Archive for October, 2006

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First Halloween

31 October 2006

First Halloween
Originally uploaded by katdlr.

Happy Halloween!

I really enjoy Halloween.. love the dressing up involved, the kids trick-or-treating, NYC’s Annual Halloween parade, the candy, the decor, and the whole-nine! I’ve had a lot of adventures over the years involving Halloween (including crashing a party thrown by an actress, getting hit on by a group of guys at the parade, getting trashed, etc.) But now, Halloween is no longer about me and my exploits. Now that I have my own little kiddo to dress up, Halloween’s going to be all about my rockstar baby!

For rockstar baby’s First Halloween, we dressed him up in three different costumes! Yes, I know. Overkill huh? Well, my mom bought him a pumpkin costume a few months ago so we had it lying around for a while. Then I bought him a monkey costume a couple of weeks ago because it was just so darn cute. Then a couple of days ago, I had the idea of dressing him up as Harry Potter! So here’s a few pics of rockstar baby in costume….

Rockstar Pumpkin

First Halloween First Halloween

Rockstar Monkey

First Halloween

First Halloween


Rockstar Potter

Rockstar Potter Rockstar Potter 3


Happy Halloween Everyone! Now we’re off to go trick-or-treating…

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So I Can Now Vote (and Other Weekend Snippets) Af…

29 October 2006

So I Can Now Vote (and Other Weekend Snippets)

After many years, I finally became a U.S. citizen last Friday, October 27th! Yehey! Now, I don’t have to apply for a visa for every single country I visit! At last, I can just breeze through! And of course, the biggest perk is: I CAN VOTE! November 2008 Presidential Elections here I come!

Me with my certificate
(poor rockstar baby fell asleep during the ceremony)

Who's a citizen now? Catching some ZZZzzs

Then Saturday, my band plastiq passion had our EP Release party at Arlene’s Grocery. What a fiasco that was! It was “the night we almost didn’t play.” We were scheduled to play at 7 pm, but we didn’t get there until 7:03 pm. When we got there, the bookers were pissed and yelled at us and, and our drummer and bassist were at each other’s throats. It was a really bad and stressful situation. After people calmed down a bit, we got the thumbs-up to go on, but it was a mad rush to do the soundcheck and all that jazz. I hardly even tuned my guitar! It was a mess, but then halfway through the set, things sorta smoothed out. However, we were still frazzled and we fucked up 2 songs. But I’m glad that a few of our friends were there to show their support.

Lesson learned: NEVER be late for a gig (even though we think no one will be there). Well actually, I’m a pretty punctual person, even post-baby. So I was sorely disappointed at my tardiness. Special shout-out to Christina and Phil for always being there; to Angie and Jules for coming to check us out; and cousins Mao and Ige for watching us!

Our EP: I Can’t Wait
I Can't Wait
(most of) the Band
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With my friend Christina –our biggest fan!
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Sunday, I went home to Queens to celebrate my little brother’s 16th birthday (a few days early). Gawd! My little brother is going to be 16 on Nov. 2nd! We went to this Chinese buffet restaurant that we always go to in Flushing, Queens. It’s quite possibly the best buffet in the world. It’s at least 100 feet long (with 4 tables, each about 20 feet long), with a noodle station, a peking duck station, a sushi station, and a dessert station. I always end up feeling like Homer Simpson when I’m done eating.

When we came back home though, this is what we saw in our back yard:

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The wind blew our poor tree down! Now we have to go find a tree specialist to get it out of our neighbor’s yard! Thank goodness we’re on pretty good terms with our neighbor and that no one go hurt!

Have a great week! I’ll be posting some cool Halloween pics on Tuesday!

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New York Weddings

25 October 2006

The New York Wedding


gracewedding12
Originally uploaded by katdlr.

I went to 2 weddings these past 2 weekends. Both were in New York –one in upstate NY, and the other one in midtown Manhattan.

On Friday the 13th, my college friend Grace had a beautiful ceremony and reception at the Gardens in Catlin Creek in Slate Hill, NY. This was the first wedding that both the hubs and I attended post-baby and I’m glad we did. This place was amazing and it perfectly complemented her fall theme! If ever I get the chance to do an outdoor ceremony, this place would be it.

Grace is so creative that ladies and gentlemen –she created her own centerpieces, invites, place cards, children’s activity buckets, etc! Yes, she even carved those pumpkins herself! She and her hubs, Matt created these beautiful yet funky invitations tied with twine and autumn leaves. Her centerpieces consisted of glass hurricanes (those large candle vases) filled with either corn, candy corn, or cranberries surrounded by apples and mini-pumpkins and a gorgeous garland. For favors, she gave away candy apples in a variety of flavors. Everything was so tastefully done and I can’t believe she had all the time to do this!

She had an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour, and despite the 30+ degree outdoor weather, it turned out beautifully! Yes, we were freezing our asses off, but we had a great time. I especially enjoyed the yummy Korean food during the cocktail hour. Also, the bride and groom changed into traditional Korean garb during the reception. Overall, we had an excellent time –what’s not to like about great food, drinks, and a yummy dessert buffet! Congratulations Grace and Matt!

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Then on October 21st, we went to the wedding reception of my law school friend Annie and her hubby Dan. Annie and Dan had a beautiful wedding (and honeymoon) in Italy. They flew into Rome and stayed there for a few days, and then had their ceremony in Positano, a gorgeous seaside town south of Naples, Italy. Then they came back home to NYC and threw an elegant cocktail reception. It was held in Opia Restaurant, right smack in midtown Manhattan. Annie had her dress tailor-made from Shanghai Tang, isn’t it gorgeous? It’s a take-off from the qipao, the traditional Chinese gown.

The reception was quite snazzy and it felt like nighttime even though it was at 1 pm. Annie and Dan had a lot of friends come in from Boston (since they went to BU), and it was a college reunion of sorts for them. It was great to mix with such an ecclectic crowd of people. I felt like I was in a cocktail party straight out of Sex and the City. Hors d’oeuvres were passed around, the liqour flowed freely, and the desserts were amazing! (I wish I brought some home!) They had these delicious creme brulee bites, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate souffle-type things, and these amazing pumpkin “burgers.” Sooo good!

And us law school friends had a great reunion as well (minus our one friend Bryan who couldn’t make it). Congratulations Annie and Dan!

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Law School Reunion

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Look at the desserts!

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Close Encounters of the Ignorant Kind Encounter I…

22 October 2006

Close Encounters of the Ignorant Kind

Encounter I:

‘So what do you guys eat? Bamboo?” he laughs. I am taken aback and give him a look. I pause and reply.
“What do you think we are? Pandas? Please. We have some of the best foods in the world.”
“Like what?” He asks.
“Tell you what, I’ll bring you some tomorrow.” And so the next day, I bring this 50-something year old, Caucasian male a bowl of menudo that my mom made. He gobbled it up in 5 minutes straight out of the bowl.

This happened circa 2002 during my judicial clerkship. He was a court officer assigned to the judge I was working for and made that stupid remark when I was talking about how good Filipino food was. Obviously he hadn’t had any.

Encounter II:

“Our criminal justice system is similar to the court systems here in the U.S., ” I said.
“Oh yeah? What kind of cases do they hear over there? Like how many chickens a guy stole?” My co-worker laughs whole-heartedly, as does another co-worker present in the room.
Gawd. “No, we hear the same cases you would expect to see here. Asshole.” I fumed.

This happened only last year while working as an attorney. These remarks were made by another attorney who is around the same age as me –Caucasian (of Irish descent), law school educated.

Encounter III:

An e-mail written by a white (WASP) employee to another co-worker (of Japanese and Caucasian descent). They had been exchanging e-mail banter for a while and this was the end result:

my father told me never to fight a boy with braces. Pipe down you overgrown product of some nuclear fallout from hiroshima or nagasaki or I’ll send my guy X to straighten your teeth out.

I don’t think further background is necessary. Suffice it to say, this was written by one attorney to another. (And this email, I think, is racist by the way).

But this is not a post to say how racist people can be, because it’s not. It just so happened that those above encounters were with people who have small-town mentalities —regardless of their race. I’m lucky enough to have lived in two very cosmopolitan and culturally diverse cities here in the U.S. –that being Los Angeles and New York. I’m also quite lucky I haven’t had to deal with blatant racism since I’ve lived in such diverse cities. The racism I have encountered was from fellow minorities (but that’s another post altogether).

However, I do encounter stupid people on a daily basis. Stupid people who jokingly or not make snide comments about other people’s ethnicities and race because they lack knowledge and are simply not just cultured enough. Which is just plain sad considering these people all grew up here in America –land of the free, home of the brave, a country where people from other nations are desperately trying to live in. A country where all its citizens have numerous rights (so many that Americans always have this sense of entitlement wherever they go, which is both a bad and good thing).

But I’m not here to rag on them. Just on a select few. My point is this: hey, you grew up here. You have all the resources in the world. Get out of your small-town mentality and educate yourself! Why don’t you learn about other cultures instead of ragging on them and making dumb-ass remarks? It just makes you sound completely uneducated. Go travel. Try new cuisines. Explore the world. Pick up a fucking book. Broaden your horizons. Be a little less self-absorbed. Don’t be ignorant.

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Slice of Life Part II A typical morning in the li…

17 October 2006

Slice of Life Part II

A typical morning in the life of back-at-work rockstar mom and rockstar baby (although most days, there is only one disaster at a time). Part I can be read here.

6.30 – Alarm rings. Hrmph…. Hit snooze. Go back to sleep.

6.41 – Am awakened by rockstar baby’s babbles and gurgles.

6.42 – Go to baby’s room and play with him. I change him and hand him over to the hubs.

6.46 – Hop into shower while the hubs prepares bottle.

6.55 – Get ready. Hm…should I put on my clothes on now or later? Wear robe while still getting ready? Hm.. decide to put on pants. Will finish dressing later.

7.06 – Take over the feeding. Rockstar baby is bouncy and giggling. Easily distracted. I tell him stories while I feed him.

7.25 – Baby finally finishes his food! Yay! I burp him over my shoulder.

7.26 – Rockstar baby takes a big burp. What follows next is a steady stream of throw-up. I let out a high-pitched squeal! In my head, I’m going fuck.fuck.fuck.fuck! I hold him at arms length as he continues to upchuck. Vomit is going down my back.

7.27 – I am a deer caught in headlights. It is endless. I’m never seen him throw up this much before, especially since he rarely spits up in the first place. Silky, warm vomit pools onto my lap and meets the pool of vomit that has already collected around my butt. Vomit starts to drip from the glider onto the floor. I scream some more I think.

7.28 – The hubs comes up. Looks at me. Runs backs out to grabs gobs of paper towels.

7.29 – We put the baby in his tub on the floor. He laughs and thinks he’s playing boat. Surprisingly, there is no throw-up on his clothes. Just on his toes.

7.30 – I peel off my clothes. Of course the day I don’t wear a robe is the day he throws up on me. All over my just-picked-up-from-the-cleaners suit pants which I haven’t worn since month 5 of my pregnancy. Oh, and my newly dry-cleaned sweater. And bra (which was ratty anyway, so that wasn’t much of a loss).

7.31 – The hubs and I clean up the carnage as baby enjoy his “boat.” The hubs takes my pants and rinses them off.

7.45 – Still cleaning up the carnage.

7.46 – The hubs leaves for work.

7.47 – I change the baby, put on his clothes and leave him in his bouncy seat.

7.51 – Yikes! I’m running really late. I pick out clothes, change with a quickness, and rush to gather my stuff.

7.55 – Really, really late now. I always aim to leave by 7:35 am. I scoop up baby. We trudge downstairs, and I start to buckle him in his car seat.

7.56 – He squirms and yells. I hate getting strapped in! During the struggle, I feel some dampness on his butt. I pick him up and smell his butt. Of course. OF COURSE. Rockstar baby just did a poopie.

7.56.31 Hm…split-second decision: change him here? Or have daycare change him?

7.57 – Argh!! I can’t drop him off daycare all dirty! Mad dash back upstairs to change him. I change his poopie diaper and slightly poo-stained pants.

8.06 – Okay, buckling him up again and we are off! YES! We are officially OUT THE DOOR!

8.09 – We’re moving, we’re driving along. I sing songs to the baby and he makes grumpy babbles in his carseat.

8.13 – Ah! We are at the daycare! I drop him off and do my customary chats with the caregivers.

Caregivers: Good morning!! How are you!
Rockstar Baby: Ba ba ba ba! (He bounces up and down as I pass him to one of the ladies).
Caregiver 1: What time did he eat this morning?
Me: He ate around 7 am. But he threw most of it up. I think he just ate too fast.
Caregiver 2: Aw!! He’s not sick is he?
Me: Nah. He just got too excited. He might gets hungry earlier than usual.
Caregiver 1: No problem.
Caregiver 2: Oh where are his diapers and wipes?
Me: What? He’s out of diapers?
Caregiver 2: Oh we put it on the board than he needs them.
Me: Oh crap! How many diapers does he have left?
Caregiver 2: He has 2 right now. Three wipes left in the box.
Me: Argh! Crappy crap. I guess I have to go back.
Caregiver 1: You don’t have any spare diapers in the car or anything?
Me: No…. er. I’ll be right back.

9.31 – Walk into work. Am late. I hate being late. Oh well. What can I do?

Congratulations to my friend Sol who just became a mom! Welcome to the wonderful world of motherhood!

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My Name in (Virtual) Print! For a looong time now…

10 October 2006

My Name in (Virtual) Print!

For a looong time now, I’ve talked shite about wanting to be a writer and wanting to publish a novel one day. I have wanted to be a writer since the age of 4 –it was the one consistent answer I had to the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?” When I was younger, I would write stories on a weekly basis. When I got older, my claim to fame was becoming the editor-in-chief of our rinky-dink school paper for 2 years, and being a one-time contributing writer to a literary journal in college. I also have never gotten less than an A- on any paper I’ve written, and most of my old teachers and professors have complimented my writing abilities. I can adapt to any writing style and was a pro at academic papers. No, you haven’t seen my best work in this blog (since this is obviously a very informal venue), but I know I am an excellent writer.

But as far as my aspiring writing career goes, I haven’t really done crap about it for the past few years. The last time I worked on my novel was probably 2 years ago and I only have 2 chapters to show for it. The last time I’ve written a short story and got it published was in high school for Pete’s sake! In college, I sort of let the dream dissipate since everyone and their momma majored in English and wanted to be a writer. I got discouraged and moved on, even though my heart was in writing.

Well several weeks ago, after a bout of semi-depression and falling into a “woe-is-me-what-am-I-doing-with-my-life” funk, I did a bit of research on how to get into freelance writing. You would never believe it, but with one email I sent out, I was able to score a writing gig just like that! Ok, let’s backtrack. I didn’t score a gig right away. Rather, I scored an opportunity to write for a website! I wrote a book review to be precise. They said that if they liked it, they would use it and add me as a reviewer to their roster.

Well guess what?! The guy thought I did a great job! *laaaaaa-hear angels-sing* So my review is actually up and running. You can see my name in virtual print! And the best part? I now get to review books on a regular basis and they send me the books gratis!! Check out my review here and let me know what you think! (Please be kind…I’m still trying to find my voice).

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not a big deal. But hey, it’s a big deal to me since it gave me a boost of confidence. It’s given me the motivation to write more and scout around for more opportunities to write. Who knows, it may lead to more bylines and give me the discipline to start work on that darn novel again.

Special thanks to Mark Flanagan for this kick-ass opportunity!

A Crazy Night in Siberia

My band Plastiq Passion had a gig this past Saturday at Siberia. When I told my friend George about our gig, he said: “Have you been there? It’s like a frat house basement that no one’s cleaned for years.” Well, he was right. It’s definitely a no frills bar, and the basement does indeed look like the basement of a frat house that no one’s cleaned for years. And the bathroom almost looks exactly like the bathroom from Trainspotting –you know, the worst bathroom in Scotland where Ewan McGregor dives into to find his lost suppositories? HAhahahah. And can I add it had no working lock?! But it wasn’t that bad. At least drinks were only $4 a pop!

We were slated to start at 8 pm, but no one really goes to bars that early. So hardly anyone was there, but we played it up anyway and had a lot of fun. We even scored new fans –the bartender and the bouncer/admissions guy loved us! And I quote: “You guys were good! Great music! And we don’t say that a lot. We see a lot of awful bands on a daily basis. Great job.” I think it was our tightest set yet!

Next up: Arlene’s Grocery for our EP Release Party on October 28th!!! (Yes, Arlene’s Grocery is a lounge, not an actual grocery). We’re excited because we’re getting more and more spots in the cooler, well-known venues around NYC. After Arlene’s, we’re playing Lit! Sweet!

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I Heart Being a Mom I’ve been reading a few blog …

4 October 2006

I Heart Being a Mom

I’ve been reading a few blog entries (as well their respective comments) about some of the hardships of being a parent. Yes, it is hard, but it’s not the end of the world. I don’t have a lot of friends with babies. So most of my friends always tend to ask me “how is it like to be a mom?” or make comments about how they “can’t possibly imagine taking care of kids and handling the stress” or say “I don’t know how you do it, but I’m not ready, I’m still selfish” or “I want my sleep” yadda, yadda, yadda. Some friends have even told me “I’m not ready to settle down yet. I still want to go out and explore the world.” All these are perfectly valid, normal statements.

I myself how questioned my “readiness” to be a parent. Sure I was scared of the change. But for me, it’s never been a issue of missing the party scene, or not being able to do the things I want. I figured, if something was really important to you, you’ll find a way to make it happen. . My concern was more of finances and the fact that I act like a kid most of the time (ask the hubs). I have always loved babies; have a lot of experience taking care of kids; and I have never doubted my ability to take care of one.

The thing about being a parent is that once you do become one, your priorities will change, and the way you think will change. So instead of saying “I can’t imagine having a baby” –you just do it and you handle it. Is it hard? Yes, it’s freaking hard, stressful, and nerve-racking, but you’ll get over it. For the first 4 months or so, I thought I would never sleep again and that the baby would be attached to my boob 24/7! Will you miss your old lifestyle? Of course! The last movie I saw in the theater was X-Men 3, and the hubs and I have only gone out on 1 date sans baby. Will your life be more enriched once you become a parent. Absolutely. To me, having kids does not and should not mean your life is over.

The hubs and I have been very lucky with rockstar baby. So lucky that we think he’s setting us up! We joke that our second baby will be the polar opposite! Rockstar baby is now 7.5 months old and he’s very low-maintenance. Here’s some tidbits:

  • He was never colicky (colic is defined as have crying bouts lasting for 30+ minutes with no reason at all).
  • He started sleeping throughout the night at around 4 months old (all it took was putting him down on his tummy, which pediatricians do not advise by the way).
  • We put him on a sleep schedule at around 4 months (bathtime at 7 pm, feeding, then snoozing) and he’s been abiding by that ever since –I highly recommend a sleep schedule!
  • He can fall asleep on his own when laid down on his crib (after his bath and bottle).
  • He can play by himself for long periods of time (we’re talking 45 minutes) without pretend-crying for attention. But now we can’t leave him alone on the rug because he’ll roll across the room. We got him an Exersaucer and he luuurves it!

My only complaint (although it’s not really a complaint) is that he’s a skinny little guy. He’s like a string bean as opposed to those chubby Buddha-babies. And recently, he’s been a bit high-maintenance since he picked up a cold at daycare. He’s had a perpetual runny nose for the past 3 weeks now. Aw! So he’s been a bit fussier at night and wakes up every now and then because he can’t breathe well. Other than though, he’s still such a sweet and easy-going little guy.

The hubs and I still get to do our own little things. We have our respective hobbies (the hubs loves golf, I have my band and still go to shows), we go out with our friends, we spend time with our family, we get our sleep, and we make it work. Right now, I can’t even imagine life without my little smoopy smoo (that’s my 151st nickname for him). And right now, I can’t wait for the next one although I’m sure it’ll be double the stress once you have more than 1 kid (and this post will be bullshit)! But I guess babies are like tattoos. Once you get one, you want more! (and I have 6 tats!) Hahaha….kidding, kidding. I know babies are nothing like tattoos –or are they? (Hm…they’re painful when you first get it, but once you get through it, you really love it!).

Here’s my little guy:

Rockstar Baby

Another Rockstar Baby Shot

Dad with Rockstar Baby