Showing posts from 2015

For My Departed Friend

Dear Bob,
It is Christmas day and we are on our way to Kentucky to see my in-laws. This holiday is surreal for me. I found out 2 days ago that you were killed in a car crash. You were on your way home to your parents. It was your birthday. Your turned 42. Your step father told me that you were 5 miles away from home and an oncoming car went over the grass median and hit you. He said you passed instantly from internal injuries.
Jody said she was on your FB page to wish you a happy birthday. She scrolled through until she saw posts about you no longer being with us. I trust Jody. There was no way she could have been lying but I did not believe her. I called your phone. When your step dad picked up, I called out your name in relief but it wasn’t you. I told him I called to make sure something I had heard about you wasn’t true but it was true. Your step dad told me as gently as possible. He told me they had no way of reaching your employer and asked for help.
I had to think about how I…

Meet the Storm Chaser

The relationship I had before I got married obviously did not work out. We were a match in some ways. I wanted to be a triathlete and he was one. We were both horribly immature, sometimes we had similar humor. I thought he was really funny. We were also both horribly anxious and that might be all we had in common. By then I had a long standing relationship with Lexapro and a licensed therapist so my issues were under control-ish. He would show up at my door sometimes at ungodly hours and want to fall asleep next to me. I would never know why but I must have given him some measure of comfort, at least more sleep. We weren’t perfect and in many ways we were the perfect storm. I thought maybe our mutual issues with anxiety would ally us against it but it was the opposite. I want to stress that this was just the relationship part of us.
What might interest you was that he worked for a company that provided a service for the government. He was not a government employee but the government…

One Tribe - Part 2

This post is under construction. In an effort to progress my writing, I had to move this text out of the way so I could continue. Please stay tuned for Part III.

One Tribe - An Examination of Stanley Karnow’s - In our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines - Part 1

While you’ve been reading some of my posts about cats, yoga, chocolate and other randomness, I finally did finish this book. The reading of this work has been an enormous undertaking. It’s not the size of the work (although I might also be able to conquer a small island armed only with this book) but 400 years of a rape of an island, rape of a culture and rape of the Filipino psyche. I undertook this book in an effort to follow a rabbit down a hole. Primarily, it was a recommendation from Scott Walker, author of Edge of Terror, previously reviewed on this blog. Second, I wanted to know why my mother’s birth certificate was destroyed during World War II.Lastly, I sought to know about the rule of the Spanish and the Americans as a means to understand the “why” of the migration of my family from the Philippines to America. What I got was a mixture of war, politics, economics and culture. It makes sense that those things come into play since the reasons behind something as complex a human…

My Interview with Carolina Valdiva - Creator of My (un)Documented Life

I was recently interviewed by fellow undocublogger Carolina Valdivia , founder of My (un) Documented Life. When she first asked me on FB she mentioned that her other "friend" would also provide answers. Her other friend turned out to be Prerna Lal, who I view as one of our leaders in the undocumented community. I am of course one of Ms. Lal's followers.

I am very humbled that Carolina put the two of us on her blog to motivate and inspire our brothers and sisters to write, especially about the undocumented experience. Please check out the interview
and support the would be Dr. Valdvia in her efforts to organize, educate and of course make all of us proud.

Meet The Painter

In one of Junot Diaz’ lectures that I have watched in my You Tube education, he says that the world expects humans to function at the pace of machines. He reminds us that we are in fact not machines and art serves as such a reminder. I feel better thinking on this since I have been working on the same topic for 10 months. It’s definitely not “machine” pace. I’m not even sure its “human” pace. A friend of mine once imitated a sloth during our trip to Costa Rica. I think I am sort of like this guy here crossing the road. This photo of a three toed sloth is from the actual trip. He was crossing the road and my friend caught it on her iPhone.

He is not in front of his laptop so at this point I might be ahead of the game. In my writing sloth-dom, I’m proud to support an up and coming artist!

Anniversary Chococurb

I have labeled this a "product review" but I am not sure that is accurate anymore given that I am talking about the same "product" over and over again. That being said, I'm going to bring this back to Chococurb.

I recently celebrated my 7 year wedding anniversary with my husband. This entails dinner where we were married, which is easy since it took place at a great restaurant, and an exchange of token gifts. He usually gives me the traditional gift, which this year is copper. This year, I gave him a subscription box of Chococurb.  My profile with the company is for a variety of dark chocolate and since it is a subscription, the final package is a surprise. Here's what we got.

I have to make another special note of the packaging. The package arrived via the US Postal Service in a cardboard envelope. The contents were this heavy duty green box and nestled inside is another heavy duty box. It's contents were nestled in tissue paper.

AIDS Walk New York

There are risks in the act of coming out. For example, I write this blog semi anonymously, not revealing my name and my former undocumented status to my present and past employers. I fear risking my career, my husband’s career and I am honestly not sure what kind of stigma it would have for my son. I am neither a DREAMer nor an activist. I am a writer and a mother. I seek to protect my son in all aspects, even if means cowardice in my own eyes. I am sure every parent can understand. That being said, there is power in “coming out”. 
I received an email recently from my cousins that are participating in the AIDS walk in New York City. The email said that it had been revealed to them just last year that their father, my Godfather, passed away from AIDS 20 years ago. They are walking to “promote education, increase awareness, improve care, reduce stigma, and build strong supportive communities for the millions affected by HIV and AIDS.”
I am very proud of them, their efforts, and the wom…

Ft Meyers Vacation Eats

We ventured out a handful of times during our stay at Ft. Meyers. After some play time at the beach on our first night, we picked a place called Yucatan on Old St. Carlos Blvd.

It had a neat store front and ambiance. It was standard bar fare and there were fish and sharks all over the walls, which we enjoyed. My little guy had the sliders and his fries were awesome. My buffalo chicken sandwich was maybe a little over cooked so it was hard to eat as a sandwich. The hubs had their chicken quesadillas which I enjoyed much more than my own order. The portions were huge so we brought home quite a bit of it. Our table was right near the door near the window in the open air. We had a super nice waitress that was attentive to us despite the size of the place. Our order was also brought out relatively quickly. It was a really nice evening and on our way home there were a couple of pirates tossing some glow in the dark toys in the air. Who doesn’t love a couple of pirates? My little man and I …

Dolphin Tour

Since our little man is a fan of sharks and ocean animals in general, we decided to do a dolphin tour run by the Banana Bay Tour Company. They had tours leaving the other islands but we did not want to get off Ft. Meyers to get there. As luck would have it, the boat leaving from Ft Meyers was at the dock managed by the hotel next to our condo.
We literally got out of bed, had breakfast and walked across the street. We chose a ½ day tour in search of dolphins, shells and a stop at Lover’s Key. 
Our boat was a covered pontoon with benches and picnic tables. The boat was enclosed so our little guy could walk about safely even in bare feet. Our captain and first mate were 2 of the most laid back and cool people we had met. They pointed out dolphins and large local birds nesting in the estuary, which I learned is where fresh water meets ocean salt water. This type of environment is abundant with sea life, which makes it ideal hunting grounds for wild dolphins that need to eat about 20 p…

Spring Break

While I am working on my book report for In Our Image (it really does take me this long to really get my head together about this stuff), my family and I are on our way home from a much needed spring vacation. We were at Ft. Meyers, Florida for a long weekend.  Even though I'd love to get more stamps on my passport, we choose to stay in the country because there was a direct flight from Philadelphia to Fort Meyers, which is about 2 hours long (ideal for our 3 year old). Rather than go on an all-inclusive resort we rented a condo right by the beach so our little man had his own room and we had our own kitchen. We followed our usual bedtime routine except for reading books (we forgot to bring books). The airport at Ft. Meyers was about a half hour from our rental. Since it was a beach vacation we were able to pack light. We checked a small suit case and medium sized duffel bag. We each had a backpack so we were relatively hands free.

Our kid’s cares harness  interested the family be…

Sherpani Ultralight Tote Bag

I just bought a bag from REI and I love it. It’s the Sherpani Soleil Ultralight Tote bag. I bought it in black just like a lot of my things so I don’t have to think about coordinating colors. I have been searching for a bag that is part laptop case, part diaper bag, part gym bag and chic enough to be a sort of a purse ( sort of like (working) mom chic, not like “mom jeans” chic ). I should say that I do not like switching all my things from one bag to another depending on the situation. I truly do not want to take the time. When I think about it, I really only have three “situations”: mommy, work and gym. I guess you can count me hunched over my writing desk as another “situation” but at that point I am home and do not need a bag. Although when I am in my “office” at home, I do bring my purse and take it with me when the day is done. Thankfully the commute is only to the kitchen downstairs. I should also tell you that I do not like shopping so I actually mail ordered a few bags before…

Chococurb Revisited

 I was delighted to find this in the mail today from the owners of Chococurb! There was a handwritten note that expressed appreciation for using their service and of course truffles!

So I need to preface this by saying that my day job is a packager for the healthcare industry. I have designed packaging and labels for many kinds of products intended for clinical trials. I don't claim to know a whole lot but I know packaging.

Dr. Roberto Gonzales (Harvard) at Princeton on Undocumented Immigrant Youth Feb 2015

I just listened to this talk. I very much would have liked to go to see him since Princeton is not too far but my work responsibilities took precedence. What a great presentation. There is also a Q&A session afterwards.

Dr. Roberto Gonzales is a sociologist currently with the Harvard school of education. His research has been focused on undocumented youth.This talk is about immigrant youth that move through the school system sort of quasi legal and then reach a point where their status prevents them from progressing their lives with jobs, college and even driving. He talks of youth that excels despite these challenges (DREAMers) and also those that fall through the cracks.

Dr. Gonzales gives us a look of what our current immigration system is doing to families and gives us cause for change.


So rather than write about In Our Image like a good history blogger, I have been watching Grimm EVERY SINGLE NIGHT on Amazon Prime for the past two weeks. Season 5 premiers tomorrow night and I am trying to catch up. I am almost done with season one. I am completely hooked and I can't seem to do anything else. Well, that's not completely true, I am in the process of re-reading the parts of In Our Image that I am looking to write about. Yes, I read, re-read and cope by binge TV watching.

Tonight is that start of March Madness, so while the family watches Kentucky, I blog. Go Cats!

The premise of the show is about a homicide detective, Nick Burkhardt, who has the ability to see monsters in his midst. He finds out after some time that this ability is a gift that his family has passed on for many generations. His ability came into being with the passing of his aunt.  In their past, members of his family known as Grimm have hunted monsters. These hunters have chronicled meeting ea…


While we are waiting for me to finish Mr. Karnow's history of the Philippines and I am so very close (10 pages to go). I have to tell you guys about a gift I ordered for a friend. I have been waiting to use this service for "the one" just because I am tickled by the thought of getting gourmet chocolates through the mail. I am also a chocoholic on the wagon that can eat a slice of chocolate cake covered in Nutella (yes, I have actually done this). Since I can't run all the time to counteract this addiction, I keep myself from eating it but by giving it to other people.  My friend recently had to say goodbye to a pet so she became "the one".

According to the shipment tracking, she hasn't received it yet so hopefully she is not reading this right now. I ordered her a box of chocolate via Chococurb. I learned of it from a Huffington Post Blogger, Maria Adcock and her blog post.

So anyway, she has yet to receive it but hopefully she enjoys (and shares).

Whole Body Yoga

While we are waiting for me to move on with my life and finish up Mr. Karnow's book, I have to tell you guys that I went to a local yoga studio this past weekend.

I had been to the establishment before while hugely pregnant. Since then, they have expanded their location from a one floor studio located in a house to an additional location nearby called Artisan Alley. The building looks like a converted warehouse that house other fitness studios and maybe a painting studio. There are probably other businesses but it was not obvious to me at only one and half cups of coffee.  Their location was on the top floor with wonderfully naked ceilings (although expensive to heat). There were maybe 7 of us in the class led by the owner. At the start of the class she asked if there were any issues she should know about with regard to our bodies. She also inquired about the state of our energy level. I lied by omitting the recent tweak of my shoulder but I did tell her that my energy was low si…


Its a new year. I feel as if I have made great strides in writing, mainly the sharing of writing. I have gone from zero sharing to sharing in general. I am also probably a few pounds heavier after December. Christmas is rough in that regard, always eating and drinking too much to celebrate all that has come to pass. With my Fitbit, I hope to combat weight gain and the general aging during one's 30 something years.

I ran into a fellow blogger during the holidays. He advised me to write more! I am more than half way through the work of Mr. Karnow so I do expect to write more on that in 2015. But I am taking his advice and just writing the general junk that goes through my head for the 10 people that read this thing.

Happy New Year my friends.