Monday, August 10


How do we change the world? Is it even possible to change it? Don't you have to be the President of the United States to do so?

Not that he has done anything much to change the world. Maybe it's true what people said about him. That he is too young, too green. And the world is already red and blue. With a tinge of pink somewhere is eastern Russia, and a shade of gray somewhere in central Asia. Green is not the colour to be to change the world. Green is only good to be associated with trees, and forests, and my old car. Although the car is quite dirty and has been unwashed for more than three months now.

And what about the promises made about changing the world? About making the world a better place? About having a greener world, where everyone recycle, reduce and reuse? Now we are talking about getting green. Suddenly green is the new pink. And everywhere you go, you see green. And everyone is obsessed about saving the rhinos. And the pandas and tigers. No more forest burning. No more pollution. No more constructions. But we all know those are just lies. And in a way, we play a part in those lies. Because we are the ones burning the forest and polluting the earth. We are the ones littering and driving around in our cars.

Maybe I should stop using my old green car. Maybe I should cycle to work. But I need a new bicycle then.

Maybe I'll buy a green one.

Saturday, August 8

Above and below

It’s not rocket science, and you don’t have to be a genius to do it. It’s as simple as tying your shoelaces. But then again, no one does that anymore, except probably for school kids. Even those kids nowadays prefer those Velcro shoes, no more untied shoelaces. No more, “hey, your shoelaces are untie,” and you look down and POW, one big smack right up your chin. Yeah, old trick of the book, plenty of villains got away with that trick. Including the Ocean Master, half brother of Aquaman.

But if Aquaman can breathe on land, then that can only mean one thing. The world is not fair. Here I am gearing myself up to go underwater, with equipments that cost more than what I make in three months, and back-breaking tanks, with some contraption stuck in my mouth, and there goes Aquaman surfacing and climbing into the boat. “Enjoy the deep,” he told me.

I don’t see him putting anything in his mouth, nor is he wearing any tanks or breathing apparatus to help him breathe above ground. You dump a fish on land, and it will gasp for air and die after a while. But you don’t see Aquaman gasping for air. And he is still alive, as far as I can see. He is even smoking a cigarette now. I bet he can’t do that down there. Yeah, smoke all you want, Aquaman. Better even, fill up your lungs with the natural goodness of tar and tobacco. Maybe one day, I will see you gasp for air, with your tar-filled lungs bursting for oxygen, and your smirk turned into agony, and your face turning blue. Now that would be a sight.

And then maybe, just maybe, the world is fair again.

Thursday, August 6

This, that, and the other

This is what we all look for. A good friendship, between a man and a woman. Now, a lot of skeptics out there do not believe in friendships between a man and a woman. Now, I'm not talking about those run of the mill, typical hi-bye friendship, this is more like the close-knit, share everything kind of friendship. There is always something at stake when it comes to those kind of friendship. How can those two be so close without developing feelings for each other? And what about the physical attraction? Unless one party resembles a beach whale (no offense to any whales out there), there must be some sparks, if not a big one, at least a small tiny spark that of course, could ignite into a bigger one.

Nevertheless, despite of all that, sometimes, it does work. The friendship, not the spark. Years of being there for each other, talking to each other, accompanying one another to the movies, having dinner together, those ought to create a sense of comfort and security between the man and the woman. A sense of knowing that there is a line drawn somewhere, and that line will always be there, for friendship sake. Cross the line and things will never be the same again. Ever.

That rarely happens, but in certain circumstances, it does happen. Let say, for experimental purposes, the man and the woman decided to have a physical relationship, maybe out of desperation, or even probably boredom. Hey, it happens, okay. There are instances where you have not had a working relationship for a very long time, so you start to look closer, say under your nose. And you suddenly realised that you have been friends with her for so long now that why not just sleep with her? It doesn't have to be a complicated relationship. You already have this going on with her, now all you want is that.

So the both of you come up with a set of rules to make sure that the friendship stays intact, plus you get the bonus of having a physical relationship. Three simple rules:

1. No calls the day after that
2. Spending the night is optional
3. No good night kiss

Now, these rules are important. It eliminates the pressure of feeling the need to be responsible, when you are not a couple. You are just friends, and will remain so. Most of the time, one party is expected to call the day after sex, probably to say something like, "last night was a mistake," or "last night was wonderful, I'm already missing you," or "are you free tonight?" And there is no need to spend the night after having sex, you can just pick up your clothes and head home. But since it is optional, of course you have the liberty of sleeping over (and there is always morning sex, but we all know how that's going to end). And most importantly, you don't feel the pressure of kissing your date goodnight when it wasn't even a date to begin with. It's just two friends, having dinner together. So no good night kiss. Simple as that.

Of course, now that you have this and that, things couldn't be better. I mean, you're still friends, and you're having sex with your friend every now and then. But beware, it won't last for long. Sooner or later, this and that won't be sufficient enough. Because sooner or later, you would want the other. And that's when things get complicated.

Because you see, the other is simply, a total relationship. Commitment and responsibility. Calling every day, kissing goodnight, spending the night. Those are all in the other. And now that you have this, that and the other, you are now officially, a couple.

Not that there is anything wrong with that. But if things didn't work out, then just remember, you might lose this. And you will definitely won't have that with her anymore. Ever.

Wednesday, June 17

A tribute

Finally, a complete collection.

After 3 finals at Roland Garros, Roger Federer finally won his first French Grand Slam title. Too bad it was not Rafael Nadal at the opposite end. Instead, Robin Soderling measured up to his big upset of Nadal to reach the finals. Alas, he succumbed to a hungrier and more determined Federer.

No more tears of disappointment and sadness, it's tears of joy this time around. And what a joy it was to see him finally lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaire. Winning the title also made him only the sixth man to achieve the career grand slam and put him level with Pete Sampras with a record of 14 majors. And bearing any upsets, he might surpass that mark by winning on grass in a few weeks time in Wimbledon.

Federer's Grand Slams record:

1. Wimbledon 2003: Only 21 years old, he beat Mark Philippoussis 7-6 (7/5), 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) and claim his first grand-slam title.

2. Australia Open 2004: Federer celebrates becoming world No 1 by outclassing Marat Safin 7-6 (7/3), 6-4, 6-2 for his second grand-slam title.

3. Wimbledon 2004: Defeated Andy Roddick 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 for his second of many Wimbledon titles to come.

4. US Open 2004: Federer becomes the first man in history to win his first four grand-slam finals - and the first man in 16 years to claim three Majors in one year - with a 6-0, 7-6 (7/3), 6-0 rout of Lleyton Hewitt, his first victory in New York.

5. Wimbledon 2005: Three in a row, and the victim is none other than Andy Roddick, beating him 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4.

6. US Open 2005: Defeated Andre Agassi 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (7/1), 6-1 to defend his title.

7. Australia Open 2006: Federer recovers from a poor start to sink unfancied Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 5-7, 7-5, 6-0, 6-2 for his second title in Melbourne.

8. Wimbledon 2006: Federer takes his winning streak on grass to 48 matches by beating arch rival Rafael Nadal 6-0, 7-6, (7/5), 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 for a fourth Wimbledon crown.

9. US Open 2006: Hi Roddick, bye Roddick. Third title here by beating Andy Roddick 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

10. Australia Open 2007: Federer becomes the first man since 1980 to win a grand slam without dropping a set as he sees off Fernando Gonzalez 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-4 for a third title in Melbourne.

11. Wimbledon 2007: Federer emulates Bjorn Borg by winning a fifth straight title here, beating Nadal for the second year in succession in an epic five-setter - 7-6 (9/7), 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-2 - that lasted close to four hours.

12. US Open 2007: Beat the joker Novak Djokovic 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4 for his fourth consecutive title in New York.

13. US Open 2008: Federer recovers from his Roland Garros and Wimbledon heartbreak months earlier to win a fifth straight title at Flushing Meadows, beating Britain's Andy Murray 6-2, 7-5, 6-2 in the final as a second seed.

14. French Open 2009: Federer grabs the elusive title at Roland Garros by beating surprise finalist Robin Soderling 6-1, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

With more Slams to come, for sure. Go Roger!

Wednesday, April 22

Eight goals thriller

Liverpool can't seem to get enough of scoring 4 goals in a game. It started sometime in March when they demolished Real Madrid four goals to nil in the Champions League. Four days later, they trashed Manchester United in their own backyard for what could have been the turning point of the season for them. Of course, with only a few more games left in the season, anything can happen.

They continued their 4 goals demolition against Blackburn, with Torres scoring a brace. Then came the moment of truth, the Champions League quarterfinals against Chelsea. Being 2 goals down from the first leg, they needed a miracle to reach the semifinals.

And it almost happened.

The only problem was they also conceded four goals in that game. And Chelsea got away that night to set a date with Barcelona, leaving Liverpool to lick their wounds, and leaving them with only one silverware left to salvage their season.

The Premier League title.

And first on their hurdle - Arsenal, who were also a victim of Chelsea in the semifinals of the FA Cup. They game was not short on goals, with Liverpool again scoring 4 goals with both Torres and Benayoun on target twice. But all their hardwork were undone by their defensive errors, and the brilliance of Andrei Arshavin, who scored all 4 goals to salvage a point for Arsenal.

With 5 more games left, Liverpool cannot afford to drop anymore points if they want to overthrown Manchester United as the league's champion. Of course, they can still win all their remaining games and still be second in the league. It's all up to United to screw up, and drop points along the way.

And let's hope they do so.

Sunday, March 22

Foiled yet again

Six wins in eight meetings. And the latest one in the semifinals of the Indian Wells Masters series tournament.

World number four Andy Murray defeated world number two Roger Federer 6-3, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the finals of the tournament and set a date with world number one Rafael Nadal. Nadal disposed Andy Roddick in straight set.

Murray was helped by Federer's 32 unforced errors. Federer has been in a slump eversince winning the US Open title last year, ironically by beating Murray at that time. He has since lost 4 straight to Murray, and has not won any titles.

In the women's finals, Ana Inanovic will be looking to defend the title she won here last year against Vera Zvonareva.

Friday, March 20

Yet another rematch

It's like a match made in heaven.

In the past 5 seasons of Liverpool's involvement in the Champions League, they have been pitted with Chelsea 5 times, once in the group stages and the other 4 times in the knockout phases.

2004/05 - Semifinals, Liverpool won
2005/06 - Group stages
2006/07 - Semifinals, Liverpool won
2007/08 - Semifinals, Chelsea won
2008/09 - Quarterfinals, Hopefully a win for Liverpool.

5 times in 5 years, what are the odds of that? Of course, with English team doing better each year and having more representatives in the Champions League knockout phases than other nations, it's inexplicable that one of them will face the other. And if everything works out well, we might have 3 English teams in the semifinals.

The draw for the quarterfinals:

Manchester United vs Porto
Villareal vs Arsenal
Barcelona vs Bayern Munich
Liverpool vs Chelsea

Pundits are predicting the first semifinals to be an all-English affair, with Arsenal and Manchester United locking horns to be in the finals in Rome. While the general concensus for the finals is a showdown between United and Liverpool. Now wouldn't that be just great?

Of course, Liverpool need to get pass Chelsea, and the winner between Barca and Bayern first. Chelsea has changed manager numerous times since their last encounter in 2004/05 season, with Gus Hiddink being the third manager in charge of their latest encounter. Surprisingly, it was Avram Grant who led a successful Chelsea squad past Liverpool last season, while the self-proclaim chosen one, Jose Mourinho failed in all of his attempts. Grant got the sack last season, when Chelsea decided to go with a world class manager in the form of Scolari, but the celebrated manager only lasted for a few months before he was replaced with Hiddink.

The quarter-finals will take place on April 7-8, with the return legs the following week.

Saturday, March 14

Icing on the cake

It has to be something momentous, something huge, for me to start writing again. And I have finally find the reason to start again. I wanted to write about the Australia Open, but the heartbreak of seeing Federer losing the finals to his arch-nemesis Nadal was too much for me.

But tonight, seeing Liverpool trashed Manchester United 4-1 at Old Trafford is simply joyful. Especially when it came after the midweek game win against Real Madrid. Just the kind of boost that Liverpool needed after a bad run of results. Hopefully this will give them the motivation to go and win all the remaining matches left for the season.

Of course, it helps to have Gerrard and Torres fully fit and playing at their best. Like it or not, those two are instrumental in making sure Liverpool are back to the top. Problem is, Torres has been struggling with his hamstring injury all season long, and so does Gerrard.

Liverpool will be facing Aston Villa next, and it is important to keep winning to challenge for the title. Anymore stumble, like the ones they did against Middlesbrough and Manchester City, will resulted in a premature end to their title chase. Not to forget, they still have the Champions League quarterfinal to look forward to, and chances are, they might draw another English team.

The season is coming to an end, but it feels like Liverpool's season has just started.