Nov 30, 2009

In Memoriam: My Grandfather

One of my favorite photos of my grandparents. Minalin, Pampanga, Philippines, 1975

My grandfather passed away on Nov. 27 at the age of 89 years old.

I've always felt disconnected from my extended family back in the Philippines; not because of any family drama or anything, but really only because the geographical distance makes it very difficult to build and maintain relationships. (Let's face it; the flight to Manila makes a five-hour flight to New York seem like a nanosecond, not to mention the fact that a plane ticket can cost about a month's salary for some.) In any case; my grandparents helped raise my cousins; my memories of my grandparents consisted of stories my dad would tell me about them and the three times I've visited. But despite the distance (both literally and figuratively), I've always held a fondness in my heart for my family back there.

Thankfully, the Internet and social networking have enabled the kinds of connections I've wanted to make with my cousins. My cousin, Jon, wrote this tribute to our grandfather the other day, and after reading it, I realized that my dad --- the oldest of all the siblings --- is SO like my grandfather. I may not have had the pleasure or privilege of living with my grandparents, but my grandfather's teachings, personality, values and beliefs were mirrored in the teachings, personality, values and beliefs I've seen in my own father.

And I never felt so connected to my family than at that moment.

Mar 12, 2009

Heathers: The Musical

Yeah, you heard me.

The influential 1988 teen dark comedy, which launched the careers of Winona Ryder, Christian Slater and scribe Dan Waters, is stagebound in a production being developed by Andy Fickman, director of "Race to Witch Mountain," who is making a return to his musical roots.

Fickman, who helmed the musical "Reefer Madness," is working with "Reefer" partner Kevin Murphy, who is writing the "Heathers" lyrics and the book, and composer Larry O'Keefe, who earned a Tony nomination for best score for the Broadway version of "Legally Blonde."

The trio has worked on the production under the radar for some time, even doing readings this week in Endeavor's screening room. The readings saw "Veronica Mars" star Kristen Bell playing the lead and Christian Campbell as J.D., with Jenna Leigh Green ("Wicked"), BrokeDown Cadillac lead singer Corri English and Christine Lakin (the CW's "Valentine") as the three Heathers.


The project has the blessing of [Heathers Writer Dan] Waters, who controls the underlying rights to the material. [Andy] Fickman said he sat down with Waters early on "to make sure we were on the same page" and that Waters has seen the readings.

"He understood that our goals were to be creatively attuned to his original work," said Fickman, who is repped by Endeavor and Evolution.

The film offered many over-top-moments as well as choice lines, something Fickman is eager to bring out musically.

" 'I love my dead gay son," Fickman quoted. "If you can get that into a song, then that is just perfect."

Jan 24, 2009

Drunken Negro Faces

Ted Kefalinos, proprietor of Lafayette French Pastry in NYC's Greenwich Village, says there's nothing offensive about his Drunken Negro Face cookies. You be the judge:

Courtesy of Gothamist.

Jan 20, 2009

Congratulations, Mr. President

(Photo credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times)

And now, the hard work begins. Let's do this. But first:

Adios, douchebag! (Photo: Saul Loeb)

Jan 6, 2009

Faux Foie Gras?

Yeah. Good luck with that:

Worldwide Challenge to Find the Perfect Humane Alternative to a Cruel

For Immediate Release:January 5, 2009
Contact:Nicole Matthews

Norfolk, Va. -- Sir Roger Moore has condemned it--and this month, top
French chef Albert Roux of London restaurant La Gavroche expressed his disgust over the force-feeding involved in its production--but foie gras lives on in gastronomy. So, PETA has a solution: Let top chefs vie to create the best faux foie gras (fatty duck or goose liver) in the world, with a prize and naming rights going to the winner.

A $10,000 prize and much publicity will go to the winning chef in
PETA's international Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge, announced today. The winner must produce an original, purely vegetarian faux foie gras comparable in taste and texture to the real glob of prized bird fat, and it must beat out all other entries. First and second runners-up will each receive $1,000 worth of top-drawer kitchen equipment.

The winning chef--who may choose the name of his or her creation--must also agree to offer the dish on a fine-dining menu and allow PETA to distribute the recipe to chefs and media around the world. Only the recipe should be submitted; already-prepared recipes will not be accepted. (
Click here for the complete list of rules.)

Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until they fall
ill with hepatic steatosis, which causes the liver to become painfully engorged. Investigations at foie gras farms have documented sick, dead, and dying animals. Some had holes in their necks from feeding-pipe injuries, and most were unable to walk, dragging themselves by their wings--if they moved at all. Most such birds retreat into a state of shock and fear of future feedings. Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been banned in 16 nations, including the U.K. and Israel as well as in the state of California.

"The goal of our Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge is to give fine diners a
compassionate alternative to eating the diseased liver of a tormented bird," says PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich. "It's a marvelous opportunity for a chef to create a culinary first that is delicious and won't ruffle any feathers."

For more information and the complete list of rules for the challenge,
please visit

Jan 5, 2009

Spam cracks me up.

I've been out of the office for the last two weeks, and today is my first day back.

Our company e-mail system does this thing where they filter out all your junk e-mails and sends you a daily list of junk e-mail that it's intercepted for you. You can then review the list and unjunk any legit e-mails.

Sometimes, spam still manages to hit my inbox. What's more disturbing, though, is that the sender appears to be my own work e-mail address.

Over the last two weeks, I've received quite a few e-mails with somewhat interesting subject lines. Here's a sample:

  • "Stiff, long and hard rod"
  • "I'm so thick now she says it hurts"
  • "Never be flaccid again"
  • "Don't wait to be huge"
  • "Proven to work in male subjects"
  • "Re: Scarlett [Johansen?] did it for cash"
  • "Fit perfectly between her jugs"
  • "Women will flock like bees to honey"

And my personal favorite, "With 9 inches everything is possible."