Thursday, March 31, 2011

Suddenly Short

I came home from my Galleria shopping spree last last weekend to find the boys looking like this.

It’s their annual summer look, actually. I don’t have to put dates in our albums below the pix where they’re all bald, bcoz I already know those pix are taken in summer.

Ches wanted me to get a short haircut bcoz he misses my look in college, and from that time I gave birth to Yosh and my hair was just falling off post-partum so I decided to just chop it off altogether. He promised to treat me to the Haagen Dazs buffet in exchange for a drastic haircut. And I was like, Haagen Dazs? Why didn’t you say earlier? Ha ha ha.

So then I ended up looking like this.

It was my turn to shock the boys when I got home. Ches says it’s like going out with a boy. He says I'm cute. (Duh. Who cares about cute? I'm aiming for fabulous! Ha ha.) He likes to pretend I'm Anne Heche bcoz I'm stick people like her, and now I have the hair to go with it, too. Yoshi says I look like a tomato. And Bootsie says, no, potato! Ha ha ha.

So far, I haven’t heard anything bad about it. I guess no one dares tell me to my face, knowing the vitriol I am capable of spewing. Ha ha. People in the office say it fits me and makes me look younger, (Anji says mukha lang pinabili ng suka), makes my face look smaller (yeah, bcoz it was as big as a basin before. Ha ha.) But then people in the office are abnormally nice and goodie-goodie, and the truth is generally a lot harsher than how they make it out to be. Ha ha.

Thom says I look like Yoshi. I don't mind looking like Yoshi. He's cute kaya. Dex and Beavis tease me about looking like a porn star. What?! Crazies.

It’s no big deal, really. It’s just hair, it’ll grow back. Anything for a Haagen Dazs buffet. Ha ha ha.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Six Weeks Sober

Yes, I was actually on a self-imposed shopping moratorium a while back. And yes, it worked. Err … for about six weeks, that is.

It started when I read this article in Readers’ Digest that talks about shopaholics and how they are these people who feel inadequate and discontented with their lives, and hence have this compulsion to amass objects in the misguided belief that these would somehow fill up whatever it is they’re missing. Needless to say, I was appalled by the whole idea, and brushed it off as another fancy-schmanzy psychobabble to complicate something that is actually quite simple. I mean, you could be perfectly normal and not be mentally sick or anything, you could be perfectly happy with your life, it’s just that another outfit or pair of shoes would make you so much happier, make you feel so much better over all, so you go and buy it, right? Why is that so difficult to understand? It’s not rocket science. It’s not even high school algebra. Duh.

Just to prove the darn article wrong, I set out on a mission to abstain from my usual shopping for as long as I could, and hopefully even till after Lent (yeah, I broadly overestimate my self-control, I know). I wanted to prove that I’m not inadequate, nor unhappy, much less mentally disturbed, and that I could find fulfillment in my life from a place other than a mall. And it worked, if only for a short while. It helped that this was around the time that we were cooped up in St. Luke’s bcoz of Bootsie’s bout with rota virus. And this was also the time we went to SEAFF, so I lived off on the highs of that happy trip for a long time. (I’m still at it, actually. It’s gotta be one of my life’s happiest memories.) For six weeks or so, I didn’t buy any clothes or shoes or anything and all I got for myself were stuff from the grocery and books (come on, books are always an exception).

And then I got bored with the whole martyr thing. It’s just so not me, I guess. So when I saw flats in Schu in MoA, I just had to buy two more pairs to add to the two I bought at the start of the year. And then in Galleria I saw the blue version of the beige one I bought in MoA, so I just had to get it, too. And just one pair seemed so sad and forlorn so I got another funky mustard one with all these fringes. Which brings my Schu flats to a grand total of six. And these for a girl who has never even worn flats until the start of the year. And since I was on a buying spree, I didn’t have to think twice about getting the red wedges in Alberto, and the black slingbacks from Rockport (they’re sensible, corporate shoes so this one doesn’t really count as a splurge and falls under the category ‘prudent expenditure’.)

So, fine, call me materialistic, shallow, retarded, whatever. I don’t care. I’m so back. Ha ha ha.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pinoy Indies

Late last year Babette wanted me to see Rosario bcoz, according to her, it was a good movie. I knew a bit about it from what I read in the papers. She was excited telling me all about it, and I was like, ok, I’m pretending to be interested. Ha ha. I’m so mean, I swear. And then I realized part of the reason why I like being friends with Babette is that she is into this whole culture thing, with books, movies, poems, concerts, and other artsy-fartsy stuff.

So then the next time the boys and I were in a video store I went in search of good Pinoy movies, to make up for not having seen Rosario like Babette asked me to. I miss seeing Pinoy indies, actually. Ches and I used to watch at IndieSine in Galleria every weekend, but somehow it was one of those habits that just died a natural death. Luckily, I found three CDs that I’ve read good reviews about: ICU Bed No. 7, Jay, and Namets.

Of the three, I was most excited to see ICU Bed No. 7 bcoz it came out and won awards around the same time as 100, this other Pinoy indie that’s also in my to-find list. It was good enough, but you know moments where you have to cringe at the sheer cheesiness of what you’re seeing? There were a lot of those in this film. Which was a surprise considering that the screenplay was a Palanca awardee. Eddie Garcia was so, so good here. He’s ageless, effortless, and supremely talented.

Jay is well worth all the critical acclaim that has been heaped on it. It’s very original and so true, tragic yet at the same time scathing. It’s a real indie film bcoz only Baron Geisler and Coco Martin are well-known actors; all the other characters were so real you almost believe it’s a documentary. It was well-acted and well-written and if the whole story wasn’t so cold and jarring, I could empathize with it more and would be gushing about it even more.

Namets was my favorite bcoz I haven’t really heard that much buzz about it and then it turned out to be really good and enjoyable. (Hence, the importance of keeping your expectations low. As the sign on Anji’s PC says: No expectations. Fierce.) It was about this guy who lost his Italian resto to pay off gambling (cockfight!) debts, and his creditor forced him to work with this chef (who of course conveniently happened to be his ex to put a love angle on the whole thing) to transform the resto into one offering the best of Negrense cuisine. So then they spend most of the movie trying out local dishes in all these hole-in-the-wall food stalls and cooking up a storm. Plus, everyone spoke Ilonggo, save for a smattering of English. How cool is that? I loved the story, how it was so light and breezy yet at the same time enriching and not insulting to one’s intelligence. Seeing all of Bacolod’s famous landmarks was also a treat. And the food! Wow. This is one film that will literally make you salivate.

Actually, I’m pretending to be all snooty about this and reviewing the film as if I’m some art critic or something, but my whole reason for liking it really boils down to one word: food. Haha.

Monday, March 21, 2011


We went to Enchanted Kingdom with the whole family over the weekend. It was a treat for both Vada and Yosh as they both did so well in school this year. It was Vada’s first time there so she wanted to try everything, even the rides that Yoshi was chicken to try or that he’s tried before in the three or so times that he’s been in the place and which he decided he’s too chicken to try again. Ha ha. Vada was really brave and so cool. And she's so pretty, too. Ate and I are like, how come we didn't get Vada's pretty face? And we know the answer: bcoz we're both mean girls. Haha.

Bootsie was scared off by the roller coaster that we tried as one of our first rides and didn’t even wanna go into any more rides. We practically had to grab him to go with us to the giant ferris wheel. He had fun, tho, riding the stuff for babies – the dinos, dino egg, helicopter, train, and some colored rock thing that the three cousins rode and which they all thoroughly enjoyed bcoz they had some lever to control it and make it go round and round. We got dizzy just watching them do it. And I practically died of boredom accompanying Boots to all these ho-hum baby rides. Ugh. I kept bugging him and Yosh to try something a little more exciting, to no avail. My boys can be so gutsy reasoning to their parents and chatting up perfect strangers, but they cower when confronted by something as silly as a roller coaster.

Yes, I’m one to talk bcoz I did the Space Shuttle Max again. Rino was so proud of me. He and Ches were saying that this was even more scary than the Space Mountain that they rode with Yosh in Disneyland bcoz of all the loops in this one, and the fact that it’s out in the open and not covered like Space Mountain. Maybe next time we’ll all actually be able to summon the guts to ride The Extreme. It was one of those things where you have to take some time to decide whether you’re actually going to do it, like buying an obscenely priced piece of clothing or pair of shoes - although The Extreme is definitely easier to walk away from than anything I would find in a mall. Ha ha.

All of us had fun and the weather was perfect, with an overcast sky that threatened to drizzle but didn't. Rain wanted all the rides, too, but she’s just a baby and was allowed only in the train and carousel. Mom rode just the carousel, but I’m sure she was happy just watching her grandkids. Pops didn’t go in at all and went to visit a friend somewhere else in Laguna instead. He already had his fill at lunch in Hungry Hippo, which is probably his favorite burger ever and which I remember him bringing home as pasalubong for us when we were younger.

We didn’t get to do Anchors Away and the bump cars and any of the water rides, tho, bcoz the lines were so long and we had kids with us who couldn’t wait to get going. Plus I was annoyed at the Jesus Christ Superstar production numbers that were being shown in like every corner. The acting, costumes, props, the whole works were at best half-hearted, at worst mediocre, and came off as trying too hard to be Disneyland or Universal Studios. Which EK will never be in a bazillion years, right? I hate it when things - or people - try too hard. So do me a favor and just be EK. Ha ha.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy List 7

1. The giant Kitty from Rosa which she had since childhood. It was so huge that our neighborhood dry cleaner refused when we brought it there. Ha ha. Ate Ann painstakingly washed it tho so now it’s all clean. We’ve gone to the SEAFF and back and it still wasn’t completely dry. Hahaha.

2. This bad dream I had about having to sell our country home and live in someone else’s old house. It was a nightmare, but I’m happy that it’s just that.

3. Our Legal Aid Clinic in the subsidiaries, capped off by pan chicken in Pancake House and bonding with Ann

4. Butterscotch, biscocho, banadas, and sansrival from the Legal girls’ Dumaguete trip. Yum yum.

5. My beloved pink Lumix and the 60 million beauteous pix that it has been consistently churning out. I don’t even know who else has a pink Lumix. This camera and I are so MFEO.

6. Reading up on Yoon Eun Hye who is probably My Ultimate Girl Crush. (I’m so behind on my Korean dramas, I swear. My last one was Boys Over Flowers and that was only about the fifth series I’ve completed.)

7. Understanding the pharma business more than the super highly-regulated water industry. The reason being, I waded neck-deep into the legal work as soon as I got in this office, but in MWC I did compliance, corporate governance, corporate secretariat, Cebu project, risk management, and all of that other stuff for years and years, before I moved to Legal.

8. Feeling more appreciated sooner, too, in this office than in MWC. It took Mon lawyering for me when I bluffed a resignation for the bosses there to show me some love (hence, I love him forever). In SM, I never even felt the love until I won for them the silver awards in the CG scorecards … and then I bolted out of there. Ha ha.

9. Working so close to home that I can take my sweet time in the morning when Boots wakes up early and gets separation anxiety

10. Having a normal voice and a normal height. I’ve worked with people who are otherwise smart and hardworking, but somehow you get distracted from all of that if they’re short or their voices are high-pitched, too soft, or otherwise dull-sounding. Ha ha. I’m Little Miss Snooty.

11. Being in a profession that’s such a small world that everyone knows everyone else. I met three lawyers for the first time on Wednesday – one was a student of Mon in law school and a classmate of my QT officemate’s younger sister, another belonged to the same congressional committee as a famous batchmate in UP Law and a classmate of one of the owners of my office, and the third one was a son of my Remedial Law prof. It’s hard to keep secrets from anyone in this profession, I swear. I know lawyers in SM who were not afraid of nor impressed with this boss who was their classmate in law school and who they said was just a so-so student. Ha ha. Fierce.

12. Grilled salmon a la pobre at Manila Polo Club. Part of the perks of being general counsel is you get wined and dined by consultants who are all scrambling after your projects. Ha ha.

13. Chatting with Regina at Starbucks. My favorite part was when I accidentally hit his shin under the table, and I apologized and he said, That’s ok, I’m used to your kicking me around like shit. HAHAHA. He’s funny. I remember giving him my nth unsolicited love advice, to look for a girl with a strong personality who would be able to curb his Nazi tendencies. And he said, That won’t work. You’re a strong personality and I want to kill you everyday. Ha ha ha.

14. MoA, where I sneak off to this week to fix some bank matters. I almost cried when I went back to MoA again in November to bring Ate to my derma, after months of not having been there. I so missed it. I missed the whole expanse of it, the gleaming brightness. I missed hanging out in Fully Booked, the desserts in Sebastian’s and Chocolat, lining up at Breadtalk, Chicago Popcorn, White Hat and Red Mango, Hongkong Emperor, Abe, and Yakimix (although Abe and Yakimix are also in Trinoma and we’re there all the time, too), gawking at the shoes in the 2nd floor stores from Via Uno to Nine West to Steve Madden, splurging in M&S, getting first dibs on the sales in Mango, Zara, Topshop, and Dorothy Perkins. Oh, MoA, I miss you everyday.

15. Two pairs of Schu flats. Ches eyes them and asks, You bought shoes AGAIN? Why do you need two new pairs of shoes EVERY MONTH? And I reply (in a very small voice), They’re flats. They’re good for my back. You know I have back problems. Ha ha.

16. And despite my Imeldific illness, Ches treats me, anyway, at Tao Yuan in Malate, famous for its Hainanese chicken. We have the fried version, and the laksa, too. So yummy and filling. One serving was good enough for four people. Well worth the steep price. I also learn from this place that the cereal prawns we had in Singapore is also a local delicacy, up there with chili crabs.

17. Riding home with Ches from MoA. Another thing I miss from my old job. It’s amazing how I’m so excited to spend all this extra time with him, even if it’s just chatting in the car, as if we don’t spend nearly enough time with each other at home. Cheesy but true.

18. Ford County by John Grisham. Not his usual legal thrillers. The last story about a gay person with AIDS and his friendship with a black caretaker made me cry and cry.

19. Credit card freebies. I got a lot of Chickenjoys for the boys, and now they’re giving away stuff from Pizza Hut, DQ and Taco Bell, too. Dendee lamented how she and Donemark can never keep track of their transaction slips, hence they never get to avail of these freebies. The mark of truly rich people, I guess. Ha ha.

20. More green mangoes from Anji, plus this super yummy leche flan that came in a box with the words: halo-halong pagmamahal. So cool.

21. Yoshi’s request that I download for him lyrics of songs like Baby, Fireflies, Waka Waka. I asked him, you want Firework, too? And he replied, Bruno Mars na lang. He’s so cool, I swear.

22. Bootsie’s manic laughter that lasted several minutes over a Word World episode that only he found particularly funny. We were having dinner when he suddenly erupted into this loud, crazy laughter that never seemed to stop. We were all like, Bootsie, are you on drugs? Ha ha.

23. The constant affirmation I get from Ches, who tells me that I’m a good friend bcoz I’m always taking the initiative to get in touch with everyone thru texts or calls or emails. And that I’m a good boss bcoz I’m always mentoring my Legal girls and pushing them out into the spotlight. (Well, I learned from this boss I had in MWC, who was The Ultimate Credit Grabber of All Time. We called her Edward as in Edward Scissorhands for her unruly hair. Other people called her Tita Patty for antipatika. Yes, she was well loved all around. My goal as a boss is pretty simple: to not be like her. Ha ha.)

24. My emails to the SMDC Customer Service. Each one is a masterpiece of bitchiness. Ches and Paula are in total awe of them. Ha ha. But it’s not like I’m doing it just to be mean – I had to do it so they don’t get away with murder, dishonest excuses, and atrocious grammar. I tell Ches, T. Thelma must be so surprised that I can be so nasty. And Ches says, oh no, not at all. Hahaha.

25. Getting funny emails from an external counsel, who came from QT, too, and surprising bcoz he is otherwise oh so serious and lawyerly

26. Night picnic with the Legal girls, bcoz we stayed up late working on board and stockholder meeting materials. It was just KFC but just as long as we’re together =)

27. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. It had one of those twists in the end that are downright disappointing, and I couldn't get past the whole role of the Kitten of Death, bcoz, hello, Valentina was asthmatic, hence not allowed to have any cats. (And for once I'm actually talking about something I know bcoz I am asthmatic.) But the story as a whole was totally ingenious and the writing luminous. I liked the innocent/erotic love angle of Robert and Valentina. And you gotta admire Audrey N. for writing something so far removed from The Time Traveler's Wife. Not like some authors who write about the same thing over and over that it just gets so old. (Robert James Waller, for one. Even if I loved The Bridges of Madison County.)

28. All Good Things. Creepy story based on the life of Robert Durst, heir to a New York real estate empire. Superbly acted by Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst.

29. My boss’s evaluation of me, where he wrote that I’m a ‘rising star’ in the company. He also wrote about stuff I deliberately strive for, like mentoring and integrity, as well as others I didn’t even realize I have, like attention to detail. Owww. He broke my heart big time. If this was the only happy thing that happened to me this week, it would’ve been enough.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


R has this friend who has been An Issue for the longest time. We call him The Nega Star. Haha. He’s user-friendly, unreliable, abusive, and self-destructive. He tells R, ‘you’re the only one who understands me’ (translation: so you are obliged to understand me). He acts like he’s the only one in the whole world who has problems and hence the only one who has the right to be sad. He even had the temerity to say mean stuff to and about R. To top it all off, he ran away with R’s money.

How do we even manage to get stuck with this kind of people? I guess we all have our lapses in judgment, including judging other people’s character. And after a while we’re just too nice to drop them, or maybe we keep wanting to give them the benefit of the doubt, that they’ll come around to being better human beings one day. We can all be so stupid, really.

I tell R, for me, friends are optional, unlike family. Your family you’re stuck with no matter how uncool they are. But friends are entirely up to you. You have the right to choose them. And they need to have value-added in your life for you to want to make the effort and spend time with them. They need to make you laugh, or feel loved, or be a whole lot smarter than you and teach you many things, or whatever, to deserve your friendship. It’s like the ad in Debenhams: brassieres should be like friends – supportive, comfortable, and uplifting. (Haha.)

Which is not to say that friends should be all good times. In fact, I have found that my closest friends are those with whom I’ve gone thru the darkest of days. I have a friend with whom I became close to when her son got sick. She eventually lost her son, a year after she lost her dad, and two years after that she lost valuable possessions during Ondoy. Of all my friends, she deserves to be The Nega Star, and yet she remains one of the most open, giving persons I know. She gets sad and cries more often than my other friends, but you feel privileged to be allowed to share in her grief. Other people would just suck you in to their negativity.

I tell R, for me, for a friendship to thrive, as in any relationship, it has to be give and take. Even someone like R with a good heart and no mean bone in his body needs something back from a friend. Like concern, affection, appreciation. Something like that which doesn’t even cost one peso. Or something basic like decency and manners, asking how you're doing, telling the truth and paying up a loan. Bcoz if you’re just on the giving end all the time and do not receive anything in return, then that kills the joy right out of a friendship. In fact, it ceases to be a friendship and becomes a simple case of parasitism.

R has given up The Nega Star. Unfriended. Disengaged. I’m glad. I didn’t know he had it in him, coz he is always too goodie goodie for my liking. (I have all these friends like him and I believe I was sent into their lives to influence them with my evilness bcoz they are just too kind for their own good. Ha ha.)

At the end of the day, all R could tell The Nega Star was: you disappoint me. I guess bcoz you always expect something from your friends. It’s the whole reason why strangers become your friends: bcoz you expect that you’re going to have lots of fun with this other person, and he’s going to treat you well, and in return you open yourself up and let him into your life. So if he falls short of that expectation, then you get hurt. It’s not like someone in the office who has been your enemy since day 1 – that kind of issue hardly hurts bcoz he was never your friend to begin with and you never had any expectations of him. Only issues with people you already love can truly break your heart.

This brings to mind something poignant I read before. Something like this: holding on to a friend is sometimes like clenching your fists till your turn knuckles turn white. Letting go is like opening your fist – it feels good, but your hand is empty.

It’s sad, but he’s gotta go.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Batman Wallet

One of Yoshi’s favorite gifts last Christmas was a Batman wallet from Tito Thom. It was his first wallet ever in his young life, and it was in his favorite Batman theme, too, so he was really excited using it and filling it up. Whoever came to visit us at home around that time had the bad luck of having to cough up a few bills for Yosh, as he more or less extorted money from everyone. Ha ha. (I remember Eycee did not have any change and gave him a GC instead. Ha ha.)

Every now and then Yosh would ask me, “Mommy, marami na ba akong money? Rich na ba ako?” Ha ha. It reminded me of when he was around Bootsie’s age when he first asked me whether we were rich. I categorically answered that, no, we were not rich, but we had a lot of family and friends, and we have food on the table and nice clothes to wear, plus books and toys, too, so that should be enough. I think I do a pretty good motherhood job of explaining to him what true wealth is, until the following day when he asks me again, “So, Mommy, rich na ba tayo or what?” In this exasperated three-year old whine, as tho he has lost all patience with me bcoz it takes me so long to make us rich. Ha ha. (I think I actually blogged about this early on.)

Unfortunately, Yosh, we still don’t have a lot of money, but we do have …

a lot of books

a lot of Dr. Seuss books

a lot of Anne Geddes books

a lot of picture books

a lot of Barneys

a lot of Eeyores

a lot of Kitties

even a giant Hello Kitty

a lot of Happy Meal toys

a lot of superhero costumes

a lot of stairs (which we didn’t even have two years ago. Note Yoshi’s little love message for me. Grrr.)

a lot of pictures of family and friends, fun times and travel

So, life is good, Yosh, and it’s perfectly ok if your Batman wallet is never as full as you want it to be.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Happy List 6

1. Yoshi after Ches calls PLDT to complain about the DSL connection yet again: Ikaw na mag-complain, Mommy. Malditahin mo na. Hahaha.

2. Ann’s foot spa treat for all of us Legal girls (libre + bonding + pedicure + manicure = winner!)

3. Patron seats at the Pyrolympics courtesy of Ricky. It rained tho so we watched by the buffet spread since that one had tents over it. We all loved the show – particularly Bootsie who can’t get over fireworks – and we had front row seats and it even came with a dinner buffet. We’ve been watching the show for several years now – the first time way over by the World Trade Center bcoz that was how far we got stuck in traffic, and then at one time we watched it at Robby’s condo rooftop in the Fort with the PMS kids, and last year we saw it while having dinner at the resto beside President’s in San Mig By The Bay. Ches and I were laughing bcoz this is the first time we’ve seen it this close and could appreciate the music accompanying the fireworks. We were like, oh, so that’s why it’s called a pyromusical competition. Ha ha. (I actually cried when the Japan entry played What A Wonderful World. That’s how much of a weeper I am.)

4. Yoshi’s Book of Legends. It’s something he worked on over the weekend. He has four stories so far – legend of the turtle, gorilla, sunflower, and stream. All with sensible plots, correct grammar and spelling, even humor, and drawings, too. Yoshi is such a joy all the time. I'm beginning to have doubts whether we he really came from me, or maybe he was switched at the nursery. I have visions of him in puberty demanding that I shut down my blog bcoz it’s too shallow for the lofty person I just know he is destined to become.

5. Lunch buffets at Discovery Suites, where we had a two-day workshop. I loved the salads, sea foods, desserts, and this pork dish that was like adobo with crispy lechon skin. I kept going back for more of everything and this COO (child of the owner) caught me and joked how nice it was for me not to be part of the Legal’s Biggest Loser. Ha ha.

6. Being in the same workshop group as one of my new friends in the office, who is famous for being a three-time Iron Man qualifier, and who it turns out is also a techie and a Crackberry. He downloads Blackberry apps for me – helpful ones like a message notifier and dictionary – and I also find themes that are uber cool with animated raindrops, flowers and butterflies (altho they drain my battery in a day). He was even giving me this app that reads your messages while you’re driving, and I was so amazed … wait, I don’t drive. Ha ha. (I like BB a lot more now. In the SEAFF, the guys and I used BB Messenger to chat without having to pay the roaming charges. So cool.)

7. Kaye’s long email about the characters she went to school with at UC Berkeley. (They actually had The Naked Guy who went to school everyday naked. Wow. That's taking The Running Oblation to a whole new level.)

8. Bitching about the SMDC Customer Service with Paula over the Grass unit that my favorite aunt-in-law bought two years ago and whose turn-over is getting so delayed for no valid reason

9. Jon’s name suggestions for Ches’ and my made-in-Southeast Asia baby: Lee or Ben Thanh. Ha ha. For a baby girl, Cu Chi.

10. Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris. Hilarious and so wise. This is one of those books that I can’t wait to see on the big screen, where the ensemble cast can come to life with all their quirks and flaws.

11. MIB’s yummy pasalubong of something called Swiss Delice Amandelle. It's these thin, crispy biscuits covered with almonds and chocolate, the oh so snooty kind that I never have the budget to buy for my own. They're so, so good. Boots and I finish the big box in one sitting. (Yosh just has one nibble and doesn't want any more. He's not a chocolate person at all. I tell him, fine, I'll buy you your cheap, stupid hotdog. Ha ha.)

12. Rosa’s lunch treat at this Pinoy buffet place near our house

13. Thom’s Imortal obsession. He has to had to cancel his usual nighttime visits to me several times bcoz of the darned show. I ask him, how can I ever compete with Angel Locsin and Maricar Reyes? Haha.

14. New and old songs - Already Gone, Heartless, Beautiful Monster, Up Up Down Down, Fly With Me, Lovebug, Decode, Rockstar, Man Who Can't Be Moved, Collide, Home, Chasing Cars

15. Finding out from the Cebu Pacific mag that The Saff (where we stayed in Singapore) is one of the highest-rated boutique hotels in Singapore, and Pho 2000 where Donemark and Dendee had their first dinner in Ho Chi Minh was also where Bill Clinton had his pho when he visited Vietnam

16. A long, quiet dinner with Ches at Cafe Mary Grace, with their yummy cheese dip, seafood chowder, pasta, chocolate mousse, and apple cinnamon iced tea

17. A jar of the yummy polvoron-like Macau delicacy from Thom, who traveled with Joy's family week after we got back from our trip

18. A lazy, windy Saturday, with Ches tinkering with my hair while I blog, Bootsie playing with a Transformer, and Yoshi writing something as usual. We go to the Sunken Garden around sunset, and the boys run around in the grass and we all enjoy taho and ice cream. Weekends are made of these, and I realize there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sleeping with Dinos

Bootsie has been in his dinosaur stage for the longest time now. I know he was already at it at the start of the year, bcoz I remember we were in Powerbooks on New Year’s Day and I let him, Vada, and Yosh pick one book each, and he got a big picture book on dinos. He bugs me and Ches and Ate Ann to read this book to him over and over.

And then he discovered The Land Before Time and since then it’s all he ever wanted to watch. He blabbers about Little Foot, Sera, Petri, Duckie, and Chomper as if they lived next door and they spend their days together. A big percentage of his vocabulary is derived from the story. He keeps talking about tree star, the mysterious beyond, the great, big mountain, and sinking sand. From out of the blue he would ask me, ‘Mother, what’s a long neck?’ Or he would exclaim, ‘But this is the wrong way!’ And it would take Yoshi to explain that Boots is actually mimicking the actual lines from the darned movie. Ha ha.

When he was confined in the hospital, I asked him what toys he wanted to bring, and he insisted on his entire dino caboodle that included three big ones and several other smaller ones. (Yes, these are the same ones that sleep with us at home. Groan.) He also loves his dino water jug from Universal Studios.

We took the boys to the mall before we left for our trip, to get them CDs in the hope of assuaging our guilt over leaving them. As expected, Yosh got an entire collection of Batman CDs, and Bootsie got three from the Land Before Time series. Ever the good kuya, Yosh indulges in Bootsie’s latest dino fascination and plays along with him when he’s pretending to be Sharp Tooth, even when he has long outgrown dinos. They slay Ozzie together, and do stirring duets of If We Hold On Together without anyone having to ask. Or this crazy song that goes, 'who needs you? not me! ... I need you like a punch in the eye ...' Hahaha. I love it.

Yosh was about the same age when he had his dino phase, coz I remember I was pregnant with Bootsie then, whom Yosh wanted to name Dora initially, and then when we found out I was having a boy he changed the name to Boots, and then he met The Land Before Time gang and wanted to name the baby Chomper instead. It’s a cute name, actually, but by then Boots had stuck with everybody so Boots it was. Seeing Boots all obsessed about dinos now, Ches and I wish we had nicknamed him Chomper, after all.

Boots was asleep when we got home from Vietnam, and when he woke up his first words to me were: I’m Sharp Tooth. Ha ha.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Happy List 5

1. Vada’s falling star/firefly poem, and the Tinkerbell outfit I got for her. She’s so amazing. She’s already memorizing several stanzas at an age when I had yet to recognize the alphabet.

2. This cigarette vendor in East Av. who had two cats in her little stall. She had one cat on her lap and was actually talking to it.

3. This Gospel song that goes ‘Let me be your heart today…’ It was played at the office Monday prayers. I’ve loved it since I first heard it at Cory Aquino’s wake.

4. Power naps at lunch time

5. Green mangoes from Anji’s backyard, bcoz I happened to mention while we were walking around the block that I have a constant craving for green mangoes

6. Ches’ reaction when he picks me up at night. I’m usually still asleep when he leaves for work in the morning, so he doesn’t see my look for the day until we go home together. Haha.

7. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elizabeth Robinson. Witty and poignant, altho it was a bit difficult to believe somebody still wrote such long letters in this time and age. I loved this line: Life is difficult enough. Love should be easy. (My love philosophy exactly.)

8. Pictorials for the annual report with the Legal team. We spend close to an hour hamming it up for the cameras. The photographer said our group was the most makulit out of everyone in the office that he had to shoot for the annual report. Ha ha. (I miss Wig Tysmans, tho. He did the shoots for the MWC and SM annual reports. Thom said when I left SM: no more Wig Tysmans portraits for you. True.)

9. Rosa’s and Zech’s lunch blow-out, where most of the food were sponsored by other people (mine were the chicken and rice). I loved the pancit with lechon, Amber’s pichi pichi, and the Double Dutch ice cream (the left-overs of which I ate way until the end of the week).

10. My boss signing off on the promotions I recommended for our staff

11. Doing the groceries with the boys

12. All my favorite perfumes that I’ve been using since college – Red Jeans by Versace, Pleasures, Clinique Happy, Burberrys – as well as new ones I’ve discovered – Gucci Envy, Moschino Cheap and Chic, D & G Sicily – plus my Harajuku from Ate that I have yet to use, and all the VS perfumes she supplies me with (one smells of grapes and the other of candies)

13. My new Dior eyeglasses with purplish frames and the D icon, and the funky case it came in which Rosa so loves. (I dunno why I keep spending on these stupid branded eyeglasses that never last more than a year with me, anyway. My last one was Kenzo, and before that Armani, and both are now irreparably damaged. What a waste.)

14. Mid-week lunch with Thom in Chocolate Kiss

15. Dinner with PMS friends in Omakase (and Regina unexpectedly pays for everything when the bill comes. I tell him, wow, you're so nice now, you're getting me all confused. Haha.)

16. Lunch with this executive in the office whom I’m crushing on bcoz he’s super smart, funny, cool and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously. In the middle of a five-day training last year, he told me: We’ve got to stop meeting like this. Haha. (I realize I have this thing for old men, like M in MWC)

17. Despedida for Ate Julie, who retired after working in the company for no less than 37 years (wow, before I was even born) and is one of those people so well-loved by everybody bcoz they’re so simple and humble and quiet

18. Pancake House yogurt-based desserts with sansrival and brazo de mercedes, which we have with the boys the night before we leave for our trip

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Yoshi's Art

(Yoshi is into this new thing lately. He spends hours painting in Ches' laptop to come up with these amazing, quirky artwork, with phony titles, too, like 'Lines of White' and 'Rainbook'. Ha ha. He even had something he called Mom's Garden and I told him he had to put the word 'imaginary' somewhere in the title bcoz I so don't have a garden. Ha ha. Ches and I gawk at his masterpieces and begin to understand why we were both so deprived of any art skills - when God distributed the art talent, he did it per family, and Yosh got all of ours.)




Ate Ann


Mom's Garden


Lines of White



Under the Sea