What’s in a Name?


If you watch the video above, you’ll hear Maria Espaldon, the President of East West (the company that helped PLDT launch last night’s distastrous #TheLastHomeStand) explain that it was clear from the start that the said event should not, and in fact, was not advertised as a game.

But as a writer, I have an issue with the name “The Last Home Stand.” There are a handful of ways in which the word “stand” can be used (see here), but this is the one that’s most applicable to a sports event: “a determined effort for or against something, especially a final defensive effort: i.e. Custer’s last stand.”

So clearly, by using the event title “Last Home Stand,” the organizers clearly aimed to mislead (and in fact succeeded) the public. Let’s dissect the title, shall we? “Last” because this is the last time we will see Team Gilas Pilipinas before they fly to Spain for the FIBA World Championships. “Home” because 1. they’ll be playing in their home country, and 2. in Spain, they won’t be. Finally, “Stand” to imply that Gilas Pilipinas will be making a determined effort against the NBA players. If you watched the game last night, there was neither determination nor effort on the court, save for the determined effort by that PLDT dude who smugly implied when offering a refund that the audience should think twice because it is, after all, a charity event.

My conclusion: the thousands of attendees and millions of viewers at home got screwed.

How We Met The Mother


Yes, we can all bitch about how Carter Bays and Craig Thomas took 9 seasons to tell us something we already knew, forgot, found out again, and consequently threw out the window when he finally let her go in Season 9, Episode 17: that Ted love/s/d Robin.

I’m one with everyone else on my news feed in thinking that 9 seasons were too long for a show with such a specific premise. I mean, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. got away with 10 seasons because the title itself made sure that they could take the show in pretty much any direction they wanted. Same with Seinfeld and Cheers. But HIMYM knew the kind of story it wanted to tell, heck, they filmed the last scene with the kids back when I was a fresh grad in 2005. They just took too long to tell it. They should’ve set a time frame and finished it (see Breaking Bad).

But as much as I wanna rag on all the filler episodes that took up these last few seasons, I have to say I’m happy with the ending. When Ted finished telling his kids the story of how he met their mother, that story had been over for 6 years. For us, it may have been just seconds, but he had had his moments with her. They may not have been perfect, but neither were Lily and Marshall’s wedding, nor were Stella and Tony’s married life, nor the road to Marshall’s judgeship or Robin’s success.

HIMYM is a show that, at least for me, was an example not of how perfect life can be, but how awesome you choose to make it once you accept its imperfections. And so, despite the twists and turns, the unnecessary pit stops and the flat tires along the way, I have to say it was a legendary ending. I mean, come on, a fifty-ish man stole a blue french horn to impress a girl. Jeez.

Flappy Bird


I don’t think I can say enough about this game. It’s simple enough with no leveling-up, no in-app purchases,  no save states, no costumes or upgrades, and a simple tap to fly/release to dive control scheme.

But it’s idiotic and mindless and addictive and throw-your-phone-at-the-wall frustrating all at once.

Download it at your risk here.

image

Flappy Bird


I don’t think I can say enough about this game. It’s simple enough with no leveling-up, no in-app purchases,  no save states, no costumes or upgrades, and a simple tap to fly/release to dive control scheme.

But it’s idiotic and mindless and addictive and throw-your-phone-at-the-wall frustrating all at once.

Download it at your risk here.

image

Fast, Furious and Fuming


So Grace and I were watching the latest Fast and the Furious (Furious 6 was the title that flashed on screen) last weekend, and in the row in front of us, a 7 year-old kid kept asking his parents what was going on. Grace and I tried to control our annoyance as much as we could, but when the kid kept talking during a particularly dialogue-heavy part of the film, we both went “Shhh!”

Yes, guys. If your kid won’t shut up during the movie, I will “Shhhh!” him.

Let’s get a few things straight. If this was The Croods or Frankenweenie or a movie that’s supposed to be filled with kids, I won’t mind the “Oohs” and “Ahhs” or the questions of awed children. I won’t mind it when I go to watch the upcoming Despicable Me 2.

But sure, bring your 7 year-old to a movie that’s filled with explosions, fist fights, gunshots, and scantily-clad women. It’s rated PG, you can do it if you want to. Heck, for all I care, you could go right ahead and watch Game of Thrones or Spartacus: Blood and Sand with your 5 year-old when you get home. Or eat some popcorn and enjoy A Clockwork Orange with your toddler. Put your infant to sleep with a Saw marathon, that’s a good idea! In short, I couldn’t care less what you do with your child.

But the minute you bring him/her into a movie for adults, I expect that you’ve briefed, bribed, cajoled, persuaded, educated, informed, or even scared him enough to act like an adult and respect other viewers. Because truth be told, he doesn’t belong there.

Yes, folks, if your kid won’t shut up during the movie, I will “Shhhh!” him.

Bitten by the Bug


Time really does have a tendency to pass you by. Just 5 years ago, I remember one Paolo Fabregas (then my office mate at what was once Bates 141) inking pages for the teaser for his comic. Today, his Filipino Heroes League Book Two: The Sword is available in all the major bookstores in the country (I just got my copy today, will have him sign it soon).

I’ve been meaning to write a full-blown comic since my friend, once-art director, and upcoming groomsman Noah re-introduced me to comics in 2008. Between then and 2010 I probably spent half my salary on comics (hey, I was single then). I’ve not been entirely lazy since 2008, mind you. I wrote a couple of comic strips about the advertising industry (some are still over at http://admanoverboard.blogspot.com/), got a short story published, joined a children’s storybook writing contest, and read, read, read.

But the comics bug still has its teeth in me, it seems. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on a teaser for a full-blown comic series. Hopefully, it’ll be done by the weekend, and then I can pass it on to my friend, office mate and illustrator Toby to work on for at least a month. Target: Komikon. Fingers and toes crossed.

Now That We’ve Met The Mother


SPOILER ALERT – You’ve been warned!

In the finale of How I Met Your Mother’s penultimate season, the whole gang is on the way to Barney and Robin’s wedding. And, at the train station, after 8 years and as many seasons, after party marathons (party-thons, anyone?) and really quick dates, past Stella and Victoria and Trudy (AKA Pineapple Girl) and Zooey and a host of other girls, there she was.

The mother of Ted’s kids. Yellow umbrella and all.

And my first reaction was probably the same as yours: “That’s who we’ve been waiting 8 seasons to see?” I mean, I thought she was cute but I wasn’t wowed. I sure didn’t think she was any more special than any of the other girls Ted’s dated over the years.

But then I realized that I was never going to be satisfied with who Ted ended up with, even if they’d managed to get Natalie Portman or Scarlett Johansson. She was never going to be enough for me or for everyone else who’d followed the show for 8 freakin’ years.

But if (I say “if” because we’ve got a whole season to go ’til the end) and when Ted lays eyes on her, she’s gonna be more than enough for him.

Maybe that’s the point.

Mercy


If, someday, I ask you for mercy,

I hope you do not hesitate

 

I may be lying on a dusty barn floor,

you half-dragging me with a horde of zombies

closer behind us than relatives to a lottery winner,

you pretending not to notice

the teeth marks on my leg

 

I could be gagged and bound on a cold metal slab,

red-hot sparks flying from electric wires

just inches away from my face as they

ask the question only you have

the answer to, on which the fate

of the world rests helplessly

 

It might be that I will

be caught in the serial killer’s grip,

you a few feet ahead by the door,

wondering if you should come back for me,

even if it lessens your own chances for survival

 

If, in one or another of these situations,

I beg you for help, for a hand,

for a second thought, for mercy,

I hope you do not hesitate to ignore me

and keep running, because I won’t

hesitate to do the same to you

Why I Still Watch How I Met Your Mother


A lot of people have given up on How I Met Your Mother. It’s not as funny as it used to be, they tend to just rehash the old jokes, Barney’s gotten corny – I’ve heard all those. But I’ve kept watching the show for one very good reason.

How I Met Your Mother is me. I’ve got white hair now. I feel sleepy after 3 bottles of beer (or 2 glasses of wine). If I stay up past 2am, I’m completely useless the next morning. Plus, I can go a full week without yearning for a drop of alcohol.

But, like How I Met Your Mother, I have my moments. I’ve still got some juice left in the tank. If you hang around and give me a chance, I might surprise you.

Kill or Be Killed


A few days ago, I was about to take a shower when I saw a mosquito flying around the bathroom. I’d been waking up covered in bites the last few days, and it was really starting to get to me.

So I grabbed the stool I keep around for when I use a tabo, and waited. And waited. And waited. And after 20 minutes of sitting naked in the bathroom, I finally killed the little bugger.

I can’t believe this is my first post since July.

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