Sunday, November 29, 2009

Four Greatest Gift You Could Give Your Children

It was Black Friday yesterday.  Those of you guys who live in the U.S. of A, I hope that you got really good bargains and are happy with them.
We live in the tropical country in the Philippines, there's no black Friday for us.  We have sale everyday, though.  Some of our stores advertise year-long sale!  My daughter and I went shopping yesterday.  She bought a pair of white jeans, she calls it cigarette pants. She's lucky to have nice shapely legs and slim calves.  I told my daughter that the pair of pants is my birthday gift for her.  She raised one eyebrow to that.  She'd like an iPod for a birthday present.
These kids, they don't know how blessed they are.  In my time, if my mom gave me a pair of pants - cigarette pants or hot pants I would be jumping up and down with delight.  My Nanay  knew better,  she did not buy me those kind of pants, I am bow legged.
Kids now take for granted the things that are so valuable to us when we were young.  They take for granted having  cell phones, computer, internet, TV, etc. I would roll in pleasure if I had them at their age.
Children will never have enough material things;   they  always want  something more, they want the greatest and the latest.
I miss the days when my youngest daughter was happy and contented  to practice her creativity with photo editing.  She inserted her picture in the Microsoft wallpaper below when she was eight years old. 

For her coming birthday, I  would like to give something that is more lasting. I kept thinking what would that be. As usual when you ask the universe,  answer come naturally.  Recently I attended a parenting seminar given by my youngest daughter's school.
I confess, I am usually bored with these kind of seminars.  I sometimes go and ......cheat, like I attend the morning seminar, check in for the attendance then I don't go back for the afternoon session.  But I was bothered by my daughter's latest grades.  I thought I will be able to talk to her teacher.   We are not happy with her grades.  Yes, She moved from no. 12 to number 11 in her class ranking, but we are not satisfied with her grades.  Dave, the first time father has a high expectations of our daughters, his instant daughters (he adopted them after we got married).
Dave is a Mensa member, and even without studying his lessons in school, he breezed through high school, college and even studied Law after he graduated in engineering. 
I am not the Mensa type, I had to study 'hard' in order to have high grades in school.  The only remarkable thing about me is I love studying, so it was not hard work to study, unless the subject is Math, for it needs more time for conditioning.   I realize now I was  a nerd.  Where other students loved traipsing around in our small barrio, going to the river for a swim or to town plaza to watch basketball games,  I was perched on one of  our guava  trees, or on top of the bodega roof (the stockroom for sugar cane fertilizer),  eating guavas and studying, eating guavas and daydreaming while lying on the roof.  These were my pastime -  eating guavas with a book or notebook in hand, I studied or reviewed my lessons in school, or read my Tatay's Reader's Digest, Newsweek and Time magazines or my Nanay's Liwayway, our local magazine in Tagalog,  The benefits were:
1) I was  always way ahead of our school lessons
2) I always beat the birds in eating ripe guavas
4) Between the birds and myself, no guavas fell and rotted in the ground.
3) My teeth are so strong from eating guavas
4) I was not vitamin C deficient at all.
Enough of guavas and birds.
Back to the  seminar which  I attended.  Mr. Ernest Tan, of Ateneo De Manila University, the author of Your Greatest Gift to Your Greatest Love, was the speaker.  He looked nerdy, he was funny, and never was a dull moment in his seminar.   I did not cheat by running out of the seminar during lunch break. Below is the gist of his morning seminar:
Four greatest gifts you could give your child:
      1) Self worth
a) This is the foundation of success in work and relationship.
b)  Success has nothing to do with grades.  The important thing is confidence.
c)  Teach self-discipline.
d)  Teach intrapersonal skills,  this can not be tested.
e) Grades are relative.
 These are all better said than done.  If I see  grade of  like 77 to 79 I get pissed off. 
2)   Healthy sense of sexuality
Teasing is another form of violence.  We did not delve on this.  He postponed this topic 'til next seminar.   

3) Teach your children effective coping skills. 
a) Give them roots and wings.
b) It is the foundation of strength amidst diversities.
c) Don’t be so over protective.
d) Love your children, good grades or no.
4)   Build your child’s character 
 a)  It is the foundation of basic goodness and integrity. 
 b)  Discipline by consequence, e.g.  give her allowance for one week and if she finished that in one day, don’t give her more money.
 c) Give tough love.  You're tough but remain loving.

Do you think these are good gifts?  I think they are.  Starting today and for the rest of her school life, I would try hard not to scream at my daughter for not doing her English and Math exercises.  I will not think of it as a personal affront.  I would feel sad because it is  the opportunity to study that she missed. 
But yes, as usual, no TV, no computer until she’s done with her household chores,  and Math and English exercises.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I have a good excuse for not updating lately.......I have been very busy lately with my article writing for oDesk.  This is a new job for me, the first time I am paid for writing. This is another wonderful  reason to thank God  this thanksgiving day. 

I miss you guys and I will be reading your posts soon, and I intend to keep the discipline and update my blogs regularly. 

For now, let me greet you Happy Thanksgiving.  May you have the most delicious stuffed turkey ever.
The thing that I love most during thanksgiving  is pumpkin pie. Yum.  I will be visiting Marguerite in her  Cajun Delights (see my blog buddies) and dream that I am in your house in Louisiana and enjoying your goodies.

See you later :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

12 Things About My Dad - You Are tagged, Write 12 Things about your Dad, too

This is spin-off to my notes entitled the same in my Facebook account. Emotional reactions poured because people remembered how they were with their dads too. You dear gentle readers, I tag you to write 12 things about your dad too.

12 Things About my Dad

At right is our family picture when I was the 'only girl', (peace,  Jo and Maritz :)  before my two younger sisters were delivered by a stork :)

1. We call him Tatay. He liked it that way.
Tatay is a Tagalog word for Dad, you've guessed that right. When I was young, I asked Tatay why other kids call their dad Daddy or Papa. My knowledgeable mom or Nanay as we called her, answered for him, "Because I believe only rich people should call their Tatay Dad or Papa". That's a stereotype attitude, an offshoot of colonial mentality - only rich people speak English.   So whether Tatay would like to be called Daddy, Papa or Tatay is out of the question..  Nanay  liked it that way, he liked it that way too.  Did I say that sometimes he's a henpecked husband?  

2. He assured me I was so "guapa guapa gid" (very pretty) when I was a young girl as people compared my looks to my mom  who was a beauty.
I always felt insecure with my looks.  I hear friends and relatives telling each other I don't look like my parents at all.  They say Nanay has dark 'Turkish'  looks.  Don't ask me how this is possible.  Tatay is a "small American", as his mom, my grandmother,  lovingly described him.  He was very fair, until he became so tanned from years of riding his motorbike.

Tatay (Right) with a friend

He loved and was so proud of his 'American Legion uniform'. 

3. He was so proud of all of us.
He'd tell his friends all of our accomplishments, big or small.
Nanay always related to us how Tatay would brag about us with his friends and relatives.  Our accomplishments are feathers to his cap.

4. He loved to tell jokes, and laughed at his own jokes.
There were times  he was not able to finish telling his jokes, he'd be overcome  with laughter and his audience would laugh with him and at him because it's funny how he'd guffaw and shook with laughter with his own jokes.

5. He loved being a politician (a small time politician, from Barangay Kagawad or Councilor to becoming a Barrio Captain).
He  loved giving looooong speeches during school graduations, barrio fiestas, etc.  People were so conditioned of him giving very long speeches that seeing  him on stage and hearing his voice would trigger instant sleepiness.
Tatay as the guest speaker in a Graduation Ceremony

6. He made me feel I was his favorite child, then later I found out each one of us,  especially  the daughters, felt that way too.
It's strange how he did this, he did not tell me I was his favorite child, but I always though he treated me more favorably than the others......until my sisters told me they thought they were more favored too. 

At right is Tatay and our youngest sister, Maritz.

7. His best facial feature were his eyes.
They were light brown and when he'd look at women, my mother said that it made each woman feel she's so special. His eyes turned reddish brown when he was angry, so Nanay knew he was angry even if he did not say anything.

8. He's a good street boxer, he'd fight with anyone, even those who were bigger than him when he knew he was wronged.
I remember a neighbor who after years of secret jealousy of my dad, went amok and fired shots at our house when he was so drunk.  Tatay had me and Nanay hide. He did not fire back even when he had his own gun.  The next day, when the neighbor was sober and walking towards his house, Tatay confronted him on the street.  Tatay confiscated the neighbor's gun as he had no permit to carry deadly weapons.  He then challenged the neighbor to a fist fight.  The foolish and arrogant athletic neighbor who is a head taller than Tatay took up the challenge and had the scariest open gashes on his face.  Tatay sent him to the hospital first, then filed a case against him, then sent him to jail.  The neighbor cried and asked for forgiveness, and after two hours, my father forgave him and had him released. 

9. He had several guns. He had license to own and carry weapons even though he was a civilian.
I think he was able to justify the possession of deadly weapons because he went  to the bank in the city every week to give salaries to the hacienda laborers. He used to be the hacienda bookkeeper.  The arrogant neighbor mentioned above was the hacienda administrator. 

10. He was slim all his life.
My sisters and he borrowed each  other's  jeans  when my sisters were teenagers. I was not able to enjoy that because I studied in the city (Manila)  and they were in the province.

11. He had a very solid voice and although he was short, about 5'2'', his voice could be heard 200 meters away in all directions if he felt up to it.
Everyone of us inherited that solid voice. Translation: Be careful not to piss us off, we could shout very very loud.

12. He taught us to be very courageous, to stand up to what is right and to protect and take the side of the underdogs.
In the times when I was emotionally and physically challenged, I would say to myself, "I could do this, I am Mating's daughter, I am brave, I am strong".  BTW, my father's name is Matias, his nickname is Mating.   

Tatay died in 2003, while I was working in Saudi Arabia.  I could not go home. My employers in Saudi Arabia did not think that sickness and death in the family was a good reason for taking a leave to go home before the contract is over. Tatay  got sick and was bedridden for a month. He had all these tubes in his body and he kept  disconnecting them. He said that he'd rather die than be dependent on tubes for his life.  My sisters had to hire two able-bodied young men to keep him from disconnecting all these tubes.  Mercifully, he did not suffer long.  I regret being not able to tell him how I love him, how I appreciate him taking care of all of us.  I thought that the money and gifts  I sent them were enough, were understood as my gesture of love and appreciation.  I was 'macho' like Tatay, who could not say I love you to  parents, sisters brothers, relatives and friends. 

Why is it so hard to express our loving feelings.  If we are angry, most us us don't mince words to say I hate you. Why is hard to say I love you.  Why is it hard to verbalize the appreciation for each other.

Before my time is over (that would be a looong long time yet),  I would like to say to all of you, my loved ones, my friends, my relatives, my followers on this blog, I appreciate how you value me, I like how you make me feel important, I  love your presence in my life,  I love that you give some time for me even with your busy schedules, I LOVE YOU.

Fathers, how do you raise strong children? This is a book for you, and to friends and loved ones of fathers, this is a great gift for fathers: 
To encourage and guide men in becoming the dads they want to be, Michael Farris addresses issues common in all families with daughters: friends, dating, personal appearance, and preparing for the roles she’ll have as a woman. Michael Farris challenges fathers to take their unique opportunity to train daughters for life’s challenges—in ways that only a dad can. Originally published as How a Man Prepares His Daughters for Life, it now includes new material on relating to an adult daughter. 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Idiomatic Expressions, PC Lingo, Chat and Texts Language, Emoticons, etc.

What can be harder than having discussion with your husband about the trip to Snake Island when distractingly he says, "I'd throw in the towel on this manuscript, I can't smooth out the rough apples.   That rhymed fine, but it's painful.  For one, we have only two brand new  fluffy pastel towels.  All the rest are fluffy and stained pastel towels.  Blame that on my hair's henna wax treatment. I have completely forgotten the Fuji apples, tsk tsk, I hope they have not rotten yet.

Okay, okay. Now you can surmise  my husband is an alien I am an alien.   Do you speak American?  I do, I also speak Filipino or Tagalog, and Ilonggo too, and some sprinkling of French, Spanish and Arabic.  Don't we all do?  But do we all understand the  idiomatic expressions devised by  the native speakers so  it would be easier to spot the aliens aside from spying them beamed up to their mother ship.  To make life harder now,  we also have PC lingo, chat and cell phone texts language and computer speak (did I  invent that term).

I compiled a few idiomatic expressions and used them in a sentence:

A1 - if something is A1, it is the very best or the finest.
Wife after receiving her monthly allowance from husband: "Sweetheart, your A1".
In a street in Saudi Arabia:  "Filipina, you're number 1", the man in Thob inside a Porsche car shouted.
Beat a dead horse - to engage in pointless and repetitive discussion
"The camel's dead, do you think it would come back to life if we beat a dead horse?",  the Bedouin  asked his wife.
Crash - to go to sleep
My computer crashed, I might as well crash too.
Over the hill - to be past (your) the prime
These steaks  are over the hill, my husbands been aging then for a week now. 
Rub someone in the wrong way - to annoy someone
Rob my neighbor, rib my enemy, you don't rub me in the wrong way, ever.
Age before beauty -  this idiom is used in a way of allowing an older person to do something first, though often in a slightly sarcastic way.
Hey, don't look at me.

PC Lingo
Elvis year - the peak of something's popularity
My husband's Elvis year is when he married me, ahem.

Plug-and-Play - a new hire who does not need any training.
A newly married guy is boasting to his friend, "My wife is plug-and-play, she does not need any training in bed.
Under mouse arrest - getting busted for violating an online service's rules of conduct.
Shit, my Farm Town is under mouse arrest, somebody must have clicked Report Abuse.
Cobweb site - a site that has not been updated for a long time, a dead web page.
I am updating, alright, don't call my blog a cobweb site yet, huhuhu.
404 - someone's who's clueless, from the Worldwide Web message, "404, URL not found", meaning that the document you've tried to access can't be found.
Don't ask me for more PC lingo, I am a 404 girl.

Chat Speak/ Cell Phone Text Codes 
Here are some of them:
AAK - Alive And Kicking
ADN - Any Day Now

AFAIK - As Far As I Know
AFK - Away From the Keyboard
BCNU - I'll Be seeing You 
BWL - Bursting with Laughter
BBL - Be Back Later
BBS - Be Back Soon
BFN - Bye for Now
BTW - By the Way
btw -   between you and me
CID - Crying in  Disgrace
CRS - Can't Remember Sh**
CYA - See you
EG -    Evil Grin
EOT - end of thread, meaning End of discussion
FWIW - For What it's Worth
GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
HB - Hurry Back
HHIS - Hanging Head in Shame
IGP - I Gotta Pee
IMCO - In My Considered Opinion
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IRL - In Real Life
JAS - Just A Second
JK - Just Kidding
KIT - Keep in Touch
PITA - Pain In The Ass
PPL -   People
TYT - Take Your time
WTH - What The Heck, or substitute H with F
YR - Yeah Right (sarcastic)
YW - You're Welcome

:-|      Ambivalent
o:-)   Angelic
>:-(   Angry
:-[{}  Blowing a Kiss
\-o    Bored
:( )    Can't Stop Talking
:'      Crying
:"-)   Crying with Joy
:-*     Drunk
{{{name}}} Cyber hug
{{{{{{name}}}}}} Warm Cyber Hug
{{ }}:**   Hugs and Kisses
:-#     Lips are Sealed
:~/     Mixed up
:-\      Undecided
Lastly, here's a cool way to have your computer  speak to you, worship you or make it tell you just about everything you like :)

This a super nice feature of Windows that can be abused so that you can make your computer talk or speak whatever you tell it! This method takes advantage of a built-in API installed on most Windows XP machines called SAPI (Speech Application Programming Interface). The Microsoft Speech API is what is used for the Narrative accessibility feature built into Windows. You can also write programs that call the API, which would allow you to let your applications speak. But making your computer say what you want is pretty easy actually! Here’s how you do it: Step 1: Open Notepad and paste the following text into a new document: Dim message, sapi message=InputBox(”Enter the text you want spoken”,”Speak This”) Set sapi=CreateObject(”sapi.spvoice”) sapi.Speak message   After copying and pasting the above, go back and retype all the quotation marks, as they don't save right.   Now when you go to save the file, give it any name, but make sure you also type .VBS after the name. Also, for the Save as type box, choose All files instead of the default Text Documents. Now double-click on the VBS file and you should see a input box where you can type in the text you want spoken! Go ahead and type something and click OK. That’s it! Your computer will speak to you in the default voice.  Some find the voice scary, some find it seductive.  I like it when it tells me, "Rich and famous Malou, I am giving you a million dollars to dine with me."  It even pronounced my name right!  What about yours?    If you did not understand  the above instructions above, go here:

Do you have new text/chat codes or emoticons to add?

Online Job for All. Work from home computer.

Would you like to be more internet savvy? Here's a practical Internet Dictionary for you: Review "A living dictionary devoted to the often cryptic and comedic vocabulary of the Internet, which is evolving at record speed." -- PC Magazine Product Description With emphasis on the personal, business, and technology aspects that make using the Internet so unique, this handy reference presents more than 2,500 computer-related terms and industry-specific jargon for anyone who needs to learn the new language of the Net. Newbies as well as techies will find commonly used shorthand, modern office phrases, and a large collection of emoticons and ASII art. An index sorts the terms into 10 popular categories with a complete list of international country codes and file extensions.