Friday, January 29, 2010

goodbye, holden caulfield

Long live Holden! Long live Franny! Long live Zooey!

J.D. Salinger, the legendary author, youth hero and fugitive from fame whose "The Catcher in the Rye" shocked and inspired a world he increasingly shunned, has died. He was 91.

Salinger died of natural causes at his home on Wednesday, the author's son, actor Matt Salinger, said in a statement from Salinger's longtime literary representative, Harold Ober Associates, Inc. He had lived for decades in self-imposed isolation in a small, remote house in Cornish, N.H.

"The Catcher in the Rye", with its immortal teenage protagonist, the twisted, rebellious Holden Caulfield, came out in 1951, a time of anxious, Cold War conformity and the dawn of modern adolescence. The Book-of-the-Month Club, which made "Catcher" a featured selection, advised that for "anyone who has ever brought up a son", the novel will be "a source of wonder and delight-- and concern."

I'm waiting to see what Jessica Zafra writes about Salinger. He died on my birthday.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iloilo birthday errands

The Philippine driver's license expires and must be renewed on or before one's birthday. Is it the same all over the world, or just here?

Seems like a lame way to spend your birthday... unless you plan an out-of-town sightseeing/ shopping/ eating trip to, say, Iloilo.

A flat tire is inevitable.

Deja vu.

But we managed to do what we were supposed to do that day-- special thanks to Mr. T's progeny, the AJ.

To reward ourselves-- Good job!-- and to celebrate my birthday, we went to Smallville and restaurant-hopped.

First up was Afrique's. Bunny Rabbit liked it.

We had the Portuguese sardine pizza. The crust was interesting. Crispy, but not ultra-thin. A bit bread-like, but not bad. In fact, the texture reminded me of the fast-food 3M pizza of my youth, but in a high-class setting.

The menu is a wide selection of Italian and quasi-Mediterranean dishes, but with a distinct Pinoy twist. I would go back for the friendly service and cozy ambiance. In a compound with over 20 restaurants/ bars, Afrique's was full. The locals certainly think it's worth a visit.

We decided to follow the crowd. Next stop was Nothing But Desserts.

The bottled water was too cute! It's actually water by the Hidden Spring bottled water company, but in very cool packaging. (At first, we thought it was a baby bottle.) They even printed Nothing But Desserts's name and web address on the bottle. I saw some green and black bottles, too.

The strawberry pavlova was OK, if you like meringue. With the amount of fresh strawberries on it, it was a steal at less than US$2. We will try the gelato next time.

Before we headed back to the hotel, I wanted some oysters. Yez, I know. Weird. We got some at Imay's, another popular place. Cheap. Not spectacular, but value for money. This platter of grilled oysters with garlic and cheese cost less than US$2.

We noticed that quite a few places set their tables with the cutlery in these tiny brown paper bags. Like the ones used for fresh roasted peanuts that you can buy by the jigger. Why kaya?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

always learning

You learn something new everyday. Ain't that the truth. This is what I learned recently:

ñ ñ ñ


é é é


Yez! I learned how to do it from Wikireena, and so that I won't forget, I decided to post this here. Mac users: Read.

"press [alt/option] AND [N]
then press [N] again..

same goes for é
to make it in capital letter, just press [shift] before pressing the letter the second time..
practice makes perfect.. hehehe!"

PC users: I don't know. And I don't really care. Haha!

New Halowich fans.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

man nipples

There is something about this shirt that my mother bought....

Now we know. We are not folding it anymore.

birthday gifts

My birthday gifts to myself have arrived!

Not the red one. But still nice.

Big-ass lens.

The Lumix LX3 has so many delicious accessories, and they're not too expensive-- I mean, relative to a DSLR's lenses and accessories. I was trying to decide whether to get the wide, fisheye, telephoto or super macro lens, but in the end, I went with the telephoto.

Because where I live, I can take a picture of the sunset everyday, if I wanted to. How about you? Hehe.

So how are the pictures? Who cares?! Take a look at this setup.

Ang kulit.

The truth is, it's been raining a lot since my new toys arrived, so I haven't taken the tele lens out for a real workout yet, but the test shots look good.

Now if only I can find an instruction manual for it...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

i heart google

Did anybody see the show on Discovery Travel and Living about how Google, the company, makes sure that their employees eat the best yummy and healthy food made from fresh produce that's sourced from around the area? The employees are happy. The farmers are happy.

It's so great. Why can't all big business be like that?

And then today, on Yahoo! News, I read about Google's decision to pull out of China. Click to enlarge.

Google, you rock! Even though China is the biggest market out there, it's not always about the money. I hope others follow Google's lead. Stand fast! China does NOT NOT NOT own the world.

My brother tells me that my blog is blocked in China.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

come have a join us

Callling all Basecampers! This weekend is our joint birthday celebration-- me, Bunny Rabbit, Wonder Dog, Amazing Margaux and Steve Shadow's cousin Marsy.

Today is Wonder Dog's birthday, so last night we went out just before midnight to meet and greet.

Getting ready.

Summer Place had a nice groove going on, courtesy of Ben the Professional Boracaynon.

I just wanna rock, DJ!

Still early (?) at midnight.

And then the people started coming. And the drinks started pouring.

The big boss of Summer Place surveys his handiwork.

The original James Yap.

Happy birthday, Wonder Dog (January 9) and Bunny Rabbit (January 4)!

The birthday boys.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

my new look

Well, not me. I mean my blog. I changed the template and now, I'm taking it out for a spin.

Looks good so far. The white background makes everything clearer. The placement of the widgets is more streamlined. And blue, of course, is my favorite color. Go, Eagles!

How it looked last year:

Oy, so dorky.

Ain't technology grand? The interweb makes it all so easy nowadays-- a click here, a drag and drop there. The term "user-friendly" is almost obsolete now, since everything is ridiculously easy to use.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

happy new year!

How did we spend New Year's Eve?

7pm-- Simple dinner at Basecamp. Some friends came over to visit and hang around.

11:30pm to 12:30am-- Watched the fireworks. Sorry, no pictures. Fireworks have to be experienced live. Pictures, or even video, are no good because they can't capture the smell of the gunpowder, the sighs and yells of the crowds and the sheer spectacle of this once-a-year mega light show. Here's something not too many people know: Boracay is the best place to celebrate New Year's-- over three kilometers of white-sand beach, almost an hour of (expensive) fireworks, sparkly sparkles reflected over the water, and parties until sunrise. This year's pyrotechnic display was truly exceptional. We were a bit worried that the resorts wouldn't spend as much as last year because of the state of the economy, but we were wrong!

And yez, there were white people skinny dipping everywhere.

1:30am-- Started walking along the beach to check out the par-tays. Had a shot of Bacardi at Pat's Bar and had to sit down. Ate some wonderful nachos with homemade salsa and delicious oysters adobo.

3pm-- Last stop, Summer Place. Said "hi" to the DJ. The place was crazy packed.

4:30am-- Went home and slept.

11am-- Made pancakes and bacon for brunch. Yum!

1pm-- Went back to sleep.

7pm-- Had an extraordinary dinner at Rusty's house. A great start for 2010. Happy New Year, friends.