Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An introduction

Hi, my name is Harriet Potter. I will be turning 5, this October. The same month that my mistress was born. But hey she is really way older than me. I was given this monicker by the owner of this blog for various reasons.

First, it is the female equivalent of the central character of J.K. Rowling's hugely popular books. The series of books which my owner didn't read but she still viewed all of the movies.

Second, the books speaks of amazing wizardry and everything magical. In that aspect, I am also magical because I perform tricks. Tricks which she thinks aren't funny. I actually annoy the heck out of her, sometimes. But I'm still loved so go figure who is the tricky one in this symbiotic situation.

Third, I was baptized a female as I'm prone to tantrums and I'm as fickle minded as a hot tempered member of the fairer sex. Sometimes, I do as directed. Other times, I go all blue screen on her. Most times, I am like a light bulb. I switch on then I switch off consecutively for several minutes. Naturally all these weird behavior drives my owner batty mad.

Poor girl is under so much stress. Several factors seem to all line up and combine to give her sleepless nights. I don't help by being such a difficult gadget to operate. But hey once, I'm on (after several attempts to warm me up) I function and perform really well. What can I say? I'm not a morning person just like my owner so it's natural I am very cranky at 8 in the morning.

I better get my act together, real soon. I've heard her talking about replacing me with a top of the line laptop. She is planning to get herself one for her birthday, this year. Good thing she is still very broke and has a long way to go before she can achieve that plan. Hmmm but she just might have enough saved by Christmas. Oh huh, now I'm in trouble!

In case you haven't guessed correctly ... I'm Harriet Potter, her HP desktop computer. I know she loves me, she just has a funny way of showing it. Mea culpa, I don't blame her, at all. :D

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fried Rice

One of the items I always order when we travel to distant shores is fried rice. It is a complete meal. It contains carbs (rice), protein (pork), vegetables (green peas), seafood (shrimps) and dairy (scrambled eggs). So it fills you up to last an entire day as you explore new sights.

I've eaten my fair share of fried rice during all of my travels but my absolute favorite fried rice is nasi goreng from Indonesia. In the early 1990s, my sister and I vacationed in Bintan. It is a small Indonesian island that is easily accessible from Singapore by a ferry. If I remember correctly, it was a quick 30 minute ride. We were billeted in this beach front resort and that's where I first tasted Nasi Goreng.

This Malay dish consists of rice that is mixed with an orange colored paste that is both spicy and salty. It is combined with prawns, chicken and usually has a sunny side up egg on top. It is served with chicken/beef satay and kropek. Please take note that Nasi Goreng is quite spicy. So make sure, you can handle its hot spicy flavor. I usually tell the waiter to make my order 'mild'. Fortunately, they usually oblige my request.

I remember we stayed in Bintan for 5 days and I ordered nasi goreng for every meal. I was that hooked. My sister would tell me to order something else but I didn't budge. The room service staff must have thought I was some crazy person who couldn't get enough of this Indonesian delight. Coincidentally, 'Nasi' means rice and 'Goreng' means fried in Bahasa Indonesia.

Nowadays, it is my usual dish to order when we eat in restaurants that serve Asian cuisine. But bar none, that Nasi Goreng in Bintan was the most delicious I've ever had!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

R & R

So I took some time off from everything that was pulling me down. I spent a couple of days at my condo unit. I ate everything I wasn't allowed to eat. If you would dissect my bloated tummy, you'd find junk food, pork products (ham, bacon, Tocino) and diet sodas. I stayed up way past my bed time (11PM). I slept in and woke up at 10:30AM. I managed to survive without the Internet.

I finally went and watched "The Amazing Spider-Man". As I sat in the nearly empty dark theater I realized the irony. The 3rd installment of the previous Spiderman (with Tobey Maguire) was the movie we watched on our very first date. So it was bitter sweet that I was watching the reboot by my lonesome self. But there is such a term as 'irreconcilable differences' and now I fully understand what it fully entails. But let's move on and not dwell on spilled milk, so to speak.

So for 2 days I did everything I wanted to do sans restrictions. It felt good. It was liberating. I am now refreshed. Now I'm back at the so called 'scene of the crime' but I am determined to let painful wounds heal in due time. In the meantime, I'll try to apply this saying to my daily existence:

Overthinking ruins you. Ruins the situation. Twists things around. Makes you worry. And just makes everything much worse than it actually is.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Quote, unquote

This past week, I learned that although we have been married for four years there are still certain things I discover about my hubby. It is a mixed blend of good habits and bad behavioral patterns. Some I discover by chance, others by accident.

Mostly I'm surprised, other times I'm disappointed. A gamut of mixed emotions flood me all at once when they are revealed, especially when I least expect them. I won't get into the intimate details but suffice it to say, I don't handle surprises well. In fact I don't like getting surprised, period.

My initial reactions tend to vary. I retreat to avoid verbal confrontation. I clam up and cry myself dry. I give him the silent treatment. I've known to do that for as long as I still feel the pain in my bleeding heart. Whenever he enters a room I'm in, I rush downstairs or vice versa.

More often than not, I feel it is my fault. That somehow I brought it upon myself. Then self doubt slowly creeps in. I lose my appetite. I just feel totally dejected with everything and everyone. It isn't pleasant but that's how I deal with rejection.

Then after days of self neglect and self pity woes, along with prolonged silent treatment, I slowly get my senses back and take off my drama queen hat. I have to make an effort to mend our differences because it is just the two of us in this apartment, and I have no one to talk to. Talking to myself is not an option.

Communication is a vital tool in any relationship. Once that goes out of the window, you might as well sign the annulment papers. Ooops perhaps that's too drastic. I have a tendency to over analyze everything that happens, either good or bad. I should learn to be less uptight but I believe for every act that occurs, there must be a valid reason for it. So you better defend that act with the fierce argument of a criminal lawyer or you don't deserve a second chance.

"The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest."
I admit that D is the bravest. Unfortunately, I'm not strong because it takes me a long time to forgive and I NEVER ever forget!

I conclude with another quotation:

"When you know something bad happens for the better, you find happiness in your pain"
. But my question is: What if it still hurts so much, you cannot find anything happy about it? What would you do?

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I've always been conscientious when it comes to using my one and only credit card. As much as possible, I use cash to pay for bills, grocery items and when we dine at restaurants.

But when it comes to larger amount like air fares, accommodations, electronic appliances and gadgets, I use my credit card so I can pay it on an installment basis. I also use it to accumulate reward points so I can claim gift certificates. Sometimes, there are freebies and special promos at restaurants when a patron is a credit card holder.

But I get quite a shock to my system once I receive the bill and see the exorbitant amount due along with the finance charges. I've researched online to find any credit card tips which can help me better understand the various 'hidden' charges added to the purchases. They are quite useful and informative! We should all learn to spend wisely and be financially sound.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Think before you click

In this modern age where everything is instant, from coffee, cash to pictures, you'd think that people would have the decency to think twice before they act.

I'm talking about posting pictures on the world wide web. Websites like Flickr, Photobucket, Twitter and Facebook are uploaded with millions of pictures, daily. I have nothing against this activity, I am guilty of doing my share of uploading as well. It is convenient to store our digital pictures on a website where we know we can access them, if and when our gadgets suddenly go bonkers.

I was prompted to write this post after D told me that a co-worker was admonished for posting his indecent picture on his FB page. Well, he wasn't naked but he was wearing really short shorts or probably trunks. I don't know I didn't see the offending photograph.

I mean it is something else if you are at the beach or some summer getaway with friends. But a studio shot where you advertise your less than perfect body for the whole student populace to feast their eyes on is NOT a responsible thing to do. It reeks of bad taste, poor judgment and ugly behavior.

Having said that, I also find it quite repulsive when women of a certain age, openly flaunt their cellulite infested thighs in short shorts and/or mini skirts. They think it is cool and makes them look 'sexy' but hey come on, 'camel toe' and oxygen constricting tight tops that highlight your wiggly parts are not pleasant to view, period. I'd say 'please act your age and dress appropriately'. Or just edit it out of the album and don't include it for the whole wide world to see.

I was raised to maintain proper decorum, at all times. Being in the Foreign Service, my dad was very strict about protocol and stuff. This also trickled down to what we wore, how we behaved and how we interacted in social settings. Therefore, I have always been extremely conscious about my attire. Color coordinated, shoes matching bags, hair neatly out of the face, minimal make up, no loud accessories. Rule was clear: Keep it neat and simple, always.

It was difficult, really. But it trained me well, if I may say so myself. So after we got home for good, I went through a period where I was able to explore more trendy less conservative options for my wardrobe. It was liberating but I was still very conscious about the minutiae details.

So I doubt, I would ever be caught posting an indecent picture. Besides, I married a censor! He takes it upon himself to 'berate' me when he feels I am not appropriately dressed. It seems that D has taken over my father's duties. What is that they say that a girl would want to end up with someone just like her father?. I guess I did good by that adage, ha!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pass the Word

The idea for this post entered my mind while I was watching "The Vow" starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum. In that film which was based on real life events, Paige suffers from selective amnesia after a horrific vehicular accident.

She was unable to remember the married part of her life so basically her husband of 2 years was a complete stranger. As I watched that segment, a particular thought struck my mind. What if that happened to me (*knocks on wood*), how would I be able to continue my online activities if I don't recall any of my passwords?

Yes I know it sounds pretty trivial and come to think of it, quite funny. Of all the things I could forget, my inability to recall my passwords was the most troubling for me. A huge part of my day is spent online. I use the Internet for work, entertainment and everything else in between.

In order to avoid such a terrible scenario, I took out my notebook to list down all the vital URLs I access on a daily basis along with their respective passwords. After I had filled out almost 3 whole pages, I felt much better.

While I was at it, I also listed down all the important telephone/cellphone numbers on a piece of paper and 'pasted' it on the ref. The other day, my cellphone battery conked out just as I was about to call D to run an errand for me. To my utter dismay, I realized I didn't know his cellphone number by heart. Ergo, now I just need to reference the fridge for his number.

I suggest you all do the same because nowadays we tend to become overtly dependent on our electronic gadgets to function well.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Bathroom Mirror

A short but very meaningful video. I Love it!

Sunday, July 08, 2012


"You've got Mail" was shown last night on Channel 19 (Second Avenue), it brought back so much memories. During my hedonistic days, I too had several online correspondences with the male species. Sometimes, I had several going on at the same time.

Well hey don't get me wrong. Most of them were platonic. The healthy exchange of ideas, opinions and observations through emails. I met a few of them for real and we've remained friends through FB. While others remained merely online since we were on different continents and time zones.

Ok so I'd have to admit, a few veered towards the romantic path. But we all know these online "romances" don't succeed for real. Several factors deterred our relationship so it was better to nip them in the bud before things got too complicated.

Strangely enough, these 'romantic' correspondence fizzled away faster than I could read the words 'You've got mail'. To this day, I still wonder what happened to them. I've searched on FB. Nothing. I've even googled but with negative results. It appears like they have vanished into thin air.

I know I sound like a stalker but hear me out. These 'relationships' started through the exchange of lengthy emails discussing common interests like movies and current events. Somewhere along the way, it progressed into emotions, and feelings. Then a time and a meeting place is set. But unlike Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks with their happy ending, they turn into an eerie episode of Twilight Zone. The creepy psychological TV series not the Bella and Edward variety. Thankfully, no vampires were ever involved.

I still have the emails all neatly stacked in chronological order in my inbox. I liked how my mind worked back then. I could compose really long emails with good grammar, accentuated with punctuation marks and correct spelling without the use of the spell checker. Ok, this paragraph just made me sound like a clinger. But I'm a sentimentalist, so sue me!

Maybe it is about time I deleted those emails. After all, I'm now happily married. Coincidentally, I ended up with someone I met online so I guess I got my happy ending after all, right?

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Roses are red ... Violets are blue

After 3 days of torrential rain, flash floods and gloomy skies, the sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds.

This also means balmy, humid weather with streaks of sunshine peeking one moment, then a few minutes later, a heavy downpour rattles the rooftops.

So one instant, I'm wearing leggings because my knees get cold (yes visible sign of old age creeping in!). The next instant, I start to sweat so off with the leggings, in with the shorts.

My oh my, the weather is quite fickle minded just like a woman and her numerous moods!

On days like these, I channel positive thoughts. Lately, visions of the City of Pines with its cool climate, lush greenery and foliage come to mind.

It helps alleviate my weary mind!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


I was quite young when I got exposed to the wonderful world of books. Our parents gave us books as gifts instead of toys and/or dolls which would only gather dust after we got tired of playing with them.

As kids in a Catholic prep school, English was the medium of instruction so our spoken tongue was the Queen's language. My sister and I excelled in English so we would win most of the spelling bee contests in our school. Our prizes were books of all shapes and sizes.

As the years went by, my eyesight deteriorated so I got saddled with wearing thick eyeglasses. Not a very fabulous look to sport back then or even now for that matter. But luckily, we lived in Europe where people basically don't give a hoot what you look like and minded their own business.

French became our spoken tongue in the mid 1970s till early 1980s. Being the nerdy type, we also excelled in the language of Marie Antoinette. We spoke, read and even dreamed en Francais. But our passion for reading still prevailed and I remember raiding the WH Smith bookstores to add to our collection of Nancy Drew mystery books. Being in my tween years, I got hooked on young adult 'literature' like "Nancy Drew", "The Hardy Boys" and the "Sweet Dreams" books.

During my High School and University days, my interest in books waned as I concentrated on my studies. Thick text books were the norm as I desperately tried to memorize them for oral recitation in class. Being a meticulous student in class was the only way I knew how to shine and boost my self esteem, given that I was mostly ridiculed for my nerdy looks.

After I graduated I made an effort to improve my looks as well as widen my horizon vis a vis my reading. I developed an obsession with books which narrated about other cultures. Stories set in exotic locales like Turkey, Afghanistan, Israel and Iran would wind up in my book shelf. I noticed that I was too sarcastic to enjoy chick lit which would be laden with romance and happy endings, too unrealistically corny for my taste.

Now that I am in my 40s, I've mellowed so to speak but I would still avoid chick lit, mind you. There was a phase when I read books which were turned into movies like "The Lovely Bones", "My Sister's Keeper" and "The Time Traveler's Wife". I was curious to find out more details behind the characters in the film.

As I glance at my book shelf, I see that spy thrillers with heavy emphasis on industrial espionage and top level corruption are holding fort. I figure the best way to break the routine of my monotonous life, is to get lost within the pages of a well written novel. Most of the time, it works. Other times, I fall asleep but not due to the boring story but from fatigue.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Kiss the Rain

I love rainy days (and mondays, too!) Simply because it clears off the dusty air of pollutants. It also considerably lowers the temperatures. And hey any day, I don't sweat is perfect weather for me.

One of my favorite scents is that smell when it first starts to rain and the concrete pavement gets wet. Or in the vernacular, 'alimuom'. The water cools down the heat of the ground so it evaporates into vapor form emitting this certain smell. Yes, I know I'm strange and quirky!

I get visions of a parched earth being watered by the rain pouring down from the skies to relieve its mighty thirst. Or an open field filled with flowers that start to bloom once they are blessed with raindrops.

This smell conveys happy and positive thoughts in my weary mind. Until it won't stop pouring and floods accrues. Then I am suddenly shaken back to reality. Oh such fleeting joy!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Creepy crawlies

Cockroaches scare me like nothing else, well aside from my phobia of dogs! But the thing with a four legged creature is I can avoid them when I see one on the street. But these pesky bugs are a different matter, all together. They crawl. They run. They are filthy. They are pests. Heck, they even fly!

Although when I see tiny ones I have no qualms stepping on them to quash their existence but once they reach a certain size, I flay and run off like my shorts are on fire.

When I still resided in the condo, my sister and I would scream our lungs off whenever we saw them. We would be paralyzed with fear. My sister is worse because although she fears them, she doesn't make any effort to kill them. After huffing, puffing and panting I would muster enough courage to reach for the insect repellant, then spray all over until the whole unit would reek with toxic fumes. Then we run off upstairs. Luckily for us, our condo is a loft so we can always escape to the upper floor.

When I got married, my first encounter with the bug was comical. I was watching TV downstairs when I saw it with my peripheral vision. I put my feet up on the chair and shrieked. D rushes down astonished by my reaction. I kept pointing at it, shrieking until I was hoarse. I told D to grab the repellant and empty its contents on the bug(ger).

And what does D do? He waits for the opportune moment, then he kicks it with his left foot and it passes through under the main door! I was sweating profusely, hoarse and still panicked, I instantly reach for the repellant and sprayed the door. You know just in case the cockroach was still alive and decides to return to terrorize me, again.

D kept laughing but I didn't think it was funny, at all. I was petrified. Nowadays, whenever I see it lurking around, I rush upstairs screaming at D to 'take care' of it. I have never seen D visibly step on one, he prefers to kick it out. I have my doubts whether it is dead so I follow up with the spraying of the insect repellant. Just in case. Just to assuage my fears.

I have tried to keep this house, bugs free yet they still persist. Well they have been in existence since the ages of dinosaurs but unfortunately they didn't go the extinct route like those 'saures'. Every time it rains and our street gets flooded, all those pesky bugs make their way into our apartment. Truly disgusting, really!

Note: I may have posted about this fear of mine in a previous post so excuse me if I am repetitive. I am getting old and my memory is fading. Probably due to all those toxic fumes from the insect repellants.

Who knows?