27 June 2011

Eating at Chelsea

It's been a long time since I blogged about food!

For Mother's Day this year, we all went to Chelsea at the Podium.   It was a rainy Sunday, and I'm glad my sister insisted on going there early.  The place was packed by the time we put in our orders.   Here are a few snapshots Nards and I took.  We weren't able to take photos of all the dishes because we were hungry and we tucked into our meal as soon as it was placed before us.

I love the bottle :)

Some lamb dish, I forgot the name.  Mom's order.

Fish and chips that I shared with Nards.  It just had to be shared.  The portion is HUGE.

My Dad ordered coffee and it came free with Chocnut :P

Toblerone Torte

Valrhona Chocolate Cake

I'll definitely go back there to try their other dishes :)

09 June 2011

The Great Kindle Debate

Long entry, I apologize.

I remember a year and a half ago when Nards was telling me about this article where BBC asked a 13 year old boy to participate in some sort of experiment.  They told him to swap his iPod for a classic Walkman from the 80s for a week and to write about his experience.  It was a fascinating read, and the boy had interesting observations.  But what struck Nards most was the subtext of the article: that a lot of the things our generation grew up with are fast becoming or has become obsolete; and that the children of today will only see them in museums or in wikipedia.  Including books.

I was saddened by this.  I'm an avid reader, and a rabid collector of books.  I started reading when I was three and my parents have always encouraged me to keep on reading, so they kept buying me books, magazines and comics (graphic novels in today's lingo).  I had my own bookshelf in grade school and I took great pleasure in filling it up.  I had Pippa The Mouse, Nancy Drew, Bobsey Twins, Hardy Boys, Peanuts, and a whole slew of classics: a humungous volume on classic fairy tales, Little Lord Fauntleroy, A Little Princess, Heidi, Black Beauty, Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm, Anne of Green Gables series, etc.  The list is long and has not stopped growing to this day.

(Slightly getting ahead of my point for this blog entry but: when Nards and I got married and I moved in to his condo, we had a problem with shelf space because between the two of us, we had an ENORMOUS collection.)

A few months after he told me about this article, Nards's attention was piqued by Amazon's Kindle.  And I vehemently protested to owning one because our discussion over my beloved books' looming possibility of obsolescence was still fresh in my mind.  (No, no no no Nards!  NEVURRRRRR!!!  I want our children to actually leaf through a book and smell the pages when they read, instead of clicking on a device!  I will not give in to technology! -- this I did while waiving around my iPod.  I know, the irony.)

And this is how I crossed over from one extreme side of the Great Kindle Debate to the other side in three simple steps.

First, Nards decided to read electronic graphic novels via CBR Reader on his desktop before buying one. Which I sometimes read rudely over his shoulder.  

Second, I started doing the same thing.  When Nards and I did our usual bookstore trolling, I hesitated buying unknown authors and dicey blurbs.  So, egged on by Nards, I acquired the e-book version first, read it, before making a decision to buy.   Which eventually lead me to asking why I even bothered buying since I've finished reading it.  (Except for Neil Gaiman's work.)

And last, Nards birthday was coming up, and I promised to give him an e-book reader as a present.  He was reading his e-books and graphic novels on the PSP, and was considering upgrading to either the Kindle or the Nook.   It took a month of deliberations, but he decided on the Kindle.  So I ordered one from Amazon that same day he made a decision.

Photo by me using the iPod, Kindle case by Nards, fluffy red blanket from Mitzie

The day the Kindle arrived, I oohed and ahhed in appreciation at the fantastic e-paper screen, the slim dimensions, and the battery life.  After finishing his book, he handed it over to me to try it out.  

And I have not let go ever since.   Only occasionally sharing it with Nards, when he wants to read.  (I'm eating my words.  The one above in italics.)

I am actually on that end of the spectrum that is defending e-books now. 

Last week, while having dinner after a trip to a bookstore in Cubao X, the girls were comparing book purchases.  Leslie convinced Beng and myself to read the tales of the Otori.  (Yes, I'm reading this now on Kindle.)  Problem was Leslie only had one set of books to lend.  I told Beng she could have it and I'll just get the e-book.   This eventually led to the Great Kindle Debate, more to the point, why am I championing a cold gadget over words printed on actual paper.  

My reasons for advocating the Kindle:
  1. 2GBs of Memory - It can literally carry up to 2,000 titles.  Read and unread books in neat collections.  Imagine the amount of space it doesn't occupy on our already overflowing bookcases;
  2. Slim and light - It's the size of a large index card.  I don't need to lug around my usual two paperbacks in my bag, not to mention the three hardbounds I keep in the car, in case I finish my paperbacks while I'm out  (I just hate not having good reading material on hand);
  3. E-paper technology - I was surprised that the screen reads like an actual book.  No glare whatsoever, and I can adjust the font size;
  4. Long battery life - one month max, with the wi-fi and 3G off; and
  5. Eco-friendly - It saves trees!  I love trees!
Don't get me wrong.  I will always love books.  But I have to admit that with my constraints on space, the limited amount of weight my doctor allows me to carry and the relative ease of acquiring new books online, the Kindle has perks that outweigh an actual book.  I would be wailing and rending my garments the day when the last publishing company that uses a printing press has closed shop but I have to say that that alternative is not that all bad.

07 June 2011

Simpleng Pilipino

I first heard this at Ortigas Center where Gang talked about the butandings and Rock Ed Philippines to a group of employees.  I remember I asked Karl Roy to distribute white bands while Nards took photos.  It was awesome.

I have heard Noel sing this song many many times, but I have never grown tired of it.  It always reminds me that though I am comfortable, a lot of Filipinos are struggling just to have three square meals every day.  That I cannot be apathetic to our brothers and sisters who barely make a living peddling anything on the streets regardless of the weather.  That even though I cannot give to all of them, I can at least treat them with respect and dignity.

Everyday is a day to be grateful.    Everyday is an opportunity to help others.   

There is no excuse for complacency.  There is no excuse to be unkind.
Rock Ed Philippines - Noel Cabangon - Simpleng Pilipino (by RockEdPhilippines)


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