Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Latest From The Greatest

I have not had time to blog. I've been super-busy at work. It's time I took a breather and vented here.

A ver... Oh before anything, let me correct myself. Last time, I said that the early Filipinos misunderstood "derecha" to mean "straight ahead". Well, actually, the Filipino word for "straight ahead" is "deretso", not "deretsa". And there happens to be a Spanish counterpart for it, too, which is, you guessed it, "derecho". Sorry for the misinformation last time. I could edit it so it would go away but I'll just leave it alone to remind me of my own fallibility. :)

My mom (Lola Gie to our kids) is back from the Philippines. For the second (non-consecutive) time, she was only given one month to stay here. That was a real letdown. We were hoping she could stay longer so Jing could start looking for a job. But I guess it's not meant to be. How do you make the airport officers (whatever they're called) believe that you have no intention of working here? Of course, she doesn't. She's here to help out in the house and with taking care of her grandkids. What's so wrong about that? :( I know they're just doing their job. I can't really blame them. They're clueless and their hearts are made of stone. Just kidding! But I would like to bill them for Mommy's plane ticket. We pay so much for airfare and one month is all we get. Hmph!

On a much happier note, Jing and I just passed our naturalization interview. We're no longer artificial...hehe. We'll have our oathtaking real soon and will soon be carrying blue passports. We'll also then be able to petition (is that a verb?) our parents. They won't have to be so nervous when they face the immigration officers (oh yeah, that's what they're called).

Let me see what else... Oh, I waved at and said hello to Sheryl Cruz at the airport. Hehe... She waved back, smiled, and said Hi!. She was with her husband (I assume) and her daughter, who I thought looked just like her. She's actually a lot prettier in person. Looked really... clean.

The other night, Jed was laughing uncontrollably. It was the first time I think that I saw him laugh that way, as in, very genuinely, not forced. He couldn't stop. You wanna know why? Every night (well, unless I'm so tired or I'm punishing them), I read books to my kids. We would sit together on Jed's bed and start out with Jed's 366-story book (one for each day) and then his picture Bible. Then, we would read (well, actually, just browse) Janelle's Snow-White book (she hasn't gotten tired of it). Sometimes, we wouldn't even read it. We'd just play "guess the dwarf's name or look for the dwarf". I believe Janelle has memorized which one is which but that night, she still hadn't. So she kept pointing at the wrong dwarfs. And this cracked Jed up. It was really funny. Trust me, my narration gives it no justice at all.

I was at McDonald's one day to get some food to go. I heard my server ask another person, "Que es eso?". And of course, I understood what she meant. :) I am really excited about my progress with my Spanish. I'm on the 3rd CD now. I really have learned a lot. I'm discovering more and more words that I have a suspicion were where some Filipino words came from. The ones that come to mind are:
  1. sabe (as in Que sabe husted?) - It's a form of "to know". But I have a feeling early Filipinos thought it meant "to say".
  2. Como esta? - Well, this one is very obvious. Ours is "Kumusta".
  3. Ahora Mismo - Ours is "ora mismo", at least that's what I hear people say on TV sometimes. :)
  4. Seguro - This one means "sure" but we say "siguro" when we mean "maybe". We do say "sigurado" though when we mean "sure".
  5. A ver - which I uttered above, means "let's see". Wait, this sounds familiar. I may have talked about this before. Anyway, I'm too lazy to go back and check. We say "aber" (usually in a condescending tone) when we have a point and challenge the other person to disprove us.
Can't think of anything else. I'll post more as I discover them.

I did promise to talk about the links on the right side of this page. I will, eventually. Patience is a virtue.

I guess that's about it. That's the latest from the greatest. Nos vemos! (I have yet to find out when you say that and when you say "Hasta luego!").

Back to work!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Titles and Links

I'm sure you will notice or have noticed the links I have on the right (o en Espanol, a la derecha... which, interestingly, means "straight ahead", not "right" in Tagalog. I'm pretty sure a guy got lost back then due to that misunderstanding. :)), i.e. Hot Stix and My Recommended Books. Well, what can I say? They're new :). I'll explain why I'm endorsing them in a later blog. I don't have time now. I sure wish I did.

K, you noticed the links. But did you also notice that each post now has a title? I've had my Blogger account for a while but did not find out about the title feature until now. I painfully had to edit each post and publish them one by one. Good thing I don't have that many yet. Not sure why the feature is not enabled by default. I could have very well turned it off myself but I don't know why I would do something like that.

I'm thinking of renaming this blog to something else. Something more generic than Insights. Or is that generic enough? I just feel that I use this blog for almost anything, including updates. I guess I could rename it to The Olano Chronicles or something like that. I might. Let me sleep on it.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hola, Amigos!

Me llamo Ever. Hehe... I'm learning Spanish. I'm actually learning quite a bit from this book/CD package that I recently got. I like its approach. I think I'll be fluent in no time. However, there are two sounds that I just can't figure out how to produce, the sounds of "j" and "ll". The former is similar to the English "h" but not exactly. The latter is similar to the English "y" but again, not exactly. They're driving me nuts. I guess my accent will never be perfect. But maybe I'll get it eventually.

Good thing many Filipino words were borrowed or derived from Spanish. So I've breezed through quite a few of the vocabulary words so far, including the days of the week, the months of the year, and even the numbers. Although we have our own Filipino numbers, we do use/know their Spanish counterparts for some reason. I'm glad I didn't have to struggle through those.

Ooh, before I forget, I just discovered another Filipino expression that I believe is a modified version of a Spanish one. We say "aber" when we state our case and challenge someone to refute it. In Spanish, there's an expression called "A ver", which means, "Let's see". I really believe that's the same expression, tweaked or, more probably, mispronounced and mispelled by the early Filipinos.

By the way, I just added the Napa Wineries gallery, which actually predates the others.

Hasta Luego!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Of Spoons and Forks

We had just started training Jed to use a spoon and fork to eat. Hmm, I wonder if we should be teaching him to use a fork and a knife instead. But those of us who were born and raised in the Philippines use spoon and fork. Well, at least in my family. Haven't you noticed how Filipino restaurants here in the US would almost always have spoons, not just the little ones for soup? And would knives be safe for little ones? Maybe kids here do start with a spoon and a fork. But I digress...

He had just been using a spoon to scoop up food that we had already cut up and mixed with rice. So, last night, Jing decided to let him do the cutting up himself and everything else. Same thing with Janelle actually, although her food had already been cut up and mixed, so she didn't really need the fork much (She had a Dora set by the way, which she enjoyed playing with more than eating with). Jed struggled and could not quite figure out how to handle the utensils properly and use them together. It made me wonder and try to go back in time when I started learning how to use a spoon and a fork myself. And I couldn't remember anything. I still can't. At what age did I learn? Was I too young to remember? Will Jed and Janelle forget this, too? Do you remember your own first spoon-fork-knife struggles?

By the way, I've updated the photo galleries to use interactive slide shows. They're pretty neat. Check them out and keep checking back. I've streamlined the process of adding more galleries so I don't think I'd be too lazy to add more in the future.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Photo Galleries

Just an update. I've finally had the chance to post our new pics. There's a link to our photo galleries on the right-hand side. Finally, you'll see how much I've grown... old. :)

The thumbnail photo on the right is the best family picture we have so far, believe it or not. It's hard to synchronize our kids' poses and smiles, if you know what I mean. You'll find the regular-size version in the Monterey (March 2006) gallery.