Have your cake and eat it too.

Seriously, people, this is how I eat cake and practically everything else. Instead of cutting a piece of cheese I just get the whole chunk out of the fridge, take a bite and return it in the package. I know… I know… unladylike, not polite, unhygienic, not the done thing, etc. etc. etc. But that’s me. I drink water straight from the bottle also but refused to drink the last remaining bit at the bottom. Don’t ask me for a reason, I just don’t know.  I eat also food straight from the pot. Sometimes, while sitting in the middle of the table instead of a chair. I don’t mind sharing a plate either. I eat leftovers of D. and give him mine or the pieces I don’t like. There are lots of things I do differently, like most people I guess. But I will not name them here one by one or otherwise, we are in for a long haul. Perhaps I will share some of them once in a while if I’m feeling courageous or just plain crazy.

See you next time.

Prison Without Bars

I am running out of ideas on how to entertain myself during Corona Lockdown.

I am used to self- imposed quarantine. I could go on for years without talking to anyone. That’s not the problem. The trouble is my world suddenly becomes smaller.

How long you could run around the neighborhood and be still in awe of what you see?

I love nature. But believe you me, no matter how great that love is, if I see another river, another poor excuse for waterfalls, another forest, another mountain tops,  I would scream till I have no voice anymore left out of sheer frustration.

How many versions of those one could take without being bored to death?

Trees are just trees and water is just water no matter from which angle you view them.

I could understand that the same rules apply if you go further abroad but that is not the point. Ever heard of the journey being more important than the destination? That is not the problem either. The problem is the journey on a familiar road going to an even more familiar destination is becoming tedious it drives me crazy.

I want to explore new horizons, do new things, see unknown whatever. Anywhere but here for crying out loud.

I want to see trees and water and rocks on foreign soil. Observe unfamiliar cultures. I want to taste and try new dishes, I want to experience life again!

But life would never be the same again. I see it now. By all means, as long as I can run around out there without restrictions, free as before then I’m okay. I don’t even have to talk to people. I just want to go places that’s all.

Why this candle? Why this cake?

Today is exactly a year since I had an accident abroad and fractured my spinal cord. I thought I will never walk again.

But I shoulder on like always and here I am still doing the things I thought I would never do again. Like hiking for example.

I still take a dose of morphine from time to time to ease the pain but I find that a small price to pay compared to being paralyzed sitting in a wheelchair whole day.

It wasn’t the first time I seriously broke a bone. When I was ten years old, a car hit me while crossing the highway and snapped my fibula. I was in a hospital for a month and spent my Christmas and New Year there. They offered me a crutch and had been strongly advised to take it easy. I limped to school after three days sans crutch.

Sometimes you got to do what you got to do in order to move on when giving up is not an option.

I’m not keen on celebrating any occasion but this one I ordered a cake for. Because I believe that if there is something worth commemorating it is this___ the fact that after a bad fall, I am still alive and kicking.

Too weird to live, too rare to die

I have people and places that I only know in my dreams. Not fantasy, just good old fashioned dream. Nightmares sometimes. Or most of the time for I never dream happy. Happy isn’t for me. In dreams or reality.

They come back in my reoccurring visions (or hallucinations if you prefer) oftentimes in the same dream which funny enough continues after I woke up and go back to sleep. I can even put them on hold or redirect the circumstances according to my wish. Some dreams feel more real than the others and more vivid than reality.

People say dreams are just memories one has long forgotten. I don’t believe them. Surely you can’t forget those that make you feel___ different for lack of a better word. And memories are from the past, not recent. Or perhaps (arguably) I mix the past with the present/recent. Because most of them are grown-ups interacting with a grown-up me.

And most of the places in my dreams are venues I have never been to. I know that for sure. How many yellow cities are there, which collapsed to reveal another layer? A city within a city. Something like that.

I know, most dreams are weird and don’t make sense, but people with faces I don’t recognize? C’mon…

They feel familiar though. As if I have known them all my life. Some I wish I really have known because they give positive vibes and make me feel safe.

The great Edgar Allan Poe once said:

You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream…

What do you think?

Ashes To Ashes

The grandmother of D. died at the beginning of the corona crisis. It’s best for her. She was 86 years old and very sociable. The lockdown would have been fatal for her if she had been still alive.

The ceremony was intimate and short. They scattered her ashes in the small corner of the cemetery and I thought: there you go. One moment you are alive and laughing and the next day you’re gone. They will mix your remains with others in the secluded little corner of the graveyard that looks suspiciously like a place where dogs are allowed to deposit their excrement and that’s it. That’s your whole life is amounted to, a handful of dust on the scraggy patches of grass littered with dried up flowers from previous occupants. Sad I thought.

I know After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. And dead is dead but still…

I watched her husband suffered the same fate four years ago. That was the first time I was really confronted with my own mortality. My parents were both dead but that is different. I had a connection with these people. I have lived with them longer than I know my own family. She was kinder to me than my own mother had ever been. I genuinely liked her.

D. and I made a pact that if one of us died, our ashes will be planted together with a sapling of our choice (Tebitan Cherry or Prunus serrula for me, Magnolia for him) so we can grow and be a part of nature instead of disappearing into nothingness like a dried up turd.

June Again

… and still, the corona issue lingers.

I could sympathize with the sociables and extroverts out there who need human contact to properly function though I don’t share their predicaments. If truth is to be told, nothing really changes with my lifestyle since the lockdown. I have always been in self-imposed quarantine since I decided to distance myself with all the dramas of humankind. Most of the time I enjoy my solitude. Sometimes I want to be lost in anonymity among strangers who don’t know and want nothing from me. I like it that way.

Probably, the only setback I have experienced during this crisis is not being able to go on vacation and lost my booking. I got a form of a voucher claimable the next time I book a holiday and would be expired within a year. The catch is, nobody knows yet when people are allowed again to travel outside their own countries so, it’s a waiting game. I hope to be out here by October. Fingers cross.

They are predicting the hottest summer (which is becoming the norm these days) I have given up on gardening. My water bill is sky high already and it is not even summer. The driest month so far they say. If it gets even drier, there will be no plant left to water. I don’t know if it is good or bad.

Anyway, I hope June will be kind to you, and let’s pray that this crisis will be over soon.

See you around.

Missing Title

I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom. ― Edgar Allan Poe

Do you remember I’ve told you I have never been addicted to anything? Well, that’s true. But there were times that I indulged. Against my better judgment that is.

But those are nothing but temporary diversions and never last long enough to do real damage. When it comes to the monetary aspect of my so-called cravings I have but one rule: never spend more than you can afford. That means your spending should not cost more than what’s in your bank account. That when worse comes to worst, you can pay what you owe without going bankrupt. Or even better: Never put yourself in credit.

I know all addictions have underlying reasons somewhere. I still have to find out what mine is. If there is any. Because if you ask me I would say there are none. I just like pretty things. Especially the ones that apart, unique and creative.

There were times that I overindulged in alcohol and passed out a couple of times. One of those episodes I ended up in a hospital with an infected wound. Apparently, in my dazed state, I stepped on a broken rusted tin can. How’s that for hilarious. Other times I tumbled down from the stairs and showered with my clothes on and went to sleep soaking wet.

I also did some things I would not do when sober. Like kissing a fourteen -year old kid and an engineer suitor I despised or lying down in the mud because I thought it was inviting and so soft.

But those were a long time ago and belonged to my wilder years of subconsciously looking for my rainbow connection. Who doesn’t have those episodes anyway? Everyone I guess has one moment in their existence when they are wild and carefree.

The bottom line is, even though I overindulged sometimes, I always wake up right on time before my doings could pose a real threat.

Why Being Estranged From Someone Is Nothing To Be Ashamed About.

When blood is thicker than water, but it’s so thick and so toxic, it’s drowning you.

Most everyone has a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor, or some person who is a strain to get along with.

Getting on a mutual wavelength just doesn’t happen. Communication is clunky, awkward, and uncomfortable. You find yourself making excuses to stay away or cut contacts short. You can never seem to enjoy being in the presence of one another. Your connection with that person becomes weaker and weaker until sometimes, you avoid or fade it out completely.

Yet something lingers. Perhaps you could have done better; maybe there is some key to connecting that you couldn’t figure out.

Family, by definition, is a group of people related by birth, marriage, and legal parameters. The expectation existing all around us is that these relations are a good thing or meant to be a good thing. Blood is thicker than water and all that. The simple reality I encounter is that no matter the birth lineage or inheritance of relations, it does not necessarily mean these individuals relate or fit with one another. Some families are like jigsaw puzzles whose pieces got placed in the wrong box.

Figuring out how to navigate differences, misunderstandings, and balancing individual needs in a group environment is a lot. It takes so many skills to get good at it while also requiring the temperament and constitution to tolerate the ruptures. When problems multiply, affections become deeply alienated; we can become estranged. It is painful when people you expect to support you don’t. Unexpressed, unresolved feelings can wreak havoc.

Estrangement, by definition, is a relationship that has soured and turned distant, even somewhat hostile. An estranged relationship causes discomfort. No one likes to run their fingers along splintered wood, and unless you find an emotional lathe, there is almost always some hurt.

AUTHOR: MARTINE J. BYER


Though this article in my personal opinion is somewhat incomplete, there are some points here that resonate with what I’m going through that, in the end, I decided to share it here. If I am the one who wrote it, I would elaborate and go further with details and give it a proper closure which seems to be lacking. Just a thought.

The Joneses Don’t Deserve Your Attention.⁣⁣

Success isn’t about how your life looks to others. It’s about how it feels to you. That’s what it means to be true to yourself.

I am my biggest critic. It’s me I have to please, no one else. If I am not satisfied with anything, I will continue to work towards improvement regardless of what others think or say. It is my life after all. It is me that has to live with myself till the grave, day and day out. I have to be comfortable in my own skin before I can be any use to anyone. Same with designing your own space. You are the one who is going to live there not other people. So why should you try to impress others when it’s not even their own abode. Do what you like, follow your feelings, decorate according to your taste, design according to your needs, dress up according to your personality and live the way you see fit. As long as your not harming anyone by being yourself, who cares?

Let them judge and let them talk.

It makes me think of something I’ve read somewhere. That coins make a lot of sounds while paper money is silent or something like that. And bells ring hard because they are shallow or something along those lines. What it is that Steve Jobs said:

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice and our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. 

Isn’t that great?

We are all born terminal. We are all going to die sooner or later. We are living on borrowed time. Don’t you think we better spend it on experience than accumulating earthy possessions? I remember what my then friend M. said to me a long time ago. She said: “With all that money you are spending on globetrotting you could have been a millionaire by now.”  I just looked at her because I didn’t understand her point of view and I didn’t bother to explain mine because she would not understand, and I mighty glad I did what I did because with my current condition and limited situation if I did not follow my heart and invested on experience, I will not have something to remember and fall back on when the going gets tough. Those cherished memories keep me sane and I’m grateful for that. I said to myself then: I don’t want to lie on my death bed wondering about ifs and what could have been. At least now I could honestly say to myself that I’ve been there done that twice over and back. No regrets.

Oh, I know, some people are hard-set to accumulate material things for the sake of legacy. To leave to their descendants, to give them a fair start in life as my aunt used to say. Granted. But I personally believe that the best foundation you can give to your own children is the gift of one thing no one can steal and they can never lose: education. Coupled it with a decent upbringing and nuggets of wisdom here and there, proper morals and values and they will be okay. Earning and finding their place in the world has to be the fruit of their own labor, not yours. They will follow their own paths anyway no matter what we told them to do. I, for one thing, don’t want my children to live up to my expectations. I rather that they live up to theirs. I will never live through my children. I don’t want them to make my dreams come true. I want them to realize their dreams no matter how disappointing it is for me because it is their lives. As long as they are happy, I’m happy. Isn’t it what love is all about, seeing someone happy?

The bottom line is:

We have just one life, why not live it the way we see fit?

Live and let live.

So forget about image and keeping up with the Joneses because:

After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box.

What Can I Say?

Of this I am absolutely sure: Do not reach the era of child-rearing and real jobs with a guitar case full of crushing regret for all the things you wished you’d done in your youth. I know too many people who didn’t do those things. They all end up mingy, addled, shrink-wrapped versions of the people they intended to be. – Cheryl Strayed

I didn’t want to get married and have children. I didn’t want to be a wife or a mother. Or anything domesticated. I want to be Sinbad, Scully, Stephen King, Steve McQueen, Eric The Phantom and Indiana Jones or anything in between as long as it doesn’t spell boring. I want to be John Snow, Spirit of the Cimmaron Lara Croft and Aragorn. I want to be a gypsy child in the midst of Bohemianism.

To take the world as one finds it, the bad with the good, making the best of the present moment—to laugh at Fortune alike whether she be generous or unkind—to spend freely when one has money, and to hope gaily when one has none—to fleet the time carelessly, living for love and art— for in Bohemia one may find almost every sin save that of Hypocrisy. [source: Wikipedia]

What, then, is it that makes this mystical empire of Bohemia unique, and what is the charm of its mental fairyland? It is this: there are no roads in all Bohemia! One must choose and find one’s own path, be one’s own self, live one’s own life. — Ayloh, 1902

Look where I am now!

But then again, I have lived a thousand lives others can’t even imagine in their wildest dreams. I’ve’ walked to hell and back, visited heaven and been everywhere in between. People often say I’ve been there done that when what they really meant is they know how it feels to stand at the edge of a crater but they never really experience how it is to descend to the bottom. I can honestly say I did. Countless times.

In my dying bed, I will not lie there and regret everything I should have done but never dare or tried because I know for a fact that compared to most, I have lived a colorful life, even though none of those are the ones I truly wanted.

My Dearest Oona

Twilight is here again the sun is sinking down

Another day had passed soon it will be dark

Tomorrow in the East the sun will rise again

But without you by my side, nothing really matters.


The garden is empty devoid of all flowers

I know they will be there again come next Spring

But whatever season as long as you’re not here

Believe me, in my heart it is always Winter.


Birds always come back to their nests before dark

Will you be home again tomorrow? Next day perhaps?

I’ll be waiting for you every day all my life

I hope you will return before I close my eyes.


__ Your Glam-Ma

To Scrape And Scratch

Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.

Unfortunately, not so many people want to own their mistakes. They rather blame people and circumstances (or even God) for whatever misfortunes that befall them. I know there are events that are unexplainable and bad things happened to good people and God doesn’t always work in mysterious ways and things don’t always happen for a reason, but those are exceptions to the rule and not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about being mature enough to take responsibility for one’s own actions, one’s own life, being able to admit to oneself that we are not perfect; we stumble and fall and do mess up sometimes but it is all part of the growing up process. Stand up, dust yourself and move on. Life doesn’t always deal us with fair cards and they say fate is not even-handed  Life isn’t fair, so you have to play the best game you can with the cards you’re dealt. It’s up to you what to do next. Either you keep lying down where you fell and moan and complain or charge it to experience and start all over again. Your choice.

Remember, Destiny plays its cards in a way that no one can comprehend. It’s okay to be down sometimes (or all the time if you wish) as long as it doesn’t stop you from making the most of what there is. Blaming anyone will not bring anybody anywhere or anything but sorrow, self-pity, hatred, and bitterness. Those are dangerous preoccupation. It eats you from the inside and hinders you from living up to your full potential. I am not a happy person and very far from satisfied but those little inconveniences don’t stop me from moving forward and taking pleasure from what is worthwhile. I never allow myself to be beaten by the circumstances no matter how difficult it could be sometimes. Adversity builds character but much depends on the individual also. Either you will let the experience beat you or make you into a strong capable human being. Again, your choice.

Someone said adversity builds character, but someone else said adversity reveals character. I’m pleasantly surprised with my resilience. I persevere, and not just blindly. I take the best, get rid of the rest, and move on, realizing that you can make a choice to take the good. – Brooke Shields

Hardships build character. Character equals backbone. Backbone means strong. Who likes invertebrates (people)? Lack of character means a whole load of unsavory traits nobody could live with let alone tolerate in the long run. Those are the ones who cannot stand for themselves and always need others to fall back on or to blame. They are either always go with the flow, don’t have their own opinions, or disrespectful, dishonest, unreliable, backstabbers and manipulators. The ones who stand on other people’s backs to look tall and belittle others to feel good about themselves. Don’t get me wrong. Character doesn’t mean being self-absorbed and strong is not equals to being a bully. Character includes compassion, empathy, courage, patience, humility, and doing things with heart and soul. My father always said: put your heart and soul in everything you do or don’t do it at all. I agree. The difference between chefs who have given exactly the same ingredients to cook is the way they execute the task. The one who prepares the food with respect and put their heart and soul into it is the one who is going to produce a delicious meal. Love what you do no matter how small and unimportant the task might be and you will be surprised how great the result is.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” ― Maya Angelou

As  Roy T. Bennett once said, always remember to:

Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.

Now, let’s go out there and practice it.


  • Scrape – Learning from the challenges that come our way (or those we create) and then proving what we learned by doing much better than before.
  • Scratch – The act of working our way back when we fall down and gaining strength of integrity from what we experience. (source: Jon Mertz)