Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Primeval Prime Cut

Hands down, the family's favorite TV show of the moment is the fantabulous British blockbuster on FOX, Primeval.

Kenji likes it for the dino overload.  Just think --he used to have to wait for the seasonal dinosaur specials on Discovery Channel.  But now, with Primeval, he gets his daily dose of gargantuan growls, mayhem, and bloodshed.  What more could an 8-year old ask for!

Miro likes it for its time traveling aspect.  Being the science geek that he is, the concept of anomalous doors opening and closing intrigue him.  Although dinosaurs don't really rock his boat that much, the show is inspiring him to put a time traveling machine on top of his to-do list for when he grows up.

Jing likes it for nothing more than critique.  His keen artistic eye suspiciously checking out if the prehistoric creatures are matted on properly for every scene.  If they have well-designed textures and shadows.  If they move seamlessly.  If the T-Rex has enough spit in his mouth (He's once ruined it for all of us when he pointed out that the Jurassic Park dinosaurs' mouths were dry ...and therefore were unrealistic.  Bummer.). 

I like it for the conspiracy theories overlapping one another.  I love that kind of induced migraine.  It's so difficult to read who can possibly be the real bad guy, who can possibly die next, and then who can possibly return.  The show's characters come back from the dead just as easily as coming back from the mall.  Hey, the show's premise is on time and space meddling so that's expected.

The story is quickly winding and evolving --which is a good thing for a series.  If you miss one episode, you miss a lot.  The creature feature is also growing.  From making us somewhat nostalgic with the appearances of childhood heroes like the Mastodon and the Pteranodon to shiny, brand new mutations from the future and even from some alternate dimension.  The writers do their antediluvian homework, too.  Raptors are portrayed as the most clever of the beasts, and the sabre-tooth tiger as a likely house pet... IF you keep him full.

If you're not squeamish, Primeval is a definite family show epic.  Just don't get too attached to the characters. Because once you do, a raging Carnotaurus will kill them off. 
It's like that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Mamarazzi's Guide to Genius

Hi.  I'm Karen.  I'm a Mamarazzi.

I'm that extra perky mom who dives in front of you to get a good shot of her son at the school's Christmas Show --thus, blocking the view of everyone.  I'm that relentless mom who whips out her camphone for every mundane milestone --first haircut, first leather shoes, first movie with popcorn-- thus, holding up the line to everything.

Yeah, you know me.  You may not even like me.  But that's ok.  Because what I really like an LG Optimus Genius Phone!
Nope, not just a Smart Phone.  A Genius Phone.  This Mamarazzi will only go for the best.

Let me explain.
The LG Optimus 2x has an 8-megapixel camera.  With this kind of photographic power, there's absolutely no need to lug my husband's bulky DSLR anymore.  Going beyond smart, the Optimus 2x is also the world's first mobile phone with a 1GHz Dual Core.  That means the phone actually multitasks.  I can take pics and take calls, write an email and play music... oh, and simultaneously upload my boys' photos to Facebook as I shoot them!  This phone is definitely made for me. :P

The LG Optimus Black, the LG Optimus 2x's equally genius twin, prides itself as being the brightest phone on the planet.  With a 700 Nit Nova Display screen, one cannot question that.  This means stellar image viewing and spectacular video playback.  Perfect for showing off my kids' pics and home movies at every possible social gathering!  Haha!  One more good thing about the LG Optimus Black is that it's the slimmest phone I've ever seen.  9.2mm!  Won't that fit snugly in my purse!

You might say LG Optimus is the most innovative move in mobile technology since the invention of the, well, regular Smart phone.  True that.  But for me, these Genius phones are simply a Mamarazzi's dream come true.  Now I can chronicle memories better, to keep forever.
There you go... pure genius!

Optimus is more than just smart. It’s genius. Visit for more information.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dog Washed, Dog Saved

Hobbes and Landes does it again!  It's the second year of the dog-loving store's Dog Wash Weekend, and we weren't missing it for the world.

What's the big deal, you ask?  Oh it's a BIG deal.  This isn't just your run-of-the-mill pamper-your-Paris Hilton-puppy episode.  Hobbes and Landes' Dog Wash Weekends support the Animal Kingdom Foundation in rescuing and rehabilitating homeless dogs that are bound for the slaughterhouse.  Year after year, pet experts gather here for that one mission. 

And all we had to do to help was shell out a mere Php500 to get Alpha bathed.





And Paparazzied! 

There were doggie games at the Dog Wash, too!  That's how Alpha scored this chic haute couture hat.  Eat that,  Tinkerbell!  LOL!

After all that fun, the Dog Wash Weekend proceeds will then work to champion animal welfare.  In fact, with the turn out yesterday, I say we all did a pretty good job.

Alpha feels great --and somewhere, a homeless puppy is about to feel even greater. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mr. Popper's Penguins is Positively Peachy

And it means a lot for me to say that because I loathe Jim Carrey.
Alright, 'loathe' is a strong word.  Let's just say I haven't forgiven him for the headache that is Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.  Fair enough?

Speaking of pets, Jim Carrey did earn my respect and two thumbs up last night with yet another animal movie.  After losing a toss-coin with our kids (actually it was rigged --my boys LOVE penguins), we dropped Green Lantern at the movie house for Mr. Popper's Penguins, a movie adaptation of the 1990s children's bestseller.  And honestly, a good choice.

Although the story ain't no great shakes --it's the usual endangered species beloved by a family and they have to let it go with a "You heard me!  Go away!  I don't love you anymoooore...!!!!" premise --Jim Carrey's over-the-top acting did put the extra salsa to it.  And again, saying that means a lot.

Jim Carrey as the power-driven, creatively devious real estate hotshot, Tom Popper, makes the man more lovable than annoying.  And really, penguins --how can you not find penguins adorable and funny, huh?  The mixture is just spot-on!

What's more, the penguins are given individual personalities which make you connect with them more.  A great deal of emotion was poured on the characterization of Captain, the lead penguin --who wanted nothing more in life than to be a father and fly.  A double-entendre there since being a good father and flying away with his family is what Tom Popper really wanted in life.  It's just that all the flashiness of big business made him lose sight of it.  The heart-wrenching, bittersweet father-and-son relationship of Popper Senior and Popper Junior makes the movie a fitting Father's Day offering, too.

Ah, but I've said too much.  Drama, comedy, action --waddling penguins make great action material, believe me-- all in one sincerely fun, heart-warming family movie.  That's Mr. Popper's Penguins.  Originally planned to star Ben Stiller whom I detest (and yes, 'detest' may be another strong word).  But after last night, I believe Jim Carrey is indeed the perfect performer to play this part and push the production's power.

Oh, that's a P play.  You'll get it when you watch the movie.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How do you like your Lego?

This year, Miro brought home bonus knowledge from Robotics summer camp.

Lego Digital Designer.  That's what the scribble said in the tiny piece of paper he clasped gingerly in one hand.  

Lego Digital Designer is a program available for download online (and that we did the first five minutes Miro got home).  As the name suggests, it's an application that allows kids and adults alike to design and build their Lego creations via the simple drag and click of the mouse.  Yet another proof that the digital world is definitely upon us.

I see a bunch of goodies with this Lego advancement.
  • You have more bricks on-hand than you can possibly collect in a lifetime.
  • You get to build fast.
  • You get to create a scenario for each creation with a simple change in the background.
  • You get to spot your masterpiece from all angles, thanks to an amazing camera control feature.
  • You get to make your Lego creation move with a series of programmed commands.
  • You don't lose pieces in the process.
  • You don't make a mess.
  • You don't stub your toe.
  • Lastly and more importantly, it's FREE! 

    The Lego Digital Designer --in all its unique glory-- honorably sat on the boys' Mac desktop dock along with the other kid-important applications like Safari, Firefox, Snood, Super Mario Brawl, iTunes,  Powerpoint, and Freehand.  But it was only touched the first week it was installed.

    Surprisingly, despite their knack for high-tech toys and video game designing, my boys are old school when it comes to Lego.  They would rather play Lego in its original tactile form.  They love hunting for the right piece in that huge mound of bricks.  They love the feel of snapping the tiny blocks together.  They love the long time ti takes to build something great.  They love the mess!  And they would rather admire, move, and play with their final masterpiece with their own bare hands. 

    I guess for a lot of things, it IS more the journey than the destination.  Success is sweeter when it took your blood, sweat, and tears to get there.

    And for my boys --and I bet for a bunch of other kids-- that also applies to Lego.

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Badass Backpacks... RAWR!!!!

    Clipper may not know it, but it's just made 2 huge Super Mario Brothers' fans extremely happy this school year.

    Presenting Clipper Giftshop's Dino Spike Packs --which to my gradeschoolers look exactly like the evil monster Bowser's back!  How eerily cool is that??? 
    Yes.  Bowser.  The bad guy who keeps getting the moustached plumber's princess.  Yep, that guy.

    Without much of a doubletake, Kenji brushed through the line of monster bags and opted for the original leathery Bowser finish.  He says it looks 'alive' and 'creepy' and he loves it that way.

    Miro, on the other hand, went for the Bowser Dark Lord transformation look.  (Apparently, Bowser changes his shell's appearance per Super Mario game level.  Who woulda thunk it!)  He chose this black bag for the sheer stealth mode-ness of it.  You won't know it's a secret weapon until it pokes you in the eye! 

    And there's more where these came from.  Clipper Giftshop's fine leather bags are top shelf when it comes to unique designs and individuality.  They're sturdy enough to survive the wear and tear of Primary School life.  They're smartly priced.  And they immediately give one striking message to the other kids in the playground...

    "Mess with me, and my backpack will go all sorts of fashionable badass on you!"

    Disclaimer:  The spikes on the bags are made of soft leather.  They will not in any way physically harm a single soul.

    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Sporty Summer-Ender

    Summer isn't over until I say it's over!

    And just like that --after days of relentless rain-- the sun suddenly shone.  Just for us and for our last summer stint at the Village Sports Club.

    Right smack in the heart of Paranaque City, this fancy membership getaway is by far the richest and fittest place to be when you don't feel like a vacay out of town.  Loads of physical things to do here.  And quite unlike other sports club, it really DOES cater to the whole family.

    Let's see...
    Out of 4 pools, there's the wading pool and the fun pool for the kids.

    And then there's the much more challenging 6-foot deep pool and lap pool for the adults.

    There's the mini football field for the kids, complete with seasoned instructors.

    And the tennis court with real Wimbledon-quality clay floors for the adults.

    There's the huge (and I mean HUGE!) basketball court with the FIBA-approved maple hardwood flooring perfectly designed for actual championship training and summer camps alike.

    Oooh... but I see your thirst for the physical remains to be insatiable, eh?   For that, there's the gym --rich in the latest technologies of fitness.

    While your kids hit the spacecraft hangar-like restaurant.

    Rich in these devilish delights.

    And home to the famous Village 4 Seasons iced tea.  Which tastes heavenly, by the way.

    When your inner Energized Bunny has finally had enough, thank goodness for the ultra-relaxing spa.

    And the fun-filled playroom.

    That subs as a little educational corner, too.

    So did we have fun?  Pretty much!  Well, not until another dip at the fun pool, that is --where both kid and adult had their fill, together.

    Now THIS is how you end summer.  Village Sports Club, (said in a very dated Arnold Schwarzenegger voice) we'll be baaack!