despacito

August 24, 2017

Maybe it’s just because I’m not a Belieber or due to nostalgia (I grew up watching Sesame Street after all and I am a fan of Ernie and the Rubber Duckie Song) but I really liked El Patito (a parody of Despacito).  I don’t typically share things online but couldn’t resist forwarding it to few people – sorry for the unsolicited e-mails.

Anyway, here it is – enjoy:

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fully sic(k)

August 14, 2017

i enjoyed the film “The Big Sick” but wasn’t really surprised that the cinema was practically empty.  I’m no marketing guru but I think the title (although understandable) could have used some tweaking. Despite receiving a rating of 98% in Rotten Tomatoes and grossing a lot in the US, the film didn’t seem to do well in OZ.  Some might find “sick” in the title; or the plot revolving around a coma; or it being primarily set in a hospital to be off-putting to some movie patrons.  My dark humour aside, my wife & I have firsthand experience with illness so we never really felt confronted.

In a way, this kind of reminded me of the movie The Shawshank Redemption (based on the novella Rita Hayworth and  The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King in the book Different Seasons. Three of the four stories – corresponding to a particular season.  Of note is the tale of The Body or what most know as Stand By Me but that’s another story).  A lot of people have watched the film but it didn’t fare well in the cinema.  That’s because most movies rely on word of mouth but the title was too hard to recall for most viewers (sad to say that this may have been an instance where a focus group may have been helpful).

The movie may not have been advertised enough; or most Aussies may not be familiar with the work of Kumail Nanjani because the television show Silicon Valley isn’t really big here.   Regardless, go out and watch The Big Sick.

matilda

July 3, 2017

the other night we watched the musical in the Adelaide Festival Centre with my “youngish” family.  We thought it was quite good and my 13 year old son really liked it.  It was my second favourite of everything I’ve seen (and I’ve watched a few Broadway productions). The kids were amazing.

running in place

June 28, 2017

sometimes treading water is the ‘best’ option albeit somewhat frustrating (we can’t always be running towards or running away from something as comedian Wil Anderson deftly puts it).  Next week, I resume seeing Physio students weekly.  I do this and see a NeuroPhysicalTherapist about once a month to help prevent further decline.  Moreover, I exercise daily (except when I’m not well) to maintain my health and to increase my endorphins as I now have to stay home (whereas I used to hold at least two jobs before my ABI).  I’m now working on a doctorate to help pass the time and keep my mind occupied.  Furthermore, I take certain supplements to help boost my health as no medication can be prescribed to me.

Sure there are days (more infrequent now after all these years) when I don’t feel like doing much but force of habit can be of great benefit at these times.  I don’t want to wallow in self-pity or play the disability card but the sad reality is most of society (even in this day and age) only understands when these are emphasised.  On one hand, we need to show empowerment and focus on what we can do; on the other, we need to show vulnerability (this is especially hard for me given my nature and the manner in which I was raised).   Good thing my wife and son are generally ‘happy’ and complement me and act as a foil to my inherent negativity.  In short, achieving balance is tricky and I don’t pretend to always get it right but I try my darnedest (as by default I have always done this).

Aligning what was expected of me and my current situation is a real challenge. I’m on the road to acceptance but still have a ways to go.

reality bites

November 26, 2016

i’m not exactly a die-hard fan of Nigella (it must be because I’m watching episodes of her shows lately on DVR) – guess I’ve never really held an individual or a team over the rest (maybe it’s just my nature or how I was brought up).  But like an artist who releases a seminal record; her “Bites” series I truly applaud.  I’ve seen her other series (“Nigellisima”, “Forever Summer” and parts of “Feasts” and “Express”).  I’m not really obsessed with her but can understand why some are (and why individuals with OCD or with time to spare might not).

I think it’s her love of books, cooking “philosophies” and her dry sense of humour I find alluring.  It’s not only her volumes of cook books but her hand-scribbled notes and her ability and willingness to make a recipe her own that differentiates her. Our mutual fondness for chilies and thyme does not hurt.

Maybe it’s the Asian in me (political correctness aside) that agrees with her that French cooking tends to be about the chef and Italian cooking tends to be about the food.  I tend not to discriminate based on the cuisine: tasty is tasty I, generally, will try it first before I form an opinion.  Bizarre foods (I’m Filipino after all) are not necessarily a deal-breaker but previous pets or experiences (like most) delay or inhibit my gastronomical adventurousness.

My palette is a result of my overdeveloped sense of smell and the ability of my tongue to differentiate (it did not hurt that my father exposed me to a lot of “unusual” things), it’s simply a fact and not really a result of other things like snobbishness. I can be very particular about how something tastes; it’s not be difficult or uppity but simply being a “slave” to that reality.

I can see why my “niece” says that American cooking shows (by and large) seem artificial and contrived to her. There is something authentic about Bites.  Like the shows of Anthony Bourdain (in my mind, it’s a travel show with food in it to better understand the culture – I would probably still watch it even without the food due to the writing ), maybe it’s the “naturalness” that lends itself to being genuine.  The kitchen should not be like a display home (unless one is a neat freak):  in my mind, there’s nothing wrong with it being orderly but it should feel used and not antiseptic.

I consider Heston (and Alton Brown – perhaps it’s the geek in me but as a student I wasn’t fond of Chemistry) a star but pretence is a result of creativity (and not vice-versa) but not only is Nigella a “domestic goddess”, I find her very practical (as evidenced by the “shorter” time most of her recipes take).  In a world of food snobs and food porn propagated by Instagram, I still believe that the proof of the pudding (the pun was unintentional), is in the eating. Sure, presentation is vital (as we also eat with our eyes) but taste is still paramount.

see-quel

December 23, 2013

while Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues‘ humour may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s very rare that Hollywood produces a film that matches or exceeds the original.  In that category, I can only think of The Empire Strikes Back and The Godfather Part II that I’ve seen that fits the bill.

Sure, I found it funny and, at times, silly but I think that everything has become news is a telling commentary of the world we now live in.  Some people think what I laugh at is high-brow, I just prefer my comedy to have another meaning.

A computer language comes to mind.  SQL allows the user to specify information they need rather than worry about the how.  The emphasis on what empowers them and is an exemplar of good design.  There’s a sound mathematical basis for this very practical application.  As technologists, there’s a penchant to maintain a “secret society.”  I think demystification leads to greater adoption, unanticipated uses, and makes it easier for everyone in the long run. Sure, it can be a proverbial Pandora’s box but I think it’s much better to plan for letting the Genie out of the bottle – after all, information wants to be free.

jingle all the way

December 3, 2013

i’m not the biggest fan of carols.  Don’t get me wrong – I’m no Grinch.  I just find most of tem too commercial (sounds like a jingle – pardon the pun) or some of them boring (not my cup of tea).  The only album I’m able to stand is Jazz to the World – maybe because it doesn’t sound so Christmassy (if that’s a word at all).

I’m partial to One Small Child (maybe because we sang it in high school) and Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer ( maybe because I find it funny).  I’m a fan of Do They Know It’s Christmas and Come All Ye Faithful – proving I don’t like most of them but there are a few Christmas songs I can endure. I  like songs not as a class but individually – why should it be different for a particular season?