Sunday, April 29, 2007

Remembering --

My dad used to read and collect comics when he was younger. Many years ago, when they were clearing out the old house, we actually found some of his old comics -- some Spider-Ham and other titles. (I remember the Spider-Ham vividly because we read that one over and over.)

For a few months now, my dad would look at Seth and would comment about how he looked like "Dondi."

He explained to us that Dondi was a cartoon or comic book character. Even my husband who has a more extensive knowledge of older comic titles didn't know who he was. So I looked him up and discovered that he was a comic strip character from 1955. (Wikipedia entry here)

I was actually amazed at how well my dad remembered this character. It inspired me to go looking for Dondi-related items which I might be able to get for my dad and for Seth. (They're both celebrating their birthday in June.)

I came across a Vintage Dondi board game on Ebay and I was fascinated with how simple the game was and, yet, this was something that kept the children of that generation occupied.

I decided to check out the other vintage board games and I was especially pleased with the 1958 version of the Price is Right board game. I loved this show when I was younger and would've given anything to be a contestant. Looking at the board game and all the parts, I could see an earnest attempt in copying the show's experience using simple materials.

And then I realized that the times truly are different -- what I see as quaint and cute, children 40 years ago saw as exciting and new. The board games now are flashier and more brightly colored. (You can just compare the two The Price is Right board games -- the 1958 one and the 1974 one to see what I am talking about.) Some games have as many as 60 pieces in order to function and others have props are mini-mechanical marvels.

What made me laugh, though is discovering that the boardgames I was playing with in the 90s are now considered "vintage" as well. ^_^ My siblings and I loved On Assignment -- a National Geographic board game where you pretended to be a photographer and had to travel the world to collect photographs.

Looking through the list on Ebay made me realize my age (not a bad thing) and it made me realize that there was a time before the Internet and before video games when kids played board games.

And it made me realize that I had as much fun back then.

Guaranteed to make you smile.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

This is my Iloilo --

This is the world I live in --

Twice a week, Johann goes to a gaming store to meet and play with fellow WOW TCG players. On the way home, we pass by an old lady hunched over her makeshift grill cooking and selling corn -- our driver would always point to her and say, "She used to mend sacks for us."

Yesterday, I had to pick something up from the post office and the old lady would be along the route home so I asked the driver to stop so I could buy some corn.

She saw our driver and smiled. She looked at me and said, "Ah, bata ka ni Tomas" and gave me one extra.

This is the Iloilo I know -- where memories are long and where children inherit their parents' friends. (Maybe this is why there are never "small" parties in the city)

There was always that sense of familiarity with people -- that they could look at you and know who you are because they know your parents. When I was younger, I resented that and enjoyed the anonimity Manila had to offer.

But now I'm back and I'm finally able to appreciate this and I hope that, in the future, they will be able to look at Seth and know that he is mine.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

You have to look at this! --

It's called a Pizza Pot Pie and I saw it featured on one of the shows on Discovery Travel and Living --

Image taken from the Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Company website -- makers of this amazing thing.

Isn't it the grandest thing you've seen in your entire life?

They take a ceramic bowl and fill the bottom with cheese and then they put in the toppings and then the sauce. They cover it with the dough (kinda like fancy French Onion Soup) and bake it like that.

They serve it to you bowl side up and then remove the bowl. The cheese is so ooey gooey. You can order a half-pounder or a one pounder. O_O

I want one! >_<

* * *

On a side note --

Because of that feature, my sister has declared the time my parents are away (from tomorrow to Sunday) as pizza days. Tomorrow, we are having Mama Maria pizza -- they claim they have the biggest pizza in the Country.

And then we are having Al Dente pizza and then Sbarro and then Pizza Hut -- glorious!

(Upon learning about this, my youngest brother wrote during our Y!M session "Eat healthy...")

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The "medyo date" --

Johann and I had one yesterday -- we went to Atrium where there was a weekend book sale. The book sale people hold this once a month and I love going to it. Each time, I find really great books for Seth and one or two interesting magazines on parenting.

After the visit to the book sale we decided to have an early dinner at Chowking -- they phased out the sizes for their congee and rice meals and only serve the "merienda" size. It was still, surprisingly, filling.

Which is why I call it a "medyo date" -- it involves some activities but never anything grand but it has the same benefits. It allows Johann and I to "catch up" with each other and to talk about our agenda for the near future. It's also the time we treat each other to something special -- yesterday, Johann had a double-scoop of Pistachio ice cream from the FIC stand and he indulged me with my *ahem* romance novels (I found and bought one. ^_^)

And then we went home --

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Simple Pleasures --

This is my current obsession --

Corn! Or what we call sinugba nga mais. You can buy 3 of these for PhP20.00 and it is absolutely delicious!

Our local corn is very different from the Japanese Sweet Corn. For one, it isn't sweet at all and it doesn't become sweet even after you grill it. I think it's the texture that keeps me enthralled --

You can find a vendor anywhere but they usually frequent busy areas with a lot of foot traffic. We usually buy from the vendors outside Lapaz Public Market because you know it's grilled fresh (read: not left over from the day before) --

This humble little trade was endangered a few months back. The city issued an ordinance prohibiting corn vendors to set up their little stand in the sidewalks because the smoke from their little grill was affecting traffic.

It was surreal not seeing these corn stands surrounding the Jaro Plaza during the Jaro Fiesta last February. They have become such a part of Iloilo's landscape (like the bibingka vendors) It became a challenge to locate a vendor to get my regular sinugba fix.

Thankfully, it seems that the city has changed its mind and has allowed the vendors to return to their posts. It's very comforting to see them grilling their corn on makeshift grills when I go home for lunch every day.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tests --

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

* * *

Your Scholastic Strength Is Evaluating

You are great at looking at many details and putting them all together.
You are talented at detecting subtle trends, accuracy, and managing change.

You should major in:

Conflict studies

* * *

Your EQ is 120

50 or less: Thanks for answering honestly. Now get yourself a shrink, quick!
51-70: When it comes to understanding human emotions, you'd have better luck understanding Chinese.
71-90: You've got more emotional intelligence than the average frat boy. Barely.
91-110: You're average. It's easy to predict how you'll react to things. But anyone could have guessed that.
111-130: You usually have it going on emotionally, but roadblocks tend to land you on your butt.
131-150: You are remarkable when it comes to relating with others. Only the biggest losers get under your skin.
150+: Two possibilities - you've either out "Dr. Phil-ed" Dr. Phil... or you're a dirty liar.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Love in different languages --

I think Rent will be my all-time favorite musical. I've listened to a lot of them and none of them have touched me the same way Jonathan Larson's Rent has --

What amazes me about this musical is how well it translates into so many languages -- listening to Seasons of Love in Japanese, is a breathtaking experience. Even if I don't understand much of what they're saying, the message of the song breaks through the language barrier.

Recently, I stumbled upon this --

... and fell in love with the musical all over again.

For more of Rent in Portuguese, click here.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Weekend! --

I'm really glad that it's the weekend --

I know that we just came from a long holiday but it wasn't much of a holiday for me -- for one, there were frequent power interruptions at the oddest hours (read: midnight to 4am) and I have a kid who gets hot and sweats like crazy when that happens so Johann and I actually spent a fairly good chunk of precious sleeping time fanning the little one. I'm looking forward to sleeping in this weekend and being able to loll in bed without needing to rush to work.

Plus, I'm looking forward to getting some reading done. During the Holy Week, I was averaging a book a day and now I've slowed down and haven't finished a book this week.

* * *

Realized that --

I'm crap at keeping in touch with people.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Easter --

Easter is one of my favorite holy holidays --

It is a chance for renewal -- during the Easter mass, I got a chance to renew the promises made on my behalf when I was baptized into the Catholic Faith.

It is a chance for reunion -- last Sunday, the Promenade was fully booked and the tables were all connected to accommodate big families. The table beside us was a table of 15, which included grandparents, siblings and their spouses and their children. We were a smaller table but I really enjoyed having lunch with my parents, my two aunts, my sister and my hubby. Maybe it's because I'm a mom but I was really charmed by the little girls and boys all dressed up in their Easter Sunday best, participating in the Easter program organized by the restaurant.

It is a chance to rediscover the child within -- I was amused at how much my mom and dad enjoyed the clown and the magic show. I was helping my aunts figure out some of the tricks. I even helped my dad hunt for an Easter egg, which we gave to a little girl who was also searching for one.

I am looking forward to next Easter when Seth is old enough to participate in the celebration. I am already thinking about Easter egg designs as I type this. ^_^

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Very interesting --

You entered: Khristine etc.

There are 21 letters in your name.
Those 21 letters total to 111
There are 7 vowels and 14 consonants in your name.

What your first name means:
Russian Male Variant of the Scandinavian Kristina 'Christian'.
Russian Female Variant of the Scandinavian Kristina: Christian.

Your number is: 3

The characteristics of #3 are: Expression, verbalization, socialization, the arts, the joy of living.

The expression or destiny for #3:
An Expression of 3 produces a quest for destiny with words along a variety of lines that may include writing, speaking, singing, acting or teaching; our entertainers, writers, litigators, teachers, salesmen, and composers. You also have the destiny to sell yourself or sell just about any product that comes along. You are imaginative in your presentation, and you may have creative talents in the arts, although these are more likely to be latent. You are an optimistic person that seems ever enthusiastic about life and living. You are friendly, loving and social, and people like you because you are charming and such a good conversationalist. Your ability to communicate may often inspire others. It is your role in life to inspire and motivate; to raise the spirits of those around you.

The negative side of number 3 Expression is superficiality. You may tend to scatter your forces and simply be too easygoing. It is advisable for the negative 3 to avoid dwelling on trivial matters, especially gossip.

Your Soul Urge number is: 11

A Soul Urge number of 11 means:
With the 11 Soul Urge, much of your thinking and interests relate to the abstract, the spiritual, and utopian dreams. You are motivated toward idealistic concepts, and the sharing of your ideas and concepts with humanity. This number is not one that is giving in a material or a practical sense, but rather one who desires to help mankind with a more abstract commodity such as religion, spiritualism, occult studies, or even psychic abilities.

If you possess the positive 11 Soul Urge traits, you have a dream of the perfect world; you are highly idealistic and inspirational. Your inner strength and devotion to your beliefs are extremely strong. You have a very good mind that is especially well equipped to handle the higher, more abstract forms of thought.

If there is an excess of 11 energy in your makeup, you may possess some the negative 11 traits. There is a tendency for the 11 to produce considerable amounts of nervous tension which is bought on by a very high level of awareness. You may be too sensitive and overly emotional. In some cases, these sensitivities and emotions are quite repressed, and this tends to add even more to the sense of nervousness in the makeup.

The strong 11 is not a very practical person because of the extreme idealism; often, there is a degree of self-deception present. There is usually a rather fixed idea of right and wrong held by those showing strong 11 traits, and with this very often is a resulting attitude of inflexibility.

Your Inner Dream number is: 1

An Inner Dream number of 1 means:
You dream of being a leader and one who is in charge. You want to be known for your courage, daring, and original ideas. You seek unconquered heights. People may get a first impression that you are very aggressive and sure of yourself.

Do yours here.

(Good) Housekeeping --

So what did I do during the two days of stillness? I finally updated the templates of the two blogs I maintain so I could enjoy the many new features from Blogger Beta and I also fixed Johann's multiply site, which was moldering from disuse.

* * *

I *heart* --

I am loving and all the wonderful, fantabulous items that you can buy from the vendors --

I want to get this for Seth. Clickety click! But it's a onesie and Seth doesn't wear onesies anymore -- he's a sando guy now. O_o

* * *

Aunts abound! --

Two of my aunts (my mom's younger sisters) from Manila decided to come home to Iloilo for the Holy Week. Their arrival coincided with my cousin's birthday so we all got together to celebrate -- my aunts and my cousins are a loud and very expressive group and it's always fun being around them.

We're having Easter lunch with them tomorrow and we're very excited because my mom is treating us to the lunch buffet at the Promenade (restaurant of Days Hotel-Iloilo). H'ray!

* * *

Better late than never --

Congrats to my youngest brother who passed his entrance exam to a Japanese university. He had a year to prepare for this exam -- it consisted of an interview and an essay all in Japanese.

Now, he's on his way to acquiring a doctorate in Japanese studies. I am a very proud Ditch(ie). ^_^

* * *

Simple Pleasures --

This amused me and Johann earlier --

There's a shawarma stand inside one of the bigger supermarkets here in Iloilo and there are usually two people who man it.

We have identified each person's style -- one of them piles the meat and then puts some garlic mayo and then piles the veggies and then squirts more garlic mayo before rolling the whole shawarma and the other guy piles the meat and then puts some garlic mayo and then piles the veggies before rolling the whole shawarma and then puts some garlic mayo on top of everything.

I prefer shawarma maker #2 and so does Johann. Earlier, when we looked, it was shawarma maker #1 so we didn't buy.

* * *

You can spend your whole life with one person --

and not know them completely.

A few days ago, we found out that my mom is actually a "Ma." O_o

Monday, April 02, 2007

Saturday --

Florie and I decided it was time to bring the kids out for lunch -- she has a 6-month old daughter and I have a 9-month old imp.

Bigby's opened in Iloilo about a month ago and we were both looking forward to eating there. Apparently, whenever she went home to Davao, she always made sure to have a meal or two there. Johann and I recently discovered Bigby's on our trip to Cebu and loved it.

We made plans to meet last Saturday and decided to have an early lunch (which means fewer people) -- we asked for a table near the corner so we could park our kids in their strollers and to make sure that they wouldn't be bothered by too much traffic.

I was especially worried because Seth now has a habit of loudly calling people -- and I mean, loud. But he was so nice at the restaurant -- he enjoyed the tortilla (I suspect it's because it has the same feel as paper, which the little imp enjoys) and that kept him entertained while we ate.

It was lovely to sit down with friends -- our only friends here in Iloilo. Contrary to popular belief, we did talk about things other than our children. ^_^ The list of topics include: digital photography, movies showing in our local cinemas (300!), alcohol and its effects, plans for the holy week and easter, etc.

We were all having a wonderful time talking and eating and we didn't realize that it was after 1pm and the children were getting ready for their afternoon naps.

We said quick goodbyes and made plans to meet up again after Holy Week. I think this is a start of a monthly habit -- one that I am really looking forward to.

* * *

No photos --

I did bring my camera with me to the lunch but I wasn't able to take pictures -- when you have two kids and no yaya, it becomes quite impossible to take decent pictures.