Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bowled over.

Unleaded : 35.37 / Liter
US $ 1.00: 49.04 Php

Took the Little Guy bowling today at his insistence. He's always loved knocking down stuff ever since he was old enough to knock down stuff. Bowling seemed like a natural progression.

It's the first grown-up game he's tried his hands at and he was loving it. He thought the rented shoes were a hoot. He rolled the ball a number of different ways figuring it all out and by the fourth frame he got his groove. Every throw was followed by a happy jump or two and his smile never left his face. Heck he was even smiling while waiting for his ball to come back. After 20 frames he declared himself winner scoring "three thousand sixty-six million forty eleven" pin falls. Well, he did manage two spares which was two more than what I had -- and we were playing the same lane, gutter bumpers and all.

Which reminded me of why I've never been to a bowling alley in about 15-odd years. I've always said that if my scores in bowling and golf were switched I'd be more than decent -- no, deadly-- in both sports.

But this morning, seeing the little guy do his little jig everytime he knocked a pin down also reminded me why games are played in the first place. Just one of the twenty-nine million and ninety twelve things we grown-ups can (re)learn from kids.

Too early to buy our own shoes, but I think we'll be knocking more of 'em pins down in the weekends to come. At least until his fancy turns to whacking white balls.

Friday, December 29, 2006

The Rockin' 30 Rock

Been watching episodes of this show -- one of the better ones to debut this 2006, rumors have it. Turning out to be true: there have been two references to the Philippines already in it's 8-episode life:

S01 E01: Jack (Alec Baldwin) tells Liz (Tina Fey, wearing a dress from the wardrobe department): "That's how you should dress for work, by the way." To which Tina retorts, "Yeah, if I was president of the Philippines!"

S01 E05: Jack introduces an old protegé who's done well for himself with his help: "Now Howard's earning seven figures and he's married to a swell Filipino gal."

It's a TV show on NBC about an SNL-like TV show on NBC, created by and starring SNL alum Tina Fey who has said she wrote the Jack character especially for Alec Baldwin, but you know that already. You also know that Baldwin's turning out to be a good bet to sweep the best TV comedy actor awards next year. You've noticed that despite the costumes and blue make-up some characters look a lot like out-of-work SNLers. You're quick to get every single inside joke.

But were you fast enough to catch all of Liz's Pros and Cons re: "Dennis The Boyfriend" in S01 E08? Well, it's your lucky day:


  • basically nice
  • takes good care of his feet
  • makes good chili
  • remembers my birthday
  • rarely wants to do it
  • is funny when he goofs on his friends
  • doesn't care about money
  • loyal
  • too lazy to cheat
  • would increase likelihood of blue-eyed kid
  • loves The Simpsons
  • has good hair
  • has already seen me throw up two times
  • fixed tv
  • Jack likes Dennis
  • not super smart
  • listens to Winger
  • dental hygiene
  • wears acid wash denim
  • always wants foot rubs
  • not much money
  • Catholic
  • doesn't like his mother
  • I don't like his mother
  • his mohter doesn't like me
  • loves Family Guy
  • reads The Post
  • insists on spending holidays with his mother
  • has already seen me throw up
  • attempted threeway
  • racist
  • wears Italian horn even though Irish
  • Jack likes Dennis
  • Dennis on Dateline
Thank you, pause button. Any questions?

PS. The list means nothing if you're yet to see the ep. But you'd want to come back when you do so email it to yourself or flag it with a bookmark. Cheers!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's that "It's a Wonderful Life" time again

Time was in the nineties when two or three local networks (usually on UHF) aired this Capra classic b&w on Christmas eve like they do in the US. It stopped after a couple of years or so which was too bad. For a while there it seemed we had our own TV tradition in the making.

This month, you can catch the colorized version (gasp!) on Cinemax December 29 and that's about it. Of course, there's bound to be a DVD copy of this in your favorite tiangge. But in this age of broadband, the default it appears is to Torrent it. Any which way you get it, it's well worth the trouble.

Speaking of, it was once believed that the film lost its copyright protection in the 70s when the holders failed to extend it. Several US networks then started airing it multiple times during the holidays at no cost to them (reviving public interest in the process as Ebert observed in a 1999 article on his site.) But even granting that the film itself fell out of copyright protection, it was not thrown into the public domain, the legal theory being that the film is a mere derivative of still copyrighted (and thus protected) works. It appears this is indeed the case as the multi-network marathon broadcasts are no more and NBC is the only one now authorized to play it.

It is also believed (by me at least and until now notwithstanding claims to the contrary) that Ernie and Bert of Sesame Street were named after the movie's Ernie the cab driver and Bert the policeman. Before the days of Google or the internet for that matter, I would interject this as fact in any conversation where this movie came up and everyone would nod at the plausibility. It appears though that this theory is being debunked of late.

I also believed that "Zuzu's Petals" would be a great name for a band, certainly better than Feet Like Fins or Datu's Tribe or Agaw Agimat or Kelt's Cross which you felt alluded to something of substance, but really did not. It appears though that a bunch of sorry-looking debs has beat me to it. They never had a hit in the musical sense but the Zuzu's Petals homepage is a Google topper.

Speaking of, Zuzu is alive and well and doing the fan circuit. Tragic as movie careers go but it's not as bad as it sounds. Having lived one that's had more downs than ups, she still finds life "a wonderful gift". We should all be so lucky.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Caffeine OD : The Starbucks 2007 Planner

Unleaded : P35.37 / Liter
USD 1.00 : 49.30 Php

Hello Planner!

You were born at exaclty 13:56 on December 17, 2006 at Starbucks Shell Station SLEX, having been conceived 24 days earlier after a brief dalliance with an over-eager barista at Starbucks Metrowalk who wouldn't take no for an answer.

Can't believe you're finally here. I didn't know I had it in me. Like I said to the girl, my urges for P140 beverages were few and far between if not nonexistent. In fact, I have never stepped into a Starbucks of my own volition in its entire local franchise life. But 21 steamy encounters later, give or take a frigid few, here you are in my arms, fresh and clean and hermetically sealed, ready to take on the world half a page at at a time.

Before all this I hardly drank or felt the the need to drink coffee. Come to think of it I've never made or bought a cup of coffee for myself ever in my life. Now, my caffeine quota for the next year has been filled this early and my pocket sure feels lighter. Even so I still find myself hankering for a Toffee Nut fix now and again and going out of my way to get one. Seems more than I'd bargained for when I made my choice to have you. (Update: Toffee Nut has been officially "Sold Out" since about a week before Christmas. No surprise there since the other two "holiday brews" taste like sweetened tar.)

So, are you worth it? Can I make a place for you in my life? You look good enough and the prospects are open as can be. But you don't even have a place marker, or a slot to put my calling cards in. Not to mention the fact that I've been using a Palm since 2001. And to be honest, sometimes when people look at you and me together I can almost hear them think, "Sucker!".

But you are here and we're both in this together. You and me for the next 365. I don't know how long it will take for you to finally misplace yourself and leave me for good. But until that happens, let's make the most of the days ahead.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Leno by way of Letterman

Unleaded : P37.37 / Liter
USD 1.00 : 49.58 Php

In this here country we get Letterman, Jon Stewart, Conan and Leno (even Ellen, Rachael Ray and Dr. Phil) just a few hours after the US broadcast with the local carrier wisely choosing to air them primetime nightly rather than live and midday. In Hong Kong Letterman's slot is also on a same-day delay basis airing just before midnight Tuesdays to Saturdays. I'm sure this is the case in many other countries as well, including the substitution of the US commercials with local ones during the break.

But I'm not so sure you can watch
The Late Show anywhere else in the world and see a KFC commercial somewhere in the middle touting a raffle contest where two lucky fried chicken lovers can win a trip to LA and catch . . . Jay Leno live in action on The Tonight Show!

Them folks at KFC probably think the prize may well be a chance to see some prematurely balding 7-Eleven store clerk doing a cable access show from his mom's basement (the entertainment value of which will likely be comparable if not superior to Leno's show, but that's not an issue here) and we won't care. As long as that basement is somewhere within the 48 contiguous states and the plane ticket outta here is free, people will grab those greasy thighs and breasts faster than you can say "Finger lickin' good!" Them folks at KFC are probably right.

Monday, December 11, 2006

If a tree falls in the forest...

Unleaded : P37.37 / Liter
USD 1.00 : 49.67 Php

If I say "I'm back!" and no one had really noticed I was gone -- pitiful or what? So enough small talk, I'm diving right in.

Might be of interest: