I say it’s a ‘semi’ obsession because it is not something I’m losing sleep over.  It’s more like a silly hobby really.

I think a lot of tweeps like me are also into this new silly hobby brought about by these ever-changing forms of technology.  I believe it is so novel that they haven’t had a name for it yet.  It’s about collecting replies from celebrities or what I call ‘celeb-retweets‘ (whether it be via twitter or from FaceBook)…

I already talked about it in my post about John Cusack. That one was something I was so excited about because it was the first one that came from someone I truly admire.  But I got other RTs from other celebs, too…

As I said, I know that this is just silly and fun! While others are wasting whiling away their time collecting stuff for virtual games like pet society or farmville (which I don’t do), collecting celeb-retweets is MY kind of ‘game.’ It requires a bit of strategy, wit, and luck, too.  You have to out-do your online opponents which happen to be other tweepers vying for these celebs’ attention as well.

But I don’t go around tweeting ALL the celebs just for the heck of it. I just choose those whom I like or respect the most.  Besides, not all of them tweet back. They don’t have to and you got to respect that. But how do I know if they’re the real thing, and not written by some secretary or their PAs? I guess if you read their tweets, you would know. It’s the tone that you ‘hear’ in their statements that tell you it’s them. Aside from that, if it’s a verified account, then there you go.

Here is (so far) my ‘collection’ of celeb-retweets. I show them off with the level of snooty enthusiasm that is akin to that of Sesame Street’s Bert when he showed off his shiny bottle-cap collection (Oh, Figgy Fizz! hehe):

1) Judah Friedlander: World’s “Greatest” Champ

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June 19, 2009: I managed to eke out a birthday greeting from actor/stand-up comedian Judah Friedlander via FB.  Judah plays “Frank Rossitano,” the trucker-hat wearing writer of NBC’s 30 Rock.  He is swell guy who doesn’t let fame get into his head (unless when he’s boasting off his feats as the World Champ). If he had a chance to talk to his fans, he would – just like any regular guy (You could catch him online via FB and he would ‘hey’ back if you say ‘hi’).  Totally cool. Thanks, Judah. You are truly the World Champ!

2) Eoin Colfer:  Teacher to Teacher Talk

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Aug. 24, 2009: Eoin Colfer is an Irish author; he was commissioned to write the 6th installment of “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” but he is best known as the creator of the famous Artemis Fowl series.  Though he does not tweet as much as the other celebs, he was kind enough to take time to answer a question I posed (which he answered after the day I sent it).  I do agree with his advice. And I also admire teachers like him who became writers.  They give me hope that someday I can accomplish the same feat. Gracias, Mr. Colfer!

3) Amber Benson: An awesome Greeting from a Buffy Royalty

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May 8, 2009: I already mentioned about my love for the Buffy TV series in my previous post. Even if the series was over, countless of BTVS fans like me are happy that some of its stars are on Twitter.  Amber Benson (who played Tara) was one of the first (if not, THE first) BTVS alumni who got into Twitter.  She DMed (‘direct messaged’) me as soon as I started following her with the tweet above.  Of course, I was starstruck! Imagine, Tara from Buffy? She tweeted ME, a die-hard Buffy Fan?  Not getting it? Believe me, in Buffy-verse this is something that reaches major levels of awesomeness… Thank you, Amber!

4) Julie Benz: Scoring a Scoop from a Dexter Star!

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Sept. 4 2009:  Julie Benz (who played “Darla” in both Buffy and Angel; currently in the show Dexter as “Rita”) is a real sweetheart.  I like her. She’s polite and sensitive.  I was able to get a ‘scoop’ (ahem) for the upcoming Season 4 of Dexter (which will start on Sept. 27) wherein she revealed that she will be doing a bit of singing! (A week later, TV Guide magazine posted this article regarding it). But really, if you watched Angel, you would agree with me that this talented lady DOES have a pretty voice.  Frankly speaking, I don’t watch “Dexter” much but now… I will.  Danke, Julie!

5) John Cusack: No. Thank YOU, Mr. Cusack…

2ndtwitexchangewithjohnAug. 23, 2009: Yes. Lightning DOES strike twice (And hopefully even more than twice).  In my second retweet from him, John Cusack thanked me… Again, let me reiterate this: He. John Cusack. Thanked. Me. For watching his HBO dramatic movie, Jack Bull.  And with three exclamation points to boot!  Sweet!  Haha!  I should be the one thanking him for coming up with Jack Bull. It’s really one of my favorites among all his movies (again, the key here is sincerity.  He knows if you’re bullsh#tting him so you better make it real if you want him to retweet back).  Too bad, Max and Get Outta the Boat are not readily available here, though.

Well, that’s my bottle-cap, I mean, celeb-retweet collection so far! Too bad, I can’t sell them on ebay. Hmm…

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smallribbonI first saw John Cusack in Better Off Dead.  From that moment on, I was instantly smitten.  He was funny and had that goofy, likeable charm that easily translates to a dependable bestfriend-cute boyfriend material.  And he wasn’t a bad actor, taking his craft seriously—the fact that he survived the 80’s Brat Pack was let alone a big feat, for while the careers of his contemporaries stumbled and faltered – his saw smooth sailing with occasional minor bumps along the way.  He can play the Hollywood game but he can pretty much steer his own ship, too.  He valued his privacy—something that I find truly cool and which I unconsciously emulated —one’s private life is his own business and not yours. He is not the type who would kiss and tell (especially about his current paramours) which I find extremely classy and manly.  But we do know he is loyal to his family and friends – making sure to include them in his successes, happiness, and plans.  And johnqsackhe’s obviously smart, too.  He is very vocal and genuinely concerned about real issues – political and social.  He just doesn’t do the talk he does them, too.  And unlike other celebrities, he does them without so much fanfare.  Can you blame me for sticking by him – through thick and thin?  There’s this FB group (of which of course I am a member) whose name sums it all up– “All Men Pale in Comparison to John Cusack.”

Just like any other normal fan – I look him up from time to time on the web but only for the purpose of getting some updates (e.g. imdb) and ‘stalk’ him in the typical kind of way – not the freaky kind.  There’s not much info on him though – I mean compared to uberstars like Pitt and Clooney.  He does have his blog in Huffington Post and his myspace site but there was no possible chance of any sort of interaction that I was wishing for.  So his recent forte into the twitterverse was something I rejoiced about (Twitter, love na kita– srsly grabe!).

Thanks to actor/comedian, Rob Corddry whose account I was following before John’s. Rob C. outed John’s supposedly ‘secret’ twittername with the tweet, “This is proof Screwheads. Cusack is @shockozulu. Now can we talk about something else? http://twitpic.com/9urha (You see, during that time, Rob and John were wrapping up their latest movie, “Hot Tub Time Machine”— yes, no joke, that is the actual title– in Vancouver so I do know that it was all legit).  I immediately checked it out and much to my utter delight – he was twitting back to his followers!

His tweets were typically Cusack—quick, manic and cryptic most of the time; reflective, cool and savvy on some days.  And so what if he was a bad speller (which was a surprising new thing I found out about him – dysgraphia?), it didn’t bother him… which was cool by me. Right away, I sent him messages, hoping I could get one in return.  He could be generous one day and stingy the next with his retweets.  It was clear to me that this wasn’t going to be easy.

I learned that the best time to get a retweet was when you catch him on-line.  However, I couldn’t get an opening. A lot of his fans—including me– were all vying for his attention.  And not only that, I also couldn’t catch a break — either I’m the one who was busy working or sleeping every time he was twitting or he was the one asleep when it was my turn to tweet.  He preferred to reply to quotes or tweets about Hunter T., politics and social issues (or whatever catches his whim at that moment).  But I can’t pretend that I know anything about those. That would be so fake. I didn’t want to beg either.  Or act like an annoying troll (which some pathetic losers resort into doing) to force an angry retweet out of him (lesson learned, read Trent Reznor’s bitter twitter experience).  I just have to do what I can by being myself.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to give up. My motto became Operation Qsack: No Retweet, No Surrender!

Then, one sad day, three days after Cory died, I finally got a chance.  The timing was perfect.  We were both finally on-line at the same time. He was then twitting about presidents (US’ Bill C. and Mexico’s).  I tweeted about what I was feeling at that time. Seconds later, this was what I got:

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Aug. 4, 2009: JC sends his condolences via twitter…

My eyes brimmed with tears reading his 6 words.  Even if it wasn’t much, even if he already shifted his attention elsewhere, and to another fan’s twit, it was enough for me.  It was consoling at a time of grief.  It made me feel better.  Like hitting a small jackpot lotto prize.  Yay!

Now that this was over, one short term goal has finally been ticked off.  And as I told my friend sreisaat, “I can now move on with my life.” Haha!

Thanks, John.  You don’t know how much this means to someone like me. Really. And I know it might be a one in a million chance… um, ok, come to think of it — with the help of tags… make that one in a hundred thousand chance for you to be reading this but hey, who knows, right? Dreams CAN come true!

BTW, did I mention that I sooo love you, Twitter? I did but I’ll say it again- I heart Twitter! Thank you so much for making this fangirl super-duper happy!

Up next: An awesome experience with Trent Reznor!

UPDATE:

Well, what do you know? Weeks later I got a second retweet from JC… click here to read about it.  😀

PS. For personal reasons, there may be times my twitter account maybe on lockdown.  If it is,  sorry! I may change also my account in the near future… but I haven’t decided yet so.  Whatev. 🙂

smallribbon(Note: A yellow ribbon will be placed on all my August posts as my sign of respect and sorrow over the passing of our beloved former President Corazon C. Aquino ~SL)

It has been a week since Mommy Cory died.  Everyone calls her Tita Cory. Even if I didn’t know her personally (the closest encounter I had with her was when I saw her pass by during a campaign rally for her chosen senators),  it felt like she was more than an aunt or tita.  It didn’t feel right to call her just “Tita” (In the Phils. and even in other Asian countries like Japan, that’s how you address the bestfriend of your mom or your friend’s mom).  It doesn’t feel right to call her just that.  Losing her was like losing a mom– the second time for me, having lost my real mother when i was in my late teens. Now here it is again.  The tears keep on coming.  Grief and bereavement…  Hurt, anguish, and despair over what’s freakin’ left for us to deal with, now that she’s gone.  It is really difficult to accept it. We feel like a motherless nation now– we feel so alone.

Even so… this was also a strange week wherein I got two of my wishes granted which cheered me up somehow.  It has something to do with two of my most favorite celebrities in the world  – John Cusack and Trent Reznor! One I made actual contact with and the other I get to see live in person!

I know I should be giddy and excited about it. But every time I think back about Mommy Cory’s passing, I shed hot tears all over again.  Such an emotional roller coaster week this is… along with a bipolar, roller coaster weather (rainy…sunny …rainy… sunny…) to match it.

I would like to share some of the lovely, poignant pictures that my older brother, Ito, took since Cory’s death last Saturday.  Living and working in close proximity to the places where he took these pictures, he was able to capture these historical moments superbly.  The captions are also from his FB album pages, too (If you wish to repost these pix in your website or blog, kindly ask for permission first – These pix aren’t mine… and even I had to ask permission from him. K? Thanks.):

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August 3, 2009. President Cory was transfered this afternoon to the Manila Cathedral. Thousands line up to view her remains and pay their respect at the cathedral. Meanwhile hundreds more are trooping to the Aquino residence along Times st., Quezon City.

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“They linger in front of the candles and offer their prayers to the President. And probably many are also praying for Hope and Change for the country.”

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“1 am, Aug. 4. And they continued to line up so that they can pay their respects to the President at the Manila Cathedral.”

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Despite the intermittent downpour of rain, they continued to wait patiently for their turn. The line snaked in front of the cathedral and extended almost all the way to Manila City Hall outside the walls of Intramuros.”

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“4pm, Aug. 4, Necrological Service at the Manila Cathedral.”

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“An opportunity to earn a little money…”

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“Aug. 5, 1pm. The people are waiting for the funeral cortege to pass through. This was at the corner of Roxas blvd and Quirino Avenue.”

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“Finally, the coffin of Pres. Cory with the military honor guards on top of a truck.”

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“L for Laban! Not anymore Loser.”

BTW, even if Cory did not have a state funeral (the family refused the offer from the current administration on account of political -and personal-differences), she was still better off without one.  I think her wake, cortege, and burial were truly well-organized, beautiful and touching.  I would like to congratulate everyone who made all these possible — the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, all the singers, musicians, choirs, the nuns, the military honors, the guards, the police, the priests, the people who lined up at the wake, and walked beside her before she was laid to rest. I would also like to commend the reporters, too, especially those from GMA Channel 7 – the Kapuso Network – that made it possible for millions of Filipinos (here and abroad) to take part in the ‘virtual vigil’ during their unselfish, tireless, almost 24/7 coverage of the events via their free online livestreaming tribute page! You all make me truly proud of being a Filipino – especially when we band together – we can REALLY make things happen!

Para kay Mommy Cory, mabuhay po tayong lahat!