Archive for March, 2011

SUCKER PUNCH

It's not what you expect...

I watched this movie last night, last full show in the mall cinema and there were less than twenty people who watched, including us. I only saw the trailer of this movie twice, the part where the blond girl was just about to kill a dragon and I have to admit, it got my attention. There was an japanese anime-ish feel to it and I guess that was the reason I wanted to watch it.

The main characters have unique names – Baby Doll (Emily Browning), Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and the simplest name of all, Amber (Jamie Chung). It was kind of weird to have a name Blondie when her hair was all black! Well anyway, that’s not the reason why I’m writing this.

I have to agree with the movie caption – ‘YOU WILL BE UNPREPARED’ everyone WAS unprepared for what they saw. The movie switches from reality to Baby Doll’s world, where she fights giant samurai warriors in feudal Japan, robotic Nazi soldiers in World War I, now accompanied by Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie and Amber and the last one where they have to fight off a bunch of robots (that reminded me of AI, Will Smith’s movie) inside a train and try to deactivate a bomb.

Now, all of the fighting, gun shooting, samurai hacking scenes do not really happen, it was all just in Baby Doll’s other ‘mind’. I said in other ‘mind’ because in reality, she is in a mental institution, where doctors, orderlies and any other person represent another character in her head. When she retreats into her fantasy world, they all work in a club owned by a mafia. And this is the fun part: there are three scenes here where Baby Doll dances, sends the audience into a trance at the same time, she goes into another fantasy world where she can kill anyone in her way. Nice? Yes, only for the fighting part. Why? All throughout the movie, I was at the edge of my seat, wondering if I could ever see her DANCE! Yes, they never actually showed how Baby Doll danced, she’s just going to sway left to right, the camera zooms in on her eyes as she closes it and then she is transported into her war torned world. And this happened three times, not even once did they show her dance!

Overall, the movie was  not that great to get a WOW! from me, I was on the edge of being bored…CGI scenes, fight scenes, are great. Actors are…frankly speaking, I only know Vanessa Hudgens and just familiar with Abbie Cornish, but the other girls? Nope. But if you are looking for a VERY noisy movie with lots of CGI fight scenes, girls with guns, a dancer who never got to show what her dance was really like, feel free to go ahead and watch this movie, all 109 minutes of it.

This is not a real movie review…I just thought I would write things that I saw in the movie that put a mark inside my head.

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NO LEVEL OF RADIOACTIVITY IS ‘SAFE’

This is an update from radiation from Japan. I just saw the newsflash from GMA7 half an hour ago, RADIATION FROM JAPAN HAS REACHED THE PHILIPPINES. Yes, it finally happened. A few weeks ago, PNRI, PAGASA and other government agencies claimed that it was not possible for the radiation to reach the Philippines because of wind directions.

Hmmm, trust information from PAGASA? Since when did they predict correct weather here? I remember when I was still studying I would be up very early in the morning to listen to radio updates if college classes would be cancelled. Of course, by the time PAGASA gives the update about the weather, it’s about time for me to go to school – while rain was pouring hard, streets were flooded and getting a ride to get to school would take forever. Finally, after I reach the school, soaked from my legs down (if I’m lucky), we get info from the university that classes are cancelled. Apparently, PAGASA decided to cancel classes on all levels while I was on the way to school, they say the storm would get stronger. Really?! By the time I reached school the sun was already up! It sucks, right?

So would you really believe everything and anything the government / government agency tells you? Has it ever occurred to you that there is a possibility they are telling ‘lies’ to avoid panic while they are safely & quietly evacuating their own families out of the country to somewhere safe?

While writing this, I found this news article from GMA news online, dated March 21, 2011. Please read on the link below. According to UP professor Dr. Romeo Quijano, no level of radioactivity is ‘safe’.

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/215798/up-manila-professor-no-level-of-radioactivity-is-39safe39

Let’s face it, radiation is radiation. No matter what the levels are, it will have an effect on every living thing.  Here’s hoping the situation does not get any worse…

DO THE CRIME – DO THE TIME!

http://www.manilatimes.net/news/topstories/china-to-execute-pinoys/

The link above is a news article on Manila times about China to execute three Filipino nationals for drug trafficking. This has been a big issue in the Philippines, the vice president even made a trip to China to make an appeal to Chinese government to spare the lives of the said Filipinos. Well, at least he did not try to persuade the Chinese government to have the Filipinos deported back to their own country.

For a time being, the Chinese government decided to postpone the execution. Good news? Not really. They simply postponed it but they did not change their minds.  They just rescheduled the death sentence of these three Filipinos on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. The relatives of these three are on their way to China to say their last goodbyes.

I don’t understand why everyone is concerned with these three, namely Ramon Credo, Elizabeth Batain and Sally Villanueva; they are DRUG MULES – people who use their own bodies to hide illegal drugs (mostly by swallowing capsules, or inserting them directly into their anus or vagina.)

They were not forced at gun point to become drug mules, they were getting paid to do it. They took that ‘job’ KNOWING that what they were doing was wrong and they KNOW the consequence once they get caught. What’s the big deal sensationalizing them?! Why are people going on rallies supporting these criminals? Pleading and begging China’s government to stop the death sentence, blaming the Philippine government of not doing anything.

Do the crime – do the time!!!

 

PROFESSIONAL DEBT COLLECTOR

Five years ago, on April 2005, I took a job as a debt collector. Ooops, sorry. Our trainer said we should always say ‘professional’ debt collector. Alright then, no problem. For one month, we underwent serious training, FDCPA rules, how to answer questions properly, how to collect, how to offer payment programs, etc.

I will tell you right now, it’s NOT the best job in the world. One, we had to work nightshifts. Two, I only took that job because I had no other choice at that time. Three, after maybe two to three years working here, you will discover that you are no longer as healthy as you think you are.

I no longer work for that company. I quit because of health reasons, after I got fed up office politics and the clients no longer sound reasonable to me (to a lot of us working there, actually). So where do I start? Why not TRAINING and some of my first day experiences?

We were trained by two Americans who are all seasoned professional debt collectors. The two words that they kept pounding inside our heads during the training were to be AGGRESSIVE & ASSERTIVE. Now this is the reason why debtors tend to be defensive all the time once they hear they are talking to a collector; they always assume that we’re calling them to drain them out of money in any way we can. In my opinion, it does not always work that way. You don’t always have to fight on the phone and force your way to make people pay. It sometimes pays to be nice on the phone.

Okay, so collectors, unlike customer service people can be rude on the phone. Yes, we were allowed to be like that but not to the point where it gets abusive or harrassing. I had co-workers who were like that and rudeness works for them. They sometimes go on scream fests with the debtors and they win – because sometimes, all it takes is to let the debtors know that you don’t easily get scared with their rudeness.

FDCPA – FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT, yes we studied that for EVERY state. One rule that applies to all: we are allowed to call after 8AM and before 9PM. Earlier than 8AM and later than 9PM is considered a violation. I remember one incident where I called someone from Florida, past  8:30AM. She was so furious and screaming at me because I was not supposed to call her before 9AM, that I was violating the state law. No, I wasn’t. There was no use educating her about FDCPA because she was screaming her lungs out, then she hung up.

The quota. Each month, we were given a quota to reach. Just imagine the pressure given to us. Add to the problem when we usually can’t reach people at home, we end up leaving a message to return our calls which they never do and they yell at us when we call them at their work phone. So I really can’t blame other people to become aggressive on the phone to reach the said quota, it’s either them (they might lose their jobs – I’ll get to that some other time) or the debtor.

I will be talking about other things about being a collector, and sometimes rant about office politics here. But I’ll end it here for now.

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

I chose to cook a simple dinner tonight, stir fried carrots and cabbage in olive oil and breaded cream dory (simply put, fish nuggets!) It’s fast, simple, easy to cook and ingredients are easy to find!
Cream dory is a kind of fish that belongs to the cat fish family. This is only my second time to eat cream dory, (cooked right at home) as this fish is just gaining popularity here.

JAPAN RADIATION LEAK HOAX TEXT MESSAGE UPDATE

I just found out that this notorious text has gone outside the Philippines. My Malaysian friend has been receiving the crappy text messages since yesterday, about seven in total now.

PEOPLE, THAT TEXT MESSAGE IS A FAKE!!! STOP BELIEVING THAT CRAP AND STOP THE PANIC!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12745128
(you don’t believe me? Click on the link to BBC’s website, this will explain a lot)

JAPAN RADIATION LEAK HOAX TEXT MESSAGE

Just a few hours ago I received a text message that goes like this:

 

BBC news: Japan govt confirms radiation leak at fukushima nuclear plants. Asian countries should take necessary precautions. Remain indoors first 24 hrs. close doors and windows. Swab neck skin with betadine where thyroid area is, radiation hits thyroid first. Radiation may hit Philippines starting 4pm today. Please pass.

 

Some good for nothing idiot created this text message and it spread like wild fire. Now, everyone’s even more panicked than before. True, there is a chance of radiation from Japan reaching the Philippines, but there are certain conditions for that to happen. To make a chain text message and spread more panic is a BAD idea. The worse part of this is people tend to quickly believe this text message. Me? I’m the number one skeptic when it comes to forwarded text messages warning about this and that…

So, what do you do when you get something like this?

Check out the facts first!

Almost everyone has access to the internet now. Why not check out that ‘news’ from BBC website? That was what I did exactly and ten minutes later I didn’t see any warning that radiation may hit the Philippines!

Check out other credible news websites like:

http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/309254/no-worries-japanese-meltdown-effects-ndrrmc

This is the Manila Bulletin website.

http://www.manilatimes.net/news/topstories/nuclear-crisis-under-watch-but-dost-assures-no-danger-exists/

This is the Manila Times website. Or if you want it in the local language, try this one:

http://www.rmnnews.com/beta/index.php/news/national/11428-radiation-leak-sa-isang-nuclear-plant-sa-japan-malabong-umabot-sa-pilipinas-ayon-sa-dost

There are a lot of CREDIBLE news websites on the web now, why would you spend money by forwarding that crappy text message, and add even more panic to people?  The sad part about this is there is no way to trace where that text message originated. People like that should get punished, I have an idea in mind. You tell me what you would like to do to the person who made that text message. Who knows, we might be thinking of the same thing!

 

 

 

 

 

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