Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Heavier Lighter

This definitely makes it into my crazy crap list.  
This monstrous abnormality does turn heads at the smoking room, but fails miserably at usage.  Even with highly functional opposable thumbs, it's pretty fiddly to handle.  The body is just way too bulky.  The huge spring mechanism is just way too difficult to press.  And  honey, I don't see this thing fitting in my purse.
Yes, the Chinese thought of this breakthrough.  I'm sure it's darn right amusing and the Chinese would've thought they were geniuses when they cooked this up.  But will it survive the smoking public?  Quite honestly, I think this lighter will die out even earlier than my left lung.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thomas the Trainsformer: Stranger than Fiction

Christmas season is also the season of knock-offs.  It's the perfect time for fakers to crawl out of the woodwork and sell their plagiarizing wares to unsuspecting bargain hunters.  Some of these fakers, however, push the envelope and get ultimately creative in their fakery.  Take for example this awful find I got from a traveling toy cart --The Thomas Trainsformer.  Seriously, it's 3 cheap plastic trains (obviously nabbed from the famous Thomas and Friends series) that you can attach together to form a...wait for it...a Thomas the Tank Engine Super Robot!!! You guessed it, it's Japan-made.  In fact, the set also comes with a VCD of 8 Thomas and Friends episodes, all dubbed in Japanese --with no freaking subtitle option!
The toy breaks easily (at P20, why am I not surprised).  Ours did as soon as Kenji tore off the plastic casing.  But that's hardly the manufacturer's fault.  It's the consumer's fault for being cheap and uncaring of quality and decency.  *kicks herself on the noggin*

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Eating Up the VeggieTales

One afternoon, my husband came home from his weekly movie run.  The kids were thrilled!  Nothing beats weekends with a fresh flick and a fresh tub of buttered popcorn.

So can you imagine their dismay when they found out the movie Dada bought was... VeggieTales???

What the dickens was VeggieTales?!  It's not made by Pixar, not by Dreamworks --so it might as well be junk.

Well, my boys are eating their words now.  VeggieTales, a series of movies featuring cutely drawn vegetables talking about good values and God, actually caught our boys' fancy on the get-go.  I thought it would be like one of those boring biblical cartoons.  But VeggieTales had the edge and the wit.  It retold the bible stories in a new, engaging manner each time.

From Meshach, Shadrach, Abednego and the Golden Calf, VeggieTales offered Rack, Shack, Benny and the Chocolate Bunny.

From the classic David and Goliath, VeggieTales brought forth the spunky Dave and the Giant Pickle.

From the daunting Moses and the 10 Plagues, VeggieTales gave the hilarious Moe and the Big Exit.

It's the same basic story flow.  But the difference is in the funnier role players, the wackier scenarios, and the side-splitting script.
Purists would go and bash these deviations from the originals.  Some would say it's a violation of the sacred word.  But, seriously, as long as kids learn the very same moral lessons from both stories, then it would cause more good than bad.

Values are further pushed through another VeggieTales sequence called Larry Boy --a clumsy yet valiant superhero cucumber out to save kids from telling lies and spreading rumors and disrespecting their parents.  Miro and Kenji absolutely love this gourd!

And to cap the sweet deal, the movie series brim with great songs as sung by the zany duo, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato.  You guessed it --the songs still instill all that is good no matter how silly they're sung.

I'm giving VeggieTales a thumbs up for being such a win-win movie choice for many weekends now.  And two thumbs up with the sweetest hug to my husband for bringing it home.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We give '9' a 10

Sadly, this movie didn't enjoy much fanfare here.

Simply because it's a computer-animated release presumably made for kids, but with a storyline that has nothing to do with kids.  It started gloomy and ended gloomy.  And I'm not talking about The Corpse Bride-gloomy.  There is absolutely nothing --and I mean, nothing!-- funny about '9'.

Set in the apocalyptic era after the war of man and machine, this 'cartoon' had no slapstick character who served as the running joke or the comic relief.  The characters were all eerie-looking rag dolls with souls, feelings, guilt, and a hunger for survival.

And your connection with them is borne out of fear, mystery, and empathy.
The whole plot feels real in its surrealism.  The story --a veritable, beautiful goldmine of knowledge and awakening.

I guess that's why my boys loved the movie so much.  Apart from having a yen for the Dark (well, you can blame me for that), it gave them a chance to think.  Miro even said, "I'll be more careful when I invent robots in the future, Mimi.  I don't want them destroying humans.".  And Kenji mused, "Even little things can fight big things." --referring to the part when the numbered dolls finally defeated the Machine Overlord.

There are lessons learned.  And I don't mean a peashooter lesson like Play Nice With Your Toys or Ogres Have Layers.  This is way beyond that.  There's Strength In Numbers (pun unabashedly intended) being one of them.

'9' is a must-watch for children and adults who feel like seeing an animated flick to be able to think and feel, rather than just laugh.   Luckily, it's available on DVD.  We have 3 copies. :)

'9'.  Directed by Shane Acker and produced by Tim Burton.
Tim Burton... why are you not surprised?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Paranormal Activity Shmacktivity

I'm a horror flick freak.  So when Paranormal Activity broke out, it simply begged me to watch it.  I'm a big fan of the Blairwitch Project so when I heard Paranormal Activity had the same shit going for it, I was as giddy as a ghoul.  My husband and I watched the film exactly at midnight for added effect.
But I guess my expectations were too high.  The movie flopped for me that night.  It was just not the same as being trapped in the wilderness with your camera being attacked by the unseen and the unknown.  Being in a house as a film location gave you somehow a comfort zone...even when fighting off the poltergeist.
So I decided Paranormal Activity didn't scare me at all.  And went to sleep.
The very next night, however, had me rethinking that brazen statement.  Last night, I didn't sleep a single wink!  I was up all night hearing bumps and toys moving in the living room as my family slept soundly.  I decided to turn on the TV to drown them out.  But, as you would have it, one sound made it through despite the Today Show.  It was a little girl sobbing and then saying "Mama..." and then sobbing again...  
Hah!  How's that for absolute creepiness!
Being the proud bitch that I am, I decided not to wake my husband up and just watched TV until the alarm went off for morning.  Lol!
So my second (terribly delayed) opinion:  Yeah...Paranormal Activity rocked my socks.  It's definitely something to talk about and lose sleep over.  And in my book, that makes it one of the best horror flicks of the season.
Although The Ring will always have a special place in my heart.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Rock Collection

"The downside of being strong is that you have no one to run to at the times when you are weak." 
-an Anonymous Wise Ass

And so, during these tough times, I don't run. 
I just get angry. And this is the side I allow people to see.
Being ' the rock' everyone relied on, I bottle in the real emotions. Every bit of frustration, depression, and fear stuffed secretly inside me that I think I would simply, eventually implode. 

Until yesterday.
When I realized I DO have my very own rocks at home.

JING: He's relentless when he's supportive. He's picked me up many times (even when I don't tell him what's gotten me down) with a good talk over ice cream, Jamaican patties, hugs and more. He makes me feel great about myself (even when I never told him beforehand that I felt horrible). Thank God I married an empath! :P

MIRO: His big boy successes inspire me to haul myself back up from the floor and dare to pursue a dream that people talk me out of. I mean, nobody thought he could make it in the school's basketball team --but he did! So why can't I? (dare to pursue a dream...not play basketball. lol!)

KENJI: He's the epitome of manic energy and uncontrollable joy. Very tiring, but also very contagious. He jumps, runs, gets into trouble --and still feels awsome about it! It would be embarrassing to give up and maintain a sad, shuddering fetal position seeing that this child would never. EVER!

Sure, I haven't really ran to them with all my worries. Not technically anyhow. But seeing them gives me strength. Makes me realize that I don't have to be in this alone.

So thanks, boys! 
I love you! YOU ROCK!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sabangan, Laiya Love

I'll let you in on our beach bumming secret.
We go during the off-seasons --it's cheaper that way and we avoid the hectic summer crowd.
And, we insist on Sabangan Resort at Laiya, Batangas --because of its pure awesomeness.

Sabangan is a rustic, pretty, little resort nestled between vacation spot giants, Blue Coral and Aquatico.  It's a sore thumb in comparison.  It doesn't have Blue Coral's jet ski action.  And none of Aquatico's infinity pool glory.  What Sabangan simply offers is family bonding to the serene shiznit. 

It doesn't have a hotel set-up.  It gives you your own dainty, airconditioned cottage.

With cozy, native, meticulously-designed interiors.

With your very own nature-inspired front yard.

And your very own huge sandbox backyard.

You get the same upper class kind of clear waters.

And the same luxury of fine, powdery sand.

Oh and you're given your own kitchen, too.  None of those expensive restaurant prizes.  You cook your own food in the comfort of your own 'home'.

When you're done with the beach, there's the lumberrific playground.

And the open-air game area that gives a whole new meaning to the term 'shooting the breeze'.

See?  Unprecedented, unrestricted family bonding.

That's Sabangan.  My wisest decision in family vacation relaxation yet!  And that's no secret.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Bowl

Please tell me.  I just have to know.

What is it with the bowl-shaped haircut that we always give them to little boys?

I know this isn't a universal thing but it IS common, specially where I'm from.  As soon as the boy reaches a certain age when his hair has started to thicken out --ta-daaa!-- bowl haircut takes over.

Is it like a right of passage for little boys?  Is it like you have not truly moved on from babyhood to boyhood unless you get the bowl?

I hear some old-timers say that this is the way to grow out baby hair.  And why do we need to grow out baby hair?  Because if you cut them off too soon, the hair will 'feel bad' and 'grow bad'.  Ooohkaaay...  

I hear some people say that the bowl is done because it looks so darn cute.  Looking like you're wearing a Stormtrooper helmet for the rest of your toddler life is cute?  Hmm... whatever floats your boat, I guess.

Some say it's...tradition.  Uh, come again?  When is a preference for a 'do a tradition?  I'm told (and yes, i had the gall to ask!) that their dads sported the said popular hairstyle in their youth, so it's only fitting for the next generation to experience it as well.  Oooh... like a family heirloom! 

I mean, why is that when I announced that I wanted to cut my boys' hair short when they were toddlers, I got the glare?  And was promptly told, "They're still children.  Give them big boy's hair when they've become big boys!"???

Just so we're clear, I'm not complaining.  Just incessantly wondering.  Admit it, the mystery of the bowl-shaped haircut's roots (pun absolutely intended) is indeed baffling.  

But, hey, it looked good on my boys anyway. :D

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Are You A Career Daredevil?

I'm asking because I'm not.
I'm more like a Career Chicken.  20 years in the same industry --what does that tell you?
I know of some people who have made drastic career shifts and live to tell the tale.  The writer who's now a chef.  The advertising manager who's now a restaurant owner.  The vet who's now a theater actor.
These are amazing leaps of faith they've taken.  And I can bet my life they can do them again.
Me, my biggest evolution is from being a top manager of a powerful firm to being a stay-at-home mom.  And I'm completely botching THAT up.
But ...that's not my point.  My point is, I do have a job offer and it's far from my 20-year comfort zone.  It's all about digital technology.  And I'm all about being 40 years old who's digital knowledge amounts only to Yahoo Mail and Facebook.  
But the digital guys like me so I might just take the leap of faith.  
Eyes shut.  
Arms flailing.  
Screaming all the way down.
If things don't work out, I'll remember all my 20 years of bliss in therapy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My First DIY Disaster

It's taking a lot of courage to post this.  This is very embarrassing and unnerving.  
But for lack of anything better to do, allow me a moment to humiliate myself.

Remember that since being a SAHM, I figured I could do more for Kenji's birthday party --having more time in my hands and all that?  So, if you would go back to my earlier post, I decided to take a stab at making the birthday party cupcakes myself.  Now, mind you...I do not bake.  In fact, I'm more like the power tripper who assigns people to do stuff for me.  But the cupcakes, well, let's just say they looked easy to make.  

Little did I know, whipped cream was out to ruin me.
I'm learning now that whipped cream doesn't make good frosting.  It melted and totally liquified into child's snot as soon as we had the cupcakes loaded in the car for transport.  The neat little chocolate rocket toppers mostly saved the presentation, but it likewise sank into the mush of soggy cupcakes. :(

Thank God it was the only thing I thought of doing myself!  Imagine if I had decided to don a clown costume for the entertainment!  (although looking back now, I think I would've done a better job there, lol)

So, just so you know, this is the last time I'm baking.  Or even DIYing anything.  Next time I need something done that's out of my league, enough of the bravado.  I'll go back to hiring good help (aka, power tripping).

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Welcome to Hotel Hell...

In times of desperation (in this case, the flash floods that hit the whole nation), you have no right to be choosy.

So when we finally decided to flee from our flood-submerged street, we went for a seedy hotel 30 minutes away from our drowning home. Cars couldn't travel the waist-deep waters so we had to wade through the gunk --uh-huh for 30 minutes --until we reached Heaven Hotel (also known as Creepy Hell on Earth).

The first sign that creeped my boys out
(translated:  Don't move the TV and the TV stand or else you'll lose the cable connection)  EGAD!

Second sign.  It looked embossed on the ceiling.  Miro claims it's a cross.  I say it looks like a dove.  Then Kenji said it's more like a flying baby. 
And we never spoke about it since.

Third Sign.  Blood on the bed.  Just pull off the sheets and there are about 3 splotches of these on different points of the bed.  Creeeepy....awooo...

Fourth Sign.  Blood on the wall.  Lovin' it so far?

Fifth Sign.  THIS!
(ok, ok, it's Kenji under a white sheet.  his motto for this freaky hotel experience:  If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em.  LMAO!)

But the hotel was dry and that's what we were craving for the past 2 wet days. So Heaven Hotel (lovingly called Hotel Hell) fulfilled its job. And we're happy we found it at such short notice. So...despite the fear you've instilled within our hearts, thanks!

We're home now, and finally all together.  But we'll cherish these bad quality pictures forever.  Yesss...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


There must be something wrong with me (hmm, didn't you already know that?  lol!)...BUT I AM SO DIGGING THESE KIDDIE SHIRTS!!!!
For sure, these will be a big hit in preschool (and a big hit on my head as soon as the school director calls for a parent-teacher conference, haha!).  I can just imagine Kenji wearing one of these and looking like the playground animal he is.  Oh, I'd be so proud!  Friggin' proud!

Then again, I am reminded of the gentle, immortal words of my beloved father..."Honey, not everyone understands your humor.  So please, shut up."  

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Girly-Girl Pot Holder: My Ultimate Life Saver

See this?  This happens to be at the top of my Horrid Gifts from Hubby list.  I mean, look at it!  It's baby pink and baby blue with sweet little flowers and shit.  Geez, it's like my husband doesn't even know me. :(  

I like my old pair of green monster hands pot holders better.  He bought me those and I immediately fell in love.  But of course, those beautiful monster hands have been through so many kitchen wars.  They became filthy beyond washing, tattered beyond sewing...well, they just died.  And so this pair of cutesy mitts took their place.

I use them because I have to (how much fashion sense can you wield in a kitchen making mushroom soup anyway?), not because I like them.  But yesterday...I REALLY LOVED THEM!

I was making barbecue and this little meat piece fell into the grill.  Now this isn't just a regular, run-of-the-mill meat piece.  It was my special fatty piece!  So I panicked and reached into the grill before the meat fell into the fire and coals.  It was instinct and stupid reflex.  And wouldn't you know it --my hand was saved by this horrid, cutesy mitt!  Note that the poor thing was singed on the tip of the fingers and the thumb.  And my fingers came out unscathed.  

So ok, I'm loving these pair of pot holders.  For now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I've always had this immeasurable excitement when planning my boys' birthday parties.  But this time, for Kenji's birthday, I am pushing the envelope!


This was an idea Jing threw at me last night and it got me thinking.  Yes, now I do have the time to learn how to bake.  And shit, man, you know I can decorate like the wind!  

Honestly, whenever I plan my boys' parties, all I do is boss people around.  I get an entertainment outfit do my bidding, I pressure Jing to layout the birthday posters and invites, I get the printing shop to work on high-quality printing gloss chop-chop, I conceptualize a cake and have someone work on it according to my strict directions.  Not that I power trip.  It's just that when I was working, I didn't have the time.  All I had was the concept and the drive to push people around.  Ok, ok...guess I was power tripping.  Give a control freak a break! 

But now is my time to redeem myself by putting an extra effort in the mix.  Bad news for Kenji for being the guinea pig...but I will do my darnest to succeed in this new endeavor.

Whew!  I can just feel the rush flowing through my veins!

This is my cake peg (or cupcake peg.  i'm making cupcakes, teehee).  And I can assure you now...whatever I will make will never amount to anything as good as this.  But by God, I shall try!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Oceanarium Galorium

It was my first time to see an anemone up close.  Really.
A few weeks after its grand launch, we had quickly lined up to see Manila Ocean Park.  Not such a good idea since there were still a lot of areas under construction.
But that wasn't about to dampen our spirits, no siree!

The Oceanarium was the most completed area.  And I shit you not when i say the entrance alone took my breath away.  It was a tunnel made out of glass that teemed with activity all around it.  This structure was the main attraction and people ate it all up (not literally, of course)!  Its mammoth surrounding spaces were filled with actual undersea life:  from exotic flora to exotic fauna.  Unfortunately though, it also filled up with people pretty fast.  Some even stayed to sit and chat.  Typical.

Bigness (and thank God, peace!) was the order of the day once you go through the end of the tunnel.  Wall-to-wall fish tanks everywhere!  The spaces in between were massive --but this maybe just because they haven't finished with the other tanks yet.

Now, what I like about each tank is the variety of layouts within.  They didn't just stop at the usual anemones and weeds as fish accompaniment.  There were makeshift sunken ships, treasure troves, discarded scuba suits.  It's really like being in an actual dive site while keeping your freshly blowdried hair dry.

It was obvious that the rays were the stars --possibly by default since they were the ones that were shipped first into this aquatic park.  Almost every tank has them.

There were sharks, too.  Much to Kenji's joy and Miro's dismay.  Lol!

If that doesn't turn you on and you want a more hands-on experience, then there are starfish you can hold and pet.

We were told that jellyfish, sea lions, mermaids, and a host of other attractions were soon to come.  Needless to say, that's good enough reason to come back.  In the meantime --after much excitement-- it was great to end the tour with a relaxing ship-watching session at the dock.

My personal take:  I see big things for Manila Ocean Park.  Big things.  And we can't wait.