Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for June, 2007

Frida and the Order of Pain

June 30, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

Frida Kahlo month, originally uploaded by 160507.

To mark the centennial of Frida Kahlo’s birth, Instituto Cervantes is holding a series of Frida-related events throughout July. On Friday, July 6 at 7.45pm, I’m reading a piece I wrote called Frida Kahlo and the Order of Pain. It’s about the artist’s posthumous international media celebrity and its emphasis on her suffering. Admission is free; come over and bring everyone. Monobrows not mandatory, but if you really want one so you can express your solidarity with Frida, my friend Chus will bring his eyebrow pencil and help you.

Instituto Cervantes is on 855 T.M. Kalaw Street in Ermita, next door to Casino Español, between Taft Avenue and San Marcelino. If you’re driving, look for Masagana Department Store on Taft. If you’re taking the train, get out at the United Nations station. For more information visit


June 30, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

Thpectacleth, originally uploaded by 160507.

Conversation overheard by my optometrist.

“What do you think of my new glasses?”

“They look Zafrish.”

Hmm, my name’s an adjective. I think it should be spelled with two f’s: Zaffrish.

Zaffrish, huh? Well try these on! Vintage Geoffrey Beene optyl frame, mint condition, found in a drawer under the counter at Nella Sarabia’s shop at UP Dilimall. Apparently it had been lying there since the 1970s, unsold, waiting for me to come along. Since my traditional evil librarian look has been coopted by frame manufacturers, I’m switching to giant frames. Very Henry Kissinger, and you need a big face to carry them.

A Boy and His Car

June 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 4 Comments →

Warning: Spoilers. It’s about alien robots that turn into cars! The thing they’re looking for, they find somewhere! Somebody dies!

Ten minutes into Transformers: The Movie I realized something unusual was happening: I hadn’t winced or rolled my eyeballs once. I was enjoying a Michael Bay movie! The last time this happened was over a decade ago, when I saw The Rock (the one where Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery break into Alcatraz to take out hot Ed Harris).

Transformers is silly, fast, funny, loud, and happy mayhem. Shia LaBeouf— sounds like a badly-spelled menu item—who really does look like a high school junior, carries the movie despite strong competition from the special effects. The transformations are smoothly done, the robots have fluid kung fu moves. Your inner eleven-year-old will be pleased to know that the line “More than meets the eye” is uttered two or three times.

I didn’t follow the cartoons, but I can tell you the movie is less traumatic than the Transformers full-length animated movie at which my sister wept buckets. It’s also not as scary as its trailer suggests. Sure, Michael Bay’s fetish for fighter pilots running to their planes (in show motion, by the water) is in evidence (Does he have some kind of deal with the US military to produce recruitment videos?), but the sappiness is under control (The boy doesn’t yell “I love you man!” to Optimus Prime). Shia’s parents are hilarious, Josh Duhamel—who looks like Ryan Seacrest as a man—makes a strong impression, and it’s always good to see John Turturro. The girl characters actually have something to do besides look good; they’re more comfortable with machines than the guys are. (I wish the guy from Elephant had more to do than climb a tree.)

True, I couldn’t tell the difference between the Autobots and the Decepticons (as far as I could tell, the colored ones were good, the plain ones bad), but I still had a good time watching mass destruction. I predict a surge in sales of vintage Camaros. And the toys, of course, because Transformers is really a very long ad for Hasbro—that we in Manila can see a full week ahead of nearly everyone else. It seems unfair that a being from an advanced civilization would end up as a monster truck on earth, but that’s just my inner adult quibbling.

Strip club

June 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 1 Comment →

Last year at Wimbledon, Roger Federer turned up for his matches wearing this cream blazer with his monogram—a very nice retro touch. For his first match at the All-England this year, he ambled onto the court in a white blazer, white V-necked sweater, and white trousers. Did he intend to play in long pants? Would he take the pants off courtside? He’d have to remove his shoes first, which would be too fussy. Would the ballboys have to hold up towels the way they do when players change shorts? The solution was brilliant in its simplicity: stripper pants! The trousers have buttons/velcro on the sides, so he can just tear them off. And look, a matching (enormous) handbag! This made me happy.

Federer’s third round opponent: Marat Safin, my precious, who was demoted to Court 18 for complaining about the prices at the players’ restaurant.”For a plate of pasta, it’s costing around £10, right? For £10, which is $20, you can have a great pasta at Cipriani in New York,” Safin said. “Everybody knows this restaurant. I think it’s one of the best restaurants in New York. In Moscow, in one of the most expensive restaurants, we have better pasta for 20 bucks, that’s for sure.” (from the Guardian) To recap Marat’s litany: He hates Wimbledon, he hates the grass, he hates the food especially the pasta, he hates himself.

Update: Marat loses to the Fed, but launches new career as revolutionary.

Declog your head

June 29, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 1 Comment →

First full day out of my sickbed, joy joy. The fever and muscle pain were gone, but I had these awful sinus headaches that made me want to pound my head against the wall. I suspect the medication I’d taken was preventing the gunk in my system from coming out. I tried sleeping on a stack of pillows to keep my head elevated so the gunk could drain, but all I got was a stiff neck. In desperation I googled ‘congestion headache cures’, and found all sorts of home remedies (cayenne pepper, salt sprays, Vicks Vaporub). I read on that apples cure sinus headaches; I ate an apple and before I even finished it the pain was gone. Apples cure congestion! From now on I’m eating an apple a day and keeping a permanent supply of apple cider vinegar in my kitchen.

Schlock and drivel

June 27, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra No Comments →

“Whatever its actual merits, Tina Brown’s Diana Chronicles has been the most talked-about book of the season and Sarah Bradford’s its most talked-about review – even though, until today, it had not been published. It remains unclear why the Spectator refused to print Bradford’s piece, given that she is widely considered to be (Britain’s) foremost authority on Diana. But here it is, abridged and edited.” From the Guardian.

And here’s the digested read.