Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Round 2 - FIGHT!

Monday, April 28, 2008

blatant [bleyt-nt]
brazenly obvious; flagrant
Synonyms include: arrant, garish, outright

“I told your sister to teach you how to get thin!”

I haven’t seen my aunt in 4 months and these were the first words out of her mouth yesterday. As if I don’t feel overweight enough already, I also seem to unknowingly solicit insulting commentary from family to make sure I don’t forget which direction the scale is tipping these days. And seriously, how could I forget with people reminding me AT LEAST once a month (since October, fyi) that not only will I not grow any taller, but that I’m fat which makes my height so much more of a curse. I’m all about honesty being the best policy, but can we make an exception for relatives who aren’t aware of that other famous saying which asks that if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

“I know, Tita.”

That’s all I could bring myself to say without either wanting to throw curses at her or run to the bathroom and sob like a little school girl getting teased by bullies. I had to excuse myself to the kitchen (much to her dismay, I’m sure) and have some water. I understand that relatives (and sometimes people you barely know!) find it within their jurisdiction to let you know when you’ve screwed up (in any way shape or form), but really, find a filter and use it or shut your trap. Ask me if I eat healthily. Ask me if I exercise. Hell, ask me if I plan to die early. I promise I’ll get the message (I DO get the message, by the way) and maybe, just maybe, I won’t waste precious seconds of my life trying to keep my confidence in tact.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

amateur [am-uh-choor]
person who engages in a study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial benefit or professional reasons; a person inexperienced or unskilled in a particular activity; a person who admires something
Synonyms include: dabbler, dilettante, non-professional

I have a bookmark tacked on my cubicle wall that reads, "A professional is an amateur who didn't quit." I picked it up from a writer's faire at UCLA a few years ago and seeing it is a constant reminder of...well...everything I ever want to succeed in. My love for writing has never been motivated by the possibility of monetary fortune. But becoming an internationally renowned writer would certainly surpass every expectation and hope that I've ever had for myself. I ask myself everyday how I'll ever manage to have that and the answer is always so simple: keep writing.

But writing aside, there are so many other skills in this life that I wouldn't mind mastering. A bullet point at the forefront of my life syllabus - photography. I've always dedicated a large portion of my heart to this most malleable/easily-manipulated artform. It wasn't until recently (actually, since I met the great Ja Tecson), that mere pictures I took of family and friends became more than 4x6 printouts to glue onto a scrapbook page.

Last weekend, I spent a late afternoon at Topanga Canyon Beach with Ja, Bev, James and Jamie. As Ja Tecson's Team, we considered this a lifestyle shoot, a more informal session with an engaged couple before their wedding day. As Ja's ingenues, however, we'd call it another day of lessons learned. To shoot with a purpose has, at least for me, become the most valuable lesson thusfar. Every adjustment of shutter speed or aperture, every time you go from a wide angle lens to a zoom, every time you shoot from below rather than straight away - it all has a purpose; it all creates a unique image; it all invokes a new emotion. The hardest part of all this for me, personally? Maintaining creativity gained by intuitive calls while keeping all these technical facets in mind. How, I asked Ja, do you remember all this and still come up with such a perfect photo?! His answer: keep shooting.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Thursday, April 24, 2008

hero [heer-oh]
a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal
Synonyms include: idol, model, personage

Lakers are 2-0 and I'm excited! The boys got physical (damn, Lamar - 5 fouls?), and did what they had to do to get that W. They got blocked on the inside, so they nailed it from the outside. They took charges, passed the ball to the open man - loved it! Could've played a lot more D but a win is a win so I'm not even going to complain.

Playoff time has gotten me in that mood. I am, by no means, a baller. Basketball was never my forte. But I've been and remain to be, awed and inspired by the players. I'm a Laker fan who has her favorites. The Showtime Lakers? Please - no contest! The Threepeat Lakers? Exciting as all hell. But two players I loved to watch when they were playing?...

5 foot 3 inch Muggsy Bogues was one. He was surrounded by guys who stood more than a foot above him yet he ran the floor, got to the hoop, handed off to guys like no one was trying to knock him over. Magic was a foot and a half taller than him and look how fast he probably got past the legend.
Spud Webb - 5 foot 7 inches, dunking on the basket which stands 10 feet from the ground! Crazy!!!!...Crazy amazing!
I've got heroes in every category: heroes in life, heroes in my educational journey, professional heroes, etc. Muggsy and Spud? My height-doesn't-mean-a-damn-thing heroes. =)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

1 down...15 to go...
(All photos from www.nba.com )

Thursday, April 17, 2008

newborn [noo-bawrn]
recently or only just born; having just or recently arisen or come into existence
Synonyms include: baby, infant

New baby alert! I can't believe it! Cheryl, who I used to sit in a religion class with, is a mommy!!! Cheryl and Alan have a beautiful, adorable new baby girl, Kathryn. You can call her Katie! Don't call her "Kat." Cheryl will not have it.

6 lbs 1 oz, 18 3/4 inches long

(isn't if funny how a baby is measured as this many inches "long" not 18 3/4 inches "tall?" That's heightism man!...but I digress).
Just look at her, wrapped up so snugly like a burrito!
Cheryl called me as I was driving home from work this afternoon.
"Hi!" she said, all non-chalantly.
"Hey mommy, what's crackin'?!" I replied.
"Oh nothing. I'm just calling to let you know that I had the baby at around 3-ish today."
It was 5:30 pm. haha! I was screaming!
Aaaaaw, look at them, so cute! She's got Alan's nose, Alan's mouth, Cheryl's chin, and Cheryl's hands. This chick's gonna be a baller for sure!
I love babies! They're so small, so peaceful and non-threatening. Check out Katie sticking her tongue out for Tita Anna. Oh kids...CONGRATULATIONS NEW FAMILY!!!
Happy Birthday, Katie!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy Birthday,

Sunday, April 13, 2008

a list, plan, outline, or the like, of things to be done, matters to be acted or voted upon, etc; A list or program of things to be done or considered
Synonyms include: plan, program, schedule

Eversince Leia came home from her autum stint in Washington, DC in 2001, she and I promised that we'd both visit this wonderful city together in the springtime. Fall in the east coast is rich in color, brisk in weather and just beautiful. But the nation's capital has a unique characteristic for a few weeks in April - cherry blossoms.
Leia and I weren't sure back then when we should go, so we called out a random year in the then distant future - April 2008. Whether we were engaged, married, with child; basically no matter where we were in life, we promised Washington, DC that two of their former citizens would be back for a visit. Who knew this day would come so quickly? So Leia and I bought our plane tickets in late January, got Gwennie to join in the madness and last Friday, April 4th, we sat at the John Wayne airport in the OC ready to head east.
And so we left the OC, landed in rainy Houston to connect to a 2nd flight to DC only to discover that our flight, along with a slew of other Continental Airline flights, was cancelled due to weather conditions.
Long story short - Continental tried to get us on the very last flight to DC that night, but the plane was full so we had no choice but to take our complimentary pouch of Continental Airline travel-sized toiletries and check into a nearby hotel for the night. The next morning we were treated to a complimentary breakfast at the newly-remodeled (according to our front desk clerk, Tony Lee) Clarion Hotel, complete with a Texas-shaped wafflemaker. After such an ordeal, Leia and I just concentrated on small accomplishments: Woke up on time - Yay!...Got on the shuttle - Yay!...Got seated on the plane - Yay!...LANDED IN DC FINALLY -HOORAY!! Take a cab to the hotel? Nah...let's take the metro! I couldn't begin to say how happy I was to be on the Blue Line to Largo Towncenter. It's the line I took to work everyday, and it made me happy to anticipate every stop on the way that afternoon; knowing that Reagan National Airport was followed by Crystal City (where I lived), which is followed by Pentagon City, followed by the Pentagon stop, followed by a minute or 2 of daylight when the Arlington Cemetery stop came, and how my ears clogged on the way to the Rosslyn stop, located under the Potomac River, and then out we went at Foggy Bottom. It felt like I'd been on a long vacation and was coming home.
Leia and I were so happy to finally arrive!! Here she is jumping at Washington Circle. DC is full of circles!
When Gweenie got to the hotel after her morning gallavanting around, I practically jumped her because I was so happy to see her! The three of us felt like we hadn't seen each other in months! hahaha! After we settled in, we treated ourselves to Sushi Taro - $38 for all-you-can-eat sushi!! Leia and I were just happy not to be eating at the airport!
After watching fireworks to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival, we hung out at Kramer's Bookstore. A bookstore/bar/late-night cafe-lounge, complete with a guitar-strumming lady singing covers (James, you could take her).
On Sunday morning, DC was clouded in drizzle, but we managed to catch 9 am mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It's quite a long metro ride up the Red Line, but it was well worth it. There was a line of cherry blossom trees on the side of the church so Leia, Gwen and I hung out for a bit, took some pictures, and just enjoyed our morning.
Next on our agenda was the Butterfly Exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. The exhibit room was a warm 86.2 degrees, filled with free-flying butterflies who were not camera shy.
Next came a stroll through the National Mall. The mall begins at the Capital Building, extends to the Washington Monument, proceeded by the new World War II Memorial, and ends with the Lincoln Memorial.
In the distance is the Jefferson Memorial situated by the Tidal Basin which, during this time of year, is encapsulated with pale pink cherry blossoms.
It had been a long morning of walking but we didn't care. It was just too pretty there. At that time, the cancelled flights were behind us, the long stay at the airport didn't matter, and the gloom and rain were but trivial circumstances. It's funny what finally seeing what you came to see can bring comfort.
We cabbed it back to the hotel where the three of us napped for about 2 1/2 hours before our last dinner in DC. Al Tiramisu - next time you're around the Dupont Circle area, look this place up! The service was great and the risotto I had was the best I've tasted since our European vacation 2 years ago. Here's our waiter...whose name I can't remember.
I think Gweenie's favorite part of this trip was her bed at the Marriott. She would be the first to get up in the morning and while Leia and I got ready, she'd get back under the covers and wait patiently. She even dried her hair in bed! hahaha!!! Leia was still keen on the city. Great navigating and planning, Leia Beth! (Watch out for rogue electrical cords!) I just tried not to let my tendonitis bother me. For the most part it was good...except for all the times I totally ate it. Oh man...but we won't get into that. =)
Thanks for a wonderful trip, Gweenie & Leia! Cherry blossoms in 2010?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Bev!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Happy Birthday,

Friday, April 04, 2008

revisit [rē-vĭz'ĭt]
A second or repeated visit
Synonyms include: return, come back,

Going to Washington, DC for the weekend with Leia & Gwennie to see some cherry blossoms!!!
See ya'll when we get back!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Kairos [καιρός]
an ancient Greek word meaning the "right or opportune moment"; "a time in between," a moment of undetermined period of time in which something" special happens

It's been such an interesting school year...not for my sister - for ME. Haha...Being born so far apart from each other, I've watched her go through things this year that I didn't expect to witness so soon. Helping her with the college application/selection process, having serious conversations about careers, dreaming about her future in general - it's all been such an eye-opening experience; not so much in discovering that she's grown up, but that we're keeping tabs on the paths of life we've been given. Paths that, though maybe heading in opposite directions, still run parallel to each other. We've gone through similar experiences, but under different circumstances and that, to me, is one of the most unique qualities about our relationship as sisters.

My Kairos retreat senior year was something I may not always remember the details of, but it continues to bring out feelings in me that I don't think I will ever relinquish. And I hope the same for Tin. Please pray for her and her friends when you have a chance. Right now she's up in the very same retreat venue that my Kairos took place 12 years ago. Talk about destiny...

Can I be Carrie Bradshaw for an hour so I can do voiceovers like this:

“Some people are settling down…some people are settling…and some people refuse to settle for anything less than butterflies.”
~ Sex and the City