Friday, December 29, 2006

Life is like eating artichokes

Life is like eating artichokes, you have got to go through so much to get so little.

What did you do in 2006 which you have never done before?
Can’t say.
Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, or will you make more for next year?
I’ll probably make a new one. I don’t remember if I ever made one this year.
What memorable places did you visit?
NYC and Outer Banks in North Carolina
What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
More courage and more patience
What date from 2006 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
July 23-26th “lighthouse hunt” in North Carolina.
What was your biggest achievement in 2006?
My newest rep: a good cook.
What was your biggest failure?
Can’t seem to identify a penny, a nickel and a dime
Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine and hubbys!
What did you get really, really excited about?
Birthdays and anniversaries
What song will always remind you of 2006?
Bad Day by Daniel Powter from American Idol
Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier!
ii. thinner or fatter? fatter, unfortunately
What do you wish you’d done more?
More exercise
What do you wish you’d done less of?
Temper tantrums
Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate last year?
Sadly, yes.
What did you do on your birthday?
Dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s with the hubby

What kept you sane?
Quiet comfort of home and that there’s always tomorrow
Who did you miss?
Mom, and Bub (my dog who replaced me in my mom’s world - my mom’s enfant terrible)
Tell us a valuable lesson you’ve learned in 2006.
That it doesn’t make me less of a person if I can’t please a lot of people, and that growing old isn’t that bad
What was the nicest thing someone told you about yourself?
I’m a good wife ;)
The most touching experience you’ve had this year.
When the hubby got sick, and I took care of him.
What did you hate most about yourself this year?
I always have bad timing in throwing a bad mood. I never learned.
Quote a song lyric which sums up your year.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand,six hundred minutes,

Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
(“Seasons of Love”, Rent)
Was 2006 a good year for you?
Yup. Life has been good. Can’t complain.
What was your favorite moment this year?
A lot! David’s birthday, my birthday, weekend trip to NY with friends, summer trip to North Carolina, our anniversary…
What are your favorite months of the year?
June, July and December
What are your least favorite months of the year?
January and February
Do you have a new year’s resolution for 2007?
To be more assertive.
What was your most embarrassing moment of 2006?
Let’s not even go there.
What are your plans for 2007?
Cook more. Bake more. Play tennis more. Read more. Travel more. Eat less. Study more. Start a new hobby. Learn new skills. Work harder. Stay healthy. Get more sleep. Make more new friends. Become a pet parent (maybe). Always be happy.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A happy Christmas, and a merry mix-up, too!

It’s Christmas Day! But it’s raining here… What a soppy way to spend a wonderful Christmas day. But anyway, a happy Christmas is still a happy Christmas, be it rain, shine, snow or a mix-up midnight mass; or here or there or missing family and friends.

We spent the Christmas eve at our friends’ home and of course, the center of attention that night, except for the delicious feast, was the 3-year old Stefan, who expertly tore off the wrappers of his presents. Well, we got some presents, too. Some nice, some junk hehe. But as we always prompt ourselves- it’s the thought that counts. For our good friends who hosted the party, we got them a good-humored wooden plaque which said: “My Wife Wanted A New Experience, So I Showed Her The Kitchen”. They were delighted with it and unhesitatingly hang it in their kitchen wall, like a religious icon for the wife, a self-proclaimed kitchen skeptic (and proud of it!).

Earlier last night, we went to hear Christmas Eve Mass at our parish. The schedule online said 9:30 p.m. for Misa Noche Buena. Well, we blissfully (albeit unintentionally) ignored the information, fixated on the 9:30 pm. So imagine our shock when we realized the 9:30 pm Mass was the Spanish Mass! So we heard the Mass in Spanish and I tried to keep up with the prayers and the songs. My Beginners Spanish was no match for the priest who rapidly spewed out his sermon, I had no time to catch all the words, hehehe.

But I must admit, it was a great experience. It was unexpected, but a fortunate incident nonetheless. I found myself singing with “hosanna, hosanna, hosanna en el cielo…..”- the only nearly-familiar song phrase that night. I loved it. I guess there’s a different kind of spark channeling our interest with a language we are still learning to speak, we got ourselves more into it. It was one-of-a-kind Christmas eve story, surely.

Hope your Christmas was happy and memorable, too!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


To celebrate our second wedding anniversary (December 18th), the hubby and I went to a Spanish tapas bar. Since I am persnickety when it comes to dates, anniversaries and fussy little details only OCs like me can devour, I was a little grim nobody remembered our anniversary (well, except for Mom and Roselle!). The hubby said, nobody ever remembers any wedding anniversaries. Is that true?! Well, I remember most of my friends’ wedding anniversaries or the dates they went steady. Hahaha!

So there. I can’t help it. I’m always a sucker for anniversaries. So at this place that we went to, we ordered paella valenciana, gambas gabardina, brocheta de pollo and chorizo al parilla. And this marvelous drink- sangria margarita, a wicked mixture of triple sec, tequila and white wine. ¡Increíble! I love it to the last drop. The hubby was teasing me because I got all giggly (it meant I was drunk, hehe). I was quick to order the drink to the waiter, but he was quicker to see my i.d.!

I had a great time. Despite the tough brocheta de pollo, the dinner went well and it was a great little celebration. I love anniversaries! I believe that it’s a must to celebrate every little thing you’ve got, before detachment and dispassion become a way of life and before you know it, you’re both drained off passion and left to rot. So celebrate! No matter how cheesy it gets.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Lady of the Baking Pan

It was a weekend overloaded with baking and… Lord of the Rings. I made chocolate fudge cake for Darko’s (our friend) 27th birthday on Saturday. It was sprinkled with pastel sugar stars, and although I failed to make its milk-chocolate frosting to my desired consistency, it was not entirely unfortunate-looking. Darko’s 3 year old nephew Stefan ooohed when he saw the cake, but he asked, “does Jasmine’s cake have eggs?” Poor boy, he can’t eat anything with eggs. Then on Sunday, I made devil’s food cake with chopped cherries for our wedding anniversary. Our wedding anniversary is today! We’re two! Yaaay.

On Sunday, after going to church and an hour and half shopping for supplies, we spent the rest of the day (and the night) watching the Lord of the Rings on TV. The hubby hadn’t seen the three movies in full length, but I was able to convince him to watch all three. After all the “who’s that?”, “how come?”, “what happened?”, “don’t tell about the next scene!”, and a quick, quick nap- he liked the movie! The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite movies. And my top two favorite scenes (in The Return of the King) are: when Arwen saw a vision of her future son on her way to Grey Havens which prompted her to return to her father, thus rejecting her Elvish immortality; and when Aragorn asked the ghoulish ghosts who betrayed his ancestors, “Fight with me”.

What a weekend. Can you imagine doing all that baking and watching all three Lord of the Rings movies at the same time practically up to eleven thirty at night? Not to mention I still have to make a pineapple upside down cake for tomorrow’s Christmas party at work. Therefore, I call mine self… Lady of the Baking Pan.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

an ode to my manic state of mind

Ever felt like a chattering teeth wind-up toy? Hopping maddeningly, aimlessly all over the place? I was a wind-up chattering teeth for a day. I woke up yesterday morning, with a sense of foreboding, not in a cataclysmic sense but a kind of sheepish admittance because……. (drumrolls, please) I left a lot of work undone the previous day.

Tuesday was a day of nonchalance. I left a lot of emails and tasks half-done because I got myself busy with getting annoyed and angry. As usual, over things which doesn’t kill me actually, but nevertheless I let myself soak into a state of angriness. It was gratifying, while it lasted. So yesterday, there I was catching up with my accumulated emails, and then happily cramming up urgent tasks in between this-and-that phone calls. Mr. Time Management would promptly (and zealously!) mark me an F!

I thought I work best on the eleventh hour. Well, that might have worked a long time ago. I was tempted to believe now that it’s still legit. But it wouldn’t save my bottom now, which is why I thought parading such a racket should be a once in a blue moon thingy only- ONLY when you’re in a manic state of mind. In the midst of that manic state, a thought came across my mind- that it was actually good! Satisfying… in a foolish kind of way. But then again, I’m not sixteen anymore who’s postulated to do such sheepish things.

Oh, well. Everything fell into place, luckily. I felt the rush, and it must have been a tailor-made cure to my intermittent feeling of sleepiness of late. It sure did jolt me back into haste. Come to think of it, acting like a wind-up toy, what a sight I must have been. But who cares? ¡Vivas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"evolution of my emotions in a day at work"

9:30 am

10:35 a.m.

12:20 p.m.

3:20 p.m.

3:23 p.m.

3:25 p.m.

4:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m.

5:32 p.m.

All's well that ends well.

Monday, December 04, 2006

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It seems like I’m all set for the December gaiety. Well, not quite.

I have a tree set up, wrapped our Christmas presents early, has mailed our Christmas cards even earlier, and I even put a tiny red Christmas bell in our front door knocker. I think that’s enough Christmas décor for us. Maybe some poinsettias when Christmas is really near.

Last weekend, we did some additional Christmas shopping. And as usual, the hubby complained it was “too exhausting”. But despite his boredom, he never growls at me, which is why I adore him to bits. Anyway, we were looking around for presents for our Secret Santa at work. I wanted him to get the strawberry-colored mini fondue set. But he disliked it. Instead, he chose a set of scented Chesapeake Bay candles. I tried to dissuade him, but come to think of it, it was a cute choice ;) I hope Monica and Caren will be happy with our gifts.

It’s going to be a month awash with little celebrations for us:
8th- Darko’s farewell potluck lunch
18th- wedding anniversary!!!
19th- Secret Santa party at work
24th- Noche Buena at Darko and Janet’s place

I made cherry cheesecake last Saturday. A little mishap happened, but with a lot of help from the hubby and a quick rescue effort, the cheesecake was picture perfect. And scrumptious, too! I brought some at work today, and they liked it. Me happy!

I got another load of books from the local library over the weekend. And I hope to read them all before the year is over. Biting off more than I could chew?! My goal is to read (and reread) all the Classics I could lay my hands on before I get 30. Hmm, that’s a tad too ambitious? First on my list is Don Quixote (I got the book from the latest load), then maybe the Canterbury Tales, next would be A Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights), perhaps I could go for The Song of Roland, then The Divine Comedy. That’s the end of the list, before I get too carried away. Well, maybe I could squeeze in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Do I really believe I could read all those in less than 8 months? Oh well, that feat, if- and only if I could achieve it, could be another worthwhile blog entry. Until then, I could leaf through my books page by page, and then slowly slither my way to this goal. But for the meantime, I just want to think about Christmas and enjoy Christmas….