i am legend - bigtime spoiler alert

12:35 PM Monday, December 31, 2007

I Am Legend is a 1954 science fiction novel by Richard Matheson. I think the novel was originally set in Los Angeles but the movie starring Will Smith (playing Rovert Neville) was set in New York.

Basically, scientists re-engineered/tampered with the measles virus and turned it into a cure for cancer. But like what some scientists believe, tampering with viruses may result in mutations that we wouldn't be able to address before bringing about a pandemic of sorts first.

It's Resident Evil con Castaway con The Stand.

The movie is a thriller, a good date movie and has lots of moments filled with suspense. To the discerning eye, the graphics are obvious as a people-less New York serves as Will's backdrop. It's also a very fantastic movie that will get to you, and raise questions, loopholes and reflections for the watcher... some of mine include:

1) what was Will's character spraying on his steps? Water or Gasoline? If water, is it because the Darkseekers were 'rabid'? If gasoline, was it to overpower the scent of living things (dog and man?)

2) Was the trap the darkseekers' contraption or Will's? Did they set it up or just positioned the dummy near it to catch Will with his own trap?

3) If they're so intelligent to have caught Will, how could they not have followed him to his hideout before? Or at least narrowed down the area where he might have lived? Is the intelligence required to trap someone more complicated or basic than hunting someone down?

4) Why did the other survivors not come to Will?

5) If Will was immune, would his daughter have been immune as well? Could immunity be passed by a mother thru her breastmilk too?

6) How did the woman survive and travel to Will? Where did they hide?

7) Was Will's house built that way even before, complete with locks and bolts?

8) Why didn't Will have lights in his lab, where he's trying to find a cure for the virus and experimenting with Darkseekers? He's a doctor and soldier, surely he'd have thought to protect himself there too... aside from installing all those lights outside his home?

9) Why weren't the deers infected? Or were they? And who are they running from in daylight?

10) Did the darkseekers ever mated?

11) Did the darkseekers destroy all lights in the City? Couldn't have Will turned some on during the day just to annoy the Darkseekers hunting at night?

I doubt it's going to be a classic... but I still liked the movie. I was left wondering about it hours after I saw it, imagining the same scenario, thinking about how i'd keep sane.

Oh and of course, Will's acting is just superb.

what's a reverse auction game?

5:21 PM Friday, December 28, 2007

Hubs was the one who shared the concept with me.

He was playing with Globe for free gifts or cash prizes. If in Ebay, the highest bid wins, in this one, the lowest unique bid will win the prize. Prizes usually vary, it could be nifty gadgets or shows or wonderful appliances.

Hubs gets crazy when its plasma TV or LCD screens or laptops that is being auctioned.

Bidding for prizes requires creativity and imagination though, to come up with 'bids' that are unique and small. For sure, it would be heartbreaking to be beaten over a new phone by a centavo or two.

But if you're lucky, then it will be just like winning the Sweepstakes.

not just to visit the Queen

9:59 AM Thursday, December 27, 2007

eyeLondon isn't just to visit the Queen, though the Buckingham Palace should be more than enough reason to. Hotels in London could probably direct you to roads less travelled for not-so-famous adventures, but websites can already give you ideas. The Eye (is it the biggest ferris wheel on earth?) should also make you feel like "the king od the world" for a while, minus the Atlantic sinking.

Staying in Birmingham is a treat if you're a Tolkien fan since you can trace his footsteps where he lived, and maybe see what could have possibly inspired him to write the things he did.

Where to stay in Manchester also shouldn't be a problem but where to go first might be. After all, it has quarters and parks and cathedrals that are must-see's. It also has its own Chinatown for those who will miss their noodles... and a lot of gay or gay-friendly bars for those who would prefer it. Oh, ande may I just say that Manchester has become a dream destination ever since Mike Gayle made moving to the place a big deal in his book, "brand New Friend".

But like what i've said time and time again, when it comes to London, Stonehenge comes first.

sad Christmas thoughts

7:41 PM Tuesday, December 25, 2007

At our company's Christmas party, my former colleagues prepared games with minor prizes for the kids... but we were hardpressed getting them to be involved. They were far too busier playing Yahoo games or some other game on the net... or checking out their Friendster accounts. Some didn't even hide that they were turning off their noses on the prizes.

A colleague said it's because they're kids from pretty well-off families... and they're more into virtual worlds. Still, it was sad that they wouldn't play games for fun's sake.

So we adults played instead... and had loads of fun even if the grand prize is only P60 or something.


I didn't have the energy to shop... and with limited funds and an aggravated hate of Christmas crowds, I just really didn't make any attempt to do so. I did ask my cousin and sister to brave the crowds of Divi and buy stuff for loot bags. I decided i'd just give gift certificates to godchildren and loot bags to the rest of the kids.

Hubs and I spent Noche Buena with my nieces and nephews in Lipa. Not one adult bought presents to be unwrapped... except my sister who I pressured to buy something for her goddaughter (because I was feeling guilty for not having gifts to give). So only one child unwrapped something... and the kids looked quite forlorn watching her do it. And since my sister decided to give school things, there was nothing exciting about the gift... nothing Bonita could brag about and nothing the others could check out.

Good thing I had loot bags for them... they had to content themselves blowing bubbles and marvelling at the different candies instead. My sister pleaded with me to promise that i'd have presents for the children next year... no matter how cheap. It's weird but it was kinda unbearable to watch them not doing anything after the Noche Buena feast. And eventhough I gave their parents gift certificates for things they'd really want to have from the department store, it's just not the same.


My little one would never fully appreciate how blessed he is (at least, until he becomes a parent himself, maybe)... and I couldn't help but utter a heartfelt prayer of thanks everytime someone hands us a gift for him. He's only 2.5 months old and already, he's got toys and clothes to last him several months... what's more, he's got a father and mother who are committed to raising him well in love.

... while other kids have to knock on strangers' doors for Christmas loot... and other homes had to celebrate with a parent missing... and other tables are not laden with food.


Meanwhile... it's our first Christmas without Pyro so Christmas didn't feel quite right.

it's chrismastime and yet...

11:16 PM Thursday, December 20, 2007

... i'm feeling so awful.

i've been sending my father so many hateful text messages because he's being so hateful.

and he in turn lashes out on my mom.

and my mom then appeals to me to just leave my father be, for her sake.

and so i tell my mom to finally stand up for herself.

i also tell her i'd leave my father alone but they cannot and shouldn't expect anything from me anymore.

because i'm serious... i don't want to count years of allowing myself hurt and taken for granted by a father who has warped values, and a mother who enabled him.

those years will be better invested another way.

but how do i save my sister from getting trapped in their mistakes?

all about lights

10:32 PM Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas is about a lot of things. Gift-giving. Family. Midnight Mass. Noche Buena. And lights.

One sure way to get that Christmas-y feel is to put up lights... all over malls, at facades of buildings, all over the house, all over the Christmas tree and inside lanterns. It's lights that give that warm feeling, that extra glow, that spirit of happiness. (I guess it's also why topnotch hotels and restaurants employ the use of chandeliers... so that patrons will feel good... and spend.)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket I remember around two years ago, when I walked into the lobby of PICC for my wedding reception, light fixtures in the ceiling greeted my husband and I. It felt like a shower of stars were falling from the sky. It proved a great backdrop for picture-taking.

I'm guessing those who can afford it can go all-out shopping online for lighting fixtures to warm and accent every nook and cranny of their home. But for most of us, we just take advantage of the Christmas season and bring out the Christmas lights to delight our kids with, and light the carollers' faces with.

getting a postal ID, paying taxes

11:16 PM Friday, December 14, 2007

... because the Philpost's website isn't really that helpful... then i'll be more helpful.

Anyway... the postal ID is a good ID to have if you're unemployed because it's considered a valid ID and is recognized in important transactions (such as banking). I'm sure not everyone will apply for a passport and not everyone will own a driver's license anyway :)

What to do:

1) Go to the Post Office and go to room 214 (where you'll climb this old staircase and reach a mezanine full of rooms) to secure a form.

2) Return with the duly accomplished form (by duly accomplished I mean you've filled it up and also got your Barangay Chairman to vouch for you by signing it).

3) Supposedly, additional requirements include a photocopy of the barangay chairman's ID as well as other valid IDs (company, driver's, voter's) or pertinent document (birth or marriage certificate). Our chairman says they don't photocopy his ID and instead just issue a barangay clearance. Anyway, the Post Office accepts barangay clearances. I also gave a photocopy of my marriage certificate.

4) Pay attention to the picture requirement. When they say 'no digital picture', they really mean it. I ended up spending P75 getting my 2x2 picture taken at Fujifilm, only to pay P80 more to the man 'holding office' at 214 (better ask where you can get your picture taken when getting the form to save yourself the bother, the man's studio is just within that mezanine). As in your picture has got to have film. I got my picture taken when I submitted the application form with my requirements and he (the photographer) stapled them all together for me with a note where my name was written.

5) Proceed to window 237 (it's just near the entrance) to pay P265 (which includes notarization and documentary stamp). This is also where the thumbmarking happens. Get your official receipt.

6) Return the next day between 1-5 PM and go to window 236 to get your Postal ID.

It's actually that easy except for having to get your chairman to sign the form.


Oh and i'd just like to commend the Manila City Hall for having this entire wing (almost) just for paying taxes that's air-conditioned. I paid the real estate tax for our houses yesterday (guys, if you wait till January, I heard you won't get to enjoy the air-conditioning, nor the chairs, because the place will be swarming) and was really happily surprised that it was so easy and hassle-free.

Real Estate Tax is at the farthest side of the room, under the letter 'I'. Cashiers are in front of that 'window'.

dreaming of Europe

11:10 AM Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A good friend and his soulmate are currently still enjoying their Tour of Europe, which they were able to accomplish through a lot of planning and saving. The internet has allowed them access to great deals such as affordable accommodations through sites like Cheaper than Hotels where you can easily shop for places to stay by price, location and rating and also already check which amenities are available. Their site also readily offers sights to see that are nearby and what's more, you get first dibs on the cheapest rates available.

Anyway, I'd really love to travel to Europe myself... and see with my own eyes the streets and walls and fortresses and castles where legends have risen and fallen throughout history.

Of course, a trip to Germany would require that I stay in a Berlin Hotel for the Berlin Wall. I doubt i'd sample German Beer... but I wouldn't be averse to attending Oktoberfest even if I don't drink. After all, it's also one grand carnival and I could just as easily make myself nauseous with the different rides and make myself sick with the different sausages. Bratwurst, anyone? :)

But I know i'd insist on a trip to Auschwitz. Ever since I saw a play back in college about the Auschwitz concentration camp, I have been forever moved. Plus, ok, my perpetual fascination over all things morbid is sure to make me want to view its museum and prisons and wonder about all those people who were tortured and slaughtered there just because their skin color or belief system was different.

In England, i'd make sure to find a nice, cheap place to stay in London so I can go on all the usual tours of the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge and House of Parliament. But the thing i'd really travel to United Kingdom for isn't in the city...

Stonehenge is located in Wiltshire, massive stones standing in a circular setting that continue to amaze and confound experts. Yes, if I am enticed by Germany because of its dark history (and sausages), I am attracted by London because of its mystery... its haunted castles, its amazing monoliths. Oh and of course, what's a trip to England if I won't visit Liverpool and get a picture taken crossing Abbey Road!

Next country to visit would be France and i'd make sure to find a cozy accommodation in Paris so I can enjoy its art and grandeur as I channel the exploits of the Da Vinci Code. I'd decide for myself if the pyramid in front of the the Louvre adds or takes away from its grandeur.

And then i'd take a side trip to Lourdes for the incorruptible St. Benadette. I'm sure the French countryside will also occupy me as it did Monet and Renoir during their time.

(Fort in Taytay, Palawan) Another place in my list would be to stay in Barcelona and explore Spain. Here I will probably seek historians and librarians instead of the sights, tracing my husband's lineage with him and possibly finding the relatives of his great great grandfather, see where he lived before he was stationed as pulitico-military governor in Taytay, Palawan.

There are other places i'd love to see in Europe... it's just phenomenally rich in history and grandeur and promise that a year would probably be not enough to cover everything. Hopefully, I can find a way soon to at least stagger the accomplishment of the dream.

getting identified

6:33 PM Monday, December 10, 2007

One hassle of being unemployed is a lack of identification card with picture for transactions, like in banks.

Another real hassle is tucking your passport away so well that you couldn't find it anymore. Tsk.

Anyway, as I have already surrendered my company ID, I found myself lacking identification, which makes setting up a Paypal account (and tying it up with a bank) sh!tty.

So... first thing I did was secure birth and marriage certificate copies from NSO Serbilis Center in Macapagal (at that Hobbies building very near Seaside). At P125 per certificate, you can get it the same day, within an hour or two from first lining up while accomplishing the order form. Andit's really great that the center is airconditioned and there are enough chairs (though the line moves fast so you don't get to enjoy sitting anywhere for long).

Then I went to renew my NBI clearance. I was lost for a while because there were signs saying something about renewing cards but anyway... after paying P15 for the form (first you get a stub, then you go somewhere else for the form), you line up to pay P120. Then you get assessed and what-not till your photo is taken and you are shooed to get your fingerprints taken (where you end up paying P2 for the wet tissue which you'll really need because it gets quite messy having all fingers inked). You pay an extra P120 more if you want to get a card too (laminated and with your picture) aside from the standard-issue clearance. The upside of getting a card is you can renew it in malls and kiosks at any time convenient for you and do not have to go through the fingerprinting business year in and out. And it's great that you can finish within an hour of going to their clearance center in Sta. Cruz (I was stupid enough to buy a community tax certificate which I did not need, at P18). Oh, they'd need to see some ID aside from your old NBI clearance... which is where the birth certificate I got came in handy.

Next project is getting a postal ID which is an ID honored by most banking institutions. First, you secure a form at the post office (room 214 I believe) which you'd have to accomplish and return, duly signed by your barangay chairman with a photocopy of his ID and 3 pieces of your 2x2 picture. You pay a total of P265 (documentary stamp and notarization included) and can get it the following day.

Unfortunately for me, it was fiesta for our barangay which rendered our chairman busy... and being just recently sworn into office, he's also always at the City Hall accomplishing requirements.


After the postal ID, I can get the Unionbank EON Visa card I applied for which i'd use for my Paypal account.

And then i'd wait till my son's birth certificate becomes available at NSO (I don't know why it takes six months, or so they say) so I can then apply for passports for him and myself. I may have to also submit other documents certifying the loss of my old passport. Tsk.

And drat PRC and their very unhelpful website and webmaster... I have yet to receive a reply for my inquiry about renewing my teaching license. Hmpf.


Dare I interest you guys with my new blog?

three songs

5:22 PM Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I picked up the idea from Joey's blog... I don't think this is exactly a meme but feel free to do it if you have time.

1) I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
2) Imagine by John Lennon
3) The Rose by Bette Midler

1) She's Always a Woman to me by Billy Joel
2) Just The Way You Are by Billy Joel
3) Thanks to You by Tyler Collins

1) Terminal by Rupert Holmes
2) Every Now and Then by Earth, Wind and Fire
3) Through the Fire by Chaka Khan (because it reminds me of Py)

1) To Sir With Love by Petula Clark
2) Ice, Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
3) Girls Just Want to have Fun by Cindy Lauper

1) All You Need is Love by the Beatles (or the Love Actually version)
2) All I Ask of You by Barbara Streisand
3) Somebody by Depeche Mode

1) Saving all my Love by Whitney Houston
2) I Never Dreamed Someone Like You Could Love Someone Like Me by Katie Irving
3) The Past by Ray Parker

1) I Can See Clearly Now by Jimmy Cliff
2) Better Days by Dianne Reeves
3) I Will Be Here by Steven Curtis Chapman

1) If Ever You're In My Arms Again by Peabo Bryson
2) Almost Paradise by Heart
3) You Changed my Life in a Moment by The Company

1) Sad Movies by Sue Thompson
2) Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic
3) The Greatest Love of All by Whitney Houston

1) Please Forgive Me by Bryan Adams
2) Never Say Goodbye by Bon Jovi
3) Heaven Knows by Rick Price

1) Starting Over Again by Natalie Cole
2) Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy (her version)
3) First Time by Robin Beck

... and for the life of me, I cannot think of hateful LSS songs right now :)