Saturday, November 27, 2010

Simple Saturday Satisfaction

     Growing up, we cousins had our own schedule that would go something like this:

  1. 7:00 am - Breakfast.
  2. 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Saturday morning cartoons (for my brother and I) 
  3. 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm - Cousins/ Aunts and Uncles' arrival; Lunch with cousins
  4. 2:00 - Playtime / nap time (depending on how young you were)
  5. 3:00 pm - Merienda of Taho or Toasted pan de sal (bread) with butter and cola
  6. 3:00pm - 5:00 pm - Playtime
  7. 5:00 pm - Afternoon bath
  8. 5:30 pm - Get your weekly allowance from lolo :D (Minimum 5years and below, PhP5.00; PhP1.00 increment for every year thereafter until 12 years of age; Bonus given for good grades and good behavior certified by parents during the week. Hehehehe.)

     This was our family ritual in our paternal grandparents' home, and sometimes, if it was a special Saturday, we would be allowed sleepovers in a cousin's house for a week during summer vacation.

     Such was the life we thankfully were brought up in. We had a natural peer group among our cousins, and we had loving aunts and uncles who really looked after our welfare much like our own parents did.

     So for me, comfort food would always include all foods we had on Saturdays, not only because of it's familiarity (and sometimes predictability... Coffee or Caramel ice cream, anyone? Hehehe), but because the food and special people always went hand-in-hand.

©CherWriter 2010.11.27

Arrrgggghh!!!! (a.k.a. Rant #1)

     Hey! You!
     Yes, you! That's right! I am referring to you!

     I have been tolerant of your behavior, as you know, but I am getting to just about the end of my patience with you.

     I understand that stress can be lessened with a hobby or a profitable pastime, but this pastime of yours is getting to be a nuisance.

     Understand please the following:

  1. No man is an island. (Though with what you are doing, I would like to send you to one and keep you stranded there!)
  2. Silence is golden. (If I had actual gold coins at my disposal, I would have had movers transport you out and far away from here.)
  3. Good fences make good neighbors. (I would have had my house soundproofed and the fence raised if I was warned you would be this kind of neighbor.)
  4. Hark! The herald angels sing! (You more often bark than sing, and you are by far, most certainly, no angel!)
      Listen! Singing is a God-given talent and I know you appreciate this talent. But I wish you know by now that God had a purpose why He did not give it to you! I appreciate good singing and great talent, but sadly, you possess neither.

     I know that I am not a good singer also, but that is why I sing only at decibels only audible to myself or if the water coming out of the shower is strong enough to drown out any unpleasant ambient noise that might reach you.   Why? Other than the first reason stated, I believe that being a good neighbor not only means you have to be tolerant of your neighbors, but considerate of them also. Goodness! We have been tolerant enough. Could you please be more considerate of others?

     Singing from 8.00am until 11.30pm everyday, seven days a week with full microphone volume is just not done when you CANNOT even carry a tune. I would have no qualms about this if your voice was good enough that it was recorded and that recording was a multi-platinum selling album. Heck, even singers preserve their voices and keep long periods of silence.  Wait! Oh, yeah, this just cements the fact that you are MOST DEFINITELY NOT A SINGER! And you encourage your little posse every night to do the same too!

     If we were in the US they'd grow rich from the number of times they would've slapped you with a fine for disturbing the peace.

     Really, is peace and quiet too much to ask by 9:00pm so that your neighbors can get a good night's rest everyday?

     I wish God had given you a better ear for music so that you'd realize how tone deaf you and your cohorts really are. Maybe then, you would find another, ACTUAL GOD-GIVEN TALENT.

©CherWriter 2010.11.27

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010 : A Day of Remembrance

    Today marks the first anniversary of the Maguindanao massacre, where 58 lives were trivialized by death, all because some members of a certain political family in the south sought to protect their dominance in the political arena of their town.

     Elections, though regularly held throughout the country, have thus far been questionable if it truly reflects the voice and the will of the people because poverty commands a much more convincing presence among the masses. Poverty subverts the electoral process to the country's true democratic and economic ruin.

     Being colonized for so long by different countries, we readily kowtow to those who weild power, rightfully or wrongly so. This makes me wonder, nasaan na ang duyan ng magiting? Will no new courageous and true public servant rise to give back honor, hope, and renewed patriotism to the Filipino people?

     Hopefully, the sacrifice of the 58 killed in Maguindanao a year ago today, especially of the unborn casualty of this reprehensible act, cry out to all the heavens, so that they may be meted out justice at once, and their kinsfolk be compensated for their loss.

     Eternal rest grant unto them, O, Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they truly rest in peace.

©CherWriter 2010.11.23

Where Have All the Ballpens Gone?

     I have terrible handwriting!
     There! It's now out for the whole world to know. Others may refute this and say that everyone writes differently so my handwriting can't be all that bad, right? Wrong! Back in Grade 3 at STC, there was a class where we were taught the school standard penmanship. I forget at this time which handwriting model/guide it was that we used but it was similar to the illustration above. The standard if you had good handwriting then was your transition from ordinary, ho-hum pencil to  mighty, shiny, in-your-face ballpen!

      At every writing exercise, the teacher would go around the classroom inspecting everyone's work and progress. Each and every time, I would write deliberately, biting my tongue, forehead drenched in sweat, intense concentration on my face, and look up expectantly at the teacher, hoping that that day would be the day where I would get the go ahead to switch to writing with the mighty ballpen! Little leaguer no more! :D Sadly, all I got for my efforts was a shake of a head and hardly a good look at my notebook from the teacher. That much awaited day never came.

     As the close of the school year neared, it dawned on me that I was doomed to graduate from the third grade with only the mighty pencil for company. Horrors! I was not "ballpen-worthy!" My handwriting was so bad that the teacher just took pity on me and instructed me to use a ballpen in the last quarter of the school year because all of my classmates had progressed to using ballpens. I was sad that I was not able to make this particular rite of passage on my own, but I was very happy nonetheless. (Yes, ladies and gents, I am easy to please. :D) Finally! I can go to the stationery and buy a Bic or Kilometrico ballpen! Yay!

     So it was that ballpens and paper were my best writing companions up until I got to college and my first job. Let me fill you in on a little secret: when I graduated from high school, we did not have computer classes, and my first encounter with a computer was in college. (Hey! That's two secrets spilled today! :D )

     I had to feel my way around this new technology in college and in work, but it made life so much simpler! Just a click, and your will, whim, and fancy are all fulfilled! Work is done in half the time. I no longer was embarrassed to show my awful handwriting because the computer already had standard fonts! I was free from the stigma of not being able to perform even at a "standard". I was a certified homogenized  office worker! Yay!
     Now though, as I got more comfortable with using computers, the more I fear that a part of me may one day no longer exist. That is that part of me defined by my handwriting, legible or otherwise! This new generation of my nieces and nephews might never get to define themselves with their own handwriting. Will they write with curved, smooth strokes or pointed bold strokes? Will they hold a pen so tightly it punctures the paper most of the time? Will they know how it feels to have your thoughts run freely, and your brain and writing hand race to keep up with each other to capture those thoughts on paper? Will they get the chance to see their written mistakes as they are fleshed out on paper and erase them either with a single strike-out stroke, or slash it repeatedly till the offensive word or idea is buried in a puddle of ink? Will they be able to review their work with only their own brain for a spell-check editor? Will they get calluses on their writing hand where the pen rests most comfortably in their hand? How many pieces of paper will they have to crumple and send to the trash bin before they are truly satisfied with their work? Will they even find out what an ink blot is? Hehehe. ;)
     I write this blog using new technology because work no longer affords me the luxury of a long date with my thoughts and a pen and paper to write in longhand. If I did have the luxury though, this blog would be written in illegible longhand. :D

     I would not be surprised if my nephews and nieces would be lugging their own laptops to school very soon but I wish for them to discover themselves by the way they write. Write in longhand, my loves. It's not only therapeutic but it is another way of leaving a legacy. As no two people are ever alike on this earth, so no two handwriting styles will ever be alike. It is also one of those things I miss about relatives who have passed on. Like their presence, their handwriting goes too. All that is left of beautiful memories and the beautiful life they have lived are those personal notes they have left behind, in their own hand.

©CherWriter 2010.11.23

Friday, November 19, 2010

Orgasmic T.V.

     Going by physical appearances alone, one can immediately tell that I love to eat and I love food. :D Staple channels on my viewing list are: The Food Network (especially Iron Chef America), Discovery Travel and Living (particularly No Reservations by Anthony Bourdain), and The Asian Food Channel (Chef Michael Smith's Chef at Home series). That alone would make me a candidate for a contestant on The Biggest Loser Asia, hahaha!!!

     Recently, I was delighted to come across The Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate program (Saturdays 7pm, Lifestyle Network, Skycable) where they feature a particular food item, and different chefs and tv personalities name the restaurant where they ate what for them is the best reprsentation of the food item for the episode. They then seductively describe the food item as served by that particular restaurant, and that, ladies and gentlemen, gives you an hour of unadulterated, (dare I say it...) wholesome FOOD PORN!

     Ah! The colorful, tantalizing, and engaging descriptions provided by the "interviewees", the way the camera dances to get the best shot of the food, and the shop owner's how-to's are so hypnotic that you could see it in their eyes, the way their voice cracks sometimes and they have to pause to make sure they do not salivate on-cam... hehehe. It takes massive willpower for me not to go and raid the refrigirator and the pantry, or just get on the next plane to the U.S. just for a food trip!

     I promise you... this show is delectable, desirable, and delicious that you'll find yourself  licking your lips for good eats! It's a good reference point for the next foodie's food tour. Meantime, I have my pen and notebook ready, jotting down all these recommendations for good eats!

     Is it better than chocolate or sex? Watch it and decide for yourself!

©CherWriter 2010.11.19

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Great Generation Equalizer


     Technology has evolved at warp speed that it is getting harder and harder to think of a period in time when life had only the most basic and primitive tools available. From the time man wielded the first and crudest of tools up to today, man has molded the world to his liking.

     With the advent of computers, the world has become smaller and more compact. Travel has almost become instantaneous with the advent of social networking and has linked people from almost all points in the globe.

     Recently, my mom was introduced to social networking via Facebook. At 64, she has found a new way to reconnect with family and friends, and is enjoying it. To this end, the Internet is a blessing for the elderly who would have otherwise had to exert a considerable amount of effort and money to reconnect with friends and loved ones halfway around the world. With just a camera and a microphone, computer, and a phone line, grandkids can now see and hear grandparents and gain access to their loving wisdom while grandparents can now see their grandkids antics.

     Today's computer keyboards are also good for elderly hands. Not too much effort is needed to elicit a response from your friends in cyberspace. A simple click makes all the difference.

     The internet is a great equalizer among generations. Even though the warmth of a real hug and smile cannot be replaced, the Internet has bridged the physical breadth and boundaries of cities, towns, and continents to bring loved ones close enough to keep bonds strong and reinforced.

©CherWriter 2010.11.18

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Curve

     I love reading and getting lost in the pages of books. It is in the literary genre where I am most at home and comfortable. At 30-something, it's amusing to recall that during my younger years I was not even a wide reader. In fact, my school library cards hardly had anything written on them.

     I cannot exactly pinpoint where and when my love affair with literature began. I just love reading stories. Subconsciously, I could probably say that it was because my mom read to me as a child and I simply picked up the habit. Or, it may have been seeing my grandfather on his big armchair, pipe-in-mouth, magnifying glass in the other, reading away every afternoon in our lanai.

     However, I also think that no matter how much stimulus is given you, if something in you is not really receptive to it, you will not gravitate towards it or have any interest in it. Say for example, you come from a family of business people or a family of doctors. Why then would someone radically choose to be a painter or an art historian when most of the family are in the same field?

     We always say that a person's uniqueness is a gift. His own talents are a gift. A person's own identity lends its own unique flavor and quality to the gift he or she has been given.

     How wonderful it is then that life is like a great art gallery where there is always an exhibit of a person's work (or life). People who are in the same gallery space make up your own personal audience: adoring fan or scathing critic...  ;D

     With this blog, my work is on the written word.  I hope to find you out there who previously shared my gallery space. For other gallery patrons, welcome! I hope to make your acquaintance and friendship. :D

     Whether this blog will be the precursor to a book I hope to write someday,I do not know. It is my wish however that those of you who will follow me on this blog and like what you see and read on. A little stimulus in a corner of LIFE: THE GALLERY.

© CherWriter 2010.11.16


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