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Virtual birthdays, real friends

| barkada, friends, party, philippines

(Backlog: 2006.08.12)

“How many geeks does it take to…” is a standard joke whenever my
barkada (close group of friends) in the Philippines gets together.
Just like last year, they celebrated my actual birthday with a
tele-party. Instead of hanging out at some wireless cafe in Glorietta,
they trooped over to my parents’ new place, bringing flowers for my
mom. (Awwww! After all, she did all the hard work on my zeroth
birthday!)

It took me a while to get my side up and running. I hadn’t figured out
how to set up sound under Ubuntu, so I booted to Microsoft Windows.
Troubleshooting a network connection in a Japanese language operating
system was Not Fun, though. Through trial and error I figured out that
I needed to disable the firewall. Then I realized that the network was
blocking my MAC address because it detected a duplicate registration.
The network had worked under Linux because I’d cloned the MAC address
for my Lifebook onto my Vaio, but I hadn’t set it up under Windows. I
switched back to copy the MAC address and then figured out how to set
the MAC address under Windows (again, still working in Japanese).
Skype kept crashing, too, which was decidedly not fun.

So we decided to go with Yahoo Messenger. My friends set up the
wireless router and got three laptops on the network. It’s a good
thing, too, as we needed all three just to keep up with the chatter!
We set up the webcams and made funny faces at each other. There was
also that interesting bit with the identity musical chairs. Heh.

It was so nice to see and talk to my friends again. I so miss them and
my family. Iba talaga ang barkada. I guess Canadians might know what
it’s like. Still… Maybe it’s just the people I know or the culture
here, but it still doesn’t have quite the same feel as our
hell-or-high-water crazy-as-anything barkadas with gimmicks and dramas
and in-jokes galore. I miss my friends back home, and I love them them
to bits!

Clair and Peppy blogged about the party, too. Check out their stories!

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CookOrDie last Saturday: Decadent Dessert party

Posted: - Modified: | cooking, cookordie, friends, party

I confess: I threw a dessert party just to have an excuse to bake more
brownies.

You see, I’m a social chocolate eater. Knowing it to be one of my
weaknesses, I try not to have chocolate unless I have company. And as
9×13 pans result in a _lot_ of brownies, I absolutely must have
friends over if I’m going to even think of baking.

So I did. Dan Howard, Quinn Fung and Jedediah Smith came over. We had this absolutely
decadent dessert: freshly-baked double-chocolate brownies topped with
French vanilla ice cream and hot fudge bought especially for the occasion.

As a concession to healthy eating, we followed it with pineapple
chunks and loose-leaf green tea. (I’ve graduated to loose-leaf tea!
With a tea ball! Proper.)

Now _that’s_ a terrific way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Proper.

Kelly blogged about brownie sundaes. I _so_ want to have a Sundae Sunday now, complete with whipped cream and a light dusting of chocolate shavings or almond slivers or toasted rice or _something_ equally indulgent…

Life is so much better when you know how to make dessert.

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Graduate House Party

| party

We celebrated Graduate House’s 6th anniversary yesterday with a big
party. Good excuse to wear the red dress my mom gave me. <laugh>

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Random Japanese sentence: ペルシャ猫がテーブルの下で眠っていた。 A Persian cat was sleeping under the table.

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Carnivore Night XXXVII: Magdalo at Magdiwang

| party

My sister just sent me another great invitation to another great party. =) She’s an awesome cook and entertainer. Way cool!

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Random Japanese sentence: 私はこの猫の世話をしなければならない。 I have to look after this cat.

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Planning an ice cream party

| party

I’d like to hold an ice cream party on Saturday to celebrate the Delta
Kappa Gamma fellowship, spring, and other wonderful things. It’d also
be good to get together and talk about summer plans, particularly as
international students will soon be allowed to work off-campus. I’ve
got my summer all planned already – I’ll be spending it at IBM working
on my research – but it would be good to hang out with other people
and figure out this funny thing called life.

It’ll be a bit of a squeeze (understatement!) to hold this in my
suite. The common room’s probably the best place. I won’t have access
to the fridge, though, so the ice cream will be all melted… Hmm.
What’s the best way for me to go about doing this? I need some
party-planning help.

Oooh, I should plan a halo-halo party for summer, too. It’s so weird
here – their summer starts in _June_…

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Random Japanese sentence: 彼女がドアを開けるやいなや猫が走り出た。 No sooner had she opened the door than a cat ran out.

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Kathy’s May Day mayday!

Posted: - Modified: | party

My sister always writes hilarious invites for her parties. She’s
really got flair. Here’s the latest one, with some details blocked out
with “SHH!SECRET!” for privacy.

My darling capybaras – or more formally – dear friends:

It’s a long weekend, that won’t be too long for the people here at
Adphoto. Work came in for Saturday and Sunday (we’re happy to be
working!). Nonetheless, Monday is a holiday so for those of you
stuck in Manila, we must celebrate ;) Besides, why would you want
to miss out on all the fun?

PERTINENT DETAILS

CAPYBARA* NIGHT II: May Day, mayday! (or will it be May Day Melee?
Time will tell, but if you trust us, you can bring a friend ;) )
1 May 2006 (monday)

ADPHOTO
(Address removed)

RSVP: Monday morning at 11 – (email and phone number removed)

Start: Staggered, depending on your personality type. ;)

Dinner served at 7:30

Expect to finish by 10:30

What the heck is a capybara? Think of a guinea pig, make it 3 ft
tall. That’s a Capybara. Think of an experimental dish, you’re the
test subject… you’re a capybara! ;)

—-

Following the success of the last CBN we’ve decided to do a follow up.

DINNER MENU

Starters:

Pumpkin – Curry soup & Pappadams (tried and tested, we just need
to look for a new blender. The last one crashed on my foot,
cementing one of our new HSE house rules. Wear shoes when cooking,
the other one would be – cook beside a fire extinguisher :) – I’m
kidding! I’m kidding! *<:o) )

Main Course:

Chicken with Prosciutto (bacon), Cherry tomatoes, and Asparagus.
I honestly don’t know what it’s called, and can’t find the recipe
(hence, mayday). I saw it on Discovery Channel though, Jamie Oliver
rocks!!!! It looks simple, easy and mouth-watering. For those of
you who live alone (and drink a lot!) it might be worthwhile for
you to come and experiment with us. It’s a one person dish and all
you need is a stove and a can of wine or a glass of beer. We’ll
figure out the recipe and you can check it out on Claire’s blog
(Happy eclair, I don’t know her surname) or Sacha’s wiki (sacha
chua of course) (don’t know where they are, google it or click
here. Unless someone wants to help me document capybara night, and
we can put up a capybara blog.

Hybrid Risotto
I don’t know if it’s the real deal, but I promise you it tastes
great and is easy enough to make alone. (Might actually be a
risotto/ pilaf hybrid). Same risotto we’ve served in the last
couple of years of CN (carnivore night).

Dessert
c/o The Shy Ones (they’re bringing the goods)

—-

Here’s the thing. THIS IS NOT MASS MAIL…. well not really. Okay,
it’s well thought out mass mail.

If you got this invite from me, please know that I’ve carefully
considered the guest list, and I’m pretty sure you’ll get along
with the people who are coming. (if you don’t live in the
Philippines, then I thought you might find this funny, or get an
idea for your next party) If you have a funny friend you’d like to
bring, pass the message on. Ask them to email me for security
clearance and psychological test. If they pass, we’ll give them a
sticker (e.g. Hi I’m Pedro, what’s yours? ;) ).

If you got this invite from a friend of mine (or a friend of a
friend) then they think highly enough of you to bring you along (I
was kidding about the sticker and the psych test, but email me
anyway so I know who you are. Remember to behave and bring your
sense of humor. You are not gatecrashing, you are welcome! Read on!

Brilliant (or hungry) Marcelle who BTW requested to hold the CBN
follow-up, suggested that guests pitch in with the dinner
production so it becomes cost effective for the host (me) and so we
can hold it more often (Yay!). Following this month’s raid at the
Bombproof store, and getting axed with taxes, I heartily agree. :)

So how does it work?

CAPYBARA SORTER

just for dinner (be here by 7 if you want to be a Capybara)
There are those among us who are either really shy or really busy.
It’s okay, you don’t have to be there while we attempt to cook.
Dinner will be served at 7.30pm. You can bring us ready-made
appetizers, salad, something to drink or dessert. It’s just fair.
:) For those of you who feel like they’d fall under this category.
Please reply to this email with SHY CAPYBARA under the subject
category. It would be wonderful to see you still don’t worry.

coming to cook for dinner
And learn a new dish too! Be here by 5:30 pm. Please reply to this
email with CAPYBARA CHEF under the subject category. We will email
you which ingredient to bring. If you can’t make it to that time,
SMS us EARLY (number removed) so we can go into crisis-resolution
mode and swing by the supermarket. (Kinda hard to make a chicken
recipe without the chicken)

coming to shop
All aboard! We’re taking a field trip to the nearest supermarket
and deli. Bring Php. 200 – 300, we’ll all pitch in for dinner (the
more, the many-er! ;) ) Please be here by 3 pm. We need to get
organized. Please reply to this email with SHOPPING CAPYBARA under
the subject category. See you here

requiring Environmental/ Behavioral Enrichment
Find yourself pacing lately? Or engaging in stereotypical/ self
destructive behaviors (plucking hair/ nail-biting). Come and be
enriched. I’ll make you a puzzle feeder for dinner. ;) some ideas

Either that or you just really miss me, which is fine. :) Yeah,
yeah, you can come to the house as early as you want (after 10
am… otherwise you’ll meet a grumpy monkey.) Bring your favorite
DVD (Marcelle, nothing too cheesy), your favorite set of clothes,
or a board/bored game. We’ll figure out what to do with you when
you get here.

Whew! That was a long invite….

Anyway, looking forward to seeing you here!

Warmest regards,

Kathy Chua
Head Capybara

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Geeks and birthday parties

| barkada, friends, geek, happy, party

Twelve hours’ time difference didn’t stop my friends from a proper
birthday party for me. What can you expect when your friends are
geeks? They pulled out all the stops: cellphones for quick setup and
communication, Yahoo Messenger for
text and video, and moblogs for pictures of the celebration. Too bad a
firewall stopped us from chatting via Skype!

It was slightly weird because there were six people chatting around
one computer in a coffee shop in Manila, one person connecting from
U.P. Baguio (Mario), and of course me, connecting from my dorm. Six
people! One keyboard! Still, through the valiant efforts of Dominique
and Charo, Mario and I “heard” enough of the conversation to laugh
ourselves to bits. Mario was the only one who could see my webcam, but
he took a screenshot just so that the others could see me with my cute
hat! =)

To commemorate my birth, my friends dug into a tub of dulce de leche
ice cream. Knowing what kind of ice cream they had (and how quickly it
was disappearing) reminded me of the ice cream parties we had when I
was there. =) I remember our quest for dulce de leche, too!
Oooooh… yummy… Not to be left out, I told them I’m going to cook
lasagna later. Marcelle and Dominique remember what my lasagna tastes
like. =)

They even called up long-distance and passed around the phone for
quick birthday greetings!

_That’s_ how you throw a geek birthday party.

Thanks, everyone. You really made my day special. That warm and fuzzy
feeling you gave me this morning is what’s getting me through the rest
of this quiet day…

^_^

It’s so great to have such friends! =D

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