Sunday, February 29, 2004

Always the Bridesmaid

Received my umpteenth "good" rejection yesterday from a journal I would pierce my, um, lip to be in. Though they won't be publishing my story, they enjoyed it and would like to see more of my work. To which I toss my hair and say 'harumph and a curse on your house.' There. Told them.

And so my quest for publication in 2004 continues...

In other exciting (oh, shut up) news, my intrepid father has posted flyers for the Daly City reading at...hold onto your raspberry berets...Ong Pin, Ling Nam, Sinug Whatever, and Ranch 99. He kills me.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Gas Station Blues

I filled up my tank today using the least expensive gasoline and it was still $60.16. It's obscene, I tell you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Bring It Redux: Disney Princesses on Ice

The only thing more disturbing than witnessing my three girls go saucer-eyed at the sight of seven Disney Princesses (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Mulan, Ariel, Jasmine, and Belle if you must know, and I know you must) spinning around the ice in frantic search of their respective princes is witnessing three thousand girls go saucer-eyed. Scary.

Risa, who dons her Snow White halloween costume daily (sans the black pageboy wig, thank God), must have been guided by some inner compass of decorum because she didn't even consider wearing it to the show. When she saw throngs of her peers arriving at the arena dressed in their tulle gowns and tiaras, I braced for a classic 4-year-old screech aria. But it never happened.

As the young men dressed in princely attire trolled the aisles proffering what amounted to pink plastic flashlights for $24, I feared the worst. But though they earned curious stares from my twins, there were no formal requests for ownership.

The kind, misguided woman who offered my daughters her $7 ziploc bag of lavendar Princess cotton candy was surprised when I answered, "Oh, no thank you," for them, but probably even more surprised when they echoed my response and then turned back to watch Cinderella waltz with what's-his-name.

And what of my 2-year-old? She was disenchanted after 20 minutes, but gets high marks for suffering through the entire two hours without causing even a momentary scene. Popcorn, that's why.

Disney's not the only one with princesses, ya know.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Fun With Your Dentist

Is it possible to enjoy your time at the dentist? Oh, yes. Yes it is. But what you have to do is this: pick a new dentist. On the initial paperwork that you are required to complete, make sure to check "Yes" when asked if you are "fearful" of the dentist. And in the "Additional Comments" section, re-iterate your misapprehensions. Then sit back and relax as the entire office proceeds to cater to your every whim: enjoy the soft blanket handed to you by the whispering hygienist who frees it from the pink velvet ribbon in which it is bound; if the music is not to your liking, simply say, "Jackson 5, please!"; sweetly ask if you can take the People from the waiting room—the one that asks the all-important question: "Can J. Lo and Marc Anthony last?"—home because you're not done with it, and it shall be yours. Everyone will ask how you're doing several times. They will touch you gently on the arm. They will smile and tell you that you have very pretty teeth.

It's the 157th next-best thing to going to the spa.

Friday, February 20, 2004

You Can Take the Girl Out of Daly City...

but you can't take the Daly City-ness out of the girl. Which is why I jumped at the invitation to do a reading next month at the Serramonte Main Library. What's that I hear? Clamoring for details, are you? Whipping out your calendar even as you read this? Here ya go:

Calyx Books and Daly City Public Library


Going Home to a Landscape

writings by Filipinas

Readings by

Jean Vengua Gier

Veronica Montes

Henrietta Chico Nofre

Angela Narciso Torres

Marianne Villanueva

Thursday, March 11 @ 2:00 p.m.

Daly City Public Library

40 Wembley Dr.

Daly City, CA 94015

If you feel the urgent, inexplicable need to run to the nearest bulletin board to post this information, e-mail me and I'll send you a pretty flyer in PDF.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Change, they say, is good. Change, I say, is okay. I might like it better if I only made changes in tiny increments. Alas, that has not been the case in my adult life. Like this:

•Not simply, "We're getting married!" but "We're getting married and immediately moving to Washington, D.C., where we don't know a single person and where everyone wears sad blue suits!"

•Not just, "We're having a baby!" but "We're having twins, and unbeknownst to me, I'm going to have abdominal surgery during the fifth month of my pregnancy!"

•Couldn't stop at, "We have 18-month-old twin girls!" but had to add, "And another baby on the way, though we don't quite understand how because, really, who can manage to have sex after chasing around two toddlers who spend their days scaling bookshelves, bumping into table corners, and massaging yogurt into their hair?"

And now? Well, now the twins are starting preschool, I'm giving up the services of my frighteningly patient and impossibly chipper three-times-a-week kidsitter, and the two-year-old will either 1) spend the mornings howling over the loss of her other two partners-in-crime or 2) go into shock at the realization that because her sisters are at school, she no longer has to claw her way to the top of my attention radar by delivering blood-curdling screams or ripping off her diaper and running nekkid through the house. Oh, and I'm heading back to the gym after a 4-year hiatus.

I don't know about this, people. I don't know.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Creepy Yes, Creepy No

These photographs taken by Loretta Lux are either the creepiest thing I've ever seen or one of the most amazing. Whichever the case, I swear I was momentarily hypnotized by one of 'em. Take a look see.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Outkast Outrage

For the most part, I like Outkast. They're fun. They're clever. They look like they're having a helluva good time. I could do without the, um, neverending parade of gyrating and barely-clad females, but whatevs. Their performance on Grammy night, though, was bad. Bad taste, bad choices, bad feathers, bad, bad stereotyping. Whose lame-ass idea was this? I can't believe they sat around trying to think of performance ideas and someone actually said, "Hey! I know what we can do..." It was far more offensive (to me, at least) than Miss-Jackson-If-You're-Nasty's wardrobe malfunction and fancy-schmancy nipple jewelry.

Here's the inevitable petition. I'm signature 4 thousand something or other.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

How to Waste an Hour

I believe that my lack of writing productivity is due to my undiagnosed case of attention deficit disorder. This afternoon, for example, I expertly put all the fruits of my loins down for a nap that is guaranteed to last for an hour-and-a-half to two hours. Wide open space, right? Space and time and silence enough to write. A beautiful thing. I applied my arse to my little writing perch, and my fingers danced gracefully along the keyboard. For seven minutes. Then the following things happened:

1) I stood up and walked around the kitchen. I ate a slice of orange left over from my kids' lunch (the fruit of the fruit of my loins?!).

2) I returned to the keyboard. Typed fifty or sixty words.

3) I wandered into the den and turned on MTV. I danced with wild and scary abandon to that Missy Elliot video where everyone's wearing a t-shirt that says, "Hot." I pretended that I, too, was wearing a t-shirt that said, "Hot." And my tweed hat, dammit. I winked at imaginary people; I cocked my head as if to say, "Hey, what's up?" Then my thighs started to hurt.

4) I took a seat on the couch and changed channels. General Hospital, my true guilty pleasure. A fire was raging at the Port Charles Hotel. The angst, the drama, the hair. It was too much for me.

5) Back at the computer, I wrote a good solid paragraph. Then I went outside to check the mailbox. There was no mail yet, but gads the weather is lovely right now. I sat on my steps and let the sun kiss my spf'ed face.

6) Back inside, I determined that because I had danced so vigorously to the aforementioned Missy Elliot song, I deserved some cookies. I baked five of those little "break-n-bake" chocolate chip numbers. For the twelve minutes it took them to get softy and gooey, I wrote a little more. Then I poured myself a glass of milk and ate my cookies while watching more fire! more drama! more mascara running down faces! on General Hospital.

This was how I killed an hour of my life. I have only 304 words to show for myself, so I did the logical thing: I started to blog. The girls will be up any minute now.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Snow Talk

I wore a hat. Okay, but it wasn’t a snow hat. It was a snazzy little tweed number. Very rat pack, very Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. Oh shut up; it was!

While trying to keep up with Risa and Vida as they scaled the snowy hills of Leland Snow Park, I kept thinking, "And this is fun because….?"

A two-year-old child will lose her mittens approximately every 45 seconds.

The dry air will make your nose run and your hair straight.

Children cannot play in the snow for an entire day. Bring lots of DVDs and art supplies.

Going to the snow is a good excuse for chocolate!

Going to the snow with children is a good excuse for!

Random and frightening observation made at the bar where the jukebox was in full swing: I know all the words to "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head."

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I Know You'll Miss Me Buh-li-i-ind

I'm off to the snow, my lovelies. Alas, my computer stays behind. But perhaps I will leave you with my story Lolo's Bride, which The Secret Tango Dancer himself kindly includes on his overwhelmingly chock full o' crazy good stuff to read web site A Critical Survey of Philippine Literature. It's also in Growing Up Filipino, which was edited by the lovely and irrepressible literary whirlwind Cecilia Brainard.

See you on Monday...

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

"I Am Two With Nature"

Woody Allen said that. He grosses me out, but what can I say? The quote speaks to me. We're headed to the Sierra Nevadas for a long weekend, so what I should really say is, "I am two with snow."

Humiliating Snow Experience #1. Long ago, in a galaxy far away, I moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, with my then-boyfriend, now-husband. I had lived my whole life in the Bay Area and owned no snow-appropriate outerwear. I had no hat. Even if I did have a hat, the chances of my donning it were slim, for I am not a "hat person." I had no snow boots. But none of this stopped me from attempting to return a video to the video store three blocks away. I stepped out of our apartment building and immediately slipped on the brick pavement. Slipped right on my ass all Looney Tunes cartoon-like. It hurt like a mo-fo. I stood up and limped back into the lobby. I stared through the glass at the beautiful snow-covered street with its beautiful snow-covered trees and took a deep breath. I opened the door and stepped out of the apartment building again. I slipped again. I repeated this sad little scenario twice more before returning to our apartment, crawling into bed, and weeping.

Humiliating Snow Experience #2. Age: 25. First time skiing. I was kicking some butt on the bunny hill, people. All the five-year-olds were impressed with me. So was my husband (do you see this? do you see how he figures into both of these humiliating snow experiences?). So much so that he convinced me I was ready to tackle an actual mountain. We took the ski lift halfway to heaven. I stood at the top of the mountain, stared down and began to curse delicately beneath my frozen breath. I voiced my concerns to my husband, who immediately pointed to the losers who were walking down the side of the mountain. He said, "You don't want to be like them, do you?" In fact, I did. But I kept this to myself and proceeded to make the best of my situation. In the thirty-five minutes (that's not a typo; that's a fact) it took me to get to the bottom of the mountain, I ended up face-down five times. During one of these times, a man flying by on his skis yelled, "That's a great sweater!" I lifted my face out of the snow and managed a weak, "Thank you..."

Humiliating Snow Experience #3. My third humiliating snow experience is sure to happen this weekend and will likely involve a sled of some sort. I will not be wearing a hat. But I do have snow boots. I'll let you know how it goes.

This post was for my friend Paul, who sent me an evil e-mail complaining about what he perceives as yawning gaps between entries.