Monthly Archives: December 2008


(Here’s a reposting of an entry I wrote for my now defunct Friendster blog, orinally posted 12/29/05)

Christmas day (could be Christmas Eve after the Noche Buena) you are in the middle of the living room littered with torn wrapping paper and you have just opened the last of your presents. You are now in the stage of finalizing your choices for regifting. You know that while opening your presents you were at the same time taking mental notes — categorizing presents in three groups: 1) for keeps, 2) those with gift receipt, will return for xchange or store credit, and 3) for regifting. Yes, you are a regifter — and you are not alone. There are many of you out there. You regift not because you are very difficult to please, but other factors contribute to this — like how many chips and dip platter do you really need? So, you give the other one away. Regift, not because you don’t like it, you simply have too many so you share your blessings. Friends, bless their heart, mean so well but the sweater they got you was two sizes too small/big, but a perfect fit for your cousin’s wife — she’s getting that. So on and so forth, you get my drift.

There are protocols to follow in regifting, though. Always eliminate all the telltale signs that this is a regift, make sure the original card is not there, and if repacking is required, do not upgrade the value of your gift by using a higher-class dep’t. store’s box if you recognize that the brand is from K-Mart/Walmart. Moreover, erase the paper trail — gifts from family should not end up within the family. It could get very embarrassing. More importantly, regift not just to regift, but make sure that the present is a perfect match to the recipient; hence, lending the personal touch. So there, happy regifting to all and remember this: I KNOW WHAT I GAVE YOU LAST CHRISTMAS.


Posted by on December 30, 2008 in personal


My World 11: Driving In Fog Over Bay Bridge

Driving In Fog Over Bay Bridge, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Show Your World is a weekly meme headed by a group of wonderful people. If you want to take a peek at other people’s world or to show your own world, check out the main page.

There is really nothing to this photo today. I am simply showing you a shot of our infamous fog as it covers majority of the Bay Bridge, the one that connects San Francisco to Oakland and other East Bay cities such as Berkeley. This is a winter snap, but fog is known to hang around all year round.

I hope every one had a wonderful Christmas. Over at my world, I had a quiet one. My near 30 strong family members that live around a 10 mile radius and I did not have our traditional Christmas luncheon. For the first time in over a decade, we all had something else planned this year. Instead, I am hosting a New Year’s Day potluck luncheon for the family, so I am hoping my New Year is as boisterous as my Christmas was hushed.

Best wishes to the coming New Year. May 2009 be better for all of us.


Posted by on December 29, 2008 in My World


A recap of my 2008, part one.

I am here sitting in front of the computer and getting bored.  I looked up on the wall where my National Wildlife Federation calendar hangs and I see that today is December 15. Yes, were are halfway through the last month of 2008.  I know, I know.  I have wondered aloud many times in the past too, where did the year go?  So I thought what a neat idea to look back on my personal 2008.  I have been blogging for roughly 4 years now and never have I done a recap of my year.  Of course each yearend I read other bloggers recaps of their respective year, and each time I tell myself that I too would do it next year.  So, I am doing it this year.

I remember how 2008 started with rain.  Unfortunately, not much came after the initial showing.  We were close to getting water rationing.  We might still get water rationing summer of 2009 if the snow caps do not meet the norm or the rainfalls are sparse.

In January also husband and I were having a problem, a good problem actually, because our individual vacation cap from our jobs were getting full and we needed to take time off else we would lose further accruals.  While still mulling over where to go or what to do or how much money to spend on said vacay, we received a very disturbing and devastating news.  My MIL who was ill for a total of four days and who was scheduled for surgery in January suddenly expired.  Our dilemma on what to do or where to spend our accumulating vacay time was solved.   Unfortunately, we had to use it on going to Bangladesh for a funeral.

Because availability of vacay time was not a problem with neither of our jobs and the fact that this was considered an emergency situation, we were easily allowed to take time off, as much time as we wanted.  Within three days of getting that dreaded phone call, we managed to arrange everything, including husband flying off to LA to make arrangements with my passport/visa.  Apparently Bangladesh requires visa for US passport carriers.  But it was easily resolved with a stamp that hubby had to personally get from the embassy in LA.

In spite of all the rush, I managed to bring with me a journal where I wrote everything that I experienced in that 20-day trip from my thoughts to the people and places I met and seen.  I am still having second thoughts if I will share that journal/diary entries here.

I was pleasantly surprised at my Bangladesh trip.  It was a very pleasant trip, enjoyable, and educational.  I know the reason we went there was not for R&R, but after the funeral, R&R it turned out to be.  There was very little sightseeing accomplished as my husband and I and the family continually played host to people streaming in and out to extend their sympathies and “check out” the foreign wife.

I don’t think I have written about the fun discoveries from my Bangladesh trip.  Here are a few things that set them apart from the rest of the world, I think.  Here are their traditions sort of:

  • They have rituals performed when a “new bride” (which I was considered to be) enters the husband’s families home for the first time.
  • I have my hair combed and braided by an aunt on the first night in preparation for sleeping.
  • Meals are eaten rather late.  Breakfasts are from 9-11 am.  Lunch from 2:30-4:00.  Dinner from 10:00-11:00.  Of course, there is tea time, around 5-6 pm.  My husband and I have requested coffee in lieu of tea on some days.
  • People entertain friends and relatives in their bedrooms.  Yes, bedrooms.  If you stayed in the living room or were not invited in the bedroom that meant the owners of the home do not consider you close enough to merit a bedroom visit 🙂
  • A  lot of people start coming in to visit after the sun has gone down.  Must be the heat causing this trend/tradition, but it was winter when we went there.
  • Winter there was in the 60s too, pretty cool, and I was unprepared.
  • People love to do two things: eat and chat.   And enjoy paan in between meals.
  • Be prepared to be fed like a truck driver.  People keep shoving food in front of me.  I think I had two dinner invites on one night and eating two dinners is not something I recommend.
  • A new member of the family by marriage gets showered with gifts.

Needless to say I have had a memorable first trip to Bangladesh.  Yes I did say first, I and hoping there would be follow-ups as I just scratched the surface of the country my husband calls home.

Because our tickets were purchased on a very short notice, our return flight from Singapore (there was no direct flight from SFO to Dhaka) to SFO was not available on the date of our arrival from Dhaka.  While my in-laws were lamenting that the three extra days we have before our actual flight back to SFO should have been spent with them, understandably so, my husband thought that we both needed a few days to relax, breathe in and out, and just recharge for the long flight home—in Singapore.  He was very thoughtful in those trying times, thinking of me that I have never seen much of the world and since we were in these parts I should sample Singapore.  Sample we did.  I was glad we did the Singapore (and a day trip to Malacca), because he seemed to be able to gather all his strength back and seemed like the old him.

to be continued….


Posted by on December 28, 2008 in personal



Shy, originally uploaded by airam94564.

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Posted by on December 26, 2008 in Uncategorized


Six Pack

I haven’t done a Six Pack in a long time so I am excited to do another one.

Here are six Christmas traditions of my growing up years:

  1. We did not wrap gifts nor open presents.
  2. We always got new clothes for Christmas.
  3. Attending the midnight mass was a must.
  4. Noche Buena consisted of nilaga, queso de bola, and hamon.
  5. We jumped from anywhere high as soon as the church bell rings on both Christmas Eve and New Years Eve in the hope of getting taller.
  6. Brother #3 always gives out a stick of gum for Christmas. 

Happy Holidays every one.  Peace.


Posted by on December 24, 2008 in list, personal


My world 10: Merry Christmas

The Grandkids shot, originally uploaded by airam94564.

From my family to yours, have a blessed Christmas and may the new year bring prosperity.

Peace and love this season.

Visit the Show Your World page for more photos from all over the world.


Posted by on December 22, 2008 in My World


Friday’s Foto

catalina island, originally uploaded by airam94564.

Some days you simply just want a vacation 🙂


Posted by on December 19, 2008 in Uncategorized