Sunday, December 30, 2007

slumber [sluhm-ber]
to be in a state of inactivity, negligence, quiescence, or calm; to spend or pass (time) in slumbering
Synonyms include: sleep, dormancy, doze, lethargy

For quite a number of years now, Cile, Iya, Rochelle and I have had our own Christmas celebration. There were times we went out to dinner and then exchanged presents after. And in the past 2 years, in place of buying each other gifts, we spent the morning at a spa and then hung out for the rest of the day. This year Iya suggested that we do something different, something that didn't require a lot of money or a lot of hassle, so we had ourselves a good ol' slumber party.

My parents and my sister were in San Diego for Tin's basketball tournament so the girls and I had a sleepover at my empty house. We wanted to test out my new panini press and cook dinner at my house on Friday night, stay up to watch movies and talk all night and then cook breakfast on Saturday morning. Well, that was the plan anyhow. And just for fun, I suggested that the dress code for the evening should be college hoodie and pajama pants. Haha!
On Friday night we ended up ixnaying the do-it-yourself panini dinner and opted for BJ's instead. We DID rent movies though (Thanks, Bobbers!): SHAG, Friends With Money (which Rochelle thought was called Friends With Benefits) and The Waitress. After we got dressed, Iya gave us our gifts. Cile was opening her present, all angry like, "Dammit, we said we weren't gonna buy each other gifts and you...OH MY GOD I LOVE IT!!! THANK YOU!" hahaha! Iya got us slippers! LOOK HOW CUTE!!! So after taking a bunch of pictures, we had some coffee and dessert and then finally got around to watching our rentals. Well, we took turns watching anyway. Apparently we also wanted to sleep in shifts that night. Hahaha! None of us saw a movie in its entirety. We were tired at 11:30 for sobbing out loud! Old ladies...hahaha!

My living room was hilarious! We moved the coffee table to make room for Cile's air mattress for her and Bobbers and Iya and I took to the couches for the night. The next morning we all woke up, debating our need to get up, and then contemplated breakfast. We were supposed to cook, remember? We ended up at Max's in our sweatshirts! hahaha! I swear, they all must've thought we were home visiting from school for the weekend. hahaha! Cile's treat yay!

After breakfast, and a stop at Porto's, we went back to my house, changed back into our jammies, finished watching The Waitress and then took another nap before we had to say good-bye. I honestly couldn't have hoped for a better way to spend some QT with 3 of my favorite people! LOVE YOU GIRLS!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

installment [in-stawl-muhnt]
any of several parts into which a debt or other sum payable is divided for payment at successive fixed times; a single portion of something furnished or issued by parts at successive times
Synonyms include: partial, payment, section

I never thought I'd get to see this day...

...the day of the last visit to B of A...

...the last date, 27 December 2007, to be written on the check that pays for the 2002 Titanium Toyota Rav 4...

...the last payment slip...

(thanks for the pictures, Edward and Jovi!)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

tidings [tahy-dingz]
news, information, or intelligence; A piece of information or news
Synonyms include: bulletin, information, message

"Good tidings we bring, to you and your kin. Good tidings for Christmas and a Happy New Year!" What tidings? Tidings of a sophomore center for the Los Angeles Lakers rising up to the challenge, that's what!! WHAT! WHAT!
My Tita Mila's boss has season tickets to Staples Center events and my aunt just so happened to get these sweet tickets for a Christmas day basketball game. Unable to go herself, however, she called our house this morning to offer it to us. Leave it to me and my dad to ditch my mom and my sister on Christmas day to watch a Laker game. HAHAHA!
These weren't just seats. They were VIP Suite seats. We got to park in Lot 1 for free. We got plush doggies wearing purple Laker scarves upon our entrance for free. My aunt's boss and his family and some of his friends were in the suite with us and they totally shared their food with us. I don't know how Luxury suites work at Staples center, but Dr. Gil's (my aunt's boss) family picture was hanging on the wall, in addition to a huge picture of Kobe carrying his 4-year old son! The view was perfect. I finally used the digital camera binoculars that I won at my office holiday party last year. The pictures aren't 5.0 megapixels or anything, but still! Binoculars with a digicam?! What an exciting game!!! The lead changed a few times and, for me, no team played better than the other. Every single time the Lakers got a 5-point lead, the Suns would shoot it down with a 3-pointer on the other side. I'm not EVEN gonna front like they suck. It was anyone's game really...except tonight it was ours for the taking. =)
I don't know what was more hilarious; the "PHOE-NIX SUCKS!" chant or the guy who screamed, "Go back to Canada!" when Steve Nash was on the freethrow line. hahaha! I'm not a Phoenix hater (as much as I was a Sacramento Kings hater....when they were good enough to hate that is), but I'm a Laker fan first and today was one of the best Christmas presents I could ever get: 2-0 against Phoenix. DAAAAAAAAMN!
The season isn't even at the halfway point yet but I am feeling good about these guys. D-Fish is back, there is production from other guys who aren't named Kobe, and the bench mob is crazy dependable. This is no longer a 1-man OR 2-man team and I'm so excited!!! WOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!


JA & BEV!!!
So happy for you two!! Guess I know where I'll be going after work everyday =)

Monday, December 24, 2007

*NSYNC - O Holy Night

For this night so sacred...

(Man, does *NSYNC kick that other 5-member boyband's ass or what?! hahaha...I know, I'm NEVER gonna get over this rivalry, am I? hahaha!)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

remedy [rem-i-dee]
something that cures or relieves a disease or bodily disorder; a healing medicine, application, or treatment; to restore to the natural or proper condition; put right
Synonyms include: antidote, counteractant, medicine

So my ankle is swollen...AGAIN! Including the first time that I recall injuring it (fall 2006 when I almost ate it because of some uneven pavement), this has happened twice. Each time I felt the pain, I did the same thing: go to the doctor, get some therapy, take some drugs and tried to stay off my feet as much as I could. Traumatic arthritis was my doctor's diagnosis after a sprain that never completely healed. Every time I think it's ok and I decide to be healthy and start exercising, even low-impact exercises approved by my personal specialist, Larnie Boquiren (such as walking on the treadmill because there is to be no running of course, stationery bike because you're sitting and using mostly your legs to push on the pedals, etc), the pain comes back.

I haven't gotten any therapy done this time yet and until the holidays are over and I can make an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, I'm taking my Naproxen, my foot is elevated every chance I can get and I've tried to stay off my feet. It takes a few days so I've been patient with it. Still, pain is pain and the quicker I can alleviate it, the better. So my parents came home from my aunt and uncle's last night and my mom comes up to me with a home remedy from Uncle Joe: ginger. Ummm, ok. Dammit I'll try anything.

So my mom slices up some ginger root, places it on the swollen section of my ankle, wraps my foot in saran wrap (are you laughing as much as I am? hahaha!), I put on my ankle brace and now I'm just waiting. I googled it and ginger is proven to help reduce swelling and is actually used frequently by people who have all different cases of arthritis. Hilarious...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy 30th Birthday,

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh *NSYNC...

This ALWAYS gets me in the holiday mood! I MISS THESE GUYS!!!

Jeff would respond with, "YOU KNOW IT!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

This is what Iya and I do at work all day...

My email to Iya:

I just finished the box of staples that I got when I first started in feb 2006. is that possible? 5000 staples?!

Iya's reply:

Wooow! Sounds like a lot but if you calculate it…that’s 5000 staples in 22 months = 227staples/month = 10 staples/day (average of 22 business days in one month) = approx 1 staple an hour =)

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Geez, talk about not having enough to do at the office!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Monday, December 17, 2007

The Dumptruck Duo have a new baby brother!!! Yay!!!
My Ate Sandy and her husband, Butch had a new baby boy today.
Here's my new nephew, Gabriel.
Here's Bianca. She's the eldest...

And here's Roman with his new playmate.

Here's Mom and Dad with the former baby of the family and new big sister, Sabrina.
Waaaaa, I miss these kids so much! I can't wait to meet Gabriel!
Congratulations, Ate Sandy and Butch!!!
Thanks Chrissy and Mel for sharing these pictures with us!!!

You're the dumptruck!!!

Just in case you need a reminder...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

enchanted [ěn-chānt'-uhd]
influenced as by charms or incantations
Synonyms include: charmed, captivated, enamored

It's only fitting that the happiest place on earth would yield the happiest moment in the life of one of the happiest people I know. Jeff proposed to Ate last night and after she said, "Are you kidding?!!" 10 times, she finally said YES!!!
Ate & Jeff, we're all sooooooooo happy for you!!
(Thanks, James for being our paparazzi and taking pictures and video of that magical moment! We all wish we could've been there!)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mel!!
I heart you too, pinsan!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to my
goddaughter, Kayla!!!
(She's the one holding the hand. haha!)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dad bytes...

My sister and I always joke around that my dad has a G-rated case of tourettes because he has these ramdom outbursts. Like yesterday, we were driving to my sister's game and no one in the car was talking. We were just listening to the radio and out of nowhere my dad goes, "Happy Hanukkah." hahahaha!

Today he had another outburst so my sister started teasing him and, well, Dad made another funny...

Tin: Dad, you have tourettes.
Dad: I have to what?

rival [rahy-vuhl]
a person who is competing for the same object or goal as another, or who tries to equal or outdo another; competitor; person or thing that is in a position to dispute another's preeminence or superiority
Synonyms include: adversary, antagonist, opponent

High school rivalries - how do they start?! As an IH Panda, the team we couldn't stand were the Malborough Mustangs but I honestly couldn't tell you exactly why. All I knew when I got there freshman year was that they were our rivals and knowing that meant that I had to act accordingly. I have to say that it didn't take much to convince me to do so. The wrath and the anger we all felt when we saw the purple uniforms was...oh heck, it was a teambuilder! Hahaha!

Providence High School's crosstown rival is Bell-Jeff High School. The two schools aren't even in the same league together, so the games they play against each other are strictly for bragging rights. Here are the Pioneers in a team huddle to hype themselves up. Tin's the one on the right, crouched down because as captain, she felt she should say a little something to motivate the team and that's her putting notes back in her shoe because she said she wrote so much that she didn't think she could memorize it. hahaha!

Their gym is considerably smaller than Providence's so when they blasted the music the way they did last night, the sounds coming from the sound system were deafening. Mom and dad covered their ears during the entire 10-minute pregame warm-up!

Ate and Jeff came to support! You can hear her screams over the crowd! Thanks for coming guys!
Sadly, Providence lost this game for reasons that I don't even want to get into (at least not on something as public as this blog) , but the girls played hard and as a fan and supporter, that's all you could ask for.
Aaaw, cheerleaders...always brings me back to my cheerleading days, dancing away, waving our poms, fists and spirit fingers!
I'm sure this rivlary will go way beyond graduation for my sister and her teammates. Heck, every time I see a pack of cigarettes I'm brought back to that anger and wrath myself. But now that this game is over, Tin and her friends can look forward to the rest of the season. Hope to see some of you there! Come by and cheer for them. It'll be fun!

Friday, December 07, 2007

advent [ad-vent]
a coming into place, view, or being; arrival; the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world
Synonyms include: beginning, manifestation, arrival, coming

Christmas is 18 days away and last Sunday at mass, Fr. Joe told us about his 2 P's of Advent:

2) put your PRIORITIES in order

God's timing is truly amazing because I couldn't have heard these words at a more appropriate time. The new year is 26 days away, my 30th birthday is 2 months away and I've been doing some of the most challenging and very necessary soul searching to account for some inadvertant preparation of what is to come.

So many plans, so many dreams, so many abstract things formed from a lifetime. Some were realized, some passed us along the way, and still others who await their place in our lives. Maybe with the help of Fr. Joe's 2 P's of Advent, I won't have to wait to find a place for my plans...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Happy Birthday,

Friday, November 30, 2007

process [pros-es]
a systematic series of actions directed to some end; a continuous action, operation, or series of changes taking place in a definite manner
Synonyms include: action, course, measure, procedure

Last night I spent an hour or so helping Tin fill out her CalState college applications - ONLINE! Remember when WE had to do our college aps? We went to the post office and MAILED them - CERTIFIED! Now there's barely any paper exchange. It's insane!

So she's gotten her public university applications out of the way, next comes the slew of private university applications that ask for so much more! She has to ask for recommendations from her teachers, she has to write an essay and then she's got to complete her portfolio (she wants to major in graphic design). I remember this process oh so well.

For our CalTech applications (I know, what the hell was I thinking?!), Iya, Rochelle and I were literally scrambling to finish our essays on New Year's Day because our applications had to be postmarked January 2nd! As if trying to get into that school wasn't heartache enough, seeing as to how my chemistry teacher absolutely refused to write me a recommendation because he didn't want me to go there. I cried out of frustration to my college counselor, but I can only thank Mr. Maben now for helping me dodge that bullet!

What would have happened if, by some divine intervention, I actually got accepted?! My admission into a mental institution probably would've been imminent! The thought of me attending the 2nd best engineering school in the nation (next to M.I.T. of course) is so absolutely ludicrous! I'd have a better chance of turning into a dinosaur than getting into that school!

Anyhow, I ended up where I was supposed to (U! U-C! U-C-I!!!) and my only hope is that, public or private, Tin's college experience will be as memorable and meaningful as mine was.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

comic [kom-ik]
of, pertaining to, or characterized by comedy; provoking laughter; humorous
Synonyms: amusing, absurd

My lunch buddies, Jovi and Eddie aren’t in the office today and I’m not hungry enough to eat my real lunch yet so I thought I’d just spend lunch at my desk, have a bagel and blog. Oh how I love simple joys…

Simple joys like coupons for free products; Bath & Body Works, Shutterfly, Victoria’s Secret, etc. They mean so much more to me than discount coupons because they have the 3 magic words on each voucher: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Fr. Maurice always used to say, “If it’s free, it’s for me!” Anyhow, I got a bunch of coupons in the mail right before Thanksgiving so I paid a visit to the mall on Sunday. I HATE my neighborhood during the holidays. It’s such a pain to get in and out of my street because everyone and their dog is shopping and the Glendale Galleria is seemingly the only shopping center in the area? So I walked across the street to the mall, fearing for my life because drivers in Glendale are jackasses enough, but during the holidays they have that extra spirited motivation to run pedestrians over.

I had a $50 giftcard to Macy’s so I bought some cute flats, and then after circling the mall a little bit, Tita Cecile and I stopped at Victoria’s Secret because I had a coupon for a free “holiday panty.” Sweet, I thought, fun undies with Christmas trees or holly or santa hats or presents, etc. Every free pair of underwear I’ve gotten from VS’s has been cotton and the style has always been the buyer’s choice. There’s like 7 different styles! I always get the one that covers the most surface area (too much info for my guy friends and cousins who are reading? Sorry! There’s a punchline, I promise!). I don’t see any signs about the free promotion coupon so after asking one of the salesladies about it, she pointed me to the registers.

When I got to the front of the line, I handed the cashier my coupon and she asked me for my size. “Medium’s good,” I said. So with that cute signature hot pink striped VS shopping bag in her hand, she goes into a cabinet behind the registers and pulls out what I can only describe as a really big, white hair tie. She wraps it in tissue paper, sticks it in the bag, scans my coupon, gives me a receipt and then says, “Thanks, have a great day!” I’m still puzzled because the transaction happened so quickly so as I was walking away I reached in and pulled out…drum roll…a white, satin V-string with rhinestones shaped into a snowflake. If you don’t know what a V-string is, please go on the website and check. Kind of threw my whole buying underwear that covers the most surface area out the window. Hahaha!

That was the comic highlight of my Thanksgiving weekend; well, that and seeing how amused my dad is by that movie, Elf. I swear it’s his favorite holiday movie ever! He was watching it in the dining room, cracking up by himself. Oh my, holiday cheer is indeed here!
This made me laugh:

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much."
~ Mother Theresa

Friday, November 23, 2007

blest [blest]
highly favored or fortunate as by divine grace; bringing happiness, pleasure, or contentment
Synonyms include: exultant, joyous, content, gratified

Fr. Joe (who should be getting a large chunk of credit from me because I seem to quote him a lot these days) spoke about former morning show correspondent Deborah Norville's book, Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work For You. I leafed through a few pages on and this quote just said it all to me:

Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
~ Charles Dickens

We've become a thankless society it seems, because we're surrounded by so many things and people reminding us everyday of what we've lost or just never had. I felt like a dunce at mass on Thanksgiving morning. I give thanks to God all the time for my family, my friends, my job, my home, etc. But with that I've also bitched and moaned for having such a hard time keeping up with my finances or feeling helpless and defeated when something doesn't go the way I planned or hoped it would. I am more blessed than I deserve to be and it's a shame how often I have to be reminded of it. I'm so so thankful for so many things...

I'm thankful that I have parents who have never made me feel guilty, despite how often they've had to rescue me from a difficult situation. I'm thankful that my sister doesn't need to be reminded about the difference between right and wrong. I'm thankful that I have a family who depends on me and trusts that I will come through when I say I'm going to. I'm thankful for my friends, those I've known for 20+ years and those who I've been fortunate to meet later in life, who are around when the world is perfect, and moreso when it's not. I'm thankful that I have a job, a home, that I have the means to do more than I think I can.

I'm thankful that there are still people who do random acts of kindness, for strangers, like the car behind me on the 101 who turned on their hazzards and guided me safely to the next exit when my car stopped in the middle of the freeway at 4:55 on a Tuesday afternoon. When I think of all the disastrous scenarios that I could've encounterd that day I want to do nothing but thank that man for being thoughtful and then thanking heaven for sparing me.

I'm thankful for truths that hurt and even more for truths that comfort. I'm thankful for every moment that made me feel powerless, and for every opportunity after that made me stronger.

Here's to our daily blessings...

Thursday, November 22, 2007



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

fix [fiks]
something craved
Synonyms include: remedy, craving

Last Sunday, we threw Iya a surprise 30th birthday party. If you were there, however, you'd probably mistake it for 1st birthday celebration considering the number of children who were there. Not only is marriage rearing its head into all of our lives, but the imminence of family as well.
I've been thinking of my nephew a lot lately. When Kelsoe was born, we fussed over him as much as anyone could fuss over another person. Eversince he moved, not a day goes by when I don't think of him; remember holding him when he was newly born, putting him to sleep with my *NSYNC slow jams, having him grip my hand as he was learning to walk - we just really miss having him around. It's weird and sad not seeing him every weekend, but Iya's birthday provided a temporary baby fix. What perfect timing. In addition to Iya's nephew, Matthew and nieces, Bea and silly Samantha, we had a slew of other kids who do what they do best. Look at Hadith's 6-month old, Sophie (see how cute she is!) hanging out with us. She looks just like her mommy!
Watching Rochelle trying to hold her was just pure entertainment. If you EVER want to see Rochelle look uncomfortable, hand her a baby. It's the most endearing yet most hilarious sight in the world!
Even the boys enjoy having babies around. We all took turns helping new mommy and daddy, Joellee and Zandro with baby Jaelyn. Look at Matt, such a natural! Don't let the joking jackass exterior fool you. He's a softy when it comes to babies.
Here's Tito Joe taking his turn watching Jaelyn. Grrrr what a cute and well-behaved baby she is!
Chris' niece, Arianna was there too. She is the chillest baby you could ever meet. We passed her around because you absolutely cannot help but want to hold her. She coos back when you talk to her and makes this pouting face that just cracks everyone up.
Chris put her on the ground and tried to get her to walk. She's still learning so for about 6-7 minutes she just kind of stood there looking at Tito Chris like, "Are you kidding me? I'm not ready to walk yet." haha! Benjo gave her a little nudge on the bottom and when she almost fell forward, her lip quivered a little. Chris saw it and said, "uh-oh" and as soon as he scooped her back up, she started crying. Aaaaw poor thing...
And here's Iya. She was a baby...once. Hee hee! Hope you had a great birthday, friend!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

acclimate [ak-luh-meyt]
to accustom or become accustomed to a new climate or environment; adapt
Synonyms include: adjust, conform, adapt

Mission #11 - Reach our final destination
Point of Origin - Florence, Italy
Destination - Rome, Italy

A year ago today, Cile, Kay, Pat, Randy, Seong and I were on our way to Italy by way of Zurich, Switzerland. And roughly 1 ½ weeks after that day, we got off the train at the Trastavere railway station in the most famous and busiest cities in Italy: Rome. After having inhabited the country for the last 10 days, we became keen on the Italian way of life. After all, when in Rome... well, you know how the saying goes.

Rome, aside from its many, many, many recognizable historic landmarks, is the closest to what we have grown used to in L.A. and NYC. It's filled with people who have somewhere to be and have much to do; drivers each have their own plans on the road; the streets are lined with restaurants, shops and bakeries with eaters and shoppers to match; and there's always something interesting to take pictures of. Like my scene-stealing travel mates...

Serious pose...

Funny pose...

We were just walking around our first morning there, headed towards the Colloseum, I believe. We came across some ruins and walked down a path that led to more ruins and we realized we were at the Palatino. To imagine the function of these fallen and decaying structures is something none of us could put words to.
Every tunnel bears a ghost of a Roman man, woman or child who probably walked through it thousands of years ago, bearing baskets of fruit. What fathoms me the most about Rome, or Italy in general, is the vast history; every stone on the street, every gilded statue is sitting in the same place in practically the same shape as it was when it was first created. WOW!
Oh, I miss having the best of so many things! The best of gelato...mmmmmmmm!!!!!!
The best two dozen or so churches we came across during our walks through each city provided not only visual inspiration, but a spiritual uplift as well. We entered each one, staying for mass on a couple of instances, quietly reflecting other times.
We were walking through the city one day, on our way to St. Peter's Basilica I think, and Cile said to me, "I wasn't gonna let you not go, you know," she said. Thank goodness.
Seong snuck a picture of the nothing short of amazing Sistine Chapel ceiling, even after the 50 or so signs that forbid it, and even after the security guards warned everyone who entered the room that taking pictures was strictly prohibited. We stood in that room with the famous ceiling for a long while. You can't help but stare at it.
Our dependance on maps and directions? It's why we consider this trip an adventure more than a vacation. Each day had a plan, but everything that would ever matter didn't occur because it was on the itinerary, and that was the best part!
I will forever and always remember these fools! Hahaha! A happy group we certainly were...even when flights got cancelled or climbing hills got tiring or we couldn't understand what people were saying to us.
I headed for home a few days earlier than everyone else. It was weird and somewhat lonely to say the least. And unlike stressed out American travelers at LAX, the airline desks at the airport don't open until precisely 2 hours before the flight time. I was first in line because I got picked up at 4:00 am for my 8:00 am flight and I got to the airport with 30 minutes to spare. I was the only one on the airbus (a train which took me to my gate).
And when I got to the gate area, it was completely desserted. I honestly began to wonder if I was the only passenger they'd be flying to Zurich that morning. Anyhow, I got home safely and, just as I had suspected, a changed lady.

There was a quote by Leonard da vinci written on one of the exhibit walls at the Uffizi museum in Florence. It said:

"Per che vede piu certa cosa l'ochio ne sogni che colla imaginatione stando desto?"

Translation: Why does the eye see a thing more clearly in dreams than with the imagination awake?

This visit to Italy felt like a dream sometimes. Fortunately for me, eyes were wide open.