Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for May, 2009

Triage (updated)

May 31, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 2 Comments →

What Koosi is Reading
Koosi is reading Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi by Geoff Dyer. This book will not be given away. Thanks to Raymond who got it for me in New York when he wasn’t doing revisions on the script of the Vilma Santos movie, or giving Luis Manzano and John Lloyd Cruz a tour of Manhattan’s gay bars so they could research their roles as Vilma’s son and his boyfriend.

These are the books we’re giving away.

Peeling the Onion by Gunter Grass
Reel List: A Categorical Companion to Over 2,000 Memorable Films
Pravda by Edward Docx
The Good People of New York by Thisbe Nissen
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Sam the Cat by Matthew Klam (not about a feline)
Dirt Music by Tim Winton
The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud
Fruitcake by the Eraserheads (the 2008 reissue)
3 Sudoku books, 1 Word Find
Emily the Strange’s Wanderlust: Real-life Tales of Adventure and Romance
Peace Kills by P.J. O’Rourke

Now for the winners.

Too many entries, too few books. However, we know from experience that many of the winners of our contests don’t bother to claim their prizes, so there may be enough books to go round.

Here’s what we’ll do. Every week five winners will be announced. Those winners will have exactly seven days, from Tuesday, June 2 to Monday, June 8, to pick up their prizes/have their prizes picked up at Wild Ginger, the Asian restaurant at the basement of Power Plant Mall in Rockwell. Any time from 11 am to 8 pm will be fine; look for Nida or Marge. Tennis Mike has kindly offered their restaurant as the drop, but we mustn’t take the staff away from their work so we’ll only leave five books at a time.

If the winners do not pick up their books, we’ll assign them to the next entries in the queue, and so on until we run out of books. Our first five are:

scapegoat 328 – Dance Dance Dance
blueboy – Sam the Cat
siratalaga – Dirt Music
saveanaardvark – The Emperor’s Children
backlash – Emily the Strange

If for any reason you don’t like your prize, feel free to trade books with the other winners.

I was going to send confirmation emails for you to print out and present with proof of identity, but what the hell, let’s go by the more hassle-free honor system. Only if there are problems will we switch to secure claim procedures, etc.

The next five winners will be announced next Sunday. We’ll get around to you eventually. Remember, winners, you have 7 days to claim your books, or they’re considered forfeited. Enjoy them.

How not to be in a sex scandal

May 31, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Technology 1 Comment →

‘Hayden Kho is literally a fucking genius. He studies how he did it last time so he can do it better the next time.’ – Noel Orosa on that scandal.

What you do in the privacy of your bedroom is your business. What you’re seen doing on the Internet becomes everyone’s business. You live in a Catholic country where Sex is a more inflammatory issue than Violence, Corruption, Injustice, and Social Inequality. Be circumspect in all your affairs.

Remember that consent of a willing adult ‘co-star’ does not automatically include video rights. All partners must be informed of the presence of recording equipment. Everyone has the right to privacy, even if their public statements seem to indicate that they don’t want it.

How not to be in a sex scandal, in Emotional Weather Report, today in the Star. You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to really delete a file.

Nancy Drew fan to the US Supreme Court

May 29, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events 6 Comments →

US President Barack Obama in his speech nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court: “It’s my understanding that Judge Sotomayor’s interest in the law was sparked as a young girl by reading the Nancy Drew series. And that when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8, she was informed that people with diabetes can’t grow up to be police officers or private investigators like Nancy Drew. In essence she was told she’d have to scale back her dreams.”

I think the message of Nancy Drew has always been, ‘Girls, if you use your brains you can be anything you want to be. You can do lots of things at the same time. Be considerate to your parents, your housekeepers, your friends, and your boyfriend, but don’t let them tell you what you can or can’t do. Be polite to everyone even if they’re rude or scary. Don’t believe everything you hear, and always bring a cardigan.’

Mat, Saffy, and Nancy Drew

I have seen the light…

May 29, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Language 2 Comments →

and it was not from a KGB lamp shining in my face

Another press statement from Rep. Teodoro Locsin, Jr. Apparently we’re the only people who paid any attention to his amendments to the Right of Reply bill. How do you like being on the fringe? Locsin’s earlier press statement, posted here last week, got two comments—both of which were unfortunately deleted. Some days nothing escapes the delete button.

LAST night, as I sat beside the sponsor of what he promised would be the much watered down House version of the unanimous Senate Right of Reply bill, I felt not only the heat of his interrogation by the Left but also saw the light in our dilemma.

This House has been trying to fix, piecemeal, what a unanimous Senate approved: a Right of Reply bill giving to people attacked by media the right to answer those attacks in the same media that attacked them. On the ground, US Chief Justice Rehnquist said, that while press freedom is a constitutional value, it is not the only value. Another is personal honor.

The full statement is in Comments.


May 28, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events 2 Comments →

DVC Flyer-Revised

Check out the Philippine entry, ‘Long live the fearless man’ by Aissa Penafiel and Migs Ocampo. I like their entry because it’s not a Rah-rah-democracy-is-great-Yippee! statement but a critical, questioning view which is truer to the spirit of democracy. It’s a bit ponderous, and it reminds me of a film I don’t like (The Pillow Book), but the video reflects the Filipinos’ more sophisticated, ambivalent attitude towards elections.

To vote for this entry, you have to keep clicking on the entries from the different countries until ‘Long live…’ appears, then click on the thumbs-up sign. There is no registration required. I asked the State Department rep how many times a viewer can vote. You can vote as many times as you like. How Pinoy.

Missing the Bus

May 28, 2009 By: jessicazafra Category: In Traffic, Places 5 Comments →

Some weeks ago I wrote about the Bus Rapid Transit system which has been successfully implemented in Bogota Colombia. I got some interesting responses and did a little research. It appears that Metro Manila could’ve been the first metropolis to have a BRT. Here’s a letter from William Juan of Versatech, a member of the Philtrak consortium.

Sad to say but the Philtrak People Mover System or the Philtrak Mass transport system proposed by our consortium – Philtrak PMS Inc., for EDSA in 1990 and later on for the unfinished C5 corridor in 1997 would have beaten the Bogota, the Jakarta, other BRT systems now in place and even the original Curitiba busway in Brazil.

‘Although the consortium was given an “ORDER” by the LTFRB in 1997 during the time of Chairman Dante Lantin and under DOTC Secretary Josefina Lichauco which was towards the end of the term of President Fidel V. Ramos, the Asian financial crisis caught up with its implementation. The Estrada administration didn’t really put it on top priority. Similarly, it was again presented to the Secretary of Finance during the early years of the Arroyo administration but since it was not a big ticket project, it was not considered as flagship project.

‘The problem with our bureacracy is that, if you are offering a project which do not really give the approving authority a big rebate, chances are your project wont really take off. Or there would be no great effort on those approving authority to assist in the funding of the project.

‘The proposed C5 Philtrak PMS or BRT is segregated and starts in Western Bicutan up to Lagro in Novaliches, passing through the Ft.Bonifacio and the Global City in Taguig City, Pembo, East Rembo and West Rembo in Makati City, Bagong Ilog, Valle Verde and Ugong in Pasig City, Libis, Eastwood, Acropolis, St.Ignatius, Blue Ridge, Project 4, Quirino District, Loyola Heights, Katipunan Ave, U.P.-Balara, Tandang Sora, Commonwealth Ave, Manggahan, Batasan, Fairview and Lagro in northern Quezon City. Loading stations or stops are to be provided in each thickly populated intersections or highly commercial areas. For greater efficiency, 5 shuttle loops or feeder system, i.e. the Bicutan-Airport loop, the Global City – Ayala CBD loop, the Ortigas CBD loop, the Araneta Center CBD loop, and the UP-SM City loop, were an integral part of the Philtrak PMS system.

‘The busway would make use of the 2 innermost lanes closest to the median. It was proposed that grade separations or flyovers should be constructed in all major intersections so that there would be no interference in its unhampered operation, just like in the LRT system. Hence if it is implemented today, the U-turn slots by the MMDA must be removed.

‘Passengers are provided with the normal concourse as access, either aboveground or below ground, to reach the elevated loading platforms situated in the median lane. The control turnstiles are provided on the concourse level which is wide enough to accomodate the high volume of passengers. Magnetic cards with stored value or single journey value would be in used.

‘The buses would be the high capacity articulated type, with perimeter seats, CNG engine driven by Volvo or driven by the super low emmission type Volvo diesel engine, with the buses running as singles, in tandems or in convoys of three or even four, depending on the volume of passengers during peak hours, with 3 minutes scheduled arrival time and the regular 60 seconds dwell time, and I bet you can only achieve this operation if your drivers are not paid like in the “boundary system”.

Oh great, another might’ve been.