Friday, September 28, 2012

Les Miserables

Last night Chat took me to see the play Les Miserables. "Can I go in my jeans?" "No mom. You know better than that." Well, growing up I used to go to the barrio fiesta and we had what we called "drama" as the main entertainment for the village people. I'd go there barefoot (not by choice) with my mothballs-preserved fiesta dress. "Daaang, that means I have to wear a black dress and shoes?" Well, I did. I had to.  Other people would look hot in a black dress, me? It just makes my hot flashes worse.

This was my first time to be at the Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, about a 45 minute drive from where I live. After Chat handed the key to her Mercedes 550 to a valet, I got out and tried to walk straight, pretended I am civilized and cultured, while praying for the Imodium and Benadryl to work properly. The place was packed. The play started and as my usual, like in the movies, I always try to pick which actor I think is sexy. But this one, I didn't find any because they were dressed funny.  During the intermission which I thought was the end, Chat looked at me and said: "It's intermission." She had to say it, in case I wasn't sure. I got up anyway. "Mom, you going to the bathroom?" "No, I'm going home." "It's not over." "It's over for me."

She followed me to the lobby and I told her she can go back and I'll wait outside. "People would look at you funny sitting here." "Then I'll lie down and  tell them I have diarrhea." "Mom, the cliche 'you can't take the girl back to the farm after she has seen Paris' doesn't work for you. I can't take you anywhere." True dat. So she punished  me and bought me Mcdonalds to go, instead of the French dinner she promised. "Well, you didn't finish the play." And this is what I got  stretchmarks for?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Victor Marx

At 5 years old he was molested and stuffed in a commercial cooler to die. At 7, he had a new stepfather who would put a gun to his head, with the hammer pulled back, practically everyday. Another stepfather would dunk him in the tub filled with water and made him hold his breath until he passed out. He wrote a book about his childhood to encourage kids in trouble and he ministers to encarcerated juveniles. And now there's a film about his life which premiered in California and sold out 4 times more than the Hunger Games. The pain and torture he went through drove him to become the fastest gun disarm man. When you listen to his story, you'd wonder how he survived at all. Jesus. "Jesus walked into my pain and tortured mind and redeemed my past." By the way, his wife is also a blackbelt Martial arts instructor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ok. So I whine too much. It's one thing I'm good at, so I use it or I'd lose it. Well, after a few days of just whining, staring and getting overwhelmed at the enormous task before me, I finally got 75% of my "stuff" down in the garage.
And as expected, the cobwebs in my brain started to lift when my stuff was finally sorted out --dump, donate, sell, or give away. But what helped mostly, was coming to that place of acceptance and forgiveness. I have forgiven myself for all these wastefulness and accepted the reality, that in life, continued purging is necessary. I tell myself that if I died today, I take nothing anyway. So, I treated myself to pho' --my favorite soup.
And goat. The other white meat.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My frustration level is getting dangerously high. I can't get to my emails because I can only access it through my laptop which is not working, because the router is not working.  And I can't use this  desktop because even after I logged in with the right password, it says I'm "locked". And my knowledge about computers extends only to knowing how to turn it off or on. Or picking it up to throw it away. The only friend I am comfortable of asking help from is a quadruplegic and can't get upstairs to my apartment, plus, my apartment right now is littered with stuff, every inch of space. And this is what brings on the frustration and the psychosis because I can't live in a cluttered environment without my brain feeling like all the useful cells have been wringed out of it.

My surroundings dictates how I think. If it's dirty and disorganize, I can't think straight. I freeze. And get psychotic. I was going to get a storage to store some things, but now, since I don't know how to create a tornado, I am strongly considering burning the whole place down. Yet, I am feeling so guilty for the wastefulness that these things I have represents.  I have an ongoing talk with God asking Him for forgiveness, for all the wastefulness I did to the resources He gave me. To lessen the guilt, I want to give them to someone, but I can't feel justified or gratified in doing so because honestly, I know of no one who needs anything anymore here in America. 

I need to get to that place of reconciliation, to where I can just walk away from all of these and not be imprisoned by the nagging thought: What if I need them later on? Will just have to worry about it when that day comes, won't we?   Right now, I just need to decide what I should have--coffee or whiskey.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I am overwhelmed. When I left Cebu I was already agonizing over what I should do with my things; not so much because I wanted to keep them, but because I didn't want to have to deal with getting rid of them.  After being gone for 10 months, and living a minimal lifestyle in the Philippines, I looked around my apartment and I had mixed emotions looking at 'stuff' and more stuff.  I felt guilty for all the wastes lying around. Looking at the pantry and the refrigerator, I felt the same way---wasteful.

In 1991 my husband and I visited the Philippines and  we went to see my childhood friend. It was lunch time when we arrived, and in the middle of that one-room 4x4 shack, all her 8 kids were gathered around a plate of rice and a can of sardines containing 4 pieces the size of my index finger.  My husband was touched in a way he could not explain, except to say "we can't feel guilty for having more than what your friend has, but  we can stop being wasteful." I grew up from a very humble beginning, but after I left  my ancestral home, I've forgotten what "humble" means. After that visit, I started being more grateful to God for my lot in life and came to an enlightened resolve that a person needs very little in life to live; a space to lay down or sit  in, a nail on the wall to hang 2 changes of clothes and a pot and a pan to cook your food in. Everything else besides that,  is simply for comfort and for show.

So as I proceed to clear out my apartment, I am more than ever resolute to simplify. Intellectually I can articulate it-- now I just need to do it. So where  do I begin. I begin by praying for a tornado to touch down. Here in my apartment complex. While I am quietly sipping capuccino in Umbria.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Every time I come back into the country (US) I just love it when the immigration officer, after looking at my passport and asking the necessary question(s) say: "Welcome home." But yesterday, after I told him I was out of the country for 10 months, he said: "Don't stay gone too long, or we'd miss you." Yup. I'm home.

Regardless what I have in the Philippines--- the boys, the farm, the friends, I always still feel that America has a stronger hold because of Chat living here. But of course, because of my "restlessness" I need to have the freedom of movement, where I don't feel I'm stuck in one place. So the set  up I have right now is perfect. Were it not that my cat is left back in the Philippines.

I used to not understand peoples strong attachment to their pet of choice; dog or cat. But now, I not only understand, I relate. Animals, like small children can not fend for themselves. Humans will abuse other human beings and animals even if their existence is not threatened, whereas animals will only fight with humans if they feel threatened. You can disagree with me on this, but this is my position.

So here I am at 430 in the morning drinking coffee, alone and quiet, missing my "self-centered" cat. So you wonder why I had chosen to get attached to a cat instead of a dog who is more loyal and kinder. For the same reason why women stays in bad relationships with men. You can disagree with me on this but this is my position.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I have 5.5 hours left before I have to leave my crib to go to the airport and take the agonizing cattle class flight back to Dallas.  I am so excited to go, but I am also sad because I'm leaving my cat behind and right now he is hiding under the bed because of the rain and thunder. I should not have started being a cat lady. I know.