Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Thing About Bridesmaids...

Weddings are supposed to be about the brides... But it can be about the bridesmaids, too.

Just like in this spectacularly hilarious 2011 film, the spotlight is on Annie (played by SNL's Kristen Wiig). When her best friend Lillian (also SNL alumni Maya Rudolph) got engaged, Annie suddenly has to keep up with her duties as maid of honor while her life practically spirals downhill.

She meets the other bridesmaids and winds up in a circus of events. She gains an archenemy, new friends, and a new shot on love and career. Oh it's a chick flick alright but don't let the pink and tulle fool you. This movie shows no limit on obscene, as-wild-as-the-boys comedy. I can't stop laughing at these ladies! 

Melissa McCarthy is definitely worth mentioning since she gives a great performance in her breakthrough role here. Wiig co-wrote the film, the superwoman that she is. It's also nice to see Rose Byrne's funny side. Apart from all these high notes, the story also has a speck of drama that teaches us a thing or two about life.

I think it's a good unconventional wedding movie. Kinda like the female-counterpart of The Hangover series but much better, if you ask me.

So why not include these Bridesmaids in your list (viewing list, that is) this June? :)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars

I am heartbroken. My sister insisted I write about it. Yes, writing helps. 

His name is Augustus Waters, 17. Hers is Hazel Grace Lancaster, 16. They met in a support group for kids with cancer. His is osteosarcoma in remission. Hers is thyroid cancer stage IV which metastasized to her lungs. Heads up. I saw it coming from the beginning but that didn't stop the heavy flood of tears, shoulders shaking and all.

Each page of The Fault in Our Stars is filled with beautiful, beautiful sentences. Like poetry, like a sweet lullaby. After reading, I seriously pondered over writing Mr. John Green himself just as Hazel writes to Peter Van Houten in the story. Unlike Hazel, I need not know the ending since the novel is quite finished, really. I just want to discuss his novel with him, you know? My admiration and frustrations equally strong.
"I fell in love the way you fall asleep. Slowly, and then all at once."
It's one heck of a love story to write I can imagine. It's a love story worth knowing. Meeting the characters is bliss. They are filled with humor and creativity, their observations of the universe unique but precise. It's inevitable not to love them. Like I have experienced with Jellicoe Road, it all seemed real to me. It left a scar in me. Damn you, John Green.

But the thing is... I really don't mind. I saw the world in a wider picture. I felt pain which, from what is apparently written there, demanded to be felt. More importantly, I felt the moving power of true love. Let me tell you this: It's a privilege to have my heart broken by this book.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kabab around the Korner

Last weekend a couple of our friends asked Martha and I to have dinner at a restaurant they frequent. Willing to try something new, we agreed. It's called Kabab Korner, a middle-eastern themed place that specializes in kebab dishes. The place was airy and spacious with Arabian styled motif. It can accommodate about sixty people or more. We were easily seated as the place is not too crowded for a Saturday night. Here are some of the dishes we tried:

Baba Ghanouj

Grilled eggplant pureed along with garlic and tahina (a thick paste made from ground sesame seeds) and served with hot pita bread. This appetizer is superb. I love the mild but flavorful dip. Goes well with the simply prepared bread. A must try.

Price: ₱70.00
Special Kabab Plate

Beef chelo, grilled tomato, veggie salad (cucumber, onion, and tomato), over buttered rice. You also get to choose from a selection of kebab (beef, chicken, squid, shrimp, lamb, or fish). I chose their chicken while my companions, their shrimp. The chicken was tasty and well-seasoned. The shrimp was a little bland according to Martha. Because of the salad it doesn't feel too rich even though the rice is buttered. Well balanced dish.

Price: ₱165.00

Yogurt Milk Shake

Plain sour yogurt blended with milk, sweetener (I'm guessing here), and ice. At first I was not so sure about this but as we eat and have the shake wash our meals down, it made sense to have this as the complimentary drink.

Price: ₱60.00

We didn't order much the first time but I look forward to sampling their other exotic sounding dishes next time. :-p

Over-all rating: 3.75/5


Kabab Korner - 33 Matalino St., Brgy. Central, Quezon City

Thursday, June 13, 2013

On the Jellicoe Road

From this distance everything is so bloody perfect.

This is the view from the top of the treehouse a group of '80s kids built. The prettiest road Narnie's ever seen. And one of the most poignant, affecting novels I have ever read.

On the Jellicoe Road is about two tales intertwined crafted by Australian writer Melina Marchetta. 17-year-old Taylor Markham struggles as the new leader of her house and the sudden disappearance of her guardian, Hannah. Immersing herself on Hannah's manuscript and the territorial wars, not only does she learn her probable whereabouts but also unravels something significant and gaining much more along the way.

Although confusing at first, this beautiful story slowly unfolds as the chapters run. Some revelations are quite foreseen; however, Marchetta's writing is as lovely as the plot she created. I like how she describes, enough to set the tone but also leaves some to the imagination. The lines are filled with emotion, something to reflect on. It is frustrating though when she often ends a scene hanging, leaving one wanting for more. 
"It's funny how you can forget everything except people loving you. Maybe that's why humans find it so hard getting over love affairs. It's not the pain they're getting over. It's the love."
I fell in love with the characters from the past and present (very much so with Jonah Griggs), their happiness and hurt, and the Jellicoe Road itself. I've dreamt of going there and befriending the boarders, townies, and cadets. Everything is so engrossing it felt real even up to the last page. There is always some sadness involved in closing a book. But the memory and impact of a great story is priceless.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taste of an Angel

I like cozy nooks and new food to try. Our friend Erika taught us just the place. Guess what? It's near where we live and yet we never heard of it before. Angel's Town Cafe has that shop around the corner feel. It is  a quaint cafe smack in the middle and quiet part of the city.

The shop is quite small, able to sit about thirty guests. But it adds to its hidden treasure appeal. They have a glass display in front where one can admire and choose his dessert. They have a good selection of entrees that are pocket-friendly. We've tried the following:

This fish got us hooked!
Ate Faye had their Baked Macaroni (₱73) which is moist and tasty. Daddy's Baby Back Ribs (₱139) is meaty but needed a little more bbq sauce. It can be served with either rice or mashed potato. Their Hamon Croquetas (₱58) are good for sharing. These items are satisfactory. 

Winner potato salad
The ones that got our top marks are their Potato Salad (Solo, ₱59) which has a fantastic twist since they use a mustard dressing, slices of hard boiled egg, and drumroll please...bacon bits! Delish! I had the Fish Fillet Burger (65) which comprises two slabs of cream dory fillet with lettuce and onion in a sesame bun. As for dessert, we liked their Strawberry Cheesecake (₱58). A tart and creamy cheesecake with strawberry glaze. 

They also serve an assortment of beverages. I went back there with my best friend Lou recently and we tried their best-seller Avocado Cream. It's a smooth, creamy blend of ripe avocado and milk with whipped cream and choco sprinkles on top. A taste of heaven in every sip! I'm thankful to have a cafe nearby to enjoy a tete a tete with my loved ones. Bon appetit!

Rating: 4/5


Angel's Town Cafe - 164-B MH Del Pilar St., Between 8th and 9th Ave., Caloocan City