Aug 29, 2007


There are just some days (or nights) that you feel lazy just because. This is one of those days (or nights) that I feel lazy just because.

What to do, what to do. Nothing. Lazy mode on. Just blog. While the television is on. I don't even bother to look at what's on. The husband is playing Generals with earphones stuck in his ears. He still plays that in these times of DotA. Though he's a Need for Speed geek too. The daughter is sleeping in her room.

Lazy thoughts here. I'm looking at my dvd of Prison Break. Maybe I'll watch an episode. I need to watch Wentworth Miller. They said in PB forums that it might take a whole season before it's finally shown here in the Philippines. Eeewww! But then there's peer to peer sharing which will be very useful once PB3 is aired late September in the US. Hello torrent.

In an unrelated story, I tried downloading Joost the other day but the file was corrupted in the middle of downloading. I did not bother to continue because it said in the dialogue box that one possible reason could be a virus. So far the PC is working fine.

I'm currently reading H. Murakami's Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman - 24 short stories. Some of the stories I've gone over I find weird and gross with his standard deadpan humor. Murakami never fails to excite me. So maybe I am weird and gross too deep inside. I reread his books, there are some pages that I go back to because I want to savor his words, the way he describe emotions moves me. I am a member of the Murakami cult. One thing about him is he never explains his stories, there is no attempt to do so. Everything remains a mystery.

Page 341, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

Between the end of that strange summer and the approach of winter, my life went on without change. Each day would dawn without incident and end as it had begun. It rained a lot in September. October had several
warm, sweaty days. Apart from the weather, there was hardly anything to distinguish one day from the next. I worked at concentrating my attention on the real and useful. I would go to the pool almost everyday for a long swim, take walks, make myself three meals.

But even so, every now and then, I would feel a violent stab of loneliness. The very water I drank, the very air I breathed, would feel like long, sharp needles. The pages of a book in my hands would take on the threatening metallic gleam of razor blades. I could hear the roots of loneliness creeping through me when the world was hushed at 4 o'clock in the morning.

How can he be so good translating emotions into words.

Anyway, while I am typing this, as usual I am multitasking. I was browsing on some cartoon sites and landed on this site. It made me laugh.

And some food for your thoughts too like this one.

Aug 27, 2007

To the Land of Pili Nuts and Back

I was out of town for several days for a business trip. Since I've been traveling for years already, one would think I am so used to it by now. Somehow I am but there are still "interventions" I do to make my time away from my family more bearable. I have "concocted" plans to make me feel at ease while I will be away for some days and not directly managing the household. I have provided myself three major checklists - pre, during and post activities.

Pre-trip activities include two things: checking the school work of my daughter for the next days that I will be out. If there are major projects for submission, I note them down so I can call her about them and ask how she's doing. I also plan the menu. I make sure everything is on the refrigerator before I leave.

The previous years my list is up to the minutest details but I have to give credit to hubby and daughter and our help. They are able, functioning human beings, as my husband says it perfectly. There is no need to detail everything. Don't sweat the small stuff. Of course, of course. :D For one thing, my husband and I see to it that our schedules complement. We cannot have trips at the same time. That's a cardinal rule.

While I'm away, I call at least three times a day and text several times a day just because. Calling my daughter recharges me. There are nights I find it hard to sleep when I am alone in the hotel room so I also bring the book I am currently reading. Hitting two birds with one stone, I catch up on my reading and it makes me fall asleep faster. I used to bring a cd player (when iPod was still unheard of)/iPod because there are times I want to listen to the music I prefer. But I stopped doing this especially if I am with my team. Instead, I take the opportunity to have some conversation with them during long trips. It used to be that after updates and work related talks while on the way to our destination , I put on my music player. It's worth talking to the people I work with about other things that interests them than plug earphones in my ears.

Needless to say I bring my camera. Even during my pre-blogging years, I am already a picture buff. There are two of us at the department who are snapshot queens. I guess too it runs in the family. I remember an uncle always keep rolls of films so he can take pictures whenever he feels like it. Also, if time permits, while I'm in a certain place, I check out local dining places and their native delicacies. I am so Pinoy - I buy t-shirts and souvenirs the place is famous for.

The post-trip includes mentally accounting how much excess my cell phone bill incurred this time. ;) During the last day of the trip, I can't wait to be back home. I look forward to going home with all my "loots" for my family and friends at the office and having a really good rest. Normally after my trip, I spend a few days off from the office. I eagerly anticipate this. I have things on my mind what I will do together with my daughter - go to the mall, buy her some books, watch our favorite shows, those things.

Some of the goods I got when I was in Naga City and Legazpi City, both in Camarines Sur, Bicol. Pili - the number one commodity of Bicolandia. If I remember my social studies right, pili only grows in the Philippines. I was told the pili nut which is coated with honey tastes better than pili glazed with sugar. How to know if it's honey, it's easier to separate one pili from another. The pili nuts do not stick much.

There are loads of goodies with pili nuts I was able to buy. Luckily, the owner gave us discount and gave us side stories about their products. I bought pili jam which is a very good filling for very hot pan de sal (Filipino bread roll). Remember when we were kids (hello, late twenties and above), we usually have latik (jam) for our breakfast.

Of course, there is pili tart which is a good give away for colleagues and officemates for their dessert. Also the pili pudding which is a mixture of mashed potato, ground pili, butter, milk and sugar. I'm loving the polvoron though as I have always loved this product since I was a child. There are variants - chocolate, pinipig, cashew, etcetera. I like mine simple - toasted flour with butter and milk.

Will I ever leave Bicol without bringing home their famous laing (taro leaves with coconut milk) and Bicol express with its pork bits, hot chili pepper and coconut cream. The hubby loves them with steaming rice! When I am finally home, I set aside work. This is a pact I made to myself for more than a year now. I have been to a work-related trip already. There is no need to carry it back home but I see to it that there are no major concerns hanging. Updates from the team are fine. I have learned to delegate.

I got back last Saturday night after a gruelling traffic at South Luzon Expressway. So far the daughter and the hubby have been enjoying the different pili products and the hubby is feasting on the laing. :)

Aug 14, 2007

Turnin' Japanese

After office I planned to pass by the department store to buy my Vegas-based brother some things he requested me to buy for him. I decided to take the MRT instead for a faster commute. As I stepped out of the elevator, I was surprised with the huge crowd of people I saw in the lobby of the station. I asked around. Technical problem. Grumble. As of the moment, no train will be coming by. I don't want to wait. It will take an hour or more I believe. I will take a cab. But there is no empty cab. Every cab that passed by is occupied. Therefore I called my husband to tell him to fetch me.

I ended up at Rai Rai Ken. I realized I have not eaten properly today. Just had half a cup of coffee for breakfast, congee for lunch and two spoons of egg with mayo for snack. I was starving. I am not so fond of Japanese food but Rai Rai Ken is open till nine thirty. It was only seven something on my watch, safe enough to stay at RRK while waiting for hubby and satisfy my hungry stomach.

I had Unagi Don (eel in teriyaki sauce) because it's the softest real food they have. I still can't bite properly because of the recently adjusted braces. I am not in the mood for noodles anymore. The husband and the daughter came in an hour after.

As usual the husband had his Kani salad. This is a staple for him whenever we are in a Japanese restaurant. Hubby made his own version of this using shredded cucumber and crab meat and diced ripe mangoes served with lettuce. Nothing of the salmon roe though. If I was already blogging then, I won't miss taking pictures of him in the kitchen doing his Iron Chef thing. Haha. He made his own Japanese mayonnaise as dictated by a friend of ours over the phone. Very simple, ordinary mayonnaise mixed with ketchup and a dash of salt and sugar and black pepper. Well actually I cannot distinguish between the usual mayonnaise we use for sandwiches and Japanese mayo. I think the Jap mayo tastes saltier.

And our not-so-little-pretty-one had her chicken teriyaki. Normally I would ask for spoon and fork for the two of us so we can eat properly. I can use chopsticks but I don't prefer it when I am really hungry. But according to the daughter, she wants to get used to chopsticks. Okay then. I am not so fond of teriyaki sauce...Or if I may say, I don't like any sauce poured all over my food. I always want it on a separate plate so I can just dip my food a little which is what I did with my Unagi Don. Sesame seeds though makes teriyaki sauce tastes better.

My supposed only expense for the day which is seventeen pesos (.37 USD) for the train ride increased by four thousand percent (the increase was shouldered by the hubby of course, haha). But looking at it, that's better than waiting for the train or the cab that could take forever. Plus dinner with the hubby and daughter and going home with them capped my night very well. :)

Aug 11, 2007

Photo Hunt 22: Row

I have something perfect in mind for this week's Photo Hunt theme. I see them everyday, I experience them whenever I am on the road. There are always rows of cars along the major highways of Manila anytime of the day. My husband always mutter, "EDSA is one big parking lot!".

EDSA is a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila. This is a part of it along Guadalupe, Makati City (north bound). Taken during the morning rush when almost everyone's going to work or going to school.


Aug 10, 2007

Belated Post on Some Good Things

I did not post anything when my first year of blogging had its anniversary on July 17. I was pretty busy I guess. And my mind was on my daughter's birthday celebration at school the following day. Anyway, this is a belated post. I was a reluctant blogger in the sense that I rarely blog hopped during my first few months and I blog sporadically. I appreciate the comments even then but they all disappeared when I transferred my content to the template of my practice-blog where I hone whatever little there is of my html skills.

There a lot of good things blogging has given me. I am writing again. I may have not produced a literary masterpiece or something that will catapult this blog to internet stardom but I am happy just putting my thoughts down.

I love it that I was able to discover Photoshop and I'm able to create or tweak templates to my liking. Given more time and patience, I can do this better. I have always loved taking snapshots but looking at them posted on my blog is something that makes me feel good. Not that they are breathtaking but they are mine. I was able to produce something that I like looking at.

I was able to find various good reads from the different blogs I visit every now and then, blogs from different parts of the globe - Mommy blogs, men's blogs, meme, photoblogs, rant blogs, etcetera. I am loving food blogs these days! Though with time constraints, I am starting to connect with my favorite bloggers/blogs. I interact whenever I can. I am starting to get addicted actually.

I am able to participate in my own little way in a group blog started by Sean Bonner for all bloggers who want to share something from their place. For the Philippines, it's the Manila Metro Blog. And the e-zine composed of wonderful Filipino mommies around the globe - Pinoy Moms Network. The network share about how it is to bring up moms, fashion and style, raising children, home and garden and other interesting topics mom and non-moms can appreciate.

A few days ago I received a comment from White Trash Mama saying that she'd been reading my blog regularly and that she mentioned my blog on her post for the Five Blogs You Should Read. I was flattered when she posted she's completely hooked here. Thank you. :)

The other day I read Maiylah's comment that she gave me a Rockin' Girl Blogger Award. She mentioned browsing through my blog is a wonderful experience. I appreciate that. I will not turn down good deeds like these. :)

I'd like to give this Rockin' Girl Blogger Award to the following:

1. Liza, The Real Me - I like the way she tells her stories. It's very natural, spontaneous. Liza is a young mom who juggles two careers - one of them is teaching. Isn't that great! I admire women who can attend to every role she needs and wants to perform. Her profile states "I am hoping to leave a legacy that my son will be proud of".

2. Caffeinesparks - I'm a lurker in her blog. This woman's got sense, as her blog says, hear her roarrrr, though now, she's "lost in transmutation". Very cerebral. If I will have a son, I'd like him to marry someone like her. Haha, maybe that's too much but I love straightforward views and opinions. She's very honest with her POVs.

3. Judy - Judy writes about her "mundane life and reflections on life and perhaps one day, this will be a piece of treasure to her children". Judy writes so gently. I like going over her blog because she posts as if she's having a good conversation with a friend over a cup of hot tea, in a porch, overlooking a beautiful garden. I have just recently visited her but I keep on coming back. Like what I told her, her thoughts are calm but very engaging to read.

Aug 6, 2007

The Mane Event

This is the first Pinoy Moms Network (PMN) Family Pictures photo sharing. This is a monthly event for all members of PMN. Pictures that illustrates the theme for the month will be posted on the participant's blog every first Monday of the month. For August, it's "Glossy" and here's my take on it.

My daughter has very nice hair. It's shiny and has fine but strong strands. It's brown -black. There is no need for her to color her hair to make it lighter, unless she wants it orange, green or blue - and that will surely be a topic of debate between us. Because I would prefer red. Haha. She got the texture and the color from her daddy. That's a good thing.

My hair is bushy and curly. I envy my friends and classmates who seem to have no trouble with their hair. It's like they wake up in the morning and all they need to do is shampoo their hair, let it dry and that's it. Perfect! No need for blow dry or no need to tie them up so they won't look unruly. Believe me, I was patient in taming my hair but it just did not want to be tamed. It's everywhere.

I was thankful hair straightening was introduced in the late 80s or early 90s. It was part of my mother's budget. Now, hair relaxing and rebonding are part of my budget too. I can't help it. With my job, I do a lot of coaching, meeting people and speaking in front of an audience. I need not look ravishing (but if I could, why not), but presentable, professional enough such that the focus will not be how bushy my hair is but on what I am saying.

The most humiliating joke I got about my hair happened years ago. My boyfriend (now my husband) and I were minding our own business leisurely walking along Taft Avenue when an acquaintance of his greeted us.

"O, pare, kahapon kalbo kasama mo, ah." &*#$%)*^%&bwisit!!!
("Hey man, yesterday you were with a bald companion.")

See, people make a big joke out of my frizzy hair - some subtly, some rudely. It's my wild hair that people get to notice first, not my flawless skin, not my dimples...haha!

Well that is why I am taking good care of my daughter's hair. A big no when she asked if she can have undercurls. No chemicals for the hair. Not yet at this point. Only mild shampoo also. It is not just about being vain. We take of our assets, right? We improve on what areas we need to improve on and further strengthen what is good with us. I felt a sigh of relief when growing up, her hair proved to be really shiny, glossy and very, very manageable. Now, I wouldn't have to share the budget for my hair. It's all mine. :)

**Please click on the pictures for larger versions. The texts of the first picture is not clear with the size posted here. I used Big Huge Labs for the poster and magazine cover effect.

Here are the other mommies of PMN with their glossy posts. Click on. :)

    Glossy Writing Table by Noemi
    Glossy Appeal by Rachel
    Attack II by Leah
    Glossy by raqgold
    PMN Fam Pics Series 1 : GLOSSY by Cookie de Guzman-Lugue (Kongkong622)
    GlossyMonday--My World Turning Upside Down by Sexy Mom
    Glossy by Mitch
    Glossy by Chats (iMom)
    Glossy Apple Cheeks by Analyse
    PMN Fam Pics, 1st edition: A very glossy story by Connie
    Mommy's girl by Lady Cess
    GLOSSY Topped Cupcakes by Dexie the FeistyMomma
    Glossy from the garden by KK
    Glossy Plastic Covers by Feng

Aug 5, 2007

Yang Chow That Made Me Feel Good

My braces were adjusted yesterday. I spent forty five minutes or so with my dentist-friend while she's doing some work on my teeth. Eww, it hurt. I was telling myself why did I even think of these adult braces? Why haven't I done this oral rehabilitation when I was a lot younger? But as my friend told me, it will not hurt anymore as much as it did yesterday because the succeeding visits will only be minor adjustments. After a few minutes after the session, the pain went away but I still cannot bite even soft food. I have to chew very slowly.

In a way this is good for my diet. For the past weeks I have not been taking my regular food consumption. My rice intake lessened by more than half compared to what I normally consume in a day. Let me just keep it a secret how much rice I usually have. Also, I was able to save some money since I bring my own food at the office. A lot of savings if I may say because when I buy my lunch or snack, a lot of desserts go with them.

At times when I am not able to prepare food to take with me or when I am in a major hurry, I have salad, congee and pancakes. I learned to love congee and soups. I don't prefer them when I can eat food which are a lot tastier. But I greatly appreciate them now and they will be part of my favorites even after the braces.

I have not been to Wendys for several months now. They don't have the salad bar already. Maybe because some customers get more than they can have - like they get what is good for not just one but five persons. Bad for the profit. They still have the macaroni salad which was what I had. Still great but there is no more hard boiled egg which I prefer more than the red jelly.

I love most servings of North Park Noodle House. It was my first time though to order their congee with bola-bola and egg last Friday. I love it! It's actually good for two. There is no garlic aftertaste.

I am a Pancake House diner eversince. Aside from their taco and salisbury steak, I love their classic country medley - sausage and pancakes with butter or syrup plus coffee or juice. Hmmm, delicious. The pancakes' texture is just right for me.


I was browsing on some nice-to-read blogs earlier tonight when I clicked a link to a blog about a man's chronicles of his life as a single parent and taking care of his only son. There were some posts which touched my emotions, they made me shed some tears as I was reading them. I always want to end something on a good note so I browsed some more of his categories. Good! I was entertained with his choices of music and books. He writes well too.

To make me feel even better, I prepared Yang Chow Fried Rice for dinner. I altered some ingredients I got from Yummy Magazine. Thanks Yummy Mag for being a great part in my kitchen adventures. :) Yes, that's how newbie I am in cooking, I need a recipe for even a simple dish. Anyway, I did not add dried shrimp (hibe) but fresh shrimp. I don't like dried fish much so I skipped adding it. I was not able to eat much but as a newbie in the kitchen, I feel really good if I get compliments for the food I prepared.

They say there are certain foods that make us feel good because of their chemical composition. Like sweets, we experience sugar rush and it keeps us up and about. This one though made me feel good because of two reasons. The hubby and the daughter loved it! And I was able to prepare it without any hitch - no burnt garlic or onion, the green peas didn't fall off as I was transferring them, the Chinese sausage and the shrimps cooperated with me and proved to be good bites. That's my little success for the night. :)

Aug 2, 2007

Eight Random Facts

Eastcoastlife has tagged me. This should be fun! :)

The rules of this tag:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving them a comment on their blogs.

Eight Factoids About Me:

1. It's a fact that I am not a numbers person but my career after my short stint in the media revolved around corporate business planning which involves a lot of numbers crunching and analysis.

2. Ever since my daughter learned how to walk, she's been my constant companion in my little adventures, mostly trips to different bookstores, exploring restaurants and places I know we will both enjoy (with the hubby most of the time). My daughter and I, we're cool. We enjoy each others' activities. :) <---- My daughter gave me a thumbs up after reading this.

3. I am always hungry for something new I can explore and I can enjoy doing. Activities that satisfies my senses. At this point, it's cooking/baking. I love preparing food for my family. Suddenly, I don't find it a task anymore but an activity I enjoy and find fulfilling.

4. I am inclined to both off-beat artists and the so-called pop lit - mostly Palahniuk, Coupland, Hornby, Tarantino, Wong Kar Wai, Haruki Murakami, Charles Bukowski, Jim Morrison, Mark Strand, The Cure. I read Murakami's works as if my life depend on them.

5. I love putting into calendar all my schedule and my "to-do" lists. I have several calendars and I'm consistent in logging in all of them. I want my schedule accessible for me. When I am in front of the computer, I can check Outlook calendar. When I am mobile, it's in my Treo. When I am at the office, I can easily check in my desk calendar or when in a meeting, I can easily browse on my planner.

6. I can wash the dishes or do the laundry on the washing machine but I don't like ironing clothes. I get impatient doing it.

7. I'm a Calvin and Hobbes fan. Up to now I still browse on my collection. :)

8. I can't get out of the house without a bag. It's my security blanket. All the necessities are there - money, cellphone, make-up, facial tissue, cologne, things my daughter might need, etcetera. Big bag, huh. Well not really. Just a matter of organizing everything inside. :) Is there any woman who can leave without any bag on hand? I wonder.

Following eastcoastlife with her choices of people to tag with a little twist though. I'll be tagging eight people I want to visit often but not able to because I'm a nocturnal blogger (and that's not even nightly) I get sleepy after an hour or so browsing. I haven't dug deeper in other blogs that interests me. Got mommy duties after office. Most of the bloggers below I only get to visit during Photo Hunt or other meme but given more internet time, I'd visit their sites often.

Blur Mommy