Archive for March, 2005

Spring is in the air

The temperatures are getting warmer. We can now open our windows when we cook. Our spring jackets are out. Snow is slowly melting away. The snowbanks are getting smaller. Some are just heaps of sand now. A rug, actually a piece of carpet with an ugly green colour and a black winter glove with the fingers sticking up have reappeared in our backyard. They were buried all winter under the snow. Who knows what else is buried there? I guess we’ll find out soon.

And we’ll soon say goodbye to these sights…

Boots and mittens drying over the heating vent

Airconditioning unit covered in plastic

It is spring break. The kids are home and I love it, even though they drive me crazy.

Ryan: Why do I have to dust the tables? They always get dirty anyway?

Mom: Ryan, where are you going? It’s your turn to wash the dishes.
Ryan I’m just going to get something upstairs.
Mom: Oh, you better come down here after. I know your trick. You’re just trying to walk away from your chores.

Ryan: (Plays ball in the bedroom) He shoots, he scores. Yes!!!

Ryland: Mommy, Kuya Ryan won’t let me in the bedroom because he’s playing basketball in the house.

Ryland : Mommy, Kuya Ryan called me a bad name.

Ryland: Boo hoo hoo, Kuya Ryan hurt me.

Ryland: Boo hoo hoo, Kuya Ryan is laughing at me.


March 30, 2005 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

A super family

The Incredibles” is a FUN family movie. It has great animation. It was created by PIXAR, same company that brought us Toy Story, A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo. What I like about this movie is that it tackles family issues that we encounter nowadays.

The story is about two superheroes, Robert (Bob) Parr aka Mr. Incredible and his wife Helen aka Elastigirl. They decided to go under a “Witness Protection Program” when Mr. Incredible started getting sued by the people he saved and didn’t want to be saved. But after 15 years, the entire family had to come out of hiding first to save dad and then help him rescue the world.

Ryland’s favourite parts:
–when Dash was running on water
–when JackJack turned into a ball of fire
–when the bad guys were running after Dash in the forest and he was running so fast
–when Frozone was skateboarding on ice

Ryan’s favourite parts:
–when Dash put the tack on the teacher’s seat that you hardly saw it on video
–when Dash was in the marathon trying not to be very fast

My favourite parts:
–when Helen (Elastigirl) was holding both Dash and Violet (who were fighting) under the table with her outstretched arms. Wouldn’t it be great if all moms have that superpower?
–everytime Elastigirl turns into a parachute.

March 29, 2005 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Feeling guilty

A couple of weeks ago, Reggie asked for the DVD of “Ray.” We watched it last week. The movie tells us about the trials Ray Charles (Jamie Foxx) endured early in his life and how his mother, Aretha Robinson (Sharon Warren) insisted that he make his own way in the world.

I like how they showed the coloured bottles on the tree on the farm where Ray grew up and how Ray liked to look at them before he was blind.

Ray’s younger brother, George, drowned in a basin of water while Ray was looking after him. When his mother saw the boy under water, she asked, “Why didn’t you call me, Ray?” Ray felt so guilty. Shortly after that, Ray, who was only seven years old, started to go blind slowly due to glaucoma and the trauma of witnessing his brother’s death. His mother taught him how to be independent. He showed him how to make his way around the house and to use his sense of hearing. When he stumbled, she let him pick himself up, though it broke her heart. She told him, “Stand on your own two feet and don’t let people treat you as a cripple.”

His brother’s death haunted Ray throughout his early life and he got hooked on heroine. In the mid-60s he was busted and he went to rehab. That’s when he realized that it’s not his fault that his brother died and that he actually let others treat him as a cripple.

Being an eldest child, there were times when I felt guilty for some of the things that happened to sis when we were younger. We were only teen-agers when Mama went abroad and I felt responsible for sis when we decided to live by ourselves. Of course, later on, I realized that I wasn’t responsible for the decisions that she made. Now that I have kids, I sometimes worry when I leave my two younger boys to Reggie. I don’t want him to feel guilty if one of his brothers get hurt while under his care.

Back to the movie, I admired Ray’s wife Della (Kerry Washington), whom he called Bea and stayed with him despite his infidelities. At first, Ray didn’t know that Bea knew about the girls he slept with and the illegitimate son he fathered. I don’t know if I could forgive my partner’s infidelity.

Jamie Foxx deserved the Oscar that he won for his remarkable performance of Ray Charles.

March 28, 2005 at 9:01 pm Leave a comment

The tomb is empty

My earliest memory of Easter Sunday is when I was around 7, 8, or probably 9. I got up at the crack of dawn to watch the “Salubong,” a procession depicting the meeting of the Risen Christ and Mother Mary. I envied the girl who was my age and was picked to play the part of the angel. I have wanted to get dressed up as an angel too.

Another fond Easter memory was during the first year of my stay with my aunt and uncle in Pandacan, Manila. When Mama migrated to Canada, she left sis and me under the care of aunt and uncle. The day before Easter, Uncle painted the empty eggshells and the following morning hid them around the house while the rest of us went to church. He put peso bills inside the eggshells. Even Nena, our helper, found one with a five-peso bill out in back in the laundry area.

This Easter, I put candies inside coloured plastic eggs. I scattered them around the house for my kids to collect and I gave some to my nephews and nieces.

We went to church this morning. The purple drapes that covered the windows of St. A. were brought down. Instead, white sheer sheets with gold stripes hung by the windows. Even the purple sheet that draped the leafless tree on the altar was replaced by multi-coloured paper butterflies, which were made by the catechism classes, including RK’s. More folded paper butterflies hung above the altar, which was decorated with white carnations and white lilies in pots covered with shiny gold paper.

After mass, we all had lunch at sis’ place.

The long weekend has allowed me to relax, catch up on some zzz’s and watch a few movies on DVD. No, I wasn’t able to catch up on any reading. I have just been too preoccupied lately that I haven’t been able to sit on a book. I have three books in my shelf waiting to be read. The last time I read a book was 4 or 5 months ago. I miss reading my books!

March 27, 2005 at 11:02 pm Leave a comment

Spotless mind

I watched the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. I was surprised when Reggie said that he wanted to watch it too. Probably because it stars Jim Carrey. Reggie once researched this Canadian actor’s biography for a school project. He also heard me say several times that I wanted to watch that movie because it got good reviews and earned several award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. I was apprehensive at first especially when I learned that it was rated R. I hoped that Kate Winslet didn’t show her naked boobs in this movie like she did in a couple other movies. To my relief, she didn’t. Ryan and Ryland also watched it when they saw Reggie watching it. I told them that I might make them close their eyes during some scenes. They didn’t have to. But after hearing quite a few F words, I made the two leave the room. They didn’t see the naked butt of Stan. Whew!

“Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind”was a quotation from a poem by Alexander Pope. It was the story of two lovers, Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet) who had a troubled relationship.

Joel accidentally read this letter from Lacuna Inc.

“Clementine Kruczynski has had Joel Barish erased from her memory. Please never mention their relationship to her again. Thank you.”

Joel immediately went to see Dr. Howard Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson), the doctor who performed the memory erasure. Clementine underwent this procedure because she has grown tired of their relationship and she was so unhappy. Clementine didn’t recognize Joel at all and he couldn’t stand the pain of losing her to somebody else. Joel decided to undergo the same procedure – to erase all memories of Clementine.

Joel lay in his apartment, unconscious, while the crew began the process of mapping his brain and slowly erasing all memories of Clementine (the most recent first to the most remote). The story of the lovers unravelled backwards. We see first how tumultuous their relationship was, and then the start of their relationship and how they fell in love. As Joel remembered how much he loved Clementine, he started to change his mind. He didn’t want to go through the procedure after all. So in his mind, he and Clementine tried to run away from the machine. They tried to hide in his most remote memory, his childhood. But the machine found them there anyway. A couple of times during the procedure, the machine stopped and Joel opened his eyes, which he wasn’t supposed to do. Stan (Mark Ruffalo), the technician performing the procedure, was during this time fooling around with Mary (Kirsten Dunst), the doctor's secretary. When Stan noticed that the machine stopped, he called Dr. Mierzwiak. The doctor found Mary in Joel’s apartment and it turned out that the doctor and Mary had an affair and Mary underwent the procedure to have memories of her relationship with the doctor erased. When Mary found this out, she sent letters to all the doctor’s patients and informed them what they underwent. She returned their files – tapes, pictures, letters.

The beginning of the movie showed us how Clementine and Joel run into each other afer they had both erased memories of each other. The ending of the movie showed us how they discovered about the procedure that they went through.

I liked the editing of the movie – how the memories connected with the present time. I think that Jim Carrey gave a superb performance. We’re so used in seeing him in comedies and when he does these dramatic roles, we can really see his versatility as an actor.

And I’m glad that it’s only fiction. Imagine if we have an option in real life to erase painful memories, would we go through with it? At times when we get so down and lonely and depressed, we might be willing to do it when the pain gets so unbearable.

I know in my right mind that I wouldn’t want to erase any memory, no matter how painful it can be. I have experienced the sadness that Clementine felt in her relationship and the unbearable pain that Joel went through after losing Clementine. But I wouldn’t want to erase the cause of the sadness and the pain. The pain helped me grow strong as a person and the sadness made me appreciate any little blessings that I have in my life. But as I said, I’m glad that we don’t have the option to have those memories erased, and I hope that we never will.

March 27, 2005 at 10:54 pm 2 comments

A time to reflect

My youngest son, Ryland, wrote this after he read the story of The Bronze Serpent (Numbers 21) in the Early Reader’s Bible last December. (Refer to December 6, 2004 entry Thank You God)

My earliest memory of Holy Week in the Philippines is the rhythmic chanting of the passion, which I heard over the loud speakers of the Iglesia ni Cristo church across the street from our house in Noveleta, Cavite. The reading of the passion started on the dawn of Holy Monday and I think lasted until Good Friday. We didn’t have school and work on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Here in North America, only Good Friday is a statutory holiday. Government offices are closed on Easter Monday, though.

March 22, 2005 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

A friend in need

When F’s friends learned that he wouldn’t be able to work for at least six months after his bypass surgery, they organized a benefit social as a sort of fundraising to help out his family. The social was held last night at a church hall. Tickets were pre-sold and a few were sold at the door. Co-workers, people from Couples For Christ, friends, and friends of family mingled and danced. Friends donated prizes for silent auction. People also donated food – pancit, spaghetti, bread, kakanin (deserts), chips, drinks. Although I’m not a dancer, I did some moves with my friends to Staying Alive, Dancing Queen, Footloose and other songs.

F showed up even though he was still recovering from his surgery. He thanked everyone who supported him and came to the social. He said, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” His seven kids (mga pamangkin ko) sang their own rendition of the ABBA’s “Thank you for the music.” Nel, the head organizer and emcee of the night kept referring to the kids, “the von Trapp kids.” He didn’t know that they were performing “So Long, Farewell,” which they adapted from the movie, “The Sound of Music.” And of course, they got a big applause from the audience.

People danced away until about 11:00 p.m. R and I stayed with sis and the organizers to help clean out. Although it was already 1:00 a.m. when I hopped on bed, I felt like I did have a fun night!

March 21, 2005 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

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