Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Today is gloomy, rainy and cold. Not my kind of day. But it’s a good thing that the rains came since the area had been experiencing droughts for weeks now. And thinking about the fires ravaging Southern California, I wish it were raining there, too. I was watching the movie The Holiday on HBO earlier this week, and the Santa Ana was mentioned. And then, the next day the wildfires started, fueled by the unusually fierce Santa Ana winds. When you agitate your mind with all the calamities going on in the world, you’re bound to just perish miserably. This is added stress. What to do, what to do?

Anyway, we bought half a gallon of Selecta halo-halo ice cream from the Filipino store this week. Too pricey at $10, but too mouthwatering to dismiss. I love it. Buko salad next time?

About the movie The Holiday, I liked it for its simplicity and agreeableness. It wasn’t explosive or massively tear jerking, but I found a lot of kilig and funny scenes. This kind of movies should be in my must list- I don’t need maddeningly passionate love stories or sappy, sappy love songs to make me smile. On hectic days and weeks, sometimes funny videos or a nice warm meal or photos, and nice pleasant movies are enough to ease up the crunch of daily life. Last night, I watched the movie Happy Feet in between cooking for dinner and dinner, and chores afterwards. It was so cute. So we’re planning to watch it again tonight on HBO.

While I was flooded with paperwork today, (and in fact, I’m bringing some work home tonight), I was thinking how glum today was. It’s now 5:30 pm and outside it’s already too dark. Definitely, not my kind of day. Summers are better. But I thought about the meeting that I conducted today, and how it went really smoothly, and at the end of the hour, one staff exclaimed “it was really a good meeting!” I realized, heck, it was so much better than whining that life sucks. I remember a clinician, who always seemed to find ways to complain about the cases that I assign to her, grumbled again to me last Tuesday. As I listened to her irate litany, I looked at her and was astounded. Here she was, just a couple of years older than me, and looking like she could already be my aunt. Holy crap.

So take it easy. Take time to think, that no matter how mad the day was, it will always be better tomorrow.

Friday, October 19, 2007

sixty-seven days 'til Christmas

The other day, I bought a creamy cappuccino-scented candle. I need a little bit of aromatherapy in my life right now. It’s calming to come home after a long day and have a room heavy with one of those stimulating aroma. Since I have stopped drinking coffee, who said I couldn’t “smell” it? The past three weeks had been hectic. So frenetic we were tired all the time. Adding the cooler temperatures, bed and sofa are instantly our choice words. Pleasant scents are always a relief. In my case, the scent of coffee always peps up nothing but good memories.

At our former boss’ Tie Burning” party at his house on Columbus Day, I tasted this wonderful thingy- wasabi nut. It was surprisingly very tasty, and you couldn’t help but pop them in your mouth one after another. His tie-burning party was fun. A lot of the staff were kind of edgy when he left (sort of, he was forced to retire by the Board), and I was half-expecting that the party would be all kvetching since a lot of people didn’t want him to leave, but then, everyone was pleasant. The food was good, and the people’s mood was less uptight than at work. Perhaps, life is too short to wallow in mournfulness all the time?

I interpreted for a Cebuano-speaking client of a law firm in Pennsylvania Avenue in DC last October 12. I took the train on a cold, windy day. I interpreted for fours and a half, and took the train again going back to the office. It was my first time to act as interpreter, and it was a fun experience. I met the three lawyers who worked with the client, and I had a great experience. After work, the hubby and I met three friends from work at an Ethiopian restaurant. I love the food. It’s not something I can eat everyday, but it’s very tasty and spicy I’d like to enjoy it from time to time. We also tried the Ethiopian beer, which was very light. One of our friends was egging me to let her try one of Philippine-made beers. I’d love for her to try San Miguel, but I don’t know where to get that around here. Or Red Horse kaya? Ha! One of our friends was Ethiopian, and he taught us how to say thank you in Amharic. It was too long, and I couldn’t pronounce it well. David was able to say it to our waitress, which delighted her very much.

I was able to beat the deadline for the county report at 4:35 pm on Monday, the 15th. I’m tasked to do the report on one of our county grants now. It was passed on to me since the last Program Manager left in a huff in July, and she didn’t really tell me much how to do the report (which was done online). I didn’t have an idea what I was getting myself into, and of course, I was frustrated until I was finally able to figure out what to do. How funny life is, when all your life you avoided getting involved in anything with numbers and figures- I chose to take the least amount of Math courses in college and I crawled, and I wept in my Stat and Research courses in Grad school- and then, now. Is this the way of the Heavens in punishing me?

Life is better with free pizza! We ordered pizza for dinner earlier this week. When we got there to pick it up, we waited another thirty minutes for it. I was not really that bored and exasperated, but I was pacing back and forth the whole time. (Because it was cold, and I felt better if I kept on moving). When the pizza was ready, the manager told us it was free, and we didn’t have to pay for it and he thanked us for waiting. With free 2-liter Coke pa! Not bad, not bad.

I finally made some binignit. I got all the ingredients from the Asian store, and on Wednesday night, there I was, ladling my way into a medium pot of my (authentic) Pinoy binignit. Oh well, the next day, I brought some at work, and shared it with some officemates. They liked it. Half the fun of making the binignit was explaining to my non-Filipino friends the ingredients and the history of the binignit!

Sixty-seven days ‘til Christmas! I haven’t heard a single Christmas carol yet! In the past, I always look forward to hearing my first Christmas carol for the year. Hopefully this year, I’d hear something classic and heart-tugging. Something like this:

Can't wait.....