Saturday chores

I wanted to sleep late but the little tyke woke me up around 8AM requesting breakfast.  I complied but it was my Mom who cooked his oatmeal.  After preparing breakfast for Alan and having my latte and Lily’s Peanut Butter sandwich, I put the mold and mildew remover on the tub and let it sit.  I changed the sheets and sprayed fabric freshener on the bed and pillows.  Then I went back to the bathroom and sprayed scum remover on the tub this time.  The toilet bowl is steeped in cleanser and I will clean it in a while.

Father and son are out having the car washed and waxed.  I checked the lotto and no, Mom and I didn’t have any winning numbers.  My Mom has this gut feeling that she’s bound to win — for some strange reason, I do, too.  She keeps hitting portions of the combination but never the whole thing.  Soon..

I’m going to clean the bathroom before I take a shower myself.  Then it’s off to do errands, lunch, get the sundries at Target, then we have that barbecue with Alan’s college buddies later.  All-Filipino, somewhere deep in New Jersey, and the Dad wants to bring his boy along to show him off to his friends.  Not that they don’t know the older son — the mom is one of them.  But it’s Alan’s pride in this little boy who is his spitting image, and who is literally a chip off the old block.

Pictures, pictures.. time to clean the bathroom now.  I prefer to do it because I have my standards.  My bathtub is clean enough for you to lie down in if you wish when it’s dry, and good enough to take a long soak in when you feel like a hot bath.  It was one of the selling points of this unit when we scouted for our place: I needed a bathtub where I wouldn’t mind sitting down bare naked.  And I found it.

The wonder of the birth of the child

I received word from one of my dear friends, Jonathan, that his wife Jo had given birth to their son Jed Matthew last June 27.  I knew of the coming of this child soon after they decided to announce it to family and friends.  I shared in their joy as I share in their joy now that Jed is with them.  Jonathan, like me, is already 40 years old.  He married the same year I did, but had done so after I had already left for New York.

We met in college in UP Manila.  He, with his brother and a gang called X-32 were actually a year ahead of me, but the College and Arts of Sciences was a small campus and we became very good friends.  I derived part of my inspiration to enter Law School from his example.  He entered the UP College of Law soon after he graduated from CAS, two years ahead of me.

He is one of my friends from my life before law school who actually headed into it with the same if not more intense passion as I did.  We kept in touch through the years — I missed him and the other guys when I was left behind in College.  We would spend hours on the phone and we would talk.  He was a real brother to me in many ways.  As we started building our careers, (he, in litigation and later as Chief of Staff to one of the Justices of the Supreme Court, and moi in Corporate Communications before I left for New York), we would continue to see each other occasionally.  The last time I saw him was when I went home this May.  I saw him only once, but that was more than enough.

From the time I met him to the time he met Jo, he had been with two other women who were not bad catches.  They would’ve been “keepers”, too, and he had been with each one a long time.  But when I saw him with Jo, I knew this was it.  My friend had a certain sparkle in his eyes I did not see with the two others.  I can imagine that same sparkle in his eyes now that he has his little boy.

Parenthood is a unique joy that only those who have children, biological or not, get to know because it radically alters your perspective in life.  I make no distinction between adopted and natural children because to me, Parenthood, has nothing to do with blood ties.  You can take a complete stranger into your life and into your heart, and you are a parent 100%.  You can carry a child in your womb for 9 months and go through the pain of childbirth, and yet never be a parent to that child. 

I wrote him today to congratulate him and Jo.  I know he will make a good father.  Besides his dashing good looks (Ruby Rodriguez was rumored to have had a crush on him way back when she was a sophomore in UP Manila), Jonathan has a very good attitude about life which makes a good companion to his intelligence and wit. 

He and I are magkumpare and magkumare twice over.  Two of our dear friends had asked us to be Ninong and Ninang to their children twice.  When Angel was baptized, I had 3 pairs of godparents here in New York, but I have two de facto godparents I specifically chose even if they were based in Manila.  Yes, Jonathan was one of them.  I wanted Angel to have a connection to my home and family.  He would definitely be one person I would want my son to know as an integral part of his life — even if via long distance.

Jonathan is moving to my part of the world soon.  I have been his Devil’s Advocate — forever harping on the “other side of the coin” he ought to consider.  At the end of the day, I trust his decision.  I know he will be okay, wherever he finds himself in the years to come.  Jed’s addition to the family is just another well-deserved gift and blessing, and I am happy my friend is now a Dad.

Coins in the subway tracks

I rushed out of the office at 5:30 with all my gear in tow, raring to get home to prepare dinner.  I had to stop by the grocery to pick up some green onions and dessert for dinner plus milk and bread for everyone during the weekend.  I skipped the first express subway train that hit the station because it was packed full.  The next train took a while to come and I found myself staring at the tracks.

It was dirty with mud and all the grime of elevated train tracks — there was still sufficient daylight for me to see so many coins embedded on the mud  although I couldn’t make out which ones were quarters or dimes and nickels and which ones were pennies.  But there were a lot of them in a uniform copper tone.  Round treasures hidden in the grime.  I bet you if we sifted the muck and got all those coins, we’d come up with a hefty bag of goodies.

Somebody's turning 40 in October

I didn’t really think I would have any more birthday milestones after I turned 18, but then again, I was nowhere close to 40 then.  Well I’m 40 now.  It wasn’t a big celebration but it was meaningful — I had my boys (father and son) and my family was still whole.  My Dad’s not getting any younger, but I got a delayed treat in being able to spend time with him in late April to early May in Manila this year, something I hope to do again sooner than the planned 2008 homecoming.

Besides, my friends are really in Manila, so I told Alan in jest recently he can just throw me a big 50th birthday party 10 years from now in Manila. 

Alan’s the one turning 40 this October, and I’ve already started planning it.  Some of the things we’ve agreed upon is that it will be a small party with close friends (probably 20-30 tops), it will be in the evening, and we’re having some of the food catered.  Alan works for one of the high end hotels here in New York so I suggested we get a suite.  He is going to find out if they will allow us to bring our own food in.  I’ve shortlisted my caterers to two I’ve tried out for bigger office functions, one of which is just a block away from the hotel.  I’ve already toyed with ideas for the invitation, but in the absence of a theme, I really can’t make up my mind just yet.  I have an idea about the souvenir, but again, I need a theme.

I’m actually excited about it because Alan is.  I didn’t even think about throwing him a surprise party anymore because I wanted to involve him in the planning.  So today I am starting a new category just to chronicle planning for this event.  I’ve even thought of games and intend to plan a great evening for everyone, complete with party gear (hats, noisemakers, etc.) and loot bags.  (No candy, of course! LOL)  It will be one grand celebration, and my honey deserves it because he’s really my BETTER HALF.

No, I'm not ON LEAVE

Okay, I have not been on a sabbatical.  Just so happened that my connection in the bedroom isn’t as good as when I’m out here (now posting from the breakfast counter) — and well, I chose to stay in the room last night.  The night before that, the laptop gave me a scare and refused to go through the complete boot up telling me it couldn’t verify my license.

So I called in the IT Site support yesterday and they checked my laptop but told me the issue was being forwarded to the hardware team.  Chances are, they were going to change my hard drive which was reimaged just before the 4th of July.  So I spent much of yesterday trying to back up my files onto the server drive.  It was as simple as that but the laptop wasn’t cooperating, and I ended up feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

But I’m back.

I was hoping to slow cook Korean Beef Stew today but I just discovered this morning that I was out of green onions.  The grocery is a short walk away but that means I will walk to the corner, get my green onions (and maybe grab some milk and bread while I’m at it) and then walk back.  I have called the office I’m running late because I have to be here when the dining room ceiling fan/light is installed.  So yes, it’s doable, but it’s muggy outside and I’m thinking about whether or not I will do it.

Such seemingly trivial choices and yet the decision escapes me.  We often find ourselves at such crossroads over very small matters.  (Do I switch bags today?  Do I wear the blue or the pink outfit?)  Decisions, decisions.

But back to my short ribs.  I have a kilo and a half that have thawed in the fridge so I have to make a decision about what I’m doing about it today.  (I suddenly remembered another recipe that doesn’t call for the green onions until AFTER the dish is cooked..Will google it.)

Friday.. I love Fridays because it means Saturday and Sunday are up.  Tomorrow, we have a birthday party to attend (where Alan wants to show off his little boy to his college friends) and then Sunday, it’s wine tasting with some friends of Alan from work (and no, we’re not bringing the tyke along..).  I guess I have a busy weekend up ahead. 

Time to prep the short ribs.

Blog Rut

It isn’t for lack of things to write about — it’s just that at the end of they day when I sit here to publish my posts, I’m usually too tired or otherwise preoccupied watching TV or scrapbooking.  (Uh-oh, that’s not a good sign.)  I still scribble down posts when on the bus but somehow my thoughts have been left hanging in midsentence, so none of them have been published here.

There are days when I can’t even decide which topic to write about first.  I’m trying to get out of this blog rut.  That’s the reason I’m posting at the beginning of my day.  Maybe this will jumpstart things a bit.

My Digital Layout Submissions

There are monthly challenges over at RAKScraps which I joined today and here are the layouts I submitted.  The first was supposed to be a “SCRAPLIFT” which is essentially “lifting ideas” from a featured layout. The second is a “LAYOUT” Challenge where they give you a design element, which in July is “Repetition”.  Beautiful kits to work with so I’m inspired.

I’m rather limited by my software because I’m doing my layouts on Powerpoint.  The nice thing about Powerpoint is that although it is primarily a presentation software, it is capable of graphics manipulation and can save into .jpg or .png.  I save as jpegs for uploading (after resizing) and then I save the whole layout as a single graphic in .png format for printing later as a 12×12 page.  So as not to “lose out” on margins, I break the graphic into two pieces and print on legal size paper and later piece it together into one layout.  (Still with me?)

I still consider myself both a paper and digital scrapper.  I cannot imagine coming up with purely digital layouts although that is probably what I would do for the multi-copy albums I’m making of the pictures we took in Manila.  I will probably save my hard embellishments for my personal copy.

Again, if you’re interested to get these scrapbook kits, you have to register with RAKScraps and you can get these from their Newsletter archives.

Submitted as an entry for the RAKScraps Monthly Challenge (JULY)
used “Wishing for Spring” Mini Kit by KATHY MOORE
of DigiDiva Designs
Except for flower from Microsoft Clipart
Fonts used: Adler and Chachee
Submitted for the July Layout Challenge with “Repetition” Theme
Using the “PHUNKY PHRESH” Mini Kit by Eve Recinella freebie from RAKScraps
Fonts used are “Scriptina” and “AmericanaBT”

Busy Scrapbooking

Minutes to midnight and I haven ‘t written anything here.  I actually wrote two posts on the way home but never did finish either one.  I actually had a rather easy evening because I had a lull between the cooking and dinner itself. Instead of posting, I’ve been working on my scrapbook layout of the pictures of the trip to Manila. Alan was running late so I got the chance to bathe Angel before I had to serve dinner.

I made Chicken Breast Tocino.  I got some skinless/boneless chicken breasts and marinated it in Mama Sita’s tocino mix.  With two senior citizens and Alan’s wellbeing in mind, I steer clear of the fat-laden store-prepared tocino.  I opt instead to get lean chicken meat and replicate it.  Served it with a side of cucumber in vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Yum!

Thinking of a world 12 hours ahead

Alan and I are watching Juday and Piolo’s “Don’t Give up on us” — and we’re both typing away on our laptop.  I’m thinking of Manila again — trying to imagine how the week has begun for my friends and family there, 12 hours ahead.  It’s almost lunch time.  People are probably thinking about where they will go for lunch.  Or what time they’re going to heat up their food..what’s in the cafeteria or what they’re serving up at the JollyJeep out by the parking lot.