Thursday, April 21, 2005

More good news, bad news

Half-good, half-bad: I played a great game of tennis yesterday. Doubles match - my and my instructor vs Pia and her instructor. We won 7-6 (8-6 in the tie-break). Galing sobra. Seesawed back and forth many times. The bad part was that I jammed my wrist badly to return one of Pia's hard-hit serves, and now it is sprained. I hope it gets better by Saturday for our team's volleybally game.

Half-good, half-bad (again): Rehearsals for our musical presentation for P&G's 70th anniversary started today. I've never been in a musical before so this is really exciting. The bad part is that since my role doesn't come up until Act 3 and our script is still only up to Act 2, I still don't know what I am supposed to say and what songs I am supposed to sing, and naturally I didn't get to rehearse today. Ah well, we did get free dinner and I get tomorrow off since I have nothing to memorize for tomorrow's rehearsal.

Bad news: Anwar is out of American Idol!!! Oh man, the best technical singer is out. And Scott is still there! So two of my faves, Nadia and Anwar are out in successive weeks, both being dropped sooner than Scott. If Scott makes it to the top 4 or God forbid the top 3 I will be so disillusioned.

Good news: StillOz managed to book a Ponti gig on May 10, which is the time that John V will be here, we will have a StillOz reunion. Plus - we now have a bassist! The back-up band which was formed while Oz and John Q are unavailable due to workload - consisting of Cholo, Bunky, Sep and myself - will also have an audition next Tuesday at around 10pm in Greenhills. Hopefully this means a few more gigs for us. And when StillOz comes out of its hiatus in a couple of months, we will have the bass sound which we have always been missing. We practiced 9 songs last Tuesday and the bass guitar really does bring a richer sound to the band and allows Bunky to play around and be more musical. I can't wait to do It's probably me and Anti-gravity! =)

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Good news, bad news

It's been about a week since I posted something in my blog so hodgepodge muna ito.

Let's start off with great news: my nephews CJ and Ciera got into Community of Learners. We were worried they wouldn't get in coz we applied a bit too late. But I guess Community realized that both my nephews need some help in school and that they won't be able to do very well in a regular classroom setting. I just hope that Community can really help them both out.

Another bit of good news: I finally found Guysack! Remember that Scorpion Zoid that CJ had been asking for since last Christmas which we couldn't find anymore? Well, the other day when I got home, CJ asked me if I had a prize for him and I asked him what he wanted. He said he wanted Guysack, the Scorpion Zoid (we've proven that when CJ wants something he really remembers it no matter what) so I decided to swing by Kidz Station in Glorietta. Amazingly there were still a few Guysacks available. So I finally got it. And to make sure Ciera doesn't feel left out, I got a Panther Zoid for him.

Half-bad, half-good news: we lost our volleyball game last Saturday against the MDO team, but we went out fighting, losing 22-25 in the 3rd set. It was pretty amazing as well. There were about 10 of them I think, with a fairly deep bench, whereas we had only 6 people. And on paper, their team outclassed us completely, as was evident in the first set when we lost 16-25. I guess everyone thought that we were gonna go out in another lopsided 2nd set, but a crucial change in our court position as well as the MDO team playing their subs actually helped us a lot in the 2nd set, and we hung in there until MDO were 24-23 matchpoint up. We then scored 3 points in a row (saving a matchpoint!) to force a 3rd set. We figured out how to play as a team so even when MDO played their first six, we kept close and even led. At 20-18, they called a timeout and had a substitution (putting Levi, one of their best players into the game), and consequently they scored 7 of the last 9 points to win the 3rd set. Normally you feel bad when you lose but the way that our team played and fought, against a team that was much more skilled than we were on paper, made our team still feel like winners (or well at least we felt good about the match).

Hay naku, too many more things to write about but not enough time. Maybe I'll write a hodgepodge 2 tomorrow.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Oh, the joy!

Holy cow. Liverpool held Italian giants Juventus to a goalless draw and thus advance to the semifinals of the Champions League. Grabe, nilaglag nila ang Juve, Nedved and Del Piero notwithstanding. Wala pa si Gerrard. How they did it, I don't know.

Liverpool are now so close to the title and yet still so far. But it's a good showing for the English teams this season (the unexpected ones, at that). Chelsea and Liverpool play each other in one semifinal and PSV play AC milan in the other. 50% of the semifinalists are from EPL, and the fact that Liverpool and Chelsea play each other in the semis means that an EPL team will surely be in the finals. I just hope it'll be Liverpool all the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's new?

New game - Goodbye text twist and collapse, hello Flip Word! If you go to Yahoo games, you will see it somewhere there. It's kinda like $1M chance of a lifetime of wheel of fortune. If you try this game, let me know what you think of it.

New book - I think I read only one book (that wasn't a school text book) from about 1992 to 1999. From 2000 up until now, I think I averaged about 1 book a year: a Robert Ludlum (or was it Frederick Forsyth?) book which I can't recall, 'Armadillo' by William Boyd, 'Sick Puppy' by Carl Hiaasen, 'Fever Pitch' by Nick Hornby, 'Unreliable Memoirs' by Clive James, and 'Letters from a Nut' compiled by Jerry Seinfeld, so my book-reading has definitely picked up. As you can see, I am into reading semi-light books that are either outright funny or have wry humor - you know, the type of book that you can put down for a couple of days or even weeks and still pick up where you left off without having to think 'who is this character?' or 'what happened?' and start reading the last dozen or so pages again to make sure you are not lost. Well recently there was a sale in Powerbooks so I decided to pick up another book by Hiaasen called 'Lucky You'. Premise - woman wins lottery, but there's another lottery ticket winner, a pair of criminals, and they steals her ticket. So she enlists the help of this journalist to go after the lottery ticket thieves. It's been quite fun to read so far.

New DVD - well okay not really new, it's about 3-4 weeks old, but as I haven't mentioned it then it's new. =) I am such a fan of 'The Incredibles' that when I saw posters saying it would be out by March 15, I went to Tower to get the DVD. Unfortunately they said it hadn't arrive yet (only VCD) so I had to wait a few more days but eventually it did come. Now ever since I got it, I have probably watched it maybe 6 times. My mom and older bro both didn't get to see it when it was shown in the cinema, so they watched my DVD and they both loved it. A lot of my friends found it quite dragging, but I guess what I love about it is how interesting the dynamics are of the family, as well as the issues they all have to deal with, both as a family and as superheroes, and of course seeing their powers on display. The special features of the DVD are cool, too!

Monday, April 11, 2005

It's sad but true: good guys finish last

Next to American Idol, the Amazing Race is the only other reality TV show that I follow. Fear factor I watch every now, but only when there's nothing else available and when the stunt looks cool (none of that disgusting eating stuff ugh). Survivor I followed only the Africa one before I realized I didn't like the politics involved in that game. So yeah, I only watch AI and TAR now.

That is, until Rob and Amber. They are the dirtiest and most conniving, self-absorbed and conceited people I have ever seen on the Amazing Race. It annoys me that they were allowed to play in the Amazing Race considering they had global celebrity status already, and that fact has already gotten them places as fans of theirs were oh-so-ready to help them out. And they just had to take their evil Survivor ways, which as I said is one of the reasons I know longer watch Survivor, to TAR, thus making it painful to watch.

But what completely got to me was the fact that these two people, who already won a million bucks and are global celebrities, didn't even bother to stop and help the brothers when their truck flipped over and their cameraman was lying on the ground. Amber and Rob didn't even stop by to say, "hey guys do you need help?" or "hey do you need us to go get someone from TAR to help you out?" No, they just drive by and Rob throws out an excuse while smirking to their cameraman, saying "it's still a race so I'm not stopping" or something like that (I wish I had the actual quote, when he said that it made my blood boil). I am so glad that at the finish line, Phil pointed it out to them and what does Rob do? He says "It's a race, bro." God, despite all his blessings he still wants frickin' more.

What's truly sad though is that they will most likely win TAR7. As such I have given up watching this season. What I would love to happen though is that they end up in the top 3 and lose narrowly to Lynn and Alex, but I don't think that's gonna happen. I wish that maybe at some point a reality TV show comes up where good guys finish first for a change, and assholes get their just rewards in the end. Yeah yeah I know, wishful thinking.

Football weekend

Real Madrid beat rivals Barcelona 4-2 with goals from Ronaldo, Raul, Zidane, and you guessed it, Owen. Pretty good result, Barca now "only" 6 points ahead of Real Madrid. I'm happy that they played Owen at the start, too, and that he didn't disappoint by scoring a goal.

Liverpool on the other hand lost against ManCity, so by not matching Everton's win they are now 4 points behind Everton with about 6 games left. Oh well, I just hope they win against Juve this week. And not the best weekend for the EPL top 3. Arsenal managed a 1-0 win, but Chelsea ended up in a draw and Man Utd lost.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Nikko is out!!! What the f*ck?!>$#W@^

The comeback kid has been ousted for the 2nd time. I don't get it. His performance last night was one of my favorite performances of the night. Simon was wrong - when I listened to it again, he was very rarely sharp or flat. What's worse for me is that Scott Savol, that big aloof-looking guy who doesn't seem to connect with his audience and who has put in more bad performances than anyone else who's still left in the competition (and who was badly out of tune singing One Last Cry last week and Impossible Dream this week), is still alive in the competition!

This is just unbelievable. Nikko hasn't been in the bottom 3 ever since he rejoined AI after Mario "I-am-using-AI-to-gain-the-popularity-I-need-for-my-recording-contract-with-P-Diddy" Vasquez quit. Then he puts in a performance just as good as his last three, and he's out? I have to say, I didn't see that coming.

Funny thing as well last night. Paula Abdul must've been on something as she usually seems to be. She was worshipping virtually every performance as if those performances were the best performances on AI ever. Classic - she implied that Vonzell was a better singer than Barbra by saying she hit a note that Barbra doesn't even go for and held it. Holy f*ck. Barbra doesn't hit the "E-flat" that Vonzell hits not because she can't but because she chooses not to (maybe she thinks the lower note sounds better with the song). Please, Paula, before you make a comment like that, make sure you hear Barbra's "Piece of Sky" from Yentl where she hits an equally high note and holds it for 17 seconds. 17 seconds.

My mom actually felt bad for Vonzell. After Paula's terribly misguided comment, she thought Vonzell might suffer a bit because people felt "hey, she's no Barbra!" and decided to vote for someone else. So maybe she was right as Vonzell was in the bottom 3. At least she's still in the competition. Someone needs to tell Paula that is she wants to keep Vonzell in AI she should refrain from such comments.

If Scott is not ousted next week, I am gonna be so pissed off.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Tennis talk, but this time not about me

Hats off to Kim Clijsters. She doesn't play for the most part of the last 8 months, drops to 133 in the rankings, then makes an amazing comeback by reaching the QF in Antwerp (losing to Venus), then wins back to back Tier I titles, beating five of the top 6 players along the way. #1 Davenport, #2 Mauresmo (who Kim beat 6-1, 6-0!), #3 Sharapova, #5 Elena Dementieva (twice) and #6 Anastasia Myskina all fell by the wayside, and it was only Lindsay Davenport who actually managed to take a set against the comebacking Belgian. Halos puro tambak pa ang wins niya. Even more impressive is that Kim is the first player since Steffi Graf to win both Indian Wells and Miami in the same year (Steffi did in in 94 and 96). She is now (only) #17 but I bet that none of the top players would want to see Kim early in their draw.

Venus also scores a very surprising win over her sister, Serena, the first time this has happened in the last 7 meetings between the two. The problem I have with Venus now is her absolute lack of class. She lost to a very sharp Sharapova in the semifinals, and rather than giving props to Maria (who hit 12 unforced errors in the entire match - for someone who plays hit-the-living-daylights-out-of-the-ball tennis, 12 UE is unbelievably low), Venus says she herself hit way too many errors and should remember not to do that next time. What a load of crap! What can't she just say "Maria was the better player today" or "Maria played very well today, I need to make sure I raise my game the next time I play her" she just practically disses Sharapova. I used to dislike Venus early in her career when she was arrogant as heck, then when she became #1 she became very polite and courteous. Then all of a sudden when she got injured and dropped in the rankings, she became terribly disrespectful of her opponents again. I don't want her to do well anymore. She and her sister.

One last thing - Federer has just now won 5 titles this year. That's eerie. He is indeed just playing head and shoulders above everyone else. A couple of years ago, you couldn't guess which male player would win a tournament but the female contenders you could count with half the fingers in your hand. Now, you know that if Federer is in the thick of things, he has the title under his belt. But the women? Hmm, let's see - Davenport, Sharapova, Clijsters, the Williams sisters, Mauresmo, and heck, even Henin-Hardenne, Myskina, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Molik and Capriati. If they are all playing you still can't guess who will win.

Amazing Liverpool!

Oh wow! Liverpool beat Juventus 2-1 in the 1st leg of their Champions League Quarterfinal clash. Juve have apparently only conceded just two goals the entire tournament, and here they conceded 2 more to Liverpool. Of course, this happened at Anfield so I am worried that they won't manage to do the same in the 2nd leg, but they have surprised me this entire CL so who knows what could happen.

Also great is the fact that now they are only 1 point behind 4th place Everton in EPL. I had all but thrown in the towel for their attempt at a CL spot for next season i.e. top 4 place (obviously, Chelsea, ManU and Arsenal were all locks for the top 3 spots already even early in the season). But well a win over Everton and a win last weekend (with Biscan's late goal) have now taken them 1 goal behind Everton. With a few more games left in the season, ending up in 4th seems more a possibility now than it did a couple of weeks ago.

And now that we are in the topic of football, I find it absolutely ridiculous and even hilarious that Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer ended up in a fist fight against each other during their loss against Aston Villa. When I saw the report that they were both thrown out of the game due to a fight, I thought it was because they had a fight with someone from Villa. As it turns out, it was with each other! It's the first time I've ever seen two people from the same team fight. Not the best of weekends for Newcastle.

Monday, April 04, 2005

The world mourns the passing of one of our greatest leaders

On Sunday morning, I got a couple of text messages saying that Pope John Paul II had passed away. It was indeed very sad news. On TV, there were messages from all leaders all over the world mourning the death of the Pope. And then it struck me – Pope John Paul II has been the Pope for as long as I can remember (I guess he became Pope when I was only 3 years old and well I can only recall a scant few things that happened to me at that age).

So I guess just as a tribute to Pope John Paul II, I will write about the two times I have seen him in person. The first was during World Youth Day way back in 1995 when the Pope visited the Philippines. Anna, Iona, and I (and I think Anna’s cousin or friend, I can’t recall right now) stayed overnight at just outside Manila Hotel to join the vigil along with thousands of other people who were camped out there waiting for the Pope’s arrival in Quirino Grandstand. There was a great sense of hope and sharing over there that night. And when the Pope arrived there was just such great joy in the atmosphere. I even remember passing in front of us, maybe about 20 feet away (although it felt a lot closer than that) and the sight of the Pope that close to us made our hearts soar.

The second time I saw him was on Christmas Day in 2002. At that time, I was on EBT in Brussels and so I decided to bring my mom to Belgium so we could take a mini-tour of Europe during Christmas break. Naturally, we made sure we were in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican to hear Christmas mass. After the mass, my mom and I saw that people were still congregated in the Square, so we decided to linger about right next to the entrance of the church. It turns out that the Pope was going to address the people after the Christmas mass – you know, the one where he says “Merry Christmas” in 70 languages. Right after his address, he got on his Pope mobile which actually passed right in front of us and he was literally a couple of meters away.

Goodbye, Pope John Paul II. You will be missed.