Archive for December, 2010

Last random thoughts before the year ends

One more day, then it’s goodbye 2010. Has the year been good to me ? Uhm, I guess so. It’s as good as it gets, so yeah, I’m satisfied.  Oh, and you know what, these pictures made the year for me. See, I’ve spent the whole  year  holed up  like a hermit in  the cave that is my room,  just studying, studying and studying, and  thinking, compared to me,  nuns have more fun in the convent, what the heck,  and then , wham, one day, I found myself in front of thousands of screaming fans, being serenaded by Jason Derulo at his concert. 

 

So, yeah,  my 15 minutes of fame. Good job, 2010!

……… It’s going to be Karaoke time on New Year’s eve.  It isn’t exactly how I want 2010 to end, listening to off-key singing of really, really old songs like ” How Much is that Doggie in the Window, Woof! Woof”, but  I guess it won’t matter after 3 glasses of wine.  And it’s going to be potluck, thank you very much. I did enough cooking this Christmas to last me a lifetime.  I’m inviting  two friends , one of whom has promised to bring a pitcher of my favorite juice, a hot Guatemalan concoction called ” ponche”.

…….. Our university has recently opened free ballroom dancing classes.  I will arrange my class schedule so I can attend this one.  I so want to dance the tango and foxtrot.  Swing and the rhumba?  Not so much.

…….. I’m going to purge my list of supposedly Messenger “friends “. Those I have never chatted with are off  my list now. Their names and messages  just clutter my messenger window, and  I’m sure they don’t care about me, either. Muahahaha. But I’d like to mention my online  friends like Alex ( aka dreamsending , a co- author on my blogsite), Kyoki-chan, Phio-chan, Anima13, Victoria, Rob, Frank, Chris, Kei-kun, Adeline, Jeremy, John, Neil, Alex, Ryo, guardian angel, Lawrence, Aneckahap, taiyeetak, kritsada, and omg, a friend whose name I can’t pronounce nor type here ( his name’s made up of strange letters, sorry, my friend )… oh and, not to forget, Mr. Zhao Zhang?  and one friend from  Japan. ( sorry, but you don’t have a name, just picture! )And those whose names I may have forgotten, forgive me.  I really suck at remembering names unless they sound like Andrew, Travis, and  Devin. Anyways, Happy New Year to you all !

…….. I’m currently reading a brilliant graphic novel, aka Japanese manga, entitled MONSTER, by Naoki Urusawa. ”

For those of you who like your suspense red hot, but with a beautiful, beating heart, Monster is for you.” , a glowing review by Junot Diaz, winner of 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The right to make this a movie  was bought by Martin Scorcese, so I’m already excited to see this brilliant novel  brought to life by a great director.  Now, I know Japanese comics , and Japanese animes are getting a bad rap especially here in the US.  It does not help that majority of drawings by Japanese authors tend to look childish, with big eyes covering almost half of the face, and it’s a pity because  a great number of animes and mangas have great stories, as exemplified by Monster, Pluto, Grave of the Fireflies, Evangelion, 20th Century Boys, and so many others. Grave of the Fireflies, in particular, is considered ” one of the most powerful anti-war movies ever made “, according to  Roger Ebert, a film critic, and, according to Ernest Rister, an animation historian, this anime can be compared to Schindler’s List and says” it is the most profoundly human animated film I’ve ever  seen.”

..…………. And , between my Monster reading and doing  household chores and working, I ‘m playing a video game God of War 3. I ‘ve started playing this months ago but dropped it due to lack of time . So, I’m picking it up again and playing from scratch. Hey, it’s the holidays. I do need some rest and recreation time.

Well, that’s it. HAPPY NEW YEAR  TO ALL!  May this year be prosperous and peaceful!!!

New Year’s 2011 Year of the Metal Rabbit

Burning the City of Sin

Sound the Horn

 

Hey, the second poster is still alive. Sorry RenxKyoko, my MSN won’t let me log in. I miss talking with you…..

Well, as some of you know already, 2011 is almost here. I will be the Year of the Metal Rabbit. 4th in the line of the Chinese Zodiac.

The Rabbits natural element is Wood, but since 2011 is a Metal year, its a combo of both. Courage will come with strong confidence and faith in ones own ability this year.  So the timid rabbit has a trick to pull, but warning, don’t be to bull headed into making a deal in haste or else your year will come to haunt you.  

Love will also come out stronger this year, then those that have passed. That one person whom have loved you afar, will some how grow stronger to tell all. The person who is in love, shouldn’t go over board, otherwise it will chase that person away.

Money won’t mean much this year if you are looking to hard for it. If your hardly looking, you will find your calling. Slow down and find your creative side, join an art show in any medium and let the money come to you.

Health will be an issue for those who worry to much. The stress will bring gray hair’s, so just breath, take your medication when stuck with a cold, all should be well.

Lucky Numbers: 10, 11, 51, 64 and 90

Color: White to Gray in Winter: Green to light blue in Spring: Red to Yellow in Summer

That is for now. If people want to know anything else about the Zodiac, their birthday or future, let me know.

Also, here is an art I am working on at the moment. Its a young Gabriel, in the background I will be drawing a burning City.  Bye for now.

BEST NEW YEAR’s EVE IS IN THE PHILIPPINES

New Year’s Eve celebration in the Philippines is the best in the world, second to none. Each Filipino household prepares sumptous midnight meals they call Media Noche ( Christmas midnight meal is called Noche Buena ), and this tradition comes from their beliefs or superstition that dinner tables laden with food will stay that way all throughout the whole year.  And Filipinos welcome the new year with a loud bang, literally. Here’s how………. I urge you to click and watch each video . Each video shows only 1/10 of what is really going on there. You have to be there to feel and to believe the awesomeness of how Filipinos celebrate the coming of new year. It’s not a pocket size, corporate sponsored fireworks display. It’s every Filipino household ‘s fireworks show. Listen to the sounds of NEW YEAR IN THE PHILIPPINES!

This one here….. Dad says this is the one that makes a lot of noise, not the fireworks display. It’s called Judas’ belt, and it’s expensive. He says he could afford to buy just 2 belts, and the rest would be triangulos ( triangle-shaped firecrackers that are as loud as the judas belt and are lit individually with a candle and tossed on the street ) By the way, firecrackers are not illegal in the Philippines, though thousands lose a finger or two every year. (^_^);;   The government cannot do a thing about it. It’s tradition.

So, here it is…. the noise on the ground, at GROUND ZERO, and it’s just on one short street…. multiply that by thousands of street s all over the city….. go figure….

2010, bye, New Year 2011, hello!

 2010 is over, goodbye, I hate to see you go, but I, more or less, had a good time, thank you.  So, hello, New Year 2011 ! I hope this new year will have something better for me. Not that 2010 was a bad one… it was , in fact , a good one. I went to the Philippines this summer , met new friends and relatives, had my 15 minutes of fame at Jason Derulo’s concert,  went to see Usher’s concert too.

So, how was my Christmas ? Well, it was rather stressful. Christmas eve, my mother and I went shopping for ingredients. We left at 10 AM. I forgot to eat breakfast, ( and I ate very little dinner the night before, like 4 spoonfuls of something ) and grocery shopping went past lunchtime, so , at around  2 PM, I almost fainted, right there at the grocery aisle. Good thing Mom was with me. I sat down on the floor and mom had my head down between my legs until I recovered.  There was a Chow King nearby, ate something there, but i just threw up  and made a mess of it in the car.  Anyway, once home, we buckled down and started cooking. I made the maja blancaleche flan , and wrapped the bananas and the lumpia ( pork eggroll ) for frying the next day.  Then , the family attended the Midnight Mass, at 10 PM. We got home at 12 midnight, ate the traditional hot rice porridge we call  ” arroz caldo “, and though we went to bed at almost 2 AM, we still hoped we could wake up at 5 AM to resume cooking. But I  guess we were all so tired  we overslept . Mom was the first to wake up at 9 AM !!!!  It was supposed to be a Christmas lunch and we had at least 7 guests coming over.  The stress was tremendous, and  at 11 AM we figured we wouldn’t be able to get everything done by lunchtime, so my sister started calling the guests ( her friends actually ) and moved lunch to  a later hour like 2 PM.  They nevertheless came much later, at 3 PM . The Christmas lunch became a Christmas supper.  They had a good time, emptied 3 bottles of champagne,  and actually left at 1 AM ( this morning ) . Here are some pictures of our Christmas dinner. Not shown in the pictures are leche flan, maja blanca, the teramisu cake and the pretty fruit centerpiece  that I made. There just wasn’t enough space on the table. We put them on the kitchen counter.

 

 

 

 

My mother and sister miss the Philippinie Christmas tradition.  Midnight mass there is really held at midnight.  Christmas in the Philippines is one of the longest in the world. From Dec. 16  to the 24 th, Filipinos attend a 4 AM Mass, called ” misa de gallo”,  the so-called mass at ” cock’s crow “, a 9- day novena of Masses.  Before 4 AM, church bells ring everywhere, and brass bands parade down the street to wake the people up for the misa de gallo. ( I remember the brass bands…. their music was loud, lol )

On Christmas eve, Filipinos prepare for the Midnight mass and midnight meals after the Mass they call Noche Buena 

We used to observe  this Filipino tradition of Noche Buena, a sumptous meal right after the Midnight Mass, here in the US but It’s not practiced here , even among Catholics.  So, we discarded it 6 years ago and opted for a  lunch or dinner  on Christmas Day.

We opened our gifts after lunch . I got a Kodak digital camera from sis and cash from my parents and brother.  I wished for a PS3, but I guess I’ll have to save for it.

Well, this is all for now. Happy New year everyone ! ! Peace !!!!

 

Peace to all !!!!

PEACE AND GOODWILL TO ALL MEN!!!!!!

Philippine Christmas Feast

This afternoon, my mother, sister and I discussed the food we’re going to cook  for our Christmas feast. Except for the lasagna which my sister has requested , everything else is traditionally Filipino Christmas fare. This is the list of dishes we ” plan” to cook,  and we start cooking tomorrow, the 23rd of December.

1.Lasagna

2. Lumpia ( Filipino  pork egg roll )    

3. Ham

4. Embutido ( porkloaf)

5. Adobo ( stewed pork in vinegar and soy sauce, considered the Filipinos’ national dish )

6. Pancit Bijon ( Sauteed noodles)

7. Grilled Pork Belly

For desserts:

9. Fruit salad , Filipino style… it has canned fruit cocktail, palm fruit, nata de coco, pineapple, cherries, shredded fresh coconut , all mixed with heavy cream

10. Chicken-macaroni salad

11. Cassava cake

12. Turrones ( wrapped fried banana)

13. Leche Flan ( egg custard)

14. Fruit cake ( we know how it looks…. a ” must ” in Filipino Christmas feast)

15. Puto ( rice muffins )-

16. Assorted desserts already bought from Costco, like Petit Fours, Red velvet cake,  and delicious store bought hors d’oeuvres

On Christmas Eve, the whole family attend the Midnight Mass. In the Philippines, it’s at 12 midnight. Here in the US, it’s at 10 PM . After the Mass, we partake of  a simple meal of hot congee ( rice porridge )

and in the morning of Christmas, we have hot chocolate, pan de sal ( mini French bread ), queso de bola ( Edam Cheese ), and I guess, left -over rice porridge.

and hopefully , our favorite Filipino bakery doesn’t run out of churros and ensaimadas.

Ensaimada is airy, melt in your mouth bread, topped with butter and edam cheese.

Last Christmas, 2009, we had these on the table.

Hair Style, nukes, and reindeer

It’s 5:35 AM, Dec.21,2010. Christmas Day is just around the corner. It’s amazing how time flies so fast.  I haven’t even taken pictures of  my Christmas decorations, as promised on my blog a while back.. There’s really something different about Christmas this year. I feel so uninspired, and , well, not down exactly, just a little unenthusiastic. I just can’t seem to shake off these holiday blues, no matter what I do .  I can’t even come up with a  yearly Christmas wish list. Well, I do have two…. my own PS3 and cash, plenty of cash.  Normally, I would at least have 10.  Oh, and there was this blog that I just read a few minutes ago. It kind of sums up what I’m feeling right now. The blogger wrote just one sentence.  ” Only my  fish keeps me company.” (@__@)

Or, maybe the reason for the blues are the rains. It’s been raining here for weeks, without let-up. While it’s raining here, up north is being pummeled by snow blizzards. Don’t think California is  sunshine all year round.

 

 Oh, my Lord. I just heard one of the worst Christmas songs ever.  It’s John Denver’s ” Please Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk This Christmas. ”  Click this and listen…. it’s horrible.  Here’s the problem, though… Sony Corp. is so anal about their music, even this one. As if !!  So, you will again be directed back to You Tube. But if you’re interested, click it anyway. But , of course , no song can top  ” Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer ” for sheer ugliness. But then , that’s just me. LOL 

 That was tough listening, wasn’t it ? Sorry ! LOL

Have you heard of  Hatsune Miku ?    She’s a software that has been created as  a singing synthesizer by Yamaha. And though she doesn’t exist as a human being, she has nevertheless become a singing virtual diva in Japan, and has held a concert  attented by at least 25,ooo screaming human fans. LOL ! Only in Japan. Here it is, click if you’re interested to see a virtual diva . 

I really feel so lame today. There’s nothing to muse about, nothing to mull over,  except a few odds and ends,  a few knick knacks swirling in my brain . I should be thankful there are at least a few swirling up there. I’m not brain dead yet, thank goodness. Although, lately, I’ve been worrying about what’s going on between South Korea and North Korea.  I guess this conflict is even more worrisome than Afghanistan or Iraq because North Korea has nukes in its arsenal, and they have a leader who seems  crazy enough to push the button at the slightest provocation. Well, anyone who doesn’t think he’s got the most horrible hair style in the universe is crazy in my book.   

 Well, of course, Albert Einstein did have a crazy hair cut, but he was a genius, so I forgive him.  On second thought, didn’t his Theory of Relativity facilitate the creation of atomic bomb?  The bomb was created   based on the theory that  a large amount of energy could be released from a very small amount of matter as illutrated by his famous    equation, E=mc squared.

 

 

Albert Einstein was  a pacifist. So, I guess I should not have even equated him with that guy above based on hair style.  My bad. Sorry, Mr. Einstein.

This is all for now. Happy Christmas ! Now, don’t get run over by a reindeer and don’t get drunk on Christmas, ya hear ? PEACE !!!!