Archive for July, 2006

Super Size Me

Super Size Me is a documentary about filmmaker Morgan Spurlock who embarked on a one-month McDonald’s binge.  He signed up three medical professionals to monitor his health while in this extreme experiment – a cardiologist, a gastroenterologist, and a general practitioner.  He also worked with a nutritionist and an exercise physiologist. 

For 30 days, he was to eat only foods from McDonalds for breakfast, lunch and supper.  He could also drink coffee and water provided they were bought at Mickee Dees. 

He started out very healthy.  As a matter of fact, his exercise physiologist said that he had above average fitness for his age group.  He stood 6’2” and weighed 185 ½ lbs.  His cholesterol was 168 and his body fat was 11%.  He was sexually active.  He was a previous smoker but had quit many years ago. 

So Day 1 came, he started his McDonald’s binge and he was fine.  On Day 2 he experienced a stomachache and even vomited while having his meal.  On Day 7, he was experiencing chest pressure.  By Day 18, he was feeling fatigue and he had less sexual drive.

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July 30, 2006 at 11:42 pm 14 comments

Six Weird Things About Me

I’ve been tagged by Señor Enrique to name six weird habits or things about myself. 

Here are the rules:

The writer will create a blog with “6 weird things/habits about yourself.”

People who get tagged will have to post a blog of their own telling 6 weird things/habits about themselves.

At the end of your 6 weird/things/habits, you need to choose 6 people that you would like to be tagged and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “You are Tagged!” in their comments and tell them to read yours for instructions on how to proceed!

Here are my six habits or things that you may find weird: 

1.       I go to bed at 1:00 a.m.  Even when I am exhausted, I’d stay up watching TV or reading a book, sometimes falling asleep on the couch, and then I’d get up at around 1:00 a.m. to get ready for bed.

2.       I would put my right leg up on the chair and tuck it under my left leg, not only when I’m being comfortable on the couch.  I also do this when I’m at the dinner table and at my workstation.  And it’s always the right leg under the left leg.  But I only do this at home.  And since I work at home, it’s getting to be a bad habit.  Sometimes I’d also put my left leg up on the chair.  I tend to get into a cramp position while working.  Not very good for my back.

3.       I don’t know how to ride a bike.  And I don’t drive either.  I did try to learn driving once but I always got nervous on the road.

4.       I grind my teeth at night.  I didn’t know this until my dentist told me earlier this year.  And then I noticed that I do clench my teeth whenever I’m angry or stressed.  Now, I have to wear a night guard to protect my slowly deteriorating teeth.

5.       I keep my grocery receipts for up to a year and at the end of the year, I make a summary of our expenses.  Even though I know that it gives me chest pains to compare our income and expenses.  Our expenses tend to be always greater than our income.  I’m always on the lookout on how to cut back on some of our expenses.

6.       I have a collection of movies on VHS tapes, mostly ones that I have taped from TV.  Some are five to ten years old and I haven’t watched yet.  I just can’t seem to find enough time.  And while most people are replacing their movie collection with DVDs, I still buy mine on VHS tapes.  They’re just too cheap now.  Sometimes they cost only a couple of bucks.  (Read more here.) 

I’m tagging these six wonderful people.

1.       Jayred

2.       Toe

3.       Noemi

4.       Ann

5.       Mmy-lei

6.       Jairam

July 26, 2006 at 10:25 pm 25 comments

Can men and women be just friends?

whenharry

The first time Harry met Sally, he said to her, “Men and women can’t be friends because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive.  He always wants to have sex with her.”  (Please guys, tell me this isn’t true.)  Sally disagreed and found him to be obnoxious.  He, on the other hand, found her to be very high-maintenance.  So they didn’t hook up on that first meeting. 

The second time they met, they were both committed to other people.  Harry still stood by what he said to her the first time.  She still found him obnoxious. 

The third time they met, they just broke up with their partners.  They became friends, and later on they actually became the best of friends, being able to tell each other about anything, including how they feel about the people they were dating.  But they kept denying their attraction for each other. 

I love When Harry Met Sally.  The actors look so young.  Meg Ryan was so pretty.  Billy Crystal was funny without even trying to.  Harry Connick Jr, who sang the theme song It Had To Be You, also looked so young and handsome.  And I love that famous scene in the restaurant when Sally faked an orgasm just to prove to Harry that women do fake it.  And then the woman on the other table said, “I’ll have what she’s having.”  That was hilarious. 

But really, is it possible for a man and a woman to be friends without turning into a romantic relationship?  In Harry and Sally’s case, they became friends first, but there was obviously an attraction even at the beginning.   

This reminds me of a Home Improvement episode when Jill had a guy in her book club.  Her husband, Tim, was jealous when Jill and the guy went out one night to attend an event that they were both interested in.  Tim wasn’t really interested in books, you see.  But Jill assured him that he wasn’t interested in the guy in a romantic way. 

Which brings me to another question.  Can you love somebody and yet be inspired by another?  And I’m not talking about being inspired by a celebrity or famous person.  I meant being inspired by somebody you know personally.  Would that be wrong?

July 23, 2006 at 10:04 pm 33 comments

The Skatepark

There’s a new attraction in town.  The skateboard park at The Forks

I’ve watched my kids play their Tony Hawk’s Playstation game and I’ve enjoyed watching it.  I’ve seen the different moves and turns that one can do with the skateboard such as the kickflip, the ollie, the grind, and the 180- and 360-degree turns.  I think they’re awesome. But it’s a different experience watching kids skateboard for real.   

Skateboarding can be a pretty dangerous sport.  Just two weeks ago, a teenage boy already had an accident at this park.  There have been debates on whether the City should impose a law on wearing helmets and protective gear such as knee and elbow pads.  Winnipeggers are split on this issue.  On the one hand, some think that the City should impose a rule because they think that it’s the City’s responsibility to protect its residents.  On the other hand, some think that the City shouldn’t and everybody should mind their own business and it should be up to the parents to make sure that their kids are protected when they do skateboard. 

I’m just glad that my kids are not into skateboarding.  If they were, I would make them wear helmets and pads.  But then again, I think there’s pressure on teenage kids if they see their peers not wearing helmets.  They kind of feel like the odd one out.  And the younger kids look up to the older kids.  They think that whatever the older kids are doing is cool.  And pretty soon they will want to imitate the older kids who aren’t wearing helmets.  I know this because I always struggle with my youngest son to cover his head in the freezing temperatures in the winter when he sees his older brothers not wearing their toques (hat/bonnet) or hoods.   

When we went to check out this skatepark a few days ago, I noticed the smaller kids, who were obviously with their parents, were all wearing helmets.  The teenage boys, who were there by themselves, were not.  I watched a teenage girl fall from her skateboard and I winced when she did.  I was even worried that she would scrape her lovely skinny legs.  But she was all right.   

Other provinces here in Canada enforce laws on wearing helmets while biking, rollerblading and skateboarding.  Manitoba hasn’t yet.  I’m sure if my kids were into skateboarding, I would also vote for the legislation of wearing helmets.  I think anything that involves flipping and suspending oneself in the air is dangerous. 

Click here for more photos of the skatepark.

July 20, 2006 at 10:01 pm 12 comments

Cantaloupe drink

Another family favourite is the cantaloupe, or milon (mee-lon) in Tagalog.  Sometimes we just slice this fruit after removing the seeds and the gooey middle.  But most of the time, we make a cantaloupe drink.  What we do after removing the middle part is scrape the fleshy meat with this utensil, pangkayod, (I don’t know what it’s called in English) and we get these string-like shapes.  We then add sugar and water and voila, we have a cantaloupe drink.

The other day, I was too tired (from the heat) and too lazy to prepare anything elaborate that I just boiled some corn on the cob and I cooked hotdogs.  That’s what the kids and I had for dinner and also this refreshing cantaloupe drink.  The corn tasted so good with margarine on it.  It was like a picnic meal.  The kids and I enjoyed it. 

“Mommy, why does everything we eat today is long?  The hotdog, the corn, and even the milon is also long.”  

You can just imagine what kind of conversation it started.  If you haven’t realized it yet, I live with four boys.  If you have been around boys, you’ll have an idea of what I’m talking about. 

Later on, I told them to stop playing around with their food and they just kept on giggling throughout the rest of the meal.  

So what about you?  How do you eat your cantaloupe?

July 18, 2006 at 6:32 pm 12 comments

Watermelon and Bean Sprouts

One of my family’s favourite fruit is watermelon, or pakwan as we call it in Tagalog.  Watermelon is usually included in my weekly groceries.  We get it all throughout the year, even in the winter.  Of course they don’t come directly here from Winnipeg, but imported from some tropical country.

 

In Toe’s post, Butong Pakwan (Watermelon Seeds), I told her that we get seedless watermelons here in Winnipeg and also ones with white seeds.  The one in the picture has white seeds, which are very soft and we don’t have to pick them out.  We eat this watermelon with the seeds.  When given the choice between a watermelon with seeds and a seedless one, I’d pick the seedless one.  It’s such a hassle to spit or pick out the seeds especially when you also have to do it for your young kids.  At least my kids are older now and can pick the seeds out on their own.   

Another favourite of the family is bean sprouts, or to-ge.  I was surprised when I read Domesticrat’s post, Bogeh Eat Taugeh, with the bean sprouts picture and she called these similarly.  So fellow Filipinos, they call these taugeh in Hokkien (Pronounced tao-gay.  Thanks to DR for the correction.)

 

When my husband cooks to-ge, he leaves the roots on and we better not complain because that will be the last time we’ll see him cook.  When I cook to-ge, I pluck out the roots.  If I do it myself, it will take me forever just to do a bag of this crunchy veggie.  So I would commission the kids’ help, all three of them, to help me take out the roots individually.  I know they’d rather do something else other than this chore, but I also know that they like eating the to-ge better without those ugly roots. 

I’m not really much of a cook.  But this is a simple dish that the kids enjoy.  I sauté garlic, onions (finely diced or else the kids will pick them out of their food), pork, a little bit of shrimp (which I cut in half because they’re quite expensive), and then add the to-ge last.  Add fish sauce and briefly boil in a little bit of water.

July 15, 2006 at 10:46 pm 17 comments

Being comfortable in your own skin

Finally, after months of waiting, I had the chance to see TransAmerica.  I have wanted to watch this movie because I love Felicity Huffman as Lynette in Desperate Housewives.  Then I’ve heard so much hype about the film and the more I got interested.

TransAmerica is about a transgendered person, formerly known as Stanley, and then later on went by the name Bree.  She was about to have the final operation, which would make her a complete woman physically.  But just a few days before the “big day,” a son who she didn’t know existed called looking for his father.  She tried not to get emotional and forget about what she discovered, but she became a wreck.  Her psychologist wouldn’t let her have the operation until she met the boy and resolved her feelings.  She bailed the 17-year old delinquent out of jail, planned to return him home to his family but there was more to it than she thought.  And she got involved with his life. 

They traveled together through the roads of America as Bree tried to make it back to L.A. for her operation.  I think the road trip was a representation of their journey in trying to discover themselves.  Toby wasn’t sure yet what he wanted in life.  Bree was sure she wanted to be a woman but doubted herself if she could be a parent to Toby.  She tried.  It was rough at first but later on they learned not only about each other, but also to respect each other.  Respect was one thing that Bree longed for in her life. 

This story is not just about the transgendered Bree, but her struggle to be “seen” by the people she loved and how she learned to be comfortable in her own skin.  I think that’s a subject that anybody can easily relate to, whether you’re a man, woman, gay, lesbian, or transsexual. 

There was a scene when Bree was in a restaurant and a little girl asked, “Are you a boy or a girl?”  She freaked out.  She thought that this girl saw through her.  I don’t personally know any transsexual but that must be what they look like, neither a boy nor a girl.   

I think Felicity Huffman did a good job in transforming into the character of Bree.  She sported a black wig in the film and she worked hard to lower her voice.  (I’m not too crazy about the voice, though.)  I didn’t associate her at all with her famous blonde character Lynette in Desperate Housewives.  I think she did a great performance.  Although some may think that the producers should have cast a male actor instead of a female one.  Señor Enrique even pointed out that Hilary Swank was very believable as Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry because the character was actually female.  On the other hand, I think Felicity was also believable.  It’s probably just my female point of view.  I guess it would be hard to tell if it would be more believable if a male actor played the role unless we see another movie about a transsexual played by a male actor.

I think it was a good movie.  There were funny moments too.  And as I’ve said before, I don’t have any problems with gays and lesbians.  I know a few and they are good and kind-hearted people. I don’t know any transsexuals, but I understand that being transgendered is associated with a disorder.  I won’t look down upon them because they are human too.

July 13, 2006 at 9:34 pm 11 comments

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