Archive for March, 2004

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Random scribbles… MTV is on the background and a…

30 March 2004

Random scribbles… MTV is on the background and apparently, they have this new show called “I want a Famous Face” where folks undergo plastic surgery to look like their fave celebs. Fucking-A. How sad can you get. I can understand getting plastic surgery to make yourself feel better –I got no problem with that (e.g., you want bigger boobs; a better nose, etc.). But getting surgery to specifically look like Britney Spears?!?! You’ve got to be kidding me. First of all, talk about mental problems. Secondly, where the hell do these folks get their moola?! And for the commericals I saw so far, the 2 girls were like in their twenties and getting a shit-load of work done. Like this chick who wants to look like Kate Winslet (who incidentally is one of my fave celebs as well): she’s getting the works done! Lipo, boob job, nose job, you name it. Where are they getting the cash, I ask?!

Trials and tribulations… I was supposed to have a trial earlier today but it was adjourned. Supposedly, the attorney had an “emergency doctor’s appointment” to go to. Granted, it could be important and I bear the guy no ill will. It’s just that it’s such an inconvenience for everyone involved! I was expecting 4 witnesses to come in. Thankfully, I got on the phone with them on time, to tell them that the trial’s off. Then the defense’ witnesses show up, one of whom apparently knew the judge. So the judge had to recuse himself from the trial because of the conflict of interest. The judge then sent the trial to be handled by a different (and much stricter!) judge about 3 weeks from now. What a pain.



Avon Walk-a-Thon.
I’m participating in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer on October 2-3. I am participant number: 432631. This is the first walk-a-thon I’m ever participated in and I’ve always wanted to. Between now and October 2, I have to train and fundraise. I have to raise $2K and I’m a bit overwhelmed at this point. I’m a bit scared of not raising enough funds although it’s still early. I’ve already sent out e-mails to friends and I hope they don’t ignore it. So far, I’ve received only 2 donations and I’m grateful for them! PEOPLE: It’s a good cause! Please be generous! Check out the Avon Walk website for more information. I’ll track down my progress as it goes along. Time to get my lazy ass off the couch.

Spring is here….so happy! Time to bust out the skirts!

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Finally saw “Passion of the Christ”… In a nutshell…

22 March 2004

Finally saw “Passion of the Christ”… In a nutshell, you could say I was awestruck. I thought it was a visually-compelling film that was well-acted and directed. I liked the use of Latin and Aramaic though you could tell that some actors had difficulty with it and were a bit mechanic in their delivery. But the main thing I got out of it was that I was definitely humbled. The depiction of Jesus’ suffering was very poignant and heart-breaking and you can’t help but react to it emotionally. I didn’t cry, but I did feel very guilty for some reason and very passionate. I definitely appreciated its’ message (from what I took out of it, at least).

Home Improvements. Now that it’s getting slightly warmer (though you wouldn’t know it today! The first day of spring is a raging 30-degrees!), it’s time to start moving and working on the house. My personal projects include:

–painting the dining room and buying furniture for it

–taking off the wallpaper in the kitchen and painting it: since we’re not going to be renovating it anytime soon, I should at least try to make it look bearable!

–paint the upstairs bathroom and put in a new sink for it

Okay, I’ve actually said these things before, but this time, I have to do it without procrastinating. I hope to do at least one project a month and have the house look presentable by summer time for our kick-ass, big-ass housewarming BBQ slash 3-year anniversary party projected: JUNE 5. So Save-the-Date folks!

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Ho-Hum….nothing really new in the wake of my ret…

19 March 2004

Ho-Hum….nothing really new in the wake of my return from Europe. Isn’t that always the case though? Coming back home to face work is always a letdown after a holiday. But my Monday wasn’t too bad. Work was okay, and this week has flown by. And I’m happy to be back at home with the hubs.

Hubs Reintegration Program: Okay, this is week 2 of him being home. It’s a bit different in that I feel compelled to be home (not that I was crazy going out or anything). It’s just that before, I would go to the gym, take an impromptu trip to the mall, play music really loud and try to figure it out on my guitar…and do just random things. The thing is: I know I don’t have to be home necessarily; but I want to be home to cook dinner if I feel like it, watch TV with him, whatever… I guess the novelty of the hubs being home will wear off and I’ll be back to doing my own thing. Heck, it’s not like we even spend loads of time talking. It’s just cool that he is home with me in the same place.

Lesson of the Week: Today, I’m going to check out this music institute near my home to try to take guitar lessons. Hopefully, they’re cool and I’ll want to sign up. I can play guitar, but not that well. I used to be better, but I can’t pick it up the same way I did when I was younger. I guess being on a 7-year hiatus will do that to you. So I’ll be taking guitar lessons on top of my Spanish class and DJ class! Cool deal.

Travel Plans: My family and I are planning to go on a trip to Spain, Portugal, and Morocco sometime this summer. We may book through Trafalgar. My folks went on a trip to Europe last year with them and they liked it even though they said it was a whirlwind of a trip. The one we’re trying to plan is only an 11-day thing and goes to the 3 countries. Hopefully this works out!

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Greetings from London. Not really in the mood to …

16 March 2004

Greetings from London. Not really in the mood to write a blow by blow account of the trip. Suffice it to say, we had a fabulous time even though we were only there for 3 short days! But here are 10 Things I learned in London (not in any order):

1. Impulse shopping may be a thing of the past! Gasp! Yes, I came back home to the U.S. without buying a single article of clothing in London. This is a first for me. Considering that the dollar is only worth about 55 pence (cents), I had to re-think each purchase! There were a lot of cool items (like this clutch I saw and lurved!) but I didn’t think it would be worth it to pay twice the amount. E.g., a skirt I like was about 30 pounds –converted to U.S. dollars, it would come to almost $60. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t buy a $60 skirt, it just felt more expensive out there! I did buy some soap from Lush, one of my all-time favorite store. And just a few months ago, Lush opened up a store here in NYC in Herald Square, finally!

2. My friends are politically astute. We were in London right around the advent of the Madrid Train Terrorist bombing, and I must say, my friends Girlie and Trish are quite opinionated and informed about current events. I keep up with current and world events but am not educated enough on topics to have an intelligent opinion on them.

3. Not all European hotel rooms are the size of a matchbox. We had a fabulous room! We stayed at the Norfolk Plaza Hotel via Hotels.com and we lucked out. We got a triple room and they said we had 2 double beds in there. When we got to our room however, we found that we were given a townhouse-style suite. There was a living room area on the first floor, and then you climb up to the second floor where the beds are. So it was like we had our own flat out in London! How posh!

4. My friend Girlie always looks polished and put-together 24/7. I swear, I felt like a schlub next to her the whole time. We were generally sleep-deprived the whole time we were there, and I wore the same pair of jeans almost the whole time. In contrast, she was always dressed fashionably, looking alive despite the lack of sleep, and kept her cool the whole time. Actually, my friend Trish was also calm and collected. I was on the cranky/snappy side since I was traveling during my period and generally don’t socialize well when I have less than 6 hours of sleep. (I think I was even bitchy, don’t you think girls? If I was, I apologize. It’s not you, it’s me. =)

5. Clubbing can make you feel old. So we went to Ministry of Sound –one of London’s well-known clubs. It’s like a pop-culture staple. So we went on Friday night since I knew they were playing hip-hop that night (as opposed to drum-n-bass or garage music, which is the norm for most Brit clubs). So we get there, we get in with no problems (since Girlie put us on the guestlist), and we’re like one of the oldest peepz there. There were a slew of university-aged kids and I think even some high school kids. We were one of the handful of folks who seemed to be in their mid/late 20’s. Ye gods. But I have to comment on the clothing: I love that the 80’s retro look is back and that folks in Britain dress really funky and creatively. People don’t match, wear the wrong color shoes, etc, and still look trendy and hip. Girls were rocking some cool dresses, skirts with no regards to their sizes. So there were rolls coming out here and there, but they were confident in every way and actually looked good! Anyway, we had a good time there, but it was bloody crowded and hot, and we left around 2 am. We then took an un-licensed cab to Leicester Square for some more drinking. And guess were we end up: Planet Hollywood of all places. Why? Because there was no cover charge and they were open until 3 am.

6. We love to eat. I’m so happy I have friends who love to eat as much as I do. I know that most of my money went to eating and drinking. We had fish and chips, went to a nice Indian joint, ate at some pubs, and had traditional high tea at Harrods. High tea is a popular tradition in England. Popularized by one of the queens back in the day, tea is usually served beginning at 3 pm with some finger sandwiches, pastries and cakes, and scones with clotted cream (a creamier version of unsalted butter) and jam/marmalade. It was all you can eat at Harrods, and we had an excellent time. Along with us three was 2 of Girlie’s high schools friends (one moved to London from the Philippines and is now a nurse there, and the other one moved to Dublin from the Philippines about 4 years ago). We also had some superb hot chocolate at Harrod’s Chocolate Bar (a waiter-service drink bar serving only chocolate). Yuuuummmm.



7. Three Days in Not Enough
. We flew from JFK to LHR (London Heathrow) on Wednesday night and arrived in London on March 11, at 8-something in the morning. So Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were our 3 full days there. Not enough time to shop, visit the sites, and do fun things. I had wanted to take the girls to my favorite market in Camden Town (clothes, handicrafts, etc.) but we had no time. We went to the Tate Modern on Friday morning, went to shop a bit, and then had tea with friends (see above). Then on Saturday, we took a bus tour of all the major sites which was a whole-day affair. We didn’t really have time to go shopping (since the shops close early) and we didn’t organize our time well on Thursday since we were so tired. I wish we had more time to do stuff. Period.

8. We were not the only ones who decided to go to London. There were North Americans everywhere we went. I think 1 out of 8 people we walked past by, stood next to, etc, were from America or somewhere in North America. I think a slew of students decided to go to London for spring break or something. And actually, I met up with a friend who was in Paris for the week. She decided to come to London for a couple of days to visit since she was in Paris. We met up on Saturday night and intended to go out and chill. Alas, the bars in London close really early, like 11 or midnight. Only clubs and after-hours places opened later than that. So we got kicked out of a bar at midnight, and ended up going back to our hotel. We didn’t go out and we ended up buying some cheapo liquor at a convenience store illegally. After a certain time, you can’t buy liqour anymore but the clerk made a deal with us and let us buy some booze on the downlow. So we went back to our hotel room, drank and talked, and watched TV until 1:30 am. Some night. Yeah, it was cool and all, but in retrospect, I wish we had gone somewhere else we haven’t been before and had a blast.

9. It is really important to check in the airport early. Due to a train mishap, the Heathrow Express took forever and arrived at 9 am on Sunday. We had been waiting for the train since 8 am to go to the airport as early as possible. The Heathrow Express is a quick 15-minute ride that goes back and forth to the airport without any hassles. But of all the days, there happened to be a problem with the schedule so we didn’t get to the airport until nearly 9:30 am. Our flight leaves at 10:55 am. When we checked in, there were no aisle seats available and we couldn’t sit together. I ended up sitting next to some big-bellied Irish guy to my left, and a tall Brit boy on my right. Between the two of them, they drank booze and smelled like alcohol for most of the flight. I was so cramped and had no arm space! Argh! Man, if I ever have money in the future, I got 2 words for you: FIRST CLASS. But British Airways’ entertainment is cool though –they have individual TV sets with multiple channels with multiple movies. So you can pick and choose the movies you want to see. There were like 12 to choose from! And the food was good too.



10. I don’t want to live there anymore
. When I was bit younger, I had wanted to live in London. Part of me still does, but now I realize that it’s not meant to be. First of all, it’s expensive. Secondly, it’s not as convenient as NYC. Over there, the underground closes at midnight and afterwards, you got no choice but to take a cab or bus. And heck, even the bars close at 11/12 am! Thirdly, I wouldn’t be able to practice there. That, and the novelty does wear off after a while. But my new plan is to send my kids there for boarding school so they can get the Brit accent down pat! Hehehe…. They’ll be calling me mum!

All in all, it was a fab trip and I would definetly go again. Next time though, it has to be for a longer time, and I’d like to bring the hubs cuz I missed him.

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London calling to the faraway towns… This Clash so…

9 March 2004

London calling to the faraway towns… This Clash song has been in my head the whole day because I’m leaving for the UK tomorrow! Brilliant! I’m v. excited!!

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Babble.Babble.Babble. I opened a ROTH IRA accou…

3 March 2004

Babble.Babble.Babble.

I opened a ROTH IRA account. It’ll be money that’s going to be out of sight, out of mind. I even have a financial advisor who’ll be monitoring my funds. He’s this guy who’s actually younger than me and already set for like (bitch!). He asked me at what age I’d like to retire and I said 55. Of course I’d like to retire at a much younger age than that, but you can’t predict the future. But assuming that 55 is my target age, my IRA account will only vest when I’m 59.5 years old. That’s about 32 years from now. In addition to that, I have a government pension plan that will kick in when I’m 60 years old. That’s 33 years from now. Wow. That just seems so far away.

Random Night Out. Last Friday, I went out for happy hour with a bunch of co-workers at a bar in Hoboken (aka Cheeseboken as the hubs likes to call it). I only meant to stay for 1 or 2 drinks but I didn’t get home until past 11 o’clock (and we got there before 6 pm). There was initially a group of 12, which whittled down to 4 at the end of the night (well, until I left). The last 4 were me and my co-worker and partner in crime Priya. We are together so much that another co-worker dubbed us “Kapriya.” Then there’s my co-worker whom I’ll dub MJ. He’s a pretty cool guy (the only guy in our unit) who does all these funky accents whenever the mood strikes him. He’s kinda like the man about town. ( Heck, I even told him about the Coachella Festival and now he’s going, but I’m not!) Along with MJ was his friend from school, this attorney whose name rhymes with Germ. Germ was also funny. So there was Germ, MJ, Priya, and I. So in the 5 hours that I spent with them, I found out about all sorts of gossip, news, background info, whatever. Bloody freaking hilarious.

America’s Next Top Model. Yay!! Camille is out! Didn’t like her attitude. I don’t think she was such the bitch but she just was too in your face whenever you criticized her. Always had some sort of justification. She was hot though, and I think she’ll have a future for herself. She’s determined enough.

I have been writing again. Not whole pages, but fragments and paragraphs here and there. Not a bad start. Initially, I started this blog as a writing exercise. I still consider it a writing exercise. They always advise writers to write about anything at least once a day. Almost like free association, the writing exercises shouldn’t be concerned with grammatical errors, spellings, meanings, etc. This is why my blog is all over the place. Not stellar work at all, but writing nonetheless.

Home Sweet Home. So this is the hubs’ last week in Delaware ever! (For work purposes, at least). He accepted a new job with UPS and he’ll get to work from home. His commute will only be 20 minutes tops. This will be a little weird. I’ve been used to doing my own thing from Monday-Thursday. I go out with friends, eat all sorts of crazy junk food for dinner, watch TV until past midnight, play the stereo really loud, let the dishes pile up until Thursday afternoon, be a couch potato, dance around like a maniac, pretend I’m a rock-and-roll start with my guitar on blast, do whatever. Now, I have to adjust a bit. But hey, I’m happy he’ll be home. He’s been a part-time roomie since the day we got married. Now I’ll have him full-time!