Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Did you send in your Census 2010?

Don't worry, I'm not going to get hyper-political right now (though I do think that politics is important, but that might be a whole separate blog post for later).

I was so psyched (there's really no other word for how I felt) when the boyfriend and I filled out the Census 2010 paperwork.  And this is why:
This is the first time I remember filling out the Census on my own, and this is definitely the first time I'm filling it out as an adult.  But I have never been so excited to see a check box.

What strikes me as somewhat funny about the situation is the fact that, being an educated Filipina, I can't help but think of the irony in my excitement.  Since I consider myself open-minded and quite liberal, and I have friends of different ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, I feel like I've had many conversations about identity and that damn check box.

I understand the idea that the check box is a way for others to literally "box" people into an identity.  Who determines the categories?  In a world that has so much diversity, is it fair to lump people in generalized categories?  And before this Census, why were we confined to check a limited number of boxes, merely 1 or 2?

But, I have never been so proud to check a box.  I do believe that we, the Filipino community, are lucky to have activists fight for our right to a box.  Also, considering that Filipino's make up the second largest "Asian/Pacific Islander" population, it's pretty neat that we have been acknowledged.

We've definitely come a long way from this:
"Positively No Filipinos Allowed"
But there's still quite a lot more room to grow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Gripping the Grass Roots - Laughing Through the Pain

So, here I am.  It's the end of March, and I've been on unemployment since October and paid 24% of my previous pay as a stipend.  I have looked for other jobs and applied.  I've also been continuing to work full time.

I've already established previously that I'm foolish for sticking around at the same job, but I still feel like I need to be able to finish the school year.  At this point in the year, I might as well.

What's been really strange about this most intense and stressful year, is that I've never laughed so much.
Laughing is good for the soul.
Like I've said in previous posts, we're a small team.  In the past when we had two sites, we had about 6 social work interns working with us during the school year.  As a previous intern myself, I know how much their work is counted on and valued.  It was great to feel such a sense of team.

But, having two sites also created a bit of a separation between the groups of interns.  For the most part, however, all the interns have gotten along.  There have been intensely stressful times, and we've been able to get through it for the most part.

This year is different, though.  My boss and I talk about how our team this year has been so different from other teams.  Even though the rest of the organization feels like it's falling apart, the team seems to be stronger than ever.

In the beginning of the school year, they all were getting along really well.  There were some personality differences, but they all seemed to enjoy each others company.  Then, one of the interns left for personal reasons, and a new intern joined the team.  My boss and I were sure that this would signal a change in their relationships.  But we were so wrong.

Now, of course, they get their work done.  In fact, they're all super stars about it.  But somehow there seems to be times when random conversations will get started, and we will just end up laughing.

There are literally days when I feel like I've laughed so hard!  I'm sure people outside of our office think we do absolutely no work.  But we have the paperwork to prove it!

One of the interns has kept a running log of funny quotes, which I believe she plans on distributing copies on their final day.  But we often look back at the quotes (which, I can't seem to remember the ones I've said!) and laugh all over again.

It's truly been a blessing on all sides to have such a positive and hardworking team.  Though they don't necessarily know all that's been happening to the organization, they have really provided a balance for my boss and me.

You'd never think that social work could be so amusing.  On a professional note, I'm sure I haven't been the most professional example for them.  I should probably be more assertive (not that I'm passive), and more distant (not that I've spilled all the beans!).  But, I'd like to say that I've done a pretty good job at keeping up boundaries while enjoying their company.

I honestly don't know if I've ever laughed so much at my workplace.  I honestly don't know if I ever will again.  I look forward to the day when they will no longer be interns, however, and they become my colleagues.  I've always kept in touch with our "graduating" interns, and I hope to continue doing so.

In fact, I'm pretty sure I'm contractually obligated to go out to karaoke with these girls as soon as their internship is over.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Asian/Not Asian Hair

Back in February (why does it feel like so long ago?), when the boyfriend and I were in Los Angeles, I decided on the very last day to get my hair cut.

December 2009
The last time I had a cut was maybe April 2009, so while my hair was long there were also many a split ends.  The problem is that I don't have a specific hair person.  It's possibly because I've moved around so much and gotten my hair cut in so many different cities.  But every time, I'm not necessarily leaving feeling like, "Woo hoo!  Look at my hair!  It's so AWESOME!!!" 

This might sound a little crazy, but I kind of feel like I have very specific type of hair.  Being Filipino, I have Asian-type hair, but it's thicker.  If I wash my hair and just let it air dry, it would be floofy and slightly wavy, but would flatten out by the end of the day.

There are times when I would like to go into a hair salon and say, "Do whatever you'd like to do."  But I'm too much of a scaredy-cat to go for it.

If I could choose my perfect hair style, it would look like I just came from the beach but cleaned up.  But that kind of hair style takes a lot of work and a lot of product.
Another part of my problem is that I don't really want to put in so much work.  Why is it that I just can't wake up and have it all be a flowy and perfect when I wake up?  So, I'll do some work, but if I could find the easiest way to get to the picture above, that would be awesome.

Now back to my hair cut situation.  The hair stylist needs to know how to work with Filipino hair, which makes me feel nervous about getting my hair cut in Boston since there's not a huge Filipino community.  But, being in Los Angeles at the time, I didn't know exactly where I should go.

I did Yelp a couple of places nearby and I did end up getting my hair cut after a lot of back an forth about who I should see.  I ended up settling for this Thai woman back in L.A. whom my family affectionately calls "Bo-dai."

***If you're planning to get horribly offended in the next couple of minutes, I would probably stop reading.  Thanks!***

This particular woman has been cutting my mom's hair since we've moved from the Philippines back in 1986.  Since then, many of my cousins and other relatives have seen her for their hair cuts.  Now, another big issue of mine is that while I feel like the stylist should know how to deal with Asian hair, I don't actually want to look Asian.

You know what I'm talking about!  I'm not even going to include any picture examples.

I know what you're saying.  " are Asian/Pacific Islander...why not embrace it?"  I know I know.  But there's no need in looking like a fortune cookie cutter (HA! How'd you like them apples???).

But I digress.  "Bo-dai" got her nickname because, as the legend goes, she would always say that to my mom.  My mom, not really sure what she was saying, would always just smile and nod.  At some point, she realized the woman was actually saying, "blow-dry" in a heavy Thai accent!  And from then on, my mom would always say, "I'm going to see 'Bo-dai.'"

One day, some relatives who just moved to Los Angeles was asking my mother about where she gets her hair cut.  Of course, she told them she goes to "Bo-dai" and gives them directions.  Of course, those relatives proceeded to walk into her salon and asked, "Hi, could we get our haircut with 'Bo-dai'?"

March 2010
She's a lovely woman.  And she proceeded to take my hair - after telling her that I wanted 3 inches off and layered - to take my hair, twist sections of it, and cut it.  Shorter than it's been in a very long time.

I'll admit that there was definitely a moment when I felt like I was on America's Next Top Model smack dab in the middle of Make-Overs.  I couldn't believe what was happening, and I was really thinking that I'd be walking out looking more Asian than ever.

But when it was all said and done, it wasn't so bad.  I probably will not see "Bo-dai" next time I'm in Los Angeles in need of a hair cut, but it wasn't the worst possible experience.  I miss my long hair, but it'll probably be long again by the end of 2010.  And once again, I'll be on a search for my perfect hair stylist.

Friday, March 19, 2010

City Sights - What the...?

These next two sights, though completely unrelated, made me feel just a little bit grossed out.  But, really, it was also just full of "What the &$%#?"

January 2010
On an apartment wall, Commonwealth Ave, Brighton, MA.
I mean, I get what they were going for...but maybe it turned into an artistic interpretation of a hermaphrodite?

February 2010
School Women's Restroom, Allston, MA
So, the way the stall works at the school I work in is that there's one stall with a lock, but the door to the restroom also locks.  There's also this wicker seat thing within the single stall.
This particular day, however, someone seemed to have misplaced their shower cap.  Where they were showering?  Um.....

Monday, March 15, 2010

Mermaid Collages: Mermen

In honor of this crazy rainy weather, I'm posting 2 mermaid collages.  And in this special edition, I'm featuring my mermen.


When I was in college, I was doing some work study at the university library.  We often had fabulous book covers that we didn't use, so I would usually take them to be used for little artsy projects.  I would also take photocopies of different images in photography books.  In other instances, I would save cut-outs from magazines, especially if there was some particularly interesting texture.

I'm pretty sure that's how these two collages came about.

Leather and tulle
If you look closely at the dates, I must have been in a specific frame of mind to have done these within a 24 hour period.

In terms of the mythology, mermen are not as popular.  In fact, they're often portrayed as ugly and dangerous.  I'd have to admit that I don't know much about mermen either.  But recently, I've discovered this book of 27 stories from around the world.
Amazon Permalink:
I think it's time to up my personal education of these mythological creatures.


For those of your not in New England, consider yourselves lucky.  It's been raining for 3 days straight here in Boston.  Tons of places are flooded throughout Massachusetts.

To add to this weather, my immune system decided this would be an appropriate time for me to get sick.  I'm talking sinus grossness, throat soreness, body aches, chills and heating up, and lack of appetite.  I guess if I could be sick at any other point, this rainy weekend and Monday would be a good one.

But, to make matters more interesting, we seem to have sprung a leak.  Well..multiple leaks.  Granted it's not as bad as some of the flooding that others are experiences in their homes, but it's still pretty lame.  Three out of four rooms have leaks.  The one room that doesn't have leaking had leaking about 2 years ago, and our land lady had reconstruction on our building to fix all that leaking.  But, our land lady and the company she hired clearly didn't consider 3-days worth of rain and high winds.

So, here are some pics I snapped from our leakage.
Our poor plants have been getting some extra watering.
The boyfriend found a crisper drawer and trash can in the basement.
Rain water dripping down our craptastic blinds into our buckets.
Raining in our bathroom windowsill.
Yuck...our kitchen window needs some embarrassing...
Rain and wind hitting our windows.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Toesies of the Month - March 2010

If you know anything about me, you know that green is my absolute favorite color.  Often, people will realize this after they see that I consistently wear different shades of green, which match certain shoes and most of my bags.

With St. Patrick's Day in a week, I'm starting to get pretty excited.  I'm not remotely Irish, nor do I take the entire day to stumble through the streets of Boston drunk off my tookus (like the rest of the city does).  But it's fun to see all these folks decked out in their greens, enjoying themselves.

So naturally, I would be painting my toes green this month.
Designed by Kim at Hollywood Nails & Skin, Boston, MA
Color:  SEPHORA by OPI - Leaf Him at the Altar
Occasion:  St. Paddy's
March 2010

I literally squealed out loud when I saw this color on Sephora's webpage.  I even called ahead to the store just to reserve the color just in case it ran out before I could get there.

Clearly, the name of the polish and the timing of its availability signals the upcoming arrival of Spring.  Interestingly, even the design the nail technician chose (a butterfly) is very Spring-themed.  But its name itself is feeling very poignant for me as well.

Last weekend, I attended a Wedding Expo for my night job.  There were moments when I realized that I was trying to see if there's a type of girl that gets married.  Do they wear their hair a certain way?  Are they a specific height?  Are they a specific type of personality?  Maybe they just say to themselves, "I'm going to get married now," and it happens?

Goodness, who knows...I do know that the ladies who where there, looking for the perfect photographer, cakes, or whatever for the MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THEIR LIVES, are there because it's what's right for them.

I must say though, I would go to another Wedding Expo just for the cake samples.  But, it just felt even more so that that scene is just not for me.  I like the poofy dresses and all, but it just didn't feel practical for me. 

I don't know what it's like for the rest of you, but I CANNOT WAIT for warmer weather!

I've been very fortunate that I've been in Los Angeles for huge portions of the winter, though the reasons themselves have not been very fortunate.  But this past week has just been milder, providing a huge teaser to the upcoming change in seasons. I'm going to gush about my kitty some more.

Every since she's been here, it's literally like a whole new world.  Everything just seems brighter, more pleasant.  I almost cannot talk about how much I love her because I get teary-eyed.  I can't believe she hasn't even been here for 2 weeks, but it feels like she's been part of our lives forever.

She is our Spring.
What do you think of my new pedicure, Yoni?
Yoni approves!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Talking Tune - "Float On" by The Floaters

***This post is dedicated to Stephanie over at not the oxygen, and her hilarious stories about the online dating profiles.***

The boyfriend and I had the pleasure of hearing this song this morning on the Music Choice R&B channel.  Truth be told, it cracks us both up.  But it's also currently playing a loop in my brain.

"Float On" is another song with talking bits, but the main parts of the song are spoken.  But, for the full effect, I must post the entire song.

Aquarius, Libra, Leo, Cancer
Ralph, Charles, Paul, Larry

Float, float on
Float on, float on
Float, float, float on
Float on, float on

Aquarius, Libra, Leo, Cancer
Ralph, Charles, Paul, Larry

Aquarius and my name is Ralph
Now I like a woman who loves her freedom
And I like a woman who can hold her own
And if you fit that description, baby, come with me

Take my hand, come with me, baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing love with me, I want you to

Float, float on (Come on, come on, come on, baby, yeah yeah)
Float on, float on (Ooh, ooh, baby)
Float, float, float on
Float on (Float with me), float on

Libra and my name is Charles
Now I like a woman that's quiet
A woman who carries herself like Miss Universe
A woman who would take me in her arms
And she would say, "Charles, yeah"
And if you fit that description
This is for you especially

Mmm take my hand
Come with me, baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing loving with me, I want you to

Float, float on (Girl, yes)
Float on, float on (With Charles)
Float, float, float on (Ooh, yeah)
Float on, float on

Leo and my name is Paul
You see I like all women of the world
You see to me all women are wild flowers
And if you understand what I'm sayin'
I want you to

Mmm take my hand
Come with me, baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing love with me, I want you to

Float, float on (So float with me, baby)
Float on, float on (Yeah)
Float, float, float on (Float with Paul, y'all)
Float on, float on

Cancer and my name is Larry, huh
And I like a woman that loves everything and everybody
Because I love everybody and everything
And you know what, ladies, if you feel that this is you
Then this is what I want you to do

Ooh, yeah, take my hand
Let me take you to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing your love with Larry, listen

Float, float on (You better float with me now)
Float on, float on (Float on)
Float, float, float on (Yeah, yeah)
(You better float on)
(Float on)

I freakin' LOVE this song!

Firstly, it's like a sung personal ad.  Secondly, what is up with their lady requirements?  Charles, the Libra, is the one that worries me the most.  A woman that's quiet???  Really?

My and my boyfriend's personal favorite Floater, however, is Larry, the Cancer.  For one, we happen to tune the majority of the song out when it's playing, but for some reason, Larry sticks out.

So, without further ado, here's a video of this amazing song, complete with powder blue suits and synchronized dance moves.  Enjoy!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Final One World One Heart 2010 Action

With February being what it was, I was pretty busy til the very end and then some.

But I had the chance to work through several emails with the winner of my One World One Heart giveaway on what she wanted.

Though she had already chosen a shirt color in her comments for the giveaway, I emailed her a picture of all the fabric paints I had.  It was fun to see them all bunched together when they're usually in an art box.  Though I have much more than those pictured below, I chose colors that would match with the shirt.
She settled on color #10, the Halo Blue Gold, which would come out a more shimmery green.  I explained to her that there would be some flex on where she wanted to place the image.  But we settled on keeping it where it was in my picture.

Though I had done a little bit of designing on shirts, I used to use regular paper stencils that I would cut out.  Since I was proposing that my friends and I make multiple shirts for the BARCC Walk, I knew I needed to use something more "professional."  But this was my first time ever using silk screens, so I didn't realize you needed to wash the screen every time you put paint on it.  Thus, I ended up with 2 screens.
2 screens, 1 shirt, 1 color
Finally, though, I was able to do the work, and on March 3rd, I sent it on it's merry way.  What I neglected to ask in all the preparations until the every end was where the shirt was going.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, it was going to Malaysia!!!

How cool is that???  I'm excited to know that this shirt is making its way across the world as we speak/type.
Ta da!
During our conversations, the winner of this shirt asked me why I didn't have an Etsy shop.  You know, I thought about that.  I've been told that I could sell several things, first my signature seashell necklaces and now my shirts.
She sells sea shells?
I guess I feel like I have to have all the necessary supplies on hand to be able to run a store.  Plus, I need to learn how to drill holes into shells.  The 2 necklaces above were already pre-drilled, so those have been easy.

Well, I don't need to make any decisions now.  In the meantime, I silk screened something for myself.
American Apparel Circle Scarf with Mermaid Tail

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dog-lover Transitioning

Let's revisit another of my 2010 Goals and how well I'm doing so far.

2. Adopt 2 kitties with my boyfriend.

Well, we had put it off for a while.  What with the job situation for the both of us and house and dog sitting in Los Angeles for nearly 2 weeks, we felt we had to put it off. 

While we were in L.A, a friend of ours lets us know that her and her husband have taken in a stray kitty that was coming up to their porch.  Seeing that they already had 2 cats and 4 ferrets, they didn't think it would be wise for them to keep another kitty.  They knew that we were talking about adopting, so they asked if we would want to take this kitty.

I told them that I would leave that up to the boyfriend.  I, a dog-lover by nature, had very limited interactions with cats.  My family is much more dog-oriented, and the cats in our neighborhood were either all perched across on the porch across the street from my family's house or screech-moaning loudly in the middle of the night.

One thing I did know about cats was that they loved to sleep ON me.  Every time I would sleep over anyone's house that had kitties, I'd wake up to them nesting on my legs.  I always felt very constrained and trapped by that, mainly because I didn't want to startle them into clawing my thighs.

So, after being in the warm L.A. weather and bonding with the doggies, my boyfriend decided that we were ready for a kitty.

Did I mention the mice problem in our apartment?

Well, our apartment is old, perhaps built in the 1910's or 20's.  We have one of those elevators that have 2 doors to open, one being an accordion-type door.  It's old.  The wiring is old.  The walls and piping are old.  We also live in a neighborhood of Boston that has a lively vermin culture (for various reasons I suppose...but I like to blame the dirty college students...).  In fact, there's a bar/restaurant at the corner of our street, and our window overlooks it's roof.

We needed a kitty.  Badly.

Well, on the last day of February, the boyfriend and I welcomed this little one into our home.
Brawny Kitty!

We were nervous that she would take a while to get comfortable.  Coming from a place where she was not the "boss," we thought she might need to do a lot of adjusting.  But she was so chill!  
sniff sniff

At first, she did some sniffing and exploring.  We went to Target in the morning, so we were prepared with a pet carrier, litter box, food, catnip, laser pointer toy, and a little bed for her to get comfy on in the living room.

But she settled right in.  Our awesome friends did a great job in taking care of her.  They had taken her to get spayed the Friday before, so now we have to find her a local veterinarian and keep up on her check-ups.  The doctor said that she might be close to a year old, but we were lucky that our friends found her before she was knocked up.

It was surprising to the both of us that she was so comfortable from the get go!  She's still doing a lot of exploring, and she's possibly found the corner where the mice come through.  But if we're in the other room, she wants to be there with us.  She's already following us around the apartment, and she was very happy snuggling in bed with us.

Oh, yes...her name.

Well, the boyfriend let me name her.  Everybody, meet Yoni.

So, while the goal was to adopt 2 kitties, the year is young.  Right now, we are so very happy with Yoni.  I feel like having her in our lives is just what we needed.  January and February were rough, as you all know. Strangely, I kept feeling like I needed to change the calendar to March a week before March was even here!

For us, Yoni really is the divine transition into a new part of our year and our lives.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...