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Showing posts from January, 2019

If I could be sweet

As I entered the elevator to go down to the lobby from the 5th floor, a man rushed out. We almost bumped into each other, then we did the dance for a few seconds before we found our way. A quick glance told me he was handsome; he looked to be in his 40s, going by his hair. But the most striking thing about him--at least for me--was that he was eating a chocolate bar. He held a half-wrapped Meiji milk chocolate bar in his hand, biting into it like a delighted child instead of breaking it into oh-so-proper adult bite-sized pieces. The doors were closing when he suddenly ran back in the elevator. "I'm sorry," he said, in what I think was a Japanese accent. I suprised myself by laughing like a girl, then saying, "Oh, you were going down?" "Yes, yes," he said, with a half-laugh, "I'm sorry." We stayed silent as the elevator slowly descended to the ground floor. I stared at my feet. It was a small elevator. When we got to the ground

It's amazing

Alicia Silverstone recreated her role in the music video for "Cryin'" on Lip Sync Battle recently, and of course it brought me back to the 1990s, to when I never got to wear flannel and boots and ride a convertible with my bad girl friends. Not that I really wanted to, in retrospect, though back then I was so convinced I did. Thank god I didn't get that tattoo. Anyway, hearing "Cryin'" again led me to check out the other Aerosmith music videos featuring Alicia on YouTube. I'm still not into "Crazy," but now I guess you could say I'm a little bit crazy about "Amazing." Maybe I was too young to appreciate what the song meant the first time I heard it in my teens. Its words didn't stand out in the musical sea of 90s angst and rebellion, at least to me. Now that I'm older and I've had more life experience, I am able to hear the song clearly. In a way, the message of climbing back up after hitting rock botto

What if what was was what if?

I literally fell asleep last night trying to answer this beauty pageant question from a video I saw on Facebook: "What if what was was what if?" I woke up this morning, phone in hand, saw my draft, and deleted the entire post. But the damn question just won't leave me alone. I'm reminded of the time I was on a roll, posting my own answers to the final 10 questions of the Miss Universe that year. That wit, I'm afraid, has escaped me. But what if nga what was was what if? Then again, aren't we already living in that kind of conditional? All the moments of our past carry with it what ifs: We pick one out of many paths, and in picking that one, immediately step away from other possibilities. So, let me try to answer the question, as I'm quite obsessed. What if what was was what if? In the poem "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost makes fun of his friend, the poet Edward Thomas. When they went on walks, Edward, ever indecisive, would often en

We were both stuck in the rain

We were both stuck in the rain. Me, because I had decided, on a whim, to buy a drink. Her, because she had gone out on her scooter and hadn't thought to bring any cover. There had been no warning of rain, save for a sudden gust of wind immediately followed by a steady spray of water. We sat on plastic chairs at a table pushed against the frontage of a closed store, thrown together by our need for shelter. I was on my phone; she was on another stick of cigarette. I had my back to her, not wanting to intrude or be intruded on, but she spoke, her voice thick and raspy from, I could tell, years of nicotine and tar and smoke. "You have a nice belt," she said. "Sorry?" I replied. "You have a nice belt," she repeated. I turned around. She was a beautiful mestiza: creamy skin, dark brown eyes, a tiny sharp nose. Makeup-free, as far as I could tell. She was wearing a pink spaghetti top and short denim cutoffs. Her brown hair was put up in a messy hi

Sunday rest for the restless

I love Sundays, especially if I've spent Saturday out. It's still a day of rest for me, though rest now takes on different appearances, such as doing the dishes or folding my clothes or trying out a new recipe. I learned recently that the rest I need after a busy week doesn't necessarily mean resting the body. It's more of resting my mind, and that can happen when I labor on other things I don't think about on the other days of the week. I also learned recently that I actually enjoy making things, no matter how little talent--and patience--I have for crafting. My mother and I (but mostly my mother) made a princess skirt for Kiara to play with last December. I took some scraps and made a matching skirt for her Minnie Mouse toy. The stitches were messy, the fabric was crooked, but you can bet I was proud of that little thing! Emboldened by the relative success of my little project, I decided to finally make the prototype of that infinity scarf with a secret po

My theme for 2019: good intentions

To be clear, it's living intentionally, but I wanted to use a noun, or noun phrase, as has been the tradition. This theme snuck up on me when we got home after Christmas Eve dinner with my brother-in-law's family, as I was tidying up in the living room before going to bed. I'd noticed that the Christmas lights were still on the table, and the branch my mother and our helper had painstakingly cut off from our podocarpus tree--which had, incidentally, borne fruit for the first time ever in 2018--was looking forlorn in its dark corner in our tiny patio. That was our Christmas tree, still unfinished. It had to wait until Christmas morning to be completed, and it would have only one Christmas night to sparkle in its full glory. We'd had a good night with family, and in the spirit of the season, I switched on the lights. I watched them twinkle on the table, many of them still coiled, and thought to myself: here lies our good intentions. But what we had really int