Archive for October, 2006

it’s beginning to look a lot like

 Winter!It snowed this afternoon over Oslo. It’s my very first snow and it’s amazing! It was more of a wet snow, not a silent snowfall where white, feathery ice falls from the skies.When I went out in the evening to go to the gym, I felt ice falling over me and sometimes getting into my eyes. I was walking on slippery ground, not the right shoes I say. The air blows extreme chills. My hands felt numb despite the gloves I’m wearing. Nonetheless, the feeling is nice. The feeling is wonderful. I wish my family could experience this, too. That would be a chill, er, thrill.


ka-ching ka-ching!

 Finally, I got my very first salary in Norway! Which is given only once every month, unlike in Manila and probably in other world cities where the monthly pay is split and given in two paydates. I think it is much harder to manage a salary that’s given in full at one time since you tend to spend most of it in the first weeks thereafter and just stretch what’s left in the days leading to the next payday.And I need to exert more effort stretching what I received for the 10 days I worked. I got taxed 50% this time since I don’t have the tax card yet, which I hope would be in my hands for the next payroll. Otherwise, I’d get taxed another 50% and only be able to get back what I paid for in excess compared to what I should actually pay in taxes for the salary I am getting sometime June next year.What’s worse, I don’t have the debit card from my bank yet. So I wouldn’t be able to spend my money, swipe that card and purchase stuff I need anytime soon. Eeeek!So what’s on my shopping list? Well, I only plan to buy a winter jacket and a pair of winter shoes. The weather forecast for the next weeks scares me! There’s gonna be some snow, it said. But hey, I am looking forward to that, too! It’s gonna be my first snowfall ever!So what have I been doing the last few days? Knut left for and got back from London for business over the weekend and I got some nice sweaters from Zara and Lazy Oaf. I had dinner and a few drinks with my colleagues at a nice restaurant last Friday. Saturday I just spent watching Absolutely Fabulous. I love Patsy and Edina! I lose my sanity over Bubbles, too! Sunday was pretty relaxing, which was spent most of the day at home, capped with a dinner in an Indian restaurant with Keng and Stein and some downtime at their place.It’s my day-off at work tomorrow and I plan to get a haircut. My hair looks like a giant microphone in the morning.

i don’t wanna be

 Pick up the soul of Gavin Degraw’s “I don’t wanna be,” throw in a sizzling star who is like Elijah Wood, Ian Somerhalder, and Jared Leto all rolled into one, and get some (actually, lots) musical montages into the mix and you have the campy but super cute movie, High School Musical.I love it!The movie brings me back to a time when all I wanted to do in life was to hit the theater scene and headline nightly performances in either Broadway or the West End. I even memorized the whole of Les Miserables album, from Eponine’s On My Own to Jean Valjean’s Stars, from Marius and Cosette’s A Heart Full of Love to the revolutionary anthem Do You Hear the People Sing?I also remember being Romeo in that Shakesperean tragedy, the Phantom in that Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, singing to Fiddler on the Roof’s “If I Were A Richman” long before Gwen Stefani wished she was a Rich Girl, and one of Santa’s elves in a Christmas production at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Ah, the joy of musicals!High School Musical was just fun to watch and the lead actor was hotness with a capital H. Meet Zac Efron.God, the guy just turned 19! I love his dance moves and those innocent looking but sin inducing muscles saying hello each time he shoots a basket. His singing in the movie was hounded with some controversy, to which he later admitted that since he was coming out of puberty, he could not hit the high notes and some of the lyrics have had his voice blended with another singer. I wonder what else was he doing when he was “coming out of puberty.” Ah, the joys of high school!

finally, fall

 Lilletorget, Oslo. On the way home from work.

hot ticket: hallelujah in oslo spektrum

 The best things come when you least expect them.Tonight, I got to see Alejandro Fuentes, Espen Lind, Kurt Nilsen and Askil Holm, collectively known as Hallelujah (with a highly successful album of the same name) for the first and the last time. The group has decided to end their Hallelujah Live Tour at Oslo Spektrum, which got sold out soon after their announcement.Knut and I wanted to see it but when we checked for tickets, they were no longer available. Until lunch today. While having my lunch of spinach and feta calzone and grilled chicken salad, I saw an ad in the newspaper saying that 300 extra tickets were available for tonight’s and tomorrow’s concerts. So I sent Knut an SMS and after work, he dropped by the concert arena to check if tickets are still available. Two hours before the concert, he got us our tickets and we had fantastic seats! Right smack in the middle and at row 13! Soooo lucky!After a quick dinner at Peppe’s Pizza with Keng and Stein, Knut and I were at the gate 15 minutes before the show. The next two-and-a-half hours was just amazing! They are so damn talented and they sang all the songs in their album, plus a whole lot more. I was seated by a an open area in the middle of the floor, and to my surprise, a stage descended onto the spot mid-set and the guys took their singing to literally an arm-length away! I was this close to Ali who was so damn cute! What more could I ask for?I am simply out of words to describe the whole experience but I can say that this has got to be one of the best concerts I’ve gone to.Of course, I was trigger happy with the camera (although it was forbidden!) and the 10x optical zoom of my digicam proved handy. Here are some snaps to share.Related:Alluring AlejandroOn Air: StarsFrom Oslo to Trondheim to Steinkjer

dreaming of sanctuario

 In a lavender treated warm bath, among the flickering of candles, drowned in the soothing sound of Secret Garden – for one solitary moment, I lost myself in dreams of Sanctuario.On a night like this, with the cold wind billowing outside and the beating of today’s toil at work crawling across my body, I couldn’t help but wish that I was back in the soothing confines of my favorite day spa in Manila. I would give anything in the world just to have my favorite masseur knead his deep penetrating touches once again, just like any ordinary Saturday night in Manila when I would usually relax, unwind, and lost all the cares in the world in Sanctuario.I miss the warmth of the jacuzzi encircling my body. I miss the trickling of my sweat in the cavernous steam room. I miss walking barefoot on the rock garden. I miss languidly sitting on my favorite deck chair with a cup of tea on hand. I miss the shuderring sensation that the aromatherapy massage brings. I miss skinny dipping in the cold wading pool to end a night.I miss this little luxury.What do I have to give just for a moment like this?

my hands are dirty

 Okay, that’s not me. Don’t panic. Imagine one-pack abs, less veiny arms, and unpretty hands.I’ve only been at work at the flowershop for four days and I have already received six cuts on my hands with all the flower trimming and cleaning involved in my job. My hands get dirty every time, thanks to the slimy flower stems, the soiled flower foams and the powder from rocks and pebbles used to accent an arrangement. My hands become drier than usual (because my hands are normally dry) due to the chlorine. And I’m sure you’re all familiar with those tiny slivers of skin right under the nails, which when you pull out hurt like hell. Yes, I have those in all ten fingers.My workmate said, to sum it all, that florists don’t have pretty hands.But I’m not complaining. It’s actually fun working with flowers. I never thought I would deal with them at a professional level. The only times I would arrange flowers would be every 1st of November when we visit and bring flowers to the dead. They bring so much life even in the dreariest of rooms. They make me smile just by looking at them. They make me feel comfortable even though I work standing for full eight hours. They make me go sing all sorts of songs (from Turkey’s Eurovision entry “Superstar” to Sting’s “Fields of Gold” and Shakira’s “Underneath Your Clothes”) in my head. And at the end of the day, they make me rich. A few days worth of work at the flowershop already equals my one-month salary in the Philippines. Forget the cost of living blah blah blah, I’ve never earned this much!And now I’m eyeing that fabulous winter jacket from Zara. The weather report says it’s gonna be 1-degree this coming Saturday.Uh-oh.

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