Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A good day to get married

I was having lunch with a couple of friends from work earlier and our conversation turned to feng shui. None of us really know much about the subject except for what other people tell us and what we read online. One of my friends recalled seeing a calendar online that tells you whether your wedding date is "auspicious" (favorable) or "inauspicious" (a date to avoid at all costs... sounds ominous).

When we returned to the office, I immediately searched online and found this:

Click image to visit site.

It had forecasts from the year 2006 - 2010 (though it seems to be skipping 2008. Anyway, so I checked my wedding date and...

My wedding date fell under an inauspicious day... a day to avoid at all costs!

Feng shui doesn't seem to favor my husband and me.
  • We fall under conflicting signs: Ox and Sheep.
  • We didn't get married on a year that matches either of our signs, signs of our Trinity Friends, or signs of our Secret Friends.
  • Apparently, we got married on an inauspicious date.
Oh well, it doesn't matter really. My husband and I get along really well and so far, we've been really fortunate. So whatever feng shui says... for me, October 29, 2006 was a great day!

The Dilbert Connection


You know something must be wrong when you read Dilbert comic strips and you can't help but laugh your guts out because you can totally relate.

Which is not a good thing.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Project Nursery - Part 2

Technically, there aren't any updates about this project yet. I just want to post the design inspiration I picked for our nursery.

I got it from this site.

Pretty huh? I find myself being partial to blue and yellow lately (our bedroom is painted blue and white, and my living room motiff is yellow and blue).

My nursery space is a bit smaller and will only contain the built-in closet, a single bed (I don't think the baby will really sleep there... the room is only for his/her stuff), a table and a small shelf but I plan to get design elements from the photo above. The ceiling painted to look like a cloudy sky, for example (I'm still trying to get my husband to do the painting). And then, I will get this light from IKEA (I hope it's still available at the local distributor.)


And since we are not re-painting the walls, I can do some stenciling!! :) (If it turns out badly, then maybe we will decide to repaint, hehe).

Recovered!

I meant to post this yesterday but for some unexplained reason, I was actually busy at work.

Anyway, after moping and simmering in silence at home since Monday night, my husband sent me an IM last Wednesday announcing that he "thinks" he was able to retrieve 90% of my pictures.


He loves me :D

Remember I mentioned in my previous post that he backed up all our data in his hard drive at work before he reformatted my now-busted external hard drive? He deleted the files from his hard drive after he transferred everything back to the external hard drive. He tried to recover those deleted files. When I got home, I checked the files he recovered. Most of the pictures from before 2007 are backed up in CD's. Most of the pictures from 2008 up to present have copies in my brother's PC at my mom's house. And other pictures I still have at my PC at the office. So my husband was right, we will be able to rebuild about 90-95% of our archives.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Busted Hard Drive

I should be working on something since I promised someone something by the end of this day. Unfortunately, my mind keeps wandering and dwelling on the issue of our busted external hard drive (while Joshua Kadison's Beautiful in my Eyes keeps playing over and over in my head).

(sudden wave of panic)

I used to back up my digital photos in CD's and DVD's. However, starting 2008, when I discovered that one of the CD's can not be played by our laptop anymore, I started backing up my files in an external hard drive. Going down one more notch on the stupidity meter, I don't even keep recent photos in the laptop anymore. Everything goes straight to the external hard drive with no other back-up.

And since we're talking about stupidity here, let me add something more. Most of my old photos from the late 90's and early 2000 used to be stored in Yahoo! Photos, which were later migrated to Flickr. Since I didn't like Flickr, I downloaded everything and... you guessed it, I saved everything in that external hard drive AND deleted everything from Flickr.

I still have the CD back-ups of everything up to December 2007 (except for the old photos from Flickr). Now, I'm missing all of 2008 - 1H of 2009, all photos related to my business (Designs by Janelle), my entire music collection... and I can't bear to think of what else is in there.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Project Nursery - Part 1

This room will turn into a nursery before the end of September.

It's time to get creative! :D

Thursday, July 16, 2009

5-Year Supply of Perfume

Pinoy showbiz muna tayo! :D

I heard on the news last night that courting KC is just a ploy cooked up by Piolo. I don't think they mentioned to what end. Promotion gimmick maybe? They also mentioned that Piolo might be quitting showbiz for good. They didn't say why either, so I'm guessing he probably wants to run for Congress in 2010.

Anyway, speaking of Piolo and KC reminded me of a showbiz news item last weekend, I think (or 2 weeks ago?). It says that Piolo brought KC 5 years supply of her favorite perfume from his trip to Europe. While that may sound like a very gallant gesture, I was thinking... 5 years? Did he get her a gift certificate or something? Because if he got her one big bottle, or even several small bottles... would they really last 5 years and still smell the same? Because from my experience, perfumes (even the more expensive ones) start to smell funny after 2 years.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Knowing when to let go

Ok this has nothing to do with my previous post about marriage *wink*.

Can you name 3 things you had to let go of in the past that was most difficult for you? (Let's stick with material things ok, it's a given that people are always hard to let go).

Here's mine:

1. Old letters
- I was introduced to the concept of long term correspondence at an early age. My yaya since I was a baby decided she didn't want to move to the province with us and left us when I was 6 years old. I cried and screamed when I learned about it and cried, screamed and clawed at everyone who tried to restrain me the day she left (nothing really changed over the years huh?). I made her promise to write me and well... she did :) And then my childhood friend and her family migrated to the US when I was about 7 years old and we promised to write to each other. I have been exchanging handwritten letters with both of them until I was in high school.

And then we moved back to the city when I was in college after my parents separated and I had limited space. I needed to let go of some stuff and well... back then, my backpack containing the old letters were my mom's prime candidate for disposal. I didn't want to, but I can see my mom's point about space. I wanted to sort through them, to keep at least some, but there were too many and I was struggling with school. So I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and put the entire lot in the trash.

Did I regret it? Of course I did. I still do whenever I think about it. With the rising popularity of emails, almost no one bothers to write real letters anymore. And it would have been interesting to go back and see what I was thinking back when I was 6 or 7 years old.

2. Gifts from friends - especially those I received since I started going to school. I'm not sure how it is with boys, but between girls and their girlfriends, a lot of small items are exchanged through the years between kindergarten and high school: stuffed animals, ceramic display figures, and a lot of odds and ends in candy pink or purple. Would you believe I kept most (if not all) of them? I can't get rid of something especially if I can remember when it was given to me and by whom. And then I started working and small tokens from co-workers every holiday added to my growing pile. After I got married and moved in with my husband, I decided to sort through everything and let go of most of them. I was able to reduce the pile to around half? But some I just couldn't let go of, not yet.

3. Books - ok this is what triggered this line of thought in the first place. I was sitting on the stairs this morning while putting on shoes and my eyes wandered to our very full bookshelf. And in my mind's eye flashed a picture of our very full bookshelf and the very full closet in our guest room upstairs. At this point in our lives, I think my husband and I will still be buying more books in the future. So it's either get a bigger house (bwahahaha!!) or downsize our collection. I dread the day when I have to tell my husband we have to sort through the books again. We nearly got into a fight the last time we did it. He doesn't want to get rid of anything. I don't either but I know we needed to do it.

I was an 80's kid and I discovered Francine Pascal's Sweet Valley books when I was in the 1st grade. I've been collecting them since until I reached high school. When we moved back to Manila, I parked my books in a bookshelf in the library at my grandparent's house where we lived for a couple of years. When we moved to our new house, I was assigned a space in the small bookshelf in the living room. It was not enough so again, my mom urged me to sort through my books and get rid of those I haven't read in the past 5 years. That's pretty much all my childhood fairy tale books and the Sweet Valley collection. I held out for as long as I could, enduring barrage after barrage of nagging to get rid of them. I don't know why I even cared. It was true that I haven't read them in years, nor was I planning to read them again. I guess what people say is true, that books are like friends and it's hard to let them go. But I did eventually.

-o-

Nowadays, I don't get attached to material things that much anymore. I don't think twice about replacing something that needs replacing and throwing out stuff I don't use. I guess the longer you hold on to something, the harder it is to let go. One tip I can offer when you have to throw something away, is to just close your eyes and do it. Clean break. And don't think about it much. If it's something you really haven't used or seen or thought about in 3 years or more, then it's not really necessary to keep it (unless you have a big house with lots of storage, in which case, hoard, hoard away!).

Love will keep us alive? Apparently NOT!

I saw this article in Yahoo this morning and found it interesting:

SOURCE:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090714/lf_nm_life/us_couples


In love? It's not enough to keep a marriage, study finds

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) – Living happily ever after needn't only be for fairy tales. Australian researchers have identified what it takes to keep a couple together, and it's a lot more than just being in love.

A couple's age, previous relationships and even whether they smoke or not are factors that influence whether their marriage is going to last, according to a study by researchers from the Australian National University.

The study, entitled "What's Love Got to Do With It," tracked nearly 2,500 couples -- married or living together -- from 2001 to 2007 to identify factors associated with those who remained together compared with those who divorced or separated.

It found that a husband who is nine or more years older than his wife is twice as likely to get divorced, as are husbands who get married before they turn 25.

Children also influence the longevity of a marriage or relationship, with one-fifth of couples who have kids before marriage -- either from a previous relationship or in the same relationship -- having separated compared to just nine percent of couples without children born before marriage.

Women who want children much more than their partners are also more likely to get a divorce.

A couple's parents also have a role to play in their own relationship, with the study showing some 16 percent of men and women whose parents ever separated or divorced experienced marital separation themselves compared to 10 percent for those whose parents did not separate.

Also, partners who are on their second or third marriage are 90 percent more likely to separate than spouses who are both in their first marriage.

Not surprisingly, money also plays a role, with up to 16 percent of respondents who indicated they were poor or where the husband -- not the wife -- was unemployed saying they had separated, compared with only nine percent of couples with healthy finances.

And couples where one partner, and not the other, smokes are also more likely to have a relationship that ends in failure.

Factors found to not significantly affect separation risk included the number and age of children born to a married couple, the wife's employment status and the number of years the couple had been employed.

The study was jointly written by Dr Rebecca Kippen and Professor Bruce Chapman from The Australian National University, and Dr Peng Yu from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dealing with Disappointment

I am about to self-combust with disappointment.

I don't deal well with disappointment. I usually simmer, simmer, and simmer some more and when I can't simmer anymore, I... well, it's not pretty.

I WANT THIS PLAYPEN!
I saw it online last week as I was browsing online and it matches the stroller and carrier we bought. I initially asked my cousin to ask my dad if he could bring it back here for me when he comes back (it's the size of a medium travel bag and about 15kg when packed), but since I still haven't heard from them, I'm taking the answer to be negative for the meantime and decided to considered other options (to be sure!). Unfortunately, those other options aren't working out very well.

I tried ordering it online and have it shipped here. Unfortunately, the first store I ordered from only ships within the US. I found a store that ships internationally but as I was checking out, the shipping cost amounted to almost $350! More than 2x the price of the item. I contacted the seller clarifying the shipping cost and still haven't received a response from them.

My husband and I tried looking for the item here. We found a local brand store and they have the model but not in the color I want. This playpen is about to be the centerpiece of my living room for about a year and no way am I getting something that won't match my current color scheme since I've been working so hard to get it to look the way I want. I asked the sales person if any of their other branches carries the model in the color I want but he told me no. They only carry the ones selected and imported by the merchandiser and for the model I want, they only carry 2 color options. (Well, tell your merchandiser he/she has bad taste! Hmph!) I looked at the sales person and decided I don't believe him so my husband and I are checking out another branch this weekend. I hope we find one (though local price for this item is double the price online) but until I'm sure I can get it, the disappointment lingers.

I feel the world conspiring against me and my playpen. I've been looking at it online all day and the more I see it, the more I want it and the more I feel disappointed when I think that I might not be able to get it (aaarrrrrgggghhh!!!).

There is also a sub-plot to all this. I stupidly told my mom and my sister about asking my dad to bring this here. I know! I know! I should have kept my mouth shut. But at the time, I was on a shopping high, I was happy, I was chatty. Not being very big fans of my dad (understatement!), they both told me to forget about it. I stand alone in keeping the peace between 2 clashing sides and if my mom asks about it again and that playpen does not materialize in my house within the next few months (whichever way, she won't have to know how, I can just tell her what I think is the best answer), it's like giving her live ammo.

None of my options are a sure negative yet. It's just that at this point, I don't have an alternative that I'm sure about. And that bugs me. For all I know, on the extreme positive end, all my options might actually work out. In which case, I'll be all giddy and happy. But if none does...

...I'm flying out there to get it myself!!! X(

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Motherhood 101: Our first baby-related purchase!

Finally! Something about this whole thing I can absolutely relate to... shopping! :)

So far, I haven't really been feeling anything about this whole baby thing. Everything about this pregnancy has been about discomfort, pain and hospitals. I guess that's why I never talk about it much. Until now, the baby is still like an abstract entity... I know it's coming, I feel it moving... but you don't really feel it.

The past few months, I've been prey to sales people in the baby section of almost every mall I've visited. I must've seen every product catalogue and demo there is for all major baby products. The fact that I tell them am not planning on buying anything yet doesn't seem to deter them. Last night was no different. They seem to know the moment my eyes wandered towards the cribs and strollers area because suddenly, there they were. But last night, I actually saw something I really, really liked. I never really thought we'd get it because it was not within the price range I set for myself for this particular equipment but I asked to see the demo anyway.
  • Stroller comes with carrier/car seat, check
  • Neutral color, check
  • Classy, check (of course this is important to me! I'd be the one pushing it)
  • Reputable brand, check (shallow I know, but first baby so let me be)
  • Lightweight, check (again, I get the feeling I'd be the one pushing and carrying it)
  • Removable front tray, check
  • Within my price range... not really... but...
  • Carrier also functions as a rocker (like Helaena's), a plus!
  • Wheels has suspension for bumpy surfaces, another plus!
Pretty huh? :)

So in spite of people telling us it's still too early to buy baby stuff, we went home with a stroller and a carrier anyway... and with a more concrete sense of reality of our baby that is about to arrive in a few months (since there is now something in the house that actually belongs to him/her). And with me on a shopping high! I guess my husband was feeling more excited too since he was sending me links on playards all morning. We both agreed (I think... I told him I like this one and I don't really remember what he said afterward...) to get this one:
We haven't seen it in any mall around here yet but I hope my dad agrees to lug it back here when he gets back from his trip (I really, really hope he says yes!).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How do I get so lucky?

I've been a regular (meaning every single working day) cab customer since March 2007. Even with the thousands of cabs in Metro Manila, I know that the odds of getting the occasional a**hole driver is inevitable.

I went on an earlier shift yesterday to accommodate a meeting scheduled very early in the morning. This means that I can leave the office earlier, and that the public transport I use to go home is not yet available (they usually start their routes by around 6PM). I took a cab.

The ride was quiet and peaceful until we reached the flyover approaching Ateneo where traffic was almost at a stand still. I heard the driver grumbling but as long as he doesn't say anything, I'm fine. It was a slow but steady crawl the rest of the way and I was surprised when the cab took the lane that was supposed to take the u-turn near Rustan's. I told the cab I didn't ask him to take the u-turn. The cab driver looked irritated.

DRIVER: Akala ko sabi mo Katipunan? (I thought you said Katipunan?)

(wow... I never realized Katipunan for him ends with Ateneo Gate 3!)

ME: Oo nga po pero di ba hanggang dun pa sa dulo yung Katipunan? Sinabi ko bang mag-u-turn ka? Dapat diretso ka lang until sabihan kita kung san liliko. (Yes but doesn't Katipunan stretch out until over there. Did I ask you to take the u-turn? You were supposed to go straight until I tell you where to turn.)

DRIVER: Hindi ka naman nagsasabi (You weren't saying anything).

(Huh? What the hell was I supposed to say at that area? The turn he was supposed to take wasn't for another 3 blocks. Am I expected to say "go straight" every 5 seconds or something???)

At that point, he tried getting out of the lane but it was too late since we were too close to the u-turn. An MMDA officer hailed him and that's when things started to get worse.

MMDA OFFICER: Sir, lisensya po. (Sir, your license please.)

And guess what? The driver tried to get out of it by blaming me!!! He opened his window and tried to reason with the officer.

DRIVER: Boss, pasensya na po. Ito po kasing pasahero ko e, ang gulo kausap! (Officer, I'm really sorry. It's my passenger's fault, I couldn't understand her.)

Suffice to say, I was surprised.

ME: What??? Wala akong sinasabi sa yo na mag-u-turn ka. Nagulat na lang ako bigla kong napansin na liliko na pala tayo. (I never asked you to turn her. I was even surprised when I noticed you taking the turn).

He should have quit at that point but then he turned to face me and started shouting at me!

DRIVER: Wala kang sinasabi! Ang gulo mo kasi kausap. Hindi mo naman sinabing hindi tayo liliko dito! (You didn't say anything! You are difficult to understand. You should have said we weren't supposed to turn here!)

What the... ? How the hell am I supposed to anticipate that he was going to take the turn when I never gave him instructions to take the turn in the first place? At this point, the MMDA Officer interrupted us.

MMDA OFFICER: Sir, lisensya po. Kayo po ang nagmamaneho, hindi si ma'am. (Sir, may I see you license please? You were the one driving and not your passenger).

No way was I going to stay in the cab and let that driver take me home and find out where I live but we were in the middle of the u-turn so I asked the MMDA Officer if I could get off there. He motioned for the cab to move to the side of the road and told me I could get off then.

I still paid the driver... with 10% tip. Stupid me! I already had the money in my hand before the incident happened so I just gave the driver the money before storming off. I forgot about the tip. And grateful cad that he was... he was still shouting at me as I was getting off. A**HOLE!

I walked the rest of the way home.

(It wasn't that far, about 3-4 blocks I think. Before I got pregnant I never thought twice about walking from Rustan's to my house but things are different lately when every small exertion of effort from me results to bleeding and hospitalization. But walked I did (a bumpy trike ride was not a better alternative) and I made it home without incident. Or so I thought at the time.)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Demoralized

You get up early with plenty of time to get ready for work, but you end up lying awake in bed for hours debating the merits of going to work at all.

You get dressed thinking that going to work is a waste of clean and nice clothes.

You linger over breakfast while watching re-runs of old Disney cartoons thinking to yourself that there is nothing better you'd rather do.

You consider going past every u-turn on your way to work as a milestone, congratulating yourself at the strength of your conviction by not asking the cab driver to turn around and take you back home.

You manage to make it to work but you're late and you don't care.

You spend the first hour of your working day willing yourself to start something... anything. You suddenly think of errands you don't really have to do but feel like you suddenly HAVE TO do them.

You make it back to your workstation and manage to start working your way through the emails in your inbox.

You reply only to the people you like working with (and you thank God everyday for still giving you people like them). It doesn't matter how urgent other people's emails are.

You lie to get yourself out of having lunch with other people.

The afternoon doesn't get much better. You work but end up not finishing what you started.

You slouch in your seat while staring blankly at your monitor.

You check the clock every minute, counting down to the time you can leave... on the dot.

In spite of the many logical reasons why you know it will never happen, becoming a housewife is becoming an attractive option.

You make it home and it makes you want to cry thinking of tomorrow.