power up

April 19, 2017

had a recurring “nightmare” last night about people seeking any shelter they could find.  What’s weird is that I have a different dream each time I get up from bed but for some reason it just continued where it left off.  I thought I was not really bothered by the threat of nuclear winter but it looks like subconsciously I am.   This just illustrates how, often, control is not in one’s own hands.  Like my mum used to say:  you’re ok but other people might be “crazy”.

as time goes by

April 12, 2017

last night a friend (who was also a student at UniMelb and now based in Sydney) had dinner at our house.  It’s been years since we last saw her.  Maybe it was the shared experience but it was a confluence of factors (including our “academic” tendencies and that we didn’t share accommodation).  I’ve got few friends because of my numerous quirks but when you meet someone, you just know if you’ll get along with them.  I’m not that nostalgic but it was good to catch up on “old” times

food glorious food

February 20, 2017

my family and I spent a month in America. We all gained weight and had our waistlines expand (more so me). It’s quite understandable that some people I know who now live in the US are “healthier”.  Even if most of the food is too salty or too sweet for my palate, the food which I consumed was quite “rich” and caused me to put on a few kilos (although I find pounds a much more meaningful measure).

I do enjoy (and seek out) food.  I find the word foodie overused and abused.  I prefer the previously coined term of gastronaut because I find the implication of exploration appropriate.  Perhaps it’s me just being pedantic or wanting to differentiate myself.

Our niece recently (and temporarily) moved to Melbourne which made me think of the places I used to eat in a few years back as a student.  Hopefully, the food they serve is still delicious.  Mekong at Swanston in the city used to have “decent” Vietnamese Pho – so much so that a former US president tried it.  Enri’s at Richmond is one of only a handful of Argentinian restaurants in OZ – although it was the chicken in brie sauce I liked.  Later on there’s dancing on tables (admittedly I was inebriated to even attempt this).  Brunetti at Lygon Street (although I think their other branches now but from my experience the original is still the best) is a “good” place for desserts and coffee.  Casa Del Gelato at the edge of Lygon where I used to go for a treat.  It’s been open for nearly 40 years and was full even during winter.   I proposed to my wife just outside the shop with a makeshift ring – a solo diamond earring set in a cable “twistee”.

I’m looking forward to our nephew and his girlfriend taking us to sample various food trucks – I’ve always believed good food is good food regardless of “pedigree”.

relativity

January 11, 2017

everyone is entitled to whinge about their problems (or physically express them) but you have to know your audience.  Forgive my callousness but originally hailing from the Philippines where 90% of the population live below the poverty line (despite the majority working extremely hard to improve their lot), having a wife who required a kidney transplant after falling pregnant with our son (she was previously on haemodialysis six days a week and was hospitalised several times and had to be brought in to Emergency via ambulance) and living with an Acquired Brain Injury (ABI that’s unnamed and resulting in compromised in balance and co-ordination) for nearly a decade some issues seem like “high-class” problems to me.  It’s not that they shouldn’t complain but choose carefully the person(s) to share it with.

I know I should be more empathetic but it frustrates me when people feel entitled – ever seen the film, Blue Jasmine.  It’s just people should learn to adjust and adapt to their circumstances – all of us have our own crosses to bear but, with me, for the most part they’re barking up the wrong tree.

two out of three ain’t bad

December 17, 2016

Teague Ezard is one of my of my favourite chefs (long before he appeared on Masterchef Australia –  although in fairness, they did introduce me to a number of chefs).  We recently tried Ezard while we were in Melbourne because we really liked the food at Black in Sydney.  Both were good but we preferred the latter.  Will try Gingerboy the next time we go back to Melbourne.

Almost had to cancel our booking due to uncontrollable circumstances but managed as I was insistent since Rockpool and Guillaume’s closed this year. When I can, will try to eat at restaurants on my list given the opportunity (and make plans for others).

Studying and living in Australia reinforced in me the notion that you like what you like.   I’m not a fan of the term: “guilty pleasure”.  I believe enjoyment is personal and shouldn’t be a social construct of what is deemed “hot or not”(understanding fully since I was also a teenager).  I consider trendmakers and influencers (and even role-models to a certain extent) as starting points and it is, ultimately, up to your own tastes or what you derive pleasure from (or what you believe). You and not external sources should decide (although they can be invaluable guides).  It’s important to find individuals you can relate to at some level.  Maybe it’s “easier” for me since I was never part of the “in” crowd.

it took me sometime to format it and get a Creative Commons license for it.  I now think it’s ready to be posted.  I wrote this way back in 2007 for a masterclass and publication fell through.  I think it’s about time for a “sequel” of sorts.  I can use my blog to play with thoughts and help refine ideas through comments.

There’sNoPlaceThat’sHome cc-by-sa

open arms

January 27, 2014

we went to this year’s Australian Open for my son’s birthday – unfortunately it was the week of the heat wave. All in all we enjoyed despite the heat and my son not getting an autograph from Nadal.

Aside from seeing a boat-load of player practice sessions,   we were able to see the second round match between Nadal and Kokanakis at the Rod Laver Arena with the roof closed. Thanis and Nick Kyrgios bode well for the future of Australian tennis.

I am not one to be fanatical but I admire Sam Stosur’s stroke – not since the backhand of Jusine Henin-Hardin have I viewed such beauty.  Some people even positioned themselves at 1 pm in the sweltering sun just to get a glimpse of Federer who was scheduled to practice at 5 that afternoon.  It was also nice seeing Rafter play doubles after 9 years – even if they lost during the initial match.  Nonetheless, it was amusing to see and hear the Fanatics barrack for each of the Aussies for their various matches.

While there, I was able to catch-up with an “old” and dear high school friend and her family – unfortunately, we were not able to meet-up again due to scheduling conflicts.  If we had known there was a kid’s day the day before, we would have booked a flight sooner.

Wawrinka had a good run towards the men’s final – strangely enough, he’s now ranked as Switzerland’s top player and at the same time is a close friend of Roger. He has a “killer” serve and backhand.  The “Stanimal” won his 1st championship in 4 sets.  Unfortunately, Rafa was plagued with back problems – so we’ll never really know.  He fought hard to get back his number 1 world ranking last year despite injuring his knee.  After missing 7 months and last year’s open, is it any wonder he showed such emotion for what seemed to me the first time in his storied career.  It’s a testament to him that he finished the match when the commentators thought he would surely retire.

Maybe my interest in the sport was rekindled because my son plays the sport, we were at the Open, my view is the racket is part of the player and just not equipment,it is as much mental as it is physical, or a combination of factors.