the thursday group

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Kita-kits sa Mcdo...NOT/ TheNuggets Challenge

McDonald's fans, be warned. I'm not going to sound like a paid advertisement and extoll the virtues of a place that reeks of grease and is a major cause of obesity in the States. Not that I have anything against unhealthy food (I like the fat from pork bbq, the one at the end of the stick, all dripping and charred ymmmm), I just don't like McDonald's, period.

I like cheap food and fastfood-- Mang Jimmy's, Rufo's, isaw and squidball at the Kalayaan Hall in UP, pork bbq from the Beach House, KFC, Tapa King, Shakey's, Smokey's, Wendy's Mushroom Burger Melt, dai pai dongs, Chicken Inasal, SR Thai in Katipunan (more rice and sauce than anything), Chee Kei, a dimsum place near the market (HKD8-16 per order), and many many more come to mind. But something about McDo turns me off. Whenever I'm near one, the overwhelming smell of grease makes my head ache and stomach churn. I used to like their cheeseburger and quarter pounder (hmmm, come to think of it, I still like the quarter pounder), but I balk at having to eat their sundae, Big Mac, ice cream cone, chicken nuggets, apple pie, McSpaghetti, fries, salads (with wilted lettuce and weird-tasting dressings) and their latest horrific creation, the crispy rice sandwich!

Maybe I am a food snob when it comes to certain things, like burgers, ice cream and pasta. I like my burgers juicy, chargrilled, in a freshly-baked bun with crisp lettuce, huge tomatoes, caramelized onion, melting cheese (any cheese will do) and dill pickles. It doesn't have to be Wagyu beef, topped with foie gras or truffles or some such expensive ingredient. Carl's Jr. wasn't bad at all, but it seems the Pinoys didn't rally behind this chain as branch after branch has closed its doors the past few years. I like my ice cream creamy and chunky, and tasting of whatever flavor it's supposed to be. Hence, my favorites are Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake, Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Chunk and Arce Dairy's Pistachio. For bolognese pasta, nothing beats GREAT Cafe for the portion, taste and price. Unfortunately, it's now closed. In Manila, if we didn't have a CIBO budget, we would head off to the nearest Dulcinea for their baked spaghetti (only P99 the last time I ordered it) and churros con chocolate. Hmmm, I can almost taste the thick, rich, dark brown mass of chocolate coating curved pieces of crisp fried sweet churros.

It's obvious how much I enjoy food. Cheap, expensive, gourmet, canteen-ish; most food, that is. A few years ago my tastebuds just de-acquired, if there's such a word, its taste for McDo creations. My avoidance of tha place hasn't affected Derrick in the least, though. On his first month at work he was challenged by energetic and creative co-workers to wolf down 50 pieces of this fried organism mixed with spices and extenders (chicken nuggets to the masses). He gladly accepted, nuggets were his favorite, after all; and it meant a free lunch, the dubious honor of being the Nuggets King, and maybe cold hard cash if he could swallow the 50th piece without choking or barfing. He stopped at 36. His stomach was protesting the torture and he swore he wouldn't touch a single nugget for the next 6 months. He lost the title, the cash and the glory, but he's still known in some circles as "the guy who ate 36 nuggets for lunch". After 2 weeks he was pulling me towards a McDo for his bi-weekly nugget fix. Some habits die hard.

We've struck a deal then. I don't nag him about his nugget obsession, as long as he doesn't force me to eat a McDo soft serve cone. Fair enough.

welcome to the world of wireless

Thanks to Shy and her computer expert hubby Jay, I am now officially blogging from the comfort of my bed, instead of trying to fit my wide butt onto a tiny toddler chair that's supposed to take only half my weight. And all I had to do was feed them kaldereta, fried fish fillet with garlic mayo and roast chicken. Not a very fair trade on their part, seeing as they know how to cook as well, whereas the computer and I have never been buddy-buddy and never will be. Still, I am grateful, and so am declaring myself a bona-fide member of the wireless community. Welcome to myself! Goodbye, phone jack that twists everytime I try to bring the computer a few feet away from the table. Goodbye, wires that tangle up. Goodbye, webcam that can't beam any part of our living or dining room to curious friends overseas.

It feels good to type away without my knees hitting my elbows every so often. This is FANTASTIC!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On Bliss and wedding videos

I went to Sense of Touch at Arbuthnot Road for a 90 minute hot stone massage. It was pure bliss.

On my wishlist:
a personal masseuse and a spa room in my house (massages everyday, facials, waxing, foot spas)
a personal chef (seriously, I would love it if someone cooked for me)
a camera (with lessons on food styling and food photography)

Have you heard of Jason Magbanua ?

I love his wedding videos. Love them, love them, love them.

First day of school! First day of school!

Today was my baby's first of school at the Highgate House. She did so well and I'm so proud of her. I think it was more traumatic for me than for my little girl. I was outside pacing back and forth for close to 2 hours waiting for the teacher to come get me.

We started with outdoor play for 45 minutes... putting on their Wellington boots, playing in the sand, feeding the rabbits, pretending to sweep the floors and just having good fun. Then it was time to go inside to wash up and start their class. The teacher asked me to hide to see if my little girl would go with the other kids and she did. They baked some bread, did storytime and sang songs. I don't know what else they did, I was just getting little snippets here and there from her teachers and the helpers had to pick up their charges before class was dismissed. They all said that she was doing really well for a first timer.

She didn't look for me until 2 minutes before class was over. WAAAH!!! She's growing up so fast. Now she's looking forward to her next class on Thursday. I never thought it would be harder for me to let go. I am so proud but heartbroken at the same time... sniff, sniff!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Queer Eye

My hubby, the prince of queer (I would never dare call him King, that honor belongs to either Poch or Mickey, or both) has just gleefully announced plans to improve my sad wardrobe (see Skeletons in My Closet) by creating coordinates for sporty dawn, lan kwai dawn, sunday brunch dawn, churchgoing dawn, etc... you get the picture. He relishes the makeover from drab and dowdy to fashionista. I don't think I'm up to it. Unless he's there to plan my head-to-toe ensemble each and every time I step out, I would probably shimmy into my lazy clothes and disappoint the fashion beast in him.

The prince also bought mind-bogglingly bizaare Puma blue suede shoes, something I would never ever even think of trying on. As usual, they look good on him.

He has sexier legs than I do, with less hair. If he were a trannie (Bryanboy's fave word), stilettos would be his trademark. Too bad for me, I lost the shapely legs and tiny ankle lottery and ended up with hairy elephantine lower limbs and chunky ankles (thanks to my father's side).

It's ok though. The sturdy legs are useful when I'm on a balancing act, trying to replace busted light bulbs or mending loose cupboard screws; carrying my boy while traipsing around Central; or lifting seriously heavy pots and pans, its contents brimming and burning hot.

I wonder, when will my prince come home to the wonderful sight of a dolled-up princess?
Knowing me, maybe never.

I'm one lucky frog he loves me the way I am, lack of make-up and trendy clothes, elephant legs, glasses, unkempt hair and all. And I love him just the way he is, a queer eye for a straight gal.

Husbands are Underrated

It happens to a lot. When the family starts expanding, the husbands become second, third or last priority. I see it a lot. Some of my closest friends and relatives reserve the sweetest of smiles and affections for their children but give the most perfunctory of nods and curt answers to their so-called life partners. People tell me it's normal but if that's the case then I'd rather be wonderfully abnormal. I married Jay because he's the best thing that's happened to me. He's the first person I look for whenever I have something good or bad to share and the person whose opinion I value the most. He's my best friend and I can't imagine my life without him now.

I don't understand why there has to be a trade-off between motherhood and being a wife/lover/best friend. If this is normal then these women shouldn't marry for love. They should marry because they want to procreate. Balance?! Easy to say, impossible to do! Nevermind if the marriage is barely working, at least they have kids -- and everything that they eat, live, do and achieve for is only for the kids! But is this really good for them? Growing up, I was fortunate to have been given a good education and material wealth but whenever I witnessed fights between my parents, the thought of them splitting up was totally the end of my world. It was unimaginable. Reflecting on this, I realize now that when my friends are being "normal" they are doing as much damage to their kids as to their marriage. Children are so smart. They see and hear everything, and they learn from example. Luckily, I learned early on that I should never take my life partner for granted because he can easily be taken away from me anytime -- by acts of God or simply by another crafty female!

In all my life, I have only heard of one personal story -- just ONE -- about parents being totally devoted to one another. So devoted that they eventually admitted to their daughters (only when they were old enough to understand) that yes, the love they feel for one another surpasses the love they have for their children!! Shocking!!! And how did their daughters react? With tears of pride and joy! This personal story was told to me by a former roommate of mine. Gemma told me that "papa and mama would hold hands in bed every single night even when they were well into their 70s". They are in their 80s now and I am sure that things have not changed one bit. I am praying very hard that Jay and I can beat their record! :)

I end this blog with an article I first came to know about through a feature on Oprah. http://www.ayeletwaldman.com/truly.html This woman wrote that while she loved her children, she was not "in love" with them. Rather she reserves this very special honor for husband. Naturally, this sent shockwaves across the audience and women were condemning the writer, Ayelet Waldman, for being a bad mother. But I saw it differently. I saw her as woman who has achieved what others have worked for all their lives: a well-balanced family life. Her children were not her whole life, and her husband was the reason she bore their children and not the other way around. Sadly, these very same women who condemned her later on admitted that their marriages were crumbling because they have placed their and their husbands' needs last since their children always came first. And not surprisingly, the people who supported Ayelet were the children of these women who were not "in love" with them -- because they witnessed first-hand how their parents' happy marriage brought so many blessings into their lives. Simply put, the "spillover" from this strong, mutual love benefited everyone! I am no genius but don't you think that the greatest gift a parent can give to their kids is a marriage that works? So in case you haven't told your hubbies today how much you love them and how much they turn you on -- what are you waiting for?! :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Skeletons in my closet

I am the proud owner of 5 panties even my lola wouldn't wear.

It guarantees me a good night's sleep when I don't feel like playing adult games in bed.

It elicits an "ewww, don't you have anything sexier?" comment from hubby.

Two of them are ancient scraps of cloth with loose garters but no holes, thank god.

The other three are gigantic, black, post-maternity waist whittlers that flattens my bulge but hides all my curves.

I would never wear them outdoors (except maybe when I'm to lazy to change for the neighborhood grocery).

Most of my pajamas are at least 5 years old. They don't match, are not silky, and unlike my panties, they possess holes in places that rarely see the light of day.

My favorite pambahay is a blue tie-dyed number from Boracay, the side slit of which is higher than cheongsams of receptionists at dubious nightclubs. I think it's ready to disintegrate.

There. Now you know. My secret wardrobe is secret no more.