Monthly Archives: October 2010

Pop Culture Recommendations: My 10 Favorite Scary Movies

Note: Not all of them are straightforward horror movies, but these are the ones that scared the “baby cheeses” out of me, and at the same time are utterly beautiful or heartbreaking or disturbing (sometimes all at the same time)

1. The Others

When I finally found out the “twist” at the end, I re-watched the movie and was even more terrified. Not everyone was scared of the movie, but I loved how everything was so understated and even cerebral.


2. 28 Days Later

We were so used to zombies walking around slowly with arms raised outwards and they weren’t scary coz you could outrun them. Until this movie, where zombies were faster and more ravenous. And waking up in a world where almost everyone is dead is terrifying

3. Let the Right One In

This, for me, is what a vampire movie should be like: cold, mysterious, quiet, terrifying. No sparkly vampires or declarations of undying love or big dramatic action scenes. I still haven’t seen the Hollywood remake so I’ll reserve judgement after. But this, the original is all kinds of awesome

4. Pan’s Labyrinth

A “fairy tale” definitely not for children. What makes this film all the more fascinating and terrifying is that even though it is fantasy, it is still rooted in harsh reality. And the ending just about killed me


5. The Shining

This is a classic of course. I am more afraid of villains that are psychologically horrifying than those that just maim and kill. And Jack Torrance is the ultimate scariest villain for me. And those twin girls? Egads

6. Don’t Look Now

Most probably only film students or film aficionados will know this movie. The story starts out as a drama, with a couple mourning the death of their daughter but then it escalates into a ghost story, a psychic whodunnit, and it ends in one of the most terrifying chase scenes in Venice (probably the only movie where Venice becomes scary)

7. Tesis

This was Alejandro Amenabar’s (director of The Others) first film and this was where Nicolas Cage’s 8MM was loosely based. But obviously this was WAY BETTER and scarier than than Hollywood film. I still think Spain makes the best horror movies (I have 3 Spanish movies in this list)

8. The Orphanage

And the Spanish strike again. An old house. Ghost children. A woman on the verge of going insane. Perfect elements for a kick-ass tragic horror movie.

9. Identity

I probably only know 2 other people who liked this movie, but this is one of those that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole movie. And even though you could see the twist a mile away, it still had that “what the” factor when it was finally revealed

10. Dear Zachary

This film, although it is a documentary, deserves a space in my list because it makes you face a different kind of horror, one that might hit close to home. And because it was horrifying how much I cried while watching this


Posted by on October 31, 2010 in I See Movies, Top 10 Lists


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Pop Culture Recommendations – 3rd week of October

New Movie: The Social Network

People have been raving about it over all the social networks, so even if I haven’t seen it yet, I would highly recommend it (and maybe get to finally see it within the week). And even though some of the facts are currently being disputed in this “biopic” on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, it is still an interesting study on human greed and relative truth

Old (ish) movie: Bandslam

This is the HS Musical/Camp Rock for the hipsters. And this is where I first had a girl crush on Aly Michalka (the Hellcats law student/rocker turned cheerleader)

New album: Come Around Sundown by Kings of Leon

To be handpicked by U2 as the front act for their tour is an honor that young bands only dream of. And in their 2nd album, Kings of Leon prove why they were accorded that honor. Radioactive is constantly on my playlist these days

New discovery: Matthew Perryman Jones

If you like the sound of sensitive singer/songwriters like Damien Rice, William Fitzsimmons, Matt Nathanson and Alexi Murdoch, then this guy is for you

New TV Show:  Blue Bloods

I have an automatic liking for crime procedurals and cop shows, so this was an automatic winner for me. Add to the mix excellent performances by Donnie Wahlberg (yes, even ex-NKOTB can have careers), Bridget Moynahan (the first Mrs. Big!) and Tom Selleck (he will always be Dr. Richard Burke to me) and this tale of a family of law enforcers is a must-see for me

TV Show You Should Be Watching: Cougar Town

It’s on Star World already, so why aren’t you watching? It’s the new, older Friends. Well not exactly, but it does have that feel sometimes. And it’s funny!!!

Fiction Book: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

After writing about Greek demi-gods, Rick turns to Egyptian mythology for his latest book series. Interesting, exciting and relatable for those who have annoying but smart siblings

Non-fiction Book: Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller

I think I have a writer’s crush on Donald Miller. He articulates the God-shaped hole in our hearts in ways that I never thought of before. Imagine using Romeo and Juliet as a metaphor for this! And he writes this is in such a humorous, snarky but deep and thought provoking way. Yes, I crush him

“Some would say formulas are how we interact with God, that going through motions and jumping through hoops are how a person acts out his spirituality. This method of interaction, however, seems odd to me, because if I want to hang out with my friend Tuck, I don’t stomp my foot three times, turn around, and say his name over and over like a mantra, lighting candles and getting myself in a certain mood. I just call him. In this way, formulas presuppose God is more a computer or a circus monkey than an intelligent Being. I realize that sounds harsh, but it is true.”

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Posted by on October 19, 2010 in Pop Goes the Culture


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Songs I Can’t Get Out of My Head Lately Vol 1

(Note: This playlist is heavily influenced by the Relevant Magazine podcast)

1. How He Loves by John Mark McMillan – the Relevant gang calls this the “Shout of the Lord” of this new generation. He had me at “If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.”

2.  Passion Play by William Fitzimons – This song just about kills me everytime I listen to it because it reminds me of His stubborn love even when I was hiding and pushing Him away. “I should not have hid where my heart can’t follow”

3. City by Sara Bareilles – No matter how many times I shuffle my Ipod, this song always comes up and haunts me

4. Brand New Day as covered by Aly Michalka – I usually consider Sting covers blasphemous, but this is one of the few I like. Go Hellcats!

5. Take Me Away by Pink Slip (aka Lindsay Lohan’s band on Freaky Friday) – because once upon a time, LL was awesome

6. Your Heart is an Empty Room by Death Cab for Cutie – my love song to myself. “But you shed not a single tear for the things that you didn’t need
Cause you knew you were finally free”

7. Radioactive by Kings of Leon – this song just sticks to my head like glue. He really sounds like a young Bono doesn’t he? Even Bono says so himself

8. Neighborhood #1 by Arcade Fire – Of course it’s not a worship song per se, but when they start wailing “Purify the colours, purify my mind, and spread the ashes of the colours over this heart of mine!”, I am speaking and singing to Him alone

9. Stay (Faraway So Close) by U2 – you always have to have a U2 song that you can’t get out of your head

10. Tracing by John Mayer – still on a John Mayer hangover, despite the hotel trashing rumors. Let’s just stick to the music eh? We already know that most rock stars are douches anyway

11. 15 Step by Radiohead – that drum beat and Thom Yorke’s voice is just so addictive and mesmerizing

12. Monday by Carlo Dall’ Anese e Fabio Castro – heard this song in a Fernando Torres goal compilation video and it’s just such a rousing and beautiful song


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100 Things I Love Project – #11: Early Mornings

Somehow, without my consciously noticing it, I turned into a morning person.

I used to hate, hate, hate waking up early in the morning and my brain goes into normal function mode by 11AM or so and so most of the time, I am a zombie in the morning, even after caffeination.

I dunno if it’s because of my commitment to my new job or because I am older (and hopefully wiser) or because I had to adjust to my current situation, but suddenly, mornings have become my favorite part of the day. Here are some things I love to do early in the morning

1. Cook – and yes, I can thankfully say now that I can cook beyond frying and opening cans. I love the idea that what I’m cooking can satisfy the hunger pangs of people. And if they think it’s delicious, then bonus points for me!

2. Think – of course most of my day is spent thinking about what I need to do, and so I cherish those precious moments when I can think selfishly for myself. As to what I think about, that’s a whole other post

3. Drink coffee – I usually consume coffee as a necessity, to keep my face from falling on my keyboard. But these early mornings, I drink coffee solely for the sheer pleasure of it. And that first sip of the day is just magical

4. Read the newspaper – My first job was to go through ALL the newspapers and cut out the parts that were relevant to clients. Because of that, I started to hate reading them. But now, out of necessity and morbid curiosity, they’re on top of my everyday to-do list

5. Read a few chapters of my current book – These early mornings are the only chance for me to catch up on my backlog of books-that-I-bought-but-I-havent-gotten-around-to-reading

6. Talk to God – I refuse to call it devotion, because I seem to always fail the “devoted” part. I also don’t like calling it quiet time, because it gives the image of a serene and peaceful moment with God. Which, most of the time, it isn’t. I may look serene on the outside, but in my head and heart, I sometimes battle it out with Him, question Him, complain to Him, but always at the end of it, I learn something new about me and about Him

How about you, what’s your favorite thing about mornings?

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Posted by on October 1, 2010 in 100 Things I Love

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