Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for September, 2007

Dead Of Night

September 30, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 16 Comments →

Courtyard, originally uploaded by 160507.

I love sleep. I never had trouble sleeping. It’s a gift. When I was in college I would board the bus, lean against the window, fall asleep, and wake up three minutes before my stop. On long-haul flights I am asleep even before the plane takes off. I suspect most of my work gets done in my sleep. (If your boss catches you snoozing at your desk, try this explanation: “I’m working”.) If I have a deadline looming, I take a short nap; when I wake up, the article has been worked out in my head and I just have to write it down (though there is no guarantee that it’s any good). The only time I cannot fall asleep is if I have to get up early for an important appointment: then I spend the whole night checking the clock to see how much time I have left. Without my nine hours of sleep I am useless; I spend the whole day plotting a nap.

Recently I had a bout of insomnia that just about drove me bonkers. I would go to bed at my usual time, 2 or 3 am, then spend the next four hours waiting to lose consciousness. It was exhausting. I tried counting backwards from 1000, listening to nature sounds, various non-pharmaceutical remedies, nothing worked. Maybe I should’ve just gotten up and read a book or watched DVDs, done something constructive until my systems shut down for the day, but I kept expecting to fall asleep any second. Then when I finally dropped off from sheer exhaustion, it wasn’t the deep, sticky, artificial death that I consider a good sleep. (My friend Carlo, a borderline narcoleptic, says death wouldn’t be so scary if there were some assurance that it was like sleeping.) I would wake up round noon, unsatisfied, and be in a zombie state the rest of the day. Oddly, I did not feel sleepy during the day, and I seemed to function “normally”, though I felt cheated (I want my sleep). This went on for about a month, and then last week my sleep came back. I’m still trying to figure out what happened.

Here’s a true medical horror story: Fatal Insomnia.

This Souffle Does Not Rise

September 28, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 10 Comments →

1. No Reservations—no relation to Anthony Bourdain’s food and travel show—may be the blandest most flavorless movie ever made about chefs. When the real estate (Bleecker St, the apartment of Catherine Zeta Jones’s character) is more interesting than the characters, the movie’s in trouble.

2. When a movie contains five or six montages set to music, that’s just laziness.

3. What is the point of casting Zeta Jones as a sexless careerist? If she’s looking to broaden her range, this is not the way to go.

4. Aren’t we all over that “I chose a career over propagating the species” female guilt? Why can’t a strong female just be a strong female without being made to feel inadequate?

5. Aaron Eckhart has the most cringe-inducing role as a caricature of the sensitive male. His “exuberance” is supposed to be charming, but it’s just embarrassing. I only hope his career survives his overacting while singing Nessun Dorma in orange Crocs.

6. Nessun Dorma is to opera what My Way is to karaoke joints.

7.  At least Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine) plays a recognizable child.

8. This is the second day in a row that I heard myself say, “We should’ve watched Resident Evil 3.”

Man Wielding A Double Bass

September 27, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: twisted by jessica zafra 4 Comments →

I was a huge fan of The Police in high school and college, and when I started writing short stories I was in the thrall of their final album, Synchronicity. I had plenty of time to write stories because I wasn’t a member of anything, I just scribbled. This is a story that occurred to me while watching the video of Every Breath You Take. The title is a line from The Once And Future King by T.H. White. It was published in my first book, Manananggal Terrorizes Manila and Other Stories. Later it was translated into Italian by Ubaldo Stecconi and included in an anthology called Balikbayan: Racconti filippini contemporanei. (The story sounds better in Italian, but nearly everything does.) I can’t read my old stuff without an antacid and a stiff drink, but this one I’m actually fond of.


September 26, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 17 Comments →

Chus and I endured 20 minutes of the Kim Chiu-Gerald Anderson movie I’ve Fallen Down The Toilet. Then we both said, “We don’t have to do this! We have free will! We’re freeeeee!”

The Waterworks Survey

September 25, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: Emotional weather report 73 Comments →

I have this theory that I’m testing, and I need more evidence to back it up. Two questions:

Do you often cry in real life? (Iyakin ka ba? What’s your definition of a crybaby?)

Do you cry at the movies? Not just when the hero dies or proposes, but even at stuff that’s not supposed to be tear-inducing.

Please post your answers in Comments. At the end of the survey we’ll raffle off a copy of Twisted Flicks among the commenters.

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What if it’s you?

September 24, 2007 By: jessicazafra Category: Emotional weather report, Science, twisted by jessica zafra 16 Comments →

Justin Erik Halldor Smith asks, Is depression a medical condition?

I was 10 or 11 when I first learned the word “depressed” from a Woody Allen movie, and I quickly grasped its usefulness. “I don’t want to go out, I’m depressed” just sounded more dramatic than “I don’t feel like it” or “Tinatamad ako”.  Am I a true depressive? To say so would be disrespectful to the people with the real problem. I have these black moods, but I know that they will pass eventually, I just have to ride them out. But I see how it can get very bad, and pass beyond your control, and then you’re in the abyss. My friends tell me depression is chemical, and often you have no choice but to medicate. But what if depression is an inextricable part of your character, one of the things that make you you? Medication makes it easier for other people to deal with you, but is it still you?