Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Three Day Movie Marathon...Or How My Life Is Pathetic

Christmas came and went. People got out, have dinner, spend time with their family and friends, give gifts to each other and generally spend a little piece of love around.

Me, I spent the last three days cooped up in my dorm room watching movies. When did I get to be so pathetic? My reasoning is that there's no reason to go out. One, it's cold. Then, half of my barkada went to Shanghai, and the other half composed of the "kiddie-minded" went to their own, and not to diss them or anything, but hello?

So I find myself in a situation where, if my life would be a cartoon ( maybe it is... ) there would be a light bulb above my head, I got the idea of just staying put in one place, watch some movies and perhaps study a little.

So here are some reviews of the movies I watched. Since this is China, almost all of what I've watched are asian ones. Did I ever write about me being into Korean movies? I mean liking them, not starring in one of them. Yep, that's right, and I thought they suck at first, but after watching the some of the good ones, not those B-grade stuff they shipped outside their country, I took to liking their quirky humour. Here we go, and in no particular order...

Sassy Girl: Korean love flick. Jun Ji-Hyun is just too beautiful! I may just found my new muse, hehe. Anyways, this was the biggest movie in Korea to come out and make waves internationally. The story revolves around finding new love even if in the grips of recovering from a lost one. Hmmm, while the plot seems the old same-o same-o, the characters more than make up for it. One of my votes for best movie watched in my marathon. Perfect for the night away from home...or for being in love.

Windstruck: This is just a so-so korean love flick, yet one also starred by Jun Ji-Hyun. Good enough to watch it through the end. I like the part about the legend of the pinky promise though, and that scene made me laugh for a full minute. Speaking of laughs...

Sex is Zero: A trip and a half, this Korean sex comedy will make make you laugh all throughout the movie. The lead character, Im Chang Jun as Eun Sik, is perfect for his role; sometimes you just want to kill the guy for stupid things he's done. While it has its hit or miss jokes, it does have it's serious side somewhere near the last half. Worth a watch. My fave scene was when he was trying to cheer up his love one by practicing his "kung-fu". Very nice movie.

White Castle: In the tradition of Road Trip, Van Wilder and other teen flicks, this movie is about two guys having an adventure when going to White Castle to munch burgers. Hmmmm, burgers. Good teen movie.

Volcano High: Korean action comedy flick. A movie in the tradition of Matrix, but with no plot whatsoever only that "My kung-fu is better than your kung-fu!" Fun though, and nice action scenes. For those days of boredom.

Spring Breeze: Nice Korean Love flick with a not so in-depth plot. Some will like it, some will not. Give it a try though, because I liked it.

Battle Royale: This time a Japanese movie, one I have been looking for a long time. Plot is simple. One section of high school students put into the island to try and kill each other, by the order of the government. It's kill or be killed, with every student of the class gets its fifteen minutes of fame by dying in various manners. For those in the know, this was the film that catapulted Chiaka Kuriyama, the lead actress, into stardom, and hence into Quentin Tarantino's hit film Kill Bill as Go Go Yubari. Angry at something? Watch this movie. Lots of blood and gore.

Sky Captain and The World of Tommorow: Nice movie with great cinematography. Also with a great set of actors and Good directing. If I remember correctly, some of the scenes are based from War of the Worlds, Dinotopia, Space Oddessy and a lot of Sci-Fi flicks. What's really great about this movie is that they really got the 50's look down pat.

Westender: The only movie that sucked. Medieval times setting. Lost king, prince, lord, I don't know returns after a realization, and who the fuck cares?

White Chicks: I laugh my butt off this one, especially the bathroom scene. Damon and Marlon Wayans pulled a good one here. Very nice.

Dodgeball: Ben Stiller is the god of geeks, and this goes out to one of the best comedy movies I've seen. Nuff' said.

Fighter in the Wind: Taekwondo versus Karate in this korean flick portraying the life of Choi Baedal, a real life hero. Kungfu with drama.

The Sopranos Season One and Two: In between movies I've watched this series (and another one), and this is one of the best series I've ever watched to date. The life of a family in in the Mob? Great! Awesome! James Gandolifini is the man of the hour!

CSI: Season Four: CSI now ranks number two in my list of best series, but that doesn't keep me from watching them in-between movies.
Well, that's it. Mostly Korean, some English and a Jap flick. Not too in depth, but good enough for a recommendation. Now, where's my Sopranos Season Three...

State of Mind: Waste Management Career...
Song of the Day: My Place by Nelly
Now reading: Urban Chinese by Gerald Scott Kayman
Weather outside: 13F and dropping...brrr...

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Wow! Two entries in one week!!! Gasp!!! Can this be true?!! Hehe, actually have no class today, and in the middle of The Sopranos series marathon, I thought I might as well update because I'm not sure I'll be back online this Christmas weekend. With Ebe Dancel's Sugarfree as my background music, here we go...

It's the 23rd of December, and Christmas draws near. Having accustomed to the Filipino type of frenzy when it comes to this occasion, the birthday of Christ here seems a little "silent". I mean, you don't know it's almost Christmas unless you glance at the calendar and stare at shock. In our country, the sure sign of Christmas is the blaring sounds of caroling songs everywhere...and this is just in September. Yep, we Filipinos experience Christmas very earlier, building up the frenzy till the day itself. Here, its like, wow, its Christmas day, ok, back to studying.

At least we'll have a white Christmas here. Fate and Mistress Weather decided to share their sentiments of the holiday season by blessing us with a nice snowfall these past couple of days ago.


Wow, after weeks of anticipating, we finally got these white flurry things falling on our heads, shoulders and bodies. It was a delightful surprise, waking up in the morning and drawing back the curtains to reveal a white blanket around the university. Had my first snowball fight after class ( Being boys and all, and seeing snow for the first time, of course we couldn't resist, hehe ) then the inevitable picture taking of everything from the rooftops to benches to trees and, in one weird occasion, even the drainage ditch.

It was fun while it lasted, till evening came and we discovered what dirty snow looks like. Kinda like fine gravel. Or sand even. In any case, it's kinda disgusting to actually wade through the stuff.

Today is also the anniversary of Mom and Dad, and they're having a great time in Manila, where they'll be spending their Christmas with Mom's sister, my auntie. Things are a little hectic there, as Mom is in the middle of carrying loads and loads of bargain stuff. On a side note, what is it with females and shopping? Don't they hate the aggravation of pushing through the crowds of people and bickering over an item worth only 10 pesos? And don't they know they actually spend a lot more when it's sale day than on a normal day? Sigh.....

Having surfed the web, I discovered a much better blog site at and I might tranfer there in a month or so. I'll be closing my account on this one and moving all my stuff there, so don't worry, everything I've written will still be intact.

Ok, that's it, back to studying again. Before I leave, here's something special for this occasion that I was able to update twice ( and hopefully more ) this week. The 23 facts when living in Beijing...
1. Bring deodorants ( there no such things here )
2. Bring alcohol, disinfectant ( also no such things around here )
3. Beware of "Kwaaaaak-Du!!!" ( spitting galore )
4. Local people here bathe once a week. When talking to them, staying windward is helpful. Unless...
5. They also brush their teeth once a week.
6. Also with shampooing their hair.
7. And cleaning their ears.
8. Then there's no choice but to talk to them 10 meters away.
9. Speaking of which, shouting, cursing and spitting at the same time complete with hand gestures is a perfectly typical conversation.
10. Bargain to death! Ask 80% off the original price!!
11. Have a blood check up. Every dish here is literally swimming in cooking oil. By the time you leave China, you'll have oil for blood.
12. Great service means literally throwing the chopsticks and slamming the plates on the table, ignoring the customers and ,when serving soup, sometimes have their thumbs inside it. Woopeedo...
13. Learn how to use chopsticks unless you did plan to diet and be thin.
14. Can't understand what they're saying? Try this: "Ting bu dong! Qing ni shou hen man ma? ( I can't understand! Please you speak very slowly! )
15. For the lovers out there, here's a nice song: Yue Liang by Teresa Teng
16. For absolute reality entertainment, TV3 jikou. Sample: Guy ask TV3 to investigate his girlfriend, finds her cheating, then confrontation ensues, all taken in real time. Good way to practice your Chinese Tingli ( Listening ) too.
17. For protection: "Xiao titi de maozi" ( lit. little brother's cap...get it? )
18. Kaoya ( roast duck ) and Soju ( Korean beer with 27% alcohol ) is the best way to get drunk in 5 minutes.
19. Don't underestimate their guards, even if they look young. They can make a 200 pound man squeal in pain. Think kung fu training since birth.
20. If you're brave, try scorpions, starfishes and bugs at Wangfujing. Totally healthy. That's what they say of course...
21. Try also the snake's blood, turtle meat and rat in a stick. After doing that, tell me how it tasted ok? I'm kinda curious, hehe.
22. It's perfectly acceptable to wear thermals outside. Just thermals. Stripe ones if you're stylish.
23. Finally, if you find yourself in an embarrasing situation or did something stupid..."Dui bu zhi! Wo shi Iniren!! Wo bu zhidao!!!" ( I'm sorry!!!I'm Indonesian! I didn't know!!! )

Disclaimer: Not all Chinese are like this! Actually they're kind and helpful and even go out of the way to give you back the correct change. These are just some of the things I experienced of course, and usually are related to the older local folk. Chinese students here are cool and friendly.

That's it! I'm pooped!! Time to get back to work!!!

Ming dian dian!!! ( See you next time!!! )
State of Mind: Weirdly alive
Song of the Day: Telepono by Sugarfree
Now reading: Groo by Marvel Comics ( got the bootleg online version )
Weather conditions today: Snowfall, 7- C, with scattered showers

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Groggy Thoughts

Location: Room 227, Building 12 oras we say in chinese sushe 12 lou hao, 227 fangbian hao.
Time: Darkness at an early 6pm. I'm still not used to early sunsets...

I'm dead tired. Yeah, I say that every time I logged in but this time I'm so wasted I can't move out of the bed and go out to have dinner. Obviously, I just woke up and...wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Quick recap...

Exams were a grueling three day affair, where we were tested through three rigourous exams: Grammer, Listening and Speaking. Only passed Speaking, almost passed Listening just shy of three points and Grammer, well since it combines with Hanzi writing, failed so miserably I keep joking to the people that the weather outside is more higher than my grade. Arrrgh...
Christmas Party! It was a blast! And even though we were only three when we planned the whole affair, it was a smashing success. Started with a buffet, with Sinigang as a guest filipino dish. Then went to have an openign number, me with some guys playing the roles of Hagibis. After that, Manol took the lead in hosting the program, dressed up as the Fat Man himself. Everyone had fun, and that's what's important. And even though I moan and bitch about not having fun since I'm an organizer and stuff, deep inside I'm happy that it went so well. Thank God...

That was on Friday, and we went home late. On Saturday, went shopping at the behest of my brother at Wangfujing, and roamed the Malls from 2pm to 10pm! That's practically the longest time we spent outside shopping. At around 11pm, we got blasted on Taku since it's Bea's birthday, and went home at around 4am, me carrying one of their drunk friends up her dorm. Why does this scene regularly happens to me? Hay....

Sunday morning, or a couple or so hours later, I think at 8am, went to Mass groggy and a little light headed. After having lunch at Sogo, went back home and crashed down the dorm bed like a bear on the verge of hibernation. And now I just woke up.

Whew. I'd probably edit some stuff later here later, since I'm not sure what I wrote and judging by my state of mind, haven't got enough brain cells functioning to think clearly.
Tommorow is another fresh week of class, and I'm looking forward this week since I going to ask her out this Friday or Saturday. Most likely we're gonna eat at Panda, a Korean Resto. Hopefully, things will work out well. This is the first time I really did something, so I'm a little rusty as to what comes next. Arrrrgh...a case of being torpe...

State of Mind: Groggy from lack of sleep...
Song of the Day: Shivers by Coldplay
Now Reading: The Alabaster Staff by Edward Bolme
Looking for: Lone Wolf and Cub Original TV Series