Measuring up!

Black is beautiful, but too much black is charcoal” — that was the tongue-in-cheek saying I immediately thought of upon receiving the Porter by Yoshida Company bag on the mail yesterday. I already have eight black bags but it did not prevent me from getting this briefcase/messenger bag. I was really happy because the bag was lightweight and both the straps and rolled handles are comfortable on my shoulders. The coated canvas gives off a leathery finish on pictures, but I guess it will hold up really well under the heavy rains.

Porter by Yoshida Company briefcase messenger bag

Porter by Yoshida Company briefcase messenger bag and Red Wing 8875 boots

Anyway, on my way to work today, I dropped by the Handyman store in Farmers Plaza to buy locks and bolts for the apartment we will be renting starting in June. I found the aisle dedicated to these items and I had a great time choosing what should be used to secure our apartment. At first, I was just looking for a traditional door knob but I remember Mon describing an alternative. He was not able to give its exact name but when I saw the ‘deadbolt lock’, I immediately sent him a photo to ask if it was what he had described.  I subsequently bought approximately Php 900-worth of items, which we would be giving to the landlady so that they will be installed during the repainting of the unit.

Locks and bolts from the Handyman storeSpeaking of repainting, I wanted to have the unit’s paint changed from yellow to at least off-white, just like what I’ve mentioned in my previous post. The unit is due to be repaired/renovated for occupation this weekend, so I also asked the landlady if she could have it repainted and I will just pay for the extra cost. I wanted off-white because that is the color of our walls in our house, so the color scheme is a piece of home away from home. Our extremely yellow roomSo during dinner break, Faye accompanied Mon and me to the apartment . We needed to give out the locks to the landlady, and I also had to measure the floor area so we can proceed in deciding what pieces of furniture to purchase/bring. I know that I should have brought a retractable measuring tape, instead of the one made for human/fabric measurements because my hands were a bit dirty as the place was still quite dusty. It was an oddly-shaped studio apartment (well, at least the area excluding the bathroom), so I have drawn a rough sketch on paper of the floor area to facilitate measurement.

Floor plan of the studio apartmentWhen I got there, my immediate decision was to use inches instead of centimeter. I normally use inch-foot when measuring bags and clothing, but I usually resort to centimeter-meter when measuring space or floor area. SO I had no idea why I immediately jumped the gun on inches, when centimeters could have given me a more accurate measurement, especially I needed every single space I could measure. Well, no good crying over spilled milk so I would just have to live with the measurement I have made.

From the sketch, I have generated this floor plan of the unit with approximate measurements of every single side of the polygon. The total floor area is 115.50 ft²! It was not much but I see it as a challenge.  I’m not big in interior decoration as I never had the chance to foray into tinkering whatever it is that we have in our house. But honestly, I see the limited as an opportunity and I was greatly inspired by this “IKEA Small Spaces – Small ideas” video.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQjBrt9LriY]

I love the idea of maximizing every bit of space available, and having items with multiple functions. What worries me the most is the amount of clothing, shoes and bag I have. I’ve been doing a mental inventory and selection of what items I will be bringing with me; and as much as I have pared down that list, I still could not think of how I will manage to properly fit them in the unit. We will be going to the Makati malls on weekend, and I look forward to seeing possible options for the bed and closet (if we will be getting one). I think our work would be easier because we have the floor plan with us. I just  hope we’ll find a decently-price sofa bed because that is the whole point of moving from Marikina to Makati —to have a decent sleep!

Interesting comment from a reader

Summer is officially here and I should probably start buying lots of plain cotton shirts because of the heat. I love my workshift as I get to do things before going to the office but summer is always a tricky thing to deal with. Lately, I just bring another collared top with me in the office to change my usually drenched with sweat shirt because that was the minimum requirement of the dress code.

Camouflage shirt, skinny khaki pants, Red Wing 8875 boots, Mulberry wexford briefcase messenger and Prada trick in saffiano - Mulberry Bag Philippines

Anyway, I attached the trick keychain on the wexford messenger and they looked lovely together under the afternoon sunlight.

Prada trick saffiano and Mulberry wexford messenger briefcase

What I love most in having a constant access to my email is the ability to read curious events happening on my blog even on the go. So yesterday, when I’ve heard the familiar “You’ve got mail!” AOL-tone, I was surprised to see this message in my Inbox, for a comment left on the entry “Wednesday footwear finds“:

An interesting comment sent by a reader

Of course, I was taken aback. It never occurred to me that I had a fake pair of Red Wing shoes. The anonymous reader did not leave any e-mail address nor URL for me to get in touch with him/her, so there was no way for me to reach out to him/her. All I had was the IP address from a user located in G/F Centrum II Building in Makati, just near my workplace. (hmmm…) Anyway, I looked into this possibility and I would have appreciated more this piece of information, had the user elaborated on the reasons why. Personally, it is extremely easy to call out and pronounce something as inauthentic, especially under the cloak of anonymity in the internet. Maybe the comment was not left out of malice and the reader was really concerned; and in his haste, he had forgotten to indicate any contact information. But I can’t help but think of other reasons as well. =D

He had a point, though. When I first posted about the shoes in November, I just cross-examined it with the website of Red Wing and zeroed in immediately on the 875s. I did not bother scrutinizing the tag beneath the tongue of the boots and realized that these were 8875s and NOT 875s. But what’s the difference anyway? I did not know about nuances in design until last night (and I will not bother claiming that I know everything but at least I backed it up with my own research), and thanks to the reader, I got a better understanding of the Red Wing 8875s.

Red Wing Classic Work Moc Round Tote Style No. 8875 boots - Heritage Work

Screencap from redwingshoe.co.jp (Japanese site) with the 8875 boots

Red Wing 875 versus Red Wing 8875 - notice the difference in the color of the eyelets

Red Wing 875 versus Red Wing 8875 – notice the difference in the color of the eyelets

A careful Google search brought me to forums discussing the 8875 Red Wing boots and I found out here that:

Different model use different eyelets. 875, 1907 & 877 are different where u can find engrave of ‘red wing’ on each dark color eyelet which silver eyelet dont. 8131, 8875, 8165, 8134, 8167, 9111, 8173 and 8179 are made with silver eyelet.”

I also found out that the 8875 is a model exclusively produced in Japan and is more reddish than the yellowish 875. I also cannot find 8875 in Red Wing’s website but when I was redirected to their Japanese site www.redwingshoe.co.jp, I found the boots after a simple search. I also had a little difficulty searching for the 8875, but after knowing the Japanese connection, I had more relevant results when using google.co.jp.

Anyway, I’m still open to hear again from this curious reader. And hopefully, the next time he calls me out on something, he would leave some contact information so I can easily get back to him for a better exchange of words.

Off to UPLB!

It was a fine Monday and we can’t be thankful enough of the overcast weather because we had to go to UP Los Baños and submit the requirements for Lot’s dormitory application. After leaving our things and the office and the collared shirt I would be wearing for work, Mon and I went straight to the Taft area to ride a bus going to Los Baños. To our surprise, the JAM Liner terminal there did not have any bus departing for Sta. Cruz, the route passing by College, to UPLB. One of the drivers there told us to go to Green Star’s terminal few meters away, and we had barely missed the bus because it was already in the highway, about to leave.

Welcome to UPLB!

An hour and a half, we already arrived at our destination. I was really excited to go there again because I haven’t been to UPLB for a very long time. I have extremely fond memories of the place and seeing the familiar environment brought the feeling back. When we were about to disembark, I remember checking the people online on Facebook to see if some of my friends from Elbi were online. Good thing, Russel was available and I messaged her immediately so we can meet up with her. But we first had to go to the University Housing Services to submit the application requirements.

University Housing Services in UPLB

The University Housing Services is located just behind the College of Development Communication, near the Carabao Park just after the university’s entrance. We thought there was a long line of students waiting to be entertained but they were actually queueing for something else. We just entered that door above and was entertained by the lady in charge after finishing a phone call (and from what I’ve heard, I inferred that it was an inquiry in sending the application via mail). If only we were not hoping to secure a good room slot for Lot, we could have just sent her application via mail as well. However, it was a first-come, first-served application and every moment counts. In less than five minutes, then, we were done with our ‘mission’ and we had to do something else.

I called Russel and she was in a library near BioSci, just behind the University Registrar. So we had to walk from the Housing Services and passed by the Humanities building. We also saw a group of people in the Registrar, looking at two sheets of paper containing information about the wait listing process in UPLB.

Oblation in UPLB, in front of the Humanities building

Flow chart of application for wait list and wait list criteria for UPLB for First Semester 2013-2014

 

Then just as we reached the parking area in front of BioSci, I immediately saw Russel waving from a distance and I was so happy to see her. =) She was busy finishing her graduate thesis and was hoping she’d finish it in time, thus graduate this semester as well. Good thing the library was quite lax and did not require us to present our ID. After a few minutes of catching up, we eventually left to walk around the campus because of the impending downpour.

With Russell

 

The nearest attraction was the Pegaraw in front of the Main Library and I wanted Mon to have a closer look at the peculiar sculpture.

On our way to the UPLB Main Library to see the Pegaraw

 

Pegaraw in UP Los Baños

 

 

There were a lot of students walking past and it was difficult to get a good shot with it. We also had to stand behind the sculpture because the sun was shining behind it and we did not want to showcase our silhouette with the Pegaraw. This explains why Mon’s picture below had the bum shown in full detail. LOL

Mon with the Pegaraw - UP Los Baños

 

We then scrapped our walking-for-leisure pace because we still had to travel back to Makati. We wasted no time going to the Freedom Park to have a look around; and we also had a great time having our pictures taken, albeit quickly. Just an hour earlier, we were so worried that it might rain but the moment we set foot in the Freedom Park, we realized that we stressed ourselves out for nothing. In true UPLB fashion, the weather was unpredictable.

Mariang Banga - UP Los Baños

 

Mon  and I in the Freedom Park - UP Los Baños

 

Freedom Park and the Fertility Tree - UP Los Baños

 

In the Freedom Park, with the Fertility Tree and the  Carillon Tower in the background - UP Los Baños

 

Mon also wanted to get a good picture of the Men’s Dorm, which we will be showing to his sister. Hopefully, her application to that dorm gets approved, so we can all cross out the accommodation problem out of the list. If that happens, she will be getting an email from the Housing Services and will have a week to confirm her reservation — and we will accompany her back to UPLB. ^_^

Men's Dorm - UP Los Baños

 

 

We left UPLB at around 4:30 PM but it took us almost 20 minutes to reach Olivarez again, as the traffic was horrendous. Contrary to what I’ve expected, there were also few buses bound for Manila passing by and we had to wait for 15 minutes just to catch one. We rode an HM Transport bus with ‘Cubao’ signboard and we asked the driver if we could get off in Ayala. But to our dismay, they won’t be stopping there so we just opted for the Magallanes stop. We also paid about Php 95 each, more than what we paid from Taft to Los Baños using Green Star liner (i.e. about Php 73 each). But I guess we were still lucky because the bus driver told us an hour and a half after (yes, the flow of traffic from Los Baños to the entrance of SLEX was ridiculous), just as we reached Magallanes, that they would be dropping us off to Ayala instead. Yay! No more MRT!

Kim n' Chi goodness

 

We then had a good dinner at our favorite place in Glorietta’s Food Court, Kim n’ Chi! We were so hungry because all that we had eaten during the whole trip was two pieces of butternut doughnuts, a can of iced coffee, a pack of Piattos and a liter of bottled water. I initially wanted to suggest eating dinner in Los Baños but we would have definitely arrived much later given the slow travel back. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to going back to UPLB next week in the happy event that the dorm application turns out well!

My personal Masterchef!

I had barely woken up when Mama handed me out an envelope from BDO. First, I thought that it was a pre-approved credit card. I had no intention of having one, even if I was already called by several agents trying to woo me over the benefits of owning one but to no avail. When I opened the envelope, this was securely plastered on the paper:

BDO's Emerald Rewards card, which can essentially function as an SM Advantage card

Over breakfast, I read the accompanying letter and with the help of Google, I found out that what they sent me was essentially an SM Advantage Card, the BDO way. =D Interestingly, in one of the get together’s I have attended last December, Marcial gave a thorough explanation over the benefits of an SM Advantage Card and I was genuinely interested in having one. So after eating my food, I immediately registered the card and it was already ready for use.

Purple V-Neck shirt, brick jeans, Red Wing 875 boots, Gucci microfiber messenger - Manila, Philippines

Since last month, I got accustomed to wearing a comfortable cotton top (preferably, a T-shirt) on my way to work and just change in the office because until now, I still feel a bit uncomfortable. But two months from now, summer will officially start and I plan to buy lots of cotton T-shirts and polo shirts to prepare for the blazing heat. I also plan to go back to the tailor who made my favorite pair of black pants to have at least two more pants done: khaki and navy blue. But unlike last year where we bought all the way from Kamuning’s famous fabric market, we will just buy it in the Public Market of Marikina. Even if the fabric costs less per yard, it was such a hassle to go there again. Besides, the fare alone already made up for that supposed-discount.

Since the start of the year, I made a personal pact to continue with my quest to bond with my stationary bike. I was also fortunate enough that I no longer have to make this effort clandestine to Mon and he was supportive of whatever it was that I wanted to do. We’ve been trying to eat healthy as well, with occasional cheat days. I’m also very grateful that his cooking skills has been more apaprent because he has been cooking our snack at home more frequently.

Mon's herb and garlic pasta

Mon's herbed marble potatoes

Mon prepared this light cappellini aglio olio and marbled potatoes with a strong garlic flavor, which I absolutely loved. Both were cooked in olive oil and I was very fast to finish my share. He admitted that all the marathon watching of Masterchef US since last December has inspired him to cook and cook more lately. =D I also learned how to cook before. When I was in grade school, I remember my mother teaching me how to cook some dishes because she had to go and work abroad again. Well, as my othe siblings were more adept at cooking, I just let them do the chore and I was perpetually relegated to take care of the dishes after (and that continues until today). My brother even has impressively perfected and improved my mother’s baked macaroni recipe. Her fiancée was also good at cooking (they have prepared lunch for all of us last Saturday)! Good thing that between the two of us, Mon can cook quite well, or else we’re doomed to takeaways!