Feedback: The Blog Study Group

Thank you for returning to this blog after I participated in that blog survey you sent. I tried e-mailing you at that yahoogroup e-mail address ou gave but it only accepts e-mails from group members. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. Thank you all the same.

Feedback : I hear you…

One of the rewards of blogging and having an active comment feature is the conversations that go on with the people who stray into my corner of the blogsphere.  There are actually more comments than posted because I am trying to adhere to my rule that comments without a working e-mail nor a website to track back to will not be published.  (So please, please leave at least an e-mail address.  I do not publish the e-mail address — I just want to make sure it’s a “legitimate” comment.)

Sometime last week, Carmela dropped by and wrote a comment on my blogpost Be not afraid to pursue your dream to be a legal eagle someday(Jan.4, 2007):

Hi.  I have been wanting to leave you a personal message, but I couldn’t find a link or your personal email where i can tell you my thoughts, rants about law school.

So I stumbled upon this blog when I searched ‘ateneo law school’ in google. and like what you have said in your previous blog entries, that “when I was in law school” post seemed to have been your most popular entry to date? or am I just inventing here? so basically, I am currently a junior taking up management economics in ateneo now and i come from a family of lawyers. and I dont know if it’s too early for me to fantasize about law school (since I havent even taken the entrance test yet in ateneo) but I cant help thinking about it for the past months.

When I was in grade school, being a lawyer was my ultimate dream (along with becoming a cashier, doctor, teacher ehhe) but I remember dreaming about becoming a lawyer talaga. i stoppedthinking about it when I was in highschool and considered other options such as having an MBA or something after college. the constant teasing and pananakot that I got from my dad and family members of me becoming an old maid if and when I become a lawyer (because i have such strong personality) didn’t encourage me either.

Anways, to make the long story short.. I know I want to become a lawyer not only because I want to follow the footsteps of my father but I like rationalizing and thinking about things. sure, I want to become a laywer but I dont know if I want it badly to endure the rigors that I am bound to face when I step in the halls of the ateneo law school. Basically, I want it but I dont know if I want it bad enough. and I know I”m a stranger to you, but wala lang. I hope you could find time to reply to me 🙂

p.s it’s ateneo or nothing to me though. 🙂

To which the Pinay New Yorker says: Carmela, just be patient with me.  This is a topic I’ve written about quite a few times and yes, it’s one of the most popular topics in this corner of the blogsphere.  (Not that I get millions and millions of hits.. =)  I will get my answer to you next week.  I’m trying something new by interviewing some friends of mine who can share with you their thoughts and experiences about this.  It should provide a fresh and more varied insight and hopefully help you thresh out your own feelings about the whole matter of becoming a legal eagle someday.  Thanks for stopping by.

And just today, I got this comment from Charm below:

I have been reading your blog for quite a while already, Nice posts here. I am planning to visit New York in summer and your blog gives me an idea on which places to go.  Thanks.

And the Pinay New Yorker says:  Thanks for stopping by, Charm.  One of the posts I owe one of my once regular blogfriend WengN is a post on the best time to visit and where to go.  I hope to get on with that before Spring is over.  And you can always go through my posts under the category ”New York Style” to get some ideas from the perpetual tourist that I am.

While it’s flattering to know that people are actually reading my rambling here, it is heartwarming to see that I am able to connect and make sense to some people out there.  I have to admit that there are times when I feel bad that the people closest to me don’t read what I write here, but hey, I figure it’s because they get a dose of me upclose.

It also continues to inspire me to write which is my main form of self-expression.  I wish I had more time to devote to it but life has a way of taking over.  Not that I mind.  After all, without all these things keeping me busy, I wouldn’t have anything to write about. 


Braving the cold

Forget that it was 31 degrees Fahrenheit with a real feel of 12 degrees — I shed my gloves and took out my camera, finding what could’ve been the traffic light box on one corner and I rested it there to capture a breathtakingly colorful Empire State Building tonight.

8×8 or 12×12? A scrapbook dilemma

I’ve been working on creating my hand-drawn embellishments for my Valentine album, but I’ve been stumped by my indecision between creating 8×8 or 12×12 layouts.  My preference is really for the bigger 12×12 pages (making for 12×24 2-page layouts), but the protective sleeves are costly.  In contrast, the 8x8s will fit easily into 8 1/2 x 11 inch sleeve protectors that I can trim to the right size, and which are easily available at much cheaper prices.  After much thought, I’ve decided I will continue to create 12×12 layouts.  I’ll worry about the protective sleeves later.  It’s not even so much the cost but the consistency of the size and make of the sheets themselves  I still have part of my New England and Brussels 2007 layouts that need to be put into albums, so I figure I’ll get to that first and get the albums together.

I have been “sketching the layouts in my head” and I really should start creating the pages soon before I lose my train of thought so to speak.  Sometimes something as basic as the page layout size can really stump you.  I don’t have all that many pictures for this particular set so I am confident I can get it done in a timely fashion.  (Wish me luck!)

The layout above was created by cutting a heart out of a paint paper swatch, and “dilemma” was written on chipboard taken from a food tray from the cafeteria.  I’m trying to experiment with using actual scraps instead of readily available scrapbook embellishments which can be bought from craft and general stores.  It’s all in my head and will hopefully be on paper soon enough.

New York Style: The Jollibee Experience

We finally decided we’d try and get some Chicken joy tonight and while the line outside is not that intimidatingly long, it looks like I’m going to be here a while. A man walked up to me as I fell in line and handed me a ticket stub — I didn’t even know I had to get one.

So Alan wants some chicken and a burger. I’d settle for a champ but am hoping they’re offering peach mango pie. We were fortunate to have found a parking spot just before 62nd Avenue, so the boys are warm and snug in the car.

I’m glad Jollibee chose Queens instead of somewhere in New Jersey which means it’s just “in the neighborhood” and easily accessible. Just as the better Filipino eateries are a few blocks away, this is right by the 61st St local stop on the 7 train. I’m around 50 people from the door, and it appears they let the people in in batches. So when it does move, I expect I will move up by around 10. I’m already hoping they are offering Peach Mango Pie but I don’t see it in the marquee above the counter.

It’s a tad bit cold but it could be worse. There is a slight breeze but no strong winds, and we wouldn’t have gone tomorrow where there’s a forecast of rain mixed with some snow. Anything for a taste of home… The line, as expected is all Filipino — undaunted by the news of long lines wrapping around the corner. I didn’t get quite that far but I have yet to move.

Whenever we’re in Manila, we make it a point to eat as much Jollibee, ChowKing and Max’s Fried Chicken — these are simple and ordinary treats back home which are indulgences for us here because it takes effort to get to where the outlets are. And sadly, there are even times when the outlets here fail to measure up to the original franchise. (Like the Goldilocks pastillas here is a far cry from the pastillas sold back home — perhaps due to ingredient substitutions.)

But is it any wonder that there’s a queu to get in considering even back in Manila, the lines for the counters are always long. The guys in line behind me appear to have arrived from New Jersey. Quite a trip for some goodies, but one I can completely relate to.

Such is the draw of craving for a taste of home. It’s something we can never quite forget, and something we keep coming back for. I’ve moved around 10 feet now, almost half an hour into standing in line. I’m at the halfway point of the line from where I started out — and I can already taste my Champ and Filipino-style spaghetti. You can’t quite smell it out here probably because of the cold, but seeing the familiar decor inside already makes your mouth water at the prospect of Jollibee for dinner.

I’ve posted my status on Facebook and I’ve already gotten two comments from friends — I wish I could “share the joy” but I haven’t even gotten to the front door just yet. This is the latest craze among Pinoys here in the East Coast. No wonder there is a sign outside that even if the store is open until 11pm, the line closes at 8pm. (Take note…Touted as Winter hours.)

Someone just drove by asking how long is the wait — someone in line shouted back “One hour!” which should be just about right since I’m now halfway through, just a little more than thirty minutes after I got here. The guy behind me is inching his way past me not so much because he’s trying to cut the line but I think more out of excitement to get in. I can’t blame him… (Is he nuts trying to cut the line with Filipinos in front of him? Besides, we’re holding numbered tickets… And you just try to cut the line…)

Jollibee, the mascot, is almost in sight. I almost feel like wanting to have a picture taken with him after all the effort this has taken. I’m 10 people away… Almost there. (An elderly guy asked me if I was texting… I said no, I’m blogging.=).

Some non-Filipinos walking past are probably wondering what’s all the fuss.. Two ladies actually stopped and asked what they are selling here. The Fil-am guy behind me said “Filipino delicacies, snails…” — all in jest, but I quickly said “good burgers and chickens.”.

So what’s your favorite treat at Jollibee? Mine remains to be the Sweet’s something I try to mimick for Alan’s benefit, but still a far cry from the real thing.

This is not for the faint of heart. An hour and a half into this, I’m still feet away from the counter and I’m hearing there’s a wait for the chicken. I already know I’m waiting because I’m not leaving this place without it. The chicken is available in original and spicy recipe and in 2 ($5.99, or $7.19 with 2 sides), 3 ($7.79 or $8.99 with 2 sides), 6, 12 pieces. Instead of the famous Champ, they have the Heavyweight Yumburger ($4.99 or $6.39 with French Fries) and the Amazing Aloha ($6.29 or $7.69 with French Fries). would you want your burger with bacon and a slice of pineapple? (Alan is brave to try it but I’m sticking to the Yumburger.). They have the standard Spaghetti ($4.49) and Palabok Fiesta ($5.79) of course, and yes, the Peach Mango Pie ($2.29). (I’m happy.) There are Salu-salo Family packs which are platters going for $17.19 for the Palabok and $13.99 for the Spaghetti.

When I finally got inside, it took another half hour before I finally gave my order.  It might seem insane to others for us to have spent two hours for a simple Jollibee meal but if you ask us, it was well worth it.

Jollibee is at 62-29 Roosevelt Ave., nr. 62nd St.; Woodside, Queens



Back to reality

I haven’t blogged on the go (from my blackberry) for a while now but I found myself with the inspiration to log on as my bus made its way out of the Midtown Tunnel. (Which, of course, means that I have approximately 5 minutes to go before I have to get off the bus.)

The long weekend was too short and at the same time long enough to enable me to “recharge” although not enough juice to “reboot”. (Message alert blinking.. Darn!)

It’s back to freezing temps for us New Yorkers, and I’m going in all bundled up again. I can’t wait for Spring to finally be here but I have a good 8 weeks or so more to go — and the thought that some nasty snow storms had hit New York just before the end of winter (and as late as in April) is no comfort. I’m trying to console myself with the thought that it’ll be a short week.

I hate that I didn’t get to do any reading all weekend, but the thought that I spent heaps of quality time with Father and Son is excuse enough. I also managed to inch forward with some scrapbooking embellishments, but no scrapbook layouts just yet.

Well, my stop is here…another day and another week begins.

American Pie

We discovered the wonders of Old Sound Road in the North Fork of Long Island last summer as we went for a drive looking for the Orient Point Lighthouse.  We zeroed in on what is now a favorite lunch stop whenever we’re in the area,Lobster Roll Northside which I had mentioned previously here.  We went through a path behind the usual road we took and found ourselves driving through farmlands and quaint country houses and winery after winery.  We’ve gone back several times eversince and today, we went on a whim. 

Even before we hit Old Sound Road, I told Alan I wanted to stop at the Briermere Farms Store to pick up some goodies.  I have always found it quite an adventure visiting these farmstands where you will find fresh produce straight from the people who tilled the soil to grow them, and were home-made jams, spreads and fruit butter in traditional jars lining the shelves.  You will also find home-baked pies and other treats if the farm produces fruit.  During our last visit, we made a quick stop and I had to weave through the crowd to view the vegetable offerings and I eventually found myself in the “pie room” as I call it where freshly-baked pies, cookies and loaves of bread are on display, with a backdrop of jar after jar of jams and jellies.

The only problem is you have to be quick in making your selection because the people behind the counter attend to waiting customers with almost military precision.  If you dilly dally, the people behind you will probably want to shove you aside and get their orders in.

The apple pie is definitely worth a taste, but if you get intimidated by the puffy crust, they have apple tarts which have the same filling in a smaller shell.  What I like about their apple pie filling is that it is not irritatingly sweet — it’s flavorful without the sugar overkill.  We’ve also sampled their cookies, and don’t even think twice about grabbing some of the chocolate chip cookies — as is or with pecans.  I took the plain chocolate chip cookies today which I am trying very hard not to pounce on but I will definitely try the ones with pecans the next time I pay them a visit. 

Their banana loaf will not last long here in the house, for sure — moist and yummy, it should go well with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Getting things done

Warning:  If the fontsize is a little bigger than normal, it’s because I’m experimenting with the text size for this blog.  Everything just looks too tiny for me.. so please bear with my little experiment here.

I just got a Thinkpad Xseries laptop (Lenovo X61) as a spare unit for the office and I must say I’m impressed with the compact size and lightness of the whole unit, power source included.  Of course it didn’t come with a built in DVD player or drive but that’s something I can do without, except that I realized I needed one to install my Aircard.   I had brought it home this weekend precisely to do that since the installation disc and the aircard itself were with my home laptop.  (I’m a desktop person at work.)   I’m not a tech person but I’m techy enough to be able to install drivers from the net when I don’t have the disc, and I am very proud to have installed myVZ Access Manager from the website to enable me to use my aircard on this new unit.  (I have yet to test if it will run though.. I’m busy blogging here. HAHA!)  Technology!

I’ve fed the boys (Ham and onion omelette for the big one and rice and later cereal bars for the little tyke), washed up and put away the dishes from breakfast.  It’s “me” time.  I’ve been uploading pictures from Angelo’s field trip last Wednesday to the Long Island Children’s Museum and since I used high resolution settings, it’s taking me a while to get it done but I’m almost there.  Thanks to Flickr, I’m saving the pictures to be viewable by family and friends (via an access pass) — primarily because I want to respect the privacy of the other kids in the photos with Angelo.  Although I don’t mind personally, I know there might be parents who would have issues with their children’s photographs being out on the web for the whole word to see.  My Flickr PRO Account also has 95% of Angelo’s photos saved in private — only because I took the account PRO (paying a yearly fee) only so I could store my attempts at photography.  It’s served as my photo journal primarily — second only to this blog.

It’s bright and sunny outside but I can only imagine how cold it must be because I’m feeling a comfortable cool here in the house — just like you’re in an airconditioned room.  We’re thinking of going to the city and maybe stopping by the Children’s Museum of Manhattan — spending time as a family.  We were thinking of doing a day trip to somewhere nearby, but we’ll probably save that for Monday.  Sometimes, not making plans is the best way to relax.  No pressure at all.

Everyone seems to be in a “sale” mood again, and considering how commercialized Valentine’s Day really is, every little bit helps.=)  I have blogged annually about our Valentine date and I’m saving that for later, but in the meantime, I’m just blogging spontaneously.  Again, no pressure.

It’s a long weekend for us — President’s Day is celebrated by my company so we have no work on Monday.  It’s also Angelo’s winter break all week.  Alan is staying home with him, calling in some travel days the company owes him and taking some of his vacation days, too.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!