Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Rain in Spain...Comes with a Gain after Pain

1st July 2008, Tuesday

One of the more fulfilling weekend, perhaps due to the fact that I took leave on Friday as well...
The intention was to catch a supposedly-thrilling semi-final duel between Spain and Oranje-slayer, Russia on Friday morning.
However I deciphered how my body worked all wrongly.... I thought I could survive till the wee hours after the semi ended at around 5 in the morning rather than clocking a couple of hours of nap time before the match start.
So I continued my adventure of Niko Bellic in Liberty City, even watching an episode of "Planet Earth" (dozing along with the soothing narration of Sir Richard Attenborough) and barely kept my eye-lids open as the match began by 2.45am.
I did remember the 0-0 halftime score and when Guiza scored Spain's 2nd goal in the 73rd minute, otherwise I was all knocked out till 9 Friday morning... The missus had to be the one to switch off the TV once again.

The weekend filled with Chan's birthday celebration at La Tendo, 2 movies, a live soccer match at Tampines, an inaugural Singapore Toy and Comic Convention and sashaying my way to the finale of Grand Theft Auto 4...

Chan's Birthday celebration: As eccentric or erratic as he can be, Chan is always a treasured member of the clique...well all of us would be but Chan seems omnipresent for most events unless he decided to fade to black as usual. There was no cake blowing or costly karaoke sessions as of our last celebration but it was all fun especially as for a long while everyone (except for some foreign-bound members) were present. Despite being constrained by the narrow alleyway of the cashier counter of the shop as well as had limited beverage, we had a hearty chat till 1 in the morning as Miyano gave us an insight of how insane it could get bringing school children to Japan for cultural exchange activities.
Also realized that Karen had made a U-Turn on her decision to resign from a teaching post after her director made some compromises.
Next up would be Ferris' birthday cum housewarming two weeks later...

Double Movie Treats: I had accumulated quite a sum of Citibank points for making expenditure on my Platinum card over the course of the last 2 years or so... I always thought I might use it to waive off my annual fee except it always didn't seems enough plus we all knew the waiving off is just one phone-call away.
So I took on a offer that had recently with a discount on the points needed to claim a pair of movie tickets from Golden Village..I claimed a few pairs, hoping to catch shows I had wanted to catch but reluctant to spend that money.
On Friday while the rest of Singapore is either at work or in school, I got a couple of the clique (i.e. Karen and Chan as well as Chiaki who was off from her work and was shopping with Karen on that day) to join me and the missus to catch "Shaolin Shoujo".
The movie received scathing reviews for a lack of plot and intense exaggeration truly was a waste of time (luckily minimal money was involved).
The tempo of the movie was slow and the plot was nano-thin and cheesy mostly especially the ending.. It collectively wasted good acting ability of the likes of Shibasaki Kou, Eguchi Yosuke and Nakamura Tooru. We now knew why Stephan Chow wanted to be uncredited as the producer of the movie....

The 2nd movie I caught over the weekend was "Get Smart", the Steve Carrell's renewal of the 1960s Mel Brooks' comedy series about bumbling international spy in the mold of James Bond but drew parallel to Rowan Atkinson's "Johnny English".
I love Steve Carrell's and his deadpan comedy act which I felt might be exhausted after this movie...But he did put up a great performances and laughter was guaranteed throughout with some nice action sequence.
The supporting cast was fantastic though I think Anne Hathaway was slightly too young to pair with 40 something Carrell. The Rock or now known as Dwayne Johnson is good as Agent 23.
Cameo from Masi Oka (Hero), David Koechner (regular in Carrell's shows like 40 year old Virgin and The Office), Terry Crews (the Vanessa Carlton loving footballer), Patrick Warburton (David Puddy in Seinfeld), Ken Davitian (Borat's producer) and the Great Khali from WWE make the show even more interesting... Even Bill Murray was trapped in a tree...

Sengkang versus Tampines: Our 3rd live Sengkang match as the hopeless bottom-dwellers took on Tampines in their home ground which always look to be a lost cause.
An early goal from a mistake by custodian Joey Sim gave the Stags the lead within 2 minutes and then to compound our misery Joey got himself sent off and the meaty Adi Salleh had to deputize and the first thing he did was picking the ball out of the net when Sutee scored from a direct freekick. He then were beaten a few times by the pint-sized Aliff Shaffein (twice from headers!) but luckily were ruled offside. In the end it didn't turn out to be a mauling and we had a couple of rare chances to score but current Singapore keeper, Hassan Sunny who seemingly nearly doze off from the lack of activity before his goalmouth refused to concede a goal from the woeful Dolphin attack.

STCC: The first of its kind in Singapore which gather almost all the big boys in the toy, comic, anime and gaming (only Nintendo) under one roof as the otaku-dom as well as fanboys from all genres showed up in strength for the 2 days event making it a real success.
The crowd was pretty insane on Saturday afternoon when we were there but it was really down to the confined space more than anything else.
It was held within one single convention hall but perhaps the lack of participating patrons really didn't warrant a space bigger than this.
La Tendo rejected the offer to be part of it and think they missed much...
The event which showcased quite a bit of local manga talents as well as gather an impressive roll call of popular artists like Pete Fowler and Devilrobots but I am not a wee bit interested in designer vinyl toys...left after mere 30 minutes maneuvering in the sea of curious crowd, curbing my claustrophobia at the same time.

EK and Chan had intended to dropby on Sunday to have some fun on the Playstation 3 but in the end it didn't materialize, so I took the opportunity to clear several missions in GTA4...The finale was pretty heart-wrenching...waiting to watch the end credits...Then it would be Solid Snake...

Managed to catch the final of Euro 2008 live as Spain reigned superiority with their positive football over the Germans.
It is not that Germany played bad football throughout the tournament but it was just that the Iberian nation deserved to win their first accolade in 44 years.
A 33rd minute goal from Liverpool marksman, Fernando Torres settled the game but seriously it would be much different if Klose had scored early on.
Glad the final produced another new champions and marked the end of a really entertaining tournament which my beloved Netherlands once again promised much but in the end meekly departed...

Not the best start of the week for me and the missus...
Minor issue with my possessions as the lithium battery of my iPod seems to have reach its life span. After fully charged, now it could last less than 2 days of usage (the most 3 hours of intermittent play) and I didn't even played video files on it...Contemplating whether to change a new battery which could be pretty costly.
The arcylic protective cover for my NDS lite which I purchased from my 1st Kao-hsiung ICT had snapped into 2 but still holding the console... well I am not the most meticulous person when handling my properties...
However the worst occured to my spouse as a moment of absentmindedness resulted in her leaving her newly-acquired Nokia handphone in the lavatory of her workplace... It was gone in less than 60 seconds for sure...Now only pray some kind soul will return it back to her...most unlikely for sure...

Spainish word of the day: Ganador (Winner) Spain is the worthy winner but I feel I shouldn't lose so much in real life

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