THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MERYL

Finally!  After 16 nominations (with only 2 wins), Meryl Streep got her 3rd Oscar award on her 17th try.  Her first after 30 years!  Please excuse the fan girl in me, you’ll be reading a lot of gushing on this post.

I started liking her in the late 1980’s when our Christian Living teacher made us watch “Kramer vs. Kramer” to later on submit a reaction paper on the topic “divorce”.   She was just sooo pretty! The eyes, the cheekbones, those nice set of teeth.  Her appearance on that film was probably just about 20% of the entire movie but it made such an impact that it earned her an Academy nomination. I swear  I would have gotten a very high grade if I wrote about HER on that paper 🙂

Then I started renting VHS tapes (kids, ask your parents what they are) of her movies.  I can’t remember anymore how “The Deer Hunter”  went but I can still clearly recall how gorgeous she was.

I was deeply moved and touched in “Out of Africa”…

Laughed at “Death Becomes Her” in her hilarious role as a has-been and aging movie star obsessed to look young again…

Then when I was old enough to enter the movie house, I caught “The Bridges of Madison County” and was just impressed in her performance as a lonely housewife longing for her own happiness.  She lost to Susan Sarandon in the 1995 Oscar’s for “Dead Man Walking”.  Tough competition there.  This photo by the way, was my favorite scene in the film. No words, just pure acting talent.

I was already working when “The Devil Wears Prada” was shown and I remember praying fervently to God not to give me this kind of boss.  I should’ve been more specific because the kind of “devil” that I met wore CHANEL.

I’ve seen a lot more of her movies, some were remarkable and some were just forgettable. I have yet to see the “Iron Lady” but I would like to thank the Academy (naks, feeling!) for finally allowing Meryl Streep to go back to that stage and accept her long overdue award.  She holds the record in the Oscar’s for the most number of nominations (17) but also holds the record for the most number of losses.  Can you imagine how I screamed when her name was announced as winner?! I was just a mere grade schooler when this woman last received an Oscar!  I waited with her so her victory is also mine… What an ultimate fan girl statement, huh! 🙂

Going back to “Kramer vs. Kramer”, my perspective about this film has changed now that I am a mother myself.  I viewed this film recently and unlike when I first saw it 25 years ago, it surprisingly brought tears to my eyes (and Dear Hubby’s too!).  I still found Meryl Streep gorgeous but more than that, it made me realize that no matter how challenging a task motherhood is, YOU NEVER WALK OUT.  Especially if you have a husband like mine who makes mean French Toasts which your Little Boy absolutely loves :).  Thanks for this lesson, Meryl!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BOY!

He didn’t want a big party in a fancy playground and a customized character cake, just a simple snack spread for his classmates during their break time in school and a small cake of his choice.  We didn’t have a party for him but I really wanted this day to be extra special.  I remember  flying back to Manila from a business trip on the morning of his third birthday.  Sang the Happy Birthday song with my mom and his nanny (Dear Hubby was on a business trip too), watched him blow the candle (from a cake I hand-carried from Davao City) and drove off to the office for an emergency meeting leaving him home parentless on his birthday. That feeling sucked big time!

As mentioned in my earlier entries, my career back in Manila officially made me a weekend mom. I gave birth to him six years ago but it’s only recently  when we moved to Jakarta that I have gotten to know him more.  This boy never ceases to amaze me. My brand name generation skills are put to test when he makes me “baptize” all his toys, Steven Seagull and Froggy Aguilar were among them. When he learned in school that living things “grow old and die”, he came to me and practically begged me not to grow old and die.  I assured him that mommy will be young forever, hello my anti-aging regimen!  Thanks to Whitney Houston, the other morning he said “I will always love you, Mommy.” I made him promise to say it even until he’s taller than me.  He said “yes” to that but I couldn’t stop him from saying that I’m a “horrible singer”!  Like any mother-son relationship, ours is not perfect as we go through the love-hate cycle over and over.   One minute I’m his Princess Mommy, the next minute he’d call me the wicked witch.  There are times when he’d give you a run for your sanity and wonder if he’s really your own offspring, and there are times  he’s the dearest sweetest boy on the planet.

I may have missed out on this boy’s early years but  I am forever grateful that I was given choices and I chose the right ones. Working from home is a challenge. But seeing this little boy grow up right before my very eyes  with our little milestones and having the time to document them… priceless.  Thank you God.

I chanced upon this great TV commercial which I instantly related to and hit me spot on!  Watching this, I swear I saw myself and the Little Boy in our own dining room… only I look more fab, hehe :).

*Thanks to my colleagues at San Miguel Foods, Inc. for the video

SEXY LAUNDRY, ANYONE?

I may be differently abled in the kitchen but you can never fault me in the laundry department.  Among my domestic diva duties, doing the laundry is my favorite chore. I’m quite OC (obsessive compulsive) with how I organize the clothes before washing them. From sorting (colored vs. whites, all tops together, all bottoms together, underwear, etc.) to pulling out each pocket for loose change and receipts, up to the number of detergent scoops  and the amount of fabric softener I use.

This particular activity is therapeutic for me too.  I like smelling mah boys’ clothes before putting them in the machine  (yes, I’m weird that way haha!) because it kinda  transports me to the place where every stain has a story and to the time when they were at work or play.  I also love the fact that once I put the laundry in the washer,  I can do other important tasks like, say… surfing the net :).  Heaven forbid that our machine breaks down… I might just do this… On second thought, Dear Hubby might just like it 🙂

Video courtesy of Esquire Philippines.

DOMESTIC DIVA’S DAY OFF

I know, I know…  A mother never takes a day off  but because last Sunday was so special it merited a “birthday leave” from my domestic duties.

I declared that I was going to make banana pancakes for breakfast even if I’ve never tried making some 🙂  Heck, there’s the instruction on the box, what could possibly go wrong?  Besides, it’s just pancake. Easy peasy!  But you know, things happen…  There had been some difficulties… It’s Murphy’s Law, really…  Okay,  I’m not really gifted with kitchen skills haha!  I started making some but they didn’t taste exactly like I wanted them to. Thank God Dear Hubby took over the stove and salvaged our special Sunday breakfast!  He managed to make it like a crepe to wrap the banana AND strawberry slices with.  While on the pan, he put peanut butter on top of the fruit slices then wrapped the whole thing before the peanut butter completely melted.  They were sooo good they got totally wiped out before I could even take a photo.

Then I said I was going to make spaghetti for lunch but Dear Hubby insisted he’d do it.  He made Spaghetti meatballs and served it with red wine!  How many men would spend their Sunday getting their hands smeared with ground beef?  Did I mention he also washed the dishes that day?  And while my Sunday chores were being covered, I replied to all incoming birthday messages and Skyped with my family back home in Manila.  See?  Day off! 🙂

I didn’t have a fancy party or a cake to slice and candles to blow, but I got everything any girl could ask for.  I have a family who loves me unconditionally (Translation: they love me whatever outcome my cooking brings 🙂 )   and thoughtful friends whose warm messages never fail to soothe my homesickness bug.  There’s so much to thank God for and that much needed day off was one of them.  Can’t ask for anything more really… except for that ceramic hair iron I’m gonna be saving up for hahaha 🙂  Celebrate life everyday, my friends!

Front and back page of Little Boy's birthday message

Dinner was at Otel Lobby in Rasuna Said, Jakarta

With Pinoy friends who happen to be dining in the same resto that night

My best birthday gifts ever!

DISCOVERING THE STREETS OF JAKARTA

They say that to fully experience a different country, you must explore it by taking its local transportation. Let me take you for a ride to the streets of Jakarta, Indonesia and share with you one of my first Diva Discoveries.

BLUE BIRD TAXI
Owned and operated by the  Blue Bird Group,  the Blue Bird taxi is a common fixture in the streets of Jakarta and rightfully so because it comes highly recommended by everyone in town. They’ve earned their good reputation of being safe, honest, efficient and reliable.  You can get picked up anytime anywhere too! I mean, the kind of pick up where you make a call or send SMS then they’ll be at your doorstep. They also have the posh Silver Bird Executive Class,  the black Mercedes Benz E-Class series.  Wish I could try it someday… when I do my groceries maybe? 🙂

TRANSJAKARTA BUSES
In lieu of a metro train,  they have the TransJakarta which is a Bus Rapid System (BRS) launched in 2004.   It works as our regular MRT (Metro Rail Transit) i.e.  it has  designated pick-up and drop off stations (shelter) where the tickets can be bought too.  The seats face the aisle to accommodate more passengers and are likewise equipped with built-in speakers announcing  the shelter names in Indonesian and English languages.  The buses run on special lanes separated by concrete blocks.  I have a feeling these special lanes are only special on specific time of the day,  I often see other cars (including our own) navigating through these designated lanes.

image by: wikipedia.org

MOTORCYCLES
I’ve never seen this much motorcycles in the streets before, they literally swarm the Jakarta roads!  The first time I saw them I thought there was a motorcycle parade or something 🙂  And unlike in the Philippines where I see mostly men ride them, EVERYBODY uses it here.  Women executives, mothers bringing their kids to school,  a very old man buying his meds, a young boy on his way to deliver lunch packs, an entire family  of five who has gone shopping (well, this one is a common site in Manila too hehe).  And as a sheer display of  multi-tasking,  they can do other tasks while riding their motorcycles i.e. smoking, texting, and talking on the phone.

OJEK
I guess by now you’ve heard about the infamous traffic situation in Jakarta. Well, where there’s a problem lies a solution.  Ladies and gentlemen…. Presenting, the motorcycle taxi also known as the Ojek! Everyday you’ll see  students, executives, locals and foreigners take this mode of transportation.  Oh the convenience it gives.  You know how motorcycles can “fill in the blanks” weaving through the roads, right?  I bet you’ll make it to your appointment on time, dead or alive.  Just a few tips should you decide to ride one:
1. Avoid wearing white.  Unless  you can pull off that I-attracted-all-of-Jakarta’s-smog look.

2.  Bring some cologne.  You still would want  to smell fresh when you get to your destination, wouldn’t you?

3.  Bring your own helmet.  Go figure 🙂

Ojek stations are found in every street corner.

image by: jakarta.usembassy.org

BAJAJ
Once in a while you’ll chance upon one of Indonesia’s traditional transportation vehicles, the bajaj.   Equally popular in India, the bajaj is Indonesia’s counterpart to Thailand’s Tuk-tuk and the Philippines’ Tricycle.  It can seat up to five passengers… well, depending on their sizes of course.  They can operate on designated areas  only and are not allowed to  use the main roads.  Hence, the ride may be circuitous at times but could be great if you’re up for an adventure.

I hope you enjoyed the ride.  Stay tuned for more as I make more discoveries in this amazing city.

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