Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 211: Who likes to rock the party?

Hrmmm... good question. Probably not me. hahah

It's Friday night and I am in what is arguably the biggest city in the world, and I am home. Reading.

That's right! Reading! I spend a lot of time out of my apartment, off doing random stuff like working and going to dance classes and seeing family in Jersey and registering for bartending school! I think I get to spend a Friday or two with my apartment to myself in my room reading!

Enjoying the time to myself....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day 210: Golden sunlight

Nothing like sunshine to make you less cranky.

My ferry ride to Jersey just melted away the stress of today's crap...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 209: the new man in my life

Meet Okinji Da Costa. The newest member of Sharon's family; thus mine. Born three weeks ago, I had the misfortune of catching a cold the very day he came into the world. Of course, I was banned from seeing him until I was fully recovered lest I want to be bathed in antibac....

Finally we've met!

I haven't even known him a week yet and already he's stolen another piece of my heart...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 208: house of worship

On my way home from dance class, I stopped in to look inside...

It used to be a church. And now it's a shopping mall shaped like a church. Only in New York...

Guess it's kind of fitting when you think of how much importance people seem to place on material things. Consumerism: the new religion...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 207: me and my homie

Loving how even after a month away, my boy still runs to the door when I'm visiting; still comes to sit with me to watch tv; and still finds joy in tickling me til I surrender.

How did I get so lucky?

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 206: Happy Guam birthday Jenny!

Just in case I couldn't see Jen tomorrow for her stateside birthday, I thought I'd post today on her Guam birthday...

The youngest of the family that's like my second home, Jen and I didn't really start getting close until I came back from college one year to stay with my sister in law for three weeks before jetting off to Japan for a semester. I'd pick her up from school and hang out, watch random teeny bopper movies and crack jokes. We've been doing the same thing ever since and I'm so glad she moved to the NY/NJ area this year!

She had to grow up so quickly and she's done it with grace and sensibility. She may be younger than me, but I can't say I don't look up to her for all she's accomplished already...

Happy birthday grel!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 205: am I too old to party like a rockstar?

Maybe. I think the getting dressed to get trashed is just not my scene. Would much rather be at the corner bar chilling out...

The launch party I went to was just too trendy for me!

On the bright side, I did make a new friend, so yay! :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Day 204: happy birthday Arnie!

Starting with my dad, there's just a string of birthdays in my family this week. Next is Arnold.

Growing up, I never used to be so close to Arn. He was always just hanging with my brother and sister and since they thought I was a loser, Arn did too. At best, I was part of the scenery of his life; there as one very quiet piece of his family, never fighting but never close.

It wasn't until I was in my last year in college that we hung out a lot more often. It was strange to find that he missed me when I wasn't around. I think that realization surprised him too...

I'm still probably closer to his sisters, because we've spent more time together, but that entire family is like my second immediate family. Almost as if I have two extra sisters and Arnold, my extra brother. He's here to defend me when I'm hurt, cheer me when I'm sad, help me when in need, sing when I need a partner to do "all cried out" and he's

Happy bimirthday buddy!!

Love love love

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 203: happy birthday Dad!

Today was my dad's birthday. If you want to get technical, his birthday on the other side of the world (which is where he was born and where he's at) is already over, but as this blog is subjective and relative to me, I'm celebrating today.

... I've been thinking a lot lately about my parents. Not just my dad, but my mom too. I'm feeling a little guilty that when February 20th came, I didn't really take the time to honor my mom. Sometimes, I feel like, even though I have a record of every single day I've lived this year, the days have still managed to bleed together that I didn't even realize it was the 20th of February til after the fact. Sigh. Epic fail, Joyce. Seriously.

I've always been a daddy's girl, because me and my dad have always had more in common, but I find that as I get older, I've taken after my mother a lot too. The friendliness, the generosity, the die-hard-do-anything-for-the-people-she-loves spirit, the helpfulness... that's all her. My temper comes from her too. hahahah Seeing how I can connect to both parents makes it a lot easier to see that I'm not just a daddy's girl. I'm my mommy's girl too. Just like my parents don't love me and my siblings in the same way, I can't love them the same either. It's not that I love one more than the other, but that they're different people to love. I talk books and movies with my dad, and I talk everything else with my moms. She does most of the talking anyway. :)

Now that my parents are so much further away, it's so hard to catch them on the phone. Between the time difference and my crazy schedule, I find it difficult to make it work so that we can talk regularly. It super sucks. But I hope they know that just because I'm not around as much doesn't mean I don't think of them every day. Or miss them any less...


If anyone ever asked me where I started with photography, I could probably say it all started with my dad. He's had a camera (both a regular one and a video one) for as long as I remember. He captured every single special occasion we ever celebrated, every school concert, every awards ceremony... For everything me or my sister or my brother were in, my dad was right there, snapping away (while he had the tripod going so he could film everything too). It was great that he owned his own company, because I'm sure he would have been fired otherwise for leaving in the middle of the day all the time to see me in a spelling bee, or have a class party for my sister's birthday, or watch my brother's volleyball games...

So... growing up, me and my dad were like two peas in a pod. I loved most of the things he loved: watching tv (Quantum Leap was my favorite, but he watched Star Trek alone), reading books (we could spend hours at the bookstore...and DID, much to my mother's annoyance in later years since she would come with and ended up falling asleep in one of the Barnes and Nobles chairs), going to the movies, playing with toys and electronics (which were toys anyway)... so picking up a camera was something I picked up from my dad. He was great at encouraging it too. When I was ten, he bought me one of those plastic cameras that came with a book appropriately entitled "my first camera" and that was the start of it. The film was expensive as all hell because it wasn't regular 35mm, they were 110s, I think, which was twice the price and cost much more to develop. But he bought it and I still have some pretty awesome pictures from that camera... some involving me in a bunny suit hugging my grandpa. I'm hoping it was Easter then...

I never really stopped taking pictures since then. I've gone through that first dinky plastic camera, to getting my own little point-and-shoot after the film for the plastic one got to be too expensive, to eventually getting a better point-and-shoot after graduating high school... and then I discovered the SLR. Dad convinced Mom to get me the Canon Rebel 2000 for my 19th birthday so that I could take black and white photography in school. That opened up a whole new dimension of photography for me, and it's only continued to grow. I don't know much about what my dad thinks about the kinds of photos I shoot, but I hope he knows that this great love for it came from him... I don't think I would have ever thought to even want to do something like this project if I hadn't liked taking pictures in the first place...

So to you, Daddy... Happy Birthday! My camera collection and love for film started with you... I wouldn't be where I am without you... well, I wouldn't be ANYWHERE without you. (and of course Mom. I love you Mother!!)

So lucky to have amazing parents. They're not perfect, but they're pretty damn awesome.

Love love love.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 202: because nothing says liberation like finadene marinated barbecue chicken!

Happy Guam Liberation Day!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 201: duty served

Got called in for grand jury duty and after sitting there and volunteering, they didn't select me and I got dismissed! Now I know I can't play lotto if my chances of getting picked for jury duty are already slim!

I was in the area of town that's all government buildings... Kind of made me feel like I was on Law & Order...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Monday, July 19, 2010

(200) Days of Joy(cie)

Since (500) Days of Summer came out last year, I had really been wanting to see it. Zooey Deschanel is utterly adorable and paired with the also utterly adorable Joseph Gordon Levitt, they're just... an utterly adorable explosion.

Anyway, I never got the chance to see it in the theater, and because I don't Netflix and have not used my Blockbuster membership in years, I never really got to see it on DVD once it came out.

But now that I have been spending more time at the library, I've been borrowing more DVDs from there (I'm finally learning to return shit on time), and came across this it this afternoon. What a cute freaking movie!!!

It's so funny, it's not your run-of-the-mill love story. It's not even a love story. Instead, it's more about the subjectivity a person has in relation to the world around him (especially with regards to this girl he thinks he's in love with). Everything seen through his eyes is just that: his eyes. So when things happen that he can't understand, you don't realize until you see another perspective that all the answers were there all along.

Much like I do with everything that intrigues me, I looked up the movie on the internet after to find out more about the production and the background of the movie and the stories that surround it. This particular section in wikipedia intrigued me:

Director Marc Webb has described the film as more of a "coming of age" story as opposed to a "rom-com". He stated, "We arrive at a different conclusion, for one thing. Plus, most romantic comedies are more loyal to a formula than to emotional truth. It's about happiness, and learning that you'll find it within yourself, rather than in the big blue eyes of the girl in the cubicle down the hall. I wanted to make an unsentimental movie and an uncynical movie. In my mind, I wanted it to be something you could dance to. That's why we put a parenthesis in the title - it's like a pop song in movie form. It's not a big film. It's not about war or poverty. It's about 500 days in a young guy's relationship, but it's no less deserving of scrutiny. When your heart is first broken, it consumes you. And it's an emotion I wanted to make a movie about, before I forgot how it felt".[12] Webb also stated that Deschanel's character, Summer, is based on the stereotype of a manic pixie dream girl; "Yes, Summer has elements of the manic pixie dream girl - she is an immature view of a woman. She's Tom's view of a woman. He doesn't see her complexity and the consequence for him is heartbreak. In Tom's eyes, Summer is perfection, but perfection has no depth. Summer's not a girl, she's a phase."[12] Joseph Gordon-Levitt explained that he was drawn to the role of Tom because of his relatability to the character. "I've had my heart broken before. Truly, truly broken. But when I look back at me in my heartbroken phase, it's pretty hilarious, because it felt so much more extreme than it really was. One of the things I love about (500) Days of Summer is that it doesn't make light of what we go through in romances, but it is honest about it and shows it for what it is, which is often profoundly funny."

I seem to relate to everything these days. And it's so true, what was said about the movie. It feels more dramatic than it really is. I talked to a friend of mine about that. Something so silly as taking off a bracelet means so much to me, but to everyone else, it's just a bracelet. It's pretty hilarious, like I'm a 15 year old trapped in a 26 year old's body (probably the result of all my continuing teeny bopper ways)! Everything is so significant when you go through something that shakes YOUR world. It may not affect anyone else around you, but it changes you, and that changes everything. At least, through your eyes. I once got in a cab a few months ago and my driver ended up being an astrologist... I remember him telling me that I've been too objective about my life, and that I needed to be more subjective to understand. After all, it is MY life. On one hand, it's good to see all sides of the story, but on the other, at some point, I had to experience it and acknowledge my own feelings before I could even begin to really move on. The interesting thing to note is that, once you can let go of your subjectivity, you can look back again with that same sense of objectivity and see the whole picture for what it really was... Some parts can still be as good as you remember, but you'll see and discover things in hindsight about yourself and the experiences that you never thought about before then... And for something like a heartbreak, it truly is funny after you've experienced and then look back...

Tom: She took a giant shit on my face. Literally.
Alison: Literally?
Tom: Well, no, not literally. That's disgusting. Jesus, what's wrong with you!

All very interesting stuff... don't know where it's going, but interesting nonetheless. :) I'll be giggling to myself for a few days just thinking...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 199: quality time with Brandon

After dropping Jeff off at Port Authority, Brandon and I got to have some one-on-one quality time together. Yayyy

We went to see a movie (the last airbender... sad to say, it was mehhhh) but stopped at the promenade to kill time...

The sun hitting the water never ceases to amaze me...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 198: I'm a Dhoonya Doll...

Thats what we call our Techniques class that performed at the Bridge Culture showcase at Brooklyn Bridge Park tonight. The Dhoonya Dolls. :)

I haven't danced in public with an actual audience for YEARS. Maybe because I haven't been in school for years that would require me to perform or anything. But my Indian dance class was looking for volunteers so I figured why not...

It was a trip getting there in costume... So much so that I wasn't willing to get on the train... Took a cab instead. :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 197: Friday night partyyyyy

I love Friday nights with the boys. Actually, pretty much any time spent with the boys. Today we just hung out, played some card toss and then went to the bar for dinner and big buck hunter, which I am getting much better at! 8000something is a pretty decent, respectable score. Way better than the 300 I used to get!!

I'm getting way better at cocking. The gun, I mean!!!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day 196: It's alright that's where you're supposed to be now...

Late one Tuesday night, almost one full year ago, someone slipped a bracelet on me. It had meant a lot to him when he had worn it, so that he was giving it to me signified a lot of importance. He had asked that I make one simple promise: to never take it off.

I was honored. In my wide eyed innocence, I had agreed to his terms whole heartedly, sealing it with a kiss. It was in that moment, I had not only given him my word, but my heart.

There was complete and utter joy in the days and weeks that followed. He had changed my life. The world was brighter because he was in it. My heart was full, and for the first time in my life, I could not have asked for anything more. There was nowhere and no one else I wanted to be but where I was and who I was. Absolute contentment. I never wanted it to end, and I had thought it never would.

Except all things in life end. Including life. It's sad, but true.

Nothing huge happened to make it end. A phone call came, and that was it. With one single phone call, my heart broke and my world changed. Again.

All the promises he had made had been broken when that phone call ended.

If you've been reading my stuff since I started this whole thing, you'll know that this is the ass kicking my heart got. But if this is the first time you're coming across my words, then... well, I don't know what to tell you except that despite the beating I took, I can't help but be thankful for all of it. The joy, the pain, the mess that followed. It's all life. And you can't say I haven't lived it...


About the bracelet. Despite the phone call that ended it all, as the days and months passed, I couldn't bring myself to break my promise and take it off. I kept it on just like I promised him. At first, it was because I remembered how important it had been to him that I keep it on. I couldn't bring myself to disappoint him, even if he would never know, nor would he care even if he did know... I kept it on for him. But as the days and weeks and months passed, it stopped being about him or about us. The stronger I got, the more it became about me. I kept it on to remind myself of who I used to be and that I was still the kind of person who kept her word, even if those around me couldn't do the same, whatever their reason was....

But I feel that I don't need a reminder any more. I know who I am. I remember who I was. And I don't need to keep an old promise to prove it anymore.

I took the bracelet off for the very first time today. I'll probably put it back on because I think it's cool and it looks good on me, but I'm no longer dominated by it. The decision can't come at a more perfect time, since I have a performance on Saturday and want to wear glass bangles on both wrists. :)

It's so funny, I thought that I would wait until a more significant date would come. I thought that the day I decided to do this would be huge, full of pomp and circumstance. But just like the changes that have gone through, it's happened quietly, on a random day, for no real reason except that I am finally ready to take it off.

It almost feels like I've taken off a chain; as if I'm finally free...

While my past has made up a good part of who I'm turning out to be, as the days go by, I don't feel mired in it as I used to be. It's shaped who I am, but doesn't hold me back. I always believed you have to know where you've been to know where you are and where you are going. But you can't step forward if your foot (or any part of yourself) is firmly planted in the past...

Today's a nice night for a walk...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day 195: Hooray! I'm not fired!

After almost two years at the company I work at, I finally went to a dangerous goods training. We were waiting for a time where I wouldn't die if I skipped a few days of work...

In case you were wondering about my rejoicing at not being fired... Basically, I got a text from my manager saying that Rich told him to tell me I'm fired if I scored lower on the test than this guy who is our customer (also taking the course with me).

Of course I got a hundred. :)

But that was not without some suffering. It was a long day. If you couldn't tell...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Day 194: sorry dad!

I'm doing a dance with my Techniques class for Bridge Culture on Saturday, and we had practice today in our costumes. I will take a picture of me in full garb on Saturday, but since I didn't take any pictures today, I thought I would take this time to write a short apology to my dad. Whether or not he will ever read this...

So. Almost nine years ago, I moved to NYC for school. Both my mom and dad were supposed to fly out with me but they were moving out of Guam too and weren't ready when it was time for me to go, so it ended up just being my dad and me... At the very end of my first week in NY, after my dad had help me set up everything and we were saying our goodbyes, my dad had told me something I have always kept in mind. He told me: "you can do whatever you want, just don't wear clothes that show your stomach." this may sound silly to you but I'm guessing Dad knew I wasn't a party animal and that he could trust I understood that to mean that I should be good. Anyway. Aside from one lapse in judgement five years ago on Halloween, I have always heeded dad's words... Until now. Sorry Dad! It's the costume!

But take heart, Dad! I'll wear a sari over it. AND my belly isn't too gross, and I won't partake in any heinous behavior while showing my belly! So in other words, it could be worse! :)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 193: these are the boys I spend my days with...

In case you're wondering what they're doing, they're in the parking lot trying to shoot rocks into a manhole grate.

No one made it in, therefore, a draw.

Gotta love my boys.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Day 192: World Cup comes to a close...

Went to watch the final game at the bar today and man, it was packed!

Too bad Spain won; we were rooting for the Netherlands...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 191: my first Saturday off...

Sooo nice to have the free time... Watched the World Cup game for 3rd place then hung out at Rich's where we played Major League Card Toss... Quite fascinating, even for dogs...:)

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 190: Heaven Is A 311 Concert

That's what it felt like tonight while I was listening to 311 live. I can't even begin to describe how full my heart felt when they were playing... From the first notes of Down to the last beats of Feel So Good... My face hurts so good from smiling... This is what life is: listening to the best music and swaying with your best friends, just loving every single second.

There is nowhere else I'd rather be.

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 189: 2.5 hours of dance practice...

...makes it okay for me to have some rice pudding for dinner!!! Awooohoooo!!!

Coconut coma with chocolate brownie crumble! Yayyyy

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 188: Hot and sweaty

...wearing clothes that don't quite fit right anymore... I wish I could afford to get all my clothes tailored, but there are too many to get adjusted and I can't pick which ones I want done first since I can't do all of them all at once. I'm being fair to my clothes by just not having any of them fixed. hahaha

So... safety pins it is!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 187: frozen yogurt-- dinner of champions...

...and lazy people who have taken two hours of dance class in the summer heat and just want to cool down!!

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 186: finally a real day off

Today was the first day in a reeeally long while where I didn't have to be anywhere or do anything... So what did I do?

I really like to overdo things. I literally slept the day away! I was up at about 730 (incapable of sleeping in), awake for about an hour to talk to my sister a bit, then went and took a "nap" from about 845 to 230 (!!!!) after which I woke up, had something to eat, fell back asleep, and then woke up again at 8! Guess I was more exhausted than I thought.

I'm figuring I will now have more time to sleep after quitting my weekend job (I think the spirit of independence day really got to me!)... At least for a little while...

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Day 185: because nothing says patriotism like pop 'ems

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 184: thank goodness for friends and tiki torches

It was a loooong day at street fair work today. One that left me pissed off and annoyed by the end of the day and wishing I had just agreed to early termination.

Lucky for me though, I got to go home to Jeff and Rich and forget my frustrations by way of delicious Italian food and tiki torches at Zombie Hut. FYI tiki torches are shots of 151 topped with a lemon and brown sugar sprinkled on it. It's lit on fire with which you roast your marshmallows and when the fire is out, you eat the lemon, drink the shot and eat the marshmallows. So fancy!

Enough to forget the crappy day.. Except I gotta do it all again tomorrow! Gahhhh :(

-- 自分のiPhoneから発送する

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 183: Brazil vs Netherlands

Loved that Rich and everyone was rooting for Brazil and Brandon was the only one for Netherlands at today's quarter finals match for the world cup who ended up winning and sending Brazil home.

Rich couldn't stay and watch the whole game because he had a meeting but he was there in spirit...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 182: Lovely Life I Thank You

Today was the first day of the second half of the year... That's right, folks! I am half done with my 2010 project! I am half done with the year! I feel it fitting to do a contemplative look back on the first six months of this year. Kind of like a half time recap! ...hrmm... wow, did I just use a sports analogy?? I'm a little impressed with myself. That's growth! :)


To start, I failed on the stranger portion of my resolution...and by stranger portion, I don't mean it was the weirder portion (though I suppose it WAS the weirdest of my three basic rules)... If you still remember my initial entry, I had put forth the stipulations of this project. There were only three: (1) to take a picture every single day in which (2) I did a self portrait at least once every week and (3) I took a picture of a stranger once a week. If you've guessed that it was the third stipulation that I have glaringly failed at, then you would be correct. (Though that's not saying much for your guessing skills since it's pretty obvious I would have failed at that. Just sayin'.)

Anyway, yes, I stopped doing the taking-pictures-of-a-stranger thing. Mainly because... well, it's a little strange... Epic epic fail on my part. :(


I think it's safe to say that I have met a crap ton of people! I just never took their pictures for this project. And I don't think I would have had the courage to do so if it had not been for starting this. So yay for photoblogging! I think it's made me feel less shy and worrisome about stupid crap like not talking to people.

Anyway. Other stuff I've thought about:

I feel like I've come a long way since the year started. I don't think it's been easy, but so far, I am liking the person I think I am and whoever I may turn out to be in the future. I'm glad for the lessons I've learned, and there have been many! And all these little lessons life has given me so far has led me to this realization: After living most of my life wishing for one thing or the other so that it would make my life richer and happier, I finally am at that point where I kind of don't need anything. My life is far from perfect, but it's so good. It's filled with laughter and activity and wonder and love. It's vibrant and busy and unpredictable and exhausting and...amazing. And it's mine.

At the beginning of the year, I quoted Hemingway, saying that "The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places." I entered the year with a broken heart and a broken spirit. I wondered when I would smile, eat, sleep, be the way I used to. I don't think I ever will. I can never go back to who I was without compromising who I am now and who I want to become. Nor would I want to. I'm not completely there yet, but if Hemingway was correct (and I suspect he is), I know that if the world has broken my heart and my spirit, it will be all the much stronger for it.

I still have a long way to go, but this road to joy isn't as overwhelming as it once seemed. I'm not afraid of going at it alone (though I find I have plenty of company along the way if I want or need it).

I think it's safe to say I've been kicking 2010's ass. And rocking. HARD.

I can't wait to see what the next half brings...