Friday, April 27, 2012

Surprise Attack: Avengers 2012 Father Daughter Date

Wednesday started out like any other. When I woke up that morning, there was no indication that it would be a special day. There was no gut feeling, not even a sign. Little did I know that something wonderful was about to fall right into my lap.

My first class didn’t have a meeting, so I didn’t have a class until 11 am, and I got to sleep an hour longer. I had a bunch of weird dreams that were enrollment related, I think, and I had a full eight hours of invigorating sleep, so my own body clock woke me, fifteen minutes ahead of my 8 am alarm. If you know me, the first thing I always do upon getting up and making my bed, is the Hip Hop Abs Last Minute Abs routine to wake up my sleepy limbs and get my blood pumping. It’s a fast-paced, five minute routine that really gets you moving, like up and at ‘em. And I’m the rise and shine type, if I don’t start my morning right, my mood can be bitch fit mode. But not today. After exercising, I checked my e-mail like usual, and then I headed down for breakfast. I’ve been having oatmeal for breakfast, the last two months, I think, and maybe normal people would get fed up with eating oatmeal day in and day out, but I still look forward to making myself a bowl of oatmeal every morning. I don’t think I could ever get sick of having oatmeal, tea, and fruit for breakfast. It might have something to do with the fact that I mix Nesquik and condensed milk into my oatmeal and it goes from bland to awesome. Hey, I need my sugar fix in the morning, and fiber plus chocolaty goodness, is a pretty good compromise in my book.

After breakfast, I had some free time, so I thought I’d catch up on the reading assignment that I didn’t get to finish the night before. It was so long and I was so sleepy that I would nod off in the middle of a paragraph, and have to start over again. Since I wasn’t getting anywhere, and I was so tired I couldn’t understand anything I was reading, I decided to call it a night. So after eating, I continued where I left off, and I would occasionally browse the internet after finishing a few pages. I was pretty absent-minded, and a thought occurred to me, that I wanted to watch The Avengers at the soonest possible time. I am an action girl, plain and simple. I don’t do romantic comedies or dramas, and to my mind, the only movies worth spending on at cinemas are action or epic flicks that you can only appreciate on a wide screen. I love the car chases, the explosions, the big burly men with ripped abs and their excess of testosterone. So I watched Thor and Captain America last year and I have been waiting since then for The Avengers to come out because of the teasers after the credits. If only school and my limited finances weren’t in the way. I resigned myself to the long wait, and to slowly scrimping and saving my Summer allowance so that I would have the money by the time the movie finally came out.

Turns out I didn’t have to! If you’ll recall my post about PLDT myDSL’s Great Payday Sale, that was in a bid to win a contest hosted by Nuffnang and PLDT myDSL, with tickets to a special screening of The Avengers at stake! The first seventy bloggers to register their entries would get two tickets each. That was around a week ago, I think. I knew it was a longshot, and to be honest, I really didn’t know how to go about it at first, but I didn’t have anything to lose, so I went for it. And it just so happened that we recently switched from a different internet service provider to PLDT myDSL and I could honestly and sincerely vouch for it from my own experience, and also, I was just as much pleased with the upgrade that was made available to existing subscribers. Anyway, the day that the contest officially opened, was a school day, and the mechanics specifically stated, the first seventy, so I literally rushed from my class to go to the Main Library where there’s Wi-Fi to register my entry. It opened at noon, and though my class was from 11-1, luckily we were dismissed early, and I made it at 12:30-ish. I knew that the thirty minutes I was behind really hurt my chances, but I wasn’t dissuaded. How could I not take that chance, even if the odds were against a newcomer like me? This is Avengers we’re talking about! And besides, I figured, it couldn’t hurt to try. You never know, after all. 

So I left the rest to luck, and waited for the announcement of the winners. I was holding my breath the whole time and always checking my e-mail and Nuffnang’s website. I really got my hopes up. I’ve joined a lot of blog giveaways in the past, and I would always get disappointed when I didn’t win, but I really felt good about it this time. I didn’t get any e-mail. And then I saw the list of winners on Nuffnang’s website, and my name wasn’t there. I felt bad, but then I wasn’t too hard on myself because I knew I gave it my best shot. Life goes on. So I moved on and thought, better luck next time, and really there was no use dwelling on it.

Which is why, while going through my reading assignment, I was so stunned, when I took a break to check my e-mail and saw this! I felt disbelief, amazement, giddiness, and joy all at once! I actually couldn’t process it at first and I read it twice or thrice and I even double checked to see if it was a legit e-mail and not one of those spam or scam e-mails.


HCapture2ere are my actual Tweets on that fateful day. My reading assignment was pretty boring, and I was daydreaming about wanting to watch The Avengers. I was planning to watch it over the weekend and I couldn’t wait for the school week to be over, even though it was just Wednesday. I had no idea that in just a short while after thinking and Tweeting that I would receive such welcome news! It’s my first time to win anything, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to react, and I was just so dumbstruck. And I don’t usually get lucky, so I’m usually pragmatic about stuff, so the first thing I did was to verify it out of doubt, it was too good to be true. It was just so incredible! And when it did sink in, I was this hyper mess, like a ball of excitement, and I rushed to send my RSVP. And my e-mail also attests to my state of mind.


I suspected that maybe I really wasn’t part of the first 70 people, but maybe after getting notified, some of the winners backed out, or couldn’t make it, freeing up slots. I mean, I received the e-mail on Wednesday, and the RSVP was due by noon of that same day. I sent it twice for good measure because I’ve had issues with my e-mail in the past, that the recipients didn’t get anything even if it was sent “successfully” from my end. Better safe than sorry, when it comes to things like these. Sigurista, in Filipino. So that was around 9:30 and while waiting for a response, I even looked up the Nuffnang representative on FB and Twitter, how makulit (insistent) of me, I know, and I Tweeted Nuffnang to let them know I sent my RSVP and I was hoping for confirmation from them. It totally slipped my mind that I still had an 11 am class. I was driven to the point of distraction!

I was so frantic that I showered in record time and didn’t put on any makeup on, just sun block and translucent powder! Egad! But I didn’t care if my hair was a mess, and I didn’t even bother to dress up, just shorts and a plain T-shirt and slippers, full on pambahay (house clothes) mode that UP Diliman is so well known for. I didn’t care at all. All that was on my mind was that I won free tickets to see The Avengers, when I had already given up hope. This continued in class, I was pretty much spaced out the whole time, I might as well have not been there at all since I was physically present, but mentally absent. Thankfully class ended mercifully quick, and I went home after that.

When I got home, there was another pleasant surprise waiting for me in the mail!Photo0326 The postcard I made as part of my Geog 173 field work output had finally arrived! After I submitted it to the professor, he said he would actually send them once he had graded them. I’ve never tried sending letters the old fashioned way myself, because e-mail became mainstream as I was growing up. Anyway, I sent it to Papa, only because our address was the only one I knew for sure. But that was back in February and I thought maybe it had gotten lost on its way, or it was just living up to its snail-mail reputation. So I was really glad to see it had made it back home, in a sense, it was returned to the sender!

Which brings me to breaking the news to my family. Everything had happened in a blur, and I couldn’t tell them yet because I went to school. When I got home, they were still out, and I wanted to share my good news with them in person. So I sent them cryptic text messages instead to come home right away because I something to tell them. When they finally arrived, they were all really curious about it! Mama thought I got a scholarship or something, and my sister thought maybe I got a Summer job! I was really cryptic in my text message to them and I said good news, so maybe what they had in mind was really big time, I guess. But a good thing like free movie tickets has never happened to me before, so that was what I meant with “good'” news.

I really thought they’d be happy for me and would share in my excitement, but instead all I got was “so who are you taking with you?” Well, my family is business like, after all. I had given it some thought, and I wanted to take Papa with me. Mama and my youngest sister are both lame movie companions. But between Papa and my younger sister, I chose Papa because I just saw Hunger Games with her, and I’ve never treated Papa to a movie before. Granted the tickets were free, but still they were from me, and I wanted a father daughter movie date, and bonding shiz.

And the parents had news of their own, Papa’s leaving on Saturday. You can read more about this in my previous post. So I guess everything was falling into place. I won those tickets for a reason, Papa was leaving and it was my chance to have him to myself. My sister was bummed that I didn’t pick her, but God, grow up. It was decided. After school, we would all go to Shang and have dinner as a family, and then Papa and I would watch The Avengers and the rest would see about catching the movie in another cinema, or just go around the mall and wait for us to finish.

I thought it was all good, nothing would get in the way of me enjoying my good luck. I thought wrong.

I woke up on Thursday with a bit of a runny nose and I wasn’t feeling my best, but I was just looking forward to that night and I only had a 9-11 class because this time my 11-1 was the one without a meeting, so I thought I’d be in and out of school without a fuss. That was mostly true, except I drove like I was possessed, my head was just: Avengers, Avengers, Avengers, that I was zoning out on the road and in class. I got home and tried to take a nap, because we’d probably get home late and it was a school night, and I still had an early morning after that, but I was so excited I couldn’t fall asleep. So I moved up my workout, to make room for dinner out, and then I started getting ready.

IMG_0957It was my first “event” so I wanted to dress up and look my best, even if I was suffering from acne breakouts on my forehead. I picked out my outfit the night before and I even borrowed my sister’s heels. My sister’s shoe size is bigger than mine, but the IMG_0958straps are adjustable so they were a bit loose, but I could walk in them just fine. I put my hair in rollers to get some volume and I took more time and care in doing my makeup and concealing my blemishes. I had to wear my glasses though because one of my contact lenses got torn the other day and I didn’t have a spare pair.

But drama ensued. My sister’s class was until 4 pm and my parents were supposed to pick her up and they would all freshen up a bit and we would leave the house together to go to Shang at around 5. Mama called me that they would run a bit late, they were coming from Mama’s clinic and Papa’s office and they would pick up my sister between 4:30 and 5, and would be home 5:15, to 5:30 at the latest. I thought, no problem. But they got home at 6 pm and my sister was pissed off from waiting in school so long that she didn’t want to go out anymore and we had our respective hissy fits. This was the one time something good was happening for me, and they were possibly going to cause me to miss it or be late. I told Mama she should’ve told me they were going to be that late, then I would have picked my sister up myself. And it turned into a screaming match and blame game of how she shouldn’t have to ask me at all, and I should’ve just done it, no questions asked. And this is such utter bullshit. She was the one who called me and told me what time they’d get there, and like a fool, I believed my mother, and I went about getting ready. If she had been up front and just told me that she even suspected they would run so much later than expected, then I wouldn’t have minded taking the car and going back to UP for my sister. That’s how I work. If you tell me you’ll be there at that time, I’ll expect you to be there and act accordingly. But no, apparently it’s my fault my mother always says she’s fifteen minutes away when in reality it’s thirty! It’s my fault I took her word for it instead of seizing the reins and picking up my sister from school myself! When I had no idea! I’m no mind reader! I’m not clairvoyant! And that’s also the reason my sister was in a foul mood, because Mama told her she would be there. It’s not the waiting, as much as the knowing. Because she said she’d be there at that time, my sister waited outside like another dumbass believing in Mama and her sense of time. If from the start my sister knew they’d get there past 5:30 then she needn’t have stood there with no idea she had been taken for a fool. That’s what was most infuriating for me, that we were taken for fools. You can’t control the traffic, but you can control what you tell your children. And we were in the dark and believed she would keep her word! Whenever we tell her when we’ll be home, we’re always forthcoming about it. When we’re late, we own up to it and take responsibility. But no, not Mama. She always finds a way to turn things around and make it our fault.

I was fuming mad that I was in tears! It was my night with Papa, my one win, and she had ruined it. I ranted on Twitter about this, and I don’t really care to repeat what I said here. If not for waterproof mascara, I’d have had black streaks running down my face. I was so angry, and I felt so helpless against Mama’s disregard for my sister and me. She could’ve just been honest and we would have understood, and instead we could’ve have found a way to help each other. Instead she had yet again covered her own ass. It was so unfair and it was a black stain on an otherwise great movie night.

Papa, bless him and his patience, convinced my sister to come along, but we left the house past 6:30 already. I was still livid, and all the while I was thinking I never should have told them, and I should’ve gotten directions for Ortigas (I’m a Quezon City only driver) or taken a taxi and just gone alone. Sometimes I think Papa’s the only reason I haven’t run away. If there’s such a thing as going stir-crazy, there must be all-girls crazy from living in a house with Mama and my two sisters. It’s so dysfunctional and sometimes I think we’d all be better off living apart, because there’s so much friction and just too much estrogen under one roof! But for the love of Papa, I’d have up and gone AWOL a long time ago. So the drive to Shang was spent in stony silence, the air heavy with my rage.

The registration was at 7:30 and the movie at 8:50, but with moderate traffic, and looking for parking, we got there at 8. Once we were there, I resolved to put Mama out of my mind, since I’d be spending quality time with Papa without her, and she wasn’t worth getting worked up over. I wasn’t so familiar with Shang, so it took some time finding the way, but when I saw the line at a table with Nuffnang and PLDT myDSL tarps set up, I knew I had made it. I fell in line with Papa while Mama and my sisters bought their own tickets at a separate cinema because Cinema 2 was exclusive for the Nuffnang and PLDT myDSL event. While I was standing in line, I saw all these well-dressed, fashionable people, and photographers going around. There was even a photo booth next to the registration table. I felt somewhat out of place. Take note, my family doesn’t actually know I have a blog, and I only told them I won an online contest. I’m not trying to hide my blog, or keep it a secret, because if you Google me, it’ll surely turn up, but I haven’t told them about it because they are so nosy and they’d make a big deal out of it and I just didn’t want any more complications. Also, I haven’t quite come to terms with blogging myself. I wouldn’t really call myself a blogger. I have a blog, yes, but it’s a hobby, as I’ve said in my first post, and while I was standing there in line, I was in awe of the big time bloggers. There were some pretty familiar faces, but I didn’t know anybody. In short I was a nobody, and I felt in awe because I had no idea what I was doing, or what to expect.

IMG_0967My turn finally came, and among the Nuffnang people manning the registration table, was the representative who e-mailed me my invite. She looked pretty busy so I didn’t introduce myself anymore, but it was nice, and she was so pretty. My bad mood just about dissolved when I saw my name on the list. I was number 69, out of 70! That confirmed my initial suspicion that I was a back up, and I barely made the cut, so I thanked my lucky stars and claimed my tickets. It was already past 8, so by that time, the only seats left were in the front or very last row, so I picked front row.

I also got a PLDT myDSL goodie bag with a notebook, pen, lanyard, and pin. Papa actually kidded the lady handing out the bags if he would get one too, and she laughed, saying only one per blogger. Me, a blogger. Just imagine. And there was also a free cupcake! It came in a cute red box, and it was Red Velvet! I gave it to my sister as a peace offering, and she said it tasted really good.IMG_0962 We learned that that movie wouldn’t start until 9, IMG_0963so we still had time to have a quick dinner. We all headed down to California Pizza Kitchen where one of my cousins works, so we got a discount. We were all really hungry by then, and I don’t remember the names of the dishes we ordered. There were shrimp rolls for the rest (I don’t eat shrimp) for an appetizer, a spicy pasta dish with beans and peppers, brIMG_0973eaded chicken with some greens on top, and a typical pizza with your regular toppings. It was pretty good. I have to say, food bloggers are really commendable for having the restraint to take picture of their food first. All I have to show for are empty plates and platters because from the moment the food was served, we just ate our fill. The service was quick, the waiters were polite, and the food was good. Just one thing, they all gave us two forks, but no spoons. I know, California Pizza Kitchen is a foreign-based restaurant, but still, I wish they would provide spoons to cater to Filipino needs. Just saying.

Got this snapshot with Papa while waiting for our food.IMG_0972 After eating, we went our separate ways. Their movie wasn’t until 9:30 so they strolled for a bit, while we went to Cinema 2 and waited for them to open the doors. We noticed that the line at the photo booth was gone, so we had a picture taken. The shots were so fast, it was 4,3,2,1, snap, then again, and again, and we barely had time to put on the accessories, so our pictures are all wacky. I like the first one most, because Papa looks like a gangster with the pink hat. The flash was really strong though, so I got washed out like a paper white ghost.

deposit slip

Finally, they opened the doors and we found our seats. It was really close to the screen. Normally we sit in the third or fourth row, generally we like to sit closer to the screen, but this was really up close. There was a short program with a host, whose name I forgot, thanking the sponsor, and of course reiterating PLDT myDSL’s Great Payday Sale promo, and they had a question and answer  portion with more prizes up for grabs! They were related to the details of the promo, and I knew about it, of course, having blogged about it, and I didn’t hesitate to yell my answer, since the catch was you had to be the first and the loudest to answer correctly. And I won another thing! A nifty little USB! By then I got my wind back in my sails, Mama drama or no, and I went to claim my prize from him, and when he asked me if I was a blogger, I proudly declared, “Of course I am, that’s why I’m here!” and that’s the moment when I knew it for myself!

The movie started right after that, and the whole cinema was packed, it was really a full house, with not just the winners, but also Nuffnang representatives, and there were people sitting along the aisles already. Since we were in the very front row we had to lean our heads back to see, and the picture was so crisp and clear. I’ve watched digital and in 3D at SM, but this was my first time to watch a movie at Shang (yes, really, because I frequent malls closer to home), and it was so much nicer. And more expensive, of course, in our ticket it said 2D and it was worth PhP 230 per ticket. So that was a minimum of PhP460, for Papa and me, not to mention all the freebies I got. Winning the contest was such a god-send! In spite of Mama, it was a blessing in disguise within a blessing in disguise. Blessings-ception!

Well anyway, the movie was mind-blowing, as expected! I mean, all my favorite macho men were there, including Papa, HAHA! And the cinema  was far superior to any I’ve ever been to, it was so clear, I could see the pores of Loki’s nose and Pepper Potts’ every freckle, down to the smallest of details! I didn’t feel the time fly by at all, because I was on the edge of my seat at every fight scene, with guns blazing, arrows flying, and with hammer throwing and lightning strikes. I really liked Scarlett Johansson kicking butt, and Christ Hemsworth’s biceps actually look larger in Avengers than in Thor! And I was totally drooling over Chris Evans’ (Captain America) butt while he was pummeling a punching bag. I’m really easy to please, just give me good action and wisecracks every now and then in the dialogue and I’m golden, and The Avengers had that in abundance. The whole audience was laughing when Thor said, “He’s adopted.” There were all these other witty lines and situations with double-entendre, but I’ll not spoil anything here, for the benefit of those who haven’t seen it yet. It’s a super hero movie, so of course it deals with having to save the world, nothing new there, but what’s changed the game for me, is the coming together of different action heroes with their own backgrounds so to speak. It’s a volatile mix. Tony Stark (Iron Man) isn’t a team player, Captain America’s an old-school dude, Thor is a demi-God with his own agenda, and The Hulk, is well, The Hulk. I might be weird, but I really liked Loki here. I guess I’ve always been a fan of the misunderstood villain type. All in all, it was a great experience, and I was glad I shared it with Papa. He always has my back. Though he fell asleep in some parts and I had to nudge him with my elbow. 

After the movie, we waited up for Mama and the sisters for about fifteen minutes, and the mall and all the shops were already closed, since it was the last full show. It looked creepy empty with just the security guards doing checks, and the janitors cleaning up and doing maintenance work.








Finally, they came out and we went home. It was already past midnight and all of us still had things to do the next morning. I was just exhausted at the end of it all. Physically and emotionally. The past two days was a roller-coaster ride of extreme highs and lows, happiness, then anger and pain. It was just too much to take and I got home drained and too tired to feel anything. I barely registered taking my makeup off and brushing my teeth and it was lights out before I knew it.

I woke up today still feeling the aftermath of emotional outbursts. I woke up spent, that is. And school was a tedious affair. I still had hard feelings at Mama, but I’d rather focus on the good that came out of it. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to take part in an event as a blogger, and I finally got to see The Avengers, which I waited so long for. But most of all, I got to spend time with Papa, and that’s what matters most. I got to share my happiness with Papa, and for once it was on me!

For that I can’t thank Nuffnang and PLDT myDSL enough.

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