Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Baby's First Open Casting Call!


Fragrant Junior is pretty. Often mistaken for a girl, his wide smile, bright personality, and forever squishable thighs make him a compact ball of magnetism and charisma. "Wow, he looks like he should be in a magazine!" is a comment that has made his shy, retiring mother blush demurely many a time.

So, for shits and giggles, today I took Baby to a baby open casting call at FancySchmancy Street. A dozen other babies had the same idea, and dragged their moms and grandmas along. There was one dad, too!

We all filed into a small room -- Baby and I snagged a front row seat -- and the owner of the talent agency gave us an overview of How It All Works. As I understand, here are the three most important points:

  1. The agency acts as a middleman between the advertisers and the product (/baby).
  2. Success is based upon the 40/60 ratio: 40% is how beautiful baby is, and 60% is "workability" -- how well s/he can be bribed to sit still for minutes at a time.
  3. One needs a car to get to auditions.

Once the agency decides to accept the baby as a model (not guaranteed, of course), the parents would have to send baby's updated photos to the agency every few months, because the little peanuts grow up so quickly, don't they. So then, if, say, Carters wants a boy model who fits in 12-18 month clothes and has fabulous hair (ahem), the agency would call its clients and ask if they can go to the audition. If yes, there may or may not be a call back. Rates vary from $60 per hour to $800+ for really big projects. All up to the advertisers!

After the explanation, we each met with the owner and/or the Baby Manager. I had brought along five pictures of Baby (one above), and to my surprise, the manager pointed to the one that I thought was the weakest of the bunch. "This is the type of photo we would want," she said. "It shows his face." (Note: all the other ones showed his face, but he always had a prop -- a shark bathrobe, sunglasses, etc. Apparently this is Not Good.)

We were thanked for our time, and sent off into the wild hot yonder.

Looking back, I think that, as adorbs as my offspring is, he had some serious competition in there. "Everyone thinks they have a beautiful baby," the owner had said. "When you go to an audition, you'll see that many people have beautiful babies." (Although he might become a model just because over 70% of the babies in there were girls, yay statistical probability!)

And thus endeth our beauty adventure!

---

This post brought to you by teething! Teething: the most likely reason your previously good sleeper becomes a howling maniac at 4 am!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Movie Review: Spy (2015)

Spy is a brilliant takedown of the secret agent genre, anchored by Melissa McCarthy's charismatic performance, a bevy of hilarious supporting characters, a pimp soundtrack, and brutal fight scenes (!). This movie has it all.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a CIA agent who's never been out in the field. Because of plot, of course involving the sale of a nuclear device, she volunteers to go on an assignment. Hijinks ensue!

I shan't spoil anything much, but if you've seen the trailers, you know that Jude Law and Jason Statham play versions of the secret agent trope -- one impossibly handsome and suave, the other gritty and rage-y. Susan's dynamic with both is a delight to watch. The same is true for her interactions with her friend Nancy, played by Brit Miranda Hart (see her in this French and Saunders Mamma Mia parody). And speaking of Brits, Rose Byrne once again plays McCarthy's nemesis, as the impeccably coiffed villain Rayna Boyanov. "Thank god your hair broke your fall!" Susan gasps at her at one point.

Spy's choreography is excellent -- both competent and winkingly over-the-top. The physical comedy bits got the loudest laughs, but the fight scenes were incredibly violent, with all the bone-crunching action typical of actual spy fare, with some slo-mo thrown in for good measure. McCarthy's kitchen battle is a damn good one--it had us wincing at the blows and laughing at the expert application of frying pans. And of course, what action movie is complete without explosions, at least one chase scene, or a telegraphed twist? Those show up in this movie, too.

The running gags work, for the most part, except for scenes early on about vermin in the CIA basement. Kinda lame. The best gags were Statham's character's descriptions of his exploits, Rayna's insults, and the secret identities created for Susan (and her reactions to them). If you stay through the credits, though, you'll see a change. And there's an Easter Egg that suggests that this film was as fun to make as it was to watch.

TL;DR: A hilarious action-adventure with a talented lead. 

This post brought to you by June thunderstorms! 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Have Too Many Baby Videos, Please Help

Dear readers, the 8GB in my mobile device, Mr. Shinyface, is rapidly beingg depleted due to too many baby videos. I've been backing up to iPhoto on our family computer, but I also want to show off my handsomest, most intelligent baby let interested parties know how Junior is doing.

Below is a list of the video sharing services I've tried, as well as my reasons for not liking them:

1) YouTube: Storage issues. I think everything Google is linked, and I'm getting close to reaching my storage limit there, too. Currently too cheap to buy more storage.

2) Instagram: Kept bugging me to follow people. Deleted.

3) Vimeo: Sounded like a solemn hipster wearing a fedora or a flowing sundress, possibly both at the same time. All but promised me an artisanal video sharing experience. Deleted.

4) Tumblr: Kept bugging me to follow people. Deleted.

So, really, the conclusion to draw here is I am even more antisocial online than in real life, if such a thing were possible. Is my quest doomed???

I know the simplest solution is to shell out the dough for online storage on iCloud or the Googs, but this goes against my honor as a ninja pirate. Free or bust! Walang pera, puro bayong lang!

While I agonize, here is an itty bitty video of Junior crawling (requires Flash):


I was doing my HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in our gym's yoga room while keeping a watchful eye on him. He had a blast and laughed his way through my workout.

---

Apropos of nothing, here is the breakfast I made for Fragrant Hubby in honor of Father's Day:


He earned his Father's Day -- once again, he got up at 6am to play with Junior while I slept. When I walked in on them three hours later, Junior was fast asleep on his daddy, who was blearily watching YouTube videos.

I got him a golf glove and golf shorts. He likes golf.

---

This post brought to you by blueberries, which make baby poop look almost black! The more you know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lesson Learned: Clear the Floor!

Yesterday started out a little earlier and much more eventful than usual, but thankfully everyone is fine. 

His favorite bathroom toy.
To wit: Fragrant Junior, who, when congested, usually hangs out on the bathroom floor playing with a tabo while one of us showers so he can be steamed like a dumpling, got his hands on a bottle of toilet bowl cleaner. His dad stepped out of the shower to the terrifying sight of Baby with blue liquid (on the floor). 

Fragrant Husband went into Dad Emergency Mode, lifted him up, and hollered for me. We both checked his breath (seemed fine), washed his hands (twice), and Hubby called Poison Control, whose number I have saved on my phone, because this is exactly why. 

Throughout all this, Baby was his usual cheery self, and my Mom-radar wasn't going off, so I concluded that he hadn't swallowed the cleaner, and instead had just indulged in his new favorite activity, which is banging things around (hence the spilled liquid).

But Dad Emergency Mode, once engaged, takes about 48 hours to wind down. "I'm taking him to the ER," Hubby announced. Faced with the unleashed elemental power of a frantic father, I ninja-packed a bottle of milk and snacks for Baby and Hubby as he strapped Baby to his stroller. Then off he drove like a maniac to the ER. 

They kept Baby under observation for a few hours, and did a test to check for blood in his esophagus (none), using spit-up Hubby had collected and saved in a tissue. (He explained it like this: "So after Baby eats, he spits up a bit because he has a nice round belly and he's always scrunching himself up and putting pressure on it.")

During the wait, Hubby learned that sodium hydroxide (as opposed to bleach) is what worries medical professionals in cases like this. He was given a list of symptoms to watch for, and he pointed out that "excessive drooling" isn't helpful because Baby is teething (one out, one erupting)--he drools buckets on the regular. Anyway, oher signs included gurgling, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. 

Sent off with a clean bill of health, Baby spent the rest of the day under the hawk-like gaze of his pater, consuming his entire ration of defrosted breastmilk and greedily demanding more, the little scamp. 

When I returned home after my shift in the coal mines, I beheld a beaming baby and a haggard dad. 

Ah, the joys of parenting. 

This post brought to you by Medela Pump in Style Advanced! I am literally pumping breastmilk while writing this post. Ah, the joys of motherhood. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Fragrant Husband I Deserve

"I shall vanquish this lobster."
I shan't bore you with the details, dear reader, but let me assure you that it requires the patience of a rock to live with me sometimes, let alone be my legal property, as Fragrant Husband is.

...Or is it the other way around?

In any case, I know I'm exhausting because I'm exhausted being me. The product of a female parental unit whose hobbies include eating and worrying, and a male parental unit whose modus operandi is to agonize over every decision until someone near him starts yelling, I am on a virtual emotional roller coaster ride every other day. True to my bloodline, my hours are spent eating, worrying, agonizing, and planning my next meal. 

Hubby is no dummy. He cottoned on pretty quick that my engine (tummy) needs to be kept in peak performance mode if there is to be any peace. Here are just a few examples of his genius:

1) On our way to New Hampshire, I happened to mention that I was thirsty about five minutes into the drive. He immediately pulled a U-turn and ran into the nearest CVS to buy me water. 

2) On any trip longer than 15 minutes, he will check if I have a snack. If not, he will sternly remind me to always have something to nosh on. I'm sure this strategy will work any day now. 

3) All leftovers are belong to me! His one and only Tagalog word is "baon," because he uses it everyday. 

So anyway, recently I was extra nightmarish: whiny, crabby, and did I mention whiny? I was all



for three months. 

And he was all, "It's okay," like the extra-awesome person that he is. Throughout that terrible time, he remained remarkably calm despite my rolling around, the demands of his job (they're building an airborne wind turbine, www.altaerosenergies.com, please tell Google or similar to buy them, they are cuter than Makani), and he continues to be a spectacular dad to Fragrant Junior. Hubby can even use his dad-voice (the high-pitched one for babies, not yet the bellowing one for makulit kids) at three in the morning! Then, when Junior wakes up and is ready to party before sunrise, Hubby will go play with him so I can sleep for an extra hour or two. 

Truly his powers are beyond my ken. I think golf and the nerdiest games possible (e.g. Kerbal Space Program) keep him going. 

And this is why, dear reader, I am obnoxiously smug about my successful pursuit of this man when I realized what a catch he was. Mabait at matalino ang asawa ko (my spouse is kind and smart) -- and, as I keep telling him, he's the Fragrant Husband I deserve. 

TL;DR: Back off, he's mine!!!

This post brought to you by too much time spent correcting iPad's autocorrect. 

"C is for caption."

Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)