Monday, 30 March 2009
Amidst vodka and martini I realized it has been awhile since I had a night life. The case is similar with my companions. Our alma mater raved about "service" and expected her graduates to be of service to society the moment they left her portals. For years we were all work work work. I felt we have become bottled pears. The band shot off with Bon Jovi's It's my life, and these old maids came alive.
Another old maid, ok that's I, was glued to my seat rolling my eyeballs while working the camera. Techno-challenged me could not set it into night mode so I just crossed my fingers when I saw an image of Dame Edna Everage's godson and his guitar.
There's a possibility my co-old maids would tease me about being the 'most old maid' of all for not joining them on the dance floor. Earlier in the alumni meet I managed to embarrass myself for failing to recognize a close acquaintance's wife right away. But it had nothing to do with dancing. I just sat in the dark and swayed to a Santana rhythm, letting Hard Rock refresh a rusty memory. What was her name again? God an old maid indeed.
I graciously accept the title.
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Friday, 27 March 2009
1. "In a hole in the ground there lived elves plucking their eyebrows."
2. "This cough syrup makes me high but that ain't no matter."
3. "After dark the rain began to fall again, and I curled up in bed with Jane Austen's Emma."
4. "Robin bought an antique pipe reputed to have come from the hold of the Spanish galleon."
5. "There was a hand in the darkness, and a head suspended mid-air."
6. "Accidents ambush the unsuspecting, so the unsuspecting better ambush accidents back."
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed before midnite, tomorrow my plans include going to an alumni meet (at least consider it) and Sunday, I want to eat durian icecream, chocolate cake and check out some golf glove for my kiddo!
With the help of my family, I was able to enjoy those summers with Cj. We were almost always out of the house even if we didn't go very far out of town. The heat drove us outdoors:
This is Cj's favorite part of the yard. Guess why... because this is where he chases our neighbor's chickens off. I love this part of the yard too because it's where I watch him discover creatures around him. He hops after a frog and says, "Mom, kee-kith." My eyebrows meet in the middle, "what's kee-kith, Ceej?" He repeats with emphasis, "kee-kith!" and looks at me like I'm so boring I don't know what a cricket is!
The fun continues. Bottles are brought out of the kitchen and into our little camping site. A friend in the UK sent him this Punch and Judy Show summer tent set:
Then everybody heads off to the beach. While the "olds" are eating and chatting the day away, I try to play with my little guy. He has a different idea though. He spotted someone and began to walk into her direction.
Earlier I told his yaya to back off and let me be - a mom to my son. But she seemed to have won some measure of CJ's affection and he's drawn to her most of the time. So before I got completely kicked out of the scene I used what little brains I had left in the midst of those roller-coaster summers - divert Mr. Yaya-Friendly's attention to myself. It could be a self-satisfied smile on my jealous face; but for heaven's sake I only had summer in the entire year to feel mommy moments that I can call exclusively my own, so here goes:
This year's summer outing will most probably just be at a nearby driving range.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
1. Loads of sunblock for loads of sunshine
2. Fun in blogsville
3. Someone got interested in Cj's good-as-brand-new crib. It didn't have to end up in the junk after all
4. That yummy durian ice cream yesterday
5. My CV is finally sent to a prospective employer after I procrastinated a bit
6. Good health despite late nights
7. Dirty rugs are all washed up
8. No chaos in my apartment this week
9. The slack I got yesterday from Him :)
10.Tomorrow is Friday, hurray!
and one more thing: I played "It should have been me and you" on youtube a few days back. The video showed images of Jesus all bloodied up on the cross, so I was wincing and was about to click minimise and carry on just listening, when Cj on the bed behind me, jumped up and down, yelled and pointed at the video, "Mommy! Jesus?! Jesus?!"
To me that was a wonderful surprise. Two years of solid buddhism in the school he's attending (and I haven't taken him to church in awhile) and he hasn't forgotten the REAL GUY.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Monday, 23 March 2009
Graduation memories, I might have a few:
Elementary Graduation. The impact of our homeroom adviser's lethally big-time revenge on one of our classmates is something I don't think I will ever forget. I was about 12 then and I observed our teacher was having personal and professional issues with the school board. Once in a class meeting I remember him saying, "and then some of you will report me to your father, aunt and grandfather..." Three of my classmates had family elders who sat in the school board. The one whose got her father in the board, J was terribly spoiled in class. She treated our teacher with utter disrespect, you would think our teacher was a wimp. She led the class in all sorts of meanness, defiance of authority, and trouble-making; and mind you, she was also the class president. I silently felt sorry for our teacher. I was a transferee and seething at my fate, thinking how unfair it was to be a member of a graduating class whose president behaved like a wretched hag on her best day.
Graduation came; and with it the announcing of those who would go up on stage to receive their awards. I was beginning to feel ok when even the classmate who was bottom of the class got a ribbon for some good deed demonstrated throughout the school year. And then we started exchanging glances. What could J's award be... maybe she was getting the highest award of all. But our teacher calmly folded his list, gazed down on us and concluded, "Congratulations! Parents, friends and guests, shall we give our graduates a big hand..." J slumped on her chair like an empty sack. Her legs splayed on the floor we thought she was going to have a fit. But she dared not make a scene in front of all those people. What made it memorable to me was not the discomfort we all felt at what happened. Maybe it was not revenge on our teacher's part. I like to think it was a subtle execution of a punishment long overdue. For the record, J's my cousin and I hope the humiliation did her some good. It was the final lesson I learned from that academic rung: Never underestimate a teacher's power.
On a lighter note, our graduation speaker later turned out to be my suitor's mom :)
Highschool Graduation. You probably remember the now defunct NCEE? (National College Entrance Examination) That was a hullabaloo surrounding Philippine high school graduations. There was always the thrill of being one of those in the top 10. I was truant in high school. Difficult subjects didn't motivate me and the only thing I cared about was to pass and move on to wherever my parents were sending me next. But when that NCEE medal was hung on my neck, it felt great. My crush (elementary graduation speaker's son didn't know I had a crush on him) who was videotaping the ceremony shook my hand as I made my way back to my seat from the stage. Heaven! Teen crush felt a lot more fantastic than all the NCEE medals in the world hahahah... Silly but it's nice to reminisce:)
College Graduation. Nothing much, except that I was head over heels in love with a guy who weeks later vanished into the blue and years later rang me halfway around the world to apologize for treating me like shit. This is mental, lol.... Oh, I remember the college orchestra playing Pomp and Circumstance as we marched down the aisle and the CMU president remarking in jest: "Here graduates are pampered. Look at how slow you march, you're really enjoying every minute. In CMU, graduates do not march. They do a walkathon because we want to get rid of them as fast as we can."
Gradschool Graduation. The picture changed. There were a few hiccups like the parking spot that I rented which got taken by someone else. My son had a tantrum and spilled formula all over his suit. The civil part was the attendance of the ex-husband whom I invited. He financed the study; a fairly recent discipline and a very expensive schooling as lecturers in the international program where I belonged were imported from the US and the UK. I can't hate while I am grateful for something beyond the reach of my poverty-stricken pocket.
Besides that, I found something remarkable during the ceremony. There were thousands of us getting our diplomas that day. Private cameras were not allowed inside Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. What's amazing was the way we were made to go up on stage in perfect order, and how the cameras captured every graduate as his/her name was called. It was pure military precision and I was impressed. Then we swore in front of an image of the Thai King. I had no idea what it was but a co-graduate translated the oath for me. I understood that we swore to use our knowledge and practise our profession with always the country in mind, and that no matter how challenging things get, we will continually contribute to the development of the nation and the growth of the economy.
I like the "always-the-country-in-mind" bit. That must be one of the secrets why the Thai economy is not really that behind in Southeast Asia.
Sunday, 22 March 2009
It takes me about 3 minutes to walk to work. Ground lilies used to bloom abundant in that space where the residential property with a V atop its brown windows stands. In place of that plastic-draped condo behind those empty market stalls (roofs, lower portion) were once trees and a small vegetable garden. Now nature is all wiped out and I have to endure such a dull sight of urbanization on my way to work every day. Big Yellow Taxi automatically plays in my head, "...they paved paradise and put up a parking lot." I love the countryside. I'd rather have cows grazing or hills zooming in the sunrise before my eyes than buildings that look already comatose before they are even occupied. But well... this is where I work and this is my routine view:
But one Friday I woke up to find something different. At first I thought I got up too early. I could hardly see anything. Fog?... in Bangkok? I never saw fog the entire twelve years I lived in this capital. But well, yes, it is fog! When it comes to capturing things, I can be classified as a slowpoke: I spent a weekend in Kuala Lumpur early last year, went up the Petronas Towers and flew back to Bangkok without a single shot of Malaysia's landmark. I can't believe my camera was sitting pretty in my purse completely unused the whole time I was there. But the rarity of this fog made me dash to the drawer for my camera. I'm glad I captured it:
For a split second I thought I was dreaming Goliath uprooted those godforsaken buildings. But as I came fully awake, I began to mutter, "what is going on?..." and when I realized I was looking at something that doesn't appear everyday, I pinched myself, "the Petronas will not disappear, this one will so the clicking better start."
Here's a page of google search results related to this phenomenon .
Saturday, 21 March 2009
HP fans would know that North Yorkshire is a filming location of HP2; the scene below where Ron and Harry travelled to Hogwartz in the Flying Car. I promised myself that right after the gradschool dean tells me "You passed," I'm going to have a Harry Potter pleasure reading spree! I've been a bit hooked on the books since then; also roaming the net for anything about HP.
Audience group for HP is supposed to be composed of teenagers or younger than teenagers, right? I'm sure I'm too old for HP; but then not as old as my ex sis-in-law who is around fifteen years older than I. She's a doctor; you know the type with a stethoscope slung on her neck at work but at home reads Harry Potter like a fifteen year-old. Now the world is becoming mental, lol ...(I can hear HP fans chorusing, "That is soooo Ron Weasley!"). The craze in my part of the world does not end there. A friend from college, also a medical doctor is another fan. She is watching Harry if she's not closing wounds. I have passed on my interest in HP to my son. He certainly does not mind long hours in the mall if we're buying HP gadgets:
I took a Harry Potter character test this morning for fun. Well, fun that made me think more than employ my emotions when I'm reading the books. This is my result:
Your result for The Harry potter character Test...
Mad Eye Moody
63% , 63% , 36%
You scored 63% on Morality, higher than 66% of your peers.
You scored 63% on Adeptness, higher than 24% of your peers.
You scored 36% on Naivety, higher than 37% of your peers.
Rona could have done this test already but I don't know if she has. Harry Potter fans out there who may be interested, grab away and discover who's your HP character!
This morning when I woke up, I peeked at blogsville on my way to the fridge, but sat down smiling when I found out I was given a Let's be friends award. Thank you Jona. It's surely nice to have friends. I hope in time I'll be able to reach the number required on rule 2.
I am passing this award on to Genebei, Arlene, Willa, Carrie, Lanie, Lynn. There :) Have fun!
Here are the rules:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post.
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3.Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5.Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
Thursday, 19 March 2009
On christmas morning we opened our gifts. Cj handed his gifts to everyone. This one's for Yoyo:
Our last day in the Philippines was January 1st. We trooped to the beach and Cj met more cousins there. We had a mini-family reunion. It was a day filled with lots of frolic in the water. Understandably they all got tired. In this shot, Cj was getting "low-batt" while cousin Maxim who is used to a low temp in France promptly drooped in the Philippine heat and was totally knocked down:
Until the next bonding time :-)
Now for the instructions: "Use Google image to search the answers to the questions below. You must choose a picture from the first page of the results, and post it as your answer."
1. The age of my next birthday
3. Favorite food
4. Favorite place
5. One of my nicknames
Like I said, I'm a blogosphere newbie and still on a getting-to-know-you stage. I hope I am forgiven for not having that many sister bloggers to pass this award on to. For now I got Chris, Jona, and Arlene if they haven't received this award yet. (Baka maya-maya magkamukha na rin tayo hahah...) Later I'm passing this on again as soon as I find new lady bloggers with great attitude :)
The rules are:
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate at least 10 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Share the love and link to this post and to the person from whom you received your award.
The following are what I am thankful for this week:
- my cold is gone! (I sooo hated it) it disappeared before I could even pop the second pill
- the fun of discovering new avenues to express myself and for the nice people I met and will meet in blogosphere
- the thrill of interacting with my son through baseball and Japanese cuisine
I am grateful that my Cj is well past his tantrums over weekend commutes between me and his dad. And I'm certainly not complaining that ex-hub takes care of Cj's major expenses. My other baby, Mozart (my spoiled rotten canine who had to be flown home as the final casualty of my divorce) is in good hands with Grandma Philippines. Eventhough the cheeky furball is not exactly with me, phones and internet are right down my fingertips to bridge the gap. I am so pleased too for developing a more sensible attitude towards fashion and for the triumph of resisting the urge to shop unnecessarily.
My not-very-long-ago past has been pure rock n' roll. In particular 1993, 1998, and 2005 were psychologically devastating, emotionally crippling, socially turbulent, spiritually impoverished years. I was virtually a zombie. If ever I was functioning it was way below mediocre. My issues were holding me back and I was very unhappy. In all frail humanity, there had to be a guiding superpower for me to have survived.
Looking back I realize that the Creator in His grace was seeing me through despite the fact that I willfully made resoundingly bad decisions. When I finally dropped down on my knees and acknowledged that I can't make it on my own, I felt better. It's 2009. I can't believe I'm still alive and actually feel that my life has just began. Never has the word "free" been so energizing. Free to start anew! and I had better think and behave better this time. For the learning experiences of the intervening years and specially for a fabulously beautiful 2006 - yeah God gave me that despite the strong-headedness; (sheepishly grinning like a spoiled brat) I'm thankful to the heavens straight from the bottom of my heart. And that's no drama. Just plain, raw fact.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Copy the questions below. Simply use the first letter of your name/nickname as you answer each question. You can't use any answer twice and don't use your own name for answer #4. When you're done, tag others.
1. What is your name? Hazel
3. A boy's name : Harry
4. A girl's name : Hermione (obvious ba na Harry Potter fan? lol)
5. An occupation : Helicopter Pilot
6. A color : Heliotrope
7. Something you wear : Hat
8. A type of food : Honeydew
9. Something found in the bathroom : Hanger
10. A place : Hampshire
11. A reason for being late : Hostile breakfast messed up poor tummy
12. Something you shout : Hooray!
13. A movie title : Hitch
14. Something you drink : Hot chocolate
15. A musical group : Helloween
16. A street name : Haddon Hall
17. A type of car : Hummer (do they have a sedan?)
18. A song title : Hey Jude
19. A verb : Hex
Arlene? Chris? genebie? faye? or anyone who hasn't done this tag yet and/or has time to spare, think up your answers and have some fun :)
Monday, 16 March 2009
Last night I was treated to lovely scenes of celebration and happy socializing. A co-teacher got married. I won't proceed to describe how stunning she is or how touching the speeches, as I guess beautiful weddings are always characterized by such details. While seated at reception I watched the morning ceremony on screen for evening guests:
Chairs were draped with yellow bows while pink dominated the backdrop. They are not motifs. They are significantly associated with Thai patriotism. In 2006 we all began wearing yellow shirts every Monday. Pink was the color His Majesty wore when he came out of the hospital months back. The royal tailor was quoted in a magazine I read earlier, "pink, i.e. 'in the pink of health.'" There isn't much fuss about color combinations here. Whatever color the king wears, the rest of the kingdom follows. We just watch what the monarchy wears, shop with that in mind and we never go wrong with what we wear. Besides, pink and yellow are the least of my worries. I was busy admiring the tall bride:
Buying a wedding gift could be frustrating. I received the invitation three weeks ago, but all I did was wonder what to give her until yesterday when time ran out and I crammed. I dragged my son to the mall and went looking for a gift. Three hours of walking and I still didn't find anything appropriate. My son was getting fidgety. He shrugged everytime I asked his opinion about an item; obviously bored with my indecisiveness. "Mommy, I want to go home," is a statement that means, "I'm bored" and I finally heard it. In a moment of intense frustration I thought of wrapping some of my china. But I don't want objects of beauty given away out of frustration. Panicking, I finally decided on this:
Cash, yes. It's convenient. No tired feet helplessly roaming around the mall. Frustration gone. Problem solved. I took the cue from my own wedding a hundred years ago in which I didn't see a single ribboned box. So I handed this envelope to the gift attendants, and took shots of some of the flowers nearby:
Bouquet - throwing was completely altered. Most of the ladies who rushed to the front are very much married. Some even had their kids cheering behind them. I almost fell off my chair laughing. They asked me if I wanted to try catching. Nah... I sat and did what I could with half of the nine-course meal that was left untouched..
Saturday, 14 March 2009
(The answers to the questions below must be based on "at this moment.")
1. Where is your cellphone - in my purse (that's the company-issued phone); my personal phone is charging
2. Your hair - unruly
3. Your father - at Holy Garden Memorial Park in South Cotabato; sleep on Pop :)
4. Your favorite thing - my blogging adventure; it's new to me
5. Your dream last night - I can't remember
6. Your favorite drink - mango juice
7. Your dream goal - tour as many countries as I can
8. The room you are in - my apartment
9. Your fear - the heat outside
10. Where do you want to be in 6 years - settled in England
11. Muffins - I'd rather have crumpets right now
12. One of your wish list items - To work for the National Trust, UK
13. Where you grew up - Davao del Sur and South Cotabato
14. The last thing you did - told my son to move back as he's too close to the TV screen
15.What are you wearing - a loose house dress with pastel floral design
16.Your TV - a 21" flat Sony
17. Your pets - an absolutely spoiled-rotten toy poodle, staying with the Lola in Pinas right now; the others like my five fish are all resting in peace :(
18. Your computer - Acer
19.Your life - on a waiting-for-something-big mode; happy and healthy :)
20. Your mood - getting hungry
21. Missing someone - my poodle
22. Your car - I'm taking the taxi in an hour
23. Favorite store - Seacon Square, that's where I'm shopping by and by
24. Your summer - pending; if visa is granted then definitely Central Europe
25.Your favorite color - old rose, I just glanced at my favorite, long, old rose skirt I sent soaking in the bucket for a stain that will hopefully go away
26. When was the last time you laughed - awhile ago when I teased my son by dancing to the tune playing from his Winnie the Pooh DVD
27.When was the last time you cried - in 2005; not a crying type really
28. Last person who emailed you - a friend called pinaygrowler
29. Your favorite food - my mother's tuna escabeche
30. A place you would rather be right now - at home in Pinas with all the foods in there
Now where is Arlene? And I wonder if Chris of Mommy Journey and Julie of Greenbucks are up for a little side fun :) Anyone else - feel free to grab it.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Music is foremost among the tools I employ in putting my baby to sleep. Around eight weeks into my pregnancy I started playing Ultrasound: Music for the Unborn Child. I used earphones; one plugged in my ear and the other attached to my belly. I bought the CD from Tower Records. Right before I wrote this entry I looked it up in Amazon. The prices now vary. There are also good and not very good reviews there. Personally I love the tracks, all 17 of them and I assume the tiny listener inside would love them too :) Now that he's out and invading my bed, I still play it on for him. A few minutes of these titles quickly send a semi-hyperactive kid to dreamland: Berceuse for Piano in D flat major, B 154/Op. 57, Nocturne for Harp, Op. 20, Rˆverie or Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a: no 3, Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy. The latter is my favorite :)
Storybooks are just as vital. This one is prescribed by the Lola. History does repeat itself. I had two of the same books along with those Tell-it-again series when I was a kid. Convinced of their moral and spiritual values, I purchased the entire set. Shown here is one of ten volumes published by Philippine Publishing House.
I am always drawn to book shops whenever I go malling. With the little guy in mind as another excuse to shop (a heavier reason now I suppose), this Treasury of Virtue is also lined up beside the bed:
It contains stories that most of us know from childhood. They are nicely illustrated. The child in me sometimes tarry on the pages. Cj protests and I reluctantly resume reading. I usually let him choose which book he wants me to read. He chooses this after Bible Friends:
When I read him poems, my voice is promptly overlapped by his yawns. It must be the lyrical effect of poetry. I gradually stop reading. He stirs and smiles with his eyes still shut but threatening to open wide again. I cook something up and sing off-key, "hush, little, Cj don't you move .... and move is what he exactly does. Stretching my patience, I curl up beside him and recite either A child's prayer or The Lord's Prayer, or sometimes the Twenty-third Psalm quietly over his head. He falls asleep with his baseball bat and a very worn soft ball that he does not want to give up. As I creep back to my computer, I wonder how the **** did I end up chanting by myself in the dark. I surely must have gone mental. I glance back at the subdued figure on my bed. "That's quite a bonus," I tell myself.