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”.

call me (maybe)

December 20, 2013

my mum calls every weekend. It’s structured the same (not that I’m complaining) – on reflection, the consistency of it all seems to bring me some  comfort.  She did this even before my before my condition – I guess she thinks it’s more important now. Our chats have always been brief – I’ve never been much of a talker.  Most would say it’s a bit ritualistic – but knowing the intent behind it changes the context. Maybe it’s force of habit or force of nature but I don’t reciprocate even if I know I should. I don’t expect it but I’ll miss it if it stops.

dark clouds gather

November 9, 2013

a severe typhoon hit the centre of the Philippines and they’re still recovering from a major earthquake.  Thankfully no one I knew was physically hurt – unfortunately, there was some property damage.

close to perfection

August 27, 2013

i had a recent e-mail exchange with someone who was also studying in Melbourne when we were both doing our graduate studies.  She’s now in Sydney with her husband doing her Ph.D. On the other hand, I’m based in Adelaide with my family pursuing a doctorate. We belong to different fields and yet we share a passion for knowledge.  Sure there are “formal” links but it’s our common experiences that binds us.

Some would say she’s obsessive – she once had 9 drafts of an assignment. I’ve always believed the devil is in the detail.  I see nothing wrong with striving for perfection. As long as you don’t lose sight of the big picture, getting your hands “dirty” is quite noble.  Many people lose touch and forget to stay grounded in the face of success – I never felt it was a problem for her.

She said she’s a bit “shy” about leaving comments for everyone to read – that’s such a shame because I think she has something worthwhile to share with the rest of the world.

surprise, surprise

July 19, 2013

we were back in Manila recently for my mum’s surprise 70th – we arrived the night before the dinner party which was the day of her actual  birthday.   My brother arranged so that we stayed at a lower floor in a condo in their building.

She was genuinely shocked to see us ( my son handed her roses at the start )- we even called her that morning and we were in league with my dad so that we did not accidentally run into her as we had our haircut in Makati.  However, there was a whole mishap getting to the venue (the details of which I’ll spare you).  Suffice it to say, we arrived before them – thank God for once for the unprectability of Philippine traffic.

My younger brother and his wife did a bang-up job of organising the event.  You could feel my brother’s stress levels but it worked out in the in spite of the “issues” that cropped-up.  My mother’s close friends from high school, college, the military, and mah jong were there. There was a video presentation which took a lot of effort from my brother and his friend (involving long weeknights and sacrifing weekends.) There were also messages from my dad, her sister, and myself.     There was a video prepared by the oldest apo that featured all the grandkids.  As the program started late, non-essentials were cut like trivia questions.  At the end, there was dancing because both my parents enjoy cutting the rug.  Later on we found out despite various slip ups, the surprise was not ruined.  All in all, it was a great night.

Since it was a short “holiday” as my wife had to get back to work and my son only had a brief school  break, we were very tired – but it was very much worth it.  Only four more “short” years until my parents’s golden wedding anniversary…