Archive for December, 2003


RING IN THE NEW YEAR! These past few days have be…

31 December 2003

RING IN THE NEW YEAR! These past few days have been packed with activities for the most part. For Christmas Eve, we went to both families to celebrate. So there was eating and drinking and present-opening at the hubs’ home, and then we went to Queens for more gift-opening and gambling. Yes, you read that right –gambling. It’s funny because if you read my blog from Dec. 24th, I was reminiscing about Christmas in the Philippines. Well, it was a lot like that in Queens this year. Noise, relatives, my mom and cousin acted as MC to distribute the gifts, and there was gambling! We played Red Dog (basically, you are handed 2 cards and you hope that the 3rd card you get falls within the range of the 2 previous cards. It’s a game of high vs. low in a nutshell. Much fun!).

Dec. 27th: went to my aunt’s house in Edison, NJ to have another party. Lots of food again. I just have to add, that my aunt’s house is beautiful and HUGE. I mean, our house now can fit in their basement with room to spare. And let’s just say that my aunt’s closet alone is bigger than our bedroom.

Dec. 28th: went to the hubs’ cousin’s son’s baptismal. His name is Jack and he’s so cute! I should just call him our nephew because he is. The hubs and Jack’s mom grew up together as cousins, so Jack is a nephew slash second/third cousin? Anyway, he was a sweet little guy and didn’t cry the whole day. He spit up a lot though.

Dec. 30th: went out with the five locas (sans 2 of them). We checked out a new restaurant and it was muy delicioso! Click here to read about our “good time.”

Dec. 31st: okay, tonight is New Year’s Eve. We are going out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s b-day. And this morning, I just received an invite for a house party in Brooklyn that I’m thinking of going to. So who knows what’s up for tonight!

Some musings….Overall, the year has been great and full of good times. I have so many things to be thankful for that I don’t know where to begin. I guess for starters, I’m always very grateful that we are always provided for in terms of food and shelter, comfort and love. And that I know that no matter if we have jobs or not or only a penny to our name, our families and friends will be there for us to support and help us back on our feet. But here’s some of my own personal “highlights”…

1. We closed on a house in July.

2. I was offered (and accepted) a really great job that I honestly can say that I love. I feel extremely lucky to get this since it’s so hard to get it in the first place (I know, I’ve tried in other places as well!)

3. Everyone in our families is safe, healthy, and strong.

4. I got a new car for Christmas! Well technically, it’s a lease and it’s under my dad’s company name. But still…I feel it’s mine!

5. The hubs and I celebrated out 2-year anniversary. We’re now on 2.5 years exactly. And yes, we are thinking of kids very soon. As in by 2005.

6. I’ve learned a lot of things, realized mistakes, and grew up a little at a time. This means I’ve learned to let go, not care too much, start to care, admit defeat, enjoy wins, be more objective, love, love more, enjoy, stop whining, just do it, learned to stay focused, embrace things as they are, and be better all around.



Random Scribbles… Romans 10:13: I was driving…

24 December 2003

Random Scribbles…

Romans 10:13: I was driving to work this morning and saw a minivan with a message scrawled on its window. I can’t remember exactly what it was, but it was a scripture saying that he who calls on the name of the lord will be saved. My first thought was “wow, crazy religious type”. Then I thought about it some more and realized “why not celebrate your faith? you have every right to!” Here in the U.S., I think society tends to be too P.C. Especially when it comes to religion. However, people seems to think it’s okay to air their dirty laundry (think daytime talk shows, etc.) and celebrate their identities (“I’m gay/bi/black/white/asian/etc and I’m proud of it!”). But when it comes to religion, people tend to keep quiet. Which is not to say it’s either good or bad. But to me, it should be okay to celebrate your faith.

More later….

It’s later and I’m home now.
Got out of work early at 1:30 pm. Nothing much going on. Just getting ready for dinner tonight. We’re spending Christmas eve in NJ, and then Christmas day in Queens. Although if we can swing it, I’d like to surprise my folks at home in Queens and maybe go there tonight. I miss Christmas in the Philippines. When I still lived there, Christmas was so much fun. We would go to my lola’s house in Marikina and have a blast. Me and my 25+ other cousins would play, my titos/titas would gossip and gamble, we would light fireworks (kinda like a mini-New Years), eat food (though back when I was little, I wasn’t into eating and had to be forced to eat), go to midnight mass, and then there was distribution of presents. Someone would serve as the MC and read off each present. After everyone received all of his/her presents, there would be a MASSIVE gift-opening fest. So much fun. I still remember those times. Which is why Christmas here in the U.S. seems very tame compared to what I remember. A few guests, a few relatives, and entirely waay too quiet. Not to mention too cold sometimes (weather-wise).

This Christmas, I have 2 aunts and 2 cousins from the Philippines celebrating with us, which is great. Then on the 27th, we’ll have a pseudo-post-Christmas/early New Year’s celebration at my other aunt’s house in NJ. Still, I look back fondly at the Christmases of long ago. I’m thankgul that even though my family is geographically far away from each other, we still celebrate Christmas with each other in spirit.



No work today! I got to work at around 8:40 am th…

22 December 2003

No work today! I got to work at around 8:40 am this morning, only to see a sign on the doors saying “Delayed 10 am Opening.” Actually, I didn’t see the sign and was trying to open the door anyway, until this officer yelled at me. So I stood around for a bit contemplating on what to do. I drank my coffee, sat on a ledge, and ate a bit of my bagel. Then 10 minutes after that, I already got restless and walked to the post office to warm up. I walked back out and finally saw some fellow co-workers. We then found our HR lady who then informed us that our office was closed and that we should go home. Wow! So it’s like I played hooky today but not really. Heck, had I known, I could’ve slept in more. So today, I just chilled at home. So far, I have finished some chores (putting polyurethane on some moulding & putting clothes away), and then proceeded to watch almost 4 hours of Alias. Then in a bit, I’m going to have some dinner with a few friends I haven’t seen in a while.

Alvin Ailey. Yesterday, I went to see an Alvin Ailey performance for the first time. I went to the 3 o’clock matinee show and it was really beautiful. Made me want to be a dancer for sure. Then my friend Julie pointed out that we couldn’t do a lot of things anymore because we are too old. Which is also true. True in the sense that it’s late to start to train and find work as a professional dancer. I could still dance of course, but not like those graceful, lithe dancers that we saw yesterday. There were 3 dance pieces and each one was very unique and truly inspired. Afterwards, my friend Chris and I walked around the upper west side just to window-shop.

Only 2 more days until Christmas Day! Wow, how time flies….


LOTR: Return of the King was bloody brilliant!!!! …

19 December 2003

LOTR: Return of the King was bloody brilliant!!!! I don’t want to ruin my reverie by writing a review on it, so for now, I’m just going to say that it was a most brilliant film!!

A few hours later….

Okay, now that I’m more collected, thought I’d jot down some thoughts on the movie. (Note: This is not a thorough review).

1) I didn’t immediately think it was spectacular. But I still loved it. Up to now, however, I still think that the Two Towers is better, but this could of course change after my second viewing.

2) I thought it was a bit too long in the wrong places. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that it was a long movie and I didn’t want it to end, but certain scenes should’ve been longer than others. Also, the whole ending thing was a bit weird because the screen kept blacking out and then show ending after ending. It was too stretched out.

3) Great battles!! Great drama!! One of the more poignant scenes was when Faramir bravely goes off to face certain death in order to please his father.

4) Some critiques:

a) the dialogue could’ve been better. I don’t like that certain major characters were reduced to one-liner-type personalities (e.g., Legolas, Gimli) –but that this could not have been prevented because even in the book itself, they had little to say most of the time.

b) I would’ve loved to see more in-depth fighting between the orc-army and the army of the dead. Instead, you sort of see them swarm like killer bees on the enemy. Which is cool too, but it would’ve been cooler if we saw actual hand-to-hand combat and orcs dying.

c) Aragorn and Arwen –what’s up with that. In the end, you just see them kiss and there was nothing else. No wedding, no big speeches, hardly any Elvish! I know they get married in the book and Aragorn lives a pretty long life, and I wish we saw more of what they were up to later (like we saw the Hobbits’ life after the ring).

d) I would’ve liked to see Eowyn’s reaction to Arwen and I would’ve like the movie to capture how Eowyn and Faramir get together.

e) I wanted to see more of everyone’s lives after the ring ordeal and not just the Hobbits’ life.

But overall, it was a brilliant! I can’t wait to watch it all in a row as one whole movie. 2 thumbs up!


I’m watching LOTR: Return of the King tonight!!! Y…

18 December 2003

I’m watching LOTR: Return of the King tonight!!! YEAH!!! I would’ve totally taken the day off yesterday and watched it, but I was in Trenton from Tuesday to Wednesday for work-related training. And then last night, I had dinner with some friends so I couldn’t go either. Plus, I wanted to watch it with the hubs. But in any case, I’ll be watching it tonight! Can’t wait!

Tuesday night after training, I went to visit the hubs for the first time in Delaware. From Trenton, it was only about an hour drive. So I finally saw the little studio he lives in (it was very posh by the way), and the great city of Wilmington. It was kinda like an extension of New Jersey. Very non-city, kinda like a sprawling suburban community, very similar to places like Cali, too. But it was nice to see the hubs! I stayed over and went back to Trenton in the morning.

Things I Can’t Do. One of the topics we covered in training yesterday was Ethics. Man, we can’t do a lot of things. One major thing is that I can’t give legal advice/help or do any outside law-related job –this of course I knew already since this was the case as well when I was clerking. But most people don’t get that. They just assume that just because I’m a lawyer, I can give advice period. The funny part is that the night before the Ethics lecture, my friend Sol called to ask about landlord-tenant law. I was like, well I can’t personally tell you anything, but call my other friend who works in real estate. That’s the extent of what I can do. I can, however, handle legal stuff for my immediate family only (e.g., wills, taxes, contracts, etc.). But if it gets slightly complicated, I have to advise the office about it. I also can’t disclose a lot of things. Which is why I’m going to be dismantling my work blog. Although I haven’t mentioned things that are confidential, I don’t want to get in trouble just in case. I guess I’ll be posting job-stories here.

Who’s on First. Over dinner on Tuesday night, the hubs told me that it was my “fault” that we bought the house and that if it were up to him, we wouldn’t have bought it right away. He said he would’ve like to wait more. He said we do a lot of things because of my initiations. All I can say is, “whatever!” If it were up to me (like he said it was), we would a: not be living in a house yet, and b: be living in an apartment in NYC. Period. With that said, I also want to point out that a: I like that we have a house despite the fact that it is a lot of responsibility and that I feel overwhelmed, and b: I like where we are living. My neighborhood is cute, and it’s near the city that I can be in downtown NYC in less than half an hour. [And yes, I am so over the NJ/NY thing. It just irks me when people bring it up (e.g, Oh, they’re from NJ, as if it’s an adjective.) and have pre-conceived notions about NJ when in fact they haven’t bothered to explore it. I guess most people think of NJ as the “Turnpike State” with all the highways, etc. But on the contrary, NJ has a lot of beautiful, lush neighborhoods, diversity, and everything else every other state has.] Anyway, my point is that I just want to clarify that it was NOT my initiation that we buy a house right away. We talked about it, we got a realtor (a friend of the family), we just started to look, and then it happened. Perhaps in restrospect we both thought that’s what the other wanted at that time, and we just went along with the flow, but things happen for a reason, as I always like to say. I mean in the long run, I’m sure we won’t care whose idea it was in the first place to buy a house. It was going to happen anyway in some way, shape or form. But I just don’t like the fact that he put the burden of responsibility on me, so to speak, by telling me it was my idea. Oh well.



News from the West Coast. So my friend Karen’s mo…

15 December 2003

News from the West Coast. So my friend Karen’s mom didn’t come over yesterday as planned. She was supposed to stop by between 1-2 pm; there was a storm and all, but I didn’t hear from her until about 8:50 pm. So I called Karen after her mom called me to tell her that she couldn’t make it and that the package will be dropped off sometime this week. Karen & I got to talk over the phone for a while. Probably about 30 mins, which is good since I don’t usually hear from her on a regular basis. It’s pretty cool to just catch up with a good friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. I guess a lot of stuff has gone on since she moved back to Cali in 2001. Here’s a few updates since Karen’s been here:

1. Our friend Mike is now the toast of the town. I first met Mike in 1999. He was one of Karen’s friend’s roommates. So of course, Mike became one of the folks we hung out with on a regular basis. Now, about 4+ years later, Mike is Mr. Popular! He’s in everyone’s inner circle and I just think it’s cool that he’s a unifying factor with a lot of my friends.

2. Two of my buddies have gotten together. 2 of my law school friends have since become romantically involved and have been together since. It’s just a point of interest for Karen since I tried to hook up one of these 2 friends with one of Karen’s own friends.

3. I’m actually a practicing attorney now versus being just a law student. It’s been a long time! And contrary to what Karen thought, I do not make 6-figures! Ha! I wish! Imagine, a prosecutor getting 6-figures without working for 25 years?! Totally unheard of. Government jobs pay very little as most people know. We can, however, eventually make 6 figures or so if we have put in about 20+ years of our life –if we are lucky. The perks: super-great hours (9-5 pm); vacation days (20); sick days (10); personal (5); and court holidays (13). Oh yeah, we also have a good pension plan (or so I heard).

4. Karen’s mom is engaged! To an old high school sweetheart! How cute, no? This is why she’s here in NJ visiting…to see him! I think they’re getting married in June.

5. I heard from one of our junior high friends. Okay, back in our FOB-y, Virgil Junior High days, Karen and I hung out with 3 other good friends of ours. We called ourselves KKMSH. It turns out, our friend H (who I had a crush on back when I was 12) is a friend of one of my close friends. Ah…the wonders of Friendster! So I dropped him a line and found out that he’s in the Army now and lives in Virginia.

Anyway, it was just cool to hear from her. So Karen, when are you coming to visit?


*Yawn* Lately I’ve been thinking of how truly laz…

14 December 2003

*Yawn* Lately I’ve been thinking of how truly lazy I can get. As I’ve said a gazillion times in this blog, I’ve sworn to be a healthier person in terms of eating habits. I have not been to the gym since September (for only like, 3 times), and yes, instead of just sucking it up and going –I just whine about not going. I don’t know what it is. It’s not that I hate physical activity or even exercise. On the contrary, once I get going, I do enjoy it. I think it’s just the physical fact of going to the gym (as in driving there and getting situated) that irks me. I don’t like the “regulars” in the gym who shmooze with the trainers or the littles chickies who talk to each other while on the treadmill. But heck, even if I’m the only one there, I think it would take me a while to to get my groove on in the gym. Man. I hate working out. And the only reason I would like to work out is of course, for health reasons. Yes, I get winded going up 3 flights of stairs. I also have a tightness in my chest after I eat my usual junky foods. Yes, while I am not overweight, I would still like to be healthy and toned. And would still like to continue eating bacon and other forms of pork fat until I’m 75 years old and not have a heart attack. But starting late this December, I swear to return to the gym! And yoga! And hip-hop class! And maybe Pilates! =)

*Twiddling Thumbs* Right now, I’m just blogging while waiting for my friend’s (Karen) mom to come over and deliver a package. I don’t know if she’s actually going to make it over since there’s a lot of snow coming down and she’s staying somewhere in Wayne, NJ (where I’ve never personally been). I suppose they could always mail the package, which I’ve done many times already during the Christmas season. Later in the afternoon, I’m going to brave the stormy weather and go over to the Bronx for my friend Jill’s birthday. Last time, I missed out on my friend Sol’s party cuz the snow was just atrocious. This time, I refuse to be a winter hermit just cuz of the snow. Besides, Jill’s supposed to live only 20 minutes away from me. I really should go out more!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree… We actually got one last Thursday. I think we paid too much but why not? You only get it once a year. It’s pretty cute, but a little on the crooked side. Not to tall, not too short.