“OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!” #atozchallenge2015

OH, NO, STOP RIGHT THERE!

Oh, no, stop right there!
`Cause you’re not getting anywhere
lay off me, get off my back,
take a hike and don’t come back.
Oh, no, stop right there!
Yeah, you may like me, I don’t care
please take your hands off of me,
turn around and leave me be.
Oh, no, stop right there!
No, we won’t ever be a pair
contraries to what you think,
you should really see a shrink.

No, no, no, stop right there!
Ask no questions, oh, don’t you dare
for I could really blow my top,
prepare to be karate-chopped!

 

Copyright © J. Gi Federizo
Written: June 29, 2002

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This poem is brought to you by the letter “O”…

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And here you thought I forgot, eh? 🙂

Romeo and Juliet Fever #atozchallenge2015

M of A to Z“M” is for Musicals. Yes, I am a musicals enthusiast, if you don’t know me yet. I like to watch musicals on TV, film and stage. I only get to watch actual musicals once or twice a year due to either budget (many that I’d like to see tend to be costly for someone like me) or venue (they don’t normally show in places near me). When I do get to watch, I normally try to purchase playbills. I may forget about buying other souvenirs, but never the playbills! That’s where you get to know more about a production, its cast, etc.

And because I’ve been in a Broadway-mood lately due to my recent post, I would like to share to any musicals fans out there the full film version of the French “Romeo and Juliet: from Hate to Love” musical that stars Damien Sargue and Cecilia Cara.

Roméo et Juliette: de la Haine à l’Amour is a French musical based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, with music and lyrics by Gérard Presgurvic. It premiered in Paris on January 19, 2001…Since then, the musical has been performed in Verona, Rome, Canada, Antwerp, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, Szeged, Moscow, Vienna, Bucharest, Seoul, Pusan (South Korea), Taipei, Monterrey, Japan and Shanghai and has been translated into several languages, including Flemish, Italian, Hungarian, Russian, English, German, Spanish, Romanian, Japanese, and Korean.” (WikiPedia)

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Damien Sargue and Cecilia Cara as Romeo et Juliette

This is one of only two full film versions I viewed online. I really like this one — the voices (although Juliette sounds more mature for a girl supposedly around 14, but this is theater and she has a nice voice anyway), the costumes, most of the acting. The other version I saw, which I won’t say whose, I did not like at all. It looked like something performed in school rather than professional theater, and the acting! There are just no words! A few songs in and I gave up. It was hard watching them, really. Meanwhile, when it comes to the singing, I am also very partial to the voices of the Belgian cast. I don’t think there is any full online version of theirs, professionally filmed or otherwise, but I have the recording, as shared by another theater enthusiast.

Oh, let me share that there is a whole site dedicated to the R&J musical created by my fellow-Veerle fan, VeerleBub. Check out the Romeo + Juliet the Musicals Website. It’s not the musical’s official site, but it’s rather informative and a bit comprehensive, even including translations. I liked visiting there during my R&J fever years ago. Unfortunately, it’s not updated anymore and the owner lost the rights to the original domain, it seems. Think I’ll go contact her again if I can.

Anyway, here’s the film version I promised. As always, ENJOY!

The Art of Komikonation #atozchallenge2015

If there is one thing that I have come to realize in my adult life, it’s that I’m a late-bloomer in a lot of things. I need not go into more (read: boring) details about it, but in relation to my topic of the day, it is only now, in my later years, did I realize that I really, actually love comics.

K of A to ZI don’t have hundreds in my collection, not yet anyway, nor do I have any of those cherished and expensive first editions of famous American comics or Japanese manga. I didn’t start collecting until several years ago when I learned from artist Jonas Diego that we actually hold local conventions now. Komikons, they have called these local gatherings, and they have successfully put “komikon” in the modern Filipino dictionary.

By that time, I was already aware that I could draw a little. Well, sketch, really. Learning about artists now gathering and holding conventions kind of made me regret I did not practice and improve on my visual artistry. Maybe I would be already joining them and marketing my own comics had I pursued learning the art, who knows?

Attending Komikon has become a part of my annual routine. I have been unable to attend some events in the past, but I have at least made it a point to be in one of the three major ones. I’ve been enjoying and, I guess, celebrating the new artists of this era who have made making local comics cool again.

I know of people who seem to look down on local comics, whether they admit it or not. The problem is they don’t even try to consider attending komikons or to simply check out samples. They have become mentally colonized to even dare think that local comics are worth their time. They either have forgotten or have no idea at all that many Filipino artists have actually been a part of various DC and Marvel series. Ever the peaceful guy, a friend of mine said it’s just probably because they already get to read manga on the net for free. But he completely missed the point. That said, I was not about to lose friendship over it; I was not the one missing something good, anyway.

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A sample from Kiko Machine. What immediately drew me to this when I encountered the strip in the dailies was it not only obviously showed bits and pieces of the Pinoy way of life, but the campus scenarios, though made all funny, gave the artist away, that we’re from the same alma mater. It’s not really bias on my part, just that it’s like reminiscing your school days 🙂

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I read the copies my friend owns and am really hankering to buy my own copies of the series. I like the drawing, but I really appreciate the story-telling and the fact that they — the Damaso couple — create “rewinds” to give readers more ideas as to the background of the story. They have also created the comic book Dragon Breed, which I like as well

school-run-sample-drawing

From the site: “in the post-zombie apocalypse, just getting to school in the morning can be a real killer. welcome to the worst day in the lives of a school bus full of children.” I would love to see a movie version of this! Oh, and this was even before “World War Z” came out

If it’s not obvious already from my past posts, I already have several favorite titles that I like to follow: Kiko Machine, Cat’s Trail, Drop Dead Dangerous, Espiritista, Sulsi (and the other IKOS comics), School Run. I would like to follow Trese, Fallen Ash, Bathala, Dragon Breed, what else….? I really liked, too, the book Elmer and the short Ang Maskot that later became a short film, plus, Kapitan Tog provides comic relief, pun maybe intended 😉

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The Alphario Team…Photo credit is theirs

Having bought a story from them, I think I should also try checking out titles from a certain group whose name escapes me for now. Meanwhile, I have to say that I really like the enthusiasm and the efforts the whole Alphario Team always puts into marketing and promoting their comics during the event and even pre-event.

Of all the titles, though, I really am very partial to Ang Sumpa (by Andoyman). Not only does the artist himself pours his heart into it, but so do I. When Andy asked me to serve as editor, I also ended up sharing my ideas, as far as the forensics side is concerned (expert-wannabe). That’s probably why it says “Story Assist by…” on the cover. Still, it’s his story, not mine, his characters, his plot. I, on the other hand, is just happy to be a part of the comics industry, even in just this way. Admittedly, I am now inclined to write my own story or stories — I can’t do the drawing, but I can write the story, right?

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They did not hold the usual Summer Komikon this year. But rest assured that the Indieket’s happening soon. I plan to go so hopefully, things will go as planned. If they do, see you there, folks! Support the local comics industry!!! Time to KOMIKONATE  😀

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For more Komikon-related posts, please go to COMICS TRIPS.

ISAY & AUGIE #atozchallenge2015

A week after Holy Week, we got our little girl…Little girl puppy, that is. i of A to Z It’s the first time this house got a dog after a long time. Our last dog was Odie and that was when I was still single and unattached, plus my parents were still alive. He was our last because my mother would not allow another one. She said, “Who’s going to take care of it when you’re always away?” It was when my father already had the stroke and my mother was not really strong anymore. I was away on weekdays to work so all the responsibility of taking care of the house, my father, and the dog went to her. A dog was too hyper for her. Needless to say, I saw her point so I gave in. I’ve said this several times already after my parents passed away that I would get a dog again. It is only now that it has come true when I’ve got my own family.

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Isay is one aloof little girl. Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

Ladies and gents, presenting…ISAY. I gave her that name, after the place she came from, Talisay. She was already around two months old, though, with certain behaviors that we’re trying to “undo”. She tends to be aloof even of us and has a love-hate relationship with her primary human, my husband. When she does become playful, she can become too playful and treat us aggressively like non-humans.

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Isay with her main human. It’s not easy capturing her every time because she runs away. Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

More than a week ago, we got her a brother (well, brother until their relationship changes). The kids wanted to call him Augie so Augie it is. He is just a month old. Good thing Isay didn’t get jealous and was completely welcoming the other pup. Augie, on the other hand, is more friendly to humans. I present to you…AUGIE!!!!

SOo hard to take this picture!

So hard to take this picture! Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

More humans!!!

More humans!!! Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

Hope you like the pics!!! 🙂

 

HELLO, WORLD!!! #atozchallenge2015

H of A to ZYes, “H” is for HELLO, WORLD!!! Because isn’t that the default greeting newbies get when they start something online? According to Wikipedia (and I think they can be relied on when it comes to simple info like this):

A “Hello, World!” program is a computer program that outputs “Hello, World!” (or some variant thereof) on a display device. Because it is typically one of the simplest programs possible in most programming languages, it is by tradition often used to illustrate to beginners the most basic syntax of a programming language.

My keyword there, really, is “beginners,” because after being gone for quite a while, it almost feels like I’m a newbie again in the blogging world. Just almost, since I haven’t really gone and have been visiting and commenting on blogs I follow. I did want to post badly, but time, health and resources did not permit me.

To update you, and many maybe wondering why I am still doing the A to Z Challenge that’s supposed to be just for the whole month of April, well, I am continuing with it. I failed last year, and to think I only had “Z” left! I just don’t want to be a quitter. It’s not like it’s do or die or anything, for Pete’s sake. Maybe I won’t have enough luxury of time and resources for now to do it regularly, but I will finish it….

Can anybody tell me, though, how to go back to the classic version of the editor??? This new one drives me nuts! It doesn’t ask anymore if I want the old version, but I want it back!!! I want to be able to add text color, for one thing, especially when I add links (I just make them bold and they also automatically appear to be underlined somewhat). [UPDATE: I know how to go around it now]

Going back to updating you, in case you’ve been wondering, I was on leave for two months due to a very personal loss. I was required to go on such leave. I thought I could go back after a week, but doctors themselves always advise otherwise, so I decided I’d rather not risk my health anymore. It really was quite new to me as I’m not so used to getting sick for a long time. It was even my first time to be hospitalized.

I hated that I could not move fast, that I was not allowed to do more stuff that I normally could, that I could not take advantage of the free time to fix whatever stuff I wanted fixed at home. It’s nice to be cared for, especially by my sweet husband, but too much dependence bored me. It did not help either that within my recuperating period, I got sick again. Double whammy! The good news is there won’t be a need for surgery anymore. I do need to take some medicine still to make sure the swelling’s really gone ’cause I think it’s still there a bit. Seemed like it was pregnancy-related, but when I’m able, I’ll go have some tests done to be sure. Better safe than sorry, right?

It really gave us a scare, I admit. April had just started and I thought I could complete the challenge on time. WRONG-O. That second whammy took me away from my blogging because (1) I didn’t have enough energy, (2) I wasn’t supposed to stay up late, and (3) I couldn’t just spend fifty-pesos per day so that I could get connected to the Internet when we needed the money for my meds and our everyday expenses. Priorities first (redundant, but just to drive a point).

Dads, too, I know!

And then, there were the kids. His kids, also mine now. They now live with us, and now I know how it really feels like to be a mom. And anyone else who does, or anyone who understands, knows that lots of times, kids come first. It doesn’t help that I’m pretty OC, so I now realize I can be really strict (I know, gotta loosen up!). It was like giving rush lessons on how to be good, little boys, and actual rush lessons on reading, writing, counting,…Hey, school starts this June, so, you know. And, oh, we got two pups, so it’s like having two additional kids in the family.

I am back at work. Just in time for my birthday last Monday. No offense to my colleagues at work, but I didn’t enjoy it much because, well, I had to work, and especially because I wanted to spend it with my love and kids. But anyway, do expect more posts from me. Also, do expect they won’t be daily posts. Gotta work, y’know 😉

Thank you to my new followers, by the way! Sorry I am not able right now to say my thanks individually. Keep on writing, guys!!!

Little Goonies #atozchallenge2015

G of A to ZEver seen that 80s movie where Frodo’s Sam was still young, asthmatic Mikey leading a band of misfits and going through all sorts of adventures? They were THE GOONIES. Well I never had adventures as grand as theirs, but somehow, I’ve always felt like a goony myself. Come to think of it, most kids have been goonies one time or another, right? It would be sad to know of any that has not been one ever–whatever happened to happy childhood?

This house, this home, has had its share of little goonies, starting with myself and my big sister Jeng. Though I was a shy kid in public, at home, I was the biggest goony. Can you tell with that mischievous smile on my face?

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That’s Me and my big sis, taken one Christmas Day. Our mother liked having matching clothes made for us for the occasion (sorry for the quality of the pic, haven’t had much time to scan this). Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

After my sister graduated from high school to go to college, I was pretty much the lone resident goony for quite a while…Hmn, well that’s not quite right, I guess, with my father around, he he.

It was when she had her own daughter after many years that this house finally felt the presence of a new, young one, “T”. However, T only got to visit during a few Christmases and, unfortunately, to attend the funeral of her Lolo Dade (that’s Grandpa Daddy, her term of endearment for him). That said, I know the goony’s in her as well even if she’s growing up so fast.

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Isn’t she a doll? Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

I could have been carrying in me the next baby goony, but as it is, it’s not meant to be, not yet. There’s no shortage of baby goonies here, though. We currently house two of them.

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Another one of her pics, which I just took pics of again, sorry. This is one of my faves and I chose to share this because I think it shows her goony spirit. Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

The last pic shows those two. The taller one’s “E” and the smaller one’s “A”. Over all, they’re the gooniest of us all, giving this old, rusty goony a run for her own fictional money.

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Copyright © J.Gi Federizo

 

Don’t let all these innocent-looking faces fool you!!! 🙂

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Sorry for the inconsistencies, guys. My current situation makes it hard for me to catch up with the letters. But I promise to keep posting for the A-to-Z Challenge. Apologies also to bloggers I haven’t visited yet — I am trying to catch up with that one but for sure I will keep visiting even past the challenge. To my WordPress friends, please bear with me if I can’t visit as often as I can for now.

Cheers!!!!

Fever All Through the Night #atozchallenge2015

F of A to ZApologies for not posting for days. I’m going through more rough times so please bear wth me. As you can probably already guess from the title, I had FEVER. I wanted to write about something else for my F-post, something I’ve been meaning to talk about but I was not able to that day. Thought I could still make up for it as the day just begun elsewhere but some other priorities came up.

Long story short, Thursday afternoon, I noticed some swelling that got worse and scary by the evening and then I got high fever that made my husband really worry. Surprisingly I still did not feel like it was that high, though, I took my own temperature — 39.2 Celsius, then 39.4… Fortunately, it went back to 39.2 and lower, thanks to my patient but very worried caregiver.

Friday morning, we went to an OB (a new one because my former OB’s clinic schedule was still in the afternoon and we couldn’t wait any longer). We had to know if it had to do with my recent pregnancy. The doc wasn’t exactly sure but gave me prescription. We will have to observe first if the swelling will stop, otherwise, she might declare the need for surgery to drain and stop the swelling…YIPES.

Okay, to be perfectly honest, I’m not that scared about the surgery part, though I can’t promise I can say the same if the time really comes. I’m more worried about the expenses. We’ve basically used up what we had and got paying for my recent hospital bills, other loans and other important stuff.

So please, please, please, once you have the time, and I know you’ll have the time, even right after reading this, pray or wish that things will get better for me, for us. Please pray or wish for the swelling to stop and to go back to normal, to never happen again, and to not cause any further trouble in the future.

That said, please bear with me if I can’t regularly post. It won’t be easy to catch up at the moment.

Education: Parents’ Ticket to Freedom? #atozchallenge2015

E of A to Z‘Tis the season for graduations! In the Philippines, that is. So today, I thought I’d talk about one of my opinions on how people regard EDUCATION.

Graduation is usually March for grade schools and high schools, April for universities and other tertiary institutions. It’s especially stressful, though, for most college grads. Why not? Suddenly, they are expected to be totally independent and considered as instant adults, which could lead to a lot more pressure if they have yet to find work. For the more unfortunate, they are suddenly thrust into a bigger responsibility even right after graduation.

It is very common to hear parents say they are glad to finally have a graduate in the family, someone who will send or help send his younger siblings to school. Some even say they can finally retire because of that. Well, sorry to say, but I find that quite unfair, if not naive. Unfair, because it should never be the child’s responsibility but the parents’ to send his siblings to school. Definitely, it is not his responsibility to be the family breadwinner. In this country, these things often happen. I also say it’s naivete, if not ignorance, to expect new graduates to land a job immediately. And supposed that they do since it is not impossible, just not usual, they will most especially start at the bottom where they will just earn minimum wage, hopefully not just on a contractual basis, that may not even be enough for the whole family.

The problem with parents is they see a diploma as a way out of their own responsibilities.

That’s why instead of feeling sympathy, I feel mad at parents whose kids die before them and I hear them say stuff like, “He was our breadwinner. What are we going to do now?” or “He was the one sending his siblings to school” or “He was our only graduate. He was going to take us away from poverty. Now he’s gone!” I want to shout back, and I do shout back if it’s on TV, “WORK! LIKE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO!!! OR MAKE YOUR OTHER LAZY KIDS PULL THEIR OWN WEIGHT!!!”  I mean I understand where they are coming from, but it would be better to know they grieve because they have lost and will miss a loved one, not because they lost a human piggy bank.

I am not against children helping out their families. It is very noble and commendable of them. It’s wonderful to have such kids who know how to show support back. But if it is a forced responsibility they did not sign out for when their parents decided to have them, that’s where I have an issue. Parents, if you already know you can’t support your kids, if you can’t be responsible for the lives you bring into this world, don’t have them! Otherwise, own up!!!

Death, Denial, Depression #atozchallenge2015

D of A to Z“D” is for DEATH. We all know death, but it’s still a big word, considering that grief causes two other Ds, DENIAL and DEPRESSION.

I wish I could write about something else, something lighter, like dancing, which I really considered but my tablet is making it harder to post vids and I don’t have much patience right now, or dogs except I don’t have nice pictures to share of past canine pets. Instead, “death” kept insisting itself on my mind. No, I didn’t want to write about it. I wanted to write something much more fun or something lighter like last year. But here I am. This is much more raw than my “A” post.

Those who have followed me enough times are aware of what I went through these past three years. At first, I refrained from discussing much about death in the family, then I realized I could not get away from it — I had to give in sometime. What better way to do that than to pay tribute to my parents?

I tell you, it was not easy watching your loved ones deteriorate everyday. It was not easy doing the best you could, swallowing pride to ask friends and others for any amount they could share, sacrificing your job, and taking care of your parents while wondering if you’d still have a job to go back to after…Yes, after, because despite everything I did, at the back of my mind, I knew with a certain dread that the end was near for both of them.

When all of these were going on, I hardly wept. At rare times, I just felt a lump on my throat, cleared it, shook my head and continued with my–our–day. I wanted to keep emotionally strong and to always have a clear head for you would never know when a decision had to be made. There were many, in fact. Together with some relatives, I had to rush my mother to the hospital monthly, without fail, until July, which we all thought we would finally skip and it turned out to be her last month on earth.

All the while, I had a clear head. I could not let myself feel down for so long. While I communicated with my sister regularly, she was still miles and seas away; any immediate decision had to be made by myself and I could not afford to make the wrong one. Could it be called strength? I don’t know. It would be very presumptuous and self-serving of me to say it was. All I am sure of is this seems to be the way I react when faced with circumstances that call for me to have a sense of responsibility.

I could’ve cried when my father had the stroke when I was 20, but I didn’t, not in front of my mother anyway. How could I when I saw her break down in their room and right away, I had to hold her and reassure her that things would be fine? Somebody had to be strong for us during those times and I was the nearest family member to do that. I only cried when he was first diagnosed as having suffered a stroke, but that was when I was alone at home and they were in the hospital. It was also very short-lived — I had just started weeping when my cousin called out to me from outside, saw my eyes and basically berated me for being a wimp as she saw that as a lack of support for my mother. I did not have the energy to argue that crying was normal, even a healthy reaction. After that, I don’t remember a time that I cried about it ever again.

facing-griefI guess this coping mechanism was something that got developed in me. “Surreal” is the only way I can describe the feeling. It’s like being sad, worried and alert all at the same time. When my father was pronounced dead, I already knew even before the E.R. doctor could tell us. My friend who stayed with me would later tell another friend how brave I was. Brave? Not sure about that,  just that when another cousin and I were already alone with my father’s lifeless body, I surprised myself when I bawled out, kissing his face, saying sorry for everything bad I had done, especially for getting mad two evenings prior.

Months after losing my parents, I still did not really cry save from the actual funerals. I could have gone through the Denial phase of grieving, for all I knew. I did know that I got to the Anger phase the next year. Being angry at one’s self could be quite debilitating itself. I do believe I suffered from Depression.

Recently, I lost my baby. S/he was just more or less two months in the womb. Can you imagine feeling elated after finding out you’re having a baby, then learning after a week that s/he doesn’t seem to have a heartbeat anymore? Can you imagine the additional stress of waiting after another week to check if the findings are the same and then they are? Now imagine going for a second opinion, getting yet another ultrasound test and still, no heartbeat…

Definitely, I cried several times to my husband over the course of waiting. On that third test, I had no time to really cry. Then again, I was with one of my bestfriends and I decided I was not going to cry until I was alone. That did not happen, though, for once I was alone after two hours, I was bleeding and had myself brought to the hospital. I did not cry either during the whole thing and sang “Defying Gravity” to calm myself. I did not let myself cry for hours while I was at the recovery room. When I requested that my husband be let in for a few minutes for I needed to tell him something, however, I was again surprised by the sudden surge of emotions as I waited. I saw him and then the tears went and rolled down, upsetting and worrying him…

Honestly, I don’t know how to properly end this piece. I guess I just needed to share. So forgive me for the long post and for posting a day late (at least where I am) because I just had to sort my thoughts out and kept typing them down. This is one of the most vulnerable times in the history of my whole blogging experience…