Friday, December 6, 2013

ASMR 12.06.13

The holidays are just brutal with the cold weather and all the eating, and procrastinating is indeed the biggest enemy. But I'm trying to get a groove...

Pick of the Week:
Who You Love by John Mayer feat Katy Perry (released 12.03.13)

Might Interest You Pick(s):
Let Her Go by Passenger (released 08.28.12)
Defeatist by Cameras (released 11.26.13)

Retro Pick(s):
Tempted by Squeeze (released 1981)
My Sharona by The Knack (released 1979)
Stay by Lisa Loeb (released 1994 in the Reality Bites movie soundtrack)

Not really a big fan of John Mayer but I know for a fact that he is a great songwriter. This duet Who You Love (with his lady Katy Perry) simply depicts two people in love and it's about damn time a music power couple releases one. It's the classic Mayer voice but with a mellow Perry twist. Great pop pick and I am sure this is gonna be a chart buster.

When I first heard Let Her Go by Passenger, I was like "Why am I just listening to this track right now?" And so I find out that it was released back in 2012 but surprisingly just getting its traction in the US charts. I may have heard this sometime ago but only now had the chance to fully grasp the song, much like Zedd's Clarity which was also released in 2012 but only gained fame this year. Great song nevertheless and distinct vocals by Michael David Rosenberg!

Couldn't really figure out how to define this song Defeatist by Cameras. It is odd but in a good way. I like the mix of sounds and the way all the different parts of the song were blended. The album itself (The Best of Manimal Vol. 2) is an odd collection of songs as well, again in a good way. Dust Season by Papercranes is also a noteworthy song and you may find The Chapin Sister's take on classic Madonna's Borderline a little too different.

I was just browsing on the TV channels on a day off that was supposed to be dedicated for errands. Ready to hit the OFF button, the last channel I clicked on was HBO which then was showing Reality Bites. Sure did it for me! How can I pass up on that? It was a very influential film of my time and arguably one of the greatest movie soundtracks ever! And so Tempted, My Sharona and Stay all got my vote as retro picks clearly because I was smitten yet again by young and extremely cute Winona Ryder a.k.a. Lelaina Pierce. I really love both the movie and the soundtrack and the song When You Come Back To Me by World Party is just the jam isn't it??

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Haiyan... again!

I'm no different. I use social media as an avenue to be heard, minuscule my audience or not, and so is the rest of the world. I have read so many posts about the Haiyan tragedy, so many articles, seen so many clips with everyone's take, point of view and what have you. Every praise, every criticism, every opinion. Someone reposting something he/she has read and trying to influence another reader to believe in it. I wonder what really is the agenda behind all of these?? As I said on my previous post, I hope the help is genuine and not in any way political. But interesting enough the political influence that I was hoping would not cloud the initiative to help the victims had gone, well, viral...

This is not about who is right or wrong, who needs to shut the hell up or not, nor influence what a person needs to do. This is about helping and the urgency for that aide. There will always be someone who will not care, who would continue with life as it should be, someone who would talk. There would be people who would provide a smart or stupid opinion i.e. racist comment by a Canadian teacher, and there is nothing we can do about it. That's freedom of speech. Just be ready to own up on what you say, especially in a time of crisis, because you would be subjected to scrutiny and judgement if you do, right or wrong regardless. As they say in the court of law, what you say can and will be used against you. I guess what I don't understand is the need to criticize people who are in the battlefield and can see what is going on as suppose to people who are miles away and who's intel comes from people other than themselves?? The ironic part is the need to defend oneself from reports that may very well be true? Now, this is not to undermine the people and the officials who are truly helping out in this time of need. There is no need to defend them. Their arsenal is the deed they are doing and reports about it would come freely if the act is evident. Maybe not immediate nevertheless it will. I do agree with a lot but not all of what CNN's Anderson Cooper reported and the one that really stands out for me is that there really is no organized effort (organized is the key) to help the victims. Maybe now there are signs, now that it is Day 6 and almost a week after. But it took that long?? The urgency in awareness is there alright but the urgency in action is the one missing.

Case in point.. when Japan was struck by that deadly tsunami a few years ago, on Day 2, the military is already going through debris and rubble to help find survivors and dead bodies. We can't let the actual survivors who just went thru hell be the ones to do this for themselves, right?? Sure there are reasons why it is taking too long to reach those areas that are isolated and remote and that there is no faster way to get through it. But this is what Cooper perhaps is pertaining to (or at least the way I understood it) that if access was the problem, shouldn't that be the first on the agenda? And while a sector of the government or military is doing that, another leg should be in charge for distribution and logistics. Should there be someone to map out what the operation is all about and delegate the priorities to the resources available? I know it sounds so easy and I'm not a certified tactician myself but that is what the government is for isn't it? They have men and women, elected and appointed, at a governing level who are capable enough to come up with a game plan and have it executed effectively and efficiently. A game plan, exactly. Organized as pointed out.

However, this is what I am talking about where politics come into play. The Philippine government, as a whole, has dug itself a deep hole, credibility and image-wise, long before this tragedy had ever happened. So whether their efforts to help is truly legitimate or not, there would still be doubts. It is part of it so let it be. Again, the authenticity of the act will speak for itself and there is no need to go to the Press or social media and defend the efforts of those who are being scrutinized but wholeheartedly is helping. It is not the image you project but the sincerity of your action because publicity should be the last thing on their minds. Filipino politicians are too conscious about what is being reported about themselves and honestly are not used to being criticized intensely and on an international scale. The goal really by CNN and other non-partisan networks is to inform the public. And whether they forget or just choose not to air the positive side of things, perhaps as a means to motivate and push for quicker help, this is nothing to be worried about. The glory will come down the line and the only validation you need would come from the survivors themselves. That is the one that counts, the ONLY one that counts. Unless of course you are (again) politically-driven, then your goodwill will surely be tainted.

I guess there is always a political twist in everything, whether in a time of need or even in triumph. And maybe my plea to make the rescue efforts to be non-political is absurd. Yet that should not deter me from sharing what I believe should be the ideal intention. I am far away and can easily be accused to be in no position to rant as I put myself into an ironic state. But I will in a heartbeat be at ground zero if I am able to. My two-cents may not count, maybe this is just another article worth ignoring. But I have already earned my right to speak because I made my pledge and my drive is not for glory but merely to put in my share of concern. I will say it again, I have and will continue to pray for the victims and for true help to be genuine and not in any way, no matter how preposterous this may sound, be political...


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Sadness and hope at the same time. Sadness, as I read stories about the tragedy that is Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda that hit my hometown, the Philippines. Hope, that such calamity will strengthen the pride and bring out the true meaning of unity within Filipinos and the world as a whole.

I heard the news last week and was worried, almost feeling that I needed to heed the warning despite being oceans away from where the monster storm would wreck havoc. But what can I do, this is what Mother Nature has intended. The typhoon will happen and the path has been mapped. I can only pray that the meteorologists were wrong with their forecast but I couldn't bet on it. Come Thursday night (Friday morning in the Philippines) I wonder what's going on. I relied mostly on social media to status me of how things are in those affected areas and there was not a lot of factual news. Just a lot of speculations at that time as communications, as anticipated, has been limited. Though I know that my family and friends back there are far away from the actual location, it did not at all diminished the worry and sadness I felt for those whose lives will be forever altered.

As Haiyan finally hits central Philippines, news started to flow in. I witnessed a story of how fast the flood has risen from ankle to hip to head deep. The strong winds were scary and the horizon is barely visible due to the heavy rains. All sorts of debris were drifting in the air like fireflies in a bug-infested night. People helplessly trying to find higher ground, shelter or anything dry just to get some form of relief and security. I saw videos one after another of the trending events and it was disheartening for I knew I was witnessing a section of civilization simply getting annihilated. As the sun starts to rise on my morning that day, it was dark as night to my fellowmen on the other side of the planet.

A day after the destruction, the media were a bit free from obscurity but the news were anything but. Finally seeing the wrath and the destruction that Haiyan bestowed upon the provinces, I was heart broken. It was too crushing to watch, almost unbearable to see such carnage. I heard all sorts of things from residents searching for loved ones from piles of rubble, hoping against hope that they are still alive, to looting brought about by desperation and not because of innate evil. Infrastructures were just torn into pieces, lives stolen by fate and an entire city succumbing to bedlam.

Overwhelming the aftermath maybe, the support from all walks of the world were equally astonishing. Several nations answered the call and have pledge monetary and other forms of assistance or aide. I've never seen social media as active as its been, from Tyra Banks to Hollister Co, showing and asking for support and prayers to Haiyan victims. Friends and peers alike have reached out to me to ask if any of my family, relatives or friends have been affected. That simple gesture really made me teary-eyed. Reading posts from friends who are making concerted efforts to provide their own little way to help those affected to me earned a vote of respect. So for those individuals, institutions, countries, the UN and especially the United States who are providing significant help, as I'm sure I speak on behalf of the majority of concerned Filipino citizens, a heartfelt thanks is in order.

Now like in any social event, whether the good, the bad or the different, there is always a political twist in everything and sometimes a slice of truth pie. Days have passed and it seems like the Philippine Government is taking forever to mobilize the Armed Forces to help those in need. Even CNN's Anderson Cooper, who arrived in Tacloban City on Day 5, thought he was too late to capture the actual struggle but clearly showed some disbelief on why the pace to help the victims is so delayed and staggered. There was a call for corrupt elected-officials to take a pause from their ill-doings for if there was a perfect moment for them to earn their stature as leaders of the country, this was it. There were also concerning messages from either naive or simply Filipino-hating people who had nothing better to do but to air their tactless opinions on social media. The timing is certainly not right so it may truly come to many as something unforgiving. I also read articles that challenges a person's conscience to help or simply avoid celebrations in this time of need. Although I understand the rationale for such cry, I do not want to tell a person to halt his life for a moment and feel like he is obligated to do something involuntarily. Life does go on and instead of trying to ridicule those who, for whatever reason, has other things in their minds, it would be more productive to focus the attention to those who actually are helping out. This should not create much fuss at all. But I know that if you have some interest in social events in general, then no matter how disconnected you are from their world, this would move you.

I still wonder how the Philippines would get out of this unfortunate incident. What I know is that the effort is not quite enough and I worry that even in such unprecedented disaster, Philippine politics would still play a deceiving role.  I just hope that the sight of survivors living in makeshift shelters while their dead lies in front of them is enough to humble the greedy. Have and will continue to pray for the victims and for true help to be genuine and not in any way be political.


Friday, October 25, 2013

ASMR 10.25.13

Pick of the Week:
Rough Water by Travie McCoy feat Jason Mraz (released 09.09.13)

Might Interest You Pick(s): -- gotta few here...
Future Days by Pearl Jam (released 10.15.13)
Dark Horse by Katy Perry feat Juicy J (released 10.22.13)
When You Were Young [Calvin Harris Remix] by The Killers (not yet released)

Retro Pick:
Burning Flame by Vitamin Z (released 1985)

The witty Travie McCoy (who always seems to know whom to collaborate with for a hit -- Billionaire?? Bruno Mars??) now has Jason Mraz by his side for a catchy pop song called Rough Water. I don't think it's Billboard #1 material (coz a month after it's release would've been enough to know that) but it's still a jam song I would love to hear on my iPod (yes iPod, it still lives!) Besides, the line "I'll be the Leonardo DiCaprio to your Kate Winslet" just did it for me LOL!

After watching Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night and once again seeing Eddie Vedder busting the chords, chills immediately went down thru my spine and I felt transported back in the not-so distant past when Matt Dillon sported the long 'do and Doc Martens were the kicks that mattered. Although the carrier single Sirens is awesome itself, there is nothing more Pearl Jam (Vedderesque) than Future Days. I was instantly reminded of how Pearl Jam tapped the inner rock and alternative animal in me and now I have to add watching them live to my bucket list...

Aaah! Katy Perry! Her songs are lively and she will rake in music award after music award until they find the next teen sensation in The Voice. And though I'm not really a big fan of her music (except The One That Got Away) I love Katy because of her big round.. ehem.. eyes! The woman is drop dead gorgeous. She has the curves, the big blue saucer-wide eyes and yeah, she can sing. I chose Dark Horse instead of Roar as my pick because the latter still reminds me of how Katy stole that song from Sara Bareilles' single Brave, at least in my opinion.

Just a real quick remark regarding Calvin Harris's take on the single When You Were Young. It's alright. I'm not a big fan of most if not all the remixes The Killers allowed DJs to work on their hits. Don't get me wrong, I like Calvin Harris, David Guetta and all those EDM jocks who turns already poppy songs even poppier :)  It's just that I don't like it mixed with my favorite alternative or rock music. Nevertheless, I still recommend you check it out on YouTube since the release of my most favorite band's Direct Hits album is not until November 11.

And as I adieu this write-up, yet again a classic hip single from one hit-wonder band Vitamin Z. Admit it, we all loved it back then. We even heard stories of fans buying the record in drugstores (Vitamin Z, duh?) instead of music shops. It was the jam and who could ever forget the synthesizer guitar intro of the song! "And all along on my trip to nowhere. You annoyed me with your foolish games..." Now sing along...

Friday, October 18, 2013

ASMR 10.18.13

If you don't know what ASMR stands for, then check my last post :-)

Pick of the Week:
Rap God by Eminem (released 10.15.13)

Might Interest You Pick(s): 
Broken Over You by Vertical Horizon (released 10.08.13) 
Cheating by John Newman (released 10.15.13) 

Retro Pick: 
Reasons by Earth, Wind and Fire (released 1975)

My goodness where has Eminem been??? Rap God is freakishly awesome and I may say puts Eminem back atop the hip-hop heavens. One thing I like about the dude is that he always reinvents himself after a long hiatus. Seems like Eminem is set for a great year if the album is as good as the single. I have no doubt this would hit the charts faster than you saying "Guess who's back?" Marshall Mathers STILL rules!!!

Next, Vertical Horizon's Broken Over You from their album Echoes From The Underground. Even with the totally revamped squad (except for frontman Matt Scannel), this brings to us the VH sound that we were accustomed to, in fact even better, since Matt has really stepped up his ante music-wise throughout the years. Despite some hardcore VH fans slow regression of support because of the band member changes, there is no denying Matt's voice and the music that VH has to offer.

On the pop side, at first I thought it was James Morrison singing (really the close vocal resemblance) which made me wonder if James just changed his artist name into John Newman (seriously, both are English). The single Cheating is lively which would make you wanna get into that jam mood instantly. Now if you delve into the lyrics a lot closer, then you know this is a guy accusing her woman of the actual title (if not already obvious). Still a great catchy tune that you may want to pick up and add to your Not-So-Sure-Why-I-Bought-It music folder.

And though I love my alternative and pop music altogether, at the end of the day, my ears still leads me back into the classics. There is no way you cannot like Reasons from EWF simply because it is that good. I always see myself in the living room at night, lights dimmed, glass of wine or a bottle of beer depending on the mood, and the cranked up voice of Philip Bailey on the dock. What can be more relaxing than that?? Trust me, it never fails...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

ASMR (A Sorta Music Review) 10.09.13

I couldn't come up with a better title to the post but eventually it would evolve. So for now ASMR would suffice (please don't shake your head). So I'm doing my first music review (sorta right) for this year and I got some interesting ones to share. This should be a trend from hereon since my passion for music is extremely strong and my appreciation is wide. You probably know already since most of my posts would have a mention or two of artists or certain hits. So I hope I can keep this up...

This week's pick is Temple by Kings of Leon from their 6th album entitled Mechanical Bull which was released just last month. Although a lot of KOL fans might disagree, I think this album is a lot better than the previous blockbuster Only By The Night (which included great hits like Sex On Fire and Use Somebody). Temple may not be the carrier single for the month-old Mechanical Bull but it certainly provides that alternative-ish sound with the KOL signature on it. The album is a great buy altogether and singles like Beautiful War and Supersoaker are worth listening to.

I also came across the new Stone Temple Pilots album High Rise with new vocalist and Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington. It's weird to hear Chester singing on a STP album but there's a slight chance you may NOT recognize it from the carrier single Out Of Time. But it becomes a dead give away who the vocals are once you hear the song Tomorrow. Still I find the fusion of Chester's voice and STP instruments to be a delight and I am diggin' this collaboration. I wonder how Mike Shinoda and the rest of LP are thinking now that they are coming out with a new album of their own. It would definitely be interesting.

Lastly in what I find to be the best album for 2013 yet (mostly rap, some reggae and some electronic) comes a collection of up and rising artists. I swear I almost like all of the songs in this album named Basement Chronicles Chapter 1, which was just released a few days ago. State I'm In by Jared Evan for sure tops the list while Live Love Laugh by Mod Sun and Never Let You Down by Yonas comes a close second at least to my taste. All the songs in the album are fresh and for sure will gonna make your head nod once or twice and get you bouncing a little bit. Coz what album that has Jason Bourne as a single would not make you, right??

Until next... Back to listening Curtis Mayfield for now...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Hunt For Red Octo-"Beer"

Aah October!!! The only month of the year were you can catch an MLB, NHL, NFL and NBA game all in one day (okay, it maybe pre-season NBA but still you get to see Derrick Rose finally play). This is the month of Halloween where people get creative and actually gets the opportunity to be who they are (at least dress like it) without looking like an idiot and not getting arrested for it (well, you can still look like an idiot but nobody really cares). And every now and then you would already hear a Christmas tune on the radio from jocks who are trying to escape playing overly-requested songs.

There is too much going on in October. For most companies, this is the month to push last quarter sales in and get their products shipped before the Holidays. Openings for temp jobs rise significantly high at this time because of the need to fill out the “scarers” for Halloween theme parks as well as the staff for Best Buy’s Black Friday extravaganza. Recruitment for Santa’s little elves and reindeers also commence this month and except for the OCDs who plan the year before, it is also the month when your Mom starts designating what food your relatives need to bring for Thanksgiving. But the most important thing for this month (at least to me and to all the boozers around the world) is the celebration of Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest is the world’s largest fair held annually in Bavaria, Germany. What makes this 16-day festival attractive to the likes of me is the idea of consuming large quantities of beer for more than 2 weeks.  I have not been to Munich nor am I German either, although rumor has it that we have German roots because our last name Robel was allegedly derived from Wrobleski.  It probably would’ve explained my natural desire for alcohol except that I am inclined to believe that I got it from my mother side (what with all the boozer cousins I have from that end) and not the supposedly German side of the family. Okay, it’s probably bogus altogether but I love my beer nevertheless. Now growing up Filipino, I am actually clueless of what Oktoberfest was until I saw a banner outside a bar that says it and heard a drunk dude saying “Its Oktoberfest man! Time to get wasted!” It actually summed up pretty much what I needed to know about such event in such short context.

October usually jumpstarts what would become the rest of my year. And in the good ole days (man am I getting old or what?), it would be the baddest, craziest, most unpredictable and highly intoxicating 90-day period for me. Nowadays, you can call Monday Night Football with an ice cold Bud Light Crown as an awesome night. The hunt for parties to crash or bars to conquer has tamed, way tamed. But whether your watching the Dodgers make their run towards the World Series, or witnessing restive Freddy Krueger-masked freaks (or worst smelling drunk Santa roaming around already), October signals the start of a lot of festivities. People are hustling and slacking is at its lowest during this time of the year. And though I know my first post for the month is already a little into the 2nd week (slacking haha), it wouldn’t surprise me if everybody else have started making their Holiday list or somewhat business-wrapping up the year productively and strong. Time to smell the drop of temperature in the air and would someone please wake up Green Day already?? 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Claire Danes Effect

For a moment I thought I saw Claire Danes come out of a Rover. Thank goodness it wasn’t. I would’ve given her the bird. I hate that bitch (sorry Homeland fans). It was for comments she made some time ago which I couldn’t quite get over still (not that it was anything remotely personal but it’s her fault for taking my bitterness away from Tommy Hilfiger). Must not let it ruin the evening though. It’s Friday and it’s the Sunset strip. The Bentleys, the girls on Jimmy Choos, the crowded clubs. Can’t get any more Hollywood than that. It’s been years since the road led me to this side of the town and it was nice to start the weekend outside of Orange County.

I wasn’t sure how the evening would turn out. It was one of those not-entirely-certain-what-to-expect kinda nights and my friend and I just wanted to get away. Our destination was Hollywood, Chateau Marmont to be exact. Already the place sounded great and immediately I felt a gush of adrenaline as I remember a good friend who works there (can someone say a free round of drinks please?? LOL). The drive was smooth and the Los Angeles skyline by night, despite the criticism, is still breathtaking. As we stroll along Hollywood Blvd, we were just entertained by our catch-up stories, Snow Patrol and the mere oddity of the street scenery. So occupied that we realized we were at Laurel Canyon already and nowhere near our destination (we’ve always wondered where Hollywood Blvd ends and now we know). After a couple of maneuvering in what seemingly are narrow and narrower streets, we managed to arrive to our watering hole.

We found a parking space just a block from the bar. Strange that it was empty except for a Lincoln Navigator, a minivan and a Corolla near the entrance where a man also standing was half-looking at us and half-busy with his phone. The lot was poorly lit and considering where we at and how few the cars parked in it, something just didn’t feel right. Suddenly from the corner, in what I initially thought was a heap of garbage, emerged a hobo. And that was good enough reason to skedaddle quickly. I drove around a bit to look for a different spot, in futile, so valet seems to be the only solution to our woes. However, it was imperative that we do self-parking as my ever-prepared friend has two tequila-filled plastic bottles in her purse. Obviously, we can’t walk in the streets holding those around. We managed to find our parking spot and the prelude to our evening was already taking place.

We enter Le Bar Marmount, buzzed. T’was very dim, a little crowded and the waitresses clad in red dresses with hoe-like stockings. We managed to slither into the darkness and found ourselves a small couch near the bar sans the table. Tequila shot for the lady, Jack and ginger ale for me. I knew we’re in for a pricy night but two casual drinks for $40?? Kinda stings! Realizing that my sous chef friend no longer works there, there’s no way the tab’s gonna make this any fun. We were one and done. We down our drinks and was about to pay the bill, until my crazy friend told us to just ditch. Are you freakin’ serious?? (suddenly a blast from the past circa 1995—the Silhouette Tower, me and my buddies plundering a big ass picture frame out of the wall hahaha).  What the heck right? And so we stood up, power-walked to the exit and into the boulevard, smiles in our faces, huge ones.  The less alluring Pink Taco bar just right across looked like a place to end and celebrate the impetuous undertaking. Tequila shot for the lady, Bud Light for me and tacos for both of us. Tab nowhere near $40. My friend goes to the rest room while I take a handle of the Marmont incident that just happened a few minutes ago. Guess who decided to drive by Sunset Blvd in front of Pink Taco?? Claire f’in Danes!!! Shakin’ my head. Just shakin’ my freakin’ head…

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throw Back Your Thursday

I look like a dork, a really ethnic looking skinny dork. And the years I’ve invested trying to get away from that persona was taken away from me in just an insta.. an Instagram photo! I’m not sure what to make of it though. On one side, it brings a smile to my face seeing a photograph of me during the time when the only camera pose I did was the down-syndrome. On another, really?? Do I have to be reminded how Napoleon Dynamitesque I was back then and introduce the young me to the world I know now? Please don’t torture them.

You see I don’t want to be the photo Scrooge who tells the proud photo-posting-happy friend that it’s not cool when he’s the only one who looks awesome in the picture. I get it that you want your social media friends to know that you were skinny at one point and that you were part of the Varsity Team back in high school. But for those of us who did not have really moisturized skin back then and were proud of our MC Hammer get up, could you blame us for not being too enthusiastic with all these throwbacking??? Back then photographs were very precious and really personal. You actually keep them and only share them to those in it and occasionally to Aunt Linda (because you’ll never hear the end of it if she does not see them). You don’t waste camera film (yes hashtag babies, they used to exist!) on food or your newly painted nails?? But thanks to the digital age, not only do people take pics like almost every second, they found a reason to dust off the old shoebox and pull out the old stack. So don’t be shocked if some day you’ll find that dreaded pic that shows the world how stoned you truly were during that first job interview. Could you imagine that Mr. CEO???

Whether the truly depressed or underachieved just relishing their young winning form once again, or the successful ones trying to inspire the uninspired by showing their measly roots, there’s gotta be some sort of gratification with #ThrowBackThursday, right? I’m sure not all would be receptive to seeing their old selves once again, so on behalf of those who lived two lives some time ago and wants to keep 1992 at 1992, a little suggestion to our social friends—do more TBT “selfies” okay? Hmmm… which gives me an idea! Perhaps we can cancel TBT altogether and just do Selfie Sunday?? Selfie Sunday!? Not bad?? Must tweet it now so it trends #SelfieSunday… You read it here first LOL!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Planet Of The Vapes

The boys are in the pit once again. Hennessy is chilled, barbeque on the grill and the artist of choice to serenade us that night is Lana Del Rey. It’s another birthday celebration and somebody’s going home drunk and perhaps hung-over the day after. Not much have changed since the last drinking spree except that the threshold for alcohol consumption is a little tamed and most noticeably the smell of cigarettes is finally gone. No, my buddies have not quit smoking. I don’t see that happening anymore at this stage in their lives. Now, they just vape.

In case you have been out of the scene and still Game Of Thrones-struck, the more hip-sounding “vape” has been a steady and growing fad aimed to substitute tobacco smoking. Vaping is derived from its tool called Personal Vaporizer (PV), which utilizes a heating element that vaporizes a liquid solution. There are some solutions that merely releases flavored vapor while some, those who could not totally divorce from nicotine, still has the deadly substance in it. They can, however, control the amount of nicotine they want to burn, or in a sense, kinda like gauging how long they want to live. Either way, the smell is nowhere near that of regular cigarettes and I can’t believe it came to this point, but second-hand smoke has never been so delightful.

The gadget itself is amazing. It’s taken over the entire table discussion. My homies talk about their PVs like it’s science. They talk about how precise your PV should be assembled, that the thread needs to be at exact length and that the atomizer—the heating element—must be of high quality. And you can throw in the towel when they start talking about the actual flavors. The list outduels that of Buffalo Wild Wings’ spicy choices by a mile. It goes from bubble gum to pineapple to tiramisu. I swear if it’s something that you can taste, there’s probably a liquid solution for that already. So it's no surprise that vape conversations get extremely serious. You can easily get lost in translation. I mean whenever I find myself in the middle of such talk, I feel as if I’m in high school Physics class again where every term seems so foreign. But at least I know this much—like I know much of the theory of relativity—the greater amount of smoke you exhale, the better your PV is!

Now don’t get me wrong. The smoke that fills the air is still annoying, flavorful as it is, especially if they get in your face. I don’t know as well how “healthy” exactly it is and if my friends actually vape virgin flavors or nicotine-infused ones. And I’m totally oblivious where the FDA stands regarding vaping but I’m sure the tobacco companies are not pulling for great reviews. Could you imagine how much money Marlboro is losing because of vaping?? All of my buddies have gone vaping and I see more and more switching everyday. Heck, I even have a friend who didn’t smoke before but now actually vapes.

Vaping may not necessarily save you from lung cancer nor is it gonna better our environment, but at least it’s a start. A planet of vapes?? Sounds.. er.. smells good to me!