Archive for January, 2007

slippery when wet

It’s the stuff slapstick comedy is made of.

Have a week’s worth of snow, send in some rain amidst subzero temperatures, and the ground turns to glass.

Step out of your apartment and before you know it, you are sliding down so fast you wouldn’t have the time to balance your act. While you are sitting on your ass, you thought you had the wrong kind of shoes. So you get up and try to save face, but not until you manage to stand up, sliding sideways as you rise and trying to maneuver towards the door. That’s a minute worth of airtime.

Up and ready to go, you change to a more suitable pair, one that’s made for winter. When you step out of your apartment the second time, you’re sliding down so fast again you couldn’t help but picture yourself having this quizzical look on your face while you anticipate another heavy thud, this time, only to be met by some cracking on the back as your ass hits the ground.

The only thing missing is the canned audience laughter played right on cue.

But really, it’s not funny.


my kokomo

In one of our lazy couch nights, after another episode of America’s Next Top Model, Knut and I were just talking about random things. And he asked, if you could be whisked away to one country tomorrow, and stay there for one week, all-expenses paid, where would you go?

To the Maldives, of course.

Thanks to The Cool Hunter’s whetting report on the island destination in the Indian Ocean, I now dream to be able to stay in one of these resorts someday, rent a villa with a sweeping view of the azure sea and wade in such luxurious playgrounds.

W Retreat and Spa – A Starwood Hotel
Huvafen Fushi
Only & Only Reethi Rah
No speed shopping. No stressful walking. No trigger-happy cam-snapping.

Just my iPod, a book and a tropical drink melting in my hand.

one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, four; five tequila, six tequila, seven tequila, more

I had a fun weekend which kicked off Friday night, well technically Saturday midnight, when I met up with two friends from the Norwegian language school I attended last September. Jenny is a lovely girl from New Zealand, while Nabil is a Tunisian looker who moved to Oslo from Canada. Our first stop for the night was Et Glass, a bar across the majestic Grand Hotel, where we discussed our parallel lives, from leaving our fabulous jobs in our home cities to coming all the way to Norway for love. Our poisons of choice were white wine, beer, coke rum, and a little martini.

We then moved to London Pub, Oslo’s oldest gay bar, settling first at the downstairs pub to down some more poison while learning Norwegian from a friendly Dorothy, before we dragged our asses to the main floor dancefloor and danced the night away. Jenny did some of her contemporary dance, with movements that seemed to tell a story, while Nabil’s hips told no lie as he shook it the Shakira way. He stayed in Egypt for 6 months just to study the dance. While my little old me, it’s some sexy grind here and some arm throwing there.

Saturday night, Stein and Keng invited me, Knut and six more friends at their place to watch the first semi-finals for the Norwegian Melodi Grand Prix, the heat that will determine Norway’s representative to the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, Finland. Here in Norway, it is but courteous to bring your own drinks and drinks to share with everybody. Our poison of choice: a bottle of good old Jose Cuervo Tequila and some fine Australian white wine. Beer just won’t do it for me. I hate the taste of it. It also leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The tequila was left untouched until later into the night, and boy, when the lick-it-slam-it-suck-it session started, everybody was on a roll. With high, uninhibited spirits, we gyrated and danced the night away, thanks to some ABBA, Madonna, and Gwen Stefani.

We sure knew how to wind it up. Tequila or not.

winter hottie: kristian kjelling

Kristian Cato Walby Kjelling, 26 years old and standing at a towering 6 foot-4 inches (198 cm), is a Norwegian handball player who currently plays in the Spanish Liga ASOBAL for Portland San Antonio, a team based in Pamplona, Navarre. Before joining Portland San Antonio, he played for Ademar Leon and the Norwegian clubs Kjelsås, Vestli, and Drammen HK. Kjelling won King’s cup with Ademar Leon in 2002.

Kristian grew up in Oslo and he started his career in handball at an early age of 6, with his father as trainer. Ten years later, he got his elite debut in Kjelsas. When he was 17, he left Kjelsas to play in the Elite Series. A year after, he went to Drammen and remained there for three seasons. Since then, Kristian became one of the youngest professional handball players of all time when he joined the Spanish club Ademar Leon.

In the trail of Magnus Moan’s interesting name (see related post), Kristian’s last name sounds like “chicken” in Norwegian. This is one cock I would definitely chomp on. Finger-lickin’ good.

a jeepney in norway

With a strong penchant for travel, Knut, our friends and I went to the 2007 Reiseliv Exhibition in Lillestrom, an 11 minute train ride from the Central Station.

The exhibition is Norway’s only international travel and tourism trade show, with over 1000 exhibitors from 60 nations. I was able to enter the grounds for free, albeit changing my identity to “Tom Pettersen” (not his real name) a neighbour who’s working for one of the hotels here in Oslo. Hahaha. I was so worried that they might stop me at the entrance since I, for all the obvious reasons, don’t look like a Pettersen. Had that been the case, I can just tell that I was a poor boy from the third world country adopted by Norwegian parents when I was two.

The exhibit area was separated into three great halls – Norway and Scandinavia, Europe/America/Africa/Asia, and Real Estate Abroad. It was nice to roam around and get lost in different countries, cultures, and colors. We spent most of our time in the Europe/America/Africa/Asia since there was a plethora of destination inspirations and we just wanted to explore what’s there outside the Nordic region. Europe offered the playgrounds of Great Britain, Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy among many others. Africa took us to Egypt, Morocco, and South Africa. Asia promoted staples such as Japan, India, Dubai, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Where the hell is the Philippines?

The closest one could get to seeing the Philippines is this exhibition of the humble and colorful jeepney, the major public transportation in Manila and other major Philippine cities, prepped up by one travel agency offering the Philippines as one of its areas of specialization. It would have been great to see the Philippines promoted as that secret paradise brimming with immaculate beaches and azure waters, a diverse country of goodlooking, smiling people and great world-class shopping at bargain prices, a rich hotpot of culinary delights inspired by all the world’s best. Aesthetically pleasing booths, audio-video installations, giant posters and all that showmanship shit.

Not just a two-dimensional map resting against a Goodyear.

4 in the morning

The first time I listened to Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape, no particular song has stuck with me, apart from the first single “Wind It Up” because seriously, how could one escape the yodelling and a sample of “The Lonely Goatherd” from the Sound of Music?

Up front and admittedly superficially, I wasn’t so impressed with the album, with one song melding into the next with no song stopper to tug me hard and listen closely. But after a few rounds of the album playing in my iPod while at work, I discovered a great liking to several of the tracks and got addicted to “4 in the Morning” that now it’s on Repeat-One mode in my player.

4 in the Morning
Waking up to find another day
The moon got lost again last night
But now the sun has finally had its say
I guess I feel alright

But it hurts when I think
When I let it sink in
It’s all over me
I’m lying here in the dark
Watching you sleep, it hurts a lot

And all I know is
You’ve got to give me everything
Nothing less cause
You know I give you all of me

I give you everything that I am
I’m handin’ over everything that I’ve got
Cause I wanna have a really true love
Don’t ever wanna have to go and give you up
Stay up till four in the morning
And the tears are pouring
And I want to make it worth the fight
What have we been doing for all this time?
Baby if we’re gonna do it, come on do it right

All I wanted was to know I’m safe
Don’t want to lose the love I’ve found
Remember when you said that you would change
Don’t let me down
It’s not fair how you are
I can’t be complete
Can you give me more?

– Refrain / Chorus –

Oh please, you know what I need
Save all your love up for me
We can’t escape the love
Give me everything that you have

– Refrain / Chorus –

Give you everything
Give you all of me
To hear the sample, CLICK HERE.

caldereta: the pinoy spicy stew

I made a special dinner tonight – the widely popular caldereta or spicy beef stew, a classic Filipino food that is next to adobo in terms of prominence.

With a Mama Sita Caldereta Spicy Sauce Mix I got from my friend Luc who got it from a Filipino store in Taipei, I laboured and prepared a truly hearty meal. It took some time to cook it because I had to simmer the meat to make it as tender as possible. Then I just threw in potatoes, carrots, pitted green olives and red bell pepper. The sauce would have been richer and thicker had I used some liver spread.

Caldereta can also be served with lamb, chicken, or get this, goat meat.

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