Friday, June 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Ate Cheryl!!
(Holden's mommy)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Happy 1st day
at your new job,
You'll do great!
We're so proud of you!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Friday, June 22, 2007

bliss [blis]
supreme happiness; utter joy or contentment
Synonyms include: happiness, joy, gladness

These past few weeks have been, what's the word I'm looking for?...oh right -HELLISH. Work has been overwhelming, sleep has been scarce, energy has been low, patience and tenacity are tested daily and every time I try to "reset my system" to regain some power, I encounter malfunction instead. At the end of this very very very long 5 days, however, was the Friday commute home. 50 minutes after I pulled out of the parking lot at the office, I exited Colorado Blvd, thanked the Lord for getting me through the week and looked forward to laying down in bed and marinating in my fatigue.
I was sleepy and cranky - what a lethal combination. I was getting ready to lash out at the universe with the crying banshees trapped in my pen, but decided to check email and catch up on blogs first and what a serendipitous decision that was!

Nothing makes me happier than a smiling child and, even from across the miles, my nieces and nephews can provide the greatest joys to their whining aunt in Cali.My nephew, Holden, turned a year old last week. For this birthday, his parents (my Ate Cheryl and her husband Eric) took him to the zoo.
I looked at these pictures and just lost it! So cute! And just look at him, not a care in the world. Do you remember the last time you didn't have a care in the world because I dont. Aaaw, I wish he didn't live all the way in Boston. And then my cousin, Chrissy, sent pictures from Ohio. My Ate Sandy's kids, Bianca and Roman, are so big now (so is Sabrina, their baby sister not pictured)! Look familiar? They're the Dumptruck Duo (See January entries Haha!).
And if those weren't enough to make me forget about the crap that has been these past few weeks, I checked the blog that my cousin Brandon keeps about his son and I watched videos of my nephew Ethan stand himself up, explore his surroundings in his walker and laugh at every new discovery. You absolutely cannot listen to a child's laugh and not want to throw your cares away with hopes of feeling even an ounce of their bliss. Maybe I'll get sent to Michigan for a conference soon, then I could meet Ethan!
Thinking of Kelsoe, even though I miss him like crazy, makes me smile too. I think of how smart he is, how much he made us laugh, how much he has to look forward to in life - it makes you revel in the innocence of children.
We always talk about how easy kids have it, how they don't have any worries because they're not responsible for anything. I know sometimes we wish it were this way for our entire lives. But somehow I know that we never really lose our childhood, we just put it aside because we're too busy trying to be grown-ups.
Every so often, though, we're reminded that we were kids once, always ready to DO, never stopping to THINK TOO MUCH or WORRY. If we tapped into the Bank of Adolescence once in a while, I think we'd realize that we have more than enough riches to keep us happy; treasures of hope, jewels of honesty and love so golden you won't be able to deny its genuineness.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer."
~ Albert Camus

Happy 1st day of summer, everybody!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

lovely [luhv-lee]
charmingly or exquisitely beautiful; having a beauty that appeals to the heart or mind as well as to the eye, as a person or a face; of a great moral or spiritual beauty
Synonyms include: admirable, captivating, delightful

Cile, James and I visited Tita Beth at Cypress Forest Lawn on Saturday afternoon. At 3:00 pm, the sun was high, the day was extra bright and a light breeze managed to spin the red and silver pinwheel that stood beside a new bouquet of flowers. We kind of just plopped it in the flower hole on the ground, the fuschia butterfly fluttering gently above the daisies and carnations that could've used Tita Beth's expert touch.
Cile and I used to visit Cypress on Sundays on our way back to the apartment (especially during our sophomore year at UCI). We'd polish her plate with some baby oil, tell her what was going on, and then asked her to find all of us some hot boys or hot chicks. hahaha! "She's a great matchmaker!" Cile assured me. "She'll find everybody someone!" (This was taken on Cile's birthday. Some of us had to go to prom that night, but we asked Tita Beth and Tito Andy if we could come over after to celebrate with Cile. Notice how Cile's candles are a 1 and an 8. NUTS!!)

But Tita Beth was more than a florist who trusted me to help her make boutineres before the boys' prom; she was more than a cupid who saw the potential in people for love; she was more than the talented pianist who once played at Rochelle's house as my dad and Iya's dad belted out some tagalog tunes; she's more than the caring lady who once saw me crying on her front porch and handed me a warm mug of kalamansi juice. "Here, you drink this," she said. "You'll feel better."
We were lucky to have known Tita Beth in our lives, if even for a short time. She really was a lovely lady who did nothing short of bring happiness out of people, whether it was through her beautiful floral creations, her captivating piano-playing, her infectious smile or even now through the spirit she's instilled in her children. I think of her every so often, especially when I'm around Cile and Ja.

10 years Tita Beth's been in heaven...guess we all have flowers and music to look forward to when we get there....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

tolerance [tol-er-uhns]
a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one's own; the capacity to absorb a drug continuously or in large doses without adverse effect; diminution in the response to a drug after prolonged use
Synonyms include: benevolence, endurance, patience

“You need a drink,” Iya emailed me at work on Thursday. “Wanna get coffee?” haha! I had already drank 2 cups of coffee that day so, no more coffee, I begged. “How ABOUT a drink?” I emailed back.
“Yes, why not HAVE a drink! We’re adults, gosh darn it!” She emailed again.
I got home at 6:30 and waited.
“Where do you wanna go? Where should we have drinks?” Iya texted.
“I want a pizzookie!” I texted back (I swear Iya and I barely communicate with our voices anymore. We’re too lezy.)
So Iya picked me up and we headed to BJ’s. Of course it’s packed because everyone’s watching the boring ass NBA finals. Haha! Just kidding (Bitter, party of 1?). So we sat at the bar, looking a little out of place without the entourage that we've grown so used to, and not knowing what to do first.
"We're gonna sit at the bar and order a pizzookie? THAT won't look lame," I said.
"Fine then, we'll order drinks...real drinks, so we look hard." Hahaha, oh Iya. Our lameness never shone so bright and we're cracking up because the closest that the two of us ever got to "going out for a drink" was meeting up at Coffee Bean to have some iced vanilla lattes and mocha ice blended.

It's not like we don't drink. We do drink but not all randomly like that night. Neither of us are beer drinkers and she has to drive home so...OOH!! Cider! We'll order berry burst cider - that's yummy! Cile says it tastes like Cherry 7-up which is right on!...A PITCHER FOR JUST THE TWO OF US TO FINISH! But we won't call it "berry burst cider" cuz that sounds wuss. haha! A glass each later, and Rochelle arrives, "What the hell are you guys drinking?!" Hahaha! We moved to a table by the bar, ordered some food and talked it up - good things, bad things, new things and I had one of those light bulb moments again, where I realized how much my friends and I have been through; the times that treated us like the privileged and the other times that made us feel like our lives weren't worth crap; yet we still manage to keep our sanity in check because we never seem to go through anything alone. What a difference that makes; to have friends who know you more than you know yourself sometimes, who stand back when they know you can handle something, but step in and get in your face when you're being a dumbass.

I went home that night buzzed (but NOT red in the face, and Iya drove home just fine). I was chatting with Cile before bed and suddenly remembered Rochelle saying that the only Phoebe song she knows is "Smelly Pants." I never laughed myself to sleep before that night.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

defer [di-fur]
to put off (action, consideration, etc.) to a future time; to put off action; delay
Synonyms include: hold up, postpone, suspend

A Dream Deferred
By: Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

It's funny to think that I was so unhappy at my previous job, I was seriously thinking about applying to grad school ASAP and then quitting if I got accepted into a program. 2 years ago I was ready to be a full-time student again - a grad student reading and writing for my very life, the M.A. waiting to be added to my name. Then the job 40 miles away came along and I found something new that made me happy. New things always provide such brilliant sparks in life, don't they?

It's weird what 1 year can do to your perspective. Now, no matter how much I enjoy it still, the new job is just a job that has me spent at the end of every day and I find myself asking how much longer I want to keep grad school waiting; (not long because my GRE scores are only good until 2010 and I refuse to take it again...dammit, I just jinxed myself didn't I?). I just got comfortable, that's all.

Tin's been looking at colleges lately (I know, don't even get me started) and I'm so excited to see where she ends up. She has so much to look forward to!! (Oh geez, she's strumming the rubberbands in her mouth and she's complaining that she can't yawn. HAHAHA! LOSER!) It's got me thinking a lot, and how sometimes I forget that at 29, I still have a lot to look forward to too! I just have to get off my ass and expend some energy doing things that will enrich my life, with people who will do the same. Yay, can't wait to stop deferring!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

tacit [tas-it]
understood without being openly expressed; Implied by or inferred from actions or statements
Synonyms include: implicit, unexpressed, understood

Alicia Keys once appeared on Def Poetry Jams and recited the following piece she wrote:


I'm a prisoner
Of words unsaid
Just lonely feelings
Locked away in my head
I trap myself further
Every time I stay quiet
I should start to speak
But I stop and stay silent
And now I've made
My own hard bed
Inside a prison of words unsaid

I am a P.O.W.
Not a prisoner of war
A prisoner of words
Like a soldier
I'm a fighter
Yet only a puppet
Mostly I only say
What you wanna hear
Could you take it if I came clear?
Or would you rather see me
Stoned on a drug of complacency and compromise
I guess that's what I am
Scraping this cold earth
For a piece of myself
For peace in myself

It'd be easier if you put me in jail
If you locked me away
I'd have someone to blame
But these bars of steel are of my making
They surround my mind
And have me shaking
My hands are cuffed behind my back
I'm a prisoner of the worst kind, in fact
A prisoner of compromise
A prisoner of compassion
A prisoner of kindness
A prisoner of expectation
A prisoner of my youth
Run too fast to be old
I've forgotten what I was told
Ain't I a sight to behold?

A prisoner of age dying to be young
To my head is my hand with a gun
And it's cold and it's hard
Cause there's nowhere to run
When you've caged youself
By holding your tongue

I'm a prisoner
Of words unsaid
Just lonely feelings
Locked away in my head
It's like solitary confinement
Every time I stay quiet
I should start to speak
But I stop and stay silent
And now I've made
My own hard bed
Inside a prison of words unsaid.

I've always been taught that if you have nothing good to say, don't say it at all, and whenever you encounter something less than ideal in life, you should ask yourself what Jesus would’ve done before you act on the very instinct that could cause you regret later. Having to be aware of everything I do and say is a small price to pay for the grief I may inflict on someone who probably doesn’t deserve it. But just where do you draw the ever-so-fine line between propriety and self-preservation? When are you keeping silent to keep from hurting someone else? And when are you doing it to keep from hurting yourself?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

fate [feyt]
something that unavoidably befalls a person; fortune; lot; that which is inevitably predetermined
Synonyms include: course, circumstance, destiny

I'm sure I've told everyone that Rochelle and I met at my aunt and uncle's house when we were 5 years old. Because my cousins were so much older than I was, I always found refuge in her company during family parties there. Matching Poochie purses (remember Poochie? Hahaha!) can sure bond two little girls! One time, my aunt and uncle held an easter egg hunt and, as usual, Rochelle and her older brother, Kuya Oli, were there. Check me out trying to take Rochelle's eggs. hahaha! JK! I was SO trying to help her.Anyhow, just to include someone in the fun, I brought along my childhood buddy, cousin Matt. Matt is literally the brother that I never had, especially for the first 12 Tin-less years of my life. We lived in the same apartment complex, we attended the same elementary school and, as the only kids in the family at the time, we were basically raised together. But if you had told me on the day of the easter egg hunt that my playmate Rochelle would end up my cousin's girlfriend, I probably would've called you crazy or said, "Eeeeeeeew gross!" hahaha!
Yet it happened just that way. During our senior year in high school, we were all talking about prom and Rochelle was saying how she didn't know who to take. "Why don't you just take Matt?" Iya and I suggested very innocently, and she agreed. Who knew that a month later they'd realize their feelings for the other and then months after THAT commit to date each other exclusively?
And now, after 10 years and 9 months, THEY'RE ENGAGED!!! On a perfect Saturday afternoon in Malibu, the guy who used to eat glue and got a marshmallow stuck up his nose proposed to the girl who rammed a folding bike under a van and lived to tell the tale. Just how heaven-sent is this union?
We're all so happy for you guys!
Love you both!!!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

pandemonium [pan-duh-moh-nee-uhm]
wild uproar or unrestrained disorder; tumult or chaos; the abode of all the demons (hahaha!!!)
Synonyms include: anarchy, bedlam, commotion, ruckus

Maybe there’s a moment in everyone's life when they tell themselves that the partying has to stop. Maybe after college is over and done with, people feel the need to establish their careers or further their education, possibly get married, have children and/or own a home; basically leave behind the carefree juvenile life in exchange for a straight and narrow adult version. This version, it replaces lemon drop shots with glasses of fine wine; baggy pants and basketball jerseys with slacks and button-down shirts; cargo khakis and summertime tubetops with herringbone skirts and cashmere sweaters. Yes, those moments when you start hearing things like, “You’re too old for this” happen to everyone…

…except to me and my friends, it seems. Lucky lucky us! In a pool of medical professionals, engineers, artists, entertainment industry folk and 40-hour a week office dwellers, there swim our alter-egos who await their sporadic release. And when they’re released, it’s best just to let them roam about in spastastic mastery. It can be shocking and overwhelming at first, and if strangers don’t acclimate quickly enough, we will party all over you.

One sure-fire way to release these inner demons is to play a familiar song. Having spent our adolescence and pre-adulthood (the most influential era of our days) before the turn of the last century, partying 90’s style free our alter-egos so quickly and so severely that the result of hearing a song like, “Scenario” or “The Choice is Yours” can cause a ruckus of unbelievable proportion.

But it’s so fun to watch!!! Check this out:

90s Party - Part 2 from Anna on Vimeo

And then check Cile's blog for the ultimate hilarity!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

pressure [presh-er]
the exertion of force upon a surface by an object, fluid, etc., in contact with it; the state of being pressed or compressed; harassment; oppression
Synonyms include: force, compression, tension, strain

ja: hey dude..
ja: get a mac already.
ja: u got enough saved yet?
me: i told your sister that as soon as i'm done paying for my car i can afford one
ja: ill teach u stuff dude
me: yeah, when i'm done paying for my freakin' car
me: got 6 more payments
ja: SWEET YO. comes anna gonda
ja: u can just do the 6 month no payment, no interest at my store.
ja: what you gotta say about that.
ja: uh huh
me: how's the warranty on that?
ja: samys has a great warranty
me: hey, Apple Macbook Computer with 1.83GHz Intel Core Duo, 13" White
ja: NO
me: huh?
ja: yer getting a macbook
me: yeah
ja: macbook PRO
me: hell no
me: so freakin' expensive!
ja: anna gonda
me: even cile said i could do with a macbook
ja: NO
me: what's the diff?
ja: if yer gonna be doing some serious photo work, the macbook will not do
me: how come?
ja: better monitor resolution, MUCH faster, more RAM memory, better graphics card.
me: ok geez
me: dude that's like $3000!!!!!!
ja: macbooks are more for organization and writing
me: yes
ja: its like 2100
me: that was the plan, even cile said...for writing
ja: the first one has great specs.
me: can i have the smaller one?
me: 15 in?
ja: yea.
ja: yay!
ja: get it
ja: the 1999
ja: u should get it in 2 months.
ja: maybe 1
me: why, is that when everything's on sale?
ja: no.
me: why 2 months?
ja: im just trying to be a voice of reason

Oh Ja Tecson, in addition to Cile's, "Get a macbook! It'll change your life!!" I think I've been convinced enough. Just let me finish paying for my crap and I'll get my MacBook PRO so I can be a greater contributor to JaTecson Photography, possibly add "Image Editor" next to my current position titles, "3rd Asst Photographer/Communications Consultant." hahahaha!!!! I love it!

Monday, June 04, 2007

quality [kwol-i-tee]
an essential or distinctive characteristic, property, or attribute; high grade; superiority; excellence
Synonyms include: attribute, essence, caliber, excellence

I have an article due in 2 days so you know what that means…time to blog! Hahaha! I haven’t written anything in over a week so I’m not even going to pretend like I can just sit down and 350 words of fine writing will naturally flow from my head to my fingers to the blank Microsoft word document before me. This is my 3rd assignment for our company newsletter (appropriately titled @SAGE) and I have yet to complete an article with ample time to spare. It’s okay. That’s what editors are for. =) Oh the life of a procrastinating writer – a procrastiwriter…

But I do actually have something to put out there for public perusal. This last year, I’ve really come to appreciate something that has gotten rarer as I’ve gotten older and I can’t get enough of it – quality time with people. For me, time is time; you can’t go back to relive it, you can’t go forward in it and there always seems to either be too much or too little of it. I feel like each day brings about constant reminders that we should all be embracing each moment as if we were to die tomorrow. I don’t think people fear the actual state of death so much as they fear leaving their lives behind; going on a journey and never coming back to the people and places you spent a lifetime loving. That’s why each moment I get to spend with the people I cherish most has become a most valuable treasure.

Whether it’s an entire family reunion week with the Bautistas…one crazy Christmas eve with the Gondas…2 weeks in Europe or 4 days in NYC…a night at the opera with Leia that turned into a gabfest that lasted until 2:30 am…or a quiet night at Isa & Nick’s watching tv and catching up…or acting like kids at Speedzone, cheering each other on during games like “Flamin’ Finger” (Iya, you’re crazy! Hahaha!)….dinner with Bobbers talking about wedding showers and other stuff…a night on a boat dancing and drinking to celebrate Ate Cyn & Gary…watching a midnight showing of Pirates with some real troopers!...lunchtime with Jovi and Eddie, eating and talking about nothing...a random Wednesday night dinner at Max’s with Cile and James that lasted all but 45 minutes… hanging out with Andrew in Pasadena and then talking all night like we used to in college…spending an entire Saturday shopping, talking and eating with Ate Tin and Annie…paying Riann a quick visit before she has to go to work…IMing with or talking on the phone to people who I don’t get to see or speak to often…having dinner with my sister and my dad while our caretaker (Mom, hahaha!) is away…sitting next to my grandparents, aunts and uncle during mass…

Oh this list goes on. I guess I’ve started to appreciate the fact that any time is quality time when you’re spending it with quality people, and I have been so blessed.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Oh crap, I ran another red light today.

Note to self: always look up when approaching traffic lights.