Wednesday, December 31, 2003

RING IN THE NEW YEAR! These past few days have been packed with activities for the most part. For Christmas Eve, we went to both families to celebrate. So there was eating and drinking and present-opening at the hubs' home, and then we went to Queens for more gift-opening and gambling. Yes, you read that right --gambling. It's funny because if you read my blog from Dec. 24th, I was reminiscing about Christmas in the Philippines. Well, it was a lot like that in Queens this year. Noise, relatives, my mom and cousin acted as MC to distribute the gifts, and there was gambling! We played Red Dog (basically, you are handed 2 cards and you hope that the 3rd card you get falls within the range of the 2 previous cards. It's a game of high vs. low in a nutshell. Much fun!).

Dec. 27th: went to my aunt's house in Edison, NJ to have another party. Lots of food again. I just have to add, that my aunt's house is beautiful and HUGE. I mean, our house now can fit in their basement with room to spare. And let's just say that my aunt's closet alone is bigger than our bedroom.

Dec. 28th: went to the hubs' cousin's son's baptismal. His name is Jack and he's so cute! I should just call him our nephew because he is. The hubs and Jack's mom grew up together as cousins, so Jack is a nephew slash second/third cousin? Anyway, he was a sweet little guy and didn't cry the whole day. He spit up a lot though.

Dec. 30th: went out with the five locas (sans 2 of them). We checked out a new restaurant and it was muy delicioso! Click here to read about our "good time."

Dec. 31st: okay, tonight is New Year's Eve. We are going out to dinner to celebrate a friend's b-day. And this morning, I just received an invite for a house party in Brooklyn that I'm thinking of going to. So who knows what's up for tonight!

Some musings....Overall, the year has been great and full of good times. I have so many things to be thankful for that I don't know where to begin. I guess for starters, I'm always very grateful that we are always provided for in terms of food and shelter, comfort and love. And that I know that no matter if we have jobs or not or only a penny to our name, our families and friends will be there for us to support and help us back on our feet. But here's some of my own personal "highlights"...

1. We closed on a house in July.
2. I was offered (and accepted) a really great job that I honestly can say that I love. I feel extremely lucky to get this since it's so hard to get it in the first place (I know, I've tried in other places as well!)
3. Everyone in our families is safe, healthy, and strong.
4. I got a new car for Christmas! Well technically, it's a lease and it's under my dad's company name. But still...I feel it's mine!
5. The hubs and I celebrated out 2-year anniversary. We're now on 2.5 years exactly. And yes, we are thinking of kids very soon. As in by 2005.
6. I've learned a lot of things, realized mistakes, and grew up a little at a time. This means I've learned to let go, not care too much, start to care, admit defeat, enjoy wins, be more objective, love, love more, enjoy, stop whining, just do it, learned to stay focused, embrace things as they are, and be better all around.

POSTED BY KAT AT 12/31/2003 09:58:00 AM | 0 COMMENTS

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Random Scribbles...

Romans 10:13: I was driving to work this morning and saw a minivan with a message scrawled on its window. I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was a scripture saying that he who calls on the name of the lord will be saved. My first thought was "wow, crazy religious type". Then I thought about it some more and realized "why not celebrate your faith? you have every right to!" Here in the U.S., I think society tends to be too P.C. Especially when it comes to religion. However, people seems to think it's okay to air their dirty laundry (think daytime talk shows, etc.) and celebrate their identities ("I'm gay/bi/black/white/asian/etc and I'm proud of it!"). But when it comes to religion, people tend to keep quiet. Which is not to say it's either good or bad. But to me, it should be okay to celebrate your faith.

More later....

It's later and I'm home now.
Got out of work early at 1:30 pm. Nothing much going on. Just getting ready for dinner tonight. We're spending Christmas eve in NJ, and then Christmas day in Queens. Although if we can swing it, I'd like to surprise my folks at home in Queens and maybe go there tonight. I miss Christmas in the Philippines. When I still lived there, Christmas was so much fun. We would go to my lola's house in Marikina and have a blast. Me and my 25+ other cousins would play, my titos/titas would gossip and gamble, we would light fireworks (kinda like a mini-New Years), eat food (though back when I was little, I wasn't into eating and had to be forced to eat), go to midnight mass, and then there was distribution of presents. Someone would serve as the MC and read off each present. After everyone received all of his/her presents, there would be a MASSIVE gift-opening fest. So much fun. I still remember those times. Which is why Christmas here in the U.S. seems very tame compared to what I remember. A few guests, a few relatives, and entirely waay too quiet. Not to mention too cold sometimes (weather-wise).

This Christmas, I have 2 aunts and 2 cousins from the Philippines celebrating with us, which is great. Then on the 27th, we'll have a pseudo-post-Christmas/early New Year's celebration at my other aunt's house in NJ. Still, I look back fondly at the Christmases of long ago. I'm thankgul that even though my family is geographically far away from each other, we still celebrate Christmas with each other in spirit.


POSTED BY KAT AT 12/24/2003 11:00:00 AM | 0 COMMENTS

Monday, December 22, 2003

No work today! I got to work at around 8:40 am this morning, only to see a sign on the doors saying "Delayed 10 am Opening." Actually, I didn't see the sign and was trying to open the door anyway, until this officer yelled at me. So I stood around for a bit contemplating on what to do. I drank my coffee, sat on a ledge, and ate a bit of my bagel. Then 10 minutes after that, I already got restless and walked to the post office to warm up. I walked back out and finally saw some fellow co-workers. We then found our HR lady who then informed us that our office was closed and that we should go home. Wow! So it's like I played hooky today but not really. Heck, had I known, I could've slept in more. So today, I just chilled at home. So far, I have finished some chores (putting polyurethane on some moulding & putting clothes away), and then proceeded to watch almost 4 hours of Alias. Then in a bit, I'm going to have some dinner with a few friends I haven't seen in a while.

Alvin Ailey. Yesterday, I went to see an Alvin Ailey performance for the first time. I went to the 3 o'clock matinee show and it was really beautiful. Made me want to be a dancer for sure. Then my friend Julie pointed out that we couldn't do a lot of things anymore because we are too old. Which is also true. True in the sense that it's late to start to train and find work as a professional dancer. I could still dance of course, but not like those graceful, lithe dancers that we saw yesterday. There were 3 dance pieces and each one was very unique and truly inspired. Afterwards, my friend Chris and I walked around the upper west side just to window-shop.

Only 2 more days until Christmas Day! Wow, how time flies....
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/22/2003 04:15:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

Friday, December 19, 2003

LOTR: Return of the King was bloody brilliant!!!! I don't want to ruin my reverie by writing a review on it, so for now, I'm just going to say that it was a most brilliant film!!

A few hours later....

Okay, now that I'm more collected, thought I'd jot down some thoughts on the movie. (Note: This is not a thorough review).
1) I didn't immediately think it was spectacular. But I still loved it. Up to now, however, I still think that the Two Towers is better, but this could of course change after my second viewing.
2) I thought it was a bit too long in the wrong places. Don't get me wrong, I loved that it was a long movie and I didn't want it to end, but certain scenes should've been longer than others. Also, the whole ending thing was a bit weird because the screen kept blacking out and then show ending after ending. It was too stretched out.
3) Great battles!! Great drama!! One of the more poignant scenes was when Faramir bravely goes off to face certain death in order to please his father.
4) Some critiques:

a) the dialogue could've been better. I don't like that certain major characters were reduced to one-liner-type personalities (e.g., Legolas, Gimli) --but that this could not have been prevented because even in the book itself, they had little to say most of the time.
b) I would've loved to see more in-depth fighting between the orc-army and the army of the dead. Instead, you sort of see them swarm like killer bees on the enemy. Which is cool too, but it would've been cooler if we saw actual hand-to-hand combat and orcs dying.
c) Aragorn and Arwen --what's up with that. In the end, you just see them kiss and there was nothing else. No wedding, no big speeches, hardly any Elvish! I know they get married in the book and Aragorn lives a pretty long life, and I wish we saw more of what they were up to later (like we saw the Hobbits' life after the ring).
d) I would've liked to see Eowyn's reaction to Arwen and I would've like the movie to capture how Eowyn and Faramir get together.
e) I wanted to see more of everyone's lives after the ring ordeal and not just the Hobbits' life.

But overall, it was a brilliant! I can't wait to watch it all in a row as one whole movie. 2 thumbs up!
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/19/2003 10:22:00 AM | 0 COMMENTS

Thursday, December 18, 2003

I'm watching LOTR: Return of the King tonight!!! YEAH!!! I would've totally taken the day off yesterday and watched it, but I was in Trenton from Tuesday to Wednesday for work-related training. And then last night, I had dinner with some friends so I couldn't go either. Plus, I wanted to watch it with the hubs. But in any case, I'll be watching it tonight! Can't wait!

Tuesday night after training, I went to visit the hubs for the first time in Delaware. From Trenton, it was only about an hour drive. So I finally saw the little studio he lives in (it was very posh by the way), and the great city of Wilmington. It was kinda like an extension of New Jersey. Very non-city, kinda like a sprawling suburban community, very similar to places like Cali, too. But it was nice to see the hubs! I stayed over and went back to Trenton in the morning.

Things I Can't Do. One of the topics we covered in training yesterday was Ethics. Man, we can't do a lot of things. One major thing is that I can't give legal advice/help or do any outside law-related job --this of course I knew already since this was the case as well when I was clerking. But most people don't get that. They just assume that just because I'm a lawyer, I can give advice period. The funny part is that the night before the Ethics lecture, my friend Sol called to ask about landlord-tenant law. I was like, well I can't personally tell you anything, but call my other friend who works in real estate. That's the extent of what I can do. I can, however, handle legal stuff for my immediate family only (e.g., wills, taxes, contracts, etc.). But if it gets slightly complicated, I have to advise the office about it. I also can't disclose a lot of things. Which is why I'm going to be dismantling my work blog. Although I haven't mentioned things that are confidential, I don't want to get in trouble just in case. I guess I'll be posting job-stories here.

Who's on First. Over dinner on Tuesday night, the hubs told me that it was my "fault" that we bought the house and that if it were up to him, we wouldn't have bought it right away. He said he would've like to wait more. He said we do a lot of things because of my initiations. All I can say is, "whatever!" If it were up to me (like he said it was), we would a: not be living in a house yet, and b: be living in an apartment in NYC. Period. With that said, I also want to point out that a: I like that we have a house despite the fact that it is a lot of responsibility and that I feel overwhelmed, and b: I like where we are living. My neighborhood is cute, and it's near the city that I can be in downtown NYC in less than half an hour. [And yes, I am so over the NJ/NY thing. It just irks me when people bring it up (e.g, Oh, they're from NJ, as if it's an adjective.) and have pre-conceived notions about NJ when in fact they haven't bothered to explore it. I guess most people think of NJ as the "Turnpike State" with all the highways, etc. But on the contrary, NJ has a lot of beautiful, lush neighborhoods, diversity, and everything else every other state has.] Anyway, my point is that I just want to clarify that it was NOT my initiation that we buy a house right away. We talked about it, we got a realtor (a friend of the family), we just started to look, and then it happened. Perhaps in restrospect we both thought that's what the other wanted at that time, and we just went along with the flow, but things happen for a reason, as I always like to say. I mean in the long run, I'm sure we won't care whose idea it was in the first place to buy a house. It was going to happen anyway in some way, shape or form. But I just don't like the fact that he put the burden of responsibility on me, so to speak, by telling me it was my idea. Oh well.

POSTED BY KAT AT 12/18/2003 10:23:00 AM | 0 COMMENTS

Monday, December 15, 2003

News from the West Coast. So my friend Karen’s mom didn’t come over yesterday as planned. She was supposed to stop by between 1-2 pm; there was a storm and all, but I didn’t hear from her until about 8:50 pm. So I called Karen after her mom called me to tell her that she couldn’t make it and that the package will be dropped off sometime this week. Karen & I got to talk over the phone for a while. Probably about 30 mins, which is good since I don’t usually hear from her on a regular basis. It’s pretty cool to just catch up with a good friend you haven’t seen or talked to in a while. I guess a lot of stuff has gone on since she moved back to Cali in 2001. Here’s a few updates since Karen’s been here:

1. Our friend Mike is now the toast of the town. I first met Mike in 1999. He was one of Karen’s friend’s roommates. So of course, Mike became one of the folks we hung out with on a regular basis. Now, about 4+ years later, Mike is Mr. Popular! He’s in everyone’s inner circle and I just think it’s cool that he’s a unifying factor with a lot of my friends.

2. Two of my buddies have gotten together. 2 of my law school friends have since become romantically involved and have been together since. It’s just a point of interest for Karen since I tried to hook up one of these 2 friends with one of Karen’s own friends.

3. I’m actually a practicing attorney now versus being just a law student. It’s been a long time! And contrary to what Karen thought, I do not make 6-figures! Ha! I wish! Imagine, a prosecutor getting 6-figures without working for 25 years?! Totally unheard of. Government jobs pay very little as most people know. We can, however, eventually make 6 figures or so if we have put in about 20+ years of our life –if we are lucky. The perks: super-great hours (9-5 pm); vacation days (20); sick days (10); personal (5); and court holidays (13). Oh yeah, we also have a good pension plan (or so I heard).

4. Karen’s mom is engaged! To an old high school sweetheart! How cute, no? This is why she’s here in NJ visiting…to see him! I think they’re getting married in June.

5. I heard from one of our junior high friends. Okay, back in our FOB-y, Virgil Junior High days, Karen and I hung out with 3 other good friends of ours. We called ourselves KKMSH. It turns out, our friend H (who I had a crush on back when I was 12) is a friend of one of my close friends. Ah…the wonders of Friendster! So I dropped him a line and found out that he’s in the Army now and lives in Virginia.

Anyway, it was just cool to hear from her. So Karen, when are you coming to visit?
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/15/2003 03:07:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

Sunday, December 14, 2003

*Yawn* Lately I've been thinking of how truly lazy I can get. As I've said a gazillion times in this blog, I've sworn to be a healthier person in terms of eating habits. I have not been to the gym since September (for only like, 3 times), and yes, instead of just sucking it up and going --I just whine about not going. I don't know what it is. It's not that I hate physical activity or even exercise. On the contrary, once I get going, I do enjoy it. I think it's just the physical fact of going to the gym (as in driving there and getting situated) that irks me. I don't like the "regulars" in the gym who shmooze with the trainers or the littles chickies who talk to each other while on the treadmill. But heck, even if I'm the only one there, I think it would take me a while to to get my groove on in the gym. Man. I hate working out. And the only reason I would like to work out is of course, for health reasons. Yes, I get winded going up 3 flights of stairs. I also have a tightness in my chest after I eat my usual junky foods. Yes, while I am not overweight, I would still like to be healthy and toned. And would still like to continue eating bacon and other forms of pork fat until I'm 75 years old and not have a heart attack. But starting late this December, I swear to return to the gym! And yoga! And hip-hop class! And maybe Pilates! =)

*Twiddling Thumbs* Right now, I'm just blogging while waiting for my friend's (Karen) mom to come over and deliver a package. I don't know if she's actually going to make it over since there's a lot of snow coming down and she's staying somewhere in Wayne, NJ (where I've never personally been). I suppose they could always mail the package, which I've done many times already during the Christmas season. Later in the afternoon, I'm going to brave the stormy weather and go over to the Bronx for my friend Jill's birthday. Last time, I missed out on my friend Sol's party cuz the snow was just atrocious. This time, I refuse to be a winter hermit just cuz of the snow. Besides, Jill's supposed to live only 20 minutes away from me. I really should go out more!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree... We actually got one last Thursday. I think we paid too much but why not? You only get it once a year. It's pretty cute, but a little on the crooked side. Not to tall, not too short.

POSTED BY KAT AT 12/14/2003 02:34:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

Monday, December 8, 2003

Christmas, Christmas Time is Here…(A’ la Alvin & the Chipmunks). I didn’t get anything done this past weekend due to the snow. I did some shoveling along with Mark (my back hurts!), and we only went out for dinner on Saturday. Other than that, I guess you could say we were snowed in. Really, there was no point in going out. The only place I would’ve gone to was the mall, even then there’s only so much you can do. I don’t particularly like shopping during Christmas season (I’m sure a number of people feel the same way). I don’t like shopping when I know it’s going to be crowded, like when there’s sales and stuff. I just end up getting stressed out and rushed. Plus this year, I swore to do most of my shopping online. That way, I can fully think of what to get for certain people and won’t be swayed by other things if I window-shop. Last year, I splurged a bit and got some friends gifts on the expensive side. I’m really trying to be frugal, but not cheap! So far, I succeeded in not using my credit card for the past 2 months and that’s pretty good for me. This year, I also want to give gifts that will benefit others. Last year, I purchased gift items from the UNICEF catalog. I thought they were great but I don’t know if the recipients even realized that the gifts also doubled as donations. I encourage everyone to take a look since they do have very unique gift items.

My Gift List. The hubs asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I don’t really need anything. There are many things I want, but I don’t exactly need. Since we got the house, it’s kind put my spending into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I will still drop $$$ on a Prada purse, but now, I have to think more than twice about it and juggle it with the needs of my home. So I told the hubs I want a bay window in the dining room for Christmas! Hahaha…Don’t think I’ll get it, but we do plan on doing all our windows next year. I have to save up for the bay window and the installation. As for my Christmas wishes now….these are a few of my favorite things (aside from the “dream items” such as a new kitchen, bling-bling jewelry, a Prada purse, a second-floor extension, and Manolos):

1) BLISS spa gift certificate - I love their oxygen facials!
2) AMAZON gift certificate - books, DVDs, and other things, oh my!
3) The Crimson Petal & The White - by Michael Faber
4) A Series of Unfortunate Events – by Lemony Snicket; something to tide me over until Harry Potter pops up again.
5) Gossip Girl Series boxed set - by Cecily von Ziegasar
6) Dogs of Babel - by Carolyn Parkhurst
6) A box of Godiva Honey Roasted Almond Truffles
7) Movie Passes (National Amusement Theaters –they rock!)
8) Tony Little’s Gazelle - to get my lazy ass moving while I watch TV
9) Personal Trainer Sessions – again, to get my lazy ass moving as I have not been to the gym since September.
10) BARNES & NOBLE gift certificate – as you may have noticed, I read a lot.

Of course, this is all subject to updating.
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/08/2003 03:43:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

Friday, December 5, 2003

YAHOO! I get to leave work today at 3 pm!
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/05/2003 02:06:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

BaHumbug. Random thoughts in no specific order. Just venting. Sometimes my mind just gets occupied with insane little thoughts about things that people have said to me or done that have really irked me and I haven't said a word. Like a friend who once wrote in an e-mail that she doesn't do things or trips I invite her to because she's broke unlike me who's married. In fact, she wrote" silly, we're not married like you." As if just because I'm married, I'm suddenly absolved of all bills and money problems. Like my bills are not as relevant as hers. Whatever. The fact is, we had a falling out when she stated that I always made snide comments about people not wanting to spend time with me when I invite them to things, and that in fact, I invite them to too many things and they always feel obligated to go or forced to go. First of all, I tend to invite my friends that I hear about only because that's the way I am. If it's something of interest to me or something in general I would like to see my friends to go to, then I forward the news along. Of course I'm not going to force you to go nor do I expect you to go to everything little thing I invite you to. But when it's an invite to come over for my birthday, or a house-warming, or just to hang out for a home-cooked dinner, that's something different. And when it's a group of you and you tend to be the one ignored all the time, of course I'm going to start making snide comments. What am I, chopped liver that I should be treated a little less? Okay, I've gotten over it but it the fact remains that it has happened. I should've said something when it happened, but I was too passive. And I have made sure that I don't ever send them invites to random little things anymore because I don't want to annoy them. (Heck, I don't think I'll even invite them to my house-warming whenever that is, lest they feel "pressured" to trek all the way to New Jersey =0). I feel my friend Girlie's pain when she has complained that people say all the time that she lives too far away and her friends don't go bother to visit. (Yes, I have said that myself but at least I have been there when she has invited me to go. And will certainly not poke fun at it anymore). I travel all the time to see my friends and they have yet to come over here without expressing complaints about how far it is. If I commuted everyday to school via a 5-minute bus ride and a 40-minute subway ride, you can certainly do the same thing to come to me. And you don't even have to do it everyday like I did. Other things that annoy me include the way people use the term "broke" when they're trying to get away with being "cheap." I admit it, I've done it myself. I have said I'm broke when I didn't want to go to dinner with some folks because quite frankly, I am on a budget and if I were to spend money, I'd rather go out to a nicer joint with my other friends and not just the same chain restaurant we have been to. This also applies to gifts. Am I being bitter? Yes, I admit that. Am I being whiny? Yes, if you haven't noticed already, this blog is one big whine-a-thon.

I also don't like the fact that I have to question some of my friendships from over the years. I read in a magazine that for your New Year's resolutions, you should think about what your friendships do for you. Weeding out the weeds as they say. But the fact is, I deeply care about a lot of my friends --even if I don't see them everyday or even every month or even for years; and I care about being involved in their lives and them telling me things that happen to them; and I do care when I don't hear from them and it's always me who has to initiate the contact. Hm...perhaps it's their way of telling me that they are weeding me out. I don't like harboring bitter thoughts. I feel like Gollum (from LOTR) when I think about things that have bothered me and I leave them bottled in. Like the fact that I hated not living in the city when I first got married. I hated that there was no compromise on it and I will never get a chance to live there.

But now, I accept that if not for certain actions, things will not be the way it is today. All things happen for a reason. Which is why for the New Year, I'm going to let bygones be bygones. I will try to be free from bitter thoughts. It's weird, I consider myself to be a nice person. A generous person. A humanitarian. I don't even know if my friends see me that way. And my bitter thoughts sometimes cloud the bigger picture and that I am forever trying to be a better person both spiritually and emotionally. The way I look and present myself have sometimes no bearing on what I feel inside. Like the fact that I love my job because I'm helping real people and it hurts when they call and say the defendant that I just put on probation is bothering her again. Or that it hurts to see my defendant crying and I would rather let her go free than put her back in jail but because of the law, I have to lock her up again. That I donate money to certain charities like UNICEF and the March of Dimes and almost always give money to people who beg on the street despite knowing better. That I would like to be a foster parent. That I would like to do the Peace Corps someday. Hm...I think that people don't really have a clue of other people sometimes. And of course, this goes both ways. I'm sure I have preconceived notions of other people that I know and love that may be the complete opposite of what they truly feel, do, and live like. I guess we can only all hope to be better people. I know I'm trying. So for those people that I have hurt, I am sorry.

Be generous of yourself. These were the last words of advice that Dr. Mark Green (a character in ER) told his daughter as he lay dying. Sage words indeed and I have never forgotten what he said, albeit in a fictional world. Think about it.
POSTED BY KAT AT 12/02/2003 09:25:00 PM | 0 COMMENTS

who is kat?

a wanna-be rockstar with mediocre guitar skills | mom to rockstar baby | guitarist in a band | 30 but not grown-up | this is all about my musings. music. motherhood. and mayhem.

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