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Showing posts from March, 2010

Liquor Ban

I can't believe it. They are imposing a liquor ban in my neighborhood. I was walking home with some friends when we stopped by MiniStop. I tried to get some Red Horse, and the lady at the counter told me that there is a liquor ban. I tried to convince her to just sell it to me - she probably recognizes me anyway - but she said that the cash register would record the transaction. She said that the ban has been in place for about 2 months now, from 10pm to 8am. The last time this happened to me was when I was living in Project 6, about 5 years ago.
How is this possible when the bars are all selling liquor 24 hours a day?
Oh well, thank God for my stash of tequila and whiskey. I did want some beer, though. :p

Dragons and Indian Food

Weekends used to be "sacred" for me. I wouldn't really go out - for two reasons. One was that I considered weekends family time, so I would spend it at home (or out with family, duh). Two was that I just don't really like going out.

Now that I am stepping out into uncharted territory, I have been trying to do things I don't normally do. So yesterday, when I felt like watching How To Train Your Dragon and Nikki suggested going to Glorietta, I just went for it. I didn't regret it one single bit. (Although it was weird going to that place again under different circumstances.)

Before watching, we had a light dinner at New Bombay. Nikki had been building up this restaurant a LOT, so my expectations were quite high. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Even better, my stomach did not act up despite the Indian food.We had palak paneer and chicken tikka masala. Cafe World addicts, does that sound familiar?
Nikki and Koryu reunited.

The place looks authentic, but…

Guitar Hero Night

The last time I played Guitar Hero on the PS3 - I can't remember. It seems that so many months have passed since I started on this "journey," and there are some little things that were taken away from me - playing this video game being one of them. I know it seems insignificant, but after playing again last night, I realized just how much I miss JJ (that's the PS3 Slim, in case you've forgotten.) Crossing my fingers that an acquaintance will be able to patch up Jethro (the original PS3) so that I can play at home!

Anyway, we held Guitar Hero night at a friend's place, and we had a blast! I guess the fact that they have a new flat screen TV made it even better!Isn't that a beauty? You don't even need to look at tv stands if you had one of these babies. Oh yeah, sucky picture - can you tell my hands were shaking from the excitement of it all?

One thing I don't understand: Guitar Hero World Tour would play but not recognize the guitar controller! …

Friday At The Office

Everyone looks forward to Fridays. It's supposed to be a day where you can actually kick your feet up a little bit, even at work. Today, however, it was just so hard! We have a HUGE deadline on Wednesday, which is the last work day of next week for us. We just might make it, but it meant that we had to work our butts off today. You can just imagine how hard that is on a Friday!

I'm glad for the music that we shared today, though. Our boss shared some old music, and it definitely helped me get through the day. I re-discovered Sheryl Crow's C'mon C'mon album, and songs like Soak Up The Sun made me feel happy. Less than a week, and I will be at the beach AGAIN!

While I would love to look at vacation home rentals, going to Tamaraw - where I feel right at home - will be more than enough to rejuvenate me. For now, I am waiting on some friends to finish work; THEN, we are going to have Guitar Hero night! In the meantime, I shall catch up on my writing.

Have a gr…

Empty Pantry

For once, I came home at a "normal" time. You know, the time when you can still watch the prime time shows on TV. The time that people actually go home and relax.

I was quite excited about going swimming and making dinner. I wasn't able to swim because it's too cold. Neither was I able to make much of a dinner because I came home to an empty pantry. :(

That is so NOT me. My pantry's always stocked up, but I don't even have a can of soup! All I can see are promotional mugs (I really should leave this collection with my parents again), salad dressing, spices, and alcohol. I do have half a kilo of chicken in the fridge. Maybe I'll just whip up some chicken adobo.

Shopwise, I think I have been away for too long...

Cravings

The flesh is indeed weak. I have been craving steak for over a week now. Considering the fact that I haven't had steak in over 2 months, I think that I have been pretty "good." Right now, though, even after an excellent dinner of clam chowder and red wine, I think that the week will not pass without me satisfying this craving. Diets and weight loss be darned - that's why they have the best weight loss pills out there, right? :p

On a more serious note, I am continuing to realize just how much of an impulsive person I am. When I get a craving - food or otherwise - I just can't stop obsessing until I get what I want. I have improved, I honestly believe that; but I also know I have a long way to go.

I woke up this morning feeling quite happy - something that hasn't happened to me for the longest time. I am not going to let my cravings get the best of me. As a friend said earlier, hold on to that feeling. And, believe me, I WILL.

Mexican Food and a Deli

After the wonderful trek to Pinatubo's crater, we all felt drained. Still, we had enough energy to go to Mabalacat, Pampanga to satisfy our appetites. Since this was Ruy's turf, he took us to their favorite Mexican restaurant in the area: Zapatta's. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Oh, where's our food???
Mayan soup for starters. It tasted like refried beans made into soup. Not bad at all.

Their combo platter: refried beans, Mexican rice, chicken enchiladas, and chili con carne. All good with an ice cold bottle of beer! Needless to say, I had to take some home. I was so full I felt that I needed lipozene at the end of the meal!

That didn't stop me from getting some key lime pie ala mode. I had never had this before, but that Dexter episode where he kept looking for the best key lime pie was stuck in my head. I loved the pie!

Zapatta's is not cheap but not pricey either. I would readily go back there and have some margaritas. I do not know th…

Our Mount Pinatubo Adventure

Ever since I saw pictures of my friends at this wonderful azure lake that is the crater of a volcano, I had wanted to go. Mount Pinatubo is known all over the world for wreaking havoc in 1991. It erupted unexpectedly, killing hundreds and affecting the climate as far as North America (I think). I still remember that morning when I woke up with ashes all over my bed - I thought it was snow!

Almost 20 years later, this area of destruction has turned into something more beautiful than anyone can imagine. It is now a premiere tourist destination, and people just can't help but be amazed at the transformation that nature has brought about.

Last Saturday, I went to Pinatubo with several friends. Thanks to Ruy, the trip was all planned out. All I had to do was be at their house by 4 am. Dressed for the hike and bag all packed, I was STOKED!

We drove to Capas, Tarlac, which is the easiest entry point to the crater. We parked at the spa and hopped into the 4x4 that came with the packa…

Missing Saigon

A friend asked me last week: "What did Vietnam do to you?"
I didn't think much of it, but now that I am sitting here taking a break from my writing jobs, I realize that the Vietnam trip really did do something to me. It has made me realize that there is so much more to life. It has made me realize that the silver lining might not be as far off as I thought it was. It has given me more strength to dust myself off, stand, and take that next step. It has reignited a spark of hope within myself.

I have to say that I am missing Vietnam more than any other place that I have visited. Whatever the reason is, I know that it will be one of the most memorable trips ever. I want to go back soon despite the money issues. Even if I am a bit scared to leave the condo for long periods of time (Afriend's condo got broken into the week I was away! I think I should get my own security camera just to be safe.), I think that this travel bug cannot be ignored.
In the meantime, I have…

Thanking God It's Friday!

I sure am! I wasn't planning on going out last night as I had a 7 AM meeting this morning. As usual, things didn't go exactly as I planned. I ended up going to Handlebar again to watch a friend play. And, as usual, I ended up enjoying myself even though I was hesitant to go at first. There's just something about sitting back with some Jack and Coke and listening to good music.

Though I was planning on going home at midnight, I didn't get home till past two. People watching is an interesting activity, did you know that? And watching my friend pack his drum kit made me admire dedicated musicians even more. Seriously, it looked like he had stainless steel drums in those cases! It took the better part of an hour (maybe more) to get them all packed and ready!

So I am rambling once again...bear with me. With two hours of sleep, I have no energy left but to say TGIF. I will be out of here by 4 PM and I can catch some sleep. I would rather go the distance and stay up a…

The Breakfast Project

I never thought I would have to force myself to eat. That was just not possible! Then again, I have never been one to eat breakfast...
Lately, though, I have been trying to force myself to eat something in the morning. See, I have been having problems with my ever-problematic stomach in the past few months. I noticed, though, that in Vietnam, it didn't act up. Not once. The only thing Nikki and I could think of was that I ate breakfast regularly!
So now I am embarking on this project to put food in my belly before I start the day. I try to make it as enticing as possible, so this morning I made garlic bratzky and toasted some baguette:
It was good but it was still a chore for me.
I was also thinking...stomachache aside, they say that the best weight loss success stories are those with breakfast thrown in somewhere in the equation. Maybe, just maybe, eating breakfast (more than tons of espresso, that is) will help me in more ways than one! ;)

Dexter and His Magic Water

My little Dexter has gotten so big! A friend told me it's because of his "magic water." Maybe his water has got some magic in it indeed, but I do know that this big boy has a lot of peculiarities. I also know that he missed me when I went to Vietnam. Monnette went to the condo everyday to feed him while I was away, but she said that he didn't eat the first few days! I guess she didn't talk to Dex!
Anyway, I just wanted to show him off...


He's a dork, but I love him - even if he scratches the heck out of my when he doesn't feel like being transferred to and from his feeding basin.

Resolve

I'm an emotional creature. I admit that now, and sometimes, my emotions get the best of me. I do know, though, that I am a logical person as well. And, right now, logic is telling me to listen to the words of this song by Rascal Flatts.


It's also telling me that no matter how I feel right now, things will get better in time. It's all cliche - things that people tell me, things that run through my mind... Still, I can only keep on hoping and believing that God has things in store for me. Maybe I can't see them right now, but they're there somewhere. In the meantime, I have got to keep on doing what I am doing and learn and experience what I can.
If you feel like you're stuck in the past, I think this video will be good for you.

Lt. and Numi Ride The Cyclo In Saigon

Thailand has its tuktuk. The Philippines has its tricycle.

What does Vietnam have? The cyclo! When we decided to embark on this trip, I told Nikki that I absolutely had to ride a cyclo. Never mind that I would probably get the suckiest term life insurance quotes if they were to find out that I would not hesitate to jump into one of these contraptions in the middle of Saigon traffic!

So what am I talking about? Watch the video and take a look for yourself.




Now isn't that just marvelous? Did you notice the motorcycle that squeezed between the two cyclos?

My Most Expensive (or Cheapest!) Birthday Dinner

After a day of traipsing around Saigon and then venturing out into the countryside, we were all ready for a good meal. It was my birthday as well, so we decided to go to this fancy-looking restaurant that everyone was raving about. If the lines were any indication of the food, we supposed that we were in for something good (and expensive).
The wait didn't take that long, thank God; and as we found out, the food and service were NOT overrated. In fact, we over-ordered. Look at all that food!That's good enough for 4 or 5 people! Of course, everyone that passed by our table would stop to look and smile. Some even asked if they could take pictures! (They were tourists like us, of course.) Yep, after this dinner, I need a diet pill that works.
The beef hotpot...you're supposed to cook the beef strips then put them on a piece of rice paper together with vermicelli and veggies. You then dip them into this yummy sauce. We had to take half of this home with us.
The finished …

Lt. and Numi Do Saigon Day 2

Talk about back log. We didn't spend more than a week in Saigon, but we had so many experiences that I think I shall be writing about it in the next week or so. So far, I have written about our first day; the highlights of which include the walking tour we did on our on, the pho overload, and the extremely friendly people. Before we went out that night, we spent some time on De Tham Street, the place where all the tourists seem to converge. There are lots of small hotels there, as well as tourist-oriented bars and cafes and tour agencies. The most popular one is Sinh Cafe, but we decided to go with TNK Tours as they had just opened a new branch and were offering a 10% - 20% discount for their services.
We got the Cai Dao Temple and Cu Chi Tunnels tour for our second full day in Saigon. This was another first for me, as I have this aversion for organized tours. I also do not like the idea of having to get up early, getting into a bus full of strangers, and spending the whole …