Monday, June 30, 2008


Word of the Day: Weeds

1. A plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one growing where it is not wanted, as in a garden
2. Something useless, detrimental, or worthless

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


I stayed up late last night baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and coconut cheerio treats. Yummy! Then I saw "Grandma's Boy".....hilarious!

Then, after checking my email in the morning, I learned that the neighbors have been complaining to the city about the "tall, dry weeds" on my property. There was a fire here last year on 4th of July, so the weeds can be a fire hazard. Personally, the weeds were quite beautiful, with green buds and purple flowers, nothing dry or hazardous. The weeds weren't the spiky, eyesore-type, and I'm almost sure they were native plants that grow in abundance in my area.

Nonetheless, the weeds were all cut down today. They'll grow back tomorrow anyways.

Then, after eating and such, I saw the first few episodes of "Weeds". TV series on DVD are the best thing eva. No commercials! The stories, characters, and scripts are pretty clever. I especially love the youngest boy! He was the Nemo voice. Watching those two episodes got me addicted. And you can't get addicted to weeds.

Now at my other home, the place where I grew up, weeds took over the backyard. Pushed through the cracks, spikey, ugly things, as tall as me. No one has lived there since April, except the weeds of course.


I love it when strangers randomly blurt out "Pag-ibig ko sa iyo."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wanna play?

Today I played a fun game of tag- with complete (adult) strangers.

I also shared a secret handshake and a liberating booty-bump (heeeeeyyyyy!) with- you guessed it- strangers. I had a blast, and when the games ceased, my heart was working overtime!

Playing games and being silly with strangers are some of the joys of working in the (battle)field of nutrition education. Now, although it would be ideal (30 minutes a day of tag? hell ya!) , I don't get to play these games everyday. These games were part of a physical activity forum held at the beautiful Mills College campus. Unfortunately, we didn't play all day long. However, I did get to exercise my mind with new ways of blending nutrition education and physical activity. Obviously, the two go hand-in-hand, but in these times of poor eating habits, the most physical activity some people get is walking to the fridge. I can be guilty of that sometimes!

I used to exercise (more), especially when I worked at a gym. After that, my work-outs consisted of walking the dog. Then I moved by the marina, with gorgeous trails and views, and an intention to wake up at the crack of dawn to jog. That hasn't happened (yet!). For mother's day, I bought myself an exercise hula hoop, and right now, it's more decor than its true function.

It's way more motivating to have someone to exercise with, and when exercise parters get together, counting off jumping jacks and sit-ups doesn't quite stimulate any fun. Play is the best way to work out mainly because you have so much fun you forget you're exercising!

Sometimes, at a BBQ or a party or whatever, I just want to round up some folks for a quick circle game, or a fun ice-breaker....but it seems that sometimes, adults are "too cool to act a fool." I remember going to a state-wide nutrition conference where we played the booty-bumpin' game. One of my partners (in a room of 500!) happened to be a stiff, white-haired, thin-lipped woman who probably made all of the decisions in her organization. As I swayed my hip to the side, getting ready to do my bump, she uncomfortably looked to the side and didn't even acknowledge my exaggerated "heeeeeyyyyyy!". I didn't get any booty bumpin! And when I had to reunite with my booty bump partner, no booty could be found.

Maybe booty bumpin' was too close for comfort for her, or she woke up and didn't get her coffee, but either way, I expect those working for nutrition education to practice what they preach. Healthy lifestyles include good nutrition and physical activity, and for children (and even adults), physical activity should be FUN! Sure, booty bumpin' doesn't have much to do with exercise, but it was part of the larger physical activity game, which had my heart pumping and wanting to play more!

So to sum it up, I'm missing a booty bump and I want to play (and cook/eat) all day. Who wants to play with me?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

i tried to tell you...

Great Expectations
- Luis H. Francia

She wants you for the coconuts and rum inside you.
She wants you for a whirlwind trip to the South China Sea.
She wants you for the typhoon in your hair
And the bright fish of your sperm.
She wants you for vacations she can never take
To places she can never imagine.
She wants you for the sun in your kisses
For the drummer under your tongue
For the volcano in your blood.
She wants you for the genie that
She believes is inside you, that can
Break her every taboo.
She wants you for the you you
Never knew was you,
For the you you need to die for
Before you will ever be you.


i tried to tell you...
but you cut me off
before i could even take a breath.

i was just breathing a bit too much fire,
scorching the stagnant earth.

i, too, have great expectations
that you would listen until the very end.

i tried to tell you...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

azul o negro?

Another library fave: Dark Blue, Almost Black
Spanish films are so cool, and usually pushing the edge (Pan's Labyrinth, Volver is another good one, oh, and Prinsesas) it because of my blood?

Another deep family theme. Young man takes care of his father in a wheelchair. He's such a nice, sweet man, nice enough to impregnate his sterile brother's convict girlfriend (it was a favor). Other sub-stories include the bi-curious best friend, childhood sweetheart, and thirst for a new beginning.


Just took the dog for a walk. Either direction I go, it's beautiful.

To the left is the water, waves crashing, sunsets. I heard the rocks there are from the Cypress collapse. If that's true, then I need to visit my dad there more often.

To the right are the homes along the shore. I love looking at all the different homes and gardens, each house so unique, plants that speak to you as you pass.

I would love to have my backyard where the water is. Just look out my window and there's the rhythm. But then again, I'm happy with my home, I can see the water from my front door, or sitting on my porch, and by just walking across the street, I meet the tide.

I hope I can stay here as long as I need to, especially for the next year. I love this home, and after one year, I'll be ready for a great change. But for now, I just want to soak up all of this house and its imperfections, take my walks during sunset, and feel the sea breeze on a hot evening like this.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Muscle Memory

This time I really did it, paddled in a canoe. With 5 others. Novice, yes, but not clueless like me.

Last time I tried to paddle, it didn't really count. We just cruised around, admiring the scenery, trying to keep the rhythm.

This time was different. I was in a racing canoe. Others had experience. I didn't know how to paddle, to use the correct muscle groups, to push the water in the most effective way, to shift my weight to my advantage. I knew there was more to just putting the paddle in the water, that it's not just instinct, it's sport. Thankfully kind people coached me in the middle of the water, truly thankfully. That kind of training doesn't work on land....but I don't do well with my body, demonstrations don't work...I have to see and do, do and see, show and tell, try again and again. I still held the blade too sloppy, arms too stiff or not stiff enough. With every "hut!" I couldn't help but thinking that my paddle might slip into the murky waters. Then what?

As we approached the dock, my muscles were thanking me for a great work-out. I really felt like I learned something. I still feel like spaghetti even 2 days afterwards. But honestly, this might not be something cut out for me right now. After months of neglect, my body and mind are not ready to jump into the canoe and paddle to the finish line....I'm on cruise control.

I admire Jada for being able to do this, no fear, confidence and fun expectations. She can teach me like how she always does.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


I love the library because I love books.

But I also love the library because I love movies. I can check out DVDs- for free. Sure, the movies ain't last season's box office smash hits (not like I want to watch those anyways), but sometimes you really can score a good flick.

Living cable-free for almost four months leaves no more temptations to watch Tila Tequila, but I do say that I miss the Food Network and the History Channel. I occasionally watch with the bunny ears, flipping through static channels, and magically my tv transmits MTV Tres, latin@ MTV! Tons of reggaeton, Shakira, and Pimp My Ride. But as the picture on that station goes in and out, so does my attention. That's when it's movie time.

Here's what I've watched in the last few weeks. Like many coincidences in my life, these movies had similar themes, particularly family.

Eat Drink Man Woman- Traditional Taiwanese family turns untraditional, but still makes tradition with a weekly Sunday dinner, elaborately prepared by Chef daddy. Many surprises come along the way, just like a traditional Chinese dinner.

The Namesake- Indian husband and wife emigrate to the US and start a family. The son (played by dude from Harold and Kumar) loses his traditional Indian ways in the New York lifestyle. But nonetheless, when circumstances arise, he remembers that family, by any definition, is what's really important.

Journey from the Fall- After the Vietnam War and the uprise of communism, one family, among many others, was torn apart, leaving the father in re-education camp and the rest to hop on the boat. A Vietnamese folk tale of Le Loi concurrently tells the story of the family left behind as well as create a new story of struggles of life in a new place.

These movies really touched me. I think it's because of the common struggles that all families face, no matter where they come from.

These flicks explored:
traditional vs. nontraditional
emigrating vs. refugee
generation vs. generation
fact vs. fiction
life vs. loss
love vs. hate