Monday, March 31, 2008

Navy Carrier Squadron "pump it"

Ah... this is my own personal tribute to our service men. There is always something to be said about men in military uniform. ;-) Plus the video is catchy too!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Graceland Cemetery

I live in a sub-neighborhood called Graceland West. This is because east to us is the Graceland Cemetery. This cemetery is world class when it comes to its beauty and architectural designs. The Chicago Architecture Foundation have 2 walking tours here every fall. I have taken one of the tour and it is fantastic. I learned from the tour that the movers and shakers of Chicago were buried here including Marshall Field himself. The very man that owned Marshall Field's Department Store which is now Macy. The Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago is also named after him. Anyways, this cemetery is a must see by any Chicago resident or visitor.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Fish in the tennis court

I made a post last time about Mikhail Youzhny and how he always manage to take good pictures even when he is in the middle of a play. Recently, I caught a Fish. Well, it was Mardy Fish that actually caught my attention. Like Mikhail, he manage to take good pictures even at play. None of those weird and ugly expressions some players make. If you look at my examples below that I downloaded from yahoo sport page, he actually has the expression of trying to blow air. Ironically, like a gold fish. Still, not an ugly expression at all. Pleasant looking fellow in general. He could use a shave though. :-)

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up

This performance by Rick was in 2005 only. Singing one of his hits. The interesting part of this performance is how he started. See for yourself what I mean.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogging and me (part 2)

One of the satisfaction one gets from his/her creation is knowing that it is being appreciated. This is true with artist. One kind of artist is the writer. I can only imagine what satisfaction a writer get from getting a good review of his/her work. The satisfaction from being acknowledge by awards and recognitions.
It is my belief that bloggers are writers wannabe to some degree. If a blogger does not want his/her writings to be read by others, why would he/she post it in a public blog? He/she could have easily made a private journal instead. So like writers, bloggers also gets a satisfaction that someone out there is appreciating his/her writings. At the very least in knowing that someone is reading it. I remember Ta Pinky proudly proclaiming that X amount of people are reading our blog "Stagenotes". Well, Ta Lani has this program that could track that data. I do not have that program to track the amount of readers of my personal blog but I know a few people who do read it. I know this from their comments or personal emails. I was specially shocked that my mumsy reads it too. She thanked me for the Birthday greeting I posted here. And just tonight, I was thrilled to see comments from my dear cousin. I must confess at this point, that one satisfaction I get from blogging is simply in knowing that my friends and family read it. And also, dare I say that perhaps I am a writer wannabe?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dancing Cadet

I saw this amusing video several months ago after hearing about it on a TV newscast. I must say, this white boy can dance.


I did my first upload of video on YouTube. Nothing can be a more innocuous video than of fish doing their own thing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Can that cell phone call wait?

I am not a big fan of people using their cell phone all the time in public. You see them on their phone while crossing the street, paying the cashier, driving, walking their dogs, grocery shopping and many more scenarios. For one thing, they are distracted when they use their phone and this slows down whatever they are doing which in turn affects other people. The worst of these cell phone use annoyance is biking while on their phone. Not only is it suicide, it also puts other drivers/bikers in danger! Come on, what is so important with that cell phone call that one can't wait till they are done with their bike ride? That is just stupid. Should I grieve for a dead stupid person?

(pic from

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Thanks Ta Lani

I decided to change the title of my blog. My friend Pinky said "Jon's blog" was unimaginative and common. I agree with her. After thinking for a nice catchy title, I decided to go with "My very own Pensieve". I actually got the idea from my friend Lani who once said that a blog is like having your own pensieve. Thanks Ta Lani!

Snow blog

It is just my observation, but this winter season of 07-08 has seen a lot of snow days. I could not remember a more frequent snow days in Chicago since I moved here in 1993. Although for the record, the January 1-3, 1999 blizzard dumped a good 21.6 inches of snow to Chicago. It was ranked as 2nd only to the 1967 blizzard which dumped 23 inches. I remember that 1999 blizzard. My bf then and I just came back from a New Year's Eve party when it really started to pour down. He stayed over at my place that night and was stranded with me for the next day or two. We have to dig his car out 2 days later. Yesterday and last night we have seen a good 6-7 inches again. The temperature has been relatively warm today that a lot of the snow is melting fast. Pictures below show a view from one of my windows at 11 in the morning and then at 2 in the afternoon today. Much of the heavy wet snow has melted already. Could this be Chicago's last snow fall? Stranger things has happened.

Asian Invasion

I don't know why there has been an emergence of these young asian female figure skaters the past 2 years. All very talented and all in their teens. Figure skating has not caused this much excitement in me since Michelle Kwan.

Mao Asada has just won the 2008 Worlds Figure Skating Championship in Sweden. She is only 17 years of age. She does a wonderful triple axel and a triple flip-triple toe loop combination. She represents Japan. (photo from

Yu Na Kim is also 17 and she represents South Korea. She got the bronze in the 2008 and 2007 Worlds Figure Skating Championship. She holds the highest score for both the short and long program under the new ISU judging system. (pic from

Mirai Nagasu is only turning 15 this April. She is the reigning US ladies Champion. She is too young to go to the Worlds Championship. I have high hopes for this young lady. (pic from

Caroline Zhang is also only 14 and turning 15 this May. She also represents the US. She is the 2007 Worlds Junior Champion and she got the silver for the same event in 2008. Also very talented. (pic from

Photoshop disaster.

I found this blog called photoshop disasters. It is hilarious! I took the liberty of attaching a link of this person's blog page to mine. You should check it out and get a laugh. Below are two examples of pictures I found in this blog that made me chuckle.

Mary Jane's left arm is outrageously long. Spiderman is dating a mutant!

The damsel has 3 hands. I hope the knight noticed that.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Holy Week: the most boring week or not?

As a child growing up in Bacolod city Philippines, I remember Holy Week as either the most boring week or somewhat the opposite. It is during Holy Week that almost everything closes starting Holy Wednesday to Easter Sunday. That includes movie houses, stores, grocery, government and TV stations. Perhaps the only open establishments are the Hospitals, resorts/beaches and utilities. Usually during that week, people either go on vacation or for the devout catholic, they stay at home and go to church. On those instance that my dad will bring us somewhere for a vacation, I don't mind it. But on those year that we stay at home, I was bored out of my wits. Think what a preteen boy in the late 70's would do when there is no TV to watch, no computer/video games to play with, no Betamax tapes to watch and nowhere to go. We were not even allowed to play outside because it was considered dangerous specially on Good Friday/Black Saturday when Jesus is dead and unable to protect you from the mischiefs of the devil. We were coop inside the house on those Philippine summer days with nothing to do. Sometimes, we would get a treat if mom would bring us to the town plaza to watch the reenactment of Christ's crucifixion which I remembered being called the "Taltal" in my island. It would even be a better treat if we get to see the self flagellation some filipinos would do to atone for their sins by reenacting the sacrifice of Christ.
Now as an adult here in Chicago, Holy week is just any other week for me. I go to work on that week and go out drinking/dancing on that weekend. I always get a reminder of my childhood when my mother would tell me to stay home on Good Friday and Black Saturday.

Have a good Holy Week everybody...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

pet peeve - parking beyond the lines

We have a parking lot at my work. Lately, finding parking has been very difficult specially for those that start later in the day. There are lines in the parking lot to partition the parking spaces. Some people who arrive early are so inconsiderate and park beyond the lines. This results to them taking more than one space. That makes me so angry that I want to slash their tires!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mumsy...

I actually don't call my mother mumsy but I like that word of affection. So British! My mother's birthday is on the 19th of March. And she lives in the Philippines which is one day ahead so this greeting is timely. So Happy 69th Birthday dearest mama. You are a special mother and I love you. Growing up, you have been my teacher, hair stylist, tailor, TV repair woman, driver, cook and now my friend. My mother is a woman of many talents indeed. May you have many more birthday to come!


I like this show Torchwood. And I must say everybody in the picture above looks so attractive. Better than what they usually look like in the show. This show is about this group called Torchwood that is separate from the government, outside the police, and beyond the United Nations. It deals with the machinations and activities of the Cardiff branch of the fictional Torchwood Institute, who deal mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials. The characters includes Ionto Jones, Gwen Cooper, Captain Jack Harkness, Dr. Toshiko Sato and Dr. Owen Harper. It is a show on BBC America. One thing I noticed about BBC America shows is how liberal they are about the sexuality of their characters. This show is a perfect example. The characters kisses and have relationships with both sexes. Same is true with other BBC America shows like HEX and Hotel Babylon. The reason behind it must be the absence of the puritan christian mentality that is true here in American. So refreshing indeed.
(pic from

Monday, March 17, 2008

pet peeve - I'm stuck behind them

Trust me, driving is a good source of vexations. Another pet peeve of mine is drivers who don't signal to make a left turn till they are in the intersection stopped and waiting. Then what happens, you are stuck behind them cause you did not know they are turning left. Had they signaled an impending left turn, you would have anticipated it and go around them on the right lane. It is either they don't know that they need to signal before reaching the intersection, or they are too distracted, or they just don't care. Which reason is the worst?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Questions and Answers

1. First musical I ever saw is Kismet from the Repertoire Philippines

2. Musical I would most like to see again is Miss Saigon.

3. Musical I never want to see again is The Pirate Queen and Dracula. What was that all about? I am having amnesia about it.

4. Best performance by a woman in a Broadway musical I've ever seen is Kerry Butler in Xanadu. And she was nice to me during my first stage door too!

5. Best performance by a man in a Broadway musical I've ever seen is Cheyenne Jackson in Xanadu. He is just NICE. ;-)

7. One person they should have cast as Evita in Evita is Madonna. Honey, that's Madge to you.

8. Favorite choreography in a Broadway show is in Legally Blonde. That part where Elle performed her essay instead of writing it. They all flew on Jet Blue and had a marching band outfit. I also like Springtime for Hitler in Germany routine in The Producers. I am lame.

9. Lyric/line that always brings a lump to my throat - I'll give my life for you (Miss Saigon)

14. Most overly praised and under deserving show in my opinion is Wicked. I saw the Chicago production of Wicked and I was not animated to an equal pitch of praises I heard about the show.

15. Showtune I'm most likely to sing while dancing around at home is Altarboyz. They have the more danceable songs.

18. The show they should never change a word because it is already perfect is Miss Saigon and Altarboyz. Again, I am lame.

20. Role I was born to play on Broadway is Kim in Miss Saigon. I"m 17 and I'm new here today. :)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Me encanta el espanol !

I was fortunate enough to have taken Spanish classes in college. It was that time in the Philippines when all college graduates were required to take at least 4 classes of Spanish. Back then, I did not see the advantage of learning a language that nobody spoke in Philippines. I felt I would never use it. Boy was I wrong. Our Filipino language is ridden with many words and phrases from Spanish. I was and still is fascinated to discover more words and phrases that are actually Spanish. Now I have a very different view about Spanish. I have the perfect opportunity at work to hone my Spanish skills and I love it. I work with a lot of the latino folks and I get to speak Spanish with them all the time. I can actually comprehend 90% of what they are telling me even if they spoke fast. When I watch the Spanish channels, I am able to make sense of what is being spoken. That is brilliant! I went to Spain last year but my recent love affair with the spanish language makes me want to visit other Spanish speaking nation. Vamos al Costa Rica!

(pic from

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rick Astley - Sleeping

A new Rick Astley song I have not heard. Something to be excited about!!!

Congratulations to my friend Gen

Just spoke with my friend Gen from Florida. She told me she reads my blog and I am thrilled by that. She recently got married to this handsome US Navy Sailor Francois and I want to extend my warmest congratulations. Gen, you deserve the best in life and may you both have beautiful babies. I will sew pajamas for them as promised!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Am I seeing double?

Below are 2 TV shows that came out early 2008 about saucy women in NYC. You can read the plot excerpts I copied from Wikipedia. They are so similar to each other that one might think hollywood is running out of story lines. Both even have an asian girl. And worse, both shows are trying to copy the successful plot formula that "Sex and the City" had. I wonder which show will be a hit. Perhaps both, perhaps neither.

Cashmere Mafia follows the lives of four ambitious women, who've been longtime best friends since their days at business school, as they try to balance their glamorous and demanding careers with their complex personal lives by creating their own "boys' club" (The Cashmere Mafia) to protect each other and discuss their personal ups and downs as they try to have it all in New York City.
(pic from

This new enticing comedy-drama "Lipstick Jungle" follows three high-powered friends as they weather the ups and downs of lives lived at the top of their game. Nico, editor-in-chief of a hot fashion magazine, has her eye on becoming CEO. Movie exec Wendy does everything she can to balance career and family. And free-spirited designer Victory longs to make her dreams come true, and maybe find Mr. Right along the way. Armed with humor and strength, these three modern New York women support one another through the triumphs and tears that are all part of making it big in The Big Apple.
(pic from

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Should I be annoyed or amused?

My 7 year old car Doty has a temperamental driver's side power window. It is hard to close it sometimes so as a result I rarely open it. I was once driving on a saturday night around 11 pm down halsted street in boystown to find parking. I was going to make a right turn and stopped at a red light. Then there was this black 50ish guy with glasses in his car on my left mouthing/saying something at me. I had the window closed (t'was very cold) so I could not hear what he was saying. I thought he was asking for directions, so I reluctantly opened the window to hear what he was saying. Lo and behold he said: "Do you want a date?" in his Jamaican/Caribbean accent. I was so annoyed at that moment but now thinking back, I am not sure whether I should be amused instead. I mean, who ask that question to a stranger in the car while waiting for the light? I guess a hooker would but he was clearly not one. Did I look like I was desperately looking for sex? lol At least we can all admire his fearlessness to just ask what he wants... lol So strange indeed.

pet peeve - shit under the snow

I live in an affluent northside Chicago neighborhood. Our streets here are mostly lined by single family homes. You would think people are more civilized and enlightened. But still I see behavior that fits an uneducated hick. Just in front of my building, I saw at least 6 bunches of dog shit. This is specially more prevalent in winter when there is snow. Dog owners/walkers think they can get away without picking up their dog's shit when its snowing because the snow will cover the evidence. But the snow eventually melts and it reveals the shit. Dog ownership is like parenting, do not get a dog if you won't care for it properly. This includes cleaning after your dog.

Friday, March 07, 2008

overkill - waiting for the elderly to cross

I see it all the time. This is what I call overkill phenomenon. Something that is righteous is done to the point of being outrageous. My first example would be waiting for the elderly to cross the street. We should respect our elderly and yield to them crossing the street. Some people just over do it to the point of overkill. I was following this car trying to make a right turn on a street. There was this old lady in a walker still 10 feet to the crossway walking slowly. This car in front of me waited a good 3 minutes till she has crossed before he made the right turn. He could have finished the turn before the old lady made her first step to the street but he had to wait. OVERKILL people!

Monday, March 03, 2008

chupa chups

I found this commercial of "chupa chups" lollipop in Russian starring Mikhail Youzhny and Yevgeny Plushenko. Mikhail is my favorite Russian tennis player and Yevgeny is the reigning Olympic champion in figure skating. I thought this commercial is amusing. I would have preferred it without Yevgeny but what can I do...

In the face of adversity...

I make it a habit to see my doctor yearly for general check up and blood work including test for all the STD. Unless I remain celibate, I feel I need to get checked for STD even if I practice safe sex. Safe sex is not 100% full proof after all. All my results were negative so I was glad. I had no reason to fear but still it was good to know for sure. It made me think... What if for some freakish reason, I was HIV positive? What if I was the unlucky one whose condom broke or who caught HIV from oral sex or kissing? These odds are infinitesimal but not zero. What if???? This led me to think of my friend who is HIV positive. He/she was able to transform this adversity into a somewhat positive thing despite of it all. Since then, he/she is now a more enlightened person and more focused with what is important in the world. He/she made some radical changes in his/her life and pursued his/her passion. Had he/she remained HIV negative, would he/she have done these changes in his/her life? I don't know... I like to believe that this adversity is the catalyst for soul searching. I still would have liked my friend to be HIV negative but since that is not a reality, I am happy for what my friend has done. I just hope that if I am to face some form of adversity in my life, I would be able to transform it into a positive thing and be a better person from it all.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

Tom, Ta Pinky and I went to see The Other Boleyn Girl. I have always been a fan of the stories of the English Monarch so I anticipated a good entertainment. The movie did not fail me. This adaptation of the book by Philippa Gregory is a good movie. The acting was good. The casting was good. I specially like the casting of Eric Bana as King Henry. Have not seen such a handsome King Henry in the all the other movies about that monarch. Kristin Scott Thomas was very becoming as Lady Elizabeth Boleyn. She exert that air of nobility in her. I was distracted by the mole on Queen Katherine's (Ana Torrent) lips, I must confess. Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman as the Boleyn sisters were OK in my book. I would have preferred an english actor with real english accent.
We are all familiar with the fact that Anne Boleyn was behead by King Henry for treason with a charge of incest with her brother George. In this story, they presented that no actual incest occurred although the intent for it was there. I am not sure if historically, incest did occur. In those days, the King got rid of anybody by charging them treason. Anything can be treason if it did not pleases him. It is quite obvious that Anne's failure to produce a male heir was her undoing. Also in this story, they portrayed Mary Boleyn as a virtuous girl merely forced into the the circumstances by her family. Interesting point of view. We can never be sure what really happened. That is why this movie is a historical FICTION. Go watch it. Be entertained and learn something as well.

(pic from yahoo movie page)