Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Self portrait

Time to clean the bathrooms!

Aquaboy and Toilet Duck to the rescue!

Crass neighbors

I never realized how very sheltered I've been till A and I moved to our apartment here in QC. For years I've lived in my parents' house in Antipolo and after that, because of work, I'd invariably lived in a condo building in Makati, then my lease-to-own 10th floor studio in QC (which I had to eventually give up ), always not bothering to know the neighbors, never even pressured to make conversation with them in the elevator. How anti-social, 'no?

But it's totally different out here. There's parking space in the compound for at least nine cars (why A and I chose the place, in QC it's a luxury)--six in front of the apartments, and three in the unpaved area where the residents hang their laundry. Before we moved in, we knew there was only one other car that was going to be using the parking space aside from A's and my car. Little did we know we were going to be sharing parking space with this truck (!) owned by somebody down the street, and a host of cars--different sorts, I can never keep track of how many they are--whose occupants call at the first and third doors (who are related, by the way). So to avoid inconveniencing and being inconvenienced by the moving of cars whenever our neighbors had guests A and I just graciously opted to share the unpaved parking with the truck and the laundry, oh, and the compound's garbage and the caretaker's mangy flea-infested dogs (yecch!).

Well, anyway, there was this time when I came home very late at night--around eleven PM, and as I pulled into my unlit, unpaved parking, a car was immediately behind me which pulled into the paved driveway in front of the apartments. Well, naturally, I thought it was Eric's from the second door's. He always comes in late. So because I was near the gate, I did what I thought was the good neighborly thing which was to close the compound gates for the night. When suddenly, incredibly, I heard not a word nor any recognizably articulate humanly expression, but an angry and frantic "Sssut-sssut-sssut". And as I looked in the direction of the apartments where the sound was coming from, there was this backlit fat woman flailing her arms which my brain instinctively recognized as an instruction to not close the gates because the car apparently was not Eric's but a guest's which had just dropped off the woman. In the dark the woman obviously mistook me for one of the compound's maids.

I was incredulous, not to mention indignant, and I walked as fast as I could toward the brightly lit driveway so that I could make the woman realize her mistake. Because I was so very upset and feeling very insulted (not for being mistaken as a maid but rather at being subjected to such a gross behavior), I could not immediately think of anything to say. (To anything, I've always been known to react very belatedly.) But at that point the woman had already quickly disappeared behind the first door anyway. I just hope she had a good look at me before she did. I was near tears when I got inside our apartment. Then I told A what had happened and it made him very mad, I had to stop him from going to the first door to confront the woman.

Now the woman, I noticed, is always in a hurry whenever she walks in front of our apartment. Maybe she did get a good look at me that night and realized her mistake after all. And I always make sure I throw her a dagger look whenever she happens to walk by our apartment. But the frustrating thing is, she carefully avoids eye contact and walks straight ahead.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

My special all-around marinade

Here's a recipe for a marinade I invented that I'm going to share, and it works with chicken, beef, and is especially wonderful for making juicy pan-broiled pork chops--yum! The recipe is for 2 cuts of 3/4 inch pork chop, so just adjust measurements accordingly.

1/2 cup Coconut soy sauce
1/2 cup Kikkoman all-purpose soy sauce
4 tablespoons French's yellow mustard
1/4 cup fresh calamansi juice

Simply mix everything and marinate chicken, beef, or pork with it for at least 20 minutes (the longer, the better). Then roast, fry or pan-broil. It smells heavenly, and is guaranteed to make the neighbors envious of your dinner. Bon appetit!

Morning breath

For the past four months I've been married, I have come to realize now that I am solely responsible for how my husband's breath smells like in the morning, i.e., that if I want his breath to be sweet-smelling like warm, freshly-baked pan de sal when I wake up, I shouldn't feed him anything with lots of garlic and onions the night before--eww!

There was one time when I went out with my girl friends shortly after Christmas. I forget now what I had for dinner, but when I went to bed late that night, I could tell from A's face when I kissed him that I had such a foul-smelling breath from all the onions that was in my dinner. I must have brushed my teeth three times, flossed till my gums bled and was already sorely tempted to drink the Astring-o-sol and yet it wasn't till the next day that the taste of the onions was gone.

When we were small, and we would kiss our parents early in the morning, our dad used to always tell us to magmumog (rinse our mouths) first, to take the "Dari Creme" out. How imaginative of my dad thinking the taste of one's mouth in the morning as something like Dari Creme spread.


Today I terminated 10 happy years with one of my credit cards. I had been trying to do so for the last two weeks or so, but could not, because, it turns out, I still had an outstanding balance of Php 1,794.89 from my last transaction. I settled it in full at Security Bank last Tuesday and attempted to cancel again through phone, but was advised by the girl at the other end of the line that it seems the payment had not been posted by Security Bank yet as of that afternoon. I was assured, though, that all that there will be no letter of requests that will be required and the termination will be swift and painless. I had forgotten to follow it up all through Wednesday so when I tried again last Thursday I found out there won't be phonebanking services till Black Saturday.

So come today, the morning of Black Saturday, I made the call.

It was a guy who answered this time, and after he asked what he can do for me, as usual, we went through the rigmarole of caller verification--name, credit card no., birthday, home and office address, home and office no.,and finally, my mother's maiden name. Then he asked what the reason was for my request for cancellation, I answered, "I simply can't afford to keep a credit card anymore." And then, the melodramatic litany, "Because I used to have a high-paying job in advertising but am now a university professor with measly wages living a pathetic hand-to-mouth existence. Because I used to enjoy junkets during post production projects in Hongkong and Singapore and now I could ill-afford to spend even just a weekend in Tagaytay. Because I used to afford to shop in Glorietta, Greenbelt or Power Plant whenever I felt depressed, whenever I felt happy, or whenever I just felt like it, and now to shop for new clothes, I go for all the Surplus Shops I could find in all the SMs." Of course, the melodramatic litany was just in my head.

The guy told me he will have to put me on hold, and as he did so, the waiting-music came on. It struck me how apt the muzak that coincided with the occasion--it was Ravel's Pavane pour une Infante défunte (Requiem for a Dead Princess). On hindsight, I remember it seemed it's always been some celebratory air from Mozart.

So when the guy came back on the line and was asking me if I was certain that I wanted the cancellation, all nostalgia washed over me, all the ten years of happy shopping in my favorite stores in my other life flashed before my eyes, and I had to keep myself from changing my mind and dramatically screaming "No, stop! Please, I wanna keep my AIG Visa credit card!!!"

But instead I said "Yes." Rather impassively.

The guy said that the account was now cancelled and then he asked if there was anything more he could do for me.

I bit my lower lip, and said to the phone, "No, that will be all. Thank you very much." And then quickly hung up before I could apply for a new card.

I think the occasion calls for some serious shopping this afternoon with my Mastercard.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

"Kiss mo 'ko, dali!"

What A said to me just before lunch, after spending the whole morning tinkering with his motorcycle. His whole face was all scrunched up all into this giant pucker, that I just had to laugh out loud.

He was, in his funny way, feeling romantic, and I was only too happy to oblige my sweaty-pie while I played the little wife preparing our lunch of fried chicken (which used to be leftover roasted chicken last night), recycled chicken macaroni salad (which I'd ingeniously used as a topping for a lettuce, cucumber and tomato salad), and rice.

"I wonder if the other couples are like us," A smiled, with his arms still tight around me.
"Like what?" I asked, feebly trying to wriggle out because the fried chicken was beginning to smell burnt.
"Well, you know, I wonder if they kiss their spouses often, like we do."
"Maybe naman..." nonchalantly I said, although secretly I smiled and doubted if the other couples were having it as great as we were. And I remembered I was going to write about the other day in my blog but failed to do so because there were just too many things to do. Last Tuesday, coming home from work, after we kissed, A hugged me tightly and then whispered hotly in my ear, " I missed you, sweetie. I love you."

It feels really, really very nice, to feel so loved.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Candid camera

Literally sleeping like a baby. Wahaha. A's gonna kill me for posting this not-so-flattering portrait. Well, only if he discovers this blog, that is. I couldn't resist it, the photo's just so funny.

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Funny how three months of being married effortlessly transforms a singleton into a smug married. Happily, the transition was not too difficult for me. Well, of course, I would have to admit there are days I wish I was back in my mom's house where I can wake up to the smell of coffee brewing and breakfast (my mom's special tocino, and oh, her yang chow!) waiting for me, or wish I didn't have to plan the menu, or think if it was already time to change the sheets, polish the floor, or disinfect the bathroom, on top of all the million and one things I have to do, decide and figure out. I also miss my old, cramped 10th floor condo unit and the dear old familiar clutter. But all that I'd have to live with now, gladly, all for each and every morning--still with a thrill--I wake up warm, safe and snug in my husband's arms. Married life is just so wonderful.

Images of Sangat Island, Palawan