Thursday, August 28, 2008

Twins: Paris Hilton and the Olympics

Welcome the Nega Star. Prepare for negativity.

The Olympics is the Paris Hilton of sporting events.

What's with the Olympics? It's (just) sooo overrated. Why? Number 1, it's a quadrennial event. You could only play a number of times in the Olympics because you're probably ancient by the time you keep on competing there. If they think, "It only happens every 4 years. I have to do my best," I think they're missing out the boo-hoo. If they try to make it really special because it only happens every four years, then Halley's Comet is in the same page. Why not make it a bi-annual event? There are those who perform really well in their careers and then suck up at the Olympics because maybe they got their period and had cramps during their swim or run, or the star player of the national team stumbled in the Olympic Village and blew up his toenail, hindering him to play. There are unavoidable events that could happen and the sad part is that, usually it happens when you least expect it to (read: you're competing in the Olympics, the quadrennial "special" event).

But this is good for those who are not really at the top of the food chain in their respective sports. This is the best time to just win something and be glorified forever. One-hit wonders as they say. You might be virtually unknown let's say, in the tennis world, then you win the (Elusive? Can't they think of any other adjective? Coveted? Scratch it.) gold and now everyone knows you. Oh, you don't really win tournaments (before and after the Olympics).

Then there's the "because of injury" thing. You train all your life for your sport, sacrificed familial events, then you sprain your ankle doing your final grocery before you go to the host country of the Olympics. You can't run. You have focused on your sport in the last four years for the Olympics, then you slipped in the bathroom while doing your victory pose (since you're a sure winner) and your thumb inflamed or was broken. There goes four years of your life. Total? 8 years of life lost. 4 years in training, another 4 years of "what-ifs" and regrets. Well, if you can really move on fast, don't mind the other 4 years of "what-ifs."

Worst case, the same thing happens to you the next Olympics. Next thing you know, you're too old for your sport (example: gymnastics) and you get the gold medal or an award for Best in Training or A for Ey-ffort (Effort). What a bummer. You retire and just coach future gunners. Ooops, you haven't really participated in the Olympics, they won't hire you as coach, either.

Hey, there's an opening in the fastfood chain around the corner.


MORAL: Guess.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Sportsmansheep

I was watching the Women's Basketball Semi-Finals. First game was between USA and Russia. I knew it was clear that team USA would win the game hands down, no contest. However, Russia (led by Maria Stepanova - sounds familiar) managed to keep team USA's scoring average of 90+ to a really low one. They went in to the 3rd quarter with USA leading 33-32. While watching, I wasn't sure if USA can pull out of this one, but I was hoping they would considering they won the last 3 Olympic games. They obviously were not in their zone. In the end, USA edged out Russia, but the latter gave USA a run for the medal. USA's field goals percentage was shameful but what won them the game: rebounds. They now own a 49-3 (.942) overall record in eight Olympic appearances (wow). Score: 67-52.

People in team USA to watch out for according to me: (just search for them to know more)
Candace Parker (6ft. 4in)
Lisa Leslie (6ft. 5in)
Tina Thompson (6ft. 2in)
Diana Taurasi (6ft)

How about Russia? Just search for them (again). For the physiognomists, the Russian team offers a lot of eyecandies.

Next match was between Australia and China. I'm rooting for Australia (200 and 2004 silver medalists) because I have seen them play prior to the Olympics and dang, they're pretty tough! Not to mention I love their trademark jumpsuit-like uniforms. Australia is also the obvious team that can give USA a really hard time considering Penny Taylor and Lauren Jackson the perfect blend of height and muscles, Cherifer-and-Growee-enriched, amazing player are playing together. I heard that Lauren Jackson is the 2nd generation in their family playing for the Olympics. Her mom was a player for Australia before. Wow. China's coach is an Australian, and during time-outs, he gives really fast talks and then a Chinese interpreter sets it out for the team. Crazy. Australia demolished China, and Penny Taylor didn't even play because of an ankle injury from the quarterfinals. Score: 90-56.

Players in team Australia to watch out for according to me: (just search for them to know more)
Lauren Jackson (6ft. 5in)
Penny Taylor (6ft. 1in)
Laura Summerton (6ft. 2in)
Rohanee Cox (6ft. 6in)

So, it's Australia and USA dismembering each other for the gold. Hoorah. It was expected, though. Expect it to be a rough match, because during the Aug. 5 2008 FIBA Diamond Ball gold medal game (wherein USA won 71-67), the referees there were so lenient and both teams went home with scratches, bruises, and black-eyes. No kidding. I was able to watch the delayed telecast of the match and I am disgusted to say that the referees and umpires in that match were useless and should have just gone home stabbing themselves.

Yeah yeah my teams won their matches but what really upsets me is that Russia and China's supporters were yelling out and booing the opposing teams. During the USA match I can't even hear the sound of the ball being dribbled because the Russian support camp were so loud with their "boo's" and all. China was a duplicate. I was hoping they would vomit their lungs out cheering whenever someone from their country scores, but not waste spitting out their saliva and cavities (not that you can really spit it out) when someone from the opposing team scores.

Really, now.


MORAL: Keep your mouth to yourself. I'm not. That's why I'm typing it out here instead.
[I still want Russia, Australia, Switzerland, and Germany's Olympic apparel. Hmm, any Olympic apparel. I. Want.]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swimfun

I'm certainly gasping for air in the swimming madness I'm experiencing. I am a certified swimfan. I wonder why are there only a few swimmers in the country, considering it is a sport we can be good at. Then I thought that Filipinos have a fear of getting darker - complexion wise. Everyone wants to have fair skin. Oh well, can't blame them. People always want what they don't have. I want diving goggles because I don't have those kind of goggles. I want a smartphone because I don't have one (well mine was actually stolen). I'm also wondering why most female swimmers have (mostly black) nailpolish. Then I'm constructing this theory that maybe it makes their fingers/nails more "visible" when there are replays when judges try to double-check the video footage. It's certainly easier to see black nails touching the wall, than those with... colorless nailpolish.

Also, I'm still holding on to my theory that Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova are together. Yeah, like girlfriends (sing Katy Perry's song "I Kissed A Girl" in the background). Why? Well when Sharapova lost in the Wimbledon, Ana lost the next day in the same event. So ok. She didn't want Maria to get all the negative write-ups. Then there's the Rogers Cup. Same fashion. Maria lost (she withdrew) then Ana lost the next day. Great. Then to make the foundation stronger, Sharapova withdrew from the Olympics citing sore throat from too much grunting. Kidding! Well she withdrew from the Olympics and not to surprise you, Ivanovic also withdrew citing inflammation of her... right thumb. WTHeck.
All I can say is that they are very patient ladies. They don't mind waiting for another 4 years for the Olympics.


MORAL: I like black nailpolish because well, they are black. No, seriously, they look nice when you play the piano or even the keyboard. It looks like it harmonizes with the instrument. However, there are boys who sport black nailpolish which makes me take another look at them. I have nothing against it because I believe I am sooo open-minded my brains are falling out already. Regarding the Sharapovanovic duo. Hmm, it is a touchy topic only open-minded people can understand. Whatever.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Olymprick

I'll be posting about the Olympics in a few days or hours or whenever I feel like posting. I have been following the Olympics (especially the swimming events) closely and is getting crazy because of it. Beijing and Manila share the same timezone so when there are morning events for swimming, I watch it. When there are night sessions for swimming, I watch it. So to make it easier, I watch the swimming events. Tadah! Anyone who's going to read my account on the Olympics would hate swimming after doing so. Haha. Most probably anyone who reads my entries hates tennis already, because I blog too much about it.


MORAL: Only a handful of people try their hands (arms and legs) in swimming because Pinoys seem to have a great fear of having darker complexion because of swimming. My goodness. This is a sport we can excel in.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Superwoman

Alicia Keys is superwoman. Even when she's in a mess, she still puts on a vest, with an "S" in her chest. Ok I just typed down some lyrics of Alicia Keys' song, Superwoman. I was fortunate enough to watch (and experience) Alicia Keys' concert at the SMX last August 5, 2008. It's the 2nd change of venue, having Araneta Coliseum as the first (rumored) venue then when the official promo for the Philippines came, it stated as venue: MOA (SM Mall of Asia) Concert Open Grounds --> which I don't really know where. Yeah yeah, there are a lot of open grounds in MOA, it has a lot of free space you know. Yet the week before AKeys' concert, the country or Manila at the least, was bombarded with low pressure zones. I think every fan of Alicia Keys prayed so much that the rain won't come (or maybe they were chanting "rain, rain go away come again another day [...]" or they did sun dances), and I believe Alicia Keys is a good person because what the heck, not even a raindrop fell that night (except around an hour after her concert when everyone's going home already).

So, how was the concert? Famazing. It was freakingly amazing.

She sounded like... how she usually sounds like. She can really perform LIVE. You know her album, Unplugged? She sang some of her songs like that but I am proud to say that Alicia Keys sound huskier (and better) now than before. She can shout/sing higher notes more confidently without sacrificing the sound. Maybe husky and low voices are the thing today. Anyway, the concert was like listening/watching to MTV (she's that great!). And she still does those little dances while singing (when she's not playing the piano of course). Maybe artists today look up to Beyonce or to the Pussycat Dolls lately. Everyone wants to have a different approach in their music *cough* Avril *cough* but I commend them to be brave enough to do what they really want to do. Those little dance movements (whether with her arms or whole body) makes the event a "show" not just a simple "I'm here to sing and play music, nothing more nothing less." One thing I would never forget was when she hmm how will I put this in words.. Alicia Keys with her hair tied into ponytail fashion, stooped down and moved her haid (hair + head) in a circular way. Her hair was whipping the air. Just try to imagine that ok? Thanks.

I <3 Alicia Keys.


MORAL: Music artists have an avocation. They are the people I really envy. I can turn into the Hulk because I'll be that green with envy. Athletes rank a near second to the people I envy. Why? They love what they're doing and they're just attracting money for doing what they really want to do. Anyway, all I can say is that, if you think you don't want an artist's style, try listening to their record/s a few times (give them a chance, you might even consider him/her your "favorite") and trust me, you'll appreciate them more. Though you can't really force yourself if you dislike the artist.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Best Damn Back-Up Singers

Recently, MTV shows the live performances of the artists I am going to watch. Well, they showed Alicia Keys' videos the day before she performed here in the Philippines, and now as I am saving this post in the drafts section, I am hearing/watching Avril Lavigne crap her lungs out in a concert in France (I think it's in France). Oh she just said it's for MTV filming her performing live, so she has to sing the newer songs from her latest album, The Best Damn Thing, but the names of the songs they flash in the screen are wrong (well some of the titles). So much for MTV. She sings like whatever, but I don't really care. She looks lazy in performing, she's not enjoying playing the guitar and she looks really sleepy. Yet no one cares, at least I don't. I will write an entry about how Alicia Keys' concert went. All I can say is that she's so damn good, ok, she's great. Amazing. I am now a full-fledged Alicia Keys believer. Before, I just admired her because she writes a helluva of songs with really nice lyrics tackling women empowerment and love of different angles. Hmm, I want to reserve an entry for Alicia Keys alone. An ode to Alicia Keys' greatness. Yeah yeah.

Beijing Olympics start tomorrow!! I don't want to say anything about the Olympics, considering China is hosting it, but who knows, maybe I won't be able to keep myself to shut-up about it and post an entry about China. About China. With parts about the Olympics.

Avril named her tour, The Best Damn Tour but her back-up people are well, stuck with the "damn" part, and completely forgot the "best" part. Avril still looks glum (not glam) in her concert. Her back-up vocalists are pretty useless. Everyone knows Avril Lavigne can't sing, so they must do their part, yet they continue looking obnoxious in the background, just flailing their arms , and jumping the crap around. Gosh, why won't they help her. They help Avril in her arm coordination, though. The voice I can hear in the background is the crappy voice of the rhythm guitarist.


MORAL: Back-up vocalists must sing, not just jump around and look pretty or annoying, whichever is applicable, but I'm leaning on the latter. Back-up. You have to back the performing artist up. I'll watch first, and promise not to add any negative ideas anymore. Haha.

Daily Olympians

Maybe you have heard of Yelena Isinbayeva, Laure Manaudou, Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin, Usain Bolt, and Liu Xiang. These people might be the best in their fields, but hey, check our local athletes first before you go international. (They are sprinters, pole vaulters, and swimmers. I don't know why, but lately I love watching track and field, and swimming, aside from sports USUALLY shown in the television.) Come on. They're no match to our daily Olympians here in the Philippines. Leg power, endurance, arm and shoulder strength, agility, and a responsive mind are the qualities needed to survive the daily contest here in the country. Hand-eye coordination, not so much, but the endurance and patience must be overflowing to still manage to survive.

What the heck am I talking about?

This is all about the commuting life here in Metro Manila. I have nothing to say about how people commute in the other places, because the only place outside Metro Manila I have tried commuting was in Iloilo. (Yes, wherein 4 passengers ride the motorcycle which they call there "single." Up to 3 passengers sit behind the driver as you try to survive the potholes and the dirtroad. It's a great adventure if you ask me, very risky and dangerous. It's like Moto-X for regular people!)

I haven't been the greatest fan of the MRT (Metro Rail Transit which runs along EDSA). If you're looking for someone to do a nega-paper (negative paper, if there is such) about the MRT, I would be one of the people you could tap to write about it. I could rant all day about the MRT but I would not deny its functionality and the help it has given all of the commuting Filipinos out there. It may be like hell riding the MRT specially during the rush hour (aka death) but without it, commuting along EDSA is death in itself already.

Whenever the situation arises and I have to go to Makati for client meetings or to TriNoMa for I-am-looking-for-clothes-or-CDs, I have no choice but to ride the MRT. My sister opts to hail a cab instead, but she's working already and has the money to ride the cab, while I'm breathing and clawing my way with students' budget. I have no choice left but to whine and still ride the train. Anyway, I stay in the "women, old people, and the disabled people's area" near the front end of the train. However, there's competition in there by itself. Some say that the pushing in the women's area is far worse than in the men's, but if you don't want your butt to be touched (as they say) in ways, push yourself inside the women's area instead. When you're entering the train, the pushing becomes worse, then when you want to leave already, push again. It is a place where, "Excuse me," "Makikiraan lang po," and other cautious words are useless. It's an avenue for exercising your physical prowess. Not bad for daily trainings. You're doing your part with how you were born, where your mom pushed you to the world, now you have to push your way to survive in this world. Hmm.

MRT sliding doors open in both sides unlike in the LRT-2 (Aurora Boulevard route) wherein the other side only opens in the Santolan station. So one must always be aware of the next station. This is a problem to people like me, who's not used to riding the MRT. The train cabs do not have maps that indicate the stations.

Anyway, whenever I try to ride the jeepney, I don't speak at all. I have tried it numerous times wherein I just knock on the ceiling or use a coin to tap the handlebars when I want to alight the jeepney. I don't know if I could treat it as a social experiment, I love the Joker so much I do social experiments on my own. Yet comparing mine to his, possibility of explosions, I am no match. When the driver isn't able to hear my knocking or tapping, other passengers say, "Para raw," even though I didn't utter a word. I play the role of the deaf-mutes who ride public transportation such as the jeepney. So far so good.


MORAL: There are numerous ways of going anywhere. However, with the impending doom brought to us by the rise of fuel prices, sometimes, public transportation is the way to survive. Yeah you have much money to spare, but the idea of the environment and global warming kicks in. Can we just have more bike lanes? I really want to ride the bike to school, although what I'm thinking of is kind of a really (really, did I say really already?) far cry.