To Kimono, or not to kimono?

That is the question…








Ever since I first realized that kimonos were coming into style, I was hooked. I love that they each one is so unique and colorful. They are also super comfortable and cozy, and they hide a lot well (and I can braid the fringe when I am bored). But since I turned 30, I have started to question my wardrobe choices seriously for the first time: should I wear leopard print jeans (probably not) should I wear tube tops and short skirts? How about sparkly things (I love some good sequins)? I can only be thankful for friends for being good hearted and not laughing in my face when I show up wearing azctec print, acid wash, holey jeans.

So this summer, while browsing pinterest endlessly for style tips, I started to notice that most women wearing kimonos or shawls were much younger than me. My thoughts were further confirmed when I was in Chicago during the Lollapoolza music festival. Kimonos seemed to be an essential piece of the 20 something’s summer music festival wardrobe, the other essential wardrobe piece: coochie hugging shorts and lots of under butt (Thanks Miley!).  Let’s just say I had some serious concern for the reproductive systems of these girls because it can’t be healthy to have your shorts jammed up your hoo-ha all day long! Think about your future ladies. and I realize I am dangerously close to wearing hoo ha shorts in the last picture, but I got tights and boots on and no under booty I promise!) 

I don’t say this all this to judge these young girls because heaven knows what I was doing and what I was wearing (mostly musty thrift store finds) when I was in college…I am all for being young and care free, exploring new things, expressing yourself and all those other things that come with the roller coaster ride that is the 20’s; I just have to remember that I am not in my 20’s anymore and maybe I shouldn’t be dressing like a 21 year old and making a fool out of myself.

BUT, all that being said…I like my kimonos and my shawls and won’t stop wearing them…but if I start asking you about molly, then someone needs to have a talk with me!


what do you guys think about kimonos? If anyone has a picture of their favorite kimono, or favorite outfit with a shawl, you can email me at forourcity@gm

art journals.

Ever since I had the ability to write (non-sensical scribbles of a four year old count) I have kept a “diary.” I don’t know where the compulsion to keep a list of the daily mundane activities as a child: “Today I had rice crispies for breakfast…” The older i got, the more they developed into a living memory box of my life at that moment in time; and perhaps it started as my first paltry attempt at creating a sense of order from my distracted thoughts and messy brain. I have over 30 completed journals, which is roughly one per year.  The style and format of my journals adapts to the seasons of my life. During college and Graduate school, my journal functioned as my day planner and the keeper of my sanity. During periods in my life where I have been happy, I notice that I do more art and very little journaling. During tough times however, my journals are filled with sad song lyrics, to-do lists and life questions.

Do you like to look back at your journals? If so, do you do it often? Is creating a written record of your life to reflect back on a reason for your journaling? I am very interested to know. I can honestly say that, that is not the case with me, as writing for reflection at a later period of time would require to much forethought and planning for me. My journal has become one of my few necessities which I carry with me at all times in my bag. It is given the impossible responsibility of keeping me sane (emotionally balanced and organized enough to survive) when I complete one journal, I see it as a memento of the craziness which is my life- maybe one day, when I am normal, I will want to look back at my journals to feel sorry for my crazy self.
Here are a few of my own art journal pages:

Anyways, I love nothing more than seeing pages from other peoples’ journals. I feel like I am getting a naked glimpse at their soul. I am always so amazed and inspired by the creative, beautiful things that people put down onto pages. One of my favorite artists,  Geninne Zlatkis, has the most beautiful and awe inspiring journal pages. I love all of her work and I also LOVE how she adapts her art journal entries into a day planner. Genius!!

liver spread and two dollar shoes.

robert wrote this for his new best friend Heather Marie Smith, he also had some words of wisdom to share with her, i think we should all follow Robert’s advice and we will all be okay.

a couple things ive learned the last couple of days:

liver spread looks ALOT like peanut butter, but unfortunately tastes nothing like it.

also, when considering buying shoes at a local shoe vendor, make sure you try BOTH shoes on before you purchase them because you may get home to put the shoes on and find that the left shoe is two sizes to small.

and then you might also return the next day to find that the local vendor has sudden memory loss and does not recall you purchasing the said shoes from him.

ㅑ 애ㅜㅅ ㅏㅜㅐㅈ 좀ㅅ ㅑ 므 ㅈ걋샤ㅜㅎ.

is it sad that i was so excited that there is a mork and mindy board game? and that i memorized the words?
i think this picture pretty much sums up my feelings toward the mork and mindy board game.

so i am in an internet cafe and im not really sure what im doing because the computer writes only korean…. but hey ill take what i can get.

and its neat because if i press a button this happens….ㅗ디ㅣㅐ ㅑ 므 ㅓㄷㄴㄴ ㅑ ㅣㅐㅍㄷ ㅛㅐㅕ.

less than two weeks and i leave 😦 im not ready. im not ready for a lot of reasons but these are the ones that come to the top of my head:

a) no more white rice and chicken meals at jollibee’s/mcDonalds
b) no more 60 brothers and sisters to annoy
c) no more “CR’s” ,”slippers,” “dippers”, 1 dollar pirated dvds, 2 dollar shoes
d) no more 4 am early mornings to at least one or more of the following: crying, screaming, laughing, bells ringing, roosters crowing, bus horn, strange mating noises of alley cats
e) no more hot dogs for breakfast
f) because i have no idea where to go from here.

i know i wont be the same, but i just hope i remember everything i have been taught.

some fun facts.

(there is no escaping them, even in the philippines)

i learned that here the bus drivers are trained, if a person walks in front of their vehicle, to speed up and to hit the person in such a way as to make sure the person doesn’t survive.

why you might ask?

so the bus company only has to pay one lump sum hospital bill as opposed to a never-ending hospital bill of a person on life-support.

note to self.

p.s. If anyone ever approaches you to offer you “Rugby”, they are most likely not asking you to join in their rugby game, but want you to buy a colorful balloon filled with fine white powder that is most likely not sugar.


yesterday i went to my first local matching, where the purpose is to match kids up for adoption with perspective families.

there were over twenty kids up for adoption and only five families. but by the end of the day only two children were matched with two families, the rest of the families were vetoed because they lacked in some way.

Of the 20 kids presented in the local matching, My Father’s House had one child, who unfortunately was not matched with a family. She is considered an “older” child, at only five years old, bc most families wish to adopt a child that is below one years old. i also learned that, as far back as they can recall, no one has ever adopted a child born from rape, prostitution or incest.

i was in awe of the process of the matching. i cant imagine carrying the weight of those decisions on my shoulders.
there was a committee made up of four people: two doctors, one attorney, and a professor. and twenty social workers representing the children from their organizations that were up for adoption.

i was amazed at how quickly families or children were put aside because they lacked this or that form or there was no signature here, or no picture there.
It is frusturating to think that there are so many kids who are looking for homes but yet the process to adopt in the Phillipines is so complicated. Even many filipino families have turned to adopting babies from China because the process is shorter and less expensive.

I know that the committee has the families and the children in their best interest,
but i cant imagine being responsible for putting family together or to think that the rest of their lives will be different because of a decision made one day in a small, hot room in the middle of Manila by four people whom they have never met.

I sat looking at these people responsible for choosing the families and wondered what they felt. what were they thinking when they put one child with a specific family? Did it bother them or had they done it so much that it barely registered. Did they the weight of their decisions catch up with them at the end of the day? Did they ever wonder if they made the right choice?

it doesnt surprise me that almost all of the social work organizations and adoption agencies in the philippines are Christian, because i dont know how they could do it without His help.

My supervisor confided in me on the ride home from the meeting that she was worried that she wasnt a good social worker anymore because sometimes she felt numb to some children’s situations (although i have never met a more compassionate and loving social worker than her). i see now how in order to survive in the social work field in the philippines, where you are surrounded by so much hurt and oppression,

you must find a supernatural strength outside yourself.

but to return. (11/08/05)

Let us stop for a moment,
let us behold what we have made.
let it blaze against the yew trees.
one life.
there. it is over. gone out…
But to return. let us again pretend that life is a solid substance,
shaped like a globe,
which we can turn about in our fingers.
let us pretend that we can make out a plain and logical story.

– Virginia Woolf

for the people who did know you and would have known you

thank you.
for taking me at my worst.
for picking me up,
washing me off, and setting me back on my feet.
& for still seeing me for who i was
and who i would be.

even i, who was not close to the blaze
could feel the warmth of your fire.

the blaze of you who live wholly.

i am drawn here…
not to see you or you or you,
but to light my fire
at the general blaze of you,
who live wholly,
indivisibly & without caring in the moment.
to light my fire.
V. Woolf The Waves

woah, and again another week is gone.

but eventful for sure, i cant put my finger on the exact moment when i started to feel like part of the family,
maybe it was after our adventure to Enchanted Kingdom (the Filipino version of an outdated Disneyland)
with the teenagers who forced me to ride on the Rio Grande and walk around for five hours with wet clothes, or when we road the “Space Shuttle” and i thought for sure i was going to throw up, pass out or pee in my pants at any given moment.

but they thought it was hilarious.

today has been a long day.

since its monday, i GET to wake up at 4 am to cook breakfast with Nanay Susan.
Today we had to cook 60 pancakes, 60 fried chicken nuggets and 60 slices of fried ham (for breakfast). nanay put me in charge of pancakes, but i have to confess i got my cooking skills from my mom, (sorry mom) so i am not a gourmet cook to say the least, and my cooking skills can be summed up in three items:

1) macoroni and cheese the box kind
2) hot dogs
3) macoroni and cheese with cut up hot dogs. (dont knock it till you try it).

we had to have the pancakes done by 6 am, and by 5:45 i had a grand total of five done.
well nine if you count the unedible ones.

nanay susan took over the pancakes, and i got to fry the ham and the oil kept popping up and hitting me in the face. i actually started to cry i was so frusturated. or maybe it was just the heat of the grease hitting my face that made my eyes water.

when we finished, i went upstairs to lay down for a half an hour before work, and i couldnt sleep b.c. i smelled like fried ham, but i couldnt take a shower because i locked myself out of my bathroom saturday night. and this was all before 7 am.

and again Henri Nouwen comes to my rescue.

“Quite often we will discover that we are
asked to follow our Lord to places we would rather not go, “
(the kitchen, rio del grande and fried ham for me)
but when we have learned to see him in the small displacements
of our daily lives,
the greater call will not seem so great after all.
We then will find the courage to follow him and be amazed by our freedom to do so.”

i miss you.


Finally! I figured out this picture thing, I wanted to post these with my last blog but the computer and i have been fighting. i think i won, at least for now.

dressed up for the United Nations Day at their school…I think they represent Mexico?!
love my bunso!
the smiling eyes.
brown skin/blonde barbies?