, this time a film. I think I was referred by Audz, one of the members of the thesis group of Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams. It was a period film called La Cancion Del Olvido (The Song of Oblivion), and we got to shoot the entire thing at the set of Zorro in Bataan. During meetings and reading rehearsals prior to the shoot, we called the prospect of going to Bataan a "paid vacation" because we were told that there was a beach nearby. Unfortunately we never got to go to the beach. Ended up waiting and hanging out and eating during the first couple of days of the shoot, and it was suddenly lagare mode after that. Despite the last part of our stay being so hectic, I had a blast making new friends regardless of age. We even went crazy and had an inuman session on the last night (or wee hours) of our stay there. Opa's debuted onstage this month as Sepa in UPPT's Sepang Loca, and I was so darn proud of that bald girl (ahehehe) as her eyes spoke volumes.

This month was pretty uneventful except a reunion with Shan the day after her birthday. I had missed this girl that we spent an entire afternoon until evening at her house, just pigging out and talking the hours away. Another significant event was a coffee shop session with Drei and Nikki, beginning with trivial questions and pondering, and ending with road trip request. A crazy road trip to Tagaytay with Drei and Carla was one of the best random days I had. And yes, that entire day was so random.

Ed flew from Canada for his annual visit during this month, but it was a pretty short trip. It was still great to see him again, though, as I never got to see him the year before. Hopefully it will be a long trip next year. Got to watch Trumpets' production of N.O.A.H. at the Meralco theater this month, thanks to Joe. Haha, we got to sit in the gallery seats to get the "backstage effect" but I got a little distracted by the things happening in the wings (especially Carlos, hahaha). I also got to attend Atlantis' bloggers conference for Spring Awakening. Inspired by a chat with Nicco, I posted general interviews of him and some of his co-actors as a little extra publicity for them on my blog, hehe. Near the end of the month, Tad and I were supposed to celebrate our two-year anniversary the day that Ondoy hit the country, so that day and the ones that followed were spent at home to keep ourselves safe.

Even though I saw a DTR of Spring Awakening the previous month, I purchased a ticket as well (naks, support) so I could watch the show with Tin and Hilary. It was great to see Hil again, so I made some time hanging out at Starbucks with her and Tin, plus Hil's brother Erik and their friend Iya. Hil finally got to meet her crush, hehehe. I also got to spend some quality time with another "long lost" friend, Carmella. I never knew that wedding prep meetings were super fun until that day, as we talked, joked and bonded over frozen yogurt and Jenga. Rent auditions were also this month, and over 300 auditionees came from all over the metro and even beyond. I also discovered a friend's "stalker" this month, hahaha! On a serious note, a bunch of conversations over chat made me realize that I really should learn to detach and let go, and yet not forget about what had passed. But as per a friend's point, possible pa rin gawin ang "friendship's over" if all efforts have already been exhausted. That made me think.

Spent the first day of the month with Tad, as a belated birthday celebration for him. And as a birthday treat, we decided to check out Peaberry Cafe together for the first time. As Aris had finally come home from Senegal, he held a get-together at his house one night, which evolved into conversations about high school revelations. This was another month of realization, I was telling myself to detach some strings. Not just some, but a lot, judging from everything that was invested in some of these people. Instead of merely brooding, I got annoyed with a friend when I heard that convenience was this friend's priority about relationships and friendship. I couldn't exactly call it the last straw, but that was when it hit me that I should finally give up. I realized that I didn't need anymore bullshit. And it was apt that the following month made it more final.

Temporarily returned to Atlantis as an usher for their Christmas run of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As an extra thrill, I was partly given the task (along with Johanna) of briefing guest spellers before every show, hehehe. Celebrated my birthday with Tad during the day, and with the Rent gang during the evening, and I was practically eating the whole day. A Starbucks session was made memorable with Betty, Jenny and Opa due to brainstorming punctuated with bear-with-salmon gestures. For the 2nd year in a row, someone in our family got married, and this time it was Ate Ching.

A lot of different events had happened this year, some good, and some bad. I'm grateful for both the good and the bad, because it wouldn't be a learning experience without both of these.

Lara had sent me this text message last year: "I drew out a card for you. WHEEL OF FORTUNE. A sudden change of fortune. May be good or bad but brings growth and a new phase of life." So I lessened my pessimism. But I never waited for anything good to come. I just did what I wanted to do. As the year comes to a close, I came to realize that the change of fortune wasn't literally about wealth or luck, but the wealth of experience and certain luck about your progress through life.

Over dinner at Dencio's this month, someone had said that she admired Betty's walang plastikan attitude, to which she replied that she was already too old for bullshit. As an afterthought, I said to myself, kailangan ba nating maghintay na tumanda tayo lalo para maging transparent? It seems na parami ng parami ang mga plastic na tao ngayon eh. Pati ang mga kapwa kaibigan, nagpaplastikan na sa isa't isa.

I'm sick and tired of all the efforts when it comes to friendship. Tigilan na ang kaplastikan, tigilan na rin ang gamitan. There are some friends who practically live on the compliments that people give to feed their ego. Others naman, andyan lang pag kailangan ka, or andyan pag pinupuri mo lang. Nawawala pag may iba nang ka-jive. There are friends who think that other friends are only there for a short time, so bahala na ang ibang tao. Eh pano kung hindi na babalik yung mga iniwanan mo? Yes, dito nanaman papasok ang term ni Betty na "peripheral friends." "I could live without these people but I would just die without them." It seems as if the way they're acting now, parang wala na eh. I guess it's high time to let them go kung pagod ka na mag-effort. Unless they show otherwise, that is.

But in November, I had learned that despite how long you've known your loved ones, you still learn something new about them every day, which builds up your relationship with them even more.

So as 2009 draws to a close, it's time for me to decide whether certain people are worth keeping. It's also time for more new things in 2010. I've learned to let go, so let the new things come knocking.

To those who I've spent an awesome time with in 2009, I had a blast. Here's to us in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Trio time.

As our barkada's annual post-Christmas get-together got postponed to January, Rosa had decided to move our trio dinner (to celebrate her birthday) from the 29th to yesterday. Considering it was a Sunday, we decided on lunch instead of dinner for more time to hang out together.

Headed to ATC a little before noon, and waited for Rosa to get out after the 11 am mass at St. Jerome. Iam was still on the road, so I decided to kill some time at Hobbes (yes, Carms, I'm thinking of you, hahaha!). After dismantling all those 3D puzzles and checking out all the new versions of old school board games and of course, Jenga, I got a text from Rosa, who said that the mass had finally ended. We waited for Iam at the same entrance, and got an "Eto" text from her. Hahaha, Rosa phone call to Iam didn't make enough sense either, so we waited for her at the parking area where Rosa's car was parked.

Off to Kanin Club in Westgate. There was quite a line so we had to wait to be seated. We sat on the grass outside and checked out Iam's new phone while we waited. Hahaha, now we found out why Rosa got Iam's weird "Eto" text. We also borrowed a menu so we can already decide on what to eat before we get a table. Aligue rice, sinigang na hipon and crispy dinuguan. Yummm. I have never eaten dinuguan all my life because of the fact that it was made from pig's blood. But crispy dinuguan is a pretty good first experience. My goodness, having a second serving of the aligue rice was a mistake, hahaha. But it's still the Christmas season, so it's alright, ahehehe. Thank you, Rosa!

Headed across the street to Bona Coffee for caffeine fix after the dose of cholesterol we just had. Took advantage of the free wifi so we can test more of Iam's phone.

Funny chat with Aris (Iam typing, Rosa and I looking over her shoulders):
Aris had just said that the outing was moved.
Iam: (typing) Si Rosa ander, si Hogi baka may Rent na. Ako naman wala ata--
Rosa: (interrupting) "--wala ata akong panty." Hahahaha!

Of course, Rosa just had to check out Facebook, and was disappointed that she couldn't play Farmville via Iam's phone. When we had a trio photo taken and tried to upload it, Iam then uploaded it to a different album by mistake, hahaha.

There was also another group of friends in the coffee shop. There was Matt, Jammi... and Chrissy! I had no idea she's back here in Manila! Great seeing you guys!

Headed to Festival Mall after coffee and more chitchat so Rosa can buy a certain pair of jeans for a friend. Window-shopping and a bit of actual shopping all over, then when we were getting thirsty, we decided to head over to ATC. Aris had followed after hearing mass because he didn't want to go home yet. Settled at Food choices and Aris had dinner while we were contented with sipping our drinks of choice. After a little more walking around, we finally called it a night.

Iam and I hitched a ride home with Aris. By the time we had reached the Friendship gate outside our village, I suddenly decided to buy a cheeseburger to go at Peaberry. Ronelli was there, as usual, and greeted me a belated happy birthday before heading inside to have dinner. While waiting for my burger, one of the employees handed me a Peaberry mug wrapped in blue cellophane, saying it's from Ronelli. Yay, thanks, Peaberry Cafe and Ronelli!

Yup, I love days like these that are well-spent with my best friends.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Another December wedding.

December of last year, my brother got married to Ate Maui. This year is Ate Ching's turn. As of yesterday, she's now Mrs. Pacita Cadlum-Carillo. Or should I say, Dra. Pacita Cadlum-Carillo? =)

Her wedding was yesterday afternoon in Tagaytay, and my dad was given the task to give her away, to represent the late Tito Ely, Ate Ching's dad. Tita Beng was one of the principal sponsors. My mom decided to stay home (as she doesn't want to leave our house empty at all times), so I ended up going as well as an ordinary guest. Haha, I was so relieved not to be a bridesmaid like Ate Shang, because I honestly don't like having a dress made in a color that I don't usually wear (the motif was fuschia pink with a touch of ivory).

Dad, Tita Beng and I, along with Tita Des, had planned to leave for the Tagaytay early (the wedding was at 3pm), and decided to just get ready and change into our clothes at the reception venue, where the bride was doing her final prep touches as well. We got Kuya Arnold to drive us, and because he didn't know the entire way, we convoyed with Tita Lyn, Ate Shang and Kuya Butch and Dep.

We arrived at Casablanca an hour before the wedding, and Tita Beng and I dashed into one of the rooms to dress up. Thank goodness Tita Beng had her hair and makeup done already, and I opted to do mine (a rare moment! Congratulate me, hahaha!) before we had to leave the house, so we were ready within 10 minutes. Dashed to the church, which took us a long while as well because the traffic was really bad, arg. Eventually the wedding got delayed for half an hour because of the darn traffic jams. The funniest part of the entourage was MM as the ring bearer. He refused to wear his barong because the material was too itchy, so Kuya Bobot had to carry him down the aisle (while still in his sando) along with the pillow for the rings.

The ceremony was quick and simple, right on up to the photo ops in front of the altar. Dad, Tita Beng, Tita Des, Kuya and Arnold and I immediately headed back to Casablanca for the reception because the parking area was super limited. Tita Tess, Dave and Nitz (who were late so they didn't make it to the ceremony) were already there when we arrived.

At first, the prospect of attending a wedding and reception in Tagaytay thrilled me because I love the cool weather. But at that time, when the sun was already setting, I suddenly realized that it's sort of a bad idea to have an outdoor reception, especially in December. By the time the sun had completely set, we were freezing. Thank goodness I brought my bolero jacket to cover my bare shoulders. Dave and I gave Nitz a great alternative. We untied one of the pink chair accents and handed it to her to use as a shawl. Aside from that, we asked the caterers if they were serving any hot drinks, such as coffee or tea. Nope, they weren't. So Dep requested for cups of water for our table. Anything to keep us warm, hahaha!

Aside from being frozen at the reception, I had a blast being with my cousins and relatives again. The only odd thing I noticed was that I was getting closer to those cousins that I never thought I'd be closer with, and getting distant to the ones I used to be close with.

Sounds familiar. It's like the relationships with some of my friends. Oh well.

Congratulations and best wishes to Mr. Johnny and Dra. Pacita Carillo!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas celebrations.

First of all, Merry Christmas, everyone!

I was planning to post a year-end entry, but I decided to put it off for another day. Maybe the day after tomorrow when there's nothing planned for the day, hehe.

Last Wednesday, my mom and I went to Tita Elvie's annual Christmas party, which was held at her house in Indang, Cavite this year. We didn't get to go to last year's party because we were so busy with my brother's wedding.

Ate Luz left my mom in charge of thinking of parlor games for the people to play, and my mom in turn asked for my help. I kept drawing blanks, so I would sometimes ask friends online, hahaha. Eventually we came up with a bunch that were still subject to Ate Luz's approval. We headed over to Ate Luz's after lunch so we can all ride from there. While waiting for Ate Gringa, Kuya Roger, their kids, and Kuya Gil, my mom showed Ate Luz her list of parlor games for her to approve, then we got to talk to Kuya Totoy, who was calling from Jeddah. More waiting, so I snacked on a chicken leg and slices of bread, which eventually evolved into 2 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hahaha. Finally left for Indang at around 3:30, and I managed to sleep in the car because I knew we were in for a long night.

There were already lots of people at the Indang house, Tita Elvie included. Her workers (a whole bunch of men who sew uniforms for the Philippine Marines) were all over the place, cooking and making all necessary preparations for the party so Tita Elvie didn't need to lift a finger. Aside from relatives, people living nearby were invited to the party, as there were lots of food, plus prizes for the raffle and games later that night.

One requirement for the party was that everyone has to wear red. It was pretty nice seeing everyone decked out in red shirts and blouses. I changed into my red candy-cane hoodie after grabbing my first plateful of food.

There were a lot of people already gathered near the buffet area and the videoke, and after my mom and Ate Luz had gotten the neighborhood kids to sing a Christmas song, everyone gathered together for a prayer, and finally it was time to let loose for the parlor games. My mom made this kids play this sort of follow the leader game, which didn't fan out very well in my point of view, so after a break, Ate Luz got them to play musical chairs. Things got even crazier when she got the adults to play their own round of musical chairs. Every time there were only 2 chairs left, she would grab both and make a run for it when the music stopped, hahaha!

After musical chairs, we took a break from the games for a while. All this time, while I was watching, my mom would always see me heading to the buffet to grab another piece of lumpia or another drink. 'Tis the season to be chubby, hahaha. Because there wasn't much to watch by then except for a couple of people at the videoke machine, I headed up to the balcony with a book. Yes, I can still be such a nerd sometimes.

When I heard that Nina and the rest of her family arrived, I finally put away my book (heck, I was only reading for about 15 minutes anyway) and joined them at the buffet. But by the time Nina, Twinkle, Sunshine and Ate Cherry had filled their plates, they were called out by Ate Luz to come join the apple dance contest. And they drafted me to join as well, hahaha. Arg, the apple dance. The one parlor game I used to hate because either the apples were rigged with oil, or they get smooshed from too much pressure being lodged between 2 foreheads. I was one of the first set of pairs to drop out from the game, hahaha.

Us girls went up to the balcony and decided to finally have some alcohol, but that was when we noticed that they were only serving Red Horse and gin. Nina and I got Bob to drive us to the nearest 7-Eleven for some vodka and Shakers. Yay, drinking time. Nina, Twinkle, Sunshine and I were joined by Ate Cherry and Kuya Bong. But before we were about to pour the drinks, it was time for to toss out the random gifts (plus money) from the balcony to the guests. So Ate Luz got all of us to help toss them out so there would be a lot going on at the same time.

Inuman time! Huwaw, si Sunshine pa talaga ang pinaka-sunog baga sa amin, hahaha! While we were taking turns, she would even take a photo of each of us. By the time we were almost finished with the vodka, we were told to come downstairs, where everyone was already taking their turns at the videoke machine. I was already feeling a buzz, thanks to the balcony's spiral stairs, and I wanted to get rid of it. Before I knew it, I found myself grabbing the microphone for a turn at the videoke. That was when Tita Elvie turned it into a contest between us girls and her workers. Hahahaha, it was so crazy. Sunshine was super competitive, jokingly taunting the guys with us behind her all the time. Eventually the videoke contest evolved into a dance contest, and Sunshine was still at the top of her game, hahaha! I love this kid.

It was well into the wee hours of morning when it was time for them to go back home, as Nina still had early morning duty. So while they were in one of the bedrooms prepping up to leave, I gave Nina, Twinkle and Sunshine the shrink plastic earrings I made for them. Thanks to Nina, I found out what the other 2 girls' favorite colors were, hehe.

My mom and I were staying overnight at Indang, and we stayed in Tita Elvie's room with her. Fell asleep at around 3 in the morning, and woke up four hours later to my mom's voice telling me to get a move on because everyone else was already getting ready for breakfast.

It's been years since I had attended one of Tita Elvie's parties, and I had forgetten how loud, crazy and fun they always were for both young and old alike.

Our Christmas at home was way, way quieter. No Noche Buena on Christmas eve, just a simple dinner with my mom and aunt, as my dad had to serve at the Christmas mass. We celebrated Christmas dinner this evening, with the usual menu of steak and green salad, plus these huge shrimps and red wine. Yum.

More celebrations await tomorrow, because my cousin Pacita (Ate Ching) is getting married. Yay! Too bad our annual barkada Christmas get-together/outing got postponed, but at least I'm still getting together with my 2 best friends on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Starbucks days, brainstorming, and so-called peripheral friends.

Nikki and I met up in ATC last Sunday afternoon so we could hang out and talk again after ages. She's been so busy job-hunting and she actually started work on the day of my birthday, hahaha. Anyway, I told her that Lea has a mall show (with the DLSZ and Woodrose chorales) in ATC that day to further entice her, but of course, she still wants to hang out either way, hehe.

I was starving by the time I finally arrived at the mall after enduring a bit of traffic jams along the way, and thank goodness Nix had first suggested that we eat first. Yaaay. Off to Razon's we go for some good ol' cheap sisig for two. We were thinking of having halo-halo as dessert but after that sisig and rice, I guess we were full enough.

The mall was really crowded, packed with Christmas shoppers, mall rats, Lea fans, Zobel and Woodrose people coming to support their respective schools, and other typical spectators. We braved the crowd and found a spot with a good view at the playground area, where Pam and Rod had also situated themselves. Rawr, I really hate crowds. So after Lea had sang a handful of songs, Nikki and I gave up and decided to hang out at Starbucks and chat. Talked about how she started at her new job on the day of my birthday, and what other business we could come up with, beginning with shrink plastic that I only consider a hobby, hahaha.

By the way, was Lea wearing that yellow gown that she wore in the "My Life On Stage" concert?

I love running into friends, so it was great seeing Pam, Rod, Ari (it was nice to finally meet Annex, even though it was pretty brief, hahaha) and Lara with her siblings, all scattered around the mall.

Met up with Betty, Jenny and Opa at yet another Starbucks yesterday afternoon, this time at Harbour Square. Brainstorming day for a little project for January before Jenny goes back to New York. Betty paid for our drinks as a Christmas treat, and I distributed my Christmas gifts to them, which were (what else?) shrink plastic earrings.

By the way, one shrink plastic project fail was that I first used poster paint on Jenny's stained-glass-inspired earring design. It took a while painting the plastic, and when I fired it up in the oven, the paint crumbled and the whole thing was ruined. Oh well, back to good old colored pencils and pens, hahahaha.

I love it that the four of us got together. But yes, there's never a dull moment whenever you're with any one of these ladies. And it's sure to be a blast pag kasama mo sila ng sabay-sabay. Betty with her bastos moments, Opa with her surprising strokes of genius, and of course, Jenny with her bear-with-salmon gesture that evolved the entire afternoon and well into the evening.

Discussions galore about the material we have, courtesy of Jenny. Interesting concept, and the first time I read it, we knew that was it.

At one point in the afternoon, a Starbucks employee came up to us with a tray of cakes.

"Para sa inyo po, ma'am," he said.

"Ha?!?" was our response.

"Pinabibigay po sa inyo."


"Siya po," the guy replied, pointing to a man who was still standing at the counter.

The man turned to look at us, and then Betty realized that it was the same guy whose wallet she found in the restroom a few minutes earlier. He bought the cakes for our group as gratitude for Betty finding his wallet which he thought that he lost. Thank you!

More talk as the bear-salmon gesture evolved, and we sort of got sick of tasting all the sweet stuff, so we decided to have dinner at Dencio's. More talk, this time mostly about indie films and plays, and those quips about method acting, hahahaha.

Oh, these friends are what makes your precious time with them so memorable.

Speaking of memorable, Betty once wrote about writing a year-ender note. Basically about the memorable events that had happened this past year. I do that at the end of every year, and I haven't even thought about my own year-ender entry yet. But there was one part of Betty's note that I liked. After mentioning a misunderstanding with a friend that wasn't quite much a of a loss, she said "That they are my peripheral friends kung kaibigan nga ang matatawag mo sa kanila because I could live without them but would just die without these people."

Peripheral friends. Interesting term. I have lots of those. And now I find that I also have friends who used to be super close with me, but now, it's better that I live without them. Weird, huh? Nakakapagod kasi kung ikaw ang mage-effort sa isang friendship that you'd already invested in but is now one-sided and totally not worth the effort anymore.

Text from a friend sometime earlier this year:
"You know, it's a bit sad when people you're really close to don't exert any effort to fortify and preserve the friendship you share. Makes you realize that the friends that you have right now aren't the true friends you thought them to be. Wala lang, random thought... Ka-sad lang kasi all my efforts are for naught pag tina-try ko makipag-reconnect sa mga old close friends eh. Yung tipong todo effort na sila pa ang dadayuhin mo sa malayo pero wala pa rin. Parang wala kayong pinagsamahan sa pagdededma sa iyo."

What's funny was that the same friend who texted that is now turning out to be one of those aforementioned so-called friends. Pfft.

I don't want to be cynical, but in some cases, siguro tama nga ang sabi ni Jenny dati. Parang lalabas na rin na "friendship over" na lang if the worse comes to worst. I have to agree with her that I'd also rather want to be with genuine people who don't have clique issues.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Rent rehearsal sneak peek.

I spent the evening of my birthday at the Rockwell Club to catch the special sneak peek of a Rent rehearsal. I was invited to usher for it when Peachy had texted me last week, but I had to decline because my plans for the day was pretty tentative until the day before.

I was planning to just be a mere spectator of the event, so I sat in the very end of the row of chairs while the cast was rehearsing a couple of songs. When the bloggers and press people starting coming in, Jon-Jon then distributed the press kits, and even handed one to me. Ooh, I get a press kit too? Okay, hahaha. It would be fun to blog about it, anyway.

While the cast was still rehearsing as the media people watched, Toots then asked if he could take my chair and if I could transfer and sit next to the bloggers. I willingly obliged, and asked Bek for a pen so I could scribble away.

So Robbie then gave a bit of opening remarks, a brief summary and background of Rent, then introduced the cast.

When one member of the audience asked the theater newbies about their first-time venture into the business, I actually liked what Nicole Asensio had said. Her 3 biggest challenges were commitment [of the actors], support [from the cast], and discipline, which, according to her, has a big difference between performing in theater and in bands (which was her initial forte).

Even more interesting was when Robbie talked about the casting, because most or some of you may have heard news on how casting was made. He had said that it would've been easier to cast veterans for the lead roles, but it's harder to find those at the age that the characters are in. Hence the reason he casted theater veterans in the ensemble, and somewhat fresh people as the leads. It provided opportunities for new people to come out, to be discovered, and to be trained.

Of course, one common question was "What can the audience expect from this production?" When it comes to the staging, Robbie had said that they can't veer away too much from the original, as it might not work if it was modernized. The musical was set in the 1990's, hence it can be considered a "period piece," but more elements will be added in terms of staging. Hmmm... I hope we won't be disappointed then, Rob. =)

Having mentioned that Rent is set in the 90's, there are a lot of people in the cast who never really got to experience what it was really like in the 1990's, as they were possibly still too young to remember. Robbie then mentioned that they have this sort of "immersion of 90's stuff." Fred had also added, "It doesn't have to be a memory... It can be an experience... There are other ways to get into a character... materials and stuff."

And yes, the eternal question... "Why Rent?" Haha, I've been hearing from Peachy that most of them, and yes, including Robbie, was against it from the very beginning, and they admitted it again at the sneak peek. The musical was already gasgas and over-exposed when it was first staged here. And I myself have to admit that it became even more overrated when the film version came out. But Robbie had a good answer. Maybe in our generation, we got tired of it already. But people who were too young will now be able to appreciate it.

Hmmm... interesting. My ears perked up when they had mentioned immersion. Ang masasabi ko lang, please don't just rely on the 90's stuff that's being provided. Get to know the world of the play, like Sir Dennis had told us before. Masaya ang mundo na yan. I loved the 90's, and it's fun to look back and research on. Hahaha, I dunno, I'm still trying to hype myself up "because it's Rent."

By the way, I was amused at the fact that Nicole (who will be playing Mimi) looks so much like Hilary. They could pass of as sisters, hahahaha.


Catch 9 Works Theatrical's production of Rent at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza on all weekends of February 2010. For tickets, call 557-5860 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

A birthday of food trips, and a sneak peek.

When it comes to my birthday, I always opt for simple celebrations. I never liked parties, eating out with at least 20 nearest dearest friends (so yeah, I can be stingy, hahaha) and all that.

So after hearing mass during the early morning, I had a quiet brunch at home with my parents (where we always rely on take-out if there's someone having a birthday), then off I went to meet Tad in the early afternoon.

We had a late lunch and much-needed quality time at Harbour Square. Haha, he just had to tease me about my having to walk in my shoes, as I haven't worn anything with high heels in ages. Hey, I used to teeter and run around in heels. Minsan lang ako maging girly-girl no, hehehe. Girly-girl, but with my top, I think I resembled a candy cane because of the red and white stripes, hahaha!

Because Tad had an event to attend to in the early evening, I checked my watch and noticed that I still had time to make it to the Rent sneak peek, which Peach had initially asked me to usher. Of course I declined then, but yesterday I figured, hey, maybe I'll check it out anyway.

Off I went to Rockwell Club. By the time I had stepped inside, I immediately asked where the dance studio was, but then I heard someone call my name. Haha, there was Ed and Nico standing by the event's sign. As it turned out, they were the ushers for the night.

Found some of the cast emerge from the elevators, and as it turned out, they were on break until 7pm. Joined them at Jollibee where I was greeted a happy birthday, and seeing them order made me hungry again, so I got something to eat as well. After eating, we all headed back to the dance studio, and they started prepping up for the event. They were rehearsing a couple of songs when the bloggers and press people started trickling in.

(Blog entry about the sneak peek to follow.)

After the preview, I got one of the Rent shirts that were being worn by the cast as well as part of the giveaways for the press. Huwaw, weird female shirt sizes. The size I got was large, but it fit me perfectly, hahaha.

Joined Bek, Ed and Nico up to the poolside where the complimentary food was being served. Yes, I didn't pass and still ate. Man, I've been stuffing myself silly the whole day. Anyway, after all the chika and photo ops, we finally called it a night.

I wasn't really planning to attend the sneak peek, but I was glad I did. It's a pretty good birthday treat. =)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Trying out Mugshots.

As a Christmas gift, Lawyn bought Mugshots and distributed them to us this past weekend. Ever since I saw this in Kristine's Multiply, I was so curious about those little cakes in a bottle, and was thinking of buying a whole bunch myself. When Lawyn laid out the bottles on the FOH table, I immediately picked out the strawberry flavor, and thought of saving it to eat on my birthday.

My mom was asking for a snack this afternoon, so I decided to make some pasta. Then I thought it might be bitin, so heck, why not make the strawberry Mugshot now?

I was too lazy to make carbonara, so I resorted to Lucky Me's instant Mac and Cheez. Because the cheese sauce was a wee bit salty, I used one pack of cheese sauce for 3 packs of pasta noodles, then I added a different kind of cheese to mix in with the one pack of cheese sauce. Anyway...

I was a bit hesitant to pour out the contents of the Mugshot, because it looked so pretty just sitting there inside its little bottle. Oh well, I just hope it's good as Lawyn had said. I poured out the contents into a mug, then popped it in the microwave.

It only took 2 minutes for the Mugshot cake to bake in the microwave.

Yay, early little strawberry-flavored birthday cake for me!

I have to say, it does taste good. I even drizzled it with chocolate syrup, hehe.

Curious about Mugshots? Check out The Fundamentals' Multiply account!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Final Bee weekend.

A 2-week stint as an usher for the Christmas run of Atlantis' 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is finally over. Because I'm not able to attend the Atlantis Christmas party this very evening, my consolation was a couple of new pairs of shoes as a birthday gift for myself, hahaha. (Naman, pagbigyan niyo na ako. I hardly shop for shoes, as I practically live in my Chuck Taylors.)

What I enjoyed most about just being an usher instead of manning the entire front-of-house is that I'm not tied down at the table, handing out guests' complimentary tickets, and also selling tickets and other merchandise. At least I get to walk around and mingle with the guests while waiting for the celebrity guest spellers to arrive (though some celebrity spellers can stress you out because they're super late). I can be hyper when I want to, and kulang na lang is mag-tumbling ako all over the lobby whenever I'm on a sugar rush, hahaha (like that time Claire gave me the leftover cake that they had in the office). I love it when I see friends watching the show, especially those that you'd never expect.

Just last Friday, I was so thrilled to see Tricia and Dandan watching the same show. I haven't seen these two since the old forum days, and in my excitement to see them, I sent text messages to our common friends. Of course, every time I text Tita Sherbs about seeing our friends, she would always reply, asking for a reunion, hahahaha.

Speaking of reunions, I didn't get to attend DLSZ's alumni homecoming last Saturday because of Spelling Bee. But I don't think it's a big loss, really. I was actually uncertain about attending the homecoming, plus the upcoming 10-year reunion of our batch. And hey, Jericho Rosales was our celebrity speller along with Sarah Meier during the evening show that day, hahaha.

Other than that, Marnie also watched the Bee's Saturday evening show. Some of you may laugh, but I have to say that she was my first musical theater idol, as I've always looked up to her when I was a kid. I was actually starstruck by this Ang TV alumna every time we cross paths in school, and I was content enough that she knew me even as just one of the chorus kids in our school musical production, because the only things we have in common is that she's in the same class as my brother, and we're both into theater (though I hadn't realized it yet at that time).

So when I saw her in the lobby last Saturday, I was inches away from her yet I reverted back to my shy, 7th-grade self until she noticed me (and I was grateful that she still knows me) and we said hi to each other. Haha, ayun, natuwa naman ako when she gave me a hug and agreed to have a picture taken (after a bit of small talk about my brother who lives in Canada).

(Thanks to Lawyn for letting Ceejay and me use her camera to have pics taken with Sarah, Echo and Marnie, hahaha.)

By the way, I heard from Red that a restaging of Summer's Nights, Summer's Dreams might happen. Is this true?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lea's "Your Songs" DTR.

Last Thursday, my initial plans were to go with Lara to Marillac but things fell through because of the usual house rules. I was already bummed about not going out that day, and I was still brooding over someone who didn't even try to invite me to some event that was going on that same night. Oh well.

Then I got a text from Lawyn and Claire at the same time, asking if I was free at 8pm that night for the DTR of Lea's concert. Haha, of course, I just had to go. When they said I could bring one friend, I immediately thought of Tin. I asked if she already has a ticket to the concert, and she said that she didn't buy a ticket. So I invited her as my plus one. She was the obvious choice among my hardcore Lea-fanatic friends because the rest can even afford to buy tickets to both concert dates anyway.

Headed to Harbour Square to have dinner before the agreed-upon time of 7:30pm. I was also texting Gino, who had messaged me earlier that morning that he was at CCP for some event. As it turned out, he was still there in the area, along with Vanie and Jobe. Met up with Gino at Jollibee, then followed him and Vanie to Reyes Barbecue where Jobe and their other friend were waiting. Had dinner there until they had to return to CCP the same time I had to meet with Tin (who had just texted that she had just arrived in the area).

It was almost 7:30 when Tin arrived, but she was starving so I accompanied her to Jollibee for a quick bite before we walked to PICC. So many people were already there, but I easily found Claire, Lawyn and Mae outside. They were still waiting for a whole bunch of people which included the Spelling Bee cast, because they were holding their tickets. Waited for the rest in the lobby with Ate Sally, Ate Janine, Kuya Boni and a bunch of others, then we decided to fall in line.

That line was longer than those anaconda-like lines of the MRT stations. It took ages for the line to move, so Tin and I kept chattering away. Minutes later, I even noticed a familiar-looking girl... Marnie? I never got to confirm if that was her, because she suddenly disappeared into the crowd.

The concert began an hour and a half later than scheduled. Well, forgivable, as it's just a technical dress rehearsal. At least Tin and I got to talk the whole time we were waiting. Basta pag si Tin ang kausap, walang quiet moments, hahaha.

I have to say, the show was a blast. I was a little thrown off by the Philippine All-Stars, though. Parang out of place sila. Anyway, the choice of song requests were pretty awesome. As for the contest for getting to sing a duet with Lea, we were treated to watching both winners (one for each concert date), even if it meant hearing the same song twice. I actually liked the first guy better, as the second guy tended to sing like Brad Kane a wee bit too much.

And of course, who wouldn't love having Richard Poon and Ai-Ai De Las Alas as special guests? Panalo si Ai-Ai when she came in as Annie, complete with that balloon dog, hahaha. And the Aegis duet was awesome! It was totally refreshing to hear Lea sing Aegis, plus it reminded me of Mimay.

My favorite guest would have to be the surprise guest in the form of Jett Pangan, hahahaha. I never get sick of hearing "Salamat" over and over again, and when I heard a different voice come out from the speakers and Jett came onstage, I was cheering ever so loudly. Awesome anthem, that "Salamat."

I guess I already sort of expected the song "Defying Gravity" from Wicked to come up along with the rest of the musical theater songs, but it was still pretty good. Hahaha, I was sitting between Tin and Theody and they were both cheering at the edge of their seats, and they were contagious.

Congratulations to Lea! Bobby and Chari too, of course! The show was worth waiting for an hour and a half, and it was a good excuse to hang out with Tin, hahaha! =)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hello, Christine.

Whenever I take an FX to Quezon City, I always take the route that passes along Espana instead of taking the MRT route. Without fail, every time I pass by UST, I always remember that brief time of independence during that one year of studying there. The memories of boarding houses and dormitories (and moving from one dorm to another), my first experience of budgeting my own money to fit in one to 2 weeks, having no parents or guardians to nag me all the time, plus learning how to discipline myself without guardians.

It was also the time that I was known as Christine (or even Tin-tin). Not Hogi.

In high school, I've been used to being called Hogi by my close friends. When it was time to move to UST, I decided to switch back to being called Christine because it was safe, no one knew me, the name wasn't as common as there were too many people with lots of different names, and of course it will take a long time to explain why I was called Hogi. When I transferred to a new school, I had decided to still keep calling myself Christine, but that lasted for about a minute in the first day of orientation, because a new blockmate happened to be a common friend that I was first introduced to as Hogi. Oh well.

So now, I'm thinking again about switching back to being good old Christine. Weird, isn't it? Sure, Hogi's unique, practically everyone now knows be as that, and I can easily tell if I'm the one being called. But I have to admit, I actually miss being called Christine.

Monday, December 7, 2009

P-R-O-P-O-S-A-L: My Favorite Moment of the Bee.

"You're back???" Miss Bernice had asked when I was the one who greeted her at the door at Atlantis' 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee's preview show.

Nope, I'm not back with Atlantis. I'm just ushering for this run of Spelling Bee. Charo, the usual head usher, had gone to the US, so Lawyn's sister Johanna and I took her place, alternately briefing the celebrity and audience guest spellers for each show.

I have to say, it's been a while since I've been with ushers from Blue Rep, but every batch is equally quirky, and I get pretty amused just watching them.

And so far, I have to say that last night's show was pretty eventful. First of all, there were no pasaway guest spellers unlike the previous ones since preview, hahaha. (Oh, the horror of those spellers from adult night.) Nikki had already been briefed the night before while I was chatting with Geli on YM. And Jinky? She followed everything to the letter, but she was laughing so hard while she was onstage that she was practically in tears, hahaha! Nice to know that she hadn't changed a bit after years of not seeing her.

Other than that, there's one special moment that made last night's show very memorable. Joel had proposed to Emy in front of the entire Spelling Bee audience! Woohoo!

But let me backtrack a bit.

Sometime last week, before one of Spelling Bee's preview shows, Lawyn and I were sitting in the audience just hanging around and waiting. Joel was talking in hushed tones with Bobby and Chari several rows in front of us. I accidentally overheard something that Bobby had said and tried to tune it out. I suddenly remembered this one guy who had also proposed to his girlfriend at Spelling Bee's previous run. Interesting.

Then another time, Joel approached the front-of-house and asked Ate Sally if he could let her accommodate a couple of his friends who just want to watch the curtain call of one show. The hushed conversation I accidentally saw slipped from my mind, and just assumed that these friends probably just wanted to see the Christmas medley that the cast performs for this run, hahaha.

(Maybe I'm just rationalizing, but I can't help but include this. The night before the proposal, I had a dream that I was being proposed to also. Weirdness.)

Anyway. I found myself slipping inside the theater during mic check before Sunday's evening show (to look for Lawyn, I think). I saw Joel, Bobby and Chari talking again in hushed tones, and this time with Cathy. I slipped back out of the theater so as not to be rude, but I was suddenly thinking, could this be the day? My question was answered when Bobby and Chari handed cameras to Lawyn to cover the show's curtain call. Lawyn's look confirmed what was going to happen. Hahaha, it was all super secretive, that even the cast (save for Cathy, of course) didn't know. Lawyn was even looking over a seat plan to find which seats were vacant so she could position herself there with the cameras. Because Lawyn was tasked to take photos and video, she handed me the video recorder so she won't harass herself doing both.

Before the show was about to end, Chari instructed us to cover the Christmas medley as well so we won't miss a single moment of the whole thing. So during the final song, Lawyn and I positioned ourselves into 2 vacant orchestra seats that had a decent view of everything. My gahd, funny thing was that my hands were getting clammy. Hahahaha, pati ako kinabahan kasi baka shaky ang pagkuha ko ng video.

Anyway, so after the Christmas medley, I was still recording and Lawyn was still snapping away. Cathy (still in character as Miss Peretti) then made an announcement concerning an audience member about some confiscated item, and called Emy up onstage. Murmurs and whispers filled the air, and once Joel had assisted Emy to center stage and went down on one knee, even the cast members' jaws dropped to the floor! Despite my giddiness, I'm still hoping right now that the video I recorded of the proposal wasn't too shaky, ahahaha.

Of course, because this was Joel, there had to be a classic Joel Trinidad moment. When he was about to slip the ring on Emy's finger, he had no idea which hand, hahaha! "It's my first time to do this." HAHAHAHAHA!

Congratulations to Joel Trinidad and Emerita Alcid! We're all so happy for you! And we're also glad to witness this awesome moment with you.

After the show, that's when I started thinking again about that dream I had. I once had a dream that I was pregnant, and it turned out that someone I knew was also pregnant. And strangely enough, I had a recurring dream of childbirth, but unfortunately, the same friend suddenly had a miscarriage. And now, I had a dream of a marriage proposal, and someone I know proposes to his girlfriend.

I was pondering over it with Nicco last night and he said na may powers daw ang dreams ko, hahaha. Labo. Hehe, sige, doncha worry, bro. If I dream of Glee's Jenna Ushkowitz, I'll be sure to let you know, hahahaha!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blog challenge 2: Dream roles.

Opa called me early this afternoon, asking me to head over to GMA for this Christmas special that Sir Dennis was doing, but of course, certain circumstances wouldn't permit me to leave the house.

It's just one of the many frustrations I have right now. I miss the real work. I miss actually doing something with such passion. I'm sick of always living vicariously through others.

The drama brat has been quite the dreamer.

What a pathetic excuse for a segue, hahaha.

As part of my blog challenges, Carmella had asked me to blog about my dream role in a play. But for the life of me, I honestly never had a particular or ideal dream role. As a kid, I dreamed about performing typical ingenue roles. Common female roles like Eponine and Cosette of Les Miserables or Kim of Miss Saigon were popular dream roles that girls would love to have, but eventually I pretty much got sick of listening to "On My Own" and "Sun and Moon" reali quick, or even "As Long As He Needs Me" by Oliver's Nancy. I guess I can say that common (and yes, sometimes) romantic female lead roles don't excite me as much as before.

If I were to have a dream role, I'd love to be some unexpected quirky character. Or maybe even a villain. Something like crazy Miss Hannigan of Annie, or one of the crazy actors in Noises Off. Hahaha, I just couldn't help mentioning that play.

I remember during the first rehearsal day of Pragres for CSB's Crossroads Theater Festival (I  got casted as Marina by default), we did an icebreaker game which consisted of sharing what kind of role we would want to play sometime. I told the kids that I wanted to be a wicked witch. Haha, maybe something like the White Witch from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It would be interesting to delve into the mind of Jadis to see how she chose to be sinister and evil even after leaving Charn and how she seized Narnia.

Betty had told me that period plays suit me after she had seen me in a thesis production of Tartuffe as Elmire. I have to admit, I liked that character. In a period where mostly men have power, Elmire had shown that she's no pushover and how she can also be in control of a situation. Girl power during the Baroque period. Corny and cliche na kaya ang mga damsels in distress, ahehe.

In fairness, it's pretty fun doing a period piece. Exploring the world of the play to find out how the people moved and spoke is pretty fun, like learning a new dance or language.

I guess I Have to say that I still don't have a specific dream role. But I do believe that weird character quirks appeal to me the most.

So what about you, what would you suggest I could play? Or even better, how about telling me about your own dream role(s)?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Geographically close friends.

Lara had posted in her most recent Flashback Friday blog a chat snippet; she was telling her best friend that she saw an episode of The Simpsons where a girl asked Bart why Milhouse was his friend, and his reply was "Hmmm... I don't know really. Mostly geographical reasons."

Interesting. Lara's best friend was her college friend that lived closest to her house. Heck, my best friends also live in the south, but it doesn't really matter anyway, because we've been best friends since we were in 5th grade.

Anyway, that Simpsons quote reminded me of a chat conversation last night with a close friend. I had asked when we will be hanging out again. He responded with, "Kung kelan magkalapit na ang bahay natin, haha."

So being my usual blunt self with him, I said, "So convenience ang mas madali sa iyo?"


I knew that friend has always been like that. I just wanted him to say it so he can think about it for a while, hahaha. I have to admit, we did become pretty close when he lived pretty close to where I live. But even after that, our closeness never shifted... until the next crowd anyway, hahaha.

Friendship isn't always based on geography, though it really is a convenient factor. But heck, I love all my friends and I would go anywhere just to be with them. I know a bunch of people in the northern metro who can attest to that, hahaha.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christine and Cristina.

Was texting Cris yesterday, and we made plans to meet up this afternoon. She had said that she wanted to go to someplace new to her here in the south, "not the usual mall. Some sort of coffee/deli shop where we can just chill." So of course I suggested Peaberry Cafe.

Apparently Cris was taking advantage of her last free days before she starts working again, so aside from being the family errand girl, she treks over to the south pretty often. So this afternoon, I got to introduce her to my own patch of southern turf.

I haven't seen Cris in ages. I think the last time I saw her was when I got her to watch Virgin Labfest when I was working for Las Mentiras de Gloria last year. And even then, we never got to talk because I was busy working while she was watching the show with her (then) boyfriend. I think the last time we actually hung out together was... oh my gosh, I think I forgot. Either Jessica's birthday party when we snuck out to go to the playground, or in the Glorietta area, when we "played dress-up" in all the clothing stores.

Introduced Cris to Ronelli the moment we stepped inside Peaberry. After we ordered, got a table outside because Cris wanted to stay away from artificial air before she starts working again. Updates here and there, lots of stories. I didn't really know how to update her on everyone, as I hardly see most of them anymore, but the updates on some people are just too funny or crazy. By the way, Cris, that was interesting trivia about exes, hehe.

My memory of how Cris and I first became friends was pretty fuzzy. I think it started when we got grouped together for a class project, which was that we had to produce a short play. She was our director, and I was one of the actors. Eventually when my thesis came around and I needed a deputy stage manager, she was the one I asked to help. And I was super grateful to have her as my right-hand man. Even after those days, we still remained pretty good friends, and even got together for another thesis, Drei and Nicco's crazy film that was conceptualized from small talk over Starbucks.

With Cris during the Kopihaus # 8 shoot.

Cris is still an awesome friend with a quirky personal sense of style. Hahaha, I remember we used to call her Alex Mack back in college because she dressed like Larisa Oleynik in the series. When I saw her in her casual dress today, she reminded me of Claire Danes in My So-Called Life, hahaha. I love your entire outfit, Cris! Especially those boots. Too bad I didn't get to take a photo.

By the way, I had finally satiated my cheeseburger craving this week. Thanks again, Peaberry! I really have to try the pastas next time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"It's high school" revelations.

Last night, Aris held a cookout at his house to celebrate his return from Senegal plus an excuse for a belated celebration with us. Because my dad had to work at the church all night while I had to stay at home to keep my mom company (as she never outgrew the scary feeling of staying home alone), I only got to catch up by midnight when my dad got home.

So half an hour before midnight, the moment my dad got home, Aris and Iam arrived at my house a few minutes later to pick me up. Found Seph, Josh and Raffy at Aris' house, and while Iam decided to catch up on a few zzz's, I took her place at the table with the rest of the guys. I never got to the actual "cookout" part of the night, but at least I got to pick on the leftovers. Plus I also managed to finally open that bottle of Merry's Irish cream from Rosa. And I must say, I loved Raffy's barako coffee jelly with vanilla ice cream.

Iam had said that by the time she and Aris had left to pick me up, the rest had been ranting about the Twilight movies, especially this new one. Hahaha, all throughout the wee hours of the morning, even as our conversation shifted from topic to topic, we still somehow ended up going back to that topic because of how idealistic and crazy-fanatic people can get over the whole vampire trend. Crazy conversations over beer and Irish cream included Twilight's "sparkling" vampires, the "stealth assassin," the "gay friend," the useless 40-kilometer workout, the ala-School-for-Scoundrels teacher, the text language issue, among others.

Who needs the high school reunion plus those unnecessary "reunion planning sessions" when you can just get together like this? One favorite topic were those very interesting revelations that were only opened up to some or most of us at least 10 years after they had happened, hahaha. Diane's boys, Avril's boys, and even the uneventful Olive competition. Pre-prom date vows, prom dates, rejections and merely funny heartaches. But hey, as we kept saying the entire morning, "That's high school." It was amusing enough that how some had mentioned their own point of view on what was happening. It could get even more interesting if more of the people involved could be there as well, hahahaha!

Now that's a thought. That could make a really awesome December get-together.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blog challenge 1: Jologs.

Quoting from Chris Martinez' Last Order sa Penguin: "What makes a jologette jologette? Physically? Bordering on the kakatulungin. Kaunting-kaunti na lang, kakatulungin na. And generally, ang mga jolog girls pangit ang skin. Parang loob ng Bar None. 'Yung cross section nu'n--ganu'n ang skin nila. At mahilig sa pink na lipstick. Pansinin n'yo mamaya diyan sa labas. Pink ang lipstick na kutis Bar None at pwede mo nang papasukin sa kitchen."

Wala lang, pinapahaba ko lang yung entry, hehe.

Teena had asked me to blog about my jologs side. I honestly have no idea what part of me can be considered jologs. Though I sure hope I can relate some certain experiences to that.

Let's see. Being a one-time groupie, I used to follow a local band practically everywhere. I went early to bar gigs so I didn't have to pay for cover charge and just order one drink for the entire night. Never mind that I sometimes came straight from school with a bag, so I can just dress up before I go to the venues. And of course, we do make time to go to all those mall shows, because, hey, that's the cheapest gig you can attend, because it's for free.

But I don't know if I really do consider that jologs. I recall a few girls who followed in our footsteps who were way worse than we were. Imagine one girl even offering to carry the artists' clothes and bags for them before and after the gigs. Oh well.

So let's see. Jologs.

Oh yeah, I remember back during my first year in Atlantis, Ate Sally, Richelle, Kuya Boni and I would always try to escape and leave the office early just so we can catch the latest Sam Milby movie in Glorietta, hahaha! I think we did it 2 or 3 times, just so we can watch it at a decent time. Hey, you have to admit, when Sam Milby was a new fresh face in Pinoy Big Brother, he was cute... until maumay ka na lang sa itsura niya because of too much exposure.

And yes, we go to Pinoy Big Brother. During our free time, Ate Sally and I would always go online to check out regular updates of the first season of PBB, plus the first celebrity season. Effort pa kami to read all updates in the website, and sometimes sisilip pa kami sa forums para makarinig ng chismis. And laging naka-schedule ang evenings namin so we can watch the show every night.

Hahaha, now I know why Teena requested this. She has her own jologs side as well because of Pinoy Big Brother. Heck, whenever we would be chatting online, she would even tell me what she's seeing on TV, ahahaha. Di naman ako maka-relate.

Now let's which dare topic I'll tackle next.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

(The return of) Dare you to dare me.

I had mentioned a few entries before that I wanted to go back to how I used to blog. So as an exercise, I decided to bring back the "dare" post I made about a year and a half ago. For those of you who had seen it before, you may remember that I never got to follow through with all the blog challenges that some people had posted. So I'd like to bring it back. Here we go.


Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on TV, favorite type of underwear, stories I'm working on, travel, etc. Repost in your own journal so that we can all learn more about each other.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Thoughts on the Rent cast.

So the Rent cast has finally been announced. I posted 9 Works Theatrical's link to the video on Facebook, with the perfunctory "Congrats!" Yet, my Facebook status reads, "Hmmm... A bit doubtful, but interesting. Let's just hope it works." Complete with a smiley face.

Yes, this is a filtered post. Because as much as I want to speak up about this, I'd prefer to just air this out to a few select people. Kaya sa atin-atin lang ito, okay?

I have to say, I've been getting little hints here and there from Peachy before the cast announcement, and I managed to find out a couple of the cast members beforehand. She dropped hints, but most of the time, I didn't really want to know who they were before it was announced to the public. So Peachy had just said that the rest of the cast were "exciting" daw. She built it up so much, so I guess it's my bad as well that I expected more. So yeah, I was a little disappointed when the announcement appeared. But at the back of my head, a lot of thoughts on the casting starting to form.

It's not naman na wala akong doubts or tiwala sa casting ni Robbie, it's just that there are so many weird things I could think of about how the 9WT production was cast.

First of all, I was told that it was an open call before the word got out. Cattle call daw because they said that they really have no idea who to cast in any particular role. A little over 300 people came to the auditions, and yung iba ay nag-effort pa lumipad galing probinsya para dito. Of course, who wouldn't be excited at the fact that Rent has returned to Manila? So syempre, excited din ang mga tao sa 9WT because of the really good turnout. Marami talagang undiscovered Pinoy talent out there. They did say so themselves. Tuwang-tuwa sila because there are so many really talented people who came and sang in front of the panel.

So how come they came up with a cast composed of them?

Hindi naman sa sinasabi ko na hindi sila magaling. Oo, magagaling ang mga napili nila Rob, we all know that. We've seen all of these people perform, and yes, they are talented. Yes, they may have the X-factor. Pero parang sila-sila na lang ulit eh. These are just my two cents, but it came out to me as if parang takot silang mag-risk to cast new-found talents who are equally good and maybe even better. Parang playing safe na lang lagi with the people they already know. Wag naman sana tayo mag-recycle ng mga actors tulad ng mga ibang directors diyan.

Then we see Fred Lo casted as Mark, and Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Maureen. I have to admit, I love Carla. She's really beautiful and talented, and I love watching her perform. But casting them as exes? May maniniwala bang naging mag-boyfriend silang dalawa? OK, sure, we could say that it could be possible. Pwede naman gawin na yung age-gap ang isa sa mga reasons kung bakit sila naghiwalay, diba? So sana maipakita yun sa audience.
Fred Lo looks too young for Carla and vice versa. If they really wanted Fred as Mark, maybe they could've cast Maureen na bagay sa kanya, or kung si Carla talaga ang gusto nila, someone that looks close to Carla's age.

Oh well.

Then there's Carla herself. Hindi naman sa ayaw ko kay Carla. Yes, she's an amazing thespian. I adore her onstage and off. Pero matagal ko nang naririnig na gusto raw talaga niya makasama sa cast ng Rent. I also heard that she wants to be assistant director plus dance captain. So parang feeling ko (feeling ko lang ha) na napilitan si Robbie to cast his own cousin to save him from the pressure? *shrug*

And while we're on to that, I can't help to not overlook Peach and Anna as well. Girlfriend ng direk si Peach, asawa ng executive producer si Anna, and both men were on the panel. May narinig pa nga ako dati while I was having lunch with some of these people nung panahon pa ng Christmas Carol that Robbie used to cast people "out of awa." Dahil anak siya ni ganito, dahil friend kita, ganun. But I don't know. Yes, again, these ladies have beautiful voices, pero bagay kaya sa Rent? Hindi naman sa nawalan din ako sa tiwala sa kanila, but there could still be a lot of girls there who could surpass their talent. Parang lumabas sakin tuloy na formality lang yung open call.

Ewan, it all boils down to "sila-sila rin lang ulit." I was expecting a little more diversity, I guess. Santi had said during 9WT's very first press conference that one of their missions was to provide more avenues to showcase these actors' talents. So yeah, maybe they did. But aren't we forgetting one of the other missions? He also said that another mission was to come up with good shows to showcase what Filipino talent is all about. Kung ganon, sana they did come up with the best cast. If this is the best cast they could find, sana this will be an awesome show that could possibly be incomparable to the previous Rent stagings.

So I'm just really hoping that they pull off a really good show. Marami nang nagiging issues lately about Broadway shows here in Manila.

Trio Sunday at ATC.

Went to ATC yesterday afternoon to meet up with Rosa and Iam. I didn't mind that it was a Sunday, because considering it was also the day of the Paquiao-Cotto match, there wouldn't be a lot of people milling about. Haha, there wasn't any traffic at all, so the jeepney ride took only 10 minutes. When I arrived at ATC, I noticed that Gerry's and Italianni's had blocked their glass windows for the boxing match, having sold tickets for the live telecast.

Rosa arrived while I was hanging out in Powerbooks, and because Iam wouldn't be around until after the boxing match's delayed telecast, we headed to White Hat to try out their frozen yogurt. Stayed there and talked until we noticed that a lot of people were already outside, which meant that the match was over. After a little errand at the hardware store, we did a little window shopping and ended up munching on chicken skin at the food court while we waited for Iam.

Window-shopped a little when Iam arrived, then we went to CANS because they were going to have pedicures. Went with them as well, even though I have my nails done at home. Sat between them and talked and giggled along with them as their feet were as ticklish as mine.

After pedicures, we stopped over at the supermarket so Rosa can pick up some cranberry juice, then we headed to good old Mount McDo to eat. Funny conversation jumped from the Paquiao match, to being a boksingero's mom for instant fame (hahaha), to the discovery of an apo and an older sister, to marriage. It's fun getting together like this again, just the three of us.

After a little more walking (with a side trip to Salsa jeans), I bid them goodbye because they were attending the 7 o'clock mass at St. Jerome (I heard mass before I went to ATC). I ended up briefly meeting with Lara near the cinemas, as she was there to catch a movie and have dinner with her siblings. Finally met her Barbie-ish older sister and older brother that she fondly talks about. After chatting over Plato wraps, I finally headed on home.

I just love hanging out with my happy thirds, plus spur-of-the-moment meet-ups with other good friends.

Pahabol: While everyone is watching 2012 at the cinemas, I once chanced upon an old 80's movie on the MGM channel a few days ago called 2010 naman. Hahaha.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I realized today that I really need more exercise, so I did a little bit of walking when I had to go on a little errand this afternoon.

I had to pay our broadband internet bill at the 7-Eleven outside our village, so when I had set off walking along our street to look for a tricycle, I suddenly decided to walk the entire way out the village. Thank goodness I chose to leave the house at around 4 in the afternoon, when it was cooler. While I was walking along the street parallel to ours, I noticed the cracks on the road and remembered how old those cracks were. I remembered how bewildered yet fascinated I was of those cracks when I used to walk along that road when I was kid. As I walked further, I realized that I hardly walk around the area at the fringes of our little subdivision in our village, and I had to admit, the sights are actually pretty when you walk on by instead of riding by in a car or tricycle.

I really have to remember to get a second pair of frames for my glasses, because the pair I'm wearing has thick sides that block my peripheral vision. I've had these since last year, when I used to walk to David's studio for voice lessons. I forgot how dangerous walking along the main road was until this afternoon, and I really must have those new glasses made.

Jhack had posted on her Tumblr about the cast of Glee guesting on Tyra, and I had almost forgotten that it was to be aired on ETC this evening. Thank goodness I was just vegging out in front of the TV after dinner. I was channel-surfing and randomly stopped at ETC, when Tyra was just starting. I was intrigued at Tyra's entrance with the western high school cafeteria clique dilemma, so I stayed put to watch. They talked about the typical high school cliques and how the so-called popular kids would judge the others and vice versa, and even got a bunch of "outcasts" to speak up along with the popular kids. Haha, I remember how I felt like such an outcast in class during some time in high school, so I resorted to joining a whole bunch of extra-curricular activities, such as track and field varsity, the youth corps, the student council's programs and planning committee, and of course, theater.

Seeing the Glee cast made me miss my training. Dave's been pretty busy with teaching at the school so we haven't gone back to regular training. Maybe I'll walk over to the studio for a visit one of these days.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Trying to return to the old blogging ways.

I was looking at my old blog entries from at least a year or two ago, and I realized that I missed blogging like that. I just blogged away, regardless of who was reading it. Un-edited and candid, and never conscious about what I wrote because heck, I didn't really need to put a disclaimer to say that it's my blog and it's just my personal take on things. I hope I could blog like that again. Oh well. So let's go with the flow, shall we?

One of the things I love about Tad is that he's not afraid to be frank but still have the tact. He knows when to say the right thing, and manages to get my head out of the ozone. He knows exactly what I needed to hear, and not just the things I want to hear. I'm so grateful to have him as my voice of reason when I get too tactless and stubborn in certain situations.

I was chatting with Jenny last night about a previous blog entry. Hmmm. This is what I love about talking about certain issues with different friends. You find different takes on those situations, and sometimes they tell you if you could handle them differently. Yes, Jenny, I'm too nice, hahaha.

Just for kicks, sometime this week, Nicco had posted Pasencia on Facebook, which was an old video from the old days, back when I started hanging out with them post-thesis, when they shot film project after film project for class. When we all saw it, comments poured as we cracked up and asked for more of the old films. So today, Drei posted Garahe, the film project that Miko wrote for them that was inspired by the movie Fight Club. I remember tagging along with them during their location shoots at Camille's house and Rian's house, until I ended up doing a silly cameo. Oh my gosh, those were the days. Food trips on isaw and tapsilog, and late night shoots while our parents were texting us to come home already, plus the late night commute with Nicco and Drei, with at least one of them suddenly falling asleep on my shoulder during the trip home.

Speaking of watching videos, so I finally got back my DVD of Our Town from Nicco. I got to watch it again last night, even though I knew I'd cringe and lower the volume at the sight of myself and my own voice. Yes, I'm that critical of myself, hahaha. Even though it was a beginning acting workshop recital, I never seem to cut myself some slack, ahehe. Anyway, while I was watching, I have to admit, for a basic acting class, we actually did pretty well. I was always laughing half the time I was watching, seeing all those nuances that everyone did again, and how we barreled through and gave it all that we've got so far, hahaha.

Thank goodness for finding this laptop's adapter and fixing it up. My computer's on the blink again, but at least I still have something to use.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Those sort-of-random days.

I had planned to go to CCP yesterday to get my router back from Tad as well get my Microsoft Office CD from Betty, but I ended up just meeting Betty for lunch because Tad and the rest of the Actors Company had to go to Assumption.

Lunch talk with Betty, from the annoying weird texts I got, to Chekov reading (aba, pa-deep, haha), to other Betty-tales, which led us to slipping inside the relatively quiet prayer room. Aba, confessional ba ito? Ahehehe. Well, at least hanging out together that early afternoon, even for a brief time, brightened both our spirits a little.

I had told Claire that I was planning to visit Atlantis that very same day, so it was off to Makati next. She had mentioned that Nicco was also going there, so I told him to drop off my Our Town DVD (which he has for the past year and a half already) so I can just pick it up at the office. Apparently, he was going there to pick up his custom-made Spring Awakening jacket, but because the delivery guy was super late, he was still in San Juan and I had to wait for him to arrive. Hehe, ended up checking out photos in Ate Sally's laptop from their Hong Kong trip. Kuya Boni and I even laughed out loud when we noticed a magazine that was sent to Atlantis that day. My name was still the addressee, hahahaha!

The jacket delivery guy finally arrived after at least 2 hours, so Claire had to sort everything out because the sizes sort of got mixed up. When she finally sorted part of the groups of jackets, Nicco and Kelly finally arrived. Hahaha, syempre it took a while for Nicco to find the jacket that fit him, because the size order got a little confused.

One observation, it's so funny to see Nicco actually speaking straight English to everyone, and being so OC with the jacket that will fit him. So unlike that Nicco I knew from years before, back when I was the one who was talking to him in straight English and being so OC with everything in sight. Pseudo-siblings have switched certain traits, hahaha. And to think that he used to tease me because of my "burgis/conyo" accent. Hey, I only adapt certain accents depending on the people I'm talking to, which also applied to him. I bit my tongue and decided to not to tease him in front of everyone... and told him so when we found each other online last night, hahahaha!

I was planning to wait for Tad to get out of Assumption, but then he and Riki happened to have a recording with their voice teacher in Cubao that very evening, so I found myself walking to SM Makati because Teena had mentioned in her Facebook about Gonuts Ice Cream, which was reminiscent of good old Coney Island Ice Cream, so I immediately ignored the strawberry (my favorite flavor of any ice cream) and went ahead and bought a scoop of bubble gum, which was my all-time favorite Coney Island flavor. And it has bubble gum bits, yay! Hahaha, I just had to ask to put it in a cup so I can save the bubble gum bits for last.

Man, that bubble gum ice cream made me feel like a kid again. But now that that craving's gone, I'm now craving for one of Peaberry's cheeseburgers again. I wonder who'll be my next victim that I can drag along with me to the cafe, hehehe.

We're selling RENT tickets!

Courtesy of Peachy's spamming, hahaha.

Celebrate the 'season of love' with RENT! =)
Running in February 2010!

February 27, 3:30PM at the RCBC Theater, Makati City


Call or text PEACHY at 0906.331.5961

Measure your life in love! <3

So please make us happy and buy tickets. =) See you in February!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Text language and weird spellings.

Text message yesterday from some stranger: Eow poh kamuzta na poe u? Kaen nah poe u ng deener ahh. c",)

So I politely asked: Sorry, who's this please?

The reply: Wow galeng poh u mhag izpell ng wordz ahh. Parah poe niu pinapah mookah zakin nah ang julogz coe. Haha!

Annoyed, and somewhat thinking this was someone's idea of a weird joke, I asked: No, really, who's this please?

The reply was: Nasl poe?

I stopped replying. Ano ba yan.

First thing I thought, what the heck is this person doing? Is this some way to find a textmate? Ang cheap mo ha. And please, what is it with that weird text language? I mean, I'd understand if you shorten words so you can save the space and put everything in one text message. But those weirdly-spelled words with the unnecessary extra letters? It's as annoying as those Q's and X's that people use to substitute other letters that still seem fine on their own.

At aba, before it was just "ASL." Ngayon "NASL" na? Takot na ba ang mga may gusto ng textmate sa anonymity? Baka takot sa mga "hologram" (as Tad and Chrome would call them).

It's so sad how some people's spelling just worsens with the use of text language. Sure, you can shorten words when you send text messages, but there are still some people who still use text language for emails, chat, and other stuff where there really isn't any valid reason to shorten certain words. People won't take you seriously if you keep doing that.

Oh well, just my two cents. And if ever that anonymous texter really was a practical joker sent out just to annoy me, may araw ka rin.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Still learning, and reviving an old laptop.

My last Facebook status had read: "... is amused at the fact that no matter how long you've known the people you love, you still learn something new about them. It makes your friendships and relationships more interesting and exciting day by day."

So true. Even though you think you know a person inside and out, no matter how close you already are, you still discover something new about them, like a new quirk, a new hobby or talent, or just something that they've been keeping for quite a long time. Or it just tells us that we still grow and learn something about ourselves and others every day. That's what also makes me love my friends and loved ones even more.

Randomness. I inherited a laptop from my brother 3 years ago, then it crashed and when I was about to have it fixed, we couldn't find the adapter because my mom had misplaced it along with a whole bunch of wires and cables. Never got around to buying a new adapter because I had resorted to using the PC again. Even though every file and raw photo in the laptop was very precious, I learned how to detach myself and have a clean slate again. The laptop stayed in my room, untouched, like a huge paperweight or bookend.

But surprise, while my mom was looking for a spare antenna this morning for one of our old radios, she finally found the bag that had the laptop's adapter inside, along with an extra mouse, a USB cable and two 3 1/2 floppy disks, hahaha. After 3 long years, my laptop was alive again. Of course, I had to check and reformat the darn thing and re-install some stuff this entire evening, but yay, at least I have a working laptop again. And to think that before I had to look for the adapter 3 years ago, I was about to pay someone to do all that stuff for me, when I could actually do it myself.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Those classic (board) games.

I caught an episode of My Boys on ETC this afternoon. The subplot was about this "decathlon" of board games that Brendan, Kenny, Mike and Andy play at Crowley's. They were playing these classic board games and other crazy games, such as Sorry!, Candy Land, and I think they were also playing Taboo during one scene.

The last time I played a board game was about 3-4 years ago. Someone left a Snakes-and-Ladders game in the office, and we would play a couple of rounds after lunch. Then there was also that time when Carms, Jay, Grae and I went crazy over Jenga when we met up once at Hobbes last month.

I miss board games and those simple game nights with friends. I want to play Clue, Uno, Monopoly, Taboo, Jenga, Pictionary and Twister again! To anyone who's stumped about what to give me for my birthday (not to be joined with Christmas, hahaha!), those classic (I mean the real thing) games are also on my wish list. Then let's have a game night!

When worlds collide.

I had mentioned in my previous post about worlds about how worlds collide, like when I took Tad to Peaberry Cafe last Sunday to meet Ronelli.

Ronelli had been a friend of mine from Trumpets Playshop Alabang's first musical theater class under Tita Menchu. It was the first acting/musical theater workshop I had ever taken. I was only comfortable in class because I had friends there. Other than that, I was quiet as a mouse. I had too many inhibitions that I was afraid that I might do all the exercises wrong. Part of the reason was that I knew all of us weren't in the same "skill level," as some of them had already done this before, even professionally. I was even careful about the way I moved and talked. But hey, I did make a lot of friends through that workshop. Good friends, though not as close, save for a couple of them. I even put Putting It Together (our showcase) and the class' bond on a high pedestal even after the few workshops after that. Sure, we bonded, but I felt as if there were still walls separating some of us because of certain differences. Just a feeling. It would sometimes seem as if there was something's wrong with the way that girl stared, or how that guy spoke.

Fast forward to several years later. I started from scratch and attended a beginning acting workshop under Tanghalang Pilipino. Again, I was sort of comfortable at first only because I had a couple of friends enrolled in the same class. During the first couple of days, I put up a wall because I was still used to the Playshop environment. But day by day, the wall came down. I realized that all of us were on the same playing field, just there want to learn, and just have a go at it. I was no longer afraid to try anything. My eagerness and enthusiasm removed my inhibitions. I stopped listening to people's accents because to them, I was the one with the weird accent (hahaha, Mimay and Nicco can attest to this, because they did this often). This was a class that had no pre-judgments over you, or wherever you came from, as long as you knew how to get along with different people, wear your heart on your sleeve, and give it all you've got. So we have the passion. We also had that crazy bond, the type that you can never get sick of each other. Our crazy glue? The girl with the amazing voice and upbeat personality who played my alter ego, and the guy with so much passion in his bones and loves his friends til the end.

Two workshops that were so different from each other. Both were similar outlets, yet showed different sides of me. In Playshop, I was one of the quiet, yet friendly ones. Too intimidated by the ones who have more experience than I did. In TP, I was more outgoing, yet still grounded. I had learned to wear my heart on my sleeve and learned the difference between theater as a passion and as a hobby.

When Ronelli, a former classmate from Trumpets Playshop, and Tad, my boyfriend from TP, met at Peaberry last Sunday, I had no idea if they had anything in common. Ronelli talked the way she always did, straight English with a slight accent. Tad was merely being himself and compromised, and didn't mind stumbling over the occasional English words. I was actually amused at the fact that it was the first time I heard Ronelli say anything in Filipino. When we started talking about coffee drinking, coffee routines, and the different kinds of coffee, the "language barrier" disappeared.

I have yet to invite Ronelli to a TP show. Hopefully when Flores Para Los Muertos does a rerun, I'll invite her to come. She did say that she hasn't seen a play in ages. And I have to check out Peaberry's acoustic nights. Maybe I could get Tad to sing during one of those nights, hehehe. And who knows, maybe Ronelli can overcome her "singing trauma" as well, even if I have to hold the microphone for her, hahaha.