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.
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.
… 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…
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. :)
Here’s to brighter days ahead for everyone. Cheers!
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.
Very cool! And super helpful, if, like me, you’re completely clueless when it comes to choosing makeup for yourself.
Go try it outand let me know what you think! I’m pretty sure you’ll like it too. Well, unless you are my friend Manny, of course…
… or any other typical male, for that matter. Haha! Cheers! :)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
…and here’s how the convo went when I attempted to remind Bambi and Troy about it.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
So go do it! Start your secret scrapbooks now! Don’t wait. I promise you won’t regret it. :)
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?
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
It’s easy to let a bad start (or any random sucky moment, for that matter) mess up your entire day… but you know what? It’s actually just as easy to turn a rotten day around.
You just have to want to.
The truth is that when a day turns craptastic, your initial irritation (or anger or dejection or despair or whatever) wears off after a while. In order for a rotten mood to remain intact, in all its growly glory, at some point you need to feed it.
If you’re going to expend all that energy anyway, might as well use it to climb OUT of the pit of despair rather than burrow deeper into it, right?
There are lots of things you can do to turn a rotten day around, but here are 7 that are backed by science (and some of my older blog posts :)).
So when you’re having a rotten day, surround your senses with happy stimuli! Look at heartwarming or funny pictures. Listen to songs that bring back good memories. Brew some coffee, bake some bread, fill your home with happy scents. Let your senses help your mind remember that life isn’t all that bad.
Several studies have shown that grateful people are happy people, so learn to say thanks and try to turn the day’s negatives into positives.
As I mentioned in an old Rappler post, there’s something to be gained and/or learned from every negative experience. Find it, and be thankful. Sometimes the only difference between a curse and a blessing is your attitude.
4. Scribble (or type)
Never underestimate the power of the pen. Writing is a great stress-reliever. For a quick fix, you can try the write-and-toss bad-mood-busting technique…
Or just vent on paper, or write about something that makes you happy.
While you write about a happy or positive experience, your brain actually relives it.
Okay, this might be a bit difficult depending on where you are or who you’re with…
So maybe just give or get a hug from someone suitable.
Hugging heals all sorts of ills, boosting happiness levels by giving us an always-welcome fix of oxytocin (aka “the love drug”). Find out more about the healing power of hugs here.
6. Sweat it out
This might sound a little funny coming from me, considering my pathetic track record when it comes to exercise…
I mean seriously, I tried to plank yesterday and almost passed out. But it doesn’t change the facts: Exercise = endorphins = euphoria.
So go get sweaty, work out that depression / aggression and let the endorphins chase your blues away.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing that a good night’s sleep (or at the very least a Dali-esque micronap) can’t fix. Done right, a midday nap can calm you down, lift your spirits, improve productivity and completely reset your rotten day. So get snoozing.
Aaaand that’s it.
Oh wait, almost forgot, one more… Suck it up and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Whining and wallowing will get you nowhere. And there are worse tragedies than today’s tedious inconveniences.
Remember that on any given day, we are as happy as we decide to be. No matter what happens, we always have the power to turn a bad day into a better one.
So have yourself a happy day, my friends! If it isn’t happy on its own, then go and make it so. Cheers! :)
Because I talk about dieting so often, people are always surprised to find out that I don’t even own a scale. Well I do, actually, but it’s ummm… broken.
HEY. It just broke by itself, okay??? Stop assuming. And snickering.
So yeah, I pretty much gauge my weight loss/gain by how my clothes fit and what I see in the mirror, and only weigh myself when I go to see the doctor. And even then I tend not to pay the scale any mind. Well, not much mind anyway.
If you’ve ever seen this Steve Maraboli quote I drew and posted a couple of times here and on the Fabstagram, you’ll understand why.
It occurred to me this weekend, as I sat in the middle of a roaring, World-Cup-watching pub crowd, how easy it is to become more and more of a hermit, the older you get.
Honestly, if it hadn’t been a dear cousin’s going-away party, I would’ve been outta there in 5 minutes. And I swear it had nothing to do with the fact that I am probably the only person in my family/group of friends who cares nothing about the World Cup.
Bars and pubs and clubs just really aren’t my thing anymore, I guess. It’s hard to enjoy them when (1) you no longer smoke…
(2) your last experience with alcohol made you swear off drinking forever…
and (3) when you enter a bar, the waitresses seem a little flummoxed to find you there.
I do realize I need to get out and socialize a little more, though. Maybe not in smoky, noisy pubs, but elsewhere. Because as yesterday’s slightly morbid Life Countdown infographic showed, we really don’t have all that much time. And it would be nice to spend the time we do have making and maintaining meaningful connections.
For some terrible reason I’ve had to go to quite a few wakes and funerals this month, and I came across so many people I hadn’t seen in ages…
…and the one thing I found myself saying over and over again was “It’s so great to see you! I just wish it were under better circumstances.”
People say that a lot, I think. But here’s the thing…“Better circumstances” actually present themselves EVERY DAY. And we so rarely take advantage of them. That is such a shame.
There’s a saying by Warsan Shire that I came upon once.
While it’s really NOT the saddest thing in the world (a little exagg there, Warsan. There are much sadder things.) it’s still pretty sad.And it made me think about people I’ve actually called and considered BEST friends at one time or another, who are now barely a blip on my Facebook feed, and I was like “Omg. What the hell happened??”
No blame, no grand betrayal. No drama. Just time, I guess, and life changes, and maybe a little bit of laziness.
Perhaps not everyone in your life is meant to be a big part of it forever. But hey. There’s no need to lose touch completely either. And as much as your lazy body or too-busy schedule or aversion to traffic might try to tell you otherwise — seeing each other on Facebook is NOT THE SAME as seeing each other in real life.
So let’s go! Let’s get out there, climb out of our hermit caves and comfort zones, and make a call. Connect with an old friend this week, and spend some quality time catching up. There are too many strangers in this world already. Don’t be one of them. :)
Here’s a random reminder (c/o this adorable - if somewhat depressing - infographic by Exec) to get out there and do something that means something this week. Because GAH! The countdown of life is shorter than we think.
That’s right. Get offline and go live your life, in real life. I’ll do the same. After a brief nap. :)
Sleeplessness, Sadness, and Other Reasons I've Been Useless
Yes. I know. I’ve been a useless blogger. I haven’t been blogging much… okay fine, AT ALL… because the last week or so has been pretty crazy. It all started with an unexpected attack of insomnia that hit me out of the blue and seriously threw me for a loop.
If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that for me, experiencing insomnia is kind of like going on a surprise trip and suddenly finding myself in OPPOSITE LAND.
Because not only do I never have a problem going to sleep at night…
It actually takes quite a bit of effort (and caffeine) to stop myself from falling asleep during the day too.
So lying wide-eyed and awake two nights in a row, in a state of “OMG I have to go to work in 2 hours!” panic as the sun started to rise was pretty strange and awful.
…More so because I had a TON of work, that I really couldn’t do properly since I was basically running on fumes. This is how I ended up being the only loser still working at the office at 7pm during the Independence day holiday…
On the bright side though, I’m happy to report that all my results were pretty good and that I remain cancer-free… Yippee!
But (back to the dark side) I’ll have to have another MRI next year to check again…
…aside from getting all the other regular checks (mostly embarrassing ones) that cervical cancer survivors have to go through every 3 months or so.
But hey, I’m not complaining. I’m well aware that I’m one of the lucky ones. This point was driven very painfully home to me late last week, when a dear aunt of mine passed away after her own battle with the big C.
So yeah… I didn’t really feel much like blogging after that, despite the wealth of writing material the loss of a loved one usually inspires. There are times when action and real-life interaction are more helpful than words, and this was one of them.
Besides, any words I would have written would have run along the lines of something someone else already said anyway…
So that is that. Things have settled down a bit this week and my sleeping patterns are back to normal (thank God), so I should be blogging properly again soon.
'Til then, have a wonderful day/week/rest of June. Cheers!
You can see the full infographic on Time.com… and possibly never want to enter a public pool ever again. *shudder*
Despite the horror though, it comes in pretty handy … especially when vacationing slackers on Facebook post obnoxious envy-inducing pool pictures (yes I know, I’m guilty too) while you’re at work or whatever.
Because we all know the real message those pool pictures are meant to convey right?
So yeah, when those pool pics pop up on your feed, just BAM! Stick this link - or the infographic itself - in the comments. Or okay, fine, just snicker to yourself.
So I will forever be grateful to my friend Kris for pointing this Twitter account out to me. Basically @SavedYouaClick does exactly as it promises — clicks on links so you don’t have to, saving you time and clickbait-induced resentment and/or disappointment.
Especially when I found out that the aforementioned tapping was not in fact TAP-DANCING. Because, well… AWKWARD.
Tapping (a.k.a. EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique) is actually a stress-relief method which involves repetitive finger-tapping on pressure points of the body while repeating affirming statements aloud.
I don’t know if it’s just me or this crazy hot summer or … old age or whatever, but I seem to be sleeping a whole lot these days. I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but I actually spent half of the weekend in Snoresville.
WTH is up with that, right?? Why do I have the weekend agenda of a BEAR IN WINTER??? I need to do something about this. I mean, sleeping is awesome, but dude. Life’s short. I’d prefer not to spend the bulk of it unconscious.
So okay, enough already! Time’s a-wastin’. I need to squeeze more out of my days, and for that, I need to be awake.
It occurred to me, while I was thinking about HOW to get off hibernation mode, that maybe I’m in this mode in the first place because I’m in a bit of a rut.
That’s the thing about being this age, I guess. On the one hand, it’s awesome because you already know most of the answers to the burning questions of your youth.
You know who you are. You know what you’re capable of, and what you’re good at. You know who and what really matter at the end of the day. You pretty much know what the future holds. It’s kind of great.
But on the other hand… YAWN! It’s also kind of boring! Where’s the fun in that??? OMG. I’m starting to see how mid-life crises happen. Except other people do things like buy sports cars and date people way too young for them, and I … well apparently I sleep.
So anyway I decided to make a list of things I needed to inject back into my life so that waking up becomes more pleasure than pain — and here’s what I came up with…
Three P’s of a life worth waking up to:
This is a given. A life without passion really isn’t much of a life at all. But here’s something about passion that not a lot of “passionate” people will tell you, simply because it doesn’t sound very sexy to admit it.
Passion is finite. It runs out. Like the flame it’s usually likened to, it needs to be fed or it dies. And so whatever that passion is that you might possess — whether it be for a person, a cause, something that you do, or life in general… FEED IT. Don’t let it fade, and you’ll always have something to drive you through the day.
“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” - Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
There’s nothing like the thrill of pursuit to get you jumping out of bed and raring to go. It doesn’t really matter what you’re pursuing — what matters is that you’re running after SOMETHING.
I think the big mistake people make about chasing dreams and goals is that they think you need to actually achieve them in order for the exercise to be worthwhile. That’s not necessarily true.
Sometimes, the goal is not the goal. You’ll find as you get on in life that there’s really more to be found in the journey than there is in the destination.
If there’s anything that makes a life worth waking up to, it’s the people in it. Sometimes, I guess we just get so caught up in everything else that we forget that.
Just last Friday I caught a show with my high school girlfriends (whom I hadn’t seen in ages) and we had such a blast!
And to think I almost didn’t go JUST because it was a Friday, and a payday, and the traffic was going to be hell.
It isn’t always convenient to make time to connect or reconnect with the different people in your life, but it’s totally worth it. So quit reading, put away that gadget, or shut down your computer, and go CONNECT with someone. It might just turn your whole day around.
And yes, yes I’ll do the same, so bye for now! Have a great week, everyone!
It’s sad but true. LOVE BITES, man. So why bother at all, right? Why put your heart out there if you know it’ll likely be broken?
Because the alternative is so much more miserable. Choosing not to love, never getting attached, just so you never get hurt? That’s no way to live a life.
Any life worth living is a continuous cycle of falling in love and getting your heart broken. It’s just the levels of love and heartbreak that vary. Whatever the case, and as sucky as that may seem, the process is necessary.
If you never love and lose, you never learn the truth… that every heartbreak - no matter how howl-at-the-moon-horrible it may be - eventually HEALS. And it’s so important to find that out.
People think surviving life is all about being all hard and tough, but if you ask me, the real triumph is learning that you are resilient. That you’re more rubber than steel. That no matter how far or hard or painfully you fall, you can and will bounce back eventually.
When you realize this, you’ll see that there isn’t much life or love can throw at you that you can’t handle.
I had to get an MRI yesterday, which will probably explain why I haven’t been online much the past few days. I was too busy being TERRIFIED. This was me in the days before the MRI:
In the hospital right before the MRI:
During the actual MRI:
So yeah as you can see, it was a little difficult to concentrate on much else. Remember when I said that TV cameras were the worst things ever? OMG THEY’RE SO NOT! If you’re claustrophobic like I am, MRI MACHINES are the worst things ever!
If you don’t mind, I’d rather not describe the entire process in detail, as I’m still a tad traumatized. Because it was kind of like being delivered straight into the mouth of my own personal Dementor.
Me after the MRI:
But hey … I MADE IT! I endured an entire hour inside that claustrophobic, cacophonous chamber of TORTURE, and lived to tell the tale! Woohoo!!
I’ll be honest, though. I almost didn’t push through with it. I hadn’t even started yet, we were just prepping and the nurse put this sort of heavy armor/blanket on me and strapped it to the bed beneath me. And so of course I was all “OMG I’M TRAPPED I’M TRAPPED I’M TRAPPED!!!" …and I wasn’t even actually IN the machine yet.
So I had to call a time out (please note we hadn’t even BEGUN at this point) to sit up and ummm.. hyperventilate for a bit.
The nurse was really nice about it though. He even tried to make me feel better by telling me about all the other cowards who came and chickened out before me. And THAT’s how I found the strength to continue.
I’d love to be able to say I was able to face my fears because I was brave. But really, it was more because I was feeling competitive.
Oh well. Whatever gets you to the finish line, right? GIRL POWER, MAN. I just couldn’t let my team down. :)
There were a few more times when I was actually inside the machine that I wanted to squeeze the hell out of that emergency buzzer and slither out of that hellhole, but no. I just used the same mantra I’ve used every single time I’ve craved a ciggie since I quit eight months ago…
I’ve already come this far.
I might as well see it through.
I can do this.
And that, my friends, is my new motto, for all future challenges — and maybe life in general. The more you challenge yourself, and the further you get, the more you realize that you are capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.
So GO. Face a fear. Try something new. Astound yourself. You can do it. :)
I was at this newish burger place near my office the other day, and I swear I have never been to a place that was more “IN YOUR FACE” about not caring about your cholesterol counts — or health in general.
That’s their call, of course. It was kind of an “Enter and eat at your risk” type of place, and they were pretty up front about it, at least. Here are a couple of the things on their menu (that I DID NOT EAT, mind you).
Well, I have to admit I had a bit of that deep-fried Mars bar with the ice cream. Because well, WOW. And I must admit was kind of tempted to taste this deep-fried bacon-wrapped burger (gasp!) that I saw…
…because that sort of pure evil is pretty hard to resist…
And also because I am quite possibly the WORST DIETER EVER.
I swear it. Ask my friend Suzette. She’s convinced I’m the most annoying dieter on earth. In fact I suspect she probably has this text template saved on her phone for me, since I get it from her so often.
She’s not wrong. Even I have to admit it. I’m pretty convinced I could win a prize. Because I just tried to list all the most annoying types of dieters I’ve ever come across and realized I’M ALMOST ALL OF THEM.
1. The Diet Announcer/Liar
Because you know what? No one really needs to know that you’re on a diet. Especially if you’re always supposedly on one anyway, but break it the minute something even slightly scrumptious crosses your path. (We’re all aware that when I say “you” here, I mean ME, right? Okay.)
Just quit it. On a diet? Just be on a diet. No status updates, fanfare or reporting necessary. If you must announce, do it when you’re done, to celebrate your success.
2. The Fad Dieter
Cohen, HCG, 5:2 fasting, the 8-hour diet, the Warrior diet… she’s tried them all. If there’s a new diet du jour, she’s on it.
For five days or so. Or maybe five minutes.
3. The Calorie Counter
We all know this type of dieter — the one who thinks MyFitnessPal is like, really a friend??? And basically sucks the joy out of every shared meal by calorie-shaming everyone at the table?? Yeah, that one.
Very similar to the Calorie Counter but annoying in a whole other way is…
4. The Healthy Eating Harpy
Add 1,000 more annoying points if the healthy harpy (and any other type of smug “clean eater”) is active on social media.
Add 2,000 annoying points if the healthy harpy is active on social media and ALSO the next type on the list…
5. The Fitness Boaster
Personally I don’t mind Fitness Boasters all that much… especially when I’m very pathetically trying to join their ranks…
…but it turns out that they were considered the biggest internet irritants by 53% of the people who took this survey. Hmmm.
6. The Hangry Dieter
There are emotional eaters, and then there are those who get emotional because they’re not eating. The Hangry (hungry + angry) dieter is obviously one of the latter.
I’m sure we all know at least one friend like this, about whom we’ve thought “I liked you better when you were fat” on one occasion or another. He/she is the one who comes to mind when you see this:
You know you’re thinking of someone.. even if you might not admit it out loud.
Aaannd okay, so this marks the end of the types of annoying dieter clubs that I’m a card-carrying member of. But there are a couple more…
Just realized that I haven’t blogged all week. Eek! I’ve been pretty busy with work — oh, and with discovering new music ever since I started my love affair with Spotify.
Seriously. I’m so glad I get the premium version free with my Globe GoSurf plan. I LOVE IT.
Incidentally, I also seem to love a whole ton of miserable, “why don’t you just kill me now" angsty-type songs I found… so yeah, I kind of jumped on the emo train for a few days and couldn’t really write. I was too busy feeling all the feelings.
Sad music kills me, I swear! I don’t know why! If it tugs at my heartstrings, I’m all over it. It actually drives my husband batshit crazy.
So yeah.. umm.. sorry ‘bout that. I will endeavor to tear myself away from my musical sea of misery and listen to happier songs from this point onward. :D
Do you use Spotify? Send me links to your favorite playlists in the comments! Cheers!
I figured I needed some sort of Note to Self to post up in my office as a reminder, so I was browsing through old doodles in my Paper app when I came upon this:
HAHAHA! OMG the Pedicab Guy! It’s perfect. Every time I feel like taking on more than I might be able to handle, I’ll look at this doodle and remember HIM. Here’s why…
I was in Miami with my sister Bambi a few years ago when we decided to do something different and take a Go Green Pedicab instead of a regular cab to the nearest church. This was the brave beast of burden who agreed to take us on.
As you can probably tell from the picture, he wasn’t exactly weak and scrawny — so despite the fact that Bambi and I weren’t exactly weak and scrawny either (far from it, in fact), I think we all figured he could easily handle the job.
Hmmm. Not so much.
After only a few minutes, it became pretty clear that Pedicab Guy had slightly overestimated his abilities. Not only had he slowed down considerably, he was also doing that “Sitting won’t cut it. I…must… stand!!" type of biking thing people do when they’re having a hard time going up a steep hill or whatever.
Except the road was mostly flat. But whatevs. We all know why he was having a hard time.
You’d think Bambi and I would be more ashamed than amused by the fact that our combined heft was possibly giving poor Pedicab Guy an hernia, but no. We went with amused.
Luckily the trip wasn’t long, and in our defense we tipped him extremely well when his grueling ordeal was finally over.
And we didn’t even resent him or get offended in the least when we saw him again after Mass and he pretended not to see us.
Now while I still feel a little bit guilty (and tbh, a little heavy) whenever I remember that story, I will always maintain that he was more to blame for his discomfort than we were.
There’s something to learn from the parable of the Pedicab Guy… Sometimes, it’s better just to say NO right from the start.
It’s all good to aim high and believe in and challenge ourselves. We should do that. Often. But we also need to learn our limits and recognize at some point that as much as we may want to, we simply cannot do everything.
Quite often, knowing what you can’t do is just as crucial to success as knowing what you can. There’s a reason we live in communities and not alone. Not every burden has to be ours to bear. We can ask for help, or leave some things to people who are better equipped to deal with them. And so we should.
That is all. As Carroll Bryant says…
Have a happy, help-filled day, friends! Cheers! ;)
Okay, seriously. You all have to read this post by car enthusiast James Deakin, who’s been chauffeuring people around in a Maserati to raise funds for 2-month old baby Alessandra’s heart surgery. GO. READ IT…
And perhaps weep. Like me.
Such a great story, and such a good cause. If you’d like to help little baby Alessandra get her heart surgery, go check out the Alessandra’s Angels Facebook page or make a donation directly here. No amount is too small, and if money’s tight then just help spread the word! That’s cool too.
My family takes Rock, Paper, Scissors (or, as we call it in the Philippines, "Bato, Bato, Pick”) pretty seriously. In fact we actually have very exciting, winner-take-all tournaments at parties, with cash and everything.
So I’m honestly a little hesitant to share this, but hey, what the heck. Go get the deets for winning RPS strategy over at Gizmodo. Just don’t tell my family. :)
I Have the Bod of a God. Unfortunately It's Buddha.
So I’m back at work and internally indulging in a post-vacay pout-a-thon, because SOB!! My brief beach trip was awesome —- like a slowmo, sun-drenched SLOTHFEST! — and much too brief. I seriously could’ve stayed another week.
Anyhoo… here are a few snaps of our favorite swimming/sunning/snoozing spots… plus one pic of me exhibiting the signs of sun-damage and an impressive ineptitude at selfie-taking…
Sigh. It really was a sweet little vacay, despite the fact I still haven’t gotten myself any belly-covering bathingsuits and therefore had to use my pre-surgery bikinis — flashing not only my scar but also (and more disturbingly) my burgeoning belly.
But here’s the thing about being this age… The downside is that due to increased poundage or decreased skin elasticity (or both, plus possibly stretchmarks, scars and other shiz) you will probably look a little - or a lot - less attractive in a swimsuit.
The upside however is that you really no longer give a crap.
So yeah, things sort of even out. Aging can be awful, but also awesome that way. :)
Let me leave you younguns with that comforting (?) thought while I sort my work stuff out and try and get back in the groove. Be back soon! :)
This is the 3rd book in Jenn Cooksey’s Grab Your Pole Series, which I am enjoying immensely — but which, at the same time, is making me really glad I don’t have any teenage kids. Read the books even just to meet Jillian the evil genius, and they’ll be worth it.
I love all things Kelly Oram, so this second installment of her Supernaturals series is pretty high on my list. I prefer her other books, but the first in this series (Chameleon) was interesting enough, so this should make good beach reading.
3 Important Life Lessons I Re-Learned in Calligraphy Class
I took the afternoon off work yesterday to attend a Calligraphy class with my friend Gem because it sounded like a fun thing to do, and I needed to de-stress a little bit.
Plus I I love lettering and fonts and typography and all that, so it was kind of a no-brainer. I also loved that I’d get to keep all these pens at the end of the class.
Especially this pen. How cool is this?
I LOVE IT. I want to sign EVERYTHING with it. And maybe use it as a weapon whenever a suitable opportunity arises.
Anyway I should probably find more uses for that pen because it became pretty apparent early on in the class that I was never going to win any awards for my calligraphy skills.
I’m not even exaggerating. I really did suck. Plus five minutes before the lessons even started my hand already looked like this.
In spite of all that, I found myself feeling really zen and peaceful at the end of the class. And to be completely honest, sucking so badly at Calligraphy taught me a few things that I had forgotten and needed to re-learn.
1. Sometimes you need to take things slow.
I only ever do things quickly. I talk fast, write fast, read fast, draw fast, decide fast, I even shower fast… you get the drill. Most days I take great pride in that, and consider my Speedy Gonzalezness to be a strength. But it’s actually one of the main reasons I’m a terrible calligrapher.
Calligraphy is a deliberate and painstaking process. It doesn’t really require a lot of brain activity (which is why it’s a totally Zen way to spend half a day). What it does require, however, is focus, mindful attention to detail, and a willingness to take the long route to your destination.
Okay. That is so not me.
In a world where instant gratification is increasingly the default, it’s always good to be reminded that some things can only be done well if you’re willing to take the time, stop taking shortcuts and slow down long enough to get them right.
2. When you break things down and look at the elements in a different way, ambitious tasks feel much more achievable.
The one thing my teacher Alessandra kept saying throughout the afternoon was “break down your strokes.”
(Actually there was quite a lot of mention of “strokes” and “dipping your nib” - which always had me quietly snickering because apparently I have the mind of a 13 year old boy),
Anyhoo… moving on. As I mentioned earlier, Calligraphy is a super slow process, where you have to clearly delineate the difference between the upward (thin) strokes and the downward (thick strokes).
It’s harder than you think. But apparently if you break the strokes down and think of the letters and words as a series of shapes, it gets easier.
The same applies to many things in life, I think. Big, scary, seemingly overambitious goal? Break it down. Look at the pieces separately, and tackle them one at a time. You’ll find the whole thing so much less intimidating.
3. It’s good for you, once in a while, to try something new — and be awful at it.
One of the best things about being a mature adult in (or past) your 40s is that you already know what you’re good at, and so - ideally - that is how you make your living, or spend the productive hours of your day.
The problem is, when that happens, it’s easy to fall into a rut, or become arrogant and/or complacent. It’s also easy to become impatient with people who are still at an earlier stage of life or work and therefore not yet as awesome as you might be.
This is why it’s important to once in a while break out of your comfort zone and venture into something totally new. AND FAIL.
Even if the only thing you learn is not to quit your day job, you’ll be better for the experience afterwards. You’ll appreciate the things you ARE good at even more. And you’ll find yourself a little more understanding of people you previously considered under-talented or inept.
So GO. Do something totally new. You’ll be glad you did. I sure was.
(Okay, I obviously didn’t make this, because in case you missed it the first 5 times or so, I SUCK at calligraphy. I found this beauty here.)
Is it just me, or is everyone else fascinated by what’s inside other people’s bags? I really do believe that what you carry around with you every day says a lot about you. Unfortunately, it’s a fascination I can’t often indulge in.
Because how creepy and intrusive would THAT be?
So yeah, my nosy, semi-stalkerish heart was all sorts of happy to discover an entire photo series devoted to showcasing the bag contents (or “essentials”) of 100 global creatives.
Here are a few samples. (You’ll see what I mean about learning more about people when you see what they carry around in their bags.)
Markus Uran, Founder at Metsa
Thoughts? I’m guessing Markus is a pretty simple guy, who writes a whole lot more than he eats. (I’m assuming those black things are seeds. Or maybe MAGIC BEANS.)
Leta Sobierajski, Designer
Let’s assume some of this stuff is in the photo only to showcase the essentials, shall we? Because who lugs a PINEAPPLE around? And those creepy orange robot hands?
Amy Woodside, Artist
WTF man. A BIKINI? A banana? And a BEER??? Is this for real?? If so, I want her life.
Go see the resthere(or click the pic below). Fascinating, I tell you.
I love most of Corinne Mucha’s comics, but this one is my fave. Because let’s face it… A natural, not-in-any-way-salon-induced good hair day (especially when you live in a humid country and have sorta bushy hair) is comparable to winning the lottery.
So Corinne’s comic about finding out what causes it totally caught my attention.
Admit it, you’re DYING to see what she found out. So okay, go read the rest of the comic on Corinne’s Tumblr.
Despite the not-very-creative title, this Buzzfeed piece by Arianna Rebolini is a great read for both creatives and non-creatives. Incidentally, it also serves as an excellent follow-up to my post yesterday about cutting creative people some slack — so read both!
Also, the accompanying gifs by Christina Lu are just adorable, and worth the web crawl all on their own. Here’s another one.