Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Don't You Know Who I Am?

What with the rain and all, I decided to forego my usual Tuesday schedule of dragging poor Lea around on what feels like an endless—and often pointless—flurry of errands primarily aimed at keeping the house stocked with food, clean clothing, gifts for the five thousand birthday parties a year the girls attend, books (okay, those are mostly for me), and other various and sundry items, including Mach 3 razor blades, coffee filters, half-n-half, and salsa (the four things on which hinge the spousal unit's physical and psychological survival).

But like I said, it's raining and Lea was unhappy with the outfit I'd thrown on her this morning: jeans, pink turtleneck, lady bug rain slicker, and Hello Kitty beanie (what a brat! how could any sane 3-year-old bitch about a Hello Kitty beanie?!). The best thing to do after dropping the big girls off at school, then, was to hunker down here at home. And so we have spent the morning playing with blocks, practicing writing the letter "R" (I don't know why; it was her idea), and sticking marshmallows on sticks (again, I have no idea why). The marshmallow activity seemed to demand hot chocolate and cookies, and so we indulged: sugar cookies fresh from the oven (where were Izzy & Wily?!) and Pernigotti Cocoa perked up with a few drops of vanilla.

Well, the kid could not be happier. In the past hour or so she has proclaimed several times that I am the Best Mommy In The Whole World. This is downright inaccurate—I have chronicled several instances in which I am plainly One of The Worst Mommies in the Whole World—but you know what? I'm not going to correct her. In fact, I'm going to revel in her mistake. Inevitably, someone somewhere will be mean to me, thus providing the ideal opportunity for me to say, "Don't you know who I am?" Of course, they will be speechless, and I will continue, "From the look on your face, I see that you do not. I am the Best Mommy In The Whole World. Don't screw with me."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Here We Go

I am suddenly panicked at everything there is to do in the upcoming weeks: the shopping, the card sending, the house decorating, the play, the dance show, the cooking, the wrapping, the parties—one of which includes R & V's 6th birthday party (tentatively titled, "Risa and Vida's Extraordinarily Pink Birthday Party")—the this, that, and that.

Okay. Writing that down did nothing to alleviate my angst.

However. While I was sitting here wringing my hands, the trusty spousal unit secured nine Dress Circle (what does "Dress Circle" mean? does it mean I must wear a dress?) tickets to SF Ballet's Nutcracker and ordered our holiday cards from Shutterfly.

All of which leads me to believe...those who do, do. And those who don't? They blog, of course.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Five Things

First of all, the ugliest dog in the world has died. If he played his cards right, I'm sure he's sitting in a suede recliner in Heaven, wearing a smoking jacket and chatting up the bitches.

Second, here at last is an amusing use for emoticons.

Third, I just made a strategic personal-care mistake. I showered and then had a silent but brief debate with myself regarding wavy hair or straight hair. I decided on straight. I blew it straight. It was kinda wonderful. But—and here is the strategic mistake part—I still have to bathe the girls this evening. The steam from their bath will make my hair all curly. I will then be forced to redo my hard work until it's straight again. Which just goes to show you (or me, at least): don't argue with nature. Or...tend to the children first. I realize this is far more than you to need to know about me, but what can I say? I feelthisclosetoyou.

Fourth, as you know, I love paper and office supplies. Here is my new favorite link in that department. Plus, the website refers to my "unique ambitions." I cannot tell you how hard this made me laugh. Especially when you consider that my "unique ambition" for today was to have straight hair.

Fifth, ob reports a surge in searches from Metro Manila. I can only assume this means we'll all be receiving some hits from Ecuador. It's only fair.

I may or may not return to nest before the holiday. If I do not, I wish you plentiful carbs and a deep, restful sleep.

Sunday, November 20, 2005


Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw Risa and Vida pass by the kitchen door and down the hallway. I thought Vida was carrying Risa like a baby. I thought this was odd. I got up, walked across the kitchen, and looked down the hallway. They turned the corner into Lea's room. Vida was, indeed, carrying Risa like a baby.

"Are you okay?" I called after them.

No answer.

"Risa, are you okay?"

More silence.

Nothing to do, then, but follow them into Lea's room. Vida was sitting on the bed, and Risa was curled up in her lap. "Risa. Are you okay?"

Simultaneous exasperated sighs. Risa spoke. "Mom, I'm fine. I'm pretending to be a cat. Now will you please go?"

Friday, November 18, 2005


You're in touch with the world, and you have a very
strong opinion on things like politics and war.
Even if you do end up changing your image in
the future, most of us will still like you.

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I guess I should go buy some new sunglasses.

(via The Wily Filipino)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pinoy Blogger Party - Holiday Version

First, I was going to send out invitations carved on coconut shells and delivered to your doorstep by a barely clad island beauty.

Then I was going to send snail mail invitations written in invisible ink, which you would then need to hold over an open flame to decipher.

Then I got lazy and decided to send a goovite (mostly because I like the word "goovite").

Then I got truly lazy and decided just to blog it. Here's the plan, folks:

When: Saturday, December 10th @ 6:00

Where: Drinks/snacks/beats at Laszlo bar and then a quick Pinoy Parade (I almost wrote "short Pinoy Parade," but then thought better of it) to the Makeout Room for Writers with Drinks featuring our own Ms. Barbara Jane Reyes.

Leave a joyous comment if you're in! Leave a whiny comment if you're out! And since not everyone makes a regular stop here at Nesting Ground, please link away.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Same Time Last Year

AD is reminiscing about where he was—both physically and psychologically—this time last year. I, lacking for anything whatsoever to blog about (make that anything that wouldn't, you know, fully ingrain the image of me as a psycho suburban mother into your supple brains), glommed onto his idea and just read through my November 2004 archives. I'm now a little disturbed and, in some ways, quite sad. Why? Because...

1) I have no memory whatsoever of having watched even five minutes of Justin & Kelly, a film I can only imagine has inspired and uplifted the spirits of thousands of confused people.

2) If things had gone just a smidge in the right (oh, wait, make that left) direction, George W. Bush would not be our Fearless Leader. He'd be a wannabe cowboy oil baron with a Presidential Library in his future. Which reminds me. I need this bumper sticker:

3) Lea is such a big girl now.

4) I still eat at the Crepevine by myself once a week. My God what a loser.

5) U.S. fatalities in Iraq were 1,117. Right now we're at 2,061. (See #2, above)

On an upnote, it was about this time last year (under rather horrible circumstances. bleck.) that I met the distinctly non-boring blogger mentioned at the beginning of this here post. I am now raising my mug of hot green tea in salute to blogpals and all their bloggy ways. Amen.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Busy Lit-uhl Bee*

Just returned home from a rehearsal for R & V's school play, The Polar Express. I would like to officially doff my jaunty little cap to the volunteer director(s) because the only thing worse than having to watch the madness of one of these rehearsals is having to direct one.

Working backwards, I will now report on Sunday. The whole of Sunday was sucked up by my darling psuedo-niece's 2nd birthday party. Birthday parties at which the participants are all Filipino crack me up. The men stand outside talking on their cell phones, occasionally directing boys to be careful with the light sabers or other weapons they've brought, and the women? The women just walk around saying, "Have you eaten? Did you eat? You should eat? 'Sus, there's so much food!" I find this sort of gathering predictable, yet somehow comforting.

On Saturday, Marianne V. and I read together at Eastwind. Ms. Gladys, whose acquaintance I was so pleased to finally make, has a mini-report on the shared paranoia exhibited by Marianne and myself. I feel that I've finally purged myself of the paranoia, by the way, so be careful if you ever come to hear me read because I'm going to feel free to ramble 'til my eyeballs start to bleed. At which point I will refer to my reading as "performance art." Poeta also came out to see us, but was not wearing a rhinestone barrette. S'okay.

I like to read at Eastwind Books because it's cozy. This makes it a little easier to connect with the audience than at a place where the first row is, say, ten feet away. And I like reading at Eastwind because it's an end-destination bookstore. In other words, anyone walking through the door is not doing so in the hopes of picking up InStyle or, I dunno, The DaVince Code or Bergdorf Blondes. They are walking through the door because they're looking for Asian/Asian-American literature. Which means that even if they weren't planning on coming to a reading, they generally stick around if there's one happening. So anyways, the audience was nice and attentive, and they asked us interesting questions about process. I especially enjoyed that since I don't spend a lot of time considering the way(s) in which I work or, for that matter, don't work.

Afterwards, Indian food with Barbara Jane, Marianne, and my cousin Detsie. End result? Full belly. Drove home listening to some station playing several tracks off Madonna's "Confessions on a Dance Floor." I'm afraid I'm going to have to get it. Don't hate me because I'm dorky.

*said in creepy Joaquin-Phoenix-as-Commodus-voice*

Friday, November 11, 2005

It's Friday. Make Me Laugh.

Oh, never mind. I'll make you laugh.

I yanked both of these from the amusing blog of one Casey Ervin, who kindly surfs the web so I don't have to.

I kinda wish I knew this guy:

And I really wish these two had knocked on my door Halloween night:

Happy weekend, one and all.

Thursday, November 10, 2005


I want to eat something, but I don't know what it is. Because I'm certain that my appetite cannot be sated except by this "something," I have refrained from eating all day. Now's it's 1:15, and I'm getting pretty flippin' hungry. I tried to narrow it down. Something salty (this is common for me)? No. Something sweet? No. Savory? No. I switched to texture, and confirmed that I am not longing for anything crunchy, mushy, creamy, or tender.

I'm beginning to think that I should just suck on a lemon and call it a day.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Saturday @ Eastwind

First of all: go vote!

Second: Did your best friend stand you up for your weekly Saturday afternoon "find your bliss" pep talk?

Are you looking for an excuse to avoid your co-worker's daughter's fourth birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese? In San Bruno?

Have you been meaning to have a slice of mediocre pizza at a mediocre pizza place situated next door to a bookstore dedicated to the sale and advancement of Asian/AsianAm literature?

Yes, I thought so. Have I got a plan for you! Why not come see Veronica Montes (that would be me) and Marianne Villanueva read at Eastwind Books in Berkeley this Saturday @ 4:00? Details right here.

Now, I know what you're thinking: Ver, I'm so there! But I'm feeling a little funny about this. How in the world can I tell the difference between you and Marianne?

The difference, dear ones, is that Marianne is a Rock Star. She wears black liquid eyeliner, a bustier, and one of those headset microphones. Her choreography, as you will witness, is second only to Paul Abdul's in the seminal "Opposites Attract" music video. I, on the other hand, have greasy hair, zero costume changes, and am forced—due to severe financial constraints—to carry around my own equipment.

See you there!

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Pox On My House

One by one, we fall.

First it is the scratchy throat. This is quickly followed by sneezing, headache, and runny nose. Lea went first, and now it's Vida. Risa's eyes will be puffy and red-rimmed by Tuesday; by Wednesday she'll take to bed. I can't completely succomb, of course, or else our lives will dissolve like...like...like...Alka Seltzer in hot water. I just exist in the I-don't-feel-so-great-but-that's-okay stage, try to drink plenty of fluids, and—this is most important—distract myself. Yesterday, for example, I took two Dayquil and an Advil and then the spousal unit and I joined four other couples for bocce ball and wine tasting. Since I do neither of these things and was pharmaceuctically out of my mind, it was quite the interesting afternoon. Turns out—suprise!—I have a nice touch, bocce-ily speaking. Whether I could have done it without the drugs is a mystery to be solved on another day.

An aside: Saturday night brought another get-together with 40 or 50 of my high school classmates. My sophomore-year boyfriend—upon whom I have not set eyes in at least fifteen years—arrived sporting a mohawk and excessive neck jewelry. I do not think I'm being close-minded when I proclaim that this is probably not the most flattering look for those our age. The thing I found most amusing is that people felt that his sense of style was somehow attributable to my having dated him 5,000 years ago? Wha?!! Must I take the blame for everything? Very well, then.

*strikes the Guilty! pose*

Thursday, November 03, 2005

One Of These Things Is Not Like the Other, One of These Things Just Doesn't...Belong

A few months back I completed a grant application to do some extensive Latino outreach work at R & V's school. Well, we received the grant, and I've spent much of the last ten days in various conference settings with an earpiece on, having Spanish translated into English for me and trying to strike the right balance between wanting to help and not wanting to overstep boundaries.

I enjoy this work for the obvious reasons, but also because it's like a giant hand pushing me right out of my nesting ground comfort zone. It's an amazing experience, for example, to be the person in the room who can't speak or understand the language in use. And to be the person in the room about whom others are wondering what's she doing here? It's uncomfortable. And when I'm uncomfortable, I tend to play the aloof card. Perhaps some of you have seen me do this? Well, it's not an option in this situation since it would defeat the purpose for having started the whole thing in the first place. And yet I don't want to be seem like some crazed, annoying, and overeager nutjob, either. What to do?

In one of the meetings a woman from Mexico was talking about how the Latino community is made up of many different cultures and how some of them can't stand each other. She said, "We're not like the Asians—they all get along..."


Which Asians would that be?!!

Anyways, there is much for me to think about/sort through as I gleefully spend the grant money, so if ever I am away from my bloghome for a bit, that's probably what I'm doing.

And writing, too, of course. It's slow coming, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

TeeVee and Mee

Okay, is anyone else tuned into this Rx For Survival: A Global Health Challenge thing on PBS? With every second that I watch, I'm inspired to add new things to my ever-growing list of irrational fears. Mosquitoes and dead birds, for example.

To give myself a little breather from fretting about the West Nile Virus, I surfed over to VH1 for a moment. What I found there was worse than the prospect of any new and mysterious disease. In fact, in its own special way it was a new and mysterious disease. It was...are you ready, are you ready for this? do you like it, do you like it like this?...Antonio Sabato, Jr. singing "Every Breath You Take." Which led me to this conclusion: some men should just stick to modeling Calvin Klein underwear and try not to expand their horizons too terribly much.

I shouldn't be allowed to watch television.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Living It Up

My parents have been in Manila now for a week. The irrefutable proof of my adulthood is that I'm fairly freaked out about it. I do not care for this gallivanting around the globe where I cannot keep an eye on them. Unlike most of the Filipinos I know, Mom and Dad do not make an annual or semi-annual trek "home." In fact, it has been about fifteen years since my dad was last in the Philippines (and longer still for Mom). It was a work-related trip, and when the spousal unit and I picked him up curbside at SFO, he stomped out his cigarette, climbed in the car, and shut the door. He said, "I'm never going back to that goddamn place again."

Which is so, so, so my father.

While making the travel plans, he announced—with an infuriating glibness that is part humor, part defense mechanism—that he will die soon. I rolled my eyes and told him he was ridiculous, but apparently there’s no way to shake a man off the tree branch of his personal truth. I guess it makes sense, then, to return to the place where he was first loosed upon the world. He is making this trip with two of his brothers and his big sister, plus (most) of their respective spouses. I believe the last time the siblings were there together was before they immigrated. Not long after this photo was taken, I think. Dad's on the far left:

It's all very sweet, I think, and I only wish I were there to watch the whole thing happen. They are far too busy having fun, apparently, to keep us posted on the family board, but an e-mail from my Auntie L. did come in earlier today. Dad just bought a lechon, she reported, and they're gonna party at Uncle P's tonight.

That's as it should be.