24 January 2011

My Life Would Suck Without You

I know that I've got issues
But you're pretty messed up too
Either way, I found out I'm nothing without you

My 2011 Birthday Conversation

A: Happy Birthday, enjoying so far?
Kat: What's there to enjoy?

A: I dunno, gifts and greetings?
Kat: Hardly exceptional. It's just like all other days in the year.
You know that feeling when you're waiting for those big fireworks to happen on your special day...Newsflash, its a dud.

A: That's kinda sad.
Kat: There's nothing worth celebrating anyway.

A: Well, your life is something, I'm kinda glad this day came. It's a nice reminder that u were born and exist.
Kat: Nice try, thanks.

A: Hey, my life would suck without u, I'm sure.

.. And all was better.

01 January 2011

2011 New Year Resolutions

With 2010 melted away like gel slithering stickily in our brains (okay, I don't know where that comparison came from) and 2011 giving a big yawn of salutations. It has become customary to pen down some long desired goals in the hope that the new year would provide the venue for one to put them into action. To begin, I'd like to list down my 2010 goals first and cross out the ones I accomplished.

2010 Goals
1. Get driver's license

Yes, it's official. Be afraid because I can legally drive around the streets. To those who personally know me, I think you know what this means.

2. Go on a photoshoot

Had two of these this year, so not bad. A and B

3. Go to Tagaytay with friends

Not exactly the group I had in mind, but I was still able to go with my GFAPY friends.

4. Backpacking adventure

Technically, this was the Antipolo trip with Marjorie. It's not a backpacking adventure but I guess it would do.

5. Go on a Visayas trip with Charley
This didn't push through due to financial and time constraints.

6. Lose weight.
Apparently I gained them all back.

7. Go out of the country

The He Hui Po Association decided to go to Taiwan for 2010 and boy that really helped me meet this goal.

8. Try my hand at photography again.

Visitations of the Past album. Yes!

Now for 2011.

I've decided to make my goals more specific and segregate them into five different categories to have a holistic sense of what I aim to do namely: (A) Lifestyle, Religious and Health, (B) Finances, (C) Family and Friends, (D) Leisure and (E) Personal/ Miscellenous goals. In general, I will be plotting out primary dates in my organizers as a reminder of these goals.

How to make sure I will follow my 2011 Goals
In order to make this year's goals more challenging, I decided to make a point system for myself in determining how well I will meet my goals and round all these up at the end of the year. Total score aimed for is 1000 pts.

My ratings will be as follows:
750 + It is a year well spent
500 - 750 Turn over resolutions to 2012. Try a little more.
250 - 500 It's like you didn't try. Average rating.
250 - A complete waste. Failure

So without further ado, let's welcome in my new set of goals for 2011.

2011 Goals

A. Lifestyle, Religious and Health:
1. Get back into Sports. Make it a weekly religion. (3 pt for every session)
2. Go to confession at least once per month. (5 pts for every session)
3. Reach and maintain a weight of 125 lbs. (15 pts)
4. Join a charity association or group. (10 pts)

B. Finances:
1. Deposit X amount per payday in personal savings account. (5 pts for every deposit)
2. Fill up the old and new KFC bucket coin bank. (15 pts per coin bank)
3. Save up to 10,000 Php of crispy bills. (10 pts per 10,000 Php)
4. Do not overspend.
5. Learn and invest in the stock market.(15 pts)

C. Family and Friends:
1. Treat the family out to a personally discovered restaurant. (5 pts)
2. Make a potluck/ picnic get together with friends.(5 pts)
3. In certain circumstances, when possible, drop everything and help someone in need.
4. Try to go to a people-skills related seminar. (10 pts)
5. Do something extra-ordinary for people that matter. (5 pts each)
6. Organize a whole family (with extended family) trip. Can be connected with Leisure 1 or 2. (10 pts)
7. Make peace with...

D. Leisure:
1. Go to a non-work related, non-association related trip out of Metro Manila. (10 pts)
2. Go to a non-work related, non-association related trip out of the country. (12 pts)
3. Go to Sagada and Banawe. This is not included in Leisure No. 1. (10 pts)
4. Optional: Go to Boracay, Palawan or Cebu. (BONUS: 5 pts for every location visited)

E. Personal/ Miscellaneous:
1. Drive to work and eventually, to Cavite. (10 pts)
2. Finish at least 1 book per month. (5 pts per book)
3. Enroll in a Chinese proficiency class. (10 pts)
4. Try to join a choir or take singing lessons. (1 pt per session)
5. Allot one day to relax and rejuvenate every month. (3 pts)
6. Join in a contest. (5 pts per contest, additional 10 if won)
7. Get 6-8 hours of sleep. Anything less is a deduction of 5 pts to the total score.
8. Get more practice in photography.
9. Join a fun run. (5 pts for every run)
8. Bonus: Cook Charley's gumbo and make Charley's mom's special ham. (5 pts each)

It seems like a hectic and goal laden year, but I am optimistic this will push me further into becoming better. I do hope I'd be able to stick with the point system though. It might be a struggle at first, but they do say, it takes 16 to 21 times of repeating an act to make it a habit.

Have you penned down your goals and resolutions yet?

Bitter Heart of Mine

Loving this song.. for a very particular reason.

Zee Avi - Bitter Heart

Sun rays come down as seen when they hit the ground,
Children spinning around till they fall down down down.
I wait for you: it's been two hours now,
You're still somewhere in town,
Your dinners getting cold.
I rest my case you are always this late,
And you know how much I hate waiting around 'round 'round.

Bitter heart, bitter heart tries to keep it all inside,
Bitter heart, bitter heart shadows will help you try to hide,
Bitter heart, my bitter heart is gettin' just a little fragile,
Bitter heart, bitter heart of mine.

And then you come and tell me the same reason as you did yesterday,
So tell me whats her name.
Doo doo da dum, doo doo da dum, doo doo doo doo doo doo da da dum dum, da da da da dum, da da da da dum, da da da da dum.

Bitter heart, bitter heart tries to keep it all inside
Bitter heart, bitter heart shadows will help you try to hide,
Bitter heart, my bitter heart is just getting a little fragile,
Bitter heart, bitter heart of mine, of mine, of mine, of mine, of mine, of mine.

New Year's Day - Garlic Chicken in Olive Oil

New Year's day. I got out of bed and jumped right in front of my laptop to check if there are any updates in my Facebook, when the tempting smell of garlic began to float into my room. Our neighbors apparently were cooking something olfactorily drool worthy.

Resolved not to let this garlic jealousy let me down (especially on New Year's day), I quickly Skype-d my boyfriend and asked if he knew the garlic chicken recipe his sister used when I hung out at his place a couple of months ago. He said his sister just made it from scratch and didn't follow any recipe. That was not enough to sway me from my garlicky desire.

I went to the kitchen and began to take out the garlic and chicken from the fridge. I absolutely had no idea what to do, I just wanted my garlic chicken.

Like I would always say though, I don't have a specific recipe and would just follow whatever hits me. I was inspired by two things, first by my boyfriend's sister's cooking and second was a dish I tried in Puerto Galera when my friends and I went there half a decade back. It was an Italian chicken dish swimming in olive oil with tomatoes, if I can recall correctly.

So below is the product of my garlic envy - which tasted pretty awesome, in my opinion. And I don't think my siblings can contest that since we pretty much wiped out the dish this lunch.

Garlic Chicken in Olive Oil

1. Marinate chicken strips with olive oil, chopped garlic, Italian seasoning, dried rosemary, salt and pepper.
2. In a deep pan, melt some butter (just enough to make sure the ingredients won't stick) then add some sliced onions. I used a head of onion, we only had the small red variety available at the moment. Cook until onions have softened, take out of the pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add olive oil. This time, be a little generous. Fry some more chopped garlic, then throw in the marinated chicken. Cook until chicken has turned white - no more pinkish color.
4. I added around a cup of warm water into the mixture, threw in three cloves of crushed garlic and then covered the pan. I think chicken stock would've been better, but since we didn't have any ready - warm water would just have to do. Leave for a few minutes, around 30, just for the liquid to reduce. I added the onions back in, midway.
5. In a frying pan, cook some bacon bits until crispy. Set aside. This is an optional bit, but I like the idea of throwing in a strong flavor to give the dish a little kick.
6. Once the chicken mixture has reduced considerably and you're left with more or less what you started with, you can now plate the garlic chicken. I added the olive oil sauce on the plate and topped the whole thing with the bacon bits. Some sliced olives would've been a nice addition too, but we didn't have any at the moment.

My uncle just thought I used a bit too much olive oil, but liked the way the dish tasted. YUM! :D He recommended that rather than making strips (which looked like chopped tuna or something), I should making it using breast fillets. He added that I should try grilling the chicken than just pan frying. I said I'll consider it - maybe in the future I would. I'm not really a big fan of grilling though.

As work would recommence Monday, I fear that the kitchen would once again, be a rather alien section of the house for me, in the upcoming months. Oh well, it was good while it lasted.