Friday, December 23, 2005

Disc Jockey for A Day - No, Not Really

You see, I've always wanted to be a DJ. Not a radio announcer, but one that shares his music. I think that music, like food and really good stories, should be shared, Like a friend of mine once said, I'm one of those people that relate music with memories with emotions. Besides, I'm paying good money to buy CDs, why not let professional songer-songwriters do all the hard work.

Today's playlist:

No Doubling Back by Jason Mraz
Falling In Love by Lisa Loeb
Run by Snow Patrol
Hold On Hope by Guided By Voices

Cheers and Merry Christmas everyone!
Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Scrubbing for Scrubs

Time for that annual physical exam - it better be now, before I stuff myself silly with Christmas goodies high on fat, salt, sugar, and cholesterol. While last year's ordeal found me inhaling ammonia after passing out (long story, but I am man enough to admit that I did faint after blood extraction), this time, I was more keen on staying awake, un-bored, and patient (bad pun!) while going through the whole process.


After finishing the first season of Scrubs, being locked in a medical facility full of people wearing scrubs does get you a bit paranoid. As a summary, watch Scrubs, it's funny, and like they say, laughter is the best medicine.

ps. It's on my Amazon wishlist *wink wink*

more winking going on....
Monday, December 12, 2005

Mon sac!

Someone stole my bag today. I don't remember the last time I had something stolen from me, as opposed to something I misplaced and ultimately couldn't find. So I lost my bag before going to the airport. Crap.

To make light of an unfortunate situation, I console myself with the following thoughts:

1. True to TAR form, I was wearing overlapping clothes while holding a plastic bag containing what was left of my belongings. Nanakawan na nga ako, TAR pa rin ang nasa isip ko....

2. Good thing I didn't pack, and I had all my important things in my pocket.

3. Time to get new clothes anyway.
Friday, December 09, 2005

Travel: Stalker at the Hilton

To make the most out of meeting top-ranked tennis players in Shanghai, we decided to have a more personal experience with these tennis stars. Rather than cheer for them on court, or stalk outside the stadium's VIP entrance, it would be a bit fancier if we had lunch with them. Not exactly dine with them at their table, but have lunch with them in the same place.

So, lunch at the Hilton brought me closer to Team Federer, minus Roger himself. There was Mirka and Tony Roche (who by the way has one of the easiest jobs on planet Earth), Ivan Ljubicic, Fernando Gonzalez, a bevy of doubles players, and the whole Argentinian entourage. Nalbandian, Gaudio, Puerta and Coria (who had the most lovely wife). So, I was star-struck admittedly. Had this been the WTA Championships, I would've been wiping the drool off the side of my lips.

Here's a picture of me, luckily I wasn't caught by security.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Travel: The Shanghai Pitstop

No, you scratch your brow and say, "Not another Shanghai article..."

But, this will be the last one of them I promise. And this will be short.


Forget Phil, all I needed was that pretty Shanghainese lady greeting us at the Pitstop!

That's them...

...and this is us!
Lest we forget, we went to Shanghai not just to see the sights, but primarily to watch the year-end tournament of the ATP. While not getting our money's worth to see all the big-name stars, the beauty of the location made up for it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Travel: Pudong (Shanghai Day Four)

Rather than bore you with a long narrative of Pudong, the newly developed portion of Shanghai, I'd rather share with you some pictures.

Took pics with the Jin Mao Tower on the background, and an aerial view of the Huangpu River.

Had a great time with the Aquarium, and touched a shark in the process. I don't know how to explain this, but all I can remember is Don't Panic by Coldplay playing in the background (see the Shanghai Soundtrack article below).

Lunch was at the Oriental Pearl TV Tower revolving restaurant, but I will reserve that for another article.

Here's the link to my photo album, comments are welcome ;)

Like I mentioned earlier, the weather in Shanghai was cold. THe funny thing is, I felt confident with a black knit long-sleeved turtleneck. Boy, was I wrong. This one I did not realise unti after lunch. Of course, lunch is after breakfast, so breakfast first.

Breakfast was of the famed Shanghainese delicacy xiao long pao, a dumpling with a good amount of broth inside, to be dipped in balsamic vinegar. My only gripe, why is there not enough soup in the dumpling??? Grr.

Beside this eatery is the famed Yuyuan Gardens, a traditional looking chinese villa that once housed the emperor and his many concubines. There is nothing more perverse than having a labyrinthine house with hidden passages and dark alleys, and your concubines scattered around for you to find. Other than admiring the wonderful architecture of the estate (and having wild concubine fantasies), I searched where TAR6 placed the clue for their Shanghai leg. And thus creating a theme for my subsequent trips - but more on that in another entry. I found it in the corner of the Gardens, and took a picture for posterity.

there was a clue here!

Right outside the Yuyuan Garden is a zigzag bridge over a lake - and right across, a Starbucks shop! Presumptuous rather than convenient, I am totally against having Starbucks in touristy spots that exude a certain ambience (similar to my discovery of a Starbucks branch right smack along the walls of Intramuros). Grr.

More walking for the day brought us to the French Concession famished and thirsty, thus ushering us to lunch. It was a Hunanese restaurant and their specialty was hotpot. Look at the photo below - this dish had chorizos, pork chunks and tripe. Yummy. What I did not notice was the sauce - which was made from, no not tomato sauce, but from crushed peppers. If that was not enough, there were four kinds of pepper in the dish, none of them being the sissy bell pepper variety. For the record, this is the spiciest dish I have ever tried, beating the Bangkok Tom Yang Goong, and the wasabi burger in the process.

man, that's hot!

Feeling the full wrath of Hunan, I flailed my arms at the waitress and shouted at her 'Coke', which I could barely mumble because at this point, my tongue and lips were absolutely numb. Even my water did not taste like water because I think I just killed half my taste buds with one bite. It was at this point that I realised that actions spea louder than words as the waitress brought me a moist towelette to help ease my extreme discomfort.

I was burping the spiciness until the evening at QiZhong. It was at that point the stadium crowd was informed the Rafael Nadal had withdrawn from the tournament due to a foot injury. Foot injury my foot! He can still walk. Grr. I hope the tennis gods bequeath him with the Wrath of Hunan as punishment.