Monday, May 27, 2013

The Awesome List 5

1.  Our annual Mothers' Day treat for Mom at Galleria, that starts with some serious shopping and ends with a sumptuous meal somewhere, this time at Mongkok

2.  Hanging out with Robert and Eycee while they're on summer break from grad school

3.  The joy of crossing things off my to-do list

4.  Ches taking me to Pino for some kare-kare bagnet when I have a bad day at work.  I in turn take him to Korea Garden when he picks me up from one of my usual meetings in Makati.  We used to eat at this resto a lot when I was still in QT at Pacific Star.  The owner is this warm, lovely woman who chatted us up at the locker rooms in Mandarin gym.  She was still there when we had our dinner.  Korea Garden pioneered Korean food in the country way back in the 70s.  It's consistently in Tatler's best restos list and everything.

5.  Yummy lunch and milk tea treats from my favorite friends at Legal, and from my favorite bosses

C:  Do you have hollow legs?
Me:  What do you mean?
C:  I'm very impressed with your appetite, but I believe the food goes straight out of your legs bcoz you don't seem to put on weight.

HAHAHA.  This was all rather embarrassing, really, having taken place across a table with all the bosses.  Groan.

6.  Feeling like you have the trust and confidence of your bosses.  For me, this is priceless, and worth so much more than any lucrative job offer.

7.  The Empress, a.k.a. Ches' Subaru Impreza/new wife.  We realized that it is actually our first car.  All the others we've had are either from Daddy or the office.  I don't really care about cars - as long as they're clean and don't reek of cigarettes then I'm happy.  For Ches, tho, this is like his dream car.  If my mantra is Wear Sanrio DMs And Die, Ches' is:  Drive A Subaru And Die.  Hahaha.  Boots is overjoyed bcoz cars are his obsession this year.  He and Yoshi are happy, too, bcoz The Empress comes with a moon roof.  They like to stick their heads out and make like they're in a parade or something.  Hahaha.  Craziness.

8.  Robby's mobile bar birthday party.  It was great to see Robby again.  He got busy with law school and only lately started getting back in touch again.  Like I told Ches, tho, I'd take Robby back in anytime if only bcoz he looks like Cillian Murphy.  Hahaha.  (I love you, Robby!)  We look for breakfast meals after, and Robert and Eycee brilliantly take us to the famous Tapsi ni Vivian.  (Ganun pala ang tapsi ni Vivian, masarap pero medyo basa ...) 

9.  Beating the summer heat with Moonleaf milk teas

10.  Tito Justin's dinner treat at Max's, courtesy of his SGV salary.  He was barely Boots' age when I first met him that time Ches took Kai and me to Tarlac, and now he's an accountant at SGV.  Tsk tsk.  Where have all these years gone?  I love that he chose Max's, too, bcoz I've been craving for the thing every time I see the huge billboards in EDSA.  Hahaha.

 11.  Ate Princess' despedida dinner at House of Lasagna.  We love Ate Princess.  She even woke up early on Mothers' Day to get me a cake and flowers, and she gave me a card with her sweet notes.  We're all gonna miss her now that her summer class is over.

Yoshi also tries the 20-foot bungee jump in Eton.  Gasp. He used to be such a scaredy cat, but now he is suddenly our resident daredevil.  How am I even related to this boy?

12.  Ches and I scoring high on Readers' Digest couple happiness quiz.  We even have exactly the same answers even if we take the quiz separately.  Hahaha.  We are so boring, I know.

13.  Passing the stringent Red Cross test and being allowed to donate blood

14.  ilovemilktea opening right across the street.  They have the popping pearls that we had at 99 resto in Cape Cod and Hahvahd!  I'm already fast friends with the owners, pretty sisters named Cathy and Jenny, who give the boys free chocolate dinosaur drinks.  I'm so forever more drowning in milk tea.

15.  Ricky's dinner treat at Royal View.  The boys loved the suckling pig, while Ches and I devoured the lapu lapu and crabs.  Aaahhh, death by Chinese cuisine.

16.  Bella Flores.  My idol.  RIP.

(It seems friends associate me with Bella Flores, too.  I got several messages from friends telling me the news about her passing, and how I remind them of her, and how it's now so much easier for me to ascend to her throne as The Resident Villain.  Hahaha.  I love it!)

17.  My boys keeping me grounded and feisty when everything and everyone else around me are descending into madness.

18.  The crocheted beauty I bought at Bali fitting perfectly in our red couch.  (Thank you, Lord, for making life so happy and beauteous like this.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Love And Other Dramas

(Somehow friends always come to me with their love woes.  While I love that they open up to me, I don't really know why they do.  Last time I checked, I have not done anything spectacular to qualify me as The Love Guru or something.  It also bothers me that they seem to get all the juicy romance dramas while all I'm stuck with are my same old stupid work-related problems.  Not fair!  Hahaha.  I recently dug this beauty up for one such lovestruck friend.  It's by Neil Gaiman, one of my all-time favorite writers, and who's in My List of Men I'm Allowed To Have Extra-Marital Relations With.  This is for you G, K, E, A, T, and R - amor vincit omnia.)         

"Have you ever been in love? Horrible, isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses. You build up a whole armor, for years, so nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life.  You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so a simple phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' or 'how very perceptive' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a body-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. Nothing should be able to do that. Especially not love. I hate love."

- By the character Rose Walker in The Sandman #65, written by Neil Gaiman

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Struck By Disco Lightning

... is the title of the latest song that Boots made up.  It's the first of only two lines, the second being 'Yeah, yeah'.  It comes with complete choreography that involves hand waving and hip shaking.  Seeing him sing and dance to it is the best part of my day.  (I catch myself singing it as I walk down the office halls sometimes. Sheesh.  I'm not only the general counsel - I'm also the resident loony.)

I don't know where the boys get all their crazy ideas.  Ches and I are pretty normal, even kind of boring, I think.

A typical phone call between Boots and me goes like this.

Me:  How are you, baby?
Boots:  I just met Julian Francisco!
Me:  Who is Julian Francisco?
Boots:  He's my stepfather!

Huh?  Last time I checked, I have not remarried.

Boots and I were Internet surfing at dusk when Ate Princess came into the room so I turned the light on.

Boots:  Why did you turn the light on?
Me:  The better to see Ate Princess and her lovely face and bright smile!
Boots:  And her long, smooth legs!

Whaddawhack?!  He is all of five years old.  If he happened to be older and devoid of his killer dimples, he is so getting slapped, right? 

Me, before we flew to Bali:  Yosh, you're not going to be so sad and miss us too much, right?
Yoshi:  Actually, Mom, to be honest, I miss only Tita Jenny.

Ouch.  Gee, thanks, Yoshi.  I love you, too, man.  (You already, Ate!)

Boots:  Papaya si Kuya sa swimming!
Me:  Huh?  Why papaya?
Boots:  If he's not good, then he's papaya, right?
Me (after 60 million hours trying to figure it out):  Oh, you mean kamote!


If only all their comments are that funny and harmless, tho.

Yoshi, asking Mommy's eldest sister:  Lola, until when are you in London?
Lola Ninay:  For 6 months, until my visa expires.
Yoshi:  6 months!  Buhay ka pa ba non?!

Aaargh.  It's one of those moments when Ches and I can't do much else but shake our heads and mumble:  no, no, no, we are not their parents!

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Grass is our default hang-out when we have nowhere else to go on weekends and the boys are clamoring to go out.  Grass is 1.  near, 2.  free, and 3.  clean, so it's a no-brainer, really.  Never mind that it's SM.  Hahaha.  (Parang EDSA traffic lang: hindi maka-move on.)

The boys loved to swim even before they learned how to.  Boots is still a scaredy cat for the most part, just wading by the sidelines and having his own little fun in the shallow part.  We're not concerned tho and just let him be bcoz Kuya was exactly the same at this age.  Now Kuya is all gutsy and pulling stunts right smack in the pool that I would never even dare.  Gasp.

It was great that everyone in our little group can swim, except for Ches and me, so we could leave the boys to them and nap the afternoon away.  Hahaha.  When I tell the boys that my favorite part of any weekend is my afternoon nap, they roll their eyes and call me lame and old and boring and same such stuff.  So much love from people I painstakingly breastfed for a combined total of 3.5 years.  Groan.

T. Thelma's unit is past the 30th floor so guests usually love staying at the terrace and gazing at the view of QC way down below.  I'm acrophobic and the mere thought of being so high up makes me want to pass out (hopefully straight into the arms of a hot, bald guy like in a formulaic movie), so I normally stay in and venture out only when there's a nice pix to be had.  Hahaha.

Wide pools, palm trees, grand views, clutter-free minimalist rooms - condo living certainly has its perks.  I don't think I'm ready to trade in for it my country home anytime soon, tho.  In the first place, we've got the small problem of:  where to put all my shoes.  Hahaha.  

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Flaming Month

I've been wanting to go around UP to visit the flame trees there ever since the two big ones at the corner of Q. Av. and QC Circle started to bloom in their glorious, orange splendor that merited a front page picture in the Inquirer.  April is the month of the UP sunflowers.  May belongs to the flame trees.

I cannot get over how beauteous flame trees are.  They just stand there the rest of the year, and turn suddenly all orange in May.  As far as I know, they don't even need any special care, just your regular sunlight and rain.  Isn't it a joy to behold something so fabulous and yet so low-maintenance?

I don't get why we don't have a festival or a tourist-related activity celebrating these flame trees, the way they have cherry blossom and daffodil festivals in the US.  We can plant flame trees all over one park or street, and invite people to see them all burst into their fiery colors in the summer.  I would certainly go to such an event.  But that's just me, I know.  Sigh.  

(The boys are wearing the Spurs shirts that Chestnuts got for them from - of all places - Bali.  They are also known as The Reason Why Ate Will Probably Not Invite Us To Cape Cod Anymore.  Hahaha.  For my part, I'm wearing one of Chestnut's Mothers' Day gifts - a Uniqlo shirt of Andy Warhol's painting of 60 million shoes.  Sigh.  It's these little things about Ches that make him so perfect everyday.)

After UP, we went to The Iscreamist, a specialty ice cream store in the neighborhood that's been featured in several TV shows bcoz I think it's the only one that serves liquid nitrogen.  The idea is to dip the ice cream in the nitrogen so that it literally burns your mouth when you eat it.  From the flame trees, we moved on to a different kind of hot altogether.

Tita Jaja took the two boys and the whole household staff there when we were in Bali, and the boys have been bugging us since then to bring them back.  They like the whole dragon breath thing.  Me, I prefer my good old no-sting double dutch, thank you.  If God had wanted ice cream to burn, he would have made it hot and not cold, right?  Hahaha.