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Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994
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Archive for the ‘Current Events’

Metro Manila is trying to kill us

June 27, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events No Comments →

Thursday morning, it was fine.

1045 Taxi ride from Rockwell, Makati to Timog Avenue, Quezon City: 25 minutes

1115 Drive from Timog, QC to UERMMC to visit friend who had just given birth (Since our task force of Mentats has determined that we are not contagious): 15 minutes

Then it rains and everything goes to hell.

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Photo from Interaksyon: Baha pero walang bagyo.

1430 Taxi ride from Tomas Morato QC to Rockwell, Makati: 1 hour 15 minutes in rising floodwater. The driver avoided heavy traffic on EDSA by taking New Manila-San Juan-Mandaluyong route, which may have been worse. Flash floods in Mandaluyong, particularly in Barangka on the way to the bridge leading to Rockwell. For one moment we thought the cab’s engine would die and we would have to walk in the flood.

Arrive at Rockwell and find that floodwaters have entered the first basement level at Power Plant, the row of restaurants. The staff are bailing out water from McDonald’s to the fruit stand. The pianist plays on.

1625 Waiting in taxi queue: 1 hour 30 minutes. We use the time to make notes for a column, email work confirmations, campaign to assure people that our brain is working (Anyone not convinced can attend joint lecture on Russian literature with Teddy-Wan Kenobi).

1850 Home. If we had walked we would’ve been home at 1635 but we were afraid to run into a flash flood.

Proof of Life

June 20, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Current Events, Health 3 Comments →

proof of life
From left: Francine Medina Marquez, Stella Arnaldo, us, and Edd Fuentes. Photo from Stella’s Instagram.

At lunch yesterday our media friends brought us up to date on stuff that transpired while we were sleeping and whose ass we should go Ramsay Snow—Bolton now that he’s been legitimized–on. Tsk, tsk. Our blades are sharp. As they say at the Dreadfort, A naked man has few secrets, a flayed man none.

Your support is more solid than the Iron Bank of Braavos. Thank you.

June 06, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Health, Science 7 Comments →

Iron_Bank_leaders

The day after we were admitted to the hospital, friends told us that several media outlets carried reports of our incarceration mysterious affliction. They all pointed out that being a freelance writer we have no health insurance, and called for donations.

Our initial reaction was embarrassment because we have a horror of being an object of pity. We got over it quickly—it’s not as if we could deny anything.

And then something truly awesome happened.

We knew we could count on the kindness of our friends, who do not even have to be asked. What we did not expect was the generosity of total strangers, people we have never met, random readers and anonymous donors who gave just because they could.

If there is a clearer, more concise way of saying We Got Your Back, it hasn’t occurred to us. Thank you. Your humanity and support are more solid than the backing of the Iron Bank of Braavos itself.

Now let’s take over something.

Na-ospital kami, nag-trending na. Bongga na rin.

In recovery; reunited with cats

June 04, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Cats, Current Events, Health, Pointless Anecdotes 20 Comments →

mat
Mat has been holding down the fort. He hired someone to clean the house while we were away. Clever cat.

We can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we’ve been confined in the hospital: three. Fractured skull at age eight—a formative experience requiring primitive encephalography (See Pinhead). Typhoid fever at age ten or eleven (“natipus” with very interesting hallucinations involving talking animals). There should probably have been more hospital stays, but we thought we were invincible.

Monday afternoon we decided we were over the flu so we were going to a meeting at Rockwell at 4:30. We never made it to the meeting. When we came to we were on the floor of the shower, with the water going glub glub down the drain like a basic remake of Psycho. We staggered out of the bathroom to find one of our bookshelves flung against the refrigerator. What the hell was going on?

We threw on some clothes, picked up our bag, and left the house. But we couldn’t step off the stairs. The distance from the last step to the floor suddenly seemed insurmountable, and we sat there until we could figure out how to traverse this vast distance. The security guard must’ve notice that we were stuck on the stairs, and summoned the building administrator. She came around and asked us a series of questions. We don’t recall our answers exactly, but we were making no sense whatsoever. As far as we could tell we were speaking gibberish (Hmmm maybe after a weekend of flu meds were could understand Aramaic at last.)

The next thing we know, we’re at the ER of Makati Med and everyone we know has turned up in answer to the hospital summons. Our sister appeared in a black and gold ballgown, which is not her regular attire, but it was her wedding anniversary. Next we’re having an MRI and a cat scan, and we’re so out of it no one even has to tell us to lie vewy, vewy still.

Initial tests showed that our sodium and potassium levels were way down. Hell, we thought low sodium was good and we should eat a banana like Rafa and Andy between games.

This typing is making us very, very tired. Later.

Godzilla Vs Napoles

May 21, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Monsters, Movies 2 Comments →

GODZILLA

Godzilla 2014 is a thrilling blockbuster that updates the monster metaphor. As Ken Watanabe’s scientist points out (and he has to, because this is a popcorn movie after all), humanity in its arrogance and greed thinks it can control Nature. We are not the alpha predator in this scenario, merely the insects scampering out of the combatants’ paths. Godzilla emerges to restore balance in a world that man has plundered and fouled. Although you could miss that and still enjoy the movie.

And what of the Philippines, where the remains of a primordial beast lie? For many months we have been gripped by the investigation into the dealings of Janet Lim-Napoles, who has been charged with defrauding the Philippine government of billions in pork barrel funds. The two lists allegedly naming politicians and media who had received money from Napoles, whether they are true or not, paint a picture of a system steeped in corruption.

Read our column at InterAksyon.com.

Noah, Gilgamesh, and getting hammered

April 11, 2014 By: jessicazafra Category: Antiquities, Books, Current Events, Movies 5 Comments →

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The building of the ark, from the Nuremberg Chronicles

We’ve already seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier thrice, and we wouldn’t mind seeing it again but one must try to get a life. So we thought of watching Darren Aronofsky’s epic Noah, only to find that it’s not showing yet, nor is it on the roster of coming attractions. Hmmm. This wouldn’t have something to do with the protests about the movie version differing from the biblical version, would it? (According to InterAksyon, the delay in the screening is due to a dispute over distribution, not religion.)

Apparently American viewers have complained about Noah’s drunkenness—an episode we remember having read about, most recently in the David Rosenberg translation of the Book of J. From the King James Bible, Genesis 9:

20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

Which was harsh, considering Noah was the one who got so hammered, he passed out naked. (In his defence, he was about 600 years old at the time, reason enough to be cranky.) You think Ham wanted to see what he saw?

Here’s one of the likely sources of the story of The Great Flood, Tablet XI of the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh.

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Read the Epic of Gilgamesh.