Thursday, September 30, 2010

Imortal

So many clues point to this show being the mother of all lame shows:

(1) Vampires versus werewolves? How original.

(2) Red and yellow contact lenses? Whoa. I've never heard of that before.

(3) CGI circa early 1990s. The wolves look like they've been drawn by my 11-year old nephew.

(4) And production value circa late 1980s. I was hoping local television would be over blowing up Toyota GLIs by now.




And yet, guess who will be coming home early Monday night to watch the premiere episode?

The things I do for you John Lloyd. The things I do...

The Professional Packer

Daddy is in a place called Rome today. I helped him pack his bags for his trip -

"Let's see Daddy. You will need this.."

"...and this. Google says it's 24C there. Not so cold but just in case."

"Okay, I'll stay on top of your luggage while you close it. Go."

"Mommy, have you seen Daddy's blue necktie? He will need it for this shirt."

Don't tell Mommy but I think between her and myself, I'm really the more useful one. See, I was very helpful picking out clothes and helping daddy arrange his things. Mommy on the other hand was just sitting there, taking pictures of us!

On another note, I'm not feeling very well today. I have colds. I feel a little bad for waking Mommy up at 12MN  and screaming at the top of my lungs for a full hour but I couldn't help it. I couldn't go back to sleep because my sipon is just so uncomfortable. I hope I recover soon so I can play with Mommy when she gets back from the office.

I better be resting now. Catch you later, hommies.


Monday, September 27, 2010

More of these please

My dream is to be able to eat leisurely breakfasts with Pao and Malik. Unfortunately, life gets in the way most of the time - Malik sleeps late. I wake up late as a result. I rush because rules require me to be at the office before 9 a.m. Traffic is horrible as always. Yada yada.

So except for the rare occasions where
I'm able to use instant pancake mix, I will usually have to content myself with eating toasted white bread with Cheezee spread in the car. Booo.

Yesterday though, an opportunity presented itself for me to drag the boys to the nearest Mc Donalds for breakfast. For around PhP200, we had longganisa, hotcake with sausage, hash brown, sausage Mc Muffin, and a round of coffee. Pao and I ate while Malik pored over the morning paper - 


I had fun looking at all the
tanders drinking McDonald's brewed coffee after their morning jog. We took Malik for a walk (on his stroller) around the shopping grounds after.

It was fun. We should do that more often.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

ProP 10.0 - Malik Can!

Proud Parent Update - Malik turns 10 months old today. Hooray! Time sure flies when you're having fun. To all my son's fans/stalkers, I'm sorry for not posting as many blog entries about him as I'd like to. There are just so many things that Malik's been up to of late, it's super hard to pick isolated incidents to write about. I'm utterly amazed. This baby is awesome, I tell you! (Naks, stage mother na stage mother). 

Today, let's just focus on Malik's large motor skills. Remember he couldn't sit down on his own two weeks ago? He can do that now, plus more - cruising, gliding, bunny-hopping (joke ;p).

Pao says he's seen Malik take steps to one side already. Let me correct that. That should read "step" in the singular. I haven't seen this yet so I will delay writing about it until I get veritable proof. In the meantime, let's watch this -





Happy Birthday Malik!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Head on over to Charlie's - Part II

(Continued...)

Later tonight, after 5 grueling workdays of slaving it at the office, you should reward yourself with a trip to Charlie's. Grab a pen and paper you guys, or if you're a supergenius like me (Waha), just commit these to memory because you will have a hard time finding equivalents in Metro Manila once you've tasted Charlie's. Let's begin. 

These are what we had -


From left to right: Good ol' San Mig Light, Rootbeer, Black Angus Burger with Shrooms and Fresh Fries, Buffallo Wings 6 pcs. (Hot). On a side note, guess which of us drank the beer? Haha


Buffalo Wings with Blue Cheese Dip and Vegetable Sticks (PhP170) -
Buffalo's Wings N' Things has met its match. These are tastier, bigger, and what do you know, cheaper! I love that Charlie's serves its wings with free vegetable sticks. After chomping on all that chicken skin, you'd want to eat vegetables to get rid of the guilt. Haha Sauces come in three variants - hot, honey mustard, and nuclear.


Black Angus Burger with Shrooms (PhP400) - Do not be turned off by the price. This burger is so big it can actually feed three people. It was enough for Pao and myself so yep, that's about three. :) What makes Charlie's burgers different is that they are "handcrafted," which means the meat is not frozen. I think they grind the angus beef and season it when you order. A lot of extra work goes into it, but it's worth it. You will taste the difference!


The anatomy of Charlie: We ordered the burger with the panko (Japanese bread crumbs) crusted deep fried portobello mushroom sandwiched between the buns in addition to the angus beef. The portobello mushroom is supposed to be filled with cheese but I wasn't able to taste it. Maybe it slipped out of the mushroom in the course of deep frying? Hmmm.

In our opinion, the portobello mushroom isn't really necessary. The angus beef burger is good enough on its own. In fact, the portobello mushroom may just add confusion to your already baffled taste buds. Just order the angus beef burger! It's cheaper too, around PhP170.


I'm posting this photo of half of the burger and the fries because Charlie's Fresh Fries warrants a separate write-up. These are the best fries that I have ever tasted in my entire life, promise. Like Charlie's burgers, Fresh Fries are not your regular frozen fries. These are made from fresh potatoes, cut by the staff "french-size," and seasoned with the perfect amount of salt and pepper. You can order a serving separately for PhP75. If you're ordering a burger, add around PhP40. 


Would I go back? Hell yes. In fact, Pao and I were there Tuesday, munching on the usual suspects (see chicken wings and Fresh Fries above) and this -


Charlie's Deputy (around PhP180, add PhP30 to have the sausage wrapped in bacon) - I'm not a fan of barbecue sauce so this wasn't very much to my liking. Pao, however, loved it. Maybe it's worth trying for you.

"Pao, paki-picture-an nga ako dito. Ib-blog ko."

Charlie's Grind and Grill is at
#16 East Capitol Drive Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig City and at the Ronac Building, Ortigas Ave., San Juan. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So here's what I think

[Some spoilers here. Walk away if you haven't watched Glee this week yet.]

I was impressed with Charice in her restroom scene with Lea Michele. That was simple unadulterated singing that showcased her voice. I'm also glad she was able to pull off the accent. Not trying hard this time, just the way I like it. I love that she appears as a Filipino. When news first came out that Charice will be appearing as a new character in Glee, we thought she will be casted as a Vietnamese. Good to know she will be appearing as a fictional version of herself. And I love the name Sunshine Corazon. It's very Filipino. Parang meron siyang mga kapatid na Baby at Boy Corazon ang pangalan. Haha

I didn't like - (1) the fact that she mostly had one-liners; (2) her outfits - the freaky glasses, the pig tails, the berets! What high school student wears pig tails to school? (I admit though that she is not to be blamed for this. 'Twas the costume designer's idea.); (3) her audition and her audition song, Listen. Wait, I think I liked the song choice I just didn't like the way Charice sang it. My gad, so OA this girl. I can do without all the hand movements woman. Glee is not
Tanghalan ng Kampeon.



One question though before we end: Now that Charice has been pirated by Vocal Adrenalin, does this mean we won't be seeing as much of her as we thought we would?

What I've Been Up To

Ooh, just watching all of these great shows that are returning to the small screen for Fall's new season. Woothoot.

Tuesday, we were busy watching these (aired Monday in the U.S. of A) -


Castle - In Episode 1 of Season 3, Beckett arrests Castle for turning up at a crime scene. After last season's dramatic ending (where Kate sees Rick off on his way to the Hamptons with his 2nd ex-wife), the two reunite to solve a murder mystery involving a Chemistry teacher, a vending machine salesman (technician? I forget.), a sculptor, and a tattoo artist/strip club owner. Episode 1 does not disappoint although I have issues with Stana Katic's fashion sense. Girl, you have got to get a stylist!



How I Met Your Mother - In the first Episode of this Season, Marshall and Lily attempt to make a baby although Lily's spirits are dampened when she learns that Marshall told his dad about their plans. Robin still isn't over her break-up with her news anchor boyfriend from last season and so acts like a slob. Ted meets what he thinks is the love of his life, only to find out that she's Cindy's roommate (Cindy is that character played by Rachel Bilson). Barney, well, he's still Barney.


Yesterday, ah yesterday was Glee time! In Episode 1, the Glee Club gets a budget cut to funnel additional funding for the McKinley High football team and their new female coach, Coach Beist (Did I get the spelling right? It's supposedly French). While everyone else seems to be signing up for the other clubs, especially the Cheerios, there's a sad dearth of new recruits willing to join New Directions. Emma and Ken are missing in action. Blah blah blah. We all know what's really worth writing about this Season - Charice, Oprah's singing sensation, joins the cast as Filipino exchange student Sunshine Corazon. My thoughts on this to follow. Teehee

Anyway, there are so many other shows to look forward to this week. Chuck aired Monday, Modern Family and Cougar Town aired Wednesday, Big Bang Theory airs Thursday...Ack!


You may view the Fall TV schedule here

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It's like discovering the Atlantic

If you're a blogger looking for a free online tool that will allow you to make collages of your outfit photos/restaurant reviews/travel pictures/what-have-you, look up photovisi. Photovisi is especially helpful for people like me who have no working knowledge of Photoshop. All you have to do is to click on your pictures and photovisi does everything for you.

Today, I used
photovisi to make these wallpapers of Malik. Nice no?





Just so we're clear, this isn't a standard or a paid invitation (I wish!) to check out the site. I just tried it and was impressed by it 'tis all. Plus, blogging about photovisi presents an excellent excuse for me to yet again brag about my poging poging baby. 'Di ba ang pogi? Teehee

Click
here to see for yourself.

That's why they call the Brothers Grimm

Now that we have a 9-month old son, it bothers me a lot that most nursery rhymes are gruesome. I discovered this after purchasing a CD of nursery rhymes for Malik. We were happily playing to the tune of what appeared to be the happiest of songs, until I zeroed in on the lyrics! Some examples -

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
She swallowed a fly, I don't know why
Perhaps she'll die

Ladybird, ladybird fly away home
Your house is on fire and your children will burn

Rock a bye baby falling from a tree top, Jack and Jill rolling of a hill, Humpty Dumpty falling from a wall ... They're all very bleak! Nyii.

Now that I know, I listen intently to the nursery rhymes playing in the background while Malik and I play, and skip those parts where the lyrics ought to be screenplay for CSI. Nevermind that Malik won't be learning some nursery rhymes. He's a baby. He shouldn't be hearing about old ladies dying out of swallowing flies!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Head on over to Charlie's - Part I

We knew that there's a burger joint located right next to a car wash in Kapitolyo, Pasig that sold burgers with deep-friend portabello mushrooms sandwiched between the patty and the buns. We haven't tried that out even when we really wanted to, because er, Kapitolyo and traffic jams are synonymous in our book!

Since some months ago, an Arts and Center building was constructed along Ortigas Ave. Extension in San Juan. We pass by this building everyday from work, and have wondered why there are always cars parked outside even when only two establishments are open. One of the stores that we see everyday is called Charlie's Grind and Grill. It turns out, it's the newest branch of that heretofore unreachable burger joint in Pasig.

This photo from www.janedchua.com. All other photos taken by Pao or myself.

Our advice is to not go on a Sunday evening like we did. There were just too many families waiting to be fed. This, for instance, was the line ahead of me to the cash register -

Tagal!

It took 25 minutes to place our order and another 20 minutes until our order was served. I timed it. This is accurate. Service was also horrible. We had to ask several different waitresses to give us glasses of water, which requests were all conveniently ignored. Ultimately, Pao had to get the glasses himself. (I will not be taking this against Charlie's though. The crew at the time was manifestly overworked. Charlie's also doesn't charge a service fee. They only have a tip box at the counter. We suggest you use that too.)

Tick tock. Tick Tock.

The first point is, it's really just best that you go on a weekday. Like I said, we pass by the place everyday from work. On those days, the number of people waiting in line isn't ridiculous.

(To be continued...) 

Monday, September 20, 2010

While we can

They don't stay babies forever.







From top to bottom: Sarhento Zamora, Simba, Malik the Bumbleboy and Just Us Three

Click here to see more of Malik's pictures.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

In our experience

Baby carriers are really not advisable baby gear for big babies. We have three. One is this Evenflo baby carrier that works like a back/frontpack -



Another is this baby sling from H.A.B Maternity and More -



And we have another baby sling called the Next 9 R'Jelly Bean sling. These are okay for when you have smaller built babies. They make maneuvering through clothes racks and riding escalators easier. 


But they don't work for bigger babies like Malik (weighs 9.9 kgs. and measures 80 cm at 9 months). Surprise, surprise. Big babies, even when carried with the aid of carriers, will still feel heavy. Plus, with baby carriers, we have to put all of Malik's stuff in a bag which we also have to lug around. Harang.


It's really just more convenient to use a baby stroller that can contain all of the baby's things and also keep the baby amused. We are fortunate that Malik likes to ride his stroller. Some babies, who have gotten so used to being carried around by their parents (through carriers or otherwise), refuse to be tied down to these devices.

"It doesn't look like it, but I'm really enjoying this folks."

I'm waiting (to be entertained)

Most of the blogs I read follow U.S. TV series Mad Men that  has won three consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Drama Series since its premier episode aired in July 2007. 

Mad Men is set in the early 1960s and is about the everyday concerns of employees of  the fictional ad agency Sterling Cooper, which was supposedly located on Madison Avenue in New York City (Hence the series' title "Mad[ison Avenue] Men"}. The series has garnered some acclaim for being historically accurate in terms of its depiction of the lifestyle in that era. 

So far I learned that -

* People smoked a lot in the 1960s. As in. They were apparently then unaware, or were still in denial, that smoking causes health problems and leads to lung cancer, among others. The characters smoked everywhere including in enclosed spaces, which would be shocking not to mention rude in the 21st century. 





One of my favorite characters, the curvy Joan Sterling - Office Manager and Head of the secretarial pool at Sterling Cooper

* Most of the women in the 1960s were treated like children. Staying at home to look after the household was not an option, it was expected of them. For women who worked, careers were limited to clerical jobs as secretaries or office managers. Agency partner Roger Sterling, when asked the question "What do women want?" non-chalantly replied "Who cares?"





The secretaries of Sterling Cooper

* Homes had loud wallpapers in the 1960s. It is not unusual for a room with green plaid wallpaper to be located next to a room with red damask wallpaper. Sorry Pao, but I think I am inspired. Haha





A typical 1960s kitchen

After three episodes of Season 1, I am sadly not impressed. I love the fashion lessons. But stories seem slow, as compared to say True Blood where someone almost always dies per episode. I am watching two more episodes today, in the hope that I will be convinced otherwise. If my liking for the series doesn't surface by end of day, I guess I will just be looking at pictures of the costumes on the Internet. 





My favorite character fashion-wise is Betty Draper with her full skirts, petticoats, silk gloves, and yellow rubber gloves for cleaning the kitchen sink. 

The women of Mad Men - Peggy (secretary to the show's main character Don Draper), Betty Draper and Joan Harris

Saturday, September 18, 2010

WWMD - What Would Mommy Do

We took Malik to one of those play areas in malls, where parents often leave their babies so they can in turn gallivant. Our intention was not to buy ourselves free time, although this could be an objective in the future. Ha! In the meantime, we just wanted Malik to experience a different play environment since he stays at home with the helpers 5 days a week. It's only a theory but I think babies can get cabin fever too!





Pao went inside with Malik while I followed them around paparazzi style. After observing babies, toddlers and older children interact, I have come to the conclusion that children, in all their innocence, can surprisingly be mean. 




There's a kid there, around 2 years old, who likes to throw balls at other children and slap them. I named him Chuckie. Teehee When a mom saw what Chuckie did to her own son, he sort of scolded Chuckie and told her kid to stay away from him because "he's [Chuckie] bad". 

I wonder if I would have reacted the same way. I would have just allowed Chuckie and Malik to work out their differences on their own. You know, teach them to fight their own battles (the minor ones at least). My strategy would have worked, because some minutes later, I saw Chuckie and some kids against whom his wrath was earlier directed, happily throwing plastic balls at each other in the spirit of good cheer. 

This is all theoretical of course. Malik hasn't been slapped by anyone yet. Come to think of it, just the idea  makes me want to file a criminal complaint, even when the perpetrator is just a 2-year old boy. Haha




Anyway, what actually happened was, Malik played with this adorable 10-month old. No actual slapping or ball-throwing transpired. Whew. 


Friday, September 17, 2010

Pass it forward

About six months ago, when an opportunity presented itself for us to give away Malik's clothes, I wavered and ultimately decided against letting go. As a result, Malik has dozens of clothes that he's outgrown just lying inside our cabinets. 

Fast forward to September, when my cousin Tony also known as Food Trip 28* will be welcoming a third addition to his family in a month. He and wife Jenny will be having a baby boy. So I again went through Malik's clothes to see if some other baby could benefit from what Malik can't use anymore.

I followed-through this time. Put all of Malik's small clothes in a bag and delivered them to Kuya Tony over the weekend. I did set aside some for when Malik's  brother or sister comes around (Ahem), but most of it had to go. 


"Here you go baby cousin. It's all yours!"

Of course, I had to take pictures of Malik wearing his mittens for the last time before packing all of them away. Hindi na bagay. You're too big for mittens honeybun. 


Malik Mouse


*My cousin is well-known among overseas Filipinos because of his simple and easy-to-follow recipes on youtube. He's an excellent cook. You should look him up!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vaginismus: Pinsan ni Optimus

Rumor's going around that John Lloyd Cruz and girlfriend Shaina Magdayao were involved in a, uhm, "medical situation" where they had to be brought to a hospital to, uhm, "disengage". Seeing that I am a self-confessed fan of Mr. Cruz and his work, it may be a wonder why I haven't blogged about this rumor yet. 




It's because I don't want to dignify said rumor by writing about it (lenghtily heehee) and in the process do any more damage to Lloydie's reputation. But let's evaluate why don't we, just 'cause we can.
  
Is the rumor believable? Well yes. A medical condition as rare and incredible as vaginismus would have been difficult to conjure out of thin air. Do I choose to believe it? Of course not. I'd much rather believe that Lloydie and Shaina are the types of people who'd consummate their love for each other after marriage. Wahaha


In case you have no idea what I'm yapping about, maybe this here statement would help.

If it's so good

(My original post disappeared so I'm going to have to re-write this from memory! What happened, Blogger? Argh.)

It appears that Emerald Garden is the type of restaurant that you'd want to go to when you're solving a hostage situation. Whether good or bad, what's settled is that the restaurant got publicity out of that crisis. We were curious. So for my mother-in-law's birthday, off we went to Roxas Boulevard to check out the food. 


There are two Emeralds actually. We went to the one on the right, with our backs turned against Roxas Boulevard. The exteriors look crummy, but inside it was clean and the airconditioner was working. This was surprising, as I was preparing myself to tackle sights and smells similar to Ma Mon Luk along Quezon Avenue. Have you been to Ma Mon Luk? Ah. Eau de Ma Mon Luk. Wild. Haha



While waiting for our meals, Malik toured the vicinity with Lolo -


Lolo: "Look Malik, shrimps."
Malik: "We will eat those later Lolo. I wonder if their families will look for them." ;p



Must also not forget the customary picture picture with the birthday celebrant -



Pao is grumpy. Hmph.

Okay, these are what we had -









From top to bottom: Yang Chow fried rice, beef with broccoli, birthday noodles, salt and pepper squid, fried crab, prawn salad, and (Malik's ulam) minced steam broccoli


Our meal at the Emerald Garden cost us around PhP500 per head. I can't decide whether this is reasonable. On the one hand, we did have prawns and crab. On the other hand, it's really just one medium-sized crab. Besides, the food was underwhelming. I could just have gone to the nearer Hap Chang or North Park and I would have gotten the same tastes, probably even better. 


Would I go back? Yes but only for the crabs. Emerald's crabs taste fresher than those at Red Crab. Let's compare, picture-wise -



Emerald's crab: Meat does not stick to shell and is juicy.

Red Crab's crab: Meat sticks to shell and is dry.
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