Work and play

This morning after an intense bout of channel-surfing, I was finally lulled into watching more Blue’s Clues than any twenty-five-year-old should comfortably admit to. I roused myself out of my groggy state and went to the office to work for a few uneventful hours. Then I decided to see Punch-Drunk Love at the Bethesda Row theater… but when I got there, the place was swarming with people. Not only was Punch-Drunk Love sold out, but also every other movie I would have settled on seeing instead. I should have known. The only other times I’ve gone to this theater have been on less-crowded weeknights or weekend mid-afternoons, and so I’d gotten used to sauntering in a few minutes before showtime. Anyway, I didn’t want to wait until the next showing, so I just went home. On the way, though, I stopped at Fresh Fields, and got some food, including curried pumpkin and apple soup. Mmm. I’m all set for Saturday Night Live, with guest host Eric McCormack!

Oh, and speaking of movies, Lawrence of Arabia has been remastered for its fortieth anniversary, and is now playing on the big screen at the Uptown. It’s on my to-see list.

Get outta town. Over Veteran’s Day weekend, I’ll be in California to see some of my Stanford friends, or to use an informal Tagalog word I like, barkada. It basically means “friends,” but implies a small, close group. “Peeps,” if you will. And that Sunday is my dad’s birthday, so it’ll be a fun-filled weekend all around.

The weekend after that, Susan and Kesha will be in New York City, so I may just have to pop on up there, to meet up for lunch and shopping.

Like a prayer

No, not Madonna. Although, it has been forever since I’ve listened to The Immaculate Collection.) I’m selectively jumping on the Friday Five bandwagon. I’m sure most of you bloggers are familiar with it, but if not: the Friday Five is a weekly set of questions for bloggers to answer and post on their websites. To me the origins are murky, but I think, like many things on the Internet, it started with one person with a neat idea, and it grew exponentially into the thing to do. So here goes:

1. Were you raised in a particular religious faith?
Yes, like most Filipinos: Catholic.

2. Do you still practice that faith? Why or why not?
Kind of. I hardly ever go to Mass these days. Unfortunately the act of going to Mass has diminished relevance in my life. But when I do, I have to say, I enjoy it, namely the sense of community. I believe in many of the teachings ascribed to Jesus, but not so much in the Catholic Church as an organized religious institution.

3. What do you think happens after death?
I waver on questions of afterlife. Sometimes I think death is the very end of all being. Other times I think the soul enters into a different form of consciousness.

4. What is your favorite religious ritual (participating in or just observing)?
I enjoy the music and singing (not a ritual per se), and generally the historical, ritualistic sweep of the Mass. On some level, it’s theater. I don’t mean to say it’s artificial, but rather it’s high drama, and participatory at that: the re-enactment of the Last Supper, where we are not just observers, but active participants.

5. Do you believe people are basically good?
No. Don’t get me wrong, most people are good, sensible people. (I won’t open another can of worms by asking, what is good.) But strictly speaking, I don’t believe people are basically good (or evil). Though people may have general temperaments, I don’t believe we are born with an instinctive morality. Throughout our lives (but most formatively in our youth), we are continually shaped by a multitude of self-interests and societal conventions, good and bad and in-between. Hm. I’ll have to think more about this.

Whew, my mind is tired. Good night.