Tag Archives: Events

Side Comments of the Month X

Side Comments of the Month X

1. I’m a firm believer in serendipity. So when I get unexpected invitations to book launchings, I go. Last week’s chance event was Kate Perry’s book launch at the Presidio Social Club.

I’m usually shy around absolute strangers—especially in a tightly knit crowd—but the atmosphere was warm and accommodating. Kate and her team made me feel at ease at once! I haven’t started reading her book, Say You Will, but it’s now in queue on my “to read” shelf.

I met some fabulous people like Regency romance author Sara Ramsey, who just kept me in stitches. I had a good time and I can’t wait for more events like this to come my way.

 

2. Adam and I just finished the latest South Park three-episode arc. It’s a fine skewering of Black Friday, HBO’s A Game of Thrones, and the never-ending video game console wars.

I always adore South Park episodes that have the kids role-playing. It’s amusing to watch Stan and Kyle in medieval attire, debating the merits of the Xbox One versus PlayStation 4. This arc doesn’t surpass the brilliance of Imaginationland, but it tries hard. The social commentary has a clean bite.

In these episodes, Eric Cartman channels his inner Littlefinger while Kenny unleashes his love for blonde braids. Kenny’s newest incarnation as magical princess Kenny is the polar opposite of his other alter ego, Mysterion. I don’t know which alter ego I like better.

 

An example of the film's beautiful symmetry. And I'm not referring to Christian Bale's cheekbones, either.

3. When the weather is temperamental, nothing compares to curling up on the sofa and watching a guilty pleasure on Netflix. So over the weekend, I found myself watching Equilibrium (2002) again.

I’ve had a thing for Christian Bale forever (trust me to have a crush on him since Empire of the Sun). Sure, I loved him as Batman, but his portrayal of John Preston brings on the giggles and the glee. The look of consternation on his face when he first holds a puppy is priceless.

Equilibrium has many hammy moments, and maybe mixing guns and martial arts is an idea that the Mythbusters should debunk. I don’t know. I think these elements are balanced out with the film’s beautiful shots and immaculate symmetry.

Among dystopian movies, Equilibrium not as bleak as Terry Gilliam’s Brazil or as hip as The Hunger Games. Still, I re-watch this film when I want to see Christian Bale kill as many opponents as possible. He never disappoints.

Music and Nostalgia at the Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest

Music and Nostalgia at the Indie-Pino Underground Music Fest

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the Indie-Pino: Underground Music Festival, which was held at the Yerba Buena Gardens yesterday. I should have never doubted that the Filipino-American community can manage to bring the temperature and mood of home to central San Francisco.

From the crazy old guy dancing Pandanggo sa Ilaw with imaginary candles to the summer heat beating down on our heads, it certainly felt like a world away. I can’t remember the last time I stood around and endured the heat so aimlessly, and yet so determinedly. It reminded me of a cross between annual Labor Day celebrations at the old Post Office to any street gig held at Cubao X. From the free-range children running around the performance area to the power accidentally cut off mid-song—these elements were familiar and oddly comforting.

A blurry cell phone photo of the Jack Lords Orchestra.

It would be unfair to all the bands if I pretended to have a professional opinion of their music. I have a tin ear at best; at worst I am a scourge of videoke machines. Years of listening to musically gifted friends debate about guitars and effects does not make it any easier to fake it.

Still, even someone as tone-deaf as myself was delighted with the Jack Lords Orchestra. I understand that they hail from New York and they brought a bit of East Coast style with them. The old fogey in me really appreciated the vintage vibe they projected. Their polished aura goes well with their color coordination and their lovely harmonies.

Since I’m awful with these things, I cannot fully describe or classify their music; their set  simply reminded me of many beautiful things. That may be beastly unhelpful, so here’s their official YouTube channel instead. Please lend them your ears and listen well.