Thursday, January 29, 2009

Theme Thursday: Kitchen

From Coffee Messiah: Sometime last year a fellow blogger started Theme Thursday, and anyone who wanted could post something on their blog on Thursday relating to the theme.

This week's topic is KITCHEN.

Here's my Theme Thursday blog...
The first thing that came to my mind about KITCHEN is, of course, that it's where people cook. I don't really cook. I just really eat. So in the absence of food cooking stories and photos of our kitchen, I thought to share some stuff about kitchens and scary movies...
__________
1. As a young boy, I loved watching horror movies even if they kept me up half the night. After a good intense scaring, I would lie in bed with the blanket covering my whole body (the feet too! coz I was scared zombies would grab my feet) and with only my eyes and my nose showing.

On one particular night, after watching Freddie Kruger almost kill Nancy on "A Nightmare on Elm Street", my elder sister scared me half to death telling me she could hear a the rustle of the shower curtain and a little girl calling "Nancy...Nancy!" coming from our KITCHEN!
________________
2. One of the scariest scenes in The Sixth Sense was when Cole had to pee and after he did, he heard someone in the KITCHEN and thought it was his mom. Here's the excerpt from the screenplay:

Cole instantly stops peeing. His body becomes very still. He slowly reaches for the toilet handle and flushes. He closes his pants and turns. He doesn't come out of the bathroom at first. He just stands there and stares into the darkness of the hall. HIS BREATH FORMS TINY CLOUDS IN THE COLD AIR.

Cole finally steps out into the hallway. His eyes catch a SLANT OF LIGHT now coming from the kitchen.

Cole hesitates before being drawn to the kitchen. He moves down the hall and turns the corner -- coming to a stop in the doorway of the KITCHEN.

Cole stares at the back of a person cooking food on the stove. Cole's fear slowly fades away.

COLE: Momma? Dream about daddy again?

The person turns. It's not Lynn. It's a strange woman. The
woman's face is demented. A purple gash cuts across her
forehead.

WOMAN: DINNER'S -- NOT -- READY!

Cole's face turns the color of ash.

WOMAN: What are you going to do?

Cole backs up to the doorway.

WOMAN: You can't hurt me anymore!

The woman smiles menacingly as she thrusts her wrists forward...They've been savagely cut.
__________________________

WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!
OK OK. It's past midnight and I'm all alone in my room writing this so I have to stop now 'coz I have to sleep (and I'm kinda freaking myself out. hahahah!!!)


Other Theme Thursday posts:
Coffee Messiah
Booksandacupofcoffee
Basstuna
Mouse Medicine
The Ancient Sword
Listen 2 Auntie
World Traveler
Life at Willow Manor


If You Seek Amy

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! This is freakin' hilarious!
Apologies to all the "serious" bloggers out there who are reading this, but it was just so funny I had to blog about it.

This was only the second time that I heard this new Britney Spears song, and I only listened (deliberately) again because I was curious about an article on Google News about some Parent groups saying "If You Seek Amy" is too dirty for radio and should be banned. I'm like, "What? Why?" So I listened again...

The chorus goes:
Love me hate me
Say what you want about me
But all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to
If You Seek Amy

Got it yet? :p Think dirty thoughts and listen...
Here's a youtube vid of it (audio only): If You Seek Amy


Talk about making a controversial song for a controversial celebrity. lol.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year of the Ox!

Are you wondering what the Year of the Ox will bring for you? I was born in the year of the Dog, 1982. How about you? What year were you born? Check out your horoscope here: Chinese Horoscope by Yahoo!


To all my Chinese colleagues and Friends...

KUNG HEI FAT CHOI!!!
Welcome the Year of the Ox!


Monday, January 26, 2009

Starbucks Boycott

On January 14, Pro-Palestinian activists in Lebanon attacked Starbucks, causing the branch of the U.S. coffee shop chain to close its doors.

The protesters accused the coffee chain of supporting the Israeli army and the attack in Gaza, basing their protests on a letter that indicates that the company’s chairman and president, Howard Schultz, has been donating money to Israel. Starbucks has vehemently denied this on their website and apparently the letter was published on an Internet site by an Australian anti-Zionist, who made it clear that he wrote the letter as a parody... Unfortunately, the same violent protests have still been happening, not in only Lebanon but in other parts of the world as well.

Hmm. Can Starbucks sue that Aussie dude for libel?

In other news, I am personally boycotting Starbucks until they give me my free Starbucks Planner for 2009. I have checked a dozen Starbucks shops in the past 2 weeks, and they're all out. :p The one in SM Batangas even said I have to wait until March! Wowowow. :p I guess I'll have to make do with my Nescafe Instant Taster's Choice coffee or Kopi Roti sa kanto for the meantime.


Sources:
LA Times
Starbucks Website
JTA



Computer Virus "Conficker worm" spreading!

The Conficker worm is spreading worldwide, now affecting around 10 million personal and business computers. A report from F-secure says it leaped from 2.4 million to up to 3 times that number in just 3 days. Are you scared yet?

The worm can be acquired through a vulnerability in the Microsoft system which could allow remote code execution if an affected system received a specially crafted RPC request. This is not a problem if you already have the patch they sent out in October.

The worm can also “mutate” and launch “brute force attacks” that relentlessly try thousands of letter and number combinations in codes to steal personal passwords and login information.

Lastly, the worm can infect removable devices and network shares with an autorun file that executes as soon as a USB drive or other infected device is connected to a victim PC. This last one may be most common for personal computers, so protect yourself RIGHT NOW and turn off your AutoRun. I think you can do this by right clicking on the CD-ROM drive or USB drive, choosing the Properties > Autoplay > and the radio button for "Prompt me each time to do an action". But I'm not an expert so if you want more info, try this instead.

Sources:
http://www.enewscourier.com/local/local_story_024202508.html
http://www.pcworld.com/article/157876/protecting_against_the_rampant_conficker_worm.html


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Brad Pitt 2009 Oscar Best Actor nominee??

(See the complete list of nominees at the end of this post.)

Of all the Best Picture nominees for the 81st Academy Awards, I've so far only seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. It's easy to see why it received 13 nominations, but when I saw that one of them was for Best Actor... wha wha what??




Taraji P. Henson's nomination for her turn as Benjamin's momma was well deserved. She was as convincing as an old woman as she was a young lady. And everytime she was in a scene with Brad Pitt, you just had to keep watching her. And Benjamin, despite being so curious looking, seemed to blend into the background.

The Best makeup nom is a shoo-in as well. The way they made everyone go from young to old (or vice versa) seemed amazingly well researched.

I would even say that Cate Blanchett deserved an Oscar nod if only for her ballet dancing. (Wow, she looked really young.) Does she really know how to do ballet?

But Brad Pitt, whose "best" scene in the whole movie was when he said "Absolutely!", absolutely doesn't deserve this nomination. He was stoic and boring for most of the movie, it actually reminded me of his deathly role in Meet Joe Black (which I once heard some say: Meet Blow Jack, hehe.) Unfortunately, he's not playing Death in this one...

Shoo-in winners will probably be Kate Winslet and Mickey Rourke, already Golden Globe awardees. Oh, and I'm hoping Kung Fu Panda wins as Best Animated Feature. It rocked! :D

The 81st Academy Awards will be on February 22 on ABC. That's Feb 23 for the Philippines. I don't know yet on what channel they are showing it. :p

Here's the full list of nominees for the 2009 Oscar Awards:


BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard, Frost/Nixon
Stephen Daldry, The Reader
Gus Van Sant, Milk

BEST ACTOR
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Milk
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Frozen River, Courtney Hunt
Happy-Go-Lucky, Mike Leigh
In Bruges, Martin McDonagh
Milk, Dustin Lance Black
WALL-E, Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Eric Roth
Doubt, John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon, Peter Morgan
The Reader, David Hare
Slumdog Millionaire, Simon Beaufoy

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
WALL-E

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
La Maison en Petits Cubes
Lavatory — Lovestory
Oktapodi
Presto
This Way Up

BEST ART DIRECTION
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Duchess
Revolutionary Road

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Australia
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Duchess
Milk
Revolutionary Road

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)
Encounters at the End of the World
The Garden
Man on Wire
Trouble the Water

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
The Conscience of Nhem En
The Final Inch
Smile Pinki
The Witness — From the Balcony of Room 306

BEST EDITING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Baader Meinhof Complex (Germany)
The Class (France)
Departures (Japan)
Revanche (Austria)
Waltz with Bashir (Israel)

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Auf der Strecke (On the Line)
Manon on the Asphalt
New Boy
The Pig
Spielzeugland (Toyland)

BEST MAKEUP
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Alexandre Desplat
Defiance, James Newton Howard
Milk, Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire, A.R. Rahman
WALL-E, Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
''Down to Earth,'' WALL-E
''Jai Ho,'' Slumdog Millionaire
''O Saya,'' Slumdog Millionaire

BEST SOUND EDITING
The Dark Knight
Iron Man
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

BEST SOUND MIXING
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL-E
Wanted

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Iron Man

List from EW
Photos from Allmoviephoto


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intel Philippines closes its Cavite site

Inquirer.net/Intel-announces-RP-operations-shutdown
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123249785750100437.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


Holy crap...I cannot believe it.

I have been reading so much about the recession and the economic downturn and how so many people have lost jobs and how businesses have closed up shop in countries like China and USA, but still it surprised me when I read that Intel is shutting down it operations in the Philippines...

I searched my mind trying to think of friends or acquaintances who worked for Intel but couldn't pin one down. Still, it's too close to home to not be worried.

Intel is the world's largest semicon company and has had operations in the Philippines for 20 years. Their Cavite facility handles flash memory manufacturing.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the big chip maker has not reported a net loss since 1986. But CEO Paul Otellini, in an internal Webcast to the company's employees said the first quarter was too close to call, as far as Intel remaining profitable. And then on Wednesday (Jan 21), local counterpart Intel Philippines sent an email to its 1,800 remaining employees about the close down. Intel is said to be also closing down plants in other countries due to a weakened demand brought about by the current global economic downturn.

So far we Filipinos have been relaxed about the whole recession, despite hearing an occasional story about so and so's brother or auntie coming back from Australia or Singapore because their company folded. I mean, who would have guessed, what with all the new SM malls and the endless traffic in Manila, that we could get affected by this recession? We don't see the economic downturn so we think it's only happening in the economic giants like Germany or England (or because we have no economy to begin with? aha!).

But now it's here. If a huge international company like Intel chooses to close its operations in the Philippines (even with our country having one of the cheapest labor costs in the world), and with so many other multinational companies having the same recession woes, will there be more layoffs and more closures to come?

I sure hope not.

One thing is certain, the recession has arrived on Philippine shores.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The UPCAT Results are out!

!!!
~~~~~LINK TO UPCAT RESULTS~~~~~

*updated 20-Jan-09 5:30PM
CONGRATULATIONS FOR PASSING THE UPCAT!!!
CASTUERAS, CELINE ALMIRA PACHECO, LOS BANOS BS EE
MICLAT, ARMANDO III TUALLA, DILIMAN BS BA

WOW! WOW! The UPCAT results are out!
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the UPCAT results are now online. :p During my time you had to really go to UP to check the results.

I distinctly remember that day when our batch's UPCAT results came out... It was a weekday, the day before the JS prom and we were all in Pisay, but some of the parents were already at UP searching for our names in that really short list they put up on boards near the Registrar's Office.

There were no cellphones then so I had to call by payphone to my house. There was a line at the phone booth already! When it was my turn, my mom told me that my sister had called her earlier (also by payphone) that my name was there!

Oh! The exhiliration of learning that you didn't mess up the exam...Haha! After worrying and worrying that you might have shaded those little circles too lightly, or that you missed a page or 2 of the questionnaire, it's all over now, and you are sure that things will be OK.

I almost tripped over myself when, on my way home from school I passed by UP to see for myself that my sister (who was also in UP at the time) didn't just imagine my name on that board...

And there it was.

1999-03600

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Free Lasik screening!


Yesterday I went to the Lasik Surgery Center (LSC) at the Megaclinic in Megamall to claim my free Lasik surgery screening. Yes, it's free! Why, you ask?

I joined a promo by Business World and Lasik Surgery Clinic where all you need to do... is tell them how lasik surgery can change your life, and for a mere 50 words and 5 minutes of your time, you get a free Lasik screening and 20% off on the actual Lasik procedure package! The prize of course is a free Lasik procedure, and only those who are good candidates for Lasik can qualify for the contest.

I was really planning to get my eyes corrected this year or next year, but since the opportunity presented itself, I thought, why not? It was Batangas Fiesta yesterday so we were on Holiday, so I got myself an appointment at LSC and went.

It was quite interesting really, aside from the usual test like reading the letters and looking at that red house in the distance, they made me take other tests like looking through a tunnel and another where I had to stare at a fuzzy red light. Another interesting test was when they literally touched my eyes with a probe thingy after the dropped an anesthetic on them, and when the doctor peered into my eyeballs after the dilated my pupils.

They also showed me a video presentation of how the actual procedure will happen, and a one on one discussion to clear any doubts and answer any questions I had.

I am really hoping to win this contest (I'll post my entry only if I win) so I can get that free Lasik! That would be awesome! Pray for me aight.

(Photo taken from http://www.drwilliamboothe-lasik.net/index.html)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Beginning of an Addiction: Coffee


Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor have I have taken any tests that prove that I am suffering from any psychological disorders.


This post is in response to a really cool website featured a few days ago on "Blogs of Note" called Coffee Messiah. It was all about, well...coffee. :D

I started drinking coffee about 9 years ago. My first cup of espresso was on the dinner table of the Pizzocherro house in Cascine San Pietro, Italy. I didn't like the strong bitter flavor at first so the next time they offered I took some cappucino instead. Italians love their coffee almost as much as their wine, so every meal we had ended with a "Cafe?" from Mama Ornella...

By the time we were to leave Italy I was hooked. To Manila I brought home a Moka (espresso maker) and bags of Italian coffee. After I've gone through those I went for Starbucks. :p When Starbucks began giving those planners for Christmas, I would usually get at least 2 - and that translates to how much coffee I've consumed!

In the years that have passed though, my coffe addiction has waned. I've had lesser and lesser coffee for health reasons (acid!), as well as financial reasons (recession!). Starbucks isn't getting cheaper.

So I've kicked the habit, save for a few months ago when I "rediscovered" coffee and learned to enjoy it in a different way (pressed coffee!). My dad, also a coffee drinker, wants to buy a coffee press now.

But coffee, like shampoo or underwear, will always be a part of my life. I probably will be drinking coffee until the acid burns a hole in my stomach and I can't drink it anymore, then I'd have to take it intravenously. xp


Read my old post about Coffee addiction on Xanga waaay back in 2006 here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

American Idol starts tomorrow!

American Idol 2009 officially begins tomorrow January 13! But it begins for us in the Philippines on Wednesday, January 14. For those with cable TV, it will be broadcast on Star World, but for most who don't (like me, stuck in Tabangao) we can still watch it on Q-11 (Quality Television) who bought the rights to broadcast it on local Philippine TV.

Read the local broadcast schedule here...
"Q-11 will broadcast the show via satellite starting with a four-hour, two-part season premiere tomorrow night (Jan 14) and the following night (Jan 15) at 6 p.m.
The channel will then broadcast American Idol every Wednesday and Thursday night at 6 p.m. with encore telecasts the same night at 8 p.m., and on Saturdays at 5 p.m., until a new singing champion is declared in May."

Aside from Simon, Paula & Randy, AI 2009 will also have Grammy award-winning singer and songwriter Kara DioGuardi. I don't know yet how I feel about her since we haven't seen her in action, but 4 judges doesn't seem right. For one, there will be a lot of ties, 2 against 2, so they'll have to figure that out. (Is it if you get only 2 out of 4 votes, you're out?)

In any case, let's hope AI2009 will not be as boring as last years or as talentless as the year before that. :p Hehe. (Just opinions folks!)

Any if you want to read the rest of the article where I got these info, click here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pagudpud, Vigan and other related adventures




As mentioned in my last post, me and my family, my girlfriend, my sister's boyfriend, and my grandmom all went to Pagudpud for the long holiday. Pagudpud can be found at the northernmost tip of the Philippines' biggest island, Luzon. Click here for some more info about Pagudpud.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama, Dureza, AI, and the end of my 11-day Holiday

Obama will be US President on January 20, 2009. The question now becomes: can he live up to all the hype? I sure hope so.

But in any case, we Filipinos shouldn't worry. Sec. Dureza says, we are, along with China, the 2 most resilient economies in the East. I suppose it's just a fluke that the equity funds I own are now almost half the value. Hehehe...

AI is coming too! That's American Idol. On the 15th! (Or is the 16th?) And again, I'll be hawking away at youtube, trying to find the clips before it gets taken down.

My 11-day vacation is over.
It was actually too long I almost forgot I even work. Haha.

My family & I, with my lola, my gf and my sister's bf, drove 2 cars up north to the white sandy beaches of Pagudpud. We were not disappointed, the beach was great! We had so much fun "fighting" the waves and losing, and rolling around on the sand. Haha.

We also took photos of the windmills. Awesome clean energy!
We had lunch at Vigan. Passed the Patapat Bridge. Jumped off the northernmost tip of Luzon. (Don't worry, I'll post pictures of this!) And visited relatives in Cagayan.

Kudos! NLEX and SCTEX rock! lol.

It's great to spend time with your loved ones. :D I highly recommend it.