Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tempus is Fugiting very Fast --

Whirlwind -- that's the word that comes to mind. I haven't really had the chance to sit down and write for a while.

I'm still trying to adjust to school starting -- odd, though, that I am supposed to have a lot of free time because of my sked (MWF 130 to 430) but I'm always tired and I seem to always have something on my "To Do" pile.

I'm loving my classes (it is a bit early to say this and I may regret it later) -- I am so proud of myself and how I managed the first two weeks. I am really looking forward to having this grand plan in my head come to fruition (and am hoping my students will cooperate)

I was, once again, assigned BS Majors (MGT and MGT-H and the sciences) -- I don't know why. I guess they think my flakiness will balance out how uptight and OC my classes are. (They seem to be fun people, btw -- very capable, smart and fun.)

Yesterday, I attended the Freshmen Parent Orientation at Henry Lee Irwin. Highlight of my day: Fr Nebres comes into the auditorium and sits in the very front row and slouched in his seat just so he could get a better angle of the screen. There I was, in the second row, trying to maintain proper seating posture and our beloved President is slouching in the row ahead. I thought that was cool of him.

I really enjoyed each school's presentation. One could really see the difference in each school's approach. The School of Humanities prepared a really touching, emotional presentation about what it means to be human (and it ended with a tribute to Dr Pesigan, who died recently) -- I was teary-eyed. The JGSom had a really flashy CSI-inspired presentation that presented statistics of their student population. The School of Science and Engineering had a really clean Flash presentation where Dr Cuyegkeng started talking about Josef Kamel SJ (and dropping names like Carl Linnaeus) and she talked about all the sophisticated instruments that the Ateneo has. The School of Social Sciences had a really simple (powerpoint-y) presentation but it had a startling social commentary. After each slide (presenting their programs), they inserted a slide that made a comparison of costs from 1988 to 2005. (For example, Ateneo tuition in 1988 was around 6k and now it's almost 32k!)

After the Parents Orsem, I met up with Johann and we went to Libis to purchase some of our furniture. It was a super-quick trip because we had a 1pm appointment with Njork for fittings.

On our way home, we encountered massive, massive traffic in the Greenhills area, and there were a LOT of firetrucks all rushing to be somewhere. We were looking around for where the fire could be, but we couldn't see any. We knew it was a major fire because there were firetrucks coming in from all directions. (We later discovered that Theater Mall caught fire and some bits of Shoppesville also got affected.)

* * *

R.I.P. my PC --

Early yesterday morning, I tried to turn on my PC and it didn't. I've been having some problems with it and I thought it had been fixed already, but apparently, it isn't.

My beloved thesis is in there. =( I'm not so worried, though -- it's a hard drive problem and my bro told me that there is a way for me to access my thesis (master/slave thingy in my pc) so I'll be doing this today.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Weekend --

Late lunch at Grill Asia along Tomas Morato. Food was really good. (The great thing with dining with a lot of people is that you get to try more dishes.)

This was a full plate of spring rolls. They're really generous with the filling -- the shrimp was yum.

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Malay Pork with really, really, really yummy peanut (satay) sauce. The pork is marinated in curry and then grilled.

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A bowl of Mongolian Rice (good for 2 to 3 people) plus inihaw pork, cooked and served in a really interesting, delicious way.

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And a pic of me -- (with Johann and friends, Pia and Neal)

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I like my top. Johann and I found it in the super-bargain rack (70% off!) of Esprit in Singapore. ^_^

* * *

Ending the Singapore Chronicle --

On our last evening (Saturday), Johann and I decided to revisit Esplanade, because my brother told us that it looks really beautiful at night.

It is also the time for the Singapore Arts Festival and, every weekend, there are groups staging various performances. We really didn't linger to watch any of the performances but took the opportunity to walk around and visit the Esplanade Mall.

We found ourselves here. Popcorn Pop! It's a store that sells movie memorabilia -- this place has EVERYTHING and we were trying to decide which posters and leaflets (from Japan) to purchase. The store owner was very kind and could sense our confusion -- he asked us what we were planning with the poster and he pointed us towards other options. We ended up purchasing a set of In the Mood for Love postcards, which we will have framed here. They had buttons and keychains and the Harry Potter scarves.

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The next day, we had a 750am flight out of Singapore (this is the downside of choosing the cheaper airlines -- one flight in, one flight out). We left the hotel at 5ish (and missed breakfast) and took a cab to Changi. Johann and I had fun exploring the duty-free shops at the airport. ^_^

Saturday, June 18, 2005

PCK the Musical --

This was actually the reason why we went to Singapore in the first place -- to watch PCK the Musical.

This was the highlight of day 3 (June 10) -- the theater was packed with people (because PCK is a really popular sitcom in Singapore). I was proud of having gotten really good seats. ^_^ At first, I felt a bit guilty because I didn't get the "best" (read: most expensive seats) but, when we got to the theater, it turns out we did. The most expensive seats were closer to the stage, but it was also on flat ground. We felt sorry for many of the kids who sat behind big, hulking grownups. Our seats were facing the stage and we were on an elevation so we got to see EVERYTHING. ^_^

My bro has a good review of our evening and pictures of the area surrounding the Singapore Indoor Stadium in his journal.

* * *

Day 4, June 11 --

Johann and I reserved Sunday for just us. (It was date day in a different country. ^_^) Being the romantics that we are, we decided to go to IKEA to get the lamp I was eyeing for our condo. =^_^=

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At first we went a bit crazy and put everything pretty in our cart. And then we realized we had to take the bus back and had to walk a good distance from the bus stop to the hotel. We decided to be mature about it and talked about key pieces -- we ended up with a table lamp and a ceiling lamp.

After IKEA, we missed our busstop and ended up at the terminal in Suntec City. The original plan was to leave everything in the hotel and then go to Suntec. Since we were there, we decided to go around na.

I was shopping for work clothes and had been disappointed the past few days because I couldn't find any that were decent and comfortable enough -- and then I found IORA. The guy who served me was sooooo galing! He took one look at my figure and started suggesting clothes. I fit them and LOVED them!

We also passed by Gelare and I was dying to have a break -- Johann said he was only buying ice cream if it was Pistachio. Goody for us, they did have pistachio! Hurrah!

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It was yummy!

After Suntec, we went through Citylink and then to Raffles Shopping Center. Late lunch was at the Food Junction on the top floor. This Food Junction had a really great Dimsum stall. I love their siopao!

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<-- What I ordered. -_-

Johann had a Char Kway Tiao -- the fried Singaporean Noodle. We were happy to finally taste the original.

We decided to eat light *koff koff* so that we could have dessert. We ordered the Ice Kachang -- Singapore's "official" dessert. It is finely shaved ice that is flavored and topped with sweet corn.

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When you get to the bottom of the bowl, you are treated with red bean and nata and black jelly --

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... to be continued!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

We interrupt the current chronicle of my trip to Singapore to tell you about two really great movies I saw in the past two days --

1. A documentary called Spellbound, which I got when I was in Singapore. It follows the preparation of 7 students vying for the National Spelling Bee Championships in the US.

It was spellbinding. ^_^

Conversation Johann and I had during the movie:
From the movie: (The word to be spelled is) "Cabotage"
Johann: Grabe! How do they expect the kid to spell that?
Me: It's easy -- it's a cabbage with a "tage"


2. Batman Begins

We had a long, long day taking care of wedding-related errands and we were glad that we were able to catch the 410pm show at Theater Mall Cinema 5.

This movie made me want to cry. This movie made me want to smile.

It was just so beautiful. ~sniff~

I'm watching it again this weekend.

* * *

And --

Christian Bale is so gwapo! >_<

I've loved this guy since Empire of the Sun! (I even suffered through Newsies for him! >_<)

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...My heart is all aflutter ^_^

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Day 3, June 10 --

After breakfast, Johann and I decided to walk around the block and we found ourselves wandering into the Singapore Philatelic Museum. (My J is a stamp collector.) There was a Hans Christian Anderson exhibit so we paid the S$3 entrance and went our merry way.

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This is my J being silly and cute --

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Can I fill Hans Christian Anderson's shoes?

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We also went around the main exhibit and got a kick out of one particular area. It's a booth that says "How would you look on a stamp?"

The answer is here and here.

Friday was Daisho and IMM day -- these are malls found in the outskirts of Singapore. This is really where the locals go to shop. Daisho is this huge store from Japan where everything is for 100 Yen -- the Singapore equivalent is S$2.

My brothers went crazy purchasing Origami paper and other Japanese-related items. I just bought a cutting mat.

We ate at the Crunchy Carrot for lunch -- a mini-food court. The roasted duck was amazing! The skin was crunchy and the meat was tender (and not so gamey).

After the excursion, Johann and I decided to go and find my Print Gocco supplier. We had to go down several stations after Daisho and take a bus to a place called Jalan Rimah Tinggi.

I love the bus system in Singapore. ^_^

We had no problems getting to the place but we had some problems looking for the "store" -- Singapore is organized into housing blocks so one's address would read Block Number + Road + Floor Number-Flat Number.

When we found the address, no one was there. ~sigh~ Bye bye Print Gocco. I guess I'll have to order my kit online.

Monday, June 13, 2005

My personal Singapore --

Her personal London included libraries, theaters, museums, parks and a few homes whose memory she treasured for having been the setting of bedroom adventures.
- Gregory Maguire, Lost

Looking at the pictures from Singapore, I am not surprised that most of them feature me (or my sibs or Johann) eating. If you look at my luggage, you will find that we all bought mostly books.

Singapore has always been about the bookstores and about the food. This trip was no different.

Day 1, June 8 --

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This is the gourmet baguette we ordered on board Jetstar. It was really crunchy bread with grilled chicken with tomatoes and mozzarella. Johann and I split it because we weren't really that hungry (and we were both too excited to eat anyway ^_^)

We arrived in Singapore at 4 and took the MRT to our hotel. We checked in and had our first meal at the Food Junction in Funan. The Food Junction is a food court with branches in many of the major malls. The number of foodstalls vary, depending on the size of the food court.

After an early dinner, we took the MRT to Bugis Junction and brought Johann and my sister to the smaller Kinokuniya bookstore.

One of the first things to catch Johann's attention was this column -- guess why. ^_^

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Beside Kinokuniya was a comic book store called Absolute Comics. They have an amazing back issues selection. Absolute Comics is heaven for comic book collectors. Was so tempted to get a copy of Image's Four Letter Words . One of the things that makes me go "wow" in this store is their selection of bundled single issues for a particular series. They had the complete Preacher in singles and Johann was interested in getting The Intimates -- 7 issues for S$30.

Day 1 ended with a trip to 7-11. We purchased a very interesting rootbeer and a bag of chips.

Day 2, June 9 --
The plan for our first full day in Singapore was to go to Orchard Road. We discussed our itinerary over breakfast at Coleman's, Peninsula-Excelsior's cafe.

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One of my travel habits is to indulge in toast smothered in butter and jam -- the breakfast buffet was amazing -- they even had French Toast, which I love, love, love. ^_^

Since we finished breakfast early, we decided to go to Esplanade (to do some tourist-y things ^_^)

There was an art exhibit along the walkway going to Esplanade --

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The Esplanade is lovely, it's a recently-built cultural center:

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There are also restaurants outside and you can eat al fresco -- the view is lovely --

Our first stop in Orchard was Kinokuniya -- the Kinokuniya in Ngee An City. You can get lost in the books here -- we decided to split up and gave each other 2 hours to go around. I went to the stationery/office supplies section. ^_^

My big purchase in Kino was a catalog of T-shirt designs from Japan. (I want to be able to create the same funky designs! >_<)

On our way to Borders (yes, another bookstore), we passed by the Ice Cream Vendor --

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and decided to take a quick ice cream break. Believe it or not, this was my first time to try out Singapore's "dirty" ice cream --

For S$1, you can choose to have your ice cream on a cone, or between two pieces of wafer or on bread. We chose bread. Yum.

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* * *

This is curious --

What comes to mind when you see this?

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I bet you it's not this --

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It's a place that sells bean treats -- I love their red bean pancake (which reminded me of bibingcrepe) and my bro loves the drinks there.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

All Hail Me --

Hahahaha! Couldn't resist it -- the crown looked so cute. My first choice was the witch's hat, but my hair didn't look good in it.

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And I made this one of my hunny --

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Make one here!
I've packed my bags and I'm ready to go --

So I'll be going to Singapore tomorrow and will be back on the 12th.

If you need to contact me, I'll be using my Globe mobile number.

I'm really excited -- I couldn't sleep last night. I wonder if I'll be like this the night before my wedding... ^_^;;;

Sunday, June 05, 2005

~ Damned Power Outtage ~

Had a really lovely food post and then the power went out -- and the "Recover Post" link isn't recovering my post. =(

Anyhoo --

Take 2 --

Down the rabbit hole and into a time warp --

After mass, Johann and I went to Greenhills to pick up his comics. We were deciding were to eat and we ended up in Aristocrat. We were curious about the Pork BBQ and Java Rice that Dessert First talked about in her blog.

We ordered a Combo B (2 pcs Chicken BBQ and 1 stick Pork BBQ) and asked for an extra order of Java Rice. We were not disappointed. Everything was delicious! The Java Rice was perfect -- the grains were separate and it was so moist and flavorful. It was rice done right. The meats were all very tender as well.

What was interesting is the lack of condiments provided. Most restaurants would have the soy sauce and the vinegar already on the table. Aristocrat only has a bottle of soy sauce. I guess this is because everything is already quite delicious and needs no enhancement.

We saved the charred chicken skin for last and it was yummy! Well worth the calories. ^_^

Believe it or not, today was my first time there EVER. Going down the stairs to the entrance, Johann remembered that the last time he was there was in the late 80s with his parents. Once you enter the restaurant, it's like stepping into the past. The decor is retro and the music played is also quite dated. I guess it's part of the experience (Intended or not) --

I would love to post pictures of our plates but I forgot to bring my camera.

I'm curious about how Aristocrat will be affected by the on-going face lift of Greenhills Shopping Center.

* * *

For Ben & Jerry fans --

Rustan's Fresh has a sale on SELECTED flavors of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream. My brother picked up a pint of Peanut Butter Cup at 50% off. Guess you can ask the people there which flavors are sold at the discounted price.
For Gabs and for everyone else who measures life in love --

RENT (trailer)

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Tagged by Cupkeyk --

Total Number of Books Owned:
If you count everything that is here and in Iloilo -- a LOT. My sister and I are avid book readers and we get obsessive over authors (when we like one work of that author, we try to get everything he/she has written).

Last Book I Bought:
Last Wednesday, my J and I bought Kevin Crossley-Holland's Arthur: The Seeing Stone at Booktopia.

Last book I remember buying for myself is Mike Gayle's Turning Thirty. Before that, it was two thesis-related books.

Last Book I Read:
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith novel adaptation by Matthew Stover
Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle

Currently reading: Michaela Roessner's The Stars Dispose

Five Books That Mean a Lot to Me that I Really Like:
1. Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman
A birthday present from a friend a few years back. Was so amazed with how beautiful words can be. For a brief moment, this book gave me a glimpse of the divine.

2. My Legendary Girlfriend by Mike Gayle
A Christmas present from two friends from the store. Funny thing was, it was given to me in December and I only read it three months later. It's as if Mike Gayle spoke to me. Lent this book to my J and it helped him get through a bad patch of his life. He lent it to his friend and it helped him get through a bad patch of his life. Feel good book. Lots of quotable quotes.

3. Possession by A.S. Byatt
Am so proud to say that I read this book! So many wonderful memories tied to this. I remember how DM delayed the report for this so that everyone could finish reading it. I remember talking to Mika about this and how it started a really good conversation about The Virgin Suicides and all things literary. I remember being so excited to watch the movie adaptation with my sister.

4. Endless Vow: The Zen Path of Soen Nakagawa by Kazuaki Tanahashi
Strangely enough, it was Eric Torres who gave me this book. At a time when my life needed direction and an anchor to hold me steady, this book was my constant companion.

5. Merchant of Marvels and the Peddler of Dreams by Frederic Clement
Sophomore year, a birthday present from my brothers. Sadly, I lost this book in the Rizal Study Foyer. I remember being so amused because my brothers had such a hard time finding a gift for me. My sibs have always said that I am the hardest person to get a gift for because a.) When I like something, I get it immediately and b.) My tastes change quickly.

They found this book which tells of fantastic items and magical objects -- and that's what they gave to me.

6. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
I love Mahar for this, for sharing this wonderful book with me.

Tag 5 People and Have Them Fill This Out:
- My J -- grabe, this boy has so damned many books! (Since we got together, siguro this boy has added a hundred books to his collection)
- Mahar
- Gabs
- Mase
- Eric

* * *

4 Days to Go! --

Gads, I am so excited! >_<

I've packed na. Hahahahahahaah!

Can't wait to go to Singapore. Hurrah! ^_^

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Where to begin? --

Maybe here:
Total volume of music files on my computer:
Zero -- my pc's been giving me problems so I brought it to Greenhills and had it fixed. By "fixed" I mean reformatted.

Prior to the reformatting, I kept a small collection of a capella versions of songs and as many versions of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" that I could find.

Last CD I bought:
Garden State OST

Planning to buy:
Joss Stone's 2nd album (yes, I know this has been out for some time now--)
William Shatner's album (the one where he collaborates with Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five)
Rushmore & Life Aquatic OST

Song playing right now:
In my head? For some strange reason, it's the theme to Legends of the Fall. (But I'm watching Top Gun on HBO --)

I usually don't turn on the speakers when I'm at my PC.

Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me:
Crash Into Me by Dave Matthews Band -- so many memories and voices tied to this song. For the longest time, this was the ONLY DMB song I listened to -- but I have grown to love his music.

Pachelbel's Canon in D

True Colors (performed by Reverse) -- Freshman Year, Freshmen Night -- the theme song of my college years

Shimmer by Fuel -- because some guy made a music video for FLCL using this song

I Love You by Sarah Mclachlan -- *sigh* ^_^

Pure Snow by Yuko Sasaki -- I brought this song with me to Cambridge the summer I was there. Have you seen the opening sequence of Himiko Den using this song? Ganda!

Five people I’m passing this to:
my J
my Taru-taru bro

* * *

And then here --

June 1:
I was planning to register last Wednesday. I called Ateneo in the morning to confirm the grad school sked -- it was a good thing I did. It turns out, June 1 was only for regform distribution. Actual registration was from June 2 to 4.

Decided to have my PC fixed. My sister and I brought it to Greenhills at 11ish and they told us to come back in 2 hours so we walked around Greenhills to kill time. Had lunch at Popeye's because my sister wanted to try it. The rootbeer float was yum (a very cheap alternative to the one I usually get from Pancake House).

I also discovered that the top of the outfit I was going to wear to a wedding this Saturday was too tight. (Before people start thinking I gained weight, I didn't -- I wasn't able to fit the top when I got it. It was fine during the first fitting and they just wanted to fix some looseness in the back area -- they overcorrected.)

Quickly brought it to Njork for alterations and I'll pick it up on Saturday when I got for my 3rd gown fitting.

At around 6, my J and I went back to Greenhills to watch Sin City at the newly-opened cinemas.

* * *

Revolving Glass Doors --

I walked into the side of this at the Promenade in Greenhills. My J tried to warn me but my brain shut down and allowed me to discover that my face can produce a new look of shock.

The new theaters are amazing! The seats are so comfy! Sin City was a great movie (but we did not appreciate the clumsy editing/censoring of the movie).

I love Clive Owen! >_<

* * *

And then here --

June 2:
The day started out "bleh" -- I purposely went in for reg late (it starts at 8 and I went in at 830) only the find that the people in charge of reg in my department would arrive later.

Had to sit and wait for my coordinator to come in to give me my advisement slip.

She finally came in at 9ish and then we all discover that my file folder is missing. Yes, the record of my 5 years in grad school is gone.


Had to wait until 930 for her to see me.

Finished reg at 1020.

Met up with my J at Eastwood where we visited Booktopia. That place has a really great selection of books -- found a HC copy of My Legendary Girlfriend and some interesting anthologies.

We decided to complete our Gift Registry by going to Automatic Center in Glorietta 4. We first stopped by Galleria for some errands.

* * *

Can you say "Ole!"? --

We had already decided to eat at La Piadina but the resto beside it caught our eye -- Otra Cosa, a Mexican place that had opened the day before.

The food was yummy! And there were so many things on their menu which we want to try next time. ^_^

When we were there, the most popular item being ordered was their Chili Cheeseburger, which looked really, really good.

My J had the Coach Rick Platter and I had the sample platter of Flautas, Quesadilla and Nacho Chips.

* * *

It's a small (blog/google) world after all --

After all the errands of the day, we found ourselves in Greenhills. I decided to get my hair cut (so I don't have to go out today) --

On our way down from The Jewellery, two women were going up and they were looking at me and whispering. I thought they were college batchmates whose faces I had forgotten. I smiled and she smiled.

She said, "You're the ones with the blog."

We said, "Yes."

Apparently, she's also a bride-to-be and she was interested in hiring Pilar as her photographer. She did a google search which lead her to our blog. I gave her my thoughts and encouraged her to contact Pilar.

(Hi to you and your sister/cousin! It was nice to meet you both. Good luck with your preps! ^_^)