Thursday, July 29, 2010

We're glad you finally understood it

Quotes were taken from this Manila Bulletin article.

Senators react on President Noynoy's first State of the Nation Address:

Senator Tito Sotto: ”I fully support all the proposed measures that he is advocating."

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano: "The objective of the President is also our objective and that is clean and honest government and no abuses."

Senator Serge Osmena III: ”I can see that his approach is very intelligent...You cannot do the time line to accomplish them but it’s really doable."

Senator Loren Legarda: ”It is good to hear the transparency and procurement. I happy with the mentioned bills and I hope these will be certified as urgent."

Senator Teofisto Guingona Jr.: "Let’s see how he will do his promises but actually everything is on the right track."

Senator Lito Lapid: "(It was a good message) which I really understand because it said it in our own language."
Finally. Congratulations.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Wardrobe anorexia

This is the article that inspired me to write my entry yesterday:

Shoppers on a ‘Diet’ Tame the Urge to Buy
By ERIC WILSON
Published: July 21, 2010

Imagine that horrible though all-too-familiar feeling: You are standing before a fully stuffed closet and yet have nothing to wear.

Now, imagine something worse: Your closet contains only six items, and you are restricted to wearing only those six items for an entire month.

... This self-imposed exercise in frugality was prompted by a Web challenge called Six Items or Less (sixitemsorless.com). The premise was to go an entire month wearing only six items already found in your closet (not counting shoes, underwear or accessories). Nearly 100 people around the country, and in faraway places like Dubai and Bangalore, India, were also taking part in the regimen, with motives including a way to trim back on spending, an outright rejection of fashion, and a concern that the mass production and global transportation of increasingly cheap clothing was damaging the environment.

I'm not doing this anytime soon and if I do, I'll probably raise the number from six to um, 14? (Can a guy really do six?) I also plan to get several shirts of the same color; that's not exactly a statement against consumerism, mass production, carbon footprint and other eklavoo. In any case, I'm doing this to simplify my life; although yep, consumerism does get to me in a bad way—one huge reason why I can't wholeheartedly maintain my Tumblr site. (More on that on a later post.)

At the same time, I look forward to how liberating it must feel. In the article, no one knew that those on the 'diet' have been repeating just six pieces of clothing for 31 days (Flashbulb question: Why is this not a lifelong commitment for them?), which settles a persistent question I've had in my head: Do people keep tabs on what you have/have not worn? Do they know when you've repeated an article of clothing for the last two weeks? I now realize too, that while I'm self-conscious enough not to repeat work clothes in two weeks, I don't actually remember what my colleagues have worn/not worn and repeat on a regular basis! They probably don't give a damn about what I wear at all! (Though I suspect that if you see someone repeating clothes on a highly regular basis—such as a person participating in this 'diet' challenge—then that's when you notice. In The New York Times article, one husband NEVER knew that his wife had been on the 'diet': I think that's highly offensive for the wife, unless all they do is cavort around naked, 24/7.)

I'll put this to the test in about three months or so :-D


ADD

Kung may Class President lang sa Twitter, then na-ilista na nya ko sa noisy boys, especially for today. Pano naman, ang daming nangyari: nag-overtime UP-UST sa UAAP basketball kanina; ina-announce ni Ines Ligron sa blog nya na si John Galliano nag-design ng national costume ng Japan—only to find out later that the purported dress has already appeared in a Japanese designer's website. At apparently, ang dami kong Twitter friends na interesado pala sa Miss Universe pageant (at hindi sila bading, lol) kaya ayun, more more chika!

I was supposed to post that first sentence on Twitter but that would have been obnoxious.

* * * *

In a somewhat related note, I plan to blog more and tweet less, especially after reading, The Art of Slow Reading (via @midee):

According to The Shallows, a new book by technology sage Nicholas Carr, our hyperactive online habits are damaging the mental faculties we need to process and understand lengthy textual information. Round-the-clock news feeds leave us hyperlinking from one article to the next – without necessarily engaging fully with any of the content; our reading is frequently interrupted by the ping of the latest email; and we are now absorbing short bursts of words on Twitter and Facebook more regularly than longer texts.

I've shared a similar observation with friends: Twitter has made it difficult for me to write long blog entries, or even articles. While brevity is a virtue, it impedes the art of reflection and deliberation—no wonder Twitter has no 'edit' button :-D


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Uniform

Earlier this week, an idea hit me: what if I just wear a uniform to work? It stemmed from the fact that I spend a good amount of time every morning agonizing over what to wear. It's funny and frustrating how I've so many clothes and still feel as if I've nothing to wear.

I'd like to think that there has already been some self-improvement. It began post-Ondoy, when calls for donations made me decide to rid my closet of stuff I don't wear. (And yep, I know it's sad that it took a tragedy for me to realize that.)

I ended up with about four filled-to-the-brim industrial-sized garbage bags, plus a few others in paper bags. When Pam came by our house to pick them up, her expression was that of semi-shock: "Are you sure you still have clothes left?!"

That did it for me. I swore to myself that I'd stop buying clothes unless they meet the following criteria:

  • I don't have a similar piece
  • They are a guy's wardrobe staple
  • I can wear them for different types of occasions

I have made good on that promise. Every time there's a sale and I'm lured inside a store, when my hand starts to reach out for those clothes, I remember the amount of stuff I donated to Ondoy plus Pam's reaction so I snap out of my shopping reverie.

With my recent move, I further edited my closet. I managed to fill half a garbage bag, though I'm pretty sure I can fill it further—it's been a month since I moved and there are three columns of shirts in my closet that I've never even touched yet.

Hence, I thought about a uniform; it would help me edit my closet, manage my time in the mornings, and save money in the long term. (The tailoring and fabric requirements would constitute the short-term expenses.)

I am happy with my pants lineup: I have the prerequisite colors that would make it easy for me to mix and match, and they cover all dress codes imaginable, except that for an S&M-themed party. (Not that I'd go :-P)

My problem would be my shirts as some veer toward trendy than classic. Also, shirts that are bought off the rack rarely fit well, unless one is genetically blessed to be so... average. (Yes, I'm smarting.) Tall and thin dudes, I hear you. I offer my sympathies to the short and stout, as well.

I'm thinking of Cuban shirts or the guayabera as my uniform for the summer months.


Pleated guayabera shirt from ADAM by Adam Lippes

I know it's pleats away from looking like a gasoline boy but I don't mind :-P I would like to have them in white, light blue and light gray, should my skin tone permit the latter. (As an addendum to my shopping criteria: if it's a color available in Stabilo, it's probably not a good idea.)

For the rainy season, or should work or my mood require it, an oxford is a no-brainer.


From Gap

To wrap up this post, here's a beautiful entry from Put This On, "a web series about dressing like a grownup":

Start by simplifying.
July 14, 2010
by Jesse

Do you want to know how to start looking better?  Simplify.

Stop wearing clothes with logos, prints and crazy details.

Instead, focus on great basics.  When I say basics, I mean basics.  White t-shirt.  Blue dress shirt.  White oxford.  Blue jeans.  Gray wool pants.  Khaki chinos.  Blue blazer.  Gray suit.  Great boots.  Basic shoes.  Focus on blue, white, gray.  Buy good clothes that fit.

Minimalize.

It’s OK for your clothes to be a simple frame for what’s important: you.

I think I've reached that period in my life wherein you just want to be as inconspicuous as possible and let your achievements, should they be too awesome to contain, speak for you.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Things I Love: Handkerchiefs with dog embroidery

Did you know that decent sandos, even the ultra generic ones, cost around P220? I don't get it so I didn't buy any, well at least not yet. (I'm stubborn that way.)

Anyhoo, I did stumble on these handkerchiefs at SM Department store. It featured embroidered dogs on them! They were so cute I immediately bought some.

It features different breeds, such as the Daschund, Terrier and Bulldog (too bad none looked like our family's Samoyed). Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos of the others as I immediately gave them away, but I did decide to keep the Afghan because we both look lean and tall (lol), plus I love the print and colors.



Monday, July 12, 2010

Real home ideas

I recently moved apartments and while it is a slightly bigger space than my previous unit, it is still tiny. And by tiny, I mean I can't even go through with my plan of purchasing a kick-ass home entertainment system because I'm not sure where to put the speakers unless I place the fridge outside the house :-P (By the way, if you're installing a wall-mounted TV, where and how do you hide the cables?)

Nevertheless (and no matter how challenging), it is fun thinking through ways to economize the space (I'm a natural at packing for travel... though not at packing as biology intended us to do, lol. Oops, TMI!) and I get a real sense of accomplishment whenever I get to jam as much stuff into a cabinet and clear my space off trash I never intend to throw away. That's why when Giles blogged about Real Living Magazine's Small Space Solutions issue, I knew I had to get a copy myself.



This guide is like a local version of what you see on the very good-looking and one of Time's 50 Best Blogs of 2010, Apartment Therapy. There are hundreds of blogs and articles out there that offer advice on shoebox-living, but none or very few are catered to Filipino homes and aesthetics. I've been flipping through the issue for a week already and every time, I get new ideas for my apartment. While it has not solved my fridge-versus-home entertainment conundrum, I now know what to do for my bedroom, as well as the numerous shoes and books that are the usual puzzlers when it comes to organizing one's space. I'm also very poor with color combos but the beautiful houses featured in the magazine offer great tips on what colors match.

The magazine is available in bookstores but if you can wait until the end of the month, then join Giles' contest up on his blog, House of Onika, to win your own copy.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Legally Blonde, the musical

I thought I'd watch the Broadway version of Legally Blonde on YouTube, the one which MTV taped and aired, before seeing the local staging; I've never heard of the songs in the musical and I wanted to familiarize myself. I enjoyed it so much (my new favorite song is, Oh My God, You Guys) it raised my expectations. I also read reviews of  Atlantis Productions' version and they were all generally positive so I knew I was in for a treat.

I think as Filipinos, we can say that we're generally apprehensive and skeptical of Western adaptations, more so in the case of Legally Blonde, which requires actors to have the California Valley accent and others to go... well, blonde. The inside jokes all refer to American pop culture, and require countless hours spent on cable TV and entertainment websites. I wondered if Atlantis attempted to tone down these references and adapt a more Pinoy flavor.

The answer was no, although there were little tweaks, such as references to American Idol and The Apprentice that weren't in the Broadway version, but generally it stayed true to the original. The result: a lot of the jokes which were hilarious as I saw them in YouTube fell flat during the local staging. I could count the number of times the audience bellowed with laughter, and they were few. I'm not sure if these were due to: enunciation or audio/technical problems, or the audience simply not getting it.

The casting was perfect, with high praises for Jinky Llamanzares in the role of Paulette Bonafante; Geneva Cruz as Brooke Wyndham; Jett Pangan as Professor Callahan; Cris Villongco as Vivienne Kensington; and Joel Trinidad playing several bit roles, but most notably as the head of Harvard University Admissions. Nikki Gil had the perfect diction and accent as Elle Woods—plus a very pleasing singing voice—but she had zero energy (or okay, fine... 30 percent energy) during the 2 pm performance. Elle's charm lies in her extreme perkiness and overall pleasantness—you'd want her to be your best friend; not Nikki's Elle. Opposite of her were those playing the Delta Nu girls, who were really fun and hilarious to watch in their roles you'd want to hang out with them after to party; one would wonder why they had voted Elle as the sorority's president.

Guji Llorenzana's Warner lacked the arrogance that the character needed. Nyoy Volante had my eyes rolling every time it was his turn to speak—he delivered them as if he were reading nursery rhymes and I suppose this was due to his lack of confidence speaking in English. The other actors in their supporting roles were laudable, and provided this production with comic relief.

Production and stage design will never compare or even come close to the Broadway version, although I appreciate the campy charm of the toy dogs that replaced trained canines employed in the original production.

I'd recommend you to watch this particularly if you'd like to unwind and forget about the world's troubles—just don't watch the MTV broadcast prior to your play date. (I will leave it to you to read between the lines.)

Legally Blonde, The Musical runs until July 18.


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