Confessions of AttyArj

stop…look…and listen to your instincts

September 29, 2010

I want to share an experience that I had this morning so you’ll all learn from it.

At around 11:45 this morning, I was driving along C5 (north bound) when I noticed a guy in motorcycle overtaking thru my right side.  At that point, nasa Kapitolyo fly-over na ako, makitid ang daan kaya nagulat ako when he suddenly appeared on my right side.  From then on, I noticed na hindi na sha lumalayo sakin.  He was either tailing me or driving alongside me on the right lane. I sped up, slowed down but I didn’t lose him.  That scared me a bit so I decided to stop. I signaled right (I’m in the middle lane kasi) and overtook him. When I reached the right most lane, I looked for a safe spot were I can park.  I made a full stop in front of Country Noodles/Lydia’s Lechon. Since the parking lot was full, nag-hazzard muna ako and waited.  When I looked at my rearview mirror, I saw him behind me, naka-tigil din, parang na-gulat sha na tumigil ako.  He then drove past me but stopped a few meters away, sa may Metrobank.  He didn’t move and stayed there for a few minutes all the while looking back at my car. At that point kinabahan na talaga ako, naisip lahat ng modus operandi na nakikita ko sa news at nababasa ko sa newspapers.  Since nakatigil na ako, I decided to really park and to stay inside the restaurant.  I stayed there, had lunch and, after almost an hour, finally mustered the courage to get out and drive again. 

Now that I have mulled over the incident, I realized that I my instincts may have been wrong.  Baka wala naman siyang balak na masama.  Sa totoo lang, I don’t really know what that guy’s intention was, I’m just glad that I was able to go home and that I’m safe.

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me eat healthy one day

August 17, 2010

Hotdog, tocino, longganiza, SPAM, sausage, corned beef, spanish sardines, 2 litres of milk, 5 kilos of rice grains and a tray of eggs. These, more or less, sum up my grocery list.

Where’s the poultry, meat and greens?

Well….I don’t buy poultry, meat or greens.

I don’t go to the poultry section because there’s always Jollibee, McDonalds, KFC and Reyes BBQ. I don’t buy meat because Chowking, Tapa King, Charlie’s and Yoohoo BBQ are just around the corner.

When I crave chinese, vegies or pansit, there’s North Park, San Jacinto Panciteria or Country Noodles. If I feel like eating healthy (read: grilled fish), I go for Pixie’s Sinugba.

Pathetic right?

Yes but this is usually the price that (almost) all single, workaholic (????), city dwellers like me have to pay.

My “eat out, take out and call for delivery habit” started when I entered college. While our dorm food doesn’t really suck, one can only eat so much pork steak, igado (it looks and taste a bit like menudo), baby tilapia and BBQ from our neighbor’s stand.

Naturally, we all survived on dine in, take out and delivery. Believe it or not, I’ve practically memorized the price ranges and food combinations that went with Jollibee’s Value Meal, McDonalds’ Happy Meal, KFC’s Combo Meal and Wendy’s Chorva Meal.

When I started working, my fast food habit continued but was lessened when Vero became one of my housemates. She goes to the market, cooks and bakes. Hooray!

Don’t get me wrong, while I’m not chef material, I can and do cook “real food” once in a while, I just don’t particularly enjoy or love doing it. Remember the corned beef/meat loaf incident?

Last year, we moved out of Las Villas and moved to a condo in Mandaluyong sans Vero. She has since struck gold, bought her own house and got pregnant, in no particular order =).

Needless to say, we lost our market expert, gourmet cook and pastry chef =(

With Vero gone, Anne promised to take over kitchen duties. She made good that promise the first two months. Now, she no longer eats dinner.

Donna doesn’t cook because she rarely eats dinner. When she does eat, its mainly fruits and Gulai (tama yan, that’s a packed salad brand).

You see? I, clearly, have no choice.

Just this morning (or was it noon already?), I drove by Pixie’s to buy food for lunch. When I asked the grill boy if there’s fish available he said yes and asked “Ma’am, kayo ba yung taga-Tower 1”? Surprised, I said — “Huh?….Hindi….Tower 3 ako”. Grill boy: “Sabi ko na nga ba e, kilala ko kayo”.

OMG! He actually knows me.

I don’t know what to make of it so I came out with three (3) possible explanations. (A) He has a very good memory; (B) I have a very memorable face; (C) I order (take out and delivery) A LOT.

Your guess is as good as mine.

From here on, I’ll try (read: struggle) to eat healthy. I’ll try to avoid fried, oily and msg saturated food. I’ll try to follow Donna’s lead (not Anne’s coz I’ll die) so that somehow, someday, I’ll be a goat, este, fit and healthy pala.

Posted in nightcaps

drive s l o w l y

August 16, 2010
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I learned a very important lesson today — drive slowly.

Not being a morning person, I hate AM hearings because they usually start at 8:30 sharp. Although some judges are quite lenient, some unusually strict ones lock their court rooms. This morning, I had an 8:30am schedule and, to make matters worse, it was in Paranaque.

Except for the stiff neck that’s been bothering me since Sunday, I woke up feeling good and left the condo at around 7:30am.

Since I was south bound and driving against the early morning tide, I had a lot of time to spare. Unfortunately, since I was running at about 90km/hr in the middle lane, I missed my exit.

Usually, there are signs that say “1km to Sucat exit” but I saw no such sign this morning. Also, the area changed a lot. Apparently, the flyover construction in the area significantly progressed since the last time I went there.

Having missed my exit, I took the next one, Alabang.

Since the Makati bound lane of SLEX is traffic heavy, the traffic guide advised me to take the service road instead. Big mistake.

Let’s just say it took me an hour to backtrack and rectify my split second mistake.

As expected, I arrived an hour late for my hearing. Fortunately, the judge wasn’t there so the hearing was cancelled nonetheless. Haayyy, I so blessed.

I swear from now on, I will drive slowly….. sa SLEX, pag may hearing ako sa Paranaque =)

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April 10, 2010

Thets, one of my bestees (I know it’s corny and juvenile but that’s our term of endearment back in school and, unfortunately, it stuck), was bitten by the running bug and has since persistently demanded that we join her.  Since running requires that I give up my “thing” (read: sleeping until noon on weekends), my reaction was a resounding and violent — NO!

Since none of her sisters (a.k.a. “the skinny bitches”) fell prey to her pressure, she relentlessly pestered us. Eventually, we run out of reasons.

Wasting no time, she forced us to join the 1st PTAA fun run. She registered us for the 5K run and told us it’s not going to be difficult coz we don’t have to run the entire way.

When the day of the run arrived, I woke up after about three hours of sleep and excitedly went to UP, the venue. When we got there, I looked around to survey the other runners and gladly found out that I’m not the least fit person. I figured if these equally un-athletic people can do this, so can I.

At gun start, we happily joined the eager 5Kers. After about three minutes of continuous running, I’m no longer happy. My untrained lungs and Olive Oil (remember Popeye’s mate?) spindly legs easily gave up. I begged Donna to stop and to just brisk walk with me. Vero sped away (she was, after all, the first one to succumb to Thets’ egging) leaving me and Donna to pace each other.

After walking 60% of the way, Donna and I finally saw the finish line. YEY! We finished! We conquered 5K!

When we crossed the line, Donna and I noticed that there are still other runners crossing. I told her, “at least may kasabay pa tayo”. Donna, however, noticed that the remaining runners were wearing different colored numbers (ours were red, theirs were yellow). Realization hit. OMG! We crossed the line along with the 10K runners! We’re such losers!

As with the other runners, we checked our time. Mine was 1:01.34. Donna came in 12 seconds later at 1:01:42.

WTF?!? We didn’t just eat our fellow runners’ dust, we ate slowly. We didn’t expect to finish in 30 minutes but finishing a simple 5K run for an hour was very embarrassing.

My thought was, OMG, I’ll never be humiliated this way ever again. I’m going to train and train hard — if, I get the time.

I made that promise last June 2009 and I’m yet to join another fun run. I’m currently training though, not as extensive or as seriously as my new athlete friend but I’m happy with my progress, no matter how miniscule that may be.

For the last two months, the members of Team Bald Runner have been patiently trying to help me work on my endurance. When I first started, I almost died after an 800m lap (2 rounds of the ULTRA track). Now, I’m proud to say that I can already tackle 30 minutes of non-stop running (with very little cheating).

NmLk + Alt3 = ♥

March 28, 2010

Have you ever wondered how people use/insert symbols in their Facebook shout outs? I did.

While I know how to make the ❤ symbol (just type “<” and “3” close to each other), I have no idea how to make the black happy face (☻) and the musical note (♫)

I came across this bit of Microsoft Word magic a few months ago but wasn’t able to try it then. Since I’m not busy today, I gave it a try —- it really works!!!

Just follow these simple steps:

1. Make sure your keyboard is in NumLock mode.

2. Hold down the ALT key and enter the number on the numeric keypad. (Note that many laptops have a blue FN key that changes a set of keys, also with blue numbers on them and usually in the 7-8-9-U-I-O area, into a numeric keypad.)

for ☺ 1
for ☻ 2
for ♥ 3
for ♦ 4
for ♣ 5
for ♠ 6
for • 7
for ◘ 8
for ○ 9
for ◙ 10
for ♂ 11
for ♀ 12
for ♪ 13
for ♫ 14
for ☼ 15
for ► 16
for ◄ 17
for ↕ 18
for ‼ 19
for ¶ 20
for § 21
for ▬ 22
for ↨ 23
for ↑ 24
for ↓ 25
for → 26
for ← 27
for ∟ 28
for ↔ 29
for ▲ 30
for ▼ 31

Cool huh!?! ♥ ♥ ♥

According to the instructions that I saw, this should work with any Windows word processor, text editor, browser or email client so, go on, impress your friends, add a little flare in your FB status updates ☺

earth hour, will definitely switch off

March 26, 2010
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the BAR, here we go again!

March 26, 2010
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According to a friend we should celebrate every March 19 because that’s the day when our Bar Exam results came out nine years ago (my gosh!!! Time really flies).

What makes the Bar Exam special is that, unlike other professional exams, everybody awaits the results. All lawyers, young and old, somehow get involve in the waiting. Since I am a partner in a law office, this yearly occurrence gives me a sense of a yearly déjà vu.

Here we go again.

According to a Supreme Court insider, the results for the 2009 Bar Exams will be released today. Rumors have it that the passing percentage is 24.5% (1,451 out of 5,903 examinees); that the passing rate for the subject Taxation was lowered to 71% instead of 75%; and that the DQ (disqualified) grade was lowered to 45% instead of 50%.

And so, the agony began.

Our three underbar associates went on leave. I don’t know where they went or what they are doing at this very moment but I’m sure they’re out there, somewhere, having the worst day of their lives. I know because I’ve been there. I can still vividly recall the tears that I shed while I was on phone with Arlene. We talked about the hours we spent and wasted sleeping and watching television when we should have devoted those hours reading. We figured that, if we fail, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

On or about 9:00PM, my friend Jaja called and gave me the good news — “Arj! Lawyer ka na!” I bawled. I wanted to make sure so I told Jaja — “Sigurado ka ba? Wala nang bawian yan ha!” She said yes and then hurriedly ended our conversation, she said she had to call our other friends.

Fortunately, Arlene and I passed. Will our associates be as fortunate? I guess only time will tell. I just received a text message from JTS – “7:30 pa daw release”. Haayyy.

And so, the agony continues….

basement 5

February 25, 2010

To survive in this city, one must not only be street smart, you must also be real estate savvy.

For single ladies like me (more like, ‘us’), more than the location, structure or basic habitation needs, budget is a MAJOR consideration. After all, more than a roof over our heads, we can’t survive the lipstick jungle without stocking up our arsenal (read: shoes, bags and clothes).

A few months ago, the owner of the Valle II unit that we were renting decided to come home thereby forcing us to, once again, uproot ourselves. After weeks of searching, we finally found a unit acceptable and convenient for us. The unit, however, is 10 floors up and the only available parking space is in Basement 5.

With no less than 18 years of renting experience (my dorm days included), I’m pretty used to the pros and cons of the city life, what I’m not used to is the literal ups and downs.

Since I’ve never lived in a building that is more than five floors, the fact that I’m now living at the 10th floor and has a parking space in Basement 5 (B5) still feels odd and a bit sad. While we have state of the art elevator, the fact that it takes me more than three minutes to get my car out of the building sucks. Coming from B5, finally seeing the B1 sign is like opening Santa’s present. It feels like Christmas.  It makes me smile and eager for the rest of the day. That’s a good thing right?   

It’s been four months now and we’re still not fully adjusted. I miss Vero and her home cooked meals =(  Donna misses her late night runs along the village. Anne misses the village guards (hehehe!).

I know we’re in a good place now (read: the nearest mall is just across the street), it’s just that B5 really sucks.

Posted in nightcaps

i’m “still single” because….

January 30, 2010

For the past couple of (dog) years I’ve pondered about my lack of success in the dating department.  I know I’m not lacking in the looks or personality department (coz friends and family constantly reassure me) so I really had a hard time figuring out why I morphed from a “single” twenty something into a “still single” thirty something.  Until today.

Now I know.

Just a couple of hours ago, while I was preparing my dinner, I finally figured out my biggest flaw.  I have zero kitchen skills.

Remember my disastrous ginisang corned beef con meatloaf?

While I have basic frying and sautéing skills, I can’t even cook adobong kangkong without the help of the internet.  My netbook spent so much time in the kitchen counter it now smells of onion and garlic.

That’s why I’m “still single”.  No matter how hard I try or how I often I stay glued on Lifestyle Network watching all the cooking shows.  I can’t seem to imbibe the Martha Stewart spirit.  I know that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but, somehow, I can’t get there.  I’m constantly lost ‘coz I can’t seem to follow simple directions.

A couple of hours ago, I got hungry so I opened a bottle of Spanish sardines.  Since I can’t eat stuff straight from the bottle, I followed the basic ginisa recipe.  I had no trouble doing the basics.  I sautéed garlic, onions and tomatoes without a glitch but I can’t say the same about the “then add the Spanish sardines in olive oil” part.  As I was pouring the sardines from the bottle, I was surprised when I saw large chunks of fish instead of the usual tiny fish that they also use to make tuyo.  WTF?

Dumbfounded, I naturally checked the bottle label and it was then that I realized that what I have was the bangus (milkfish) version.

Ooops!  I did it again.  Another label disaster.  I should have paid more to attention to Nestle’s commercial slogan.  It really “pays to look at the label”.

The (really) sad thing was the fact that I was the one who went grocery shopping.  I (obviously) grabbed the wrong bottle.  To top it all, I grabbed two wrong ones.

Haayyy, how stupid can I get?

Now you also know.

I’m “still single” because not only can’t I f**king cook, I also can’t do grocery shopping.

Men may not be as intuitive as women but I’m pretty sure that they can smell my lack of kitchen skills from a mile away.

been there done that!

January 6, 2010
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My Lakbayan grade is C+!

“C+” is good kaya lang I thought I would at least get a “B”.

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