Car Troubles

Remember that little crash into a manhole I had? Well, apparently, the car didn’t escape unscathed. Today the damage reared its ugly expensive head as I drove the car up into our driveway. Something cracked in the front right wheel assembly, and a nut popped loose. Plus it made a horrible groaning noise and I screamed in fright.

There was no particular reason to scream, but I had been left jumpy from something that had happened only a few minutes earlier. I was at the intersection of two main roads, and there were pedestrians crossing. They had already stopped when they saw me approaching, so I drove on. Just as I cleared where those pedestrians were standing, a red blur of a boy crashed pell-mell into the left rear portion of the car. My jaw agape, I slammed on the brakes and threw the car door open to check if I’d hurt someone.

A man standing at the corner was looking at me. “Andun siya o! Tumakbo!” he told me, and pointed at the boy in red running across the street and onto the sidewalk. He seemed fine and in one piece, and he just kept running away from the scene of the accident.

I closed the car door and drove away. And then came the groaning tire.

I hope that kid didn’t hurt his internal organs from slamming himself into my car. Otherwise, that’s an ugly injury waiting to rear its head.

The Quest for a Sugar-free Treat

These days, I only go to two coffee shops: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf or Starbucks. See, I don’t go to expensive shops to drink brewed coffee or sample their pastry selections. I go to have their specialty drinks. I only have one single rule that must be met: what I drink must be sugar-free.

Ever since I discovered that CBTL gave its customers the option of using No Sugar Added vanilla and chocolate powders to flavor their drinks, I have been an avid fan of their Ice Blended drinks, particularly the Pure Chocolate and Pure Vanilla Ice Blended. Recently I added the Hot Chocolate to my repertoire for days when I’m not feeling particularly in need of a cool drink.

Starbucks came out with the Frappuccino Light series this year, and I thought the Frapp Light drinks also used sugar-free ingredients. At least, that was what I was led to believe when I first bought one. After what happened today, I’m not sure I’ll be going to Starbucks again in the near future (tampo ako).

Today was the last day of Starbucks’s Halloween treat: a free upsize on all drinks. I had decided to order a grande Caramel Frappuccino Light, which would be upsized to Venti. They handed the mixed drink to me without the whipped cream, so I requested some. Unfortunately, they also drizzled caramel syrup over the whipped cream, which led me to ask some questions.

Me: Is this caramel syrup sugar-free?
Barista: Uh, no, Ma’am.
Me: Oh. So what makes it Light?
Barista: It has 60% less calories than regular Frapps, and we usually serve them without whipped cream.
Me: But it’s not sugar-free.
Barista: No, Ma’am.
Me: (looks at the drink) I can’t drink this.

The barista offered to help me change my drink, but she kept showing me options I wasn’t familiar with–and frankly I had my heart set on a Frapp. Confused and a little bit cranky, I just asked her to give me the drink anyway. I didn’t want her to go to any more trouble when it was my fault.

As I left the Starbucks, though, I started steaming. Now that I knew my Frapp Light wasn’t sugar-free, what was I to do with the drink I held in my hand? It was Venti size, too…

I ended up giving the drink to the housekeeper when I got home. I hope she enjoyed it; I spent a third of my weekly allowance on that drink and got nary a taste of it. Oh, well. I think I’ll go make a late-night run to CBTL and get myself a nice Ice Blended. Na-udlot kasi eh.

Raining Them Out

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that rain always falls on Metro Manila on All Hallows Eve? Ü It’s strange that a predominantly Catholic country has taken to celebrating this pagan holiday (Samhain, according to the Celts) by dressing their children up as ghouls and goblins, devils and demons. About two years ago I was getting the distinct feeling that Halloween was beginning to rival Christmas in festivities.

That, of course, makes me sad.

Music to Graduate to

This meme was nabbed from Ganns and slightly modified because, the site he recommended for getting the list of songs, doesn’t go beyond 2001.

    Meme Rules
  1. Enter the year you graduated from college and search for the top 100 songs of that year.
  2. If you like the song, put it in boldface.
  3. If you hate the song, strike it out.
  4. If you don’t care about the song, leave it alone.
    Top 100 Songs of 2002
  1. Complicated – Avril Lavigne
  2. A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton
  3. Love At First Sight – Kylie Minogue
  4. All You Wanted – Michelle Branch
  5. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head – Kylie Minogue
  6. The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
  7. Don’t Let Me Get Me – Pink
  8. Just Like A Pill – Pink
  9. Soak Up The Sun – Sheryl Crow
  10. Whenever, Wherever – Shakira
  11. Hands Clean, Alanis Morissette
  12. Dilemma – Nelly f/ Kelly Rowland
  13. Without Me – Eminem
  14. Hella Good – No Doubt
  15. Hero – Chad Kroeger
  16. In The End – Linkin Park
  17. Blurry – Puddle Of Mudd
  18. Wherever You Will Go – The Calling
  19. Heaven – DJ Sammy & Yanou f/ Do
  20. Ain’t It Funny – Jennifer Lopez
  21. Underneath Your Clothes – Shakira
  22. Hey Baby – No Doubt
  23. Get The Party Started – Pink
  24. No Such Thing – John Mayer
  25. By The Way – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  26. Hot In Herre – Nelly
  27. How You Remind Me – Nickelback
  28. Escape – Enrique Iglesias
  29. In My Place – Coldplay
  30. Foolish – Ashanti
  31. A New Day Has Come – Celine Dion
  32. Wrong Impression – Natalie Imbruglia
  33. One Last Breath – Creed
  34. Gangsta Lovin’ – Eve f/ Alicia Keys
  35. Sk8er Boi – Avril Lavigne
  36. Standing Still – Jewel
  37. Underneath It All – No Doubt f/ Lady Saw
  38. Too Bad – Nickelback
  39. More Than A Woman – Aaliyah
  40. My Sacrifice – Creed
  41. What’s Luv? – Fat Joe f/ Ashanti
  42. No More Drama – Mary J. Blige
  43. Goodbye To You – Michelle Branch
  44. Somewhere Out There – Our Lady Peace
  45. Ordinary Day – Vanessa Carlton
  46. Objection (Tango) – Shakira
  47. Here Is Gone – Goo Goo Dolls
  48. I’m Gonna Be Alright – Jennifer Lopez
  49. Wasting My Time – Default
  50. Girlfriend – ‘N Sync
  51. Gotta Get Through This – Daniel Bedingfield
  52. What About Us? – Brandy
  53. Sweetness – Jimmy Eat World
  54. Always On Time – Ja Rule f/ Ashanti
  55. Youth Of The Nation – P.O.D.
  56. Days Go By – Dirty Vegas
  57. One Day In Your Life – Anastacia
  58. Overprotected – Britney Spears
  59. In Your Eyes – Kylie Minogue
  60. Running Away – Hoobastank
  61. We Are All Made Of Stars – Moby
  62. I’m Alive – Celine Dion
  63. Seein’ Red – Unwritten Law
  64. Cleanin’ Out My Closet – Eminem
  65. Don’t Know Why – Norah Jones
  66. Just A Little – Liberty X
  67. Little Less Conversation – Elvis vs. JXL
  68. A Woman’s Worth – Alicia Keys
  69. Spin – Lifehouse
  70. Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman – Britney Spears
  71. I Need A Girl (Part One) – P. Diddy
  72. Full Moon – Brandy
  73. Oops (Oh My) – Tweet
  74. Rapture – Iio
  75. Can’t Fight The Moonlight – LeAnn Rimes
  76. Hero – Enrique Iglesias
  77. Happy – Ashanti
  78. Boys – Britney Spears
  79. U Don’t Have To Call – Usher
  80. U Got It Bad – Usher
  81. 7 Days – Craig David
  82. Out Of My Heart (Into Your Head) – BBMak
  83. (This Is A) Song For The Lonely – Cher
  84. Insatiable – Darren Hayes
  85. Precious Illusions – Alanis Morissette
  86. Get Over You – Sophie Ellis-Bextor
  87. Your Body Is A Wonderland – John Mayer
  88. Round Round – Sugababes
  89. Caught In The Middle – A1
  90. Where Are You Going – Dave Matthews Band
  91. Don’t Say Goodbye – Paulina Rubio
  92. Starry Eyed Surprise – Paul Oakenfold
  93. Addictive – Truth Hurts
  94. Rock The Boat -Aaliyah
  95. Walking Away – Craig David
  96. Toxicity – System Of A Down
  97. Rainy Dayz – Mary J. Blige
  98. The Whole World -Outkast
  99. …On The Radio (Remember The Days) – Nelly Furtado
  100. Family Affair – Mary J. Blige

I Hate Buses and Jeepneys

I was driving to the gym at 5:45am yesterday with my sister. Now, since the sun was still hiding under the horizon, it was dark on the roads. I was trying to merge into the inner lane as the road climbed over a small hill, but a Gasat Lines bus just accelerated on my left side, and I was stuck in my lane. At the same time, a jeepney pinned me on my right side. I stepped on the brake to slow down a bit.

And then, at the crest of the hill, I saw it. A huge gaping round “O” in the road right in front of me. AN OPEN MANHOLE!

With the bus bearing down on my left side and the jeepney swerving in on my right side, I couldn’t swerve either way to avoid the hole. I stomped on the brake as the bus and jeepney zoomed past, and as soon as the bus had cleared me I swung my steering wheel sharply to the left.

BAM! went my front right wheel, into the manhole as I screeched to a halt. When I say I screeced, I mean the car’s wheels screeched, and so did I. A flood of thoughts flashed in my head. “Did I break an axle? Is the front of my car crumpled in? Am I wearing good underwear in case I have to be brought to the hospital?”

I revved the car and got my front right wheel out of the manhole, then drove slowly to the shoulder of the road. With legs still shaky, I got out and checked the front and right side of my car. NOT A SCRATCH ON IT.

As I got back in the car, my sister asked me, “Did you really have to scream?”

I absolutely despise buses and jeepneys, but I wish those people who steal manhole covers could be hung by their feet over those manholes they leave open with their pilfering.

Well, actually, that’s a little bit harsh. I do wish I knew whether those who steal equipment from public roads (manhole covers, drain grates, signs, and the like) are ever apprehended and punished.