Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Interview with Billy Corgan

Smashing Pumpkins' (SP) undisputed leader Billy Corgan has an interview over at Onion A.V. Club.

He also mentioned in the interview that his relationships with D'Arcy Wretsky (SP Bassist) and James Iha (SP Lead Guitar) are "pretty poor" and that they might not join the reunion tour. He also discusses his reasons for not playing their old songs.

He also mentions his short-lived band, Zwan and some of the reasons why he quit (effectively disbanding the group).

I listen to Zwan music and I like a lot of their songs from their one and only album, Mary Star of the Sea. There's Lyric, Settle Down, Declarations of Faith, Honestly. But then as some of the band members say "that sounds like the Pumpkins."

"No shit."

Sunday, June 26, 2005

San Antonio Spurs, Tagalog, Matt versus Tom, Gasoline prices, and the Secret Lives of Security Guards.

It's been a few days since San Antonio Spurs won the 2005 NBA Championship. If you're not really a San Antonio fan, the general feeling is that of apathy. Tim Duncan claimed the Finals MVP, as he should have. He is the game's best player in fundamentals. A good guy really, choosing to finish his 4-year college education in Wake Forest before making himself available for the draft. Coincidentally, the season before, Spurs pre-Duncan franchise player, David "The Admiral" Robinson had been injured and as a result, the Spurs had the worst record of any team for that season. The worst record, meaning the best chance to pick first in the next draft through the lottery system. So two years after picking Duncan, the twin towers already had a championship ring (albeit Charles Barkley insists that they put an asterisk next to the feat, since they accomplished it in the protracted 98-99 lockout season). 2003 and 2005 were the real deals and now there are talks of a Spurs Dynasty with solid core of Duncan, Ginobili, Parker, Mohammed and various contributors in Bowen, Horry, and Barry as well as rising rookie star Beno Udrih.

The NBA, from a business point of view shudders at the thought of a Spurs dynasty because of the relatively small market at San Antonio.

But they did deserve to win, more than anybody else. More than Detroit, whose bench was not as deep as last season and who figured in the November brawl but climbed back to the top. More than Phoenix, who reintroduced the old school 80s high-intensity, run-and-gun game that was certainly more fun to watch. More than Miami, who has both the game's self-proclaimed Most Dominant Player Ever (Shaq), and fast-rising superstar (Wade) along with a host of veterans and young talent. In fact they probably would've won last year's too, if it weren't for those pesky Lakers (and that dog too!)


Shame, shame, shame on me. I was reading, or sorry to say, trying to read Manuel L. Quezon III's article in the Inquirer last Thursday. My Tagalog is not as good as when I was in school. I don't read a lot of Tagalog material since I graduated and so I found it hard to read in relatively straight Tagalog. I'm not talking about vernacular Tagalog but rather academic Tagalog. Maybe I also need to blog in Tagalog.


Crazier and crazier. Tom Cruise has finally flipped out on U.S.Television in an interview with Today's Show's Matt Lauer. You see, Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, and they don't believe in psychiatry or psychiatric help. I'd hate to repeat all the articles written about it so just read up.

Then there's Katie Holmes who, you might have heard, will be converting to the said religion. Yes, it's technically religion, and protected under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment disallowing U.S. Congress to create laws that would prohibit freedom of religion (among others). So anyway, it's a little peculiar that Katie had about two weeks in April where no one knew where she was, and then ended up with Tom Cruise after. Hmmm....


"Lost" becomes another one of those things you can discuss while eating at McDonald's.


Yikes, gas prices might yet increase because of the Expanded VAT law. It's at around P30.00/liter for now.

Why do the world prices for oil keep increasing? One big factor is the increasing demand for oil from China and the U.S.

I think they should introduce Compressed Natural Gas powered buses in the metropolis, and hybrid vehicles. I mean, this is the year 2005! In ten years, there should already be flying cars!


Ever wondered what security guards do to pass the time? During weekends for example. Let's say you list the top 100 things that he might probably do.

Where would "reorganizing his deck of Magic: The Gathering cards" fall on your list?

In mine, it's at #99, with #100 being "doing my programming work for me."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Fire hits Shoppesville in Virra Mall, Hitchhiker's Guide and other events

Reports said traffic gridlocks caused by vehicles wanting to get out of the shopping area are hampering efforts by firefighters to put out the blaze.
Well, I came from North Greenhills Village and I was one of those poor saps that wanted to get out of the area. Traffic enforcers, PNP, barangay police, and the mall guards have a huge coordination problem which resulted in the gridlocks. So it's unfair to blame it all on the passers-by.

In SimCity 4, when you dispatch the firefighters, the cars nearby just disappear into thin air while the firetrucks rush to wherever you point the "dispatch arrow". Unrealistic? Not really. I believe in other countries, they have fire lanes. But in Metro Manila, even sidewalks are narrow, and sometimes non-existent.


We were also in Greenhills last night waiting for the 7:40 PM showing of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in Promenade theatre. We ate at Bizu, a relatively expensive restaurant with good desserts and main dishes. I had the Grilled Chicken Pesto Sandwich (I believe it was called), and added P15.00 to make it with whole wheat bread. Pretty good, I must say.

Heavy rain was pouring outside. Good thing I brought my golf umbrella.

Now after all that rain, who knew there'll be a fire just the next day?


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I can't really describe my viewing experience. It's maybe because for me, maybe they should have left it in book/radio/tv form. I wasn't able to appreciate it as a movie, I mean since I've read the book (and therefore, all the humorous quips and puns). To begin with, I'm guessing there were a few who watched it out of sheer interest since only about 1/4 of the theatre was even sparsely occupied. As for Douglas Adams fans here, let's just say they weren't watching last night at that particular time and theatre.

I liked the visual effects though, but c'mon, this is the 21st century.


"The law applies to all or none"

I just loathe those with "TMG" (Traffic Management Group) vehicle plates or whatever special plates they have. How different are they from the "Erap" or "Gloria" or "8 (congressman)" plates? Not at all, I think. Are they exempted from traffic laws and ordinances? Do traffic enforcers avoid vehicles with these plates to prevent embarrassing situations? It seems like it.

The solution is very simple: Nobody should be exempted from breaking traffic laws and regulations.

I remember there was a story about President Erap trying to drive somewhere in San Juan and then got pulled over by this MMDA traffic enforcer who realized his mistake upon seeing the driver. Turns out that the traffic enforcer was the loser in this story. I don't agree. You drive in this country and you're fair game. If you don't have escorts, you're fair game. If you are not allowed by law to have escorts, then you are fair game.

A few weeks ago, Anti-Kidnapping Presidential Adviser Angelo Reyes held a press conference on cracking down on abuse of special-plates and wang-wang (sirens) by motorists. When asked by a reporter if government officials or cabinet members are covered by this crack down. He said, "what if there are emergency meetings?" See, now that's the kind of attitude that leads to abuse, when people look out for themselves and not the people. If there are emergency meetings, then go duke it out in the streets just like everyone else. I'm sure they have drivers and cellphones.

At last I've found an editorial by Ben Lim, in case you don't understand what I'm saying. Would you believed I just googled the quote I remembered from the article "more equal than others" and then I found a link? How did we ever survive without Google?

Anyway, indeed, some are more equal than others, and we are all Boxers and Benjamins.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday, June 24

Lots of things happening today:

NBA Finals Game 7! Only the 16th Finals Game 7 in NBA History. It's the Spurs versus the Pistons!

Sorry to say that for me, it's still not really a must-see game. Though I respect both teams and their players (except for Ben Wallace who I blame for the November brawl, putting to shame my lucky number, #3), I just don't have any "emotional attachment" to the game, or the series. This, despite the see-saw battles of Games 1 to 4, that culminated into another Big Shot Rob game, Game 5. Heck, even after that, I didn't really care to see Game 6. Now if it had been the Lakers, Warriors (a stretch), Suns, Heat or the Cavs, I'd watch each and every game. I guess it's the star power involved or the high-intensity playing style. Even if Spurs have Duncan, Ginobili, Parker (and by association, Eva Longoria), and the Pistons have (Rip, Ben, Chauncey, Tayshaun), they're no Kobe, J-Rich, Nash, Shaq, Wade or LeBron. I guess what I want to say is that Spurs and Pistons are too textbook for our short attention span.

Eva invites you to come watch Game 7. You can watch the basketball part too.

Nonetheless, by noon (Manila time), the NBA will have a champion. There is a new labor deal, which means that there won't be a lockout. On to next season.


It's San Juan Day, and Manila Day.

It has been a tradition for San Juan residents to splash (and I do mean splash) passers-by, pedestrians, vehicles with open windows with water in celebration of the Feast of San Juan. Some people can take a joke, some people can't. I hope the residents realize that there is a point where splashing someone going to work in full business attire becomes offensive. Good thing, I always have the windows in my car rolled up.


Later we'll be watching Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I read the book and found it amusing but I don't know how they can translate the wit to the movie screen. I read that many critics find it so-so. I guess I'll find out later. We'll probably be in the Promenade Theatre in Greenhills in (gulp), San Juan.


If you haven't seen Batman Begins, go see it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Pumpkins' Smashing Return

Taking out full page ads in Tuesday's Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, Billy Corgan announced plans to reform his seminal alt-rock out five years after [they] disbanded the group.

Smashing Pumpkins! ("I love doing that")

The article also says that Billy "Uncle Fester" Corgan didn't exactly say that original bandmates Jimmy Chamberlin, D'Arcy Wretsky, James Iha will join the reunion or whether there will be new members or if they will bring back bassist Melissa Auf der Mar instead.

I don't really know why I like their music. Maybe it's the various weird grunge sounds stimulating your ear drums, maybe it's the lyrics which may or may not mean anything, maybe it's the image, the videos, the live performances or how they crank out song after song, album after album that not even this fan is able to catch up.

Hey, they never did perform here. I wonder if they ever will.

THE Album, Siamese Dream (How old are these kids by now?)

Ok, without consulting anything, I'll list all their songs that I like (this proves that they really messed me up). Here we go: Siva, Rhinoceros, I Am One, Drown, Cherub Rock, Quiet, Today, Hummer, Rocket, Disarm, Soma, Mayonnaise, Spaceboy, Sweet Sweet, Luna, Landslide, Tonight Tonight, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, To Forgive, Zero, Muzzle, 1979, Thirty-Three, Ava Adore, Perfect, Daphne Descends, Once Upon A Time, Crestfallen, The Tale of Dusty and Pistol Pete, For Martha, The End is the Beginning is the End, My Dahlia, Eye, Everlasting Gaze, Stand Inside Your Love, Try Try Try, Real Love, Untitled.

Damn, I missed a lot.

"Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage"

Put on your stereo headphones and crank up the volume. Listen all night. Repeat. (Always repeat.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

‘Decalogue’ to open Cinemanila in August

One of this year’s Cinemanila highlights is a film screening tribute to the late great Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski. Decalogue, his award-winning collection of 10 short films, explores the timeless social and moral issues of human existence.
I had a chance to watch the first one in Theology class back in college and I had this thing lined up in my Amazon Wishlist, but I never got to buy any of the 10. What I did buy became one of my most-prized DVD Collections, Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy. Three colors, meaning the three French ideals: liberty, equality and fraternity. The commentaries and director interviews are also rich with detail and insight. Expect to do some thinking during and after watching these films.

As for the Cinemanila, I hope we get to watch a few (depending on the schedule and whether it's worth watching).

Bits and Pieces Here and There

Chris Rywalt has a theory on Lost.


F1 Racing stalls in the US. I used to watch F1 before when Mika Hakinnen was still there and Schumacher was his nemesis. Because in the past few years Schumy was unbeatable, they had to change some rules to even the playing (or is that racing) field. Well there it was, eager to bite them back in the butt.


Spin magazine names Radiohead's "OK Computer" as the top album of the past 20 years. Contains hits such as Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises.


Marc Stein explains why Big Shot Rob Horry is THE playoff role player.

I caught Game 5 of the NBA Finals on replay last night, and the end of the 4th and Overtime periods this morning (around 5). What a game! What a conclusion! And Rob Horry still has some spring on his legs, launching for a thunderous dunk then THE shot. Game 6 and 7 (if necessary) in San Antonio.

And Rob, gunning for his 6th championship already (having 2 from Houston, 3 from Lakers).


Here's to one of the most important figures in Philippine history. Cardinal Sin passed away, just this morning 6:15 AM Tuesday.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Lost Season 1

There it was. Lost Season 1. Finally seen them all.

I don't really know what the fuss is about. I mean, a lot of people are disappointed. Maybe the raised expectations out of a season finale. Even more so from a show that keeps on piling the questions, and giving answers that raises more questions.

Of course you can google the sites, read the bulletin boards, make up your own theory; but in the end, you will still be watching. Unless you get tired or even frustrated of it sooner.

Without going into detail, the finale, sticking with the style of the entire series, gives fans more to figure out. Remember that this is still business and that they will keep on going until viewership declines. The only way to do that is to keep the viewers guessing. Who knows how long the viewers can take it.

Anyway, my favorite character is John Locke, who starred in that fantastic fourth episode, Walkabout, revealing a secret about his past. He is a like half-mystic, half-hunter spiritual leader of the survivors. Terry O'Quinn is a great actor.

So it's going to be a long wait until the second season. Teasers in ComingSoon.net.

I hope season two doesn't disappoint.

Watch Batman Begins!

Batman contemplates the next movies

The all but left for dead Batman franchise has been on hiatus for years since that flop of a blockbuster movie, "Batman and Robin". Now comes "Batman Begins", a movie that recounts how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman, the most human of all superheroes.

All I can say is that they successfully brought back the franchise to life. I must say that I am going to miss the Tim Burton touch, which not all are able to appreciate. But this new one, with Christian Bale as Bruce, appeals to all as a human story, and a superhero story. Great work from director Chris Nolan. Please make more.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Railroading My "Lost" Viewing Experience

I'm no longer following Lost on AXN, 9PM Thursdays because I've been watching the episodes that have been "acquired" by Joey's brother, Gino. Yesterday, AXN aired Episode 14: Special. We've seen up to episode 16, and I hope to finish until the season finale, the 3-part episodes 24-26.

After I do that, I can make my own "Lost" Theory on what the heck is going on with that freak of an island.

Meanwhile, AXN has been plugging the Lost Theories gimmick, interviewing cast members and harvesting user opinions.

From their website:
The Bermuda Triangle.
First of the four paranormal theories about the series LOST, the Bermuda Triangle has claimed countless lives for over 100 years -spawning numerous books, pseudo-documentaries, and tabloid headlines. Many viewers are convinced something sinister is responsible for the disappearance of Oceanic flight 815, and a possible flight path over "Devil's Triangle" may explain the mystery.

Lost between heaven and hell, Purgatory is believed to be a transcendental location or vacuum where "unclean" souls go at the time of death. It has been traditionally viewed as a place of torment, the purpose of which is to purify the individual. Some viewers believe that none of the characters survived the plane crash, and what we see on screen is a form of karmic retribution that is to be suffered by the unfortunate souls of flight 815.

Conspiracy Theory.
This broadly popularized LOST theory explains that the passenger airline was not responsible for the misery of the 48 remaining survivors on the island. Many theories speculate over a military project including a possible experiment masterminded by the government - that all 48 people are "captured" guinea pigs of this top secret project and that the island itself is one huge Jurassic Park laboratory.

Another X-File.
One of the more popular LOST theories supports the existence of aliens - from the "others" inhabiting the island to the mysterious numbers appearing on and off to misplaced polar bears including the invisible monster that Locke encountered. In the real world, the alien and UFO phenomenon is so widespread and present in our modern times and includes such other theories as abduction, unknown races, and other unexplained phenomenon.
I personally, like the Purgatory theory only cause it's pretty original (I mean for a hit TV series). Maybe they need David Lynch for the resolution. He could use some Twin Peaks weirdness.

Interlude: Time for a Twin Peaks reference in The Simpsons? (care of http://www.snpp.com)
[Homer watches Twin Peaks]
TV Voice: That's damn fine coffee you got here in Twin Peaks! And damn good cherry pie!
[On the screen, a man dances with a horse under a tree, from which a stop light hangs. They dance to the saxophone music being played.]
Homer: Brilliant! [laughs] I have absolutely no idea what's going on.

End Interlude.

Probably the most disappointing theory I've cooked up is that the plane crashed just before the polar caps melt and they get stranded and die on the island until Kevin Costner finds them decades in the future while searching for dry land. Afterwards, he decides to go back to the sea cause he is landsick.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Onion AV Club Interview with Billy West

Billy West comes from the old school of voiceover acting—he pre-dates the celebrity-voiceover focus that began dominating animated films in the 1990s. That trend has made it difficult for West and others like him to get work in big films, in spite of his lengthy history in the business. Although he worked elsewhere (on the Howard Stern show, for instance), West really found fame as the voices of Ren and Stimpy on The Ren & Stimpy Show. By the time it ended in 1996, West had become a sought-after voiceover actor, doing Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd in the 1996 film Space Jam, and appearing on King Of The Hill, as well as a wide assortment of children's cartoons. In 1999, he became the voice of Philip Fry (plus Dr. Zoidberg, Professor Farnsworth, and several other characters) on Matt Groening's animated show Futurama, which toiled on Fox for four years before getting canceled in 2003. But like Family Guy, Futurama may not be completely dead. Recently, West talked with The A.V. Club about the show's future, the scourge of celebrity voiceovers, and his vocal immortality.

For me, Matt Groening's Futurama was a worthy successor to his classic creation, The Simpsons. There were even times that I found the former a lot funnier than the repetitive, groan-inducing Homer-centric show. Unfortunately, the producers at Fox didn't think so and canceled the show in 2003, just as it was building a solid fanbase. I found the show very inventive and witty, much like what The Simpsons was in the 90s. It wasn't really given a chance to shine.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Collection of Star Wars Exegeses

If you can't get enough of the whole Star Wars Mythology, in the region of "too-much-free-time", here are some blog entries that explains loose ends or inconsistencies.

I'm sure there are more out there.

No word on the rumored final trilogy, which George Lucas has repeatedly denied he will be doing. (Good. Pass it on to someone else.)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

You da Man(u)!

This year's NBA Finals is notorious for it's unspectacular, bland type of play that is appreciated by few. However, one player is breaking the boredom: the current best player in international basketball, number 20, Manu Ginobili. This guy could teach you a thing or two in slashing to the rim, a method perfected by the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady.

Thanks to him, Game 1 of the Finals had highlights to replay. There was one really impressive move where he cut through the middle in heavy traffic, elevating to what seems to be a lay-up, but slams it down hard instead.

Amazing. All-Star. Phenomenal.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ah yes, sweet Vodka Ice eases the pain.

Just came from Katips for a friend's despidida who graduated from Medicine. She's gonna take up her residency in Chicago, away from the turmoil.

Vodka Ice. I could drink this all night if only it wasn't so expensive. It costs around P55-60.00 a bottle and P130.00 in Katips (C5 highway robbery?). It's been hard for me since I've become allergic to beer about two years ago.

1:50 AM, can't sleep cause of the humidity, but the rain's starting to fall.

TV's still filled with live shots of whatever, wherever. Things may pick up tomorrow. Hope it rains. I don't remember if it has rained on a revolution before. But who's to say if this is another revolution? Well, whatever it is, it's front page material.

Here we are now, entertain us.

Tomorrow, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Arroyo cheated in the 2004 election, says ex-NBI official

I think the most important question, whatever happens in the next few days is:

What happens when all this is done?

Who's next in line, Noli De Castro?

Who does the opposition think is better, Erap?!

Meanwhile $1.00 = 55.20

Still caught up in the middle. Need to lighten up.

Agony Booth calls.

The Gathering Storm (long read, boring)

Well it's that time again. We've been through it in 1986 and then again in 2001. Finally, there was the May 2001 that never really happened. But right after, there were already rumors of Episode 4. Or rather EDSA 4. In the past few days, you can almost feel the anxietyin the air, on TV, in the newspapers. so much is happening.

Boy, are these turbulent times.

As part of the workforce, I am concerned on how this "instability" will affect prices of common goods, the purchasing power of the peso, the security of the entire nation and my future in this country. Hesistant foreign investors. Disillusioned youth. Brain drain. Armedrebels. Goons. Already, Senator Nene Pimentel is calling for President GMA's (and also Vice President De Castro's (groan)) resignation. Nene is a conundrum, much like Atty. Rene Saguisag. Sometimes, you just don't know what side they are on. But to make it clearer Nene, is playing the opposition role and Rene is pro-constitution, pro-poor even (not necessarily pro-Erap). There is no doubt that the announcement of his resignation as then-president of the Senate in January 2001 was the proverbial "last straw", that signalled the end of the Erap presidency and the start of EDSA II. He was elected President of the Senate because his impartiality and "non-partisan" image added to the validity and fairness impeachment proceedings of President Erap. I remember they did open the 2nd envelope and Nene then saying it was proof of Erap's misdealings. Now he says they aren't. In last year's general election, as part of the opposition bloc, he allied himself with Kilusan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP) that had Fernando Poe Jr. as the official presidential candidate, and Senator Enrile as on of the Senators. He did not speak out against FPJ's inexperience or the fact that Enrile had apologized to the Ilocanos (while campaigning) for his role in EDSA 1986, the overthrow of the Marcos (an Ilocano himself) dictatorship. Nene himself was a victim of martial law, arrested for speaking up against the Marcos regime. He tried to run for president, but lost.

In the 2004 elections, I swore not to vote for anyone affiliated with KNP, Erap or FPJ. A lot of them won anyway.

Gloria had a choice and we thought she had made it when she announced in 2003 that she will not run in the presidential elections. Those weren't the words that she used but she knew that that was what the public believed. She never bothered to correct us. We already smelled deception then when she would not categorically say, for the record, that she WILL NOT RUN period.When she announced that she will join the elections, she set in motion a chain of events that signified that we are going back to square one. The most important of which are the reactive declarations of FPJ and Bro. Eddie Villanueva to run for president.More significantly is how the FPJ and GMA camps played it like it was a two-man race, when five were running (not including one-hit wonder Eddie Gil). Therefore, the elections became a battle of who the lesser of two evils is, when, according to Philippine Daily Inquirer writer Conrado de Quiros, there is a clear alternative, Raul Roco.

Roco was the biggest loser in the 2004 elections, and I'm not talking about number of votes. Before GMA announced her candidacy, he was the consensus best and most popular choice (between him and Ping Lacson and others). He tried to run for president in 1998, but finished a strong third. People knew then that he was going to try again in 2004. He was the favorite among the youth. He had an outstanding record as lawyer and as a Senator. He had placed reforms in the Department of Education. He said the right things. He knew we had to change not only the president, but the culture and the values. He was the most qualified. After a surprise medical trip to the US right before the elections, the media waved him off. His supporters and erstwhile political allies immediately ran for cover and sought refuge in the other candidate's camps. Only 2 million voted for him. It was the end of his political career.

When the hurly-burly was done. GMA emerged as apparent winner. Using all sorts of dirty tactics that traditional politicians are known for: showbiztocracy, fake smiles, promises, nonparticipation in public debates, GMA managed to edge out FPJ in one of the most heated (and possibly dirtiest) presidential battles. As it is alleged in the news these days, it probably helped that she was the incumbent. She pulled all sorts of strings just to squeeze out a win.

And now, we are paying the price. Is that even fair?

The next few days will become critical. There will be loyalty checks. There will be underground movement. People are expressing discontent. How they will diffuse the situation, I don't know.
What I only know is that I am caught in the middle, and no one up there seems to care.

Happy Independence Day!

NBA officials told to prepare for lockout

ESPN's Chad Ford reports that NBA's 2005-2006 season may be considerably shortened, similar to what happened in the 1999 season, or even cancelled (as in what happened to this season's National Hockey League). A lockout is what can happen when the league and the players' union do not produce a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that outlines the operations and basically the league business rules. The issues that are being disputed are maximum contract lengths (currently at 7 for re-signing players, 6 for free agent signings). The owners want it considerably reduced to 3 or 4 years to avoid bad contracts (in case the player does not perform to the value of his contract, is often injured, or is simply overpaid). Another big issue is age limit (minimum). Current CBA rules indicate a minimum of 18 years old for international players, or a high school diploma (for local US draft applicants). The league wants to set it at 20 years old. Other issues are about the luxury tax, and the annual raises in a player's contract.

You can find an easy-to-understand explanation of the current CBA (that expires this year, which explains the renegotiations) at this site. Those who play in Dynasty Mode in the NBA Live games can find this useful. The implementation in the video games are neither perfect nor complete, but sufficient nonetheless.

The 2005 draft is less star-studded than in previous years. In 2002, there was Yao Ming and high school phenom Amare Stoudemire. In 2003, Lebron James, 'Melo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Kirk Hinrich, Mickael Pietrus. In 2004, Dwight Howard, Emeka Okafor, youngster Sebastian Telfair (who is still currently needs a lot of improvement and maturity). This year, there's UNC's Marvin Williams, Utah's Andrew Bogut, Chris Paul, high school Gerald Green, and possibly the 7-8 Sun Mingming who's flirting with the draft.

Here's the order of the draft:
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Atlanta Hawks
3. Portland Trail Blazers
4. New Orleans Hornets
5. Charlotte Bobcats
6. Utah Jazz
7. Toronto Raptors
8. New York Knicks
9. Golden State Warriors
10. Los Angeles Lakers
11. Orlando Magic
12. Los Angeles Clippers
13. Charlotte Bobcats (from Cleveland)
14. Minnesota Timberwolves

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


I added the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism blog in my list of links. If Philippine current events and politics interest you, I encourage you to visit it every once and a while. Really informative material.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I'm Rick James, bitch!

Remember In Living Color? No, they're not showing it again. Instead, you may find another irreverent and racially-motivated comedy show Saturday nights on ETC. I'm talking about Chappelle's Show.

I first caught the show last Saturday, when I saw host Dave Chappelle, doing half-stand up and half-skit presentations. I remember him as the guy who played Pinball in the Bruckheimer film Con Air (the one that got killed by the landing gear and dropped in Fresno). Anyway, he says that black people should get reparations for slavery (of their ancestors). So he imagines a world where the U.S. did make reparations. Bling-blings and liquor sell like hotcakes, KFC merges with Fubu (I don't get the chicken reference). A field reporter was interviewing the driver of a passing truck of cigarettes:

Reporter: Sir, now that you've got your check do you plan on quitting your job driving this truck?
Man In Truck: Truck driver? I ain't no truck driver. I'm a janitor. That's right, baby, I just bought this truck straight cash. I got cigarettes for me and my family the rest of our lives! I'M RICH, BIATCH!
[honks horn]

I got hooked by this show! I immediately searched for more video clips on the Internet and eventually found some on the official site in Comedy Central.

Another famous sketch is the Samuel L. Jackson Beer. You should watch it in the site's video section. He does SLJ's voice pretty good.

Mmmmmm-mmmm, bitch! Posted by Hello

His most famous ones are about former 80's superstar Rick James in an E! True Hollywood Stories style.

I'm Rick James, bitch!

Watch the videos or catch the show every Saturday on ETC. I'm not sure of the time, maybe 11PM.

One day I'm gonna have a blog post with the word "bitch!" ending every sentence.


Tremendous! I don't know what to feel heading in to what may be the most unspectacular i.e. boring NBA Finals in recent history. The defending champs, Detroit Pistons, managed to boot out the consensus number one team in the East, the Miami Heat in a seven-game showdown!Shaq, Dwyane maybe next year!

As for the Finals, it'll be more of a battle of the brains. I call Spurs in six.

Kobe says, "Hey Shaq, how'd ya like them apples?!"
Shaq says, "Shut up, foo'!"

Monday, June 06, 2005

Credit Card Pranks

Pity, we can't do this here. Most of the salespeople check the signature in the backs of our credit cards. Sounds like a lot of fun though.

Oh yeah, and I found this in boingboing.net, a news site of sorts.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Frank Miller's Sin City (R13?!?)

At last, an excuse to put Jessica Alba's picture in my blog

Watching movies these days with reserved seating costs around hundred fifty pesos. We watched Sin City in Power Plant Mall in Rockwell Makati for P151.00 (the one peso is either a tax or donated somewhere). For that amount I'd expect a relatively undisturbed viewing experience.

Of course that didn't happen because of Murphy's Law. Never mind the couple seated behind us knee-ing our seats. The movie released as R13 was begging for complaints.

The movie Sin City is based on a collection of mini-series of comic books of the same name. It was written and drawn by Frank Miller, a highly-respected comic industry legend who had penned classics such as Daredevil, Spiderman, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One. Back in high school, I was a comic collector, and then it got expensive. Luckily, by then, I had already bought three Sin City mini-series: A Dame to Kill For (which I should mention, I am still missing one issue), The Big Fat Kill, and That Yellow Bastard. All of which I still proudly keep in my comic box. Recently, I bought a trade paperback collection of the original mini-series, simply titled "Sin City" which preceded those I've mentioned above.

The stories, well, I can't really put into words because of my limited vocabulary, but Sin City is what you get when sex and violence become cool. Fortunately and unfortunately, they ARE cool.
The art is fantastic. It has excellent uses of black and white that has never before been done in comic history. It makes the occasional use of color really stand out. Clearly, it translated pretty well in the movie.

When I heard that they are going to make a movie based on Sin City, I immediately thought that there is no way that they can pull this off without being almost absolutely faithful to the comics. And so, the point of this post is that they ruined it by forcing it to be rated R13 (not for children below 13 years old). How did they manage to do that? Logically, it would have less sex and less violence. The problem: since the very existence of the movie includes themes that revolve around sex and violence, they would have to desecrate the movie. They had cut scenes which had nudity, and scenes which were violent enough and they did so without having a care on salvaging the continuity of the dialogue. In short, they had very, very crude cuts and might I add, very, very noticeable. The worst part was they didn't do a good job of getting rid of all the nudes scenes. So why bother? It's all money. Less restrictive ratings, more potential viewers and ticket buyers.

I've been informed that this is actually the work of the distributors since the MTRCB no longer cuts films and instead stick to rating films. Shame on you. Dibidi, here I come. Somebody ought to tell Frank Miller.

I am so furious I didn't even mention Jessica Alba not stripping for the part of Nancy. Whoops.

Friday, June 03, 2005

...except injury.

"You were the chosen one!"

Dwyane Wade may not be able to play in Game 6, at Detroit, Sunday Morning (Manila). Rib injury.

I think part of the reason I don't want Shaq to win is because I want D-Wade to win it without him. I kind of understand why Kobe Bryant is in the situation he is in now. Shaq makes it easy. Shaq is cheat mode.

And it's usually more fun to root for the underdog.

Meanwhile, San Antonio wins the west. Poor Suns, they were so close. Phoenix better not succumb to the Minnesota Timberwolves 2004 syndrome next season. I wonder what Suns 12th man Paul Shirley will write in his blog.

"Surely you can't be serious!"
"I AM serious, and don't call me Shirley"

1113 - Personal

Took a leave from work to go have an Apicolordosis X-ray as recommended by my Annual Medical Exam results.

Woke up early but only left the house at quarter to 11. Boy, was I begging for it to spill over lunch.

The New Medical City in Ortigas, Pasig, as it is called, looks world-class, even better than the now overcrowded St. Luke's Hospital in E. Rodriguez. The Medicard (my company's HMO) clinic is conveniently located at the ground floor of the Medical Arts Building. I filled up some forms and then headed to X-ray, ground floor. X-ray reception tells me to go to Ambulatory Services, 2nd floor.

Took a number: 1113

The wait is killing me.

Ambulatory Services, 2nd Floor, Medical City Posted by Hello

A lot of things go through my mind.

The news are full of people dying of all sorts of diseases and conditions.

In the news today, Reyster Langit, a journalist/investigative reporter dies of heart failure caused by cerebral malaria. They went to cover a "mysterious disease" that was threatening to wipe out the Dumagat population. A number of the crew had already caught the disease. Some had died already.

Teddy Benigno Jr., a columnist, died of complications due to liver cancer. I remember, right before the 2004 presidential elections, he wrote what was perhaps the greatest written tribute to Raul Roco, one of the candidates. It didn't matter, we all knew how that turned out.

A few weeks ago, there was the Cassava poison panic.

In Baguio, Meningococcemia (sp?).

In China, Bird Flu.

Mad Cow Disease.



Finally had the X-ray at around 1. But I have to come back some other time because I have to get the original X-ray (from the annual checkup) from the company, who'll get it from Medicard.

(to be continued)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Today's Last Song Syndrome: A Lifetime by Better Than Ezra

I have no idea what this song means. I like how it sounds, though. Here we go...

A Lifetime
by Better Than Ezra

Allie woke up 8AM
Graduation day.
Got into a car,
And crashed along the way.

When we arrived late to the wake,
Stole the urn while they
Looked away,
And drove to the beach
'Cause I knew you'd want it
That way.

And you were standing
On the hood of the car
Singing out loud
When the sun came up.

And I know I wasn't right,
But it felt so good.
And your mother didn't mind,
Like I thought she would.
And that REM song was playing
In my mind.
And three and a half minutes
Felt like a lifetime

It felt like a lifetime

And you move like water
I could drown in you.
And I fell so deep once,
Till you pulled me through

You would tell me
"No one is allowed to be so proud
They never reach out
When they're giving up."

And I know I wasn't right,
But it felt so good.
And your mother didn't mind,
Like I thought she would.
And that REM song was playing
In my mind.
And three and a half minutes
Felt like a lifetime

Are you sitting in the lights?
Or combing your hair again,
And talking in rhymes?
Are you sitting in the lights?

When I got home, heard the phone,
Your parents had arrived.
And your dad set his jaw
Your mom just smiled and sighed.

But they left soon
And I went to my room.
Played that disc that you'd given me,
And I shut my eyes
And I swear I could hear you sing.

And we were standing
On the hood of your car
Singing out loud when the sun came up.

And I know I wasn't right,
But it felt so good.
And your mother didn't mind,
Like I thought she would.
And that REM song was playing
In my mind.
And three and a half minutes,
Three and a half minutes,

Felt like a lifetime.