Saturday, October 20, 2012

in honor of baby rain's first birthday party...

... lemme attempt to do a food post.

okay, let me be the first to admit, i am no foodie. i do like good food, and i do know what i like, but i'm the girl who'd be crazy hungry one minute and distracted by a shoe sale the next. so i may be fat, but i know my priorities. food isn't one of them.

but, i do like intrigues and chismis and that was how i found myself one day reading the pickiest eater

in any case, i've trusted richie's taste in food more than any other blogger (yes, even that famous one who was the reason why i stumbled onto richie's blog) and since i was there reading his blog before the throng of fans came (he has lots), i'd like to think that entitled me to be an officer of his fans club. and with much twittering (tweeting?), facebook-ing, and blog-commenting, i one day found a DM that changed my life: would i come to baby rain's 1st birthday party?

oh yes i would. especially since baby rain's birthday party was going to be held at the zamora home which meant i would finally partake of the amazing food that he has proudly written about all these years. and you know what? every bite was a piece of heaven. if it weren't too embarrassing, i would've whipped out a microwaveable container and took home some. but, that might mean the end of invitations from richie (or jaimie might have had to deny that she came to the party with me). so i behaved myself and took home elmo and cookie monster. the cupcakes that is ☺

but wait, i said this was going to be a food post. so ...

we started with masatami shave ice. yum yum yum! i first tried the strawberry and it was yummy good. in spite of the heat, the ice didn't melt till you were ready to scoop it into your mouth and allow the flavor-infused shaved ice to cool you down. let's just put it this way - remember aloha? i was so "poor" when i was in elementary i could never afford aloha. so there's this major desire inside of me for snow cones. but my memories of aloha (and you know how memories are almost always better than reality) aren't anywhere near as good as masatami. yes. it was THAT good.

then again, everything at the birthday party was amazing. richie's mom transformed the garden and it was like pinterest came to life! the cookie monster cupcakes that i've been enamored with since forever? check! the tissue pompoms? check! (although she used plastic which was much smarted cause they didn't tear in the wind!) shoot the cookie inside cookie monster's mouth? check! candy bar? check! the party was a veritable feast for the eyes. 

and then there was the food. yes, chicken lollipop and spaghetti are standard kiddie party fare, but there is no way that what they served was standard. on top of that, there was this yummy bread with cheese, mini tacos with crispy wonton wrappers as the shell, deviled eggs, and this uber-yummy fish something. 

i wanted to stuff myself silly with everything but i had to save space for the dessert: red velvet squares! apple crumble! pineapple upside down cake! cookies! cookies! and more cookies! 

let's just say i thanked the lord that i had worn jeans with more than a little stretch to them ☺

thank YOU, the pickiest eater, for inviting me and jaimie to baby rain's 1st birthday party. and while i'm more than overjoyed to have finally met you in the flesh, can i just say that my excitement over that was eclipsed by super ka-gigil rain and the yummiest 1st birthday party spread i've ever tasted?

"choose frustration over indifference"

there i was at landmark, wasting precious time as the cashier (vainly) attempted to find an additional ten centavos. you see, she had "proudly" handed me my change, proclaiming it to be exact until i pointed out that she had given me two five-centavo coins, making her short ten centavos.

her defense, "i thought they were ten centavo coins." which, seriously, how could you go wrong, right? i mean one has a hole in the middle?!?!? so i waited, and waited, and waited for my ten centavos. for some reason she wouldn't open her drawer but attempted to persuade the others to open theirs (there were three other cashiers). in the end, i walked out in a huff. it was taking her forever, and i think she was enjoying it.

now i know that thought running through the minds of the cashier, the checker, and the other people in the area was that i was being petty. after all, it was just ten centavos. even the pulubis on the street would scoff at you if you were to give them change as small as that. i didn't know either, until i read market man's blog and realized that if there was one thing i shared with this amazing blogger, it was his motto:

and that was what i was doing exactly. i refused to accept the fact that the cashier short-changed me.

over the past couple of months, i've been struggling to develop what i learned to be "holy indifference". you see, in the catholic singles community where i belong, one of the major teachings is to preserve relationships over results. having spent a chunk of my professional life with the opus dei, it was pretty difficult letting go and letting things be. if you've been to any institution run by the opus dei, you'd know that not only are they precise, on time, and perfectionists, but they believe that if something must be done, then it must be done well. so, i never really developed the skill to be indifferent; rather, i thrived on pushing, pounding, and hitting until things wouldn't have a choice but to go right.

of course, they never do. that's how life is. so i spend a lot of time being frustrated: about how everyone's always tardy, about how things are almost always planned the last minute, about how you really should not count on certain people cause their heads are just up out there in the clouds. while others could easily say, "at least we learned over the experience," i couldn't. rather i'd push and push and push and frustrate myself enough to tear my hair out.

reading market man's rant, and eventually his motto, i was struck by the fact that yes, i too am one of those people who'd choose frustration over indifference at any given time. so what if ford edsa refuses to acknowledge their oh-so-poor service. i would spend hours on end tracking down the manager of the service department and give him woe for the poor service that they did. i would call and call and call service hotlines to complain, and when the customer service assistant is being especially useless, i'd be the one who'd spend a good 45 minutes waiting for the supervisor to come on the line so i can bit his head off for his team's lack of abilities. and yes, i'm the one who'd fill out customer satisfaction surveys - restaurants, hotels, airlines - because if they care enough to have these surveys, then i should do my part by telling them things they ought to hear, even if they don't really want to hear it.

yes, the frustration had added wrinkles onto my face. and yes, the frustration has turned most (if not all) of my hair gray. but i don't care. the day i become indifferent is the day i die. until then, i will allow myself to be frustrated. 

and btw - i got into an accident yesterday. my six-month old car is now officially not scar-free. hopefully my insurance will come through.

Monday, October 15, 2012

change of heart

yesterday, i watched a movie that (i believe) would change my life forever.

it started with an email from one of the lawyers at work last friday. she told us to watch GIVE UP TOMORROW, a documentary about paco larranaga and the chiong murder case that happened way back in 1997. now, i grew up reading about hubert webb, and while i never really formed an opinion as to his guilt or innocence, i firmly believed that there was reasonable doubt as to his guilt when i read the supreme court decision acquitting him. as for paco larranage, well, i had heard about the crime, but i never really knew much about it. so when kbbb asked us to go watch the movie, it wasn't really out of curiosity about paco's plight as it was to verify her statement that the movie showed how bulok our judicial system is. coming from the disappointment on how the senate (with the help of the media) railroaded corona's impeachment (not to say i am for corona, but i do believe that they weren't able to prove that what he did was an impeachable offense).

i entered the movie house expecting a two-hour discovery channel - like documentary. i came out with a heavy heart, not only cause i knew there wasn't much i could do about it, but because the very system that's supposed to make the world a better place has severely failed this one person. and if this one person who had the luxury of the spanish government's assistance is still suffering for a crime he may not have committed, how many innocent others are there inside our jails?

of course, there's that joke that everyone inside bilibid is innocent. i am a lawyer, i must believe that the system does work most of the time. but what about those times when it hasn't? would the interest of the many whom we are saving be greater than that of the "evil man" from whom we are saving them from? what if we got the wrong "evil man"? what if the judge made a mistake, hoping the court of appeals would scrutinize those he skipped during his deliberations, and what if the court of appeals made a mistake, believing the supreme court would make a more intensive deliberation, and what if the supreme court, finding merit in the unanimous decisions of the trial court and the court of appeals, decides that affirming their decisions is more prudent than finding the man innocent? so many what ifs in exchange for a man's life.

most of my life i've believed in the vindictive kind of justice. the death penalty, for me, was fair and just for the most heinous crimes. but when a man's life is on the line, knowing all the frailties that come with being human, can one really be the proper judge to decide whether a man ought to live or not?

two days ago, i would've said differently. but yesterday changed me. yesterday, it finally struck me that if abolishing the death penalty means that the life of one innocent man among hundreds of guilty men may be saved, then so be it. because no one really knows for sure. no one.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

random notes on a lazy saturday morning

after all the lectures, KAP meetings, and what-nots, it's been a while since i had a free saturday morning where all that was expected of me was to open my eyes. so today's such sheer joy ... going over pics on FB (it's just not the same whether you're using your BB or an android phone!), reading blogs at a leisurely pace, and - something that i hardly get to do now - blogging.

but, even if i barely have time to even breathe these days, the past month has been relatively amazing.

{pre-bagnet smiles}

the girls and i have been "together" for more than a year now. it's an easygoing friendship, and ever since we got our cars, our greatest (well, sorta) joy is to go out for an amazing lunch on fridays. so while we scrimp, make baon, or skip lunch altogether (when it's crazy busy at work!) from monday to thursday, fridays are sacred. yesterday was bagnet + dessert day. nom nom nom.

{diego on a KAP12 road trip}

with less than two months to go before KAP on december 1, things are even more hectic these days. last weekend, we all made time to go on our center visits. because of my (now) poor navigational skills (i used to be really amazing with directions), we got lost a couple of times. BUT, it was an amazing trip nonetheless, with a side trip to lola's place at cabanatuan. taking trips really teach you a lot about the people you call friends, and let's just say that this group passed the test.

{favorite "more fun in the philippines" ad!}

i've tried a bazillion permutations to get to work faster and with the least amount of traffic but the only solution is still leaving the house before 7am. one of the routes takes me thru baclaran where i first spied this jollibee ad. i don't recall ever being a huge jollibee fan, but the sentiment of this billboard just makes me smile every time i see it. and, when i'm with friends, i apparently share that feeling out loud, prompting my friends to always say, "nasabi mo na yan kanina. alam na namin. favorite mo yung jollibee billboard." oops, sorry!

{it's atis season ... i think!}

i'm a huge fan of atis, but for some reason, i'm never able to get any for myself. maybe it's cause my grocery/market skills are totally non-existent. in any case, i am thankful for friends who do not think twice about getting you something you really want, in my case, a kilo of atis that's ready to be eaten RIGHT NOW. yes, i'm impatient even when it comes to fruit.

{cooking diva}

i've started cooking again recently and it's such great joy for me. it takes my mind out of the petty little grievances that mar my day, the stress of having obligations you don't really want to fulfill, and - i won't pretend otherwise - makes my tummy super happy! so far, i'm calling a slightly modified version of casa veneracion's chicken embutido a signature dish (together with my smorgasbord sopas) and friends have assured me that my sinigang is yummy enough. the past couple of weeks have seen me running around like a crazy headless chicken - hence an empty fridge and pantry - but hopefully i'll be able to cook again soon. just looking at that pic makes me want to run over to the grocery and get me some bacon!

so that's it - a random recap with five pictures. today's loaded, and tomorrow, well, it's sorta loaded too. but for now, i'm enjoying my saturday morning in bed. it's still a bit early. maybe i can catch some ZZZZs again before it's time to get ready for my day.

happy saturday!

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