Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa's Musical

Pardon me but I'm still on the holiday mood maybe because I spent Christmas at work. I think that was two days before Christmas, while hunting for a gift for my father, I ended up at the Fashion Show Mall, a huge mall along the Las Vegas Strip. As usual I had my camera with me even if my main purpose was to shop. Fortunately enough, I was on the main activity area of the mall and I was able to watch a mini-musical about Santa and Christmas wishes becoming true.

Just follow the link for the pictures that I got from that show:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

See-Food Diet

"Every time I see food, I eat!" Nope, this is not my motto! I've been trying my very best to stick to more healthy diet for several years now. I don't want my money, time and effort in going to the gym put to waste and besides I'm not getting any younger and it's already high time to take care of my health. But even how much you've been careful about the kind of food you're eating and how much diligence you put yourself in going to the gym, there are always temptations. Especially this holiday season, giving out food and goodies is one of the most convenient ways of gift giving. Parties here and there is a sure way of celebrating the holidays with loved ones and friends and it's also the biggest threat in ones weight loss regimen. It takes a lot of self-discipline to be able to stick to a more healthy diet.

For the past weeks now, my regular attendance to the gym dwindles, a sure sign of deteriorating control of myself. In the hospital pharmacy that I work, almost every day we get food from the medical sales people. This adds more pressure to my self-discipline to control my intake of food. The worst part of all is the fact that I have a sweet tooth; I'm a self-declared chocolate monster. Once a monster is always a monster so this is the best time for me to try on every chocolate bar, fudge, cookie or cake laid down on the table in our break room. Fortunately my inner self is much stronger to resist the temptations on the table, but still I can't help myself to stay away from the various chocolate concoctions, beaming and urging me to try them.

The year is almost over and it's time to think of my most appropriate New Year's resolution and I guess this should be my resolution for 2010: "Stick to seafood diet". But even too much seafood intake is also not good for the health so let me revise it to a more manageable and attainable goal: "Stick to my regular gym regimen and watch out on the food that I take".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Spirit in My Neighborhood

Lately it's been very cold and the nights are chilly. Winter is in full blast and Christmas is a few more days away. In fact upon posting this blog entry, it would be a day or two away depending on which part of the world you are residing. Anyway, one particular cold night that I was off from work, I really didn't know how to spend the remaining hours of the day. Braving the cold breeze and armed with my camera, I decided to just go around my neighborhood to see the various light displays outside their homes. I had put up some lights on two fir trees in front of our house and that's it although I also set up our Christmas tree and my own version of the nativity scene in our small living room. Suffice to say that we already have that Christmas spirit inside and outside of our house. Setting up lights and holiday decorations has been the tradition all over the world during this holiday season. Its main purpose is to share the holiday spirit to everyone. With the cold night and chilly breeze (fortunately no snow at all), I had to bundle up to warm myself as I am no hero braving the cold like this.

Walking around my neighborhood, I have noticed that some households did not put up some decorations at all but most have at least some colorful lights trimmed along their roof, window sills or trimming around their trees on their lawns. Some few houses really set up some elaborate displays and this is the main target of my camera. At first I was hesitant to take pictures on their decorations because they might mistakenly take me like invading their privacy and property without their permission. I have to be careful because people nowadays worry too much on their privacy. Fortunately it was close to midnight already and everyone was inside. I did not use my flash for two reasons, I didn't want to attract the attention of the home owners and I just wanted to capture the light effects in my camera so I just played around with its aperture and shutter speed functionalities. I also did not stay too long in one spot with the same purpose I previously mentioned, as if I was just walking around enjoying the cold night and the lights.

After doing this, I have decided to go out further and roam the city to capture more holiday spirits on display. My next target is the malls.

Please follow this link to view the photos:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Is Definitely Here

Everywhere in the world, the most awaited season of love, giving and sharing is being celebrated in one way or the other depending on the country's religion and cultural background. In the Christian world, Christmas is a joyous season to celebrate the birth of Christ. In my native country, the Philippines, once the calendar months start with the "ber" ending like September, you will start seeing the first signs of this holiday season. Radio stations start playing Christmas songs in the airwaves. The malls and residential homes start putting up holiday decorations. Most of the children start making lanterns or locally called "parol" for their school's projects. Likewise schools and corporate offices start planning their own Christmas parties. Gift giving is the most prominent way of celebrating Christmas. Even if on tight budgets, we still manage to buy something for our loved ones and friends. Going into the 9 days before Christmas, "Simbang Gabi" is the center of activities. I missed going to mass at dawn before sunrise specially the yummy native delicacies right after.

In the city that I lived now, which I considered my second home, Christmas season is celebrated quite differently. Yes, the signs are definitely present with all the decorations that you can see in the malls and residences. Shoppers filled the malls for gift-giving and definitely for themselves, too. In this country where there is total religious freedom, you can see that each of the religious congregations celebrate this season in their own special way. "Holiday Season" is now acceptable just like when you call this "Christmas Season". However you call it, this is definitely the most awaited and important season of the year.

Here's wising you a "Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays" to one and all.
Please check out this link for pictures that I got from Bellagio's Botanical Gardens:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What’s Going On With Me???

I've been slacking lately with my blog posts. One of my avid readers, as if I have plenty of them, was asking me what was going on with me lately. Then I realized that it's been almost a month since my last blog post on Daily Grind. Well, to tell you the truth, there's not much going on with my life for the past 4 weeks or so. It was basically my routine work, gym and home. Although there were some small activities here and there but not really that major thing like embarking on a trip outside town or ride a hot air balloon or have done sky diving, which by the way are some of the things that I've been dreaming to do someday. I felt obligated to open up some of the things that I've done since the early days of November.

November's First Friday – I always look forward to this arts festival every first Friday of the month. I have mentioned about this event on the Daily Grind more than once. Again I did go to the First Friday last November 6th. This was kind of special for me since I was still on my last leg of vacation so I actually stayed on the whole event. Armed with my video camera I shot some footage and planned to make a video focusing on the artwork displays. Unfortunately I had some problems in splicing the video clips into one video so I got some video captures and made a slide show of still pictures instead. Go to this link to see the video:

Thanksgiving Day – This first of family holidays toward the end of the year always falls on the last Thursday of November. Given the fact that I work evenings from Wednesdays through Saturdays, I really don't have any chance to take part on this American holiday tradition. Unless of course if I get to change my work schedules, get to have someone else to work for me on this day if I get lucky or the Thanksgiving Day itself be moved to another day, specifically either Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. That's too much to ask. So, last November 26th I spent the holiday in the hospital working. I could put it this way that I was saving lives while the rest of the world is partying.

Las Vegas Motor Show – My dad gave me some VIP passes for the Motor Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This was the first time that I attended this kind of show so even if it was a working day for me, I made it a point to skip the gym in the morning, sleep early and went to the event around 4pm. The show ended around 7pm so I had more than enough time to go home and get ready for work by 9pm. I got some pictures of the featured new car models for 2010 as well as some vintage cars. I got to meet Bumblebee, the character from the Transformers movies. Bumblebee was actually a yellow Camaro and I fell in love with it right away. He is now my dream muscle car. If I got the money, I would get this car made to order, a Bumblebee with a new disguise in black or red complete with the autobots logo. Go to this link for pictures:

Gift of Lights – This yearly event during the Holiday Season is now a family Christmas tradition. Sunset Park in Las Vegas is transformed into a spectacular drive through of festive lights, and light animations. Families are bundled up in their cars and drive through these amazing light displays. Proceeds of the entrance fees go to charity. Go to this link for pictures:

December's First Friday – Once again, I went to this monthly arts event last December 4th. It happened that somebody from work swapped days with me and I get to choose which day I could let her work for me so naturally I chose this day. The night of December 4th was the coldest ever in Las Vegas. Even if I bundled up myself, with a long black coat, which by the way made me look like a vampire, LOL…I still feel the freezing cold…maybe I need warm blood…LOL! What made me attracted to attend consistently on this event is the ever changing scenario. There is always something new in the event every month. Maybe its the constant evolution of art that goes with the artists new ideas and imagination. Unfortunately, I have to cut short on my stay on this event since I have to go see a concert at the Hard Rock Hotel later that evening.

Morrissey Concert – A very good friend introduced me to the artist Morrissey. Although I was not familiar with this artist and his songs but listening to some of his recordings gets me interested. It was a chance for me to see him in person so after I learned that I'd be off from work on December 4th, I grabbed that opportunity and bought myself a ticket for the Morrissey concert at the Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. Watching him perform for the first time made me feel his music more. What impresses me is that he sounded exactly his recordings. Real fans of Morrissey know almost all his songs and the audience was actually singing along with him. What turned me off though was the ending of the show. It was anticlimactic for me and kind of rude of him. After the last song which by the way no one ever knew that it was the last song already, he just left the stage without saying good bye or even thanked the audience. He only sang for only an hour by the way. It was my first rock concert and maybe I was just not used to this kind of shows. I've been to a lot of concerts before and I always get to be thanked by the performers. After all, I was one of those who paid for the tickets that ended up in their coffers. Go to this link for pictures:

These are the things that I've been doing for the last 4 weeks. More to come and I'll see to it that my blog is updated more frequently.