Saturday, September 30, 2006


Some things that I've noticed ever since I returned to Honolulu...

- How fabulous are the Fall 2006 trends at this very moment? Yeah, I know, we don't have "autumn" here in Honolulu, but ever since I got back and saw the wooden platform shoes in the stores (a little like these babies, which I spotted from a link on Tia Williams' blog) I knew I just had to have 'em. This time, however, I'm going to make sure I pay good money for them - if there's anything I've learned from spending so much time in Manila, it's the fact that life's too short for too-cheap shoes. (Although, in my defense, I did spend less than $20 on my last shoe-shopping trip with my Mom, when I bought the most adorable rust-colored kitten heels and some Prada-ish beige loafers. Love those shoes.)

- Forgive me, people, but I watched Ugly Betty last night. Shut up. I watched because I caught some episodes of the Mexican version (La Fea Mas Bella) in the Philippines this summer - I even got into a fight with my Dad because I wanted to watch this and he wanted to watch the news. ANYWAY. It's so over-the-top and telenovela-ish and such a guilty pleasure all around. Bonus points to Salma Hayek for poking fun of herself in the "telenovela" segments. Now, if somebody would just make an American version of Lovers in Paris...

- (For those of you reading this blog from the Philippines, skip this if you don't want to know what happens in Season 3) How hilarious was last night's Grey's Anatomy, by the way? I just loved that ending, with McSteamy (Eric Dane) getting out of the shower wearing nothing but that big, yummy white bath towel. I don't know about you, but Eric Dane - all of him - makes me think some seriously unchaste thoughts. In other news, I also love the fact that George's girl Callie has a refreshingly yummy bod.

- Okay, readers from the Philippines, you can start reading again here. Why? Because I just checked out the movie listings and... guess what's showing at Dole Cannery this week? Yup: You Are The One, with Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga. My only regret is that nobody's going to make You Are The Man any time soon. Or, for that matter, Sugod: The Movie, starring yours truly and Dennis Trillo as "Diego."

- The other night, I turned on the TV to KGMB-9, and I noticed that the guy who was delivering the news updates looked kinda hot, in a Daniel Dae Kim kind of way - tanned, buff, totally relaxed. Then he introduced himself, and my jaw dropped. Why? The reporter was CEDRIC MOON. Yes, the same Cedric Moon who I took to task in this blog not too long ago for having severe bitchface. I don't know what happened here, folks, but I do recommend sitting through KGMB-9's newscasts once in a while to see what I mean. Well played, KGMB.

- In other news: Why, oh, WHY did nobody tell me that PF Chang's just opened at Ward? GAH.

Edited 10/01/2006 because this entry could use more Daniel Dae Kim... and, for that matter, yet another link to a certain Pinoy band on YouTube. Yeah, Peter Sarsgaard wishes he could play guitar like that.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: Tiny Bubbles and Rock Star Apartments

I’m tired, I’m cranky, and I can’t believe that school is starting so freaking soon.

In other words, it’s good to be back in Honolulu.

Things have changed. When I went to the Philippines I lost my old apartment in Makiki and (as of this writing) practically everything else that I left behind. Now, my landlady gave me a newly renovated studio which I immediately christened my “rock star apartment” because of all the built-in furniture, exposed brick, and wood paneling. Look, I even have a chandelier in my kitchen! Everything else is new: the roll-up “studio bed” that folds into a tiny couch; the green shower curtain that goes with the brown tile in the bathroom; the plates, forks, and spoons… and even my computer (a Compaq notebook with WiFi capability) is brand-spanking new.

Once the dust was cleared and all the new stuff organized in their rightful place, I rolled out my sofa/bed, threw a sheet and pillows over it, and marveled at the beauty of my new sanctuary. I’m still getting over it.


Before I finally moved back into my apartment, I stayed at my parents’ hotel room in Waikiki, which had a tiny bathtub. That gave me a great opportunity to sneak into the LUSH store in Ala Moana so I could finally try one of their bath products – and in this case, it was the Creamy Candy Bath Bubble Bar, which I’ve always loved since I first saw it in the store.

On my last day in the hotel room, I took the last half of the Creamy Candy Bath and crumbled the whole chunk under running water to form endless mounds of frothy, moisturizing, candy-and-patchouli-scented bubbles. I only had twenty minutes – but, oh, what a great last 20 minutes that was, just sinking straight into the bubbling water and letting all those cleansing and moisturizing ingredients wash over me.

I’ve always wanted my own bathtub for as long as I remember – maybe it’s the way bubble baths seemed so much more glamorous and luxurious than a regular shower. And now, sinking into the tub for an honest-to-goodness bubble bath, I realized that it’s just as good as I’ve always thought it ought to be, if not better. A good bath is practically everything you could dream about – satin sheets, chocolate truffles, champagne – but it’s all for your own enjoyment, with no burden on your conscience and no strings attached.

By Special Request

First up: This is my first blog entry since coming back to Hawaii, and also the first in a series of blog entries that actually have non-stylized titles. In other words, I can now call my entries whatever the heck I really want now. No reason, just a change of pace.

Speaking of the "change of pace," here are some photos of me and my short hair...

This one I really like, for some reason. Somehow I pressed the wrong button on my Dad's webcam and the shot came out like this: a happy accident.

And here's the full frontal view. I have to admit that the hair has grown out in the last few weeks, so my face doesn't look too wide. But look at how the bangs and layers bring out the eyes and the cheekbones! My sister tells me that it's so much better than the long hair because this cut draws the eyes upward - as opposed to downward, since my hair has a tendency to go super flat.

In other news, I MUST try that new Sunsilk (US) styling cream for flat hair, if only for the novelty of seeing my favorite shampoo brand making its debut in the American market. Go Unilever!

Saturday, September 23, 2006


That sound you hear is me finally settling into my new studio apartment in Honolulu, exactly one week after I arrived from Manila. No blog action right now, but I'll try to get this started again by Monday at the earliest. Till then, hang in there!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Domesticity Dispatch: Hair Today...

I couldn't resist. I finally went for it.


Okay, so the fact that I was already in the salon (the one in our home town, not Jesi Mendez in Alabang) with my Mom and I didn't want to stay home had a lot to do with it. Not to mention the fact that the salon in question was offering a free haircut with any spa treatment, and I didn't feel like going for a hot-oil treatment that day. So I told the hairdresser I wanted to take some of the length off the back to even out the rest of the layering from my last haircut, and cut some wispy bangs at nose length.

At first I was shocked - SHOCKED, I tell you! - because one of the reasons why I've stopped cutting my hair short has a lot to do with the way my past haircuts have made me look like a mushroom; apart from my chubby cheeks and chin, I also have a thick neck, which looks horrible when paired with short hair. But since I was going to sit in that chair for a while, and the lovely "queen" who was doing my hair had suggested that the cut goes with the conditioning treatment, I thought, hey, at least this buys me some time, right? So I took a sip of Nestea and went ahead.

The treatment in question was called "hair clay," but there was nothing clay-like about the whole procedure. A soothing, peppermint-infused cream was massaged into my lovely hair, which was then wrapped in plastic and left to sit before it was put under the hood for steaming (the better to let that mask soak in). While I sat back and read the glossies, an army of attendants came by and massaged my neck and back. Then the goop was rinsed out of my hair, which was then blowdried to un-mushroomy perfection.

Once the blowdryer was put away, I took a look at my new short hair and was amazed. It's more of a bob-like shape, quite short in the back, but with very long bangs in front. It's mod and modern at the same time, very low-maintenance but still glamorous. (Not that it's going to score me any shampoo endorsements at this point, although I won't be surprised if these guys ended up getting me as a backup dancer for their next video.)

My Mom liked it, of course - not just because she's my Mom, but because she was never a fan of my long hippie hair anyway, which she says always makes me look "ungroomed."

The best part? Never having to worry about ponytailers, clips, and other hair products for the next few months, since it's layered in a way that should grow out nicely if I let it be for a while. No more ponytail vertigo for me!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Case Against The Overly Literate-on-the-Verge-of-Pretentious Reviewer

EDIT: I know that this entry isn't exactly Domesticity-worthy except for the hipster-bashing, so if you want to skip this, it's OK with me. To make up for it, I will now share with you the worst video that I've seen in the last three months: "Rudebox" by Robbie Williams - which not only illustrates what happens when somebody loses his sense of humor, but practically makes the new Kevin Federline clip look like high art. Utter crap, I tell you.


Let me state for the record that I am not a fan of Robert Christgau. On the contrary, I am indifferent to what he has to say about music or anything else. Yet, I am irritated by the way certain writers rip off his style in their own reviews. It's the main reason why I don't read music magazines any more like I used to: I could care less if this band reminds you of some other band - all I care about is whether or not I feel anything for the music. It's another reason why I think bloggers are going to be more vital in the democratization of any art form - music, fashion, beauty, books, movies, etc. - and even more so than the mainstream media.

That said, this article from Slate makes me smile.

A few quotes:
Of course, Christgau's blurbs are like no one else's—dense with ideas and allusions, first-person confessions and invective, highbrow references and slang. They are far too insidery for general readers, and even the biggest music geek can find his writing hard to decipher...

...Christgau has his hard-core cultists. At various times, the Voice music section embodied the worst aspects of Christgau's influence, publishing articles that were lumpy goulashes of rock-crit arcana and in-jokes. Christgau is probably too peculiar a writer to be an ideal model. His imitators can't match his chops.

Note to all the pretentious Christgau wannabes writing for the papers and music magazines in Manila: Time to give up the ghost, folks. The revolution is closer than you think.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 10

Here's a little spoiler for those of you waiting for tonight's elimination show: THEY SENT THE WRONG ROCKER HOME.

I'm serious, folks. They shouldn't have sent Storm home. Her original song stood out. Her voice has gotten better. So what if she had phoned it in a couple of times? Then again, it looked like she was the one who wanted to go home badly. I was so sad for her... but, who knows? Maybe she and Ryan will end up tying the vote for the returning encore next week.

You know who they should have sent home? Dilana. Even if you hadn't seen the "webisode" (where she manages to upset Gilby by writing an FU song to her own fans - "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" THIS, ho) you already know that her song totally sucks by way of being too obvious and regrettable. Or maybe we're just feeling sorry for her pulling a calf muscle, I don't know. Evs, Dopey - I'm already over you.

Elsewhere, the Magni love train has kept on chugging. In my opinion, one of the reasons why Mags didn't do too well with Gilby on the songwriting clinic has a lot to do with English not being his primary language; speaking as someone who's bilingual by birth, I understand how hard it is to write anything in English - especially something as emotional as poetry or song lyrics - when your own thoughts are in your native language. And it's even harder when you're rushed... which is why I was blown away by his original song, even if his stage presence did turn out to be pretty vanilla. (Also: Can you blame me for liking the song he just did with Suave Porn? If he's so good that he could turn their crap lyrics into treasures, he might as well be slumming.) Another reason for me to assert the fact that Magni shouldn't win this thing, if only because he's either incompatible or way too good for the band he's supposed to front in the first place. In other words, he's not just this summer's version of Chris Daughtry... he's also this year's version of Marty Casey. And if I don't see him with Our Band: House on tour, I could see him coming back to Reykjavik as a hero, the way MiG did (in a way) when he opened for INXS in Manila.

Which then begs the question: Who do I see fronting the band in the first place?

Toby looks like the front-runner, in every sense of the word: He's not the most talented one of the bunch, or the most technically skilled, but his songwriting is compatible with Suave Porn's formula, his stage presence is off the hook, and the ladies just love him. Not that I would buy the band's album if he's the frontman, but if I got free tickets to their New Year's concert at Hard Rock Las Vegas (preferably with all-expenses paid round trip flight, hotel room, and limo service), I wouldn't be averse to seeing him.

Lukas, on the other hand, is more of the master showman, and I can totally buy his little arrogant punky-troll self being in a band with Tommy Lee. He's showing more of his "vulnerable" side, especially with the slowed-down version of "Living On A Prayer" (although I'm worried that Stretch may have thrown a remote at the TV by now) and "Head Spin" (aka "Dilana Could Only Wish for My Mommy Issues"). Like JD Fortune or Santino Rice (we just got the second season of Project Runway here) , Lukas is a love-or-hate kind of guy - the kind that you can't help but root for in the end, no matter how much you hate him.

So, to sum it all up, here's my predictions on who will win, place, or show in the next two weeks:

Final 3: Lukas, Toby, Dilana (Magni will be most likely to get voted out)

Will probably win: Toby (if Supernova wants a conventional, malleable, pretty-boy lead singer) or Lukas (if Supernova wants to go with the glam-rock route)

May end up winning: Dilana (and if she does, I'll be free to ignore the band and the rest of their career forever)

Should get the "returning finalist" encore next week: Tie between Storm and Ryan, unless Zayra goes for the photo finish

Who should've auditioned: THIS GUY. Yeah, you heard me. (Soul Patrol, yo.) Or even THIS GIRL right here. As much as I love this show, what does it say about me when I'd much rather pay to see a drunk Kelly Clarkson fronting this band than any of the people I just mentioned?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Case for the Creative Commons License

Those of you still getting used to this blog, take note: I have installed a Creative Commons license tag on this blog as a protective measure to prevent any unauthorized copying, alteration, or unlawful use of anything posted on this blog -- up to and including original published text and images -- without any attribution to me.

Let me clarify: Part of the reason why it takes me way too long to write some of these blog entries has a lot to do with me looking at and for sources that I can link on my blog, especially if it's something I can always look up on the Web. I'm a researcher by nature - hello, grad student here! - so if I post anything that isn't my own, I will try my best to link and attribute that information to the original source. If I quote another blog, website, book, or news organization, I will make sure that the original source of the quote is attributed in some way or another on this blog. If I post any pictures that I haven't taken (or have not been given to me by the people who take the photos themselves), I'll either put in some attribution or try my best to post a link to the original photo where I got that image from in the first place. If I don't do all of the above, I might as well be committing professional suicide.

Remember, folks: Linkage, shout-outs, and other forms of attribution are fine by me. Flat-out plagiarism of original content? Not cool.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Case for the Guaranteed Box-Office Hit

By now you may have realized that I missed this week's Very Supernova Elimination of Ryass - um, I mean, Ryan, which makes me happy even though I think I'm going to miss him a little bit. There were a few more things I also missed - Lukas playing with the band, Magni escaping the Bottom Three (yay!) and the sweet karmic payback that is Dopelana ending up in the Bottom 3. Well, what can I say.


This morning, we were reading the paper, and I saw a movie listing at one of the theaters for a movie called You Are The Man. Yeah, I know that it's a typo because the theater was showing both You Are The One (the one where Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga bicker and fall in love and whatnot) and Little Man (the Wayans Brothers movie), but I can't help but think if it was an actual movie.

Picture this: Sam Milby, with the help of award-winning CGI, plays a vertically-challenged American citizen on the run from the law and hiding in the Philippines where he is forced to pose as a baby while looking for his biological mother. Along the way, however, he ends up at the doorstep of Toni Gonzaga, a clerk with the National Statistics Office who always gets shot down by consuls at the US Embassy (played by Shawn and Marlon Wayans) whenever she applies for a visa to visit her mother. They bicker, they patch up, they fall in love... then drama ensues, all culminating with an explosive chase scene at NAIA where Little Sam runs after Toni with the help of Shawn and Marlon as corrupt military goons threaten to hijack her plane using a tiny vial of explosive-posing-as-baby formula. Then the goons are eaten by gigantic snakes and Love Conquers All! The end.

If that's the case, I am so going to watch that movie.