Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yes...I'm Still Alive

Still recuperating folks. Been silent for a bit.

I haven't picked up a book yet.

My brain still hurts a little.

Planning a wedding takes time but it's a walk in the park. Thank goodness for being an event planner in my former life.

Why do brides have to become bridezillas? It's not that serious ladies!!! An entire life take over is not worth six hours of your day. Focus on the next 60 years of marriage instead. Sheesh.

Underneath the Williamsburg

Thursday, May 17, 2007

How Do You Feel?

There it is...the diploma. I had a couple of colleagues with PhDs check it out to make sure it was real.

Everyone at work has been asking me how I feel. Quite frankly I feel numb. Of course, I'm relieved to be done but these last few weeks have been so emotionally taxing that I have nothing left in me. Between my own process and supporting MoJo through his, I'm WIPED OUT.

If you told me that I just won several million dollars from the lottery, I'd probably just say, "OK." It doesn't help that I'm trying to shake a cold that's stuck around for almost 2 weeks. I just need to rest. My body is just tired. I think I need a vacation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My turn today!

My convocation was today, MoJo's you can see by the pics below.

On the subway early this morning en route to campus wearing our academic regalia. I thought we were sooo cute in our somewhat matching robes. Some people smiled and even wished us good luck. How often do you see peeps in graduation robes on the subway? LOL

After my and I decided that MoJo looks like Christopher Columbus in his funny hat.

Here's my proud momma and me later at Mama Mexico. Yum!
Holy shitake!!!
I'm...err...we're DONE!!!
I can return to having some semblance of a life!

Dave Matthews Band...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Is there a Doctor in the house?

Even though he's a Doctor, he still rides the subway! :0

That's right honey, hang on to that tree and keep drinking!

So proud of MoJo!!!
I especially like him in his funny hat.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Introducing for the First Time: DR. MoJo!!!!

BEFORE the doctoral dissertation defense
(no smiles here, just lots o' tension)

2 1/2 hours LATER,
when his five committee members said he passed
(he's finally smiling!)

There was a lot of this going on throughout the day
after gaining his new "Dr." cred
I've never seen a man so concentrated with his drink before! :0 Too bad Dr. MoJo is much more shy than me. I would be dancing on top of a bar if I went through a doctoral dissertation defense successfully!

Congratulations honey!!!
I'm sooooo incredibly proud of you!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Surfing YouTube

Well...since my body isn't used to going to bed until 3 or 4 am these days, I lay in bed wide awake. WTF!?! So I do what any insomniac would do who doesn't own a YouTube! LOL.

I watched some amazing videos: Led Zepplin's Stairway to Heaven, DMB's Say Goodbye, Alanis Morisette's Hands Clean, Ani DiFranco's 32 Flavors, Stevie Nicks' Landslide, Pink's Don't Let Me Get Me, the Indigo Girls' Kid Fears. Good stuff peeps.

But THE BEST was when I stumbled on the following video!!! Holy shitake!!! I love The Ground Beneath Her Feet and it's rarely played. Very few peeps know about it (shout out to Colin from years ago who made me a tape mix and introduced me to one of the few U2 songs I didn't know). It's one of my top 3 favorite U2 songs. Bono and The Edge...sweet combo. It so obvious that these two have been together for so long...they behave and sing together with such ease. Sweeeeeet.

If you're interested in seeing the first part of the interview, you can click here. They're pretty dang funny.

So now that I'm done with my MA (hopefully)...still need approval to graduate...besides planning our wedding, maybe I can I aspire to doing this one day?? Damn that Kelly Slater, he's awesome! I can see why chickie Cameron Diaz would be hangin' out with him in Hawaii after a gruesome breakup with Justin. She was gettin' some private lessons! Shoot. I want private lessons with Kelly. Bruce Iron's go at the pipe was actually cooler to watch than Kelly's. But like any good gymnast knows Bruce, you gotta land the jump cuz that's what the judges see last. What was that side flop off the board about??? Graceful Bruce...nice. :/

Who needs a PhD when the great ocean is waiting to play with ME? Do you think I'm ready for the pipeline masters???? Ummmm....

...probably not. Dammit wave, where are you????

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thesis FINALLY Emailed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

George Michael Fre...

OMG. I can't believe it. I just emailed it to my two readers. It's late and I'm giving them precious few days to review it. I sure hope that they just pass me. Ugh.

OK, so I know it's a bit premature but I don't care. I'm celebrating. First, a happy dance. Then some wine. Then bed. I'm so exhausted that I can't see straight...but not too exhausted to shake my booty for 3 minutes!!

I've had this George Michael song runnin' through my head these last two weeks as I've tried to intellectualize Filipino balikbayans and balikbayan boxes. It's been a living hell, lemme tell you. I would NOT recommend working full-time and pursuing part-time graduate study if you can somehow help it. These last 3 weeks SUCKED!! Actually, these last 2.5 years have been pretty rough. Be prepared to say goodbye to your life.

Hopefully, in two weeks, I'll get to say hello to my life again!! YEAH! FREEEEEDOM!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Heroes Chapter 20: Five Yrs In the Future

Oh my freakin' goodness!!! Heroes Chapter 20 was sooooo insane tonight! Ahhhh, I can't take it -- how good is this show or what!? I also don't have a life besides writing my thesis these days so an hour of escape is a good thing for my sanity.

Of course, five years down the road we get to see some character evolution. It's really interesting to see how the accumulation of people's individual choices intersect with other people's choices to create their realities; and how grief and fear can really hold people far back from achieving their true potential and discovering how truly powerful we really are.

Speaking of character development, can we talk Peter Petrelli? Hhhel-lo!?! Hhhhhot! *sizzle* Granted, the man has a huge scar across his face and he's wearing a wife beater. Maybe, it's the scar? It's definitely not the wife beater...or is it?! I starting to like wife beaters?! Later in the episode, during the face off...he reminded me of Neo in the Matrix.

In five years, we see his character grow from timid, whiny, and confused to confident, angry, and brooding. Future Peter reminds me a bit of Emily Bronte's Heathcliff, if you ask me. The show's writers did such a great job with his character!

Watching this episode was insane...didn't I say that earlier?!?! There were certain scenes where I FREAKED out...I was so excited at times I was deliriously clapping and giddy all over!!! I think the last time I was this giddy while watching something was during Star Wars III: The Revenge of the Siths when the audience sees the mask lowering down on the screen to complete Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader. It was sick!!!! :)

Btw, thesis draft has still not been submitted yet. Don't freakin' ask. *hmph*

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Thesis Tomorrow, Wedding Today

So the first draft of my thesis is due tomorrow and I'm far from done. All I come. So what's a gal to do at a time like this??? Go to a wedding!

How can I miss the wedding of good friend, someone I've known since junior high school? That's way 1987. Here she is being given away by her dad. She wore a red qipao the whole day instead of doing the switcheroo that many Chinese brides's so beautiful on her!

I'm really happy Mrs. Artist met Mr. Artist; they are just darling together. Check em out here, dancing to some real good 'ol skool music that Mr. Artist chose. We danced to Gonna Make You Sweat by C&C Music Factory, Good Vibrations by Marky Mark, Grove is in the Heart by Deee Lite, and my personal favorite, Now That We Found Love by Heavy D & the Boyz!!! I HEART early 1990s music! Yah!!! :)

Here's MoJo goofin' off as always...he's slowly morphing back to his normal self now that he handed in his thesis for review to his committee. His defense will be in early May. Cross your fingers folks...God willing, he'll be Dr. MoJo in a few weeks time! For now, he's back to eating, drinking, and being his goofy self. The man lost 15 pounds in the last 3 weeks cuz he had been so stressed out writing his thesis.

PSA for the day: If you are contemplating doing a PhD, I hope you think long and hard the reasons why you want to do it. It is a LOT of unhealthy torture to put your body and mind through. Ugh. Just watching him and some of my good friends go through this process really makes me want to run to the hills even though the thought to get one has seriously crossed my mind.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Here's a toast to Mr. & Mrs. Artist! May your life together as a married couple be full of love, understanding, respect, and laughter. Congratulations!!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Heroes FINALLY returns! Chapter 19: .07%

Listen up y'all!! The first of the final five episodes of the first season of Heroes will be aired in 7 hours. Aiaiaiaia!!! Yeah baby, bring on my heroes!

I know, I know. I don't have a TV but who needs it when you have the internet?? I accidentally learned about the show when stumbling upon the NBC website last year. By then, 7 episodes had already aired. I've watched most of the episodes online or I've gone over to MoJo's house. Needless to say, I'm totally hooked!

A kind soul on youtube took the trailer for tomorrow's and next week's episode and slowed it down so us Heroes fans can see frame by frame a little better...yah! It's amazing how much you miss in real time. Shout out to awff7 for doing this!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Easter & Happy Birthday to Me!

These pics were taken on my birthday...please don't mind the tired look on my face. I had an awesome 31st birthday nonetheless.

Ok, so I admit it. I'm afraid of fireworks...even little sparklers.

Pecan pie anyone?

Mom & I

Oh well, no pictures of MoJo & I though. :(

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fridays Off

Taking Fridays off between now and early May to write that MA thesis that is due in time for a May 16 graduation.

Still trying to hammer out my conceptual framework when discussing Filipino American immigrants (referred to as balikbayans, Tagalog words balik=to return & bayan = home) and their persistence in sending balikbayan boxes back to the Philippines to their families.

Even though my brain often feels fried, I get great joy out of writing. I never thought in a million years I would've said that. Talk to me in May when my a** is dragging on the floor. I may being singing a different tune!

Saturday, February 03, 2007


MoJo took me to the Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History. Amidst the planets and the moons, he got down on one knee, presented me with my very own shiny star, and asked me to marry him! After five minutes of bawling my eyes out, I said YES! The poor thing, I think he got nervous when I couldn't speak for several minutes. :)

A fuzzy picture taken on my camera phone, minutes after it all happened.

The two of us after the proposal -- we are on the moon! :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Different Kind of Island

Picture courtesy of Mojo, taken on our penultimate day in Maui

The Acupuncuturist told me yesterday that I was not being present.

The A: Girl! You, your head is still in Maui!

JoJo: I could've told you that. I miss that place. I just don't want to be here.

The A: This city is wonderful; there are lots of museums, restaurants, and plenty of culture. Take advantage of it. Do something every week. I bet you those people on Maui would give anything to have what you have and live in NYC. This is the center of the universe! (twinkle in his eye)

JoJo (laments): I know. I love NYC. This is my home, where I grew up. I need to fall in love with it again. But it's such a rat race!

The A: You know, Manhattan is an island. (smiles) Bring some of that aloha back here.

JoJo: Yeah. (pause) With millions of crazy people living on it!!!!!!! Grrr...

Went back to work today. It's definitely the most direct way to get over the lingering jet lag that I'm still trying to hang on to. I'm spoiled, I know. I've been off for three weeks and had 5 days since returning to the mainland to readjust.

Isn't it funny how even if we've got it good, we are still never happy? Jeez. Need to reflect more on that ever elusive state of happiness. I know it doesn't have to be elusive. We humans just choose to make it that way. I need to also keep working on being present. I don't know what it is. Everyone feels a bit depressed after returning from a great trip. I just feel like I got the wind knocked out of me in a way that I've never felt from other trips I've taken in the past.

Monday, January 15, 2007

To Those Who Fight For Social Justice

Dr. King and the life he chose to live reminds me of the choice we make to heed the call to serve and to fight on behalf of those who are disenfranchised, those who lack a voice. Thank you Dr. King for teaching us to be resolute in the face of uncertainty and to be fearless in the face of death.

Let us also remember other less popularly well-known leaders who fought in the Civil Rights Movement such as Ella Baker and Robert Moses (and many more) plus the countless unidentified men and women who fought and whose lives were lost in the quest for equality for all.

To inspiring leaders like Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Benigno Aquino, Jr., Nelson Mandela (to name just a few): THANK YOU. We will never forget your contribution to humanity and to making this world a more peaceful and just place.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Maui III: Piko

The Navel, The Center

I was drawn to this necklace when I first saw it on the road to Hana.
Carved out of cow bone, the artist explained that this symbol is the piko.
The navel connects us to the source of life; it is the center.

It reminds me of my spirituality.
I have learned to trust my gut, to trust myself.
I am beginning to feel the connection between my mind & body & spirit.

I am still patiently learning how to be unafraid of my emotions.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Maui II: Mojo

All the pictures on my camera are of Mojo. He was so happy in Maui, discovering new types of flora, walking over and around lava formations, and trying all sorts of tropical fruits like papaya, chico, calamansi that are familiar to Filipinos.

Here's a beast of an avocado that we got from a tree that grows in the backyard of my aunt's mother's house. It was big, creamy, and so sweet. It's nothing like I've ever seen and tasted here on the mainland. The guacamole we could make with this avocado would be out of this world! The papayas we ate grew in the backyard of my uncle's house. We would pick the ripe ones and eat them. They were the sweetest papayas I've ever tasted...not the ones that taste awful. I liken them to tasting like armpits.

Mojo already looks relaxed on our first day on the island. We couldn't believe this was the beach by the airport! We could hear and see the airplanes as they took off.

He did get a little stressed at the luau, when he thought he had to dance a hula on stage in front of the entire audience. He prepared himself by drinking two mai tai's at a time.

Mojo and his shakas in front of a cresting wave about to crash on the shore in Nahiku along the Hana Highway. And below, our curiosity led us into a lava tube. Doesn't he fit right in and look like a geologist? He just needs a headlamp and a pick and he's all set.
We'll have to wait till he downloads his photos since his has lots of pictures of me. What a team!

Maui I

Maui is beautiful! It's my second day back and the shot of cold weather coming out of JFK just reminded me how much happier I am when it is warm outside.

Mom, Mojo, and I had a fantastic time staying with our family and visiting the island. We decided not to travel to the other islands and in the end, it was good decision. At the start of our trip, we thought we had plenty of time to see and do all the things we wanted. After a few days, we realized that we could only accomplish 1/3 of what we set out to do especially since I tried to surf every day and we spent quality time with our family over breakfast and dinner every day.

More stories and pics to come...look for a pic of me on a surfboard...if you're lucky, I'll post the video! Come back and check again. In the meantime, here's a bit to whet your appetite.

JanJan & I on New Year's Eve. It is Filipino custom to pop firecrackers on Dec 31. I stuck with the itty bitty sparklers since the bigger, noisier firecrackers scare me. :)

Our first day on the island, we still had to get our bearings, adjust to the time difference, and shop for some necessities. We took a detour and stopped by Kanaha Beach, in Kahalui. This beach is right next to the airport (can you believe it?) and a perfect spot for beginner windsurfers.

We were treated by my family to a luau at the Marriott Hotel in Wailea. In the background is Molokini, the partly submergered crater, and further back is another island, Kaho'olawe.

Finally, a shot of my aunt and uncle (with a shaka) who were our fantastic hosts during our stay. They approve of Mojo and are thrilled that he was able to eat all the Filipino food they served him, especially since we had rice for breakfast. It is typical for Filipinos to eat rice three times a day. :)