Sunday, June 26, 2011

Something vintage

I'm not exactly sure whom this vintage compact belongs to. I figured that it was from my grandmother who passed it on to my mother and then ended up with me. Maybe sometime I'm going to ask my aunts about this, but right now - this is the story I am sticking with.

Regardless of how it came to me, I am so very delighted that it did. See, I love all things vintage. I love those faded polaroids and rusty typewriters and creaky rotary phones. I just find it all so charming and romantic.

But I do wonder what I am going to do with this compact. With a little research, I learned that it was made by a company called Stratton who had been making them since 1923. 

Because mine has a self-opening lid (I think), it was made sometime after 1948. But it doesn't have the "compact in hand" logo so it was made before 1950. So, I guess circa 1948-1950?

The compact is in terrible condition, though. The front cover has a small crack in the design. The mirror is broken. The puff and sifter, though intact, don't look very hygenic.

I don't know if I could still sell it or if anybody would still like to buy it. Still, I don't think I can part from this. So my options are either to keep it as it is as a memento or try to restore it.

Honestly, I'd like to restore it. But the odds of finding a vintage mirror, puff etc. in the Philippines are slim to none. Well, I think. I never really looked. I guess I have to do that now.

After that, I think I'm going to use it. I'm not really much of a powder girl, but with a compact as pretty as this, I might be more motivated to do so. 

 It's just too beautiful to be stored away.



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Waiting on Mr. Mayer

Ask me who my favorite poet is and I won't say Robert Frost or Walt Whitman. Mine goes by the name of John Clayton Mayer and he's a Grammy-winning musician.

Sure, he's produced lyrics like "Your body is a wonderland..." but this guy is also capable of giving us lines that make me think, "Man, I know exactly what he means... but he just said it better than I ever could." I never get tired of listening to his words and music and somehow, each of his songs resonate at some point in my life.

Mr. Mayer removed himself from Twitter stating that he wanted to focus on making new music, and things have been generally quiet from him (save from a tabloid article or two). Now, there are rumors that he's going to release an album this year entitled Born And Raised. I've also been checking up on YouTube where videos of him performing new songs on small stages have been popping up. Waiting has been hard, but from the sounds of these songs, it's going to be one heck of an album.

Here are only some of his new unrecorded songs that might appear on the album:

1. Born and Raised (Obviously the title track, if the rumors are true)

"And all at once
It gets hard to take
It gets hard to fake what I won't be..."

2. Something Like Olivia

"I keep thinking something like Olivia
Is what I need to find
Now I'm not trying to steal
No lover away from no man..."

3. Whiskey Whiskey Whiskey

"Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey
Water, water, water
Whiskey, whiskey, whiskey
Wake up, shake it off
And repeat..."
4. The Age of Worry

"No your fight is not within,
Yours is with your timing
Dream your dreams but don't pretend
Make friends with what you are..."

5. Love Is A Verb

"When you show me love, I don't need your words
Yeah, love ain't a thing, love is a verb..."

6. A Face To Call Home

"I am an architect
Of days that haven't happened yet..."

7. Shadow Days

"I'm a good man with a good heart
Had a tough time, got a rough start
And I finally learned to let it go
Now I'm right here, and I'm right now
And I'm hoping, knowing somehow
That my shadow days are over
My shadow days are over now..."

8. Everything You'll Ever Be

*I'm just going to put the whole song's lyrics here because I just love this whole song so much.

Beautiful, I watch you try,
To see yourself through other's eyes.
But mirrors are a losing game,
They only show you backwards anyway.

The magic and the misery,
Come and go so easily.
But everything you'll ever be,
You already are to me.

And you were only five years old,
Playing princess in your mother's clothes.
Could you feel me standing next to you,
With my plastic sword and playground shoes.

Saying "If my dear I'm wrong somehow,
May dragons come and fell me now.
'Cause everything you'll ever be,
You already are to me."

Why, I don't know why.
I don't know why you think you need to do it.
How, I don't know how.
I don't know how but I just sit back and I see my way right through it.

When the memories are ten feet tall,
Throwing shadows on your bedroom wall.
When you pull the shades and kill the lights,
Will you hear me singing out tonight?
Will you hear me singing out tonight?

Days are long and words are cruel,
But they won't get the best of you.
'Cause everything you'll ever be,
You have always been to me.
Always been to me.


Video credits:
1-4 from violetskyye
5-8 from chaferbud

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I spy Kurosaki Ichigo going up the escalator...

Toy Con. The only time when it is perfectly normal to see a guy wielding a 5-feet sword around in a mall.

Yes. You know it's that time of the year again when cosplayers and avid toy collectors converge into the same spot in SM Megamall. It's also a photography enthusiast/paparazzi wannabe's dream - getting their shots from people who don't mind being photographed in their out-of-this-world (really, they came out of the 2D world) outfits.

I've been to Toy Con twice before - first in 2008 and 2009. I was an avid collector of Haruhi Suzumiya gashapon figures back then and went in the hopes of adding some hard-to-find items to my collection. But circumstances (including diminishing space in my condo) forced me to part with my collection - selling them for a reasonable price and only retaining my favorite character from the series - Kyon.

 "Yare yare... my Owner doesn't even take good care of me. I'm so dusty!" "Urusai!"

I didn't see myself going again, except that my brother rented a stall to sell off some items from his Star Wars collection. Naturally, I went to show my support.

 People manning my brother's booth

Since I don't collect toys anymore (or have the need to practice my apertures), I merely went to see the merchandise. It's a toy convention, but there are also lots of goodies there for those who are into J-Pop, K-Pop, kawaii and general geekery.

Kawaii goodies aplenty at Toy Con

I don't have a photo of it, but there are a couple or so booths there that sold geek-themed t-shirts. One of them was Geekerie which had The Big Bang Theory inspired ones. They had Bazinga! and Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock shirts, but I think I want the Massive Dynamic design on a cap or something. God, I miss Fringe.

There were also a lot of comics and manga being sold but unfortunately there was no Urasawa Naoki works (Monster, 20th Century Boys, Pluto) available.

I also saw a booth that offered goldfish scooping. You know - the one that's always shown on animes during matsuris/festivals. I think it was Php 50 for a scoop and you can try until your scooper is destroyed.

The thing that tempted me most was this little Dara cellphone charm from Queen A Accessories.

Daraaaaa!!! <3

 They also had a Bom, Taeyang, TOP, and SNSD member charms. 

It was too bad that the GD one was already sold. I would've liked a Daragon pair. But I got their website and lookie here! Someone already commissioned Daragon-themed charms! So cute!

 Daragon chibis by Queen A Accessories

Toy Con is also a platform to promote summer movies (at least in the Western part of the world). My favorite... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

It all ends 7.14. Sniff.

Dumbledore-cosplayer posing for pictures and a Dark Arts Defence for Beginners textbook on display

EXTRA! For those who are planning to go to Toy Con in the future, here are some of my tips you might want to take a note of...

TIPS TO SURVIVING TOY CON: (Or maybe any other convention for that matter...)

Tip #1. Go early. Line was looooong. And that was just for the ticket booth. If you're going for the two days, I suggest buying your tickets for the next day already so you won't have to suffer the long line twice. Tickets were at Php 100 each per day and from the looks of it, the organizers made a killing.

Tip #2. Be ready for the deluge of people inside. Keep your arms crossed in front of you and make sure you have your belonging secured. You literally had to squeeze through the crowd at some parts. It's hot, sweaty, and you'd want a shower afterwards. LOL

Tip #3. If you're with friends or companions, make sure you designate a meeting place before you go inside. There is high likelihood that you'll get separated and, even though you all have cellphones, it's still very wise to know exactly where you could meet up. And it's not as if there is only one Star Wars booth there, hello.

Tip #4. Know what you want. With all the goodies inside, you'll be so confused about what to look at first. If you're just there to gawk, that's fine. But if you're a mission, then write it down and then look for those first before buying anything. There's going to be a lot of tempting items there that you suddenly realize you can't live without. I think it's also okay to haggle for a good price there, and if you are satisfied with the item and price, then snatch it up quick! Chances are you won't find another item like that outside the convention if it's really that hard to find and valuable. If you are still on the fence about buying that item, maybe you can get the seller's contact details. If you still can't forget about that item when you get home, you can contact the seller and ask if it's still available for purchase.

Tip #5. Don't be shy to ask cosplayers for a picture, and thank them afterwards. Believe me, I was shy at first too but it got easy along the way. If you're still feeling shy, then go with the crowd. Most of the time there are a lot of photographers taking a photo of a cosplayer or group of cosplayers so you can just join them without having the hassle of asking. But, of course, I think thanking the cosplayer is still a nice courtesy.

Tip #6. You don't actually need to go inside to take pictures. Okay, the organizers are probably going to be angry with me for this... But if you're just there to practice being a paparazzi, then go no further than the entrance or even the general area of the convention. Maybe it's because it's too stifling inside and their costumes might get damaged by the crowd, but cosplayers usually just hang around outside.

Well... there are my tips for surviving Toy Con. Of course, there are probably more things that I don't know but you've got to experience it for yourself, at least once.

And P.S. If any of you knows where I can buy a MAD board game (the one where there's a penalty of hopping on one leg and clucking like a chicken), then drop me a line. :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

1:43 - time to give OPM a chance

Regardless of your nationality, I think we all have a love-hate relationship with our country. Don't get me wrong - I love my country, but there are just some things that you hate about it, too.

Well, one thing that I don't particularly wholeheartedly approve of is the debuting Pinoy groups who seem like they're trying to ride in the current KPOP craze but, unfortunately, seem to keep missing the bus and going to corny land.

I'm a fan of KPOP - not all of it - but most parts of that entire industry. They audition and they train and train HARD. They go through years of practice and have so much discipline. It's no wonder that compared to the groups here in the Philippines that look like they were just picked out of mall and haphazardly put together, our locals just seem so lacking that there's even no competition.

I don't consider myself as a snob. In my defense, I have tried to watch previous groups' attempts at replicating KPOP magic but so far, had been bitterly disappointed by their efforts. I had even posted a long, and in my opinion, constructive comment at one of the group's company homepage. Okay, yes - maybe I was a little detailed in what they should and should not do, but I did it for their best interests. It didn't matter anyway, since my post didn't even see the light of day and the group, as far as I know, has also faded into obscurity. 

Group after group had tried to overcome the immediate bias we KPOP fans have over them. Corny song. Bad dance moves. Ugly styling. One thing, though - our people can sing. No one can't take that away from Filipinos. But other than that? All we needed was Cherry Gil to haughtily tell them that they were nothing but second-rate, trying hard, copycats.

And so, last Wednesday, as I attended a free concert in Ayala Triangle Gardens, I mentally braced myself to watch this group called 1:43 (One Forty-Three) who, before that night, I have never heard of before.

 1:43 (One Forty-Three)

I had no plans of listening or even staying that long to watch their performance, but thanks to their enthusiastic fans who cheered loudly (with pompoms!) whenever their name was mentioned, my curiosity was piqued. Who were these guys to inspire that kind of response from these people?

All these and warning bells were sounding in my head as I prepared to watch their performance. And then they came in.

What a surprise.

Okay, not really that much, but still... hmm... not bad. Or, at least, not horribly bad.

At first glance, 1:43 could pass off as a wannabe Korean male idol group, being styled like such with the hair, the clothes, and their looks which screamed oriental.

But they came in and sang in FILIPINO. Straight Filipino so props for that. The song, Para Kang (I guess translated to: You're like...) was upbeat and refreshing. It almost sounds like it could be sung by a band. Sort of retro, but still... with the proper promotion and marketing, I can see it being a hit. Sure it was sugary sweet, but hello? Don't tell me we don't hear songs like that from KPOP groups too. Translate the lyrics and you'll probably end up with the same thing. And it's not just me who thought so. I looked over to my cousin and she also concurred that the song wasn't bad.

1:43 Para Kang (Audio Teaser)

The singing, no question, was really good, if it indeed was live. I really don't know about these things but I'm pretty sure they did. And well, Filipinos and singing talent, there is no questioning that.

After Para Kang, they sang PiNK which was really Pag-ibig Na Kaya? (trans: Is it love?) abbreviated. Oookay. LOL. Actually, really ingenious I admit. Come on, give the guys a break. Who are we to criticize when KPOP has produced such wonderful titles as LaChata, NuABO, Bonamana, etc.? Regardless of the title, the song was also good. Huh - was what I thought. Surprise, surprise again.

1:43: PiNK (Pag-ibig Na Kaya?) OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO in HD feat. MYRUS

They only sang those two songs, but I was impressed by the group. Yes, they do have a lot (and I do mean A LOT) of room for improvement, but this was the first group I've seen that didn't make me want to immediately go in a tirade of anti comments. They just have to work on choreography (calling fellow Pinoy Shaun Evaristo!), styling, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE A DECENT MUSIC VIDEO. I've always wondered how we can win advertising awards and totally suck at making music videos. Is it a budget thing? I didn't even graduate from film school and I had about 10 ideas on how to make the MV better as I was watching it.

While I am not about to become a 1:43 fangirl, I will have to keep an eye and ear for this group. If I was a fairy godmother, I would totally wave a magic wand and make good things happen to them, but all I can do now is sincerely wish them good luck and ask everyone to give them a chance, or at least (haha) their time of day.


Facebook Page:1:43 Boyband
FanClubSite: Time4Love
Twitter: @onefortythree

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Absence of a Dream

I lay down on my bed, both my arms outstretched up to the ceiling that was gathering dust. My hands are widespread and I imagine them reaching for something. But reaching for what? It was then that I realized that I had no dream.

Who was a man if not for his dreams?

Here I was, only months away from turning twenty eight. While already over the first blush of youth, it was still young to go gung-ho. I find myself procrastinating about things I should do today because, honestly, it still could be postponed for another day. And what was the point? They were merely day to day, month to month chores that had minimal effect on my existence. Even if I didn't do it today, one day or the next the bills will still get paid and the milk will still be bought.

I've lived in a rut for seven years and I've struggled to get out it. I was moderately successful doing it, getting out of the rat-race and into... what exactly? I'm starting to think I've just exchanged my previous rut into something more comfortable - with soft mattresses and a widescreen television instead of wooden desk and hard office tile floors.

And so, I realize that I need a dream, something to fire up my blood and make me wake up with anticipation for a brand new day. But there is none. There is nothing on the top of my mind that makes me say, "Damn, I would regret not doing that."

Did I reach the plateau too fast? Am I just not that ambitious enough? Is this just some temporary ennui that will pass? Or will I find something to be passionate about someday, maybe tomorrow, just around the corner?

How long will I keep reaching out for a dream that isn't there?

Film & Fashion: Simply Irresistible

This is a bit of an oldie (sort of), relatively unknown, and critically lambasted movie... But I don't care. I love this film. Let me tell you the reasons why:
  1. It stars Sarah Michelle Gellar aka Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  2. It has mouth-watering food. 
  3. Romance.
  4. Magic.
  5. You guessed it - clothes.
The person responsible for SMG's wardrobe was Todd Oldham, who I fondly remember from MTV's House of Style which aired sometime during the '90s.

Happily ever after *sighs*

Amanda's style is quirky, cute, and eclectic. I love her outfit when she goes to visit Tom at his workplace to buy some plates. I also love it how she picks different mismatching sets, surprising him with her unconventional choice. I totally would've picked different sets too.

She picks this outfit with the help of her male best friend who informs her that when men touch their belt, they think about sex. Tom doesn't wear belts, but this outfit does make him fiddle with his suspender.

I saw this gorgeous maxi dress from ASOS and thought that it had the similar look. Just put on some layered necklaces and an interesting textured coat (or a denim jacket!) to copy Amanda's style!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Celeb Style ♥: Taylor Swift

"I like glitter and sparkly dresses," Taylor sings in her SNL Monologue song. That she does as we can see from her always elegant outfits on the red carpet and on her performances.

But, for me, I like Taylor's everyday clothing. She might not have sequins or sparkly things on them, but the dresses she wears are just lovely. I'm envious.

Here are some of my favorite casual outfits of hers...


Photos taken from Just Jared, In Style, and various sites