Father’s Day Weekend

Once in a while it pays to get out of our comfort zone and face the world out there. In my terms, the world outside my boring driving route.

I spared Friday for wifey, to meet up with her former work colleagues. It was a trip to Vikings Luxury Buffet somewhere close to MOA which we had to time right due to the UVVRP. Although hours late for dinner, we ended the night full of reminisced memories, free buffet, and free Starbucks. Thanks guys, especially to the couple who brought stuffs from their 10-year stay in the US.

We left wifey with her friends so we tried the MOA Eye. My first time here but this is Marcus’ first ferris wheel ride.
Red Planet’s lobby has teddy bears. Not free though.
Midnight check in.

Next day, was for Marcus and me. Saturday was supposed to be gun show day but no thanks to my disorganized calendar, we got ourselves booked in Red Planet Hotel Shaw a month earlier than AFAD’s event at SM Megamall.

Not wanting to waste opportunity and gas, we skipped the bigger mall and dropped by Greenhills Shopping Center to get Marcus’ Xbox One controller checked and fixed. 800 pesos later we have a working unit. Seemed worth it.

Still with time to kill on a Father’s Day weekend, we tried finding our way back to Megamall. This is when our luck, or more so mine, would run out. My lack of familiarity with the streets got me entering a one-way zone and got flagged for a traffic violation. It would have been a more costly mistake had it not been for any or all of the following: a really considerate officer, Marcus playing along with my alibi that he’s starving, or my dashcam’s presence that made the officer realize it records whatever he says. Whatever it was, I got away with a lesser fine. We ditched Megamall plans that afternoon.

None today, so must be Tuesday as advised by the officer.

All is not lost however. Thanks to the new Shakey’s as well as Starbucks stores at Caltex SLEX we were able to cap our adventure right. Pizza and Java Chip Frappucino always work for me.

Pizza saved the day.

***

Shorties:

Vikings Luxury Buffet wasn’t what I expected. Located outside of a mall, parking was difficult, coming in on a Friday night made it worse. We lined up for more than 30 minutes before we got our slot. Food wasn’t that remarkable either. It didn’t even matter if I got mine for free. Normally I wouldn’t make a fuss out of it if I’m not paying but I just wouldn’t add this place to my must-visit-again list.

Red Planet Hotel’s experience was much better. Accommodation was worth the price we paid for. At P1500 we got comfy rooms, better ambiance, and friendly staff–from reception to maintenance. It also has parking secured with automated entrance and CCTV. And it has a brand that’s family-friendly than motels that has a logo of a female behind a yellow fan or one that sounds like a female lingerie line that ends with the word secret. If there’s a Red Planet among your options, pick it.

***

Sunday was plain and simple. Despite our close proximity to my parent-in-law’s place, I and Marcus seldom visit them due to not-so-wheelchair friendly route. But this Father’s day I made sure we dropped by. I had to pry Marcus away from his newly bought Spider-Man Xbox 360 game (pre-owned game we bought from Greenhills) and celebrate with everyone else. Did cold turkey on the urge to drink with anyone this year so that I could make myself available to Marcus anytime but this Sunday I asked his permission to have some just for Father’s day. I had two bottles of lights and bananas for finger food which makes me still on track on my sobriety and weight loss goal.

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (My second holiday Monday this June.)

Cats in the Backseat

This independence day I broke records. This would be the day I function as Uber for our resident cats. Not one, not two, not three. And not even four. Yes, I had five cats in the backseat today. Sedated but five cats in the backseat nevertheless.

Now they invaded the interior.

Thanks to the local government’s initiative, we finally got a break after several attempts to contact other clinics and avail of free spay and neuter services. It was quite late as the two females have once again given birth to six kittens but at least we’re making progress to control their number and in the process prevent further scratches on our car among the many pet peeves of having cats around.  Now there would be less three mollies and two toms. 

Not yet Halloween but such scary sight.

I might as well have gotten the record for the most number of pets brought by a single owner. The venue was packed with dogs and cats alike but operation was efficient. Made me wonder where funding comes from but I am just thankful that they made this happen. Happy independence day cats lover!

The sponsors.

***

The day required preparation so I ran in the morning. I did 38 minutes for a 5K. Finally losing those Christmas cheesecake fats.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Got the car cleaned. Backseat smells antiseptic and cat fur were all over.)

Hot Car No More

Can’t recall the last time I saw him sleeping in the car.

This past week I had the hottest car in the neighborhood. I wish figuratively but no. It was really the hottest car. Thanks to bad air-conditioning.

What was temporarily fixed about a year ago eventually broke down. Nothing but Murphy’s Law. The mechanic was honest enough that placing the shim on the car’s aircon compressor wouldn’t last but back then my only concern was that the car would make it to the airport for our December trip. Well, it exceeded expectations.

Actually, more than enough. It made more trips. It made another trip to Park ‘N Fly for our short Bacolod vacation. And it made more to and from Manila while we process Marcus’ genetic testing. I think the gamble to have the short-term fix was worth it.

But two Fridays ago I braved peeking under the boot to check. It was a rattling sound that got my attention early of May. The compressor’s pulley was indeed coming off. It moved more that the magnetic clutch would. That was the start of one week of sweaty drive to work and weekends spent on finding an air-conditioning compressor replacement. Last Saturday I was lucky to finally source out the part somewhere closer than Cavite.

Today, I got the part installed. The car’s dashboard vents are once again blowing cold air. Monday’s drive to work would be with windows up this time. 

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! ( Hot choco while waiting at the car wash.)

Monsters

Before Netflix and Xbox.

There was once a time when Monster Inc. ruled the TV. Not Xbox, not Netflix. Just Monster Inc. It played a lot that I could almost memorize the lines, I almost know most of the characters. Marcus would watch this Pixar film day in day out and his reactions remain the same as if it is his first time every time. And I would pretend the same thing. I would act scared when the robotic kid would shriek during the scare simulation scene. I seem to miss those days.

Marcus has since upped his entertainment. It’s now Xbox with Call of Duty series leading his choices–shooting game, I know. More so recently that we finally had success in redeeming the Xbox Live Gold prepaid subscription which by the way was purchased out of his coin bank. Yes, he had P2000 out of it. It was a matter of talking with Microsoft’s chat support agent who incidentally was Filipino. The solution was just to change the region on my account from Philippines to United States and voilĂ , no more error. Nada. Nil. Gone! Funny but Microsoft’s current online FAQs related to this error do not mention anything about this very simple solution. I wonder why.

The activation happened on a Labor Day. It was while I cherish my first ever legit Labor Day time off after a long time working in the BPO. This time there is no need to compete with anyone for vacation slots, no need to fake sickness or get creative with alibis. It’s one of my few new benefits. A day off away from monitoring calls all day is always a bliss. It was one day sans the monsters disguised as bad English, moody agents, rude customers, and anything in between. I felt bad that I ended the chat after realizing too late that I need to answer a survey for the very helpful Microsoft chat support agent. Thanks a lot anyway dude, you made our son very happy. Now we know what to do when we redeem another code when his subscription ends 12 months after. 
***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Dark clouds ahead on a hot summer day.)

Genetic Testing At Last

What started as a table discussion in the US has finally materialized. Yesterday, Marcus’ genetic testing was done at UP-NIH. It took us several  exchange of emails with support groups (thanks to you guys!) and hospitals  and leg work that require trips to Metro Manila to exhaust our options in finding an alternative to this expensive procress. Now Marcus blood has been extracted and would soon be tested to determine if his strain is the one that the new DMD drug in the market can cure.

But testing is one thing, the medication is another. We keep our hopes high yet our expectations realistic. It’s waiting game for now until 3-4 weeks after. Que sera sera. We’ll make our next steps whatever the outcome is.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Survived Tuesday.)