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Showing posts from September, 2010

What rice do you buy?

Because I'm a heavy rice-eater, I often find that my work easily gets mixed with my social life. At reunions with family or friends, I normally get asked about my job.
What rice do you buy? 
That's normally the first thing I ask in an attempt to explain what I do. Without being too technical about my work: I'm looking for the reasons behind the overall texture (or mouthfeel) of cooked rice (mainly those from Southeast Asia and from Africa) and then determining the genetics behind these reasons. 
The typical reaction I get when I answer a question about what I do is, "So what? I don't really care about the rice I buy. I get what's available in the market." Hmm... this scenario is so different from what I'd expect from people whose lives are tangibly attached to the rice farm. I get the impression that a lot of the people I've talked with, most of whom are from the urban jungle, take rice for granted. 
Surely, however, these people have opinions about t…

Still car-less...

I just found out from the service advisor assigned to my car that Honda's getting a rear windshield from overseas for my car. It looks like I'll have more car-less days ahead. From the way things look, repairs might finish just before November. Haay...
On the bright side, that means that I wouldn't have to spend so much on gas.

Good bye braces; hello retainers

I've been an orthodontic patient (again) for the past few years, thanks to the arrival of my upper wisdom teeth (that took 25 years to erupt). The upper teeth have been off the braces for a few months now; two Saturdays ago, I also let go of my lower teeth's braces. Just this Saturday, I got a retainer for these teeth. =) Yey!
As always, the first few days of wearing the new retainer is difficult because I have to adapt to the new appliance. So far, so good; my gums have seemingly adjusted and there's not that much pain. However, this retainer isn't the final one yet. My orthodontist is preparing another one with a better fit, which I will be getting on Saturday.
Plus, since I tend to grind my teeth at night, I'm also getting a mouthguard (which looks like an invisible retainer).

Anna Patricia Cuevas, R.N.

Today, my sister formally takes on the title Registered Nurse (R.N.) along with some 37,000 other passers of the July 2010 Nursing Board Examinations. 
Let the job-hunting begin...


My car was rear-ended early this month. Fourteen days after the incident, the car is now in the manufacturer's service centre. It will be confined there for the next few weeks, for the length process of fixing the rear glass window (mainly) and the car's rear door.

Hence, a car-less garage for at least two weeks, that is, if the parts needed for repairs and the documents submitted to the repair facility are in order. That's a long vacation for my car, and lots of walking for me!

You have long hair, I get it!

Is it proper to keep swishing long hair in front of food laid out on a table? 
My sister and some of my cousins wear their hair long but I've never noticed excessive hair-flicking among them. Even Jan Brady didn't touch her hair too much during dinner in A Very Brady Sequel (1996). And she's the one who walked a funny way to make sure that her hair swayed behind her.
Tonight, however, I was eating dinner in peace when a girl arrived and sat with her friends (who happened to be sharing the six-seater table I occupied first). She kept trying to get the attention of people sitting behind my seat, I think, and was flicking her shoulder-length hair incessantly. I wouldn't have minded if she (1) was not rowdy; (2) she wasn't constantly swishing/ flicking/ repositioning her hair for the non-stop photo shoot; and (3) her hair wasn't dangerously close to my dinner (at least from my point of view).
Irritating, right?


Kanya-kanyang bayad.

That's what I answered to a friend when he asked if dinner during our get-together last night was going to be paid for by our friends (since grade school) who are currently visiting the Philippines. I'm not sure if the question was asked in jest or if he was dead serious; however, I think that letting these two classmates pay for our meals is unfair (unless if they insisted). Both of them are students, while the rest of us are already working.
The person who asked me about dinner wasn't able to join.

CSI's 30th anniversary special

The Christian School International Alumni Association celebrated CSI's 30th anniversary with an alumni homecoming on August 21 at the CSI gymnasium. It was a relatively well-attended event, and well-received too; employees of the school who have been there for at least 20 years were acknowledged and were given awards.

I was able to walk around the campus before the program at the gymnasium began. I absolutely loved how pre-school pupils expressed their greetings to CSI on this important occasion:

Brought back a lot of good old memories.

Softball after-party, Green Team style

The softball players of the Green Team (of this year's IRRI Sportsfest) celebrated winning second place by singing, eating, and drinking last August 11. The coaches and the president of the fan club/cheering squad were there too. Looks like everyone had a great time!

My car was hit by an unknown vehicle before dawn today. Tsk.

I figured in a road accident before dawn today (at around 5.00am). My car was hit by an unknown vehicle. I wasn't able to get the make and model because I moved my car to the shoulder of the highway, thus avoiding confrontation with a possibly drunk or sleep-deprived driver, or worse, a robber. By then, the other vehicle had left the scene. 
After giving the car a once-over and seeing that I could drive it while searching for a police officer and a well-lit place, I continued on and reached the Shell Station near San Juan de Letran College. That's where I saw the damage: a hole in the rear window, which was cracked so much I couldn't see what's behind me; a relatively serious dent near the window, indicating the path of whatever skewered that part of the car; plus scratches along the bumper and the left rear mudguard. The insurance people might see more when they inspect the car. 
I was lucky that the mobile police patrol was already set up and very visible at the Pet…

Focus on food allergies

I am allergic to seafood. The limited set of marine animals I could eat include bivalves (molluscs and oysters), gindara (sablefish or butterfish) and lapu-lapu (grouper). My co-workers and friends have only seen mild reactions; in those times, I just dash off to a corner pharmacy. But at the worst reactions, I ALWAYS land in hospital and get attached to an intravenous dose of antihistamines (and only my family and cousins have so far seen me in that state).
Because of my allergies, eating out is quite a challenge. I usually interview waiters about the ingredients of the food I'm ordering. So when I happened to see The Food Network's special on food allergens entitled "Edible Enemies", I just had to stop what I was doing and pay attention to the show.
Chef Ming Tsai, the owner of Blue Ginger (restaurant) and who has cooking shows in the Lifestyle Network, was featured in "Edible Enemies". He has a compilation of recipes and potential allergens of each …