Thursday, March 31, 2005

Rambling, Unwieldy Vancouver Post

Since many a-blogger is currently in ethereally gorgeous Vancouver, British Columbia, perhaps enjoying a 4-inch high rice krispy treat at the Bread Garden, I thought I might blog about Vancouver. I lived there circa 1990 for a year or so, in joyous sin with the man I now so affectionately refer to as 'the spousal unit.' Strange existence, we had. For one thing, we didn't pay for anything. Our smashing little penthouse apartment in the sky-ay-ay-ay one block off Robson, the car, the this, the that were all taken care of by the SU's employer. Also...I wasn't allowed to work. There existed an interesting Canadian employment law which stated that any job must be given to a Canadian unless it could be proven to require special skills not possessed by any Canadian. Which, now that I think about it, probably explains why a single tomato could occasionally cost $1.50. Anyways, this lack of employment left plenty of time to learn how to cook, which I did not yet know how to do; get a tan; write my first real stories since college; read; and futz with my hair which I kept in its natural state of long waviness.

The truth is that Vancouver is where I learned to be comfortably alone. With the then-boyfriend off working devilishly hard—sometimes on the other side of the country in Alberta or wherever—and me not knowing a soul, I was often by myself. I came to the conclusion that Canada, or at least Vancouver, was like San Francisco, but tilted on its side and shaken up. There were no Black people, for example. The entire time we lived there, I saw maybe five Black people. And very few Asians, though there were rumors (veiled in a certain amount of racism) of this changing drastically once Hong Kong switched hands. Nobody in Vancouver gave a rip about basketball. They were only allowed to play music on which the majority (I think this is right) of musicians were Canadian. This meant having to listen to quite a bit of Bryan Adams, that chick who sang that "Black Velvet" song and, um, that's about it. Many of the stores were blatant rip-offs of American retailing (with the lawsuits to prove it). You'd see a store that looked just like Victoria's Secret, but that was called La Vie en Rose. Sooooo weird!

Well, this post is going nowhere because I am now in a state of reverie and am itching to find pictures of the time we spent there. I was snowed-on for the first time there. We got engaged there. We ate constantly at Bud's Fish 'n' Chips, still the best damn fish 'n' chips I ever had. We drove to Whistler. We sat on the beach at English Bay to watch the fireworks competition one year. We often took the ferry to Victoria. We drove to Seattle more than once, re-crossing the border with American contraband (my first Mac!). We went to the movies. A lot. And to Granville Island, where there was a sweet little bookstore.


But the Vancouverians were mean to me once. We went on a bike ride around Stanley Park, we did. The bike path was clearly marked with arrows which we were clearly supposed to follow. But the spousal unit cares nothing—nothing!—for authority and is, after all, American and didn't feel that the arrows suited our particular American needs. And so we rode against the arrows. The SU rode in front of me and every few minutes I would ask if we could please just ride with the arrows, and every few minutes he would pooh-pooh me and the tortuous ride would continue. Why tortuous? Because Vancouverians were pelting me with verbal abuse, the specifics of which I have erased from my mind because of the trauma it caused. Because he was riding in front, all of this was lost on the SU. He'd get the initial annoyed look from the Vancouverians (he cares nothing—nothing!—for annoyed looks), but I got the inevitable smackdown.

Longest bike ride of my life.

But what a lovely year.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Smoking Pit(s)

I doubt they exist anymore, but my high school used to boast two smoking pits, one outside the theatre and one outside the cafeteria. Despite their official name, the pits were not pits at all, just two large rectangles outlined in yellow paint where you were free to smoke (though I did not), pose, curse, gossip, flirt, and—depending on which pit you frequented (see below)—show off either your perfectly creased baggies or your AC/DC t-shirt to maximum advantage.

Of course, all the white kids kept to one pit, a pit we commonly referred to as "The Stoner Pit." The other kids—Filipino, Black, Latino—owned the other pit, a pit commonly referred to as...hmmm, I'm not sure. But I'm sure The Stoner Pit dwellers had a choice name for our pit. I mention all this because yesterday, following ten minutes of suspicious quiet in the den, the house suddenly shook with the sound of a vaguely familiar baseline and then...

Come on and dance
Come on and dance
Let's make some romance
You know the
night is falling
and the
music's calling
we got to get down to...

I ran to the room and found my daughters in a Steve Miller Band trance, dancing with huge smiles on their faces. My first thought was wha? why do we have a Steve Miller Band cd? My second thought was a visual fast-forward: the three of them in The Stoner Pit (naku!) sporting feather roach clip earrings and raccoon eyeliner while mooning over some guy with a mullet.

I panicked. "It's too loud!" I said, shutting it off. I quickly dislodged the CD and scrambled for an alternative. If we have a Steve Miller Band cd, I silently reasoned, we must have ConFunkShun or The Gap Band or (grasping at straws at this point) even just some Shalamar or Kool & The Gang.

"But we love that!" they yelled. "It's so fantastic!" I looked at them, uselessly pleading with my eyes. "Come on, Mom. We're dancing."

Of course I had to put it back in. And I would be remiss if I didn't report that they liked "Jungle Love," and "Take the Money And Run," even better than "Swingtown." They blithely moved on to another activity (Polly Dolls, if you must know) after those three tracks.

Once they were gone, I sat down on the floor.

I listened to "Fly Like an Eagle" and "Jet Airliner."

I made my peace. And then I laughed and laughed and laughed at how ridiculous I am.

Oyzons & Their Eggs

Oh how I adore the annual Oyzon egg decorating contest. I wish they lived next door. Heck, I wish I knew them.

Thank goodness for the blogosphere.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Maybe I'm Going About It The Wrong Way

So I've been reading Edward Hirsch's The Demon and the Angel, which so far has been mostly a lovely and (for me) illuminating tribute to Lorca. This particular passage, though, comes from the end of a chapter he has spent praising Frank O'Hara's lament for Billie Holiday, "The Day Lady Died."

O'Hara's poem reminds me of a little girl with a limp I once saw tap dancing on a street corner in New Orleans. She was going through her ordinary repertoire of rehearsed moves when her accompanist hit a string of unexpectedly low chords and suddenly something indecipherable, almost lunatic, jarred awake inside her, and she started dancing with terrific ferocity. She took off. The dramatic change in intensity was almost frightening. It was also apparent to everyone present. We all understood immediately that something astonishing was taking place before us. The sidewalk seemed to part as the spirit winged through the crowd like a flame. The summer afternoon sizzled. Time stopped. Her duende had arrived.

All of which made me think: I've been standing at the bus stop for awhile now, checking my watch every now and again, and my duende is very, very late.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Sleep Deprivation Post

I'd like to apologize in advance for this post. It reveals me as small and rather useless (and this, on Good Friday!), but I couldn't help myself. The spousal unit is out of town, it is after midnight, and for many nights now I've been rendered sleepless by my own hacking cough and the hacking coughs of all three of my children. Please understand. Please forgive.

Let me first acknowledge that I am not worthy to wash Alicia Keys' car(s), dust her furniture, tie her shoes or water her houseplants. There is more talent pulsing in three millimeters of her left earlobe than there is coursing through my entire body. I think she is fabulous; I think she is beautiful. Now. Having said all that, I would like to ask what, exactly, is going on here?

I need the name and address of the person who thought the feathers would make everything okay.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Ifs, Ands, Butts

Unless I'm being mama, mama, mama'ed clear out of my mind and am ready to sell my soul for some quiet, I restrict the kiddies' television viewing to two brief (and blessed) spells during the day. No junk (sorry Spongebob, sorry Rugrats...) and absolutely, positively no commercials. But...I must have slipped up recently in the commercials department because Vida has been running around for two days pronouncing several different versions of the following:

"Oh, by the way Mom, I just want you to know that almonds and milk are part of a complete nutritional breakfast."

For some mysterious reason, this just kills her. She laughs so hard she loses her breath and has to fall to her hands and knees. Sometimes, in a desperate effort to get her sisters to join in, she will change it to, "I just thought I'd let you know that butts are part of a complete nutritional breakfast." And because the three of them think that the funniest word ever is the word "butt," they cannot help themselves: they lose it. They stagger around like three drunks just laughing their asses off.

I means butts. Laughing their butts off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition

Our Own Voice: Literary Ezine for Filipinos in the Diaspora



Ivy Terasaka was an emerging writer. For a short while, she was a familiar face and voice at various Singapore literary events. Ivy set up a website where some of her short stories appear along with a few of her ruminations she shared with family and friends. Her immense satisfaction in being part of her children’s growing years is evident in the photographs she included in the site. In late 2003, Ivy discovered Our Own Voice and submitted a short story. We published "The Last Time I Saw Nanay" posthumously. To honor her dream of being a writer, we name this annual competition in her memory. Short Stories must be relevant to the Filipino experience in the diaspora.


• Format: Word document FILE attachment
Two title pages, one with author’s name, the other without.
• Total word count: 3,000 – 5,000 words
• Only unpublished works will be considered
• Email to:
• Subject heading: "Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition."
Limit one story per author. Multiple submissions not allowed.
• All submissions will be acknowledged.
Submission deadline is April 25, 2005


• First Prize U.S. $100 and a copy of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)
• Second Prize U.S. $50 and a copy of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)
• Third Prizes (two) U.S. $25 and a copy of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)


• Winners will appear in the November 2005 online issue of Our Own Voice.
• The First and Second Prize short stories will be featured in the November 2005 issue.
Our Own Voice reserves the option to feature the Third Prize short stories in future online issues.


...And because it just seems so cold and unfeeling to leave you with nothing but the announcement, I will say that I'm headed to the gym for an hour or so. When I emerge, maybe I will have shed ten pounds of fat, gained five pounds of muscle, and have strikingly white teeth.

Or maybe I'll just be sweaty and tired.

We shall see.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Sacre Bleu!

Le Figaro reports that a previously unknown Alexandre Dumas novel has been unearthed in the bowels of the National Library. And boy was it dusty! The tome is having difficulty finding an American publisher due to the fact that its girth—all 900 pages of it—will make it difficult to carry to the beach in a standard-size Kate Spade tote.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Stick 'Em Up

Patrick passed me The Stick. The pressure is unnerving. Here we go...

You're stuck inside Farenheit 451. What book do you want to be?

The Little Wing Giver by Jacques Taravant. Come on, what kind of cretin would burn it? It's too cute to burn.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

Mr. Darcy. Okay? Is that what you want to hear? And Jawing from C.S. Godshalk's Kalimantaan (have you read this? go read this).

The last book you bought is...

I purchased Andalusian Dawn by Nick Carbo and Museum of Absences by Luis Francia at exactly the same moment. Which reminds me that I have to put a check in the mail to Eileen before she blogs about my thievery.

The last book you read is...

Kitten's First Full Moon (out loud to Lea at bedtime last night).

What are you currently reading?

The Demon and The Angel, Edward Hirsch
Maternal Desire, Daphne de Marneffe
The Comfort Women, George Hicks
Silences, Tillie Olsen

Five books you would take to a deserted island?

Love in the Time of Cholera, Marquez
The Divine Comedy, Alighieri
(me too, P!) The Odyssey, Homer
Song of Solomon, Morrison
Pride & Prejudice, Austen

Who are you going to pass this stick to and why?

1) Weez! Just because.
2) Gura because I want to know how many wedding books she's reading.
3) Rhett because I want to know how many wedding books Gura is making him read.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Some of the Many Things I Recall From the SFPL Reading

1. Getting a nice blogger-hug hello from Patrick Rosal who somehow recognized me. Seeing as how he was sitting at the front of the room and was obviously Patrick Rosal, I should have been the one to greet him, but I told you: I'm socially inept.

2. Meeting Nick Carbo and having him say he reads my blog. OMG.

3. The delightful Anthem Salgado repeatedly asking Miz Barbara Jane if he could read "One more? Is that okay?" It was vaguely, um, erotic.

4. Patrick reading his now-infamous "The Blue Room" while everyone remained firmly planted in their seats. Which is probably just one of the many differences between San Francisco and Utica (hi Oliver!). Just a guess.

5. A library employee s l o w l y wheeling in a tragically squeaky cart of coffee and cookies when Patrick was just a few lines into "Next." It took him what seemed like fourteen years to travel the ten feet from the door to the table, which was positioned to the right of Patrick. I could've sworn we were on Candid Camera. Patrick stopped for a moment to gamely announce, "Coffee's here!" before moving on.

6. Nick reading "Parajos," wherein he uses his shoe to take the life of an innocent scorpion and then fears that its mate will track him down and exact its revenge on him or--much worse!--his beloved.

7. Nick reading his lovely "Directions to My Imaginary Childhood." Me becoming obsessed with the title.

8. How to explain the sound of Luis Francia's voice? I can't. You should have been there, is all, to hear him read "Cinderella at Fifty" or "Password for a Hybrid Century."

9. Luis kindly signing my copy of Musem of Absences. The following exchange occurred:

Me: (blurting and incapable of maintaining dignity) I have so many of your books; you wouldn't believe it.

L.F.: Really? You have Eye of the Fish?

Me: Of course! And Vestiges of War, Brown River, White Ocean, Flippin': Filipinos on America...

L.F.: (handing me my book and backing away slowly) I'm honored.

Me: (insides crumbling, retreating, banging my forehead, mumbling) I'madork, I'madork, I'madork.

Okay, he didn't really back away slowly. He was gracious and kind to his dorky fan.

In conclusion, dear readers...Such a fine time and so nice to finally meet Eileen Tabios and to see Barbara Jane, Oscar Penaranda, and Marianne Villanueva.

Best of all, nobody said, "Are you wearing Old Spice?"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

A Familiar Scent

In a mad rush to get out the door this morning, I blindly grabbed some deodorant off the bathroom shelf, put it to use, and went on my merry way.

Well, all day I had the feeling I was being followed by my long-departed Lolo. I kept whipping my head around expecting to see him in his newsboy cap and one of his five hundred Izod cardigans. When I got home, I finally figured out why: I didn't grab my deodorant, I grabbed some weird little Old Spice sample deodorant.

Lolo always wore Old Spice.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Lost: Not Me! Found: A Little Hope

I usually get lost. I'm good anywhere along the Peninsula between San Francisco and Palo Alto, but take me out of that comfort zone and you can bet I will spend at least some time endlessly traversing strange stretches of freeway and muttering to myself. But today! Today I conquered 580 East and landed at my Oakland destination feeling like Little Miss Punctuality. It was important to be on time because I was taking my Mom to participate in a medical study.

Last year Mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). It's a fairly mild case so far, but she has balance problems that require her to occasionally use a snazzy little collapsible black cane. And wouldn't you know it?—A few months ago I read about a study that was testing a new treatment for MS patients with...ta-da!...balance problems. I got her all signed up, and we eagerly awaited this day. When I picked her up she was all cute and raring to go—all 5 feet of her—in her little black sweatpants and tiny black Pumas.

Basically, the purpose of the study is to see if wearing a weighted (anywhere from 1-3 lbs.) garment can correct the subjects' balance. I might add here that being constantly off-balance requires tremendous amounts of physical and mental concentration that can make it difficult to even—for example—walk while simultaneously spelling a simple word like "cat." I don't know if going into further detail compromises the study (don't laugh; it might, right?), so I will say no more except...I am hopeful. And most importantly, so is Mom.

I'll sign off with a token picture of me and mi madre at my Auntie Linda D's wedding circa 1972:


Reaping, Sowing

In a rare case of immediate karmic retribution, I find myself short an 8-pack of Dannon Light 'n' Fit Yogurt. No doubt you're sitting on the very edge of your seat; let me begin:

Yesterday afternoon while on the Safeway portion of an overly ambitious errand blitz, I looked at my watch and realized I was running way behind schedule. I headed for the checkout stand, grabbing random items off shelves and hoping against hope that I was choosing things we actually needed. Do we already have six boxes of Life cereal? Is there such a thing as too much oregano? These are the questions I asked myself as I zoomed around. A twelve-pack of Diet Pepsi, on sale for $3.50, was one of my last selections. I slipped it onto that handy little shelf underneath my cart and got in line. I glanced at my watch again to gauge the severity of my situation. It was bad: I had negative 26 minutes to make two more stops. And of course I was in the "talkative checker" line. Said checker ignored my silent plea of hurry, hurry, hurry, insisting instead on discussing her son's sleep habits, the difficulty of having a husband who works the graveyard shift, and the dangers of coloring one's hair too often. This would not have been a problem if she was capable of multi-tasking; unfortunately she was not. For the duration of each topic, her hands—which should have been ringing the groceries—remained infuriatingly still. Eventually, the transaction ended.

I packed half my bags into the car before I realized that I hadn't reached down to put my 12-pack of Diet Pepsi onto the counter. I had, in effect, stolen the soda. I played a few seconds of moral tug-of-war and, well, what can I say? The devil made me do it. I finished packing the car, climbed in, and ran the rest of my errands, all the while assuaging my guilt by saying I'd go back the next day to pay.

This morning, I went outside to grab something from the car and found that when bringing the groceries inside, I had inadvertently left an 8-pack of Dannon Light 'n' Fit Yogurt (peach and strawberry, if you must know) to spoil in the trunk. It cost approximately the same amount as the Diet Pepsi.

Let that be a lesson.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Go Marianne!

She's self-effacing to the point of lunacy, really, so I will merrily toot the horn that Marianne Villanueva refuses to pick up. Many of you saw this on the FLIPS listserve, but for those who did not...her Mayor of the Roses received an excellent review in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Toot! Toot! Toot!

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Evil Wears a Yellow Hat

Yesterday morning in Burlingame, after purchasing two of these hideous machines to help me, you know, breathe in my own house, a woman carrying a 2-year-old child in a backpack stopped me. She wore a floppy yellow hat, some sort of deconstructed Japanese-inspired black skirt, new hiking boots, and a plain white tee. "Excuse me," she said.


"Can you possibly help us get home?" She looked dead-on at me, her pale eyes calm.

"What do you mean?"

"Can you give me some money to help get us home?"

There was something off about this woman. Though she was wearing the child, it seemed somehow detached from her. It wasn't, for example, touching her in any way; it didn't speak. It simply sat in the backpack. Also, it was too old, really, to be carried in such a way. You know when Veruca Salt sits on the golden egg meter in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the arrow points to "Bad Egg?" Same story with this woman. "Sorry, no," I said.

Half an hour later, while I was sitting in the Crepevine and handily scarfing down my Tuscany crepe (chicken, pesto, tomatoes, mozzarella, mushrooms, yum, yum, yum), the woman in the floppy yellow hat strolled in. She took a look around, walked up to the counter, and had some sort of verbal exchange with the counter person, who leaned forward with her eyebrows scrunched up. Flummoxed, she handed the floppy yellow hat woman over to the Manager. I couldn't hear everything, but the woman then fabricated some story about being in the other day and having a bad experience and being promised another meal, free of charge. I heard the Manager call out for a tuna melt and grilled cheese. "Sit down, please," he said. "It will be ready soon."

But she didn't sit down. She finagled some orange juice and then paced around out front, never once speaking to the child (who was still in the backpack) or offering her any of the juice. The child didn't speak or interact with her, either. I guess the woman felt that having such an accessory would lend credibility to her bullshit, but anyone paying close enough attention could have seen right through her freshly scrubbed face to her inner creepiness.

Five hours later, I was walking down Santa Cruz Ave. in Menlo Park on my way to Kepler's for book browsing. Menlo Park, mind you, is a lengthy trek from Burlingame. The fact that I was there at all involved a number of interlocking, barely connected reasons one of which involved my pressing need to purchase My Little Pony birthday supplies for Lea (she'll be three tomorrow!) at an obscure spot in Redwood City, which is a 20-minute drive from Menlo. Got all that? Anyways, the distance did little to deter the woman in the floppy yellow hat because she was there. Asking a woman for money. And the woman—the mark! the sucker!—was giving it to her.

I almost said something. I almost started screaming about the possibility of the child having been kidnapped for the sole purpose of helping to procure free meals and a constant supply of five-dollar bills for the woman in the floppy yellow hat. But with my luck, the police would have arrived and taken me into custody for disrupting the peace. And to tell the truth, I felt like the woman in the floppy yellow hat was hiding some sort of sharp implement in the folds of her strange black skirt and that she would have had no problem sticking it right through my eye.

She was sinister.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Helpful Hint

If you want to get to bed at a decent time, do not—I repeat do not—begin watching the final hour of the The English Patient on HBO at 11:00 pm.

My sleep will be fitful, no doubt, and not entirely because Lea's toes will be pressed against my spine. My dreams are sure to be haunted by the perfect cheekbones of Juliette Binoche. The thumbless hands of Willem Dafoe. The glorious hair of Naveen Andrews. The English rose-ness of Kirsten Scott Thomas. And the strapping, desert-tan visage of one Ralph Fiennes.

I'm sorry; I'm too sleepy for links. And I'm sorry, too, if I'm committing some sort of literary sacrilege by being swept up in the film. I've never read the novel, you see, and have no point of reference. Off to bed with me now.

Monday, March 07, 2005

100% Pure Frustration

A new family has entered the neighborhood, and like everyone else in the area, I was doing my part to make them feel at home. Post-welcome wagon, the husband e-mailed me and asked if we were committed to sending our children to the local public school, why were the test scores so low, what's the deal, etc. I took a deep breath and—as many of us have done over the past few years—gave my shpiel about how deceptive test scores can be, how the school's cultural diversity is a strength that should be celebrated, that its demographic reflects the real world, that the staff is dedicated, the facility better than any private school around (save one, that sits on several acres above Hillsborough), on and on ad nauseum.

He thanks me for my detailed response and then goes on to express how language and cultural differences are a big deal to him. If a teacher has to spend extra time with an English-challenged child, he says, then that means less time will be given to his child. This is his biggest concern and the one that will determine whether or not he sends his kids to a private school.

*screams into pillow*

I can no longer think of how to talk to this type of person without offending them. How—without making this person feel like a complete ass-hole—am I supposed to urge him to think not of what his kid (whom he presumably thinks is worthier of a teacher's time and attention than any other child) will "lose" by being part of a diverse classroom, but what s/he will gain? How do I get him to ask himself if he would care half as much about "language and cultural differences" if the school had a sudden influx of fair-haired, French-speaking children?

And before you ask, yes, the view from my soapbox is sooooo beautiful.

Anyways, I think I have to pass this guy on to another parent. It's too far beyond my capabilities to convince someone of the folly of paying $15,000 a year to send their kid to an elementary school filled with other children who are exactly the same as their kid.


A Thing That Makes Me Go...Hmmmm

Why does that Michelle Malkin (I'd link to her blog, but I might make myself ill; can't have that) person look so...different?

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Rejected! (And On a Saturday, Even)

Was it unreasonable to hope that some of the star power from my previous post would somehow rub off on me. Apparently, yes.

Is it annoying that I do this? That I chronicle my rejections? (Rhetorical. Or not. Up to you, dear reader.)

In this particular case my rejector went into impressive detail, even quoting and referring to page numbers and whatnot. High praise was bestowed upon my title, which I thought was kinda funny (the praise, not the title). This person believes—and the point is well taken—that the true voice of the story starts on page 3 (what can I say? I like a good warm-up). S/he then went on to say that the voice ultimately didn't hold, started to wander, and became "topical." Yes, the word "topical" was underlined. I'm not sure what that means—"topical." I've been thinking topically about the topic of topicality for a few hours now, and am no more clear than when I began.


Friday, March 04, 2005

So Many Supahstahs

I suddenly find myself pleasantly surrounded by a constellation of shiny supahstahs:

1) Presenting...the new Assistant Pro at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, Señor Francis "Don't-Call-Him-Paqui" Delfino.

2) short-film sensation, all-around Renaissance Man, and FOV (that would be "Friend o' Ver") Ben Soriano, currently starring in Diez.

3) Presenting...future journalistic sensation Luisa Montes and her first-ever byline.

I'm getting all sparkly just typing! And speaking of can bet I'll be at this reading (as long as my parents babysit, my cousin Matt successfully finagles the afternoon off, and the moon is in opposition to Pluto, all of which—somewhat miraculously—look to be happening):

Celebrate the West Coast joint book launch of Nick Carbo's Andalusian Dawn (Cherry Grove, 2004) and Luis Francia's Museum of Absences (Meritage Press, 2004).

In a multi-generational Pinoy poet lineup, Nick Carbo and Luis Francia will be joined by New Jersey-based Patrick Rosal and San Francisco-based Anthem Salgado. Book signing follows.

Thursday March 17, 2005
SFPL Main Library
Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

100 Larkin Street (at Grove),
San Francisco
415-557-4277 for more information

You have just read this week's official Warm & Fuzzy Friday post.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Miss Nelly Negative

It's just that this is proving much more difficult than I anticipated. Why? Thanks for asking. It's because...

1) I am extremely allergy-prone, and my eyes and nose are reacting violently to all this airborne plaster and who knows what else. Believe me, I am not responsible for my nose during this time period. Also, I now have an attractive hacking cough. Want to have lunch? I didn't think so.

Does anyone know if an antihistimine will help?

2) I did not realize we would lose the use of our dining room, but Mr. Contractor is storing his 7 metric tons of Mr. Contractor tools in there. Upstairs is off limits, too. We're living in two bedrooms, the den, one bathroom, the living room, and the yard. If you don't think that sounds so bad, want to come over for lunch? I didn't think so.

3) With the sudden loss of space, Lea is feeling claustrophobic. "Why can't I go there Mama?" "Well, honey, because you might fall down that new hole in the floor and disappear. Forever."

On an upnote, I am pooh-poohing those who claim that it's impractical to put a stone floor in with three small children running around. I have but 5 words to say to them: Brazilian. Antique. Black. Slate. Yeah, I know, that was 4 words. Anyways, all the little chippy edges are honed, resulting in a warm, soft black which—once sealed—will be able to withstand any number of children...sorry. Turning into Cliff Claven (you will not believe how much time I just wasted looking for a photo to link to).

Subject Change Alert. Subject Change Alert.

Here's a few of the recent search words that have led wanderers to this here blog:

1) why + wear + pumas

2) fashion + don't + picture

3) pictures + of + montes + naked

4) cheese + weez + craft

5) anti + ver

And now, of course, my comments:

1) why + not?

2) I love it when I can be of help to someone who's working on their doctoral dissertation.

3) I don't know about you, but I see a connection between #2 and #3.

4) not + too + bright

5) Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!

That is all.

I Blog Therefore I (Sort Of) Am

The first sledgehammer of the morning is about to swing (I am even now getting, 'Jesus, lady, get out of the kitchen' looks from my nice contractor), leaving me little time to relax with you beautiful people. Perhaps I will go to the Apple store and blog from there; I have a favorite spot, after all.

Anyways, it struck me—in a sort of pathetic way—that I rely on this here activity to lend a bit of structure to my day. Without it, I feel like I'm wearing two different black shoes and walking around with my shirt inside-out. I wasn't willing to admit it before, but it's now painfully clear: I am BlogDependent.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Up & At 'Em

As an astute commenter (is that a word?) noted, Moms aren't really allowed to be sick. You can get sick; you just can't be sick. No lolling on the couch watching Oprah for a week, half-heartedly munching on the corner of a Sky Flakes cracker, and sipping Sprite while moaning about how crappy you feel. Although, thanks to the spousal unit, I did get to stay in bed thrashing about in my own sweat for quite some hours. That would be sorta sexy except it's so not.

Also, our home will be a construction site for the next ten weeks, and today is day #2. So in addition to the steel ball the size of an orange that seems to be banging around in my head, a thin film of dust coats me.

I am now going to do what any sane person would do: I'm going to my Mom and Dad's.

And, yes, I suppose I'll bring the children with me.


P.S. Everyone probably saw this yesterday, but just in's the super-cute Boondocks strip that the Chicago Tribune declined to run. I swear, some people have no sense of humor.