Jan 30, 2012

Candy Candy

I don't know if it started when I discovered the high you get when you eat condensed milk straight off the can or because Original Nana allowed us grandkids an all-access pass to her freezer with at least  ten different flavors of ice cream or that aha moment when you realize the milk you're forced to drink tasted so much better when you poured Brown Cow syrup all over it.  Whatever the case, I will happily devour anything that has way too much sugar.  Sick.  But true.

I started to notice dessert stations popping up here and there and thought I'd try it. 

Here is the one I did for the boys 5th birthday.  Nothing Amy Atlas or anything but it was fun putting together all their favorite treats. 

This was for Sis in Law's rocker themed baby shower

When I heard my godchild was having a Candyland-themed party a few weeks ago I offered to do her candy station.  The instructions were simple enough:  pink and yellow and dainty.  I haven't had much exposure to anything remotely girly and dainty given all that football talk and Legos and Tonkas I'm constantly surrounded with but I welcomed the break.  

So out came the old, reliable candy jars.  

Shopping for the candies was the easiest part.  Ms. Sweet Tooth, remember?  The night before the party I laid everything out on my dining table to figure out what went where. 

Made the day itself so much easier and so much more fun. Candy station completed. 

Jan 29, 2012

Defying Gravity 4.0

Turning 40 tends to bring out existential thoughts. Where am I? Where am I going? What difference am I making? Can you finally stop minding the Negatrons in your life? 

You also get big on Symbolism. So it was perfectly symbolic for me to have flown off to Singapore with the three coolest people I know, have a great time, try new things together and watch Wicked: The Untold Story of the Witches of Oz

It's the musical celebrating women who are different, who have to deal with people looking down on them and setting limits on what they can do… women who struggle to fit in, struggle more to find their themselves, test friendships, make bold decisions… then eventually start Defying Gravity.

Hit it, Elphaba...

Speaking of gravity, also daring to defy it is Rappler—a social news network testing the limits of new media in a time when people are still arguing about, What exactly is a social news network? 

Because I am symbolizing way too much here, my first feature for them happens to be a review of… that Wicked show we caught in Singapore

While the Lifestyle section is still a work in progress, Philippine news hounds should definitely check out the site. Rappler has a great team covering politics, the economy and business. Glenda Gloria is their Managing Editor. See how she kicks ass here. She also gets Thought Leaders like Theodore Te to enlighten us on the Corona impeachment proceedings, Gilbert Teodoro to assess disaster preparedness post-Sendong, and Maria Ressa to rap with Mon Jimenez on tourism campaigns for the Internet Age. And more! You can get them on your Facebook news feed here

In the future, I hope to rap more about education, parenting, self-help and culture. Wish Rappler luck Internet! It's a bold experiment in new media. Some people are already saying it's bound to fail. Good thing Nikka Version 4.0 is more willing to try and fail and dust her self up again. I've made quite a few mistakes in my life, what are a few more as long as they don’t kill me? 

Besides... If we don't risk falling, how else can we Defy Gravity? Let's do this!

Jan 26, 2012

A Nice Day

It's a nice day for a white wedding


It's a nice day to start again

Love that song.

Jan 20, 2012

Oh Happy Day

Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed. 
- Charles Schultz

Couldn't have picked a better person to be over on the hill with. Hope you're having the best day, Nona.

Jan 16, 2012

In the Loop

If you've been here a while, you'd know that I found out I had breast cancer twelve years, five months and ten days ago. (yes, keeping count) If you're pretty up-to-date on this part of our cyberworld you'd also know that I finally told the boys I was once diagnosed.  I hesitated for a while but felt like a load had come off as soon as I came right out and said it.

Mak, first-born twin, wanted to know the details.  Tato, born three minutes later, listened intently then decided  "we would not talk about it ever again".  I totally respect and get it.   The subject hasn't ever really come up again.  I'm armed and ready with answers just in case. 

Yesterday we were at a birthday party.  All the other little girls hounded the glitter tattoo table to get their arms all shimmery with fairy and princess designs.  The boys were next and many went for the lightning bolts and dragons.  Mak and Tato took their turns but they rushed off to the bouncy castle before I got a chance to see their temporary tats. 

When the boys finally emerged from every party's black hole - the bouncy house,  I saw a bright pink tat on Tato's arm.

Tato:  Look! I got a breast cancer ribbon.  It's for you, Mama. 

Aww. Sniff. Sniff. 

Jan 15, 2012

Enjoy the Silence

My favorite Depeche Mode song refreshed by RAC. Words are very unnecessary, indeed. But I just had to say, this is the perfect soundtrack for this Sunday, while hanging out with the three coolest people I know. 

All I ever wanted, all I ever needed is here in my arms… Yes, yes, yes! Love and positive vibes back to all the kind people out there, wherever and whoever you are. 

Jan 11, 2012

Numbers and Poetry

Dear Vico Bear,

I was happy to hear from Teacher Steph how eagerly you have been applying yourself in Math. Way to go doing Optional Work and Extra Challenges! Despite doing very well the last two terms, when asked your personal goal for Term 3 you wrote, To be better in Math. I suspect you’ll grow up making good use of your passion for numbers and figures. You are my favorite Visual Spatial Thinker, you! As the motto goes… Work Hard. Be Nice. And that’s what you have been doing. And you’ve just turned 8. This serves anyone well, whether age 8, 38 or 88.

To celebrate the school portfolio you have been working hard on in the past months, I’m posting some of your work here. One day you might read this when you are all grown up and get a real kick out of it. This is you writing as a fictional character.

Without realizing it, you made a “dissertation” this year—researched with some help but written independently. In second grade, you and your classmates call it your All About Book. You decided on this thesis statement: "LEGO is epic! Because you can build anything you can imagen." You do love exclamation points!!! And actually, it's i-m-a-g-i-n-e. 

Anyway, thanks to your book Teacher Steph and I know facts about LEGO we didn’t know before.

This is what you came up with when asked to emulate Shel Silverstein’s poem One Inch Tall. Your poem is called 1 Nano Bite Tall

This one emulates the Zoe Ryder White poem Inside My Heart, but you chose Sadness as a theme. 

This posterity post is also a reminder to… Keep expressing yourself. Keep the poetry in your heart. There’s a place for it even inside grown men full of patterns, plans and equations in their head. Your words are who you are. Sometimes you’ll feel like no one is listening. That’s okay. Do it just for yourself. Besides, Mama and Daddy will always want to hear what you have to say and we will always want to read what you write. Always!

Jan 9, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

Christmas came and went.  Quick. Just like that. And now we find ourselves in the month not coincidentally named after Janus,  ancient Roman mythology's two-faced god that looks both to the past and the future. He is the god of both endings and beginnings, the god of doorways and transitions. Totally appropriate.                                        

All confident I was going to eat 2011 alive I  came in with guns blazing, all cocky with my post I had crossed out #1 on my year's bucket list so early in the game.  Running a new race distance was just one of the several things I set out to do. And then kaput. First helping of humble pie.  #2, for me, just didn't happen. It was a relatively simple goal.  Step into the kitchen and make something. Anything really. I  stepped into the kitchen a lot (half a check for that) only it was to sort and organize.  In all honesty, I'd rather clean the bathroom than cook but  I was more determined than ever I'd whip up some new dishes. I joined a cooking class, listened intently, asked a ton of questions, took down notes, went home and replicated the dish that very evening.  Just that once.  Never again.   Remind me next time to resolve not to make any more resolutions. Or maybe I can keep putting it out here so I'm forced to get around to it. 

For starters I've learned not to get too crazy with the list. And so for this year I shall, in no particular order accept, listen, read, embrace and reach out.

I want some parts of me to be like this child again: wide-eyed and eager to face the world, less cynical, less skeptical.  

Let's see.  

Jan 2, 2012

Marketing to the Child of Tomorrow

Post title and photo are related. Really.

Pico Iyer has an op-ed piece at the New York Times with a significant message for all of us who are plugged in. It's called The Joy of Quiet. In light of Facebook, email, web articles, and work that requires me to sit in front of an online computer... I am taking his words to heart.
The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
I am not giving up Facebook, blogging and other Internet joys. They are useful, relevant, and too much fun. I love mind-expanding gems I find on my Facebook feed—including this article I am urging everyone to read. Plus, I can't give up  work which requires me to use and mine the Web. 

I will, however, take more time cultivating that ability to sit quietly alone in a room. I will allot more time for being unplugged, connected only to real live people and whatever part of Mother Earth surrounds me. My 2012 resolution duly noted.

But here's a clincher: While Pico Iyer's Joy of Quiet rings so true, so do these words from Clay Shirky.
There’s no such thing as information overload — only filter failure.
Only ten words, but so much truth. It's a quote I had  picked  up from a Salon interview of David Weinberger, senior researcher at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. He  talks about how the Internet has revolutionized knowledge, and how we now have a medium that, finally, matches the breadth of human curiosity. It is a fact that is profoundly awesome, but Pico Iyer reminds us of an equally profound caveat in The Joy of Quiet

Speaking of curiosity, it's 2012 and I still obnoxiously peddle stuff I've read. Some things will never change. And speaking of obnoxious, if this post's title and photo still don't make sense to you, you probably still haven’t read The Joy of Quiet. Click! Click!

May all our resolutions be fulfilled this 2012!

Jan 1, 2012

Love 20x12

Sharing some moments from the last day of 2011.

You will see more of Her than Him... 

Because she just loves to pose...

While he's more a behind-the-scenes sort of guy...

What they both love is cheese, which plays a big part in New Year's Eve gluttony.

This photo I will call, "Mama and Dada by the Tree"

All those photos are meant to go with RAC's remix of Love U More, as sung by Sunday Girl. Although it reminds me of carefree college days when Sunscreem first sang it, I Love It More Now (pun totally intended) when it is cheesily dedicated to  all the loves of my life--including those who aren't in the pictures above. All of you, I could not love more. You know who you are. Now click play if you want to dance and be happy!

Isn't that just one of the happiest songs you have ever heard? I am still celebrating the arrival of 2012, so this post is extra mamamushy and indulgent. Thank you very much! Happy New Year, blogosphere!