Archive for April, 2012

Vaultus Five

I know I said that all blog entries here would be at least a thousand words and I promise whoever’s reading this that I am working on that. But I dusted off the old blog recently and found a conversation transcript that made me laugh. Given everything that’s happened these last few days, that’s pretty rare.

We’ll return to regularly scheduled blogging. For now, enjoy this flashback of the silliest conversation I have had about family members (and why I am forever going to be single as fuck.)

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This Place is Haunted? House-o?

Pumanaw lola ni Jon Huwebes kaya ilan sa amin dumalaw sa lamay. Ayaw din aminin ni Miko na nagandahan siya sa isang pinsan ni Jon habang naroon kami. Kaya hindi ko alam ko paano (o bakit) nagsimula ‘to:

M: May lakad ba tayo Lunes? Walang pasok tsaka trabaho.

C: Di ko lang alam. Pero alam ko lahat ng may irog at sinta di libre. Pag-isipan ko pa.

M: Sige. Pag-wala, hibernate lang ako sa bahay. Inuumaga ako madalas dahil Lola’s Trip to Heaven

C: Sa bagay. Kahit di natin nakilala, pagdasalan natin lola ni Jon…..COUSIN heaven there is no beer. PINSAN lang totoo.

M:  AUNT that the truth. And FATHER record, that was a good one

C: It was one INA million. sAMA lang. Humihirit tapos DADbol* lola ni Jon.

M: Napakagrim nga. Di taya naka FAMILY ng magandang topic at timing sa biro natin. Buti kung di PAMILYAr sa atin yung namatayan.

C: It’s kinda UNCLEd for to talk about the recently deceased like that huh? Sana di tayo mumultohan. It’s KU, YA?

M: It’s cool. ImpoSIBLING di tayo magkaintindihan dun. It wouldn’t make anINCEST if we didn’t agree on that.

C: Kung ganon eh di ATEn-ATEn lang mga hirit. The guilt won’t be much of a a BUN,SO that’s some guilt lessened.

M: Good call. SISTERiffic.

C: PAPAnget din tingin ni Tita Menchu (nanay ni Jon) kung nalaman niya humihirit tayo ng ganito. Basag ulo natin. Kita ko nga kanina may bote ng GRANDMAtador brandy.

M: MaLOLOka talaga.

C: BABY….or BABY not. We just shouldn’t say these ribs out loud. INFANT, she won’t know a thing.

M: …..concede.

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* Bihira mo na marinig ang salitang “Dedbol” ‘no? Sabi nga “Pang 90s talaga”

At The Speak Easy

A couple of months ago on the Twitter Machines, I had one of those “what if…” thoughts that always seem to be the origins of my strangest stories. I admit that it’s a bit eccentric on my part and I honestly am trying to curb it. For now, I suppose everyone has to live with my random observations and it’s my hope that someone does get a kick out of even the most mundane and borderline asinine tweets I manage to churn out.

For that particular day of tweeting, I entertained the thought again of what life would be like if we all had a narrator. I asked if we would be more self-conscious of our actions if we had a familiar voice talking ABOUT us instead of TO us. It would probably be the same as having a life bar over our heads or an HP/MP indicator outside of the LARP playing area. I still don’t know what others think, but I for one believe that life will get more exciting, not restrained, if we all had a narrator in our lives. Just having this voice that isn’t yours going with you on your adventures, both high and low points, will never make you feel alone at all. Or if you’re one who likes to keep to themselves, “thinking out loud” would be a pretty sweet experience if “out loud” meant Elvis singing every passing thought that you may have.

I try to celebrate artists as much as I can and I always want to give credit to the underrated as much as possible. I figured that it would be so easy to spout off obvious choices like Morgan Freeman, James Earl Jones, George Takei, Stephen Fry, Alan Rickman or Jeremy Irons because those guys are just fantastic. If you’ve ever wanted to watch a movie that was two hours of a phonebook reading, those guys will make it the best two hours of your movie going experience.

So what follows here are my own Top Five choices for people I’d want to narrate my life. They’re not necessarily Morgan Freeman famous but they have the voice that can make them stand (or talk) side by side with everyone’s favorites.

5. Will Arnett

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Sample

I think a lot of us became GOB fans (and more importantly Will Arnett fans) because of the voice. We first heard it in action when he read appetizers to Lucille 2 and in various voice overs, all of which I was pretty psyched to hear. When you take Arnett’s comedic stylings, I assure you that everyday life will sound mildly entertaining on your worst days. Especially since the guy voicing your misfortunes and problems is wasting his day wearing a $3000 suit.

4. Sam Elliott

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Sample

My ever growing fascination and interest with Americana will need one hell of an American character. Known more to me as the Cowboy that befriends The Dude, Sam Elliott’s deep resonating voice fits everything I’d dream of hearing. Whether it’s a small town, the open road or a cool night in the desert, my exploring and adventures would be maybe about 20% cooler if all put into an audiobook narrated by him.

3. Penn Jillette

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Sample (and bonus Penn and Teller magic trick)

I grew up on the idea that Penn was a big guy like me but who did magic. Years later it dawned on me that the reason he was so loud had something to do with his height. Still, I’ve heard many stories told through his booming voice for many years and Penn’s expressiveness always made me want him to be a personal storyteller (or narrator.) Okay, so maybe he was Comedy Central’s voiceover guy for awhile, but his appearance on podcasts all told me that the man can tell a great story. Even the most messed up ones can sound interesting because of him. His intelligence can also help me when I try to be smartish as he.

2. Seth MacFarlane

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Sample

Though it is “cheating” to a degree, who WOULDN’T want to have a talented voice actor as a narrator, let alone Seth MacFarlane? You have one “core voice” for certain days, which can then change depending on the time of day. In the case of Seth, I’d love to have some of his characters chime in on my life once in awhile. What’s great though is his default voice is already a treat to have as a narrator and who knows? Maybe he might bust out some Singing In The Rain.

 

1. Mike Rowe

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Sample

The dudeliest dude on TV today. Whether it’s voicing his own show or serving as The Ultimate Fighter’s narrator, Mike Rowe’s voice commands attention. I talked to a friend one time just around the time both Dirty Jobs and Bear Grylls’ Man Vs. Wild came out and I still believe to this day that if I met Bear Grylls, I would love to have him just sit down and have him tell his stories over some wine or something akin to a fireside chat.

Mike Rowe on the other hand is the sort of guy you just want to have a cold beer with and shoot the breeze on anything. The man can tell a great story just like Bear Grylls probably would, but his voice feels more down home and probably the same as someone you know in your town. Just a hard working blue collar guy living the dream and whatnot. Despite dabbling mostly in these said blue collar jobs, Mike Rowe is more intelligent than he seems on TV and I’m sure he can hold his own in any of those deep thought situations I find myself in. I’d like to have someone of Mike Rowe’s vocal prowess to straighten me out occasionally. I’m pretty sure also that he can make my said mundane thoughts be the manliest thing you’ll ever hear about today.

And like Seth MacFarlane, he sings!

 

I know I’ve skipped over a few great ones and I’ll probably come to regret their omissions later. The most I can do is pick one of those five voices and have them read my thoughts that say “Nah. It’s cool that you missed a few. They at least have your respect just by simply considering them.”

Space Truckin’

Quick note: This entry is best read while listening to the title.

I love space. Between the dinosaurs and outer space stories, my childhood seemed like something creationists would no doubt frown upon. Living in a third world country, the prospect of being either an archaeologist or an astronaut was pretty impossible as it was.  But as an early follower of Sagan (and now Dr. Tyson), I don’t think I’ve ever stopped dreaming about the stars.

It’s going to be clear from this point on that I am attracted to anything with the word “space” in it (Except for you MySpace. You wish you were as cool as me and my 950 Asari and Turian friends on Spacebook.) None of which are bigger than the Space Opera genre. I do love sweeping epics that take place on Earth or some distant planet, but nothing tickles my fancy more than with what happens above them. Whether it’s the planets some ragtag crew explores or the interaction of different alien species treated as an everyday occurrence, . In the same belief that “anything is better if you add dinosaurs or zombies to it,” you can change the setting to “space” to most anything and it will be better. Can you imagine reading about Abraham Lincoln’s life and times as America’s greatest president….in space? Or if a train to Hogwarts meant going to Space Station 9 ¾ into the 6th dimension? Hell, I’ll go so far as to say that I’d probably enjoy a story of sparkling space vampires.

One of the best things about space tales are the ships. In the years I’ve been privy to different stories in different mediums, you can never really go wrong with space battles and travels. For a lot of them, the real story was never about the ship itself, but the people inside them. And maybe there in lay my constant fascination. It may be in space, but people and even aliens all have problems that they need to sort out within the titanium alloy walls traveling through hyperspace.

What follows here is a list of my ten favorite ships. They don’t all necessary belong to the Space Opera genre, but I thought it was a fun look at why I have my head and eyes in the stars. You also get to see some pretty and sexy pictures.

Honorable Mentions:

The Galactica from  Battlestar Galactica

The Phantom Cruiser from Space Ghost

The ship from Kacho Oji (don’t remember the name but it was a Flying V guitar ship.)

Every Lego spaceship I’ve ever built

10. The Righteous Indignation

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First appearance: Bucky O’Hare (1991)

I had a lot of fun watching Bucky O’Hare growing up and while I never had any of the toys, the coloring and activity books more than sufficed. While the crew was led by Bucky, it wasn’t exclusive to just lagomorphs onboard. The Space Opera genre has always taken pride in interspecies interaction, so it was a cool thing for me to see a cat, a four armed duck, a gorilla and a human boy battling an evil race of toads. I do wish the show lasted longer, but it won’t be the first the ship on this list that only stuck around for one season.

And really, how can you go wrong with a ship of that name? And the theme song was pretty cool.

9. The Mirage

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First appearance: Silverhawks (1986)

Before the X-Men or even Thundercats, the Silverhawks were the first superhero team that I dug. During the 80s cartoon boom, these guys were seminal favorites growing up, so much so that I got my little hands on a Mirage toy at some point.

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Bluegrass

While the Silverhawks were known for their ability to fly, the Mirage’s pilot was the guy I dug most. Might be because of his cool name, or maybe because he had a pretty unique weapon that caught my childhood’s eye.

8. Swordfish II

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First appearance: Cowboy Bebop (1998)

Cowboy Bebop will always be synonymous with “cool.” It’s hard to fault a show that used great music and some pretty fluid animation that still stands to this day. But really, Cowboy Bebop is a show about “Space Bounty Hunters” so they pretty much were doing what Boba Fett was doing, only slicker and more Japanese.

I do feel odd choosing Spike’s Swordfish to be on this list though. But I always linked its quickness and ability to get him out of pinches with Spike’s own practice of Jeet Kun Do.

7. The Arcadia

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First appearance: Space Pirate Captain Harlock (1977)

In the eternal debate over Pirates vs. Ninjas, I always sided with the pirates. My frequent trips to Makati Cinema Square and their DVD stalls are all part of my track record. That aside, Captain Harlock was the first show that brought together two things I loved. If Cowboy Bebop was Boba Fett, Harlock was Han Solo. Space Pirates will forever be the best kinds of pirates.

Thanks to the Arcadia as well, I got to see firsthand the aforementioned interactions of different alien races and species and how they all saw each other as equal. Sure, the “aliens” looked human still, but I had to start somewhere.

6. The Enterprise

First appearance: Star Trek (1966)

I don’t talk a lot about Star Trek but I have a deep respect for the show. I admit I haven’t seen as much of the Original Series as I should, but I always made it a point to catch The Next Generation when it was on Channel 9. As a kid, I always saw plenty of Enterprise parodies in different cartoons and sitcoms (A In Living Color era-Jim Carrey did a great Kirk once) and it never occurred to me then that it was a sign of how popular the show was.

5. The Planet Express Ship

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First appearance: Futurama (1999)

I admit that when word got out Matt Groening was doing a space show, I didn’t jump onboard right away. I am glad to say that I was wrong in thinking it was a bad idea. The often witty and clever Futurama has since been included in my personal list of favorite shows of all time thanks to the great writing for some truly clever episodes over the years. It can pull at your heartstrings in one episode, then also actually create a mathematical theorem in the next.

4. The X-Wing

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First appeacance: Star Wars (1977)

Oh X-Wing. You are the staple of starfighters everywhere in my opinion. While there are far more superior ships to her in the Star Wars universe, none of them have a video game in their honor.  I just love everything that the X-Wing is, especially the sounds of its lasers (sorry for being a turn off ladies).

One of the first “big boy toys” I ever owned was a model of the X-Wing that Micro Machines came out. My dad painted it a little to enhance some of the colors and even made the R2 model on the co-pilot seat stand out more.

3.  Serenity

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First appearance: Firefly (2002)

I never had any doubt on who was cooler between Pirates and Ninjas. But in the talk of Space Pirates and Space Cowboys, I am often conflicted. Firefly didn’t make things easier.

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Swoon

Yet another victim of something cancelled before its time, Joss Whedon’s space western was the very definition of short and sweet.  Not since the likes of Bravestarr and the adventures of Brisco County Jr has the Space Western been so cool and so damned good looking at the same time.

2.  The Normandy SR-2

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First appearance (as the Normandy SR-1): Mass Effect (2007)

The Mass Effect series recently gained a special place in my love for the Space Opera. I don’t recall the last time I was so engrossed in a space trilogy since, well, the original Star Wars. Having it as a video game added a layer of interactivity it gave me a chance to shape the story of Commander Shepherd as I wanted to.

This included

Much like the Planet Express ship, my love for the Normandy is not necessarily rooted in what the ship can do, but the crew that that’s onboard. Seth Green and Tricia Helfer do a fantastic job as the Normandy’s pilots (even if EDI is technically part of the Normandy). Her crew may have changed over the span of three games, but it will always be THE ship of the Mass Effect universe.

1. The TARDIS

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First appearance: Doctor Who (1963)

The funny thing about naming the TARDIS as the number one “ship” is that it’s barely called as such. The First incarnation of The Doctor called it a ship and a capsule at times, but has since endeared to just being the TARDIS (or Sexy for you fans reading this).

What isn’t there to love about this beloved blue box? It’s a dream for both minimalists and the entire cast of Hoarders by just being “bigger on the inside.” While the interior has changed over 49 years, the exterior has retained much of its timeless shape and feel.

That’s really all just filler to the fact that it travels through motherfucking time and space.

As a show, Doctor Who always took pride in celebrating “intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.” The TARDIS, in retrospect, is the least assuming of all the ships listed here. It has no guns to speak of and while it did not always go where The Doctor wanted to go, it took him where he needed to.

At the risk of sounding uncool (if I am already), I hope I never get tired of these space stories. They keep me up at night and never stop me from dreaming.