Office Dress Code Inspires Entry About Chris Martin in Sagada

The world that we live in now, it seems passé to react to anything out of the ordinary. Hoping that we never get caught in the mess, hoping to live daily without interruption. Hoping to persevere this slow boring death.
-from the write-up on Dappled Cities’ take-away show off of LaBlogotheque.com

When we were in Sagada a coupe of years ago, we kept running into this very, very blonde Caucasian dude. We called him Chris Martin, because he looked exactly like Mr. Gwyneth Paltrow. Some time after we got back and re-established our existences in the city, I found myself standing next to Chris Martin on a train, and he was like “Hello again! I am Polish!”. I’ve completely forgotten his name, in fact he didn’t even blurt out “I’m Polish!” (although he really was Polish). What I remember was that he wasn’t afraid to show how blown away he was by the randomness of it all, in his words “80 million people in this country and I run into you again!”

And that’s how I met Chris Martin.

Fact is we’re assailed by the random on a daily basis but we just stop noticing at some point. It’s like at a certain age it becomes immature to admit you’re still in awe of the world because you’re too busy coping with the mundane.

I’m not a big fan of cynicism (although I have had some of being horribly cynical). From time-to-time I still get blown away by tiny things like other people’s conversations and I find it hard to talk about this, because it feels like at a certain age it’s imperative to pretend you’re no longer blown away by running into the same stranger twice. You’re gripped by this whole notion of professionalism and capability that involves pencil cut skirts and signing papers, and it all gets very dehumanizing at some point.

I’m also beginning to find it difficult to be inspired by fashion, especially commercial fashion. Maybe it’s the working environment at both of my internships, maybe it’s me running out of ideas, maybe it’s the dress code.

Everyday we have two color choices, black or white–no prints. I understand that this is an opportunity to use your imagination, that there’s a lot you can do with solids that can’t be achieved with prints, but I prefer the flipside. I like that there’s a whole spectrum between black and white.

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90′s Kid Bedroom Rock Album Experience and Parental Musical Contributions

It’s comforting that almost everybody had Weezer’s blue album on their lists. It’s like going on a girlie PMS rampage, and discovering that you and all your girlfriends like yogurt with your Cheetos.

Another thing I noticed is how you can trace when somebody came of age (musically, I guess) from the Radiohead album they pegged on their lists. Brian has Pablo Honey BECAUSE HE’S OLD HAHAHAHA OLD! My clearest memory of that album was from the time they showed “Creep” on Beavis and Butt-head. I was an MTV kid, but the MTV I grew up with had Nonie and David Wu veejayjaying and played Ugly Kid Joe’s “Cat’s in the Cradle” every 2 hours. I couldn’t tell the difference between Dave Pirner and the dude from Ugly kid Joe, all I knew was that they both kinda sucked and in my head everyone who sucked was the same person; one big chimeric mass of suckage with a Hitler ‘stache.

And there was Migraine boy–BEST CARTOON EVER, then in its wake came Saw Boy and Brain Eater which wasn’t even a third as awesome. Owel doesn’t have a list (yet) but I’m pretty sure he’d put Kid A on his because Owel’s convinced he’s smarter than any of us. I’d put The Bends on mine because I was convinced that Clueless was a movie that would change the landscape of American cinema (I was ten years old for crying out loud), and high five with Peter Mot Mot with a mix of delight and crippling depression brought on by the opening riff of “My Iron Lung”.

At 10 I hadn’t discovered the magical golden delicious power of CD players yet, I was still hooked on casette tapes and was wearing the blue album thin by playing it every single night for almost a month when my brother said I could have it. In fact I could have all his tapes because tapes sucked and CDs was where it was at. Part of this collection was Sonic Youth’s Washing Machine and Jet Set, The Beastie Boys Ill Communication, Mad Season’s Above, and Rancid’s And Out Come the Wolves. This was an awesome development because the only way I could acquire new music at that age was if it was my birthday or I happened to have a hundred bucks to spare–which was never.

I didn’t have a walkman. What I had was a tape deck which I kept under my pillow at sleepy time so no one would get bothered by the noise. Once I got used to an album, it took me less and less time to doze off, until I got sick to death of the album and had to plug in a new one, then the cycle repeated itself. I ended up with a really bad neck before I even hit puberty, but my mom seemed to prefer this over my horrible sleeping habits. In fact, the whole casette player under the pillow schtick was her suggestion because she was probably willing to do anything short of pumping my veins with Benadryl just to get me to sleep before daybreak.

My mom loves music as much as I do. I’m pretty sure she hasn’t forgiven me for recording over her copy of The Talking Heads True Stories when I was a toddler (I WAS 2! THE TAPE DECK HAD SHINY BUTTONS!!!). She buys White Stripes albums and says they’re for us, then she stashes them away in her office. My dad has more trouble getting with the times and because of him we’ve never listened to the Beatles on anything but vinyl. Of course our introduction to the Beatles was with “Nowhere Man” which he said was his song, and I was all “WOW PRETTY SHINY SONG AND THEY ALL SING IN HARMONY!” without really getting what he meant. He also made us (me and my sister) listen to The Byrds’ “Turn, turn, turn” which he said was our song, or maybe it was my song, he probably gave Irene something pretty like “Circle game” or “Where have all the flowers gone?”.

Unfortunately, I never learned to like The Byrds so I never considered it my song. Maybe when I have kids and I’m miserable with my five-figure salary and my insane knowledge of the Philippine legal system, I’ll listen to it again and get what he meant.

Happy Valentine’s Day Tengal!

I hate to admit that I’m proud of Tengal, because personally I don’t understand any of his work. But maybe that’s the key to success nowadays, heck it worked for John Cage (note: I am not comparing Tengal to John Cage). It doesn’t mean I don’t respect what he’s about.

Earl and I go a pretty long way back, all the way to first grade, and the first sign of this is that I’ll never be able to call him Tengal without laughing inappropriately. My first memory of him is this time he was trying to use a chair as a desk by propping it up on his lap, but it kept bobbing from side to side so he ended up spending more time keeping it upright then getting any work done. I was six, and I didn’t point out what a noob he was being because back then, I wasn’t the obnoxious biznitch that I am today.

I have Earl to thank for my being as loud and tactless as I am at this point, this point where I’m not even that loud or that tactless. I guess this gives an idea of how spineless I was when we first became a couple back in high school. It wasn’t that hard to get pissed off at Earl, and our relationship was a cycle of being pissed off one moment and giddy as a 12-year-old at a Hannah Montana gig the next. The fights grew bigger and bigger until finally I was just this resentful mess of PMS and female chauvinist rage. It took me a whole to recognize the neurotic spectrum of emotions that can only be felt when there’s genuinely something at stake.

Before that I’d never really expressed my anger at our shortcomings (or anyone else’s) or my sadness at the fact that it really wasn’t working, eve before the relationship starter, and it was hard to adjust to being friends after everything blew over. It is within that context that I can now say we really are friends. Friends who mock each other relentlessly, but friends nonetheless.

And multiply refuses to upload a picture, so here’s a puppy emoticon:

3

This afternoon, one of the girls working at Adora approached me to ask if I knew her best friend who was also a CT student. I said I did, and she asked me how she (the best friend) was doing. Turns out they hadn’t really seen each other or had the chance to check up on each other since high school. It’s just strange that no matter how old we are, we still refer to the people we were closest to in high school as our best friends. Who cares if you were only an nth of the person you are today, it’s in high school that you consider your relationships to have been solid and sincere the way you’ll need them to be regardless of how far past high school you already are.

In spite of the distance and me missing her wedding, I still consider Wendy my best friend simply because she’s known me the longest. Heck, if she were anywhere near me at the moment I’d drop everything to spend time with her (and Amaya!). But there’s a crucial fact missing from the whole best friend equation, and it is that I can’t say we really know each other now. I guess that’s what 4 Christmases and 4 birthdays away from each other does to you.

It’s not like you have a choice when people are an ocean away. It wouldn’t be fair of you to wish out loud that things never change and that you meet again as the same people with the same mannerisms, the same tastes, and the same ambitions. Things are changing all the time, we meet new people, we put on weight (except for the freaks who actually lose weight), we try new things and our ambitions change along with the currents of our separate lives.

One of the first things I ever talked about with Baki was how fragile friendships are because of how easy it is for people to betray each other. He brought up how it was necessary, expedient even, to just cut people off and always be thankful for your the company of your best friend–whoever it happened to be at the moment. This was at a point in my life when I needed a new word for betrayal after what had happened between me and another (former) close friend, so I readily accepted that belief in the solidity of friendship was for the naive and romantic.

I’m okay with being called naive and romantic as long as I can still refer to Wendy as my best friend. We have shitloads of stories to tell, most of them about our firsts, and I’ll be more than happy to add to those stories because catching up is more fun than disappearing completely. Other people can cut each other off, because it’s really not that hard. It’s like learning to ride a bike.

Catching up is work. You set time aside, sometimes there’s money involved, you get past the first few awkward silences, the “ummm…so, what’s new?” and you wait to get in the swing of things. But at some point your old mannerisms return, and next thing you know you’re back in the moment again. You know each other now. I’ll keep calling Wendy my best friend because she’s worth that kind of work.

Thesis Ramblings

No more bitching about it. I’ve actually spent enough time with that ubiquitous doorstop of a paper they call “your thesis” to love the damn thing. On valentine’s day it will be just me and my thesis making half human-half thesis babies. We will wax on about semiology and crack lame jokes that only we, and the very pretentious, get: how can you be Saussure? Har Har Har.

So here’s what I’ve really been up to:
For the past couple of months I’ve been collecting advertisements, taking pictures of billboards and retail displays, and generally looking for common themes in how fashion is advertised. To be more concrete about it, through the seasons what generally makes up our societal definitions of fashionable.

What I ended up proposing was that apparel hit mainstream upon being advertised (no shit) and upon mainstreaming certain apparel, they become privileged with the notion of taste. Taste is an arbitrary concept that is legitimized through its endorsement from the higher echelons of society. Taste, in other words, comes from the top. If Tessa Prieto thinks its fabulous, it is fabulous. No questions asked. It doesn’t even have to be Tessa Prieto, my point is our notions of taste are socially motivated.

Thus, in a capitalist society where upward social mobility is desired, the selling point in fashion advertising comes with associating products with opulence. Fashion is, after all, an endeavor reserved for the elite. No matter how ghetto you may be, your ghetto-ness only goes from ghetto to derelict when it’s being paraded down the runway. In terms of opulence, I’m not just talking about wealth. The whole concept of wealth is completely irrelevant to the study without anything visible to signify it, and that’s where fashion advertising comes in.

Fashion advertising is built on images, after all fashion is all about images. It rarely makes use of language or product descriptions, thus affirming that fashion is not concerned with the utilitarian. No one gives a crap about how long your Balenciaga heels will last, what we want to know is how fabulous they look and where to wear them. What drives the fashion industry is not the consumption of products but the consumption of images. So upon reading these images, what can be assumed about the market they’re being sold to.

Now please greet my dear friend Cat who turns 21 today. I love you Cat!