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I love my grandpa <3 He's a bit of a gadget geek. Up to now he's focused on cameras and phones, but today he got his first computer. He saw Dad's iMac in my room when he visited during our last family reunion, grew envious, and decided to get one of his own.

My brother took care of buying a 20-inch iMac (gorgeoussss) and setting it up. Right now, grandpa's reading Chinese news on it. HE CAN READ NEWS WITHOUT HUNCHING OVER A NEWSPAPER WITH A MAGNIFYING GLASS GUYS THIS ROCKS.

Okay, so he might have turned his computer into the world's most expensive magnifying glass *laugh* But he rocks and is pretty cool at it. There are a few other things I know he's interested in, and I might be able to show him them once he gets used enough to using a computer to do something other than reading.

PS. Guys, translating geek to English for my parents is hard enough; geek to Chinese for my grandpa is so much harder!

PPS. Would just like to tell you guys that [info] - personalrb is sweet and gorgeous, and that she linked me to her series of simple accessibility hints on ATMac and it is amazing!
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I always wondered why my ahia's closet, which he passed on to me when we reshuffled rooms oh, about ten years ago, had that ugly landscape poster on it. It turns out it was covering the area where I and ahia and shoti recorded our growth with permanent marker. All of the marks are from late 1993.

I'm currently prying the stapler wires out of the wall with a pair of pliers. Afraid I'll get cut by a rusty one.
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I dreamt last night that I was talking to my brother at the kitchen table, and he was perfectly all right. I remember not being surprised that he was there, but as I was putting a plate on the table, I turned to him and said, "So, Garrick, I haven't heard the details yet. How come you can walk again?"

And he shrugged, as if it was no big deal, and replied, "I don't know. It's all confusing and I don't really remember, but I was in the hospital (something about being delirious), and then I woke up and here I am." A pause. "But I hate the words 80m though. Makes me think of the pool..."

And then I sat there and thought about how I'd been at his funeral, and I wanted to ask the second question, but I couldn't because it might bring up too many bad memories for him, so I didn't. But, as if he knew what I was thinking, he suddenly grinned at me.

The idiot.
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Suddenly broke down and started crying today, and just as suddenly stopped.
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Just came back from dinner out with my younger brother's close friends and their families. My brother's death has brought us all together, it seems. There were about thirty of us tonight, split across three tables: one table for the dads, one table for the moms, and one table for we the younger generation.

Had fun! Friends are a blast! The dads' table was the rowdiest. They had the most wine and beer on hand. So :p Almost went out for a Wii party with the guys (the guys, not the dads) after, but my sister and I have work tomorrow and no way home tonight, so we decided (regretfully) not to go with.

Dinner was amazing. Lots of normal Chinese banquet fare which, though I've had them many times, I never get sick of, especially not when from a good-quality restaurant: asado, chicken cold cuts, jellyfish, century egg, lumpia, crab ball or fish ball or something, sharksfin, duck+wrapper+hoisin sauce (peking duck?), abalone+mushrooms, steamed fish, noodles. The best thing of the night was definitely the crab fried in its own fat. So sweet on the tongue. I had three pieces, where I'd normally only have space for one.

Ended the night with taho which you could mix with sago and the sugar-sauce to taste. Street taho is still the best, though.

One hazard of being in a Chinese restaurant in a relatively small population is that you're likely to bump into your relatives there. Pretty much assured of seeing an uncle or an aunt or a cousin or a grand-uncle's son's family or something. Tonight we saw my mom's third-sister's family there, sitting at the same table with the family of the girlfriend of one of my cousins. I sense a wedding in the works :-)
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The flight tomorrow is earlier than I thought. Have to leave the house by 4:30AM, and be at my grandpa's house by 5:30. Will be spending the next four days in Hong Kong, possibly one of those days in Macau. I still haven't packed yet.

I meant to catch up on my friends list, and reply to a bunch of posts and comments I have open in tabs, but no such luck. Need to sleep, so I won't get to it before I go. Hopefully you guys don't see me at all for the next four days ;-)

(I am in a good mood and excited to be out, but also a bit on edge. I don't want Christmas to happen. It's going to be weird, and yeah that's probably an understatement, but I don't want to dwell on the implications of that right now. Maybe if we're in a foreign country, where everything is strange, the fact that things are so strange for us now won't be as obvious.)

Well. Anyway. Happy holidays to everyone who celebrates! And to everyone who doesn't, hope you have a fantastic weekend!
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I had no idea how expensive it was to foot the bill for dinner for ten people. I now have a greater appreciation of just how hard it is to keep people stuffed but happy.

Including tax, it was almost half of my net monthly salary (this was literally a hundred times more than I normally spend for lunch. Divided by ten, as there were ten of us at the table, it was still ten times as much as I'd normally spend on myself for a single meal). I had to borrow some money from my sister because I had enough money in my wallet for the bill, but not enough for the tax -- bit of a miscalculation there. Better from my sister, than from my mom/dad/grandpa, though! Especially not after they all tried to ask me how much the bill was. Not like I'd tell them, considering how much trouble it took to convince them to let me take them all out in the first place, and especially considering how unsubtly they mentioned before dinner that they could lend me money if I ran over-budget ;p

Okay, so food! A big plate of cold cuts as appetizers; the usual: asado, chicken, jellyfish, century egg, and slices of other meat. Steamed tiger lapu-lapu (tender, slightly sweet). Crab in sotanghon (I love this <3). Fresh steamed shrimp. Something chicken, or chicken something. Hot prawn salad. Spinach something soup (slightly spicy; I have not had it anywhere else). And some rice to make the meal complete.

No pork, as my grandfather doesn't eat it for health reasons. No beef as my mom doesn't eat it for religious reasons.

Crab and steamed lapu-lapu are ridiculously expensive. They are such staples at big family dinners, that I assumed they were in the middle-range; I didn't realize they were among the most expensive on the menu.

I doubt I'll have enough money to do this again for years, but it felt good to have something to spend my first real paycheck on :-)
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Company Christmas party was today! Started after office hours (so 7/8-ish) and then lasted until midnight. Apparently, if you offer a prize of 10k pesos as an incentive, you can get people to do almost anything *grin* Had group presentations, and almost everyone joined in. That sounds almost... corny, but it was actually fun! Everyone let loose, and by my count, about a third of the guys in the office put on dresses for their respective presentations. Their (borrowed) clothes were all prettier than mine. I am envious. And I want those dresses/blouses/skirts in my closet.

I put on my high school uniform as part of my role. It still fits me, just as well as it did during high school; I haven't grown an inch since then (I don't believe in growth spurts. They are myths I tell you. Myths!).

Had a bottle of beer. It's beginning to grow on me. It's just like Cali Shandy, but slightly yeastier, slightly less sweet, and slightly more sour. And the caterer or the hotel (I can't tell which) had the most amazing marble cheesecake. I only got crumbs, as I wandered to the dessert table too late, but oooooh.

I asked for the beer while I was in my high school uniform, and the waitress actually paused and looked me over before deciding to grab me a beer :p (And I think she only gave it to me because I was so obviously in costume.)

Got Christmas baskets to bring home, and ham. (I did not realize Christmas baskets from the office were a normal tradition, but apparently they are)

[ profile] iruka11, did you go to the Accenture party at Astoria? Ours was there too, and I wanted to ask if you were there, but I was too shy to poke my head in, and since I lost my cellphone, I don't have your number so couldn't text you.

Christmas party with blockmates (from university) tomorrow! Or maybe later. I need to wake up early so I can buy a present for the exchange gift *groan* I suck at choosing and giving gifts -- don't say I didn't warn you, my exchange-gift-mate! I... am not sure what time it is, or where it is. Dudes, someone comment please with the info? I won't have gotten any of your text messages, if anyone sent any, because of aforementioned loss of cellphone.

Sunday evening, I'm treating my family for dinner to celebrate my first paycheck (family = immediate family, grandpa, and one set of cousins). Given the number of people going (about 10?), I may actually spend more than I just earned :-)

Busy weekend. Need sleep, and you probably won't see me around much.
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My cousin and I started randomly singing Disney songs earlier today, and we were surprised at how much we remembered (also how much we'd forgotten). But it was my Ahia, who came in late, who remembered the most ;-) Together, I think we managed to sing at least one song from every Disney movie that came out in the late 80s to the 90s. And I learned the correct lyrics for some songs I hadn't realized I'd misheard/misremembered.

Anyone remember these songs/the movies they came from? (Yes, some are dupes)

1. "Casey Junior's coming down the tracks"
2. "Drip drip drop little April shower"
3. "We are Siamese, if you please (meoow)"
4. "Whistle while you work *doot doot doot doot doot doo*"
5. "Zero to hero!"
6. "God help the outcasts, hungry from birth. Show them the mercy they won't find on Earth"
7. "Le poisson, le poisson, hee hee hee HO HO HO"
8. "We can do it we can do it we can help our Cinderelly"
9. "She glanced this way. I thought I saw"
10. "Riffraff, street rat, I don't buy that. If only they'd look closer"
11. "Listen with your heart. You will understand"
12. "Look for the bear necessities"
13. "Bella notte~"
14. "(something) raging tiger. (something) big typhoon. (something) coursing river"
15. "I've got whosits and whatsis galore. Want thingamabobs? I've got plenty!"
16. "So I'm roughly the size of a barge"
17. "When you wish upon a star..."
18. "I know you, the gleam in your eyes was so peculiar a gleam"
19. "From the day we arrive on the planet. And blinking, step into the sun"

Also, also: "twitterpated". That is all.


Nov. 27th, 2007 03:00 pm
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There was an earthquake earlier today. I was in the office (26th floor!), sitting on the floor and listening to a presentation, when I realized the room was swaying slightly. It didn't take long for everyone else to notice; the shaking grew much stronger but was over in moments. Magnitude 6.0, but it didn't hit Metro Manila that hard. Just to be sure though: you guys all okay?

I know at least that everyone in my family is safe. My sister was the first to contact me; texted me as soon as the tremors died down. Then my mom called and when I didn't answer sent me the same message my sister had, word for word. I couldn't answer the phone as I was listening to a talk, but I did text them both back after *g*. My dad and my older brother didn't even try. (I suspect my dad didn't even realize what had happened) Men. Hmph. ;)

(As a side note, "earthquake Philippines" keeps giving me links that say Monday. Confused me until I realized that they meant Monday their time not ours ;-))

Oh, also, I got free pizza after attending the talk. That wasn't my primary goal, to be sure, but mmmm. Pizza.
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Sundays are family days. Didn't use to be this way; it was a tradition that only started last year, when my grandfather moved, but since then it's become a regular thing to spend the whole day there with our cousins. So today we went to my grandfather's place for lunch, but we kids took off early to visit the cemetery.

My sister hadn't been able to visit since the interment, and when my brother's friends mentioned last night that they were going to visit this afternoon, we decided we'd join them. So we sat there with six of my brother's closest friends, and we talked and told stories and discovered my brother's secrets and laughed and let the beer go warm. Finally at 6:30PM when it was dark, we turned off the lights but left the candles burning and we drove home.

Wii Sunday

Nov. 4th, 2007 11:32 pm
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I just spent the past six hours playing on the Wii. Cousins brought one over to my grandfather's condominium for us all to play with. I did take several short breaks to let others play as well, and we stopped entirely for dinner, but the bulk of the six hours was mine :-)

Made a Mii, a cute little avatar with oversized glasses, freckles, and a smile. She's cute, and keeps the smile on her face even when she's being beaten up in boxing. I like her!

It was a good distraction. At one point, we managed to convince my parents to pick up the remote and shoot cans/missiles/barrels with hearts; my grandfather went fishing and car racing.

Started out playing Wii Sports (rock at boxing, so-so at baseball and golf, meh at bowling, and suck at tennis; "fitness age" = 63), and then we moved on to Cars, Wii Play, and Warioware. Spent the most time on Warioware, and my cousin and I ended up bouncing all over the living area and dancing in time to the cute disco puppies. (I admit it WE ARE DORKS. But there's no video to embarrass us, so :P)

I actually heard my grandfather laugh at our antics! He's been very serious since the accident. I don't think he's laughed lately; I know he's hated even the sound of laughter from anyone else. But we made him laugh today; we all laughed; I'm really glad for that.

I wish my shoti had been there. He'd have beaten us all easily, but I miss even that.
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Today I've been helping clean out my parents' room.

So far I've had two roles: "Holder of Garbage Bag" and "Useless Obstruction".
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I'm so excited about going home, I can hardly stand it. Don't expect to see much of me the next few days (and if you do, kick me, please :P). I shall probably be spending a lot of time in the hospital, taking over people's shifts so that they can go work/eat/sleep/etc.

I would not be this excited if things were otherwise. In fact, I probably would not be heading home if not for... well, yeah. But as things stand, I want to be home right now. I can't concentrate on anything else at the moment *g*.
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Mmm, am safely settled in the dorm now, and have the internet connection in my room safely set up. China definitely unfriended blocked LJ; thank goodness that the tunneling works, yay.

It's late summer shading into autumn, so it's definitely not cool. In fact, it's just like home, but less humid, which is nice.

I have the vague feeling that I should be going out and making friends (hahaha), but I'm just not in the mood for company right now. I'll probably be online, lurking around and catching up, being unproductive and stuff. School doesn't actually start until next Monday, but there's a placement exam in two days. Given how much my Chinese sucks compared to almost everyone else here, I suspect that I will be in one of the lower ranked classes.

Classes are going to be six hours a day (from 8-12am, then from 2-4pm). I'm dreading the thought of getting up that early. The dorm is on-campus, but the campus is huge. It's beautiful, though. Sprawling grounds with plenty of fields and gardens.

This weekend has so drained me (additional bit of information which I just remembered: it's the fifth vertebrae that was fractured? I don't know if that's good news or bad news. Also, lumbar drainage = taking pressure off the spinal cord = making things better?). I shall maybe take a nap until my roommate gets here.

Take care you all (Pretty fucking please?) <3


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