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Showing posts from June, 2014

Elsa Vedder? Maybe Not

Last week, during a show in Milan, Pearl Jam inserted a few snippets of the Oscar-award winning song Let it Go into a medley which included time-honored PJ numbers Daughter, It’s OK, and Jeremy. The effects on social media were immediate, the feedback divisive. I’m on the camp that thinks the “cover” stank like cat piss, mainly because of Eddie Vedder. You can watch the whole (12 minute) video here.Sorry, Eddie. Elsa is not amused. Taken from KSDK. Don’t get me wrong. I love Pearl Jam, and I love Eddie. And I understand that they sang it for fun since the chord progression for Let it Go and It’s OK were technically similar (listen to it!). I don’t think it was a terrible thing to do. But that doesn’t mean that I think it was a good cover. And here’s why.

Five Things You Learn With Having a Dog Inside the House

My niece got herself a little dog recently. I’m not really that fond of dogs; they’re high maintenance creatures and take quite a bit of patience to train. Unlike cats, who you don’t really train. You just adapt to them, and everybody’s happy.Cats Master Race. All Your Gigs are Belong to Me. But this dog – a (currently) three-month old Jack Russell terrier – is something else. She’s a really friendly dog, and aside from all the pooping and the barking and the yapping and the peeing, she’s quite the charmer. Now if only we could find a way to get past the chewing.But here are some of the things I’ve learned about having a cat and a dog in the same house:

Cheap Coffee Hits: The Case for Dunkin Donuts

In a Manila full to the brim with artisinal coffee shops, both commercial and otherwise, it’s easy to forget that the pioneer commercial donut-maker in this country was none other than the humble Dunkin Donuts. This little donut shop has obviously seen better days, except in the United States, where it actively competes with coffee and donut giants Starbucks and Krispy Kreme donuts. Here in Manila, it has gone in the way of the bakya and the passe—which, in retrospect, probably did wonders for its yearly returns.The Dunkin Donuts in Taft. Photo from Raincheck. Now I am generally not a fan of anything bakya. But I love Dunkin Donuts. I particularly like three of their branches: the small, cozy waystation across the street from the Philippine General Hospital; the large coffee shop pretender along Aurora Boulevard in San Juan; and the main Dunkin Donuts branch in Cagayan De Oro’s Divisoria district. I used to kill time in between classes and / or work in any one of these branches through…

The Fat Man’s Cardinal Rules for Frying Eggs

You know, I’ve never really liked eggs. When I was a kid, I avoided eggs whenever I could, which didn’t really fly very well with my grandmother, who would feed me raw eggs over hot white rice whenever she had the opportunity. I didn’t understand why she did it; all I know is that eventually, I got so used to the taste of raw eggs, I developed an even stronger dislike for the food in its other forms.Quickchow Mami with Egg. Taken from my Twitter. I think it had something to do with how my dad liked to eat his eggs, which is to say, as a salad, slathered on a sandwich. I couldn’t understand why the eggs were always so sour (it was due to the mayo of course), and the sandwiches were always these sad, soggy messes after spending a couple of hours in my bag. There was also the whole problem with cholesterol casting a stigma over the whole thing, so it goes without saying that for most of my life, I avoided eating eggs.But as an adult, I discovered that eating eggs wasn’t just a great way t…

Eating (Ta)Batchoy

Just the other week, I discovered something new about one of the places I frequently visit, thanks to an article on about the best-kept secrets of Manila. I speak of the La Paz Batchoy de Manila, a small restaurant along Escoda street in Ermita. Or what I now call batchoy heaven (at least, until after I taste Deco’s batchoy in Magallanes). This photo I took does not do the batchoy justice. Trust me. But first, a background on the area of Escoda: I am extremely familiar with this street because of the fact that it is the end point of the Pandacan-Ermita jeep, one of the few ways out of my hometown. Back when I was in college, I would spend a lot of time hanging out to read at the Dunkin Donuts in front of the Philippine General Hospital’s main gate, and when I was in nursery, I was schooled at the nursery in what is now the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of the Philippines, at the corner of San Marcelino street and Escoda.You’ll probably have a hard time finding the La Paz…

Music Formation

Both my niece and girlfriend listen to a lot of pop music, current hits for the former, and more tasteful classic potentials for the latter. As an ardent hard rock / smooth jazz listener, I can only roll my eyes towards some (not all!) of their music; but having an eclectic taste demands that I can adjust my criticism to suit whatever music is available, which has been quite a valuable life skill, as I’ve discovered.Because surviving Miley Cyrus is a life skill. Image from Digital Spy. Of course, when a song that you particularly dislike gets stuck in your head—this tends to happen more often with my niece’s music—I have to fire up my laptop’s music player and blast something from Liquid Tension Experiment or Incognito to get the backwash, as it were, out of my head. Thinking back, I would imagine that my musical tastes, perhaps, annoyed my parents just as much as my niece’s music often annoys me. But funnily enough, my taste evolved from the music that they used to play on the radio; …

Dusting Off The Writing Machine

I AM ALIVE!Yes ladies and gentlemen, or whatever form of creature out there reads my blog on a relatively regular basis, the fat man lives. The fat man is back, is still fat, and is surprisingly spending more of his time actually writing sensible work-related things.Me, during a fit of work-induced insanity. Which is why I haven’t been writing. I usually clock out at the end of the day with my mind so beat that the only form of creative writing I could take is playing something on the DS; I have recently just finished Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (a wonderful follow-up to the first two games on the GBA, complete with a despicable cliffhanger), and will be proceeding to replay Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2, which I threw away in disgust when my original save file vanished, more than two years ago.This sounds terribly complicated, but the truth is that when I finish working, I pack my laptop into my bag, step out of my office in the first floor of the house, shove off for my room, and sit in …