Friends

Rubber Bands, Relationships and Loving Thyself

A friend of mine mentioned to me that he had been encountering some relationship issues.  He said that he feels that that partnership is almost stretched like a rubber band near its breaking point.  I only hope that he and his partner snap back to normal, instead of hurtling towards opposite directions, much like in a tug-of-war with the rope breaking in the middle.

My general advice on making decisions — don’t make any hasty decisions while you are in an emotionally charged state or running on an empty stomach.  The “or” part comes in handy during trips to the supermarket.

Another friend mentioned to me that a person should learn to love oneself, as well, to be more effective in a relationship.  Yeah, I think a firm appreciation of the “self” tends to make one less needy of the other person.  Imagine the lunacy of having another person “completing” the other.  So, what happens when one isn’t intimately with another person?  Does that mean one is condemned to eternal misery?

Well, to that I say blessed are the narcissists.  And to that I say, blessed are narcissists with split personalities for they can have affairs with themselves.  And to that I say, blessed are the narcissistic human contortionists with split personalities for they can reach those spots no one would dare think of reaching.

And to that, my friend said she’ll practice more yoga.

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On Frogs and Princesses (and Piggies)

I remember watching a lot of Sesame Street as a kid,  “This is Kermit the Frog for Sesame Street news.”  I also remember him pairing up with the very much empowered Miss Piggy.  Boy, they certainly made a wonderful couple back then.  I wonder how they are doing now, imagine that, a meaty pig and a rather frail frog.  I haven’t been watching the Muppets and Sesame Street for quite some time now.

I wonder if frogs, and their metaphorical counterparts, can only get action onscreen and in fantasy?

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend about frogs and their role in fairy tales.  Frogs are possessive SOBs, if you ask me.  Like, how many stories are there with the frogs turning into a prince? One, right?  I think frogs aren’t portrayed favorably in the rest of the stories.  In Thumbelina, the frog even wanted to keep the protagonist for himself, or was it for a fellow frog? I don’t remember.  Then again, I don’t remember the rest of the stories with frogs in them.

Nonetheless, let us take up the cause for frogs and why they should be given a fair chance by the possessive/ dominant female:

1.  Frogs, well, they’re pretty low maintenance.  They eat flies, right?

Stuffed frogs

From the Graveyard of Frogs Failing to Launch (Stuffed frogs (Photo credit: Wikipedia))

2.  Frogs, they will not complain — even with intense nagging.  They basically don’t have ears.  Well, even if they did, I am not sure if they would understand what nagging is, either.

3.  Frogs, despite the slimy appearance, are quite fragile.  If the dominant female finally decides to get rid of him, she can simply crush him to bits.

4.  Frogs, although low probability, might actually turn out to be rich and into a prince from all the kissing. So, stay on it, ladies.  I mean, if you’re desperate enough.

5.  And yeah, you might love the tongue action. =P rrrrribbbbit!

The Spaghetti Incident

More than twenty years ago, I was in high school at that time, I told my mom that the spaghetti with meat sauce at our home was not as good as the one over at my classmate’s house.  It’s not everyday that a kid can say that about the cooking at home.  I am not too sure if I hurt my mom’s feelings that day.  Hey, I was just a dumb kid at that time.

***

Looking back, I didn’t realize that I had always been brutally honest since I was a kid.  I always thought that it was a quality that evolved after high school and college.   A “concerned citizen” once recommended that I should try to shut up from time to time because I tend to get too hurtful once I get carried away.

Dissonance, that was how Mr. Kong called it in his article today at the Philippine Star.  I might love to think that I am honest and will speak my mind freely but some might think that I’m just being a major asshole.  That’s dissonance for you.

***

My mom told me to tell our cook/maid about the spaghetti.  An obedient kid I was, I did what my mom told me.  So what did I get out of it?  Well, I can sum up how the cook reacted in series.   She was shocked, probably angry, and ended up giving me a blank stare.  Hey, I was just a dumb kid following orders.

***

Giving and following orders.  Today as a slightly less dumb adult, I can just say that we should be careful in giving out instructions.  Sometimes, that delightful smile and nod of approval you get out of someone after talking to them can also mean “WTF are you asking me to do again?”  In extreme cases, one will have to do something the subordinate was supposed to do.  You’ll end up doing that task instead.

***

So, I explained to our household staff what I wanted.  I guess she wasn’t prepared for all the suggestions.  I can’t say she didn’t try hard.  She just didn’t understand what I wanted at that time.  From then on, I decided that I should learn to cook.  I also embarked on my series of experiments to duplicate the experience but I couldn’t really get it exactly right.

Honestly, twenty years after, I think I’ve already forgotten how the spaghetti at my friend’s house tasted.  The important takeaway from that is that it fueled my desire to learn a new skill — cooking.  At least today, my wallet does not have to suffer much trauma from paying for too much takeaway food.  Even eating out today is more of an educational experience rather than just for the sole purpose of tummy filling.

***

We shouldn’t be just content to copy the experience or duplicate something.  We can always try to go for improvement.

***

I cooked spaghetti for the family last night.  I used crumbled Vigan longanisa, peppers, black olives and diced tomatoes.

Noodles Should Rule the Earth

Noodles.  I believe that noodles have the best chance of making it as “universally acceptable” food.  If the Earth conquered the rest of the known universe, its warriors should bring noodles with them as peace offerings to different planetary inhabitants.  Noodles will bring peace and stability to the war-torn galaxies.  The trend can start among the nations of this planet…

…aaaand that’s jumping way ahead of our lifetime and sounds too inspired by hallucinogens.

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my job entails a lot of traveling to the different provinces of the Philippines.  Generally, the experience has been very gratifying for me.  I get see the country, work and enjoy it.  One habit I picked up over the years of working as a regularly traveling marketing person is checking out the local specialty dishes wherever I go to.

Tony Bourdain

I wish my job was kinda like his — Tony Bourdain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, I am no Anthony Bourdain in an episode of No Reservations but I try to be — I emulate as far as the beer every meal will take me.  So far, I’ve tried crickets, dog, frogs, and a cobra for dinner (a little Zimmern there).  None of them give the same feeling of comfort as noodles.

Back to the noodles.  I’ve written about Charlie’s Wanton,  Tuguegarao‘s Batil Patong and probably about Pancit Cabagan from…well, Cabagan, Isabela.  If I can remember the name of the noodle place near the Ambassador in Chinatown, where my friends and I ate late after imbibing a lot of alcohol, I’d write about that, too.  Honestly, I used to tease an old co-worker about his love for noodles.  I never thought I’d become a noodle freak myself.

In my last trip out of Metro Manila, I ended up in the city of Calapan in Oriental Mindoro for a week-long work activity.    Since it was all work, I really did not have the time to check out what the area had to offer.  Tamaraw Falls can wait for me in an another visit to the island.  I am thankful for one of our professional staff members for bringing me to a good source of food kryptonite that made me want to eat some more until the last minute I had to leave Mindoro.

With a name that sounds like an old place that my uncles used to frequent to sow their wild oats, Mabuhay Panciteria in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro was certainly worth the stop for me.

Mabuhay? Just damn delicious noodles.

It was worth the stop that I had to bring my entire team there for a “take it or leave it” Thursday dinner — lomi or pancit as the only food choices.

Lomi vs Canton — both are winners

Believe me, the team was full ’til midnight, as starch swells up in tummy really good.  It was worth the stop that I had to come back to eat Sunday lunch before I boarded the Ro-Ro boat going back to the Batangas port.

Round 2 for moi!

I remember Mario Batali mentioning in some of his shows, while cooking pasta, that the noodle is the dish.  I don’t know exactly what he meant but THIS had to be it.  The pancit canton in Mabuhay was just that — it wasn’t the GENEROUS amount of toppings or the sahog that got me.  It was the taste of the noodle PLUS the toppings.  The sauce was not overpowering and offered you room to play around with additional condiments.  The taste and texture of the noodles, prepared in-store, got me going to eat more and more.  I liken it to the experience of eating a lot if one has well-prepared steamed aromatic white rice, an appetite inducer for most.  I also felt like that food critic in Ratatouille.  You’ll end up eating a lot.  If the place wasn’t so far, I’ll eat there every week.

Everybody gets long life — Mabuhay!

Price-wise, the pancit canton there is relatively inexpensive at PhP 95.00.  Throw-in a super cold bottle of Coca-Cola, 12-oz please,  and you’re all set for a great meal.  If you feel like it, you can also order rice to go along with the pancit.  Pancit + rice, a true Pinoy belly-busting eating tradition.

Belly busting makes you feel good. (Belly borrowed from a good friend.)

Trouble, Other Things and the Concept of Value

My old boss once told me that the trouble with assumptions is it makes an ass out of you and me.  Well, this is what I think.  Assumptions with minimal basis, backed up by faulty data, just makes one an ass.  I don’t know about making an ass out of the other person.  That’s unless the other person buys the faulty assumption 100% and puts those into practice — yikes!  There’s really a lot of sense not buying your own BS.

***

Only publications are meant to have issues.  If you have volumes, better stop and check what’s happening.  This was what I thought after I saw someone address a post on Facebook as “to my friends who are having issues.”  Talk about pulling the trigger on a high-probability shotgun.  It makes sense, actually.   I think a lot of depressed people do go online and post shit.  Some even post problems and try to get advice.  Me?  I’m just bored most of the time.   Convenient excuse, isn’t it?  Although, sometimes, some of those issues you read and hear on the radio are quite, for lack of a better word, shallow.

***

I read on Twitter last night from a certain comedian, how come the pregnant wife gets rubbed on the tummy and gets congratulated.  Nobody rubs the husband’s balls.  Frankly, I found it moderately amusing and 100% stupid.  First, we aren’t dogs, at least not 100% of the time.  Second, my balls don’t swell-up for 9 months.  While getting in the productive seed is half the process, carrying the child for 9 months isn’t  exactly easy.  So, imho, the female should get all the praise for that feat.

***

Revenge is a dish best served cold.  I wonder where’s the rest of the recipe.  It has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but that thought popped into mind.  I recall someone telling me about thugs for hire the other day.  Maybe it was an unconscious mental trigger.  Thugs for hire, sounds like a very profitable business venture this coming 2013.

***

My other old boss once told me this about assumptions:  Let the consumers make that mistake.  It will give us an opportunity to make another story.

***

Not sure about the value of going through a lot of trouble.  Does it make you love love something more?  As we pile up the trophies, do we obsess about the details of how we got each one?

All I know about value is this:  You can determine something’s value if you’ve experienced life with and without it.  I know the value of food and money.  I also know the value of good company.  I also know that a lot of dirty old men have an exact peso value for that.  😛