Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween is so ON!

After a very productive day of collecting checks from various clients, running to several banks for encashment, paying the school tuition (finally!), and having a good amount of change left  --I have decided that we can actually go to some halloween event this weekend!  The question now is which one?
Bonifacio High Street's Spooktacular Halloween looks interesting --simply because it's an event for the whole family.  Including Alpha!  Everyone gets to go in costumes to some rather passive activities like mask making and coloring and photoboothing.  Yeah, it's not anything my kids will go crazy for.  The only upside is the pet-friendly thing.
Cartoon Network's Spooooky-fun Halloween Party proves to be an interesting bid, too.  It will have 'fun treats and activities', and it's cheap.  This event is a little vague on the activities though.  They only mentioned the presence of their bankable network stars like Chowder, Flapjack, and Ben 10.  Uh, I don't like surprises.
And let's not forget that my boys are coming as Nickelodeon's Avatar characters.  We wouldn't want a public flogging from the competing network, right?  Haha!
So it looks like Nickelodeon Scarenival is still our best bet!  Fun, active activities, ghastly gallery, Spongebob and Patrick, a little pricey but you get toys in the process so it can be a win-win situation if you try and not be a Scrooge about it.

But, as you would have it, event tickets have already run out at the nearest mall.  According to the dweeb I talked to, I can still score tickets at the venue itself so we'll see.  What scares me really is if tickets have run out in our city, than can only mean a massive turn out come Scarenival Day.  Lots of people means lots of panic on my part.  One of my boys can get trampled in the mob of children, or they can get kidnapped!  Yes, I watch a lot of Criminal Minds, sue me.

Anyway, being the better-safe-than-sorry mom, I shall be making a very long phonecall to the venue within the day to make sure things will go according to my expectations tomorrow.  Gawd, if roles were reversed, I wouldn't be able to stand myself.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Avatar Hits Halloween!

For a rush job, I think we did pretty good. :P  And the boys were ultimately happy -- that's the point of it all. 

Kenji as the last Airbender, Aang.

Miro as the Prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko.

Me and Jing as sleepless yet satisfied parents.  :D  

A Little Lesson on Movie Translation

Transformers:  Rise of the Fallen is playing on HBO again.

And while this goes on and on for a week, it has become clear to me that the epitome of cool alien robot design would be Ravage.  He's a one-eyed jaguar!  With rocket launcher and machine gun attachments at the hips!  What can possibly beat that???
Even in the Transformers animation series, Ravage has caught my eye (get it?  get it? :P).  He's the only Decepticon that doesn't talk.  The quiet, deadly type.  Matches my choice profile in men.  LOL!  But the movie translation and redesign turned out to be way cooler than the TV series' Ravage.  The movie Ravage is just... ravaging, for lack of a better word.  Svelte Sinister Supermodel comes to mind, too.

My alien robot coolness first choice would've been Starscream --after all, he has always been my first love from the very start of the Transformers franchise on the tube.  He has the attitude, the sneaky, underhanded persona.  This time, matching my profile of myself.  Ugh.  The cartoon Starscream wasn't exactly eye candy.  He looked just like a regular robot that has the obvious potential to transform into a jet fighter.  But the Starscream movie translation is just ...well, messed up.  Look at it!  It's Hellraiser sick!

Megatron matches this spiky, monochromatic monstrosity in design as well.  I know it's their alien form.  But Jesus, they had the power to replicate any form of machinery when they landed on the planet.  Couldn't they have done that first before aiming at world supremacy?!!

Anyhooo... rant over.  Movie translations will always have hits and misses.  Mostly misses, specially in the eyes of original TV series afficionados.  But Ravage ...that mother is pure movie translation win!

Monday, October 25, 2010

How to Extend Halloween

A successful Halloween night almost always means candy overload.  Followed by candy fatigue.  And then the dreaded stale candies that sit in a box until the turn of the year.  Goodbye, Halloween treat!  But I know a trick to keep those leftover sweets interesting before they lose their worldly luster.  How?  Sweeten the deal, of course –with a unique cake recipe.

I’m all for mixing Halloween treats with healthy eats.  So my personal choice of candy-to-cake resuscitation is the Butterfinger Banana Cake.  Easy and fun to make, the kids can even join in.


·      18 1/4 ounces package yellow cake mix
·      2 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
·      3 NESTLE BUTTERFINGER Candy Bar, chopped, and divided
·      16 ounces container prepared white frosting


·      Preheat the oven to 350° F.

·      Grease and flour a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

·      Prepare your cake mix batter according to package directions

·      Stir in a banana and 3/4 cup of chopped Butterfinger. Pour the mixture into your prepared pan.

·      Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the wooden pick you insert in center comes out clean.

·      Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.

·      Have your kids frost the cake with their own brand of creativity and sprinkle with the remaining chopped Butterfinger.

·      Lick your lips and serve!

The good thing with this candy-to-cake brainchild is that you can experiment with a variety of sweets and fruits combos.  I’ve tried an M&M Cherries Cake, a Reese’s Lemon Cake, a Kitkat Pineapple Cake. The possibilities are endless!  And Halloween never really ends.

Confessions of a Coffee Lover

I’ve always had a special relationship with coffee.  It wakes me up in the morning, perks me up at work, helps me socialize better, makes winding down delicious, and keeps me up when I need to.   
If coffee were a man, I’d say it earns the title of a lover.

But I’m not one of those so-called coffee connoisseurs.  My faithfulness to the love coffee brings means I take it no matter what the form.  Be it brewed.  Be it blended.  Be it instant.  Just like a romantic partner, it can change its mood during the course of the day --and I will still accept it wholeheartedly with no judgment.

My Affair with Brewed
When I have the time, this is like slow love making.  I grind the coffee beans carefully and methodically –taking into consideration the kind of grounds, the amount of water, the excellent condition of grinding equipment.  The secret to the best roast is in its flavorful aroma.  When that fills the room, I know it’s time to sip slowly and take in the adoration.

My Liaison with Blended
These are what I call social drinks of the hot kind.  Fancy cocktails that put the fun in coffee.  This would be like an interesting date that keeps the fire alive between my brew and me.  My personal favorites are Hot Banana Java Chip, Hot Caramel Apple Spice, Hot Espresso Macchiato.  Some take their blended coffees cold, but I would rather keep the passion fever pitch.

My Tryst with Instant
Ah, my compassionate companion.  When I’m rushing in the morning, it makes sure it’s conveniently available for my quick fix of the day.  It’s like a swift, hot kiss that builds up a flood of emotions in very little time.  It’s not a degrade like some would call it.  Instant coffee is made of the same Arabica and Robusta beans you grind and blend.  The only difference is that Instant coffee is freeze dried, just so I can feel the love just as instantly.

On top of these different techniques of coffee preparation, quality is still my top priority.  What good is a bond if it isn’t full-bodied and strong?  As long as coffee treats me right, I will take its love –no matter how—unconditionally.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Robot and Rocket Sunday

I'm on a roll!
Since most of our weekends are spent indoors now (thanks to you, evil financial problems!), I am close to developing some kind of brain tumor thinking about worthwhile indoor family projects.
I would like to give myself a well-meaning pat on the back for last Saturday's brainfart.  Lol!  Presenting Robot and Rocket Sunday!
Inspired by Art Attack and Artzooka's junk art methodology (and thanks to my husband's junk-hoarding prowess), I stripped and cleaned off some old (very old, I might add) vitamin bottles and stabbed them with juice straws for good measure.  Why?  That's for my kids to find out.

I just presented the skewered bottles to them and left them to think what they should make out of them.  And naturally --with paint and a vivid imagination-- they did.
Kenji made the Omnidroid.  Here seen emerging from a lake of lava.

Miro made what he calls a single pod rocket probe.  Here caught in the middle of lift off from the rocky surface of Mars.

I call this a successful Family Project Weekend.  Now to think of the next.  *brain melts.... ssss....*

Dirt on Dora!

I am in no, no, NO way a Dora the Explorer fan.  In fact, I loathe her something fierce.  
But this --THIS, my good man-- is post-worthy!  
This picture has been circulating for a while now and I have no idea whose genius started it.  But whoever he or she is... two thumbs up from me, bro (er, or sis)!  

Friday, October 15, 2010

Light Saber Bubble Blowers

My husband buys my boys the weirdest toys. Presenting... light saber bubble blowers!
The shafts are made out of glow-in-the-dark plastic. The bubble wands are long with hoops that are huge. The result: BIG bubbles. And you know how size matters when it comes to bubble blowing.
When I got home from work and walked into my boys (husband included) in the middle of a rather action-packed game of extreme bubble-blowing, I just had to drop my bag and join in. Bubbles make people happy for some reason. It's the delicate lilting of these soapy spheres, I think, that gives people an ultimately light and relaxed feeling. Problems wash away. If you had a harrowing day, each bullshit you had to face pops just like the bubbles.
Plus, bubbles give me visions of warm, soothing bubble baths. Not that I ever had one. But I have a very rich imagination.

Anyway, my husband, being the smart shopper that he is, also looked into the sustainability of these new toys. When the bubble-making liquid runs out, you still have a pair of light saber toys --so the fun continues! Whee!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family Project Weekend

When you have kids as creative and as demanding as mine, you just have be creative and demanding yourself.  And you have to make sure you deliver.  The disappointment and frustration quotient runs high in these insatiable children.
That is why I devised something called Family Project Weekend.  A weekend of near madness for me --and an enjoyable escape into another world for my boys.  Here is when I come up with neat activities that allow the boys to 'create' something valuable out of scratch.  They enjoy that.  The concept of creation is something that really turns them on.  
So far, we've made Very Active Volcanoes out of Pancakes.
And recently, Cartoon Character Voodoo Dolls out of Socks.
Every weekend proves to be stress-filled as I think of next projects to do.  Kenji, becoming more and more opinionated, suggested that we should make the Omindroid this weekend.  Miro, forever prolific, extends the idea by saying that we should make Wall-E, too.  So next weekend will be a Robots out of...something weekend.  Obviously, I'm still mashing my brain deciding what materials to use.  But I invented the Family Project Weekend tradition, and so I shall find a way.  
"Jiiiiing.... heeeelp....!"