Barossa Valley

24 09 2008

We referred to it as the “super awesome birthday weekend.”

It was a celebration of not only Dan’s birthday, but also his real homecoming from the US.

And boy was it a self-fulfilling prophecy. From the cottage with its own spa, to the dinner, cellar doors and Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop, every single thing was awesome.

The cottage we stayed in had a proper wood fire and breakfast provisions, the dinner at Apellation was the best I’ve ever experienced in terms of service and ambiance. The shiraz at Two Hands and the fort at Chateau Dorrien (can’t call them port anymore ’cause apparently Portugal went to the world court and won the sole exlusive right to the name) almost made me convert from whites to reds. Not to mention the Farm Shop was just foodie heave with heaps of pate’ worth dying for.

***

After Barossa, I spent the rest of the week in Adelaide hanging out with Dan, his parents and our friends. It was an opportunity to obtain intimate knowledge of the city since I rarely ever stay there for more than a weekend. It also made me realize that when the time comes, moving there would not be such a bad idea.

Today I learned something, productive work can be a savior and that I am growing through an extreme exercise in patience.

Update: So far four people have told me to be patient and to wait it out. Two of these people I trust completely when it comes to their judgement/opinions. So wait I shall.





A Midnight Ode

6 09 2008

I will most probably regret it for the rest of my life, the fact that I was not able to witness the greatest reunion concert of my life. I have adored them since that day in summer of ’94 when my brother brought home a cassette tape of four skinny pimply guys and a song hits (only Pinoys will get what a song hits is hehe) featuring them on the inside page of the front cover. I distinctly remember being curious about the word “thesis” and singing to Ligaya without even knowing what it meant.

My first concert was in ’95 in a high school auditorium in Morong, Rizal and one of my ka-service (that’s bus mate to people who pronounce “r” softly and grew up in Manila) handed me a paper containing their setlist. It had shoemarks on it but I treasured it, although I never confirmed if one of them really wrote that setlist until I saw the handwriting on this photo and realized the legitimacy of that tiny piece of paper I’ve been keeping in an old biscuit tin in my old room in Tanay, Rizal (yes kelangan kasama parati ang “Rizal”).

Like any relationship I went through times when I lost all motivation to listen to them, especially when they released their 3rd album and everyone in my highschool started liking them and they became “too popular” for me hehe. Up to this day I still think that was a bad move, letting go of them just because of my pride. But college came and I got into the best university in the whole damn universe (Hehe), and I rediscovered them and was lucky to even witness a couple of live gigs… until they disbanded, I graduated and got a job and basically grew up.

Their albums were included in the chosen records I brought with me when I moved to Australia. I think they’re one of the things that give Pinoys a sense of solidarity, after all, have you ever met a Pinoy contemporary who grew up in Pinas who doesn’t know and idolize them? I hear another reunion concert is in the offing and I hope I won’t be too grown up and practical to dismiss the desire to go home just to watch it. I would seriously even consider begging Dan to master the Tagalog phrasebook I got him just for this band.





Flexi-working and virtualizing

4 09 2008

I didn’t go to Mexico. So in that makeshift office in a small part of our dining room I am virtualizing Mexico, starting work at 11pm when Melbourne is starting to wind down and finishing at exactly 8am. No after-office activities for me as I go straight to bed and am dead to the world in five minutes tops. Until 12noon.

I am averaging 4 hours of sleep each day, Dan says I’m slowly destroying my immune system but what can I do, it’s the start of spring and it’s such a shame to waste all that sun by spending it sleeping.

As expected, my sleep pattern, schedule and eating habits are in chaos. I can’t go for a nightly run because I’m too lethargic, it is just simply hard to function normally. I set myself a goal to take this certification before Dan comes home from the US (yes he went back again, but he’ll be home in a week hooray) but right now my goal is just to get through this without getting sick.

I suppose working like this has it advantages, for one, the quiet alone times have pushed me to become creative again and redecorate the apartment, also working alongside North America hours allowed me to reconnect with my friends overseas and then being on the same time zone as Dan isn’t so bad either.

Also I feel like all my efforts have been recognized with a small thank-you note from a workmate. Awww. I’m so easy to appease you should try it sometime.

Adrien (my nephew) was baptized last Sunday, should I say “welcome to the Christian world Adrien”? But I feel like saying don’t believe everything you hear haha. That kid is growing fast, so fast that on his first month he met his target weight… for his sixth month. Haha. He looks a lot like me, good on you my boy, our family can always use another strong-willed kid in the house.

Last night I said I couldn’t wait for this week to be over but tonight I realized I’m actually enjoying the quiet nights perfect for pondering things.

P.S. As I was posting this entry and listening to a playlist composed of Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles and A Fine Frenzy, I suddenly hear a woman singing tagalog… turns out I also clicked on Regine after Regina when I drew up my playlist hehe.

About the photo: This was taken at 6am I think, look how light it is already, thank goodness winter is over. See that lamp on the left beside the vase, that’s my recent DIY project, I re-covered the shade in a decorative handmade paper, I’m very happy with how it turned out. Say hi to my small fiery red old trusty heater just behind the red ergonomic office chair from Ikea hehe! ;P





This post is not about possums…

5 06 2008

Hello.

It’s been four weeks since I got back from Texas. Initially I didn’t want to write about it after I got back because I was too sad to reminisce. While the flight back to Melbourne was the shittiest and loneliest transatlantic flight I’ve ever had to take, it was also for a trip that was so memorable and special. I guess you could say it was bittersweet. Chenes chingkie mae chervalin chuva (try translating that at babel fish). But anyway I have recovered.

I definitely learned a couple of things about myself from the trip, I learned that… Love is patient; love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude; never selfish, not quick to take offense. HAHAHAHA. I’m funny. This just suddenly brings back memories of me doing the first reading at Melanie’s wedding so fast like I was being chased by a herd of possums. Can you imagine being chased by dozens of these creatures? Shiver. Yakididakdak. Seriously that’s how I motivate myself when I run around the beautiful but possum-friendly park that is Carlton Gardens.

So I learned that I’d like to take it slow relationship-wise and that I should stop watching too much rom coms. And hooray guess who’s celebrating their first anniversary? Uh huh. That’s right. Amazing isn’t it? We talked about what we’re going to give each other and set a limit of $200. I suggested we just donate to charity whatever amount it is we plan on spending but D argued that he’s already donating a monthly sum to an org which takes care of some species of animal (hopefully not possums). In short, shot down! And for the record I don’t hate possums so if you’re a lover of this animal, you can stop that hate mail you’re about to send me now. Going back, as gifts we also made a pact to never stop being weird, silly, crazy and quirky. He said that wouldn’t be a problem ’cause he’s way past the age to outgrow it. Good.

****

My best friend Abe and her husband paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago. It was surreal to have her standing outside my apartment ’cause I never imagined I’d see her here. But I did and I’m so thankful. Genuine friends definitely give you a different kind of high, and you never have to explain things to them because they get you and time passes by so quickly when you’re talking to them. I miss, miss my best friends.

****

And cupcakes are my new obsession. If we lived in the same city, you’d have a ration every monday from me ;P





Hello Y’all

2 05 2008

So I’ve been here almost a week and it’s been heaven and I mean that in a very wholesome way… even though we’re all adults here and very well know that couples can easily find more exciting things to do than play chess… but yes let’s keep it PG.

I told people including D that for this holiday, what I really want is to completely chill out and not worry about any itineraries nor feel compelled to visit any historic and cultural landmarks. So having said that any urge to be productive should be nipped in the bud right? Wrong. I wake up to brew coffee and prepare breakfast (because I want to be useful/productive), I do the dishes then the washing even if there are less than five articles of clothing in the laundry basket (again because I want to be useful/productive) then I go online and research historic and cultural landmarks (why? take a guess!). Then finally I shower and get ready for lunch with D and then get dropped off the shopping centres so I can tick things off my US shopping list. Apart from that, before I actually leave the house I check the cupboard in case we’re out of milk, special K or honey.

I did try to chill out and bum around last Monday but I nearly died of boredom, lying in bed the whole day watching the Style network and HGTV just isn’t my cup of tea. When D got home I immediately informed him that I’ve realised I won’t make a great housewife because waiting at home the whole day will drive me crazy.

But you know, even if I sound like I’m complaining, I really am not, I’m just hmm objectively describing the kind of chilling out I’ve been experiencing the past few days.

It really has been a wonderful week. I recovered from jet lag on my fourth day here hooray, turns out my boyfriend is better than any of the antidote I’ve read about over the net. I’ve met all his work friends and been part of the staff dinner of one of my company’s “friends” hehe. I’ve been to shopping heaven at Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx. And honestly, I don’t think anything can ruin my time here for the obvious reason that I’m with the person who can turn even the crappiest place into paradise for me. Ewww corny haha.





Pharida Was Here

23 04 2008

It’s almost half past midnight and I am nowhere near sleepy. And my laptop’s battery is showing no sign of draining up soon so I relented and decided to write here.

Pharida was indeed here, she stayed for four weeks can you imagine? I can and I’m still suffering from missing-mum sickness, tripled in intensity by PMS. It was very, very nice to finally show off Melbourne to her and give her a glimpse of how her brat of a daughter has done a total turn-around and become an independent expat. It was heaven to go shopping with her and walk my everyday route to the city with her by my side while discussing life, love, marriage (in subtle doses of course) and living-in (in teeny tiny, almost undetectable doses haha).

I took her around my ‘burb and we had Sunday brunch at Lygon, a rarely practiced tradition of Melanie and myself, we checked out the op shops in Collingwood, window shopped in Myer, introduced her to my old-school Italian tailor/sastre, visited NGV International, had lunch at one of my favorite Thai fast food, let her experience Nando’s heaven, and did a whole lot of other things.

Ok halfway through this post a message pops up in the lower right corner of my lappy warning me to save my work, switch to outlet power or be sorry.

It’s been two days since Mum left but I still miss her. Melanie and I even postponed watching season 7 of the Gilmore Girls because I’m still in a state too fragile to witness the mother and daughter moments in the show. I hope this vacation of hers becomes an annual thing, I could really use 4weeks’ worth of mothering every year. Maybe next year she can take Dad with her.

I hope everyone’s been good. I have a feeling one of my very best friends has gotten married without even hearing any congratulatory form of greeting from me. It’s because I was too preoccupied or scatterbrained to remember the exact date of her wedding so Abe if you’re reading this, best wishes and congrats! I hope to see you here soon, hopefully your Aussie visas have been ok’d by now.

Work has been very fulfilling, sometimes exhausting but I’m not complaining ’cause I love what I’m doing.  Oh hey did I just rhyme so well then?  Hehe.

I’m off to Texas this friday to see D, finally after nine weeks! If there’s one thing this long-distance setup has taught me, it is the virtue of patience and delayed gratification. I know it’s this friday but the past couple of days have been crawling at a snail’s pace just to spite me I think. Grrr.

Ok I hope everyone’s been doing good lately. Take care whoever you are reading this and please greet Melanie a very merry happy brithday! I think I really need to sleep now as it’s almost 1am and there’s still work tomorrow.





In the end, you’re going to hoard in panic.

12 02 2008

News of an uncle’s death and of Polaroid shutting down factories and consequently making their films extinct brought me panic and sadness.

Predictably I wanted to contact every one of my friends in the US and the Philippines to hoard 600 films for me because they’re sold cheaper over there. But then reading at a forum that I’d have to keep them flat in the fridge for long-term storage made me realize how silly my plan was. I can’t stop a corporation from refusing to manufacture a product that was only making it bankrupt and I don’t really want the hassle of storing films in the fridge, especially since ours is being stocked normally again (’cause we’re sick of eating freaking lean cuisines! do you guys know how deeply lonely that experience is?).

But I digress.

And how weird would I appear to my future husband if the first thing I put in our conjugal fridge is a bunch of Polaroid films? So I just accepted the fact and used up the remaining 3 exposures inside Humphrey (that’s my Polaroid camera’s name btw) because I’ve got twin-pack coming this weekend on D Day.

And then there’s death. I always have a hard time reconciling the concept and my family. I have this illusion that every single member of my family is immune to it and that we’ll all live together forever. Half an hour after speaking to my Mum on the phone the tears came then a mental checklist ran through my mind. Did I say “I love you” to my parents today? Did I say goodnight to Melanie tonight? Have I thanked D for standing up to his manager so I can fly to the US for free? (Obviously the 143’s are delivered on a daily basis so no worries about that)

He wasn’t directly related to me as he was Mum’s sister’s brother-in-law but I always remember him as kind and warm. Growing up amongst rowdy boy cousins and a brother, he always took the girls’ side when fights ensue. I was personally excited and happy for him because I heard he had found a new love and was about to settle down.

His passing made me realize how fleeting time is and how important it is to always be in the moment and embrace every experience, even the ones which break your heart and weaken your spirit. I must admit I’ve been very ungrateful the past days and I know the attitude has to stop right away. I need to remind myself every single day how truly blessed I am.

Even with a permanent employee’s salary. Haha. I had to end this with a laugh. It’s hard to be in the moment if you’re too sad. Toodles.