Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for April, 2014

World Domination Food?

April 30, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Food, Television, World Domination Update 3 Comments →

spam tocino
From Stella Arnaldo’s Instagram.

Will this be the supranational anthem, then?

We have to see Kate Bush in concert

April 30, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Music, Television 2 Comments →

We’ve been watching the BBC comedy series The Trip with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. It consists of the two actors playing themselves, driving to selected restaurants in the north of England (and in the second series, Italy), eating and drinking heartily, and having long, seemingly random conversations in which they do impressions of famous people, criticize popular culture, and compete with each other.

After their discussion on the voices in the Batman movies and the pronunciation of Alanis Morrisette, we began to wonder if they were friends of ours. Just the other week we were at a dinner in which three grown men did impressions of Sharon Cuneta in My Only Love (“Ayoko ng number one, kasi kung may number one, may number two…”) for two hours.

Anyway, while Coogan and Brydon are driving in Yorkshire they start singing, and food shoots out of our nose when we realize they are doing Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush. Who is doing a series of concerts this year! We must see her.

Kate Bush has the best summary of Emily Bronte’s novel.

The Secret Superhero Identities of Cats

April 30, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Cats 2 Comments →

scarlet witch
Saffy is very cranky and keeps trying to hex us. Note her scary stare: she is manipulating matter. She is extremely picky about her food, and will only eat after the other cats have tasted it. Probably suspects her enemies are plotting to poison her.
Thinks she is: The Scarlet Witch.

Mat is very well-behaved and proper and acts like he’s afraid of heights. He doesn’t even like to be carried. However, when we arrive at home unexpectedly, we sometimes catch him standing on top of the highest shelf. We stare at him. He stares at us. Then he jumps down and pretends that we were imagining things.
Thinks he is: Batman?

Sometimes in the dead of night we are awakened by something landing heavily beside our pillow then burrowing in our hair. It is Drogon, trying to bite our head. This is not easy as our skull is much larger than his mouth. “Maybe he’s just flossing,” says our sister. Yucch.
Thinks he is: Galactus, Devourer of Worlds.

Reading year 2014: A graphic design book that everyone must read

April 29, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Design 2 Comments →

Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design by Chip Kidd, Php749 at National Bookstores.

Because as Chip Kidd writes, you’re already a designer, whether you realize it or not.


Loaded with excellent examples. You know that you don’t have to use every font on your computer, right?

Replay: One of our favorite TED talks.

We made a card catalogue for our library

April 28, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books 3 Comments →


After the third or fourth time we were kept up till 4am looking for a book whose exact location we were certain of, we decided that we needed a classification system for our library. We have always relied on the Organized Chaos or We Know Where Everything Is System, but admit it is not very efficient. Books tend to migrate all over the house: you take one out of its usual shelf to read in bed, it lands on your bedside stack, and when you tidy up your room in disgust it ends up on a different shelf.

Many libraries use the Dewey Decimal System to enforce order in their collections, but we’re not about to put numbers on the spines of all our books. In truth we didn’t figure out Dewey Decimals until recently, and we were a comparative lit major so lived in the library. We were a library assistant in high school—extracurricular requirement, since we didn’t want to join any clubs in freshman year—and we may have been the worst library assistant in history. Sample conversation:

Student: Do you have Cancer Ward by Solzhenitsyn?
Us: What?
Student: Cancer Ward.
Us: Corns of Art??
Student: Cancer Ward.
Us: What kind of a stupid title is Corns of Art?


Besides, 90 percent of our books are Fiction, so we would just be alphabetizing our library. True, arranging books in alphabetical order is an option, but we want to keep the current arrangement. So we thought up our own card catalogue system.

First, we assigned numbers to our bookshelves (See top photo). Then we found a couple of rectangular canisters (narrow cardboard boxes will do, too).


Then we cut little cards out of heavy paper (vellum board, and assorted folders lying around the house. Yay, recycling). Luckily the canisters were right for ATM/keycard/business card-sized pieces. We discovered that we can spend hours cutting straight lines with scissors on heavy paper. (Repetitive mindless tasks are very relaxing, but only if you do them by choice. The second someone orders you to do these same tasks, they’re terrible and soul-deadening.)


A cutting knife or a board cutter would’ve been more efficient, but we like kids’ scissors. The imperfect edges are charming.


Each card contains the author’s name, the title of the book, the type of edition (hardcover, trade, mass market paperback), and the number of the shelf the book lives in. Very simple.


We re-used the alphabetical markings from old file folders.


Voila. It’ll take us a few weeks to catalogue each book, probably more due to interruptions (“We forgot we had this!” Start reading. Cataloging is forgotten.)

Every movie we see #46: Transcendence it isn’t

April 25, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Movies 3 Comments →

43. The 39 Steps. We always watch Hitchcock movies when we’re under the weather. This one is rather kinky, especially when the hero gets handcuffed to the hostile witness and they’re forced to shared a bed for the night.

44. Notorious. Another of our favorite Hitchcocks (A list of non-favorites would be shorter. I Confess and The Paradine Case would be on it). Readers of spy stories factual or fictional are familiar with the honey trap—using sex to manipulate or trap a source or enemy. Notorious has a double-honey trap: a secret agent (Cary Grant) makes a Nazi agent’s party girl daughter (Ingrid Bergman) fall in love with him, and then sends her to Brazil to seduce one of her father’s cohorts (Claude Rains). It’s sexy and twisted, and Hitchcock got away with a very long kissing scene. Watch it yourself.

45. The Way We Were. Strangely enough for someone who hangs out with gay people 98 percent of the time, we had never seen The Way We Were in its entirety until the other night. So that’s why the baklas love it: You could replace Barbra Streisand’s character with a gay man, and it would work. One could argue that she was playing a gay man. Robert Redford was probably the most beautiful earthling of the early 1970s. No wonder his Great Gatsby didn’t work: What was the point of pining for Daisy Buchanan when he was lovelier than she was?

Nakakasira ng ulo.

* * * * *


Transcendence is not. It’s flat, static and lazy; we would’ve been better off reading back issues of Wired from 10 years ago. Johnny Depp phones in his performance as a genius AI research scientist. Paul Bettany, who plays his colleague, actually phones in his performances as Jarvis in the Iron Man and Avengers movies (We learned this from the DVD commentary track), but he’s a lot more lively here.

Speaking of the Marvel Universe (Rebecca Hall was in Iron Man 3 playing basically the same character), we’ve heard that Johnny Depp is being courted for the role of Doctor Strange. Given Transcendence’s dismal critical and commercial reception, Depp might find an offer from Marvel more attractive now.

Does anyone have old Doctor Strange comics we could barter for? And basic sets of Lego blocks. They’re all sold by theme now, and cost arms, legs, spleens.