Tag Archives: Festivities

A Rollercoaster Year

What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Pressed delete, took a NYer around my city, had a hotdog with cream cheese, was truly rendered speechless by the action of friends (in the best possible way). Oh, and apparently I became Editor-in-Chief for the fansite of this show my friend’s in. I may have mentioned it once or twice…

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
None to keep so none to break. I prefer not to break promises.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yup, I got two additions to the extended family this year – right at the end of the year. Amelie and Callum, two new bits of perfection for me to adore :).

Did anyone close to you die?
Auntie Norte, one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever known. Forever missed.

What countries did you visit?
Trips to my two most visited places, I think next year one will overtake the other – no prizes for guessing which. Trip to Fili for one of my bestest’s wedding and of course the usual trip to the US – NY, San Fran, and this time, Seattle.

What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
A smaller credit card balance would always be nice, but I’m working on that and like the ad says, some things are just priceless. I’m not quite sure where I stand in terms of the job at the moment, so I would like some clarity on that. I’d also like to have some more time with good friends, and with that comes everything I could possibly need.

What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 24th. One of my favourite days, ever.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Launching and continuing to run ABMFans.com. Seriously had no idea what I was getting into when I started it, but people seem to like it.

What was your biggest failure?
That I was in a situation where I had to press delete, again.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
A pretty bad cold this year, but other than that I did okay. Thankfully.

What was the best thing you bought?
As it seems to be every year, a plane ticket.

Where did most of your money go?
Those plane tickets, I’m not prepared to give them up though.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing Whoopi Goldberg on stage was a pretty big deal, especially after it was cancelled the first time round. The ticket was a little pricey but when else am I ever going to get the chance to see Whoopi Goldberg?!?!

What song(s) will always remind you of 2010?
Bruno Mars’ ‘Just the Way You Are.’

Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier of sadder? I’m not entirely sure, I wouldn’t say happier but certainly not sadder. I think the closest I can get is ‘not unhappy.’
b) Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
c) Richer or poorer? I’m probably ending the year with more money than I’ve had for a while, let’s hope that continues into the New Year.

What do you wish you’d done more?
Worked on my homework, and written for myself. I remember a conversation with a NYer where they asked how my writing was coming along and I explained to them about ABMFans and LDNmeetsMNL and she was very happy to hear all of that but then she asked again, ‘How’s your writing going?’ Yeah, I got the point.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stress. It didn’t reach the proportions it has in previous years, but there was certainly more than necessary. I can be a worrier, what can I say?

Did you fall in love in 2010?
No, but I think there’s certainly the opportunity for that to change in the New Year.

What was your favourite TV programme?
Of course, Anyone But Me ruled my viewing, and broke my heart. It was also the year of the Food Channel though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen as much culinary television as I have this year. Top of that list was Adam Richman’s eternal battle of Man Vs. Food. He inspired and amazed me in every half hour episode. And, I completely Gleeked out! Continue reading

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The Perfect Year(?)

What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I started tweeting – and boy I just didn’t know how to stop lol! I also *PING*ed someone for the first time, although it was by accident. This Crackberry thing is a lot harder than it looks, although I was reminded that’s what I said about Twitter and 6,000+ tweets later I show no signs of stopping! I went to my first opera. Took my first trip off Manhattan when I went on the Staten Island Ferry and took the subway to Brooklyn – trees do grow there. For the first time in five trips, I managed to leave NY with a smile on my face and very much looking forward to my return. I wore several different hats this year. At times I was an event photographer, I was a casting agent, and I finally felt that I could legitimately call myself a writer.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
None to keep so none to break. I find it best that way.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
A couple of people at the job but no one I’m particularly close to. Next year though who knows?

Did anyone close to you die?
As always I’m grateful the answer to this is no. I hope it stays that way.

What countries did you visit?
This year was about me getting on a plane to share a meal with those whose faces I missed the most so it was all about the US. I had trips to San Francisco, LA, Vegas, Illinois, and of course NY.

What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
My payrise would be nice, but that’s all very political and out of my hands at the moment. There’s hope I might see it at some point next year. Other than that I’d like to have more time. My year was so full, but then I think it could have been so much more if I’d only had the time. I would like to have spent more time with the kids, I was doing quite well at the start of the year but in the last quarter it got harder. I’ll do better next year.

What date from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
This year was full of memorable moments, the launch of LDNmeetsMNL, meeting Bert and Ernie, but I’m going to have to go with June 1st. Exactly half way through the year at the end of a road I’ve spent a long time travelling down, I ended up where I needed to be. I haven’t been able to stop smiling since.

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Dear Santa…

Many years ago, back in the LiveJournal days we started off a little tradition of our own in regard to Christmas gifts. I haven’t done it in a while, but I was reminded of it this year in a conversation between an old friend and a new one. I remembered it and it made me smile, so I thought I’d bring it back.

Think of it as a sort of Secret Santa (only sometimes not so secret) for people who you know so much about but may not know their address or any other “real lfe” thing about them. Of course, the medium has changed somewhat over the last few years so the guidelines have had to change slightly but the prinicpal remains the same.

I know that this year more than most our wallets have been hit hard. So everything on the list is something that will not cost you a penny, just some time and thought if you have those to spare. Those familiar with my old LJ know how this works, for those of you new to this tradition the guidelines are pasted below.

Please, feel free to post this to your own whatevers, it was always one of my favourite parts of the festive season. It’s always fun to see what it is people wish for and often surprising to find people willing to fulfill your wishes in return. Trust me. Spread the joy.

If you want to have a wishlist but don’t have somewhere to post this then please post your lists in the comments section and I will forward any answered wishes to you (unless I don’t know you in which case it might be a bit difficult but you can always e-mail me your contact details).

Anyway, without further ado…

Make a post (public, friends locked, filtered…whatever you’re comfortable with) to your LiveJournal/blog/MySpace/FB/wherever. The post should contain your list of 10 holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related (“I’d love a just_go_to icon that’s just for me”) to medium (“I wish for _____ on DVD”) to really big (“All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV.”) The important thing is, make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want.

– If you wish for real life things (not pics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it’s your address or just your e-mail address where Santa (or one of his elves) could get in touch with you.

Also, make sure you post some version of these guidelines. Surf around your friendslist (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list.

And now here’s the important part:

– If you see a wish you can grant, and it’s in your heart to do so, make someone’s wish come true. Sometimes someone’s trash is another’s treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don’t want or a gift certificate you won’t use–or even know where you could get someone’s dream purebred Basset Hound for free–do it.

You needn’t spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn’t to put people out, it’s to provide everyone a chance to be someone else’s holiday elf–to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not–it’s your call.

There are no rules with this project, no guarantees, and no strings attached. Just…wish, and it might come true. Give, and you might receive. And you’ll have the joy of knowing you made someone’s holiday special.

My Wish List

On a personal note, I’m not about to post my address on a place where I have no filters. So all of the items on the list are things that can be e-mailed to me at GemsCreamCracker@googlemail.com. I will of course wait until Christmas morning (i.e. one minute after midnight) to open any answered wishes. For some I’ve asked for an explanation, for others I haven’t. Please, if you want to tell me why then I’d love to hear your reasons. I know sometimes though it’s difficult to articulate why something’s your favourite, some things simply are.

Many of the items I’ve wished for could actually be physical things, I’m a very big fan of things that are handwritten. It’s a thing. I’d tell people to send things to the job but chances are it’d get logged and made into a case before I even saw it. Believe me, it happens. If you’re particularly ingenious you may find a way around this.

1. A movie.
Tell me the title in an e-mail. In a separate attachment tell me why you love it, I’ll read your reasons after I’ve seen the movie and we’ll see if we agree. Try not to pick something so obscure that I’m going to have trouble finding it.
2. A playlist.
Include songs that either:
a. You think I’d like
b. You really like
c. That remind you of me
d. That you think should remind me of you
e. All of the above
3. One (or more) of your favourite pictures (of anything) and the reason why they’re loved.
4. A four page letter. No more. No less.
5. A story.
6. Your favourite thing online.
Website, blog, YouTube video, tweet, web series. Absolutely anything.
7. Words that mean something to you and/or are your favourite.
Lyrics, a poem, a book, dialogue, a blog. It doesn’t have to have been written by you. If so inclined, tell me why.
8. Your favourite piece of music.
9. Your favourite recipe.
10. Something that will make me smile.


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A few years ago I made my first Thanksgiving Dinner. A friend of mine was dating an American who was in the Air Force and this was his first Thanksgiving away from home. I used it as an excuse to play house and have all of the people I cared the most about in my home to share a meal. I did the whole bit, used real napkins, and even made an apple pie from scratch. Topped off with a few rounds of karaoke – we’re Pinoy after all.

Fast forward a few years and tomorrow I’m celebrating Thanksgiving again for the first time since the last time. This time I’m not cooking. That’s not the only difference, not a single person who was sat around that table during my first Thanksgiving will be there at this one. Part of me is sad at that fact, not all of the absentees by my choosing, but this is where our lives have taken us. Some geographically distant, the American boyfriend now a husband and with that a home away from us. Others distant because sometimes that’s just how it is.

Many of those friends that once shared my table, I make the distinction between them and the people I choose to share my life with now. They are the family I would never have chosen, but for whom I am incredibly grateful that someone else knew better. Those friends are now the people I see on special occasions, Christmas and the odd birthday here and there although we can never all seem to make it at the same time. They are the people who knew me before I became me, the ones who will always be in my life no matter how much time has been spent.

The ones I will share a meal with tomorrow, they are some of the ones I have chosen. They know who I am without perhaps the (dis)benefit of knowing everything that I was. I am reminded every day of the high regard these people hold me in, but I am only the sum of everyone that has come into my life and allowed me to be who I needed to be. Without judgement. Without restraint. Without fear. I am the person they have had the faith that I could become. For them I am always thankful.

You don’t have to be an American to take this time to look at what it is in your life you are thankful for, but it is sometimes a good reminder. There are of course the big things, a roof over my head, a bank balance that may not be in the best of health but that I can handle, and a year without having to spend too many moments sat by someone’s hospital bed praying they’ll be okay. There are the little things, a tweet that reminds you how brilliant we can be, Jessie’s laughter as we chase her around the park, front row tickets to your favourite musical. And of course there are those things we never expected, the friendships formed from acts of randomness that every day give you reason to smile, spontaneous words that become your favourite quotes, thank yous that you would never have asked for.

So if the question is asked, I am thankful for everything and for everyone. If it didn’t happen the way it did, if they weren’t exactly who they were – even those that ended up being the very worst person for me despite my continually believing they could be better, then my life wouldn’t be what it is – and it is good. It is so very very good.

Happy Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate Turkey Day or not.

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

– John Henry Jowett


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