Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Carling Cup, Baby, Yeah!

Congratulations to Liverpool for winning the Carling Cup!

The Carling Cup isn't necessarily the biggest title around, but it has been 6 years since Liverpool last won some hardware (they won the FA Cup in 2006). Since then, things haven't been looking up for the Reds. (Currently, they are in 7th place in the BPL!!)

And it didn't look like things would get better for them in their Cup final against Cardiff City, a team currently playing in the 2nd division. Cardiff scored first in the 19th minute, and it wasn't until midway through the 2nd half that Liverpool scored an equalizer. Extra time looked promising for the Reds stepped ahead 2-1, but Cardiff City kept things very interesting by bringing the match to a tie just a few minutes later.

Which brings us to the penalty shoot-out. When Captain Steven Gerrard missed the first penalty, things didn't look too good for Liverpool. So call it a strange coincidence when his cousin Anthony Gerrard, who plays for Cardiff, somehow missed his penalty as well, handing the trophy to Liverpool. Check out the very tense penalty shoot-out:

video uploaded in youtube by DarkyGFX

Hopefully this win gives them the motivation they need to go up a few notches in the BPL. They are also still in the FA Cup and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they can replicate their Carling Cup success there.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meryl wins an Oscar! Yahoo!

It took 29 years, but Meryl Streep has finally won another Oscar for her brilliant portrayal of British Prime minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady". Congratulations, Meryl!

It's interesting to note that the two times Meryl hoisted the trophy, she was wearing a gold gown. Check out this image for her "Sophie's Choice" win. Hopefully she can win 1 or 2 more Oscar trophies. Would be great if she can tie or even surpass Katharine Hepburn's record of 4 Oscar wins (all for best actress). But even if she doesn't, Meryl has definitely cemented her reputation as the best actor of her generation.


Spare a thought for the amazing Glenn Close who has now been nominated for six Oscar awards but hasn't won one yet. When you look at her legendary performances, such as those in 'Fatal Attraction' and 'Dangerous Liaisons' (I still think she should have won for the latter), I have to consider her as the best actress never to have won an Oscar. I've seen the clips of her performance in "Albert Nobbs" and her stillness and restraint is just awe-inspiring. I wish that at some point in her career, Glenn can win an Oscar trophy herself.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Birthday celebration in Resorts World

I brought my family to Resorts World to celebrate my brother's birthday. My other brother and I had been to Resorts World before but for everyone else, it was their first time there. We arrived in the late afternoon though because my two nephews had a family day in the morning, and by the time everyone got cleaned up again, it was almost 2pm.

We ended up having a late lunch in Johnny Chow, and it was actually a pretty good choice because they had a dimsum cart. As it was mid-afternoon already, people were obviously hungry, so we picked up some dimsum to combat the hunger pangs as we waited for the rest of our meal. There were seven of us - me, my two brothers, my mom, my grandma, and my two nephews - but in the interest of trying out a lot of different menu items, we ended up ordering 6 dishes plus pancit and yang chow friend rice (it wasn't gluttony; we could doggy-bag whatever we couldn't consume there). I'm not particularly sure how it happened but we ended up eating everything! That translates to practically one dish per person + rice + dimsum. Thankfully my brother had a Resorts World membership card with him coz we got an extra 5% off of our bill (it would've been 10% if we paid with cash).

My friend Beck had given me two tickets to the free Lea Salonga in Piazza that same evening. Given this, I initially planned to take my nephews to the arcade while my grandma and brother would watch "Unofficially yours". That way, by the time everyone was done, it would be time for me and my mom to go Lea's show. Unfortunately, the video game that my nephews wanted to play - Animal Kaiser - wasn't available there and the next film start was more than an hour away. So my brothers and grandmother decided to just go home. My nephews were supposed to go with them but they insisted on playing Animal Kaiser in Power Station either Shangri-la mall or in Powerplant. I decided to give up my free Lea ticket and just accompany my nephews, and we played in Powerplant because it was closer to Piazza.

My nephews played a truckload of games before we picked up my mom after the concert. On the way home, I was thinking of where we would eat but everyone was already asleep in the car. Makes sense because my nephews did get up really early that morning for their family day. I just got some take out in Jollibee before heading home. It was a great day despite me missing the Lea concert. I'm thinking of bringing my family to Resorts World again soon. Lots more stuff to try there that we didn't have time for.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Bella's Baptism

I attended the baptism of Bella, the daughter of my friend and namesake Christian. About half a dozen of my high school batchmates were there, including Joyce whom I haven't seen in a while so it was but natural for us to spend a lot of time catching up. The fact that our catch-up conversations were set against a pretty lavish baptismal party with lots of really good food and unlimited drinks certainly added to the enjoyment.

The unique twist to this evening was the acoustic band that was playing live music and the fact that members from the audience were invited to perform with them, Rockeoke-style. I didn't know this when I went to the party, and it was funny that as soon as Christian saw me arrive, he had this 'a-ha' look on his face then he headed over to get the song and lyric lists and hand them to me. And here I was expecting a quiet, chill night. I don't like impromptu performances since I like preparing myself psychologically when I perform but I didn't see a way out of it LOL so I decided to pick a song that I knew well. I was hoping there would be a few upbeat rock songs in the list but I couldn't find any. Instead, I picked old reliable - "I'll be" by Edwin McCain. I think I did decently well.

I can't recall attending any other christening celebration that started in the early evening (most of them are scheduled in the morning or in the afternoon) so it was almost 10pm when we called it a night. Joyce felt like she needed some coffee before heading home so we took a quick detour to Starbucks. Flub of the night: I somehow found myself playing with my half-filled coffee cup while talking to Joyce. What followed was a scene straight out of some stupid slapstick comedy as I ended up accidentally tipping my coffee cup over and into my lap and shirt. Sucks too that I was wearing a white shirt that night. Thankfully we were near my home so we quickly said our goodbyes so that I could immediately try to get the cafe mocha out of my shirt before it becomes a permanent stain LOL. (I did. :))

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bobby McFerrin and the Pentatonic Scale

This is a truly amazing and entertaining video. Check it out:

video uploaded in youtube by worldsciencefestival

I love how they have a musician in a science festival. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Of 5-car collisions and other road accidents

I've seen a lot of car accidents in my life - some of them quite horrific - but normally only 1 or 2 vehicles are involved. So it was quite interesting for me to see a 5-car collision along Edsa one Sunday afternoon. I'm not sure how it happened since traffic was certainly not bad that day. I guess maybe everyone was going a bit too fast and as driver in the car in front put on the brakes, the drivers of the 4 cars behind him weren't able to react quickly enough and ended up bumping into the car in front. I saw some very irate people outside their vehicles involved in what seemed to be a heated argument. Wouldn't have expected anything less.

A few days later, I was at an intersection with a vehicle on my right. As we waited for the light to turn green, I heard screeching tires, followed by a loud hit. I look over to my right and I was surprised to see another vehicle hit the one on my right. It also just happened to be one of those that had a door at the back, and the damage looked pretty bad so I'm guessing the back door would now be jammed and would require some significant repairs. Once again, I don't know how this happened. I was just happy that it was the vehicle on my right that got hit and not me. Especially since my last trip to the casa wasn't all that good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Starbucks free upsize

You know those little coupons that come with the Starbucks planner that you get for free once you collect enough stickers from coffee purchase? Well, I've gotten a planner from Starbucks every year since it first came out, but it was only this February that I finally got to use one of those coupons LOL. I got a free upsize, converting my Cafe Mocha from tall to grande! (Not a huge deal, really, since it's 'just' a P15 difference in price, but hey, I'll take it.

I've looked through the rest of the coupons and I can certainly use a few of them. The different freebies are valid on different months though so it's important to remember when to use which one. Hopefully I don't forget. Of course, I do have a planner, so I should just mark down some coupon-use reminders there. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Flo Rida samples Etta James

Flo Rida's 'Good Feeling' is a big hit right now, but did you know that arguably the best part of this song is a vocal sample of the legendary Etta James from her 1962 song "Something's Got a Hold on Me"? Check out the original song:

video uploaded in youtube by nyseamex

Etta James passed away about a month ago on January 20, 2012 which prompted Flo Rida to dedicate his 'Good Feeling' to her.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Car maintenance mishap

I brought my car to the casa for a 40,000 km check-up. These regular check-ups normally take a few to several hours - you are sure to get your car within the day - so I certainly wasn't expecting to get the call I did late afternoon. I thought I was gonna be told that the car was ready for pick-up. Instead, I was shocked to find out that one of the guys working on it accidentally hit the front bumper against something, leaving it badly scratched.

They would obviously cover the cost of repairing the bumper but the sucky thing was that they weren't initially giving me any options. They just said I could pick it up in its damaged state and return it the week after (I brought it there on a Friday). After an initially calm conversation that didn't seem to be going anywhere, I started to get riled up and demanded that they prioritize repairing my car and have it ready the next day. Initially they weren't committing to have it ready on Saturday, but I pressed them and said they can't leave me without a vehicle for an entire weekend after causing damage to it. It's a sad state of affairs, but I have found that often, you only get the help and service you need when you get angry.

I shared this story with my colleagues over dinner that evening, and the common sentiment was that the casa should have given me a service car since it was their fault that I was left without a vehicle. Good point. Next time this happens - although I certainly hope it never does! - I know what to ask. In any case, I did get the car at 5:30pm on Saturday, very shortly before the casa closed for the weekend. At least the repair job was done pretty well.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Back at the cinema

Before 2012, the last time I was in a movie house was *gasp* back in June when I watched Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon. I somehow managed to find time this year to watch a couple of films in the theater.

The first was 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol', the 4th installment of the Mission: Impossible film franchise. This has to be one of the best action movies I have seen in recent history (or maybe ever). It's a pretty fast-paced and intense, but what made it really good for me were the bits of comedic relief provided by Simon Pegg. It's sometimes tough to watch movies filled with a relentless stream of heart-pounding moments but MI4 provides enough brief pauses that allow you to chuckle - and breathe! - and thus enjoy the movie a lot more. The great thing about Simon Pegg's performance though is that he is funny when he needs to be but he is equally believable when he needs to be serious.

I also got to see 'Chronicle'. I'm a sucker for superpower films so when an evening meeting didn't push through and I found myself with a couple of extra hours, I decided to watch a movie and ended up picking this movie about a group of teenagers who somehow find themselves developing telekinesis. I'm not a fan of the "handycam" style of filming because it tends to make me dizzy, but despite this small hiccup, I found the film to be quite compelling. Character development was done exceptionally well, and it was actually quite interesting to see the kind of paths that people can take when they find themselves in a position of power and control.

Hopefully this trend of me finding time to watch movies in the theater again continues the rest of the year.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Adele sweeps the Grammys!

Congratulations to Adele for winning all 6 Grammy awards for which she was nominated!
  • Album of the year for '21'
  • Best pop vocal album for '21'
  • Record of the year for 'Rolling in the deep'
  • Song of the year for 'Rolling in the deep'
  • Best short form music video for 'Rolling in the deep'
  • Best pop solo performance for 'Someone like you'
With this trophy haul, Adele becomes the second female artist to win six Grammys in a single night. At 23 years old, she also becomes the youngest artist to win the 'Big Three': album, record, and song of the year. Previous record holders were Paul Simon, Carole King, and Christopher Cross, all of whom were 29 when they achieved the same feat.

Congratulations, Adele! Here's her performance of 'Rolling in the Deep' during the Grammys.

video uploaded in youtube by 9adachnnl

Saturday, February 11, 2012

700 club

I started this blog in March 2005. 7 years - and 700 posts - later, I'm still blogging. Cool! :)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Jesse Campbell on 'The Voice'

Jesse Campbell performs 'A Song for you' on 'The Voice'. I love this song and this performance gave me goosebumps.

That 3 judges pressed their button within 8 seconds of him singing while the fourth judge pressed his button within 25 tells you just how good this was.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Question of the day

Why does it always take me 2 months or more to get my next haircut? I always tell myself that I shouldn't wait that long 'til I get a trim, but somehow I always keep putting it off 'til my hair starts resembling a helmet.

(Actually, as I write this, I realize I know why. I don't have great hair, and I've tried some barbers and salons where I work or live and the haircuts I have gotten from those places don't look good on me. There is only one place I go to where the cuts I get are decent on me so I keep going back there, but it's a 20-30 minute trip from where I live or work. As such, when timings get tight, it's the first thing I drop.)