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Showing posts from November, 2011

Reflecting on 30 Days of My NaBloPoMo Commitment.

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“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 someth…

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

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“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 ins…

Monday Blah...Day 28 of NaBloPoMo.

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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”


ESTA LATER!

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

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“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 art…

Mickey Mouse Egg Game…Day 26 of NaBloPoMo.

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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 c…

Black Friday = DOOM…Day 25 of NaBloPoMo.

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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 …

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

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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
Continuation!


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 p…

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

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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.




ESTA LATER!

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

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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…

Showers by Midnight…Day 21 of NaBloPoMo.

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“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, Famili…

Ode to Coffee...Day 20 of NaBloPoMo

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ODE TO COFFEE
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

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

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“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 st…

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

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“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, Mass…

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

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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’…

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

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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…

‘Cause I Want It Now…Day 15 of NaBloPoMo

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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 …

One Is the Loneliest Number? Day 14 of NaBloPoMo.

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“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 …

13, My Special Number…Day 13 of NaBloPoMo.

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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…







Rainy Day Memories...Day 12 of NaBloPoMo.

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"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 …

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

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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:
father-Tedy
father-in-law-Hank
husband-Henry
Uncle Mike
Uncle Roque
Uncle Chumbai
Uncle Gregorio
Uncle Prudencio
Uncle Vince
Uncle Benny
cousin-Michael
cousin-Nelson
friend-John
Uncle Ray
cousin/mali-Alison
cousin/pari'-Leander
best friend/mali-Kimberly
friend-Davin
pari'-David
Uncle Tony
Uncle Danny
cousin-Sean
friend-Heidi
friend/Gecko-Penny
friend-Luichy
friend-Steve
former student-Christian
former student-Eugene
former student-Lia
former student-Ross
former st…

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

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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

I Miss Ugly Betty…Day 9 of NaBloPoMo.

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...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…

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

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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 …

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

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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 th…

JENGA, a Good $10.00 Investment…Day 6 of NaBloPoMo.

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I’ve never owned a Jenga set, but played it many a time with family and friends. My favorite memory of Jenga was New Year's eve playing with three ladies as the husbands and babies were asleep. We did a truth or dare version and have pictures somewhere of our (mis)adventures. *****I purchased our first set yesterday and it is proving to be some nice Sunday fun after breakfast. My son and daughter are learning restraint, patience and strategy. “Don’t shake the table!” and “Why would you chose that one, it will make the whole thing collapse.” That’s the parents yelping…. With one game session over, we will pack it up for another session after lunch. Happy Sunday! ESTA LATER!