Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Pain In The NECK

I finally got a call from my doctor... The result of the MRI I so unhappily paid for came back... I have 2 herniated discs in my neck and she referred me to a neurosurgeon - great! another doctor's bill to pay for. I sometimes wonder what the friggin' insurance is for? I am still suffering from expensive medical bills. I question the stupid auto insurance as well? But that is another discussion by itself!!!

At least when she called, she called me at work. Now the person here at work doubting about my numerous doctor's appointment excuse have proven itself to be true. The doctor actually called me! I have been suffering from a debilitating pain on my neck and left shoulders. Sometimes the pain get so bad, it numbs or worse paralizes my extremities. It is that BAD! Of course it was an excuse to get a never ending prescription of Vicodin, otherwise referred to by the hubby as "happy pill!" but even the happy pill have failed to make me painless lately. So, I decide to change doctors and get a valuable second opinion. Finally, a doctor who required an expensive MRI rather than touching the painful area, asking me a million question and not believing my response and telling me that everything seemed normal, that it's probably just stress related. HELLO? Who isn't stressed in our modern day society? Some of this doctor's are so smart, they think you are inventing your symptoms.

So my new doctor, who I learned to love in the short time we have been together, made me spend money I don't have but have proven that my pain have a root cause. Herniated DiscS... Ouch! She said that the neuro surgeon will have to identify the best course of action but she recommends traction treatments rather than surgery. So, I did my research and found out what people with the same diagnosis feel about different courses of action. Most people who underwent surgery had adverse effects and suffered from more pain than before. Sadly, it's something that needs regular maintenance specially for older folks...

I have to schedule a trip to the neurosurgeon... money... where to get money?

I told my husband when I got home... "you know what this means? I can't overwork myself! and I can't be carrying anything heavy!" He laughs... and nods...

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Bored to Oblivion

I have been in this firm for 2 years now and I must say. I am so ready to move on. I am so bored it is driving me insane.

Okay, let me put this firm in perspective. They are not a bad firm. They pay their employees well. They give quarterly bonuses (which is unheard of in architecture) they have annual company outings (last year was at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) and they do not micro manage. Now that they have moved to their very own (designed and built, mind you...) building, they even have a pool table that employees can use and a supply of beer and wine whenever one decides to relax and play.

So, one would ask me, why am I bored?

Because this place is soooo not me!!! I do not feel like I belong. I stayed as long as I did because I get paid very well and I get away with alot. But as a result, I have became complacent to the point of insecurity. Now, I am afraid to go out there and look for a job where I actually have to prove myself again.

I have a reputation for being really good at what I do and all my past employers attest to that... and after 2 years of this place, I am not sure I could keep up with my reputation.

I have to admit, I did this to myself. I t was never there fault, I should have never come here in the first place. But it was too tempting to experience it first hand.

I need to gather up all what is left of me and get out of here. FAST!

Monday, March 29, 2004

Ideal Sunday

I was waiting for Chi to give me a wake up call. It was 10:30 when I finally got out of bed and called her instead. I was determined to NOT miss our YAS class. After changing to my gym clothes, I went over to pick her up (so convenient that she moved 4 building away from my place). We got there just in time for our class! I actually lasted the half hour of spinning without even thinking of quitting. There were a couple of times that I almost passed out. This heat on my throat was kind of disturbing. During yoga, the heat actually got bad that I almost threw up. It must have been all the toxins my body was keeping. Yuck! It felt good afterwards and the instuctor even complimented me. She said, this is the best I have done so far. It was painful on my neck but it also helped alot because it added some mobility to my otherwise immobile neck. We then went to a nail spa and got pampered a little. Nice! We had a nice brunch afterwards at the Omelette Parlor... This is my ideal Sunday!

When I got home, I straightened up the house a little bit because Beth (Gene's brother's wife) birthday dinner will be at our house. Tony and Julie came by around 4:30pm to pick up Pedra's paintings and chit chatted a little bit. I kept on looking at the time because I haven't even showered much more, started cooking anything for the dinner. They finally left a little before 6pm...

Triathlon shower, shopping and cooking... After my really quick shower, I had to run to Ralph's to get some salad dressing and other veggie stuff. Beth's a vegetarian who doesn't eat asparagus and asparagus was the only other veggie in the fridge aside from some mushrooms.... I was panicking! Good thing they were running late.

I barely got back when the phone rang and they were outside. Gene had to entertain them while I am whipping out the whole dinner in the kitchen. Gene barbequed some pork ribs and some chicken wings outside at the balcony. I prepared sauteed mushrooms, garlic asparagus, steamed artichoke (thrown to the grill the final few minutes of cooking to bring out the nutty flavor), steamed edemame, romaine lettuce/tomato/carrot/olive salad bowl with 4 choices of dressing and rice. I was going to make some pasta but I didn't realize I was out.

Food was ready by 7:15 pm... That was tough. Everything turned out good and tasty, I actually surprise myself sometimes. They brought some yummy ice cream cake for dessert. Beth was happy she didn't have to cook and clean, for a change - she always invite us over for dinner. Specially when she knows we are poor.

That was a productive weekend --- I thought!

Saturday, March 27, 2004

It was a busy Saturday, spent with the Mom! Chi and I went there particularly early hoping we could leave just in time to make our YAS class (half hour spinning and half hour yoga combination class). Of course, we never learned because that never happens. We were there by quarter till 9 to meet with this lady who contracts stair remodels. I am doing my Mom's home remodel to pay for some debts I accrued with her during my dilemna months. After the meeting which I though went particularly well. My Mom kept on bragging about this vietnamese sandwich place in Westminster. I mean, she would not shut up about it and we actually ended up driving all the way there to try the sandwich place. They were good sandwiches, I must admit and of course you have to trust my Mom when it comes to stuff like that.

After we have devoured our 10" baguettes, we had to buy extras to take home because it was so delicious. It was located in this big ASIAN MALL where we also found this wig store where we stopped by to buy my grandma this really cute number. And as we were walking buying more food, this old vietnamese guy got my attention because he was showing off some handheld accupressure massager. I thought I'd take advantage because my neck still hurts after all. My sister Chi who was holding Dennyse (my niece) got shock when she saw this old guy touching me!!! Anyway, the massager felt good until he pushed a button which sent electromagnetic waves through the pressure point... talk about shock therapy. I didn't buy it because of that. I regretted that decision because I realized that the shock therapy helped...my neck was less painful when I got home.

After the Asian Mall, we proceeded to the paint store to buy some paints for my Mom's remodel. That didn't go very well, for some reason I get into fights when I am with my mother. I am so bummed out because I always buy my paints there, but now - I probably would not go back ever because I have pride and after that screaming match with the people there - there is no way I am showing my face again. We headed back to Mom's house to meet the mason doing the slate floor and my Mom successfully talked me to going to Home Depot to buy the materials for her flooring.

Ay yay yay --- there goes the whole day.

It was 8:30 in the evening when Chi and I got back to our neck of the woods... Good thing I don't have to cook dinner, I brought those yummylicious vietnamese bagguettes home...

Friday, March 26, 2004

I have been ill. With a flu and my neck have been really bothering me. On top of that, after I came back from vacation all my problems before I left resurfaced and is more intense than before I went on vacation. A hiatus for a few days was necessary for sanity sake. I didn't want to rant all my frustrations in writing because I want to forget it even exists.

LIFE is how you make it and I sure have made a mess of mine... I need some time to do some fixing...

Monday, March 15, 2004

While in the plane flying to Heathrow, I saw 2 1/2 movies: Gothika, Something's Gotta Give & Shattered Glass (which I didn't finish)

While in the plane flying back to LAX... I saw 2 1/2 movies: Cheaper By The Dozen, Silvia & The Last Samurai (which I fell asleep on) and devoured 1/3 of The Da Vinci Code. The flight was 10 hours long and I didn't even notice it. BA had great flight entertainment choices and I love the fact that they pass out drinks every hour at least.

Silvia Platt was a very disturbed individual but I totally related to her life. I am not as depressed as she was but I am as passionate about my art and my marriage. Like her, when I met my husband, I instantly fell madly in love to the point of obsession. When she was saying her name and experimenting what it would sound like with his last name, I remember how I use to do that as well specially while Melissa and I where in thesis camp. I can also relate with the fact that she took a paying job to support the 2 of them while he pursue his arts intensely. The fact that he know her so well to inspire the deepness of her poetry reminded me of how my husband brought out the poet in me... And I can not find a more fitting description of my own marriage than when she said, and I quote "We were like halves walking on Earth empty...and then we found each other and we were WHOLE......." (I have to make sure that those were the exact words but it is very near the exact words) I felt her pain, her dissatifaction with her art and her constant need for him. His betrayal and her forgiveness and her denial and empathy... Her wanting to live and die and her constant quest for happiness. She was a true artist, a true poet.

Experiencing that movie and her life story made me realize that I still love my husband and that no matter how I get affected by people commenting that martyrs should be gunned to death (like Jose Rizal was killed as a martyr)... that what I am doing is not martyrdome but unconditional love. I have to constantly remind myself what unconditional means.

Let me start with seeing Melissa after seven long years...
It was amazing, it was like seeing her everyday. The connection was still strong. Although she have grown to a mother but she is as fun as I remembered her.

The ten things I really like about her - and why:
1. She is such a genuine person. She have no false pretenses in her.
2. She is very generous. When she gives, she gives.
3. She is very honest. She never sugar coats what she needs to tell me.
4. She remembers. She remember things about me that most people forgets.
5. She is very accepting. She still loves me no matter who I have become.
6. She is fun loving. She always sees something funny in every situation.
7. She is so smart. We always manage to have intellectual conversations.
8. She is spontaneous. Even with a baby, she still manages to be her spontaneous self.
9. She is so PINOY. It cracks me up!
10. She is so sincere. It breaks my heart to not have her by my side because she is so sincere.

I can think of ten more things but I am too lazy to do so. Besides, I don't want her head all blown up by my admiration. I am so glad she found the perfect mate for her. The two of them complement each other like tea and honey. I have never seen her bloom like I have seen her with him and they have a son to prove it. Watching the two of them together makes me understand why we chose to be half a globe apart. He is so good to her and it is so transparent. And their baby is the most adorable thing (except of course when compared to Dynny-JP's future girlffiend and my favorite niece!). She made me feel me again. I miss her immensely and this I promise to myself and her --- I will not let another seven years pass without seeing her again.

I have to make a consistent effort to keep in touch with past friends who have remain good ones through the years even without constant interaction. Like Melissa - of course, Djhoana, Leah, Julie, Obee, Ricky and other ones than have been instrumental to my growth as a person. And to cherish the new ones who are making me who I am right now - Lydia, Jenny, Anna, Diana & Shelly amongst the rest. To all my friends - thank you!

Seeing Melissa again, brought back the feeling of friendship to a whole new different level. Thanks!

Back to Los Angeles last night and back to work first thing Monday morning. What a drag? I have so much to write about but I have no time to write them just yet. So many things have happened... London, Paris and seeing Melissa once again, meeting her handsome baby and her husband for the first time, reading the Da Vinci Code, going back home and missing Gene immensely... all the strings of emotions... Would have been better to write them all fresh but sometimes, it needs to sit and wait in the backburner of life. I wish I had a techie gadget with me the whole trip and be able to keep a journal while travelling. I guess I could have but I was busy digesting the experience to record it.

AnP's website will probably have more pictures and details...

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I am pretty sure my friends are tired of hearing my never ending saga about my marriage. I know this because I am tired of hearing my self say the same complaints year after year. So, one might ask "why are you still with him?" ... and like I always answer "coz I love the bastard!" And yes - I admit it is a pattern and do I want to get out of that vicious circle? My intelligent half answers YES and my emotional side answers a compounding NO.

I had the best sleep for the past months or so last night and all because his arms were wrapped around me. It gave me a sense of security - even if it was a false one and even if I know that it would vanish once I actually open my eyes and step back to the real world again.

Just the other day, I was so determined for him to leave and give me my freedom but just like all the other times in the past --- it was an even louder cry for help! Cry that screams - "hold me and don't let go". I know... I know --- it's cheezy. What can I say? That is how I feel and I am not ashamed to say it.

We are all great in giving an advice to our girlfriends about damping a guy. I am one of those who would tell my girlfriend -"You are SO better off without him" or "He SO does not deserve you" - all easier said than done. Who knows what actually goes on inside the lives of two people. We only say what is convenient to say and we leave out details that are kind of embarassing or the ones that doesn't show us as martyrs. We are all white liars in our own rights!

I am not saying that my dear husband is really not a jerk. Because he IS! A BIG JERK! But whose to say that I am not a BITCH? That's why people watch those stupid reality shows because everyone is curious of everybody else's own business. Of course theknowledge of having a camera present alters once real reactions.

Human nature is human nature and that's what makes life so colorful and hard and amazing and intriguing and fascinating and frustrating and... and... and...

If life was any simple... if life was black and white... if life was so predictable - we would all be bored to death!

Monday, March 01, 2004

this was the e-mail i sent to my husband... my cry for help ... i sent it last 02-11-04

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 10:58 AM
Subject: attempting to communicate...

Dear husband,

It has come to a point again that we are not communicating well and that I have to resort to e-mail to get my message across.

Last night I was expecting for us to celebrate the sale of OUR art walls. Have a nice dinner and then write OUR bills TOGETHER. Of course, as always it didn't happen like that because YOU had to do YOUR business.

For a long time now, I have been frustrated about how things are going. I always believed people get married so they could share their lives together and share the responsibilities of life. Two people sharing ONE life. Having a 50%-50% share of what it takes to survive. Our marriage is not like that at all. It's always been lopsided. I was okay with it for a long time but lately, seven years down the road, I am beginning to question the whole anatomy of our marriage. I look back and review it and everytime we take a step forward we fall back 2 steps behind. This is really depressing. As hardworking as I am, I have goals and dreams and I do want it all. A husband, a house, kids. I was not expecting to be seven years into the first goal to not even be near the second one. Put yourself in my shoes, if you were the breadwinner and I was a housewife, you will be expecting alot from me. You expect alot from me right now. How come I am not suppose to expect anything from you? How come you expect me to carry all this load? You don't even have an idea how I experience pain every night stressing out how to get more money in every possible way. I want to be taken care of by my husband in all possible way a wife could be taken care of. We are getting older faster and our progress in life is slower than ever. There are hundreds of musicians out there, mediocre compared to your talents and yet they are making a living. You can't even make enough to take care of your own needs like YOUR car! When we get extra money like last night, my first thought is to pay OUR obligations, OUR bills, to buy OUR food, while your first thought is YOUR car needs this and needs that. I have not had an oil change for my car since September! I didn't even say, don't get your car fix, I allowed a budget for it and you have the nerve to tell me about eating lunch and paying consultants!
You better have a long look at yourself on the mirror and decide where your life is going because you are losing me faster than you can drive your car. I should not be yelled at by you on how I spend my own paycheck, specially when 90% of it goes to pay all OUR bills! Most wives have their own bank account for their paychecks and is not being questioned by their husbands on how they spend it.

I am sick and tired of all this! I want things to change. I want to be taken care of like I deserve to be. I want a better life. I work hard for it and you should too! I need to be treated better not just with affection but with respect. You want me to respect you but you do not respect the fact that I am the one providing. For you, my money is our money and your money is YOUR money. You better begin really appreciating the fact that I am working for US. I don't nag you to get a job everyday until you question where the money goes. Where else? BILLS! Even if you live by yourself, you would have to contend with surviving, what gives you the right to put all that on my shoulder.

Gene, when will you recognize the need to be responsible for your own life? You are not getting any younger. Don't keep pushing me to make a step we would both regret. I have my limits too and you are testing the extent of those limits. I am about to break.

If you really love me and if you really want to stay together, you will do something about it. You won't let this issues drag like this for as long as it has.

your wife who loves you...

This past weekend was even more hell than the last. The bank officially closed our account and is investigating me instead of what has happened. They called my Mom who issued me a check after the ex-landlord cashed an old check. She did that to help me out, so the checks I issued will go through fine. Of course, not knowing that it will be held hostage by the bank like the rest of my own money. They called her to see if she will honor that check, so she said NO and they asked, does that mean yuor daughter forged that check?!!!! What the hell! So my Mom got all hysterical with the person that called her.

But the worst thing was that, my husband didn't seem to give a damn when I said - SET ME FREE IF YOU CAN'T GIVE WHAT I NEED - he simply said... ok... need i say more?