May 31, 2011

On The Zafra Years (also: journals)

Any young, aspiring Filipino pop writer worth their salt these days has had the Jessica Zafra phase. At least a couple of my friends have all dreamed of becoming her, some even long before they knew she existed. *cough* I'll never forget my Tita's immortal hallmark of a good writer: that she can make even the act of watching ice melt interesting to read about. ("Defrosting", Twisted 7)

More importantly, before the dawn of Rifftrax and the Nostalgia Critic her Twisted book series was my bible on the fine art of injecting film analysis with funny. Personal highlights include:
  • Twisted 5 with the Voltes V-inspired cover and the pieces on The Ninth Gate and Mystery Men, which for some reason I remember most vividly.
  • Twisted 7, which in its time shockingly put forth the theory that Terminator 3 was a good movie. I also fondly remember giggling way too long at the title of the book's Cold Mountain review.
  • Twisted 8, the most recent book I'd gotten to date. (Yes, I know 9 is already out.) Mostly I remember it for giving me yet another reason to just go out and effing buy Atonement already, and for now making me permanently associate Blood Diamond with both Congo and Lord Of The Rings.
In case it had not already become apparent, I had developed then a mild case of Zafra hero worship I decided to wean myself off of (mostly for my own sanity, but also because I still wasn't much of a movie/tennis/tech person).

Of course I still follow her official blog, from time to time remaining indebted to its presence for such things as celebrity correspondence and everything I ever needed to know about Joey Gosiengfiao's Temptation Island.



An extremely bad idea: watching this video right after reading the Wikipedia article on Cannibal Holocaust.


Lately I'd been scouring the blog for its previous entries on the subject of notebooks and other things we use for writing.

This year I have known the thrilling experience of shopping around for my sister's daily planner, and in a way it had caused me to become more contemplative about all the blank notebooks I'd lovingly amassed and scribbled in over the years. (Unlike Sis I am not much of a "planner" person.)

Ever since the minor Moleskine explosion that seems to have erupted domestically overnight, I never really understood the elitist preference for such absurdly pricey journals and other related instruments. (Inkwells? People really still use those?) However at the risk of sounding like a blatant shill, I developed a better understanding of such lofty preferences after finding Gwen Diehn's The Decorated Page on sale at National Bookstore.

I won't go too in-depth about how much I love this book (perhaps I'll save that for another blog entry), but I do highly appreciate its introductory chapters which discussed technical things like archival quality (a.k.a. why "acid-free paper" is a big deal) and the merits of neutral versus determined materials when journalling.

I still can't quite make that transition to high-quality leatherette carnets though, not while I still have a small stockpile of blank books I need to burn through right here at home. Nevertheless, I've now become a more aware, more conscientious diarist (with a disturbingly more pronounced selectiveness when it comes to ballpoint pens).

axilog14 on the art of decorating pages

My current notebook (WHICH IS NOT YOURS). Costed me just P16.50 at American Boulevard a.k.a. Trying To Be Hot Topic.

gloves, by Hot Topic
The funniest part? I could just as easily make these myself.