2012 and what the Math monkeys have to say . . .

So I haven’t been around much this year, I know. Hence, blogging is among one of the activities that I vow to get back into for the coming year (which, incidentally, is about 4 hours away).

Anyway, the ever reliable WordPress stats helper have provided the following numbers for all of us to be reminded of how I did this year. Check out the summary below.

I know it’s not much, but I’m still glad that Angled Vista has managed to stay afloat the entire year. And I have all of you to thank for still visiting my page even in its semi-coma state.

For you, I would do my best to revive my writing and this site.

Cheers to a happier–and more word-filled–2013! Keep reading and writing, everyone. 😀

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Wear, express, you

Wear your thoughts, express your feelings, scream individuality.

These are the first words you’d see from the Facebook fan page of my friend’s new online business, Shirts Shop.

I was busy rummaging through my closet for, ironically enough, a shirt when Fiona texted me and said she already had the FB fan page up for her new online business. Of course, I went and checked it out.

Technically, it looked the way most new fan pages are. There were welcome messages for everyone and photos to get your attention snapping at a moment’s notice.

I asked her how much would a shirt cost and how soon would I get it if I were to order one. And she just gave me the best answer possible: for free! 😀

Hey, I don’t mean to get your hopes up. The shirts are for pay. No worries, though, they’re really affordable. You can get the white shirts for only at Php350 while the colored ones are priced Php370.

But she’d be giving me one for free, like a treat, mainly because we’re friends and she’d like to give away one shirt just to check out how people would react about it. So, as she’s very much insistent, I agreed and told her I’d just post a blog about it. To help her let others know about the Shirts Shop, yeah.

And just yesterday, my “order” arrived! It was just a couple of days’ worth of waiting.

No hassle!

Everything was so convenient that I did not have to do anything but stay at home, text her my address, and wait. I even don’t think it would make a difference whether I paid for it or not because even the modes of payment were so convenient: GCash, remittances through LBC or Western Union, and deposits to a BPI or a UCPB account.

You might wanna try giving bulk orders as well. Although, of course you’d have to wait for about a week for all the shirts to be done and sent to you. But just the same, the Shirts Shop can very easily be your next-door solution to having that uber comfy shirt you just need.

The shop also offers more choices for a shirt design. You can even draft out your own design and have them make the shirts for you. Periodically, there are also design contests and themes in their FB page. They’re all very current so you would really have fun choosing what you want on your shirt front.

Me, I preferred to get one of those she’s already offering (more because of the fact that I don’t really know how to design my own).

Here’s what I got:

Design’s really good 🙂

I know, it’s a bit big for me.

The shirt’s material is also cool and comfortable, so I could wear it almost anywhere.

So the Shirts Shop is just like any other online shop that sells made-to-order and customized shirts, right? Erm, I don’t think so. It is indeed an online shop that sells shirts. But it also is that shop you can run to every time you’d need a shirt for any event or purpose . . . pronto.

Like the Shirts Shop Facebook page now. And start stocking up on all those shirts you have ever wanted!

I Paid More Attention to This

Well, who wouldn’t?

Every awards night in Hollywood is not just about who are nominated and who should win. It’s also about which designer to wear, what kind of pose to do in the red carpet, and definitely how to avoid numerous members of the fashion police especially when you know something is sort of wrong in your ensemble.

And if we’re totally honest about it, maybe we pay more attention to what is worn by whom than who actually are the best bidders at the 69th Annual Golden Globes.

Real fashion enthusiasts even collect the many looks of varied biz people and grade them depending on style, color, accessories, shoes, and the overall look.

While a totally non-enthusiast myself, I still found myself gushing over and grunting against different looks when I was browsing through the photos of them people in LA.

The best ones for me? Here:

Emma Stone

You know I’ve always loved Emma’s bubbly smile complete with deep, happy eyes. Although of course, what do we expect from someone who literally has so many of the beautiful things life has to offer (yeah, including Andrew Garfield)? And this Lanvin gown on her pretty much complements her content gait.

Evan Rachel Wood

I love the cropped hair, I love the Gucci Premiere gown, I love the feathers at the hem. And basically, I love Evan’s confidence complete with edginess.

Adam Levine and James Valentine

Let’s get this straight first, James is not a fan posing beside Adam’s wax figure. Haha! At first glance, that’s what I thought. Adam’s expression was so set he could actually be a wax figure and you won’t notice the difference. Seriously though, these two rocked their suits.

Kate Winslet

If there is one woman who would tell me it’s perfectly fine to be curvy and I would agree without a shred of doubt, it’s Kate. Seriously, you’d find it so hard not to be envious of her curves. Jenny Packham’s black-and-white creation also set off more of this envy.

Jessica Alba

Somebody tell me she hadn’t just given birth! Come on, seriously? How do you get a body like this again after giving birth? Well, it’s Jessica Alba, what else can we say. A radiant smile and a Gucci gown seemed like just an accessory to her already beautiful self.

Charlize Theron

I must admit that the first time I had ever heard of Charlize was in the trailer of her upcoming “Snow White and the Huntsman”, where she played the ever-glam Evil Queen. And ever since, I started noticing her playful but uber pretty way of dressing. This Dior gown could have eclipsed her altogether had it not been for the unusual cut and the oh-so-deep plunge.

Angelina Jolie

It’s not just the Atelier Versace, or the bright red lips, or the sky-high slit, or the cream (or is that white?) peep-toes. It’s e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g! You cannot stare at Angelina Jolie looking like this and wonder just when she would ever fail to be beautiful.

They may not all be perfect, though, as in the cases of:

Freida Pinto

Freida, whose blue Prada gown sort of just overshadowed her usually alluring looks. I think she could have done better if this is more form-fitting. No problem, though, with her accessories–her smile just complements everything else.

Mila Kunis

Mila, who usually looks beautiful and vibrant (like in her Oscars 2011 gown) but is somehow lackluster in this black Dior number. I like the gown, no doubt about that, but I think it’s her sleek almost-flat do or the bored expression minus the smoky eyes that have diminished the entire look.

Sofia Vergara

Everybody scream at me now: What on earth are you saying?! And I promise I’ll take no offense. I don’t know what it is about this entire Sofia look that didn’t work quite well. Maybe it’s the cut of the gown, or the all-too detailed bottom part, or the fact that everybody else raved about the $5M jewelries. But something about Sofia walking down the red carpet looking like this seems to be off. Like she’s just passing by the way most celebrity onlookers just do.

Well, as everything in Hollywood works, there are those who will meet what is expected of them and those who will not even attempt to do so. Then, there is everybody else who just comes around looking their happiest.

The 69th Annual Golden Globes has just been concluded and in the next awards or the next year, these dresses would be forgotten quite a bit. But of course, for those who have stood out, they may have already had another time-of-their-life moment.

Pixie Dusts and Neverland: The Peter Pan Musical Experience

I was not at all a die-hard Peter Pan fan when I was a kid. I preferred Alice and the Philippines’ Princess Sarah. But thanks to Disney and a lot of other adaptations, I became quite acquainted with Peter and Wendy’s foray into the wide world of Neverland.

But still, that was not enough reason for me to actually agree to go with my friends and catch the second to the last week showing of Repertory Philippines and Stages Productions’ Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure last October 22.

Up to now, and especially after the riotous MRT ride that I went through that Saturday night, I couldn’t fathom why I chose Peter Pan for my first ever (you read that right) theater experience.

What I do know was that after the show, I was more than glad to have seen it.

Peter Pan was a story about a boy who did not want to ever grow up. He had come across London Town where the Darling siblings lived. With his enthusiastic tales about Neverland, he managed to convince Wendy, John, and Michael to come and fly with him to the magical world. Even more, Peter got to make them fly through a sprinkling of pixie dust!

In Neverland, Peter Pan’s brothers–the so-called Lost Boys–were eagerly on their toes avoiding the pirates led by the cunning Captain Hook. They were made happier when they saw Wendy flying toward them.

In the course of the whole story, it was made clear that Peter brought Wendy to Neverland so they could play house with him as the father to his and Wendy’s children: the Lost Boys and John and Michael. Unfortunately, things were made more complicated by the ever hateful Hook and his gang of pirates. It also did not help that Tiger Lily’s tribe was always on the loose. Worse, Peter did not seem that well-versed with the definition of responsibility.

The play was a spectacular series of songs and storytelling that eventually ended with a surprise and yet ultimately sad twist.

At the finale, viewers could not help but feel sorry for the boy who never grew up and who lost all the good chances that the world could offer him–including forming a loving family.

The Cast

Sam Concepcion as Peter Pan

I was superbly in awe of Sam Concepcion in his portrayal of Peter Pan. He was bubbly and grouchy when needed to be. Peter’s arrogance was shown as well as his softness. The clarity of his singing also gave the best impressions of Peter’s thoughts and emotions. The best parts of his portrayal? The flying, of course. There was that magical feeling of seeing Peter fly across the stage that for some good moments, you could wish he wouldn’t go down.

Cara Barredo as Wendy

Undoubtedly, the best compliment that could be given to Cara was the superb power of her performance. The singing was theater material alright, with perfect diction and clarity and shrillness that could actually break a mirror. Her speaking lines were delivered with as much clarity and the amazing British accent that made her altogether a delightful character to watch.

Michael Williams as Captain Hook

Have you ever hated and laughed at a pirate so much you couldn’t really pinpoint which emotion was more powerful? Well, Michael’s Captain Hook could certainly do that to you. His portrayal was flawless–cunning when mad and fondly amusing when not. I loved his voice and the way he dealt with such young adversaries. He was an actor that could blend in and stand out at the same time.

Joy Virata as the Narrator/Old Wendy

The woman who so successfully surprised me that I wanted her to have this part. She was probably one of the best narrators I got to watch. Her voice was not that booming with such intense emotions that you could hardly understand what she was saying. She was clear in most instances, as if everything was simply matter-of-factly. In the end, where she revealed who she really was, I was quite astonished and amused to see how she so easily blended with the whole picture–as if she was not just someone reading off a story book but the character herself.

The Lost Boys, John, and Michael

They were all so cool and cute. I especially liked the song and dance number of the Lost Boys whilst waiting for Peter and speculating about his journey. John and Michael also did their part as the ever-loving brothers of Wendy. I liked how they were so taken by Neverland that their childish innocence and awe seemed to me as if the best positive feedback ever to be given to the place.

The Pirates

Theirs was a group of completely hilarious villains that had the huge bodies of the bad guys but the soft hearts (or cowardice? Hmmm) so uncharacteristic of such characters. Smee was amazing with his antics as well.

Kakki Teodoro as Tiger Lily

For someone with as few scenes as Kakki, she really got to make the most of her portrayals. She was feisty as she had to be while being just as vulnerable as any female tribe leader could only be.

What I Liked

1. The Production. Props to everybody who were at the backstage as much as to the select black-clad few who were actually on stage. It was a great production of settings, props, and costumes. Since it was my first time to watch a play, I was a bit disoriented with parts wherein the crocodile was being pushed around so visibly by two people. But after a while, I just got used to it.

The finer points had to be given to the seemingly seamless transitions of scenes. It was altogether fast but not at all chaotic. The perspectives of such settings as the Lost Boys’ underground home and Hook’s ship were also commendable.

2. The Musical Score/Arrangement. Fantastic vocals, amazing lyrics, and the best of musical scenes were probably the best attribute of Peter Pan. The scenes were carried out with such majesty that came not only from the casts’ musical prowess but also from the backstage sound crew. In fact, the songs were so good I would really love to buy its OST, should one ever comes out.

3. The Plot. Since I didn’t really grow up with Peter Pan, I really appreciated how the plot of the play stuck with the basics of the tale. It was not really difficult to understand the story because you needed not to have background knowledge. I also loved the ending, which had both compromise and finality. It was sad, but the morale was there.

4. Special Parts. I’d also like to give it to the writers who had thought of including two superbly great scenes: Tinkerbell’s coming back to life; and the final scene where the cast bid the audience goodbye. For me, these two parts where really smart not just because they worked well though obviously not within the plot but also as they encouraged audience participation with so much enthusiasm.

What I Didn’t Like

Actually, in retrospect, I only could cite two things I didn’t like about my whole experience.

One, we didn’t get to start the play. Which really sucked, because we missed the first flying part. Yeah, we got in late thanks to me slowly battling out with the rudeness of the MRT people.

And the other thing I didn’t really like: the absence of Tinkerbell’s physical form. I understood from several articles that I got to read after watching the play that Tink wasn’t really supposed to be a live creature. She was, in some versions of the play abroad, just a spot of laser light hovering around and whispering. But c’mon. Did the prod team really had to do that here? I was really disappointed. Thankfully, she was portrayed with such good sound effects and a black-clad crew carrying her around that missing out on her became impossible.

On the whole, my very first theater experience was not so bad. It was cool and eclectic and definitely worthy of all the hassle and stress. So much had come out of this that I would not really forget.

In the end, it did not really matter that we missed the first scenes or that Peter Pan stayed as a boy while everybody grew up and moved on. What was important was that we got to watch a journey of a boy who had taught us so much about the importance of responsibility, bravery, and friendship.

Until your next flight, Pan!

* Photos from Write, Breathe, Live; Bum-Spot; and all over Google Images

A Mass of Blonde

The 74th Season of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition had just ended–in a sea of blonde, might I add.

Eight of the country’s top colleges and universities gathered their best movers to compete for a title, a cash prize, and an entire year’s worth of bragging rights.

There’s the National University Pep Squad, the University of Sto. Tomas Salinggawi, the Ateneo de Manila Blue Bubble Battalion, the De La Salle Animo Squad, the University of the East Pep Squad, the Far Eastern University Cheering Squad, the Adamson Pep Squad, and the University of the Philippines Pep Squad.

This year’s season had garnered a very large audience somewhat caused by last season’s intrigues and a definite crackle of electrified tension. And the continuous cheering campaigns of all the participating schools whether in their respective campuses or all over social networking sites simply added to the competitive air.

I guess there’s also as much determination from a couple of the teams because winning this season would add to the festivities in their respective schools. De La Salle is celebrating its 100th year and the University of Sto. Tomas is commemorating its 400th.

Hence, the expected scene of balloons and banners and astoundingly loud cheers was what greeted the whole of this year’s Cheerdance Competition. The court side reporters introduced their own schools to the energetic responses of their crowds. And then the competition began.

Now, I’m not good at speaking about dances because technically, I was simply after seeing a good show from the contestants. And boy was it a great spectacle. Every team gave their best tosses and erected their close-to-perfect pyramids. They had nothing but something for their college mates to be proud of.

I particularly loved three teams: NU, DLSU, and of course our very own UP. The National U’s play with the red cloths very much like the known bullfighting festival was interesting–it was sort of a diversion from the usual love-your-own themes that the other schools centered on. DLSU also offered a refreshing take with their green and white ensemble, like nature and purity fused together to create something lovely for the viewers’ eyes.

UP came up with something relatively new: the UP Pep Swag. It was a fresh take on the competition, fierce and yet glamorous. A crowd of black-clad audience even added flare to the blonde-haired dancers.

Unfortunately for Ateneo, missed stunts and nervous tosses made the whole performance shaky. UST seemed like it was just collating all of their older stunts, not revealing much of new, leveled-up feats.

Before the end of the competition though, a surprise addition was announced in the form of the Group Stunt event. Five out of the eight schools competed with three emerging as the “inaugural” winners: NU, FEU, and UP.

UP's winning Group Stunt team (photo from fullcourtfresh.com)

Then, the moment of truth everybody waited for.

In the end, only three prevailed–in two colors: green and blonde.

The Far Eastern University went home as the 2nd runner-up and the De La Salle Animo Squad bagged the 1st runner-up title (after a very long win drought). This was when the tension built up so fast that just one word seemed like a bomb for everyone’s ears: “still”

Because with this word came the realization that the UP Pep Squad yet again claimed the title “Champion”.

UP Pep Squad, Champion (photo from fullcourtfresh.com)

Pride and joy and all other emotions filled the Araneta Coliseum as a mass of blonde converged and ran to the center of all the chaos.

It was at this point that I was so sure everybody else felt the same way I was feeling. There was me feeling so proud to the point of bragging. And there was me with eyes nearing tears. No, I didn’t know anyone in there personally. But one thing you’ve got to know about us–we are one big happy family in UP.

And this one big family, you made proud again, UP Pep. Thank you.

Hollywood Gossips

In one of my rare free moments in the office, I got to surf the not-so-cooperative Net and found two entertainment news that had me both excited and well, disappointed. They’re about two important stories for me, those that never ceased to make me breathlessly anxious.

But in stark contrast, one news is about an end and the other refers to an anticipated beginning.

Nobody Knows Where They Might End Up

The first article I read bore the headline: Patrick Dempsey Leaving “Grey’s”. Expectedly, I hastily clicked on it and read on.

Grey’s Anatomy is a medical drama that features the life and career of doctors at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital. I’m not a big fan of TV dramas and I rarely stick with a story with as many seasons as Grey’s. But I guess the constant character and plot development are reasons enough for me to keep on hanging to every pilot episode and season finale.

Patrick Dempsey, also known to many as Derek, Dr. Shepherd, and (more popularly) McDreamy, plays the one of the lead roles in the medical drama . Six years into the role and finally, now, he’s saying he’s had enough and that after the current eighth season, he’s done.

Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd

While the news comes as a shock to everyone who’s been a McDreamy fan since the series has started, a few others claim Shepherd’s leaving opens up a lot of exciting twists to the story. Especially as we might be able to see the non-Shepherd-revolving side of Meredith Grey.

Personally, while I’m not as pro-Shepherd as most Grey’s fans are, I still believe Dempsey’s leaving the ninth season (if there will be one) will be a notable miss. He’s been a great antidote to all the immature features of the other characters.

But the buzzing departure of yet another and ultimately more important character from the said series created an entirely new dimension of reactions: the news about Ellen Pompeo herself leaving Grey’s as well after the current season.

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey

The title-bearer has left word that she might not renew her contract with the series anymore after Season 8. And while co-star Dempsey’s departure does not seem as alarming, Pompeo’s definitely is. What would Grey’s Anatomy be like without the narrative voice-overs and the heavy lines from Dr. Grey, right?

I’ve been missing out on the two most recent Grey’s seasons, but I have the great inkling of how it would feel to not see the couple go through a lot of medical discoveries and personal adversaries.

The Best of Odds

The last two essential cast of the Hunger Games has been chosen. To loud applauses and, well, equally noisy groans. I myself finds it difficult until now to sort out my feelings toward these two new casting additions.

Why? Because when I first heard that the Hunger Games will be adapted into a film, I was at best most excited about Haymitch and Cinna’s characters. These two were probably the people who made life more exciting for their fellow characters and for us, readers. They were described as eccentric, almost detached people who understood life around them. And those personifications were really lovable.

As soon as the casting call began, there were speculations of who would be playing the roles.

The names of Robert Downey, Jr, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hugh Laurie, John C. Reilly, and even Johnny Depp surfaced as possible actors to play Haymitch’s character. Noticeably, all of them has this certain rugged look that is quite perfect for Haymitch’s always-drunken state.

Christian Siriano, Hugh Dancy, and Adam Lambert (what?!) meanwhile were included in the predictions of being Cinna. I guess a lot of people came up with the idea that Cinna appears Caucasian, with a lean body, and inquisitive eyes.

While it’s actually difficult to ensure visualization of these characters looks (especially Cinna, with all his Capitol make-up on), the general aura is rather easy to feel. Which may well be the very reason that a lot of people’s reactions are all mixed up.

Take a look at Woody Harrelson, for instance:

Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy

Even in his most unshaven beard, he still looks considerably cleaner than Downey Jr., or Laurie. But of course, as I’ve seen only 2012 which he’s part of, I can’t really judge what can be done with or what he can do. So, the best of luck.

As for Lenny Kravitz, I still can’t place his huge hair and considerably brown skin in my imaginations of Cinna. But I haven’t seen him act, which I guess is a plus point in terms of excitement.

He also has admirable fashion sense, as in this one:

Lenny Kravitz as Cinna

As to how he’s gonna pull off that “Twirl for me” line though, I’m not particularly sure. I’ve always figured it to be said softly, with admiration and a pure sense of love.

*sigh* I just wish they all pull it off. That’s it. I love The Hunger Games probably almost as much as Harry Potter, so a ruined movie adaptation would be more than frustrating.

And I know you all think of that, too, right?

———-

Two sets of news, two sets of surprises. This is what I love with Hollywood–surprising, exciting, endearing, and frightening all at the same time.

Quickly

I. Am. Missing. Blogging.

Yeah, just like that. I have pending posts, actually. Lots of them.

Reviews:

1. Gulliver’s Travel

2. Love and Other Drugs

3. The Black Swan (Finally!)

4. To Kill a Mockingbird

 

Other Topic-based Posts:

1. Jennifer Lawrence Casted as Katniss Everdeen (I must, guys, please understand.)

2. The Not-so-good First Quarter of 2011 (Yeah, sadly)

3. On Drug Couriers and Embassy Policies (Too tough? Hope not.)

So I pretty much have a lot in mind to write about. And hopefully, I get to finish them all up for posting by this week.

My blogs are so gonna kill me already. And so does my grammar. LOL.

Chiao for now, see ya on . . . well, on the next post!

They Say M.D. With Grace

There are reasons behind my blogging AWOL. Well, I have been only not here because this site of mine requires a lot of thinking and pondering of not very personal thoughts. Anyway, I have decided to at least pour a few pints of water onto the drought around here. And to use one of those reasons as subject.

It’s called Grey’s Anatomy.

It is a TV drama series about life and the practice of medicine and the many stories in between. The main characters are doctors, surgeons in particular, and the episodes feature many medical procedures as well as patient stories. The series is now well into its 7th season, with a handful of its original casting leaving and being replaced with a new set of characters.

And while there is a lot to talk about the series itself, I opt not to purely because I’m not yet done with all of the seasons and because it is a many and varied and complex web of stories with a lot to say in the technicalities. Which is why I have decided to name my favorite characters.

Hence, I’m naming my top 3:

3. Arizona Robbins and Addison Montgomery

Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins (tvovermind.zap2it.com)

Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery (spoiledbaby.ca)

These women ties for the third spot for a number of reasons. One, because they’re very beautiful people–the kind of beauty that is not as common and has a rich sense of character in it. Two, because I like their specialties–especially Addison’s as I find gynecological surgery a very interesting field. And three, because their personalities are a good mixture of strong womanhood and deep understanding. I also like how they both radiate something positive coupled with a confident stance and which stands out in the gloomy collection headed by Meredith Grey.

2. Alex Karev

Justin Chambers as Alex Karev (ratewall.com)

Okay, Alex Karev may not be Derek Shepherd. He may not be the most impressive doctor–and man–because he encourages a lot of swearing. He’s a jerk, for all intents and purposes and in all degrees of the word. But Alex is the kind of man who wouldn’t waste your time. He tells the truth, no matter how grisly and hurtful it might be. He deals with what he’s dealt with, winning with even the least of resources. There is a whole lot other person deep within his tough façade and getting to know that, as the season progresses, is a great treat for the viewers.

1. Miranda Bailey

Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey (greysanatomy.co.uk)

I have always thought that a more appropriate title for the series is Bailey’s Anatomy. LOL. Well, seriously, it’s either you love Miranda Bailey or you love her. She is a walking contradiction and a beautiful complexity. She’s downright nasty but she believes in people. You could never justify her character–strong and brave and superior but with every ounce of softness and personality. I especially loved her when she blocked Shepherd in the hallway as he was trying to get to Grey–Bailey in that scene was not just a resident who didn’t want her intern disturbed. I also love her many speeches, like the one she gave to George O’Malley in the fourth season: that not everything is black-and-white. And, of course, she’s the best general surgeon ever to walk Seattle Grace.

These are my favorite characters. They may not be the same as the ones in your list and they may be who you actually hate. But at the end of the day, they make up the web of stories that you can never imagine happening along the hallways of a hospital and under the fatality of a scalpel.

Ultimately, these are people that makes us realize: anatomy is never a one-way flow of blood.