Marriage License by Norman Rockwell
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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Happiness is...

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Happiness is your husband's dogs accepting you to the point that they'll get up and sit by your feet even if you're only 3 feet from where they originally lay :-).


Posted by Cecille Slish | 6:27 PM | 0 Comments |
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Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Current Mood:

Steve and I have eaten more toad-in-the-hole breakfasts in the last 2 weeks than we've had in our entire lives :-). "Toad-in-the-wha?" you say.

Okay imagine this: you take a slice of sandwich bread and tear out the middle, leaving a big hole in it. You butter the bread and start to fry it. Then you take an egg and break it in the middle of the bread in the pan. It's essentially a fried egg cooked in the middle of toasted bread :-). It's really good :-) .

I was expecting the bread to soak up the oil and be really soggy, but it's crisp and crunchy and buttery :-). I was also expecting the egg to just fall out of the middle of the bread when you lift it to eat, but when you break the egg onto the pan, the egg white spreads onto the bread and sort of bonds to it. It's still a good idea to support it a little though, so the yolk doesn't tear.

Why are we eating so many toad-in-the-hole breakfasts, you ask? V for Vendetta :-). You can't see it in the picture below, but that's a toad-in-the-hole that V made for Evey :-).

Posted by Cecille Slish | 4:50 AM | 2 Comments |
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Sunday, March 26, 2006

How does she DO that?

Current Mood:

Last night, I showed Steve one of Shakira's latest videos (Hips Don't Lie). It constantly amazes us how she can move like that.

Steve's figured it out, though: she's really an android and has a ball joint for hips :-).


Posted by Cecille Slish | 4:03 AM | 0 Comments |
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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

V for Vendetta

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Steve and I watched V for Vendetta on Sunday. What an AWESOME film :-)! I absolutely LOVED it. My favorite thing about it was that there were so many references (and parallels) made to The Count of Monte Cristo, which is one of my favorite classic stories.

Hugo Weaving did an EXCELLENT job portraying the role. You couldn't see his facial expressions, but he was able to give emotion to the character simply by the way he moved, by the way he tilted his head.

I also loved the actual V character. In case you're wondering, that's a Guy Fawkes mask he's wearing. He's smart, cultured, sensitive, suave, a great cook (I loved that he wore a *floral* apron when he was cooking breakfast for Natalie Portman--no machismo complex whatsoever :-). The dishtowel flung over his shoulder was a great touch :-)).

And yes, he's actually *straight* :-).

I searched the Web for how he introduced himself to Natalie Portman's character: it was just WAY too cool :-).

"VoilĂ ! In view, a humble vaudevillian veteran, cast vicariously as both victim and villain by the vicissitudes of Fate. This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished; a vital voice once venerated, now vilified. However, this valorous visitation of a bygone vexation now stands vivified, and has vowed to vanquish these venal and virulent vermin vanguarding vice and vouchsafing the violent, vicious, and voracious violation of volition. The only verdict is vengeance, a vendetta, held as votive, not in vain, for the value and veracity of such shall one day vindicate the vigilant and virtuous. Yet verily, this vichyssoise of verbiage veers most verbose, so let me simply add that it is my great honor to meet you, and you may call me V."

I SO can't wait for the DVD to come out :-).


Posted by Cecille Slish | 2:56 PM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, March 18, 2006

Howl's Moving Castle

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Walt Disney recently released the English version of Hayao Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle. Steve and I watched it last weekend, and it was a good film :-). It was based on a novel by Diana Wynne Jones.

The top 3 things I like about Miyazaki's films are 1. the landscape art, 2. the music, and 3. the attention to human detail. "Not the story?" you ask. I have to be honest--sometimes the stories are just so different that I have a hard time analyzing it :-). I guess that's why other people like his films--because there's a lesson to learn, but the way those lessons are taught is different from the typical western plot structure. I, on the other hand, sometimes end up getting confused if the lesson that I learned was the lesson they wanted to teach :-).

Anyway, the art. When you watch a Miyazaki film, you will always have a landscape view of something: mountains, fields, valleys--and Miyazaki has a way of drawing them that makes you want to BE there. And the music--I have a copy of the Spirited Away soundtrack, and it's probably the soundtrack I listen to the most. One of the pieces still gives me goose bumps when it gets to the crescendo :-).

And the attention to human detail. Not in the art, in the mannerisms. The next time you see a Miyazaki film, think of yourself as an animator. Is it really necessary that when Sophie chooses her next hat to decorate, that she pushes away the top two in the pile so she can get to the third? No, not really. She could just get the one at the top of the stack. Goodness knows that's easier to animate :-). But that's not how people in real life do it. A real person would choose which hat he/she would be in the mood to do next. In his film Spirited Away it's the same thing when Chihiro puts her sneakers on. Animation-wise, is it really necessary that she would tap her toes on the floor when she was done to make sure the shoes fit nice and snug? No, but it sure makes her more human :-).

The lesson I learned from Howl's Moving Castle was taught to me not by the lead characters, but by the supporting characters. The supporting characters were in love with the lead characters, but the lead characters were in love with each other. Follow me so far :-)? I noticed that when the supporting characters realized that the people they were in love with were in love with someone else, there was no catfight; there was no "life is unfair, I'm going to go kill myself" melodrama. Sure, they were disappointed, but you could tell from their reaction that they recognized that sometimes, that's the way life is. That was the biggest thing I took away from the film: when bad things happen, or things don't turn out the way you hope, that you accept that you just can't control everything (and that throwing a tantrum won't really help :-)). Sometimes that's just the way life is. Accept it and move on.

I don't know if that was the lesson I was supposed to learn, but I thought it was a good thing to be reminded of :-). It'll be interesting to see what other people took away from the film :-).


Posted by Cecille Slish | 8:57 PM | 0 Comments |
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A beautiful day to be outside

Current Mood:

Sunday was a beautiful day to be outside, so Steve and I decided to go to the Memphis Zoo. The new Northwest Passage exhibit had just opened a few weeks ago and we wanted to go see it. The exhibit showcases American bald eagles, black bears, Califronia sea lions (there's a 500-seat amphitheater for daily sea lion shows), harbor seals, ravens and polar bears :-).

The Polar Bear exhibit was the best one of all :-) . You could view the polar bears from above...

...but you could also view them underwater and watch them swim and feed.

I took a video of one of the polar bears feeding. Click here to view it. It's a 3MB avi file, so it won't take too long to load (1-2 minutes) if you have hi-speed internet :-).

Posted by Cecille Slish | 10:53 AM | 0 Comments |
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Sunday, March 12, 2006

I love this place!

Current Mood:

I've always loved where we live. It's quiet, the buildings are spaced farther apart than your typical apartment complexes, and it's in a beautiful part of town where there are stricter building rules (imagine McDonald's and Wendy's stores in brick structures--they look more like banks than fast food places :-)).

But this morning, something neat happened that made me love our place even more.

I was out on the balcony just enjoying the quiet morning. It was about 6:15 or so. Too early for anyone else to be awake, and the only sound you hear are birds chirping.

I love this time of day. I was looking out on the field right next to the apartment complex when I saw something. I couldn't believe my eyes.

Wild deer!

Okay this may not sound exciting to my American readers, but deer don't exist in Manila. You only see them in zoos and preservations. I grabbed my digital camera and went out there.

How awesome is that!

At this point one of them noticed me (see the one that's looking right at the camera?). I stayed glued to the spot where I was and took pictures from there so I wouldn't spook them. They were looking at me and their tails were flicking. I don't know what that means in deer language, but in dog language that's a good thing, so I hope they didn't see me as a threat.

This was right before they left. Two of them were looking at me intently now. Then they heard a sound (not from me) and they all ran back into the woods.

In hindsight, I should have done two things differently: I should have brought my glasses, and I shouldn't have thrown on a bright white jacket :-). I could've gotten better pictures. I just wasn't thinking of it; I was just too excited about seeing real wild deer in my backyard :-).

Posted by Cecille Slish | 6:43 AM | 0 Comments |
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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Well that was fun :-)...

Current Mood:

Now here's something your average Filipino doesn't say: "I just planted strawberries :-)!"

Manila is too hot for growing strawberries, so we get them from the more northern parts of the country where it's colder. So it was really fun that I had just planted my own strawberry seeds :-). I'm hoping I get some plant growth next week :-).

Steve and I bought two strawberry hanging basket kits that come with the seeds, the soil, the moss, and the hanging basket and chain. It was easy putting the whole thing together. We'll be hanging the plants off the balcony ceiling :-).

It's going to be SO cool if those seeds bear fruit and all I would need to do if I wanted strawberries for breakfast would be to go outside and pick them off of my own strawberry plant :-)!

Posted by Cecille Slish | 9:16 AM | 0 Comments |
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"So are you pregnant yet?"

Current Mood:

Now that Steve and I have been married a year and a half, so many people have asked me when I'm going to be having a baby: friends, family (both sides), co-workers. And they all give me the same reaction when I say that Steve and I aren't thinking of having children.

"...But but but why not?"
"...Having a child is the best thing that can happen to you!"
"...You guys would be GREAT parents!"

So why aren't we having kids? How to explain it without sounding selfish... (thinks about it a while)...I guess there isn't a way that it doesn't sound selfish, so I'll just go ahead and say it.

Steve and I are happy just being together. Many couples say that it was only when they had a child that they felt complete. It's not like that with me and Steve. We feel complete as it is.

I could give the classic argument about finances and not being able to afford a child (which *is* true), but I also think that the counter-argument is valid: if you really want a baby, you'll find a way to make it work.

It's really just that we don't want to have a child.

Sure, I have moments when I'm thinking, "I wonder what it would be like to have a baby." But those moments are few and far in between. I have more moments when I'm thinking (with a sigh of relief), "God, I'm glad we don't have kids."

This decision is not without its disappointments. I feel terribly guilty about it. My parents want grandchildren so much. And the fact that I can't repay them with a grandchild for all that they've done for me breaks my heart.

But I also know that it would not be wise for me to bring another human being into this world if I'm not ready to make a full commitment to raising it to the best of my ability. It really does grind my gears when I hear about children ending up being abandoned or neglected because their parents at some point decided that having kids wasn't what they wanted after all--that it didn't fit their lifestyle. I mean, you're responsible for the physical, mental, social, and moral needs of another human being, for crying out loud! It's worth more than just a casual decision and no, you don't get to change your mind once it's there.

I definitely salute all good parents all over the world. Raising a child well is a testament to their whole-hearted commitment. Maybe one day Steve and I will be ready for that commitment and I'll change my mind :-).

But I'd rather change my mind in that direction than the other way around :-).

Posted by Cecille Slish | 7:04 AM | 0 Comments |
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That's just sad...

Current Mood:

It's my three day weekend! I've been awake since 3am :-)! What have I been doing?


That's just pathetic :-).

And what's even SADDER is that the only thing I can think of that can take me away from working is doing household chores.

Posted by Cecille Slish | 7:00 AM | 0 Comments |
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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Maybe... Maybe not

Current Mood:

I was kind of hoping to get some time off next week. Unfortunately, I found out that everyone else on the development team will be away for at least a week next week too. And we're supposed to deliver training on the 27th. That means there's no one else that's going to be available to do development work next week but me.

Still, I count myself lucky. If I'm feeling like I need some time off, I can only imagine how much more stressed the people in Manila are. They're in the thick of launching a new client program. Even though I'm involved, being half a world away still sort of shields you from a lot of the real-time stress.

I filed for Monday off, though. At least a 3 day weekend would be nice :-).

Posted by Cecille Slish | 6:21 PM | 0 Comments |
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