today's inspiration: secret message envelope


Its okay. This is my message to myself today. Work, lack of sleep, and a constantly aching left jaw is making me feel very unmotivated. There are so many things that I want to do and so many things that I need to get done and I don't even know where to start. The school year is almost over and I haven't even made plans for the summer yet.

But its okay. I'll figure it out somehow. I always do. I just need to remind myself of this every now and then.

How about you, if you were to send a secret message to yourself or to someone you love, what will it say? Go ahead and share, you can be anonymous in the comments section.

P.S. You can buy a secret message envelope via this Etsy shop.

confession tuesday

I spent last Saturday afternoon at the library and it felt like coming home. Its been a while since I've been to a library, I much rather prefer writing (read: people-watching/daydreaming/staring into space) at a coffee shop because I love the background noise of people around me, especially if they are speaking in a foreign language, but the library is another magical experience all together. When I'm at a library, I feel like I'm in the company of very special friends who let me be and give me that much needed space be alone with my thoughts. I came home carrying an arm-load of books and a smile on my face.

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Ever since I saw this picture, I am now determined to know everything I can about the Parisian street with my name. And now, more than ever, I have an intense desire to go to Paris. A girl can dream, right?

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I don't know why but I really love those intensely sad or melancholy music, those lay-in-the-bathtub-slit-your-wrist kind as my friend S likes to call them. Last night I listened to Jeff Buckley's Hallelujah and once again I felt strangely comforted by its sadness. I know Leonard Cohen wrote this song but I like Jeff Buckley's version the most. He had that perfectly haunting voice that's just the right match for the song, its too bad that he died so young I would have loved to hear him sing it live.

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I haven't written a single poem for the month of May but I did scribble some poem notes. There's one story/idea that I'm really excited about. Here's to hoping that I'll find the words or rather, the words will find me and I'll be able to finish it soon.

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How about you, any secrets or big news that you want to share? I'd love to hear all about them! And oh, please don't forget to visit The Confessional.

scenes from a farm

I'm spending the long weekend at my aunt's house in Brentwood. Yesterday we went to a farm and picked lots and lots of cherries! I love standing on my tiptoes to pluck the ripest one that I could reach. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too!

it must be a sign


My friend Mike recently went to Paris and guess what he found - my street! For those of you who don't know, I am quiet obsessed with Paris and everything French so I was naturally very excited. And if that's not enough, I found out that Rue d'Odessa is located in the area called Montparnasse on The Left Bank, which historically was a neighborhood of starving artists and bohemians. Ah, now I have more reason to plan that trip to the City of Lights, whenever that may be *crossing my fingers that it will happen soon*. I even searched it on Google maps so I can see what the street looks like. (Click on the arrows to get a 360 degree view).

today's inspiration

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Have a lovely weekend my friends!

falling in love at a coffee shop



This is such a sweet song. When I first heard it about a year ago, I remembered saying, "Oh, that's my story". You see, when we were still starry-eyed teenagers, my friends and I would daydream about our ideal way to meet "The One". A friend said she wants to meet him in a plane or at an airport, another wished to meet him while backpacking in South America, then another wanted to meet someone famous and together they will try to escape the paparazzi....yeah, we're pretty much delusional then. And me? Well, I said I wanted to meet him at a coffee shop.

Anyways, the reason why I'm sharing this is that Dorkys, a magazine writer and bloggy friend from NYC, wrote something in her blog that had me laughing out loud. Her cousin had suggested that she join Match.com and she said no, she'd rather meet someone naturally (i.e. doesn't involve the internets).

I can't even begin to tell you how many times someone had suggested for me to join e-harmony or Match.com. One even went so far and said that she'll set up the account for me. I was a little annoyed at first but now I just laugh it off or say "maybe in a couple of years and I'm still single." But seriously - no, thank you. I'm still holding out hope for my coffee shop guy *tongue firmly in cheek*.

Song: Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop by Landon Pigg. And yes, this is the same song used in an AT&T commercial.

confession tuesday

Hello, confessional. Its been more than a month since I last saw you. And yes, I have things to share. Are you ready?

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Just came back from the dentist and goodness, I was reminded once again why I dread going to the dentist in the first place. I was there for hours (counting travel time because I took the train)! My dentist had to give me rest periods in between because I have a really bad TMJ and I could barely open my jaw towards the end of it. And oh, for more good news -- we're not done, I have to go back again. Ugh.

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Last night I ate ice cream for dinner. Yes, only ice cream. And I wonder why I have a lot of cavities. Eeek.

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This past Sunday my friends and I went to Berkeley and I swear my heart ached a little when we walked around the UC campus. If someone will give me money now, you know I'd go back to school in a heartbeat. And yeah, I am also pretty sure that I must have been a Berkeley undergrad in my past life. Lit major, of course.

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Poetry is taking a backseat in my life right now. I mean, I'm still reading poetry but I haven't been writing them. I guess after NaPoWriMo when I really did try my hardest to write everyday, I wanted to take a break from poetics. I do hope that inspiration will come soon. Not writing poetry makes me a bit anxious, I have this silly fear that if I don't write for a long time, the poems will be gone and I won't be able to write them at all.

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I heard someone say "Hola, mi amor"-- the look in his eyes and the way he said it made me want to switch places with his girlfriend, even for just one day. Sigh.

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How about you, anything you want to share? Don't forget to visit The Confessional at Poet Mom's.

today's inspiration: old poetry books

Today I met up with the very talented (and fellow SF blogger) cuileann and spent a lovely morning around Outer Richmond sitting in a coffee shop, browsing my favorite used bookstore, and drinking boba. I know I said that I'm not gonna buy books and just borrow from the library instead but I nearly squealed with delight when I saw this vintage book. The cover design is just gorgeous. And its Anne Sexton, how could one say no?

As always, whenever I open a new poetry book, I skim the pages and read the first poem that calls to me. And this one is so breathtaking I thought I should share it here.

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Just Once

Just once I knew what life was for.
In Boston, quiet suddenly, I understood;
walked there along the Charles River,
watched the lights copying themselves,
all neoned and strobe-hearted, opening
their mouths as wide as opera singers;
counted the stars, my little campaigners,
my scar daisies, and knew that I walked my love
on the night green side of it and cried
my heart to the eastbound cars and cried
my heart to the westbound cars and took
my truth across a small humped bridge
and hurried my truth, the charm of it, home
and hoarded these constants into morning
only to find them gone.

--Anne Sexton

black sea

One clear night while the others slept, I climbed
the stairs to the roof of the house and under a sky
strewn with stars I gazed at the sea, at the spread of it,
the rolling crests of it raked by the wind, becoming
like bits of lace tossed in the air. I stood in the long
whispering night, waiting for something, a sign, the approach
of a distant light, and I imagined you coming closer,
the dark waves of your hair mingling with the sea,
and the dark became desire, and desire the arriving light.
The nearness, the momentary warmth of you as I stood
on that lonely height watching the slow swells of the sea
break on the shore and turn briefly into glass and disappear ...
Why did I believe you would come out of nowhere? Why with all
that the world offers would you come only because I was here?

--Mark Strand, from the book Man and Camel

poppies and polaroids

I love taking Polaroid pictures but the film is just way too expensive for me so I don't use my Polaroid camera often. Enter Poladroid. Its a software that turns digital photos into Polaroid-like pictures. You even wait for a few minutes for it to "develop" -- just like a regular Pola. Its so much fun! Try downloading it here and tell me what you think.

And oh, is it just me or are cut poppies really fragile? But they're so lovely and I love watching each flower unfold everyday that I don't really mind that they're high maintenance.

this morning at the farmer's market

My aunt and I sat on the bench next to this man, listening to his music while eating our pastries, and an indescribable lightness came over me. The past couple of weeks has been really stressful, but today I can finally say that I am okay. More than okay. I'm loving the little joys again. Its such a wonderful feeling.

today's inspiration: notte sento



This short film was made with 4500+ still photographs and shot with a Canon EOS 30D camera. Isn't that amazing? It makes me want to buy a DSLR and learn how to take good pictures. I've always wanted to get one, maybe these stunning images will make me take the plunge.

Have a lovely weekend my friends!

and they danced the night away...

Cheers to Irish and Mario!

I'm back from Southern California. The wedding was lovely, the bride looked positively radiant, and everyone was in high spirits because our beloved Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao, won against Ricky Hatton by a knock-out in the second round (just FYI, boxing is really big in the Philippines). I'm not really a boxing fan, but everyone's excitement was so infectious that you couldn't help but be swept along with it. Here's a picture of our table after we found out that Manny won.


(Photos by Dae Castaneda)

have a wonderful weekend!

I am off to sunny SoCal this evening to attend a friend's wedding. Will be back with poems and confessions on Monday. Hope the weather is beautiful where you are!