Girls Talk - My (Al)Most Memorable HS Moment

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

In my younger days, I used to be a big fan of the Philippine Megastar, Ms. Sharon Cuneta.

And you are probably wondering what she is doing being mentioned in this post.

I bring her into this week's Girls Talk theme as we are supposed to recount our most memorable high school moment. Who could ever forget her song "High School Life"?

I envisage that my most memorable high school moment would be the day that I say goodbye to my fellow mates, who I've spent the last four years with, filled with ups and downs of student life. We would be gathered on the school quadrangle for the last time. Together we will sing the national anthem and Ms. Cuneta's landmark song (as mentioned above), with tears streaming down our faces. We feel hope as new beginnings are in the horizon for us but sad at the same time, because we simply cannot take everybody who've been a part of our lives with us. Some friendships will continue and others won't. But for that moment in time, we all enjoy the bond of being graduates together.

I did not get to see this momentous day with my classmates in the Philippines. I left school at the end of third year. And all by my lonesome in a new country, I felt really sad. I guess by this time you could say that my most memorable moment was not getting my memorable moment.

Teka, time out muna. Nakakaiyak na ba? (Wait, time out first. Is it getting melodramatic already?)

Okay, I shall not leave the story like that. As I did get my goodbye with my mates anyway. Although I probably did not realise that time that it was the last time I was gonna see them.

When school closed at the end of third year, we went on a class outing to a beach in Bataan. I was glad that I got my aunt's permission to go (as I rarely do). We spent the whole day at the beach, not necessarily beach swimming, but more or less, student bonding. It was a "dusk till dawn" event. My memory fails me again as to the exact details of that day but all I can remember was that I was happy and carefree. And that's all that really mattered.

It was my equivalent of a most memorable high school moment.

For other great recollections of high school moments, check out the other Girl Talkers at Girls Talk this week.

Borrowed the photo from a very good old friend on Facebook.
Not very clear....but truly memorable. This was my last photo
taken in the Philippines as well, when I was this young anyway.

A Concert Date With The Script

One night only. In Johannesburg. Live.

Who would've thought that this Irish band could muster up 18,300 people in one place? The biggest crowd ever to be gathered at The Dome (where the concert was held) and the biggest crowd that The Script had ever performed to. But if you had been there, it would not have been any wonder.

The Script went on stage at around 21h00. And song after song, they did not stop to amaze. Their sound was as enigmatic and haunting as could be expected. Their songs are extremely popular in the South African airwaves at the moment. A lot of fans were singing along to their tunes. Me not excluded.

I think it was in the song "The Man Who Can't Be Moved", when the lead singer, Danny, urged the crowd to sing along. And sang along they did. The crowd ended up singing the whole song with him. It was such a humbling scene. You could see it in his eyes, how appreciative he was of the moment.

This is what The Script had to say about us....

Danny even ventured down to the Golden Circle area thrice to the amusement of fans. These were the times I wished I had gotten Golden Circle tickets instead of my seated ones. :-(

The lead guitarist, Mark, was also quite the entertainer with his little anecdotes on stage. He would go ahead and tell the story of how each song was born and written and what inspired them.

I was also specially captivated with the lighting effects on stage as the lights seem to emote and flow with the songs.

I was slightly amazed as I really ended up truly enjoying the whole experience. And although I've always liked their songs (see one particular post about "Nothing"), I thought this was just gonna be another teen scene. How wrong I was.

At the end of the show, Mark, the guitarist, asked if he could twitpic us, the audience. And the next day, I saw this on their tweet profile!

How awesome it must be to be part of this! And I was! And of course I feel awesome!

A Drive In Experience And The Father's Day That Followed

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
To be different this year, our father's day celebration started a night earlier. We decided on an impulse to take in twin movies at the Veldskoen Drive Inn, situated in Randburg, Johannesburg. It had been a while since we last watched at the drive inn and certainly that occasion did not fall in the dead of winter. However, since it was Kung Fu Panda 2 that was playing, we braved the cold. Or pretended that the night was not gonna be that cold anyway.

The first movie (Kung Fu Panda 2) was set to start at 19h30 and the second movie (Thor) would start around 21h30. The price per vehicle is R70 (just over $10). We arrived three-quarter of an hour early to get a good movie spot. As is customary at most drive inns, you drive in with your vehicle and watch the actions on a very huge screen. You get the sounds of the movie from your own car radio. The radio station/channel that hosts the movie sounds is given to you at the gate.
At the back of the car, playing around before the movies started

We came prepared with lots of potato chips and popcorn at hand. We even had pillows and thick blankets for warmth. The only things we bought at the inn were sodas. They were an arm and a leg! R12 ($1.50) for a 500ml bottle. Of course, that is to be expected.

Homemade popcorns at the open air cinema!

The movies were enjoyable. However, as it was expected in winter, our windshield kept getting misty during the movies. So from time to time, we would start the car to heat it up.

And wouldn't you know it, when it was time to go home, the car decided to stall and not start up. Battery died because we used the car heater too much.

Lucky, we were parked on an incline. So my eldest and I got out to give the car a slight push. It gave the car the kick-start it needed. And we were off!
The "celebrant" digging in....our platter is smack bang in the middle
of the table

The next day saw us celebrating Father's Day the way we normally do - go out and have lunch. Our family restaurant of choice - The Ocean Basket! As is derived from the restaurant's name, it is one that specialises on seafoods. We ordered our usual orders of grilled calamari tube starter for youngest, prawns and calamari tubes for eldest, and a seafood platter for 2 for hubby and me. The platter consisted of all kinds of seafoods (prawns, calamari tubes, calamari heads, hakes, mussels). And to mark the special occasion, we even added a sushi order of 8 salmon california rolls. Yummy!

My dish of calamari tubes looks delicious!

We were full after that lunch. And nothing much happened afterwards. We went home and slept the rest of the afternoon. And that was the end of Father's Day. Shame on us. LOL.

So how did you guys celebrate your father's day in your part of the world?

Smoked And Found: An Undomestic Goddess

Monday, June 27, 2011
After recently re-telling a story about a Home Economics project turned tasteless, I've been reminded of another time that my prowess into the domesticated world has got me bonkers.

This was during the time when I was still in high school.

I usually got home from school at around 2pm every afternoon. As my mother worked all day and I am already a bit known to be useless in the kitchen, she would prepare me food the night before so that I could re-heat the food when I get home from school. We did not have a microwave oven at that time and so I would warm the food through the stove.

This was the case one fateful Thursday I arrived home from school and immediately got to the kitchen to heat the food. I remember it was a Thursday as my favourite weekly lifestyle magazine was on the shelf at the corner shop and I had bought myself a copy.

I switched on the stove and proceeded to put the pot on top of the stove. I vaguely remember that the menu for that day was adobong baboy (pork in soy sauce marinade).

As it took a bit of time for the food to warm, I decided to go to my room (about 20m from the kitchen) to drop off my school stuff and change my clothing. I must say, that time stood still for me as I paged through my newly-bought magazine with eagerness. It felt like only a few minutes had passed.

And the next thing, I became aware that there was smoke coming through the door of my bedroom. At first I thought it odd, but it suddenly dawned on me that I had forgotten to switch off the stove. I ran through to the kitchen. The whole house was filled with white smoke. Everywhere. White Smoke. I just hoped nothing was on fire. Yet.

I got to the kitchen and quickly switched the stove off. Placed the pot in the sink. Opened the cold water tap to let some water onto the pot. More smoke was created. I opened the 3 windows in the kitchen to let the smoke out. And then went on to each and every single window in the house. In total I must have opened about 8.

I thought the situation turned out for the best. No harm done. Just a few smoke. No real fire.

Of course such an incident would not have gone unnoticed. What with all the open house windows. It was like a smoke signal to the whole neighbourhood! What was I thinking anyway? Within 10 minutes of airing the house, my doorbell rang. Outside stood the landlord, who incidentally was also the corner shop owner, and his 2 other shop attendants, with fire extinguishers in hand.

I was so embarassed. I simply could have just died right there and then.

After much explaining and nerve-calming, I convinced the landlord that his house was not on fire. All it was, was just white smoke. Whew!

In the next 5 years, I continued to live in that house but I did not do much cooking or heating. My mother decided to ban me from the kitchen altogether, and I got KFC Streetwise 2 delivered to me everyday. It's safer that way, I suppose.

Girls Talk - There's A School Upon The Hill...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
We have been on school topics for the whole month of June at Girls Talk. This week we are asked to produce and share a class photo. As I have not shared much of my student life here in South Africa, I think this would be as good a post as any to reveal that time in my life.

I will start off by saying that my post title is probably gibberish to most people. But I was just being reminiscent of a school song I once learnt to sing at school halls.

I don't know what it is but everytime I think back on my time at KHS (formerly known as Kaffrarian High School), my mind conjures up a stage set that looks like something from Hogwarts School of Wizardry. I suppose it felt very much like a British way of things. The school was divided in houses (Frere, Milner, Durban, Grey) and we did not call the level of studies as years, but rather, standards at the time. Something like fourth year high school would be Standard 10 or Matric.

My share of photo for this week is that of my Matric class here in South Africa.

I am in the far right, seated.

Notice much? Yes, we are all girls as it was strictly an all-girls school. This was a photo of our section. There were only 2 sections of about 25 students each at that time when we graduated. This was in 1993. The guy in the middle was our class adviser, Mr Kerr, who also happened to be our Accounting teacher. Below is a fun picture we took of all the Matriculants that year.

Me - second from the left, seated

For other class photos, check out Girls Talk!

Nota Bene! For anybody who's interested, herewith the full length version of the school song:

"There's a school upon the hill and our hearts are yearning
To its busy path that leads towards the goal of learning
Many knocks have come our way
In our work and play
Yet with ringing voice we say
Hail to thee, Kaffrarian!
Frere and Milner, Durban, Grey, Kaffrarian!
Animo et fide, Kaffrarian!"

Novice Blogging - Note #27 (Gadgetize Me!)

I must have mislaid my brain particles somewhere. Here I am going on and on about putting gadgets all over my blogpage and I haven't even started blogging the first things about adding a gadget on Blogger.

So here it is. The step-by-step on adding a gadget on your Blogger page.

1. Login to your Blogger page.
2. Click on the Design tab.
3. On your Design page, there should be an option to Add A Gadget.
4. When you click this option, a popup box will appear with a list of gadgets you can add.

Here you are free to choose what gadgets you desire to put on your blog. There are a lot of gadgets that Blogger already supports like followers, site counter, calendar, twitter updates, etc.

Most of the external plugins (like Facebook and NetworkedBlogs) are added as HTML codes.

Try it!

Tuesdays Couch Potatoes - A Nicole Kidman Movie

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It is my first time to join this meme that happens every Tuesdays, hosted by Kikamz at Just About Anything. The meme gives out a weekly theme and encourages us to showcase our movie knowledge.

This week's theme was a Nicole Kidman movie and my choice is The Others.

Nicole plays Grace Stewart, a mother who has two children, who are inflicted with a photosensitivity sickness and cannot be exposed to sunlight. The story starts off when she hires three servants (as their previous servants have left) and odd things start happening in the house that they live in. The shots are mostly dark as the house is curtained up because of the children's sickness. After a few occurrence, Grace becomes convinced that the house is unholy and that there are "others" in the house. She also believes that the three servants are somehow responsible for whatever is happening. The eldest of the servants tried to reason with Grace and in the end, Grace finally learns and accepts the truth - that she and her children and the three servants are all ghosts in the house. And that the "others" are actually the living people that are occupying their house now.

It was eerie and certainly hair-raising. And as always, Nicole Kidman delivered a superb acting performance. I like horror stories that have an ending twist and this was definitely one of those movies.

Visit THE OTHERS at Tuesdays Couch Potatoes.

Lunar Eclipse At Our Part Of The World - 15 June 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011
It was quite an event as the whole neighbourhood was out to witness the lunar eclipse last Wednesday, 15 June 2011.

According to the radio, this lunar eclipse was the first of 2011 and was one of the longest eclipse in several years, lasting 108 minutes in totality. The lunar eclipse started from 20h22 and turned red (at its peak) at 22h13. The moon turned back to normal from 0h03 midnight.

Here are some pics taken by my daughter while the whole thing unravelled:

We were quite lucky that although it was chilly and in winter, the skies were clear and the moon was visible that night.

Girls Talk - A Subject That Hated Me

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I can't think of any particular subject that I hated. I did well in most of my subjects at school. Or rather, I did not fail in any of them.

But, for the interest of this week's theme, I will pick and choose a subject that hated me more than the others did. Yes, you read it right. The subject hated me and to this day, I am still affected.

I will share an experience that I had doing a school project one day and why I knew for sure what I was not destined for.

I was in second year high school. The subject was Home Economics. Our project for the hour was preparing a snack meal. Our team (me and my 7 other classmates) decided that for the project, we will make beef burgers and orange juice.

We prepared the food the night before and on the day, we just made the presentation. As the orange juice was easily made, we left it for last. I remember my classmate mixing the juice and asking me to taste it. I took a sip and said it was fine, going back to slicing the hamburger buns to put the meat in.

Trusting my taste-test, the Home Economics teacher then asked for a cup and as she took a sip, she almost spat it out. And she said to me, "Mary Jane, ano ka ba? ang tabang nito!!!" (Mary Jane, what's with you? This is tasteless!!!)

Needless to say, it was so embarassing! We remedied the juice and were lucky the teacher did not fail the project because of my weird palate.

And that's when I knew. Home Economics hated me. The wrath is on.

Nowadays, I don't touch anything to do with cooking (I can burn a house down), plants (I am a green murderer), sewing (unless you wanna end up with one less sleeve). Ask me to fix your TV cables and DVD connections instead.

My share for Girls Talk this week. See what the other girls are up to.

Sleuthing With Poirot

Lately I've been caught up in this craze of going about sleuthing with Monsieur Hercule Poirot. Many a night I've accompanied him and my e-reader on adventures into far away (not to mention, make-believe) land.

I don't know what has come over me. In the last 2 weeks, I have read no less than 14 Agatha Christie novels, all of them featuring her famous Belgian detective. If you count correctly, that would be one story each night.

I think this is some sort of aftershock (or relief) from exams mode last May. It was hectic and nerve-wrecking going into exams week. And although it was actually only one examination paper I had to contend with, I was literally in tatters as I went into the hall to take the test. It did not help that that particular subject was one that I failed last November. Wish Hercule was there to sleuth out some answers for me, hahaha.

But oh well. Don't know how much better I did with the paper this time around. Felt good but not too good about it. My little grey cells were not working properly again I guess.

All I knew was...Hercule was waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. :-) Okay, so it was not ALL Agatha Christie for me. I did manage to squeeze one teensy weensy Mary Higgins Clark novel in last week sometime. But for the moment, it is Monsieur Poirot with me.

I can't wait to dive into my novel again tonight. Bonne chance, I suppose is in order for me when I get my exam result in July. We shall see.

A Walk With The King Of The Jungle

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
After recently getting half price admission tickets to visit the Lion Park, which was situated near Randburg, Johannesburg, our family decided to take a step into nature one chilly Sunday morning. There were no forecast of rain or hale or extreme heat and so, it was a perfect day for the outing.

We arrived at the Lion Park at roughly 10:30am. We made it a point to arrive fairly early so as not to miss any feeding of the animals and such. Normal admission fees were R130 for adults (around $18.60) and R70 for children above 4 but under 12 (around $10.00). Children under 4 years get to go in for free.

Pretty Pictures Tell Me....Part Two

Monday, June 13, 2011
Well, it was bound to happen. My youngest has been on a creativity blitz these past few days.

Of course, when I started with the first post about pretty pictures, I knew those were not the last I've seen of them. There are probably a lot more coming through the years, I only just need to wait.

I have now been presented with another set of drawing that I think is worthy enough to grace this blog. But, of course, every single sketch that my child makes is worthy of this blog, she's the whole point of it, ain't she?

The easiest thing was that she drew her inspiration from things she sees around her. The subject of her sketch this time was a stuffed spotted giraffe. Her attention to detail is so meticulous, even down to the small tag attached on the stuffed toy (a NICI tag).

These drawings were so much in likeness that I am starting to wonder if I've got mini-Michelangelo living under my roof. Hahahaha........

For lack of favouritsm, I would like to mention that my eldest is also a Picasso (or Rembrandt)....but I suppose, that would be worthy enough for another post.

Baby Walkers, Bassinets Strollers and Baby Crib Beddings

Friday, June 10, 2011
I recently visited my BFF one late afternoon and was amazed at all the things that have become "necessities" when it comes to babies nowadays. I must say that her house at the moment, looks more like a jungle gym than anything else. She is a first-time mother and truly adores her little kid. I look around her home and reminisced about when my kids were just babes and the things that they had. Some of the "necessary" things I noticed were:

When my kids were young, I did not have the opportunity to use baby walkers. Not that I didn't want to. They were just not affordable to me at the time. So you could say that my children crawled their way to learn to walk.

2. A bassinet stroller

I must admit, this was one item that I worked to death when I became mom. I highly recommend a bassinet stroller as a great tool when it comes to babies. My children were never used to being carried around....they were strolled around for ages. It doubled as a race car for my kids as I lulled them to sleep most nights.

Baby cribs, of course, need their own beddings. I see that black and white are the "in" colours. Maybe because they are neutral and could suit either a boy's or a girl's baby room. Mine had been white lace and pink edgings. But then, it's not a surprise. I had girls both times I was pregnant.

Of course, these were just some of the items. There were many more.

Oh, the thrill and joy of being a mother knows no end....especially when it comes to shopping for new things!

Note: this is a paid advertising post brought to you by your friends at Blogsvertise.

Girls Talk - My Favourite School Subject

Wednesday, June 8, 2011
For the month of June, my fellow Girl Talkers and I will be sharing our old school memories, fave subjects, memorable teachers and such. This week we tackle the matter of a favourite school subject.

Since I love constructing yarns and telling stories (as you can see from this blog), I would readily admit that I loved my language subjects, mainly Filipino, English and Afrikaans. Yes, even Afrikaans, even though I couldn't pass the subject to save me. I got the book in English version and loved reading the story we had for that subject anyway.

With these subjects, I got to read make-believe stories and legends, and we delved into classic literature. I cannot remember much about the stories I've read when I attended elementary school in the Philippines....but I really enjoyed the Juan Tamad and Alamat stories :-)

In high school, these were the literature I was afforded:
First year high school (Filipino I) - Ibong Adarna (Adarna bird)
Second year high school (Filipino II) - Florante at Laura (Florante and Laura)
Third year high school (Filipino III) - Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)
Third year high school (English lit. in South Africa) - To Kill A Mockingbird
Third year high school (Afrikaans lit. in South Africa) - Fiela se Kind (Fiela's Child)
Fourth year high school (English lit. in South Africa) - Antony and Cleopatra
Fourth year high school (English lit. in South Africa) - Wuthering Heights

These stories took me places and fed my imagination. Not to mention, it fuelled my love for reading. And until today, that love remains true.

On that note, I'll end this post as I hear my Agatha Christie e-book calling me to bed :-)

For more sharing, check the other Girl Talkers and see what their faves are.

Novice Blogging - Note #26 (Find Me On Facebook)

It would have come sooner or later.
After creating a Facebook page for my blog, it would have been extremely difficult for me not to (at least) put a little widget on the side of my blog to gather my readers together on Facebook as well. After all, if I did it for Google Friend Connect, why not Facebook?

DIY FYI: Finished For Now

Tuesday, June 7, 2011
So we are as finished (or as close to finish) as we can get.

These pictures are the end results of a month-long project on our kitchen renovations. The only problem that we've started beautifying our kitchen, my hubby has decided to do other projects around the house as well. Or well, plan them anyway. Of course there are budgets and other resources to consider. I have not quite fully recovered from the last one. So hold your horses just yet.

But yes, it has definitely become ongoing. I just hope that it does not become too ongoing that I cannot go anywhere anymore.

Watch this space for more DIY FYI as we transform our humble abode. :-)

Pretty Pictures Tell Me....Part One

Monday, June 6, 2011
Looks like my obsession with boiled peanuts has not gone unnoticed.

On a recent occasion, my youngest was dazzling me with her pictures and because I simply loved peanuts too much, she has presented me with PEANUTLAND! Complete with its own giant Peanut Man.

The presentation
Up close and personal...

There was a Peanut dog, a Peanut baby, a Peanut car....even the sun and its rays were in the shape of peanuts. When asked what inspired her to draw Peanutland, she replied that she got the idea just by looking at a small peanut shell.

How's that for creativity?

Girls Talk - THE English Teacher

Thursday, June 2, 2011
This will probably sound foolish. I look at the theme for today's Girls Talk and instantly think of a teacher in high school....yet, I can't recall her name. Bad, bad, bad. I remember the other teachers I had (not all, mind you) but not the particular one that I wanted to share with you today.

I think her first name was Esperanza, surname could be Lee but I am totally unsure. Yet before I harp on too long about my "unnamed" teacher and reasons thereof, I shall just call her THE English Teacher.

I had THE English Teacher as my English teacher (duh?!) in my second year of high school. She was always vibrant and energetic in class that there was never a doubt that she had passion for the English language. Her enthusiasm was catchy. I remember me and my high school clique (the nerds we were called) raving about THE English Teacher after every one of her class. She was strict and pushed us to the limit when it came to language usage, but we thoroughly enjoyed being taught by her. I suppose, her zest just spilt on to me as I became engrossed with perfecting my English. At one point in my life, I even contemplated to study media and communication at university.

'Tis true indeed, the power of a teacher is their ability to inspire. These days, of course, I just flex whatever is left of my English inspiration around here on the blog. Be the media mogul that I always thought I'd be when I was in my second year of high school. Never really thought about it until now that I owe THE English Teacher a lot for my love of the language, including reading and writing. So thank you, my unnamed hero. Perchance I shall look you up on Facebook :-)

My share for Girls Talk this week after a month-long absence, prepping for my exams. Visit the other Girl Talkers to see who their choices are!

New Baby On The Block

Wednesday, June 1, 2011
We recently had a get-together with some of our close family friends. In my circle of friends, my youngest has been the youngest kid (among all of my friends' children) for the longest time.

But now, the time has come, she has been replaced.