Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Timing is perhaps the key to mom's hilarity. She will pick the worst time for you, to ask you for a favor. Whatever it is, she'll need it right this second, and she will not be happy if you say no. Could she have asked ahead of time? Probably.
Is she asking only when she knows you're busy? Absolutely.
Is it going to be worth being as angry as she will be? That's for you to decide.
So on a day when all of my cousins and I had decided to go to karaoke, she decides to stop one of my cousins as he is getting ready to leave. "Oh good, you're here. I need you to drive me to Redlands."

WTF? Redlands?!? She didn't even ask, but my cousin says no, and then she gets really scary. Like we just slapped her in the face and then knocked her to the ground.  

I'm a "horrible" daughter and my influence has obviously permeated the rest of my generation. LOL

Monday, January 26, 2015


(A little backstory: I have 3 brothers)

My younger brother's first wedding was in California. At the reception, she said, "now that Jeremy has married you, I finally have a daughter." 

So yeah. That happened.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Mom makes great food, as long as it's something she already knows how to make. Unfortunately. the rebel in her comes in pretty strong whenever she sees a recipe. Mom is not a follower. She never has been, never will be.  
So if she offers you adobo, or afritada, or anything that tends to hail from an Asian country, dig in. It's when she makes "new" things that you really have to worry. Unfortunately, because it's new, chances are: she doesn't just have all the ingredients on hand. I get it; she's a busy woman. So she substitutes. Unfortunately, she does so to the point of completely compromising the integrity of the recipe.
On one week in particular, she decided to try making new things with ingredients we already own. I too, sometimes like to play this game, trying to figure out what I can make with whatever we have in the fridge. I tend to be less...(what's a nicer word for it?) creative about my concoctions. Mom's food tends to always look pretty appealing, so it's pretty hard to know what you're getting into until it's already too late. 
For a whole week, she had tortured my cousins with quesadillas filled with sliced american cheese, broccoli and cheese omelets (with leftover broccoli from last night's stir fry...in soy sauce), and various other interesting and equally disgusting meals.
I took pity on them, making sure that they were armed with snacks and occasionally brought them junk food.
Friday came, and she used the remaining tortillas to make enchiladas. Now this was a big gamble, because we couldn't see what was inside, and at this point she wouldn't tell us,
One of the cousins decided to be brave and try it, quickly verifying that the dish was not as edible as it looked. He, somewhat painfully, swallowed the bite and said "SPAM."
We all had thought there was no way you could ruin enchiladas. We were so wrong.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Love Language

Gary Chapman states that there are 5 specific ways we choose to love each other. My mom's specific love language is giving gifts, which I find to be peculiar because she doesn't particularly care about receiving gifts.  I assume that this is just a quick and dirty way of saying, "I know most of you are my children, but this is just more cost effective than spending quality time with you."  

When I took the love language test, I scored a 1 for receiving gifts, which made it the lowest ranked love language for me me.  Trust me, I love a good gift, but I can be pretty picky.  I'm not the girl who likes to receive bouquets of flowers, and body wash/lotion gift sets tend to make me wonder if the gift-giver is trying to send a not-so-subtle message about my hygiene.  But I digress....

Mom is constantly giving gifts.  They're not all good.

This afternoon when we were looking underneath the couch, I found a rain stick.  It's a beautiful rain stick, made of bamboo, etched with the name of the island from which we bought it.  When we were in the Philippines, my mom saw this rain stick and said, "We should get this for your brother."

My brother. With the 2 motorcycles and the tattoo sleeves. SMH.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Mom has been on a sewing TEAR.  Now that we have delved into the depths of the cloth mountain we have lovingly amassed throughout my childhood, she set on making every piece of cloth useful.  

She found a piece of cloth with tigers on it and asked me if I wanted a skirt. 

"Sure," I said.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, just in case this ended up being a lot like the last time she said she was going to make me a skirt with this cloth.  That was half a lifetime ago for me.  

I went to bed, because it was late and I was tired; I woke up to my mom saying, "Did you try it on?"  

"No I just woke up."  I tried it on and quickly looked up at her.  

"Turn around so I can see the back," she said.  I did the obligatory slow twirl.  I could tell she was beaming, and I would need to say something, because she wasn't going to notice on her own if she hadn't already.

"Mom, it's really nice...but....um....have you noticed....that the tigers are all upside down?

Mom laughed and then said, "Oh yeah, I thought that at first too, but then I looked closely. Only some of them are."

"Um, no. All of the tigers are upside down."

"Are you sure?" 

"Yes, I'm sure."

Bottom line: I'm still going to wear the skirt. I like tigers, and it makes a great conversation piece.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ice Cream Sandwich

Mom LOVES ice cream sandwiches.  And no, we're not talking about the kind you get from the grocery store, with the chocolate wafers surrounding vanilla ice cream, wrapped in wax paper.

They are literally SANDWICHES.  Two pieces of toasted white bread with whatever ice cream we have in the freezer.

I've tried it. I'm not going to lie: they are delicious.  They're a throwback to my mom's childhood days, when ice cream cones were harder to find.  And the guy selling ice cream in a cart on the side of the road would actually throw a scoop of ice cream into some freshly baked, oh-so-soft pan de sal.
But this is where mom's creative side tends to betray her.  I know that I have this side of me too.  It's the "let's just use whatever we have" side.  Mine tends to manifest itself in smaller ways, like "we ran out of body wash, let's just use a bar of soap" or "I can't find a chip clip, but this clothespin will do." I rarely unleash this side when it comes to food.  Scratch that: I NEVER unleash this side when it comes to food.

Anyways, on this particular day, we had mint and chip ice cream in the freezer.  As I walked into the kitchen, mom was already filling a bowl with the beautiful chocolate-speckled-sea-foam-green deliciousness, when she turned and said, "Do we have bread?"

I looked and made a face. You know, that face. The one that always precedes one of mom's crazy "experiments."

"Mom,  we have bread....but it's sourdough."

"Ok. Toast two pieces for me."


"Did you do it?"

"Yes." I reply.  If she doesn't listen to me most of the time, I do not know what surprises me about her not listening this time.  So I let it go, wanting to see how this all plays out.

I watch her closely, crafting her sandwich quickly and taking a big bite.  Then, she too, is making the face.  "It's sour!"

"I know.  It's sourdough bread."

"Why didn't you tell me?"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cherry On Top

At some point in my life, the shopping center down the street announced that a Cherry on Top would soon be opening.  At said point in my life, frozen yogurt was a food group.  Many lunches were often replaced by trips to the closest frozen yogurt place to indulge in an icy treat drowning in strawberries and mangos.
Of course, mom did not understand my fascination with frozen yogurt.  I liken it to her fascination with ice cream sandwiches, but that will have to wait for another day.  She typically eyes every frozen yogurt I devour with disdain.
I anxiously awaited the opening of Cherry on Top, driving by every time I picked up groceries or filled my car with gas.  One day, as I drove home from the gym, I noticed the bright beautiful lights that signaled that the time had come.  I excitedly filled my cup with some tart frozen yogurt and topped it with as many berries as I could fit in the cup.
I got home and put my yogurt down on the counter, saying, "Mom, I got some frozen yogurt from the new place down the street.  You can try it if you want. I'm going to jump in the shower really quick.  If you don't want any, just put it in the freezer."
I quickly hop out of the shower and throw some clothes on to come back to my deliciously cold dinner.... and I find that my cup has only one spoonful of frozen yogurt and a raspberry.

"Mom, what happened to my frozen yogurt?"

Hesitantly, she says, "Oh, it was really good."

"I thought you didn't like frozen yogurt. You said it was a  waste of money."

"Well, I like that kind.  And it was going to melt...."

"Mom, that was my dinner." My eyes are narrower.  "If I had known I would have gotten you one too."

"But it was going to melt..."

"You could have put it in the freezer."

"Oh. I didn't think of that."


So now, my mom likes frozen yogurt.