Share Your World: Week 16


Hard to imagine how the weeks are just flying by! At least I’m done with taxes (last minute!) and now it’s the birthday month in a two weeks time and in lieu of presents, I’m hoping to raise money for charity: water when the time comes without chasing anyone away from my blog!  Thanks, Cee, for these wonderful thought-provoking questions!

How many places have you lived? You can share the number of physical residences and/or the number of cities.

I’ve lived in only a handful of places.  In the Philippines, we lived in Davao City, Cebu City, and Manila.  Then it was off to Los Angeles for me, with the briefest of stays in New York and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Inside my head, I’ve lived in so many more places like London, Paris, Madrid, and Dublin.  Unfortunately that’s just inside my head…

What type of music relaxes you the most?

I love Buddha Bar type music the best – a mix of lounge, chill-out and world music as well as certain relaxation classical music and soundtrack pieces like this one from BBC’s North & South mini-series, composed by Martin Phipps.

If you’re wondering what ‘world music’ is, well I like songs like this one from Ekova, called Starlight in Daden played to illustrate the wild vintage fun of hooping.  I dare you to sit still while listening…

This version of the song appeared in the Buddha Bar II CD set, which I unfortunately no longer have 😦

If you could instantly become fluent in another language, what would that language be and why?

I could say Khuzdul, because if I get pissed at someone, I can say a few curse phrases and they’d never know what I was saying – unless they were a Tolkien Erebor dwarf.  But for a real world language, I’d pick Spanish.  I’m only 1/8 fluent in Spanish before my mind shuts down listening (since I understand written Spanish more) and trying to catch up with what everyone is telling me.

If you could fly or breathe under water what would you prefer?

I’m no water baby, and I’ve always dreamed of sprouting wings and flying, swooping down with the wind against my face so hands down, it’s flying.

However, when Man from Atlantis aired when I was younger, I really thought I could breathe under water.  I sure was in for a shock when that didn’t quite work out…

Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, believed to be the last survivor from Atlantis and Belinda Montgomery, as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill (I had a major girl crush on her because she was a doctor!)
Patrick Duffy as Mark Harris, believed to be the last survivor from Atlantis and Belinda Montgomery, as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill (I had a major girl crush on her because I just loved that she was a doctor!)

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week went by so fast and the little one was with me the entire time because he’s on spring break (but school starts again this Monday – hooray!) so it kinda flew past me in a blur.  But I’m definitely grateful that we are all healthy and doing well.

As for next week, well, May is coming up which means it’s my birthday month, and charity: water just reminded me that I can start fundraising for my birthday starting today (in lieu of receiving gifts) to help provide access to water in developing countries.  I’m looking forward to another week of slowly getting back to exercising and being healthier, and hopefully without allergies, which have been plaguing me with the high winds we’ve been having here lately.

Share Your World – Week 15


It’s that time of the week again, when I share my world, thanks to Cee’s lovely questions that seek to pry the answers from my perennially distracted brain.  Here are the answers that I’ve managed to lasso so far this week.

For your blog do you basically use Windows or Mac, laptop, desktop, pad, or phone?

Except for Mr. M’s kindle, we have an Apple orchard in the house.  I usually write on my Macbook Pro, and when that is turned off, I continue on my iPad.  When I am on the go, I often continue the craziness on my iPhone.  I used to be a Dell girl for the longest time, till my brother convinced me to buy a Macbook in 2005.  It took me a year to warm up to it, but the moment I did, there was no turning back.

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to own a business like my father.  I loved hanging out in his office as a little girl, and I loved playing with the check imprinter and all the other cool things on his desk.  I loved how everyone looked up to him for everything they needed.

Vintage Paymaster
Vintage Paymaster

But when my parents divorced, and we lived next to my maternal grandparents, I decided that I wanted to be an archaeologist or a geologist.  I had a favorite book on geodes that I read every night, and I was also obsessed with mummies, especially Tutankhamun.

Did you grow up in a small or big town? Did you like it?

I grew up in a big city – at least for the Philippines, it was a big city.  Cebu City was the first Spanish settlement and the oldest city in the country.  But it was also very crowded.  We lived in a nice house, but because we lived close to a medical university, we were surrounded by boarding houses, and anyone who was smart rented out their rooms to the students needing room and board.  There were no sidewalks on the narrow streets and so you basically had to watch yourself as you walked to the convenience store (which we called sari-sari store) though there was one that was just across the street from the compound where we lived next to my maternal grandparents and my aunts and uncles.

I guess I liked it.  It was the only world I knew, and while we did go on vacation to less crowded places, I learned early on it’s not the place that matters, it’s the people around you.

(From top, left to right) : Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Magellan's Cross, Ayala Center Cebu, Globe Innove IT Plaza, Cebu Taoist Temple, Cebu City at night
(From top, left to right) : Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Magellan’s Cross, Ayala Center Cebu, Globe Innove IT Plaza, Cebu Taoist Temple, Cebu City at night

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?

Probably 30.  Old enough to know better, but young enough to still get away with crap I wouldn’t be able to get away with now.   30 was also the time that I had the best time of my life being single – playing beach volleyball, hanging out with friends and discovering myself.

So there you have it – my world for the week!

Share Your World


Share Your World – Week 14


It’s that time once to share my world and the questions for this week are quite interesting.  Thank you, Cee, for a wonderful challenge!  Cee is an amazing photographer and I’ve been learning quite a lot about how to take amazing pictures from her wonderful blog, Cee’s Photography.

If you had to describe your day as a traffic sign, what would it be?

For some time now, this is me.  Totally me.  I want to do so many things, go so many directions (well, at least 2) but really I can’t.  Unlike in the past, when friends had to “pencil in” my address because I moved a lot, now I’ve been in one place for at least 7 years, and that’s saying a lot.  But inside my head, this is my sign.  Just don’t ask me for directions…


Is your hair short (total neck and ear showing), medium (covering ears and neck), long (below shoulders), extra long (at least halfway down your back) or bald?

My hair is long, growing below my shoulders and people still say it’s quite thick.  My hairdresser recently added layers to my hair to make it lighter since it was growing down the small of my back and it was quite heavy, especially when it was in a pony tail. I don’t really wear my hair long unless I’m at home.  At work, I always keep it up so many of my clients and students have hardly seen me with my hair down. Heck, even I don’t see myself a lot with my hair down either…

When you are with your friends, do your interactions include much touching—for example, hugging, kissing, rough housing, rubbing backs? Would you like to have more of this? (Note: the answers may vary depending on where you live on this wonderful planet.)

I grew up in a non-touchy feelly world.  Touching kinda equated with sex so there was NO touching involved, at least none that I saw among my relatives on my mother side (my father side kinda is touchy feely though, but I seldom hung out with them).  The cheek to cheek kiss was what we did when we met relatives and friends.  There were no hugs either.

When I was 16, my stepfather gave me this huge deep hug when my favorite cat, Robin, died, and that was the first time someone ever hugged me for real.  It sort of filled me up inside like nothing I’d ever felt before that I started bawling, both from losing my cat and from what I felt from that embrace.  It’s sad when you think about it but at least it started that new realization for me that touch didn’t necessarily equate with sex.

These days, I kinda am touchy feely but I try not to overload the person I’m with, although sometimes I revert to the pre-16 year old and don’t touch my companion at all.  Old habits die hard.

What do you feel is the most enjoyable way to spend $100? 

I’d probably get a good Thai Yoga session.  A real one at that where you get stretched and pressed at the same time, the perfect combination to loosen tight muscles and joints.

Thai Massage for the Table
Now THIS is Thai Yoga or Traditional Thai Massage. It’s amazing!

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

This week, I’m grateful for slowly getting organized with my novel writing.  Writing a historical novel – romance or adventure or whatnot – is no mean feat and I just realized while doing the A to Z Challenge about how disorganized I’ve been, and how my story so far, is a mess at 90K words.

For next week, I’m looking forward to this class I’m teaching coming to an end and I get a month break.  “It couldn’t come any quicker,” said one of my students – “jokingly,” he belatedly added – much to his regret for even saying it – but I couldn’t agree with him more.  I do love teaching, don’t get me wrong – I just wish the students were more into it despite its intensive schedule (3.5 hours per meeting instead of 1.5 hours per meeting, so after 2 hours, their eyes have glazed over).  But most of the class seem interested in it – I just wish they retained it long enough to answer the quizzes right…

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Share Your World: Week 13


It’s time once again to share my world with you, my captives readers.  But before I do so, I’d like to say thank you for visiting my little bloggy corner of the ‘net, where I can talk your ears off I wanted to, while you, with the option to leave whenever you feel like it, take the time to click ‘like’ or write down a comment.  Thank you.

So without further ado, here’s my world – so far this week.

Do you believe in extraterrestrials or life on other planets? 

I’m a huge fan of The X-Files, Star Trek and the original Star Wars trilogy, so that should tell you enough.  I believe, should be my simple answer.  And I’m sure that what they might think about us would be quite interesting.  They might even have the same issues we all have – like, does this make my butt look big?

What type of pet or pets do you not want to have?

I once thought I’d want a snake – a boa constrictor or a python.  I thought it would go well with my real name, you know, Velvet the snake woman or something like that.  But then life intervened to let me know the folly of my ways by having a real-life snake wrangler for a classmate in college.  He shook his head and told me that as much as having a snake sounded like a nifty idea, he told me to “wait till you have to feed it live pet rats or mice, and hear the poor things scream (the rodents, not the snake) – or you can kill the rodents before you feed it to the snakes.  Then, come back and tell me you still want a snake, and I’ll have no problem getting you one.”

I’d read enough of Silence of the Lambs to know what that is like to hear the screaming of, well, in that story, lambs.  But to hear it at every mealtime for the benefit of a pet, no thank you.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Purple, baby.  Although red suits me so much better.

What type of transportation would you be? Why?

I have to be honest here.  While others might think themselves to be Porsche’s or Ferrari’s or Testarossa’s, I’d probably be a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle – oh, and automatic shift at that.  That means that while it has the gear stick with the various 1st to 3rd gears, it has no clutch pedal.

Weird, I know, but get this.  Unique and often hard to come by  (in working condition) – check.  0 to 60 in ten minutes – check.  Could break down at any minute – check.

Yep.  Sounds pretty much like me.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Last Saturday night, I had a major allergy attack that surprised me – puffy eyes and tingling puffy lips.  Angioedema is the proper word for it.  Unfortunately, I had no antihistamine in the house – not a single pill of Benadryl or Zyrtec.  I did have my albuterol inhaler and so when I was having difficulty breathing in addition to the itchy feeling under the skin (no hives in sight), I used the inhaler and then told hubby to go to the drugstore at 1 am to get me Benadryl.  It could have been worse, but thank goodness, despite my ignorance about MSG allergy, it wasn’t.

For the week coming up, I’m looking forward to being more organized because taxes are fast approaching.  Because I sure as heck am not at the moment.

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Share My World – 2014 Week 12

Wow! Is the week over already?  I usually look forward to weekends but tomorrow I teach 2-day workshop and already I have 16 students and I can just see myself hobbling back home on Sunday, wishing there was a massage therapist handy to take care of me when I get there.  But anyway, before that workshop starts and sucks the life out of me, it’s time to share my world (so far!) with you, courtesy of Cee’s Photography.


What is your most favorite smell/scent?

My most favorite scent would have to be a baby’s scent, like little puppies and kittens – and of course, little babies like my son, when he was literally just a little bundle in my arms.  His smell has certainly changed now that he’s four, but I still take a deep inhale of his hair whenever I can, even though that baby smell is long gone.

I do like the smell of certain colognes on a man.  But for now, I’ll stick to babies…

How do you write: computer, longhand or other?

I write much faster on the computer, but sometimes when I don’t have one close by, then by hand will have to do, especially when I have all these bright ideas for my novel.  Thankfully, I’ve started writing in journals again, and as long as I stick to the muse and my novel ideas, then I’m fine – the journal is safe from the next moment of anger that might strike me and I rip every page to shreds – like I did every single journal I kept in the last 20 years.  Sad, I know.

That’s why sometimes writing on the computer is much better.  I write so much that I don’t remember what file I’ve put what in…

Your favorite blog post that you have written? (add link)

You can’t ask me to name only one!  I can, however, name three:

In His Study – a short story about two of my novel characters long into the future of the story I’ve set them in.  It started out as a writing challenge, but I think it’s really not anymore – because it’s long….really long.

Lucas North on Line One – A daily prompt challenge about receiving a phone call from a stranger, and in this case, I chose to receive one from the muse I was writing about then, Lucas North.

Elevator – A writing prompt that places you stuck in an elevator with a stranger.  I wrote this with vintage small elevators in mind, an old unmarked can of Mace that used to be in my purse for years, and a tall, dark and handsome man with blue eyes – and hopefully no murderous tendencies…

What’s one of your favorite books from childhood?

The Little Prince, by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.  It was one of the books that was already in my room when I was little, and I read that again and again, not exactly understanding why it was so sad, for a children’s book.  I recently just acquired my very own copy.  This was printed in 1943, and I am just so excited to read it again.  Hopefully I’ll understand the true meaning behind his words now, so many years after I last read it as a child.


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I am grateful for spring.  At least now, the days are longer and I get to do more around the house, even though I wish I could do more but with each chore I do, that’s one hour taken away from my writing unfortunately.  It makes me realize just why it is there are more male poet laureates – they didn’t have to worry about dinner or the laundry or the PTA.

I am looking forward to teaching tomorrow’s Thai Yoga workshop, and in a way, getting it over with.  Teaching something to that many people can be stressful, and introducing them to an Asian bodywork technique that is so new, and so different from what they learned in Swedish massage can be a challenge.  For what I teach just about breaks almost all the fixed rules they learned, but it is what it is.

Share Your World – 2014 Week 11

If you were an ice cream cone how many scoops and flavors would you be and why?

I’d probably be just two flavors.  Maybe pineapple-coconut or mocha and vanilla.  Although if it’s a banana split, then I’m fine with three flavors.

Are you left or right handed?

I’m right handed, but can write with my left hand quite well.  Something I continue to work on when the thought strikes me.  I used to color coloring books with my left hand for years, just because…

Before making a phone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?

Most of the time, yes.  Especially these days, when we text more than we actually talk over the phone.  If it’s a call to my mother or my brothers, there’s no rehearsal needed though.  Just pick up the phone and talk – unless I did something wrong, then yes, there’s a LOT of rehearsal.

How many rings before you answer the phone?

A few.  Usually I can’t find my phone fast enough, and I’ve changed the ringer so it’s a chime of some sorts and most of the time, I don’t hear it till it’s probably rung three or four times.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for having found  a friend I can walk with at least once a week, and last week, we saw a play together.  It was nice to get away with someone new, and someone with whom I apparently share a lot in common with.

This week, I’m looking forward to making an appointment with the chiropractor.  Too much writing of my novel and having to sleep with my head elevated because of allergies has given me a creak in the neck that’s making my right arm feel weird.  Or maybe just getting a good massage.  That should do it.

Photo by sqback

Share Your World

Share Your World: Club Introvert

I’ve recently discovered Share Your World challenges from reading DrAliman’s blog and figured, hey, that looks like fun!  So here’s my first foray into their weekly challenge, and let’s see how I do…


Describe yourself in a word that starts with the first letter of your name.

I can be vivacious if I want to – more if I’ve got some drink in me.  But I don’t really need it. 

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

I’d probably say that maybe 20 are living a more satisfying life than I am – especially if I were to base it on my FB friends…

If you were a tree, would you become a book or furniture? Please describe.

I’d like to be a book that people can plop down on the grass or the soft ground to read, and lose themselves in whatever stories I carry within my pages.  In fact, I am rereading Marcel Proust’s “In Search for Lost Time” and finally ‘understood’ what he was talking about when he wrote about Combray coming to life from that cup of tea and the crumbs of Madeleine on his plate.  It was like, wow, in a you-have-to-read-it-to-understand-what-I-mean kinda way.

You are trapped in an elevator, who would you want to be trapped with?

I have just discovered Michael Fassbender and think he’s fascinating.  As long as it’s not, like forever, then I wouldn’t mind being trapped in an elevator with him.  He can sing, he can dance, and he can do bird calls and even motorcycle sound effects, so I don’t think I’d be bored. And I can tell him tall tales and crappy jokes in return.  I mean, as long as no one asks him who he’d want to be trapped in an elevator with, what more could a girl want?  (No,  you don’t need to answer that question…)


Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m actually grateful to be teaching again.  I was on a break for a few months and I didn’t realize how stir crazy I was getting being home with a 4-year old during the day and having to face endless chores around the house.  Anything but chores.

For the coming week, I’m looking forward to longer days as  Daylight Savings Time just started, and now the days last longer and I can work at getting healthier with more brisk walking and hopefully, even jogging.

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