Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Not judging, simply stating the fact

Why do we keep buying things we don't need with money we don't have, to impress people we don't like? If this does not apply to you, you don't need to laugh - at least not a nervous laugh.

Because I'm a hermit, you're likely to find me in my cave than at social gatherings. But every once in a while, I venture out to some friend's party just to see who's got a new nose job, a new boob job or an LV or Gucci on credit. The other day I went to one party and I enjoyed it immensely because the food was great. Conversations would brush on politics ( a heavy subject I think that's better left on the ground) which of course, if you talk about politics, you can't help but talk about the economy. Oh yes, the economy. Everyone talked of jobs lost, hours being cut down, and the stress it has brought on the family. Then on the same breath, you hear them talk about the bags and the shoes they just bought. And the next one they're planning to buy.

On my way home I thought about the pressure people put on themselves because they're trying to impress people. Suze Orman says that most of our financial troubles stems from the fact that we can't say "no" and the reason we don't say "no" is because we're afraid of what people will think about us. "No, I can't lend you money, because I don't have any." No, I am not buying that bag because I don't have any money." But as I've always said, until you walk in someone's Choo's, don't judge.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fly or Sleep

"Oh, that I had wings like a dove, I would fly away and be at rest." King David of Israel once lamented when he was betrayed by a friend and violent enemies surrounded him. When our situation becomes uncomfortable, it's normal to want to escape from it. My coast is clear, my feathers unruffled, so why am I always wanting to escape?

Flight, wings, departure. Three words I like - it gives me the illusion that I am going somewhere. I don't have to have less-than -suitable situations for me to want to escape. I am always wanting to escape. From what? I don't know. Maybe from myself. Chat is always trying to bail me out from myself; buying me vacations, flying me to anywhere but here and supplying me with books to transport my mind to imagined places - places void of agitation. But agitation is good, it's what perfects the pearl. Agitation is good. No need to depart. Perfection is flawed.

Writing my book is cathartic for me; it helps me sort out and purge emotions but it also brings unwanted memories to the surface. Memories that sucks the life out of me. I am one of those writers who hates rereading what I have written, because I write only as the energy, the muse dictates. When that force leaves, the written words stares at me bland and lifeless. Bland. Lifeless. Metaphor of my life.

Flight. Wings. Departure. Agitation. Sleep in the clouds. Forever.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Don't Just Do Something - Stand there

At some point in your life, you'll encounter people who will not give you the steam of their pee or give you the time of day even if they're standing by Big Ben. So what do you do with this kind of people?

I have this friend (at least I thought he was) sends me forwarded messages everyday, but when I asks him for information on subjects I am researching on, he just ignore my email. I understand people have lives and are busy, but what happened to simple decency of simply telling me he does not have the information I am asking for? No wonder he's got an F in business and family life.

The reason this is cracking my eggs, is because when someone needs something from me, I don't just ignore them. If I have it to give, I give it to them. There's a dialogue on Slumdog Millionaire that I love - when Jamal told the policeman that he had the answers - so he gave it to them. "When someone asks me a question, I tell them the answer." He said. That's what life is all about, if it's within your power to give, Give. There's a running commentary about the difference between a man and a woman and it goes like this: When a woman says, "I'll call you" she means she'll call you when she gets home. But when a man says, "l'll call you" he means he'll call you in his lifetime. And since I don't have a lifetime to wait for people to answer a simple question, I'll just employ Yahoo's blocking system and block this friend's email address from my life. Well, maybe not that drastic, but then again, why not?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A week ago...

I know, I know. It's wrong. Stealing is wrong. There are so many reasons why I prefer flying non-American based airlines. One of them is, their flight attendants are nicer and they serve your meals in real eating utensils. Plastic utensils are fine, but who wants to steal them?

Chat and I took Lufthansa to Europe and as we were landing, as Chat went through her purse, she found the cute little spoon that I dropped in her bag while she was asleep. She thought it landed there on it's own from her tray, so she was going to give it back to the attendant. I told her I put it there. She said something like, ghetto, can't take you anywhere. Accompanied with the rolling of the eyes. But hey, I won't make a habit of stealing Lufthansa's spoons, I promise. I only do that on my first flight with any airline, especially if the spoon has their name on it. Ok, so I'm ghetto.

Anyway, while we were in the border of Germany and France,I picked up French and Bulgarian. And I don't mean the language. Actually, they didn't care about the mother, they wanted to get to Chat.Emil and Daniel, both from Bulgaria. And both married.This one here is French, and spoke no English. I have no idea what his name is except he wanted to take pictures with us, and Chat wanted to play with his dog.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Go ahead, eat, but slow down

I read an *old story about a man riding very fast on a horse. As he rides past his friend standing on the side of the road, the friend yells, "Where are you going?" The man replied, "I don't know, ask the horse."

The man's reply more likely represents the pace and intensity of the kind of life we lead at home and at work, and we don't even know why and what for. Like, we allow the overscheduling of our kid's school activities and we allow ourselves to be overscheduled with work. Then we go on vacation and we feel that we have to go on every tour and see every tourist spot to maximize the day. Then we get back home and we feel that we need another vacation to rest from that vacation we just left. Then the vicious cycle begins again.

The whole week I was in Europe I've observed something that made me wonder: People there move at a slower pace, drinks wine or beer and eat cheese at every meal and yet I have not seen an obese person.(Unless that person stayed home because he's so obese he can't leave home.) And in restaurants on the town square, people talked slow and seemed to take their time eating and drinking. And I have not seen coffee served on plastic or styrofoam cup, so when you order coffee, you're expected to sit down. I was also told that their meats are not injected with hormones because the EU has long ago adopted this principle known as the Precautionary Principle, which states that something must be considered potentially dangerous until it's proven safe.*Here in the United States, our regulatory agencies have taken the opposite approach: Something can be considered safe as long as it's not been proven dangerous.

I don't have any medical training but I think it's safe to assume that it's not what we eat that makes us fat or sick, what makes us physically fat is that which is eating us. So let's ask ourselves: What's keeping us awake at night? Why do we have to keep running? Is it so we don't catch up with ourselves? I don't know, all I know is that right now, I need to catch up on my sleep. (if there's such a thing)

*Source:Experience Magazine 12/09 issue

Monday, April 12, 2010

Europe 4/2010

I still have other pics I want to share with ya'll but am so groggy right now. Chat and I do not do museums, we do food. And in Europe, we easily became winos too. I had to try the roasted bone marrow because Anthony Bourdain said it's his last meal because it's so good. I had to try it when we were in Strasbourg, France. The picture of the hotdog with the french fries and coke was in Kublenz Germany.

This is our room on board Avalon Felicity - we decided to take a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam then we went to Germany then to Strasbourg, France and flew back home from Switzerland.arriving in Amsterdam.
everyone there rides a bike, 750 thousand people and over 1 million bikes. If you come back and find that your bike is gone, then you just take the next one. You don't put a lock on it because the bike is only 30 euro while the lock is 80 euros.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Happy Resurrection Sunday

Happy Easter to all! I thought I'd share this as a reminder why we celebrate resurrection Sunday.

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak... "I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.

I stopped the lad and asked, "What do you have there, son?" "Just some old birds," came the reply. "What are you going to do with them?" I asked. "Take 'em home and have fun with 'em," he answered. "I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time." "But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?" "Oh, I got some cats," said the little boy. "They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."

The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?" "Huh?? !!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds.. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!" "How much?" the pastor asked again. The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?" The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.
Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story: One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. "Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!" "What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked. Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse.. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!" "And what will you do when you are done with them?" Jesus asked. "Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly.

"How much do you want for them?" Jesus asked. "Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you.. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!" "How much? He asked again. Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your blood, tears and your life." Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price. On the cross he paid it all. The pastor picked up the cage and walked away from the pulpit.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Midnight rambling

I have accomplished what I set out to do - the book is done. It is now in the hands of my technical writer friend (I can't afford a professional editor) then finally to my critique group. I should have the final manuscript done by the end of the month. I have considered self-publishing, but come to think of it, I may not do anything at all but just hide it in my drawer. Well, Chat can decide what she wants to do with it, after all, I wrote this for her.

Self-publishing is the way to go because I don't have time querying every editor in town and my stomach is too weak to receive all those rejection slips from traditional publishers. I should be happy that I've finally finished it, but I'm not. I feel that I'm out of direction again, so I need to get away from it and rest, because I'm feeling the great blackness coming on. Tomorrow I'm flying to Germany then on to Amsterdam and when I get back, I think I am going to the Philippines and try farming. I have an open invitation from Chat's father to live in some remote mountains of Negroes, I think I'll take him up on it. I think I'll raise chickens and goats and build me a hut and write under an oil lamp...hmm. But then again, who knows what I'll do after I get out of this doldrums. Right now I just need to sleep.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

You May Already Be There

A boat docked in a tiny Mexican fishing village. A tourist
complimented the local fishermen on the quality of their fish and
asked how long it took to catch them.

"Not very long." they answered in unison.

"Why didn't you stay out longer and catch more?"

The fishermen explained that their small catches were sufficient to
meet their needs and those of their families.

"But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

"We sleep late, fish a little, play with our children and take siestas
with our wives. In the evenings, we go into the village to see our
friends, have a few drinks, play the guitar, and sing a few songs. We
have a full life."

The tourist interrupted, "I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help
you! You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell
the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger

"And after that?"

"With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second
one and a third one and so on until you have an entire fleet of
trawlers. Instead of selling your fish to a middle man, you can then
negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your
own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to Mexico
City , Los Angeles , or even New York City ! From there you can
direct your huge new enterprise."

"How long would that take?"

"Twenty, perhaps twenty-five years" replied the tourist.

"And after that?"

"Afterwards? Well my friend, that's when it gets really interesting,"
answered the tourist, laughing. "When your business gets really big,
you can start buying and selling stocks and make millions!"

"Millions? Really? And after that?" asked the fishermen.

"After that you'll be able to retire, live in a tiny village near the
coast, sleep late, play with your children, catch a few fish, take a
siesta with your wife and spend your evenings drinking and enjoying
your friends."

And the moral of this story is: Know where you're going in life...You may already be there.

(From a viral email)