Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Rubber Tree Ant

50th blog post
Today marks my 50th blog post. Starting a blog is like a catharsis for me - it's an outlet for my likes, thoughts and wants. But starting a blog is challenging and sometimes frustrating. It's definitely amazing when a blogger writes a post everyday, because for myself it's a difficult feat.

My goal is to continue to write about what I love and what keeps my brain a jumping. The bigger goal is to write a blog that is an interesting read for those who visit it and hopefully keeps you coming back for more.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Top Five Oscar Acceptance Speeches

I am a HUGE Oscar fan, no not Oscar the Grouch (although he is appealing in his grumpy ways), but the Academy Award "Oscar." It's the granddaddy of award shows because all the biggest stars come out for it and all the best fashion (and some bad fashion) is on display. 

One of the best parts of watching the Oscars is seeing what people will say when they win an award and unfortunately a good 95% of them are your typical speeches - you know the ones thanking their agent, their co-stars, even God (who is probably, next to Oprah, the most mentioned person [or divine being?] in people's speeches). 

But once in a blue moon, there will be memorable ones to me (and I say me, because I'm only going to talk about speeches that I have seen in my lifetime and remain in my waning memory).  So I present to you my Top Five Oscar Acceptance Speeches:

Winner:  Anna Paquin
Award:   Best Supporting Actress 
Movie:    The Piano (1993)

Anna Paquin

Most of us now know the adult Anna Paquin as Sookie on True Blood, but I'm old enough to remember her as that cute kid in The Piano. She was truly a great child actor that deserved her award. Her speech was not cloying, it was what a child would sound like if they won an award - gasping and giggling before she was able to get her words out. Plus she had the awesome bejeweled purple beret that I still remember to this day. 

Watch here.

Winner:  Jack Palance
Award:    Best Supporting Actor
Movie:     City Slickers (1991)

Jack Palance

One of the best parts of the movie City Slickers was Jack Palance. His "I crap bigger than you" line is still one of the best lines in movie history and only Jack Palance could say it and you believe him. So when Mr. Palance won his first Oscar for that role, it was wholly deserved. But his speech is like what your crazy old grandpa would say and do to show he still has it (although l was afraid he would croak on stage doing it!). Most Oscar winners will just stand at the mike and say their speech, Jack Palance walks the walk or more like one-armed push-ups.

Watch here

Winner:  Joe Pesci
Award:    Best Supporting Actor
Movie:     Goodfellas (1990)

Joe Pesci

We all know Joe Pesci as a rat-a-tat actor - always talking (check out his Lethal Weapon movies), but his Oscar speech was all of six words...yes six. So those of us who cannot stand long winded speeches (I'm looking at you Anne Hathaway. Watch this Joe Pesci speech when you win this Sunday night and get some pointers), Mr. Pesci's short speech should be up your alley.

Watch here.

Winner:  Adrien Brody
Award:   Best Actor
Movie:    The Pianist (2002)

Adrien Brody

Adrien Brody became the youngest Best Actor winner at 29 when he won the Oscar. Like any young man - who can be rather impulsive - when you are on stage with one of the most beautiful actresses in history what do you do? Well, you give her a big, fat, kiss in front of millions of people watching. Was it kind of creepy? There are those who would say so, but to me it was an impromptu moment for a person who may never have that opportunity again (if Brad Pitt was on stage I would do the same, although Angelina Jolie kind of scares me, so maybe not). 

Watch here

Winner:  Cuba Gooding Jr.
Award:    Best Supporting Actor
Movie:     Jerry Maguire (1996)

Cuba Gooding Jr

One of my favorite movies is Jerry Maguire (it's one of the few Tom Cruise movies that I didn't mind that Tom Cruise acted like Tom Cruise) because of one Cuba Gooding Jr. He was Mr. Serious in Boyz In the Hood, so when he played Rod Tidwell in Jerry Maguire with so much humor, wit, cockiness and heart it was a welcome surprise. It's almost a tragedy that he followed that movie with Snow Dogs and Boat Trip, but for one brief shining moment he made us all cheer for him when he won that Oscar. It's one of the few speeches that I enjoyed from the beginning to the end. You usually welcome the Orchestra cutting off someone's long winded speeches, but Cuba's interruption of the Orchestra was done with such enthusiasm that it got most people in the audience to give him a standing ovation.  Well done, Mr. Gooding Jr. Well done.

Watch here.

I'm hoping that this year's Oscars will give me some memorable Oscar speeches to add to my collective memory and if not, I hope one day they give an Oscar to Robert Downey Jr., because I bet good money that his speech will be the tops.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What a cubicle dweller dreams of...

In three to five years, I may have to find a new cubicle to dream out of. The company I have worked the past nineteen years for is "closing up shop" here in California and moving their offices out of state. It's something my co-workers and I knew was coming, but to hear the official word is a little unsettling, a little scary, and a whole lot unknown. My husband and I decided not to follow my company out of state and in all likelihood I will have to look for a new job.  

The question is will I try to find a job in the same industry or will I try something new? I am a creature of habit and it's definitely not in my nature to find something new, but you never know.

My dream is to work out of my house. It's a lot more private and I can be near my kids every day. And of course, I can dream of home office spaces like the following:

Home office space

Retro modern is one of my favorite styles.  The clean and simple lines are up my alley. Question is can I keep my desk this clean? Better question, can I keep a plant alive?

Home office space

So many things I adore: Seesaw work table, substitute a California print instead of New York, the eclectic mix of decor on and hanging above the desk (those wooden ball thingees - have no idea what they are, but me like).

Home work spaces

It's the gallery black wall that gets me. The possibilities are endless. 

home work spaces

The co-ed work space. Just enough distance so you can have a bit of personal space and at the same time still be able to blow kisses to each other (although my husband would never blow kisses, but I would because I'm that kind of sappy).

Of course, having inspiring words in my office space will help me get through the difficult and challenging times I have ahead of me:

Home office space

Home work space

"I'm not giving up, I'm just getting started."

(photos via here, here, herehere and here)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love week: I Love IKEA

When people talk about IKEA on their blogs it's usually focused on the aspect of design, but my story goes a little deeper, more personal.

This love story begins with a chair...

Poang chair
The Poang chair was my very first purchase from the IKEA store in Carson, California. I remember reading about this fabulous store with stylish, modern and most of all affordable furniture. My siblings and I drove all the way up to Carson from San Diego to shop there.  And every once in awhile we would make it a regular road trip. 

I used to wish that one day an IKEA would open up in San Diego. In 2000, my wish came true. My sister even left her city planner job to work as an interior decorator in IKEA (maybe one day she will talk about how IKEA changed her life on her blog). One of her new co-workers was a guy named Allan...

I love IKEA

Do I believe in fate due to a Poang chair? I don't know, but my sister sets me up on a blind date with Allan and the rest as they say is history. So maybe fate just needs a swift kick in the pants to get started. Twelve years after IKEA opened here in San Diego, I'm now married to the love of my life, we have two beautiful children and a home that has it's fair share of IKEA furniture in it...and hopefully, we live happily ever after together like a big plate of swedish meatballs, mash potatoes and lingonberries.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love week: A simple note will do

I'm a simple gal. I love the simple things in life. Although it is nice when my husband gives me a dozen red roses or prepares an elaborate dinner for me, but what really makes my heart aflutter is when he gives me a simple note or card with a handwritten message. It makes my heart melt in a thousand different ways.

When that note comes at an unexpected time it makes it that much more special. I remember getting into my car during a normal, stressful work day and finding a simple post-it note on the wheel saying "I Love You, Pumpkin." Needless to say my day went a little bit better and that post-it note is now hanging in my cubicle.

A simple note

A card with someone else's saying works if it expresses your thoughts, but when you take the time to also write your own message it gives that card a little more heft and heart. Try it and watch your loved one's face light up more. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love week: Unlikely date place

One of my favorite places I visited in Paris, France was the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. The cemetery is located on Boulevard de Menilmontant and is visited by thousands every year. It is a beautiful cemetery that inspires awe in it's history and the many famous people who lie in rest there: Maria Callas, Frederic Chopin, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Marceau, Moliere, Modigliani, Edith Piaf to name a few. Outside the cemetery they even give you a map that you can use to locate the tombstones of the famous.

Pere Lachaise
(photo by Alexandre Buisse)
The oddest thing is that the cemetery is becoming the place to go on a romantic date (Hottie and overall cool guy, Ryan Gosling, took his gal, Eva Mendes, on a stroll through the Pere Lachaise). The place is intriguing with it's sweeping trees, beautiful and elaborate tombstones and overall serene feeling. 

Pere Lachaise Oscar Wilde
(photo by Rose Wood)
Most romantic tombstone? Oscar Wilde. You can't miss his lipstick covered tombstone that his admirers over the years have kissed (although I read that his tombstone is now encased in glass because the lipsticks are starting to damage it). 

Victor Noir
(photo by Charmaine Yambao)
Most odd legend? Victor Noir. He was a journalist who was apparently unjustly killed by Prince Bonaparte. His tombstone depicts Noir lying down with his hat by his side, possibly a recreation of his death. The statue has a "protuberance" on the front of his trousers that legend has it if you rub this part of his statue, kiss him on the lips and place a note in his hat, you would either be granted fertility or find a husband within a year. Needless to say, the "protuberance" part is quite worn down. Is it true? well, my sister rubbed this part and later that year, she and her husband found out they were pregnant - honest Abe! (as for me, I didn't rub it and it took me another 7 years to get married and have my first child).

Abelard Heloise
(photo by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin)
Most romantic story to tell your date? Abelard and Heloise. Abelard was a philosopher and Heloise his student. They fell in love, had a secret love child and then secretly married. Heloise's vengeful uncle ended up having Abelard castrated and Abelard urged Heloise to seek refuge in the nunnery. They continued to send letters to each other until their deaths. They are both buried together in the Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Now granted, it will cost you money to fly your date out to Paris, France (unless you live there) to walk through a cemetery, but come on, imagine how impressed they will be!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love week: Favorite Romantic Movie

I'm dedicating this week's blog posts to love. For those out there bitter about Valentine's Day being a Hallmark driven thang, I say poo on you! There is nothing wrong with a day dedicated to love and you don't have to be coupled to express your love to those you care about. 

Monday's post is about my favorite romantic movie:

Love Actually

There are those who may find this movie sickly sweet or blame it for derivative movies like Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve, but I honestly love it. Screenwriter/Director Richard Curtis has a way with british romantic comedies like Notting Hill, Bridget Jones Diary and Four Weddings and Funeral that keeps it this short of sugar by infusing it with just the right amount of wit.  

This movie weaves together multiple story arcs of people moving in and out of love around Christmas time. You don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy this movie. You have your stories involving bromance, unrequited love, young love, troubled love, sibling love, prime minister-household staff love and Colin Firth. 

For us geeks, it's fun watching this movie now and seeing a young Andrew Lincoln using his real english accent before he became southern zombie ass-kicker sheriff Rick in Walking Dead. Martin Freeman, pre-Bilbo Baggins, playing a body-double in sex scenes. Little cutie, Thomas Sangster, as the boy in love with his schoolmate before he became the voice of Ferb in Phineas and Ferb.  

Hugh Grant Love Actually

Of course, there is also my pretend, British boyfriend, Hugh Grant. There is no one, NO ONE, who does british romantic comedies better than him.  That great hair and that dashing wit can only be exhibited by Mr. Grant. I miss him on the silver screen...come back Hugh Grant!

But I digress...enjoy this movie with your loved ones and remember what it is all about: Love, actually. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Majestic Butter Creature

My five-year old son, Milo, is obsessed with the game Minecraft. Those not in the know, Minecraft is a popular pixelated game that many boys (and men) love playing. You can build worlds out of these pixelated blocks and you also protect yourself against Creepers and Zombies. 

For the past week Milo has been bugging us to post him on YouTube playing the game. His aspiration at five is not to be a superhero or a firefighter or a cowboy, but to have many people on YouTube watch him play his favorite game! Who are we to deprive him of his goal.

As for the title of my blog post? That's the name Milo refers to himself when he fights the evil creatures - "The Majestic Butter Creature" (because he loves butter so much). 

So if you can, like-share-view his video and maybe one day he can be the new YouTube sensation like the Biebs and PSY. 

(Minecraft image via moddb)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Chocolate Hills

I am Filipino-American. Both my parents were born and raised in Cavite City, Philippines. The first time I visited the PI, I was quite young and I have no recollection of it. The second time I visited the PI, I was 12 years old and about to enter Junior High. My memories of the Philippines were not, to be honest, pleasant. It was too hot, there were a lot of mosquitos and my mom had us cut off our long hairs for fear of getting lice and promptly got us perms (I will not show you photos of this perm, because it literally looked like a poodle attacked my head).    

When my husband wanted us to visit the Philippines for our honeymoon, I was hesitant. My husband, like my parents, was born and raised in the PI. He is the most out-spoken proponent of all things Filipino. He loves his native country and it showed. I agreed because I wanted him to show me the beauty of the Philippines that I did not see in the past. I do not want to get too political on this blog about the state of the Philippines, but I do want to show what I learned during my trip back in 2007 - that the Philippines is a beautiful country and there are places that are worth visiting and admiring. 

I will be talking about various places I visited on my trip throughout this blog. Today I wanted to focus on The Chocolate Hills.

The Chocolate Hills are a geological formation in the Bohol Province of the Philippines. There actually is not a clear consensus on how these hills (which there are at least 1260 of them) were formed, but most believe these are marine limestones which overtime have been eroded by rainwater. Majority of the year, these hills are green, but during the dry season they turn brown thus earning their nickname. The Chocolate Hills are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bohol and for that matter in the Philippines. Currently there is an application to protect them as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

There are several Filipino legends on how these hills were formed, some involving carabao and fecal matter! but I prefer the tragic story of unrequited love of a giant named Arogo who fell in love with a mortal girl, named Aloya. When he found out Aloya was to marry another mortal, he kidnapped Aloya. Aloya got sick in his care and she died. Arogo was so devastated that he cried giant tears that dried up and became the Chocolate Hills.

Our tour guide was a adorable Filipino guy named Joshua, who told us this story in his broken english. He said Aloya "got so sick, that it was so fatal, you see, that she died." Classic.

Just remember to bring some good walking shoes if you decide to check out The Chocolate Hills, because the best way to see them is to climb all 214 steps up the observation hill.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Landmarks can be places, buildings or structures that are easily recognizable to others and sometimes hold cultural significance. The world over knows the Statue of Liberty, The Eiffel Tower, even the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. I myself stand in awe of some of these landmarks when I see it person.

But the odd in me likes the landmarks that hold more of a significance to the locals. These landmarks are treasured for being unique to their city, a tad bit weird, and shall I say charming.  

smiling water tower
(via flickr by gfpeck)
The Smiling Face Water Tower in Grand Forks, North Dakota is adorable.  One side of the tower has both eyes open, but the other side is what gets me: the sly wink and the dapper blue bow tie. Almost makes me wish they would build another Smiling Face 'Girl' Water Tower next to him so he'll have someone to flirt with.   

Jimmy Carter peanut
(Franck photos/Alamy)
The smiling Jimmy Carter peanut in Plains, Georgia is a little creepy to me with his big Jimmy Carter toothy smile and absence of any eyes--but after awhile I'm sure he grows on you and he becomes a bit cute.  And if you know me, I like me my creepy and cute.

troll in Fremont
(photo by Jeremy L Wilbur)
Okay, the Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington, is not that cute, but he is odd in a charming way. He was built in 1990 under the George Washington Memorial Bridge. He is clutching a VW car (which we will assume he grabbed from the bridge) and has a hubcap for an eye. Apparently in Fremont, there have been "troll sightings" ever since the bridge went up in the 1930s. I guess now there is a permanent troll sighting. 

Which brings me to my own town.  I grew up in San Diego near a community called Lemon Grove that had this big yellow lemon near the trolley tracks. 

Lemon Grove lemon
(via San Diego blog)
The giant lemon would definitely be considered a distinctive landmark in San Diego, but my heart actually belongs to another landmark in Lemon Grove that has stood the test of time and still captures my attention when I pass by it: The Lemon Grove Lips.

Lemon Grove Lips
(via Flickr)
The lips are actually natural formation of rocks on a hillside off route 94.  Legend has it that in 1977 a teenager named Steven Garcia saw lips in this rocky formation and painted it bright red. Over the years, the locals have maintained it's plump lips and on occasions the lips would be painted for special occasions (I still remember when they painted Charger bolts on it when our football team made it to their only Super Bowl in 1994). 

Any local landmarks you know of that are a bit odd, but beloved?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Top Five TV Shows I can watch as re-runs

To be honest, there are TV shows I watched in the past that I loved back then, but now if I see them as re-runs I don't love them as much. For some reason, I cannot watch an old episode of The Cosby Show anymore or even Growing Pains. I'm embarrassed to even admit I watched Joanie Loves Chachi, The Love Boat, and Alf.

Guilty pleasures like Beverly Hills 90210 or Melrose Place, are shows I probably cannot even watch one episode now that I can still enjoy (well, maybe the whole Kimberly Shaw comes back from the dead thing on Melrose Place is still enjoyable).

But the following TV shows were my favorites when they were on the air and I can probably still watch them now and not get bored. These are not, I repeat, are not guilty pleasures.  They will gladly be in my time capsule.

Felicity (1998-2002)


I'm a sucker for love triangles and Felicity had it in spades. You were either a Ben fan or a Noel fan. You either liked guys who were troubled and a little bad or you liked guys who were safe, sweet and reliable. Where did I lean? Let's just say I was happy who Felicity ended up with because he was the one she traveled across the country for in the first place.  Besides the love triangle, Felicity had some of the best side characters in TV-land: Javier, Sean, Meghan and even annoying, little Richard. Just watch the first two seasons of Felicity and you'll see what this show is all about. 

Dawson's Creek (1998-2003)

Dawson's Creek

Told you I'm a sucker for love triangles. The mother of them all was the whole Dawson-Joey-Pacey saga. I still can't imagine why someone would root for Dawson. He was always a tad bit too whiny and over-analytical for my tastes, so it made sense she chose the more interesting side-kick who ended up not being such a side-kick after all. Dawson's Creek also had Michelle Williams, who brought the gravitas to this show and deserved the Oscar nominations she got later in her career. Dawson's Creek was also ground-breaking in it's day with the first male gay kiss aired on national television - way to go Jack!

My So Called Life (1994-1995)

My So Called Life

This gem of a show lasted all of one season, but it's still cool in my book and doesn't show it's age. Angela Chase and her friends were real and there was nothing precocious about them. The awkwardness and angst of Angela was what made her such a good character. She acted how a teenager should act. Angela's troubled gay friend, Rickie, was heart breaking, but was eye-opening to what a 15-year old gay teen goes through when dealing with his sexuality. And let's not forget Jordan Catalano - Jared Leto at his most beautiful. The fact this show ended too early is still frustrating, but then again maybe that's why this show is a cult classic now - the mystery of what could of been is still there. 

Angel (1999-2004)


I like the fact that the show Angel took three characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer that were a bit one-dimensional and rounded them out and showed other sides to them other then the nerdy Wesley, the stuck-up Cordelia, and the brooding Angel. The nerdy Wesley became the tough-ass Wesley with his own tragic love-story with Fred; the stuck-up Cordelia became more caring and wise and would make you believe that Angel could fall for her; and the image of the brooding Angel was shattered during season 1, episode 13 when...gasp...Angel dances. The last season ended on a high note for me by bringing on Spike as a regular cast member and having Angel still fighting the evil forces yet leaving his fate unanswered. 

Lost (2004-2010)


Is it too premature to include this show on my list? After all it's only been two years since it went off the air. But I know when re-runs are shown, I'm going to watch it and still try to get clues on what it all means. The ending was a tad bit disappointing for me, but the ride to get there was exhilarating, fascinating and enjoyable. Every character had their purpose (except Nikki and Paolo that is) and you actually came to care about their fate (the episode where Charlie dies still makes me teary-eyed). As for the love triangle that shows tend to have and I tend to enjoy, this particular triangle became a quadrangle where both the bad girl and the bad boy ended up with the good doctors and Sawyer remains hot (I had to throw that in there).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...