Saturday, 31 October 2009
I am guessing that kid must have been listening to this song:
Friday, 30 October 2009
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.
THE CATHEDRAL AND METROPOLITICAL CHURCH OF
SAINT PETER IN YORK
THE DEAN AND CHAPTER ACKNOWLEDGE WITH
GRATITUDE THE GIFT RECEIVED FROM
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.
~ Mommy Moments is brought to you by Chris of The Mommy Journey ~
Thursday, 29 October 2009
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
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
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.
~ More at Just About Anything ~
Monday, 26 October 2009
~ Musical Monday is brought to you by Diane ~
Sunday, 25 October 2009
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?
10. Friendly-faced jack-o'-lantern or scary one?
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?
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)?
17. Are you superstitious?
~ only during halloween
18. Share an unusual Halloween story.
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
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.
Black and white photos of the Thai monarchs' travels abroad as well as of visits to Thailand by other heads of states
*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
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.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
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
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!"
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)
Thursday, 22 October 2009
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
Wednesday, 21 October 2009
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:
"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.”
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
CHEERS TO US ALL THIEVES!
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
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."
1. leche flan (custard)
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)
*I like it a bit dark on top :)
* 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)
Friday, 16 October 2009
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 ~
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.
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:
If Cj turns out like his Dad who hates shopping, then my happy shopping days with a son are numbered
~ More at The Mommy Journey ~
Thursday, 15 October 2009
2. Turn small savings into a big nest
4. The high cost of poverty: why the poor pay more
5. Writers praise Barack Obama's inaugural address
7. Britain's place in the New World Order
8. America's most mysterious places
9. Top ten eurovision countries
10. World's quietest places
11. Extraversion, neuroticism, psychoticism...
12. Integrative complexity and radicalizations...
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
"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 ~