“I’m through accepting limits
‘Cuz someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But ’till I try, I’ll never know “

— Defying Gravity, Wicked


what are you afraid of?  what limits you?  what pulls you down?

what is that one thing that you have always wanted to do, but can’t — or won’t, out of fear?

what cripples you?

Maybe it’s time to let yourself loose…

Time to close your eyes and leap… 
                                               time to defy gravity…

at 6:15 in the morning…

I think this is my favorite time of the day…

the whole house is quiet… nobody is awake but me… sometimes the sun isn’t out yet, other times it’s just starting to light up the world…

things that i think of at 6:15am, while waiting for breakfast to cook…

— i think of the things i am supposed to do for the day… places i am supposed to go to, people i am supposed to meet or talk to…

— i think of a good topic to write about — sometimes, the most interesting ideas come out early in the morning…

— i think of what i am going to wear for the day — do i feel like dressing up or do i feel drab and uninspired?

— sometimes i read my Bible. 

— sometimes i just listen to my favorite radio station…

— sometimes i dance like no one’s watching… because seriously, no one’s watching!

— sometimes i think of what i should do to get rich…

— sometimes i think of whether or not i am happy with my present self…

— i think of where my life is heading… where i see myself years from now…

— i think of the things i would want to do in this lifetime.. though sometimes that’s something too heavy for early morning thoughts…

And sometimes, no, make that most of the time, i just sit there and think of nothing.  I sit in the dining room, all by my lonesome, with a cup of coffee in my hand.  I sit and do nothing, think of nothing.  No worries, no pressures, no headaches…

I just enjoy every breath i take, savor each passing, quiet moment. 

Gathering enough energy to last me throughout the day…

Who’s Afraid of the … Big Blue Bullies?

watched a little league baseball game yesterday…

on one side were the families and friends of one team, most of them wearing the team’s school color.  all cheering their hearts out, giving support and encouragement to their boys on the field.  real Christian gentlemen and women.

on the opposite side were mostly fathers of the other team… cheering for their sons, and at the same time heckling and taunting kids 1/4 their age.  some even cheering joyously when a kid from their team rammed into a kid from the other team, making the latter writhe in pain.  big bullies calling themselves men for others.  it was so disappointing, really.

we let our children do sports because we know of the values that they will learn from them.  we talk about team spirit, perseverance, hardwork.  we want them to learn discipline. we want them to experience the joy of winning… and we want them to know how to  lose graciously.  sports should teach kids both magnanimity and humility.

so when the parents step in and act like sore losers… or when they heckle the opposing team, in front of their little boys… what example are they setting? 

it’s sad because they carry the school’s name with them.   for such a great institution to breed men like those… well, it’s disgusting, bordering pathetic, really.  such a disgrace, indeed.

in the end, the losing team won the afternoon…

Heart whispers

Each person has a distinct voice and a manner of speaking that make him or her different from everybody else.  That timbre, that pitch, that tone of voice… that unique way of expressing each word he or she says.

When i am missing someone, i try to hear that person’s voice inside my head.  I close my eyes and listen…

…and for a moment it’s like that person is just here.

And i let that feeling of closeness embrace me.

The voice in my head brings warmth to my heart. 

half awake… almost

i have been entertaining a house guest for the past week now.  my cousin who works in China decided to spend his Chinese NY break here, and openly told everyone he is staying with me.   by choosing to stay with me for the duration of his vacation, my cousin basically implied that i was more awesome than everybody else… either that or he was just too lazy to move from one house to another.  but of course, i wanted to be the perfect host.

and so for the past week, i have been so totally channeling the real kitchen goddess Giada (de Laurentiis… a friend of mine’s not-so-secret love).  not that i was trying to impress my visitor, but i had to feed him… daily… so i might as well not serve the same food over and over again. 

he wasn’t a demanding guest, really. his only requests were fried eggs in the morning (like EVERY morning) and never ending coffee refills.  how difficult is that?  but then of course i had to prepare lunch and dinner, as well. and yes, there were days when we invited other relatives to eat with us.  thus, the Giada moments.

 i like it when my best cousins come over for a sleep over (which technically has nothing to do with actual sleeping because we chat the night away and we never get to sleep).  these are the moments when we can catch up on things that are happening in our respective lives.  so imagine how it is when a cousin stays with me for a week… Our routine basically was — cook, eat, chat,  go somewhere (to eat and chat), come back home (for more cooking, eating and chatting)… til midnight and beyond…

if you remember my regular 24-hr day (see blog entry entitled 24), you should know that i am the first one up in the morning… and basically the last person standing at night.  i normally wake up at 5:30am, but on one day this week, i had to wake up before 5am.  i normally get to sleep around ten in the evening. yet one full week of entertaining a house guest meant sleeping much, much later than ten pm. 

it was only yesterday that i realized how tired i have become. my cousin and i were out in the mall, and i couldn’t stop yawning.  i felt like a zombie, really.  and it’s very rare that i feel like this when i’m at the mall.  i was practically sleepwalking.  my cousin was telling me to go back home and take a quick nap because he said i will end up being cranky in the evening.  well, i did go home, but i just couldn’t force myself to sleep.

last night we were supposed to have a dvd movie date at home, but we decided against it because we were both so tired…  and yet knowing that it was his last night here, we ended up chatting til midnight.  at some point he was asking me why i wasn’t cranky yet.

this morning, in my sleep deprived state, i ended up dropping an egg i was about to cook.  it almost woke me up, really. 

the scene was sad, bordering hilarious.  there i was – before sunrise- on my knees, wiping the raw egg and egg shells off the floor.  gone was the Giada glamour.  i was reduced to Cinderella way before she met her fairy godmother.

for a while there i felt like crying out of exhaustion.  but then when i looked back at the week that passed, i knew there was nothing to complain about… 

…for it’s not always that you have an Italian young George Clooney look alike sitting in your dining room, waiting to be served.     

perfect guest for the perfect host…




My Guilty Pleasure

I am not a TV person.  I rarely get the chance to sit in front of the TV for a long time, without distractions.  I used to have favorite shows… those which I really wait for every week. But then because of busy schedules, and because I’d rather do everything early so I can sleep early, there’s just no time for TV anymore.

 … Or so I say.  Okay, I’ll be honest.  For the past several weeks, during the day – sometimes even at night– I try to catch Glee. Yes, they are mostly reruns.  But whether I have watched the episode or not, I still take that one hour off just to watch. 

Watching Glee is like being transported back in time.  For one whole hour, I feel like I’m back in high school. 

Some things never really change.  There’s always the handsome jocks, the pretty and popular cheerleaders, the nerds, the misfits, the non-entities.  There’s that one teacher everybody adores, there’s that one teacher that everybody hates… okay, sometimes two, even three…  There are the performers, the drama queens, the bad boys (and girls). And then there are the normal people.  

Looking back at my high school days, I don’t really know where I would place myself.  Oh, I was a smart girl – that much I’m sure of.  I was grade conscious and I have always been a diligent student.  I know I wasn’t bad looking.  I was pretty vain, so everybody must have thought I was a stuck up.  But then I also knew that there were a LOT of more popular girls – not to mention with more developed bodies – that made me insecure when I was at that age.  There were those girls who effortlessly get the boys they liked.  There were those girls who get voted as muse year in and year out.  And did I say they effortlessly get the boys?

My friends never believe me when i say that i had a lot of insecurities in high school.  For some reason they think i was as confident as that girl with the long straight hair and the coca-cola bottle body… the one who got most of my crushes with just a snap of her fingers. I guess it’s true that your worst critic is yourself.  It is true that no one can make you feel small unless you permit them.  When i think about it, i did let a number of girls make me feel insecure… mainly because they were more popular and well, they easily got the boys. 

If there’s something I wish I learned early on in life, it is not to let the boys – or men—define you.  Back in high school, I felt bad whenever someone i liked didn’t like me back. Well, tough luck.  There were guys who liked me back then whom I never even attempted to talk to or be nice to (and they are probably multi-millionaires by now and don’t even remember my name). That’s just the way it is.

Several months back, I attended our high school reunion.  I saw people – classmates and non-classmates – whom i haven’t seen in ages.  Some, i don’t really remember.  But there were others who stood out.  Of course, there were my dearest, bestest friends… the ones i spent my whole teenage years with and who are still my friends ‘til today.  I got to talk to this guy i dated back in high school – and the whole time we were talking, i was asking myself WHY i ever dated him.  I also got to talk to this other guy – and the whole time we were talking, i was asking myself why I NEVER dated him.  And then there were people i talked to whom I know i never talked to in high school… but are really nice people, after all. 

Yes, high school was fun. The friendships i forged in high school are the ones that lasted long because we saw each other through our awkward stages.  My friends knew me and liked me then, even when i was still the ugly duckling that i felt i was.  Come to think of it, we were all ugly ducklings then, in one way or another. 

I like watching Glee because for a moment I get to remember how things were when I was growing up.  Along with the remembering comes the wondering as well… of all the what ifs and what could haves.  But then a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine, being the grinch that he is, said that at a certain point, we have to stop looking back at the past because it’s over and done with.  Somehow it made me realize that yes, I’m all grown up, and as much fun as high school was, i am at the here and now.  And i like where I am. I like what I have become. (Do i dare say that I like the goddess that I have become?)

So why is Glee my guilty pleasure?  Okay, so now I confess…. I only watch the show because i think that guy who plays Finn is such a hottie… 🙂



Now that sounded kinda Jack Bauerish.  Somehow i can’t help but hear the seconds ticking away in my head – as it does in the show.

I have been here in the kitchen for the past hour, awakening the kitchen goddess in me, attempting to create a masterpiece for dinner.  As i wait for the food to cook, i couldn’t help but think of how fast the day went… and wonder if i spent it in a productive way  (thus, the transformation from kitchen goddess to Jack Bauer).

 This is today’s version of   My  24…

5:30 … alarm rings

5:31 … snooze

5:35 … alarm rings again

5:35:15 … snooze

(okay, so that basically went on every five minutes until 6:05 when i finally decided to wake up and start my day)

6:10 … prepare breakfast, packed lunch, school uniform

6:30 …  wake up child

6:30:30 … take a shower

6:45 … still taking a shower

7:00 … dress up in a rush

7:30 … bring child to school

7:40 … pray for no traffic

7:45 … pray harder for no traffic

7:55 … child in school 5 minutes before the bell. (Yey, what a feat!)

This has by far been the most boring 2 hours in Jack’s life, should he be in my shoes.  I do wonder how he can fight terrorists, fly to another continent, fight more bad people, defuse a bomb, etc. etc. all in one morning.  I have already used up about 2 ½ hours and the farthest i have been to is my child’s school.  And you saw how exciting those two hours were. 

Fast forward to 11:00… by this time, i have already consumed about 3 cups of coffee (to jumpstart the day, thus more excitement); i have been to the bank; i have gone to the other household that i’m managing, talked to the workers repainting the other house; left instructions with the domestics; gone to the grocery to buy enough food to last us for two weeks… i have talked to a couple of friends using my cellphone…

11:05… talk to architect…

11:55:10 … architect leaves… multitask : can now chat with someone from the other side of the world (who says that Jack is the only one who can communicate with people in other continents?); chat with someone from this side of the world (who says they actually work while they are at the office?!);  

15:00 … still chatting with that someone from another continent, and that other someone who’s just here somewhere… done fixing files… okay, so not really done, but at least the attempt to fix was there…  balanced my bank account already…

15:05 … get ready to pick up child from school

10 hours have passed from the time i was supposed to wake up.  Jack probably has killed a gazillion bad people in ten hours. 

Before i bore anyone with the details of the remaining hours leading to here and now (exactly 19:29:50), guess i’d transform back to the kitchen goddess that i am aspiring to be.  Jack Bauer will probably go crazy if we trade places for a day.  So far the most challenging part of my day was keeping my pretty pink toenails from breaking or getting scratched.  

That and oh, yeah, saving our dinner from burning….


I Want to be a Princess…

Okay, now that sounded funny.    It actually sounded like something a 5 year old would say when asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”  (Well, during my time, at least. I think 5yr olds nowadays would rather be Hannah Montana or Taylor Swift…)

I remember several years back… when I was just a couple of years out of college, still single and without real responsibilities, I was posed the question, ‘What is your dream job?’  My reply was, “I want to be Snow White.”

Yes, I wanted to be that Disney Princess who has seven little bodyguards.  My dream job was to hang out in Disneyland, wearing that blue and yellow dress, with that red bow on the head and a plastered smile on my face.  I even know by heart the names of all the seven dwarfs.

Why Disneyland, you may ask.  Well, isn’t Disneyland supposed to be the happiest place on earth?  So that’s a no-brainer.

But then, why Snow White?  Here are my reasons why…

Well, for one, who wouldn’t relish the thought of having  eight men adoring you? (7 little ones + Prince Charming = 8) .  Isn’t that such an ego-booster?  Even the huntsman couldn’t find the heart to harm her…  (So that makes it 9 men, at least).   Talk about appeal.  That would work perfectly well for my self-esteem…

Secondly, Snow White can talk to the birds and other animals.  She can boss them around, too!  Remember how the animals helped her clean the cottage of the 7 little men?  Wow, i wouldn’t mind having animals doing the cleaning for me.  Really, I wouldn’t mind at all.

Then there’s Prince Charming.    How can one resist the thought of having a Prince Charming?  He may be the Prince with no name, but other princes– and yes, even non-princes, are patterned after him…  Take for instance, the number of times you hear someone saying “I am waiting for my Prince Charming.” Or, when someone gives a girl the advice, “Don’t just settle. Wait for your Prince Charming…”  Surely, PC must be the embodiment of the perfect guy!   Have you ever heard someone advise you to wait for Prince Philip or Prince Eric?  No. It’s always, always, Prince Charming you ought to wait for. 

And yes, perhaps the ultimate reason why I choose Snow White….  The Magic Mirror roots for her.    Pardon me for talking about magic mirrors yet again, but this one is THE magic mirror — the one that doesn’t lie.  This magic mirror chose Snow White… and it’s not even hers!  Talk about (dis)loyalty or honesty, however you would want to look at it.  Point is, even magic mirror was pro-SW.  (And you know how i feel about magic mirrors)… Ergo, Snow White must be one hell of a princess to have them all smitten by her.

So there, If i were to be a princess, i wouldn’t want to be the one who sleeps a hundred years … nor the one who cleans the house the whole day and is at the mercy of two ugly stepsisters… nor the one who has a tail instead of legs (scales instead of skin? eeew!) … 

No, I would be the one whose lips are red as blood and with skin as white as snow… And yes, I am the fairest of them all

(… of course no one can contest that.  I have the magic mirror to back me up!)