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Saturday, 31 October 2009

He died of what?

A college dormmate described how a bunch of faculty kids discovered and helped an ownerless, injured cat. It died. The kids had no clue how was the cat injured. As human nature would always long for at least some closure to a rather sad experience, they speculated on what happened to the poor feline. One little boy, his eyes round as marbles, comforted himself and others with him by suggesting, "the cat...he... he died of a broken heart."

I am guessing that kid must have been listening to this song:


~ More at Amy's Signs, Miracles, and Wonders ~

Friday, 30 October 2009

A roll of parchment

Temperature was gradually dropping outside Guy Fawkes hotel. My freezing southeast asian blood was a small price for that meander back in time on The Shambles. The british sun was heading west and the vesper chimes beckoned me inside Northern Europe's largest gothic cathedral. Unknown to me then was that I would be going back to Bangkok with an unusual present for Cj; my feature for this week's Mommy Moments theme: precious gift

and it looks like this:

York Minster needs "9 pounds per minute to maintain, day and night." As I'm a sucker for art and history, I was meaningfully happy to be given the chance to contribute to its "conservation, musical life, education services, it's daily life and work." While waiting for the gift to be sorted, I lighted a candle in memory of my father.

**********
It's a piece of simple paper which I fondly call Cj's roll of parchment. It reads:

THE CATHEDRAL AND METROPOLITICAL CHURCH OF
SAINT PETER IN YORK


YORK MINSTER


THE DEAN AND CHAPTER ACKNOWLEDGE WITH

GRATITUDE THE GIFT RECEIVED FROM


CEEJAY


TO MAINTAIN THE MINSTER FOR A PERIOD OF 2 MINUTES

DATED THIS 12TH OF APRIL 2006


KEITH JONES, Dean of York

Cj was to blow two candles on his second cake five weeks after this certificate was made. You know what they say - children are a blessing. My life is certainly so much better in many ways with Cj in it.

He's got himself as my precious gift


~ Mommy Moments is brought to you by Chris of The Mommy Journey ~

Thursday, 29 October 2009

My haunted brain


In the spirit of the halloween season spooky does it. Or the beauty of language does. I am positively terrified by images conjured and emotions evoked by grave poetry. Rhymes bury boredom. Meeting words not used in common conversation charms me. With a witch's gait in my head, I roamed cyberspace and filled my HP cauldron with passages from poems of 13 literary greats:

1. Halloween by Robert Burns (1785)
Upon that night, when fairies light On Cassilis Downans dance, Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, On sprightly coursers prance; Or for Colean the rout is ta’en, Beneath the moon’s pale beams; There, up the Cove, to stray an’ rove, Amang the rocks and streams

2. Ulalume: A Ballad by Edgar Allan Poe (1847)
And now, as the night was senescent,

And star-dials pointed to morn —
As the star-dials hinted of morn —
At the end of our path a liquescent
And nebulous lustre was born

3. The Hag by Robert Herrick (1648)
A Thorn or a Burr, She takes for a Spurre:
With a lash of a Bramble she rides now, Through Brakes and through Bryars, O’re Ditches, and Mires, She followes the Spirit that guides now.

4. Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti (1862)
Morning and evening, Maids heard the goblins cry:
“Come buy our orchard fruits, Come buy, come buy:
Apples and quinces, Lemons and oranges,
Plump unpecked cherries, Melons and raspberries

5. Sonnet 100 by Lord Brooke Fulke Greville (1633)
Gives vain alarums to the inward sense,
Where fear stirred up with witty tyranny,
Confounds all powers, and thorough self-offense,
Doth forge and raise impossibility:

6. Darkness by George Gordon, Lord Byron (1816)
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—

7. Act IV, Scene I of Macbeth by Shakespeare (1606)
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse; Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Something wicked this way comes!

8. ... Jack the Journeyman by William Butler Yeats
I know, although when looks meet,
I tremble to the bone,
The more I leave the door unlatched, the sooner love is gone, For love is but a skein unwound, Between the dark and dawn.

9. Ghost House by Robert Burns
I DWELL in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,
And left no trace but the cellar walls,
And a cellar in which the daylight falls,
And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.

10. ... Chamber to be Haunted by Emily Dickenson
One need not be a chamber to be haunted, One need not be a house; The brain has corridors surpassing Material place.

11. Dialogue Between Ghost and Priest by Sylvia Plath
In voice furred with frost, Ghost said to priest:
'Neither of those countries do I frequent: Earth is my haunt.'

12. The House With Nobody In It by Joyce Kilmer
Whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back, Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart, For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart

13. Socrates Ghost by Delmore Schwartz
The mechanical whims of appetite
Are all that I have of conscious choice,
The butterfly caged in eclectic light
Is my only day in the world's great night,


1 - 7 source: About.com: Poetry
8 - 13 source:
Ghost Stories

~ header from Samulli / click here for more lists ~

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Chamber of Secrets

Just magical? (TCP theme this week) I'm so having a ready answer for that. But as ready as I may seem for this week's theme, choosing which, among the 6 installments of Harry Potter, to feature was rather hard. I love them all. Have I made myself obvious yet as a Harry Potter fan? :-) Ok, I made up my mind on the second installment - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Check out Mrs Weasley's howler. Observe how Dobby the house elf attempt to repay a debt of gratitude. Don't neglect your ear muffs when you grasp a mandrake. Make sure the invisibility booster is functioning when you ride a flying car. Avoid landing it on a Whomping Willow. Have some Kleenex in your pocket if you travelled by Floo Powder. It's a bit messy. Say 'immobulos' to ward off pixies trying to tie you to a dinosaur skeleton. Get curious at Tom Riddle's diary.


My kiddo watches HP almost every week, and sometimes points a chopstick at me and says, "umos aksima" (lumos maxima). I remember Chamber of Secrets as the very first installment of HP that I saw. My little regret, as far as one filming location goes, is not insisting on visiting Alnwick Castle, where Harry and his fellow wizards flew their broomstick for their first flying lesson. Friends and I were only 15 minutes away from the castle while touring the north of England. I'm guessing many of you have seen any of these HP trailers already, the phenomenon that HP has become. But magic does not wear out easily. Come on, muggles. Click away and go magical. Help yourself to fun magic.

~ More at Just About Anything ~

Monday, 26 October 2009

Something wicked this way comes!

Both the tune and lyrics intrigued me the first time I saw the Hogwarts choir sing this on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Back in the muggle school I attended the English Lit prof wasn't into paranormal stuff so she understandably didn't discuss this part of Macbeth. Thanks to convenient research nowadays. Finding out that this was the witches' brew in the cave was a lazy flick of the wand. I wish the croaking of the frogs wasn't omitted, but I'm glad I no longer have to babble each time I want to chant along.


~ Musical Monday is brought to you by Diane ~

Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Halloween Meme

Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Apryl from the blog Meridian Ariel. Apryl explains that the questions were compiled by her from a few different memes floating about. So she stole it from lots of people. 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!

1. What is your favorite written work of horror fiction?
~ The Hound of the Baskerville


2. What is your favorite work of science fiction/fantasy?
~ Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

3. Who is your favorite monster?
~ Frankenstein (which is basically incorrect because Frankenstein is the creator of the monster, not the monster himself. Apologies to Victor; and Mary is dead can't comment on this pop culture mistake)

4. What is your favorite Horror movie?
~ Friday the 13th but any good scare is a fave

5. What horror movie gives you the most chills?
~ The Exorcist

6. What character from any horror film would you most like to play?
~ the character who survives in any horror film

7. Freddy or Jason?
~ no idea

8. What is your favorite Halloween treat?
~ it depends upon what I find in the mall

9. Ghosts or goblins?
~ ghosts

10. Friendly-faced jack-o'-lantern or scary one?
~ friendly

11. What is your scariest encounter with the paranormal?
~ I was awakened by the light turned on inside the bedroom. When I checked my watch it was 3 AM. The house has been known to have some 'activity.' Still, I didn't think it was really scary, just unusual until I remembered that 3 AM was known as the devils' hour; the end of witching hour....

12. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
~ yes, I don't need to pretend I'm not scared to be convinced that they exist or worse, see them

13. Would you rather be a zombie, alien, or psycho?
~ alien

14. Favorite Halloween costume?
~ mummy costume; saw it and thought it's interesting

15. Best thing about Halloween?
~ hanging out in the cemetery with friends and loads of food, playing board games (I'm talking of the Philippine version of halloween)

16. Person in your family who most likes Halloween (not counting yourself)?
~ none

17. Are you superstitious?
~ only during halloween

18. Share an unusual Halloween story.
~ pass

19. What did you do for Halloween as a kid?
~ my family didn't celebrate. the closest thing to it that I did was read halloween stories and watch what it's like on TV.

20. What's the best Halloween party that you've attended?
~ I've never attended any; almost attended one in some hotel but thought I didn't want to be in a crowd in the dark

A new haunt


About six weekends ago I took Cj and myself to an art and culture centre right in the heart of Bangkok. It was basically to introduce the little guy to his country's (one of many) showcases of arts and culture, both local and international.


Mid-section of the entire building seen from all floors: it's where visitors find info on arts and cultural shows, announcements or schedules of opera, ballet, concerts, lectures, fashion, international artists presentations, film festivals

Black and white photos of the Thai monarchs' travels abroad as well as of visits to Thailand by other heads of states

Thai jewelry from the olden times

*sigh* I'm no photographer; can't get rid of the flash. Anyhow, if you noticed the reflection, they're of edifices around the area of Thailand's top university, Chulalongkorn


Masks. Kindly bear with the orb.

Cj's fave: the revolving three-headed elephant


These are a few of what we have seen. The place is 25,000 sq. m. and has 2 basements and 11 stories. We've only just begun exploring, and I'm sooo loving it already. Those replicas of strange but beautiful architecture from around the world are a visual feast. And I haven't hung out yet in the library (heaven!).


We haven't been to the galleries on the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th floors. The first time we visited there was a violin concert on the 7th floor; but Cj wanted to spend time on the Woman & Mother gallery (this kid's got some fixation on boobs). And guess what's the best thing about all these -- except for the shops, restaurants and cafes, everything else is free.

~Our Weekend Memoirs is brought to you by Ebie and Arlene~

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Monst...err... Mother-in-law


Hubster and I split up four years ago, so the woman I am talking about is history to me, although I don't want her to be so in my son's life; at least not totally until after she's gone. Mrs D is proud and fiercely supportive of her children. A rather premature widowhood must have brought out the best in her. She successfully raised six children single-handedly.

So on to this week's Small Talk Six topic: six things (good or bad) that you credit your mother-in-law for:

1. Calling the shots at my wedding. My then fiance and I were not so keen on a ceremony and reception, but she was. I don't speak Thai and he's useless at organizing such events. We couldn't pull off that kind of wedding the way she did. Being married in a completely different culture from your own is quite an interesting experience. Those chanting monks, strange but lovely paraphernalia and hours of rituals were important reasons why when we divorced, I made sure I got all the wedding albums.

2. A great cook. She invades my kitchen and turns my dining table abundant with luxury hotel restaurant-style Thai cuisine. I love to eat and she likes it when people enjoy her cooking. These two facts go perfectly together. Despite the language barrier this is where we relate well with each other.

3. She's loaded. I wasn't complaining against advantages that fell on hubster and me, like our rented 4-storey townhouse furnished in one sweep because she thought it was a cute thing to do; or when I attended international gradschool which of course doesn't come in cheap, she offered to be on stand-by in case we encounter financial difficulty. I was loose change beside her stock market adventures.

4. A devoted grandma. She helped raise adorable grandchildren. When she was informed I was starting to feel labor pains, she arrived at the hospital ahead of me.

5. Domestic entertainment: wielding considerable influence and power over her brood. It's evident during monthly family gatherings. Nothing was more amusing than to watch her sometimes tell her adult children off. She utters virtually one word and the gorgeous doctor (eldest son), the company executive (second son, my ex), the university professor (her daughter) all bow their heads and obey! She also fires her children's maids if she doesn't like them. In fairness, she finds replacements.

6. She was at the centre of my divorce. Need I say more?

~ Small Talk Six is brought to you by Karen at Momdot ~

Friday, 23 October 2009

Oh crap, she's up!

Flunking students, no matter how few, is a not so pleasant, but sometimes necessary part of my job. I got through it this week looking out for things I can summarize for Friday's Fave Five and I'm glad that there always are:

1. The maya(s) came back! and this time it had a companion. They flew away quickly but left a feathery promise they they'll come back again, and they did. It looks like I'm going to have regular visitors who prefer jasmine rice over pumpkin seeds. I'm happy to oblige.

2. Pre-meeting breakfast and post-meeting lunch. The complete menu went online 19 hours ahead. It's varied and delicious. The accompanying conversation at the actual feast was kept to a professionally nonchalant level. No insane politicking. No obnoxious surprises. We breathed normally and didn't have to worry about indigestion.

3. Exploring our new office. Building 18 is not quite finished yet, but since our department had to move in before the second term commences, we had a once-over. Not bad. It was fun briefly watching engineers at work. The construction men were courteous.

4. Little gifts. They're from colleagues who are back from their holidays abroad and they're accumulating in my drawer. There's a dainty letter opener from Seoul, a charming pencil from Myanmar, a chocolate candy from Brussels, a bottle opener from Singapore, and a teddy key holder from China.

5. E-mailed advice. I seldom hear from this former college roommate who's now in LA, but when she lets me know she's still kicking, she sends me nice messages, and I was amused by this Sisters' Day advice:

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says, "oh crap, she's up!"

~ Visit Susanne of Living to Tell the Story for more faves ~

Major homework

Perhaps one of the most common questions about tantrums (Mommy Moments theme this week), besides causes, is how they are dealt with. I guess I have tried every suggestion imaginable. We're learning.
this was obviously easy

but sometimes he picks the perfect time to throw a tantrum like when I was in the middle of grabbing a bite before heading off to a long ceremony. I love you Baby Pooh but you're caught in the act :-) Ask your dad. He was behind the camera (Cj doesn't like this yaya which added to the foul mood; we let her go as soon as a replacement arrived)

distracting him; I was so running late to the Plenary Hall

These snapshots are of the mild episodes and nothing compared to his award-winning meltdown on board a train from Huahin to Bangkok. He was shouting himself hoarse, "I don't like...!" and in my panic and embarrassment I rang the grandma in PI for immediate instructions on what to do. She was helpful but I can't forget her saying, "you got major homework to do."

~ Mommy Moments is brought to you by Chris at The Mommy Journey ~

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Hair we go again

If you visit the Philippines and take a turn or two in certain places, you may notice these business names. See which ones are strangely familiar or you readily recognize:


1. A laundry in Manila: Summa Cum Laundry

2. A boxing gym in Taguig: Blow Jab

3. A salon somewhere: Curl Up And Dye

4. A store selling feeds for chicken along Sucat Road: Robocock

5. A shoe repair in Marikina: Dr. Shoe-Bago ('bago' means new)

6. A shoe repair shop along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City: SHOEPERMAN: We will HEEL you, save your SOLE, and even DYE for you

7. A petshop: Petness First

8. A taxicab: Income Taxi

9. A second-hand watch store: 2nd Time Around

10. An aquatic pet store in Malolos: Fish Be With You

11. A fishball cart along P. Campa St., near University of Santo Tomas: Eat My Balls

12. A restaurant in Baclaran that opens only in the evening: The Last Supper

13. A Hair Salon in Makati: Hair We Go Again

~ header from Samulli / click here for more Thursday 13 lists ~


Wednesday, 21 October 2009

A shower of awards

Hello friends, lighten up and check out one cute butt.

It comes with the usual rules:
1. Pass it on to at least one other blog but the more the better.
2. Never ever tell anybody who gave it to you. (Link backs not allowed)
3. Make a nice acceptance speech.


Examples of acceptable acceptance speeches:

"As deserving as I am of this award I can not believe that they finally woke up and gave it to me. I have always striven to uphold the high ideals this award represents. You did well in selecting me."


Using Quilly’s Words:
Given the paucity of mellifluous isangelous blogs, how could you obstrigillate the awarding of this opprobrious award to this blog. I accept with great pleasure.


As a Raven’s Mini Challenge:
This blog, having roughly no bowling monsters in the closet from Pennsylvania on its menu for the day, is proud to accept this award.


********************

I am celebrating a shower of awards from Thom of Thom's Place 4 Well Whatever... Here they are:

1 2
*The blogger buddie award has no rules*

3


"You can see this box of chocolates is filled with different and unique candies and just like the chocolates we are all different and unique people. We are the same in that we all have common ingredients that make us more alike than not. Except for the frosting, which represents our personalities, we are indeed very similar on the inside.”

And of course there are rules:

1. That you must pass this award to others.
2. Link back to me when you have passed them forward.
3. Write a nice post about this award.
4. You must read this award with a southern accent. I call it southern day where we all have to speak with a southern accent. I know that will be hard for some of you, but for the rest of us, we will be fine. So now, ya’ll just enjoy this little ol’ award and have fun with it.
5. And of course let your folks know that they have a nice award waiting for them.
4


For those receiving this award it is bestowed on to blogs that are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to six bloggers who must choose six more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

I am passing Just Another Prestigious, Honesty, Blogger Buddy, Chocolate Box, and the Circle of Friends Awards to:

Rose of Etcetera Etcetera

Genebei of Her and History

Chris of The Mommy Journey

Beth of All About Elizabeth

Jacris of Mom's Special Diary

Shelo of Mi Mundo del Amor


A note especially for Thom:

You are such a wonderful blogger friend. I find your visits to my nook a treat. Your comments always cheer my day. It's a delight to hang out at your place. Now I still haven't gotten away with that rule requiring an awardee to make a nice acceptance speech. My poor head is quite clogged with a barrage of info trying to put together something that will hopefully get me into something else. Equivocal, isn't it? But as soon as I see it taking acceptable shape I will personally deliver the news to your doorstep. While the plan evolves, I am honored and happy to accept the awards.

I love you, Thom. Let's meet some time and duet Something Stupid :-)


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Early morning

Sai Yok Noi is a waterfall in Sai Yok National Park. It's a popular stop for tourists exploring Kanchanaburi.

There's a small market and a buddhist shrine in the immediate vicinity. Nearby is a World War II train, parked forever on a section of the Death Railway tracks.


It's peaceful and fresh for early visitors. The only audible sounds are the falling of the water, rustling of leaves and twittering of birds. The twittering humans arrive later in the morning and this tranquility goes aloof

Over on the other side is another watery spot 130 kilometers from the town centre. Tourists pass through a short bridge to get into the spring. Right in front of it is a cold stream. Hot or cold, take your pick

There are three pools for bathers at Hindad: lukewarm, hot and very hot. Old folk chatter in the very hot pool. Kids play in the cold stream. The lukewarm pool, fenced and empty, is nice temperature-wise and reserved for monks. This is the middle pool, the hot and less frequented, nevertheless pleasant for relaxing

Monday, 19 October 2009

I would do anything for love (but I won't do that!)


A fact about me: I have never celebrated halloween in my entire life.

Culture. Religion. Things like that. But since I grew up with the media never lacking on halloween thingies, I'm aware of this annual holiday right up to my nose. There's a similar or slightly different kind of celebration in my country which we call All Souls/Saints Day. But that will be for another post.


I missed last week's Musical Monday. I hope you don't mind that I'm blabbing a bit longer today. Please sit back and relax.

Someone named Pat contributed "In the grave yard" to a collection of children's Halloween poetry and songs on the web. It is sung to the tune of Oh my darling (Clementine). It's short and cute. Try it :-)

In the grave yard,
In the grave yard,
When the moon begins to shine,
There's a doctor, crazy doctor,
and his monster Frankenstein.

Oh, my monster,
oh, my monster,
oh, my monster Frankenstein,
you are very, very scary, don't come
near me Frankenstein.

The only halloweenesque song I know is Michael Jackson's Thriller. Until I searched this morning, found so many, and chose this:

A few weeks ago I was at Hard Rock with two former schoolmates. The band belted out Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything for Love. Once again I enjoyed the clever phrases, and sang along some parts, emphasising on 'I'd run right into hell and back... but I won't do that!" Wikipedia talks about the perceived ambiguity of "that." If it were up to me, "that" would mean running right into hell and back.

Happy Halloween!


~ Musical Monday is brought to you by
Jori and Diane ~

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The ABC's of Meme


Today we ripped this meme off a blogger named Maggie from the blog Mind of a Mad Woman. She said that she stole it from Loralee who announced that she was "defying blog snobbery" by doing a 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 US ALL THIEVES!

A- Advocate for: animals

B- Best Feature: breasts...err... brain

C- Could do without: chaos

D- Dreams and desires: deplane in dreamland

E- Essential items: eyes

F- Favorite past time: feeding

G- Good at: gaining weight

H- Have never tried: heroine

I- If I had a million dollars: influence my wishes

J- Junkie for: juiciness

K- Kindred spirit: Kemsford

L- Little known fact: Lacock

M- Memorable moment: modelling my favorite character

N- Never again will I: neglect

O- Occasional indulgence: olive oil salad dressing

P- Profession: psychiatrist

Q- Quote: Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort - John Ruskin

R- Reason to smile: resolve

S- Sorry about: sitting on wet cement

T- Things you are worrying about right now: tests

U- Uninterested in: (the) uninspired

V- Very scared of: Village of the Damned

W- Worst habits: wandering too much

Y- Yummiest dessert: yam

X- X marks my ideal vacation spot: Xhermie's backyard

Z- Zodiac sign: Zarifa

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Here all along

So far I haven't come across any distinct identification of a target audience for this song, but with the way the lyrics go it sounds appropriate for the backslidden. Ok, I haven't been to church in awhile but I don't think I'm gonna say I'm coming back because I've never been away, just lagging behind church attendance. The world to me hasn't gone upside down. Anyway, the graphics are scenic, and the message lovely.


Sweet Treats


Today I join
Small Talk Six!, a Saturday meme on Mom Blogs at Momdot. KARENC, the host says, "since weekends are generally a little slower around the blogosphere, we thought this would be a great way to have a quick, fun, interactive meme.... You can respond to each topic with a list of 6 words, 6 phrases, 6 sentences, 6 paragraphs, or 6 photos."

STS topics really are very interesting. I relate with most. I've been wanting to join so join now I do. This Saturday's topic is 6 of your favorite sweet treats in the whole world. Blimey, I got lots but I'll stick to the rule of course, and here are my fave sweets:

1. leche flan (custard)
* I love the brownish version

2. moist fruit cake
* If it comes from Shangri-La, it's heaven

3. durian almond icecream
* The smell of durian is controversial, but when it becomes icecream, especially when it's made by Bonito (Italian), it's addicting. (just a personal opinion)


4. macaroon
*I like it a bit dark on top :)

5. crumpet
* I instantly fell in love with this English delight the first time I ate it. Perhaps eating it in the shadow of that Lake District castle added to the yummy magic


6. halo-halo with a scoop of purple yam icecream
~ (halo, tagalog word for mix) is a popular filipino dessert. It's a mixture of shaved ice, condensed or evaporated milk and a wide variety of ingredients. There's no specific recipe for this dessert, but I love the one with plenty of sugar palm fruit, macapuno (freak coconut), tapioca pearls, avocado, candied jackfruit, roasted pinipig (pounded immature rice)

"This dessert exemplifies the "east-meets-west" culture of the Filipinos, with the ingredients used coming from a wide variety of influences (to cite some examples: red mung beans which are from the Chinese, garbanzos from the Indians, leche flan from the Spaniards, and shaved ice itself, which was introduced to the islands by the Americans." (source)

source

Friday, 16 October 2009

Infant Memories

"Memories dating to the third or fourth year, and even occasionally to the second year, are generally given credence; but there is widespread skepticism regarding those attributed to the first year. Is this justifiable scientific caution because of the difficulty of verification, or merely prejudice? How can we decide whether something supposedly remembered really occurred?" ~ Melitta Schmideberg, M.D. on Infant Memories and Constructions, Psychoanalytic Quarterly

The year was 1971. I was a few months old and I remember water dripping gently on my head from the roof of this house we lived in. Bathrooms and comfort rooms were usually separate from the houses back then. My mother said that she was indeed going to give me a bath when someone with a camera passed by.

In later years I remember someone called "Auntie Bebot." She was pretty and pleasant. She loved to pop up in our living room or kitchen. She did it when Mama's dashing younger brother, fresh from military training would visit us. I also remember being told that this Auntie Bebot had a crush on my uncle and she was trying to get his attention at the pretense of giving us a sack of chicos. Oops.... =)

~ Visit Alicia of More Than Words for more flashbacks ~

The Maya

It has been raining cats and dogs almost all week. I mentioned to the ex how boring it was to be drenched everytime I go to his house to fetch Cj during weekends. He offered me his other car. I promptly refused. When it poured again and I got soaked again, I realized that sometimes swallowing your pride is better than pneumonia. Ok, I should be thankful it's just rain and not landslide. I could hear the lapping of water underneath the taxi yesterday, but to think that our neighbors were subjected to the quaking of the earth recently, there are really lots to feel blessed for, like:

1. Being on (yes, paid) leave. They say if you have a roof above your head and a job, you are luckier than millions of people. I am grateful for such a blessing and

2. forgetting the cares of work for five days. What bliss!

3. Time with Cj. It's the best thing about my leave or any free days I have. He gets a break from his usual schooldays companion, his nanny, and I get to do my duties as a mom. I took him shopping for our five-day holiday provision and let him decide what to eat, making sure we were in the healthy food section at the same time. He had no choice actually but to pick veggies and fruits

4. Our rainbow diet. A Reader's Digest health article suggests a way of knowing your diet is nutritionally complete is to check that your food has all the colors in it. During yesterday's shopping we loaded the cart with kidney beans, beef, tomatoes, capsicum (red); papaya, eggs, ginger, squash (yellow); okra, mango, apple, spinach, bokchoy, lettuce (green); rice, shitake (brown); eggplant, onions (purple); carrot (orange) oats, fish (white), pepper (black). It's difficult to keep up with this kind of diet in the midst of work. So I took advantage of the holiday. I didn't see salmon. It would have been nice for pink.

5. The maya. Construction noise from the rising condo opposite our street is gone. Peace and quiet came with a treat: a chirping maya. I was netsurfing when I heard it. It perched on the AC machine for a few seconds and flew away. I placed a plate of jasmine rice and a saucer of mineral water on the porch. While waiting for it to come back I walked down 7 Eleven to buy it a pack of roasted pumpkin seeds. If it does, I'm giving it a name :-)

~ Visit Susanne of Living to Tell the Story for more faves ~

Mannequin Meets Malling Monkey


Once in a Philippine mall my mother and I were looking at swimming trunks when Cj suddenly decided it was fun to pull the skirt off a baby mannequin. In an instant the poor mannequin went naked in front of other shoppers! Startled sales assistants's faces were like, "isn't child porn prohibited around here?"

Shopping has since become an activity that we seldom do. I find going around the mall trying to catch a hyperactive monkey at every turn too much. We don't spend long hours anymore, much less a day at the mall (Mommy Moments theme this week). But now that Cj is more receptive to shopping behavior instructions, it has become easier.


During one shopping in Bangkok I warned him that if he'd check out another mannequin like he did in PI, I would disappear. His response:


Unlike me he picks what he likes without deliberation. When the 7th installment of the Harry Potter series was released, it didn't take him 3 minutes to choose his merchandise:


It's only the playing he's actually after in malls. Beyond that he readily announces, "Mommy I want to go home," a signal that means "I'm bored."

If Cj turns out like his Dad who hates shopping, then my happy shopping days with a son are numbered

At least I no longer have to worry about being embarrassed any minute.

~ More at The Mommy Journey ~

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Over coffee

Information overload is a reality that has been with us for awhile. It overwhelms but it's a feature of post-modern life that I rather like. On cyberspace alone there are loads of stuff to discover and enjoy. I just wish there's enough time to even touch the tiny tip of the iceberg. These are 13 reads this week in my nook that I have yet to deal with:

Coffee time
1. Cleantech: energy breakthroughs
2. Turn small savings into a big nest
3. Before you join the gold rush
4. The high cost of poverty: why the poor pay more
5. Writers praise Barack Obama's inaugural address
6. Billionaires who can buy entire countries
7. Britain's place in the New World Order

Travel
8. America's most mysterious places
9. Top ten eurovision countries
10. World's quietest places

Study
11. Extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism...
12. Integrative complexity and radicalizations...

Fun!
13. Lists Galore

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Wizard of Oz


"There are few movies out there that have more urban legends connected to it than "The Wizard of Oz," claims Jonathan Crow, on Infamous Movie Urban Legends.

This week's TCP theme is Urban Legends. According to Wikipedia, the Wizard of Oz is an American musical / fantasy film. So what have I done to the theme? The link above provides more explanation.

As this is such an old movie, my guess is many, if not all of you have seen it. The trailer I've embedded is from the 50s. Try it if you haven't seen it or just let me know what are your thoughts.

There are three reasons why I chose Wizard of Oz: (1) the way it's been attached to urban legends, (2) I want a break from the usual horror that urban legend films are usually characterized with, and believe it or not, (3) I have never seen it. Yet.

How about our mental and emotional tendencies when we hear its soundtrack? As unscientific as it may seem, I like to believe that skies are indeed blue somewhere over the rainbow.

~ More at Just About Anything ~