Wednesday, February 29, 2012

what if today was your birthday?

I can't imagine what it would be like to be born on February 29... Celebrating on the right day every four years, and on a different day during those years in between...

As an adult, I imagine that it could be special. It could be an excuse to throw a party every leap year because after all, it doesn't happen every year.

But what if your child was born on this day? Can you imagine having to explain to your preschooler that his birthday is February 29 but that his birthday isn't in the calendar every year? How would you explain that it only comes every four years and most times, you'll be celebrating his birthday on March 1?

I wonder how he'll take it... Will he be wishing his real birthday would come again next year as he blows out his candles? Awww, I sure hope it isn't as sad as I'm imagining it...

If today happens to be your - or your child's - birthday, do tell me what it's like because as you can see, I am awfully curious.

Photo from here via nyctaughtme.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

a row with rows

I've got a row with rows. Pardon the pun, I couldn't resist. :) What I mean is, I've recently realized that there are some pretty frustrating things about queues these days...

The half-hearted queues - A popular drugstore here in Manila has those queue posts with retractable belts leading to the pharmacy counter. But when you get to the counter, it suddenly becomes free-for-all and people just find gaps  along the counter (even if they don't necessarily fit a whole person) to squeeze themselves into it. And once you find a gap you can fit in, you have to try to catch the attention of a drugstore personnel to get what you need. So I wonder: what was the hopeful-beginnings-of-a-queue for then?

The invisible queues - I see these mostly in mall bathrooms. A small line begins to form before the first bathroom stall, then someone enters and bypasses the line and creates her own line at the second stall. Soon, the people at the back of the original line rush to create a third line at the third cubicle. Since I'm sure I didn't have Harry Potter's cloak of invisibility on during these times, I tend to ponder: do they really don't realize there's a common line? Or do they just believe in shrewd line-picking (which results in a "Woot! Woot! I picked the fastest-moving or shortest line!") over the fair first-come-first-served line?

The imaginary (really unnecessary) queues - For me, this is the worst of all. You know how baggage claim belts are pretty long (and winding) at our airport? I can never understand why people line up behind me - even if there's a wide expanse of empty portions around the conveyer belt. So they end up pushing me, trying to catch a glimpse of the bags passing and even force me to move aside if their bag comes before mine. I would be okay if it was a really big plane and there were just so many passengers around the belt that a queue is necessary. But when it's not, I really cannot fathom why they queue up behind me (hitting my calf with their trolley a number of times) when they can have their own empty space in front of the belt, just a few steps further. In fact, I've contemplated a lot about this (yes, it takes that long for my bag to come out) and I think it's better for people to stay away from the belt (i wish airports would paint a yellow line a meter away from the belt so people can stay behind it like they do at immigration or ATMs) since you can spot your bag from afar anyway. And once you do spot your bag, that's when you can go beyond the yellow line to pull your luggage from the belt with enough space to maneuver the heaving of bags off the belt and onto your trolley (is it obvious my bags are always at maximum allowable weight - and then some - vis-a-vis 5'1" me?). Isn't this a much better baggage-claim system?       

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad to see people lining up more these days. But I just wish we'd do away with these half-hearted, invisible, and imaginary (really unnecessary) queues.

Photo from annnniegirl.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

talking pet peeve

I recently realized I don't really enjoy movies with talking animals. I don't mind talking dwarfs like Smurfs or even Gnomeo & Juliet. Or talking muppets like Kermit & Gonzo. I even adore talking cars like Lightning McQueen & Mater and talking toys like Woody & Buzz. But talking animals - not so much. I watched Happy Feet, Ice Age and Madagascar primarily for the kids but I didn't really care for them very much. It's worse when the animals are dressed in human clothes.

So imagine how much I was silently kicking and screaming when we watched Alvin & the Chipmunks 3 in the movie house about a month ago. Especially since I hadn't watched neither Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol nor Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which were both showing right next door.

I don't really know when this strange aversion to talking animals started. Come to think of it, I much preferred Lion King on Broadway versus the animated movie. And I wonder if it's because people played the animals' parts in the theater version? Though I do remember liking Shirt Tales a lot when I was growing up. And they were talking animals in human shirts! Now isn't this bizarre?

What about you? Do you like movies with talking animals? Or are you also praying there won't be a 4th insertion to the Alvin & the Chipmunks series? Do you also watch movies you don't particularly care for because your kids want to? Do you end up watching more kiddie movies in the moviehouse while blockbusters get relegated to screening via DVD?

Photo from heritage.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

by the nth outfit...

I tried on countless outfits this morning because every one of them was too tight. Sigh... I am at my fattest. I am exactly the same weight as I was when I gave birth to Noah. Granted, I only gained 18 pounds during that pregnancy and the pounds all seemed to go to my belly. But I cannot fathom how I can weigh the same as when I had an 8-pound-baby and all that amniotic-fluid-and-placenta stuff in me!

And by the nth outfit, I was not only so depressed at my fatness that I wanted to binge on breakfast, but I was also so late for work, I didn't have time to go to the gym anymore. Painfully ironic, right?

Photo from annnniegirl. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

i lost my Clipa...

I did. I lost my Clipa. :(  So I'm back to cradling my bag on my lap in restaurants. No, I don't leave it on the floor like this woman because if I did, ocmominmanila's voice would be screaming "bag-teria" in my head. Nor do I sling it over my chair's backrest for safety reasons. 

I also miss my Clipa in bathroom stalls, fitting rooms and theaters. Other bag hangers (search "bag hanger" on Google images if you don't know what I'm talking about) just don't measure up because they only work on tables. But a Clipa can hang from the hook on the door of public bathrooms and fitting rooms. And if the hook is missing or broken, you can always hang your Clipa over the door. For door-less and hook-less fitting rooms, you can sling your Clipa on the curtain-door rod or even the curtain-door's grommet. It can hang from the backrest of the seat in front of you in moviehouses and even school programs (even with monobloc chairs!). And in case you decide to cap off a shopping spree with a trip to the grocery, it even works to hang your paper bags of shopping loot on the pushcart handle. 

I loved my Clipa more because of its functionality. The chic, sleek design was just a bonus (though I've never worn it as a bangle as they said you could). My original Clipa was matte silver, which I still love. But I don't think I can cough up another P800 (Am I naive to think the Clipa price in Rustan's has remained the same in the past 2 years?) for exactly the same thing. Plus, if my silver one suddenly turns up (as most things do when you're not looking for them), at least I won't have 2 of the same Clipa. So am thinking of getting it in gold this time. After all, I have been drawn to gold a lot lately (see related post here).

Now, if only Rustan's still has it in stock...

Photos from here, here, here and annnniegirl.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

oops, my neurosis is showing...

You already know I'm a Friends fanatic from here and here. So I hope I've eased you in gradually enough that you are ready for how neurotic this obsession really is...

I've actually visited Monica and Chandler's building on Grove and Bedford in New York. Where Central Perk should be is a quaint little place called The Little Owl (at least it was when I was there almost 5 years ago).

At the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in California, I got to see the house Monica and Ross grew up in - the one where most of the flashbacks of bubbly fat Monica and Chandler's flock-of-seagulls-hair were shot. We also passed by Stage 24, the only stage in the WB lot with a name: The FRIENDS Stage.

And of course, my favorite FRIENDS moment of all: standing right in the middle of the Central Perk set!

It was so surreal. We were so giddy about being there that we didn't even catch the part when our tour guide said we were not allowed to touch the set. By the time we realized it was prohibited, we had already leaned on the iconic orange couch!

I have watched each episode at least a thousand times that I know things like their apartment numbers started out as 5 & 6, but soon changed to 19 & 20. I have never encountered a Friends trivia question I could not answer that I, my hubby and the other Friends fanatic we know have come up with our own trivia games like: Name the 10 Thanksgiving episodes in the right order, or Name the 10 season-enders, or Name the most celebrities who've guested on the show. And we've been playing that last game for so long, actors from shows of today were not even considered celebrities yet: Actors like Michael Vartan of Alias who played Tom Selleck/Richard Burke's son who Monica also dated, Glee's Principal Figgins who was Joey's doctor when he had kidney stones, CSI Miami's Emily Procter who, I swear, looks and sounds like the girl Joey dated when he was the Hombre perfume guy, and of course, House's Hugh Laurie who sat beside Rachel on the plane to Ross' wedding in London.

Oh, and between me and my hubby, we have collected a considerable share of Friends shirts: You already know of my Regina Phalange shirt from here. We, of course, also have shirts with the FRIENDS logo, the Central Perk logo and the iconic couch. My hubby has one with Joey's signature pick-up line, "How you doin'?", one with a cartoon of a smelly cat & "what are they feeding you?" printed on the back, and one with Ross' sketch of how they were supposed to maneuver his new couch up the stairs of his building - with scribbles of "Pivot! Pivot! PI-VOT!!!". I almost popped $30 at the NBC store for a regular white tee with...


... in plain black i-think-Times-New-Roman printing on the front, had it not been for my enterprising friend K who insisted she could easily have those words printed on a white shirt. Maybe we could even add Joey's headshot at the back - which is actually more like the actual giveaway at Ross' bachelor party. Explore my photo archive for photos of these shirts. And as luck would have it, I chanced upon Ross' FRANKIE SAYS RELAX shirt in the most unexpected place -- a People Are People store! It's much bigger than Ross' tiny t-shirt, but it seems as thin and comfy. And like Rachel, I love to sleep in it!

And so even though they've taken their final bow...

I love that there are still bits and pieces of FRIENDS in existence today. Oops, my neurosis showing again... Hope I haven't scared you away. If it helps, I promise to make this my last Friends post for a while. :)

Photos are from here, YouTube (screenshots) and my own. Source of the Final Bow photo is credited in my original post here. Photos of the shirts in my picasa archive are from here, here, here, here, here and here.

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

Saturday, February 11, 2012

dear restaurant-owner or party-thrower

I wish you would veer away from long, thin, rectangular tables. Even if they can seat many, such tables are really NOT conducive to large group conversations. When you're unfortunate enough to get seated at the edge of the table, you end up seeing only 3 people: the person in front of you, the person beside you, and the person across the person beside you. Everyone else might as well not have come at all because it is physically impossible to catch up with them at that table.

So dear restaurant-owner or party-thrower, unless you want your resto or party to be a date place, please use round tables. And if you must pick rectangular tables, please choose much wider ones so I can see beyond the person beside me at a group dinner.

Photo from annniegirl.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

duplex difference

We live in a two-unit townhouse. Our front facade is kind of drab and I've always wanted to give it a makeover - to give it some style and character. But I thought I never could because I figured it would look dreadful for duplex units to look different. Until I saw this photo.

I guess it could work. And maybe I can get the work I want done on my windows at the same time.

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for the post about my windows.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

my impossible wishlist

After writing that post on my excessive wishlist, I got to thinking about an impossible wishlist...

1. To watch a Friends episode live. When we went on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Burbank, California two years ago, we went inside the Two and a Half Men studio. Filming the show wasn't scheduled that day but we got to sit where a live audience would and right in front of us was the set of Charlie's house. It hit me then how sad it was that I would never get a chance to watch the filming of a Friends show. Good thing the Friends Central Perk set was part of the WB Tour so I at least got to see it up close. 
2. To taste Trattoria Uno's Zuppa Marinara again. When I was growing up, there were very few mall choices. One of them was Ali Mall and they had this quaint little Italian restaurant there with patrons' graffiti all over the walls. We ate there all the time. They had freshly-baked bread and the best Seafood Marinara soup! If I am not mistaken, it was owned by the Aranetas and in later years, would sometimes be closed because the chefs were busy with a private party of the Araneta family. I remember going there in later years and Zuppa Marinara was no longer on their menu but the chef would gladly cook me and my mom our favorite tomato soup! But a few years ago, Trattoria Uno closed down. And tasting their Zuppa Marinara again sadly lands on my impossible wishlist. Sigh.  
3. To munch on Jack & Jill Barbecue Curls again. I haven't found anyone who remembers Jack & Jill  Barbecue Curls because only Chiz Curls survived the test of time. People remember Munchees (which I wasn't a fan of) but nobody remembers the Barbecue Curls packed in a red and yellow foil pouch. I remember loving it when I was a kid. But to be honest, decades later, I have a very faint recollection of it's actual taste. So I'd sure love to try it again! A snack I do remember so well - that I can almost taste it - is the original Planters Cheese Curls that came in big cardboard canisters. I remember they brought out the "selfish" in me. When my friends were over at my house, I'd hide my big can and offer everything we had to eat at home - except for my salty, cheesy Planters Cheese Curls. Now sometimes, a Cheetos Crunchy would start out tasting like my old Planters, but the flavor at the end will be quite different. And don't be fooled by the Cheese Curls you might spot nowadays in a blue canister and yellow lid (even those that use the Planters brand), they are so NOT the same. The Cheese Balls versions are pretty close to the original. But the Cheese Curls are never like the original.
4. To see a photo of my old toy creations. When my brother and I were little, we would make pretend horses using side tables as the body (with a pillow so it would be soft to sit on), our mom's belts as reins & stirrups, and our teddy bears as our horses' heads. I also remember building various things out of Lego... Like a dog with an open slit as his mouth. The flat hole led to his belly so we pretended the "smooth flat two" Lego pieces were dogfood. The memories are so clear in my head but it would be great to have a photo as a souvenir.

5. To be one of those names in the credits of Disney's Beauty and the Beast or Toy Story. When I first watched Belle, I was so in awe of her expressions & actions - how her eyebrows furrowed, how her eyes widened with emotion, how her hair would fall down her face and she would brush it off. She seemed like a real person! I was also captivated by the very realistic majestic ballroom. And to this day, I love the songs! As the credits rolled down, I remember wishing my name was one of those many names. It would have been great to be a part of such a grand project. It was, after all, the first ever animated film to be nominated in the Academy Awards for Best Picture. I would have also loved to be part of the Toy Story production team. The first-ever animated film in CGI with three-dimensional characters... and toys I grew up with as the characters! That would have been awesome! Oh and just so it's clear, this wishlist item is not only impossible because the movies were made a long time ago, but more because I have no idea how animated films are made! I don't even know how to use Photoshop! It's just really fun to dream of being part of such a Creative Team.

Oddly, I thought thinking up this impossible wishlist would make me sad. But dreaming up the possibility of these impossible wishes was actually quite enjoyable! 

Friends photo is my own and the Beauty & the Beast animated gif is from annnniegirl.

Click here and here for previous posts that show my addiction to Friends. Click here for another nostalgic post on Ali Mall and other old malls.   

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Today, I am unloving...

Today, I am un-loving... that the classic children's stories like The Gingerbread Man, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Rumpelstiltskin and Little Red Riding Hood are no longer easy to find. The books nowadays - even the old Little Golden Books - are mostly about cartoon characters from TV and the movies.

I recently scoured a popular bookstore for The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, The Hare and the Tortoise and even The Emperor's New Clothes for Noah. But there weren't any nice picture books of these classics. I found a few sets of these classics but they were more narratives than picture books so I knew I wouldn't be able to keep Noah interested. I did find compilations by Miles Kelly that collapsed our old well-loved stories into five-or-ten-minute stories. They made for wonderful bedtime stories - just the right length for a tired & sleepy mom and an eager, story-hungry Noah, but I would have preferred it if there were a little more illustrations and if the stories did not slightly differ from the classics I grew up with.

I have yet to find Hansel and Gretel, The Ugly Duckling, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and The Elves and the Shoemaker. Sigh... Today, I am un-loving... that classic children's stories are not readily available these days.

Photo from annniegirl.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am un-loving... series. Click here for a previous post on minimalist posters of children's classics. Click here for a previous post on the fairytale of marriage.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

excessive birthday wishlist

Since it's my birthday, I thought up an excessive wishlist. They're absolutely unnecessary everyday things that I would absolutely love! [You might notice that shoes & bags are conspicuously absent from my list - because, I argue, they are a necessity! Haha!].

1. Friends DVD box sets. Yes, plural. The regular kind which is exactly what aired on TV. And the kind with never-before-seen additional footage. So I can compare and spot the extra jokes. What makes this even more excessive is I already have all 10 seasons. It's just that some seasons are the regular kind and some are the ones with extra footage. When I watch my DVDs from the extra-footage sets, at certain points, I catch myself thinking, "hey, that's an extra joke!" I'm never totally sure which is why I'd [neurotically] like to compare the 2 DVD sets. And despite the fact that I've watched every episode at least a thousand times to the point that some episodes don't play well anymore, these extra jokes escape me now! The only extra footage I can remember now is the one of Naked Ross sipping tea with Ugly Naked Guy when he was trying to get Ugly Naked Guy's apartment. And that is one extra visual I don't quite care for. :) 
2. Daily delivery of large Bubble Tea Royal Milk Tea Cold with extra bubbles   
3. My own Candy Corner (candy bar) at home - with unlimited supply of my favorite candies! Hmmm... since I'm making excessive wishes anyway, I would love to have a wall of M&Ms - segregrated by color - in those clear tubes that you find in the M&Ms stores. And I'd love to have every color - especially those that are not available in the pouches from the grocery!

Ooohh! I just looove the idea of these things on my excessive birthday wishlist.

Photo of the various scenes from The One Where They All Turn Thirty from here. Click here, here and here for previous evidences of my Friends fanaticism.