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

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November 3, 2007

Cold

Filed under: hanoi, travel, world — Tags: — lesturla @ 9:17 pm

The supposed visit to the dentist (TJ’s root canal slash our legit excuse to finally stop holing ourselves up in our apartment) proved colder for our regular jackets/windbreakers to handle. And since we were waaaay late on the scheduled appointment we were told that the dentist was busy so we went out and got ourselves some handmade Vietnamese winter get ups instead. It’s actually still Fall and the forecast said it’s supposed to be 14 degrees outside but it sure feels like 10 degrees lang.

Normally, I thrive at cold tempretures and usually set my office and also my bedroom at 18 degrees. But heck outside it’s really cold. It’s still pleasant though but when the wind blows… brrrrr.

Buying the winter stuff was actually fun. Since I am a shameless amateur haggler (I learned from TJ’s mom the art of haggling: always haggle for half the price they first give you), negotiating proved to be so much fun for me. I think after haggling with the vendor in her shop she basically wanted to throw me out and put a sign to never allow me in again. She was sooo annoyed. She offered 30 US dollars for a sweater (showing me only in her calculator as she has limited English).

So I told her,

“You gotta be kidding me!”

She smiles.

I negotiated to 5 dollars (take note not 15 as what I was taught.) She signalled that I was insane. “I already know that!” I said, “I’m not buying then!” And as I started walking out of her store she runs after me and counters to 10 USD. I closed the deal since it was a pretty good sweater. I pity foreign retail owners each time they have to deal with Pinoy hagglers. This one in particular nearly threw me out of her store the moment I paid her.

We went to Pepperoni’s Pizza for dinner. Food was good as usual. And then we went to this new shop near Hoan Kiem called Ilayna. Neat stuff they have but a bit too pricey. It’s a local brand but they have really neat leather stuff like this mailman’s bag that I saw but it costs about 28 thousand pesos. There’s lots of other things I’d rather spend that amount of money on instead of a friggin bag.

TJ wanted to chill somewhere so we decided to have coffee and tea at Hapro right beside Hoan Kiem Lake. Ganda ng view, music, ambience pati yung weather sarap. Haaay!



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!

September 11, 2007

Remembering

Filed under: world — lesturla @ 2:53 am

The reactions on that fateful day were hugely varied. When the tons of dust began settling in the aftermath, a collective rattling was felt across the world. I remember fixing a cup of coffee at the pantry and seeing some officemates gather around the tv glued to CNN. A friend muttered, “Holy shit, this is like a Die Hard movie except it’s for real!”

I first thought, who on earth would be stupid enough to ram a plane at the WTC? But when the second tower was hit, it dawned to me that this was not a Darwin Award material. At that point it could have very well been the beginnings of war. I called my sister in NJ but she was not even aware at that time on what was happening since she was perhaps performing a lobotomy. But to our relief she was nowhere near NY during that time.

I called home to let people know, “In case war breaks out, well, I called home ayt?” My sister thought I was sick in the head. But what can I say, I was 21 at that time and was going through that “phase”.

Around me people were either annoyed that their momentum at work was disrupted. There were quotas to be met and hours to log for many. For a lot, this was another excuse to head to either City Jam, Ponana, Blue Onion and all those usual haunts for alcohol and hopefully good music. Heck, if war breaks loose among those nuke wielding countries and some stray missile hits near home might as well enjoy that last drop of beer!

It does suck however to realize that in the event that 911 rose to a dreary level than it already were, all we’d have been were hopeless spectators with a high probability of being used as pawns or getting caught in the crossfire. Fuck, now that’s depressing!

A lot of people resent the USA for what Bush and some of his predecessors has turned it to be. Oh, I’m not even gonna start getting all political here but when you do some Occam’s Razor-ing it’s really as simple as this: Have some tolerance to diversity and mind your own shit. A lot of people have died because you cannot get your shit together. A lot are still dying. George and Ossama, for crying out loud kiss and make up already!

Six freakin years and nothing much has changed. Darn it, makes me want to drink beer!

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