Monday, January 23, 2006

Of Mr. A-Z, Package Designs, and Spiritual Misguidance


(Jason Mraz @ Rockwell Tent, Power Plant Mall, Makati. 20 January 2006)

Friday

...was of course, the Jason Mraz concert at the Rockwell Tent. Tickets courtesy of my lovely friend Ginny, who managed to score some decent seats for the 8.30 PM performance. The place wasn't as chaotic as during the Neil Gaiman event last October 2005 (there was aircon! and seats! and a decent-looking stage!) and thankfully the audience was mellow and generally well-behaved.

I arrived there from work at around 7 PM, and waited for my rather giddy companion, since she had the tickets. Ginny, for what it's worth, suddenly started acting like a flushed schoolgirl on a hot summer day, and we waited impatiently in our seats as the place filled up. Jason arrived, looking all boyish and charming and went to the bathroom around four or five times before the show even started. While we had good seats - the middle of the room - this reed-thin businessman type person was obscuring my line of vision enough that I had to tilt my head slightly to get a good view of the stage.

Again, Paolo Santos was the opening act, and again, he cemented my opinion that while he is as fugly as an old shoe, he makes up for everything by being a brilliant and consummate performer. But of course, the highlight was Jason, who came onstage in his (now) trademark cap and t-shirt and jeans, and wowed us all with his acoustic performance of "You & I Both" - he was so unassuming up onstage, and then he opened his mouth, and then WOW. ^_^

Set List (courtesy of Quel):

1. You And I Both
2. Wordplay
3. Geek In The Pink
4. Clockwatching
5. After An Afternoon
6. Sleeping to Dream (with Paolo Santos)
7. 1000 Things (with Paolo Santos)

(bathroom break while Toca takes the stage with his two pick-up lines)

8. Unfold
9. Stuck On You/The Dream Life of Rand McNally
10. Burning Bridges
11. I'm Yours
12. The Remedy

Encore - Song For A Friend

Best performances: I never really appreciated "Clockwatching" until I heard the stripped-down version with just Jason + guitar and Toca + percussions. I felt shivers running up and down my spine as he raised his voice during the chorus (I'm off like an airplane/I'm licking your postage stamp again...) and just never quite got the song until that moment. And "Sleeping to Dream," which is my favorite Mraz song ever - I was getting teary-eyed when I heard the first few bars and immediately latched on to the song. And his humor is infectious and he's just incredibly witty and sardonic, and the banter between him and Toca were just so hilarious. And he's amazing at improvisation, slipping in little gems of unique performances and spins on his songs that you just know that these things will never happen again and that you are privileged to be able to watch him live. ^_^

The show ended past 10 PM, and Ginny and I trudged around Rockwell looking for a place to have an extremely late dinner. We finally ended up at a little Spanish restaurant just beside Cafe Via Mare (I forget the name) with a lovely harem-like decor: swaths of curtains hanging across the ceiling, gilt mirrors arranged across the walls, live piano music, insanely plush couches, and delicious churros con chocolate.

Saturday

...was off to a laaaaaazy start, since N was fetching me after his class at the UP ISSI. (He's in the 80th Managers' Course that runs until June 2006, where he 's learning to be, well, a manager...) Went to cousin Sandra's house to pick up some design stuff that I asked her to do for the bakery, and we ended up watching the first episode of Firefly, which may just start going up there as one of the shows I really want to see. Unfortunately, the DVDs of the only season (of course it was a good show - hence, Fox Entertainment had to cut it) is with aforementioned cousin, which means I will have to wait for her to finish before I can do the marathon.

As soon as the evening came, he dropped by the house to fetch me and we were off once again to Liliw, where it was freezing cold and if I had leg hairs, they probably would have stood up from the temperature drop. O_o

At any rate, we're preparing for the National Trade Fair this coming March 2006, and it looks like I'm helping out with the design elements - packaging and the booth design as well as the other details of this project. That explains why I'm in Liliw for the past couple of weekends. Talk about applying the things I've learned here at the office to something like this. In fairness, the bakery seems to be on the way to new heights - N will now and forever by my family's supplier of polvoron at the rate he's going. ^_^

Sunday

Two important things happened yesterday. The Pacquiao win against Morales, and Ginny's birthday celebration at Bellini's. Well, three, if you want to count the fact that N managed to get me to go to Mass in the morning. As Ginny said that night during dinner, "Wow. You went to Mass? And you didn't burn up?"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my friends love me.

At any rate, we stayed in Liliw until mid-afternoon because of the Morales-Pacquiao fight, which N watched with enthusiasm - oftentimes, when Pacquiao landed a particularly inspired blow, he would jump up and yell, or punch me on the arm playfully. It was quite amusing, just watching him. ^_^ Of course, the KO once Round 10 rolled along was a cause for celebration, and the entire town was talking about it: it was quite funny, since it seemed that everything was at a standstill, and there weren't any jeepneys or tricycles to be heard for about three hours,. Even the priest's sermon was about the match, and the hopes of the Filipino people that Pacquiao would win. (Which he did, good for him!) I never thought I'd say this, since I'm no sports fan, but it was quite an exciting match.

At any rate, arrived in Manila just a bit after 7 PM, which meant that I had less than an hour to actually bathe and dress up for Ginny's birthday party at Bellini's at the Marikina Shoe Expo. While I *did* arrive there midway through dinner (which meant that people had polished off the pasta platter and a couple of bottles of Merlot already), it was great seeing old friends again - among them Mitzie and Marie, my Dumaguete sisters, lovely Moki, and new faces Brian V. and Brendan G., who pretty much got along with the gaggle of girls that Ginny invited. After dinner, a few of us - myself, Gin, Mitz, Marie, and Moki - went off for coffee and dessert at Baang Coffee along Tomas Morato and basically chatted the night away. I arrived home just after midnight, falling asleep on the ride home, and of course, woke up quite late. O_o

And I Observe That...

Number One: I hate it when I have my period. I ended up having a bit of an argument with N during the weekend, my mood swings becoming more erratic and unreasonable. O_o Damn hormones. And while I'm not a big fan of blaming my mood on my period, it still explains why I feel like my body is being used as a stage for a couple of elephants dancing to Shakira. It also explains why I've been having restless nights and really bad sleeping patterns, and a tendency to get tired easily, be cranky and pissy and weepy and generally in a foul mood. And Number Two: I really don't like going to church when the priest is overly preachy, the sermon is too didactic for its own good, and you are expected to keep awake ten minutes into the homily. I swear, I suddenly remembered why I elected to be a non-practicing Catholic all over again.

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