Wednesday, February 29, 2012

CentrePoint on Wireless Road

Here's the last hotel I stayed at. It's the CentrePoint on Wireless Road, which is near several embassies, such as those of the US, New Zealand, Netherlands and Japan. Apparently, this is not the Central Business District yet as I mistakenly assumed in the video.

The reasons why I booked this hotel were the wifi (strong and fast the entire time! I found that their malls were not generous with free wifi :-P) and the balcony, which gave me a calming view of the Bangkok skyline, or at least, part of it.

It's less than a 5-minute walk from the Phloen Chit BTS. Room service is even more expensive than S31's, which is a luxury hotel compared to CentrePoint. (S31 also has inexpensive spa services on the ground floor.) I rarely bumped into people except during breakfast hours, so if you want some peace and quiet, then you'll like it here. It's only about one, two stations away from Central World and Siam Center. You may also walk if you have good shoes on :-)

Here are photos of the side entrance and walkway going to the lobby:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

rating: 6/10

I find that I become more emotionally affected by the events of 9/11 not in seeing the World Trade Twin Towers crash down but in knowing the stories of the individuals who met their untimely death during the terrorist act. I've listened to their frantic 911 calls eerily cut short and watched documentaries of valiant firemen and airline passengers who fought to save lives.

This movie tells us the story of a family trying to cope with the death of a husband (Tom Hanks), who died while at World Trade. The most riveting scenes were when Tom kept on making separate, frantic phone calls to his wife (Sandra Bullock) and son (Thomas Horn) while he was trapped in the tower; that was also when I began to question whether "prying" on their supposed private moments is something I should feel guilty about. There's also the argument that the scenes were being milked for its drama—to induce tears and pander to the audience's emotions.

For example, I couldn't help but roll my eyes when the camera would have these contrived, establishing shots of people standing still, looking at the camera with such dazzling seriousness and sadness. I found that these 'artistic' shots and montages (and there were many of them) only made the characters' emotional journey shallow, as if the tragedy can be summed up in one cool music video. Inversely, I found the 'normal' and 'quiet' camera work the most poignant and sincere. (e.g., Sandra Bullock in her office with a full view of the Towers.)

I also hated how the film kept the audience in suspense by holding back on the sixth, final message that Tom left in the answering machine minutes before he died. I mean, how was I, as the voyeur in the family's "worst day of their lives" (as the boy kept on quoting), supposed to feel about it—"Can we listen to him die already?"

As an actor, the kid has a bright future ahead of him because he was truly extremely loud and incredibly annoying as the role called for it. (I'm still not sure if he was supposed to be autistic, or have some other mental problem.) In any case, it was incredibly hard to root or even feel sorry for him because there was nothing endearing about his character, and being the lead, that made it harder for me to watch the movie without rolling my eyes a lot.

There are other themes explored in the movie, such as family, death and human idiosyncrasies; as well as subthemes, such as terrorism—and they certainly made the film, with the erratic camera work, disjointed for me.

This movie gets a high rating from me only because of Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Max Von Sydow, who played the 'stranger.' The kid's character was simply too annoying for me and I couldn't get why he needed to be alive. In any case, this movie has received mixed reviews so you may find it good.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close opens in theaters today.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just For Laughs

These were the videos shown on my flight back to Manila. Seriously, they had me vacillating between laughter and tearsand I had to supress them lest I get weird stares from the rest of the passengers!

I love how inventive, creative AND funny these pranks are without being hurtful or offensive. I haven't laughed this much in a long time, and I hope they tickle your funny bones as well.

Free beer
A lady flirts with the 'victim' from afar and she buys him a beer. Later, another guy sits next to the victim. Finding this new guy far more attractive, she asks the waiter to pry the beer mug from the victim's hand (just as he is about to sip), and give it to the hot guy instead. Watch what happens; I love what one of the victims did in the last scene!

Closet Cow
Shoppers find the price of a wardrobe closet irresistible so they take a look inside. Surprise! There's a head of a cow, lol.

Sexy Burping Man
A 'handsome' guy smiles at random strangers, who flirtily smile back... until he burps. So funny watching them in slow mo; I love how the camera catches that instant when the ladies reciprocate the smile, and you can sort of see the twinkle in their eyes, lol.

Sudden Fairy
This completely had me. Victims who are about to pay at the cashier sees an apparition during a brownout, lol. I love how fun and random this prank isI was laughing all by myself even after I've gotten off the plane just thinking about this, lol.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Koh Samed Island

I'm back in Bangkok from an overnight trip to Koh Samed Island. Going there, it took me three Alanis Morissette albums and two Kanye West songs to take away the boredom from the loooong trip. (It took us about 5 hours, including two pit stops with an hour break on the second.)

Thankfully, it was this view that awaited me––plus, a fantastic painting that was truly a pleasant surprise, lol.


* * * *

So far, I'm absolutely loving the Bangkok vibe. The airport and airport railway are first class. (Had a harder time with their MRT; not bad, but still not close to Hong Kong's.) Sidewalks are clean, and there are trees everywhere. I can't wait to get started on my shopping and food trip! So far all I've been eating are from room service and hotel restaurants :-P

Thursday, February 23, 2012

S31 Sukhumvit Hotel

Video tour below:


Easily one of the most handsome hotels rooms I've ever been in. Can't.Get.Out.Of.Bed.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Means War

Rating: 7.5/10



The trailer may seem ho-hum despite the presence of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy (it may be Reese Witherspoon :-P), but the movie turned out to be hilarious thanks largely to Chelsea Handler, who plays Reese's BFF.

It's not easy to see Tom in an action comedy, especially after having seen him in a string of 'serious' roles; it's even harder to see him play the nice guy opposite the boyish Chris Pine. (This may be one of the reasons why director McG consistently showed both standing next to each other in wide shots–– 5'9" Tom surprisingly looks like a midget next to the 6'1" Chris.) Nevertheless, the two are clearly opposites of each other, and it was this type of chemistry that made the audience enjoy their bantering.

Reese is not going to play dumb roles so there really weren't moments wherein she made fun of herself in this movie. She's charming, sure, but it got a little boring. (Someone like Cameron Diaz or Christina Applegate might have spiced up her character a bit more.) Chelsea meanwhile, was more than willing to do everything that was embarrassing, and did it pay off––she had everyone in stitches. I love her!!!

Predictable movie but you really can't go wrong with two gorgeous guys in the lead. (Disclosure: I fantasize about Tom Hardy, lol.) The trailer may have given everything away, but there were hilarious surprises that are worth watching this movie for.

This Means War opens in theaters today.


Monday, February 20, 2012

VMV's Illuminants+ Cream: Primary Brilliance Treatment

I was having dinner with Jill, Pam and Tatin and I noticed how bad my skin looks compared to theirs. I have to admit I'm nitpicking here because from afar, my skin looks okay, but when I look closer, I can see a stark difference. (It happened that there was a wall mirror beside me; maybe, that's not such a good idea for a restaurant to have.) I still have some dark spots from my acne scars of many years ago, with some hyperpigmentation marks on my cheeks.

I immediately thought of the product which may address my concernVMV's Illuminants+ Cream: Primary Brilliance Treatment. I'm a huge VMV fan, particularly of its Id Clarifying and Firming Toner and Aftershave. (I believe this has what kept my acne problems at bay; leave a comment below this post if you want to know more or check out the VMV page for details.)

For my treatment cream, I previously used their anti-age line (which promised microdermabrasion and elastin + collagen regenerationyes, I start early ;-) until my sister broke its pump and I haven't gotten around to opening the heavily sealed bottle.

Anyway, I figured I'll use the Illuminants cream first to even my skin tone before I resort to looking young, lol.

So I purchased one yesterday and I admired the attention and care given to the product's packaging and description.

A product brochure is clipped to the box with those brass studs. The guide includes everything you need to know about the cream, including an ideal schedule to help you integrate the product into your regimen. (You are advised to start once a week then slowly increase your usage over the course of about a month.) The box is 100-percent recycled, and even the ink used is environment-friendly.

Below is the unboxing:

VMV Illuminants+ Cream: Primary Brilliance Treatment on Vimeo.

Yes, no glue! I love the reminder too, although it was a bit late in my case :-P

The box included free sunscreen, which most probably won't be enough for the duration of the treatment, to be honest. I'll write another entry a month later to write about how my treatment went with hopefully, before and after photos.

VMV's Illuminants+ Cream: Primary Brilliance Treatment is priced from Php 2,200 to Php 2,500 depending on whether there's a sale (at Landmark, but it was out of stock) or not (at the VMV boutique). Prices are higher online. (VMV is made in the Philippines.)

Extract from the VMV product page:

Clinically-proven cellular renewal + regeneration, microdermabrasion, antioxidant + intensive moisturizing, anti-aging therapy.
Notably smoother, firmer, rejuvenated skin with the radiance of some post-clinical-procedure glows. Primary treatment (starter dosage of actives).
Clarifies dark spots/patches from aging, sun/light damage, melasma, photoallergies, inflammations (rashes, acne, insect bites) + other hyperpigmentations.
Brightens skin beautifully. Results in clearer, tone-balanced skin that looks younger, notably more vibrant + radiant due to lighter, healthier cells.
Lightening/Brightening: kojic acid plus bearberry leaf-&- vitamin C complex.
Lit Skin: 3 antioxidants, vitamin C, green tea + rice phytic acid = a triad of free radical fighters. Repairs damage from sun + other environmental, oxidizing agents that produce a duller epidermis + dermis - leading to "lit" skin.
Penetration: A common problem of lightening therapy is getting the active ingredients deep enough in the skin to be effective. Unbuffered (undiluted) glycolic acid deposits the tyrosinase inhibitors deeper in the skin while also forcing newer, brighter, healthier cells to the skin's surface.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Austria with love

Sealing wax––class!


Snail mail all the way from Austria!

Carlo and I have been friends for decades. We used to write each other letters even if we both went to the same grade school (all the way up to high school) and saw each other practically every day. One of those letters eventually got me in trouble––he wrote about how some guy was spreading gossip about me because the guy saw me kissing my then boyfriend in public. I left the letter in my pocket and forgot about it, until my mother eventually fished it out of the laundry bin, lol. It was a dramatic showdown between me and my mom, and I still managed to deny that I was gay! LOL.

Carlo is now following/fulfilling his dreams of becoming one of the great opera singers in the world and Austria is his ground zero.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Cool Wind

I decided to dig deeper into this Cool Wind for guys business and here's what I discovered. Kalerqui, lol.

* * * * *

We were at the grocery and I remember Tatin suggesting that I try a femine wash as my liquid soap. I don't remember how we got into the conversation––I'd like to think my showers work––but I remember her telling me that this particular variant of PH Care, Cool Wind, gets you tingly down there.

Tingly + down there = hell yes. LOL. 

Still, despite the promise of giggles, I held back from buying it because even though I bat for the same team there are some things which I cannot imagine myself buying, such as concealers, sanitary napkins, and yes, even a feminine wash. 

One day, I brought it up with my office lunch buddies, who all happen to be female. "Is it really as [refreshing] as my friend described it?" I don't think I got a clear answer but eventually, the consensus was that I should try it. One of them happened to have an extra bottle and she gladly gave it to me later.

There were questions in my head: If I use a feminine wash all over my body, will I smell like the ideal vagina? Will straight boys find my odor... succulent? (LOL.) When I pass by, and should the ladies get a whiff of me, will they feel an inexplicable sense of sisterhood? Will we exchange knowing looks or will I shamelessly dart my eyes to the floor? If I date someone, will he feel nauseous?

There really was one way to find out and today was that day. 

I took a look at the box. It couldn't be clearer in its unique selling point: aside from the variant name "Cool Wind," it has the tagline "with ActiveCool for an extra cool feeling." In case you missed the point, the product description on the box goes on to explain: "It contains ActiveCool, a special ingredient that gives an extra cool feeling everytime you wash."


I squeezed a lot of product into my bath sponge and it easily foamed. I couldn't ID the smell; I was thinking peppermint, but it was not quite that. (Later, I saw that the ingredients listed chamomile but I still didn't get it.) It certainly didn't smell "feminine" at all although I have zero experience to know if it is in fact the smell of an ideal vagina. 

So I got into my shower, giving myself a scrub from head to toe, until it happened: a smile began to form on my face. It started as a tingle until it felt like a cool wind from the menthol gods was pleasantly blowing down there.

Why, hello there, Mr. ActiveCool. 

Strangely enough, I didn't feel it anywhere else aside from my privates, so it almost felt obscene to enjoy it that much (lol) but I couldn't help it! It really felt good. 

The sensation was still present even after the shower and I've patted myself dry, though it eventually went away after about 10 minutes. I also made sure not to apply body oil as I usually do after a bath, to see if my skin would feel dry. I did the scratch test just now, and there are no white lines––my skin is looking pretty good. The product description however, did mention that it is formulated with pH 5, when the normal pH level (e.g., in water) is 7. So I'm not sure if that means it's not okay to use it on the rest of your body everyday. 

I'll probably use it again when I'm feeling pretty sad and I need a pick-me-up at the shower that isn't so vigorous, lol.

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