Viewing: temporarily spouseless

Mango salsa

Greetings, members of the Temporarily Spouseless Club, and friends!

Today, we will put our idle hours — not to mention our delicious payload of Cebu mangoes — to good use by making mango salsa!

The scent of mangoes and cilantro will surely brighten up your mood and make you forget that it will be two more long and dull nights until your Traveling Spouse returns! It’s like sunshine in your kitchen… and in your miserable lonely heart!

There are a number of useful mango salsa recipes on the web. If you find yourself staring at an inordinate amount of unused produce in your refrigerator (a clear sign that it’s been a Temporarily Spouseless week!), you may want to just use these helpful suggestions as a base and throw in a few other odds and ends!

For my own version of mango salsa, I used the following:

  • 2 ripe mangoes, flesh chopped
  • 3 quarters of a large onion, diced
  • Small handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • One medium red chili, de-seeded and chopped (I left in some of the seeds because I know my Traveling Spouse likes a little bit of warmth!)
  • Juice and grated zest of two medium limes 
  • A dash of sea salt
  • A dash of pepper
Just chop everything and chuck it into a jar! Jamie Oliver likes to drizzle a little olive oil into mixtures like this to “loosen up” the flavors, but I think it’s okay to skip this step.

Then, mix all the ingredients with a spoon and taste! Mmm… tangy!

Cover the jar tightly to ensure that the salsa will still be lovely and ready to enjoy when your Traveling Spouse returns! This will be great with pan-fried salmon or even some grilled chicken. Perfect for a welcome home dinner as he presents you with a plethora of gifts from his latest trip!
Till the next meeting of the Temporarily Spouseless Club… keep busy!

The Temporarily Spouseless Club

This weekend I know of two friends who are, like me, finding ways to while away the time while their spouses are away.

All three of us have been uncharacteristically active on Facebook, documenting our restlessness. Gerwin has been having the same kind of weekend as I am — catching up on stockpiled movies and TV series, doing chores, doing short errand jaunts — in Hong Kong while his wife Charlie and their newborn darling George are in Manila. Tria has been diligently occupying herself with art, music and the company of friends while her husband Peter is in Paris for work.

Unlike Tria, I decided to stay in all weekend. I figured that one of the upsides to Marlon being in Manila over the weekend was that I can stay in bed all day and not feel guilty about it. I am a hundred times more of a sloth than he is and he gets restless if we’re still in bed after 10am. So I usually compromise and rouse myself from my hibernation.

So I gleefully made the bed my base of activities for the whole of Saturday. With the exception of cooking lunch and watching Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros in the TV roomI staunchly parked my ass in bed until about 4 o’clock.

At which time it began to get old. Really old. Which spurred me into a frenzy of activity.

After doing two loads of laundry, washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, uploading nearly 400 pictures of Bohol to Facebook, reading various blogs,writing a blog post about Cebu, chatting with my mom, watching Food Inc on my laptop, and eating dinner, I was stuck. It seemed I had run out of things to do.

So I (GASP!) exercised. I walked/jogged 5 km, or five laps around the condo. Who would think that boredom/desperation would be my key driver for physical activity?

Today I woke up at 9:30 a.m, went to Mass, did the groceries (remembering to bring my canvas bag!), and had so much time to kill that I took the bus instead of hopping into a cab, and going home, obediently queued for 20 minutes at the taxi stand instead of fast-booking a taxi. Could it be that being single makes me more active, less impatient and more thrifty?

And all the while, I was accompanied by my short-time, temporary spouses — an iPod Shuffle (which I never would have bought on my own! Thanks Ate!) and a good book. These must be the proverbial cards for card-carrying members of the Temporarily Spouseless Club.

Back from business

I’m back from my first ever business trip! While the people closest to me, Marlon and my sister, have been pretty much jetting all over the world on business for many many years, this weekend marks the first time I have had to travel anywhere requiring a passport, in a professional capacity.

I spent the last six days in Kuala Lumpur on a shoot for a long-running project. The team that flew down was composed of me, James, Jerrold, Mike and Leang — a producer, director, assistant director/editor, graphic designer and director of photography, respectively. We each got our own rooms in a surprisingly decent hotel: the Dorsett Regency right smack in the middle of Bukit Bintang in downtown KL. For $70/night, the hotel wasn’t bad at all! The location couldn’t be beat, and it was a dead ringer for the pre-renovation Manila Pen.
The whole experience of being away on business seemed slightly surreal to me. It was like I had momentarily stepped out of reality into something that was pretending to be my life, but was distinctly separate from it. Shooting on location all day and coming home to an empty hotel room simply nothing to do with my “real” life. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, and I even feel grateful that my days were so full and I was so tired there wasn’t much room for loneliness.
But I felt like being away had hit the “pause” button on something inside me (my ability to be fully present? To fully enjoy an experience?) and I was just waiting for the time when I could… unpause myself.
Still, it feels good to be sent to another country because of something that I can do, and do reasonably well. (Let’s hope it’s a good sign of more travels to come, hmm?) I enjoyed spending time with my team (it’s James’ last shoot before he leave the company) and my sister and her friends. I also enjoyed the “me” time in the cushy hotel room, and shoe shopping in Sungei Wang, the Greenhills/Tutuban Mall of Kuala Lumpur. And of course completing a successful shoot always gives me a high.
But now I’m back home, cocooned in the arms of my Bulgari-scented husband (he knows I love it so he wore it to the airport!), in the comfort of my very own home, and in the spotty affections of my tempestuous cat. And no professional high can beat that.

Soothe me

so i could blog about the epic mcdonalds delivery fail that took 3.5 hours to reach my house. but i have wasted far too much of my saturday on them as it is, and i really need something to bring my temper down to a nice normal level again.

good think jett shared the latest arrangement by eric whitacre, one of my (and acs’s) favorite choral composers, a setting of rudyard kipling’s “the seal lullaby” for female voices. 
have a listen, it’s beautifully haunting and lush. i must have listened to it at least half a dozen times today.
i looked up the words of the complete poem, and reading it is just what i needed to lay this long and at times frustratingly pointless day to rest.

Seal Lullaby by Rudyard Kipling
Oh! hush thee, my baby, the night is behind us
And black are the waters that sparkled so green.
The moon, O’er the combers, looks downward to find us
At rest in the hollows that rustle between.
Where billow meets billow, there soft be thy pillow.
Oh, weary wee flipperling, curl at thy ease!
The storm shall not wake thee, no shark overtake thee
Asleep in the arms of slow-swinging seas.

thank goodness for pleasures like music, and friends who love to share, and discovering poems. we all need things like these.

and after just one more night’s sleep, marlon will be home :)

Domestic bliss

i had plans to get up bright and early to swim this morning. when i woke up (after a surprisingly deep sleep – TY melatonin!) it wasn’t bright — just overcast and even slightly chilly. well as chilly as singapore mornings can get anyway. i knew that pool water was going to be cold, so i will venture out this afternoon and see if it gets any warmer.

plus i’m not feeling too well — a slight cough and the beginnings of a cold. i sure hope this isn’t H1N1… i’m going to the states in two weeks!

so here i am bundled up in my nice grey comforter from aussino (i love aussino!), having a cup of neon yellow panadol. rogue and i are enjoying lots of quality time together. fortunately she’s being a good girl, mostly staring out the window at the pigeons on the ledge (dreaming of dismemberment LOL), and leaping into bed once in a while to rub her face on the sheets and demand some cuddling.

marlon called twice this morning: once at 9am when he landed in LAX, and another time after traipsing around the airport and being horrified at the size of all the meals. i’m glad he landed safely; even more glad to hear him report that he cleared arrival AND domestic check-in within 45 minutes. that gives me a rush of hope for our amazing race-ish dash to tor’s wedding.

i miss marlon already, but gotta be thankful for the small things — like having the chance to stay in bed till noon.

A long week(end) ahead

i’ve been so relaxed at work, i didn’t even realize a long weekend was coming up! unlike several times in the past where work was so hectic that i felt long weekends couldn’t come fast and often enough. sunday is singapore’s national day, and thus monday is a public holiday.

this time, i’m just kinda *mehhhhh* about it. what’s really looming over me is marlon’s long business trip. he’s leaving this sunday afternoon for cincinnati, OH and will only be back the following monday! eight whole days! waaah!

when his company slashed travel budgets early this year, i was ecstatic. i had marlon all to myself! i always have the most horrible insomnia whenever he goes away. it got so bad that i reached a point where only an irrational paranoia about dying like heath ledger kept me from popping sleeping pills. seriously.

*moment of silence for his departed hotness*

apart from the insomnia, things just seem less fun when he’s not around.

and this time, we’re not going to be able to talk as often because of the 12-hour time difference. i guess now we get to know what it’s like to be in a “real” long distance relationship. i always thought we were so lucky to be living in the same time zone and just a 3-hour plane ride away during the four years we spent apart.

so much time to fill… i actually made a list of things to do while marlon is away.

  • clean closet and fold clothes (a monthly task that i always put off. you would too if you saw my closet)
  • get my pinoy indie movie fix by watching ang pagdadalaga ni maximo oliveros and serbis (freshly downloaded torrents)the files have no audio! grrrr!!!
  • catch up on my blogging (mimi’s wedding! my espn shoot!)
  • finish reading the alchemy of mirrormask (i’ve been into behind-the-scenes books lately, care of the national library)
  • return books and renew library card
  • scout for carry-on luggage and new undies at takashimaya
  • preliminary shopping for something to wear to tor’s wedding! (i say preliminary because i only plan to buy clothes the weekend before i go — to maximize weight loss)
  • give myself a pedicure
  • do yoga and muay thai
  • swim and sunbathe (most likely i will just end up sleeping in)
  • watch bruno with my TA gays
  • pay a visit to my ob-gyne, or O&G as they say here
  • do the groceries (boreroo)

not the most exciting list huh? especially when i’m just going to doing everything by myself. by some strange magic, even the most mundane activities always seem like so much fun when marlon’s around. and that’s what i’ll really miss when he’s away this week.

*cue “all by myself” by celine dion*