Wednesday, March 30, 2011

finding someone

An essay entitled Date A Girl Who Reads became very popular around Valentines Day this year. It was written by Rosemarie Urquico (but I found it here), supposedly in response to another popular essay, this one by Charles Warnke, entitled You Should Date An Illiterate Girl. (In case you feel tempted to jump to conclusions, You Should Date An Illiterate Girl does not encourage dating an illiterate girl at all. It's a beautiful piece that girls who read should read before feeling slighted.) As a girl who reads I feel flattered, but in all honesty I don't think there is one type of girl or guy that would fit all. As cliched as it may sound, I think what matters is really just how much you love each other. Still, you don't get to the point of unconditional love in an instant. A few rules of thumb can't hurt, so, for this year's 31st of March, I'd like to list down some of the things I've learned about finding the right person.


Find someone who is willing to love another person more than he loves himself. Love very often means doing and wanting what is best for the other, even at a detriment to oneself. Avoid someone who does not have the capacity to do that.

Find someone you respect. In a relationship, you won't always have it your way. When you do have to concede, it will be easier if you know that you are giving in to someone who is worthy, whose heart is in the right place.

Find an equal. You don't have to have the same talents, the same amount of cash in your pockets, the same force of personality, but the sum of everything should somehow be equal. A relationship dominated by just one partner is one of the most painful things to watch.

Find someone you can trust. Nothing erodes love more insidiously yet completely than doubt, especially if it is well-founded. If you can't trust someone, walk away. If you can trust him, do, and stop second-guessing.

Find someone who does not have a history of treating his previous girlfriends badly. Whether it's beating them, cheating on them, or just not treating them as well as he should have, there are no excuses. Change is possible, but don't count on it. You deserve so much better. Every girl, every person, deserves to be treated right, especially by the one to whom she gave her heart.

Find someone who can make you laugh, or at least make you smile. Life won't be a walk in the park, but it will help if you have someone walking beside you who can lighten your heart. Avoid whiners. Avoid people who think the world owes them something. Avoid people who feel they are always misunderstood, as there is probably a very good reason why others think that way about them.

If you can, find someone who can grill fish at the beach. Find someone who can replace light bulbs and fix faucets. Find someone who will wash the dishes for you because he sees you're feeling sad. If this is not possible, at least find someone who tries.

Finally, find a good person. Find someone who inspires you to be a better person yourself. Find someone who can be entrusted with your heart, and your life, because that is what love entails. Find someone who will love you the way you deserve to be loved, and when you do, love him back with every last ounce of strength you have.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

better together


If March 26, 1982 hadn't happened, none of this would have happened either.

Happy birthday to the crazy, awesome, not to mention handsome, guy in this video.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Ever since I could remember, she has loved me with all her heart. 

She has fed me, bathed me, clothed me, and taken care of me, with little regard for her own well-being.

She has scolded me, taught me, corrected me, punished me, and pushed me, all because she cared.

She has taught me to be strong, but she remains ready to fight by my side.

She has prepared me for life as best as she could, but she has never stopped trying to provide what I need or grant what I wish.

She has no days off, but she hardly ever complains.

She has been hurt countless times, most of all by us, the people she loves, but she continues to love us as if she has never been hurt.

She has served unconditionally and given without expecting anything in return.

She has shown me what real love is.

She has touched the lives of countless people and made this world a better place simply by being herself and doing what she can.

She has been doing all this for 60 years today.

I love you very much ma. Happy, happy birthday.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the breakfast project

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I enjoy sitting around the table, sipping a cup of coffee, and talking to my family. Bacon, eggs, a generous serving of hot rice -- these are my comfort food, treats enjoyed since childhood. My current routine, however, usually has me eating my first meal at four in the morning, so I don't get to laze around and enjoy breakfast and all its trappings as often as I'd like to.

On weekends, I prepare breakfast myself, and today, well, I thought I'd make a production out of it. But first: I knew I was going to be really hungry by the time I finished cooking, so I fixed myself a cup of hot choco, a perfect pugong sa gutom in the rainy weather.

After I got the rice going, I took a quick glance at our ref. We'd gone grocery shopping two weeks before, so some stuff were in danger of going bad in a few days if I didn't use them soon enough. I figured I'd toss them together, and so here's...

How To Make A Salad Out Of Anything
  1. Slice around 3 ripe tomatoes. I rubbed a little salt on my tomato slices because I like them slightly salty, but you shouldn't have to if you don't want to.
  2. Cube a non-crunchy apple. (You can use crunchy ones too, but those are nice to grab from the ref and eat as a snack, whereas the non-crunchy ones...not so much.) Toss them into the bowl with the tomatoes, and squeeze 1 or 2 calamansi over the mix. It's supposed to keep the apples from turning brown, and it also adds a nice citrusy element to the flavor.
  3. No lettuce? Use cabbage. It's still a green leafy vegetable, right?
  4. Mix in some Del Monte Pineapple Chunks. You can use any brand, really, but I'm loyal to Del Monte, mostly because I spent a huge chunk of my childhood in their pineapple plantation.

So that's breakfast dish number 1 done.

Next up: what's breakfast without eggs? Some people prefer their eggs sunny side up, others as omelettes, a few even hard-boiled. I like them scrambled myself -- when done right, that is, which I can't seem to do, unfortunately.

The preparation is easy enough, I guess. Crack the shells open, whisk with a fork, slice, dice or mince whatever bits you want to mix in.

It's the cooking itself that leaves me stumped. This one turned out okay, I think, but my mother has this way of keeping her scrambled eggs fluffy and moist (and yummy!) that I never could duplicate.

Finally, nothing says breakfast like a bowl of Holiday corned beef...

...unless it's a big, steaming bowl of this:

 Don't you just love breakfast? ^_^

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

how to get your HP Solution Center to load again

Was everything going fine for you when one day your HP Solution Center suddenly stubbornly refused to open? Does your inability to control Scan settings have you wanting to throw things, your stupid PC and HP printer included?

You're not alone. I think a few square nanometers of my myocardium actually died yesterday as I stared furiously at my monitor, waiting for the HP Solution Center to load and knowing it never would. (It hadn't been loading for weeks.)

Fortunately, I thought of Googling my troubles...and "HP Solution Center won't load" actually auto-completes. I found the explanation, and the solution, in an HP forum (here). Basically, what you need to do is:
  1. Uninstall the HP Solution Center (or the whole bunch of HP printer software, for that matter)
  2. Uninstall your Adobe Flash Player
  3. Reinstall Adobe Flash Player in Internet Explorer (because the bar containing the ActiveX warning message most likely won't pop up if you use Firefox or Chrome)
  4. Reinstall whatever HP software you previously uninstalled

Hopefully, that should work as well for you as it did for me. ^_^

Monday, March 7, 2011

Won't bow. Don't know how.

One of the most surprising things I've learned in the past year or so is that there's a lot about America that's a lot like the Philippines. There are actually Americans who are so poor that they can't see their doctor because they have no means of transportation. There are American women who give birth in February and are pregnant again by August. And then there was Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans sustained extensive damage during the hurricane, mostly because their levees broke, leading to flooding of 80% of the city. Even though most of the residents were successfully evacuated, some insisted on remaining in their homes. Those who did had to swim for their lives, or remained stranded on their rooftops, as flood waters reached as high as 15 feet in some parts of the city.

Is this beginning to sound familiar? It should. Disasters like this -- though thankfully not all the time this awful -- have dotted Philippine history for as long as I can remember.

Just like in the Philippines, though, life in New Orleans goes on, and there is this great TV series that I've just discovered that documents life in New Orleans after Katrina. It's a fictional tale, but it has been " an accurate and honest representation" of how New Orleanians are trying to get back on their feet and move on.

Treme airs on HBO. (I know. You're thinking: You don't have cable. You don't even have a TV. How...what...where...? Um. Ask no questions, and I will tell you no lies.)

And have I mentioned it yet? The music is awesome. I've only seen one episode so far -- the very first one -- but I'm already head over heels in love with the music of Treme. I've never wanted to go to America, but for this, for the jazz, the second line, the Carnival, and the opportunity to eat a Hubig's pie, I'm willing to prostrate myself in front of a consul. (Well, no, but near enough as makes no difference.)

Here are a few scenes from the first episode, their first ever second line since the hurricane, set to the Rebirth Brass Band's Feel Like Funkin' It Up. There are many amazing music scenes in the series premiere, but I love how this first one somehow symbolizes the undefeatable spirit of the people of New Orleans.


The line "won't bow, don't know how" is from the series, and that pretty much says it all.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

i ♥ george smiley

Cartwheels! Whistles! Tin cans! Party poppers! They're making a movie version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy!

Gary Oldman will play George Smiley, Colin Firth (the Colin Firth) will play Bill Haydon, Tom Hardy will play Ricki Tarr (in lieu of Michael Fassbender), and look who's playing Jim Prideaux: it's my old friend, the one and only, if not quite unique-looking, Mark Strong. (Read some of the movie buzz here.) When I first saw the words "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "Colin Firth" together, I thought Colin -- British, fat-ish, and somewhat ordinary-looking -- would make the perfect George and was initially disappointed when I realized he wouldn't be playing him. Still, people are saying that Gary Oldman is the best actor never to have been nominated for an Academy Award, so I'm pretty sure he will do Smiley justice. And, who knows, this role might be The One.

Gosh! I can't wait for the movie to come out.

Even if you've never heard of TTSS, you might have heard of another famous John le Carré book: The Spy Who Came In From The Cold. (No?) I have to admit I didn't quite get this book when I read it the first time, but when I read it again, the beauty of the plot just knocked me off my feet. I've always wanted to be a spy, and John Le Carré's novels are exciting forays into that secret, sad, solitary world of my unfulfilled dream career.

The first JlC book I read was The Secret Pilgrim. It is captivating and haunting at the same time, bitter and sweet. I loved it, and it was while reading it that I fell in love with George Smiley. One can't help swearing allegiance to George. If you can't find the book in the store, please, please promise you will watch the TTSS film...and click here.