Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Being Human

Werewolf, Vampire, Ghost
Some of you may inadvertently expect that this post has to do with the "Being Human"  BBC Series.  Well honestly, whilst I find said TV series extremely interesting and rather funny, this post has nothing to do with it. Now that I think of it, it may be a good subject for another post.
Since I will be working pretty soon on a project that hopes to build and develop teams through shared values, I was creating a set of references and reading materials when I chanced upon this rather simple, yet eloquent piece (I am afraid the author is Anonymous). I honestly think it would be a damn shame not to share.  

Twelve Rules for Being Human

1. You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours the entire period.

2. You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called Life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error: experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."

4. A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.

5. Learning lessons does not end.
There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6. "There" is no better than "here."
When your "there" has become a "here," you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."

7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8. What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9. Life is exactly what you think it is.
You create a life that matches your beliefs and expectations.

10. Your answers lie inside you.
The answers to life's questions lie inside you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

11. You will forget all this.

12. You can remember it whenever you want.
Now as I sit here, in the comfort of a place I call home, with the people most significant in my life, I mull about this simple list. The greatest epiphany I have about the essence of being human is compassion, empathy, acceptance and forgiveness.  
Our life's journey brings us different, sometimes strange encounters with other humans; and whether they are invited or uninvited, accepting or unaccepting, wittingly or unwittingly, we touch each other's souls and leave our own essences behind.  Several occasions I have thought about losing my faith in humanity because of the lack of being-ness.  Then I realise, the imperfections that I see, the disappointments including the frustrations, and the attendant pain I feel, are just subtle reminders of my being human. So I choose to keep the trust rather than deprive feeding my soul.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Because I Can (Awards Galore)

So I got me another sweet surprise from my friend Kimberly Marie.  You will find her here, and if you haven't followed her, that's such a damn shame.
It is another award which I have diligently included in my Awards Gallery that you can find here:
And for my "What's With?" Blog, you can find my Badges on the Sidebar that I also diligently update.
I reckon I would love to give a couple of my own, dovetailing from Kim's lead albeit I thought of giving some other type of awards to my own list of Blogs of Note.  There are no obligations to this, I just want to, so I will.

First off, the Blogs I read that provide a consummate source of insight and encouragement, I am honoured to give the INSPIRATIONAL BLOGGER AWARD to:

Marie, Kim and Nadya:  you should keep writing.  Your Blogs illuminate and elevates people souls.

Secondly, for people whose Poetry touches even the most cynical and jaded of hearts, I am honoured to give the PROUDLY POETIC AWARD to:

They have the gift of weaving words that touches your core.

Third, for a unique collection of arts, photographs and layout that are all well thought of and appealing, I am honoured to give the BEST VISUAL BLOG AWARD to:

Fourth, for the Blog fearless writers who don't give a rodent's ass what anybody thinks of what they want to write about and they will, and are very good at it, I am honoured to give the BRAVE BLOGGER AWARD to:
Fifth, for writing a merry mix of survival stories for women, generously sharing their wit, insights and experiences to fit all sizes and needs. I am honoured to give the LADY'S CHOICE BLOG AWARD to:

And just because they are totally awesome women I met in this Blog-land, I am honoured to give the GIRLFRIEND BLOGGER AWARD to:

I want to dedicate this Post to all these wonderful people whose talents and personal life stories they chose to generously share in the Internet universe; and for the lives they have touched, albeit unknowingly.  Cheers!  
I will consider your acceptance of these awards as a lovely birthday treat to myself.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

When Is Nudity Art or Porn

Michelangelo Adam & Eve, the Fall
From all of history to date, the human body has been one of the principal subjects in any art form.  Ergo, to portray the nakedness of the human body expressed in an art medium does not necessarily mean it is pornography.  After all, weren't we all born naked?  Do you feel anything pornographic about that?  
I personally have yet to hear an Art Curator or Museum Tour Guide in the hallways of any Museum of Art to explain the paintings of Gauguin, Rembrandt, Vecellio or Reni as pornographic material.  And all these masters depicted nudity in their art.  When did the depiction of nakedness move into the state of obscenity and moral ineptitude?
Rembrandt (Bathsheba)

Where do you draw the line between art and pornography or porn?  PORN after all is defined as the representation or portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual excitement or stimulation and erotic satisfaction.
If that is the case, what makes a 21st century black and white photograph of a woman depicted in silhouettes of lights and shadows a form of porn?  Why would people classify the work of  Rene' de Haan, John Carmichael or even Christopher John Ball as erotic and porn?  Is it because the medium has progressed to photography from oil and canvas?
I am not totally getting the argument.  Who started this anal and morally upright revolution to label an expression of art as explicit sexual material?  I don't remember my parents telling me that I should not look at  Michelangelo's David because this might stir certain sexual feelings in me when I saw it and I was 8 years old.  Is it because of technology and the internet?  Is it because some wise guy in Wikipedia illustrated pornography as: (I quote) 
Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from booksmagazinespostcardsphotos, sculpturedrawingpainting,animationsound recordingfilmvideo, or video game. However, when sexual acts are performed for a live audience, by definition, it is not pornography, as the term applies to the depiction of the act, rather than the act itself. Thus, portrayals such as sex shows and striptease are not classified as pornography.
Carmichael - Nude Art
Un-freaking-believable!  Go watch a live Sex Act, its not really porn, because it is not a "depiction", it is totally real!!!  
I find it absolutely ironic, all this fuss about exposing the children to nudity and sexual materials.  Is it the child's fault if the internet access liberally welcomes him into gazillions of information that crosses from art to porn, particularly in these times when we, (categorized as mature adults),  have become so warped and pretentious because of the conflicting signals society, the government and even the Church gives us?  We can't even tell the difference.
I just want to get real here.  Nakedness is not an abomination.  It is not supposed to defy any principle of nature.  To create an environment where a child flinches at his naked body is more criminal to me than to educate him about being comfortable in his skin.  Clothing your nakedness is a societal norm, and we comply.  Photographs of half-naked women breastfeeding their children in some third world country does not make it porn.  Does it?
Rene De Haan - Nude B&W
The depiction of the beauty of the female anatomy in a painting, a book, or a photograph, or in any other media of art, is not porn.  I would like to believe that the woman's anatomy is naturally designed with the curves, not just for aesthetic reasons, and if it is captured in art, how can I consider that an explicit come-on?  And just because during the Renaissance, the acceptable woman form was Reuben-esque, does not make the 21st century woman who is toned and shapely, photographed or sketched, to be any less art.
Listen, if you have children and kids, and parenting on art, sex, nudity and porn, is a challenge; perhaps you need to go work on your own mindset first.  If you are not a parent yet, go deal with your own fixations, before even thinking of becoming a parent.  If you can't even be honest and coherent with how you think and feel about all these concepts, what gives you the moral ascendancy to educate and explain these gray areas to the children?  
The line between art and porn is both unintelligible and questionable.  I prefer to trust my own belief and value systems that I attribute to my upbringing, education and experience.  Whilst what I embrace may not be perfect or right for everyone, I just know that there are very few certainties in life besides death and taxes.  I was born naked.  And so was everybody else.  Nudity, porn, and all of these will never go away.  I might as well learn to deal with their realities.  To begin with, it is appreciation of ART that distinguishes man from animals; who gave the right to anyone to eliminate that distinction?
I have always been biased to Impressionism.  And I leave you with quotes from two famous painters of this art movement.
"Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas, After the bath
Rene de Haan, Portfolio

  "To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at." Claude Monet
Claude Monet, Reclining Nude
C.J. Ball, Reclining Nude


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wake-Up Call

12 March 2011

I do not usually post my personal rants and ramblings on this Blog.  But today is different. Today I am really having black coffee culled straight from the lava of Krakatoa, East of Java.

I seriously just want to know what field of science educates man about immortality?  
What University, Ivy League or otherwise, teaches their studentry that the world revolves around their deflated, infantile egos and the entire universe will suspend gravitational force because some people just have so much shit going in their lives it means so much to all the life forces in the milky way?
Do people really think that if you are of a different race, education, economic status, live in a different continent, drink a different blend of coffee; would make them immune from DEATH? 
Do you really believe that when lava flows from a volcano, or when a tsunami wave that is approximately 1720 feet or 524 meters will pause and ask you if you know the derivation of pi? Or if you are tech-savvy?
Will a natural calamity or disaster, like an earthquake of 8.9 magnitude,  stop in its wake to ask to if you are feeling bright and sunny today because it intends to seriously break your entire state into tiny shards while it tectonically rattles you to depths of distress you have never experienced in your life?
Will death itself not choose you today because you are having a "bad hair" day;  severely PMS-ing; still need to go for your weekly spa treatment; just bought your new PS 3 game and still need to work it out; lost the last tennis game on Wii with a buddy and the rematch is scheduled next week; a book you have been procrastinating on finishing still needs to be read; and unfortunately, the last time you went to the ATM to buy those adorable Louboutin shoes it was freaking off-line and you have been agonizing if some "fugly" woman has bought it instead?
Has humanity completely lost its humane-ness in this mean and cruel world because of our obsession on individuality, our own uniqueness, self-preservation and materialism? 
Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.-Norman Cousins
 I woke up today, alive. I woke up with a feeling of dread and a stark realization that my life whilst it means so much to me and my loved ones, is but a minuscule speck in the realm of the overall universe.  I realized with a bitter taste in my mouth, my own mortality, the temporariness of everything around me; my vulnerability and incapacity to look at what I already have in the here and now, my raison d'etre. All my earthly trappings, my pettiness, what I believe are my prized possessions and achievements, my talents, my gifts, all of it, do they make up what I am, and who I am?

Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.
-Richard Bach

Ambivalent as it may seem, I woke up today feeling grateful and sad.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


9 March 2011
(NOTE:  an old poem I made some 3 years back (2008); speaking from my heart, back then.)


Weary, weeping soul,
a starless and cloudless night;
Frightened by shadows,
obscuring the path of light;
Wasted time on foggy myths.

Seeking for meaning,
but the mind is tired and weak.
Dulled by confusion.
 and impaired by digression.
Fractured, lost wishes;
Tomorrows are unforeseen
The heart is fragile. Be still.

Roads are crossed and barred;
Dodging whips of cruel winds
 Luminous flickers,
hanging hopes on a fine thread;
Blinded eyes faithful, trusting.

A kindred firefly,
lends allusion to an end;
Move and tread the course,
of sunrises and sunsets;
Lines that never bend.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


6 March 2011
It is the season of Awards.  The Grammy, the Golden Globe, the Oscars and if you haven't been online for a week, you still wouldn't miss the proliferation of awards moving around the Blogger's virtual community.

Above the din, however, I received something that is way different (this is not to discount all the other awards).  Jezebel gave me a Friendship Award.  A friendship award requires very simple terms, give it out to a Blog friend that has been helpful to you in some way.  It could have been a word of encouragement, a virtual hug, inspiration on totally "blah"  days, a technical help when you get your cables and wires mixed up, or anything that may have stood out and is seen as an act done by true friends.

Albeit similarly there are rules to abide and a pass-around Award Poster, I have decided to do this my own way (since I think this is a little bit of a personal choice), but I will follow certain steps that I think are attendant to recognizing a friend.

First off, I would like to thank my giver:  
Dear Jezebel - My heartfelt thanks and whilst we may be miles apart, I am absolutely thrilled that our paths have crossed.  Thank you immensely.

Secondly, let me tell you three (3) things about Jezebel.
  • Besides being able to play a variety of musical instruments, this lady loves to sing.  Proof is, she is in a band.
  • She loves green veggies - broccoli, spinach, peas and can practically survive her entire lifetime feeding only on beef jerky (not bad!) and Taco Bell.
  • And she is bisexual.  Now this one is pretty intimate so if you want deets, go talk to her yourself, okay?
Third, pass this off to people you believe touched your life in the Blog Kingdom, and you consider as a true friend.  Give them a poster to show off that you chose them.  

Note:  The original rule says Pass to 7 people, and if you get an award 7 times from 7 people, you have to contact 7ladybugz@gmail.com because you get something special.  So I guess I am not getting that.

I chose to design my own Friendship Award poster and personalize it.  To begin with, since this is my Friendship Award, I want to give them something that will remind them of me.  Now as the rule goes, you may choose to adopt my mechanics or re-invent the whole thing.  This is a free world.  But I would suggest you keep the spirit of friendship moving around.  It  is worth your time.  And if I chose you, may I request my friends to post this poster on your Blog or your Awards Page.

  1. Just Me 99 - Just My Stories.  JM99 and I are old souls.  And I truly believe even in previous lifetimes, we have been good friends.
  2. Legacy 2000 - I have only been Blogging actively for a little more than a month.  "Legs", I owe you big time for your vote of support for newbies like me.  You helped me through my first week of grappling at edges of strings in the Coffee Shop.  And whilst it may be strange to you, your work inspires me.
  3. Capricious Retch - it took me awhile to put together Anthony Geist and you.  Thank you for being one of my first followers.  Thank you for being a friend.
  4. Kimberly Marie - You have helped me and a lot more.  You're an angel.  Thank you for always lending out a hand.
  5. Biohazard - You suggested I go back to painting and even post my work.  I did. I tuned this passion out of my life for awhile, but now that I am starting again, I have never felt better.  Thank you.
  6. DirtyCowGirl - Because you rock.  And had it been another lifetime, you would have been the sister I never had.
Please accept this award because it means a lot to me and I hope it does to you too.

If you feel like passing on the original 7ladybugz Friendship Award design, here it is:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Stylish Blogger Award? Awww Shucks!

5 March 2011
A Stylish Blogger Award --- woot woot for me!!!
I received two awards from my awesome fellow Bloggers:

Capricious Retch - the same guy who rants and rambles about his past loves, his music and his passion somewhere from the Midwest (Omaha to be specific), but you'll find him here nonetheless:  http://getcurrent.blogspot.com/

And from Jezebel, a true artist, musician, graphic designer, writer among others.  Somewhere in the Boonies of North Carolina, this lady shoots and writes from the hip.  WIth some wee bit of quirkiness that makes all artists endearing, you must check her out:  http://jezebelmoon.blogspot.com/

Not that I want to be short changing you guys, but since I got these Awards for both Blogs I maintain, you will actually see this post twice.  (naughty grin), here where we have some fresh brewed coffee, chit chat and all,  plus here:  http://psychobabblingbasher2.blogspot.com/;  where I rant about things that give me a pain in the arse.

I am extremely grateful for the recognition. 
Here's what needs to be done to keep the award:
1. Thank the person who gave you the award, and link to them.

2. List 7 things about yourself.

3. Pass the award on to 15 newly discovered bloggers that you think deserve it.

4. Contact them, and tell them about the award.

And in keeping up with the tradition of the Academy (snicker, snicker), here are 7 more things about me:

  1. I am a very hyperactive kid, having said this, I have broken my left and right elbows, dislocated my left patella (knee cap), fractured both my left and right ankles, fractured my right middle finger and ring finger (volleyball) and all these because I played soccer, volleyball and basketball; and when I am not playing, I was in the Pep Squad (cheer leading).
  2. I am an "extravert", (said so in my Myers Briggs Profile) so I tend to talk whilst I think.  Gets me in trouble more often than not.  But I made a career out of listening.
  3. Growing up, my parents thought, it would be worthwhile to keep me interested as well in quiet activities, which worked.  I love to read, write and paint and dabble in photography.  I actually took a Certificate Course for this to quiet me down.
  4. I do watercolour painting, but have only had one exhibit.  I only have 3 pieces of the 24 original pieces I made.  Unfortunately, I gave it to friends and did not earn a single cent.
  5. I am a hybrid, born from a Filipina mother, and an American-Spanish father.
  6. I thought I would like to be a Doctor, so I studied B.S. in Biology for my undergraduate.  Thinking that it just takes too long for payback time (and I wanted to be independent), I shifted to Psychology and pursued a Master's Degree in Clinical Counselling Psychology.
  7. Despite my education, I spent only 3 years in the actual practice dealing with children with autism.  My heart was too weak for this, so I went to the corporate world to practice Industrial Psychology only to find out, there are more cuckoos in the private multi-national companies and they make good money in spite of their insanity and dysfunction.
I am asked to award 15.  I think otherwise.   (I also love to deviate and non-conform), so I will list the Blogs that I believe deserve this affirmation and recognition:

Alicia, Dean, Dead-Girl, Xia-Xia, Rachel and Jessica, you totally rock and I am honored to give you the Stylish Blogger award.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Abominable Dreadful Dentist

4 March 2011

Everyone is entitled to a fear.  To some, possibly "fears".
I grew up with Dental Phobia.  Sue me.  I should have outgrown this.  But unlike my other phobias, nothing comes close to my hell in a Dental Office.

I can even smell that fear.  A mix of minty, amalgamated gum base scent.  Yuch!  The mere suggestion of the aroma chills me and makes my heart fibrillate.

It would take tons of persuasion, a national election, massive toothaches, at least 3 overdoses from painkillers and partial incapacity, to drag me back into a dental chair.  I used to call a Dental Office, the original Torture Chamber.  Fine, so I lied, I still call it a Torture Chamber to-date.

A Dentist's Office can go totally art deco and nouveau, even state of the art with colours in lovely purple and lilac tones.  But the principles remain the same.  Its still a world of pain.

Fairly recently, I have this one molar that I have tried to completely ignore for a lifetime, and since it has been a cause of sleepless nights and too much pain, after a thorough consultation with the voices in my head, I relented.  I lost the great deliberation, and armed with courage, I decided I needed this to be looked into, by a professional.  By professional, I mean the "hangman", the death squad itself, a Dentist.  

I could be really unfair with that statement because there are a lot of nice people, good people even, who make their honest living in the practice of Dentistry and Orthodontics.  However the minute they put on that "work face" and white coat, I start feeling extremely nauseated, I sweat profusely, I cough uncontrollably, and die a little.  Besides going to a Dentist these days (with or without Insurance) is one hell of an expensive ride.  You are cut down to just 2 choices; to die in the chair or die due to the cost.  I could buy great looking shoes with the amount I pay this lyncher. But it can't be that bad.  After all it's just one nasty molar.

I spoke too soon, after my entire mouth was violated by cold steel metals, drills and detectors, the assassin told me there were several other molars that needed to be attended to.  You see here, when you have your mouth gagged and braced, you don't really have a lot of coherent responses, except but "nod" or "shake" your head.  And to that pesty little molar, the witch actually told me it was worth saving with a tooth cap, but this would require  a "root canal".
I don't know about you, but I went into a stupor.  An eff-ing root canal???  I have never had one and I never imagined I needed to go through one in this lifetime; plus, I have heard of all the horrors and drudgery associated with it.  Needless to say, when you're catatonic, the Dentist can pretty much abuse you, not that I didn't feel I was already being abused, but I can go to the extreme of feeling that I was being sexually assaulted.

I would like to believe I am a good person, so I will spare you the gory details of my execution. In a nutshell, my meeting with the hang-woman (I have a female dentist who looks every inch like the wicked Witch from the West with more excess pounds and wrinkles); went from one innocent consultation visit to 11 more.  12 agonizing, excruciating, tormenting and unbearable dental appointments.
On the 12th day, (no, it did not look like Christmas morning at all) the witch-Dentist told me I need to be back 3 months after to have a dental check-up.  She did not realize she was talking to a shell.  My soul had long left my body from the second visit onwards.  By then, I had already acquired an auditory impairment along with losing the rest of my sensory faculties.

I could be all grown up and rationalize where my dental phobia started.  As a matter of fact, I still remember that gloomy dark past of my life.  Except that I have buried this way too deep into the recesses of my core, that to discuss this now, will release all the ghosts and skeletons I have long kept in that room.

I resolved never to see that executioner again.  I took an oath to floss regularly; to use every product developed by dental care experts to remove plaque or whatever else there is that needs to be removed, and swore, on my grandmother's tomb, that I will keep my teeth healthy and white.  Oh sure, if I need to, I still have to go through the dental check up anyway.  I just need to find a less wicked gun-man or gun-lady, and once my basic faculties are back, I can gather enough grit to go through a torture chamber again. 

Oh by the way, I am sorry to burst your bubble.  But there are no tooth fairies.  It's only a myth.  A lousy one at that.  There are real tooth witches and warlocks.  Fairies?  Phooey!