Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post of the year! Lists part 4 --

Movies I'm looking forward to in 2008 --
1. National Treasure: Book of Secrets
2. The Dark Knight
3. Wanted <-- James Mcavoy is the actor du jour for the year. He's everywhere -- Atonement, Wanted, Becoming Jane ... I loved him when he played Leto in Children of Dune. =^_^=
4. Iron Man
5. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince

Here's the Top 10 for Yahoo.

Things I am looking forward to in 2008 --
1. Trip to Manila (dunno when though)
2. Trip to Cebu (dunno when as well)
3. Books arriving from Betterworld (Hello, Christopher Buckley! ^_^)
4. Maybe Singapore with Seth
5. My birthday
... also Seth's 2nd birthday and Boracay (dunno when...again)

Happy 2008 everyone! ^_^

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Lists part 3 --

Best Gifts received in 2007 --
1. Seth ^_^
2. A copy of Freakonomics given to me by Johann and my sister
3. A piece of paper that contains my name and Johann's ^_^
4. (post-Christmas) Lunch at Days Hotel with Johann and my sister
5. A Bailey's gift set with a shaker!

... also, the gift of really good friends who, despite the distance, lends a hand in a pinch. (And come up with such wonderful surprises ^_^)

... the most unique gift I got was from my youngest brother -- he gave me a kimono! I don't know how to wear it but it hangs rather nicely beside Johann's shirts. ^_^

Things I miss in Manila --
1. Starbucks a block away from my place
2. Tropicana orange juice (Lots of Pulp)
3. Bookstores T_T
4. Massages at Natural Spa
5. My friends T_T

... also riding the jeepney to UP, riding the LRT2 to Gateway, walking around Ateneo ...

Promises for 2008 --
1. Lose weight
2. Read more books
3. Travel more
4. Save more
5. Say "yes" as often as possible

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lists part 2 --

Happy Thoughts for 2007 --
1. Seth and Johann, My sibs and my parents
2. The trip to Cebu last February
3. and a Credit Card
4. Singapore, August 2007 ^_^
5. Days Hotel Saturday Buffet

... also Bourbon Street Baby Back Ribs and a good cup of coffee

Discoveries for 2007 --

1. Chicken Steam Rice!!! <-- ohmigod! So amazing! We had it for Christmas lunch and I am seriously thinking about ordering it again for New Year
2. Dental Health is important
3. GCash is very convenient.
4. Coons cheese is delicious and makes very good grilled cheese sandwiches.

Life-changing experiences --
1. Seth's First Birthday
2. Buying books on
3. Getting a post-paid plan from Globe
4. Getting elected (ICCHSAA)
5. A piece of paper that contains my name and Johann's ^_^

Places in Iloilo --
1. Bourbon Street
2. Booksale-SM and Booksale-Robinson's
3. R & F's room -- with Seth and Pia there ^_^
4. National Bookstore
5. Anywhere Seth is ^_^

Places Elsewhere --
1. Trinoma
2. Rustan's Fresh in Katipunan
3. Sebastian's Ice Cream Station in Podium
4. Fully Booked at The Fort <-- I've never been there but I know it is a happy place...
5. Anywhere Seth is ^_^

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lists part 1--

I normally do this earlier but I haven't been feeling well --

5 Favorite Books for 2007 --
1. I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother by Allison Pearson
2. Pay the Piper: A Rock 'n' Roll Fairy Tale by Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple
3. No Way to Treat A First Lady by Christopher Buckley
4. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
5. A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal by Anthony Bourdain

5 TV Series for 2007 --
1. Heroes!!!
2. Las Vegas
3. Gilmore Girls <-- haven't blogged about Season 7
4. Entourage
5. Grey's Anatomy
... also House, Boston Legal and The Starter Wife

5 Songs for 2007 --

1. Mr Brightside by The Killers
2. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
3. 9 Crimes by Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan
4. Beautiful Day by U2
5. These Days by Nico

5 Movies for 2007 --
1. 300
2. Thank You For Smoking
3. Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix
4. Ratatouille
5. Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End
... also Hot Fuzz

5 Movies I want to watch --

1. Once
2. Lust, Caution
3. Juno
4. Children of Men
5. Letters from Iwo Jima <-- have a copy but haven't gotten around to watching it yet
... also Waitress, Sicko and Wordplay

5 Comic Book Series for 2007 --
1. Daredevil
2. Batman and Son story arc by Grant Morrison
3. Mouse Guard
4. The Umbrella Academy
5. Fables

... to be continued ^_^

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Merry! --

Lookie what we got in the mail! --

The latest copy of Read! It really made our day!

* * *

More on books --

My youngest bro pointed me to this online bookstore -- Better World Books. They have a great mission statement -- they want to promote literacy and are a green company.

They sell used and new books and their prices are very good.

The absolute best part? $2.97 shipping WORLDWIDE.

I already have all of Christopher Buckley's books in my shopping cart. Will be placing my order after the 25th. Whee~

Konting kwento part 1--

Kwento #1: A tale of two offices --

Johann and I are trying to fix our finances. We've done the adult thing and invested some in mutual funds, some in stocks and the rest in a nice decent-interest-earning bank account.

It's the end of the year so we are reviewing our meager savings (it is small, but we are proud of it ^_^) -- and making decisions about what to do next year.

Our mutual funds have earned a pretty good interest so we decided to redeem the interest so we could invest it in other things.

We have two mutual fund accounts -- one is with Philam and one is with Sunlife. I dealt with Philam first -- I called their local office here and they gave me instructions on how I could make the redemption. I went to their office one afternoon -- it was around 3 pm. I asked the guard in the building which one is the PAMI office and he pointed me to the second floor. When I entered the office, I told the first person I saw what I wanted to do. She gave me a form, asked to see my mutual fund certificate and two IDs (my SSS and my old Ateneo ID). After she had reviewed everything, she told me to come back in a week because they needed to process the paperwork. (It would have been faster had I opted to have the funds transferred directly to a bank account but I opted to get a check instead.) While I was there, I asked the girl about Philam's new products and she explained some to me and made recommendations. When I left the building, I checked my watch -- it was 3:30 pm.

In about 5 days, I get a call informing me that my check was ready to be picked up. I went there, showed them my ID and my stock certificate and I got my check.

Last Friday, Johann and I skipped work in the morning so we could go to the Sun Life office. When I entered their office, I asked the guard where I should go. He kept asking me who my agent was and that I should deal with him/her directly. I explained my situation and he gave me a blank stare. Eventually, they sent me to their second floor office. When I got to the second floor, I approached the teller and told her what I wanted to do. She also asked me who my agent was so I had to explain my situation a second time. She finally understood what I wanted to do and sent me back downstairs again. Before I left the second floor, I asked her to inform their guard and whoever else needed to be informed that my business was with the ground floor. (I didn't want to be pingpong-ed back and forth.)

Back downstairs we went -- a nice lady attended to me. She told me I needed to fill out a form but I had to wait a bit because the forms were upstairs and they were sending someone down to hand it over. After a few minutes, I filled out the form. She asked me for two IDs so I gave her my SSS and my old Ateneo ID. She told me that my Ateneo ID was not a valid form of identification because it expired in 2006. She asked me if I had any other ID that had my name, my picture and my signature on it. I told her that I only had my passport but it was at home. So I asked for their fax number and told them I would fax it as soon as I got home. (I had to submit everything before 12 otherwise it would be processed the next business day, which would be on the 26th.)

We arrived at their office at 10, we left at 11 and we still hadn't concluded our transaction.

So I went home, made a photocopy of my passport and tried to fax it. The number they gave me was busy. I tried several times after and it was still busy. So I waited about 10 minutes (it was already 11:30) and was finally able to connect and fax it over. I called to confirm that they had received it. They asked me to re-fax it because the words "Republika ng Pilipinas/The Republic of the Philippines" weren't clear --

I was already annoyed at this point -- their office system was inefficient and not customer-friendly. It annoyed me even more that they asked me to re-fax it for such a small niggle. But I re-faxed it anyway. I got another call, asking me to make a clearer copy. So I asked them what it was that they wanted -- if they had wanted proof that I was who I said I was and that the name, face and signature matched then they should have accepted my Ateneo ID. If what they wanted was a name, face, signature and indication that that form of identification wasn't expired then the copy of my passport should be sufficient because all of those were clear.

I had to fax the copy yet again. I guess the third copy was acceptable already because they didn't call back.

I'm glad they are being thorough and I appreciate it because I know they won't just give out anyone's payments without checking first -- but I honestly felt that what they were asking was beyond reasonable. I'm lucky that I live very near their office and that I have a car (and a fax machine) at my disposal. Imagine some poor Joe/Jane riding how many jeepneys only to be told that she brought the "wrong" requirements and having to come back.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yes, I read ads --

And I'm glad I do --

I stumbled upon this really nice one by Shell while reading Wired --

Say No to No --

Isn't it high time someone got negative about negativity?
Yes it is.
Look around. The world is full of things that, according to nay-sayers, should never have happened.
And yet "yes."
Yes, continents have been found.
Yes, men have played golf on the moon.
Yes, straw is being turned into biofuel to power cars.
Yes, yes, yes.
What does it take to turn no into yes?
Curiosity. An open mind. A willingness to take risks.
And, when the problem seems most insoluble, when the challenge is hardest, when everyone else is shaking their heads, to say: let's go.

Ganda no? I think this will be my mantra for next year. ^_^ (Except with Seth -- who will hear the word "no" a million and a half times more in the next few years. ^_^)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Turning 30 --

In twenty days, Johann and I are turning 30. It's a strange number and I can't quite wrap my head around it --

I am not afraid of getting older. It's the number that boggles my mind because it starts with "thir-" --

I'm babbling.

I feel an incredible need to mark the occasion with something big --

Sunday, December 09, 2007

An unexpected Christmas gift --

I got this in the mail last Friday --

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It's from one of my Bookmooch friends (I only have 3 friends -- hahaha!).

She included a bookplate for me -- I've never received bookplates, ever -- so now I am trying to decide which on my books deserves this very rare gift. I might stick it on my copy of Possession. ^_^

* * *

Did you know? --

Hayao Miyazaki's son created an animated movie based on Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea stories. The Japanese title is Ged's War Chronicles and the Japanese version has English subtitles!

There's a special edition of the movie available on Amazon Japan. I think I want...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Currently craving --

Ever since my dad brought some home (leftovers from their meetings), I've been craving these --

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We call it "tiren-tiren" -- I was going to add that it translates to "train" (which is what it looks like) but Ilonggos don't actually call a train "tiren" --

"Tiren-tiren" actually translates to "follow follow" --

This particularl tiren-tiren is from Tibiao Bakery. I love the crusty exterior and the sweet (not caramel but caramel-esque) filling.

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The filling reminds me of pastel but not as sweet and not as custard-y.

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One time, the driver and I actually had a conversation regarding bread. These days, the quality of bread (in general) has improved a lot. Bread is no longer just a pang-sawsaw sa kape or Milo but has taken on a leading role in an Ilonggo's daily food repertoire.

What I like best about bread here in Iloilo is that it is still very affordable. One tiren-tiren costs PhP10.00

On the other hand, I'm also happy that old favorites are still being preserved. The Pandesal ni Paa, which is over 100 years old has managed to keep its original recipe.

* * *

Rub-a-dub-dub. Thanks for the grub. --

Raf and Florie recently treated us to Bourbon Street in Smallville. We had been hearing a lot of good things about that restaurant and were very excited to try it. Their bestseller is their ribs, which is very good.

A few days ago, we decided to order some ribs for take-out so my sister could try some. (She wasn't able to go with us because she had a cough and we were afraid of infecting the children.)

The ribs come in two sizes -- half (which they say is good for 2 people) for PhP265 and the full (which we ordered with Raf and Florie and we still had extras) for PhP400++

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We also ordered their sliders -- 3 mini burgers, which were so yummy!

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Total cost for 3 people = PhP390. ^_^