Archive for May 2009
With a rosary and a mini zohar in my pocket, I began my first tour.
3 hours and a few aches and sores after, I am proud to say that I finished the bike tour! Golf clap. Golf clap.
The experience was just amazing! The scenery was breathtaking: from the ocean, to farmlands, to forests. The second half of the tour was challenging as the route had unexpected hills which threw me off. But with a lot of perseverance and the thought of having a big, delicious lunch after, I pedaled on to the finish line. Special props goes to Alex who despite faulty shifters, gave me an unforgettable ride. So please pay your respects now.
After the ride, we decided to explore this seemingly sleepy town. And what a town it turned out to be!
You get the same Hamptons feel without the new yohkers disturbing the peaceful hum of silence.
I was especially taken by the lovely (and grand) houses by the beach.
Don’t these steps remind you of that Jack Nicholson-Diane Keaton movie?
Still wearing my bike gear, I posed for some photos for shits and giggles.
And to cap off this great day, we went to lunch …
So on our way to dinner one night, driving past a familiar tree lined street, we fancied an old colonial styled house. Thought you’d appreciate some of it’s design details.
In a town where home spaces are shrinking to NYC proportions, it’s refreshing to see an actual house (vintage) still standing. I don’t know why but I like the stairs. leading to the upper part of the house.
After what should have been considered trespassing, we discovered that this pretty little house is actually an extension to this building.
Take a look at the details on top. Doesn’t the Bates Motel come to mind?
When you turn the corner, this brick building transforms into this.
I find this courtyard in the brownstone so charming. Whoever lives in this ground floor unit hit the jackpot with this courtyard.
Again, by living across the river, you can come home to peace and quiet while being a train ride away from the cit-eh! Plus you will always have this magnificent view to enjoy. It never gets old!
I’m not sure if I told you about the art of a certain Dominic Rubio that I hope to one day acquire.
There’s really no need to explain why…
I love the subdued pink sky! But I suppose it’s really the subject matter that touches me. His modern throwback to the romanticism of the 19th century could give any art “appreciator” whip lash. I literally held my breath the first time I laid eyes on these. The craning necks and the oversized heads are his way of expressing his wish that Asians – Pinoys especially – take pride in their heritage and hold their heads up high.
In contrast to the pink sky, here’s one with a hot orangey yellow sky…
But here is my true favorite because it represents so many things I love and believe in – the Philippines, breast feeding and baby wearing…
This will hang on a wall in MY house – one day…
This sweet looking elderly lady is not your typical granny. For one, she really isn’t a granny. She’s a nun. A nun literally on the run. Sister Madonna Buder decided to take running as a sport in her late 40′s. A priest told her that running could actually be a spiritual experience and an unconventional channel to be closer to God. As with any runner, one mile led to another and before she knew it, she was competing in Triathlons. She took it a step further by joining the Iron Man in Hawaii! All for the Greater Glory of God. Check out this video about how she got started and why she actually does it. Very inspiring!
This is amazing for obvious reasons: here is an elderly woman who has pushed herself to the limit to do seemingly impossible things. But I think more than this, she has proven that we can find God in non-church related activities. She feels closer to God not just in the church or in a convent but in the hot concrete pavements when she runs or bikes and in the dark, cold waters when she swims. For her, this endeavor captures the essence of life.
As you know, on Saturday I will be joining the Tour de Cure.
I’ll be riding close to 40 miles in the name of my father. Since the unexpected happened, I really didn’t have the motivation to train for this event. But I’m doing it because I told Dinky Boy that I would do it for him. Also, I thought this could be a good venue to commune/converse with my dad who I miss terribly. I actually was having second thoughts about this since I don’t think I am physically prepared. But when I stumbled across Sister Madonna’s story (would you believe while running in the treadmill?), I knew that this was a sign that I had to push through with the ride (don’t you love how I managed to be BIDA here?). I found my mojo! So wish me luck and I’ll tell ya all about it…IF I live to tell you all about it!
You must, must, must rush to the nearest supermarket and try Haagen-Dazs‘ new Reserve flavor. Fleur de Sel Caramel is now my ice cream flavor du jour. The buzz lately has been all about Caramel Sea Salt, so Haagen-Dazs hopped on the band wagon and came up with this silky celebration of sea salt. It’s heaven in a pint! Allow me to whet your taste buds. Imagine this: Caramel ice cream, with ribbons of caramel and chocolate chunks. Yummy right? Then imagine mini and subtle explosions of saltiness in your mouth. Amazing! I’m not a caramel fan but the crisp saltiness of the sea salt neutralizes the sweetness of the caramel. Lami-a gyud!
Since we’re in the topic of Fleur de Sel, I asked Little Twincriquet to bring home Fleur de Sel Caramel Macaroons and other yummy flavors from Laduree or Pierre Herme. She is spending a few days in Paris after meeting her future(?) in-laws.
We must go back to Paris, Lala, if only for the macaroons and my obsession of the hour, Fleur de Sel everything!
It’s an award-winning brand of toys and games that are also available here – also thanks to a mompreneur. I discovered them during bazaar season in December. The toys are all very simple but you get attracted to them because they are designed by real artists. It’s hard to miss the fun and flair that accompanied the creative process.
So here are some of the things that I bought for my beautiful brats…
I got this for Mik. It has really cool graphics of all modes of transportation. Each card has a candy colored back drop that looks almost good enough to eat. Then again, that’s exactly what my son first did to them. The back of each card has “guide questions” like, Who’s driving the taxi? Or how many stars are there on the bus? At first, I was like, Ohhhhh OK it’s for parents who don’t know how to talk to their babies and have no imagination whatsoever. But the mommy I bought it from actually had a great sales pitch. She touted the “guide questions” as an excellent prompt for yaya who may not know to strike up a conversation with her alaga.
This is what I got Ate. I just knew she’d love it.
In spite of all her kakikayan and rock star aspirations she gets tons of fun from creating structures composed of these colorful bits of card. And each piece comes with a fancier than usual name so she consciously learns what chartreuse and burgundy are. But without her realizing it, she’s also teaching herself the laws of physics.
Here is my most recent buy from the Expo Mom Bazaar.
I had been googling a kid-friendly map the week before so Cio could literally have a better view of the world but I couldn’t find one that suited my purpose – which was to show her where she’s been, where I’ve lived and where we plan to go. Then I saw this. You open it up and it’s a rather blank map of the world but it comes with reusable vinyl stickers and labels. So you get to label the continents, oceans and some countries.
So of course we put the Statue of Liberty sticker on the East Coast somewhere. (I cannot brag about the accuracy of it’s placing). We marked Brazil because Mommy’s been there. We stuck something on southern China to mark Hong Kong. We also put Big Ben on England. It is after all where Peter Pan and the Darling children took a quick breather on their way to Neverland. The only pisser is, the map kinda skips New Zealand!! So I just said, “Put a sticker of the very bottom right of Australia – that’s more or less where we used to live”. Argh. It was fun though and the thing is so portable I can’t complain. And we still have tons of stickers to use up.
Whatcha tink? Cute right? Or am I just a sucker?
Yes it sure does.
Diapers leave sizable carbon footprints considering they are made by the planet’s smallest human inhabitants. But thankfully, it is possible to help out Mama Earth even before potty training. Check out Earth’s Best Organic Diapers – now available in the Philippines! (Manila at least… through a Multiply vendor).
They are biodegradable and made of naturally absorbent materials like corn and wheat. They’re also perfume, dye, bleach and latex free. But what I like best is the price tag. The current brand of diapers I use comes to about P7.50 each. These are just P5.73 a piece! How can you beat that? It’s the kind of win-win that mommies can’t resist!
This is one diaper change I’m happy to make BUT I’ll have to wait till the next shipment of XL arrives.
Meet Shai Agassi, my new crush (don’t tell Little Twinboy). And after I tell you about this brilliant man and his audacious plan, he will probably be yours too (I won’t tell Little Twinhub). So who is this guy? Where is he from? What does he do? And is he married? I kid. I kid.
Shai Agassi is the founder of Better Place. After sifting through a few possibly good ideas, he came up with one brilliant plan and ran with it. He is proposing electric vehicles to replace our gasoline guzzling cars. And he’s not just talking about the ones out today that accelerate like bump cars, that take forever to recharge or that cost a fortune to build. He is talking about electric cars that will be built by current car manufacturers, accelerate just like our gasoline fueled cars and cost just as much. How, you ask? This is where his genius comes. Check out this video.
Better Place will create the infrastructure to make this idea possible by providing the recharging and battery switching stations. They partnered with Renault-Nissan to build these vehicles and reached out to various governments to implement this program.
Israel (where Shai Agassi is from) will be the first country to distribute these kinds of cars.
In Asia, Japan (as always) is an early adaptor. Below is a battery switching station model. This was taken in some auto show in Yokohama.
I don’t know why but this idea just blew my mind away. I’m just so fascinated by the fact that this all started with one man and his resolve to make our world a better place to live in.
Photo credits: http://www.betterplace.com
Thanks for that uplifting post, Lala. It does help to think about the happy, funny and quirky memories of Dinky Boy. I’m hoping that in time, it won’t have to be too much of an effort.
So I was roaming (seemingly) aimlessly in this crazy city, and as if by design, I see a red door that catches my attention. It said Gilda’s Club on the door jamb. So i googled this Gilda’s Club and GUESS WHAT IT IS? It’s an organization whose mission is to create organic communities of support for ANYONE living with cancer. Gilda’s Club welcomes ANYONE learning to live with cancer or ANYONE whose loved one is learning to live with cancer. It was formed in honor of the late Gilda Radner who as you know lost her battle against Ovarian Cancer some years ago.
It was her dream to put up a foundation that provided emotional and social support to those living with cancer through healing workshops, social activities and networking . This support was meant to complement the medical treatment that at times could be very cut-throat and rough at the edges. In other words, kulang sa TLC! So her husband, funny guy, Gene Wilder and her psycho therapist, Dr. Joanna Bull, formed Gilda’s Club after she died.
There are Gilda’s Clubhouses all over. There’s a clubhouse in California…
And of course, here in New York!
Don’t you just love how all the clubhouses sport the same bright red door. So anybody is welcome to walk through those red doors and join any of the programs.
What appeals to me about this community (apart from the red doors..heehee) is that they recognize that treating cancer should not just be directed to that one guy with a tumor. Treating cancer means treating his family, his friends and anybody else who cares. Check out their website and read about the many programs they offer. Apart from the usual workshops and lectures about cancer, they have Karaoke Night, Comedy Nights, celebrations of all kinds. They even have meditation classes, yoga and even cooking! And all this you can enjoy for the hefty price of… NOTHING! You can even form your own clubhouse. They have literally redefined the concept of clubbing (Sorry I was trying to be witty). So tell me, how cool is this?
A few days before his 40th day, I got to thinking about Dinky Boy again… a lot of the sad things came to mind. So I figured, I should think about the more cheerful, inspiring, quirky things that make your Dad such a fixture in my personal history.
How about 40 random things for each day he’s been in Heaven? Here we go…
1. The smell of his car – cologne, smoke and I dunno what.
2. The way he’d love to sing Little Dummer boy… pah-ra-pah-pum-pum…
3. That corny joke he’d always tell at rallys about the watermelon that fell of the tricycle.
4. Him telling me how I should not stop eating meat because it IS what put us at the top of the food chain.
5. The fact that my picture was on his dresser mirror for years.
6. Him reminding me – even after college – that I would always be three.
7. How he’d always have his dinner brought upstairs when he’d come home late. Gambas comes to mind…
8. His Franklin digital dictionary gadget thingy.
9. Short maroon shorts.
10. Him telling me that he would never ever fly economy. It’s dirty and full of God knows what germs, he said.
11. Him telling me that if he ever HAD to fly coach he wouldn’t touch the food. Better to pack your own and secretly eat it in the bathroom.
12. All the duty free perfumes and make up he’d buy your mom.
13. How he NEVER stayed in our house in HK!! Si Mr. Hotel…
14. His early morning “dressing up” music… Abba… Elvis…Carpenters… Connie Francis…
16. How he thought (and was concerned!) it was my mom who got kicked out of the Senate during the impeachment trial.
17. Him yanking on my pigtails/ponytails and making clucking-horse-move-your-ass sounds.
18. How proud and elated my dad was when we got news of his Assemblyman victory in 1984. We were in Wellington and my Dad threw me in the air.
19. His silly song for Rocio when she was a baby: taran-jing-tanjing-tanjing hahahahaha
20. How he and JV strangely had the same taste in action movies.
21. Him coming up the stairs while I was the only one awake studying. Lord only knows where you and JV were ;p
22. The way his whole face would scrunch up when he’d laugh.
23. He once said to me, “That boy has something to prove. I knew it when I saw him drive. That’s not a good thing”.
24. The rows and rows of yellow shirts in his cabinet – though on the campaign trail he’d claim to have only one… politicians!
25. When I was a kid, how he’d make me demonstrate to his friends how I saw my mom applying deodorant hahahaha!
26. I remember how cool it was to see him on TV – even if I had no clue what he was talking about.
27. How he’d greet and chat with people when we were out and have no clue who they were.
28. How he’d make fun of the way Luigi would shyly wave at him upon arriving at the house.
29. His sagging bulldog cheeks.
30. The “bangaw” mole below the corner of his eye.
31. His motorbiking. For a guy who hated to sweat, he sure loved to get his motor runnin’.
32. His greeting me with “Hey bebe!” and a wink…
33. His Ace black combs.
34. That he went to Hawaii after the revolution – amazing!!
35. Campaigning and always hoping people would think I was his daughter.
36. His weird weapons like the retractable stun gun… good grief! Poor Driver Jun.
37. Sitting in the gallery of the Batasang Pambansa feeling so proud that we was somewhere down there – a Congressman. Back when a Congressman was someone you could respect.
38. His love for ice cream.
39. When I was really little, I asked him why he’d always shake his glass of coke. For some reason, I heard “because the ice gets more”. But whenever I’d shake MY glass of coke, the ice NEVER got more!! Strange… the things that stay in the mind of a child…
40. He will always be the man who taught me really bastos Tagalog words and of course, how to flash a dirty finger.