Sunday, May 31, 2009

I still wish it was Betty...

OMG. Archie is going to ask one of them to get married!!! Awesome, and I am totally voting for Betty!

What am I talking about?!

I'm talking about the characters in Archie Comics . Ring a ding ding to you?

No? Yes?

After 68 years, Archie has apparently made his choice and I am not surprised Archie picked Veronica... although of course I am sad, but i guess that is the logical choice at this time (2009). Veronica is outgoing, has money, and is appealing. She has no obligations or responsibilities. During this time of economic struggles, who wants anything less?! He can party, she can pay. He may have to endure the snotty attitude, but what man hasn't had to make sacrifices in a relationship (been happening since the dawn of time with PMS, ha ha ha).

First, there's the money. Secondly - and this really should be first, actually - Archie has always been hot for Veronica. She makes him crazy. He's willing to do anything for even a kiss. Sure, Betty will fix his car and bake muffins and generally diminish herself in a variety of helpful ways, but sex appeal is pretty much innate.

It's all a little ridiculous, really - but maybe Archie's choice has always been meant to represent some sort of archetypal choice between wholesome American values and a sort of worldly decadence.

I always have an old fashion sense however, when it comes to romance. So okay, Veronica may be hotter, but Betty's the better girl! I hope Archie makes the right call! When Archie gets his head out of his rear end he will realize that Betty is the person for him, because she has always love him even when he was with Veronica.

Even though Archie is fixated with Ronnie, if you look on the other side, he and Betty share the same style, they have everything in common and have been through a lot together. It seems only a matter of time until he finally wises up to exactly how evil Veronica is, and turns around for comfort in Betty, only to notice that here was this perfect, faithful girl, all along.

Veronica lives in luxury - she can waste money as though it is as available as oxygen. She travels to school in a limo, has the fanciest pool in Riverdale and the sexiest custom-made outfits. Archie absolutely never has any money, and is forever borrowing from Veronica, which she throws massive fits over. ... if Veronica has such expensive tastes, if she is so hot, if she has dated far superior men.. then what the hell is she doing with Archie anyway? This implies that she truly is merely dating Archie to ensure that Betty does not get him for herself.

How about you? Do you agree with Archie's choice?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

For the love of Amy.

This is in reaction to Amy's blog.

She is such a sweet young lady with so much inner strength, resilience and self control and yet she fails to see how valuable and worthwhile she is. Go visit her blog and give her a boost. Help me let her know that although we are not all born with equal physical and mental traits we are all born with equal rights to feel deserving of excellence according to our own set of standards.

I just want to stress here that negative thinking can make all sorts of things incredibly difficult. It is like a leak in our confidence bucket - constantly drip-drip-dripping away our confidence and self esteem. I cannot say it more clearly than that. Yes I agree that things go wrong in our life at times, but ultimately we chose how we react to these events.

You all know that our thoughts shape our moods. Thoughts are very powerful! They affect our general attitude and the attitude we carry reflects on our appearance too unless, of course, one is a great actor. But aside from making us look gloomy and sad, negative thoughts can also turn a festive gathering into a funeral wake.

So let's do away with it and feature healthy thoughts instead. This is probably very hard to do nowadays since, all around us, the media feeds us nothing but negative thoughts. But although it is impossible to keep ourselves from the negative things around us, we can still carry a positive attitude by focusing on the good things, the positive things in life.

Oh, before you get me wrong, feeling sad, angry, or gloomy is not wrong itself. But dwelling on these thoughts for far too long is not healthy either! There is a time to mourn. So if we are beset by troubles, even in our darkest hour, let us focus on the good things in life, then we will always have hope, and problems become something we can overcome.

So keep those chin up Amy, and smile to stranger when you caught them looking at you! Having a positive thoughts can actually retard aging, makes you healthier, helps you develop a better stress coping mechanism, and will have a very positive effect on all the people you meet every day.

So, can we go for a walk now?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Where do you go from here?

Vacations are fabulous aren’t they? Nothing can beat relaxing on the beach enjoying the surf and sun, sitting in a hammock and watching the sunset with a margarita that should be famous.

Also, you noticed that the locals are the best people on the earth, so much better than those people you know back home, so much happier and kinder. You also thought the town seems to be taken straight out of a fairy tale, and that you can almost see yourself living there, walking those streets, enjoying that margarita day in and day out without a care in the world. You may tell yourself: This is the life isn’t it! Isn’t it?

Of course, there's no doubt, living overseas, abroad, and in another country seems wonderful when you are on a vacation. You may even think: why not buy property here and make this vacation last forever?

But then we all know that a life changing decision is never best made on a whim while on a vacation, because moving to a new country is a huge step. What you experience while on vacation might not be the reality of what life would be like if you moved there. Quite often the reality of the situation is much more... well real than you ever expected. Once the honeymoon of a new home in a sunny country has worn off, the reality of day to day life often sets in.

It's most likely that you will find that a town can change drastically depending on what season you come in. If a country has a high season, then naturally it will also have a low season. If you come from places like the US, Canada, and the UK, then your country can be summed up into one word: Convenience. You undoubtedly, had the most comfortable country in the world. What you want and need is there, easily accessible practically at all times of the day.

Other countries like mine, on the other hand can be quite the opposite. Whether you are looking at settling by the beach or inland, life tends to be set at a slower pace. Adventure is plentiful and living can be inexpensive. But you may loose a lot of the convenience that you have been accustomed to in the U.S. And not being able to find exactly what you need can be quite frustrating. It can be quite a culture shock if you do not consider what changes you will have to make in your daily life in a new environment.

Living and retiring overseas can change anybody's life, and it’s never wrong to chase your dreams... well almost never. Besides the world's too big and interesting to stay in one place. And discovering people's way of living and thinking is always exciting!

So if you can move to another country, would you?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hi, meet Cedric.

I will be straight with you all - I met another guy and fell in love. But unlike with my husband, there was no getting-to-know-each-other phase, no texting, no talking, no going out several times before I felt this way about him.

Actually, when I first met the guy, he looked somewhat disgusting. He was covered with sweat and blood. He was small, wrinkled, and so very loud that it would be hard not to take notice of him. Still I was instantly smitten!

It is safe to say that it was love at first sight. Oh yes, I actually never believed in this until I experienced it first-hand. I wanted to hold him right at that moment, but unfortunately I lost consciousness before I could...

Thankfully the next day, I saw him again. This time he looked a lot more handsome and clean, too. My heart was beating very fast as the nurse handed to me my sweet new little angel. And just like any other mother, I could not help but cry.

Having another kid, a third one, is truly a life-altering experience. They say that a parent’s love is unconditional, and I agree. I loved my children even before I saw them or met them. But did I wish I had a girl? Ha ha ha.

Yes, I love Cedric and will continue to do so even if he makes mistakes or grows up to become a person different from what I expect him to be. I will love him just like how my parents embraced every inch of my being, whether good or bad. Of course, I never really knew I was capable of this kind of love until I had my boys.

My youngest son Cedric will turn 16 next week, June 2.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My riches.

Last weekend me and my kins were strolling along Greenbelt in Makati. It is a mall for affluent people where every single item sold are way too expensive, even when they don't look nice - at least to my eyes!

I cringe at the cost of a simple blouse which is around 2,400 pesos or $50. Damn I can buy 4 blouses with that amount! I don’t obsess over fashion sense or having the latest whatever. Maybe that’s just who I am, or maybe who I am is because of how I’ve been raised. We have never been rich, though there was a time when we were better off financially.

Or maybe I thought we were rich because as a young girl, my perception of poverty and affluence was a 10 centavo coin inside my pocket. And I felt rich. Kidding aside, I was very happy when my auntie gave me shopping money, but I am a window shopper, and it’s very hard for me to decide on something to buy because I don’t shop often. I try not to spend the money I’ve saved, and despite the manna I got from her, I just can't wrap my head around buying an incredibly expensive shirt.

They bought some few things there, and then off we search for a restaurant to dine. There was some struggle here as they cannot decide between a Thai or Korean or the sizzling beef dishes. Finally we settle for Thai foods.

While I sit there waiting for our food to arrive, I cannot help but look around me. Sure the ambiance seemed cushy and elitist, adding to it are the classy people hurdled in every corner. But it's not the place or the food that makes me feel rich. I can have all the money in the world, but I can’t be truly rich if I don’t have love, laughter and support from people I love.

So as we take pictures and poke fun at each other, I also take an inventory of the people in my life who love and supported me. I know I am blessed with a wonderful family. I don't get the chance to see them often and the few times that we did it is always a truly memorable time for all of us.

Hope you also recognizes the people who give you love, kindness, and support.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Too tired ...

Hello, I am back!!!

That's me and my uncle Butch as we wait to join the others at the grand opening of USANA in the Philippines.

Sorry that the brief lull had made you worried Tracey, I just happen not to have any access to a laptop during the weekend. My relatives from the province are in Manila and I had spent the weekend with them, and even today, a Monday.

It was a very busy weekend, add to that is the very hot weather that right now my temple is throbbing while I am writing this. I barely slept because even when we were tired after spending the whole day going around Manila, we still spend the night talking till the wee hours as we try to catch up on each other.

I will be posting more soon, but I do need to sleep early as even my eyes seem to ache. Just want to let you people know that I am well...just been busy.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Indulge a trekkie once more.

I’ve pretty much confined myself to watching DVDs at home. But I felt that the new Star Trek movie should be seen in the movie house where the sound is better, and where I can allow the suspension of disbelief unfold before my eyes as I won't have a remote control to pause a scene when I want to go to the john.

I know I should have followed the tv series so I can familiarize with the characters in the movie. But I came into the series much later in life. And the only reason for that was not that I could not relate to it when it first came out in the 1960s, but that we had no TV in the 1960s. The first time I saw a “Star Trek” episode was in the reruns of the 1970s.

One particular idea in the series that has always fascinated me is Starfleet's "Prime Directive". It is a non-negotiable premise of contract with other civilization. It commands trekkers not to interfere with the natural evolution of more primitive societies whatever the reason. The logic being that interference, however well-intentioned, however benign, however humane, will produce disastrous results.

That theme, unfolded in dramatic, amusing, and other worldly adventures, but which is in fact as timely and very worldly as our today’s headlines. If you think about it, this “Prime Directive” is a hugely enlightened concept, and strikes at the heart of imperialism. It rejects all the excuses for conquering other peoples on the grounds of civilizing them or baptizing them into a new religion.

You introduce new ideas, sure. You coax, you persuade, you argue, sure. But you do not interfere. You do not give one tribe guns or blasters to use against another because they are the better tribe. You do not introduce warp drive to simple societies and not expect distortions in their development.

Yes, the stardate may be the future, but the concept is here and now and may be found in the UN. That is the premise of mutual respect and non-interference. I’ve always thought that if George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld had grown up on Star Trek, the world might have been a safer place to live in. Or the Arabs, particularly the Iraqis, might have had a better chance to live long and prosper.

That is what makes me a lot more partial to Star Trek than to Star Wars. Star Trek inspires wonder, about what we are and are capable of, about our animal instincts and angelic strivings, about space being the final frontier—but which space, the inner or outer one? All this told with wit and magic, with manic energy and desperate adventure.

Doesn’t hurt that just about everyone in the film is fantastically good-looking and that there’s no shortage of slickly directed action sequences. It was also sweet to include Leonard Nimoy (the original Mr. Spock) in this incarnation… I cried when he appeared on screen.

At the end of JJ Abrams’ stellar reinvention, when the new crew of the USS Enterprise is assembled on the deck, Kirk, Spock, Uhura, Sulu, McCoy, Scottie, and Chekov, looking bedraggled after weathering a violent storm but ready to brave new ones, I was one of those up on my feet applauding. A new day has dawned. Another trek beckons.

If you haven’t seen this movie, go quickly. Or should I say, boldly?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Of wrecked laptop and struggles.

I am now blogging from home and not from the office as my laptop is on vacation. Haha. Yes, funnier even if you know that a thunderstorm had rendered it useless! That means, I have to stay late at night to read blogs and comment and write responses.

So, this is a private struggle for me which is nothing compared to what my other friends had to deal with. Joey and Amy are struggling with chronic pains, Rattles, of losing her job, Sid with the emptiness of the present, Kirst and Marie, with the burden of an operation gone bad, and Ray's fear of a recurring cancer. All private. All personal. All uniquely and singularly theirs.

Me, Tracey and Fi and the rest of you can only look on caringly, of course, but there’s little else we can do. Yes we give support, but we cannot possibly know the cost of every step they take. It is not our arms that are heavy, not our legs that have gone to lead, nor our knees that are weak. Yes we cannot even possibly take the pain away because the pain cannot be taken away, nor eased because it simply cannot be eased. In fact, some of us may never sense the pain they go through, the hurt, the bitterness, so we despise it or ignore it - but it doesn’t quite matter which... the effects are all the same. In the end, struggle is private.

But struggle is a fact of life. What we struggle against, what we struggle for, what we struggle with, they all test and hone us. It is the resistance itself that makes us strong. The great choice with which struggle confronts us, is not whether to accept it as struggle comes without conditions. It doesn’t matter whether we accept it. The choice is whether to crumble under it or to brave it.

Struggle however is but a necessary gift. Of course, it is not a gift which, at first sight, we want! Any serious struggle is a call to recognize that life is full of gifts that come and go, come and go as we ourselves come and go through the many stages of living.

It is the grace of discovering that our lives are more than any one event and that we, not fate, are really what will determine what the rest of our lives will be like.

I know I'll be struggling without my laptop for days. But what the heck!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Kindness does matter.

What kind of a person do you want to be once you've gotten somewhere?

What if you got that dream job that pays you handsomely, or you are promoted to a position that gives you power over many people? Would being incredibly rich make you happier and less kinder? It never made sense to me that someone who would achieve any kind of success in life, would want to become a jerk!

Sad, but somehow it certainly seems like the unkind, the wildly ambitious, the stab-you-in-the-back types are rewarded time and again. It really shocks me when I encounter people who think kindness doesn't matter. Because I think it's pretty much the only thing that matters. No, it's not about being good or nice, which really often has to do with worrying about being liked. It's ultimately about compassion, and recognizing that all of us are going through it all in our own particular way, no matter what our social status is.

Of course, It's not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even—or rather, especially when we'd prefer not to be. For me, it's simple and not entirely unselfish: When I'm kind, I feel good; when I'm not, I feel horrible.

Where will any of this get you in life's battle? Maybe nowhere. But that's not really the point. Kindness is not about instant gratification. Rather think of it as a low-risk investment that will appreciate steadily over time. One thing I've found to be true in whatever field we are in is that, whatever you put out there comes back to you in some form eventually. And hopefully, one day you look around and say: "Hey, I've got a pretty nice life full of fantastic people."

If you have a better definition of success, then, I'd like to hear it!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Keeping in touch with friends.

Do you notice how our social relationships developed at the pace of a horse’s gallop? With the world wide web, making friends is easy as ABC. But then staying in touch with friends demand a patient commitment. Today we can communicate with unimaginable dexterity, yet for some reason we still let our friendships gather dust.

I have learned from experience that an unattended friendship, no matter how tight it once was, will bow and break under the weight of neglect. And before we knew it, a meaningful friendship can disintegrate into an awkward and bumpy encounter with a person we hardly know. I am very thankful though that there are technologies out there that help prevent these brilliant landscapes from turning into dust bowls - phone and computer, what else?!

So what I did first, is to create a detailed list of those people with whom I want to stay in touch with - their contact information and all the dates relevant to our friendship and to their lives. Also I designate one day each month to contact them for an hour of catch up.

And to save time while I reach out to everyone on my list, I write an e-mail template that outlines what I’ve been up to, but I make a few tweaks here and there to tailor it to the individual recipient. By doing this, it helps me to actively keep my friends informed about my life while maintaining the personal touch that defines our various friendships.

It’s a cliché, but it's true: Sometimes, the only thing that counts is the thought. The simple message to remind a friend that I remember and acknowledge a day that my friend has conveniently forgotten -- or can never forget -- speaks volumes about the stock I take in our friendship.

How about you? How are you able to keep in touch with your old and new friends?

Just remember, friendships are not a chore, they are gifts to be cherished, so have fun with it!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it hardly becomes any of us
To talk about the rest of us.
- Edward Wallis Hoch

Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others. I cannot deny the fact that gossip was a very big part of my life. Being young, I didn't realize the destructive capabilities of this awful habit. I also didn't realize to what level - whether measurably destructive or not, it was plain wrong!

This habit of speaking badly about others, gossiping and repeating information I have no right to spread, attracted me throughout my childhood, and through my school years. But as I matured I decided to make gossip and making hurtful speech my personal self-improvement goal. I may not be all the way there, but I know I am getting closer. I take special pleasure when I am told; " Hey I have known you for over two years and you haven't said any bad words with anybody." I cannot think of a much nicer compliment than that!

It takes effort to break a lifetime habit, but the results are worth it. I look at the world in a completely different way now and the world look at me in a whole new light.

My conflict with another person normally arises from my misuse of my gift of speech. I am aware now that gossip in any form can be destructive to my life, to the lives of those I love, and to anyone I come in contact with.

I tackle this subject because today I learned that the net is not without this vile habit. People here spend much time talking about other people, mostly in a negative way, and spending as much time listening to it as well. And how interesting is it that people in the net tend to immediately believe what the other person is saying about someone, even when the truth is, they haven't even met that person in real life! How funny can that be?

If only people can clean up their speeches, then I am sure they will also be able to clean up their lives. Then maybe one's self respect will be enhanced, and the respect of others will be earned...and only then will relationship be healed and peace will be in the air.

How about you? have you done something significant with this precious gift? Have you used it to express love? To build self esteem? To bring people closer together? To correct an injustice?

Or have you use it to destroy, malign, and separate people from one another?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The pursuit of happiness.

We all thought that Disneyland is the happiest place on earth. But if we are in search of human bliss, then where is the happiest place on earth?

You might expect that place would be a tropical paradise with warm sand and soft breezes. Or a Mediterranean village with sun-kissed vineyards. Or the United States -- land of the free and home of the brave.

For the nth time according to the Social Scientist survey, Denmark get the distinction as the place where people are happiest. It is followed closely by Finland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Norway and last on the top ten list is Belgium. Noticed that the US is not even in the top ten.

Question. If Scandanavian countries are so happy, why do they have the worlds highest suicide rate? Or is it because of their culture? Because these people are so modest and that people in other countries might rate themselves lower on the happiness scale because they want more of life?

I had an impression that people who live in warmer countries seemed a lot happier, more open, warmer and friendly. Or maybe they keep the sadness inside while westerners keep their happiness bottled up inside. What is the definition of happiness, anyway?

Wow, even Ireland is number 5, until the hangover kicks in, Hahaha! I can not believe Ireland is there, with the division, the lack of employment, etc…. just goes to show happiness is an attitude. Hmm, I wonder even what good food and a good night’s sleep has to do with cultural happiness.

What is a happy place? It is very subjective question. There can be as many happy places on this Earth as there are people. Everyone, no matter what their circumstances, has the potential to find a happy place.

Or is happiness even a place? To many people happiness is an activity like playing a sport or a game, watching television, or reading a book. Happiness is a state of being. Maybe happiness is as simple as having a bite of chocolate as it contains a chemical that the brain uses to create a sense of well-being.

Are you happy at where you are living now? Has your country provided you with the basic security necessary to make you happy? I am just curious.

Unbelievable, no Asian country... damn!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

In support of Joey.

May 12 is National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day and it aims to increase awareness of FM and provide support to those coping with the illness.

Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. The symptoms include chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points at certain parts of the body.

But Joey's illness is much more complicated because of her ME and asthma. Here is her story:

M.E & Fibromyalgia: My Story
I caught M.E after a year of chest infections, I was 18 and working in what I would call my dream job. I turned 19 and suddenly going to work every day was very hard, I used to be a morning person and would get up at 7.00 AM with the plan to cycle to work for 8.00 AM. I then worked until lunch, took half an hour and then went back to work until 4.30 PM. I cycled to and from work every day for about a year. That all changed when I caught what the doctors first thought was flu, I was tired all the time, had severe chest pain, couldn't concentrate and spent most of my time just fighting to get through the day. I was signed off work for three months and only when my landlady told me that if I didn't return to work she would kick me out did I attempt to go back to work. Due to the fact that I been off for so long, my boss demanded a letter from the doctor saying I was fit to work. I had to beg to get that letter because the doctors did not agree that I was well enough to return to work, but I had no choice. I lasted 10 days before they got so worried about me that they insisted I see an impartial doctor who would tell them if I was fit to work or if I needed to be retired on medical grounds. That doctor told me that if I continued to work I would be dead in six months and it was his recommendation that I was retired, so that's what happened.

I then spent the next few weeks moving to my mum's place but she, made it clear that it was only temporary. Luckily, a month later I was able to move in with B, who has since become my carer. I declined rapidly from being able to walk any distance to needing a walking stick to even walk at all. My symptoms were all over the place and it wasn't until B came with me to the doctor and demanded that he refer me to a specialist and give me a wheelchair that I got any help. I saw a specialist when I was 20 and he determined that not only did I have M.E, I also had Fibromyalgia and had probably had both since the symptoms started two years previously. I was put on a mild painkiller to deal with the agony that I lived with every day are referred to the pain clinic. It was around that time that I started the pump for my brittle asthma and so had daily visits from my respiratory nurse. One day when she came round she became concerned because I was a lot of pain and had not slept the night before, she contacted Andrew, who was at the time my respiratory consultant. Although he didn't believe that M.E and Fibromyalgia were real diseases he could tell that some think was very wrong so he told her to contact my GP and tell him to prescribe oramorph for my pain. Since then, I've come off that and are now on Oxycotin every day with another type of morphine to top up if I'm in pain.

The pain clinic were the most unhelpful people I've ever met. They confirmed the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and wanted to take me off the pain killers and see how I coped thankfully, Andrew wouldn't let them. There is an M.E scale that can tell you how severe your M.E is. 100% is with no symptoms and 0% is basically where Jessie was. When I was first diagnosed I set about 60% on the scale which meant, that although I had symptoms I could still do most things. At 27, I now sit at about 40% which basically means, that I am reliant on a wheelchair and need someone with me to be able to do most things which is where B comes in.

If reading her story has made you want to help spread awareness, then please use the above ribbon and write a post about it, even if it's just linking it to this or her post. Thank you.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For trekkies also.

I am among the Star Trek devotees bracing with nervous excitement as the new film prepares to blast onto cinema screens next week. I was influenced to become a trekkie by an angry american, so yes, I too am excited to see this new offering, ha ha ha!

I used to be a Star Wars fan and just last week I again watched the whole series - 6 of 'em now! So who has the edge? Let's see... both have warp speed travel, good medical scanners, pretty good prosthetics (hands in Star Wars, eyes in Star Trek), androids, blasters/phasers, etc. I think Star Trek wins because their phasers come in handy as they fit in your pocket with still deadly power,plus they travelled through time!

And even when I like that STar Wars has THE FORCE, Star Trek is more realistic in a sense, because of better and more practical gadgetry. I foresee gadgets (some already have occurred) coming from Star Trek more likely to materialize in real life, than ANYTHING from Star Wars. Besides the fact, that most of the gadgets in Star Wars are weapons rather than anything useful for bettering human life. True, it doesn't make them any less cool, but it's less likely and practical for a lightsaber to be created than say a tricorder, or a transporter.

Star Trek is technology with magic mixed in, while Star Wars is magic with technology mixed in. Why, I couldn't help laughing thinking of Darth Vader pulling out his lightsaber and flicking it on. Brandishing it, then advances on Mr. Spock, who, calmly, draws his class II Phaser (set to kill), and promptly vaporizes Darth in mid-step. Trekkies Rule!!

Um, ok, you may say : "Did you forget that Darth can use the force and take the Phaser away from Mr. Spock?" No, actually I did remember that, but Spock, being emotionless, does not display his weapon too soon, and, being both strong and agile, whips it out and shoots while Darth is busy making some sort of speech-warning-heavy breathing advance... Get the picture?!

Ok you might argue that people seem to forget that all of SW's tech is from "a long time ago..." which makes it that much more impressive. Hmm,.. a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away... or, to boldly go where no man has gone before?

But of course the first Star Wars Trilogy still reigns as the best sci-fi saga of all time. The amount of time it took them to make the original Star Wars movies with old fashioned animation techniches deserves respect. Besides, I will always love a good light saber duel complete with force thrown in. But when I need my logic fix, Star Trek provides the tech that's more firmly grounded in physics.

How about you, which do you think is better? Star wars or Star Trek?

Why we shouldn't judge people.

Many times we tend to judge people by their looks. But some can be especially mean with somebody who has a disfigurement and who don't look as pretty as they do. But please, don't judge them because you never know what happened to them.

Take for example Connie Culp from Unionport. She was shot in the face by her husband, who also tried to kill himself afterwards but probably has the worst aim because he also failed to kill himself!

The blast shattered Connie's nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone splinters were embedded in her face. She needed a tube into her windpipe to breathe. Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin were left.

She endured 30 operations to try to fix her face. Doctors took parts of her ribs to make cheekbones and fashioned an upper jaw from one of her leg bones. She had countless skin grafts from her thighs. Still, she was left unable to eat solid food, breathe on her own, or smell.

The surgeon that did the reconstruction had difficulty because there was really an entire mid-face missing and there was no way they can reconstruct with conventional means, so another team of doctors replaced 80 percent of Culp's face with bone, muscles, nerves, skin and blood vessels from another woman who had just died.

This 46-year-old woman expressions are still a bit wooden, but she can talk, smile, smell and taste her food again. Her speech is at times a little tough to understand. Her face is bloated and squarish, and her skin droops in big folds that doctors plan to pare away as her circulation improves and her nerves grow, animating her new muscles.

It was very sad that Connie were called names, and was humiliated. But with her new face now, there is hope that one day she will be able to go out comfortably from her house and enjoy the things which we normal people take for granted.

How about the husband? Well he was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Yes, just seven years!!!! Damn, a man can get 7-15 years just by selling pirated does anyone else find this disturbing?

Friday, May 8, 2009

On being a mother.

Grown don't mean nothing to a mother. A child is a child. They get bigger, older, but grown? What's that suppose to mean? In my heart it don't mean a thing

It is an understatement to say that one of the most complex human relationships is that between a mother and child. Once you become a mother, that role never ends. It doesn't stop when your child reaches age 18, have or graduated from college. No, its a life-long position.

But thinking about it, do birds make good parents? They build nests for their young, feed them every day, and protect them from predators. But there is one thing we humans don’t do for our young and that is to teach them how to fly. Birds simply push their chicks out of their nest so that they will learn how to fly. It’s nature’s way of saying that learning does not always have to be easy. They young birds will have to learn flying the hard way.

My eldest son is already in his 20's yet Iam still washing his clothes and ironing them, afraid that he might burn all his shirts on the ironing board. I don't even allow him to cook, afraid that he might burn eggs in the pan, or dislike the taste of his coffee after putting too much sugar into it. But what if all the while he actually want to do things so badly that he is determined to learn how to cook, to make a good coffee. Should I allow him to destroy a shirt on the ironing board? To burn one, two, or three, until he learn to slide the iron well?

Maybe he does want to make things right by knowing what is wrong. To commit mistakes and learn from them, not by having somebody lay down the moral of every story. Maybe he want to answer the quiz first before he learn the concepts.

When i was his age I also didn't like waking up baby in the morning and eat a ready-made breakfast - I want to make one myself. I want to have to manage my own affairs. I know my baby has to be a man.

Harsh and risky as it may sound, I think it’s time I pushed him out of the nest. Perhaps he will fall the first time and get some limbs broken and bruised. The second time, he just might still struggle to stay in the air. But after that, who knows, he might be able to complete his first flight to the next tree. Yes, he will fall sooner or later, so that he can rise up again and fly.

As a mother I have to let him learn to fly alone. It is worth the risk.

Happy Mother's day to all mothers out there!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Please be warned.

Okay, Okay! I know, I am writing about dogs again today. But please indulge me as this may also save you from the same trouble.

You see, I am so worried about Marie because she almost lost her thumb breaking a dog fight. Her pet dog, got into a fight with a neighbor's dog and without realizing the risk she puts herself, she run towards them hoping to be able to break them up! As a result she was bitten by the dog and severed her thumb below the nail bed. The doctor had re-attached it but she said it remained blackish and if it doesn't turn pink today, they have to remove it. Let's pray for Marie's thumb to heal well, ok?

Guys, NEVER step in the middle of two dog fighting - even if they are your loving pets! The chances of you being badly bitten is extremely high. You see, dogs in the middle of a fight don't see you as an owner, but rather see you as another aggressor. When they are in a fight mode, they will bite you!

Dog fights are a very dangerous thing to try and break up alone. We should never rush in and try and grab the dogs to pull them apart. In reality it probably doesn't even know it's biting us. Think of it like a bar fight. If a person comes up behind 2 guys fighting and just reaches out and grabs the shoulder of one of the combatants most of the time the fighter is going to turn and throw a punch without even looking at who or what he is hitting. This is because his adrenaline in pumping and he is in fight drive.

The safest way to break up a dogfight requires two people. Each person grabs the back feet of one of the dogs. The dog back feet are then picked up like a wheelbarrow. With the legs up, both dogs are then pulled apart.

Once the dog fight is broken up and the dogs pulled apart it is critical that the people do not release the dogs or the dog fight will begin again. The two people need to start turning in a circle, or slowly swinging the dogs in a circle while they back away from the other dog. This stops the dog from curling and coming back and biting the person holding their legs.

To insure that the fight will not begin all over again when you release the dogs, one of the dogs needs to be dragged into an enclosure before the dog is released. Do not waste time screaming at the dogs. It hardly ever works!

Do you know of another method to break a dog fight? Please share them with us.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Of cats and dogs.

Have I told you before that I am not a cat or dog lover? I was bitten by a dog once when I was a kid, which had me going for a butt injection for like 9 days which I hated so much because of my fear with needles.

My bad experience with animals, led me to lose my affection for any animal I came in contact with. I detested them and didn’t want to have anything to do with them. I wouldn’t touch one unless forced to do so. I thought they were gross and they stink. Their existence was absolutely unimportant to me.

Whenever my friends spoke about their pets, I listened but never really understood why they cared so much about them. But as we all know, God finds a way to make a person grow a heart.

Moving forward, I am married now with kids and just moved into a new subdivision: My driver gave me a puppy whom we called Bonita. I thought, sure I need a dog to guard our house. But Bonita's brood grew in number till I have five dogs at one time because I always want to hold on to a puppy every time she gave birth to five or six. Today I don't have a dog, but I have 4 cats.

I never expected I would become a devoted pet owner and grow to love and forgive my pets for their mischievous deeds. In fact I learn anecdotes and lesson through my pets. I hurt when they hurt. I always think I have the cutest cat in the world, and I never ran out of funny stories to tell about my pet.

I have also become a firm believer in not caging animals unless it is for educational or conservation purposes. My heart bleeds silently whenever I see a dog tied to a short chain fastened with a tight collar or locked inside a very small cage where he can barely move. I feel like lashing at their owners and wish that what they are doing to their pets would be done to them. The rule is: Never do unto your pet what you don’t want done unto you.

Through my kitties, I have come to understand the meaning of unconditional love. Why, they don’t give a paw what political or social views I have or if my clothes match or not. I can feel that they are happiest whenever we sit beside each other or when it is time to give them their nightly tummy rubs. They have changed my views about life without saying a single word.

And they don’t need to.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The doctor is in.

This is in reaction to Kirst, Amy and Marie's blog.

Human beings are at their most vulnerable when they go to the doctor. When we seek medical help we disrobe in front of a perfect stranger while we attempt to give the doctor clues as to what ails us. Yet all the while we are scared to death that we will be told something that will forever change our life.

When the patient is under anesthesia, this vulnerability is taken to an even higher level, as all control is ceded to the surgical and anesthesia team.

Wow, there is no other profession in the world like this! Especially when what we tell our doctors in private is the most serious of trusts.

Then, why do surgeons have to be such assholes?

Is it true that surgeons are the playground bullies of the medical world? That any compassion and genuineness has been beaten out of them long ago?

I believe that surgeons need to be strong, and extremely disciplined, both mentally and physically, but they do not need to be bullies, and they do not need to be macho—with all of the contempt for women.

Most doctors and surgeons I know take pride in their work. However, reading my fellow bloggers post, I learned that they have encountered enough of doctors’ bad behavior and the hospitals who tolerate them.

Damn, we all know that doctors are favored citizens of our country. By their stature, they are able to live well—way above the standard of ordinary people. So why can't they be more compassionate to the plight of their patients? More so, if it was them who bungled the job?!?

Of course, no one can expect a physician to be perfect all the time. Medicine is, at its core, an uncertain science. Every doctor makes mistakes in diagnosis and treatment. But the frequency of those mistakes, and their severity, can be reduced if they don't make errors in judgement.

Oh, I believe that they use shortcuts. Most doctors, within the first 18 seconds of seeing a patient, will interrupt the patient while she is telling her story and also generate an idea in his mind about what's wrong with her. And too often, they make what's called an anchoring mistake — they fix on that snap judgment.

Much has been made of the power of intuition, and certainly initial impressions formed in a flash can be correct. But relying too heavily on intuition has its perils as what happened in Marie's case or was it because the doctor was too stubborn to admit his mistakes?

Doctors should be more careful with their diagnosis for when they make a misdiagnosis, that means that the patient gets sicker and may sometimes die. Then the intensity of treatment that's required by not detecting something early is much more costly than coming to the right diagnosis.

If only doctors and surgeons would start to treat their patient with utmost care, then there will be change, there will be growth, there will be hope...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trying hard to manage anger.

I have written about this in my previous blog - PMS, and my tendency to fly off the handle during one of my most disagreeable days. It is something I battle with - largely unsuccessfully - every month. I flared up often that I think anger is the most tempting of the seven deadly sins. During my worst cycle you could best describe me as "edgy."

I was thinking about it as i wrote this because today I was especially cranky - again. I snapped at someone when I shouldn't as he was merely asking a question, but for no reason it irritates me! Maybe I should pay attention to my body. Being too cold, too hot, and especially being too hungry, makes me far more irritable.

And I should acknowledge the reality of other people's feelings, especially those people around me. Instead of snapping back answers like "I don't want to hear a lot of whining" or "It's not that big a deal," I need to try to show that I understand what someone is saying.

Hmmm...I wonder though, would not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate? I know I have trouble with this in person, but I often manage to do it if it involves email - the deliberate effort of writing an irritated email often gives me the opportunity to decide not to send it. You see, when I manage, not to act on how I feel at the moment, it somehow help me to change my feelings after a while.

Have you ever experience of making a joke when your angry? Okay, this strategy could be more fantasy than reality, but on the rare occasion when I do manage to make a joke during a moment of irritation, it works beautifully to lighten the mood.

I admit that many of my most harsh reactions are triggered by some kind of accusation - that I did something wrong, that I did something rude, that I screwed up in some way. I know that if I can admit to a fault, or let it go, I can lighten my anger. I am certain that my anger is tied to my pride, and pride is something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

I know it's my PMS that triggers these emotion..oh wait, there's one factor too - menopause! But whatever it maybe I am certain that in my case, my anger stems from a tendency toward perfectionism. I want to control things, to have events unfold exactly as I want, have people behave exactly as I direct, and get lots of credit for everything I do. Surprise! That's not how the world works.

So you tell me. What strategy should I do to curb my anger? What helps you defuse anger and irritability?

I need more help!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ha ha ha!

"Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine." -- Lord Byron

I had a long weekend.

Friday was our Labor Day, and therefore it was a holiday. So for three days straight, I was just at home lazing about and yes, you guessed it right - watching a movie!

Oh, I had fun watching comedy films. The belly laughs elicited by watching these movies took me right back to being 11 or 12 years old when I laughed in the same way watching cartoons on television.

However, it is 35 years after those original guffaws and the world is now a different place. Today I deal with a lot of significant stressors and challenges. At times these challenges themselves seem so absurd that I find myself laughing. Are we really looking at a possible, very serious flu pandemic that can appropriately be referred to as Pig's fly flu (bird/swine)?

Of course, for a moment it is laughable, but unfortunately, the answer seems to be yes. Nonetheless, I experience these moments of laughter as a balm for my soul and would like to remind you to give yourself permission to do the same.

The challenges we faced each day also serve as a dire reminder of the need for laughter. We all know that laughter has been clinically proven to be effective in stress reduction. They say a good laugh relaxes tense muscles, speeds more oxygen into our system and lowers our blood pressure. Also, laughter can act as a social lubricant creating a sense of connection among those who laugh together.

AND... It's free!

Thankfully, there seem to be no shortage of resources for laughter in our culture. Why, you can simply give yourself permission to watch a few minutes of funny tv or movie, or get on the internet and google jokes and humor easy.

But as usual, I love engaging you in dialogue, so please share how humor and laughter has been a source of stress release and healing in your life.

Laugh away!


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