What did we eat?

The purpose of the question was to get ideas for appetizers that K could cook in the future. But in order to answer it, we had to recall each and every time we got together to eat (which is, of course, each and every time we got together.) What then followed was a trip down memory lane that no one could have predicted would launch a roller coaster of emotions and essentially serve as a summary of four years of friendship.

It’s because we started with paella. Not a dish one would ordinarily make for a Saturday afternoon with friends, I don’t think. And the activity itself, in my experience, is not a usual Saturday-afternoon-with-friends kind of activity. I mean, shouldn’t we have gone to the mall or to the pub or to a bowling alley? We could’ve gone anywhere and done anything, but instead we chose to hang around in one of our kitchens with one of us attempting to cook a dish he’d never cooked before, and the rest of us playing food critics.

I’d invited many of my friends over to my house before that day, but it was the first time any of them ever stepped foot in our kitchen, let alone actually cook there, or… hang out. I think it set a strange precedent for all our future get-togethers. It didn’t help that the paella was such a success that afterwards, nothing but the dishes K cooked for us was ever good enough.

More or less.

I mean, of course we ate at restaurants and bought food from different establishments occasionally, but for the most part, all our events revolved around the food we were going to eat. We chose resorts we went to in the summer based on the kitchens they had and how close they were to the market. We met up at grocery stores and sent text messages about the number of eggs we had in our refrigerators. We scheduled dinners really late to allot at least 2 hours for food preparation. And we hung out in the different parts of my house, practically according to a food-related schedule–we’d start in the kitchen where K would be cooking, then we’d transfer to the dining room where we’d be eating, then the living room where we’d be consuming the rest of the alcohol, and then from time to time, we’d be at the porch, where most everyone would step out to smoke.

By the time our review finally reached January 2016, we had reminisced about four years of dishes, drinks, and events that made us feel happy, satisfied, full, and occasionally wanting. We were all somewhat incredulous that it had been several years since that day when we magically convinced K to cook us paella, a difficult dish he’d never cooked before, and then somehow, even more magically, convinced him to cook us, basically the rest of our meals afterwards.

“What are we going to eat now?” I asked. Because by the way, the reason we were even talking about these things was because in a week, K would be moving back to his hometown, essentially leaving myself alone in the company we all used to work in.

“You’ll figure something out,” K answered, although none of us were completely convinced.

I am quite sure that we will figure something out. But things will never be the same. Not that it’s only K’s departure that changes things. But considering how much most of the things we did revolved around the dishes he would cook, his disappearance from our everyday lives will certainly make a huge impact on our next activities, if there even are going to be next activities. With only myself left in the place where we all met and used to work and all the boys living in cities you have to take a plane to get to from Manila, I’m sure finding a time and a place where we can all meet again will be everything but easy.

Perhaps the universe thought we’d had it too comfortable too long and this is its way of forcing us to exit our comfort zones and make something more of ourselves. Am I supposed to read recipes and spend time on my own in our kitchen now?

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(left to right; top to bottom)

Paella valenciana and butter cake with fruit toppings for M’s despedida
Creamy garlic potatoes, steak with mushrooms and asparagus, New Zealand cheese and crackers for my Welcome Home from NZ dinner
Bacon and cheese macaroni salad, liempo, stuffed chicken and creamy garlic potatoes (Take 2!) for K’s despedida
Salad with some kind of meat, poached eggs, vinaigrette dresssing and pepper for a Saturday evening
Fish and chips, roast chicken and rice for my birthday
Couscous with lamb, zucchini, carrots, apricots and pork for R’s birthday

Hello, 2016!

We’re almost halfway into January! Time moves ever so fast. I didn’t even get to write a 2015 summary entry, not that this is something I’m able to do every year. But anyways, hello, 2016!

Last year, I was only able to finish reading 2 books. And one of those books, I read mostly in 2014 and finished reading in January 2015. So really, I only finished reading one book. I guess it’s better than zero, but I really, really want to finish reading more books. I’ll set my reading goal at 10 this year, so I won’t be pressured into reading one book a month. I probably won’t finish 10 books, but you never know.

Other than reading books, there are lots more that I’m thinking will happen this year. Mostly because so many changes happened last year. For starters (and most importantly), I am now legit for realzzz an aunt as my sister gave birth to two cutie cutie twin boys last year. :D And one of my best friends is now married, as I mentioned in the previous blog entry. Also, my closest friends in the office have quit their jobs and are now working elsewhere, so that changes a lot to my everyday routine. Or, maybe not routine, but everyday… psychology? I don’t know what I’m talking about.

The point is, it’s 2016 and I’m starting with Adverbs by Daniel Handler. Hopefully in December, I’ll be telling you the title of the book I’m currently reading and it will no longer be Adverbs by Daniel Handler.

Happy New Year, everyone! :D

My Best Friend’s Wedding

Where do I even begin? I suppose I should’ve written something akin to ‘Congratulations and Best Wishes’ to the couple on Facebook, but it’s too public and generic and everyone’s already done it. So I shall write things here instead, in my little corner of the Internet, where only a few of my friends and many spammers tread.

And because my emotions are lagged, my thinking unclear, and my time limited, the things I want to say will be in bullet points:

  • I say J is my best friend, really she’s one of. There are four of us, three of us met in pre-school, i.e. before even first grade in elementary school. And J and I were classmates in high school, too. And we were in the school paper together. And though we went to different universities, we’d always kept in touch. And I’m really happy that it was just us three whom J chose as her bridesmaids. :)

    bridesmaids

    Me, J2 and J3 in front of the Bamboo Organ Church in Las Piñas City

  • I’d say that I’m the friend that her parents know most. While we were prepping for the wedding, her dad asked me when my wedding was going to be. I answered, “Don’t worry. When the day comes, you’ll be one of the firsts to find out because I’ll be getting you as one of my principal sponsors!” He laughed at that and said that he looked forward to it. Later that day, I was talking to J’s mom and told her about my conversation with her husband. She said that she’d also be happy to be a principal sponsor at my wedding, whenever that would be. I couldn’t tell them that I’m probably J’s most untraditional friend and having principal sponsors at my wedding probably isn’t likely. But then again, I’m sure they already have doubts about me ever getting married, so I’m sure they’re not holding their breaths.
  • My only regret was not getting included in the pic of the couple with our high school barkada. Or, okay, I didn’t get a solo pic with the couple either and I feel bad about that, too. But mostly I feel bad about not being included in this photo:blitz
    Been hanging out with these guys since I was 16, I think they’ve been leaving me out of pictures since then, too. :P Well… That’s what I get for being “one of the guys” but still a girl. All of my pictures at the wedding were with my fellow bridesmaids and/or the secondary sponsors. I was sitting at a different table from them, too. But it’s okay. Anyway, J is my friend, not because I was a part of this group. It was more the opposite, actually. I became a part of this group because I was best friends with J and during high school one of these guys had a thing for her. Won’t tell you which one, though it really doesn’t matter now because that was literally about 15 years ago and look! J is happily married to A now!
  • Speaking of A, although we still aren’t as close as I would like us to be (Most probably my fault because I tend to criticize him too much so he has a tendency to avoid me, what can I say? I only want the best for J!) I have to say that there were times that he went above and beyond my expectations of J’s partner. He’s extremely patient and considerate, never forgetting to take me into account whenever I’m involved in whatever they have to do. Being perpetually single and one of J’s best friends, I tend to be the third wheel on their dates. A lot. And he’s never given me a hard time about this. Maybe he feels sorry for me, because anyone who has nothing better to do but be a third wheel to people’s dates deserves some kind of sympathy, but I’ll take it! Besides, I think he treated me to ice cream that one time and that’s always OK in my book!
  • Case in point: The wedding reception ended at 4 p.m. (It was a morning wedding.) so afterwards we all had time to do other things. I along with my fellow bridesmaids and our friend L went to have coffee in Alabang near the hotel where A and J were spending the night. I asked J if we could hang out with them since, of course, in the busy-ness of the thing, we really weren’t able to spend time with them at all. She said it was okay with her and asked A if it was okay with him. A said that of course it was okay, especially because she only saw us a few times a year, but he and she will be together every day after that day. Practical and considerate, I would say. And so we ended up being their wedding night crashers. I don’t know about you, but I think these are things that best friends can do. And I think that J found the perfect partner in A, because he’s totally fine with this kind of behavior from us (really, from me).

So congratulations and best wishes to you A and J! I’ll always be here for you! :D

(Especially since I’ve already always been here since your relationship started. I’m really quite proud of the fact that the first time A ever laid eyes on J it was when she was sitting beside me helping me stalk my then-crush on Friendster. Yep. Friendster. They’ve been together that long, guys.)

December 24th!

I’m not at all going on a holiday from work, but even I don’t have to work today and tomorrow because Christmas!

Some of my colleagues have been off from work since last Friday and we’re allowed to have a holiday break, but I really don’t mind working during this time. The office is quieter, and I feel more productive because the alternative would be staying at home and doing nothing. Or, maybe I would do errands for my mom, which isn’t something I get excited about. :P

Anyway, I just finished my shift for today and since I’m attending the wedding of one of my best friends on Saturday, I opted not to file for OT on the 27th. I’ll be back to work on the 28th, though, so this isn’t even my last day of work for 2015 yet. So I actually don’t know why I’m updating my blog now, except that maybe because I have the feeling that the year already ended last Friday. I think it’s because I’ve always considered these next 2 and 1/2 weeks when we start with Christmas Eve and then transition into the new year a kind of floating period of the year where it’s neither this year nor the next. Just because so many things are happening simultaneously and consecutively and there are so many people around and it’s all really crazy.

I’ll be on my way home in a bit and I already know there’s a big pile of presents waiting for me. Not for me, of course. They’re presents I need to wrap for the Christmas parties I’ll be attending with my family tonight and tomorrow. I do enjoy wrapping presents so this isn’t such a bad activity. I just hope I’m not too exhausted by the time I finish wrapping them that I sleep through the Christmas parties. Again.

I don’t think I’ll be able to update my blog before Friday again so this is it!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Everyone! :D :D :D