Saturday, December 31, 2005


One year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. 525,600 minutes (I actually calculated it). In 3 hours and 9 minutes, we’ll be done with another cycle of time and it’ll be 2006!!! I have an affinity for even numbered years, I don’t know why. Actually, I have an affinity for even numbered everything! Ha ha ha! It’s the mild case of OCD in me, what can I say? Maybe that’s why I’m waiting for this year to end.

Don’t worry. I don’t plan to spend the next paragraph counting down the number of lessons I’ve learned this year, because I’ve learned just one really big one. I learned how to keep myself from being stressed out, neurotic. I’ve learned to accept a lot of things in my life, reach a bit of serenity and I hope that it stays this way.

There’s no need to dwell on the past year because, well, it’s passed. With this I leave you all with a final thought…

“The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year. It is that we should have a new soul.”
~ G.K. Chesterton


Thursday, December 29, 2005


Christmas, for me, didn’t come when it usually does. As you all know (since I bitch-blogged it twice), this holiday began very beige for me this year; lackluster at best. Something was just not clicking. The shopping was often stressful and mundane, the Christmas card writing cramped my wrist barely 4 letters into my address book and the spirit of the holiday that we’re told to feel was not much more than a light mist creating a heavy dew that I knew I’d have to clean off my windshield the next morning. When I awoke on December 23rd, all I longed for was normalcy; that is, MY TRUE LIFE minus bows, candy canes and crowded malls threatening not only my credit but the little patience I had left. Living across the street from the Glendale Galleria, trying to get out of my driveway without cursing the unusual barrage of traffic on my street was quite the difficult task. My only revenge came in the form of yellow parking tickets tucked ever so kindly under each windshield wiper. It says NO PARKING on this side of the street dude! Anyhow, in the next few days, that spirit I’d been so lacking possessed me, and possessed me wholeheartedly.

On my first day of Christmas, my true life gave to me…A PARTY AND A PEAR TREE! Just kidding, no pear tree. I did get to party though. James, with his parentals in the Philippines, had a Christmas Eve-Eve gathering, complete with a potluck dinner from host and attendees, PLUS entertainment by a little known duo (namely he and Eric). I left much earlier than everyone else because I had to get up early for Misa de Gallo the next morning (Mass at 5 am! Mom and dad sang in the choir!), but not before I got my chance on the magic mic with Jaja where we scored a 100 with our version of “Please Be Careful With My Heart!” HELL YEAH! YOU AND ME JA! Hahaha…

On my second day of Christmas, my true life gave to me…80 FAMILY MEMBERS (mas o menos)…In lieu of our annual Christmas day festivities at Lolo Lando and Lola Ellen’s house in Palmdale/Lancaster, the Gondas decided that this year, we’d forego the house gathering and have a lunch buffet at the Sportsman’s Lodge in North Hollywood. Complete with DJ (my cousin, Joey) and program, the 5 hours we got to spend together on Christmas Eve-Day was no less satisfying than our typical Christmas Day celebrations of years past. After hours of scrounging through albums and cd’s of old and new photos, in addition to Tin’s PowerPoint expertise, our slideshow was a success and our family was treated to, pardon the cliché, a walk down memory lane; weddings, birthdays and so many gatherings we can’t even begin to remember the reasons for. We ended with a medley of Tagalog Christmas songs and, as corny as I know it sounds, it was one of my favorite moments. Singing carols isn’t a popular activity in my family, but something was very heartwarming about the impromptu guitar-strumming and song-leading.

After the party, we went to a Christmas vigil mass where our whole row fought to keep our eyes open and our heads in an upright position as the tiring day began to catch up with us. Why was that homily sooooo long? Ha ha…No matter, because although we were soaked in fatigue, something about singing “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Silent Night” rejuvenated our Christmas energy and we opened presents that night with joyful glee to match.

For just a few hours that Christmas eve, we as a family set aside our problems and reveled in each other’s love and support. I couldn’t think of any other way to celebrate a most sacred season.

On my third day of Christmas, my true life gave to me…A HOUSE OF LOVING VOICES…I spent most of the day going through all the pictures from the day before, in addition to cleaning up our chaotic room. That evening, however, not wanting to spend Christmas Day at home, we visited my aunt and uncle in Long Beach. Their house was FULL of their kids (my cousins) and THEIR kids (my nieces and nephews) and, well, let’s just say that the Bautista side, in comparison to the Gondas are less…tame. The volume of Bautista voices, especially in that house, is WOW. I can’t wait for our reunion in July!

On my fourth day of Christmas, my true life gave to me…4 FRIENDS I’VE MISSED…Instead of racking our brains for gift ideas, Cile, Iya, Rochelle and I decided that we’d just spend the day together – and wow did we ever! At noon, on the day after Christmas, the girls and I treated ourselves to an afternoon at Burke Williams Spa where we got massages and enjoyed the amenities available to patrons. Such amenities included a 160-degree sauna where we hung out after our massages to catch up on our lives (aka catch up on OTHER people’s lives, ha ha) as we sweated calories away. After the sauna we thought we’d check out the steam room, thinking that it’d just be a box of mist for us to sit in. But after having sat down for about 10 seconds, the room began to re-steam with this loud hissing sound, and, sitting in the stifling fog with ZERO visibility, we suddenly heard screaming. It was Rochelle! She was sitting right next to where the steam was coming out of! Freakin’ hilarious! We had ice cold towels on our faces but it was just way too hot in there and we left laughing our butts off! That wasn’t even the most amusing part of our day there. Chicks are walked around the spa baring all and the four of us, protected under our bathrobes, couldn’t help but look away, look at each other and then giggle every time a pair of boobs walked by. No inhibitions here!

After a few hours at the spa, we had lunch at the Grove’s Cheesecake Factory, where we flirted mercilessly with our young waiter, Zack (who reminded me of Michael J. Fox.), and feasted galore. Having burned calories walking up and down the row of shops, we headed to Coffee Bean then proceeded to Rochelle’s house where we watched TV, ate our leftovers, ordered pizza and caught up some more on each other’s lives. We talked and talked and talked, listening to dilemmas and laughing at each one’s anecdotal value, giving advice or egging each other on. It was so much fun!

I wish such days would run like a cycle in my life. It makes me want to wish that everyday were just like Christmas…

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Apparently, the sweater wasn't enough...HAHAHA!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Merriest Christmas Blessings to Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2005


So for the last few weeks, I've been a real Ebenezer Scrooge/Grinch, for a number of reasons. First, not having much to spend on gifts, then getting into that accident, then getting so sick I couldn't stand or sit up, then trying to finish a slideshow (which was not an easy task since I'm not, well, Cile. he he…); I was just feeling really blah about everything. It sucked because for as long as I can remember, Christmas was always something I looked forward to.

A melancholy holiday it has been for me, though, chanting the first section of Faith Hills's "Where Are You Christmas?" in my head:

Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?
Why have you gone away?
Where is the laughter you used to bring me?
Why can't I hear music play?

My world is changing. I'm rearranging
Does that mean Christmas changes too?

Where are you Christmas?
Do you remember the one you used to know?
I'm not the same one
See what the time's done
Is that why you have let me go?

…instead of *NSYNC's Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays: “It’s a wonderful feeling. Feel the love in the room from the floor to the ceiling. It’s that time of year. Christmastime is here.” What bothers me is that feeling this way during this time of year is something I'm not used to. I've always loved writing Christmas cards to people who I don't get the chance to speak with often, or shopping for and then wrapping gifts; from sweaters to packets of holiday candy enveloped in bright colors of red, green, silver and gold foil. As simple-minded as it sounds, Christmas really was the most wonderful time of the year for me. That magic that fills the air during this season, I felt that from Thanksgiving Day until January 1st. This year has been more difficult though. I've been pouting and crying (much to Santa's dismay I'm sure), lethargic and passive, waiting for the year to end so I can start over.

But, as usual, some "things" came just in time to help me get over myself. These "light bulb moments," as I like to call them, appeared and affected me in many ways. The one that broke through most effectively, however, came in the form of a Tuesday night homily. Our priest reminded us about Mary's story; how, when the angel Gabriel appeared and told her that she would essentially be the MOTHER of all mothers, Mary said nothing more than, "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done to me according to God's word." And then I remembered something I blogged about a few years back, about having faith that things happen for reasons that at the time of encounter are often unbeknownst to us; and though it sucks not knowing the hows and whys of it all, the best way to “get a handle” on things, is just to believe that you’ll be okay no matter what happens.

Faith is what Christmas is all about. Faith in knowing that a great king would not arrive in a glitzy caravan of trumpet sounds and the roar of the crowd, but be born in a manger, swaddled in the love of his young mother and carpenter father. Faith in seeing the hope inside the despair, finding the greatness through the bleak, rediscovering the innocence of a child through the hardheadedness of an adult.

May faith keep us all...

(Wow…that wasn't meant to be so long. I thought I'd mention also that the other thing that snapped me out of my bah-humbug was seeing Edwin's dog, Tyson, in a crocheted holiday sweater. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!)
(Andrew and Chris look! It's Monica's biggest pet peeve). HAHAHA!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Thursday, December 15, 2005


I'm at home today, feeling kinda crappy. After sitting in the living room trying to sit up to finish my christmas cards, I realized that I have a slideshow to take care of! So Here I am scanning like a maniac! And though that dumb accident put me in a bit of a mood (a bad one), I've been trying to get past it because what's done is done and there are other things I can put my time and energy this slideshow.

Pictures - I LOVE THEM! What can I say? Looking through photos, old and new, never fail to make me feel all better. light of that, I found a few that made me laugh...ENJOY! (Matt, don't kill me!...FYI - that halloween picture, that Snoopy mask I'm wearing goes with Matt's costume but he wanted to be Robin! HAHAHA! Dorks!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I haven't really been feeling the holiday cheer lately. I used to be ready for Christmas the very day after Thanksgiving, blasting my *NSYNC Home for Christmas cd the moment I woke up, awaiting the moment I could drag our fake Christmas tree and all the glitter and glow of garlands and ornaments out of our basement storage and into our living room. But this year, though fortune has smiled of late in the form of self-discovery and opportunity, I have yet to wrap one present and the thought of rummaging through an address book to write out holiday cards makes me want to shut the blinds, turn off the lights and stay in bed waiting for 2006 to come around.

Tonight's event hasn't done much to revive my spirit. After having dinner with Fernand in celebration of our last day of class, I was backing out of my parking space when this car came out of nowhere and met door to spare tire with my car. The girl, crying, angry and obviously in a bit of a shock was not forgiving, yelling, "What the hell are you doing! Didn't you see me coming?! Oh God my new car!" With a final in half an hour, there was not much I could do to let her know how sorry I sorry I was she didn't see ME COMING OUT OF THE PARKING SPACE! Thank goodness Fernand was there to give me re-assurance and thank God for this girl's friend who could've been a real ass but wasn't. We exchanged information, then Fernand and I drove to class, and now here I am in the school computer lab writing out my frustration because after calling my insurance company tonight to report the accident, I'd rather just not talk about it.

There's a million and one things to let my mind wander about, but I'll try not to and will most likely get through with prayer. I was just WAITING for something bad to happen, as life has actually been kind to me these days. This is a test, I know it, to see if my level of trust in this world and in that which lies ahead of me is a sign of my growing faith, or a way to fake my way into accepting what comes my way.

Oh boy...what a bah humbug way to end the semester.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Every Christmas season we’re bombarded with not only commercial “obligations” but altruistic ones as well. We’re thwarted with so many advertisements of the latest electronics, fashion and food that it’s difficult to avoid holiday gluttony of every form. However, with the sound of merry registers a-beeping and jolly credit cards a-swiping, there’s also the sound of charities and kind citizens from all around a-pleaing for the spread of good will towards men.

Simple acts such as propping a door open for a stranger with a handful of shopping bags at the mall or letting someone cut in front of you on the freeway are just a few of the ways we can demonstrate this season of giving. Donating food, clothes, funds – or moreover TIME to help those who are not as fortunate as others takes that simple intent of giving to the next level. Bright paper packages tied up with string aside, Christmas is supposed to exude a form of enhanced love, if you will, for humankind as exemplified by the story of Christ’s birth; not only by the elves working year round to make gifts for Santa’s forthcoming night of dotage. “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself” – that is the greatest commandment of all.

There are times, however, when loving your neighbor as yourself leaves you wanting to key your own car or punch yourself in the face. It makes me ill sometimes when the gift of giving, in ANY form – via words or actions – is received by nothing less than indifference, or worse, contempt.

“It’s Christmas, what’s bugging Anna?” you might be asking. Well, someone called in today and I didn’t appreciate being reprimanded or hung up on after trying for 10 minutes to help him out. I hate when I encounter such reactions. It made me want to shove that holiday goodwill down his throat. But then I remembered another important part of loving your neighbor – forgiving them.
Happy Birthday to my cousin, Melissa!

Friday, December 09, 2005


Today was the feast of the Immaculate Conception. A holy day of obligation, it's the day Catholics commemorate the beginning of Mary's life. Her birth was a miracle to her mother, St. Anne, who, despite getting on in years, kept faith that God would bless her with a child. A child she was given, Mary, who was the only one ever born without original sin. At the risk of going off on a tangent, I'm gonna stop the religion lesson here and talk about my mass experience tonight.

I couldn't make the 5:30 pm mass because I had to pick up my sister from school and then drop her and my mom off at home. By the time I get to mass, I will have missed the readings, the homily and would've been unable to take communion so I'm like why bother? So I decided to attend the 7 pm mass...EN ESPANOL.I understood, for the most part, what was going on because it's still mass, just wasn't conducted in English. I was kind of sad, though, because (I know Larnie can share my feelings on this) I love singing in church. Yes I love singing in the shower and in my car, but when I sing in church, I feel like there's a purpose, a true audience, THE ONE AUDIENCE. Anyhow, I only know ONE church song in Spanish called, "O Maria, Madre Mia" which we learned in elementary school. The whole mass I was like, if they play that song, I'll freakin' laugh.

Communion comes around and what do they start singing? O MARIA, MADRE MIA! I laughed from my pew until right before I got to the altar. I can't believe they actually sang it! Hahahaha...Too bad I only remember the first two lines of that song! Booo!


Monday, December 05, 2005


Lots to catch-blog about, but first this.

I had a dream last night and when I woke up this morning, I felt like I had had that dream before. I didn't have the exact same dream, but something happened in this dream that has happend in NUMEROUS other visions in slumber.

I'm driving (on the freeway, on the street, in open country) and it's nighttime. I'm sleepy and can't seem to keep my eyes open. I struggle to lift my lids but am completely unable to. I want to pull over but can't because I can't see a damn thing.

There is a dark, strange fear that is literally clutching at my very heart and it's keeping me from opening my eyes, from pulling over. I just keep thinking to myself in the dream how I'm going to crash into something and die. It's as if this fear that I feel is what's keeping me from opening my eyes or pulling over.

WHAT THE HECK DOES THIS MEAN? If it, indeed, does mean something. I just think it's strange that I've dreamt this same incident a myriad of times in a myriad of circumstances, yet it never fails to turn into that...crashing and dying.


I feel all crappy right now. Sunday was completely unproductive for me, even though I have a final paper to revise. I had such a great day on Friday, something I haven't experienced in QUITE THE LONG TIME. I had gotten so used to the genuine-happiness drought that I didn't know what to do with myself when this weird thing we know as giddiness crept up on me the way it did. Nothing huge happened, really, except the beginning of what I hope to be a turning of the tides. I also got the results of my analytical writing section from the GREs and I didn't do as horribly as I thought. THANKS LORD!

Yeah, it's almost 2 am. I'm blogging cuz I can't sleep. I can't sleep cuz I can't breathe, my head is aching and my chest is all congested. No matter what position I am in bed, I feel uncomfortable. I hate being sick. My dumb sister contaminated this house with all her sick germs last week. THANKS A LOT TIN! She's all better now and I'm feeling all BLECH! Should I go to work?...We'll see....

Friday, December 02, 2005


Search Results for Registered Nurses and Continuing Education Providers

Type: RN
Number: 670134


Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Tuesday, November 29, 2005


I just discovered this morning that my left foot is smaller than my right because my left shoe keeps falling off when I walk. THAT'S SO ODD! My left side is weaker than my right in so many aspects: how I write, my vision and now MY FOOT! I think my left boob's smaller too (is that too much info? Sorry...he he...) Am I the last to know about this? That one side of the body is far more dominant than the other? Anyhow, THAT'S CRAZY!

And just now my co-worker said that there was a newsstory this morning about a girl who kissed her boyfriend after he ate peanuts. She was allergic to peanuts and wasn't seen by a doctor in time to remedy the reaction and she died. My goodness, how awful is that!

Monday, November 28, 2005


This started out as an email but then I started babbling away so I figured, oh what the heck I'll blog it.

I'm not gonna tell any of you that RENT (the movie or the musical) should be put on your must-see list and that you have to like it. I honestly didn't think much of the musical when I saw it 6 years ago, maybe because I didn't catch a lot of dialogue/lyrics. I thought it was about a lot of pretty worn out issues: 1) finding and then hanging onto identity 2) drug-use 3) life-threatening disease 4) the starving artist 5) carpe diem, blah blah. I liked it because the music was more contemporary compared to the classics (i.e. Miss Saigon, Les Mis and Phantom). I really didn't enjoy it so much for the content, but more so because they have a band on stage for crying out loud in lieu of an orchestra. That's cool!

Anyhow, I guess 6 years (that's 525,600 minutes times 6 - he he he...) is enough time to let naive experiences marinate in reflection until they're ready to roast in adulthood. I wasn't THAT crazy about the musical because I didn't relate to it back then, but I do now, more than ever. The movie is still about all the same things I thought were cliche back then, but which I find most valuable about it now: it's profound simplicity. No mistaken identities, no love torn apart by war, no haunting melodies heard through a magical mirror. It's a story about 8 friends who, while trying to survive a life they neither asked nor prepared for, find breath and respite in the face of death.

There's one part that really smacked me in the face - literally. Roger, a struggling musician, tells his roomate Mark, pseudo-writer-filmaker: "Who are you to tell me what I know? What to do? But who, Mark, are you? 'Mark has got his work.' They say, 'Mark lives for his work' and 'Mark's in love with his work.' Mark hides in his work...from facing your failure, facing your loneliness, facing the fact you live a lie. Yes, you live a lie - tell you why. You're always preaching not to be numb when that's how you thrive. You pretend to create and observe when you really detache from feeling alive....For someone who longs for a community of his own, who's with his camera, alone?"

It's all just making me think again. What's all this about? What am I doing? Blogging, taking writing classes, journaling - for what? What am I looking for? Waiting for? Am I any good at this? And who gets to justify my ability or potential? A magazine? A publisher? An editor? Am I seizing THE DAY? Or waiting for it? Holy shit, I'm fighting with reality (or what I think is my reality) and destiny (at least what I hope is my destiny) AGAIN. I hate when I do that. I think I'll just...belt out a Kelly Clarkson song in the shower, compose a corny poem or write a longwinded journal entry...

Friday, November 25, 2005


I spent the day thinking of everything I was thankful for. Actually, I spent the day thinking of what I'm SUPPOSED to be thankful for. I folded my hands in church this morning and thanked God for everything I always give thanks for: my family, my friends, my home - my very fortunate life in general. But in between my perfunctory bouts of gratitude on Thanksgiving day, it all suddenly felt like a vain attempt to force the essence of this holiday into my system. It was a long day occupied by grocery runs, playtime with Kelsoe, chocolate covered marshamallows (which Tin cleverly called "chollows"), delicious meals and visiting with family. Fatigue chanted perfunctorily: "You HAVE to be thankful. You SHOULD be thankful. YOU are blessed." Don't get me wrong. I was grateful for the enjoyable start to my 4-day weekend. But at 9:45 pm, I was well-worn of energy and gratitude.

At 1:30 am, about an hour ago, my thankfulness was rejuvinated. My cousins, my sister and I went to go see "RENT." I saw the live musical in London in 1999 and I listen to the soundtrack all the time. For whatever reason, I was drawn into the story, the dialogue and the lyrics moreso tonight and I cried more than the few tears I had shed before. The message of the Jonathan Larson's musical somehow hit a different part of my heart this time.

Though I sometimes tell myself that I've got control, and I tell everyone else that the road to my desires in life are laid clearly before me, I can't escape the doubt that I try to keep dormant: AM I EVER GONNA GET TO WHERE I WANT TO GO? TO WHERE I'M PREPARING MYSELF TO ARRIVE? IF I DON'T, HOW WILL I LOOK AT MYSELF IN THE MIRROR? WHAT VALUE WILL MY LIFE HAVE IF I DON'T ACCOMPLISH THIS? And then I heard it:

Seasons Of Love

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.
Seasons of love.
525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure the life of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned,
or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.
It’s time now to sing out,
though the story never ends let's celebrate
remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love!
Remember the love! You got to remember the love.
Remember the love! You know that love is a gift from above.
Measure in love. Share love, give love, spread love.
Seasons of love! Measure, measure your life in love.
Seasons of love.

The worth of a person's life is measured by nothing more than the amount of love he or she emanates; emanates towards family, friends, strangers, self. Not the millions of books you sell, not the mansion in Bel Air, the sports car in the garage or the most popular friends. I think that's what made me cry during the movie, remembering everyone who really and truly matter to me; thinking of everything I waste so much time worrying about when most times, the comfort I seek is that which is most obvious to me if only I'd stop to see it: Love life the way it is presented to me. Stop fighting my reality as if there is a better one which awaits on the other side of my idea of "victory." I have THIS life, THIS moment to live and to love and that's it. Let go of what I think I should be saying, should be doing, be feeling.

And then I heard the clincher:

The heart may freeze or it can burn
The pain will ease if I can learn
There is no future, there is no past
I live this moment as my last
There's only us, there's only this
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss
No other road, no other way
No day but today...
We must let go to know what's right...
I can't control my destiny
I trust my soul
My goal is just to be
There's only now
There's only here
Give in to love
Or live in fear
No other path
No other way
No day but today...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

God Bless!
Don't eat too much!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

STOP RINGING!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005


Thursday, November 17, 2005


On Monday, my office had dinner at Gordon Biersch to celebrate my co-worker's upcoming wedding. He's leaving for the Philippines this Friday and he'll be a married man on December 10th. Through the course of the evening, everyone was giving the groom advice, warnings, etc. In addition to their anecdotal words of caution, though, they also provided him with insight to the new life he has to look forward to with his new wife. In between their stories of wedding day mishaps, elopements and such, they somehow found moment after moment to pound the pressure on me as the only one in the office who's never been married and who doesn't have any kids. It's Ken's night to get harrassed, people - LAY OFF ME! Hahaha...I wasn't bothered; a shocking non-reaction actually, because conversations that veer towards love and marriage used to make me feel uncomfortable, inadequate, lacking. But I realized they weren't hinting for me to hurry up and get hitched just to annoy me. They were doing it because they have such unique stories of love to tell, that they wish others could experience the same bliss.
A year ago I probably would've harped on bitterly and defensively (sounding off Betty Friedan's battlecry of feminism: the independent-free-thinking-stop-manipulating-us-women-of-independece) if only to avenge the disquiet the people around me seem to experience when it comes to my "lovelife" (if it could, for lack of a better word, be considered that at all). The bitterness, jealousy and anxiety has been assuaged somehow, maybe because I haven't had the opportunity to feel any these days, or maybe because I've just learned to let it go. Conversations with Dorothy this evening emphasized the importance of such release into the unknown (thanks Dorothy!).

Why wait for love to fall on your lap when you're surrounded by it daily? How, when I watch my friends from high school get engaged and then married, can I be angry at a world that has made them so happy? Watching Riza dance with Joe on Saturday caused all loquacity to flee from my tongue. This girl, who I used to eat lunch with on a school bench, whose pages in the yearbook I used to proofread, is a married woman! No words could have rightfully expressed my excitement for their Once upon a time... No such verbiage exists when the heart enraptures the whole of a person in love, as I've witnessed this past year.

In journalism, the introduction of a story that makes you want to read the rest of the article is called a "lead-in." Dating is kind of like the foreword, a hint of things to come. Weddings are more like the lead-ins to marriages. As a guest ("the reader") you're drawn into a couple's first page as husband and wife. I got drawn in SEVEN TIMES this year, and I was hooked every time, hoping and praying thereafter for their stories to be filled with more than 3 wishes, the occasional rescue and the conversion of malice into blessing. Love's oral tradition moves beyond the happy ending in a fairytale. Most times, the ending is just another beginning...

Monday, November 14, 2005


So after 3 months of preparing, I finally took my GRE's this past Saturday and out of a possible 1600, I scored a 1450! AM I A GENIUS OR WHAT?...YEAH RIGHT I WISH! I SOOO didn't even come close to that score! In fact, I scored close to what I scored on the SAT's which is pretty fair, I suppose. I guess I didn't get any smarter. It asks, after you're done taking the test, if you'd like to forfeit your scores and take it again, or see the scores and have it sent to the schools you're applying to. I thought about it for about 15 seconds and decided...NO WAY AM I GONNA STUDY FOR THIS THING AGAIN! So I closed my eyes, clicked on "SUBMIT SCORES" (or something like that) and braced myself for the worst. I couldn't add fast enough, looking at the verbal and quantitative scores itemized on the screen. I added in my head about 5-10 times before I let myself smile. I was done. I'm disappointed that I scored 150 points higher on the quantitative section than the verbal. How is that even possible? Ha ha ha! Anyhow, I'm glad it's done. I get my writing section scores sometime in the next week. To be completely honest, I don't look forward to it. 45 minutes to discuss my side on an issue and then 30 minutes after THAT to analyze an argument? I couldn't get myself to write coherently on Saturday. I HATE timed writing! I'm sad because it should've been the ONE part of the test I felt comfortable in. Unfortunately, the opposite was the case and I'm just going to have to suck it up and find other things that'll give me some sort of credibility on the application. I really appreciate all your prayers and good wishes, everyone! Thanks so much!

Now I get to: catch up on class reading, work on my final project, look for a new job, take more classes, see more schools, suck up to old professors, APPLY and then pray some more. Wow, that sounds like a lot, doesn't it? But a friend of mine said recently, "You know sometimes, you have to juggle and struggle, until you find yourself." And so the search continues...

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Ate said that her class was learning about the letter "O" and they had a brainstorm on words that began with this letter. As visual aid, Ate drew these ideas for them: Orange, octopus, and then there was the owl. Here's what Ate's drawing of an owl looked like. It looks like a freakin' duck, with its wing on the side that looks like a Nike swoosh! My sister said you could call it a "dowl" and it could be a new pokemon! That bump on its neck, I asked her, is that an adam's apple? A cist maybe? And then when I asked her why the owl had a happy face she said, "Because everyone in pre-school smiles!" Apparently owls in Ate's world don't have beaks. She said that after she drew it, her kids looked all confused and said, "Uhhh, Miss Christine, THAT'S not an owl!" HAHAHA!

(Hi Gary!)

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Just wanted to take a break from all the rapid inundation of esoteric information. A person can only injest so much at one time. D-day's in less than 2 days, can you believe that? I CAN'T! So in order to ameliorate the perfunctory task at hand, abate the anxiety and attenuate the stress, I thought I'd blog a little. If I do badly on this exam, at least my vocabulary's been aggrandized...he he he...dumb GRE words!

So thanks to Dorothy and Dana, just for kicks, I looked up the meaning of my name and it says this:

Peaceful, poised and understanding you do not let anyone or anything disturb your innate calm. You are tolerant of others no matter how their behaviours or beliefs differ from your own. Not attached to material or worldly affairs you are free to express your true self.
Displaying great wisdom and serenity people are naturally drawn to you for guidance and counsel.
Your courage and presence of mind see you through any adversity.

Courage and presence of mind...I SO need to regain that right now. And in order to do this, I must carry on. So until next time, probably after my test, I ask for your prayers. Happy weekend to all!

Monday, November 07, 2005


I always look at pictures whenever I'm in need of ANY type of emotion. This weekend I needed some comic relief. Looking through hundreds of Hawaii pictures from 12 different cameras, I caught this series of images. Just look at the progression of Cile trying to drown me!

See her creeping in from behind, unbeknownst to me?

And then I feel something tugging at me from below and I suddenly lose my balance and begin to sink...

And then she goes in for the kill! HELP CILE'S TRYING TO DROWN ME! But see all that playfulness? NO ONE CARED! So what if my feet were touching the floor? He he he...

Not gonna blog...not gonna blog...gotta study...gotta do my query letters...not gonna blog...NOT...GONNA...BLOG!...Ops! Oh well, I tried...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

DOH! Moments

We all have them. These are some of my favorites. I'm sure there's more that I just don't remember. But these are the ones that stick out in my mind. Everytime I remember them, whatever it is I was worrying about seems to go away.


ME: So my sister asked me if we ever get a dog what I would wanna name it.
IYA: What WOULD you name it?
(Iya gives me a look as if to say, “oh man.”)
ME: Or maybe ARAGORN!
IYA: Aragorn? That's where they’re from, right?
(Now I’M looking at her like, “oh man.”)
ME: Really Iya?


JHOETTE: Man our Rav is so slow now.
CARLO: What do you mean?
JHOETTE: Dude, it’s got no kick.
CARLO: What about Anna’s Rav? Hers PRETTY KICKS.


After 8th grade graduation, Iya went on vacation to the East Coast for about a week

ME: I miss Iya, dude. How long has she been in Philly?
JHOETTE: Philly? What the hell! PINAS MAN!


Freshman year in high school

ROCHELLE: Wait, 69? So like, are there positions 1 through 68?


Terry, Cile and I are cleaning up our apartment (Exeter).

CILE (cleaning the bathroom upstairs): ANNA!
ME (Terry and I are cleaning downstairs): What!
CILE: Where’s the Formula 405?
TERRY: Formula 409? 405 is a freeway, Cile!


Watching ER at Exeter

LEIA: Hey! It’s that girl!
ME: Kelly Martin?
LEIA (all excited!): Yeah! Becca! From MY SO-CALLED LIFE GOES ON
ME: Ummm, there was a MY SO-CALLED LIFE and a LIFE GOES ON?


Playing word association with Pat, Isa and Andrew at like 2:00 in the morning

PAT: Chain…
ISA: 182!!!!
ME: LINK! Not Blink silly!

PAT: Finger…
ANDREW: Banking!
ME and ISA: Ummm…fingerbanking? I think you mean something else, Drew.


ATE TIN-TIN: I’ve never seen ANY of the LORD OF THE RINGS movies
ME: Really Ate?
ATE: Yeah, the only character I know is a guy named Bagley Bagel.
ME: Who the heck is Bagley Bagel?
ATE: That hobbit. Elijah Wood’s uncle in the movie right?
ME: Bilbo Baggins?
ATE: Yeah that’s it.


Edwin tries to be a jackass all the time, but sometimes we victims of such bullying can get our revenge:

ME: It’s so hard to find pants that fit me cuz I’m so short!
ROCHELLE: I know! Whenever I buy pants my mom always has to chop off like 5 inches!
EDWIN: HA HA! I bet you guys can’t even wear BELLY bottoms!
EVERYONE IN THE ROOM: BELL bottoms dumbass!

(Refer to a March 8, 2004 entry for Edwin’s BIGGEST DOH moment)

*****And for the mother of all DOH moments, let’s re-visit one of my most awful ones:

Eric wanted to go ice skating for his 19th birthday and he asked me to help him call ice skating rinks. My friend told me there was a Pickwick Ice Skating Center in Pasadena so I called 411 and asked for, verbatim, “PICKWICK ICE SKATING CENTER,” and they gave me a phone number and I called to ask how late they were open and they said, “midnight.” I was like WOW, there’s an ice skating place open until midnight!

So we had dinner and then headed to PICKWICK according to the directions they gave me. We’re driving from Glendale, down the 134 East…then the 210…then we exit and we’re driving and driving and (I’m in the car with Ryan, Markie, Mark’s bro John and Iya) everyone in the car except me started to worry. “Dude, Amar Road? We’re by Randy’s house!” Mark said. Randy lives in West Covina. So we stopped at a Burger King asking for this one street we couldn’t seem to find and the lady was like, “Oh, you’re almost there.”

So we head out again and then get a phone call from Joe and Eric. I’m not sure how because I can’t remember who had a cell phone back in 1997. Anyhow, Joe and Eric called and said, “Hey, we’re here. When you get to the parking lot, LOOK UP AT THE SIGN.” All of us were like WHAT THE HECK DO THEY MEAN?

So we finally meet up with them and there we saw the sign: PICKWICK WINES AND SPIRITS. I had been given information for a freakin’ LIQUOR STORE!!! I don’t think I’ll ever out-do that little fiasco. But it’s okay because we just went karaoke after and Eric likes to karaoke right?

Oh well...nobody's perfect...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Riann, Iya and I took to an Eagle Rock coffee house called SWORK tonight to continue our individual educational quests together. How much studying can three girls really get to these days, right? Before anyone's like, "oh Lord why do they even bother to study together?" I will say that we DID get some studying done. But along with pounding more information into our brains, we had another one of our famous intuitive conversations.

For curiosity's sake, Riann asked me and Iya to think of a guy we "liked" who somehow didn't "fit" into the mold of the others we became interested in. It made all of us ponder our track records, our habits, our "types." Do any of you have "a type?" A certain character of girl or guy who possesses qualities that you're drawn to? To some people this may seem like an easy question. She likes tall guys, funny guys; he likes smart girls, girls with long hair, etc. But to others, having "a type" is a conventional practice they neither care for, much less analyze. But provoked by a surprising curiosity, we sat in silence and seriously thought about it (books, notes, highlighters and pencils laid out on the table of course for later use).

One of us learned that intelligent guys who showed that hint of "dorkiness" are a commodity. Another found that subtle confidence, attached to a certain swagger were attractive. And then there's the girl who seems to fall for the typical "nice guys." So what was it about these boys that made us so crazy? You can't really talk about it in so few words. A blog entry would probably not suffice, but it got the wheels in my head turning. WHY are we attracted to certain qualities, certain types? WHAT does it say about us? WHAT does it make us do?

I told Iya and Riann tonight that when it comes to these things, I'm a masochist. I've fallen for the same kind of guys in the same kinds of circumstances and I reacted pretty much in similar fashion with ALL of them. And as if the hidden desires were not enough to fulfill the painful requirements that unrequitted love entailed, I sought additional suffering; like trying to maintain platonic obligations (i.e. listening to them talk about other girls) without flinching and then crying about it when I realize how crazy I was to think THAT WAS OKAY! Why is that? I may never know. The situation has become less frequent more recently as I make attempts for sanity and growth. To achieve this, those molds have been tucked away for less use. New...NEW IS ALWAYS GOOD.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I haven't been inspired to write much these days. Or actually I HAVE had things to write about but as fate would have it, I really don't have the time. I know, I've heard it all before. If there's something you REALLY want to do to, YOU MAKE TIME. But I'm gonna be honest with you all and say how tired I am.

At the risk of sounding like a whining fool, allow me to vent just a little bit if only to get it out of my system. I work 40 hours a week at a job whose vices have overdrawn my patience, I have a 3-hour/week magazine writing class that, truth be told, is not THAT demanding, I've got the GRE's to study for, plus all the social events that I participate in at the VERY MINIMUM.

My only concern is that this is nowhere near as demanding as it COULD be, yet I'm about to keel over cuz I'm so tired! If, by some miraculous circumstance, I get accepted into a writing program, how could I survive when I can hardly handle what I've got on my plate right now? I hear that Christina Aguilera song, "Fighter" playing in my head as well as that old skool favorite, "Give It All You Got" and I just gotta say, it helps sometimes.

Ok, that's enough worrying for tonight. As always, we'll walk as far we can with what we've got and what we can handle, and then cross whatever bridges we come upon. I just pray that what lies beneath is a current of warm water and not a field of razor-sharp rocks.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

It CAN Be Done!

Seriously, if you're determined and desperate enough to want something, you can have it! Determination and desperation were surely present last night. I sat at a table in Barnes & Noble trying to ready myself for the Writing Assessment section of the GREs, and I had Iya sitting on my right with her engineering books cracked open, Carlo on my left brooding over an anatomy text and Riann across from me making respiratory diagrams on napkins and guess what: WE ACTUALLY STUDIED for a solid (mas o menos with visits from Matt, Bobbers and Joe) 3 hours!

After such a feat we walked two blocks to the nearest IHOP and feasted! We WALKED! Ha ha ha! We STUDIED AND WE WALKED? There's like ten things wrong with that sentence. But what can I say? In this case, ten wrongs made a right.

Uh-oh...time for another date with Kaplan. A good weekend to you all!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


I'm on New Line Cinema's email list and I got these a few days ago. Ha ha ha...Legolas and Gandalf costumes for kids. It just cracked me up!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


She can hardly work the dvd player,
but knowing how to watch Oprah on the DVR is a piece of cake.
She doesn't know how to reply to an email on AOL or surf the internet,
but she can make any stain on your clothes disappear
and what she irons never seems to wrinkle.
She has her license and refuses to drive,
but can find her way (and our way) out no matter where we are.
She can't figure out how to use her camera phone, or take her cell out of speakerphone mode, but she can cook ANYTHING to meticulous perfection.
She thought "norkeling" was an actual activity,
yet she can identify practically any flower she sees
and her roses, orchids and sampaguita fluorish abundantly in their respective seasons.
She'll never miss a chance to tell me that I did something wrong,
but she'll be the first person to rescue me when I have.
She's Mom, generous and thoughtful, stern but loving.
She's my heroine.
Happy Birthday Mom!
Happy Birthday to my cousin, Christian!

Monday, October 24, 2005

MY GRANDFATHER... the eldest, just like me
...taught me how to forge signatures
...showed me how to tie a necktie
...taught me how fry an egg
...showed me I could play the piano just by listening to the music known as "the Godfather" in my family
...never gives up on keeping me on that pedestal, even when I feel like a failure an excellent cook
...can find humor in anything always the life of the party a survivor of 3 heart attacks a devoted fan of God an age-defying example of how 79 is definitely the new 40.


Sunday, October 23, 2005


Ate celebrated her 29th birthday this weekend. I know we “young ‘uns” give our older homies grief for being old (ahem Annie, Fernie, Ate Cyn, Gary…hee hee) when we see them, but as they’ve proven (without having to so), you’re only as old as you feel and age is definitely just a number. Friday night proved just that when six 20-somethings (2/3 almost 30-somethings…hahaha, just kidding!) spent an evening at California Adventure for Mickey’s Halloween Treat.

Not meant for the Knotts Scary Farm enthusiast, Halloween in the Magic Kingdom’s strictly-enforced, kid-friendly atmosphere called for more princesses, princes, cutesy bears and tiggers (and one baby Yoda) than vampires, ghouls and monsters. We took mental note and came in kid-friendly as ever, in our improvised Halloween costumes: dressed in white from neck to ankle, topped with my silver halo, I was an angel; Annie in her dad’s plaid polo, overalls and Blossom straw hat was a farmer; Will in his Bob Marley shirt wore his beanie with attached dreads proudly (which is an understatement. He grew rather attached to that thing and hopes to wear it as often as he can); Jeff & Fernie came dressed in their camouflaged best; and our birthday celebrant, Ate Tin-Tin came in her homemade lady bug costume! It was 3 hours of time well-spent in the company of such great friends (even though I had to pee before Hollywood Tower of Terror and Ate made me HOLD IT!). We scaredy cats who declined Knotts Scary Farm this year should opt for a wussy, but Disney kind of Halloween next year.

On Saturday we had Ate’s birthday lunch at C & O Trattoria in Venice. MMMMMMMM linguini de mare and awesome garlic rolls! I swear we pop those in our mouths like popcorn or potato chips! The meal was superb as always, the conversations I either partook in or listened to were amusing, and having buzzed Ate Tin-Tin (with her natural eye shadow and blush caused by alcohol intake), calling our waiter Donald (his name is Donan) was hilaire at best. After watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” with my girls Gwen, Fantone and Leia (oh, and Joemama – don’t pretend you were reading a magazine) and scheming a European invasion in 2007, I swung by my aunts’ housewarming back in Glendale to grub and concluded the evening in front of the computer formulating yet another paper which is due today (I finished last night, thanks very much!).

After a Sunday spent praying (2000 Hail Marys in the church auditorium – I prayed for a few hundred), eating or keeping Kelsoe amused (which is a worthwhile, but tiring task), the weekend finally caught up with me. In any case, I can’t complain. Now if only I could’ve squeezed in a couple hours of GRE studying…THAT task remained to go unseen this past week.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Thursday, October 20, 2005


It's unfair to call it that, really, since we often don't do any studying. For the most part the occasional meetings turn into much-needed therapy sessions, and that's what makes them so great. I think we just use "studying" as an excuse to set aside time to talk. No one ever really calls anyone to just "talk" anymore. Conversations that last from sunset to sunrise (in person, over the phone or the internet) are a rarity these days, at least they have been for me.

It's easy to accept that relationships between people are bound to change, but sometimes they change so abruptly that you don't know when or why it happened. One day you're exchanging heartaches and dreams, and in the next moment you're fighting for 5 minutes of chitchat that sometimes mere effort can no longer support. Or sometimes the change occurs so slowly that you don't realize it. Now you can't remember the last conversation you had with someone. The whens and whys can become obsessively harsh; so hurtful sometimes that you can't function without wondering if perhaps you've done something wrong or haven't done enough; or maybe you've just lost interest in someone's life or they've lost interest in yours.

The brush fires of anxiety are cunning. It's difficult to extinguish an inferno when you're feeding it a combustion of fear, doubt and bitterness. When the waters of patience, acceptance and forgiveness flow weakly, sometimes the only way to keep yourself safe (and sane) is to step away from the flame completely, and hope that beneath the stonecold charred remains, there breathes a glowing ember strong enough to provide warmth and guidance in desolate times, yet gentle enough to prevent further explosions. Playing with fire never proved so dangerous, and so emotionally draining.

Thanks, babygirl, for yet another eye-opening session of pure, unadulterated, obscene honesty. I can't get enough of those.

Monday, October 17, 2005


When I decided that I wanted to pursue this "writing thing," Pat and Cile gave me my first words of wisdom. Their pearls of such went something like this: "You're an artist now and people are going to criticize your work. Some people are going to like it and some won't. You have to be ready - get thick-skinned - for the people who won't."

I don't think I've taken such warning to heart until recently. No, my work hasn't been brutally attacked in class (though, trust me, there have been many opportunities). But, having paid attention to"Elizabethtown" reviews as much as I have, and subscribing to ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY and PREMIER magazines where everything from movies, to tv shows to cds, to books are critiqued, it's hard to ignore the obvious: EVERYONE has an opinion about EVERYTHING.

I've got a built-in insecurity meter in my system when it comes to my work. It's very hard not to be self-deprecating when there are others who may be more experienced or more talented. At the same time, though, I can't help but be protective of something I've inserted so much of myself into. Art, in every form, is so subjective. The age-old saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye (or ear) of the beholder." I can't help but wonder, what if he or she who beholds, sees or hears no beauty in what I have to show? What's to become of me then?

All forms of art can be so very personal, and this is what I often find difficult to cope with. For every author who writes their life story for the world to know, is a person who finds opportunity for judgment; for every painter who introduces their innovative pieces, is a person who says it's all bullshit; for every musician whose song is played on the radio, is a so-called expert who says they don't come close to this so-and-so legend. How can someone who has put so much of their heart and soul into something handle that chance of being told it's not enough, it's nothing new, it's nothing special? Pharell Williams was on the radio this morning and he said it's one of the most difficult things about an artform like music. You create something, with every drop of sweat and tear you have, and you love it for everything you've put into it. Then you have to hand it over to someone else, share it with others...and you can't account for what they'll do to it then.

Cameron Crowe, one of many talented directors whose visions are reflected on the big screen and then later engraved in our psyches, had this to say about his latest work, "This movie chose me. And if it works out that I get slaughtered for a movie that came from my heart, I can live with myself." Spoken like a true artist, thick-skinned and all.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Just got back from watching "Elizabethtown." Screw writing - I'M GONNA BE A FLIGHT ATTENDANT!

Friday, October 14, 2005

It comes out today! Hooray!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


These last couple of weeks I’ve been around a lot of kids. This is rarely the case so I took advantage of such presence and, not intending to, found a simple joy that I feel is so easily misplaced these days.

The funniest things come out of kids’ mouths. Last week at my grandmother’s birthday dinner at the house, our neighbor, Nicole who’s 6 years old, was over and I helped her with her 1st grade homework. My cousins, Tin and I were occupied with eating and talking that I guess Nicole got sad and I found her sitting at the bottom of our staircase crying. So I asked her what was wrong and here’s how our conversation went:

NICOLE: No one wants to play with me. I told my mom I want a baby brother or sister, but she said ‘no!’ (Nicole’s parents are divorced). I’m all alone!!!”
ME: But you just told me that you had a lot of best friends at school.
(She pauses, still crying)
NICOLE: But I have no one to play with at home.
ME: Well, you have a lot of books and toys at home. You can play by yourself when you’re not in school with your friends. I used to play by myself all the time.
(And then she looks at me, huge tear-filled eyes)

So she goes home and then comes back with her mom, all smiles like she didn’t just have a drama fest on the stairway.

And then this weekend, we surprised my lola for her 74th birthday and I got to spend some more time in kiddy chaos (See pics link on the side). My nieces, April (7) and Alyssa (5) were there so Tin and I really had our hands full. They’re slowly getting over playing the shadow game (THANK GOODNESS!), and now are just talkative and silly as ever. With them attached to us all day, in addition to their little brother Anthony (3 or 4), 2-year old nephew Brandon, 1-year old cousin Lilly, her 5-year old brother Justin, my cousins Ruel (14) and PJ (21 or 22 I think), Tin and I felt like we were being entertained more than we were looking after the little ones. At one point all the kiddies were drawing (Lilly included, trying to get that pen grip just right in her tiny little hand), when a scuffle occurred between the siblings over some pork rinds:

Picture Anthony holding a cup of chicharon in his hand, and every few seconds Alyssa is sneaking chicaron in her mouth while she’s drawing:

ANTHONY: Don’t eat it all!
ALYSSA: I’M JUST SHARING!! (she grabs some more)
ANTHONY: Stop it!
APRIL (the big sister): There’s more downstairs!

I miss being a kid, not knowing or owning half the things I do now but being so content with what I DID know and have. Back then I probably didn’t know what the word “content” meant, but I never had to wonder about it and that’s what I miss the most. I suppose it’s easy to stay relatively happy as a kid when you don’t have so much to be UNhappy about; no responsibilities, no complicated relationships, not very many worries. Hmmm, what I’d give to re-visit such an age for at least 15 minutes everyday. That’d be nice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


I realized today that I have an amazing gift. Without very much effort, and without anyone's help, I find more and more innovative ways to SCREW MYSELF!

I had one of those days today: a paper due at 6:30 pm...still typing at 6:25 pm. I got the assignment 2 weeks ago and didn't sit to think of and then plan out the subject matter until 5 days before the due date. When I finally decided what to write about, I wrote haphazzardly like I was blogging, waiting until 2 days before the assignment is due to email the instructor for help, which brought upon an opportunity for him to advise me to interview people on the subject. Interview? Really? But the paper's due in two days. TOUGH COOKIES, ANNA, SHOULD'VE THOUGHT OF THAT BEFORE YOU WAITED UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO WORK ON THIS THING!

So I did brief interviews (thanks Ate, Annie and Ate Cyn!) and then set to solidify my angle, my piece. The time was then 1:45 am Tuesday morning – today. With eyes ready to hit the ground, and a body aching from 8 hours of senseless stress, I couldn't fight the fatigue and opted to email the paper to my work address so I could work on it while I, well, "worked." I should've known what kind of day this would be, having failed to blow-dry my hair in the morning because of course I woke up too late to do anything to it.

When I got to work this morning I checked my office email to start tweaking my paper and discovered in complete horror that the Microsoft Works file doesn’t covert to Word easily and instead of the 900+ words I had labored on the night before, I was staring at squares and other geometric characters that seemed to be laughing back at me. Oh, it had been a long morning. So what else could I do but cry? I cried (via email) to Cheryl, Iya and Chris for help. Thanks guys! I ended up rushing home during my lunch (thank good ness I only live 4 miles/10 min away) re-emailing it, then working on it, then working on it some more before Fernand came to pick me up, then working on it some more when we got to campus.

Our next project asks us to write a HOW-TO article. I think my headline’s gonna read: HOW TO BE YOUR OWN VICTIM. It’s due in two weeks. For research purposes I SHOULD procrastinate again, but for sanity’s sake, I think I’ll start it today.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


I almost started a fire in my house today - actually I DID start a fire in my house today, but it was contained just in time. I lit a candle this afternoon, one of those gel candles I got as a souvenir from my friend's wedding (Toni, it was the candle your mom made!). My mom always tell me to be careful about gel candles because for whatever reason, they burn differently from the typical wax candles. It's always an accident waiting to happen when you put something as fragile as fire in my hands. As if the world were not dangerous enough. But I love the smell this candle creates and I've BEEN careful about it...until today I guess. Out of the 3 candles sitting above the toilet, I've used this one the most; which you can tell because there's only a third left of the sweet-smelling gel in the clear glass holder. This measure I should've taken into account before I let the candle burn so long.

It had been about an hour since I lit the wick and, as I was washing my hands (my sink is outside of the actual bathroom) I heard a crackling noise. When I looked into my bathroom, I saw that the whole candle holder was filled with a flame the size of my fist and, as an impulse, I BLEW ON IT! Quickly I realized that it wasn't a freakin' birthday candle when, upon my breath, a small flame shot up onto the towel hanging above the candle so I grabbed that and patted it down on the floor. In my inconceivable panic, I took a half cup of water and poured it over the flame WHICH MADE IT BIGGER, so I filled the cup again - this time all the way to the brim, and dumped it quickly onto the flame, causing the gelly-waxy stuff to splash onto whatever was within a 1-foot radius, like the toilet seat, the wall, the floor, the trashcan, etc. But it's okay because I managed to extinguish it.

This whole fiasco probably lasted about 3 minutes, and I was by myself so the panic was magnified about 50 times! That was a close one! At least now I can say that that accident I feared was going to happen, DID. I'll be careful next time...

Saturday, October 08, 2005


It's almost 2 am and I'm freakin' blogging! Why? Because in addition to 2 glasses of iced tea at dinner, I also chugged a venti iced cafe latte! I can stay up to watch the sun rise if I so wish to do so. I'm wide awake. My body is physically exhausted but my eyelids beg to differ, as they haven't slid even for a second to indicate a single wink of slumber.

I guess I'll try to finish my reading for class until I get sleepy, or brush up on some more Latin root words, maybe organize my closet? Categorize my pictures? Finish up a scrapbook? Pray the rosary? Write in my journal? Browse through Ooooh, that last one could be dangerous. I think I'll just read, and then...zzzzzzzzzzz...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What Grandmothers Give...
With every 7:30 am breakfast call-time during summer vacation,
you never letting us go hungry.
With every $10 you slipped into our hands - just because,
you never let us miss out on any fun.
With every dress you wear from a time long before most of us were born,
you teach us how to take care of precious belongings.
With every moment we're rushing you to hurry up and get ready,
you teach us the value of time.
With every instance of comic relief,
you teach us that laughter knows no age.
With every day that passes,
you give us more reasons to say how much we love you!
Birthday Greetings, Nanay!

Monday, October 03, 2005


Every single time I'm feeling any sort of uncertainty about life, or any loneliness and fear, there's always one person who seems to have the greatest timing - Riann. We could not talk to or see each other for weeks, sometimes even months. So when we do, we do it in bulk! "All day, all night..."

I spent last Friday night bonding with my Tita Cecile and Tita Arlene. We had dinner at Zono's (Mmmmm crab meat cheesepuffs!) and then watched "Just Like Heaven" (Cute movie!). I refused to spend another Friday evening pounding my brain with formulas and Latin root words so this was truly a welcome relief. The next morning I woke up knowing I'd be paying for that study break the night before and I got even lazier, lying there in bed, trying to figure out what I was going to do first: Read 3 chapters for class, start an assignment or open up my Kaplan book to study for the GRE's.

I spent the first 30 minutes of wakefulness pondering this "dilemma" when Riann texts: "Do u want 2 do hop hop aerobics @ 12?" And there began "Ate Lengy/Riann catch up day." Yes, we sure hip-hopped that afternoon, trying to learn five 8-counts of an easy routine that my 2 year old nephew could have learned. But why was I so slow and so off! It was so much fun though! The ride home was no less than amusing as Riann added another homeless story to her collection. Oh man...

After mass, having offered to drive my sister to the movies, I decided to spend Saturday night at Coffee Bean to make up the some study time. I was there for about 3 1/2 hours, slowly sipping on my large iced cafe vanilla with soy. Riann came to keep me company so she could study too. We both got a lot done...after our little catch-up/social analysis/pep talks in the beginning. Oh please, who were we kidding?! Hahaha...

After hanging out at my house for a little bit, I took Babygirl home. Time spent with her was just what I needed: someone to tell me not to panic about the test because it's do-able, to provide me with some companionship and comic relief (damn those homeless stories should be published!), someone who is as good at listening as she is at talking. Thanks Rianu!
Birthday greetings to my wonderful cousins,
Mary Anne and Ben!

Saturday, October 01, 2005


From our balcony at work, in Burbank, CA, this is what we saw. Across the street, through a few residential blocks, a fire ignited late Thursday afternoon and well into Friday right before we left for the day. It doesn't compare to the brush fire that ravaged the Ventura area, where my boss and his family packed up the car just in case the flames came closer to their home. I watched people on tv rushing into their packed cars, carrying everything they think is too important to leave behind for the imminent tragedy that nature had in store. It makes me wonder what I would take with me.

It's so strange, all these disasters, with different magnitudes, hitting one after the other. If it's not a tsunami, it's an earthquake, or a hurricane or a brush fire. I think I've seen enough images of loss this year to last me a lifetime. One can only hope and pray for safety and recovery so long. Danger seems to lie everywhere you turn...

Thursday, September 29, 2005


“I’ve waited for so long, to sing to you this song…” Noreen crooned in the sweetest, most heartfelt key of D, as in “Devotion,” before all her family and friends, to her new husband Mike. “Your eyes are the windows to heaven, your smile could heal a million souls,” she continued in perfect melody as she looked upon the face of her future.

Yes, this was wedding #6 of 7 for me this year and, despite what many may think, no it hasn’t gotten old and its effects certainly haven’t waned one bit…at least not with me. When you witness something deeply inviting to the heart, and it’s happening to someone as deserving of its euphoric sentimentality as Noreen, you don’t think twice about feeling a certain glow inside yourself. It was a warming feeling that took hold quickly, and magnified with every moment that came to pass that one Saturday in autumn…

Moments like the first time we saw her standing outside the church doors, with her parents holding her by each arm as she waited in serene anticipation to walk the aisle that would lead her to a new life with Mike; moments like their vows, which had Fr. Pat asking Mike to speak louder and Noreen proclaiming her promise in the clearest, most enthusiastic of voices (no microphone necessary); moments where every mention of “husband & wife” lit Noreen’s face with a smile even brighter than the one she usually wears; moments like Noreen dancing with her dad and Mike dancing with his mom, like a rite of passage allowing their parents to bid farewell to these children, only to say welcome to the adults who they hope they’ve raised right; moments like a bride turned wife singing to her groom turn husband, and the gaze they shared with one another so saturated with love, it overflowed into the senses of those who watched around them.

It really was like looking through a window into heaven, with all its pureness of heart permeate in the air and an angelic voice resounding praise and thanksgiving for this new gift of love.
Congratulations Noreen and Mike!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Tagged by Jay
(Dude I know I'm so slow! I'm barely doing this now. Jay Tagged me like 2 weeks ago!)

10 years ago:
I was 17 years old, just started senior year at Immaculate Heart High School (woo hoo Pandas!). Let's see it's the end of September so we would've been in school for a month already. I was probably suffering from senioritis, not stressing too too much because I thought I knew where I wanted to go to school (CalTech), what I was going to major in (Chemical or Aerospace Engineering) and who I'd have a job with 10 years from that time (NASA FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!).

5 years ago:
I was 22 years old, just graduated from UCI with a BA in International Studies, a minor in Global Peace and Conflict Studies, and I was interning for the DC Chamber of Commerce in Washington, DC. I was there for 3 whole months, lived with 5 UCLA students at this WOW apartment in Arlington, VA which overlooked the Washington Monument on one side and the Capitol Building in the other. It was my Felicity moment to test what I was made of.

1 year ago:
I was 26 years old, spent the whole summer traveling to Hawaii, Charlotte, NC and San Francisco. I was taking a Payroll Accounting class because I thought I wanted to be an accountant, then realized at the end of the semester that I wanted to be a writer.

I went to hell - pardon me, WORK, had dinner at Goldilocks with my family, came home to read about how long I have to go and how much I have to do before I can consider myself a writer, watched LOST and wanted to pull my hair, watched SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and wished I had finished taking jazz classes when I was little.

5 snacks I enjoy:
- french fries from ANYWHERE
2 - chocolate ANYTHING
3 - slush with mini boba
4 - bananas and cheerios with milk
5 - sour cream 'onion-flavored chips

5 songs I know all the words to:
1 - Scenario (Tribe Called Quest & L.O.N.S.)
2 - Bye, Bye, Bye (*NSYNC)
3 - Breakaway (Kelly Clarkson)
4 - On My Own (Les Miserables)
5 - Shakin' (Rooney)

Things I would do with 100 million dollars:
- Clear my family's debt and my debt
2 - Buy my family here a house in Burbank and buy a house for my relatives in the Philippines
3 - Buy dad a mercedes - maybe 2
4 - Take my family and friends on an all-expenses paid vacation
5 - Donate to small charities who don't get a lot of publicity

Places I would run away to:
- My memories
2 - Hawaii
3 - Washington, D.C.
4 - U.K.
5 - Barnes & Noble / Borders

Things I would never wear:
1 - A tube-top
2 - Shorts with heels
3 - Paris Hilton ruffle micro mini skirts
4 - Bikini (eeks! how scary would that be for the person looking at me!)
5 - A mohawk

5 bad habits:
1 - Thinking I can satisfy everyone all the time
2 - Talking too much, not listening enough
3 - Procrastinating
4 - Sleeping late
5 - Half-assing obligations

5 favorite toys:
1 - Digicam
2 - CD Burner
3 - Journal
4 - Satellite DVR (kinda like TiVo)
5 - My sister's gameboy advance

5 fictional characters I would date:
- Dr. John Carter from ER - A guy whose family wealth is worth more than he'll ever make as an ER doctor, yet he still works AND he went to the Congo to join Doctors Without Borders
2 - Chandler from Friends - Funny, sarcastic AND has that oh-golly sweetness about him
3 - Legolas - The guy can hit any target every single time man! WHO CAN DO THAT?!
4 - Preston Meyer from CAN'T HARDLY WAIT - Cuz I can identify with this guy: aspiring writer, waits until the 11th hour to tell someone how he feels about them cuz he constantly second-guesses himself - that's ME, but a guy!
5 - Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid or Aladdin - They kinda look alike to me, except one's buffer and lighter-skinned

5 people to tag
- Mari
2 - Ja
3 - Bev
4 - Rachele
5 - Fernand

Monday, September 26, 2005


Oh please, did I honestly think I'd be done? by 11:00? Ha ha ha...THE PROCRASTINATION ENSUES!!!

I'm giving myself 1 hour and 15 minutes to finish this paper!

Friday, September 23, 2005


Just for fun, I’m set up to have my horoscope emailed everyday. No, I don’t live and die by what the zodiac says, but, though interpretive at best, it’s funny sometimes when the reading is actually relevant to life and I suddenly find myself asking, “hmmm, how did they know!” So here’s my reading for today:

Horoscope for: Friday, September 23, 2005
Anna,You might feel like you are losing touch with reality, but this is not what is happening. Actually, you are gaining a wider vision as your dreams stay in your awareness throughout the day. As long as you can keep a handle on what is fantasy and what is real, the illusions will infuse your day with symbolic meaning and rich creativity.

I HAVE been feeling kind of out of it lately. I think it’s mostly because I’m trying to figure out how to organize my life, re-prioritizing here and there, attempting to achieve some type of order somehow and I’m still short on attaining it. I can envision everything I need to get done and how I want it to be done – I just have to GET IT DONE! I see it SO very clearly in my head, but I guess I’m just finding it hard to turn these visions and fantasies into reality because either I’m too lazy, or I don’t want to get it wrong.


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sunday, September 18, 2005


What IS broomball, really? The first time I'd ever heard of it was at UCI. A popular post-Kaba meeting afterevent, I managed to "play" a friendly game with Long Beach PAC one winter quarter evening, if you count running around the ice aimlessly "playing." For the most part, I just hung out on the sidelines and cheered the chaos on. I couldn't tell who was on whose team because there were so many bodies on the ice!

Last night, however, I was no mere spectator. None of us were, except Joe who played referee in his Footlocker uniform, complete with black cap, whistle and horn! I didn't think I would get much playing time, to be honest. The small amount of athleticism that ever existed in me, via volleyball and cheerleading, feel like ages ago, and the thought of running around on the ice (ice skating and snowboarding are NOT my best skills), had me just a bit concerned. I knew it would be fun though, even if I didn't get to play. But I SO did! All in, that game was! With an hour on the ice, 30-min halves, we all discovered, upon the whistle's first sound that broomball is HARD! Running around on thin ice, trying to get a ball into a goal? No wonder hockey scores are so low!

The trash-talkin' began even before we stepped into the rink in our team colors, Team White vs. Team Blue game of the century!...ok, of the week. The game got SO ugly SO quickly. It's hilarious just how fast competitive natures surface when bragging rights and pride are on the line! But everyone had fun, no matter how often we slipped, fell on every part of our bodies in every which way and struggled to keep the ball in our respective team's possesion by fighting, with sticks in hand, like the goal held the secret of immortality!

On this day after, I know everyone's sore, bruised and banged up, a side effect of that brutal force of nature called "getting older," but no one can deny how fun it was!

Team Blue prevailed in the end 2-1, with defense leading the way and a touch of skill and footwork aiding the offense. Re-match? Maybe in a few years...when the mid-30's kick in. It'll be interesting to see who'll still have broomball skills then.

That game was for you, Riann! Hope you had an excellent birthday!


Friday, September 16, 2005


Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird

That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

- Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


When my sister and my cousins are bored, they take silly pictures. I've teased mercilessly them about this. "You guys are such dorks, I swear!" This past Sunday afternoon, however, I just couldn't resist. The pictures speak for themselves.

My Tita Cecile, who's the director for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, had a home visit that day and asked if we had any school supplies we could donate to a family who had a little 5-year old daughter starting school this year. I looked into our closet and found this brand new Hello Kitty backpack that my sister got a long time ago for her birthday. If you've met Tin, even at 8 years old, you'll know that Sanrio was never her steeze. So that bag sat in one of our storage bins for years because we didn't want to give it away, thinking that possibly one day, we could use it randomly for a trip to the park or the beach. Apparently we were holding on to it for a better reason - to help a little girl start her education and to HELP OUR LOSER SELVES GET DUMB ONE SUNDAY AFTERNOON!