Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thoughts about the 2009 NBA playoffs

My my, the Celtics vs Bulls matchup is turning into an exciting series indeed! And who would've thought that Rajon Rondo would actually average a triple double in the playoffs? I certainly didn't! Do I had hopes about it. I realize early on that with KG out, somebody's got to step his game up, and I certainly don't expect Marbury or Miki Moore to do it. Gordon's been streaky hot! That and with Rose's one-for-the-books performance in his first playoff appearance, makes this an epic battle indeed! I wonder if he'd get anything higher than that $59M/6yrs contract offered to him before the season started. I bet Paxson is kicking himself now for signing the oft-injured Luol Deng for $71M, and now having to re-negotiate a better deal for Gordon.

Anyhow, I'm glad the Cavs vs Pistons and Lakers vs Jazz series are over. Detroit sure deserved getting swept the way they played this year. All year long they kept blaming Iverson for this team's descent, but bitching about it sure didn't help. How many games did Rasheed just mailed in this year huh? Tayshaun was pretty disappointing too. And apparently, Stuckey is not the second-coming of Billups. Heck, the only bright spot in their roster this year is the aging McDyess and he'll be gone soon, and Will Bynum who might turn out to be just another Stuckey. Great talent, but not quite ready for the responsibility yet. The Jazz were just too outclassed and too banged-up to even compete with the defending Western Conference champs at this point.

I hope the Nuggets vs Hornets series mercifully ends soon. I don't think New Orleans can take much more of this beating. And while I think the San Antonio Spurs can still mount a comeback, I think they're better of resting now. Jason Kidd and the Mavs sure are playing an inspired ballgame. With the resurgence of Josh Howard, I wouldn't mind seeing them topple the Lakers. Not that I believe it will happen. I'm just glad the Devin Harris for Jason Kidd deal didn't stink as much as it seemed to when it happened.

Will Houston beat Portland to finally advance to Round 2? I think so. Inasmuch as I'd love to see the Blazers take on the Lakers at the Western Conference Finals, I don't think they're ready. And Houston might just be finally ready to take on the next step. Which is quite ironic since it perpetuates the McGrady jinx of 1st round exits. I don't know about jinx, but with McGrady out there, they seem to miss that distinct defensive intensity that they're showing now, something they need if they want to actually succeed in the playoffs.

And to round up the matchups, I think the Magic vs 76ers and Hawks vs Heat series is still a toss up at this point. I'm still betting on the Magic and the Hawks to take their respective series, but then again, I almost always lose these kind of bets.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Of hair and rubber shoes

You know how girls always complain that we guys don't notice it when they do something with their hair or if they're wearing a different outfit? And if called out, we usually say something like "Sorry dear, you know I'm not exactly into fashion." Except that's not exactly true.

A week ago, I bought this new rubber shoes. Nothing special, just needed new shoes for badminton since I'm going back to playing in a couple of weeks. It's pretty nice, have a good bounce to it, and best of all, I got in on sale. Anyway, I wore it to work last Monday and guess what? Half of the guys at work noticed it. Nothing elaborate just a couple of "Hey, new shoes!" or "Nice shoes!" here and there.

So we're not exactly blind. It's just that we don't care so much about hair or eyeliners. Truth is, short of shaving your head--and probably even then, we will love you (or not love you, depending on the situation) regardless of hair or clothes or shoes or whatever. Now if you wanna go Helen Hunt (as in Carol in As Good as It Gets) and just want (or need) a compliment, do us a favor and give us a hint. Something like "How do you like my new hair? I had it permed/layered/whatever this afternoon." And I promise, we'll get the drift. (if your guy don't, might be time to drop his dumb ass) I'm sure we'll all be the happier for it.1

1Course if you want an honest opinion, you might do better than talking to men. It's not that we're not honest, but we really don't have the brain power to differentiate the subtle differences of "I need a compliment today." vs. "Seriously, I'd like your opinion on this."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Update: Sad state of local TV (or Totoy Bato screws John Q over)

I'm updating this to show cleaner clips instead of my sorry excuse for screen captures. I kept it down there though if you prefer torture. Anyway, here's a John Q clip that shows the scene where he decides to commit suicide, and the scene where he says goodbye to his son.

Yep, Denzel was great!

Now for the rip offers:

Urgghhh right? Well there's more, here's part 2 where he says goodbye to his daughter (the complete clip of the screen capture I posted last night lest you think I merely nitpicked).

To whoever is responsible for this crap: Di namin kayo tatantanan! (Ok, so I couldn't resist ripping off Mike.)

N.B. Special thanks to Giehar who gave me these links to the said Totoy Bato clips.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The sad state of local TV (specifically GMA soaps)

A little over a year ago, when GMA 7 bought the rights to air a Kim Sam Soon adaptation here in the Philippines, I asked my friend why the heck we need to do something so inane? It's not as if we don't have writers who can write original story lines with much more interesting, and maybe even fresher plot points. I still don't think the adaptation was a good idea (it was a painfully terrible adaptation and Regine was just plain ridiculous!), but I withdraw my point. Perhaps our writers, at least those that are employed by GMA are incapable of one original thought, not even to save their lives.

I've always detested watching soaps, not because they're cheesy (which they are), nor because they're not entertaining (which admittedly, they sometimes are... think Encantadia), but because they seem to tell and re-tell the same story using varying number of characters and degree of intelligence. I never thought they'd stoop so low as to actually copy whole plot points and stage almost the exact same scene from foreign shows. I guess I give them too much credit.

This evening, I inadvertently saw Totoy Bato (which happens often when my mom's watching tv). At this junction of the show the titular character played by Robin Padilla has just taken a hospital hostage and his terms are simple, give my son a heart transplant. Sounds familiar? If you've seen Denzel Washington's John Q then it should, because that's the exact same plot. It doesn't stop there though, they actually had the audacity to copy key scenes from the film, merely translating the lines and changing some names.

Short background: At this point, John Q's son needs the heart or he dies soon. The scene preceding this showed John deciding to commit suicide and convinced the hostaged doctor to use his heart after he does. He's here to say goodbye to his son. Here's the clip from John Q:

I'm sure you'll agree that Denzel was fantastic.

Here are a few clips from Totoy Bato (definitely ripped off from John Q). I recorded this via my phone hence the poor quality and I couldn't figure out how to make longer clips until after the scene was done hence its chopped format. I will post only 3 clips but I'm sure you'll get the idea.

Meron. Di ka pinabayaan ng guardian angel mo.
Yes. Your guardian angel didn't leave you.

Iba ang may pera... lahat... lahat pinakikinggan ka kung may pera ka. Gusto ko lumaban ka... at mahalin mo ang kapwa mo.

It's different when you have money. Everybody listens to you when you have money. Keep fighting... love others.

Hindi kita iiwan. Lagi mo kong kasama. Mahal kita... mahal na mahal kita.
I'll never leave you. I love you very much.

Pretty sickening really. And it doesn't even makes sense in our setting because we don't do heart transplant in the Philippines. Maybe they should just keep importing those ready made korea-novelas, they're probably cheaper, and some of them are actually quite amusing.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Playoffs are upon us!

Can you feel it? Excitement is in the air! The NBA 2008-2009 playoffs is upon us! And an exciting start indeed with the young Chicago Bulls beating the defending champs Boston Celtics in Overtime on what could very well be the most exciting start to the playoffs in recent years.

Will update later with some of my thoughts on the result.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Are you athletic?

I certainly am not, but its not for lack of trying though. I play badminton, and basketball, I swim, I even gave flag football a try. Sure I don't excel in any of them, but I play and I have fun. That's not to say that I never wanted to become a better badminton player or baller. I do! I figure it might even make the game more fun for me.

I'm realistic though. I don't see myself ever becoming a three point shooter or a dunker, but maybe if I can improve my passing and ball handling, maybe work on some defensive skills, I'll be a good team mate. Maybe if I have better footworks in badminton, or good form when serving, I'll be a bit more competitive instead of being the un-designated rest station.

And guess what? This summer there's actually an opportunity to do so! It seems our church, UECP, which started a sports ministry a couple of years ago, is holding a sports camp this May for both badminton and basketball. Sounds fun right? Yeah, I thought so too. I sure hope I can go hehe... by the way, you can go to as it's open to all. Here are the details if you're interested:
  • inclusive dates are May 14 to 16
  • Rizal Recreation Center
  • camp fee is P2000 all in
  • open to both males (both basketball and badminton) and females (badminton)
Leave me a message or contact me here if you're interested or need more details.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Yahoo! It's Easter Sunday, and I'm not excited because of some easter egg hunt or some easter bunny giving away no silly balloons.

Today, I celebrate He who loved us when we were unlovable, who lived and died for us when we were His enemies, who took up our sins and suffered for them, who for us conquered death forevermore.

Yes, Jesus is risen.

He is risen indeed!

Happy easter ya'all!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

How are you celebrating Lent?

I had to go to work today and the place sure looked like a ghost town. Maybe a third of the people were missing and half of the people who actually did go to work were just floating around dazed--like ghosts--seemingly unsure why they went to work in the first place. And everywhere I went I almost always found someone who'd ask me if I thought we'd get the afternoon off. I sympathized with them yet it irritated me to no end because I took the morning off! The question was moot! And yet up to the very last hour, like a prisoner about to be hanged, they kept hoping for that call from Malacanang. I kept telling them not to expect the call, that Malacanang probably took the afternoon off already and no one's left to make the phone call even if by some twist of fate, GMA decides even a twelfth of day off might figure well in her so-called holiday economics.

It does feel disconcerting being at work when a lot of people aren't. I made the most of it by sleeping in late, which is the only purpose of a holiday for me since I really don't have anything better to do anyway. I compressed most of my work for the afternoon. It was good work, much was accomplished, and I didn't even have to wake up early or rush to work. Yet I still ended the day feeling sluggish and a wee bit annoyed.

I can't say why exactly, but I imagine its because I've nothing planned for such a prime holiday as this one. 4 straight days, heck it could easily have been 9 if I took a couple of days leave and I've neither the cash nor the circumstance to be in something remotely interesting or fun! I wonder how many of those "who chose to stay in Manila for the holidays" actually chose to stay? Are you really trying to avoid those vacationers or nobody invited you to go with them? Are you really choosing to reflect on this most holy of weeks or just found yourself stuck and nowhere to go? Really, I'd like to know.

I guess I'm entering this holy week with the wrong perspective. Hopefully, I'll be able to put myself in a more reflective mood and prayerful attitude by tomorrow. No, I'm not bashing those who went on a vacation. Make no mistake about it, it is my belief that this is a time for joyous celebration. Easter maybe the culmination of the celebration, but Jesus rose again some 2000 years ago, and He remains risen. It's all good to remember His suffering, but lets put the emphasis back to His resurrection. I just think that it wouldn't hurt if I celebrated alone once in a while.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I realize I haven't blogged in a month

And I'm not entirely sure why or if it means there's something wrong about me. Perhaps the latter is true. I suppose I might be experiencing a midlife crisis. Yeah yeah, so what if I die at 55? I'm down at the pits this early, I might be making a good case for that aren't I?

So I go check out this site Psychology Today on how exactly do I know if I'm really experiencing midlife crisis, and found this interesting tidbit:
"Midlife transition" is a natural stage that happens to many of us at some point (usually at about age 40, give or take 20 years).
Wow! That sure is a large margin! Of course I imagine the author is trying to consider the huge differences in life expectancy from say Africa's 40 to Japan's 80 to maybe Middle Earth's 120?

Anyhow, I can safely say that it's entirely possible that I am indeed suffering one right now. Maybe I should go see their list of symptoms and find out how I'm faring.
  • Boredom and exhaustion, or frantic energy
  • Self-questioning
  • Daydreaming
  • Irritability, unexpected anger
  • Acting on alcohol, drug, food or other compulsions
  • Greatly decreased or increased sexual desire
  • Sexual affairs, especially with someone much younger
  • Greatly decreased or increased ambition
So let's see...
  1. Boredom? Check.
  2. Self-questioning? If this isn't self-questioning, I don't know what is--so check.
  3. Day dreaming? Definitely.
  4. Irritability and unexpected anger... hmm, is it possible I started when I was 10? Anway, check.
  5. Binging... damn it, maybe 7 years old?
  6. Hmm... increased or decreased sexual desire? Not much middle ground here, so I suppose yeah, check.
  7. Whoa! Sexual affairs with someone much younger? Someone half my age perhaps? That would put her to what? 13? Not cool. So no check.
  8. Err... again, no middle ground here. Check.
7 out of 8! 87.5%! I guess that settles it without a doubt. So if you'll excuse me, I'll just go blow away my lifesavings and get a Ferrari now (I wish).