Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Best of 2008

1. Hottest craze – For me, it was the Eraserheads, hands down. I lost all semblance of sanity after the reunion concert, and splurged on any old E-heads thing I could get my hands on, and listened to no one else at home and in the office and in the car (save for Boots' Barney songs). I'm hoping for a reunion concert part 2, and have decided to henceforth spend the rest of my life working on my personal mission to be the kind of girl that would make Ely Buendia 'napatingin, natulala sa yong kagandahan...'

2. Yummiest desserts – Dulcelin's pecan walnut pie. Mom and Tina's peach walnut torte. The berries and cream cupcake at Cupcake's by Sonja. The brazo de mercedes cupcake at Frostings. The bestselling coffee cake in Portico. Cheese puffs at Conti's (Yoshi's favorite). This super rich and sickeningly sweet frozen brazo de mercedes that Ches brought home one time from a kitchen in Forbes or some posh village like that. The gelatos in Amici -everything's good, from the hazelnut to the sansrival to the fruit flavors, anything but the pistachio which tastes more like mint. Banapple's banofee pie. Yum.

3. Most stunning books – It was after I read Midwives that I understood why some books are described as stunning. I was immobile for a few minutes after I put it down. It was that good. It made me realize what an utter waste of time chick lits are, when I could be reading all these great books instead and nourishing my soul. Range of Motion by Elizabeth Berg was beautifully written all around. It was not the first time I cried while reading a book that Ches is beginning to complain why I keep digging these tearjerkers. I'm currently in the third book of the Twilight saga for which I've been joyfully giving up hours and hours of sleep just to get to the end of book 4 already. It's not exactly the best written book ever, but with a vampire as hot as Edward Cullen, how can any sane girl ever have enough? I would gladly get in line to be sucked alive by what has got to be the hottest monster in fiction.

4. Happiest discovery – Korean dramas. I will never get over Coffee Prince. When (and if) we ever get to Seoul I'll buy the original DVD so I can watch it over and over till I'm all wrinkled and gray. It was by itself responsible for my newfound fascination for everything Korea – their showbiz, fashion, food, language, everything. One of my favorite new restos is Daeyang which serves authentic kimchi and japchae and bulgogi among other Korean goodies. I regularly visit Sarah's blog never mind if I hardly know any of the stars and shows she writes about. I'm just hooked.

5. Favorite cry-out-loud moments – When Obama won. (I bought this book with some of his speeches, and he's just so amazingly brilliant and his goodness emanates everywhere.) At the parent-teacher conference where I asked Teacher Lorraine to please be patient when Yoshi is being makulit bcoz he's still after all just a baby. (And I don't know if I'll ever stop looking at him as anything other than a baby - my baby.) Didoy's last day in the office when we took pictures and hugged all around. My own last day in MWC where my friends threw a despedida lunch for me complete with an AVP where they basically called me the most matakaw girl in the office (hahaha) and everyone found something nice to say (that must have been difficult) and Thom even cried buckets and it breaks my heart until now.

6. Funnest trips – Shenzhen was fun bcoz of the sheer toxicity of it (Anna crammed in about 60 million meetings in like two days) and bcoz of the sushi bar in Crowne Plaza and the funny English signs all around. Macau was fantastic and we need to go back to look at more old churches (tho that trip is marred by Yoshi getting sick back home). Hongkong was major fun bcoz of the Symphony of Lights and all the shopping I got done in Tsim Sha Tsui. Subic was the best mainly bcoz our entire clan was there and we never stopped eating and it was all-expense paid (thanks, ate). Baguio is up next week and it will be our first time to travel with both boys (and two nannies, to boot) and I have no doubt we'll have a blast as we always do on our family trips.

7. Most entertaining diversions - Boots and Yoshi, hands down, with their crazy antics and squealing and dancing that they even do in tandem now. Yosh and I also followed Survivor Philippines (about the only Pinoy show I tuned into after the first Philippine Idol in Channel 5). The little guy was starstruck and overjoyed when we saw his favorite JC (with Alou) in Bonifacio High Street and I told JC how happy Yosh was that he won and they even hugged him while Ches and I clicked our celphone cameras away. I also read this hilarious book that tells all the dirt on Hollywood stars. It had stuff like, Minnie Driver has everyone convinced she's this great beauty, but how long can you afford a $1,000 make-up job everytime you go out. And, You can feed a small African nation with the amount of money Demi Moore has spent on plastic surgery. Hahaha.

8. Biggest winner shopping – The red and pink Hello Kitty suitcases from HK. (I can actually stop there and be perfectly happy. These two items alone would've made 2008 complete shopping-wise, but of course, there's more.) The pinstriped blazer and pants pair from Theme that makes me look thinner than my mommy-of-two frame and which I wore to the annual report pictorials where Wig Tysmans (not to mention a ton of make-up) succeeded in making me look not half bad (in all fairness) and almost passable VPish. This lavender bag from Mango that when unfolded looks like those dainty wallets that little old ladies (like my very own lola) used to have. The M&S environment bag that's huge enough for groceries and has Twiggy on both sides that I just had to get me and Phoebe identical ones. What everyone calls my Cinderella shoes from CMG bcoz it shimmers with gold glitters all over and in addition to that I love it bcoz it's flat and comfy and open-toed. Even Loudette the certified shoeaholic loved it at Boots' party.

9. Greatest joys – Watching Boots sleep like the little baby that he is beside me at night and with his jammies glowing in the dark (it's all the rage now with Carter's). Yoshi being the one-man entertainment extravaganza that often leads me and Ches to question where exactly this little person came from and how he ended up being ours. Spending all this time traveling to and from work with Ches, my best friend of 16 years and sweetheart for 13 years. (Thank you, Lord.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Leg Love

Paula joined me in my new company last week. She's with a different subsidiary with an entirely different line of work and business, but she's only about five minutes away from my room so it's as if we never left each other. She often rides with me and Ches too in the morning and at night. We sometimes take our McDo breakfasts before we start work, and spend our coffee breaks together in the canteen that overlooks Manila Bay. (Well, she sips coffee while I gobble up my Twix or Snickers bar.)

And at lunch we transform into the Mall of Asia girls.

We have gone beyond being mall rats to strategic experts on how to maximize our one-hour lunch breaks to cover as many shops as possible. We set an agenda of what we want to find for the day and the venue where we could possibly find them. So one day we could be scouring all the clothes shops in the second floor, and the next day we could be moving on to the shoe stores in the ground floor. And what are we looking for exactly? Well, nothing. Or anything. And everything.

We've gone completely wacko, I know.

Last Monday I needed a belt for my pink suit and Pau needed a purple top for her striped blazer. And what do we find but these fantabulous stockings-cum-tights by Kate Torralba (whose work in Maldita I have always patronized). They were aptly called Leg Love and came in bright, loud colors of what will probably be called as tangerine and aquamarine and vermillion and stuff, and with wild floral and paisley prints. I've seen them before in the papers but in the store there was even this big screen that ran the fashion show where you can see only the legs of the models wearing the exotic things. So of course Paula and I just had to have them.

And of course we had to spend the rest of the week obsessing over what top to wear with our Leg Loves and what kind of occasion will in any way call for us wearing them (save for the ocassional 60's themed costume party). We're thinking of wearing it to our Christmas party with our old MWC friends, shock them out of their senses and show them what we've made of ourselves (hahaha). But surely one occasion cannot justify the purchase. So then she thinks she'll wear it to her Christmas party with her in-laws and show off to her hubby's youngish relatives. At first I figure I can wear it at my prospective trip to Seoul with my IT friends, but then I realize it'll be winter there in November and I will positively freeze to death in such an outfit.

It came to a point where Pau will be in the middle of telling me some jiucy gossip about her new officemates, and I'd interrupt to say I have a longish purple shirt somewhere in my closet that might go well with the gray and black paisley-printed Leg Love I have chosen for myself. Or I could be texting her to ask where she wants me to treat her out to lunch courtesy of my very first salary, and her reply would be, my agenda for today is to find something for my Leg Love, I don't care about lunch. So our mantra became something like, never mind if we don't even get to sit down for a proper lunch, as long as we get some shopping done.

It's perverse, I tell you.

My sister is dying of envy. She called the other night just to convey her scorn for my good fortune of going to work right beside the biggest mall in the Philippines. She couldn't care less whether I still manage to see her nephews with the sheer length I have to be traveling on a daily basis, or whether my new employers are treating me right or something, she just shamelessly begrudges me for being in a position to be the first to spot and hoard the nicest merchandise in Kamiseta and Bayo and get first dibs on all the sales as well. (Hahaha. Eat your heart out, ate.)

Even Chester who is a typical male averse to the whole concept of shopping is envious that I get to go out and walk and shop around on my lunch break. He accuses me and Pau of doing nothing at work but gossip and shop. (He's probably surprised that Pau and I never run out of things to say to each other, when we're together like 10/5 over 24/7.) He suggests we try and catch some shoplifters or something when we go malling so we can earn our keep a little. And I tell him, it's our legitimate lunch break, we can do whadeverdahell we want to do with our time. Duh. Ches is ever the villain.

Paula has a term for it, this whole business of us spending in the malls the salaries that we earn from the company that owns them. She calls it, in the great tradition of our beloved UP: giving back.