Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sydney Christmas Parade 2008

The second Sydney Christmas Parade promises to be bigger and better this year. More floats, more giant balloons, more dancers, celebrities, and cartoon characters. The parade starts off around 11:30am around Circular Quay, traveling two kilometers down George Street, and finishing at Tumbalong Park for Santa's Village around 2:30pm.

At 12 noon, I'm still at Rhodes Phoenix having yum cha with the family. By the time GF and I got to the city, the parade has already passed by and on their way to Tumbalong Park. Since we're near QVB anyway, GF went shopping at L'Occitane and bought a few Christmas presents for her Dad. Then we went to Chinatown's Capitol Square to buy an 8GB USB stick, which we later crammed full of Chinese movies, MP3s, and ebooks for a personal touch. At Tumbalong Park, we visited the information booths that are still there. Most of the floats are already gone or in the process of being dismantled. Oh well, better luck next year.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Birthday Bash with a Quantum of Solace

KC's kids are celebrating their birthdays today. GF and I went to their grandma's place for their birthday bash. Surprisingly, we were the first (adult) guests to arrive. Some of the kids are already trying to best to destroy the jumping castle. Food selection was relatively small (for a Filipino party), but pretty good. The guy who did the pancit canton used to work at Max's Restuarant in Manila. No wonder it's delicious. We stayed around for the chocolate fountain, the big smiley birthday cake, and the piƱata party game.

After that, we watched Quantum of Solace, Daniel Craig's second outing as Bond 007. I still like Casino Royale better. Director Marc Forster focused too much on the action scenes instead of focusing on the plot. By the end of the movie, I still didn't get why people were doing what the did? Too many things happening at the same time with no central theme. And why would somebody build an eco-friendly hotel right in the middle of the desert. And why would you fill it with explosive gas? Just so Bond can blow it all up? Bah! If you haven't seen this movie yet, then don't. That's a quantum of solace for you.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Handel's Messiah at Our Lady of Dolours Church

The Willoughby Symphony Orchestra and Choir is performing Handel's Messiah tonight at Our Lady of Dolours Church in Chatswood tonight. The last of their concert season for this year. GF and I got there early and got a parking spot right beside the church. Had dinner at this basement Chinese restaurant that her family frequents. Food must be really good because she felt comfortable and chatty enough to share her secrets with me. I was not the same person ever since. :-)

The concert was ok. Acoustics of the church was great, but I'm not really familiar with the piece. The only part I know is the Hallelujah Chorus, courtesy of Mr. Bean. Everybody stood up during that section, as is the common practice. It was said that King George II started the tradition. Was he so moved by the performance? Did he suddenly feel the need to stretch his legs? No one knows.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Non-Movie Weekend

Supposed to watch Welcome to the Sticks (Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis) at St. Leonards Park as part of Helga's European Film Festival. It was cloudy and windy and started to drizzle a bit, so we decided not to go. Went to Westfield Burwood instead for Rocknrolla. Movie starts at 6:45pm. Had early dinner at Something Sweet. By the time we finished our meal, it was just past movietime. Gave the movie a pass and went back home.

On Sunday, we're supposed to watch The Orphanage at Hurstville. Went to Elica's house blessing at Ropes Crossing in the morning. GF had so much fun chatting (and eating), we decided to stay. Went to Kamayan later at Rooty Hill to buy some takeaway. Because it was already late in the afternoon, we only managed to get embutido and relyenong bangus.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Hairspray at Brett Park

Hairspray is one of GF's favourite movies. We've watched it on the theatre. We've watched it on cable TV. I believe she has watched it on DVD. She even has the soundtrack CD. Now, she also wants to watch it on open-air cinema. If I didn't know better, I would say she has a crush on that Zac Efron guy.

Organized by Communities by Communities, Cinema at the Park is showing Hairspray at Brett Park, Henley Marine Drive.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2008

Now on it's 12th year, the Bondi Sculpture by the Sea is again back from Oct. 16 till Nov. 2. GF and I drove down on its last day to view the sculptures. Still a lot of people from Bondi Beach all the way to Tamarama. With some of the sculptures, I get this feeling that I've seen them before. Same concept, different execution. Or same sculpture but with a little modification.

On our way back to Bondi Beach, we noticed that everyone is looking out to sea. Following their gaze, we can see a lifeguard inflatable raft moving about. Thinking it's a shooting for Bondi Rescue, we stayed around and watched. Then we saw it. A black lump coming out of the water, followed by a forked tail. Further away, another one. WHALES! First time I've seen one. Quite close to the shore, too.

After Bondi, it's off to Leichhardt for dinner at Bar Italia. Spaghetti Bar Italia for GF, Fettunicni Amatriciana for me. Almond gelato for dessert.