Thursday, January 31, 2008

My 1st Thursday Thirteen edition

13 items on my to do list for the month of February:
1. Celebrate my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.
My sister and I have made plans to make this day really special.

2. Send a birthday card by snail mail to a friend.
I still send birthday cards to my dear friends scattered all over the world. It is more personal and intimate that way.

3. Schedule a dentist appointment.
This is long overdue, really.

4. Get the wedding banns from my parish.
After 3 consecutive Sundays, I need to get them and return it to the church where I will get married.

5. Buy a V gift for my fiance.
No idea what to get him!

6. Find a suitable and affordable place to move in.
Apartment hunting with a limited budget is akin to looking for a needle in a hay stack!

7. Go for a pap smear test.
No explanation needed.

8. Hunt for wedding giveaways.
I have a few ideas in mind, it is just a matter of finding them at a good price.

9. Attend one of the seminars at the Edsa Shrine.
We are required to attend 2 seminars. The Christian Doctrine Seminar and the Marriage and Parenthood Seminar which are scheduled on Saturdays. But D works during that day so he has to spare some time to escape from school.

10. Apply for a certified true copy of birth certificate at NSO.
This document has to be issued 3 months before the actual wedding date. So we will probably apply for it towards the end of February.

11. Look for wedding shoes.
Need I say more?

12. Find the time to watch "There will be Blood" and "The Darjeeling Limited" during its limited release at the cinemas. I read the Daniel Day Lewis starrer will be shown exclusively at the Gateway Cineplex 10 on Feb. 13 while " The Darjeeling Limited" opens Feb. 6 at the Ayala Malls (Glorietta, Greenbelt and Trinoma).

13. Finally finish reading "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini.
The second novel from the author of "Kite Runner" which I started reading last year but I always fall asleep when I read it, late at night after a long day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Traditional saying
Most of us are familiar with this old wedding saying.
Something old, something new
Something borrowed, something blue
And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

I did a search for it and here's the history behind these famous lines. Each item in this poem represents a good-luck token for the bride. If she carries all of them on her wedding day, her marriage will be happy.

"Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past.
"Something new" means optimism and hope for the bride's new life ahead.
"Something borrowed" is usually an item from a happily married friend or family member, whose good fortune in marriage is supposed to carry over to the new bride.
As for the colorful item, "blue" has been connected to weddings for centuries. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity. Christianity has long dressed the Virgin Mary in blue, so purity was associated with the color. Before the late 19th century, blue was a popular color for wedding gowns, as evidenced in proverbs like, "Marry in blue, lover be true."
A sixpence is a coin that was minted in Britain from 1551 to 1967. It was made of silver and worth six pennies. So this wedding tradition is definitely English, and many sources say that it began in the Victorian era. A silver sixpence in the bride's shoe represents wealth and financial security. It may date back to a Scottish custom of a groom putting a silver coin under his foot for good luck. For optimum fortune, the sixpence should be in the left shoe. These days, a dime or a copper penny is sometimes substituted, and many companies sell keepsake sixpences for weddings.

As for me, well I haven't really put my head around it just yet with everything else that needs to be arranged before the big day. But if you ask me here's my (goofy) take on this saying:
Something old - that would be me at age 39! I guess I am way over the marrying age of 18. Although I heard lately in the news that that Church or some organization want to raise it to 21. They think that at 18 years of age, couples are too young, not yet emotionally mature and don't have means to support themselves. Therefore they end up living with the parents, all cramped together in some tiny apartment. This fuels a cohabitation existence where they depend on their family to provide everything for them. Free rent, free from paying utility bills, free use of household items, even get free chow since they don't 'have' to cook and no privacy!
Hmmm good point I guess but in our Asian society, there is no thing as being completely cut off from family once we reach 18, 21 or heck even 39. This is a good thing though I'm not disputing that fact. Oh dear, I digressed let's go back to the goofy part shall we?

Something new - I figure that would be my off white formal evening gown I am masquerading as a wedding gown. It isn't a traditional sparkling white wedding gown made of heavy fabric like duchess or shantung. No veil to cover my face and no long train to step on either. I can probably count the number of beads on the bodice of the evening gown. What is important for me is that I actually have something to wear instead of showing up in a white bed sheet wrapped around my petite frame. I can't pull off the statuesque Greek goddess look ala Angelina Jolie even in my dreams!

Something borrowed - I wanted to borrow my mother's pearl set but she told me it was bad luck to wear pearls on a wedding day. Something about it being the shape of tears so I might end up crying my eyes out instead of living in marital bliss. In the leaflet listing the norms for weddings I got from the Shrine, the guests must strictly follow the required dress code.
For ladies: attire must be with sleeves and a decent length;
sheer fabrics must be sufficiently lined.
For Gentlemen: t-shirt and denim pants are not allowed
Required Dress Code for Secondary Sponsors it must be with sleeves.
For Entourage Ladies: if wearing "tube" or spaghetti strap, must put on shawl.
My sister isn't married but I intend to just borrow her dangling silver earrings. I wonder if dangling earrings are allowed. The norms didn't mention anything about earrings, dangling or otherwise.

Something blue - well blue is my motif. From the invitations, the misalette to the color of the dress of my only entourage (my dear sister who acts as my wedding coordinator, my maid of honor, my secondary sponsor - in short dakilang alalay!) If I fail to find appropriate wedding shoes, I intend to just wear my favorite blue stiletto heels I bought in Singapore over a decade ago.

This is the first time I heard of the silver six pence part. Does a silver heart shaped cage arrhae with 13 pieces of coins inside count? I don't know how I will be able to walk properly if I had a silver six pence stuck in the left foot of my blue stilletto heels pictured above!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Spreading some linky love
I was tagged by Rach to spread this link loving in 2008

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)

It’s real easy! Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!

The benefits of Viral Linking:

- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
- Increase your Google PageRank fast
- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
- Build your community
- Make new friends!

Add your blog url here …

The Strategist Notebook | Link Addiction |Ardour of the Heart | When Life Becomes a Book | The Malaysian Life | | What goes under the sun | Roshidan’s Cyber Station | Sasha says | Arts of Physics | And the legend lives | My View, My Life | A Simple Life | What Women REALLY Think | Not Much More Than This | Jayedee | Jenn | Beth | Christie | Marla | Cailin | Simone | FlipFlopMom | Katrina | Gill’s Jottings | Work of the Poet | Wakela | Modern Day Goddess | Livin With Me | Writing in Faith | Maiylah’s Snippets | Soulful Thoughts of Rachel | My Little Moments you are next . . .

I am tagging Vanessa, Denden, Leah, Girlie, Em Dy

Eye to Eye

The last time I had my eyes checked was about 4 years ago. It is about time I had my eyes refracted to get rid of my big chunky eyeglasses.

I came across this Great Discovery: Zenni Optical. Their website sells various trendy prescription glasses online. Would you believe that the stylish eyeglasses pictured above is part of the Zenni Optical $8 Rx Glasses range of eye wear? They sell at affordable prices because they market their own manufactured frames directly to the customer. And the good news is that Zenni Optical sell internationally with a flat shipping and handling rate of only US$4.95 per order for any amount of eyeglasses you purchase online. This is truly the Best thing found: Zenni Optical.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Wedding banns
Yesterday, I 'tricked' D into hearing Mass at my local parish. A church I hardly visit because its ventilation system isn't really up to par. In other words, I risk straining my wrist from fanning myself constantly non stop or else I look like a wet monkey. Eh I'm alluding to the fact that I was born in the year of the monkey not that I have actually seen a monkey sweat, mind you!

I say tricked because there was only one reason for my physical presence at that church. Well other than hearing Mass, I wanted to check out our wedding banns. I had no idea where to look for it so I got to the Church early for the noon mass. I went roaming inside to check the bulletin boards. The one near the stairs was just loaded with some religious posters. I proceeded to the right side of the main entrance but there were just some leaflets with the mass schedules. As I was about to cross to the other side, the choir started singing so I took my seat at a pew. D was a bit late given that he was caught in the sudden downpour and it takes him 2 rides to get to my part of town.

After the Mass was over, I told D I wanted to check out the other bulletin board. He was holding my hand as we were negotiating our way through the crowd. Just as we approached, he suddenly pulled me away and nodded in my direction that yes our pictures were posted on the bulletin board. But he didn't want to see it up close.
This got me to wonder: (1) if he was embarrassed about the fact that we were formally announcing our upcoming wedding in public. (2) If he was conscious that people might recognize us from our pictures on the bulletin board. (3) If he was uncomfortable about getting married. Yes I know I overanalyze everything!
Me, I wanted to go and read it for myself because I barely caught a glimpse of it as he pulled me away towards the exit. I just shrugged and didn't insist. Later on when we were cuddling in front of the TV at my place watching some volleyball match, I asked D why he reacted that way in Church.

Guess what he told me?

He isn't photogenic in any of his pictures and he didn't want people to see how ruggedly handsome he really was in person. Ha ha ha Funny, silly guy but I love him to bits! I still intend to go back to my parish and read those banns with or without Mr (Non) Photogenic.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Let's talk about the M word
A dear friend of mine sent me this article via email. She told me it may or may not apply to my relationship but thought it would serve as a good reference for the future should issues crop up. I am sure they are bound to rear its ugly head sooner or later in the marriage. I decided to post an entry about it and include my comments in italics because I always have something to say about anything and everything. It is a slow news day after I've noticed a remarkable drop in opportunities coming my way. By opportunities I mean the paying kind and not opportunities in general.

If you're engaged, you're likely busy with a plethora of logistical details - planning the wedding ceremony and reception, arranging the honeymoon, looking for a place to live. Amid all that busyness, however, take the time to talk as often as you can with your future spouse. The time you invest talking now should pay you great returns once you're married.

Here are some ways you can talk with each other to prepare yourselves well for marriage:
*** PRAY together, asking the Holy Spirit to help you begin a lifelong process of growing into unity mentally, physically, and spiritually. ***
We always hear Mass together on Sundays and if he doesn't have classes during the First Fridays of the month, he tags along. Several times D has openly mentioned to me what he specifically prays for in terms of our relationship and our marriage. He is deeply religious. I have to admit that he was the catalyst for my 'return' to hearing Mass every week.

*** ACCEPT the differences in the ways God has wired each of you, and seek to complement each other. Realize that no two people will think exactly alike, but that they can work to understand each other and build agreements that are mutually acceptable. Respect each other, and be willing to set aside your personal agendas in favor of God's will for you both as a team. ***
I always point out that we are really not compatible in many ways. He stresses that we are compatible as far as the important matters are concerned. I always support him whenever he talks about his work. He is my biggest supporter and cheers me on whenever I tend to underestimate myself.

*** TALK about money issues. Do you each have full access to information about the other's income and expenditures? Have you devised a joint budget? ***
I talked about my 2 year plan in a previous post. It was meant for us both to be more financially responsible. I am the 'kuripot' one. I always save up as much as possible which I guess is easy to do when my share of the bills in this present household is quite minimal. This is actually my biggest concern going into the marriage. With the declining dollar, the economic recession in the US affecting the global economy and the raising oil prices - I figure it is really going to be crunch time for everyone!

*** TALK about each other's family. Have you met your future in-laws and other members of your future spouse's family? Have you each shared your family histories, including both positive and negative information, and considered how that might affect your marriage? ***
Well I haven't met my future in laws and D's siblings. But D talks about them all the time. I was really surprised when D actually opened up about his family's history on our very first date. I was surprised he was very open about his past. In turn, I have shared many anecdotes about my own family with D as well as the eccentricities of my dysfunctional relatives. So he knows what he is getting himself into!

*** TALK about each other's friends. Have you met each other's closest friends? How do you expect to forge new friendships as a team with other married couples? How much time do you want to devote to friends, both separately and together? ***
My social circle is rather limited and confined to a select few friends whom I hardly see anyway. My bestest friends don't even live in this neck of the woods. I have met some of his friends. They seem decent and grounded enough so I don't anticipate any conflict with any of them. D and I are basically homebodies who rarely socialize but I understand the need to be more sociable and build new friendships along the way.

*** TALK about the talents God has given each of you. How would you like to use them to serve others, and how can your future spouse encourage you to do so? Remember that your marriage isn't just about your personal happiness; it's a vehicle through which God can work in awesome ways to bless others. ***
D has expressed several positive aspects about my talents. He is my most ardent fan. We have discussed how we intend to further enhance and hone our strengths and eliminate our weaknesses.

*** TALK about fidelity and commitment. Strive to approach your marriage out of purity, and pray for God's grace to help you do so. Don't live together before marriage; that decision erodes the love and respect God wants you to have for each other before your marriage even begins. Have you discussed how committed you are to following God and relying on His strength in your marriage? ***
Our commitment to each other is the number one factor of our relationship. We are deeply devoted to each other. He respects my person more than I ever thought it was possible. It took some time for me to truly understand this certain characteristic of D. But now I get what defines him as a person. His good moral values are his best traits.

*** TALK about sexuality. Can you both distinguish between love and lust? Do you know how your future spouse feels about his or her body, and what desires he or she has? What are some ways you can celebrate the love God has given you for each other through the wonderful gift of sex in marriage? ***
Ah well I won't elaborate on this aspect. Sex for me is a deeply personal matter which is best expressed within the confines of the bedroom or which ever room you want and not discussed for public consumption.

*** TALK about children. Do you both sense a calling to have children, and if so, how many? If you have children, how will you adjust your priorities to fully invest in them? Do you want to use birth control, and if so, what type? Will you both get a complete physical exam before marriage? ***
I have spent many hours on the phone thoroughly dissecting this topic to bits and pieces. His family have been hounding him that he should start a family right away while I have other ideas. I know I am not exactly in the position to bid my time, I am no longer a spring chicken so to speak. I like to say that making babies is the easy part, raising them is another matter. I admit we still have to talk more about this subject matter.

*** TALK about faith. Have you fully shared with your future spouse why your faith is important to you, and how you've experienced God working in your life? Where will you attend church? Will you pray together regularly? How will you support each other's spiritual growth and ministry efforts? ***
I told D the real reason why I stayed away from Church for many years. He understood and didn't judge me for it. Due to his positive influence, my spirituality has increase ten fold and I am certain it will continue to strive in the years to come.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Friday's Feast
How many times per day do you usually laugh?
Oh a whole lot of times, I don't count them I just laugh or in my case, I giggle

What do your sunglasses look like?
It resembles a RayBan. Yeah I know it is really out of style but as long as it serves its purpose, I'm game.

You win a free trip to anywhere on your continent, but you have to travel by train. Where do you go?
Oh I love train rides. I would go explore the fascinating nation of Cambodia.

Main Course
Name one thing you consider a great quality about living in your town/city.
It is centrally located. You can find good shopping areas, hospitals, close proximity to good schools and everything else in between.

If the sky could be another color, what color do you think would look best?
All the varying shades of orange!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happiness is ...(well for me anyway!)
... Finding a pair of shoes that fits my tiny feet, perfectly.

I feel like Cinderella after she got her glass slippers back from Prince Charming. Now I'm hoping I can find the perfect wedding shoes to marry my own Prince Charming so I can cross that item off my really really long list of items to buy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Toni from Wifely Steps came up with this blog carnival for foodies who are bookworms and bookworms who are foodies.

I certainly love to eat and I've been reading books since I was a toddler. I have the thick eyeglasses to prove it. I figure it is in my genes. But this isn't about my failing eyesight. Permit me to move on with the topic at hand. I chose to associate a book which made a huge impact on my life with some of my comfort food(s).

I read "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera during a certain period in my life when I was ... well let's just say not in a happy place. A phase when I was at my most pensive and reflective self. When I analyzed and questioned every single thought processes I absorbed from this cerebral novel.

The 1988 film adaptation of The Unbearable Lightness of Being didn't fare well at the box office. But the screen sizzled with the brilliant performance of very talented actors in the lead roles - Daniel Day Lewis, Lena Olin and Juliette Binoche. This hauntingly poignant novel is set in the beautiful city of Prague, the Czech Republic. In 1968 (the year I was born) the country was going through a significant political upheaval - the rise of Communism in Eastern Europe. Milan Kundera developed 3 interesting yet relatively complex characters. All of them equally flawed yet radiating with such vibrant personalities.

Tomas is a carefree Czech surgeon/doctor. His philosophical views and somewhat eccentric lifestyle can be likened to eating saltine crackers. Light fare, you can eat in different ways. You can top it with a piece of cheddar cheese for breakfast with your coffee. Or add tuna flakes with mayonnaise for snack during afternoon tea. Or slide some strawberry jam with light margarine, perfect for dessert.

Sabina, an artist/painter is Tomas's mistress. A fiery and very sensual character. Probably as hot and spicy as my curry cauliflower dish. A simple recipe (my mother taught me) which consists of onions, tomato sauce, boiled cauliflower with loads of curry powder. Sometimes, I add a pinch of paprika and crushed chili flakes for some added tongue burning sensation. I usually eat this with tortilla when I don't feel like eating rice.

Lastly Tereza, Tomas's wife comes across as a shy mousy type. She can be sweet yet she is deeply troubled and haunted by a painful past. A rather strong character in her own right. For some strange reason, I associate her with a bar of KitKat. Crunchy on the inside with the right amount of chocolate on the outside. A chocolate covered wafer bar which can fix my chocolate cravings in an instant.

My favorite sentences in the novel reads:
He suddenly recalled the famous myth from Plato's Symposium: People were hermaphrodites until God split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another. Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost.

Let us suppose that such is the case, that somewhere in the world each of us has a partner who once formed part of our body. Tomas's other part is the young woman he dreamed about. The trouble is, man does not find the other part of himself. Instead he is sent a Tereza in a bulrush basket. But what happens if he nevertheless later meets the one who was meant for him, the other part of himself? Whom is he to prefer? The woman from the bulrush basket or the woman from Plato's myth?

Heh this got you thinking, didn't it? =)

Monday, January 21, 2008

Rice Bowl
I was made aware of this website by sister dearest. It claims that for every word you get right, they donate 20 grains of rice through the United Nations to help end world hunger. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant. The fact is you use your mind by adding new words to your already limited vocabulary. So play, have fun, definitely don't cheat by peeking at the dictionary and who knows (for sure) you just might help alleviate world hunger and make this world a better place to live in.

Nope I wasn't paid by my sister nor the website to write about them.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Retail therapy
Not that I need therapy in the first place or perhaps it is just an excuse to go shopping. Lately in between submitting documents to the Church, canvassing for wedding giveaways and trying to find an affordable supplier of misalettes, I've been shopping as well.

My harvest (so far) include dangling earrings (remind me to take pictures) to add to my collection, a couple of flattering tops and a boot cut Forme jeans that doesn't accentuate my massive derriere. I have also been eating out a lot, specifically pigging out on pizza, pizza and more pizza. Gasp!

On another note, I finally got the courage to have my bushy eyebrows tamed. After my usual upper lip waxing, I asked her to shape my eyebrows. I demanded that my eyebrows still be 'hairy' and not make it pencil thin. Boy, was I in pain!
First she waxed the excess hair, then she shaved it with a blade then she went trigger happy with the tweezers and plucked away like I was some chicken being slaughtered for a meal. Major ouchie! But I didn't shed a tear. Teehee. I am still getting used to my new 'look'. No idea if she did it right. I kept asking my sister if they were aligned properly to the contour of my face. She concurs. So I have stopped pestering her. I have no choice really, I am now missing several eyebrow hairs. He he he
Coupons galore
Well what do you know? Valentine's Day is about a month away! A perfect time to wear red. Be all lovey dovey with your loved ones (this includes your family, your siblings and your special someone!) It is also a good excuse to splurge a little and give them some tokens of appreciation.

Online coupons is a convenient way to shop. You don't have to look for a parking space at the mall, line up at cash counters and get jostled left and right by rude shoppers. Make a list and head on to, a one stop coupon deal and discount resource to do all your online shopping, hassle free. You can either browse by store or by category.

I think it would be a great idea to give my mother a delightful cookbook filled with recipes with Amazon coupons. For my sister her favorite perfume from Gap coupons at a good price. I'm sure I will be able to find appropriate gifts too for the men in my life, my dad and D, my honey bunchy fiance.

Disclosure Policy

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Feast
What is your favorite beverage?
Diet Coke

Name 3 things that are on your computer desk at home or work.
A desk calendar, the accessories holder I mentioned in a previous post because I have no where else to put it and bottled mineral water

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how honest do you think you are?
I would say 9!

Main Course
If you could change the name of one city in the world, what would you rename it and why?
I won't change the name of any city because there is a history behind the name. So why tamper with it?

What stresses you out? What calms you down?
Nowadays trying to get things in order for my wedding rightfully stresses me out. While bending my fiance's ear about stressful stuff calms me down, he has that effect on me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1. Will you be looking for a new job?
Nope unless becoming a wife qualifies as a job

2. Will you be looking for a new relationship?
Definitely not

3. New house?

4. What will you do different in 2008?
Be more financially responsible

5. What will you NOT be doing in 2008?
I will TRY not to be paranoid

6. Any trips planned?
None so far

7. Wedding plans?
Haven't I made it perfectly clear for several months now?

8. Major thing on your calendar?
My wedding day!

9. What can’t you wait for?
My honeymoon! ;-)

10. What would you like to see happen differently?
Hopefully I stop being an insomniac

11. What about yourself will you be changing?
My surname and everything else that goes with the territory

12. What happened in 2007 that you didn’t think would ever happen?
I would get engaged

13. Will you be nicer to the people you care about?
I am always nice!

14. Will you dress differently this year than you did in 2007?
Not really I will still be a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal

15. Will you start or quit drinking?
I'm sticking to water, diet Coke and the occasional iced tea

16. Will you better your relationship with your family?
Gosh this question brings tears to my eyes. My relationship with my very supportive family has always been a source of strength for me

17. Will you do charity work?
Charity starts at home, right?

18. Will you go to bars?

19. Do you expect 2008 to be a good year for you?
I know for certain it will be a very good year

20. How much did you change from this time last year till now?
Go ahead read the archives of my blog, you tell me how much I've changed

21. Do you plan on having a child?
Not yet

22. Will you still be friends with the same people you are friends with now?
I hope so

23. Major lifestyle changes?
All caps for MAJOR

24. Will you be moving?
I will, yes

25. What will you make sure doesn’t happen in 2008 that happened in 2007?
I can't think of anything

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I admit the only reason I signed up with BlogCharm was to earn from blogging. I simply cross posted the movie reviews from my other blog to BlogCharm. Today after a long time I log on to their site and was shocked by this announcement. About 2 months ago my earnings reached a measly US$ 6.56. Shucks! I didn't even make it to the minimum mark. The thing is you have no way of retrieving the previous posts on your BlogCharm account. I'm lucky I still maintain the one on blogspot so I haven't lost any valuable entries. But I've lost another source of "Internet income" Oh well, c'est la vie. =)

Dear BlogCharm User,
We regret to inform you that as of January 1, 2008, the BlogCharm site will no longer continue to operate.
We appreciate and value all our users who have faithfully used our services since the site’s inception. In light of the site shut down, we would like to make sure all our users get paid for their blogging efforts under our beta program.
Payments will be made to all BlogCharm bloggers who have earned a minimum of US $10.00 and have made a request for such payments through our site. Moreover, users must have a valid and verified email address. To confirm your email address is correct, please click here.
Payment requests can be made up and until March 31, 2008. All payments will be made within two (2) weeks of request and will go directly to your PayPal account (provided you have supplied a correct email address.)
All payments will be made in accordance with our site Terms of Service.
Thanks again for enjoying our site and services! We apologize we are unable to continue under our current structure.
Please report any problems or issues at Forum

Kind regards,

Sunday, January 13, 2008

A 2 year plan
The cynical sarcastic former me never made plans even if my life depended on it. I guess you can say that I was bitterly hurt with the cards I was dealt with year after year. I was frustrated with everything from my non existent career to my zero love life. I was always striving to find inner peace of mind. A constant struggle to give my life some meaningful purpose.

But there is one thing I never gave up on - HOPE.

Clouds over White Beach, Boracay

Despite being bitter, cynical and sarcastic - I was always hopeful that things will eventually change for the better. That there is a silver lining behind the dark clouds. A rainbow after the harsh storms. A beacon of light shining through the abyss. So I made a decision and a choice to ease myself out of the rut. To be more positive. To see things at a brighter angle. To take time to smell the roses. To smile more. To stop feeling sorry for myself. To wake up each morning with a wide smile. And most of all to thank God for blessing me with everything I had. Never mind that I always felt like there was always something missing. It was time to roll up my sleeves and face each day with a renewed attitude based on positive energy and good vibes. I'm glad that it worked!

In turn I found D or he found me whichever way you see it. But hang on, I certainly won't entirely credit D for making my life all rosy right now. But he plays a big part. Hmmm let's say about 80%. =) Because I sincerely believe that in order to love someone, you have to love yourself more, a lot more. I don't mean that in a I'm so vain way, either. It has more to do with your inner self. How you feel inside, exudes and manifests itself on the outside. I like to think I have changed for the better. Now, I'm more patient. More tolerable. Less cynical. Not bitter at all. Less sarcastic. My outlook in life and my attitude towards other people has positively changed. This is a self depreciating post so indulge me a bit. I will get to my point eventually.

I got our wedding bands last Friday. I was satisfied with the craftsmanship, the design and the way it felt on my left hand. My name Daphne was beautifully scripted and etched inside D's ring with the date of our nuptials 05-15-08. The engraving glaringly said it all. I will formally be a certain Mrs F, in 4 months time!

This in turn triggered in me a knee jerk reaction that I needed to take concrete steps to ensure as humanely possible that my married life would be as happy as my single life. Of course, being only human and going by the premise that man is never satisfied, there is no guarantee that D and I will always be as happy as we are right now.

I thought it was wise to come up with a plan which is subject to compromises, negotiations and sacrifices. Since I have a short attention span, the best I could theoretically come up with is a 2 year plan. This includes the rest of this year, 2008 and the whole of 2009. Hmmm maybe I should call it the 1 year and a half plan? I cannot guarantee nor do I want to say it is fool proof and that it will definitely work. But subsisting on an auto pilot course till now I guess I should be credited for at least coming up with a plan in the first place, right? Yes I'm being boastful. =)

I won't reveal what this plan specifically entails. Hopefully I can stick to it. But at the same time I know I won't feel frustrated if it doesn't unfold as expected. After all in the immortal words of the great John Lennon - "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Credit Card Payment Solutions
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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Accessories holder
The first time I saw the contraption below. I laughed. I mocked this funny looking item. It was the token/giveaway from a wedding. My sister's friend from UST got married last November.

Now as you can see from the picture, it has taken prominent space on my computer table. I now hang my dangling earrings on it. Giving me easier access to them which used to be scattered all over my closet.

Speaking of wedding giveaways, I still have no idea what to give the very few guests who will bless the occasion with their charming presence. Every time I ask D for suggestions, he shrugs and goes into his 'ikaw ang bahala' mode! Hmmm that certainly doesn't help one bit - leave some major decision making tasks to me the most indecisive person on this planet. Heh! =)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Raura, who???
Hopefully you guys are not yet tired of reading about my little adventures as I race at full speed into bureaucratic hell, red tape and all sorts of stress inducing headaches preparing for my wedding.

Here's one lil adventure I'm sure will give you an headache similar to the one I experienced yesterday.

Last Sunday, my parents (bless them for being so supportive and helpful) went to some church (which shall remain nameless) in Marikina to get a certified true copy of my baptismal certificate which clearly states for marriage purpose only. I was at D's place tinkering with stuff when they texted me that they already got the aforementioned document. Anyways, I got home to check the document and to my surprise discovered they had misspelled my second name.

Instead of DAPHNE LAURA ... it was DAPHNE RAURA!

I figure it was a typographical error on the clerk's part and didn't go blaming my parents for not checking the document at hand before they left that still to be nameless church in Marikina. Most churches are closed well their offices are on Mondays. So yesterday, I decided to tag along with my parents since I wanted to see for myself the church where I was baptised on the 29th day of December 1968. And of course ask they re-issue the document with the proper spelling of LAURA.

We get there early at around 10 AM (yes for me that's early so shut up already!). I ask the (same) lady at the desk to kindly rectify the problem, I was even willing to pay again for the new document.

Well well what do you know?

It turns out that in their log book dated 1968 - my name is written as DAPHNE RAURA! What??? Duh??? How can that be? I showed them the original baptismal certificate in my possession. This diploma like document yellow with age which even has my tiny footprint embedded. This document has my name beautifully scripted as Daphne Laura. So how on earth can it be that in their log book my name is misspelled??? The lady politely tells me that unfortunately someone almost 40 years ago wrote Raura instead of Laura.

The proper procedure (such bureaucratic nonsense) would be for me to get the Bishop of Antipolo (the diocese which covers the Marikina area) to sign an affidavit stating that my name be corrected to Laura from Raura in their log book. I have to submit my birth certificate with the affidavit then return to that still to be nameless church in Marikina. Only then would I be re-issued the document for marriage purposes. Ugh!

Are you still following this? Believe me, it gets more convoluted as it goes on. So put on your thinking cap and eyeglasses or go read another blog if you are no longer interested in my lil adventure. :D

Pay attention now. You see on my birth certificate my name simply states DAPHNE. On my original baptismal certificate, my mother needed to add an extra name because according to the priest back then Daphne wasn't a "holy" name. So they checked the calendar and discover that Saint Laura was the patron saint for October 19 so voila - I was thus baptised as DAPHNE LAURA.

So imagine the huge horrible bureaucratic mess that would create for me. I go to Antipolo to show them two conflicting documents. One with only DAPHNE and the other one with DAPHNE LAURA. I kept trying to explain that it wasn't MY FAULT at all that 40 years ago some sorry fellow couldn't spell and mistyped my second name as RAURA. It came to a point where I simply stopped trying to explain because I was getting hoarse.

My father (the one person I can rely on to deal with bureaucratic hell, he can out talk anyone!) demanded to talk with the parish priest of the still to be nameless church and plea our case. But according to the lady at the office, he was still ASLEEP! So if we wanted to talk to him, we would have to either come back after lunch or simply wait. We decided to wait. No way were we going to drive all the way to Antipolo for some silly mistake committed 40 years ago.

20 minutes later she suddenly developed some backbone and took the initiative to correct the mistake. She calls the diocese of Antipolo herself and after talking to whoever was there, she came to an agreeable settlement of my case. She attached my original baptismal certificate (the one with my correct name and tiny footprint) to the log book where my misspelled name is registered and attached some note I couldn't read from where I was standing. She gave me photocopies of my original baptismal certificate, sat down and typed DAPHNE LAURA to the certified true copy of my baptismal certificate for marriage purpose. We left quite relieved that everything was sorted out without the still sleeping parish priest intervening nor the need to go all the way to Antipolo. She didn't even let me pay for the new document.

Now my only wish is that I WON'T encounter anymore problems with my second name. I have visions of trying to explain to the parish priest of the church where I will get married that Daphne and Daphne Laura is just one person. It would be so horrible if some stupid technicality - having different names on two different documents - would prevent me from getting married on May 15, 2008!

Ay grabe! I hope there won't be any more snag or else I swear I would gladly skip the whole wedding ceremony in a heartbeat and live in sin forever without the blessings of the Church to bind my marital union. I just want to be Mrs F already, is that too much to ask for? =)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Place your bets
I recently discovered that D likes to play games online, specifically online poker. So I'm sure he will appreciate the Pro360 online casino review website. Their comprehensive list shows the different online casinos available on the web with detailed information. They make it so much easier for the player. He can pick the best online casino suited for his needs. There are detailed reviews based on several factors like game experience, trust score and bonuses offered. The various online casinos like Europa Casino, Las Vegas Casino, Casino Royal Vegas to mention a few are given ratings by players and editors alike. So before you place your bets and play online poker, slots, craps or even roulette, take the time to read the reviews first. It pays to be informed what each online casino has to offer. Then you can simply concentrate on having loads of fun cashing in your winnings!

Monday, January 07, 2008

It was King Edward VI of England that designated the third finger of the left hand as the ring finger. Then in the year 1549, the Book of Common Prayer designated the left hand as the "marriage" hand, a tradition that is still recognized worldwide.

After making two trips to the Binondo area, doing the rounds of several jewelry shops at Glorietta, Greenhills, Galleria (notice how they all start with the letter G!) - we end up finding our preferred design of 14K white gold wedding bands at a jewelry shop in Megamall. A mall located a few blocks from my residence. We first saw the rings after we heard first Friday mass at the chapel on the 5th floor of the mall. As fate would have it, the shop had the right size of the rings for both my and D's fingers! But we wanted to mull things over and assess the situation first before making the worthy purchase.

Yesterday, while we were at D's place, tinkering with Corel Draw trying to come up with a suitable front cover design for the misalette. D suddenly told me "hey how about we buy those wedding rings, already? It seems like it was custom made for us" I wholeheartedly agreed! Then we started joking around about the names we will have engraved inside the ring. The different goofy and sometimes silly terms of endearment we use to address each other. Despite our supposedly mature age, we still act like giddy teenagers in love.

Anyway, after the 6pm Sunday mass at the Edsa Shrine, we proceeded to the jewelry shop at Megamall. Even though we had to pay P30 for each letter/number for the engraving, the total cost of our wedding bands was still within our (limited) budget!

Yay! We now officially have our wedding bands which will be ready sometime on Thursday.

Happy ... happy ... happy I am! =)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Well I'm referring to packing up the Christmas decors not me packing up my tons of junk stuff to move into our conjugal home. Truth be told, we or rather D has not found a new place yet for us. He keeps saying it is still early while I think we should have a place before the month of April so I will know what needs to be bought, which items to move and I can familiarize myself with the surroundings, etc etc. But anyways I won't get into the nitty gritty details, there is just too much to think about relocation wise, I sometimes wonder if it is worth moving at all!

The main topic of this post is about me packing up the decors into storage. I am the main person in charge of putting them up in this place. And what goes up must go down eventually, right? When my mother asked when would I do it (her way of hinting I should do it soon instead of point blank telling me to do it - yes I can read her like a book!) I jokingly told her "It isn't coming down it will be on till May for my wedding" followed by loud giggles and crackles of laughter!

But I woke up this morning and realized that I had some free time so what the heck, I might as well bring it down in case I get attacked by the lazy bug and leave it on until the advent of Christmas 2008. It further made me realize that Christmas 2008 will be spent in a new place (whatever that might be!) with probably new Christmas decors and in the company of my beloved D, my soon to be hubby! So yes that was motivation enough to untangle the lights snaking around the tiny tree, unhook the wreath dangling from the stairs, store the nativity set into its box and stuff the bright flowers into plastic bags and forcibly push all of them into the cabinet!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My (pleasant) NSO experience
Due to our ehem advanced age, one of the documents (among a dozen of them!) required to be submitted to the Church and the City Hall (to get a marriage license) is the CENOMAR. A certificate of no marriage which states that neither of the contracting parties involved has been previously married. The said document has to be issued for both the bride and the groom and the releasing agency is the National Statistics Office in East Avenue, Q.C. Naturally, I firmly trusted D when he told me while we were still dating that he has never been married but apparently just saying it out loud to anyone who cares to listen doesn't count. It has to be validated and authenticated by the NSO.

So D and I agreed to meet at the NSO at 8 AM sharp this morning to get an early start. Truth be told, I expected total mayhem and confusion as is to be expected from most government agencies. Thankfully it was a rather pleasantly cool day so I wasn't sweating like a pig although I was fully prepared for it by wearing a loose t-shirt and I brought along two huge hankies.
We go to the processing area, got our CENOMAR forms from some guy at a small table. We filled it up, got our numbers and waited patiently to be heralded to the screener's table whose only task is to check whether the form is filled up accurately. Then we queued at the payment counter. It took us only 45 minutes. 45 minutes which I didn't mind at all because I am by nature a very patient person. But really it was rather painless.

It was for me an enjoyable experience because it meant that I got to spend the day with D running all sorts of errands. First, we applied for CENOMARs at the NSO in East Avenue. Second we applied for a certified true copy of D's baptismal and confirmation certificates at the San Rafael Church in Pasay City. Lastly we ended the day at Escolta, Binondo and Santa Cruz in the hopes of buying wedding bands only to come home empty handed because of my indecision! I had a difficult time picking a ring. You know the one which calls out to me with the words - "Pick me, choose me! I will look good on D's finger without drawing too much attention from certain bad elements of society!" =)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The 2nd day of 2008
The moment 2008 set in, my frame of mind immediately shifted to bride mode. Resting on my laurels so I could enjoy the Yuletide season made me too complacent, that I immediately sprang into action to get the ball rolling towards my date with the altar.
I am happy to announce that I now officially have a wedding gown! Happiness =) Let me backtrack a bit. Remember a previous entry where I posted a picture of the gown I wanted? Well I dragged my sister to accompany me to the designer's showroom somewhere in Pasig City so I could have a look see at his designs. I really loved that gown so I had myself measured. I told the designer to add some flimsy sleeves because the Church has a very strict dress code - no spaghetti straps, sleeveless dresses allowed for the female guests and I figure that includes the bride, me! I ordered it made in off white chiffon fabric. All that for only P500 added cost to the actual price of the gown! Great deal, indeed. Phew I can't tell you how totally relieved I was that finally I have something to wear so I won't show up dressed in a white bed sheet!