Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Secret Garden

I’ve been debating with myself on whether I should blog about my recent discovery. The feeling is similar to when I first discovered the coolest beach in Puerto Galera, located on its secret quiet side, away from the throngs of boats and people on White Beach. I decided to reveal the location of said beach only to a handful of trusted friends, whom I know are too busy anyway to go back to my coolest beach ever with their other friends. The goal is to not spoil a good thing with the presence of “others.”

I’m making a similar exception this time. Friends, I’ve been jog-walking the track at the Philippine Sports Commission for two weeks now, and I recommend that you visit it too sometime.

You know that as a self-confessed nerd, I generally dislike participating in any physical activity. The only exams I dreaded taking in grade school were those that involved successfully hitting a volleyball across a stupid sagging net 7 of 10 times. In fact, one of the reasons I married Pao is because someone’s going to have to carry the sports genes in the family and that someone most certainly will not be me.

In fairness to myself, I did try my hand at the gym when the membership came free with my former employment. Welcome to Boresville. I then tried my hand at badminton, partly because it’s a sport with manageable skill requirements, mostly because I feel my career  rises/plummets in direct proportion to my ability to hit a shuttle cock. But alas, a natural lampa like me cannot expect to shine in competitive sports.

In contrast to my other two "undertakings," I feel running around the PSC track oval while listening to Itchyworms isn’t even a sport. It’s my daily happy Gladi time because: (1) I get to watch hunky bronze-colored pogis practicing football at the center of the oval; (2) I get to watch hunky bronze-colored athletes in Nike track suits running around the oval; and (3) I get to watch more hunky bronze-colored athletes in Nike track suits stretching at the side lines. I cannot, at this moment, think of a better past time.

The place admittedly has its downside. The changing rooms are doorless and deplorable. On some days, the football team of a certain all-girls’ school in Ortigas practices in the soccer field, during which you are likely to overhear an “Ohmygod, where’s my drivherrrrr?!” or an “Ohmygod, yaya, can you hand me my bag phleasze?!”. My advise during such trying times is to just tune them out. Remember, good-looking athletes, majority of whom are likely straight, beat whiny teenagers. All the time. 

Happy running!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Here, Summer Summer

I’m loving the cold weather for a couple of reasons. First is because we’re saving on electricity. Not only have we foregone use of the air conditioner, we’ve also sworn off the electric fan most evenings. Second is because I get to wear cold weather clothing. My O.A. turtlenecks, lined coats, cardigans and sweaters just hibernate at the back of my closet for the greater part of the year. So I naturally take advantage of this cold weather to bring them into circulation again.

On the other hand, the darn weather has given me the colds. Next to a headache, a toothache, and possibly a boil in your armpits, a cold is the most uncomfortable short-term sickness a person could ever bear. It doesn’t help that my nose can’t seem to make up its mind between being runny and clogged. One moment I’m sneezing myself to the moon; the next moment I’m pulling a Mike Acaban and tilting my head to the side so I can breathe more easily through my better right nostril. Aw men.
Did you know that temperature in Manila now is 22C? We roughly experience the same weather as Los Angeles, California due to northeastern winds blowing “from the northern hemisphere”. I know this would not be a big deal for those of you who are laking ercon, and “like to travel to Europe, like, every summer.” But this entails some adjustment for people like myself, who pick an argument every time someone in the room, i.e. a Husband, unilaterally decides to turn-on the air-conditioning.

I wonder when this cold weather will end. I have been drowning myself with water and taking vitamin-C in the thousands of milligrams, but my bladder can only hold so much fluid at a time. There's also the matter of already running out of toilet paper to stick up my nose.

I’m seriously hoping this cold spell ends soon. I was born, have lived, and will probably kick the bucket in a tropical country. I like it better when it’s warm and toasty in my corner of the globe.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Size Matters - Big Better Burger

Cuisine: American
Location:Timog cor. Panay Ave. Quezon City
We tried Big Better Burger last Sunday, upon the fiery endorsement of Pao’s cousin Anton. It is the place to go to when you’re craving for old-fashioned greasy hamburger patties - the kind we 90s kids used to eat before the 21st century ruined fun with that thing called healthy living.

The fat from their 1/3lb burger literally drips off your fingers on first bite. Add that to the three-cheese combo (mozzarella, cheddar and the cheese equivalent of “mystery meat”) that came with Pao’s burger (Php149), and you would most likely have eaten your calorie quota for the week in one sitting. I ordered the kind with mushroom (Php136) because I was nagfee-feeling healthy that day, but that too came with loads of cheese and condiments.

The price is reasonable, considering the size of their patties. But I wouldn’t mind paying extra for bigger burgers next time, or at least the option to upsize to a bigger burger. Pao short of asked for instant La Paz Batchoy when we got home, because 1/3lb burgers are really pint-sized in the eyes of a hungry Claretian-oh. Anyway, you don’t go to Big Better Burger unless you’re decided on indulging, so might as well eat a whole cow while you’re there.

All in all, a must try, but only once a year for those of us over 40.

Meet Chuck

There are things I want to be able to wear before I grow too old for them.

There are pregnant dresses for wearing when not at all pregnant, which I’m sure will look ghastly ten years from now when I’m bloating in my puson due solely to the forces of gravity.

There are also sheer tops, which I am in fact slowly staying away from these days. I used to wear sheer tops under my suits. Light and breezy clothing helped when you had to shuttle between courts in 32C Manila weather. However, I've since stopped wearing them when I learned that they were slightly appealing to security guards.

And then there are Chucks. Good ol’ Chuck Taylor's that certainly look good on an 18-year old MassComm student but would, in my opinion, look questionable on the same student 15 years into the future. I have about 5 years between now and that questionable future. I think it’s about time I bought myself my very first, and possibly last, pair of Chucks.

So everyone, meet Chuck. My size 7 women’s optical white Chuck Taylors. I wore them last Saturday to the mall, partnered with my favorite nagfee-feeling-punk Pink Floyd t-shirt, prompting Pao to comment, “Uy pare, san ang tugtog?”

Whatever Yaya. It feels good being able to get away with wearing these shoes at age 28. I bet I could still pass for an ikot-riding U.P. student. Meantime, someone kindly hand me that bottle of Olay Total Effects.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

How how the Carabao

In early 2008, I spent a significant amount of time staring at my 2007 Income Tax Return, wondering where all my so-called income went. What looked like a decent sum on paper translated into a pitiful sum in my bank account. It wasn’t possible. I must have been robbed.

I resolved to take note of all my “minor” purchases for the rest of the year – shoes, bags, clothes and similar goods left useless after a couple of wears. Things bought for other people, i.e. briefs for the Husband, were to be excluded from the list. I was to tally only MY purchases come year end, and tally I did this weekend.

How, how could I have bought 79 clothes, 26 pairs of shoes and 11 bags last year alone? (Roughly translates to about 7 new pieces of clothing and one bag per month, plus a pair of shoes every other week) Foolish girl, you work too hard for your money to aimlessly spend it like this. Gretchen Barretto: Yes. Salaried Gladi: No, oh heavens, no.

This year, I shall cut my fashion purchases in half. Yes Pao, you read me right. I will buy no more than 39 clothes, 13 shoes and 5 ½ bags in 2009 (a pouch is half a bag). And, just to make it more difficult for me, any item bought in excess of these numbers will be matched with an equivalent deposit to our savings account. Yes Pao, you read me right again: an equivalent deposit.

Ah yes, my self-inflicted torture could not be more opportune. I have been hearing about this economic crisis. It’s about time my closet suffer the same crunch.  

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Favorite Things (2008 Edition)

It’s time for my annual favorite Christmas gifts blog.

I haven’t quite figured out how a thing turns up in my favorites list, although I’m sure that price isn’t a factor. Last year, I was happier to receive a desk calendar from our friend Mitch than a handy dandy DoPod from the Husband. I guess it’s the little things that I need but haven’t had the time to buy, or which I will only receive from a person who actually listens when I complain about nothing in particular, that make me happy.

This year, it’s a toss between a gold kikay kit that I received from Sam and tada, a fitting form (mannequin) that I received from Pao. The first of these I needed so people at the office won’t suspect I’m off siesta-malling every time I carry my hand bag out of my room to go to the toilet. The second I love because I’m weird like that; and also because I have more than once described trying out clothes as tiresome. Yesiree, I’d much rather put clothes on an armless inanimate object with breasts than myself.


The selection process isn’t quite as complicated for Pao. Boys, even though they tend to look like Men over the years, will never grow up. They will continue to like shiny things with sockets and batteries, preferably with blinking lights. The cost of their toys simply increase each year in proportion to their body hair.

This year, I’m betting Pao likes his new Samsung LCD TV. It isn’t really a gift to Pao from anyone in particular, since we split its cost right down the middle. Technically, I could claim half of the darn TV as mine. But considering that Pao kisses it goodnight before going to bed, and tucks it into a slip cover every time we leave the house, I take it Pao’s quite territorial when it comes to his shiny new toy. I let him be - in exchange for TV time when Project Runway is on.

So there you go folks. Thanks for spreading the good cheer this Christmas. Boohoo that we’re back to the daily grind, but at least we’re earning money now that we could spend again next Christmas to make other people merry. Ho, ho, ho.


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