Before I completely throw out my watered out orange trip planning book (here's what happened it *link*), there's one last story I'd like to share. Since it was my first day in Singapore, I'd naturally take a long walk to get a mental layout of the city. Went around Chinatown, Orchard Road and ended at Clemenceau near good old Shell House Singapore.

Naturally, I'd check the destination of the bus and its intended route marked on the waiting sheds, but this specific stop did not have the said poster. Anyway, I threw all care to the wind (I know it's just a metaphor, but exactly how do you do that?), and boarded the bus that I knew was going to Marina Square.

The first 30 minutes was suburb-scenic: well manicured gardens leading to well maintained housing settlements, clean roadways and orderly traffic. The thing was, I was running late for the concert and still needed to claim my tickets. After the first 30 minutes, things started to become eerie - the bus was going around in familiar loops, and I saw the same establishments and the same roadsigns. Apparently, I've boarded the Blair Witch Singapore Bus Ride - it's the same log, err it's the same IKEA store! Worried for missing the concert of a lifetime, I stepped out somewhere, boarded the subway, and got to the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Freaky bus ride, seeing the same landmarks over and over again. However, the concert was spectacular, and that one I don't mind seeing all over again. In fact here are some pictures from the Coldplay concert.

In My's with the fans!

The Fix You Finale
I recently took a flight recently and I should warn everyone that the paranoia is increasing. Pre-flight ceremonies have become overly meticulous, if not over-the-top. The whole body frisking paired with the strip tease at the boarding gates is annoying already. They make you take your shoes and belt off, empty your pockets, and frisk you worse than an apprehended pickpocket.

Just an advice, come to the airport early for your flight, and don't play Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" while doing the strip-and-frisk.
Monday, September 25, 2006

A List Of Errands

Okay, lots of things to do. Apart from work-related stuff. Just so I don't forget.

1. Exercise. Hahaha.
2. Finish two books - Once While Travelling by Tony and Maureen Wheeler and The Book Of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera. Why must you be so hard to read Monsieur Kundera? When I mean finish, I've already started reading them, but not quite close to ending.
3. Finish 2nd and 3rd season of Roswell. Guilty pleasure right now. More on this later.
4. I've got about 3 pending stuff to write for the blog, this one not included. For a free preview, one should be about #3 above, one for the Blair Witch Bus Ride and one I can't seem to remember right now. Hmm....
5. I think I have DVDs of Lucky Number Slevin to watch. Probably will be borrowing Seasons 1 and 2 of Grey's Anatomy, buying The Office (UK) and Little Britain. Must start watching before the season of TV shows come rolling in.
6. Next CD buys would include Dido, Ryan Cabrera, Travis, and Moloko. Still looking for Final Straw by Snow Patrol. but none is available.
7. Finish off the remaining books on my bedside table: Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman and High Fidelity by Nick Hornby.
8. Buy a Lonely Planet Guidebook for Vietnam and Macau-Hongkong. Looks like my next trip is headed there.
9. Go to Home Depot for tile/paint/doorknob shopping for our new room.
10. Start Christmas shopping. Scratch that. Must wait for Christmas bonus.
Friday, September 22, 2006

Fortune Cookies

I don't not like lawyers. Really, it's my father who thinks that they're the supreme source of all bureaucracy and red tape, and he was just a year off from finishing his law degree. With that in mind, I wasn't too convinced with joining J for a volunteer night - sure, it was at a swish hotel by Manila Bay, but the actual thought of slaving instead of watching a movie might not have been the best way to spend a weekend. A movie, nice dinner and sweet dessert sounds definitely more interesting than being slaves to future possibly-arrogant and demeaning lawyers.

But, having been a volunteer for school orgs, council works and what-not in college, the answer was a 'sure, why not'.

We packed drinks, medicines, and snacks into the loot bags for the barristers, but the most interesting piece inserted was three fortune cookies. Pity, I was hoping that they'd have the messages types in some Chinese sweatshop, but they sounded they were lifted from the Purpose Driven Life website. Tsk. I read "Take chances and place your faith in God", when I was expecting "Later chance bucket throw chicken" or something.

Sounds like fun? Yeah it was, I'm just a little scared that if it's a lot of work now that J isn't taking the bar yet, what more would it be if she was going to take it. I'm stacking up on those fortune cookies.
Friday, September 15, 2006

New Music Week!

Well, there are also old ones in the mix. You already know that I picked up Eyes Open by Snow Patrol, and feasting on the delectable music from that album, decided to sample more music available from both Music and Recto One. Hee.

The end result, I have Ex-Girlfriends by Low Millions, Tourist by Athlete, and to round out the old, Chariot/Chariot Stripped by Gavin DeGraw and Move Along by The All American Rejects. Throw in a bunch of recent downloads from The Fray, Panic! At The Disco and Jack's Mannequin, I'm hoping to have a steady stream of new music that'll last me for a couple of weeks.

Let's start with Athlete: I've heard of this groups about once from PJ, and sampled their video "Wires" from YouTube. The general tempo of the album is melancholy, and a lovely sadness it quite is. Listen to the semi-happy Half Light, Twenty Four Hours and I Love. The general idea here is it's fantastic music to listen to while walking through London rain, mirthless, but never sorrowful, and all together, melodious.

Smoky and airy songs from Athlete

Low Millions' claim to fame is probably having the lead singer the son of celebrated songwriter Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah). I've only heard one song from them once over at LaunchCast, and it really didn't register - I'm not too sure which song it was, honestly. This album is definitely more radio-friendly that Athlete, but the novelty of a "theme" record is simply wowing me.
To all the girls they have loved before...
The album is called Ex-Girlfriends, with songs titled Eleanor, Julia, Nikki and Hey Jane, it's quite witty with the way they lay it out. My favorites include Hey Jane, Mockingbird and 100 Blouses. Strangely, I can sort of hear the similarities with Adam Cohen's voice with that of Michael Hutchence (RIP) of INXS.

Should have bought Gavin DeGraw's album much much earlier. The album is pop, with easy to get along music, and with truly heartfelt lyrics. However, I will admit that I got the influence from marathoning the three seasons of One Tree Hill on my DVD player. More Than Anyone would be a great wedding song; (Nice To Meet You) Anyway is a wonderfully written turn-down song (hehe), but my favorite would be the title track. That 'chocolate covered cherry' and 'seedless watermelon' line is just so...hmmm.. delicious. Chariot is all about hope, and listening to it gives me that.
Chariot, give me your strength

Lastly, All American Rejects is barely alternative, but more on pop. Imagine Click Five drinking Yoohoos, and AAR drinking gin tonic. Rock out to Move Along, Change Your Mind and Night Drive, but more importantly feel It Ends Tonight. Like I said in my other blog, liked Dirty Little Secret, loved Move Along, totally adored It Ends Tonight. Check out the video for this one too, the fireworks are just amazing.
Power pop!

Enough with the albums. I'm listening to Jack's Mannequin as well, whose crazed piano tunes are emo-worthy. But more of that when I actually get a copy of the CD.

*** Whew! Sorry long post everyone, looks like somebody's broke from CD shopping.
Thursday, September 07, 2006

US Open 2006 Quarterfinals - Men's Draw

Sorry, it's late. Nagmamadali ang organisers ng US Open e.

Federer vs Blake
Top ranked American versus the game's top dog, clearly will be the marquee match of the round. This will be the defending champion's first brutal test, yet given the form he's been coasting through the draw, and Blake's spotty Eastern hardcourt season, this should be a straight set finish. However, the New York crowd will be in full force, and perhaps extend this one to a four set victory for the Swiss.

Haas vs Davydenko
It could have been an all-Russian affair, but Haas was able to edge out Safin in the 5th set. I'd like to give Davydenko the hardest working (and quietest) player on tour the nod for a first Flushing Meadows semifinal appearance for two reasons: shorter time on court, and beating Murray, the US Open Series breakthrough player. Five sets still, most probably.

Roddick vs Hewitt
In a match of previous champions, history would lean towards the Thunder from Down Under. However, a Masters Series title in Cincy, and a win at the US Open Series (and an extra million bucks!) would be more than enough determination for Andy Roddick to salvage a rather lackluster 2006 Grand Slam performance. Five sets to the American - but factor in Hewitt's early morning 5-setter to Gasquet, this should be just four sets, maybe straight sets even.

Youzhny vs Nadal
Finally, a strong showing for Russia's 2003 Davis Cup hero. Sadly, Nadal seems to be in form all year - garning good showings on all surfaces. Straight sets.

Semifinals and Final
Much thanks to Jimmy Connors, Roddick will last all the way to the final, where a Roger Federer will be waiting in the wings. Granted that both players are playing extremely good tennis recently, this match will put the 2006 US Open to be a great event, not just The One Where Agassi Bids Adieu - with the Swiss maestro taking Slam Number 9.

I Love New York! Jimmy Connors, help me! Oh wait, he already did.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Women's Quarterfinals

Amelie vs Dinara
Major points for the top seed for Serena Williams who is this year's player to beat. and that should be enough for Amelie to wrap this up easily. Still, expect quite a fight from Dinara (which reminds me, the both siblings are still in the tournament!), as Amelie may have bouts of mental lapses in the match. Otherwise, a straight set victory.

Maria vs Tatiana
It's about time that the Tati take a Slam QF appearance, it's just sad that she's lined up against the hardcourt season's hottest player (Clijsters would have been a contestant, had she not pulled out). Sharapova's comeuppance may be right here - she wouldn't be having quite a lot of resistance from Golovin. Straight sets.

Jelena vs Elena
Similar names, similar games. The momentum should be with Jankovic, in her first GS quarterfinal match, she took out Nicole and Svetlana, both with great hardcourt records. The Russian, on the other hand, missed out on Venus and a host of other seeds. This should be fairly tight, 3 sets, with a slight edge to the Serbian.

Lindsay vs Justine
Pity, I really would give Lindsay still a fighting chance had she been in another quarter - she hasn't beaten Justine in the last six meetings, and it ain't about to change now. I remember Melbourne 04 where Lindsay blasted winners on both wings, found the edges of the line, and stormed to a 5-1 lead. She lost the set, and eventually the match in straight sets, because Justine was stronger, faster and is not with an injury. It's pretty hard not to see that happening now - straight sets.

Semifinals and Final
This year's surprise finalist will be the Serbian Jankovic, but it'll end there - JHH will be to wily, and ruthless, besides, she wants to appear on all Grand Slam finals this year. Amelie will not get her way with 3 slam titles (you're not Federer!), not for lack of trying, but because Sharapova is much hungrier for a Slam win. And she will get it, what a tasty final this should be.

About time! Runner up again!
Before I proceed with the rest of the US Open predictions, it's time to do one of those quizzes, and tag my four of my blog friend with it. Before I took the test, I kind of figured out which disorders had my name on it.

Paranoid Personality Disorder:Low
Schizoid Personality Disorder:High
Schizotypal Personality Disorder:Moderate
Antisocial Personality Disorder:Moderate
Borderline Personality Disorder:Low
Histrionic Personality Disorder:High
Narcissistic Personality Disorder:High
Avoidant Personality Disorder:High
Dependent Personality Disorder:Moderate
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:High

-- Take the Personality Disorder Test --
-- Personality Disorder Info --

Now, let's tag Alvin, Trish, Jam and PJ with this one.