Friday, November 14, 2008

Wide Left Turn

In for testing at Washington Hospital, FremontOn October 10th I went and got some lab work done to see if I qualified for a high blood pressure study at Impact Clinical Trials in Beverly Hills (yay for Craigslist!). Inspired by Robert Rodriguez, who got his $7,000 budget for El Mariachi at a research study -- well, why not?

October 13th I went back to start get the final okay and to collect my first $30 -- only to be told to get my ass to a doctor because I had some major renal disease going on -- and no, you don't get that $30 either.

What? Huh? What's renal disease? I pee fine and I don't hurt. What the fuck? How did my life take sucha wide left turn all of sudden?! When I said I wanted to "have fun with my body" -- this isn't at ALL what I was thinking!

Tonight I finally sat down and wrote one of my dearest friends an update note -- which pretty much explains everything up to right now.

What a fucking trip

You've got Madree Mail! (hehehe)

Okay, tell me you're not smiling!

In a nutshell -- for now -- I need to start on dialysis 3x week (3-5 hours each session) because my mother fucking kidneys suck. (OOPS, did I say that? I'm sure there's something metaphysically wrong with that sentence, but I also know I's gotta be me, and I's a swear-er! haha)

I've been diagnosed with congenital polycystic kidney disease -- emphasis on the CONGENITAL! which means it's not self-inflicted which I'm thrilled about actually. I didn't do anything bad to myself! I mean I could be in better health by being less obese, but I didn't drink myself to these cysts -- I'm just a "cyst-prone" gal -- evidence that since I've had many issues with ovarian cysts (that fortunately just went away). Apparently it's runs in my family, though no one right now has it... and it just "appears" with no symptoms because slowly you're kidneys were going to degenerate. I liken it to be bald: you don't know you're going to be bald when you're in your 20s-30s, but if you've got that gene, you're just gonna get it! (Or lose it, as the case may be.)

I have to say, though... everyone has been telling me (and I agree with them) that my trying out for this clinical trial re: high blood pressure has been a frickin' BLESSING. Remember, I came back from Vermont with this newfound commitment to "have fun with my body" because I didn't like the "old and lousy" way I was feeling hanging out with this cool 29-year-old (okay, I admit my vanity!) -- and then when I let Diane's EMT son take my blood pressure and saw the panic on his face -- I knew that's where I needed to start. So why not get paid to take BP meds?

If I hadn't gotten that blood test there and got referred to a doctor... and if my parents hadn't insisted I come up to see one here -- well, I asked the doc here what would've happened to me, especially since I was in no pain and no real "symptoms" but lethargy/fatigue (no iron), leg cramps and achy knees (uric acid in joints). She said I'd be in an emergency room somewhere because I couldn't get up -- or I'd passed out and gotten in an accident of some sort... and had emergency dialysis right away because the toxins would've built up so much...

If my doctor had her druthers she would've stuck a catheter in me last week and started me right away because these things (both of them) are only functioning at 8%. Yeah, you heard that right -- 8%. But I convinced her I needed to go back to LA to get some stuff done -- paperwork, for sure, but mostly I need to see my PEEPS -- and you're one of them! -- and some healers and some MD specialists -- and then next week, I'll start. I'm trying to work through the idea of surgery and this THING in my arm (where they plug in to do the blood swap)... not quite there yet, you know?

An icky thing is though -- because I'm waiting for Medi-Cal to kick in and I can't do dialysis on an outpatient basis until it DOES kick in (insurance), the hospital is keeping me there for 2-3 weeks! AACKK - an inmate! LOL I'm going to go crazy! I'm trying to find a nice way to BEG my parents for a laptop because I will go nuts... I almost lost it there for three days, and the poached fish the last lunch I had there tasted like FUCKING LEATHER! How do you fuck fish up like that, anyhow?

Good thing I have positive thinking friends -- who expect the next best play/novel/musical or SOMETHING to come out of me at that point (a writer's retreat!). And Jeffrey teased me that the hospital will end being like my Cheers -- because I'll be wandering around all over the place when I'm not doing the blood-washing thing. I'll give my cell number to all the RNs (I'll put it on the little dry-erase board they put in front of our beds) and tell them to call me in the library or cafeteria or what have you when I have guests or a pill to take! HAHHAAH And everyone in the Gift Shop to Admitting to Security will know that Crazy Lady from LA walking around with a camera and laptop...

After I get out, I should be used to life with dialysis and be able to leave and get care in LA... although the doc recommends I stay for a little while for the support of my family. I'll cross that bridge when I get there -- it's ironic that the day before I found out the diagnosis I had just FIRMLY TOLD MY MOTHER, that I was DEFINITELY not going to be moving here in January (which was the end of my "deal") with them. Hopefully that will be the case and I'll be back in LA creating a better, stronger life for myself...

And yes, in the meantime, I'm applying for long-term disability -- and I'll be putting myself on a kidney donor list. Apparently I'm considered "young and strong" and a fantastic candidate for either living or "not living" donation -- and from the research I've done, when you get one that "sticks" it's pretty much life as usual. You're taking anti-rejection drugs all the time... but it's a zillion times better than a life of getting dialysis. Family is supposed to be the best possible matches... but I'm not going there yet. I will say I've had some offers from some incredible souls though... but like I said... I can't manage that far ahead of time yet. I'm a little freaked out about where I am TODAY.

By today, BTW, I mean I'm on some mean high-blood pressure and cholesterol meds, iron and calcium supplements and a boring-ass renal diet (low-sodium, potassium and phosphorous, etc.) Thank goodness I don't have diabetes because a little taste of sugar helps now and then. BTW, it's nice to have my energy back a little since coming out of the hospital...I didn't realize how weak I was and how little an appetite I had. Appetite isn't quite back, but hey, that's a nice after-effect! But things don't taste all that great... food's just... food. And I'm lucky right now to have Mom cooking it... I know she's so worried sick about me I bet she and my dad will be on this funky renal diet soon too! LOL

So the nutshell end -- I'm doing okay. My spirits are mostly high -- except when they're not... and then I let it all hang out to whichever wonderful friend happens to be on the other end of the line. Sometimes in the middle of the night... that's the World Ministry of Prayer... and that's good enough for me!

BTW, did I tell you what "kidney problems" are in the Louise Hay You Can Heal Your Life book?

Probable Cause: Criticism, disappointment, failure. Shame. Reacting like a little kid. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The New Thought Pattern: Divine right action is always taking place in my life. Only good comes from each experience. It is safe to grow up.

I know!

And on that note (la!)... are we still on for Sunday?! Then we can catch up with YOU. My crap can bore me to tears!

Lemme know -- love ya always,

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Salo-Salo is in a Film Festival!

Edited 10/28/08 -- Travis WILL be coming and will be on the panel as well. :)

[Once again: here's the trailer for Salo-Salo:]

How cool is that?! Travis can't make it that up north, but I'll be up there to say hello and will be a last-minute member of the Saturday panel as well. :)


Filipino American artists will celebrate their own cinema with the premiere of at least nine new works at the 15th Annual Filipino American Cine Festival on Friday, October 31 ( 1-5 pm) and Saturday, November 1, 2008 (3-6 pm) at the San Francisco Main Library, Koret Auditorium (100 Larkin Street @ Grove Street, Civic Center, San Francisco)

All screenings are free to the public. (Please see schedule below.)

The yearly festival is organized by FACINE or Filipino Arts & Cinema, International, a not-for-profit media arts organization based in San Francisco that aims to promote and develop Filipino American as well as Philippine national cinema.

Two full-length documentaries, five short films and two web videos form the centerpiece of this year’s festival.

Cielito Torrijos’s Pag-asa sa Paglaya/Hope after Freedom, is a compelling documentary on a timely subject, the social rehabilitation of Filipino ex-offenders and the divisive issue of death penalty abolition in the Philippines.

Jonald J. Reyes’s That Asian Thing inquires into the question of the relative invisibility of Asian America in mainstream American culture by way of interviews with prominent artists in Chicago.

The festival is open to all media artists of Filipino ancestry as well as non-Filipino filmmakers ith works whose subject is Filipino or Filipino American.

Two action-adventure videos by LA-based filmmaker Ron Santiano which take a bow to popular adventure series like Heroes, while featuring Filipino American actors, provide interesting mix to this year’s festival: EVE: Beauty & The Blade and Wonder Woman.

Five short films complete the programme in a variety of genre and subject: the hilarious instructional video, Salo-Salo (how to cook dinuguan/meat cooked with pork blood); Yasmine Gomez’s music video You Will Remember, featuring Lumaya; and the short features, Jeannie Barroga’s Be His and Robert Casipe’s Afterplay, both inquire into the complexity of women’s relationships with men.

Noel Shaw’s Kundiman completes the program in a highly charged, provocative look at the impact of politics on an individual’s life.

A panel discussion will follow the screenings on Saturday, November 1 with guest filmmakers, Ron Santiano, Yasmine Gomez, Noel Shaw, Robert Casipe, Jeannie Barroga, Travis Kraft and Madley Katarungan, to be moderated by FACINE Director, Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr.

The festival is co-presented with the Filipino American Center of the San Francisco Main Library. For information, please contact, Mauro Tumbocon, Director, FACINE at (415) 756-7331 or email:

Find below the full schedule of the festival.

Friday, October 31, 2008

1:00 – 2:11 Pag-asa sa Paglaya/Hope after Freedom (New Breed Productions, 71 min, 2008) Produced by Cielito Torrijos

2:11 – 2:31 Short Films Special: Blast from the Past

HoME (5 min, 2002) Directed and written by Matthew Abaya
she (7 min, 2001) Directed by Mark Bella and written by Bella
and Christopher Castillo
Silencio (9 min, 1995) Directed, produced and written by Michael


2:45 – 4:10 That Asian Thing (Groovy Ghost Films, Inc., 84 min, 2008)
Directed, produced and written by Jonald J. Reyes

4:10 – 4:50 Wonder Woman: Balance of Power (Redcape Cinema, 40 min,
2006) Directed, produced and written by Ron Santiano

Saturday, November 1, 2008

3:00 – 4:20 Short Films Collection NOW

Salo-Salo (Poolboy Films, 5 min, 2008) Directed by Travis Kraft, Produced by Madley Katarungan
Be His (JNJ Productions, 7 min, 2008) Directed, produced and written by Jeannie Barroga
Eve: Beauty and the Blade, Episode 1 (Redcape Cinema, 30 min, 2008) Directed, produced and written by Ron Santiano
Afterplay (Tiny Oak Pictures/Crosshairs Entertainment, 12 min, 2008) Directed and written by Robert Casipe
Lumaya: You Will Remember (Subject to Change Productions, 4 min, 2008) Directed, produced and co-written by Yasmine Gomez
Kundiman (Pinoy Noir Films, 20 min, 2008) Directed, produced and written by Noel Shaw

4:30 – 5:45 Panel Discussion: Filipino American film: What’s Up, Fifteen Years After?

Guest filmmakers: Ron Santiano, Yasmine Gomez, Noel Shaw, Robert Casipe, Jeannie Barroga, Travis Kraft and Madley Katarungan
Moderated by Mauro Feria Tumbocon, Jr., director, FACINE


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ron "Opie/Richie" Howard Votes

All right... you know where I stand. Right there with Ron Howard.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die LAUNCHED!

At PINKS in Hollywood, waiting for hot dogs: Kat, Ahmad, Dustin, Justin,
yours truly, Krystelle and Bernard -- Jeremiah taking the photo.

Congrats to the kool, BakitWhy folks!

Go check them out -- I'm so PROUD of this website and what they're to doing to unite the Pilipino-American community :)

Your Ate Madley
("Ate" yes, NEVER "Tita"! LOL)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 Announces Newest Beta Launch Announces Newest Beta Launch Designed for the Everyday Pilipino-American Internet User

Oct. 16, 2008 – Los Angeles, CA – A one week "BlackOut", from October 16–23, will make way for a newly redesigned online community, providing up-to-date and user-friendly functions that will help foster a fresh generation of social media users. A seven-day micro site will be in place during this exciting transition. The new site will offer features such as easy functionality, a national events calendar, as well as video spotlights on up-and-coming artists. The new Beta version of will continue to dedicate itself in helping to facilitate the everyday Pilipino-American identity, no matter what region or generation.

Known as a progressive advocate, information resource, and a place of discovery for and about the Pilipino-American community, will offer users material that cannot be read out of a textbook. Rather, shared personal experiences from a diverse transnational team will provide consistent and engaging content as well as help create a web presence for Pilipino-Americans. will be a premiere web destination; mentioned and associated with Pilipino-American communities both online and offline.

When the Alpha version of the site launched in the spring of 2008, developed its product to be structured as a content provider that evolved out of a mere blog. Spaces for conversation and debate, a place for community organizations, businesses, leaders, and organizers to effectively communicate events and campaigns will all be inclusive parts of the new Beta version of With the assistance of video bloggers, or "vloggers," the utilization of numerous multimedia outlets will seek to diversify and promote a more user-generated product. This aims to help viewers feel more actively involved with their community online by creating a bridge that connects 3000 miles with one click.

During Pilipino American Heritage Month (PAHM), the Filipino American Library (FAL) named "Organization of the Month." Also, after only four months since its inception, served as one of the major media sponsors for FPAC, the largest presenter of Philippine arts and culture in Southern California. Pilipina-American blogger Jillian Fortin writes, "While there is a call for awareness and appreciation for our history, BakitWhy also reminds us that similarly, we must be cognizant of the inevitable growth that lies in the present and very near future. They've far surpassed any Asian-American centered viral site. They attempted to bring cultural awareness back down to earth, past the AzN hYpE, with the tones that have enabled Filipino-American traditions and stories to withstand the tests of time…the focus on what really matters."

With such feedback, will continue to focus its efforts in providing content that seeks to create engaging conversation, while honoring the Philippine heritage. More importantly, aims to help influence a more positive representation of the different lifestyles of Pilipino-Americans that the mainstream media has often lacked to provide. For more information, please visit

Kathlyn A. Amidar, Director of Public Relations
Kasama Media, LLC
(949) 378-4204


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Friday, October 17, 2008

"About You" Cecilio and Kapono

Still too much I can't talk about -- so I'll just let YouTube videos speak for me. (Song starts at 4:30). Man... I AM SICK.

I know everything I have to know about you
And I'm not sure I really want to go without you
Our small moment that we shared
Is only yours and mine
No one else is really going to know
That I care about you

And all the questions that I asked myself about you
Give me answers that don't make me want to doubt you
Won't you come and be with me
And then I think you'll know
That if you come and stay you're going to see
That I care about you

Won't you be a high for me
Take my hand and fly with me
Don't want you to cry for me at all
Would you sing your song to me
Tell me you belong with me
Tell me it's okay for me to fall

All the things you tell me with your eyes about you
And all it helped to make me realize I want you
Won't you come and help make up my mind
You know it's up to you
Follow me, I know that you will find
That I care about you
About you

I'll Know" (Guys and Dolls)

I don't know why this song keeps getting to me!

Adobo by Non-Filipinos

Spent the day in West LA with Travis as he taped Kababayan LA, hosted by Jannelle So.

Manolo Carrillo, Jannelle So, Scott Tang and Travis Kraft

First Travis' adobo (with bagoong?! LOL):

Then tasting Travis' and Scott's adobo recipes with a little fashion show in between (??? I didn't get it either.)

After the taping, we dropped by a local Barnes and Noble to pick up the UK magazine reFRESH Aug/Sept 2008 that he's in -- pretty cool. Next stop: BROADWAY! (ha j/k)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Stubborn Stubborn

Trash The Dress-RachelImage by Mikey aka DaSkinnyBlackMan via FlickrI've been trying to force myself to write something on this blog but all I could come up with us was "there's just too much going on and it all sounds retarded, so fuck it, I'm not gonna say ANYTHING."

(Stubborn little bitch that I am.)

But then I just read from Micah in Learn to Duck about this cool plug-in called Zemanta that gives you suggestions on what to write about via random pictures, then suggests links, etc. Kinda like your very own, built-in 7th grade creative writing teacher in your home PC.

So... because I'm acting like 12-year old... I decided to do it -- and the picture above was the one spoke to me the loudest. FIGURES, HUH? How very me.

It's called Trash the Dress -- which also reminds me of a cool phenomenon lately where after a few years after the wedding, a bride goes out and PURPOSELY TRASHES HER WEDDING DRESS... to have one more last great time in that dress.

Of course right now I'm feeling a little sorry for myself ("Am I ever gonna get to WEAR one of those fucking things?") but it did remind me of the BEST VIDEO I've seen this week about this exact topic that you'll-never-guess-who showed me. (It was Travis, I knew you'd never get it -- he liked the videography.)

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did -- and Viva New York!
(I recommend you see it in High Def: CLICK HERE. Or watch it below and click on Full Screen.)

Frances + James TTD - Times Square + Coney Island from StillMotion on Vimeo.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Colors of the Wind

With Wicked/Godspell/Pippin Composer-Lyricist STEPHEN SCHWARTZ

(Someday this picture is gonna be worth a lot of money!

Okay, I was trying to make use a Stephen Schwartz lyric to make sense of my night!

"The Colors of the Wind" is from Disney's Pocahontas -- and the wind blew me to into the Barnes and Nobel in at The Americana in Glendale at 9:00 pm (that was corny, but I tried) -- and there was Stephen Schwartz and author Carol de Giere signing books for with about eight people left in line.

Thank goodness I had some cash, so I grabbed the last book, Defying Gravity and ran downstairs to pay for it. Back upstairs and there were only two guys in front of me... thank goodness I still had battery left in my cell phone because they were taking pictures!

I know they (and the B/N staff) were happy I was the end of the line so I kept it short -- introduced myself as the weird combination of bookwriter/composer at ANMT, I told him I thought he was great and told Carol she kept up a great website, Musical Schwartz. After they both signed my book, Carol clarified that I was bookwriter of MUSICALS and I said yes -- and I thought it would've been great to chat for awhile but it was late so I got out of their way...

I couldn't keep the sh*t-eating grin off my face though -- I'm not one to NOT appreciate a "God shot" when one kicks me in the face! This week I was told that "all I was was a blogger" -- that I wasn't doing really doing anything else... but guess what? I was actually going to the bookstore to work on the outline for Sailors and Nurses again, after a long hiatus away from it.

If meeting Stephen Schwartz wasn't a sign to BEGIN AGAIN, I don't know what is!

And away we go...

For a While

"I forget that I'm not over you for a while."

Thanks, Nina Simone.

Lost in day to day,
Turned another way
With a laugh, a kind hello
And some small talk with friends I know
I forget that I'm not over you for a while.

A wave, an easy grin,
A smile to put them in,
Got other lives to listen to
And some music that I have to do
I forget that I'm not over you for a while.

Days go by with no empty feeling,
Until I touch my hair and touch my skin
And remember you're gone.

People say to me, "hey Nina do you need some company?
When you have some time to spend,
Drop around-you need your friends."
They forget that I'm not over you for a while,
They forget that I'm not over you for a while.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When I Die

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind, I want you
to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.

I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:

so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

-- Pablo Neruda
to his beloved wife, Matilde

Love Sonnet LXXXIX


It's been a hard few weeks, as the fall wimpers into Los Angeles and things begin to change.

I'm not one for poetry but somehow ended up with Ten Poems to Open Your Heart in my possession. This poem did not open my heart -- IT CRACKED IT WIDE OPEN.

I still cannot read the first line without my guts flayed on the floor -- I cannot imagine that truest love there to close my eyes when I pass from this earth.

And that's what's so sad -- to know and finally admit that I want love that hard and that lasting -- to not have it now wrestles me to my core.....

Yet some very strong and knowing women encourage me to read this poem every day... to flex this open heart, and to keep it wide open. Love will come, they say. We promise.

And so I begin again:

When I die I want your hands on my eyes...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Loved or Crushed?

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."

--Paulo Coelho

So tired from this weekend still, and catching up doing paperwork, web work, emails, thank yous, etc. Will post about that intense experience soon...

Right now question on board:

Can you truly be "IN LOVE" if the other person doesn't love you back?

HAHA Isn't that a silly question for someone my age to ask? I guess you would say that if my age was all you knew about me, but not if you knew my true experience with this topic... close to ZIP.

So of course I ask it like a 16-year-old would. So... CAN YOU?

Maybe it's just a "crush" -- as intense as it seems -- or the eternal "unrequited love" --
A mighty pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain
And nothing like these feelings to make you feel ABSOLUTELY STUPID.

Quick update: Guy A and Guy C are still good, good friends. Will probably remain that way for a long time. Guy B? Well that's the volatile one right now... and also probably will continue to be. Funny, a friend asked me if maybe I should be a polygamist, that I like having these fellas to juggle in my head, or perhaps the drama of it all.

And I'm like, POLYGAMIST?! The thought of being married to One True Love already makes me nauseous -- how would I ever handle THREE? hahahaahahah

I think about the article below (Inner Gold) about projection... and that's what it could be with this Guy B too, I don't know.... bleech! (More code-talk, I know. Sorry.)

In any case -- I really want to know your thoughts:

Can you truly be "IN LOVE" if the other person doesn't love you back?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Friday, September 05, 2008

Inner Gold

My friend Nancy just called me with this and about made me choke (the good kind -- thanks, Nance):

"When we awaken to a new possibility in our lives, we often see it first in another person. A part of us that has been hidden is about to emerge, but it doesn't go in a straight line from our unconscious to becoming conscious. It travels by way of an intermediary, a host. We project our gold onto someone, and suddenly we're consumed with that person. The first inkling of this is when the other person appears to be so luminous that he or she glows in the dark. That's a sure sign that something is changing in us and we are projecting our gold onto the other person.

"When we observe the things we attribute to the other person, we see our own depth and meaning. Our gold first goes from us to them. Eventually it will come back to us. Projecting our inner gold offers us the best chance for an advance in consciousness."


"The exchange of gold in a mysterious process. It is our gold, but it's too heavy for us, so we need someone else to carry it for a time. That person becomes synonymous with meaning. We follow him with an eagle eye wherever he goes, his smile can raise us to heavenly heights, his frown will hurl us to hellish depths, so great is the power of meaning."

Robert A. Johnson
Inner Gold
Understanding Psychological Projection

Get out of the house!

A bunch of little errands to run before tomorrow's festival (some of my best friends now work at Kinko's LOL) -- anything to keep my mind off my own hypersensitive shit with me and HIM.

Ugh. I want to wallow in the "Going Out of My Head" and "Hurts So Bad" lyrics -- but I've been counseled that

(1) I didn't do anything wrong, so
(2) don't take this "pulling away" personally
(3) if this is a long haul, then it's a really just a bump in the road
(4) any change sucks
(5) gotta accept where you are so it doesn't suck so bad, and
(6) Cher's "Strong Enough" is a bitchin' revenge song (thanks, Prince :)!

AAARGGGHH! (Fucker. Just had to say that. My "spidey sense" is up way too strong right now.)

Tonight I was told to blog about 25 things I want to do before I die -- so I'm gonna FOCUS on that for a bit, on ME, instead of... oops, almost slipped there!

In the meantime, here's Cher's rad video:

"Strong Enough"

I don't need your sympathy
There's nothing you can say or do for me
And I don't want a miracle
You'll never change for no one

I hear your reasons why
Where did you sleep last night?
And was she worth it, was she worth it?

'Cos I'm strong enough
To live without you
Strong enough and I quit crying
Long enough now I'm strong enough
To know you gotta go

There's no more to say
So save your breath
And then walk away
No matter what I hear you say
I'm strong enough to know you gotta go

So you feel misunderstood
Baby, have I got news for you
On being used, I could write a book
You don't wanna hear about it

I've been losing sleep
You've been going cheap
She ain't worth half of me it's true
I'm telling you

Now I'm strong enough to live without you
Strong enough and I quit crying
Long enough now I'm strong enough
To know you gotta go

Come hell or waters high
You'll never see me cry
This is our last goodbye, it's true

I'm telling you
That I'm strong enough to live without you
Stron enough and I quit crying
Long enough now I'm strong enough
To know you gotta go

There's no more to say
So save your breath
And you walk away
No matter what I hear you say
I'm strong enough to know you gotta go

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Out of Focus

How can I be so damn busy and yet accomplish absolutely nothing? Can't concentrate on anything, can't make a decision, don't know what I want -- or too afraid to even desire...

Have a big weekend for the Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture in San Pedro. I keep thinking I'm not ready, but heck, I'm not talent right now so what do I have to worry about? Or rather... I get to worry about everything else BUT. Logistics, etc. FUN!

I need new glasses. I need to see clearly again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Where Do You Start?

Since I'm not in the (self) rule-imposed August -- I'm going to let myself put some lyrics down.

Found out some real news... real evidence about him... my heart has cracked wide open AND IT FEELS BAD.


I can't keep my proverbial shit together... I'm going to have to hang out at Kinko's or somewhere all night because I know I'm not sleeping right now, I'm too angry, too hurt, too lonely, too afraid...

I bragged once that I'd rather learn to walk into a situation with my heart open and willing -- and then if it doesn't work, then I will just be building a stronger (heart) muscle, right?

Well, I was an idiot because I don't know how I'm going to get over this one. I'm never opening up my heart again. Never like that again. I can't. I don't think I'm that resilient.

Brad, dear wise Brad, had said to me many times that when he was in love he felt like he was the King of the World, and he loved the way it made he feel like he could do anything...

So is the opposite also true? That you are nothing when love disappears? Because that's how it feels.

Mike Valentino, I could use that hug right about now.

Where Do You Start?
from Michael Feinstein's "Isn't It Romantic"

Where do you start
How do you separate the present from the past
How do you deal with all the thing you thought would last
That didn't last
With bits of memories scattered here and there
I look around and don't know where to start

Which books are yours
Which tapes and dreams belong to you and which are mine
Our lives are tangled like the branches of a vine
That intertwine
So many habits that we'll have to break
And yesterdays we'll have to take apart

One day there'll be a song or something in the air again
To catch me by surprise and you'll be there again
a moment in
what might have been

Where do you start
Do you allow yourself a little time to cry
Or do you close your eyes and kiss it all goodbye
I guess you try
And though I don't know where and don't know when
I'll find myself in love again
I promise there will always be
A little place no one will see
A tiny part within my heart
That stays in love
With you

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A new "8th Asian"

I've been reading a great, well-read blog based in the Bay Area called 8 Asians and today in my blog reader I saw a post called, "I Want to be Wasian!" and I'm like, "huh"? What the hell is a Wasian?

I keep reading about the writer's Daughter, The Cheetah Girls, etc... and... wait a minute... JEFF? The writer's name is JEFF?

Click on the bio -- hey, THAT'S MY BROTHER WRITING THERE! He's Asian #8 now!

How cool is that. Go read this article and this blog... and say hi to the Wasian-Wannabe's Dad. :)

I'm so proud!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Lu and Bob are married now, and I just got an email that they are exhausted but safely and finally in France. First 1/3 of the trip in the Loire Valley, the second 1/3 in Provence, the last on a 6-day river barge trip and the last day in Paris. Ooh la la!

It was a beautiful wedding... my participation was mostly behind the scenes. The processional music was a short song David (the best man and who walked Lu down the aisle) wrote when he was around 10 -- Lu heard him play it on the piano one night and she fell in love with it. So he recorded it for me, I transcribed it, then I added a cello and flute. I think it's lovely:

Click to hear: David's Song

David also had an idea for this little video from the beginning when they met -- when Lu was checking to see if she and Bob liked the same things. So over the past few months David took some wacky pictures without telling them what they were doing (fortunately they were game!).

"Bobalu How About You?" -- It was fun to see it on the big screen, but even better to hear Lu and Bob laughing at their video surprise. What a grand night!

"Cock Block"

* Amazing the words and phrases one can still be newly exposed to. Goes right along with previous post, huh?

* Just got back from Kinko's to do some graphic design stuff -- printing DVD covers, .pdf articles. My friend thinks the fact that Kinko's exists is ridiculous -- that if you know you have to do something by a certain time, you shouldn't have to do it at 3:00 in the morning.

I beg to differ -- there are no lines, you can get better deals with the fellow "vampire-like" employees, and I've got energy to burn. So I love Kinko's.

* So wonderfully satisfied by this wedding and my participation in it...

* Some people think LA is exotic. ST. PAUL is pretty exotic to me! Weird.

And that's all I got.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I saw the Mississippi River (sorta)

Wired and tired in St. Paul. Happy to be here for this wedding... more soon.

Am reading "Rebel Without a Crew" by director Robert Rodriguez about when he made El Mariachi... I'm crazy about this journey of his...!

ZZZZZZZZZZzzz... that's a good sign. Need to catch up.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Go Away Little Girl

I will always love Donny Osmond... he's probably a good man in real life, but he'll forever be the one who made me imagine there was a bigger world than where I grew up. (The Osmond concert at the Oakland Coliseum happened to be my first concert ever too.)

I wish I could call myself a Drama Queen, but I consider Mastery part of the title of "queen" so I guess I'm going to have to acquiesce to being a Drama Princess. (Empress sounds more Asian, but it's still too old for how I'm feeling.)

I'm going to have to make some big decisions soon and I swear I can't stop crying. I hate that I'm this "STEAMY" (fire hands, water heartlines) and emotional... I feels like I'm the biggest sensitive non-logical no-back-boned weak-ass wimp around. (Not stupid. I didn't say I thought I was stupid. Or an idiot.)

Does "drama" mean I'm "alive" in my cockeyed brain?!

I am being drawn into the mucky mire of someone else's SHIT... and I have to catch myself and CUT BAIT before I drown. Is their crap really more important than my own? Do I really need that much g.d. attention?!

DONE. Go Away Little Girl.

Mother fucking a--.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Making My Bed

In the last 12 days, I have slept in my own bed for exactly TWO NIGHTS. No, I'm not THAT much of a sl*t -- eight of those days I was up north at my folks' house. But now I've developed this wonderful habit of spending the night at any of my dear friends' places so I don't drive home half-cocked (!?!). I usually wake up by 4:00 or 4:30, then sneak out to enjoy the quiet of the night before dawn strikes.

Kinda weird -- for being someone whose had some major insomniac issues a few years ago (I'm blessed that I can sleep now at all), I still haven't made my home -- specifically my bedroom and my bed -- the "paradise" that everyone says it should be so I can experience real comfort and rest.


It's a comfortable bed... but that's it. I might as well be sleeping in an Army cot, I avoid it like the plague. As a matter of fact... I have crappy "sleep hygiene" -- no routine at all -- pretty much don't go to bed til I'm about to pass out, read for about 10 minutes and pass out in the book with the light on. Hm...

Wonder what I'm afraid of?

Natch, I'll think about it tomorrow. I need to take a nap.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I hate that I haven't been able to keep up my once-a-day-post-for-30-days schedule -- it only shows me how (1) difficult a writing schedule that is (2) difficult a commitment that is and (3) how hard it is to keep a commitment to myself like that is.

Of all the things I'm incredibly busy with -- the fact that I've not put this first priority really bothers me... I feel like "Fuck it, you screwed up, fuck it all to hell!" But I won't. I'm here, aren't I? Yup.

And even though I'm not supposed to worry about who reads this... the deeper I go into feelings and stories... the more I'm hesitant to write. Too many people involved, too many feelings to be hurt, too many secrets to be revealed...

I can't even "fictionalize" stuff because so many people know the real players... argh. Guess I have to be old and gray(er) before I expel any of these tales... suffice it to say, I've got no more tears left this week... I'm plum dried out and too busy. Catch me next week after projects are done and hearts have had time to heal.

Oh, an up-note and in a nutshell: Saw a terrific Korean movie called Oldboy that blew my socks off; and I met Mr. 2009 Philippines USA, Kapono Kobylanski, tonight at launch party for Hey! Magazine (and who definitely is NOT an old boy). Great evening...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cut hairs

I once read somewhere that you can learn something from everyone you meet -- from the bum on the street to the richest man in universe to the baby in a stroller to an old fart mouthing off in the grocery store.

You learn what you want to keep in your life, and maybe some other stuff you should get IN to your life a little more often.

So what does it mean when you find yourself "accidentally" hanging out with an international male actor/model?

No, not what you think -- all about vanity, narcissism, immaculate grooming, exquisite taste and absolute snobbery and bucks up the ying-yang? (well, not all the time anyway -- ha!) No, not with this down-to-earth North Dakota guy, anyway.

Where we meet as friends has nothing to do with his work -- but by osmosis I'm learning a thing or two about self-confidence in the physical realm that I've never been in contact with before. An athlete since age 9 and a former national wrestling champion has made this guy FRIENDS -- dare I say BEST BUDDIES -- with his own body, and he thinks nothing else of it except to take care of it like anything else in his life: his car, apartment, computer, etc. All matter of fact, nothing special -- and certainly nothing to be ashamed of or hung up over.

What a novel idea: comfort in your own skin.


Made me get a haircut today, get rid of the gray and look in the mirror and not barf again -- good, okay! See? Successful learning... I'm Asian and not vomit-inducing. YAY!

I stand a little taller already.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Fine Form

Went to see two venues today with Mom, had lunch, went shopping at two Nordstrom's (y'all KNOW how much I hate shopping, especially for clothes for ME) -- then to my brother's house for dinner.

What a day.

And my mother was in fine form.

(RING RING Specialty-Sing-Song-RING of my cell phone. I pick it up immediately.)

Me: Hi, there!
Him: What's up?
Me: Actually I'm in the car with Mom but I don't have my headset on. Can we talk later?
Him: Yeah, sure, I'll call you.
Me: Everything okay?
Him: Everything's good. Bye.

(I hang up.)

Mom: Who was that?
Me: Guy.
Mom: Guy -- again? Why is he always calling you?

(Deep breath.)

Me: Mom, HE likes ME.
Mom: Oh. He must not have anyone else to talk to.
Me: Mom! Don't you think anyone could like me?
Mom: Well, I guess Jack liked you. He was always calling you whenever you were here. But he didn't have anyone to talk to either, did he?

I want to die. Is this what my mother really thinks of me? But I don't know how to "die" in front of my mother, I don't know how to tell her how hurtful she's being. So what comes out?

A big cackle. A guffaw. And then a big belly-aching belly laugh as I miss the onramp to Stevens Creek for the second time.

Tears are running down my face because we are laughing so hard.

I finally get it out:

Me: Mother, stop it right now. Not one more word. NOT ONE.
Mom: I guess I'm helping you get lost, huh?
Me: Please, Mother. Be quiet!

I find the Valley Fair Nordstrom's and park the car in silence.

Before we leave the car, the final proclamation (as best as my ability to deal with it anyway):

Me: I can't believe you think that about me, Mom -- and that you said it.

(And for the ultimate revenge):

So there.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Behind behind... Ketchup

I'm a day behind in writing posts and it's making me crazy.

But I'm not going to go PERFECTIONISTIC on myself --

So here's the "catch up" one... and I'm moving on.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Little Chinese Babies

On the eve of the Chinese Women's Gymnastics team winning the gold medal, I have to admit something that's been bothering me for last few months:

I've been surrounded by men who are "into" Asian girls.

Now that wouldn't seem like a problem considering I am an Asian gal myself... but I never considered myself thought of myself (1) as attractive or (2) desirable so NATURALLY, I would never think the race that my face and skin are akin to as either of those things.


Ideal to me was dark-haired and European -- like Olivia Hussey ("Juliet") or Finola Hughes or Isabella Rossellini.

Not me, not "my" people. We're weird. "Exotic" Less-than. Whore-y. Wrong.

Loaded with stereotypes, none of them admirable -- oh, except maybe "hospitable." (Yeah. LOVE that one. And "No," I'd hiss back: "I've never lived in Subic Bay!")

Less you think it doesn't smart to admit that right now -- it stings like a sunofabitch. But for once, being around these men who have a simple, honest preference for Asian women of different colors, looks, nationalities... I've now come to a kind of curiosity of little Asian faces, little girls' faces like my own -- like I'm an alien seeing them for the first time.

I'm fascinated... and I mourn. The time I've lost in self-hatred and non-acceptance is time I'll never get back!

Oh, one would think I would hate these guys who are only proud to announce their desire for my specific kind -- but I know now it's only a preference, like we all have preferences about everything else in life. No malice in it. And I get to realize, by TRANSITIVE PROPERTY -- that I am desirable too.

The teachers have come -- I guess it's taken this long for this student to be ready. I look into the mirror today and finally do not turn away.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ache-y but Fine

Today I actually felt the most "ME" I have in a long time in this house -- I had a day like I would in L.A., just up here. And boy did that feel great!

Got up by 10:30 (after only 4.5 hours sleep, what the heck, it felt good anyway), showered, blowdryed my hair (shocking I know), got online and worked.

Had lunch with parents when they got back from mass and their morning, then back to work.

Booked four appointments for four very different rooms and went over some figures with Mom. As of tonight, she wants to throw in the towel ("Too much money!") but we're having lunch on one of the catering directors tomorrow -- who happens to be the one who "booked and cooked" Mom's 80th at another location. And if I now my Mother, she's not gonna pass THAT up, so I guess we're really still on...

Had a lovely dinner while watching the parents' favorite "Teen Jeopardy." Yakked w/ Brad on the phone for a good long while. Got yelled at by Mom for talking too long on the phone: "Who was that? You talked too long."

"Too long for who?" I shot back, then got yelled at by Dad for talkin' smack to my mother.

What? Huh? Did you not just get on Mom yourself today for being too nosey and all up in your business?

UGH. Do parents ever realize how much influence they have on a kid? No matter how old that kid, one lifted eyebrow look can pierce the psyche for days...

Instead, however, of shrinking into a puff ball and blowing away, I lowered my voice and spoke in a calm tone... truth is, I don't know what kind of shit I said but no one yelled anymore and I went and watched the sexy male Olympic gymnasts in the office, away from them. I just didn't want them picking on me and my friends (and the DVD I just produced!) and... jeez, cut it out already! This doesn't make me wanna hang out with you guys more, you know?

They went to bed, then I spoke with Travis for awhile re: the next video shoot, and here I am. Other than being much better fed here (understatement!) than in L.A. -- I had a good day in my own skin. All is well.

(NOTE: Apologies if you are one of the four commenters on yesterday's post -- I can't read them as isn't letting me get to the site. Will respond as soon as I can!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Distraction of Olympic Proportions

I don't know what I was thinking when I decided to come up here and spend some time at my parents' home. I always want to come and "relax" -- but as I am always told, and will invariably be told some time during this stay, "This is not a hotel. Make your bed. And go help your mother cook. You are not on vacation." (Never mind I can't cook a lick and my mother is the Queen [and Sentry] of her own kitchen and I am more Nuisance than Assistance...)

False advertising, I say! When I'm away in L.A., my parents want me here with them. "We miss you, honey, come stay with us!" Underneath that of course is the usually unsaid, "You don't have a job anyway yet, so it's cheaper if you live here with us." Today what did get said was, "We can save all the money we spend on you and use it for our 50th Wedding Anniversary Party next year!"

That's basically why I'm here this weekend for them -- to scout out a location for their big bash. Mom is getting a kick out of having these fabulous theme-parties because she has her own Personal Party Theme Designer Daughter Who'll Never Be Able to Pay Us Back So She Should Use That Creativity Thing for Something at her disposal. Forever.

Their 45th was in Honolulu and of course Hawaiian-themed; her 80th birthday was a Project Runway parody, complete with fashion show of her clothes since the 1950s because YES, SHE STILL HAS THEM. And now instead going on a cruise with the family like she originally vowed -- she's putting her finally-graduated-from-college only daughter to work. After all, I have no "permanent job" yet, remember. I guess in Tagalog that means "Our daughter has no life."

What to do this time -- I have no idea yet. What Mom loves is having some event that none of her Filipino friends have seen or done -- and that usually has to do with the fact that there is an overall theme, a program and entertainment, and definite audience participation. Many moons ago at my Dad's retirement party we had a fun sailor theme where everyone one red, white and blue and we handed out sailor hats and had a game of Jeopardy with the guests that was quite successful; last party they all played bingo while the "models" changed.

So one thing I really wanted to do is find a unique venue, something Filipinos in their barkada aren't used to going to -- like a museum or gallery or mansion -- or even a warehouse and turn into a some atmosphere. Cool, huh? Well, apparently all of that is out now because (1) all these folks are in their 70-80s so it better have easy access to beautiful bathrooms, (2) no buffet anymore because she wants them be seated and served (another age thing), and no spending on real estate because "Filipinos don't care about art anyway."

Okay. Guess I'll save that idea for one of my own parties. And I'm resigned to finding another boring hotel banquet room. UGH. And I'll have to re-examine that "Party Planner" tattoo that's stamped in the middle of my forehead again and hopefully get some inspiration...

Of course the one place I love is the boutique hotel W Silicon Valley here in Newark -- less than a mile away and a little secret that's not on the wedding circuit around here. I saw it a few months ago and fell in love with the contemporary space and fabulous, intimate lobby, a "for sure" for me if only my mother could keep it to 120 people! But no, apparently we're up to 200+ right now so onto the Boring Banquet Room Tour I go.

Actually I'm resigned to that now because I told my mother tonight that I wanted her to get out every damn (okay, I didn't say damn) expectation for her party out RIGHT NOW, one year before the thing, so I could address it. I didn't want to hear AFTER THE FACT: "I thought Frances would dance" or "I thought you would sing" or "I was hoping that would've been a better slideshow." AAAAAAAACCCCCKKKKK!

So tonight she said, "I just want something that everyone has fun at and they've never done before. Of course a nice video of all the old times..." and I'm thinking BORING! Unless I start out with a video that starts out with a voice over:

I'm sure you think you're going to have succumb to a video of my parents through their 50 years of marriage... but this is going to be a little different. This is a photo of them now -- and this is picture of them yesterday. Now let's get on with the games: bring in the elephants and the can-can girls!

HAHA I'm just kidding. But I have my work cut out for again, to make an event my ENTIRE FAMILY will be participating in, ages 9-49. Because remember I have no job and no life!

In actuality, I have a hell of a lot to do this August, and it's all creative work for other friends' parties, weddings and public appearances. Trying to bring that work here to do (my career all on a single jump drive!) when I'm on a back-ass sleep schedule and trying to coordinate with my early-rising parents is a nightmare. Why I am I here again?

Oh yeah. Funds.

I'm overwhelmed just typing this. Even the Olympics are no comfort right now.

A few days ago, playwright and prolific blogger Prince Gomilvilas wrote a wonderful essay for Asia Pacific Arts called "The Other Closet" about coming out to his Thai parents AS AN ARTIST. (Go read it here.)

One sentence got me (and I commented on it in his blog):

          I am a child of Asian Americans -- my parents trump all.

Which is truly why I'm here... and why they're still supporting me, no matter what. They threaten to cut me off every month; they scream, "We're on a fixed income, we have no more money!" and they worry who will take care of their single, poor, aging, oldest girl-child when they're gone. But it's a dance we've always done and will continue to do -- until I decide to grow up and cut that proverbial umbilical cord myself.

Call it co-dependent, dysfunctional and all that white people-12-step-psychological terminology you want -- it's the benefit of being my parents' daughter. I'm lucky, I know... but I'm sharpening the scalpel too. I know I'm going to cut bait -- soon. In the meantime, know any sexy hotels in Tri-City area for me to look at?

(BTW, today Dad was reading the Sunday paper's magazine insert and asked me, "Honey, what's a blog?" I told him it was short for web log -- like someone's diary on the Internet -- where people talk about personal things they care about. That seemed to appease him... whew!)

Saturday, August 09, 2008



I'm turning off the computer after this post and a quick Tweet and getting on the highway. Mom and Dad sounded pretty welcoming (as in we aren't going to ream-your-ass-tonight about not having a job) and have a steak marinating and lumpia ready to fry.

I feel better... the old girl is strong. Late night talk radio, here I come!

Edited to add:
Woohoo, I kicked *ss! Left at 12:40 am, got into Newark at 5:55 am -- 5 hr 15 min, a new record for me, 362 miles door to door! Boy I AM AN OWL -- only 3 quick stops, no nap and wide awake now. Did get here on fumes though... gotta plan better in that department.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm The Mole (literally)

I've been pretty hard on myself today, for not being able to get out of town. A dear friend Twittered me this morning and asked "Maybe you don't really want to go? And would that be okay?"

I know I'm in a bad place when I can't decipher between what I want and what I should want. And who I'm gonna disappoint... bleech. Still trying to make it "okay" -- and yet how come my parents have called to ask me why I'm not there yet?

Yesterday I never left this tiny apartment. Not one step. Just holed up and yakked all night (yeah, to THEM -- what about it?!?!).

So today I'm antsy to get out, to connect. I go to mid-town L.A. and make a little gas money doing some Photoshop work. I take a break from that and go to Koreatown to interview a potential actress for a friend's next video. I go back to mid-town. I'm yakking on phone (and headset, which I finally found, along with my keys!), enjoying the sunset drive on a warm L.A. night.

I come home and watch the penultimate episode of The Mole on the internet (I think MARK is The Mole, BTW, we'll see!), sing a little more "foolish songs" with Regine on YouTube (boy, I wish I spoke Tagalog!), and I'm wiped.

So this entry sucks... but hey, even The Man Upstairs rested on the seventh day, right? Right.

Hasta mañana.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Long Drive Home

Car's almost packed up and I'm finally getting myself up to the Bay Area. (And if I don't time it right,I might be napping for six hours on the road -- so this is going to be short!) I don't have a working TV in L.A. (I know, shocking), but I need to make sure I'm at my parents and THEIR big-ass TV for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Yes, I'm an Olympics junkie, and have watched almost all of them since the Olga Korbut/Cathy Rigby balance beam years. I'm also the predecessor of what they call nowadays a super-fangirl... yeah, I've met -- even "more" than met... well, anybody I've ever wanted to or admired. That would include a TV thug's cousin, a Mormon, singing twins and Filipino-speaking white guy who cooks.

Right now I'm thinking about my two favorite gold medalists: Ilia Kulik, 1998 Men's Figure Skating Champion; and Greg Louganis, 1984 and 1988 Platform and Springboard Champion. I so love what the Olympians are -- they bring the best they are to table and show us the potential in ourselves. I'm so lucky that I've met both of them, and have even gotten to know Ilia quite well (read here and here to re-live a little of that, yeah, yeah, I'm a broken-record with the Ilia stuff already, but it was an important time in my life!).

AOL put up a slideshow of the 40 most memorable moments in Olympic history that brought all those bigger-than-me feelings back (and of course wishing I was an athlete of some sort).

Until I get back to the computer... enjoy the memories.

Oh, look out, Mike Valentino -- I've never been to N.C. before and even though I don't have the same kind of power Prince James Dean has , I might just might have some leftover United miles... (Just kidding, don't send the mobst-- I mean... I better be quiet.)