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Monday, 31 August 2009

What to say...

~ brought to you by Jori and Diane ~

It's not necessarily the lyrics but the rhythm that had me singing along with this Ric Segreto song since yesterday. The part that moved me in a way that I enjoyed very much is the syncophation after 'what to say...' I sang and swayed to this music repeatedly yesterday which annoyed my five-year old. He went, "Mommy! stop stop stop!" and tried to cover my mouth. I teased him and continued singing along, "Baby Pooh, what what what?!... to sayyyyy....."


Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Ellie Bellie Meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger known as Ellen White from the blog Ellie Bellie Blog. She states that she has been "dragged into this new cult of memeing". She does not explain what blogger "dragged her". But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing.

Cheers to all us thieves!

what are your most common nicknames?
* Mae, Zel

what is today's weather?
* sunshiney with a dainty shower

where did go on vacation this year?
* Lopburi, Pattaya, Chantaburi

what did you do there?
* ruins in Lobpuri, night life in Pattaya, nature fun in Chantaburi

where did you stay?
* hotel in Lopburi, English inn in Pattaya, friend's house in Chantaburi

what job do you do?
* babysit monkeys

describe where you live.
* early in the morning someone speaks thru a megaphone, and the dogs howl, the megaphone man stops yakking, repeat. they are my alarm clock. there's a restaurant on the ground floor where you can order meals if you're lazy to cook

what do you usually do on weekends?
* eat out

what food hits your 'bliss spot'?
* crispy fried deep sea fish with mango salad, durian macadamia ice cream & moist chocolate cheese cake

what drink really does it for you?
* anything that compliments what I eat

describe the first friend that comes to your head.
* highly intelligent, amazingly stupid

what was the last restaurant you went to?
* Thai

where would you like to live if you had unlimited moneys and nothing stopping your dreams?
* in a beautiful cottage in the quaint English countryside

what is the likeliness of you achieving this dream home?
* it depends on the certainty of "nothing stopping your dreams"

what do you like to do in your spare time?
* read Jane Austen or play the piano

what's your favorite genre for TV programs?
* I watch news only nowadays

what's your favorite genre for music?
* mellow rock

what's your favorite song that's sad?
* Michael Johnson's Doors

what's your favorite soppy film?
* Titanic

how about your favorite chick flick?
* Pride and Prejudice

what are you looking forward to at the moment?
* a visit to an arts and culture centre after my birthday lunch today

what are you dreading at the moment?
* it's my birthday today, I'm looking forward to something

how would you describe your personality?
* melancholic-choleric

if you had a personality eraser, what part of yours might you erase?
* my tendency to procrastinate

you are given $5000 to spend in 1 day, what do you do with it? remember, no limitations!
* $5000 is not enough but it can pay off part of what I want to buy: a ticket to somewhere over the rainbow

what is your biggest fear?
* dying alone in a rickety rocking chair

Friday, 28 August 2009

At the summit of Mt. Kitanglad

~ brought to you by Alicia of More Than Words ~

It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and we're elevated 9509 ft; at the summit of Mt. Kitangland. These are former college classmates. I could not remember the exact year this happened. I'm guessing this was around the time I finished my bachelor's degree, so circa 1992 -1993. We hiked up for 7-8 hours, spent two nights at the peak eating, chatting, goofing, and came down on Sunday. It was a blast! My first and last mountaineering experience and one of the best memories I have from college:


We also had a bit of serious time. We're actually having some worship when this shot was taken. We were singing what...oh, I've forgotten the darn song. Most probably "O the depths of the riches, the wisdom and knowledge of God..." or something like that. The two guys at the back and the classmate wearing a yellow top on the left are happily married. I have no confirmed updates about the second and the middle girls on the front row; the fourth girl is in CA, and that's me wearing a light blue top. Ewww! was I fat. The wires behind us belong to, if I remember it right, the relay station of ABS-CBN, a broadcasting corporation in the Philippines.

Soapy Spell on a Name

Thanks to Pinaymama for the badge


Often I answer "CJ, that's it," to the oft-repeated question, "What is your son's real name?"

Months before Cj was born, I got hooked on an American soap called the Bold and the Beautiful. I was not even a bored housewife. I was a gradschool student for heaven's sake. But I was completely carried by the whole diversion. I realized I was on the verge of addiction when at work I strode across the Academic Affairs Office to drop hints of my wish not to be given classes at the time B&B was aired.

If I was unable to watch an episode, I made sure the maid watched it so she could narrate what I missed when I came home. It was very uncharacteristic of me. I couldn't believe it, but the lifestyle I was in seemed conducive to soap-watching. The fact that our next-door neighbor was a local film actress who pampered Mozart, our firstborn (read: poodle), and a little further down the ville another neighbor was an action star, kinda an equivalent of Robin Padilla in the Philippines, didn't help. There were 6 TV sets for 3 people (me, ex-hubster and the maid) in that four-story townhouse we lived in. The whole situation was crazy.

On Saturdays, ex-hubster would play golf. I began disliking the job of accompanying him to the course. If I went with him I lingered in the country club lounge staring hopefully at the TV before proceeding to the green, and I hated Tiger Woods's face (ang pagmumukha ni Tiger Woods! lol). Finally, ex-hubster announced that if I didn't control my insanity over B&B he would join me in watching it. I was exhilarated silly. Little did I know what was cooking in his mind.

Nonchalantly he asked, "what's the name of that feisty woman's son?"

"Which one? Ah...Sally Spectra's son?" was my animated response, "oh, that's C.J. Garrison."

"Very well," he glanced at my swollen belly and declared, "I am naming our baby, 'C.J.'"

"Excuse me?! What kind of name is that?!" I bolted back to normalcy.

"Handsome, isn't he? and he's not as insane as everybody else in that God-forsaken soap. Besides, you named Mozart and I didn't complain, did I?"

"No way!" I protested.

"Yes way!" he affirmed who was the boss and promptly dozed back on his side of the bed.

Thus no matter how many A's I nailed in gradschool or how I deliberately dented the butt of ex-hubster's car in my bid to change his mind, my CJ

was officially named after this CJ
Mick Cain. Courtesy of Google Images.

not that I have objections to his looks :-)

The soapy spell over my little head broke. I swore on the grave of our pet fish that I would never watch soap again.

~ More at The Mommy Journey ~

Thursday, 27 August 2009

It's Raining Awards!

There was this warm-up game in an obligatory workshop I once had to attend years ago. It asked attendees to use an adjective which begins with the same letter as the first letter of their name to introduce themselves. As I wasn't exactly in the mood for a workshop that was scheduled on a Friday afternoon, I said I was Hazy Haze. They didn't approve it. "Heavenly Hazel then," I was itching to leave for the weekend. Today though I am Happy Hazel :-) Who wouldn't be cheerful with all these therapeutic blogging and the awards that come pouring in? Look at these!

Thom of Thom's Place for Well Whatever gave me these Triple Awards. Thank you, Thom.



Chris of The Mommy Journey gave me this Spread The Love award. Thank you, Chris.

Tetcha of Pensive Thoughts gave me this Your Blog make us Smile award. Thank you, Tetcha.


Genebei of Her and History gave me these Perky Blogger and Kreativ Blogger awards. Thank you, Genebei.



The Kreativ Blogger award requires you to say 7 things about yourself. I'll try:

1. I used to be a bookworm. Now virtually the only thing I read is Harry Potter.

2. I haven't played the piano since I threw a vocalist off-key for 1 second during a concert. I have this urge to wreak havoc again *wink*

3. I am an only child, and my very first boyfriend was also an only child.

4. I'm a mom of two boys: biological CJ and canine Mozart *hugs*

5. When driving in the suburbs, sometimes my taste for danger comes out: I love to overtake a succession of three to five lorries. (I can hear you saying loca, gaga but I lived to tell the tale, didn't I? LMAO)

6. Had I known earlier the wonders of blogging, I would have started it long time ago.

7. My first job abroad was part advertising and part handling of international communications for an export company.

Now I'm passing on these Spread the Love, Your Blog Makes Us Smile, Perky Blogger and Kreativ Blogger awards to:

Harriet of
I am Harriet

Indrani of
iShare

And this Creative Mom Blogger award is again from Genebei. Thank you, Genebei.

Duets

Header by Samulli. Play T13 here.

They are sweet, powerful, hauntingly beautiful, intense, cheeky cute, pleading, optimistic, lively, begging, sad, longing, magical, promising. In random order I listed famous duets that cover many moods imaginable. Any song or artist you like?

1. A Whole New World (Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle)

2. I Know Him So Well (Whitney Houston and her mom Cissy)

3. Can't We Try (Dan Hill and Vonda Shepard)

4. I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You (Mark Anthony and Tina Arena)

5. Especially For You (Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan)

6. It's Hard to Say Goodbye (Regine Velasquez and Paul Anka)

~ one of my faves ~

7. Endless Love (Diana Ross and Lionel Richie)

8. Beauty and the Beast (Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson)

9. Something Stupid (Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman)

10. Please Be Careful With My Heart (Jose Mari Chan and Regine Velasquez)

11. The Day I Fall in Love (James Ingram and Dolly Parton)

12. Somewhere Out There (Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram)

13. We've Got Tonight (Kenny Rogers and Sheena Easton)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Buddha Image at Krasae Cave


While waiting for the train back to Kanchanaburi, I loitered a bit in the mouth of Krasae cave, to keep away from the heat outside. This is a Buddha image inside the cave,


and the view from the cave. That's the death railway line and the same rail on which the train that was to take us back to town was going to pass. Down below is the River Kwai.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sugar Plum Fairy Dances on Glass Harp

I was wired while I was preggy. An earphone was taped to my belly while its mate was plugged in my ear. Together my then unborn Cj and I listened to classical music. It was kinda difficult to choose a favorite as I loved all that were playing during those nine months. My favoritest is Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Nowadays I play it especially when I go a'neighboring in blogsville and Cj doesn't leave me alone. It's easier to send him back to his toys while I blog in peace.

Musical Monday is brought to you byJori and Diane. Head over to their sites to play along.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

My Life According to Whitney Houston


Today we ripped this meme off a blogger known as Jodi from the blog Moody Blue. She has tagged a bunch of folks on facebook to do it. She did not say where she got it from. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

INSTRUCTIONS: Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think! Post as "Jodi's Meme: My Life According to (BAND/ARTIST NAME)" The great thing is that if you have already done this meme, you can do it again with a different artist! Please do!

CHEERS TO US ALL THIEVES!

-Are you a male or female?
Natural Woman

-Describe yourself
I'm Every Woman

-How do you feel right now?
All At Once

-If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
I Wanna Be Where You Are

-Your favorite form of transportation
Walk On By

-Describe Your Morning Routine
It's Not Right But It's Okay

-Your best friend is
Somebody Bigger Than You and I

-What's the weather like
Fine

-Pet Peeve?
The Boss

-If your life was a TV show, what would it be called
I Know Him So Well

-Your relationship
Saving All My Love For You

-Your Fear
Just the Lonely Talking Again

-What is the best advice you have to give?
Hold On

-If you could change your name, you would change it to
Amazing Grace (lol)

-What do you say when you are frustrated?
Mercy Mercy Me

-Thought for the day
Didn't We Almost Have It All?

-How you would like to die
Like I Never Left

-Your soul's present condition
Worth It

-Your motto
Love Will Save the Day

Separate Cameras

Curiousity and obligation were two reasons I showed up for the first time at Cj's school last week. I am opposed to ex-hubster's idea of sending Cj to school at 3 years of age. If he had his way Cj would have started school at 2. "It's your game, dude. You play it all by yourself," was my quiet annoyance at what's happening. So it has been mainly ex alone involved. As Cj turned 5, I began warming up to taking part in our scholar's activities. When he told me that Cj and his classmates would dance especially for moms, I finally decided, 'ok that's my game now, I'm coming.'

The top of the main school building was ablaze with the peeping afternoon sun when I arrived

During the performance, I chose to take it all in rather than work the camera. After the dance the kids posed once more. Cj, far left, was all shyness

We proceeded to a nearby Tesco for a late lunch at MK Restaurant

The little dancer is a picky eater; plays with his chopsticks. His main course is milk still

Ex-hubster picked up the bill and without further ado we parted ways, back to our separate lives. Did you just hear Phil Collins? Lol. Oh, it's so typical, love (read: divorce) leads to isolation.... We did sit side by side for awhile. When Cj appeared on stage we flew apart, and documented our little fellow's moment separately.


Saturday, 22 August 2009

You'll Never Find My Body

Blogger sis Genebei tagged me with what is called the Book Tag. The rules are:

1. Collect the book that you have most handy.

* There you go. Picture on the right. That's true crime. Copyright 2009. I was after the courtroom drama. Finished reading it three nights ago.

2. Turn to page 161.
* Alright, turn...

3. Find the 5th complete sentence.
* Found it.

4. Cite the sentence on your blog.
* "Vocals by the Beatles and the Bee Gees brought on the same nostalgic recollections."

5. Pass it on to 5 other victims (oops...bloggers)
* Here they are:


His Eye is on the Sparrow

~ brought to you by Amy of Signs, Miracles and Wonders ~

Here's Big Mama's take on a great gospel hymn. If you've seen them around, I'd love to know what you think. If you haven't, I hope you enjoy listening to them. (They just blew me away) Have a great Saturday, everyone!


Friday, 21 August 2009

A goofy, happy birthday


~ head over to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story for more faves ~

Another week. Another set of faves :)

1. Mozart. I rang Mama for a quick chat and my firstborn yapped loudly. I feel so happy when I hear him in the background during phone chats; it lessens the ache from missing him terribly.

2. Apartment restaurant. There are times I am just not into preparing meals. This week I am exactly that. The restaurant five floors below is only a dial away. Their staff deliver your order right to your door in a few minutes.

3. Clinic Clear. I seem to be forever looking for a shampoo that can command my hair soft and light. It's a positive surprise to notice my hair behaving in a way I want it to after experimenting with Clinic Clear. The price also made me smile - it's very cheap.

4. Birthday present. My friend and I spent a fair amount of time in a Malaysian cosmetics shop testing products. I noticed her admiring one particular tube, but put it back on the shelf. Then we proceeded to Hip Coffee. She mentioned her approaching birthday and I knew right away what to give her!

5. Food and fellowship. Wednesday came. I rushed from work to her birthday dinner at another friend's home. Former classmates were there. The bonding felt great. I appreciate the birthday girl's effort to include my food wish on the menu. And I'm glad she was delighted to have the hair lotion :-)

The birthday girl is the one wearing green, goofing. She's 3rd and I'm 4th from the right. I'm sooo getting killed for the second time today -)

At two


Today I join Friday Photo Flashback and give justice to these old photos on yellowing albums. First off I want to thank Alicia of More Than Words for hosting a meme where I join you in looking back and reminiscing the good old days, certain that there is a past and opportunity to be in touch with personal history. I was on the phone with my mother yesterday, asking her how old I was in this photo. She said if she couldn't see it, she couldn't remember. Her guess was 2 years old. The fun part of looking at old photos is sometimes seeing things that (to me at least) are funny, i.e. I burst out laughing at my hairless head. "Your hair was just thin, but you weren't bald at all," Mama corrected. "Oh, it's bald to me, I teased, "but I understand you want to euphemize because she's your baby."

Mommy Moments: Rain

Thanks to Pinaymama for the badge


I love rain. I'm just not sure how Cj feels about it. Everytime it rains I see no indication whether he likes or hates it. He seems to be just observing subtly how I react to water dropping merrily down from heaven :-). One early evening weeks ago, Cj and I got drenched in a downpour while riding, of all vehicles, a moped, lol! (Ex-hubster is going to kill me if he finds this out, lmao) The best part should have been a photo-op. But since we didn't have a capture of that rainy-drenchy moment, I'm posting a photo of Cj from a slightly different rain experience. It poured that morning but when we came out of the auditorium the sun was shining. Still there were signs that it would rain anytime. I introduced him to an umbrella. True to my guess, he twirled the poor thing:



Another chance of experiencing rain was in May this year when we went to the province for a relaxing weekend with friends. We hiked up the picnic area on the hilly part of this national park. It rained cats and dogs while we ate lunch. Right after mango dessert, I decided to do something I have always wanted to do when I was Cj's age: bathe in the rain! I stood awed on the lawn feeling raindrops on my skin. Finally I was able to experience what was forbidden when I was a kid. I wouldn't have minded if Cj joined me. Curiously he just watched. Different generation, different behavior towards the same phenomenon.


The storm calmed and we descended the hill accompanied by a drizzle. It was fun fun fun!

~ More at The Mommy Journey ~

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

The English Countryside in 13 Films

Header from Samulli. Play T13 here.

Mountains and lakes, quiet dirt roads, pretty meadows, rustic barns, beautiful gardens, quaint cottages or elegant houses, lovely fountains, farm animals - if they are anywhere in a film, whether shown for 1 minute or 10, I am certainly watching. Being a city dweller for fifteen years has not swayed my wish to one day live in a charming countryside. I am a country girl at heart! My T13 today are my favorite films that show the English countryside in some or most parts of each of them. Their stories are great and I love them; I also believe the setting adds a lot of impact and appeal:

1. Pride and Prejudice (2005)

2. Ladies in Lavender (2004)

3. Sense and Sensibility (1995)

4. Miss Potter (2006)

5. The Secret Garden (1993)

6. Nanny McPhee (2005)

7. Becoming Jane (2007)

8. Keeping Mum (2005)

9. Harry Potter I - VII of course (2001 - )

10. Vanity Fair (2004)

11. Elizabeth (1998)

12. The Duchess (2008)

13. Atonement (2007)


Bonus: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

Iris and A Beautiful Mind


Today is my first time to play a movie meme. I want to thank Tuesday Couch Potato host Kikamz of Just About Anything for the invite. My lifestyle doesn't allow me to be a couch potato, although sometimes I wish I could be. When I decide to watch a particular movie, I make sure I learn something from it and don't waste my time and money. Movies of value and significance go right to my DVD collection. The theme for this week is husband and wife.

You will notice that my choices are closely associated with my field - Education. Both depict lives of intellectuals in their 'natural habitat' - topnotch institutions of learning. As much as I admit I am working towards my goal of leaving the profession, my respect for the industry remains and I will always be awestruck by legendary brains. They are my inspiration and motivation to give an entire term my best shot as a university lecturer starting next month.
Did I just lose the husband and wife theme? (lol) Alright, the movies:
John Nash (the husband, played by Russell Crowe) develops "paranoid schizophrenia and endures delusional episodes while painfully watching the loss and burden his condition brings on his wife and friends." Most likely nobody wants to envision being married to and living with someone who on the outside looks crazy at best. This movie portrays husband and wife sticking together through it all. I do love the tagline: The only thing greater than the power of the mind is the courage of the heart.

Photo Source here.

and

The wife (played by Dame Judi Dench) deteriorates from Alzheimer's disease. The husband (played by Jim Broadbent who is Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter 6) struggles to become her caretaker. It's the very familiar for-better-or-for-worse scenario.
Photo Source here.

I tried the trailers but it slowed down everything, so I provided a link on each movie title in case you fancy a re-watch or a review of credits.

Kikamz hosts Tuesday Couch Potato. Head over to her site to play along.

Monday, 17 August 2009

MCQ: Crazy is right


1. Last Tuesday which was good Friday we came to tell you something we know nothing about. You were asked to pull up a chair and sit on the floor. What do you make of this?
  • Since you don't know anything, sit back and relax. I'll take it from sitting on the chair, not the floor.

2. The answer is YES...what is the question?

  • Will you claim your $10B win?

3. The cops are banging on your door late at night. What are you thinking they are there for?

  • They probably want me for murder. The hottest star in the world asked for my hand in marriage and I refused. He committed a successful suicide.

4. Children learn what they live....so they say.. what would a child learn in your household??

  • He will have guidance but he is responsible for the choices he makes

5. Tell us about 1 family ritual your family does every year.

  • Sermon on the Mt. of Blessings (read: telling off on moral uprightness) on New Year's eve, and compulsory beach party attendance on New Year's day

6. What is the favorite food that you would eat everyday 3 times a day if you could?

  • cashew nuts and raisins

7. Tell us about your fantasy.

  • I live in a splendid castle in the quaint english countryside

8. You are stranded on a deserted Island. You have plenty of food, a person to keep you company, shelter and life seems stress free. what do you tell the rescue ship when it arrives.??

  • Come back on the next full moon

Head over to Lani's MCQ home to play.

Just a silly phase


Lots to do in my nook nowadays. Falling or being in love is not one of them. Not that I'm cynical about love. I just need to put it aside this time. Maybe I'm using the lyrics to remind myself that there's a major target to work on. So if I ever get distracted, I listen to this song. And it refocuses me on the right track; keeps me moving on towards the goal.

Musical Monday is brought to you by Jori and Diane. Head over to their sites to play along.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Sunday Stealing: Blame Tara

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger known as MelRoXx of the blog Life of a Mean Jean. She explains that she was tagged to do the meme by gaelikaa and she states that it's called The Blame Tara Meme. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Cheers to all us thieves!

Question 1: Who do you think is the hottest movie star?

  • I love it when he winks at his godson
    • Sirius Black by maponto

      Question 2: Apart from your house and your car, what is the most expensive thing you have ever bought?
      • a lot that has been idle for twelve years now (stupid purchase that was)

      Question 3: What is your most treasured memory?

      • cuddling my two boys, the biological and the canine

      Question 4: What is the best gift you’ve ever received as a child?

      • books and piano lessons

      Question 5: What is the biggest mistake you’ve ever made?

      • not asking my father and grandfather to send me to medschool

      Question 6: Give four words to describe yourself.

      • When bored, meme away!

      Question 7: What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008?

      • jumping on a plane to KL for a fantastic weekend (high) and not snapping a single shot of myself digesting lunch at the Petronas (low)

      Question 8: What was your most embarrassing moment?

      • got plenty. mostly most embarrassing; the most face-reddening of all is too embarrasing to not be forgiven and forgotten

      Question 9: Tell something not generally known about yourself.

      • I can't ride a bike

      Question 10: If you were a comic strip/cartoon character, who would you be?

      • Melody. She and I share a similar kind of curiosity and mishief. The sketch here reflects one of my favorite family activities - an only child on her father's shoulder, with Ma walking along. More or less a spoiled brat too (lol)
      Melody, Eric and Ariel by OceansStar

      Mercedes Maybach


      Except in the middle of Saturday when I took my son out to dine in a nearby restaurant, my weekend was complete h
      ibernation. I had to emerge from my burrow only because I forgot to replenish my food cupboard and there's no excuse to undernourish a five-year old. That settled, I kept on with computer routines - exchanging Chikka Txts with my mother, peeping at my own blog and checking my email. No bomb. But there's one I can't delete without sharing it first with you.

      You gotta love this

      A Mercedes Maybach, baby!


      It's wired
      Electrostatic sunroof which turns from opaque to crystal clear depending on passenger preference

      Party!

      Reclining rears

      NOW STOP DREAMING AND GET BACK TO WORK!

      Be happy with what you've got


      More at Our Weekend Memoirs