Friday, October 29, 2004
Have you ever gone through an ordeal that was less than pleasant? An ordeal, in fact, which took up so much of your energy that at the end of it you can’t figure out how you came OUT of it with sanity and emotions still in tact? Then you hope and pray that it doesn’t EVER happen again, at least not in the same hurtful way…and then you let it happen a few more times? When does the vicious cycle end?
I’ve been analyzing and re-analyzing my theories lately. I haven’t done a thing but look back on various times in my life when the seemingly purest of joy and discovery often turned into poisonous despair and regret. I’ve been saying, for about a month now, how I am the creator of my own destiny, and that there isn’t one thing that’s happened to me that I didn’t help bring upon myself. So I vowed to make a change, and so excited was I when I made this decision. Armed with self-trust and new hope, I set out on this figurative journey of change, ready to salvage and capitalize on whatever was left inside of me . I was ready to take charge of my life.
But I felt my first tinge of doubt yesterday and then again today. What happens when you seem to be reverting back to your old ways? What if you can’t decipher your thoughts and actions quick enough and you’re right back where you started from – nowhere. Heaven help us!
I’m just grateful I can have 2 hour 20 min conversations with a good friend to help me deal. I’ve been feeling pretty “bleh” these last two days and I think it’s because I’ve accumulated enough bottled up emotion to fill a football field. But there’s a remedy for that, talking...and crying. I’m barely learning how to utilize my sources now. It's funny the clarity that comes with experience.
Anyhow, Happy Friday everyone!
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
So it was hailing like 3 hours ago and now the sun is out...schizo weather we're having huh? I'm being dumb I know. I'm just intrigued that's all. And I'm just happy it's cold. I LOVE WINTER TIME!...I was truly born in the proper season! I can't wait to wear my scarves and gloves! LOVE IT! Us Californians swear it's like 2 degrees outside huh? All bundled up, when people in the east coast consider this 60 degree weather springtime!? ha ha ha ha...
If you guys could live ANYWHERE in the United States, except for California, where would you like to live? You already know my answer. What would YOUR alternate home cities be, all things considered (weather, city or suburbs, atmosphere, etc)?
Monday, October 25, 2004
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!
Getting to know...
ANGELINA B. GONDA aka MOMMY
Vitals: Met when I was a mere twinkle in her eye – 26 years and counting
Role In My Life: Most Influential Female Role Model – My mom can cook practically anything, sew up any split seams, hem any skirt or pair of pants, repair any stained shirts and sweaters, make everything sparkling clean AND keep dad and us girls in line. After a long day at the office, she still manages to come home and cook dinner for us and we all love her because we know that if she weren’t who she is, we’d all be lost. Aside from this, my mom is also one of the most spiritual people I know. I not only learned WHY religion is so important in my life, but I also realized HOW it’s so significant just by knowing her. My mom’s a true example of how sowing sacrifice and devotion can reap good fortune and endless gratitude. If I’m lucky, I’ll be half the woman she is now.
Good Times: After my dad left for the states when I was only a year old, my mom and I did what we could to get on without him for the next 4 years. I know 4 years seems like a long time to be apart, but my wonderful parents were up to the challenge. One thing that stands out in my mind is how my dad (who lived with my aunt, uncle, grandparents and cousins in New Jersey) used to send me clothes that my Ate Cheryl had outgrown and I would have a fashion show for my mom, my grandparents and my aunts and uncles. And then there were times when I would cry when my mom would leave for work. So she’d come home everyday with pasalubong for me; not just candy or useless knick-knacks. One time she brought me a hamster, and then another day she brought me home a bird!
In her own words: The following is a conversation I had with my mom over the phone when I was in Hawaii last year:
MOM: Hi Leng!
ME: Hi mom!
MOM: Kamusta na? Are you having fun there?
MOM: Anong gagawin ninyo ngayon? (What’re you guys gonna do today?)
ME: We’re gonna go snorkeling!
MOM: You’re gonna go swimming?
ME: No mom, snorkeling.
MOM: Surfing? Oh that’s good.
ME: No mom, SNORKELING.
I’m freakin’ pooped man. On Friday night, my parents and I continued to help the remodelling thing along. We put some of the furniture back into the bedrooms, but couldn’t do a full-on clean up because on Saturday morning we painted mine and Tin’s room, plus the walls by the staircase, PLUS the hallway upstairs (which is really more like a landing than a hallway). Today Tin and I went to IKEA to buy these two cabinets for our room. I’m pretty gosh-darn handy with the tools man cuz I put one cabinet together (complete with glass doors) all by myself, thanks very much! And then here’s the dumb part…I begin to assemble the second cabinet and realize that they put two of the same side panels in the box and there's only holes on one side of the panel so I couldn't finish putting it together. So I have to head to IKEA on Tuesday and see if they can replace it because our room, as relatively put-together as it is, still needs to be cleared of all the crap I need to put in that cabinet.
Both bedrooms, living room and kitchen are still in a shambled mess, but we did get to lighten up their load just tad this evening. We brought up about 65% of our boxes up here to our room and I’ve BEGUN to organize. There’s a lot of stuff all over the place, but that’s ok because I know exactly where everything goes…I just have to put them in their respective places that’s all.
On Saturday night, I got a break from all the madness because we had dinner at Tita Cecile’s house for my grandfather and mom’s birthdays. Lots of food! It’s so shameful when I realize I how much I’m eating when I’m eating. But I can’t help it when I’m hungry. Terrible! And then later on that night, I got talked into “watching” THE GRUDGE. I’ve been resisting EVERYONE who’s tried to get me to watch this, but last night after a couple more hours of coaxing, I finally gave in. I have a really active imagination, folks. It’s awful what one scary scene can do to me at bedtime. I literally had my head under my peacoat for about 95% of the movie. I only fully watched (meaning with both eyes open and uncovered) daytime scenes which bit me in the ass anyhow because of this one scene that made me jump cuz I was so not expecting it. On the way home and then today, my sister and I were talking about the movie (because she and my 2
cousins came too) and I was so puzzled because I seriously didn’t see anything important to the plot. Ha ha ha…I just kept asking my sister questions and she was like, “Geez Ate, did you see anything at all?” ha ha ha…well, it was fun screaming with everyone. I love watching movies with a big audience. So fun!
Thanks for the clean-up break guys. I really needed it.
Friday, October 22, 2004
I just realized that I sat on the couch last night for 3 straight hours. From 8-8:30 I watched JOEY, then followed that with WILL & GRACE until THE APPRENTICE & CSI at 9:00. Then I watched ER from 10:00-11:00. Daaaaaaaaaang! Could I have BEEN more unproductive on a Thursday night? I attempted to start cleaning out some stuff from our room but can’t seem to do it because I don’t know where anything goes anymore. I’m planning to buy these two cabinet/shelf thingies from Ikea, but I don’t wanna buy it until after we paint the bedroom…Oh the dilemma huh?…
And then the Lakers lost last night. I was flipping channels in between commercials to catch bits and pieces of the game, and when I saw D-Fish in that Golden State uniform can I just say that MY HEART SANK! I think the Purple & Gold are up for an expansion season this year, don’t you think? I hardly recognize anyone on the team! Spending like, what, a third of the payroll on 1 player? Oh Mitch and Dr. Buss…must reap what you sow I guess. I’m no fair-weather fan so I’m just gonna be supportive. We’ll have to wait and see I suppose…
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
My house is a freakin’ frackin’ talagang crazy mess right now! Really, it’s a zoo, complete with dust bunnies and critters disguised as scraps of paper scuttling through every single crevice in the house! Where did all that paper come from anyhow? We’re having the carpeted floor upstairs plus the staircase changed to hardwood and for the last 3 days, my parents, my sister and I have been hauling our crap up and down the stairs causing the living room and dining room to be just - Aaaaaaarrrrggggghhh!!! I’m a bit of a neat freak so ya’ll know this is killing me! (Ate Cyn you’d love to see me all nuts right now, wouldn’t you?) The only thing getting us through this is looking forward to what the rooms will look like when the floors are done, the walls are painted and the proper furniture is in the proper places.
We’ve really been cleaning out the house of stuff that should’ve been tossed or donated long ago. Anyone here admit to being a sentimental packrat? I DO! I mean there are certain things I probably will NEVER get rid of; old papers (can’t be a writer if I can’t look back on my progress right?), figurines and mementos from loved ones, PCN and theater programs, ticket stubs and invitations that I SWORE I would put in a scrapbook but (5 years later) still have not…aaaaaaahhhh!!! And I was looking into being one of those professional organizers! You know they actually have an organization for that? NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers!) Anyhow, now is as good a time as any to begin cleanup I guess. Oh help…
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
THE MIRACLE OF RAIN
I love rain. I love how they forecast rain so we can prepare ourselves, but I love it even more when there isn’t a cloud in the sky one minute and next thing you know, the windows are covered in raindrops.I love it on days when my car is filthy and a quick run to the grocery store gets me a free rinse. I love when an impromptu downpour causes two people to seek refuge under one jacket, knowing they’re still gonna get wet. I love that rain forces people to feel lazy just for even a few hours on a Sunday so they’re not stressing over work or chores. I love rain during bedtime, when I don’t care to listen to soft music to help me fall asleep because the rhythmic pitter-patter outside is lullaby enough. I love how the rain makes me ponder some of my most wonderful dreams as well as my most awful fears.
I love the symbols that rain provides. Sometimes it stands for the (un)timeliness of hardship – “When it rains it pours.” And other times it stands for rebirth, renewal and growth. Overpowering rain cause hurricanes and typhoons, while the gentlest showers provide relief for thirsty flowers and plants.
Rain is a funny thing. Sometimes I can’t tell whether it comes at the very moment I feel an ounce of sadness or whether I feel all melancholic BECAUSE it’s raining. I just happened to chance upon this, “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” kind of question this past weekend. Iya’s grandfather, may God rest his soul, passed away on Friday night. We attended his viewing on Sunday afternoon in the midst of the rainy weather and for some reason I became more aware of everything happening and feeling around me; as if the rain became this mirror which reflected the things I hadn’t taken note of before; like the peace, not the anger, that death can provide; the strength you see in those around you and the purity of their intentions when you yearn for a glimmer of thoughtfulness.
Rain can do all this? I learned that it can…when you let it. Take a moment this week while the heavens are crying and see what you discover. Reflection is a powerful thing...
Monday, October 18, 2004
MARIA BELEN V. CAPILI aka ATE BELLE
Vitals: Met the summer of 2001 when she came to work at PFS = 3 years and counting
Role In My Life: Source of (In)Sanity at the Workplace – You’ve all heard me b*tch and complain about my job; the customers, the pay, the boredom, etc. Ate Belle, however, is one of the few factors that have made my 40 hours a week more bearable. You’ll often catch us venting to each other during our lunch (which we usually have together), gossiping when we’re stuffing envelopes, or having a quick catch-up session by the fax machines. Can’t be too unhappy when you’re working with someone as fun as Ate Belle!
Good Times: Random Del Taco runs! The closest fast-food place we have is Del Taco, and on days when we’re feeling just plain crappy and blah, Ate Belle and I will either email each other (as if she isn’t on the other side of my cubicle!) or look at each other and just be like, “Del Taco?”
In her own words: “Ate! (Ate Belle’s older than me, but she calls me “Ate” too. Weirdo!) Kinikilig ako!” (Kilig kinda means “giddy” in tagalong). Ate Belle and I are 24/7 giddy about SOMETHING all the time; either with something that happened to ourselves or something that happened to someone else.
Friday, October 15, 2004
Thursday, October 14, 2004
(sort of, cuz now I'm all hyper. Pat, get me at a 5 please cuz right now I'm coasting at a 9!)
Ha ha ha...I'm ok now. Not gonna let that jerk get me down. Besides, I had the most encouraging, wonderful conversation with Cile last night so it kinda cancelled out the one I had with that dumb jackass. I think God noticed how calm I've been lately and decided to give me a quick and painless kick in the rear to see if I was still breathing. Ha ha ha...
I feel like I have so much do, everyone! I'm SO not gonna waste my time stressing over that guy or ANY thing for that matter that tries to ruin my day. I feel, for once, that I'm excited, not scared, to see what I can do with myself. I used to say how having so many opportunities and choices was a bad thing. How wrong am I! That's the BEST part of everything: having all these choices to pick from and seeing which one is right for you. I hope that if any of you guys are still confused about your purpose in this world (as am I), that you'll realize that it's okay to be unsure. In fact, I'm learning to embrace this whole uncertainty business. I'm slowly learning that I don't have to understand everything that's happening (or not happening) around me. I believe that I will find something I love to do and I'm going to do it. And I believe that for every single one of you guys who can't seem to place yourself anywhere either...right now. IT'S OKAY! We're going to find something together! C'mon let's go!
Okay Anna, aren't you blogging on the clock?...
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I just had the most heated phone conversation with one of our insureds right now and I am TICKED THE HELL OFF! Every other word out of his mouth was "f*ck." "F*ck this and F*ck that! You f*cking people don't know shit! You're all f*cking retarded...blah blah blah..." And usually I'm very calm, "Please sir, I can't help you if you're talking to me like that. Why don't I -- " But he woudn't even let me finish talking. "F*cking put someone on the phone who knows what they're f*cking talking about because you obviously don't. Let me f*cking talk to a supervisor!" After he said that I felt my whole body snap, "YOU KNOW WHAT SIR, I'M TRYING TO HELP YOU AND I CAN'T DO THAT IF YOU'RE YELLING AT ME! I DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR TONE OF VOICE AND I DON'T APPRECIATE YOUR PROFANITY!" It was 4:55 pm! So I put him on hold and just let out a shrieking AAAAAAARRGGGHH! Ate Belle (my co-worker) was like, "Transfer him to me."
So she talked to him in the calmest voice and he continued to yell and curse her. She told him everything that I did and he STILL asked for a supervisor because he said he didn't know if she was really one. My guess is that he was waiting to speak with a man. YOU SEXIST RUDE ASSHOLE I HOPE YOU FALL INTO A HOLE!!!
OH GOD I'M SO MAD RIGHT NOW I COULD SOCK SOMEONE!
...and we're counting backwards...100...99...98...97...96...95....okay I'm calm now. I just haven't been riled up in so long. Kinda felt good actually. But people like that make me soooooooooo angry!! I'll just pray for him I guess...PRAY HE FALLS INTO A HOLE!
Monday, October 11, 2004
I read a wonderful line in Conversations With God the other night:
"To live your life without expectation - without the need for specific results - THAT is freedom." - Neale Donald Walsch
I was so blown away when I read that, that I probably read it about 10 more times. Such a thought hardly occurred to me until that evening; such a simple idea that can affect the way we deal with everything that happens to and around us. We all grew up around expectations; expectations from our families to grow up to lead successful lives, expectations from our friends to be loyal and trustworthy, expectations from teachers and bosses to be greater thinkers and individuals. But what most often seems hardest to live up to are the expectations we have of ourselves.
We undergo so much aggravation when we can't live up to what we expect of ourselves; the amount of responsibility that we try to carry, the load of feelings we attempt to handle without aid - so much to deal with but so often not realized until we've spent all the energy and emotions we had.
And then there are those expectations we have of certain situations in our lives. We've been taught to "hope for the best, but expect the worse." No wonder we live in such a cynical world! Why not just hope for the best and expect...nothing? I've learned these last few weeks that the only way I can get through anything is to trust myself to handle whatever will happen; not so much bet all my hopes that "good" (whatever that entails) will prevail, but trust that no matter what cards I am dealt, I will strategize as best as I can for the hand I've been given (I think I've been watching too much Celebrity Poker!).
Expectations of any kind are no prize. All they do is often force us to see the shiny gold trophy at the end of the race and not much else; not the people cheering on the side (the supporters - our family and friends), not the view of the ocean we run past so quickly we don't notice how blue the water is (the experience), and not the accomplishment we attain even if we come in less than 1st place (the lessons we learn).
So NOT expecting is the key to peace and freedom...hmmm, who knew? Now I gotta go study for my midterm so I won't have to expect to fail this class. Happy Monday to one and all!
+ Rest In Peace, Superman...
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Friday night…we look forward to it every Monday morning don’t we? Anticipating the much-needed comic relief of friends, the certainty of libations, and the probable late night dinner at Denny’s, IHOP or Norm’s? We’re mid-twenties (eeeks!) young adults who crave this social environment, which provides us with the familiarity and reassurance that our quarter-life crises has tended to tear apart. Sometimes it’s that Friday night out that keeps us sane; a one-night vacation, if you will, away from the aggravation and stress that schoolwork and career so generously provide us with.
There are days, however, when dancing ‘til we’re drenched in sweat, drinking ‘til we hurl and shouting over loud music ‘til we’ve lost our voices is not the comfort we seek. Sometimes we yearn for something simpler, like a night at home with 2 friends instead of 20, watching dvd’s instead of watching cute guys, and talking over coffee cake at a kitchen counter instead of talking at a bar over some malibu and coke. That’s what I had the pleasure of doing this past Friday. Too tired to socialize in a crowded club, Cile, Leia and I opted for a quiet evening at my house, clowning through The Prince & Me and then catching up on each other’s lives. We re-evaluated our relationships with people, realized our capacity to accept and deal with the circumstances that we’ve been given, and reveled in the amount of maturity we’ve experienced. Sometimes a quiet 4 hours with a couple of friends is just what the doctor ordered.
Friday, October 08, 2004
I had the funniest conversation with Cile 2 days ago. I wish you could’ve heard her but I’ll leave the whiney sound of her voice to your imagination. Fantone can vouch for me on how drama she sounded.
Cecile: Anna PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE go with me to Level 3 on Friday!
Anna: Cile, I have to study for my midterm…
Cecile: STUDY ON SUNDAY!
Anna: Plus I’m running out of money too.
Cecile: You don’t have to pay to get in, PLUS I’ll treat you to dinner before if you want! And you don’t drink anyway cuz you drive…
Anna: Oh Cile, you can’t pay for me all the time. I’m not a freeloader!
Cecile: It’s the least I could do cuz you’re always listening to my crap! Anna PLEEEEEEEEEASE! Go with me! We’ll just find a booth and stare at cute boys all night. You can be my wingman.
Anna: I’m such a horrible wingman.
Cecile: No you’re not…you’re already friends with one of the guys who’s gonna be there. Anna PLEEEEASE! I’M BROKENHEARTED AND I’M ALL ALONE!
Anna: You did NOT just play that card on me!
Cecile: ANNA PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE!
Anna: Ok fine we’ll see…
I remember when Cile used to come home from a long day at school. We’d all be in the living room at Exeter (Leia, Fantone, Gwen, Isa, Andrew, Larnie, Ate, Terry, and whoever else) and she’d open the door, take a step forward…and just fall to the ground like she’d just fainted. Fantone used to be like, “Cile, you’re theatrics.”
Wednesday, October 06, 2004
These are all pictures from the wonderful day that Ate and I spent in Disneyland. This was the last visit on the Olympic swimmers' "Swim With the Stars" tour and we were lucky to have found out about it when we did. Ate and I were Olympic fanatics this past summer (in case you didn't already know) and the swimming events were the icing on our Greek cakes! "U-S-A! U-S-A!" Michael Phelps, Ian Crocker and Lenny Krayzelburg looked like the nicest guys who just happen to be Olympic Medalists. I'm awed by their resilience and discipline (among other things =) and Ate and I couldn't freakin' believe how close we were to them today!!! Hundreds of kids ditched school today to be there and that's what cracked us up the most cuz they were there with their parents! ha ha ha...After that we just spent a very chill afternoon at the Happiest Place On Earth eating our cotton candy and frozen banana. Thanks again Ate!!!
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
LEONIDA D. GONDA aka NANAY
Vitals: Met when I was born. She’s my daddy’s mommy = 26 years and counting
Role In My Life: Grandma Next Door – Like literally. She and my grandfather, aunt and uncle live 1 door away from us (I live in a 6-unit townhouse. We live in #4 and they live in #6). Except for when they moved here from the Philippines, I’ve never been more than a 15 minute drive away from Nanay and how lucky am I? Everyday after school, for pretty much all my pre-collegiate years, I had something waiting for me when I got home: a bowl of hot wonton soup on a cold and rainy day or some ensaymada and iced tea on a hot summer day.
Good Times: Nanay is notorious for practically force feeding her grandchildren, no matter where we are or what time it is. And my sister and I will never every get over how Nanay loves to knock on the door like crazy and ring the doorbell at 7 am during SUMMER VACATION because she has breakfast ready for us. We complain about it but we know that if it weren’t for Nanay, we all would've been malnourished little chidren. In her own words: My grandfather (Tatay) won a nativity set at a church raffle one year, and as they were all getting out of the car that night, Tatay kept reminding my Ninang and my Nanay not to forget the "nativity set" in the trunk. When they got upstairs to the front door, my grandmother was like, “What TV set?!”
Monday, October 04, 2004
Friday, October 01, 2004
(dedicated to all of you who are waiting for this day to end)
Ho hum, I say to you
Why hasn’t the clock struck 5
I’m seriously swaying back and forth
Between dead and half alive
Been yawning like a baby
Every minute or so
I’m tired, let’s head home now
Let’s go now, PLEASE LET’S GO!
Haven’t I been workin’ hard
Haven’t I been good
Haven’t I stopped complaining…
Or at least less than I usually would
Has someone evil put a stop
To the clock upon that wall
Is someone playing tricks on me
And is laughing in the hall
Is Father Time throwing punishment
To us poor white-collar folk
Who spend such hours everyday
Is no one listening up there
God can you hear my cry
This is just pure agony
I swear I’m gonna die!!
Ok I’m calm now (drama queen)
Because it’s 25 minutes to 2
That means in less than just 4 hours
I’m off to have fun and so will all of you!!!
**Happy Friday folks! Have a great weekend cuz I know we all deserve it!