“What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?” (post-)#AskWednesday

Until I read Debbie The Doglady’s post, I could have forgotten this. I had planned on posting this sometime ago but never had the right time or chance to do so. I did think of sharing it for Valentine’s, but I also felt it would have been kind of a sad reminder for some who are still grieving for our parents, so I didn’t.

I was doing some legit research one day, I don’t remember what about, but as most researches went, I stumbled on something else. I found this question posted on Quora:

“What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?”

My parents on New Year's Eve 2011

My parents on New Year’s Eve 2011

I could have answered, but I wasn’t planning on joining Quora. Also, I didn’t think I had any answer to that. I still don’t.

My father had a mild stroke when I was 20 and since then, he was unable to go to work, work being a teacher in elementary Math, Physical Education, and Gardening & Shop (I have no idea what those subjects were called then exactly and I think they have new names now). So maybe, whatever secrets he could have hidden, if there were any at all, my mother had long ago gotten rid of them. I know of one I found when I was young, but that doesn’t count because he was still so alive back then. So when he died in May 2012, I didn’t find any strange thing that belonged to him.

Meanwhile, my mother, who was a Geometry and Trigonometry teacher, had nothing physical to hide either, not to my knowledge, nothing strange that I found, at least. There were several secrets about her personal experiences that I found out after she died in July 2012, some things she did not tell me because she knew I would get mad that she let people do that to her, but they were nothing near strange.

I think the reason that I still haven’t found anything “strange”, surprising or shocking is because I have lived in our family’s house all my life (well, except when I was/am gone the whole week working). Non-Filipinos may go, “What???” and think “Adult and still living in her parent’s house?” Let me tell you now that Filipinos are family-oriented and living with one’s parents doesn’t necessarily make him/her dependent and useless. It is common in our culture, especially the extended family culture…

My parents were teachers and most things that I find that belonged to them are clothes, personal effects that I mostly knew anyway, various school-related stuff like books for lesson plans, IDs, lovely notes from students (especially for my mother, whose hoarding tendencies I happen to have inherited). I’m just thinking maybe I’m better off not knowing anything in case it happens to be something I’ll regret finding out.

Now that I have answered the question, I am sharing to you some of the worthy answers I found on Quora. I’d rather share the nice ones because I’d rather that we remember our parents fondly. Click on them to get to the actual pages if you want to.

quora1Click on the image so you get to be redirected to the link he gave and see what he’s talking about.

quora3This is something that I would have liked to have found. I wish I could learn more about my parents, their experiences, their thoughts, their worries, their dreams…This only emphasizes how important it is to not wait and get to know your parents more while they’re still alive, because time will come that they won’t be able to tell you anything anymore. Except for their lesson plans, my parents did not seem to have inclinations towards creative writing, which is most probably why there are no journals for me to visit in the first place.

quora4Again, one of the things I regret is emphasized here. I regret to not having video-recorded my parents (I tried, but my low-tech phone wasn’t much help,…I could have found a way and borrowed, but didn’t. Sadly.). I did not even record their voices! Now all my sister and I have of them are like the Jim Croce song: ‘Photographs and Memories’. It would have been better to see and hear them alive and talking and laughing once in a while when we’re missing them…

quora5Finding such bills would have been awesome, I gotta admit 🙂 Anyway, my father had quite a sense of humor, too, which I would not have known had he not gotten sick. It seemed he went back to his former and younger self and in the next years of his life, I got to know more of how he was as a younger man. I’m sure he was like that to his friends before the mild stroke, but at home, he was stricter. So the “change” was somehow drastic.

quora2Alright, I couldn’t help it. This one’s kind of sad in the end. Still, the mother thought of buying gifts for her children…

quora6

Make sure you click on this to see the whole of it…This reminds me of my parents, especially my mother whom her students adored. I found similar letters and cards given to her, but I really was not surprised. I had known since I was little that she was getting such expressions of appreciation from her beloved students.

 

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I hope you liked what I shared.  How about you, “What was the strangest thing you found cleaning out your parents’ house after they died?” Again, the comments section is for your perusal 🙂

**NOTE: I thought I’d add this since I mentioned the song. It has always made me sad even before losing my parents, but now it means so much more to me. I actually just teared up having listened to it. It’s a lover’s love song, but it can very well be a song for a loved one who has gone on before you.

Oh, My 2016! (Not My) Interview with Myself #AskWednesday #ThrowbackTwenty16

It’s near the end of January and Chinese New Year’s really near. Thought it’s time to post my 2016 review that I had been intending to do.

However, I did not want to do it the traditional way. And because it’s Wednesday, I thought why not an interview? Not just an interview, but an imagined one with myself. Not just an imagined one, mind you! I asked a few peeps last night (your Wednesday morning, I suppose) to ask me any questions regarding my 2016. Some of them actually gave it much thought. A few silly questions here and there, but we all need silly from time to time.

So, here it…

(Not My) Interview with Myself

Was 2016 good for you?

Yes and no. It’s funny that most of the world unofficially officially declared 2016 as a bad year, The Worst Year, even The Worst Year Ever in History (well, maybe modern history). I understand. 2016 was mean to me and my family and the world in general.

I am rather amazed, though, that I’m not hating on 2016 all that much, regardless of the fact that the negatives certainly outweighed the positives. Must be because I mindfully kept trying to be positive. No more letting depression in my life especially now that I have people counting on me. Maybe that should be my annual goal.

Who were your inspirations in 2016?

MY FAMILY. Family is never cliche, and I know a lot of people would give the same answer because that is the truth. Difficulties and issues aside, family is most precious to me. My husband, our kids, my sister…

Were your finances okay/great?

On the contrary, my dear Watson. Sadly.

What improvements did you do to yourself?

Work-wise, I added a few online-related skills, thanks to our company. On a more personal note,…

  • I read a little more.
  • I blogged more and wrote a little more, though most writing I did was for work. You can check out my monthly recaps, just search for #MonthlyRecap.
  • I opened up more by sharing more personal stuff. Hey, I even made public my Blogspot, although that’s not really making me famous either, LOL!.
  • My bad temper lessened. Change was not easily noticed, but I promise you, it’s there. You can’t really rush these things.

Tell us anything totally new/surprising that you did last year.

  • Became a contributor to My Trending Stories. I’m supposed to say “regular contributor” but I’ve stopped. Just trying to put my mojo back on.
  • Joined a poetry-writing contest. Didn’t win, but at least, I got in.
  • Joined the Cherished Blog Fest for the first time.
  • Raised my voice at half of a fourth-grade class and told them to keep their act together…in front of their mothers! I’m not ashamed. I needed what needed to be done and, by George, it got done! One day, I’ll tell you this little story.

Did you learn something new about yourself? What?

Change is always constant, but I’m probably basically same old-same old. I did learn something quite trivial. I have a terrible sense of direction. That’s not really what I learned as I’ve known that for years. I did learn I’m not just one of a few, rather, there are many of us.

The struggle is real! We become lost to the point of looking stupid. What bothers me, though, is finding out it may not have been always like that, but the brain could have suffered some kind of damage (big or small) that was enough for it to not function the way it’s supposed to. I told you, I can really relate with the woman on that BuzzFeed video.

Best advice you received last year?

“Be patient with the kids.” I have to admit, I still need to keep heeding that advice.

Who would you like to thank (basing on 2016)?

I always thanked people. I really appreciated those who helped me in some way, be it in material ways or just through giving me moral and spiritual support. There were some who gave help without batting an eyelash and demanding for more explanations. There were even those with whom I just happened to tell my problems and they surprised me by volunteering to help. And some, they weren’t able to help in the material sense, but they lent their ears to listen and offered great advice and prayers.

They’re very good people, in my book. They did not willfully ignore me or give me the runaround or criticize me even (a few did, so thankfully, I now know how they are).

What was the biggest fear that held you back in 2016?

Fear to offend certain people so they would not get mad at me and we could keep that little amount of peace among us. In my efforts to avoid conflict, I let them force certain “rules” on me that they actually violated themselves from time to time — how selfish was that? I only did that to keep the peace even though it seemed I was becoming a pushover.

Nevertheless, as I expected based on past history, I may not move an inch from a corner and they would still find something to complain about and try to enforce more rules on me. Worse, they included others in the issue that they put those others’ health, well-being and own relationships at risk. I would not stand for that. So I let them know that I could be civil to them but would not be a pushover.

Of course, I know they are mad right now. Honestly, it’s them creating their own ghosts and problems. I’m just trying to deal with them as civilly and peacefully as I can.

What was the biggest challenge you overcame last year?

Losing my second baby. I really wouldn’t call it “overcoming”. It was something that happened and did not leave me any choice. I still think about her almost everyday. I don’t even care that I’ve got a big tummy now because it reminds me of her. I’m not even sure I’m willing to overcome this. The real challenge is to not be sad looking at babies.

How many Koreanovelas (Korean dramas/TV shows) did you watch?

I’m not exactly a fan of Koreanovelas in general, but I do watch from time to time. Last year, I watched two with my closest roommate (I live in a boarding house on weekdays as I go to work). Watched Healer and Oh, My Ghost. I’m currently kind of following The Queen of the Office (a.k.a. Goddess of the Workplace), Korea’s version of an original Japanese show.

Most embarrassing moment in 2016?

I was thinking about getting ignored, criticized and the runarounds, but no, those were humbling experiences. I can’t think of any answer at the moment, truthfully.

What new life lessons did you learn from 2016?

I tried to rack my brains out, but to be honest, I don’t think I learned anything new and substantial. If anything, the year only emphasized to me what I already knew, be they good or bad. Okay, maybe because of this, I did learn something: to never be complacent about things. 2016 was my eager reminder.

Some reminders:

  • Keep positive.
  • Prioritize family.
  • Don’t be sensitive–deal with it gracefully.
  • Always say thank you to kind people and be sincere about it.
  • Say sorry and be sincere as well.
  • Keep calm, but don’t be a pushover.
  • Recognize the wolves in sheep’s clothing and never forget they are around.
  • There will always be people who will put you down either face-to-face and mostly behind your back, so don’t mind them much. It’s their time they’re wasting.

What makes you thankful for 2016?

Just the fact that we are still alive and kicking.

 

That’s it, my 2016. So, how was yours? 🙂

October 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Ha! You’d think I’d be doing this quite regularly now. But no, I still miss posting on certain days when I am supposed to. I shouldn’t be hard on myself, though. Have to remember that I promised myself that I’d just chill and not stress over it. I did stress about other writing-related things and with good reason. Let me just keep that/those to myself, though. Regardless, I think I did okay enough.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s how October 2016 went:

Blog-wise:

(1) So, how did my hash potatoes go?

#MondayMemoirs (see “comfort”) – I’m supposed to always have a Monday post weekly. Unfortunately, these days, I am usually busy at home on weekends, I am not able to log in.

Even when I am able, I often spend my time worrying about other “real-world” things, like accompanying one of the kids to class rehearsals as the class is required to perform as a group. Well, they were made to choose from dancing and singing and it’s good he chose the latter–he’s not a good singer, but he is a more awkward dancer. He even kind of freezes when performing. I am trying to change that, although I don’t think my strict style is working on him...

#MondayReviews (see Cancer? Schmancer! ~Fran Drescher)

#TuesdayTunes (see Fight Songs!, Poetry in Music) – You can never really run out of things to share when it comes to music. Maybe just run out of time when busy. Good thing I was able to deliver.

#AskWednesday (see The Warrior Teacher) – Well, somebody promised she’d be sending her answers, but she probably hasn’t answered anything yet. Plus she just lost someone close to her so that’s understandable. As for the others, it’s my own fault as I haven’t sent any questions yet (partly because I was expecting the said promised answers). Will push through then.

#ThursdayTips (none in October ) – In a sort of way, my missing posts here were kind of affected by a kind of issue I had to deal with last month. To think I do have stuff to share.

#FeatureFriday – Last time, I said this would alternate with #FridayFlashdance, which basically meant it would be my default post whenever I couldn’t post a feature in time. However, given that it was near Halloween, thought I’d do a #FreakyFriday thing again, like last year. So…

#FreakyFriday (see Freaky Me, ZZzzzoooommmbiiiesss…!!!) – I actually enjoyed these! The thing is, I was also supposed to share a third post last October 28. Miss Indecisive got the better of me again. The post is still in draft mode. Because I enjoyed that, though, and it’s still November, anyway, think I’ll continue this hash potato for a while. Don’t be surprised, then, by next Friday.

Saturdays and Sundays, or any day, could be about anything. I will post anything when I feel like it, like Moms, we are with you… that is a re-share of a writeup over at My Trending Stories. I definitely could relate to it.

(3) My Trending Stories. Posted once or twice, but certain things were kind of off for me and I didn’t have time to deal with them as well. I will need to have a working scheme for this because I do want to post there.

(4) Memoirs of a Coffee Cat. If you don’t know yet, that’s my more personal blog over at another platform. There were a few posts when I was in Drama Queen mode, but they were not really much. I just wanted to let off a bit of steam. Meanwhile, I have been re-sharing stuff from way back 2004, editing and updating along the way. It’s weird in a way as I get to re-read stuff that I now do not remember what were really about (some stuff vaguely shared), or who I was referring to. To think I said somewhere there that I could be having a lovelife soon. LOL. I should have known that “soon” meant eight years more, give or take.

Social Media Reach-out:

As I said in my last recap, I am very thankful to new followers. And of course, I am also very thankful to those who have followed me over the months, especially the years. Let me share some of them to you  and feel free to visit their blogs. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Christine,         Jane,          Lani,        Mabel,

Raine,               Rara,          Victo

More bloggers to link to in the coming months, for sure. “Old” ones, new ones.

Fiction/Story-writing:

Trying something out. That’s all I’m going to say.

Literature:

Done with Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West online book. I wish I could read the third installment of his series, but I couldn’t find an uploaded copy where I found the first. I will read something else from there then as I am curious to see how certain movies based on books actually “look” and “feel” in written form.

Personal:

How apt that I thought of starting to watch The Walking Dead. Got season 1 and watched with the family. There were several awkward moments the first family night when characters spent sexy time, so the kids had to look away or close their eyes. The next night, I made sure to fast-forward to more wholesome scenes (like there’s any) as I already finished the whole thing the night before, ergo, I knew what to expect and when. Got season 2 now, but we haven’t seen it yet. Meanwhile, we started watching Japanese animated films. I made sure to watch with them so I could translate and explain the movies to them.

Aside from movies, I am again obsessing over stuff and stars that I obsessed over years back. Two of them are “CATS The Musical” and Veerle Casteleyn. I have, in fact, been playing professional sleuth (or professional stalker, you choose), trying to really find Veerle. I am proud to say that I have updated my post that is dedicated to her: Little Dove: Cat of a Feather. Do check!!! One of my fondest wishes is to see Veerle in person before I die. If I do die not seeing her, then I’ll fly and get to finally find her at the other side of the globe–no visa!!! I’ll be the first stalker spirit/ghost, ha ha haaa!!!!

 

Alright, that’s it with October. I predict that November would be a blast (yeah, right). Oh, and it’s my parents’ wedding anniversary today…

Love you, Mame & Dade!!!

 

September 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

September was a much better month for me, writing/blogging-wise. There were some glitches, but the positives outweighed the negatives. I mean this in a less-stressed out way. There were two weeks that I hardly posted anything. Something got me busy, but all was for naught. At least, I tried. It honestly did cause me to lose my mojo a bit, had to clear my head…Now, I’m BACK.

writer-stuff

Here’s how September 2016 went:

Blog-wise:

(1) Not obvious, but I have begun calling may hashes as “hash potatoes”. No reason, I just think it’s cute. I’ve thought of several reasons to give just so I can justify calling them that but, bottomline is, I just like it, period.

So, how did my hash potatoes go?

hash-tag-sign#MondayMemoirs (see What I Am) – I could have posted more, but Mondays are often tricky unless I am able to schedule something the weekend prior. No #MondayReviews posted.

#TuesdayTunes (see Out of Oz)

#AskWednesday (see Born to Sing) – I was so lucky to have interviewed the very gracious Hanna De Guzman. Read to get to know her, guys.

#ThursdayTips (see Let the Spiders Crawl)

#FeatureFriday (see Butterfly Kisses and Lullabies, my replacement Friday post) – This is also a tricky day for me. I do intend to alternate this with #FridayFlashdance. Guess what that’s going to be about 😉

Saturdays and Sundays could be about anything, just like any given day of the whole week. That is, when I am able to post anything. Or MORE, like Dream a Little Dream [Reshared].

(2) So I’m done with my singer, Hanna. I am currently waiting for my interview with my horticulturist-friend, and a Muay Thai artist with whom I worked when I was in college. I have not really yet talked to Andoyman regarding the update interview. But here’s news! The professional dancer I mentioned before has said yes to an interview. Will do that soon!

(3) My Trending Stories. As mentioned before, it’s a new site, they’re still doing stuff to perfect it, but it’s still an honor to be invited, and there’s no such thing as perfect. This is me (CLICK ON IT):

my-trending-stories-jgi

I began posting for it. Then there were two weeks that I was really prolific in posting. The next two weeks, though, I lost much interest and time in posting anywhere.  I’ll get back to it, I promise.

Social Media Reach-out:

This really took the backseat. But I assure you that I appreciate everyone who clicks on LIKE and especially FOLLOW. I am awed and humbled that despite my seeming inactivity, I keep finding out through my email that people have been clicking on the FOLLOW button.

I would like to pay it forward. Just let me get my act together and I will soon be posting links here to legit followers (I do emphasize on legit).

Fiction/Story-writing:

NEXT!!!

Literature:

Abandoned Thomas Hardy‘s Tess of the D’Urbervilles for now. Unintentionally abandoned Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West online book. Priorities weigh heavier. Will try to get back to reading soon as I am able.

Personal:

csi-las-vegas-showI do try to go online on weekends, but I’ve lessened it. Going online does cost money if you don’t have a permanent Internet connection and you just buy “load” for your WiFi, like I do, though it is less expensive.

I’m only home on weekends, so it’s the time to do stuff in the house the way I want them done (I am slightly OC, so understand that I want to do things a certain way).  Time to arrange things the way I want them arranged, sew what needs to be sewn, fix what little things need to be fixed, iron clothes for the coming week, and see to it that the kids open their books and notebooks. More important, weekends mean family time. I’m not the perfect mother at all, but I try to manage the best I can, even if they hate it when I get mad.

So in the evenings or while I iron clothes, I just watch my still-unseen Season 9 and 10 episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

Life is a series of ups and downs, so you face everything. No ifs, no buts. You have to learn everyday. Therefore, in the meantime, you get to watch the gory stuff and plan how you can get away with murdering your enemies and covering up all the evidence…KIDDING!!! 😉

August 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

what to write

What to write? What. To. Write? What-to-write? Whatto write? What towrite? Whattowrite? Whattowrite, Whattowrite? WhattowriteWhattowrite? WhattowriteWhattowriteWhattowrite…?????!!!!

Seemed like it was just last week when I was complaining about how fast July flew by, thing was, it wasn’t last week. August certainly beat my July. I hardly know where the weeks went! And I am totally irritated with myself. Seems like I hardly did anything, at least nothing that I really wanted to do. Well,…not exactly, but I’m still mad.

Here’s how August 2016 went:

Blog-wise:

(1) Excited by how my hashes made me prolific, I decided to do some trial-and-error and find out what would work best for me. In my busy-ness about this matter, planning and planning and planning, I ended up not posting much at all, because I couldn’t make up my freakin’ mind!!! Indecisiveness does not solve anything. I need to fix that about myself. If you were able to follow me, at least, last week, I think you would notice that I tried.

So I have created a new set of scheduling scheme and it will hopefully work. Anyway, my hashes will go like this:

#MondayMemoirs (which I am skipping for now to make way for this), alternating with #MondayReviews (see Helen vs Troy, though that’s more of a comparison of two films rather than a review)

#TuesdayTunes (see They Say Something Together)

#AskWednesday (see Interview with a Komikero REWIND)

#ThursdayTips (wait for it)

#FeatureFriday (I didn’t have any last month. I know already who to feature, but I never get to write the full thing.)

Saturdays and Sundays could be about anything, just like any given day of the whole week.

(2) Happy to say (like I haven’t yet…) that I have a bunch of interviewees already — a horticulturist, a singer, a Muay Thai artist, a comic book artist (we haven’t talked about this yet, but he saw already last Wednesday’s post, so he knows an update interview is coming), hopefully a dancer (haven’t talked about it with her yet), hopefully another martial artist (who hasn’t yet read my invitation for an interview). Now, I am crossing my fingers that anyone of the first three sends her answers for next week’s post…

(3) Well, I got a nice invitation to be a regular writer for My Trending Stories. It’s a new site, they’re still doing stuff to perfect it, but it’s still an honor to be invited, and there’s no such thing as perfect. This is me (CLICK ON IT):

my-trending-stories-jgi

You will see that I am FOLLOW-ing myself. Narcissistic -much. Pathetic, huh? LOL. Actually, I don’t know what I did but I ended up clicking on the follow button or something and can’t even find a way to unfollow myself. But YOU! You, my friends, are welcome to FOLLOW me there, LIKE anything, make a COMMENT.

I post random stuff, meaning, much like here in my blog, I post anything I feel like posting. I want to be able to post for various sections and be versatile. I do choose the less personal thingies. Readers are not there to find out what I did today, what I ate yesterday, where I was last week. Well, I could tell you, but the life of the Real J.Gi isn’t so interesting so, bleh.

Social Media Reach-out:

I am ashamed to say that this whole reach-out thing is kinda overwhelming me. It’s not that I don’t do it. The thing is, I try to do everything, that is why I end up kind of like incapacitated. Talk about irony. I need to be more organized. Or maybe I try to organize everything, that’s the problem. My husband has been saying that with me, I always have to have a process. That is true. But it also causes my downfall. So maybe I’ll just chill-out a bit and be more spontaneous about it. Yes, let’s try that.

Fiction/Story-writing:

Did I mention I have lived with a chaotic mind this past month?

Literature:

Started with Thomas Hardy‘s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but then I found Gregory Maguire‘s Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West book online! Yay!!!!

Personal:

When my August started, it was really messed-up already — remnants of July. If only I could tell you. Maybe the life of the Real J.Gi is interesting after all, at least, for those who like tension a lot. However, it has been my motto to be positive so I try not to let things get to me. They still do, but at least, I don’t sulk about them. You can’t change people, especially not the self-important, self-righteous, self-entitled, judgmental ones. So you change how you react to them instead.

Okay, the happy things: I met up with two of my dearest friends on separate days. Didn’t take a twofie with Jenny; did take twofies with Myra, lots of ’em, but not sure if she’d be okay with me sharing any here. We updated ourselves with one another’s lives. It’s always nice to spend time with your buddies for life.

The sad things:

(1) I missed the Indie Komiks Market. Again. But I never miss the Komikons without valid reasons. Just that they are always valid. I’ll try to make up for it in the Grand Komikon.

my-friend-sherwin

Me and my friend Sherwin The Kraken at one of the Komikons

(2) Two good guys have left. One good guy is about to. It sucks when you lose people you like, those who have been good to you, who even tolerate you when you’re being talkative or asking too many technical questions while they also worked, who make an effort to not make you feel left out.

A special shout-out to one of my besties, Sherwin The Kraken! I will miss you. Thank you so much for everything, you know I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I hope to still see more of you, but we know that reality is, people do grow apart, at least, by distance. I hope to still be with you and your lovey on the next comics conventions!

 

Alright, let’s see what September 2016 has in store…

 

July 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

Oh, July! How fast you went by! But at least, you kept me pretty busy and I hope I can keep it up. How did I fare? I think I did well enough.

serious-blogger

Blog-wise:

(1) I started my Hashes — that’s what I’m calling my hashtagged posts (e.g. #TuesdayTips, #FeatureFriday). These kept my blog busy. Not sure if they work to my advantage in terms of actual readership, but they give me more focus. July was trial-and-error month, though, so I’ll be trying a more workable scheme.

For August, I’ve started trying to see what works best, what combo days, etc. The stats page does tell my current best days and best times, but since I’m not a business anyway, I am not going to sweat on those. It’s not really just about what brings in the visitors, but about how I can work on my posts efficiently and regularly. If anything, I maybe adding one or two more hashes.

BTW, this post replaces #MondayMemoirs for now.

cherished-blog-fest(2) I joined and finished a challenge! It was the Cherished Blog Festival (#CBF16, #CherishedBlogFest) that was held last July 29-31. Instead of just one post for the whole challenge, I made one for each day. I will try to join this again next year.

Through this, I met more bloggers, followed more, got more followers–win-win situation, right? However, considering what I thought of sharing as cherished “item” (FAMILY) and my own feelings at the time I created the posts, they became therapeutic for me. I do want to keep it more jolly next time.

Post titles: ‘My Family’, ‘How do I Love Thee’, ‘Inspirations’

(3) I continued “re-updating” Memoirs of a Coffee Cat. Was actively doing it first half of July, not-so-much the next. I’m not really in a hurry. This is how it’s going to run.

(4) I got interviewed about life as an “N.B.S.B.” or, at least, former. It was fun to share my story, in a sort of way. In hindsight, because I didn’t realize at the time that since I’d be sharing it to you all, who are mostly non-Filipinos, I should have stuck with an all-English interview. Most of Dr. Eamer’s blog’s Filipino readers understand English anyway. Nevertheless, you can still get a lot from what I shared.

(5) Last time, I mentioned about the Awards Gallery. Happy to report I did add the newer certification badge. Currently trying to find time to get certified for yet another online training. Meanwhile, sorry to announce I haven’t answered three blog awards still, especially one that I told my blogger-friend Christine a.k.a. C.E. I was going to answer (honestly, I began, but answering it proved to be harder than it sounds).

Social Media Reach-out:

(1) As usual, I try to say thank you to new blog followers, even post-likers. It’s just right to show my appreciation and let them know they’re not just statistics to me. I make sure to visit their blogs, say something, have a look around.

If I haven’t told you yet, I have been visiting those who have clicked on FOLLOW even many, many, many months ago, been doing that since last year. I feel ashamed for not having said my thanks before. Understandably, many of them probably felt unappreciated and did not come back, so I’m reaching out. I’ve begun doing the same thing with my Facebook page. It’s just funny when I message them and they ask “who are you?”

(2) My Facebook page, J.GiOFFICIAL, just turned one last Friday, Yaaaayyyy!!!!!

Fiction/Story-writing:

I mentioned about having created my Wattpad account. Well, after my first fiction post, my posting itself became fiction, sadly. Haven’t had the time and that should be what I have to really work hard on, having the time. Haven’t even updated parts of stories.

Again, I will try. Maybe I should integrate my writing with my hashes. Will let you know soon. Planning two other things. Not telling yet. You’ll know it once something comes out of them.

Personal:

Honestly, if I start telling you what’s been happening now and what’s been happening in the past years of my life, you’re going to get much more entertained with  my true stories rather than with my fiction. These recent weeks weren’t that kind and were particularly stressful. I just try to take things in stride, keep calm and keep the peace. Just don’t make me promise to stay like that as that will depend on other people. When you keep getting pushed to the brink, eventually, you’ll push back, right? I just try to balance things. For now.

On a less serious note, I finished Gregory Maguire‘s Son of a Witch like I said I would 😉 Currently finishing Anne Rice‘s Interview with the Vampire that I long-started and kept long-abandoned till now. Don’t ask me yet what’s next on the list.

 

Alright, August 2016, let’s get to work!!!

The NBSB Interview #AskWednesday

I totally had a different interview in mind to share for today’s #AskWednesday. Then Dr. Eamer shared this one yesterday and I thought, okay, why not?

Dr. Eamer has been posting a series of chat interviews tackling relationships. Or the lack of it, ergo, the topic NBSB, which is the acronym for “No Boyfriend Since Birth”. It’s in mixed Filipino and English (lots of English, you won’t feel totally confused), so feel free to read it and the continuation. Why am I especially sharing this? I dunno, maybe I know the interviewee…? I mean, DUH, it’s an open “secret”! *rolls eyes* he he…

Mahirap Bang Maging NBSB? Elaborate

(Is it Hard to be an “NBSB”?)

i-was-interviewed

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Check out last time’s interview with a martial arts artist…Uh, martial artist?…Alright, Tae Kwon Do artist, The TKD Princess.  If you’ve got something to share and want to be featured, do let me know and email me at j.gi.federizo@gmail.com (honestly, I just thought of this NOW, ha!).

You Ask for It #AskWednesday

It’s #AskWednesday!!! If you’re in Asia, the day’s nearly over, but if you’re in the West, time is just about right 😉

To explain, #AskWednesday has to do with interviews and/or questions and answers. It’s going to be a twice-a-month thing, alternating with #FeatureFriday. My intention is to do some interviewing, if people will allow me, but do expect re-shares of other interesting interviews from the Net and fellow-bloggers.

For today, let me first share my FAQ page that I call Q & A Portion, which is kind of the opposite of what to expect: You interview me. Well, at least, you get to ask me questions.

faq-jgi

The idea is you ask me anything (that’s not beyond limits), I respond back. Now, I haven’t received much questions yet (but there have been good conversations), so I urge you to come post a query, pretty please? *batting my eyelashes*

Next time, I present to you a Tae Kwon Do black belter. Meanwhile, I am daring you to ask me anything! 😉

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In case I’ve interested you enough, here are the TOP TEN QUESTIONS PEOPLE ASK ME 🙂

 

Questions for Lea #atozchallenge2015

QQ” is for Questions, today, for the continuation of my #AtoZChallenge.

Last year, it had to do with the Top Ten Questions People Ask Me. Now, I am going to share a recent (well, last August) Q&A that Rappler.com did with my favorite artist Lea Salonga. I didn’t know they were going to do a live interview and just happened to see an announcement, so I was kind of late when I went to the site to listen. The good thing is, they have uploaded it to the page, yay!!!

Rappler Talk: Lea Salonga on art, technology, and leadership

Hope you learned more about Lea from that interview 🙂

Well, what timing that I did this when she is currently in hot water. I actually just found out because of this. Lea is generally considered the country’s pride. But because nobody’s perfect and you can’t please everybody, sometimes she does get into trouble when she opens her mouth or tweet about certain things, whether they really pertain to what netizens think they pertain to or not.

My take on this is this: At the end of the day, she is still just a person. She has rights to an opinion, to an advocacy, to a belief, to a-whatever. We pay to see her perform. We pay to see her work. But we don’t pay to run her life. We don’t pay to run anybody’s life. Why do you get to have an opinion and others can’t? I’d rather have an artist who speaks her mind than an artist who says things she knows will please people.

For the record, my family watches the said segment for the laughs. And for the record, I don’t like what the competition came up with at all. So I am being shallow myself…It is shallow, let’s admit that. But we can’t always be too serious. I’ve been there, it was depressing. It was like nothing was working the way it should have, like being trapped and unable to get out. So, you know, I am not about to be bothered at all by her tweet, if it does pertain to that certain segment. Taking offense like that, that’s what’s really shallow. I don’t want to go online and spend my time just butting heads with people about little things we should not be arguing about. There’s a difference between being in an argument and joining a healthy debate. They’re just shows. Watch what you want to, avoid those you don’t want to. Don’t make it bigger than it is, don’t take it personal.

One thing I do believe: we definitely NEED to level-up our entertainment industry.

‘Nuff said.

Top Ten Questions People Ask Me #atozchallenge2014

In my Q&A Portion, I encourage people to ask me any questions, as long as they do not “border on too personal, below-the-belt, or unwholesome (too adult-oriented, nasty, of an intolerant nature).” So of course, being oh-so-popular, I only got a few questions thrown at me (LOL!!!).

So today, I thought I’d share to you the QUESTIONS people have most often asked me (aside from the name) and, naturally, my responses.

Q-and-A-bubble

 

 

 

 

 

j-gi-federizo

There are the Hair Raising Questions, called so because my hair tends to raise questions.

1. (Upon seeing the curls) Is your hair naturally curly?

“Yes, it is.”

Sometimes they ask this because they are amused. Sometimes, a few peeps actually like the curls. Sometimes, they ask because they are partial to straight hair. Whatever the reason, it’s in the genes, folks.

surly-hair-woman

This is not me, but a Googled image. I’ve seen some pictures of me with my back at the camera and I think this comes close to what it looks like when my hair is long already

2. Don’t you want to have your hair straightened?

“No. I like my hair.”

Maintenance is a bit of a challenge sometimes, but I kind of like it curly. One, I don’t want to conform to people’s standards when it comes to hair. Two, this is our Filipino ancestors’ legacy. I will not be ashamed of it. Three, it’s just gonna go back to curly anyway.

3. Oh, your hair is soft?!!

“Yep.”

That’s my reply because more than a question, it’s really often an exclamation. Due to my natural curls, people tend to assume the strands to feel…hmnn…well, wiry to touch, maybe, or stiff. Then they get to actually touch it and get a pleasant surprise. Another surprise is the strands are actually thinner than they seem.

 

Now let’s talk about Age-Defying Questions. Well, more like Confirm-or-Deny.

1. How old are you?

“Secret.” Or, “I stopped counting.”

For the longest time, I would give the first answer, sometimes I still do. Even when I was younger, I didn’t feel comfortable answering this. Why? Because I knew/know that people tend to label you and judge you and your capabilities, especially if you’re a woman, based on your age.

You could be as young as 25 and already, they would be needling you about getting married. You could be older and the more they would needle you about it as if the status would be what’s going to define the whole you. Or sometimes, they assume you won’t be able to catch up or be cool enough to fit in with younger people, which can be a disadvantage in the workplace.

One thing I can say: I don’t lie about it. I just don’t normally give the answer they want to hear. If it does not involve anything related to work, health or important documents, let me stop at 28. I’m in my 30s but let them assume that themselves.

2. (When I actually give the age) Really?!! But how come you look younger???

I shrug.

Ironically, many people tend to assume I am younger so they can’t believe when I say I’m this age. Sometimes I feel like a teenager having an identity crisis. I’m neither old enough nor young enough for anything. Go figure. Ha!!!

3. Have you had any boyfriend? or How many boyfriends have you had?

I smile and keep silent until I am made to spit it out.

Well, I used to smile and keep silent, that is. The truth was, I was someone who was what we call an NBSB — No. Boyfriend. Since. Birth. At my age. I don’t see why anyone could have a boyfriend at birth, but that’s beside the point.

I always believe that being single should not be seen as shameful. Why push to be in a relationship just for the sake of it and suffer?  A relationship means having responsibilities anyway and, as others claim, it is better to be an NBNP — No Boyfriend, No Problem. It’s on a case to case basis, really.

But I have to say, to be still an NBSB at 30 could be a trifle awkward to admit. It’s one thing to be single right now, another to be forever single, and it seemed I fell into that second category. I was single not by choice alone. And then here were others practically demanding that I explained further the whys, to which I said “I just haven’t been in love yet,” and what they perceived as the whys, to which I didn’t know the answers.

But what was I to do? Lie??? Being single is not pathetic. Lying like that, now that would be pathetic! Life was what it was. I was not going to lie, just hoped no one would ask so I could avoid the awkward pick-me-apart moment. It also gave more reason for inquiring minds to go around the age question and these ones below…

4.  Are you married already?

“Nope.”

That’s a typical question, isn’t it? It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I was much younger because usually, it would be followed up with How come you’re not married yet? said in a way that made me feel like I was supposed to be ashamed for committing a mortal sin by not being married to anybody.

Well, that’s bound to change.

5. You have kids? or How many kids do you have?

“Uh, no, none.”

Typical question, too, right? Just not the kind of thing a young, unmarried woman would like to hear. Kind of a downer because it just emphasizes how frumpy she looks.

Now before anyone reacts violently and raises hell because I just generalized married women as frumpy, please take time to realize that biologically, that’s what’s bound to happen to most of us women. That hurts but that’s reality. There are just some lucky girls who still manage to not look a day bigger after giving birth, whether they have done something about it or not.

The thing is, I am frumpy and no amount of denying is going to change the fact, so anyone who asks me the question above, I cannot really blame. I just blame my ego for not coping well with the situation. I should keep a mantra. Say it with me, girls: “I don’t care. I love myself. I don’t care. I love myself…”

 

Last, we have the Family-Oriented Questions.

1. Are you the daughter of Mr./Mrs. Federizo, the teacher? Where is s/he now?

“Yes, I am…S/he’s _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”

I used to get these inquiries often enough until these recent years when both of my parents were retired and, later, passed away. I don’t really mind answering…well, most times. It’s just that folks whom I don’t know from Adam (or Eve, as the case maybe) just suddenly ask me these questions. Sometimes, they just go straight to asking how my parents are, where they are, etc., and almost always, they don’t even mention how they know my parents. They just expect me to respond.

creepy-spyI especially don’t like answering when they ask who stays with my parents when I am away (that is if they don’t  know yet about my parents being gone forever). I more especially don’t like to answer now when they ask me who is left at home when I am away, or who stays with me when I am home, or when I usually go home.

Would you feel comfortable giving your answer to complete strangers or people you know but don’t really trust? When my parents were alive, I worried about their safety, now I worry about the house’s and mine.

2. Don’t you have a sister? Where is she?

“Yes. She’s in _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”

Okay, I still answer, even when I am in no mood for small talk, just to humor others. There are just some who tend to give their unnecessary opinions: “Why does she have to stay there? She should bring her family here.” “Isn’t that too far? She ought to go back home.” “It’s better here. She should stay here where….” Etcetera, blaaah…

Sometimes, I am tempted to say, “Uh, excuse me. First, she’s an adult. She has a life of her own. Second, we respect that, so should you. Third, I’m sleepy and cranky and really not in the mood to discuss with you things that ought to be discussed within the family alone. I can be polite, but please don’t push me.”

 

So THERE!!! So far, those are the usual questions I get that are at the top of my head. Thank you for letting me share things about myself, embarrassing or not, but very honest. 🙂

 

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Not sure if you enjoyed this one, but I did. It allowed me to express myself more freely and talk publicly about certain thoughts and things I have kept inside.

This post serves as my “Q” post for…

a-to-z-challenge