Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The one with Mandisa singing "Shackles"

Mandisa Hundley delivered a stellar version of Shackles (Praise You) on American Idol, and the naysayers have started hating on her on

Coming to Mandisa's defense wasn't easy, but this was my post.

Mandisa Hundley - Shackles (Praise You)

Seriously, great performance, good energy, brave woman.

While y'all are entitled to your opinions, I think it's doesn't make sense to criticize a person for a song choice just because it reflects his or her beliefs. All song choices should represent you as a person - if you don't agree with the lyrics, don't sing the song.

I fully support Gerb [post 23]. Why can Paris Bennett get away with singing "Work It Out" and "Fever," too songs ridiculously inappropriate for her age and style, and Mandisa receive this hate for singing a positive song about her God?

Sure, it's okay for a 16-year-old to sing about sex, like Paris, or deliver total vocal fluff like Kellie, or turn in a lackluster performance like Lisa, but Mandisa can't sing "Shackles"?

If an idol contestant were to sing George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," would you hate on that idol for singing about Hare Krishna?

I agree with Simon - it is indulgent because Mandisa gets to sing the music she wants to sing. But so what? American Idol reaches millions of people. If she wants to use the show as a platform to reach people with the message of God's love, she does so at her own career peril. I believe she's made millions of Christians around the world proud of her, and regardless of what happens, she will have made her God proud.

Mandisa turned in a fantastic performance. If she gets voted out next week for singing about the God that keeps her going, she'll be going out knowing she went out singing the praises of her God, and I think that will be more than enough for her.

If you'd care to defend a fellow believer, click here. Mandisa needs your votes more than ever. She deserves your respect for standing up for Christ. Don't let her down, people.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The one with the news bloopers

These are hilarious!

The one with the Afghan convert

A court dismissed the case against the Afghan man who converted from Islam to Christianity. This ruling paves the way for his release. May this truly be a step towards his religious freedom as many accounts of similar situations ends in violence. As our brother in Christ, let us continue to pray for his safety. His boldness to declare Christ and his unwavering faith is truly admirable. - Caths

While I find this man's courage admirable, I am saddened by the reaction of his family, who turned him in to the authorities, and how they conveniently chalk up his faith to "mental imbalances." Not all people who are a few kernels short of a corn cob are Christian. - Ganns

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The one with the white pubic hair

One of the funniest exchanges occurred at the pantry at work today involving a friend of mine, Mike. We're eating at the table, when he picks up what appears to be a white string of some kind.

"What's this?" He asks in horror. "It's a white pubic hair!"

He picks it up. "American!" he declares.

"No wait," he says as he looks at it closer, "it's sotanghon!"


The one seeking your help to find a nanny

With the help of Cathy's mom and househelp, Cathy and I have tried to take care of Nathan on our lonesome because we let his erstwhile nanny (yaya) go weeks ago. With both of us working full-time, it is really difficult not having a nanny for our son.

Please help us find a nanny! Pass this information around as we're really in need of quality househelp.

Young couple looking for a full-time stay-in nanny for their two-year-old son.
* 19 years old or older;
* Can speak basic English and/or Tagalog;
* Non-smoker, non-drinker
* Experience is a plus

Full-time responsibilities are:
* Take care of Nathan (2-year-old toddler), including cooking and cleaning for him
* Ironing (laundry NOT required) of clothes for a family of three
* Basic housekeeping (sweeping, cleaning)

Starting salary is P2,500. Food and lodging are free.

Update: We've found one, a wonderful woman named Nedy. Praise God!

The one with the video of Mandisa's I Don't Hurt Anymore

Mandisa's I Don't Hurt Anymore video from last night's 50's performance.

Without a doubt, one of the performances of the season. Mandisa's I Don't Hurt Anymore. Amazing, amazing!

On the distaff side, goodbye, Lisa Tucker. You don't deserve to leave, but Kevin Covais seems to have the support of the dark forces. ;)

Update 1: Bottom three: Lisa Tucker, Bucky Covington, Kevin Covais.
Update 2: KEVIN COVAIS IS OUT! Praise be!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The one inviting you to visit Makati Brunch Club [and a Fuzion Greenbelt review]

If you've time and would like to get some reviews of restaurants in Makati, do visit the Makati Brunch Club, the blog I maintain with my friends Lean, Leigh, Idjea, and Tina (yeah, I'm the only guy, I'm such a stud). We visit different Makati restaurants at least twice a week and blog about our thoughts on the food and service.

Here's the latest entry, for instance, on Fuzion Greenbelt:

Fuzion Greenbelt, a famous fruit smoothie cafe slash restaurant in Makati, played host to Leigh, Lean and myself today. One of the more popular restaurants in Greenbelt, Fuzion Greenbelt is famous for its fabulous fruit smoothies, delightful selection of sandwiches and salads, and, most recently, an irresistible choice of alcoholic smoothies that has most of Makati begging for more! Truly a great place to eat in Greenbelt, and probably one of the best restaurants in Makati.

We love Fuzion Greenbelt's interiors! Splasheed in deliciously bright oranges and yellows, the chairs and tables of Fuzion Greenbelt are so uplifting and kitschy, you can't help but feel good in there. A section at the back allows you to Indian-sit or lie on the floor with red and orange pillows to prop you up beside translucent orange tables.

While at Fuzion Greenbelt, I ordered a South Peach Try-It, which is a real sugar rush of mango, peach, and lychee. Refreshing and delicious! Leigh, on the other hand, helped herself to a Show Me the Monkey, which is a mango-banana hybrid of KingKong proportions. Lean didn't get herself a smoothie from Fuzion Greenbelt, choosing to go with a donut from the GoNuts Donuts Greenbelt branch next door.

For me, better than Big Chill Greenbelt, which is ridiculously and mostly artificially sweet, and Fruit Magic, which tends to taste artificial and clumpy when the smoothie's no longer cold. Fuzion Greenbelt, a place to which I will always return, one of my favorite restaurants in Makati! Do try it out, two thumbs up.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The one with wise counsel from a tricycle driver

Overheard while walking along a path of parked tricycles.

Young Tricycle Driver: "Aanhin mo ang pera kung patay ka na?" ("What will you do with your money if you're dead?"

Older Tricycle Driver: "Aanhin mo ang kabataan kung nag-sha-shabu ka? ("What will your youth do for you if you smoke shabu?")

I gather that the older tricycle driver is trying to counsel the younger driver not to use the illegal drug shabu. I tend to agree, what good will it do to one's youth if it is wasted on a drug habit?

I can think of so many worthwhile things one can do during his/her youth. I'm sure you can, too.

The one with the I-Pod Shuffle

My beautiful wife has a beautiful I-Pod Shuffle, courtesy of her father. Were it not for the confangled dangled rassum frassum difficult way to configure and update the silly thing, I'd actually be jealous.

She has a 1G MP3 player that doubles as a USB drive that can't work on our home computer and my laptop. I have a 128MB plug-and-play USB drive that doubles as an MP3 player.

I can't help but giggle.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The one with the American Idol Top 12: Stevie Wonder Night

American Idol presents the music of Stevie Wonder. Most of the American finalists did not express outright fear at doing the music of one of modern music's foremost icons, but their nervousness on Top 12 night certainly did show.

Ace Young. Ace Young selected Do I Do, a huge mistake in my opinion, considering the way that Mario Vasquez knocked that one out of the ballpark last year, and Vasquez certainly has more vocal talent than Young, whose only saving grace for his being in the Top 12 is the fact that majority of female and gay America think Ace Young is the hottest thing since Constantine Maroulis on sliced bread. 4/10

Kellie Pickler. Kellie's choice, Blame It On the Sun is another outright awful song choice for the blonde minx (hey, not my words). Pickler's voice and jarring outfit selection makes for a horrifying performance that makes me wonder why most of America seems to relish keeping her around. Country chick? Please. Comparing Kellie Pickler to Carrie Underwood is like comparing the Gobots with the Transformers: a useless effort because the latter is so obviously better. 2/10

Elliot Yamin. The near-flawless performance of Knocks Me Off My Feet by Stevie Wonder fan Elliot Yamin is breathtaking and pleasing. Save for Yamin's occasional flat note and his unsteady vibrato, Yamin delivers another memorable performance and should breeze through this round. He needs to move around that stage more, though. 8/10

Mandisa. I love Mandisa Hundley, but her choice of Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing is steady at best. A shaky start is barely saved by the expected bombastic chorus, but Mandisa's first bad song choice for the season is a dangerous harbinger of early favorites self-destructing as the season progresses (remember the ghost of Anwar Robinson!). To Mandisa's credit, she works the performance well, and owns that stage as if she built it with her own two hands. 6/10

Bucky Covington. Superstition is the strange selection of country bumpkin Bucky Covington, and with it arguably comes the most welcome performance of the night. Covington delivers a welcome vocal performance that still displays his country sensibilities but enables him to pull off a funky song and make it his own. The only kink in Bucky's armor? Who in heaven's name messed with his hair?! 9/10

Melissa McGhee. Melissa McGhee's song choice - Lately - may have been a mistake from a distinctly tactical perspective, because it's a karaoke favorite and two versions - Wonder's and K-Ci and Jojo's - will always be compared to hers. McGhee's rendition is surprisingly good, and her voice suits the song well. Her self-conscious attitude, however, in showing she made a mistake during Lately may work against her, and at this stage in the competition, McGhee has the most to lose if she doesn't bring it every episode. 5/10

Lisa Tucker. Lisa Tucker murders Signed, Sealed, Delivered. This is my favorite song in Stevie Wonder's catalog, and every version I've heard - Wonder's, Brian McKnight's, and British boy band Blue's, featuring Wonder himself and R&B ingenue Angie Stone - has proven itself worth. This is the first version of Signed, Sealed, Delivered that I did not like, and Tucker simply can't pull off the maturity of the song at 16, even thought the judges loved it. Joss Stone, she ain't. 3/10

Kevin Covais. Part-Time Lover is an ambitious choice from Chicken Little Kevin Covais, and unlike Nikko Smith who nailed it last year, Covais took it, popped it into his mouth, mangled it into a pulp, and spat it out like a furball. Pitchy and tinny, unsteady and decidedly amateur, Covais does not deserve to be in this competition, and the fact that he made it this far - at the expense of vocal talent like Ayla Brown and Gedeon McKinney - makes me nauseous. 1/10

Katherine McPhee. Katherine's selection, Until You Come Back To Me, is a decent choice, and she pulls it off, not too much unlike Basia's take on the song and a few notches above Camille Velasco's studio version. McPhee understands she is arguably the most beautiful woman in this competition, and having studied at the Constantine Maroulis school of Eye Contact, milks all sex appeal out of her Rated-G performance and does a little pouty-pouty for the benefit of all red-blooded men across America. Lovely. 7/10

Taylor Hicks. Taylor Hicks chooses Living For The City and proceeds to use the American Idol stage to blues-ify Wonder in the right direction. Hicks also uses the stage to his advantage, lessening his vocal and body tics, all making for an enjoyable performance. 7/10

Paris Bennett. I can't stand Paris Bennett, but I will concede that she knocked All I Can Do out of the ballpark. A home run for the diminutive Bennett, whose previous song selections were uneven at best. Near-flawless vocals and great stage presence makes for her best performance this season. 6/10

Chris Daughtry. Higher Ground is the selection of Season Five's resident rocker, and he takes Stevie Wonder's song, spins it on its head, twists it and turns it masterfully into a tune of epic proportion. Contemporary, catchy, and irresistible. The performance of the night. 10/10

Personal choices for bottom three:
Kevin Covais, Kellie Pickler, Lisa Tucker
Voted out: Covais

Most likely bottom three:
Kevin Covais, Melissa McGhee, Bucky Covington
Voted out: McGhee

Bottom three:
Ace Young, Lisa Tucker, Melissa McGhee

It's official: Melissa McGhee is out. Darn it. Darn you, Kevin Covais! Ah, well, I got my first prediction right.

The one with the best dinner ever

After a really taxing day at the office, I came home to a spectacular home cooked meal courtesy of my beautiful wife, Cathy! She served spiced ham wrapped around steamed asparagus (my favorite vegetable!), tuna teppanyaki, and steamed rice.

Without a doubt, the most delicious dinner I have ever had - for its simplicity and for the sweet way my baby made it for me.

I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful woman as my partner for life and God-service.

The one on Martina Hingis and the Pan-Pacific

I've been pretty quiet about it since January, but I am loving Martina Hingis' tennis comeback. Back when she was world #1, I enjoyed watching her, and seeing her successful return is just a real thrill for me. Hingis is now ranked #32 in the world since her return in January 2006.

Today, Hingis beat Lindsay Davenport, the biggest scalp yet since Martina stopped Maria Sharapova in Tokyo last February, and I couldn't be happier. Next up for Hingis is Dinara Safina, another Russian, but I'm sure the Swiss Miss can beat her. Go, Martina!

Update: Yep, she does! Hingis slams Safina, 6-3, 6-4.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The one with the all-CCM chart

For the first time in the history of my Top 20 Singles and Tracks (you can see the complete list on the right), all the artists on the chart are Christian, and all save two are Christian songs. It is something I didn't really take notice of until this morning, and I just want to praise God that I live in a land where I can listen to music like this without persecution.

One day, my music will find its way to local airwaves, and I believe in faith that it will minister to people. Where there's a will, there's a way, and when the sovereign God blesses one's music, it is only a matter of time before it will glorify His name in many ways.

Meanwhile, I am really, really tripping out on some awesome CCM. After six weeks at #1, Avalon's Love Won't Leave You falls to #3, as Matthew West's Only Grace becomes his second #1 song on my chart. Mark Schultz ascends to #2 with I Am, while Warren Barfield - whose voice I love but whose face reminds me of a younger, butchier Matthew Broderick - registers the greatest growth of any song on the chart, four notches to #6 with Unleashed, a track off his new album Reach (the actual single is Saved, but I started listening to Unleashed first, so Saved will have to wait). I'm also itching to find a copy of Now by John David Webster.

The only non-Christian songs in the chart are Some Hearts by Carrie Underwood, whose first single was the phenomenal Christian track Jesus Take the Wheel, and Ligaya ("Happiness") by local Christian artist Kitchie Nadal, who revives the hit track originally by the Eraserheads.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today is my father's birthday. He would have been 76. Nine months ago, also today, he went home to Jesus. Today, his ashes rest in my mother's home, comfortable in his manly-manly brass urn.

I knew I would miss him. I just didn't realize how much.

Sometimes, I wonder if I moved on from Dad's death too quickly. Did I give myself enough time to really grieve, other than the time I wept bitterly at the Makati Medical Center where Dad died, and the one painful time when Cathy held me and comforted me a few days after his passing, in church, where my brothers and sisters in Christ gave me a love offering that helped significantly in taking care of Dad's memorial expenses?

One never knows when one will go - it's for that reason exactly that we should take every moment, if possible, to appreciate life and the people we love and who love us.

Now that I'm a dad myself, I feel the pressure of making sure my son experiences many of the things a son should be entitled to that I may not have gotten from my Dad, not because Dad didn't give it to me, but perhaps it was because he was working hard to provide for us.

What makes a father a good father, anyway? Hallmark?

To my recollection, my father never took me fishing, or to the zoo, or to village playgrounds. I have few fond memories of him lifting me in the air, or playing any sports with me. When I was a child, he never encouraged me to play soccer, or ride a bike, or play in the mud. We never went to a theme park, and out-of-town journeys in the "family wagon" were next to nonexistent. What I do remember are the Saturdays, when he would take my mom, brother and myself to Shakey's, order a pizza, and watch as John and I watched "Tom and Jerry" on this
big-screen TV while he and Mom smoked while waiting for the pizza to arrive. I remember he and I watching "I Love Lucy" reruns at home, he with his cigarette, I with my orange juice and Chickadees. I don't remember the Hallmark cards, but I remember my Dad and I sharing each
other's company. Take that, Hallmark.

My father didn't really try to set a good health example for me. He smoked at least thirty packs of cigarettes a week, despite my repeated pleadings for him to quit. He enjoyed a good Scotch on the rocks, and the occasional beer. He hardly ever exercised in the conventional sense. I do, however, remember sitting on one arm of his favorite rocking chair, John on the other arm, and he'd tickle us incessantly. He didn't smoke during those times. I remember his warning me not to run down the stairs for fear that I would fall and snap my neck. I don't remember much physical activity, but I remember my Dad and I loving each other enough to warn each other to be safe. I remember Dad looking into my eyes and telling me, "you know what, son? You're a
great-looking kid." I remember the spanking when we did something wrong. It would be a belt, or a flipflop rubber slipper, and we would howl in pain. I don't remember physical love, but I remember feeling every ounce of the love that he did have for us all. My Dad stayed with my Mom for 20 something years. That's real love, not Hallmark love.

I don't remember Dad being too much of a patient man, but when I graduated, he didn't smoke, and waited patiently, and when I got my high school diploma, he cried. He cried again when I graduated from university with a degree in English literature. He was never more proud of me than at that moment; I was never more proud of myself, for having fulfilled that which he asked of me: to finish college and become a contributing member of society. He told me then that he was the proudest father in the world; I told him I was proud to be his son. Years later, he did the same thing for my brother, John, and I was so proud of my younger brother. I believed Dad loved both of us equally, and it was when John graduated that I was sure Dad did.

My Dad worked for the government, and never stole a single centavo. He was always honest like that. He had the chances, oh yes! But he never stole anything. Integrity. You can't learn that from a Hallmark card.

By all indications, my father is a non-traditional father. When he suffered his stroke, I saw that once-proud man buckle under his own weight, and punished by years of working to provide a future for us. I feared for his death, and when it arrived, three slow years after his first stroke, that was when it hit me: Hallmark misled me.

Hallmark says it's appropriate to give a card when you care enough to send the very best. And I agree that you should send the best, but the best doesn't come in the card. The best comes in the doing. My father gave my mother, and me, the best years of his life. From him, I think I can learn what to do more of and what to do less of. From his love and my Mom's, I know I can affect generations of people years down the line, and for that, I have my father to thank.

I love you, Dad. See you in about fifty years, if Jesus doesn't come back sooner. Happy birthday.

The one with Love Won't Leave You's progress - March 13

As of March 1, 2006, this is the progress of Avalon's Love Won't Leave You at radio in the United States, Australia, and the rest of the world. Success!

Love Won't Leave You is now at #4 on The Rock Across Australia, it's highest peak thus far! Love Won't Leave You is also #4 at KOBC 90.7 for a second week!

Love Won't Leave You falls to #5 on CHRI 99.1FM in Canada, after a month at #1.

Love Won't Leave You is ranked #17 for the month on GoForthMedia's Top 20 list.

On WordFM, Love Won't Leave You is up to #9.

Love Won't Leave You is at the verge of Top 10, now at #11 on TheReachFM.
Love Won't Leave You is almost Top 10 103.5 WMUZ The Light. it's also at #11 on that station!

Love Won't Leave You is at #13 on 91.7 WBGL.

As of February 15, Love Won't Leave You is tied for 16th on It's also at #16 on 20 The Countdown Magazine.

Love Won't Leave You is up to #18 on Mediabase's survey with a bullet. It's also at #18 on Kingfisher.

On Radio and Records, Love Won't Leave You is at #18. On KFax, Love Won't Leave You is at #18, a one-notch increase.

Love Won't Leave You rises two notches to #23 on JQ99 Online.

Love Won't Leave You is down 5 to #28 on BeyondRadio.

On Billboard's Hot Christian Songs, Love Won't Leave You is up to #22, but it still hovers in the high 20s of the Hot Christian Adult Contemporary chart.

Love Won't Leave You ranks 24th on CCW's Top 25 Singles Adult Contemporary.

94% of women 25-44 on are familiar with Love Won't Leave You!

Love Won't Leave You has been on Sonshine FM's playlist for two and a half months. Love Won't Leave You is also on Calvary 88.5's playlist, as well as 1WayFM 91.9. Love Won't Leave You is still on RROnline's playlist, as well as ninetysix five's playlist.

Happy birthday, Dad

Today would have been Dad's 76th birthday.

Happy birthday, Pop. I hope you haven't been making the moves on some of those angels in Heaven. Hee hee hee *wipes away a tear*

I love you, Dad. See you in about fifty years, if Jesus doesn't come back sooner.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The one with my copy of Avalon's Stand arriving

My copy of Stand, the new album from Avalon, has arrived! Yahoo!

I'm too busy listening to it, but I promise a cheap picture of me with the CD, plus a quick review.

Too many thanks go to Sue Prince, who gave me one of the nicest birthday presents ever when she shipped the CD to me because EMI wouldn't. Sue, may God superbless you this 2006 for your generous heart and giving spirit!

Friday, March 10, 2006

The one with the final 12 American Idol finalists


The final 12 American Idol finalists are:
1. Mandisa Hundley
2. Katherine McPhee
3. Paris Bennett
4. Lisa Tucker
5. Melissa McGhee
6. Kellie Pickler

7. Ace Young
8. Elliot Yamin
9. Bucky Covington
10. Kevin Covais
11. Taylor Hicks
12. Chris Daughtry

And that's the way the cookie crumbles. Shame about Ayla.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The one on the girls likely to go

I think Katherine McPhee and Mandisa Hundley are the only two virtual shoo-ins. If this is so, then you have five ladies from whom to select the second lady out, assuming Kinnik Sky is a surefire bet for ejection: Kellie Pickler, Paris Bennett, Ayla Brown, Lisa Tucker, and Melissa McGhee.

1. Kellie Pickler. I think two things are going to hurt Kellie in the coming weeks: the surprisingly fast way the Pickler information on Vote for the Worst is spreading through America, leading people to believe she's misled them with this "I'm so innocent" country bumpkin act (similar revelations were made with Carrie Underwood, but by then, her popularity was a runaway train); and the Simon liking Kellie more than Carrie, which will send tons of Carrie-loving country fans away from her in droves.

2. Paris Bennett. Let's be honest about Paris. She had fantastic auditions. Her first performance (Midnight Train to Georgia) was pretty good, almost Fantasia level. After that, she's come up with a mediocre rendition of a mediocre song (Wind Beneath My Wings) and an excellent rendition of a horrific decades-old 80s song (Conga). Her song choices have been puzzling at best. She will probably make Top 6, but is in real danger if she doesn't get cracking on finding better song choices.

3. Ayla Brown. Ayla works hard, and she looks like Debra Messing. But Messing doesn't sing and working hard implies choosing the right songs. Unwritten, while a Top 10 hit for Natasha Bedingfield, is NOT an American Idol song. To win this competition, you need songs that will WOW an audience, and who's going to be wow'ed by a song that hasn't proven its crowd-pleasing power and longevity chops? (On the other hand, Bo chose Heaven by Los Lonely Boys last year on the Top 40 theme night - the song wasn't a Top 10 hit, but Heaven is a great crowd pleaser). Pick songs that are right for you, and you'll be all set. Brown is A/C all the way.

4. Lisa Tucker. Pretty. Relatively talented. Picks songs that we've never heard of and delivers performances that pale in comparison to the other singers. Good luck, Lisa; you're going to need it.

This brings me to...
5. Melissa McGhee. I look at Melissa, and I don't see "star." I close my eyes, I hear her voice, and I think, "wow." Melissa McGhee is Jessica Sierra Part Two: fantastic voice but simply no appeal. I hope and think that America, however, can look beyond the packaging this time around (same appeal for Mandisa, whose talent, thank God, allows people to look beyond her size) and see Melissa McGhee for what she can offer.

I disagree with Simon. I thought Melissa nailed Heart's What About Love, although the worst of three Idol takes on Heart, after Carrie's Alone and Mandisa's Never. Her voice range is not as bad as some make it out to be, but her voice is full and it reminds me of Melissa Etheridge (which puzzles me that Patrick Hall and Kellie Fake-ler did Etheridge songs when neither of them have the raspiness and the soul to pull it off). If I heard Tucker or Brown on the radio, I'd be hard-pressed to identify their voices; during group nights, I can pick out the voices of three ladies for their distinctive qualities (making them good choices for Idols, because you can recognize their voices right away): Mandisa Hundley, Paris Bennett, and Melissa McGhee.

If Melissa's "fans" double-time, maybe they can squeeze her into the Top 6 ladies, which would mean one of the other girls would obviously be booted out, and from my perspective, that means Lisa Tucker may be gone by sheer virtue of song choice (Brown's selection was at least more popular than Tucker's artiste, out-of-thin-air song choice).

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Caption Game #1

Give Nathan's picture a caption!

Thanks to Toni for the caption game idea.

Monday, March 06, 2006

The one with the Body Shop gift certificate

A really good friend of mine gave me a Body Shop gift certificate. I'm tickled, and can't wait to redeem it. I like shopping for body products for Cathyme.

Meanwhile, I'm set to begin my nth fitness program. Things are falling into place - a friend offered to be my fitness trainer for free, and I get to save some money as soon as the gym membership with another friend works out.

Yessir, when it's time for me to go to Palawan with Cathy, I'm gonna be chiseled. Or at least have luxuriously soft skin, whichever is easier. ;)

Friday, March 03, 2006

The one with the incredible Cebu Pacific P10 at 10

I just purchased two round-trip tickets for Puerto Princesa from Cebu Pacific Airlines for... are you ready? P3500. That's P1750 each. That's less than USD35 each! ROUND TRIP!

From today until March 8, you can jockey for airline seats on any of their flights going to any destination for P10 only! TEN PESOS! Of course, you factor in all the other fees, taxes, miscellaneous and whatnot, it rockets up a few hundred pesos. But where else can you fly to Puerto Princesa for P888 one way?!

Thanks to Cebu Pacific's P10 at 10, which celebrates their ten year anniversary, Cathy's and my dream to visit Palawan is going to be realized! Praise God, and thank you, Cebu Pacific!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The one with the answers to "Ask Ganns 1"

Thanks to Dan and Patrick for their questions. We should do this more often, haha. As if.

From Patrick:
1. What's your idea of camp madness?
What is camp madness? I think camp madness is throwing a frog in your tentmate's sleeping bag.

2. Hmm, what's your idea of bliss?
Bliss? A Saturday afternoon with Nathan and Cathy, just playing in our room with the airconditioner on. Potato chips on standby.

3. How about fave superheroes and cartoons? Who are they?
My favorite fictional superhero is Dr. Strange. I don't quite know why - there's something kinda cool about being a sorcerer

4. How has your relationship been with Jesus lately?
Lately, it hasn't been as good as it should be, primarily because I've been very stubborn. In the course of the past two days, though, I've learned some very important things about myself, and I know that Christ and I will draw closer in the next few days as a result.

From Dan:
1. How is your marriage doing?
I couldn''t be happier. Cathy and I celebrated my birthday on Saturday with my in-laws, and Sunday with my family. I'm so blessed to have this incredible woman beside me.

2. How has becoming a father helped you understand your relationship with your Heavenly Father?
I've learned so many things about forgiveness from Nathan. There will be days when he will really vex me, and at the start, I was a little heavyhanded on him (not too literally, but there have been moments when I had to catch myself, because I think he's too young to understand the concept of spanking, and Cathy and I have since decided to spare the rod as much as possible in favor of "naughty corner therapy").
God is a loving God who forgives me ALL THE TIME. I'm learning to pass that on to Nate.

3. What is one of the most important things you learned about yourself during your 29th year(the one just past)?
I'm so full of myself. I'm working on fixing that. ;)

4. Will we be getting more of the Superblessed Podcast?
Bwahahahaha! You're my voice of reason, Dan. I'll try to find time to record something over the weekend.

Thanks for the questions! That was fun!

The one with the American Idol 2nd round of eliminations

I didn't get to blog about the eliminations last week on American Idol, but having viewed the videos online, let me just say this for the record: the boys are gonna whup the girls this year (about time too - Ruben Studdard being the only male Idol is a travesty).

My bets for the Top 6 boys (in random order):
1. Ace Young. What's not to like? He's good looking, he can sing, he's easy on the eyes. Guaranteed Top 6.
2. Elliot Yamin. Seriously underappreciated but tremendously talented. His Moody's Mood for Love was the best performance of the night.
3. Will Makar. I love this kid, I really do. 16 years old with a voice like velvet and talent to match. Plus, he's so cute that the teenyboppers will fight over him and Ace. Fred Savage lookalike.
4. Chris Daughtry. I don't get the attraction - he doesn't strike me as anything particularly special. But the rock gods seem to have foretold this guy's destiny. Too rock-y for my taste, but I'm predicting, so Chris, congrats.
5. Taylor Hicks. Everyone seems to love Taylor, including Cathy. He's good, and his voice is unique. Easy was a perfect song choice.
6. Sway Penala. He really is very good. The Filipino community and the black R&B voters will ensure his entry into the final 3.

My bets for the Top 6 girls (in random order):
1. Mandisa. The sista can sing. I liked her ever since her performance of Never, and the fact that she's a believer rocks my world.
2. Kathy McPhee. Beautiful voice. A little raw, but she's obviously a frontrunner.
3. Kellie Pickler. When she's got her game on, she's pretty good. Her How Far, though not universally revered, did give me goosebumps. Gotta admit the whole country bumpkin shtick is wearing thin, but she has talent.
4. Paris Bennett. This little imp seems to have everyone eating out of her hand. I don't like her, she's a second-rate Fantasia, but she's going to make it through, but not very far. And please, girl, get a stylist.
5. Lisa Tucker. Talented and obviously precocious. Could be a Nadia Turner in the making.
6. Ayla Brown. Underappreciated but phenomenal voice (she did the Celine Dion track proud, a diva trick poor Heather Cox couldn't pull off). She'll work her way up.

It's a shame for the girls, though. Melissa McGhee deserves to be in this final 6, preferably at the expense of Paris Bennett. Who knows? :)