Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lenten Season Fasting & Abstinence

Yesterday's Ash Wednesday signified the start of the Lenten Season again. In Catholic countries, such as the Philippines, this means the start of fasting and abstinence again. According to the American Catholic Org,  

"Catholics between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. In addition, all Catholics 14 years old and older must abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and all the Fridays of Lent.
Fasting as explained by the U.S. bishops means partaking of only one full meal. Some food (not equaling another full meal) is permitted at breakfast and around midday or in the evening—depending on when a person chooses to eat the main or full meal.

Abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, milk products or condiments made of animal fat."

I know of a few people who observes this assiduously. They do not eat meat during the Lenten season. Others does not eat meat on all Fridays of Lent while some have chosen to interpret this as abstaining from something they cannot seem to live without such as rice, chocolates, meat. 

In this age of technology, where people cannot seem to live without their iPhone and Android gadgets, iPad, Facebook, Blackberry Messenger, I wonder how many people or if any will choose to abstain from using any of their must have gadgets? No Facebook for 46 days? I think some people will go nuts :)

The gadgets are just a convenience for me so abstaining will not have much impact. I have decided instead to abstain from eating rice this Lenten. What about you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

iPads on Taxi

Can you imagine riding a taxi cab and whiling away the travel time on a free iPad? Looks like this might happen in NY if the proposed venture iPad in Taxis gets approved next month. The iPads would replace the small screen consoles that shows advertisements. It would be nice to be able to surf while riding a cab. Having access to email while stuck in traffic would be great way to pass the time.

The cost of installing an iPad in taxi cabs might not be much of an issue given the affordability of the basic unit. Security though is a cause for concern because cabs known to have an iPad might become prone to being robbed. Maintaining the units would also be something to look consider as I am sure wear and tear on the units would be high. 

I wonder if the taxi companies here in the Philippines would consider this?

Engagement Rings

I came across this comment yesterday in one of the blogs I follow:
"COMMENT OF THE DAY" section: "My BF made 103k last year and spent $750 on my 0.5 carat ring. Am I a bitch for feeling offended? He has spent double that recently on a plasma TV, he is about to buy himself an Audi, he has spent $1,500 playing poker with friends in the last month, I feel like maybe he is just SAYING Im high priority to him. Am I a bitch for not wanting to even wear it? The diamond has visible blemishes-cracks and about 3 visible chunks of rock in it. I don’t wear stained or torn clothing, why would I wear a visibly blemished rock? "
For me, a ring is a ring. Ladies should appreciate the fact that the guy made an effort to buy her one. It is after all the thought that counts.
On the flip side of the equation, this does not bode well for the guys priorities in life. Yes, he may not understand the value of a ring in a woman eye, as women does not always understand the appeal of a muscle car to men,  but i would think that most men would put more value on his partner's engagement ring over a plasma TV. Then again I don't know much about diamond rings. 
What is the acceptable "price" of an engagement ring? I saw in a De Beers article that that it should be 2 months worth of the man's salary, another article says 3 months. I say what looks good to the man, what he thinks his partner will like, and what he can afford are the things that matter. Be it just a day's worth of salary or even a year's worth of salary.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Salaam Paris - by Kavita Daswani

Salaam Paris is a story about a young Indian woman named Tanaya. A beautiful girl from an average family in India who was thrust in the world of modelling and entertainment.

Tanaya rockets to fame but maintains her Muslim belief and heritage. Love for her ailing grandfather brought her back to India and leads to reconciling the cultural conflicts nagging at her.

Unexpected Purchases

I went to Tiendesitas today with the sole intention of buying dog food. I even decided to leave the dogs home to avoid any temptation of buying unnecessary stuff and other blings. The not buying anything for the dogs was a success. I tripped on the part of not buying anything for myself.

We decided to go over to SM Hypermarket for lunch since I saw some flies on the food being sold in the Tiendesitas food court. It was gross!!! We were in the mood for something grilled so we headed for lunch at Reyes Barbeque in the SM food court. After lunch, I decided to go to Watson's to check for VCO for the dogs. No success on the VCO part but I saw that they were having a promo on Potion IVI Premium Collagen Powder Drink.

Now, I've been quite curious about this collagen drink that has Gretchen as an endorser. I am a big fan of Gretchen despite her bitchiness, her life dramas and all that gold digger allegation. Collagen, a necessary protein for the skin, are a dime dozen in salons and Watsons in the form of facial masks. I know a few who are even taking weekly collagen shots to maintain their skin. Aside from the cost though, I cannot imagine myself taking weekly collagen injections nor having weekly facial mask. Thus, a collagen drink sounds the perfect thing for me.

At P1,610.00 per box of 14 or P115 per sachet, IVI was to pricey for me.  I decided to bring the IVI brochure and showed it to hubby. Thankfully, he got the message and bought 2 boxes for me. Woohoo!!!

While waiting for hubby to pay for the purchases, one of the sales staff told my daughter that she will fix her hair.  She showed us this hair iron which curled hair so easily. My daughter looked like a Barbie doll in a few minutes!!!

My daughter and I just had our hair curled at David's in SM Molino a month ago and I must say I was disappointed with the results. This curler though did what I had in mind for our hair. Knowing how sales staff are especially trained to make using gadgets like this very easy, I tried the thing on for myself. It was indeed easy to use. The curls were easy to make and it's a straightening iron too. Sold!!! There goes my remaining cash for the weekend.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Round of Xiao Long Bao, please!

Ending this week with lunch at Shi Lin, Podium with a colleague. An hour and half of stolen downtime is worth the sleepiness and drowsiness that comes after a good meal.

As always the Xiao Long Bao of Shi Lin was excellent, as always. I can eat this dim sum everyday of the week. I did not get the appeal of this Dim Sum the first time I tried it in Din Tai Fung in Singapore. I am pretty much used to the local Dim Sum which is dry and has no soup. But I find that the taste and novelty of eating it grew on me. Xiao Long Bao is now a mainstay of my meal whenever available.

 The Red Bean for desserts was scrumptious. Not many people understand the appeal of eating Red Beans for desserts but I just love that mix of sweetness in the bean paste and the opposing blandness of the soft wrapper. Most people prefer the cheesecake and the Cool Almond Jelly with Lychee for desserts but once they try the Red Beans, people I know get hooked as well. Once they have the courage to try one that is.



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bruno - Unexpected New Member Of The Family

Sunday, Feb 12, 2012 started out as another regular day for us. We planned to go to Cartimar since Ricky needed to buy food for the discuss. I tagged along as usual since he prefers to go with me whenever he goes to Cartimar. For the first time since we bought the Picanto, we are using his car for the weekend. He didn’t want to gas up my car so we used his car. I didn’t know it at the time but this was a good thing for me.

When we arrived in Cartimar, I got off the plants section since I really had no interest in staying at the fish shop. I got myself a new fortune plant for the Lanai and a Million plant for the side garden.

Once we put the plants in the car, we walked about since Ricky still needed to buy water conditioners. Lo and behold, I passed this shop with 3 adorable cream Chow Chow. As I kneeled beside the cage, one immediately came to me to be petted. I think I got hooked right off the bat. The puppies are three and a half month old and looked to be in good health. I noticed that one of the litter was bigger than the other two but he was more aloof than the other 2. He was more stocky, his face was more square and his paws seemed to be bigger. The pet shop people called him Jumbo. They told me was the breeder’s favorite among the litter and he was like the protector of the other pups.

Ricky saw how much I liked the dogs and offered to buy me one as an advance birthday gift. I was hesitant to agree at first because the price was steep. I told him that I would rather he help me in with our Boracay expense this summer. That I would rather have the kids to have the Bora experience. Also, buying another dog would be expensive not just for the outright purchase but also in the long run with the vaccines, food, etc.

I guess he saw something in my face that told him I really wanted to have a cream Chow. He made an argument that I could not refute logically. That we can earn back the money by breeding Chows. Since dad is a certified dog lover, I guess this would work. We agreed to haggle the price lower and ask for a freebie. We got the price lower by P2,000 and a free food dish. Ricky also bought food and leash for the new Pup and Hannah.

I originally wanted to get the Chow who first approach me but given the perspective of breeding the dog later on, I opted to get Jumbo. We chose the name Bruno – as in Bruno Mars – in keeping with the names of our other dogs. The name sounds so manly and brusque.

At this point, I must say that I am making a resolution that I will take an active part in taking care of Bruno and Hannah – my first Chow who is 25% Lab - once again. I know that I have neglected Hannah in the last couple of years. I don’t know why I lost interest in taking care of Hannah. I was so excited when Ricky bought her for me. The first few months, I did actively care for her. But as the months went by, I lost interest. I don’t know if it was because as she grew up, it became apparent that she was a mixed breed. I wanted a Chow who was very much bear type I looks. The looks I guess was the thing that hooked my interest in Chows. Hannah is a very sweet dog and quite smart. So the problem lies with me.

This time around I intend to do better with both dogs.