Marriage License by Norman Rockwell
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Franklin, TN, USA Manila, Philippines


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Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Current Mood:

One of the things that I don't know if I'll EVER get used to in the US is how quickly the temperature changes.

Just a couple of days ago it was cool but still comfortable. Today it's COOOLLDD!

You can probably see the current temperature at the top of my blog right now. Last I checked, it was at 0 degrees Celsius. I mean, it's 8am, the sun is shining, and there's FROST on top of cars. That's just SO weird to me :-).

Posted by Unknown | 7:53 AM | 0 Comments |
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Sunday, November 27, 2005

A little Saturday jamming

Current Mood:

You know you're old when you get a chance to jam and you end up playing Beatles songs :-).

I was impressed with Steve's drumplaying :-). He and I did Eight Days A Week and he played the drums just like Ringo Starr did :-). It was also cool when he drummed out Wipeout and Simply Irresistible for me :-).

Naturally, since this was our first jamming session together, we were still sort of feeling each other out. Practicing more will help us get a better sense of each other's timing :-). Who knows, with enough practice, he and I might play a few songs well enough to actually resemble music :-).


Posted by Unknown | 6:37 AM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, November 26, 2005

Black Friday

Current Mood:

The day after Thanksgiving is the biggest sale day of the year. Practically every store will have their merchandise on sale. Some merchandise is so popular that people will line up outside the store at 3 in the morning so they can be the first ones in when the store opens at 5. This day is called Black Friday, because this is when many retailers actually earn profit for the year--or, to borrow an accounting term, "be in the black."

Were Steve and I part of the crowds this year? Are you crazy? Of course not :-).

Now we DID go out shopping today, but we went in the afternoon because the crowds had thinned by then (biggest sales are usually from 5am til noon). There was a sale on portable electronic drum sets. Steve used to play the drums in high school and I know he misses it. On one occasion, he bought drumsticks even though he didn't have any drums. So I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for us to get something that he really wants :-).

Oh you should've seen him when he started playing with it and messing with the controls--he was like a little boy on Christmas morning :-). Sitting on the desk chair, pounding on the drums, his tongue stuck out from the side of his mouth in concentration--it was the most adorable sight :-).

I bought a couple of things for myself too: a pair of jeans and a keyboard bench :-). Playing the keyboard on an office chair never really felt right :-).

Hey maybe sometime he and I can jam :-). That's a thought :-).

Posted by Unknown | 5:41 AM | 0 Comments |
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Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody :-)!

Current Mood:

YAY! No work :-)!

I also changed my weather buttons--I finally found a site that'll let me show the weather in both Memphis and in Manila on my blog :-). What I also like about it is that you get a general idea of the time difference too :-).

Mmmmm...turkey :-). I'm really looking forward to that :-).

I'm thankful for much of the same things I was thankful for last year: I'm grateful for my loving husband, wonderful friends and family, a fantastic work environment, and that I'm STILL not pregnant --but now I'm also thankful for the fact that Steve and I found a great apartment in a great neighborhood and that we now have a dining table :-).

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving :-)!

Posted by Unknown | 2:00 AM | 0 Comments |
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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Changing Browsers

Current Mood:

I've been using Avant browser for quite some time now. Yesterday though, I moved to Firefox. Why the change? Because Steve changed to Firefox and showed me some of the neat things that you could make Firefox do.

Essentially how Firefox works is you download the basic version of the browser and then after that you go through its list of available additions (known as Extensions) and you add the extra utilities that you want.

Steve and I have totally different utilities installed on our browsers because we find different things useful and/or cool :-).

Things that I added to my Firefox browser:
  1. When you do a search on Google, when you get the list of results, there's also a small preview of what that result's page looks like :-).
  2. On the lower left hand corner, the browser displays the current time in Manila :-).
  3. On the lower right hand corner, the weather for Germantown is displayed. The display also includes a map of the region and precipitation over the area :-).
  4. If you're viewing a page that doesn't look exactly right in Firefox, there's a button that allows you to view the page as you would see it in Internet Explorer, without launching Internet Explorer. You can then save the settings so that every time you view that page in Firefox, it'll automatically give you the Internet Explorer viewed-version :-).
  5. A utility that allows me to click on any part of any web page and it'll tell me what the color information is (this is useful for me because sometimes my laptop displays colors that's different from other screens). The last one's my favorite, though:
  6. I do a lot of internet research. There's this utility that allows you to highlight important text (similar to the highlight feature in Word). THEN you right click on any of the highlights and you copy JUST the text you highlighted :-).

Posted by Unknown | 7:25 PM | 0 Comments |
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Sunday, November 20, 2005

YAY! Finally!

Current Mood:

We finally got our dining table and chairs :-)!

Like I said in my previous entry, it's not fancy--but we don't need fancy :-). We were actually pleased by how affordable it was. Got it at Walmart, only $174.00. We got the chair pads and the placemats over there too :-). It was packed in pieces and we assembled it ourselves once we got it into the apartment: Steve took care of the chairs and I attached the legs to the table :-).

The centerpiece is actually a gift from Judy and John :-). They had given it to us as a fall decoration gift and we've been trying to find the perfect place for it. Until then, it was on the TV. Now it looks just right as the dining table centerpiece :-).

Now the next step is actually decorating that part of the apartment. There's nothing on the wall behind the table :-).

Posted by Unknown | 3:26 PM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, November 19, 2005


Current Mood:

I added a weather box to my blog recently (points up to it). I figured this would be a good way to show family and friends what the weather is like over here :-) (hence the Celsius scale. We use Celsius in the Philippines).

I would have wanted to show both C and F scales, but I couldn't find a script for it. If you'd like to see the temperature in the F scale, Steve keeps a weather box on his blog too :-).

Posted by Unknown | 9:25 AM | 0 Comments |
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R&R and Lessons Learned

Current Mood:

The best part about the weekend is that you have the sheer luxury of wasting your time :-). I'm sitting back on the sofa and drinking coffee, with my legs propped up on the coffee table :-).

Steve and I will probably get our dining set today. Finally, right? :-) After 5 months, we're just getting around to buying a dining set :-). It's not going to be anything fancy at all. We just need a table and four chairs :-).

Let's see, what have I learned lately that's blogworthy....

I learned that the way the hospitals work over here is MUCH different from the way hospitals work in Manila. In Manila you pay at least PART of your bill when you leave. It felt REALLY weird for me to take Steve home the day he was discharged and not have to pay for anything just yet. Insurance has to process all the costs incurred, figure out how much they'll be covering, THEN they'll send me a bill to me to pay for the difference. That can take about a month or two.

I'm thinking of starting another website or blog that talks about things that are different between the US and Manila. We've got trainees that sometimes come over from Manila and for some of them, this is the first time they've ever been to the US. A website that lets them know what to expect can be very helpful to them :-).

Posted by Unknown | 8:09 AM | 0 Comments |
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Monday, November 14, 2005

Missing Flamenco

Current Mood:

Steve and I watched the Legend of Zorro last night. Seeing the costumes and hearing the music made me miss my Manila flamenco class :-). I have my castanets with me, but I don't usually play them anymore because they make so much noise :-).

All throughout the movie I kept looking at the bad guy and I'm thinking, "Why does he look SO familiar?" Steve couldn't figure it out either. Even seeing his name didn't help: Rufus Sewell. We know we'd seen him before but couldn't figure out where.

This morning I finally went to the movie site and looked him up. He's also the bad guy in A Knight's Tale :-).

The sequel was good, by the way :-). They added another dimension to it by having Catherine Zeta Jones fight more :-). There was a little more comedy in this version too.

I did see one loophole, though. At one point in the film Alejandro (Antonio Banderas) and Elena (Catherine Zeta-Jones) get divorced. Then they re-marry at the end of the film with a Spanish Catholic priest officiating. I turned to Steve and whispered, "But if they're Catholic, the priest can't officiate the second wedding because the Catholic church doesn't allow divorce in the first place."

Steve thought about that for a second, then turned to me and went, "SShhh... you're not supposed to notice that :-)."

After the movie we had dinner at Osaka, a Japanese restaurant. They have good Japanese food :-).


Posted by Unknown | 4:21 AM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Finally the weekend!

Current Mood:

One of my favorite things about the weekend is that I can get up in the middle of the night and do whatever I want :-). I don't have the "I've GOT to get some sleep, I've got work tomorrow" pressure.

Of course, I'm actually supposed to be doing homework, but it being the weekend, I can take my time a little :-).

I'm so happy that Steve's home. I know it's just a one bedroom one bathroom apartment, but it sure seemed awfully big and lonely without him. I had a sense of the loneliness that you hear about when rich people live in a big empty house all by themselves.

Steve and I went grocery shopping at Walmart today and I told him that he finally has an excuse to use those motorized carts :-).

Posted by Unknown | 2:38 AM | 0 Comments |
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Sunday, November 06, 2005

Another quick update

Current Mood:

Steve's staying at mom and dad's for now. He's not well enough to climb 3 flights of stairs yet. He's making great progress, though. He was discharged from the hospital on Saturday. At the rate he's going, he can probably come home to the apartment in a couple of days. I'm so grateful that mom and dad said he could recuperate over at the house. Dad even picked him up at the hospital because the truck is too high for Steve to get into. I don't know how I could have managed without their help :-).

I got a chance to do normal chores yesterday. More than anything right now, Steve's catching up on his sleep. That gave me a chance to do laundry, vacuum the apartment, ironing--the usual stuff.

Well, I got to take care of a few more things then I'm heading over :-). I'll keep everyone updated :-).

Posted by Unknown | 9:28 AM | 0 Comments |
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Friday, November 04, 2005

Quick Update

Current Mood:

Thanks to everyone who sent their get well wishes. I'll make sure I tell Steve about it when I see him again in about an hour :-).

Here's a quick update of what's been going on. The surgery went well and Steve got back to the room at around 7:30pm. He's sleeping on and off, and is still sore from the surgery. We're playing it by ear to see if he's feeling well enough to come home today. The doctor recommended that he start being active bit by bit, and to take deep breaths even if it hurts. You see, the procedure requires that his stomach be pumped with carbon dioxide so they can go in there with the lasers and the camera and do the procedure. There will always be residual carbon dioxide left after such a surgery and one of the ways to dissipate it more quickly is for him to take deep breaths. If he doesn't take deep breaths, fluid could build in his lungs and lead to pneumonia. He's going to end up coughing which is going to make him hurt even more.

It breaks my heart to see him in pain, but better a little preventive pain now than a lot of pain later, especially pain that could have been avoided.

Family came to visit yesterday. It was wonderful to have them over. Steve was a little out of it, but I know he appreciates people visiting and wishing him well.

I'm going back to the hospital soon after getting cleaned up (spent the night at the hospital) and feeding and walking the dogs, but I wanted to make sure I kept everyone updated :-). Thanks again and I hope to have Steve back home soon :-).

Posted by Unknown | 6:31 AM | 0 Comments |
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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Emergency surgery

Current Mood:

Steve was throwing up at 5:30am yesterday morning. Then at around 9:30 he calls me at the office and says, "Come home. NOW." I found him at the parking lot of the apartment doubled over in pain and throwing up into a plastic bag.

I took him to the hospital where we found out later that he needs to get his gall bladder removed. He's scheduled for surgery this afternoon.

It was a long wait to finally get a room (we got into the ER at around 10am and didn't get into a room until 8pm, which was only a temporary room. We got into his permanent room at about 9:30pm). I didn't really mind the wait, though. What was important to me was that we were at a place where the people were in a position to help Steve if he was hurting. And what better place than the ER, right? :-)

I've researched gall bladder removal surgery and I was relieved to find out it's not as big a procedure as it used to be. They use lasers now and if all goes well, Steve gets to go home today. The procedure takes about an hour.

I also didn't realize that you could do without your gall bladder. I thought the appendix and one kidney were the only organs you could do without.

Oh, I've got to tell you something really funny that happened at the hospital :-). I was dressed for work, you see, and today I had a green sweater, a brown paisley skirt, and a lovely brown shawl that Judy had given me about a year ago. I've always gotten compliments on that shawl. Judy's really got a good eye when it comes to things like that :-).

Anyway, Steve was being wheeled over to the ultrasound department so they could figure out what was wrong with him. He's laying in bed, waiting for his turn outside the room, grimacing in pain, and the nurses come out. The nurse prepares to check Steve's records, then she looks at me.

"Ohhh what a PRETTY shawl!"
"Why, thank you :-)!"
"(nurse touches the shawl) I've seen these around, but I never realized they could look so pretty. Do you wrap that around your neck?"
"(I demonstrate how to put the shawl on) No, it goes over your head."
"Oh that's so pretty!"

And Steve is watching all this thinking, "I'm in pain here and who gets the attention? My wife and her shawl."

Posted by Unknown | 5:42 AM | 2 Comments |
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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Steve's Avatar

Current Mood:

In the spirit of Halloween, Steve and I also dressed up our Yahoo Avatars. Steve couldn't settle on a costume though, so his Avatar looks like this right now:

I looked at it and said, "I have the perfect name for it :-)!"

And he said, "What?"

"Ben Grrr." :-)

Yeah, he thought that was a bad joke, too :-).

Posted by Unknown | 2:10 AM | 0 Comments |
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Some midnight blogging

Current Mood:

It's about 1:30am right now. I woke up because Katya was wurfing--there was another dog barking full force in the neighborhood. I remember how she used to respond: she would bark back just as loud. Ever since we moved to the apartment she's learned that she's not supposed to bark as much. She looked so cute trying SO hard to control her impulse to bark :-). She was sitting by the window going "...wurf..! ...wurf!.......wurf...!"

Anyway, Halloween stories :-).

I was supposed to go to work as a vampire. Steve and I got a great costume at Party City :-). Here, let me show you a picture of what the costume is supposed to look like:

We bought fangs and everything too--I didn't want the rubber fakey kind, so we got the kind that you attach to your real teeth.

Unfortunately, we discovered on Halloween day that the fangs don't like being attached to my teeth. Poor Steve had to go get Fixadent to try and fix it (and man, that's some nasty tasting stuff) but it STILL wouldn't work.

So I went to work as a vampire without fangs. I wasn't too happy with it at first, but it kind of helped when I told myself I'd have to take them off anyway or else I wouldn't be able to drink coffee :-).

Posted by Unknown | 1:22 AM | 0 Comments |
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