Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Spending a few days away from the condo unit was a refreshing change. The cool Antipolo air had me clad in a jogging outfit to keep me warm. I did fine without the aircon at nights - slept to the sound of stray cats meowing, the trees rustling and the wind blowing. I had a full sleep and woke up with the sun shining in my face. I also survived without the internet, now that is an amazing feat for me.

It made me reflect back to the year that will draw to a close shortly and ponder on the year ahead. I remember feeling terrified when my father retired in 2001, knowing we had no choice but to head back here for good. It was embarrassing that I couldn't control my tears from flowing down my face on that flight out of Dubai to Singapore for a stopover before landing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. That was more than 2 years ago and till now I still have this feeling at the pit of my stomach that things, however settled they seem for now, will never be the same again.
2003 wasn't really a bad year for me though. I had the opportunity to return to Dubai for a short visit, entertained relatives I haven't seen in a long time, and I made a fairly good living.

Now with the dawning of a new year - what do I expect?
That is the scary part - I still have no clue what I want!
Certain questions keep haunting me - "Should I spice up my social life?" "How do I go about it?" "Why do I feel like no matter what I do I won't feel satisfied?" "Am I too afraid to make a commitment?" "Do I stay in a relationship that isn't going anywhere?" "Is it lust, love or neither?" "Is he worth it?" "Will I ever find someone who can make me feel complete without losing my identity?" "Would having a lovelife to speak of - solve all my problems?" "Do I disappoint my parents?" "Is my sister happy?" Etc

I'm hoping this is all due to S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or holiday blues and sooner or later I will snap out of it.

Friday, December 26, 2003

Tis the day after Christmas
Christmas has come and gone. Each year I wonder what the fuss is all about since it is just one day of the year. Yes! I'm cynical, so what? It was relatively quiet. No Christmas lunch at my grandmother's place, no relatives visiting, just peaceful!

So I indulged in my simple pleasures:
1. I watched "Finding Nemo" on DVD. I don't normally watch animated feature films. But somehow the kid in me wanted to be amused. And amused I was! Wow the colorful underwater world, the funny dialogue and the endearing characters just grows on you. I especially loved the Australian accented sea turtle, Crush and his offspring, Squrt - who punctuated all his sentences with the word "Dude". Hilarious!!
2. I retreated to my comfy bed to read. It takes me months to finish a book so I was amazed that I managed to read not 1 but 2 books in a row.
Art Buchwald's "Stella in Heaven" - a widower communes with his deceased wife, who is determined to find him a new bride, only to become jealous of her possible replacements. It was very funny following his (mis)adventures.
Peter Gadol's "Light at Dusk" - An American diplomat goes back to Paris to redeem himself, confront his past, and rediscover love. In the process he finds himself fighting a rising tide of anti immigrant hatred in France.
This novel was absorbing, suspenseful and the author was very graphically detailed in his description. It had all the elements that I could easily identify with. He wrote of diplomacy in its most intimate consequences. The main character has a neverending quest to find his identity and sense of belonging. As a diplobrat, I found myself in tune with all his angst.
Paris - a city I love with a passion. The author portrayed the side of the city you wont find in tourist brochures. It was memorable as I explored Paris all over again through the author's eyes. As if that wasn't enough, the book had some Middle Eastern connection added to it. Now that all but piqued my interest till the very last page.

Now time to do some errands before I head to my parent's house tomorrow for a week of silent, calming relaxation.
Mmm is this an indication that the coming New Year is going to be "silent"? Not that it would make any difference since Ive discovered I tend to be more grounded and passive since I returned here September 2001.

Either that or Im getting old. Oh wait I am old!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2003

My Mom somehow convinced me to join them for midnight Mass at St Francis Church. Well not really midnight - it was at 10pm!
We got back at the condo by 11:30pm, just enough time to heat the ham,
chill the wine, and cut the keso de bola. It was a great feast, complete with stories of our past Christmases in distant lands like Singapore, Dubai and even as far back as India and Brussels. Memories of the good old days!
I was just online to check if I got more e-card greetings. For me its not the gifts that matter, it's the text messages and e-greetings from my friends. It melts my heart. Yes I know I can be pretty shallow sometimes!

I therefore end this post with the words of the immortal John Lennon:
"A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Let's hope it's a good one, without any fear.
And so this is Christmas and what have we done?
Another year over and a new one just begun.
And so Happy Christmas. I hope you have fun.
The near and the dear one, the old and the young
A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Let's hope it's a good one without any fear!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

No Internet
I was in a fairly good mood today, visited relatives to distribute gifts. Just a couple of days to Christmas so I condition myself to feel "Merry".
Then I find out my ISP has folded up!
No warning, no calling up its users to inform us, NOTHING!
Just an announcement on its website which I hardly log on to.
Then I think about the people who lost their jobs when
Flash Internet went bankrupt and I feel sorry for them.
I guess, it wont be a happy Christmas for them.
Im now using my sister's Pacific Internet account but it's only 5 hours a month. She tells me just check your emails then log off.

Im really really pissed!

Monday, December 22, 2003

Josh Groban
Josh Groban's "You raise me up" is now blasting loudly on my PC speakers.
And I mean LOUD with a capital L.
Haunting lyrics and the Celtic sounding melody moves me.

"When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me."
"You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be."

What a voice!
Yes I do still watch Survivor even if it's the 7th edition of this reality show. Another season just ended last week and this time it was held at the Pearl Islands, off Panama.

Several twists made it more interesting to watch:
1. The return of the outcasts - after being voted off the island, they were bunched together as a team and competed against the Drake and Morgan tribe at the reward challenge. Having won the task, 2 members were voted back into their respective tribes. Burton and Lil were lucky enough to be reinstated into the game. It was unfair though to the tribe members who had already voted them off. But it gave the show some spice.
2. The biggest lie - Jon must be the most cunning and deceitful of all those who joined this game. He connived with his friend to tell the other members that his grandmother had died while he was still on the island. This worked since they all sympathised with his "fake" grief and let him win the reward challenge. Shameless SOB!
3. First time in the history of this show, a tribe member quits from the game. Osten, although in physically strong shape wanted out of the show. So no votes were cast at tribal council, he just took his torch and Jeff extinguished it with disgust. Knowing that many people aspire to be on the show, he didn't even try to endure it.

In the end, the person who outcast, outwit and outplayed them all was Sandra. She played a fair game, stayed under the radar and just went with the flow. She deserves it, if only for coming up with witty and funny comments throughout the show. Personally, I wanted either Andrew or Ryan O to win the million bucks - but heck I was never good at predicting the outcome of this show that's why I like watching it.

Sunday, December 21, 2003

"Relax! Your card is loading..." flashing on your screen with an animated visual of a mouse lying on a bed being massaged by another mouse.
Cutest thing ever!
That sight greets you when you wait to preview one of the numerous cards at I finally decided to stay up the night and send my virtual greetings. Then I realized that half of the people on my list don't celebrate Christmas and the other half are just a text away. So that leaves me with about 3 people. But it didn't make things easier since now I have to decide which e-card suits the recipient.
That task can take me forever - I am very meticulous in that aspect!

Boy it's going to be a looooooooong night!

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!

Manny: "Carr, wear this ring as a sign of my love and loyalty. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
Carr: "Manny, wear this ring as a sign of my love and loyalty. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

And with those words, my dear friend, Carr begins her life in wedded bliss.
Today on this 20th day of the merry month of December at Mary the Queen Parish at 2 P.M. Clad in a beautiful white dress, she was a blushing bride.
Cosy atmosphere loomed at the reception at Via Mare Penthouse, Tektite, Ortigas.
Orange was the color of the day - from the gowns of the sponsors, the secondary sponsors to the lovely floral arrangements, as well as the tablecloths at the reception and the lovely sinamay wrappings of their souvenir items.

I wish them both all the best and May God guide you on this lifelong endeavor as husband and wife.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Chow time
I love to eat out! So at any given time you might find me at these eateries.

Italian - I go to Italianni's at either Glorieta or Greenbelt. They usually have big portions so you can share a pasta dish. Their Caesar's salad is good too. I love their chicken BBQ pizza. Even before you order they give you a basket of bread which you can dip into olive oil and vinegar.
I go to Piu Pazzo for their gourmet pizzas. Tasty, thin crusted and I always ask for additional toppings of anchovies.
Angelino's at Megamall is good for its servings of pasta dishes. It has a wide variety to choose from. I like their ravioli with spinach sauce.

Thai - They serve rice toppings so it is a complete meal at Thai in a Box at the Podium. My favorite is their bagoong rice. I would also order kangkong with bagoong and chicken pandan.

Filipino - For grilled items, we have a favorite located on Meralco Avenue, KSP Grill. It has a cosy bahay kubo ambience to it. We always order their crispy tawilis, bouillabaise soup, crispy tadyang and grilled hito. Great thing is that they also deliver!
Barrio Fiesta if only for its kare kare, crispy pata and sinigang na hipon is worth an occasional heartburn!
Max's Chicken House - tasty juicy chicken, you eat till the bones!

Chinese - Mei Ling also at Megamall. It seems like everytime my mother hears First Friday mass, we end up eating there. It has a HongKong or Singapore flare. Fried Rice with salted fish, Tausi Fish, Mushrooms in claypot, Pepper Beef - all mouth watering dishes. Their noodle soups are also good for merienda.
Super Bowl at either Megamall, Glorieta or even at Alabang's Festival Mall. Big portions at affordable prices. Their tables even have a place where you can hook your bag so you dont worry about your belongings. Never mind if you have to wait for hours to get a table, it is worth it!

Japanese - Rai Rai Ken at the basement of Megamall is another favorite hang out. Their gomoku soup (seafood) and gomoku chakan (fried rice) is enough for me. But I also order California maki and assorted sushi, depending on my appetite.

Korean - it's Kaya Restaurant at Glorieta. Our usual are dak bolgogi (grilled spicy chicken), beef stew, dimsum and their plain rice is nice and sticky.

Snacks - Mangan, at Galleria. Bibingka, pancit luglog and halo halo.
Almond Marina, Megamall near Power Books. Great sandwiches and soup dishes. Roasted turkey dijon sandwich and Washington chowder are smacking good!
Pancake House for its yummy pancakes. My fave are its chocolate pancakes!
Via Mare for its palitaw, goto, arroz caldo and bibingka.

Coffee - Well Im not really a coffee drinking person since it can make me stay up for days. So I go for cold coffee beverages. Hangouts include Figaro, Starbucks, Dome Cafe and Coffee Bean.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

"If you can't wake up in the morning.
Cause your bed lies vacant at night.
If you're lost, hurt, tired or lonely.
Can't control it, try as you might.
May you find that love that won't leave you.
May you find it by the end of the day.
You won't be lost, hurt, tired and lonely.
Something beautiful will come your way"

This song by Robbie Williams is the theme song of my existence nowadays.
It used to be that by now I would have had everything in order for Christmas!
But it is already Dec. 18, 2003 and I still haven't bought a gift for my mom.
I still haven't sent e-cards and still got to sort out my mailing list.

And you know what? Im thinking why should I even bother? Im always the
one who cares too much and never get even a fraction of that care back!

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Movie Reviews
Sometimes I wonder if I have a sleeping disorder or if my bio rhythm is still functioning well. I fell asleep early last night reading a book and then woke up at exactly midnight and I couldn't get back to sleep!
So it was action genre viewing fare - back to back!
Bad Boys 2 was disappointing. I expected it to be as good as the first. The story line involving the Cuban druglords, the Jamaican gangs and Russian mob was a bit confusing. But watching the rapport between Will Smith and Martin Lawrence was good enough for me to sustain it till the end. It was a pretty loud movie and during some parts I had to hit the mute button because I didn't want to wake up the neighbors at 1:30 AM.
S.W.A.T stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. Samuel L. Jackson is a cool dude - kicks ass, wise cracks and delivers witty rhetorics. Although he has a tendency to be typecast as a cop, his characters have strong screen presence. As for Colin Farrell well he didn't really stand out and was just part of the team. It is funny how from watching many movies, half way through, I can already predict who the mastermind is and who sets up whom. In this film, I won the bet again as usual!

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I just came back from Shangri-la Edsa Plaza where I headed straight to the
National Book Store. They have this section that sells hard bound novels for only P99! Not bestsellers but if you are patient enough you can find really interesting stories. My sister and I ended up buying nine!

Ever since my childhood, books have been a major part of my life.
I remember my first book was a prize I won for being the best speller in my first grade of schooling. I was about eight years old when I first started wearing glasses and as the years progressed my eye sight worsened. I blame it all on books and being a voracious reader. So I was always the odd one out - short with thick curly hair and thick glasses. How nerdy! Just remembering that visual gives me the shivers. It was only after I finished college that I started wearing contact lens.
Lately though I mostly read online. And magazines like the Time Magazine and the Reader's Digest (especially the jokes!) often lull me to sleep.

Yes I'm proud to admit Im a bookworm.
A legacy I inherit from my parents.
In fact, the whole family wears eyeglasses.
I fell asleep last night reading the latest issue of Time Magazine.
Its cover story is an in-depth article on the insurgents sowing terror in Iraq. They are men driven by a common goal - to reclaim their country from the invaders. I cannot begin to imagine how it feels like to be ruled for decades by a despotic leader. I wasn't around here during the Martial law years of President Marcos.
But for democracy to flourish it has to come from within the country and led by its own people. Not for a foreign nation to impose it upon them all in the name of "liberation". To ruin the historical landmarks, to kill innocent people and now let mayhem and chaos ensue is not democracy ... it is lunacy.
I was in Dubai for a week long vacation when I heard that Saddam Hussein's 2 sons died in a gun battle. Seeing their lifeless bodies paraded on CNN was sickening. Given the fact that they weren't exactly model citizens aside, is it fair to gloat?
Now that they have finally captured the man who they blame for everything that went wrong in Iraq. I hope they understand it is time they start packing their bags. Let the country be ruled by a competent leader so that it can regain its past glory. A country which dates back to the times of Ali Baba and when Baghdad was known for its opulence and splendour!

Me takes my political analyst cap off.

Monday, December 15, 2003

Night Owl
Unless Im dead tired, I dont hit the sheets till 4 A.M. sometimes even later. I either chat, play trivia, play games online, download mp3s, browse the Internet - sometimes I do all of the above and then some - Im a multitasking babe. But my favorite activity is to watch movies. So I simply go down to the ground floor of my building and rent VCDs.
I just finished watching Bruce Almighty. The one where Jim Carrey is given God's powers for a week and tries to save his sorry pathetic life. Morgan Freeman as God was convincing. I also like Jennifer Aniston in any movie she stars in but ironically I don't like her character on Friends. The film would sometimes seem like it was preaching but Jim Carrey's antics saved it. I like his style of making faces and sounds to garner laughter. But at least he wasn't as obnoxious as his Ace Ventura character. I give him credit for trying to act normal and not overdo his "I am a goofball" tendencies in this movie.

Im planning to see Mystic River this week. I better catch it before the Metro Manila Film Festival starts. I don't watch Tagalog movies and it frustrates me so much that every year, they show only local movies from Dec. 25 till Jan. 3! This means I would have to wait till Jan. 19, 2004 to see The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. I'm not crazy enough to waste P450 for the premiere night on Dec. 19!


Sunday, December 14, 2003

Living in a condo unit can get confining.
Thank God I have a place I can hop off to for a change of scenery - my parents' house in Antipolo. A community built on a steepy hill where the air is freshly crisp and the view is breathtaking.
We fondly call it *the alps* albeit without the snow.
Every item in that house has a sentimental value so its like going down memory lane. It has been a while since I last went there so yesterday I stayed as long as I could.
Even without an internet connection, I never run out of things to do there.
Combing through my stuff at my old room, browsing through old photo albums, rummaging through my closet to find clothes that would still fit me, searching for that pair of shoes I know would go well with my new outfit, finding trinkets I can display on my bedside table at the condo.
Sundays are my kikay days.
I read the sunday editions of the Inquirer and Philippine Star from cover to cover - in bed.
I paint my toe nails - today its bright red - describes my mood.
I pluck my eyebrows - major ouch!
I put stuff on my hair - Im glad I found the treatment product that suits me or else I would put mayonnaise. Yes! Mayonnaise!

Now quit laughing!

Saturday, December 13, 2003

Christmas in the Philippines
This is the 3rd year in a row I will be spending the Yuletide season here.
Each year Im still as excited as a kid in a toy store.

I love the fact
--- that as early as September I hear Christmas carols on the radio ---
--- that after the evening news they start the countdown to Christmas ---
--- that despite the tropical weather, I see people wearing boots ---
--- that I see houses, no matter their size, dressed up brightly with lights ---
--- that I get up early for 9 consecutive days (Dec 16 to 24) for Simbang Gabi (alright Im not really a churchgoer but still) ---
--- that at any given December day, at least, one shop at a mall is closed for its annual party for its staff ---
--- that I get to hear the tagalog Christmas carols of my childhood ---
--- that I search endlessly for a parking space at the malls or the bazaars (ehem I don't drive but you get the idea!) ---
--- that the airport is crowded with balikbayans loaded with pasalubongs ---
--- that streets are well lighted up and beautifully decorated with parols ---
--- that I can use the occasion as an excuse to spend like there is no tomorrow ---
--- that traffic gets so bad I can watch a full length movie while waiting ---
--- that I can forget my diet to eat all the native delicacies, drink San Mig Lite and be merry! ---
--- that on the 24th of December, when the clock strikes midnight, my family gathers for noche buena to feast on the traditional fiesta ham, keso de bola, red wine, and delicious desserts ---

The reasons are boundless!!!

All I want to say is that despite the harsh economy, the rampant crimes and whatever else plagues this country - there is no place on earth I rather be for the Yuletide holidays than right here in jolly old Pinas!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Points to Ponder
I wonder if it is ok to give a guy chocolates and flowers? Oh I just saw the prices of the flowers - too costly. Ok so chocolates it is - or it will be - that is if I can make up my fickle mind.
It would have to be online shopping since the recipient isnt physically present. If he was ... my problem would have been solved by giving him any of the standard gift items you see in a mall.
1. wallet
2. keychain
3. tie/socks/hankies/ underwear? (maybe not!)

Well I still have a few days to decide.
Knowing me - I might shelve the whole idea and just give him a call. Nothing beats that!
Trista and Ryan
I dont know them personally but I have spent countless hours reading about them on the internet. Im referring to the couple that made the reality show "The Bachelorette" a huge hit. They showed it on Studio 23 earlier this year.

The premise of the show was simple - Trista had to pick one "Prince Charming" among 25 guys she dated. Each week she had to eliminate the ones who were not worthy of her attention till she narrowed it down to just two guys.
She picked Ryan, the firefighter from Vail, Colorado.

Their whirlwind romance ended happily yesterday when they exchanged their marital vows. A lavish wedding ceremony befitting a love story which unfolded in front of the whole world with the public privy to all their moves. Never mind, if it was sponsored by ABC, the network that aired the show - which has paid them a reported $1 million to hold their wedding on national TV. Too bad I have to satisfy myself by simply clicking online as Studio 23 didn't show the wedding live.

But my point is that LOVE still does exist in this world even if it continues to elude me.
That there are still guys like Ryan who writes poetry and is not afraid to express his true feelings.
That women like Trista can find her "Prince Charming" and have her dream wedding.

Yeah yeah I know! People who look like them get everything in this world!

But a hopeless romantic like me can still dream, can't I?

Thursday, December 11, 2003

I received an email from my friend who is now based in the US. She was lamenting the fact that Fernando Poe, Jr (FPJ as he is known here), an actor just announced his bid to run in the 2004 elections as a presidential candidate. Glad that she wasn't living in the Philippines anymore since it is a sure thing he will be our next president and our country is doomed forever.

Hmmm valid point but Im still undecided as to whom I will vote for next year.
Since Ive barely stayed long enough in my own country to actually care who got my vote before - I seriously need to make my mind up now that Im back for good.
But would my vote really make a difference? I wonder!

Wasting 3 hours of my precious time just to register as a new voter at the municipal hall was tiring. The sight of the pathetic room which the Comelec uses as their office notwithstanding, I had to deal with an employee who thought it was amusing to question my status. I guess to ease the monotony of his job, a task that requires him to encode the voter's personal information as well as take the applicant's picture from the digital cam. He had the temerity to ask and I quote:
"Nagpapayaman ka pa ba? Ba't single ka pa rin?"
"Single ka pa nga ba o single singlelan lang?"
Which roughly translates to:
"Are you still enriching yourself? How come you are still single?."
"Are you really still single or just assuming a single status?"

Now, my friends, that's Pinoy humor for you.

All I could do was smile and tell him yes Im still single.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

A dear friend of mine is getting married in a couple of weeks time. We went to the same high school and also ended up taking the same course at UST. We've been in constant touch even when I was still living in Singapore then Dubai.
Im glad she is settling down. I wont say finally because I believe that there is no right time to get married. When the time is right, you will just feel it in your bones and know that you are ready to spend the rest of your life with someone.

As for my own preparations - I like to plan way ahead of time so I dont stress myself out too much at the last minute. So I ransacked my wardrobe for something appropriate to wear. Horror of horrors, I realized that half of my so called formal attires were black dresses. Im sure black isnt the color of the day. I managed to find a few presentable pieces. Next was the more shocking thing - I tried all of them and found out either I look like a stuffed penguin or worse they wont even fit me anymore!!!

Oh dear!

The last time I went to a wedding was in Dubai and it was a glitzy event as Lebanese weddings usual are. It was hip to be in black.

Now Im hitting the panic button as I realized Im too chubby to look glamourous.

List of things to do before the wedding:
1. Diet ... diet ... diet
2. Find a dress that wont emphasize my waist and hips area.
3. Buy a gift.

I better rush off to Rustan's now!!!
Christmas shopping
I felt it was time I started shopping for the Yuletide season. It isnt really a long list since I have decided to just give cash to my inaanaks (godchildren) this year.
So first stop was Robinson's Galleria. Dressed comfortably in jeans, loose t-shirt and comfy shoes, I raided the shoes stores for affordable bags which will be good giveaways for relatives living in the US. Im the type of shopper that heads straight to the shops where I know I will make a purchase. I hate to buy on an impulse.

Having accomplised that - it was time to look for baby dresses for a cousin who is pregnant with her first child. Now this was more tricky than I expected. With a wide variety of clothes available for infants of all ages and sizes, I couldn't decide at all. It was fun though seeing all those cute items. I didn't know that they cost that much. I can't only imagine how much parents spend on their infants. Ever the sarcastic, I jokingly said - the baby should just spend his early years wrapped in a blanket till he is old enough to work for his clothes. Im positive though that I will eat my words once I find myself in a predicament whether to buy the pink smock or the lime green frock for my own baby one day! Maybe I should start saving for them now and not waste my money on shoes. OH wait I need to find someone silly enough to marry me first before I think of babies. Hmmm

Anyways I still have a few days to go shopping and I intend to go to the tiangges (bazaars) scattered all over the city. That will be such an adventure - something I look forward to each year.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Things that vexes me
Some things seem to flare up my temper just like that. It frustrates me that I have such a third world internet connection! My friends in other parts of the world laugh when I tell them I still use dial up to get connected. Once Im logged on, it is really slow and I keep getting disconnected at the wrong times possible - while Im downloading an mp3 song, or chatting with friends who I only see once in a blue moon due to the time difference. Grrr!

I also hate it when people in the beauty salons keep insisting I have my hair straightened. I believe I am one of the few women left in this country who still has wavy curly hair. Guess what? I've lived with it for the past 35 years and I love it just the way it looks.

I find it odd that some restaurants just serve Pepsi products. I prefer to be given the choice to choose whatever softdrinks pleases me which in this case is Coca Cola. Diet Coke to be specific - and please don't tease me that Im trying to diet or don't want to get fat. I just prefer the taste of this low calorie soda compared to the regular Coke.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Oh Christmas tree
Even though I have decorated the staircase with Yuletide garlands like 2 weeks ago - it didnt feel complete. So I finally got the little Christmas tree up yesterday. It was a fruitful weekend, since for once I didnt sit in front of the TV to watch gossip shows. Shows that make it their business to find out which actress is having an affair with a politician etc. Not really my business but for lack of entertainment, I sometimes amuse myself by watching them. Anyways, I cleaned the entire house with the help of my sister. It is amazing how two people can accumulate so much junk in such a short time. I tried my best to make the little tree perch itself straight and adorned it with blinking lights. But somehow despite my efforts, it still tilts like the leaning tower of Pisa. Hey as long as the lights twinkle and the vase that holds the tree doesn't topple down from the table, Im happy. At the end of the day when Im sitting in my living room with only the colorful lights of the tree and the green garland that snakes itself on the staircase sparkle with lights and decors - I feel peaceful and calm.