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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Life in Wonderland: Midnight Kisses.

In the five or is it 6? years that we've been together Allan and I have always had our New Year's kiss. Even if he was playing on stage, he'd make sure at midnight he could kiss me. :)

Last year I was really down on New Year's. I was so depressed I skipped the party we were going to that night. Allan went because half the party was for his birthday and he knew when I get that down I just need time and space.

I couldn't sleep so I put in Princess Bride and cuddled up with Viva and Merlot on the couch. I started to feel really bad about not going. My friends were expecting me and what kind of terrible girlfriend doesn't spend New Year's Eve with her boyfriend, especially when it's his birthday?! So all of those thoughts just made me feel worse.

As I dug my self deeper in self loathing it suddenly was minutes until midnight. Then I heard him through the door. He was playing Auld Lang Syne on the harmonica his parents got him for Christmas. He came home just in time. I had told him a few days before that it was one of my favorite holiday songs. He learned it that night on his way to the party! I started the New Year free of gloom and filled with love. Sometimes knowing someone loves you sooo much can help you love yourself.

This morning I cleaned the car, did some laundry and brought his birthday presents over from my parent's house, where I had hid them. I'm going to wake him up with garlic shrimp fried rice and tons of love. :)

Hope you all will be starting the year off with the ones you love. If you're spending it alone please remember a new year brings new opportunities and new hope.

Celebrate in Wonderland: Happy Birthday Allan!

Happy birthday to my love!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Community in Wonderland: What would you do?

Imagine being asked by the military if they could survey your family's land and perform EPA studies on it.
What would you do if the military was preparing to aquire land that has been in your family for almost a hundred years?
This is pristine land. This is the land that your ancestors farmed on. This is the land that holds memories in every blade of grass, every pebble, every grain of sand.

Find out what Lourdes Sgambelluri did, in this article.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Crafting in Wonderland: This one was a Christmas hit

Allan got the hang of bottle cutting just in time for Christmas! We gave out some Corona and Guinness glasses as gifts. Allan even made one out of a wine bottle for my mom.

We're hoping to perfect this and get into etching and painting so we can produce a bunch. I need to get rid of my glass bottle collection. I'm running out of space, but feel guilty throwing them away.

Celebrate in Wonderland: Xmas '09 - part 2

Recessions presents = gifts from the Japanese $1.50 stores. :D

We also encouraged creative recycled wrapping.

Thats a rolling pin. :P

perfect for a single egg

Clara is a teacher. Nel got her chalk and red pens.

The pink thing in his hand is a giant pen. lol

Shauna handed out mini christmas trees, sugar scrub, and candy!

Sharon is an animal lover. :)

Marchell loves strawberries.

It's not in this pic, but I got Mark a flat tire kit and head lamp for his bike!

some of the other $1.50 gifts included:
resin key chains w/ bugs! chopsticks! reusable grocery bags! origami paper! Japanese flash cards! nail polish! notebooks! Pot holders! and so many more awesome things.

All night people were saying, "You got THAT at the $1.50 store." You'd be surprised at the many neat things you miss when browsing those places.

Celebrate in Wonderland: Xmas '09 - part 1

Retro Recession Christmas Cocktail Party!!!

We invited our friends over for drinks and appetizers to celebrate the holidays. Allan and Quincy served up takoyaki, sashimi, veggie spring rolls, meat balls and gravy, hummus w/ toasted pitas, and spinach rolls. Sharon brought cookies. Nella made a punch bowl of Sangria and everyone else brought beer. The food, drinks, and the company was absolutely festive and perfect.

He doesn't hate me. He just refuses to smile for pictures. :P

Viva was so excited!

I have awesome friends, the gifts that keep on giving.

Nella and Michele. I love them!

No party is complete without some hooping.

So exhausted!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life in Wonderland: Oh Christmas Tree

I keep having to remind myself, this holiday season, to relax and not expect so much. If I could just slow down maybe I could actually enjoy the holidays rather than spending it worrying about budgeting for presents, fitting a stupid skirt, and the big one . . . the perfect tree.

I'm not sure why I'm so caught up in this tree thing. I struggle with it every once in a while though. I'm not really interested in buying a real tree. Christmas trees don't grow here so any tree I would buy would've had to have been shipped thousands of miles and could possibly be harboring a stowaway species. I don't judge people who do buy real Christmas trees though. They smell so good and a lot of the time the profits from the trees go to a good cause.

So why not just purchase a fake tree, that can be used year after year? I'm not really in to those either. I want something completely funky! I want something different. We own a wicker tree that I spray painted black. That one is in our bedroom this year. I need a new tree for the living room. I thought that making a tree out of plastic bag garland would be fun and funky. So in early October I started working on it. Then early November I realized that would take forever and was no longer fun. So early December we tried making a tree with aluminum cans. Then we ran out of cans and realized that wasn't the best idea ever. So last week we bought a bunch of green balloons and I attempted to make a balloon tree. I got frustrated after a couple hours so Allan took over. But by then I had already decided, out of disappointment in myself, that I didn't want a silly balloon tree.

I'm pretty sure we will just end up getting an artificial tree. Maybe I'll spray paint it some funky color. I'm not sure yet. I'll be sure to post pics once we finally get a tree up in the living room. In the mean time I'll continue cursing the contents of my closet and kitchen cabinets, for not getting along. Hopefully I'll find some time between to just breath and soak up the spirit of the holidays.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Celebrating in Wonderland: Autumn Festival

This was the first year in a few that I've been able to go to the Autumn Festival. For 30 years the Japanese community on Guam has hosted this celebration of harvest. I'm so glad we were able to go. Parking is crazy and sometimes it rains and gets muddy, but the music and food always make up for it. There were booths and booths of food, toys and drinks. Allan was in heaven. He had okonomiyaki, squid rings, and karage. He was dissapointed that there was no takoyaki, but he got over it. We got there later in the evening so Nella and I were unable to get light up ears that many of the kids were wearing. Many people were dressed in kimono, yukatas, and happi coats. I even saw a puppy in a happi coat. There was also a fireworks show, dancing, and the shrine procession.

All together it was a great way to get out of the apartment after a day of rain and vegging out.


I think this is the children's shrine. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Album in Wonderland: The pupppet.

feeling playful

My friend, Tess, took this picture after I got giddy and decided I wanted to be a puppet for the evening.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Celebrate in Wonderland: Birthday love!

Happy Birthday NELLA!

It is my very talented, beautiful, and sweet sister's birthday today. She's turning 25!

This picture was taken at her Rock and Bowl birthday party last year.

If you have some time head over to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday. Every one loves birthday greetings. :D

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Life in Wonderland: 2 months until 2010

Another year has gone speeding by. I feel like I'm sitting in the exact same spot I was last year only now I have a cold. Maybe I had a cold last year too.

A couple things have changed though. Allan and I are going back to school next semester. We're in the enrollment process right now. I actually exhibited in a show other than the Guma Mami art auction. Our eating habits have also changed. We eat out less and we eat less meat. Allan has started playing a gig again and he's really happy about that.

I'm proud and excited about all of that, but I wouldn't mind adding some other things on to that list before 2009 has gone. This idea was actually inspired by a conversation I had with my friends, Nella and Michele. So here are a few things I'd like to see on that list before the year is through. They may not all make it up there, but it'll be fun to see how many I can get up there.
  • have Viva spayed. :( I procrastinate.
  • plant a small edible garden (2 herbs and 3 veggies at least)
  • get fit :P (the girls and I are considering joining a gym)
  • volunteer at G.A.I.N.
  • paint something to send to grandpa
  • put together a free art project-ish like thingy.
  • Learn to hoop at the knees. :P
  • Get the art/craft room set up nicely
  • Fix up our bedroom. I still haven't painted some of the furniture.
This list will keep me busy for the next couple months and I'll blog whenever I complete something on the list.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Life in Wonderland: Some people are just rude

And some are oblivious!

Last night I went with my friends Nella and Tessa to watch Allan and Mark play. We were having a good night listening to the music and catching bits of whatever was on the t.v. screens.

Then this chick in the crowd decides she wants to sing, but Allan and Mark don't know any of the songs she wants to sing. So she asks if she can sing a Capella. I don't know what song it was that she sang, but she said it was Aretha Franklin. That's pretty ambitious. Then she starts and it wasn't so bad. But it got worse and Tessa, Nella, and I were trying to figure out what the hell she was singing about. For the love of . . . it was a capella. And it sounded like she was singing about a woman being a man and I definitely heard the word dude a couple times. Maybe she forgot some lyrics and had to improvise. Whatever.

We go on enjoying our night. lalalala. Then Allan and Mark start playing "Say It Ain't So", by Weezer. Allan is singing and all of a sudden that chick is on stage singing in Allan's mic. Keep in mind There is a mic in front of Mark not being used at the moment. And so I spent the rest of that song watching that chick's face half an inch from Allan's. I left after that and told him I won't be going to his gigs anymore. He doesn't understand, but he's oblivious and the fact is there are a lot of crazy chicks out there who are going to get disturbingly close to my boyfriend. I'm not insecure either. Mostly I'm just annoyed. And I don't have enough control to deal with this again.

Friday, November 6, 2009

annoyed in Wonderland: are you serious?

K-Mart sells cordless phones.

K-Mart sells batteries for cordless phones.

The cordless phone batteries K-Mart cells don't match the cordless phones they sell.

So if you buy a cordless from them you'll need to find somewhere else to get batteries if yours ever dies. Are these things supposed to be disposable? I know they're getting cheaper and cheaper every year, but what a waste of resources.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sketchy in Wonderland: just some new sketches

Growing in Wonderland: Crown of thorns

Today I spent the morning with my parents. We had breakfast and next to the restaurant we were eating at, there was an outdoor plant sale. I've been wanting to start a garden in our tiny apartment backyard for a while. I've also been wanting to add some green to our indoor atmosphere. The plant sale was awesome. This one lady was selling the largest orchids I've ever seen! My mom bought one. There were also some cacti, but earlier today I purchased some potting soil and cactus seeds. Instead I got a great deal on some crown of thorns plants. They were only 3 for $10. I'll keep them indoors by the windows until they get too big, if they do. I looked it up online and the crown of thorns is originally from Madagascar. I thought that was interesting. The sap is poisonous like poison ivy, so they are up and away from Viva and Merlot. When they go outside they will also be elevated to ensure that Viva or any strays that wander in to our yard will be hurt. I'm pretty sure that the thorns will also be a deterrent though. :P

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Life in Wonderland: How I learned to love the color pink

As a child I didn't really like pink or any other pastel colors. I was fond of bold, bright colors. It wasn't until after high school that I started liking pink. It's not that my color tastes changed or that I was becoming more feminine. I was always pretty feminine. It's just that I discovered that pink represented more than just femininity.

I remember going to the park with my dad one day, when I was really young. Right next to the park is the Cathedral. My parents are non practicing catholics, but that day my dad decided to stop in at the Cathedral. We lit a couple of candles. He told me that it was for my grandmother. She was fighting breast cancer. She won that battle.

A little after my 19th birthday I found a lump. I remember being so scared when I told my mother. A couple days later I was at my doctor's office and then a week later I was getting an ultra sound. My mom was with me during the ultrasound. The screen wasn't facing me, but I saw the look on her face as she watched the screen. The fear just got worse and worse. My family and friends were very supportive though. I remember coming home from the ultra sound and my brother asking me if I wanted to go get ice cream. It seems silly but it was what I needed and he knew it.

A week later I was at my rushed appointment with a surgeon. It turned out that the one lump was actually three. But the good news was that the lumps were most likely fibroadenomas and not cancerous. So I had a decision to make. Should I have them biopsied or completely excised? Both scared the hell out of me. I decided to go with a complete excision just to be safe. We scheduled an appointment for another consultation just to be sure though. So I went home and did tons of research online. I had a huge list of questions. The surgeon had told me that the chances of them coming back after the excision were slim, he hadn't had any cases where it happened. But a quick search found that some women have had multiple excisions because they came back again and again. One woman, after 5 excision surgeries, had a mastectomy. I also discovered that the scar tissue left from the excision could make it difficult to find lumps later in life, even in a mammogram. So off I went to my appointment. My friend, Nella, went with me that day. My mom was at the hospital with my family, sitting with my grandfather in the ICU. So there Nella and I were an hour after I was supposed to be seen. We were sitting on the floor in the hall way outside of the clinic because the waiting room was full. The surgeon was busy and so we waited, until finally I just gave up. I told the woman at the desk that I was going. They're still trying to bill me for that 6 years later. I think I had already decided even before the failed appointment that I was fine and at that moment in time I just didn't want to deal with it. I had other things to stress about. I was going on my second year in college, just started a new job, and my grandfather was slowly slipping away.

A couple years later, after winning the battle with breast cancer and another battle with lung cancer, my grandmother was fighting a final battle with a brain tumor. So for Valentine's Day Allan got me my pink ribbon tattoo. Around that time I was starting to embrace pink as symbol of sisterhood.

As for me and my breast disease I've accepted that the fibroadenomas are there and until I'm ready they won't be going away. Some days I wish I still had insurance, because every once in a while there can be sharp pains, but not for very long. It's mostly just uncomfortable when I'm sitting at my desk at work or with a group of people out and can't express what I'm feeling. Most days I don't even notice them, though. They've become a part of me for now. I know that some people close to me want me to have it taken care of, but they realize that ultimately it will happen when I'm ready.

It's because of my experiences with my breast cancer scare and my grandmother's battle, as well as the stories shared by others, that I've come to love pink. I have bought pink ribbon pens, post its, and pins. I have a pink ribbon tattooed on my ankle. Viva's first toy was a pink Hope tennis ball. Everytime I see anything pink it reminds me of the spirit of the women (and men), as well as their supporters who are fighting breast cancer. And most of all when I see pink it reminds me to not be afraid. If that day comes I know I won't be alone.

October is almost over, but I just want to remind every one that it is breast cancer awareness month.

some sites for more information on breast cancer:

Life in Wonderland: Allan is playing on Fridays

Friday nights at Bully's. Allan and Mark are playing!
He looked so happy to be playing out.

watching the guys play and enjoying great company.

Viewed in Wonderland: Palace of Incandescent

Saw this on Hoop City and had to share!

Community in Wonderland: Extreme Extreme Treeplanting for 350

Do you remember my near death experience story? The one where my friend Nella and I went tree planting with her environmental bio class and we were nearly struck by lightning. Anyways Guam joined the 350 world wide campaign to bring down carbon emissions. One of the activities was a major extreme tree planting expedition. If I had not been working that day I would've gone back up those damn cliffs to finally plant a tree. Instead I was in my office. But we do recycle paper in my office! And It gets so cold in the office that I turn the air conditioner off half the day. Every little bit counts right? Plus we do our part in our household by only eating beef and bacon once a week. Our diet mainly consists of seafood, tofu, Quorn grounds, veggies, and grains.

Pictures from the Pacific Daily News coverage of Guam's 350 tree planting.
An article about the activity. Nearly 1,000 trees were planted!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oishi in Wonderland: salad with shrimp

Yummy and healthy :P

Life in Wonderland: Late night or early morning?

Can't seem to go to sleep. Allan is at his parent's house babysitting and I'm home with just Viva and Merlot. It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm up looking at art blogs and thinking about going back to school. I wish I could go back full time and work part time, but for now I'll be doing the opposite.

Lately I haven't been painting. I haven't had the time, energy, or inspiration. So to get me motivated I was looking at drawing tutorials online today. Drawing doesn't take much set up or clean up. :) I've always been amazed by silk aerial performers and sketched this out. Allan made a good point when he saw it, I should have made the top part of the silk taut. Her feet look like paint brushes too. :P Oh well, it's been a while since I've sketched anything so I'm not too disappointed in myself. Plus I learned how to map out the body with circles and lines. Interesting and helpful. I want to start doing a bunch of sketches involving dancing and performing subjects, like this cirque performer. I also sketched out a ballerina tonight, but one of her legs turned out extra long. I'm not posting that until it's fixed. lol. It looks really crazy.

I'm off tomorrow and want to get some sketching and painting done. There is another art auction coming up to benefit Samoan tsunami victims. Hopefully I'll have something to donate.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life in Wonderland: Inspired

I've been rather stagnant lately. I've been extremely unproductive and it has been making me insane. I get bursts of energy and flickers of illumination but at the most inappropriate times, so it doesn't stick. I've been searching for something to keep me focused and motivated for a while. I know what I want and need to do. I've just been hoping for something to drive me there.

But today I think I've realized that in order to commit to anything I need to be that driving force. Completely obvious, I know. Now I just have to figure out how to organize all my projects and goals to keep them manageable. That's going to be the hardest part, but if you want something enough you can make it happen. :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Community in Wonderland: Gef Pa'go

My mom has some guests in from Austin and Saipan and my parents took them around this morning. Allan and I decided to wake up early and tag along. We went to the southern village of Inalahan and visited Gef Pa'go Chamorro Cultural Village. It was really interesting. We were both glad we didn't sleep in.

This is our guide showing some pandanus woven items.

My mom and the master rope maker. The rope is made from hibiscus bark.

Our guide harvests sea salt which they sell at Gef Pa'go. Of course we bought some. :P

Coconut woven products.

They also make and sell coconut candy. I love coconut candy.

Part of the tour included a visit to a historical home. These homes had ifil wood floors and the one we went in survived the war with bullet holes in the floors to prove it. It was pretty crazy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gallery in Wonderland: Watch me sketch!

My two new odosketches. I'm addicted.

I sketched this one out while listening to my Deep Forest station on Pandora.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun in Wonderland: Odosketch #1

My first odosketch!!! So much fun.

Try it out. and leave a link in the comments so I can check yours out!!!

Community in Wonderland: A good night.

Reclaim Guahan

Last night Allan and I took a nice ride down south to Malojloj with our friends Quincy and Luke. We went to the art show I was participating in. It was a really great night filled with wine, art, culture, and great company. Nella and her mom were able to make it, too. And we all got to enjoy the pleasantness of the former Carmelite convent. It is a beautiful place with a great breeze and a calmness to it. The night was spent reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. And the art was amazing. For such a small island we are blessed with many talented artists. We spent some time discussing the build up and our mixed feelings towards it. It was nice having a gathering that spanned backgrounds and generations. One of the things I was most curious about was the fashion show. I wasn't disappointed, either. The only thing I regret is the sinus headache that was brewing even before we left the house. It would've been just that much more enjoyable if I wasn't hurting so much.

Isn't this awesome!!! It's a barbed wire high heel.

I love this piece!

This dress symbolizes all the fenced in spaces on our island. my favorite in the fashion show.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Community in Wonderland: Extreme tree planting

Long story short: We went to help plant trees to help prevent erosion and the destruction of our coral reefs. We weren't mentally prepared for the hike we didn't expect and the weather. The hike was steep and slippery. We were halfway to the planting site when it started to rain, but we kept going until the lightning and thunder started. It was too close for us to really move. Either direction would've taken us higher and closer to being struck. So we hit the ground. When it cleared up a bit we had to head back. So we didn't get to plant any trees. Maybe we'll go back when they start doing the carabao rides and install the zip line.
Moral of the story: Please don't be a lazy hunter and start fires!!!

We look so happy in the pics because we SURVIVED!

To read Nella's post on this, visit her blog!