"It is critical you pay attention at this time..."

I need to increase my readership haha
- JFav

Monday, December 30, 2013

Looking Forward to 2014 (in Film)

The year is almost over, and I am way behind on updating this thing, but there's still time and I'm in the mood to talk about movies.

It seems every upcoming year's slate of movies is worthy of "I can't wait for" status. Next year's crop is no different, which is no small feat after 2013's great list of films (Iron Man 3, This Is The End, Pacific Rim). Without further ado, here are the movies "I can't wait for" in 2014:


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Choo Friends

The friends you make along the way will be plenty.

None of us are friendless or for that matter, "friend-full"

The scythe of trust is what thins their numbers.

A secret kept is a friendship saved. It matters when we share secrets because we share a part of ourselves. It is trusting someone even if you can't see them.

Likewise, to spend time with someone is to mark them special. The friends you are with are who you want to be with. Foolishly wasting time being with individuals whom you can't be yourself around will kill you, little by little.

Your friends are those whom you trust with your secrets and time, your life and soul. And they, in turn, trust you with theirs.

Choose wisely. Make sure they are "Choo Friends."





Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My New Favorite Show: Sleepy Hollow



SLEEPY HOLLOW!

My new favorite show on the strength of its premise, cast/characters and willingness to out-WTF the competition. EDIT: And after only TWO episodes.

(There be spoilers!)


Monday, September 23, 2013

A Cronut Worth Your Time

Bronuts' doughnut/croissant miracles of life are good. Actually, they're great. I've tried my fair share of cronuts these past few months, but so far these are my favorite. Before my family and I finished the half dozen of them I bought (P110 per piece, P600 for six), I managed to snap a few pictures. I now give you permission to get hungry.

Super Floss, Cream Cheese and Bacon, Belgian Chocolate and Salted Caramel and Strawberry Yogurt. If nothing caught your attention there, heaven help you.
You can't tell from looking at it, but eating one of these bad boys takes some effort. These aren't tiny at all.
These brave six served our mouths and tummies well. We are grateful.
 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fantasy Diary 001 - Mock Draft 'Til You Make It

NBA Fantasy time! Oh yes, I love this time of the year and I can't wait to play for real. For now, practice practice practice! When it comes down to the actual live drafts, draft position determines a lot of things so I am going to practice drafting from every position at least twice. For this mock draft, I am drafting Eighth Overall. My players and thoughts after the jump.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Mundane Overanalysis: A List of Favorite Lists

I don't know about you, but I love making lists. It's so much fun to organize things like that, number them and rank them pretending to have ownership or claim or influence on these items. It's a fascination with bringing order to chaos and imagining yourself in control of something you really do not have any power over. It's almost like playing God, really.

Or not. Maybe it's just a thing people do. A habit or hobby like gardening or comic collecting or whatever. All I know is, it's pretty fun for me. And I'm pretty sure most people get a kick out of it too.

Some of my favorite topics to make lists for include Avengers line-ups (because one day, when I'm writing Avengers, Richard Rider-Ben Reilly-Scott Summers will all make the cut serving with Luke Cage and Black Panther), what I want to do on my Birthday (one day, I will plan my own surprise party), basketball line-ups (I obsessed with this in high school haha) and the order with which I will watch my shows/read my comics (because there is a way to maximize your enjoyment of these things!).

List-making can be therapeutic, calming and a tiny source of entertainment. I guess this is how I balance how messy and disorganized I am. With all the clutter in real life, making a list of things for fun is maybe a way of "tipping the scales," for people like me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend Food

I eat a lot. I eat a lot (it bears repeating). This weekend was no exception. Here are some of the things I had over the past two days (after the jump):


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Ten Commandments of Fast Food Customers



Beholdeth, yon temple of the quickened feast, thy palace of immediate sustenance! Glory be to thy refuge, where a man or woman might partake of a meal without having to slaughter the fattened calf nor baketh the bread as others have already done so for thee! It is the miracle of fast food, and I tell you it is good.

Thusly, thine patrons of the golden grill and fountain of soda, I pass on to you a list of rulings you and I must obey. The Fast Food requires are respect and consideration. We mustn't foolishly and irreverently act within its confines, nay, we stand above such shenanigans. Listen now, for I speak truest for you! Follow these commandments that we might forever be blessed. *Blech* Sorry, something got stuck in the wrong pipe for a moment there. What was I saying? Oh yeah, Ten Commandments for eating fast food. Sounds simple enough, yeah? Let's get to it.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pride

To be honest, there were times in my life when I thought I wasn't worth much. It wasn't so much because of one specific calamity that sent my thoughts down that dark path, but a series of unfortunate events that made me question my place in the world.

So to get affirmation, validation and vindication all in the span of a few days? It's reassuring. And it's something I can be proud of. Thank heavens.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Jollibee Amazing Aloha: A Sandwich's Plea

It's in my name, I'm amazing!


Dear Unsatisfied Customer,

I'm going to get straight to the point. We have a problem: why won't you eat me? :( Many others have already, so why won't you? I can assure you, there is nothing wrong with me. What about me do you not find appealing? I hope you and I can come to understanding. I'm just a hardworking burger trying to get you to sample me. I know if you do, you'll be singing a different tune.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1: The Amazing Spider-Marriage

During the post-Civil War, pre-Secret Invasion era, Spider-Man comics went under the Back in Black banner to capitalize on the hype of Spider-Man 3. As the Peter Parker of the movies donned a black costume for the first time, the Peter Parker of the comics would swing in those fan-favorite dark tights once again. Story-wise, this was brought upon by Peter Parker's elderly Aunt May being shot as fallout from the Civil War event. With such tragedy befalling Spider-Man's world, not to mention the fact that he was on the wrong side of the law and on the run, he would enter a "darker" phase of his life and would reflect that change in his outfit, so that everyone would know that Spidey's had enough and isn't going to take anymore crap.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Me, A Man

The man with the grey, grid line-printed shirt had his back to me. He, along with a woman with two-piece gold earrings and an elegantly designed shawl were four in front of me. Next to them was another man, head down in concentration and behind him was a woman, the top of her head glowed a reddish hue. In the row in front of me to my right was yet another man, eyes closed and praying deeply. A league of extraordinary people if there ever was one.

Slowly, the room began to fill with more.

And beside me, a man, cross and beads in his hands. On his knees he prayed, effortlessly shielding himself from all other thoughts and distractions as he murmured inaudible words, fears, hopes and acknowledgements of his being. A plain of white, silver and black covered his scalp. He is my father.

I am not a religious man, but he is. For all his faults, for all his accomplishments, he belongs to something deeper and more meaningful. He loves his family with all his heart, and is fearful of God. Were I to become half of the man he is, that would be enough.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

It's A Mouthful: Starbucks' New Drink is More of the Same

Confession time. I (and my family) am one of those who used to (keywords, used to!) consider Starbucks' Frappuccinos as desserts. You know, What's for dessert? Starbucks tayo! Like that. We perpetuated the idea that this coffee mega-chain's frozen, blended drinks were the ideal dessert: quick and easy to drink, cold and sweet. Aaaand there may have been that small notion that it indicated a certain life status, but that's neither here or there and I digress.

I've gone away from that line of thinking. I know, I've finally joined the rest of the sane human race. Ha ha. There are a number of reasons why. For one, those drinks are damn expensive. Two, those drinks are damn expensive. Three, I'm not really a fan of coffee. Four, I know how unhealthy they are. Five, they're really sickeningly sweet sometimes. 

Now, I'm not here to bash Starbucks. Many others have done that/are doing that/will do that. Starbucks and I are cool. I like their napkins. I like their green tea Frappuccinos (healthier, ang peg (well, okay, slightly healthier)) because they aren't as sweet. I like their waffles and sausage rolls and the cool cakes they have sometimes. And I absolutely LOVE their falafels! So this isn't me acting out against a mega-corp. I just, matured, I suppose is the right word for it. I am unwilling to part with my money for their drinks, but their food, that I still like. Peace, everybody.

What I am here to talk about is Starbucks' new drink, their Dark Mocha White Chocolate Pudding frappuccino blended beverage. The signs had been up for a couple weeks now and it grabbed my attention enough that I wanted to try it (there's also a Green Tea White Chocolate Pudding frappuccino blended beverage, maybe I'll get that some other time).

The DMWCP frap (no, never typing its whole name again) is "a treat for chocolate lovers." It's basically a dark chocolate/coffee frappuccino with chocolate chips, white chocolate pudding at the base and dark mocha powder on top of whipped cream. It is the combination of a great many things sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, but did it mine?

Honestly, at first I found it too sweet and too bitter. I am not the biggest fan of dark chocolate so I should have expected that. Those first few sips were too strong for me, and I thought the rest of the drink would be a chore to get through. However, after the initial unpleasantness, each succeeding sip started bringing in more of the white chocolate pudding and the chocolate chips, which made for a much more palatable experience. Full disclosure though, I did not know how white chocolate pudding was supposed to taste like. And I still don't, because it really did not taste like white chocolate to me. That was fine though since it countered the bitterness of the dark chocolate and refreshed my palette each time. It got much better by the time the whipped cream had melted in with the rest of the drink. Then it tasted just like a regular old frappuccino. Once I reached the bottom of the cup, I found a mass of pudding still untouched. Again, it didn't really taste like white chocolate but it was innocuous enough for me to finish it.

My final verdict? Well, I won't be buying it again, that's for sure. Did I mention that the drink cost P200.00 (grande size)? Ha ha. So yeah, I don't regret it so much because I wanted to satisfy my curiosity, but I'm definitely not making a repeat buy. My forays into Starbucks branches will be to browse their sandwiches and pastries, looking for my falafel and for something interesting to munch on.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All For a Glimpse of Royalty

LeBron James is my favorite basketball player.

An opportunity presents itself to go see him in person, after I miss out on being able to watch him play? I'm not passing that up. That's what led me to get in the car and make my way to Fort Bonifacio High Street. 

But I missed his Nike event so I wasn't part of the crowd that he tossed giveaway basketballs to. I was still able to see him in person though. He was maybe 20 feet in front of me and I got to see him for a total of what, 15, 20 seconds? My trip yielded just a brief glimpse of the 2013 NBA Finals MVP. Was it worth it?

I'm a big fan of LeBron and LeBron's game. I think he's the greatest basketball player alive. I defended him through all of his low-points and cheered him on during his moments of greatness. His game is part do-it-all destructiveness and win-together efficiency and it is something else to behold. The highlights are numerous, the statistics are incredible and the total package is once-in-a-lifetime. There's not much more we can say about him at this point that we don't already know, except that, that "more" we're expecting/hoping for is going to push him to all-time superlative heights, and then we're going to run out of things to say.

Was it worth it? Of course it was.

video

Sunday, July 21, 2013

So You Want a Revolution: Avengers sequel is 'Age of Ultron,' Fans' Heads Explode

San Diego Comic-Con had a heckuva third day with panels and shenanigans from both Warners/DC, Fox and Marvel. That sound you heard this morning was me letting out the manliest shriek in the history of the world, just beating out the last time I shrieked like that around the time they announced Joss Whedon as the director of Avengers and brought the whole cast on stage at Comic-Con a few years back.

Because something crazier topped that, and it was the entirety of the Marvel Studios Panel. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pass The Jaeger Pilot Sign-Up Sheet Please: An Open Letter to the United Nations

Dear United Nations Ambassadors,

Let me begin by saying that I hope all of you are all doing well and that you and your respective countries have not been squashed by a walking mountain. I haven't (obviously) but it was close! I live in Manila and am a survivor of last year's kaiju incursion. Man, was that terrifying! Seeing those things on TV is one thing, but in real life? You can't even begin to comprehend it. My family and I were lucky that we got to a shelter in time. Some of our neighbors didn't and were killed in the attack. We couldn't even find some of them, after. Right now, we're staying at a shelter (it's really a community basketball court) and living off these wonderful food rations you've been giving out. They taste like real oatmeal, yum! But I digress.

I write to you today about the "Wall of Life" defense project being constructed along our coastline. I just want to say that I think it's not going to work. I'm sure you guys know what you're doing and have your experts and all, but it seems to me that it's not going to be all that effective. I kinda get the sense that it won't be of much use against the kaiju. For one thing, the wall doesn't seem to have any weapons, no turrets or missile launchers of any kind. Is it electrified? I hope it is. I think any offensive capabilities would come in handy, you know, so that the wall is not just there to defend, but to repel kaiju attacks. Secondly, what happens if the kaiju, God-forbid, break through? I know you're building sturdy walls but if the attacks ramp up, well I hope that kaiju get tired because not much seems to slow them down. And that brings me to my last point: why are you getting rid of the Jaegers? We kinda liked them, you know. I mean, who doesn't love giant fighting super robots? We were raised on a bunch of them in our youth, and now that they actually exist, why do you have to take them away? Obviously, they appealed to us on an inner-kid level, but then you made them kaiju-killing machines and that pretty much endeared them to us on a basic-human-desire-to-live level. Why scrap that program then? Going back to my second point, if the wall falls, wouldn't having a Jaeger ready be a smart idea? I know recently they've been getting beat up badly, but if I were running things, I wouldn't resort to building a wall. I'd just build bigger and badder Jaegers, he he. But hey, I'm just a regular Juan, so I'm sure I wouldn't know any better than the best each country has to offer!

Okay, I just wanted to get that off my chest. I'm sure the wall is going to work since none of the kaiju we've seen so far can burrow underneath the ground or jump really high or you know, fly. The "Wall of Life" is surely going to protect us, as long as we can finish building it (it's huge!). Here's hoping we only ever see one kaiju at a time.

Yours Truly,

Justin Favis

P.S.

Please tell Marshal Pentecost that he rocks! And go Gipsy Danger!


Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Only Good Adobo Is The One That's Made At Home

Sorry for the wordy title. Actually, that's supposed to read: The Only Good Adobo is Our Adobo, but then I'd face the inevitable onslaught of angry responses (in my mind, there a whole lot of readers/protesters) all claiming that their adobo is the best. That is why I opted for solution C, everybody wins (the Filipino's favorite solution).

Which explains the title. (Sorry for the wordy explanation.)

Okay. Adobo. Adobo adobo adobo. ADOBO! Have I sufficiently forced you to think about your adobo? Yes? Good. I'ma make you hong-grier, just you wait.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Win Or Lose, But We Prefer The Former Of Course

This season (I forget what number, 75, 76, seventy-whatever, I just refer to it as 2013), the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles are trying to secure their 6th-straight UAAP Men's Basketball championship. 

Not one, not two, not three...You get the point. That's pretty damn impressive. I'm not going to wax poetic on this point because many others already have, and you're probably sick of it as well. Ateneo, good. Five in a row good. 

What I'm here for is number six. Specifically, the fact that as of July 3, 2013, the possibility of the Blue Eagles raising another championship trophy is looking pretty bleak. No, I'm not saying this because of the fact as of their loss to FEU, they've started out the season 0-2. I've known (really, we've known) since the end of last season that our title defense would be doubly hard what with losing our entire big man rotation to graduation/eligibility rules (Greg Slaughter, Nico Salva, Justin Chua) AND more importantly, our head coach for the entire 5-year run, Fr. Norman Black. No, I'm pretty sure he has not taken the Sacrament of Holy Orders, but he deserves our utmost respect and reverence for being the architect of our championship run. Quite simply, we were going to lose too much to mount a true title defense and a serious quest for that sixth straight 'chip. 

(This reminds me of the 2000-2001 Indiana Pacers. After making it to the finals the year before, Indiana lost/traded away it's starting point guard, power forward and center - Mark Jackson, Dale Davis and Rik Smits, respectively - and saw Larry Bird hang up his coach's hat. Sure they re-upped Reggie Miller and Austin Croshere, traded for the talented but young Jermaine O'Neal and kept most of the previous year's team intact, but you lose the people at those key positions and a repeat trip to the finals, let alone a winning season - Indiana made it to the playoffs that year as the 8th seed with an even 41-41 record - is not going to be as easy as it was before.)

But then, there were the whispers that the new players would be able to step-in and contribute right away. Bo Perasol was hired to takeover head coaching duties, he himself a decent replacement. Heck, they even beat La Salle in one of the preseason tournaments. May Ravena at Buenafe pa naman, kaya yan! ("We can still win, we still have Ravena and Buenafe!") And so, by the time the tournament was about to start, with UST, NU and even UE tagged as the favorites, every Atenean (including this writer) was thinking the same thing, "Why not us?"

Then the season started with a drubbing at the hands at Adamson. Eh, injured pa naman si Ravena! ("But Ravena played hurt!"). Call me crazy, but the fact that the team launched 33 three-point attempts and only hit SEVEN did not scream "We're missing Ravena." Then, in the second game against FEU, without Kiefer Ravena the remaining Eagles led by Ryan Buenfae and Chris Newsome tried valiantly to beat the Tamaraws. But late in the game, when Ateneo was scrambling, they went to a big man-less five, something that never happened during the five-peat. To me, it loudly confirmed what I had feared all along: that without a dominant big man in the middle (i.e. Slaughter), the team was going to get, um, slaughtered by the bigger squads (which is almost every team). What each championship team throughout the 5-peat had in common was Black and a superior front court. This team has neither and we're expecting them to win it all? For Ateneo to win it this year, they have to win in a way that we have never won before. Let that sink in first. 

The main reasons Ateneo has won the last five tournaments won't be around this time. Oh but we still think you can win.

Of course, what are we going to say? It's not as if we could skip this year and come back with a stronger unit. This the hand we've been dealt. We're going to bluff our way to the top or lose.

And that brings me to my point. (I know, I know, it took a while.) In the Ateneo's school song, there's a line that goes: Win or lose, it's the school we choose. It's something you hear/see a lot when Ateneo loses, as if to validate the loss and say, it's okay, we're still Ateneo. We're still in this. We're still winning. It's the confidence that in victory or defeat, things will be alright. 

But honestly? Losing will not be alright for this rabid, school-pride crazy community. We're going to hate losing. I'm going to doubly hate it if we don't win it all, and La Salle does. Because that's just the way we're wired. That's what competition does to you, and that's what success does to you. It makes you crave for that sweet, blissful feeling of relief that all you endured, all you had to sacrifice was worth it. It's something that once you're forced to give up, worse, to share with others, will utterly destroy you. And, so far, it looks like Ateneo will finally have to let others play with the trophy after owning it for the past five years.

It's not over yet though. (There it is again, that confident, can't-let-go attitude). Ateneo, despite it's relative lack of size and identity still boasts an impressive collection of talent led by Ravena, Buenafe and Newsome. At some point, they're going to have to come together and figure all this out. And what do they need to remedy? First of all, their ghastly offense. Oh my god, sometimes, they can't even get the ball past the three point arc. It's that bad. Without a dominant low post presence, they need to create a good-enough one. In the FEU game, Buenafe was trying to establish himself as a low-post presence, but it still led to a lot of three-point shots on kick-outs. Any team who goes zone against Ateneo is going to have an easy time collecting all those missed jumpers. This is where a healthy Ravena comes in and breathes new life into Ateneo's offense. With both he and Buenafe on the floor, teams can't just pack it in on one of them. It's important that Ravena recovers from his injury and reestablishes himself as the premier guard in the league. The bigs need to at least fool defenses into thinking that they're threats on offense. That means good spacing, proper timing on cuts and screens and making the most of their opportunities when they get them. Next, they need to shore up their defense to create more fastbreak opportunities. Small ball works best out in the open, not in halfcourt sets. They don't have to be a dominating defense, they just need to be disruptive and effective when the situation calls for it. Gang rebounding is also a must. Leak-outs must be kept to a minimum and all five players must commit first to securing the loose ball before sprinting down court.

Sounds simple enough right? I wish. Improve your offense and defense are nothing new, but in this case, the weight of expectation leaves little room for error. Ateneo needs to solve their problems soon lest they surrender their title before the end of the first round. It's still a long way to go, but Ateneo has a longer way to go still. Win or lose is a real thing, but in the end winning means everything.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pan Chicken: The One We Forget But Honestly Shouldn't

In the Fried Chicken Wars, there are the three major players (KFC, McDo, Jollibee), the wildcards (BonChon, similar-style buffalo wings) and the really wild wildcards (convenience store fried chicken, i.e. Mini-Stop). Ask anyone, and they'll almost always choose one of the majors. Or they'll give you the one of the wildcards AND one of the majors. Or, if they're smart (like you and me), they'll say all of the above. 

I'm not here to dispute any of this. Part of the fun of the FCW (Sounds like a wrestling promotion, no?) is that honestly, the debate is more fun than the actual outcome, and the process of figuring it all out (i.e. consuming the chicken) is best of all. No, today, I do not come to throw down the hammer and give an unassailable final answer. I come to throw a monkey, er, chicken wrench into the proceedings. 

Because the fun is in the journey, I nominate another participant into the FCW, one worthy of our attention and focus. For in a discussion such as this, why would we refuse the entry of another challenger, one that would raise the stakes and give us more (food) to chew on? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Pancake House's Pan Chicken.

Monday, June 24, 2013

I Do Not Like 'Goodbye'

Goodbye is a promise unkept, a declaration of love and dishonesty.

It is to tell a person I'll miss you but I won't look for you. Per chance we'll meet again. Leaving it all up to fate and destiny to reconnect you.

It is professing love to empty space, in other words, nothing.

To say goodbye is to hold on and let go at the same time. It is an apt contradiction of your desires.

Instead, see you soon, because that is certain, because you will make it happen.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Simplicity

What I want is food, entertainment and love.

What I want is a cheeseburger, a comic book and a kiss.

What I want is a life with plenty of this.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Up In The Air Thoughts; You Had Me At Hello, George

So I just finished watching Up In The Air, the celebrated George "Yes, I was a Batman too" Clooney movie, co-starring Anna "This is the movie people referred you to if you watched Pitch Perfect and asked 'What else has she done?'" Kendrick, Vera "Be My Textmate" Farmiga and a host of others, directed by Jason "Son of Ivan" Reitman.

I missed its first go around back in 2009 because at the time, I really didn't know what the movie was about. And before tonight, I still didn't know what it was about but hey, I like Kendrick and Clooney, plus my girlfriend said it was a good movie, so I decided to check it out. My thoughts after the jump.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father

A good dad carried me around and let me lay on his chest when I was a baby.

A good dad brought me around the house at night with our waterguns to shoot at cockroaches.

A good dad fanned me as I tried to sleep through a blackout.

A good dad took me to A & W at 2am to get a bacon cheeseburger and potato puffs.

A good dad taught me how to use Warp Whistles and P-Wings to finish Super Mario Bros. 3 in record time.

A good dad taught me how to do equations in my head and made me believe I was good at math.

A good dad cheered for me even when I was the 12th man on the team.

A good dad coached me through wins and losses, and celebrated with me when we finally took it home.

A good dad encourages me when others don't.

A good dad is there for me every single time.

A good dad is more than just a dad; he's my friend, buddy, coach, teacher, financier, midnight-snack-run partner and so much more.

A good dad is who my dad is. And one day I hope to become just like him.

Happy Father's Day Papa. I love you.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Very Hard Steel

Amirite, ladies? If you came out of Man of Steel and your initial thought was "They made Diane Lane look really old," then you must be hella blind to have missed the titular Man of Steel flexing and posturing and flying (all while smiling) into the collective female (and some of the male variety too) population's hearts.

Henry Cavill looks like a true Man of Steel. Whether clean-shaven or bearded, clothed or, ehem, un-clothed, the one thing we can all agree on is that the guy is extremely handsome and physically fit. Whoever saw him and said, "That's our Superman," should be getting thank you cards from Cavill for the rest of his/her life.

Then of course, Mr. Cavill started talking and acting and honestly, I thought he came off pretty convincingly as a first-time superhero. This is an important part about the character of Kal-El/Clark Kent in the film because even though he seemed so used-to-this while fighting other Kryptonians and zooming out on Lois Lane, this was his first time out in the costume, as a public figure and not some urban legend of a hero. Guy didn't even have a proper superhero name yet until a no-name character let it slip that most have come to calling him 'Superman.' But I digress. Point is, I think I saw a very thoughtful and strong portrayal of a Superman clearly in Year One (if not Day One). He was kind to those he met, vindictive to those who pissed him off and ultimately heroic in the face of overwhelming odds. There was charm and grace in his interactions with humans and a singular directness to protecting those he loved. Throughout the movie (both times I saw it), I kept on remarking on how nice he was. I took it as a sign that Henry Cavill's Superman really worked for me if I could still see him as the Big Blue Boy Scout.

So he hasn't figured out what 'collateral damage' means yet and he had to resort to one final action to end the threat of General Zod. Remember, the fisticuffs only began as a result of Kal finding out what Zod's true plans for Earth were, AFTER he had decided to turn himself over to Zod's forces to avoid a conflict. His initial reaction was not to jump into a fight but to compromise and to sacrifice. It was only when Zod and his cohorts threatened his adoptive Earth and its people that he jumped (flew) into action. And to me, this made the character and Henry Cavill's portrayal of him worthy of the Superman name.

This is by no means the definitive version of Superman, mainly because there are too many variations of the character in media, not to mention just in comics nor just in the movies. But was it a respectful interpretation of the character? For me, yes. I can still look at his body of work (and body) and see Superman, albeit, a very young Superman. Disagree with me or not, I hope we get more movies so that we can see this Superman reach his full potential.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Neatness of the Week

Well, we'll have to be a little loose with the definition of 'week.' This is basically a list of all the things I enjoyed these past few days, because the world would be better off if everyone appreciated these occurrences too. (At least, that's what I think.)

1. Bistro Group Discounts

My friends and I enjoyed a fabulous merienda this past weekend at T.G.I. Friday's in Trinoma. My girlfriend treated us to mojitos, nachos, Oreo/ice cream hockey pucks and more. And she was able to do this with the help of some pretty neat discounts from the Bistro Group. It was not the first time we've availed of their promos (our dinner at Village Tavern a two weeks ago was a steal with the voucher we used) and it definitely will not be the last.

2. Global Frequency

Warren Ellis is one of my favorite comic book writers. Some of his works that I've enjoyed include The Authority, Planetary and Nextwave, Agents of H.A.T.E. He also wrote Global Frequency, a title that's regularly bandied about whenever there's a discussion about Ellis' best works.

I recently picked up a copy of the entire series in trade paperback form (Thanks to my girlfriend). I'm only a few issues in but I can definitely vouch for the validity of those claims.

Global Frequency is the name of an organization that employs a thousand men and women, experts in various fields (mostly fighting and doing awesome stuff), to defend humanity against whatever threats come crashing down upon them. It's full of high-concept Sci-Fi, great characters and Ellis' own brand of wit and charm. I encourage everyone to get a copy of their own.

3. Prawn Puffs & 4. Chili Cheese Fries

This weekend, I had (on separate occasions) Prawn Puffs and rice from Paotsin and Chili Cheese Fries from Burger Project. Mmmmmm. The memory alone has me salivating.

(No pictures because I already ate them before I could take any.)

5. Man of Steel

This week, the Superman movie Man of Steel premieres. I am really looking forward to this. As you can tell, I am a comic book fan. I take this stuff seriously. Superman is one of my favorite characters and if you ask me 'why,' I won't be able to give you a good answer except for "Because he's Superman." It's in the name really. He's everything we aspire to be. Suffice it to say, I cannot wait to go see this movie.

6. LeBron James

If you haven't been swept up into it yet, the NBA Finals are in full swing and the series is currently tied 1-1 between the San Antonio Spurs and the Miami Heat. I'm a big LeBron James fan, so I'm pulling for him to get his second straight championship and finals MVP (Yes, even after he beat my Indiana Pacers). 

The Heat won game 2 with James authoring one of the most scintillating 45 seconds of basketball ever. He negated a Tiago Splitter dunk attempt, assisted on a Ray Allen three-pointer, came up with a steal and finished the sequence with a thunderous two-handed jam. The Block, the Dime, the Steal and the Slam. It was ridiculous. You only see that in video games. He's a rim protector, distributor, elite perimeter defender and an aerial assault all in one. We truly are witnesses.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Trailer, Trailer!

In basketball, you yell trailer when you are behind the person bringing up the ball on a fastbreak, so that he/she knows that you are behind them and are another option.

In movies, though the trailer serves the movie, the former is usually way better than the latter. (See here and here.)

Those are my dream jobs. 


Monday, May 20, 2013

Scribble-Not

We've seen a lot of movies about the negative effects of our over reliance on modern technology. These stories focus mostly on our physical or psychological well-being. However, none have yet to tackle the worst side effect, the slow decay of our penmanship skills.

Let me tell you, my handwriting these days sucks. I had better handwriting when I was in third grade.

"Pen and Paper: What the F*@! Am I Gonna Do with This?" Directed by Peter Berg. Starring Jonah Hill, Dave Franco, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Panabaker and Jay Pharoah. Official entry in the Cannes Film Festival. 

(Yes, if you figured it out, the point of this post was to talk about my crappy handwriting. THAT'S how terrible it is.)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Pacers Leave Knicks in their Dust; Taking Talents to South Beach

Years from now, when we look back on the 2013 NBA Playoffs, on the Indiana Pacers' second round victory over their arch-rival, the New York Knicks, it won't be remembered for a single sequence (like '8 points in 9 seconds') or a single stellar game. No, when we're discussing this game five, ten, twenty years from now, the enduring moment of this series will be what came after-the-fact, after the Pacers' series-clinching game six victory when all five Indiana starters had a shared "podium game." 

As customary in these playoffs, the duties of speaking to the media after the game fall on the "star" of that particular game. In beating (and beating up, in some cases) the Knicks, the Pacers underscored what has come to be their calling card all year: defense, rebounding and a total team effort. Thus, after the final buzzer, when it came to that time of the night, it wasn't just going to be Roy Hibbert (21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks, including this*) or George Hill (made four straight free throws to ice it) or David West (17 points, some beautiful dimes in the fourth) or Paul George (23 points, stellar fourth quarter defense on a red-hot Carmelo Anthony) or even Lance "Born Ready" Stephenson (playoff career-high 25 points, 9 in the last five minutes**, 10 rebounds, some absolutely ferocious forays to the hoop). It was all of them up there, answering questions from the assembled media members about how they as a unit came together, grew together and succeeded together. All of them had a hand in leading the team to the next round.

After beginning the season without Danny Granger, the team's leading scorer the previous four years, the question of who would emerge to lead the team was a legitimate concern. Candidates were aplenty. There was rising star George, set to inherit most of Granger's responsibilities on the wing. There was the elder statesman, West. Then there were the two players whom the Pacers spent a lot of money on the past off-season, Hibbert and Hill. Which one of them would become the team's star?

Who would take the driver's seat and command the most attention and scrutiny? 

Who would step up?

"Pacers, who?"

Collectively, they answered: "We."
 
The Indiana Pacers are now in the Eastern Conference Finals. Awaiting them are the defending-champion Miami Heat, led by the best player in the game today, LeBron James. Last year, the Heat and the Pacers faced off in the Eastern Semifinals, with Miami eliminating the young and brash Indiana upstarts in six games. James in particular submitted an epic performance in that series, going for 40-18-9-2-2*** in a game four victory in Indianapolis. With a player like that, it truly will take a total team effort to overcome such greatness. Add to that the Heat's homecourt advantage, it is an uphill climb, but it is one challenge their coach, Frank Vogel, is eager to meet. 

Asked about the Heat, Vogel plainly said, "They are just the next team in our way." And should the Pacers continue to play their team-oriented game, who knows, we might just have another podium moment to look back fondly on. 





*Of course, if fans chose to associate this series with this image, I'm all for it.
**Notice a trend? Clutch performances all around.
***With numbers like that, do you really need to know which one is points, which one is rebounds, etc.?


Friday, May 17, 2013

12:45 A.M.

I begin this post because of of five words: "The night belongs to me."

It was what popped into my head when I checked the time and saw that it was 45 minutes past midnight. It ties-in to a previous post about the sanctity of the hours before you go to bed, but this is a different realization. This is clarity.

The night belongs to me. During the day, we live next to each other. The world is awake with us. But at 12:45 a.m., almost everyone is asleep. I should be asleep. But I stay up, typing.

Because the night belongs to me. 

P.S.
No, I am not a vampire.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

True Love

For men, happiness really is tied into how well their favorite sports teams are doing.

We crazy sometimes.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Idle Time

In the hours before we go to sleep, those few precious moments where today is still crystallizing and tomorrow is just a possibility, we are truly in charge of our destinies. For in those moments, it is up to us, just us, what we do next. 

Do we call it a day, end the cycle and go to bed? Do we continue to pursue relaxation activities such as reading, watching TV or other such indulgences? Or do we do something else, something grander and more exciting?

I think, it's in those hours that we discover what truly makes us happy, and whether or not realizing such will be a source of contentment or discomfort.

What truths and lies do we tell ourselves before we end the day?

And when tomorrow comes, what do we continue to believe in, and what do we forget, lost forever in the space between the waking world and our slumber?

 


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Avenge The Avengers

Reading about how Marvel Studios is low-balling its actors is so disheartening. Salary negotiations are always tricky, but come on. This is borderline ridiculous. 

Look, I'm a true True Believer. I love Marvel Comics. When they first announced The Avengers, I was excited as all get out. After watching the stinger after Captain America: The First Avenger, I violently avoided (not an exaggeration) all trailers and previews for the movie. I saw it twice on opening day, and four times in five days. I loved it. I love Marvel, Marvel's The Avengers and Marvel Comics. 

So much love went your way these past few years, Marvel Studios. All thanks to giving us a few spectacular, long-awaited movies.

Then I hear they don't want to pay to play. What gives? You're revenues are in the BILLIONS with these movies, you can't spare 1% to pay the actors who helped you get there in the first place? I mean, after the success and triumph, why must you do something so counter-productive as threatening to get rid of the actors who we've all fallen (mostly) in love with? It's sickening and uncomfortable to hear now as rumors. If they become facts, fact that.

Why-o-why must you do this to me, to us, to your loyal fans, Marvel Studios? Give us the carrot, then bash us with the whip while we're eating it.

I know it's early, and there's still time, but come on. There's frugality and there's greed. Guess which word your fans would use to describe what you're doing. There's still time to come to your senses. Give your actors all a raise. Make them feel appreciated. Make your fans feel like you're doing everything to give them what they want.

Come on, you aren't Warner Bros. Don't screw this up.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Difference of Silence

The state of being alone in a room, completely and utterly alone, is a peculiar one. In the right circumstances, I would go as far as to call it the perfect state of individual happiness.

Think about it for a moment. Picture a familiar setting but without all the people, the noise and the chaotic energy of  life. Subtract all signs of life. Can you see the stillness? The quiet? The perfection? At a certain point, there is nothing more beautiful and amazing in all the world.

I do not want to come across as overly emo (which I do on occasion, i.e. last post), but I want to draw more attention to this so that we can be more appreciative of those moments when they happen.

(Also, all this "subtract all signs of life" talk is not me practicing my villainous monologue -- I have another speech for that.)

When times get intense, whether they be good or bad, it's always a good idea to take a step back and take it all in. "It" being your life at a point in between moments. Taking stock of it from there can be sobering and wonderful and pleasant and relaxing. I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hopeless

We create our own demons. Our own problems. Our own challenges. Our own obstacles.

Our own.

Imagine how many demons we've created, how many problems the human race as a whole has created for ourselves?

It's sobering. And stupefying.

And somewhat hopeless. What a tragedy.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

4/27 and 4/28, A Diary

Thoughts about my 4/27 which I already micro-blogged yesterday but am now adding to my real blog (With additional insights!) because I have to start on this again and oh I really am an expert at lengthening conversations and rambling and basically using more words than normal.

1.: The NBA playoffs: where "walis" is about to happen to some teams (Bucks, Celtics, Lakers).

1A. "Walis" being the Filipino word for "Broom," as in these teams are about to get swept. Fans always want series to go the distance of all seven games, so it's not so fun when series end in four. I bet those teams at the wrong end of the broom don't have fun either.

2.: We're going to get a Heat-Spurs NBA finals and it's going to be a doozy of series.

2A. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook recently suffered a major knee injury and is now out for the rest of the playoffs. This is a bummer because the Thunder were the favorites out West (and arguably in the whole NBA). Sure they still have Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and a host of capable players, but losing your starting point guard is a big blow to any team, most especially when that player is probably one of the two best point guards in the world. Now that the Thunder are wounded, the San Antonio Spurs are, IMO, the favorites to win the Western Conference Playoffs. It doesn't matter though since no one is beating the Miami Heat. Still, a Heat-Spurs match-up seems the most likely outcome and will be a very compelling and entertaining series.

3.: EDSA without traffic is the most beautiful thing in the world.

3A. Driving is so much more fun when you don't have to worry about the traffic. Wish it could be this way all the time.

4.: Iron Man 3, still pretty awesome the second time around.

4A. So I've seen Iron Man Three twice already and both times, I was floored by the movie. It's got great performances by the actors, spectacular action sequences and a lot of humor and heart. Right now, it's probably my No. 2 favorite Marvel Studios movie ever, and that's saying something. (The Avengers is No. 1 if you're wondering and Captain America: The First Avenger is no. 3.) Robert Downey JR. is a god basically.

5.: Cheetos: not really illegal inside the Powerplant cinemas.

BONUS ROUND! An insight on my 4/28:

6.:  I deduct a lot of points from Sunday because of it's proximity to Monday, but I've never really had a bad Sunday and it's not its fault it falls so close to Monday on the schedule. Today was a good Sunday. Appreciate.

My 4/20 (Retroactive Diary)

Thoughts about my 4/20 which I already micro-blogged last week but am now adding to my real blog (With additional insights!) because I have to start on this again and oh I really am an expert at lengthening conversations and rambling and basically using more words than normal.

1.: Why can't they show Open Court at a decent hour like 10pm or even 11pm? What's with these midnight and 6am spots?

1A. If you don't know what Open Court is, it's a show on NBA TV that features a bunch of retired NBA players (Reggie Miller, Shaq, Chris Webber, Steve Smith, etc.) as they talk about various topics, most of which are about the NBA and their playing days. It's hilarious, insightful and honest, just some guys reminiscing about their glory years and telling stories. A must-watch for any NBA fan.

2.: I am an expert rambler.

3.: Please God let this be right and true.

3A. Sometimes we do things and after we're like, WTF?! Hopefully, the event I am referring to here is not one of those times. It's hard to stay true to yourself when life throws you curveballs. 

4.: Malls without really cold AC are the worst. Way to drop the ball guys.

5.: Sisig. Forever. And ever. At JERI'S Grill.

6.: CBTL's Turtle Pie is delicious. Racks' chunky chili bowl is OK. My friend Miko (@AllOfTheHeights) ordered a mudshake and it was a work-of-art.

7.: Anonymous: "Mashed potatoes nomnomnomnom."

7A. My friend said this and it was hilariously terrifying when she did. 

8.: Restos get you to leave by shutting down their AC. How shameful. (Sarcasm.)

9.: Hehehehehehehe.

10.: Thank God it's Friday, but thank God also for Saturday.

10A. For most of my working career, I've always had a healthy appreciation for the weekend. These days, I'm like a junkie who can't wait to get his next fix.