28 October 2005

Could not take a photo so just use your imagination

From the tollway plaza on my way to work...

Tollway Advisory
Effective Nov 1, 2005 (12:01AM)
A 10% VAT* will be added to your toll fees.
Toll fees + VAT will be rounded to facilitate payment.

* Value Added Tax

My spellcheck says it's ok but it seems to be lacking something :(

26 October 2005

Muggle News

On Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie from Cesar Soriano:
...Just as Harry Potter is growing up in J.K. Rowling's series of phenomenally popular books, the screen version of the young wizard isn't entering quietly into his adolescence. Judging by the first look at the finished film at a screening for journalists Friday night, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire more than earns its PG-13, the first in the series to receive that rating. In the USA, PG-13 carries with it a caution for parents and warns that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Goblet is cited for its sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images. Says director Mike Newell: "Audiences that began with No. 1 and are now 14, 15, 16 years old will kind of want to know you are not infantilizing the situation. These are not children's books; these are adult stories."
Among the more frightening scenes in the fourth Potter installment, due in theaters Nov 18: a giant man-eating snake; an implied murder; the graphic destruction of the Quidditch World Cup campsite at the hands of the dark-hooded, skull-faced Death Eaters. And that's just the first 15 minutes...
On Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince book from Leah Sottile:
...Whenever I finish a Harry Potter Book, I close the back cover feeling fulfilled, optimistic and pleasantly—not urgently—anticipating J.K. Rowling's next volume. But when I finished her latest, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I finished, closed the cover, set it down and said, "Well, what the f— is Harry going to do now?!" I seriously said that—to my cat.

25 October 2005

Brunch Buffet

My dear friend, Ellenini (real name withheld for security reasons), celebrated her birthday last 19 October. She invited our group to brunch at her home on the following Sunday. 9ish. Of course, 90% of us arrived after 9am but stayed on until way past 1pm. Have you ever experienced a hotel breakfast buffet? Well, that was our morning at Ellenini's home. Coffee, milk, cranberry juice, orange juice, tapa (how do you translate?), bacon, eggs, spaghetti, pan de sal, croissants, lemon squares, chocolate cake, decadent chocolate cake, fresh fruits, crepes, ice cream...everything except cereal, I guess. I had to surrender before I could try out every dish. I did go back for seconds and thirds though then resigned myself to excessive glasses of milk and juice. I've attached some images of the event but I apparently did not take into consideration the amount of light indoors, oops. Anyway, nothing beats starting out the day with a good meal and great conversation. I also think that spread will be the benchmark for future breakfast buffet adventures.

24 October 2005

Halloween is just around the corner

I want to go around the corner now! In less than a week, it'll be Halloween 2005, yahooey! It's not just an ordinary day in our family, it's an event...a tradition...a much anticipated thing. I don't understand the malice or stigma some people attach to this day because it could be such a wonderful part of your life. Regardless of where we are at the end of October (the South, the beach, Hawaii, California, etc.), my sisters and I enjoy getting dressed up on Halloween, going around the village, and counting how much candy we got when we arrive home. I remember when a Church group from Ayala Alabang Village (AAV) slammed Halloween last century and said that people should dress up as characters from the Bible. My sisters and I thought of dressing up as Satan and his minions ;) Well, if we had kids at the time they would be the minions. Seriously though it's a good time to bond with your children: find out what their interests are (dressing up as a Star Wars character or as Ms. Philippines), hang out with friends: come in your most creative costume, and make new friends (trick or treat). I don't think I'll be in costume this year but I hope that we get to go around town. The photos above are of my sister and me at a dress-up-your-mask party in Makati (2003) and of a home in AAV that annually goes all out for us passers-by. Wherever you will be this 31st, enjoy a Happy Halloween in the company of family and friends!

22 October 2005

Count down

My sister is going to give birth to her first child (and our first niece) anytime now (end of October to start of November). She celebrated her birthday at the start of this month so we threw her a birthday party / baby shower. It was a fun-filled family affair since we all chipped in for the invites, the caterer, the birthday cake (butterfly theme cake and baby stuff theme cupcakes) , and even games + prizes. I think it really was a memorable day because my sister was beaming and she was surrounded by loved ones. Can't wait to meet the little star still in her tummy at the moment.

21 October 2005

When I think Rock Star, I think U2

After watching the pilot of ROCK STAR INXS again, I thought to myself that INXS is nothing when compared to U2. Now that's a rock band. Last October 6, Thursday, I was fortunate enough to catch the Irish group on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. They were there for the entire show: they performed about four songs, sat down for interviews with Conan, and did the spoof sketches with him. All in all one hour was just not enough for a U2 fix, hassle.

Crazy little thing called LOVE

From www.neilgaiman.com

SONNET (excerpt)

...Love must be vaster than my smiles or touch,
For brave men died and empires rose and fell
For love: girls followed boys to foreign lands
And men have followed women into Hell...

20 October 2005

Marty Party

A local TV station (ABC 5) is going to show ROCK STAR INXS beginning 10pm tonight. I figured everyone who has read the local newspapers already knows what transpired but a number of people who don't have cable TV haven't seen the show. I must sheepishly admit that I'm a ROCK STAR junkie because of Marty Casey of the Lovehammers from Chicago, Illinois (my family can attest to this with raised eyebrows and sighs of exasperation). I just think he's such a cool cat. Sure he likes to use eyeliner once in while. He even seemed questionable with his funky Levi's photo shoot outfit. It's just such a treat to see all of his performances, namely Mr. Brightside and his version of Britney's song. Hence, I'm going to enjoy watching a bit of local TV tonight, heheh ;) Now if only his band would come over, even just to play in some hole in the wall...

19 October 2005

Maximus the Destroyer

The closest thing I have to a nephew at the moment is my sister's dog, Max. He'll be six years old in January 2006. He became part of the family when he was four months old and really had us sold when he managed to fall asleep without crying on his first night at home. He chases flies, mosquitoes, butterflies, cats and whoever is holding his chew toy; eats a wide variety of food (except jello because he just can't get it when it's on the ground); whines when he needs to do #1 or #2 in the garden; steals the bathroom rug or snores loudly when he wants to play; and always manages to make a sucker out of you with his sad dog face. For more information on Max, check out www.dogster.com. Happy midweek!

Leaving the calendar

For almost half of 2005 I was enjoying my 20's. Then my b-day came around and now I'm in my 30's. It's cool but it also seems surreal at times for when I graduated from college, and joined the daily grind, the Big 3-0 was the benchmark for success or failure on many levels that appeared eons away. I just looked through the planner I bought at the start of the year, staring mainly at the To-do list (before I hit 30) that I made in January for completion by end of May: join a triathlon, quit smoking, save up for Graduate School...etc. Apparently, my Best-of-the-year list (Best Movie/Drink/Meal/Person I met/Song I heard...etc.) at the end of December looks more feasible right now. Ah well, maybe I'll just do away with the To-do list so that I could enjoy my To-day, heehee

Express January to June 2005

I'm on my third job for 2005. Hmm, not good. Sounds a lot like a Gemini. I'm doing Administrative work but I started the year as a Recruitment Associate in the Human Resources Department of a call center. It was fun because it was only 6kms. from home (7 kms. after 10pm) but very frustrating (death by stats and changing start dates). One of my fondest memories of that company was our English campaign. Check out one notice from the office.

By March I decided that I wanted to do something different for the summer so I became a Venue Coordinator/Instructor for the Bert Lozada Swim School. What a change of pace and scenery. For starters, we had to time in at 7:30am. They say you have to do something for 21 days before it becomes a habit. The transition from call center hours (anything goes as long as you work eight hours a day) to swimming school hours was a challenge. Mondays were the worst since I couldn't even bring myself to get up at 7:30am on my day off (Sundays). Next, my office was at the pool deck right beside the swimming pool. Talk about trying to choose an outfit that would give you nice tan lines and look professional, too. There was a day when I got into trouble with my boss because I had the same outfit as the Venue Coordinator of the "rival" swimming school. Think B1 and B2 (Bananas in Pajamas, not vitamins). Then my lunchbreak was from 11:30am to 2:30pm since it was too hot to stay at my desk during that time of day. One of the craziest things about the job was the need to go from coodinator to instructor and vice-versa for successive classes. My take-home value though was, without a doubt, the learning passed on in a fun way to our students of six months to 60+ years old.

In June I decided to try out this corporate job in the province. It's 15 kms. from home but it has its perks: I get to go out of town on weekdays (domestic jetsetter) and malling before I go home. You could say that the latter is therapeutic. I get a kick out of it. Oh, the office work is exciting as well. Let's all just cross our fingers in the hopes that I'm still here a year or more from now.

18 October 2005

I spy...

Sometimes your great idea just doesn't fly with the rest of us...

16 October 2005

15 October updates

Haloo! I hope that this note finds you well.
I've been working at my new office for four months now, have read J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Books 1 to 6 at least twice this year, am working my way through Stephen King's The Dark Tower Book 3, and am still adjusting to the recent addition of the ETC channel to our cable TV lineup. It's a lazy Saturday afternoon in the 'burbs and I've decided to start my own blog for two reasons. One: because there 10,563 things I want to tell my family and friends everyday but don't have enough time to call/text/e-mail everyone and two: I saw something in the supermarket that just made me howl with laughter (photo to follow).
Anyway, that is all for now. Have a great weekend, keep smiling and God bless!
B ;)