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Showing posts from October, 2008


A Memory: Halloween 2007

I wore face paint, striped ears and a long tail. I drew whiskers on my cheeks, and made sure orange stripes appeared on my forehead and neck. The paint on my face was so thick I felt unrecognizable. When I answered the door to trick or treaters, I jumped-out with a Tiger's roar and playfully scratched the kids with my pretend paws. They ran away screaming with fear while their pumpkin baskets dangled sideways spilling sweets everywhere. Some kids hid behind their parents' back, who were having a Halloween time at their children's expense.

That night, I became a monster. I found contentment in hearing the children's screams and delightfully fed on their fears. I seem to have forgotten who I was as I stayed awake to the wee hours of the night admiring my whiskers and my tail. To top all that, I felt no remorse when I made a little girl cry wearing a ladybug costume. "I'm so sorry," I told her dad with my sincerest voice. Deep insi…

7 Random Facts About Me

I was tagged by Cheryle to post "7 Random Facts About Me." Here it goes:

I have a merchant marine's license and used to work as a purser for American Cruise Lines. I had a wonderful experience sailing to all the Hawaiian islands except Ni'ihau.I was the regional impromptu speech champion but lost in the national level. I was devastated because the national champion represented the Philippines in Australia.I have a black belt in Taekwondo. I have started training when I was 15 until 25. I haven't trained in years so I am very rusty. Through Taekwondo, I learned so much about myself and a lot of my friends I met through training and demos. Yes, I can still break boards.A number of my family wanted me to go into the medical field, but I told them that it is not my interest. Besides, I've always believed that if you follow your interest, the money will come. I was right. I am happy I took History. I am now in the process of applying for grad school.I spent three y…

After The Rain

While it was gray and rainy on Saturday, I woke-up to a sunny and bright Sunday. I guess what they say is true - After a storm, the sun will shine again. It may be a few minutes later, a few hours, or even a few days. But it will always happen.

Let It Rain

It's a rainy Saturday, so Mom and I decided to just stay at home and relax. We've spent most of the morning watching scary movies. For lunch, I whipped up some fried rice loaded with garlic and fried some Sweet Hamonado Longanisa. Truly, rainy days inspire me to hone my cooking skills.

And look at what the postman delivered today. I got a package from my friend, Lily, who lives in Alaska. My Halloween treats came early, as Lily filled the box with a variety of sweets. Lily was my former boss when I worked in Alaska. Lily and I have been friends for more than ten years; I am so lucky that she also considers me as her own daughter. When I was working in Alaska, she was my friend, my boss, and my mentor.

I know some of you were wondering how my fudge brownies came out, and here's a photo I took last night. I have a few more pieces left, but I don't think there'll be anything left for tonight.

For the rest of my afternoon, I'll sit by my window, enjoy my favorite red …

Freedom Friday

It's Friday evening, and it was a rough day at work. A number of my colleagues have gone bar drinking but joining the happy hour crowd isn't really my thing anymore. When I reached the age of 27, I seem to have unconsciously decided that I'm through drinking and mingling with the nocturnal crowd. I think my definition of fun has completely changed. At the end of every work day, I prefer coming home to my apartment and shutting societal demands outside my front door. It seems so ironic that I feel more freedom in my one-bedroom abode than on the clamorous streets of big DC. In my small home, I can do anything I want from slouching on the couch and eating unhealthy food.

After a stressful day at the office, I like to come home and bake cookies or cakes. I like baking sweets or anything with chocolate, as I find them comforting and friendly. At the moment, I have fudge baking in the oven, and the aroma of the almighty chocolate is nothing but heavenly and relaxing. This is t…

Teaism and Singleism

My friend, B, recommended the Teaism Restaurant for lunch today. I didn't expect her to feel the vibe of my recent weekend adventure searching for that elusive Barley tea. I was so excited going to this restaurant, as I was hoping to find my fave tea. To my dismay, they have all kinds of tea except for Barley. I guess the saga continues. I keep thinking it's like watching the Indiana Jones movies expecting that there are parts I, II, and III or more.

For lunch, I had a Salmon Bento with a pot of Gen Mai Cha. The Salmon was cooked perfectly tasty and juicy, complemented with pickled Ginger and a box of Edamame. It was a light and healthy meal. The warm tea was perfect to ward off the cold specially at this time of the year. B and I tried to catch up on anything to everything, but an hour and a half isn't enough. Obviously, she's got a busier social life than I do. These days, I enjoy being a homebody.

B and I usually have lunch once a week, but since she's been fre…

Barley Tea Adventure

I have ran out of barley tea, and Mom and I scoured all possible Asian stores in the area and have been unable to find one. I'm so disappointed, and I've been trying to brainstorm if there are other tea stores I haven't checked. I hope I'll have better luck today because I am down to my last barley tea bag. Of course I'm still a coffee person in the morning, but the rest of the day, I drink tea. I only stick to my three favorites though - green, barley, and a specific brand of black tea. Green tea is everywhere and so is black tea, but I don't know why barley is so tough to find. Is it because it's not in demand compared to its more popular counterparts? Anyway, my tea adventure lead me to new and familiar places.

My search for the barley tea took me back to Lake Whetstone. The surrounding trees have started to change colors, and I can't wait to come back here when fall foliage is at its peak. It was so cold yesterday, that I think the ducks were reluc…

Travel: Studying in Rome

These are the places where my university lectures took place. My subjects were Ancient Roman History and Roman Art and Architecture. The best part of studying in Rome was traveling to all these spots with your professor and classmates, having special access to restricted sites, and having your mind travel through time as your professor talks about the significance of the ground you're standing on.

This is where I lived, Borgo Pio, which was a block away from the Vatican.

A rainy day at the Piazza del Popolo (People's Plaza)

The dome of St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

The ruins at the Palatine Hill (Remember the story of Romulus and Remus? The Palatine Hill is the believed location of the Lupercal, a cave, where they were taken cared and nursed by a female wolf.)

My classmate entering the underground House of Griffin. (The griffin is an ancient creature believed to have the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.) I was actually scared going into this ho…

Cookies and Sweets

I'm still soaking and enjoying my three day weekend. It's been rather relaxing, as Mom and I went out for walks, watched the migrating geese at Whetstone Lake, and to top it all, I've been enjoying these bunch of Ferrero collection. I've always been a fan of the Rocher (gold), but this month, Ferrero introduced the Garden Coco (silver) and the Rondnoir (dark brown). Seldom do I eat dark chocolate, so I immediately dismissed the Rondnoir, but the Garden Coco tasted heavenly and milky. I love it! Has anyone tried them yet?

Last night, I also tried my hand on baking. I've been looking for cookie recipes, and since the holidays are eagerly approaching, I want to try some recipes before I'd volunteer bringing them to parties. I found a really simple recipe for sugar cookies. I made these cookies from scratch and I'm very proud of the outcome. The cookies were crisp, sweet, buttery, and perfect for afternoon tea or coffee. Mom has taken a liking to them. As a tre…

Blast From The Past

Today, I ran into my former landlord, Tim, as I exited the Metro station. I was surprised he recognized me first; I must have been a very good tenant. Tim and his family live in a single-family house in a very wealthy neighborhood in the area. During the school-year, he rents out his basement, which was converted into a one-bedroom apartment, to students who doesn't like living in dorms. My privacy is so important to me, so I opted to find my own housing. Their basement became my home while in college and indeed my first residence in the State of Maryland. I remember being so ecstatic about having my own place. I remember jumping on the bed several times.

The Tims were warm and caring people, and I am so glad I met them. While tackling the demands of college life and work, I came down with a bad strain of flu, which reminds me that I should get my flu shot this year. I missed a whole week of schoolwork, and my condition was made worse by the cold and snowy weather. Maryland's …

Travel: Siena Album

I left Pisa at about 4 PM, as I wanted to get to Siena before dark. I was spending the night at a medieval plantation house. From the Siena train station, I took a taxi to my hotel and passed through quaint, sleepy towns.

This is the town entrance where my hotel is located.
In the evening, I walked around the town and was impressed at how the brick houses were old but still functioning. It's interesting to know that when I spoke to the hotel manager, he said the houses were passed down from generation to generation, so the same family names have resided there for ages. The town's main source of livelihood is winemaking.
One of the vineyard plantations in the area. This is a common sight in Tuscany.
The next day, I took a bus back to Siena. Once I entered Siena, I was greeted by these dark and ancient buildings. I was amazed that people truly live in them. It felt like I walked into a different world, so far and removed from the modernity and world I knew.
Siena is a walking and fri…

Fabulous Start To October???

I feel tired and sick today. Actually, I've been feeling sick the past four days now. It's rag weed season, so I'm thinking that's the culprit. I have been taking allergy medications, but it's helping minimally with the headache and stuffy nose. I have been forcing myself to come to work, as we're getting ready for the annual meeting. Since Monday, I have been toiling on my department's filings and reports. To my amazement, I was able to submit all necessary documents yesterday. So far, none was returned.

However, I have big tickets occupying my mind, and so here goes my list for October:

Renewing my apartment lease = I'm also thinking of finding a new place, but I cringe whenever I think of packing and unpacking. This one is stressing me out.Bills = this list is endless...Where to spend Thanksgiving = My parents live all the way in Hawaii, so for the past six years, I've been going to my ex's family gathering. Well, he's now an ex, so obviou…