Vissi d'arte

from lullaby to requiem

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Memoir # 5: Wind, Rain, and Rollercoasters do not mix

Last Saturday my cousin Stacy's hubby, John, took us (Booger and me) to Six Flags Great Adventure - a theme park somewhere in New Jersey. The weather forecasts said that Saturday would turn out to be a stormy day, but I always ignored weather forecasts in Manila (coz they're always wrong!), so I ignored this one too. Actually, I didn't ignore it, I just prayed to the gods that it wouldn't rain - and I trusted them.

On Friday, Stacy picked us up and drove us to her house in the Bronx. We had dinner, and I found a book in their mini-library called Opera for Dummies. I was reading it the entire time I was there - up until we left the next morning for Great Adventure. (I ended up borrowing the book) It didn't rain all day on Friday so I was pretty confident that it wouldn't rain so much the next day - ha! Was I ever wrong.

I woke up and the window beside by brother's bed was foggy - I peered out and it was raining a little (I could see the rain in the puddles in the street). Anyway, it wasn't exactly pouring, so John, Benedict, and I decided to go. We got tickets online (sosyal! Mas mura pa sya compared to if we get tickets at the gate).

After driving for two hours in the rain, it started to clear up. I was a little worried coz I could see the wind from inside the car and it was pretty strong - I was only wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt (without any undershirt). John lent me his raincoat, which was a horrid shade of yellow. Once I got out of the car, my hands started freezing, and I already felt light-headed. That didn't exactly stop me from going on the Superman ride first.

As it turns out, Great Adventure is basically a theme park packed with about 8 roller coasters, all of them designed to make you dizzy. Superman was unique because instead of being seated in coasters, you're lifted up, and you lie on your belly - just like Superman when he flies. The ride was great - except for that instant when I thought I was gonna die!!! I couldn't breathe, and I thought I had fallen from the ride - then I opened my eyes and the ground was spinning above me! WAAA!!!

The next ride was went on was much more enjoyable - The Great American Scream Machine. It's not really quite as scarry as it sounds - it's actually quite fun - with lots of drops and a couple of loops.

After that - John and I did the unthinkable. I'm not too fond of heights, in fact standing on the glass floors at Robinsons Cinema gives the the creeps. But the next ride we went on was the fastest, and the tallest roller coaster in the world... Kingda Ka. I have absolutely no idea what the name was supposed to mean, but it's more than 400 feet and it goes around 126 MILES per hour. Again, that lovely feeling that I should not be on this ride... The moment we were rocketed off, I lost my breath... I couldn't breathe, I couldn't feel my stomach, and my hands were so cold. I held my breath until the time the coaster went to the very tip of the ride - half-a-second before it plummets back to earth. I literally had no time to swear - I got to until HOLY SH - and then I couldn't breathe again! I LOVED IT!!! A roller coaster that takes your breath, lifts you to the heavens for (in!) 3 seconds, lets you savor the feeling for a fraction of a second, and then plummets you back to earth, and makes you swear: It's exactly like having a boyfriend! (not that I would know or anything...) Who knew I could love rollercoasters...?

Anyway, all other rides after Kingda Ka were like icing. John and I (and booger, who occasionally sat one out because he felt sick) went on one roller coaster after another - pausing only to see the Tiger show - two HUGE cuddly tigers... I want one!!! Hihihi!

After we had lunch, it started raining, and the wind started blowing much harder. I couldn't feel my hands - and I looked like fashion roadkill in that yellow raincoat! WAAAA!!! I felt like Mimi in La Boheme, except without a Rodolfo - Che gelida manina (how cold are your tiny hands). I have NEVER been so cold ever!

After Great Adventure, we met cousins Stacy and Jill for dinner (Jill was with some friends - Arthur and PJ), and then we went to the Bodies Museum: Real Human Bodies embalmed, cured, whatever - on display - with sections for each of the major body systems. EWWW!!! Although, you kind of get used to it after two or three dead body-models.

We left mom at home with grandma and tita Monina, and her ex-hubby (also known as: Stupid Idiot, ang daga, ingrate, sociopath/psychopath, palamunin) who still lives here, despite the divorce being final. It turns out that when Benedict and I were out, everyone at home (inlcuding baby Gia) was having a Great Adventure of their own!

Mommy and Booger are set to leave for Manila tomorrow - and I will be all alone in New York... well, technically, I'm alone. I might try to find teaching positions here, or just job opportunities - pagna-loca ako, magt-TNT ako dito! HAHAHA!!! I love it here, pero it does get boring, and hindi ako makalandi! Syempre... hate crimes - hahaha!

As for expenses - I am (very quickly) running out of cash. And they won't accept my atms here - waaa!!! I asked mommy for some more money, and she gave me extra naman - just enough for me to catch that opera at the Met - they're doing Tosca - o diba! Vissi d'arte na ito! Hihihi! As for the reason I don't have any more money - I blame Callas! No... I blame EMI for producing such expensive Cds! On the bright side though - I only have one more opera to get before I can rest my soul - Callas' Carmen. After that, I probably won't buy another recording... until I get back here. ^_^

Anyway, I'm looking forward to my alone time here in New York - although I have a lot of stuff to do. For one, I'm hepling (read: trying to help) my lola and tita and Jill and Gia move out to their new apartment - I never thought packing could be such manual labour! Hahaha! ^_^

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Memoir # 4: NYC... three bucks, two bags, one me.

I've been in New York for a few days now... not even a week, and I've done almost everything that I need to do...

I did most of my shopping in LA (and by shopping - I mean opera CDs), we went to Universal in LA so the need to go to a theme park has been eliminated, and today and the other day we went to New York City... still, there are stuff to do, but here's what we've done so far:

The other day I went to the city with my mom, my brother, my aunt (Tita Monina), my Grandma, my cousin (Jill), and her daughter (Gia). We were supposed to go to Lincoln Center, so we parked the cars on 80th street and Broadway (we'd walk a few blocks to Lincoln Center), but we ended up walking in a different direction, so we went to the American Museum of Natural History instead. It was fun - lots of fabulous exhibits, and boys to gawk at.. haha! Honestly, the museum was great, but it would have been greater if I could go to a museum of cute boys instead... hihi! I was distracted by a couple of boys who were obviously checking me out... WAGI!!! People are checking me out - of course, they don't know I'm a boy, so.. hate crime ang mapapala ko paglumandi ako dito... haha!

A special paragraph should now be devoted to my adorable niece, Gia. She's adorable!!! And her dad's hot... strike that... I should not be attracted to my cousin's hubby... hihi! She's 3 years old, but she's pretty big, and she has long curly hair (like mine) that's pretty light and easy to brush (unlike mine). She gets shy though; she spends her nights with her mom here in our house, and she goes to school with her dad in the morning - she played with us (me and my booger brother)yesterday morning, and tonight, she's forgotten us again. hihi! She's also a pretty big crybaby; when she throws tantrums, she just breaks down and cries - complete with tears... haha! But she's adorable, she looks just like a doll. ^_^

Anyway... the city's really great. It's exactly what they say: Albany may be the capital of New York, but New York City is the capital of the world. Hihi! After the museum, we drove to Lincoln Center... AT LAST!!! NAkita ko na rin ang Metropolitan Opera House! And, my god! It's as fabulous and as grand as I imagined... This is where Cher fell in love with Nicholas Cage (in Moonstruck), and where Carrie realized her true feelings for that artist guy she dated in the last season of Sex and the City.. Of course, both events happened at night - I was there at 5:30 in the afternoon. Either way, I had Benedict take my picture in front of the huge window-panelled buildings. Finally, I'm at a place where Opera isn' a foreign language. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long. I wanted to check the show schedule of both the Met and The New York City Opera (which was right beside its more famous/fabulous counterpart), but we had to go. I checked online, Tosca will be playing, but no one wants to go with me... waaa!!!

Moving on. Today, we went to the city again, this time with Stacy and John - my cousins who came over last October; the ones who went to Boracay with us. Benedict and I were driven to their apartment by our Tita - they have lots of birds jumping all over their place (they couldn't fly coz their wings were clipped ^_^). We took the train to the city (nice train, very comfy seats), and then the subway from Grand Central Station. GANDAH!!!! The ceilings were painted with some zodiac symbols, and the place was HUGE! The subway was disappointing though - it was dirty and crowded - two things I don't like a lot! haha! But it's a subway so, I didn't expect much. ^_^

We walked all over the city - wearing out my pregnant cousin in the process. We went to Ground Zero (really depressing - I don't know why people want to go to a place where lots of other people died), then we ate at China Town (UBER crowded), and took the subway again to the Village (To Tower Records, where I bought Callas' Rigoletto and Sarah Brightman's first pop album Fly), and then we went to Times Square, and then walked to Port Authority Bus Station.

On the bus back, nothing incidental happened except this GORGEOUS boy was there. He's not really a boy, he's about a few years older than me, about 6 feet, kinda stocky but in a nice sexy way, short dark blond hair, and a face that resembled Prince Harry (as he is today, little Prince Harry wasn't exactly pin-up material). He kept reading in the terminal, and kept reading as he sat on the bus... once he was talking on his phone - ganda ng voice, so masculine, baritone-ish. He got off 30 minutes before my brother and I went down the bus. And after that, the trip got boring. There were moments when the sun was on his side of the bus and it would hide behind his cute little head producing the eclipse effect - my god! Parang apparisyon! Hihihi!

We were picked by our aunt at the Nanuet Mall, we grabbed pizza on our way home where we met Dave, Gia's dad, who was on his way to drop Gia off our house. And that's basically how I ended up here in front of the computer.. alone... again... ^_^

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Memoir # 3: Start spreadin' the news....

I'm leaving today... I want to be a part of it - New York, New York..

I'm here na! We got here last night (April 10). We actually arrived in Newark, NJ, but we drove to Spring Valley. We met my lola and my tita, and this morning one of my cousins came. We're actually about to leave for somewhere now, so I don't have a lot of time to type. We saw Ice Cube at the airport though! Hihihi! ^_^

Yun lang. I really don'e have much to say except - I WANT TO LIVE HERE!!! WAAAA!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Memoir # 2: Amoeba and Darcy

The entry that I've typed got deleted... waaaa!!! Anyway. The other day we went to Amoeba records, I got tons of CDs - something over $150 including rare recordings (although they were second hand). I got 2 Medeas - the Dallas Medea, and one recorded live in La Scala (conducted by Leonard Bernstein). The Dallas Medea also has bonus tracks - the last scenes (and finale) of Callas' first Medea in 1953 at the Florence May Festival. I also got her Julliard recordings - in 1970something, Callas did a series of lectures (Master Classes) for the prestigious Julliard School in New York... now I can learn to sing opera from Callas herself!

Today, I met Darcy! FINALLY!!! Hihihi! It was so fun!!! Iba na si Darcy - Amerikano na! hihihi! Nakakatuwa, after all these years - meron pa ring syang mga mannerisms that are soooo high school! Hihihi! Like when he was describing this cute officemate he had a crush on. We were dropped off at this mall, and we decided to transfer to the next mall - we got lost in the process - si Darcy kasi, tatanga-tanga! hihihi!!! ^_^ We went to Circuit City, and then had fraps at Starbucks (in fairness, mas matamis yung nasa Pilipinas, pero mas malinamnam ung Vanilla Bean Frapp nila!)

Anyway, our meeting was cut short by the train. He's in Lancaster, and I'm staying at Burbank - they're half-a-world apart from each other. The train ride takes 2 hours! And the last train to LA Union (where I got dropped off and picked up again later) left at 3:30pm, so I had to get there...

It was really fun to see Darcy... I can't help wonder when we'll see each other again - probably when he gets back to Manila next year... unless his plane crashes... hahaha! ^_^ Note to self: find a job in the States and stay here!!! Wala lang... Hihihi!!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Memoir # 1: Hollywood

Yesterday my mom, my brother, and I went to Universal Studios Hollywood. We were dropped off at around 11:30, and we were there until around 8. When I got to LA, I automatically turned on my boydar (equivalent to gaydar, except it's used for finding cuties...): there were none at the airport, so I initially told my friends that there was a scarcity of boylets even here. But when I got to Universal... MY GOD! How wrong was I? Nagkalat ang mga boylet! Yun nga lang, yung ibang boylet, boylet talaga - as in 12, maybe 13 years old. Yuck, pedophelia ito! haha! Pero there were a couple of guys my age, or older, na ang cute talaga! Dami palang kano dito sa America... hahaha! ^_^

Universal was fun, we got to go on lots of rides including the staples - Jurassic Park, Studio Tour (I got to see Bree van de Kamp's house! WEEE!), and Animal Actors. There were also new rides, the Mummy in particular was fun - meron pa ngang mga creepy crawlees that actually walked over your feet (yung mga flesh-eating Scarab beetles), altough hindi ko sila naramdaman, in fairness; when everyone started screaming, sigaw din ako! Haha! Para ma-exercise ang vocal chords for The Met.. haha! Ang tagal nga lang naming nagiintay sa line, as in ang tagal! Mga 1 hour kami nasa line!

Anywhoo... when the park started closing, we went off walking around the City Walk, saw a closing Sam Goody's store (parang Oddysey ng Pilipinas) where I got Callas' Puccini arias for only $6 instead of the usual 13.99. Ang cute pa nung cashier - kaso BAKLA!!! Hahaha! As in gayer then me (if that's even possible) - his eyebrows were plucked neater than my mom's, and he was playing Diva songs on the radio - he actually started dancing when Like a Virgin came on.. haha! Good to know my gaydar isn't only for the Philippines. Haha! But he was really cute...

I'm meeting Darcy tomorrow morning. I'm taking the Metrolink to Lancaster from LA Union Station - it's a 2-hour ride, and I'll only be with Darcy for about 4 hours, pero at least I get to see him again! Hihihi! At makakapag-lantad ako ng konti! Boywatching here we come!!! Pero konti lang, baka ma-hate crime kami! Hahaha! ^_^

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bienvenidos a Los Angeles


After a tedious 12-hour flight, my mom, my brother, and I have arrived in LA. The flight was fun, pero flying non-stop does take its toll: for the first half of the flilght, my migraine started and I had to force myself to sleep in the middle of The Chronicles of Narnia (which was the first movie for the flight). Iwoke up when they served dinner, and then fell asleep reading Sydney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes; woke up again just in time for Harry's first Task, the Yule Ball, and the Bath Scene (hihihi!), then fell asleep again.

We got to LA with little incident - we met Tito Ernie who drove us to his home, where we met Tita Mariche, Tita Edna, Marcia and Earl. Earl is HUGE! The last time I saw him, he was this tiny little thing with an overactive mouth and was a big fan of Arnold Scwha - I can't spell his name... basta, the Terminator guy... haha! Or should I say Governor? Now he's taller than me (but then, everyone is taller than me), with this really deep voice. Takot nga ako e, he met us at the gate, kala ko kung sino. haha!

Anyway, today we're planning to go to Hollywood and Universal Studios, then tomorrow we'll go shopping, on Saturday, I hope I can meet DARCY!!!, and on Sunday... well ewan ko. Haha! We leave for New York on Monday... Lincoln Center, Broadway, and the Metropolitan Opera House (which, incidentally, is in Lincoln Center) here I come! Or in the words of complete and total hottie Jack DeSena... here comes me... ^_^

Monday, April 03, 2006


I remember reading a short story for our sophomore high school Lit class entitled Anticipation - I've forgotten the story, but I remember doing a short play about it - Boom played the Sultan (Sultan nga ba? Or prince? Whatever!), Abet was the bride-to-be, and several of us (I remember Darcy, Randy, Allan, and me) were dancers. We shook our respective 'groove thangs' to no less than Madonna's Shanti/Ashtangi, with matching choreo from Frozen. Anyway, Anticipation is supposed to be this story of how a King anticipates his wedding night, and how the bride anticipates it as well... I feel almost the same way.

My family and I are going to New York over the summer - we'll be leaving on Wednesday (April 5), my mom and my booger brother will be flying back to Manila sometime near the end of April, and I'll be staying there with my aunt and grandma until May 20. It's a pretty long stay, and I'm going to be (technically) alone for the first time in a foreign country.

I'm dreading it, but at the same time, I can't help but feel glad about it - I'm going back to New York for the first time in more than half a decade: I can finally ransack Tower Records for rare Callas recordings (I'm looking for Medea she performed in Dallas - aptly titled Callas in Dallas... *taas kilay... and her Rigoletto). We're supposed to be leaving the day after tomorrow, and I haven't packed - I looked at all my cold-weather clothes and had them washed, but I seriously need more jeans/pants and more shirts to match the three pairs of shoes that I'm planning on bringing. Mom wants me to take only one pair - HELLO!!! It's bad enough I can't wear sandals because of frostbite, and I can't take other shoes??? I plan on packing my bag myself - that way I could sneak kikay stuff in - plus my entire wardrobe.

I went shopping a while ago for last minute things - new slippers (I saw this immensely incredible comfortable pair of sandals, but they were almost 3,000Php - hello!? Kumusta naman?!), razors, bubble wrap, masking tape, and painkillers - I haven't had a migraine attack in a few weeks now, so it's only a matter of time until I get another one. I bought 5 Midols and 5 Advils? I think that should be enough for a month. What can I say? Every girl's got to be addicted to something! I remember taking 2 Advils before my thesis defense - I've never felt so light... haha!

To add to all this anxiety - our flight hasn't been confirmed. WAAA!!! We transferred from the really cheap Continental Airlines which has no less than three stop-overs, to more expensive Eva Air, which only has two stop-overs, now to the immensely expensive PAL. Haayyyy... the PAL's been booked, but our return itenerary hasn't been confirmed yet, and we don't know exactly how much it'll cost.

Anyway, in a few days I'll be bidding Manila adeiu, but only for a short time. I'll be back in time for next semester - and I'm actually looking forward to next semester, I'm handling 3 Comm3s, I think... Weee!!! ^_^