Thursday, July 31, 2008

Journey in Dallas 7/27 -Final

John and Chat drove me to the concert Sunday but before the date, Chat was really nervous about me and my sign.

On their way to my apartment Chat told John: "Mom made a sign to take to the concert".
"What sign?" " I don't know, but I have been telling her this last 3 months to just enjoy the concert -forget about the sign. But you know mom." Chat knew what sign I was bringing but she was embarassed to tell John.
John thought Chat was joking but when he saw me with the poster boards, he knew Chat was unable to dissuade me. John suddenly looked ill. But amazingly, Chat rooted for me. She told me to go ahead make a fool of myself, and I could tell she really meant it. So I did.

When we pulled in to the Superpages complex, Chat pointed out the 3 buses parked by the front. "There's their buses." I looked and I felt sad. As nice as the buses were, I tried to imagine what life must be like inside there. Which made me think of Arnel's family -Cherry and Cherub and everyone else back home. At least Jon, Deen, Neal and Ross's family can see them anytime, but Arnel is a long ways from home and family.
I wanted to cry for Arnel. I wondered what he does inside the bus enroute to wherever they go. After all, he is alone. Alone to his thoughts and anguish and longing for his loved ones. Alone to fend off the insecurities and doubts that plague most performers.
We got there around 6pm and the place was already teeming with activity, the vendors selling $40 t-shirts and the stretch limos occupying 3 States. There were people with their lawn chairs at the parking lot visiting and drinking. It took a while to find a parking space which costs John 15 dollars.
When Arnel sang "Lights" he started by saying, "Dallas, this is for you, and for my other hometown... San Francisco." The way he said it tugged at my heart, I had to stop the tears. Away from home, he needed to belong somewhere and San Francisco it is. I was already emotional because Nancy Wilson (Heart) sang "These Dreams" and said "I dedicate this song to our new friend Arnel."
But looking at Jon smiling and Neal gleaming with a heartwarming smile, I calmed down. When Neal smiles, he really does smile from the heart, it is not put on for the crowd. He truly loves his art and his people. When they first came on, Neal was kind of somber to my opinion. I wish I could tell you about his Les Paul and not just about his smile, but you have to be there to understand what I mean. I don't understand what riffs or bridges mean, but I was captivated just watching him work that guitar.
I could not really see Deen from behind the drums but when he raised both arms at shoulder level then bang them drums with all ferocity and uninhibited glee - I thought I must be sick for thinking it was sexy. When he stepped down from his tower to come to the front to bid their goodbyes, he had a bunch of sticks in his hand to give away. I didn't try to grab any, I have too much chopsticks at home already.
Chat wondered why he didn't sing "Mother Father." I said, "I am not here to hear them sing, I'm here to ogle and watch them sweat." If what I wanted was to hear them sing, I could just stay home and watch YouTube or playthe Revelation CD.
Then there's Jon. He was wearing Rock and Republic jeans. And a wedding ring.
I had a hard time seeing Jon from behind his piano but when he came out with his guitar, tapping his legs to the beat, my oh my...I was endorphined to death. I knew I could love me some Jonathan too. But I would love anyone who will compose me a song titled "After All These Years" with or without royalties.
Ross was always playing. When Arnel tapped his shoulder, he wanted to get Arnel back, but he wasn't able to catch Arnel- you know how the AP runs all over the place, plus it was right when he can't take his hand off from his guitar. When he wasn't making funny faces, his eyes wandered everywhere except to my direction. But that's ok, I'll stalk him some other time.
The Rolling Stone magazine rejected my query letter to write for them because they said I don't have much background in music. I would not hire me too, considering that even now I still don't remember what song Arnel opened with. I was frozen, I told you. But Thank God that I am not a paid critic because then I would not be allowed to just ramble on whatever I want to say.
I may not be a professional critic but Sunday's concert taught me 2 things about music:

1. I learned that people don't pay high dollars to sit in the front row to hear the music.
2. I learned that when people hear "Loving, Touching, Squezzing," they always get romantic. Regardless that they don't know the lyrics, or that they're without a partner. Budweised or sober, everyone was swaying.
I, was swaying because I got dizzy from a blasted eardrums. So there's my final review -YES, I HAD A BLAST!!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Journey in Dallas 7/27- part 3

I have this thorn on my side –it’s called a "job" and it’s cramping my's keeping me from blogging. But I can’t wait til this weekend to talk about Sunday's concert so I will hurriedly try.
Nothing will make me stay up past 8pm, but last Sunday I literally stayed up on my feet past 1130pm. Journey didn’t come on until after 930 and OMG!!!

I don't know why they turned off the lights then use a flashlight to lead Deen to his tower. It was Deen then The Neal walked in followed by Ross, Jon then Arnel. It took me a few minutes to collect myself - I think I had an out of body experience upon looking at Journey flesh and blood. I told you I have not been to any rock concert before.
Arnel started singing and almost at the same time you could tell something was not right with his earpiece. He kept singing and motioned the technician to his left about the earpiece. He moved slowly towards the tech while continuing to sing and the tech hastily adjusted the box on Arnel’s body, but it was not fixed because Arnel cringed and squinted like he was in pain 2 more times. I prayed silently for Arnel not to bear it but go back and get it adjusted but the AP is a real trouper, he kept on singing.

First thought that came to my mind when I saw Arnel, I am glad my friends Betty and Jane are not here or they would really feel like a child molester. (at least with me, I only felt like a cougar) Arnel looked so young and so cute, if I didn’t read that he has a 19-year-old son, I would have thought he was the son. So here I was on the 4th row, timing his movements as to when he would come to our side so I can show him my sign –ARNEL PA-KISS. He kept looking our way but his facial expression seemed like he was oblivious to the sign. Finally he looked again and scanned his eyes on the sign... I could tell he got it.
I thought Arnel looked less bubbly than on the videos I have seen of him. I thought that maybe the earpiece made him uncomfortable. But mind you, the AP was still smiling. Then after the second song, the AP, instead of getting tired picked up speed, now smiling even bigger and working both sides of the stage with that sexy biting the lower lip bit, exhorting the people to sing and pretending like he’s strumming a guitar but with his microphone and holding it low - Where it should not be, if you know what I mean.
When Arnel came to our side and tried to reach out to the crowd, Arnel noticed that a couple wanted so bad to touch him, so Arnel tried hard to extend his hand over the dividing rail, he was able to reach just enough to make his and the man's index fingertips meet, the girl was short, she could not reach him so he blew her a kiss. The couple was so elated with Arnel’s effort to try to connect; they hugged each other like God just told them they were worthy to enter His kingdom. I think they would have twirled and jumped like the AP, if there was enough room to do it.
Look at the pics of the fav 5 - I could even fall for Deen too. To be continued....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Journey in Dallas 7/27 part 2

Front page news on Dallas Morning News Guidelive section today. The review for last nights concert. Click on the picture to read half of the review. I can't wait to give you my own review of Arnel!!!

Chat took this picture of AP because I have to admit, I was busy trying to get Arnel to read my sign--ARNEL PAKISS. I was determined to make a fool of myself - then some reader of my blog emailed me this morning telling me that he recognized me - the blogger vagabond. Oh well. (I already said in my previous blogs that I have no shame when it comes to Arnel.)
I also had another sign : ROSS LET'S ELOPE. Some guy behind me asked if I liked Ross that much. I said - "Heck yeah, I want to get him excited." You see, everyone was sweating and working hard and having fun. Except Ross. He was just having fun. He did not see my sign because he was busy making funny faces and tinkering with his base. But I love the guy, who wouldn't? He was wearing blue converse shoes and leopard print shirt. He's simple, carefree and could care less. Probably why he avoided my sign.

Journey In Dallas 7/27/08- part 1

When I told you that I have not been to a rock concert before last night, that is true. When I said that my knowledge about music and musical terms were limited, I mean limited to zero. That's why my Tucson review was fictional and nothing about Arnel Pineda reaching the notes. All my pictures did not come out right but I have this of of Jon and Neal doing the Texas fiddle sound alike ( see, I don't even know what it was -except it sound alike) I love them!!!
The place was packed, sold out, but this at least gives you an idea how the place looked like. I almost forgot to take pictures because I was so excited and when I did, my hands were shaking not only from excitement but also because my body was literally shaking from the loud speakers right over my head. This was really some experience for me!!! I have lots to tell you about the guys. And the Journey crowd? Just like the band --nice people!!!

I have lots to talk about!!! And Ross and Arnel? Oooooooh. And Deen. Chat has good pictures so I will post them as soon as she emails them to me. I have to go to my real job now.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Here and Now

Don, I miss you. Five years ago today also on a Saturday night of July 26 you left me. You moved in with Jesus. Remember, I always teased you that if you died ahead of me to make sure when you see Jesus to ask Him to leave me here on earth for at least another 5 years.

Well, it’s 5 years today and I am still here. I wonder what God meant in the bible when He said that in heaven there’s no more tears nor sorrow. Does that mean that He only allows the dead to look down from heaven and watch their loved ones only during happy times? I hope you’re not looking down right now, because it always affected you when I was sad or bothered.

When I was sick you would never leave my side and when I was hormonal I could not find you because you would hide in the garage and pray. And when you thought the coast was clear, you would come out and make comments like “Are we having PMS again? I thought we had that 2 weeks ago.” Then I would glare at you - “Well, I feel like having it again this week."

Since you moved in with Jesus, you must have asked Him to guide me here because I learned to do a lot by myself without you. Right after we buried you in Cebu, I came back here in America and I called the bank to tell them that you went and moved in with Jesus but I will continue to pay the loan on your Camry so I can keep it. They said I needed to take on a new loan under my name and I told them I didn’t want to do that so they told me to turn the car back in. John and Chat dropped it off at the dealership, and then they auctioned it and charged the balance to me because as your wife I was liable, they said. The guy on the phone trying to collect the bill was mean to me. You know that was my first time to deal with a bill collector, so I was real afraid and I cried. He asked me where to send the bill, so I gave him your address - your burial plot. I was just thankful that the bill collector was Indian and not Filipino from a call center in Cebu.

I would really like to think that you are able to see me Don, because most of the time I am happy. When I get sad and think of you, I console myself with my knowledge of the truth of the bible…. "You are absent from the body, but present with the Lord". It would be selfish and cruel to ask you to come back. I am trying to live life like what you showed me, “Obey God and leave the consequence to Him”. You taught Chat a lot of things too, but the only thing she remembers is your taste for expensive things. For a while there, before John really got on to her, she was spending John’s money like God was about to ban the US dollars.

Don, you also taught me how to always accentuate the positive and try to live peacefully. And that being goofy is fun, so tomorrow you would have really enjoyed watching me at the rock concert - considering that I have never been to one. Journey with Arnel Pineda will be in town and I wish you would be there with me, but on second thought, it’s ok. Chat will be with me but she said she would disown me if I 'flash' Arnel. You always worried when Chat and I argued so I said, “ Ok, I’ll 'flash' Ross then.” Sorry. I have matured but she hasn't. Until we see you again, watch over us.

Why I miss Malaysia

I remain friends with all my exe's - I figured that it takes less energy to be positive than to be negative. And Don my late husband, was friends with them too. After Don died, NJ wanted me to visit him and his kids in Malaysia where he now lives. He lives an affluent life; I stayed at his guest house, drove around in his brand new Jaguar and Gurkha bodyguards on my heels if I needed them. He hired these ex-Gurkha soldiers to protect his kids when they were little, but decided to keep them on to protect his guests and his home.

I enjoyed all that but what I really remember and miss are the foods in Malaysia. I think they have the best foods in the world, what with the confluence of Chinese, Malay and Indian cooking. Laksa tops my list in the soup category, but I think Malaysians consider this a full meal (not a soup) which I think it is too. On my way back I stayed at the Hyatt in KK and next to it was a food court - even when I was not hungry, I ate laksa again. I could not find a restaurant here in Dallas that makes this so I make my own. And I have perfected it with ingredients that all comes from a bottle. I am in a less jovial mood this week I think because of the kind of topics I have to write. So I made this comfort food today.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Meet Bobby

I met Bobby Arrington 6 months ago at the church parking lot. We stopped to talk and I found out that he just got laid off from Bank of America. But his attitude about it was contagiously positive – “Maybe I’ll travel more during this time off, I just got back from Rome”. I did not ask him directly but silently I wondered – Rome? You’re in a wheelchair. That was what peeked my curiosity about Bobby.

Bobby rolls in to church with his wife pushing his wheelchair. He is mostly quiet and makes you think he is uninterested until you get him to start talking.
On the evening of October 1976 Bobby had a car accident, which fractured his cervical spine and paralyzed him from the neck down. Bobby spent almost 9 months between rehab and the hospital. The doctors told him he would never walk again. But Bobby’s faith in God combined with his stubbornness prevailed, “ As I laid there in the ICU paralyzed from the neck down, I told myself there must be a reason for my still being here after the accident and I must try to find this reason.”
When his rehabilitation completed, he managed to regain the use of his hands, arms and legs and was discharged with a wheelchair and crutches. His grandmother visited him and told him he will be ok. This statement of confidence was the push that made Bobby believe that he could accomplish anything even with his now disabled body. He was about 28 years old when the accident happened; he was working 12-hour days and was looking forward to a promotion that would bring him the normal working hours. He was also starting to date a new girlfriend. He was supposed to pick her up at the airport that night and when he didn’t show up, she waited for his office to open the next morning and was informed of his accident. He did not see or hear from her again.

Being that I like to travel I wanted to know more about his travels. Did the first trip after the accident a way to try and prove to himself that he is "normal" and can do anything he wants to do? “No, by the time I had taken my first trip abroad, I had already proven to myself that I can do almost anything that I set my mind on.”
Twenty-three years after the accident Bobby decided to visit every continent. As of this writing he has traveled to 25 countries on 6 continents in his wheelchair by bus, boat, trains and airplanes.

Every time I see Bobby, he is always talking about studying for a class or reading up on something. “It seems that you are relentless in your pursuit of knowledge” I asked him one day. “Yes, because I believe that any day that I don’t learn something new, is a wasted day and the amount of knowledge that I have acquired in my lifetime is only a drop from a medicine dropper into the ocean as compared to the amount of knowledge there is to be acquired. I am driven by a thirst for knowledge –the more I acquired, the more I want to attain.”

That explains why Bobby knows a lot; he is like a rolling encyclopedia. But one thing I really wanted to delve into is about depression and anger and the blame game. Did he ever blame God, did he go through depression. I wanted him to tell me that he was depressed for a number of years, hoping maybe that if he said it that I can really say he is “normal”. But no, he didn’t go through these normal stages, but instead he looked at the accident as a wake up call; he had been burning the candle at both ends working hard and partying hard. Maybe this explains when you see Bobby now, he exudes calmness and at peace with himself, mostly because he is at peace with God. God gave him the understanding about the accident that gave him the peace that surpasses all understanding.

I ended the interview with this question: What would you like to say to someone out there who has just been given a bad news by his or her doctor. Bobby knows the answer too well.

“For those individuals out there who are feeling hopeless, because the doctors just told them that they would not be able to do things that they had done before the injury, I would say to them –don’t give up living life because there are many ways to complete a modified version of the activities that they did prior to the injury. I learned to scuba dive and become PADI certified using only my upper body. When there is no way to modify an activity, then this would be an excellent time to develop new interests. I changed professions from a Chemistry degree to getting educated in Information Technology and became a computer programmer. Another thing I learned from this accident, I found that it takes a very special individual who is able to accept and look past the challenges of the physical body and develop a relationship. But don’t give up, God gave me that "special" individual and I married her 2 years ago.”

I always believe that every person not only has a story but is a story in themselves. There's more to learn from and about Bobby. Last Sunday over lunch at a friends house, I learned that Bobby is again learning something new-he is learning how to mimic his wife's accent. When he did it, I bust out laughing and so did his wife.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Goodbye for Now

When people talk about someone who is dead, they always talk about them in good terms. I don't do that. When I have nothing 'genuine' to say, I just shut up.

My aunt Nardeng was buried a week ago in Cebu. I feel sad but mostly I feel guilty. I had every opportunity to see her when I would come to Cebu, but I didn't. The memories of my childhood with her now flooding my consciousness, and it won't go away. She was my uncle's wife but she took me in like her own child. I was at their house everyday until I was 7 or 8. Their only child, my cousin Anun also took me in like she was my older sister. I hung around at their house mostly because they ate better than at my house. And Anun didn't mind sharing with me.

Nardeng would always take me with her when she did laundry for the rich people. She did the laundry at her house and took them back to the owners neatly bundled and I would help her carry them on my head. I liked tagging along with her because she was always carefree with her money; she buys bread and Star margarine while my mother would cringe at the thought of buying anything besides rice and dried fish. Snacks were not bought from the store because she mostly just boiled the ripe bananas or sweet potatoes from the farm. She told us she couln't afford oil to fry them.

When Nardeng got paid we would go to Carbon market and she buys me grapes and roasted peanuts. I had a rich aunt who lived in Manila (maybe she wasn't rich but we thought everyone from Manila was rich) who would bring grapes everytime she came to visit my sick grandma who lived with us. Fifty years ago, I associated 'Manila and grapes' with moneyed people, so when Nardeng bought me 10 grapes "just to have a taste" as she used to say, I would hurriedly eat it all before we got home so I didn't have to share it with anyone.

Another fond memory I had of her was when we would go to this lawyer's house. She went there every week doing their laundry and cleaning, I loved going there because we get to stay all day and I had fun with their goldfish. I got so thrilled watching the fiery orange colored fish with big bulging eyes. Nardeng always told me not to touch them, but not only did I touch them when she wasn't looking, I would take one out of the water and make it wriggle out of my palm back to the water. One day I got sad and scared because Nardeng told me I couldn't come with her anymore because the lawyer noticed that one fish was very tired and almost descaled...someone is messing with the fish, he told her.

Nardeng didn't get mad at me because she never took life seriously; (probably why we all just called her by her first name) she took life as it came and lived it like everyday was her last day.
She was carefree with her money and time. Everyone who came across her way experienced her generosity. She worked hard, she laughed hard.

Writing has always been my way of purging my emotional tensions, but I am having a hard time finishing this. Deng, I miss you. When you see Don, tell him I miss him too.

My Tucson Review

I have been planning to go to Sedona for a quiet spa vacation at Mii Amo, (native American word for Journey) but suddenly I am in Tucson in a crowd with thousands of people behind me, it’s thundering, but right in front of me were Ross And Neal- “Wow, that’s Ross Valory and Neal Schon in person? Where’s Arnel?” The woman next to me grinning from east to west turned to tell me, “This is my first time to see a Journey concert.” Her husband offered, "I forced her."
I was euphoric and mesmerized I could not respond back to them, my eyes were glued on the men up in the stage. Neal made eye contact with me and I swooned. I gathered my strength back while the security guy just winked at me – you’ll be ok kind of wink. Didn’t even try to pick me up from the ground plus he was so tall he was blocking my view of the Neal and Ross. He moved to the side just as Arnel came leaping forward. Instead of screaming Arnel’s name I screamed Ross’s name so loud.

Ross looked down and saw my sign, “Ross Let’s Elope.” He was elated! Neal smiled too then the raindrops were getting heavier. Them guys didn’t seem to notice the rain or the thunder. Then the security guy hoisted me up the stage; it happened so fast just as the stage crew was scrambling to cover Jon’s piano and the rest of the instruments. Another crew was toweling Arnel dry. Neal and Ross pulled me to the back of the stage –they didn’t want me to help wipe Arnel. They sat me down on this hard chair across from Arnel but Ross’s hand was on my shoulder trying to hold me down, I wriggled, but I didn’t want to speak… ssshhh.

And...I didn’t want to open my eyes, I want to go back to sleep and prolong my dream but --dang,, it’s 514 a.m. Might as well get up and shower and go to my real job. I mean my real world.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Why I remain Single

After my post about needing someone to build my bookcase, someone emailed me asking "really, why not marry?" Well, here's one of the reasons why. Watch this.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Help Wanted

There’s nothing I hate more than feeling sorry for myself. But today, I was unable to avoid it. I have wanted a bookcase, but it has to be built to a certain specification to fit around one corner in my living room. I called a handyman referred to me by my boss but the guy won’t return my call, so I went to Home Depot trying to get some ideas if I can buy one ready made. I could not get anyone to help me and when one finally came she was just brushing me off. When I asked questions, she was like "whoa, you don't know to do this thing?"
Frustrated, I left feeling angry and sorry for myself at the same time. I went to the Container Store but raw emotions and tears I could not control just flowed I had to leave before anyone see me crying. I sat in my car feeling pathetic. Three wishes came to mind : 1) I wish I had a son that I can call on to do these man chores; a son who would pamper me like I am an invalid. 2) A husband so I don’t have to need a son. 3) Or lots of money so I don’t have to need either one.
I did not want to wallow in self-pity because really, I live a pretty blessed life. So I did what I could do for myself, I went and bought this yellow tulips. I don't like yellow but the meaning of yellow tulips has evolved from hopeless love to - cheery thoughts and sunshine. I need cheery thoughts alright, but what I really need is a husband to build me a bookcase. So call me. But make sure you come with the right tools.

Ever since the World Began

I don't know what happened but the whole post and video of Arnel Pineda on 6/14 was deleted. I think it was eaten by the virus that plagued my desktop last week or it may have been gone before that- that's the extent of my computer knowledge as to explain the disappearance. But this video is very special to me because as I have mentioned before, you can see how Arnel performed pre-Journey days. It did not matter that he was performing in some obscure bar in Olongapo City, he gave it his all.

Notice the date stamped on the video - June 21, 2007, seven days later on June 28 Neal Schon and Arnel Pineda made contact. And 8 months to the day, February 21, 2008Arnel performed before 25 million live and tv audience in Chile. Now you tell me God did not arrange all that. Here's the lyric.

I'll never know what brought me here,
As if somebody led my hand,
It seems I hardly had to steer,
My course was planned.
And destiny it guides us all,
And by it's hand we rise and fall,
But only for a moment,
Time enough to catch our breath again.

*and we're just another piece of the puzzle,
Just another part of the plan,
How one live touches the other
Is so hard to understand --
Still we walk this road together,
We try and go as far as we can,
And we have waited for this moment in time,
Ever since the world began. *

Taking in the times gone by,
We wonder how it all began,
We'll never know and still we
Try to understand,
And even though the seasons change,
The reasons shall remain the same,
It's love that keeps us holding on
Till we can see the sun again.

And I stand alone, a man of stone,
Against the driving rain--
And the night -- it's got your number,
And the wind -- it cries your name --
And we search for clues, win or lose,
In this we're all the same --
The hope still burns eternal,
We're the keeper of the flame--

El Camino Del Rey

I discovered backpacking and 'Hostelling' when I was in Singapore 2 years ago, but the Costa Rica experience kind of spooked me so since then I have decided to stay in at least 2-star hotels. I am planning a trip to Spain and Italy next year but I can only afford to go if I can find budget accomodations. So I am reading books and researching the internet then I find this video. Awesome!!! but not something I would do. My idea of adventure does not include this. This walkway was built in 1901 to approach Makinodromo the famous climbing sector of El Chorro. I think the government has closed this because of some deaths.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Forget protocol

While waiting for a mass wedding ceremony in Sogod, Cebu, two couples kill time by feeding their baby (right) and nibbling each other. (Sunstar.Cebu -Photo by Alex Badayos)

I was not going to open my blog until Saturday as I am just dragging this week but I just had to share this with ya'll. I love simple, carefree people.
Forget protocol.
Bubba's happy and so is Inday.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why I don't join Journey or AP Forum

My desktop computer is hacked or someone is trying to get to it and my firewall is wrestling with it (or that is what my friend is telling me.) So naturally I am very frustrated because I now have to use my laptop which is older than me.
Anyway, I don't know who reads my posts but someone emailed me asking If I joined any forum- Journey or AP's. The answer is no. I tried to at one time but I got stuck with the registering process so I just quit. But then I am glad I didn't. Let me give you 2 reasons.

1. Just reading the comments posted on YouTube, I got scared!!!Some people got really vulgar and spewed out some vile directed towards people who were critical of Arnel Pineda. I love Arnel and I get hurt and disconcerted when I read or hear something said that is 'unfavorable' about Arnel. But never would I become irrational or degrade myself trying to correct other people's opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own judgement and proclivity. We have to think intellectually and critically and not lash out because someone doesn't buy what we are peddling. If two people agree with each other all the time, one of them is irrelevant.

As Shakespeare said: Me thinketh you protests too much. If they don't like Arnel, no big deal. I would not want to be called names because I express my opinion about Amy Winehouse. Seriously she needs to wash that hair. Then hide it in the drawer.

2. I don't join the forum, Journey or AP, because I want to keep some mystery (if there's any left) in this insanely new bent of mine. Plus, I want to talk about it only when I want to talk about it (and I can only control that in my blog). But I peek at Journey's forum once in a while and I notice that they talk about 'riffs and bridges'. They lost me there because my knowledge about music and musical terms is very limited. I would not have something to contribute there except to tell them that I would like to elope with Ross.
And the AP forum, I stay away from because I might make them mad when they find out that I also daydream about Ross not just Arnel.

But you have to admit though, that this is a woman's ultimate fantasy - two men at the same time! One cooking and one doing the laundry.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Kodak Moments

The 2 boys are fishing right next to the "No Fishing" sign in front of the restaurant where I was eating. I asked the waiters to let them fish just long enough for me to take their pictures but they allowed these boys to fish as long as I was there anyway. They were pulling in fishes just as fast as they lower the line, no pole, just dropping the line with the bait.
This is in Isla Mujeres and there are plenty of European backpackers like these young people above. I took this picture because of the little "tienda" -just click on the pictures. I used to not like the tacky colors that you normally see in the Carribean, but now, I just love them!!!

Kodak Me

I hate asking people to take my pictures but when I do, it just don't come out right. Here's what I'm talking about. I think the waiter was in a hurry.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Travelling Solo

After my husband died, I started traveling heavily. I was practicing how to become a vagabond. But Chat kept telling me that I am ‘running away’ from something. I don’t really care what she or anyone calls it; I get very restless so I just go. I read books about women traveling solo and in the last 2 years I have been to 5 different countries. And today I just got back from a 4-day trip to Cancun. When the shuttle driver picked me up from my apartment at 330 a.m. last Thursday he got nosy when I told him I was going to Cancun alone. “I always travel by myself, that way I can just do whatever I want to do. That’s why.” He seemed satisfied with that answer.

After I cleared security I got some coffee and headed to my gate and looking at the people I can immediately tell that everyone has someone with them. I like to ‘people watch’ and eavesdrop on people’s conversation so I sat close to everyone. Just then the ticket agent was calling out for “anyone traveling alone” she has a first class seat that she was giving away. I was the only one who raised a hand. Did I feel sorry for being alone? At other times maybe, but not then.
Here’s more reason why I love to travel alone.

1.When I’m alone, people (men or women) tend to help me more than they would if I had company.

2.I don’t have to wake up at a certain time to eat breakfast and no one will be knocking at my door or ringing my room number telling me “Breakfast time!!” as if I don’t know that a morning meal is called breakfast.

3.If all I want to do is hole up in my room and watch the European channel and the Mexican channel no one will be interrogating me “You understand all that?”

4.I don’t have to read my book under the palm tree at the beach; I can enjoy it just as well sitting at the lobby close to the buffet restaurant. And no one reminds me that I paid all these money “to come to the beach”.

5.And when I get to the airport late and the line is two States long and I’m about to miss my flight, I don’t panic. I just sidle up next to a lone man closest to the ticket counter and start talking to him like he had been waiting for me (preferably the ones who look like no woman could want him). You can’t do this if you’re not traveling alone.

Today, I did just that - sidle up next to a “lone man.” I did not arrive late, but being Sunday in Cancun airport, the line was scary long. The man I approached did not speak a single word of English but I accomplished my purpose plus more because in front of him was a Castillian good-looking young man. His name is Isidro Martin Gonzalez Guerra, a medical student from Guadalajara. He was on his way to Austria for a 2-week vacation with his girlfriend Merrina but the girlfriend was on another flight. We talked for over an hour and he gave me a free hug just as we hurriedly parted to our different gates. We exchanged email addresses and he invited me to come visit him in Guadalajara.
Guadalajara, here I come.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Ruslana Kurshonova

Two days ago, Ruslana Kurshonova, the 20 year-old Russian model leapt to her death from her swank New York apartment. The 5'8, size 4 stunner had a full schedule of high profile modelling jobs in New York and Paris, an ex-boyfriend who remains close and a new boyfriend who gushes about her beauty. With all that, one wonders, isn't that enough? There are so many conspiracy theories about her death. Her friends were at odds in their observation of Ruslana; some said that she was very happy with her life. With all the money, the jet-setting life and a booming career, she should be, right?
Others say that she was unhappy with the hectic lifestyle,that she was thrust into the limelight too fast too soon and she was getting insecure that she was not the "new" face anymore. (She was working since she was 15) And because a previous entry on her journal said "I am so lost, will I ever find myself again?" the police have ruled that her death was a suicide.

I understand what Ruslana meant when she wrote this. I have said it myself one time too many. Sometimes, I use these words just because it sounds poetic and less insane sounding or for lack of a better word to describe the inner turmoil and anguish I am feeling. At other times I would say, "I am going through a dark night of the soul", so I'd sound elitist, Broadway-esque depressed person instead of just a boring, poor depressed person.

Most of us have experienced this feeling where we just "want to die to stop the pain". But really, we don't really want to stop breathing and leave this world. And YET others DO mean it literally because the pain is just beyond bearing and they have lost the sense of what's real and what is not.

Maybe in a few days something will surface and new information on the cause of Ruslana's death will be announced. But unless someone pushed her to her death,we will never know the truth of why she died. When someone says that money makes you happy, it only shows that person has not had money or he would know that it doesn't.

As a mother I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for Ruslana's mother travelling from the other side of the world to claim the dead body of her daughter.
I really need to stop here to pray for Ruslana's mother Valentina (namesake of my mother)but I would also like to end this with one of the entries in Ruslana's journal:
Forgive quickly, laugh uncontrollaby and never regret anything that made you smile.

(I don't know why I am writing this, but it stayed on my mind all day so I write)