Friday, February 27, 2004

Guess what? Drunk again. Back to that euphoric state. Now I know why I was happy being empty! Because being full didn't mean it will give you happiness. I felt again what I felt before. It's a few minutes before 5 am and I am entirely buzzing. Not that I want people to get drunk and be losers. People have to understand that in the Philippines, there are no AA's or that you have to be 21 to be allowed to drink. Maybe it has changed. But when I was growing up, my Dad prefers me to be drunk than smoking, believe or not....

Anyways, since I have stopped drinking, a little bit of alcohol can get me there, I had 2 glasses of white wine and I am as tipsy as can be. Smiles and tears and everything in between. If I an sober right now, I would hate to read whatever I am writing but as A2 says I almost forgot about that!

The whole thing about the internet fraud was a mess. I finally found a lawyer who is willing to look into it. As for awareness. I would like everyone to be aware of it. See, I thought I was smart until it happened to me....

My head is spinning and I am writing sporadically as thoughts flow - if I could even follow the speed in which it passes thru my brain. All my school life I made a point to not stand out and I will not let the speed in which my brain moves affect how fast I type. After all, I am alcohol-infested. I finally told myself, why did you started questioning your empty happiness before... did you think it was so wrong that you had to change? I may be empty but I was happy. Probably the biggest contradiction in the planet, but that was why I was not willing to share my thoughts. Because it was confusing even me.........

It is now one pass five and I wish I could concentrate on something productive or fall asleep.

This is the start of my exposure to my secret insanity...........

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Dear Friends, Family & Business Associates:

I would like everyone to be aware of this type of internet fraud that has been happening very frequently and yet not highly publicized. Please take time to read.

Everyone is forewarned to be careful about buying items off the internet, saying that some sellers do not get the items delivered after getting paid and then they disappear just to re-appear with a whole different identity. Well, everyone knows that type of scam but as familiar as I am about the internet, I have never heard of the one that happened to my business until it actually happened to me. Needless to say, what happened is way beyond a nightmare.

As most of you know, we have a business in Santa Monica, California selling art. As of January we had to close our location because of some landlord problems and the fact that our business is not doing well financially. After we closed down, to recover some of the cost we lost in improving the place, we have decided to sell our movable art walls that we had at our place. We placed an ad at a website www.recycler.com and were hoping to get a response. After about a week, we have received an e-mail from a guy who said himself to be bishop from Jerusalem wanted to purchase the wall. We thought it was farfetched and didn’t really pay attention but he e-mailed the second time saying the same thing. He said his name was Bishop Beshem Baha yet his e-mail address read as Skipo Segan skipolaladodo@yahoo.com (which he later changed to skipolalado@yahoo.com). This made me a little suspicious. We told him that we are in California and we can’t ship the art walls to Jerusalem. He responded by saying that he ships items back and forth to different countries all the time and he have shippers that he used in a regular basis. I still was a skeptic, for me until the sale is paid for and it clears the bank, every intention to buy is just an intention. He e-mailed again saying that he have a brother in the Lord who is in the US and owes him some money, more than our walls cost and that he will have him wire the money to us. He then asked if he could trust us to wire the shippers money that was over the amount of our walls. We responded by saying that he is a man of God and would know who he could trust. The cashier’s check was delivered through FedEx. I have always been spiritual and so, I made myself believe that this is a miracle specially that it was a bishop purchasing our walls. We deposit the cashier’s check as soon as possible and the bank says it would take 2 business days to clear. We then received e-mails from the bishop again urging us to send the shipper’s money and that he is getting nervous if he could trust us. We responded and told him that as soon as the bank clears the funds we will send his shippers the amount that exceeds the sale amount. The check we received was for $4,300.00 and the walls cost $2,000.00. At this point the supposed bishop’s e-mail address has changed to Izaga Daipo izagadaipo_inc@yahoo.com. This made me a bit suspicious again but since I did have a check on my hand, I thought, just wait and see if it clears. After 2 days it did clear and I thought, wow! It was a miracle that somebody from Jerusalem was purchasing our walls! I thought we were free and clear. We withdrew the money, sent them via Western Union $2,300 and put the rest on our personal account to start paying the bills we needed to pay that pushed the selling of the walls in the first place. After 2 business days, I check my business account again for other transactions I had and discovered that my account was negative the full amount of $4,300.00. I called Washington Mutual and they told me that after the check cleared they have found something wrong with the check and that they had to pull it out and investigate. Did anybody know that when a bank clears a check after their clearing period (2-5 days) that they could pull it out? Why did they not just hold it the whole time they where checking it? This is when the nightmare began! The bank froze our account, both business and personal to investigate the fraudulent check that we deposited. Have Washington Mutual called us to alert us of what happened, we could have pulled out the Western Union transaction we made. As if we did not feel stupid enough to be the victim here, the so called bishop e-mailed us again saying the shippers who were on their way to pick up his purchase had a terrible accident leaving 2 of them dead and the other 3 in the hospital in fatal condition, that now he needs to cancel the sale and that we need to send him back the rest of his money so he could help the shippers family. What a bogus story!

After the realization that we have been scammed, I went to the internet fraud website http://www.ifccfbi.gov/ and found out that what had happened to us is actually common. How come I have not heard of it? How come everyone I know has not heard of it? If it was that common it needs to be known so people would be aware of it and not be another victim. I went to the police department and was told they get very similar reports at least once a week and that they cannot do anything about it but refer us to the internet fraud department of the FBI and report it. He said it’s one of the oldest trick in the book. Again, if this was true, how come the general public was not made aware of this!

This letter is a challenge to everyone, to spread the word and protect people you know. If you know a news person who could expose this type of fraud, please have them contact me right away. Let us put an end to this, let us build awareness in this technological age. I thought if you are the one selling that there is no way you could be the victim, was I wrong!

This is also a challenge to anyone who knows a lawyer who could do something to challenge the banks to protect their clients. To not clear a transaction until they are absolutely sure that they have looked into the transaction every possible way.

This is also a challenge to our government. I believe that this type of internet fraud is an act of TERRORISM. The US government should protect the interest of their residents from technological terrorism such as this.

Let us help each other put a stop on this. Awareness is the key.

Thank you for taking time to read this.

If anyone wants to contact me that could offer some leads to the media, please call either Gene at 310.925.6481 or Jhoiey at 310.925.6479 or you can fax us as 310.477.2503 or e-mail us at art@chromaFlux.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

It's been seven years since I have left the Philippines and I never really missed it because my memory of it is polluted by the drunken stupor of my youth. Yes, I was always drunk. I would start my day with an amaretto spiked coffee, have lunch with either a margarita, long island ice tea or my drink of choice - vodka tonic... dinner is usually just an encore for a night of drinking and dancing and when I finally get tired enough to wish to go home, I would finish the long day with a Jimmy on the rocks! Quite sad one might read.... but I was happy, as happy as one can remember. I had everything at my disposal. Money, car, driver... boys! I had friends, some just as shallow as them hanging out but I had real friends. Friends who were there to still love me after all the fun expired. One of them, the BEST one of them all was there at the airport the day I left. It was very sad, alot of tears flowed. We didn't think our FUN together would end. We island hopped together. Became sand bug buffet in Boracay. Shared clothes, dreams and danced the night away till breakfast. We planned to backpack in Europe but I had to leave. Leave to see if my daydreams about this boy I loved would be reality. And it did...some other day I will write about the dream that turned into nightmare quickly... But right now, I want to write about my bestfriend in the whole world (and I mean whole world)!!!

I never told her before, but even during the times that we didn't keep in touch, I made it appoint to read about her life and adventures through her blogs. I liked it because it was like reading your bestfriend's diary. I never really understood her homesickness because aside from missing her, I was never really homesick. In fact I felt like I found my home at last. That the drunken stupor was the sign of the emptiness I felt inside but so vehemently denied. I have been sober since I moved to Los Angeles and didn't really felt the need to get get lost with any form of libation. Maybe because all my sisters followed me soon after and that my Mom & favorite Aunt were already in LA. Or maybe because I was in cloud 9 marrying the guy I was crazy about. Like my bestfriend said, I always end up getting what I want.

The whole bloggin thing was not enticing to me even if Melissa and I were at one point hot and heavy with chat sites. I was Luna & she was Soleil. We spent the whole night chatting and gigling to people all over the world. I had a cyber boyfriend. Today, she officially welcomed me and even placed a link to my blogs on hers! What an honor?!!!

Seven years apart and still the best of friends. Even if I am lost, oh and jealous most of the time. We are still the BEST of friends. Wow! How elating is that? Knowing that a connection between 2 people exceeds the boundaries of physical realm.

Paris... here we come to conquer that physical gap even for a few days... Gosh! Do I need you to be there... in this most disastrous era of my life.

MELISSA, THANK YOU FOR FINDING ME!

Let's just say... I spoke too soon. There was a day worst than last time I wrote an entry. My prayers were not heard. I haven't gotten it in me to write about it yet...

When will it be over.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

If there is any day worst than today... I pray that I am dead before that day comes. The ex-landlord of the infamous gallery in Santa Monica cashed a check we issued for rent last September that had an NSF and was replaced with a cashier's check. This placed me under deep stress becuase now I have checks that will bounced in effect. That guy was a crook all the way, he did this to us after the sale of the property we used to occupy closed escrow. He did this with the worst intention. What an evil man! I am a person who would just walk away from trouble and forgive the wrong that was done to me, but I am learning the hard way that here in America, you have to be a hard ass and fight everything if you want to be ahead in life. That is a painful thought and it might cause my marriage directly. Why?

Because I am married to an irresponsible jerk who does not take action and instead blames everything on me while he sits on his skinny ass and do nothing. Marriage is suppose to be teamwork. Do you blame your teammates if things don't work out, NO - you try to straighten it out together. This hurts me immensely. Carrying the full load and then being blamed on every single thing. Life is not fair and I know that but I was not born a man, I was born a woman and although I wear pants, I don't want to be the head of household.

I wish I am the type of person who have enough conviction and is ready to turn her back after getting hurt so many times! Maybe, I will be... not today but maybe tomorrow.

Life sucks!

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Valentine's Day is coming and I must say I have lost my taste for it. Seven years married this coming April and I am not sure that I could recommend getting married to anyone. Don't get me wrong, I like the fact that I am married specially when I go out with girls and I see the choices of men out there.

Here's my predicament though. I am the breadwinner in the marriage. I bring home the bacon and that's all good except I am also the woman in the marriage. When did wives start supporting their husbands. I am not blaming society or anything, I blam myself becaese I am the one responsible for my own actions. I never really considered divorce as an alternative because frankly --- I don't believe in divorce. Divorse is bull! Why even get married in the first place if you have an option to break up the marriage vows when it gets too hard.

I am shifting gears here - that is a whole other topic. Right now, I want to vent about my sucky marriage.

The seven years --- I have been the financial backbone of the relationship. Why I am staying, because I am a romantic-fatalist of some sort! I do love my husband. He is a musician with GREAT talent and alot of integrity, that's why he have not made it. It's a tough industry and that's why I have been supportive and understanding. Once in a while I crack! Mostly because he would start to nag me on how I budget our finances - my paycheck - and that I should be thrifty! For people who knows me, I have always been pretty spoiled and I mostly get whatever I want.
Since I got married, I have worked hard to maintain a certain degree of lifestyle in which I am accustomed to. If it takes taking sidejobs, then that's what I do, as long as I eat what I want to eat, wear what I want to wear and live where I want to live. This has been my philisophy and I don't apologize for it. This si hard when there is only one paycheck for 2 people because my husband is pretty spoiled himself.

I dream of one day being taken care of my husband financially, so I could live my life a little less stress than I am at present. I want that guy to still be him.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

So, I am going to Uk and then Paris with 4 other girls... But the last few days that was spent straightening out the details of the trip have been a helluva stress fest! Getting all this documents you need to get a visa for both countries. UK was a breeze and they issued it the same day while the Schengen visa (France) required 3 times more documents than UK and takes 10-15 working days to get issued. What the hell is that about? They want 3 consecutive bank statements, 3 consecutive pay checks and all your travel arrangements confirmed. And this is only for non US passport holders such as myself. I am freaking out. The bank statement part freaks me out, I mean --- if they see you have less than 2 hundreed in one month and 3k before that, are they going to decline you of entry to their country? And then most travel arrangements would require you to pay in full before you get a confirmed reservation. So what if you do all that and then get declined for a visa, most of them have a no refund / no transfer policy. It is screwed up. Do they really think you will attempt to travel without money (or credit) to spend? Of course, I am positive that all this is because of heightened security. But please, the terrorrist have money and would not have a problem showing proof of financial stability. All they should be concerned about is if you are coming back to where you came from. And, since I am a US resident holding a steady job and earns pretty good, then OF COURSE I am coming back.

Monday, February 02, 2004

We are finally all moved out. I was sad but relieved. To my surprise more relieved than sad! When dreams turn to nightmare, often you wish you woke up before it did the 180 degree on you. Now the next step is to organize the mess of my life. Boxes everywhere, I wonder how long it would take me to put it away. I swear I will never move again unless we buy a house. I have said this everytime we move and then the property alwasy gets sold and my life is in ruins! What luck we have.

My bestfriend called last Saturday to confirm that I am meeting her in Paris. I am so excited. I had 2 girlfriends that I would comfortably call my bestfriends---Djhoana (DJ) & Melissa (AnP). After the 2 of them I think I never really connected with anyone in the same level. I alwasy believe that you make you most valuable friendship during highschool and college. When life is less complicated and there is less competition. I had DJ in highschool & AnP in college. I miss them both dearly. Everyone else after them are passing friends who may impact your life some but you could live without. Now all I have as constant friends are my sister and husband. Suppose to be a good thing but kinda boring. Whenever I see a group of ladies lunching, I think to myself, hey! how come I don't do that with other girls My life consists of work, work, home, work... Oh, I do go out... I go out with my sister dancing or something!!! Just the other weekend, I went dancing with my sister, a friend who is going through divorce and my sister's co-worker. I was fun until all of them started meeting and dancing and flirting with strangers. I looked at myself and asked why are you here? you should be home with your husband! I was bored out of my mind after that. I have outgrown that whole era of going out and meeting people. Luckily because I don't have to, because I have someone to go home to and that stayed pretty constant for almost seven year now.