Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global Financial Crisis, anyone?

I dread turning on the news everyday. All the talks about the global financial crisis leave me somewhat depressed and, frankly, concerned.

Who wouldn't be? Everyday, companies would announce cost-cutting measures to keep themselves afloat through these tough times. These range from withholding bonuses, salary ceilings to decreased work weeks and shutting down operations. The bottom line is that everyone needs to be on a tight budget until the global financial crisis blows over.

Just how do you make your budget work? Yes, it is living within your means, not spending more than what you make. I have lived 32 years with these little conveniences that I cannot just "undo" in a day. Sadly, some of the latte factors have to go. And they have to go -- pronto! But, people, it is easier said than done.

Let's translate this into more concrete terms:

- Forgo that cuppa joe every morning and try making your own coffee. Maybe this is the right time to invest in a sturdy coffee travel mug to take to work.

- Packed lunches are so hip! Did I mention that it can also save you a few bucks daily? As they say, even a penny may help.

- Eat at home more often. Family dinners can be a great bonding experience between parents and kids. It is definitely healthier and lighter on the pocket.

- Maybe forgo that professional mani-pedi and do it yourself for a change. They can cost an arm and a leg. Well, this may be too drastic... Maybe go to the salon once a month and DIY maintenance.

If anything, the global financial crisis is telling all of us to get back to the basics, live within our means and simplify. Who said that the old fashioned way of cooking at home and DIYs cannot be relearned? It is a hard lesson but the important ones are never easy.

Hooked on Soaps

I have not been a big fan of soaps or telenovelas as we fondly call them here in the country. Filipinos have been hooked on soaps since the the Marimar phenomenon occurred in the mid 90s. And somehow primetime TV has never been the same since then.

In my 32 years of life, I have followed probably a handful. My first soap was Mara Clara. When scheduled permitted, I watched it for lack of other shows on TV. But I soon lost interest when that blasted diary apparently took years to surface.

I was coerced by my office mates into watching my second soap. Mula Sa Puso was a hit during those days. And Princess Punzalan was really scary. I had to watch or risk being ostracized during breaks. Yes, I even watched the movie. =P

I started tuning in to Pangako Sa 'Yo after I had given birth to Kuya. My cousins were absolutely hooked on this soap. Of course, I had to know the infamous Amor Powers and Madame Claudia that they were raving about.

Who would forget the sleeper hit, Mulawin? Since I watched the pilot episode, I started following it. Somehow the story of star-crossed lovers, Alwina and Aguiluz was too riveting to pass. No, I didn't watch the movie but I did buy the feathered masks.

Now, I'm starting to get hooked on the soap, Tayong Dalawa and for obvious reasons. Anyone who has seen the trailer would know that the two David Garcia Jrs would enroll themselves somewhere I know by heart. And I should. After all the significant men in my life hurdled its mountains in a manner of speaking.
Am I hooked on soaps?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Twas A Month After Christmas

Twas so funny that I had to share...

Twas the month after Christmas,
And all through the house,
Nothing would fit me,
not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled,
The chocolate I'd taste
At the holiday parties
Had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales
There arose such a number!
When I walked to the store
(Less a walk than a lumber)

I'd remember the marvellous
Meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces
And beef nicely rared.

The wine and the rum balls,
The bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said,
"No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself
In my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again
To do battle with dirt...

I said to myself,
As I only can,
"You can't spend a winter,
Disguised as a man!"

So, away with the last
Of the sour cream dip.
Get rid of the fruit cake,
Every cracker and chip.

Every last bit of food
That I like must be banished
Till all the additional
Ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie,
Not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew
On a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits,
Or corn bread, or pie.
I'll munch on a carrot
And quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome,
And life is a bore...
But isn't that what
January is for?

Unable to giggle,
No longer a riot.
Happy Chinese New Year to all,
And to all a good diet.