Sunday, September 28, 2008
But you know why I like Journey? Because unlike other bands they don't come out with glazed eyes, breaking their guitars, spew out some cuss words then proceed to kill you with their head splitting, banging noise they call music. And when Arnel Pineda says something less savory for Journey, big brother Neal comes out with a big stick and calls CBS news to the rescue. But I love Arnel man, he's the ants in Neal's pants.
Yesterday Chat turned 32 so I took her and John to Japan House for her birthday lunch and over prime rib and sushi Chat commented about my Rolling Stone article: "Arnel Pineda does not have to apologize for anything; he is a rock star, he's supposed to have an attitude." Hmmm...she's right. How come I didn't think of that? I must really had the flu. Or I must still have the flu for agreeing.
I spoke with him a bit but had to beg out of lunch with him and my friends because I had to be with Chat for her birthday today. Tass told me, the Filipinos has a special place in his heart because his nanny was Filipino and he remembers his nanny praying for him all the time. Tass's story is very compelling as he tells it because I can see the providence of God even before he knew it. Everyone was glued to their seats as he was speaking. He was 7-10 years old when Maryam was his nanny. And the day he was shown the light of Jesus, he saw 2 hands put together in prayer with a cross tattoed at the back of one hand. The vision was how he remembers Maryam when she prayed.
And this is where I feel compelled to write in the hope of finding Maryam. Tass remembers her name spelled this way and he has been to Mindanao to try and find her. It was early 1960 when Maryam left their employment, so she would be in her 70's if she's still alive. He does not remember her last name but knows for sure she came from Mindanao.
So if anyone knows where to begin to connect the dots, we would appreciate it.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I am not sure but I think Arnel still thinks in Filipino. So Ande Green botched up the context of the truth that Arnel meant to express. Arnel's words were authentically Arnel if you left them to stand on it's own, but when Ande decided to elaborate on it, not understanding where Arnel is coming from, then it indeed painted a different picture. Add to that Arnel's choice of words that can easily be misconstrued, like for example: "He pushed me a little and said, Go. Go sing for us." On paper it sounds harsh and colonial because we can't see the signature smile on Arnels' eyes. But we know without a shadow of a doubt that when Arnel relayed those same words to Ande, he was smiling, jokingly retelling his own nervousness at that time in Chile.
"I told them I wanted to back out," we've heard Arnel say this to CBS Sunday in June and we grasp what he meant. But to say, "The whole thing nearly fell apart" was an overstretch and purely Mr. Green's interpretation, because I am sure that after spending a few minutes with Arnel Pineda, he must have sensed (if he can't grasp) what Arnel was trying to articulate that Arnel was not talking about cancelling out on the Jboys but rather, that's how "overwhelming" the whole experience was for him.
But what if Arnel Pineda is really whining and complaining? What if he really said, "Man, this is too much, I can't take this anymore. I will finish this year's tour and I'm out of here. I love the cash and the flash but I miss home and this is not what I want to do anymore." Does that make Arnel less of a person? Does that make him less of a great singer? Does that warrant anyone to judge him and insist he should continue because not many people will have been given this chance to sing with Journey?" I'll take my toys home and stop playing with you if you answered yes.
As much as I respect a person who knows how to persevere and press on inspite of, I have this deep envy and a greater respect for someone who can walk away from it all. When the "all" is no longer working, when the "all" is killing the person to where there's nothing left but the expectation that you no longer wants to meet. When the "all" makes you wake up one morning and you look at the mirror and finds the same face - except it's no longer the same person.
Journey Management is good at handling damage control as far as the media is concerned (they yanked Deen Castronovo's video with the Nashville chick, reason it disappeared from my article) so my question now is, who in the freggin' world did the tour scheduling? Neal Schon said they won't tour at this rate again, so who planned this to begin with? I can't stand it whenever decisions are reached tainted by money, so let's hope it's not money.
I don't blame people who use publicists or don't give interviews at all. Look at Kate Moss. She can strut that body but the girl is deaf and mute when it comes to the media: If you don't speak, the media will have less to hang you with. But I'd say let Arnel Pineda be. AP, do what you have to do or speak and be politically incorrect, just don't be a politician ok?
Ooh, I just realized that I am missing a letter to Mr. Green's name. I not only missed a letter, I rearranged (unknowingly) the letters too. I'm sorry, it should be Andy Greene, not Ande Green. Still the same, right?
Sunday, September 21, 2008
I cringe at the thought that some of you emailed me and thought I ignored you. I respond to all emails except for one. And you know who you are.
But I had a good laugh today because this blog will answer that email after all. Thanks Lithium Shore.
After a hurried lunch with friends yesterday I rushed to attend the reading of "The Latehomecomer." Through the efforts of a local neighborhood book club in Allen, the Allen Public Library sponsored Kalia to fly to Texas and discuss her book, a memoir of a Hmong family.
When I came through the door, an Asian lady greeted me and asked if I am a Hmong. I simply said no, not clarifying that I am Filipino because I assumed she was only trying to see if I was a Hmong like her. She had on a perfectly blended make-up matching her beautiful, evenly tanned skin with a spikey haircut. So that's how Hmong's look like. I know she wasn't Kalia, but I thought she was a Hmong and not a Filipino. Her name is Minvi a member of the book club who's helping Laura, the lady responsible for bringing Kalia in to town.
Kalia spoke in a seductive tone - yet sad, but forceful and affirming. I thought: How do you do that? Can I buy some of that? I think it's the poetry in her tongue and the passion from her heart. To see poetry in wars, it had to be both. During the question and answer session I wanted to ask her what the writing process was like because the book is full of gripping and heartbreaking scenes, but I held my tongue because right at the beginning when she started talking, I got a lump in my throat. I'm telling you, it's that Kalia voice.
At the reception and book signing, which by the way, they ran out of books, I noticed that she not only signed her name but also included some inspiring lines. She hardly looked up because the line was long and she had to catch a flight back to her home in Minnesota.
Watching Kalia signing nervously I thought of my friend June who is now negotiating on publishing her book Gungnir's Sister (mystery suspense fiction). She asked me Friday if I would travel and do book signing with her. Note that I'm not a fiction fan but I have read and reread her manuscript and it's still riveting.
But I have a lot of respect for fiction writers because of the creativity involved (or just about any writer who finish their work) because mine has been sitting inside my computer untouched for several months now. I started my memoir at the behest of Chat (for posterity) and my writing teacher's assurance that it will (financially) allow me to quit my real job.
When people ask why it's taking so long for me to finish it, I jokingly say -"I don't want to finish it because I don't want to do book signing" of which Chat is quick to say, "Mom, you're assuming people will buy it."
Ok, here's a new excuse, "I'm still practicing the Kalia voice." Or, maybe because it's not easy to reinvent the truth?
Friday, September 19, 2008
Followed this one to the neighborhood. Getting too close there buddy.
You think you're gonna make it? Uh. oh.
Yup. The pilot, driver or whatever you call them - 2 females made it safe.
I have other ones to see like this ugly face.
And this one. Well, that's enough. You've seen one, you've seen them all.
So last night, I attended the Authors Series here in Plano. Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein are 2 philosophy graduates from Harvard and their featured book last night was Plato and a Platypus Walk into a bar.
The St. Andrew UMC building is very imposing but maybe because it was my first time there, so I asked the man I saw in the parking lot if he knew which side I should go in. He didn't know about the presentation but he laughed curiously, "Plato and Platypus? That sounds like a joke." I said: "Well, the authors will supposedly show how philosophical concepts can be illuminated by jokes and that jokes are loaded with fascinating philosophical content."
Anyway, I found my way in, sat alone at the very back then this tall, tired looking elderly man came up to me and introduced himself as Tom. He wanted to know if I was with somebody and why I sat at the back alone. I don't like sitting at the front and I am always alone and love being alone. " Aw, ok. I will try to speak louder so you can hear me, I am one of the authors." He was Thomas Cathcart.
Him and Klein were both on stage and took turns talking about Plato, British Empirism and Kant's synthetic and analytic statements. I thought: Don would love this but my menopausal brain can't deal with this anymore. Luckily, Klein illuminated it with his jokes, and I can process jokes. Here's one he told that I could relate but am not sure what philosophical concept this falls into.
A woman reports her boyfriend's disappearance to the police. They ask her for a description and she says, " He is 6'3" tall, well built with thick curly hair. Her friend says, "What are you talking about? Your boyfriend is 5'4" and bald with a huge belly.
And she says, " Who wants that one back?"
My sentiment exactly.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thank God, that I saved a copy before Chat took out the link. Because I don't flow with technology, the only way I know to preserve pictures and videos is put them in a box and store them in the closet. At least now, I have Blogger to store them for me.
When Chat came by my apartment the other day, she taunted me by playing Faithfully on her Iphone and my heart started to palpitate..hmmm....Magic.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
"If you don't want to lose the magic or the mysticism just watch YouTube and stay away from the crowd unless you want your candle extinguished." There was wisdom there, now I know.
It was Chat who introduced me to the Journey/AP bandwagon but someone ticked her off so she left (the forum) and never looked back. She's still Journey crazy, worshipping them in the sideline.
But that's Chat, I'm still chasing the magic. But it's like eating ice cream and the law of diminishing returns. You take the first bite and uhmmm...so you keep eating hoping that the next spoonful will taste like the first one, but it doesn't. So you go on to find your next distraction. I went to Ross's site. Now there's still magic there because you can't get Ross to talk about himself but if you click on the horse it will emit gas for you. I didn't say it's cute, I said there's magic there.
Then I move on to Freddy Mercury, the guy who famously said " I won't be a rock star, I will be a legend." For crying out loud the guy is dead. Maybe that's where I will find the mysticism again. After all, we want what we can't have and the chase is better than the purchase.
Well, not so fast. Last Monday, I booked a hotel and plane ticket to Albuquerque and paid premium dollars for a front row ticket to see Journey and My Arnel one more time, to see if I can bring back the magic. If it's really gone, then this dog ain't hunting no mo'. At least not openly.
The traffic was moving slow on the way to Molson Amphitheatre. We feel the Journey spirit around when I hear Revelation playing in their cars. One guy cheeringly asked me if he's in the right way to Molson. A lot of young crowd walked along Lake Shore towards the amphitheatre. When we got there, we grabbed draft beers for $11 each. I noticed the crowd is a good mixture of young teens, men & women in their 40's-50's, a few who seemed left behind by time still wearing their mullets and long haired Perry style in his younger years and a good sized group of Filipinos.
It was fun to see the Journey fans of different generation. I was expecting older Journey fans...I was wrong. So many young teens singing and bopping their heads, singing the lyrics along with Arnel. You would think they were born during the early Journey years. I wondered myself how they came to know Journey. Whatever the reasons are, I'm amazed. Totally unexpected! Now you will understand why Journey music is ageless.
Jonathan was wearing this tight white stitched denim. He looks much younger for his age. Neal Schon....he's gorgeous! His dark hair, black outfit with his big cross necklace and leather wrist bands...he's surprisingly young looking...and what a great smile. And Ross...just adored him. He made those funny faces, the comic of the band. Deen looks so much different in person. He's handsome! Saving the best for last, Arnel is adorable. He's just average short but boy...he's such a ball of energy! He was wearing the same jacket he wore in Chile. I figured, it's just appropriate to celebrate his birthday with Journey for the first time. No question about it, Arnel's tenor voice is perfect for journey music. He spins jumps and sings like a big man hitting every high notes. He stood on top of the speaker cheering the crowd from lawn area.
The crowd screaming Wows in every song and everyone on their feet. I definitely hear the crowd's approval that they like Arnel. He was singing non-stop, one song after another. His only break was the harmonica and guitar with Neal and Jonathan. Jonathan dropped his harmonica on the floor at the end of the song and run to his piano. Anyway, not even a trace that Arnel was sick two days ago. I noticed that he sprayed his mouth while Neal Schon was playing his guitar. He looked tirelessly jumping, smiling and cheering the crowd. He's just fantastic.
We know why their concerts were sold out! He started with the song Never Walk Away. Crowd cheering except a few stood still awestruck. He nailed every high notes in all classic songs. Toronto crowd were hot!!! Their hands up in the air..couples dancing with their music...UNBELIEVABLE! When Arnel sang Don't Stop Believin, the crowd sang along with him. Lights....I grabbed my flashlight and others put their cell phones up and lit up lighters swaying to the song. It was electric! Arnel is definitely a great asset to new Journey. He constantly made eye contacts with the people...totally amazing. He points at you...making heart gestures. He smiled at me..as if he knew me personally. I was on the 5th row...as if he's just singing just for me… whoops...sorry for daydreaming or nightdreaming LOL..
Neal's the best with his guitar as if he's making love with it hahaha....such magnetic smiles. Overall, amazing concert! Not to be missed! I have so much to say but this is getting too long. Sorry for that. My constant playing of Revelation and after this concert, I want to see more of Journey! Journey music lives on.
Then my unfortunate experience. ..Arnel threw me this black thing looks like a suede towel or something landed on my head and this tiny filipina, quickly grabbed it from my head. Whoever it was, hope you’re not feeling guilty lol….OMG.....everyone was asking me why I didn't grab it back. But it's okay...I enjoyed the concert and you can say...I'm still Journey obsessed hahaha.Don’t forget to buy your concert tickets! It’s worth the money for sure. --------------------------------end-------------------------------------------------------
*Filipinos way of showing overwhelming desire to kiss cute and kissable kids.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Last night I dragged my friend Billy to this newly opened Cajun restaurant close to where I live. Billy is my foodie buddy. On our way there Billy came up with a spur of the moment idea to drive south and meet Ike - the hurricane that is about to inflict Houston and the neighboring coasts sometime tonight. "I have not seen a hurricane, why don't we go meet him?" I looked at him like, are you crazy? But he was serious. Really, I thought it was a great idea too, because in my childhood when typhoons visited Cebu, the day after always brought a feeling of serenity within me. I loved the stillness of it, that even now, subconsciously I long for the storm if only to experience the calm the day after.
Anticipating the adventure we were going to have, I was euphoric. I felt the adrenalin rush as I imagined myself bracing against the rainstorm. Billy has a brand new double cab pick-up truck and the plan was to go as close as we can to Galveston, then sit and watch the waves lambast the seawall or buildings and whatever else the 130mph wind would do. We planned to stay awake and watch the chaos all night but book 2 hotel rooms just in case. But in our planning we didn't consider the fact that traffic going in to Houston was blocked. So the temporary euphoria was dashed quickly. Billy instead went fishing today and I went to Barnes and Noble and sifted through the Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
Billy is battling liver cancer but he seizes each moment. After working for 40 years with Texas Instruments he retired two years ago only to be diagnosed with liver cancer the next year. I have watched Billy live each day like it's his last and yet he makes provisions like he's going to live forever. His friend's son plays minor league hockey and Billy follows them cross country not because he loves the game so much but I think because he loves the people more.
When I told Chat about me and Billy going to Houston to meet Ike, she said : "I suggested before that you hang around Billy so he can teach you how to live not so you can learn how to die. But if the 2 of you wants to chase typhoons and tornadoes, go ahead, just make sure that you increase your life insurance policy, because I intend to be rich when you're dead." Chat is just so loving that way.
Sitting here I am mulling over the uncharacteristic excitement I felt last night. Why was I overly excited of the thought of the impending danger? Do I have a death wish? Is my life that dull that I need that kind of adventure to jog my senses? I am tempted to answer both questions with a no, but the truth is, we all have a death wish and we all have a dull life. The only question left is how often and how dull?
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
I like my work environment and I have the coolest boss but I don't really care for the job I have now. So find what you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life, right?
One of these days, I will really get the courage and find a paying job writing for magazines or newspaper. I think I will really feel fulfilled then. Which reminds me of what the novelist Mary Morris said, " Pursuing what you want to do and achieving your goal is not like finding the burning bush or discovering a gold mine. There are usually no epiphanies, no sudden reversal of fortune. Fulfillment comes in fits and starts, fulfillment comes in many guises."
My motivation to write is never about money but simply because I like to talk. Reason why I'm awake at 10pm and writing when I should be sleeping so I can go to my real job in the morning.
I approach everything with a passive attitude because of no other reason - I am not aggressive. Most of the jobs I've had were given to me and most of what happened to me in the other aspects of my personal life, they just happen. Not really. The same God who designed the orbit of the universe is the same God who made things happen for me and no one can convince me otherwise. I don't buy what The Secret is selling; I know the bible too much.
I better shut up and go to sleep. But let me share this with you from the book Simple Abundance,
"Today you can begin to transform your workplace and your working style by considering how much you have to be grateful for. If you have a job, even the one you can't stand, it's a safety net as you take a leap of faith towards your authenticity. If you're out of work, then the path has already been cleared for you to answer your authentic calling." Hmmmm.
I used to dream of being a columnist for Sunstar Cebu or The Freeman, live in Cebu and sit my lazy behind at Tinder Box everyday sipping coffee. (Are you reading this Mr. Seares?)
I though that would be my authentic self, a writer. Yeah, and I would be authentically broke too.
Monday, September 08, 2008
"What will I be doing in twenty years' time? I'll be dead, darling! Are you crazy?"
Thank God or I would be going to his concerts too. This kills me, the bottomless microphone, the wife beater shirt and he is soooo gay, I just love him. Look at the energy. Here's to get us through the hump.
Courtesy of Oberon1966-thanks
Friday, September 05, 2008
In 1986 I arrived here in America and one of the things Don lectured me on was about voting in this country—you only vote once and no sardines either. He explained the electoral college, the history of the 2 political parties and why it is important to vote. Don said I have to consider the values and principles that guides me, what matters to me and base my decision on that as to which candidate would best represent me. But back then, I really did not care, after all I came from a country whose people believes that the Philippines can be run by Pacman.
But I did have this much conviction about my candidate here in America; if I have to look at him for the next 4 years, he better not be an eyesore. So I voted for Bill vs. the old George. Then after Bill, I voted for the young George. (Because when he lived in Dallas, he opened the door for me coming into The Container Store.) I didn’t know who he was until Don told me he was the co-owner of the Texas Rangers. And I liked his nose a lot better than Al Gore's.
Then I became a Christian and I started thinking - with that part of my body behind my eye. I don’t have a party affiliation. I study both sides and I am a Christian first, conservative second.(This is my political speak)
Politicians likes to pound on where they stand on the issue of foreign policy and the local economy. These are major issues, that's for sure, but I myself only has these questions to ask from a candidate : Who do you believe is the giver of life and what is a fetus? The second question should not be hard to answer because anyone who has bought a condom knows when life is conceived. If a candidate answers this question correctly, he will handle all the other issues rightly. But if a candidate is vague on his answer to this question, it means that his definition of a fetus is: "It" is not viable until "It " graduates from law school.
And therefore, "It" can be eliminated anytime "It" is deemed a burden to a person's lifestyle and or to society. I hate to think of what would happen to me when I am no longer capable of thinking for myself and Chat is not around to fight for me anymore. All other issues will be irrelevant if a candidate doesn't know what a fetus is. Because I believe that a person's vertical relationship determines how he handles the horizontal issues.
So what about Sara Palin? I'm not sure about the gun-toting part but I love the beehive-librarian bun, the retro specs, the “rig hand” husband with GQ hair who does not have a college degree (just like me) and normal as can be kids – what, you want me to say that getting pregnant at 17 is not normal nowadays?
But you say, “Come on now, we’re talking about some woman who has no experience, who is just a breath away from becoming the POTUS, because John is 72 and just might hit the dust soon.”
Experience? That's what advisers are for. And don't be concerned about how she's going to handle the debate. Sara will be fine. You know why? Because they already know the questions so they’ve already studied for the answer. When she made the headlines because of her speech during the RNC, people were quick to point out that she did not write her own speech. Which politician does? Plagiarism is illegal, right? Except to the politicians. Everyone of them uses a speechwriter and yet does not give credit to the writer. But I think Joe is smart for not saying anymore than his awestruck "she's a babe" comment and better yet he told his supporters to find something else to pick Sara with because readers might just remind him of this.
Joe, John, Barry and Sara, they're all politicians - you'll never know what they'll do. They say one thing and do another - just like a hormonal woman. But this I know for sure; the difference between Osama Bin Laden and a woman with PMS? At least, Osama will negotiate.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
I've been living but I have not lived.
These past years have been a roller coaster ride. I thought – what the heck...let's do this. It will be great...it will be fun...it will be spectacular. But why do I feel sad and empty? Before that my mantra was – do what you want and be happy. Walk the talk....is that correct? That's what I've been doing the past years. Why am I not happy?
Why do people look at something material and feel the need to get it just because they 'connect' with it? That they see something in it and that it would fill some gaps and make them 'satisfied', 'happy', something that would make them loose sleep over it just because they feel 'connected'? We look at it and feel ecstatic....a few days after I look at it and see an object. Then I ask 'why?'
We listen to something and just suddenly proclaim – that's me! That's me! We pore over all the other songs that sound like them and then after a few rounds we just want to get out of it because we can't take any more of the same. Why?
Why do we read books that take us somewhere we've never been before – or somewhere that it's okay not to be yourself? Why do we dream of scenarios that are not totally different from where we are now and feel that it is for real? Why?
I feel sad because I'm not satisfied with what I have when there are a lot more people who are more talented and resourceful but don't get the break that they need. Why are they happy with what they're doing but I'm not? Why can they take the same thing over and over again.... everyday of their lives and not say 'I don't want this anymore, take me out of here'. Why do I say it everyday?
Why are they still smiling while I'm crying just because I feel that am in between rocks.
Why am I crying when I'm earning my keep while others are struggling to make ends meet? Why?
Why do I feel like running away from everything and just scream 'I want freedom!!!' when am actually free to do whatever I want to do?
Take me out of this darkness Lord. Let me be free from all these burden. Let me have peace.