Monday, June 30, 2008


I'm writing this from the NAIA Centennial 2 Terminal, although I'll probably be posting this later when I go online. There's a wifi signal that I'm able to access, but there's no Internet connection.

I'm here because I'm going to Negros on business, and the reason I have some time to kill is because I was booked on a Philippine Airlines flight, and predictably, the flight is delayed for about an hour. I don't know if it's just my bad luck or if this happens all the time, but this is such a cliche. If it were up to me, I'd never go with PAL, but I wasn't the one who booked (and paid for) the flight. Like most everyone who travels domestically and who has constant access to the Internet, I use Cebu Pacific.

Of course, the terminal is much nicer than the old Manila Domestic Airport terminal that Cebu Pacific uses; actually, it's looks exactly like the new terminal at Iloilo's airport (or probably more accurately, the new terminal at Iloilo's airport looks exactly like this one). It's uncanny. With the people at the next couple of tables speaking in Hiligaynon, I might as well be back.

The prices at this terminal are ludicrous, as I guess they are with most airport terminals, but this is much worse than at the old one (a can of Coke costs Php50 while a bottle of C2 is Php70), and they're probably making a killing with all the delayed flights of PAL. Between that and the traffic to get here, I think I prefer that ratty old terminal. Also, and I'm probably alone in this, I like the fact that in the old terminal, you still get to walk on to the tarmac before boarding.

I'll be landing in Bacolod (the old airport, I think, not the new one in Silay), but I won't have much time to roam around; I probably wouldn't even get to have some chicken inasal this time, which sucks, because that's probably my favorite Bacolod memory. I really wish I had more time, I would have liked to swing by Iloilo just to see how everyone there's doing after the typhoons.

I wonder if PAL has nice planes for its domestic flights, and if they're nicer than Cebu Pacific's airbuses. When I was a kid, they still gave newspapers and served snacks during flights, but with PAL trying to match Cebu Pacific's prices, I doubt if that's still the case. We'll see.

UPDATE, after the flight:

Turns out the we did land in the new Silay/Bacolod airport, which was nice, but a good thirty minutes away from Bacolod (like Iloilo's new airport from the city proper). The PAL plane I boarded was from the same series as Cebu Pacific planes. Unlike the Cebu Pacific planes though, the PAL plane was mixed-class, with LCD monitors for the business class. There were also a handful LCD monitors that provided the flight instructions at the start of the flight as well as flight information in the overhead panel.

They did serve snacks (no newspapers though). When I was a kid, they used to serve sandwiches during flights (while Cebu Pacific served biscuits). Now, PAL serves biscuits while Cebu Pacific serves no snacks at all.

The oddest thing about the flight was the flight attendants; they were mostly male. The few female flight attendants were in their traditional PAL stuffy outfits, and weren't as cute as Cebu Pacific flight attendants. So given that, and the prices, and the convenient online ticketing, and the lack of delays, John Gokongwei totally drinks Lucio Tan's milkshake.


Sunday, June 29, 2008



@ my godson's 3rd birthday
[thx mark!]

Monday, June 23, 2008

Euro 2008

I caught the tail end of the Euro Cup 2008 match between the Netherlands and Russia this morning. It actually took me quite a while to figure out which teams were playing, because (and this is one of my biggest problems with football coverage) they never show the scoreboard. I quickly figured out that the Dutch were in orange (William of Orange was Dutch, right?) but it wasn't until they showed a graphic of someone named Pavl Yuchenko that I assumed the other team was Russia. They finally showed the scoreboard around 20 minutes after I started watching.

Apart from not showing the scoreboard, they also never show the time remaining. This is a problem, you see, I'd usually catch an English Premiere League match, and think, Hey, it's Chelsea versus Liverpool, this shouldd be good, only for the match to end all of a sudden because there had only been two minutes to go when I started tuning in, and then they'd finally show the score and it was a great game with many spectacular goals which you wouldn't see because they never show replays either.

It feels like the coverage is punishing you for having the audacity to tune in late and/or to not pay much attention for the match. What, you haven't spent the past ninety minutes rapt in attention to a bunch of white guys running around? Why, you don't deserve to know how this match is going! I can imagine my television turning its nose up on me.

They never show the score, or the time, but they keep cutting to shots of pale, pudgy, and hairy shirtless Russian dudes in the stands. So at least there's that.

It did turn out to be a great match. Russia had been leading for a while and had been looking dominant but the Netherlands scored a goal in the 86-minute mark to force extra time. Russia kept the pressure though and they finally came through with two goals in the second extra period. They had been attacking throughout the match, and the Dutch goalkeeper looked exhausted. Of course, this all just led to more gratuitous shots of the barechested Russian fans.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boy that escalated quickly

I mean, that really got out of hand fast. I was waiting for Eddie House to stab Sasha Vujacic with a trident.

The most incredible thing about the whole series for me is how Phil Jackson has been asleep on the wheel the whole time, leaving guys like Farmar, Radmanovic, and Vujacic too long, failing to get Kobe the ball in better position, looking like he's thinking about his reservations at STK after the game. It's completely perplexing, because we've been watching the guy for more than ten years now, and he's been the best coach in the league, bar none, over that period. Now he looks like he just stopped caring.

As Simmons asked:

Is anyone else starting to wonder if Jackson coaches the Lakers just because they pay him a ton of money and he's dating the owner's daughter and that's it? I mean, he can't LIKE most of these guys, right? He sure doesn't seem like he's enjoying these games, that's for sure. Do you think he goes home after every Lakers game, pours himself a glass of wine, lights up a Cuban, watches one of the old Bulls games from the '90s and just fights back tears for an hour or so thinking about how much he hates coaching Kobe? You wouldn't rule it out, right?

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Grab on to me (don't ever let go)

I splurged a little tonight on CDs, which was alright, actually, since I last bought new music last February (Sandwich's < S > Marks the Spot). Part of it was because I was trying to save up, but part of it was also because there was nothing out there that I wanted to buy. Prior to the new Sandwich album, I'd bought the new releases by Pupil (Wildlife) and Cambio (Matic), and both were quite disappointing, especially compared to the previous efforts by both bands. I haven't had the chance to be exposed to new music either, since I've stopped watching the music channels in favor of BTV and CNN, and the only time I ever get to listen to the radio is during cab rides (Hi, pangga! May energy ka pa ba?).

Anyway, I walked in to Odyssey at Gateway earlier to get the latest CDs by Pedicab and Moonstar 88. I quickly found the new Pedicab album (Shinji Ilabas Mo Na Ang Helicopter), but there was there was no copy of the Moonstar record. I ended up picking up a bunch of other CDs: Markus Highway (Behold, Rejoice! Surfernando Is hear Nah), Julianne (Grateful), and the re-issue of Kamikazee's self-titled debut album, which their previous record label put out a couple of years ago to capitalize on the band's stardom post-Narda. I was thinking of getting Taken By Cars and Sinosikat? records too, but it was too much for one evening. Perhaps next time.

I haven't listened to the other albums yet, so I'd probably write about them some other time, but the Kamikazee re-issue is disappointing. It had all the songs from the first album, but not the the original artwork or cover material or liner notes. Don't these people realize that if I had just wanted a copy of Tsinelas, I could just download it off Multiply, and that their whole fucking industry is being kept alive by people like me who still buy CDs because we want an artifact, something more than just the music? That's why your whole stupid industry is dying, because it's run by clueless little fucktards who sign Manny Calayan to record contracts and who drop bands like Kamikazee and Sandwich from their labels before their breakout albums.

Sure, there are other bonus stuff on the CD, like old demos by Kamikazee (which were, well, demos for a good reason), and music videos (all of which can be found on YouTube). Still, let's end this post on a good note. Here's the still-awesome video for Kamikazee's Girlfriend, which remains the band's best music video to date. I love the part where the song goes into instrumental while our superhero emotes.


Classic games

A couple of hours ago, while preparing a paper for grad school, I got sucked in to the classic game playing on BTV. It was the first game of the 1997 NBA Finals, between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz. I couldn't remember the game's finish (or why it's on as a classic), so I ended up watching the whole thing. The game was tied with about 30 seconds remaining after Michael Jordan missed a free throw. The Jazz went to a pick-and-roll, but the Bulls defended it well forcing a contested 25-footer from John Stockton with the shot clock running down. The ball hit the back rim for a long rebound, but in the scramble for the loose ball, a foul was called on Dennis Rodman. Karl Malone went to the line for free throws and missed both. The Bulls rebounded the ball, called timeout, and got the ball to Jordan, who sank a twenty-footer at the buzzer for the win.

By now, you've probably guessed that this was the infamous The mailman doesn't deliver on Sundays game. The story goes that prior to Malone's important free throws, Scottie Pippen went to him and whispered those words, which caused the Jazz forward to miss.

I was just about to turn in when the titles rolled and BTV was showing another classic game. I wanted to check out what game it was when Marv Albert narrated a montage of the events of the same Finals series. The clip featured the Jordan game-winner and the Bulls going up 2-0, and two home wins by the Jazz highlighted by Stockton's heroics including a steal off Jordan to tie the series. At this point, I still couldn't remember which game this was, until the camera cut to a shot of Jordan entering the arena, followed by Albert reporting that there was a lot of concern in the Chicago camp, not just because Utah had the momentum, but because Jordan had been under the weather for the past 24 hours.

This was the flu game.

So here I am, typing away while the game is on. The Bulls are getting killed in the first quarter with Jordan struggling and taking an early trip to the bench, but I suspect that they'll be alright. I think I'll stay up to finish this one. It's not like I have to go to work tomorrow.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Dal Ja's Spring

I've taken to GMA's new Korean comedy, Dal Ja's Spring, after catching the first episode last week. I'd admit that it's nothing special, certainly not particularly funnier than other Korean comedies like Attic Cat or Full House, and that I'm watching the series more out of habit. But the lead, Park Chae Rim, is particularly sparkling in her role as a thirtysomething television producer who's never had a boyfriend.


Pisay the (award-winning) movie

From PEP:

The Entertainment Press Society or ENPRESS, Inc. has announced the winners to this year's 5th Golden Screen Awards (GSA). The awards night will be held on June 24, Tuesday, at Zirkoh Greenhills at 8 p.m. The final voting of the winners was held Saturday, June 14, at Music 21 KTV Bar on Timog Avenue after a marathon deliberation that took seven hours.

Pisay, an indie film about eight exceptionally gifted high school students set in the politically volatile ‘80s, dominated the 5th Golden Screen Awards by winning 8 trophies, including Best Motion Picture (Drama) and Best Director for Auraeus Solito.

The film also won Best Original Screenplay for Henry Grajeda.

[ FIRST READ ON PEP: "Pisay" dominates 5th Golden Screen Awards ]

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Saturday, June 14, 2008


My favorite part of yesterday's amazing comeback by the Celtics was this shot of Sasha Vujacic crying on the Lakers bench after getting punked by Jesus Shuttlesworth. Hahaha. Douchebag.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Rashida spin-off

Coming off that spectacular season finale last month (as a friend of mine would say, Bangis!), there's buzz that the spin-off of The Office would feature Karen Filippelli.

This is great, great news because I absolutely love Rashida Jones.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Douchebags and assholes

Though the two terms are used interchangeably during casual conversation/blogging, there's a quite a bit of difference between douchebags and assholes. To illustrate this more clearly, let's take a look at this year's Western Conference champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.

Backup guard Sasha Vujacic, with his awkward jumper, dalliances with Paris Hilton, the stupid nickname ("The Machine"), and that annoying, girly euro-headband, is your prototypical douchebag.

(Just typing that, I'm thinking to myself, God, what a douchebag. I actually do enjoy watching him, because he's so much fun to cheer against.)

Meanwhile, Kobe Bryant isn't nearly quite as annoying, but he's an asshole. Despite all the feel-good stories from this season about his transformation, he's the same old asshole we always knew him to be. Red Sox pitcher Curt Schillingblogged about Bryant after watching from Game 2 from his courtside seats:

Who doesn’t know Kobe Bryant right? I only know what I have heard, starting awhile back with the entire Shaq debacle. I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other on or about him other than to know that people feel he might be one of the 4-5 greatest players to ever lace it up.

What I do know is what I got to see up close and hear, was unexpected. From the first tip until about 4 minutes left in the game I saw and heard this guy bitch at his teammates. Every TO he came to the bench pissed, and a few of them he went to other guys and yelled about something they weren’t doing, or something they did wrong. No dialog about “hey let’s go, let’s get after it” or whatever. He spent the better part of 3.5 quarters pissed off and ranting at the non-execution or lack of, of his team.

Then when they made what almost was a historic run in the 4th, during a TO, he got down on the floor and basically said ‘Let’s f’ing go, right now, right here” or something to that affect. I am not making this observation in a good or bad way, I have no idea how the guys in the NBA play or do things like this, but I thought it was a fascinating bit of insight for me to watch someone in another sport who is in the position of a team leader and how he interacted with his team and teammates.

Watching the other 11 guys, every time out it was high fives and “Hey nice work, let’s get after it” or something to that affect. He walked off the floor, obligatory skin contact on the high five, and sat on the bench stone faced or pissed off, the whole game. Just weird to see another sport and how it all works. I would assume that’s his style and how he plays and what works for him because when I saw the leader board for scoring in the post season his name sat up top at 31+ a game, can’t argue with that. But as a fan I was watching the whole thing, Kobe, his teammates and then the after effects of conversations. He’d yell at someone, make a point, or send a message, turn and walk away, and more than once the person on the other end would roll eyes or give a ‘whatever dude’ look.

Bill Simmons adds:

[Schilling's] Kobe anecdotes are so damning you have to read them to fully grasp the significance. All I can say is I sat close to the court for Games 1 and 2 and can confirm everything -- the glares, the yelling, the extended staring, the poisonous body language and everything else. If this had been pickup hoops, some of Kobe's teammates would have intentionally thrown a game just to get back to the sidelines, then done the "No, I'm running with these four guys" routine when he came over to ask if they wanted "Next" with him.

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Chances are

I've been a bit busy for a few days now. School's started and I'm on my last term, so I was in UP for a couple of days for registration and payment. I've also been meeting up with some people for whom I'm doing some consulting work, and it's odd because everything seems to happen at the same time. During free days I'm bored out of my mind, and during occupied days I run around the city to meet people.

I actually missed something important last week because of my busy schedule. I was supposed to go with my mom and my sister to see Kung-Fu Panda last week. See, over the course of the summer, because the two of them had nothing to at home and my other brothers were on vacation (one was in Iloilo while the other was in Laguna), the two of them took to watching movies in the afternoon to pass the time. Last month, they were generous enough to let me in to their little club, and we went to watch Iron Man on the afternoon of my last day at my old job.

I really enjoyed hanging out with them. My mom hadn't really been big on movies these past few years, preferring dramas on local TV instead, but there was a time, when I was little, when she did have the time to go out and watch movies. When we were in the theater, I pointed out to my mom > that Robert Downey, Jr. was the star of one of her favorite movies, Chances Are, which I remember because she used to tell me about the plot of the movie all the time. When I did this, she told me that she couldn't remember the actor or the title of the film, but she did remember the movie after I described the plot, and she remembered that she loved that movie. It was about this guy who passes away, goes to heaven, and gets reincarnated with memories of his previous life intact. The only problem was, he has to go through a whole lifetime again and when he finds his wife, she's old enough to be her mother. You guys might remember the theme of the movie, which was After All by Cher and Peter Cetera.

I'm so glad that my mom's back watching movies again, because for the past several years, it's become hard to remember that she liked movies enough that she had several favorites. In fact, I could still remember that aside from Chances Are, she also loved Twist, Ghost and Steven Spielberg's Always (she thought Always was better than Ghost). Now that I think about it, wow, my mom was really big on the whole love-after-death thing. Perhaps I should take her out to see that awful Eva Longoria movie.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Action star

All the showbiz talk shows last weekend covered the passing of action star Rudy Fernandez. I started thinking about it, and I realized that I don't particularly remember any Rudy Fernandez film. His most popular movies are Baby Ama and Markang Bungo, but I can't remember seeing either (or if I did, I guess they weren't particularly memorable. I'm quite sure I've seen some of his other movies, like Lagalag, which was about his uncle (and Pops Fernandez's dad), The Vincent "Bingbong" Crisologo Story, about the early life of the Quezon City congressman, and that movie where he hooked up with Lorna Tolentino that had Somewhere as its theme song (I don't think that was an action movie though).

Now, this is odd because I usually remember particular movies by his contemporaries from that particular period. So yeah, this is really just an excuse for me to write about some old Pinoy action films. I'm not even going to mention FPJ, Binoe, or Manoy because we won't be seeing an end to this post.

Philip Salvador

-- Balweg, the Rebel Priest - this was the one about the rebel soldier. Fr. Balweg goes up to the mountains, preaches liberation theology, and, with his M-16, goes medieval on Martial Law-era battalions operating in the Cordilleras. He was a priest!

-- Joe Pring - this was about the famous Manila cop. He's a good cop, catching lots of bad guys, but he also nails lots of chicks (to his wife's chagrin). My grandfather, who was a photographer, supplemented his income by doing crime scene photography work as well as basic private investigation, so he had a lot of friends in the police. Some of them came over the house occasionally. One of them was Joe Pring himself. I was so disappointed because he *so* did not look like Philip Salvador.

Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr.

-- Boy Tornado - this was a Rocky knockoff, with Bong Revilla playing an up-and-coming boxer preparing for his eventual championship match with champion Ruel Vernal. Of course, he also has a chip on his shoulder because Vernal's promoter screwed his dad many years before. At the end, some of his loved ones are kidnapped. My absolute favorite thing about this movie is that Boy Tornado suddenly, mysteriously becomes an expert deadshot with his .45, allowing him to kill all the bad guys while rescuing everyone.

-- Pangako Sa 'Yo - this was a Maging Sino Ka Man rip-off starring Bong Revilla and Sharon Cuneta. For some weird, fucked-up reason, Bong Revilla decided to wear a horrible ponytail for this movie. But check out this movie just to see how hot Sharon Cuneta looked in it; the Megastar hasn't looked as good before or since. Seriously.

Lito Lapid

-- Kamagong - this movie starts out as Karate Kid with arnis (the title comes from the tree from which the sticks are made). Lito Lapid plays the Miyagi role, with JC Bonnin as his Daniel-San. They don't wax in (or wax out, for that matter), but they do stand on poles to practice their moves. JC then lets his skills go to his head and becomes a cocky professional arnis fighter. He seeks revenge by challenging arnis champion Ruel Vernal, but Vernal cheats a lot with mirrors on his sticks to reflect light to blind JC, who gets his ass handed to him. Lito Lapid has no choice but to fight Ruel Vernal, in the process destroying not only Vernal's reign, but JC Bonnin's showbiz career as well, forcing him to migrate to the UK to become a vicar. It's true, look it up.

-- Ok, I don't remember the title of the film, but there's this movie where Lito Lapid plays a soldier, and he's in the battlefield where he goes hand-to-hand against Max Laurel (a.k.a. the musclebound guy who played Zuma). Max Laurel tries to squeeze the life out of him with a bearhug, but he survives using karate chops to Laurel's head. Later on, he gets hit with a bullet to his stomach. The wound is pretty bad; in fact, his intestines are spilling out literally! Unfazed, he takes a helmet, cups his intestines in it, and charges the enemies while continuing fire. I don't remember anything else about the movie, but dammit, that was motherfuckingly awesome.

Jinggoy Estrada

-- Eagle Squad - if you ignore for a moment the fact that this film stars Jinggoy Estrada, you'd realize that this was a pretty cool movie. The government needs to crack down on crime, so they decide to form an elite unit to deal with the situation. The police assemble the Eagle Squad from different parts of the organization, so the very best patrolmen, detectives, sharpshooters, etc. were recruited. It had a cool, Seven Samurai/Magnificent Seven/Ocean's Eleven feel to it. After they were done, they ended up with some of the very best group of young action stars that the movie's budget could afford: Edu Manzano, Ricky Davao, a very young Robin Padilla before he broke out in Bad Boy, George Estregan Jr., Monsour del Rosario, and a bunch of others. They even let Jinggoy be part of the group, probably because he was one of the movie's producers. My favorite member was Monsour del Rosario, who was recruited because he was a tae kwon do champion. Yeah, because his expertise would *really* come in handy when the bad guys come shooting at them with, you know, guns.

Anyway, they get the team together and they go through a crash training, where they do a lot of push-ups and run around obstacle courses. They're then pressed into active duty with immediate results, busting several illegal operations and earning the ire of the big crime syndicates. One by one, members of the Eagle Squad are assassinated with the help of some corrupt members of the police. Now, I don't actually remember the end of the movie, but I think they all got killed in the end in an ambush. Which would have been an awesome, ballsy ending but I seriously don't remember if that was really how this movie ended or I just have it confused with the finale of Force 1 Animax from Funny Komiks.

A couple of months ago, I actually caught the movie showing on Destiny's local movie channel, and I was hooked. But I wasn't able to finish the movie because I had to go to work, and that's when I finally made up my mind about leaving my job. A man shouldn't have to be made to choose between going to work and watching how Eagle Squad ends.

UPDATE: Actually, there is a Rudy Fernandez film that I love. It was Waway, which was about the crazed hostage-taker who was talked down by journalist Ruther Batuigas. It wasn't much of an action movie, but it was really well-acted (Ronnie Lazaro was really great in it, as he is for most of the projects he's been in). I didn't post it initially because I couldn't remember if it was Rudy Fernandez or Philip Salvador who played the title role. Also, Cesar Montano starred in a shitty remake of the film, because that's what Cesar Montano is: a shitty, unoriginal action star whose career only took off while Robin Padilla was in jail.

Also, I'd forgotten to add, three of the four action stars whose movies I discussed above are currently proud members of the Philippine Senate. Isn't that great?

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Monday, June 09, 2008

I've been reading

There are many benefits of being unemployed. For example, I've gotten started on growing what will soon be a kick-ass full-grown beard. I've also been catching up on some of my reading. The last two books I read were Booker Prize-winning novels by acclaimed contemporary British authors that were turned into films: Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day and Ian McEwan's Atonement. I had seen neither of the adaptations, but I had read a work of each author previously (Ishiguro's A Pale View of the Hills and McEwan's Amsterdam). I wasn't taken by either of the previous books I'd read, which was part of the reason it took me so long to get to them.

The Remains of the Day employs the same narrative device as A Pale View of the Hills, which made it a breeze to read. There was a subtlety to the whole novel that disguised the emotional weight of the story, a measured, collected voice meant to provide mere glimpses of the loneliness, the sorrow, the betrayal, and the profound sense of loss scattered throughout the recollections of the narrator's life. I loved the book, but I'm not sure I want to see the movie. I might be wrong, but I have a hard time imagining the subtlety of the novel translating to the screen. There are so few pieces of literature that had dealt with heartbreak (the narrator's, and the readers' too) so calmly and coolly.

I wasn't a big fan of Ian McEwan's deep-seated, psychological prose after reading Amsterdam, and after having read, and having loved, Atonement, I still don't think I am. I had a lot of trouble getting through the first few chapters, with McEwan imbuing the most trivial matters with epic importance with his words. It's probably just a matter of taste, but I found the affectations a bit tedious.

When the plot finally got going, and with the story turning quite epic, the words finally felt right and putting the book down required a great deal of effort. I still hadn't seen the movie, but I've become quite curious to see it, having heard that the film had stayed faithful to the novel.

I'm hoping to finish off more books in the coming weeks. Next up on my queue are A.S. Byatt's Possession, another Booker Prize winner that had been turned into a film, and a book given to me by my friend Kage before I left my old job, Yellow Dog by Martin Amis, another renowned British author. Should be fun.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

There can only be one

These were great. This is better:

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Friday, June 06, 2008


I still don't actually have a job yet, but I have some very exciting things in the works. Anyway, just wanted to check in to let everyone know I'm not yet, um, dead or anything.

Anyway, as my friends will attest, I'm a really big Jeopardy fan and I race home to watch the show whenever I could (you know, back when I was still a gainfully employed and contributing member of our society). Here's a list of the top nine moments in the show's history. The triple tie was my favorite (how dumb was that?), the 133t was awesome, but they're all good.



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The Onion AV Club
Wil Wheaton