Monthly Archives: August 2008

PhotoHunt: Beautiful


“Things are beautiful if you love them.” – Jean Anouilh

Phew! I find this week’s theme quite tough. I mean beautiful is a relative word, and for me there are so many beautiful things around us.

So, anyway, I finally decided to post these two photos. I didn’t want to stress myself out deciding which one to use since I couldn’t really make up my mind.

The first one is an acrylic painting done by my five-year old daughter of her favorite stuff toy and pretend pet, Fluffy. I love art. I can stare and stare and admire paintings all day, and never get tired of it. There is something about the beauty of art that lifts the spirit and soothes the soul. At least, that’s what it does for me.

“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The second photo is a peacock with its tail fanned out. A rare sight for many of us, but we got a chance to admire its beauty when we visited the Residential Zoo in Tagaytay few years ago. Some animals were free to roam around the place, and were not locked up in cages. The peacock was one, and we kept on trailing after it taking photos and waiting for it to spread its tail. The wait was worth it. This is really one of nature’s beauty.

PH#5. Photohuntin’ since August 2008.


Filed under Paintings, PhotoHunt, Travel & Leisure

Cinderella: The Musical

It was our girls’ “gimmik” trip. My sisters, my five-year old daughter and I headed out last Sunday to the Cultural Center of the Phlippines (CCP) to watch Cinderella, the musical stage play featuring Lea Salonga.

It was the first time I ever got to watch Lea perform on stage and hear her sing live, since it was not Lea who performed when we watched Miss Saigon few years ago.

She really has a great voice and we all enjoyed the show. Alterations to the story to depict some current realities made it more interesting and humorous, such as having a king who appears stingy due to hard times and was not too excited about the expense of having a grand ball for his son, a godmother who seemingly tries to conceal her “fairy” or magical prowess , and lots more.

We’re all looking forward to more musical plays. Our next target : “Rapunzel” in September.

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Filed under Entertainment World, Movies, TV & Theater

Loving Actions: Expectations

“By diminishing your expectations–by not expecting your husband to provide a level of fulfillment that only God can give–you free your husband of a burden you otherwise force him to bear, and you free yourself from unnecessary disappointment. This doesn’t mean ignoring your needs or wants, just getting rid of your time limit and preconceived ideas about when and how those expectations will be met.”
– From “It Takes Two to Tango” by Gary and Norma Smalley

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Filed under Loving Actions, Marriage & Relationships

Table Delight: Garlic Shrimps

Having a cook at home, I really don’t do much cooking not unless I’m teaching her a new recipe or simply just because I feel like cooking (which is not often).

I don’t consider myself a really good cook, but I do know how. Hubby is a better (and should I say great) cook than me. He’s actually my mentor, and I’m ashamed to say I only learned to cook real viands when I got married. Growing up and living with my parents, we had a cook at home, so my siblings and I were not really expected to do any cooking chores then.

Since I learned to bake before learning to cook (because of my mother who used to bake cakes and pastries for business), I got used to following certain steps and fixed measurements from a recipe.

This one, though, was made from intuit and tips from hubby, not from any recipe. I usually do the cooking for this dish since I hate it when the shrimps are overcooked.

I prefer to use butter and olive oil than ordinary cooking oil to saute the garlic, and I like to use lots and lots of garlic (not obvious in the photo though). I love garlic, and the smell while it’s being sauteed. Oooh, I just love butter-garlic cuisines.

This is actually a very simple recipe and easy to cook. The secret lies in the garlic and not overcooking the shrimps. Some people don’t know that shrimps are not supposed to be cooked too long so that the skin does not stick to the meat. Once they turn red, they’re ready to go.

Butter, Olive Oil, Garlic, Shrimps, Soy Sauce

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add butter to melt. (Or you can just actually put both together and heat.)
  • Add garlic and saute for two to three minutes. (Don’t forget to smell the aroma of the garlic while being sauteed. Mmmm.)
  • Add shrimps and mix.
  • Add soy sauce to taste.
  • Cook shrimps until they turn red, then remove from fire. Don’t overcook.

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Filed under Food Galore

PhotoHunt : Wrinkled


Here comes Aladdin on his “wrinkled” elephant… 😀

I took this photo more than three years ago when we watched Disney on Ice (Disney Princess on Ice series). We all enjoyed that show especially my eldest daughter who was almost two years old then.

PH#4. Photohuntin’ since August 2008.


Filed under PhotoHunt

What Dessert Are You?

If all of the desserts below were served in front of you, which would you choose? Pick your dessert, then look to see what Psychiatrists think about you!

(Go to comments to view results)

My choice : Chocolate on Chocolate! Mmmm… I just love chocolate cake!


Filed under Food Galore, Human Psychology, Let's Have Fun!

PhotoHunt : Colorful


A kid’s world… Colorful!

That’s how I’ll best describe it. From their playthings to the stuff that they imagine in their minds. That’s why I believe in Art, Play and Music as very effective means of teaching and developing their young minds.

And as I look into this photo, I am overtaken by a siege of nostalgia. Kids grow up so fast. I took this photo of my eldest daughter almost four years ago. She was only one year and nine months, comfortably lying in a pool of soft colorful balls, and enjoying it. How time flies!


Filed under Kids Stuff, PhotoHunt

About Seventh Stranger

When I signed up for this blog, I was actually surprised that “7thstranger” was already taken. I guess I was absurdly thinking that I’m the only one in this world of billion bloggers who would want to use that name. Thus, I decided to use the longer version instead since it was available. I have been using “Seventh Stranger” as a pseudonym for as long as I can remember…

I was ten or eleven, a raging fan of a bygone (but not forgotten, for me at least) era of new wave 80’s music. I went gaga-crazy over bands like Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet, Power Station, Menudo (oh yes, cheesy as it is!), A-ha, The Cure, Culture Club. Hmmm, did I miss anything?

One day, a few weeks before our annual class Christmas party, we had our usual drawing of lots (or pieces of paper with codenames) for our usual “Manito Manita”. “Manito Manita” is a traditional Christmas game of exchanging gifts.

Each one had to write on a piece of paper a codename they like, roll the paper and drop it in a box or container. Then each one in the class took turns to pick one paper from the box. If it was your own, then you return it. If not, then that one would be your “manita” (if a girl) or “manito” (if a boy). However, sometimes it is hard to tell from the codenames being used.

Then for the next few weeks that followed, there would be a theme per week and we would be secretly giving a gift to our “manita” or “manito”. On the day of the Christmas party, we would then reveal our identities and have the final exchange of gifts.

And that was when I first thought of using “Seventh Stranger” as a codename. Of course, I couldn’t use it in the years that followed in that same school. But each time I transferred to a new school (yes, I’ve moved a couple of times but that’s a different story to tell), I would be using it on my first Christmas party.

From grade school to high school to college, the name has stuck with me. It has become a part of me. And as you can see, to this date, I’m still using it.

About “Seventh Stranger”

It is claimed as one of the best songs that Duran Duran has ever done under their “Seven and The Ragged Tiger” album in 1983. The title of the album was actually one of several songs they completed in 1983 but was never released. Eventually though, parts of that song evolved into the track “The Seventh Stranger”. For those not familiar with it, here it is…

Those words are all remainders
Echoes growing in the heart of twilight
They lay back laughing at naivety’s star
Awaken all those whispers in the dusty shadow of a passing favour
I wouldn’t say that you were ruthless or right
I couldn’t see from so far
Was I chasing after rainbows
One thing for sure you never answered when I called
And I wiped away the water from my face
To look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

Can’t tell the real from reflections
When all these faces look the same to me
In every city such a desolate dream
Some days are strange to number
some say the seventh sounds a little bit stranger
A year of Sundays seems to have drifted right by
(I could have sworn) in one evening
And I’m not seized in desperation
No steel reproaches on the table from before
But I still can feel those splinters of ice
I look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

I must be chasing after rainbows
One thing for sure you never answer when I call
And I wipe away the water from my face
To look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumour in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
Walking away like a stranger
From rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

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Filed under Blogging, Entertainment World, Favorites, Me, Myself and I, Music and Videos

PhotoHunt : Dark


Do you like reading DARK stories?

Well, I used to especially when I was younger, back in my teens. Then when I was in college, I stopped reading those really dark ones that delve into demons and dark supernatural beings. I’ve had bad experiences.

Now that I’m trying to get back into my reading habit, I only read a select few of dark stories. Those which are not really that dark — more of surreal and strange, and which are written by good authors like Neil Gaiman. I took this photo of my sister’s collection (well, part of it) of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, of which I have yet to read. For now, I am trying to finish reading his short story collection, Smoke and Mirrors.


Filed under Books, PhotoHunt

Two Strikes

Two stones were thrown at me today. Wake-up call to bring me back to reality… back to my real responsibilities and priorities.

First, I woke up this morning with a soreness in my throat, tiredness in my body, slight feverish feeling and a headache. I guess this is what I get after five days of stubbornly sleeping at two or three in the morning because I was so caught up tinkering with computer stuff. Sometimes I think I have an addiction to my computer. Something I should not allow to take hold of me. I was deaf to the screams and clamor of my body that it needed rest. It needed sleep. So today, I feel sick… (and you might think, “so what the hell are you doing in front of your computer? You should be lying down resting”. Hmmm, I’m thinking the same thing too as I write this. Yes, looks like I really have it bad!). Striiiiiiike 1!

Second, due to my busy-ness this whole week, somehow it slipped me that my eldest daughter was supposed to wear a Filipiniana costume to school today. Honestly, I really don’t know how I could have missed that. I didn’t see or read the note. I’m always so conscientious in checking on her assignments and upcoming activities, and reading the circular letters being sent. I have been deaf and now blind, with my mind too focused on the things I wanted to finish this week. So in a last-minute rush, I had to search and ingeniuosly come up with something she could wear as a costume. Luckily, I did and had to rush it to her school so she could change in time. I felt guilty though that I failed to prepare earlier what she needed today. Well, with the proper preparations, I know she could have worn something better. Striiiiiike 2!

Fortunately, I don’t have any strike 3. Not yet, at least, since the day isn’t over as of the time of this writing. But hopefully, there will be none!


Filed under Health & Living, Me, Myself and I, Parenting & Kids