The significant human and I just celebrated our eighth anniversary. If you haven’t known me that long, I’m giving you all the time you need to let that sink in. Yes, this plant has a partner and yes, he has been with her for eight years. If you are single and you feel hopeful about finding a partner because you just learned that even a plant can find love (ugh), do not rejoice yet. The significant human has proven expertise on extraterrestrial plant life. What I’m trying to say is, do not jump at the first person you’ll see after reading this blog post. Get yourself an expert on your species and maybe some class.

We didn’t plan anything big this year. Both coming from demanding projects at work, we do not have the energy to go somewhere far. Cirque du Soleil’s visit to Philippines came at the right time. I always wanted to see the circus. I didn’t get to watch Saltimbanco and Varekai several years back and I made it a point to watch their show the next time they visit the country. I purchased our tickets a month before our desired schedule out of paranoia. They went on sale a week before the show. Great.

Truth be told I’m not too crazy about Toruk; at least not as crazy as with the aforementioned shows. It is based from Avatar and I’m not very interested about that movie. I describe it as a high-tech version of Disney’s Pocahontas. I have nothing against both movies. I love technology and singing in the forest while convincing someone that I’m not an ignorant savage. It’s just that I don’t think I need to see more. But the fear of missing out on the chance to see the circus was a little too strong to let things go.

Nearly everything was great from the set design, to costumes, to stage props, up to execution. If there’s anything to ask for, that would be more stunts and variation in the characters. It is understandable given a reference material that is a bit thematically limiting. But knowing that does very little to your satisfaction. If it’s any comfort, we got good seats.

We rented a room at a nearby condominium to spend the remaining days of the long weekend chilling. We strolled around the mall, killed time at a coffee shop while drawing, bought cooking ingredients, prevented ourselves from getting lost in the same mall reported to have a floor area over 406 thousand square meters, and practiced whatever swimming skill we have in a pool that was intimidatingly four feet deep. Filipinos are generally not very tall, but an extra twelve inches won’t be too much to ask.

The highlight of the following evening was me cooking chicken. Prior to this I never went beyond frying eggs and hotdogs. This was also the first time I touched raw chicken meat in my nearly 28 years of existence. I’m oddly squeamish for someone born to the working class. Despite being a total novice, I’ve never been intimidated by the idea of cooking non-basic meals. Recipes are all over the internet, and I’m confident about my capacity to understand and follow instructions. But misadventures are almost always just around the corner.

The marinade I created was just right. After an hour, we realised that we didn’t have a grill pan and the only available pan was badly scratched. I went on using it. After waiting eons for the electric stove to produce enough heat, I was able to get one of the four chicken drumsticks cooking. Several minutes after, the human came to taste it. It was okay. We looked around and found the room covered in smoke and us about a drumstick away from activating the smoke alarm. The exhaust fan was not on. Great. We spent the next couple of minutes fanning out the smoke. My output was good enough but I shouldn’t be left in the kitchen nevertheless.

Mom learned about this and she’s now a little too excited about me cooking food on the coming weekend. I don’t know what to feel about that. -aB

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