The Martha Stewart In Me

I used to be that little boy who could grow plants at will. It's the green thumb, people say. But I pay no heed to their suggestion. 

Left under my own device, I scoured the city for herbs and tiny shrubs for my small garden. I pick them from someone's green corner (often without their permission) with the plants' roots still intact. The thumb-sized plants are then carted home in plastic cups half-filled with water. They are then replanted in infant formula tin cans and covered in soil dug from a family friend's unused pots. 

The plants are left to grow, some at the mercy of passing children, with restless hands bent for destruction.

Garden plants breathe life into a stale room.

It was sheer passion that kept me going. None of the boys in the neighborhood would like to get caught doing gardening. 

Not even the soon-to-be-gay ones. 

A girl, who lived across the house was my sole companion. A convert to my hobby, she would ask for leftovers - stems with roots and leaves that were no longer needed for my pots. She would become my rival and partner at the same time. There were days when she would stay with me from noon to sundown, as I tend to my plants. And my mom got worried. She said, such friendly ties might grow into something deeper.

I stopped seeing her when we were high school freshmen. Mom had enough of our closeness after I went missing for a day. After searching the neighborhood for any trace of my presence, I was found at the girl's place doing some crafts using the leaves we've plucked from our plants.

Materiel: Water Spray @125 pesos; Plastic pots @20 each. Uni-Top price

The girl and her family moved to another house; a ride away from our neighborhood. She would have a new garden. With open space far bigger than what she had in their old apartment. I kept mine, still. I nurtured my plants while holding back the feeling of confinement. As months passed, new interests were beginning to take hold. And there's no one to lift my sagging passion; No one to keep me from outgrowing my love for gardens. 

There was the growing addiction to video games - which consumed most of my free time after school. Pestilence also destroyed a quarter of my plants. Entire varieties of Gabi-Gabi and Mayana were nipped by molds. The San Franciscos wilted more often. Maybe because I hardly water them anymore. And when the dish garden - the very reason I got hooked to gardening - fell from its ledge, the passion suddenly disappeared.

Plante: Creepers and soft-skinned shrubs @35 pesos each.

No longer will I find myself with soil and dirt in my hands. And the herbs and shrubs that belonged to my verdant realms will remain a memory for a long time .

Still, I think of my old garden. Especially when I yearn to remember that happy place. I still keep in my head that image of that narrow curtilage, with the rays of the sun glistening when seen on the surface of wet leaves. The earthly smell of humus coupled with the scent of Oregano and Sampaguita blooms make me forget being a nuisance in the eyes of other kids. And the heart-shaped pink Caladium, while not as plenty as they used to be in the city, reminds me that once, I boast a row of its variety not even a hobbyist with better resources can put on display.

Such good times.

No wonder, I still try to recapture the old splendor even when the passion for gardening is no longer there. The many attempts in these last few years have always ended in failure. Not a single plant I bought from a nursery survived the brief reawakening. And the shell of plastic pots pile up, without nothing to put back as fibrous replacements.

The attempt goes on. When I feel restless; When sullenness overwhelms my springy spirit. When I lean towards dourness, and the idea of crumbling into dust, and being abandoned by love becomes a nightly forethought. It is in these seasonal tempers that I find myself getting out of my stale quarters to procure house plants in places that still sell them.

So Begins The Eden Project

In hopes that maybe, just maybe, I may overcome the hollow thoughts I have culled within, and to be reminded of the joys and pleasures there is to living.  

Last Week

was a long rainy, boring sort of day, the only bright note regarding the weather was the fact that I was able to wear my beloved rain boots. Had a few meetings in midtown and then headed uptown to meet my friend at Barneys. Also wearing Kate moss for Topshop dress, Platania hat & Ralph Lauren belt.


You've seen me wear this bag way too often right? I can't help it - it's perfect. When ever I have a new idea, no need for napkins. The Elongated design makes it so easy to carry a sketchbook or notepad around. This bag is sophisticated elegance. J Crew really did a great job with this one. Credit is due, especially because when I bought it last summer, I didn't particularly have brand loyalty for J Crew. Now the problem is that I can't find another bag to compare or replace it and I've more or less worn through this one.


I need to make time to go out more. Dinners, parties, dancing with friends, the whole nine. It's time to indulge and have a little FUN to offset all of that work I do.

Home Remodeling - Keeping Costs Manageable

If you're planning to embark on a home remodeling project, you probably already have an idea of how much money you want to spend. No matter how prepared you might be, however, you could be surprised by how many things can go wrong. This is no reason to skip your project, of course, but it is a reason to investigate the ways you can keep costs manageable. Start by working with a contractor with a reputation for keeping jobs under budget. Once this is squared away, you can use these additional tips to put more money into your pocket.

Avoid Financing

If you don't have the money for your home remodeling project, consider waiting until you do to get started. While financing is an option if you have something that simply can't wait, how often is this really the case? By financing, you're placing yourself in debt and you are going to be paying back both interest and the principle. Depending on how long you take to pay back the loan, you could be paying much more for the project than you would have had you saved the money in advance.

Plan Carefully

The main reason many owners wind up paying much more for a home remodeling project than they should have is because they failed to plan properly. This not only adds to the cost of the project, but it can also cause it to last an abnormally long time. By planning carefully in advance, you can move through the job quickly and inexpensively. Part of proper planning means hiring a contractor who knows what they are doing and is going to dedicate their time to finishing your project before moving on to something else.

Buy Materials First

If you're doing your home remodeling project on your own, consider purchasing all of your materials ahead of time. If you wait until you get to the bathroom, for example, to buy the tile you need, you could run into problems. Maybe the tile you wanted is more expensive than you thought it would be. Maybe it isn't available in your area. You might need to change you plans all of a sudden, which could invalidate some of the choices you've made in other areas. If you buy everything ahead of time, you won't run into these issues later.

Home remodeling can be a fun and exciting project, adding immeasurably to the value of your home and the joy of living there. As long as you keep costs manageable, there's no reason why it can't be a fulfilling way to spend your money.

Anal-Probing Sotto

"Am I man enough to stand by my principles?" Sotto must have been musing before delivering his speech.

"Even when the educated middle and liberal upper class, who have access to social media pelt me with criticisms? Tell lies about my family? Write ugly stories for everyone to read? Discredit, not only my character but everything I believe?" 

The Senator finds himself in very deep shit.

"Even when I'm obviously wrong but I just can't admit it?" He would then probe deep into his being for answers. This time, he chose not to let his speech writers do his work. Whatever he will say must come from his tin-coated, hollowed heart.

"Because I am a Senator of the Republic and people like me can never go wrong." 


I will always remember what Athena, my superior, said during our leadership training. That when a person of power commits a mistake, a swift and sincere apology ends all debates. To be sure, collateral damage must still be dealt with, and excuses have no place when admitting a mistaken judgement. But as far as the issue is concerned, it's all over. It will die a natural death, and everyone will find another fault - from another person to point at.

What Sotto did was the opposite. First, he denied any wrong doing - even when his officers had already admitted to the act of plagiarism. Then, he had the balls to display his bravado, by telling the nation that it's okay to copy other people's work. His statement further irks an already belligerent constituents that soon, even his thoughtless opinions (like who he will support as the next interior government secretary) receive near-universal derision. Three weeks into the plagiarism issue, and still in-denial, the dishonorable legislator now thinks he could get away by proposing regulations that will stifle what bloggers can write.

No wonder, even the politically-allergic fence-sitters have now began taking sides.

I may not be as incensed as I used to when the issue first came into the public's attention. Perhaps, I have resigned to seeing Sotto as a jester, and that everything he claims no longer stirs a violent reaction. He may be the most disliked government official today and in the months to come, but his hold on power lasts until the next president is put into office.

Which is sad really, knowing we have to bear with his breathtaking idiocy for a long time.

But there are pressing concerns, which I believe Sotto is trying to distract us from. Should this be a deliberate strategy, he has not only spared the Bishops from the mudslinging they have been getting before this plagiarism issue came out, the unloved Senator, in his cunning ways have sacrificed himself so that the rest of us will turn our heads elsewhere and move away from the battle lines we have already secured.

Somewhere in the far distance, the architects of the Anti-RH Bill campaign must be LOL-ing. 

More Good Flicks You Might Have Missed…

Hi Everyone,
Here are some more interesting films from our collection. I’d welcome your feedback, particularly on Certified Copy, as it left me scratching my head...Enjoy!

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Starring Juliette Binoche, William Shimell. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, it reminds us that love itself is an enigma. In French, English and Italian with English subtitles. 2010, not rated. Drama.

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Starring Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington, Marton Csokas, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Tom Wilkinson, Jessica Chastain. In 1966 three Mossad agents were assigned to track down a Nazi war criminal. Thirty years later surprising revelations come to light about their task that threaten to disrupt everyone’s lives. 2011, rated R. Based on the 2007 Israeli film of the same name. Drama/Thriller.

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Starring Christopher Plummer, Ewan Mcgregor, Melanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic. When graphic designer Oliver meets free-spirited Anna shortly after his father has passed away, Oliver realizes just how much of a beginner he is when it comes to long-lasting romantic love. Memories of his father, who, following the death of his wife of 45 years, came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life, encourage Oliver to open himself up to the potential of a true relationship. Christopher Plummer won an Oscar for this role. 2011, rated R. Comedy/Drama.

Jill Eisner
Sr. Librarian

Sally Singer to leave T

The Times isn't the sort of publication house -if you will, to have a swinging door. Personnel changes don't happen everyday. That is why I think the sudden departure from T for the Vogue implant is indicative of a negative situation. Especially at such a time as sensitive as the eve of fashion week; I am prompted to ask, was the separation forced? Maybe the decision was Singers. She most likely called it quits because she had enough of the "back-talk" regarding her editorial decisions. Or maybe her one-to-many clashes with The Times Magazine editor Hugo Lindgren is to blame. My only questions are, will we be seeing her at the shows next week? Where will she go next or do next? Is she celebrity enough to start her own magazine like Carine Roitfeld has with CR & is that an option she is considering?


Last Thursday at the Tribecca Grand Hotel for the premiere of America's Next Top Model - Season 19, I got in bed with Tyra Banks. NO No No it wasn't like that at all, there were four of us in bed at once ;) I arrived arm & arm with my good guy friend El Lewis of Post-Man. The night was fun, we watch the first episode with the judges and latter mingled; chatting up the night with wine glases in our hands. My outfit: an Alexander Wang cape, Jones NY top, tights -my design and camper flats.


NYFW is a week away, and here is a sneak peek into the minds of the designers who's collections your anticipating the most.


The newest addition to my happy family,  Givenchy gladiator-style sandal. I got them at the Barneys sale. After what seemed like an hour of deliberation between the practical me & playful Azede,  I settled on a sensible heel as well as a few other pairs.  I am so happy with my decision, Welcome home darlings, welcome home.

A New Look in Levittown

Ever heard of Levittown, New York? For many, it’s just a hamlet located in Nassau County, somewhere between Hempstead and Farmingdale. In actuality, Levittown is, in many ways, considered a historic example of suburban planning; it is considered the first mass-produced suburb in America and is named after the father of the suburb, William Levitt. We were in this historic area recently, finishing up a massive home renovation. We completely revamped an attic and turned it into a living space, with shelves and a rather large closet. We also completely redid the stairs and living room, which got brand new walls and a paint job, as well as a brand new ceiling fan and light fixture.  We’re still finishing up some smaller projects in the home but we thought we’d give you a sneak peek at how we made this ordinary suburban home into something unique for our customers. Enjoy!



Meanie, I Refuse To Be

How do you know when you're already picking on a subordinate? 

Is it measured by how easy it ticks you when she doesn't follow work guidelines, and being the person of authority, you won't hesitate sending her electronic letters - with the director included in the address field - to point out the mistakes only she at work commits? 

Does it show when you add your voice to the growing chorus of complaints, when other colleagues express their strong dislike for this colleague? And because you know some stuff that are seen as too trivial to talk about, you share these observations to further pin the person down?

And should you be alarmed that you spend part of your waking days thinking what sanctions to impose because the erring colleague continues to ignore your e-mails? There are times you thought of blocking her access to the accounts, to force her to explain in a separate e-mail why she continues to commit mistakes you have told her not to repeat again. 

So you may assert your dominance: Impose your order and punish those who refuse to tow the line.

I have always recognized my penchant for holding grudges, and showing my contempt for people I dislike. When a person rubs me the wrong way or when I get fed up being someone's lackey, I would be more than happy to kick that person out of my life. 

And then the fall-out is followed by a permanent non-speak - like the person who used to have relations with me is a total stranger. I may no longer harbor anger or hatred. Simply put into context, I no longer wish to have any ties - no matter how deep our bonds were.

While my social fault lines can screw my treatment of acquaintances, it must never get in the way of profession. I cannot play favorites, grill a subordinate without leaving a breather, or pin someone down until her perception of work becomes a burden. Because of this, I am trying my best to be aware of my leanings, and if possible, make compassionate adjustments before I find myself becoming the person who used to occupy my seat.

For I used to be the one who is being picked on. Unable to stand my ground, not even raising a howl even when I found myself being embarrassed in front of others, the least I could do is to spare others from the suffering I have been through. 

This way, the cycle of malevolence finally ends with me.

Literary Bedrock

Just before bedtime, I would ask my mom to read me a book. The story and the characters play no importance. As long as the narrative can take me to another realm and another time, any children's literature would do.

With my head resting on her thin legs, and with my droopy eyes half-closed, mom would summon fairies and dwarves, and even mystical herons to send me off to dreamland. She would begin her tale with "once upon a time" with conflicts that sometimes don't end with "happily ever after." 

Like the Steadfast Tin Soldier in Hans Andersen's fairy tale, stories with resolute partings stay remembered for life. One may call this a trauma; a rude and unsaid introduction to real life. But these premature awakenings only endeared me to the protagonist of the story.

The nightly habit would go on, until I was told I'm too old for fairy tales and that, I should start reading books on my own. It is in this crossroad that I learned how I was betrayed by fiction, so instead of reading short stories, I began stuffing my mind with easily digestible facts that are readily available at the school library.

And read I did. 

I remember the days I would find myself lodged between the pastel-colored bookshelves, turning a page or two to learn about the dinosaurs. Sometimes I would skip lunch (or make haste gobbling my home-made baon) so I could squeeze more time during noon breaks tracing with my small fingers the maze of streets criss-crossing a choked metropolis.

I recall those late afternoons, where instead of getting inside the school bus to go home, I would entrench myself in the same library. There, I would make acquaintance with the Philippines' midnight creatures and tribal folktales before heading off to a hidden park at the back of the campus. Since I was into gardening, I would consider it a lucky day when I spot the shelf where the school librarian kept the only copy of the ornamental plants catalog. With its rich pictures and vivid descriptions, the plants I pulled out with its roots intact - to plant them on a pot at home would finally get its name. 

It is only when I took a short leap to high school, in a different place of learning that I stopped having daily trips to the library. The inadequacy of its book shelves and the ambivalence of its librarian forced me to seek other pursuits. Years would go by. I would give up my solitary escapades for other distractions. I would find joys watching anime, playing video games, listening to alternative music, and letting my image-altering pretentiousness mask my low self-esteem. 

Together with friends, I would hang out at the biggest shopping mall in the city, do road trips at the break of dawn, and proclaim my female crushes only to get my heart broken. I have lived a life many teenagers did, and in all the rare chances I could tell someone how books shaped the way I perceive life, only a soft whisper would come out of my reluctant mouth. 

The official line would always remain, "I seldom read books."

Deliberate maybe the revisionist mouthpiece, but the truth has its way of catching up. It resurfaces from time to time. Unperturbed. No matter how often I fail to make the cut when the school papers call for the submission of articles.

Robbed of recognition, words would quietly assert themselves when I passionately write test essays on history, or in the poems I have written to leave a footprint in the university. I may laugh at the disfigured sentences and nauseating allusions when I read aloud the poems today. But at a hindsight, the rudimentary compositions would grow into prose, which I now weave every time I blog.

And the geek side of me awakens


Home Improvement In London

Our high levels of repeat business and referrals are down tothe fact that we are London builders who reallydo care. For a basement refurbishment london, basement waterproofing london or whole new build contact OID-Building Services for a quote. and stress free for our customers wanting basement flat build in London or a simple basement refurbishment in london. Overbury, office refurbishment, office refurbishment UK, office refurbishment London. We offer complete refurbishment packages for large facilities such as schools and colleges, health clubs, hospitals and hotels.

The fact is that home improvement is one of the largest growth areas in our economy today. The most common home improvement is either a conservatory, extension or a loft conversion built onto our homes in balance with our disposable income. Therefore, to keep a firm rein on these developments; planning requirements are getting tighter to ensure that the type of home improvement is in keeping with the surrounding houses and neighbourhood. Your home is an expression of who you are and if you walk out each of a place that you does not seem to belong to you then probably your home needs improvement. You are probably guessing how you are going to make the payments for your home improvement. Home improvement loans will provide you with a dependable groundwork to build on the home you have a vision of. Home improvement is predominantly triggered by the desire to own a comfortable home. Home improvement can be slightly difficult, if your financial position is tight. 

Savings or revolving credits like credit or store cards generally pay the cost of home improvements. The ever-expanding mortgage market gives you an opportunity to apply for a mortgage for home improvements and that too in the most uncomplicated manner. More and more homeowners are administering for remortgage to raise capital for home improvements. Contrary to accepted conviction home improvements are vital and absolutely necessary. Home improvements improve the quality of life.
Home improvement loans are available for double glazing, new conservatory, heating system, new kitchen, rewiring and plumbing or any home remodeling that you can think of. Home improvement doesn't have to be major before it becomes worthwhile; smaller projects, like refitting the kitchen or bathroom or new double glazed windows can add significant value to your home. Whether you are looking for a contractor to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, just a simply maid service or anything in between, we can help you with it all. We specialise in all kinds of refurbishment (both interior and exterior) such as loft conversions, house extensions, cellars, bathrooms, kitchens, carpentry, plumbing, electrics, demolition, plastering, tiling, and painting to an exceptional standard.

With our wealth of knowledge and expertise we are able to offer a professional competitive service, ranging from soft floor installations, the manufacture and supply of furniture to the complete refurbishment package. We also carry out routine maintenance work from a simple cloth stretch to complete refurbishment of capping's, rubbers, nets and leathers etc. So if you are considering anything from a repair or redecoration of a room to a complete refurbishment of your property, I can provide a professional, friendly and reliable service. We can offer a wide range of repairs and improvements for your guitar, from a simple set-up to a complete refurbishment or customisation. We offer a complete refurbishment service to ensure you get the most from your investment. Complete Refurbishments covering complete property refurbishments from concept to completion. 


There were many bloggers to choose from. There was Kane and his chichi blog, the venerable RedtheMod, whose wellspring of words I scoop with my literary bucket, and even Pilyo's, straight from the gut entries would be a suitable candidate. I thought of lifting their works, their minds, their hearts and ideas just to make it a point that you never lift a passage from someone's blog without properly attributing it to the author - even if the material on the writer's portal is a study of another expert she herself did recognize 

I do not know what the uninstructed-yet-arrogant Senator tries to prove, but when I made an attempt to copy his speechwriter's folly, I realized that I got no heart to perform the deed, even if the bloggers themselves would see the deliberation.

It is simply not so me.

Therefore, I will conclude this blog entry, originally mine with my heart and mind into it, reminding myself time and again that some leaders don't deserve their place of authority.

Web Guides @ SBPL

The Internet is vast. That is why SBPL has created Web Guides to help navigate common searches and include local sites.

The end of summer sends many people on a search for college or employment information.  Today's blog will highlight the SBPL Web Guides on those topics.

Our College Web Guide includes links to local scholarship and financial aid sites in addition to distance learning and college fairs. You also find college rating sites and test preparation.

The Employment Web Guide  includes local job fair and employment sites.  It  has links to the job posting in New Jersey newspapers and help with resume writing.
If employment or education is not on the horizon  for you yet check out out our  Volunteer Web Guide.  Here you will find local and national links to volunteer opportunities that may be of interest during your gap year or while you are looking for valuable work experience.

Check out these and other SBPL Web Guides today!

Coming to the edge. Bacon?

1st Edition of Preston coming to the edge. ( I hope there will not be any more)

Ok so this is Preston. If you know my fiancee, then you know me. This is my time to speak. I want this to be her blog, but some times I need to be heard. We have tried to be nice, but we are coming to the edge. We live in this old house and are trying to make it a home. This is our dream, but it seems that people, PEOPLE, are trying to make it tough. We love people and I, for one, have a really trusting nature. With all of the craziness, we have unfortunately developed a general defensive nature toward people. I can't believe that some punk broke into our home and stole our stuff, not to mentioned tried to use old credit cards that are no longer valid. I called ATT, PS they suck, and they cant tell me what number called me. Then some drugged out B tries to steal stuff to make a drug run. I want to scream! We live in a decent area, or so we thought. If I catch someone trying to bust in here I will end their life and call the authorities well after they are dead. If you are reading this for humor or entertainment, I want to thank you. Thanks for caring and supporting us through our wonderful project that we call our life. We love this house and by GOD if I will let some low life people ruin what is so special and amazing to our life. I love our future and more importantly my future wife and want to make sure that she is safe. Thank you everyone for your support.

Another Rouge Day...

With less than a week until the wedding I took off my-little paying job-all week to finish all the details for the wedding and packing for the honeymoon. Monday, We had a wonderful Southfork Luncheon, we weren't able to invite everyone to the wedding so we were able to have a chicken-fried-lunch for our wonderful co-workers. So today rolls around, I have a long list to do- Sams for miscellaneous items for the wedding, lunch at somepoint, and washing the 200+  mason jars and also clear glass plates.  At around 3 pm today I notice out of the corner of my eye ( while watching toddler's in tiera's and learning about spray on tans and fake eye lashes)  a person walking up our driveway to our side door like they owned the place. This strikes me as very strange because we have a very prominent front door and only our family walks up to the side door and knows that's okay.  I walk over to the side door- ready to F somebody up because we already got broken  into once- and meet face to face with a woman who looks like she is on some crazy drugs with a black eye, and asks if she can rake the leaves.  NO YOU CAN'T RAKE THE 10 LEAVES WE HAVE IN OUR YARD YOU MORON. HOW ABOUT YOU TELL ME WHY YOU ARE REALLY HERE, LIKE I AM HERE TO STEAL SOMETHING OUT OF YOUR GARAGE (THAT IS OPEN) AND SELL IT TO MAKE SOME MONEY FOR COCAINE.

I tell her to pretty much "Get the hell out of Dodge" and watch her walk away.

Later on, after telling Preston what happened with the crazy drug lady, he gets a phone call from Bank of America, which was an "UNKNOWN NUMBER"which he cancelled his accounts when he found out they had given credit cards to a lot of illegals and arabs, that his debit card was not able to process. RED FLAG! He hasn't had a Bank of America card since 2009, and we find out this is a result from our break in that we had not more than a month and a half ago.

When will it calm down? When will everything be normal? I don't know, but I can tell you this much. Texas, thank God has the " you walk onto our property, I will shoot you and then call the cop's later" Law.  Just sayin.

Preston is getting jealous of my blog, and wants to make his own. The next post is all Preston's doing and I will not edit anything he types. :-)

Home Improvement (season 2) Dvd Review

Recipient of 9 Golden Globe and 34 Emmy nominations, Home Improvement spent much of the 1990s as the number one family-friendly comedy series. The creation of three writers who worked on such sitcoms as The Cosby Show (1984) and Roseanne (1988), Home Improvement is only one of a number of successful sitcoms specially constructed for a stand-up comedian in the 1990s. Other such series included Seinfeld (1990), The Drew Carey Show (1995), Everybody Loves Raymond (1996), and King Of Queens (1998) among others. A true groundbreaking series, Home Improvement ranked in the Nielsen Top 10 for 7 of its first 8 seasons, making it one of the most successful prime-time comedy series ever produced...

The Home Improvement (Season 2) DVD features a number of hilarious episodes including the season premiere "Read My Hips" in which Jill plans a romantic evening at home for herself and Tim, but Tim throws a wrench in her plans when he spends the evening hanging out at a bar with Al and the guys from A&B Construction. When he finally returns home, Jill is upset, fearing that the romance has left their relationship. Meanwhile, Brad ponders the true meaning of Jennifer's physical assaults. Does she really want to kiss him? Other notable episodes from Season 2 include "Where There's a Will, There's a Way" in which Jill finds out that Tim never put the finishing touches on his legal will, and "Shooting Three to Make Tutu" in which Jill insists that Tim take Mark to the ballet despite the fact that he has front-row tickets to the Pistons game…

Below is a list of episodes included on the Home Improvement (Season 2) DVD:

Episode 25 (Read My Hips) Air Date: 09-16-1992
Episode 26 (Rites and Wrongs of Passage) Air Date: 09-23-1992
Episode 27 (Overactive Glance) Air Date: 09-30-1992
Episode 28 (Groin Pulls) Air Date: 10-07-1992
Episode 29 (Heavy Meddle) Air Date: 10-14-1992
Episode 30 (The Haunting of Taylor House) Air Date: 10-28-1992
Episode 31 (Roomie for Improvement) Air Date: 11-04-1992
Episode 32 (May the Best Man Win) Air Date: 11-11-1992
Episode 33 (Where There's a Will, There's a Way) Air Date: 11-18-1992
Episode 34 (Let's Did Lunch) Air Date: 11-25-1992
Episode 35 (Abandoned Family) Air Date: 12-02-1992
Episode 36 (I'm Scheming of a White Christmas) Air Date: 12-16-1992
Episode 37 (Bell Bottom Blues) Air Date: 01-06-1993
Episode 38 (Howard's End) Air Date: 01-13-1993
Episode 39 (Love is a Many Splintered Thing) Air Date: 01-20-1993
Episode 40 (Dances with Tools) Air Date: 02-03-1993
Episode 41 (You're Driving Me Crazy, You're Driving Me Nuts) Air Date: 02-10-1993
Episode 42 (Bye Bye Birdie) Air Date: 02-17-1993
Episode 43 (Karate or Not, Here I Come) Air Date: 02-24-1993
Episode 44 (Shooting Three to Make Tutu) Air Date: 03-03-1993
Episode 45 (Much Ado About Nana) Air Date: 03-17-1993
Episode 46 (Ex Marks the Spot) Air Date: 04-14-1993
Episode 47 (To Build or Not to Build) Air Date: 05-05-1993
Episode 48 (Birth of a Hot Rod) Air Date: 05-12-1993
Episode 49 (The Great Race) Air Date: 05-19-1993 



There was a loud crash, a thud he would hear for the last time. The propeller hurled into the sky, while his body jerked forward, slammed his head into the metallic skin of the ill-fated aircraft. The blow left him unconscious. Unaware that his time had come.

"No, you will not be consumed by the sea..." A soft, feminine voice had spoken. "You have earned your place not only in the hearts of men. But in the bosom of your land."

And just before the sea water came rushing in, a bright light, more beautiful than the sunset swallowed his body and those of his lifeless companions. When the vermillion glow had dissipated, all that is left were winged creatures. Brown like the bark of a Narra tree, and more majestic than the lives they lead on this planet.

Into the sun the creatures fluttered their gentle wings - to soar the heavens and return to their homes; To say farewell and comfort those they will leave behind.

While in the distance, the jagged mountain peaks of the island disappeared behind a bluish veil of clouds, as the engines of the approaching pump boats roared to let the world hear their loss.  

No matter how they searched the heart of darkness. The human remains were never found.

Radio Blackout

In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety four, we rendered the night to sleep and the day to work. We knew nothing of after-midnight, for our eyes were shut and our minds swept off to another realm. We found joys in what the terrestrial television had to share. There was X-Men in Channel 2 and Simpsons in Channel 9 on Fridays. Sunday nights are reserved for the Million-Dollar Movies on ABS-CBN. When the clock strikes eleven, and the "Final Word" has been said on The World Tonight, the monochrome box is put to rest while our bodies lay suspended in the wooden king-sized bed.

I was a high school sophomore when noise began to intrude our night. At long last, it began to dismantle the silence and its foothold on our lives. Somehow, good fortune enabled the patriarch to set aside some cash for the Skycable bills. Regional channels like HBO, Discovery Channel, and sometimes, even CNN kept our eyes wide open at 2 am. However, bedtime is still bedtime for us kids and only the adults stayed until past midnight. 

When I turned eighteen, the widescreen was still off-limits when the patriarch arrives from work. When sleep slips and restlessness begs wakefulness, I found myself burning the telephone wires; talking to phone-pals and friends until the roosters crow, or a parent catches me beside the staircase encased in my self-created puppy-love shell.  

Between that, or Sonic the Hedgehog, or the short post-evening walk to a nearby lugawan with friends, who took shelter for the night. I was off-the-grid. I was living a life without being wired on the Internet.

It is only when I learned to face the world head-on, many years later, that I began to rely on visual noise for distraction. For the night's silence prolong the agony of waiting for sunrise - and redemption. From the way I snicker myself to sleep while Flapjack reruns air on Cartoon Network, to my daybreak meditation in front of the Chrome - reading the online edition of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, or emptying my flask-of-lust watching video clips on Lifeout; there in the digital Nirvana, I found solace. A state of bliss I can always trade-off for nocturnal resignation, that when one night, when the modem stops sending bits of data and the Panasonic TV cease streaming technicolor images from the Digibox, my world came crashing down with me at the center, half-deranged and totally helpless to contain the growing discontent.

Blue Screen of Boredom

It has been three pallid nights and a day of suspended animation and still, there is no sign of when the technicians will arrive. Like having a first-hand taste of withdrawal symptoms, I had to make do with the tools still available to me.

On the second night, I had Marie Antoinette on the media player, while on the third, I had to give up my reclusive ideology and reclaim a life I once had - on the dance floor. Only to realize that I have completely outgrown the scene.

There were sober moments when I do remember the old days, when the web was still spun - elsewhere, and watching cable TV merely stays as a leisure activity and not the building blocks of life. And it did leave questions as to how this piece of human innovation made my world smaller, and yet, distant to the humanity others still enjoy.

This radio silence affords me to probe the things I should learn to live without.

The religious calls to Skycable's customer service will go on until they hear my prayers, or I find myself searching for a new service provider. Meanwhile, I shall try to endure the noiseless, pitch black nights; wrestling the demons of my mind before it can assault my wandering thoughts.

For when the LED lights on the Digibox reappear and the WiFi returns to my airspace, it is I who will grow wordless, and my silence will cocoon me once again from the people I share my world.

Before & After: New Walls and New Fixtures in Westbury

Westbury, a village out in Nassau County, NY, is a hell of a nice place to work during the summer months. Sure, we were working on our customer’s bathroom for most of the time, but when you got to see the light of day, coming in or leaving for the day, it’s very nearly bucolic in its way. We were out there doing a complete renovation, complete with new fixtures (upgraded sinks and faucets) and totally redoing the bathtub; in fact, we replaced the entire tub with a fantastic new open shower area, a popular item as of late. Lots of tile work and a lot of time was spent on the design as well, but overall, I think we made the most of the space. Don’t you agree?



Making Your Basement Into an Entertainment Space

Designing an entertainment space for your basement is a sound investment as well as a practical way to increase the living area of your home. Quite often during parties, guests are corralled into different rooms such as the kitchen or living room due to the nature of home design. When designing your room, you can combine lounge areas with food and drink areas in one simple showpiece, a home bar.

Creating the Focal Point

Classy and sophisticated, a home bar is a perfect entertaining feature. The ideal location is easily accessible and will allow for foot traffic. Another key consideration is to ensure that electrical outlets are plentiful for blenders and other appliances. Stocking the bar is your opportunity to display your refined taste in spirits and stemware. Line the back of the bar with ornate bottles of liquor for an striking presentation. Are you a beer enthusiast? Now is your chance to proudly display the labels of your favorite brews. If you're a wine connoisseur you can showcase vintage wines or a delicately crafted glass decanter. As you figure out the logistics for your bar, next comes customization.

Customizing Your Bar

Granite is timeless and durable, making it the premier choice for countertops. This strong medium can withstand high temperatures, so hot trays of appetizers will not damage the surface. Furthermore, you won't have to worry about spills while mixing drinks as granite is almost impervious to stains. Granite comes in a such vast array of colors that you will easily be able to chose a shade that complements your color scheme.

Choose seating that reflects your style and compliments the theme of your bar. Companies carry a wide array of bar stools ranging from modern to classic, hardwood to wrought iron. If you have the space, consider adding couches for lounging and extra seating. Artificial leather is a great choice, as it has the sleek look of natural leather without the cost. Also, it is just as durable and easier to clean than real leather, requiring only soap and water.

Entertaining Your Guests

Like any proper bar, a widescreen TV is essential for watching your favorite sports team. With the newer, lighter models, mounting your TV is easier than before and gives your entertainment space an elegant and modern vibe. With a larger than life picture, it is only natural to implement a larger than life sound system. You want to make sure that your space has the proper acoustics without dampening the sound or deafening your guests. With these considerations in mind, you're well on your way to turning your basement into ultimate home bar and lounge.

Free Bathroom Remodeling Catalogs for Bathroom Renovation

When it comes to finding your dream home design, free bathroom remodeling catalogs are the perfect easy way to get inspired and find plenty of ideas for renovating your new bathroom design. You will get a sense of the best styles that matches your home size and the theme you are looking for.

That's why nowadays when looking for a remodeling contractor, it is natural to first search around and collect your own gallery of favorite renovation designs to choose from. So after your contractor observes your house and gives you an estimated cost and timing, they can also take a look at your collection and help you choose the best design that matched your house.

Whether you find your remodeling ideas and photos online or on paper, it is helpful to collect the best ones that catch your interest. Even if you only like a certain part of a picture, you can cut that part and keep it in your collection. You will be surprised how a mixture from various photos will end up making your dream design.

Where Can You Find Free Bathroom Renovation Catalogs?

So when you are searching to collect your own photo gallery of favorite design ideas for your bathroom, here are a few top places where you can find free ideas easily...

1. Design Ideas in Offline Magazine

Have you ever taken a look at home improvement, interior design or architecture magazines? If you have, you know they are simply a goldmine of various fresh creative remodeling ideas for not only your bathroom, but also the kitchen, basement, living room, or even your backyard.

So next time you are passing by a bookstore with a home improvement section, feel free to browse through the magazines and pick up the designs that you enjoy the most.

2. Simply Search for Renovation Ideas Online

Are you looking for a simple remodel design? Or maybe a simple theme idea? Could it be that you are more interested in a cheap affordable remodeling solution? Either way, you can easily find a large collection of pictures and galleries by doing a simple search in Google.

3. Free Online Bathroom Remodeling Photo Galleries

After doing some search, you'll be surprised how the easiest way to find a large photo gallery of the latest remodel trends, projects, designs and plans that you can view and save to your computer.

By checking out these free galleries, you can take a look at various bathroom renovation themes - from eco-friendly, antique, or modern... to Asian, contemporary and even abstract designs.

Looking for free Bathroom Remodeling Design Ideas to renovate your home with a fresh new look? Then simply discover more pictures, trends, plans, and remodeling products in this helpful free guide.

Rush Hour Epiphanies

I was waiting for a bus to pass along Buendia. I was in Makati to deliver relief to my boyfriend who will be hauling work way beyond his shift that evening. I know the bus stops in front of the Stock Exchange building. But the queue of weary commuters there stretches on forever - especially on a rush hour. So I waited on the other side of the Business District, hoping that a bus driving from Manila would stop and take me home.

It was my first attempt and that's why I asked a fellow commuter for instructions. When she cemented my intuition, I felt relieved that I might be with someone who's riding the same bus. The nice lady wasn't hailing the passing jeeps going to Guadalupe so I assumed.

Minutes had passed, and song after song being played on my music player, still, no bus showed up. The ground was damp, the sky heavy with clouds. Anytime, a water spray will fall and I was already bored with my music.

So I thought of switching to Chill Out sounds.

And just when I was shuffling my Nano, a PVP bus whizzed in front of me. It didn't slow down even when the traffic light at the intersection turned yellow. And the ladies who were there asked in a chorus why I didn't hail the bus. On my part, it took some time before I realized what I had just missed. I was still shuffling my music player even when the ladies were telling me that I could still catch the jumbo. The two succeeding ones, whose interval to the first was a mere five cars in-between didn't let me in. The commuters thought they would be returning to the terminal so they didn't stop. I doubt they were, knowing the people waiting in Ayala.

"Every thirty minutes ang dating ng bus." I heard one of them saying. 

"Ganun po ba?" I cannot afford to wait. So I walked away and crossed the avenue to ride a jeep. I will have to take the Taft route instead.

So I took the long journey. A trip covering three cities, four vehicle transfers, and two precious hours wasted on urban commuting. All because I was shuffling my Apple device when the opportune time came. If I succeeded in finding a seat at a near-empty PVP bus; if I didn't assume that someone else found the courage to wait on the other side of Makati, only a mere 30-minute nap, and probably I've reached my house.

And now that I'm approaching home, on a G-Liner, which stopped in front of me near the City Hall, I learned the price of missed opportunities. Sometimes, even second chances don't come - or people don't have patience for it. Mine was a simple bus ride going home. But when applied as life lessons, good breaks get missed simply because one failed to look when the fleeting and elusive chance finally did arrive.

Why You Need Custom Made Curtains

Although ready-made curtains are readily available in any upholstery and furnishing store, custom made curtains are still the most popular choice for most interior decorators and homeowners. They perfectly fit to the windows, creating the flawless appearance that a ready-made curtain may lack.

How to choose the perfect curtain

The appropriately designed carpet enhances the appearance of a room, whereas an inappropriate curtain spoils the interior styling. Therefore, while shopping for curtains, every care should be taken to select the best quality fabric and ensuring the best fit.

Flexible furnishing

Moreover, custom made curtains will give you the opportunity to experiment with different designs and styles. Most homeowners prefer flexibility in the interior designing of a room that can be altered easily to suit different circumstances. For a creative person, it can be quite frustrating to stick to standard styles. If you want something unique, designed specifically for the windows of your house, try the made to measure curtains. Following your design and using the fabrics chosen by you, skilled tailors will sew curtains that are perfect for the windows of your house.

Select the right fabric

Curtains are selected according to the function of a room. To increase the airiness of a room and to allow unhindered entry of sunlight, you need a lightweight fabric to dress the window. Lightweight fabrics are more suitable during the summer. They are often used in rooms that lack sufficient natural light. The lightweight cotton, nylon or lace curtains easily blend with both antique and modern furnishings of a room. To enhance the functionality of lightweight curtains and to increase their durability, curtains with lining are the preferred choice of most buyers. However, you can avoid the medium or heavyweight fabric lining by buying a heavyweight curtain fabric. These fabrics are highly versatile and functional. They offer additional insulation throughout the year. Heavyweight materials commonly used for sewing curtains include denim, velvet and tweed.

Colors and Patterns

The colors and patterns of the Bespoke curtains should be compatible with the remaining upholstery and furnishing of the room. Bright colored curtains with vibrant prints or patterns add warmth and color to a large and cool room. To make a room appear spacious and cool, light colored curtains with floral patterns are the preferred choice of most interior designers.


Finally, take into account the appropriate heading style, length and track pole width of the curtain while ordering a custom made curtain.

Are your rooms looking drab and boring? Get traditional design of Custom made curtains for a stunning and stylish addition to your home. Browse a range of made to measure curtains available direct from the manufacturer. Learn instructions and ideas to complete your home decorating Bespoke curtains.

Bucolic Days

Know that in a few years, this article will disappear on the online pages of Inquirer. And so is the memory of Malabon and it's fishponds, in the senses and words of Neal Cruz. After reading his column yesterday, I wish a part of me had lived through his childhood.

With the great bay spewing trash every time a storm passes, and the silted rivers taking with it remnants of makeshift homes hastily constructed along its swollen banks. With the sea licking more land and civilization leaving its footprints on lands once belonging to fish ponds, a time would come when all he had written would just be stuff of legends.

Like the pine trees standing in the uplands of the city.

Allow me to lift his article so that those who will get to read will never forget.

Malabon Tram, 1900's

The news in the Inquirer yesterday that the heavy rains had caused fishponds in Pampanga to overflow and the fish to escape reminded me of the floods in my hometown of Malabon, then the fishpond capital. Our housing compound there was like an island, surrounded by fishponds that were fed with seawater by the Catmon River, a tributary of the Tinejeros-Tullahan River.

During heavy rains, the water in the river, especially during high tide, would slowly rise to spilling level. The water in the fishpond, fed by rainwater flowing from the land all around them, would also rise. A bank of the river, weakened by the holes that crabs had burrowed, would cave in, allowing river water to rush into the fishpond. Soon, the water would spill over to the adjoining lots and streets.

With the water went the fish, and it would be a free-for-all in the neighborhood.

Children and adults chased the escaped fish in their backyards and in the streets, using all sorts of gear to catch them: nets, three-pronged spears, bamboo traps called “salakab” and even pieces of firewood with which the people clubbed the bigger fish on the head. Children chased the fish in the shallow water with their bare hands.

Our house on the island had a basement. When the pond overflowed into our yard, the water—and the fish—also entered the basement. When the flood ebbed days later, the fish were left behind in the basement, and we could hear them splashing there. We fed them leftover rice. The bangus, which are vegetarian, we fed “lablab” (algae or moss) from the ponds. Whenever we were short of fish for our meals, we would catch some in the basement.

At other times, before the ponds reached spilling level, fish we called “liwalo” and others “martiniko,” using their spiny fins, climbed the banks against the flow of the water as if they were swimming against the current of a rushing stream. We would sit by the window and watch them inch up the banks to our backyard and swim in the shallow water there. Later, we would go down and catch them with bamboo traps or our bare hands. We would put them in stone jars called “tapayan,” feed them leftover rice and fish, and catch and cook them as viands when needed.

The liwalo or martiniko is about six to eight inches long, with firm flesh. Broiled over hot coals, it exuded such an aroma that made one hungry. Eaten hot with steaming rice and soup, with either vinegar or fish sauce, it is a most enjoyable meal during cold rainy days.

The floods that brought fish into backyards made for a time of plenty and joy for the neighborhood residents, and a time of sorrow for the fishpond owners who would lose their investments.

Living in the middle of and beside fishponds, you would never want for food. It was easy to catch small fish with a hook and line using tiny bits of fish or shrimp as bait. Indeed, fishing was a form of play for the children. One of the favorite pastimes of the boys and girls in our neighborhood was picnicking on what we could catch and gather. The boys would catch the fish, the girls would gather the vegetables and tamarind fruits for the “sinigang.” The boys would gather dry firewood, and the girls would cook the rice and “sinigang.” We would arrange banana leaves on the ground, spread the rice, fish and vegetables on them, then gather around and eat what to us then were the most delicious meals in the world.

Old women preferred to catch frogs instead of fish. The frogs hid under the grass growing on the banks of the ponds. The women used earthworms as bait. The fishing lines had no hooks. For some reason, the frogs refused to let go of the bait even when they were hoisted into the air. For the same strange reason, they would let go once they were dropped inside cloth bags carried by the women.

In the old days, around September was the time of the crabs in the river and fishponds. The crabs were small and we called them “pehe” but they were generally known as “talangka.” They swam in great numbers in the Catmon River and we would sit on the wooden bridge over the river and dangle pieces of meat or fish innards to them at the end of lines from short fishing poles. The lines also had no hooks. Like the frogs, the crabs would grab the bait with their claws and wouldn’t let go until they were dropped into cans from where they could not climb out.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
What We Had Was The Siyam-Siyam

Nostalgia Manila

Values Education

Guy:  Hello
Me:   Hi
Guy:  Can we be friends?

I hold on to the belief that friendship - in its sincerest sense - is nurtured. It must have a foundation, like common interests, shared struggles or at least two people, who are friends, co-habitate a common space. Embracing this philosophy, I consider those I follow on Social Networks friends, if not acquaintances. Ties exists and it's not important to spell it out for all to see.

For this reason, I found it strange when some guy from Twitter, who followed me just recently, asked if we could be friends. Motives aside, (years of experience honed me to read the tell-tale signs) I found the question very perplexing. 

I would have responded in a hostile tone, if not for my partner's reminder - a long time ago - to be nice to everyone. Modesty aside, the change of display image some days ago sent hawks circling above my head. It didn't bother me, and I took their interests as a complement. However, what happened next between me and the guy affirms his penchant for things that are fleeting. 

Or should I regard his social values inferior to mine?

Me:  Sure, walang problema. =)
Guy: Great! Puwede malaman ang number mo? Salamat?

Of the things I find very difficult to give is my phone number. Siguro dahil I hardly send SMS or respond to messages. It annoys me too when people engage me in small talk over text instead of going directly to the point. And to spare these people from my diabolic pet peeve, I'd rather not give my number unless, it is something of great importance and immediate urgency.

I tried to make light of his reasons, especially when I know nothing which connects us. Perhaps my values are obsolete, and that, people these days do indeed embrace the fleeting and the shallow. I wouldn't mind putting into words my hand of friendship, but asking my number is a breach of etiquette.

It's a direct assault of personal space.

Me:  How old are you pare
Guy: 27 po. 
Guy: Kayo?
Me:  19
Guy: Hahay... Ang bata pa pala. -D So puwede ko ba malaman number mo?
Me:  Why ask my number?
Guy: So I can call you?
Me:  I'm not satisfied with your answer. Make it all clear to me.
Guy: I want us to be friends. And to make that happen, mas magiging okay kung may voiced communication din. :D
Guy: Mas ok and voiced communication kesa Twitter.

Me:  Nasusukat ba ang pagkakaibigan sa pagrinig ng boses ng isa't isa?

I would have said a mouthful and give the guy some tips on finding real friendship. But if this is how most people behave online; of how ties are forged without any profound respect for time and familiarity. If I'd only let my old self speak and say, "DP lang yan parekoy." Then there's no point in raising a voice.

Instead, I would leave this entry for others to find, and hopefully, what we cherish as an older generation rubs off to those we will one day leave behind.

The Purpose

At four in the morning, I knew sleep won't come. My work begins at 6 o'clock and to make a shut-eye tempts an overstay in dreamland. So rolled over I did, until I was at the edge of the bed. I then got up, looked at the mirror, said hello to my puffy eyes, before leaving the room with a moist towel. 

And just when the water from the plastic dipper cascaded down my head, the sky bursts open, sending a downpour heavier than the one it sent the night before. The gentle patter became a chorus of drums, and within minutes, I knew the main street, a block away from home, had sunk again under ankle-deep waters. 

Under half an hour, I was ready. I left the house with a flimsy, dark-blue umbrella, a thick cotton jacket to top my body-fit shirt and a pair of rubber boots to cover my legs - these were the implements I prepared the night before. But they would prove feeble to the elements - to the man-made river - that would greet me once I reach the flood-prone street crossing.

Somehow I saw it coming.

When I reached Ramon Magsaysay, I saw no boulevard. Instead, a lake had swallowed the busy highway. I tried to get close, but I haven't even stepped down from the gutter and the water line was already inches away from the rim of my boots.

I could have turned back and tell the boss that I cannot go to the office. My agents could work-from-home, as planned.

But my stubborn and adventurous self insists that I should go. There is an overpass nearby, and maybe, I could reach it by wading through the shallow areas of the gutter.

I could still make it through.

A few clicks from the street corner and I found myself not far from a Tapsilogan, which recently, has been converted to a dull and nameless beer house. The flood has almost spilled over the mouth of my boots, and the people behind me walked - without wearing any protective gear. I wasn't even done hopping from one shallow spot to another when suddenly, a G-Liner bus appeared. A behemoth, whose water trail ripples as it passes through. 

Impulse tells that I should find higher ground. But from where I stood, there was none. The first wave came like a raging tsunami. I arched my feet, hoping that the few extra inches would spare my boots from the sudden tide. Alas it didn't. Just as I feared, the rim of my right boot has been breached. 

Sewage got in and submerged my foot.

Dazed and defeated, I returned home with a squeaking footwear. I should have listened: It was unwise to make an attempt with a scraped leg. And with Leptospirosis on the rise, I've put myself at risk. Washing my soaked leg with soap, before dousing it with a bottle of alcohol, I've finally sent word that I'll be working from home.

But had I succeeded in climbing the overpass and finding a jeep, these waters, I will have to tread before reaching the workplace:

V. Mapa, Santa Mesa

Kalentong, Mandaluyong

Shaw Boulevard - Acacia Lane

Looking at how my day went - from running two shifts effectively and conveniently from home, to sparing the matriarch the trouble of having to worry a son stuck in the streets, to staying dry and cozy at the bosom of my bedroom, it wasn't as bad as I thought the disgusting flood breach was.