JK Rowling overtakes Queen in British rich list

With 280 million pounds ($445.5 million), the author -- who wrote her first Potter novel while a single mother living on a state benefit of $111 a week -- is now Britain's 122nd richest person. Of her fortune, $239 million came from her books and the rest from film rights and Harry Potter merchandise. The fifth book in the series is due out this summer and the third film is on its way. Queen Elizabeth, with $398 million is ranked a mere 133rd on the list of her wealthy subjects. --- http://famulus.msnbc.com/

A graduate of Exeter University, a teacher, and then an unemployed single parent, Rowling wrote Harry Potter when "I was very low, and I had to achieve something. Without the challenge, I would have gone stark raving mad." But Rowling has always written; her first book was called "Rabbit." "I was about six, and I haven't stopped scribbling since." ---- http://www.insideharrypotter.com

Turning to my hubby I said, "Jer?...It's not too late FOR YOU to start writing books no?". To that he gave me the "Me-write-books-when-I-dont-even-have-the-time-to-blog" look. Woops! End of topic. Hehehe...
The Calm Before the Storm

gearing for the deadline

This is how my table looks while waiting for the reports to come in for consolidation. Today is month-end. Tomorrow is a National Holiday. May 2 is the closing of the accounting books. That leaves me with tonight, tomorrow and the whole of Friday to finish up all the checking and the adjustments. Haay, I know there's more to life than just chasing deadlines...


This or That Tuesday: The *Take Comfort* Edition

Take Comfort...

Which is more comforting for you...

1. Lying down on the couch, or stretching out on a recliner? Lying down on the couch

2. Going barefoot or wearing soft slippers? Going barefoot (keeps the floor clean too!)

3. Eating ice cream, or pizza? Eating ice cream is less filling but pizza is also fine.

4. Watching on TV...a classic movie or a reality show? When I feel like vegetating, any show will do.

5. Wearing: blue jeans or sweat pants? Blue jeans work for me...anytime (even at work on some days).

6. A long, soothing bubble bath or a quick, invigorating shower? Sorry no tub so that will have to be a quick invigorating shower

7. Furniture: leather, or something more on the fuzzy side? Any as long as its soft

8. Soft, classical music, or upbeat rock & roll? For some strange reason, I love to relax to music with a strong bass sound.

9. Darkness or light? Somewhere in between...

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You get married, or otherwise begin cohabitating with a significant other. S/he moves into your place, but brings with them the UGLIEST chair you have ever seen! You really don't want this thing in your home, but SO says it is the most comfy chair s/he has ever sat in, and no way will they part with it. Do you: grin and bear it, or scheme to get rid of the monstrosity somehow? Try to get rid of the monstrosity somehow.
Driven by Paranoia

The kids' appointment with their pediatrician was set for this morning at number 11 and 12. Knowing that the doctor is not one who will rush an appointment (we love her for that) we estimated our turn to be after lunch. While having lunch at home, I resorted to the proven tactic of bribing my boys with a toy this weekend if they would agree to the immunizations. They agreed. Hehe. But while on the way, my 9-year old kept asking if its going to be a thick vaccine like some which they had before. My 6-year old would reply: "Just don't think of the injection. Think of the toy."

Arriving early for our turn, we were not comfortable staying at the waiting area for fear of contracting any viral infection (aka SARS). We decided to wait in the car and called the clinic every 15 minutes to check if it was our turn. By 3pm we were on our way up to the 2nd floor clinic. We refrained from letting anything attached to our bodies get in contact with the rails and walls. I was even holding a bottle of alcohol and promptly rinsed our hands after touching the clinic's door knob. To make the story short, what was supposed to be a children's appointment turned out to be a family appointment where we all got shots against influenza and pneumonia. Yes, paranoia is starting to creep in and we have these shots (figuratively and literally) to prove it.

kyle's flu shotkyle's pneumonia shotmatt's flu shotjerry's flu shot

One can never be too sure, right? Better to be paranoid than sick. Total cost of vaccines (1 pneumonia and 4 influenza) = P4,500.00

The colored and boldly written words in our AVP's memo flash in my mind. All the hullaballoo is only because somebody somewhere in the 8th or top floor offices at EDSA messed up an otherwise smooth procedure. Now the Regional Heads (me included) are being accused of sitting on the problem. They (EDSA people) conducted a meeting with our subagent and committed on certain details without cascading these commitments to the (Regional) people who are tasked to deliver. (FYI, we are a telecommunication service provider and money remittance agent, mind you.). And now they are blaming the regions for sitting on the problem? Why are we being hounded for their lapses?

Maybe this is a valuable lesson to everyone about "working on the details" so that things happen correctly. Things don't happen by chance, people make them happen.


Humid! Too warm for comfort that's a mild way of putting it, the weather these past days. Gives you a good enough reason to go to the malls and hunt for the best value special halo-halo concoction that you could find. We made a quick rundown of the outlets in Ayala Center that sold this native snack cum dessert and thought of Ice Castle, Goldilocks and Chowking. We chose the third for the flexibility it offered from no ice cream, to 1 scoop or 2 scoops. As if it mattered. We were actually attracted to the big colored posters of bowls of this cooler displayed on the glass walls. Suckers. We finished off two bowls with 1 scoop ice cream plus 2 dimsum platters. That was the highlight yesterday.

This morning, we all trooped to Ayala Center (again) to watch the first screening (for the day) of Johnny English. We expected to laugh for most part of the movie and we were not disappointed. It was like watching a long Mr. Bean show with Rowan Atkinson having more speaking lines. His timing was great, it was just hilarious!


Good Food, Good Company
(a photoblog, hover for pic description)

After a long day at work yesterday and an afternoon of nonstop meetings (for Jerry), I invited Jerry for dinner. It was a unanimous decision to go to Arano's in Guadalupe for their famous Spanish steaks.

We got to the place by 830p and found it packed with groups of famished diners. After leading us to an empty table for two by the garden, the gracious lady got our orders. In a short while, dinner was served.

The oh so yummy peppery lamb chop and the delectable fillet mignon satisfied our cravings. Superbly delicious! Even the desserts were great. Another score for Arano's.

In a flash, this is what remained of the lamb chop and the fillet mignon.

Good food, good company and a bill of P372 !, how can you go wrong? *burp*


Action Shots

step1-plate on placemat step2-the spoon and fork for pa the same for ma only she is right-handed for ahia then for me for a complete 360 degree turn!

My 6-year old Kyle's assigned daily task, since summer vacation began, is to set the breakfast table. The clanging of the plates usually gave Jerry and me the signal to get up from bed. It succeeds in getting us up after the cuckoo clock and alarms have failed. That was during his first few attempts though. Now, Kyle has mastered the art of setting the table to perfection.

Hover for pic description.
Spot the Difference!

Met up with my 1st degree cousins, Agnes and Mimi last night for dinner. And below are some grainy shots (forgot to set the cam) taken right before dinner at Golden Cowrie (highly recommended native resto if you are in Cebu. Try their imbao soup and kangkong, to name a few.). The chatter was endless, everyone had a story to tell. Old stories dating 10 years back. We felt more time was needed even after the resto and Bo's Coffee Club bade the last of their customers (for the day) goodbye.

agnes, mimi and me

beauties? from surigao

It's great seeing dear old cousins. What more can I say? Good genes certainly run in this family!


My cousin Agnes (on my father's side) is in town and cousin Mimi and I will be meeting her at 630pm tonight for dinner. She stays in Marriott but we will probably be going to eat some place else. I'm looking forward to a lot of "catching up stories". It's literally been ages since we all last saw each other.

Before I sign-off from work to get ready for dinner, I'll leave my blog with a couple of pics of me and some office colleagues after a late meeting last night. Taken at Tequila Joe's (yes we have it here in Cebu too).

me and melissa having iced capuccino and latte one for the road for lito and mike

Now this is getting to be more of a photoblog don't you think?
Altis 1.6G dash

What a beauty... our latest gift from above...
While taking a short break from work today and reading forwarded emails, among the rest, this one made me appreciate the meaning of the word unconditional. I'm sharing it to all.

Giving when it counts.

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister.

I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her." As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away?".

Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.


I was in a hurry to get dressed this morning and unlike other days, I only went through about 2 "costume" changes before I finally made a decision. The navy bootleg was paired with a bluish gray poly-lycra long-sleeved top which was folded up at elbow's length and tucked to show off my slim (?) waistline. Hmmm, not bad. I thought as I surveyed myself intentionally in front of my 9-year old son who was busy brushing his teeth.

"Hey Matt. What do you think?", I asked striking a pose and feeling confident. "How do I look?"

"Hmm..." Matt said giving me the head-to-foot. "You look like... an office worker." (Hu-WAT???)

My ego just went PFFFT!

(I am that from 8-5 everyday 5x a week and sometimes beyond that so I was hoping this time he'd say something like supermodel (?) or celebrity (?). Hey, what was I thinking? Some days you wish your kids could just humor you with a little white lie.)

Aaw...jerry and the kiddos look all cushy this morning, snuggled together and sleeping like babes...

Yey! Matt knows how to fix their beds and fold the fleece blankies. One of the (few?) things Matt learned this summer. . Hehe. Love you Matts!


...Matt and Kyle at breakfast this morning. Talk about carbo-loading! They had spaghetti, rice and fried fish and they seem to enjoy it.

I'm now waiting for Jerry to get me. We have lunch at home everyday... Something which Cebu traffic could still allow us to enjoy and a luxury which most office people from Manila couldn't do... even if they wanted to.

I'm off to lunch...the kids are waiting.
When I'm at work in my office, one of my aversion is the telephone. It's quite annoying especially when you're in the middle of something on a "rush"-ian day. I sometimes go to the extent of forwarding my calls to my staff (bad of me). I'd rather coordinate with office colleagues using the email.

However, things have changed a bit since Kyle memorized my number. When my phone rings, it's either Matt or Kyle on the other line telling me that they already took a bath/brushed their teeth or had their afternoon nap or just asking my permission if they could be allowed to play the playstation or the computer (though it's actually the latter most of the time). Now that they've formed the habit of calling me, I don't forward my calls anymore...

Hmm, maybe I should get me a phone with caller ID...


Late Lunch Break

Take a 5-minute recess and click THIS. It's great entertainment...
Hero Builders???

Another enterprising soul is making a killing. Read THIS. What will they think of next?


He Lives!

He came down from heaven to do the will of the Father; which is that EVERYONE who looks to the Son, and believes in Him, shall have eternal life.
(John 6:38-40)

He gave us a new command. As He loved us, we MUST love one another.
(John 13:34)

He took upon Himself our griefs and carried our sorrows. He was wounded for our wrongdoings, and bruised for our sins. Upon Him was laid the chastisement that makes us whole, and by His stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:4-6)

No one took His life from Him; He laid it down on His own accord, because it was the command He received from the Father.
(John 10:18)

He is the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in Him will live and never die.
(John 11:25)



Just published a post about our dinner date early this evening but my index page wouldn't show the updates. For those of you who got here (on purpose or by mistake) there are 3 entries posted for April 19 (including this one). Can you see them? Either way, I guess it's just me or it's blogger acting up... AGAIN!
Ibarlucea Arano's

The absence of parked cars in front of his residence made us think that the place was closed. When Jerry tried to check, we were glad they were open to serve dinner. The small but quaint structure housing about 3 dinner tables were already reserved (take that!...reserved on Black Saturday) so we had to dine at the veranda. It was not your typical fine Spanish resto, but the whole place was cozy and fit for an intimate dinner with a small group of about 5-10 or 20 people.

We ordered paella (they are especially famous for this one, among other specialties), peppery lamb chops (a new item on their menu), tenderloin steak with mushroom, gambas al ajillo and glasses of red wine. The food and drink were perfect. The lamb chops and tenderloin steak were done medium to medium well. The portions were generous and we actually thought we wouldn't be able to finish.

In a short while, people started coming in. Cebuano, Tagalog and Chinese speaking diners. Young and old alike. So we were there, Jerry and I taking a trip down memory lane, talking about the past 11 years. We reminisced the good old days, and made plans for the future while sipping wine and enjoying the sumptuous Spanish meal al fresco. The dinner turned out to be a very good experience. It satisfied our cravings. It nourished our body and warmed our spirit. It made us look forward to more dates of this sort...

Best part of all, we only spent P620 (tip inclusive!).
Warm Thoughts

Fresh out of college in November 1989, I reported for work in one of the top auditing/consulting firms in the Phils. In that entry-level position, I felt like it was going to be a long way up the corporate ladder where a DLSU grad like me was being pitted against graduates of other reputable schools. Young as I was, I had no definite plans about my career nor about my future. So I took my sweet time and just did what I had to do. The only thought I had back then was to finish my 2-year contract with the firm and get myself pirated by another company. Little did I know that God had better plans for me.

It was in that same Makati office where I met the man who would clearly define what the future had for me. Because of his innate wit, charm and great sense of humor, because he could hold everybody's attention when he spoke, Jerry stood out among all the male yuppies in that 5th floor office. His credentials as a UP Engineering graduate was just the icing on the cake. We hit it off right away.

I did get to finish my 2-year stint with the company and I did get myself pirated. More than 13 years later, I landed the most challenging job of all where I realized my fullest potential. I now hold and manage 50% of the Jerry-Linnor partnership with God as our Consultant. Nothing is more rewarding than being a happy and contented wife to a loving husband like Jerry for 11 years. I wouldn't trade my position for anything. I love the man in my life (plus the 2 boys born from that 11-year union).

Happy 11th wedding anniversary Jerky! I love you! Mwa!


Blogger has gone bonkers on me again...My left panel is acting up and my revisions are not coming out correctly... What to do what to do? Guess its time to hit the sack. It will probably auto-correct itself tomorrow...

It's Good Friday. Let's all thank Him for what He did for us.


Proud Mom...

Went to Redemptorist Church this morning to have our confession. 1030am approximately and the confessional room was almost filled. It took us about an hour to have our turn. This year, we came more prepared and brought along a list of our past sins. My turn lasted for only about 3 minutes but it was a liberating experience to be able to say everything (i hope i didn't leave out any sin) to the priest and be given an absolution. Felt like I'm starting again with a clean slate. I wish I could do this more often.

While waiting for Jerry, Matt and me to be done, Kyle read his Bible on the front pew. I was really amused that he never complained about being bored. The girl on my left couldn't help noticing and started to ask me if Kyle was my son. I replied in the affirmative. She said they (she, her mom and brother) were impressed that a little boy like him enjoyed reading. "Bright siguro sya no? How did you train him to read like that?", she asked. Without bragging I just smiled and said, "Ok lang. He took after his elder brother who is also fond of reading". The truth is, I was really flattered at the observation and tried to resist the urge to talk tirelessly about how smart my kids were and how we try our best to encourage the kids to develop their interest in books, etcetera, etcetera.... Well if it weren't for the fact that we were church waiting in line, maybe I could have indulged myself... Hehe.


Time to Reflect

We had half day of work today, officially. However, after lunch, I was back in the office for last minute coordination with Treasury and some Visayas PCOs while Jerry had a pictorial for Jaycee Aspac at the Shangrila. He brought along Matt and Kyle since this was an opportunity for them too to get out of the house and enjoy some sun at the beach.

Work was done in an hour, so together with two of my officemates, we proceeded to SM and Ayala to wait out what remained of the afternoon. I noticed a lot of people in both places. The parking lots were full. A lot of local tourists are probably here for vacation. While at Bo's Coffee Club we even spotted some prominent political figures like Sonny Osmena, Lito Atienza, Kim Atienza and some familiar faces whose names I don't really know. A lot of families too were out either to enjoy the break or to stock up on junkfood from the supermarket. It seemed like the most natural thing to do. The papers are teeming with Easter and summer activities that spelled FUN in bold letters.

On a more serious note though, let us not be sidetracked by the vacation frenzy from the real occasion we are supposed to be celebrating. Let us remember that this is a 4-day Lenten break when we are supposed to reflect on the Passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ.


This or That Tuesday

1. File taxes as early as possible, or wait until the last possible minute? File as early as possible.

2. File electronically, or mail paper forms? File manually. BIR would computerize but not in this lifetime!

3. Prepare your own taxes, or have someone do it for you? A CPA does it for us. Jerry and I file jointly.

4. Are you a saver or a spender? I used to be a happy spender but now I'm TRYING my best to be a saver.

5. Do you prefer to carry cash, or pay with plastic (credit/debit cards), or by check? I prefer to pay with plastic (to accumulate more airmiles) but I pay in full every cycle.

6. You're broke and desperately need a job, but the only places that are hiring are retail or fast food places. Which would you pick? I'd pick retail. You get paid the same amount of minimum wage at both places but retail work is a lot easier I guess...

7. Keeping track of your money: are you more meticulous or careless about it? We are still reeling from the effects of bad money decisions so I am now meticulous about it. I know my cash net worth at any given day.

8. What do you do if you find yourself with a lot of change weighing down your purse/pocket/wallet? Do you try to spend it to *get rid of it*, or do you put it in a jar or a piggy bank? I put the coins in a "coin"tainer in my office drawer.

9. Which form of fake money do you like better...Monopoly money or those chocolate coins covered with gold foil? Chocolate coins covered with gold foil. Monopolu money isn't fun to eat.

10. Thought-provoking question of the week: You find a wallet containing $5,000 in cash, as well as several credit cards and the owner's drivers' license. Your rent is due tomorrow and you're short $200. Do you take the money (some or all of it) and mail back the wallet anonymously...or do you return the wallet with all contents intact? Hmm, that is a good question but without giving much thought about it, I would probably return it with all contents intact. Believe it or not!


Thank You...

Papa/Lolo for going out of your way (though you were sick) last Wednesday to go to Cubao to claim the car cd player and for bringing the same to Heritage Hotel where Jerry was having a meeting...
May for taking time to pick up the car cd player even if you would have wanted to stay in the car to catch up on your much needed sleep...
to the people in Toyota Mandaue for finding a way to connect the numerous wires of the cd player in the absence of the standard wire harness that should have come with it...
Dr. Carpio for being the kind dentist that you are to Matthew and Kyle and for even agreeing that we pay you with postdated checks...
PSBank for finally approving our loan even if it was much lower than we expected. At least we would be able to give the proceeds to Mama...
Mama for your patience even if we know how eager you are to pay for the house you have been wanting to buy...
to the people at Cartech for restoring the old Lancer to its original look. Gone are the dents and the loose-ends. Jerry and I would soon be able to sell it for a good price...
Matt and Kyle for being brave last Thursday, and for being understanding and contented with what you have...
Jerry for trying your best to balance your time and sparing precious hours with us...We know that your Japanese visitors are arriving today...
God for all the other blessings that are too numerous to list down.

(ps: Thank you too blogreaders for spending some time here.)