Le grand livre d’exercices

May 22, 2011

The Big Book of Exercises, by Men’s Health. And mind you, the guys from MH weren’t the least kidding when they tagged this fitness manual as big. Because it is. Hefty both in size, and in info. And for the first time ever, I was duly enlightened on how muscle growth comes into existence, via micro tearing and muscle-protein synthesis, I was like … “Efff. I didn’t know that.“. This is the shizzz.

It’s got a vast variety of routines, neatly sectioned per major muscle group. It’s like going to a restaurant, and ordering something like … “I’d want to have 3 of those advanced leg extension routines, one variation of chest press, a liberal helping of arm curls, and for my woman’s dessert, I’d like her to have a well defined pair of my glutes. Oh, and also, a solid rock-hard abs to-go please.“. LOL.

I love this book.

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L’amour.

February 12, 2011

Due to inadequate number of REM cycles, and a considerable massive jet lag, I was asleep for the past 60 hours (as scheduled). And now, I can’t get myself get right back to sleep, so with all the conscious time I have, I get to ponder momentarily about, well, uhm, love.

This is my first take on poetry. I know this is not something people would consider to be in that classic category, so I purposely disabled comments for this post as to not get me discouraged, specially that, as of this very all-wide-awake moment, I am considering pursuing poetry.

Love.
It does not take form.
It does not come into existence that can be contained.
No, it can not be contained.
For love is freedom.
And it is only when one is emancipated that one can love.
For love is a choice, but never an option.
It is not dictated.
Nor can be restricted.
It sustains. It is consumed. It consumes.
It flows at liberty.
It is spontaneous, never deliberate.
It is spontaneously deliberate.
It does not end.
It has no end.

Oh, and hey. It’s almost Valentine’s Day.

Bière!

January 11, 2011

Beer! We made a short walk from the hotel to that Napoli store towards the end of downtown Stjørdal, in the midst of the tundra-ish Norwegian weather (-11 degrees Celsius), just to get ourselves half a liter of this gorgeous amber Dahls draft beer. It’s so amazingly good, that with only a mere distant memory of its taste, I boldly endured the freezing 10-minute walk, all shivery (sans a winter coif, gloves, thermals), as if am in convulsive fever.

Dahls is a locally produced brew here in Trondheim. It is divine. Ambrosial. It is clean and crisp, like newly melted snow from the Himalayas (am just making an allegory, not that I have already tasted such, but you get where am getting at :p). You can really taste that distinct umpft of the hops’ lucid bitterness, against subtle hints of floral and fruity tang.

Am a big fan.

Une petite balade au centre-ville Stjørdal.

January 10, 2011

A quick stroll to downtown Stjørdal.  I went out looking for public payphones, planning to place a call to Manila. It’s only 4PM, but checkout how eerily dark it is outside. It’s like the Twilight Zone, only that it has streets lined with trees that have light bulbs for leaves, and with charming shops stacked neatly right next to each other.

The temperature is blissfully freezing. My kind of weather. Snow was constantly falling for like 4 hours straight today.

That’s me, trying to restrain my jaw from involuntary clenching my teeth. I just love the way I shiver my way into oblivion.

 

On my way back, I came across this adorable display of one of them stores within the freezing downtown perimeter. It’s like a showcase of trinkets and fixtures meant for ice queens, princesses, and royalty-frozen-diva-what-have-yous.

I am bored.

Mon Norvégienne dimanche dîner.

January 9, 2011

My Norwegian Sunday dinner. Canned tuna in water, and a danish bread.

I know, these are not the makings of a decent Sunday dinner, but this is better than sleeping on a grumpy tummy. Stores are closed here in Stjørdal (exact place where we’re located) on Sundays, so I tried ransacking my imagination of what would provide me that interim  bogus satiety, as I carefully checked all 3 aisles of the only convenient store that has the perpetual mercy to open up in all of tundra-ish Stjørdal.

I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed the cold lonely dinner I had.

Je suis dans La Norvège

January 9, 2011

I’m in Norway. And have never thought that the first place I’d be going to in Europe would be freezing, land-of-the-midnight-sun Norway.
Well, technically, I stepped into Amsterdam first. However that was only for transit, so that does not count.

The last few weeks of December 2010, and the first few days of January 2011 were effin’ kuh-kuh-crrrazy-eeh. Let’s just say that sleep was the last thing on my list. Onset of my Euro-flight, I only had a total of 8 hours worth of sleep, for 4 days.

Anyways, departure flight was 1135 hours of January 4, final destination Trondheim, Norway. It was a 14-hour flight from Manila to Amsterdam. KLM food was, uhm, mediocre. Worse, it was mundane. I was so used to flying Korean Air that I’m used to fun food, specifically my all time fave, Bibimbap. Haha. But I have got to hand it out to them KLM guys, they were so frequent in giving out drinks throughout the duration of the flight, that I was overly confident that I can go on for a week without having even a tiny teeny drop of liquid and not go dehydrated. I was raiding the serving tray of drinks like a madman.

We arrived around 6PM in Amsterdam. Schiphol Airport is, uhm, fine. South Korea’s Incheon International Airport still is, by far, the best for me. Anyways. Schiphol is a very tourist-friendly airport. The signs were never confusing. I was headed toward terminal B. And was surprised to see a line queued for what I perceived as an immigration check. The person at the counter asked some couple random questions about my trip, and stuff, then went through the X-ray machine.

The long, fast-paced walk (and by fast-paced, I meant my usual injury-prone fast-paced gait) I did from terminal F (arrival) to terminal B (departure of connecting flight), plus getting in line for the documents check, took me around 1.5 hours, that I only waited for 30 minutes for my 8PM flight to Trondheim.

Upon boarding time, we were led to a bus, that goes straight out to the airstrip where 4-seats-a-row KLM planes wereparked. I was seated next to a really tall guy (around 6 foot 4) who’s got these two, long,  narrow cone shells (one red, one black) for ear piercings. Both on the same earlobe.  It’s like having to stab someone with a very long knife, but the knife was perceived ornamental that it was eventually left where it was stabbed into. Anyways, this guy is so tall, that while seated, his legs needed be bent sideways against the seat in front of him, just to make that comfy sitting position. All I can say is … helloooo deep vein thrombosis.

We arrived in Trondheim 30 past 10PM. I withdrew NOK 200 first for my cab fare. People were entering this wine-and-choco duty free shop, that I was subtly enticed to checkout as well. I went out carrying nothing, but I found a really interesting Chupaha Chups lollipop, as big as a size 5 football. I was so amazed that I forgot to take a photo.

I went straight to the luggage carousel. I was half praying  that my luggage won’t end up in another carousel somewhere in Europe, and half already coming up with a plan on what to say as my rant, immensely pissed-off speech if ever my luggage won’t turn up. Well, it did turn up, prayers work, kids. Haha.

Trondheim airport was pretty quaint to be an airport (although the brick walls gave it a homey feel to it), and lacked proper English signage, that I stalked this Norwegian family toward wherever the immigration counter is. Turns out, there is none. And the one I queued up in line at the Schiphol Airport actually is the immigration check. Which led me into conclusion that Trondheim is a bit too small a place that it didn’t have to bother itself with tourist immigration shit.

I was looking out for any exit portals that will lead me to a taxi bay. Good thing the Norwegian word for taxi is, well, taxi. So when the taxi signage turned up, I immediately hailed a cab, then asked to drop me off to my hotel. The cab driver was irritatingly soft spoken, that 10 minutes of listening to him talk would definitely send me off to a snooze fest.

That’s it for now. Will try my best to document any interesting stuff I should encounter. There’s a lot as of the moment, but will pick out the ones worth mentioning. Haha. Au revoir.

Je souhaite J’ai vous devez d’abord rencontré.

December 5, 2010

I really do.
I don’t know.
I don’t get it.

L’équilibre de miel.

November 18, 2010

Huhnee.

The balance of honey. In my daily commutes to/fro work, I have gradually acquired this habit of playing out with words just to alleviate boredom. And just last night on my home from work, I realized that the word honey, is an equilibrium in itself. A neutral word.

Now, here’s why.

When you do a backslang on the word honey, you’d get yenoh.
Yenoh.
Yenoh.
Ye is used sometimes to denote yes. Noh is roughly, well, the word no. So that’s a yes, and a no, in a single word, making the word honey a ying-yang in the lexicon parallel universe.

 

I was bored. So don’t you dare judge me.

Travaille sur un jour férié.

November 15, 2010

Surfing while working. Sounds like fun? Haha. I guess we'll never know. O R . . .

Working on a holiday. I need to be constantly reminded of the imperative reason why am working on a holiday. And that reason is, ahm. Hm … wait, I need to ask someone about that. Haha.

Well, looking at the brighter (or less dim) side of this situation … hold that thought. Can’t think of any. Hm. Ah oh yes, there’d be fewer cars on the road. No traffic. Why? Because everyone else’s in their beds still, effin’ snoring themselves away!

Eff. Anyways, just done with my routine workout, will be hitting the shower in a jiff. Not unless I got tricked by my bed and pillows into sleeping.

Ma place heureux (Deuxième Partie).

November 14, 2010

The designated official bartender.

My happy place (second part). So, right after our first dinner in SC, we went back to the villa, and then got our stuff ready for, what else, our hooch session.

I was made officially the bartender of the pack (even after the SC trip, I was the one always slaving myself away, doing the cocktails and stuff). So I got the essentials out. For the first night, it was le fantastique Grey Goose. It was the best, smoothest vodka ever. I loved it. We all loved it. Mixed it with tonic/soda, and ice, et voila! Best tasting vodka tonic ever. Even JJJ, our resident finicky alcohol drinker, gave her finicky seal of approval for that drink. Our nightly rendezvous are staged in one of the boardwalks, facing the Pacific Ocean.

Our claimed boardwalk territory. Nobody dared trespass the area while we were there. LOL.

View of the the other side of the boardwalk.

Nights at Calicoan Surf Camp is immensely mystical. Otherworldly. We often find ourselves sighing whilst looking out to the expanse of the gorgeous view laid out before our sight. What made it even more magical was the waxing gibbous moon the time when we were there, illuminating all of the Pacific Ocean, making the constantly-thrashing waves glisten like a mine of diamonds.

The waxing gibbous moon. Magical.

The four of us looking out to the gorgeous Pacific Ocean.

The infinity pool at night.

*sigh*

Nightfalls, we are regularly greeted by an army of … Fireflies! I have never seen them in this multitude. They’re so big in number that the trees in front of our villa literally look like they’re currently burning! LOL. I caught one, and gave it to JJJ, of which she eventually released onto the grass, after all the poking she did on the poor thing. But it still managed to fly away, so I guess it’s still OK. Haha.

Trees burnt by ... Fireflies! Those tiny specks of amber are clusters of fireflies.

Here are a few more photos of the place in daylight.

Jerome posing, not knowing I was in the infinity pool, posing for the shot as well. Haha.

 

Going to the dining hall, well, to dine, of course. Haha.

Our claimed area of the boardwalk in daylight. This is where I spend my early mornings reading my book, while waiting for the guys to get up.

The smile on my face in this shot is effin genuine. Haha. I love this place.

A minute before we left, we had our photo taken with the Surf Camp sign. I have a serious case of separation anxiety at this point. I don't want to leave 😦

Am definitely going back next year. Already counting down the days before going to my happy place, also known as Calicoan Surf Camp 🙂

Ma place heureux (Première Partie).

October 25, 2010

 

Surf Camp!

My happy place. Also known as The Surf Camp 🙂

It finally happened, been waiting for this since early 2009, and been pestering JJJ to go there since. The experience was, surreal, whimsical, and the adjective that we can’t help but always blurt out, magical. And it certainly was.

I often caught myself sighing in sheer amazement with everything there is in that place. It was nothing like I have been to before, and I have already been to a number of places in my 27 years of earthly existence. This one is disparate. The place was serene and intimate, yet rough, wild, and extremely fun.

Our SC trip was scheduled September 24-27, eve of the departure, we stayed in P’s place in Makati because of the too-early flight to Tacloban the next day. The girls went to sleep right away. Jerome and myself decided to stay up until departure time. He lost to a bet (he’s an easy prey when it comes to bettting), so as for the wager, he’s buying me a Strabucks.

We went out around 1AM, went to a coffee shop, bought our drinks, then we both decided to just walk around Ayala, talking about stuff. I just realized that Ayala is a fun place to rekindle one’s love of walking, particularly in the wee hours of the morning.

At 330AM we went back to the condo. Stealthily packed other stuff, woke the girls up, bid P farewell (she’s going to Denmark that weekend), hailed a cab, then headed straight to the airport to catch our 5AM flight.

At the airport, we were held upon the first security check. Security guy approached us …”What’s in the bag?“.
Now, we packed 5 bottles of booze (Bacardi Vodka, Grey Goose Vodka, Tequila Rose, Absolut Peach Vodka, and a bottle of red), and guilty as charged, I hastily replied “Ahm. Water, juice, and stuff“.

The security was not convinced with my dubious response, so he started opening the bag. And then JJJ came to my rescue, and approached the security guy “Sir, there are a few alcohol items for our trip”.

And just like that, the booze bag was let released for our taking.

 

L-R: Bacardi, Tequila Rose, Grey Goose, Absolut Peach (the bottle of red still in it's made-up packaging, haha.).

We were about to proceed to the baggage check-in counter from the security check, when we were held up yet again, this time my fùtbol was at fault.

Security guy: “You can’t bring this aboard the plane“.
Me: “Ahm, oh no …
Security guy: “You have no choice but to leave this here

My face was readily sullen, with jovial thoughts of playing fùtbol at the beach puffily bursted in thin, imaginary air, when another person from the security approached us and told us that we just need to get a ball pin to get the air out from the ball.

We finally managed to have a ball pin, and got my fùtbol deflated. We checked-in our bags, and headed to the cafeteria, Trish wanted to grab something to eat before getting on the plane.

 

JJJ at the check-in counter.

The plane departed on time, around 5-ish, as scheduled. As we settled in on our seats, the four of us were in deep open-mouthed snooze. I stirred when the stewardess approached Jerome about his phone being on. Then I went back to sleep.

 

When I woke up again, saw this gorgeous breaking dawn. Yes God, good morning to you too 🙂

The plane arrived at the Tacloban Airport after an hour of flight. The sun’s barely out, but the warmth of it’s rays is the perfect complement to the slight chill of the Leyte air.

 

Tacloban, finally! L-R: Trish, JJJ, Moi. Jerome took the peechur.

We were welcomed by our chauffeur who picked us up from the airport. We asked how much longer til we get to Surf Camp, he said 3.5 hours, of to which we all responded with a resounding “Whaaaat?!” Haha. All the while I thought the land travel will only take 30 minutes. Well, I got the 30-minute part right. I just missed the 3-hour portion by this much.

I remember JJJ looking at me snidely when she heard how much more to travel. That look is JJJ’s patented “What did you had me dragged into doing, MMM. What is this. Whattheeff!“. Haha. She cracks me up everytime she gives me that fantastic look on her face. 😀

 

San Juanico Bridge, welcoming us to ... Samar!

We crossed the infamous San Juanico Bridge, connecting Samar and Leyte. I only see this in pictures in textbooks, but now, I am actually on it. Haha. It’s not as long as I used to picture it to be. But it’s nice to finally meet a landmark in person.

I slept through half of the land travel. Got stirred when we passed by the bumpy routes, but was asleep as soon as I woke up. 3 hours 30 minutes through the long drive, I was welcomed by the sign I was so glad to see. We’re finally near Calicoan Island 🙂

 

Calicoan!

I asked the driver, how much farther, he said 30 more minutes. 30 more minutes! That makes it a total of 4 hours! Whattheeff! Haha. JJJ was already making snide remarks from behind the van (I was seated next to the driver), so I refuse to look round her direction, as I would receive more of those patented JJJ looks. 😀

We finally (finally!) arrived at our destination after that very looooong drive, and were greeted by glasses of fresh buko juice, and necklaces made out of conch shells. These are things that I normally find absurdly tacky, but this time find them simply adorable for some reason.

While we were waiting for our room to be ready, they handed us forms to fill-out, of which I abruptly handed to the Jerome.

 

The Jerome, holding forms to fill-out.

L-R: Trish, Moi, Jerome. My Aviators on Jerome, his Wayfarers on me. Dre, if you want them so much, get your own pair for chrissakes! Haha.

JJJ's playing Creeps from Jerome's iPhone. I know how effin' bored she is at this point.

We were finally directed to our villa. It’s not what I expected it to be (later on we realized that we were moved into the smallest of the villas due to a surfing competition happening the time we stayed there), it’s not as big as what they led me to believe based on the the photos in their website. They didn’t put a TV set in the room, which JJJ immediately pointed out. Again, JJJ with her snide looks at me. I can already see a big disappointment on JJJ’s face, so I hugged her to calm her down, haha B) I thought this kid might be hungry, so to make her less irate than she already is, we all headed to the dining hall to have brunch.

 

Our villa.

A peek from the inside.

A view of the outside, from the inside.

Surf Camp's dining hall.

JJJ's first authentic smile since we arrived 🙂 That smile I owe to the choco-soaked mallows 🙂

Everybody’s in the usual cordial mood right after wolfing everything there is on the table. We headed back to our villa, the guys decided to take a nap, but I was not there to sleep my ass all day, so I decided to head straight to the infinity pool.

 

The Inifinity Pool.

I love their infinity pool. I love that it’s saltwater, and not the usual chlorine-treated pool water. The place is slowly growing on me. I was just there on the edge looking out to the vast Pacific Ocean, observing surfers as they ride wave, after wave.

After a couple of hours, the guys showed up, and they all jumped right into the pool.

 

L-R: Jerome, Trish, JJJ, Moi.

2 hours into our dip, JJJ suggested that we take surfing lessons immediately, since there’s nothing left for us to do. We made arrangements, and found ourselves 3 instructors for each of us (Trish is not surfing, because it’s that time of the month, tsk.).

Surfing commenced. Did bailouts for a couple of tries, but on my third time I finally did it! It was sublime, surreal, ethereal. It’s like the first time you rode a bike without those teeny wheel supports at the back, with that pride luminescent through your face while looking at your dad 😀

 

Surfer dude! B)

Us and our surf instructors.

The waves were awesome. Gorgeous wave after wave. But like any other rose, it has it’s own version of bleed-you-like-crazy thorns, in forms of jaggedly protruding reef and rock. Hence, our surf wounds and bruises. From our backs, legs, knees, ankles, feet, palms, toes, fingers. shoulders, you name it, bruises got ’em all covered in red pigment (fresh and/or coagulated), also known as blood. But whattheeff! It’s all oh so worth it! 🙂

 

Left: JJJ | Right (bottom): Jerome | Right (top): Moi

JJJ's bruised and tattered back 🙂 We love surfing!

We got all hyped up with the surfing experience that I remember our faces would immediately stare in midair, with a fixed ear-to-ear grin, for every 3-second pause during our conversations. It’s like being in love, you smile incessantly for no apparent reason, and yet you feel it’s there.

The guys rested a bit. But I went back to the infinity pool, yet again. Haha.

After an hour, I felt the dire need to replenish lost nutrients blood. So I headed back to the villa to get the guys going, and get ready for dinner.

 

Our first Surf Camp dinner 🙂

 

To be continued …

 

C’est Vendredi, et Je suis dans l’amour.

October 1, 2010

It’s Friday, and I’m in love. With this gorgeous surfboard. Now, all I have to do is devise a plan in finding a way to extort $650 from someone.

La météo de Manille en Septembre vingt-quatrième à vingt-septième.

September 22, 2010

Manila weather on September 24th to 27th. That’s from Friday to Monday. I’ve been having a bit of this obsessive constant checking of weather from the 24th-27th of September, because SURF CAMP’s FINALLY HERE! Haha. Friday and Saturday’s looking quite damp (cue for ethnic  sun dance). However, Sunday and Monday are going to be soleil-parfait! Will be packing my stuff tonight, and will be sleeping-over at P’s place tomorrow for Friday’s 5AM very-early-morning-yawn-fest flight.

Je suis très, très excitation!

Un très mauvais cas de gueule de bois.

September 18, 2010

A very bad case of hangover. And this is the second time. The first one was four years ago when I guzzled my way through my dad’s bottle of whiskey (and then eventually drank my way through oblivion), of which my younger sister X was falsely accused (with grounds totally credible) by my dad the next morning for the empty bottle.

Last night was my friend P’s birthday booze party. She closed a bar exclusively for the event. The party was really fun! I get to chat up a few friends I have not seen for months. I had neuf bouteilles de bière (3 San Mig Light, 3 Manila, 3 Red Horse), and 1 vodka tonic.

The drinks that I had last night were too puny to get me into a serious case of hurling-up-night-and-day. However, I forgot to buy 2 bottles of Gatorade before hitting the venue. I always keep a couple of rations in my bag before going to any hooch sessions. That is my number one rule. And to my much dismay, I failed to comply with the rule. Hence, the worst hangover. It’s dehydration that made my brain go wild, sending me into the abyss. It’s my brain cursing me for being heedless.

I remember telling myself this morning, while still in the hangover trance, that I will never ever take a drop of alcohol, ever. Haha. Oh, the silly things a person tend to promise when tortured, physically or psychologically.

Déçu.

September 13, 2010

Triste, mais vrai

Crestfallen. For the first time in months, I am.

I suddenly got the briefest epiphany this morning how the current conundrum of my existence is the quintessence of four of my imperative staple figures of speech: (1) Irony (2) Oxymoron (3) Simile (4) Metaphor.

Even the book I’m currently reading is in puritanical (?) connivance with destiny. These things are trying to reveal something to me (queue for the belfry). But how can I react with the full extent of my metaphysical reflexes, when all I was trained to be is the audience of the protagonist, and not the protagonist himself?

I guess having to realize, that all throughout the day, you have been wearing your boxer briefs the other way round, helps keep someone’s sanity intact.

I seriously need my booze fix, right here, right now.

Fate, you owe me a sound explanation. I’m waiting.

Je vous présente, l’aventir artisan.

September 12, 2010

L'oeuvre.

I present to you, the future artisan. My 6-year old nephew, Moki 🙂 Photo above (excuse the really teeny tiny scanned scale) is Moki’s fantastic work of art that got selected in their school (amongst other kids’ loser artworks, haha.) to be printed on novelty shirts, and other items, for the St. Leander Family Festival, in San Leandro CA.

What can I say, the fruit does not fall far from the same tree. Haha.

Moi et Moki, année deux-mille sept.

I heard he’s into fùtbol right now, I can’t wait to show a few tricks that I incessantly practice daily (after a few almost-broken fragile home decor).

In the meantime, we’d be patiently waiting for those shirts with his art printed on it. I’d wear it oh so proudly like it’s the only shirt that I own.

Aujourd’hui est le jour d’entraînement.

September 12, 2010

Hello there, steroids.

Today is the day of workout. Spent the last two days bumming around like a pig. So last night, I decided to workout the whole day today. And from today henceforth, I’d workout like there’s no tomorrow (or not). Haha. Bonne chance à moi. Sans the steroids, of course. It’s Arnold’s thing, not mine.

I’d better start whilst in the mood, otherwise the only body part that gets worked out would be my fingers (as I could just be blogging away the rest of the day).

I might hit the gym later (doing free weight routines here at home), then drag my sister to catch Cine Europa at the Shang, if there’s still time (time keep slipping out of my hands like liquid mercury, these days).

Fùtbol astuce nombre cinq.

September 10, 2010

Fùtbol trick number five. Starring CR7, Le Ronaldo.

WARNING: Watching this may want you to deliberately tear your head off for having puny and immensely futile fùtbol skills.

The other guy in the vid is soooo awesome! He ought to have his own podium when demonstrating his kuh-craze-eeh tricks. He’s even better than Ronaldo in the executions. But of course Ronaldo is far more skilled when he’s out there kicking other fùtbol players’ derriere.

Boules de chocolat, et Le Federer.

September 10, 2010

And only if they would do the same ad, with Maria Sharapova in it.
I’d love to lick and eat her, ahm, chocolate.

Le très, très grand livre du football, et c’est le mien!

September 10, 2010

 

Le livre du fùtbol, par DK.

 

The very, very grand book of fùtbol, and it’s mine! Haha. Been scouting for a really good book on fùtbol for almost a month now. And as if the heavens, stars, and constellations, ultimately realigned,  I finally got one from Fully Booked! It’s just undeniably, lust a first sight. And just like that, I released the tight grasp of my grubby claw on The Scarlatti Inheritance by Robert Ludlum.

As I was paying at the counter, my card got denied twice (curse you for the mass blocking, Citibank!). And then as if fate immediately stepped-in. My friend lent me cash to pay for my book. I even got additional discount for paying in cash. Haha. It’s really meant for us to be together. I call this, my book destiny.

Now where’s my ball.