Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Reading year 2014: Doctor Strange Season 1 is not that strange.

July 25, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books


What we’ve read since our last report in May:

Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor – Reread the second volume of the record of Patrick Leigh Fermor’s epic walk from Germany to Turkey in 1933 before starting on the last volume.

Beyond Paris – Translations of stories by 20th century French writers including Michel Tournier and J.M.G. Le Clezio, published by Cacho in the late 90s. The project—contemporary French fiction translated in the Philippines—was not only ahead of its time, it’s ahead of this time.

The Broken Road – Patrick Leigh Fermor never got to finish the account of his long walk—he died in 2011, having crammed several lifetimes’ worth of adventure into his 96 years (In Crete during WWII, he led a daring operation to capture a German general). He left an unfinished manuscript, which has been edited by his biographer Artemis Cooper.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore, while we were watching Penny Dreadful.


Doctor Strange, Season One by Greg Pak and Emma Rios. Our introduction to Marvel’s Master of the Mystic Arts was neither marvelous nor mystical. It’s the typical buddy movie in which two very different individuals overcome their antipathy towards each other and learn to work together. The magic is incidental. By the hoary hosts of Hoggoth! It is not strange at all.

Yes, we’ve been looking for the vintage comics.

The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, Sixth Edition by David Thomson. Our favorite film reference—we disagree with Thomson half the time, but we enjoy the argument—has been updated to include Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cary Joji Fukunaga, and other players who have broken out since the last edition.

In the entry on Bryan Cranston, Thomson writes: “It’s hard to believe that the movies today would have the courage and the persistence to do someone like Walter White. Long-form television is the narrative form that has transcended movies in the way, once, the novel surpassed cave paintings. And Walter addresses two of our central questions: What will you do to survive? And what is left after survival?”

Now we want to watch Breaking Bad yet again. We should just have it on all the time.

Currently reading:

Crime and Punishment – We have vowed to read every word and resist the urge to skim through the looong internal monologues.

Means of Escape – stories by Penelope Fitzgerald, upon the insistence of Tina, who has launched a campaign to make everyone read the late British author.


Zona by Geoffrey Dyer – a book about Tarkovsky’s Stalker.
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

She never wanted to believe

July 24, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Childhood, Music, Science, Television

…even when she was kidnapped by extraterrestrials.

While watching the Scully video, this started playing in our head.

We think of it as the Philippine Science High School anthem, not that “Crests and troughs of the sea of life that flows/Thy light our beacon be” crap.

Speaking of science, here’s the trailer for The Imitation Game, in which Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing. He also played Stephen Hawking and is currently Sherlock so he must get a pick of the big brain characters. Because he has the facial shape of a Zeta Reticulan.

He’s not that into you, Keira!

You realize he was the villain in Atonement? Secondary, if you count Briony as the main bad guy.

We know nothing about Apolinario Mabini, whose 150th birthday it is today

July 23, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: History

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Rigodon, an art installation by Leo Abaya showing the presidents of the Philippines as players on a chessboard. Now on view at the exhibition Triumph of Philippine Art on the third floor of Ayala Museum. Photo courtesy of the Ayala Museum.

I wonder how Mabini feels about going down in history as “The Sublime Paralytic”, as if he were defined by his disability. In the first place, how does one become a sublime paralytic, by levitating?

This is like calling Kris Aquino “The Massacre Queen” or Gretchen Barretto the “ST Queen”. They probably would not like it. It reduces everything they have ever done to the movies they made in the 1990s.

And we know way, way, way more about Aquino and Barretto than we do about Mabini, and he was “The Brains of the Revolution”. I don’t know if he had a wheelchair—according to history books, he was carried by soldiers on a hammock—but in comic book terms, he would be the Professor Charles Xavier of the Philippines.

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Notes from the Uncool # 1

July 22, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books



Mat advises you to find your feline soulmate

July 21, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats

Hello, I am Mat and I am a rescue cat. My human rescued me from hunger and homelessness, and I rescued her from boredom and sameness. We have been together since 2001. When people see me they ask what breed I am. I may be part-tabby, but I’m not sure. I do know that if you take in a stray cat, feed it properly and give it shelter and affection, he will look elegant (and sosyal) in a few weeks.

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There are many cats (and dogs) looking for the right humans at the shelter run by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society, a non-government organization which has been around in 1954. PAWS accommodates homeless cats and dogs and finds humans for them to live with.

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PAWS also offers clinic services including low-cost spaying and neutering. Spaying and neutering are important, otherwise the stray cat population grows unchecked. I was neutered in 2005. It’s better for feline health. It also curbs my urge to walk the earth so I don’t get into fights with other cats or rummage in garbage cans and eat stuff that will make me sick. Or risk getting run over, kidnapped or lost. Plus I don’t pee on things to mark my territory. I stay indoors and play with Saffy and Drogon, who are also rescue cats.

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Consider adopting a cat. Cats are fun, as anyone with an internet connection knows. If you’re entertained by cat videos online, imagine how much more delightful it would be to have a feline housemate. Like Leo here, who loves humans.

PAWS Animal Rehabilitation Center (PARC) on Aurora Boulevard, Katipunan Valley, Loyola Heights, Quezon City is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays from 10am – 5pm. (Photos courtesy of PAWS volunteer Arnold Cabalza.)

To find out more about the cat adoption program and other activities including the Volunteer Orientation next week, visit the PAWS Facebook page.

The Norte screening at Alabang Town Center today, Sunday, has been cancelled.

July 19, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Announcements, Movies

The screening of Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan scheduled for today, 3pm at Alabang Town Center has been cancelled as electric service has not been restored in that area. (Walang koryente sa ATC.)

The 3pm screening of Norte at Glorietta will go on as scheduled.