‘use penis’

The photo that appeared in the DOH Web site when it was hacked December 29. Click photo for story.

Photo of probably the youngest fatality -- eight-month-old Angel Fatima Balanza -- in the sinking of inter-island ferry Baleno 9 last December 26. (Inquirer.net/Mindanao Post)

These two photos summarize, for me, what a crazy and depressing year 2009 has been.  Happy New Year, y’all. May 2010 have more of the crazy stuff than the depressing ones.

hangover

‘Tis the season for hangovers, and as I write this, I am nursing the mother of them all. At the office! Of all places.

I blame my sorry-ass state to those last-minute, late-night beer-and-wine sessions I had with office-mates and college friends. With liquor flowing virtually nonstop from midnight of December 23 to dawn of December 27, no wonder I celebrated Christ’s day in a coma.

The last clear memory I have for December 25, 2009, was jumping off a bus in Nueva Ecija, squinting at the morning sun and dust, and walking toward my second family’s ancestral home where a reunion was raging. Everything after that were like bits n’ pieces of a half-remembered hashish dream. My engine finally conked out noontime.

It was already early evening when I regained consciousness, with my head screaming grand opera and the reunion long over. So much for Christmas 2009.

Multiply friend Isa Pilapil once shared her secret anti-hangover recipe to me, but I lost it somewhere. All I remember is that it includes honey and apple cider vinegar.

The best anti-hangover advice that came my way, though, was from a shot glass given to me by my sister-in-law, Nikki, many Christmases ago. It says: Avoid hangovers, stay drunk.

Why not? I can almost see Jack Kerouac raising his wine jug to that.

nata-ley!

According to this site, the next Natalie Portman movie will be called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

None of the recent movies had made me miss the theaters that much, but this one I gotta see. The title alone begs for it. I wonder if they’re selling advance tickets . . .

on gifts

Gifts freak me out.

Call me insensitive, but every time I’m given something, I think: a) All right, what’s the catch? And, b) Jesus! Now I’ve to give him/her something.

The idea that maybe the gift-giver just cares about me oftentimes escapes me. Sue my unfeeling ass.

College friend Jayvee Descaya once told me that real friends don’t give each other gifts. You give a person a gift only if you want to win him/her over, she said. Otherwise, you just buy him/her a beer.

Make no mistake, I care about a lot of people. Giving gifts, however, is not one of its manifestations. I once gave a girl a PZ Brite book not because she’s special or I was trying to be cute, but because I wanted her to read PZ Brite so we can sit down and talk about the former Gothic icon.

That has been my motivation in giving people something. I don’t consider what they actually want or think is nice, but what I want them to want. I’m one proud forceful motherfucker, and I offer no apologies.

Of course there are exceptions, but they are few and far in between.

3 years

Contrary to my observation in high school, girls who like rock music are dime-a-dozen. All of them seem to dig Pearl Jam and the Gin Blossoms,  and some can even tolerate Metallica or Korn. But very few can stretch their boundaries to the dark and sinister dirges of Opeth and Moonspell.

I happen to marry one of them, in the fine cold morning of December 16, 2006, and it’s been a helluva soundtrip ever since. Good music, after all, is best appreciated with another pair of ears beside you.

To Charmaine, here’s to more nights of drinking Rhum-Coke while listening to Alice in Chains and discussing Bradbury.  Thanks for the most wonderful gift you gave me last June 27. May she grow up liking Sentenced.\m/

he said breast

As I type this, I’m downloading Atrocity’s Hallucinations. The little rectangular box at the bottom of the screen says only 2% of the album have so far been downloaded. It’s still a long trek, so I might as well write something here.

Let me start by saying that I’m such music geek these days. The urge to download one album after the other is as strong as the urge to urinate on Andal Ampatuan Jr’s face. Perhaps it comes with the season. December, after all, is not a month for the clinically depressed. Next to cardiologists, corrupt journalists and Henry Sy, shrinks — the strangers you pay to tell you you’re either depressed or cuckoo — earn the biggest during the holidays.

English playwright William Congreve once said, music has the charms to soothe a savage breast. Obviously he was not talking about Slayer, who wants you to go out there and shoot someone. Or Black Label Society, who wants you to drink, fuck, and start a barroom brawl like a true “berzerker.”

35%. So far, so good.

Indeed: Slayer, BLS . . . these are just some of the “music” that have been “soothing” my “savage breast” these days. Chip in some classic Motorhead, Atheist, Ozzy, and some relatively new ones from Avenged Sevenfold, the Black Stone Cherry, and W.A.S.P., and Santa will be pissing on his pants in fear when he passes by our house on the 25th. 

It has always been my trick to load up my MP3 player and just let the sound carry my thoughts wherever I go. I find this useful every time I’m in an FX taxi sharing a long ride with yuppies yakking about last night’s PBB episode. Useful to drown the brainless cackle of FM deejays from the vehicle’s radio, too.

57%. Nice.

Of course, a good pair of earphones is a must. None of those cheap colorful Chinese-made jobs you can score on sidewalks from the same scarfed scowling vendor who also sells brick games, no-name batteries, and suyod. Those items diminish the quality of music. You might as well listen to a talentless high school garage band trying to do justice to a Dream Theater masterpiece . . . and failing miserably.

Personally, I prefer earphones with XBass capability. It’s louder, the sound more intact, and at the right volume I can feel my brain bouncing off the walls of my skull. This is exactly the reason why I abhor soundtripping on a computer, with its crummy built-in speakers and all. Frankly, I can’t see how music can be enjoyed that way. Even if I’m listening to something like “Sound of Silence” or “Enjoy the Silence,” I still prefer high decibels.

When it comes to earphones, I highly recommend the Maxell brand. They’re slick, loud, durable, and priced less than Php400. Throw me a bone if you’ve a better suggestion. Maxell isn’t paying me shit for the plug, anyway.

87%. Can’t wait to listen to “When the Fire Burns Over the Sea” and “Blue Blood.”

Not all I downloaded were under the heavy metal genre. For variety — and for late-night bus/FX rides — I threw in some alternative shit too, like Hum, Hole, Soundgarden, and Dishwalla. I’ve to move out of the box from time to time, I know. I draw the line with “Fliphop” (Filipino hiphop) and RnB, though. Techno, too, doesn’t yank my crank. But a little bit of pop every now and then doesn’t hurt.

95%. I can almost hear Alexander Krull growling, “Lying there in my small crib/Naked and innocent…”

For kick-ass, whole-album downloads, check out this site. This motherfucker has anything from the Doors to those devil-worshiping Norwegian malcontents with weird-sounding band names. Check it out quick, before that nut Lars Ulrich gets wind of it.

100%! Happy holidays, freaks.

wtf!

Judging from this survey, this nation is poised to elect a dummy kid president next year.

To use the late Philippine Star publisher Max Soliven’s word: Sanamagan!