Occam’s Razor

November 13, 2007

Britney Spears, The Blue Pill, Filling up Space and More Travel

(I know that’s a mouthful of a title for this entry. But I’ve been silent for quite a while so…)

I’ve finally upgraded to the 160 GB iPod Classic. I guess that sums up my silence over the past week or so. Too many space to fill up. It doesn’t help to know that I have unwittingly deleted my Beatles, DMB, Smashing Pumpkins, REM, U2 and STP discographies. The hassle of getting them all together again complete with Album Art and making sure that the tracks’ details have the correct capitalization etc.

You see, with my previous 80 GB video iPod I have been very systematic. My playlists were carefully thought of. And for the thousands of stray tracks that I have stored in my computer I make sure that I type in the correct information for each of them. Can’t put Elvis’ Love Me Tender in the wrong album otherwise I’d lose sleep. (Excuse me while I dial my shrink.)

I so far have only filled up 100GB and I cheated at that by storing some of my work files in the iPods mobile hard disk function. But I’m in the process of loading up the complete The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and *Nsync (chuckles) discographies so in a week’s time I’d have filled up this shiny new toy to its full capacity.

The interface of this new iPod rocks. I’m lovin the coverflow addition. And don’t even start me with the new games they load these monsters with. LOVE them heaps — and I didn’t even use to play with my previous iPod’s games!

So in the process of loading up discographies I chanced upon Britney Spears’ new record Blackout. I’ve never been a fan but I find her music a bit amusing and I have to admit at times entertaining, too. But lately my interest in her was leaning more on the fact that she’s a parent in the midst of a custody battle amid allegations of drug abuse and recklessness. Being a parent is tough and we may never know how it’s like to have all that Britney has and, well, has to deal with as a consequence. But I feel that there are very few excuses in this world on why a parent can fail at fulfilling their role. And to fail miserably at it can have dire lifelong consequences to another person’s life. That other person, incidentally, is a helpless child that a parent brought to this world. All in all what I’m really trying to say is that although Britney sucks as a parent, her new cd strangely entertains.

Going back to life here in Hanoi, the transition from fall to winter has been so erratic that I’m now nursing the annoying sniffles. Same with Cullen so the other night we went to a nearby pharmacy to get some Vitamin C supplement. And then Les Turla had a crazy idea…

Viagra. Yes. Crazy.

Now before you start having some funny ideas, the pipe is in good health and working very well, thank you very much. I mean, since this pill’s conception many years ago, I’ve never really felt silly enough to try it out unlike many of my friends who have. I remember that episode in Sex and the City when Samantha and the guy she was sleeping with in that particular episode popping viagra recreationally claiming that it provides them with a certain kind of sexual “high” (as if they needed to get higher than they already are.) And then there’s this friend of mine who boasted of a 3-hour woody. And then, there were those who died of it.

In any case my motivation was simple. Is this little blue pill really the miracle drug that people claim it to be?

The moment we got home I secretly popped one pill. I timed it and checked the pipe after 30 minutes. Nothing. 1 hour. Nothing. Turns out you need to be doing something sexual for it to work. That or I got a fake one. Anti-climax, noh!

Now, I wouldn’t say what happened afterwards anymore since TMI na (too much info — wait when did this ever stop me? :D). But let’s just say pareho lang.

Next week we’ll be in Kuala Lumpur and finally I’ll be able to see Roger Federer, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal play some tennis in person. TJ has been ironing out the details of our vacation for two weeks already that sometimes we laugh due to the over-preparation. We’ll be on vacay for one week lang and it’s like we’re moving to the Bahamas for a lifetime with all the preparation. Will definitely blog about that after the vacay.

I’ll be in the East Coast (NY, NJ, FL) next year, too, by the way. Just came from the US Embassy this morning for the interview and I loooove how quickly they process things here. The moment I got at the window the consul was handing me the stub na after a minute and said I can claim my passport with the new visa THE NEXT DAY. No waiting weeks on end ha. You can schedule the appointment on a Monday, have an interview on a Tuesday and then get your visa on a Wednesday. Loooove it heaps!

Anyway, here are some of the most recent photos we have here in Hanoi:






Top – Bottom:
Cullen at the start of his toothache;
Toothache na puro kasi chocolates eh;
This is what happens when you can’t read the menu na o-over order haha!;
Plane ride;
His toys lined up before the dinner yan

October 26, 2007

Foot Prints


I’ve been meaning to give an update on my, uh, so-called “Global Foot Print” (my friend Anna is getting excited too, read her) as soon as I got Paris reading. Perhaps it’s the French couple I met in one of those trips who visited my blog. In any case, when I got the Paris flag it got me really excited  for reasons I have previously blogged about. I guess also because of this Eurocentricity that I’m afflicted with.

Check out the map, my blog is read almost all over the US. In Europe the distribution is a bit less dense but spread out to my satisfaction. Teehee! Must work on my Australian  readership (guess it’s been only CJ who’s been reading hehe). Need to also spruce up readership in Asia although I’ve been getting traffic from Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines of course. But in China, Korea, HK, Japan — zilch!

In any case, what is the point of my post you might ask? Nothing. It’s just that I need to document this before I start losing interest. That kind of thing happens you know, what with the limited attention span our generation was cursed with!

Plus, it has been one heck of a work-week. October has been really, ugh, stressful at work. So I really need to remind myself that I have something to be excited about. Like flags!

So let’s go back to flags. Here now, presenting my most recent Flag list, tada!

So happy, sooo berry happy!

October 15, 2007

I Want Your Flag

Filed under: drivel, play, travel, world — lesturla @ 8:04 am

I have this silly fascination with flags lately courtesy of Globetrackr.com. I have since included this “widget” in my wordpress blog. And I must admit that everytime I get a new hit from a new spot in the world I get a silly high. At the top are the flag hits that my blog has received (can’t do it here in Multiply though.)

As you can see, I have so far amassed hits from the UK to Munich to both US coasts all the way to Caloocan. Besides Vietnam, my hits mostly come from the US. The Philippines is only at third place in terms of the traffic that my site receives. I am sure to get hits from East and West Coasts because of family and friends over there. But my friends in PI should really step up a bit (hahaha!) and give me those hits! I don’t even think that the traffic I’ve been getting from PI are from friends, I mean I have received hits from Caloocan and Roosevelt — places that I’ve never been to (not by choice but there just wasn’t a chance).

And boy, Munich? UK? Possibly random hits although it will be a blast to realize that I have readers from those places who find my extremely self absorbed posts entertaining. The funny thing is I don’t even have ads in my blog yet so this fascination is really just for the “kilig” factor knowing that you are read around the world! Wahoo! Les Turla is going global ampotah! I feel like giving away virtual beers again! Yebah! I know it’s extremely babaw but what the heck, I find joy in simple things like this. So give this one to me na. Knowing me, I’m sure to outgrow this fascination in say two more weeks… but right now… Woohoo! I’m lovin it heaps!

August 29, 2007

Manila

Filed under: drivel, friends, movies, music, travel — lesturla @ 11:12 am

I miss Manila. Not that I am terribly lonely or bored, in fact I’m neither one of those. It’s just that sometimes it kicks you in the balls so hard that you can’t ignore it anymore — I miss home. Darn it!

Now, before you go all “deep” on me about “home” being where the heart is (which is nothing but a poetic excuse for the nomadic) and get into a purely semantics debate let me make it clear: I miss my country. Home. Physical place. No heart talk here. This is not one of those days. Aren’t you glad?

Even for those who are together with family but are living abroad, it comes — the kick in the balls I mean. Although we try to avoid it as much as we could, TJ and I were discussing some of the things that we miss about home. Lookie:

  1. Powerbooks, A Different Bookstore, Fully Booked — we want books lots of them. Send us books!
  2. Driving along C-5 on Saturday mornings bereft of traffic
  3. Driving along C-5 on Friday nights with ALL the traffic
  4. Sunday afternoons in UP Diliman — those trees are phenomenal!
  5. Rare times when Megamall is not swarmed with people
  6. Walking around and deciding on which restaurant to eat at in Greenbelt 3 and 2…
  7. … And bumping into friends while making that decision
  8. Sunday lunches at the Shang (both Mactan and Makati)
  9. TJ’s shopping haunts
  10. Eluding wiseass traffic enforcers (lalo na pag coding and we just vroom pag hinuhuli na! Whatta trip!)
  11. Inuman with the gang (Kroc, and that tiny place near Makati Med, NSG, Big Sky at QC — actually kahit saan basta may…)
  12. San Mig Light! — dayum I almost forgot how this beer tasted
  13. The Fort — nights of making the rounds (dinners at Le Souffle, beers at Pier 1, then Embassy or Cuisine for more beers)
  14. Krispy Kreme
  15. SM Home Appliance Center — oo trying to imagine how our home would look like when we’re all trippy
  16. Eastwood on Sunday afternoons — swarmed with kids and fellow ‘rents, so we basically find out who recently got knocked up and is with a child
  17. Cuisine — feeling VIP kasi parati free
  18. Redbox — it’s still the only karaoke joint that has Pearl Jam’s Black in their playlist. When I visit next sana they have DMBs Grace is Gone
  19. Embassy (funny story about elections at “The Embassy” — feeling VIP rin kasi parati free)
  20. Flyovers — I don’t why pero nakaka miss lalo na the one from EDSA going to LSGH
  21. Chats with pet-owners in Eastwood
  22. Carousels for Cullen lalo na the one at Shang Ortigas
  23. Ortigas Center at 5 am weekday or early Saturday afternoon
  24. Highstreet/ Serendra before we left it was kinda the new place eh I wonder if it picked up from the initial curiosity
  25. Philippe the French stylist from F Salon — still the only stylist that doesn’t make me feel I am being played with and I always walk out happy after some sniping

I could go on and on but there’s really no place like Manila.

August 27, 2007

The Answer

Filed under: drivel, music, play, senseless drivel — lesturla @ 1:51 pm

How deep do you want to sink yourself into it?

This was a question I asked myself one post torrential Sunday afternoon here in Hanoi. This city provides for many venues of melancholy and my apartment’s vast high rise view is no exception. So on a lazy Sunday afternoon which led Cullen on his usual Tom and Jerry frenzy and Thea on her Sweet Spy marathon, I pulled myself out of my thick blanket confused at why I keep the room’s temperature at 18 degrees only to cover myself up with layers of blanket. I haven’t had much physical activity either since the past week had been horrendously tiresome that the bed served as an irresistible invite. But instead of mobilizing myself I light a cigarette to celebrate the 3 pounds I have just gained from this sedentary weekend.

It was then that I drifted into a self effacing albeit short-lived existential drivel. This is not uncommon at all for my Sunday afternoons. I lamely asked myself, “All this, what does all this mean?” (Trust me, Viktor Frankl drove me nuts too.) Confused at my own question I took a second look of my view.

I played jigsaw puzzle in my mind with the small puddle of rain at my veranda’s tiles. Inordinately tucked in huge flower pots are my half-smoked cigarettes – I procrastinate even in finishing cigarettes. Through the glass windows I can see Thea secretly giggling over some Korean dude she watches at the computer in my home office. Farther in front of me is a city raring to aggressively claim its position in the Asian Business scene. Down the streets are motorbikes. As I further struggle for an answer I closed my eyes. The honking of motorbike horns sped through my ears and raced through my brain with irreverent steps.

I hear Sigur Ros’ Ágætis byrjun playing somewhere and suddenly I am transported to my old condo in Makati almost three years ago staring outside the veranda asking the same question: “All this, what does all this mean?” I remember not having the answer then. And now as I opened my eyes in an incredible fit of predictability and scoping from yet another veranda in another country, I still don’t have an answer. Instead I have conveniently resolved to yet another question: How deep do you want to sink yourself into it?

So I asked Thea, “Do we still have Oreos?”

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