Wednesday, August 23, 2006

odds and ends

1. I like the word "odditorium" and will use it as a title for one of the stories I'm writing. It means "a collection of curiosities".

2. I'm growing my hair after years of being semikal (since my Hong Kong days, in fact). Semikal means semi - kalbo (bald) or shaved head.

3. Given that Sage and I have conversations about Disney princesses, I advocate Belle (of "Beauty and the Beast") as the best role model. She intelligent, reads, is beautiful, brave and willful. Qualities that I've found in my both my wife and daughter.

4. Sage reads! One night, she asked her mother to read her a new book. Nikki picked up one of the volumes of the Baum's Oz series and began to read. Over her mother's shoulder, Sage said "Ozzzmaaaaaa of Ozzzzzzz". To test her, I point to random words when we're reading together. She sounds out the letters, decides what the word is, and exclaims it when she's done.

5. English is an unfair language for someone learning how to read. There are different sounds associated with various letters and letter combinations and it does not reward intuition.

6. After watching endless hours of Nikki playing her farm simulation, I yearn for a cheesemaker.

7. My new favorite boardgame is now Acquire. It eased out Die Seidlers von Catan. I like Acquire's strategic depth better and can play it over and over and over without getting bored (fatigue is a different matter).

8. My brother-in-law and his daughters lost their house a couple of weeks ago, when the military took over their area. We are very concerned but are glad to know he and his kids have some other place to live now. Nikki and I lived in that house for some time before, in complete exasperation, we returned to condo life.

9. Marco will kill me but I'm uder-utilizing my Mini. All I do now is call, text, play Jawbreaker, use Word and Excel and listen to music in the various taxis of my life.

10. I registered the car I bought but am not driving it. It sits in basement parking with a cow pillow in the back seat. Maybe next year I'll feel better about hitting the streets. I haven't driven regularly in over ten years when I'd terrorize Manila and its environs with my tank-like fearless Datsun.

11. We keep three turtles at home. Some people claim that having turtles at home is bad luck. But not to a pet store owner. Sage named them Shelly, Shelby and Sheldon.

12. At night, when they go to sleep, turtles climb on top of each other and huddle. I didn't expect that at all, very mammalian behavior.

13. Sage has learned that I'm deaf in one ear and adjusts her speech volume accordingly. She does not yet suspect that I'm practically blind in one eye as well.

14. I used to wear contacts until I swallowed one. It popped out while I was driving along Roxas Boulevard and not having a container, I put it in my mouth (saliva is supposedly neutral) and drove back to Greenhills, had dinner, brushed my teeth and went to bed. I woke up in panic early in the morning but it was obviously too late.

15. I need rice. I get depressed (and hungry all over again) when rice does not accompany a main meal. I'm okay with pasta, pizza and sandwiches for merienda but not for lunch or dinner. And I love soggy bacon, not the cruchy kind.

16. I've become an addict of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf's Pure Chocolate Ice Blended. It's truly delicious.

17. I'm thinking of getting new leather shoes but cannot summon up the energy to shop and fit. The ones I use everyday are getting worn.

18. I have to visit a chiropractor soon because something is wrong with my back's muscolo-skeletal thingie. I'm in low-degree pain most of the time (but its bearable) but once in a while it flares and I'm done. I've taken to sleeping on the floor every so often (not the soft bed). Or maybe I'm just getting old.

19. I took down notes during a client meeting and couldn't read my own handwriting when I got back to the office. It's so appalling. My natural impatience can't wait for my poor hand to catch up while my brain dictates the words. And to think, I spent so much time learning penmanship at La Salle as a child (all those pointless time-consuming ink-wasting exercises).

20. I have an idea for a full-length play which, maybe, I'll write. The tragic thing is that my focus is on fiction nowadays but I guess the old playwright in me refuses to go gently into the good night.


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