Friday, January 30, 2009

Great Pick Me Up

OK, weight has always been an issue for me. More so now that I am surrounded by people who love food and eating as much, or even more, than me. Well, Numi saw this quiz and passed the link to everyone in QA. I was so surprised by the result.

Here it is:

You Are Destined to Be Thin

Even if you aren't thin right now, you have great habits that will ensure you're thin for most of your life.

You have a great relationship with food and eating. Don't change a thing.

I was thinking, if I stare at it long enough, even post it here, the Universe will definitely notice and conspire to make it so. Right?

I am claiming it!! Hahahahaha!

Gattaca was on CNN last night.

I was watching CNN last night and there was a report on how technology in the medical field is advancing so much so that pretty soon we will be able to make our offspring taller, faster, etc. I am sure this was not the point of the study, and I have been trying to find a copy of that report online but I just suck at researching these things. Anyway, the fact that future parents may be able to choose the genetic make-up of their kids could be a very real effect of this advance in technology.

What is the point of my near ramble?

Well, this reminded me of the movie Gattaca, with Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman. Not a lot of people liked this movie because, they said, it was a whole lot of talk. I happen to love talk movies. And the premise of the movie, being that one could choose which traits to give to their kids, was fascinating to me. I have to say, I loved the movie but I finished the it feeling more than a tad bit alarmed. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love sci-fi. I am a trekkie and Star Wars lover. But the idea that one could choose everything about their kids and then to have those who fell below 'perfect' standards be less, well, that bothered me. I am all for genetics making it possible to eliminate the chances of developing Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or Down Syndrome even, but to go so far as to specify the athletic ability, the height, the shape, the color of eyes- this was too much for me to swallow. It seemed to me like a different form of segregation and discrimination- the implications in the movie were very reminiscent of the days when African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, and women, could only use certain rooms, sit in designated seats, attend only a certain type of school, be eligible for only certain kinds of jobs. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Ok, I was slightly comforted by the fact that the advances in the movie seemed far removed (this was 1997) or at least would take another quarter of a century to pull off. I thought to myself, this would be enough time for mankind to think about past decisions, to learn how to treat each other, and to accept that we are all equal.
Well, 8 years down the road and here we are. Ready to leap into these advances and yet war rages around us, genocide is happening in different parts of Africa and Asia, and we, collectively, are still so far from learning our lesson. With such advances happening, will we realize this time, where to draw the line? Will the quest for perfection yet again bring down so many? Will it take another half a century or more before we see understanding in the form of another Barrack Obama?
I think I better stick to the fluff movies and Idol for a while.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What would Dante Alighieri Think?

My officemate, Jonette, shared a link about the New 7 Deadly Sins on Plurk and, naturally, my interest was piqued. I've often said that I believe I am more spiritual than religious and that I am a lover of literature. So this seeming new take on the Bible/Dante combination really intrigued me. I checked out the site and I found, what is arguably, the best summary of our generations possible pitfalls. If Dante really listed the 7 Deadly Sins in his Divine Comedy with the purpose of keeping the people in the 1300's "in line and on the right path", then this site does a good job in creating a list, warning 'co-21st century-ers' to stay focused and to remember what is important.

Here's the list with snippets from the site:

1. Waiting to be happy

One of the biggest misconceptions ever is that once you’re successful, once you own a house, when you have a lot of money, or once you’re retired, you’ll finally be happy.

But the truth is, you need happiness to achieve all of that in the first place.

Remember, the longer you wait to be happy the less time you’ll actually have to be happy.

2. Achieving success without helping others

If you truly want to be successful then you can’t focus your entire efforts on yourself. You must help other people achieve their goals and their own success.

There’s an old saying that the road to success is lonely, but it won’t be when you help others.

3. Belittling the dreams of others

Your dreams aren’t superior to any other person’s dreams.

4. Complacency

It’s one thing to be satisfied with what you have, but it’s another story when you’ve completely settled.

When you settle and don’t create any new dreams to go after, you’ve basically given up.

5. Not questioning

One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to question our lives and things in it as much as possible.

Questions like:

- Why me?

- Why not me?

- Do I really love what I’m doing?

We don’t need to have the answers right away, but we must keep thinking.

6. No attempt to change the world

Changing the world is not as hard as it may seem. Even if you change the community and world around you, you’re doing a lot. Simple acts can create drastic change.

7. Fearing

The whole point of the original seven deadly sins was to instill fear in people. But living in fear isn’t living.

Even if you’ve committed some of these sins don’t fear; acknowledging you’ve done so is all the forgiveness you need.

Now isn't this list something to really sit and think about. And I can tell you I've been guilty of a helluva lot of the things listed here. I am sure if they create a new Internet test to tell me which new ring of hell I fall in, I would be in deeper than even Numi (y'all can ask her what ring she's supposed to be in, in Dante's hell. Hahaha!).

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are Kids Ever Safe Enough?

Child safety has been on my mind a lot these days. Ok, it's always on my mind but more so lately. Maybe it's all the movies with children getting kidnapped or hurt, or the blogs of tragedies, or just the reality that I am a mom now and so I just think about everything and anything that might cause them harm.
Anyway, I've always considered myself to be a careful mom but I found this list of questions to know if you are protecting your child from unwanted dangers and it sent me into a mild panic.

  • Is your child properly restrained when riding in your car?- yes.
  • Do you use door knob covers and door locks so that your child can not get out of the house or into rooms that aren't childproofed?- yes, in a sense.
  • Do you have smoke alarms on every level of your house and near bedrooms? Do you check them regularly to make sure they are still working?- no smoke alarms but I check outlets and things plugged regularly.
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home that has gas or oil heat or with attached garages? - no, I didn't know these existed.
  • Does your child wear a helmet when riding his bike?- no, but he has a toddler bike still, which he can't pedal consistently, so I figured this wasn't necessary yet.
  • If you have a pool, is it protected with a fence and a self-closing and self-latching gate?- I do, and no. Oh no!
  • Do you have a child under 6 years in the top bunk of a bunk bed?- no bunk bed.
  • Have you set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit?- not water heater.
  • Do you have a gun in the house that is loaded and unlocked?- no way!
  • Do you have covers on electrical outlets?- not really. They remove them. I have yet to find a brand that stays on.
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher?- yes.
  • Do you keep medicines, poisons and household cleaners completely out of reach of your children?- definitely.
  • Do you have wall anchors on your stove and large pieces of furniture that may tip over?- no, but I don't have too many large pieces of furniture.
  • Have you checked your house for recalled toys and household products?- there aren't a whole lot of toys either.
  • Do you keep toys with small parts out of the reach of your younger children?- yes.
  • Do you smoke?- yes, but not in the house.
  • Have you protected the sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces with corner and edge bumpers?- my furniture all have rounded edges.
  • Do you put sunscreen on your child when necessary?- yes.
  • If you live in an older house, has your child been screened for lead poisoning?- we don't live in an older house.
  • Do you have matches or lighters easily accessible in your house?- no.
  • Do you have window guards installed on your windows?- yes.
  • Does your family have an escape plan in case there is a fire?- yes, but it's in my head.
  • Do you have a list of emergency numbers by the phone?- no phone but I have a list on the fridge door.
  • Do you let your kids play with fireworks?- no!
  • Do you wash fruits and vegetables before letting your children eat them?- yes.
  • Are your kids safe when they visit the homes of friends or family members? Have they childproofed their homes?- they are safe and half of the homes are childproof. We try to teach them what to touch and what not to touch, e.g. what is a toy and what is glass.
  • Do you use the back burners when cooking and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove?- no but I don't allow my kids near the stove.
  • Do you use an appliance latch to lock your refrigerator?- no.
  • Do you let your younger child play outside by himself?-no.
  • Do you leave buckets around the house with water in them?- no.
  • Do you leave your younger child in the bathtub alone?-no.
  • Do you let your child stand up in shopping carts?- no.
  • Do you use a harness when your child is in his high chair?-yes.
  • Have you warned your children not to play near moving water, such as a canal or creek?- no, no moving water near us and we haven't taken them to the beach. Does the pool count? If so, yes they are always warned not to play near the pool.
  • Do you let your kids ride in the back of a pickup truck?-no!
  • Do you encourage your children to wear safety equipment when playing sports?- well, floaters when swimming. What are the safety equipment for basketball and football (soccer)?
more info here

Judging from my answers I think I am on the right track. I think a lot of the question made me think about other things too. Like, locking doors, swimming lessons, breakables, etc. I am sure I will be able to come up with an entirely new list of dangers to avoid on my own but, for now, I am satisfied with this list. How did you guys fare?

Monday, January 26, 2009


It's funny how little things can remind you both of who is there for you and who isn't. I've been trying my best not to get bothered by details that I have no control over but I can't help but feel that my friends and loved ones should at least think of me in the same general level as I think of them. After all, relationships are two-way right? You get what you give, right?
Maybe it's the narcissist in me again feeling left-out and not very counted. I don't like this feeling at all and I'm thinking that perhaps the best way is to limit the number of people whom I consider important, to limit them according to the depth of our relationship, and to only be bothered by things said and done by the people in this group. But wouldn't that be making my world so, so small?
Sigh. I think I just care too much what other people think or say. I don't want to be not counted, not considered, unimportant. In reality though, aren't we really alone anyway so why should it matter?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Butterfly Tag

Oooooh! This is my first ever blog "award". Super exciting. As a lot of my friends know, I have a streak of narcissism I am trying to do away with. But moments like this do not make it easy at all. Hehe. Perhaps I am making too big a deal out of it but, who cares? As I said, narcissism.

So I am supposed to tag 10 other cool blogs. I hope I have 10 to tag! Here goes.

Mai da PayPay
This is a really fantastic food blog that advocates the use of all-natural ingredients and homegrown products. Plus, her recipes are mouth watering!

Marion Silver
The thoughts, ideas, and experiences of a nature-loving, knowledge-seeking vegetarian.

Slice of Pizza Pie
Hilarious, heartwarming, true stories from a funny mom about a loving husband and dad, and a cute little girl!

Into the Wardrobe
This is a blog of a person who loves, loves, loves literature- especially kids literature. You can find reviews for different children's books as well as interviews with their authors.

A blog with the musings, ideas, and thoughts of an intelligent, deep, insightful friend. There are also a lot of cool clips.

Argh, I only have 5. Well, I am sure there will be more tags from these great blogs. Don't forget the rules guys: you have to pass the tag and leave a message on the blog of that person to let them know that you've tagged them.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Explanations from Paolo

Paolo Coelho said in his Plurk "It is not explanations that carry us forward, but our will to go on." For someone who loves explanations and to explain- this is hard. But after thinking about it long and hard I find it actually makes sense. There are so many situations that have explanations that are unacceptable and are sometimes wrong and yet are the only ones that fit. There are also so many situations that have no explanation and yet still are. And despite these situations, we can continue to exist and to move on and to have a life. So is it really a matter of will power? Makes sense. Someone told me once that you can try to talk yourself into and out of decisions, situations, etc but if the will to do and to be is gone, it won't work. Wow Paolo. So many things to think about again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I am not Half and Half

You know how some people really like half and half (for those who don't know, this is half-milk and half-cream usually) with their Starbucks or Seattle's Best coffee? I'm not one of them. See, I like whole cream or whole milk. I think half of one and the other is odd- somehow incomplete even if they make one whole liquid. I find myself thinking the same way about myself. I can't be half something and half the other. I think this is where my problem with sugarcoating and being not-so-transparent lies. I also know that I cannot have friendships or relationships or connections, however you want to call it, where only the parts of me that fit what is wanted or needed, is accepted. It makes me feel unimportant and unappreciated because, for me, it seems like I am not wanted for every part of me, thus, who I am as a person, and only wanted for those things that are the current focus. Even those traits lose their value because they can be changed and exchanged depending on the need and the mood. It is fascinating to me how others can treat people like half and half, and even more fascinating how others are comfortable receiving this treatment. I know I would be stuck seriously questioning my worth to the other person, if it were me. An observation I thought was worth pondering.

Tips for a Better Life

I got this from Lizza's post on Facebook and I thought it was interesting.

Tips for A Better Life

1. Take a 10-30 minutes walk every day. And while you walk, smile.--> this works in cheering you up, but not all the time. And it also depends on what's bringing you down.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.--> this works, definitely.
3. Sleep for 7 hours.--> aah yes.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.--> hard, hard, hard.
5. Play more games.--> huh?
6. Read more books than you did the previous year.--> trying.
7. Make time to practice meditation, yoga, and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.--> oh god. ok, fine. Prayer.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.--> I think they should have made the '&' an 'or'.
9. Dream more while you are awake.--> haha! All the time.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.--> uh-oh
11. Drink plenty of water.--> ok.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.--> I think I can manage this...
13. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.-->HUWAAT?
14. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.--> hmmm
15. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.--> this is like telling water not to be wet.
16. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.--> really? no wonder! I suck at being a student. Does that mean I suck at life too? hahahaha.
17. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar. --> good idea.
18. Smile and laugh more.--> trying.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.--> again, water.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.--> really.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.--> I'm getting better at this.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.--> no comment.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about. Don't compare your partner with others.--> ok, this looks easy.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.--> I AGREE.
25. Forgive everyone for everything.--> huh?
26. What other people think of you is none of your business.--> we are not islands!
27. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.--> ok, if you say so.
28. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.--> indeed.
29. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.--> this reminds me of Livi.
30. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.--> ok.
31. The best is yet to come.--> I HOPE SO!
32. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.--> sigh, ok.
33. Do the right thing!--> I second the motion.
34. Call your family often.--> I do.
35. Your inner most is always happy. So be happy.--> Your inner most what is always happy.
36. Each day give something good to others.--> give or do? big difference there.
37. Don't over do. Keep your limits.--> I agree again.

For more on wonderful happiness ideas, please join the group "The Happiest Day of Your Life"

Now isn't this list giving you things to think about?

Friday, January 16, 2009


*Sigh. I wrote mid-last year that I was sad about good friends leaving the company for their own individual reasons. Well, 3 have moved on and, pretty soon, one more will. I am sad again, not that I ever stopped. But now I am back to remembering vividly. One of my favorite students said goodbye to me today. It was his last class. He was movie to another company, a sudden piece of news for me since it was the first I had heard that he was even considering this step. I estimate that my sister-in-law will be leaving for New Zealand by the first quarter of this year. It seems I can't really escape goodbyes, or even get a brief pause from it! I suppose I should really start teaching myself how to handle it better. *Sigh

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!

I am generally not superstitious but when there are warnings of bad things to come, I get matter how based in science or not these warning are. I got an email from Livi telling me about Mercury Retrograde. Enter notes from Carmina Burana. Here is what she found:


During Mercury Retrograde, electronic gadgets are especially prone to disaster.
If possible, resist buying anything involving communications technology during this time.
Never sign contracts during Mercury Retrograde.
Don’t sign up for cell phone service, health club memberships, car leases or insurance policies.
Don’t even think about buying a house. If you must, triple check everything.
Try to delay putting your name on any document until after Mercury Retrograde is over.
Never make a major purchase, especially a car during Mercury Retrograde. Even if things seem fine at the time, there’s a good chance a defect will appear during a later retrograde.
Recheck your work and always double-check your messages. Hesitate to press the SEND button on your e-mails until you read them over.
Write down information when playing back voice messages – don’t rely on your memory.
Leave early to all appointments when possible and don’t be surprised if you arrive late.


Review your life and the decisions you’ve made.
Readjust your priorities.
Retreat to give yourself the space you need.
Recommit to the goals you believe are worth-while.
Reflect on who you are and where you’re going.
Recharge your batteries.
Repair any damage you may have caused to objects or relationships.
Renew your sense of purpose.
Revise your attitudes and routines.
Return to your core set of values.
Reward yourself for success.
(courtesy of this site)

OK, so great for the positives but the negatives...aaahhh!I am hoping that my non-superstitious nature will kick in just so I won't stress or worry, but, based on experiencing Mercury Retrograde last year... I AM AFRAID!

Bette Davis Eyes

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz
at HelloQuizzy

Friday, January 9, 2009

True Love from Paolo Coelho

Paolo Coelho said in his Plurk, "True love allows each person to follow his or her own path, aware that doing so can never drive them apart." I am 'wow-ed' again. I mean, really. Wow. Imagine the confidence in yourself and each other to be able to go, full steam ahead, and pursue your dreams. And to know that you will never be apart from your significant other, no matter how much or less time you are able to spend together, that you will be together in heart and sprit regardless. Wow, indeed. The romantic in me coming out again.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blogthings is Backing Me Up

You Should Make 7 Resolutions

Lose Weight

Save Money

Get Fit

Eat Right

Reduce Stress Overall

Take a Trip

Spend More Time With Family and Friends

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Resolutions and Rediscovery

I've been telling myself that I would write this post ASAP but, funnily enough, it took me 6 days to get it done. OK, 2 days because I had no Internet access before the 5th. But, I could have gotten it done sooner if I had really wanted to. What is the cause of my seeming procrastination? I guess I am a bit wary about writing down what I think I want to get done this year. It feels that way. And scary. But, I am remembering all my holiday reflections and I have decided to bite the bullet!

Here they are:

1. I resolve to "rediscover" myself- to find out what I love, like, dislike, hate; what I stand for; what is important and what I can do away with; what I want the rest of my life to be like.
2. I resolve to make my 30's what I think my 20's should have or could have been. I have very few regrets about the decisions I made in my 20's and, honestly, I don't want to think about them. I've realized that they are dangerous breeding grounds for discontent and very unfair on reality. How can you do battle with 'what ifs?' right? But I do think that there was much I could have done in the way of improving myself that could have benefited not only me but people close to me as well. So I am on a mission to make this decade worth it- in every way possible. This year is the beginning. I want to live life to the fullest, to take risks, to stop being afraid. (Some support and encouragement is very welcome).

And that's it. Corny? Well, I figure, these are pretty tough tasks and I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. OK, on a lighter note:

1. I want to read a book a month, at least.
2. I want to save 10% of my pay every month.
3. I want to get a facial and a new blouse or article of clothing once a month.
4. I want to go to the gym regularly.

Much easier huh?

Well, cheers everyone! Wish me luck.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year! Welcome Year of the Ox.

Happy New Year everyone! I know, it's late. But I had no Internet access over the long break so I am only able to post now. I think this was a good thing, in fact. I was able to de-stress and recharge. I was also able to purchase some new clothes, get a facial and a haircut (long overdue), and put away some old maternity clothes. I feel like I'm all ready to start the new year. The cynic in me is kicking in too though, becuase I don't want to be too optimistic especially since this is supposed to be the year we ride out the financial crisis. According to my Chinese horoscope:

GOAT/SHEEP: 32% (5 neutral and 7 unfavorable months)

This may not be as favorable as a year that you desire. Coming off the year of the Rat, you may be seeking relief from the difficult year. Don't give up now. The Goat/Sheep is artistic in nature and you may have difficulties finding a way to express your creative passions. It will take an extra effort to rely on the help of others to make it through these times, but if you keep a steady focus on your goals and display painstaking efforts, you will be pleased to see the fruits of your labor arrive next year. Don't fret, as you may learn a lot about yourself in the process. You may learn that you are more versatile, as well as resourceful, than you ever imagined. (courtesy of this site).

Anyway, plans and resolutions saved for another post.