Friday, August 31, 2007

Fair Game

Does anyone else think that the metaphor “like a miami real estate agent at an old folks home” works when the implied meaning is “someone who will surely not encounter any difficulty getting/achieving his or her goal”? Think along the lines of “turkey shoot” and “shooting fish in a barrel”. Watcha all think? Oh yeah, copyright claim here.

save our homes

Hamburg

September is no more than 48 hours away. As they say dito sa ‘Pinas: “Ber na ah.” The Philippines officially has the longest holiday season on the planet. It kicks off come September and ends on February, the following year. You’d think that 3 months would be enough time to get a gift list ready for Christmas, but not for me. You see, Q4 is mah fave time of the year, but coming up with christmas gift ideas is one chore I could really do without. I hate it so much I end up screwing things up year after year—with the people most important to me getting a billiard ball keychain and those further down the list getting toilet deodorant.

Crayola

Our house is now one big sketchbook for my little princess. Ever since we got her a set of crayons, a good part of the day is spent: finding crayon marks on floors, walls, dining room furniture, and even television sets; seeing the guilty party scoot away; giving chase; eventually giving up; and cleaning up the mess. I really don’t mind, though, what if we’re taking care of a future Amorsolo? I’ll try to post a photo of one of her “artworks” when I get the chance.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Immagini



August 25-26, 2007; Copyright Sherwin Ian S. Reyes

Friday, August 24, 2007

Cycles

“With the purchase of a modest vacation home Orlando, Florida, Romulo and Andrea had come full circle. They lived lives not distinct from work; every single motion their loving hands made was directed towards the welfare of their five children. Having come from poor families, they swore no child in the Santos house would ever go hungry-- and would eventually be more than ready to take the same oath themselves. Romulo, in his typical rustic wisdom, preached that being a parent was simply about feeding children, attending weddings, and spoiling grandchildren rotten.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ali Mall

In and around rack upon rack of clothing; criss-crossing aisle after aisle; there, over by the cosmetics one moment and crawling through luggage sets the next. It was not long before the boy noticed his parents were no longer in sight, and the vast expanse that was his playground not a minute ago had become a maze of plastic and polyester. Left and right, he looked. Nothing. Not a sign of either his mother and father. Everything that was him wanted to cry, but he fought valiantly to stop the tears. And won. He would not go on to win many battles after that, but he won one. One with himself.

The Kapre That Lived In Our Neighbor's Tree

Several things that occupied my mind as a child:

1. Why does the sun look like it's following our car? The same goes for that mountain over there.
2. Who switches lamp posts on and off?
3. Why does red mean stop and who made this law universal?
4. How can one miss a movie much like one misses a parent, a loved one, etc.?
5. How can a fair number of people fit inside Oscar's trash can?
6. Who decides which colors are painted on cars?
7. Who made it OK for cars to overtake my Lola's owner-type jeep just because they're faster?
8. Who invented Patintero?
9. Given where our country is on the planet, why isn't everything sideways?
10. What is Stephen Yan's "Wondah Powdah" made of?
11. Who said it was fine to eat pigs, cows, and chickens and leave every other animal alone?
12. How did people determine which foods were alright to eat? Did they have people eat different stuff and then take note of what the people who died ate?
13. Who the crap said squash tasted good?
14. Why does our dog always have puppies even though we don't have a Papa Dog?
15. Maybe our next door neighboor really is a Ninja. I saw him climb Mr. Corpuz's Duhat tree and boy did he burn rubber going up that sucker.
16. Why can't a coyote who is smart enough to purchase explosives and mount them on skates catch a bird?
17. Would it be possible to suck the pus out of a boil using a vacuum cleaner and some straws?
18. If I went inside that room on the top floor that was always, and I mean always, locked, would I find a dimension parallel, but not similar, to ours?
19. What if, during that ghost hunt, I had gathered enough courage to look at the Kapre everyone else said they saw sitting on the branches of Aling Linda's Mango tree?
20. Why the hell isn't there any corn in corned beef? (Or pork in pork and beans.)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Home-grown

When I finally get a house of my own, I'm going to put a bar in it. It doesn't have to be big, something with room for 2 bar stools will do. It doesn't even have to be just a bar; I wouldn't mind it doubling as a kitchen counter. I just want to have a place to have a few drinks, play a lot of music, and remind myself that I've got a bar of my own. No loud-mouthed drunks, no lines to the toilet, no annoying women crying their hearts out, no drive home. Yeah, that sounds nice.

Sugar Rush

My brother came knocking at my door last night, asking if he could use my internet connection. “What happened to yours?” I asked. “Well…” I knew what that meant. That meant the connection “just died for no apparent reason.” Not satisfied, I dragged him over to his workstation to have a look. Sure enough, the problem was rather obvious (not to anyone who refuses to look, of course). A Linksys router is pretty tough, but it will show weakness when doused with cold soda. How’d I find that out? My brother is addicted to soda, he always leaves a glass/can/bottle of it everywhere he goes. It’s like a scent trail: follow the soda, you’ll find my brother. So, him downing a coke while working on his computer is not at all impossible. Back at the workstation: the ants that covered the router were still lapping up every last drop when we got there.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hooked, Hitched

Weddings and funerals. Man, people with businesses dealing with both must be making a killing (no pun intended, in the case of the latter). Take weddings, for example, imagine how many people get hooked up each year. You'd hit it big even with a business focused solely on engagement announcements! The wife and I had even thought of creating an online directory for wedding suppliers some years back, but someone had beat us to it and we backed off. Sure it’s a big market, but it’s a rather unique one as well. Besides, we’re not too keen on possibly being called copycats. That engagement announcement thing’s got me thinking, though. But I’ll keep my thoughts to myself for now.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

General Electric

The house I grew up in had a small front yard. Well, it was actually located along the side of the house and was about 8 feet wide and 18 feet long. My father had some people lay down grass and install a faux grotto at the far side of the lawn. It wasn't big by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved that yard. My brother and I would horse around in the afternoons and I made a habit of laying down on the grass on hot summer evenings. I can still see the dim incandescent bulb that lighted the entire lawn up to now. That single bulb would beat any form of landscape lighting hands down. Its soft glow was somehow sympathetic of warm April evenings, and was not unlike a portal of some sort as it led me to places faraway. We eventually sold the house and the new owners got rid of the yard and had it made into a driveway. The last time I looked the fixture that held my favorite bulb was still there, but one of those new energy-efficient lamps now lit the front of the house. In some bizarre way, that was enough to tell me that my youth, much like the house and the yard, was no longer mine.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

CarNation

I will never know what to get my good buddy DJ for his birthdays. I can't get him a shirt, simple because only girls give their friends clothes. I've given him all the pool stuff I could get my hands on short of a stick (he already has one) and a table. He's recently picked up badminton but I wouldn't know what to get him for that. Besides, there's no way in hell I'm giving a friend something that says male rooster, shuttle or game. I'd give him a book but the guy's been through med school. I think reading is no longer a pleasurable activity for the bloke. (Hmmn, maybe a book about badminton). He does have a Fast and The Furious-spec Mitsubishi, with wings and all that crap. Maybe I can just make like a vault and play it safe by giving him auto accessories this year. You know what auto-tuners say: if you can't bolt on an accessory, your car's too small.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Rack ‘Em Up

My friend Bert was all bent out of shape the other day. Turns out the truck rack he had just purchased for his spanking new SUV was more or less in the same condition. It looked, to be quite frank, like it had just made the acquaintance of a rather irate sledgehammer; and you know how unpleasant irate sledgehammers can be. Bert had gone to one of the local malls and decided to park his ride in one of the parking buildings for security. Alas, the establishment he went to had no luv fo' da dub. He had not noticed that the maximum vertical clearance was 8 inches too low, and had already wedged his truck between ceiling and floor before he could say "truck sandwich". The rack was totalled, but all the truck had was a small scratch on its roof. I guess Bert will have to stuff his bags in the back seats for now.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Above The Rim

1987. I was in sixth grade and all I ever thought about was basketball. And having my very own air jordan shoes. All my rich classmates had them, and it was common belief that sporting a pair added at least 12 inches to one's vertical leap. I did the computations: I was around 5 feet six inches then (66 inches); an arm extended over my head added 24 inches more. 66 plus 24 is 90. With a vertical leap of approximately 19/20 inches, I could reach up to around 110 inches. A standard basketball rim stood 10 feet (120 inches) tall. That meant, the mighty air jordans would make the coveted tap-rim possible. The dunk would not be too far away. But you know how this story ends. My father came home one night all excited. He had just bought me my first pair of Reeboks.

The Elderly

Mama was all pumped up last night. Apparently, she and a friend were the lucky recipients of berndes cookware sets. Now, my mother cooks, but not a whole lot. She'll whip up a wicked stew from time to time, but you will never see her slaving away at the stove on a regular basis. Why was she all hyped about the cookware? Beats me. Chances are the thrill of victory got to her more than anything, OR, that Rosario really is getting old. The start-hoarding-china-and-cookware-we'll-never-use-so-we'll-finally-
have-a-use-for-the-china-cabinet type of old. Heh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blast From The Past

I was having lunch the other day and saw one of my father’s former coworkers sitting at the table adjacent to mine. He was, if I remember correctly, on my father’s staff and my dad told me that he was a really hard worker. They worked in a life insurance company. Gerry, I think his name was. He still looked the same, obviously much older, and a quick look at his badge told me he was still working for the same company. I thought he might remember me or at least see my father’s face in mine but the weight of the yoke had visibly worn him down and he was too busy relishing the quiet of his congee bowl to notice his surroundings. Yeah, I’m quite sure his name was Gerry.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Cutting Corners

The radar detector clocked Michael at 187 km/h going through the apex of Turn 4. That’s where he gained time- in corners. That’s how he gained time- by making sure no one went through them quicker. He’d brake late, turn in later , and would almost slide the car through a turn. Sure, lots of drivers did this. What baffled people, though, was how he did it. See, throughout the whole exercise of taking a corner, he’d constantly be on the throttle. He never lifted completely. During braking and downshifting, his right foot would be teetering on the pedal- giving only as much power as the car could handle. And, well before he has the apex in his sights, he’d be starting to accelerate. This dance of car and driver showed its most beautiful movements as he hit the apex hard on the power, used all the tarmac available on the exit, and disappeared into the distance.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ekstrim Meykober

There’s a fair amount of household work coming my way. I need to re-arrange some of the stuff in our room and there are a number of “enhancements”, if you will, that the wife has requested. Good thing there are a couple of long weekends this month—I can spread out the workload over several days. It is more fun than work, really, but then again, anything that gives me an excuse to hit the hardware store and bring out the power tools rarely is boring. Here’s my shopping list:

1. Showerhead
2. Blinds
3. Tons of cable hooks and loops
4. Curtain Rods
5. Lighting fixtures
6. DIY shelves

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Money, Money, Money

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with my finances over the last couple of months. I really can’t complain, though—the problem has more to do with budgeting whatever little I have, rather than pulling my hair out trying to find money. But still, not knowing how to handle your money feels just as frustrating as having none, so I really need to get things sorted wallet-wise. The wife’s been telling me to get hold of some budgeting software if I can’t be forced to do my books via pen and paper. Guess I just might.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Americana

“Kuya, where can you find Branson? Sa America daw yun, eh. (They say it’s in America.)” I thought about it for a moment. Branson, Missouri sounded right. “I think it’s a city in Missouri”, I answered. I wasn’t sure if I was right, but Branson, Missouri sounded right. And it was right.

Is anyone else amazed at how American culture has been so deeply ingrained in us Pinoys that we just know things like these? Not making any judgment here, I just find it amazing how we seem to effortlessly absorb knowledge of all things American. Where can you find Tulsa?





Oklahoma.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Led Zep

Some Dora™ and Sesame Street™ character toys made by Fisher-Price have been recalled. The toys were painted with, they say, lead paint.

Among other things, lead-based paint is a major source of poisoning for children and has been found to be a factor in causing retarded mental and physical development, learning disorders, and even behavior problems.

Details here: CLICKY

Wabbit's Foot

I was looking up the etymology of the word "auction" this morning and stumbled on something called "reverse auction games". "Reverse" simply means that the item up for bidding goes to the person with the lowest unique bid, instead of the highest bidder. The operative word there is "unique". Check this out: say a 2007 Honda Civic is up for bidding and 3 people get in on the action. If Jack and Jill both bid 5,000; and Jim chucks in a measly 50 cents, Jim gets the car... and he doesn't even have to fork over his 50 cents.

The game's essentially an online sweepstakes. It's relatively easy to play and with how it's set up, it's like they're almost giving away free gifts and cash prizes. Yup, there's even cash up for bid.

Maybe it's time I got lucky.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Not Quite Good Enough... Yet.

Team Pilipinas beat China but fell to Jordan and were consequently eliminated from the 2007 FIBA Asia Basketball Championships. With elimination goes our chances at competing in the 2008 Olympics.

I'm absolutely gutted. The boys fought hard but that's sport: you win some, you lose some.

We've 4 years to get ready. That's more than enough time for a nation with as much basketball talent as we have.
We need a young team; a team that does nothing else but represent the country in international tournaments. They need to have a singleness of purpose--no pro contracts, no endorsements, no nothing. Spartans of basketball, if you will. We need a clean slate. A set of players we can mold specifically for the international game: disciplined, technically sound players whose only goal is to bring Asian basketball supremacy back to our shores. It can be done.

To Team Pilipinas: Well done, lads. We'll get 'em next time. Maraming salamat sa inyo.