My new favorite quote. Also, why I suck at sports. 😊

Hey look, one of my drawings from an old post about Introverts and Extroverts is in a PBS Idea Channel video! Thanks to Sarah Cada for pointing it out. :)

All Storms Pass. It’s the Aftermath That Matters.

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So a huge storm passed through the Philippines Wednesday, blowing in like a drunken rock star and pretty much trashing the place. You’d think we’d be used to it, considering how many typhoons we have every year, but I have to say, this one was CRAYZAY.

Like, “fall asleep and you might wake up in Oz” levels of crazy. 

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The storm itself lasted only a few hours, but it left a hell of a mess behind. Plus there hasn’t been any power (at my house, at least) since then, which has been a bit of a bummer. 

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I’m starting to feel - and look - like that time I had S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder)…

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… because I don’t know, I think when you dress up when there’s no light in your house, your brain just assumes people won’t be able to see what you look like… even if you actually step out into BRIGHT-AS-HELL SUNLIGHT…

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I’m really hoping power’s restored by tonight or I swear to God I can’t be held responsible for what I’ll look like tomorrow. 

Anyway, there’s always a lot to learn from stormy situations (both literal and figurative) but the most glaringly obvious to me is always this…

There’s no better test of the true nature of people than the aftermath of a storm (or any disaster, for that matter). 

I’ve seen a lot of good and a lot of just plain terrible in the past couple of days. (Let’s just file my progressive fashion deterioration under “neutral”, okay?) How about you? 

It’s something worth thinking about … that the way you’ve been the past couple of days — or what you’re like in the aftermath of any “storm” in your life — tells the true story of YOU.

Is it a story that makes you proud? I hope so. :)

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Here’s to brighter days ahead for everyone. Cheers! 

Awesome App Alert: Plum Perfect

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I think we all know by now that I am not a big fan of the selfie, but I recently discovered something that makes selfie-taking worthwhile… a cool new makeup suggestion app called Plum Perfect.

Basically Plum Perfect lets you take a selfie or upload a picture to your phone or iPad (only Apple gadgets for now, sadly), and then BAM! It analyzes your unique color signature and recommends face, eye and lip products with specific shades suited to your skintone, eye, lip and hair color, etc. 

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Very cool! And super helpful, if, like me, you’re completely clueless when it comes to choosing makeup for yourself.

Go try it out and let me know what you think! I’m pretty sure you’ll like it too. Well, unless you are my friend Manny, of course…

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… or any other typical male, for that matter. Haha! Cheers! :)

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Why You Should Document Your Life OFFLINE

I spent the bulk of the weekend looking at old pictures when I really should’ve been organizing files to keep or throw away. I’m sure this happens to everyone, right? 

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Anyway, I learned a few things while I was at it, so it wasn’t a total waste of time — even if I ended up making an unholy mess and driving my OC husband insane. 

1. Paper pictures are such a trip. I never really print pictures out anymore, so physically handling paper photos is such a strange experience now. 

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I mean sure, digital is more convenient, but there’s something about actually touching paper, and not having a ton of other things competing for your attention on a screen that makes you focus more, and appreciate the pictures better. 

2. Youth really is wasted on the young. My mom says this all the time, and she’s totally right. You have no idea, when you’re young, of just how good you have it. This applies to lots of things, but in this particular instance, I refer to looks. 

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Young women, you may not believe me, but this is true. No matter how you look, or how you think you look, you are an enviable type of beautiful. Just by virtue of being young. So stop putting yourself down, stop wishing you looked different, and stop slathering on makeup and whatnot to try and make yourself look older/better/hotter. Believe me, you don’t need any of that. 

There’s a certain quality to youth, a wonderfully lovely sort of freshness, that even the most well-preserved older women can never compete with, and that no amount of expensive creams or plastic surgery can recreate. Enjoy it while you can. 

3. Old pictures are THE BEST. I’m sure we all think we know this from our weekly #ThrowbackThursday experiences, but if you’re a youngun who thinks party pics from 2 years ago count for #TBT, then please… Just stop. You know nothing.

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When I say old pictures, I mean OLD. And the older, the better. Like this pic of my dad and uncle playing by the sea around 1940 or so (?) which is ALL SORTS OF AWESOME. 

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How cool is this? It blows my mind. 

I’m actually planning to have a series of “Look at Old Pictures” parties with my friends sometime soon, because (1) How fun is that??? and (2) the next lesson on my list… 

4. Old pictures may be the best, but after a certain age, YOUR MEMORY IS NOT.

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Seriously. After 20 years or so, you don’t remember SHIT. And you can’t even depend on your friends to help you out, because I swear to God their memories are even worse than yours.

I found some photos I took of a scrapbook my sister Bambi, my friend Troy and I made as a going away present for our friend Ofer…

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…and here’s how the convo went when I attempted to remind Bambi and Troy about it. 

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OMG. THEY’RE THE WORST.

And because you and everyone you know will be pretty useless when it comes to piecing memories together… we come to the 5th and most important thing I learned.

5. You really need to DOCUMENT things. And by this I mean write shiz down.

I really loved looking through my old scrapbooks because they had written commentary in them which showed what I was thinking at the time. Like I actually found this note beside a picture of me and a boy I used to like.

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Of course I have NO idea what I meant by that, so umm… whatever. Thanks for being cryptic, yester-me. But hey, whether I meant it in a good way or a bad way, we’re great friends now so I guess I did change my mind eventually. Good to know. 

Write your thoughts down! Write down your plans, your dreams and perhaps your nefarious plots too, because those are always fun to review after a decade or two. Here’s a funny note I found in that scrapbook for Ofer:

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LOL! I didn’t even remember that I was trying to get them together. Oh, and incidentally, neither did they. They barely even remembered Ofer. 

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What did I say about my friends and their memories?

So yeah, DOCUMENT. And if you want to do it well, do it offline — in a secret diary or scrapbook

Posting stuff online is okay - and much easier, I’ll admit - but the problem with documenting stuff on Facebook or Instagram or your blog or whatever is that you tend to do it with an audience in mind.. so it’s never 100% honest. Admit it. 

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Things always seem more fun, more successful, more hilarious than they actually were. Some pictures - no matter how great - never even make the cut because one or two people look less than perfect in them and will hate you for posting. Your captions and comments are edited to protect your pride or someone else’s. And some (if not most) of the genuine feelings and sentiments that accompany the pictures you took somehow get lost in all the editing and censorship.

When you document in private, just for future you and whomever future you might choose to share it with — you don’t have to worry about that stuff. A secret scrapbook lets you just be you. And it should make for such a fascinating reintroduction to yourself, later on down the line. 

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So go do it! Start your secret scrapbooks now! Don’t wait. I promise you won’t regret it. :)

What If Now Is All We Have?

It occurred to me that I’ve been saying no and putting a lot of things off for a really ridiculous reason… I want to do them “when I’m thinner.” 

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You have no idea how many plans and invitations I’ve replied to with my standard “Okay, cool! But let me lose some weight first.” It’s idiotic, I know, but there you go. 

I only realized how silly I was being after I wrote that post about not being a stranger

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Because of it, I’ve really been making an effort to quit being such a hermit and get out and connect more. So despite the fact that this meant less blogging and online time, I think you should all be proud of me. Because we all know what I’d be doing otherwise, right?

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So yeah, lots of fun reunions recently. On the one hand, it’s been wonderful to catch up with different groups of old friends. As an extrovert. I really do get an energy buzz from being around people (especially people I genuinely like/love), so social gatherings are always great for me. 

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But on the other hand, I have to say… it’s always a little distressing to see people from your past when you’ve gained a ton of weight since you saw them last.

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Even when they’re tactful enough not to say anything (or awesome enough not to even care that you’re a big ol’ balloon now), there’s always that brief eye-widening that happens when they set eyes on you for the first time. 

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That’s the problem with late onset fatness, I think. Not only do I actually think I’m still Skinny Chinie in my head — until I am rudely reminded otherwise by my motherfrakking mirror

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I think ‘Skinny Chinie’ is the picture of me that other people carry in their heads as well. Hence their initial shock upon being presented with the suddenly chubby version…

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It’s a bit of a bummer, sure, but what I realized in the past couple of weeks is that those first few seconds of shock that I dread so much pass pretty quickly. 

After the initial wide-eyed, “Whoa! Wh…what happened?” expression — and me usually squealing “I know! I know ok? I’m fat!!” — people’s pupils eventually normalize and we’re like “Oookay, show’s over. Let’s move on and talk about other things.”

And that’s it. No biggie.

Now that I think about it, I’m a little pissed off about all the time I wasted, waiting for a day that ummm.. might never come, to be honest. As the Oatmeal pointed out in a recent comic, I could very easily be this chubby version of myself forever. 

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MFF indeed.

I think we’re all a little guilty of waiting for some future (real or imagined) day to go and do something we want to do. If it’s not “when I’ve lost some weight” it’s something else. When I’m older… When I get married… When I’ve saved enough money… When I have more experience… When I have more free time. 

What we don’t realize is that in most cases, we really don’t need to wait at all. And we shouldn’t. Because what if that future day never comes?

What if NOW is all we have? 

Stop waiting. That thing you want to do? Whatever it is, do it now. The time to be happy, the time to be fulfilled, the time to find what you’re looking for… that time is NOW.

Go for it. :)

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