Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Totally Awkward Tuesdays

As awkward and clumsy as I can be from time to time, it's no surprise I've been involve in a number of embarrassing moments. One particular moment however, remains the most unforgettable for me.

It was that time back in my freshman year in college when unattainable-crushes-who-don’t-know- you- exist- so- you- try- to- impress was the norm. I had one of those crushes. He’s one of the most gorgeous guys my teenage eyes had ever laid upon. I was attending a class next to his so every Monday and Thursday mornings, I’d catch a glimpse of him. One not-so-fine day, I had the misfortune of getting caught in traffic and ended up being late for class. Since my class room was on the third floor, I ran up the stairs as soon as I reached the building … books on my right arm, lunch box on my left hand and a heavy bag on my back!

All of a sudden... my foot missed a step, and I completely lost balance! Books, papers, lunches (not to mention, ME!) all flew in the air! I tried to pull myself up and gather my things together. Suddenly a wonderful, oh-so-manly voice spoke to me, trying so hard not to laugh…

‘Are you okay?’

I swear, if I had a lighter skin color, you could see me blush from head to toe! I wished the floor would open up and swallow me… I was just dying of embarrassment! But hey, who better to rescue you than your gorgeous prince charming, right? Besides, I finally got my desire of making an impression… probably not in the positive way I preferred… but who cares?

We started talking from that day on....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What Christmas Means to Me

Like most people, I've always associated the holiday season with family time. It's the one time of the year when you get to see relatives you haven't seen in a long time, give each other gifts, pig-out and just be merry! In the Philippines, it also means waking up at 4:30 every morning starting on the 16th of December until Christmas Eve to attend the Catholic morning mass, with the belief (at least for other people) that if you complete the 9 consecutive days of masses, your wish will come true ( I was never able to complete it though! I'm too lazy to get up early!). It also means church entrances smelling of that delicious delicacy cake; young children caroling at every house every night; and streets, houses and stores completely decked out with lights and decorations.

But Christmas for me, more than anything, means being with my Pops, my Ma, Sis and Bro... the five of us celebrating together.

For 23 years, that was the meaning and reality of my Christmas.

And then I left the Philippines for a graduate school in US.

My first Christmas here was the loneliest one I ever had. Don't get me wrong, I love this country (and especially my Man!), but I was on a foreign soil and miles away from my family for the first time. I was overcame with deep homesickness and was so depressed. I longed for home and for the people I loved most in the world. I wasn't alone as I celebrated the holidays with a bunch of friends, but it just wasn't the same.

Over the course of years, however, I've learned to cope with homesickness and enjoy the holidays better. Especially last year, when I celebrated it with my new family. Fiance's parents had been nothing but wonderful to me. They welcomed me in their home with open arms! He and I had only been dating for a couple of months at that time, but his Mom gave me wonderful gifts and set up a stocking with my name on it. That gesture completely tugged on my heartstrings and touched me. She's such a wonderful woman!

I don't think Christmas will give me that can't-wait-till-christmas-i'm-counting-the days feelings ever again (probably because I'm getting old... although Fiance's still too excited, which amazes me... I mean, at his age!) but I know it will get better and better every year. This year, my sister started her PhD studies here in US, so we get to celebrate the holidays together with Fiance's family. (They're welcoming her, too. Aren't they amazing?) And next year, I'll take Fiance to my home for Christmas and our second wedding ceremony. (Yes, we'll have two! A chapel wedding here for his family and a beach wedding in the Philippines for mine. Both are small and intimate - which I really prefer!). And the year after that? We're hoping that we'll have our 'bundle of joy' who will give more meaning to our Christmases from that year onwards.

Merry Christmas to everybody! I wish you all the best this holiday season!

And to my family (my parents read this from time to time): I miss you all so much!!! Christmas just won't be the same without you, but we'll be there next year! I love you and you'll all be in my thoughts. Enjoy the holidays, Pops, Ma and Bro!

Monday, December 22, 2008

30 Life Lessons

The year 2009 will be a milestone year for me. Aside from the fact that I will be leaving the single life behind to take the plunge into matrimonial bliss, I will also be turning 30.

Yes, 30! The age most twenty-something women dread! The age that, when most women reach, they start lying about.

Not this gal, though! I can, in all honesty, say I don't dread turning 30 or 40 or beyond that, at all. It's a natural process of life! We grow old, but with age, comes wisdom and maturity (at least for most people!). I'm not looking forward to getting wrinkles in a few decades (who does?), but I welcome wisdom and maturity with open arms.

I've been through a lot in my more-than-a-quarter-of-a-century existence in this world. Believe me, my life hadn't been easy, but I wouldn't change anything. I am what I am now because of all the things I've been through. I've learned to be grateful for everything in my life. I've learned to cope with every situation thrown my way. I've learned to deal with hardships, and to get up when I fall. And all these, I have learned with age and time.

Anyway, I wanna share the 30 lessons I have learned about life in my 29 and a half years of existence in this world (I'll share those I've learned from dating and about men in a later post (",) ). Here goes...

1. Families are the greatest treasures in this world. Cherish them.
2. Be grateful for everything you have. If you have food on the table and a roof for a shelter, then you're more fortunate than millions of people in this world.
3. You can't rely on raffle or lotto tickets. Work hard to get what you want.
4. For kids: Study hard. You'll be thankful in the future that you did.
5. Time heals all wounds... regardless of how you feel right now.
6. Hating someone is a waste of time and energy. Who do you think ends up feeling more miserable?
7. It's never too early to save up for retirement.
8. There's no sense in beating yourself up for past mistakes. Mistakes should be lessons learned.
9. There's no such thing as an easy journey. Every road has a crack or a stone that might trip you. Just get up when you fall, and keep going.
10. Dream big. They're free, anyway.
11. The worst question to ask yourself in the future is 'What if...?'. Make sure while you can, that you won't have to eventually.
12. Love yourself. How do you expect others to when you don't?
13. The grass is not always greener on the other side.
14. Who cares what other people think? What they think is their own business.
15. Whatever you're going through... that, too shall pass.
16. Cultivate all aspects of your personality and make sure you bring out the best in you.
17. It's okay to cry.
18. Hold on to true friends. They're hard to find.
19. Experience is the best teacher.
20. Don't blame other people for your mistakes. Man up to admit when you're wrong!
21. Be proud of everything you are.
22. Always remember what Roosevelt said, "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission."
23. Keep your promises. Nothing hurts more than broken promises.
24. Be gentle with rejection. How would you feel if it's done harshly to you?
25. Try to always look good. You'll be amazed at how good it can make you feel inside, especially when you're feeling down.
26. Don't take ANYTHING personally.
27. Step out of your comfort zone from time to time.
28. BALANCE is the key to living life. Balance your time between your family, career and social life, but prioritize your family when you need to choose.
29. Believe in karma.
30. Live life to the fullest!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dream Jobs

When I was a kid, there was no doubt in my parents’ mind that I would one day be a scientist. I’ve always asked questions of why the sky is blue, how the rain is formed or how people came to be. But like most kids my age, when asked what I wanna be when I grow up, I always say... a lawyer, a doctor or a teacher (depending on my mood). However, when I reached high school, I confirmed what my parents knew all along. I wanna be and was gonna be a scientist. I love science (especially chemistry), I was my school's bet in most science competitions and I was fascinated with McGyver. So it’s a no-brainer why, years later, I became a chemist.

That’s not to say, however, that being somebody other than a chemist never crossed my mind. If I weren't in this field, I probably had been (or would be in my next life) …

A psychologist. There’s just something about people’s brains that fascinate me. The way it works, how it processes information and its ability to store memory. I’ve always wondered why some people turn out to be geniuses while others seem to be idiots, and what makes crazy people take pleasure in having sadistic tendencies while I can’t even harm a bug and would faint at the sight of blood. The brain works in mysterious ways and I would have loved unlocking its mysteries.

A writer. I’ve always had this vision of me in swimsuit (my work attire) lounging under a big umbrella, writing a magazine article or a book somewhere in a Caribbean beach (my office), while sipping Margarita (okay… pineapple juice, since I’m not much of an alcohol drinker). In real life, writing might not be as glamorous as I try to make it sound, but I’ve always loved it. It’s how I usually express my thoughts and pour my sentiments. Well, this blog’s somehow helping me fulfill my dream of being one… if only I could get paid doing it!

A travel correspondent. This is one of the best jobs in the world. It’s like getting paid for taking a vacation! You explore the world, go on cruises, see the sights and then talk about it…. How did Anthony Bourdain get to be so lucky?

A Natural Geographic photographer. Nature always has a way of getting me awestruck. As a hiking and travel enthusiast, I am fascinated with all the wonders of the world. And to capture its magnificence in still pictures as a job … I’d work without overtime pay on weekends!

A grade school teacher. I adore kids (until they’re 13 years old! ;-) ). In this highly competitive world where a lot of people lie to each other and at times commit evil against one another, a child’s innocence and inherently good will is refreshing. It bolsters my sometimes-wavering faith in humanity. An environment surrounded by children reminds me of how it used to be when the world was simpler and life was worry-free. And kids have this natural thirst for knowledge that makes teaching so enjoyable! To me, being able to help mold kids into better people and help them create a better future is one of the most rewarding and honorable jobs of all.

So... what are yours?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fool for Love

A friend of mine called me up a couple of days ago to tell me that she got back with her ex. Normally, I'd be delighted with a news like that. This time however, I wasn't.

My friend had been technically dating her boyfriend for 2 years now. I said 'technically', because theirs was a tumultous on-again, off again roller coaster of a relationship. They'd be lovey-dovey for 3 months then the guy would pull off his cold shoulder act and disappear on her. Two months later, he'd reappear and begged her to take him back, and they'd be together again. Another three months later, he'd do the same thing he did before, then another two months, the roller coaster relationship continues. And on and on, it goes.

So... why does she keep taking him back?

I'm still searching for the answer. The truth is, I'm completely clueless! I mean, she's a pretty and sweet woman with a graduate degree! I'm sure she can date any guy she fancies. He, on the other hand, was a total jerk, had no permanent job and a guy I wouldn't exactly call attractive (but then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder). On top of that, he CHEATED on her! To me, he's the embodiment of a woman's nightmare!

Now, I know love is blind and all that crap, but seriously, it can't be that blind!

The first time they got back together after they broke up, I asked her if she's happy and when she said yes, I was happy for her and I was supportive. But now, even though she says she is, I can't be supportive anymore. How can I, after all the things the guy put her through? She definitely needs to wake up and face reality!

Okay, I do know that women can be a fool when it comes to love. How many times have we heard the phrase ' She's a smart girl...until she fell in love.'? Honestly, I've been there, done that. I once dated a guy who called all the shots in our so-called relationship, and like a fool, I put up with it. My only excuse was that I was really young and extremely naive! We would go out, then I wouldn't hear from him for a few days until he'd decide he wanted to see me - for which I'd drop everything, just to be with him. That went on for a few months, and during those months, my self-esteem was at its lowest. Deep down, I knew I was being a fool yet I was too powerless to resist. Looking back, I don't think I was even really in love with the guy. I was just infatuated! Yet, there I was, acting like a love-starved fool! And same as what I'm telling my friend now, my own friends were telling me he was a jerk, but I wouldn't listen. I guess it's usually easier when you're on the outside looking on the inside... you can easily differentiate the rights from the wrongs. But when you're the one in the situation, it's usually a different story. You turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to everything else, and choose to believe what you desperately wanted to believe. I did wake up one day, and told myself I had enough. I was tired of the roller coaster emotions he was putting me through, and decided to break it off. After that, I vowed that I would never be a fool for love again.

And since then, I never was.

What about you? I wanna hear stories.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter Blues

Growing up in a tropical country where there's no such thing as a winter season, I used to be jealous of people who had seen and experienced snowfall. I'd see movies showing a snow-covered ground during christmas, and I'd wish I was there. In my young mind, it was so beautiful! There was nothing I wanted to experience more than a white christmas!

When I applied to graduate schools in US six years ago, I specifically chose universities in the northern part which will make my wish come true (although of course, that wasn't my main criteria in choosing the schools) . I was tired of the hot and humid weather, and I was more than ready to take on the cold winter!

I got my wish when I was accepted in a university in Ohio.

I still remember the first time I experienced the snow fall. Like a kid, I was so excited and happy! I called my family and told them the news. They were jealous! With my friends, I went out in the cold, played with the snow, tasted it and took silly pictures.

The happy feeling went on for a few days.

A month later though, reality sunked in. It was too darn cold for a tropical gal like me! I can't get out of the house without bundling up in gazillion layers of clothing! The novelty started to wear off. Soon enough, I can't wait for the winter season to be over and for the spring to come. Suddenly I missed my tropical country where it's warm all year round!

Over the course of years, I did learn to adapt and accept the fact that there will always be a winter season in this state (4 months, in fact). I don't care much for it though (I would have said hate, but it's such a strong word), especially when I'm driving. I've had a few near-accidents due to slippery, snowy roads, so during times that I don't have to go to work, I stay cooped up at home, watching DVDs and surfing the net, while sipping hot tea (like yesterday). There are days however, when I'm too antsy or when I'm with energetic Fiance, that I'd force myself to get out of the house and brave even a snowstorm. (I'd be nervous the whole time, even if Fiance's the one driving, so he has to calm me down by reassuring me that he's been doing it for more than a decade now.) He and I did just that last year. We braved a blizzard and drove for two hours on a normally forty five-minute drive, just to watch a Cavaliers game. The thick snow made it hard to see the road, but amazingly, we did ok. We were crazy, (I know, I know (",) - and I won't recommend it) but it was a fun and memorable adventure!

Honestly though, I can't wait for spring, and especially summer, to come. There's no better feeling than being on a beach and feeling the warmth of the sun's rays.

A friend of mine told me before that his mood changes with the weather, and I thought he was crazy. Now, I totally understand.

Lesson learned: Grass just always seems greener on the other side. The truth is, it's not.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cohabitation vs. Marriage

A co-worker asked me yesterday if Fiance and I live together. When I told her 'No', the surprise on her face was evident. "But... aren't you engaged?"

Yes, Fiance and I are engaged, but I don't have any plans of moving in with him until we have made our vows of 'till death do us part' official!

I'm not a prude, nor am I trying to be moralistic. I know that cohabitation, nowadays, is becoming the norm among other young people. I don't have anything against those who do. I hardly think it's immoral, and I don't go around judging peoples' characters based on their beliefs. We're all entitled to our own opinions and that's the beauty of freedom and democracy in this country.

Personally though, I don't believe in cohabitation. I'm a black-and-white type of person, and living together, for me, just seems so gray. It's a half-baked commitment. It's like dipping one foot into the pool and calling it swimming, when in reality, you're just 'testing the waters'. You don't wanna put both feet in, in case it's too cold/hot and would need to get out easily. Same applies to living together. It's basically a trial marriage. You share your life with somebody and do all the things married couples do, but without the ties that permanently bind the two of you together. So, in case things don't work out, it's easier to break free.

And therein lies the problem. When you decide to just live together, you're entering a relationship built on the notion that it's a trial, and there's a possibility that it might not work! With this kind of mindset, it most probably wont!

(If you're ready to share your life with somebody - somebody that you chose wisely- why can't you take the full plunge?)

One of my bestfriends actually tried to convince me a couple of times to live with BA before marrying him. Her argument was that you won't really know the person until you live with him. Under the same roof. Seeing each other 24/7 (or, at least everyday). The real him, as well as you, will only show when you've been living together in a single house. So why not do a test drive first?

Honestly, I agree with her on the 'knowing the person' part - 100%. But let's say, I do just that. I'd agree to live with BA. A year later, I'd realize, a number of his habits utterly annoy me. What then? Should I break free because I can't deal with them?

When you're just living together, that's easy to do. Just pack up your bags and leave. So most probably, you'd do just that. But when you're married, it's a different story. You have to get a divorce, change your name back to your maiden name, deal with legal issues and so on and so forth. So, you'd probably think twice and try to work it out instead. Aside from that (or more than that), you made a vow to love the other person for better or worse - and if you're like me, that means something - so you might decide to to honor that.

Actually, a number of people who cohabitate do end up getting married. The sad part is that statistically (at least in the US), 50% of those marriages end up in divorce.

And the reason?

When you enter a trial relationship, you don't usually commit yourself completely to that person. Part of you has a hidden fear of getting hurt if it doesn't work, so you hold yourself back a little. The problem is, even if you do get married eventually, you'd probably still carry that fear in your head without realizing it, thus contributing to the demise of your marriage.

I believe that living together is a really big step. It's a step towards literally sharing every aspect of your life with somebody. It's the beginning of another chapter of your life. And as old fashioned as it sounds, it's a chapter that, I personally believe, should begin with official vows of starting your life together and staying together forever.

The truth is, the independent part of me harbors a slight fear of getting married. (I'll elaborate later on another post). It's the ultimate form of commitment! There's no turning back and there's no absolute guarantee that it will work. But I do believe that I have found the guy I wanna share my life with, so it's a risk I'm willing to take. I won't have it any other way. I know sooner or later, BA and I will find things about each other that we won't like. (We already found some(",) ). But I know too, that for better or worse, he and I will exhaust all options before we even dare to contemplate giving it up. Because that's the promise that we will make and that's the vow that we will honor... for the rest of our lives.

That's the beauty of marriage.

This is my personal view. What's yours?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bride-to-be Fever

I finally caught the bride-to-be fever.

Although I was ecstatic when I got engaged, I don't think it really sunked in that I would actually be a bride. And that, as a bride, I have to do so much planning and organizing.

And I never thought it would be this much fun!

When I was young, I knew (or at least hoped) that I'd find the right guy and get married eventually, but I never really thought of my wedding day way ahead. I know some women did, but I never pretended to be a bride when I was a kid, nor have I tried to visualize how my wedding would be in the future. I guess, I was afraid that I would jinx it or something. In my mind, it will happen when it happens.

And now that it is, all I can say is... nothing beats the feeling. I swear, I'm far from becoming a bridezilla, but all these wedding planning is making me feel so excited!! It takes a lot of work, but it's worth it!

Anyway, I'm done with the first step: finding The Dress .

Last weekend, I went to David's Bridal and tried on several wedding gowns. (I felt like I was doing a fashion show!) There are way too many that caught my eyes! But same as what people say about Mr Right, you'll know which dress is for you the moment you laid eyes on it. True enough, when I saw mine, I just fell in love! I knew it was the one (",). It was perfect for my beach wedding. My sister, who was with me, as well as the consultant and other people in the store, all agreed.

I don't wanna post the actual dress (BA might see it and it could be bad luck), but the style's kinda similar to this one...

And with regards to the wedding ceremony itself, this is how I envision it would be...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sexiest Men Alive

I was at a grocery store the other day when I happened to get a glimpse of People magazine on my way to the check-out counter. I was in a hurry to go somewhere, but when I saw it, I just had to stop! On the cover of the magazine, was the guy I've been drooling over for years since I saw him in X-men... Hugh Jackman, the 2008 sexiest man alive! I know I'm engaged and my heart does belong to another utterly sexy man (Love you, honey!(",) ) but hey, I'm not blind and I can always appreciate beauty when I see it!

Anyway, here's my own list of the 5 sexiest (celebrity) men on Earth. (I have to add the word 'celebrity', otherwise, Fiance would make a strong objection). Whose on your's?

I agree with People's magazine. Hugh Jackman is the sexiest man alive! I've watched almost every movie he was in, and I just love him.

Patrick Dempsey wasn't called McDreamy for nothing. Those soulful eyes are enough to melt a woman's cold heart.

Mark Wahlberg is hot. Period. It's self-explanatory.

Some of you might not agree with this choice, but there's just something about Jason Statham that makes my heart skip a bit. It might just be that attractive European accent, but for me, he's the definition of a Manly Man.

I used to go gaga over Tom Cruise back in my college days. I'm not that crazy about him anymore - especially after that Oprah episode and the Scientology issue- but I still think he's gorgeous.

I just realized... all these men are over 35. What's with me and my penchant for older men?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I am Blessed

I am so blessed. Sometimes, I look at my life and wonder why I’d been so lucky. True, I’d been through a lot, and had to work hard for some of the things I wanted (career-wise and financially), but I still can’t believe it’s possible to be this blessed. Especially with the people in my life.

So, in the spirit of thanksgiving, I wanna thank God (and the following people) for all my wonderful blessings.

Fiance. He’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. He’s my Mr. Right. He’s gorgeous, smart, sweet, passionate and very patient (which, my Mom says, is an important trait if a guy wanna stay with me (“,) ). I’ve always thought finding a man, who helps with the household chores, doesn’t have any vice or addiction (does addiction to working out counts?) and spoils me rotten, is like finding a needle in a haystack … but God gave him to me! I’ve never been happier and more grateful. I love you, Honey, and thanks for everything you've done for me!

My parents. The best parents anyone can ask for. They loved me unconditionally and with all their hearts. They guided me to the right path and supported me every step of the way. Mom and Pops, I have what I have and I became what I became, all because of you. I love you.

Sis. This year’s Thanksgiving celebration will be a happy and meaningful one for me, since my longtime dream of spending it with her (and eventually everyone in my family), will finally come true. We are the closest of sisters. We talk on the phone almost every single day. I’m so proud of her and so thankful for having her as a sister.

Bro. I miss him so. He’s on his mid-twenties but I still think of him as my baby brother. He’s got a good heart and a wonderful personality. He confides in me, even girl troubles, as we can talk about anything. I’m looking forward to next year when I’ll see him and my parents again.

My in-laws-to-be. They’ve made me feel welcome, at home, and close to a family again. For a while, all I felt during Holidays are pangs of homesickness for being so far away from my own family, but meeting them brought back the joys of Christmas season!

My friends. They’ve been with me through thick and thin. Thank God for great friends! My transition to an independent woman was easier because they were there. I don’t know how I’d have survived break-ups and dark moments without them. Special mention to friends who are closest to my heart … CT, my college best friend who’s the purest soul I’ve ever met , JR and OS who made my graduate school life more bearable and more colorful; and MD and EA who never get tired of listening to my rants and raves. You guys are the true definition of BFFs!

My career. With the current state of US economy, I’m sure most people are thankful to just have a job. I am, too, but more than that, I’m thankful for having a job that allows me to find ways to enrich peoples’ lives (through technology), and somehow make a difference in this world. Well… I love to believe so (“,)

I thank God for all that I am. For the way I was put together. For all the things that I own. For all the places that I’ve been. For all the people I have met. For all the moments I’ve been through – good or bad, it made me the person I am today. For bringing me into this world.

I thank God for all my blessings.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Emotions and Moodiness

If there's a dictionary of people counterparts of words, I guarantee you'd see my name under the definition of moody and emotional. I know most women are (especially during that time of the month), but with me, my moodiness is coupled with extreme sensitivity that makes matters worse. I can be happy one moment, then BA or my Mom will say something jokingly which doesn't sit well with me and I'd get mad in a second (and by mad, I mean, become distant and retreat into my shell). The weird thing is, I only do that with people I am emotionally involved with - namely, BA, my family and my very best friends. With others, I'm extremely patient and I usually don't let anything they say affect me.

The crazy thing about emotions and feelings is that you can't help it when it surfaces. At the back of your mind, it probably occured to you that you're being irrational but you still act on what you feel without thinking of the consequences. Then, after you've cooled down and rationalization comes back into your brain, you'd realize you've overreacted.

Ironically, I am a scientist who uses logic and rationalization in my everyday job. The good news is, over the years I have learned to separate my personal life from my career. When I'm at work, I leave my personal life behind and focus totally on my job. I'm a different person who's tough yet completely approachable, thinks logically and has a business-minded persona. But the minute I left the lab and my office, I leave all work thoughts behind.

Then comes the switch to the emotional woman.

When it comes to my personal life, I tend to let my heart rule over my head. My emotions run deeply I sometimes have to tell myself to get a grip, as most of the times, I have a tendecy to overreact.

And I did realize that this attitude was not doing me any good. I end up hurting the people I love.

And so, I've been working on turning over a new leaf. I'm learning not to take offense on petty things and be the fun yet logical woman I present to the outside world. I'm learning to take a deep breath when ugly emotions arise, and I'm learning to relax a little bit when I'm stressed out.

I'm learning, even with the stress of worrying about the present state of the economy, the stability of jobs and the rising prices of commodities, as well as the stress brought upon by the pressure of working in a research and development lab, to instead think of the excitement of my oncoming wedding (even if it's still far ahead!) and the happiness brought by all my wonderful blessings.

Actually, I thank God for giving me a completely wonderful family, great friends and a loving and very patient fiance who love me unconditionally.

I love you so much, guys! Sorry for sometimes driving you nuts with my mood swings...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Home is Where the Heart Is

For our wedding and honeymoon next year, I'm taking BA to my home country. And I'm so excited, I'm literally counting the days! (Even if it's still more than a year!)

I know every girl is excited for her big day, but to me, the excitement isn't just about the wedding. It's also about going home... home to the welcoming, familiar place and home to the people I love most in this world. It's been almost five years and I missed them so.

We often hear the saying, there's no place like home. I definitely vouch that. Even though I've come to really love United States and call it my second home, I know that my heart will always belong to my country. The place where I grew up. The place that molded me into the woman I am now.

Philippines is a country that has a rich, blended culture. Our culture has, in part, a mixture of Chinese, Spanish, American and several other countries' cultural influences, and yet maintains an original Filipino culture that is unique from any other. This is a place where you can find people who are really gracious hosts, where there are beautiful sandy beaches and it's warm all year round and where you can find the most delicious foods. I know I'm sounding like a travel agent promoting my country, but bear with me please (",). I'm still feeling nostalgic after talking to my parents, reminiscing about the past and discussing our beach wedding preparations!

This would actually be BA's first trip to my country (and out of US - if you don't count Canada and Bahamas). And I can't wait to show him the beautiful sights, give him a glimpse of what my previous life was like and of course, introduce him to my parents. He's actually feeling a little bit apprehensive on the idea of traveling 18 hours on a plane, but I assured him it would be worth it... since I'll make sure it will be the most wonderful two weeks of his life!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life's Past Chapters

A guy I dated before BA called me up a few of months ago. He told me he's dating a new girl - and it's pretty serious.

But. There's a But.

He thinks he's still in love with me.

My first reaction wasn't of thrill. I don't feel anything for the guy anymore. In fact, I don't think I was ever in love with him (and I never told him I was). I might have liked him at that time but that's all to it. We only dated for three months. (I have my 'dating rule of 3's'. It takes 3 seconds to know if a guy is attractive enough to go out with, 3 dates if a guy is a fling/dating material and 3 months if a guy's a long-term boyfriend with possible hubby potential.) I actually felt a little bit sorry for the poor girl he's dating. Pledging your love to somebody while pining for an old flame, to me, is parallel to cheating. Physically, you might not be doing it, but emotionally you are. And it's as dreadful.

A week after Ex-fling called and a day after I watched The Notebook (for the nth time on DVD) a horrid thought occurred to me. What if in my relationship with BA, I'm the Other Girl, and BA actually had a past love he can't seem to forget about and continues to pine for? Although I knew he's head-over-heels in love with me, as I am to him, there were times when I'd feel pangs of jealousy over his previous relationships. It came to a point where we'd do something and I'd seethe, thinking he had already done it with someone else. He reassured me that I am the love of his life and that he's never felt as happy as he is with me, but wrapped up in my occasionally hormone-clouded mind, I stupidly wished he waited for me.

And then, common sense hit me in the head. I gotta stop my craziness. The way life goes, unless you date a guy who's in his late teens or early twenties (which I tried and as expected, turned out to be a lousy kisser), or a slightly older but unattractive guy (who I'd never date), there's no chance you'll be with someone who doesn't have a past. And it's not like I didn't have a past either. I did too, so it's hypocrisy to wish so.

Everyone has a past. We can't change it, but we can definitely put them behind us. In fact, we should be grateful because it is what helped shaped us to be the persons we are today. Our experiences taught us to be stronger, wiser and better at dealing with current relationships. Whenever I look at past relationships now, I look at them as preparations for the real thing. Practices for the real deal.

What I have with BA is what I believed to be the real thing. The past is just that - the past. I am his present and his future, and that's all that matters. I can't spend my life worrying about his life before he met me. We have the future to look forward to and we have the rest of our lives to strengthen our bond and make our love a one true love.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

With You

For our anniversary, BA gave me a card that made my heart melt. Just wanna share the words with you. I love reading it over and over again!

With you,
I've found the someone
who accepts me as I am,
yet helps me become
a better more fulfilled person.

With you,
I've found the something
that allows me to be strong,
yet gives me comfort and support
whenever I need it...

With you,
I've found what it seems
I've been looking for forever-
the wonderful, and very real meaning of love.

I'll love you forever and always...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Happiest Day

I don't believe in love at first sight. Love takes time to blossom and flourish. Love is when you know the person, really know him and accept him for everything he is - flaws and all. Love just don't magically happen the first time two people meet.

Attraction at first sight however, is a different story. Attraction is what brings two people together. It has to be there, right from the very moment you meet, for love to eventually ignite.

I was attracted to him the first time I saw him.

It was exactly a year ago, during the hiking meet-up that I go to every month. He wore a blue shirt, a Michigan cap and a beautiful smile. I was intrigued.

Through some random twist of fate (or maybe not), we and two other guys, ended up walking together. We went through the normal routine of introducing ourselves, talking about the weather, and giving out bits and pieces of information about ourselves. At first, we were part of a group, but as the hike progressed, the world began to center around the two of us (well, that's what it felt, at least). Even when the whole hiking troupe regrouped a couple of times, the two of us still ended up walking together (he never left my side ;-) ). At the end of the 3-hour hike, we have covered every topic of conversation there is to cover. I've never felt comfortable with anybody as I did with him. As cheesy as it sounds, it felt like we've known each other forever. The attraction between us was palpable and the chemistry was completely undeniable. There was no doubt in my mind that he'd ask for my number before the hike was over. And sure enough he did.

Five hours later, he called and asked me out.

Five days later, we had our first date.

And since then, we're inseparable.

So inseparable in fact... and very much in love... that yesterday, we decided to spend the rest of our lives together...

BA gave me a bouquet of roses for our anniversary.

Then, with this beautiful ring...

... he asked me to marry him!

Of course, I said YES!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Men Say the Darnedest Things

I was walking to my car the other day, when a car pulled up in front of me. There were two guys inside, and the one in the passenger side rolled down his window and asked if I could give him directions. I told him I will if I can. He smiled at me and said, “Can you give me directions to your heart?”.

I’m a romantic at heart. I cheer happy endings in chick flicks, I lament my friends’ sorrows over their heartbreaks, and I swoon at declarations of love. That is… simple but meaningful declarations.

Cheesy lines and flowery declarations? Now, that’s a different story.

When I was in high school, I received a love letter from a guy who seriously annoys me. He constantly followed me around, won’t take No for an answer and would endlessly declare his love. If I was just slightly annoyed at him before, that letter sealed the deal. He wrote of how his heart is bursting with so much love for me and that I must be an angel sent from heaven, then mailed it in an envelope that’s literally ‘sealed with a kiss’. It goes without saying that love letter ended up in a garbage can.

Fast forward to several years. I went on vacation to my hometown when a guy I went out with (once) in the city, sent me a text message that goes like this. ‘Is the sun shining in Tarlac (my hometown)? I bet it is. You took it with you when you left me. Come back soon so the sun will shine on me again.’ It also goes without saying that there was no second date.

Fast forward to several more years. My Ex, who came from a culture famous for men wooing women with amorous words, gave me a butterfly necklace with a note that says ‘a butterfly for my beautiful flower (he always call me flower).’ A couple of days later, I made a comment on how pretty the woman was walking towards us, of which he brushed off and said, ‘Why would I notice silver, when I have gold by my side?’

I don’t have a problem with expressive men. But there’s a fine line between expressing how you feel with genuine, heartfelt words, and expressing it with flowery, metaphoric sentences. The latter comes out almost like bu**s**t. Mr Ex. and I’s break-up wasn’t because of his flowery words, but I swear, if he didn’t back those words with proofs of how much he loved me, I would have dropped him faster than a hot potato!

Suffice it to say that I’m glad to have finally found the guy who knows the right buttons to push and the right words to say. Now I can swoon when BA tells me ‘I’m so glad I met you’, ‘I’ve never been this happy with anyone before.’, ‘I love you so much’. Simple but sweet. Genuine and heartfelt. At least, there are still some men who say the sweetest lines.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Just Asking

Explain to me why oil prices are calculated based on PREDICTIONS of how the market's gonna be or how the economy will fare that day, and not on how much the oil retailers bought the oil barrels, and the actual demand of oil.

Explain to me why CEOs earn millions of dollars, while factory workers earn a measly $7.00 per hour (at least in Ohio), why there's a minimum wage but not a maximum salary to keep people from getting greedy, and why in most countries, the rich keeps getting richer while the poor keeps getting poorer.

Explain to me why racism still exists in this modern world, why people still generalize people when in fact, skin color has nothing to do with someone's personality, and why people still don't believe that all of mankind were created equal.

Explain to me why US goes through a roller coaster of being a country in depression, then a world superpower, then back again to depression (well hopefully, just a recession).

Anyway, I'm just asking (",)

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Greatest Treasures

Pre-BA, there are exactly four people in this world who love me and I love completely and unconditionally: My Dad, my Mom, my sister and my brother. Now, there are five, but I'm not here to write about BA. This one's all about my family.

Unlike Paris Hilton, I wasn't born with a silver spoon. The complete opposite, in fact. My family had to deal with poverty and hardships in life. We struggled. I won't bore you with excruciating details, but suffice it to say that my present life is a far cry from what my life was when I was a kid. But what I lacked financially, my parents filled emotionally. I was one of the most-loved kids in this world. Believe it or not, I was actually a spoiled child. I didn't do domestic chores, I was sheltered from the harsh realities of life, and my parents rescued me whenever I 'effed' up.

Whenever I think of my Dad, I think of that time when I was a second-grader trying to cross an ankle-deep flooded street to get to my school. He decided that I was too precious to let a drop of water touch my feet, so he enveloped me in a poncho, put on his rain boots and carried me almost all the way to the school (it was walking distance). He had always treated me like an angel. If I asked him to take me to the airport or pick me up from school, trust me, he'd be there. Be it 5 in the morning or 12 midnight. And he's always on time. Sometimes even an hour or so earlier. There are a couple of times in college when I had to work on my thesis until wee hours of the morning and my Dad would be there waiting for me for hours until I'm done and ready to go home.

My Mom loves me with the same ardor. I've always thought of her as the one person who understands me better than anybody else in this world. I've got to admit, I'm a bit moody and hard to put up with when in a bad mood, but my Mom knows exactly what to do. She had always been a terrific Mom. She'd been with me through all my competitions, entrance exams and school applications. I'd tell her things I'd tell a bestfriend. I've cried on her shoulders or over the phone (now that we're miles apart) about boy troubles countless of times, we've watched all kinds of movies - from Braveheart to 9 1/2 weeks and Original Sin(",), and we've enjoyed countless shopping trips. She is a mother and a friend, rolled into one.

My sister, brother and I also have a bond that transcends that of blood or ordinary kinship. We take care of (although I probably did more, since I'm the oldest and I've taken my role as a big sister to heart) and supported each other, and were never jealous of each other's accomplishments. Like most siblings, we have our fair share of fights, but nothing was and never will be strong enough to break us.

I'm thankful for a lot of things in my life. But there's nothing I'm more thankful for, than my family and BA. To me, they are the greatest gifts anybody can ask for. They are... my greatest treasures.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Future Doesn't Shine as Brightly

When you have a significant other who passionately laments the deteriorating state of the economy and rants about the status of the government, you wouldn’t wanna nod in agreement (even though you badly wanted to) and add fuel to his fire. You’d end up creating a full-blown inferno. Instead, you try to act as a devil’s advocate (or angel of optimism?) and calm him down.

There are times however, when you feel an absolute need to vent.

So you do what I do.

Vent in a blog.

When I came to the United States to pursue graduate studies five years ago, I only had high hopes and unbridled optimism about my future. I love my country and was reluctant to leave it, but I had to pursue the path to a better life.... for myself, my current family and my future one. Coming to US feels like the answer to my dreams. It’s the land of opportunities. It’s where the so-called 'American dreams' come true. I was so sure a bright future lays ahead of me.

Fast forward to the present.

I got my graduate degree and landed a great job with a good pay. Now, I have a decent apartment, own a nice car, travel here and there, send money to my family, and shop anytime I want.

Lately though, watching the news about the collapsing economy and seeing people around me get laid off from their jobs, I can’t help but worry. I ask myself, how long will this last? Will I keep my job? Will I be able to lead the current lifestyle that I lead?

I’m usually optimistic about life (as I’ve always been blessed in many ways), but the things happening now are making me apprehensive.

How did US get into this sorry state of financial crisis?

I blame people with wealth and in power. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve come to love this country and consider it my home away from home. The love of my life is an American and our future kids will be one. And I do attribute in part, my better life to this country. But I fear that because of greediness of some people in power, misallocation of funds, misuse of resources, US is going down in depression.

And it’s extremely daunting.

Nowadays, I feel that my future doesn’t shine as brightly as it used to. I feel fear, not only for myself but for the kids that I would bring into this world. I feel fear to the point that I might reorganize my entire life and have kids a little later than I originally planned (or hoped). I’ve been though hardships in life before, and it’s definitely not something I would want my kids to go through.

The optimist in me still hopes though. Hope that this crisis won’t last long and US will get back on its feet soon. Hope that even though we’re at it right now, I’ll keep my job, BA will keep his, and we'll save enough money for our life ahead. Hope that our would-be-kids will have a bright and recession-free future in this country.

One can only hope. Here's hoping that... this, too, shall pass.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Of Dreams and Fairy Tales

I’ve always been a dreamer. As a kid, I had visions of what my life would be in the future, which school I would get into, how my dream house would look like, which places I would explore, etc. I had no doubt in my mind that all my dreams would come true. All I needed was determination and hard work.

Career wise, they came true. I studied my butt off when I was young, and as a result, got into the only college university I wanted to get into, was offered a teaching position after college graduation, got into a US graduate school and had a job waiting for me two months before I got my degree.

My love life though, was an entirely different story.

Even though I was raised in an environment where ‘you-don’t-need- a-prince-to-rescue-you-since-you-can-rescue-yourself’ philosophy was constantly instilled in my mind, the dreamer in me dreamed of living a fairy tale life. I dreamed that I would meet my Prince Charming at a certain age, be each other’s first and only love, get married and live happily ever after. I wasn’t prepared however, to the fact that dealing with love life and dealing with career are two different stories. Hard work and determination’s got nothing to do with love.

I reached my planned age without falling in love. It was a couple of years later that I did. And I was happy. I thought, this was it, the realization of my fairy tale. To my naive heart, he was almost perfect… Tom Cruise look-alike, lawyer-to-be, sweet (or at least, sweet talker), and seemingly in love with me.

Until his one unforgivable mistake.

I was crushed. Coupled with the pain of betrayal, I mourned what I realized was the death of my fairy tale story… I would never be married to my first love. This was definitely not how I pictured the ending to be.

But Survivor Me moved on and Dreamer Me re-wrote my fairy tale. Guided by the cliché, ‘you have to kiss several frogs before you meet your prince,’ I met, dated and kissed a number of frogs in my journey to meet my prince. And boy, what a journey! Wrapped up in my fairy tale and armed with a slightly jaded heart, I found it hard to fall for anybody less than perfect, or who showed the slightest indication to cause me pain. I dumped guys for silly reasons, or for fear of getting hurt. There was that cute guy who’s personality is as dry as dust. Or that rich guy with a convertible car and a jacuzzi at his big house but has curly hair. Or that guy who drives a Lexus SUV and completely insane about me but can’t have kids. And then, there was the guy who I liked tremendously but broke up with before the relationship had the chance to grow - for fear of becoming a rebound girl! With each dating mishap, I plummeted deeper and deeper into the abyss that was my lovelife. In the midst of it though, love found its way into my jaded heart, and I fell for a great yet completely wrong-for-me guy. He’s got an amazing personality but our world’s too different that we’re forced to let the relationship go.

That’s when reality struck me in the head.

There’s no such thing as a fairy tale.

Then, a couple of years later, I met BA. I won’t say he’s perfect, but he’s perfect for me and I love him for everything he is. He’s gorgeous, smart, adorable, genuinely sweet, and completely in love with me. We fit each other like two peas in a pod. I don’t believe in fairy tales anymore but if I still do, he'd certainly be the prince.

On my birthday, he gave me a card that mirrored exactly how I felt for him, "Because of you, the world’s brand new. Because of you, I am too."

As we seriously plan the next chapter of our lives, the dreamer in me can’t help but think… maybe, just maybe, fairy tales do exist.

And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a storybook ending, afterall.

Without Him

BA and I had an argument the other night. It wasn't a big fight, but being the drama queen and the long-term relationship neophyte that I am, I thought that was the end of us. I spent an hour bawling my eyes out, imagining my life without him. It's depressing. I finally admitted what independent Me had been denying for a while... I need him and I don't wanna live my life without him. Life just won't be the same. I'd be miserable. I'd miss too many things.

I'd miss how he'd hold my hand and kiss it. I'd miss his intoxicating smell, his beautiful smile and those deep-set eyes. I'd miss his every day phone calls and 'I love you's'. I'd miss his comforting hugs and passionate kisses. I'd miss running my fingers through his hair. I'd miss being spoiled and being pampered. I'd miss his silliness and sense of humor. I'd miss his passionate laments about US economy and his rants about the government.

It's too long a list if I go on. Suffice it to say, I'd miss him and our love.

I got a phone call right after I got out of the shower the next morning. Apparently, he felt the same.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I *Heart* Ohio

Minus the short eight months that I lived in Pennsylvania, I've been living in Ohio for almost five years now (3 years in Toledo and 2 in Cleveland). And through these years, I have grown very fond of, if not love, living here. This is the place where I have turned into a mature, independent woman, learned the joys of love and the pains of heartbreaks, sweat my way through graduate school, learned to adapt to an entirely different culture and found the love of my life. And this is the place where I'd probably buy my house and raise my future kids. Cleveland (and it's suburbs), where I currently reside, is a city that's neither too crowded nor too rural, and boasts of both trendy shopping malls and awesome hiking trails.

Here's Ohio at its finest...

Kalahari Water Park, Sandusky. This is a great water park! I took my Mom here when she came to visit and she loved it!

Rocky River Reservation. I love hiking, and this is one place close to Cleveland that makes you feel closer to Mother Earth.

Put-in-bay. I've been to this island 3 times in 3 years. It's famous for its bars, but more than that, you can go kayaking, jet skiing, biking or just touring the island in a savy golf cart.

Hocking Hills - my personal favorite. This is where I celebrated my birthday last June and had a blast! I've never seen such beautiful hiking trails. To me, this is the best place to retreat at when you need peace and quiet or when you just wanna commune with Mother Nature.

another shot of Hocking Hills

Cleveland Botanical Garden. Beautiful landscape in the heart of the city.

Crocker Park, Westlake. BA and I's favorite shopping mall. It's trendy and sophisticated, but more than that, it's beautiful at Christmas time with all it's lights and decorations!

Cleveland Air Show, Burkefront Airport. A $20 show that's worth every penny. It only happens once a year so grab the opportunity.

The Art of Giving Compliments

I love being a woman. And like majority of women, I take care of and take pride in my appearance, and enjoy getting compliments for it. There are times however, when a compliment’s delivered in a lewd and creepy way, that it loses its sweet intent.

Allow me to explain.

There was a guy in my apartment complex who tells me I’m beautiful. The first time he said it, I was kinda flattered. The second time, I still was. But the third and fourth time, I started to get annoyed. Especially when he started coming out of his apartment whenever he sees me come home from work! Eventually it freaked me out completely, I looked at him point blank and asked sarcastically, ‘Is that the only sentence you know?’

A year ago, when I started a job in PA, I became friends with a married co-worker. He was the shy and quite type, so I thought he was completely harmless (apparently, I still have a lot to learn!). Since I was new in town and didn’t know a lot of people, I let him lend me a helping hand. In the midst of it however, he started coming on to me. He told me I’m pretty, and in the beginning, I just brushed it off as a pleasant observation. He told me I have beautiful eyes and I still tried to think it was no big deal. But when he (a married man!) told me he liked me while trying to grab my hand… that’s when I drew the line! I got mad and scathingly said, ‘I tried to be your friend. But as my friend, you don’t get to tell me I’m pretty or I have beautiful eyes, you don’t get to tell me you like me, and don’t ever, ever try to touch me again!’

There’s nothing more irritating though, than being hollered at or getting catcalls from construction workers or passersby in the street. Even though these guys shout what were supposedly compliments, to my indignant ear, they sound more like unpleasantries. Call me prude, but being hollered at triggers my feministic tendencies and makes me feel like a piece of commodity with the sole purpose of entertaining men. I usually turn deaf ears but there are times when I had to brace myself as I was so close to shouting, ‘eff you!’ as a response.

To me, sincere, flattering compliments are those delivered in a classy way without any ulterior motives. I was in an elevator on my way to my hotel room after a conference in Virginia, when a cute, early 30s guy got on the next floor. At the corner of my eye, I saw him surreptitiously glance at my direction a few times. He got out of the elevator ahead of me, but before he did, he gave me one last look and casually said, ‘You are so pretty.”. As simple as that! No motive, just stating a casual observation! But enough said. My day was made.

But there are no compliments I love more than the ones I get from BA. Who cares what other people think? In the end, it’s only the people you love and YOU (what you think about yourself) that matters.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Good Girl Gone Bad

I take pride in having the ability to love unconditionally, the capacity to forgive easily, and the virtue of enduring patience. Before I react to an irritating situation, I would try to envision myself in the other person’s shoes and understand why he (or she) thinks the way he does. Modesty aside, some people actually tell me I’m a sweetheart ;-).

Having said that... there are people however, who can push my buttons (especially on a bad day), test my patience and trigger my b*tchy side.

Case in point…

One day in college, driven by my perpetual curious nature, I decided to try and watch a movie by myself. I bought the movie ticket, grabbed a coke and popcorn, and settled in at a seat close to the exit. A few minutes later, a guy sat on the seat next to me. In the middle of the movie, his hand accidentally brushed against my leg and said “sorry”. Since I thought it was an accident, I made no big deal about it. It happened again a second time, and again, he apologized. I started to feel annoyed. I gave him an evil look and tried to sit as far from him as possible. Two more times however, and I totally lost my cool! If in the beginning I thought I was just being paranoid, after that, there was no doubt in mind that I was being harassed! However, instead of getting mad, I decided to get even. Since the movie was almost at its end, I took a sip of my coke, set it in between our seats, and as the credits started rolling, “accidentally” knocked the drink onto his lap! I said “sorry”, then strutted out of the theater feeling vindicated! (I never watched a movie by myself again after that though).

Another scenario…

After a long and hard day at graduate school, I went to the grocery store to pick up some items for my fridge. I drove my car to the parking lot and saw an empty spot I could park at. I signaled my intent, but there were a couple of pedestrians blocking my way. I waited patiently for them to cross, but as I was about to park, a car in the opposite side dived in and tried to grab my spot. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have let it go, but after just dealing with frustrations in my research and abdominal cramps, I was ready to blow off. Still, I tried to be calm and said nicely, “Excuse me, I was about to park there.”

The woman looked at me haughtily and replied, “Well, you’re taking such a long time! I'm in a hurry!”

That was the last straw! If she acted nicely about it, I probably would have been more patient. But given the arrogant way she responded, I flipped out and yelled angrily, “Didn’t you see the people in front of me?”

The woman chose to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, and continued to inch into the spot. At some point however, she realized she couldn’t park completely as I was partially blocking the way! When she had no choice but to look in my direction, I said, “Either you find another parking spot or we’ll be here all night! ”. I was bluffing of course (and it was probably a childish reaction), but at that time, I felt that I have to stand my ground. It’s a matter of principle! Aside from that, I was so tired and grumpy, there’s probably no way anybody can talk sense into me! The woman grudgingly gave up and left me to my precious spot ;-)

Moral of the story: There's a b*tchy side to every woman... even if she's a sweetheart.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mr. Right

"Its funny how we set qualifications for the right person to love while at the back of our minds we know that the one person we truly love will always be an exception." - Ally Mc Beal

In a way, I agree with Ally Mc Beal. We can't really help who we fall in love with. We set all these criteria yet in the end, fall for a person who was completely the opposite. There are some people however, who are lucky enough to fall in love with the person they've always dreamed of. I consider myself as such.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a list of the qualities I want in my Mr. Right. Years later, I fell in love with a guy who possesses 95% of it.

  • Has gorgeous eyes that seem to light up when I enter the room

  • Has a smile that makes my heart skip a beat

  • Has great passion for me

  • Doesn't have bad vices

  • Can make me laugh and cheer me up when I'm feeling blue

  • Someone I can talk to about anything - whether deep or superficial issues

  • Has similar interests… especially traveling and hiking

  • We complement each other in a way that feels like we're two peas in a pod

  • Someone who knows when to be serious and when to be silly

  • Knows how and when to take charge

  • Someone who'll stand by my side and support me

  • Open to compromise

  • Dependable yet allows me to be independent

  • Sensitive to my needs

  • Honest and forthright

  • Brings out the sexual vixen in me

  • Driven to succeed in every aspect of life

  • Makes me feel safe and comfortable, yet brings out my adventurous side

  • Gives me personal space and time whenever I need it

  • Can be relied upon to do what he says he will do

  • Believes in himself and makes me believe in him

  • Open-minded and respectful of my beliefs.

If I Were...

If I were a month, I would be:...June

If I were a day of the week, I would be:...Saturday

If I were a time of day, I would be:…4:30 PM

If I were a sea animal, I would be:...dolphin

If I were a direction, I would be:...right

If I were a sin, I would be:...gluttony

If I were a planet, I would be:…Earth

If I were a liquid, I would be:…water

If I were a stone, I would be:...a pearl

If I were a tree, I would be:…a Narra

If I were a bird, I would be:...an eagle

If I were a flower/plant, I would be:.. a rose

If I were a kind of weather, I would be:...sunny

If I were a mythical creature, I would be:...a unicorn

If I were a food, I would be… an ice cream

If I were a fruit, I would be ... a watermelon

If I were a musical instrument, I would be:...a piano

If I were an animal, I would be:...a dolphin

If I were a color, I would be:...red

If I were an emotion, I would be:.. moody

If I were a vegetable, I would be:... cauliflower

If I were a sound, I would be:…ocean waves

If I were an element, I would be:...zinc

If I were a song, I would be:… Can I Have This Kiss Forever?

If I were a singer, I would be… Leona Lewis

If I were a movie, I would be:...Braveheart

If I were an author, I would be:… John Grisham

If I were a place, I would be:...Chicago

If I were a taste, I would be:... sweet

If I were a scent, I would be:... Victoria’s secret Pink

If I were a word, I would be:… enchanting

If I were a body part, I would be:...eyes

If I were a facial expression, I would be:...a smile

If I were a subject in school, I would be:... science

If I were a cartoon character, I would be:... Little Mermaid

If I were a shape, I would be:...a star

If I were a number, I would be:... 1

If I were a piece of jewelry, I would be:...a necklace

If I were a piece of furniture, I would be:...a bed

If I were a car, I would be:...a Lamborghini

If I were an item of clothing, I would be:...a tank top

If I were to choose somebody to be, I would be…still ME.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Laughter is the Best Medicine

In the serious science business, you won't get out alive if you don't know how to laugh and have fun. These are some of the chemistry jokes I got from the net or forwarded by my friends during my grad school days. Thanks to all the authors who knew how (or at least tried) to tickle our funny bones!

Two atoms are walking down the street.
Says one atom to the other, "Hey! I think I lost an electron!"
The other says, "Are you sure??"
"Yes, I'm positive!"

A neutron walks into a restaurant and orders a couple of cokes. As she is about to leave, she asks the waiter how much she owes. The waiter replies, "For you, No Charge!!!"

What do dipoles say in passing? "Have you got a moment?"

Chemists do it on the table... periodically. (whatever IT is!)

How many physical chemists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but he'll change it three times, plot a straight line through the data, and then extrapolate to zero concentration.

A physicist, biologist and a chemist were going to the ocean for the first time.The physicist saw the ocean and was fascinated by the waves. He said he wanted to do some research on the fluid dynamics of the waves and walked into the ocean. Obviously, he was drowned and never returned.The biologist said he wanted to do research on the flora and fauna inside the ocean and walked inside the ocean. He too, never returned. The chemist waited for a long time and afterwards, wrote the observation, "The physicist and the biologist are soluble in ocean water".

A Chemical is a Substance that:
An organic chemist turns into a foul odor.
An analytical chemist turns into a procedure.
A physical chemist turns into a straight line.
A biochemist turns into a helix.
A chemical engineer turns into a profit.

Rules of the Lab:
If an experiment works, something has gone wrong.
When you don't know what you're doing, do it neatly.
Experiments must be reproducible, they should fail the same way each time.
First draw your curves, then plot your data.
Experience is directly proportional to equipment ruined.
Always keep a record of your data. It indicates that you have been working.
To do a lab really well, have your report done well in advance.
If you can't get the answer in the usual manner, start at the answer and derive the question.
In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
Do not believe in miracles - rely on them.
Teamwork is essential, it allows you to blame someone else.
All unmarked beakers contain fast-acting, extremely toxic poisons.
No experiment is a complete failure. At least it can serve as a negative example.
Any delicate and expensive piece of glassware will break before any use can be made of it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lets Talk About Love

I can’t help but smile whenever I see an old couple walking hand in hand.

Call me hopeless romantic, but in this uncertain world where unstable relationships abound and break-ups are everyday occurrences, seeing an old, loving couple holding hands gives me hope. Hope that not all relationships are as fragile as they seem to be nowadays. Hope that some people can love each other forever and relationships can last a lifetime. Hope that even though relationships take hard work, love conquers all. And hope that I would be one of those few who have that one-of-a-kind LOVE that will stand the test of time.

I fell in love for the first time when I was 24. So in love (or so I thought, but it might just the novelty of first love) that when my relationship ended in betrayal of trust, I was devastated. I felt so hurt and betrayed that even after I started dating other guys, I found it hard to fall again. I was too scared of getting hurt that I kept every guy I dated at arm’s length. I became a serial dater who was too much of a coward to commit. At the first signs of complication, I’d break it off and ran away. In the midst of it all however, there was one guy who patiently guided me out of my shell and taught me to love and trust again. But love has a twisted sense of humor. Just as I was falling in love, life circumstances forced us to let go of the relationship turning me back into the slightly jaded woman I once were.

Then I met BA. I don’t know how or why but for the first time in my life, I felt that I could just throw caution in the wind and let loose. As cheesy as it sounds, I felt that I could fall and he’d catch me. The first time I met him, I knew it was going to be different. Don’t ask me why, I just knew and felt it. So I threw caution in the wind, let loose and fell in love. I never had any regrets. It was everything I hoped for. It made me realize that what I felt before him were puppy loves. Our relationship had been mostly happiness. I won’t call it perfect, but it’s darn well near one. Although there are times when my ‘trust issues’ would resurface, he reassures me so well it becomes impossible not to have faith in our love. We do have petty arguments from time to time, but they never lasted more that 5 minutes. He’s one of the most wonderful guys I’ve ever known. I’ve never felt so loved and cared for. Yesterday, as he was fixing my bike and teaching me patiently how to ride it (I’m pathetic, I know!), I was actually overcame with feelings of amazement at what a superb guy he is. I don’t have a formula for creating a successful relationship, but I know that there would be that one person who makes you feel like you two fit each other like a glove, and things between you just feel right. That’s how I feel with BA.

A month from now, we’ll be celebrating our anniversary. Lately, whenever we talk about spending the rest of our lives together, I realized that I now look forward to it without an ounce of fear, only with hope… hope that several years from now, we would be that old loving couple still walking hand in hand...