Friday, September 28, 2012

dumb blood

As Einstein said, I am a genius (hah!). But this post is about my fish-climbing-a-tree moments.
As you know from here, I had a blood transfusion during Noah's birth. And I really believe they gave me dumb blood! Coz I seem to have turned dumb after. I no longer remember the many little dumb-blood moments I've had (okay, maybe the memory loss is due to the epidural, not the transfusion). But I do remember 2 big dumb-blood instances because the people I was talking to laughed out loud!
The first one was when I found out that pickles are made out of cucumbers. I thought a pickle was an actual vegetable, just like cucumber and asparagus. The whole pickle that sometimes comes with burgers are never as big as the cucumbers that come from the market! So how was I supposed to know that?!?!
The second dumb-blood moment was with Isabella. She was animatedly talking about this show Auction Hunters on History Channel. There was this episode where they spied a shark cage in one of the storage units. I was trying to make Isabella laugh by asking where the shark was. Coz I figured a shark cage held sharks just like dog cages held dogs. I did make Isabella laugh, but not because of the joke I was trying to make. Coz it turns out, shark cages hold divers to protect them from the sharks. Isabella was laughing hysterically - but the joke was on me!
See? Isn't it obvious the hospital gave me dumb blood?
Photo from heritage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

comedic births

I always thought giving birth would fall under either the drama or horror genre. Drama because I've seen so many tear-jerking mom & newborn scenes in Johnson's Baby commercials. And Horror because giving birth was my greatest fear. Little did I know that after my babies crowned, it was going to be more of a Comedy.
When I gave birth to Isabella, I was on epidural (as I said, my low pain tolerance made me scared s---less of giving birth). Epidural is the best, best thing! You are awake and are able to contribute to the birthing process because you need to bear down and push. But you don't feel a thing. To the point that I was still pushing and the doctors had to say, "Misis, tama na po. Nakalabas na." (Missus, stop pushing now. The baby is out.). It was quite embarrassing then, but in retrospect, it's actually pretty funny.
Then during Noah's birth, it got quite suspenseful. I lost a lot of blood and after Noah came out, I heard the doctors ask for a unit of blood. Then I heard panicked voices yelling, "30 na lang BP! Asan na yung dugo?!... Zero na ang BP!" (BP is down to 30. Where is the blood?!... BP is down to zero!). I heard the heartbeat monitor go from a slow & regular "toot... toot... toot..." to a very quick "toottoottoottoottoot" I remember the thoughts running in my head: "Oh no! Am I dead already? [toottoottoottoottoot in the background led to] Naaaahhh... If I were, then the sound of my heartbeat monitor would be one long 'toooooooooooooot' vs. toottoottoottoottoot, like on TV." Then I remember chastising myself, "Duh. If you were dead, you wouldn't hear anything, let alone a toot!"
I obviously survived Noah's birth, that is, after 4 units of blood. And now, I can't help shake my head and clap my forehead with my palm at the memory of the now-comedic conversation I was having with myself. What the heck was I thinking?!

You see? Isabella and Noah's births had some funny moments. I wonder if their comedic births had anything to do with the sense of humor I so love in both of them...

Photo from annnniegirl. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


While at a stoplight on the way home on one rainy night about a year ago, an old man walked past my car on the sidewalk. He didn't have an umbrella, was completely drenched and was clearly shivering from the cold rainy night.

I didn't have an umbrella in my car either. All I had was this new down rainjacket I had purchased just the previous week in Hong Kong.

I hesitated. I wish my first thought was that he might get insulted because it wasn't clear if he was homeless. But that wasn't my first thought. Sadly, it was that my jacket was expensive.

I hesitated for about 3 seconds and by then, the light had turned green and I lost the opportunity to comfort a shivering, old man on that late, rainy night. I regret that moment to this day. I wish I had not been that selfish.

3 seconds of hesitation. A nagging regret I will carry for years to come.
Photo from frommetoyou.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

my new normal

When I was still working, I drafted a loooooong to-do list in my head for my sabbatical from work. But over the first few days, I could not bring myself to start on the list.
I think it's because I've been programmed to work according to a strict deadline (read: I'm a crammer). So without any deadlines, all I had to show for for the first week was driving the kids to and from school & after-school activities. Coz those had a deadline. They needed to be picked up at this time and brought there by that time. Of course, watch TV & dvds, facebook, blog and take a nap were things that weren't on the list that I got to do a lot.
Aside from the absence of a deadline, I think I was also crippled by the seemingly endless list of tasks. There were just too many, I didn't know which to prioritize.
Being very results-driven, I had a nagging feeling of frustration at the end of my first week. So I decided to cut up my to-do list into categories: Urgent (mostly stuff the kids need for school/after-school), Home (with sub-categories of To-Fix, To-Buy, To-Organize) and Project (special "me" projects like 'enroll in a class', 'travel' and 'get on the treadmill'). This turned my impossible, long to-do list into doable, bite-size lists. 
Then I decided I would work on 1 Home or 1 Project task every day (of course, the tasks on Urgent list also need to get done ASAP). The required task per day gave the crammer in me a deadline and the doable one-a-day target made it less daunting. Plus, it gave me a daily sense of accomplishment.
A couple of days of this new system has led to a number of to-do-list items crossed off. I am able to enjoy my sabbatical without the first week's nagging frustration of having nothing to show for my week. When I was working, getting things done was so intuitive, I no longer even needed an actual list. The tasks were all in my head and I was naturally programmed to prioritize and deliver them on time. Now  that I am on sabbatical, getting things done needed a whole new system. And because the new system assures the outcome I've been wired all these years to deliver, I am able to fully enjoy this sabbatical journey of mine. 

This is my new normal.
Click here and here for previous posts on my sabbatical.   

Thursday, September 20, 2012

irony for dinner

My foodie friends and I were recently hoping for another gustatory night like this. We tried out this new Spanish restaurant at the Fort.

It's SOP for us to take photos of our food. Each of us is always armed with a camera and we (almost always) don't dig in until we've all (yes, until all 5 of us have) taken a photo of the dish. Problem is, the food wasn't very pretty to look at. The plating was okay, but the colors just weren't vibrant enough. Here's how the Seafood Paella and Catalan Sausages really looked.

But here's how my friend K's Instagram beautifully captured those dishes (plus the Croquetas with Spanish chorizo).

Love how Instragram turned unattractive food attractive!

The drinks really looked lovely though - Instagram or otherwise.

Don't you just love how pretty (and unique) the presentation is for each drink? In the jar is Beer Jared Margarita. The copper mug contains their Calamansi and Cherry Blossom Moscow Mule (homemade ginger vodka, calamansi, cherry blossom flowers, ginger beer). This one tasted really good! The one in the glass (with the chorizo on the side) was their Sangria Blanca (this was okay; I still prefer Cova's Summery Peach White Wine Sangria though). The wine (am more of a white or dessert wine kind of person, but that red wine in the top photo) was quite good though. I would go back for the drinks but not necessarily for the food...

Don't get me wrong. The food wasn't bad. It was just unremarkable. It didn't help that the Spanish owners were chatty. You see, when someone with that accent suggests a dish, your expectations tend to go up. To be honest, I could barely make out what he was saying, but it sounded really Spanish and thus, very delish. I mean, the way he said "chorizo" was so different, so authentic, that I was expecting extraordinary chorizo. But the chorizo and the rest of the food were quite ordinary.

I'd go back though. More for the drinks than the food (but I'd give their food another chance since they were still on soft opening when we were there). I'd go back... as long as my foodie buddies are with me. Because even on that night, as K so aptly put it, those four fun friends of mine made a forgettable dinner memorable.

Photos are my own and my friend K's instagram photos.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Am back to using my old laptop - my Vivienne Tam HP mini notebook - from the office-issued Lenovo I've been using everyday for a while now.

And I am going nuts!!! It took me 3 tries to remember my password - actually, more the correct case for the right letter. Windows Explorer looks different. The keys seem to be in the wrong place.  I had to change my home pages. Turns out the websites I frequented 2 years ago are not exactly the same as my favorites these days. And of course, I needed to log in to all my fave sites. The colors on my monitor are slightly different - somewhat more yellow than my old laptop's. The screen is smaller, shorter. I experimented with a 75% view so I could see more in my preview pane, but the visuals were too small. Am trying a 90% view now. It's just not the same!

Oh, this will take some getting used to...

Though I am loving the purrretty butterflies everywhere. Here's a screenshot of me exploring my jcrewing photo folder.

There are butterfly stand-ins while the photos load. I noticed there's a different butterfly graphic depending on the filetype (jpeg vs png).

Purrretty, right?

"Very often, a change of self is needed more than a change of scene" (A.C. Benson). I already like the change of scenery - what with all the butterflies, but I need to give me and my habits an overhaul to make this change work.

Now, if only the other things about this laptop were as easy to get used to as those purrretty butterflies...

Photo from lushlee.

Click here and here for the posts on the change that led to this change.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

these rainboots are haunting me

They are! These Hunters are haunting me. Remember how I was surprisingly obsessed with these solid-colored rainboots here?

Well, there they are again... And this time, they're paired with a pretty sundress and a khaki trench. How adorable is that ensemble?

Am so smitten with how the rainboots (and the coat) take the summer out of the sundress! So, so pretty. Do you think it's a look that can work in rainy Manila? Please tell me via a comment or email if they will. Maybe if I get enough nods of approval from you guys, I can use this as an excuse to finally get myself these haunting green Hunter boots! :)

Photos from acupofjo and annnniegirl.

Click here and here for previous posts about rainboots. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

lost: my shopping mojo

I already knew I was taking a break from work during my last trip to Hong Kong. And it totally confused my shopping mojo. I guess I had always been programmed to shop for office clothes on shopping trips like that. So I ended up crippled. I couldn't decide on a look to hunt for.

Was I going to dress up sweats?

Or did I prefer casual chic?

I knew I was always going to go for classic staples like a striped lounge dress. But I already have lots of those in my closet!

I ended up buying a few button-downs from Massimo Dutti because I figure they could transition from work to non-work looks.

But weeks after my shopping trip, I realize I should have shopped for comfortable flats! After all, I don't see myself running errands around the mall in heels.

Sigh. I lost my shopping mojo.

Click here and here for previous posts about my break from work.  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

oops, my neurosis is showing...

I just recently realized I chat with punctuation marks. On Facebook or Whatsapp convos or the office Communicator, I noticed I have periods or exclamation points at the end of my sentences.

I'm not a stickler for capitalization. I sometimes start sentences with a small letter. But I always have to have a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence. Even abbreviations, like OMG, need to be followed by an exclamation point. OMG!

Sigh, my neurosis is showing again...

Photo from garancedore.

Click here for previous posts from the Oops, My Neurosis Is Showing... series. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

dear exact-toll-lane driver

There are 2 lanes on the tollgate I pass to get to the office. One is an E-Pass/Exact Toll Lane and the other is a Cash/Coupon Lane. One day, the car in front of me on the Exact Toll Lane caused traffic because he demanded that the tollgate attendant give him his 1-peso change. Apparently, he was handed a receipt when he passed and he realized he didn't get his 1-peso change after he had moved his car two feet. So he yelled at the attendant who eventually had to walk out of her booth and hand him his change.

I have to admit I was extremely annoyed - okay, 'pissed' would be more accurate. But some time has passed and I have gotten over my anger. So sans expletives, here is my message for the driver of that car.

Dear Exact-Toll-Lane Driver, let me start by telling you that, because I have to pass that tollgate everyday, I've already calculated how much it would cost me to give up my 1-peso change if I chose the Exact Toll Lane each day for a year - just to avoid the delay in the longer Cash/Coupon line. So you have to understand my dismay at having to put up with a delay in the Exact Toll Lane when you demanded for your 1-peso change that day. You see, exact toll lanes mean you need to pay the exact toll or give up your change. It's the price you pay to avoid delay. If you weren't willing to give up your change, I would have preferred that you lined up on the Cash/Coupon Lane. There, drivers are trained to wait patiently for the tollgate attendant to hand drivers their change, so unlike the E-Pass/Exact Toll Lane drivers who want to go through that tollgate as fast as they can. After all, these drivers take time to fill up our E-Pass Load (is that what it's called?) or prepare a stash of coins and P20 & P50 bills to easily hand the attendant the P49 tollfee.

So dear Exact-Toll-Lane Driver... if you didn't take the time to fill up your E-Pass Load or prepare the exact tollfee, please, please, take the Cash/Coupon Lane or be prepared to give up your change. This way, we - both Cash/Coupon and Exact-Toll drivers - can all pass through that tollgate happily. :)

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Dear... series.