Friday, August 29, 2008

ADD + A List

I've often suspected that I have Attention Deficit Disorder, but I think now it must be true. All week long my head has been whipping from side to side, from politics to writing to reading to soccer to the school auction to shopping to working out to laundry avalanche prevention and back again. It's crazy.

So I'm looking forward to this long weekend and the time it (conceivably) offers to find my bearings. Meanwhile, I am thankful for the following things:

1. Barack Obama's acceptance speech (not even the atrocious Brooks & Dunn song they chose to play when he was finished could poke a pin in the balloon of my American pride).

2. My friend's hilarious soliloquy about the overall ineffectiveness of Spanx.

3. Risa's ability to apologize when she knows she's wrong. Very, very, very wrong.

4. Vida's jaunty leadership style.

5. Lea's good manners. "Best manners in the house," says the spousal unit.

6. The Full Bloom ladies.

7. The love my parents bear my children.

8. Date night conversation with the SU.

9. The abundance of flattering shirts at Anthropologie.

And..I would have to say...

10. Trader's Joe's Crunchy Green Beans.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mother As Object

The other day at Lea's soccer practice, Risa and Vida made their own fun by razor-ing around the park and socializing on the playground, which was about 50 yards away. At one point, they began yelling for me. "Mom! Mom! Wave at us!"

I dutifully complied.

"See? THAT'S our mom," they said. A few kids looked at me and waved back. (It says something about their constant state of LOUDNESS, does it not, that I could hear them have a private conversation from so far away?)

Later, I asked them what that was all about. "Oh," they said. "They didn't believe we were Filipino."

Happy to help. I guess.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Big September

I'm approaching September on tip-toe, peering around corners with caution, checking over my shoulder in case someone is in pursuit, and making and re-making plans. Anything could happen this September, you see. Because this is the September that Lea breaks into the ranks of full-time students, and this is the September that I will not (I will not, I will not, I will not) be the first to raise my hand when a volunteer is needed, and this is the September that I deal with the mental and physical strangeness wrought by what I now realize was a rather unnerving entry into my fourth decade of life.

This is The Big September.

Plans thus far include:

1) Plenty of Obama stuff, including participation in Camp Obama, which requires a commitment to travel to Nevada at least once before November. I'm hoping to recruit my friend J. to participate in the shenanigans. The next few days will be spent making calls to potential campaign volunteers in my hometown of Daly City. These folks have signed on to help, but haven't actually done anything yet. Perhaps I can win them over with my frog voice, nervous laugh, and failed attempts at humor. Go me!

2) Online writing workshop via Stanford Continuing Studies. I have heard Marianne and Cecilia talk about how, um, CHALLENGING these are from the instructor's point-of-view, so I almost feel bad signing up, but I think ten weeks of sustained focus on the reading and writing of short stories will re-orient me to writing life. (Oh, God, WHAT THE HELL AM I TALKING ABOUT?!)

3) Finding the right combination of physical activity and food intake that will help me locate the original (well, maybe not the ORIGINAL) smaller body that exists in this current—and increasingly foreign—body. I am SO confused, people. I feel like I'm navigating an entirely new landscape. Adding to my panic is the fact that I am NOT sedentary, and I do NOT eat a ton of food, so I don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing here. Bleh.

Reading back over the previous paragraphs, none of this seems particularly earth-shattering, but trust me: The Big September has been a long time coming. And so, to completely wed myself to the transitions (both obvious and implied) noted in this post, I have made a symbolic gesture of commitment and...chopped off my hair. I did it yesterday, and when I woke up this morning was shocked to be free of the nest of tangles and random curls and semi-dreads.

I think I'll get used to it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Useless Advice + Peter Pan Is A Wee God

The one thing you should make sure to bring along to Disneyland/California Adventure is...a personal massage therapist. Barring that, wear the right shoes. Also wear your Obama '08 pin, as the visibility factor is excellent (expect to be hissed at by one guy shall I put it?...has eaten a few too many foot-long hot dogs in his day).

Now, for your possible viewing pleasure, I offer the girls' exchange with everyone's favorite sprite: Mr. Peter Pan.

First comes the detailed conversation about various hat-wearing techniques:

Next, the girls strike P.P.'s signature pose:

When they request a hands-on-hips one, he takes grievous offense, screams a bratty, "No!," and turns his back:

But then gamely relents:

And now the countdown to back-to-school begins in earnest. Nine days to go...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Which Way to Neverland?

Summer is winding down, but those of us who reside here at Nesting Ground HQ are rousing ourselves for one last hurrah. In other words, my friends, we're heading to Disneyland. It's been about four years since we were last in the belly of the beast, and I trust that this time we will not spend every minute searching for the next princess photo op. This time, I daresay we'll be saying hello to Mr. Toad instead. And Mr. Space Mountain. And Mr. Matterhorn. And Mr. Peter Pan's Flight. And Mr. Mad Teacup.

You know what I enjoy about Disneyland? You either have to own the (admittedly ridiculous) experience or get the hell out. There's no room for attitude at Disneyland, people. You don't roll your eyes at Mickey; you smile. You don't pretend you think Pirates of the Caribbean is stupid; you happily wait in line for 30 minutes. You don't turn your nose up at Nemo; you board the submarine. You don't...well, you get it.

Now I'm all a-twitter. Be back soon.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Night Linkage

Look what Mr. Bino did! Ah, something so satisfying about seeing all those covers in one place. Makes for some easy shopping come holiday time, that's for sure.

Speaking of Bino, here's a link to his new blog, The Freirian Goes to Harvard.

And here is Grace Talusan's essay, "The Myth of Filipino Magnetism" at Kartika Review.

And here is the men's Olympic basketball team from Spain making asses out of themselves by "slanting" their eyes for an ad.

And here's a blog called Racialicious that's all about the "intersection of race and pop culture."

And, finally, I don't think I've ever mentioned it before, but I like what they do over at PinoyCentric: All Things Brown & Beautiful.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Unlike A Certain Gentleman From the South...

...Barack Obama is never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. He's never gonna make you cry, never gonna say good-bye, never gonna tell a lie (well, except for that damned FISA thing), and hurt you:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Filed Under: Things I Wish I Could Say

On a recent trip to Kepler's, I picked up the "Fantastic Women" (September '07) issue of Tin House.

It's billed as an "extraordinary collection of tales from today's most sensational, genre-twisting writers," and I'm not one to quibble. I've liked everything I've read so far, but especially a small section from an essay Rick Moody wrote about taking a workshop from postmodern goddess Angela Carter. In it, Moody describes the first day of class and Carter's struggle to whittle the group down to a manageable number:

After the break, there were still too many students who wanted to enroll. Perhaps she was a little exasperated. A guy in the back—and in this reconstruction he is very bored, stoned, privileged, or exactly the sort one often encountered in the Ivy League—asked, "So what's your work like anyway."

Later, I would have understood how much Angela relished this moment, the moment in which she made ribbons of an interlocutor. She paused for a minute, and then in her mild way, she remarked: "My work cuts like a blade at the base of a man's penis."

It was as if the class emptied on the spot...

Could I love her more? No, I could not. And as a small token of my appreciation for Angela Carter's sense of deliciously morbid humor, I will read one of her perfect stories tonight.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Today on Animal Planet...

Did anyone else burst into tears when they watched this frickin' Christian the Lion thing (please say yes, please say yes, please say yes)?

All I know is I'm gonna be sooooo embarrassed if it's some kind of elaborate YouTube hoax. In fact, I'm already embarrassed because I'm pretty sure that the Whitney Houston song ADDED rather than detracted from my emotional outpouring. Jesus take my wheel.

In other animal news, we have just returned from the lake where a sign proclaimed it was "Fawn Season." I tried to play it all casual, but then I realized it wasn't my imagination: the spousal unit wasn't letting me anywhere near the driver's seat. Which means that I'm not the only one still haunted by this scenario from three years ago.

Other odd facts about this weekend's lake trip:

1) I didn't step foot in the lake.

2) I didn't have an ice cream at the lake.

3) There were no grown men in Speedos at the lake. Just one boy who looked to be about ten years old; I promptly named him "EuroBoy."

4) I didn't finish my book at the lake. If fact, it seems like the more time I spend reading Little, Big, the longer it gets. However, if I do ever make it to the end, it won't really matter because I'll probably just start it all over again. All of which is to say, you should read this book:

Okay, I have to watch the Christian the Lion thing again.