Saturday, December 31, 2011


"Birds flying high, you know how I feel,
Sun in the sky, you know how I feel...
it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life,
for me...and I'm feeling good."--Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse 1964

New Dawn, New Day, New Year

So, I really took a break from blogging because of November’s National Blog Posting Month. But, I did enjoy life so much more in December and I wish I could have blogged about every wonderful moment, but I just have some highlights.

Las Vegas, Circus Circus with Guam cousins and my family was rejuvenating. Two days was all we needed, although we wanted more. We got away from it all, without having to go too far away. We would definitely stay at Circus Circus again. We dabbled in light gambling, hit the buffet once and mostly spent time with our kids at the Adventure Dome. My children’s stuffed animal collection grew by 30 in the two days. We love the crane machines!

Then, we recuperated in a day and a half and cleaned like mad because my best friend since 1994 drove down for a two day visit. I felt 19 all over again and the first place we hit (after the grocery store) was a coffee shop, like the good old days. We learned about each other again (it had been almost 5 years since we were in the same zip code) and enjoyed that our children enjoyed each other’s company. My husband had some guy time with my best friend’s hubby—they cruised in our classic car and tried every flavored beer in the fridge.

Then, Christmas eve and Christmas day festivities really brought the celebration home. Gag gifts, fun with board games (Disney Head Banz—a hit--thanks, Liz and crew!)
and great food and wine, made 2011 end with an exclamation point.

I love new mornings, new days and new years because a fresh start and an improved attitude makes hope for more wondrous experiences a real thing. The holidays are my favorite time of year.

Happy New Year and ESTA LATER!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reflecting on 30 Days of My NaBloPoMo Commitment.

“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”—Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Mary Shelley)
I guess I feel a sense of accomplishment at completing 30 days of daily posting. Thank you to those who have followed along and new readers who stumbled upon…and hooray that my husband is officially “following” my blog now.

I am quite relieved that this is my last obligated post of the month, since the HOLIDAYS have descended across the land—times are hectic. Manic Christmas music pushing me forward to choose suitable, meaningful, memorable gifts for my loved ones. Today alone, I’ve filled my arms with gifts, only to put them back on the shelves (not always the right shelves, YES! I’m one of those people, except I draw the line at perishables).

Moving on…this daily posting of National Blog Posting Month forced (not the best word), maybe encouraged me to dig deep and write on topics I normally wouldn’t share. I enjoyed when topics came easy, dreaded when I couldn’t share something more entertaining. But, I need to remember that I write for myself first, then the other Gods and Goddesses in training. It was nice to read comments from new people and reaffirming comments from family and friends.

All month, I’ve been wanting to post a picture of this dark gray bird (I’m not an expert on birds, so I don’t know her make and model)…I say she, because as a woman (and speaking for other women), we tend to get too critical of ourselves. So, this bird visits almost everyday and attacks its reflection in the shiny hubcap of my husband’s classic car. We call the car Angel--a 1946 Chevy Fleetmaster.

I’ve tried snapping pictures of this bird from my kitchen window. I creep around Angel when I get home from picking up my son from school, the clinking of this bird’s beak on the hubcap tells me she’s at it again. I was unsuccessful at catching her “on film” figuratively speaking, but I have witnessed her many times with this ritual of pecking at her reflection. My daughter thinks it’s funny, I think it is too, but there’s a bit of sadness there. I feel like I sometimes peck at my own reflection. I’m not satisfied with something. This happens daily, sometimes more magnified and depressing than other times, but it’s there.

So, as this year comes to a close, I’m trying to get a head start on adjusting my attitude, my self-perception and elevate my feelings of self worth. Don’t worry, I won’t be joining the little bird in banging my head into my husband’s shiny hubcaps, but I continue to be a GODDESS in TRAINING and I think it’s fine to not be satisfied, to yearn for more. Because one who is 100% “there” is bluffing. And, if I ever get to be 100% “there”, then maybe I’ll be at my peak and not need a BLOG, I’ll finally have the Bruce Lee glow. (Next year is the Year of the Dragon—his year, my mom’s too). Anyway, so easy to be sidetracked by Master Lee. I hope for a nice close to 2011 and a fiery, evolutionary, memorable 2012. I’m sure I’ll write again, even though I need a bit of a break thanks to NaBloPoMo.

I have learned more about myself this past month and hope you folks have picked through my ramblings to find your own nuggets of truth (thanks, denise for the “nugget” term)….until then, don’t peck too often or too hard at your own reflections. And if you have to, use a helmet.

I love Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter, classic! I'm going to run around everywhere with this theme song in my head, don't laugh.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Breakfast with My Daughter...Day 29 of NaBloPoMo.

“And mothers are their daughters' role model, their biological and emotional road map, the arbiter of all their relationships.” ~Victoria Secunda

About twice a month, my three year-old daughter and I enjoy alone time at IHOP for breakfast. I order something yummy and she does the same, typically a chocolate chip funny face. She proceeds to eat only a third and I gripe at the cost of it, but then quiet down as I realize the bigger pay off of time together.

When we wait for our food, my daughter grabs my creamer to build. She creates bridges, fences or castles and is very intent on making it just right. When I snapped a few pictures of her in action she exclaimed, “Wait! I’m not ready yet!” *I once caught her, when she was about 1 1/2 years old, under our dining table with a Yoohoo drink box castle. Future architect?

Sometimes, she brings in her stuffed animal, or her “kids” and sets up a mini table for them. She uses her crayons as utensils, the mini creamer as a cup and then insists that I place a small piece of egg or bacon as their meal.

The IHOP staff is wonderful and welcomes us on our regular visits.

I watched my daughter today, really watched her. She cuddled next to me between her chocolaty pancake bites and I wondered if we would be like this in 10 years? 15? After she is married and a mom? The prospects of this made me smile.

Enjoy your quiet moments with the ones you love. I am. I do.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Blah...Day 28 of NaBloPoMo.

Sort of having a Thanksgiving hangover--stuff to do, things to accomplish, Christmas tree to set up. Maybe I’m still bitter because I didn’t have turkey on Thanksgiving day. How do you get things done? One step at a time. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

So, this flimsy, shallow post is all I can muster for today, since my kitchen is being rearranged to fit my new Cuisanart grind and brew, 89.00 bucks at Big Lots! Hope my heavy hand doesn’t break it. I was known as “stomper” growing up (tagged by my father).

Computer off, so I can deal with the world in my immediate reach.

So, off to be housewifey, domestic goddessy and so forth.

Random, but here’s Christina Perry’s “A Thousand Years”


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy 71st Birthday, Bruce Lee...Day 27 of NaBloPoMo.

“As you think, so shall you become.” –Bruce Lee

I must admit, I love me some Bruce Lee. He’s been my ultimate role model since I was a kid. My father is to blame, having Bruce Lee movies on in the house every weekend. By college, I had the entire movie collection on VHS, a few years later, everything on DVD. Blu-Ray? Someday. I have numerous books and even Pogs! Remember those?

I’ve analyzed my fixation on Bruce Lee, his son, Brandon Lee too, many times before—several college papers on the topic. It could be our Asian connection, my love for martial arts and the way Bruce Lee embodied a strict, disciplined mind and body that I still strive for.

This time last year, I was in San Francisco with my family. The eight hour drive was worth it, knowing I would be in the city Bruce Lee was born, 70 years prior. I got my first tattoo (tiger-designed by my brother, latte stones in a sling stone-shaped like our Guam seal-added by me) a few streets off China Town. I was amazed that my tattoo artist and others I spoke with loved Bruce Lee, but didn’t realize that it was 1) his birthday and 2) his birth city.

Nonetheless, I admire Bruce Lee. He would have been 71 today. I’m sure he would have looked exactly the same and have the same fire in his eyes. He may have had a few more movies under his belt, but would NOT have been a Hollywood sell out. I follow his Facebook site, run by his daughter, Shannon and it was a nice reminder post from her that her great father was born today.

So, to Bruce Lee. Happy Birthday!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mickey Mouse Egg Game…Day 26 of NaBloPoMo.

I used to have this Nintendo Mickey Mouse Egg Catching game in the 1980s and I LOVED IT! I thought of this game after 30 years because my life got pretty happily busy this week. Family visiting is always wonderful and even now I rush to squeeze in memories before they have to return to Texas tomorrow. My kids are already suffering from cousin withdrawal and know that after a hearty breakfast tomorrow, they’re boarding a plane.

So, the other day, when recovering from Disneyland and Thanksgiving, the images of this old Mickey Mouse game (which is oddly fitting) came to mind as I drove around with my children. I loved the speed at which I mastered my game, watching and timing the egg rolling from each coop. In my memory, I moved my thumbs lightning fast. Not sophisticated and high tech as the games my six year old has mastered, but those were the days.

At times, my life feels this hectic, but like Mickey, I have to keep smiling. My kids are sweet when they know mom has business to take care of—whether that’s laundry, dishes, wrapping gifts, cleaning, or blogging and writing in general. So, tonight I’m going to make a few more memories with my cousin as the house sleeps, watching zombies on the big screen and being afraid together.

I’ll miss her and the boys.

I received news from my best buddy that she and her family are planning a road trip to visit us. It’s been 4 ½ years and this will be the best Christmas present this year.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday = DOOM…Day 25 of NaBloPoMo.

Is it WORTHED it? (As we say on Guam)....

That really depends. If I can get a great DVD for $1.96, then sure. If I can get Season One of The Walking Dead for 10 bucks, heck ya!

Did I? No. If you read my previous post about Thanksgiving at Disneyland, you’ll know that I was tired. I saw the full parking lot at Kohl’s as we pulled back into our neighborhood (before midnight), but I didn’t have it in me to deal with the rabid crowd.

I attempted a visit with my two children before lunch today. The overall atmosphere at Target and Kohl’s was calm. Deals? Just a few and I knocked off a few names on my Christmas list.

Cyber Monday? I’ll definitely log on from the comfort of my home.

After watching tonight’s evening news, from shootings and robberies in parking lots, to a woman pepper spraying customers so she could score an X Box, to police manhandling a grandfather rendering him unconscious, I’m glad I choose my comfy bed to the craziness of Black Friday.

Be safe shoppers, being shot in the leg or pepper sprayed…just not worth(ed) it.


Disneyland, Happiest Place on Earth? Day 24 of NaBloPoMo.

Disneyland, whew, it's midnight and I was busting my keys to time stamp this for November 24. Admitting my guilt here!

Anyway, I will elaborate more once I've rested from my 8 hour adventure at Disneyland, to include the two hour drive there and two hour drive back.

I will say that it was very, very tempting to pull into Kohl's to begin Black Friday shopping. I didn't have the energy, so I'll try my luck with the slow pokes tomorrow (today). Look for more details later on Disneyland. My children's first visit!

11/25/11 Friday

So the above was what I blogged several seconds after my NaBloPoMo deadline. To continue and to get my post my post for today finished, I recap our Disneyland wonderment.

This was my second visit to Disneyland, the last time I was there, my husband and I were engaged. Fast forward eight years and my visit with two children in tow was organized and carried out with efficiency. Unfortunately, we only got to experience about 40 percent of the theme park, so a repeat visit is eminent. We will definitely wait until our toddler is old enough to further enjoy (and have real memories) and our son is not too old to be sighing heavily….

**I did visit Tokyo Disneyland when I was 17 years old, but it was such a foreign and unique experience, that I categorize it as a different theme park. My beef curry and rice lunch did help, but it was yummy.

The new Nemo Underwater Submarine ride was excellent. My children were excited and my daughter recited lines from the movie as she watched the scenes unfold through her portal. I was trying to figure out how the animation was displayed, but didn’t want to overanalyze.

Small World boat ride was also a hit, with the Christmas theme everywhere. I think they need to add Guam and Chamorros somewhere in there.

Fifty dollars for lunch for five people was tolerable and a few reasonable souvenirs for the kids made our overall visit wonderful.

If I had to choose between a summer visit or a Fall/Winter visit, the cooler weather and overall merriment of the patrons and staff wins out.

Disneyland proved to a happy place after all.

Esta Later!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Spanks…I Mean, Thanks! Day 23 of NaBloPoMo.

You want me to be the turkey? I don’t think so. You know turkey-isms that I don’t know.” –Robert Deniro

I am so grateful for many things. I think mainly that we are having a stress free holiday. I definitely miss my family on Guam, who are now gearing up for their chicken (not turkey) lunch together.

I am blessed to have my family together, happy and healthy. We are making great holiday memories so far, especially with my cousin and her wonderful sons. Legoland was a blast yesterday, considering it was their first time. Topped it off with a great show and wonderful food at a teppanyaki restaurant (again, their first time).

So, this is short and sweet. Make the most of your Thanksgiving weekend and enjoy the company you have.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Something Old, Something New...Day 22 of NaBloPoMo.

As any writer knows, writing can happen anywhere and inspiration at any time. So, we need notebooks, napkins, receipts, Post Its, etc., not to mention a working pen to jot lines or ideas that come to us. Technology helps as I use my MEMO function on my phone to keep ideas.

I have a stockpile of old journals, notebooks and scraps of paper that I keep and read and use (or reuse) in current writing. I came across one of my cutesy journals from 1999, 12 years ago.

One Post It buried in the pages of this bear riding a whale journal said,

“I was born with so much drive and ambition because it was transferred to me from my grandmother and mother—both of whom barely used it.” October 26, 1999

In many ways, I still feel this way. My grandmother who passed away this past May (at the age of 96) always told me to get an education and never “shack up” with a man. She told me that her father was satisfied that she could write her name and she ended up with a first grade education. This was 1921.

My mother always told me the same thing, she being a simple country girl in South Korea. She only received an 8th grade education, higher schooling being too costly for her family. This was 1964.

My mom and my paternal grandmother were smart, crafty women who could have achieved so much more than their domesticated existences. My mother will be turning 60 next year (don’t tell her I mentioned that) and has found a renewed sense of self, especially since my father’s death in 2007. Since then, she has received her U.S. Citizenship, a driver’s license and a new sense of freedom in her individual life on Guam. I miss her, but I know she is flourishing.

I am happy to take on the untapped potential of my lineage. I embrace it willingly and proudly. I can only hope that I don’t pass on unfulfilled dreams to my daughter, but inspire her to blaze her own trails.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Showers by Midnight…Day 21 of NaBloPoMo.

“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.” - Lisa Alther

As a mom of two, it is typical to take some ME time when the kids are in bed. Me time is basically a late night shower, singing in the hot steam and ending the night with one or two television shows or movies (glass of rose', if I'm fortunate). I sometimes watch movies in fast forward, getting the gist of the storyline. If characters are walking or reminiscing or there is a cheesy music montage the forward button is pushed. If I’m feeling extra Super Mom ambitious, I might do a load of laundry or put dishes away too. Hold me back, I’m a domestic animal. Roar, ahem, ROAR!

If I’m consumed with a writing piece, novel or screenplay, or now looming--a short story deadline, I’ll work on that or do Room Mom duties. But, with my family in town, it’s time to just enjoy each other’s company. Midnight post so my day tomorrow can be open to keep four kids happy and busy and bonding. Go, Familian CHODE!

Off to watch a few shows, fast forward button on the ready.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ode to Coffee...Day 20 of NaBloPoMo

By Guam Goddess in Training

Coffee so sweet and bitter and bold
Thank you for helping me fight off this cold

Your aroma envelopes my worries and crushes ‘em
Your jolt helps me feel alive and 18 again

You’re a warm cup full of liquid hope
You give me energy to get over this slope

In my Lilo and Stitch cup or Power Puff Girls
I am hypnotized by the lovely vanilla creamer swirls

Coffee and caffeine, what a wonderful team
You warm my soul with your welcoming steam

Thank you coffee bean for being you
Thank you French press for this brew

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Four Years Since I’ve Seen My Cousin! Day 19 of NaBloPoMo.

“Cousins are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.”--Ed Cunningham

I don’t have a sister, just two younger brothers. So, growing up, I always wanted what sisters shared. I found that with friends, but never to the level that felt like real-life sisterhood (my BFF Kim and MFF-mali friends forever, Alison excluded, of course). So, with the visit of my cousin from Texas, my dad’s brother’s daughter (lost yet?) I’m ecstatic. She and her younger sister, are very much like my sisters. They genuinely care about me and check on me and celebrate and mourn with me and for that, I’m thankful.

Our home is buzzing with excitement. My son is looking forward to seeing his two older cousins, both boys. And, my daughter has never met any of them. I was pregnant with her when we last trekked to El Paso for Christmas.

I have a lot to be thankful for this season, and being with family from my father’s side is wonderful. So, I’m back to cooking, cleaning and setting the stage for a wonderful eight days with family!


Friday, November 18, 2011

A List of Firsts....Day 18 of NaBloPoMo.

“What is human life? The FIRST third a good time; the rest remembering about it.”—Mark Twain

I know I’m getting old as I reflect on FIRSTS in my life, the things suitable to share, that is. Mr. Twain was a wise man. I do hope for more firsts in my life, but I won’t be bungee jumping or cliff diving anytime soon. This is a somewhat random list, with event and age. I don’t use any of these facts as a security question by the way.

First movie: The Exorcist age 1 ½, Movie ratings? What’s that? My parents took me to this in Korea while my father was stationed there. Crazy! Explains my fear of all things Linda Blair.

First Stitches: 4, cracked my head. Harry Potter made it cool to have a scar on your forehead, so I guess I'm cool too.

First Dance: 8th grade, Kevin B. with his mullet and acid wash jeans, my 80s teenage dream realized.

First Kiss: 21 (Although I have memories of kissing Freddy and his hot dog scented breath under our stairs where we played Star Wars; if so, 3 years old, Massachusetts).

First Date: 8th grade, chaperoned by his older sister, we watched The Abyss.

First Job: Summer before 9th grade Naval Hospital, X-Ray Department receptionist. I made a thousand bucks that summer, gave half to my parents and didn't know what to do with myself. I think I bought the entire Beach Boys collection on tape among other things.

First Car: Z28 Camaro, black with red and silver stripes, T-Top 1986. Don't be impressed, it was a junker hand me down from my father. Interior cloth drooped on my head, T-top leaked, no a/c, windshield wipers only worked if I used the bumps on the road to get them to swish (equivalent to pounding a remote control with weak batteries in your palm) and it was maipe as heck! Guam?! 85 degree heat? After school I smiled casually as I grabbed the black leather and metal steering wheel (2nd degree burns) I'm sure of it. But, it was mine. And I loved it's power. V8 engine killed my allowance money though. *Photo below is not the actual car, it's more pristine.

First Tae Kwon Do Tournament: 17, 3rd place out of 4 women. Ooh, yeah!

First Beer: 18 (legal age on Guam).

First Karaoke Song: 19 (somewhere in Barrigada) “More Than Words” by Extreme, sung from behind the couch cushions I hid under.

First Time Guest Singing in a Band: 19 (baby Christening) “What’s Up” by Four Non Blondes, backed by great teenage boy musicians.

First New Car: 22, Blue Stock Toyota Tercel.

First Home: 25 My parents tagged along and I gave them the Master Bedroom, "We'll live with you until you get married." Normal by Guam/Chamorro standards. I love 'em!

First Broken Heart: 26, I don't think the devastation of finding out (when I was 8 years old) that Elvis Presley was already dead counts.

First Jet Ski Ride: 27

First Disneyland (CA) visit: 29, been to Tokyo Disneyland, but eating beef curry and rice didn’t feel All-American to me (17).

First Marriage (and last): 30.

First Child: 31

First Published Book: 36

First Tattoo: 36 (San Francisco on Bruce Lee's Birthday) Took me 18 years to finally decide on one, don't ask how I told my mother finally--my strict, opinionated Korean mother. She still loves me, though.

*I visited the Chinese Hospital in China Town, San Francisco where Bruce Lee was born. Day of his 70th birthday. I felt it was fitting.

First Comic Con: 37, Comic Convention famous in San Diego, Twilight dream come true.
*I was that close to Robert Pattinson!

Food List, food and the corresponding age…

Carabao 10 (tricked by my father, "Eat it! It's beef!" chomp, chomp "Kidding, it's carabao.")

Deer 10
Taco 12
Stingray 21
Raw tuna 22
Wasabi 22
Lamb 30 (blech!)
Oatmeal 30
Cilantro 30

Random, yes. Think about your “Firsts”.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Electric Boogaloo The Ballad of Ricky Bobby...Day 17 of NaBloPoMo

Sometimes, a blog idea just falls in my lap. This time it happened at the Starbuck’s Drive Thru, and I’m not talking hot coffee on my thighs.

I’ve been meaning to post about my excitement of watching Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 Electric Boogaloo The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.

I’m headed out with my kinfolk Friday night. Proof below, Nari and Judy, Let’s DO this!

Well, after dropping my son off at school my addictive nature wanted a Starbucks spinach feta wrap. I headed to the drive thru, which is always crowded in the morning, so they usually send out a human to take your order. My daughter and I were enjoying the movie soundtrack, our favorites already are track 1 and 3, but the less played number 4 was on. I lowered the volume, but not enough to cause my mandrake baby in the back seat to complain that she couldn’t hear the music. So, I placed my order and the lovely red haired woman of about forty years old kept repeating my order details. She then apologized and said, “I’m sorry, I’m so distracted by your music. Is this? Is this the Twilight Breaking Dawn soundtrack?” We twittered away about when we were going to see the movie and she finally got my order right.

Is this what it feels like when Trekkies or Star Wars fanatics meet each other? I’m also a Harry Potterhead and that’s a whole other obsession, however, secondary to Twilight.

I was at Comic Con this past summer and did line up for the Twilight panel. Six hours of craziness, being one with the grass and willing myself not to need to eat or pee. I saw the cast and my muse, Robert Pattinson. It was great! But, would I do it again? Under the right conditions, but once was enough.

Anyway, red headed Starbucks lady (aka Victoria) thanked me and told me to enjoy the movie. I know I will. The soundtrack/books/actor have got me excited since ever since.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Supporting Chamorro Artists-Jason J. and Tribal Theory…Day 16 of NaBloPoMo.

Instead of moaning about my life, I’m switching gears today to celebrate some Chamorro talent. In the world of music, 2 artists/groups come to the forefront for me, Jason J and Tribal Theory.

Jason J. (Juices)

Anyone who knows me, knows I'm heavy into rock/alternative, but I do appreciate all music (I went through a Celtic phase in college and a Country Music phase as a teacher)… But, the first time I heard Jason was on a return trip home to Guam to care for my ill father in 2007. Driving around my island home, I enjoyed local radio and Jason’s song came on. “Forever” grabbed me. The lyrics and his melodic stylings were solid, sure and meaningful. Another day, I heard “Juices” and again was reeled in. I searched high and low at Chamorro Village for his CD and everyone knew him, but had not heard that a CD was released. So, since then I enjoy his work and his distinct voice on Youtube.

I gladly introduced myself to Jason this past September at PIFA (Pacific Islander Festival)when he popped into my Guam Books and Beads booth. He was gracious and thanked me for my support. He assured me that he was working hard in Hollywood to make an impact with his music.

I praise him and support him in his efforts. He shines a light on Guam.

“Forever” Jason J.

“Juices” Jason J.

Please support him by visiting his website,

Tribal Theory

Tribal Theory is another wonderful example of Chamorro boys with musical talent. They play regularly around San Diego and support our community at festivals such as our Chamorro Cultural Festival and PIFA. Singer, Ajay Blount is a great performer who represents the Chamorro spirit well (and he's an all-around nice guy). They have had many successes and I am certain they will continue. My favorite Tribal Theory track is “Come On Over.”

You can learn more about Tribal Theory on their Facebook page or their website,

Si Yu’os Ma’ase for reading!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

‘Cause I Want It Now…Day 15 of NaBloPoMo

My screenplay is kerplunk and staying stagnant until I feel inspired again. (Re-submission is due today!) I appreciated and needed the two expert reader analyses, which I received last week. Realistically, and with life and the mundane requiring my attention, I begrudgingly let go of Verona, Jack and Garrett for now.

I want to do the screenplay revisions justice and I don’t have the focus, time, inspiration or drive to do so right now (whine, whine, WINE--I need some WINE!)

It helped that I read in a BlueCat Screenplay newsletter that someone else received feedback and waited a year to resubmit. They again had the same glaring errors and after a year of revision, 8 days seems to be pushing it to have a quality product.

I’m the most impatient person you’ll meet, so this is a big step for me to withdraw and take “going back to the drawing board” seriously.

I wish I could give up this pipe dream of being a big shot writer, but I can’t. Maybe if I had the same drive to hit the gym, I’d be as bootielicious as Beyonce…so I need to redirect my focus so other things in my life can fall into place.

Balance, baby, balance.

In the meantime, the lyrics of “Hysteria” from Muse best suits my mood. Enjoy….

It's bugging me
Grating me
And twisting me around
Yeah, I'm endlessly
Caving in
And turning inside out

'Cause I want it now
I want it now
Give me your heart and your soul
And I'm breaking out
I'm breaking out
Last chance to lose control

It's holding me, morphing me
And forcing me to strive
To be endlessly cold within
And dreaming I'm alive

'Cause I want it now
I want it now
Give me your heart and your soul
I'm not breaking down
I'm breaking out
Last chance to lose control

And I want you now
I want you now
I feel my heart implode
And I'm breaking out
Escaping now
Feeling my faith erode


Monday, November 14, 2011

One Is the Loneliest Number? Day 14 of NaBloPoMo.

“Loneliness adds beauty to life. It puts a special burn to sunsets and makes the night air smell better.”—Henry Rollins

"Automat" Edward Hopper 1927

Eating alone in a restaurant can seem lonely. Admittedly, the first time I did this was in Guam at King’s Restaurant on my two hour break (prep period and lunch). I set out my students’ papers, my gradebook and had my meal on the side. I was working hard not to look pathetic or lonely.

Fifteen years later, I really could care less if I had to dine alone, age brings you a stronger sense of self, I guess. But, today as I had breakfast with my daughter, I saw three elderly men, each at their own table.

One man ate stoically, occasionally looking at my daughter and me, not smiling, mostly looking out the window. He had a large patch on his throat and I figured he was a former smoker (or still actively smoking). He finished his meal efficiently, boxed the leftovers, placed a stylish hat on his head and left.

Another man, dressed in a nice business jacket ate quietly. Again, not smiling, just focused on the task at hand. He left without me noticing, a half pile of unfinished strawberry covered pancakes left on his table, no tip.

These two men didn’t seem lonely.

The last man stumbled in and sat in the booth next to us. His arms were tattooed and his skin blotchy and leathery. He had a thick moustache and spoke cheerfully, a bit too loud. He slurred his words and repeated himself to the waiter on a number of occasions. When my waitress walked by him he loudly said, “Don’t lose it!” She leaned in and asked kindly, “Don’t lose what?” He said, “Your wiggle! Don’t lose that wiggle of yours.”

I was disgusted. He bordered on being vulgar and was clearly inappropriate. The waitress took it in stride, looked at me and smirked. I smirked back. At the end of our meal, this third man had finished half his Spanish omelette. He looked over at me, then looked at my daughter. I gave him a quick half smile and focused on feeding my child, my arm instinctively cradling her and drawing her in close. I could see in my periphery that he was still watching us. It struck me at how lonely he seemed. He didn’t speak, but then returned his attention to his food. I began wondering about this man, his line of work, his family situation. I should have asked him how his day was going, but a sense of self-preservation or caution overruled that urge. I still felt for him and I wondered if his “wiggle” line worked when he was twenty years younger. Maybe I’m all wrong about this man, and I hope I am. I hope he wasn’t drunk and sad and craving company.

Whether you dine alone or with one other or a crowd, I hope your time is happy.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

13, My Special Number…Day 13 of NaBloPoMo.

I was born on the 13th. So, Friday the 13th has never scared me. I feel akin to others who were born on the 13th as well.

----> My son's first time at soccer, his jersey--number 13, co-inki-dink.

Robert Pattinson (hubba, hubba), Taylor Swift, Emile Hirsch, Dana Delaney and Ray Reyes of Menudo fame were all born on the 13th of the month (Emile, Dana and Ray share my birth month as well). In my real world, my best buddy was also born on the 13th.

Many milestones in my life have also occurred on the 13th—-when I purchased my first home and several publication successes. Coincidence? Perhaps, but like Taylor Swift, I proudly wave my 13 flag.

FYI, the fear of Friday the 13 is called, friggatriskaidekaphobia (I have a fear of the freakiness of that term) and the fear of 13 is triskaidekaphobia….geez…

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rainy Day Memories...Day 12 of NaBloPoMo.

"Don't threaten me with love, baby. Let's just go walking in the rain." --Billie Holiday

All I needed to do was look out the window to get my inspiration for today’s post. It’s raining like crazy. Times like these, I enjoy staying home, watching the gray chaos from inside.

Today, however, was a busy day. I visited the salon for a much needed hair upgrade, then zipped over to the ice skating rink for a birthday party. I haven’t skated since I was 19 years old in Hawaii. Yes, Hawaii, and Yes, 19. It was my first and last time trying and I am glad my children had a chance to experience it today—their first and hopefully not their last (thanks to their ice skating experienced father).

But, today sparked memories of rainy days on Guam. One memory from my elementary school days is prominent. A bus would drive us from school the half mile to a mom and pop store, JM Store, in Ordot, (Why did we take a bus? Well, aside from Guam being bula maipe-very hot, as well as humid, we had a thing about stray dogs and lack of proper sidewalks. I could have easily trudged up and down the hill from my school, but for safety, we just didn’t).

On rainy days, my mom was always waiting at the store--raincoats and umbrellas in hand. Guam was so unpredictable weather-wise, that we didn’t typically carry rain gear with us. My mom, smiling, would dress us in our rain coats and we would walk the quarter of a mile home. I enjoyed getting my toes wet (I usually wore those horrendous jelly sandals).

^^^^^^^Yes, those!^^^^^^^^ Also, I loved the feeling of the warm rain in my hair.

Once home, my mom would whip us up a hot meal, usually ramen style noodles and turn on the television to our favorite show at the time, Belle and Sebastian. We would gather around the coffee table, sit on the floor Korean style and slurp our noodles and enjoy the afternoon.

So, tonight, my children will be slurping on yummy, Japanese ramen, hopefully soaking up some rainy day memories of their own.

***My father played Eddie Rabbit in our home often, and I still enjoy it.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Veteran's Day...Day 11 of NaBloPoMo!

On this day, I think of my late father-pictured above (1970's)(Army) and late father-in-law (Navy). My husband as well, for his service in the Navy. I have many family members and close friends who are serving or have served and I support them wholeheartedly. They are doing a job that many of us cannot or will not do.

On this day, I will appreciate their sacrifices and enjoy the blessing of having my husband home and safe.

Have a great Veteran's Day and wonderful weekend.

Veterans I wish to celebrate include:
Uncle Mike
Uncle Roque
Uncle Chumbai
Uncle Gregorio
Uncle Prudencio
Uncle Vince
Uncle Benny
Uncle Ray
best friend/mali-Kimberly
Uncle Tony
Uncle Danny
former student-Christian
former student-Eugene
former student-Lia
former student-Ross
former student-Rowena
friends-Judith and Tony
friends-Duke & Lina
mali/pari'-Wayne and Michelle

If I missed you, please add your name to my list and I owe you a hug next time we meet.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't Read This One....Day 10 of NaBloPoMo.

Well, here you are anyway. Welcome.

Ahh, the chiropractor. It’s been seven years since I’ve had anything more than a self-adjustment, so this was my third visit in six weeks. Something calming about having a person take your head in their hands and crank your neck to the side, like you see in many scenes where the killer snaps someone’s neck.

But, oh how we trust our chiropractor.

Anyway, I digress again. Before I got my adjustment from my able-handed chiropractor, I read this quote on the door. I never noticed these boards before, but I guess I was meant to read this yesterday.
------------------------------> Pictorial digression.

It fits with the current, yet cyclical struggle I have of NOT being satisfied in my life. Yes, I’m happy with my domestic life, my baby start of a writing career and such, but I guess one should never be entirely satisfied with one’s station in life. If we stop reaching, dreaming, stretching, growing, then don’t we stop living?

I’m a Goddess in training because I still want improvement in my life. I don’t typically like to discuss (in cyberspace) if I’m dieting or exercising because I feel it can set you up for failure. There are certain aspects of my life that I don’t want under a lens. But, I guess by discussing this now, it’s kind of out of the shadows.

Let’s just say, this quote, written by George Bernard Shaw (I love Google...had to know where this quote originated)--hit me and was fitting. In four months, I’ll be 38. I want change and you can say right now, I’m Under Construction. (not plastic surgery….don't get it twisted). I will symbolically twist the neck of the old, tired me....

I’ve always felt an urgency to get things accomplished…moreso after my father died at 55. So, each day is a battle with myself, and for some time, I’ve been doing something real about it. No pain, no gain?

These folks have the prettiest hair in Country...and their song is cool.

Esta Later…and keep that chocolate away from me…..

I Miss Ugly Betty…Day 9 of NaBloPoMo.

...and Tracy, Grace, Muriel, Benny and Bridget, too!

America! America! That is America Ferrera. I first saw her on Real Women Have Curves and I’ve been a fan since. I have a soft spot, or two for the curvy actress who represents reality.

The show, Ugly Betty went off air after 4 seasons in 2010, and it was one I watched earnestly. I remember seeing one the actors at LAX on our way home from Guam. I approached him just to say he was appreciated. Alan Dale played Bradford Meade, and was also in the dramatic series, Lost.

Betty Suarez was different and unique, not only because of her size, which was absolutely lovely! But, for her drive and the way she negotiated life between her mother culture and American society. Now, some of the storylines were far-fetched, and Vanessa Williams played a good villain who could shatter under the right conditions, but it was a nice show, my escape from reality. My favorite push and pull was the romance between Betty and Henry, as well as the temptation of bad boy, Gio.

Oh, Ricky, you're so fine.

In my teens, I adored Ricki Lake in the movies, Hairspray and Baby Cakes, which made me cheer out loud for girls with curves. Baby Cakes in particular, made me realize that love was for everyone and one could fall in love with more than just exteriors.

My Girl Muriel, the Dancing Queen!

Muriel’s Wedding with Toni Collette was perfect as the hilarious clumsy Australian heroine in this voluptuous chick does good flick. Toni, before her rise to mainstream movies and thinness.

Here's Rachel Griffiths with Muriel!

Chris O'Donnell loves Minnie Driver in Circle of Friends. This is a great goddess love story based on Maeve Binchy's novel. My favorite quote, "You mustn't mess me about. I know I may look like a rhinoceros, but I've got quite a thin skin really."

Lastly, but not leastly, a great chick flick favorite is Bridget Jones's Diary, again based on a novel by Helen Fielding (which I loved). I heard through the grapevine that another installment may be in the works.
Daniel: "Come on Bridget, we belong together - you, me, poor little skirt. If I can't make it with you then I can't make it with anyone."
Bridget: "That's not a good enough offer for me."

Oh, Colin Firth (Mark Darcy)!

I hope for another light and quirky show or movie soon. In the meantime, I’m going deep and dark and disturbed with the likes of American Horror Story, Homeland and The Walking Dead.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nice to Meet You, Mr. Veteran. Yes, I Am From Guam…Day 8 of NaBloPoMo.

This is an early tribute for Veteran's Day.

I didn’t think the blue Guam hat I wore to the post office would garner me any attention. When I’m waiting in line to mail something to Guam, I’m usually mum. Fretting the numerous, ridiculous customs forms I have to fill out, a reminder that Guam is merely a "territory" treating incoming packages like suspects. (I digress...) I typically people watch and make sure my home address on my boxes is concealed, residue of my past life as a spy.

Well, a nice elderly veteran either glanced at my brother’s Guam address or spotted my hat when he asked if I had plans to go home. I knew he meant Guam, as I glanced at the boxes on the counter and then saw him smiling at my hat. A quick quip was brewing for him; sometimes I can be a smart ass with people (if I don’t like them), but he reminded me of Morgan Freeman, who looks like my late grandmother, so respect and a sense of filial piety took over me.

We chatted about his days in the Navy and a Chamorro man, his buddy, last name “Quitugua”. I told him we were probably related somehow. Mr. Veteran laughed when I said I had to screen my husband before we married to make sure we weren’t related since Guam is so small. Mr. Veteran said he did the same.

It was nice to see his admiration for an aspect of our culture as he explained, “I’ve only been into the ports on Guam, but when my friend (Quitugua) was there, he had so many people greeting him at the dock.” I interrupted and said, “I bet they all wanted to feed you guys right away.” Mr. Veteran laughed and said, with a twinkle in his eyes, “Yes! They did, actually.”

He then said, in a whisper, “But the thing I was most amazed by were all the envelopes.” He gestured with his hands like he was passing me a gift.

I said, “Ah, yes. We do like to give our money in envelopes.” Immediately, every birthday, graduation and my wedding flashed before my eyes. The gift of money, intimately placed in your hand or shoved in your cleavage (by many an overzealous auntie) is something of our Chamorro culture that I miss. Not so much the money, although that’s nice, it’s the gesture. It’s a way of showing care, reciprocity.

And, so to this unexpected praise and this very short, but meaningful conversation with a complete stranger, I thank you Mr. Veteran. You held up a mirror to my culture and smiled with me as I felt special looking at my reflection. Si Yu’os Ma’ase for making me grateful yesterday.

And to all the Veterans I know (and don’t)—my late father and late father-in-law, cousins, friends, uncles and aunts and especially, my husband….Happy Veteran’s Day, Happy Veteran's Week!

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

**This is one of my favorite video montages of GUAM.


Monday, November 7, 2011

My Screenplay, Back to the Drawing Board...Day 7 of NaBloPoMo.

As I previously wrote (post from October 17), I entered the Bluecat Screenplay Competition several weeks ago. I anxiously awaited my two script analyses and they arrived last night. I read it over twice, printed it, let my husband read it, then told my mali about it.

I didn’t want to crack open my script last night, but I have eight days to pound it into shape and resubmit. It wasn’t slaughtered like I thought it would be, but I was surprised that they wanted more DRAMATIC scenes.

I feel like a swordsmith who needs to fire up the logs and pound my sword into better shape. I WANT A SAMURAI SWORD, NOT A BUTTER KNIFE!

In any writing, novel or scripts, nice neat emotional packages are great, but they want the rollercoaster ride and the uncertainty…I will do my best.

Some of the positives of THE DADDY BLOG analyses:

*****READER A>
“I thought you did a good job exploring what it means to be a family. Your main characters took on the typical roles of a nuclear family despite the fact that they weren’t actually directly related….I think that this depiction of “the family” was very unique and made your script more interesting to read.”

*****READER B>
“In general, the characters are distinct and relatable, and Verona really stands out as someone who has sacrificed her own needs for the needs of her family.”

Some of the negatives/constructive criticism:

*****READER A>
“I also feel like there is generally not enough conflict in your story. Despite the fact that your protagonists’ parents face horrible deaths while they are still children, it doesn’t seem to affect them in a very significant way.”

*****READER B>
“Once Brutus dies, the script becomes very conversation-driven and many of the scenes feel static, almost play- rather than movie-like.”

Overall, I’m relieved that I received this feedback. It was worth the fee. Again, going to do my best to bring this screenplay up to par. Wish me luck!


A Story of a Stolen Mermaid--(and the Infringement of an Artist)

Fact: I wrote Sirena: A Mermaid Legend from Guam in 2010. Fact: My brother, Sonny Chargualaf is the talented artist behind the imagery. ...