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Archive for March, 2012

Great Expectations: the pirate version

March 28, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies 3 Comments →


Pirate DVD jacket copy

We get “Joe Gejirui” but why is Pip called a “poor orphan horse”?

* * * * *

Mystery solved by gilbertyaptan who wiki’d the character’s proper name ‘Philip’. Philip is a given name, derived from the Greek (Philippos), meaning “friend of horses”…

About the Julia Roberts bootleg DVD compilation entitled “Pretty Woman with Big Mouth” there is no mystery.

When you have absolutely nothing to do, run random passages through machine translators. Fun.

The Adventures of Cat-cat

March 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats 3 Comments →

- Hello, Mat. What are you up to?
- Sssh! Don’t reveal my secret identity!
- Sorry, I didn’t know you were in superhero mode.
- Can’t you see I am in costume?
- But–you’re not in costume.
- This IS my costume! I have no costume, for I am…Cat-cat!
- Huh?
- Cat-cat, scourge of villains everywhere!
- Explain this to me. Batman is a man dressed like a bat. So you’re a cat disguised as…
- A cat! Isn’t it clever? No one would ever suspect a cat of being disguised as a cat.
- You are bats.
- And you are having this conversation with a cat.

Since they put it this way, how could we not watch Morrisey?

This week in earrings (and notebooks, rings, glasses)

March 27, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Clothing 5 Comments →

Jeffrey got us a lot of earrings and a cat charm from India. The orange notebook is a Jadeco journal that Ricky bought and had engraved (imprinted? etched?) in Hong Kong.

Turns out Jadeco notebooks are sold at National, and they accept orders for engraving but have them done in Hong Kong.

Thanks to Bubbles for these earrings, which we wear mismatched.

And to our optometrist Nella Sarabia at UP Shopping Center in Diliman (Call first, 4355685) for these rings.

Our eyeglasses get a lot of notice, as neon green frames are designed to. Apart from their arresting appearance they fit perfectly, like superhero goggles, and do not sit halfway down our nose as other glasses do.

We’ve noticed that whenever people ask where we got these frames and we say Prada, there is a moment of silence, a beat, during which they process the shocking information. You can hear the furniture being moved around in their heads: Did she say Prada? As in Miuccia? But she’s…she’s not…she doesn’t…but it’s designer…She’s not my idea of a person who wears designer stuff or designer stuff is not my idea of what she would wear…

It’s always good to confound expectations. If we did wear designer stuff we would go for Prada: clothes adored by capitalists, made by a socialist.

The Big LitWit Fit: the winners

March 26, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Contest 19 Comments →

Thank you for telling us what you’ve been reading. We went through the lists and tried to match readers with books they might enjoy.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (now a film starring Ewan MacGregor) – lestat

I Never Liked You, a comic book by Chester Brown – Taribong

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides – bottlerocket, because you’re reading David Foster Wallace and one of the protagonists is supposedly based on him.

Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak in the new translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky – mcmorco

The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith (creator of Ripley; lots of anomie, sociopaths, people getting away with bloody murder) – Momelia

The Life of an Unknown Man by Andrei Makine – maelynda

When the Nines Roll Over by David Benioff – tfkjw (It’s an old copy so we threw in some review copies.)

Monstress, a short story collection by Lysley Tenorio (Fil-American) – johnbristol6

Till I End My Song, last poems by famous poets, selected by Harold Bloom – Jen

The Rehearsal by Eleanor Catton (slightly read) – lionheart147

Camus, A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes – ruthd

Spymistress, a biography of WWII spy Vera Atkins – jepotskie

The Millennium Trilogy – Ellizoid

The Accident by Ismail Kadare – go_light

The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips – hastydevil

The Last Station by Jay Parini – siege16

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (Cat not included) – eraser

Fantastic Women, an anthology of fantastic tales – Paul Bryan

Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah the bestselling superhero komiks by Carlo Vergara and Si Crispin, a spinoff from Rizal’s Noli me tangere by Tony Perez – gigics

Everything You Know by Zoe Heller (Author of Notes on a Scandal; you mentioned Dame Judi Dench) – ruth

If you’ve already read the book, give it away.

Claim your prizes at the Customer Service Counter of National Bookstore in Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati, starting on Wednesday, 28 March 2012. They will be filed under your username. The books will be there for 3 months. You don’t have to claim the book personally, you can send someone.

And if you don’t like the book, give it away.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore.

The Big LitWit Fit: We’re giving away books today.

March 25, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 69 Comments →


Saffy reviews our reading list.

So far it’s been an excellent year for travel and reading. Of course the two are connected, and not just because they keep one sane while sitting in airports.

Books and travel occupy the same head space, a kind of voluptuous solitude. Think of a novel as a parallel universe in which the characters are as real as you are, and the author gets to be Fate. Or a time machine in which months, years, centuries transpire in the time it takes you to finish a book…

Read Tennis Geeks, Stupid Aristocrats, Family Cruelty and Fashion Terrorists (a.k.a. the books we read in January-February) in Emotional Weather Report, our column in the Philippine Star.

* * * * *

What books have you read this year so far? Let us know in Comments. Twenty (20) commenters will each get a free book. What titles? That would depend on what the commenters have been reading—we’ll match the books to the readers.

The winners will be announced at midnight.

The Weekly LitWit Challenge is brought to you by our friends at National Bookstore.

Toxo and the science of possession by cats

March 24, 2012 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Science No Comments →


One of the pusakal adopted by the staff of the Peninsula Manila.

For years we’ve been telling you about Toxo, a.k.a. Toxoplasma gondii, an extremely clever parasite that is found in cat poop. How clever can a parasite be if it resides in poop? Extremely.

Toxo is picked up from the soil by other animals—pigs, sheep, cows, and especially rats. This parasite then lives in their brains and tissues. Humans have the same genes as other mammals and may also harbor toxo.

Before you freak out and try to boil yourself or overdose on purgatives, relax. We don’t know if you have toxo. Touching cats won’t give you toxo, unless you somehow ingest their poop…

Read our column Emotional Weather Report, the Pet Life edition, today in the Philippine Star.