Monday, August 31, 2009

AUGUST 2009


Places We Visited:
1)
Bagac, Bataan
2) Naga, Camarines Sur
3) Pili, Camarines Sur
4) Pasacao, Camarines Sur
5) Tagaytay, Cavite
6) Silang, Cavite

Events We Attended:
- Kar’s birthday
dinner @ her house!
- Patajo clan beach outing @ Montemar in Bataan
- Roch’s birthday dinner @ Red Platter in Naga
-
Ironman 70.3 @ CWC in Naga
- my mom's birthday dinner @ their house and birthday lunch treat @ Chateau Hestia in Tagaytay

Friends and Family We Touched Base With:
- Jacqui!
- Ninang Marilyn
- Enteng
- Zito and Kar
- Oline and Roch
- Lucky
- Rai and Abie
- Baj
- DenDen!
- Okram Nanupak and the rest of the Kapunan-Patajo-Legasto cousins!
- the Yulo and Mendoza clans in Naga
- Vlade
- Funch and Tina
- Bles and Eric!

Books I’ve Read This Month:
-
Murder, She Wrote: Manhattans & Murder by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain
-
An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser

Restaurants We Tried For The First Time:
-
Myron’s Steaks Ribs & Seafood in Power Plant
-
Won Ton in Promenade
-
Taverna in Ortigas
- Seryna in Little Tokyo
- Red Platter in Naga
- Chateau Hestia in Tagaytay


Birthdays We Celebrated:
(Whether with beer or via text or Facebook or IM)
August 1 – Tin De Los Reyes
August 4 – Marge Malang
August 7 - Flory
August 10 – Raissa
August 11 – Jang!
August 14 – Karla!
August 15 – Marlon
August 22 – Roch
August 25 – TONS!



Japan Calling: tried mochi balls for the first time!



High Point of this Month: MAJOR milestones for Tajito – on his 9th month na eh! Ateneo beat La Salle in their 2 UAAP match ups! We started playing squash!
Low Point of this Month: Cory Aquino died this month – we pay tribute here and everywhere else in the globe. Work has been HELL because of back to back due dil reports.

WAITING FOR THE SHE-BABY

Taking advantage of this long weekend to touch base with old friends. We visited my high school friend Bles and her husband Eric today (after squash of course, TEEHEE). Bles is Laz's ninang and is 6 months pregnant. There's a 90% chance her baby is going to be a girl. I'm over the moon about it. The first girl in my barkada! (Valerie has a baby girl, but her family based in the US, so my highschool lovaducks and I never got to dote on little Danielle). I'm sooooo looking forward to the opportunity - AT LAST! - to buy adorable little floral/cutesy/heart-patterned onesies/rompers/tutus for a baby girl. And ooooh, all those wonderful little patent/floral-print little baby girl shoes! I can't wait!!!


At Ninang Bles'

TAJITO MILESTONES

This month of August, Laz turned 9 months old (last August 18). He has been out here with the rest of us longer than he used to live inside my belly. Teehee. He started doing baby talk (first heard on August 11). He also walks more steadily now - with assistance of course. Plus! This last week of August, the boy learned to sit up on his own. (He uses one arm and pushes himself up - he's not always successful though, poor baby!). He also eats three times a day now - mushy food of course, but food nevertheless. This August his potty training has taken off full blast - mostly through the efforts of my mother in law! (He got started on potty training around July 22 actually). This month he learned to like the pool and the beach. He had his first "beer" hahaha. He's starting to have separation anxiety - he gets fussy when he's not familiar with the person who wants to hold him, and he is constantly reaching for his mommy now. He can zip by on his walker super fast. He now has 6 teeth - 4 upstairs and 2 downstairs. He is also in dire need of a haircut, hehe.

GOT SQUASHED THIS WEEKEND

Obviously, as expected, I did NOT get to do everything on my things-to-blog and things-to-do list for this long weekend. Despite the fact that we stayed in town ha. Got SQUASHED!!! Got so tired and achy all over - but in a good sort of way! I was too tired to go to the Rockwell Urban Bazaar! Was out of town Sunday (Tagaytay! Chateau Hestia - so quaint!!!). Didn't have time to see Up! Did not even get to crack open a single book this entire 3-day weekend. BUT! Got to visit Bles and Eric! Got to hang with Kar! Got to hang out with the cronies over at Bugsy's Friday night. Got a practice run for Laz with Jen (we've decided not to enroll him though - he's just not as taken with it as he was with Gymboree). The highlight of our 3-day weekend: ano pa nga ba eh kungdi ang S-Q-U-A-S-H. We not only got to buy our squash rackets, but managed to pull off not one but TWO sessions with the trainor - Saturday and Monday! Pao, Kar and I were walking around like creaking old ladies the entire weekend!

Where to buy squash rackets in Manila? Straight from the distributor!
Shalimar Sports International supplies to Chris Sports and JB Sports, so if you buy directly from Shalimar, it's at least 1k cheaper! It's at Shalimar Building, in Vito Cruz, right beside Becky's Kitchen! Complete address is 2F Shalimar Bldg, 1053 Vito Cruz Street. Telephone number (632) 526-98-66 or 895-04-62.

Heck, since we were right next door, we of course had to pop in and buy those heavenly lemon squares from Becky's Kitchen!

Saturday! First squash session!
Hingal like the dickens!
(Right after, Pao bought us wraps for our rackets - so we can tell 'em apart. Pao, Kar, Kar's friend Gilly and I all have the exact same rackets from Shalimar - Karakal! Teehee).

Monday! Second squash session!
Kar mugs for the camera!
(Our left butt cheeks were aching like crazy, from all that lunging).


I must say. I really liked squash ha. I've never gotten into any other racquet sport before.
I mean, I tried badminton when it was all the rage but it didn't get me hooked.
But there is something hypnotic about the thud thud thud of the ball in squash, when you keep slamming it against the wall. It's fast, it's nakakagigil, and when you get your stroke and form right, it's so satisfying slamming that little black ball against concrete. Am officially hooked!

During our first lesson, Laz went to play in the Gymboree in the club.
Second lesson, he had a blast exploring the court areas. The boy got a work out too!

Thanks a bunch, Kar for introducing us to the sport and having us over!
Zito missed the butt clenching work outs because he went back to CWC over the long weekend.
Sa Saturday uli!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

CHATEAU HESTIA - A Restaurant Review

I just want to share my family's latest discovery in Tagaytay (or actually, it's in Silang, very near Tagaytay) - Chateau Hestia Garden Restaurant. I'm peppering this Restaurant Review entry with more pictures than usual because I find the place really quite charming. My family and I headed over for Sunday lunch - a belated celebration for my mom's birthday last 25th (we had dinner day itself with my lola at home, since she hates leaving the house these days). Chateau Hestia is nestled in a big, sprawling property, and looks like an old-fashioned and quiant little lodge. They have a deli off in one end, the dining areas, a sitting room that opens up to the dining area, and a big airy lanai, all screened off and overlooking the garden out back.

Dining areas farthest from the lanai

Inner dining corner off the lanai.

Bric-a-brac, knick knacks, prints, vintage touches - fascinating details to keep you entertained while you wait for your meal.

Not the most extensive of delicatessens, but it adds to the charm.

The sitting area. I like how there are so many seats, benches, chairs, and couches all over the place. Makes you want to nestle down with a book.

If you want a more private chat with a friend, there's a smaller lanai facing the side garden.

Left: The front entrance.
Right: I like the assortment of dining chairs.

View of the garden out back, as seen from a wooden bridge in the property.
There are short little trails you can explore behind the "chateau."
The wooden structure covered by a tarp is a jungle gym.
Laz had a blast trottering all over the lawn, as did our dog Steffi.


Left: My mom, Laz and I sitting on a wooden swing in the garden, surrounded by plants and flowers.
Right: View of the restaurant from the garden. I love the canopy of plants almost completely covering the lanai.


Such pretty, pretty flowers. (Halata bang wala akong alam sa bulaklak - can't identify them!!!)
See Laz surveying new terrain to conquer (with his yaya!)

As for the food? Well, it was hit and miss, I have to admit. For starters, we all ordered either the Hestia's onion soup (dry vermouth topped with crostini), the Forest mushroom soup (porcini and button mushrooms), and the Alt wiener erdapfer suppe (potato soup sprinkled with caraway and fennel). Soup, all three of 'em, were yummy, albeit a bit runny. My mom tried the Say pizza, which was basically 3-cheese pizza, which was pretty good. I had the Rib-eye steak which was, unfortunately, very bland. Pao dried Flaker beech goulash - bread dumpling served with fried egg. That was really good, and the beef in the goulash was very tender and tasty. Amanda had the Crusted salmon, which was sprinkled with lemon pepper. And my dad tried the Kummelbraten which was Viennese roast pork with sauerkraut which was also delicious. Dessert was great too - we tried the Panna cotta and Mauro's cioccolato souffle. I wasn't too happy with my own order but all in all - combined with the ambience of the place and the service - I'd say it was a really delightful dining experience. And they offer set meals, at lower rates (mostly good old Filipino dishes like sinigang) for drivers and other "kasambahays"!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MA!!!!
Thanks for the treat! We love you!!!
(Happy family at our corner in the lanai. Best to get a table overlooking the garden!
Oh, and they'll be opening a bed and breakfast soon too! That's something to look forward to).




Chateau Hestia
Barangay Bukal, Silang, Cavite
info@chateauhestia.com
Their website here.
The website also provides a map here.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

CRAFTY MADONNA AVAILABLE AT ETSY!

My Aunt Madonna, who is a painter and illustrator, just added Etsy artist to her resume. Be an Etsy artist - that's my and my sister Amanda's not-so-secret dream! Hehehe. Tita Donna set up a little sewing nook in her studio (ooooh I drooled at the sight of that sewing machine and all those sewing slash art materials - Must. Learn. How. To. Sew. Arrrrgh). Her Etsy store - Crafty Madonna - is brand new, so she only sells a few items. Crafty Madonna offers plush dolls (Leilani in island garb! Mitsuki in Japanese wear!), and mixed media paintings. They are too cute. If I had a daughter, those mixed media paintings would look really lovely in a little girl's bedroom. (Heck, kahet walang anak na babae, FIGHT!). The mixed media paintings go for $ 150 each. Best of all - Tita Donna is selling her "Girl and Turtle" prints at Crafty Madonna and also in her blog! This was originally a painting she did (it was exhibited way back in 2003 - read about it in Tita Donna's blog here). I love that painting. She's selling postcards of the same thing over at her Etsy store, for only $ 5! Eeek! San ka pa di ba? I plan to order the postcard and have it framed. I wonder if I can get a bigger print of the "Girl and Turtle" elsewhere though. Hey Tita Donna, can I, can I???


Fairy Tea Time (mixed media painting)

Girl and Turtle (postcard)

All images from Maria Madonna Davidoff's blog here.


Visit Crafty Madonna at Etsy here!

WORK IN PROGRESS - MY LA POMME CUFF!

Yehey! Apol from La Pomme emailed me pictures of my cuff. I originally wanted something in predominantly olive green, with some red trim, but Apol followed her own creative gut and worked on something predominantly red, with green trim (in applique - I think?!!). Little flowers and chicks - it turned out even cuter than I expected. It's wonderful! I can't wait to get it. My first Etsy purchase. (Thank you, Amanda for helping me with the online thingy. Actually, thank you for taking care of the entire online transaction, hehe). Hurrah! Don'tcha just loooooooove handmade goodies??!!

Visit La Pomme at Etsy here!

YELLOW IN OREGON

Apparently, once upon a time, Cory Aquino paid a visit to the University of Eugene, all the way out in Oregon, where my brother is based now. The school placed a plaque in her honor, under a little tree there. When she died, my brother headed over to that tree to place yellow flowers by Cory's plaque. When he got there, he was surprised to see that other people had already left yellow flowers there too. Siyempre nagulat ang kapatid ko, because far as he knew, he was the only Pinoy probably in his neighborhood hahaha. So even in the tiny teeny university town of Eugene, Cory had fans, and there are people there, non-Pinoys, who took a moment to pay tribute. Sweeeeet.

In Eugene

Cory's tree, and the bouquet Amiel and Mary brought

Flower-bearers in Oregon

Friday, August 28, 2009

NO REST FOR THE WEARY

Soooo busy. No fun. No fun at all. Plopping in bed the minute we get home. Non-stop loooooong hours. Cracks on the surface. Have to remember to share (can't wait for the long weekend!!!) the following:
  • Finish travel entry on trip to Cebu. (Helloooo, last June pa 'to!)
  • Trip to Montemar
  • Laz's 8th and 9th month milestones
  • My La Pomme cuff
  • Yellow in Oregon
  • Tita Donna's Etsy store
  • Laz's new "bike"
  • Pink Lemonade bag and Mary's knitted necklace for Mandie
  • Mandie's HK trip and Pao's pasalubong tee
  • New Fisheye2 pictures!!!
  • Trip to Bicol

Thing is. Am always so tired it's not even funny. Gusto ko na ata maging housewipe.

This weekend, we insist, we shall (try!) to:

  1. Buy a squash racket and hopefully take our first lesson
  2. Visit the Rockwell Urban Bazaar
  3. Squeeze in a facial at VMV
  4. Drop by the Ateneo Human Rights Center sportsfest Sunday
  5. Watch Up!
  6. Head out for a drink with the cronies
  7. Get a haircut (Pao!)
  8. Do chores chores chores ( dry cleaners! Mr Quickie! Alterations! Grocery! )
  9. Drop by Regina Iustitiae's send off dinner for our 2009 barristers
  10. Squeeze in a practice session with Jen for Laz

Just as well our trip to Subic didn't push through for the long weekend.

Or we could just toss the list of things-to-blog and things-to-do and just DOZE OFF the entire weekend!!!!

Hindi na kaya ng powers ko 'to, promise.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

IRONMAN WEEKEND IN CAMSUR!

August 21-23, 2009

Congratulations to the Ironman 70.3 winners - and to everyone who finished the marathon!!!
Especially to Team Puno (Jelo's team! Yay!) who finished 3rd place for the relay category!

I have to confess - during the Ironman Weekend in Camsur we did everything ... EXCEPT WATCH IRONMAN! Bwahahaha. To be fair, we were there naman on the first day of the festivities, but we didn't watch the marathon kick off on the 23rd and we didn't go back to CWC to catch the finish. Paano, there's just soooooo much to do in Naga. Remember, Pao's bestfriend Vince is from Naga, so he knows exactly where to take us to eat, drink, bathe, relax. Super solid talaga this long weekend. Also, our yaya Nida is from Camsur also, in a village about 30mins away from Naga proper, so we gave her 2 days off. It was a bit tricky being on vacation and constantly being on the move, but really fantastic, having the boy to ourselves. (When yaya came back Saturday night, Laz burst into tears when yaya tried to take him, and clung to his Mamu. Wouldn't let go, wouldn't go to yaya, whom he normally adores. Siyempre kinilig naman si Mamu!). Everyone, but EVERYONE in the group helped us keep an eye on Laz though- especially his Tita Karla!!! People would offer to hold him or keep an eye on him so Pao and I could eat or nap. Thank you, friends!!! I dub thee The Baby-Sitters Club!!!

Our one and only group shot at CWC.
The first day of Ironman was fun - so many booths set up in the park, so many athletes (and best of all - some celebrity sightings for the bakya in you me and Anna Anna Anna).
Oline wasn't in the picture because she was OBSESSED with riding. Sporty girl pala 'tong si Caroline!!!

Off to Pasacao, just 30 minutes away from Naga!
Laz didn't cry when he "swam" in the ocean this time! (Unlike when we tried in Montemar, remember?)
Plus, he didn't even try to eat the sand - NOT ONCE.
He must have remembered from the last time. Galing galing.
I am pleased to report that Laz now officially likes THE POOL AND THE BEACH.

Oline conquered the jet ski in Pasacao!
I prefer the one where you just sit and angkas, thank you very much.

Don Lazlo, in his robe and fedora, rolling in the beach.


Birthday girl Roch!
(Made new friends! Aside from Roch, we also had the pleasure of meeting, and hanging out, with Don - hey, Kiddddooooo - and Junjie and his buddies!)


Group picture of Manilenos and homegrown Naga loyalists in Pasacao!

Roch treated us all to yummy dinner at Red Platter back in Naga - for her birthday!
THANK YOU, ROCH!
(Was so amazed to see the gazillion new restaurants and cafes in Naga ha, they all exploded over at Magsaysay since the last time we visited. Can't wait to go back and try all the new eateries!!!)

Siyempre, couldn't leave Naga without immersing ourselves in the hot springs over at the Hydro on our last day!


Team Patajo posing for Oline at the Hydro!

Top row: Laz, after his swim, with Tito Rai and Tita Abie at CWC; Roch's birthday salubong at the Yulo's lanai; littlest tomador
2nd row: besprens Roch and Oline; Pasacao before sunset; Laz with Tita Kar at the beach
Bottom row: never-ending "kinalas" at Podo Grill; Laz tries the jet ski; Laz chatting with Tita Pipay with Tita Kar and Ninong Zito at CWC


Laz's first trip to Camsur was a blast!
We're going back before the year ends - for Zito's birthday!!!


Thank you Teng for being the host as usual - and for driving all the way through and back!!!
Thank you to Ate Melay, Kuya Champ, Jeyo and Janna for taking us in! (Janna was Laz's first little person kiss! On the cheek, mind you, ehem).
Thank you to The Baby-Sitters Club for the spanking good time and for pitching in with the boy!



P.S. Despite the revelry of the weekend and the overall success of Ironman, we all do send out our condolences to the family of the Ironman competitor who perished during the swimming relay. We are so very sorry for their loss.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

HAIR SCARE

Yiiiiikes, so after reading Chuvaness' Part 2 in the Basement Salon horrors, I vow never to go to Basement again. Ack. Katakot. I feel so bad for the girl. That happened to me years and years before - I got some tri-color process and emerged with green - yes GREEN - hair. (I think that was a Hairbytes Salon in Katipunan, back when I was in college). You do NOT mess with a woman's hair - especially her hair color. No no no. You just don't. And see see see, this is why I've always been wary about Pinoy hairstylists. They have more airs than the foreign ones ha! And if you're not sikat, they're snobbier. This is why I've always gone to Louis Kee (he's Singaporean). Maging si Imelda Cojuangco ka pa or just Blue Law By Anna, he treats all his clients exactly the same. And he's uber professional, and always very honest and candid. (Plus, he never ever gossips, and I like the way he treats his staff - firm but no prima donna ek ek). Come to think of it, I've never gotten a haircut in Basement, because that time I was in Rockwell a lot Louie was still with Emphasis, but I do go there for mani-pedi in between classes back in law school. I'm planning on coloring my hair again, and I know Basement is known for haircolor, but after all these Basement horror stories, I think I'll hunt down some nice Korean colorist. Brrr.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

LAZ TAKES TO THE WATER AT LAST - IN MONTEMAR

August 15-16, 2009


Busy little Pea exploring the resort

Just the pool though! For the first time, Laz didn't wimper and get all frowny when we took him for a swim in the pool over at Monetmar. Went there for the weekend with the Patajo clan - the Kapunan and Legasto cousins. Laz's first dip in the ocean was in Anilao, but it was rocky there, so this trip to Bataan was his first time to "frolic" in the sand. He wailed when we took him to the sea though! He didn't like the salt water at all (Laz keeps trying to sneak in gulps of water every time he's in the pool kasi). Plus I think the waves made him nervous. When I set him down on his beach towel, he clung to my leg. Then he scooped up a fistful of sand and popped it in his mouth, lightning fast before we could stop him. Sneaky little imp. He promptly spit it out right after though. Hahaha. Babies are so smart. Sand = NASTEEEEEEE.


In and out of the sea!


Even the sand failed to amuse!

Laz now officially enjoys swimming in the pool though.
He was splashing all over and didn't wail once, even when he kept getting water in his face and eyes.
It's the FLOATER. It's that wonderful wonderful wonderful floater!
The Santoses gave it to Laz for his baptism - thank you pareng David, Tita Neva and Tito Dan!
It's got this little harness seat thingy where he sits on, and not one but two inflatable tubes.
(The Santoses very thoughtfully gave us a pump too. SALAMAT TALAGA!)
P.S. Yon nga lang, we couldn't find the boy's trunks and rashguards so he swam in sando and brip, the little jologs.



Lolo and Lola enjoying the sunset. Awwww.



Baby Blitzkrieg:
Laz has finally started doing baby talk! He used to just screech and crow and blubber before. The week before we left for Montemar, Pao heard him utter syllables for the first time (August 11 on a Tuesday, to be exact!). Teehee! We were all in bed together and Laz went "Dudududu." Pao almost fell of the bed! Hurrah for baby! Now he can also say "Momomomomo." Yehey! Babbling away!

Friday, August 14, 2009

LITTLE EGG

As Karla would say - Laz is so Pao's little egg. As the months go by, my son Laz is starting to look increasingly more like his dad! Exhibit A below. We went over to Kar's house for her birthday dinner (egad, her mom's home made paella! Kakaiba! To die for! Kar sent us home with doggie bags!!! Plus charcuterie and cheeeeeeeeeese! Yummmmeeeeeee). I did a double take when I saw the boy though - his grandma dropped him off, resplendent in plaid overalls with a little puppy stitched infront. Teehee. Parang hindi ko anak. It was cute and cutesy and he looked cute because he IS cute, but definitely not the way I dress my kid normally.

Little P. and Mr. P. (poring over a photography book at Kar's)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

FUZZY BIRTHDAY SALUBONG

A last-minute dash to Bugsy's for dinner and drinks turned into a roaring salubong of Kar's birthday. Was overjoyed to run into my Pangs there - in law school no less! Birthday girl came late - and did the tagay honors all night. Teng and Z were ready to crawl home. Fun fun fun!


Such revelry!
Happy birthday, Karlaaaaah!!!


Go for it, Pangs!

*All pictures taken from my mobile phone, sorry!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR - A Book Review

I put this on hold for the weekend because I devoured the Murder, She Wrote yarn. Finally finished this last night. An Italian Affair by Laura Fraser reads like Under The Tuscan Sun and Eat Pray Love. Laura is a writer. Her husband leaves her for another woman. Heartbroken, she travels to another country - to Italy, and takes up with M, a romantic French professor - married! - but who nevertheless becomes her lover. They meet in awesome locations - London, Stromboli, Morocco, San Francisco. They only meet up every six months or so, for a weekend, ten days, and so on. In between, Laura copes with loss and getting over her divorce. It's about healing and finding love again. It's pretty obvious from the start of the book that she and the professor won't end up together, but Laura emerges whole - very Eat Pray Love and Under The Tuscan Sun, like I said! It's charming, and you envy Laura for her travels - the food, the beaches, the city tours. It scratches your itchy feet. But I have to say, the novels I've read of this genre - they all seem to be of women writers who get ditched by their men. They can actually afford to ditch their regular lives and routines for months on time to live in fabulous locations to get over their heartbreaks. Is it because they're writers and have flexi-time? I don't think I've ever read a book about a lawyer, a banker, a doctor, or a scientist who up and left her misery back home so she could heal her broken heart while devouring pasta and basking in the sun.

SHARING EARTHLY DELIGHTS


Finally, I can blog about my latest order from Earthly Delights! I didn't want to pre-empt it, case Treenich wanted to blog about it first. Anyhoo, I ordered this pair of Gossamer Wings from the very talented Kira Ramirez. Hand painted as usual! Gave them to two of my nearest and dearest - my sister Amanda and my kid Trina. To Trina because I was making bawi, and to Amanda because I made her wait for hours one time I borrowed her car and had a client meeting. Oh di va, hindi lang pang-porma, the perfect I'm-sorreeeeee gifts pa sila. Limited stock - Kira makes one or two pieces per design lang. The best thing about these pendants is that they are so great for layering. Check out more of Kira's hand-painted pendants in Earthly Delights here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

MURDER, SHE WROTE: MANHATTANS & MURDER - A Book Review

I'm a huge fan of the TV show, with Angela Lansbury playing the murder mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. I keep rummaging around DVD stalls hoping against hope to find the shows on disc. Murder, She Wrote: Manhattans & Murder is one in a series of Jessica Fletcher yarns by Donald Bain (although the cover says it's written by Bain and Jessica Fletcher - how's that for milking the franchise). I know, I know, I keep saying no more murder mystery reviews, but here I go again. Well, Jessica Fletcher is a TV detective. The book, however, isn't quite as charming as the series. While promoting a book in New York, Jessica chances upon Waldo, from her hometown Cabot Cove back in Maine, convicted of drug smuggling. Last she heard from village gossip, Waldo was under the federal witness protection program, and here he is in a street corner in New York, wearing a Santa suit. Waldo tells Jessica to come back the next day and lo and behold, she sees him getting shot in broad daylight, right in the middle of a busy street in Manhattan. But was it really Waldo? It was just a guy in a Santa suit who went down. Jessica naturally sets out to investigate. As with all detective/murder novels, there's always more than 1 victim here. Turns out everything is a elaborate plot concocted by Waldo, his family, and a New York cop so that Waldo can fake his own death, ditch the witness protection program, and start off somewhere anew sans the drug folks hunting him down. Albeit at the expense of two murdered persons. Lots of descriptions about the beauty of New York during winter and Christmas season, amidst all the murder investigations. It's supposed to be in first person - but Jessica's voice doesn't quite come through - it still reads like a guy trying to write as a girl - the sensibility is just off.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

FULL PLATES

We got to do a little bit of everything this weekend - spend time with our son, go out together, see our friends, visit our families, eat out, read, finish a movie, etc. A very well-rounded weekend - full, sure, and busy, but we did manage a few hours of lounging around at home doing nothing. Good weekend all around. I'm very pleased and ready for Monday.

Our weekend, Team Patajo style:

  • Went to Greenbelt with Pao for some dinner and quality time, Friday night after work. (Spend time with just the husband, sans baby - CHECK).
  • Jen's practice session with Laz at our house, Saturday morning. (Devote some time for the weekend for the baby's mental and physical development, hehehe - CHECK! CHECK!)
  • Hit up Chinese food craving - tried a new Chinese restaurant - ate at Won Ton in Greenhills.
  • Visited Tita Marilyn, our ninang, that day too.
  • Got two new second hand books in Greenhills, yay! Murder She Wrote and Postcards from France. Plus got a Lucky magazine, back issue. Yehey.
  • Siesta before gimmick Saturday night. (CHECK!). Played with Laz the rest of the afternoon.
  • Went out for a drink with our friends at Taverna. (Been aaaaaageeeees).
  • Tried another new restaurant for lunch, Sunday, with my fam - at Seryna over at Little Tokyo. Had mochi balls from the Japanese grocer next door. Sarap!
  • Snoozed again at home after Sunday lunch. Played with Laz.
  • Had a meeting with Zito and Baj at home.
  • Caught the Ateneo-DLSU game, rushed over to my in-laws' place to catch the second half. (ONE BIG FIGHT! YAY!).
  • Had yummy herb chicken and veggie pasta made by my mommy in law. Pabalot eto!
  • Finished my Murder She Wrote novel. Reviewed it here.
  • Even got to watch Angels & Demons on video before Pao and I went to sleep, Sunday night. (Whattan exciting movie! We really enjoyed it, even though I really don't like Dan Brown and his sensationalizing).

Just the right amount of schmoozing and R&R. Exactly how weekends should be.

Oops. One thing we didn't get to do though - the chores! Eek.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

DITCHING THE TEE

My husband has been complaining about my being perenially clad in sloppy tees and jeans lately. (I can't help it - taba pa rin my tummy eh! Solid sa taba talaga!). Is this a post-pregnancy thing - milder forms of the depression ek ek Brooke Shields went through? Then again, lotsa moms bounce back with a vengeance after giving birth. I haven't been even remotely close to a skip, man, much less bouncing. But since it's been TWO WEEKS since Pao and I had a night out with the cronies, I figured I better get my act together - Pao has even been throwing heavy hints about my needing to go back to Louie for a hair cut!!!! Fine fine fine.


We tried a new place in Ortigas - at Taverna, right smack in the corner of Meralco Avenue and Julia Vargas. Where Reyes Barbeque used to be - last time I drank there it was the day after my wedding! Teehee. The place got a face lift, obviously, it's now a discreet little upscale-ish watering hole (though parking's a bitch, best to come early). There's an open area up on the second floor, for the smokers, and it's pretty great - suuuuper windy (smoggy? It was right beside the street), if you can ignore the buildings, it almost feels like you're sitting out on a deck in the beach. We were peering right up at the giant billboard too, kinda odd but kinda neat at the same time. The seats were comfy - couches and all, really great for lounging. Service was a tad difficult, because it was their soft launch and there was initially just 1 waiter to tend to the huge crowd on the 2nd floor that night, poor thing. Hassle lang - bathrooms were tucked in the back of the first floor. Still. Pao and I liked that place and will be showing our faces there in the next inumans to follow, for sure. Drank with the cronies, and had a blast and got blasted. Vince, Oline and Roch, whom we met (or in Pao's case, "re-met"). Lucky followed, as did Rai and Abie. And a gazillion of Enteng's friends, whose names I keep forgetting. Kar and Z made it too - just right before the evening ended. Hurrah! We're all going to CWC together mid-August for the Ironman thingymajig. Yay again! Well-deserved night of brewskies, after a pretty tough week, I must say.


Dress from Zara. Belt from Armani Exchange. Shoes from Marc Jacobs. Bag from Kate Spade. Watch from Technomarine. Pink hand-painted pendant from Earthly Delights (bigger picture here). Metal ethnic pendant, a pasalubong from my mom, from Indonesia or Thailand, I forgot which. I liked how the pink pendant with its sedate little white doves went surprisingly well with the ornate ethnic pendant - I just strung the latter through the Earthly Delights chain.