Category Archives: friends

Tea

One of my indulgences is hosting tea parties. I love bringing friends together for conversation. There’s something about an unhurried afternoon when people can come and go as they please, enjoy some snacks and as much conversation as they’d like, and share their lives.

After lots of experimentation, I’ve settled into a good routine. The week before, I prepare tarts, biscuits, muffins, scones, or other delectables that I can stash in the fridge or freezer. I think about dietary restrictions and make sure there’s something for everyone. When guests come (or a little before), I get small portions ready.

Even if no one makes it (life happens!), I’ll have a freezer of goodies to see us at least through the next week. Yay!

People always come. Most of the time, lots of people do. We crowd around the kitchen table, unwrap the favourites that people have brought, and share stories and tips and questions and advice.

There’s something about these low-expectation whoever-shows-up get-togethers that feels wonderful. When I read about the extended family dinners Trent wrote about on the Simple Dollar, I thought, “Yes, that’s what I do, except tea works better for me than dinner.” Less juggling of dishes, less competition from other weekend priorities, less need to get everyone together at a specific time.

I’m planning to host another tea party near the end of the month, or perhaps mid-May. I’ll buy a few more saucers so that I’m not always scrambling to find a clean one for later visitors. It’s a good time for lemonade and lemon curd squares. (W- makes awesome lemon curd squares with shredded coconut.) Pies and tarts are starting to give way to fresh fruit and lighter breads (perhaps some pandesal?), but maybe I can learn how to make pecan tarts. Soon it will be barbecue season, which opens up even more possibilities.

If you haven’t hosted a tea party or other get-together yet, try it out. It’s fun, surprisingly frugal, and a great way to connect.

A night with the barkada

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I’m trying to figure out how to explain to other people what this barkada thing is like, but it’s hard.

I can’t explain how the conversation can flow so fast and funny over water and pizza. (And to think that other people drink alcohol to relax their inhibitions.)

In-jokes that still haven’t grown old, after all these years. New jokes and references. Politically incorrect humor mixed in with ideas and initiatives. Serious thoughts mixed in with crazy antics.

There’s something about critical mass and quick retorts that’s part of the magic of being in person.

It’s amazing being part of a group like this.

Reflecting on relationships

For my 25th year, I focused on building a wonderfully loving relationship with W-. We developed shared hobbies (cooking, photography), built shared experiences, and made home even smoother and more comfortable. We’re the sappiest, happiest, and luckiest couple I know, and I think we’re off to a great start. Over the next year, I hope to keep making this part of my life even more wonderful. This part of life doesn’t need radical improvements. Things are amazing already! Constant, gradual improvements will keep us growing.

I haven’t neglected my other relationships. I’ve come to look forward to weekly chats with my mom, and I love it when my dad drops in too. I occasionally hear from my other friends in the Philippines and in Canada. I’m missing something, though, and I’d like to focus on that for my 26th year.

I want the closeness of my childhood, when my sisters and I would make up games with each other, when I could make my mom melt and my dad laugh. I want to bring to that the awesomeness of being grown-up, of sharing different perspectives on the wonderful thing that’s life. I’m curious about the sisterhood in greeting cards and movies. I’m curious about how other people relate to their parents.

I want the closeness of my barkada, of a richly interlinked group of friends who are friends with each other, the kind of friends you share experiences with, grow up through life with, have ridiculously impenetrable in-jokes with. The people you laugh with until your sides split and your cheeks hurt, the people you cry with until someone says something that flips the situation around and you’re all on top of the world again. I want to develop new friendships, too, and bring people together for shared experiences. I’m curious about how other people keep in touch with friends over a distance or build friendships after university, when people no longer have the luxury of lots of time spent together while going through huge changes.

So that’s what I’ll explore for my 26th year. =) For my birthday, then, I’d love to hear stories and tips. Do you have great relationships with your family or your friends, particularly over a distance? Tell me what that’s like! What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? How did you get started? How do you keep growing?

A geek’s guide to Toronto

Geek guide to Toronto

Gino Ledesma (one of my friends from university) is in Toronto for some training, so I spent the afternoon showing him some of my favorite geek places. =) He was blown away by the size of the Toronto Reference Library (and I showed him Robarts Library, too – no stacks access, though =( ). We enjoyed walking through the Royal Ontario Museum (particularly the Philippine section with, err, basket-like cellphone holders). Guidebooks wouldn’t have told him about Active Surplus or the Linux Caffe. =) And I might go with him to the science centre next weekend. (I love the place!) Ah, geeks hanging out…

Zemanta Pixie

Keeping in touch

Today was a day for catching up with old friends. I spent an hour
catching up with Clair Ching over the webcam
this morning, and another hour with
Kendra Castillo in the
evening. It was good to talk to them again. Many of the things we’ve
gone through or are going through are surprisingly similar. =)

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-group-make-help-group – Command: Create the Gnus documentation group.

Barkada party

My mom held a Skype party for my barkada (close group of friends) in
the Philippines. I enjoyed seeing and hearing them this morning.
They’re just as crazy as I remembered. I wish they were here with me!
I haven’t been able to put together such a large, mutually supportive
peer group over here. Maybe someday!

After we caught up, we spent the rest of the time swapping Internet
memes. After seeing the remixed Shining trailer that turned the horror
classic into a feel-good father-and-son movie, I’ve decided to track
down a copy of Stephen King’s novel and to see the movie.
<laugh> After all, I’ve already read the spoilers *and* the
analyses…

I’m thinking of calling people up and chatting with them, or maybe
starting a food blog with pictures. We’ll see how that turns out. =)

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-category-read – Function: Read the category alist.