Saturday, February 28, 2009

Stop And Stare

I finally bought the video The Darjeeling Limited. It's so funny without being funny -my kind of comedy. One quotable quote towards the end by the run-away mother : We're not expressing ourselves fully, why don't we say it without words. And I love the soundtrack of this movie.
Video courtesy -techman05

This town is colder now,
I think it's sick of us
It's time to make our move,
I'm shaking off the rust
I've got my heart set on anywhere but here
I'm staring down myself, counting up the years
Steady hands, just take the wheel...And every glance is killing me
Time to make one last appeal... for the life I lead
Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be,
ohStop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can you see what I see
They're trying to come back, all my senses push
Untie the weight bags, I never thought I could...
Steady feet, don't fail me now
Gonna run till you can't walk
Something pulls my focus out
And I'm standing down...
Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be,
oh Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're here not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fairBut fair ain't what you really need
Oh, you don't need
What you need, what you need...
Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be
Oh, do you see what I see...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sleeping With The Enemy (It can be done)

I am told that the mayor of Santa Barbara filmed this clip and sent it out as a holiday card. I am glad the good mayor found something benevolent about this scene.
He's right, this is comfort.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

When I tell people how poor I was growing up, they want to know "how poor." Well, when your poor friends call you poor, that is poor. But there's a difference between growing up poor in the farm and growing up poor in the slum. I didn't grow up in the slum, so watching Slumdog this weekend was pretty gruesome to me. Yet, the movie stirred up something in me - something warm and fuzzy.

The story is about 2 orphaned boys; Salim and Jamal. Salim lived for the moment using his head, Jamal lived for the future using his heart. Jamal wasn't as tough as Salim, but he survived the street life because of his determination to live. To live for Latika. Latika became a mistress to a rich and powerful man, so when Jamal finally found her, he asked her to run away with him - she asked him, "What are we going to live on?" "Love" he said. Then she gave him the goo-goo eyes....but she can't run away with him.

Jamal joined "Who wants to be a millionaire" and won 20 million rupees, not because he wanted the money. He wanted to be on tv so Latika will see him. The police almost beat him to a pulp because they thought he cheated. He didn't cheat, he knew the answers - the street taught him the answers. "When someone asks me a question, I tell them the answer" he told the police captain.

I love the movie because it's simply following a basic principle in life: 1. When you find your passion in life (something or someone) fight for it 2. When someone asks you for something and you have it to give, don't withhold it. 3. Never make money the motivating factor to pursue your passion, nor let money stop you from pursuing your passion.

I keep telling Chat that before I die, I am going to do 2 things: Be a vagabond and travel by train (like Paul Theroux) across Asia and find a man I can elope with then get married at sunrise in some remote village in Nepal. I could have eloped already but when I asked this man to elope with me he asked the same question Latika asked -what are we going to live on? I said, "On your income. You have a job, right?" He didn't give me the goo-goo eyes.
Chat said I should not stop dreaming, because more likely that's all it's going to be, a dream. But....Jamal could be right - "It's destiny."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Depression - the Inner Prison

"I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. Whether I shall be better, I can not tell. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better. - Abraham Lincoln

When we have a toothache or a broken leg, our mind can perceive the pain and the discomfort. But when our brain is sick, the mind is incapable to receive solace or comfort from any source, until we take care of it as we would with our physical illness. There's a conspiracy of silence when it comes to mental illnes, which further communicates that it's not an acceptable illness.

Last Wednesday, our friend Bill was laid to rest from his own struggle with depression. He shot himself in the public restroom at city hall. Bill was a complex person and that's what made him annoying but interesting. We love him nonetheless and I always suspected something was not right with him, but no one talked about it, until it was too late. I never talked about Don's mentall illness either until after he died. My silence was to protect him, not me. But really, why? Because there's still a stigma attached to mental illness, and this is why I have become an advocate for speaking publicly about it.

In America almost half of the population carry a concealed Xanax or Prozac. Few would go see a shrink because it's more acceptable and cheaper to go to the "happy hour''- euphemism for numbing our pain. In some way or another we all walk in this world with a limp. We all need a crutch - some are balanced by anti-depressants, others by Smith and Wesson and still others, by Red Horse.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

To Muse or be Amused

I don't read the papers to get wisdom but solely to be amused. Here's some of the stories that caught my attention.

A-Rod when asked about his steroids use said that he used it when he played for the Texas Rangers because of the heat in Texas, then later said he didn't know it was steroids because it was his cousin who injected it to him, then he finally admitted - "I knew they were not tic-tacs".

2. Then there's Michael Phelps, I don't know what the big deal is except that the kid could swim faster than the dolphins. He said he was photographed with the bong because aaah, what do you do with weeds anyway but smoke them...then he fell asleep in his soup.

3. But here's the caramel on the fudge - a passenger wrote a complaint letter about his inflight meals aboard Virgin Air - you know, the one owned by the flamboyant Richard Branson. Sir Richard read the letter and offered him a job with Virgin. I'm thinking now how I can come up with a complaint letter that will lead Richard to offer me to become his wife. But he'd have to agree to sign a prenup.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It Is Well With My Soul

Today, I attended my first funeral in America for our friend Bill. I am so emotionally drained so I want to let out some of the confusions in my head by sharing this song that was sung at the funeral today. I can't talk about Bill for now, but I want to talk about the man Horatio Spafford who penned this song after several traumatic events in his life.

Horatio Spafford, a successful lawyer in Chicago in 1860's had 5 kids. His only son died in 1871, then 2 years later in 1873, after the great Chicago fire which devastated him financially, his other 4 daughters died. His wife Anna, was travelling ahead of Horatio to Europe with the daughters when the ship sank killing all four kids except Anna. Horatio boarded the next ship out to fetch his wife, and while enroute and passing the area of the tragedy, the ship captain called Horatio to the bridge of the ship and told him, "I believe this is where you lost all your children." Horatio then went back to his cabin and penned this words.

Video Courtesy -Worship Video/China

Monday, February 16, 2009

We Should All Try This

I wonder what the age limit is before you're no longer allowed to roll on the floor and throw a hizzy fit. This woman was told she could not use her credit card anymore- her card was ok, but her bank had expired.

(Seriously, here's the what happened)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines

I don't do dating service, but last year around this time approaching Valentine's day, eHarmony kept spamming my inbox with free membership for the weekend. I thought, why not? I wanted to see what people do in that environment, so I enrolled. Within 4 hours of my enrollment, I received 5 requests from men to communicate with me, then by midnight of Saturday I had a total of 14. I think because I put Angelina Jolie's picture instead of mine.

I had fun reading their profiles, their likes and dislikes and scrutinizing their pictures. Me, I get straight to the point and only have 3 important questions to ask a man anyway. You answer No, to all of these and we can proceed. 1. Are your parents still alive? 2. Is your ex-wife still alive?. Do you have any living kids? In other words, I can only handle your own drama.
There was one guy with this disclaimer in his profile : "For me to respond to you, I would need to see a picture of you because if you weigh more than me, I would have a problem with that." I thought that was cute. In my profile, I was plain: "I am simply looking for a man who will let me cook dinner for him after I get home from my second job."

Nothing came out of that free weekend because after it expired, you have to pay $29.95 a month. I am desperate but not that desperate. I can't see myself paying more than $9.99 for any man - tax included.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chat's cat

I never pushed for a grandchild because if Chat wasn't sure about kids, I for sure wasn't keen on the idea of getting stuck babysitting. So when she got Tigger, I thought it was the worst thing that happened to me, because I know I would be catsitting when they're travelling. And I don't like cats. Until now.
Tigger has ruled our lives.I have been trying to tell Chat to start deciplining Tigger because he found that he likes Chat's Balenciaga shoes and started eating them. I don't know how to discipline cats when they do that but I know it will not be going to Walmart and buying a cheaper brand for him to munch on. Chat got him 2 pairs of "cheaper pointy ones, because Tigger likes them pointy." I thought, how insane, but until I walk in her Choo's I'll never understand.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Looking back 2006

October 2006. Jordan preparing our top of the line grill. Should have taken a picture of the mackerel after it was grilled.Desmond, the clerk at the Hangout at Mt.Emily, the hostel I was staying in Singapore - my first stop for my introduction to backpacking. We went to eat where the locals eat then we went to his temple and he gave me a quick overview of Buddhism.

Semi-backpacking to Malaysia, 5 hour bus ride. Armed with my Lonely Planet, I was really excited because after all, Hangout might not be The Raffles but might as well be for backpackers.
Until I got to this hostel. I was so terrified because of how the neigborhood looked like. I could have stayed at the Hyatt next door but I stayed one night because I was determined to be a backpacker. Then I called my Chinese friend who told me he won't even stay there himself.

I was terrified with that hostel in Malaysia but a month later I went to Costa Rica and braved this hostel. Hallway to the rooms. Spooky or artsy?

I still fantasize about backpacking for real before I die. People ask me why I want to backpack when I am not an adventurous person. I don't have an answer. One thing I can say is that I have met interesting people and heard interesting stories from people from different countries in that short adventure.This is Cristina from Murcia,Spain. We hang out in Costa Rica after her one month stint at Curu. Curu gave her free lodging for taking care of the monkeys. She was there one month then went home to Spain. She emailed me 3 months ago, she was back at Curu again. She missed the monkeys, she said.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Just Wondering

What's the difference between a person making 10 dollars an hour at his line of work, compared to a celebrity making 10 thousand dollars a day? Nothing, except the dollar amount. Both are working to make a living, both are entitled and needs their privacy and both have the same insecurities.

One choose to be a nurse, another choose to be a rock star. They both make people feel good. So why is a rock star obligated to speak to the media, (with a smile please) pose for photographers (with a smile please) and sign autographs (with a smile please) because "it's good for your career." Why does a rock star have to constantly be on his guard to do well, while the nurse quietly gets up every morning, goes to work and make sure that a patient has a comfortable day and not overdose on a wrong drug? The closest thing that a nurse gets to stardom is when she signs her patients' leg cast.

People will hoist an individual to help him climb the ladder to get to the top - make him a celebrity. Then once he arrives at the top, he looks down below and finds that all is not well, he's now an easy target for people to tear down. Celebrities don't owe the public anything except to do their craft the best way they know how on their arena. When the nurse is off from work, she is not expected to get on the computer and interact with her patients (regardless how much they love her)- she's off. Period. We don't scrutinize, analyze or prophesy about the nurse's career or love life. We don't drool over a nurse.

St. Augustine said: "Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering."
Is it maybe because we're not in awe of ourselves that we create heroes or idols to distract us from ourselves? Just wondering.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

So Hang Me

Photo courtesy: Wenn

When it comes to "things" I am a firm believer that less is more. I subscribe to the rule of buying "few, but expensive pieces." When I see Arnel Pineda guesting and performing with other Filipino talents in the Philippines more often than not, I don't like it. So hang me, I don't care. There are things in life you just don't dilute, because you either stretch it thin or dumb it down.

I missed the live performance of Journey at the Superbowl but I watched them on Youtube and I am reminded of what I was like last year. It's exhilarating to see Arnel Pineda reunited with the J-boys, that's how the picture puzzle should look like. Arnel Pineda not only completes Journey, he makes them look criminally delicious.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Who Will Have The Son?

A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art.When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war.

He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son. About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. He said, "Sir, you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, and your love for art." The young man held out this package. "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."

The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young man. He stared in awe at the way the soldier had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. "Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It's a gift."

The father hung the portrait over his mantle. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portrait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.The man died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people gathered, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one for their collection. On the platform sat the painting of the son.

The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?"
There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one.." But the auctioneer persisted. "Will somebody bid for this painting. Who will start the bidding? $100, $200?" Another voice angrily. "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the Van Goghs, the Rembrandts. Get on with the real bids!"

But still the auctioneer continued. "The son! The son! Who'll take the son?"Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and his son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford."We have $10, who will bid $20?""Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters." "$10 is the bid, won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son.They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections.The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once, twice, SOLD for $10!"

A man sitting on the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, the auction is over."
"What about the paintings?" "I am sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the paintings.The man who took the son gets everything!"

God gave His son 2,000 years ago to die on the cross. Much like the auctioneer, His message today is: "The son, the son, who'll take the son?"Because, you see, whoever takes the Son gets everything.

Christ died on the cross so everyone who will accept Him will be reconciled back to the Father. If you were the only person in the world, He still would have died for you.