Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snooky Tynes Family Band, Shibaten, and Johnny ...One Year Later

This past Victoria Day long weekend, I got the chance to see two of my friends whom I haven't seen in over a year - Snooky Tynes and his family band and Japanese musician Shibaten. Some of you may remember them as my guests on my (very short-lived) cable talk show.

Snooky and his family are known for their renditions of "old school" music - James Brown, the Jackson 5, and some of their own original songs. They're always a hit whenever they play downtown.

Here's a short clip of them performing a 10-minute set. What you don't see is the large crowd behind me while I was recording this. I still have a few more clips of them in my hard drive that I need to upload on my YouTube channel.

Here's Snooky and his family playing on my show last year...

Next up is Shibaten. For those of you who are now familiar with him, he's a traveling musician from Osaka, Japan who specializes in playing the didgeridoo - a wind instrument from Australia. He also plays other instruments but he's most famous for the didgeridoo.

He's played in over 30 countries, performing on the street, in clubs, cafes, schools, and even with a native tribe in Africa!

This past Monday was his last performance here in Canada for a while, right before he leaves for his music tour across the world. I asked him when he might be back to perform in Canada and he said he didn't know, so seeing him again was a bit bittersweet.

Here's a short video of his final performance that afternoon...

...and here he is performing on my show...

A special testimonial from Johnny

A few months ago, Shibaten asked me to write a few words about him and his music, to appear as part of his promotional materials.

You can read it on his website, under PROMO.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seeing Kermit The Frog and David Bowie Made My Sunday Awesome!

After visiting the bookstore, seeing a dinosaur at the museum, and meeting a cool street performer, the last place I visited on my very busy Sunday was a newly-reopened independent theatre called TORONTO UNDERGROUND CINEMA.

They had a double bill of the classics "Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Labyrinth" as a tribute to Muppets creator Jim Henson, commemorating the 20th anniversary of his death.

A friend of mine told me about the place a few days prior and, after joining their Facebook Group , I soon found out about the special Jim Henson Tribute. Growing up on Sesame Street and The Muppets Show, I just couldn't miss this one.

The place was relatively packed, I say about 150 people or so were there that night, and everyone was just having a great time hollering, laughing, and screaming at the bigscreen.

Nobody cared that the theatre was still a bit rough around the edges and in need of a good cleaning here and there. We all just had a great time watching two classic muppet movies.

Just in case you haven't heard or seen "Muppets Take Manhattan" and/or "Labyrinth", below are the films' respective posters and trailers:

Posted by the lobby right outside of the theatre was a small wall you can "sign" and leave messages and whatnots. Here's what I left behind...

According to the people who run it, the theatre will begin to regularly screen various cult-classics, independent films, and lesser-known movies by May 28.

As an avid moviegoer and film addict slash geek, I'm really excited about this new place. It's so close to my apartment and I have this feeling I'll become a regular of the place very very soon.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ON THE STREET: A Very Cool Saxophone Player

(click on the image to make it bigger.)

I just have to share this photo with everyone.

This man was playing in front of the museum I mentioned in yesterday's entry. He's just one of many street performers you can find all around Toronto, especially this time of the year when tourists are starting to arrive. I couldn't resist taking this shot.

There's just this certain cool aura and class about a man wearing a suit while playing a saxophone on the street. Right behind him you will notice construction bars and cars passing by. The air was filled with city noise that afternoon but it didn't seem to bother him. He just kept on playing his saxophone. I still regret not taking a video.

Until we meet again, play on cool sir, play on.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Johnny Likes Dinosaurs!

I was out and about last Sunday (my only day off from work) and went to different places around Toronto. I brought my camera along with me and took some photos.

Today's entry is a continuation from the last one so I suggest you read Monday's post first then continue on with this one.

After visiting the bookstore, I walked past Toronto's ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM (website). It's quite an architectural wonder and it'll make you do a double-take the first time you see it.

I actually overheard some people that afternoon saying that the design made it look like "...a spaceship crashed on top of the building and people decided to just leave it there."

That's me reflected on one of the museum's high glass windows. I didn't go inside because I had to be at a cinema in about an hour to go watch a movie about Kermit The Frog. I'll tell you all about that one tomorrow. ^_^

Anyway. after seeing this enormous banner outside the museum last weekend, I'm actually planning on visiting the museum very soon. I love dinosaurs and never actually seen actual fossils up close.

Oh yeah, there was this dinosaur-costume-mascot-thing that was walking around to help promote the exhibit.

I honesly felt bad for the poor soul who was in there. It was an extremely warm afternoon and I can only imagine how that person was feeling being in there. Whoever came up with this idea needs to be fed to a dinosaur. Seriously.

I can't wait to go see the dinosaur exhibit. I'm particularly looking forward to seeing this one...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Charice, Imelda Marcos, and Johnny's Pilipinas Shirt

So I dropped by the bookstore (again) yesterday and saw this at the Music Section:

I think it's safe to say that pretty much every Filipino knows who Charice is, so for my non-Filipino readers here's her Wikipedia page.

The video below is the first single from the album. It's actually pretty good. Add this song to your playlist.

Ok, now here's something that made me go WTF...

That's former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. Filipinos know her as the wife of dictator and former president Ferdinand Marcos, while the rest of the world know her best because of her vast shoe collection.

At first I thought that the cover was like an inside joke or something because, let's face it, you didn't really expect to see the names "Fatboy Slim" and "Imelda Marcos" together. But apparently this is actually a sort of "tribute album" to Imelda Marcos and her childhood servant. I guess you really can't judge a CD by its cover. You can find more details about the CD and listen to its tracklist by clicking this link.

And since this entry already has a Philippine theme to it, I want to show you my brand new shirt I got from the mail. Ever since I saw it online I've always wanted one for myself. Now I have one. Woohoo!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

5-Year Old Anna Dances with Old Johnny

I did a broadcast on BlogTV last night and met Anna, this adorable 5-year old viewer from California. Her big sister Laura told me that little Anna loved Disney songs and pop songs, so I was more than happy to oblige.

Here's a short clip Laura took with her phone. Adorable. ^_^

I've always been good with kids, I guess. This actually wasn't the first time I managed to connect with a young viewer. Here's another example.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I Need A Girlfriend

I sit here tonight, staring at the television

Nothing left to watch but the same old shows
Every night the same
Every evening just like the last
Days like this are what I'm used to

A little change would always be nice

Give myself time, they say
I need to find the right one, they say
Rest assured, that moment will come
Let it just happen, I finally say to myself

From now on, I will search for her;
Roam about the city streets,
I will seek to find a lovely lady just for me,
Even if it takes longer than what I can endure
Not even time can hold me back from finding her

Days are starting to get brighter already...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day, Michael J. Fox, and Maxim Muchachas!

First of all, Happy Mother's Day to all you hawt mommas out there reading this.

Being that my mom lives in another city and can't give her a gift at the moment (I did send her a greeting), I did the next best thing - I went out and bought something for MYSELF.

Yes, I truly am a good son. ^_^ v

One of my favourite places here in Toronto is the bookstore, particularly INDIGO at the downtown mall. Whenever I get the chance, I drop by the place and spend a good hour, maybe two, just walking around and going through book after book after book. So I dropped by today.

Here's what I picked up - actor Michael J. Fox's latest book that recently came out. Specifically written for recent college and university graduates, Michael J. Fox shares his insights about education and the life lessons he has learned both in and out of the classroom.

For all you pop-culture and film geeks, we all know the book title is a neat play on the movie "Back To The Future"...which was one totally awesome film!

Oh, after buying the book, I decided to stay for a bit longer to read through some of my favourite magazines...like this one right here. ^_^

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Asian Grandmas Are Badass!

I just saw this on my Facebook feed. That's my grandma. WTF!

I'm too scared to ask my cousin what the heck is going on here and why she's holding a shotgun. Look at her, she seems so happy holding that thing. Seriously dude, that's messed up.
Love you, grandma! ^_^ v

Monday, May 3, 2010

SUPER SLEEPY: Another perfect time to blog...

Tired and extremely sleepy after a long day's work, I thought I'd take this opportunity to write a variation to the Asian Awesome's previous post - writing a blog when one cannot fall asleep.

This time, I am writing a blog as one is almost about to fall asleep.

Writing something intelligible whilst groggy can be quite an undertaking. Your eyelids start to become heavy. You constantly misspell words and jumble words and thoughts. All this while fighting the urge to grab your softest pillow and sink yourself underneath your warmest blanket.

I've already lost count how many times I've corrected my grammar and spelling since I started writing. But I guess that's part of thrill and the humour of writing while sleepy.

I'm currently on my bed, on my stomach, typing away. I haven't really typed anything, really. Just a really long introduction.

Being sleepy also makes you come up with the most interesting ideas, questions, and other random thoughts:


Do you think cows like being milked?

Do you think when cheetahs run they secrectly say "Whooooooosh!"

Why would you see and alligator later? I'd run like heck.

After a while, crocodile? I'd still run like heck.

I think I wold like to have a pot-bellied pig as a pet.

I'm gonna name said pot-bellied pig GEORGE.

Did you know George Clooney has a pot-bellied pig as a pet?


What if you auto-tune Arnold's voice? That would sound so messed up.

When learning a new language, always learn how to say "Where is the bathroom?" first.

Do you lock your bathroom door even if you're the only person in the house?

I have man-crushes on the following men: Stephen Colbert, Mike Rowe, James Bond, Bill Maher

Why do people flip through channels over and over and over again? Within the 3 minutes you spent browsing throught 100 channels, there's a good chance that it's still gonna be the same 100 shows.

Local jokes are the hardest one to teach foreign people who do not spek the language or understand the culture.


There is a dark humour about seeing potted plants inside a library. I bet the plants are telling themselves. "We could have been books, trees, and chairs! HOLY CRAP!"

Rush hour at a subway is quite poetic. Before thousands of people arrive at their respective destinations, they all meet, congregate, and bond at one distinct place.

Can't they change the way a truclk's beep sounds when it backs up? Something a bit less irritating would be very very appreciated.

People with custom ringtones should be shot. They just let their phones "ring" for an extra 10 seconds just so we can be tortured on hearing another Justin Bieber song.

Whether you admit it or not: Lady Gaga is a great artist.

(Im rambling now.)


JUST LIKE THAT, the entry is done.


UPDATE: 5mins after I published this.

I'm still sleepy. I anoticed some spelling errors, missing words, and even logic problems. I'll leave it as it is. Haha.

I am soooo sleepy right now.... ^_^ v

Sunday, May 2, 2010

2AM: The perfect time to write a blog...

Don't you hate it when you can't sleep? Your body is tired as heck and yet your brain is still running around, filling your head with all sorts of thoughts - from the perverted to the philosophical.

Don't you hate that?

That's what I'm having right now.

Staring at my laptop, I'm ranting about whatever comes to mind. This entry doesn't have a structure, really. I can barely see the letters on the keyboard due to the lack of ample lighting in my room. Too lazy to get up or maybe I found "the spot" on my bed. You know what I'm talking about: that one perfect spot on the bed where, once you've found it, you just don't ever want to get up from. That spot.

Again, this entry has no structure. I don't think this blog has any readers to begin with, so I guess I can say what I want without the slightest regard for other people's feelings.

You know what, forget that. I'll keep it wholesome. You never know who might drop by and read this.

TOPIC CHANGE: Dating SLASH Meeting New People

So, I'm slowly starting to get out more and allowing myself to meet new people. After being single for quite a considerable time now I am slowly "testing the waters" again. It started last Thursday, when I met a girl on a blind date (sort of) for lunch. One of my girl friends (notice the space in-between) introduced me to this girl and we met casually at a small restaurant downtown. We had sandwiches, salads, and coffee.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous. I've never been set up before. But based on the photo my friend showed me on her iPhone a few days prior to Thursday she seemed like a really nice girl.

I was right. She WAS nice.

We ended up spending about 4 hours together talking about whatever - school, work, movies, hobbies, television shows, and all other sorts of topics. I even showed her around some of my favourite places around the city. We had ice cream, bought some lollies from a candy shop, got some pastries at Chinatown, and even saw CN Tower.

Best of all: We had some great conversations and even shared a few laughs.

That's her, standing in front of a large thimble-like structure that was erected in the middle of Chinatown. Now I'm a bit apprehensive about posting her photo without her permission but I can't help myself. Isn't she adorable? Cute too. ^_^

Now what delighted me the most about her was her mastery of the art of "witty banter."

I don't want to sound like a smartass but there's not a lot of people who can keep up with me when it comes to catchy one-liners, sarcastic humour, and Chandler-esque talk. She did. Kudos to her.

Our little blind date (sort of) ended with me walking her to her work. I walked back home with a smile on my face. I really hope she did too.

Will I see her again? Absolutely. From the very brief afternoon we spent together I like her company and her personality already.

So there you go. I made a new friend.

(Oh, it's almost 3am. I gotta go lay down again and try getting some sleep...)