Poetry in Music #TuesdayTunes

I like music and poetry. Put them together and…magic! So I thought I’d go the poetic round on this one, in a sort of way.

First, we have a vid from a TED Talk session. I’ve always liked TED Talks, especially because they often inspire. This one, I rediscovered while going through my old posts on Facebook. It’s Natalie Merchant “singing old poems to life”.

Natalie Merchant sings from her new album, ‘Leave Your Sleep.’ Lyrics from near-forgotten 19th-century poetry pair with her unmistakable voice for a performance that brought the TED audience to its feet.

Next is a collection of songs by the famous Enya, one of my favorite artists. Her album The Celts was what introduced me to her. It’s hard to choose a fave song, but I guess if you wrung my wrists, my most faves would be “The Celts” (the intro you hear here) and the hauntingly beautiful “Boadicea”. Her music always comes across as poetry to me, perhaps because they somewhat are, having been often based on Irish Gaelic songs, rich in lore and mythology.

I think, with Enya, you either like her music like I do or not. Do give her a chance and listen to this. Go to the actual YouTube video, though, to see the list of songs featured.

ENJOY!!!

 

 

 

ZZzzzoooommmbiiiesss…!!! #FreakyFriday

I confess. I didn’t forget yesterday’s post. I just couldn’t. Will make up for it, count on that.

Meanwhile, it’s the second week of #FreakyFriday!!! Posting early today 😉 Did you see 2014’s post on freaky vids, though? Jeepers, eh? Well, last week, I already shared some of my creepy pics. Today, I am again sharing very scary Halloween pranks. Sometimes, they’re too scary, you forget they’re supposed to be pranks!

What is it about elevators that invite naughty people to prank the innocent and  catch them unawares? So many elevator pranks on the Net! So I chose videos that do not exactly involve elevators. Before you watch these, though, I do reiterate that I don’t really like it when they prank old people and kids…

Now, on with our features.

1. I know what it says in the post title. But this first video here, regardless of its own title, is not even supposed to be featuring zombies. I’m sharing it anyway, just ’cause, but I don’t think I’ll be riding a train in a long while.

GHOST ON THE TRAIN

What an elaborate prank! To think they had to hire/rent the train just for this purpose.

2.  Didn’t know that zombie pranks would be the stuff you see on actual movies. This should scare the pants (er..skirt?) off of you. If I were driving that car, I’d probably end up dead as I sure would be crashing soon due to DUIZ (driving under the influence of zombies!).

RUN! RUN TO THE FOREST, RUN!!!

What I like about this is it’s really like watching a movie, with background stories on the side to set the mood.

3. And just when I thought such pranks couldn’t be anymore elaborate!!! This is my favorite and the scariest I’ve seen so far. I really do hate them for scaring the old lady, though.

ZOMBIES CAR ATTACK!!!

I certainly would have liked to be shown how the victims took it after the reveal. I personally would’ve cursed them to hell and back if I were victimized like this.

 

BONUS!!!! This is actually THE scariest…NOT!!! I did share this before, and linked to it a few times, but I am really just happy about the video we took. It’s just some silly thing that we did for a company contest. But I LOVE IT!!! Click on the link and read about how we got ZOMBIE-FIED!!!

 

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Did you get your fill of scary pranks for one day? It’s okay. Time to stop and move on with life. See you next Friday for our last #FreakFriday!!!

“comfort” #MondayMemoirs

I found this again. I don’t know what made me sad that time, but this was a very welcome gift from my fellow writer in a then-active Yahoo! group. I originally did not mention his name because I was not sure if it was okay. My Multiply account was private, anyway. I did get his permission to re-post just recently, so you can now see his name at the bottom: Craig Murray.

Craig strikes most people as a tough guy with a “take it or leave it” attitude. I do think he is a tough guy, but he does write some of the sweetest poems, like this one below. Do check out his book Watching Her Walk: Collected Poetry of Craig Murray.

comfort

 

 

Moms, we are with you…

It’s also Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, did you know? I didn’t, until I stumbled upon Ashley Anderson‘s article last Friday.  Now you know what that means to me, so I won’t delve much into it. I do want to express my deep sorrow through her words.

Our experiences were different, but we were on the same boat. And now, we’re learning to swim, maybe in a different way, too, but we’re both surviving in our own ways. The way a lot of mothers who were on the same boat as well are coping with life.

To our fellow moms, I only have to say that we must strive to enjoy life every day, enjoy even the tiniest bit of things. And never, ever lose hope…

Pregnancy & Infant Loss

Awareness Month

October is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. For those of you who know me, it’s something that is near and  dear to my heart. Not everyone is comfortable with talking about their journey and loss, but I’ve found that with speaking out about pregnancy loss can help with healing, open up conversation and help connect people who have been affected by loss. 1 in 4 women experience pregnancy and infant loss. It’s time we talk about it.

pregnancy-awareness-monthHere is my story:

My husband and I decided quite early on that we wanted children. It was something that was never really discussed seriously, just something that was important to both of us. We decided in early 2012 that we would start trying (a few months before our wedding) because things like that never happen right away. Well, it did. I conceived the first time in early February of that year…

Read full article

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If you need someone to talk to privately, even just to listen, feel free to email me at j.gi.federizo@gmail.com.

I do advise that you first turn to your loved ones because in such trying times, they must be your first line of support. Grief and sorrow can be lessened when you have a strong support system. If it is a depression that is way beyond the powers of your loved ones, consider getting professional help. It is never wrong to ask for help.

Freaky Me #FreakyFriday

Well, it’s not Friday the 13th, but Halloween is around the corner anyway (ruuunnn!!!!). Thought I’d compile weird pics of myself, from silly to freaky, just to get into that Halloween spirit. It’s going to be a weekly #FreakyFriday till Halloween is over.

First three and the large solo show me in costume. That’s Psycholo-Gi, DJ Zom-B, The Black Hatter and Aswang Salonga. I know your personal favorite is Aswang Salonga, admit it, BWAHAHAAAAA!!! Well, it’s my favorite. So ME 😉 Next three are just pics achieved with a mobile app.

Last, my friends and I walking down “Abbey Road” : (fr. left) Slender Man, Jason (of Friday the 13th) who is out of character wearing a Pikachu beanie hat (LOL!), The Scarecrow, Aswang Salonga:)

If you want to know more about them, check out these posts: RPG [Part One], RPG [Part Two], Putting the Black Hat On

By the way, photos’ copyrights belong to all of us in the pics and to photographers Adjhan Penus (Black Hatter), Lea B. (Abbey Road Monsters), and f-l-o-r-i-e (the rest, except the zombie as I don’t remember who took it).

ENJOY!!!

halloween-costumes

The Warrior Teacher #AskWednesday

Welcome back to #AskWednesday!

Today, we’ve got Lynette Carpio-Serrano. We went to the same high school, took up the same bachelor’s degree, and then worked for the same college radio where her monicker, Glitch, came from. We were even in the same archery class and I know for a fact that she got high grades for her precision in shooting arrows. I was secretly envious.

I mean, I knew she was already brainy, and she sang beautifully with the school chorale, but she was great with arrows, too?!!! THEN, she’s blessed with that wonderful radio voice…So. Unfair. #BitterMuch…Kidding aside, she is currently helping shape younger minds as a faculty member of the UPLB College of Development Communication.

lynette-carpio-muay-thai

Lynette doing intense Muay Thai training. Copyright © Augusto Lee Mendoza

This is Lynette, in her own words: “I write. I take pictures. I teach. Occasionally, I kick and punch. Lately, I’ve been making comic strips.” (2011) She’s added “kick and punch” in her wonderful resumé. And that is why she is here, to share a bit about her love for Muay Thai. (BTW, will add another pic soon so you can see her better, he he) I never would have guessed she’d take Thailand’s hard-style martial art (MA); heck, I never would have guessed she’d take any martial art at all! But in this brief interview, she proves me wrong…

1. What made you decide to take up martial arts? Who or what made you decide on your chosen MA?

My love affair with Muay Thai started way back in 2010. I only tried it because a bunch of girl friends from Baguio invited me to join them. I wasn’t expecting to have fun, and I never really saw myself as someone who would learn to love martial arts. The training was difficult, but something in my head clicked.

So I came back a couple more times. Then I signed up for a monthly membership and started training two to three times a week. When I moved back to my hometown, I wanted to continue training. I asked around and found a gym with a Muay Thai team that offered training. That’s the Pugilist Muay Thai – Biagtan. I’ve been practicing on and off since.

 2. Why choose Muay Thai in particular? What do you like about it or get out of it?

It was completely by chance that I tried out Muay Thai. I guess it could have been Tae Kwon Do, or Judo, or any other martial art. I tried it out of curiosity, and realized that it was good exercise (it combines cardio, strength and flexibility). It’s also a good way of clearing my head and managing stress.

It’s brutal–I’ve lost count of the sprains and bruises I’ve had to recover from (but thankfully no broken bones)–but it’s also taught me that physical stress can be a productive thing. It  can make you stronger and faster.

3. What does your MA require of its artists? What separates it from others?

I think it requires the same of its practitioners as other martial arts: discipline, humility, and a willingness to push yourself to your limits. What makes MT different from other martial arts is, they call it the art of eight limbs: we’re taught to kick, punch, and also to use our elbows and knees to strike our opponents.

4. How has it helped you? Have you been able to use your knowledge/skills? In what way?

I’ve always been a pretty clumsy person. MT has improved my body coordination and sense of balance. It’s also raised my tolerance for pain. But if you’re wondering if I’ve ever had to hit or kick someone in self-defense, thankfully, no. It’s helped me in other ways though: it’s good exercise, and it’s good for my mind.

MT was also helpful because I was physically fit when I got pregnant. Although I had to stop because of doctor’s orders. I didn’t have such a hard time shedding the post-pregnancy baby weight. Went back to MT when my little boy turned two, and now I’m getting stronger and more agile again. (Ed. That’s good advice. I actually want to do the same and train for MT, but some things I don’t have right now. I haven’t hung up the gloves yet, though, figuratively speaking…)

muay-thai-in-action

Science or art? You decide

5. Other people say MAs are violent. Has anyone ever said that to you? Do you agree? If yes, why do/did you continue?

You don’t have to know a martial art to be violent. I guess what I’m trying to say is, knowing MA doesn’t automatically make a person violent. If anything, it teaches you discipline and respect for other people. It also teaches you to control yourself. If you’ve been on the receiving end of punches, kicks, and strikes, and if you see the kind of damage they do in the ring, you know it’s not something you take lightly.

6. Are you trying out other MAs? Or any other MA you’d like to try? Why?

At the moment, no. MA training takes time, and at the moment, I have to balance taking care of my family, work, etc. I try to train a couple of times a week, but there’s just not enough time to learn a new MA.

That dance at the start is the Wai khru. Now, I know it’s an exhibition, but that girl is still bad***!!!

muay-thai-artist

According to Lynette, Muay Thai is about “discipline, humility, and a willingness to push yourself to your limits”…I think this guy here is Muay Thai artist and Ong Bak movie star Tony Jaa based on the look

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Thank you so much, Lynette, for granting us an interview!!!

For more interviews, just do a search on “#AskWednesday”. Do check them all out!

Cancer? Schmancer! ~ Fran Drescher #MondayReviews

Cancer? Schmancer!

Cancer Schmancer
By Fran Drescher
260 pages

cancer-schmancer-franCreator, executive producer, writer, director, star. But cancer survivor? Certainly not something Fran Drescher would have wanted on her resumé! Yet in year 2000, while the whole world celebrated surviving the millennium bug, she of TV’s The Nanny fame was in a battle no one would’ve predicted for fit, healthy, lively “Miss Fine.”

In reality, things were far from fine. Her almost twenty-year marriage abruptly ended; her beloved dog Chester would soon be put to sleep; worst of all, she finally confirmed what she had somehow suspected all along. After years and years of consulting doctors who mostly told her she was probably just going through the perimenopausal stage—ouch, her ego!—Doctor #9 told her otherwise. That “otherwise” was uterine cancer, stage 1.

So after her first bestseller Enter Whining, Fran was back writing about her life, love, libido, and cancer that really didn’t need to be in her life, but there it was anyway. Why Cancer Schmancer? Writes Fran: “All I’ve got to say is to he** with cancer! This book’s about schmancer! Laughing at the crazy things life offers when it’s biting you in the a**.”

The book basically revolves around Fran’s two-year, 11-doctor journey as she tries to get second, third, fourth and so on medical opinions regarding her health. She knows something is wrong—the staining between periods and cramping after intercourse would have been tell-tale signs of uterine cancer, but she didn’t fall in the risk groups category—yet always, she gets misdiagnosed until Doctor #8 refers her to #9. Meanwhile, her ordeal is changing her into someone she hardly recognizes. Fran eventually recovers with the support of her family, friends, and two different loves.

Written in a candid manner, Fran talks about her cancer with a mix of reflection and humor. There are anecdotes worth retelling to make one smile and even laugh. However, Fran gives more than a dose of humor. She shares the pains and the sorrows as well including a particularly short but sad story so tragic, it spirals to the end of her marriage with Peter Jacobson, her best friend, childhood sweetheart and Nanny co-producer. After the harrowing experience, they will never be the same again, Fran realizes, as they feed off each other’s neediness and fears that are close to paranoia. She just has to get out of the marriage, for both their sake.

As personal and entertaining as it seems, this book is not for the uptight. Language may sometimes be a little too much for some (the first quote is a preview of that) while certain subjects like sex, which is essential to the author, is taboo. But hey, that’s Fran! Take them all away and it wouldn’t be her. One can only appreciate her honesty.

cancer-schmancer-movement

Fran with members of the Cancer Schmancer Movement

The book, primarily written to make women more aware of their health and the importance of early diagnosis especially of gynecologic cancers, is now on the bestseller list. In fact, it created enough impact that on June 21, 2007, Fran celebrated her seventh year of being cancer-free and topped it off with the launch of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, an active policy-changing movement serving the same goal.

Time to sound off the alarm! As Fran says, “Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.”

 

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NOTE: This article was published in The Big C magazine (July-September 2008 issue). To see more reviews, please visit my CRITIC’S CORNER….Thank you!

Fight Songs! #TuesdayTunes

Last year, I shared (more like reminded you of) this song, Just Stand Up. Well, it’s October once again, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month  and my default All-Cancers Awareness Month.

Here are songs for our loved ones who continue to bravely fight the Big C, and for our loved ones who bravely did until God said it’s time to go home…

(Note: Most I got from AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“3AM” by Matchbox 20

“During a 2001 episode of VH1 Storytellers, Matchbox 20 vocalist Rob Thomas told the story of how he wrote this song, inspired by a difficult period of his life when his mother was dealing with cancer.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” by Green Day

Not exactly a “cancer song” but it’s beautiful.

“Mission” by Lupe Fiasco

“Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco describes this song ‘as a track to empower those facing cancer, revere cancer survivors and remember those who have passed to due to cancer related illnesses.’  This song nails the cancer fight in so many ways.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org) Rap song has some unwholesome words, though, so just a warning.

“Clouds” by Zach Sobiech

“In early 2013 the world was captivated by the amazing story of Minnesota osteosarcoma patient Zach Sobiech.  Zach’s cancer diagnosis…didn’t stop him from writing this beautiful song.” (AboveAndBeyondCancer.org)

“Hope” by Capri Ruberto

I honestly originally did not want to include this here for the simple fact that…it made me cry. But it’s so beautiful! A song written by Capri herself when she was 12 when her mother was diagnosed with cancer….This is the live version that tore my heart: “HOPE” Live.

And now, I saved this for last! I think this is the perfect fight cancer song even though I don’t think it was written for such purpose.

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten

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For our loved ones.

September 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

September was a much better month for me, writing/blogging-wise. There were some glitches, but the positives outweighed the negatives. I mean this in a less-stressed out way. There were two weeks that I hardly posted anything. Something got me busy, but all was for naught. At least, I tried. It honestly did cause me to lose my mojo a bit, had to clear my head…Now, I’m BACK.

writer-stuff

Here’s how September 2016 went:

Blog-wise:

(1) Not obvious, but I have begun calling may hashes as “hash potatoes”. No reason, I just think it’s cute. I’ve thought of several reasons to give just so I can justify calling them that but, bottomline is, I just like it, period.

So, how did my hash potatoes go?

hash-tag-sign#MondayMemoirs (see What I Am) – I could have posted more, but Mondays are often tricky unless I am able to schedule something the weekend prior. No #MondayReviews posted.

#TuesdayTunes (see Out of Oz)

#AskWednesday (see Born to Sing) – I was so lucky to have interviewed the very gracious Hanna De Guzman. Read to get to know her, guys.

#ThursdayTips (see Let the Spiders Crawl)

#FeatureFriday (see Butterfly Kisses and Lullabies, my replacement Friday post) – This is also a tricky day for me. I do intend to alternate this with #FridayFlashdance. Guess what that’s going to be about 😉

Saturdays and Sundays could be about anything, just like any given day of the whole week. That is, when I am able to post anything. Or MORE, like Dream a Little Dream [Reshared].

(2) So I’m done with my singer, Hanna. I am currently waiting for my interview with my horticulturist-friend, and a Muay Thai artist with whom I worked when I was in college. I have not really yet talked to Andoyman regarding the update interview. But here’s news! The professional dancer I mentioned before has said yes to an interview. Will do that soon!

(3) My Trending Stories. As mentioned before, it’s a new site, they’re still doing stuff to perfect it, but it’s still an honor to be invited, and there’s no such thing as perfect. This is me (CLICK ON IT):

my-trending-stories-jgi

I began posting for it. Then there were two weeks that I was really prolific in posting. The next two weeks, though, I lost much interest and time in posting anywhere.  I’ll get back to it, I promise.

Social Media Reach-out:

This really took the backseat. But I assure you that I appreciate everyone who clicks on LIKE and especially FOLLOW. I am awed and humbled that despite my seeming inactivity, I keep finding out through my email that people have been clicking on the FOLLOW button.

I would like to pay it forward. Just let me get my act together and I will soon be posting links here to legit followers (I do emphasize on legit).

Fiction/Story-writing:

NEXT!!!

Literature:

Abandoned Thomas Hardy‘s Tess of the D’Urbervilles for now. Unintentionally abandoned Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West online book. Priorities weigh heavier. Will try to get back to reading soon as I am able.

Personal:

csi-las-vegas-showI do try to go online on weekends, but I’ve lessened it. Going online does cost money if you don’t have a permanent Internet connection and you just buy “load” for your WiFi, like I do, though it is less expensive.

I’m only home on weekends, so it’s the time to do stuff in the house the way I want them done (I am slightly OC, so understand that I want to do things a certain way).  Time to arrange things the way I want them arranged, sew what needs to be sewn, fix what little things need to be fixed, iron clothes for the coming week, and see to it that the kids open their books and notebooks. More important, weekends mean family time. I’m not the perfect mother at all, but I try to manage the best I can, even if they hate it when I get mad.

So in the evenings or while I iron clothes, I just watch my still-unseen Season 9 and 10 episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Life is a series of ups and downs, so you face everything. No ifs, no buts. You have to learn everyday. Therefore, in the meantime, you get to watch the gory stuff and plan how you can get away with murdering your enemies and covering up all the evidence…KIDDING!!! 😉