Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 9 (Viewer's Choice)

Some thoughts running through Meimei's mind while watching this week's telecast on Star World...

Reality Webisode: "Here we go again, and I'm already tired because I think I biffed something at the conference this afternoon. Dilana, you're not the only one who makes that sort of mistake, you know. I've said crappier things about people I actually loved, and they're not even on - HOLY CRAP, DID YOU JUST SMASH YOUR GLASS IN FRONT OF MAGNI? Would you just take a damn Xanax already? Poor Magni, getting a little gash on his face. Insert 'It's only a flesh wound' joke here... Wait, is that Ryan wearing eyeglasses? Do these producers know that I have a spectacle fetish? Because Ryan + glasses = HOT. Aw, look at Magni being stoic. And look at Dilana totally losing her marbles. Now that's vulnerability. None of that 'I'm so emotional, I want to smash a f'ing glass and hang my knees out the window' crap... Photo shoot. Yawn. I hate that photographer guy. Trying for too much sexy. Blue Steel! And, hello, Magni GOT HIS FACE SLASHED BY A SHARD OF GLASS. You'd be out of it, too, if you were in his situation... Cut to the chase. Song selection. Wait - this week is Viewers' Choice? And EVERYBODY got a Wild Card? Either the system is finally working in our favor, or this competition is getting more cooked by the day. Lukas, I know you hate Nirvana, but the fans love you for -- oh, wait, Mom just came in with a couple of bromeliads, and... are those cookies? COOKIE. ARRRGHNUMNUMNUMNUM."

Recap of Webisode on Performance Night: "Way to go producers, sticking the knife so deep into Dilana like that. You're lucky she's not bashing any drinking glasses in your direction. And stop being such a wuss, Dave Navarro. I guess there really is a girl's bike in your future, so until then, just... stop."

Lukas, "Lithium": "He's rocking it, all right, but I never would have thought that Lukas, of all people would come up with something that's a mere few inches away from Richard Cheese territory. But I like this better than Dilana's, for sure. Especially since Dopelana scared the heck out of me when she did this. Hey, Dopelana. Also: Shut Up Dave Navarro."

Commercial Break #1: "Hey, Evie was right: Those two lead guys from Cueshe do look like butch lesbians in drag. Whoever pointed this out to her, I should buy that guy a beer."

Magni, "I Alone": "Now, this is the way you sing Live for a reality television show. I still remember Ed Kowalczyk's vocals on the original version and that one gave me chills, but here Magni's just letting himself be vulnerable. Oh, my goodness, I'm about to make a joke about the 'thawing' of the Iceman. How baduy."

Ryan, "Clocks": "He got me from the piano playing. Good start... Wait, is he trying to hump the piano? What in the fresh hell is this? I guess this works both ways - if you hated Coldplay enough maybe you'd like it, but... I dunno. I wish I didn't mind the screaming so much."

Commercial Break #2: "Okay, so Star World News is still on. Now, who on earth should I talk to at MYX to get them to stop playing that damn video for 'Dale Candela' over and over again?... Oh, isn't this hilarious. 'Rock Star: Supernova. BROUGHT TO YOU BY KFC.' That is so rock, y'all."

Storm, "Bring Me To Life": "Oy. Too low. I bet even Amy Lee is meh about this whole thing. Five words: 'Call Me When You're Sober.' Toby's so not rockin' it with the backup, though. 'Stole your heat,' my foot. "

Toby, "Rebel Yell": "He's not mumbling! HE'S NOT MUMBLING! And look at him pulling up some of those girls onstage. We should call them Our Groupies: Paid Nicely."

Commercial Break #3: "You know, a Diet Coke wouldn't be so bad right now... except we're out of Diet Coke. Damn. Brain turning off. Must get sleep immediately."

Dopelana, "Mother Mother": "The perfect song for the perfect rock poseur. I'd like this better... if I still cared. Whatever. I guess it's true: If she wins, the band gets the singer it deserves. And the rest of us will go on with our lives."

Meimei turns off TV before seeing who's in the Bottom 3.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Case for the Boyfriend, or What's MY Fantasy?

Yeah, I was weepy for about five minutes... but then I've been talking to all sorts of people - including Stretch, Evie, and my brother - and then I was inspired to draft this. (In fact, I should give credit where credit is due: Evie wrote a similar, funnier list on her Friendster blog. - Mei, 9:34 PM)) Let me know if I've missed anything.

What I Want In A Significant Other, by Meimei

- SINGLE: not married, not separated, not even anywhere near entangled. (No priests, seminarians, porn stars, polygamists, or cult leaders, please.)

- Heterosexual: I know, not easy to tell these days, but take it from somebody who's been down that road one time too many. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

- Roman Catholic: "Yeah, right, Mei, good luck finding one." But I know they're out there! And they're not all whiny, judgmental, stick-in-the-mud types who... GRR! MEIMEI ANGRY! SMASH PICTURES!... Okay, where was I? Yeah, he must be a practicing Sunday regular, or at least have a strong desire to be converted. Y'all know how much I love God, right? So he better know how to walk the walk and talk the talk without coming off as a major hypocrite.

- Open-minded: See above. I like it when a guy is cool with me even at my dorkiest moments. This should also come in handy when he meets my family.

- Tall: Anything taller than 5'5 is fine by me. I can live with it.

- Intelligent: Both of my parents have PhDs in economics. Do the math.

- Funny: There is never enough mojo to compensate for a man without a finely tuned sense of humor, no matter how hot or intelligent he is in real life. And the only thing worse than a humorless man is someone whose "sense of humor" amounts to nothing more than laughing at tasteless, frat-level jokes. Yuck.

- Good conversationalist: A little less Kevin Federline, a little more Keith Olbermann.

- Adventurous: Not exactly the James Bond "international playboy" type, but willing to try new things without flinching.

- Musically inclined: I've got a soft spot for guitar players, drummers, bassists, and keyboardists, but if he can do all that and sing with a voice that sounds like raw honey... baby, I could listen all day.

- Athletic: Those abs, pecs, and glutes better be natural, yo. And if you're willing to take me along on your sporty adventures - or at least take me to the gym with you, so you could weight-lift while I'm on the treadmill - I won't complain.

- Handy around the house: Boy, if looking good in jeans and a utility belt were enough, Nate Berkus would've been married to me by now. But since he isn't, professional-grade competency in home repairs and expert handling of power tools are a major plus.

- Gentle: I want to say "sensitive," but that word just conjures up way too many associations with guys who identify themselves as feminists and write touchy-feely song lyrics. I'm talking "gentle" in the way that wild gorillas and dishwashing soap are gentle.

- Well-dressed: I'm not asking for designer clothes; I'm just asking for a little more thought and effort in the wardrobe-selection process. This has been a heated topic of discussion between myself and my guy friends, who don't see anything wrong about showing up at a party in grungy wear. But you know what, guys? If you expect us girls to show up at any given moment looking hot (with any kind of help that we can find in our wardrobe and beauty stashes), I think it's fair that we hold you to the same standard - because when you care enough to take care of yourself when it matters, that speaks volumes about your confidence.

- Well-groomed: And this goes with the "well-dressed" category named above. Facial hair I can take or leave, but if a guy has good skin, smells really nice - even if it's just soap - and his hair looks like it has been washed and combed within the last 48 hours? Yummy. And if he happens to mess it all up by sweating all day - but still smelling nice - it's even more yummy.

- Well-traveled: You know those contestants on The Amazing Race who have such major chips on their shoulders because they have to travel to foreign countries where nobody speaks their language and they have to trudge through this God-forsaken country to get to the next leg, which means that they have to rely on the poor unwashed locals for help and support? I wouldn't want that person for a traveling partner... and I wouldn't want that in a man, either.

- Good grasp of language: He doesn't have to be multilingual. All I'm asking for is someone who can write and speak without going out of his own way to be blatantly offensive.

- Good cook: There's just something sensual about a guy who takes the time out to make the dinner for you, especially if he's working with the best recipes and ingredients available. (No more Spam-and-ramen dinners!) Bonus points if the resulting dinner tastes like a million bucks.

- Expert mixologist/ brewmaster/ oenophile: Take it from somebody who used to date an aspiring flair bartender in college - you don't need to be with a guy whose idea of a "cocktail" involves mixing fruit juice with every blend of supermarket booze known to man, and then serving the resulting mess with dry ice and an umbrella. Give me a guy who can appreciate a good wine, a finely crafted beer, or an expertly-blended martini any time - especially if he can still hold his liquor pretty well.

- Mature: Last, but not in any way the least. By this I mean someone who has lived through it all and is all the better for it. Someone who's very stable emotionally and spiritually, not to mention financially. (You may not realize this now, but I've found that it all goes hand in hand.) This quality is probably the least negotiable of all the qualities presented in this list, but you all know that it's for a very good reason.

Other than that? I'm pretty easy. Not in a rush. Really.

Domesticity Dispatch: Miss You Like Hell, Manila

So it's confirmed: I should be back in Honolulu by mid-September. Right now, however, I'm in the middle of a mad scramble - registering for classes (online), looking for a new apartment (online), window shopping for laptops (online) packing up my bags (I wish I could do this online) - which has left precious little in the way of wrapping up my business here in the Philippines.

Manila, Manila/ Miss you like hell, Manila/ No place in the world like Manila/ Manila, coming home...

Okay, so lining up my job offers is one thing. Saying goodbye to the people who have kept me sane, however, is another story. Evie's birthday is coming up soon. Stretch and I still need to have our spa day. I still haven't figured out if our buddy Pike is coming home for his dad's funeral - we've practically grown up with the guy. And I still haven't talked to my cousin Tiger in weeks, even though he too is facing his own important decisions about leaving the country.

I want to think about the bad stuff so I won't miss the place - the small-town gossip, the usual governmental chicanery, the annoyingly boba VJs who keep interrupting my daily dose of videos on MYX - but I can't. I've fallen in love with the place. It's unfortunate that I still have one year left of graduate school to finish, with the possibility of not coming home this Christmas... but there you go.

One thing is for damn sure: I will be back.


Speaking of this whole transition: Between going on Friendster and going on nostalgia trips, I've found myself bemoaning my singleness over again. Here in my hometown, Evie and I are among the few left in our large group of friends (most of whom have known each other for at least 20 years) that have not gotten married - without a demanding job/ religious vocation/ extended stay in rehab to excuse us for not being in a relationship. Among my high school friends from Manila, I could barely count the ones who still identify themselves as "single."

(Well, so this is the part where my Mom butts in and reminds me of the people I know who - for lack of a better description - are checking the "It's complicated" category to describe their marital status. That's another rant for another time.)

Still and all, though: I do think I'm happy where I am right now - I've got a loving family, friends who love and support me, a (potential) career in which I'm finally finding some sort of fulfillment, and a growing awareness of my spirituality. That still doesn't excuse me for the moments when I'm at my most human... or at least the moments when I'm curled up around my pillow, wondering about the reasons why I'm not making out with (insert name of potential celebrity boyfriend) at this very moment.

Yeah, I know, I could work on a few of those things that have been scaring guys off for years. Then again, considering the qualities of the guys I have "scared off"... well, I guess that's just God's way of telling me that I was way too good for the poor sucker anyway. (Ahem. Ahem.)

But I'll... stop here, because it's getting too long and I'm about to get weepy. Next entry!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

What's Your Fantasy? Pinoy ROCK! Edition, Part 2

Hey, remember when I told you that I couldn't find a decent picture of the guys from Sandwich? Well, looks like I actually got a paparazzi-worthy shot from Evie and her Dad's trusty digital camera:

From left: Myrene Academia (bass), Mike Dizon (drums; partially obscured), Mong Alcaraz (guitar), Raimund Marasigan (lead), and my current "boo" Diego Castillo (guitar).

Well, okay, so this picture isn't the greatest (poor Diego and Mong!) but I so want to marry this band. Okay, except for Myrene, because I don't think our families would approve of that. Still, though.

And because this particular joke never gets old, here's a picture of Gael Garcia Bernal's twin brother:

As Evie would say, you better get that drool bucket ready.

(Now if we could get Bamboo Manalac and Champ Lui Pio to "accidentally" lose their shirts when we take their pictures, this blog would be a very happy place indeed.)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Domesticity DOUBLE Dispatch: Hanging by a Moment

Today's a double whammy of an entry, because I'm already writing about two disparate things at the same time. I just want to get all of this out of the way because I have a very important appointment tomorrow morning in Manila and I have to leave super-early to beat the traffic.


Here's what I will be wearing tomorrow:

- Faro mauve/pink ruffled 3/4 sleeve blouse, purchased at Rustan's (I love this line!)
- Old Navy black pants
- Marks and Spencer black microsuede pumps
- cubic zirconia earrings bought at Ross eight years ago

- L'Oreal True Match pressed powder in W6 Sun Beige
- Maybelline Moisture Whip lipstick in Mystic Burgundy
- Chanel Chance EDT
- Backup: see all of the above, plus Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Raisin Glaze, Watson's Oil Control blotting papers, and hand sanitizer

Tied back with a black elastic

Black leather folio for those important files

Why so minimalist, you ask? Well, for one thing, I have to leave the house by four in the morning so I could beat traffic and be at my appointment by 7 AM, so anything complicated - read: eye makeup - goes out of the window. Here's a clue: Where I'm going, it's not going to be too comfortable because there will be a lot of people... but I am expected to look (and act) professional, because I do need to be taken seriously.

And, no, I am not going to an early taping for Wowowee! or Philippine Idol, because we all know I have as much of a chance of winning anything on those shows as I have of winning one night in Las Vegas with Wentworth Miller.

Wish me luck, guys; I'll need it.



No, I didn't wake up early enough for this, so it shouldn't even deserve its own entry. (I was up all night drafting my papers for tomorrow, ahem.) BUT I did catch the last 15 minutes, where my lovely Magni ended up at the bottom again with Go Home Patrice (who did) and Stop Humping The Drum Kit Toby (which he also did). Patrice really gave it her all for "Middle of the Road," but we all knew from the beginning that she was going home anyway, so there.

Toby, however, gained back a few pogi points for me with "Plush," even though his version is way too gritty next to the version Magni did a few weeks ago. And Magni's "Fire" was just insane, but it has also confirmed my suspicion that he is way too good for Suave Porn.

Wait... Toby performed with Suave Porn today? There... are... no... words.

My picks, revised:

Will go next week: Toby or Magni (Storm stopped phoning it in last night, and more people are jumping off Dilana's train for her)
Should have an original song ready by next week: Storm, Dilana
Should pay more attention to the requests next week: Toby (I still can't see him "showing creativity" as much as I see him "showing his pixellated private parts"), Lukas (hello, Wild Card), Ryan (hello, subtlety), Magni (hello, more tight jeans)
Top five: Dilana, Lukas, Ryan, Storm, Magni
Will end up winning: Heck if I know. At least INXS was likable (and Gary Garry Beers was super-easy on the eyes), but Suave Porn just bugs me to the point of not caring. That's why I'm predicting an early exit for Magni at this point.

(Hey, producers? I have another idea. Why not have somebody sing "Selling the Drama" by Live two weeks from now? I HATE that song, but I'd LOVE to see somebody kill it for me.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star: Season 2, Week 8

I caught the morning telecast of today's show on Star World at 10 am. No, scratch that - because I was hung over from the post-concert bull session with Evie, I caught the tail end of the "reality" episode in anticipation of the performance episode. Folks, maybe it's just me, but what kind of wickety-wack (TM Manolo) did they just air for that one? No, I'm not talking about Ryan being a control freak (hey, if you realized that you were performing your own Original Song to an International Audience, wouldn't you be?), but that whole "counseling" session where the Roomie-Rockers start getting in touch with their feelings about their housemates. Apart from that tidbit about somebody being a slob (Dilana, is that you?) and Magni riffing on Lukas' makeup as a "Canadian thing," that was some pure, unfiltered wickety-wack on my television right there. I didn't even get a chance to laugh at Dilana's turn to run around the pool naked, which was... okay, except for the incredible muscle tone and inkage on her skin, because I think it was totally expected of her.

Okay, back to the performances... and to Ryan, who after the jaw-dropping performance of his otherwise micromanaged Original Song, is now my candidate for Rawker I'd Most Want To See Nude Next Week. Because, seriously, who else would it be? I'm sure it won't be Patrice because her song, like Shut Up Zayra's, confirmed that she's better off being her own artist in her own world. I don't think it would be Magni out of respect for his family, and Lukas... well, in the words of Mr. Tommy Lee, that would be totally Sauteed in Wrong Sauce, no matter how hot he is onstage.

Which leads us to Storm and her glittery gray eyeshadow, which runs neck-and-neck with Dilana and her purple false lashes (can't be Shu Uemura, though - I've seen a similar pair at Longs Drugs in Kaimuki) for Best Eye Makeup of the Night. Storm's "Cryin' " really put her over the top for this competition, I think, but I would totally love it if she would do her Original Song next week. Same with Dilana, especially since she had the gumption to sing her own name during "Every Breath You Take" - interesting psychological subtext, but I want some music, darnit.

Also: Nobody ever sounded good while covering "Smells Like Teen Spirit," especially when it comes to this show. MiG Ayesa didn't, and Magni, while still sounding competent as a singer (and looking very adorable while doing so), didn't fare any better either. The only difference, however, was that at least Magni was going for "intense" and "subtle" at the same time, which was probably why the judges docked him for not being dramatic enough.

Which leads us to my obligatory weekly nitpick on Lukas, where I do ding him on turning his back on the audience once again (but major props for not humping the drum set... more on that later). Like I've said, Lukas isn't exactly a guy I'd like to see naked, but when he's on, he's on, and it makes him so much more attractive that way. Also, I immediately flashed back to the concert I attended last night, where one of the bands had a frontman who had almost the exact same get-up as Lukas - right down to the aviator glasses, in fact. That guy, however, didn't have a skunk stripe in his hair, and was certainly not wearing eyeliner.

And finally... Toby, what the heck happened? I can take or leave the whole "Layla" business (the original is never something you should be messing with anyway, but props for keeping the guitar line, which puts you one over Eric Clapton), but would somebody please tell him that he shouldn't even be climbing over the drum kit and acting like an orangutan in heat? I understand the urge to air-hump the guitar player, as Jill demonstrated numerous times, but the drum kit?!?!?! It's a good thing I was half-conscious when I saw this, dude, because otherwise I would've totally switched channels on you so I could watch that Sandwich video (I love you Diego!!!) for the ten millionth time.

Should totally go: Patrice
Should get the encore: Ryan or Storm
Should play with Suave Porn: Lukas, if Ryan gets the encore
Will probably end up winning the whole thing anyway, like it or not: Dilana

On a lighter note, Gilby Clarke's dog - or as I would love to call him right now, Our Mascot: Chomper - is adorable, and should be on the show more often.

Now, if ABS-CBN (that would be The Filipino Channel for those of you abroad) could just start the ball rolling on the inevitable Rock Star rip-off, I will totally forgive them for every heinous television program that they have ever produced in this lifetime. Really!

What's Your Fantasy?: Pinoy ROCK! Edition

Last night's concert was an absolute blast, if it wasn't for the fact that it ended too abruptly - a fact that was not lost on my friend Evie, whom I had to talk out of making certain threats against The Powers That Be who didn't count on the fans wanting so much more for so little time. (Memo to aforementioned TPTB: Next time, if the tickets say that the show's at 8 pm, START AT 8 PM - okay, give or take half an hour, but no more than that. It's ESPECIALLY important if you KNOW that the venue is supposed to close at a certain hour. And if you know there's no room for an encore, it's a VERY BAD IDEA to have a cutesy celebrity VJ on stage saying stupid things like, "It's over! I'm serious! Do you want me to sing?" Because, people, the one thing less savory than a theater full of fans threatening to riot is the sight of Meimei and Evie inciting said riot by delivering a righteous bitch-slapping to a celebrity... and, believe me, you so totally don't want that. That's all.)

While I was trying to talk Evie off her ledge - so to speak - over a couple of beers, we got around to talking about how things have changed in the last ten years since I moved away. Sure, the Pinoy rock scene has produced a lot of awesome bands in the past (hello, Eraserheads and Parokya ni Edgar) but there have only been a countless few of them who we could say were, well, hot. But this year... sigh.

Take, for example, Sandwich. Okay, so I can't find a better photo online (or at least one where the guys are not hairdo-challenged) but trust me on this one: These guys are good, on top of being good-looking. Their lead singer, Raimund Marasigan, is a cutie in his own right - and plenty mesmerizing onstage, too - but my money's on Diego Castillo, the band's original guitarist (he's the tall, skinny guy in the video linked above), who - I swear - has only gotten hotter since he finally cut off his 'fro. When I saw them last night, D. was wearing a long-sleeved striped dress shirt and black pants, and wielding a wicked ax (as always), and I was so close to him on the front row that I had to stop myself from asking him to marry me right there on stage. Me? Groupie material? Hell no. But I'll totally have his bouncy-haired babies if he wanted me to.

Unless, that is, I got an offer to spend way too much time with Sponge Cola, which I would not mind at all. The best way for me to describe their lead singer Yael Yuzon (and the wicked new haircut he was sporting last night) is that he is the Pinoy version of Gael Garcia Bernal - look, their names rhyme too! - but with the raw, wrenching, emotional vocal talent that can make a romantic out of just about anyone. Then again, I'll probably end up fighting an entire army of girls to get to him, so I'll just leave him here for the eye candy.

And then there's Hale, another band known for both romantic moping and cute cuteness. They were not there at the concert, which was a pity in itself, but their frontman, Champ Lui Pio, is the kind of guy you want to take home so you could snuggle (ahem) with him all night long while drinking hot ginger tea. Then again, based on the scuttlebutt I've heard about Hale's hellish touring schedule, I bet Champ could totally use more of that kind of TLC. You know, what with ginger tea being good for the throat and all...

I could go on and on, but I'll end up sounding like a hipster anyway - which doesn't sound good for somebody like me, who's coming back into the swing of things ten years too late. (Not to mention that some of the other bands we saw last night count as friends-of-friends, which I consider a conflict of interest for this blog.) So I'll close out this entry with a mini-linkfest for one Francisco Manalac, whom we all know and love as Bamboo. Again, at the risk of getting trampled by every other Filipino female on the planet, let me say that this guy is insanely talented on top of being better-looking than ever... so of course he's got a life-long membership on my Pinoy Celebrity Boyfriend List. And that's the truth.

Check back later tonight for my review of Rock Star: Season 2, Week 8. After watching Sandwich and Sponge Cola - not to mention Parokya ni Edgar and Kamikazee, among others - live on the same night, staying home to catch Suave Porn continue their long-running audition for singers seems quite anticlimactic.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Case for the Wardrobe Post, Part 2

Because I am headed out to Manila to see a rock concert with my friend, I figured I might as well post what I'll be wearing tonight.

- Julie's Closet jersey cap-sleeve blouse in black and pink floral print with lace "cross-your-heart" detail on neckline and bodice (purchased at Ross last year)
- Old Navy nude camisole
- Gap Curvy Fit petite jeans
- Beaded dangling earrings with copper detail (gift from my Mom when she went to Bangladesh)
- Highlights green suede wedge-heel moccasins with brown satin trim

- Prep: Aveeno Ultra Calming Lotion SPF 15 (face); Smith's Rosebud Salve (lips)
- Foundation: Sephora Professionel Perfection Base primer and L'Oreal True Match pressed powder in W6 Sun Beige
- Eyes: L'Oreal HIP eyesadow in Mischief (gold side for base, navy side for smudging) with Revlon Colorstay eyeliner in Black Brown
- Brows: Stila Rain eyeshadow
- Cheeks: Stila Belle blush (bright fuschia pink - yeah, baby!)
- Lips: NYX automatic lip liner in Rose Brown, Maybelline Moisture Whip in Mystic Burgundy (because it's all about the wine lipstick this season, folks!)

- Johnson's Baby Cologne in Summer Splash (for the "just showered" feeling, since I figured it was going to be sweaty out there)

Tied up right now, but will be blowdried later with Got2B Shagged Out Liquid Fiber texturizing lotion

BACKUP (in purse)
Mystic Burgundy lipstick, Johnson's Baby Cologne, Watsons Oil Control blotting papers, Watsons hand wash, and Smints

Basically, I don't know what to call this "look" per se, but I do want to look decent enough to be able to leave the house under my parents' watch. Note that I'm also giving myself a break from mascara, since I've been losing lashes at an alarming rate lately.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Domesticity Retail Roundup: Manila Edition

This past week, we had two different appointments in Manila, which facilitated two different shopping trips. One was at Ayala Center in Makati, which has been radically revamped since I last came here in 2000 (hello, Greenbelt 3!) - I wore out my shoes just walking from wing to wing, looking for stores. The other was at Festival Supermall in Alabang, which is just as gigantic as Ayala Center but not as confusing to walk through. Despite the grand magnitude and impressive range of items at both malls, however, I still managed to buy only a handful of stuff - because, as you know, I'm way too frugal that way. (To be fair, however, I barely stopped myself from drooling all over the new Diptyque and L'Occitane stalls at Rustan's.) So, instead of talking about what I saw at each store, I'm going to talk about the things that I actually bought. Shocker!

- Maxi striped blouse, Landmark: Lately I've been a fan of the open Mandarin collar, which is basically a band around your neck with a deep V-like opening in front (the better to show off that sternum and not look like a block, heh). This blouse - with long, roomy, uncuffed sleeves - is made from cotton shirting, with pink and yellow stripes and buttons the size of US quarters. It doesn't button all the way down, though, but I think it's a good informal alternative for the moments when a traditional shirt would be too starchy and a T-shirt would be too casual.

- Maybelline lip gloss and lipstick, PCX: Let me state for the record that I am a sucker for sales, especially for lip product. That's why I couldn't help but snap up not one, but two, about-to-be-discontinued products that are obviously not available in the States. (The clerk told me that they were clearing out stock to make way for the Moisture Extreme line.) The Moisture Whip lipstick in Mystic Burgundy is a darker version of the US Moisture Extreme's Red Dawn shade, which has a satin finish; it's not a daring, bloody red (like the Maybelline ME's Cherry Brown or my beloved MAC Underworld) but more on the sensible, plummy side. I still needed a lip balm to wear this, but it stayed on sensibly nonetheless. My current favorite, however, is the Fruity Jelly lip gloss in 06 Strawberry, which I bought for way less than $1.99. At first I was scared because it was such a pale baby pink in the tube, but I was surprised that it went on super sheer without even looking the least bit sparkly. Not to mention that the stuff smells like candy and is the least bit sticky going on your lips. Really awesome!

Seriously, folks: The Asian versions of familiar global brands are definitely worth a look and try. Some brands are pretty good with putting out products and packaging that are definitely geared to the Asian market and not mere retreads of tired American or European stock. When I went to PCX, the sale table also had the most darling eyeshadow singles from Maybelline - tinier than the American compacts - as well as sensible eyeshadow duos from L'Oreal. Now if only they would manage to diversify the shade ranges for their foundation (and not stick us non-"porcelain/ivory" folk with just one shade that isn't always a guaranteed match - there's a reason why I do end up at the Lancome counter from time to time), I'd be a happy camper.

- Tea tree and lemon eucalyptus incense from some New Age stall, Ayala Center Glorietta: It's supposed to be for the outdoors, to ward off insects, but I use it in my bedroom because it smells great. Also because I sometimes get mosquito bites, so anything's better than nothing.


Lest I forget to mention this, I got a haircut at Jesi Mendez last Friday. My hair's still long, but layered in such a way that it's practically feathered all over, like a '70s shag. The layers around the crown, in particular, are really short verging on mullet-like, so if I tie my hair back it almost looks like I went all the way and got a pixie cut. (I like to joke sometimes that my current hairdo is the result of a one-night stand between Sienna Miller and Steve Perry.) That said, I'm far from looking like a retro holdover; on the contrary, it's now so feathery and shaggy and rocker-chick-y that it looks even better when it's slept in and messy, especially when I pin the sides back. It also looks better when I brush my hair while holding my head upside down, with minimal to no styling product whatsoever. Hey, it could work.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: A Very Supernova Elimination (Week 7)

We interrupt this post for this important announcement: Shut up, Punk Ass Bitch, because you're just jealous about Taylor Hicks bringing more Sexy Back than you are. Maybe when Suave Porn chooses a lead singer, you'll have something more PAB-like to say by then, no?

Finally, I get to stay up early enough to watch the Rock Star elimination show on Star World, and I get... THIS?!?!?

To be fair, I didn't get to watch the rest of the elimination because that was when I had to grab my bag and leave. But I've got to love Storm's WTF?!?! face when she found out Magni got Bottom 3 and not her, despite her willingness to go down with the rest of the ship. That's how I reacted, too. (I love you Magni!!!) Plus, between Magni's "Creep" and Patrice's "Celebrity Skin" (which made me switch immediately to another channel that was showing the new Evanescence video... Patrice only wishes she could pull off Amy Lee's range in "Call Me When You're Sober") this round really looked like Stick It To Lukas Week.

But how very PREDICTABLE of Suave Porn to get Dilana to perform with them first time out, complete with dancing hoochies (and, should I add, a surprising lack of HoYay when D. got a chance to freaky-dance with said hoochies). As I've said last night, Madame D. has been taking one too many cues from Kanye West lately: justifiable because she does have the talent and confidence to back it up, but it's going to cost her in the long run if she doesn't watch her back. Ahem. Look at what it did to Ty Taylor, yo.

About the encore: Ryan's "In The Air Tonight" is [Dave Navarro voice]AWWWWESOME[/DNv], in the sense that I practically forgot that it was a Phil Collins song. Then again, I still have all these weird thoughts about making Ryan sing "Oh Sherrie" onstage... or at least, pasting his head on Steve Perry's body (while using brain-bleach on whatever Stevarino had stuffed into his jeans) for the video of said song... which I know is not going to happen, since this show is so RAWK! and all.

Which then leads us to the most satisfying end of all: Zayra, Zayra, and Zayra. You're just not right for Our Band, but you've been building the foundation of what should look like an intriguing solo career, where you get to annoy all the backup musicians that you want whenever you don't get to "feel" a song. We all knew it was coming anyway, so goodbye to you and your rubber bodysuits, which I'm sure will be put to good use in your next career.

And so it ends...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 7

Oy! Naked Toby! "Sauteed in wrong sauce"! And a ton of rockers blaming everything on Vegas! This is just fantastic, yo.

From the looks of it, I believe I can already see a Top 5 in the form of Dilana, Lukas, Ryan, Magni, and perhaps even Toby. On the other hand, however, the bottom 3 that I'm seeing right now - Patrice, Storm, and Zayra - is still too close to call.

At first I was insistent that this should be Shut Up Zayra's week to go home, but I'm now beginning to wonder if she's going to hang in there for another week. Not that I was blown away by her performance of "Lluvia del Mar (Rainy Days)" , but I will admit that the song is gorgeous, and if anything I'm convinced that she's hell-bent on going out with a bang - which, now that I think of it, is such a rock-n-roll thing to do; "better to burn out than to fade away," you know? Not to mention that her makeup - again with the gold eyeshadow and flase lashes (Shu Uemura?) - looked absolutely lovely, and I'd rather see the taffeta skirt rather than the head-to-toe yellow latex jumpsuits.

And if Z. does go home, I'm seeing a Thursday-night tossup between Shut Up Patrice and Shut Up Storm next week, because none of them are really bringing it so much as text-messaging it in. Storm, in particular, totally messed up with "I Will Survive" - come on, couldn't somebody had pointed out that CAKE, of all people, was able to rock this one? Vegas hangover, my foot. And Patrice seems to be holding on to the "What Am I Still Doing Here" trophy, since she did the impossible feat of putting me to sleep with "Message in a Bottle." Not the worst version of the song I've heard, though (that distinction belongs to someone I knew at UH Manoa... not saying who, but it's someone I'm definitely no longer friends with) but covering Sting should never be this boring.

As for my top 5 contenders, remember: It's not in any order, for sure. Dilana's a favorite, for sure (and those of you who have seen the "webisode" would probably not take it against her whenever she gets all Kanye West and talks about how she's the obvious choice anyway) but this week was not my favorite performance at all; it practically belonged in the "Early Dilana" category when she tried too hard, rather than Last Week's Dilana who made it all effortless. Magni I will always love, but he too has been regressing a little bit and needs to loosen up on stage. Only Ryan and Lukas have seemed quite consistent performance wise, and I'm beginning to like how Lukas in particular is totally exploring subtlety and romanticism for a change. (As for Ryan, I can't wait for him to work on something more decidedly cheesy... Foreigner, anyone?) That leaves Toby, who I want to hate for mangling "Solisbury Hill" but can't because of his bongo-drum playing. And, um, his drunk nakedness.

Which reminds me: Somebody needs to sing "Separate Ways" here, people. Or "Every Rose Has Its Thorn." Or even (as I hinted last week) "Bringin' On The Heartbreak." Heck, I'll even take any of the cheesier moments in the Motley Crue discography, if Tommy Lee can handle it. (Disclosure: We sang "Time for Change" for my 6th grade graduation. AND one of my classmates thought he was cool when somebody gave him a tape of a rap group named "2 Live Crue." Oh, the humanity.) Come on, Mark Burnett! I need some levity here!

Video A-Go-Go, Part 2 (Short Version)

- Beyonce, "Ring the Alarm": Now, if you were one of those people who are currently demanding a re-shoot for the "Deja Vu" video, I suggest that you draw up a petition to have this taken out of rotation. I mean, really: What is up with the Beyonce-as-Sharon-Stone-in-Basic Instinct scenes? Is she supposed to be kuh-RAYYY-zeeee in this one? And did they use L'Oreal for the makeup? (Hey, I'm serious about that last question. I'm beginning to wonder who B. used as a makeup artist for this one, in case Mally Roncal wasn't available.)

- Diddy f/ Nicole Scherzinger, "Come To Me": Speaking of cosmetics-company endorsements, this one plays like an extended version of a commercial for Unforgivable by Sean John. (Check out the two ladies at the beginning of the video: hello, perfume ad!) Nicole, of course, looks hot - not like the last time I saw her on TV during a presscon for the Pussycat Dolls concert in Manila, where her bronzer made her look like she was covered head-to-toe in cheap "tan" pantyhose material (note to N.S. and the rest of the Pussycat Dolls: tell your handlers to ask for Mally's number) - and Mr. Combs' dance moves are always good for a laugh.

- Fall Out Boy, "Dance, Dance": The song's catchy - if not lyrically pretentious - but I have to admit that I have a crush on the guy who plays the prom date in this one, only because he looks a little bit like the young Jeremy Piven.

- Evanescence, "Call Me When You're Sober": Hey, Amy Lee finally hired the Harajuku Girls! Otherwise, the song rocks, and the video is so... well, Evanescence.

- Black Eyed Peas, "Bebot": As a Filipino I am morally obligated (ha!) to comment, so here goes: I like the first video because it's very evocative of the director's work (he also did the clip for "APL Song") by incorporating Fil-Am history into the video in a way that doesn't feel like you're forced to eat vegetables. But I also like the second video because the woman who plays APL's mom is hilarious, and I had to laugh at the thought of Jasmine Trias hooking up with Sway Penala (no, I'm serious - just watch the party scenes!), so it's hard to dislike. Also, both clips are still more palatable than "London Bridge."

Edited because I have been inspired (ahem) to admit that THIS will always be one of my (many) all-time favorite videos, ever. My love of Steve Perry knows no bounds, yo.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Miami Vice

Unintentionaly hilarious.

Words fail me when it comes to describing what a hot mess this movie is. No, really: Michael Mann makes a movie this overbudgeted, and this underscripted... and the resulting video montage still looks like it could use an endless loop of Justin Timberlake singing "I'm bringin' Sexy Back/ Them other boys don't know how to act" in the background? Dang.

Plus Colin Farrell may look hot when he's dirty, but here he desperately needs to be reintroduced to the concept of Soap and Water.

On the plus side, Gong Li is gorgeous, and needs to be cast in more movies.

Edited to add the most awesome thing ever this week: Fergie's "London Bridge" reconceptualized with J-pop artists!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Case for the Inevitable Unpopular Opinion

As much as I hate making political jokes in this day and age, I think I can't afford to sit around and grind my teeth any longer. So here goes...

You know, when the revolution finally happens and the terrorists have won, the first group of people that I hope they round up to face the firing squads in Mendiola and Luneta are all the pretentious artsy people who have been writing for the fashion and music sectors of the local media.

Not the editors themselves, mind you. Some of them are really cool. But I'm talking about those annoying people who write for the papers and the magazines as if they're God's gift to the English-speaking world, the ones who obviously are not taking the hint that Anna Wintour and Robert Christgau are not interested in reading their CV's - let alone pirating them from their God-forsaken writing jobs as their precious words are wasted on the masa, some of which don't even read their articles unless they're waiting to have their hair and nails done.

Oh, so you think I'm being harsh, eh? You think they are the ones I should respect, for being so refreshingly contrarian and anti-mainstream? You think I should just take it astride when some snobby fashion editor type dismisses Filipino fashion as nothing more than boring rip-offs of American retail sportswear, or some music-critic wannabe wastes my morning newspaper-reading time by whining about which band sold out for what reason? Heck, no. I'm mad as hell, and I can't take it any more.

People, when the terrorists finally arrive to depose whoever happens to be in power, they're not going to care if your Nicolas Ghesquiere pants make our Gap and Bench jeans look like crap, and they're not going to give a flying cow if you believe Jane's Addiction was a better band than Motley Crue and the APO Hiking Society combined. They're not even going to be terribly impressed with the articulate and witty way that you give out back-handed complements to your own countrymen here in the Philippines - yes, people like us - and the way we folk don't seem to run things in the exact same way that you wish we'd do. They will, however, be more than willing to expedite the process of making Jackson Pollock-inspired designs from what remains of your innards, if you annoy them enough.

And don't look at me like it's going to happen, yo. Why did you think I finally gave up when I started earning my own money in the States?

As E. Annie Proulx once wrote, before the fame went to her head: "If you can't fix it, you gotta stand it." And if you can't stand it... well, we'll be more than willing to tell you where you can go.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 6

I apologize for the lateness of this entry, but considering everything else that has happened this week - and how nervous I am going to be in the next few months if the terror alerts continue to be this crazy - I think missing out on a simple blog entry about a relatively trivial reality show isn't much.

Speaking of relatively trivial pursuits, can I just do some beauty blogging about the makeup featured on Performance Night? No, I'm not talking about Ryan donning a look last seen on Flea in the video for "Dani California" (though I love the description of "literal black paint" that Miss Alli gave on the TWoP recaplet a little better), or about Dilana going more for an art-student look for her hair (I missed her performance, that's why), but I have to say that somebody in the makeup department must be doing right by these people. Zayra, for example - the woman is evidently crazy for dressing up like the love child of Mr. Peanut and Chiquita Banana, but I loved the matching yellow eyeshadow, black-and-white eyeliner, and false eyelashes. Likewise, I could care less about what happens to Patrice or Jill, but all I kept thinking about during their performances were the shimmery gold- and brown-tone eyeshadows that both ladies were rocking. Maybe if I started a Rock the Eyeshadow Challenge once we've exhausted all of the lipstick-and-gloss possibilities at Blogdorf Goodman...

Meanwhile, my Magni love is showing no signs of subsiding, especially considering that I never liked that "Dolphins Cry" song to begin with... Hey, that's almost the same thing I typed about Chris Daughtry singing "Hemorrhage" on American Idol, which is making me wonder if the two of them are becoming the same person. Only the adorable earmuff-wearing Baby!Magni can tell us for sure.

And while Magni's beginning to morph into Chris Daughtry, Toby apparently has been snooping into the respective playbooks of JD Fortune and MiG Ayesa. (Mig, I love you! Call me when you get to Manila!) No, seriously: The much-debated-about bullhorn was straight out of JD's repeated pre-album performances of "Pretty Vegas," while the shirt-and-tie combo was definitely a nod to MiG's overall look - or at least his "special guest appearance" on Go Fug Yourself - apart from being a grungy homage to David Byrne himself. So could I help it if his performance of "Burning Down the House" amused me to no end?

Storm... zzzz... oh, wait, I'm sorry, I fell asleep at the typewriter again. Although I must say I'm surprised, because "We Are The Champions" is to this show what "My Way" is to karaoke bars across the Philippines: It's definitely a "kiss of death" song, and you better be lucky if you could survive by the final note. Unlike most karaoke bars in the Philippines, however, I'm pretty sure that security at the Rock Star set have taken precautions to keep Tommy Lee and Jason Newsted unarmed.

Here's also some simple math to tide us over: Lukas + Radiohead's "Creep" - (extreme-hold hair product for his bangs) = definitely nowhere near subtle.

Poor Jill and Josh, though - both of them were overdue for that elimination, I'll admit, but I didn't think either one of them was that bad. My theory, however, is that the Suave Porn guys are just starting to weed out the people who aren't going to stay likable for the next few weeks. This means that, if I go by my calculations, we'll finally see Zayra being shown the exit door next week (please please please let it happen), leaving Patrice and Ryan to swim with the sharks. I don't know who they're setting up for a showdown, though, but I want them to bring on the heartbreak already.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Video A-Go-Go

WARNING: Links not included with entry for certain videos. That's how much I'm trying to forget that I ever watched them. Brain bleach, anyone?

- Justin Timberlake, "SexyBack": No, PAB, Taylor Hicks is bringing the sexy back. Heck, there are former contestants from Pinoy Big Brother who are bringing more sexy back than you are, and they're not even my type. Besides, your Rick James voice on the chorus is making me wonder when Charlie Murphy is going to deliver your beatdown.

- Fergie, "London Bridge": Let's get all those "what the heck does she mean by London Bridge?" arguments out of the way and get straight to the point. The beats? Hot. The rest of the song? Meh. The rest of the song with the entire video? Are giving me nightmares. Compared to this, both "Deja Vu" and "Stars Are Blind" are looking hot by the minute.

- Cassie, "Me & U" / Rihanna, "Unfaithful": Both girls are really cute and seem like tons of fun to be with. That said, the songs are crap (lyrically and musically) and the videos are way too sexualized to be sexy, if you catch my drift. (Note about the Cassie video: I'm talking about the one where she dances in front of the mirror, not the one on YouTube that got scrapped because it looked like she was playing the jailbait card.)

- Jessica Simpson, "Public Affair": If only Madonna would just come down from the crucifix and slap some sense into the poor dear, I'd appreciate it.

- Jenn Cuneta, "Come Rain Come Shine": No, not the old chestnut, but a brain-free pop song set to a Paul McCartney sample. A couple of things: 1) Jenn, you're ruining the family name. Give it back to Sharon, for crying out loud, and go steal a surname from a less worthy Filipino celebrity. 2) And while I'm at it? PUT SOME PANTS ON, WOMAN.

And I haven't even gotten started with some of the videos I'm beginning to like, such as Keane's "Is It Any Wonder" (only because it sounds way too much like "Zoo Station" by U2) and "Dance, Dance" by Fall Out Boy. More on those later.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Domesticity Weekend: Links

Some tidbits from across the web:

- If you haven't read Beauty Addict's response to the recent Allure article on blogs, read it now. I'm sorry that this has happened, and I hope there's some peace to be made here eventually.

- I love Jon Farriss. Here he is bringing the funny, if not a little too cranky-sounding -- though maybe I would be, too, if a foreign reporter were to ask such softball questions of me. "The INXS loves you," indeed. (And, no, I won't be seeing them with J.D. and MiG in Manila this week - I have some work to do the next day.)

- Also from yesterday's STAR: The return of Jessica Zafra. Or, for those of you outside the Philippines, here's the best introduction yet to Pinoy snark. Now if she can explain her friendship with David Sedaris to us, I'll be a happy camper.

- From the good folks at E!: Paris Hilton is practicing abstinence, y'all. I'm not going to talk about how this news comes at the heels of Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and Madonna getting picketed in Rome for looking desperate.


A note to those of you who found my blog through a link from Koneko's (Mostly) Beauty Diary: Hello and welcome! Unfortunately, if you are looking for my posts from the Great Mascara Hunt, I'm sorry to say that I didn't write any - I was busy with grad school that month and didn't even get around to post anything, let alone sign up for the hunt! I'm not saying my link was a mistake, though - in fact, I'm glad that K. and Annie remembered me - it's just that I wasn't able to do anything mascara-related for that project. Sorry! Maybe next time.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Case for the Makeup Overhaul

Before I begin, let me say this: Oh, yes, Maggie Gyllenhaal got unfugged. FINALLY. And with a side dish of P-Sars, to boot. (Though, personally, I still prefer the term Sarspaawn to refer to the eventual result of their mating. And I still think it's going to be a girl.) I've been predicting this for so many months now, people, and I'm hoping that the hormones settle enough that she starts dressing like a decent celebrity for a change. Well done.


Those of you who have seen me lurking around Blogdorf Goodman for the Rock The Gloss challenge may have noticed that I've been... well, rocking more of the lip product lately. And not just that, but I've been wearing some shades of familiar products that, while awesome on their own, may have been sadly relegated to the big storehouse in the sky.

I'm not the kind of person who gets really miffed whenever my favorite products get discontinued. I don't wage massive message-board flamewars with cosmetic companies whenever I hear that my favorite soap or lipstick has been pulled out of the market to make way for new product. But, because I've been such an extreme bargain hunter, I have a tendency to snap up certain things - which I'm sure are still quite hygienically sound - that will eventually get phased out of the market for reasons known only to their manufacturers and distributors.

The VOV Candy Gloss, for example, was bought at a Korean store in Honolulu that was phasing out some of their cosmetics stock. I don't even think that the gloss that I have - which comes in an automatic-pen style container similar to the Stila lip gloss - is even available; a quick Google search turned up this page, which means that it may have been repackaged or discontinued. (In any case, my shade looks more like the Pink Gold 08 shown under the Candy Gloss section.) Same with the Tony & Tina lip stain, which I got for about $5 at Sephora when they started phasing their stock out, and the Avon Glazewear in Delish, which I got for $2.99 around the same time that Avon started repackaging all of their products.

Consider, also, the circumstances that I am in right now: I don't mind being away from Hawaii, and I don't mind not going shopping, but... well, I live about half an hour away from Manila, where all the serious cosmetics stores are, and I don't always go there all the time. Here in my home town, even the American drugstore brands are considered luxuries.

On top of that, I seem to have inherited my mother's habit of using every cosmetic product in the shelf until they have been reduced to almost nothing - regardless of how long they have been sitting on said shelf. As of this writing, there are a bunch of lipsticks in my Mom's collection that have been there since the last time I came home to the Philippines, and she's still wearing them down to stubs. From an economic standpoint, it's a sound strategy... but it's also something that would make a serious cosmetics fanatic blanch.

But please, don't cry for me just because I can't get a decent lipstick and I've yet to find an Avon Lady who will save me from this predicament. There are bigger problems to worry about, and higher priorities to serve; I'm sure I'll be able to survive.

Now that you know all this, it's time for me to admit that I've never been much of a "lemming" when it comes to beauty products - it's rare for me to buy something that looks good on someone else, and rarer still for someone to buy something that looks good on me. Then again, considering that I did cave on the Revlon Super Lustrous Gloss in Raisin Glaze on somebody else's recommendation, that might change soon.

And here's another thing: While I'm sure that it's going to be hard for me to find another version of my Elizabeth Arden Exceptional Lipstick in Shimmer, I think I may have found the next best thing online: EA's Color Intrigue Lipstick in CZJ 11. How could I resist a lipstick named after Catherine Zeta Jones? Maybe I should see if I could get to an EA counter on my next trip to Manila.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Domesticity Reviews: Rock Star Season 2, Week 5

So I missed tonight's elimination round, but I did find out from the Rock Star site that Dana got eliminated. Which I still think was the wrong choice (especially after watching Star World's broadcast of the reality "webisode" - shut up, Zayra) but I guess it was enough to spare the poor girl from further humiliation.

(Speaking of Dana, I did call her the Kat McPhee of Rock Star back in Week 1. And now that she's gone, I'm now going to wonder aloud if there's a way we could get "Black Horse & The Cherry Tree" as a song selection for the rawkers. Heck, even "Suddenly I See" would be a good choice at this point...)

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, let us now focus our attention to the sucktastic performances of Jill and Lukas, which could have been avoided if they just Switched Songs In The First Place. Now, before any of you guys throw tomatoes at me for suggesting that Jill sing "Celebrity Skin" so soon after "Violet," I'm going to say that this isn't so much about her as it is about our friend Lukas, who I think would've killed "Don't You Forget About Me" without so much as a single mumbled lyric. It's such a pity, because I would've enjoyed his low-singing more than her trying-too-hard yelling.

But here's the thing: Between those two, Dana, and Patrice, it's evident that these folks already know that they're going to crash and burn every week. It just goes to show that sometimes it's a lot more fun to watch somebody give it their all while they're crashing and burning than to watch someone get all high-and-mighty and flop unintentionally. Yes, Zayra, I'm looking at you that way, and stop forcing me to like you. And note to Z. while I'm at it: It's one thing for the House Band to snark at you, as J.D. Fortune will attest. But when Our Band: Future Employer basically tells you that the only reason you're still in the competition is because you amuse them... well, here's your sign.

In other news...

- Hey, what about that Dilana, eh? I never liked that "Can't Get Enough" song from Bad Company, but she made it look so much fun - and definitely not scary - that I'm inspired to declare her as the Best All-Around Entertainer of the competition. Maybe I can even cut back on the Dilana vs. Jordis comparisons from this moment onwards.

- Conversely, how Oprah was that whole segment with Magni? Not only is BabyMagni so cute, I had to admit that I almost cried when the big guy found out about his family being flown out to LA from Iceland. Which still does not detract from the fact that his rendition of "Clocks" made me cry for a different reason.

- Apparently Toby has taken my advice from last week and has started chugging a little more Spanish Fly. Boring song or not - and we can argue for days on that end about whether he did "Pennyroyal Tea" justice - at least he's getting some mojo on him.

- Note to Tommy Lee: When I hear Josh sing "Santeria" - and I don't think he did a bad job with this - I too imagine myself sitting back with a fruity drink in my hand. Unfortunately, I'm imagining myself with that drink at a college party where certain UH-Manoa students (who may or may not be athletes) have mixed said fruity drink with every single bottle of booze and fruit juice at hand, which they then served in 24-ounce Dixie cups from one of those gigantic coolers that people also use for Gatorade. And that, my friend, is not always a good mental image for me.

- For the last few weeks I've been asking why on earth Ryan is still in this competition. Well, after hearing him on the piano for "Losing My Religion," I guess I now have my answer. Stunning.

Edited to add that I forgot about the lovely Storm, who acquitted herself nicely with Bowie. Also to demand a long-awaited beatdown for a certain wannabe hipster-columnist now writing for the Philippine Star, who believes that Dave Navarro has sold out and Jane's Addiction is a better band than Motley Freaking Crue. Hello, Mr. I-Wish-I-Lived-In-Williamsburg-With-Pretentious-Indie-Rock-Folk-Like-Me, have you read The Dirt yet? Oh, I get it, you won't, because you're too cool for that. Stupid poser. I hope Jessica Zafra stomps on you with her Docs when she gets a hold of you.