Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for September, 2011

Auntie Janey’s Old-Fashioned Agony Column # 30: Your intelligence is not the problem.

September 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Re-lay-shun-ships 24 Comments →

Dear Auntie Janey,

I am a girl who has looks but has no appeal (my guy cousin told me this). Not bragging but I’m one of the kids from the higher honors list and my mind speaks better than most of the people within my age bracket.

In the past I told myself that my personality is just stronger compared to other girls’, and men who are intimidated by me don’t deserve my time.

But in the course of life and reading books, I’ve learned that men don’t get intimidated by the girls they truly like. Aside from that, I heard that “Daig ng malandi ang maganda.”

I’m starting to get jealous of all the girls and gays from my batch who frequently rant about their love lives. Seriously, I never thought they’d get a relationship way before I do.

I come from a very conservative family and culture. I love being in it. But how will I ever get a worth-it man if this is what’s in real life?

I’ve had suitors too, but they don’t pass my standard—they have to be in my IQ bracket. (I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been courted twice by unemployed guys and one of them did not even graduate college.) Do I really have to learn flirt or just accept that I won’t attract men of substance?

I’m surrounded by old maids, Auntie Janey, and I’m so afraid to be one of them.

Hoping to hear a positive reason for being 25 and still single since birth,

Miss feeling-intelligent-kunwari


We love the smell of fresh ink on paper.

September 30, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 8 Comments →

And new cover designs for old stories and novels. And the texture of paper with a high rag content, and uneven edges. There’s nothing like the printed word. Tablets and e-book readers are very useful and convenient. Books are sexy. They’re like older guys in bespoke suits and slightly scuffed handmade shoes.

Last week a friend said she was buying books online and offered to order Arguably, the new collection of Christopher Hitchens essays, for us. We said it would be way cheaper to order it through National Bookstore. So she asked us to get a copy for her and we forgot. Then we dropped by National Bookstore yesterday and voila!

Arguably, the trade edition, Php 645. We’re sure it would cost at least twice that online, plus freight.

Yes the volume is heavy and requires its own tote bag, but carrying Hitch around is a great comfort. It assures us that human beings are an intelligent species. Also we’re hoping that Hitch’s wit is contagious. Guess that makes us Hitch’s bitches.

We spotted Penguin Classics Deluxe editions of two children’s books by Roald Dahl.

James and the Giant Peach, with illustrations by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. (Php 605)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (a.k.a. Willie Wonka), illustrations by Joseph Schindelman. (Php 605).

Also from Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions: The Call of Ctulthu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft, cover design by Travis Louie (Php 685). Several of the stories in this book are also in the best-of-Lovecraft volume Necronomicon but dammit this is such a good-looking edition, and more portable. Also if we carry this edition we’re less likely to be mistaken for evil wizards or satanista (Not that we need help in giving that impression).

Fantastic Women, 18 tales of the surreal and the sublime by Lydia Davis, Kelly Link, Aimee Bender and others (Php 769).

There should be a cologne that smells like new books. Comme des Garcons has a perfume that smells like printer’s ink, but it’s combined with other scents like dust on a lightbulb and dry-cleaning fluid.

Revenge of the Nerds part 12: How I became a sports editor

September 29, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Men, Rugby No Comments →

Several months ago, after a discussion on the manliest subject possible (Temptation Island the Joey Gosiengfiao classic), Erwin Romulo asked me if I could write for the Philippine edition of Esquire that he was putting together.

I said, Sure.

He asked me what I wanted to write about.

I knew I didn’t want to write about movies, books, cats and myself because I already cover those in my columns in the Philippine Star and And there’s no point in writing yet another column unless you’re entertaining yourself. So I said, Uh…sports?

Erwin said Okay.

Esquire Philippines launches officially on October 5, but it’s out in stores and newsstands Now. (Cover price: P195)

My column is called Wide World Of Pain, or WWOP. If you’re surprised at the subject matter of my first piece for Esquire, you are not a regular reader of this site OR you are trying out the word “disingenuous”.

Thanks to my editors Erwin Romulo and Jerome Gomez for allowing the article to seriously overrun the 800-word requirement. The photos are by Brewhuh23, the chronicler of boredom and myself.

Those are my glasses Oliver Saunders is wearing. Revenge of the Nerds part 13: Make the jocks wear geeky glasses.

Tropically depressed: typhoon tales

September 28, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Places 3 Comments →

While they were bickering about indecency the obvious problem went unnoticed.

* * * * *

There was a flood in Jackie’s apartment yesterday. Yes it was the height of typhoon Pedring and many areas were underwater—Roxas Boulevard rejoined Manila Bay—but Jackie’s apartment is on the 42nd floor.

She wasn’t at home when it happened. In the morning the owner of the apartment below hers reported that his ceiling was leaking. Then a friend from the next building texted Jackie that her balcony door was open. When Jackie left her apartment that door was stuck and she couldn’t lock it. Apparently the gale-force winds had flung the door open to let in the rain. Hence the flooded 42nd floor flat.

* * * * *

This evening we were in a taxi turning right on Ayala at Edsa. Even in the dark we could see the giant pothole the floods had left on the side of the highway, but the taxi driver must not have been eating carrots and green leafy vegetables because he drove right into the pothole and got the taxi’s front wheel stuck.

After some futile attempts to extricate the wheel he waved to some guys at the bus stop and asked for help. A couple of them tried pushing the cab, but it wouldn’t budge. Then three more guys came along and before I could say, “Stop, the engine is on and no one’s driving!” the five helpful pedestrians and the taxi driver had pushed the taxi out of the pothole and into the oncoming traffic. There ensued much jumping up and yelling at oncoming vehicles, then the driver jumped into the moving taxi and hit the brakes.


September 28, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Design, Technology 7 Comments →

Excavated from one of Rene’s bodega: a Remington manual typewriter from the 1920s or 30s. In working order. What would you give us for it?

We want to live in the Peninsula Manila.

September 27, 2011 By: jessicazafra Category: Places No Comments →

* Or is it at the Peninsula Manila?

The day’s schedule had been arranged with the sort of obsessive attention to detail more suited to the invasion of Poland. If option A was not feasible one moved to option B, and if that failed there was option C. Though we much prefer not planning at all, the circumstances called for overplanning, which we took to an Olympic level.

Then it rained.

It poured.

It howled.

Systems failed. Chaos reigned.

There was no power. We couldn’t make coffee. Classes suspended—cancel talk to kids. Floods everywhere—photo shoots cancelled. People couldn’t go out—meetings kaput. The simplest task—getting into a van—proved to be beyond our capabilities. The thud as the top of our skull made contact with the doorway registered on the Richter scale.

But there was one thing that worked. We had a reservation at the Manila Peninsula. Watching our rigorous plan fall apart, we figured that if we were going to be marooned, there was no place like the Pen.

By sheer dumb luck we were in the Peninsula while the storm shredded the metropolis, the island of Luzon, and our nerves.

Having checked on the safety of our feline masters we resolved to accept the fact that the weather is beyond our control and relax. There is no more pleasant, more comfortable place to do that than here.

All things considered, our life is fabulous.

If the Peninsula were a human being we would marry it.