Sunday, October 28, 2007

Chie's Birthday Weekend

Just turned 27 last Friday (weird because I feel no different when I was just 18!). My birthday started with a 5AM call from my husband JJ (who was on the 10PM-6AM shift), an early breakfast at a hotel in Dumaguete and an 8:15AM flight to Manila. My day ended with an exam in Calculus (this exam ruined my day but that will be another story). I didn't really get to celebrate my birthday on the 26th but I knew this was going to happen due to my scheduled midterms (6-9PM, so tell me, what else could I have lined up for the day after the exam?). Even so, I was elated with the number of people who remembered my birthday this year. I was really touched that even friends from abroad (yes, chi donato, that is you :-) ) and friends I haven't seen for quite some time sent me birthday greetings. Nakakatuwa :-) It just made me feel special. My Mom (even if I wasn't there in our house in Muntinlupa) prepared noodles (for long life) and cake for my special day. My in-laws also made pancit and chicken at home, which JJ and I feasted on when I got home from La Salle.

It was also my Lola Ima's birthday who would have been 81 years old if she were alive (I specially miss her on my birthdays as we usually celebrate together). Oh well, at least she's with my Gramps now.

On the 27th, JJ and I prepared my bday lunch. We had Penne in Marinara Sauce, Mojo Potatoes, Vegetable Salad, Roasted Chicken, Pork Belly and Black Gulaman. I got the Marinara sauce and the mojo potatoes recipes online. Everyone was telling us that the sauce tasted like Sbarro's red sauce (JJ's really good in adding spices and making the stuff I cook taste much, much better) :-) We bought the roasted chicken and the pork belly from Shopwise (Yummy! and beats having to roast the chicken yourself). We had dinner at my parent's house with the same food that we prepared for lunch.

Also had the chance to see my nephew Miguel again. He sure have grown a lot since I last saw him about two weeks ago. He has chubby cheeks now and he loves to talk :-) Pic below was taken while Miggy was napping. Maybe we'll have our little one when I celebrate my 28th bday next year. Maybe, hopefully :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The New Formula 1 World Champion

All eyes were on the Brazilian Grand Prix last Sunday (my eyes were glued to the tube too, I ignored the fact that it was starting at 12 Midnight RP time and that I had work the next day. But come on, some things are worth staying up late for). It is the last race of the Formula 1 Season with this last race setting the stage for the final battle for the Driver’s Championship – but wait, it gets better. Three (3) drivers will battle it out for 71 laps. Lewis Hamilton, the rookie sensation leading the points; his teammate, Double World Champion Fernando Alonso is 4 points adrift and the last contender, Kimi Raikkonen who’s been a runner-up three times (twice to Schumi and once to Alonso) is 7 points below Lewis.

Pre-race, it was a little disheartening for a Kimi-fan like me. In Formula 1, 7 points is really something short of a miracle. In this setting, for Kimi to win the World Championship, he has to win the race – Hamilton should place no higher than 6th place and Alonso should place no higher than 3rd. Or, Kimi can place second – Hamilton shouldn’t score higher than a point and Alonso should place no higher than 5th. Impossible right? Think again.

If anything, the last race proved that one cannot really predict what’s gonna happen with 22 cars in the starting grid. Kimi started 3rd with Lewis and Massa up ahead. Before the first lap ended, Kimi was on second with Lewis down to 7th place. Lewis and Fernando were kinda slugging it out since the last half of the season and it was no surprise that they went wheel to wheel on the first corner. Lewis ran wide and that move cost him several places down the line. Seven laps later, the camera focused on a sloooowww Lewis (initially thought of as a gearbox problem but post-race interviews stated that Lewis admitted to pushing the start-sequence button). 40 seconds later he was delegated to 18th place. In their defence, Mclaren did everything they could to help Lewis win the Championship. But things did not work for them at this race.

Alonso, on the other hand, admitted to just not having the pace to match the prancing horse’s cars when the Ferrari’s started to push. He was a distant third at the end of the race.

Now, just how did Kimi win the race with Massa, in an equal car, leading? Partly, they worked as a team as can be seen from the beautiful synchronized start that they had which pushed Lewis to third place and moved Raikkonen up to second in the first lap. The rest is just Kimi’s sheer pace. After the first pit stop, Massa still came out ahead of Kimi. But on the second stint, Kimi stayed on for two laps after Massa pitted and clocked in a series of fast laps. With this, he came out less than two seconds ahead of Massa to take the race lead. And the rest is history. After the Brazilian GP victory, Kimi was crowned as the World Champion as Lewis was classified 7th place, one lap down.

Looking back at the season, this result seems so unlikely coming from Japan given that he trails Lewis by 17 points with just two races remaining. In the last 3 races, he scored 26 points compared to Lewis’ 12 points. I guess one shouldn’t really give up until all is said and done.

The races are over for the 2007 season but the drama is yet to end for this controversial season. Post-race, BMW and Williams (they finished 4th, 5th and 6th) were found to have irregularities in their fuel’s temperatures. The FIA held on to the race classification as they concluded that there is insufficient evidence to punish the two teams. Mclaren, seeing this as a chance to win Hamilton the title, filed an appeal. The FIA is yet to announce when the decision on Mclaren’s appeal will be announced.

Whatever happens, I still think that Kimi deserves the title having won the most number of races in the season. I just find it ironic that Kimi went to Ferrari because of Mclaren’s unreliability and that same unreliability probably handed him the World Title.