Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Eight little things

I've been tagged by Walter at Quiet Bubble and Bob at Forward to Yesterday for a meme about eight things about me people (online, I assume) don't know. Rules are as follows:

I have to post these rules before I give you the facts

I have to start with eight random facts/habits about myself

People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules

At the end of this post, I need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Coming up with things people don't know isn't the problem, actually; it's stopping at eight.

But anyway:

1) I'm Roman Catholic. Well, I grew up Roman Catholic, then lost my faith (don't ask) for some, oh, eleven years. Recently got provoked into believing again in the face of burgeoning Christina extremism (not so much that they converted me back into Christianity, as they're so fucking annoying I backed into my Catholicism out of sheer need to freak them out--Christian wingnuts, it seems are almost as suspicious of Catholics as they are of Muslims). Less than noble motives, but it's been such a comfortable fit since I wonder why I ever left.

Not that I agree with the church on everything. They have a neanderthal policy towards homosexuals, and while I personally think abortion is a sad and often avoidable act, with often grevious consequences towards the mother, I don't think the government has a duty to force a woman not to go through with it (Guiliani has a similar stance, I know--what can I say? Man knows how to steal from the best). Plus I think Ratzinger is an inept dolt.

2) I'm left handed. Yep, I'm sinister, sinistra, siniestra, gauche, balfacan, canhoto, cack-handed, what-have-you. We southpaws are supposedly more creative--well, you be the judge.

3) I hate clothes. More, I hate shopping for clothes; I hate it that you have to compare prices, hate it that you're suppose to buy different textiles of different textures, and match them not just to different colors, but also to the weather. I hate it that most clothing stores don't have chairs to sit on (which is why shoe stores are marginally better--you can at least sit. My problem with them is that there's no good reading material onhand to amuse you, unless you're desperate enough to pick up a shoebox). I'm one of the few peole I know who's a fan of Altman's Pret-a-Porter; if it's a stupid, pointless film with plenty of mean caricatures (and I only halfway agree with that--I do love the ending)--I think it's the kind of film the fashion industry deserves. I'd rather walk around naked too, but I'm afraid of being arrested.

4) I nearly died once. Was in a religious drama where I played a demon, and the production went on tour of cities in the Philippines. In one city the theater was on the fourth floor; I had the crazy idea that I'd make my demonic entrance through a window. I looked out, and the ledge was some six inches wide. I needed some kind of safety device, I thought, so I tied a rope on the window sill.

Fifteen minutes before my entrance, I climbed out the window holding on to the rope. When I was outside, I pulled on the rope and it snapped; I lost my balance and fell four stories. I survived (of course), but broke several teeth and had at least one dislocation. Haven't been the same since, physically speaking (not that I was a jocky hunk before the accident).

5) I've had not one, but two freak car accidents. The first one was in Makati, when I was tied up in a traffic jam outside a nightclub. Ahead of me, someone in a van was arguing with someone on the street--the club's doorman, I assumed. I heard three shots; I decided to make a u-turn and head back the way I came. I was two cars away from the intersection, waiting for the green light when this huge collision lifted the rear of my car up in the air. When I look back, the van at the nightclub had rearended my vehicle; the van reversed, roared forward again this time swerving to the right, climbed up to the sidewalk, and ground itself to a halt against a building wall.

I later parked and walked back to the shooting site, and asked a few questions. Turns out the man who drove the van was dead, shot several times through the head. The van was still there, front wheels on the sidewalk, a thick pool of blood with bits of--something--by the driver's door.

The second accident happened when I was driving home one day. The road rose uphill, and I was making my way up the incline when this car suddenly cut across me. I braked, waiting for it to stop, but it didn't; it just mashed my right headlight, and crashed into a parked car to my right. When we (meaning everyone who got hit) looked inside, the car was empty; no one was driving it.

Turns out the car's owner had left the car on parking brake, the brake had given way, and the car had rolled merrily downhill till it plowed through three vehicles. Thankfully no one was hurt, but you can imagine what it felt like, being hit by a driverless car.

6) My dormitory roommate once held a knife to my throat. He was the nicest, most easygoing guy you can imagine, but he drank too much, and he filled the shoe closet with beer bottles (we once carted them all down to the nearest Kroger's, and the total deposite money came to sixty dollars).

One night he seemed upset; I asked him what was the matter. He told me that he'd had news from his hometown in Madras that his entire family had been killed in a bus accident; they had gone out on a family outing and the bus had crashed--not an entirely uncommon occurence in India; I'd read news reports about similar accidents there.

He went back into his own room, and for hours I heard him pacing; at one point I walked into his room and he was standing on his chair, trying to fix a rope to the ceiling lamp; I backed out of the room quick. I keep listening in, wondering what he was going to do, when he called me inside, and asked for sleeping pills. I said I didn't have any; he insisted. Third time I refused him, he pulled out this serrated knife and held it to my throat. Strangely enough, I wasn't scared; I simply pushed down the hand and said "don't be stupid," and left the room.

I could still hear him pacing inside. The incident had a delayed effect on me, or I felt I didn't want to be responsible for what happened next, so I took all the kitchen knives out of the drawers and hid them, then left the apartment to sleep somewhere else (the bedroom doors had no lock).

When I came in the next morning, he acted as if nothing had happened. Word had gone around campus about his family though, and a collection had been made to help him buy a ticket to go home. I went into his room, fished out a phone bill, and called Madras. Turns out his family was just fine.

Never told him what I found out, or told anyone else about it. I never found out why he did it, or what he did with the money (which came up to several hundred dollars, I heard).

7) One of my ex-girlfriends used to model. She's no ditz, though--she's one of the few people I know that I know is smarter than I am (her IQ she once told me (and I believe her) is 158). That was a short and sweet relationship that ended rather badly (basically because I was in Michigan and she was in New York).

Met her again recently, in New York, and we talked a little over coffee. She's gone into theater, has done voiceovers, even has a small part in a daytime soap.

One bit of advice I gave her--try out for Filipino-American films. There are more of them nowadays, she's perfect for the part, and some of them (Lav Diaz, Sari Dalena, Keith Sicat, Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon) are some of the most interesting filmmakers around. It's hard to be remembered, I argued, acting for theater, now more than ever; probably even worse for voiceovers or for modelling (about which I admitted to her I knew next to nothing). With film all you need is one good part, in one good film, and you're immortal.

8) My other ex-girlfriend wrote poetry. Good stuff, too, or so I thought (and a few people thought enough of them to publish them back in Manila). Another sweet relationship that ended badly (basically, I took her for granted).

I'll say one more thing about it--a woman (the last person I expect to know anything about it) walked up to me while I was busy writing a film article and asked me about her. "I heard something about the two of you," this woman said; "I heard you were something of an, well, an asshole to her."

"I was. I admit it. It was completely my fault," I said, and went back to writing. That seemed to take the woman aback, she just walked away after a while, without saying another word.

Last I heard my ex gave up poetry, which is a pity--I really thought her work was good. I believe in what I said about making that one good film, but with literature all you really need is a novel, a short story, a poem, even a just a memorable pair of verses. Unlike with my New Yorker, I haven't talked to her since.

Come to think of it, though, there's different ways of being remembered. When I last saw her, she had very short hair; turns out she had shaved her head, to prove a point. She's teaching a class of high school students, and--I don't remember why, something to do with self-image and the will to do something for the sake of principle or something (I forget the details)--but she showed up one day for class with her head shaven clean, and shocked her students (and the entire school, I'm sure).

The details are hazy, but what I felt about it wasn't; surprise, and not a little awe. She'd always been the quiet, intense type, and while I never thought she'd do anything like this, I also didn't think looking back that doing something like this was beyond her. Scary, but in a way I loved her for doing it. I suspect her students did, too.

I tag (with the proviso that they're under no obligation to do anything whatsoever with my tagging 'em) the following blogs: Brain Freeze, Conversations on Ghibli, Film Experience, Gibbs Cadiz, Tom Sutpen's If Charlie Parker was a Slugger..., Jose Dalisay's Pinoy Penman, Quark Henares' Intrigero, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (Different Kinds of Filipino Films).


Anonymous said...

Nudity! Violence! Romance! Religion!

Boffo. This Eight Memes has everything! And you quote me in your one-sheet on that.

Noel Vera said...

Yeah. It's my nudity tho--sure that'll go over big-time with the chicks...

Etchie said...

thanks for the tag, Noel. needed that.

let's say it's the phentermine for the blog inactivity.


(um, i'm posting it in my blog (the reviews and the personal blogs are two separate entities, so to speak).

Noel Vera said...

My bad.

TAS said...

Jeez, Noel. Now I know what you were tagging me with. The link you posted over on Charlie Parker was for the Sari-Saring Sineng Pinoy blog (left me scratching my head for over 30 minutes).

I'll happily comply!

J.D. said...

I feel like I've been mindfucked by #6. Whao...

Noel Vera said...

Sorry Tom (for the wrong link and late reply).

jd, just think how I felt...