Wednesday, December 31, 2008

faithful [feyth-fuhl]
true to one's word, promises, vows, etc.; steady in allegiance or affection; loyal; constant;reliable, trusted, or believed
Synonyms include: allegiant, devoted, genuine

11:45 pm, Friday, December 26th...
"Hey you two, time to say goodnight," some of us said.
"OK," Rochelle said. "Night, Baby!"
Last hug and kiss.

"Night, Baby!" Matt said back.
The boys set out of the bridal suite and closed the door. Not 2 seconds later, Rochelle ran back, the door flew open and she yelled out into the hallway, "Night, Baby! I love you!"
"I love you too, baby!" yelled Matt.
The door shut a second time, and behind it a little girl with a huge smile on her face. The next morning she woke up as if the the smile had yet to waver.
"I'm the bride today - yay!" Rochelle was saying all morning. A typhoon couldn't ruin this girl's day.

I know I've spoken about Matt and Rochelle before; how long I've known them, how I was there when they met (I'll take credit for this union, thanks very much), how much I love them both. Since their engagement, I'm not sure anyone close to them could hide our excitement. If there were any one couple whose wedding we couldn't wait to witness, it was Matt and Rochelle's. When the buildup for something huge seems even bigger, you worry about disappointment, but for this, there was just no letdown to be had.

Forget the veil that seemed to have an affinity for the ground, forget the freezing weather, or the thousand and one factors to remember on any wedding day. Matt and Rochelle would not have it. Like the song they so happily danced to, "It's like I waited my whole life, for this one night..." our new Mr. & Mrs. Mindanao lived that day for everything they've prepared so many years for and we were fortunate to be there when it finally happened.

I was a crying hot mess any chance I got to be, of course. I felt like I was watching my brother getting married, and to this wonderful woman who I get to call friend, and who I now get to call my cousin-in-law or, all things considered, my sister-in-law truly.


Best Christmas Present Ever from my little sister

I got an email today:

"I totally vacuumed and wiped the bathroom :D...i woke up and i just did was so not like me."

Hooray! I get to have a clean bathroom when 2009 arrives! =)

Monday, December 29, 2008

OH MY GOSH...Time is going by so slowly today!

Friday, December 26, 2008



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Why Kobes and Fish Have 3 Rings

Their play has been...well, shady. Thank goodness for our seasoned, calm and passionate leaders who have no problem encouraging and (thankfully) crackin' those whips!

You tell these neophytes on the team to get it together, Fish and Kobes!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday,

Saturday, December 20, 2008

to the

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday,
I'm so happy you're back home! =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

dismiss [dis-mis]
to discharge or remove, as from office or service
Synonyms include: send away, release
We're not even 30 games into the 82-game NBA 2008-2009 season and SIX coaches have been fired already! That's crazy!

P.J. Carlesimo (Oklahoma City Thunder)
Eddie Jordan (Washington Wizards)
Sam Mitchell (Toronto Raptors)
Randy Wittman (Minnesota Timberwolves)
Maurice Cheeks (Philadelphia 76ers)
Reggie Theus (Sacramento Kings)

Imagine going summer training camp, the pre-season and then into the season with all these plans and hopes for your team and after being unable to win even half of the games you've played, the executives for the team basically tell you that you suck at coaching and that you should leave? Yikes! Right now people aren't even betting on which team will win a game, but which coach is going to get fired next. Nuts...

Sunday, December 14, 2008

When Kay looks this happy...
...this playful...
It's probably because she experienced something really nice;
a good yoga workout, really good food, a nice glass of wine, etc.
Last night, she was all smiles because... SHE AND PATRICK GOT ENGAGED!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy, happy
30th Birthday, Mel!!!

Miss you, pinsan!!!!!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy, Happy 13th Birthday
to my dear goddaughter,
13?! When the heck did THAT happen?!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hello Papang!

Do you get to read blogs in heaven or do you just look over someone's shoulder when you're down here for visits? =) In any case, I hope you're doing well. Please continue to look after us, and when you get a chance, put in a good word for us up there =)

I miss you and love you very much!

Your granddaughter,

Happy Birthday,

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Charlie Brown Christmas

This was on last night and it NEVER fails to make me happy!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively
without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once
Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances,
that the good providence of God cares for me
as no one else who exists in this world.
Only for today, I will have no fears.
In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful
and to believe in goodness.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

recycle [ree-sahy-kuhl]
to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse; to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of
Synonyms include: convert, reprocess, recover, reuse

As we watch our wallets this holiday season, we've also been on Green Watch. Every so often, we get notes from someone in our office on how to live the "Green" way. I just found this email from last year and I thought it was really clever:

If you don’t feel like reusing your wrapping for gifts, run it through a paper shredder and use the result as colorful packing material.

It seems like a no-brainer kind of idea but I've never even thought of that! It recycles, saves you a few dollars AND I get to use my paper shredder which I love!!! =)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

underdog [uhn-der-dawg]
a person who is expected to lose in a contest or conflict
Synonyms include: dark horse, longshot

As Tin would say, "EFF!"

Should've left the Bench Mob on the floor in the 4th, Phil. They got the 15 point lead, and yes, I know they lost 7 of it to begin the last quarter, but still...subbing Vlad for Trevor who had 3 steals? REALLY?

It's ok. Maybe this loss will finally get the Lakers to go back to what they've been so praised for earlier in the season but so very much failed to have any of tonight: DEFENSE. Indiana beat the Celtics too and now stands as the 1 of 2 losses that each team has on record. Hmmm, a team with a losing record knocking off the top teams of the NBA. I hate that the Lakers lost tonight but I do have a soft spot for the underdog...
Happy Birthday,

Sunday, November 30, 2008

defense [di-fens]
resistance against attack; protection; the team attempting to thwart the attack of the team having the ball or puck
Synonyms include: barricade, safeguard, resistance

Dad, Mom and Tin got their Christmas present early this year: a night of Laker basketball. I'd been wanting to do this for them for awhile now but could never really afford it during this time of the year. Thankfully, THIS season I had some leeway. I got my parents some Laker gear to wear tonight, Tin wore my Kobe jersey and I wore #5 for Jordan Farmar (Happy Birthday, Jordie!). I'm all about the the point guards! There's just something about the smallest player on the team who calls the shots on the court that I appreciate; Jordie, D-Fish, Deron Williams, Chris Paul - love them all!
So anyhow, Lakeshow took the game tonight, 112-99 to make their record 14-1. FSN West is replaying the Toronto game where Kobe scored 81 points. I'm watching it right now and I can't believe how different that Laker team looks next to this one. That Kobe even had to SCORE that much to win the game back then cracks me up because that isn't anywhere near what he's doing now. And man, talk about defense-less, as in the Lakers had absolutely none! They seriously might as well have laid out a red carpet to the hoop for the visiting team.They were so much fun to watch tonight though, as fun as it's been these last two seasons.
I love watching games live. It's one thing to be screaming at the tv with my dad, and another thing to be screaming at...well, everything with 18,000 other fans. The guy next to me must've wanted to smack me. I was yelling everything I could possibly yell during the game...

"DE-FENSE!" clap-clap "DE-FENSE!" clap-clap"

"L-O L-O, here we go, here we go!"

"M-V-P! M-V-P!"


"Let's go Lakers, let's go!"

And the most important chant of all?

We almost DIDN'T get our tacos because Toronto reached 99 points. When they hit that last 3-pointer, all of Staples Center gasped, it was hilarious! Hey man, saving 99 cents on two tacos during these hard times is no laughing matter. I've accumulated 7 coupons so far =) I GUESS I can share them...
Good times with the fam tonight! Hopefully I can catch another game this season. I'd like to go to AT LEAST 3 more. Come on...WHO'S DOWN?!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

avant-garde [uh-vahnt-gahrd]
the advance group in any field, esp. in the visual, literary, or musical arts, whose works are characterized chiefly by unorthodox and experimental methods
Synonyms include: unconventional, innovative, vanguard, pioneering

Every chance I get these past couple of weeks, I'll pick up my camera and just start shooting...anything - my sister drawing on the floor, her charcoal pencils scattered across her sketchpad, camera lenses, jewelry, plants, etc. Having no formal training in photography (except for the tutelage of Ja Tecson), I've had to rely on trial and error to get me from complete amateur to amateur who knows something.

Photography has served me one purpose in years past, and I used it for one reason and, honestly, one reason only: to preserve memories. "Shutterbug," that's what everyone called me. I had unknowingly been designated early in my life, to be the permanent historian. I couldn't say I didn't enjoy this role, because I absolutely loved it. It didn't feel like an unwanted obligation. It felt like a privilege. The last few years, however, photography has had an entirely new purpose for me: Art. As in, art that I MYSELF could create. This past Sunday, I joined Leia, Leia's friend Janet, Andrew, Jason and Trevor for an afternoon at LACMA to see the Vanity Fair portrait exhibit. I was really looking forward to this, knowing that I'd see some of the most inspiring and culture-changing collection of images. I just didn't think I'd be SOOO taken in by it. The exhibit was nothing short of amazing. I was especially fond of photographs from decades and decades ago; photos that were taken before there was such a thing as Adobe Photoshop. Back then, there was no dodging, color correcting or even cropping. It was just the photographer, the subject, the environment and the existing lighting. Yet every photo looked every bit as perfect!
While we waited for Andrew, Jason, Trevor and Janet to arrive, Leia and I decided to have a little photo session outside the museum. Thanks for being my model, Leia Beth!
Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Art, I've learned, is at the mercy of the artist's desires. I took this picture of Leia because I loved how the red line painted along the curb draws the eye from left to right, or vice versa, somehow dividing the image from it's top and bottom. The red line's contrast to what is above and below it, is striking. It jumps out at you.
It's funny how when the color is taken away, what I'm drawn to is just Leia.
Manipulating angles is also fun to do! This block of lamposts is a freakin' playground for the camera!
Leia easy and breezy =)
Here are Jason, Leia and Trevor outside. It was such a beautiful day to take pictures!
I call this "Lusty: Pensive."
And here's Andrew, our favorite, and probably most popular model of all. Can't take a bad picture, this guy.
I am forever affected by this exhibit. Seeing the vision of these photographers, from Man Ray to Mario Testino to the ever innovative Annie Leibovitz, just inspired me. I know that sentiment, as often as you hear it, can become trite. But from my personal perspective, it felt like reading Emily Dickinson's poetry or William Faulkner's prose for the first time: I wish it were me who thought of it first, but since it wasn't, I just hope that one day I could be just as good. Maybe someday, someone will think, Anna Gonda's work - I wish I had thought of that =)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Songs

I never let myself listen to Christmas songs until AFTER Thanksgiving. So to prepare for this coming Friday, I thought I'd look through the holiday playlist on my iTunes to make sure I have everything I need in there (OCD, I know). In doing so, I came across this song that I absolutely love but never fails to make me cry when I hear it...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh man, I'm freakin' dying! who the hell thought this one up?! (Thanks for sharing this, Kay!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dude, my cousin, Kuya Ramon, went to a Laker game in this crazy get-up and he ended up in the OCRegister Rim Shots!

HAHAHAHAHA!! He was hoping to run into Vic "The Brick" but, sadly, did not. Get crazier with your outfit next time, Kuya!


Dude! This little girl can teach a load of NBA players a thing or two about ball handling!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

stress [stres]
Physiology. a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism; physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension
Synonyms include: affliction, agony, anxiety, tension

Oh stress. Some of us feed of it to get things done; but some of us, honestly, have the potential to die from it. It's the world we live in - this stressful society that thrives on the minute by minute dictation of our Outlook calendars and Blackberries. As children, we were taught that, "idle hands were the devil's playground," so we were raised to keep ourselves often as we could. As grown-ups, we keep our daily schedules packed, not only with our careers, but with our families, our friends, etc. These days, idleness doesn't have a fighting chance.

We had a stress management seminar at work today, sponsored by the Holman Group. They provide behavioral health care services for our company. It's funny what things Jane, the Holman rep who came to talk to us, pointed out about stress and the ways that we can deal with it. It all seems like common sense (meditate, take a breath, eat right, exercise, etc), but she pointed out that when we are placed in stressful situations, we often don't give ourselves enough time (if any at all) to DO any of those things.

So much more can go wrong when we react negatively to stress, and each of us handles it in whatever way "calms" us down. We can become irritable, closed off or depressed and cry; stress-eat, stress-shop, go on a bad decision-making rampage...whatever floats our boats . There are a whole slew of stress "symptoms" and I knew I was in a bad place when, upon Jane reading each one, I felt like I was placing mental checkmarks by each symptom.

And then, we took this test - a measure of the likelihood of us getting sick due to stress. We were given a list of circumstances, each assigned a certain number of points, and were asked to circle each one that applied to the last 12 months of our lives; circumstances like career changes, marriage, planning weddings, having children, changes in living situations, in diets, etc. A score under 150 is ideal and gives the highly unlikeliness of getting sick. A score of 150-300 gives a person a 50% chance of becoming ill. A score of 300 and above gives you a 90% chance of getting sick. I think I need to schedule some Anna alone time soon because my score was...drumroll...440! HAHAHAHA!!!! Freakin' ridics!

Monday, November 17, 2008

point of view
A position from which something is observed or considered
Synonyms include: standpoint, perspective

I watched The Wizard of Oz tonight. Funny how differently the story runs through my mind now after having seen WICKED. Crazy. I don't want to kill it for anyone who hasn't seen the musical yet (though a lot of us who saw it these last couple of months feel like we were literally the last ones who hadn't seen it), so I'll just leave it at that. I have a feeling there'll be talks of a film version soon, if they haven't been discussed already. Hmmm, hope they don't kill it...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

2 years ago today, we left home to...
Climb that...
...get lost... pigeons...
...grate cheese in a hat and scarf...
...cook in our own kitchen...
...learn a new language...
...drink a lot of wine (like A LOT)... in the middle of a giant shell... by train......get weary from traveling by train...
... be revived by history...
...make a wish to return...