Archive for June, 2005

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Women Who Rock I saw Sleater-Kinney last night at…

24 June 2005

Women Who Rock

I saw Sleater-Kinney last night at Roseland. SK is a 3-piece, all-female band (2 guitarists and a drummer). I’ve only heard a few of their songs but wanted to see them since it would be my first time seeing an all-female rock group. I met up with my two bandmates who are big fans of them. The crowd was quite eclectic –the entire lesbian community of Manhattan was in attendance mixed in with a few professionals, lots of college kids, and a few hipsters. We sneaked our way to the front of the stage (which was a feat since Roseland is a big hall and there were tons of people) and were able to get an excellent view. The show was really dynamic. The guitarist Carrie and drummer Janet were amazing!

Sleater-Kinney: Carrie and Corin
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Carrie with Janet in background…
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Corin…
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Loved their energy! The best part of the show for me was when they came back for a second encore and played a cover of Danzig’s “Mother.” Kick-ass!!! I love that song! In short, despite my lack of knowledge about their songs, I had a good time. It was great to see an all-female band rock out on stage. Which brings me to the following point…

Why aren’t that many female rock bands out there? I don’t mean just female rock singers (e.g., Pat Benatar, Alanis, Sheryl Crow, Siouxie, etc.) My point is, throughout musical history, there has only been a handful of influential female/mostly-female bands out there. Sure, there are a lot of popular female-fronted bands (e.g., No Doubt; Garbage; Blondie, etc.), but there’s really no female supergroup that comes to mind.

Here’s a few popular groups that have been an integral part of rock history: The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, U2, R.E.M., The Beatles, Aerosmith…the list goes on and on and on. Here are the female groups that are only slightly comparable: The Go-Go’s and The Bangles. There’s really not a lot of female rockers out there that have made it big.

I’m not trying to plug that there should be more female bands vs. male bands. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wish that more female musicians out there would become successful (i.e., mainstream) so that more bands would consist of not just male musicians.

Despite this little tirade of mine, I for one don’t really classify bands in terms of gender. If they happen to be female, that’s fine. It just so happens that almost all of the bands I like happen to be all-male or mostly male.

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By the way, here’s a picture of my newest tattoo:
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Song of the Day:
The Magnificent Seven by The Clash
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Tuesday Blurbs I joined a writing group that meets…

20 June 2005

Tuesday Blurbs

  • I joined a writing group that meets every 2 weeks. We take turns submitting a story and then offer constructive criticism to the writer. My first meeting is next Thursday.

  • I’m watching my guitar teacher’s band play tonight. It should be interesting. Especially since the band’s name is Bullcock. Hehehe….

  • Still have not see Mr. and Mrs. Smith nor Batman Begins. Still want to! I am dying to see a whole slew of movies that are out (and are soon to be out). However, for some movies, I do wait until they go on DVD because prices are just outrageous nowadays. We’re talking $10 a pop. But I still make it a point to see movies with special effects on the big screen –the way they are ought to be enjoyed, like Star Wars!

  • Went out to shoot some pool last Saturday. Boy do I suck. There was a time that I used to be really good. As in I would call an 8-ball bank shot and actually get it in. There was a time during college that I played almost everyday. Prior to last Saturday, the last time I played pool was probably around last year sometime during the fall. I am going to hone my pool playing skills once more!

  • I’m looking to revamp my blog template. This is particularly difficult since I have no HTML/Tech skills whatsoever. I would like a banner on the top of my page with a photo collage on it (similar to Pinayhekmi’s new blog banner or Karla’s) but can’t even fathom how to make one! Does anyone have a site they know of that can teach me how to make one? Please let me know!

  • I got home last night and found out that my laptop is busted! It just won’t freaking get to the Windows program and I’m so peeved. I was going to post a new pic and all that jazz, but spent several minutes trying to figure out why the hell it won’t boot properly. Crap. I’m going to have to spend a few hours over the phone with tech support tonight. Boo.

  • Last, but not the least, I got a new tattoo last Sunday. I’ll post the pic later on. It’s on my right arm (right near the elbow crease).

Song of the Day:

Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix

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On Good Vibrations and Upcoming Vacations Bloc Pa…

16 June 2005

On Good Vibrations and Upcoming Vacations

Bloc Party: I saw Bloc Party last Tuesday at Webster Hall. I don’t recall having ever been in Webster Hall before and was leery of watching a show there. Webster Hall is known as a cheesy club where the ration of men to women is like 10:1. Yet it has been a staple of the NYC club scene and still draws in tons of people. In any case, I was right to question the venue. Although the acoustics were great and the hall spacious, it was fucking hot! There was A/C in the bar area downstairs, but NOT upstairs where the band was playing. Imagine 600+ people in a crowded dance hall with very little AC coming out of the vents. It sure pissed me off. Everyone was nice enough to try not to touch each other, however, we all still sweated profusely. As I listened to Bloc Party, I felt sweat dripping from my forehead, neck, and even my legs! Gross. The only saving grace was Bloc Party itself (although for a while there, I was wishing that would just hurry the hell up, stop talking, and just play dammit!) Bloc Party was superb! Excellent sound with tons of energy! And for their “encore” –they played about 6/7 songs!

More Music News: So my band still hasn’t played any gigs. On top of that, we don’t even have a name yet. We haven’t practiced as a group in more than a month due to Jesica, (lead singer-guitarist) being sick. Our next studio practice won’t be until next week and then after that, I’ll be gone for a week. On the plus side, Jesica has finally decided against the name “Squares” for our band name. Finally! So we are on the hunt for the perfect band name. Here are some of my band name suggestions (and do pipe up if you have any suggestions or comments):

  • Strangest Angels or Strange as Angels (from a Cure song)
  • Spiraling Downward
  • The Fates
  • 4 Fates
  • Venus Falling (only because Jesica wants “Venus” in there)
  • Book of Mary
  • Modern Tart
  • Paperdoll or Paperdolls
  • Seventeen Seconds

I’m really hoping to play live somewhere out there. Hopefully before I’m truly old and moldy. Whenever I see a band play live, I get so inspired (even if the band sucks). There’s nothing like live music to make you feel like a wanna-be rockstar.

Ciao Bellas! Guess what! I am going to Italy! Okay, so I’m not going until November but I have already booked our flights and am already super-excited! I’m going to Italy with the hubs and 2 other friends. We are going to Florence, Venice, and Rome! I have been bugging the hubs for a while now to go to Italy. At long last, he agreed to go; the trip would be in honor of his 31st birthday come November (although it would really be a present for me! Hee-hee). So I asked my friends if anyone would like to come with, and thus, a group of 4 was formed. The downside is that we won’t be there that long. We will only be there from November 19-27th (and the 19th and the 27th are traveling days) and can only spare about a few nights in each city. I had originally wanted to do only 2 cities so that we could spend ample time exploring, but was persuaded to add Venice. (I had wanted to do Venice and Milan on another occasion). I think the traveling from one city to another would be fun regardless. We’ll be taking the Italy Rail from city to city once we get there and fly home from Rome. I can’t wait!! The hubs has been to Italy, but I haven’t! I’m so excited!

Cruising Around: Speaking of holidays, I’m actually set to leave for my Caribbean cruise in about 2 weeks! I’ll be cruising to Belize, Mexico, and the Grand Cayman islands! I’m so happy to be able to go on three long holidays this year! I can’t wait for the cruise either, but am slightly sad that the hubs can’t come with. At least I’ll be with my family so I know it’ll be an interesting experience. If you haven’t been on a cruise before, let me just say that you will gain about 5 pounds from all the eating. No joke. Cruising is all about the food. You will be completely stuffed by the time you are done. We’re talking huge breakfast buffets, formal 3-course dinners, lunchtime BBQ’s, and midnight desserts feasts. This is why I’ve been trying to lose 5 pounds (to no avail) before I go so that I can come out even when I get back!

Song of the Day:

Price of Gas by Bloc Party

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The Hottest Wedding Ever! This weekend, I went to…

14 June 2005

The Hottest Wedding Ever!

This weekend, I went to the wedding of my good friends Rupal and Samir. Rupal and I met in law school and have been friends ever since. Rupal and Samir have been together since they were young –as in the 7th grade! They are very much like “Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper” of Wonder Years fame. They grew up in the town of Vestal, NY (a 2-minute drive from each other’s houses), their families are close friends, they went to high school together, went to the prom together, went to college together, and then headed to NYC together (but independently) to pursue their careers. Now, they are finally going to live together as well! Roops (as we like to call her) is now a successful immigration attorney, and Samir is on his was to becoming a doctor (he’s in the residency phase). They are such the golden couple and my heart just goes out to them! Their wedding ceremony was a traditional Gujarati ceremony and was held at the Decker Mansion in Binghamton, NY. The reception was held at the Holiday Inn Binghamton –in the very same ballroom in which they had their high school prom. How sweet is that?!

I can honestly say that this was the HOTTEST wedding ever because it was well over 80+ degrees that day, and the reception hall was having issues with their air conditioning. That did not deter 400 of us guests from dancing up a storm though!

Best wishes to them both! Here is their wedding in pictures:

The Barat: The groom, his family, and friends.
They do a celebratory dance as they walk towards the ceremony.
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Where the Ceremony Took Place:
The ceremony is conducted in the holy Indian language of Sanskrit
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Sonal, Rupal’s Sister as she walks down the aisle…
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Rupal, looking gorgeous as she walked down the aisle by a family member…
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The Family
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The hubs and I:
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Bride and Groom at the Reception:
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Wedding Guests:
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Father of the Bride:
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Indian Stick Dance
(very fun! unfortunately, I don’t know the traditional name for it!)
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Belly Dancer!
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Roops and the Gals:
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Cake Cutting
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Congratulations!
Song of the Day:
Lovesong by The Cure
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Don’t Forget to Write I’ve mentioned my goal of b…

8 June 2005

Don’t Forget to Write

I’ve mentioned my goal of becoming a published author several times before. Ever since I learned how to read, I have always wanted to be a writer. I’ve often thought to myself “how can these people create such amazing worlds and such brilliant characters?” In essence, I too wanted to create a whole new world into which a reader can escape. And so I wrote. When I little, I remember making ‘mini-books’ for my mom and dad. I’d staple notebook pages into a book and write stories. Then when I was a little older, I started writing actual short stories. During junior high, I even loved to write book reports. I even wrote book reports for friends just for fun. All of my teachers had told me that I had talent. When I got to high school, I wrote even more. I had several short stories printed up in our school literary magazine, and I was the editor-in-chief of our school paper during my junior and senior year in high school. I even submitted my work to national magazines (though I only got the infamous “positive rejection letter”). I really thought writing would be my career. My high school teachers thought that writing would be my career. Today, most of my high school teachers seem surprised that I work in such a conventional field.

When I got to college, I applied for this writing fellowship program they were offering in school. It was a program in which you became a writing fellow and critiqued students’ works (e.g., academic papers, take-home finals, etc.). I did not get a fellowship. After that rejection, I told myself that I was not good enough to be a writer. So I stopped. I didn’t even want to declare English as my major anymore. After all, I did go to a school where English was the major, and everyone else was uber-talented. I thought to myself, “why would I even dare to compete?” So I turned to something else and gave up on my writing career. I concentrated instead on Sociology and focused on social problems in third-world countries. However, I did not forget about my writing passion. The urge to write is still in my heart, I guess. Every so often, I enroll in a writing workshop hoping to motivate myself to write again. This is why I even started this blog. My blog is not so much a vehicle to communicate my day-to-day activities (after all, my life is hardly worth chronicling). I write mainly to exercise. A writing instructor told us that it was very important to write everyday. It didn’t matter what you wrote, and it didn’t matter how it was written. Whether it be brilliantly-written prose or free association, she said writing is writing.

I’m revisiting my whole love affair with writing because of a book I recently read entitled Truth and Beauty: A Friendship. It is a memoir written by Ann Patchett chronicling her friendship with Lucy Grealy, a woman suffering from Ewing’s sarcoma. They met while in college but did not become close until their post-graduate studies at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Both women intensively pursued a career in writing. Throughout the novel, she discusses the various programs and fellowships they had applied to and attended, as well as described their dedication to their craft. It is clear that they affected each other’s work. What struck me the most (aside from the poignant story, of course) is how hard these women worked to make their dream a reality. Writing is not about talent alone. As the saying goes, it’s 10% talent, and 90% hard work. It is a job. It made me realize that I can think of writing my novel all I want, but if I don’t put pen to paper (or rather, fingers to keyboard), nothing will ever happen of my dream. Nor do I kid myself and think I’m this uber-excellent writer. I am not. I’m rusty.

I’ve been contemplating the idea of getting a Master’s in Fine Arts (M.F.A.) for a while now. After reading “Truth and Beauty,” I’ve thought getting an MFA even more. It’s a grueling 2-year graduate program that would basically force you to come up with a novel (or other creative piece of work). All the classes take place in the evening as most students do have day jobs. I’m thinking of applying. But let’s look at the practical side: 1) it is expensive and would require me to take out a loan (we’re talking at least $24K); 2) an M.F.A. would do nothing to add to my current career; 3) I’d have to go back to school and would have very little leisure time left over; and 4) I would be forced to re-live the life of a poor student all over again for the next 2 years. On the other hand, it’s something that I want to do. I am not getting any younger, and I’m not getting any closer to my dream goal. I believe this would be a great way to achieve my goal.

I guess I could just keep on chugging on the novel by myself and simply enroll in workshops here and there. However, I know I would greatly benefit from this type of structure. In addition, I’d be learning from top writers and learn from other writers. The next step for the moment is to simply go through the application process and see if I get accepted. More than likely, they won’t even accept me and therefore, I wouldn’t have to worry about getting money for tuition. However, not being accepted would be my biggest fear as well. In any case, I have almost a year to decide on this next step. The deadlines for most of the programs have already passed and I would have to apply for next year’s program and begin in the fall of 2006. All I know is that if I do apply and enter this program, the decision would be from the heart, for myself, and for no one else but me.

Keane @ Radio City Music Hall

I saw Keane perform at Radio City last night and the hubs was nice enough to accompany me. I was really into Keane when I first bought their album, but by the time the show came around, I almost lost interest in going. I still like their music, but I was a bit peeved at having to pay $50 for a ticket. Come on now, they only have one album out and we all know they’re just going to play for an hour or so! In any case, I’m glad I went. They were excellent live and it was funny to see the group dynamics play out on stage. There are only three of them in the group: singer Tom Chaplin, keyboardist Tim Rice-Oxley, and drummer Richard Hughes. Keane sounds a little like Coldplay in that they are mellow and their songs are layered. It was very interesting to see that the keyboardist basically played all the parts by himself! What a feat! Tim Rice-Oxley rocks! He was very lively despite being somewhat tethered to the keyboards –he moved about, did this constant leg shaking, and did not miss a beat. Chaplin was good. He kept talking to the audience and constantly thanked the fans for making them a huge success. He kept telling stories of how when the band was first starting out, he thought playing at Radio City was only a pipe dream. It was nice. You can tell they were genuinely thankful to be there. So why were they charging $30 for a freaking shirt?!

Keane played a little over an hour, which included a 3-song encore. They also featured little clips on a screen that I enjoyed. The clips featured animation, video stills, and live action from the stage. When they played their hit “Somewhere Only We Know,” everyone in the hall sang along. Everyone. It was very feel-good indeed.

Song of the Day:

Somewhere Only We Know by Keane
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Filipino Independence Day Parade – NYC – June 5, 2…

6 June 2005

Filipino Independence Day Parade – NYC – June 5, 2005

This past Sunday, I went to the annual Filipino Independence Day Parade. I normally miss the parade part and go to the street fair part held at Madison Park. I haven’t been to the parade in ages, but I thought I’d go this year with my friend Steve since he had not been to one here in NYC. I also met up with my friends Trish and Rol who brought out their newborn baby Alex. It was Alex’s first Filipino Independence Day parade! The fair was packed and it was mighty hot (over 80 degrees)! We didn’t stay very long and headed out to another street fair held about 4 avenues over. Some pictures…

Center Stage where live performances were held…
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The Street Fair
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Pinoy Pride
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Get your Filipino flag here!
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Traditional Filipino attire…
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Waiting to perform…
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With Trish, Rol, and little Alex (who’s hidden in the bjorn!)…
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Alex!
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After the fair, we hung out at Steve’s flat…
Steve playing with his Optimus Prime… He opened the box! Gasp!
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Song of the Day:
Your Eyes Open by Keane
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Post-Birthday Bash! Just wanted to give a shout-o…

3 June 2005

Post-Birthday Bash!

Just wanted to give a shout-out to my gorgeous and fashionable friend, Ms. Girlie! Girlie’s birthday was on May 31st and we ‘semi-celebrated’ in Miami over a round of Texas Hold ‘Em and gelatos. When we got back to NYC, however, her hubs and I organized an impromptu surprise dinner with a few of our friends at EN Japanese Brasserie last night. The food was great, the company even better! Happy 29th Birthday G!

Make a wish!
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The gang’s all here…
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