So I'm not quite done yet with my year-end lists.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Best movie I saw this year:
(500) Days of Summer
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
So this was a really busy week...
It started out last Monday, when weeks usually do. Our team (Global Operations EMEA + CDW L3, both current and former members) and the Capacity Management Team rented a pool house in Pansol, Laguna. And getting there was a challenge. For me, at least. So I decided that since Laguna is down south, and I live down south, it made sense to just join the carpool from one of the gas stations at South Luzon Expressway. I've done this several times, so I didn't really think I would run into problems, but then I usually wait at the Shell station. This time I decided to wait at the Petron station, because I got a text from Jerwin (who lives in Laguna) that he'll be waiting there too. Anyway, when I finally got to Alabang, I couldn't find a jeep that would stop at Petron. Turns out I had to go inside the Alabang terminal and ride a GMA-bound jeep. So when I finally found the jeep, I told the driver that I'll be getting off at the Petron station, but I guess he didn't understand me because he kept on driving until we got to Carmona exit, about 4 kms away. I got off just after the toll gate, and since I wasn't familiar with the area, I just decided to ride a jeep back to Alabang and retrace my steps. Luckily, the other carpool groups coming from Makati were still at the Sucat exit, so I texted them to wait for me at the Shell station, which is a lot easier to get to from Alabang. I arrived at the Shell station at just about the same time as the carpool group, and it was smooth sailing from there.
So the point of this story is: Good thing I know how to take public transpo.
Once we got to the pool house in Pansol, we had lunch (pork adobo cooked by Cez, and tilapia that was expertly gutted by Cla), swam for a bit, played cards, and had dinner (liempo grilled by the new hires.) We also sang our lungs out all night on the videoke (especially Cla, most especially Cla. BTW, tell me if you wanna see her straight-from-the-heart wild and awesome "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" performance :p) and got drunk on beer, vodka and Bacardi 151, which is how team buildings should be. We left early the next day and went back to work in the afternoon.
Now playing: Up Dharma Down - the world is our playground and we will always be home
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I condemn the Ampatuan Massacre.
It's the work of barbaric monsters. Something like this should not go unpunished, and should not be forgotten. This shouldn't be handled with kid-gloves just because the main suspects of the crime are allies of the president.
It's sickening that this was done, and for such a shallow reason as the illusion of "power". I condemn the Ampatuan Massacre and I condemn all political war clans who hold such abusive power.
I support the Reproductive Health Bill.
Because it can prevent this:
Official estimates put annual abortions at 400,000 to 500,000, and rising. The World Health Organization estimate puts the figure at nearly 800,000, one of the highest rates of unsafe abortions in Asia.The source of that quote is the article Philippines abortion crisis from The New York Times, an article that was written 4 years ago but is sadly still valid today (and whose figures are likely with even worse now.)
Seventy percent of unwanted pregnancies in the Philippines end in abortion said Jean-Marc Olivé, the country representative of the World Health Organization. One of four pregnancies in the Philippines end in abortion, according to Pro-Life Philippines, an anti-abortion group.
According to the Department of Health, nearly 100,000 women who have unsafe abortions every year end up in the hospital.
The Philippines, with its high population growth rate (2.6 percent) and low rate of contraceptive use (an estimated 35 percent) also has an increasing number of teenage pregnancies. As many as 17 percent of all unsafe abortions are done on teenage or young mothers, according to the Department of Health.
Compounding the problem is the fact that 36 percent of Filipino women become pregnant before marriage and 45 percent of all pregnancies are either unwanted or ill-timed, according to the World Health Organization.
The RH Bill will help prevent unwanted pregnancies and all the troubles that are attached to it. It will help couples plan their family's future, and help them attain these plans by making the means more accessible. It will help educate people on how to act responsibly when it comes to their reproductive and sexual health.
Because that's what education does, and that's what this bill brings. What it doesn't bring is narrow-mindedness on issues and ills that are actually affecting hundreds of thousands of Filipino women and men.
I support the Reproductive Health Bill and I will support the politicians who bravely take a stand for it, even if it means they stand against the political blackmail that the Philippine Catholic church is sending out.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Ika nga ni Sherlock Holmes: Change is afoot.
Well, no, that's not what he actually says, but it fits my narrative, so whatever.
500 Days of Summer = Awesome Movie. In fact, it's the best movie I've seen this year. It's like the '00s version of Before Sunrise for me (the only other romantic movie that I actually like.) (Yes, I know neither movie actually ends up with anyone being together, which isn't really romantic, but that's what makes them awesome and true.) (and please don't judge me and my ideas of romance just based on the types of romantic movies I like) (yes I'm being defensive)
Also, Zooey Deschanel rocks my socks. Zooey is in a folksy band called She and Him, where she's all kinds of awesome.
See? Eto pa:
No wonder Tom went in and out of a couple of quarterlife crises because of her.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
That typhoon was nasty, eh? Was up all night because of work, and the wind was howling like a hungry wolf. And when I say howling winds, I mean HOWLING (and yes, it was literally howling, I'm not even misusing "literally" here. However, I have to admit that I've never personally heard a hungry wolf howl before.)
The tube connecting our water tank to the pressure tank also got deattached during the typhoon, so I had to put my plumber's cap on and reattach it (by using a straw rope to tie the thing together, ha!)
I also just found out that the banana, jackfruit and other trees in my parents garden in Quezon got uprooted. But I get the feeling from my mom's text message that she's is more concerned about the TV antenna getting uprooted from the roof (there's no cable tv in their hilly provincial area.)
The good thing about this typhoon is it looks like it didn't create as much damage as Typhoon Ondoy (as of the moment, at least.) And it's gone within 24 hours, and right before Halloween and the Monday holiday comes around too. OTOH, a typhoon on Halloween would've made for one befittingly spooky night.
(and since tonight is Halloween, and electricity was out earlier in the morning, I decided to get in bed and re-read The Wake. The artwork on this Sandman volume is all kinds of epic.)
Keep safe and have a happy Halloween!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Great song, awesome voices.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
I'm not an expert on flood control... but I do hope the government finds a few of them, and ensure that the plans they come up with gets implemented. Also, I hope our infrastructures and disaster management (prevention, response and recovery) is improved in direct response to the Ondoy calamity.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
While the women's field has been decimated, there are no such upsets on the Men's side. No teen-aged sensation to talk about either (I think that spot may be reserved for Grigor Dimitrov next year...) All the top 16 male players made it to the 3rd round, the first time in Open-era history, and in the Round of 16, the 14 of the top 16 made it.
The only two casualties? #9 Frenchman Gilles Simon, who had to retire in his 3rd round match vs former #1 (and former King of Clay before a guy named Rafael Nadal came around) Juan Carlos Ferrero. JCF was a finalist here a few years ago, so it's not like he's a pushover on the hard courts. Too bad for Gilles, who was in a bit of a slump during the clay season... he was starting to get good results again, the knee injury came at a really bad time for him.
The other casualty is #5 Andy Roddick, who got served out of the court by the unseeded 6'9'' giant John Isner in another heart-breaking (for Roddick) scoreline of 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (7-5)
The only match I saw Roger play so far was the first one, against 18yo American Devin Britton. He played well enough there, but according to some reports I read, he didn't seem to be as precise in his match against Hewitt. Same thing with Rafa, I only saw his first round match. He easily dumped the just-returning-from-my-coccaine-ban Richard "Reeshard" Gasquet and I was really impressed with his shots and his movement. It didn't seem like he came from injury at all. It will be interesting to see if Roger can hang on to his good pre-US Open form, and if Rafa can keep his body injury-free even while playing 5-set hardcourt matches.
Dark horses? Last year's US Open runner-up Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro. Murray didn't play well Wimbledon, where the hometown pressure may have been a factor. This time he doesn't have as much pressure to win, so he might be able to pull this off. On the other hand, JMPD doesn't have to deal with much pressure. In fact, not much attention has been given to him since most of the contender spotlight still falls among the top 4. That may be good for him (I predicted that he'll go all the way to the finals... so he better not screw this up, at least for my sake.)
Now playing: Sufjan Stevens - A Good Man Is Hard To Find
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Ok, so far half of the players I picked to make the quarters in the women's draw have already lost. Olats. Including Elena Dementieva who I was rooting for to win it all... Booooo!!! The silver lining is it was 17-year old Melanie Oudin who beat her.
It's a silver lining to me because Oudin actually has a nice, thinking game (and not the brainless baseline ball-bashing style that makes the WTA Tour so booorrrriiing to watch.) She also reminds me a lot of Martina Hingis and Justine Henin, she's like a 17 year-old hybrid of the two (ok, ok, with less talent and less firepower than Hingis and Henin, but hey, she's got time to improve on that.) And also, she's got a hot fraternal twin watching her matches from the stands. (edit: wait, that hot girl isn't her twin sister, says this article)
Maybe Melanie just happens to play really well against tall, blonde, pretty Russians, because she followed her win over Elena with another win in the 3rd round against Maria Sharapova (who was serving awfully... 21 double faults in the match!) Their match lasted for almost 3 hours, but I only got to see the second half of the last set. Masha was really serving badly, but when her serve landed in, her groundstrokes looked as big as ever. Melanie did what she did against Elena, which was hit the ball deep and find the angles at the right moments. She was really able to control the rallies despite not having the same power that Shazza has. She also had great footwork, which was a good advantage to have over the taller-by-8-inches Shriekapova. (yes, I collect Maria Sharapova nicknames)
#1 Dinara Safina is also out, after barely surviving against Australian teenager Olivia Rogowska in the first round, and barely surviving again in the 2nd round, she finally fell to 19-yo Czech Petra Kvitova in the 3rd round. Last year's runner-up, Jelena Jankovic has also been booted out by Kazakh (by way of Russia) Yaroslava Shvedova, who could really pass for Scarlett Johansson's athletic sister. This year's tall blonde teen phenom, Victoria Azarenka, also fizzled after some good Grand Slam results earlier this year, losing in the 3rd round to the Italian Francesca "Sapakan Tayo sa Kanto" Schiavone.
In other, non-upset related news, Kim, Venus and Serena are all still in it, and Flavia Pennetta is ripping through the draw. She's lost just 6 games in 3 matches (though that didn't help Dinara at the French Open...) Caroline Wozniacki is also still in it, and she faces Svetlana Kuznetsova for a place in the quarters. If she doesn't choke, she's got a good chance to reach the finals. Interestingly enough, I think Melanie Oudin will be her biggest obstacle there.
And, in other, weird news: one of Yanina Wickmayer, Gisela Dulko, Kateryna Bondarenko and Petra Kvitova will reach the semis. This is not a prediction, this is an actual fact. A WTF how-the-hell-did-that-happen fact.
Lastly, and more importantly, Daniela Hantuchova is in the 4th round! Woohoo! She'll face Serena next, where she'll most likely lose, but I'm just glad that Daniela looks to be getting back her form and is getting to the 2nd week of the Grand Slams.
Now playing: Adele - Chasing Pavements