Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 365: so it ends...

It's 8:30 p.m. here on this side of the hemisphere, which means my year is almost over... I'm waiting for the rest of the family to come over for dinner and then we can ring in the new year together for the first time in soooo many years (minus my sister though. poopoo, i wish she and her family were here)...

Sitting here, surrounded by so many people I love and looking back at this year that had started out so seemingly rough, it's amazing to see what's happened in the past 365 days... it really feels like I went on a journey to find my happiness only to realize that it truly does just creep on you when you aren't looking... the secret is just as Lloyd Dobler suggested: "Why can't you be in a good mood? How hard is it to decide to be in a good mood and be in a good mood once in a while?"

I found that my year may not have been as great as it was if it weren't for the perspective I chose to have; to decide that there were so many more blessings in my life than not; to keep moving and keep living and to embrace every opportunity I could.

This year, I learned to dance Bollywood style (and performed for the first time in public!), tried exotic dancing, burlesque dancing (do you see a dancing pattern here? lol), worked at a street fair, went to bartending school, did two photoshoots, met a bunch of strangers (including one who ended up being the man I love most in the world...yes, you can barf now at my grossness), climbed the Rockefeller center (again! And in much better time!), saw 311 live for the first time in my life (sheer heaven!), got my first tattoo, flew 30 hours across the world to see my family (twice!) and just...lived life!

I discovered even more about the world and myself (both bad and good) and fell in love. I've stood up for myself and for what I believe in; I've learned to follow my heart and the beat of my own drum...and found that life is everything about what you make of it.

Happiness can't be found in a single person or a thing or accomplishment. Like life, it's a series of moments where the beauty and chaos of the whole
far outshines each independently.

My very first entry of 2010 had a quote from Hemingway:
"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places."
...he was right, you know. :)

I started the year giving the 2009 the stinkeye and am now ending the year with nothing but smiles. :)

2011 starts in just a few hours, and I suppose a new Day 1 starts all over again since I can't imagine not doing a photoblog...

But for the next few hours...

Here is to 2010, the life I lived, the people I spent it with, and all the asskicking I did!

-- iPhoneから送信

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 364: a day with Soeren!

Funny how several years later and continents apart, I still get to catch up with Soeren in some very random places...Japan, NYC, and now Australia...!

Old friends from across the globe meeting up like no time has passed...there's nothing quite like it...what a nice way to spend the end of the year! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 363: naptime!

He's soooo angelically cute when he's asleep. Lol

So glad I get to end the year with such awesome kids. :)

Day 362: Australian skies

Spent the afternoon in the park... Now THIS is summer!!!

-- iPhoneから送信

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 361: last day with the Munas..:(

Awww I already miss his "pyew pyew pyew!" gun noises as he runs around shooting everyone! :(

-- iPhoneから送信

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 359: now that's a Merry Christmas

I'm so happy I got to spend Christmas with my family this year... It's always an awesome time when my brother and sister are involved and it is that much sweeter that we all get to spend time together with my grandma and all the rest of our extended family here in Australia...

I hate that we all live so far apart... But love that we are never too far that we've drifted apart from one another... I love that no matter how long or how far the distance, my mom and dad and brother and sister and their families will always find joy in spending time together and always love and support each other to the fullest extent.

This Christmas was truly a special one.

Day 358: how does Santa not have diabetes??

...with cookies like this, alllllll over the world, really, how does fat Santa not have more health issues? Lol

Merry Christmas Eve! ;)

-- iPhoneから送信

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 357: Santa, meet Santa...

Still don't know why he's soooo into Santa but at least he's wearing it more than once so it's way worth the money! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 356: cherry pickin'!

Someone dropped some serious cherry bombs later in the day... Lol

-- iPhoneから送信

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 355: my godson is sooo self sufficient

He can feed himself!

Absolutely loving the time I get to spend trying to get him to remember me again... He's toooooo cute and toooooo smart!

-- iPhoneから送信

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 354: Santa came a little early...

...and brought my family with him!!! :)

***Tristan loves his Santa suit... It's all he's been asking for all week...In fact, he didn't want to take it off at the end of the night even though it was already all stinkied up. Hahah Looks like he's going to make it worth not only the money but the time I spent looking for that thing and braving the cold just to get it... There is nothing better than getting someone exactly what they want and knowing they're going to appreciate it for a very long time. :) well... Maybe there is one thing better than that: having my whole family in one place for Christmas....

...the only thing that would have made this Christmas any better were if Jeff were here...sigh...

But I'll take what I can get, because life is pretty damn good. ;)

-- iPhoneから送信

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 353: doggy!!!

Went to the mall today and couldn't resist stopping by the pet shop...Doggy!!! Soooo cute!!!

-- iPhoneから送信

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 352: 25 years later...

Flew in just in time to celebrate my aunt and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary. It used to baffle and amaze me how two people could stay married for so long...even though most of the main examples in my life have done so, this is a day and age where people divorce as quickly as they marry... But now I know (well, maybe I've always known that) when it's right, no matter how hard times may be, you can still find yourself 25 years later, hand in hand and dancing like it was your first dance as husband and wife...

-- iPhoneから送信

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 351: the lost day

30 hours traveling and I'm still not done!!! What an exhausting and disgruntling trip so far!!

This is what I looked like for most of the flight:

That total pillow B made me buy was a lifesaver. Too bad I forgot it in my haste to exit the plane. Total Pillow, I hardly knew ye. :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 350: Airport lines are crazy!!!

...and I didn't even get to take a picture of the full extent of it!!! This was AFTER I had innocently asked the airport guy if I would make my 5:55 boarding at the end of the line and he skipped me to the very front!!! Crazy!!! People in NY have been soooo nice to me lately... The nice lady at Ricky's who gave me 15% off because I looked panicky at my total and the nice check-in lady who let me repack my shit and the super nice cab driver who apologized for not knowing where Brooklyn was so I was not obligated to pay if I didn't want... Is it just that time of year...? Well, whatever it is, I liiiiiike it. :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 349: he's watching you!

He was creepier without the glasses. Lol told you everyone looks better with those things!!!

-- iPhoneから送信

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 348: I broke my hat :(

It was too tight but then the garter broke and now it's too big! Lol

-- iPhoneから送信

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 347: Bath and Body Works overload

...kind of went a little nuts shopping for Australia presents....I cannot fathom using this much scented lotion. Lol

-- iPhoneから送信

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 346: Lazy Day In...

I haven't had a lazy day inside in what feels like forever... I kind of remember why, since I feel so gross now. lol ...but for what it's worth, it was very very relaxing and I don't think I look TOO bad for someone who didn't shower until 11 at night! lol

I'm soooo going to get hit with reality tomorrow morning when I have to go back to work and getting ready for this trip. Sooooo much to do!!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 345: Office Holiday Party

I love our holiday party for work because that's when you see everyone get dressed up, let loose and have a great time!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 344: I have a warehouse...

...under my desk. Lol

I have been LOVING December for the sheer fact that I've been getting a LOT of stuff in the mail. Granted, some of it is for me to take with me to Australia or to send to Jeff, but mail is mail! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 343: thoughtful boyfriend...

Got yet another surprise in the mail... Kind of an early Christmas present...

He told me it was so I didn't have any excuse for losing my checkbook (which I always happen to do, lol)... How did I end up with someone so thoughtful?

-- iPhoneから送信

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 342: fleece lined ballet flats--FAIL

Apparently, even my new fleeced lined were not enough to keep me warm for the day.. It was toooooo cold!!!! What business does December have in being 20 degrees!!!

-- iPhoneから送信

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 341: apples keep me going...

I've figured out that I don't hate the gym. I hate GOING to the gym. So difficult to make my way there in the cold after a long day at work! But once I'm there, the hour seems to fly by...sort of. (It goes real slow when we're working on our thighs. blech. lol)

One of the things that keeps me going in that hour of pain and muscle fatigue is this bowl of apples. There is a bowl of apples that Physique 57 keeps in the lobby area and I always have one after working out. It tastes soooo good and is soooo filling after pushing my body to its limits for an hour. I think it might be one of the best reasons I even go (aside from my fear of getting fat). "I have to go to the gym because then I can have an apple! Yay!" lol Never mind that I can always go to the store and buy them. LOL I just would rather get them for free after working out. :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 340: birthday cake overload!

I celebrated my birthday so many times in the span of about four days, which meant I had cake about four or five times! This was the last of it... Chocolate mousse from Vincenzo... we were supposed to have it on my actual birthday, but didn't because 1) we ran out of time at the Applebee's because they took FOREVER to even get our orders out and 2) we were soooo full for hours afterwards. So we saved it for Monday afternoon! Good call, it was soooo good!!!

Certainly makes up for last year's cakeless birthday. lol Well, almost cakeless! :) I did get a nice surprise dinner last year, which was very sweet! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Day 339: a Poojama party!

Pooja stayed the night thus making it a Poojama party!! Yayyyy lol
I woke up early to a slew of phone calls...first my brother, then my sister, and then Jeff... All welcome interruptions of my sleep, though I probably would have been a lot better if I hadn't been hungover! Pooja got to "meet" Jeff over skype, and when we all finished chatting, me and Pooj spent the day making ravioli and hanging out and then eating the ravioli and then watching Harry Potter 6 which then prompted us to leave the house at 9 pm to watch Harry Potter 7 (which was soooooooo goooooooooood!!!!!)... Love that she's always down for whatever! :)
Our homemade ravioli turned out sooo delicious. We had so many different fillings (ricotta, mushrooms, onions, crab, roasted red pepper) and two different sauces (pesto alfredo and marinara) and our one meal of the day was a good one!!!!
Yayyy for Poojama parties!!! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 338: and the birthday celebrations continue...

I am continually amazed at all the love I have in my life... sometimes, you forget just how many people there are in this world who care about you, and I was reminded (yet again) of how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life. The birthday celebrating continued on Saturday starting with lunch with Jen, Cheryl, and Sharon on the upper West Side. We had a nice little lunch, just us girls. It felt almost Sex and the City-ish (they've decided I'm the Carrie, lol, whatever that means), just sitting there, the four of us and talking like we didn't care who listened in...

After, Jen and I went to Soho for a bit before I tried to meet up with my friend Pooja (the Pooj)at our friend Ana's art gallery opening. After a whole bunch of random communication mishaps, we finally met up at the Apple store where I was charging my dead phone and I found out that she had tried really hard to have a small surprise birthday party for me (!! and here I thought we were just going to go make ravioli! lol). It didn't work out quite the way she had planned, but I had a great time anyway. We ended up having delicious drinks at Kittichai in Soho (first just the two of us and then with our friends Olga, Ana, and two of Olga's friends) and then eating Lobster Ravioli at a place nearby. It was sooo much fun. At some point in the night, the waitress at the bar brought out a plate of chocolate mousse as a birthday plate. It was so sweet. I wish I knew how to rotate pictures on this thing... sigh... lol

I haven't known Pooj all that long (just since our stint as Bollywood dancers at Brooklyn Bridge Park), but she's quickly become one of my favorite people to hang out with. My "same-sex soul mate." lol

This year's birthday certainly kicks last year's ass! :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 337: birthday party meat platters

...because you can't celebrate your birthday without eating tons of meat!

Am so lucky that I have a group of awesome people who love me and will be gluttonous meat eaters with me as I grow older. :)

-- iPhoneから送信

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 336: Happy biiiiirthday toooooo meeeeeee

Officially 27 now!

Holy cow. I don't really feel any different, but.. you know, I'm 27! That's getting way closer to 30!! Oh geez!

Like I mentioned back when I was 26 (sigh, I remember it just like it was, I learned even more in my 26th year than I did in my 25th (which was a HUGE learning year for me), and I thought I want to continue the tradition that I seem to have started for myself last year and write about a few of the things I've learned this year.

1) Happiness isn't a destination. It's a state of being. (which kind of makes the phrase "Road to Joy" sort of inaccurate, I suppose...though it kind of still IS a road to get to joy...the process is the road...I guess...)
2) Wallowing is okay for a while, because it's necessary to let yourself be sad and self pitying and not apologize for it or deny them, but it gets tired. lol
3) Pain eventually subsides. (I learn this one over and over)
4) There's not many things better than ignoring the criticism and listening to your own heart. I finally did and it's been working out for me so far! :)
5) There is a huge difference between guarding your heart and shutting people out, but it's a very fine line between the two. It's much easier to shut people out than it is to carefully let them in...
6) Whatever walls a person puts up CAN be broken down. The right person will know how to.
7) Taking my time to think things through has far greater merits than I ever thought possible.
8) Sometimes, the reality doesn't live up to the can fall short and burst the perfect bubble you found yourself in... but sometimes, it can surpass anything you ever expected or dreamed of.
9) If a person wants to be in your life, they will find a way to do so.
10) The ones who matter the most are the ones you will never have to explain yourself to.
11) Even in the saddest of situations, there is always something to laugh about.
12) Bollywood dancing is probably the most carefree, enjoyable and infectiously joyous thing I learned to do this year. And it's not so hard!
13) Sephora has an excellent return policy.
14) You can learn something from pretty much anyone. (Including my 2 year old nephew, who has dispensed awesome advice for coping with Jeff's deployment: "don't be sad." LOL)
15)Things really do happen for a reason. Pain and hardships happen to make us stronger and to make the way for better things to come.
16) Life never turns out the way you plan. It turns out way better. :)

I want to think of more, but my old ass is exhausted and can't think any deeper!

I had a great year. Here is to another one! ...another year of learning, laughing, crying, loving, dancing, singing, living, and growing... Let it just keep getting better and better, and let me take the time to drink it all in!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 335: goodbye mid twenties! :(

Today is my last day of being 26 (which apparently is the cut off for being in your mid twenties even though I always thought you only had 25 as mid twenties...turns out 24-26 years qualifies!)... Well... TECHNICALLY, by Guam time, which is where I was born, I'm already 27, but let's just say that I'm 26 so I can enjoy these last thirty minutes contemplating the end of my mid twenties before I have to say hello to my late twenties. My late twenties!!! GEEZ!!!! Where in the world did time go?? I can just see my 20 year old self in my mind's eye, crying over the fact that I was no longer a teen, and getting a manicure to cheer myself up. lol

And now, I'm going to be 27... and 30 is fast approaching! Wow!

I feel like my 26th year was one that was filled with sooo many more lessons than the ones I learned in my 25th year. Is that what life will be like from now on? I'll just keep learning more and more as the years go by?? Or is it that my circumstances led me to the kind of wisdom and lessons that I stumbled upon along the way? Hrm. Not sure...

Since there are actually two or three of you out there in the internet void reading this (that I actually know come no one ever says hi?? lol), I thought I would post up something I wrote last year....I find it interesting how quickly this year has passed and that I can look back on last year's birthday blog post written in some other part of the internet no one on here probably knows about....

Here it is:


I've gone and hit the beginning of my late 20s.

Current mood:contemplative

I'm another year older... It makes me a little sad to realize that by society's definitions, I am definitely a "woman" now. I mean, I've been a woman for a long time, I guess, but I've always felt like still just a girl ("...not yet a woooomannnnn..." that song always comes to mind when I say that phrase) and so have been denying my title of "woman." But now that I'm 26... well, it's harder to deny womanhood no matter how young I feel (or look! My manicurist on Tuesday thought I was like, 18!!! Wooooooooot). Welcome to old age, Joyce. hahaha

...Because of busy work and school schedules for people, instead of being out drinking or partying or whatever to celebrate my birthday like a "normal" person, I spent my birthday with just myself doing random things like buying a new pair of shoes and getting a massage... My low key birthday was actually quite nice... For once, I had some quiet time... Nice, quiet time to just enjoy life as it comes...

As testament to the true nerd/lame-o that I am, I found myself wanting to write on this thing because there is so much on my mind and I have nowhere to put it and no one in particular I want to tell...

It's crazy how much has happened in the past year... I feel like I want to list all the things I learned in the past year... I guess for the sake of posterity... and maybe to remind myself next year of the person I am today, since I definitely am not the same as I was a year ago... so here goes...

This past year I learned the following (in no particular order):

1) Never to settle for anything less than what I really want (because the alternative will never satisfy, and only screw me even more). I find this is true for just about everything, even with something as minute as settling for a salad when I really just wanted french fries.
2) To put myself out there more in terms of trying new things. This year, I climbed 66 flights of stairs (in one go!), tried paintball for the first time, went to pin up school, tried internet dating, and struck up conversations with more than a few strangers. It was scary to think of doing things by myself where I don't know anyone but ended up being more fun than I expected and less awkward than I'd anticipated.
3) At some point, I have to stop caring about what people think and allow myself to follow my heart.
4) True joy can eventually lead to true pain...and while it can be hard to think so sometimes, the joy is worth the pain...though it is not without consequences.
5) My capacity to love, to care, to forgive, to understand, and to feel is far greater than I ever thought.
6) The true measure of my own self awareness and strength is more than I realized.
7) I am actually capable of being the person I always wanted to be: loving, compassionate, and understanding. How I have always seen myself is not how others see me, and I need to believe in myself and give myself more credit than I do.
8) My sister is way more awesome than I even gave her credit for... and I already thought she was super awesome to begin with.
9) Life doesn't stop even when you want it to.
10) I really don't bullshit as much as I thought I did. When serious, I mean every single word I say.
11) Once again, life is too short...Especially to spend on anger and spite.
12) Being fearless in love (and life in general) can be amazing, but being careful and taking things more slowly does have its advantages... The heart is resilient, but it has its limits.
13) Country music is not half as bad as most haters make it out to be... it can be great companions if you let it.
14) Six Alrumpapumpums in two hours is not the best idea.
15) Hair DOES grow back.
16) No matter what happens in life, one is never completely at fault and one is never completely blameless. We all play our part. It's easy to forget that when we are hurt or angry. Trying to see the perspective of others in situations can be difficult, but it's only fair to try.
17) Kids can be the greatest source of comfort without them ever realizing it.
18) Each person you meet in life, whether they stay in your life or not, will change you; sometimes in ways you never thought possible.
19) I cannot dance even with a the use of a manual. Fun to try though. Especially the ass shake.
20) I am truly blessed and I need to remember that always.

I'm sure there are more lessons I've learned... but these are just the ones that come to mind. I wish I could say I had all the answers... but I think I have more questions than answers. I sometimes feel as lost (or even more so) as I did a year or two or even ten years ago... but I know I've grown and I've changed... for the better, I think... I learned a lot, and I feel...almost accomplished.'s to another year of learning, laughing, crying, loving, dancing, singing, living, and growing.


After reading it...well...I'm really proud of the year I had!!! I put those lessons to such good use! And I am all the better for it! It's been a long (yet short, time is weird that way) and crazy year, and though it had it's rough patches, I got through 26 just fine... Actually...better than fine! I got through it pretty awesomely and I honestly don't feel like I would ever have wanted to change a thing!

Here's to twenty six! It was amazing, filled with adventure, sadness, joy, laughter, stress, anger, love...all the chaos that makes up a life!

I had a pineapple coated in green chocolate and toasted coconut to celebrate. lol My tummy was not happy afterwards. LOL

Let's go, 27!!! 14 minutes to go and I start the next blog post... yup! Overachieving today! (Mostly because I probably won't do it at the end of my birthday) Until then, I guess I should fix my face for self portrait. Hopefully 27 looks better than 26. lol

-- iPhoneから送信