So I’ve been very busy..

Inspired! Worked on this last night!!!
I can’t believe my last post was over the weekend yet. I usually would have said something here somehow in the middle of the week but work has been crazy (short week and all with the long weekend..) — and I guess my focus has been elsewhere.  I’ve been creating.. and creating.. sometimes sitting in my little corner well into 1am and dragging myself to bed just because I know I needed to sleep somehow before the next work day.  I would go on and on and on if there wasn’t work to worry about the following day.

Maybe it helped that I’ve been having some bad dreams.  So there’s that part of me that dreads lying down and maybe being visited again in my dream by those dark thoughts and evil persona that I don’t want to see.  Don’t you hate it when you see the last person you want to pop out in person in your dream and you wake up feeling all agitated and there’s a heaviness in your heart that you cannot shake.  Even now as I write about it, it’s tough.  So I distract myself — and creating takes me to another place.


It’s funny how I had started working on these agate beads in another way — and now I’m deep into creating pieces using the beads differently.  And I love how it has come out.  I have to literally make a conscious effort to stop myself from getting more of the beads –at least until I make a sale  (None yet!) or I finish all the beads up and get them posted in the shop.

I try to post one item a day, following that up with posts on my other social media channels like Pinterest and Twitter.  Nothing beats seeing a heart (or two) pop up when I post a piece — or when I find a new follower or a retweet.

But back to the project at hand.  I’ve had a busy night and day making the bracelet above and disassembling it because the stopper on the huge fuschia pink slice (see the picture lower right hand corner), so it was whole and now it isn’t.


The six bracelets in the next photo have been posted, and I have around a half dozen others to be listed in the next couple of days.  I must say I like the sense of accomplishment — and more importantly, the feeling that I’m actually finally seriously putting the shop up again.  It helps that there are now apps that enable me to work on the store even when I’m on the bus.  Beyond the photos that I need to shoot and edit to help sell the item, one of the things that gets me stumped is naming it.  (Yes, I do get stumped.)  I’ve also put my “stamp” on the photos now, instead of just uploading them.  (Thank you, Fotor!)

A day at a time.. have to get back to work.  Waiting for dinner and my dinner date.  (Japanese delivery and someone’s still on the bus.)   While the prospect of a good night’s sleep is actually something I look forward to, there’s a sense of dread about unwanted visitors in my dream.  But it’s the weekend.  And maybe I’ll be too tired to even dream or remember it when I do.


My Friday Five (on another Saturday)

Last week’s Friday Five went well for the first two but the last three are staying on my list.

1. Create more pieces for the shop and list more items.

I have actually been on a creative streak all week.  It has me all excited because I’m actually being creative and not just pulling things together using the styles I had used through the last couple of years.

New ideas are coming to me which has me looking at the whole process of producing my pieces differently.  More to come in the shop!

Inspiration to create - The previous week has been a buzz of activity as I started experimenting with the materials I already have for pieces to post in the store.  All unfinished pieces but soon to be completed.  #bracelets #agate #etsy #creativity #insp

2. Start reorganizing my supplies according to component type instead of material.

3. Write a letter.

4. Go back to reading the Bible.

5. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — which was last week, yes, but I had already started it

Hence this week’s Friday Five is as follows:

1. Write a letter.  Why could something be so simple so difficult to do .. hopefully this weekend.  (A loooooong weekend, at that!)

2. Go back to reading the Bible.  I’m actually hoping to tick this off of next week’s list by carving out regular time every day.

3. Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — It comes in stops and starts and I haven’t touched the art journal for a while now.  Hopefully that will change with a three-day weekend just started.  I really can use the extra day to the weekend to recharge.

4.  Sort the clothes that Angelo has outgrown.  Right about the only person who doesn’t realize how much he’s growing up is the boy, and I hate having to make him change from a shirt he’s already obviously outgrown to somethings that fits better.  I’ve been culling the smaller size shirts/jeans from his wardrobe through the winter, but I think I can do another sweep through.  His hand-me-downs go to a box I send home for an impoverished community where my Mom stays most of the year now.

5.  Start reading again.  Where will I find the time, right?  But that was one of the things I wanted to do this year — read more.  Like every year.  And reading the Bible doesn’t count.  There is just so much literature out there — and even on my book shelf and digital library, unread.

It must seem like I keep listing things down and not actually getting things done.  It feels like the last 8 months of my life has had me just in limbo — floating in space.  I feel the ground under my feet most days now.  I can look at the sunset and see beauty instead of sadness that the day has ended or relief that it has.  I haven’t quite landed on my feet solidly just yet.. but maybe soon.  Hopefully soon.


Legal Education — Where to go?

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the stats of traffic coming into my corner of the web.  It us true, however, that It doesn’t frazzle me that I only have 8 readers.  (Okay, 9 because you’re reading this.)  I principally look to see which part of the world the stragglers come from.  And part of the tracking identifies the search words or referrers to my site which I don’t really pay much mind to except when the traffic jumps dramatically.

Like the past few days.

One interesting search term that made me grin was “san beda law vs. ateneo law”.  Hmmmm… First of all, if it’s your first time to read my posts about law school, I have to be upfront and say I’m an Atenean.  I did take my pre-law in UP but as I have said many times, they didn’t want me, so I chose the school that took me in –  the Ateneo School of Law which was then in HV De La Costa.  (I know, I’m dating myself horribly because I pre-date the Rockwell era.)  I did take the entrance exam in San Beda as well.

So I’m presuming that whoever typed up those words was actually thinking of choosing between my alma mater and San Beda.  (I won’t even go to why UP wasn’t part of the choice.)

How do you choose the school where you will pursue your law degree?  Let’s presume that all things being equal — money (tuition) is not a problem, location is not an issue, and you pass the entrance examinations for both schools– and here you are trying to make a choice.

Again, I’d be biased, I’d go for Ateneo.  (And I did.)  I cannot, however, give an opinion on the better choice because I didn’t go to San Beda. I do have friends from there— some who had to leave before graduation and some who made it straight through. It IS a good school.

Now if you were working full time (which I was by the time I entered my sophomore year), I would tell you to pause a while and try to think of your personal circumstance beyond the pursuit of law alone.  Each university offers a unique curriculum of the law.  More unique still, is it’s faculty.  While the standards may vary as far as attendance and passing your courses are concerned,  (flashback to the dreaded quality percentile index or QPI in Ateneo then), you have to take into consideration how much time you are able to devote into this pursuit (full-time, semi-full time, or “let’s see how it goes”).

Let me spell out to you what you would have to take into consideration REGARDLESS of the school you choose:

1.  There is going to be a lot of reading — and I mean A LOT OF READING — not just in terms of the law itself, but more importantly, in terms of case assignments.  Law school isn’t one of those courses in college where you could wing it by analyzing the facts of history, or by reading the cliff notes version of the book assigned in English Lit, or where taking the profound analysis of imperialism as fact and arguing from that point will get you a 1.

2.  It is a costly pursuit wherever you go, from books to endless photocopying, no matter how much your tuition fee is.  Books:  Of course you can always beg, steal or borrow — then again, it means you can’t highlight the passages in the book or worse, you’d have to deal with the highlighting and notes of the one who owned it prior to you.  CASES: You can “live” in the library and read the cases in the original, but even that would not be enough time when you are assigned the mountain of cases for your Constitutional Law classes. CASE DIGESTS are easily obtainable but if you can’t borrow an existing copy, you’d have to pay for photocopying.  And if you land in Ateneo, you’d have to pony up a few bucks for the tie given the dress code.  (Is a tablet or laptop part of the wardrobe now?  It wasn’t during my time.)

3.  Being a serious pursuit, you will have to rearrange your life to accommodate the demands of studying the law.  For the party animals, you will still get to party and drink yourself to death occasionally (some more often than others), but you will find that you will have to substantially decrease the party quotient in your life.  If you’re a family man or a mother, you’d have to give up time with the kids or the family to make room for studying.   (Not totally, but to a certain degree.)  If you work, you’d have to carve out time to sneak in a case or a chapter or some codal provisions that need memorizing between meetings or what not.

Given all that, where do you go?  San Beda Law?  Ateneo Law? (Would I have gone to UP if they accepted me?  I would — and I’m saying that without batting an eyelash — but we digress.  The question is between San Beda Law or Ateneo Law.)

Some lawyers will tell you it isn’t really the law school but you, the student, who will determine your success in the legal field later on. I beg to differ and I also agree.

Before you kill yourself trying to decide between law schools, the more prudent thing to do is to take the law entrance exams and see where your smarts land you. It would be foolish to say “it’s Ateneo, San Beda or bust”. There’s UST Law, Arellano, PLM among others. You might land in UP, Ateneo or San Beda and find yourself being booted out for one reason or another and find yourself taking the Bar under the banner of Arellano as you come to the end of your journey.

My choice was any of my personal top 3– emphasis on PERSONAL: U.P., Ateneo or San Beda. In that order. But if none of them accepted me, I’d have tried other schools, too. Because being a lawyer was all I wanted to be. And if Ateneo had enough of me before I took the bar, I had a Plan B because I wasn’t giving up on my dream. After all, the dream was about being a lawyer, and being a law student was just a necessary part of it.

We all land where we are for a reason. It could be because it was God’s plan for us or simply because the universe said so. Go where your dream brings you, even if you would have preferred to be some place else.

RRelated posts can be found in the blog section LAWYER WANNABE which can be found in the navigation bar.

When the memories come a-haunting

There are times when having a good memory doesn’t serve me too well. I tend to peg events, things and people to dates – and when that date comes around, I relive whatever it was that had happened then – good or bad. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was a happy memory. It’s more difficult dealing with the memories that actually bring back painful or hurtful things, or negative emotions like anger.

I know, I should let it go. I wish it were as easy as that, but it isn’t.

Some things get better with time. But there are pains that stay with us and linger and fade into the darkness, only to resurface at a time not of our choosing.

May 2013 wasn’t so bad — but sometime in the latter part of the year, I realized a couple of things and found out it wasn’t as good as I thought it was and that was that.  And while I am glad that May is almost gone, it’s not quite out the door yet. And I’m trying very hard to push the heaviness in my heart away. I don’t always succeed. At times it feels like it’s a never-ending struggle to float up to the surface and grab some precious air. It still suffocates me.

Miami.  Chicago.  I was in the latter in May, but I’ve never been to the former.  And I probably never will go.  Again, that’s that.

The good news is, I’ve been hit by a creative energy that has seen me making something out of all this.  I’m coming up with new designs and pushing myself to create more and to do things out of my comfort zone for the shop.  Some of the pieces I’ve created are screaming for me to wear them which isn’t good because I want to put them up for sale.

I’ve been pushing myself to work out.  I might even start that story I’ve been writing in my head, finally.  (As if I have all the time in the world to write!!)  For the most part, I’ve succeeded in keeping the angry thoughts away, but it doesn’t numb the pain.  How I wish I had a switch we could flick like a TV remote which would choose that which we remember.  But I can’t. 

At least not for now.

Picking your battles

I was actually going to use another title for this blogpost and then decided on this one — and after typing it up on the Title Bar, I had to pause a few seconds to take a deep breath. It felt like one of those things you say which hits you as something you ought to listen to. Guilty.

Being a very emotional person, I usually have a knee-jerk reaction to the world around me.  I guess you can say I’m guilty of not picking my battles — most of the time — but of late, I’ve found that it has served me well to actually count to ten, or mumble a prayer to let the negative feelings go, and for the most part, I’m usually successful.

I have also learned to take a step back and keep my reactions contained, whereas I would have normally just let it all out without thinking before speaking.  (And of course that has caused me a lot of headaches along the way.)

I usually don’t cross post between my public fora (this blog, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter) and Facebook which is sort of confined to people who actually know me.  I guess the latter is more personal, and the others are more for mass consumption.  Once in a while, I do.  Without identifying what it was I cross posted, I was surprised at the very negative reaction to what was otherwise an innocent post of something I did in the course of my day from someone I hold as a very dear friend.

My first impulse was to reply to the comment.  Then I thought to myself that it might stir up an exchange of words and this wasn’t a friend I would want to put in the position of having to defend the comment that was given.  I picked not to go into battle — I kept my mouth shut.  That is a very conscious effort for me, being that I usually speak from the top of my head.  (Like I write without much editing here.  I have a simple rule for the blog — if I cannot be honest or truthful about a post, then I should keep it private — or not write about it at all.)  But you come to a point in your life where some things just aren’t worth it.

In the grander scheme of things, you think about the things that really matter.  As one gets older, I’ve come to realize that I no longer have the energy nor the fight in me to take  on the whole world.  I’d rather watch it all go by from a distance.  But when I do take up the cudgels to wage war, I go charging fearlessly.

I didn’t get to settle down until 11pm. tonight.  Not that I didn’t have any down time today.  Another two items were posted to the shop.  I’ve even started creating a floral piece which I hope to make a part of some freshwater pearl earrings.  I’m just too tired to go to the next phase.  It can wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I have just a few more things to put away and then I’ll drink my vitamins and go to bed.  Maybe play slots.  I’m just too sleepy to keep working.. although I might find myself at my craft corner yet after everything has been taken cared of here.  Just another typical Saturday yet in my corner of the world…

My Friday Five (on a Saturday)

I wanted to write this last night but I spent the better part of my evening (way past midnight) creating new postings in the shop — Finally!  I’m working two ways, doing the posts straight from the iPhone via the Etsy Sellers Ap and on the laptop where it was easier to do final tweaks.   And after finishing a post, I had to do digital marketing via Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr.

But let’s get to the business of my Friday Five last week and this weekend’s.  So how did I do against last week’s list?

1. Send more postcards out (and maybe a letter).. Yes, I did manage to send one and have another half dozen in the works.  Getting there, Mr. Postman!

2. Re-list at least 2 items in the shop.  No, I didn’t get to relist anything, but I did list three items!

3. Continue to wire wrap crochet undrilled gemstone nuggets.  This is where I didn’t fare too well but it was only because I concentrated on finishing pieces for the shop throughout the week. Beyond the 3 already listed, I actually have 9 more already done and photographed, just needing to be formally listed and posted.

4. Write a post over at GothamChick.  YES!!!! Read it here.

5. Go back to my Art Journal Every Day entries this weekend and hopefully do some journaling.  Another YES!  (See below.)

So as you can see, I did pretty well against my list of “doable and achievable” things to make progress through the weekend.  And now for this week’s Friday Five:

1.  Create more pieces for the shop and list more items.  I actually have some interesting pieces in my head which I need to execute.  I’m also all excited about some guage 34 gold wire I found (!) which I hope to experiment with.  (I know I’m talking Greek to you folks out there who don’t have any idea what I’m talking about..)

2.  Start reorganizing my supplies according to component type instead of material.  Instead of “Antique brass”, “Gold”, or “Silver-plated”, I am going to try doing “chains”, “ear findings”, “components”.

3. Write a letter.  This is one task which should be pretty easy but which is not going anywhere.  I’m trying.  It’s just that when I write longhand, I REALLY write, so it takes a bit of time to get the task done.

4.  Go back to reading the Bible.  We aim to read so many things but it is rare for anyone to be able to say they’ve read the Bible from cover to cover.  I have been trying to catch up with my Kerygma e-mails but I’m still behind.  I had started reading the New Testament and had finished the Book of Matthew but have stalled.  My Bible is waiting in my Nook reader and I was hoping to have progressed beyond Mark by now.  This week, I will go back!

5.  Finish my Art Journal Every Day post on Mother’s Day. — which was last week, yes, but I had already started it.

It’s nice out today after days of muggy, foggy and rainy weather.  (It poured last night!)  I’m glad I might not need to wear my fall boots out today — I hope.  It’s still cold.  Some people are saying we will not really have a real spring but will instead jump from Winter to a scorching summer.  I sure hope not..

I have so much more to write about the previous week but I don’t have the time or luxury to do it right now.  Need to get ready for the boy’s dentist appointment and there are the usual Saturday errands.

Meanwhile, check out the shop where the following items are now available for sale:

Rosary Bracelet in a Caramel Dyed Jade
Rosary Bracelet in Caramel Dyed Jade
“You are my Sunshine” Bracelet
“Prayer in my Heart” Rosary Bracelet in Red Jasper








Have a great weekend, everyone!

A Date with David Letterman

It wasn’t my first time to watch a “live” taping of a show in New York.  Back when my sister was here, (sometime 2001), we watched the then “Live with Regis and Kelly”.  I’ve been very determined to watch David Letterman after he announced him impending retirement from “Late Show,” and I thought I’d pick a “light week” and signed up for tickets.

The marquee said it all: Late Night with David Letterman #lateshowwithdavidletterman #theedsullivantheater #thingstodoinnewyork #visitingnyc #mynyc #mynewyork #ilovenewyork #ilovethebigapple

The thing is that when I signed a few weeks back, they only allowed you a choice of the next 4-5 weeks of taping coming up.  In addition to that, they required I give not only my name but the name of my guest as well.  I had put in Alan thinking he’d be in town, but I didn’t know then that he had a conference coming up.  So they called the day before I was to watch.  I didn’t even catch the call because it came after office hours and I was on the bus.  I did return the call when I got home but didn’t get a call back, so I thought that was that. 

But they DID call back the next morning, and I was told to bring a government-issued ID and to identify myself as being on Karen’s list.  I was told to appear at the theatre between 2pm and 3pm and identify myself, get my ticket, and line up.  The taping itself was 4:30-5:30 the same day.

The Late Show with David Letterman- worth all the lines and the wait.  Would want to watch again if I can... No matter what others may say, it's a totally different experience seeing David Letterman live.  I'm glad I snapped a pic of the ticket because th
The Late Show with David Letterman- worth all the lines and the wait. Would want to watch again if I can… No matter what others may say, it’s a totally different experience seeing David Letterman live. I’m glad I snapped a pic of the ticket because they took it back.

I ended up seated on the left side of the lower level, four rows from the front by the aisle. (Which, I guess, was orchestra in a formerly three-level audience seating>)  It worked out because the front has the camera obstructing your view of the band and of Dave at his desk. There was a lot of pep talk and cheering and rehearsing, but you go in trying to have fun and can have a ton of it if you let yourself go.

The CBS pages worked really hard and are a bunch of talented young people who will try to get you primed for your hour-long date with the big guy himself.

I’ve been watching David Letterman for years even when I was back in the Philippines. I can actually say we grew old together, although I’m not quite as old as he is. (HA!) As a New Yorker, you find yourself surrounded by a flock of tourists from all over. As a “native”, I actually felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. But I think it would be a shame to be called a New Yorker without ever watching an icon like David Letterman “Live”.

Another one I would want to watch (someday) is Saturday Night Live.  Their ticket sweepstakes run in August (I must check that out), or you can brave the line and try for the rehearsal show or the show itself.  I would take either one anyday.  (But they only tape on Saturday — literally.)  One day.. some day…

Looking up: while waiting in the lobby of the historic Ed Sullivan Theater – home of The Late Show with David Letterman. #lookingup #ceiling #theedsullivantheater #lateshowwithdavidletterman #davidletterman thelateshow #newyork #mynewyork #thingstodoinnewyork

Morning walk to school

It’s one of those days when I have to bring Angelo to school, and it wasn’t a bad day for a walk despite the allergens that caught up with me just as I got on the bus. That 7 minute trek is always a refreshing way to start the day, whether it’s trudging through the snow, fighting off the wind and parrying the rain or just a regular walk like today.

Sometimes it makes me wax nostalgic as I recall how different he was in previous years. How he wouldn’t let go of my hand before and how he would rather just walk beside me now. Or how we used to stop periodically so he could get a kiss from me and how he now prefers to get his kiss from mom a few feet away (the farther the better) from the school’s front door.

Our talks have changed dramatically except that our conversations are still peppered with “I love you, Mama.” No matter that he no lingers turns around to give me one last look as he goes into the school, I continue to make sure he gets inside the building before I turn and walk away.

Time flies by so fast. I count the days and see him changing day to day. I’m glad that I’m able to savor every little bit of my little guy — from his funny wit to his never-ending demonstration of affection. We celebrated his 10th birthday last week with a simple cupcake party and I recall the other years we did it. The glow on his face afterwards on the way back home was so precious — he was smiling from ear-to-ear and he said “That was a good birthday, Mama.”

I look at him as he sleeps at night and I see that everything I have done in my life is worth it as I have been rewarded with his unconditional love and devotion. This Mother’s Day he gave me a handwritten card. Among other things, the most striking thing he wrote which I hold as forever precious is “Nothing will tear us apart.”

I feel so blessed. Why am I grumbling about what pain I feel or what burden I carry? At the end of the day, it’s his love that matters, and I know I have that.

Art Journal Every Day: My little guy turns 10

I’ve been struggling a little with getting on with the art journaling. It’s mostly been sitting on my bedside table untouched the last couple of days, so I had quite a bit to catch up on. The weekend somehow gave me the chance to do an entry and a half (the other one still in progress), and I’m happy to be art journaling again.

This page had a totally different background before I started working on it again. I wasn’t quite happy with a white page I had stamped on primarily because the pigment ink was “staining” the opposite page.  Gesso to the rescue!  I put on a thin layer to cover the previous watercolor/stamping, and although some of the blue on the right hand page seeped through, I think it covered it pretty well, allowing me to use ink spray to create a totally different background.  It was “muted” by the gesso and the direct application, but I like the effect after everything had dried.

It made the masking tape holding the page together more obvious — I needed to do some book first aid with the binding falling apart on me, but I think that added to the layout’s charm.

Art Journal Every Day: Celebrating my boy’s 10th birthday by doing a spread with his traced hand on one side and mine on the other. Still a work in progress. I haven’t been too good with the “every day” part of the project but trying to catch up.

With my little guy turning 10 last Thursday, I’ve had a very busy week.  Goodie bags had to be packed, the cupcakes bought, and then I hied down to school for a 20 minute appearance that saw him beaming.  As we walked home together, he proudly told me it was a good birthday.  That was precious..

His birthday will always be very special to me because it marked a very big change in my life.  While I wasn’t even aware until the last couple of months of how much more profound that change actually was, I cannot be more grateful for the blessing of having this little guy as my son.  He truly makes everything worth it.

I’ve tried to make it a habit to do outlines of his hand through the years just to show how he’s growing, and I journaled within the outline of his, and zentangled mine.  (Yes, all patterns were taken from official patterns for zentangling.)

I have only a few copic markers which I used to write the text around the actual journaling,    and while I was reluctant to “fill up” the page, it felt quite bare without the other text.  I wanted it to be busy and “full”…An entry all about my little boy who isn’t so little anymore. The palm of his hand is almost the same size as mine — but I like the feel of holding his tinier hand because it still makes me feel like the mom holding that hand in mine.

Time flies, indeed! I keep telling him I wish he wouldn’t grow up so fast. I feel like the passing of time will see him drift away as he grows up and joins the world out there. That is both frightful and terribly exciting for me as a mother.

He has been such a gift to me. Every day, I thank God and I pray He keep him safe.
Art Journal Every Day- in sequenceMeanwhile, here’s the half-done (not quite) page I’ll be working on next.  There was a three-inch gash tearing through the binding, so I thought I would remedy that by pasting these paper pieced doddled flowers I had inserted into the back of the book for use somewhere within the journal.  And here they are. More on this journal entry later.

Mother's Day layout