Frantaglais blah-blah...

Why Frantaglais? Well, I came up with this title as my posts, from time to time, will be en français (in French), en anglais (in English), and/or en Tagalog, my mother tongue. In any case, you find my writing weak, just bear with me please or leave. This is my blog after all. No one forces you to read it.

dimanche, août 28, 2005

A day au Parc Astérix

Summer vacation is almost over. Most of the schools in France are already open and some of the kids are now back to school. For Koko and Cléms the new school year will start on the 2nd of September. So, time for homeworks and early mornings again! Whew, at least I did enjoy the luxury of late nights and lie-ins during their vacation. What irritates me is that the month of August will be over in a few days and it's only now that the temperature rises, now that the holidays come to an end! We really didn't have a single day that we can consider a 'hot summer day'. Normally, in the north of France, the temperatures in the summer especially in August average about 28° C but since the beginning of the month, the only average temperature's been about 15° C and we're most of the times obliged to put a sweatshirt on when going out. Last Friday, exceptionally, the temperature rised to 22° C, and we decided at the last minute: took this chance to spend the day at Parc Astérix.

Parc Astérix is a large theme park based on the adventures of the popular French comic book hero, Astérix the Gaul. Have you heard of it? Well, to tell you the truth, if it were not for GGiant's grand collection of Astérix hardbound comic books, I wouldn't know that "he" has been as popular as Lucky Luke and Tintin. Prior to this, I had never heard of it. Strange ... I used to spend hours hanging out at the National Bookstore when I was still in high school but I never came across any Astérix books. Ohh, maybe it's because I didn't go to any section other than Romance in this bookstore. In fact, I was a secret Mills and Boon addict. It's just that books like these weren't allowed in the house or my mother would confiscate them (tsk, tsk, there wasn't much going on in those books really, some heavy pettings at the most).

Oh, where was I? Ah, yes ... Astérix. For those who haven't heard of this comic book character, let me enlighten you a little about "him". Ok, Astérix the Gaul is the inspired creation of Renè Goscinny (he's also the renowned author of Lucky Luke and Iznogood) in collaboration with Albert Uderzo, his illustrator. Together in 1959 they set out to create a humorous character set in Roman Times. The Gauls, of course, were the people that inhabited France before the Roman invasion. Astérix, a defiant Gaul, for whom, surrender to the Romans was out of the question, no way! So, he would always ask Panoramix, the village's druid, to brew a magic potion that draws supernatural strength with which he can defeat the Romans, at times defying Julius Caesar. So, with the help of the magic potion, the village where Astérix lived wasn't conquered by the Romans. The story sounds simple but the realization of Goscinny and Uderzo was quite outstanding. It's not just a mere comic book am telling you, Astérix, together with his best friend Obélix will make your belly ache with laughter. From what I last heard, less than two hundred million copies of Astérix comic books had been sold. There were also several feature length films that had been made, remember Gérard Depardieu as Obélix?

Parc Astérix opened its doors in 1989. It is very French in nature and you can see features/aspects of French history and culture depicted throughout the park. It is located just off the A1 Autoroute, about 35 kms. north of Paris in the middle of a protected forest. The best thing is, it's only 10 minutes drive from where we live, cool, eh? There are around 30 rides to suit all ages, from gentle kids rides to a wooden gigantic roller coaster called Tonnerre de Zeus, it's about 30 meters high reaching a speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour, that makes it onto most lists of the best theme park rides in the world - absolutely not for the fainthearted! Definitely not for me, I almost threw up just after trying the Oxygenarium, a spinning 'rapids' ride in a large circular liferaft. It is one of the water rides and there are actually lots of them, that's why it is ideal to visit the park during not-so-cold days as getting soaking wet is also part of the fun and is also the reason why the park is open only from April to October, unlike the Disneyland which is open all year round. And if you want a break from the rides, there are also plenty of shows. Cléms favorite was the Dolphin show, well I don't know exactly what dolphins had to do with Astérix except that we had fun watching them! One day is not really enough to see and experience all these attractions and rides.
L'entrée de Parc Astérix

Le Vieux (The old) Paris


Menhir Express

Les Chaises Volantes (The Flying Chairs)

Une maison Gauloise (A Gallic house)

Astérix, Clémentix et Obélix

Tired as we were, despite aching feet, we were happy at the end of the day. Le Parc Astérix was a thrill every minute with Gallic wit and charms, offering the ultimate fun-filled day out for everyone!

mardi, août 23, 2005

Memes: encore et encore...

The Book Club Tag
Major Tom of Citizen on Mars tagged me for this book meme.

What's in a book?

Webster defines book as, "A copy of a written work or composition that has been published (printed on pages bound together)". Ok, then what's in it?
Well, it depends. In it could be something that has the power to dispel my worries, has the ability to allow my mind to wander - transporting me to exhilarating places, or ... could be something a bit of a snoozer.

Number of books on the shelves:

I don't have much here with me as I, usually, after having read them, bring them myself or send them to my sisters in Manila. But there are also ones that I love enough to let them go -- I love re-reading them -- and they're here to stay.

Those that I own or bought:

I used to be a subscriber of English Book Club. Unfortunately, I had to stop the subscription a year ago for I got a bit tired of receiving bills for books I didn't order/purchase, etc. Almost all of the books I have now, I bought them from EBC.

I've lost track some of them for I don't mind lending too, there are books that I own (or shall I say, owned) that now vanished into thin air.

Here's a list of some of the books I have pour le moment:

Michael Connelly's
A Darkness More Than Night
Blood Work
Lost Light
The Narrows
The Poet
Chasing the Dimes
City of Bones
Patricia Cornwell's
Point Of origin
The Last Precinct
Cruel and Unusual
From Potter's Field
JRR Tolkien's
The Lord Of The Rings
The Hobbit
Bilbo's Last Song
Stephen King's
James Patterson's
Violets Are Blue
JKRowling's HP series of course, I told you...

Last few books that I bought:
Well, the latest one was HP and the Half Blood Prince.

Book that I'm reading now:
I am re-reading Michael Connelly's City of Bones.

Last few books read:
The book my husband bought for me - HP and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth book in Harry Potter series. I've finished reading it and I hope the 7th or the last book won't take two years or longer to finish.

Analyse, Kayla and Bart. Tag, you're it!

Past, Present and Future

Analyse tagged me for this one. Although I, like her, find this meme way too personal, I accepted as I don't want to disappoint her. Anyway I'm not a politician nor a big time showbiz personality who has an image to protect. So, that's fine.

Without knowing it, my fault of course (I should have bloghopped first before posting this entry), Major Tom tagged me too. Thanks, Major!

1985. Freshly graduated from college with a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Landed a dream job, my first job in my chosen field, in one of those prestigious establishments along Makati Avenue. I still remember, I took my family to dinner after receiving my very first paycheck. What a great feeling, it was such a relief - no more exams, no more never-ending homeworks, no more terror professors, just applying what I learned and made a living at the same time. Though I was living paycheck to paycheck at the time I still could afford to splurge on small luxuries every once in a while. That was the beginning of a new life, the beginning of my independence.

1990. I was still with the same job, same responsibilities, just a different title. This time I wised up - I was able to lay away money every paycheck without fail. It was worth it and gave me a great deal of peace of mind when I found out that I was about to meet great expenses. There had been things that had been very painful, and it happened this year. Maturity struck me forcibly. My then beau, who, at the time was to be petitioned by his parent living in the US, had to choose between "marriage and get stuck in the Philippines" or "migration and savor the good life". He chose the latter. Problem was, I was not alone when he left me.

1995. I considered this year a new phase of my life. My son, already 5 years old, growing up as a wonderful marvelous creature. Same job ok, but this time in a different place and unusual entourage. I met my now husband, GGiant, at a friend's birthday dinner. He invited me to go out and that was the last time that I felt butterflies in my stomach.

2000. I still clearly remember, I was fetching my son from school the moment I told him, that finally, he was going to have a baby sister or a baby brother. He was so happy that he returned back to his classroom and told his teacher about it.

2002. Our daughter turned one. Made the most of her special day with the family and some close friends.

2004. September of last year, an event that will eventually lead Clémentine into the wider world - her first step in education.

We were at Nounou's (GGiant's ex-nanny) place. We stayed for the weekend actually. I was totally bloated after eating up greedily Nounou's tossed green & cucumber with mint-basil vinaigrette, boeuf Bourguignon with mashed potatoes, Munster cheese with homebaked baguette and rhubarb tart, all washed down with Badoit rouge.

Sipping hot delicious goodnight tea while watching a documentary about Paul Loup Sulitzer, one of France's best-selling novelists.

Nounou's vegetable garden grows tomatoes, green beans, lettuce and some herbs. So, after a light lunch we picked some of these veggies and brought them home.

I'll probably go to IKEA and look for a curtain that suits with the now light olive-green living room walls.

Sell this apartment and buy a house. Well, hopefully.

Ten years from now, hopefully my son has already finished his studies and be happy with his chosen field. My daughter, hope she'll do well in school like her brother. My husband, remains as my husband and continue bringing home the bacon, haha! And me, well aside from being 10 years older, to stay fit for my husband and my children. For our family, I'm wishing for good health, wealth, success and happiness.

Hope these ladies wouldn't mind if I tag them, but hey, if you don't feel like doing it, that's ok, it's your choice, no problem. ;)


mardi, août 16, 2005

Why Is Sex Good For The Health

GGiant brought home a copy of this month's issue of ça M'intéresse magazine ("That interests me", if translated literally). Well, the name speaks for itself, it covers everything from science, technology, culture, arts ... to many more: anything that could attract the reader's attention. GGiant works for several magazines, this is one of them, so no need for a subscription: I could have my copy of each of these magazines for free, la chance, eh? This month's cover caption reads: "Pourquoi le sexe est bon pour la santé", "Why is sex good for the health". I wasn't at all convinced and found the caption title a bit ridiculous till I read the article.

Well, I thought "Why not share it with you?". Ohh, now I can almost hear you saying, "And now she talks about sex!" Ok, can we not talk about it without snickering or blushing, without twisting the mouth in a disgusted grimace or even if I can't see it I know, I know -- shooting nervous, suspicious glances at my avatar, hehe. Hey, this is the 21th century and I don't have a 10-year old blogger on my links list.

So here are the reasons why sex is good for the health. Oh, but I have to remind you that my translation ability/competence and my knowledge of medical terminologies are quite limited. So this is how I managed to translate them, as far as my ability allowed.

It increases life expectancy. Swedish , American and Scottish studies calculated it: making love three times a week could increase the life expectancy by 10 years. How? By making the heart work! During the act, heart beats 100 - 180 times per minute, eliminating greases and toxins: an excellent way of preventing cardiovascular problems and diabetes.

It protects against certain cancers.
The male orgasm could prevent the cancer of the prostate. The risk to develop this cancer decreases by 30 % at a rate of five orgasms in a week, onanism included. Explanation of the researchers: the small jolts which accompany ejaculation drain the body of cancerogenic substances. Among women, not only orgasm, but also the caressing of the breasts, cause the release of oxytocin, a hormone which would preserve breast cancer by eliminating the free radicals.

It makes us more intelligent. If love makes us blind, the orgasm makes us more intelligent, on the condition of having regular sexual relations. The production of adrenalin and cortisol increases during lovemaking. However, by activating processes that brings energy to the brain, these two substances are natural stimulants of the gray matter.

It calms the pain. "Not tonight, I have a migraine!", don't say it anymore. The "sport" in the room and its cascade of hormones, particularly the endorphins, increase the resistance to the pain-- thanks to their antalgic property. Studies carried out on rodents, indicating that the effect of an orgasm would be comparable with the taking of two aspirins.

It fights against insomnia. There's nothing such as snuggling and cuddling under the quilt and falling into the arms of Morpheus afterwards. The pleasure and most of all, the orgasm, release endorphins from the brain. Under their effect, the body and the mind are relaxed, the stress evaporates and a deep sleep gains. The hormones we produce at orgasm can lead to the desire to lay back in the afterglow, and that sense of physical peace often leads to sleep. First, le monsieur as drowsiness and fatigue overcome men more rapidly (than women).

It embellishes women. Lovemaking makes a woman feel and look beautiful. It provokes the synthesis of oestrogens by the ovary. These hormones facilitate the irrigation of the skin and the production of natural collagen: contributing to skin's elasticity and flexibility.

It carves our body. Sexual activity is a form of physical exercise. The muscles demanded for this act are the abdominal ones, then those of the buttocks and the thighs. With the proviso that you got to do it regularly, it can model a silhouette. Moreover, the waves of muscular contraction in the intestines facilitates bowel transit.

It makes us lose weight. "Consumed" intensely, this" thing" burns as many calories (300) as an endurance sport could do. Attention: too fast lovemaking and/or skipping foreplay burns only 50.

It reinforces our defenses. The kiss is not just a sensual pleasure. In fact, during the intimate contact, the couple exchange a multitude of micro-organisms and other pathogenic agents and these stimulate their immune system by confronting it with a new source of infection. The oxytocin released by the kiss and the sex act reinforce or strengthen the immune system.

Need I say more?

lundi, août 15, 2005

I Was Tagged

Naomi, la coupable.

Seven things that scare you:
1. death
2. centipede
3. when I just realized that I ate something past its sell-by date
4. to step in dog's crap
5. seeing unattended luggages in the metro
6. air pockets
7. having nightmares and not being able to breathe

Seven things you like the most:
1. coffee
2. chili pepper
3. pistachio nuts
4. my bonsaïs
5. chicharon
6. newborn baby's breath
7. badoit

Seven important things in your bedroom:
1. books
2. plant
3. hand lotion
4. t.v.
5. lip balm
6. iBook G4
7. my giant

Seven random facts about you:
1. kind-hearted (?)
2. can be temperamental at times
3. hates crowd
4. unselfish
5. a dust "chaser"
6. wife
7. mommy

Seven things you plan to do before you die:
no idea, sorry

Seven things you can do:
a lot of things

Seven things you can't do:
1. go to bed without taking a shower
2. start the day w/out taking a shower
3. shoplift
4. drive a 16-wheeler truck
5. work and leave Cléms with a babysitter
6. criticize people because I'm not perfect
7. cheat on my husband

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex:
1. clean fingernails
2. wits
3. having a sense of humor
4. thoughtful
5. neat looking
6. beautiful butt cheeks
7. generous

Seven cursed (or not) things you say the most:
1. mince!
2. merde!
3. dyosko!
4. stop!
5. anak ng we!
6. putain!
7. ano ba yan?

Seven celeb crushes (whether local or foreign):
personne. Sorry.

Ok, who wants to be tagged?

lundi, août 01, 2005

La Vie Est Belle

Who would miss blogging during the 20-day retreat from a stresssful working world? When you're in the middle of a total relaxation - unwinding and recharging: catching rays while building sandcastles, playing kites during windy days, devouring moules-frites (mussels and chips) or just have a sinful ice-cream snack on the terrace of a seaside restaurant, enjoying the flavor and fun of barbecue grilling, barefooted gathering cockles and mussels at low tide, just taking advantage of the sunny though sometimes rainy - but by and large an enjoyable and anxiety-free holiday? Well, I wouldn't and I really didn't miss it at all! No deadlines, no commitments, no e-mail checkings, no reminders of work at work, just merely spending a tranquil and quality fun time with the family. Now that was a real vacation!

And oh, there was just one thing I really missed during this exciting yet serene family getaway ... a book. The sixth book or the tome 6 of JKRowling's HP series, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". We left a few days before its midnight release party (which was held last July 15), so obviously, I wasn't able to acquire one. I and son Koko were at the WHSmith, a British bookshop in Paris, during the release parties of HP tomes 4 and 5. But this year, since my husband couldn't really choose when to take his vacation due to workloads, we had no choice but to take it a week earlier. So my husband, in a sort of way, pulled the rug out from under our plan of being there for the tome 6's release party. Well, despite extreme search for this book on the Normande and Breton coasts, I seemed to have no luck, I didn't find one. So, I just promised myself to come by it in any way necessary once we get home. Oh oui, I found HP books to be great literature. My confession, I'm as much of a Harry Potter fanatic as anybody else and I'm not ashamed to admit that this series tops the list of my favorite books!

We got back home last Saturday and the first thing I said to my husband this morning was not "bonjour", but instead "s'il te plait ... mon 'Arry", haha! Since there is no bookshop where we live that sells English-language books, and that fortunately he works in Paris, I told him to get to WHSmith or Brentano's (another British bookstore) first before showing his face to his boss otherwise he'll get stuck with him and the idea of buying my HP book will be shelved. When he arrived home from work today, even before taking off his full-face crash helmet, he handed me the book. Good grief, My Harry! Enfin! I just couldn't hide it, I was smiling ear to ear.

What more can I ask for? We just had the best vacation ever, and tonight, feeling completely filled with excitement, I'll immerse myself in the magical tales (that may be written for children but also a good read for adults) and be transported once again into another world. Good thing of having no internet during the vacation, stumbling into a spoiler page could be possible, tsk tsk.

La vie est belle (life is beautiful), eh? Ah, well ... sometimes.

The chalet we rented

Cléms and Koko on their way to fetch water essential for their sandcastle
(as the sand was too dry and impossible to work with). Being careful not to
be totally exposed to so much scorching sun, hats and t-shirts were also

She's been posing like this lately, Japanese style, eh? When I asked her where she'd seen this, she said "can't remember!"

The rain didn't succeed to put us in a bad mood. Cléms with papa.

Koko, who suddenly turned timid and not really wanting this picture taken, oh well...

The Mont-St. Michel in Bretagne.

Building castles in the air...
You think I'm letting the cat out of the bag? No, I don't own those love handles. But I guess I don't mind if they were mine (I just won't pose like this, don't wanna make myself look like a sex symbol you know, hehe).
Merci et à bientôt! ^_^ eXTReMe Tracker