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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bye Bye, Chelsea & Chris

Oh my godzilla! I heart Adam Shankman! He's so funny and very supportive to the kids. I'm happy that he's back as one of the jeeges. Can't wait to see him do a choreography for our contestants.

Otay, let's talk about the performances. It's down to the Top 16 contestants. I like that their dance numbers are longer now:

Kherington & Twitch. I like the binocular shoes moment. I also like their exit. And for the first time, Kherington wasn't just smiling throughout the dance.

Courtney & Gev. My gurl is smokin' hot. Wowza!!! My favorite performance of the night. Thanks to Melanie & Tony for that wonderful choreo. Did you notice that Courtney's skirt got snagged by her heel? Good thing she corrected it right away.

Comfort & Chris. I think what contributed to the demise of their partnership is Tyce's choreo. It wasn't really that good compared to his previous ones. Plus, the dancing wasn't organic & raw enuff.

Jessica & Will. I enjoy watching Will. When he's dancing, you can feel the passion. He rocks that Travolta pose! As for Jessica, I dunno. I would've loved to see Will with Lacey from last season. I must say, they have the funniest ending ever!

Kourtni & Matt. Yay! We've got a new choreographer named Sonya. Weird hair. Weird choreo too but I enjoyed it.

Chelsea & Thayne. Didn't like the background song. They didn't look comfy nor happy while dancing. Thayne will have a new partner next week. Comfort is more masculine than Thayne though. We'll see how they would adjust.

Chelsie & Mark. Their number reminds me of a previous Tabitha & Napoleon's choreography which features the current hit, "No Air". I love the Chelsie-Mark tandem. Did you know that Leona Lewis is not the original singer of "Bleeding Love"? It's a Jesse McCartney original. He even co-wrote it with Ryan of OneRepublic.

Katee & Joshua. Mary was right. This pair truly does come with "Satisfaction Guaranteed" warranty. Katee's grunting was cute. Oh, those horrible tight pants.

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The movie started a la "Matrix". This agent is running in slow mo with papers all around him flying everywhere. Then he jumped through a building glass (magically without injuring himself) and shot his enemies from the building across successfully. Nice special effects but it looked forced to me. I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy the rest.

In the first few moments of the film, I thought Shia LeBoeuf could've been cast as Wesley Gibson. Our ordinary hero curses and fumbles all the time. But one thing that makes James McAvoy as the right actor for the role is that, he was convincing in his fight scenes. Although I wonder how his small frame could handle such intense training. Maybe the wax rejuvenation treatment works.

Angelina was born to do the role of "Fox". I don't see anyone else doing it if she didn't accept the role. She's extremely beautiful and believable in the action senes. She showed off her wonderful naked body too. Too bad there wasn't any intimate scenes.

Morgan Freeman as Sloan was good but I think Samuel L. Jackson would be more effective as the top villain. Plus, he would be able to fight instead of just barking orders.

The edge-of-your-seat train scene was the highlight for me. And in this moment that James McAvoy's character found a crucial info about his life. Nice twist.

I wasn't expecting Fox to kill herself too. I guess she didn't wanna sign up for a possible sequel.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Welcome, Disney!

First came Lance Angelo. Then Princess Fiona. And now, Disney. She's a beauty ;oP

Once a Trainer, Always a Trainer

It's been more than 2 years now since I last changed profession. I have been in Training since day one of my IT career. Through that, I have learned so many things, adjusted to different types of audiences, met so many interesting people, and visited new & exciting places. Traveling is just one of the perks. Participants giving you gifts is another.

One of the most unforgettable training assignments I've had is the AC project. There, I got to travel the US for the first time. Bonded with my evil twin sister, Joyish. Traveled New York, Minneapolis, Indiana, and Florida for the first time.

As far as Asia is concerned, I also got to see Malaysia and Taiwan for free. In Taiwan, they were EXTREMELY nice over there that even my pasalubongs were taken care of.

Speaking of gifts, one of my favorite gifts is a huge stuffed pig that I got from my AC participants. I gave them the what-is-your-favorite-movie icebreaker and at the end of our class, they got me something from my favorite movie, Babe. The 8-year-old pig is still with me. I cherish it so much.

Whenever I have teaching assignments that fall on my birthday, I get to receive presents too. During my first teaching stint in the US, my fellow co-facilitators gave me a surprise birthday cake with those self-lighting candles. That was funny. I was really touched 'cause I really wasn't expecting it at all. Second time it happened was in the Philippines. My Technical Support group gave me a big chocolate cake too. So so nice. I love surprises and presents ;oP

Now, the question is: do I miss that? Well, now, even though I don't exactly do training anymore, I still get training assignments. Yep, training gods still knock on my door every now and then. Last one was in South Carolina just before I left the project. And today, Dave requested me to give training to our clients here in Indiana. I enjoy presenting our product. I enjoy meeting people and entertaining their questions. I'm glad I can still do training again.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Train, Train, Go Away

The night before, I set the alarm clock at 7 and requested for a wakeup call. I wanna make sure that I don't oversleep on my first work day here. That's the worst thing that could ever happen.

And so I woke up at 6:30. Feeling sluggish. Am deffo not a morning person.

Quickly hit the shower and dressed up. Am wearing my A&F polo, Banana Rep pants and Kenneth Cole shoes. Yep, I look formal alright. I'm also wearing the tie that Ogz lent me. I made sure that the tip of the tie doesn't reach past my belt buckle. Read that in some fashion mag.

At the lobby. I grabbed some eggs and sausage. I noticed that David was just eating a banana. When Terrie arrived, she didn't eat anything either. Oops! Tomorrow, I need to wake up even earlier to have a decent meal.

Going to the office takes about 20 minoots. We passed downtown Fort Wayne. I saw The Embassy theater where Ruben Studdard will perform soon. I saw a neighborhood of antique-looking houses.
David introduced me to the peeps that we'll be working with. He also gave me a quick tour of the place. Since I'm extremely poor with directions, I'd probably get lost going to & from the restrooms or cafeteria.

Then my lappy was given Wi-Fi access and got scanned for viruses. Their network admin advised me to get AVG online and scan my MBA. The scanning procedure took close to two hours to finish.

Lunch at the cafeteria was composed of a creamy potato soup and beef stir-fry. The beef wasn't so tender but I like the sauce and mushrooms. Am happy too with the soup.

After some tinkering with my lappy, I was able to connect to the machine that I use in Ashburn.

On our way home, we got held up by a train. In one coach, somebody sprayed the words, "THERE IS NO END IN SIGHT!".

We had dinner at a place called Smokey Bones. It reminds me of Sticky Fingers in Greenville. I ordered their 1/3 baby back ribs, plus 2 servings of fire cracker corn and potato soup. 'twas good.

Then we continued the fun at Zambucas, an Italian pub managed by Tony. There's a 5-bucks cover charge. They have 1 dollar Miller Lite on Wednesdays. Terrie shared her skydiving experience. I also found out that Dave is a big music fan.

Tomorrow, I'll be giving a 3-hour presentation on our product. I'll be discussing the basics of process modeling, teaching the client on how to customize things, and also showcase what we've done for the project so far.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Back to Indiana

After my brunch at Akira, I hopped into a cab that dropped me off at Dulles Airport. One thing nice about living in Ashburn is that, it's pretty close to the airport. About 15 minutes, give or take.

I already checked in the night before so I went straight to security. Ever since I started traveling weekly to South Carolina, I've mastered the art of traveling light. No more toiletries to bring since I can get them at the hotel. This time though, I'm traveling to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I've been to Fort Wayne once. That was during my first month here last year. I worked with Dennis (he looks like Sir Sean Connery) and Emily (she, on the other hand, looks like Meryll Streep). This time, I'm working with 2 different colleagues: David and Ian.

When I found out that my gate is on B23, it was an "Oh, man" moment. The B gates are quite far. No shuttle to take you there so you have to walk. There are 3 walkalators but the middle one wasn't workin'. At the end, there's a steep escalator that will bring you to the shops and eventually, the B gates.

Leaving at 2 is a good decision since I still could relax while waiting for my boarding time. I watched "The Invasion" which stars Nicole Kidman and Mr. Bond himself, Daniel Craig. The first movie that they teamed-up. Second one is "The Golden Compass".

Why can't Dulles Airport offer free Wi-Fi connection?!

The flight to Detroit is 1.5 hours. Reached Detroit around 6 pm. I still have an hour and a half to kill before my plane to Fort Wayne leaves.
Still no free Wi-Fi. Bummer!
We landed at Fort Wayne around 8 pm. After I got my welcome cookie from the cookie lady, I joined David. We picked up one of our colleagues named Terrie at a resto called Casa!.  I informed David that I haven't eaten anything for dinner yet so I grabbed a bite at Arby's. Got myself some Italian sandwich for din-dins.

When I saw the hotel we're staying at, I remember this to be the same Residence Inn that I stayed in last year. Since Dave couldn't find a separate room for me, we just got a 2-bedroom suite.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day so I can't stay up late. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mental Exercise

Got this from my friend, K. If you're seeing the girl moving in a clockwise direction, that means you're using your right side of your brain more and vice versa. Remember, clockwise, right side. But, you can actually force the dancer to move in the opposite direction. I've done it a few times and you can try it yourself. It's fun to control your brain. I feel like Sylar from "Heroes".

Left SideRight Side
Uses LogicUses Feelings
Detail orientedBig-Picture oriented
Words and Language Symbols and Images
Past and PresentPresent and Future
Math and SciencePhilosophy and Religion
Can ComprehendCan Get It
Order/Pattern Perception Spatial Perception
Knows Object NameKnows Object Function
Reality BasedFantasy Based
Forms StrategiesPresents Possibilities
SafeRisk Taking

Sunday, June 22, 2008

National Shrine of Immaculate Conception

Last year, I visited the Basilica with my friend, PJ. This time, I'm with Richie, Alwyn, Lizette, Ogz and Raz. It took us more than an hour to get there. Having no GPS and unfamiliarity with DC don't help either. Good thing, a police officer helped us find our way.
Anyhoo, we attended the 12 o'clock mass. Like I said to my friends, the church is huge. Even though I already visited this church once, I was still amazed by how beautiful it is. Marbled pillars. Stained glass windows. Painted ceilings. Mosaics. The attention to details is pretty amazing.

After the church service, it's time to check out what tourists come here for. Thanks to Lizette, Alwyn and Raz for supplying the photos. Forgot to bring my cam-ruh. And special thanks to my good friend, Photoshop, for stitching some of these hard-to-include-in-one-view subjects.
And, of course, the solo & group photos:
After a quick trip to the gift shop, we decided to have our super late lunch in Georgetown. Found Miss Saigon, a Vietnamese resto, and settled there. We ordered beef noodle soup, spring rolls, seafood combo and chicken with veggies. So so hungry.

We then walked along M street where shops, bars and restos are a plenty.

Last stop was the Georgetown University. We all thought how nice & cool it would be to study in a place like this. Around 7, we decided to go back to Ashburn.

Cookout at Waterford, VA

Our day started with us preparing the dish that we'd bring to the cookout. We got an invitation from Jeff a couple of weeks ago. It will be held at his in-laws' place in Waterford, Virginia. We promised to bring sumpthin' and it was Ogz who suggested to cook a local spring roll called "lumpiang shanghai". My last version of lumpia was a success but the problem is, I couldn't find the online recipe. So anyhoo, I just looked for a similar recipe.

Richie and I diced the shrimp, carrots, onions and chopped some parsley. Got a huge bowl and mixed the following: 1 pound of ground pork and 1 pound of ground beef, the shrimp, veggies, 2 whole eggs, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, garlic powder, salt & pepper.

Before wrapping 'em up, we cooked a sample. Based on the initial feedback, it lacked salt & pepper. So I adjusted the taste.

It was Ogz & Raz who were in charge of the wrapping. Richie & I helped too. It took us a few minoots to master the wrapping. The egg white didn't work as a glue to the wrapper. I just got some plain old water and it helped.

Alwyn took over in the frying and making sure that the rolls are golden brown. While Lizette & Noel took care of the dirty dishes later on.

Then it was time to go. We reached the place around 4:30ish. Everyone was there, Jen's parents, Jeff & Jen, Hugh with his children, Sasha & his wife, Steve, and Pete with his kids. I also met a new four-legged friend named Hunter.
We were offered chips & drinks right away. I grabbed a Miller Lite. Sasha brought some wine too. Sweet!
Jeff was the burger/hotdog king.
Sasha brought along salad that he prepared, complete with anchovies. It was a hit. As for our rolls, well, they enjoyed it too. Teehee. The tenderloin was really x 3 good. I made sure also to give some food scraps to Hunter.
The eating didn't stop there 'cause desserts were also served. I got some chocolate bread that Steve brought.

Jeff gave Razil & I a tour of the old house. I heard it was built in the 19th century. Jen's parents did a good job restoring the house. It's my first time also to see a wooden-floored restroom filled with framed illustrations of dogs. Some stairs were quite steep too. While we're going down in one, Hunter couldn't go down himself. That was funny.

Jeff also offered to show us the town. We first checked out the sheep. They smell like goats! Pungent.
Visiting Waterford is like turning back the hands of time. The old beauty of houses and buildings were quite preserved (well, some of it). We saw an old store, a small post office, barns, and two giant tree stumps who got knocked out by a recent storm.
Back at the house, I found a football and practiced my throw with Richie. One of my past participants from AC taught me how to throw the ball. Unforch, I am such a lousy catcher. I injured my left pinky finger. Now, it's freakin' swollen =o(

Alwyn found some fireflies. He was given a jar and he put some of them flies in there. We took them home but eventually released them.
Back in the apartment, we played poker. Ogz taught Richie and Lizette how to play it. 'twas fun to play poker again with friends. Good thing that nobody was "pikon". Alwyn was the first one out. My luck was on vacay tonight. I wasn't getting any good cards at all. Lizette was the big winner of the night. Till next time ;oP

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