Thursday, August 28, 2008

CrHappy Endings

I watch movies and TV series the way I read books - from beginning to end. I always try to see and feel how the writers introduce the characters, establish the relationship among them, build the tension and whack my head with an awesome resolution or ending. I'm admittedly sappy so with effective writers, I always get to cry, laugh, scream and even dream with the characters. If the storyline gives me sufficient tension, I would just go on and watch the next episode, forgetting about sleep, food and skipping on conditioning my hair. For this reason, I really get disappointed, angry even, when good concepts go bad.

Here's my list of crappy endings.

1. Angels and Demons - I am NEVER going to read any of Dan Brown's books after reading Angels and Demons. I loved this book from page 1 to 500 - I loved the puzzles that they needed to solve, I even checked the net for pictures of the churches and the statues mentioned once in a while and turned the book upside down to appreciate the beauty of the ambigrams. Unfortunately for me, I wasted a night's sleep getting to page 500. As soon as I reached it, I felt like I headed into a dead-end after traveling for days and had no choice but to go back without reaching my intended destination. The last 70 pages of the book was just too painful to read that it took me 3 days to go through it when it only took me a few hours to get excited by the first 500 pages. The twist at the end was so dumb that Dan Brown had to justify it with 70 more pages. Robert Langdon surviving the fall from a helicopter was just too unbelievable but I guess Dan Brown needed the miracle of life as Robert Langdon was still the lead in the Da Vinci Code which was supposed to happen a year later. This book made me so angry that I wanted to tear it in half (or at 500 to be exact) - the only thing that stopped me was that I just borrowed the book from my sister. It's a good thing that I didn't pay sh!t for this book.

2. Last Friends - This Japanese TV series had potential as it had some of my favorite actors from Nodame Cantabile and was supposed to be brave enough to deal with domestic violence, child abuse and lesbianism. The first few episodes did not disappoint. I got affected with all of it - hating Masami for being such a wimp, feeling Ruka's pain in not being able to open up to anyone with her gender issues and cheering Takeru as he goes through life being nice even if he had a traumatic childhood. In the end, I just hated them all. Masami remained a wimp until the end - I was so disappointed that the violent Sosuke committed suicide as I felt that Masami needed to be beaten every day of her life until she grew a backbone and developed a brain.I was so disappointed with Ruka's speech when she won first in the race - it was the perfect opportunity to shout out loud that she was a lesbian and to hell with everyone who objected as everyone who mattered already accepted her as she was anyway. Instead, she went on and on about winning the race and being supported by her friends and family not as a male or a female but as a human being. She never even once admitted that she was a lesbian. As for Takeru, he never really blurted out what happened to him when he was a child, he just said that his sister tried to win him over to her side. What the hell was that? After all 11 episodes, they were all reduced to wimps. For all their speeches about fighting against violence, Takeru and Ruka did not even go to the police even after Sosuke beat Takeru with his cane and attempted to rape Ruka. In the end, all the controversial issues that the TV series promised to tackle were all swept under the rug. The only good think about it was that it showed that Ueno Juri could act. Oh, speaking of acting, I heard that Nishikido Ryo got an award for this movie. WTF? How can someone having only 2 expressions win an award?

3. Memories of Bali - No one who watched this Korean TV series would ever forget the ending. After having the characters go through so much pain, the writers just couldn't find a way to resolve all the tangles they created and opted for the easy way out - kill them all!

4. Coffee Prince - I loved Coffee Prince but the ending was really anti-climactic. They really should have ended it when Han Kyul and Eun Chan got together. Everything after that was not as interesting. i would have been happier if they just requested Gong Yoo to walk around topless and sing lullabies to Eun Hye for an hour.

5. Princess Hours - Just like Coffee Prince, I loved this Korean TV series but felt a bit disappointed with the ending. I felt like they wanted to squeeze out more money from a high-rating series by adding flimsy plots and minor issues even after the main storyline has ended. The last 2 episodes just confused the hell out of everyone even if they spent so much money bringing the cast to Macau.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Important Paalala

Underlined sentence from an Acknowledgment Receipt issued by the Office of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court of the Philippines:

"Please bring with you this receipt whenever you make follow-up of your petition."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Heaven in every bite

I just realized that my long weekend was all about food.

On Saturday, we celebrated Ate Janet's birthday at Dampa at Farmer's - we enjoyed pigging out on prawns in lemon-butter sauce, chili crabs, grilled squid, grilled fish, pakbet and sinigang na maya-maya. No one was surprised when Ate Cecile and I were the last to finish our meal as we tried to finish off all the crabs.

The next day, Nina, Frank and I travelled all the way to Batangas to enjoy a barrio fiesta. For breakfast, we had home-made suman, dinuguan and puto. A few hours later, we had buko salad. Lunch was literally a feast as we had binutuhan, menudo, habanera, chicken, mixed vegetables, leche flan, ube halaya and more buko salad.

From Batangas, we travelled to Tagaytay just to get the egg tarts that we reserved from Rowena's. And since we were already in Tagaytay, we passed by Massimo's to take home a serving of their artichoke dip.

Today, seeing that we had lots of nacho-tasting chips, I made my first home-made salsa! And for dinner, we had our own version of lettuce wraps - we grilled some pork, sliced some garlic and wrapped them in lettuce leaves that were smeared with red bean paste. We still need to perfect the marinade for the pork, but it was still fun eating our version of sam gyup sal at home.

I probably gained at least 3 lbs this weekend, but each bite I had these past 3 days was definitely worth the weight!!!


More on the Batangas-Tagaytay trip -

I never realized that barrio fiestas can be so entertaining - marching bands took turns parading on the main road, there were lots of vendors selling balloons and cheap trinkets, but the star of the fiesta was the ati-atihan.

Batangas' version of the ati-atihan cannot be ignored - it started with a slim trannie going door-to-door wearing only a pink 2-piece swimsuit, I got the shock of my life when I saw one knocking at my friend's window. He actually succeeded in stopping me from taking my next bite. Then came the rest of the trannie gang wearing black skin-tight clothes. They performed modern dance moves in tune to ati-atihan music. Unfortunately, each of them had his own choreography. The best part of their performance was the duo of fire-eaters - they both ate and breathed fire with lust in their eyes. Scary, but still entertaining.

Inside the house, we entertained ourselves by watching the Olympic games (the athletes from Argentina were cute!), competed in our own Olympic game - jackstones (unfortunately, one of the stars broke before we even finished one game), and watched the US version of My Sassy Girl (really awful, as we expected.)

From Batangas, we took the Star Toll (a really beautiful stretch of road!) and passed through Tanauan. The road that brought us up to Tagaytay was pretty rough and steep. There were stretches that were cemented but most of the 30-minute drive was either cracked asphalt or just plain dirt. This national road was already narrow but it was 2-way. It gave us beautiful views of Taal volcano, though. So like the ati-atihan in Batangas, the road was scary, but still entertaining.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Anime Life!

All these anime I've watched seem to have jumped into my own life:

- Porkchop seems to like watching Lovely Complex. She also loved watching Will & Grace. She doesn't watch other shows.

- At a wedding we attended, when the host announced that 2 males will be singing a duet, I jokingly hummed the first 2 lines of Mariah Carey and John Legend's "With You I'm Born Again". And then the 2 guys started singing the same song with one of them singing the female part in falsetto.

- Rey's cousin, in her early morning confusion, almost poured her contact lens solution directly into a zip lock bag when I told her that when boarding planes, she's supposed to put in all liquids inside the bag. She even asked me if I was sure that the solution wouldn't leak from the bag. Eh?!

- Our office has a no-eating-in-workstations rule. They're so bent on enforcing the rule that our Executive Director actually issued 2 memos on it. Last Monday, I was rushing urgent work so I decided to eat a ham and cheese croissant on my desk. Our Executive Director walked in and asked me a question just as I took a huge bite! Apparently, he also walked in on another office mate who was eating a cookie.


Speaking about offices, we recently moved into our new workspaces. And I now have a room. It feels great to have been delivered out of cubeville! I never realized how much I hated my cube until I left it. My new room has solid sound-proof walls, sufficent storage space (a set of drawers, a mobile ped and a china cabinet), and right beside it is a breakout room with really comfortable sofas (never mind that they're screaming red.) I love my new workspace!