Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas all!

This year, this season seems more hopeful and more joyous than ever before -- I don't know why. I also don't NEED to know why anymore, just be present now.

Merry Christmas -- and a wonderful, new, prosperous and full-of-love 2006 to everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

My first "Simbang Gabi"

Filipino ParolI'm at my folks house in the SF Bay Area. After a miserable drive up the 5 north in the middle of the night (let's just say it took longer than I planned) I took oodles of delicious naps yesterday, and yes, watched LOTS OF TV. I was a "heppy gel."

This morning at 5:00 am though, I went with them to attend my first Simbang Gabi ("Church at Night") which is really, well, mass in the morning. It's a Filipino tradition where there's a novena -- nine masses -- every morning nine days before Christmas. And a little "snack" afterwards.

This is the first year my parents' church (and the church of my childhood), St. Edward, put on their first Simbang Gabi. Although I only had an hour and half of sleep (okay, I'm a late night bird, but we all knew that), I'm so glad I went! First of all, I was shocked that half the church was full, mostly with Filipinos, but with a smattering of other nationalities too. And they all looked so festive as well!

Mom said Father Keyes would sing the whole mass, which I have to say I truly loved. My favorite period in Music History was Renaissance/Medieval and I LOVE gregorian chant... I often tell people I learned more in that Music History class than I ever did in 12 years of Saturday CCD (catechism) classes.

During the Eucharistic Prayer, where there is much repetition of the same chant, it was very meditative... and when the chant changed you knew it was for something wonderful being said, or in preparation for a response... I so appreciated it. (You'd think someone who professes to want to compose a Missa Brevis would remember what the actual names of these parts of the mass are... oh dear, I'll have to look it up later.)

I have a feeling I would have loved to hear the mass in Latin.

In any case, I've never heard The Lord's Prayer in Tagalog before: "Ama Namin". Father Keyes says he already knows it after these nine masses -- now I want to learn it too!

But the best part of it for me was during communion when the choir (yes! singing Tagalog!) sang a song that had the same musical structure as the OPM (Original Pilipino Music) have written... kind of a pop/romantic structure, but I'm sure after Father Keyes edict (12/5/05) that "the purpose of Music in Liturgy is to bear the word of God" it is truly an appropriate song for the mass.

Whatever it was, it made me cry. Here I am, 35 years after first stepping foot in St. Edward, weeping because the two things I hated so much in my life -- church and being Filipino -- had finally been joined to make me feel so very... rich.

Happy too, I guess. It made me proud that this little Filipino community (okay, in Newark it has become huge, but it wasn't always like that!) made a new tradition this year that brought them back to their past and celebrated their culture! That's so unusual, as we usually like to ignore it try to be as American as possible... but the tide is at last turning.

I was so proud to be in the lineage of a great tradition. It really was overwhelming. And I did feel sad that I had no children to pass it on to... last night when I was telling my mom about babysitting Kate, she did say, "It's such a shame you don' t have children. You are so good with them."

For once, I didn't feel like she was being critical... just expressing a feeling. And I could respond in kind: "It is, Mom. But maybe I'm supposed to be with many people's kids and share myself in other ways."

That felt good to say that. There was no sting in those feelings at all, and we really connected. I truly felt heard and seen.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Just Breathe

My first real foray into supporting music on the web!

I love this song by Rachel Fuller and Pete Townshend (yes, THE Pete Townshend) called Just Breathe (his acoustic guitar and her lovely voice) --

Rachel's just discovered blogging after being on the VH1 show Kept and now has a great following. And she's so excited about being #1 ever!

Just Breathe

Please go check it out and help her stay #1 on the Independent Artist Company chart -- you won't regret it, it's a terrific song and message! I LOVE IT!

Congrats, Rachel!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

On Dasher

Got this from sp3ccylad...and I'm not surprised at the answer! (But I DID have to look up Seven Minutes in Heaven... other than Billy Wirth's first movie, who knew it was a kissing game?! How fun... I want to play it sometime!

You Are Cupid

A total romantic, you're always crushing on a new reindeer.

Why You're Naughty: You've caused so much drama, all the reindeers aren't speaking to each other.

Why You're Nice: You have a knack for playing matchmaker. You even hooked Rudolph up!

Salina the Psychic

The bad thing about not booking yourself with solid appointments, concerts, parties and meetings is that one day you actually land at home with your FEELINGS.

And I was feeling OUT OF MY MIND and JUMPING OUT OF MY SKIN today. After sleeping in (finally!) and feeling great because of the workout the day before... I couldn't get out of my own crappy thinking: yes, of course, about Uranian, what, did you think I was obsessed about anything else?!

So I yanked $20 out of the ATM and went to the Psychic Eye bookstore down the street for 15 minute Tarot reading.

As I was shuffling the cards, I mumbled something about the cards being hard... she cut me off and made me concentrate on Uranian... and she did an 11-card spread.

"You're already good friends, aren't you? There's already a structure there that you're wanting to bust out of... but you're not being honest about it. But this isn't bad news... you're just proceeding the wrong way right now, and the timing's off..."

Hmm. I felt like I needed to ask for action.

"Let's do a pyramid," she said. Once the cards were out, again, she says I'm proceeding mistakenly. The Moon card comes up: "You have to use smoke and mirrors, be sneaky... you have to find out if he could be interested you... because if you ask him straight out, you won't get the right answer." Okay. Sneaky. I can do that!

I went for a drive after that and felt better. amazing how one consultation with another human being completely beats all the free or readings in the world. And IntuitViv... she's got my number too.

Lay low.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Once you go Asian...

... you don't do Caucasian!

HAHAHA What a hoot! I've got to get a T-shirt to wear myself. Hee Hee

Thank you Nicole, for the biggest laugh all weekend. Thanks (by transitive property) to your Pilipino man, Treb, too!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kick-Ass Week continued

German UranusI missed my training session with Andrew this morning... I had hoped he got me email the night before (that I'd have to reschedule), but he didn't and waited for me. UGH...I blew it, and yes, he called me on it too. I should've warned him at the beginning that the training sessions wouldn't be as hard as getting my ass there. Double UGH.

And it the week continued... D got in for the weekend and I picked her up from the garment district. We then drove two hours to Costa Mesa to pick up RQ, who was in town for a conference. Just so you know, Costa Mesa is NOT L.A., it's Orange County and another planet away -- and in Friday afternoon traffic, my ass got kicked a little more. And it didn't help that we were in the carpool lane and missed our exit by 10 miles because we were yakkin'. And that we had to wait for a valet at the Irvine Cheesecake Factory where we'd stop to use the restroom.

More driving and we barely made our dinner with Jeffrey and Alan (hi guys!) at Mer's restaurant at The Grove. And of course, I'm not dressed to see Uranian's show at a club -- I'm wearing a short skirt, T-shirt and black sandals and I look stupid. Especially retarded after the last two times I've seen him he's complimented me on how HOT I've looked. :) (Can I UGH any more?).

I'm crazy at the table and can't be present. I spill BBQ sauce on my shirt. Alan suggests I spill more on my shirt and go with a "tie-dyed" shirt that smells good. HAHAAH That's funny, but I'm even more ill because Uranian just called to ask me if I'm still coming. Yes, I say... and he says he'll put me on the guest list. I think he means how many people are coming to put on an RSVP -- he says, "I can only put one on the guest list." DUH. And then I react like a dork: "And you picked ME? Oh THANK YOU!" AAARRGGHHHHHHHHH! Sweet Jehovah's Witness (as Viv C. would say) -- What the hell is happening to me?!

I'm so inauthentic I can't tell my friends we need to get our butts moving... I say, sure, go ahead and order a dessert! And can we go to Cost Plus and get me a wrap or something and some chinese slippers because I look TERRIBLE and we have to go because he's got me as his one guest.

We dash into Cost Plus and I look at Jeffrey: "Jeffrey, be my Will... DRESS ME!" and he goes to the exact right part of the store and everyone is throwing scarves on me and R. is laughing saying, maybe you'd like to wear a mask, or a cabinet (or whatever was around) with that?

D. buys a beatiful blue/purple scarf for me before I just walk out with it and we kick ass on the freeway getting to Santa Monica. Of course I'm on the phone with Viv, who's at Rite Aid and looks for what kind of footwear they have at this drugstore that might look better that these miserable sandals. But there wasn't anything there but slippers and men's fake penny loafers, and D. & RQ can't stop laughing how nuts I'm acting.

But we get there, and of course, I'm stuck in the bathroom when they come out to do their first piece. It was lovely... the music was fun and "he" was the best (I'm biased of course, and this is the first time I see him play). He also had a whole corner booth of friends and supporters... and D. & RQ agree he's cute.

I won't go into any more Uranian stuff... other than I read his his ex's hands and her friends hands by candlelight at the club... details and minutiae are for another time, another blog.

After some fake salsa dancing with my girls (where I could not believe how big and ugly uncoordinated and terribly dressed I felt but continued to dance my way into a better mood :) we drove back to Costa Mesa and spend the wee morning helping RQ with song selection for his February cabaret show. That was fun! (How did I learn so much?) Two hours of sleep and we having breakfast in L.A. at Cafe du Village in Larchmont and I get my second ass kickin' in 24 hours.

D. asks me what the hell am I doing with my life, why am I not finishing my recital? Why am I letting myself get so distracted with other people's drama that I complete forget myself? I frustrate her with all my talent and potential going for naught. And why am I not working out? Why am I letting Uranian, who's obviously not ready to seriously be in a relationship with ANYBODY rule my life? And if he really picked you, IS HE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU TO PICK HIM?

She wouldn't entertain my bullshit. Ah, that's what good friends are for. Focus, focus. My workouts, my recital. I gave her date of when I'm going to finish it before -- St. Patrick's Day -- so I can MOVE ON with my life. And how did she start this?

"Who is Madley?"

And I realized my first three definitions of myself were the same ones in a quiz I took in a Psychology class in 1979: I'm Filipino. I'm fat. I'm a girl.

Wow. What a surprise that was... that THAT is how I define myself right now. It was eye-opening and sad all at the same time, and I changed that right away... after a few tears.

And when it came to my money issues: "How do you expect to get ahead?"

Shock: I've never HAD an expectation to get ahead! Not one fiber of my being ever expected to "get ahead." No wonder I'm so fucking poor! Quick, I change that too.

We go back to her hotel, meet up with her sister and niece and relax before they go to dinner/airport and I go home to catch back up with my life. MY life. Not mine and Uranian's, MINE.

Thank God.

A Kick-Ass Week

CarpentersOne of my top five Christmas songs happens to be on the all-Christmas radio station right now, "Merry Christmas, Darling." God bless your soul, Karen Carpenter -- and thanks for all the best karaoke songs an alto can sing.

What a week I've had. It was an ASS-KICKIN' week... where many of my friends (Heidi, Catheryn, Randi) kicked ass in their writing class perfomances Sunday afternoon, in her (Lynn) annual Chrismas choir concert Sunday night. Monday night was a kick-ass esoteric astrology lecture (Phillip), Tuesday was another great bunch of readings. Wednesday I'd worked for the third day with a client (Anita), and when she left at 9pm, I was ready to collapse. Answer email? What's that.

Thursday night I went to see Wagner's Parsifal starring Placido Domingo at the L.A. opera with Uranian and friends... 4 and a half HOURS on our proverbial German Romantic Opera behinds.

Afterwards, we went to a Little Tokyo diner/dive and there was a traumatic sighting of a famous Asian actress I was once introduced to when I was an "up and coming, award-winning playwright who writes terrific parts for Asian women." Of course, actor love playwrights "(Write a part for me?" and she was quite nice to me. Tonight she didn't recognize/acknowledge me so I didn't bother to remind her... and it made me so sick to my stomach I spilled my miso/tofu soup on the table, almost getting Uranian (but he was very quick to dodge).

I was a mess the rest of the night, just one big open sore -- I was a has-been, or rather a never-been. So what did I do while I stared at the walls? I teased Uranian TWICE that we shouldn't hang out with him anymore because when he goes back Europe in the summer, it will be too painful to see him go, so we better just avoid him altogether so we don't get attached. Smart, huh. Nice.

The second time I told him in front of our other friend as we were walking towards the cars. Big haha, right?! Well, the evil/asshole Uranian my classmates told me about came out with a vengeance. It was all over his face as he lashed out:

"Well, I DONT NEED YOU to hang around with anyway!"


"Oh my god. I've hurt your feelings. Uranian, I'm so sorry!"

I was so lucky that defensive guy quickly disappeared.

"I'm so so sorry," I said again. "I just realized how much I was going to miss you and I was PROTECTING MYSELF from feeling really bad by teasing you instead."

"It's okay."

We walked a few more minutes and when we got to my car, he gave a me huge bear hug. In a semi-private voice he said, "It's going to be painful anyway when I leave... so while I'm here we might as well enjoy the pain!"

We both chuckled and hug a little harder.

When I got on the freeway, the tears just eked themselves out, amidst all my self-criticism and beating myself up with terrible self-talk: "What the fuck are you doing? Why couldn't you be more emotionally authentic? Why did you pull the teasing crap like that? Why did you hurt his feelings like that, enough to make him so defensive and protective? Why couldn't you be real?!"

Ick. I wasn't nice to myself at all. And I knew I had to send him note right away. But none of the words I typed in the email "captured" the awfulness I felt, so I called and caught him in the car.

"Hello, Madley."

"Uranian, do you have a minute?" (sob sob sob)

"Yes, of course."

I babbled. "One more time, I'm sorry I couldn't say what I was feeling...because what I realy got in touch with was that exactly how much I was going to miss you! I'm so enjoying spending time with you and getting to know you, a man who's willing to grow and work on his own stuff, who's musical, who's grounded... and now you're going to go... and I've had some important people leave me before and I could barely stand the pain of to go through it again, I was just protecting myself and was mean to you instead."

"Oh, Madley, you know I'm going to be calling you from there all time! It only costs 5 cents a minute -- the same as if you had a friend in Omaha. And forget it, I'll be emailing all the time.

"But it'll be different. And I'm sorry that I saw that 'bad guy' that everyone talks about who got sharp with me. I've never met him before and it was scary."

"Yes, when sometimes old habits are hard to break... I felt myself get defensive and attacked."

We talked about how we show our defensiveness... and how important it is to have people around you to call you on your stuff, especially when you're "not taking cave time, and you tell them inspite of themselves, they have to be alone and take care of themselves, I need that."

"I understand."

"And that's why I'm bit afraid to go. I need you guys... I can really be myself and honest around you guys where I find it difficult with other people."

Uh-oh. He's going in to "group speak" and it's not just me...

"I don't know if I can survive without the support I have I need you all."

Oh god. Insert sword...

"And someday, when I meet The Love of My Life, I want to be just myself and honest all the time."

...and twist.

It's not me. It's never going to just me, separate from our friends in this healing community. NOT LIKE "THAT" anyway.

So what do I do? Madley goes inauthentic and defensive again. "Yes, same here, Uranian," I barrel through. "I hope to meet The Love of MY Life and hope he can be as forthcoming and authentic as you."

CROCK OF SHIT. All I could feel was let down: once again, it wasn't "me," as in Let it be Me. Fuck. So let's just be supportive again and let this go.

We talked maybe another 20 minutes while he sat in his garage carport/driveway. We laughed, I wasn't in a shitty mood anymore, and felt completely heard. So I'm grateful for that.

But... why another good man "passing through." Oh well. Can I just say that that's for shit? I didn't feel like being authentic anymore. FUCK IT.

Mixed Drink

You Are a Mai Tai

You aren't a big drinker, but you'll drink if the atmosphere is festive.
And when you're drunk, watch out! You're easily carried away.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Private/Public Post

To dear Michael:

You've completely outdone yourself... WOW. Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Half-Nekkid Thursday #6

Missed Thanksgiving...but got a pic from that day to share:

Madley and Patric

Me and my percussionist friend, Patric from the Black Forest, at our "patients running the asylum" (we're all hand readers) International Thanksgiving dinner.

Yes, we had those lumpia I just fried (Filipino eggrolls, vegetarian and non) with German potato salad, tofurkey, pastel de papas (a Chilean dish) and Honey-Baked ham... yum... getting hungry all over.

Not much for the nekkid-ness, but doing wonders for the appetite... ma sarap!

Happy HNT!

Meeting Ice Skater

IK & EGA long time ago a friend of mine from Cosby told me every now again her and her friend, Tera, used to have dreams at night about each other, on the same night. They'd always laugh and say they were "havin' a meetin'" -- just out of the body and in the dreamworld instead, and it wasn't any less real than in the waking world. Every since then, I've loved thinking that way about dreams.

So, boy, did I have a "meetin'" with The Skater, Iliushka last night!

I've been working very hard this week on the calendar that his fan club is selling to its members, and either my brain is fully IK images or there was a real meeting of the minds last night.

I got dropped off at his big house for some reason -- and it's loaded with women: the women of his family. His wife, his daughters, his inlaws, aunts (but none on his side). I guess I need reinforcements because Diane and Rick from up north are there too, and somehow keep me grounded. I guess I'm there to do an interview.

"The women" all speak Russian and are milling about all over the place, ready to make a trip to the store or something. It's foggy outside so it's a big to-do with everyone bundling up. It's not quiet at all, but nobody even pays attention that I'm there, both good and bad I suppose. Finally they leave and I'm left in the house with him, my friends watching TV with and his four-year-old daughter.

We really get to hang then, and the guy is both laughing and complaining, just like old times at the rink. How he feels he's never left Russia now, how he regrets not being able to discover the America he's always dreamed of...when he came to L.A. to be an actor and a star, right after he won his Gold Medal...

That was a long time ago that we could hang and talk like that. I know he has a life he loves, with all the women of his life. But after tonight's dream, I can't help thinking about that road of his less taken.

And selfishly, maybe we would have had many more heart-to-hearts after the practices at the rink. I miss those.