Monday, November 08, 2010

60 to 30: Star

Image from http://www.advocacysouthwest.org.au/


While reading the e-book version of Steve Chandler's 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself as part of my chosen online training, a pop-up window appeared, meaning, I have a new email.

I clicked "OK" and the subject was, Customer Feedback. I sat up straight to check it. It was from my manager, sharing that the management is extending its "thanks" for a job well done on a 1-pager document I minimally edited/proofread. The email's opening had a dashing star on it, and I scrolled below to see the big boss's email stating our team did a great job for that deliverable.

I replied a simple thank you to my manager. But I can't help think about how ironic life really is:

I did far harder, far miserable work in the past but the commendations from my superiors or those who get to see my work were rare. I got used to it and it became a routine and I felt I'm stuck with a low pay for too much work that I decided to call it quits.

But for this 1-pager that I finished for about an hour, my manager was generous to share, to extend to me what the big boss thought of about the work we delivered.

At times, we sweat, we toil hard in life for a little appreciation, but appreciation never came.

We feel bad about it that we get to reduce ourselves to becoming a non-appreciative person, too.

We fail to recognize that there are those who try to make things lighter for us, and yet we push them away because we hardly appreciate ourselves.

For those who were pushed, they kept insisting themselves to the one who pushed them away, limiting their world on that person, and missing far greater opportunities awaiting them.

It's a process -  a long, tedious process.

Thank you if we get appreciated.

But let's always remember that we do what we're doing because we like it, and not to score stars to get noticed.

If others don't like what we did for them, or just plainly, suddenly, don't like us anymore, let them be.

We are a star in our own right.

We don't need to bag a star from those who don't really know our truest worth.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

60 to 30: Skirt Flirt or Shop Stop?

A quick trip to the mall to buy our afternoon snack led me and my teammate to __ and saw this dark grey and (grey and beige), A-line, belted, and semi-ruffled (at hemline) skirt. At 20% off! It also comes in lemon yellow color but that's too bright for me.

Once I saw something at a store, I know it's for me. I'll fit it, I'll ask for sizes (I'm bordering from small to medium, at rare times [luckily!] large] or ask for another color if I'm being hesitant. But most of the time, since I always knew what I like, I'd definitely get it for myself.

Back to that skirt. So far, I already have a black, ribboned, paneled A-line skirt; a navy blue, pencil skirt, and a printed, full skirt. I need to add either brown or grey to my skirt staples. But these skirts were bought only about a week apart each, among other items of clothing that are kept in my cabinet and still waiting to be worn.

And my horoscope today somehow bedevils me to justify another flirty affair with a skirt: 

"At the moment, it's all about how you look -- because that will have a direct impact on how you feel, which will have a direct impact on how you act. See how this works? Might be time to do some serious shopping."

I won't stop after buying that skirt as I'm building up my really "feminine" wardrobe. Sure, I can afford it since I have "happy money" for this kind of "to-die-for" purchases. But an upcoming trip, the holiday season of spending and giving, giving and spending, and financial planning for 2011 in order, I really have to think long and hard about this skirt. But as my teammate asked me, " did you ask if there's still any size? Or do they still have stocks of it (the dark grey skirt)?"

I better go to sleep and dream about this. Maybe I'd have my answer tomorrow ....

And if it's gone by the time I'm ready to buy that skirt, that only means it's not meant for me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

60 to 30: Comfy Brown Wednesday

Following Tuesday's floor walk, the next day was a hectic day (that started as 7:30AM - early for me these days) working with our visitors for a photo shoot.

I'm no stranger with that kind of work since when I was managing editor of MoneySense I took charge of our cover photo shoots (even interviewed the personalities). So I decided to wear something comfy (and our team lead allowed us to wear jeans, yay), so assisting Wednesday's photo shoot was a breeze with me wearing this:

Sage/dark brown tunic with brown, woven belt (small size) by twentyone from Forever 21 (PHP1025.00)

I wore this with black, skinny jeans and my gray, peep toe wedges (with matching my barely used huge, gray, ladies' bag), and later that day, I had my hair in an updo for a fresher look.

We encountered glitches during the shoot, and glad we were able to pull them off. Despite such, I was still feeling comfy. Our visitor from Mexico perkily exclaimed very early that day that she like what I'm wearing and it was so cute with the belt on (and she was perky until we packed up at 5:30PM!!!). Yey for the fashionista effort!

This indeed was a comfy wear that surely will be included in my staple wardrobe.

60 to 30: Dark Olive Tuesday

Yes, I had another epiphany on Tuesday morning (like the one I had last Monday) that I decided to wear this:


Short length, dark olive dress (small) with black belt, Love 21 from Forever 21 (PHP1428.50)

I bought this sometime in July and I've been meaning to wear this to the PPO season opening last month. But that didn't happen as agreed with my former officemates. Rather than my yellow hanger wear this in my closet for long, I decided to wear this to the office instead - another first in my office girl life.

I only wore tiny, silver stud earrings for this since the shoulder blades are adorned with black, shiny, medium-size buttons encased in silver.

As this is short, so I was always struggling to wear it decently especially when walking and seating - I kind of regret wearing it that day since it slipped my mind that we would be hosting visitors for a floor walk - on all three floors of our company. I wore this with my "killer" shoes for the sake of vanity:


Faux, brown snake-skinned (or alligator, haha) shoes from Janeo (Apologies for the dust gathered under the TV table on the background)

I endured the pain and I think it paid off. One of the visitors commended that me and the other ladies hosting the floor walk were all nicely dressed welcoming them - a stark contrast to their jet-lagged, rugged attire.

Since its sleeves are openly wide, I had to wear a black tube top inside, and I didn't have a jacket/blazer with me that I endured the office airconditioning, only covering my arms and legs with my pashmina.

Whew, what I day that I am able to pull this off - but I swear I'll not wear this again for another round of floor walk. No. Never.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

60 to 30: From Deadlines to Dresses

 I blogged I'd start with daily blogging starting September 12 to November 10 - but since Monday, I wasn't able to.

For updates:

Work. I had deadlines to beat ang glad I beat them.

I rediscovered I still have the knack to discuss confidently about personal finance, which I shared with my team mates yesterday - and I will share here in detail in the coming days.

Vacation Leave - NOT! I was supposed to be on vacation leave today but spent it in agitation and frustration over how poor the public service system and the customer service of the giant mall brand here - and I experienced both today. I'm too exhausted now to detail, but I owe myself to blog about them, as today's really a test of patience for me - and I failed it.

Fit-ty Me. What I'm excited about now is - I bought my fitness companion, and I'll assemble it later. And I'm christening my Ab Rocket - Abbie. Yey!

And when I had my weight checked at a health kiosk, I weight 129! That's 1 or 3 pounds less since I last checked more than a month ago!!! That's still normal for my built but I want to lose four pounds more in 1 month! And get rid of the flabby tummy.

Abbie the Ab Rocket


Dress Success. Yes! Despite the overpass climb, the jeepney commute, and the long day of standing and walking, I pulled off this Collezione Philippine Map dresss shirt! I first wore this with a maong shorts that's just below the knees. But today, I wore it as it is, whew. Though I'm still conscious about the tummy, but good thing this is black. I bought another dress last Tuesday and I do hope I'd be able to wear it with more confidence.


At a fitting room earlier

There goes my updates. Back to work tomorrow and another deadline-beating day so I have to call it a night. And I must stick to my 60 to 30 mission.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

60 to 30: Fit to Fab

Today begins my commitment to blog daily, up to November 10, 2010 - a total of 60 days.

Today marks the start of life-changing, lifestyle-modifying to dos to improve my quality of life.

Actually, I am happy to share that I'm on my third week now of working out using instructional VCDs (yes, VCDs as I couldn't find workout kits in DVDs). I started with warm ups, the circuit routine, and cool downs last August 31. This is my numbers 3 and 4 to do before 2010 ends.

On September 4, I bought this Firm, Flat Abs in 4 weeks - the workout designed by Violet Zaki for Self magazine plus the Hip Hop Aerobics VCD. I tried them both  and yes I felt so energized after. Although, I keep working out with Zaki's fab abs workout as I find it really challenging and tummy-busting and sweat-inducing (boy, just the warm ups and I'm perspiring a lot already!)

Also, me, a dear friend, and a teammate from work did hip hop abs on September 2, and I am happy to report that I'm able to do the routines and yes I can dance hip hop! Looking forward to another hip hop abs session with them (and this dear friend committed to cook yummy dishes after our work outs!)

Yesterday, I made a reservation at  Toby's Sports for the Ab Rocket equipment. I read reviews about it and similar product, Total Core, and I found more encouraging reviews for the former. Plus, it fully supports the back and the neck which easily get strain doing those crunches and sit ups. I will pick it up on Thursday and hopefully, I will be able to extend my workout from every other day to daily.

What this obsession with fitness? It's not obsession, it's high time that for my age I workout/exercise regularly to improve my metabolism, strengthen my core, full blast my stamina, and yes, I want to get back to my previous, slim features (not exactly the weight as I am underweight then for my frame). So this is the start.

Apart from working out at home, I also like to jog again, as it is a different high when you jog out in an open field and see fellow joggers sweat and get fab.

I will keep you updated and see if my working out is making me fit and fab.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Descovrir's 10 "Must" Dos Before 2010 Ends

The following are my 10 must dos before 2010 ends ... and I will do them all - and I will succeed.

Health and Wellness
1. Meet the experts. I've met a couple of them and what they shared were both good and bad news. And be brave what they have to say about my concerns. And ask questions because this is my well-being.

2. Decide big. There seems one, most viable option but I am still scared about it, but I have to decide to do it on or before 2010 ends. I'll ask for more expert advice.

3. Get slim. Last June I weighed 128 lbs. When I tried again the weighing scale August 1, I was already 130 lbs. The following week - I'm already 132 lbs.! Hmm, there's a discrepancy there. In any case, I want to be slim again. Many thought I'd not put any weight but yes, I'm human, and I'm gaining weight.

4. Run and dance, dance and run. Aligned with No. 3, yes, I'll go back to jogging - this time, consistently. And by Tuesday, I'll start with hip hop abs upon a dear friend's invitation. Go, go, go!!!

Self
5. Pamper myself - often. I'm working hard and I deserve some pampering. So the scheduled trip to the salon, and add spa and manicure and pedicure. Consider also a trip to the dermatologist (because those pimples are having a good time congregating at the right corner of my nose, hmph).

6. Dress up. Literally, wear a dress. The compliments I got when I wore a dress (below) for a very special occasion was fuel for me to be dressy once in a while. But sorry, I'm still your jeans-kind-of-a-girl.



Writing
6. Write, write, write. I still write for my full-time job, but it's totally different from the kind of writing (and editing) I've been doing for years. That's why whenever there's an opportunity to be more creative in this area, I don't think twice about it and do it. And that's why also I'll be more religious in updating my blogs.

Passion
7. Back to the classics.  I miss the times writing about the arts and culture that's why, among with two buddies, we'll catch the opening salvo of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra this September 10. I also like to read more classics, from Shakespeare (I don't think I've ever read a whole work of him??? Shameful indeed) to more notable, critical works.

8. Be musical. Yes, there's this eureka moment (by a former work buddy) that we try learn a musical instrument. I've been looking around to check the prices for this, as well as available classes we could start taking. I just hope I'll be flexible enough to pull this off, as this is one area I've never done yet (well, singing, but I'm not that good a singer, ehem, ehem).

Money
9. Save to spend big. Yes, you read that right. Either it's a week-long travel out of the country as a birthday present to myself or have that as a seed money for a long-term investment. Good thing this area is doing well, and I intend to make more money to fulfill my other long-term money goals.

Love
10. Keep the faith. And continue to love. It's not ideal at the moment. But we're trying. I always pray that we'll be stronger, tougher, and more transparent about the situation.

There goes my Top 10 to do before 2010 ends. What about yours?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

DESCOVRIR'S PICK: THE KARATE KID




It was a positive movie.

And the laugh trip it was among moviegoers earlier.

And I felt good after watching it.

The Karate Kid (1984, 1986, 1989) is the movie of my youth, along with the songs that became popular with it like "The Moment of Truth," "You're the Best," and Peter Cetera's "Glory of Love." It's a movie you kept watching over and over for the feel good effect, that's why I looked forward to that same element, and the 2010 remake didn't disappoint.

The film, starring Jaden Smith (Ralph Macchio before) and Jackie Chan (Pat Morita then), borrowed from the Karate Kid I, considering the plot (Smith being bullied at school and found a mentor in Chan); the scenes (Chan trying to catch a fly with his chopsticks), the unconventional ways Chan teaches Smith (jacket on, jacket off, put it up, put it down - with an attitude).

From the Karate Kid II, the setting was Asian - when it was in Okinawa, Japan before for its setting (when Morita's character had to return to his hometown because of his ailing father and to face his old enemy), this remake makes China for the location.

Also, it has explored more the underdog and minority themes - with Smith being a black kid in a foreign, and hostile "home" (considering how he was bullied). And the subliminal plot of how China enforces how a power they could be - like how they raise kids to be "perfect" (Mei Ying, the girl Smith has a crush on, was pressured to be very good in violin), the bully kid, Cheng, was taught to show no pain, no mercy. But it was also funny to see how Mei Ying succumbed to the Lady Gaga fever, dancing better than Smith.

Also, I find this more "Asian" than the Karate Kid' franchise - it was set in China; the kung fu or the martial arts theme of this film was more alive (the scene where Smith entered a kung fu school and children being taught such discipline at a very young age, it was captivating).

Although, I looked forward to more scenes of Chan and Smith, like how Macchio was taught by Morita technique by technique (wax on, wax off, hand up, hand down, left hand small wooden plank, right hand big wooden plank, etc.) - here in this remake, it was a fast montage, only a music accompanying the scenes where Chan was teaching Smith, could have been more convincing if such have had dialogue in them, and the serene backdrop, were just that, backdrop.

I cried when after Chan smashed the car, Smith pulled him out of it with the bamboo sticks being pulled by them, Smith leading the way for Chan. Every movement was captured through their shadows and such was impressive.

Unexpectedly, it was Smith who delivered the most laughs. From the first time he met Cheng (where he stood up despite teary-eyed), to mimicking Chan to put up the jacket with a flick of the hands and an "attitude," to how the playback during tournament, when he was captured with such fighitng stance - and face with an attitude; and how he tries his hardest to do the cobra style, and was able to use it and won. Chan also had his funny moments (like how he panted after he tame the bully kids).

I found it disconcerting though that for the 12-year-old lead, only to reach puberty, he kissed Mei Ying, and toward the end of the film, he went to her house and told the father, in Chinese, he'd be the best friend his daughter would ever have - so, tween romance or what? I didn't like it also Chan sporting a funny walk, maybe to emphasize he is old - even Morita who was way older than Chan was walking straight.

The original's ending was lacking - Macchio walked away with the trophy and that was it. This remake, I found it more satisfying (see for yourself).

But like I wrote, it didn't disappoint. The soundtrack was nicely collated also - and I got a surprise when I was singing along the closing song, "Never Say Never," only to find in the credits that it was Justin Bieber singing!

I don't like Bieber himself, but for this song, I have to admit, it kicked up my optimism a notch higher. As the movie delivered, when life puts you down, there's no way to go but up, and yes, never say never.

And now, Justin Bieber is playing on my head ....

Sunday, June 06, 2010

DESCOVRIR'S PICK: SEX AND THE CITY 2



The interactive trailer


I was supposed to go to the supermarket.

But I thought what the heck, it's Saturday, and I deserved some time off - not to mention - "girl power," so even if it was to start at 6:30PM, I watched Sex and the City 2.

I didn't expect anything great in this movie. Earlier reviews say it's dragging and running on thin plot. For me, I watched it to feast my eyes on those gorgeous dresses, skirts, scarves, shoes, jewelry - stuff I'm not exactly into, especially if they're priced (with some hard-to-pronounce names) as Brian Atwood, Manolo Blahnik, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior, Halston, Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, etc.

I didn't follow the series but I get to watch it once in a while. The appeal of the movie and the whole franchise is that every lady gets to identify with the four leads - Carrie Bradshaw Preston (Sarah Jessica Parker); Samantha (Kim Cattrall); Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon).

For me, I'm a little Samantha in the sense that I get to do things that defy the odds and reject the conventions (her flashing a pack of condoms, in her short shorts and red, sexy top in front of Arab men was a strong statement and a taboo to that country - for which critics find offensive to the Muslim community and the Islam religion - I haven't done anything like that so far);

I'm a little Charlotte that in general, I'm prude and goody-two-shoes, and at times, I thrive at the comfort of home and family (except I'm not married to a Jew and I don't have two little girls that freak me out on occasions and I would probably ask Carrie to stay in her apartment for two days for my time off);

I'm a little Miranda in the sense that many times in my career I got to rock the boat of patriarchal norm in the corporate world, for which some found me to be threatening (and instead of "sshh-ing" back and flashing the "talk-to-the-hand" sign, I instead gave the last big, cheating boss I had with stilletoe stares and said out loud how he left the elevator stink with his cigarette smoke and bodily odor, ha)

Overall, I guess, I'm more of Carrie - I write for a living (her latest book about marriage was given a negative review by the esteemed The New Yorker, which I also read from time to time - and no, I haven't written a book yet, perhaps I should consider now, something about getting dumped and winning my man back).

Unlike Carrie who had been into relationships but only loves Mr. Big (Chris Noth), I have (I believe I still have) and will always have my one-and-only Mr. Big.

Watching Noth play Mr. Big only reminded me of my own Mr. Big.

For some reason, I find them to look a bit like the same (except my own Mr. Big looks more like John Cusack);

how they suavely talk and teasingly look at you;

how, during their on-and-off relationship, he displayed his being commitment phobic but in the end ran after Carrie and married her (well he's running away for close to two months now ...);

how he asked for the weekly, two days off for some of his alone time and so for Carrie and how she realized she's hurting with it when Charlotte asked about it (yes, my own Mr. Big has his own time off with video games);

how he prefers the couch and the TV as bonding time with Carrie (although I'm not as outgoing as Carrie);

I have no ex-boyfriend Aidan that I'd kiss in a moment of passion but my own Mr. Big is still distancing himself from me; but yes, like Carrie, I keep no secrets from him, that's how I believe relationships must be;

they, I believe, decided to have a marriage without children - my own Mr. Big wanted to have little Sebastian and Tristram before; but for what he said a poisonous society he got exposed to with his current work, he decided not to have any children anymore. For someone as fond with kids, I accepted that and willing to have a married life without children - so long as I'm with my Mr. Big;

Mr. Big made himself unavailable to Carrie after her confession about Aidan; he didn't pick up Carrie from the airport; but he came home and gave her a ring with black diamond and asked Carrie to repeat after him - for Carrie not to kiss any man other than her husband, and to stop worrying that they'd be a boring, old, married couple because they will never be - I will abide by that vow.

No posh New York apartment; no black diamond; my Mr. Big not as rich as the Mr. Big in the movie - but I will love any couch and any TV in the world - and watching old, black and white movies - as long as I'm with my Mr. Big.

That was the thought that filled me until the credits rolled.

It was not about the movie or seeing the now evidently wrinkling yet still fashionable ladies, but it was about finding solace and temporary comfort in seeing parts of myself through Sex and the City 2. Yes, movies are a form of escapism.

And yes, saved by the funny and witty lines mostly from Samantha, Miranda, and on occasions Charlotte ("I don't know ..." [with matching wide-eyed awe]) Liza Minneli's Beyonce's number, and the suave and classically handsome Mr. Big, the movie was too long for more than two hours. 

That instead of bringing home food to stock for a couple of days, I missed grocery-shopping (I stepped out the movie house almost 9PM), I bought home Jollibee spaghetti and palabok instead.

I blame Sex and the City 2 for that, ha.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

COUNTDOWN

It's June already - middle of 2010, a dreading, tear-filled month for me for sure.

Middle of the month I'll be starting to work full-time again, along with my other commitments that most of them I had for years. I'm just thankful I got these "distractions" of opportunities.

By next week, I am reminded of an occasion that last year I had an honor to spend with the celebrator - the hours of shredding the chicken; cutting Baguio beans; cutting carrots Julienne style to the actual cooking of vermicelli for that dear one's birthday was mortifying, but all sweat was worth it when it was consumed in a flash with French champagne to gulp it down. I'll be missing this opportunity to do this now, when I'm intending to experiment on Pad Thai ....

49 days now since I last saw my happiness;

37 days since the non-communication started over a technical issue that I'm not responsible of. I spent these 37 waking days crying, thinking what have I done; attempting to contact via SMS, e-mails, offline messages, but I was waiting in vain; 37 days of late nights spent on crying until tiredness lulled me to sleep;

11 days since I received that bomb of an e-mail telling me it's over - just like that: the 49 days since I last saw my happiness left me here in a more hopeful mode that 2010 will be our year; the 37 days that passed left me here questioning myself over something I had no idea of; of suspecting something's going on down there;

A day after that bomb I woke up with a throbbing headache and eyes very evident that they cried the whole night. I asked for a letter to process my going there to sort things out but no reply came. The more I cried. But I already requested permission from the boss for me to fly to Australia. I printed the forms already. Had my passport-sized photo taken for the visa application. Everything is sorted out except for that letter of invite.

Day 3 after that bomb, I met with a friend who has been comforting me since. To her I owe her my sanity. She said I should keep quiet for now, not make any contact, for the other party to think things over, to which I'm following strictly.

Day 6, the bomb sender suddenly came back online  after 37 days of absense, 37 days I'm wishing the presence was there. Either busy or away, that's always the online status. I'm tempted to drop a line but I am restraining myself. I'm spending the past days gathering strength, rationalizing things, making myself calmer, but not sure until when I can take it all.

If before I was hoping for that person to contact, now with that online presence, I am dreading what that person would ever say should that person decides to talk. My heart remains with love only for that person - and despite all this - I still love and will always love that person - but fear resides in me now. I don't know how much strength I have to absorb the truth.

But this blog post will be the start of my countdown to even things out. I'm no quitter. I believe in one true love and I believe I found that one true love in that person and that I will fight for it no matter what.

OPERATION 1 TRUE LOVE HAS NOW COMMENCED.

Day 1: attempt contact to other networks, see if they can help me with that letter which is a must.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DESCOVRIR'S PICK: LASIK

Lately, my vision - literally and figuratively - has been confounded with so many things.

But I have to attend to pressing matters before the "second best" pressing matters - by Thursday, I should go see my opthalmologist and have my eyes checked for new glasses and fresh boxes of contact lenses.

I look forward to the time I won't be wearing and getting irritated by contact lenses or looking nerdy with my eyeglasses. Lasik (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) or the laser eye surgery that helps shaped the cornea in case of severe myopia, is indeed, a very possible option for me. And I found this site, USAEyes of the non-profit LASIK patent advocacy organization, the Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance, very informative.

USAEyes has been helping patients for over a decade to know more about LASIK and its benefits. It's Web site (Health On the Net code compliant), USAEyes.org, packed information also about why Lasik may not be right for you, and shares vision correction surgery alternatives like PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik, RLE, and PIOL.

USAEyes also evaluates the Lasik results of individual doctors and certifies if they meet their exacting standards. It's also noteworthy to highlight that a US Congressional subcommittee cited USAEyes as a reliable source of Lasik information. Representatives of USAEyes have also testified before the FDA about Lasik patient advocacy.

USAEyes' CORE Patient Survey, meanwhile, reports real-world results as reported by Lasik patients. Patients use the USAEyes' Ask a Lasik Expert forum to ask and receive researched answers to their questions both before surgery and after.

USAEyes' 50 Tough Questions for Your Lasik Doctor can help anyone avoid a bad Lasik doctor, which information I find very useful.

USAEyes also received stellar recommendations from Newsweek, US News & World Report, CBS News, National Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fox News, Associated Press, MSNBC, and Oprah - such adds a boost to their credentials.

= = = = =
With this wealth of information regarding Lasik, going to see a Lasik doctor for initial consultation would be a breeze for me, and thus, prepare me in the future to receive a clearer gift of sight.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HAIR'S (LIFE'S) A MESS



Yes, I can't hide it anymore - I'm depressed, bored, to a point I'm occasionally a ruthless bitch and always hot-headed. Probably the meds I'm taking are also contributing for the gloom and doom I'm feeling now. Not to mention my allergy hit me again. Every week and I'm sick.

Earlier this afternoon, and blame the really hot summer days we're having, I went to the salon for a hair cut. Normally I would say trim slightly and keep it layered to achieve a medium-length hair. But no, I said to the stylist, cut my hair the shortest possible, so with his pairs of scissors and combs, he decided what to do with my hair.


And off he cut it, until I noticed the thin, lengthy part that would be my hair style now. I had this before, when my hair was so long and most of it was chopped to a bob that I looked like an anime character with a long, thin, tail. This time, I think it's OK, except, I should said what I want - that is, my normal and safe layered hair style - than let the stylist decide for me. So, I'll shoulder the consequences of my action for the coming months.


Women said to cut their hair when they're feeling low. I don't believe in this crap but hell I think I did it. I was thinking of something else to do, like get hit by a truck so my family could claim my insurance ASAP. But I'm still a coward to do such a drastic thing like that. Well, who knows, one of these days, I'd just end up dead.

Not so being brag about it, many like my hair for it's straight, black, and most of the time, it looks great. And except for one time that our house help had this permed when I was 5 or 6, and my mother cut the permed, curly part, I never had my hair chemically treated - but my hair was at my mercy today. My hair was burdened with all the pangs and pains and frustrations and emotions ruling me for a month now. Not only my hair, but my physical and well-being is compromised now. But my hair, oh my hair took all the beating now.

Anyhow, I did it, I let someone decide how I would look like now and in the coming months. What happened this afternoon at the salon was only a reflection of how my life has been for a month now - that I'm not well because I'm not being treated well by someone I look forward to treat me well, to treat me right. That someone's absence is ruling my existence that I feel so contemplative if it's still worthy for me to exist or not. That when you entrust someone with your hair, or with your life for that matter, be prepared that either that someone would give you the most flattering hair cut you deserve or that someone could just make a mess out of your life. Either or both, you only got yourself to blame.


And I blame myself for what my hair looks like now. And I blame myself for the way I'm living my life now. If only shampoo and conditioner could make my life pretty now ....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Judgment Day

So, the naysayers were silenced now (or they still have something to say in the coming days).

The May 10, 2010 national and local elections generally went on peacefully, except for the glitches reported associated with the PCOS machine. While I'm blogging this, I'm listening to former COMELEC chairperson Christian Monsod and his wife, TV host and UP Economics professor Winnie analyze today's national happenings.

The COMELEC says there's 75% of voter turnout - but as the Monsods are saying over GMA 7's Eleksyon 2010 coverage, we haven't counted yet those who were disenfranchised (those who showed up to vote only to find out they were disqualified or their names are not in the list in the precincts they went to); the ballots that have been rejected by the PCOS machine (because the oval was not shaded properly [it's oval, not bilog na hugis itlog, please]; smudged ink, folded ballot, or ballot that got wet [mostly from sweat as voters really waited two hours or more just to vote]).

All we can hope for is to wait and see. And the following are the images I captured on this judgment day:

4:12pm. First stop: Cielito Zamora HS basketball court still filled with a huge number of either voters or poll watchers or volunteers


Filipinos seemingly always like to do things in a rush - these men are still looking for their names & precincts at past 4pm


Voters still in line to vote

Saturday, May 01, 2010

LAST

Friday, April 30 was my last day from my job - a step I thought would define my career if only for some people and the circumstances they created made it not what I thought it should be ... the matter is too complicated to discuss now that it's better to leave it as it is - for now. Suffice to say I'm glad I'm done with it (and speaking on behalf of others, I think they feel the same).

I thought it was my last day early Friday morning - all I remember I was so shaken from the impact. I was crying incontrollably and was only mentioning one name and one name only. When I pacified, I couldn't find myself - where to go or where to pick myself up. Several asked me that they'd call the person I was mentioning, but I silently refused. Eventually I found my way going home. Now, I'm under medications and woke up after almost 24 hours.

I'm wishing that incident just got me instead. Much as I try to be whole, but all I'm thinking about is if I really did something wrong that's why I'm getting this very cold treatment. And being alone - from the MRT ride to going to bed - it's really unbearable this time considering the circumstances. My heart is fighting but my body is giving up on me. I don't know until when I can hold on ....

I still had to show up to work yesterday to wrap things up, even if my aching body, my hurting ego, my sanity running thin refused to do anything. I'm glad I did. I indeed have a good laugh. Although it was spoiled toward the end of the day when something inhumane happened again, something very unforgivable ....

I'm up to another challenge by next week. It is a blessing indeed. I should be really looking forward to it but I can't really focus now when something's bothering me. And tonight, it seems like I'd be waiting in vain again ....

I'm glad others have a better weekend than what I'm having now - enjoy it while it lasts.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

DESCOVRIR'S PICK: LE BISTRO VERT

Sustainability is more than just a buzz word - it is acting up to live responsibly and take care of the environment.

You need not be directly involved in a corporate social responsibility activity or get staunch and be a "green" activist. Even through your own choice of dining, you can do your share to put sustainability into action. And this is what LeBistroVert is advocating.

LeBistroVert (from French, "The Green Bistro"), is located at Streetside, Fraser Place Tower,
Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City


It offers a wide array of healthy, novel dishes


It even grows its own herbs


Another pot of herb


And this is me having a forkful of Tuyo Fillet and Chili Pesto Penne

Thursday, April 08, 2010

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT

"Little Japanese tourist" - that's how Robin calls me every time I would borrow his 6 megapixel Canon Digital Ixus 60.

When it was my first time in Australia (specifically, Melbourne), I was trigger happy clicking away – anything from street signs, edifices, his trusty 1966 Chrysler Valiant car, etc. Bulk of my photos then was the food I had with Robin and on occasions that we had dinner with his friends. I blogged about it once, and it just made me so sentimental, especially on occasions that Robin cooked for me.

Last night, we decided to have Korean dinner. We walked to Paseo Center in Makati and settled for Kaya. Robin ordered six dishes! What I remembered was I asked for Japche (I like Pad Thai better); we had fried dumplings (that tastes like gyoza and was so yummy); Kimchi was so hot; the squid in garlic sauce was so garlicky; and two more pork dishes that I forgot what they’re called.

They were of small servings but good, and Robin was amazed how the waiter took our order without repeating them to us or listing them! And he got it all right. And Robin likes his San Miguel Pale Pilsen very much (cheaply priced for a good beer, he says).

Part of the conversation was about why I’m so fond of taking photos, especially the food that we eat, and I said, “for sentimentality purposes – I like to remember that on this day and date, I had this lunch and dinner with you.” I even said I felt like taking photos of our orders but felt quite shy also because there were many diners then (and that saved him from embarrassment, heh).

After, we walked to Greenbelt 5 to Gelatissimo because Robin was craving for ice cream (sheesh, we really pigged out last night!). He ordered a big cone of one of those Chocolate flavored ice cream and Honey Truffle Latte (I think). For that big cone, he was supposed to get three flavors! And the two flavors he ordered couldn’t fit anymore and was starting to drip away already! I settled for a small cup of pana cotta.

And off we went back to the apartment while Robin was racing against time – enjoying his Gelatissimo before the foot path gets to enjoy it, heh. He was a big boy enjoying his ice cream (he said its ice cream not gelato because it’s so milky) and I was just so happy to look at him and asked if I could take a photo of him licking his ice cream. He said, no, and I just smiled away.

Tuesday night, we also had a long walk from Mom & Tina’s (a cozy bakeshop and restaurant just after Paseo De Roxas in Legaspi Village) for him to meet my colleagues. And walked to Brothers Burgers just to let him try how different it is from his Urban Burger in Melbourne. He said, it was OK, but the size was small. And I didn’t have a photo of him again eating his Double Brother’s Burgers (and the fries was disappointing, he said).

Now he would be surprised that it’s not so Japanese or Filipino to take photos of what they eat. Wait until he sees this article from The New York Times.

Now, I wonder what we’re going to have for lunch or dinner and if I could snap away some photos then? Hmm …

Monday, April 05, 2010

GIFT

Despite being delayed for four hours due to flight cancellation;

Despite waiting another hour to finally see each other at the chaotic airport;

Despite more than nine months of being apart;

My gift has arrived.

And I feel the most blessed woman in the world to be with my "mahal," Robin.

I am determined to enjoy every second we will be spending together for the coming days.

And no one can take away the happiness I am enjoying now.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PUSH

The world is INDEED unfair.

You try to be the best person you can be and yet there are those who could ruin you in a flash.

You can keep quiet about it and accept that such kind of beings dictate a crucial part of your life OR you can pool resources, gather strength, and find unity in numbers to end such tyranny.

Perhaps though, you have been destined to be oppressed for you to see that oppression INDEED doesn't work.

Fear maybe there for a while but it won't last. NOW YOU MUST VOW NOT TO OPPRESS ANYONE. Free yourself of the burden and move on to charter a greater path.

They also say the world is round. And what goes up must come down. And there is karma. And reversal of fortune to your favor won't happen though if you don't push for it.

But if you decide to push, push wisely.

And even if it is not exactly you to push the tide to your favor, there will be the one out there to end it all. Pray - and help if possible - for that one to do his or her mission.

Again, if you decide to push, push wisely.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'll be more

If you think you're smart, I'll be smarter

If you think you're kind, I'll be kinder

If you think you're fair, I'll be fairer

If you think you're just, I'll be more than just

If you think you're humane, I'll be more humane

If you think you're considerate, I'll be more considerate


If you think you're in power, so be it. But I'll not get drunk in whatever power I have.

If you think you're God, YOU'RE NOT. And I'll not think - and act - I'm God.

And if you think you're good, I'll be better. Because no one wants to be like you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"LIfe is short. Wear pants." He was wearing shorts instead.

My fondest memory of Ronald (RJ or Nald to his friends) was when he was wearing shorts - pambahay shorts.

He was wearing a cap, a big white shirt (it looked like one of those corporate giveaway shirts), and his shorts that was with animal (leopard) prints (it wasn't manly for sure).

Nald came to my aid one Sunday in U.P., some two years ago, as I asked him to buy me a cheap pair of slippers since my rubber shoes gave up on me in my first attempt to jog.

When I saw him approaching, carrying a plastic with a pair of black and red combo slippers (it was cute, the guy had a taste) he bought from the Philcoa overpass hawkers (if I remember it right), I was laughing and profusely apologizing to him. It only took a phone call (and he called me back) for him to never mind he was in his pambahay attire (which he kept repeating to me that day, to paraphrase him, "ikaw pa lang Lynda nakapagpaunta sa akin dito sa U.P. ng nakapambahay ako."

U.P. fun
The adventures in U.P. didn't end there. Since I had classes that time, we sometimes met and just walked around the campus (with him complaining of the long walks). We would raid the quaint bookstores in the Shopping Center (and that corner bookstore near the post office); we would buy fruit shakes; and he accompanied me (after my years of studying in U.P.) for my first time isaw and barbeque trip.

One time we met with our former professor and chatted a bit. When that professor asked, "kayo ba?" Sure Nald had a quick rebuttal, something like, "hindi ko papatulan `yang si Lynda." To which I replied the same. And our professor just laughed at us.

Once, after I jogged, we met for a sisig dinner somewhere in Katipunan (through his influence I instantly gained back the calories I tried to shed that day) and off we went for a coffee chat over shows like Fringe and House M.D., among other things that matter to him (further studies in film, having a girlfriend, landing a more secured job, saving for the future).

One time, while walking past the Sunken Garden, he saw a lonely P50.00 lying on the ground, and he exclaimed with child-like glee, "Lynds, 50 pesos, oh!" We funnily debated whether to pick it up or what - in the end, he picked it up (think we spent that buying isaw or fruit shake), while he had this monologue, appealing to my conscience, saying that P50.00 might be a lunch meal of pancit canton and monay of the poor owner who lost that money. It was just funny that day.

At times, he would call unexpectedly - like after he read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (that I haven't started reading at that time). Or we would get to chat via Yahoo or exchange posts in Plurk.

Officemate first
Such recent times with him were a lot to recall. To think we met back in 2005 and became colleagues - the first time I saw him (when I was still applying with the company), I thought he was that old (coming from the main door, his cubicle was first before what became my cubicle) because he was too tall sitting there in that cube, lines forming on his forehead (might be busy finishing an article), and he was wearing his long-sleeves, rolled up.

He turned out to become a friend - whom we bonded over sisig of Rada St.;

which another friend of us reminded that Monday night that sisig lunches was her fond memory of Nald (at times he would go for sinigang with patis);

for MRT rides going home (and how he cleverly stole that Biogesic mock-up in one of those safety handles there at the train, and the next day showed it to another officemate, and it was such a source of fun);

how would I beg to him to accompany me home during the few times I spent late night with him and other friends;

how we didn't talk for days because he was so makulit, trying to get a peek over my pay slip;

how he was quick to find a photo of then singer Timmy Cruz and posted it in his blog entry about our celebrity look-alikes (eehh);

how we improvised that skit for the Christmas party presentation (he sang then I think, ha ha) just for the hell of it, we didn't win, and the humiliation was lighter because it was fun "performing" with him.

Fun cut short
I shared with Nald some of the lightest, funniest moments I had in recent years. Sure did he share a lot to those who knew him longer than I did (I could imagine his mother and brother living with his kakulitan and kakornihan)."

Life is short. Wear pants. "It was one of his lasts Facebook wall posts sometime before 2009 ended. Now the fun is cut short because we lost Nald.

It was unbelievable. I still couldn't believe it even another friend of ours was telling me over the phone, breaking in sobs, that Sunday afternoon of January 1, "na wala na si Nald."

He was calling me days after my 29th b-day (he never failed to call on my birthday, only last year, and when he probably realized it, he was calling me). But I didn't answer his call (I don't know what I was doing then, perhaps I didn't feel like having some catching up). Our latest communication was SMS exchanges during Christmas and New Year, and he also was reacting to my Plurk posts. Who ever thought that last Sunday (incidentally my late father's 62nd b-day), that he would bid good bye to this world?

I am filled with regrets for not answering that belated birthday call. But when I saw him Monday night, in his wake (as his remains were at the, how ironically, Eternal Life chapel), he seemed smiling. He looked serene. He was like assuring us, his crying friends, that it was OK, that he did his mission on his 29 years in this world: to make us all laugh especially during our lowest times.

And sure it was mission accomplished. And I'll never forget him in his pambahay shorts.

Ronald James Panis, maraming salamat sa tawanan at kulitan. Maraming salamat at naging kaibigan ka naming lahat.