Does money buy happiness?

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Interesting read. How not to buy happiness.

Conversation over martinis

Friday, May 20, 2005

GERMY: The first three movies were just soooo good, it's a shame.

WORK COLLEAGUE: Yeah, they're like pop culture icons.

G: My parents went to see the first movie when they were dating! Ha!

W: Who knew the next couple of movies would be so bad.

G: I loved Natalie Portman's costumes and hair.

W: Yeah, that was hands down the best part of the fourth movie. The fifth one just stank.

G: I heard George Lucas said that while the first three movies were big with the over-25 crowd, that the new movies had really resonated with the under-25's. Dude! How self-deluded can you get? The last two movies SUCKED; whether you were under or over 25, or 35, 95 or whatever.

W: Maybe he was referring to the under-25-weeks crowd.

G: Ha. Maybe. Seriously; toddlers love colors and shit.

W: The first movies rule, though.

G: Yeah, you go girl.

W: And the funny part is that some of the most recognizable actors never really made anything interesting afterwards.

G: Yeah. I think Luke Skywalker held up a 7-Eleven or something...

W: I mean nobody even remembers these people's names! Do you know what Luke Skywalker's real name was?

G: Mark Hamill.

W: Huh? Oh, ummm, Princess Leia?

G: Carrie Fisher.

W: Grrr... you're good.

G: Zas, culera!!!*

*Spanish expression, meaning, roughly, "You got served, bitch!"

Caroline or Change

I (illegally) downloaded a song called Lot's wife from the cast recording of a show called Caroline or Change. It's a second act aria for the lead character, Caroline. The story concerns this woman, who is a middle-aged black maid for a southern Jewish family in the 1960's. Caroline receives instructions to begin keeping the change that is left in the pants pockets of the family's only son. Even though she is very quiet and still, Caroline is keepign a lot to herself. The word change has a double meaning here, money and the political climate of the times (mainly, the civil rights movement), and it brings turmoil to Caroline’s life, as she shares songs with the moon, radio, washing machine and other home appliances.

"Lot's wife" is a melodic tour de force in the style of "Rose's turn" from Gypsy or "Losing my mind" from Follies: the story builds up to the moment where the character just let's it rip (musically). Why is this song superior to both the legendary numbers I mentioned? Because of it's gritty and earthy nature. This really does sound more like a nervous breakdown set to music, not just a song about going bonkers. It's urgent and sometimes dissonant sounds are quite unnerving (and even a little scary). You can't help but hear as this woman falls apart before your ears (I know, Sondheim is a God, but that's how I feel, sorry). The fact that Tonya Pinkins pulled this song off every night is proof of how far good technique can take you.

The song starts off rather tame, then produces a beat-filled harmony that might even get your toes tapping; suddenly, and without warning, it launches off into a spiteful howl, Caroline screams her rage and opposition to change only to end softly, almost like a lullaby, singing these painful words to God (written my Tony Kushner, who also penned Angels in America):

"Murder me now, down in the basement.
Murder my dreams, so I'll stop wantin'.
Murder my hope of him returning.
Strangle the pride that make me crazy.
Make me forget so I stop grieving.
Scour my skin, till I stop feeling.
Take Caroline away, 'cause I can't be her;
take Caroline away, I can't afford her.
Tear out my heart, strangle my soul.
Turn me to salt, a pillar of salt,
a broken storm and then...
Caroline, Caroline,
on the evening she done,
Lord set her free,
set her free,
set me free!
Don't let my sorrow make evil of me..."

Wow.

Summer flicks

Thursday, May 19, 2005

With the summer movie tide coming steadily along, teh flicks have failed to really ignite my interest in any way. I'm usually kind of snobby with my movie selections, but I'm always game for a fun and exciting summer blockbuster. I was looking at some trailers at Apple and I was pretty disappointed.

First of all, the Batman Begins trailer completely underwhelmed me. I did NOT look like the original Tim Burton series, so, in my mind, it was already crap, haha. Also, it completelylacks the "coolness" factor, and you don't even see the villain adequately! (Supposedly The Scarecrow").

The last Star Wars movie will most likely SUCK. Since th last flicks SUCKED, chances are 2 to 3 this one will follow tow. I've heard fair reviews so far, so this might even be a surprise. Still, I don't really feel much excitement for it. Well, sort of... hopefully Princess Amidala will have kick-ass costumes...

War of the Worlds at least "looks" cool and actually has a good trailer. I hope they fry the little blond girl, she's terribly annoying, haha.

Fantastic 4 also has a neat trailer, but generally looks same-ol, smae-ol... except for this really hot guy named Chris Evans. But don't ALL super-hero movies have a really hot guy now? Yawn...

Does anybody have any better suggestions? Otherwise, I'll just have to wait for X-Men 3. =D

My gut

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

You know, my gut is getting kinda big. Yikes. My mom told me to eat well while I was sick(er), but I think I've taken it too far.

I really should start doing some exercise. There are some salsa classes I've been wanting to go to. Maybe I should sign up at a gym... there are some neat one's near where I work... but damn, I know myself, I'll go for like a month at most then I'll get bored and loose interest. Sheesh... maybe there are really hot guys and that'll keep me going... or maybe not...

There's this Mexican folkloric dance group being set up. I love that stuff (yeah, a gay dancer, big surprise... SUE ME!). But I can only go to one of the two weekly sessions. Arggghhhh!

What does a guy have to do to get in shape around here? You know, fornicating is actually a very good way to loose calories and manage stress... uh-oh, there I go about sex again... I think my sex post is due...

Public debut

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Ok, it finally happened. After weeks of putting it off, I finally read my work to a small audience. Oh boy.

I had penned something about a month ago almost, a little short story/narrative. I wrote it in order to read it out loud at the writer's workshop with the intention of receiving, GASP!, criticism.

Anyways, I had taken it like 3 straight weeks to the damn group and had not had the chance to read it out loud. It was really annoying. Of course I was a tad apprehensive about letting my "child" loose to the jackals... and so when the time came to read, I usually hesitated and there was always someone who was much more eager to read their stuff... so I waited in silence. But last Thursday was THE DAY. After all, I planned it as the last day I was going to the workshop as a whole.

Yes, I had decided that after reading my work I would not return. Even though I acknowledged that the group was far from perfect, I had thought that it wouldn't be a problem, as long as it stimulated creation and a feedback loop. But, I was wrong. The basic problem was not the fact that the teacher is somewhat ignorant or that he sometimes looses control of the discussions; well, they are part of the reason, but not the main reason. The basic problem I see is that the workshop wants to be two things at once. It wants to be a quickie literature/grammar class, and it also wants to be a workshop. In a grammar class, you learn the basics about writing, it's a given that people don't have a good understanding of the fundamentals of structure and such. So you study those. In a workshop, you bring "works" in progress and you polish them; most people already have a good grasp on writing. At least that's my opinion and those were my expectations. I'm not saying I have a particularly good grasp on grammar and writing... but I'm not interested in going to a workshop to learn that. I can do that on my own. This group wants to be both and doesn't succeed in any case. That's why I decided to go last Thursday, read and never return.

As fate would have it, I arrived about 45 min late to the 2 hrs session (too much work, oops). Anyways, I missed the grammar class session and also the part where the teacher, in his obsession to have people write something right then and there, makes the attendants write essays or poems in like 15-20min. Sheesh. So, since I arrived late, I skipped this part, hehe. This new girl joined the group, she seemed kinda spunky and fresh... and she indeed turned out to be, haha. Without anybody indicating it was time to share personal works, she began reading something she had written. It was ok. I thought she was fun.

Then came the dreaded moment. The teacher asked if anybody else had brought something to read. Now, I was a little hesitant but jumped at the chance; nobody was going to stop me this time around. I had once seen the group pounce on someone else, and it was a little scary. Some of them were sharper than I had given them credit for, especially the old-lady-poet woman whom I had grilled on her comma use. So I made my way into the lion's den.

I hadn't read my work in at least 2 weeks, so as I was reading it, it seemed strangely alien to me. Obviously I spotted some punctuation and grammar errors and quietly said to myself "Shit". Always, after I was done there was silence. I explained what my intention had been and asked for some suggestions and/or corrections... then it began.

First, old-poet-wannabee said I had repeated some words way too many times (don't even start Psesito!). Some of them were on purpose; I was trying to emulate a child speaking. Still, some were not. Damn hag had gotten me. Then the teacher mentioned how I had used slang in a certain sentence and said "If your intention is to use slang, then it's OK...but if it isn't, it's a mistake". And I said "Well, that particular one is on purpose"...and he said "Ok... but if you didn't mean to, it's a mistake, ok?" and I'm like geez, did I just speak to a wall or what? Later he corrected my use of another word, saying that when it's the subject of a phrase, it's spelled differently. So I said "Oh, you're right, when it's a noun you change the spelling" and he looked and me blankly and said "Ummm... when it's in the subject you spell it differently, ok?” And I'm all like "Hmmm... I don't think he remembers what a noun is... frightening".

Then the old-hag-poet said "Well, I juts don't think people should get defensive". And I was all like "SHUT UP BTCH! LEAVE MY BABY ALONE!!! WAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!". Ok, I wanted to say that, but kept my composure. I feel I'm an expert and hiding my feelings and was surprised she had mentioned me getting aggressive. But the teacher intervened and said I was being quite calm; he mentioned that a person needed to justify his use of language if indeed he believed he had not made a mistake. The old-hag disagreed, she said everyone should just write down all the suggestions and shut up. And I was all like "You wish, haggy!”

Luckily, the more moronic members were absent (like the crazy old geezer), so the feedback was mostly constructive and useful. The new girl mentioned something interesting. She said I had not conveyed what she thought a real child would say. She recommended I do some more research into children. I thought it was a good idea... but the risk of being labeled a fucking pedophile is high, so I think I'll stick to reading Faulkner or something, haha. Still, I think you cannot write about something you don't know. Research, or life experience, is an integral part of good fiction writing. Otherwise you'll just end up with rehashed ideas that anyone else could have thought of and your work will have added nothing to the collective experience. Or so says me.

Surprisingly, all in all, I thought the reading turned out to be a good experience. So, I decided to return to the damn workshop. I saw that, no matter how awkward it may turn out to be, feedback is still feedback. I made up an excuse to the teacher and will now be arriving an hour after the start of the session, meaning I'll skip the useless grammar course part, which is great news, haha. And the new girl offered a glimmer of hope that maybe more people with new and interesting points of view could enter the group. I feel I took the criticism well... but it sure is hard to be a mature as I am, sheesh, haha. I remember being immature was so much easier and came so much more naturally to me... :-P

I was somewhat disappointed my text wasn't more error free. But that's just how it is. A huge part of the process is polishing and making what you've done better. I once heard art was 20% inspiration and 80% perspiration... and I feel that more now than ever. Well, now all I need is time... sheesh.

Kylie has cancer

Whoa... I guess you never really expect celebrities to get sick; Ms. Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer. Poor Kylie. Oh well, good thing it was detected early and she has a lot of money... best wishes.

Nose

Sunday, May 15, 2005

I went to the doctor the other day. I had been nursing a bad cough and a sore throat for a while, and finally went to a specialist.

He examined me and said "Geez! Your throat looks like it was hacked up! Nasty" and I'm all like "Oh... no wonder it HURTS!". Then he put this weird camera thing in my throat and pointed to a monitor and said "Look at your throat! See! It's all red...now look at the inside of your ear! It's all red too! See! The infection spread! Nasty!!!!” And I'm all like, sheeshh... there is a reason God didn't give us the ability to look inside our bodies... GROSSSSS!!!

Anyways, I'm taking medication now, so I'm feeling better. While he was examining me, he asked me if I had ever hurt my nose or had ever given it a really hard whack, and I'm all like "Um, noooo... why?” And he said "Well, it seems to be crooked or bent". And I'm like "What?!?!?!” He said that if infections persist, it could be because of that. Geez. I paid no attention to this and just thought "Is he saying my nose looks crooked?!?!?! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” After staring at myself in the mirror (for several hours) I've concluded that my nose is fine, and any trouble is only on the inside and will only cause nasty infections, so I'm ok. Whew!

Still, I wonder how much a nose job runs for these days?....

Eye of the designer

I was taking some heat from my boss the other day. It seems I was given a sketch from this outside designer guy (who is kinda hot, did I already mention that?); anyways, I was given a draft of what he wanted the web page to look like. So I implemented it. According to my boss I missed a lot of small but significant details, and that I should really learn to look at everything through a designer's point of view; that I should develop a designer’s eye. SHIT. This job suddenly turned out to be SO MUCH MORE difficult than I ever imagined! Hahahaha.

Well, it’s going to be quite a challenge. I mean I’ve never really cared very much about fonts or text sizes or “serif” vs. “sans-serif” fonts and shit. I think I have an OK eye for color and color combinations… but only to a point. Oh well, ready or not, here comes Germy, developer cum designer…. Geez. I think it’s appropriate for the world too tremble in fear now, haha. You know, it actually seems a little exciting… I mean other than confusing and terrifying… haha.

Robot babies

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Am I the only one HORRIFIED by this news story? Apparently, at Cornell, they built a robot that can make copies of itself... HELLO! Didn't anybody see the Terminator movies?!?!?! (If you saw the shitty third one, my condolences...).

Now I understand why the Angel said "Stop moving"...

Merry Mommy's Day

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Happy, happy, happy Mothers Day (at least in Mexico, haha). Don't forget to call your mom (supposing she's still alive). If your relationship is estranged or distant, appreciate the opportunity to get a little closer. If you're a new mother, congrats! Hopefully much joy awaits you. If your mother has passed on, remember her on this day and pay tribute to what she meant to you and give thanks for her effort. If for some reason you never knew your mother, take this day to think about (and thank) the people who filled that void in your life.

I already called "me mum" and my brother and me sent her flowers. Yeah, I know, real original. Big deal! As long as she likes the attention, I think it's great, haha.

Guilty pleasures

Monday, May 09, 2005

No, this isn't my sex post... yet, haha. I was remembering some really bad flicks that are among my all time favorite movies, haha. Here goes:

Death becomes her
Ok, one of my old axioms was that director Robert Zemeckis could do no wrong (Back to the future, Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump, What lies beneath, Contact, Cast Away, etc). Then I saw "Death becomes her". Yikes. In spite of starring Academy Awards winners Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn (and an unrecognizable Bruce Willis), this movie sucked big time. And I LOVED it!!! I dunno, maybe it's the neat special FX, maybe it's the black humor. I'm still not quite sure why I like this flick... I just do! haha.

Mannequin
OMG, this movie is SOOOO bad, haha. I saw it as a kid and LOVED it. I taped it on cable and saw it endless times, I thought it was so cool. The opening sequence and the song they play at the end are awesome (and the latter was Oscar nominated). I saw it again about 3 or 4 years ago and was aghast at how crappy the movie really is. Yikes. I mean it's vulgar, lame-o, un-funny and toys around will gay stereotypes. Still, I dunno, I kinda bought into its charms. Very guilty indeed.

Willow
Somewhat forgotten adventure semi-epic. This film is quite a good time. The effects where pretty cool back in the day. They must seem awfully shitty post-Jurassic-Park and stuff. I still remember it being funny and dramatic and all that. I think seeing it again would change that, haha.

Muppet Movie(s)
I'm referring to the ones made in the 80's. Ok, they're silly, their childish, they have lame plots and sometimes pitiful production values. Still, I LOVE everything Muppet. Sue me. I especially liked the one where the super model frame Ms. Piggy for stealing some baseball diamond thing. Priceless.

Who framed Roger Rabbit
This is actually a good movie, methinks. It's just that I feel a little silly putting it up as a fave, haha. I didn't even know it was Kathleen Turner doing Jessica Rabbit's voice until years later. A very funny and entertaining old fashioned caper film. With lots of cartoons and stuff, haha. I remember watching the "Making of" countless times on the Disney channel when I was a kid... aww, the memories.

Ok, now it's official

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Yes, this is the real deal. I have now officially made my editorial debut this week in the magazine my company puts out. I did a small review for the Restaurants section (and had to translate it, too hehe). It was basically a piece about this small taco place (yeah, I know, real classy). But I'm so proud, sniff, sniff... ok, now from here to the New York Times! Hahahaha.

The birds do it,. the bees do it...

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I had a tremendous urge to fornicate the other day. Man, it was unbearable. Thank goodness I have a right hand, haha (yes, I think I'm very classy.. DEAL WITH IT!). But it just isn't the same, sniff, sniff... I think a sex post is in order. You've been warned... soon...

Kylie song

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Ok, I like Kylie Monigue. BIG DEAL! Anyways, even though most of her tunes are pop/techno fare (some of which are pretty good... as far as the genre goes), there is this one song that I find particularly enthralling. It was recommended to me by one of "me workmates" back in jolly good London town. He didn't really like Kylie at all, but said this was her best song. I have to agree.

It's called Confide in Me. If you can download it, please do, I highly recommend it (I just did... and I LOVE downloading illegaly, don't you????). It has a nice haunting quality, sort of a melancholic plea for closeness. The strings in the background are stellar. Pretty deep shit, for Kylie at least. Kudos.

Rob Thomas

I saw his new video "Lonely no more", from his new solo album. He used to be the singer for Mathbox 20. Wow. As Serge would say, "that's hot".

P.S. I absolutely LOVE the clothes he's wearing in the video.

Physicality

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Recently some guy here at work was wooing me. It was kind of my fault because I didn't really know anybody, so I hung around with him a lot. I think I might have given him the wrong impression. He's the gay roommate of the now ever so un-talented Mr. Ewing.

Anyways, he's actually an ok guy. He's pretty cultured in art, he's a graphic designer and does some neat work here at the quarterly magazine they publish were I work. I have to admit that since I have no graphic talents of my own, I'm always fascinated by the beautiful things these people can create. Amazing. Anyways, he knows a lot about painting and gave me a crash course in contemporary art when we visited the local Art Walk. He has an amazingly wide vocabulary and always has witty things to say. Generally, someone I might even consider dating material.

On problem. I'm not really physically attracted to him. Uh oh. Ok, ok... first of all, I REALLY do not believe in judging people by their external attributes. I've gone out with cute guys only to be nearly bored to death. Which is nasty. But still... I mean even if I think the guy is REALLY great, has a wonderful personality and is really funny and all, if there's no real sexual tension, I just loose interest. It's that simple. This guy is a little too short, a little too skinny. He's actually kind of handsome and cute... but as a whole, he just doesn't "do it" for me.

I dunno, I mean no matter how you view it, physical looks do play an important part in what attracts us to other people. That's just the way it is. So much for being an equal opportunity Germy... sheesh. How important are looks? I guess it depends on the person... and what that person is looking for. Honestly, if a guy does not inspire me to get into his pants, I don't think we have much of a chance at hooking up. Sadly. Don't get me wrong, I value personality MUCH more than looks... still, looks do have some weight in the issue.

Dammit, I feel all frivolous and superficial now. Great.

Feathered fiends

As I went around the corner from where I work to get my freshly squeezed orange juice in a bag from a house that sells it our of its front door (the whole putting beverages in a bag is sooooo cool, if somewhat less portable, hahaha... I had only seen it in Mexico City) I came upon a rooster that was roaming the streets of Vallarta.

This isn't exactly a rural part of town, it's right in front of the Sheraton hotel and next to the city’s main Sporting Facilities and Stadium. Anyways, there was a damn rooster walking around.

I have to admit I've always been fond of poultry. They move really funny and make neat sounds. Anyways, I stood my ground and saw the rooster stand his. He began walking, keeping an eye on me. Unfortunately, his was walking in the direction back to my work, so I had to "follow" him. This obviously startled the animal, so he began walking faster. I stayed at the same pace. He turned the corner, so did I. Then he jumped up on to a chair and was looking right at me, ready to attack! And I was all like "You better bring it, you feathered freak, 'cause it's already been brought'n! BRING IT ON!!!" Suddenly, his "owner" came out of the gate of his house, picked him up, and took him inside. Tragedy averted.

Today, as I went to get some yummy (and quite spicy) barrio, I heard a strange high pitched chirping from the palm trees around me. It was this thin crow-like bird yapping its head off. I kept on my way and suddenly heard the chirping right behind my head. I turned suddenly but nothing was there. So I kept waling and suddenly heard the noise really close again, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a black winged thing fly REALLY close to my head! YIKES! I think the damn bird was convinced my handsomely combed and shiny black mane was some sort of a mate or something. RUN!!! So I did and it CHASED AFTER ME!!! YIKES!!! There I was, running down the main hotel zone avenue being chased by some damn raven. "Never more... never more... never more, you dirty whore", I could have sworn it said. But maybe it was just me panicking. I finally saw it retreat and I blew a sigh of relief. Then ate a whole bunch of birria, haha.

On my way back I decided to take the opposite side of the street. About a block away from my work I suddenly hear the horrifically familiar chirping sound right next to my head! OH NO!!! The damn thing remembered me and this time it was going to mate or die trying! HELP! HELP!!! I ran again and would occasionally turn my head and see the damn bird following me, going from palm tree to palm tree and swooping down at me! YIKES!!! Finally, it retreated in dismay.

Sorry honey, I'm just not easy. At least no that easy. You have to buy me a dinner and a movie at least. Sheesh... males.

Sick... again

I was sick again this weekend. :(

I finally went to the doctor on Friday and he said I had a nasty throat, nose and ear infection. Yikes. He put a camera thing in my throat and pointed to this monitor and said "Look! Look! See how red it is in there... now look in your ear!"

You know, I think there's a reason God did nto give us the abbility to see inside our own tubes. It's DISGUSTING! YUCK! I soooo could have taken his word for it and NOT seen it...

Anyways, he prescribed some antibiotics and even a shot! So there I go, to buy the shot and then to a small hospital to have it "given to me". This lady nurse tells me to go to the back. Yikes. Then it's this small room with an examining table. She comes in and tells me the shot is on my butt. DAMMMIT! And it's a female nurse... SHIT. Anyways, I undue my belt and pull down my pants and noice she doesn't even CLOSE the fucking DOOR! Sheeesh! Is there no more prudence or respect for the sick? Is there no fear of GOD?!?!?! Anyways... as I pull down my underwear and lie down to "get it from behind", she pulls it up and says "Whoa partner, you don't have to pull it down so low"... and, internally, I'm like "Oh yeah, sorry, I guess I was confusing this with ANAL SEX, coff, coff... my bad". So she gave me the shot, and luckily at this age they hurt almost nothing, so it was cool. I've learned to NOT tense up during shots (I used to when I was little and it would practically paralyze my entire leg! OUCH!). Now, with experience, I'm really loose... ha!

Anyways, I've been feeling better and hopefully will return to work tomorrow. Thanks for asking!.... punks...