Thursday, March 24, 2011

I don't think I really look like the typical Led Zeppelin fan let alone a groupie, but I just had to look up the lyrics of this amazing song (which is like the ultimate choice for a first dance!) that our friend Mark C. covered so awesomely at a friend's wedding last Wednesday - yes, you've read correctly, Wednesday - just one of the unconventional details of the occasion, which to describe in one or two (?) words, was sooooo *anti-establishment* and yet soooo cool! Congrats & Best Wishes, Cedric and Becky:

"Thank You"

If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.

Kind woman, I give you my all, Kind woman, nothing more.

Little drops of rain whisper of the pain, tears of loves lost in the days gone by.
My love is strong, with you there is no wrong,
together we shall go until we die. My, my, my.
An inspiration is what you are to me, inspiration, look... see.

And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.
Happiness, no more be sad, happiness....I'm glad.
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ok, so I'm quite relieved that some two weeks after his hair mishap/"Bieber gone disaster"/it's called the one who cut it (who we won't mention here!) lacks the dexterity to cut a straight line/it's jaden's fault for not holding still, Jaden's looking half-decent, with a little help of course from my friend/pro/my very own hairdresser, Lyne, who I heart, heart, heart!!!!

I'm also glad that some three weeks after Jaden's bout of the flu, he has finally beefed up again after having lost all of his chub from going on a self-declared hunger strike for an entire week. Somehow, his doctor's reassurance that "kids won't starve themselves to death" and that "he'll eat at some point" didn't offer me any comfort and did very little to allay my fears. I'd say his "taking up" ice cream at grandma's had a lot to do with his weight gain, though, which is really a typically grandma-ish thing to do: spoil and indulge the grandkids with things they'd never imagine giving their own children back in the day or even now!

I figured I'd allow him a considerable amount of latitude with the whole ice-cream thing, temporarily, that is. And bought us some on the next grocery run. But there's a reason why I don't buy ice cream and keep it in the house: because I will decimate it in no time. And sure enough, we finished the whole tub between the three of us (Maya) within a day. At one point, Jaden od'd on it and was shivering from the cold - I guess that officially makes me an evil evil mom!!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Profile: Lim Collao, for the FF

As a self-admitted “workaholic,” Lim Collao is not one to lounge around on the couch, wielding the remote control for hours on end like some of his contemporaries. At his ripe age of 69, one might think that by now he had certainly earned the right to relax as he pleases, but Lim chooses otherwise. He presently holds a part-time position at Avis, which satisfies his need for meaningful occupation, the pay, of course, is just an added benefit!

Industry runs in his veins. His late father, Raymundo Collao was a hardworking elementary school teacher. Lim recalls how his father would, day after day, diligently and meticulously prepare lesson plans for the following day late into the wee hours of the morning, after which he would snatch a few winks of sleep, arise, and while still dark, ride his bike almost fifteen kilometers to the neighboring city where he taught.

Raymundo Collao taught his children, both by example and word, the importance of hard work. He also helped them to appreciate the necessity of a good education. The pay off? Limneo and the rest of his siblings completed their studies and were all presented with the opportunity to work abroad. His late sister Adelina Collao Malumbres, a nurse, was the first to leave the Philippines. In the mid-sixties she immigrated to Canada. She worked at a hospital in a little- known-of town called Cupar in Saskatchewan. A few years later she decided to move east and settled in Montreal. It was here that she filed an application for the sponsorship of her brother Lim.

At the time, Lim was working as a soundman at the Manila Hilton Hotel, after which he was hired to work abroad, in a similar capacity, as a sound equipment technician/road manager for an entertainment company serving the American bases in Saigon, Vietnam. Upon arrival in Canada in 1974, being the responsible family head he was, Lim did not hesitate to take on odd jobs. “As long as they were a decent and honest way to eke out a living, it was okay with me.” He explained. Eventually, he secured the position as a photocopier service technician for Office Equipment Co. of Canada. In 1975 he accepted an offer as an assistant supervisor of technical services from Saulton Business Machines Co. But his career did not stop there when he made a 180 degree and took a completely different line of work as a seaman in 1978 where his mechanical ability was tapped and put to good use. That career ended in 1987 when he decided to take another job as a general maintenance person for the Baker Textile Co that preceded his final full-time employment in the maintenance department at the Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, in charge of the locksmithing. He retired in 2006.

Over the years, Lim earned himself the reputation of being a dependable and honest employee and all of his employers valued him and held him in high esteem. Every single one of them would be reluctant to accept his resignation, and would assure him that his position would still be waiting for him, “should you change your mind.” But Lim always insisted on never passing up opportunities for growth.

Being a workaholic can carry a somewhat negative connotation, conveying an imbalance, or a failure on one’s part to set their priorities straight. Perhaps, even implying the tendency to relegate the more important things in life such as family to the back burner, so to speak. This hasn’t been the case with Lim. He has always been a devoted family man and an exemplary and very involved member of the Filipino community, of which, he and his wife, Siony have become beloved and well-respected “fixtures.” Lim was at the helm of the FAMAS from 1991 to 1992. He founded and served as the first President of the Bicol Association of Quebec. He also served terms as both Vice President External and Trade and Commerce Director of the FFCAQ. He is currently the President of the Filipino Golden Agers of Quebec.

Lim pursues many hobbies like fishing, hunting and gardening among others. And much to the delight of his better-half, is extremely handy around the house, from doing minor repairs like fixing leaking taps to finishing much more ambitious projects. Not too many years ago he surprised Siony with a deck that he built single-handedly from scratch while she was away on a two-week European tour, and rewarded himself after with a well-deserved brand new barbecue grill!

These days, Lim divides his time between work, the community and most importantly, his only granddaughter, Kaya, age 3 years – the apple of his eye!
Ok, so I have an identity crisis - I'm not quite Filipino and not quite Canadian, but these days I'm kinda leaning more towards the former. I'm a very disgruntled tropical girl, any more of this crappy Montreal weather will impel me to run amok.....

Sunday, March 6, 2011

On Three Piece-Suits...

Shortly before I graduated from school, they held the usual annual career week to help place students into jobs and equip them with the necessary job-hunting skills, etc., etc., Instructors would play the role of potential employers and conduct mock interviews where we would have to dress up accordingly. I clearly recall a male Italian (yes, his background is totally relevant!) classmate of mine who showed up in a three-piece suit. Our teacher kindly but not so discreetly pointed out to him within plain sight and earshot of all of us that the "right" to wear such a suit is "earned." Poor Joe (or was it Tony?) never challenged this, and neither did I rebutt - I guess, it is because I silently agreed with her assertion. It kinda made sense to me at the time that one would need to have a title attached to his name to pull off a three-piecer - either that or you would need to be plain metro, like Kumee...or both!

Ok, so any self-respecting, self or otherwise proclaimed "fashionista" must have read Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic" series or at the very least have seen its screen adaptation. There's a scene in there where our darling protagonist Rebecca Bloomwood, is re-touching in the ladies room right before a function. She notices a thread sticking out of her copiously bead-embellished bolero and with one swift yank, sends the beads a skittering and scattering, leaving the floor strewn with a million of the shiny tiny orbs, rendering the jacket unwearable. She deftly and heroically breaks a middle-aged woman's nasty fall from slipping on the beads that could very well have resulted in a fractured hip requiring a replacement, and yet after all of what had transpired, unfazed, Becky, heads out without her bolero, in a black and white dress which bears a striking resemblance to the banquet servers' uniform, and naturally, in a funny turn of events, gets mistaken for one...

Why did I take pains to relate this to you? Because whenever a man decides to wear a three-piece suit outside of the cold and imposing confines of the boardroom, and especially at a wedding or another formal event or soiree (where cocktails are served!) sans his jacket perhaps feeling too warm after an energetic cha-cha-cha number or two (lol) he is venturing a risk of being mistaken for the hired help. To make this possiblility as remote as, uh, possible, and avoid yourself some needless embarassment, forget the good 'ol white shirt this time, and pair the suit up with a jauntier one and a good-quality (must I even say it??) complementing tie so that at the very least, you'll be known as the "well-dressed maitre d'."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Finding a niche topic for my other blog has considerably narrowed down the subjects that I write about, well, that was kinda like the whole point! Seriously though, whereas before, I would blog about pretty much everthing and anything under the sun from random things like my little rubber thimble thingy at work which really, as I had explained in the past, is quite insignificant in the grander scheme of things, but in the office assistant's paper-filled world, has got to be the next best thing to sliced bread! to my shopping escapades, ok, so I have a compulsive shopping habit, so what? I kinda still do, blog on diverse subjects, that is, here at least, but my other blog is devoted to all things exclusively Metro, with Kumar being the star. It's a good thing especially in this information age, where everyone's just inundated with so much, where there exists real and not just imagined afflictions like writer's (and reader's!) block and people have more reading material at their disposal in a day, than individuals once had in their entire lifetime.

I personally find women's fashion to be quite daunting a realm to navigate, it's vast and "ever-expanding" kinda like the universe itself! Men's fashion on the other hand, is a lot more forgiving with its relatively smaller scope. That works for me! Don't get me wrong, though, there's still so much to learn and explore and it's humbling - between the Donegal, Herringbone and Prince of Wales tweed. French cuffs and single cuffs, spread and military collars. Ties - skinny ones, bowties and ascots, etc, etc. Then there are the different labels and designers, from the younger set like the Fayed brothers behind Bespoken, up and coming ones that I've never even heard of before and whose work I have had the pleasure to (eye-candy!) discover like Ovadia and Sons, etc., to the members of fashion royalty which I could attempt to enumerate but can't possibly exhaust.