Archive for November, 2006

movies and music


top model norway

I’ve been a fan of Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model so I was happy when it was also shown in Norway, about the time I arrived here, though a season later than what was shown in Manila. After ANTM, Top Model Norge came into the picture and filled my Monday night TV viewing. I must say that the contestants in the Norwegian franchise look so much better and have this air of innate sophistication and natural flair in them. You could easily pick out one or two rotten apples in the basket, whereas in ANTM, I would often go “WTF?” And those American girls have so much drama in them.

So after 11 photoshoots – dressed in bridal gowns amidst the Norwegian fjords, clad in couture in Paris, sparkled in diamonds in Amsterdam, made over in London, and a quick 101 with ANTM’s Miss Jay among others, the 12 model hopefuls got trimmed to the final three – and then two – in New York.

Fifteen year old Maria won the competition, with her fresh, energetic vibe, high cheek bones and a modelesque bone structure. I wasn’t really rooting for her because sometimes, mostly off-cam, she doesn’t look the part. But she works very well in front of the camera, and according to the agent from Trump Agency, she has a very high potential in New York.

I was rooting for Lene, the girl with the amazing eyes. I just love her! She’s so professional, she’s highly motivated, and she almost did all her shoots immaculately. What made her lose the title though was the roundness of her face. The agent from Trump Agency, who sat in the final deliberation significantly mentioned the need for high cheek bones in their models. But isn’t she very stunning, cheek bones or the lack of it?

Next week, it’ll be another season of ANTM. Let’s see if those girls from the US could be at par with these two.

the next best thing

Thanks to NBC, Madonna’s Confessions Tour has jumped from the lucky, limited arenas where Her Madgesty performed last summer to the millions of tellies in America and the underground stream of that file-sharing phenomenon called torrents. Guess where I got my video source from. Okay, you can call me a sinner.

I have only seen 45 minutes into the show and man it’s amazing. The opening, with “Future Lovers,” sees Madonna coming out from a huge disco ball yet again, which then leads to an intense, tightly choreographed gallop through “Get Together” and “Like A Virgin” where she mounts a saddle and goes into a pole dance on-air. I was blown away by the “Jump” sequence, with her dancers jumping from one cage bar to the next, from one platform to another, as inspired by that Japanese street-jumping phenomenon now prominent in her latest music video. Those jumping techniques were also used in the latest James Bond movie, Casino Royale. I got goosebumps running down my spine when the show went into “Live To Tell,” which shows all those kids from Africa. 12,000,000 of which have been orphaned by AIDS. The first time I saw the Live to Tell music video, I knew that Madonna is more than just any other artist. Too bad though that the crucifixion scene was not shown. Maybe because it’s meant to be shown to the American public. If it were a European network, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been cut.

I plan to bring it to the party I am attending tomorrow night so that a group of gay guys in this little town called Oslo can have the next best thing to seeing Madonna’s Confessions Tour. I only know two people who have actually seen the show – my boss Tobbe and colleague Emil, who went on a sidetrip to the Amsterdam Arena, after buying some flowers in the Netherlands. Lucky bitches!

On another Madonna note, I should order her Drowned World DVD from Amazon since I loved that show! All the aerial actions and swooshing samurais, and of course, those line-dancing cowboys. Or better yet, since Christmas is coming and my birthday a fortnight after that, I would appreciate a gift of a Madonna or two. Hahaha!

letters from home

I got mail today and it’s from my two nieces back in Manila – Bea and Bianca. It’s so heartwarming to receive their handwritten notes, filled with so much love, innocence and longing. I miss them so much! I can’t believe it will soon be five months since I last saw them, along with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, at the airport.

The mail sent by my sister-in-law. Thank you!!!
Bea’s letter
Bea’s artwork
Bianca’s letter
Bianca’s Christmas card…
…and her Christmas wish list
Another letter from Bea, with a sticker of Sleeping Beauty. Yes, they love the Disney princesses.
The card
Thank you for all your love, encouragement, and care.

We shall all have good times together again.

holy smoke!

I had a freakin’ embarassing moment at work today.

A quarter before noon, I was planting one of the three fake and glittery white Christmas trees I decorated for a hotel in some big silver pot. Since I ran out of sand, I used cement base instead, with my boss’ approval of course. And you know how much fume erupts from a deluge of powdered cement. The smoke is heavy that your lungs could instantly wither into stone. The smoke is thick that it could go all the way up to the low-ceiling where a smoke detector magically appears, and trigger the fire alarm of the entire building.

Yes, I evacuated seven-floors worth of offices!

I was silently and slowly panicking when the alarm went off. It was so loud that one could easily scamper out of the building and run for dear life. My boss came to my spot and realized that I created the commotion. In disbelief, we and two other colleagues had to transfer three trees, three pots, three wooden platforms and a bag of cement to the hotel’s service entrance across the street, while people continued pouring out of the main entrance. I wasn’t told what the quick transfer was for, but I’m sure it’s that CSI thing called eliminating the evidence.

I’m wondering why no firemen came to the rescue though, but I’m sure that would have been worse. Troubling a public office with some silly and innocent incident. Later on, we all just laughed it off and I couldn’t hide the fact that deep inside, moments after the false alarm, I was rolling myself on the floor laughing.

What a day!

I’m taking a break this weekend since I’m going again to Steinkjer, Knut’s hometown, to attend his mom’s and sister’s double birthday celebration. I’m leaving you with the pop quiz I gave two days ago:

What is the world’s northernmost city?
What is the world’s southernmost city?

Mr. Bri has already given his guess. Why don’t you give yours, too?

Have a good weekend, everyone!

thursday’s lunch

Sometimes, the simplest of meals can be the most satisfying.

Just fry some salt-and-peppered chicken breasts, toss some salad in balsamic vinaigrette, and throw in some gratinated potatoes.

Makes your eyes go hungry, huh?

hello, world!

With nothing to post, I would just like to give a big shoutout and blow a big air-kiss to my recent readers from the following cities and countries:

Stockholm, Sweden – Hej! God dag!
Trondheim, Norway – Hei! God dag!
London, United Kingdom – Hello! Good day!
Zurich, Switzerland – Grüzi!
Vienna, Austria – Hallo! Guten tag!
Portugal – Ola! Bom dia!
Buenos Aires, Argentina – Hola!
Athens, Greece – Yia sou!
Ankara, Turkey – Merhaba!
Japan – Konnichiwa!
Philippines – Mabuhay!
Adelaide, Australia – Hello! Good day, mate!
Serbia & Montenegro – Dobar dan!
New York, Indiana, Missouri, Arizona, California & Hawaii, USA
Delhi, India – Namaste!
Saudi Arabia – Marhabah! As-salaam-aleykum!
Paris, France – Salut! Bonjour!
Girona, Spain – Hola!

And while Knut is in some Quiz Master in some pub, let me test your knowledge on world cities.

What is the world’s northernmost city?
What is the world’s southernmost city?

Leave your answers in the comment section.

Thank you all for visiting!

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