Wednesday, September 23, 2009

what the: URINALS

Do guys really have smaller bladders? I would assume that between the two, girls have smaller bladders. So why are urinals more prevalent on the roads than I dunno.. portapotties? Not that I think any girl I know would want to use a public portapotty unless desperate (then again.. maybe even when desperate, still may opt to hold it in), but it just makes me wonder. And what's up with boy bathrooms smelling more than girl bathrooms?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Laptop Love

One of the smartest things I did for myself this year was to get myself back on a laptop.

Due to professional and personal circumstances, I made the switch from a laptop back to a desktop about a year ago. For a while it wasn't too much of a big deal, but as I started to get busier, the more it made sense for me to get one.

I originally planned on getting a netbook. As a constant commuter, having something lightweight and compact was a desirable prerequisite. But thinking long term, a regular sized lap top made more sense. Plus I'd look pretty funny jabbing away at a computer much much tinier than I!

It's been a little over a month and it's already made such a difference in my life. While I have now rejoined the anti-social world of peeps who disappear into their laptop every chance they get, it has more importantly, made a lot of positive changes. It has allowed me to make better use of my time and also allowed me to turn work in faster, both reasons why I opted to buy one in the first place.

Still looking for a name though! Sylvester & SylviaLaTorre don't sit completely well for me so I'm still on the look out for a better name for my new limb extension.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

System Reboot

I never did reach my weight loss goal of an additional 20 pounds ontop of the 20 pounds I had already lost prior to the start of my "focused dieting for the US". I lost 8 pounds during that time, but gained it back before I left, during the time I started going to Katipunan everyday for work. Lost.

I'm not too bummed out about it though. I'm happy that I didn't gain anything during my trip and even happier that I fit well into my dress without the need for a corset or any problems zipping it up. My fear of impersonating a stuffed green burrito was never realized and I manged to effectively move around in it doing my maid of honor duties without passing out from suffocation. I'm also grateful that I ate well during my 3 weeks there- not too much that I stuffed myself silly, not too little to not enjoy. And even more grateful that all the places I visited were walking cities.

Now that I'm back, it's time to set my eye on another goal, just for that extra bit of motivation. Two events, well actually three. The big event is December of 2010, I have the wedding of a friend from high school as well as a 10-year high school class reunion. That for me is THE goal. By then, I plan to be settled at a happy weight. And in the event I get a chance to go, the other event will be more of a benchmark for me as it It is another reunion with the kids at the school I grew up in prior to moving back to Manila. That's a beach trip for sure.

I've been mulling over what to do as I need to adjust my lifestyle to fit whatever is on my plate, at least until I've settled into a steady job & steady routine. The initial 20 pounds was lost when I had time to really think about my lifestyle and focus on my diet and exercise. But with this project I'm working on, I haven't had enough time to work out and have allowed myself to become distracted, which hasn't been good for my eating habits.

Time to reboot and get focused again.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moleskine Madness

Moleskine is my notebook splurge. In my notebook world, they are what Hermes and Chanel are to the fashion world. Yeap.. pricey little notebooks with a cult following. Known for their great quality and excellent craftsmanship, I love its simplicity & classic look and yet, also really love the different varieties they have come up with. I also love the feel and quality of the paper. Something about it's beautiful pages makes you want to create and do beautiful things with it. And if you google it, you'll see I'm not the only one to think so. Tell you the truth, there isn't much not to love about it. Well.. except for the price. Especially when converted into Philippine peso :I

I have had a recent hankering for the Moleskine colour a month daily planner set. I saw it several months ago as a new release by Moleskine but only recently saw it in person. *Drool...* I WANT IT NOW NOW NOW. Hahaha, yup, when I become an uncontrollable brat, you know you've tapped into my inner most desires. I want to use it for my blessings/gratitude list. I currently make it a point to jot down in my planner things that I am grateful for, so when I look back on my year, I will see 365 days of blessings. For this year, I wanted to separate the notebook. Wala lang.. ehm.. simply because there are new notebook I can make use of? :) Though.. I cannot seem to fathom spending Php 2650 for a set of notebooks :I

I would also like to get myself a set of large soft cover moleskine's to keep my "vision boards" in. I stopped painting a long time ago, and would like to start again. This is far from painting but at least will keep me flexing my creative muscle.This one is will definitely take priority over the "colour a month" set.

Lastly, I know 2010 is still a quarter away but I can't WAIT to get myself new planner. I'm still trying to decide what kind of layout I want. *SQUEEEAAA!!!* Can't wait :)

(photos taken from:

Friday, September 11, 2009

Foto Favorites

(photo taken @ Millennium Park, Chicago; Aug 09)
So, what's it gonna be? It's either you jump over the fence or run and enjoy the feeling of the grass that you're on right now. At the end of the day, it's really just grass. (Rod Nepomucenco, The Philippine STAR 01/17/2005)

(photo taken @ Luneta Park, Manila, on the way home from Cory Aquino's Funeral Mass @ Manila Cathedral; Aug 09)

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Get By with a Little Help From My Friends :)

One of the best things about traveling is my getting to spend an hour/afternoon/day/weekend with friends I've made over my lifetime. Beyond the stories exchanged or shared photographs and anecdotes, what I love most is getting to see them live in their new reality.

The picture I have in my head of who they are is when I had gotten to know them; the past we shared together, usually living in the same place, experiencing the same things. Then circumstances change and people move on. Outside of an affection for one other, many of the threads that bind are memories of the past.

Getting the chance to create new memories with the people that I love are opportunities I will always grab at. It's always interesting to see what time does to a relationship, as not all relationships last.

Luckily, no relationships lost during this past trip! In fact, most, if not all relationships sealed themselves as "keepers" in my book. I felt extremely blessed to have seen friends from the different "parts" of my life; from my childhood, high school and college life.

I went through a slew of self-reflection having seen everyone, but the emotion that stood out the most for me was inspiration. It was incredibly inspiring to see the relationships they were nurturing, careers they were building and homes they were creating, outside of the the comfort zone that living in the Philippines can bring.

Thanks to many of my unknowing friends, I now face the uncertainty of the next few months with re-focused and re-energized commitment and passion.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Best Way to Unwind

This was my first bubble bath in YEARS and a great bath it was!

Warm bath water? Check.

Generous layer of orange smelling bath bubbles & home? Check.

Bath pillow to support my head and neck? Check.

Aromatic mug of tea by my side? Check.

I opted to chuck the book and go for candle light + music. So.. check and check (no.. not Enya unfortunately. LOL)

Too bad I'm no longer a smoker as a ciggy would've perfect too :)

There's a reason why some of these oldie feel good recipes are still considered goodies.

Luggage Love

The more you travel, the more you pick up on little tips & tricks that help make your trip just a little bit easier. I mean, there's nothing worse than being hassled as you hop from one place to another right?

I could probably go on at length on little tips & tricks that have made my traveling life a little bit easier.. necessities for someone as chaotic as I. God knows I'm still far away from being a smooth traveler but each trip does get better and better.

For this particular trip, I used a suitcase that had 4 wheels (as opposed to the 2-wheeled wheelies). It has made the biggest impact on traveling "better" so far. I've traveled with wheel-less luggage, 2-wheeled luggage and by far, 4 wheels? Simply the way to go. So what if they tend to roll away from you if you stand on an incline! Or that they move away from you while you're on the subway. It has generally made mobility in an airport much easier.. whether you're juggling all your luggage by yourself or hurrying up to make sure your tour group doesn't leave you.

Remind me next time though to get luggage ANY color but black :I I think my suitcase rotated a dozen times around the carousel before I recognized it!

What about you? What little tips and tricks have made traveling easier for you?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Movie in My Mind

I know this is kind of cheesy and very Hollywood but I can't help but feel warm and fuzzy inside every time I hear/see a saxaphone player lazily blues-ing away in the distance while walking around a cool city. Yes, you heard me, COOL city.. the air needs to be cool. Sax players and humidity don't seem to lock in my head. But feel free to prove me wrong. The closest thing I can think of that comes close (well.. it's not really close) to this experience are the blind musicians who sing along with the plucking of their electric guitars, in their sunglasses, usually sitting under an umbrella in rain or shine with passerbyers hurrying by. Ya ok... so it's not really the same kind of experience but I personally find it to be a lovely experience nonetheless. Though totally not the point of this entry!

Back to saxophone players in cool cities.. I think the first time I remember hearing was in Paris back in 2001. Since then, I've had the lovely pleasure of serendipitously coming by them in New York, Chicago and Boston.

I always feel like I'm part of some moving picture every time I hear it, part of a small movie with my own personal soundtrack. I guess the slinky sound of the saxophone, the brisk air and the beautiful surroundings combine to really tickle my senses and create an almost surreal experience for me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Subway Soliloquies

As dirty and annoying as the New York subway can get, I'll have to admit that it is both convenient and always an interesting experience.

I love how public transportation in New York is a perfect balance between commuting and walking (perfect for burning away all the yummy food available here!), and that you can pretty much get anywhere in the city on the subway. When I think about it actually, my commute from my house to work takes the same time as my commute from Brooklyn to the city, but Manila commuting seems so much more.. taxing. Perhaps the humidity, dusty air and constant transfer from MRT to jeep to bus is a big part of this. But wouldn't it be great if you could make your way from Makati to Marikina without ever having to leave the underground labyrinth that is the New York subway system. Manila MRT/LRT unfortunately is only limited to stops along the major traffic arteries of the city; Taft, Aurora and Edsa.

I also love the mix of people you always see riding the subway. Young mothers in tracksuits pushing a stroller in one hand and toting a gaggle of kids on the other, corporate yuppies sleek and coiffed, angsty emo tweens in the funkiest street wear. You also have your wandering musicians, sleeping homeless, sprinkle of crazies and thousands of other people in all shapes, colors and sizes.

What I also love about the New York subway is that each station carries such a unique personality. From the way the station name is tiled on the wall, to the artwork you find in many of the station stops. Definitely keeps my mind preoccupied while waiting for my train.

But what I love the MOST about public transportation that runs underneath bustling metropolis is emerging from the hot suffocating subway below into the airy world above. Yes, ala Persephone emerging from Hades' underworld, welcoming spring! An extra bonus is if you are exiting a station you've never come out of before. Sometimes you emerge into a boulevard lined with trees, or an avenue with towering with steel skyscrapers. Sometimes you pop up into nothing but blue skies above.