Saturday, March 31, 2012

After The Long Haul

So here we are. After about 18 grueling hours in two Delta planes, plus several more queuing and waiting it out in four airports (NAIA, Nagoya, Detroit, and Boston), and 60 million in-flight meals and snacks, we are finally, finally in the US.

Ate and Bryan picked us up from Logan. She gave the boys Red Sox and Patriots stuffed bears that double as pillows, and Bryan gave Ches a Red Sox cap and me a jointed bear with an Americana sweater. Oww. I love him already. Ate also got me a Hello Kitty fleece blanket bcoz the weather's still cold, and she knows what a scaredy cat I am about the cold. Ate thinks of everything.

We had dinner at this resto called Ninety-Nine before heading home. It was the kind of homey place made of warm wood, with witty sayings on the walls,and gentle music like Coldplay and Taylor Swift. Classic American. I had the first of My Long-Awaited Cape Cod Chowders. Haha. Loved it. I also shared Yoshi's chicken and pasta, and Chestnut's fried shrimps. So yummy. We also all had funky drinks, the best being Yoshi's with mango bubbles (that Ate says makes her think of Yosh everytime she has it, coz Yosh is our Resident Mango Monster).

Ate lives in an 1800s house. It's listed with the National Register of Historic Places and everything. Ate says all these things with disdain bcoz she thinks her place is old and rundown. Now me, on the other hand, I was hyperventilating upon seeing the pix alone. I think it's a dream. You know how I am about old buildings.

Cape Cod is too pretty. All shingled, clapboard houses, with bricks and wide windows, plus shutters that actually shut (not the faux ones we have back home haha), daffodils and cherry blossoms on the lawn. It's exactly like those too perfect miniature Christmas villages. The only thing missing is the train going round and round. Haha. Now I get why MIB's eyes would light up everytime we got to talking about my trip. He was always like, 'Your Ate lives in Cape Cod? Wow.' And I guess that's saying a lot considering he grew up in the US.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Amazing List 6

1. Sunday brunches at Banapple. There are few better ways to start the week.

2. Rock paper scissors marathon with Boots

3. Getting these blessed contracts that have been pending for two years finally, finally signed

4. Winging it thru meetings where you are asked about nosebleed stuff like intellectual property of which you know … very little

5. The IT branch of my MWC friends. They always take me along to their dinners, and despite the age gap and the fact that they're all IT geeks while I'm The Resident Un-Techie, we get along so well and laugh and laugh way into the night. I love them.

6. Manang’s fried chicken, and it opened a branch in Morato, too, so the girls and I can always go for lunch

7. Little Quiapo just being around the corner, hence I can have its palabok and halo-halo anytime

8. Getting bloody board and shareholder meetings finally, finally over and done with

9. Dinner with Ches at Mangan. This is my place to go to when I crave for good old Pinoy food.

10. The Legal girls’ Yakimix treat. There are few better ways to end The Most Toxic Week of the Year. How fabulous are my girls that they treat me to Yakimix?

11. Blessed massage at Shui Spa in Libis. Now I understand why this is Ches’ favorite.

12. Surprise visit from Randy, bcoz he wanted to see us before we went on our trip. He’s the kind of friend I send mushy texts to on a regular basis, and he replies just as mushily right back. I love him forever.

13. Another milk tea discovery in the neighborhood – Bumble Tea Place. Loved their wintermelon and grape teas.

14. Hanging out with my favorite office peeps, all so smart and funny and cool, amazing in their line of work, who also just happened to be fellow UP alumni. We play this game I call Pataasan ng UP Student Number. Hahaha. I usually win unless Karen is also around.

15. My allies in the office who fight for me with a ferocity I don’t deserve. They break my heart all the time. Sob.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boy Talk

The boys were playing Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader on the iPad the other day. They ask for my answer to some math-related question, and of course I get it all wrong.

Bootsie, Pre-Schooler, complete with accusing finger: Mommy, you’re not smarter than a fifth grader!

Yoshi, Grade 2, rolling his eyes: She’s not smarter than a second grader!

Hahaha. They are absolutely right, of course.

But Yoshi is one to talk about being smart. I called home when they had no class bcoz of the jeepney strike.

Me: Why are you home? Did you cut class?

Yoshi, 8yo: No! Classes are suspended bcoz there are no cars … on the streets … or something something …

I talk to Bootsie a few hours after.

Me: Are you sick, Bootsie? Why didn’t you go to school?

Bootsie, 4yo: Because there’s a transportation strike!

Hahaha. Winner Boots.

We were reviewing for a Filipino quiz when I saw this page in Yoshi’s book with hearts drawn all over it and the name ‘Elisha’. So we tease him about it to no end.

Yoshi: She’s not my type!

Boots, without being asked: Ishi is my type!

Me: Why do you like Ishi so much?

Boots: Uh … bcoz she’s nice to me.

Me: How is she nice to you?

Boots, flashing his Trademark Killer Dimply Smile: She doesn’t hit me.

Ok, we so need to level up on our girlfriend standards, Bootsie.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Happiness is ...

(For Ate, who couldn't wait to see the pix. Get a load of this, Ate =)

Pops wanted us to go to Baguio to see Panagbenga. The problem was, he told me a week before the thing, by which time I couldn't find a decent hotel to book anymore. (It was Ches who looked, actually.) And since we were going to see Lola Donnie in Pangasinan, anyway, to get The Most Awaited Longaniza for Ate, we figured we'd stay in Baguio for the weekend.

The theme for this trip came from Vada, who kept singing Happiness, the old song from Lea and Gerard Salonga. It's one of their pre-school graduation songs. Of course, my boys couldn't resist changing the lyrics to stuff like 'happiness is ... eating your poopoo' or 'happiness is ... picking your booger'. Aaargh. They're such boys.

Happiness is:

1. Visiting relatives in Pangasinan.

2. Meeting cousins in Burnham Park bcoz they just happened to go to Baguio, too, that day, and listening to funny stories about my nieces based in Canada (who look strikingly like Vada and Boots).

3. Noynoying. (For the benefit of Ate and Kaye, Noynoying is a new term from last week, invented by UP student activists to protest P-Noy's flagrant inaction over a lot of issues. It means looking bored, being clueless, and most importantly, doing nothing. Papa loves the whole concept. I couldn't even make him smile when I take pix - all he wanted to do was Noynoying. Hahaha.)

4. Strawberry taho!

5. Hearing Mass at the Cathedral.

6. C-Lium having the biggest billboard in Session Road!

7. Star Cafe. No pictures, tho. You know how it is when a yummy feast is in front of a group: galit galit muna. Haha.

8. Walang kamatayang jump shots.

9. Walang kamatayang honeymoon shots. (By the latter part of the trip, Mom would point out to Ches and me nice spots where we could have our crazy poses taken. Hahaha.)

10. Mama's funky Hello Kitty bag (from Ate, of course).

11. Pizza!

12. My favorite sister-in-law.

13. Fabulous Igorot gear.

14. The majestic pine trees. (Please don't kill them, SM. Grow a heart, why don't you?)

15. Picking pine cones.

16. Enduring loveteams.

17. Cousin bonding.

18. BFFs. (Vada and Boots spent the whole weekend hugging away, whether in front or without a camera. They're too cute.)

19. Mile-Hi Diner. We all loved it - us younger ones bcoz of the burgers and fries, and my parents bcoz of the 50s ambience and music. Mom, Pops, and I sang along to Something Stupid, Don't Worry, Baby, My Girl, etc. all thru lunch. Pops specifically asked me to take his pix with the jukebox and Cadillac to send to Ate. Haha. Parang si Bootsie lang posing with his dinos and limos.

20. The beautiful flowers. (My friend C in the office couldn't get why we would take the long drive for just an overnight trip. One word: flowers. Haha. I normally don't like having solo pix, but with flowers, I'm so there.)

21. The magnificent mountains.

22. Family bonding.