Thursday, March 31, 2011

TV Talk

Another performance night is over for American Idol. The top 11 performed Elton John songs last night and most of them did a fantastic job, in my opinion.

My top three based on the performance:
1. James Durbin
2. Casey Abrams
3. Lauren Alaina

Note: I don't know what it is, but Pia Toscano has started to rub me the wrong way. Is it her perfectionist way of singing? Is it her ballad heavy repertoire week after week? Is it her perfect teeth and lovely face and silky long hair? I don't know. But she just fell off my fave wagon.

The bottom three based on performance:
1. Stefano Langone
2. Naima Adedapo
3. Thia Megia

Note: I hate to see Thia in my bottom three but she has not shown any personality in the contest so far. Her voice could only carry her so far. She needs to bring in a total package. I hope that the votes will save her, but for now and until she develops a go-get-it attitude, she will be off my fave list :)

In another Wednesday show, TOP CHEF ALL STARS had their finale last night and Richard Blais was crowned the TOP CHEF. Good for him.

It's hard to be totally happy, since my fave chefs, Dale Talde and Angelo Sosa, were eliminated earlier.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

One Joyful Year

March 30, 2010. The day started as it had always been for the past two weeks. Being sidelined, recovering from a surgery, I knew I would spend the day by getting a little sun in the backyard, granted it wasn't too cold. And I would spend most of the time taking it easy - watching tv and blogging/bloghopping.

I knew that I had to make a life-changing decision before the day was over. Hubs and I made a decision and there was no turning back from that decision. We had reached the point of no return. Yet I wasn't 100% sure inside as I pretended to be outside.

Still, I dove in. Que sera sera!

her first pix - day after her adoption.
Emma's first picture - taken March 31, 2010

You came home with us that night. Spent the first few minutes under the bed. I let you sniff the downstairs living area. After that everything is fuzzy.

Except when it was time to sleep, you jumped into bed and cuddled up with my legs and slept in between them. That's where you sleep ever since.
hey beautiful.

You made me a cat person, Emma. You are such a good cat. A very entertaining cat. A perfect companion. You knew when I need you on my lap and when I need you to stay beside me so I can have the laptop on my lap instead. We were so pleased with the experience that 7 months after we got you, we wanted another one and got your brother Buster.

Since we didn't know your exact birthday and the shelter told us that you were 2 years old when we adopted you, your dad and I agreed to make your adoption day your birthday. So today, March 30, 2011, my dear Emma you are 3 years old. You are going to get a LOT of treats today my darling.
Sssh, Emma's trying to sleep.

I don't know how life was before I had a cat, honestly. Now I understand why cat owners seemed cookie/crazy to noncat owners :)

Oh joy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I Haven't Rambled in A While

So here is my rambling in bullets:
  • Last Friday, March 18th we had a full blown storm - ala PI - with thunder, lightning, hail, strong winds, and power outage.  Hubby was ecstatic to feel the home feel again, reading newspaper by flashlight.  Buster was freaked out.  Could not figure where all the rumbling was coming from. Backyard went white from all the hail.
  • Went to see BATTLE LOS ANGELES. Wanted to see the new Matt Damon movie but changed our minds at the last minute.  Wasn't bad, in fact quite entertaining for a war/action movie.
  • Had adobong pusit and plain white rice - take out lunch from local Pinoy resto, CABALEN.  Totally enjoyed my lunch yesterday.
  • Looks like our friends are dragging us to the Central Coast soon.  I haven't even posted the photos I took from our 2 night 3 day stay from November and here I am about to go.  We'll see they might change their minds and opt for Yosemite instead. Either destination, I would not care.  Both are spectacularly scenic in their own rights.
  • Would be very busy at work.  Looks like I'd be putting in OT for a few weeks in the coming days.  I can almost feel the heavy weight of that Canon DSLR in my hands.  Husband warns me not to spend the OT money before I earned it.  Wise guy, isn't he?
  • I am just loving the new batch of judges on AMERICAN IDOL.  Jennifer is so insightful and so supportive of the contestants.  I heart her!
  • And I just adore Steven Tyler's beautiful eyes when he listens to the contestants perform.
  • James Durbin's for real, isn't he?  Easy on the eyes too :)
  • Antonia just got sabotaged by her "cousin" Mike.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, you ain't watching TOP CHEF ALL STARS.
  • The radio just played HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE RAIN, the version by Rod Stewart.  I really really love that song. 
That's all I have to say for now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Food Craving Wednesday

sf giants 066
I thought it would be nice to have another segment here.  A food craving day.  Not that I cook.  Nope.  In our household my husband is the chef, and I the sous chef - a lofty title for the chopper, dicer, slicer person. But I don't mind.  First my husband truly enjoys cooking.  Second, when he's stressed, cooking gives him comfort and relaxation.  And I get to enjoy the product of his relaxation.  Isn't that a great deal?

Anyway, once upon a time when I used to work in Emeryville, I'd frequent the Emerybay Public Market.  This is where I would get Moroccan Pastilla - like a siopao but different.  I googled the recipe and found out that it is traditionally a pigeon dish.  Here in the states, they use chicken.  I would love to taste pigeon, I never had before.

If you want to try this recipe, click here, and let me know how it tastes. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

This Is Us Being Spontaneous

We have no plans, travel or otherwise, for the next few months. Nothing. Sad isn't it?

However, we expect to be quite deep into our church's fundraising this summer. So we are clearing our schedules for that - and oh we are saving up for some big vacation - like a 2-week Turkey tour :)

Anyway, my Saturdays are always the same. It's a routine. In the morning, and I don't wake up early either, I have to take my mom out to eat and then run her errands. Later on in the day we do groceries, et al. Not this Saturday. We didn't run our errands after my morning with mom.

Instead we attended my nephew's housewarming party. In all these economic worries, he managed to buy a condo/townhouse. It's a 2 bedroom 2 1/2 baths built in 2005 so it's fairly new. It was foreclosed and thankfully he had 20% down, I wouldn't have guessed. Not to knock him down, but I certainly did not think he was geared towards his future. I am so delighted and proud.

The condo overlooks International Market - across from the college. It's a gated community so it's pretty safe. The 2-storey townhouse has a lovely floorplan that I liked a lot. I went home satisfied after seeing his new digs. Beats the rent he pays for the apartment.

On Sunday, we had church. Afterwards we went home for a little brunch. While chewing, I was also making a list of what we needed to buy at the grocery store.

And then I thought why not drive to Napa. Napa is less than 30 minutes drive from home and a favorite place to go to if we feel the need to go out of the house.

Halfway to Napa, the skies opened up and poured wet blessings on us. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to exploring the revitilized riverfront district on foot. I knew that Iron Chef's Morimoto's new restaurant is in that area. I wanted to take photos.

I told my husband that next time we plan on being spontaneous we check the weather report first.

While we toyed with the idea of making a U turn and watch movie instead, we decided to go ahead with our plans, since the movie tickets were sitting in my computer desk at home.

Despite the rain which was on and off, when it was on it was really pouring, the visit to the riverfront was very nice. Morimoto's restaurant is right there two doors down from Tyler Florence's store. You see these are my name brands. I don't do Dolce Gabbana, or DKNY or Gucci. Those names don't mean a thing to me. What matters to me are Morimoto, Alice Waters (mother/founder of California cuisine, owner of Chez Panisse), Tyler Florence, etc.

Just like those who buy Louis Vitton, I too cannot afford to eat there, but I save up so I can and today was not the day to eat.

We walked around poking into restaurants to see what their menus would be like and how much they charge :)

Went inside Kohl's and grabbed a few shirts, my idea of shopping.

Walked some more and found ourselves in need of some sustenance. We ducked into SWEETIE PIE and had coffee and coffee cake. We found a wonderfully looking chocolate cupcake with almond butter creme frosting that had to be wrapped for enjoyment at home.

The rest of the afternoon went by as we ran our errands. I shall be back when the weather is pleasant and would redo the walk I took.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Sharing A Journal Entry

Dapat sana nagulat ako, o di sana eh naghinala man lang sa pagbisita ni Brad Pitt dito sa bahay. Aba bakit nga ba hindi eh sa tatlong taon naming magkaklase nung high school ni minsan di napadpad sa bahay yang si Brad, samantalang ako at ang iba pa naming mga kaeskuwela ay halos magbabad sa kanilang bahay. At sa baryo pa ang bahay nila samantalang kami'y taga bayan, aba malayo layo din yung tambayan namin ah. Pero anhin ko mang isipin ni hindi sumaglit sa isipan ko na may mangyayari nung araw na iyon.

Nagbihis agad ako ng damit panglakad ng makita ko si Brad na kasama ng aking frends na si Phoebe. Alam kong gala na naman ang sadya nitong dalawang ito. Pero nang babain ko at harapin iba na ang naging ihip ng hangin. Seryoso ang mukha ni Brad. Pinaupo ako ni Phoebe at isinalaysay niya ang kanilang sadya. Ikakasal na daw si Brad!!!! Nahuli daw sila sa akto. At may baril na kasangkot, "shotgun wedding" kungbaga. At hindi sila naririto para ihatid ang magandang balita. Narito sila sapagkat nais ni Brad na maglabas ng sama ng loob. Laking gulat ko talaga. Ang nasabi ko sa sarili, aba parang sine ito ah! Nakinig ako ng maigi sa kanyang hinaing. Hinaplos haplos ko ang kanyang likod sa pakikiramay sa kanyang kalagayan. Wala kaming inabot na kasagutan sa kanyang suliranin, kayat minarapat naming pasyalan si Rachel, ang isa pa naming frends na isat kalahating kanto lang ang layo sa akin.

Gaya ng inaasahan, naulit ang pagsasalaysay sa balkonahe nila Rachel. Ito naman ang humaplos haplos kay Brad para kalmahin (at hindi kalamayin ah) ang kalooban nito. Sa lahat ng taon na aking kakilala si Brad ito ay masyadong personal na tao. Wala nga akong nababalitaan na nililigawan nito noong high school. Ito ay nakatutok sa pagaaral. Sabagay kahit ba iisang grupo namin di kami masyadong close nito kaya laking gulat ko na lang sa mga pangyayaring ito.

Kahit tatlo na kaming nagiisip wala kaming solusyon sa problema ni Brad kayat minarapat naming dalhin kay Monica ang problema ni Brad kahit ba siya ay paalis na patungong Estados Unidos para doon maghanap buhay. Mabuti na lamang at siyay andito pa para kami ay gabayan. Si Monica ang aming "brains" ng grupo. Maliban sa matalino ito, hindi pa siya nahihiyang magbigay ng payo. At ang pinakamaganda nito, hindi siya nagpapairal ng emosyon pag dating sa ganitong mga bagay. Hinaharap niya ang anumang bagay na klaro ang pagiisip. Siya'y matyur para sa kanyang edad, samantalang kamiy parang teen-ager pa din.

At dahil naghahanda na sa pagalis patungong EU si Monica, buo ang pamilya niya sa bahay nila. Andoon ang kanyang ama na bumalik na galing ng Middle East. Pero binigyan nila kami ng pagkakataong makapagsarili sa sala. Naupo kaming apat sa sofa. Isinalaysay namin ang mga pangyayari at sa bandang huli ay nahingi kami ng payo. Heto na po. Pabalik balik na naglalakad sa aming harapan si Monica habang kanyang ibinabahagi sa amin ang kanyang pamosong, DONT DO THE CRIME IF YOU CANT DO THE TIME na sermon. Wala siyang ipinakitang pakikiramay sa aming kaibigan. Pero tama lang naman iyon sa aking pakiwari sapagkat tatlo na kaming kasangga ni Brad. Kailangan namin ang kanyang neutral na palagay sa kahihinatnan ni Brad.


Sa aming pagalis sa bahay ni Monica, nakabuo kami ng plano. Ang sabi ni Phoebe kailangan naming tulungan si Brad. Dito masusubok and aming prendsyip. Syempre pa, sang-ayon kami ni Rachel sa ganitong plano. Anuman iyon.


Nang mahimasmasan si Brad, nagpaalam na ito. Samantalang kaming tatlo'y abala sa pagbuo ng aming "master plan" para maiiwas si Brad sa pagpapakasal sa babaeng ito na hindi namin kakilala. Siyanga pala, nakalimutan kong sabihin na buntis ang babae, yan ang sabi ni Brad. Pero, yan ay di namin isinaalang alang sa aming pagbuo ng plano.

Ganito ang aming napagkasunduan, malasine ito. Magpapanggap si Phoebe na buntis, may kasama pang props na kunway siya'y buntis. At kapag dumating na sa puntong itatanong ng pari kung may tututol ba sa kanilang pagiisang dibdib, tatayo itong si Phoebe at syang tututol at ilalahad sa lahat ng nasa simbahan na siya ay nagdadalang tao at si Brad nga ang ama. Alam ni Brad na ganito ang plano namin.

Ngayon kung binabalikan ko ang nakaraan, naaalala ko pa ang kasabikan ko sa plano namin. Ako at ang dalawa ko pang kaibigan ay pawang mga mababait na tao, may takot sa Diyos, pero bakit wala ni isa man sa aming tatlo and nakaisip na mali itong planong ito? Si Monica na aming kinunsulta ay siyang humadlang sa pagusad ng aming plano. Kami raw ay nasisiraan na ng bait. Pero matigas and ulo namin, sige pa ring pag perpekto ng aming nasabing plano ang aming pinagkaabalahan.

Sa pagdating ng araw ng kasal, kami'y nagdalawang sakay patungo sa kabilang bayan sa aming probinsya. Nung araw ding iyon namin napagalaman na hindi pala sa katoliko ang kasal kundi sa Aglipay. May kalakihan and simbahan at pinasya naming tatlo na umupo sa likuran. Lahat ng pumapasok ay nakatingin sa amin dahil nga naman wala kami sa gawi ng "groom side" or "bride side". Isa pa, mukhang sabit lang kami duon. Kung baga, talagang mukha kaming mga "outsiders" or "wedding crashers".

Tiningnan kami ni Brad isa isa mula sa may kalayuan. Hindi namin malapitan ito sa loob ng simbahan kahit ba kilala kami ng kanyang mga partido. Ewan ko ba kung bakit. Pero hayun naka barong tagalog siya at naghihintay sa kanyang kaisang dibdib. Nakatayo at ang mga mata'y humihingi ng tulong. Kaming tatlo'y paralisado sa mga oras na iyon. Wala kaming magawang tulong sa aming kaibigan kundi kawayan siya, aming bersyon ng "asa likod mo kami, gay-yem".

Nagumpisa na ang misa/kasal. Aray!!! Ilocano ang misa. At hindi lang Ilocano, Ilocanong hindi namin maintindihan. Kami'y mga Ilocano, pero andaming mga salita na kaiba sa aming Ilocano! Patay! Wala kaming maintindihan. Pero kahit na ganoon, malakas pa din ang "fighting spirit" namin. Aba sa dinami dami ng kasal na aming nakita maging sa personal o sine, kabisado na namin ang buong kasal, di ba? Hah, yan ang akala ninyo. Sapagkat nag reredi pa lang kami sa may punto na kung saan itanong ng pari kung may tututol ba, aruy, sa harap ng altar ay "kiss the bride" na ang eksena. Laking gulat naming tatlo. Nagkatinginan kami at nagtanungan kung kami bay hindi nakikinig ng maige? Bakit napalampas namin and parte na aming pinakahihintay?

Ganoon ang kinahantungan ng aking kwento. Pero mabuti na yon dahil sa palagay ko ay hindi namin kayang isakatuparan ang aming plano. Parang laro lang siya. Maigi na ring ganoon ang resulta dahil nasa simbahan kami at kami'y nagpaplano ng kalokohan.

Hindi naging palagay sa amin si Misis Pitt. Lagi nitong sinusundo si Mister kapag gumigimik kami. Mayroon kaming isang kubo na tambayan namin, pagaari ng ate ng isa sa aming kaibigan at open ito sa amin kahit anong oras. Bibili kami ng beer, coke (yung iniimon ah), at tsibog, at alam ni Misis kung saan susunduin si Brad. Ang laki ng galit o inis niya sa amin. Wala kaming paki. Si Brad naman laging naka' "hayaan niyo na siya", siguro naman mahal din niya ito kaya nagpapikot na.

Alam niyo na siguro na di buntis si Misis ano? Makalipas ang maraming taon, andito na ako sa america, nabalitaan ko nagkaanak din sila.

Happy Ending.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

This is a true story, the way I remembered it. I wrote this a while back on a journal while recalling a crazy time in my life. It was originally written in English, but prior to posting on my other blog I thought it would be a hoot to translate it in Tagalog - challenging myself to write in my native language kind of thing.

I posted a wedding picture on facebook and my cohorts posted that they remembered this wedding fondly. I told them if you need more reminding of "all that happened" let me know. They replied, OH WE REMEMBER EVERYTHING :)

Update on the couple - they have been happily married, with a housefull of kids and Mrs Pitt is chummy with everyone in the barkada. She came around eventually.

As a matter of fact, when I was talking on the phone to Rachel she confided that Mrs Pitt acts as if she was our classmate and not Brad, that's how close she is with the group/barkada.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

End of Weekend Thoughts

The weekend is almost over.  Basically it is over.  These weekends are never long enough and next week is even shorter on account of the time change. 

I've been quite stressed out lately. I don't know why, but I think I am also hormonal.  Good combination eh? 

Anyway, we had some rain this weekend, again.  Yap, this winter was a rainy one.  Winter is almost over and I haven't been to the snow yet.  Been planing since January, but it's first weekend of March and no trip has been planned.  Next week is not possible either as my nephew is hosting a Housewarming Party.  I cannot believe it.  I didn't realize he was even looking at home ownership, but he and his partner are now mortgage payer.  And I'm dying to check out their new home, a townhouse, near the international market, which means they are so close to tuyo, tinapa, and other Asian goodies.

There is something exciting that I did this weekend.  After church today my hubs and I went straight to Oakland to support Oakland Museum's White Elephant Sale.  A warehouse full of goodies.  They have everything, electronics, books and music and videos, jewelry, paintings and lithographs and photographs, clothing, furniture, and dishes and cups and mugs - everything.  And today after 12 noon, everything is 50% off.

Here's what I got in my shopping bag - 4 different kinds of bells [thought I'd start a collection of bells], a jack-in-the-box lamp [which we are hoping would be worth something in the future], 2 lithographs that we are hoping would be worth something again in the future.  Hubs even googled the artist before we paid for them.  This is the time I really am thankful for the new fangled phones that connect you online. 

I was hoping I could get a piece of jewelry, but I couldn't get close to the glass cases.  Three people deep were in the jewelry section, so I just decided to forego it and check out something else. 

I really appreciate fundraisers like this.  Oakland Museum is a wonderful place to visit and I fully support it. 

The sale is so popular that we had to park four blocks away.  I hope next year they'd have another one.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Pick Thee

We've heard the top 12 boys performed on Monday night; the girls last night. I thought that there were more talents in the boys this year. It's sad that the top 12 had to be half girls and half boys. Why not just pick 12, any 12 regardless of gender.

I am talking about the new season of American Idol for those who got lost and found themselves here on this site and can't follow what I'm saying.

My understanding is that tonight they would choose the 5 boys and 5 girls that had the highest number of votes to go to the "real show". From those that weren't picked, one boy and one girl would be chosen by the judges as the wild card picks. Sound good, but unfair for some of the boys who would be left in the cold because well there's only 6 slots for them. And from what I heard last Monday night, there were more than 6 boys that deserved to move on.

Well I'll cry over spilt milk after I crossed the bridge after I found out who's left out in the dark. In the meantime let me share my picks.

Casey Abrams is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Casey Abrams.  He's quirky and I like that a lot.  He also reminds me of Jack Black.

Thia Megia is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Thia Megia.  The young one who has a lovely voice and a very pleasant face. 

Scotty McCreery is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.]
Scotty McCreery.  I like his deep voice and I heart country music. 

Lauren Alaina is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Lauren Alaina.  I heart country music, that's all.  Oh she also can sing.  Really well.

James Durbin is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
James Durbin.  First he's local - from the bay area city of Santa Cruz.  Second, he's a rocker.  Third, he reminds me of Adam Lambert - who I heart from last season.  Enough reason.

Julie Zorrilla is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Julie Zorrilla.  Loved her from the audition in SF.  But she chose the song that's completely wrong for her.  I think she's going thru anyway - voted in or chosen by judges as wild card.

Pia Toscano is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Pia Toscano.  Impressive on Tuesday night.  I was completely floored by her performance.  Not in my radar until last night.

Paul McDonald is one of the Top 24 Contestants on  American Idol  Season 10.
Paul McDonald.  I love quirky.

Tim Halperin is one of the Top 24 Contestants on   American Idol   Season 10.
Tim Halperin.  I like him.

All photos were borrowed from tv dot com.

About the judges:  I am liking the set up.  I think the chemistry among the three judges is fantastic, although it feels weird that Randy is becoming the voice of reason this year, huh????

Love Jennifer in the judge's panel.  She brings glamour and also sound advice. 

And Steven is really fun to watch.

Tune in tonight and see who made the cut.  Keeping my fingers crossed that all of these aspirants I mentioned here would sail to the next round. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I love watching her sleep.


I love watching her sleep., originally uploaded by M'roy.

My husband watches in fascination at the joy that's flowing from my soul as I watch Emma sleep. Neither he nor I knew that I would get so much happiness from having a pet/cat. He insisted on getting a cat because he said a home needs pets.

Emma gave me a fright last Friday night when she awoke from her slumber and coughed like clearing a furball. Instead vomit came out. While concern washed over our faces, she was an image of embarrassment. Luckily, it seemed like nothing at all.

At the end of this month Emma would be celebrating her first year of adoption. We are so lucky.