Monday 28 January 2008

RED iPod Nano

Harley gave me my very first iPod as monthsary gift.. an iPod Nano. I absolutely love it! Aside from being so small, slim and easy to navigate, it's of my favorite color... RED! Now I don't leave the house without it. Okay kasi mag-emote, listening to my iPod (naks I finally have an iPod, sa wakas!) while walking by the river Thames.
These red iPods are (RED) products, which means that if you buy one (nano or shuffle) you support the (PRODUCT) RED movement. You help fund the purchase and distribution of anti-AIDS medications in Africa. See for more information :)


Saturday 26 January 2008

My first English Pub

Yesterday (Friday) our team went to a pub after work to unwind after a week of work, and of course to bond. The pub we went to was a traditional English pub, The Bells, which was just within Staines - a few minutes walk from the office/town centre.

The Bells Pub (Staines)

There are two types of English pubs - the free pub and the non-free (duh!) pub. What's the difference? Well the non-free pub is tied up with a certain brewery - they're only allowed to sell beers/ales from that brewery and in turn the brewery's products are only sold in that pub. So there's a consignment agreement. Like The Bells, it's tied up to Young's brewery. People who are craving for Young's ales have to go to its distributor pubs to get one. While the free pub is free to sell any ale/beer products they want. But the ones they usually sell can be found in supermarkets so there's no point going there except for the ambiance.

Only four out of the 6 member team were there last night. One didn't go because he doesn't drink (he's a Baptist) and the other one had to go home early. It was funny because all four of us were of different races - Spaniard, English, French and Filipino - oh diba multinational, United Nations! It turned out to be a very good idea because after each a pint of ale we loosened up. We were chatting and sharing stories. I found out that my teamlead (the French guy) served in Africa for 2 years as a Mathematics teacher that, though he admitted living there was very difficult, made a deep impact in his life. He told us that kids there were very serious with their studies because they considered themselves lucky to go to school as only a few could afford - andalso that seriousness extended to cheating, they were very resourceful to find ways to cheat, so they could pass and get a degree. I also found out that my English colleague was a professional canoeist. He went to other countries to compete. It was also a relief to know that Carlos, the Spaniard guy, could actually laugh and share jokes. You see in the office he's always grumpy.

The pub was brimming with other people. It's an English culture - the pub is the place to chat with friends or watch football - it's our equivalent of a Coffee shop. At night you, even as early as 7pm, usually won't find people on the streets (walang mga tambay), giving you impression that Englishmen go to bed early. But if you happen to pass by a pub, you'll notice it's jampacked - doon sila nagtatago.

The Young's ale wasn't bad at all - in fact I liked it. It's so smooth not at all bitter. I can have it anytime!

Traditional ale is poured by pulling down this kind of handle.


Friday 25 January 2008

Welcome to the world, baby boy Daria!

Claire just delivered a healthy baby boy through Caesarian (rest assured it's the bikini cut procedure). Well she had to go under the knife because their boy turned out to be so massive for her "opening". He's 7.11 pounds! Baby and new Mommy are doing fabulous. I just talked to her and she recognized me - so the epidural didn't do her damage, thank God. They're gonna name him Caleb Adrian... sounds so posh, right?

He frowns like Darrix, his lip's like Darrix's but don't worry Claire there's still a chance he'll get your sooty eyes. God, he's so cute! (can't wait for my mini-me 8 years from now) I bet he's going to grow up a fine chap someday :) Congrats, Darrix and Claire! I can't still believe you have a baby now. And I can't imagine Claire taking care of a baby...


Claire's in Labor now...

Hi Claire is currently in labor now. Her water broke this morning (I didn't believe her when she texted me coz she always bluff). She's had epidural (baka di na nya tayo kilala) and already 10cm dilated. So baby boy Daria is on his way to "Hello World!" soon.

So far it's a normal labor and Darrix told me she's doing great. Let's wish and pray for a safe delivery and that both Mommy and child are healthy. Pray more na sana kamukha ni Claire yung baby and not Darrix!

Claire, good luck!

Thursday 24 January 2008

No Resolutions

2008 has always been my favorite year since way back in highschool because I wholeheartedly believe that 8 is my lucky number. I'm not Chinese ha but I just decided on the number 8 that hey it's going to be my favorite number. I associate it with the symbol of infinity - that in one's life there's no limit to the wonderful surprises, joys and love any person can get, it's infinitely possible. I used to say to myself that 2008 will be the best year for me and I used to say to my friends that I'm going to get married on my 28th year on August 8, 2008 (kasi ang daming 8!). Looks like though I'll have to move my deadline on the latter (say August 8, 2018). It's simply not going to happen soon. But still I do believe, eventhough this year has begun with sad news about the recent US recession threat, the pound sterling going down and Heath Ledger dying, 2008 is still going to be the best year for me. I can feel it!

I don't have New Year's resolutions because I simply suck at fulfilling them - I chuck them away even before starting doing one. What I do plan to do is keep up and probably improve the good qualities that I already have. Because that's easier than doing your best to concoct good traits from thin air (like realising resolutions for example). Oh yes, I do have a few good traits here and there. Yeah, I do! For one, many say that I'm a cheerful person. That I easily smile even if there's nothing to be happy about... oh no, that doesn't good, does it? A bit alarming actually. So erase that, I'll think of another good trait that I have under my belt. There's one or two, for sure...

On the other hand, I wish for a few things for myself this 2008. These are:
  1. Go home to Cebu. I miss my family, my Mom's cooking, my Dad's too safe and sure driving (in other words, mabagal) and I'm curious to see how grown up my sister is now.
  2. A reunion with VPALs. I really miss those pretty girls and gay. I hope we'll see each other this Christmas break and go out, drown in a bottle of Tequila like we're all still singles.
  3. A trip to Scotland! I'm thinking of visiting the picturesque Edinburgh castles.

Any one or two, or all of those wishes coming true will surely make this year the best.

And I really do hope this year will carry us more blessings and laughter... a safe labour and delivery for Claire... a pregnancy for Ria (well it's time!)... promotion for Harley - he truly deserves it because he's the best Base24 Programmer I know (and the only one I know :p)... good health for my family, friends and their families... more travels and career opportunities for my friends... and I hope for peace for those who live in war-stricken nations and have been living destititutely and being constantly terrorized for years. I truly hope for World Peace.