Monday, March 31, 2008

Exemplary Damages

I can't remember the last time I tuned in week after week to see a continuing TV series unfold. Maybe LA Law on the old RPN 9, and before that St. Elsewhere and Hill Street Blues back in the day when the old GMA 7 had the number on all the US series that mattered.

Back then, the series run seemed to play by the whim of the network honchos. We got whatever they decided to give us that particular week: a rerun, the episode following last week's, or an episode far ahead in the order of things. And in the absence of IMDB, we were none the wiser.

So week after week we tuned in mostly to find out what went down and what's in store for our favorite characters. But then we also tuned out, missed a few episodes, and jumped right back in again without losing appreciation of the episode at hand. We always got our fix because although references were made to episodes past, each new one most likely contained a fresh plot or subplot -- a case, a murder, an illness -- that was resolved by the end of the hour.

Damages focused on one single case the entire 13-week season and in that lay the compulsion to tune in and compunction in tuning out. That is why we made time to watch week after week which, in the face of (d'oh!) adult priorities, is quite an investment. That is why we vowed not to let this one go the way of 24 and Lost where our questionable devotion made us lose track and fall off the wagon, and turned us into hillbillies among our friends ("What? Don't you have TV?"). That is why the series finale airing tomorrow night better. Not. Suck. There'd better be a pay-off or there'd be hell to pay.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

U2 in Manila in 3D

Whatta you know, wishes do come true apparently. U2, tho not quite in flesh-and-blood form but in ones and zeros, finally invade Manila.

U23D starts screening tomorrow April Fool's at the IMAX Theater in Mall of Asia and The D-Cinema in SM North EDSA. Tickets are reportedly at P500 a pop. Steep as movies go but it's a freaking bargain considering it's in IMAX, in 3D, in digital sound and video. Plus it's been getting great reviews. And it's freaking U2. Nuff said.

I actually saw these guys in Sydney in November 2006. Cost a bit more than 500 bucks. It was worth every cent; an experience of a lifetime, something to tell the kids' grandkids about. I started on the blog entry as soon as I got back but things got so hairy at home and the office all I could manage was the playlist and I didn't even get to post that. So here they are, songs of that night that etch themselves even deeper in memory everytime I remember:

City of Blinding Lights
I Will Follow
New Year's Day
Beautiful Day
Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Angel of Harlem
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
Love and Peace
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Bullet The Blue Sky
Miss Sarajevo
Pride in the Name of Love
Where The Streets Have No Name

Until the End of the World
Mysterious Ways
With or Without You

The Saints Are Coming
Party Girl

Took these with a camera phone, sorry for the quality:

From our seats, the stage at an angle:

It looked pretty tame until the lights went out and that hundred-foot steel mesh curtain in middle
became the Mother of All Video Screens:

See those ants at the bottom of the screen?
The Irish lads themselves.

Front act was Kanye West (!) and the crowd itself looked pretty tame and sparse during warm up:
(Click on the pic, it's a cool pan.)

But by the first song... it was a swollen sea of U2manity
all on their feet.

Can't wait to go at it again.
This time, sitting down, tenth row center
with Bono thirty feet away and eighty feet tall.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Farewell, Tinkerbell.

Two words from the Little Girl that made me laugh as I was leaving for work today: "Goodbye, Alligator!"

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's out there.

A few months or so ago I was thinking about how old TV series are enjoying a new (and maybe better) life in rerun land these days and how rerun land could use a dose of the finer ones like The X-Files. Just a few days after that SkyCable revamped its line-up and two (two!) of its new channels were carrying The X-Files -- with at least one of them airing it three times a day everyday.

Then a few days ago, I was thinking about that big X-Files movie they made and how it made us all scratch our heads and how a new X-Files movie would fare in this day and age. Well just this morning, the wires announced that Mulder and Scully will own the big screen again on July 25, just 119 days from now.

Yep, aliens are reading my mind and making things happen. Why don't you read this, lollipopheads: Lotto...P207,000, pockets.

Speaking of ETs, what is arguably the best X-Files episode ever (certainly one of the best ep of any TV show ever), "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" will air on AXNBeyond (Sky Ch.35 ) at 6am, 12pm and 11pm of April 4, 2008 just 7 days from now.

I remember seeing this once on its original air date on Channel 9 in the 90s and I remember being blown away. I've never seen it since, so screw work next Friday. And if the aliens do what they're supposed to and make my lotto dream happen tonight, screwing work starts tomorrow.

Monday, March 24, 2008

"Honest mistake," he says.

What he should have said was (all together now): ""

clipped from
Metro (as of 3:10 PM) March 24, 2008

No kid-glove treatment for Estrada

Airport police on Monday said they will pursue a criminal case against actor John Estrada for carrying live bullets inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Chief Superintendent Atilano Morada, head of the Aviation Security Group, said the ASG will pursue the complaint against Estrada if the Pasay Prosecutor’s Office finds probable cause to elevate the case to a trial court.

“Anyone who will be caught with live bullets—lawmakers, actors, ordinary passengers—should go through trial,” Morada told ABS-CBN’s morning show “Umagang Kay Ganda.”

He said ASG members are required to attend the hearing if the prosecutor handling the actor’s case calls them to the preliminary investigation.

Estrada said the bag was borrowed and that he did not know its contents before boarding the flight. "It was an honest mistake," he told reporters.

blog it

Update: He was released without bail after inquest since the prosecutor still had to subject the bullets to laboratory tests (they might be chocolate bulltets, see) before formal charges are filed. I think it'll be a while before we get any news on this thing again. Subject in Malaysia now as previously planned with his Brazilian girlfriend whose looks by the way can only be described as bullet-stopping.

John Estrada Bullets Case

Seems like a pretty cut-and-dried case. Would be interesting to know how this pans out.
clipped from
Metro (as of 12:07 PM) March 24, 2008

John Estrada nabbed for carrying live bullets in NAIA

Actor John Estrada was arrested Thursday by airport police after being caught with a magazine loaded with live bullets of a 9mm pistol inside his hand carried bag while on his way to Malaysia.

Estrada, 34, was about to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 around 4 p.m. Thursday when he was stopped by members of the Aviation Security Group.

The 15 live bullets in a magazine were spotted in Estrada’s black, hand carried bag as it passed through the final X-ray machine at the airport.

ASG members asked for documents for the bullets but Estrada could not produce any.

Chief Supt. Efren Labian, ASG district commander, said Estrada would be facing violation of Presidential Decree 1866 or illegal possession of ammunition before the Pasay City Prosecutors Office.

blog it

I got nothing against the guy, and a sordid showbiz tabloid is the last thing I want this blog to turn into, but the last two paragraphs of that news bit got me:

clipped from

Estrada previously got in trouble with the airport police when he joked about a carrying a bomb inside his baggage during his trip to General Santos City.

His bags were searched and he was held at the airport. Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao’s lawyer intervened then and negotiated for his release from detention after Estrada apologized to airport officials.

blog it

Thought it would be nice to find out how he gets out of this one this time. Will be keeping an eye on this and posting updates as they come . Consider it a study on how the wheels of justice turn for citizens of a certain stature in this territory.

Also, a less lofty purpose of this post: I'm taking this clipmarks thing for a spin.

By the way:

clipped from
PD 1866, as amended by RA 8294 (Law on Firearms, Ammunition
and Explosives)

Violation of Sec. 1- Any person who shall unlawfully manufacture, deal in, acquire, dispose or posses any low-powered firearm such as rimfire hangun, .380 or .32 and other firearm of similar firepower, part of firearm, part of firearm, ammunition, or machinery, tool or instrument used or intended to be used in the manufacture of any low powered firearm or ammunition (1st paragraph)

Prision correctional maximum and fine of not less than P15,000.00

Amount of Bail

blog it

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The hits of the 80s explained.

Little Boy : Dad, what do you call that song?
Me : "Beds Are Burning"
LB : That means the house is burning, too?
Me : It doesn't mean the beds are really burning. He's trying to tell you another thing. Like how can you sleep well when there's a big problem.
LB : Like when it's hot and there's no aircon?

Little Girl : How about that? What did he say?
Me : He said, Everybody's got a hungry heart.
LG : Like when we're eating?

LB : How about that song?
Me : "We Didn't Start the Fire."
LB : He's cooking?
Me : No.
LB : What's he saying?
Me : Ummm...

Friday, March 07, 2008

My bank is evil.

The Bank of Commerce branch in my building needs to be razed to the ground and sprinkled with holy water to banish the evil spirits that possess it.

There are four booths but there is only one teller on duty most of the time. Two on paydays.

We never got passbooks with our ATM account and they stopped sending out bank statements in 2003.

If I need to know my balance it will cost me P2.00 by phone. Or I can use the lone ATM (if it's online, that is) and etch the numbers in memory because printed receipts went out of fashion years ago as well.

If I want to get my hands on my money, I have to get it there. Using another bank's ATM will cost me P11.00 a pop. And in all of Metro Manila, I know of only one other Bank of Commerce ATM booth apart from the one in my building.

So this bank's ineptitude leaves us no choice but to use the phone or other banks' ATMs for basic transactions like balance inquiry and withdrawals. And we get to pay it for the privilege.

It's the other great trick the devil ever pulled.

Might be of interest: