Saturday, April 26, 2008

where to buy?

So my cousin in China wants me to buy him Lenovo X61 notebook. I looked around, and the official site seems to have the lowest price. Any ideas where else would be cheaper?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

a masterpiece

The other day, while I was at the soccer game. My friend got me a bottle of water from the foodstand. I finally finished drinking it today (yes I am a camel). So I was looking at the label out of boredom and it said, in very new age pretty blue font: "Jones Natural Artisan Water, not from the tap". What the hell does that mean? Is there such a thing as "unnatural water?" what would that be called? "irradiated mutated water"? I imagine the Jones company probably has a beautifully and lovingly crafted workshop in the back of their bottling factory filled with solemn elves carefully stacking hydrogen atoms onto oxygen atoms to create the most intricate patterns of water molecule designed to quench the thirst of even the most picky human. How else can it deserve the "artisan" description. and I certainly hope it wasn't directly from the tap since we probably paid 3 bucks for this fancy artisan water and I can get tap water for free!!

What is next? designer air?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Viva Mexico!

sorry about the picture quality, I took this using my phone.

I attended a soccer exhibition game at Qwest stadium on Wednesday. The games are part of the Mexico tour 2008. It is China vs. Mexico that day. Now I am not really a big soccer fan but my friend wanted to check it out so I went. Have to cheer on the national team! The traffic was absolutely horrible that day. We were stuck on the bridge for 2 and a half hours even though we left 2 hours before kickoff. So we ended up missing the first half. Stupid soccer game with no time stoppage lol.

While we were stuck on the bridge, I was amazed by how many Mexican soccer fans there were. We were surrounded by a sea of cars with green flags waving. They honked all the way from east end to west end. I saw plates from California and Oregon. It was pretty cool to see all these people coming up to support the Mexican team. Although it made traffic unbearable. The most funny thing I saw was a jeep with its roof down and a guy sitting in it wearing this humongous sombrero screaming at the top of his lungs. I swear I was the only Chinese person for miles around and I imagined they all looked at me with disdain as our car inched past hahaha (j/k).

So after we finally got to the stadium, I was completely flabbergasted at the amount of people. The entire football stadium was completely filled. The energy and excitement was so palpable. It is like one giant party. There were so many Mexican soccer fans there that they announced the entire game in Spanish, not even bother with English. I saw one tiny section of Chinese soccer fans waiting the red flag in vain,completely being overwhelmed by a sea of green haha. The seats we got was smack dab in the middle of nowhere so I kept my head down. Now I have never been to a real soccer game so everything was new to me. Apparently there is this habit of throwing paper airplanes down to the field. I don't really know how people was suppose to run around on there without tripping over 500 paper airplanes. What weird habits! lol.

In the end, Mexico won 1:0 against China. This is a good thing as I avoided getting beat up by 52,000 angry soccer fans hahaha. It was quite inspiring how everybody came together to support the home team. I swear the entire hispanic population of Seattle was there at the game.

Just a side note, apparently Seattle is applying for permission to start a professional soccer team, the Seattle Sounders. This ought to be fun if it happens. I can start at the beginning and actually get to know the teams. Also, this means Beckham may visit someday hahah!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

AI top7 review

I am actually surprised that Idol didn't have a Mariah Carey night before. Her repertoire is choked full of bombastic ballads that are perfect for this show. I thought everyone did really great tonight (yes even Kristy sigh). The songs were able to showcase their vocals as well as their diversity. I can't put them into categories tonight because everyone did well. At this point, I am willing to go for a top 3 all male showdown though. I thought all three guys were really different and lovely in their own way. All three of them will be able to have a good career.

In order of performance:

David Archuleta: Really good choice of a song and sang it really well. I think he eats ballads like this for breakfast. Probably have been singing the same kind of songs since he was 5. He is totally going to be the next male Hannah Montana haha. The only thing is I don't think he is used to singing R&B runs. The runs were kinda forced and unnatural. He is definitely safe either way.

Carly Smithson- Btw, Clay sang it better. just FYI haha. Carly's vocals were as brilliant as always. I feel like the judges were way harsh. They are trying to influence the votes maybe. I think Carly was handicapped by a bad arrangement of the song. It climaxed too quickly, forcing her to scream through half of it. She should have done a quiet second verse before going for the second climax and go all out.

Syesha Mercado-I have no criticism for her. This is about as perfect as you can do on AI. She is just not as big of a personality as the rest of them. I am pretty sure she can't win regardless.

Brook Whites- OMG, who in the world did the arrangement for this song? First of all, it was WAY WAY too fast. Brook can barely get all the words out, and then the piano raced to the end, forcing her to play catch up thereby making it even worse. She was totally screwed by the song arrangement. Poor Brook

Kristy Lee Cook- I am guessing the hotness law still applies here. She definitely had the worst vocals of the night, but even that was tolerable. I am saddened to say we will probably sit through another week of her painful warble.

David Cook- Ok, I think he is being overhyped now. It was an original version of that song but he hardly sang it well. He was slightly offkey the entire song. He does have amazing stage presence though. That will really make an impression on the audience. He is untouchable at this point. The judges treats him like he already won anyway so I think he is a shoo in for #1 or #2. I also think he does the modern rock thing totally well but his voice is so nondescriptive. Would I be able to tell him apart from Daughtry, or 3 doors down or Nickleback when he is on the radio?

Jason Castro - Ok, I think Jason is going to be my pet favorite. I know Kung is not into him at all haha. But I just really like him for his confidence and his calmness on stage. He knows who he is and he is totally comfortable in his skin. He really sings well too despite of not having a really projecting voice. I loved all the songs he sang so far. If he puts out a CD right now I would go out and buy it haha.

so bottom 3: Carly, Brook and Syesha

Kick off: Brook ( I am just not sure people have abandoned Carly yet)

Monday, April 14, 2008

the greenhouse effect

No, I am not talking about the global climate crisis. The "Greenhouse Effect" refers to an amazing natural phenomenon that happens in our office during sunny days. Not many people have experienced it, and without our green bowl of goodness we might have never noticed. But it happened and I was left with the crazy result :(

So My officemate Kirason and I share a small corner office that has 8 window panes. We also have 4 monitors, 2 xbox and 7 PCs in the room. So on a good sunny day, it is regularly 80 degrees there. I am constantly surprised that no motherboard has melted yet. And having tropical plants is a constant topic of discussion. Now normally this is mitigated by the awesome AC system that keeps us sane. However, on a weekend, there is no such luxury. Now this brings me to the other part of this equation: We also have a candy bowl in our office filled with various chocolate goodies that people have dropped off to keep it full. This is terrible for me but I will talk about that later.

This past Saturday, a fluke happened and we had a beautiful sunny day where the temperature shot up to the 80s. This made for a really pleasant day at the lake but something horrible has happened in our office. Now you know where this is going:

80 degree weather + 8 windows + no AC + 7 PC + bowl of chocolate candy = something HORRIBLE!! DUN DUN DUN!!!

Of course, this all happened when we were out enjoying the weather, so coming in today, I opened up an left over Easter chocolate egg, and noticed it was a weird sandy color, which you must admit is weird for chocolate candy. I was very suspicious but ate it anyway. It tasted fine although really hard for chocolate candy. So this is what I inferred.
80 degree weather + 8 windows + no AC + 7 PC + bowl of chocolate candy = something HORRIBLE

something HORRIBLE + AC on Monday = melted and re-solidified chocolaty weirdness


Since Kirason has a strong aversion to anything chocolaty, I guess I have to eat these abominations of nature :D

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

AI review top 8

Wow, I didn't write anything all week lol. oh well, here is review again through Rickey, but this time he had judge reviews on so I figure I should be alright. First of all, American Idol people!! when I said last week that there are too many back up vocalists, it is NOT an excuse to bring in a choir!!!! this is getting ridiculous. I thought most people did ok this week. They all picked very nice songs so it is hard for me to hate any of them. I am going out on a limb right now and say the top 2 is gonna be between David Cook and David Archuleta. They are obviously the judge favorite and ahead in fans. It is going to be the battle of the Davids!! haha

Jason Castro- ok, I am TOTALLY biased because I flove this song so he can do no wrong. I also think it is so funny how he can be so Hawaiian when he is from Texas. It is like some weird genetic mutation haha.

David Cook - Ok I think this song is way too difficult for him to sing in a competition. But he has so much charisma and so much stage presence cmobined with the ultimate confidence that he has million fans so he pulled it off anyway. While he was up there, it might as well be the David Cook concert instead of AI. I think his career is pretty much set.

David Archuleta: I am also biased because this is also one of my favorite songs by Robbie Williams. I thought he sang it very well but the piano playing really dampened his singing. If he dindn't have to play, he would have sounded so much more smooth and beautiful. I don't think it lost him votes though as piano players always get points for impressiveness.


Syesha - Ok I actually thought she sang this song very well. The anonymous choir really did a good job too. But you just DO NOT sing the victory song from a previous contestant because you would never be able to capture the emotional intensity of the song and will always pale by comparison. Like I would totally laugh if anybody tried to sing This Is The Night because it will just sound stupid. So bad song choice for Syesha.

Michael Johns - Rocker lbahblha.. Rocker... anything else? He is not doing his best to distinguish himself from David Cook, and David Cook is pulling far far ahead by being unique.

Brook White - very pretty pleasant song. I think she was a little nervous so alot of the happy and serene quality of the song was lost.

Carly Smithson - Totally butchered one of the best Queen songs. She is not one of these rocker chicks (she got kicked off already). THis song is way too difficult for her to master in such a short time and it was just horrible. Carly's strong points are her beautiful voice and experience and this song takes advantage of neither.

Kristy Cook - I was just complainingto my friend how bad she was. Now my friend, who is a guy has never watched the show or Kristy so he has no idea what is going on. After hearing my whining, he asked the all important question:" is she hot?". And after perusing very closely, I hate to admit, yes, Kristy is indeed very very hot. and there you go. It explains everything.

Bottom 3: Carly, Michael Jones and Syesha (Since Kristy is never going to get kicked off haha)

kicking off: hmm this is a difficult one, I think Carly will stay and I am always wrong about Syesha, so lets go with Michael Jones haha.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

AI review

Ok it is that time of the week again. I was playing badminton last night so I did not get to see the show, and watching the recording is just not the same. So this is again via Learning from last week, it is pretty dangerous predicting public opinion without hearing the Judges' input so we will see how I do this week.

Here is a couple of thoughts first about Dolly Parton week. I don't really like Dolly Parton at all. She sings with this southern twang and she really is like the character she plays in Steel Magnolia, which is a creatures as foreign to me as aliens from Mars. Having said that, I never realized what great songs she has sung over the years. I liked almost all of the songs the contestants chose. It is to her credit that even most of the contestant didn't sing in a country style the song still sounded wonderful. The second thing is I thought all the contestants made really good choice in their song and presentation. I am sure that is also because of Dolly's coaching and advice. I think having her there really helped everybody with their craft.

I also think they are going overboard with the live musicians and the backup vocals. I know it makes for better performance on TV but you can make anyone sound better with the right backup vocals and acoustic guitars. It is masking the contestant's real voice.

David Archuleta - This kid really has a very beautiful voice! He picked a good song that suits his personality as opposed to that crazy song last week. For sure on top!

Carly Smithson -I just want to mention this song is on Clay's album haha. I think this is the first song in 3 weeks that really showcased her superior vocals. Having said that, I just can't like her for some reason. I feel she doesn't project any warmth and empathy. But gotta give props when props are due (to quote Randy)

Michael Johns/David Cook- another great rocking performance, but they better be careful, at the rate they are going, I wouldn't be able to tell who is who pretty soon. They have similar sounds and they are starting to look more and more alike. and they will start to split votes from the rocker fans. I think David Cook will have the advantage though since he is a more exciting character than the mellow Michael (plus his falsetto is so lovely!). But personally I like Michael's more mature, calming style. There is just so much angst in the younger rockers.

Middle of the Pack
Syesha Mercado - This song has been done to death!! She gets negative points for taking the easy way out. It was a mediocre, unmemorable performance too. That is the problem with Syesha, she is so unmemorable even though she has a great voice. When the field narrows, she will easily be forgotten.

Jason Castro - Finally!! a song with some speed! I thought this is a perfect song for him. The mood, the lyrics and the arrangement really fit Jason's personality. I just wish he has a LITTLE bit more energy to get the crowd going.

Brooke White - I thought she sang this song pretty well, But she kinda lack the same thing Jason does: Energy! This is a song about protecting your guy, don't sing it like a lullaby!! :D

The Terrible
Kristy Lee Cook - She is in my default bottom list haha, I am going to keep putting her there until she gets elimnated

Ramiele Malubay - I thought she did the worst this week, she wasn't able to stay on pitch for so many parts of that song it was sad.

Bottom 3: Kristy, Ramiele, Syesha
Eliminated: Ramiele