Friday, September 24, 2004

The Blue Stool

My kids' blue stool
Has many uses
It's a seat first of all
If so one chooses
See it's also a table
A toy or
A ride
And my favorite one of all ~
When they sit side by side

(...yes, there's more than one...IKEA sells them cheap! :-)

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Domestication of A Diva

Life as an immigrant in Canada, with a husband and three young children is not at all what I expected. My entire support group is in Manila or elsewhere in the world and I only have my good husband's family here.

I used to cry buckets in the beginning. The spoiled princess that I was kicked and punched and squealed like a pig being led to the roast.

I did not come all the way from Manila to suffer like this! I yelled with indignation. I did not leave my comfortable life with assistants and helpers and all the trappings that come with being a celebrity to labor around the house cleaning unmentionable dirt and picking up clutter from sun-up to sun-down. I screamed at the injustice. And I did not come all the way here to suffer cabin fever all week long from lack of fresh air from being stuck in the house all day, I cried "Victim! Victim!" all the way.

Toronto, if you didn't know, is hell in the winter which did nothing to help my already hapless situation.

Fast forward to two and a half years later.

There I was, putting my seven thousandth load of dishes in the washer one night, humming one of my favorite inspirational songs when it dawned on me ever so that me humming? Whoa! I'm humming and singing again, which means I must be in a good mood, which means I must not dread doing the dishes anymore, which means I'm out of the woods! I couldn't help it. I started tearing up with joy and gave thanks to God and Goddess and all the saints combined. This is a far cry, literally as well as figuratively, from how I used to be in the past. Back in the day, I would have cried for a completely different reason. Regret. Frustration. Resentment. Anger and Hurt. Anything less than perfect, you name it and you bet I was crying about it.

I drove my poor husband nuts. How could I not when I myself was going nuts!

I was pining for a lifestyle that was no longer available. I was longing for a way of living outdated and totally inappropriate for this stage in my existence. What was needed of me was responsibility, self-sacrifice, flexibility (ooh, this was a big one for me) and most of all, the kind of love that was purely unconditional. Unconditional love or nothing at all - for it was to be the basis of my family's sanity. But I could not give it just yet. Not in the beginning. The process was going to take much longer than I thought.

I call the whole process: The Domestication of a Diva.

It is true. Mothers are the anchors of the home. When Mom is happy, everyone is happy. Oh, but when Mom's having a crappy day, everyone take cover because the shit will hit the fan. Or the walls! Depending on which child is having the tantrum.

It's been almost three years, that and three million realizations.

Here are some of my favorites:

~ Dishes, pots and pans do not get clean by themselves, not even if you leave them on the kitchen sink for three days. Same applies for laundry, floors and kids.

~ When I mix colored clothes and white clothes in the wash, I get clothes with the most unappealing colors you could think of.

~ It is possible to miss one's helpers more than one's family.

~ It is possible to live on "left-over" food. In fact, it is the only way to exist! Batch cook, batch cook, batch cook. And better make it BIG-batch cook - or you might as well live in your kitchen.

~ A good cook is made, not born.

~ Doing household chores is painful, however, bearing the pain of not being able to breathe because of shit lying around- and I'm not only speaking metaphorically here, is so not worth it. Better to go through the housework pain than see, trip on, or breathe shit all day long.

~ Domestication is a painful process (one of the most painful experiences especially for an ex-diva-spoiled-bratty biatch that was me) and the best way to ease the pain is to drive to the nearest Mc Donald's or Burger King for a big dose of tummy lovin'. Emotional-eating Syndrome my ass...I say, Whatever-Works Syndrome for the moment. There's always kick-boxing when I do get out of my depression. And you know what, you do get off the pissy pot sooner or later.

~ Just when you think that it can't get any worse, it does. But then just when you think you can't take it anymore, you do. And you are stronger and a better, more beautiful, well-rounded human being for it.

~ My kids are still not the perfect little creatures I envisioned them to be nor will they ever be but as I learn to accept my own imperfections a bit more everyday, I become a better mother to my perfectly imperfect angels. And I love them anyway. Unconditionally.

~ My husband can be the strongest ally I can have one day and be my worst enemy the next. I may be head-over-heels totally in love with this perfect man I married one minute and pulling-my-hair-out and screaming like a banshee at the insensitive bastard the next. At the end of the day, I love him just the same. Unconditionally.

~ Yes. Divas can become domesticated.

I could go on and on and on but , see, my perfectly imperfect two month old baby is crying for mommy's booby again.

End of mommy-musing.

Domesticated Diva out.

The Domesticated Diva with her Magical Mmmunchsters=mom's munching monsters=always munch, munch, munching!

Goldie Rocks! : A Fishy Tale

This is a story of one amazing fish who lost its tail. In tribute, I hereby write him his very own tail --- I mean, TALE.

We've had Goldierocks for over a year now. It was Solomon’s first-ever pet. A gift from his favorite Uncle Mikee who bought the tiny thing from Yorkdale Mall.

Sol likes to think it’s a boy fish.

Oh, I just loved that innocent look of wonder and excitement on his little three year old face when the fish first arrived.

Sol’s first pet. Goldierocks or Goldie for short. There he was in his little round fish bowl with his little fish toy and the little colored pebbles at the bottom. It was nice. We were all very excited about the new arrival. Until it dawned on me while everybody looked on excitedly at the tiny creature --- I was going to do the not so exciting fish chores that came with having a pet. I know, you're thinking it’s only a teeny tiny thing right? But hey, they eat and poop, don’t they? Oh well, what's one more chore. I only have ninety-seven more to do anyway and it's only eleven thirty in the evening.


Fast forward to six months later. I demanded that we all took turns cleaning the bowl. We were all up to it. This meant cleaning Goldie's bowl only when the glass turned green and we could hardly see the poor fish. Goldie would actually be on the surface with his tiny mouth opening and closing the entire time.

"Oh look at our cute little Goldie begging for food." I said as I watched amused at the tiny mouth popping open, shut, open, shut.

My sister Joey who is the actual pet-lover-picking-up-stray-cat-left-and-right in the family explained to me that the fish was not asking for food but begging for AIR! The bowl was so dirty that there was no oxygen in the water anymore and the poor fish was fighting for his life.

Oops. I guess it was time to change the water again.

It was Jack's turn. My good husband actually did a great job, too. The glass was so clear you could see the tiny bubbles stuck to the walls. Surely Goldie was most grateful. NOT. Not only was Goldie not grateful, he was suffocating, too! Jack used dishwashing detergent to clean the bowl! A big mistake, we later discovered.

The poor fish got sick from the toxic water and was sadly, dying. Goldie floated on the surface barely breathing. I, being the one to see him daily, wanted to do the most humane thing I could think of ~ euthanasia. It was just too much to see the poor thing fighting, struggling for the little life that was left in him. Clearly, he was suffering.

They were all against it.

I was already saying goodbye to the fish one morning and told my son to say farewell, too.

"Goldie's going to fish heaven soon.", I told my boy. I was going to end Goldie’s misery once and for all.

"Why, Mommy?" said my three year old.

"Because he's sick and he's going to a better fish heaven kind of place where he won't be sick anymore." I said. The better place being down the toilet.

"Ohh..." Sol said slowly. "I'm sad."

I tried to reassure him, "Mommy's sad, too. But Goldie has to go soon because he's not well anymore. And I have a great idea. Let's go to the pet store and get another Goldie this weekend! How's that?", I said as excitedly as I could.

"Okay." Sol said, eyes wide and bright with anticipation. And just like that he was off for another installment of his morning cartoons.

Now that wasn't so hard. Okay. So what to do with the fish half dead staring at me with those glassy eyes? Maybe I can wait one more day. Just in case of a miracle. Unlikely, I thought. I doubted any miracles coming Goldie's way since he was already swimming sideways and not moving most of the time. That night, good old Uncle Mike cleans out the bowl thoroughly. What a persevering, kind and fish-loving Uncle this is, I thought to myself. It was, of course, a useless endeavor I thought smuglly. Whatever makes one happy, I thought.

Early the next morning, I was expecting a lifeless fish floating on top of the bowl. Instead I saw something else. Something nothing short of a miracle. There was our Goldie, swimming happily, properly, once again. Now how did that happen? Was it magic? Or simply a case of clean water resuscitating the fish?

Ah, so that's how you do it.

Goldie's happy days were back. He did loose a lot of his tail in the process. My guess is that he contracted some disease in his weakened state that ate away most of it. Which was fine since fish grow their tails back anyway. Or don't they?

Then my daughter , Oona, comes into the picture. A curious little lady, this one. One day, she decides to take a closer look at the fish. so picture this: Goldie's bowl on a ledge. Sweet, little girl grows into precocious, curious girl. And one afternoon when all was right and relaxed in the home, a sudden crash broke the spell. We came running to a crying Oona, although unscathe was badly shaken, shattered glass all over the floor and water, water everywhere. And in the middle of all this, a flapping Goldierocks fighting for his life.

For the second time.

Well, to cut our fishy tale (and tail!) short, Goldie did not make it this time. He fought for his dear little life for a couple weeks more and then said bye-bye. But not without a fight. I actually shed a few tears when I saw him motionless at the bottom of the bowl so sure that he was dead. Until I noticed a miniscule gill movement. Since I’ve learned that changing the water revives them, I immediately did just that. But it did not work this time. Goldie died the next day.

He’s one amazing creature, our dear Goldierocks. Solomon, Oona and I all said goodbye to him and sent him over to fish heaven via the downstairs powder room toilet.

Goodbye, Goldierocks. May you find your very own special fishbowl in fishheaven with no curious toddlers crashing your peaceful abode and no well meaning bowl cleaners squirting poisonous liquids in. May you have all of your beautiful tail back to its swish-swaying glory. Thanks for keeping me company by the sink during those long, lonely nights of doing the dishes. Thanks for patiently listening to my lamentations during the worst nights of tough scrubbing stains off heavy cooking pots in the beginning of our stay here.

Thank you for teaching me about perseverance and giving it the best you’ve got. In your own gentle, unobtrusive manner, you have shown me the way of peace and quiet persistence.

Fish gods and fish peace be with you, our dear Goldierocks.

With love,
Kathreen - accused of attempted euthanasia, Solomon - Goldierock's original owner, Jack - fish murderer one, Oona - fish murderer two and Uncle Mikee, official fish hero of the Azimi family.

Goldie & Fishpals
In Fishpond Heaven
...I imagine :-)

Friday, September 03, 2004

like a great big candy store

i should say chocolate instead of just candy. never liked candy that much. the stuff's too annoyingly sweet. ah, but chocolate is divine. i like the plain white ones. or rich and dark. no nuts, no fruits, no gooey, sticky cream-filled centers. just white. or black. or brown.

pure and simple.

my great big chocolate candy store: jen gray's website. i have found a place which inspires me to be more creative, more courageous in sharing. a place which helps make me more internet-savvy because of the many links it shares. i don't *know* the woman behind it but i *love* her already. i can't fully explain it. i risk sounding like a gushy teen admiring her favorite celebrity - call it idol worship if you wish - but the fact remains that i adore the woman's works and the woman herself! from those rich photographs to the simple yet heartfelt words in her stories and poetry, i simply adore it all. i am grateful for the handpicked websites - links to worlds that i never imagine existed. they nourish my artist's soul, hungry for too long. my favorites so far are snozbery's (sharp!), sark's (soft :-), andrea's blogs (sensational!). also adore uncommon things (cool stuff), 100words (clever idea) and one minute vacations (another winner).

but my favorite reason of all for loving jen's site mucho-much is because many times, she is able to put into perspective a lot of tangled up thoughts in my sometimes tangled up brain in a manner so pure and simple that i always end up telling myself: "aha! so that's what it is. now why didn't i think of that?!"

as for the photographs, ahhh. every single one is a gem! one can tell that the photographer of those pix put heart and soul into it. like her words and hand-picked quotes, a lot of them speak volumes to me of stories whispered from one woman's heart to another...gently...respectfully...lovingly.

there are more treasures yet to be discovered. i always look forward to coming back...over and over...

may jen continue to post her succulent stuff and may this wild woman continue to burn deliciously bright for us all.

and yes, i always get my fill of eye, mind, heart and soul candy whenever i visit.

want a bite? go to or simply click on the title above. bon a petit!

Here's my favorite blogger and cyberpal ~
jen gray, pure and simple.

photo taken w/ permission from archives

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


I haven't posted anything for so long. I've been busy. Wait, that's not true. I mean it's true that I've been busy - who isn't? - but that is not the real reason for my not appearing on the page. Truth be told, I was scared.

Just like me to start out like a canon ball and fizzle out after a few tries. There is no lack for things to say. In fact, there's more to say today than there ever was. More stories to tell, the kind that are deep, introspective, moving, worthwhile. But they are all locked up inside this heart that is contracting instead of expanding.

Fear. Same old cold & dark & dank thing. I am letting this neurosis take hold of me again.

I'm going to put a stop to it, right here, right now. I say enough.


Enough of having to put the pressure to be perfect because I am not. Never was. Never will be.

Enough of having to make excuses because there are none.

Enough of having to worry about who says what about this or that because they don't matter.

Enough of being selfish, self-centered and self-loathing.

Enough of being too hard on myself because ~


I am enough...

... the way I am in all my glorious imperfection.

...the way I am with all my talents and my lack thereof.

...the way I am with the direction I choose to go at the speed I'm comfortable with.

...with all my many layers that meld into one and makes for the colorful, wild woman that I am.

...the way I am happypeaceful one minute, stressed out of my mind the next, confused, bewildered, inlove, inlust, content, discontent, organized, dirty, smart, ignorant, compassionate, egocentric, loving, controlling, meditative, loud, soft, sharp ~

...the way I am growing...Growing...GROWING...

I am enough. Always have been. Always will be.


And. So. Are. You.

Wunjo, The Rune of Joy/Light