Sunday, November 22, 2009

Top Ten List That Christmas Is Here

1. FB friend is almost done with her Xmas shopping.
2. Christmas tree lots are in full swing.
3. Nieces and nephews have their gift list written.
4. Sisters are shopping for party dresses.
5. Family parties are already scheduled.
6. It’s cold and temperature runs below 50’s at night.
7. Coats and sweaters are the clothing staple again.
8. Experiments are in full force ahead to finish before the holidays.
9. Advertisements for “Black Friday”  (the biggest after Thanksgiving sale) are on the radio, TV, and flyers.
10. I’ve been listening to a radio station playing Christmas songs on my way to work for a week now.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Big 4-0

My reaching this magic age next month is inevitable.   I never had problems with the previous milestones, but this one, I don't know. ..... Somehow I feel the need that I should be feeling something.  I can't seem to pin point what it should be though.  Which brings me to the fact that I probably should just embrace this with grace.  

Let's see, what about a list for what I should be thankful for before reaching the Big 4-0. 
  1. Wonderful Family and Friends
  2. Excellent Health
  3. Incredible Job and an Exceptional Boss
  4. Freedom to do, think, feel, whatever I want, whenever I want
  5. Beautiful roof over my head
This list could probably go on and on, but I won't bore you with it.  For those who will be reaching another milestone, here's a little secret, it only gets better and better. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

OcToBeR BluEs

We had pouring rain overnight.  The sky is so gloomy and dark right now.  The heater was turned on to keep the cold, damp air away.  This weather reflects what my family is feeling right now.  It has been hard for my family these past couple of weeks.  

An uncle of mine, who's also my Godfather, passed away from a massive heart attack. He lived a good life. He stayed in Iowa for the slow-paced day to day life, I guess California was just too much for him.  

Then a few days later, my cousin in the Philippines followed.  After a wonderful lunch and the Christmas tree bought (his final request), he slept and went into a coma.  His was a long fought battle, ever brave and ever strong. 

They will surely be missed.  

Furthermore, the day we found out about my cousin, I found our fish not scrambling to get his food and  he was lying next to his castle, lifeless.  His was the only one we could attend in person.  We buried him in the backyard next to the two previous ones we had before him.

The "circle of life" witnessed by my niece at a young age of almost 7 years old by next week.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fall Is Finally Here

Top 10 Signs of Fall

1. When I got out at 7pm last night from an hour's class at the gym, it was already dark.
2. The household was in full swing at 6am (Hayden has church @ 7:45am) and all the lights were on.
3. The heater was in full blast making the house warm and cozy.

4. Finally got out of bed by 6:30am and saw the sun started to peek and greeted us.
5. Beautiful sunny day with a brisk cool wind blowing.  Definitely a "cardigan" kind of day.
6. My niece already has a Halloween costume.

7. It's already 2nd week of the month that ends in "ber."
8. Talks and plans about Thanksgiving.
9. I started to look for my sweaters kept in the basement.
10. The reason for #1, seeing the glimpse of "stuffing your face eating marathon" months.

Monday, October 5, 2009

100th Time

I was just reading Cherie's post about her reaching 100 posts.  

On that note, today is also the 100th time the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology has been awarded, and to more than one woman.  They are Elizabeth H. Blackburn , Carol W. Greider  and Jack W. Szostak.  This 2009 Nobel Prize for Medicine is for the discovery of "how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase."

I bet you someone probably celebrated their 100th birthday today. 

Well, I hope this short post brightened your day! 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sadness and Hope

There was this deep sadness in me when I heard about the calamity that hit the Philippines.  My only consolation is the fact that my friend Buday kept on updating me on how we can help the victims from wherever we are.  I also have friends that posted in FB excerpts  from news about the countless good Samaritans that risked their own lives to save others.  From where I am standing, it seems so incomprehensible to fathom the depth of sadness from those who where affected and those who were helpless in the midst of this catastrophe.  However, I have this firm belief in the goodness of everyone, the collective strength of the people, and the unshakable faith that life will go on.  My hope and prayers go out to  those who are affected and also to those who had the strength in them to help others.  May we find hope in every smile we receive today, and that little glimpse of sunshine.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Hamburger Fix

Sugar Fix

Yes my dear friends, I can read your thoughts right now.... "Heart attack and Diabetes Combo"
Pardon me, I'm only human, mwaaaaaa.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Something Old

Ok friends, this one is quite unique and an antique.  A blast from the past.  First, you have to guess.

 Any guesses?

It's an incubator!     

Well kids, better luck next time!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something Borrowed

It's 98 degrees outside, but feels like 100 degrees and mind you it's the second day of Fall.  Taking a cue from Buday's post, I took time out to go to one of my favorite places, "the library." Most of the books from my list that I wanted to borrow were out.  So,  I just took two books from the "new arrival shelf" that somehow looked interesting from a quick glance.  Let's hope they are entertaining.

 Glendale Public Library

 Catchy Title 

                Looks like a good one

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Something Blue

SPG stain on Spleen

I'm learning this new technique where I use a cryostat to cut tissue to about  16 micrometer in thickness and immediately stain the section.  Voila, this is what you see under a fluorescence microscope.  That fluorescent blue in the photo shows nerve fibers running through the mouse spleen.  Isn't science just magical! Or at least make pretty pictures, hahaha.

Something New

I started something new last night.  I joined a "Bikram Yoga" class near my neighborhood.  I signed up for 7 days.  I know some of you are thinking, "another fad."  However, I've heard so many good things about it, so I'm trying it.  My sister actually joined a week ago and was raving about it.  It was actually recommended by during her last doctor visit to help relieve her arthritis.  My first thought was the opposite.  Go figure, little do I know.

Trying something new has always been in "The List" of things to do.  The Bikram yoga class was conducted in a 105 degrees room for 90 minutes.  We did 26 poses, about a minute long each pose for each side and the result for me was a bucketful of sweat and engagement of my muscles that I didn't know existed.  I've done yoga classes in my gym on and off but this one is really different. 

So, if you think you want something new to do, don't mind a roomful of sweaty people, and improve your body in so many different ways, try Bikram Yoga.  This reminds me of Marissa's blog about "Bekkeren," I guess it doesn't hurt to improve ourselves in any way we can. Anything can start with a goal in mind.  My dear friends, I challenge you today to start something new.  You might just like it!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Blues

On my way to the gym this morning, I found out that my car was broken into. They took my radio. Mind you it was in a gated garage! How in the world did they get in without being noticed? My car was one of the 3 cars broken into. On the bright side (yes there's a bright side), they didn't break my windows.

I felt violated and scared. I guess no gym for me today.

Good Feeling

It's past one o'clock in the morning and I'm still up. The reason being is that I've been reading my friends' blogs. They just give me this "good feeling."

Marissa's blog about "bakkaren" made me happy that I'm not alone when it comes my constant obsession, "trying to lose that last 5 lbs or more." I highly recommend Cherie's photos of "karatulas" that made me laugh so hard I got tears in my eyes. Although thousands of miles away I feel connected to Melodie with her latest blog about books (i love them too) and felt sorry for Menchie's trip to the beauty salon. Solita's love of nature makes me appreciate my surroundings more.

If you want that "good feeling" drop by and meet my friends. Enjoy!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Move-In Day

I should have paid attention to the "one way" signs all over campus today, or checked the university calendar because I was stuck in traffic on my way home on a Friday afternoon.

It's "Move-In Day" at
UCLA today. New and returning students along with their parents and families were moving in to their respective residence halls because Fall quarter starts soon. The scene was so varied in moods. I saw parents and kids with their proud smiles, some worried looks, some with frustrated frowns and still some laughing and talking while pushing carts piled with pillows, beddings, lamps, and even plants.

Oh I remember when I took my little sister to
UC Santa Cruz for her "move-in day." We drove early in the morning for almost 7 hrs in my red Mazda and got to this beautiful campus on top of a hill with lots of trees overlooking the ocean and with a family of deer greeting us. It was an exciting and sad day for me. I was so proud of my sister and scared for her at the same time. I knew that she'll be away for 4 years, and that was sad even though I knew she'll be home for breaks and holidays. I don't know why I just left her after I helped her moved her things in the room. I gave her a hug and hurriedly drove away. I guess I just hate goodbyes. Looking back now, I should have hang out and checked out the campus with her. However, I managed to visit her while she was up there. I was also there for her 21st Bday, that was fun!

What the heck! Thirty minutes in traffic on a Friday afternoon, bringing back good old fun memories, priceless!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goals and Accomplishments

When I woke up this morning, I told myself to try the 5-mile loop this evening even if I have to crawl it. Guess what, I did it, I ran/walked that loop for almost over an hour, i think. Not bad considering I've been stuck doing the 3-mile loop since end of February.

During my run a girl approached me and started chatting and asking me about the running club. She told me that she lost 60lbs by running everyday and would like to join our group. I thought to myself,"wow, that's really something!" Now her goal is to do a triathlon.

I guess no matter how small or how big your goal is, the key is to just stick to it. Sooner or later you will eventually accomplish something. Watch out 10K, here I come!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fluorescent Cells

I was backing up my work computer right now and noticed this data of an experiment I did around June this year and I thought I should share this with you guys.

These were peripheral blood mononuclear cells transformed into macrophages and GFP (green fluorescent protein) DNA was inserted and served as my control for the experiment.

Yes, you can make cells green! I'll tell you about GFP and macrophage next time.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Road Trip

One last try to hang on to summer, a road trip to Mexico with my sister.

First time to cross the border on foot

Loving the ocean view, warm sun, and thoughts of lobster and margaritas

Hmm, I think I can get used to this

At Puerto Nuevo

My plate

Hanging out with Robert

With our wonderful hosts

I'm ready to move here

At Ensenada

Well folks, that's all. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend like we did.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Happy Thoughts

I'm starting my day with happy thoughts. This photo was taken with my cousin Aboi in 2005 at Paguriran. That was a fun trip! Swimming with whale sharks in Donsol, island hopping to Boracay, Palawan, Cebu and back to Bicol, visiting the Basilica in Naga, site seeing near Mayon Volcano, hanging out with family and friends and food, glorious food. This cousin of mine is definitely a FIGHTER!
I am sending out good thoughts to everyone.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gloomy Tuesday

I just heard that my cousin is in the hospital again. He was diagnosed with "soft tissue sarcoma" last year. When we visited last April he just finished his chemo and radiation and looked good. He just celebrated his birthday end of August. On a bright note, he's a fighter and has a lot of faith.

Last Sunday I received an email from my friend that one of our dear friend's mom just passed away. It just made me sad to think that both her parents are now gone. However, it's comforting to know that our friend is also the "strength" in her family. I can imagine her now, just taking charge of any given situation.

As I'm writing this blog, I am deeply saddened that unfortunate things do happen and it can happen to anyone. We live, we die, and for some of us, we fight.

Please say prayers for my cousin, that he overcomes this hurdle upon him, and for my friend's mom, that she may rest in peace, and to my dear friend, that she may have extra strength and faith that, this too shall pass.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

3 Day Weekend

We just had a three day weekend. Like everyone else, ours was spent eating and more eating. This year I did the barbecue with my mom's help (I can't seem to tell when the ribs were done). My brother brought down with him his "Guitar Hero," which was a big hit! I remember Melodie blogging about this game a month or so ago. I also played "Rock Band" at a friend's party. Before I knew it I was waiting patiently for my turn. Nothing feels as good as "rocking" the weekend! Next stop, "Rock Band."

Detour = Beach Day

It would be so nice to prolong summer a little longer. Last Saturday was suppose to be "library day" with my niece. I guess I didn't get the memo, LOL, we got to the library and it was closed. We were both disappointed. So we ended up at Will Rogers State Beach. Alas, a day at the beach is a sure way to put a smile on anyone's face! Hayden + Beach = EXTRA FUN
Although shivering and obviously cold, Hayden did not want to get out of the freezing water. Probably a dozen or so of "Not yet Auntie," until we finally head out for home.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pizza Friday

Another fun "Pizza Friday" at my house today! Five women plus a precocious girl in front of a Hawaiian pizza and California chicken pizza equals an instant party. An evening of talking, hashing out what happened during the week, planning on future gatherings, and plans for the weekend is the typical scenario at said gathering. A time to share, exchange, reminisce, laugh, just PRICELESS! I hope all of you got a chance to enjoy your family today like I did. Until next time, Peace.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Final Rest

I was at my running club a couple of hours ago, when the caravan of black limousines, SUVs, expensive cars, passed by on their way to the cemetary for the final resting place of MJ. Turning on the street on my way home were police barricades, a couple of tv vans, some photographers, some fans, outside the gate and helicopters circling on top. Such a big contrast from the huge crowd at UCLA, this time, not a lot of traffic. I guess this is indeed a private and solemn time for MJ and his family. May you rest in peace MJ!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New School, New Friends, New Beginnings

I was lucky enough to accompany my sister to drop off Hayden for her fist day of school at Holy Family. At first, I thought, "new school, new faces, this looks like waterworks in the making." I am so blessed for being around my niece's transformation from being in the tummy, a cute baby, and now a 2nd Grader. Boy, time flew by so fast! We got to the school, auditorium was filled, parents looking flustered, some kids were smiling, some apprehensive, and some sleepy. Hayden had a stoic face, I thought to myself, "I hope she's alright." Finally, I had the courage to push through the crowd and ask a mom where the 2nd graders were. Low and behold they were at the other end of the auditorium. We finally got there, and guess what brought a smile to Hayden's face, a girl with open arms saying her name and giving her a huge hug! Hayden said with full relief, "Katelyn!" At that moment I knew she'll be alright. I guess mother's instinct is one hundred percent reliable. My sister was smart enough to enroll Hayden to the school's summer program in anticipation of the "new school." On the other hand, I remember a horrible first day of school at Colegio de la Milagrosa. I mean, waterworks, holding to my yaya for dear life, and imagine this, rolling on the floor to let them know I was not feeling it! My mom was smart, she transferred me to Pilot Elementary School.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cooling Off

It felt nice to be out and about...

Dancing fountains accompanied by music

Kids were applauding watching this

See you next time!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Blazing Heat and Wildfires

This week we reached record heat all over L.A. county and caused devastating wildfires that won't be contained for at least another week.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Future Neighbor

I was on my way to work yesterday listening to the news and heard a blip about MJ's final resting place. I haven't blogged about the "King of Pop," (although I'm a big fan) until right now.

I actually heard the helicopters flying around UCLA campus when he was brought to RRMC, saw the fans and paparazzis waiting outside the hospital, and was one of the employees fighting the campus traffic trying to get home that afternoon.

Who knows if his family will still change their minds about choosing Forest Lawn Memorial Park here in Glendale. But for now, I guess he's going to be (one of the many famous people) our neighbor. Here's an advance "Welcome MJ" from me, your fan!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Moment

One way to take a breather for me is to look at pictures taken from previous vacations. These photos can transport me back in time. I can remember the weather when it was taken and how I was feeling at that moment. In this fast-paced life that we live in, we seldom find the time to take a moment. Even a single moment can be an endless source of second wind specially for people like me, hahaha. Take yours now!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend

My weekend started last Friday. I drove around 57 miles north of Glendale to meet friends. To my surprise, the traffic wasn't bad at all. I had a wonderful time eating, talking, swimming and holding beautiful babies. I just go "gaga" when I see babies, just adorable babies! It was hard to leave and say goodbye to my friends, but I had another appointment to see my friend for dinner. So I was on my way, another 78 miles east. I thought it will be easy. Guess what, it wasn't! I took the wrong way and went back to Los Angeles instead. It took me 3 hours to finally get to my final destination! My friend was relieved to see me, I was too. I was so exhausted, but it didn't keep me from yapping until midnight. Nothing beats getting together with a girlfriend. The next morning, we went to "The Mission Inn," a historic hotel that has been around since the 1800's for a wonderful breakfast. The ambience was absolute perfection and the food was great. My friend and I decided that we'll have to stay there for a weekend some time. After breakfast, we ended up driving 54 miles north-east to Big Bear Lake. The drive on the winding road up the mountain was a little intense, however the view was worth it. This place was at 7000 feet. I've never seen it during summer time. It's quite different from the times I've been there to go skiing in the winter. After a little bit of exploring, we ended our day with a wonderful dinner of "chicken salad and crab cakes" with an spectacular view of the lake. Then we were off again. After dropping off my friend, I finally trekked home, another 60 or so miles. Before I knew it, it's Sunday!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today is Thursday Fun Run! I almost didn't make it because of traffic. "New Balance" people were there to let us test run their shoes, how cool is that? Unfortunately, they didn't have my size.

There were new faces tonight and since I'm not a newbie to the group anymore, our organizer gave me the task to be the "fearless leader" for the 3K loop so that they don't get lost. The funny thing is, they almost always run faster than I am. However, this doesn't deter me from enjoying that title to the fullest.

On the way back, some of the guys that ran 5miles were passing me by like there's no tomorrow. One of them even yelled and said, "no walking, keep going!" I yelled back, " I'm going!" But really, I was thinking, "I have an excuse, I got a side-stitch!"

When we were all gathered waiting for the raffle for "new shoes," the guys were teasing me and asking me how many days I ran last week, and all I could tell them was, "let me see, I think I got amnesia all of sudden." All they could do was laugh. The other one was asking me, "how come you're not sweating?" I looked his way, smiled and said, " I don't sweat, I'm a lady." He laughed and said, " You just glow!"

The reason why I keep on going back to this running club is I have to practice my perfect excuses, hahahaha.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Much Needed Rest

At Sundown

Our Bay Window

It's only Tuesday and I'm already beat. Luckily, it will be a short work week for me. I'm taking off on Friday, yay! I'm quite happy just to be sitting here in the living room watching people walk their dogs and their kids , enjoying a very calming view and putting my thoughts into words so that I can share them with all of you out there. I do hope that all of you are already unwinding from a long day's worth of work. Think good thoughts my friends. Life is good!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


My Sister's Winning Hand

The closed "kang" revealed.

My brother Jho is town for the weekend and today is his birthday. Since yesterday, the house was filled with laughter, clicking sound of the mahjong tiles, aroma of food and junk food and just constant chatter of voices wanting to be heard and stories to be told. A week before, we asked my brother if he wanted us to organize a party for him, and he said, "no, let's just play mahjong!" So play mahjong we did... We didn't wrap up the last game until almost midnight last night. In my family, a game of mahjong can bring out an overflowing joy of wonderful memories from our childhood years, constant flow of conversations, and laughter that embraces us all. Without further ado, let the games begin, hahaha.

Without a Phone

It's almost working week again and I managed to exist without my cell phone since I got off work Friday afternoon. I accidentally left it on top of my desk at work after my weekly conference call. So I apologize to everyone who called for the last 2 days.

On the bright side, the land line was in use again to call, no alert sounds for text and no rummaging through my purse to retrieve the ringing cell phone. However, it was a little bit alarming walking to and from church without it, what if there was an emergency?

Without a cell phone, not bad at all!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Things To Do

Playing the piano

Going to Ice Skating

When I was growing up, I had some activities outside of school that I did with my sisters and cousins. We took dance classes (Hawaiian and ballet), some tennis, and a little bit of piano. I am blessed to witness and be a part in my niece's transformation from a baby to almost 7 yrs of age. I'm always in awe in how much this little person can do in her spare time. She takes up ballet to give her proper posture and grace, ice skating to develop her athletic and competitive edge, and piano to develop her musical side (and according to different studies also mathematical part of the brain). I guess I have to give my sister a great applause for her dedication to make all these things happen. To be able to have these precious moments with your child is indeed a Blessing!

Never Say Never

On Cell phones
I remember when I saw people with this gadget years ago, and thought to myself, "I will never get one, waste of money, waste of time, what's wrong with the land line?"
Guess what, I have to eat my words! I can't live without it. It's not an accessory anymore but a life line.

Text Message
I was in the Philippines for my grandma's funeral when all of my younger cousins were busy with their fingers and constantly giggling and they were sitting right next to each other, they were texting. I thought back then, "how silly, they could just open their mouths and talk, extra monthly cell phone expense, that's just plain crazy!"
Now, what a convenience when you're in a meeting and not bothering anyone with a loud conversation. Although it took me a while to learn how to do it, and still a little bit slow.

Digital Camera
Back then, I said, "my 35mm Canon PowerShot was perfect!" Why would I want to spend that outrageous price on a digital camera?
Right now, I'm literally on my 3rd Canon PowerShot SD1000, just don't ask why. Technology has really come a long way. Sleek, light, easy design, that I can carry in my purse or slip in my jean's back pocket, and an instant gratification, no more waiting for films to be developed. What more can I ask for?

At first, "another gimmick, too preppy, too expensive."
Now, I just love it! I can plug it in my car stereo, my music on the go, use it in the gym or just about anywhere.

Well, I didn't think it was a necessary TV feature at all. Another moment of, "gee, another gimmick to gouge customers."
Boy let me tell you, you will never say, " what did she say?" or " I just missed that, with a sigh." Recorded shows that can be seen in a shorter time because of commercial fast forwards that otherwise you will miss because there's this little thing called work.

Social Networking
When my sister and her friends were on MySpace and most of my cousins in the Philippines were on Friendster, and while my undergrad students were hooked on Facebook, I told myself, " another time pit in the making, not for me!"
Another shocker for me, it is so much fun! Finding old and new friends again from near and far, knowing what's up with everyone. One downside, it sure consumes a lot of time from my busy schedule. But what the heck!

The first time I saw my cousin's 17 year old son using an Iphone, I said, "What? You paid $500 for that?"
I've been hearing good things about it. But knowing me, it will take time to get me convinced.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bountiful Blessings

I got some great news to share with you guys. My sister's company will be keeping her until the end of the year. That means less stress for her, for now. She'll have more time to apply and look out for jobs. Time indeed is precious.

I am not affected by the university pay cut since my salary comes from federal grants, Thank God! And we are all very blessed with good health and good family and friends.

Thanks for all the good wishes and prayers.
Dios Mabalos!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Run

The anticipated run finally happened. What an experience! It was the AZTLAN 5K SUNSET INDIAN X/C RUN on grass, dirt and hills. I couldn’t sleep the night before with crazy thoughts going through my head, missing the run altogether due to traffic, falling, leg cramps, side-stich, and the worst, chickening out at the start line.

It was definitely hard for a first race, a little scary sometimes because of the uneven terrain; the first uphill trail was insane (literally through the trees), some obstacle courses of fallen branches and the worst part was when 60 yr olds just wheezed by me like they do this on a daily basis. The best part was the crowd dotting the course cheering us on and giving us support and I was lucky enough that my family got there to see me at the finish line.

The ARC running club is just an awesome group! They inspire and motivate me to “just run.” Before I left, they handed out trophies for the women’s group, age 30-39, and both the 1st and 3rd place went to our group. I bet the ARC also placed in the men’s group, I’ll definitely find out later.

It feels great to have checked off this first 5K in my “to do list,” I am now looking forward to the next race!