29 July 2012

Pleasant Surprise

Two night ago, while Nards and I were waiting for the opening ceremony for London 2012 Olympics, I was monitoring my twitter feed for updates from BBC sports.  A tweet popped up with a youtube link.  I opened the tweet, and loaded the video, and the minute I heard the first line spoken, I knew it was Benedict Cumberbatch.

It was such a pleasant surprise. :)

I thoroughly enjoyed the opening ceremony.

I'm a huge, huge fan of Danny Boyle.

21 July 2012

Vincent and The Doctor

One of my absolute favorite episodes of Doctor Who is Vincent and The Doctor. Apart from the fangirl moment The Doctor and Amy had at the café when Van Gogh appeared and the giggle moment when Van Gogh wanted to give them a painting, I loved the scene when the three of them were on the grass, holding hands and looking up at the night sky.

Vincent Van Gogh: [Explaining how he sees the world] Look at the sky. It's not dark and black and without character. The black is, in fact deep blue. And over there: lighter blue and blowing through the blues and blackness the winds swirling through the air and then shining, burning, bursting through: the stars! [the sky gradually transforms into van Gogh's painting Starry Night] Vincent Van Gogh: And you see how they roar their light. Everywhere we look, the complex magic of nature blazes before our eyes. 
If I could time travel, visiting Van Gogh would probably be on my top ten list.  I would love to see his studio and to see him work, to watch him create magic on canvas.   And I would do exactly what the Doctor and Amy did (giggle and fangirl), drag him in the Tardis and bring him to a museum to let him see how much his art is appreciated.  How much beauty he contributed to the world.   I would tell him how much I love his work, how much it means to me.

I'm saddened that he killed himself, and he died thinking that no one liked his paintings.

This episode was the only one in the fifth season that had a suicide hotline announced at the end.  It reminded me to strengthen my resolve to be kind to everyone, because everyone is really fighting some kind of battle.  Some are just better at hiding it.

10 July 2012

My Weekend in Instagram

We had a productive weekend in and out of the kitchen.  Let me tell you about it.  In pictures.  I'm a bit knackered.   Struggling to actually string a lot of words together to form a coherent paragraph.  Even twitter is challenging me today.

 To get the amount I need, the entire bowl of calamansi must be squeezed.  Took me about an hour or so.

Ingredients for calamansi curd.  Not in the picture:  calamnsi rinds.  Those suckers are hard to get.

Fluffy pink macaron batter.  Well, pre-macaronage and pre-croûtage, that is.   (Fancy french terms that may be googled.)

Pink macaron shells + dark chocolate ganache = this.  I love the light on this photo.

My first attempt to make chai tea syrup.  From L-R: water, honey, cloves, bay leaf, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon bark, vanilla and english breakfast tea.  I need to recalibrate the amount of those spices.

A nice wall in an underground parking somewhere along the stretch of Ortigas Avenue.

What I had to settle for because Charlie's ran out of milkshakes.  Was really jonesing for Salted Caramel Shake, but alas!  The milkshake gods were not smiling at me.

Something that I nibbled on while we had watermelon bellinis.  Very hot afternoon on top of a disappointing trip to Muji.

02 July 2012


As I write this entry, I have my classical playlist on my player.  I was on an adult alternative streak last week, and this week, I've mellowed down to orchestra music, with wonderful solo pieces on the piano or the violin.

My playlist, courtesy of Genius, was generated from Moonlight Sonata.  I remember learning to play this song back in third grade.  I started with a simplified version for children.  When I reached sixth grade, I taught myself to play the actual piece.  I am very fond this song.  It's so doleful and pensive.  I used to play this for my parents after dinner.  I also remember my late Tita Paz, asking me to play it for her when she came for a visit.  And being a very good piano player, she'd teach me good techniques on how to play it, exactly when to build up to a forte, and  when to bring it down to a pianissimo.  This song remains one of my favorite pieces to play as well as Sonata Pathétique by the same composer.

Funny thing about Genius is it's uncanny way of putting together songs that I truly love in one convenient playlist.  After Moonlight Sonata, it added Debussy's Clair de Lune.  I love this piece.  Just love it.  I learned to play it in high school, though not in it's entirety because somewhere in the middle of learning that piece, I got sidetracked by broadway pieces.   I revisited that piece during grad school, but there's still a lot of distractions for me to finish learning the whole song. 

Chopin is also on the list. A considerable chunk of it, actually, comprised of his nocturnes, sonatas and waltzes, since I only have one Beethoven album, and about three Chopin albums.  What can I say?   He really floats my boat.

I mentioned to Nards last week, that one of the things I loved doing before our life together, was  playing the piano.  I couldn't bring my piano with me because it occupies a huge space.   The only musical instruments I brought with me are my flute and my grandfather's violin.   The flute is in good condition and when I'm alone with nothing to do, I'd play a few simple pieces.  The violin needs to be restrung and the bow, maybe reconditioned.  I'm always careful with it because it's an antique dating back to the 1930s, I think.  It also saved my grandfather's life during the Japanese occupation.  Oh how I wish I heard my grandfather play it!  He was truly brilliant, from what I hear.

I have sorely neglected my piano.  This month, I will have to spend about one to two days at my parents' while a repairman and tuner gets it back to its former glory.  Nards suggested that I look for an affordable second hand clavinova or small cabinet piano that can fit in our condo so I can resume my piano playing.  I used to play two to three hours everyday with about  twenty minutes devoted to finger exercises.   My fingers have pitifully lost some of their flexibility on the keyboard.

Once I get a decent piano here, I will definitely learn Clair de Lune.  It's too beautiful to simply listen to it.   I want to be able to play it.  I'm sure my Mom would love that.


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