Friday, September 30, 2005

The Red Shoes

Wasn't that THE most horrifying "fairytale" you ever read when you were little? No? Alright, maybe it's a toss-up between that and Bluebeard.

Yesterday I bought a pair of red and black Rampage patent leather pumps in a size 7. They are the first pair of sexy shoes I've bought in ages, and the heels are still low enough for me to wear to work.

Quotes of the Day:

"I noticed your shoes before I noticed you" (this from my manager-slash-girlfriend, who admired the heels and then the haircut)

"You're shoes are so cute -- my toes hurt just looking at them."

My feet are tired but happy. I heart wicked sexy shiny red heels.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

new hair, new phones

hair: an asymmetrical layered cut with front fringe. I'm starting to miss the long straightness

Prior to the new 'do the shortest layers reached my shoulders and the longest just past my armpits.

phones: T-Mobile basic family plan plus instant messaging, using the samsung 495 unit. The "stormtrooper white" matches my iPod.

if you saw a man drowning you'd save him, wouldn't you?

And if that man were the one you'd promised to spend the rest of your life with, to love and support always, then it should go without saying, right?

Well, I've been doing the exact opposite. For the stupidest reason.

When we got married, money was tight. And I promised myself I would never let money dictate my feelings. Money or no, I would be happy or sad independent of it.

But as time went by, I began making more money and taking less control of the finances. Because I know more about money, because I'm older and smarter, I am "The Boss". I refused the job and delegated all the financial matters to him. I didn't want to deal with it. Even though mine was the bigger paycheck, I wanted to be taken care of. Because it made me feel more feminine.

He is struggling. I looked away because it was "his job" to sort it all out when in reality it's our life and our future at stake here. He blames himself 100%. He feels he should have known better, should have planned more carefully, should have managed brilliantly somehow without a smidgen of study or training even though the parents who should have taught him still haven't learned those lessons themselves.

I am going to make this all up to him somehow. I want to do right by him. Patrick deserves better.

the changing seasons

We used to wish we could go back in time, Patrick and I, to meet under different circumstances and perhaps have saved each other grief, started our life together earlier, established a more solid financial footing. But we found that we could not think of a different way of finding one another, and that the excitement of finding each other all over again would not be worth the risk of losing each other entirely. Because to change things would mean to be different people from who we were when we met and fell in love.

Though I still have regrets, I've come to conclude that things could not have happened any differently. And to extend that I would have to say that things now also are as they should be. But things are changing and I wish they wouldn't I wish they would stand still I wish I could freeze it all just for now because I don't know what's going to happen and I'm afraid that i've been so happy, things can only go downhill. There's no helping it, tho. What's going to happen is going to happen, with or without me.

My religious friends, of which I have many for some reason, pray for me and offer me biblical wisdom (thanks again for the bible, luz) but on days when i know there's a god and try to pray, only one prayer feels real: "Lord, Thy will be done."

Monday, September 26, 2005

i was feeling really, really lousy today i blow-dried my hair straight and wore strappy pink heels to work.

Thus, on a day when I felt particularly tired and haggard:

Five people complimented me on the hair; it's been months since i've worn it straight.

Three of my workmates admired the sandals.

And the resident babe told me she thought we were the same age: 19.

~* ~* ~*

I just got off the phone with a stylist from "toni & guy". Patrick and I have hair appointments for tomorrow...for free!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

it's not funny anymore

I'm seriously addicted to Guild Wars.

My mind wanders off to lush forests and icy peaks and scorching desert. In my dreams I calculate the fastest way to make more gold for my 15 plat armor, and wonder if I should simply complete the missions and ascend.

I am irritable, evasive about my use of time, and lack sleep. The dog, the hubby and chores about the house are beginning to show signs of neglect. I notice it all fall apart between quests. And then turn once again to the welcoming glow of the computer monitor, and immerse myself in a world of others' creation.

On the upside, I have been to droknar's forge and acquired the highest-level armor; reached level 20 (unascended, but a minor detail) and my pet will soon follow; and am testing various configurations of my monk build for coop play as well as solo farming.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

sequins, slippers and scaffolded shoes

In 2003 it was Uggs. Last year, legwarmers came back. This year it's all about sequined bags, beaded slippers and... and... PLATFORM SHOES (*stomp*stomp*stomp* no no no NO!!!)

The sequins and beads seemed like a good idea. What could be prettier than glittery detail? But then they began to take over: shapeless bags with oversize dangling sequins that remind one of capiz lamps.

And the slippers! My god, frumpy beaded round-toed slippers with flat corkboard soles that would shame your grandmother's shoe rack are being worn TO GO SHOPPING. One would hope they were a last-ditch ferry ride to get you from the last pair to the one about to be rung up but no, they are a fashion statement.

And then there are the platforms. Are they back again? Didn't they just leave? Whenever it was, it wasn't soon enough, and their comeback is far too quick for my taste. Am I the only one who thinks of orthopedic shoes when I see them? What's next -- couture crutches and wheelchairs?

Oh, and can celebrities *please* stop sporting rosaries as jewelry? Even Catholics don't wear them; we wear crucifixes.

i have been awake almost 24 hours

and spent 5/6 of that time playing Guild Wars. I'm exhausted.


my shameless self-recording career continueth:

Let Me Be Your Wings (Sun reprise)

still falling a little flat and certainly could use voice lessons to clear up that rasp. It's kind of annoying that i've gone mezzo again.

still, is there a hint of voice acting potential in this clip?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I made a guy at work smile today

He asked how the anime convention went and I said it wasn't as interesting as i thought it would be but we did manage to score some goodies. I went on to say that I planned to dress up for Halloween, wearing my cat ears, bell and fluffy tail and that's about it.

"That's it?" he asked, a smile creeping across his face. "Yeah, that's it." I said cluelessly. Two seconds later it dawned on me why he was grinning so broadly, I shrieked and walked off, red as a beet.

I wish I thought better on my feet.


"Overheard" in Guild Wars:

Player A: wts (want to sell) minor rune of soul-raping

and again,
Player A: wts minor rune of soul-raping

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


i ran out of advice today. At first, i thought something was wrong. I lost my earth-goddess mojo. Maybe I haven't been reading enough self-help books, I worried. Maybe i haven't been tapping into the spiritual well, or restocking it, or something.

Things have been chipping away at me, chipping away, just chipping. A workmate's husband left her. A friend is expecting a new granddaughter. Someone died, someone's husband left her, a business is being run into the ground and people are taking new jobs and leaving old ones and moving to new states and finally going back home and someone hates me and someone is so glad to see me again and someone is feeling neglected, overlooked, unappreciated and each new thing a drop in the bucket, a nail in my coffin it seems until it all became too much, just way too much and i stood apart from it all, a maelstrom with me at the center, stillness in the eye of the storm, sunlight pouring over me as the world spins crazily still.

And I realized, everything is happening all at once, all the time. You cannot comprehend it all, you cannot control it, and in reality, there are no answers. A workmate surprised me today, launching into a long pent-up tirade of her husband's faults and money troubles which i'd coaxed out of her and at the end of it all asking for my advice.

I had none to give. What a wondrous, jarring revelation.

In truth, I don't know anything about anything and god looking down, probably smiled to see me speak so knowingly for so long about things i know nothing about. Hubris. Ignorance and arrogance, born of my own assumption that a happy marriage = relationship success = being qualified to advise others on the subject.

I am well-aware that this new-found clarity will not last -- it is by nature ephemeral and too broad in scope for one small mind to embrace. We tend to get bogged down by the mundane. But for now, i am at peace and life is brilliant, exciting, and beautiful beyond words.

Monday, September 19, 2005

strangely vivid dreams

we've been keeping irregular sleep hours, patrick and i, as evidenced by this 4 a.m. blogging. The end result has been weird dreams so tangible and pointless they seem oddly symbolic.

The night before last, I dreamt we visited the in-laws and Nic was sitting on the floor of her bedroom watching TV. When asked why her sleigh bed was absent she replied "Oh, dad helped me move it into Chris's (her boyfriend's) apartment."

Patrick dreamt he was watching a diapered kid running around playing and then stop, half-squat for a few seconds, and then run off. To the kid: "Uh, did you need to poop?" To adults in the area, one of whom might be the parent: "I think that kid needs to be changed." To himself, upon waking: "I can't believe i had a dream about a kid taking a shit in his pants."

Last night I dreamt that my former store manager was my college teacher, and he told me to sit up before I fell asleep. I was slumped in my chair, head leaned far back against the back of the seat, and I could not move. Three of my classmates helped me right myself. He was picking on me because my iPod was on my desk, and I ended up having to change tampons.

Patrick dreamt he ate a shoe.


Patrick's best friend has snagged what he terms a "dream job". Patrick asked me to explain, probably since i've worked as a telemarketer before -- PLEASE DON"T HATE ME! It was in the Philippines, it was part-time work, and all i was selling was hotel club memberships during office hours. i was NOT calling people in the middle of dinner to answer surveys on personal care products. Anyway. I got to dress up nicely, romance the phone for a few hours, and eat lunch at the Hyatt for free. I was overpaid, but I still wouldn't call it a dream job.

Now I'm wondering what I would term a dream job. Besides the fictitious one that everyone hopes for, where you don't have to do anything and a paycheck deposit shows up in your checking account every two weeks. Although come to think of it, I know of a few people who do just that...

To anyone who asks, I'd say it's a job you'd do for free. For it to be meaningful, it should be aligned with your core values, with what you feel is important to you.

Things I do for free: Answer phones, dispense advice, sing, write, cook, google.

But in the back of my mind is a quiet wish. Days filled with children and pets, a home of laughter and sunshine. An appointed hour every day, devoted to me and the perfection of my craft. And at the end of the week, a dark hall, hushed silence, an empty stage. I step into the light and begin to sing. And my voice is carried onto the wind, lifted up beyond my own promise, soaring towards God.

When the music ends, the audience erupts in applause, showers of roses, whistles and cheers. "Brava!" And the faces of my husband and children are right there amongst them, faces beaming with love and pride.

The dream is so real I cannot help but keep it. And yet it is so far removed from the life i live, I cannot help but grieve.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

the mouse

I got home and there were papers, mostly Patrick's, on the kitchen counter. Passport, social security card, some recipes (mine). Some had tattered corners.

"Did mice get to these?" I asked him. I knew they'd been in one of the moving boxes in the garage.

"YES. One really BIG brown one." Cocoa?!? "I can only hope Garfield's ears are fine but you know what? I don't even want to know." Garfield is a stuffed toy of the popular character, and a birthday present for Patrick almost 15 years ago.

Friday, September 16, 2005

things have been difficult lately.

For the past six weeks we've been kiting checks, watching the checking account bump its limit, skating by till the next payday. It's gotten old.

Poor planning and poor time management made the two weeks allocated for our move too brief. And now we're neither here nor there, not quite moved in, not quite moved out. Though the situation is manageable and "under control", both at work and at home i feel ill-at-ease, playing catchup and fretting about the things i should be doing elsewhere, no matter where i am.

I keep (kept) my department fastidiously neat. It is how I keep sane through my workweek. I have been back for over a week and it is still nowhere near as clean as when i left it, and it is driving me up the wall.

At home too i cannot get a grip. I think of something to do and something else needs to be bought, something else needs to be found or put away or replaced and I cannot think i cannot move i cannot get it together. I wish i had more time. I dream of being a homemaker, of using the same time and care i devote thanklessly at work to create a healing place for patrick and myself, a safe haven from which we venture out to explore the world.

Barring that, because of financial constraints, time pressures and the limitations of apartment living, I find myself obsessing over shoes.

the vale of tears

I wrote this post last night, Sept. 15, at 8:10 PM. It's a loaded entry not open for comment. All you need know is that things have changed for the better since then, and I am fine now. This entry remains for archival purposes, so I can answer the question this journal is meant to meet, namely: "What was I thinking?"


There are things one shouldn't have to go through in her lifetime. Abortion. Rape. Domestic abuse.

Having survived, you feel mangled, flawed somehow. Less than. Less than normal. And yet in a way you are also a little proud of yourself for having lived through it, knowing you see the world through different eyes.

Aliens broke into our apartment yesterday and took my husband. They left in his stead someone else. Someone who looked and sounded like Patrick, but I knew better. The quick temper, the explosive impatience, the aggressive driving....I recognized him right away.

Since then I found myself curling up in the corner and quietly crying, snatching moments here and there. I thought I was stronger than that. Where did that hellcat go, so proud to hold her own against him? What of the fight-or-flight instinct? I feared it was beaten out of me a long time ago.

He didn't realize I'd been crying until late this morning, when I thought he'd left and he found me sobbing on the floor. Reflexively, I dried my eyes and stood up, averting my eyes "Nothing, it's nothing."

Because I knew that crying only makes him angrier, Mr. Intolerant-of-stupid-helpless-pathetic-people. That's why I learned to cry quickly and quietly.

Patrick is back now. He is sleeping quietly in the bedroom. I know now why I could not move. He would never hit me, I know. Still, this man is capable of hurting me a thousand times more, without lifting a finger against me. Even when I mistook him for someone else, in my heart I knew who remained underneath it all, one who has more power over me than that man ever did. Because this man i love.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


i have a texan accent, y'all.

i know, i know. Thar's nuthin' more off-puttin' than a non-Texan tryin' t' pass 'erself off as bein' from this here great state o' Texas.

And I'm not trying to. Really. In fact, i've been working hard to keep my diction very "International Standard English", or my concept of it. The problem lies in my knack for accents, coupled with the tendency to mirror whoever I'm speaking with in order to facilitate interaction and help everyone feel at ease. When I whine about it, people (from here, naturally) say i don't have a Texan accent. Patrick says he hasn't noticed it. But I have. And some guy from California asked about it too when I told him I'm from Seattle.

And so here i am. An Asian girl in Texas who drawls with the rest of them. sht.


i have been so silly. I will claim extreme duress and extraordinary circumstances, of course. But the heart of it is that I have so much on my plate as it is and i really shouldn't be poking at what someone else has.

luz, i love you for simply smiling knowingly as i rant on and rail against the world for its inconsistencies. We both know it's just me. You wait patiently as i stumble upon the same realizations I know but somehow always manage to forget.

You're welcome to gently remind me that in the world of "your-business/my-business/God's-business". the only one I need tend to is my own.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

what's old is new again

i think college is coming back to haunt me.

first Alanis comes out with an acoustic re-recording of Jagged Little Pill, and now Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are together in a Zorro sequel, "The Legend of Zorro".

i CANNOT wait.



i woke up this morning wanting to sing in japanese. And record myself. The results were...enlightening.

I realized that:
1. It's not a good idea to //sing first thing in the morning// in a language you don't speak// without vocalizing first,// and then record the result//and post it on the web. Naturally, that's what I did, and I stand behind my decision. About 50 yards behind.
2. My voice is weaker , raspier and more nasal than i thought.
3. I could pay closer attention to my diction. Too many unnecessary h's and z's.
4. I am so far away from ever having a singing career it's not even funny.
5. Speeding up a recording 100% fixes everything.

I sound like a Japanese chipmunk.

Ok fine i guess I should post the original as well. For comparative purposes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

hubris and humble pie

Once upon a time i was part of a creative writing circle. We would meet at the The Chocolate Kiss (How is it that a campus cafe in the Philippines happens to have a URL?), sip iced tea sweetened with syrup, and tweak each other's work.

I remember brilliantly and constructively critiquing one aspiring writer's offering, the first installment of a dark comedy novel. I recently learned that he is now the managing editor of a national computing magazine back home. At least he gave my edit an enthusiastic review. I could even venture that my contribution inspired him to continue his literary pursuits. But now I can't help but wonder what happened to all those others whose oeuvres i deigned to annotate, sharpened pencil busily and almost disdainfully scribbling directions and admonitions across pages.

Who was that overconfident stranger? She seems a lifetime away. If people who knew me when were to find this awkward blog, i'd wish to dissolve, like syrup swirled in iced tea.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

the bomb i spoke of

luz's inadvertent revelation

She sees herself in me. In my happy marriage, in my world of him-and-me, she sees herself and her husband as they were years ago. She sees in me her youthful naive self, so completely wrapped up in her wonderful, adoring, absolutely perfect man. Their life was a solitary bubble, iridescent and blissful, floating high above a harsh gray landscape. Until the day he left, he was her whole world.

It is shameful to admit it but i was wary of befriending her. I was afraid to associate with someone whose husband had left her for another woman. How wicked, stupid, and despicable of me. As if I'm so pure and good, that to touch a life undeservedly wronged is to be defiled, tainted somehow.

He cheated on her, tricked her into signing away her marriage, and left. Her marriage dissolved, just like that. Abandoned and vulnerable on unfamiliar ground, she survived somehow. Eventually she found in God a chance to reclaim herself. Through God she found the love to forgive him. And later, to take him back.

She is my future, and I am her past. This is how we feel. There are too many similarities between her and myself, so many parallels in her marriage and in mine, so many uncanny coincidences in how our spouses treat us, that we cannot help but see each other as mirrors.

Things are not working out. She carefully keeps this from me. For her not to tell me this is, i feel, her way of keeping the bubble from bursting. Sometimes I clench my fists as we're talking, afraid that in the midst of our everyday banter I will react to that which I should not know, that I will reach across the table and throttle her: what were you thinking? why are you doing this to yourself? Why can't you just let go?!

She has been waiting. Two years after she took him back, she waits still, hoping for him to find God, or for God to find him. She prays for God to help him love her so much more than he ever did before. She is waiting for him to love her enough to stay this time.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

it's fashion week in New York,

money's tight, and I wasn't feeling well this morning. What's a girl to do?

Spend the morning window-shopping "Windows-shopping" for $500 shoes. Because if you're gonna dream, it's best to dream so big that the shoes are beautiful beyond avarice.

If you like the look of ballet slippers, Delmans are your best bet.
If you drooled over the fashion style of "Sex and the City", click on over to the HBO site for fashion credits from most episodes. Or check out these Manolos at

My personal picks are:
* Delman champagne sandal with a satin bow (i know, i know, the encrusted swarovskis are a bit much)
* Bottega Veneta snakeskin pump - Sorry, no direct link here. Click on skip> collection > shoes > 5 > lower right picture, middle shoe.
* I also like the Delman Highlander plaid pump (fourth column, second row) but I can't seem to find it on the site. I wish it didn't have the crystal embellishment. You'd figure Burberry would have something similar but apparently not. I want them to wear on Christmas Eve...
* Manolo Blahnik patent leather mule

Can I wear this to my wedding, or does it look too busy?
* Dior romantic pump
The model is wearing it (and a white trench coat!) here.

Neiman Marcus has an online clearance sale! Wahhh...I kinda like these too, but i could just be blinded by the $200 discount. This is why i shop with Patrick.
* Cole Haan pearlized pump
* Delman woven pump with bow

Or it could just be that i'm in a pink mood today. I even thought this was cute.
* pink floral rifle

I know. I'm despicable.

Friday, September 09, 2005

my first day back at work

Much has been said in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. All i know is that when i came in today, my department was completely wiped out of basics: Hanes value-packaged panties and socks in all sizes were completely sold out. In my two years as department manager, that has never happened.

Alright, so I was on vacation. But still.

In the little province where I was born, when store shelves were empty after a storm, it was because hoarders had taken all they could and were stockpiling supplies to resell at ludicrous prices. Or because some local government officials had decided that funds earmarked for relief could be diverted just a bit, to stamp "Donated by (corrupt politico)" on canned goods and rice and sugar.

Americans are often derided for being decadent and consumerist. Some days, walking through the seemingly-endless aisles of a warehouse club, my eyes begin to sting at such excess. But today, as I scanned and reordered peg upon empty peg of underwear, purchased by my neighbors to clothe strangers they will probably never meet, the tears began to flow.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

word verification

my blog is being spammed. =(

the unwanted posts have since been deleted, but i'm afraid you'll have to verify that you're an actual person (as opposed to a bot) by typing in the word verification box before posting your comments.

if it makes you feel any better, i'll be doing the same to comment on my own darned blog.

more than a bit peeved,

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

finally back online!

so many posts begun in my head, then forgotten. In the meantime, nothing better than a little "tagging" courtesy of my younger-but-no-longer-littler sister. (When I remember, I'm annoyed that everyone in the family is taller than me.):

When you get "tagged," make a list of 5 songs that've been on repeat lately on your playlist, and briefly give an explanation of that song... then proceed to "tag" 5 of your faithful readers to do the same. (You should tag someone who is likely to read your blog!)

Lyrics links are my personal addition; i'd rather not explain a song when you can click your way to its lyrics anyway.

1. She's Got a Way - Billy Joel
Been crazy about this song lately, changing the gender and imagining i'll record it one day with a brief intro about how it best guesses at the inexpressible way my hubby makes me feel.

2. Broken Vow - Josh Groban
So many people seem to be breaking up lately, either amicably or wearily, having finally admitted that it's not working out. I do not press them -- they say what they want to -- but I imagine when singing this that I give voice to that which they dare not speak.

3. What Am I to You? - Norah Jones
I love the picturesque poetry and conveniently overlook the bids for reciprocity.

4. The Real Folk Blues- theme song, Cowboy Bebop Soundtrack
Spent the weekend at Anime Fest, and Cowboy Bebop DVD 1 arrived from Netflix a few days ago. Also, our cable tv was set up the other day and we've been watching the last few episodes of this series on Cartoon Network.

5. A Bit of Earth - "The Secret Garden"
I dunno. Something to do with moving in to a new place and wanting to nest, even though we've only signed a year's lease and should be working on moving into a house.

Friday, September 02, 2005

be grateful, be grateful, be grateful

advice i gave a friend recently, though I probably need it more than she does:

Make the best use of what you have, of what you've been given. Knowing that you are doing the best you can with what you have and do not take anything for granted is consolation enough during times like these.

Because you don't just owe it to yourself, but to those who are less fortunate.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

logging off

This will probably be my last log-on for a few days.

I wanted to go to IKEA today for 99-cent breakfast plates and free massages but we're running short on time. We're only halfway moved-out and Anime Fest starts tomorrow. We're already going to miss out on half a morning on Saturday, when our cable TV access will be installed. Patrick will take care of the cable internet hookup once the TV is set up.

We're moving everything essential today: bathroom, closet, bedroom, computers. The miscellaneous items can wait till next week.

I've made my peace with Ms. Black Widow. She's alone, after all, and at this point it's more her home now than mine. She lives inside the stepladder, and hides when there are any sudden noises. She keeps to herself, and I respect that. I told the in-laws I saw her hanging from the ladder and that's that.

I don't know how we're going to bring Cocoa to the apartment.

regret is a coldhearted bitch.

So many shoulda-coulda-wouldas and druthers. I've been told I am lucky for feeling that I am solely to blame for the life I have, for seeing who and where I am now as the end result of choices made in the past. I don't feel lucky. It feels very lonely and desperate. And altogether disheartening.

Still, I hold this to be true: that one should take responsibility for one's own life. You may not have chosen or foreseen the consequences, but somewhere along the line, you always had choice.