Cento e uno

"Her cousin is here... she can't be disturbed."

I have been trying to blog these past few days.  Believe me, I blog in my mind… in my sleep… in the shower… in the kitchen…  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find enough time to sit down in front of the computer and key in whatever ideas I have. 

I feel bad, really.  But it happens.  The hustle and bustle of daily life happens. 

Now I have a house guest.  He’s Italian, so I love him.  You know how I love everything Italian.  Nah, I have a visiting cousin (who’s half-Italian)… and we haven’t seen each other in years.  This is our time to catch up.  And it will be quite rude if I stay in front of the computer — blogging about him without his knowledge — while he’s at the living room communing with the television.

So, this is it for now.  I promise to be back soon with something more interesting and meaningful.

Ciao…  

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photo credit: image via weheartit.com

Milestone 100

Welcome to my 100th blog.

I have been so looking forward to this post.  It seems only yesterday when I started blogging — I mean, seriously blogging… and now you are reading my 100th entry.  Honestly, I never thought I’d reach this far.  As much as I love writing, I do run out of ideas and interesting topics that most of the time I wonder how I will be able to sustain keeping a blog. 

Now that I have reached my milestone 100, I promised myself I will make this entry an interesting one. 

If only I can think of anything exciting to blog about…

~*~

I just realized that I haven’t written anything new since that Menudo article sometime last week (see Tuning In to the ’80s post).  To be honest, I let the entry “sit” for a while, allowing the readers to enjoy it first before I posted something new.   And then I just became so busy that I never got the chance to stay in front of the computer long enough to type something. 

I tried to check my stats, though, at least once a day… and much to my dismay, my hits just dwindled.  Yesterday was a new record-low.  As of 10pm, I had 0 views.  That totally hurt my psyche.  99 blog posts and I am back to 0 views.  I am back where I started. 

Once again I am reminded of the quote from the movie Field of Dreams : “If you build it, they will come.”  I haven’t written anything lately, ergo, I have no readers.  Makes so much sense.

So, this is my 100th entry.  Welcome me back to blog world!

~*~

For lack of any new and interesting happening in my daily life, I tried to find inspiration from my favorite tv shows.  Let’s see where it goes from here… 

~*~ 

Remember the tv show Charmed?  The one about three sister-witches who could kick butt — and who all happened to be good-looking.  I watched that show for 8 seasons.  To this day, I remember their 100th episode.

the ultra hot Cole Turner

In this episode, they killed off the character portrayed by Julian McMahon.

Julian McMahon played the role of Cole Turner aka the great demon Belthazor, who also happened to be the ex-husband/great love of Phoebe (Alyssa Milano’s character).   In this episode, Cole cast a spell to alter realities so that he can have Phoebe back (without the Charmed ones having to fulfill their destiny of kicking demon butts), but in the reality he transported himself to, he found out that though Phoebe was with him, she obviously didn’t love him. 

There was this particularly moving scene where Cole confronted Phoebe and when he asked why she can’t make things go back to how they were between them,  she replied, “Some things are just not meant to be…” 

How many times have we faced that realization in our own realities?

~*~

Criminal Minds’ 100th episode.  The BAU were tracking down George Foyet aka the Reaper, a notorious psycho killer (convincingly played by C. Thomas Howell) who was playing mind games with Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner.  In this episode, the Reaper went after Hotch’s family– who were already under protective custody of the FBI, but since the Reaper was smart and cunning (and since it’s just a show), of course, he was able to track down Hotch’s family. 

Before the episode ended, Hotch’s wife Haley was killed by the Reaper.  But before he shot her, she was able to talk to Hotch on the phone.  It was a moving farewell spiel… where she made Hotch promise that whatever happens, he will make sure that their son Jack will know about love — and that Jack’s future will not be defined by death or darkness.

the painful goodbye

I felt what she said, really.  Maybe it’s because I’m a mother, too.  And as a mother, you would want to make sure that your child grows up knowing what love is… finding what’s good in this world, and not letting sadness or grief get the upper hand.  It was a riveting scene because while at the doorstep of death, Haley was still thinking of her son and the possible outcome of what was to happen.  It was the last selfless act of a mother.  I found myself in tears.

And C. Thomas Howell’s portrayal of George Foyet a.k.a. the Reaper was just spectacular.  In fact, he was pure evil.  Who would have thought that this was the same pretty boy who appeared in the movies Outsiders and Secret Admirer?

It was truly an intense 100th episode. 

~*~

Grey’s Anatomy’s 100th episode was supposed to be Meredith-Derek wedding.  Instead, it was Alex and Izzie who ended up getting married.

Izzie-Alex wedding

What’s memorable about this episode were the voice overs in the beginning and closing of the show.  To quote Izzie’s closing voice over, “You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to someone or something. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soul mate. The day you realize there’s not enough time, because you want to live forever. Those are the biggest days. The perfect days.”  (from tv.com)

Yes, we don’t always know what will or what can happen in any given day.  And most of the time, what may stand out are the things that we never expected nor planned.  It’s the little surprises that turn your day into something big.  You start off having a regular day and end up experiencing something that will stay with you  for a very long time.

~*~

I started off with this blog not really knowing where it’s headed.  To some it may seem like a hodgepodge  of ideas. 

But I did learn some valuable things in the process…

For one, I relearned that writing is not easy.  There are off days… there are days when hard as you try, you just seem so stuck and you just want to begin your piece with “In the beginning…” or “Once upon a time,” just so you will have an opening line.  Second, I learned that when something really affected you somewhat, you are bound to remember it more easily than the other mundane things in life.  Like the episodes I mentioned above, for example.  I remember those episodes because of the scenes and the lines that moved me.  Third, you reach different people in different ways.  Not everyone appreciates a certain quote exactly the same way.  People pick up or discover things from where they are in life, depending on what they need to learn most on a given day or at a given time.  Some ideas are more valuable than others.

Lastly, this painstakingly long exercise of writing this 100th blog somewhat reminded me of the reasons why I blog on the first place… It’s because I want to share what I know.  It’s also because I want to remember stuff.  And all the more so, it’s because I know that as you read my entries, you get to know me better… and as I write them, I get to know more about myself.

Here’s to the next 100… Ha- Ooh!  (the Spartan way!) 

Ha..Ooh!

 

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photos via google image; Grey’s Anatomy quote via tv.com

(tv show episode summaries from own memory)

 

 

 

Tuning in to the 80’s

Music, indeed, has the magic of transporting you back in time. 

I was sitting in front of the computer this morning when I heard the radio blaring from the neighbor’s lot.  There’s an ongoing construction and it seems the workers are hard of hearing that most of the time, the radio is in full volume.  This particular morning they were playing mushy love songs from the 80’s. 

Ricky Martin rocked my world!

Before long, I found myself humming along to Menudo’s “If You’re Not Here.”  Okay, I admit, it was more fun belting out the song.  Humming doesn’t do it justice.  And as if Menudo is not enough, the next song was from Air Supply.  I didn’t sing along anymore this time, but truth be told, I do know the lyrics to the song, as well.  Shame shame shame. 

To the young ones reading this who have no idea who (or what) Menudo* is,  Menudo was a Puerto Rican boy band formed in the ’70s but achieved success and became really popular in the ’80s.  Long before the Backstreet Boys, NSync and 98 degrees, was this boy band.  This was where the ultra hot Ricky Martin started (he was still a young and cute Ricky Martin then, though I always knew he had the potential…).

Going back to the main point of this blog, music does have a way of zapping you back to another time.  Sometimes when I hear certain songs, it feels like I’m back in time… at the same place, exact same moment.  Being an 80’s girl — I was in high school during the latter part of the decade — I truly get a certain sense of ‘high’ whenever I hear 80’s music (mushy or otherwise). 

80's music rocks!!!

Allow me to share some 80’s songs that still transport me back in time and the reasons why…

1)  You to Me are Everything by the Real Thing.  “I would take the stars out of the sky for you…Stop the rain from falling if you ask me to..”    How can you not like that? 

I remember our school fair, sophomore year.  My friend and I requested this song to be played for this senior guy I really, really liked.  In secret, of course.  Senior guy saw me sitting on a bench while the song was playing, walked straight to me while singing along.  I was on cloud 9.   I was 14… and I thought I was in love.

2)  Upside Down by Two Minds Crack – One morning after a marathon telephone conversation the night before with senior guy, I woke up and heard this music playing on my radio.  The weather was cool, the day showed so much promise.  It was a moment I wouldn’t mind reliving.

3) Take On Me by A-Ha.  Loved the song. Loved the video. 

4)  Melt with You by Modern English –  My sister’s anthem. Because of the number of times that I heard her playing said song over and over and over again, of course it stuck to me.  Recently I saw again on tv the movie Valley Girl (where the song was played).  Couldn’t believe that it was Nicholas Cage who starred in said movie! 

5)  Borderline and Crazy for You.  One word: Madonna.  Along with Like a Prayer, favorite karaoke songs ever.  No shame!

6)  For Just a Moment (Love theme from St. Elmo’s Fire).  “We laugh until we had to cry and we love right down to our last goodbye…”

I remember one afternoon in a house in San Diego, my best friend/person and I were in a room and we were singing this song.  I remember one of us holding a piece of paper with the lyrics (so we can do it right).  I think I was about to leave in a few days.  We were both teenagers then.  Fast forward twenty years, we are still the best of friends.   

lookin' for the love getaway...

7)  Love Shack  by B52’s.    “I’m heading down the Atlanta highway, lookin’ for the love getaway…” 

Moment in time: Me singing and dancing to the song… while someone on the other end of the phone patiently waits — and listens.  Best guy friend I ever had.  Still holds a soft spot in my heart ’til today.  I wonder where he is now…

~ * ~

It’s nice to reminisce.  It’s nice to sing and still know the lyrics of the song.   Whenever I hear 80’s music, I remember my friends… I remember my growing up years… I remember having fun.   I think about the people I shared those moments with and I am grateful that my friends then are still my friends up to now.  Well, at least most of them.  I remember about past loves and heartaches and realize that I have outgrown them all.

We hear these songs and we remember… and we relive the moments.  We smile, laugh, we cringe, we get embarrassed.  But mostly, we feel good… and the feeling stays somewhat.

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Note : *Menudo is also a traditional Mexican dish made with beef stomach in clear broth.  May also be the traditional stew from the Philippines made with sliced pork and calves’ liver (reference: wikipedia)

**Info on Menudo band from Wikipedia

***photos via google images

Not exactly skeletons in my closet

no skeletons here, just clothes. lots and lots of clothes!

When we had our house built last year, one of the things that I implored my architect was that they give us enough closet space, specially in the bedroom.  I wanted to have space for my clothes and shoes… and bags.   My wish was granted.  The cabinets in my bedroom run from end to end (tastefully done, of course). 

Before moving, I sorted my clothes.  Basically it went like this:

1. Clothes I wear all the time —  These are the shirts, jeans, blouses, even  sleep wear that I normally use.  Some old, some new… these are the comfortable ones.  

2. Clothes for special occasions or for time of vanity –  These are for those celebrations that I get invited to — baptisms, graduation, recognition day and other milestone moments.  These are also the blouses I wear when I just want to feel prettier or I need to brighten up my mood. 

i believe in charity

3.  Clothes still wearable but I am willing to part with –   These are the ones that are either not in style anymore or I hardly wear but I know will make someone else happy, so I am willing to give to charity or to pass on to someone else.

4.  Clothes I never wore –  I can’t believe I have a lot of these.  Mostly gifts from someone (mom, aunt, other relatives, He-Man).  Some are really nice but are just not my style.  I keep them because I don’t want to hurt the feelings of  the giver, but I just can’t find the nerve to wear said clothes. 

A little side note on this… I try to appreciate everything given to me.  Even clothes… specially clothes.  However, there are people who give you something they like, rather than what you like.

Scene 1   

  • Mom:  This will look good on you (holding a brownish pair of culottes)
  • SGM:  Nah, I don’t think so.  I don’t like the color. (thought balloon: Oh gosh, what color is that??!)
  • Mom to saleslady:  Okay we’ll take it. It looks good on her. (Saleslady happily walks to the cash register with the cash. Kerchink!)
  • SGM: Uhm, can’t we have it in black, instead???!
Scene 2

great when you have slender arms
  • He-Man :  How come you don’t wear sleeveless shirts?
  • SGM : I told you, I’ve always been self-conscious about my arms.  I think they’re big. 
  • He-Man : I bought you a really nice Chinese blouse
  • SGM : It’s sleeveless…
  • He-Man : It’s silk!

And then they feel bad that I never wore the culottes nor the blouse.  AND I never heard the end of it.  He-Man says it would be much better if I give it away than keep it in my closet without any intention of ever wearing it. To which I replied: But it’s silk!!!

The thing is, if you really want to make someone happy, do you choose to give that person something that he or she likes or something that YOU like?  Who are you pleasing, anyway?

5.  Clothes I will wear when the right time comesIF the right time will ever come.  I am so guilty of this.  I buy clothes that hardly fit and keep them because I believe I will lose weight — or inches — eventually.  Yeah, like in three years.  I have pants that  are practically growing cobwebs in my cabinet, waiting for me to lose those inches… 

6.  Clothes that nobody should be caught dead wearing People retire. Even clothes should.  Perhaps these are the most loved clothes — some about a decade old, some even older than my son… But they are the softest! And yeah, they are tattered, too.  Some are really hard to let go of  or I keep for the lamest reasons. (But I wore that dress to so and so’s wedding!!  Yeah, 10 years and 10 pounds ago.)

And so I decided to get rid of the ones I had to get rid of… yet ended up with still a closet full of clothes.

color coordinated, even

Now, ten months later, I am looking at my cabinet and it seems like the rod is about to fall anytime.  I have about 7 pairs of pants from the “someday I will get to wear them” group that are still hanging.  There are blouses that I keep for sentimental reasons.  There are dresses that come with a prayer — that I will lose 5 or 10 pounds soon.

Yet everyday I complain that I don’t have anything to wear.  Is it just me or do women really have these issues? 

… and I haven’t talked about the shoes yet!

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photo credits: via google images

as good as it gets

How this Friday went…

A.M.

  • Got son’s report card.  Scared off   Talked to son’s teachers.
  • Commended son for having such high grades (and I mean REALLY, NERDY high!)
  • Beamed like a proud mama.  (Proud to be a proud mama.  If that makes sense)
  • Brought son to classmate’s house for some activity.
  • Met with sister. Sister decided to ditch SGM when her boys (translation: husband and son) became jaundiced (translation: bored and edgy)
  • Went home to lounge in front of the tv   

    love 'em!!!

  • Watched rerun of Criminal Minds (same episode shown last night) 
  • Watched Australia’s Next Top Model cycle 702 (?)
  • Tried to mimic how Australian models walked… and talked.

P.M.

  • Forgot to eat lunch, was so busy imitating the Australians.
  • Visited the dentist.
  • Listened to crappy love songs while waiting at the dental clinic. Not by choice. Dentist’s secretary listens to only one station.  Patients have no choice but to bear the music (new form of anesthesia?)
  • Picked up son from classmate’s house to bring him to yet another activity.
  • Found out son and friends are swimming — fully clothed.  “Mom, they threw me into the pool!”  Yeah right.
  • Supermom found extra (dry) clothes for son in the car. Nice one, Supermom… that’s why you’re super!
  • Brought son to next activity
  • Went malling while son was busy.  

    love it!!!

  • Bought a bottle of cologne.  Proud mama deserved a gift!
  • Thought of buying superson a prize for having nerdy high grades.  Didn’t find anything he liked, though. Tough luck!
  • Went home
  • Basically stayed in front of the tv — since son was hogging the computer the whole night.
  • Watched America’s Next Top Model cycle 999 (they never end, really!)

… and then…

  • Watched another episode of Criminal Minds  (did I say I love Derek Morgan?)

Perfect ending for a relaxed day.  Really looking forward to a relaxing  baseball-free weekend, too!

xoxo

 

Signing off for the week,

SGM

 

 

 

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photo via google images; weheartit.com

The things money cannot buy

for how much?

For several days now, this song about wanting to be a billionaire (so freaking bad) has been playing over and over in my head.  And so yesterday, it got me thinking about the things that I KNOW I will spend money on if, by any chance, I become a billionaire.  The idea was to blog about it.  Come up with a list and share it with fellow bloggers — and even invite blog friends to share their thoughts on how they intend to spend their billions. 

Everything comes with a price tag. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

This morning, as I was drawing up a list in my mind, I couldn’t help but realize that there ARE indeed things that money cannot buy.  We have heard about the lines “Money can’t buy happiness,” and “Can’t buy me love” numerous times.  The great Beatles even wrote a song about the latter.  But other than happiness and love, I came up with other things that surprisingly cannot be bought.  

So I decided to shelve the Supergoddess shopping list first to dwell on…  

The things that money cannot buy:  

length vs width

1)  Height. We know that there are so many products out there that claim they “can make you slimmer in just so and so days.”  You may choose between popping slimming pills, buying a treadmill or even that Total Core equipment (that I so intend to buy).  Or you may go to a slimming spa where they will use all these gadgets on you “to break the fat.”  If you have the funds and the courage, you can go under the knife — have a tummy tuck or a lipo.  

Yes, if you have the means, you can buy your way to a sexier you.  Yet I don’t think I ever came across something that can make you taller “in just seven days.”  At some point, each of us stops growing.  And that’s it.  You can’t add or lose inches (in height) depending on your food intake — unlike how one’s weight can easily go up and down.  You can’t be 5’3” today and be supermodel tall tomorrow. 

Of course you can always wear heels, but that’s simply not the point.  Sans tall shoes, once you’ve reached your maximum height that the creator intended you to have, then that’s it.  Unless someone invents a stretching machine that can pull you vertically so you can add an inch or two (… but why would anyone want to do that?)   

2)  Time. I believe even the brilliant minds will agree with me on this.  There are 24 hours in a day, 7 days in a week… and so on and so forth, in our world.  No amount of money can make you add more hours to your day.  We can’t buy more, nor can we buy back the time that was lost. We are pretty much constrained by what we have.  Best that we make good and full use of it. 

3)  Sheer Talent.  Some people are just born with it.  There are people who excel in various activities even without formal training.  Whether it is in the field of arts (like painting, singing, acting), academics (can mentally compute mathematical equations) or sports, there are people who were born gifted.  

Yes, we can pay for trainings and lessons, but the giftedness cannot be bought.  It was given.  Maybe that’s why it’s called a gift. 

watch the swagger

4) Confidence.  Admit it, some people were born timid and shy, while there are others who were born confident.  You can see it in the way they walk and talk.  You can see it in the person’s swagger. 

Of course it helps knowing that you have money in your pocket.  It somewhat gives one a sense of security, but it is not an assurance for self-confidence.  For some people, mustering enough confidence to speak in public is something that they really need to work on.  It’s not something that can easily be bought, basically because it comes from within. 

5)  Manners and Etiquette.  We can buy books on manners and etiquette.  We can go to all the personality development trainings and seminars.   But if we don’t internalize what we have learned, or we don’t apply in our lives the things that we were taught, then the whole practice will prove to be futile.  

You can have a successful social life! | Awful Library Books

Little Miss Manners

Regardless of how much money one has or was born into, if that person was not taught manners from day one, it will show in his daily ways – how he treats people, how he interacts, how he reacts under pressure.  You can pay for the training, but your actions and reactions are your own. 

6)  Respect.  I think it’s self-explanatory.  You cannot buy respect.  You earn it.  Bribing someone to respect you will make him NOT respect you all the more. 

7)  Inner peace.  I believe that no amount of money – whether in dollars, euro or whatever currency can guarantee one’s serenity and inner peace.  It takes a clear conscience.    It takes the knowledge that you have not wronged anybody and you are living a guilt-free life.  

Some people have loads of riches, yet are unhappy or are suffering from internal chaos.  There are others who live by the day, yet still have peace and joy.  

good times can't be bought

8)  Memories.  The time you spend with people you love, the big or little things that you do for yourself (or for others)… the smiles, laughter, even tears that you experienced…  all these are imprinted in your mind – and heart.  And we have these as we live day by day by day.  We can’t go to a store and say, “I want to buy this memory.”  

Memories are made, not bought.  It is really up to us to make good ones. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Contrary to my statement above, not everything comes with a price tag.  And when you really think about it, the things that don’t, somehow matter even more. 

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photo credits: price tag via google images ; other photos via weheartit.com

Thoughts of Macgyver and claustrophobia

While Superson was sleeping in his room last night, I thought of staying up a bit more to use the computer which is in his bedroom.  

So there I was at almost midnight, multitasking — i.e., chatting with people over at facebook, checking out blogs,  checking emails, checking out the latest celebrity gossips, while my son was sound asleep.  At some point, I had to stand up because I needed to go to the bathroom. 

Then I found out that the door was locked.  My son locked it (out of habit) before sleeping.  I tried to turn the lock, but it was stuck.  I tried to move the lever, but it won’t budge.  After several attempts of  moving the lock, I had to accept the fact that it had no plans of opening.  We were locked inside the room. 

It was almost midnight and my helper was at the other side of the house — sleeping.  And I really needed to pee… 

I tried to keep myself calm.  

I remember watching Macgyver a lot when I was young.  Loved the guy.  He always got out of a sticky situation, mostly by being resourceful.   He was my childhood hero.  Hmm.. what would Macgyver do if he were in my situation?   

 

*  Find a screwdriver and pry open the door.  No, I think Macgyver would have used a swiss knife. I looked around the room… no swiss knife, no screwdriver.  No bobby pins even (because I have a son and not a daughter. grrr).    I found a Nerf gun, but that offered no help.

*  Mix chemicals to blow the door open.  Nah, too risky.  I might end up suffocating myself and my son in the process.  Besides, there were no chemicals to mix in my son’s bedroom.  

Horatio can do the job

*  I can kick the door open… I visualized kicking the door, and shouting “FBI, freeze!!”  (CSI-Criminal Minds style)  That would have been so cool!!!  But then I remembered that you kick the door from the outside not the other way around.  Bummer. 

*  Or I could bang on the door… and pray that my helper will hear.  The thing is, she could hardly hear me when she’s awake, what more when she’s  in dreamland? 

I tried turning the lock again.  Nothing happened.  My heart started pounding fast… I was getting claustrophobic.  I never liked enclosed spaces… my heart palpitates and I have a hard time breathing.  Though the room was not exactly small, the thought that we were locked inside made me feel so trapped.  

The bedroom windows have grills.  What if there’s a fire and we are stuck inside?  I was near panic.  Couldn’t think of anything else that Macgyver could have done. And I really, really needed to pee… 

And then I saw my cellphone lying on the bed.  Never have I been so happy to see that small, black gadget.    

I called up my landline… and prayed that the helper wakes up to answer the phone. 

She did.  She was the Macgyver for the night… and all she needed was the right key. 

I bought new locks first thing in the morning. 

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photocredit: images via google