Thought Bubbles...

musings, rantings, and what-have-you, about my own small part of the world, and my 'sometimes' not so-ordinary life...something to read and reflect on, and which hopefully will bring a smile to your face... :)

Monday, January 16, 2006

Flicker down :(

The Flickr program (the one which shows the pictures on the right side of my page) has been down for the loooooongest time. More than a month if i'm not mistaken. And to think i recently updated it with pics! tsk tsk tsk... so anyway, just check out my last few posts, and i'll add the pics there instead. And since i'm still trying to catch up on some posts that i haven't gotten the chance to put up here yet, check down (and down) to see if there's anything new... :)

Friday, January 06, 2006

My new FAVE show…

Wednesday nights, if I can help it, I’ll be at home watching TV to watch my new favourite show, “Extreme Makeover Home Edition”. Considering I’ve only seen it twice (blame it on my EXTREMELY busy schedule), I’ve been hooked!

The first time I watched it, they featured the Cadigan-Scott Family Season 1, Episode 12). The family lost their Mom as a result of a heart attack, then 2 weeks later, their Dad died a heart attack as well. Their eight kids were left to grieve a double, unbelievable loss. The two oldest siblings had to move back home and assume legal guardianship of the younger siblings, or else they would end up in foster care.

The design team composed of Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo, Michael Moloney, Preston Sharp, Constance Ramos, and Tracy Hutson got to work. Their challenge was to have a home that would comfortably fit the 8 siblings. One of the design team's priorities was to give the family more space -- since the kids (7 girls and 1 boy) all share a single bathroom. They got to work, and the results were awesome! They gave each sibling her own room, a large bathroom with multiple sinks and showers for the girls, and created a family room, and added a pool in the backyard as well. The only boy got to have his own room with giant speakers (since he played guitar), and his own bathroom as well. The results were awesome! But the best part was that after the kids were shown their new home, they were given their mortgage papers to burn. The home was theirs, no more debts to pay… :D

The second time I watched the show, they featured the Garay family (Season 2, Episode 2). The story was, a mother was shot and killed by a gang member's stray bullet while sleeping, leaving 5 young kids (David, 12, eleven-year-old twins Nidia and Efren, Eric, six, and three-year-old Celina Cleto). The eldest son, Johnny Garay, who works for a non-profit agency and coaches at-risk teens, took in his five younger siblings so that they would not be separated by Child Protective Services. He took in his siblings, though he and his wife Veronica had four young children of their own (Christina, nine, seven-year-old twins Iris and Johnnie, and Freddy, three). They needed space to fit everyone so Johnny moved his now large family into what he could afford, a major fixer-upper in the South Central area of Los Angeles, California. The house was in terrible shape, and they actually already had orders from the city to make some major repairs or else the kids would be taken away to foster care.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and their design team to the rescue! They built a new home for the family, and added a 3rd floor to the new house. There were rooms for all the kids, as well as a big master bedroom for the couple in which to relax. They also added a music room, library/study room especially for the kids.

I so enjoy watching these types of shows, seeing the effort the design team takes to make everything perfect for the chosen family, and seeing the great transformation that the house, AND the family as well, goes through. It’s so heartwarming to watch how generous people (and corporations) can be, and how this impacts on the beneficiaries. This is definitely one reality show which is a cut above the rest! "survivor", "the bachelor", "fear factor", "the swan", and all the other reality shows focus more on the worst of human nature, and thus they look more like freak shows when compared to EM:HE. EM:HE focuses on the good in people, and what generosity and a kind heart can do. Each time i watch this show, i can't help but cry. It truly is a touching, inspiring and heartwarming show. So is it any surprise why my new favourite show is "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition"? :)

check out other viewers' comments about the show...

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

LPG power

I took a cab going home tonight. While looking out the window, I happened to glance at the writings inside the cab, and was surprised by the sign saying that it was an LPG-powered cab. So curious as I was, I decided to ask the taxi driver some questions. To make the long story short, here are his answers. You guess the questions ala “Jeopardy”… Come on, use your coconut! Hahaha! :D

- Yes, LPG is available in some gas stations (and in cases when your tank is empty and you can't find LPG in one station, you can opt to use gas instead!)
- Conversion of a vehicle from gas- to LPG-powered, costs roughly Php 26k
- Using an LPG-powered vehicle will come out cheaper since the price difference per liter between gas and LPG now is Php 12.00
- This was started because of the Clean air act, and currently used in many countries since it emits less smoke

Ok, so that’s the long and short of it (literally)! :)

Monday, January 02, 2006

The Greatest Advice

To start the new year right, here’s something to read and ponder on…


Don't date because you are desperate.
Don't marry because you are miserable.
Don't have kids because you think your genes are superior.
Don't philander because you think you are irresistible.

Don't associate with people you can't trust.
Don't cheat. Don't lie. Don't pretend.
Don't dictate because you are smarter.
Don't demand because you are stronger.

Don't sleep around because you think you are old enough and know better.
Don't hurt your kids because loving them is harder.
Don't sell yourself, your family, or your ideals. Don't stagnate!

Don't regress.
Don't live in the past. Time can't bring anything or anyone back.
Don't put your life on hold for possibly Mr/Mrs Right.
Don't throw your life away on absolutely Mr. Wrong because your biological clock is ticking.

Learn a new skill.
Find a new friend.
Start a new career.
Sometimes, there is no race to be won.
Only a price to be paid for some of life's more hasty decisions.

To terminate your loneliness, reach out to the homeless.
To feed your nurturing instincts, care for the needy.
To fulfill your parenting fantasies, get a puppy.
Don't bring another life into this world for all the wrong reasons.

To make yourself happy, pursue your passions and be the best of what you can be.
Simplify your life. Take away the clutter.
Get rid of destructive elements: abusive friends, nasty habits, and dangerous liaisons.
Don't abandon your responsibilities but don't overdose on duty.

Don't live life recklessly without thought and feeling for your family.
Be true to yourself.
Don't commit when you are not ready.
Don't keep others waiting needlessly.

Go on that trip. Don't postpone it.
Say those words. Don't let the moment pass.
Do what you have to, even at society's scorn.

Write poetry.
Love Deeply.
Walk barefoot.
Dance with wild abandon.
Cry at the movies.

Take care of yourself. Don't wait for someone to take care of you.
You light up your life.
You drive yourself to your destination.
No one completes you - except YOU.

It is true that life does not get easier with age.
It only gets more challenging.
Don't be afraid. Don't lose your capacity to love.
Pursue your passions.

Live your dreams.
Don't lose faith in your God.
Don't grow old. Just grow YOU!

When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you'll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is T-I-M-E because the essence of love is not what we think or do or provide for others, but how much we
give of ourselves.

- Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life

Beautiful! And to add some more:
"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

And my current favorite (and signature in my emails): "Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly. Life is too short to be anything but happy!"

Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1 celebration

The fun never stops! Just got home from another family get-together. This time we were in Parañaque. Considering I barely slept (with my friends leaving the house almost 5 a.m. this morning!), it was a wonder how I got through another day without accidentally falling asleep in my food. Hehehe…

But of course, holidays are really about the family and it’s so rare that we all get together like this. Lunch time we were already at Parañaque to gorge again on food. There goes my so-called 'diet'! HAHAHA. As expected, there were a lot of fun and games. Asaran, kulitan, Arboleda-style! Out came the board games! The kids playing “Harry Potter” board games and with the older cousins racking their brains to come up with word descriptions for “Taboo”. It was either that or Cranium or Pictionary. Name a board game, and chances are we’ve played it all in the past. Whatever was "in" that time, we had it! Uno, Uno Stacko, Scene It, Trivial Pursuit ... I know, what other family do you know that has stacks of board games like our clan? There’s that Arboleda competitive spirit again. Hehehe…

Gosh, i can't believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. Aargh! :( My skin is breaking out from lack of sleep, partying, stress... I am sooo not prepared to go back to work. Oh well...

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve was an especially busy time. Busy with chores like cleaning the house, tidying up, etc., but most especially with preparing food for Media Noche. For the first time, have good friends coming to celebrate with me and the kids. So aside from my brother Jon and the kids, we had guests Dan, Ben and Floyd.

Our New Year’s Eve spread consisted of lengua, salad (greens, parmesan cheese, mango, walnuts, grapes, pork strips and vinaigrette), ham, queso de bola, bread, putong ube/queso, leche flan, cassava cake, ice cream. After a hearty dinner, there was hot choco for the kids and brewed coffee for the adults. Now is it any surprise why my clothes fit tighter again?!?!

When the clock struck 12, we were outside watching the fireworks display. Covering our ears from the noise, and our nose from all that smoke! But then, this happens just once a year so what the heck! We later brought out some wine, toasted to the year and the one just beginning… then we each started saying what we wished for the others… Taking into consideration what each of them went through the past year, here’s what I wished them.
For Dan, forgiveness in his heart (to start the New Year right!)…
For Ben, true love …
For Floyd, faith and trust …

And what did I wish for myself? Ah, THAT will remain a secret. :)


Browning's words best summarize my thoughts as we enter the New Year: "The year is closed, the record made, the last deed done, the last word said. The memory alone remains of all its joys, its griefs, its gains. And now with purpose full and clear, we turn to meet another year". HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!