Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movie trailer: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

It's time to salivate, fanboys and fangirls.

I think I watched it 3 times before posting it here. I'm so excited to see this in 3D.

Here, my dears, for your viewing pleasure: the trailer of the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Charice on Glee: No rumor anymore

The first time we heard about this news, even Charice Pempengco dismissed it as a hoax.

The news comes once more and... now it's true.

Our very own Charice has confirmed in her Twitter account that she is set to appear on the next season of Glee. From what I can understand from her series of Tweets, it seemed that after the first time the rumor spread, she tried to audition for a part and eventually landed on one. Hmm, maybe she'd be one of the new recruits for New Directions?

She's a great singer, we all know that. But acting-wise, it's yet to be seen and proven.

Okay, now I'm waiting for this news to be disspelled. Sorry, involuntary action.

But really, I just hope it's not another hoax.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Team Carnival and Father's Day

This week, Team Carnival is giving a salute to dads via this week's theme, Lessons From My Father.

So in my 30 years of existence, what has my dad taught me? I guess there are many, but there are just some that really has been ingrained in my system.

1. My dad taught me to be a morning person. As in wake up as the sun rises and sleep in the evening. Yes, that actually means I'm not going to be qualified in any call center here in the Philippines. Despite the seemingly superficial lesson, my dad taught me to start the day early to get things done way before the deadline. You know, "the early bird catches the first worm." This kind of attitude of his taught me to always be on the lead on things, whether it's arriving 10 minutes before an interview or just grabbing new opportunities that come my way. I am proud to say that I get to accomplish my things on time (even earlier) because of this habit. That's why I'm blogging right now.

2. My dad taught me to appreciate food. One of the things he told me way back during my college days was that if I chose to, I could scrimp on everything except what I eat. No matter if it's expensive; if you want it, go eat it. He said that the worst thing a man could be is hungry. Because when he is hungry, he will not have the capacity to think and act. To fill the head, you need to fill the stomach first. He's right -- I can't function well at work when I'm hungry. And because of hunger, I can't accomplish anything. So my love for food is all due to him.

3. In relation to the last lesson, my dad taught me to be content with what he gives us. Years back, I could say we were pretty well off. But my dad rarely gave me luxuries and wants (he did provide the needs very very well). Well, only during Christmas, when he'd ask us to write to "Santa Claus" (yeah, right!). I guess with that kind of upbringing, in a way he taught me not to be too materialistic, to be brand-conscious. Never mind if the shirt I'm wearing today is from the ukay-ukay.

4. My dad taught me to face the world with a straight face. We had our share of financial troubles, and at one point he lost his job. And that was when all 4 of us siblings were still studying, with the eldest in high school. I knew he was on the verge of depression, but he never showed us that he was weak. He never cried in front of us. Nevertheless, we pulled through that ordeal and somehow I think our lives have been better than before. Nowadays when there are challenges in life that I face, I think of how my dad faced his troubles and survived them.

5. My dad taught me to always have pulutan on the side when drinking beer. I guess there is no hidden wisdom in this lesson, only that the fat from the pulutan is a good equalizer to the alcohol. Prevents the alcohol from going to your head. Works for me.

My dad's already 62, but I'm sure I'd still be learning new lessons from him. Right now all I can say to him is thank you and I'm glad to have him as my dad.

Fully Booked's Book Grab 2010

If you're a certified bibliophile, then you'd probably want to join the anniversary Book Grab of Fully Booked.

Five lucky book lovers will have the chance to grab all the books they want inside the Fully Booked store in just 2 minutes.

To join the Book Grab, all you have to do is first download the application form found in the Book Grab page and submit it along with a creative entry that describes the theme, "Three Things I Like About Fully Booked." Entries can be in the form of a 2-minute video, a poem or essay, or an A2/A3 artwork of any medium. Remember, these should be original works of yours to qualify. Submit them through email or personally at the Bonifacio High Street Branch, where the actual Book Grab will be held. I'd suggest you start making yours now because entries will only be accepted until July 15, 2010.

Only 5 lucky persons will be chosen to participate in the Book Grab happening on July 24. So if you really, really want a chance to own the book you've been yearning for, this is your moment. Go make your entries now!

Want to know more about the contest mechanics? Visit the Fully Booked Book Grab page here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Blogger's new feature: Design

For the old bloggers on Blogger (ain't that redundant, haha!), we were used to choosing prepared layouts offered on the site or from external sources for pretty templates. I guess Blogger felt that a lot of bloggers are looking for templates that can easily be customized (and it's not just about moving widgets or putting personalized headers) to match the themes of their blog.

And so they made a solution that makes it easier for us to pick lovely templates and be able to customize them at whim.

Enter the Design function of Blogger.

You'll easily find this on your dashboard. Actually, I saw mine I think a week ago, but didn't get to explore it until yesterday. Why? I thought that it was just a so-so feature, a minor add on. A simplified form of the "Layout" feature. Boy, I was wrong.

Clicking through the Design link will take you to the page where you can add/edit your widgets.

On the upper left, you will see the Template Designer button. Now clicking through will open a door to a really really great feature.

From here, you can choose from 5 different templates that have at least 3 designs each. So in 1 template, there are loads of designs to choose from. The templates come in 2- or 3-columns and the looks are all too pretty.

But wait, there's more.

After choosing a template, try clicking the Background tab on the left. And voila! Loads of backgrounds to choose from! They are categorized according to themes, and with that number, there's surely a background that fits the theme of your blog.

Personalization at its best. Now this is another reason why more bloggers will choose Blogger as their free blog host. Kudos to Blogger for coming up with this development.

Now I'm sooooo tempted to change my blogs' templates. Itching, itching...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Team Carnival asks: what is/are my fave show/s?

I love Team Carnival's topic for this week: my favorite TV shows!

I wouldn't really call myself a couch potato, but I spend a lot of my time watching TV. When not in front of the computer, of course. Well, sometimes in front of it, yes. Three decades past, and there have been a lot of TV series that have grabbed my attention and made me sit for an hour or so in front of it. But well, I guess I only have to choose those few that had an impact on me and which reflect my personality (read: inner geekiness). So here are my top 3 fave TV shows:

Special Mention: Heroes

Okay, I know I said 3, but I had to mention this in my list because it's got so many "heroes" in one show that it rivals the number of the members of the Justice League.

The first season was pretty engaging, exploring each of the characters from Peter and his brother to Claire to Hiro to the villain Sylar. What made the story intriguing was the recurring theme: "Save the cheerleader, save the world." Not to mention that it was done in such a way one reads a comic book and would be waiting for the next issue to come out.

I guess the story suffered greatly during the Writers' Strike in the US. After recovering from the strike, they got back on their feet again, introducing new characters and killing off others. My favorite characters are Hiro and his best friend (turned hero, too) Ando. They provide much of the comedy but at the same time they are the epitome of strength, courage, and unity.

The last season has ended long ago. I'm still waiting for word when it will return. But it looks a bit hazy for the show.

3rd Place: The Big Bang Theory

Now this is a classic example of geek meets TV. The lives of two genius roommates who both work as physicists go topsy turvy when a coffee-shop waitress-slash-aspiring actress moves in next door to their apartment. Put in the mix an engineer who thinks he's God's gift to women, an astrophysicist who cannot speak to women, and loads of toys and geek stuff in between, including Klingon Boggle, and you have a comedy show that challenges your intelligence. Seriously.

Though at times it's pretty hard to understand some physics terms they spit out in the show, the idiosyncrasies of each character is what makes this show a hit for me. Somehow, I can relate to a few of their jokes, especially when it came to toys. And the script is pretty funny, you can't help but think how the actors manage to give a straight face in delivering them.

I've already got copies of episodes until Season 3. But I've stopped watching until the half of Season 2 because of...

2nd Place: Glee

If you don't know this show, you must be living under a rock.

The show that got my attention after winning an Emmy, I thought that this was just another High School Musical. But well, I was wrong. The story explores the lives of a group of losers who wanted to sing and how they are making it big in the show choir scene.

The characters can be irritable as they are lovable starting off with Rachel, the glee club's diva to Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading team's coach with a list of hellish yet wonderful lines. The songs they use are the popular ones you hear on the radio, and some that come from Broadway musicals.

The first 13 episodes were amazing and they made me want more. I just noticed that beginning episode 14, the writers seemed to have been too lax to create a cohesive story, concentrating more on themes and songs rather than the story of the glee club. But it's still okay for me.

The last episode for the first season is showing this week (I'm watching it later), and I'm excited for regionals.

EDIT: Great ending! I love how Sue and Will have a sort-of Batman-Joker relationship. One just can't live without the other.

1st Place: MacGyver

Tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-tan-taan! Oh man, this will show my age, but what the heck.

Aside from Mission Impossible and all other superhero shows, I think this one is the show for the geek. MacGyver is actually a secret agent working for the Phoenix Foundation who resorts to non-violent means of getting the bad guys. Non-violent meaning relying on everyday science (the character's a physics grad) and his handy-dandy Swiss Army Knife. Every episode is a new adventure for this guy who battles different enemies. The only constant in his life are his friend Pete, arch-nemesis Murdock, getting his head whacked and being transported to another place and time, girls he gets to kiss, and a glass of milk.

You want proof how this guy is a genius? He used a Hershey's bar to seal off a leak in a nuclear plant. Whoa!

And the shoelace, don't forget the shoelace.

His craftiness and the edge-of-your-seat type of episodes made me a big fan of Richard Dean Anderson (who was rumored to be a ladies' man in real life) that my sister and I stuck a poster of him in our room and I asked Santa Claus for a Swiss Army Knife that year. And then my parents told me to write Santa another letter because he can't give me that. Shucks.

So there you have it, folks. A testimony of my geekiness, er, my all-time favorite shows.

Now it makes me tempted to look for a DVD collection of old TV series. Or probably a torrent. Hahaha!

The new administration

No more "presumptive" or "-elect" or "-apparent" attached to their positions. Today, Noynoy Aquino and Jejomar Binay will be proclaimed the country's president and vice president, respectively.

Many rejoice in the success of the elections. Some (mostly the losers) will scream the words "cheating" and "dishonest elections" for the next few months or so.

You know, rather than sourgraping, why don't they just shut up? At least leave a bit of dignity.

No, I'm not a supporter of the Noy-Bi tandem. I did not vote for them. But the elections is over, and what we should do is move forward.

On another note, I'd be honest to say that I don't like the barongs Aquino is choosing to wear on his proclamation:

The one he is keen on choosing is the one on his right, the one with the ribbon. The other barong has the map of the Philippines on the left chest part (can't be seen from this photo).

It looks too plain. I dunno. It could be better. Designer Puey Quinones' design for his inauguration looks better.

Oh well, if that's his preference, so be it.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Team Carnival and spoilers

Spoilers is this week's topic at Team Carnival.

You want to know my take? Read after the jump.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Weekend movie: Prince of Persia

One could easily drag me into the cinema, especially when movies with stunning visuals are showing. So it was not hard for my geek of a husband to get me into watching Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. First of all, it was made by the same people behind Pirates of the Caribbean and second, I knew that it was going to be a movie that has less talk and more action. Great for weekend watching.

The movie was based on the game with the same title. Though, as my husband would point out, there were alterations here and there. The story revolves around Dastan, an orphaned boy plucked from the streets by the Persian king. From thereon, he lived as royalty alongside his two brothers and uncle. How was he as a prince? Let's just say, just like the usual -- the prodigal one. Anyway, so his eldest brother, heir to the throne, was made to believe that the holy city of Alamut was selling arms to the enemies under their noses. So they rushed in and ransacked the city. In the course of the siege, Dastan recovers an unusual-looking dagger and, at the success of their quest, meets the princess, Tamina.

Of course it's not all well. Complications arise when, during their victory party, the king dies and Dastan was accused of murder. Running away with Tamina, he embarks on a new journey of seeking the truth behind the dagger, the Sands of Time, and ultimately the identity of the real enemy.

That's as far as I can go. The rest of the story, you have to see for yourself.

Now, even if you haven't played the game, it's fine because, as I've said, the movie changed bits and pieces in different parts. If you have played the game, well you're in for a few surprises. But the essence of the game, particularly the fight scenes and the stunts, is still there.

(Fof the record, I refuse to play the game. I got lost since the first Prince of Persia game in the FamiCom. Got stuck as early as Stage 1.)

I like the way the movie recreated the golden days of Persia. The set and cinematography were really great. The character design of the Hassansins (and their weapons) were amazing. Somehow it reminded me of the Assasins in 300. I guess there was a group of hired killers back then and that they looked exactly like that. Should consult Google...

Acting-wise, Jake Gyllenhaal was pretty good as Dastan. Gemma Arterton, last seen in Clash of the Titans, looked like her previous character Io but with a Persian princess costume. Hubby and I though noticed Ben Kingsley never actually aged. And he's also somewhat stereotyped as a bad guy. From Gandhi to the bad guy, eh? But hey, he's always intense whatever role you give him, so kudos to him. But the best of the lot? Alfred Molina. Gosh, any where you put this man is magic. For me, even if he was the so-called comic relief of the movie, he was the one that I really liked.

I found the story pretty engaging. You'd never want to take your eyes away from the screen as the action unfolds. The movie isn't too heavy in words, too, so it's kinda easy to catch the flow of the story.

Would I recommend this movie? Absolutely yes. For sheer action and entertainment and a bit of humor on the side, it's a film to catch. And you don't have to be a geek to like it, too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Boy Abunda as Tourism Secretary?

Well, that's what president-apparent Noynoy Aquino would want. He says that Mr. Abunda's marketing and communication skills would be useful in that position.

Here are news reports from GMA's website and ABS-CBN's website, respectively.

Qualifications? Schooled in Ateneo de Manila, later on took up studies in international relations. Presently manager of a pool of actors and also a talk show host.

Okay, so he may be eloquent and everything, but isn't there any one better? Ace Durano's doing a great job. Richard Gordon did a very great job back then.

And Boy Abunda's a friend of the family. And one of those who worked on Noynoy's campaign.

This sounds like Noynoy's going to do everyone he owes his victory to a big favor -- of putting them in government positions.

Smells like Kamag-anak, Inc. to me.

Repeat performance, anyone?