seaside rocks
on top of each other
defying gravity

* * *
barefoot children
tiptoeing on fountain's edge --
a coin splash

* * *
men without shirts
dance on a sailboat
called Renegade

confession tuesday

~ I've been so lazy lately. This chilly San Francisco summer is not helping either. Its so windy and cold these days (low 50s) that all I want to do is curl up in my sofa and read a book. Or spend my time browsing the web.

~ Speaking of the web, I think I may be a tad too obsessed with style blogs. Especially the French ones.
This blog is my favorite. I don't understand any of the words but I want all of her outfits. Ah, why are French girls so chic?

~ Last week, I bought a summer dress from Anthropologie but had to return it two days later. I really, really wanted to keep that one, it was close-to-perfect for me, but I just couldn't justify the cost (even if it was on sale) so I came up with a long list of reasons why I should return it. Oh well.

~ I almost burst into tears while listening to
this Coldplay song in a coffee shop. What's wrong with me? I'm not the weepy kind, but lately words and images makes me sad. Even the poems that I'm trying to write are sad. My friend N said she feels the same way and that this must be our quarter-life crisis. I don't know. But I'm writing more though, so maybe all is not lost.

~ Some days ago (or maybe months ago, as some of my scribbles are not dated), I wrote this in my journal: "The maps on the wall are faded, still you believe that if you look closely, you will find your imagined country. Somewhere." -- So is that it? Is that what *this* is all about? Am I yearning for movement and change yet again?

Photos from Cachemire et Soie

ride, ride, ride

I love this video from Topshop.

It makes me want to buy a bike and go pedaling around town in a flowery sundress and strappy sandals. The song is wonderful too!

Have a happy weekend my dears, hope its sunny where you are.

postcards: carmel-by-the-sea (part 2)

*Read part 1 here

After the scenic 17-mile drive, we immediately went to downtown Carmel for a late brunch. Since it was both our first time to visit this quaint little town, we had no idea that the parking is also as crazy as it is here in San Francisco. I had to drive around a couple of minutes to find a spot. (Warning: drive SLOW around town as pedestrians can get very distracted sometimes).

My first thought when I got out of the car was "wow, this looks straight out of a fairytale". Seriously, it seemed as though Hans Christian Andersen or the Brothers Grimm designed the town. I loved it! I loved walking along the cobbled streets, browsing cute little shops and art galleries, randomly finding a "secret garden", trying on beautiful dresses that we can't afford to buy and laughing about it afterwards. It's a perfect girl-bonding weekend getaway.

We also went to see the historic Carmel Mission Basilica and spent some quiet time at The Blessed Sacrament. It was very peaceful inside the mission grounds, everyone looked like they've left their stressed-out selves behind. We wanted to look around inside the mission but unfortunately, my cousin and I were both really exhausted by the time we got there that all we did was sit and take a couple of photos.

All in all, it was a great day trip, even if my GPS messed up and took us to the back roads of Santa Cruz on our way back to the city. More importantly, I'm so glad I got to spend it with my cousin Tina, whom I haven't seen in 2 years. Our crazy adventures this past weekend made me realize how much I miss those family road trips to different islands in the Philippines. Ah, if only we can all be in the same city, or the same continent even. A girl can dream.

postcards: carmel-by-the-sea

The past 4 days has been full of adventures. Topping the list was our spur-of-the-moment day trip to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea last Saturday. Actually, we only made a detour stop to Monterey so I could take a nap and recharge myself with some green tea ice cream - but that's another story.

Carmel is absolutely gorgeous and may have become one of my favorite places in California. The weather was moody and gray when we were there which made the trip more exciting. In fact, my cousin Tina decided that a little bit of fog and gray skies in mid-July is the perfect way to break the monotony of lazy summer days. Of course, she's from New Orleans and their summers are scorching hot so she didn't mind the chilly weather at all.

We drove down the scenic
17-mile drive from Pacific Grove to Carmel and in a true touristy fashion, took pictures of everything along the way. This drive costs $9.25 per car, complete with a visitor's map and a guide to 21 points of interest. Highlights include: the Lone Cypress tree (see picture above), Point Joe, sea lions resting along the shore, tourists chasing birds for photo opportunities, wildflowers everywhere, and oh, a cute British biker who kindly took a picture of me and my cousin at the Lone Cypress lookout point.

The drive ends at the golf resort town of
Pebble Beach where everything is so expensive so we only took pictures of pro-golf shops with this sign. (P.S. Now you know where to stalk Tiger Woods in 2010).

More of Carmel-by-the-Sea later...

happy weekend!

My cousin Tina from New Orleans is visiting this weekend so there will be tons of sightseeing, walking around, shopping, and eating. In fact, here I am with the "world famous hot fudge sundae" at Ghirardelli's this afternoon.

Excited much? *silly grin*

for the love of books

For all my book-hoarding ways, I haven't really talked much about books in this blog. So when I saw this meme over at bleedingespresso, I just knew that I have to do this and share it here:

1. One book that changed your life -
Anne of Green Gables. How could I forget little Ms. Anne Shirley? This was the first novel that I ever read and I immediately wished that I could be Anne's best friend in Prince Edward Island. The best thing was my grandpa was also reading it at the same time and we talked (and talked) about it afterwards. Discussing Anne's adventures with my grandpa is one of my favorite childhood memories.

2. One book that you've read more than twice -
The Alchemist. I've read this book at various times in my life and every time I read it, I always come away with a different lesson and perspective on things. In fact, I love it so much that I recently downloaded it from iTunes (for FREE!).

3. One book you'd want on a desert island -
The Essential Neruda published by City Lights Bookstore. These are my favorite Neruda translations and will always be a part of my survival kit.

4. One book that made you laugh - I can't think of a single book that made me laugh but I do enjoy reading books by
Bill Bryson and David Sedaris - these two are too darn funny! There are also a lot of hilarious stories from Traveler's Tales.

5. One book that made you cry -
Details of a Sunset and Other Stories. I love everything that Nobokov writes, but these short stories (particularly A Letter that Never Reached Russia) are especially poignant. He wrote them when he was in exile and as someone who is also away from her native country, these stories spoke to me in a very visceral way. I even wrote about it here, during those difficult times when I was so homesick and writing essays were the only thing that saved me from completely losing it.

6. One book you wish you had written - Colette's
The Vagabond. I know, how very ambitious of me to pick this great novel, but since there are no restrictions here, might as well choose the best, right? This book made me laugh and weep openly and it made me want to read it slowly, over and over again. It reads like poetry and her words are absolutely delicious.

7. One book you're currently reading -
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I loooove the movie and I'm also enjoying this one. It's a comic-strip style memoir of the author's early childhood in Tehran and beyond.

8. One book you've been meaning to read -
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard. Someone has recommended this to me but I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I've read one of her books (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) and I loved it, although I could only read it a chapter at a time, as her writings are very meditative in nature.

What about you? Fancy answering this meme too?

a happy ending

exchange of vows

I'm wary of happy endings. Especially those Hollywood riding-into-the-sunset types. But when they do happen in real life, with people you know and love, they're one of the sweetest, most beautiful moments to witness.

Yesterday, my aunt Faye and Bob were married at the beautiful Stafford Lake County Park in Marin. It was a small, intimate ceremony with less than 20 guests. My aunt has been through so much in her life, including losing her first husband to cancer a couple of years ago, and so watching her and Bob so genuinely happy and in love made us all happy too.

here comes the bride

mr. and mrs. simon

us with the radiant bride

See the rest of the wedding pictures on my Flickr photoset here.

summer heat

like fever
from the strongest
fire on skin,
I toss and turn
chasing sleep
while sounds
of a distant train
with the frantic
in my head.

(not so) fun in the sun for readwritepoem

brideshead revisited

Thanks to the San Francisco Film Society, I was able to see the advance screening of the movie Brideshead Revisited last night. Based on a novel by Evelyn Waugh, this is a period film set in England during the pre-WII era.

Like other period literary adaptations (think of Atonement or The English Patient), the central theme of this movie is about how society, religion, social class, and family strongly influenced one's own decisions about life and love. I personally felt like I had traveled through time and caught a glimpse of a world so different from my own.

In those times, young women or people from a lower social class, are often powerless to pursue their heart's desire, be it romantic or otherwise. And almost always, their stories are full of drama and suspense, the kind that keeps you sitting on the edge of your seat to see if the hero/heroine will risk everything, including being shunned by society or family to follow their heart.

Which made me wonder: if I was put in the same situation, will I pursue my passions with careless abandon or will I settle for the safer, predictable choice? I have a feeling that I will choose the latter. Which is probably fine, considering that I have a penchant for bittersweet endings and tragedies anyway. Of course, real life is much more complicated than choosing A or B, but it sure got me thinking, even after I left the theater.

So back to the movie. The cinematography is gorgeous, and I'd definitely recommend watching it even for that alone. There was a night scene by the canals in Venice that took my breath away. All the actors were great too, especially the oh-so-dashing Matthew Goode. C'mon, you know I have to make a note of that. *silly smile*

Bridehead Revisited is showing in select theaters on July 25. Check here to see if its playing at a theater near you.


I absolutely love these pictures by Mindy Johnson (via unruly things). The gorgeous light, those soft tones, the magical setting - I could stare at them forever. In fact, I want to step inside these photos and start dancing under the sun in my new summer dress!

Now I really, really want to take photography classes. And buy a digital SLR of course. Ah, to have extra money on the side.

How about you, what inspired you lately?

plan B

Remember my previous post? And all my grand plans to spend a lazy day at the beach and watch the fireworks by the bridge? Due to various reasons, one of which is the sea of fog that covered the entire city (yes it was sunny in the morning but the weather took a 180 degree turn and it was freezing by mid-afternoon), we weren't able to go to the beach. We caught a glimpse of the fireworks at Dolores Park but again, because of the fog, it wasn't even worth watching.

So on plan B. Watching cheesy chick flicks + ice cream and tons of junk food. Equally fun, if not more, than watching fireworks. I personally think ice cream solves everything, but that's just me. And Ryan Reynolds wasn't too bad either. (See picture above from the movie Definitely, Maybe :P)

Speaking of plans, I can't believe we're approaching mid-July already and I still don't know what the heck I'm gonna do for my 3-week break before the school year starts. Travelling is out of the question since I have to do a lot of travelling in September and October and airfares are way too expensive nowadays. Road trips, maybe? I've always wanted to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway from San Diego to Northern Cal and what better time to do it than in the summer?

I don't know. But I need to figure it out soon. Ideas, anyone?

P.S. It was 90 degrees today and all I could think about was the beach. Must go. Soon.

off to the beach

Today started out with grey skies but the fog cleared up and we have the perfect July 4th weather - 65 degrees and sunny. Yay! I'm off to the beach with some friends and a few of my favorite things. Then we'll watch the fireworks by the GG bridge.

Happy long weekend everyone!