i usually stay late at the office but today i was rushing our supplier to go home, telling him, "birthday ng pamangkin kong manika."

he tries to correct me with "manika ng pamangkin."

but i reiterate it really is, "pamangkin na manika."

i explain to him that my sister has two dolls whom she considers our kin. these are trixie and noel, names derived from the names of my real, human niece and nephew.

today is the first anniversary of their arrival at my parents' house and today is the day my sister considers as their first birthday. (this sister is a regular, normal, sane person. she's so sane she actually edits publications of their office.)

last night, she was egging me to buy a gift for the dolls. i go, i'm going to bring home food for their birthday but not a gift-gift. i said i couldn't imagine myself buying stuff for the dolls themselves. at least food, it will be eaten by real persons.

i don't know what it is about these dolls that drives our normally sensible family to do seemingly crazy stuff.

my sister, who does not wash a single piece of her own clothing, takes the time and exerts the effort to wash the dolls' clothes : }

last year, my other sister bought them gifts for christmas.

then my mom and my aunt, with no special occasion whatsoever, bothered to check out clothes for them one time they went shopping. so there they were, looking at kiddie clothes, making comments that this one's somewhat big, this one loose, etc. when the vendor tells them, "it's ok... kids grow fast anyway."

they chuckle and tell her, "they're not going to grow -> they're dolls."

: }


my sister was giving my nephew a shirt.  he wouldn't take it.

she showed it to me.  it had a rice stalk design. i said, "i like that."

she smiles, then flips it, displaying a "Pangulong Gloria" printed on the back.  huh??? pass.

my nephew goes, "i don't like gloria."

hmmm... so young and yet politically aware.

then he adds.  "i like noli."



i show my niece the ghost at raffles place CCTV clip and she shivered.  i did, too, the first time i saw it and again this time.

my nephew arrives and we both show it to him, too.  unlike us girls, he reacts to the supposedly scary part with an oh-so-cool, "kampanerang kuba??  hindi naman nakakatakot."  ->  'hunchback bell ringer??  not scary.'

years back, my dad thought of scaring off the neighborhood kids who liked to roam around by telling them there's a really, really big dog in the area.  instead of backing off, the kids got excited saying, 'c'mon, c'mon, let's go check the dog...'

these kids are brave... : }


this morning, i attended our usual monday flag ceremony and, whoa!!!  the presentation was far from usual!  there were three young ladies in skin tight pants doing a fire dance.  as in, one of them was swirling a string on each hand with balls of fire at the end.  so daring!  and sexy.  i love sexy!!!

don't get me wrong.  i am all-woman, all-girlie, all-feminine but i really, really appreciate a good female shape.  i don't like the skinny types.  i like the fleshy ones with curves.

now it's not just the torso i admire.  i also like the lower limbs.  i have an officemate with really good legs.  one time, i saw her going up the stairs.  instead of turning right to my office, i turned right up the stairs, and followed her up, so happy just looking at her legs  :)

another time at the house, i was taken aback when my husband came rushing to the dirty kitchen, calling me to the living room, because some voluptuous celebrity was dancing on tv in some skimpy outfit.  he knew i'd like that, ha-ha-ha

the deed amused me, but touched me so as well.  i was thinking, some other guy would have remained glued to the tv to savor the sight, this one remembered me and bothered to fetch me so i too could watch the show.

well, yes... "there were moments of gold and there were flashes of light"...

the right thing at the right time

an aunt who came back from a US vacation gave me a wallet this evening.  whoa!  just what i needed... and wanted.

my wallet got soiled by foodstuff sometime back.  i cleaned it with alcohol.  instead of getting back to its previous condition, it turned yucky and tacky : }

i've been looking around for a replacement for the longest time, but i haven't found one to my liking.  my requirements are simple (or are they?):

-  it has to have not just a bill but also a coin holder

-  it has to be a regular foldable wallet, not the clutch-type the width of a bill.

-  it has to have a holder for my ATM, credit and rewards cards

-  it has to be plain.  no logos or prints whatsoever.

-  it has to be brownish or shades thereof.  not black, not red, not some other color.

the wallet my aunt gave me met all of the above and more.  it hit my taste-target bullseye.  i am so happy and so thankful  : )

a couple of months back, i was supposed to buy rubber shoes for our province's annual mountain climb.  just before the weekend i was scheduled to go shopping, a friend of my mom's who also came from a US vacation brought back for me, guess what?  rubber shoes!  with matching socks to boot.  just a few days later and i would have bought a pair already!  then i would have two pairs.  i don't really need more than one as i wear sneakers only once a year, only during the annual mountain climb.

time and time again things of this sort have happened to me.  they reaffirm what i've realized long ago:

-  when God takes time in giving you something, it's because He's preparing something better than what you want or expect

- God is neither early nor late.  He is always just in time.

so reassuring... : )


i got an amusing/scary reaction to a recent blog, that one where i wrote:

     "... he said if he positioned himself at the entrance every single day of the week then sooner or later he'd catch me.  oh, my.  that is sweet."

my cousin in the US tells me he didn't know i had a thing for stalkers.  i reply, not stalkers but those who exert effort.  he counters, stalkers exert a LOT of effort.  ooops... i've never looked at it that way.  yikes!

anyway, i really have this thing about effort and going the extra mile and pushing oneself to the limit.  i deeply appreciate it.

one of my all-time favorites is a line from the movie 'last of the mohicans' starring daniel day-lewis.  in one scene, he said to his lady love:  no matter how hard, or how far, i will find you...

did i swoon over that one.  i find it really sweet... : )


i was on the phone with one of our suppliers when suddenly he tells me, 'you've been doing frequent updates of your blog, ma'am..'

i was dumbfounded, 'you, too, have been reading it?!'

there we were, talking technical stuff and logistics, then my trivial blog comes up.  ugh!

sometime back, the supplier asked whether i was in friendster.  i said yes.  he invited; i accepted.  now he, too, has been receiving 'cynthia has updated her friendster blog' notifications.  yuck!

i've been trying to figure out how to turn it off, i couldn't find where it's set.  i think the settings have to be modified on the recipient side.  baaaddd!

anyway, so he mentions the recent entries and tells me there's someone he'd like to introduce to me.

i go, 'he might be married!'

he assures me the guy is not.

i ask, 'does he smoke?  drink?  gamble?  womanize?...'

he says he'll check.  then hesitantly he adds, 'but then, ma'am, the guy's already 40...'

i burst out laughing.  'what are you talking about?!  i'm already 42!'

from the other end of the line, his shock was palpable.  'is that true, ma'am?!'


'but you don't look 42!'

'maybe.  i look 41...'

; )

on married men

i am no stranger to guys who, in spite of being already married, still cannot help showing, sometimes even expressing, their interest in women other than their wives.

in my case, i always, emphatically, repeatedly, as much as possible politely, bluntly if need be, tell them that i don't have the slightest inclination to get entangled in such affairs.  no way am i going to take away or share someone else's guy.

through the years, i've had amusing, annoying, flattering encounters with married men.

a decade and a half ago, there was this guy who would visit me at the office.  one time when he arrived, i was in front of the computer and i told him, "hey, let's check you out."  i enter his name and out comes his data, showing that he was married.  i blurt out, "you're married?!"

he unconvincingly says something about it being easier to get a visa if you say that you are married, blah, blah, blah.  ha-ha-ha.  do i have stupid stamped on my forehead???

he still shows up at the office twice after that and then no more.

and then there's this other guy who i knew from the start was already married.  we became friends, nothing at all romantic, but every once in a while, he'd try to check out whether i've changed my mind.  the answer, consistently, firmly, has been, no way, jose!

from him, i have these memories:

1.  he was asking for my class schedule.  i wouldn't tell him.

then one time i arrive at school and there he was, seated in front of our building.

i was surprised, how did you know my sched?

guess what?  he didn't.  he was just taking chances.  he said if he positioned himself at the entrance every single day of the week then sooner or later he'd catch me.  oh, my.  that is sweet.

too bad he was married.  he could climb the highest mountain and cross the deepest sea yet no way am i going to be his girl.

2.  he has this line, said jokingly, "anong masama, dalaga ka, lalaki ako."  ->  what's wrong, you're single, i'm male.  yikes!  is that funny or what?!

oh, well... ; )

better luck next time

i've been 'single' for over a year now and in that period, i've been courted by and have turned down a couple of guys ->  no tingle in my heart : }  until recently, when i met someone i actually looked forward to seeing again.  we've met only a handful of times, and the last time, he said a few things that somehow made me feel special (as in, just a FEW, two to three sentences maybe... boy, am i pathetic, ha-ha)

then yesterday, i did some research (eeew!) and i found out that he is already married.  yuck!  no way am i going to get involved with someone who already belongs to someone else.  oh, well.  in the words of one of the farmers in 'farmer wants a wife' (i saw it on TV last night):  i am "disappointed but not devastated."

i remain hopeful.  the best is yet to come... : )


i asked my mom whether she was going to check her e-mail.

she replies, "by and by..."

my niece overhears and asks, "lola, what's 'by and by'?"

my mom asks back, "what do you think?"

my niece goes, "bili nang bili?"... ha-ha

last night, i was in front of the computer and the same niece tells me, "tita, i want to play mee-nes-per..."

i go, "mini-sphere?  do we have that?"

she replies, "yes... it's in games."

we check and she shows me minesweeper.  he-he...

the lens sees

i was at estrel's (cake house) last friday with my sister and an officemate of my brother's.  it was the officemate's first time there so we took some pictures.  (actually, first time or not, i'd still be taking pictures, ha-ha)

i uploaded the pics just now, and was i surprised to see that in one of the shots, a high school classmate was right behind us, as in, less than an arm's length away!  i did not notice her then!  i don't know whether she noticed me.  i had my back to her and we both had our faces to the camera.

interesting what things you don't notice surface in pics...


i was on the phone with a batchmate and she was dismayed that something she said somehow got mangled passing mouth to mouth resulting in a rather embarrassing situation.

this is similar to a recent occurrence at the office.  so the manager of one project was asking me about the requirements they have to comply with before their project goes on board.  i tell her, submit to us this and then we'll test that, if the results are ok then you can go live.  for reasons i'd rather not disclose, things didn't go as planned  : }

in our next meeting, there i was, talking strict and all, emphasizing to our contractor, i do not want something like this to happen to us, ok, blah-blah-blah.

to my surprise, the contractor tells me the action was done based on my instructions.  huh?!  why on earth would i instruct such?!

they relay to me that they were in a meeting and then the PM  i was earlier talking to called saying my office was requiring this before we establish that.  uh-oh.

what the PM relayed was verbatim up to a certain point but then she mistakenly added two words at the end changing the object of the action altogether.  yikes!

so this explains why prior to the conduct of the test, the PM called me saying we had to get permission from a certain office before we conduct this certain activity.  i told her there was no need to ask for anyone else's permission because this was our turf.  my, my, my.  it turns out we had different objects in mind.

BIG lesson.  be very, very explicit.  always specify the object of an action even if it means you have to be repetitive and redundant.

another case.  so i e-mail my officemate a document which i named matrix4revision.  we were talking just seconds before i mailed so i did not write anything on the message body anymore.  i simply attached the document and clicked send.  what do you know, a week later i find out that she interpreted matrix4revision to mean matrix version 4 revision instead of what i intended, i.e., matrix for revision.  yikes!  i'm attuned to the text generation, you know.  i text-spell filenames!  lesson:  don't!  spell out!

still another case.  i send my aunt an e-mail with the subject:  nov 4 pics.  she mails back:  there are only 2 pics.  ha-ha-ha.  she was thinking quantity; i was thinking date.  the pictures i sent were taken on the 4th of november!

i'd like to end with one of my favorites.  this one's about audio without visuals.  just hearing, "gladly, the cross i'd bear" could mean different things to different people.  it could be just that, i.e., "gladly, the cross i'd bear."  it could, however, also be, "gladly, the cross-eyed bear."  sometimes, you have to see to fully understand.

enough said.

lucky and thankful

i was on my way to my parents' house when the battery indicator on my dashboard lit up.  i steered to the right then traffic stopped so i turned my engine off.  stupid me, come go, my car wouldn't start!

i called my batchmate asking whether they had batteries (they have a store).  she said they'll come over.  i told her no need for her to join.  the last time my battery died she simply had one delivered to the office.

then i called the house for an SOS to my brother.  then i called again to cancel the SOS as a battery will be on the way anyway.

a while later my batchmate calls saying they're on their way.  i reiterated no need for her to join.  it was 8 pm, and it was raining.

(i am no stranger to dead batteries.  i don't really keep track of my battery's supposed lifespan and i go on to use them till end of life, ha-ha.  i have always been lucky, however, in that they die on me in parking lots.  so i park and when i come back, my car won't start.  i simply have a battery delivered and off i go again.)

a little later, i receive a text from my batchmate saying they are near.  thanks  : )

then my brother's car appears!  i was surprised, telling him i've cancelled the SOS.  he said he decided to proceed anyway.  how sweet  : )

not long after, another car appears.  was i again surprised when the doors open.  out comes my batchmate, her husband plus the one who delivered my battery last time.

i was sooooo touched.  a dead battery and i have 3 guys, 2 cars plus my batchmate?!  all i had in mind was the usual motorcycle-delivery!

anyway, it turns out it wasn't my battery this time but my fan belt  (what on earth do i know about fan belts???!!!).  just this morning, i heard an unusual sound in the car and i've scheduled to have it checked come saturday.  well, it wasn't able to wait  : }

the guys jumpstart my car and we all leave on convoy.

at my parents' place, the phone rings.  it was my other batchmate.  she chides me for not calling her.  she said she could have brought tanods to my rescue.  whoa!  that would have been way too much, ha-ha

i really, really feel sooo lucky and sooo thankful.  as long as  i have my family and i have my friends, then i am fine... : )


i was already in the bedroom in my sleepwear when i received what i thought was the following text from a batchmate:

     Dito ko sa labas ng bahay nyo san ka?

instead of texting back, i went outside right away, and looked around and looked around, and waited and waited, but no batchmate in sight.

i went back to the house and texted my batchmate saying i didn't see her.  she simply tells me to read the text carefully.

i tell her i've deleted it.

she resends it.

i re-read the resend and it turns out this is the complete text:

     Dito ko sa labas ng bahay nyo san ka?

     (blank screen)

     Yan ang cnend skin ng mga taong wlng mgwa! Muntik n ako lmabas!

     (blank screen)

     Forward mo sa iba para mkaganti ka!

ha-ha-ha!  i've been victimized!!!

as is my wont, however, the text ends with me.  no forwards.  spoilsport  ; )


i was at enchanted kingdom saturday and i went via the south luzon expressway.  there were tolls!

it reminded me of my uh-oh experience going to pansol a year back.  so our clan had a thanksgiving get-together there and i was on my way when suddenly toll gates appeared on the horizon.  yikes! i am not used to these.  pass through i did and all the while i was wondering how much i would have to pay upon exit.  i was concerned i wouldn't have enough money for the fee, ha-ha

you see, i don't usually bring money.  for years, unmindful of inflation, the only cash i've been putting in my wallet has been two hundred pesos max.  i almost always have my ATM and credit cards with me anyway and the things i buy i usually can pay for using a credit card.  toll fees, unfortunately, do not fall under that category.

at the exit, i remember paying ninety-eight pesos.  back and forth that would be one hundred ninety six.  barely within my baon, whew!

through the years, this practice has put me in iffy situations only twice.  (a pretty encouraging average, i must say.)  pansol was second; the first was years back.  i was walking around when i passed by a pizza hut kiosk.  i'd like to bring home a box, i thought.  suddenly it occurred to me that i didn't have enough cash to buy a whole pizza.  this was just a kiosk, not a regular restaurant.  they didn't accept credit cards.  uh-oh.  i was amused thinking i was in such a pitiful situation, ha-ha

now, bringing only a little cash is actually only part of my story.  sometimes, i don't even bring money at all  :}

i actually have a vivid memory of my mom telling me years back not to go around without my wallet.  i have yet to heed her :}

last year when i renewed my passport, i passed by my friend's office before going home.  she invited me to lunch.

i said i can't.

she asked why.

i said i didn't have my wallet.

she goes, "what is that?" pointing to the pouch in my hand.

i said, "it's my camera."

she goes, "you have your camera but not your wallet???"

i reply, "my wallet's in the car.  the camera i brought because it might get too hot in the car."

she chuckles and tells me lunch is on her.  not at all part of my plan, i assure you...