Happy Birthday, Grandma!

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We celebrated Mom’s birthday a day early, with a big family lunch at Vikings, SM North The Block.  Just like last year, Amir’s antics made it an even more fun and interesting lunch date. Hehe.

The party had the same attendees as last year: my parents, Alfred, Amir and his parents, with the addition of Eia, Diane’s sister. Except for Alfred and myself, it was everyone else’s first time at Vikings. We didn’t get to reserve a table in advance, but we only had to wait about 10 minutes to be seated. Amir was under three feet and was in for free, which was a good thing because he hardly ate anything really. He did seem to have a lot of fun dancing to the waiters who sang happy birthday to all the celebrants. Before we left, he also had the chance to walk and run around the restaurant.

We all had food that we liked, nothing was wasted because everything tasted really good. We also got to talk about other buffets and agreed that Vikings is definitely a cut above the Kamayan/Dads/Saisaki buffet. The ambiance was also what one would expect from a hotel buffet area, except they didn’t have custom tablecloths with logo on them. The decor was nice and mostly elegant, and the chairs had nice upholstery.

It would have been a good time to take a complete family photo for my journal, but we didn’t get the time to do that before the table was cluttered with empty plates and glasses. After lunch, my brother took Diane and Eia for some school supply shopping, while Mom and Dad watched Amir. I finally got myself a bottle of Novuhair and some cold medicine for Alfred. Amir only stayed still while nibbling on some Mrs. Fields cookies, but he wasn’t even done with the second one when he got off the chair to run around again!

I had a really boring weekend, if not for today’s lunch. Sometimes though, boring is okay specially when you have colds, cough, and headaches. How was your weekend?

There’s an App for That

Since switching to an iPhone4 over two years ago, it’s been hard to imagine holding any other mobile phone – smart or otherwise. I loved how it felt in my hand, there were apps I’d gotten to use on a day to day basis. I was online and connected whenever I wanted or needed.

When our two year lock-in period expired and the iPhone5 was offered to us with a minimal fee, we didn’t think twice about upgrading.

Though I’ve only had my white iPhone 5 for close to six months, there have been so many smart phones released that really rivals it. Better cameras, bigger HD screens, cheaper alternatives. I did have a crush on the Nokia Lumia but it was nowhere serious  that I’d dump my beloved phone.

And then via Geeky Gadgets I see this video of life-changing apps on the iOS. All the more reason to love.

Smart phones and smart apps really can alleviate quality of life when matched with the people who need them. Of course, the phone and the apps may not be that affordable for the marginalized Pinoy, but just knowing that this can happen for someone else out there, we can hold on to the hope that we can make something like it a reality for our reality too. Pinoy phone brands have come up with their own low-cost Android smart phones. Many iOS apps have their Android counterparts, perhaps the life-changing apps can too. I know that there are many talented and smart Pinoy developers out there who will see a need for something, and have the passion to make the app for it.

I’ve also become more and more interested in integrating both my phone and my tablet to make me more efficient in life. This, unfortunately, still remains to be seen. 🙂

Alfred and I are also looking forward to the release of iOS 7, bringing with it a new color scheme, and a whole new look to the icons and apps. Iphoneography is bound to be even more interesting with built in filters. The new Notification and Control Centers also look to eliminate a few swipes just to get to specific things or settings. Going through the various active apps will also be easier. Check out all the new features on the official iOS7 page.

Zach Sobiech: The Kid Who Went Down Fighting, and Didn’t Really Lose

Zach Sobiech. Have you met him?

He inspired millions of people even before he turned eighteen. He had osteosarcoma (a rare form of bone cancer that affects children), and he knew he wasn’t going to live long. Instead of languishing in the dark, he chose to live the remaining days of his life by sharing his feelings through music. Instead of waiting for people to cry for him when he dies, he chose instead to put smiles on people’s faces – because knowing he was responsible for that made him happy.

He died on May 20, and heaven just got brighter. Get to know him, and take inspiration from his life through this video. It’s 22 minutes, but definitely worth the time. I first watched it when I learned of his death and I was moved to tears. Good tears. And I felt that it’s now my responsibility to live my days endeavoring to make someone else smile. Please please watch it.

If you don’t have time though, here are two lines he uttered in the vid; I made these cards because these lines will always stick with me:


Make people happy

Be Kind to Yourself

I was doing some research for a new post for Between the Covers when this ad was played in YouTube:

How do we really see ourselves? I used to think I had a pretty healthy self image, but then I got more and more into photography and more and more people also got to toting cameras everywhere and I realized that I didn’t want photos of me taken.

Do you remember that shampoo commercial where the girl would hide behind her friends because her hair was less than lustrous? Or those series of commercials for Lesofat, tinatago ang taba?  That’s exactly what I do. I don’t hide behind people though, I normally just take myself out of the photo. I refuse to have any taken. Most of the time.

But I’ve tried to do that less and less. I’ve allowed others to take my photo. I’ve even started taking selfies. And my profile photo on social networking sites is already an actual photo of myself. I am beautiful in whatever shape or size, I know that. I may be trying to lose weight these days, but that is because I have become too heavy for my bones (being bionic now doesn’t guarantee that another slip disc won’t happen). Let that not overshadow the truth that I am beautiful. \

Thanks Dove for reminding women of all shapes and sizes, that we need to be kinder to ourselves.

Le Petit Chaperone Rouge

Making videos or staging plays is a fun way to learn some things. I love this production of The Little Red Riding Hood. You will too. 🙂 Narration is in French but they provided a side by side English-French text on their blog. And you already know the story, so you can surely follow along without reading it.

Le Petit Chaperon Rouge from Olive Us on Vimeo.

My nieces and nephews are still on vacation, I wonder if they can be convinced to take on a project like this? Maybe not. Unless I drive them to it.

Speaking of summer. With the doc advising at least one more month of ‘taking it easy’ at home, I wonder if I’d ever get any swimming done? I don’t even dare think of going to the beach, just take me to a pool! If we had our own pool that wouldn’t be a problem, and I would also be browsing for whatever needs to be done…

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