Archive for August, 2010

Merge of Equals: Intoxicating

picture courtesy of

Music has always been a part of my life. It compliments my moods whether I’m on the road, need to think at work, doing grocery shopping, or even spending alone time in a coffee shop while drinking my favorite hot beverage. Music has always been my companion and once I plug the earphones, I am automatically transported to my very own oasis.

I am fairly neutral to all sort of music but have this thing about not a fan of country, extreme rock, and rap – not my cup of tea. A few months back, I was so engrossed with House music but just recently I became addicted to Chillout and Lounge music. More than the popular ones, I am particular attracted to the opposite. It’s like discovering a diamond in the rough. I recently came across Merge of Equals. I fell in love with the mixture of ambient and electronica that creates this blanket of soothing and centering type of music. I guess music, in general, is very relative to our present situation.

Before I remember having a discussion about Enya, a new age artist. For most people, her music makes them drowsy and sleepy but for me it makes me think more like caffeine. I really don’t know why but it’s just the way it is.  I love Enya and that’s how she affects me with her music.

I normally rate a CD depending on the number of songs I like in the playlist. For this particular album, Intoxicating, I like 14 out of 16 songs so this is a such a very good album. If you get the chance to check this album, please do and enjoy the pleasures of the rhythmic and melodic tranquility that this music brings to your life.

#1: Menina (Original Mix)

#2: As One

#3: Beautiful Nothing

#4: Clear Blue

#5: Creativity

#6: Don’t You Know

#7: Flavors Place

#8: Gravity

#9: Hoshi No Namida

#10: Hot Rain

#11: Like An Arrow

#12: Photic Zone

#13: Take You There

#14: Trees On The Moon

#15: True Love

#16: Yumenonakade

Sakae Sushi

picture courtesy of

This has got to me one of my favorite Japanese Restaurants, especially that I’m a sushi freak. I love all sorts of sushis. There’s nothing like a balance of the rice and the seafood that goes together. I recall the very first time I tried Sakae Sushi in Mall of Asia branch. It was not planned actually. When my partner and I passed by we noticed the poster outside about an “eat all you can” sushi. That was the thing that sealed the deal for me. And when we sat inside, we were surprised that there is a long trail of conveyor belt. This is used to distribute the countless sushis to the customers. It certainly brings me to the idea of what is being done in Japan (or something close to). I do like the concept because there’s no need for the sushi to be brought to your table but you can just select and get it straight from the conveyor belt.

Comparing it to the buffet set-up, the sushis are done fresh and goes directly to the conveyor belt, a very simple and impressive process, I must say. Your table is sufficiently stocked with wasabi paste and soy sauce. The only time you seek assistance from the attendants is for the beverages. One of the things I am fond of is that when you order the green tea, you will be given a tea bag and you have a faucet in your table where you get your hot water and you can continuously use your tea bags.

picture courtesy of

We also tried the Taguig Global City branch and usually go here not only because of the distance but also of the ambiance. It’s more spacious and a much serene location.  But a few months back, I found out that they closed already so the only branches available are the Mall of Asia and SM North EDSA.

This blog really got me craving for another session at Sakae Sushi. I can’t wait for my next visit and just have a sushi experience.

Fringe (Season 1 & 2)

I have never heard of this series until my partner brought home a copy of the DVD copy of seasons 1 and 2. I was skeptic at first because of the numerous shows already in the tube or at least very similar like X-files and the like. The moment I saw Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) I immediately fell in love with her. I find her very sophisticated while carrying the role no matter what situation she may be in.

picture courtesy of

The dark and twisted tales of Fringe never fails short of expectations. In fact, you will be wanting more after every episode (thank god we got the season DVD). I do like the subtleties or the story lines that does not require big plots or production. It’s purely a mind game and it works wonders – a cerebral bliss.

The cast is also outstanding. The diverse roles and personalities is just right for the whole ensemble. Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop) is an actor that I am not fond of initially. But he was grown on me and the complicated relationship he has with his father, Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble) and with Olivia Dunham is remarkably impressive. Speaking of John Noble, the odd, psychopathic character we see in the beginning leaves so much questions but eventually and slowly it unfolds by itself and not only did it make things clearer but the character will also grow on you. I also like the friendship between Olivia and Agent Charlie Francis (Kirk Acevedo). Charlie is a person you would like be friends with. A very protective and caring character until he was cloned and then you’ll hate me, sad to say. If there was someone who hold so much mystery and keeps you at the edge of your seat, that would be Nina Sharp (Blair Brown). Whatever she knows, you would want to stay focus. The more she says things, the more it adds to the confusion and suspense but eventually it makes more sense. And of course one of the lovable characters is Astrid Farmsworth (Jasika Nicole) as Dr. Bishop’s assistant. Her commitment to her work is admirable, regardless what was being ask of Dr. Bishop, she doesn’t second guess and very supportive. And ideal assistant I’d like to have. By the way, I forgot to mention that Dr. William Bell is played by Leonard Nimoy (need I say more?)

I do look forward to season 3 of Fringe. I was left hanging after season 2 and a lot of questions must be answered, a lot of mysteries must be unfolded, and a lot of followers must be appeased.

Nanny McPhee and The Big Bang

picture courtesy of

I just watched this movie and it never seems to amoze me with the Nanny McPhee movie installments. Comparing both would be unfair because both movies have very good story lines. As much as I enjoyed watching this second installment, the first stood on it’s own. I am really foond of Emma Thompson and all her works. I really love her.

Just some comments though on the characters. I just find the role of Isabel Green (Maggie Gyllenhaal) did fall short for me. It would really been better if they got an actual British actor to play the role. I find the accent a bit over-played. I am pleased also that Ewan McGregor playing the role of Rory Green and Ralph Fiennes as Lord Gray. Though they’re considered cameo roles, it did present some sort of fresh inserts in the movie. I particularly liked Lord Gray when he confronts the two kids in his office. The awkwardness is dealing with his sone was priceless and very true to the role he was portraying.

One of the scenes that didn’t make a lot of sense was when the harvest were gathered. The magical air show ere the harvest projected shapes of different animals in the air and at the end the firework effects didn’t sell that much to me but then again it does cater to the younger generations so I guess a specific market would appreciate this. The mere fact that the harvest was gathered neatly on the ground was awesome enough.

I love the part at the end where you get the sense of who Mrs. Docherty (Maggie Smith) is in the story. It didn’t occur to me until the end. That is something you should watch out for. Completely surprising and it’ll make you smile.

I just hope that this installment would turn out to be a success so that I can look forward to the next one. It’s rare that you watch a movie that’s well made at the same time entertained without so much hype with action and suspense. A true family movie. Good lessons to impart and real feel good movie.

The Last Airbender

picture courtesy of

There has been a lot of discussion about this movie and how it was made compared to the original Nickelodeon TV series. Aside from my partner’s research over the web on several critics and with my family’s opinion on this. Though the saying, “Let’s agree to disagree” applies here but still I just can’t get the idea that some just can dismiss the idea that’s a good-enough movie or at least it stayed true to the original series.

The director, M. Night Shyamalan, for me did a good job with the movie. Though I am not an avid fan of his movies. But I did like The Sixth Sense and Lady in the Water and that’s it. The others did feel short for me. Some people would judge the movie solely because of the director or a personal preference and not the actual work that they did.

If you are a true, authentic fan of the Avatar: The Last Airbender in Nickelodeon, you should have some understand or appreciate the transition from the TV series to the big screen. I have not seen a movie that was sourced from a book or a TV series that was true or exact to the original format. Just imagine, the movie was sourced from the Book 1 (Water) of the TV series. The series has 20 episodes. I’ve heard some comments that there were a lot of episodes that were not in the movie. Obviously they cannot convert all 20 episodes into a movie otherwise, it will be a 1-day movie so you can just imagine how much that would cost. In fairness to the movie, there were some episodes that can do without and it does not compromise the stroyline. So I think there are some expectations out there that are a tad bit outrageous and unreasonable.

The special effects are very commendable and believable. That was one of the things I liked about the movie, not to mention the martial arts are exquisite. This is one movie that 3D format was an added bonus and enjoyment. This is worth the additional cost for a movie ticket.

picture courtesy of

Though I like the movie, I must admit that I was hoping that the actors would take heart the characters of the original series. The role of Aang (Noah Ringer) and the role of Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) fell short in capturing the essence of the role. Both character injects humor and personability. Those personalities, I believe, added to the enticement of the series. The unpredictable punchlines and awkwardness are very appealing to the series, unlike the movie. There were uptight from the very beginning. I know that the moment the Avatar was awoken they have a big obstacle to overcome but this doesn’t excuse a little giggle here and there. It would have been more interesting to see those attributes in the big screen.

Also the role of Prince Zuko (Dav Patel) would be better with a little more dialogue. Though both characters are basically mad and evil in pursuit of Aang, in the series Prince Zuko verbalize his feelings unlike in the movie he just looks mad all the time. It does lack a bit of connection to the viewers or at least to me.

Despite my comments, I look forward to the next installment, Book 2 (Earth) and my expectations is reasonable, basing it solely on the series. And that is what I suggest to those who plan to watch the next installment. This way you’ll have a better appreciation of the transition from the small to the big screen.

Tyler’s Ultimate

picture courtesy of

I’ve started watching Tyler’s Ultimate over at Lifestyle network around two months ago. I knew Tyler Florence from his previous shows at the Food Network. At that time, Tyler was still fit and toned. I found him to be very entertaining and charming with his shows (coming over to a house and cooking for the people living there). It was a refreshing concept. But looking at him now with his new show, “Tyler’s Ultimate” where he shared “brilliant simple food” that can me made anytime is so much more interesting to watch. He never falls short of enticing the viewers with his recipes. One particular observation was the weight he gained. From the fit and toned to a but flabby, stuffed chef. Not that it’s a bad thing, in fact, it kinda looked better – a whole lot better. Though he transformed physically, the charm and wit remains the same. I remember one time when I was having a conversation with my sister-in-law about him (who’s also a fan of Tyler), she said, “I’d rather eat something that was made by a fat chef than a thin one.” It sort of made sense and I agree. Setting aside and regardless of health issues, I believe this is very relative to all chefs.

picture courtesy of

I really don’t know how I’ve become so enticed and looking forward to the next show. I guess aside from him looking great, he’s a bit clumsy (not in a negative but in an endearing way) in the kitchen that makes it all the more entertaining. And the way he describes the spices, flavors, and ingredients you really do get the feel of what’s he’s describing.

There was one episode that he was wearing an old rose Kashmir sweater. Believe me only a few guys could carry this sweater more so colored old rose and Tyler can. Despite him wearing an eye-catching color in front of the subdued, tone-down kitchen set, you tend to focus on him and the food he’s creating.

At the end of the show, when he tastes his creation, there’s something very sincere with the way he does that. The closing of the eyes to his yum-yum smirk to the way he expresses the experience of the taste and texture, you’ll know that he will continue eating even after the show is done (or most probably share this with the production staff). I’m very picky when watching cooking shows and this falls on my top 5 cooking shows.

More power to you Tyler and keep on cooking!!!

For more information about Tyler and his recipes, please visit Tyler’s website

Accidentally on Purpose vs. Cougar Town

Both TV comedy series do focuses on a mature women falling in love (or still looking for love) from younfer man. When both series started I was curious as to what both shows offer. Shoe after show, I started feeling one of the looses my interest while the other one makes me want to watch the next episode.

picture courtesy of

Accidentally on Purpose is such a disappointment for me. The comedy is very forgettable and the actors seemed to be lacking in something. I started loosing interest with the show. Jenna Elfman, is a bit over acting like an actor on a caffein-hype and I can only stand her for a while. Though she tries to be child-like and immature but it’s an over-play for me. And Jon Foster, who is he by the way? No substance and very forgettable for me. I particularly like Ashley Jensen from Ugly Betty she she’s not enough to make me want to the show more and more, unfortunately. Oh and Nicolas Wright is corny and predictable with his character – nothing more to expect.

picture courtesy of

Unlike Cougar Town, Courtney Cox is perfect for the role. The comedy punch lines are in sync and she’s very amusing. Christina Miller-Lawrence and Ian Gomez are such funny actors/couple. Busy Philipps is also one of my favorites because of her quirky antics. One of the things I like about the show is that it covers family issues especially from a son’s point of view. I appreciate Dan Byrd‘s candor by expressing himself if he approves what his mother’s escapades and indiscretions or otherwise. Wrong as it may seems but it’s a reality and it’s funny just the same with the way she handles herself.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Accidentally on Purpose will end it’s show “accidentally” or “on purpose” sooner or later. And for Cougar Town, let the ladies roar and have fun… I know I am.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: