Saturday, February 26, 2005

Back From Making Memories

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

I am back from Biloxi. It was a wonderful mini vacation. Hubby and I stayed at the Beau Rivage and had tons of fun. We ditched our luggage in our hotel room as soon as we arrived and explored the hotel grounds. There are a few  upper scale restaurants,  gift shops and boutiques, and of course, the casino on the inside and a marina at the side where the rich and famous docked their yachts before checking in the hotel. We hit the casino for a couple of hours and left two hundred dollars richer so we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at the casino's restaurant. Then we went back to our room to get dressed up for the Ezuru show.

Ezuru, another production of the Cirque du Soleil, is a very entertaining circus minus the animals, plus a bevy of performers in flamboyant costumes. I've seen another production a few years back which was in a bigger venue and had more performers in a three ring circus style. Ezuru must be a smaller troupe designed for smaller venue because it was not as spectacular as the one I've seen before. The show was staged in an auditorium more suitable for musical concerts or one dimensional performances. It was equal to a one ring circus show instead of the awesome three ring one. Another difference I noticed was instead of international acts and cast of performers in the Cirque's old shows Ezuru, have an Asian flair. The casts were dressed in the usual colorful garbs and they were obviously Chinese. I remember thinking that my son would have enjoyed the show because the performers looked like his favorite anime characters from Dragon Ball Z and Inuyasha (Japanese cartoons). It still was worth the money we paid for the tickets but I felt a little let down because I was expecting an encore of the magnificent show I saw long time ago.  

The next day, we woke up and were suppose to drive down to New Orleans but plans changed.  We ended up having breakfast at a French restaurantwhere I had an omelette with andouille sausage (supposedly made of alligator meat) and riding around Biloxi and hitting yet another casino! Sad to say, we lost a hundred bucks from our previous day winnings at the said casino.

All in all, hubby and I had a grand time in Biloxi, Mississippi!!!

Hubby is packing his bags to hit the road again. He will be heading for California this time. I am beginning to question my wisdom in getting another job because I am ready to pack my bags too and join him in California! Ahh, the day when I can just pack and hit the road will soon come my way. Child number one is in college and child number two will be in college in four years. If I take a lot of mini vacations, I am sure four years will fly by fast!!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Blah, blah, blah...


"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; For love is sufficient unto love."  Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet, Chapter 2, Love

I have not updated in a few days. The reason is because I officially joined the 9-5 crowd beginning Thursday. I have a job but I am still waiting for a training date which is dependent on an entity which takes sometime to produce the clearance needed to perform the job officially. I am still under contract to the other job but I'd rather do something right now that makes me feel I am earning my paycheck. I notified the contracting company through e-mail that I am taking another job while they are waiting for my clearance. I do not think it is unethical or illegal to do so. The people at my new job also know about the contract and the pending clearance. 

For those who want to read The Prophet in its entirety, Geocities has a link where you can read it online. Here is the link:   

As an update for the Tribute to Hubby's open letter, here is the hubby's reaction to it:

I love you too.  You said it all and the feelings are mutual.  I truly love you with all my heart and will always love you..

And to answer your question of last night.  That letter is what I wanted for Valentine's Day!

Love you

P.S. Next time I won't read things like this at work!  Boo Hoo.  :0)

Hubby is a road warrior. After he retired from the military service, he joined a company which required him to travel all over the United States. I miss him a lot when he is gone.

He is home today and we will be heading to Biloxi, Mississipi tomorrow. We will be staying at a beachfront hotel/casino and already bought tickets for Ezuru, a Cirque du Soleil production for their Sunday show. This is part of my valentine/anniversary gift. He wants to fly to New York and take me to the Broadway show, Lion King, but I want to save that for another day when we have at least a week to explore NYC. My hubby is so sweet. I know he does not enjoy the Cirque or Broadway shows as much as I do but he suffers through them to make me happy. He also bought me a real orchid lei because he knows I love orchids and Hawaii. Ladies, he is bound with me for life!  


Have a great weekend everybody! I'll try to take a lot of pictures of  Biloxi to share with you when I get back.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

         Arrrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhhhh!!! AOL Journals system is driving me batty!!! The updates alerts and comments alerts are not working!!! I have do everything manually and I want to just say something really, really mean and nasty to whom it may concern! The system also cut my privilege to leave comments too... It works sometimes but most of the time it won't even let me get to the comment screen!!!!! Do I need a new computer or is AOL slacking?   


              Letting Children Grow...


An excerpt from Kahlil Gibran's book, The Prophet, Chapter 4, on topic about children.   

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, “Speak to us of Children.”

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house oftomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

I love all of Gibran's writings but I am very partial to The Prophet because of its timeless wisdom and poetic beauty. I particularly love the chapter above because as a mother of growing children, I am always looking for advice from the sages on how to let my children grow without letting them go.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tribute to Hubby


The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.
Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist (1875 - 1961)

                    Valentine’s Day Tribute


 An open letter to my Hubby:


Twenty years went fast. I can still remember our newlywed days. All the late night talks. The parties on the roof in Philadelphia complete with our friends and numerous boxes of wines and snap together goblets from the convenience store. The Live Aid and Bon Jovi concerts. The walks on the most dangerous park in the US. The trips to New Jersey. The breakfast foods for every meal because I did not know how to cook. Our only earthly possessions: a mattress, an electric fan, a 16 inch black and white TV, couple of pots and pans, and lots of disposable silverwares. Numerous pool halls, dance clubs, concert halls and sporting events. Ahhh, the baseball and football events, where you and your friends were busy with game stats, beers, and hotdogs and Ann and I were busy with players’ tight pants, beers, and hotdogs. Moving to Florida and having to split a mini Uhaul with another couple because we did not own a lot of things worth keeping.


You made fun of my uber trendiness and I gave up my funky hairstyles for your cowboy hat and boots. You taught me howto play pool while I explained that, “it’s all physics.”  You schooled me in rock music while I dragged to you ballets, operas and Broadway shows. I went to your monster truck rallies and hunting expos in exchange for my trips to art museums, antique shows, vintage stores, and flea markets. I sat through your war and science fiction themed movies and you sat through my chick flicks and foreign films. You reacquianted me with nature and we camped, fished, and walked on many trails and sandy beaches eversince.  I coaxed you out of your shell and you have not stopped talking and making me laugh for twenty something years. We were almost the polar opposites in many ways but we respected each others’ values and beliefs and gave each other what we desperately need.


 We always talk about us being lucky. We’ve seen our friends divorced over fight about money, jealousy, and other reasons. We sat dumbfounded when another friend find his/her way on our sofa enroute to a messy divorce because we did not understand how such trivial reasons could lead to the demise of once a wonderful relationship. We were their therapists, the two who seem to have the “marriage thing” together. Little that they know, we were clueless about what was making our marriage work but the bottom line was that we love each other so much we sort of took the blows and talked them out. We’ve witnessed our friends go in massive debts and live a life haunted by bill collectors. They thought we got the secret to financial success. We did not. We learned how to live a simple life and spend our money on what we value: our children’s education, vacations, and eating out at our favorite restaurants. We chose to squander our finances to make memories and induce togetherness. We made a choice not to be burdened by other trappings of life: the big mortgage, the fancy car payments, and humongous credit card bills. We noticed our friends holding grudges and dragging a bad situation longer than they should. Our jaws dropped when they did not seem to let go of insignificant events and carried on a power struggle with their partners forever. We once thought we must be so lame because we said, “I am sorry” to each other numerous times. We wondered about our ability to move on and made jokes about the inconsequential things we fought about. We laughed about our inadequacies and made fun of each other’s weaknesses without malice. We matured together and saw our friends self destruct. We felt very lucky not to be touched by such miserable conditions. Now I know that we were not lucky. We both worked hard to stay together and chose to face and resolve difficult issues together. It was you and me against the world and we won, and we are still winning.  There is no secret to our staying power. We lived our motto: Live well. Laugh often. Love much.


I am grateful for your presence in my life. I love you for who you are and who you are becoming. Happy Valentine's Day!








Wednesday, February 9, 2005

The Joys of Parenthood

Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "The Little Prince", 1943, French writer (1900 - 1944)

The article below was written by an anonymous writer and had been going around the blogging communities but I want it in one of my entries because I want to share it with those who have not seen it and also for it to be a part of my annual blog copies which I want to bind and keep for my children to share with anybody they care to share it with. 



The Cost of Kids & Grandkids

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That does not even touch college tuition.But $160,140 is NOT so bad if you break it down. It translates into $8,896 a year, $741.38 a month, or $171.08 a week. That is a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice says do not have children if you want to be "rich." It is just the opposite.What do your get for your $160,140?

*Naming rights--- First, middle, and last!
*Glimpses of God everyday.
*Giggles under the covers every night.
*More love than your heart can hold.
*Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
*Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
*A hand to hold, usually covered with jam.
*A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, building sand castles, and skipping down the sidewalk in the pouring rain.
*Someone to laugh yourself silly with no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up.
*You get to finger-paint, carve pumpkins, play hide-and-seek, catch lightning bugs, and never stop believing in Santa Claus.
*You have an excuse to keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watching Saturday morning cartoons, going to Disney Land, and wishing on stars.
*You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, handprints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck.
*You get to be a hero just for retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off the bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
*You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel.

*You get to be immortal.
*You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you are lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren.
*You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice,communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.
*In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there with God.
*You have all the power to heal a booboo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost.


**** I also want to thank those who came to my rescue and sent me wonderful "easy, non-flammable recipes" to help me out with the cooking inadequacies featured in my last entry. I  love J Landers!!!! I enjoy cooking for my family and I am really not that bad at it. My hubby said I misrepresented the wife he knew and he swore that he would rather eat my cooking than eat out any day. Now, isn't that sweet? Though my kids might beg to differ (they programmed the phone speed dial with the pizza delivery guy's number). ****

Sunday, February 6, 2005

Homecooked Meals: Please Pass the Pepto!!!!

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
Calvin Trillin,US columnist (1935 - )




I love Calvin and Hobbes' cartoons. The one above is very  appropriate to the topic I want to explore today.

I am a not a domestic diva.  Martha Stewart will never be a friend of mine. Though it would be fun to invite Emeril in my home to show me a cooking trick or two (Ladies and gentlemen: Leave your dirty thoughts in the gutter where they belong. I am talking about real cooking. Not "cooking" with a wink. LOL).     

My family members could attest to the fact that we eat out often because I lack some basic cooking skills. I have a very small repertoire of passable and edible culinary delights but I am most  comfortable in leaving the cooking to those who have better relationships with the kitchen gods. 

Don't get me wrong, I can bake around a lot of people. I can make a great Tiramisu from scratch and whip a batch of Baklava in no time. So it is not arsonphobia... In retrospect, it might be reverse arsonphobia because my cooking seems to come out in the Cajun (reads unintentionally burned) and/or the flambe' (reads unintentionally flaming) variety.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

This Should Explain It


When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they're not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They're upset because they've gone from supervisor of a child's life to a spectator. It's like being the vice president of the United States.

 Erma Bombeck, humorist.


For more laughs, check this out: