Saturday, November 26, 2005

The patronizing world of life and love, part two.

The taxi radio cackles slightly, as if clearing its throat for the half-hour* of entertainment ahead.

"Ako po si Brother -----, and I will be your host for Doctor Love."

The stoic taxi driver continues to weave his way around Makati night traffic.

"May caller na tayo sa telephone, si Ma'am Hilda from -----. Ano po ang maitutulong ko sa inyo, Hilda?"

Hilda mumbles into the phone.

"...problema po, kasi hindi po kasal ang anak ko at ng boyfriend niya..."

"Hilda, paki laksan ang boses ninyo."

"Kasi po, yung anak kong babae, may ka-live in, yung boyfriend niya. Ngayon po, hindi naman problema ang kasal--"

"Ha? Sabi niyo kanina ang problema niyo na hindi sila kasal, ngayon sabi niyo na hindi na problema yun?"

"Kasi po, may pera naman para sa kasal eh, handa na kaming gumastos sa kasal..."

"Yun naman pala eh. So ano ho ngayon ang problema ninyo?"

"Ano po, yung anak kong babae ayaw pa. Hindi kasi siya sigurado kung reliable talaga yung lalake, hindi pa po siya naka-decide..."

The host clears his throat.

"They need to make a decision! They are living in sin! Hindi po pwede yan sa mata ng Panginoon, Hilda."

"Oo nga po, pero kasi, nahihiya na rin ako eh kasi napapagusapan na sila ng mga kapit-bahay namin, may anak na pero hindi pa kasal."

"Huwag kang mahiya sa kanila, Hilda. Mahiya ka sa Dios!"

"Kasi po yung lalake, ano po siya, mahilig sa mga bagay na di naman niya kayang bilhin, kapit -suso--"

The taxi driver chortles impressively.

"Ano ho yun, yung kapit-suso?"

I grin in the darkness.

"Yung mahilig po sa mga magagandang bagay--"

"Ah, kapit sa uso."

"Yun nga ho."

"Gusto ko po kasing antayin yung decision ng anak ko, kasi hindi pa raw siya sigurado sa lalake."

"So you're waiting for your daughter's decision. Eh ano nga ho ang problema niyo ngayon?"

"Kasi po, yung lalake, maski pambili lang ng pandesal, sakin humihingi. Mahal ko po yung anak ko, ayokong makasal siya sa ganitong lalake."

"They need to make a decision, Hilda. Ano ba talaga? Pag may problema, i-address kaagad! Saan ba sila nakatira, sa inyo?"

"Opo."

"Aba, sa inyo pala nakatira eh. Bakit ayaw mo siyang kausapin? Hanapin mo siya at sabihin mo sa manugang mo na hilaw: 'Alam mo anak, batugan ka.'. Sabihin mo sa kanya yung worries mo! Pag may problema, i-address mo!"

"Oo nga po, kaya lang di ko po kasi siya mahanap eh, laging wala."

"Hindi niyo siya mahanap sa sarili mong bahay?"

The taxi driver is openly laughing now as he takes the Domestic bridge to NAIA.

"Kasi po, lagi siyang wala eh, di kami nagkakasalubong sa bahay."

"Hilda, hanapin mo siya at sabihin mo: 'Alam mo anak, batugang ka. Maski pambili lang ng pandesal sakin ka pa humihingi.'

"Eh kasi po ayoko naman siyang i-kickout sa bahay kaagad."

"Hindi ko namang sinabi na i-kickout kaagad eh! Warning lang na hindi mo nato-tolerate ang behavior niya. Hindi mo ba kayang sabihin sa kanya?"

"Kaya ko naman po eh. Kung merong masaktan sa pamilya ko iki-kickout ko talaga, hindi pwede yan sa pamamahay ko, matapang talaga ako pagdating sa ganyan, hindi pwede saking ang mga ganyang tao--"

"Matapang naman pala kayo Hilda eh. Eh bakit ayaw mo siyang lapitan at kausapin?"

"Eh kasi po, yung asawa ko eh, hindi siya tumutulong--"

"Yung asawa niyo naman yung problema niyo! Ano ba talaga, Hilda?"

The host sighs audibly. My house is near and I lean forward eagerly.

"Hilda, Hilda..ikaw ang problema ko ngayong gabi. Bukod sa lasing na nakausap ko kanina, ikaw ang problema ko."

Hilda launches into a long tale of woe, pointing fingers at her husband, manugang na hilaw, and everyone else save for her and her daughter.

"...kasi po, mahal ko naman talaga ang anak ko eh, ayoko siyang masaktan."

"Tapos ka na, Hilda?"

Radio silence.

"Opo."

"Sige Hilda, ha? Salamat sa inyong pagtawag ngayong gabi."

"Thank you rin po."

*not exact word-for-word conversation as I was too busy laughing

Friday, November 11, 2005

British Humor, part II.

I swear, I get the craziest things off Sarah's blog.

state mottoes

Alabama - yes, we have electricity
Alaska - 11,623 eskimos can't be wrong
Arizona - but it's a dry heat
Arkansas - litterasy ain't everythang
California - our women have more plastic than your Honda
Colorado - if you don't ski, don't bother
Connecticut - like Massachusetts, only the Kennedys don't own it yet
Delaware - we really do like the chemicals in our water
Florida - ask us about our grandkids
Georgia - we put the fun in fundamentalist extremism
Hawaii - haka tiki mou sha'ami leeki toru (death to mainland scum but leave your money)
Idaho - more than just potatoes... well ok, we're not but the potatoes are real good.
Illinois - please don't pronounce the "s"
Indiana - 2 billion years tidal wave free
Iowa - we do amazing things with corn
Kansas - first of the rectangle states
Kentucky - five million people, fifteen last names
Louisiana - we're not all drunk cajun wackos, but thats our tourism campaign
Maine - we're really cold but we have cheap lobster
Maryland - if you can dream it, we can tax it
Massachusetts - our taxes are lower than Swedens (for most tax brackets)
Michigan - first line of defense from the Canadians
Minnesota - 10,000 lakes and 10,000,000 mosquitos
Mississippi - come feel better about your own state
Missouri - your federal flood relief tax dollars at work
Montana - land of the big sky, the unabomber, right wing crazies, and very little else
Nebraska - ask about our state motto contest
Nevada - whores and poker
New Hampshire - go away and leave us alone
New Jersey - you want a $##*&^ motto? i got your $##*&^ motto right here
New Mexico - lizards make excellent pets
New York - you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney
North Carolina - tobacco is a vegetable
North Dakota - we really are one of the fifty states
Ohio - at least we're not Michigan
Oklahoma - like the play, only no singing
Oregon - spotted owl... it's what's for dinner
Pennsylvania - cook with coal
Rhode Island - we're not really an island
South Carolina - remember the civil war? we didn't actually surrender
South Dakota - closer than North Dakota
Tennessee - the educashun state
Texas - si, hablo inglis (yes, i speak English)
Utah - our Jesus is better than your Jesus
Vermont - yep
Virginia - who says government stiffs and slackjaw yokels don't mix?
Washington - help! we're overrun by nerds and slackers
Washington DC - hey ~ wanna be mayor?
West Virginia - one big happy family... really
Wisconsin - come cut the cheese
Wyoming - where men are men... and the sheep are sacred!

Some favorites: Oklahoma, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and Kentucky.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Going legal.

*image from www.stdp7.com/blog/

For the past few months, I've been leaning more and more toward downloading new music legally that's still free. That, of course, does not hide the fact that a chunk of my music collection is largely pirated, but I don't feel any sympathy because they are all mainstream artists whose corporate labels are greedy, grasping schmucks. I highly exaggerate (duh), although I'm just channeling the spirits of a million dissatisfied teenagers and young adults who are tired of being dictated on what to listen to.

Most of the artists I'm downloading right now are independent. They are the ones with small to medium labels who've listened to their sound, like it, and signed them on. Mind you, some of these artists are not considered mainstream radio-friendly, therefore, if you've been weaned on pop radio, it might take you a few spins to truly appreciate their sound. On my end, it took a lot of spins and a lot of questions (What the HELL?!) until my stubborn mainstream musical taste melted down. Now I'm a happy camper, and I have no plans of going back to mainstream any time soon.

One of the things I truly love about downloading new tracks is that I'm introduced to new music and new sounds. It constantly amazes me how much good music is out there.

Here is a short list of where I like to scrounge for new music within the letter of the law:

MP3 sites

3hive - In my opinion, the best MP3 website that runs the whole gamut of new music and artists. From softcore to punk, pop to rock, hip hop to funk, 3hive literally has it all. 3hive is a team of five writers with a wide range of musical tastes. With a clean, well-designed interface, it's easy for new users to navigate. I've so many finds here it's impossible to numerate them all. They also offer streaming and podcasting.

Insound - This has as many good musical finds as 3hive, although 3hive features more artists and is updated more often. Still, a great site.

Podsiphon - Although the last update was in April, there are still plenty of MP3s to try. Here is where I first heard of The Getup Kids (sadly disbanded), The Vibrants, and Say Hi to Your Mom.

Amazon - Yes, they do offer free downloads of both mainstream and indie artists. Go take a look-see.

Kings of A&R - A music industry website that features mostly rock music. They also rock. I got Embrace's "Ashes" here and discovered This World Fair and WhiteSilver, which I adore.

My artist recommendations (some links go straight to their labels where you can download several tracks):

The Velvet Teen

The New Pornographers
Broken Social Scene
Spoon (the aforementioned "What the HELL?!"; now, they're one of my favorite spins)
The Coral Sea
WhiteSilver
Mike Doughty
This World Fair

You can also download their tracks at 3hive and KOAR.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One down, 500,676 more to go.

My head was spinning and my body was aching in regions that I never knew existed until yesterday. It was a soaring, heady experience, coupled with all the thrill and excitement of your legitimate first time. Bumps and grinds were frequent, although screaming was kept to a minimum. It even ended somewhat tritely, as I sprawled across the bed in complete exhaustion and fell into complete slumber.

Driving does that to you.