Tag Archives: books

Woody Allen, Tina Fey and some Epiphany

If I was ignoring your texts and Facebook messages last Sunday, it was because I was too engrossed in the blabbering of Woody Allen’s famous characters. “Annie Hall” is a movie that has been in my “to watch” list but I never got to having it crossed out. I can’t remember what prompted me to finally watch the film, maybe I was having another la-dee-da moment, but I watched the film for about three times that whole afternoon.

Every time Alvy Singer says something mundane but insightful, my brain implodes. My brain was basically entering a new dimension all through out the film. I’m used to watching a movie that is so spontaneous, so natural, dialogue driven and quick witted. I loved Richard Linklater. I even loved Kevin Smith. Those three film makers are within an area where my brain capacity can easily traverse in. Woody Allen is the same but different. He could make you listen to the seemingly prosaic lines and wonder what he was actually trying to say. I watched a few Woody Allen films before this, his later works mostly, but Annie Hall struck a chord in my romance worshiping heart.

“It reminds me of that old joke- you know, a guy walks into a psychiatrist’s office and says, hey doc, my brother’s crazy! He thinks he’s a chicken. Then the doc says, why don’t you turn him in? Then the guy says, I would but I need the eggs. I guess that’s how I feel about relationships. They’re totally crazy, irrational, and absurd, but we keep going through it because we need the eggs.”

Realizing the meaning of this line is probably going to end up as one of the proudest moment of my life. Alvy Singer’s jokes were not the “haha” kind of jokes but they’re the ones that will make you say “ahh” and then nod like an idiot.

As one of the many people who could memorize all the lines and every shot in 500 Days of Summer, there is indeed a great deal of similarities among the two films. However, they’re the kind that Kevin Smith would do to a Richard Linklater.

Wait. I think I remember why I was watching Annie Hall. It was because the above quote that was retold by Tina Fey in her book “Bossypants”.

I was reading Tina Fey’s Bossypants because of the 65 Books You Have to Read in your 20’s list from Buzzfeed. A friend has tagged me on Facebook asking me how many books in the list I have already read, I shamefully answered “3” and went on to begrudgingly download five books.

Reading a book is my number one time killer in the office. I was reading page 10 and then page 165 cruised on without my notice. Bossypants is a fun read and very empowering too. Women could be funny. Women could be the boss. And women could stir the men dominated dirty dimension that is politics.

I could go on and on about the books I have read and the movies I have watched for the past three days but what I was really getting into is that I have learned that art creates a ripple effect. Richard Linklater acknowledgment in a Kevin Smith film. Annie Hall shots in 300 Days of Summer.  Woody Allen quote is in a Tina Fey book. One’s work could affect another’s work, in most times so profound that although it could not reach the same level of it’s inspiration’s greatness, it could stand as a remarkable work of art on its own.

I need to participate in this wonderful ripple.

My boss and I had this conversation earlier during smoke break:

Boss: “It must be hard writing a movie.”
Me: “Yes, because you are not writing the words but the actions too.”

We went on to discuss forgotten Filipino films from the 70’s. I don’t know why we ended up with that conversation. What I know is I wanted to talk about movies all the time. Well,maybe I’ll start with that.

And by the way, if you were patient enough to get to the page with the Buzzfeed list and to this paragraph, and if you want to know what books have I read on that list, it’s “The Sandman”, “On The Road” and “Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World”.

30 Books A Year Challenge

Life is full of challenges some of them are documented on Goodreads.  So here I am finding myself facing yet another challenge of flipping through and understanding each word of 30 Books in 366 Days.

It’s not that much of a formidable opponent.  I have to consider my pace in reading, the available time, and procrastination attacks.

I have been an avid reader of any book except self help ones, sine I was a kid.  But I can say I’m the ordinary reader.  The preference changes as you get over a phase in your life.  You graduated from reading Sweet Valleys and the likes when you graduated from high school.  When you’re still poisoned with the idealism of the youth, you read a lot of socially impacting books, even the revolutionary journals, like Che Guevarra’s.  But what happens when everything that has been the source of all the excitement in your life runs out?  You end up reading people’s blogs.

Going half way of my goal, half way through the year should be ideal, but finishing two books is inexcusable.  I have started a few books but ended up shoving them on the shelf leaving them to gather dust.

Blogs stole my addiction to books.  Before, I could gobble up pages like I am eating M&M’s but now it’s like I’m just biting off a piece and leaving the books to rot.  I feel like a traitor inside.

Books had been my companion ever since, they took me to places, they introduced me to brilliant people, they made me a conqueror of knowledge.   If people refer to me as smart, it is because I read a lot.  But I don’t consider myself smart.  Opinionated maybe.

My favorite book as my friends would already know is The Catcher In The Rye and I scribbled “this is my statement” on its first page just like Mark Chapman did on his copy(the one he was holding when he shot John Lennon).  See I don’t just read a book, I read its history and the authors biography.  I believe you cant fully understand a book unless you dive into the authors mind.

That exciting part, blogs lack.

It also occurred to me that since I love reading off of the computer, I should read e-books instead, but no I keep on closing the window to talk to my friends on Facebook.  (As I write this I actually took a minute to check if someone posted a comment on my status.)

By the end of June I felt the urgency to get back on track and start running as fast as I can.  One of my office mates holds a mini-library at the office.  During writing breaks I sit down and force myself to get lost into the pages, but to no avail.  The bustle of the office environment makes it  impossible.  So I borrowed his books and took them home.

I started with easy reads, The Diary of A Wimpy Kid.  And it did not fail my expectations, I just cant get enough of Greg Heffley and his oddly familiar childhood.  I finished five books in five days, each took an hour to finish.  I am so proud of myself.  But it is a series made for children who doesn’t like reading.  I must not embarrass myself.

Booksale is a place I always visit whenever I find myself on a mall.  They sell second hand books and they have a wide collection.   I found a book I have been wanting to read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.  That fire of burning the ugly face of the world will always flicker inside of me.  I will always seek for a better change.  I surprised myself by reading the book in one sitting.  I only paused to wipe the tears in my eyes as I cry for Afghanistan.  Two days after, I finished his other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

As of writing time, I have seven out of 30 books.  Bridget Jones is lying in bed with me, Unfinished Tales of J.R.R. Tolkien is waiting to share their adventure with me and I am halfway of my The Hobbit journey revisiting.

I am officially back in business.

How bout you?  Have you started your own reading challenge too? 

Lester Bangs! Main Lines, Blood Feasts and Bad Tastes Short Review

This so short that Lester Bangs with purse his lips in disaproval.

A Lester Bangs reader.  Do you guys still remember this motherfucker?? We werent born yet during the time he stirred the rock scene, he’s not a rockstar but he was equally influential.  Goddamnit he is the wittiest motherfucker rock journalism had ever known.  He died of OD also like most rockstars that time did. He’s one guys with incredible balls and diss every band from Mick Jagger to The Beatles and could still be very credible.  Im not finished with the book yet(cant hardly wait to).  When Im over with it i will surely make a review.  For starters he was that dude Philip Seymour Hoffman played in Almost Famous.