A long day

There are days when you find yourself rushing from place to place trying to get things done.  Today was one of those days.  I’m exhausted.  I was trying to egg things on and hopefully speed things up.  It felt as if walking faster would get things with their own time line fall in step and move faster, too. 

The good news is the half a slice of Junior’s Red Velvet Cheesecake I had for lunch should’ve found their way out through some form of energy with all that walking.  I hope. =)

I started a serendipity board today for a swap due out on Friday.  (I know, I’m doing it on the 12th hour again.)  Instead of doing a 12×12 sheet as base, though, I used a repurposed manila folder.  I wanted to get more out of the serendipity board for trades outside of the swap.  A serendipity board or background is a master board that you decorate randomly and spontaneously and which you cut into artist trading card (ATC) size in the end.  Ideally, you shouldn’t need any more decoration or embellishment, but others use a serendipity background and then construct a themed ATC above it.  So tomorrow I hope to do a layer or two, and hopefully finish everything by Wednesday for cutting later.

I’m still hoping time would speed up.  In the meantime, I’m turning in a little earlier than usual tonight.  Yes, I’m THAT exhausted.

I’m hoping it will be a blissful sleep.  I had a strange dream last night which I hope won’t find me again as I drift into dreamland.  A random dream that somehow left more questions than answers despite its brevity.  Some things, some thoughts are such a struggle to get rid of, constantly sneaking up on us just when we thought we had let that thought go.

Good night.

Sunday Summary

(I don’t know what the appeal of using the day of the week as part of the blogpost title is but I just can’t shake it.)

I’ve spent the last hour (or so) conditioning and playing with some polymer clay or polyclay for short — and I just couldn’t stop.  I would’ve opened more blocks of clay but my unconditioned polyclay is in a box at the bottom of a 4-box tall pile of stuff I set aside as we made room for a new sofa.  I am going to get to that box this week, but tonight, I just yearned for the comfort of rolling clay between the palms of my hands.  I found two earth-tone shade I have an idea for, and I started experimenting with one open block.  It didn’t really get me anywhere, but I had to consciously stop to make myself stop.  You know how when you’re working on something you want to just keep on going and going?  Until I decided I wanted to blog, and then hopefully turn in.

I’m all set, actually.  I just need to lay my head on the pillow. Well, after I put away my laptop, of course, and I plug the handhelds so that they can charge through the evening and make sure the alarms are set to the right time.

The weekend was productive. We managed to carry out the old sofa to the dumpster, fix the new one (awaiting its slipcover which the delivery boys and the store are arguing about I heard –) and I’m thinking of making or better yet, buying some throwpillows to grace our warm and cozy sofa.

I pulled off another lobster lunch today despite my former declaration that I wouldn’t do a lobster meal in a long while because of the production it entailed.  But after seeing that a 1 1/4 pounder was only 11 points on Weightwatchers, I’m sure I’m going to eat my words.  (And the lobster, of course.)  Besides, it was on sale from $7.99/lb to $4.99.  My three lobsters cost me just a wee bit over $24.  That’s a lobster meal in a decent restaurant!  And just one lobster, mind you…

I could’ve done more, but I think I didn’t do too badly.  Homework was done by Saturday evening which is a relief.  I restocked my pantry with the essentials, notably with more WeightWatchers goodies.  And although I’ve indulged in some treats, I’ve been good.  I have enough points to get to tomorrow and weigh day on Tuesday.  Unless the lobster packs on a pound or two onto my love handles, I think I’m on track for a pound ot two lost this week.  =)

If there wasn’t work tomorrow and if the urge to blog didn’t hit me, I’d still be rolling out the polyclay.  I spent a lot of time browsing designs over the weekend, trying to get ideas. Crafting has always been very therapeutice for me.

I’m trying to clear my head as I pray and think of a solution or an answer to a question I’m in the middle of threshing out in my pretty little head.  Prayer can be as simple as just letting my heart and mind be still and immerse myself in the silence. And in that silence a thousand words are said.

I think of conversations in my head.  Yesterday, I received a reply to a letter I had sent via the usual postal route from dear Gina.  My FB icon lit up on my blackberry and there was her response.  I was walking to the car at the time after lunch with the boys.  It is always good to hear from friends, more so at a time when you find yourself reaching out to others who just brush off the greetings or ignore them. I’m trying not to take it personally, but I am taking note.  Sometimes being the queen of the benefit of the doubt can be a tired excuse to avoid the reality that people sometimes prefer to be left alone.  (Or that they don’t want to hear from you, so stop making a pest of yourself, Dinna.)   I have to remind myself that I do the same to others who I prefer not to have in my life at the moment.

I miss my sister.  I’m praying for an answer.  I know it will come.

One of the hardest part about being 10,000 miles away from everyone else who matters to me is that it’s not as easy as telling her let’s go home together, or let’s stop by this restaurant and have dinner.  We did that a lot when I was still back home.

Have to hit the sack now… it’s almost midnight.. and Monday is waiting to begin.

Five things I’m thankful for

I know this is something I should be doing more of: thinking of the things I should be grateful for, but life happens.  (Another list I would do well to write about: Things I should be doing more of!)

1.  Friday… (That is why I greet everyone in the office a happy Friday!)

2.  Power — and by this I mean electricity.  (I have “REVOLUTION“, the TV series to thank for that newfound appreciation of something so commonplace in our 21st century lives.)

3.  Pan de sal — it brings me back “home”.

4.  Another pound lost… self explanatory. (HA!)

5.  Seeing my niece, Andreanna, wearing a pretty, pretty dress (or dresses) from Ninang.  Priceless.

Happy Friday, everyone!

“No Sweat!” – Keeping cool under fire

One of the few magazines I would actually purchase a hard copy of is “O”, the Oprah Magazine.  I started reading this month’s issue on the bus and caught their page on Contributors, (p 19).

Five contributors were asked to complete four sentences and here I am taking a stab at it.

I used to worry about everything going wrong and hitting rock bottom with desperation.  But then, I realized when it did happened that I could live through it and survive.

When I’m anxious, I tell myself things can only get better.  That no matter how difficult things may get, there will be another day, and the day will come when things will not be as bad as they may be during the worst of times.

My most ridiculous fear is being caught in a picture-worthy moment with some famous celebrity that would make it THE picture of all pictures to broadcast and keep and not have lipstick.  (“Ridiculous” was the operative word here, people.)

There…no sweat!

How would YOU complete the sentences?  

Book Signing: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Book signing: Kareem Abdul-jabbar I wasn’t really going to go but I thought I’d check out the line at half past noon at the Barnes & Noble a few blocks down, and lo and behold there was none, so I bought my books and walked up to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Before I headed down, I already knew that there was a 3-book maximum for Pick-up Posse Book One: Sasquatch in the Paint (Streetball Crew), and I wanted to make sure I picked the book for the proper recipient.  One, of course, was for my personal collection of first edition autographed books.  The second and the third was a toss up between several young men I knew were into basketball, and who would probably appreciate getting an autographed book from one of our all-time basketball greats.

I hadn’t really made up my mind by the time I went to the top of the line, and then I got stumped when one of the Barnes & Noble personnel asked for a name for personalization.  This is usually not offered during book signings, so I had to think quick.  My 4 or so young basketball hopefulls had to be trimmed to two.  Hmmmm…

The first one was easier, the son of a dear, dear friend of mine from way back when I was in College.  It so happened that this was a friend who was tough to get a present for because he literally has everything and more than I could ever hope to get for him.  His eldest boy is now grade school (or is it high school) and is part of the basketball team, and while I have never met the young man, I feel I know him because it’s his Facebook account I’m part of as his Dad has none.

The second was tougher because I have several nephews I was thinking of, all who are not actually related to me by blood, but who are favorite “nephews” by choice.  I had to think quickly because the guy was waiting to write the name it was to be personalized to, and I came up with a young man who just requested me to get him some Nike KD socks in recent weeks.

It is my hope that they will find some form of inspiration in the book and Kareem’s message to the young.

And that was that.  I think I’ll take a stab at reading the book even if it’s obviously juvenile reading.  I’ve learned not to knock the genre because The Hunger Games Trilogy is originally of the same target audience.  My son refers to this as ‘chapter reading’ now, compared to the elementary story books the younger kids read.

After he signed the books, I was given an autographed trading card which was an unexpected treat — in hindsight now, I think I should’ve pressed for another one.

Alas, no pictures of me with Kareem, but I did manage to snap up these pics of the basketball legend.

Book Signing: Kareem Adbul-Jabbar
Book Signing: Kareem Adbul-Jabbar

Kareem takes a break

Book signing alert for Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue next week: October 1, 12nn

Osteen
Break Out!: 5 Keys to Go Beyond Your Barriers
and Live an Extraordinary Life

Make your own Magnum Bar in Bryant Park

This post has been waiting to be published a while now.  it’s been in my flickr account and has been bumped off the badge on my sidebar by more recent uploads, and with the temperatures dropping, I just want toshare with you yet another sinful treat to indulge in while in my favorite Bryant Park.

Magnum in Bryant Park

This kiosk is on the 40th street side of the park and used to be a seasonal ‘wichcraft ice cream booth in the summer and its hot chocolate kiosk in the winter when the lawn is converted into a skating rink.

Magnum in Bryant Park: Offerings

They sell your regular Magnum Ice Cream bar varieties ($4.00), but what you’d like to try here would be their custom-made ice cream bars.($6.00).  They show this menu on the wall to give you your options.

Magnum in Bryant Park: Milk or Dark Chocolate?
You get to choose between “milk” and “dark chocolate” coating.  I always prefer milk chocolate.
Magnum in Bryant Park: Pick your toppings
Then you get to choose two toppings (I picked honey roasted almonds and chocolate caramel chips.). Your choice will then mixed in a martini-shaker like mini cup and sprinkled over your now chocolate-coated ice cream bar. But that’s not quite the end of it — they actually drizzle MORE chocolate atop your now sinfully delicious bar…!

Magnum in Bryant Park: Milk Chocolate w/ Roasted Almonds and Caramel Chips
Yum! I’d grab one soon as the dropping temperatures might mean a seasonal bow for this to-die-for chocolate treat. This makes it as a lunch meal given how rich a dessert it is. Check them out when they open at noon, seven days a week — until the hot chocolate comes back.

Weekend drive through the Lower East Side

It was sort of a last minute plan tying up a trip to my hair salon downtown and then hieing off to New Jersey for Max’s Fried Chicken.   What started out as a rainy day eventually turned into a sunny one which made the drive more pleasant.  On the way back, I snapped the pictures below with my blackberry (camera was left in another purse) as we drove through the Lower East Side back to our side of the city.

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I have vowed to myself that I will one day watch a movie here.  This greets us after emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and we find ourselves on Canal Street.  I tried taking pictures but was unable to, largely because the traffic was heavy on both sides and I just couldn’t get a shot in.
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The diagonal orientation here was done on purpose and is something easier to do given that I’m shooting from the passenger side.  I have a couple of shots in my albums depicting the tight streets in this fashion which, I think, gives it a different perspective and a little more drama.

Driving through the Lower East Side - 1

This is my favorite of all the shots I took and is one of three that I managed to save as we idled at a stoplight.  I love the way this mural has evolved, considering its different versions through the years.  Seeing it, though, made me regret not having brought my camera along for a higher-definition photograph.  Still, how lucky could I get?

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Finally, before we headed on up to the bridge taking us from Manhattan to Queens, I found an opportunity to take a snapshot of this abandoned building which has been “decorated” with all these street art — giving it a different character but still a character all its own.

I hope you enjoyed our quick drive through the lower east side.

You have taught me well

Daily Prompt: We can be taught!  What makes a teacher great?

A few days ago, one of my favorite teachers from grade school celebrated a birthday. She had taught hundreds of young girls during her years teaching in St. Paul College of Pasig where I spent my elementary years. Batch ’79 was the last batch forced to seek another branch for high school because they started building a high school year by year after.

Mrs. Milagros Mercado was my sixth grade teacher. I have been fortunate to have had some of the best mentors during all my years in school, as far back as elementary to the time I walked the august halls of the Ateneo School of Law. They all contributed in some way to who I am now. Whatever my brain has digested and tucked away through my 47 years on this earth was sparked or molded by others’ thoughts and knowledge. To all of them, I am eternally grateful.

It is difficult to answer the question “What makes a teacher great?” because each teacher is different.  Some dazzle us with their sheer brilliance, and some have that uncanny ability to pry out the best in us that we never thought was there in the first place.  Some drive us to the lowest of lows and torture our souls only to have us find ourselves looking back at that experience as one of the better lessons we ever had. In my mind, I have a list of the various teachers and professors who touched my life in one way or another.  They may not remember me, but their imprint on my life will forever be there.

Mrs. Mercado has a special place on that list — but more so in my heart. The best way to write about her and what she had done for me is to say it to her straight by way of this blogpost, so if you will — please indulge me.

“Dear Mrs. Mercado —

I had posted a greeting on your Facebook page last year (if not the year before that) and greeted you a happy birthday, knowing you probably will no longer remember me. After all, it has been over thirty years since the year we spent together with you as my homeroom teacher, or “teacher-in-charge” as we termed it back then. I was one of forty-something students in your sixth grade class.

I was eleven going on twelve at the time, with a lot of insecurities and confused thoughts, seeking a means to unburden my heart. My parents were both busy with the family business, and I needed a sounding board to help me through. I don’t recall how it started, but I started writing you. I don’t remember what I wrote, only that it was about my own hurt and pain, and I wrote you long letters on a regular basis.  My letters were scribbled on stationery, sometimes on sheets of intermediate pad paper — and I poured out everything I couldn’t verbalize into those words that found themselves on paper.  You gave me a chance to express myself without fear of recrimination — and I did it without having to worry about looking you in the eye and being judged for how I felt or what I said.

You were there although I felt that strongest as you stood in front of the class teaching us. It meant so much to hand you those letters and to simply know you were reading them. In many ways, you taught me to face my fears and insecurities by acknowledging them in those letters.  Because of you, I can write about the way I feel with honesty.  And for that, I am a better person.

You taught me more than science — you taught me about reaching out to others.  You showed me the power of words in an abstract and yet very real sense.  You made me feel somebody really cared — and that was reassuring enough until things got better.  And they did.  And I became a stronger person.

Thank you, Mrs. Mercado.  You have taught me well.

With deepest gratitude — Dinna”