Thursday, November 29, 2001

I just saw Wonder Boys in Showtime tonight. This is not a movie review, believe me, I'm not planning to do that. I just thought that the movie is so refreshing. I catch it about 30 minutes from its run, but the movie catch me nevertheless. From the time I saw Michael Douglas, his un-debonair character and the movie's just-right treatment, I love it. Basically, because it is a breath of fresh air, the main character's life so hilariously in shamble. And I can relate to that in reverse cause I just feel at times how my life is so, ah, normal.

I remember one time talking with colleagues about drugs. Sshh… it's ironic how I never even get near one. Oh, I'm so virgin when it comes to narcotics. My only form of artificial stimulant is caffeine, which I even take in limited amount. I have tried nicotine, a bit. My stimulant-of-choice has always been involvement, which just by the sound is already boring :( I drink alcohol, yes. But even then, I always choose what is healthy (reds). I may just be a hopeless straight case that watching Michael as Grady heavily weeded is novel. Plus the twists from a stolen car, a murdered dog, to a pregnant mistress. All makes the viewing grand!

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Okay the pressure is on. It's Christmas. I even thought that the recent Operation Enduring Freedom would halt the Christmas shopping stampede. But they are there... the people in the stores buying, buying, buying. This is the reason why I miss being a child. I wish. Then, all I have to do is wait until Christmas to unwrap my presents. Now, I have to beat the Christmas lines and wrap the presents myself. Talk about signs of the times.

I have a list already, and the prospects are grim that I will have anything left in my wallet after Christmas :( Oh dear. I even have to put up the Christmas decorations, that, at least, is fun. You know that the little boy meddles with my decorating? He is the one most excited yelling, "we have to decorate. We have to decorate. Now!" Three paragraphs of instructions yet the boy is not done with his decorating wannas. I wonder where he gets the ideas. Maybe, this place is too crafty. I hate it. Now, I even have to learn. Anyway, I'm doing my best (aside from wishing for my Mom), so if ever I forget to send you my greetings, it doesn't mean I don’t care. I do, cross my heart. It's just the pressure building up, that, and the wallet thing ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2001

A relative finally!

I am looking forward to meet my long lost aunt this coming Thanksgiving. I have known her all my life except I have never met her, she left for the U.S. decades ago. She is my dad's long missed sister, and already, I am preparing the pictures to show to her come Thursday. I am so happy that after a long time I have a blood-relation nearby. Although New Orleans is not exactly near, but still a lot nearer than California. I wonder how it will be meeting my long lost cousins? They are so Americans, I suppose, being born and raised here. Even then, I love the prospect. I even heard that one of them looks a lot like me. Ha! I wonder.

Although we have exchanged phone messages several times, I have talked to my long lost Aunt just once. She's so sweet, and already so American. That is, the first time I ever talked to her, she already told me "I love you!" Which to us Filipino-bred is unheard of. In fact, I have another message in my mailbox with her voice telling me "I love you!" again. I feel, to be honest, good, oh she loves me! Yippee! She is so sweet, like me, that I get to think my long lost aunt and I are really so related.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Turning 30

The hardest part in turning 30 is that I can not say I am 29 anymore. On my birthday, the reality of being 30 broke my heart. In fact, the first thing I uttered to Donald as I rolled over in bed to face him the morning of my birthday was, “I’m not 29 anymore.”

No matter what kind of preparation I did, 30 is 30. 10 years from now and I will have a regular osteoperosis check-up. Add to that a regular mammogram. Well, actually, the last time I met with my doctor, she already took a sample of my blood for cholesterol count. :(

But nothing prepared me for 30. Not even the will and trust that is neatly folded in my vault, nothing. Even for the fact that I thought I had it all figured-out, nothing. When I was 26, I felt I have done all that I have set myself to do, the list I have written at 21. In fact, I have written another list since then to follow though not to the letter, (I can be flexible) but still… that by the time I reached 28, I was ready for new goals, new statement of objective. I even told my sister that, “everything else is an extra.” I was very content, very sure of myself. Until my 30th birthday, when my certainty seemed to, well, have taken a boat ride and headed for a vacation. In fact, I even thought that the sky was cloudier, and the day was darker than usual, on my birthday.

Alzheimer’s disease even entered my mind. And it’s funny because I missed turns, I missed exits, I couldn’t crack the things I was supposed to do, all on my birthday. I even went out to lunch twice! I felt so hungry, I couldn’t explain. It might be, I guess, a unique manifestation of a panic attack. Maybe turning 30 is something really panicky.

I just felt better when I got back home and saw my son. In his sweet voice, he greeted me a happy birthday, added apologetically that his gift was not yet done. I thought he was so sweet, his hug took some of my heartache away. Donald’s too. Have I told you that the first thing Donald did, was to hug me like I was gone from a long trip? He was a respite. His presence as ever welcoming, and thanks to him, I could relinquish my role from time to time. It was my birthday, it was my day, and it was his treat. Thank you Love for the great treat. (Even if we circled College St. thrice looking for that restaurant.)

It just confirmed to me that I need some fine-tuning when on the way home after dinner, in 285 I lost it again. I was taken over by panic, I thought some drivers were driving wild. Donald assured me that it was all right, we were just in Dekalb, I gained my composure back entering 85. Especially when I looked at the back of the car and saw the peace in Penny’s face, then, already past asleep. At that point, I blurted out “I want more babies!” Donald smiled and reminded me to tell him again next day, for tonight, it might just be the Sangria.

When we got home although sleepy, Penny woke up to finish his present for me. He said, “don’t look. Don’t look.” I thought he was so cute doing his little card for me. When he finished, of course it broke my heart. He has written in his card that he loved me. I thought that his drawing depicted me encouraging, telling him “good job Penny!” My heart swelled with the card on my hand, I felt better.

I spent the rest of my birthday bundled together with Donald on the sofa in the great room. It was past 1 o’clock when we headed up to sleep. Even then, we still talked, and teased, and talked. I thought somehow that my sentiments were just conjured, that crappy 30 thing, in my mind, the bad mood imagined. Or how could I be smiling, and laughing, and feeling thankful at the same time? (Or was it really just the Sangria?)

Maybe the prospect of Alzheimer's would not be, until many, many years from now. Before I let up, here is the last issue. Turning 30 puts my age in limbo. When I was 29, I was in my late 20’s. And then a year from now when I turn 31, at least I would be early 30’s. But now, being 30, well, I’m just that, 30. How forlorn could that be?

Hearing this, Donald told me in barely opened eyes not to worry. That should anyone ask for my age, I should instead respond that, “I am, a gorgeous 30!” I know it would be 364 more days before I reached 31. Just the thought of the gorgeous 30 lulled me to sleep. For now, the gorgeous 30 may be a consolation.

Sunday, November 11, 2001


It has been a pretty busy week with my mind full of the festivities to come. Not only is Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner, I am also celebrating two consecutive birthdays, mine, and the little boy's. It is rather a special birthday marking special occasions for both of us, I turning 30, and Pen turning 7. It’s all a milestone. Especially for Pen who is turning 7. 7 years old is customarily a big deal for our family, the time for special parties.

I spent hours researching the party places around Gwinnett. You see, the only party place for kids I really know is Chuck E. Cheese, and Penny has outgrown that. The best lead I came up with so far was Scitrek along Discover Mills.

I bet on high for Scitrek because Penny is the young scientist in our family. The same night, Donald and I rushed to Scitrek. When we got there, because Discover Mills just opened its doors to the public, there was hardly anything in the museum. :( I really liked Scitrek downtown, however the one in Discover Mills was small and being new was rather empty.

Anyway, there is going to be a party for Pen. Since his birthday falls on a weekday, the plan is to have a party in school and then party elsewhere the same weekend. Now, with no venue in mind for the weekend party, it occurred to me that it could be Penny did not even want a party!

The time has come to consult Penny. Roll call and our family sat face to face in a round table for an all-important meeting (ah huh). Donald and I formulated several choices for Pen to hype his birthday more. The choices we threw were:

(1) Birthday party,
(2) Trip to Disneyland.
(3) One year supply of lollipop (lollipop is a novelty for Pen because I forbid).
(4) Boxes (Penny loves all sort of boxes from shoebox to refrigerator box) :)
(5) Stocks :)
(6) and a drum set.

I seriously thought Pen would choose Disneyland because among his favorite things in the whole, wide world was to travel. I underestimated his banging on the walls, and the noise that he makes banging the table in the great room. But he did choose the drum set! It was, to me, a surprise. Now, I am on the market for a drum set, actually bracing myself for the banging (or is that noise) that comes along with it. I should have stuck to the party. Well, the little boy is turning 7 which, to me, is the coolest part.