Saturday, January 30, 2010

As 2009 was ending I was constantly reading auto insurance reviews to get me the best deal in auto insurance. My car was due for registration as its plate number ends in 1. Meaning, I have until January 29 to register my car. Funny how I was in a hurry to register my car. I hate late that's why I saw to it that my car was registered by the second week of January. And so it was. I have the official receipt for the registration, a copy of the auto insurance contract but not the 2010 sticker proving that my car is registered. Why? Well, what can you expect? LTO is fast in accepting payments but slow on the sticker.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/30/2010 10:58:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST
The building that was lovingly and painstakingly constructed by my late father-in-law is being torn down piece by piece. The eldest among the siblings had decided to "reconstruct" the building for "more income". What's funny is hubby and I were not even consulted about the construction whereas we are both architects. Funny? Sly? Cunning? If I was given the project or consulted even, I could have provided the new requirements and designed it in such a way that would have preserved the old building.

The building was constructed in mid 70s and as buildings during those time go, the underground cement pipes and roof sheathing could have asbestos. I just hope that asbestos is not evident as where the heck will the company get a mesothelioma lawyer in case it got sued?

It breaks my heart to see the legacy of my father-in-law brought to ruins.

Posted by desperateblogger On 1/30/2010 09:09:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Friday, January 29, 2010

One thing about doing some form of renovation in the house is... once you revamp one area, there's no telling what could happen. In my case, the refrigerator that short-circuited and burnt part of the kitchen started it all. The re-painting that was done in the kitchen prompted me to repaint the utility room and basement. With the repainting and improvement comes the buying of new refrigerator for the kitchen. I was justified in buying a new ref because it was burnt.

Ethan said that I should buy a new television too. Truth be told my TV is archaic and you have to wait 5-10 minutes before the sound comes on. The only sound my TV makes in the first 5-10 minutes is a pulsating tok-tok-tok-tok-tok which increases in tempo if the sound is about to be heard. There was a time that the TV went on for an eternity making the tok-tok-tok sound. I had to turn the TV off but the tok-tok sound still went on so I had to unplug the TV for the irritating sound to stop. I bought a new TV.

As I sit in the dining area, I can see my 7 year old sofa. I am now seriously considering if I need contemporary sofas to change the ambiance of my living space.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/29/2010 07:56:00 AM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I used to smoke maybe from 1 to 1.5 packs a day. I started experimenting with cigarettes at the age of 9 or 10. My cousin and I stole a stick from a Pall Mall pack and we started puffing and later huffing. It wasn't until I was in college that I stated to smoke occasionally. I was staying at a campus dorm and the 70s was the decade of new liberties and expressions of angst. Smoking was an accepted norm. You can even smoke inside an elevator or while riding a public transport and no one would mind. I was more of a second-hand smoker though for I was "smoked-at" by my father when I ride in his car.

It wasn't until the late 70s that I was a confirmed smoker. My course in college demanded that I keep late hours (sometimes no sleep at all) and what better way to keep awake than drinking cups and cups of black coffee and stick after stick after stick of cigarettes. I tried cigars too but I didn't like the smell.

My affair with cigarettes lasted (on and off) for decades! Here I am, finally a quitter. I don't smoke anymore. I quit in 2007.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/28/2010 09:18:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I received another invitation through FB today. Last night, I learned that a niece was in the hospital due to hypertension. The other day, a very long thread in FB made me laugh for the entries were all rubbish and senseless which made the thread all the more funny. Now I am connected with a few high school classmates who, like me, learned to turn on the computer and do social networking. Some of my former classmates are so slow in responding to my requests to be added as one their contacts. A request I made a few months ago was finally confirmed yesterday.

The popularity of social networking sites is phenomenal. It has become a major means of communication in terms of personal and family news (i.e. weddings, baby announcements, invites). Social networking sites have become a means of expressing angst what with members' status updates. It has become s form of entertainment among online gamers who love to play games online- no matter how silly. How may contacts do I have who find lost cows and have joined Mafia wars?

Whoever owns FB is one dang rich dude!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/27/2010 06:57:00 AM 7 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Who has been giving out my house phone number? I have been receiving calls from "well-meaning" telemarketers offering me various things from credit card shield to home insurance quote. I know of one person who encodes directories of different professionals to be sold to companies who are on the lookout for such directories. Like there's a directory of doctors that could be bought at the right price by a "well-meaning" drug company or distributor. The question is "who the heck do they pay to get such information?" I heard that there are again, "well-meaning" bank tellers and other bank employees who have access to such information.

I usually settle my credit card bills in one particular bank. One time, I was asked by the teller to put in my contact number at the bottom of the deposit slip. I asked why and I was told that jusAt a precautionary measure in case something goes wrong with the payment. I said how can something go wrong with the payment as it's here and now. Anyway I put in my mobile phone number. As I was walking to my car, I received a spam text message about loans and stuff. The following week I did the same procedure in paying some bills in the same bank. Again I received a text message about loans. Could it be that the dang tellers are the culprits? I do not want to jump the gun so I did the same procedure two more times with the same results.

I stopped giving out the correct number of my mobile phone or landline when doing such transactions. The thing is, the credit card people are doing the "phone number-profession-name" farming too! Now that we have no control over for we need to put in the right information in out credit card file.Justify Full
I heard such companies who are selling such information is earning big bucks!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/26/2010 07:23:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What I don't like about January(s) is it's the month of renewals... of car registration, business permits, professional tax registration, health insurance, and what have you. It gets to be so tiring sometimes. Take the car registration as example. Before a person can renew his car registration, his car needs to pass the emission test. The emission test should be able to tell if that person's car is still fit and is not a liability in terms of fumes. Great huh?! The emission test should take care that the air within the Philippines is "green".

However, for an additional 150 PHP, the emission test "manong" will "see" to it that your car does indeed pass the test even if it did not. I heard of someone in the same business raking in 90,000 PHP on a slow day. Anyway, once again, I need insurance quotes for my car and D1's. January is the merry month of "renewals"!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/23/2010 11:14:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, January 22, 2010

Repairs and slight renovations have been ongoing in my house since my refrigerator burnt. The revamped kitchen and spiffing new ref made me think that the utility room is a bit shabby. So, the utility room was repainted. The storage cabinets were emptied of long-ago-circa-1980s relics and my laundry woman had a field day lugging home bags of melamine goodies. When the utility room was revamped, I thought that the basement needed a make-over too! It's my work place and it sure could do some cleaning and tidying up. The tidyng up went so far as I (actually, Oca and Bitoy) took out one of the French windows and placed glass blocks instead. Wow!- the light shown through and the shabbiness of the walls became evident. "Repaint the walls!" said I to Oca and Bitoy. And they did.

I had to clear my workplace with the trash that had accumulated for ahh.... ummm...15 years?! I had to let go of D1's grade 6 test papers (Huling! hahaha,I saw a test paper in Math.) I had to let go of my son's kindergarten writing tablet. I had to decide whether to throw out all the old notebooks of my kids or what. The "pain" was too much to bear that again,I had to call my laundry woman to finish the tidying up. Again, my laundry woman skipped merrily home (3 times I think) as she took home hordes of old clothes, toys and bags.

The basement is so nice and clean and comfortable, my son decided that he'd hang out in the "den" when he's home. Currently, my drafting table has been folded to make room for a sofa bed for Ethan and my son as they "hang out" in the basement. I even looked at some lighting fixtures from Dolan Designs in case there's a need to change the old ones.

I can view the garden from the basement. I decided that since the road outside is up by 2 feet (due to the upgrading of the road) there's an immediate need to make my perimeter fence higher. The work has been ongoing. I also decided to revisit the existing drainage to upgrade it to the level of the new road. The work is just too much! However while Oca and Bitoy are still at it, I think the fish pond needs a revamp too. The Kois are feeling left out.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/22/2010 10:40:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The window-type air conditioner unit in D3's bedroom is "dying". Time and again, my favorite-ACU-technician can't seem to figure out why the thermostat turns itself off every after five minutes. At this consistent on and off rate, D3's room does not stand a chance of being "cool" - as in the temperature and not in terms of "awesomeness".

What to do? At first the technician thought that a good pressurized cleaning and a change of air conditioner filter will do the trick. No can do. The thermostat still had a mind of its own. What better way to correct a self-centered-thermostat? Change the thermostat. Still no can do. I've asked another technician to take a look at the totally egotistical thermostat and the technician just threw back the question at me. Great! I guess D3 just had to buy a new ACU as summer is in the offing.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/21/2010 10:02:00 AM 1 comment READ FULL POST

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chip is sick! He (it) has been down in the dump since Sunday night. He (it) was fine on Monday but today Chip refused to eat anything. His (its) pooh was the pits! I had to use super strength pine scented cleanser to clear the air from the stench. I called D4 and told her not to go to gym after work but go straight home to take Chip to the vet. When D4 came I told her to wait outside while I go fetch Chip.The dang dog got all excited when he (it) felt that he (it!) was about to go for a ride with D4. Fast forward after an hour.

The vet said Chip's good bacteria have gone "bad" or something like that. It seemed like Chip's "traipsings" on pine-scented-super-strength-cleanser-cleaned floors did not bode well with Chip. The vet also said that the stool exam showed that Chip has been eating tissue paper and cotton balls. The vet told D4 that Chip has to steer clear from the bathroom as he (it) might be eating soap too. Dang the dog! What's next on his (its!) menu? - my supply of safe diet pills?

Anyway, Chip has four meds that need to be taken for 7 days. The vet even gave Chippy powdered "dextrose" and advised D4 to give the dog Yakult! Who do you think will give Chip his (its) medications and supply of dextrose and Yakult?!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/19/2010 10:38:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have the sniffles. I can't seem to shake off the dry cough that I have in spite of the cough medications I have been taking for the last four days. D1 said I should stop buying generic brands as some are dubious. Really? Oh well. They are cheap and sometimes "cheap" is good. D1 shakes her head in complete acknowledgement that she'll end up the sore loser in this debate. She reminded me instead that I should take my daily multivitamin on a "daily" basis and not on a "when I remembered to do so" or "when I felt like it". Okay. Lost that one!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/18/2010 12:47:00 PM No comments READ FULL POST

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Are you aware that a lot of local airlines are dropping their ticket sales to as much as 1 Php per seat? Of course the price of the ticket is not really one peso as there are other fees that are included. Nevertheless, plane tickets are still priced low. Our roundtrip plane ticket to Puerto Princesa was pegged at 1,450 Php only. Great, right?! So when three competitive local airlines opened slots for low-rates plane tickets, my girls and I had each had a laptop trying to get in the three airline sites to book tickets to "anywhere" as long as it's cheap. After an hour or so of chaos and incessant cacophony of shrills and squeaks, we were booked!- all 16 of us. Yes, some cousins and in-laws are tagging along and everyone is so excited. We are booked on different airlines because no one airline can accommodate us.

We are off to an island paradise! Everyone has started hitting the gym; doing cardiovascular and pumping iron in the hope of looking buff and slim for the beach. "Okay now", I said. " The best thing that you can do to lose your rolls of fat is to lessen your food consumption." Here's hoping they do lose the extra weight. If not, there's always thermogenic fat burners that I heard are really effective. Read reviews and label first before you try one though.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/17/2010 08:28:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST
A sister-in-law is spending a fortune on her son's "face". No, I don't mean any plastic surgical procedure. For the last five years, she and her son have been dermatologist-hopping in their quest for the right medication for acne. Her son's face, neck and body are literally peppered with acne! This time around I think they have found the right dermatologist. Her son's face is clearing up! Alas, the price they have to pay. A month's worth of consult and medication amounts to 20KPHP.

It's a good thing that my son's face is not grossly infected with pimples. The medications I bought from my dermatologist are inexpensive and work like magic. I also have some home remedies for acne under my sleeve that are effective too: wash your face regularly and don't stay up late. I wonder how much those celebrity dermatologists charge?
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/17/2010 08:05:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It has been 45 days since my maid left for good. Yes! I am "maid-less" and it's creating a lot of havoc at home. I noticed that no one seems to want to eat their meals at the house. It's either the kids come home and not eat dinner or they come home right after eating out. There are a lot leftover meals in the refrigerator and that kind of pisses me off. I.Don't. Like. To. Have. Leftovers.

My carpal tunnel-ed hands are worst. Just the other day I broke a brand new glass, a ceramic bowl, and dropped the heavy pan and its cover numerous times to the consternation of Chip (the Shitzu). Oh! And I have mentioned that Ethan has been sick since Tuesday?

I am tired. I think I need something to boost my energy and "nerves". Care to know what could accomplish that? click here
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/16/2010 12:58:00 PM 2 comments READ FULL POST

Friday, January 15, 2010

I met with some blogger friends this afternoon. I wasn't up to any socializing for I still don't have a maid and Ethan is still sick. However I can't say no to Cherry so I decided to come anyway. I met Liza and her hubby Jojo and Sasha. I've known them through their blogs and it was only today that I met them personally. I was planning to stay for only an hour but our conversation was everything and anything under the sun, blogging et al.

My planned hour of stay turned into three hours. Our "session" had to end for we all had other appointments to go to. I was supposed to buy some acne remedies for my son but failed to. It was the first thing he asked when I picked him up from school around 8:00 P.M. Oh well, tomorrow then.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/15/2010 11:14:00 PM 4 comments READ FULL POST
The road along side my house is being revamped. The road undergoing reconstruction will have an added elevation of two feet which would be highly objectionable for the new height would definitely "submerge" houses that are in level with the old road. A group of concerned homeowners have met and re-met with the office of the city engineers to try and work out a solution to the problem. The thrust of the city engineers were to elevate the road to stop the flooding. Okay now. What about the other streets that would be left out of the new elevation? Uh-oh... that consequence was beyond the brain powers of the city engineers. So! Some qualified homeowners and I decided to give our suggestions and ideas to help out -which generally were not put into use anyway.

By far, the on-going project is the worst managed government project that I have ever seen. The contract has been awarded to a private contractor who has "friends" in the local government. There is no project engineer. There is no construction manager. There is no professional engineer or architect handling the on-going project. A lone foreman is handling the construction and believe it or not, the said foreman used to be in my employ as a house painter!

Every morning, noon and afternoon, I do my rounds. The many laborers and masons on the project are now so intimated of my presence they sort of gradually disappear whenever I go towards them. Wow! But I am a nice person as long as you do your job right. Anyway, as I see it the road rehabilitation is pretty useless. I have told the city engineers to work on the drainage problem first, citywide. Alas, there is more money involved in the road rehabilitation. It is easier to construct too than dredging clogged drainage, rehabilitating collapsed ditches and asking squatters to "please take down your squatting houses off the main drainage levee." Why? Election time is in the offing. Need I say more?

Meantime, I wish I could envelop my house in a shield, akin to an rfi shielding. The noise and racket is just too much!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/15/2010 08:32:00 AM No comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What is it with babies? One can't help but feel all soft and mushy. I just love babies. They are so innocent and so dependent on you that you can't help but feel all protective and caring.

I love receiving birth announcements for they mean that "angels" have been born. Of late, new moms and dads seem too occupied to send cards for announcing the arrival of a new baby. Text messaging and tags on social networking sites seem to be the norm. A few days ago I received a birth announcement in the form below.


Chuchay

I have made reservations to borrow Chuchay. I also told the mom and dad that they could leave Chuchay with me anytime. Ethan asked me what kind of a name is Chuchay. I said that's just her nickname as her full name is Pachuchay! Hello Samantha!
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/13/2010 06:18:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My sister-in-law has been taking a particular nutritional shake mix for some months now. She said the shake serves as a meal replacement product as it is laden with multi-vitamins including the recommended amount of protein and fiber for the day. The drink is said to be nutritionally balanced too. Sis-in-law is on a diet and she said she already lost a few pounds without the hassle and stress of dieting.

The wife of my brother-in-law was swayed by SIL to buy the Nutritional Shake Mix by Herbalife. She has been overweight ever since her last pregnancy five years ago. Hers was a see-saw battle of the bulges and wasn't she delighted that only after three weeks of taking the shake mix, she lost 6 pounds. Of course that was in combination with exercise. This was in November 2009.

A few days ago, I saw the wife of BIL and I thought she was looking mighty slimmer than the last time I saw her. I said so to her and her face crumpled in irony. It seemed that the shake mix worked so well that she lost some weight and in the process got pregnant!


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Posted by desperateblogger On 1/12/2010 10:56:00 PM 1 comment READ FULL POST

Monday, January 11, 2010

In a couple of months I'd be a year older. It somehow amazes me that I AM OLD! I used to view people over 50 as ancients. Now that I'm over that threshold, my view had changed. People over 50 rock! This bracket is the youngest of the baby boomers and generally are the cool and tech savvy moms and pops of the youngest Xs and the Ys. This age group is also the youngish grannies and gramps of the emerging Zs. In a few short years this age group will be off sporting new IDs... senior citizen IDs! What?! Me?! Crappolla!

I am only a year older than my brother. For the most part he has advantage over me in terms of retirement benefits from the government. He is based in good ol' USA where even social security disability insurance is supported by the government. I am not even sure how much benefits I'll get from SSS when I hit 60. Did I just say that?!

Posted by desperateblogger On 1/11/2010 12:05:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My hubby gave our children money for Christmas. How much? I am not really sure. It was customary for us to open gifts on Christmas Eve. It was a tradition I passed on to my children. You see, I put more emphasis on Christmas than on New Year. Christmas dinner is always scrumptious here in my house.

As my kids handed out their gifts to each other and to us (their parents), I apologize for not having the time to buy them gifts. They said "mom, you've been giving us gifts the whole year!", and I was spared. Ethan had a mountain of gifts from his aunts and uncle and from his classmates. D2 had a ton of gifts to open. She is a grammar school teacher and her students were quite generous.

As I said thanks for the gifts that I received, hubby pull out his wallet and handed out money to everyone, except to me and Ethan. I saw Ethan's eyes mist and his face crumple. I wanted to shoot hubby that very moment. D1 (Ethan's mommy) said "Dad! you forgot to give Ethan your gift!" To which Ethan replied " It's okay, it's okay. I have enough gifts." What could I have said? What could I have done? I obviously didn't want to mar Christmas eve with harsh words and I certainly don't want to languish in jail for the rest of my life.

On New Year's Eve day, hubby asked my son if he still needs a hard drive for his laptop. My son has been in constant search for the top among hard drives so he said yes. Hubby asked Ethan to tag along and I said to myself that finally hubby will buy Ethan a belated Christmas gift. When the three came home, we were all speechless (with envy?). Hubby decided that a hard drive was not good enough for our son. He bought our son a new laptop. I asked Ethan what hubby bought him. I was thinking a PS2, easily. Ethan looked at me and said "Nothing mom" and went straight to my bedroom.

My girls and I were stunned.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/06/2010 08:53:00 AM 6 comments READ FULL POST

Monday, January 4, 2010

The one thing that I hate the most after the Season's hullabaloo is taking down the Christmas tree and all its trimmings for storage. I also have to take down the more than 30 lengths of Tivoli lights that are hanging by the trees in the garden, the Christmas village display, and the cardboard displays of Santa out in the terrace. I have to change the Christmas decors all over the house, wrap them in bubble wrap to ensure protection until next Christmas. I need to change dinnerware and flower arrangements for I cannot possibly use the Christmas theme the whole year through. Or can't I? Isn't Christmas supposed to be "all through the year?"

Let me just extend Christmas for a bit. I'll deal with the decors when I'm good and ready.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/04/2010 12:45:00 PM 3 comments READ FULL POST

Sunday, January 3, 2010

It is 2010! New Year's eve passed without much funfare. I have grown tired of preparing so much food on New Year's eve and then having no one eat the food because it's midnight and "no one" in his right mind eats less than three hours before going to sleep. So for the last five years, I have been preparing New Year's eve dinner.

Things have changed a lot. Gone are the days when you can't see 10 feet infront of you because of thick smoke from the firecrackers. Gone are the days when New Year revelers are out on the street dancing to live or feed music. Gone are the days when my kids and I visit neighbors right after midnight. The signs of time made family traditions take a back seat.

In reality, I didn't even want to cook or prepare for New Year's eve. I think I have grown tired of the whole shebang. I would have preferred to be alone with nary a care of what the heck my family will eat for New Year's Eve dinner. However, I cannot do that. Jaded as I am with all the commercialism that the holiday season brings, there's still 7-year old Ethan to think of. For him, the holidays were magical and I certainly cannot rain on his parade.

For the Chinese, 2010 is the year of the tiger. I wonder what impact that tiger has on me, not that I believe. Anyway, the year starts with me listing the insurances and health cards that need to be renewed. I have an accident insurance that I'd like to convert to a life insurance. I guess I better get some life insurance quotes for comparison.

Happy New Year to you all! May the year 2010 brings good health, joy, peace and prosperity.
Posted by desperateblogger On 1/03/2010 07:47:00 AM 3 comments READ FULL POST
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