I first heard about Ex Machina while listening to Slate’s Culture Gabfest podcast. As an aside, I love Culture Gabfest! It’s a great way to find out about good books, music, tv shows and movies. I find that the three hosts and I have the same taste so I tend to trust them and go with their recommendations. Ex Machina is a film the podcast greatly recommended.
Ex Machina is the new movie of writer/director Alex Garland, this film is about a robot and a tech employee assigned by his boss to conduct the Turing test on the artificial intelligence project called “Ava”.
What is the Turing test, you ask? It is a series of tests to determine whether a robot can pass for a human through conversations which in itself is a conundrum. Is a robot’s ability to speak like a human equate to a person’s intelligence? What Ex Machina delves into instead is the Turing Test’s inability to test for emotions.
Probably the best movie I’ve seen so far in 2015, Ex Machina‘s actors were superb especially Alicia Vikander who played Ava, the robot. She was graceful and fluid and cold and emotional all rolled into one. Amazing performance! I also love the look of the film – crystal clear and vibrant and modern. If you like unique, quirky and thoughtful movies, go watch Ex Machina.
Mad Men – Early Seasons
It was a moment of SEPANX – separation anxiety – from Mad Men after watching the series finale. The last episode was amazing, BTW, I loved how unexpected it was yet very natural with its pacing and conclusion. I also think the finale was satisfying and life-affirming, feelings I would have never expected from the very last show of a celebrated drama series. It then left a gaping hole in my life. To soothe my aching Mad Men missing heart, I started watching Seasons 1 through 4 and it reinforced my belief that it is one of the best shows of our time.
During the whole brouhaha that was the Game of Thrones season opener social media debacle, I decided to skip the GOT mania and go watch something from the opposite end of the spectrum.
Silicon Valley is an HBO series about a group of young millenials pursuing the millenial dream – a billion-dollar Startup. I found it funny, current, if not ironic but who knows if it’s a true depiction. I’m sure it is as realistic as “The Social Network” (BTW, the Winklevoss twins make a cameo). I like it because it’s a wake up call to all the younguns – not all tech startups end up like Facebook or Snapchat. You cannot just quit school or your job and the next thing you know, you’re a CEO of a billion-dollar company. HA! One in a billion chance, hijo.
I also found a lot of the IP(Intellectual Property) talk very educational, one can take up notes especially for future entrepreneurial projects. seriously!
I finally decided to renew my subscription to a paid VPN(Virtual Private Network) which I quit after marathoning the third season of House of Cards months ago. What is a VPN? It basically masks your connection and changes your Internet Protocal or IP as if you were in North America or Europe. This is particularly handy if you want to access Hulu, open a NetFlix account and take advantage of your Amazon Prime perks which includes this new show called Transparent.
Transparent is about this Los Angeles based Jewish family headed by Jeffrey Tambor, a political science professor Mort who decides to completely transition from a once-a-year crossdresser to a Transgender woman. Supported by a talented cast including Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass as Mort’s kids, they navigate their ever-changing lives in the midst of the sheen of life in LA.
if you enjoy dining and food as much as I do, you will love Netflix’s Chef’s Table. This Netflix docu-series features a single world-renowned chef on each episode and discovers their world and tries to give us a clear and magical peek into their careers and food. It is a voyeuristic view of a chef’s life punctuated by his philosophy, thoughts, background, taste and adventure. A masterpiece in each episode.
I told myself I was going to write about my Madonna in Manila concert experience when I was able to buy my tickets and I’ve been able to recuperate from the ordeal. So after eating some carbs, hydrating/replacing my electrolytes and after catching up on all work emails and some well needed rest, here is my story.
I’m a fans club member but not hardcore enough to be lifetime/legacy membership. I got an icon live pass which allowed you to purchase tickets last Tuesday, July 21st starting at 11am(legacy/lifetime members started at 10am). I was nursing a fever and with my laptop, credit cards, Madonna spotify playlist on loop and berocca-filled thermos by my side and a battalion of Madonna diehard fans on speed dial, I was getting ready for my turn to do presale. But alas, SM ticketing online system had major glitches and could not handle the traffic. They underestimated Madonna fans!
In fits of madness, I called their hotline and in fairness to their call center agent, she was in constant contact and told me to go to the nearest SM bills payment counter to use my fans club code. With my death face and in my pajamas, I took Uber to SM makati. I figured I can’t handle the stress of traffic and finding a parking slot. I got there and found that the area I wanted was sold out and only the expensive ones were left. BTW, I was just getting the Upper Box seats.(The night before, my mother threatened to disown me if I bought the PhP 57k ones!! HAHAHA! sorry, mom but i am KURIPOT DOT COM). The SM girls were fantastic and the manager told me she had a feeling that they’ve only released very few tickets for presale and more will be released for Citi cardholders the next day, Wednesday, July 22nd. I said a little prayer and thanked them.
Fast forward to Wednesday morning, my Madonna fan friends kept me updated on who was already in the queue and so with much urging, I ran to SM makati at 9am with hair still wet but with my game face on. I arrived at the entrance closest to Glorietta and I was glad to see familiar faces(let’s just say we were all women of a certain age). We waited patiently until the mall opened at 10am. I was armed and prepared – I had my water jug and book. I was fully hydrated and medicated! I was ready for battle!
It was probably my best “lining up for things” experience in my life. In this day and age, nobody wants to physically go on queue but thank God for Madonna fans! We each had our own little Madonna moments and concert tips we shared while waiting. But as soon as 10am struck, we ran up the stairs to the second floor counters and took our numbers. I’m glad to say that I’m healthy enough to do a mean sprint thanks to electric studio, options Pilates and circuit 360!!!
The story ends well – I was able to buy 4 upper box tickets and I will see Madonna for the THIRD time next February!
Now for some Madonna Fan-dom FAQs:
1. I heard that Madonna will sing mostly her songs from her new album, isn’t that going to be sad?
I’ve seen the rumored Rebel Heart tour playlist and it had a few old songs, don’t worry.
BUT SERIOUSLY – You guys should expect this, the tour is not named “The Virgin” tour nor is it “Blond Ambition part II”. It is REBEL HEART TOUR and her new album is named REBEL HEART. Deal with it!
2.How can you justify the absurd concert prices?
I cannot defend the prices, they are truly and absolutely absurd. I’ve seen Madonna twice in concert previously and the one time I bought VIP seats, they were USD 400. And that was already in Madison Square Garden!
That said, I don’t judge. Did I judge the ones who saw JLo for PhP 35K?!?!?! NO. Ok, fine, I may have judged a little but it’s their money.
However, if you allow my inner finance geek to show its shiny little head, here is what I call Madonna Math:
Variable A = rate your Madonna fandom from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest
Variable B = the number of years you have been a Madonna fan
So here’s my formula,
Madonna concert ticket price / (A x B) = Overall value to YOU
57,000 divided by (10 x30 years) = 190 pesos!!!
See that ain’t bad at all.
3. What do you wear during a Madonna concert?
I say go all out, when is the next time Madonna will go to our fair archipelago?!??! She is turning 57 next month, people. She cannot do this for the rest of her life!!
I’m thinking of going as “lucky star” madonna or papa don’t preach” madonna.
If you have more questions, please leave a comment below.
Life really has a funny way of sneaking up on you.
I was trolling around Facebook and a friend invited me to an Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill tribute gig and my jaw just dropped. A horrified thought bubble – “Wait? WHUT? Jagged Little Pill is 20 years old?!??!?! How did that happen??”. As much as days go by slowly and years go by quickly, has it really been TWENTY years?
Being the third world 90s kid that I am, I first heard about Alanis probably the early part of 1996, the last quarter of my senior year in high school. It was probably after UPCAT and ACET results were out, I knew I was college-bound and did not care much about what happens the rest of the year. My friends and I were in the deep depths of “senioritis”.
Funnily enough, I barely remember anything about HS graduation but I do remember the shenanigans around the practice. I remember it like it was just yesterday. I clearly recall that fellow tall girls Dianne and Fifi were belting out “You Outta Know” in between horsing around and slacking off during the last few moments of high school. My buddies and I also went on an epic roadtrip to the beach and Baguio before we graduated as this was the probably the last time we were all together and complete – Celina was off to Stanford, Love was off to UCSD, I was off to Fordham the year after. We were only allowed to miss 2 grad practice days(if we had missed more, none of us would graduate. Ironic as 2 of the top 10 of our class are our friends! LOLs) and so we planned it perfectly including the clothes, the food stops and of course, the playlist and I will say sorry to my friends as they had to go through hours of Alanis, Oasis and more Alanis. I was young, angry and foolish. What can I do? 😀
I also remember stalking Alanis at the now defunct APO Hiking Society Lunch variety show with Noee at the Delta Theater(turned used car showroom LOL). She was here for a concert, November 1996 to be exact and I’m not sure why I didn’t watch her. Either nobody wanted to go with me as Alanis was deemed too mainstream for my “alternative/modern” rock listening friends/family or I did not have any money being a poor college kid with 500 pesos a week as allowance. Take note, 500 during that time was not a bad sum of money. You can do so many things with that. But based on my last weekend trip to the UP Town Center(a mall near UP Diliman and Ateneo, where UPIS used to be!), I estimate a local college kid nowadays needs at least 2500 pesos a week to survive given the plethora of things/activities you are bound to spend on these days. Gah! Kids today! But going back to Alanis, so yah, whatever the reason was I dragged Noee to Delta and we almost were trampled by the crazy people who thought of doing the same thing and the White Castle girl and her horse walking around the parking area. Don’t ask me about the latter and no, we did not see Alanis either. We were too tired from all the “moshing” outside we decided to quit and go to Wendy’s Quezon Avenue to eat. LOL. Ahh. Youth.
Those were almost 20 years ago, how about that? Unbelievable. And this morning, I decided to listen to Jagged Little Pill while driving and the tide of memories just flooded right in. I know, Alanis is a manufactured juggernaut of modern rock-feminist twinged pop music but her songs are not bad. Most held up and I think my favorite song in the album is “You learn”. It’s softer than most of the other songs and I guess the song rings true. So many things happened the past two decades – triumph, loss, heartbreak, success, milestones, lessons, beginnings, endings and a whole lotta life – you live and you learn.
That was such a nice trip down memory lane. Thank you, Alanis.
I’ve always had a thing for older guys – mature, mysterious, confident and seemingly smart.
Case in point?
My top 2 homeboys are George Clooney and JFK Jr. My obsession with the latter has been well-documented in this blog and he’s 18 years older than me, too. Let’s add to the mix that hot dude reading(In case you have never heard of “hot dudes reading” – check out Chuvaness’ post about it.) – I don’t know who he is but he looks like a MAN who is mature, well-read(HA!), cultured and look at that coat – it’s not too stylish and has the right amount of chic. My heart skips a beat and my ovaries quiver every time I see his photo.
But let’s not forget, my ultimate “lolo” crush of all time – the late great Paul Newman. SIGH.
That said, the last few months I’ve found myself checking out younger guys. Not sure how this all started, maybe my Spain vacation opened my eyes to millenial hotties, but I hate to admit this but younger guys, especially those in their 20s are something else.
Here are a few of my favorite “cougar” preys:
1. The Real Madrid Team
Save for Iker Casillas and maybe Alvaro Arbeloa, all of the guys in the Real Madrid football team are in their 20s and if that photo from last Christmas’ holiday dinner doesn’t prove to you that RM is a team filled with very attractive and strapping young men(sorry, if you’re looking for Cristiano Ronaldo – he’s not my type. LOL). In native parlance, walang sayang(maybe the left-most guy needs a major beard trim!!)
2. The Warwick Rowers
Hat-tip to my friend Ross for introducing me to the Warwick Rowers. This is, admittedly, not their best photo but this is the most decent one I can find on the internet! FYI – these guys are part of the rowing team of the University of Warwick. Back two or three years ago, they needed to fund their varsity program and they thought of selling calendars. The catch? They’re all in their birthday suits but done ever so tastefully and since then, they’ve raised over GBP 200K!! They’ve produced Olympic rowers and also caused insanity amongst the female and gay population. I wish I could show you one of their behind-the-scenes videos because it is AMAZING(it’s quite NSFW – so let me know if you want me to send the link. LOL!)
3. ZAYN MALIK
I know, seriously? YES I’M SERIOUS.
And honestly? I went back to blogging because I could not stop talking about Zayn Malik to my friends the past 3 weeks(has it just been 3 weeks?!??!) and it has come to a point that I think they’re getting sick of it. So my way of dealing with it? I need to blog about ZAYN.
Like the rest of the girls my age, I’ve only heard of One Direction from my friends’ daughters and nieces. I personally know them only as a group and only knew one guy – Harry Styles just because he dated T-Swizzle(that’s Taylor Swift ;). And that photo above was taken as a joke a few years ago.
But now? Oh Zaynnnnnnn!!! #zayncomeback
This all started when all that tween/teen panic happened as Zayn Malik quit One Direction. So many people posted about young girls in shock and anguish because of Zayn leaving. Girls sobbing in class, girls screaming and girls on the verge of suicide – WTF.
What is a “tita” to do but to google what the hell these “bagets” were going crazy over?
ZAYN MALIK, YOU ARE PERFECT. His brooding and mysterious eyes, pouty kissable lips and sexy facial hair did me in. I ended up googling him and one direction TO DEATH. I know, he’s 22 and he’s engaged to Perrie Edwards of Little Mix(#zerrie) but WHO CARES.
Yes, Zayn, that’s exactly how I feel whenever I search you in google image. I KEED. But seriously, this boy is so HOT. No wonder girls were going crazy?!?!?! #cutforzayn
And my trip to One Direction land also made me understand millenial trends – like those undercut ponytails and headbands
Sorry guys, but this only looks good on Zayn. *sigh* #zayniloveyou
I normally wouldn’t find this type of hot mess attractive but even in hairstyles reminiscent of Johnny Depp’s character in Cry Baby which, BTW, is a movie OLDER THAN ZAYN……
He can do no wrong! Even with is recent buzz cut. ZAYNNNNNNN!!!!
And Zayn boy isn’t just a beautiful face, he’s also the best singer in 1D. Who’s going to hit the high notes NOW?!?! (I heard the song below while walking around S&R the other day and I started to sing along. It’s THAT bad but I have to say the album FOUR is pretty good as far as pop albums go)
Anyway, I’m also glad I’m no longer a teen because the interwebz is a place that encourages fan girl hysteria. like this. 😀 p.s. I also NOW get why girls go crazy over Harry, too – he has appeal but he’s not my type. HAHA!
So let’s get right to it – here is my most recently updated “glossy”
I know most girls will understand, I have an armada of beauty products in my bathroom and dresser. I use different products depending on my moods or depending on what my skin or hair needs for that particular moment.
Bath/Shower time for me consists of shower cream or gel – my ultimate favorite is Dr.Bronner’s Peppermint Castile Liquid Soap. I heard they were available locally at Healthy Options before but I buy mine in bulk in the States, either at Whole Foods or Costco. The minty smell wakes me up in the morning and tingly feeling is very refreshing. I also use this when I want to feel really squeaky clean. If I’m in the mood for something more moisturizing I grab Palmolive Naturals’ Milk and Honey Soft Moisture body wash(I super love the scent!) or Delon’s Olive Body Wash. They’re both available locally and very affordable, too(S&R is having a buy one take one for the Delon body washes right now!)
I have since colored hair and I’m kind of obsessed with keeping it moisturized so I’ve been using Klorane’s Pomegranate color-safe shampoo. I buy this at Guardian or Manning’s in SG/HK(they were on sale for SG$ 28 for 2 bottles!! amazing!!). On other days, I still use Dove hair products as well as Zenutrient’s wonderful Argan Oil x Chamomile line – local and organic and it works!
As I’ve mentioned on IG, my most favorite hair care discovery of the past 5 years has got to be dry shampoo. I have oily, fine asian hair and I almost always need to shampoo my hair everyday and that’s just going to fry your hair. So whenever I see dry shampoo either in Sephora or some other drug store abroad, I have to get it. And believe me, I’ve tried so many brands but Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat milk is my FAVORITE. The smell is pretty good and it doesn’t leave your hair wire-y plus it’s not that expensive(as compared to the likes of Oscar Blandi or Living Proof). I hoard these whenever I see them at drugstores abroad!! It is so worth lugging 4-5 cans per trip. BELIEVE ME.
For skin/facial care, I am still an ardent Clarisonic user. I use a variety of face cleansers – Beauty Formula‘s Tea Tree Exfoliating Facial Wash(For breakouts or PMS-ing skin), Fresh’s Soy Facial Cleanser(For times I feel like my skin needs some gentle care) and Aesop’s Amazing Facial Cleanser(For times my skin needs a refresher). For toning, I still reach out for Bioderma’s Sebium H20. I use Neutragena’s Oil-free Moisturizer for Combination skin in the daytime while I combine Dior’s One Essential Serum and Aesop’s Oil-free Hydrating Serum at night.
For skin prepping, I’ve discovered a wonderful pre and post make up mist from Korean brand Innisfree(I know, the brand name!! LOLs!) and it’s called Mineral Glow Fixer Mist. Whatever it is, I love it. I spritz a little before putting on primer. Speaking of primers, I used to not care about primers but they’re amazing products. Primers smooth out imperfections like wrinkles and fine lines(I KNOW.) and also helps your foundation and other make up products adhere to your skin. I love Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer Protect which has SPF 30 sunscreen because I love dual purpose products. My new go-to foundation though is LM’s water-based Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide foundation. It is very light and you only need a few drops for light to medium coverage. It is also buildable at times when you need to cover up blemishes. After foundation, I dab a little bit of Burberry beauty’s Fresh Glow under my eyes and high plains so can look…fresh 😛 It’s also nakaka bagets(girls in my demographic will love this!)
And not sure why I added these in this group but I love Vaseline’s Spray & Go Cocoa Radiant lotion – it’s best for people who hate sticky and thick body lotion. I also like the slight lip moisture of EOS lipbalms(love the packaging too!)
I’ve started to put more effort in doing my eyes every day for work. It helps in making me look more like a serious adult, I guess. LOL.
Brows – I wasn’t into filling in my brows because I thought I looked like a tranny but when I discovered Happy Skin’s Eye Love View Eyebrow duo pencil, I was kind of hooked. It has a very fine pen at one end and a slight crayon on the other. And since I’ve dyed my hair several shades lighter than my natural color (and I’m scared shitless of coloring my brows as well), I went looking for a chocolate ash eyebrow pencil and the best one I’ve found so far is Dolly Wink’s! I also love my Nichido eyebrow gel – it’s cheap and it works. 😀
Lashes – I have virtually none so I don’t really bother – but I am loyal to my Chanel curlash(because it’s horribly chic) and Armani’s eyes to kill mascara whenever I decide to focus on my lashes.
Eyeliner – I just discovered this but I used to use just a cheap Nichido taupe eyeliner but after reading something online on the best products as reviewed by an actual Sephora sales person, she swore by Marc Jacob’s Highliner gel eyeliner. I was a bit skeptical and then I was like schlepping around Sephora and decided to try it out, it is THE BEST. Stop whatever you’re doing and get this EYELINER – unbelievably intense color, this eyeliner doesn’t tug and glides on smoothly. It is like a gel eyeliner in pencil form and it’s waterproof and it’s always the right amount of sharpness. My favorite product RIGHT NOW.
Eye shadows – I’m a sucker for NAKED eye palettes. My initial favorite was Naked 2, it was just really my kind of colors and it’s easy to use plus it’s so worth the price. I decided to purchase the Naked Basics 2 to lug around in my every day kikay kit which is good for touch ups. The first time I saw Naked 3 online I wasn’t that impressed as the palette is mostly rose-toned and again, schlepping around Sephora makes you buy things and N3 is now my favorite – the rose tones aren’t too intense and you can build a nice day time look, while the darker colors in the spectrum allow for a dramatic night time eye. Very versatile! The Armani Eyes to Kill quad is also a nice compact to bring with you in your bag as it has range and depth as well.
Lips – Unlike the intense reds I used to favor, I’ve shifted into a more nude/old rose/taupe range the past 12 months. I’ve been traveling a lot for work and I can’t just bring all my lipstick stack so I choose colors that I can use for business meetings as well as post-work cocktails/dinner. So my current go-to is the classic Armani lipstick in 502 while depending on my moods or occasions, I like to use Tom Ford’s Indian Rose, Armani’s Rouge Ecstacy in 575, Burberry beauty’s Rosewood, Shiseido’s PK 302. For nights out, I like those Armani Lip lacquers – intense color and not too shiny. If I want sheen, I dab Fresh’s Sugar Honey.
Nails – Like a true tita, I am now more into neutrals and my new favorite is Dior’s Incognito. Lovely nude/pink which is a tad lighter than Chanel’s Rose Confidentiel. Perfect! I also still favor a few colors from Chanel like Tendresse, Frenzy and Secret. If I want a darker color, Jin Soon’s greyish blue is pretty and Chanel’s Taboo is a shiny version of the classic Rouge Noir. Of course, Seche Vite is the best top coat. BAR NONE.
Fragrance – I like ro mix and match scents as well and these are in my current mix – Francis Kurkdjian’s Amyris Femme(I use this sparingly because it was a gift and a little on the expensive side – only for special occasions! LOL), Agua De Colonia de los Reales Sitios de Espana(If the name doesn’t say it all – it’s classic spanish-style cologne. I got this from the shop at the Palacio Real in Madrid), Le Labo’s Fleur d’Oranger(a little splurge gift to self – fancy but goes a long way!) and Fresh’ Hesperides (citrus-y but not too sweet, lovely during the summer heat!)
I LOVE samples! They’re the best way to try out things you wouldn’t normally purchase because you’re either too cheap or can’t figure out if it really works. It’s also good to use these when traveling. Here are some of my favorite haul.