Monday, December 27, 2010

to be read on my wedding day

Love has taken away my practices
and filled me with poetry.

I tried to keep quietly repeating,
No strength but yours,
but I couldn't.

I had to clap and sing.
I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,
but who can stand in this strong wind
and remember those things?

A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your voice.

I am scrap wood thrown in your fire,
and quickly reduced to smoke.

I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence!

From Buoyancy, by Rumi

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Being a glutton in my room with my favorite snacks and magazine.
Belgian chocolate, pork skin, and shrimp chips!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Room in Rome

Always been a fan of Julio Medem (director of Sex and Lucia), I just discovered the most precious gem, Room in Rome, which only features four actors throughout the film.

The idea of a magical chance meeting, turning into an unforgettable night with a stranger. Something about the night brings out the primal, the raw emotions, and the brutal honesty in all of us.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

she once was a true love of mine

playful gloves at jack spade
the weather outside has been frightful. two days ago, New York saw its first flurry of snow. today I got my first glimpse of ice on the street. we kept ourselves warm by playing holiday music all day. 

going to snuggle into bed and read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I just finished The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Lovely book, in the loveliest way.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

belated thanks

I didn't do this on Thanksgiving. Because it was cliche and doing anything when everyone is doing it just takes the truth out of it a little, do you think?

But I find myself doing this today because a few things have happened that continually remind me of how blessed I am. And without these little blessings, I don't think I would cherish life as much as I do.

So blessed am I to have friends to call upon, who call upon me when I least expect them to. Who still surprise me by their support and random encouragement. Strangers, too. The ones who read this blog, the ones who sponsor this blog (a self-indulgent display of self expression), the ones who make their presence known with a kind word or two, without provocation or hidden intentions (commenting to get comments back, etc). The ones who say hello, and how are you. In New York, that's a gem when it happens. The ones who hold the door when my hands are full after a long day of work. The ones who say thank you. The ones who acknowledge you with a smile and not just a passing stare.

The 'library' in the solarium/lounge of our apartment that gave 'The Life of Pi.' I put a thank you note inside when I returned it.

The countless people that come and go, imposed themselves, exposed themselves, etc, have all been teachers in one way or another. Each leaving an imprint, remaking me every time.


l'esprit de escalier

I exploded today. I didn't mean to but I did. So many things pent up inside. So many months of swallowing my pride and following, listening to the commands of a bitter, rude little girl on a power trip. I want to believe in the goodness of others. I want to think that we are all the same at heart... and perhaps we are, her and I, but at the moment I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs at this little creature who dares to walk as if she were mightier than thou. No humility, no humbleness. No grace. We are all equals. She failed to see that, and stirred a wrath within me.

its not all bad

“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me. "

— Stephen Fry

Sunday, December 5, 2010


what would you do if you were guaranteed not to fail?

the last night

the grilled Octopus @ Morandi

It was drizzling that night, but not as hard as the first night we arrived in Old San Juan. The Chinese called this sort of percipitation mao mao yu, which literally meant "fuzzy rain." But we carried an umbrella from the hotel, nonetheless. The past three nights before we had carefully asked the concierge for recommendations on where to eat and we were not disappointed. The length of Old San Juan can be walk in less than an hour, so after three nights we had ran out of dinner choices. Tonight was our last night, and wanting it to be special, we were left with the dilemma of where to eat for dinner. The concierge had ran out of recommendations as well. 

So we strolled around, and ended up at a restaurant at the bottom of the hill that led to the city's ports. Our stomachs were desperate for food and it was getting late. The restaurant was brightly lit in white fluorescent. The scene was stark and the crowd was unpleasant looking. Feeling uncomfortable, I occupied myself by skimming the menu, but each of our choices was shot down as the restaurant was out of everything we wanted. I ended ordering something common and forgetful. As we sat with our drinks waiting for the food, he could see the disappointment in my eyes. This night was so different from all the nights before; of perfect ambiance and gracefully prepared dishes. It was out last night. Our last chance to have a good memory of Old San Juan. So without explanation, he went to the back of the restaurant and next thing I knew, he told me to get our things. We were leaving. He had taken care of the bill, and now we would be heading to somewhere we actually wanted to be. 

The place was a gamble. It was notorious in OSJ because Anthony Bourdain had visited it on his show a year or so before, and as the locals would have you believe, has gone downhill every since that 'sell-out' moment. But it was the last vestige of 'fine dining' yet unexplored on our trip. It did not disappoint. The paella, a sea-food and rice dish, was heavenly and we ate until we found it hard to move. 

That was back in May.

Something similar replayed itself last night. It was 9PM in the west side (New York) and not wanting to wait 45 minutes to an  hour for a decent meal he opted for a generic Chinese restaurant around the corner. We had our favorite Chinese spots and this was not one of them. As the food arrived, he knew something was wrong. Needless to say, he didn't let me take another bite, had the food packed to go, and we headed over to Morandi. I can't even begin to describe how amazing the food was, from the grilled octopus for appetizer to the linguine with clam in white wine sauce, to the tagliatelle in simple meat sauce to the dessert with home-made marshmallow, dark chocolate and pumpkin sorbet. 

But what made the whole meal so romantic was the gesture he made in assuring I would smile through our dinner that night. And I smiled the whole time, ear to ear, as I stuffed myself silly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Today was taxing. That was an understatement. It's only been two months in the fashion industry for me, but so far, from what I've seen and observed, it seems that one either inevitably becomes a vapid snob or the resentful underdog. These seem to be the two personalities that I meet over and over again. The world of fashion, though it presents a very glamorous facade, is poorly budgeted (it pays next to nothing unless you are the top dog), extremely competitive, catty, and constantly beats down on your pride, whatever is left of it at the end of a hards day of bitch work as an intern; unpaid. 

I constantly have to remind myself every day, this is what I love. That's why I am here busting my ass. And somehow I need to find some solace somewhere so I do not end up like these people around me. On top of all this nastiness and ugly personalities, I found out some disappoint/discouraging news today. I will be freelancing for my pr firm, but the position that I was vying for, that I was told specifically would be mines, is no longer available. Life is full of these moments, I guess.

So thank goodness for friends, food and good conversations.

It's been a while, so I met up with M for dinner. We went to Salt. We;re alike in that we both like our quiet time and don't really keep in touch on a regular, but we do make an effort to meet up and when we do, its not to 'catch up.' Nothing bores me more than talking to people about what I've been up to and the trivials of my days. It's like the extent of one's relationship is a continual stream of trying to catch up and stay in the loop. No, thank you.

My future is full of uncertainly at the moment. So coincidently dinner talk bordered the subject of free-will and determinism. To which I offer the catch-phrase popularized by Cheney himself, "It is what it is," to answer all that is uncontrollable and unexplainable in life. M called it a cop-out answer. It is if we use it to explain things within our control, like hurting someone's feelings. But as for the future, consequences of our decisions, and natural disasters; It is what it is.

The chicken liver mousse with caramelized onions. I couldn't pass up a chance to try such a strange dish. And our daringness paid off. It was delectable.

M's apartment is right by the Mud cafe shop, also home of the infamous Mud Truck. I ordered a macchiato for the ride back. A real one, not the wimpy tall cup of sugar they serve at Starbucks. This one consisted of 2 expresso shots and very little milk. It provided the kick needed and I went home happy as my cabbie kept telling me about his past relationships, unprovoked. The little charms of New York. I try to soak it up, but the day's ugliness had worn me down to the core.

Thank goodness I have tomorrow off.