Words Are Not Enough
I'm actually beginning the third week of my semestral break now. And I haven't mentioned it because it's overwhelming to post about. Overwhelming in the sense that I've been doing so much stuff every day, and it's just hard to keep posting about it with pictures and whatnot.
Plus I got this strange feeling every time I tried typing stuff: I felt like I was just repeating myself. I couldn't find new ways to describe what I'd been eating, and doing, and who I'd been seeing. And I dislike repeating myself.
Thus, I just decided to summarize my past two weeks with some well-placed photos. And so, here it is!
My semestral break has been awesome so far. I've been bumming on the beach --- which is clear by my previous posts --- and have been there multiple times with different people.
One of my favorite things these days is to lie on a lounge chair in the stifling heat and fall asleep.
I didn't want to keep repeating myself every single time I went to the beach, so here are some photos that speak for themselves.
I was actually staying in at a nearby hotel with my Mom and sister. It was fun. Not to mention the hotel had a humongous breakfast spread.
I ate all that and then some.
Another favorite thing I've acquired is eating breakfast with honey and drizzling the sticky sweet substance on almost everything: my tea, pastries, breads, oatmeal...
And speaking of food, I decided to just round up some photos of the more memorable eating experiences of the past two weeks.
Japanese bacon roll thingamajigs
These weren't that great for me, but I'm not a bacon lover. Those who were with me who did like bacon said it was awesome though. And the picture made it look pretty delicious, thus its inclusion here.
Beef steak my friends and I had on another beach
The steak wasn't perfect but it was delicious. I guess it had something to do with where we were eating too: under a beach umbrella with the sea breeze going through my hair and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach. I think most everything would taste good while eating at such a setting.
An accidental feast cooked up with college friends
"Whose birthday is it?" my friend, Cookie, wanted to know. We were supposed to just be making ourselves pizzas. Then someone contributed the linguine, and another brought the drinks, and another brought the fried rolls, and another brought the fresh chickens, and another... You get the idea.
We couldn't finish the food but we had fun trying.
Speaking of friends, I got to catch up with lots of them over the break.
Angel, a buddy since Daphy (my sister who is also in this picture) was born, and I got to catch up.
We missed each other. Angel's real busy becoming the World's Greatest Nurse and that sometimes means not leaving her schoolbooks for weeks at a time. It was cool to get to talk.
April, another childhood friend and secret(?) blog reader
April and I were classmates / schoolmates in six of the seven schools I've attended throughout my twenty or so years. We're not classmates anymore, but we still try to do stuff (read: eat or watch videos) when we have the time.
Then there were my college friends...
...who went swimming! We also swam another time which I'll elaborate on when I get the pictures --- *cough* when my friend, Henri e-mails them *cough* --- but suffice to say, I have acquired a tan.
We ate out too.
Me and Henri
We both went out today with my sister and a cousin to watch --- go ahead and roll your eyes at us old biddies --- High School Musical 3. It was corny but fun. The sort of movie that's just very feel-good without trying to be high-brow (which is why I didn't take the bad reviews too seriously). The songs were cool, the dances were wild, and we laughed ourselves silly a number of times.
We also laughed about how we seemed to be the only non-minors in the theater. We had half a mind to get Daphy acting like an eleven-year-old and pretending we were babysitters.
Daphy and I also went shopping.
We tried on a lot of clothes, and enjoyed walking around the malls without any real purpose. Though we did make a huge dent in our Christmas shopping list.
And lastly, I worked on a short story.
It isn't finished yet --- still lots of kinks to be edited out --- but it was something different and fun to do. I won't talk about it much unless it comes to anything in the future, but I'm glad I got to create characters and make them do things in my head.
I did do lots of other stuff but these are the more relevant parts.
And now I'm so sleepy that my eyes won't see straight. I'm going to bed.
By the way, will be on a trip for the next ten days or so. I'll post on it when I get back. Bye!
Daisy on 10/28/2008 02:22:00 AM
A Very Chinese Dinner
I haven't blogged per my usual schedule because I'm overwhelmed. I have so much I want to post about, and so many pictures to edit that I just shut down and don't feel like doing it anymore.
A real procrastinator, that's what I am.
So all the pictures in my "to blog" folder have been eating at me so here I am.
I've been posting a lot on food lately so I started thinking about what kinds of food people would find interesting to look at. I checked my statistics and since most visitors here are from America, I figured a normal meal had by my very Chinese self would interest most of you.
And so let's continue, dear Reader, with this very Chinese dinner I partook of with wooden chopsticks.
My uncle and the pretty dishes.
Daphy (my sister) and my Mom were also around.
And let me introduce you to my aunt and my maternal grandmother.
We all just wanted to spend some time together, and well, eating's a good excuse as any.
It was a cool restaurant.
It was in a hotel nearby and very authentic. We were looking forward to the food. We started with the appetizers.
Crunchy cucumber sticks with garlic and minced spicy chicken.
My grandmother announced that the cucumber sticks were delicious. I agreed, but preferred the spicy chicken.
Then came the soup.
Minced beef with tofu
The soup was great. The beef added flavor, and the tofu was nice and chewy. I don't really like tofu, so the fact that I liked the soup is saying something.
Roasted chicken in rose wine
I didn't have much to say about the chicken but it was all right. Maybe we should have gotten the Hainanese chicken my mother originally suggested...
Sweet and sour pork
The pork wasn't the usual dimsum style. It was crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside. The sauce was just tangy enough, and it was pretty good overall. We even ate the pineapple bits and onion rings that came along with it.
Vegetables with yam, I think
I say I think because in my bout of procrastination, dear Reader, I've forgotten this dish's exact name on the menu. I do remember it was a vegetarian dish though. The pastry crust --- sort of the kind you find on spring rolls --- was perfectly browned and not too oily. The vegetables were a good combo and created an interesting flavor.
Noodles with beef
I had doubts about including this dish because it didn't look too good. It was really delicious though so I guess that could make up for it.
Cod fish fillet
This was the unanimously favored dish of the night. The fish disappeared pretty quickly and who could blame us? The fillet was chewy inside and not dry at all (my one great peeve with fried fish fillets). The outer crust was a bit crumbly and almost crunchy. The sauce was also pretty good.
We were getting full but no one thought of missing dessert.
Coconut ice cream with chocolate syrup and whatnot
I'm not sure how this tasted since I dislike coconut. My sister said it was fabulous though.
Mango with pearl sago
This is the usual dessert in Chinese parties. For those who don't know what sago is, I linked that term to Wikipedia. It's a bit like tapioca if that helps. We usually include vanilla ice cream and mango puree with it.
It's really delicious. The mango flavor is great and the ice cream makes it creamy.
Red bean cakes
These were also pretty cool. They had an unsurprisingly beany taste with really cool cream.
After being stuffed, we comforted our bloated tummies with oolong tea.
Check out the glass --- or maybe it's glass-looking fiber? --- teapot.
I think I drank a whole teapot of it by myself and paid for it by increased trips to the bathroom.
The meal was worth it though. I like having Chinese meals now and then to remember my heritage. Though my cousins and I do get a bit sick of it sometimes: that's when we convince our grandmother to just get us pizza!
Daisy on 10/24/2008 04:36:00 PM
Another Memorable Meal
I wasn't going to post about this anymore but I can't seem to help myself. It was a memorable meal. Maybe I'm just food-fixated but most of my meals are memorable to me.
My sister once said it might have something to do with our being Chinese and how food-oriented our culture is.
I mean, most Chinese I know are very interested in eating and food in general. It's not unheard of for Chinese families to be celebrating birthdays by eating out without the celebrants. My own family had a great lunch party once for my aunt's birthday. Seeing as she was in the United States at the time, she definitely wasn't with us so we sensitively called her in the middle of the meal to offer our best wishes and tell her what we were doing.
Cultural quirks aside, my Mom, my sister, and I moseyed over to a restaurant for some food last Wednesday. And the food was good!
Their paella's so pretty.
Paella's a famous Spanish dish with seafood, vegetables, and golden yellow rice. Since the Philippines was colonized by the Spanish, it's a very familiar food to eat in a restaurant or cook at home.
This particular paella was delicious. The seafood was chewy without being fishy, and the rice was flavorful. It tasted a bit like broth but was a little sweet too.
Happy with my dish, thanks.
That caption was my reply when the waiter asked me if I had a great meal. I think he'd have keeled over if I'd waved my hands in the air and described the gastronomical delights my stomach went into, so I opted for a more understated reply.
My sister was happy too!
She got grilled chops that I've already rhapsodized about enough on a previous post so I won't repeat myself. Suffice to say, it was amazing and I had to tie myself up into knots so I wouldn't order it again and miss trying something new.
The third member of our party.
My Mom was happy as well. Her ribs came out nicely.
But they were a bit harder than I was used to.
I prefer ribs with the meat falling off the bones but that's just me. The sauce was smoky and delicious though.
And who could forget dessert?
It said panna cotta with raspberry sauce on the menu but it tasted more like panna cotta with strawberry jam. No complaints here since strawberry jam's one of my favorite things to eat.
So that was it. Our meal.
I'll stop now. If my descriptions are more enthusiastic than usual, it's because my stomach's grumbling as I type. We have dinner with my parents when they get off work, and it'll be a while yet so... yes, I'm really hungry. Maybe I'll pop downstairs for a banana or something.
Daisy on 10/13/2008 07:43:00 PM
Ooh, a new post so soon after my last one! :D It's a meme I got off Linda; it seemed really fun.
Here goes nothing!
1.My uncle once: Dressed up as Maria from The Sound of Music for a "let's-pretend-to-be-female" beauty pageant.
2. Never in my life have I: Been able to balance on a bicycle without training wheels.
3. When I was five my parents: Worked sixteen to twenty hours daily.
4. High school was: An unusual experience since I moved to a new school three years out of the four. I was editor-in-chief of two school papers and had my photo in more than one yearbook!
5. I will never forget to: I don't know. I forget a lot of things these days (e.g. forgot to eat breakfast and lunch today).
6. Once I met: Wee Kim Wee (former president of Singapore) and he showed me how to be truly humble.
7. There’s this boy I know: Who has the most charming personality but literally bites his classmates.
8. Once, at a bar, I: Shot a video for a project on Character Building.
9. By noon, I’m: In any number of places --- sleeping if studied late, studying if not sleeping, out with people, but never eating.
11. If only I had: The ability to balance my life down pat.
12. Next time I go to church: I will bring my pastor some stuff from my Mom.
13. What worries me most is that I: have a huge exam tomorrow that I have studied for but am not confident about getting a good grade on.
14. When I turn my head left I see: My sister going through photos on some networking site.
15. When I turn my head right I see: My schedule for studying during my coming week of final exams.
16. You know I’m lying when I: Tell you that I have it all together.
17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: Some of the music.
18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Portia from The Merchant of Venice.
19. By this time next year I will: Hopefully be wrapping up my college education to be a Chemical Engineer and preparing to take another degree.
20. A better name for me would be: Mother.
21. I have a hard time understanding: The implications of charts and graphs in my Chemical Engineering majors.
22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: Be more serious about understanding my studies and not just getting good grades. (I'm still in school but I'm talking about my earlier years.)
23. You know I like you if I: Tell you so.
24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: God for the right circumstances to get it and the capacity to do so.
25. Take my advice, never: Say never, or you'll eat a pie of crow. I spent years saying I would never take Chemical Engineering in college, and well... look at me now!
So that's it. :D Bye!
Daisy on 10/06/2008 11:29:00 PM
I Did Nothing & It Was Fun
I've been pretty stressed lately, and it's been coming out in various sicknesses (e.g. insomnia, cough, colds), lower grades --- it's hard to ace an exam with a fever and a migraine --- and a pretty large weight loss. I realized I had to learn to make time to relax if I wanted to enjoy life at my best. And get better grades for that matter.
So when my Mom suggested we go to a resort, it seemed the perfect way to get back on track.
Beautiful, isn't it?
Thank you, Mom.
I wasn't the only one who needed to rest either.
I'm so glad Dad's snoozing after replying to a truckload of emails.
Daphy (my sister) brought along her friend, Ian. He may show up on this blog occasionally so I thought I'd introduce him. Or let Daphy introduce him anyway.
Daphy: Hi, this is Ian and we're having lunch under a cool hut.
said cool hut behind a psychedelic boat
I did have to study, and ended up bringing my laptop. I worked pretty quickly at it though so I could practice a newly acquired hobby.
Which is the art of doing nothing.
I don't know what it is about a beach that makes you want to doze on chairs while the sea breezes waft about you. It makes me so lazy. That wasn't a bad thing either considering my aforementioned desire to relax.
I floated around the ocean until my fingers pruned.
It was wonderful. I noticed a lot of foreigners enjoying the beach, and that's when I learned to really appreciate living on a tropical island. I mean, I went swimming a whole lot as a kid, but it's different experiencing it as a grown-up and realizing how lucky you are to be doing it.
I thanked God for the sun, the white sand, the clear skies, the friendly beach people around me, the warm water, and the fact that the beach is about a twenty-minute drive from my house.
God is so good to me. It's funny how I want to see exotic places and forget I'm living in a natural paradise. I guess we all get that feeling sometimes: taking for granted the things we have and the place we live in.
my fresh Four Seasons juice: yum!
and people to enjoy my juice with
It was so cool to slow down and realize my life is not ruled by how much I do everyday and whether I've finished my daily to-do list or not. I should be responsible but I have to remember to have fun too.
We eventually went home.
But not before learning some lessons about gratitude and squeezing the most out of life. And not before curing my stress symptoms, and being able to start over with a healthy slate.
As I get into gear for my final exams this week, I'm reminded to pace myself and take it easy. I am so glad I had a break before that.
Daisy on 10/06/2008 01:06:00 AM