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Thursday, November 19, 2015

My Juicing Experience

Mama bought me a juicer more than a month ago and it hasn't been a match made in heaven because drinking vegetables is worse than taking Benadryl when I was a kid!
But still I plod on, experimenting with combinations that would suit my sweet tooth but still have the bitter stuff that I need. This one is carrots and cucumber but my favorite is the pineapple and papaya combination.
Yes, I've done the malunggay and ampalaya combination but no amount of apples could hide the bitterness. Why do the nutritious stuff have to taste so terrible?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Why Guys Should Have Kids in their 20s or early 30s

Now I understand why one should have children or raise children while one is in their 20s or at least, in their early 30s.
Kung nasa land ka, gagawin ka nilang kabayo. Hala, "carry me here, carry me there!"
When they go swimming naman, gagawin ka nilang submarine and they squeal in delight as you submerge suddenly and make them lubog in the water by surprise - with their hands around your neck and shoulders!
Pwede ka ring maging male cheerleader, bubuhatin mo sila so that they can do antics, while jumping into the water.
Por Dios por santo, it's so hard na to hold your breath under water when you're old as I am! And to horseplay with them in the water for 2 hours, para ka nang nagmarathon sa hingal!
Buti na lang, 6PM kami nagstart magswimming kasi 8PM, nagclose na ang pool. Good decision on my part.
And yes, don't forget to take your maintenance medicines before swimming. Baka ma-trauma sila if they see you have a heart attack in the pool because of all the strain and effort you have to exert!

Yummy the Food in The Breakfast Table in Maginhawa Street

I've heard about the restos in Maginhawa Street for years, but since I live near the Timog-Morato area, which also has its share of equally great and more well-known restos, I rarely checked out the restos sa Diliman area, kasi para que pa, marami na dito sa amin, veventure pa ako sa malayo.

I only realized kanina that Maginhawa pala is the street we traverse to reach CP Garcia and I pass it everyday when we send Laura to school!  Tanga lang.  I pass it naman pala everday, might as well stop once in a while there to grab a bite, yun lang if we can find parking space.

Anyway, since my BFF works near Maginhawa, I asked her to pick a resto there which we could try and she chose this cozy resto called The Breakfast Table.  

Ayun, everything we ordered was good!  I especially liked their chocolate banana loaf cake!  I ate too many slices for my own good, kaya I'm sure tumaas na naman blood sugar ko. 

Sayang lang our good friend Heidi is not with us anymore.  She was also a foodie and loved trying out new restos.  For her, we will continue that tradition.

She also took great pictures of the restos she eats in, so following her guide, I also tried to mimic how she took pictures of the food and the interior of the place.

Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

Visiting Botswana is in my bucket list mainly because I've known so much about the country because of these fiction books written by Alexander McCall Smith, who is actually a lawyer specializing in medical law, whatever that is.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is already the third book I've read about Botswana and in a way, because of Smith's insightful description of the country, one actually feels like you are really treading the busy streets of its capital Gaborone, or getting lost in the bush or finding a way to avoid a crocodile while navigating its rivers.

What makes his books special is that the main protagonist is a woman and a detective at that, and a black African! The book has since become a BB TV show and I was lucky enough to catch it in HBO several years ago.

I prefer the books though because there are some nuances that does not translate well on the big screen, since the focus is more on the action, rather than establishing the mood and atmosphere of the setting.

This is a light read and the detective cases are not so complex and actually involves more of reading human nature and the lead protagonist, Mma Ramotswe, knows a lot about it.

Nikko Huelgas: Handsome Gold Medalist Triathlete

I was browsing through this free Multisport magazine today and their cover was this handsome guy who turned out to be SEA Games 2015 triathlon gold medalist, Nikko Huelgas!  This is the first time I've heard about Nikko and he does look handsome!  I wish him more success in all his future triathlon meets!

Learned a Lot About the Serbians from this Book

When I was vacationing in Europe before, the people that the Western Europeans would always warn me not to socialize with were the Eastern Europeans - the Serbs, the Romanians, the Albanians and the poor gypsies - mainly because they said they were the ones who were bringing crime to their cities.
Sadly, I never did meet one and I felt the distrust, which may have some validity in it, was greatly misplaced, because stereotyping a group of people as this or that just closes your mind to a lot of possibilities. Well, of course, you'd have to use your common sense and if you feel someone is doing something illegal, then better not to be with those people.
This brings us to this remarkable portrait of the Serbian people by the Norwegian writer Asne Seierstad. It's non-fiction and its like my favorite TV show before, The Probe Team, only done in book form. So you have these stories of Serbian characters and how they managed to survive during their country's civil war.
Interestingly, in light of the attacks last weekend in Paris, you could say that these people suffered the same fate but in a much larger, genocide-scale of suffering, since the battle was largely ethnic cleansing, between Orthodox Christians and Muslims who can't seem to live together in peace, so they had to chop chop the former Yugoslavia into so many tiny countries, and horrifyingly, each other!
The 90s was the decade of ethnic cleansing, from here in Yugoslavia to Rwanda, and I wonder, how would you know if your neighbor was of a different race? What if a person intermarried? Would you kill the wife and not the husband? What about the children? Would you chop them into two?
It's really madness and like Germany during Hitler's time, the Yugoslavians allowed a leader to lead them to hate each other. Before this event, they even hosted the 1984 Winter Olympic Games so I thought they were a stable, progressive country but under that veil was this deep mistrust of each other and the consequences were catastrophic.
Veering away a little bit from the discussion and moving it to tennis, I'm just glad Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic, Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic - who would've played for the same country if their respective countries did not break up - were still babies at that time because the truth is, they would've been killed in all that senseless lynching and the world would indeed be a poorer place because of it.
Right now though, based on what I see on FB, these countries are relatively more stable since I see friends posting pictures of vacationing in Croatia or Slovenia. I really hope it stays this way and their days of senseless ethnic cleansing are behind them.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Amour: Not Very Easy to Watch a Movie About Dying

It was but fitting that the DVD I slipped into my player during Hallow's Eve was a movie about death.
And although Amour is already 3 years old, I don't recall a movie in recent memory that was as brutal, as savage and as unyielding of its portrayals about old people and of dying that watching this movie was not an easy experience for me. I admit it made me feel uncomfortable, queasy, uneasy.
I even wanted to fast forward many of the scenes because I was uncomfortable watching them because in the back of my mind, I know I will be old one of these days, helpless, unable to communicate, unable to walk or stand up, and to be dying of dementia to boot. Definitely not a walk in the park for the person left caring for me.
I guess no movie about death or dying should make one feel relaxed. Also, since I've never been in a relationship that lasted for decades, like this couple did, it would be very difficult for me to judge the actions of the lead actor.
It must be very hard for him to see his wife wasting away very slowly, even taking her to the point where she had already lost all her human dignity. It's never easy to admit that death would be the easier thing to deal with and a much better option for the suffering patient.
After that controversial death scene, my brother said, matter of fact-ly, they should've hired a Filipina caregiver. It would've made their lives more bearable.
Ang Pinoy talaga, kahit super serious na ng topic, andun pa rin ang sense of humor!

The Paperboy Shows Zac Efron at His Sexiest....and was that Matthew McConnaughey's B*m? (Post Big Smile)

I usually read movie reviews after I watch the movie and not before because I want to form my own opinion first and see if it matches with any of the general public.  

I don't even watch trailers because I want as little information about a movie as possible and just watch it because of star power.

Yeah, just like any movie fan, I want my favorite actor in that movie and I want him or her to surprise me!

So when I saw the DVD of The Paperboy lying on my desk - and saw Zac Efron on the cover picture, I said to myself, ok great, a light relaxing movie for this afternoon.

Was I very wrong!!  

A movie with such Oscar wattage - Nicole Kidman, Matthew Connaughey, and Lee Daniels - will most likely not be a light, fluffy movie.  

The Paperboy is not a light, fluffy movie.  It's like a lighter version of a movie that Quentin Tarantino would have directed. It's violent, it has plenty of white trash characters and it has plenty of characters that you would not normally care about.

But, it has enough scenes where Zac Efron is just frolicking in his skivvies.  The truth is, Zac Efron is many times more naked here than in any of the romantic movies he was in.  

And that his character is in love with Nicole Kidman's character, makes it even more sleazy since age-wise, he could be Nicole's son.

My favorite character in the movie is singer Macy Gray.  She's so adorable here because aside from Zac, nobody is.  I just wish she'd do more movies or TV work.

I read later that this movie was trashed by critics everywhere including a long booing session at the Cannes Film Festival.  

What did you expect?  That was the year Amour won and this movie and Amour are just poles apart!

Anyway, I enjoyed the movie because of its camp moments, especially two hilarious scenes which could've played out really well in American Pie 7. 

The scenes are supposed to be sexually charged but just like what David Oleyowolo's character did after one of the scenes, I was just laughing after seeing them.

By the way, Nicole Kidman is superb here, playing a serial flirty white trash peroxide blonde to the hilt.  She even did a 'Sharon Stone' - only with panties on!