When I was a kid…

Scrapbook Saturday #12 and other Halloween night ramblings

Scrapbook Saturday

Here are two layouts I made earlier this week:

[Photos are clickable for the credits but please leave comments about the layouts in this post ;)]

These are still going into the mini-album of my girlfriends’ day out back in August. Hopefully I’ll be done before Christmas! Haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Scrapbook Saturday gang, starting at Mammadawg’s place. Also checkout my previous SS posts here if you haven’t seem them yet ๐Ÿ™‚

Oh, it is Digital Scrapbooking Day (DSD) in digital scrapbooking land! Visit digiscrapping sites to get a huge fixing of DSD goodness, there are many links in this page, but not all may have goodies up okay. A good place to start though would be the Sunshine Blog for their Halloween Blog Train.

Halloween Night Ramblings

Last night,ย I logged on thinking of posting about the Halloween Party we had for the kids in this compound (plus some of their friends). ย But no matter how much fun we had at the party – both kids and adults alike – the fun isn’t what’s foremost in my mind to blog about.ย 

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Thursday Thirteen #15 – 13 things I’d rather do than go to work

And I’m not just talking about a simple reluctance to get up everything and go to work. No, this isn’t just because I am lazy (because I am lazy). And it isn’t because I hate my job, boss or co-workers either – because I don’t. I enjoy my job too, it’s just that, I’d really rather prefer to stay at home where there are a million and one ways I can be more productive.

Funny how I used to think that I wasn’t that kind of girl. For Twilight fans, you know how Bella thinks she’s not the kind of small town girl to get married right out of highschool? I had thoughts like that too – about not being the kind to stay home while the hubby went out to bring home the bacon. And it’s not just about earning money for the family – it was more of the idea of really doing something that I was passionate about. For a time I fantasized about being a communist rebel (not exactly a glamorous career); then I also dreamed of working in a top corporation and making it big. When my life revolved around working with children’s NGOs, I knew that was my place in the sun.

But as I grew older, things changed and my perceptions changed along with it. I know now that when it came time build my own family, when it was time to have babies, I would not be able to keep myself away from home on a regular basis. Not even for an eight hour shift.

Lately, this idea of just staying at home has been occupying my mind and it isn’t just for when I had babies anymore. Why should I have to wait? Why can’t I just start now?

Thus the theme for this week’s 13: things I’d rather do than go to work.

+ Blog about so many other things that matter to me and the world (sheesh I’m still not done with the Bohol posts) and bloghop like crazy.

+ Watch DVDs

+ Read (I’m down to 11 books from last week’s list, but really there are several more that didn’t go up there)

+ Workout. Swim. Learn Tennis again.

+ Finish my digital Scrapbook project for the girls. Start scrapping our Bohol vacation.

+ Find online freelance article writing opportunities.

+ Fulfill Truffles orders

+ Bake (for family, and also to sell) and/or go to baking school.

+ Spoil my dog (so he would look more to me as his owner/mommy, than to my mom and dad)

+ Spend time with my nephews (read them books, for one, but there are so many other things we’d be happy to get busy with after school)

+ Learn other things – design stuff, like digital signage or even cards or whatever. I’d love to learn the ins and outs of Photoshop (if only that course I wanted to sign up for wasn’t out of my budget range).

+ Get involved with Sunday School at Church.

+ Find part time involvement with the NGOs I worked with in the past – I’d love to setup a new website for Asia ACTs or write stuff for them. And I’d love to facilitate workshops for ECPAT and the young people.

This seems a merry mix of things and I’m aware it all sounds like stuff I already can do while still working a regular job. The thing is, these are all distractions for me at work and I don’t want to be like that. When I’m at work, I want to be focused. That’s the only way I can be really productive. When I’m at home doing any or all these things – you won’t believe how focused I could get. Hehe.

Or, I really am just lazy. Haha ๐Ÿ˜‰

As always, checkout my previous TTโ€™s here and here. Also donโ€™t forget to sign Mr Linky, and leave a comment so I can go visit you too. ๐Ÿ™‚

Circle of Friends – Maeve Binchy

Online Book and Movie Club at Muthahood Crib

I have joined yet another of Dette’s clubs – the Online Book and Movie Club or BAM. If you enjoy reading books or watching movies, then you will most probably enjoy being part of this group ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s my belated first ever BAM post and yes, I am posting on a Saturday early morning rather than Friday. But, you don’t mind do you? ๐Ÿ˜‰

First off, I had a friend asking me about James Frey’s first novel that I may have mentioned in my previous post. The novel’s title is A Million Little Pieces and it’s James’ retelling of his experience recovering from his addictions in a drug treatment center. But it isn’t just about drug treatment really, it’s about so much more. It’s a brutal story and well embellished, but worth the read.

Now, on to the book I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about since last week:

Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends. I’ve got a very old and worn copy of the book that has Chris O’Donnell and Minnie Driver on the cover. I didn’t see the movie version but I am definitely going to hunt it down one of these days.

This has only been my second Maeve Binchy title, the first being Tara Road, but I’ve decided that I like her as an author. I think I’ll fit in in 1950s/60s Ireland. ๐Ÿ˜€

I brought this book with me to Bohol thinking that this may be the first book I’ll be giving away or reselling on my blog –ย  but because I liked it so much, I don’t think I’d actually be parting with it anytime soon.

I liked it so much that I was compelled to relay the story to Alfred. I gave him updates as the story progressed. I enjoyed that too.

The story revolves around the friendship and coming of age of two girls Eve and Benny, and the circle of friends that they have built to surround and support them.ย  For years it was just the two of them, until all of a sudden, an accident throws them together with a merry mix of other young people from Dublin.

Oh I remember too my first day at University, even if it wasn’t as eventful as theirs was…ย  ๐Ÿ™‚

In a way I related to Benny, being a big girl (though I am plump, and she seems to just be big), and having a family that was always there for her. No, my parents were never too strict and didn’t baby me as a teenage girl. Neither am I an only child. Still, I kinda identified with Benny.

I’ve always thought that I could get any boy/man I like.ย  Growing up, I’ve had my fair share of admirers. But because I gained weight as I grew older, I guess I started thinking that pretty boys won’t look at me and think that they want me. I was resigned to the fact that the only way I could get Mr Popularity was if he really got to know me. I knew I was sexy, but they had to see beyond my body. I don’t resent the Nan Mahons of the world, because I always believed that the Benny Hogans and the Eve Malones could achieve anything they wanted – including getting the men of their dreams. Haha.

Though I grew up in a city, living within the St. Andrew’s Seminary Compound is somehow like growing up in a small town like Knockglen where Benny and Eve were born and raised. I wouldn’t mind going home to Knockglen on weekends and holidays.

So what did Circle of Friends speak of to me?

Women and the different ways we behave.

Friendship, loyalty and betrayal. Family. Relationships, and what really matters.

It’s about dreaming and what people do to make them happen. Embracing change while still staying true to one’s nature.

It’s about growing up. Finding strength within. And conquering the odds.

Comic book finds

Clicking through Project Wonderful ads (I carry those too, please check them out if you’re so inclined) has led me to wonderful discoveries tonight. I am now reading Comics online!

The first one that caught my fancy is Xylia Tales. The graphics are really awesome. I clicked on the Archives link and read from when it all began. I’ve only reached the beginning of Chapter 2, so far. I’ve got plenty of pages more to go.

They also just updated their website (as in just now) and now I see that the author/artist has a second story up. That should be interesting too. Maybe when I have some earnings from my ads I’ll donate to the site, I do want to see more from them!

The second comic I started reading (at the same time, I go back and forth between the two) is Sore Thumbs. While Xylia is high fantasy, Sore Thumbs, for me, is satirical. One has to have an open mind to be able to appreciate it. I’ve gone back to the first issue which dates back to 2004!

Anyway, these artists are awesome and they publish their work on the web for free. Counting on donations and income from ads, I guess. I bet Alfred would be interested in these as well. I can’t wait to tell him.

When I was a little girl, my dad would buy me local comic books when he goes to the market. Both he and my mom really encouraged me to read, and comics was among the varied materials I got. What made it more meaningful for me was how he would tell me stories of him sneaking comics when he was a kid. His father didn’t approve of them and thought they were good for nothing. He would save his school money though, buy comics, and hideout under the house just to read. I felt like I was privileged because I could read them openly. Of course I understood too that maybe not all comics are fit for young minds.

Anyway, I stopped reading local comics a long time ago, except the dailies published in the broadsheets. I’d be delighted to see the comics of old published on the web too – along with the younger artists.

Cheese Pie memories

When I left the office 20 minutes ago, I was not feeling well. Logic dictates that I go straight to bed upon getting home. Here I am, clicking away instead.

I just can’t stay away from my computer. I am drawn to it. And maybe it’s all mental, but I feel better already. No joke.

Anyhoo. My dad’s job takes him to Mindanao several times a month. He came home today from a three-day trip. He brought home yummy cheese bread sticks. Hmm, I can still smell them in my mind. They’re very similar to the cheese pies that the old SATS Women’s Cooperative Canteen served when I was a young girl. I can’t ever find those pies anywhere else in the Metro, but I did find them in Bohol when we were there last. These ‘stick’ version came from Cagayan de Oro.

This cheese pie isn’t a pie that has crust and filling. It’s more like a cheese pizza pie. Haha. It’s all cheese bread. I am not good at describing food in English. Basta, paper-plate sized sya, and you divide it like you do any other pizza. The smell is heavenly. Okay, the taste probably won’t take you to cloud nine and it’s not super special, but it’s one that I love. I’m not sure if it’s really the cheese pie, or the memories it brings back.

The thing is, anything that reminds me of the old Canteen automatically triggers memories of my Aunt Leesah too. She worked there as a cashier. In the rare times that she would let me go out at night when I was a kid, that’s where we’d usually head to just for an evening snack. I still miss her. Hey Auntie, if you have Internet in Heaven, send me an e-card! I turned a year older again!

Back to the Canteen. Each Coop member had a tab in the canteen and since all of the adult women in our family (along with most, if not all, adult females in the community) were members of the Coop, we could get anything with just a signature. Of course the cashiers knew all the kids’ parents too, so no one could really overcharge or eat on someone else’s tab. We called it, palista. Signalling the cashier to just add it to our mothers’ tab. There were even forms printed for that and we’d have to sign every time we got anything from the Canteen.

Aside from Cheese Pie, I always loved eating Guinataang Halo-halo. In fact, if it was available, they’d reserve one serving of the merienda dish just for me after I complained one time when they sold out everything before I arrived one afternoon. Hay, how can I describe ginataang bilo-bilo?

The Canteen closed down, reopened under new management, and closed again. Now, a cousin of mine rents the space and runs her own canteen. But it doesn’t give me quite the same homey feeling that it used to. It hasn’t been the Canteen I grew up in, not for a long time.

I don’t think that it was the change in management, or the change in cooks and other faces, that made the difference. Rather it’s the community itself that has changed in my eyes, and in my heart too. To be honest, nothing there really feels like home anymore. And I am sad to acknowledge that I feel this way.

Every person has to belong somewhere. Aside from my family, I thought the SATS community was where I belonged, where we all belonged. I consider it my hometown. But I just haven’t felt that way lately.

Oh well.

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