Monday, February 27, 2012

So not the business!

Yesterday, in a state of rushing to get ready for a meeting,  I jumped in the shower forgetting to grab my towel.  Hollered at my daughter Mele to grab me one.  Mele is suppose to be blind as a bat.  I'm suppose to take her to pick a frame for her glasses and then she'll be home free with her vision.

Well, as she opened the door to the bathroom to hang my towel up, it was a very brief moment, a whiff of a second, before I heard a soft mumble:  "Your boobs are so not the business mom".   
Oh no she didn't!
How dare she MOCKS my treasures!
At the same time thinking:  Well, if she can see these almost blind and through fogged see-through shower walls, then my treasures must be in really really sad shape.  (which I honestly know they are but like to kid myself they're still worth something!) 

"What did you just say Mele?"  I howled
"Oh nothing" she replied in a voice coated with laughter. 

SHOOT!  I thought of Mele and my other half angel half devil children.  I can name a hundred other parts of my body that's not the business right now.  And  it's all because of having you children.  After breast-feeding all 7 babies, (each of them averaging 1-3 years),  it's a wonder my boobs are still hanging on for dear life instead of falling off.  And don't let me mention the other halves which have doubled over, flattened, squashed like a piece of plywood.   And the ones which have ballooned, expanded and greatly hindered after 7 children.  That's right!  I can't wait see you after 7 children!

A while back I remember my husband entering the living room and in the process of slipping on his shirt.  My son Leveni looked repulsively at his protruded belly.  Hubby, glanced down at his belly and up at his son then challenged:  "What are you looking at?".  My son snickers as he shakes his head.
Hubby patted his belly, "You're looking at the future, son." 

That son got himself vowing he will never look like his dad.  Well, after 3 years of marriage with no children, that son's belly does look like his dads.  And how many times have I heard him swear in his life he's going to loose the weight.  Ha ha ha. 

So for my beautiful children.  Laugh as much as you want.  Tease, mock and joke as much as you want.  A few years from now you're all going to look like your parents.

Then who gets the last laugh!  Boooo.

Friday, February 17, 2012

My very ownTarot card reader

She doesn't own any Tarot cards but she uses the plain playing cards.   She mumbled something and commence the session.

"So this is very complicated as you can see", she stated, after shuffling and dividing the cards into four equal piles, and then facing some of them up so we can see the pictures on it.  Her other sister Mele, sat across the table watching.  They were speaking silent message with their eyes.

"Pick a row mom", she instructed.  I did a few of them.  She ran her hands over them ahhhing and uhmming.  The last row,  I remember a King of Spade, a Jack of Spade and Queen of diamond and some other ones.

All the while I was trying so hard not to laugh and ruin her moment.  She's my daughter Patiola, 14, and she thinks she's a Tarot Card Reader that wants to tell every ones fortunes, impending doom and matching love life.

"You see, you guys aren't looking at each others because...... oh it's very complicated."  She said thoughtfully.  "He's looking that way, you're looking the other way, hmmmmm" 

I'm thinking:  May be because nobody is doing any looking. 

Almost shaking with laughter, I pressed my lips together so I won't let out a howl.  

"This whole situation is not going to work out!  He's married and you're married!"  She declared with somehow a breath of relief.

Ok, tell me something I don't know.  I thought to myself.

She must have read my mind for she yelped, "Your heart is in Africa!"   Well, holy kryptonite, that's the last place I expected my heart to be at.  Africa of all places!

Speaking to her little sister, she gathered her cards, then she glared at me and asked:  "Was I right mom?  Did you spell daddy's name?" 

What?  I didn't know I was suppose to spell anyone's name or think of a name.  I guess before any of the reading begins you're suppose to think of a name.  The man's name and that's what she was mumbling at the beginning but I didn't know she was addressing me.  To pick a name or spell a name.

Realizing from my face that I wasn't aware of that part, her own lovely face formed a shocking expression:  "Mom, are you telling me you didn't even spell dad's name before we started your reading?"

What can I say to that?  Both of my girls faces turned to me equally shocked.  "Whose name did you spell mom?"   Threw my hands in the air and answered:  "Beats me girls".   Both faces scrutinized me accusingly.

To console them I lied:  "Okay girls, I was spelling your dad's name:  J O H N!"  They quickly glanced at each others and Patiola turned to me:   "I knew it was a four lettered name mom."  

Uh huh and so as gazillion other mens name too.

Satisfied. They were all smiles and gave me hugs and kisses.  We do that a lot in our home.  Hugs and kisses.   Almost as much as name callings too.  So much for Tarot reading.  She went ahead and spread out the cards again on that table and this time made sure I spelled out her dad's name before we start another round.

Where's the fun in that I ask myself.  LMBO...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Grand Finale

"Is this it?"  One hand was on the steering wheel as her other hand flailed in the air.  I glanced at her understanding exactly where she's coming from.  For the first time, I realized that Sarah, my sister-in-law, wasn't immune to depression as I thought she was. 

"All day yesterday,"  she reflected, "I felt so down in the slump.  It's the first time I've ever felt like this."  

What she's describing to me sounds like pre-menopause symptoms.  Sela's 43 and I am reminded of more then I care to count,  times that I felt like she does right at the moment.  The restlessness, depression and the unsettling feelings of living a somewhat unfulfilled life. 

"Do you think you're starting pre-menopause?"  I inquired.

"I don't know what it was.  Don't get me wrong Sel, I'm the luckiest girl in the world.  Your brother is the hardest working man any woman can ask for.  He's a family man and he loves his children but for some reason I looked at my life and asked myself;  

"Is this really it?  Is the the Grand Finale?"

Her facial expression and hand gestures made me smile.  Somehow, images of drums, cymbals and trumpets pops into mind when she refers to the Grand Finale!  She didn't sound like she wanted to celebrate the Grand Finale of her life.  Instead, her voice drips with uncertainty and disappointment.

"What is the Grand Finale of our lives?"  I wondered.  " How do we measure real happiness?"

When she said Grand Finale, I think final, done and no more progression.

I was a little surprised that I've never considered a Grand finale for me.  Simply because I am a work in progress.   Always striving for ways to improve myself.  To become a better mother, wife, person etc, etc, etc.   So it's a lifetime process that will continue until the day I die.  I'm not stopping for a Grand Finale.  Every day is a celebration of life for me. 

There are days, however, that I do feel like Sarah.  Down in the dump, but I've never consider it as final or the Grand Finale of my life. There's always that reachable star, just beyond the horizon, that I feel, just waiting on me.  Any moment, minute, second now, I'll get there.

So come what may, it's up to me to make that journey joyous, worthwhile and marvelous.  In other words, live every day as if it is a Grand Finale.  A celebration of life itself so that if I go out unexpectedly, I'll go out with a BLAST!  Like Whitney Houston's song,  "One Moment In Time"

 "...Each day I live I want to be a day to give the best of me..."

And that my friends, is making sure each and every day counts!   And I can't say enough of this. 


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston

"RIP Whitney Houston", was all I saw while in the process of checking out my Facebook status.   I was stunned.  Shocked.   Then I saw more then one post.

What the heck is going on?

Is someone playing a sick joke?

I felt like bawling.   NO!  NO! NO!  and then WHY!  WHY!  WHY!  Not THE Whitney Houston.  (I know I'm a little dramatic but Whitney Houston is the epitome of a real female artist to me)  Her and Celine Dion.  No one else can compare.  I was a Freshman in college when I came across her very first CD and I was mesmerized, in awe and BECAME a loyal fan to the end.

Witnessed her success.  Bask in the greatness and serenity of her voice as she delivers hit after hit after hit.  And then her marriage to Bobby Brown, was what I thought, the beginning of her journey to hell.

I'm devastated.  To think that someone has so much going for her, would simply give in to drugs and then end it so abruptly.  Why Whitney?  Why did you do this?  You've become the greatest singer in the world and then let it all go to waste.  What a waste! 

My all time favorites was her rendition of the National Anthem.

Here are the rest of my favorite:  Saving All My Love For You
                                                  Always Love you
                                                  Miracle with Mariah Carey
                                                  Run to you
                                                  Every Woman

Rest in Peace Whitney.  Gone but never be forgotten.  Your music will live on and on and on.  Just like Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson.  We will always love you.  Like Barbara Streisand had said:  It's sad that your music didn't bring you the same joy as it did to us.  (Your fans)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Technically Annoyed

Cell phones, has become my new formidable nemesis.  Yes, my rivalry for attention and concentration.  This is why I don't really care for cell phones and doesn't wish my kids to have 'em until they can afford their own.  I've noticed it for some times now, but truly didn't pay much mind to it.  Until lately.  Because everyone has it.   It's the new invasion.  This wonderful technology gets me technically annoyed.

Maybe it's just me.  What I do mind though is the toll it's taken on normal human to human conversation.   I'd be talking to someone and all of a sudden, I'm not talking with them face to face.  I'm talking to their heads.  Or worse, their hands.  Really?   How rude!  I don't mind so much if they'd politely say;

"Pardon me, give me a sec to check this message."

Then I'll know that you've acknowledged we were in the midst of a conversation and now about to briefly check your cell phone.   But when you're discourteous and out-of-no-where ignore me, that tells me, the conversation is over.  You're not listening, you're not paying attention.  Conversation terminated. 

There is a breach of etiquette when it comes to cell phones.  Every other second we pause, hold the world, I have to check who text, emailed or facebook me..  Never mind if someone is talking to me.  What's on my phone is more important then what you're saying to me.  I've seen people sitting side by side and instead of speaking to one another, they text!

They're everywhere.  In our homes, automobiles, schoolrooms, theaters, the gym and inside our churches.  There's no escaping it!   This new love of our lives has become indispensable and crucial that some can't seem to part with them even momentarily.  They use it in the bathroom stalls, dinner tables, on the bed and let it ring out loud in our chapels while we pray.  Some can't let it go unanswered while they're showering.  They have to off the shower, jump out dripping wet to answer their phones.  A pain in the donkey for teachers in the classrooms.  It has also become indubitably hazardous when we drive.

Don't get me wrong,  technology is wonderful.  I love how it weaves and intertwine our lives together from the four corners of the world.  In a blink of an eye.  But don't become blinded, deafen and distracted by it.  Allowing text messaging, emails and facebook on our cell phones to take over decent, heart-to-heart, human to human conversations.   I wince at how it affects the vocabularies of the upcoming generation.  So much distorted abbreviation of the English language.  Pretty soon we'll all be talking text-English like the Hawaiians' Pidgin language.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Discovering Bethany Pierce

Rummaging through  the list of books by one of my most cherished authors, Jodi Picoult, my hand sailed across "Amy Inspired" by a Bethany Pierce. The title looks interesting enough.    I pulled it out of the shelf and examined the cover and the picture of the author herself.  Bethany Pierce looked very young, fun and sassy.   I've read enough books to know, one can't truly judge a book by its cover nor the picture of its author. 

The weight of the book in my grasp as well as the picture of the curly red haired girl, with her back towards the reader on the cover, was captivating.   So I checked it out and dove into the interesting, idyllically not yet established  life of Amy Gallagher.  It was far more pleasing then what my expectations had assumed. When I'm unfamiliar with an author, I read apprehensively.    Bethany Pierce has a uniqueness in her writing that delved deeper and beyond her fictional  characters, surrendering a glimpse (I can only concede) into the reality of her own life as an author.

I became irrefutably inspired, loving the fact that as an aspiring writer, Amy's faith in Christ was her anchor and leverage in a life chocked with rejections and uncertainties: 

"But forsaking Christ himself was impossible.  The basic precepts of faith defined my life as the skeleton give the body definitions;  I could as soon function apart from Christianity as sever muscle from bone and retain shape."

On Chastity:

"...particulars of is moral codes, however, had grown increasingly tiresome.  While I couldn't make love where I didn't feel love, Chastity for its own sake had become pure drudgery".

And Virginity:

"It has been fairly noble to champion virginity when I was sixteen.  But the closer I got to 30 the more I began to worry."

And Writing:

* "Who is it that you see in your mind when you sit down to write?  What faces-what crowds-do you write for?

*...may be we get so busy trying to please a target audience that we miss the very story we have worth telling.

* "Sometimes people can hinder our voice.  How many times when you are writing do you hold back for fear of what your mom would say if she read it?  Or for fear of what a professor will say about your style?"

"The actual act of writing is a very private thing.  But the private act of writing is only half the life of a story or a book.  Its other half is the life it lives for its audience."

"Free your mind from the burden of that critical audience.  To write what it is that you need to write."


And family:

"When push comes to shove, you always know who to run to.  That being a family isn't a social construct, but an instinct." 

"My mother had always instructed me to live life before settling down, settling down requiring seismic shift."

"Grown up in  a home where misunderstandings dissolved into laughter almost on their own accord, my brother too good-natured to fight and my mother too easily distracted to remember an offense. 

"Find something you love to do", my father told me, "and you'll never work a day in your life."

Bethany Pierces crowned her  "Amy Inspired" characters with systematic calibers that nearly borders obsession.  For instance, Amy, herself.  The strictures she fences herself in with "to-do list".  And what her best friend Zoe feels about that through her own mother's battle with cancer:  "Watching her struggle for even the smallest pleasures the healthy takes for granted, I've learned the hard way that life is too short and the world too varied to fit into carefully drafted rows of check-boxes."

Also, Zoes consistent persistent with her running.  Come rain, snow or shine, she doesn't waiver.  Her effortless ability to write.  Had no complications with writers block and can sell her work.  She outright disapproves of to-do lists or check lists:  "Checklist were symptomatic of a woman's need to feel productive...used "we" and "our", lumping all women, cancer-driven and homemaker alike, into one homogenous, guilt-tripped class of multi-tasking do-gooders."   

Then there's the ever so mysterious, carefree and handsome Eli.  A very talented, out-of-an-apartment artist that Amy falls hopelessly in love with but didn't quite approve of first.  He was tattooed and definitely unavailable for her.  Yet, she was drawn to him like a magnet. 

All in all it was utterly refreshing reading "Amy Inspired".  Now I'm reading "Feeling for Bones" as I am Bethany Pierces newest fan.  I was actually a little surprised that the Publishing Company is a Christian Publisher.  Pierce didn't overindulge in virtue, chastity and purity like some Christian authors do.  Her characters were life-like and flawed yet grounded with their Christian faith and upbringing.  Loved it.