Sunday, June 28, 2009

Friday night out

When I was with my friends Me-ann, Joh, and Raffa a few weeks ago in Eastwood, we decided that we wanted to try out the Platinum theater in Eastwood. This is the cinema where the tickets cost more than P300 but you get unlimited pop corn and soda. Of course, if we were paying that much for movie tickets, we figured that it should be for a pretty big movie. And the biggest one we could think of was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Now since we knew Che would be in town in end June and Transformers 2 was showing in Manila beginning June 24, we thought it would be cool if we all met up for dinner in Eastwood and watched Transformers 2 in the Platinum cinema.

As luck would have it, the Platinum cinema was sold out by lunch time. And when we checked sureseats, only front-row seats were available. Ack! Not the best seats for a movie with a lot of very quick movement on screen.

We ended up watching in Shangri-la mall (tickets there cost P200! Man, I still remember when movie ticket prices were a tenth of that...) and having dinner in Sumo Sam. Anna Mae was also with us this time, and I realized that the last few times I had gone out for dinner with this particular set of friends, it has been in Sumo Sam (or its sister resto, John and Yoko). Che then treated us to some frozen yogurt in White Hat and it was pretty good.

So, the movie. The fortunate thing for us is that we all heard bad reviews about Revenge of the Fallen from both movie-goers and critics so our expectations were all very low heading into the theater. And true enough, Transformers 2 wasn't that good. Lame story (that quite frankly didn't make all that much sense LOL), bad script, a few cheesy and even downright stupid scenes, and some duh moments meant this sequel didn't really live up to the hype. But because we all knew it was going to be bad, we ended up pretty much embracing all the negative aspects of the movie and enjoying the action and special effects. I guess as long you know what to expect from the movie, it's still worth a watch. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tennis time again

So the first half of Wimbledon is over, and talk about your ironies - the first year that Centre Court in Wimbledon has a retractable roof, there hasn't been a rain delay LOL.

The sad part is that Rafael Nadal has pulled out of Wimbledon due to a knee injury. With Roger Federer high in confidence and in very good form right now, it is highly likely that he will win his 6th Wimbledon and 15th Grand Slam title overall, breaking Sampras' men's record of 14 Grand Slam titles.

I would like Andy Murray to win though, and he's been in pretty good form so far. It would be awesome if he does win as he Brits haven't had a home court winner since Virginia Wade in 1977 (and in fact, the last men's winner was Fred Perry, who won the last of his 3 Wimbledon titles in 1936!). And on the women's side, I would like Venus Williams to win her 6th Wimbledon title.

Speaking of the women, it's interesting that both Maria Sharapova and Michelle Larcher de Brito both lost on the same day. These two women have to be the loudest shriekers on the women's tour. As much as I respect Sharapova for her immense power, fight, and never-say-die attitude, I just can't root for someone who shrieks so loud it makes me want to switch the channel when she plays. I thought she was the loudest until I heard Larcher de Brito, who seems to have taken grunting to a whole new level as her grunts seem to last until her opponent hits the ball.

If you don't believe me, check this video out. Warning: not for sensitive ears!

video uploaded in youtube by user SharapovaPower

Now just imagine if these two played against each other....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Getting read for my 6th marathon for a cause

So I found out about 3 weeks ago that the Milo Marathon was going to happen on July 5. Normally it is held in end July or early August so when I called the Race office, I was fully expecting to have about 2 months to train. As it turns out, I had only 1 month left!

I decided to start training but was still mulling over the idea of running on July 5 or doing another marathon later in the year. I knew there is a marathon in Singapore in December so I was thinking of doing that, but then I realized that it would be near-impossible to get people to pledge during December because it's Christmas. I was also told that there is a Pasig River marathon in November, but apparently the route is right along the Pasig River. Considering that it's hard enough to run/jog/walk 42 kilometers, doing it next to a river that doesn't exactly have the best smell in the world will be an even more herculean task.

So I gave myself a bit of an "ultimatum", if I could get to 18 kilometers after two weeks of training, then I'd do the July 5 run. And as it turns out, I managed to get to 18 kilometers by June 15 after training for 13 days. So I committed to running the marathon and now I'm officially registered:

This is definitely the worst training I have ever done for a marathon but hopefully, the motivation of raising money for PGH will help me complete my 6th marathon.

You can read more about my marathon for a cause here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Taylor Swift meets Coldplay

I am "stealing" this from my friend Mark who put this video up in his blog. Musician Jon Schmidt created this arrangement of Taylor Swift's "Love Story" and he thought it would sound good with Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" so he put them together. Check it out:

video uploaded in youtube by user carlosian2

It's a great piece, and it is beautifully played. I've heard "Love Story" on the radio many times but never thought of it as a beautiful song until I heard this arrangement from Jon Schmidt. And of course, the fact that it gets transitioned beautifully to Viva La Vida makes the whole piece even better.

The really ace thing about this performance? The cellist is actually playing cello and bass drum while singing! You can see it at around the 4:19 mark. Amazing! :)

To read more about Jon Schmidt, check out his website:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not a good May

After a very valiant effort, Liverpool fall short - four points short, to be exact - of the English Premiership League title. They managed to win practically all of their last few matches apart from the one draw against Arsenal, but Man U unfortunately did not falter either and held tight the rest of the way. Too bad. I just hope that Liverpool can mount another solid campaign next year, and hopefully take the league trophy.

And to add to my disappointment, on the very last day of May, Rafa Nadal was shockingly ousted in the 4th round of the French Open by Robin Soderling. This is a guy who had never beaten Nadal and even lost to Rafa 6-1, 6-0 a few weeks before in Rome. But he played a tremendously powerful and precise game that stopped Rafa in his tracks. This was Nadal's first ever loss in Roland Garros, and his first even loss of a best-of-five match played on clay. Too bad. I was really hoping Rafa would hoist the 7th Grand slam trophy of his career.


While we are talking tennis, I was immensely pleased to see Steffi Graf present the trophy to the women's champion, who turned out to be Svetlana Kuznetsova. A month ago, she was in Wimbledon. Then last week, she was in Roland Garros. This is the most I've seen her back in tennis circles since she retired a decade ago and it's pretty cool. Even more cool was that Svetlana mentioned in her acceptance speech that she met Steffi the first time before the match and she thought it was great that Steffi wished her luck and was presenting the trophy to her.

And while Nadal is still nursing a knee injury that kept prevented him from defending his title in Stella Artois title (which is now the Aegon), my second favorite Andy Murray has continued to do well, winning the title in Queens. It's his 4th title of the year, and hopefully his success on grass gives him confidence to do well in Wimbledon.