Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Reality Check and Culinary Musings

Special Report
As terrible as Hurricane Katrina was, Typhoon Ondoy's impact may be even more profound. Though the loss of life in Manila doesn't compare to the casualties in New Orleans, two million residents have been flooded out of their homes. My wife's sister sent this and other images of her flooded apartment. Onto lighter, less controversial subjects...

A Wife's Place is in the Kitchen
Come on now, I don't really believe that. But I know this: having at least one person in a marriage who really likes to cook is awesome, especially if the other cleans the dishes. In this post I'm going to (a.) describe all sorts of funny stories about my wife's kitchen victories and challenges and (b.) launch into an ettiquette primer for white people attending their first Filipino party.

Blogus Interuptus
That's right, just like those lazy, procrastinating writers on "Lost" who like to stretch one episode's worth of content into 12, I'm continuing this epic post tomorrow, and possibly the day after (hell, it could be a series). Peace out and mabuhay. To be continued...

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Wife, a Socially-Networked Filipino

If Twitter supported ads, my wife would be a little richer these days. It turns out that her love of social networks is a tangled web 2.0 affair that spans the years.

The History

Apparently, a lot of other Filipinos have followed the same pattern. It's no wonder Filipino stories and terms figure so prominently in Twitter's Trending topics list:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

My Third World* Wife Tries White People Sports

* This term is wife-approved, no offense intended.

Wide World of Sports
From what I've seen on TV Patrol World, Filipinos love their sports (e.g., boxing, basketball, chismis). I'm a big fan of all three, but a lot of American kids were also introduced to expensive "country club" sports like tennis, golf, lacrosse, sailing, crew, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fishing, etc. at an early age.

Marriage Means Ski Lessons and A Few Bruises
After we hiked up to the Hollywood Sign this morning, I got to thinking about all of the sports my wife has tried for the first time since we started dating. She deserves big props for:
  • Snow tubing - We went to Big Bear and a had a blast.
  • Downhill skiing - We went to Big Bear again and her first group lesson didn't go so well.
  • Golf - She has a few clubs to use at the driving range.
  • Tennis - We both have racquets and haven't played in more than two years.
  • Sailing - We haven't actually gone sailing together but I figure our European cruise qualifies.
  • Boogie boarding/surfing - She's jumped on a board and ridden a small wave or two.
  • Ice skating - She stole the show at one of San Francisco's temporary rinks last holiday season.
What Now?
Since my wife has been such a good sport, maybe I'll try to repay the favor by being more open to weird delicacies on future trips to the Motherland.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

College Football and My Filipino Wife

The Problem
Explaining the intricacies of college football to my wife. It's akin to one of my Indian friends trying to teach me cricket.

The Solution
Ignore the problem and hope it will go away. Seriously, I'm committed to yelling at the TV for a few hours on Saturdays in the fall from now until the end of my life, so whether or not she wants to participate in this insanity is her choice.

Filipina Football Fanatic
To her credit, she's learned a great deal about the game these past four seasons. She's come such a long way since 2006 when I had to explain that "No, the linebacker isn't allowed to knock out the running back with a Manny Pacquiao-style uppercut."

These days, she's yelling louder than I am and will sometimes jump off the couch to do an impression of the referee on TV pumping his arms to indicate a false start.

It's awesome that she takes an interest in something I'm so passionate about. And I'm impressed with her grasp of a sport that can be surprisingly complicated at times. When she was little, she said she learned English and a lot of details about American culture from television. Maybe her interest in football is tapping into that same curiosity? Or maybe she's just into watching athletic men in tight pants tackling each other.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why "Mr. Ober Da Bakod"?

The Debate
So my wife and I discussed various blog names for a couple weeks before we agreed it should be something that represented our respective origins: I'm a German-American from the Midwest and she's an exotic calamansi blossom from Baguio City.

The Winner
She gets the credit for Mr. Ober Da Bakod, the name of a '90s Filipino sitcom that happens to include "Ober" (from the German "over") which also happens to be part of my very ethnic last name.

Before we settled on the winner, other name suggestions included:
1. Fil-Amorous - I thought this was clever even though neither of us is actually Filipino-American. Also, my wife isn't having any PDA so we don't actually meet the definition of "amorous."

2. Fil-Amicable - If we get divorced some day and don't hate each other, this might be the new name.

3. Fil-Amity - Same as #2 but with a restraining order.