Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Give me Blog-erty or Give Death

One of my normal routines in the morning before I do anything else is to read the newspaper online. I start with the NY Times and ends with Filipino News from Inquirer or Manila Bulletin. Today, I was reading about high school students who were suspended because they blogged about their principal.

What? Suspended because they blogged about their principal? Now, I don't know what they blogged about exactly, but in my opinion, what is wrong with blogging about another person? I think everyone has a right to practice their freedon of speech. Unless those kids threatened the principal, which I have not seen evidence that they did, then I don't think they should be reprimanded for stating their opinion.

As an avid blogger, I, myself, was criticized by a friend for blogging about my mother - they scolded me about my writing things about my family and posting them for the public to read. My answer to that is....why not? How is my blog affecting your life at all? And if I mentioned something about someone, that's my opinion. And besides, I can write better than you :-D

For that principal in the Philippines...grow up! I think you should be proud of your student that they have learned how to express their opinions. It's just a blog, so who cares -- unless what they wrote hits a little too close to home. If the president of the United States can take all the insults and jest that he gets everyday, you should be able to take that as well. But again, maybe, just maybe, you have a reason to be upset?

I wish I know about blogging when I was in high school. Here are the following things I would have blogged about:
  1. I would blogged about my teacher (Ms. Vivo) who caught me chewing gum and asked me to spit it out and put the gum on my forehead. When I refused, she told everyone that she would not come to the Christmas party. I was devastated given my fragile age. I blamed myself (maybe others too) for having the only class that didn't have a teacher at our Christmas Party. But when I think of it now, I realized how immature my teacher was to use me as an excuse for not showing up to our Christmas party. Very Immature!
  2. I would have blogged about our principal who in her tenure did not allow us to have Junior and Senior Prom. That was just MEAN. Junior and Senior prom are high school traditions. It's a time that, when you are all grown up, you look back and say "I had the best high school life ever!" (Well, in theory that's what you would say.)
  3. I would have blogged about fellow high school student who would only talk to you when you were eating chips. As soon as they finished them (like vultures), they all split and acted like they never knew you at all...that is until they saw you eating chips again. Talk about USERS!
  4. I would have blogged about fellow high school student who questioned me about my US vacations and asked me for proof and pictures. Why so INSECURE?
  5. And last but not lease, I would have blogged about my wonderful high school friends -- Cynthia, Dorothy and Emily. Although, I lost contact with then when I move here to America, I still treasure their friendship and will always remember their kindness. I MISS THEM and hope we will meet again someday.
So HOW ABOUT IT? Are you guys out there un the blogosphere?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If I Ever Lose My Faith

I grew up believing in God. Believing that someone is watching over you and taking care of you. I grew up believing that God would never give you any challenges that you can't handle, as long as you keep that faith, and thus, that no matter how much difficult the challenge put in front of you, God believes you can overcome them. Having grown up believing that, having had those beliefs constantly ingrained into me, can it really be that how I can find myself starting to lose the faith?

Last night after I hang up the phone I felt that heaven and earth was collapsing in front of me and there was nothing I could do about it. It was my mom on the other line informing me that her big C had showed up again and she needs another treatment. This was too much for me to take. Two year ago, on my birthday, just as I was about to go out for dinner, she called me to let me know she had been diagnose with big C. It was my worst birthday ever - not because she told me on my birthday but simply because I knew what she had. We kept positive outlook, and after treatments and an operation, the doctors diagnosed her as big C free. She remained that way for over a year.

But last night was a different story.

What the fuck is this? Why her? If God is really is watching us, then why would He let this happen to her, a good, faithful person, and not to the worst person on earth? Why are criminals and molesters and perverts priest and terrorist and murderers and the financial criminal who have ruined so many lives with the current economy allowed to go on with their lives? I cried the entire night asking this questions. I am worried for her. And I am scared of losing her.

I hate to lose my faith in Him but I'm really scared. I may be the best daughter, we may not have the best mother/daughter relationship and there may have been many strains between us, but I love my mother and I don't want to lose her. I hope that she will defeat this again, just like she did two years ago. I HOPE. But can I pray?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year - New Cooking

As we start the New Year, we plan to start eating healthy, cooking at home more to save money and maybe (just maybe) start exercising. Every night before hubby comes home, I ask him what he wants for dinner. Last night he sent me a link to a great recipe of Snapper Vera Cruz. To my surprise, the recipe was courtesy of the chef at Sailfish Marina Restaurant on Singer Island - a favorite restaurant of ours that we dine at every time we visit Florida. The Sailfish Marina is a quintessential "Floridian" restaurant, featuring great fish and seafood in a very casual, unpretentious, marina-front setting.

The recipe was featured on one of Bobby Flay's shows on the Food Network. Now, I'm not really a big fan of Bobby Flay's TV personality. I find him to be more than a little cocky (especially when he disrespected Kitchen Stadium in the original Iron Chef when jumped on the cooking/cutting tables.) However, I have to give it him a credit that he is a great cook. I remember dining out at Mesa Grill, one of his restaurant in NYC, and I truly enjoyed his food and couldn't wait to go back there again. So if it is good enough for Bobby Flay, I'm sure its good enough for me. (Although, in the interest of full disclosure, hubby had had fish prepared "vera cruz" style at other Florida restaurants.)

Here is my version of the Sailfish Marina's Snapper Vera Cruz with Couscous. Please note that my version excludes certain ingredients such as brandy, cheese, butter and coriander. But, it turned out great and delicious! And even better, the dish was perfectly paired with 1999 Riesling Auslese (which surprisingly enough, had not gone off despite our less than ideal storage conditions). Bon Appetit!

Even Santa Likes the Beach

Happy New Year Everyone!

I'm sorry I haven't logged in for a long time. My husband and I went away for the holidays, somewhere far from the chaotic work and miserable cold and gray in New York City - to sunny South Florida. Although, I promised myself I would not open my laptop while on vacation, I must admit to checking my personal emails periodically to read some of my friends greeting, status reports, etc. What can I say...even in paradise there is a wifi.

But before heading down to the warmth, first we made a stop in not so sunny North Jersey. As I previously mentioned, I am grateful I don't need to worry which family I go to because we go to both. We started with Christmas at my brother's house in Jersey. My mom was busy cooking all day preparing variety of Filipino foods. I was planning to help her but my husband and I got a terrible stomach virus on December 23rd and we almost didn't make it to my brother's house at all. Luckily, we were feeling a bit better by Christmas Eve and both of my brothers and my mom convinced us not to worry about spreading the bug. So we went and had a wonderful dinner followed by coffee and a variety of desserts.

We moved to the living room to starts the fun that we had all been waiting for - the secret santa gift exchange. (well, it was supposed to be secret santa, but everyone ended up giving everyone else a gift, so there went that idea.) As usual my hi-tech brothers gave me new gadgets. My younger bro gave me a portable hard drive which I have no idea how to use it. But it is 400 gigs and usb powered, so my husband thinks its pretty cool. My older bro gave me a new Ipod Nano. (although I already have 3 Ipods, this is the first new one I ever had - all of the rest were hand-me-downs from my bros). Just like every Christmas, my older bro loves to wraps his gifts in anusual and surprising ways. This year he wrapped the ipod in a plastic kitchen bag, which he cleverly tied the handles to make into a bow. The boy should work at Bloomingdale's.

I remember a couple of years ago, he gave me a huge box. When I opened it, I found another box inside followed by another until I finally reached the box of watch that I really wanted. Excited, I opened the box to find...nothing...just the box. He the gave me the watch separately. He had just wanted to see how I would react. I was disappointed at seeing the empty box, but thought it was funny afterward.

As for my loving husband, I guess he was reading my blog (imagine that) because I got one of my wishes. He gave me a gift card from Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, as well as a gorgeous dress from Max Azria BCBG. Who khew he had such a good taste in clothes?

As for me, I gave everyone else a gifts as well. -- Gift cards for my brothers so they can buy more hi-tech stuff that I haven't heard of yet and for husband a tennis racquet. Well I was told it was a tennis racquet by the guy at Paragon, but we found out that it was actually a squash racquet. I thought it looked weird for a tennis racquet, but the guy at the Paragon insisted that it was the new style for beginners. Looks like I will be returning the racquet for a proper tennis racquet (possibly ratting out a salesperson in process.)

We ended the celebration with my mom and me going to mid-night mass (thanks hubby for driving)

New Year
The next day, my husband and I left my brother's house to go home and pack for our holiday trip to Florida. We sepnt the whole time at the beach (
the trip, not the next day). Although the weather got cooler at night, it was still much warmer than cold, snowy NYC.

The year 2008 went so fast and I am thankful for all the wonderful things that happened as well as all the blessings that my family and I received. And hopefully, I will not make the same mistakes in 2009 that I did this year (although lets be honest...there's bound to be some repeats). I am grateful to have two wonderful families who loves me unconditionally and all my friends who care for me.

Happy New Year to All!!