Tuesday, January 31, 2006

1, 2, 3

Sunny careened through cyberspace on a strange little moped-like vehicle, screamed "Tag!" right in my ear, and then raced off once again leaving a trail of questions in his wake. At least I think that's what happened. Regardless, I am happy to oblige:

Three books I can read over and over (as many of you know by now):
1) Pride & Prejudice
2) Song of Solomon
3) Love In the Time of Cholera
4) Midnight's Children

Three places I've lived:
1) The last house on a cul-de-sac in Daly City
2) M St. in Georgetown
3) Montecito, Ca., just outside Santa Barbara (Oprah totally copied us)
4) Vancouver, B.C., one block off Robson St.

Three TV shows I love:
1) Six Feet Under
2) Rome
3) Lost
4) The Sopranos

Three highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of:
1) Curb Your Enthusiasm
2) Deadwood
3) The Office (minus 15 minutes I caught last week)
4) The O.C. (oh, shush now, I'm kidding)

Three places I've vacationed:
1) Bangkok
2) Bora-Bora
3) Paris
4) Anguilla

Three of my favorite dishes:
1) French Fries
2) French Fries
3) French Fries
4) Rice

Three sites I visit daily:
1) Bookslut
2) The Superficial
3) NY Times
4) Lifehacker

Three places I would rather be right now:
1) people watching near the pool table in the lobby at the Soho Grand
2) standing in line for popcorn at a movie theatre
3) facedown on a massage table
4) perusing the sale books at Green Apple

Three bloggers I am tagging:
1) El Rich Villar
2) La Gladys
3) La Bec

Monday, January 30, 2006

Rainy Days & Mondays, etc. etc.

I don't want to, you know, jinx anything, but it appears that everyone who lives under my roof is currently in good health. If you don't count the coughing, that is. We sound like a herd of barking seals (seals travel in herds, do they not? I'm far too lazy to google it...). Maybe it's just the rain, but I'm still feeling a little zapped. So much so that the girls made their own sad little lunch today: string cheese, graham crackers, and apple slices. Vida put everything in pretty dishes, set them on a tray, and served her sisters in the living room. And for this I heartily thank her.


The excellent AD has bid adieu and turned off his comments, a deft move which prevents his readers from whining and screaming, "Noooooo! Don't go!" If I thought that putting my clenched fists on my hips and stomping my feet would woo him back, I'd do it. Alas.



In happier news, the Beauty & Power in Filipino/American Communities conference is zooming into view. It is always a pleasure to read with Jean and Miz BJ, and I'm looking forward to meeting Noel Alumit, whose Letters to Montgomery Clift I very much admire.


Would you believe I finally finished Jonathan Strange & Dr. Norrell? It was so satisfying to put that humungous muther back on the shelf. Delightful, truly escapist reading, by the way.


Now, about this whole Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie/Wuthering Heights thing. I am—I don't mind revealing—a fan of The Depp. The Depp will do a fine job sulking about the moors, howling, brooding, glowering. Angelina I am not so thrilled with. Maybe it will prove to be brilliant casting, but I don't think Kathy should be played by a woman who looks like she would just as soon kiss a man as pluck his still beating heart from his chest, attach it to some elastic, and use it to hold back her ravishing locks. Lalalalalalalala....

Thursday, January 26, 2006

In Yesterday's Mailbox

Ah, but the envelope belied the contents.

So did the paper, the choice of writing implements (crayons), and the random, 3-months-early wish for a "happy birthday."

The rest, however, was quite straightforward. "Dear Lea," it said. "I love you. I love playing with you at school. Love, W."

A smile just barely registered on Lea's face as I read her the letter. Her older sisters hooted and hollered, chanting the boy's name in that horrible, taunting, 6-year-old way. But somehow Lea—she who dissolves in a small heap of defeat if her socks are "bumpy"—maintained her composure.

She calmy took the letter from my hands and secured it on the refrigerator with no less than five magnets. She then twirled out of the kitchen and into her room, presumably to savor the knowledge of her conquest in private.

Girls rule.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

This Is Either Sad...

...or quite nice:

I have cookie dough in one hand and a teaspooon in the other.

Oh, but that's not all.

Lost is about to start.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tiny Amusements

A recent search that brought some silly googler to Nesting Ground: bridge to my Filipino nose. Sounds like a bad title for an even worse personal essay. One I could easily write, by the way...


Risa received a Magic 8 Ball on her birthday. First, she asked it what we were having for dinner. I then explained that she could only ask it a "yes or no" question. She paused for a moment, said "Does God really exist?" and then shook the hell out of the thing. When the answer came up, she shrugged and walked away.


We put our Dutailier nursery glider up on Craigslist yesterday (interesting to note that it hasn't been put to use in a good two years. Ah, but it's difficult to let go of some things...) and were immediately inundated with e-mails. In the end, two people remained to duke it out: an MIT alum and a class of 2006 Georgetown Law School person. How did we know this? Because both saw fit to include the information in their messages. Why? I don't know—inferiority complexes? Mr. MIT won out, probably for some scientific reason that only he—but certainly not I—can ever truly comprehend.


Unwilling to pay $45 to watch the Pacquiao-Morales fight, I made do with checking the internet every once in awhile until the results came through. I don't know whose report I was reading, I only know that I liked the writer's description of Morales being beaten by a "Filipino who came out punching and never stopped."

Saturday, January 21, 2006

2006 Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition




2005 Winner

Ivy Terasaka was an emerging Filipino writer in Singapore where she lived with her family. She was a contributor to Our Own Voice. To honor her dream of being a writer, we named this annual competition in her memory. Ivy and her family were among those who perished during the Tsunami of 2004.


Short stories must be relevant to the Filipino experience in the Diaspora.

Deadline: APRIL 25, 2006

•Format: Word document FILE attachment
•TWO TITLE PAGES – One with the author's name, the other without the author's name
•Word count: 2,000 – 3,000 words
•Only UNPUBLISHED works will be considered
•Email to our.own.voice@gmail.com
•Subject heading: "Ivy Terasaka Short Story Competition."
•LIMIT one story per author. Multiple submissions are not allowed. All submissions will be acknowledged.

•First Prize U.S. $100
•Second Prize U.S. $50
•Third Prizes (two) U.S. $25

Winners will also receive a copy of the print edition of Our Own Voice Literary / Arts Journal (2003)

Roster of Winners will be announced in August 2006 and featured in the November 2006 issue of Our Own Voice.

Members of the editorial staff of Our Own Voice are ineligible to enter the competition.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Down For The Count

Sorry for the lull, precious ones. Apparently—and this is worth remembering—too much pink can make you sick. Last night in a fever-riddled, half-conscious state, I tried to describe exactly how I was feeling. What I came up with (I think) was this: I feel like someone has used a hammer to tap two extra-long nails through my eyelids. The tips of those two nails cross somewhere in the middle of my head, creating a shower of sparks that, for whatever reason, make it impossible for me to open my eyes or speak without causing great pain. Near midnight, I realized that perhaps my tremendous headache was due to dehydration or perhaps simple hunger (I hadn't had anything eat or drink all day—not even Diet Pepsi (hi AD!). I stumbled into the kitchen, grabbed a blue plastic Sleeping Beauty cup, filled it with water, and then proceeded to spill it all over myself. I re-filled it, gulped the whole thing down, grabbed two Advil, refilled the cup again, and drank once more. As I fell back to sleep, I thought there's nowhere to go but up.

And I was right. I awoke this morning still feeling lousy, but at least able to function. Via the magic of make-up and a really hot flat iron, I even look almost human. And just in time, too, since Lea is now following in my footsteps.

You'll hear more from me soon. Just try to shut me up...

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

So Late, So Late...

I'm ever so tardy posting some pink pictures, and now I realize I can't really post any because they all include other people's kids, and one ought not post pictures of other people's children without permission. But here are a few. Just pretend you don't see that kid with the closed eyes in the second one.

My birthday girls:

The requisite make-a-wish picture (yes, that is a pink feather boa on the table...):

And, finally, Vida all a-tangle in a balloon bouquet:


And the following certainly warrants a separate post, but I want to put it in as close proximity to last weekend's pink joy as possible:

Congratulations miss bj & ob, you two lovelies.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

In The Pink

The Really Rather Alarmingly Pink Party fast approaches (look yonder; how quickly it doth approach!), and I have been busily pinking it up. Last night the spousal unit held up his hands in the international sign for "time out" (meaning, 'for the love of God, Veronica, did you have to buy the gigantic pink steel drink bucket?'), to which I responded, "The invitation said alarmingly pink, not 'kinda' pink! ALARMINGLY!" And what could the very good man say? Thas right.

Here are the goody bags, including the contents, for the girls. I'll attach some balloons (um, pink ones) at the party site. The bags for the boys proved far trickier, as I was thoroughly repulsed by my trip through the testosterone section of the toy store. Must all the boy toys be puke green? Must all the faces be vaguely, if not absolutely, demonic? Is nothing peaceful? The least offensive items were Hot Wheels, which I got quite happy with. My favorite is the midnight blue 1969 Dodge Charger. I fared much better at the stationery store, picking up some very excellent books of bug, dragon, and dinosaur tattoos, key chains, kaleidoscopes, etc.

I'm telling you, everything is pink. The pre-lunch snack is Strawberry Yan-Yan, for chrissakes!

My brother, a visual merchandiser by trade, has been hauled in by his earlobes to help make things right. I like teaming up with him on things like this. Together we made big balls of daisies for one of my best pals' baby showers. This isn't a very good picture, but if you look closely you can see four of 'em hanging from the lattice on my front porch.

We also devised this slightly creepy centerpiece (your eyes do not deceive you: it's babies floating in a stainless-steel swimming pool of daisies) for the same party, but you know what? In our highly questionable defense, having a baby—and in my friend's case, twins—is kind of creepy. I don't know why I can't make the picture bigger, but maybe it's for the best. Oh, whatever. Here's a long shot of the whole table.

Anyways, you lucky ducks...I fully intend to post pictures of the shindig! Unless of course this post has left me with zero readers. Which would be, you know, completely understandable.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

And The Award For OA Goes To...

If you're Filipino (or maybe this was just my family?) perhaps you remember a nifty little exclamation from the late 70s or so. This was uttered when someone was bringing the melodrama a little too hard: "She's so OA!" Other exciting derivations:

"He's so OA!"
"They're so OA!"
"It was so OA!"
"That's so OA!"
"Stop being so OA!"

OA meaning "over acting," of course. Well, taking a leisurely stroll through the hallowed aisles of Ranch 99 today, I found a product worthy of OA status. Doubly thrilling is the fact that it was a package of bihon! It was worthy of OA status because its slogan was, "Once Tasted Ever Wanted!" (exclamation theirs)

Quite a lofty claim for rice noodles, if you ask me...

*strikes the so-OA pose*

Monday, January 09, 2006

What Madness Is This?

I have an affinity for Where the Wild Things Are. Pages from the book sometimes seem to materialize right in front of my eyes. Remember this? So I'm not sure I need a live action version of it coming to a movie screen near me. Even if it's directed by Spike Jonze and boasts a script he wrote with Dave Eggers.
And even if Maurice Sendak likes it. Even then.

Part of the beauty of the book is that the minimal text (368 words!) requires work from the reader or (this usually being the case) the child who's being read to. The illustrations are lush, yes, but there's still so much left to the imagination. Or maybe that's just me.

Memo to Hollywood: lay off the collagen, and while you're at it, keep your greasy hands off perfect, jewel-like children's books.

There. I told them.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wha?! So Soon?

Friday is a minimum day for the whole school (although Kindergarten always lets out at 12:10), and as a general rule the kids run around for a bit as mothers chat and look on with a detached bemusement. Even Lea gets in on the action, often giving much older kids a piece of her tiny mind. I'm surprised they haven't yet devised a "Chuck the Preschooler Out of the Yard" game.

So there I was gakking away with two of my pals when Vida comes tearing towards us—terror written all over her face—and hides behind my back. Close on her heels was Mr. Very Tall & Handsome Third Grader, flowers in hand.

"Vi, who's this?" She made some muffled sound behind me. Clearly, she was going to be no help. "Are you in college?" I asked him. "Because you kinda look like you're in college."

This disarmed him, and he retreated silently. Soon, another young lady caught his eye: Risa. She was climbing a ladder on the side of the play structure. Mr. Very Tall & Handsome Third Grader approached slowly, still clutching the flowers. He said something to her, but since his back was turned, I have no idea what it was. She was looking at him like he smelled bad, but I'm guessing that he interpreted this as encouragment because he kept on with his serenade or whatever the hell he was doing. Hanging by one arm, Risa continued to size him up with a hilariously imperious gaze. Finally, she said, "Look. We're not playing this game anymore." He skulked off, and then Vida emerged from behind my back and ran back out to join the fray.

"That's right, cute boy," my friend K called out softly. "Just take your flowers and keep on walking 'cuz that twin fantasy is not gonna happen today."

I'm pretty sure I fainted after that.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Okay, Maybe Not Quite Back In The Swing

There were two eggs left in the carton. Enough to make a decent half-batch of Spam fried rice for the girls. Until, of course, I cracked one of the eggs directly into the sink. I looked at the bright yolk set against the stainless steel of the sink. In all its sunniness, it seemed to be mocking me. I briefly considered retrieving it. Instead I called it a bastard and turned on the water until it slipped down into the disposal.

Spam fried rice with just one egg is okay. I guess.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Back In The Swing

I've been sleeping in for two weeks straight and was paranoid that my body would automatically continue on its slothful path on this, the girls' first day back at school. But no. I was up and at 'em, brushing teeth and hair, tracking down wayward shoes, shoving things in lunchboxes, zippering jackets and hollering, "Let's go, let's go, c'mon, c'mon," like I'd never taken a break. Strangely exhilarating.

I started thinking about the Beauty Conference, but because attempting to think critically is just not—this is not news, I know—it's just not my strong suit, I ended up making a hair appointment and going to the gym. Hahahahahahahaha! Both things that have to do with physical beauty (or attempts at physical beauty), sure, but let's just say I veered way off track from my original intention. Loser!

[quickly changing subjects] Tonight I read Lea the violently un-Disney version of The Little Mermaid (the description at Chronicle Books claims this adaptation will "delight a new generation of readers," but, well, though it's beautifully written, I'm not so sure delight is the best way to put it) in which la sirenita is stripped of her voice (this happens in Disney, but of course there it's regained), loses her fin even though she knows that every step she takes on human feet will feel like being pierced with a dagger, and does not win the prince. To keep from losing her life, her mermaid sisters direct her to stab the prince through his heart while he sleeps with his new bride. She stands over their bed with knife in hand, but can't follow through. And so she turns to seafoam and descends into the Realm of the Air. When we got to the depressing end, I put the book down and started to settle the covers around us. Lea was all, "Wait, wait, wait. Was that the end? That's not the end..."

"Yeah, that's the end. I know it's weird, right? What a weird story. Okay, go to sleep." And she did, but I don't think she'll make it through the night without calling for me. Which is what I deserve for 1) not previewing the story and then 2) not letting her talk through her discomfort before bumrushing her to sleep.

Okay, so...better get in a few hours of shuteye before the inevitable...

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Little Game...

The Forgotten

The Huntsman to Snow White on the eve of her wedding: But I am the reason you live at all. I loved you first, and so well.

John Smith in a note to Pocahantas after her presentation to Queen Anne: I hear you are in London. Why do you not call?

King Arthur in a vision had by Guinevere in the cloisters on the first anniversary of his death: A convent? Dearest, you have gone too far.


Wanna play? A prize for best in show...