Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Toph luck

Ugh.  I was so looking forward to seeing all the cartoon characters portrayed in The Last Airbender movie in July.  But apparently, they're following the books to the dot.  So Toph --that wonderfully cranky, ultimately feisty earthbender-- will make her debut in the second movie come 2012.  And I was so looking forward to seeing her. :(
Oh well.  At least we know the producers have everything planned.  I just hope they find the best tiny, cute, quirky, creepy actress to play her.  So far, I'm loving the whole cast of The Last Airbender 1.  The people behind this epic movie know what they're doing.  I just hope this ideal casting call can act as good as they look.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Too Much Tech

So near and yet so far. That's how I feel about this program called Tech4Kids. It's the ideal program for Miro --robotics to the hilt. Kids don't just design and assemble their robots. They program their robots to follow orders ...and MOVE! Now THAT is ROBOTICS in its MOST righteous form! How can it not be? Tech4Kids is the sole distributor of Lego Mindstorm --the toys that Dexter and Jimmy Neutron might actually play with!
The program comes at a reasonable price, too.
Just one setback though. Kids MUST bring their own laptops to the sessions, for individual robot programming. WTH! I only have one macbook and it stores all my work files, my children's photo albums from since they were babies. I can't just let my son take a valuable box of memories to class! Guess Tech4Kids assumed that all 8-year old kids have their own laptops nowadays. Geez. Am I just so friggin out of it?!!
The bright side: the program runs year-long. So when...IF!...Miro gets his own laptop in the not so near future, yeah, we'll make him a Tech4Kids kid.

The Real Avatar is coming...

Remember the time I got so pissed when I found out that the movie Avatar had nothing to do with Nickelodeon's Legend of Aang?  Well now, vengeance is mine!  The Last Airbender is finally making it into theaters this year.  
The sad thing is that the movie didn't use 'Avatar' in its title anymore.  Guess the blue men beat them to the rights or something.  I can only imagine the frustration the producers must have gone through during titling stage.  After all, the word 'Avatar' is originally owned by Nickelodeon's The Last Airbender.
Anyway, I'm sure The Last Airbender will rake in more than enough dough to pay for their frustration.   I mean, I will definitely watch this to pay for my Avatar disappointment.  In fact, my socks are pathetically more rocked off about this than my kids'.  I'm just so pumped to prove what a better movie the original Avatar will be than a movie about oversized Smurf wannabes.

*my apologies to the Avatar fanatics.  I purposely didn't watch your beloved movie.  I just don't go for title knock-offs.  Peace?

How To Train Your 3D

This is pretty embarrassing to admit...but yesterday was the family's first time to watch a movie in 3D. *cringes from the social bashing*  
Ok, it's not as embarrassing for my 6 and 8-year old boys.  But for me and my husband, that's pretty telling of how backwards our lifestyles can be.  We're just stubborn old wet blankets who believe 3D movies are nothing more than a waste of good-earned cash.  I mean, you still get the story on a 2D, right?
Well...last night's movie proved us sooo wrong!
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON MUST BE WATCHED IN 3D!  There's just no other way!  The flight sequences are just so much better when you feel like the dragons are actually lunging at you, teeth-bared and fire-a-kindled.  It's such a fulfilling feeling to see my boys screaming and jumping out of their seats.  Kenji literally ran to the back of the theater at one point, screaming, "Aaah!  The dragon's gonna eat me!".  Now that's a golden 3D experience if I ever see one.
Jing and I promised that this will be our first and last 3D movie.  Simply because we came home poorer than we already are.  You do what you must for your kids, I always say.  But one sacrifice is good enough.  At least, in the future,  we can all live to say, "Oh yeah, we've seen a freakin awesome 3D movie." --and feel a little less left behind.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Yes, it IS rocket science!

Miro, my young mad scientist, has challenged me to the hilt with his summer science program needs. It's not easy.  But there are actually tiny nuggets of good summer programs with a scientific/technological theme to them.  Not much.  Maybe a pocketful.  But they're there if you look hard enough.  And that I did!

I found the 5-day Mad Science Red Hot Robotics program, right?  I would've gone with it, but practicality nudged me on the noggin.  Really, P4500 for 5 days?  Hardly worth it.  10 hours is hardly even a camp!
So I went with art, since Miro said he liked art anyway.  I planned to close the deal with Powerbooks AIR (Artists in Residence) for giving me 8 sessions for P3500.  

But this was half-hearted.  Miro already did an art program last summer.  I just didn't think this would be anything special for him.  Plus, it runs for only a month.  So that would mean I'll have to look for another program to fill his May.  Ugh.
So I decided to look again and found the Nido Science Discovery Center Summer Program teaser.  I say teaser because they don't have a clear schedule yet.  But they already flagged their itinerary and it's mighty impressive:  Robotics, Planets, Vortex, simple experiments and more!

They didn't have the price list either --which sort of just gave me false hope.
A little down now, I simply went about surfing aimlessly.
Then...voila!  I chanced upon Gakken Science Experiment Classroom!  10 sessions of a plethora of hands-on experiments, children-initiated experiments, discussions and debates (and you know Miro loves debates!), take-home science kits, and a mothafuckin' Science Fair cum Recognition Day on the 11th day! --all for a handsome P4500 price tag.  So it doesn't have robotics.  But with 25 experiments, I bet Miro will be happily busy enough.

Can you tell I'm reeling from the buzz of inane excitement again?  I've already registered Kenji to the Alaska Football Power Camp.  Next step:  Miro's Gakken Science Camp.  

Whew!  Summer is rocket science to me!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Boy Differences and Summer Challenges

Summer programs remain to be the bane of my existence.  Specially now that my boys are exhibiting their vast differences.  It wasn't like before when I can just dump both of them in some workshop and that's that.
Now, Kenji wants the active activities.  He's gunning for either the Alaska Football Power Camp or maybe football and basketball with Milo Sports Clinic.  Better if I could afford half football/half basketball though.  Miro, on the other hand, is rooting for creativity.  I've got the ultra expensive Mad Science Robotics program for him and looking at the Powerbooks Art Exhibit, too.  We might just end up putting him in the art exhibit since it's cheaper and near.  But again, if I could, I'd give him both.  The problem with Kenji's programs is that they're all far from our city --all of them requiring playing fields that our city has none of.  Either way, there will be a whole lot of shelling out.  I do everything for my kids so I might just give in to their whim.  Getting money by hook or by crook in the process.  But the options are just so many.  The obstacles even more.  My budgeting and organizing skills are again tested to the hilt.  I'm not complaining.  I love the challenge.  It would just be easier with easy-cash though.


Remember how I got completely obsessed with this barong tagalog with the cute Spongebob design for Kenji's Graduation Day?  The one with the irreverence that simply spoke to me?

Well, since I'm a complete cheapskate and because I plead personal creativity, I decided to do it myself --as if I haven't learned from my last disaster that was my DIY Kenji's birthday cupcakes.

I went through bouts of grief and sleeplessness soon after that.  I researched on barong tagalog fabrics and on the proper ink or paint that would adhere to it.  It was tough since none of the pro barong handpainters would spill their secrets online.  I was considering iron-on prints, acrylic paint, fabric paint, stick-on tattoos, even Pentel markers.
Come D-Day, Jing came home with an embroidered barong tagalog that freaked me out, to say the least.  I said we needed a the plainest barong tagalog!  When you're doing art, you don't use a used canvas!
Jing, forever patient with my stubborness, told me that there was no such thing as a plain, empty barong.  And that I can still add Spongebob to the design.  And I did!

With frakken' embrodery!  Embroidery was on the canvas already.  Adding a different medium will just cheapen the look.
But really, the last time I embroidered was in 6th grade Home Ec --so it's a dream that I actually managed to pull this off.

After 5 hours of sewing, fouling up, and resewing (and not sleeping a wink), the result was a classier version of the online Spongebarong I have been excessively preoccupied with the past few days.

People ate it up!  Even the prudes at school thought Kenji's barong tagalog was unique and clever.  And I beamed like a beacon.

Personally, I think it rocked.  Rocked even  better than the inspiration, I might add.  And for only P200.
Job well done and sleep well deserved.   God, my obsession for the inane is insane!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tame Thy Tantrum

So one day I was having my usual beat-down battle with the stupid, totally uncooperative remote when I accidentally clicked on this channel we never used to go to before. It's Baby TV.  
Well, sure, we never go there. I don't have babies. I have monsters running the household like it's their right to do so and then they tell me I'm being unfair with all my house rules and 'no more new toys' threats!  
But I digress. This Baby TV is somewhat ...magical, to say the least.
You all know how hyper Kenji can be, right? Amazingly, Baby TV tames the wild beast. I don't know how it does it. I mean, it's just like a super, 24/7 extended 5 Minutes More thing. But it's got Kenji glued to every freakin' show on this cable channel and calms him for a super extended period of time. It's like some kind of hypnotic, drug thing. But not in a creepy Yo Gabba Gabba manner. It's got great songs, cool animation, and educational clips to boot. It's even got good storylines. Unlike that friggin' Yo Gabba Gabba crap. Yes, my beef with that show is way too personal.  
At night time, the fun shows are replaced with smooth kaleidoscope sequences that fill the screen as lullabies are played one after the other. I'm telling you --after a couple of kaleidoscope swirls and fish-swimming cycles, my hyper boy falls fast asleep. Like he was zonked on the head --like I usually do. Haha, I'm kidding of course!  
I'm pretty sure you know Baby TV already. But I just did and I am pretty amazed. It's a great toddler-handler, tantrum-tamer (or in my case, wild boy-soother), and he learns from it, too. If you haven't checked it out yet, make sure you do.  

*This is not paid advertisement. I am a mother and I am impressed.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Summer Camp Trap

Destiny is one mean kidder. 
I wasn't looking for a robotics summer program for Miro this year because I don't have the money for it.  And guess what --the thing presented itself to me!  And guess what part 2, it's P4500.  A fee I could've easily afforded last year when I still had a freakin job!

But that's not all.  Destiny...she kids me a second time. 
I was looking for a soccer summer camp for Kenji and got hold of 2 options.  Option one is cheap.  Option 2 is P5400 for a longer camp schedule, under a more reputable coach, with cooler-looking uniforms, with a swanky tournament at the end of the's just a block away from Miro's robotics venue if I'll ever get to enroll him there!
Again, had this opportunity been flung at me at the time when I was still earning real money, I would've easily jumped on it like a piranha to a fisherman's toe.  But Destiny has a score to settle with me so she's giving me a little grief.
I honestly don't know what to do.  How important is it to make your children happy? Would Destiny know the answer to that?

Nokia Morph: I wanted it then. I still want it now.

I've drooled for this piece of conceptual equipment for years.  And I haven't stopped drooling.
It's nanotechnology at its brightest, harnessed by Nokia in a very flexible gadget that stretches out to be a keyboard cum camera, folds in to be a compact phone, and twists around to be a stylishly functional bangle.  WTF, right!  
I don't care what other people say.  I will get this phone the minute it becomes a reality.  Even if I would most probably be 279 years old by then!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Alpha's Accident

There is absolutely no words to describe the family's woe.

It was expected that an accident would eventually come out of Kenji and Alpha's usual roughhousing kind of play time.  But we didn't think it would be nearly this serious.  By some miscalculation, Alpha broke her leg.  Purely Kenji's fault and Kenji couldn't forgive himself.  :(
The poor dog was rushed to the vet while the poor boy cried for hours on end.

After almost endless attempts at calming Kenji down, Jing and Alpha finally came home.  It was clear things wouldn't be the same.  Alpha's leg was in a bright popsicle-colored cast.  She was still groggy from the drugs pumped into her and she had the most uncomfortable time walking.

Kenji, for the most part, was relieved to see his dog and best pal back home.  Though it was obvious Alpha's state threw him off.

It was heartbreaking to watch him try and coax Alpha to play with him again.  Sadly, that wasn't about to happen for the next 2 months.

So Kenji simply slept beside Alpha --just as Alpha used to always crawl into bed beside him-- until that time when everything would be back to normal again.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mother Nature Is Pissed

And I'm not talking about garden-variety PMS here. The woman definitely has an ax to grind.  

No, I'm not poking fun at the recent earthquake disasters. Nor am I trying to belittle the earlier catastrophic snow storms. I'm merely focusing on the unforgiving heat this summer has to offer, particularly on this little part of the world.  
Sure, we're a tropical country and us island people should be used to hot, dry weather. But this is just wicked, creepy heat!!!  
From the washer, the laundry can simply hang and dry fast without the benefit of a spin-dry.  

You sweat while sitting in front of the mac in an airconditioned room.  

Kids have been reported collapsing during outdoor gym time.  

Migraine has become the in thing.  

Plants are shriveling after you've attested to watering them daily with your expert green thumbs.  

And yes --much closer to home-- Miro came home yesterday with a nosebleed. And not because he got into another fight, Mr.Assuming. LOL! But because of the heat!  

This is definitely Mother Nature wielding her "I am so darn upset!" card. It kinda makes me think of that famous line 'Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned'. This is genuine anger I'm feeling from her.  

Or maybe...just maybe... earth has finally gone old.  
With age and abuse, earth is just about near certain breakdown. With this, Mother Nature is entering the horrid stages of menopause. She's experiencing aches and pains everywhere --from tree to sky to body of water.  
And as expected, just like an old geezer who's left to chew on prunes with the 2 teeth she's got left, she's grumpy and vengeful.  

Oh and this heat... yeeeah, they're hot flashes.  

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Monday, March 8, 2010


The Budget Bind Season is giving me tiny things to be thankful for.  One being the glorious Bente-Bente Kariton that plods its dust-covered wares up and down the streets.  Oh, did I just hear someone gasp a 'Que horror!' there?  
The wares here are usually toys and simple jewelry and kitchen trinkets --each scoring at only P20 (hence, Bente-Bente).  But our favorite Bente-Bente Kariton is the one that sells a huge mountain of assorted cheap, bad quality plastic toys.  Afternoons find us waiting (mother and children) outside the gate for this mobile merchant.  And you can just imagine the glee in my sons' eyes as they jump on the mound of dirty toys to choose among horrible knock-offs like a Spiderman Sword, Ben10 Mixer Truck, Thomas the Tank Engine with driver Tigger, and more.  
I guess for a child, a toy is a toy.  They don't really care if they get the originals from big-named stores like Toy Kingdom or Toys R Us.  What's important to them is that they get something new and interesting each time.  And at P20 a piece, that isn't half bad for say twice a week on the Bente-Bente Kariton.  Maybe even thrice.
BTW, these toys disintegrate fairly quickly (hence, P20 only) so it's best to not be too attached to one.  After all, the Bente-Bente Kariton will be back with new wares tomorrow.

Ode To The Prude

You undoubtedly know her. And if my guess is right, you may have written her off several times already. But she keeps bouncing back like some rubber plague. Why so? Here's why.  

The Prude is Perfect. Nobody knows righteousness quite like she does. The Prude knows what is appropriate and lives by the book --a feat that not anyone is able to perfect. But she has. She also believes she has the power and right to judge other people. And her opinion will always be perfect.  

The Prude is Protective. She knows she has been sent by a higher force to correct the ills of the world. She is god-sent to correct you every single time you think out of the box. But not because she hates you, but because she loves you. And her mission is to protect you from going astray from her holy book of good values. She is on your side.  

The Prude is Psychic. Everything you say, she reads as a cry for help. Everything you say is your way of reaching out to her to receive a full helping of sermons. She knows that you're asking for it. Although you're quite shy to admit it. She feels it. You need her to survive.  

The Prude is Pun-disabled. Forever the pessimistic, she will always see a looming cloud of doom over YOU (yes, not her, YOU). Do not ever use satirical humor on her for she will never get it. In fact, she has no sense of humor at all. Life is serious and it should never be joked about. Shame on you.  

The Prude is Prophetic. Armed with inspirational quotes she may have stolen from self-help books, wellness seminars, and good vibes get-togethers --she is now ready to spew these as incredible pieces of solid, uncsolicited advice. When you're backed up with reference, how can you go wrong? Bible passages are a click with her, too. Really, who questions the Bible.  

The Prude is Paper-skinned. She is easily hurt when contradicted. When you think differently from her, she looks at it as some kind of attack. Anything you say (as long as it's creatively off from her mind set) IS offensive! And she lets loose a set of hurtful words just to let you know that you have gone against her perfect self.
The Prude is Pesky. Persistent and strong-willed, she will always bring up some old squabble you've had in 1979 to remind you that she was right and you were wrong. This is her way of saying you should always listen to her. And if you say otherwise, she will continue to remind you of the said incident until, possibly, 2089.  

The Prude is Petrified. Change scares her shitless! If you try and be imaginative in her presence, she will shake you with unexplainable panic until you succumb to the norm. Change is the enemy. If you tell her you're thinking of dying your hair purple, she will take this personally and weep.  

After that run-down, your possible question now is this: How do you get rid of a Prude? You can't. Unless you change your number or skip town. How do you survive a Prude? There are 2 ways. You can either humor her. Or challenge her until one of you falls apart in a puddle of defeated mush. But this is a stretch. Because I failed to mention, the Prude is also a Powerdroid in disguise.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I May Just Die At 80

I am in shock that I may just be going through the dreaded midlife crisis. And punctually, too, at that. Research shows (uh-huh, I love to research. it's an illness.) that midlife crisis occurs between the ages 40 to 60 --and yes, I'm on the dot. The early bird gets the juicy depression, I always say. LOL!

However, I am quick to take that back. I refuse to believe that I am going through such a cliche point in life. How unoriginal! Admittedly, I started getting a little bogged down when I turned 40 (due to external factors, mind you --which were on the dot as well. ugh.) but this is in no way leading to some catastrophic issue. Midlife crisis...pshaw!

Uh, I have moments. But not the kind that's weep-in-a-fetal-position level or --heavens forbid-- slit-the-wrist type. I just sit a lot / walk aimlessly a lot lately and assess things (as if I haven't been doing that since I was 14). The feeling is more like frustration and a weird sense of incompleteness with an occasional sobbing on the side. Does that qualify as depression?

Oh yeeeah! I'm handling this totally immaturely. Maybe even proudly. I don't throw a tantrum or a loaded ashtray at my husband. But I've noticed that in my ripe, old age, when I do get pissed --I take it on the world. No, it's not mass-murder level either. At least, not yet. But I have written people off. The only safe ones from my wrath is my family. And sometimes Jing isn't that safe either. Haha!

So if this is indeed midlife crisis, I may just die at 80 then. Better hike up the insurance premium. :P

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Never have I had such mixed emotions over a piece of garment.  Specially something as basic as a Barong Tagalog for Kenji's Graduation Day.  The barong is a national costume, for chrissakes, how difficult can it be?  You've seen one, you've seen them all.  But out of curiosity, I googled 'Barong Tagalog for Kids'.  Who knows?  There must be something new in the barong world I haven't heard about.
And true enough, there was.
At first glance, my patriotic alarm bells went ringing madly.  Damnit, you don't mess with the country's historic formal dress like that!  That's treason!  Isn't anything sacred anymore???!!!
And then after a beat --well after a few minutes of staring at it in full aghast, really-- the disgust wore off and the freaking design actually warmed up to me.  My creative bones suddenly tell me that "Hey, it is STILL the barong tagalog...but with a twist!  You're a creative director!  This is out of the box!  Your son will be the talk of the town!  Instant motherfucking fame on the catwalk to Primary School!"
And when you give me BS like that, I'm sold.  LOL!
Now this freak of nature barong tagalog sells at P2,500.00.  Hardly reasonable.  Thank God I have an art director for a husband.  So we're buying a plain, traditional barong and ...painting on it.  Jesus, we are so pumped to do this!  Inspired, the hunt for Kenji's barong tagalog has catapulted to the level of 'special project'.
From shock to anger to joy to dismay to excitement...damn, this Spongebob Barong really screwed up my hormones for the day.