Archive for March, 2007


the ex-files, part 1: the asshole of my life

27 March 2007

Note: I’m recommending you read my previous post “I was a single white female” as an accompaniment/background to this post.

As many women can probably attest to, there’s always that guy, that asshole that you wish you can erase from your dating history. For me, that would be Feodor D— Yeah, I typed his name. Let him google himself and see this! *evil laughter* It wasn’t so much that he was an evil person. He just wasn’t a very nice one, to me at least, and it was a matter of just two people really, really, really not meant for each other but just staying together and coasting along for reasons unknown or forgotten.

Let’s see…I met him during the spring semester of my first year in college. He was actually a senior in high school visiting a friend (or rather, ex-girl). I thought he was very cute and flirted with him with my minimal flirting skills. (Aside: I was freshly broken up with my high school sweetheart and had been in a monogamous relationship since I was 15, so I really didn’t have any flirting skills). Anyway, we ended up going out and hanging out. In a few month’s time, we began to date.

It was a volatile relationship right from the beginning. We really didn’t have a lot of things in common. He had no interest in higher education, had no immediate goals in mind, and hadn’t even graduated from high school when we started to date. In the meantime, I was still new to NYC, was still in the process of trying to fit in (again, see previous post), and sort of depended on him to introduce me to new friends, new hangouts, etc.

So him, coupled with my plummeting self-esteem = disaster. I was constantly trying to prove to him that I was good enough, when it reality, everyone around us knew that he was the lucky one. Since he was not even in college and not working, I paid for everything –dinner, drinks, movies, shooting pool, and the general costs of hanging out. I also paid for our vacations. Like a trip to Hawaii. Yes, you read that right. I paid through a mix of my own money (because I had a part-time job), and a bit of allowance from my parents. He practically lived at my dorm much to the dismay on my other room mates. He never bought me anything, constantly mooched off me, constantly looked at other girls (I myself like to appreciate other women, but you have to throw a praise or two my way, at least!), and never made me feel loved and secure like my previous boyfriend did. And here’s the kicker: He even used my credit card to call phone sex lines and racked up a bill to the tune of $200+! What the F%#*!?! Yes, I took him back after that. It was Christmas time, after all. Me = doormat.

Why the hell did I stick around so long? The only thing going for us was the physical aspect of it all. Which is not much to go by. All throughout our relationship, I asked myself that question. Everyone told me I could do better (even some of his friends and his own mom said that!). I knew I could do better. I think deep down, I thought I would lose the new associations I made. He was my connection, and I felt I wouldn’t have all these friends or be part of “the scene” if I let go of him. At the time, I think I was co-dependent on him for my happiness. Part of me liked the challenge of trying to change him, taking care of him, mothering him. It made me feel needed, especially in light of the fact that I was still trying to find my own way in life. Does that make sense?

I ended up dating him on and off for about two years. Two years of my life wasted. And the last half of our relationship was spent trying to get rid of him. I finally got rid of him when I fell for this other guy at school and started seeing him on the sly. Yes I cheated. It took someone else who appreciated me to see the mess I got myself into. I told him it was over but he still came around, thinking he would win me back. When he found out that I cheated, he got so mad that he punched me on my thigh –leaving a bruise. He said he wasn’t sorry for doing it and would do it again because I deserved it. I was stunned and humiliated. And I never said anything about this to anyone except now.

Well that incident just about sealed the deal. After that, it was finally! over. Although for a few months after that, I would get his drunken calls in the middle of the night asking for me back. Such drama.

Now, I hear he’s doing well. He supposedly lives with his girlfriend in their own apartment and I hear he’s working in Wall St. Thank goodness I haven’t had the misfortune of running into him especially since I work in the city where he lives. If we did run into each other, I really don’t know what I would say. Other than maybe hit him up for money he owed me.

P.S. My latest review is up and running! Please check out: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough


what would you do in my shoes? (aka I need your advice)

19 March 2007

Okay my faithful readers (all 3 of you!), I need your advice on two big issues. Please read on:

1) Can you see yourself working with your mom? Your dad? Or both? Here’s some background: My father is a lawyer with his own firm in NYC –he started this firm in the late 90’s and it’s been going great for him. (My mother is the office manager and basically runs the show). He does mostly personal injury law and some immigration, but he doesn’t really like personal injury (he used to be a corporate attorney in the Philippines and complains about missing the intellectual stimulation). Anyway, now he’d rather focus on immigration law. Recently, he bought out another attorney’s immigration practice. So now, my father’s running two separate offices which he’s trying to combine into one. He’s asked me (repeatedly) to come work with him. I’ve never really given it much thought because of the following reasons:

a. I have always (been that kind of sucker who) wanted to work in public service.
b. Working with my parents feels like I would just be given money as opposed to earning money.
c. I feel it wouldn’t be a “real” job that I got on my own.
d. I’d feel once again, like the dutiful, obedient daughter who works with her folks because she feels obligated to.
e. I still like my job!

Now, if I worked for them doing immigration I would be still helping the public (helping them get visas, etc.) so that would fit my public service needs I suppose. So that leaves only concerns b, c, and d (and e). My mother says I’d be the running the immigration office side while my father stays downtown in the other firm until it consolidates. I’d be learning how to run a business and keep it afloat –which is always good experience. As much as I love my job, I am intrigued with this possibility. I do like immigration law, and the big plus is that I’ll be earning a lot more money that I am now, (and won’t feel like such a loser compared to my friends who earn a lot, travel for business, and do cool things). Another big plus is that I’d still have good hours. But if I take the job (and this would be in a couple of years), I’d feel like I didn’t get the job on my own. I don’t know why I feel like I’d just be getting a handout as opposed to earning money? In any case, I told my parents the same thing I’ve always told them, which is “I’ll think about it.” But this time, I really am thinking about it. A lot of my friends have said “go for it! I’d do it in an instant!” I am not too sure. And again, this wouldn’t happen for another couple of years or so. What would you do? Any advice?

My other dilemma is not too difficult:

2) Would you take an almost 2 year old on an 18+ hour plane ride? I mentioned this briefly in another post. My parents are going to the Philippines in December and invited me (the baby and the hubs) to come along. The hubs isn’t too thrilled about it, but would be fine if I went with rockstar baby. My concerns:

a. The super-long flight with a persnickety 22-month old (that’s how old he would be in December). Times two!
b. The whole schlepping of the car seat to the Philippines, worrying about him getting sick from the heat or the food, etc. And did I mention worrying about him getting sick?
c. Losing vacation days when I know I should save it for baby #2.
d. Possibly being preggo during the trip (but this is just a ginormous maybe, obviously).
e. Rockstar baby and I would miss dad!
By far, the pros outweigh the cons. But the cons are my biggest hurdle. But I would love to see the Philippines (I haven’t been there since 2000), see my family and chill with my cousins, meet up with bloggers (really, this is my raison d’être), and do a lot of eating, shopping, and relaxing! I just think it would be the best vacation (although the hubs wouldn’t be with us). My friends say once I get there I’ll have a yaya to fawn over rockstar baby and I won’t have a single worry. But getting there is half the battle. What do you think?

P.s. are there car seat laws in the Philippines? I honestly don’t know.

Your suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated.

i was a single white female…

11 March 2007

Yes, I was guilty of copping someone else’s style a la Single White Female (you know, that 1992 movie with Jennifer Jason Leigh). It started in college. Picture it: New York City, August 1995. I was (I thought) a self-assured 18-year old with a passion for writing, music, and literature. I was independent and a free-spirit –I had just moved from Los Angeles and haven’t lived with my parents for two years. So when I moved into the dorms on Broadway and 116th Street, I wasn’t even homesick. I did, however, miss my high school boyfriend like crazy. We had plans for the future, he was going to move to NYC to be with me, and we’d already worked out our lives. We’d move in together, I’d be a writer, he’d be in a band, we’d have day jobs until we hit it big, and that was that.

Or so I thought.

Enter reality (aka college). My freshman year roommate was a gorgeous, vivacious Korean chick named Christine. We got along great. We decorated our rooms together and shared everything. It was evident from day one that she was a popular, social butterfly. She immediately made tons of close friends, had 10+ messages waiting for her at the end of the day, and our room would always be visited by people –wanting to chat with her. Although I made a handful of really good friends (whom I’m still friends with present day), I wasn’t the cool person that she was (or rather, the cool person I viewed her to be). She and her friends listened to hip-hop/pop music and I didn’t. They smoked and drank socially, and I didn’t. She went clubbing and and enjoyed the NYC nightlife, and I didn’t (not yet at least). I suddenly felt like I’ve been missing out on life for some reason. It wasn’t that I was jealous nor did I want to be her. It was more like she was the independent, self-assured person that I thought I was. As it turned out, I totally felt out of it. I lost my sense of self, and I didn’t know how to deal with it.

The first thing I did was expand my wardrobe. Prior to college, I had my own unique style. I shopped at a lot of thrift stores (before it became fashionable), wore lots of dresses and skirts over tights and jeans, wore lots of black, and was considered to be artsy and creative. I only had 4 types of shoes: my trusty Doc Martens and 3 others pairs of black shoes (mary janes, workboots, and clogs). But compared to my roommate, I felt dated. I started to buy clothes like hers (trendy with a twist) and even asked her which stores she recommended. I also loved her jeans so I asked her to buy the same kind of jeans she had. So she had her mom buy them for me. Then she cut her hair short which I really liked. But I wasn’t about to cut mine. A few months later, however, I basically ended up with a short hair style similar to hers (it was actually a lot shorter than I told the hairstylist, but what can you do). I picked up smoking, worked on my alcohol tolerance, and started to go out as well. I began to make Filipino friends (as I didn’t have a lot of close Filipino friends in high school) and hung-out with them a lot. These new Filipino friends also had the same pop-culture tastes (read: mainstream) as Christine did. I boxed up all my old CDs: gone were The Cure, The Smiths, The Clash, and in with The Fugees, Biggie, and other hip-hop/R&B artists (most of whom turned out to be just one-hit-wonders: Queen Pen, anyone?). I felt like I had so much catching up to do since I wanted to fit into “the scene.”

I didn’t even realize I was copying Christine until I overheard a conversation between her and her friend Nicole. Nicole basically said “look, she’s copying you. You guys have the same jeans, she cut her hair like you, and she’s always looking at your clothes. I think she’s trying to be you! Hahahah…”

Ouch. But like I said, I never wanted to be her. She just happened to personify what I thought I should be in order to feel like I “fit in.” What Nicole said put things in perspective, but by then, I already had adopted this “new me” and I was letting go of “old me.” College has a way of hazing you whether you are trying out for a sorority or not. I decided to go with “new me” and became one of the crowd. I broke up with the boyfriend (which is another story altogether) and started dating this Filipino guy (who turned out to be such a big-time asshole –again, another story altogether). I went to parties with my new Filipino friends, danced away to hip-hop music, and became your normal, average college chick. Inside though, I felt like I closed the doors on my old personality.

Of course the choices I made more than 10 years ago made me who I am today. Now, I’ve reconciled “old me” with “new me” and realized that “real me” is an amalgam of all my traits, passions, choices, and tastes as it evolved over the years. I realized that most of me never changed all along. It’s all just under the rubric of “growing up.” I’m still a music geek (and a fan of all genres), still a bookworm, still have a passion for writing, and back to dressing the way I want to dress. I learned that you should never compare yourself to anyone.

I am who I am. And I most certainly am not about to cop someone else’s style. I like my own, thank you very much.


so apparently, i’m raising a vampire…

6 March 2007

Rockstar baby bit two (2!) kids this past week in daycare. One boy and one girl (I guess he doesn’t discriminate) within 2 days of each other. The kids were fine. The daycare director spoke to me about how he should be reprimanded at home and gave me an article as to why some kids bite. The article stated how some kids bite because they are either overstimulated/understimulated, angry, frustrated, etc…etc. It offers parents advice as to how to show their kids to express their emotions, yadda yadda yadda. But I’m like, hello! Rockstar baby is not even 13 months old yet. He’s obviously still teething! I know we can help him control who and what he bites; we tell him “No!” when does something wrong (and sometimes, I even put him in a corner). But like I said, he’s still very young and still doesn’t fully grasp this whole “No!” concept. He understands we’re not happy, but then he looks at us and starts giggling and then goes off his merry way. Either that or he gives you a hug and a slurpy kiss to make you forget that you’re mad at him. Smart, huh?

Man, this is just the beginning of upcoming parenting woes….

Oh, and can I just say that within the first 2 weeks of starting daycare, rockstar baby was bit on the arm by some baby? I understand that babies are just being themselves and things happen, but maybe the daycare needs to be more vigilant in watching these kids, no?

behind the music

Have you seen those ‘Behind the Music’ VH1 shows where they do a short documentary of a band and how they split up/come together/reunite/etc? Well we had our own “Behind the Music” experience several weeks ago. After our last gig in late January, our bassist Matt walked out on us. He had some beef with our lead singer Jes (aka the band leader because she started the band). Basically, Jes’s brother told Matt that he had a shitty personality, and the shit hit the fan. Matt was pissed, looked to Jes for some mediating, but Jes ignored it all. So Matt talked back, made other people angry, and then officially quit the band.

Well the Monday after that, Jes and I met up along with our drummer Cil. I told Jes that since we’re looking for a new bassist, we might as well get one that had good vocals. Jes was silent and clearly did not like that idea. She said, “No, we’re fine as it is.” Then Jes started telling us that she’d like us to start practicing 2-3x a week and that we needed to get our act together. Cil and I said “No way! We’re not practicing that much a week!” Jes pretty much said “Ok then, if can’t do it, then there’s no point for all of this.” She then packed her shit up, and then left the studio just like that! Cue voiceover: And on February 19, Plastiq Passion broke up….

Cil and I were aghast. I mean, who walks out on people without talking about their problems? We’re not in high school anymore, right? Bottom line: We were able to talk later on and all’s well and good. But really, it felt like we were straight out of an episode of ‘Behind the Music.’

And we’re still looking for a bassist. Know anyone?


back from miami (aka rockstar baby’s first holiday)

1 March 2007

rockstar baby’s first plane ride
Originally uploaded by katdlr.
So I’m back from our little holiday to Miami. It was an experience alright! Vacations take on a whole new meaning once you have a toddler in tow! The flight to Miami went well. Rockstar baby behaved, fell asleep for about an hour, and then was awake for the rest of the 3.5-hour flight. We entertained him for a bit and he was content to eat his Cheerios and be read to, but towards the end, he just wanted out of the darn plane! At least he didn’t throw a tantrum and didn’t have any screaming fits. (The flight back home was even better since he was asleep the whole time!)

We stayed at my parents’ condo in Sunny Isles (aka the North Miami Beach area) which is totally not baby-proofed! Within the first hour, rockstar baby did the following: banged his head on the mirrors (he just doesn’t pay attention when he’s walking), spilled a bottle of olive oil on the floor, and threw a garbage can in the toilet! He loves to explore and walk around, so most of our energy was spent watching him and doing damage control.

higher! higher!by the beach2
that's my parent's condo in the backgroundfirst day on the beach

We did plenty of things during the day: visit South Beach’s Lincoln Road and strolled around; go to Bayside Marketplace for some souvenir shopping and to visit the marina, and then we took the baby to the beach and the pool. He had a great time walking in the sand but he was scared of the little waves that break onto the shore. His feet got wet and since it was cold, he wasn’t too pleased. He preferred walking around the shore. We also took him in the pool, but we didn’t swim since we couldn’t really take him in with us (he had no special swimming diapers plus the water was also too cold for him and we didn’t want him to get sick).

Having lunch at Sushi Samba – South Beach
lincoln road

Chilling at Bayside Marketplace
bayside marina

There were just a couple of things I realized when we got there:

1) Forget visions of sunbathing by the beach/pool: Unless you have a nanny (or other caretaker) with you, there is no sunbathing on the beach while reading a book or drinking a frozen cocktail.
2) Forget the nightlife: Unless you have a nanny/caretaker with you, there is no such thing as going dancing/clubbing at night.

However, we still had an amazing time together as a family. Watching rockstar baby walking around on the beach was wonderful in and of itself! It was great to just wake up together and not have to scramble to go to work. We ate lunch out, spent tons of time with rockstar baby (we had no choice! ;), did some sight-seeing, and stayed in at night. Which is just fine with the hubs and I since we’ve been to Miami several times already (we go about once a year or so). I wanted to take him to the zoo and the parrot jungle, but realized he was just too young to do those things. Another year perhaps?

solo steps

by the beach

Our next holiday will be at the beach again –this time, at the local NJ shore for a wedding around Labor Day Weekend. But only driving, no flying involved. There’s also the possibility of going to the Philippines in December, but I have to think twice about flying for 18+ hours with rockstar baby –in coach! I just don’t know if I can do it!

p.s. SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT to KAI: She designed and uploaded this kick-arse new template of mine. Isn’t she talented folks? Much love and thanks Kai!