Who am I?

S vintage star
S filipina now living in california
S obsessive-compulsive... make that compulsive-obsessive... no, obsessive-compulsive
S cold all the time (literally)

current terror alert level
Terror Alert Level

Why is Life Cold?

i actually have a very happy life. i just saw this graphic one day and got an inspiration for another blog. why not write about the stuff that makes life cold? from the huge, catastrophic, life-altering events to the seemingly trivial, little incidents that rub you the wrong way. it doesn't have to be a personal experience, it can be something observed.

on writing these down, my intent is to learn to appreciate life more and have a better handle on things when life throws you a curve ball. i want whoever will read this to contemplate, not get depressed. hopefully, you'll share with me your experiences as well so we can learn from each other.

p.s. it doesn't always have to be cold

Previous Posts


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Where I Go When I Feel Life Getting Cold

S Memento
S Jo's Forum
S Shai Coggins
S pinayexpat
S joyceline
S piehole (a very funny girl)
S Din's World
S pinayhekmi chronicles
S Linnor
S Tin
S kwentong tambay
S deja brew
S denden
S mushings
S Junkville (never fails)


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The Nanny Diaries

In the Philippines, the Yaya is not a sisterhood and it doesn't have divine secrets. The yaya is the equivalent of the nanny in the English world or the au pair to the French. However, the Filipino yaya has the distinction of becoming so attached to the child in her care that she more often than not becomes part of the family and tends to grow old with them. I use the pronoun "she" for the yaya is almost always a female, just as the driver is almost always a male (in fact, I've never met a male yaya). The "driver" in this case does not only drive for the family, he fulfills all the "manly" needs of the household such as gardening and home repairs.

The yaya is different from the maid (also usually a female), who usually cooks, cleans and takes care of other household chores. Just as there can be multiple yayas and maids in the household (some families have one for each child), there can also be multiple male help. Aside from the driver, the family sometimes employs a "boy", a connotation which, although often indeed a young boy, really refers to a male help that does miscellaneous things around the house and run errands. Yes, the Philippines is about the only third world country I know that employs an army of people to help around the house. In our family, there was a time when our help outnumbered us that they joked that they would throw us out of the house! [Yup, they were that comfortable with us.]

The yaya starts out by taking care of a baby in the family. If she does a good job and works well with the family, she is usually retained even though the child has grown. Growing up, I had a total of 3 yayas - Yaya Ann, who took care of me when I was a baby, Yaya Lucy [Yaya Ann's sister] who took care of me when I was a toddler until I was in my teens, and Yaya Cita, who kind of took over from there, although she has been with the family since I was born as well, in other capacities.

I am very, very, attached to these yayas. Growing up my favorite has been Yaya Ann because she was the fun, cooky one. She left us when I was small to look for greener pastures (read: foreign employment), but she would visit often and would always have some toy or chocolates for me. She taught me how to bake and would tell me stories about her interesting "amos". When she got older she came back to us and became part of our family again.

Yaya Lucy probably had the biggest influence on me. I was attached to her hip, and, as sad as this may sound, I often preferred her company over my parents'. One afternoon, arriving home from school, I found my mom and Yaya Lucy around the dining table talking. I absent-mindedly kissed Yaya Lucy instead of my mom. When we realized what happened, we all laughed, but I can't help wonder later on if I hurt my mom with that innocent mistake. Once, Yaya Lucy and my dad had a big argument over something serious, prompting my dad to ask her to leave. I remember not leaving Yaya Lucy's side for days, crying the whole time, so she won't leave me. Yaya Lucy's daughter, Elma, also lived with us and became my big sister. When I went back to the Philippines for my dad's burial, Elma was instrumental in keeping our family sane.

And then there's Yaya Cita. Although she was never formally my nanny, she took care of me longer than anyone else did. Even while Yaya Lucy was still around, Yaya Cita took over my care. She stayed in my room until I was in my late teens, and since she was younger than the two, I was very comfortable with her. She has come to know me better than anyone else did. Over the years, she has become more than a yaya to me, she has become my dearest friend. Last January, I cannot describe my joy in seeing her after eight years of being away. She still lives with my mom in our house in the Philippines, but she mostly just takes care of her dog and cats.

I owe a lot of who I am now to my three yayas. I am so blessed to have known these three beautiful, wonderful women who truly loved me and dedicated part of their life to me. I can never repay them but I continually try to give back this blessing to them.

Happy birthday, Yaya Cita!

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.28.2004 9:19 PM. |

If It Makes You Happy

There are a few songs that when I come across while scanning radio stations, I have to stop and listen to. Most of the time I sing along. In the case of Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy", I belt. I don't consider it a favorite, but I just love singing, er, yelling the chorus at the top of my lungs (only when I'm driving in the car, mind you, and by myself... most of the time).

This song has served as a strong personal ethos for me since I first heard it.

If it makes you happy
It can't be that baaaaad

It seems so simple yet makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, I have also used those two powerful lines to justify some questionable actions on my part. I consider myself a good girl with a generally proper upbringing, but it's probably that mindset that drew me to adapting this song as a motto in the first place. I have experimented, because it made me happy. It made me happy, so it can't be that bad. My problem is the next two lines.

If it makes you happy
Then why the hell are you so sad

Now this brings in the factor of guilt. You are sad because you know whatever you did that made you happy is bad. Why can't Sheryl just leave the two lines the hell alone? This is probably why I don't consider the song a favorite. And why I don't like Sheryl Crow.

Random songs that I always stop channel scanning for:
The Reason (although I'm starting to get sick of this)
She's Gone
Shut Up
Cool Change
Every Breath You Take
Here Without You
Your Smiling Face
Got To Be Real
any Basia song
Modern Love
Forever Young

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.25.2004 8:22 PM. |

Sonnet "45"

Amidst a melancholic world I forge a dream
A dream about a reunion that's happy and lasting
Yet considering the signs, the future it would seem
That to no avail, the state is worth realizing
During such waiting diversions may come
New people, new faces, these are merely a jest
As opportunities knock and I may consider some
I stop for a moment to think of the best
Still, the best must wait, the game has only begun
A deranged rat race to the rainbow for the spry
To partake I must, there's no room to shun
No space for failure, no chamber to cry

The road will be rough and the pace will be fast
Yet, with you in my heart I know I will last

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.22.2004 6:21 PM. |

Please Please Tell Me Now

Last Sunday, I was doing my weekly cleanup of my room with a radio station that featured 80's hits in the background. I then heard the dj ask a question about one of my favorite bands of my youth, Duran Duran, as part of a contest. Without knowing what the prize is, I grabbed my cellphone and dialed the number she provided. It was busy, I pressed redial. Since I then got a ring, I decided to just wait.

It took about 20 rings (man, she must be waiting for the 30th caller) before someone picked up the phone. It was the dj! She asked my name and I give her my first name, mentally hoping that none of my friends or relatives are listening since my unique first name plus my accent would surely give me away. She then asks the question, and I answer "Barbarella", and she congratulates me for winning! I foolishly say "cool" and "awesome" and hope to high heavens that she doesn't ask me what I just won. Thankfully she went on to tell me that I just won their latest CD and special DVD. She asks me to hold and I wait for a long time again while the song being played finished, and then she plays back our conversation. I sounded weird on the radio, and I kick myself for being lame and not excited enough. At the same time, I regret that hubby wasn't around to hear wifey on the radio! Winning something at that!

She comes back a few minutes later and gets my contact information. Then she asks if I knew what this means. Before I could mutter something she excitedly says "You qualify for the grand prize of a trip to Las Vegas to see their concert and to meet them backstage!" WHAT?!?! Now I'm REALLY excited. She sweetly ends with "I'm rooting for you!" and I felt so guilty because I didn't even know her name! I just profusely thanked her and, lame as I am, said "You rock!"

Although I don't expect to ever win the Vegas trip, I happily go back to cleaning, fantasizing about meeting my boyfriends from high school. Before these shirts that proclaim Mrs. Pitt or Mrs. Kutcher came about, I was decades ahead of the pack by writing Mrs. Taylor all over my My Melody binder. And it didn't even matter which Taylor it was!

Things I've won from a radio station:
1. $100 gift card to Sharper Image
2. tickets to Huey Lewis and the News
3. Duran Duran Astronaut CD/DVD

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.19.2004 1:07 PM. |

Wedding Weekend

WhoMichele & HarrisRobin & Danny
WhenSaturday, 10/9Sunday, 10/10
WhereUBC, VancouverPajaro Dunes, CA
HowSolemn CeremonyCarefree Beach Wedding
WhyTrue LoveTrue Love


Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.12.2004 8:24 PM. |

A Super Man

I just read the CNN Breaking News that Christopher Reeve died yesterday at the age of 52. Life got cold for me today. He was my first crush. As if being Superman wasn't enough, he had to be a hero in real life championing the cause of spinal cord research.

I feel like flying to outer space and reversing the earth's rotation.

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.11.2004 1:30 AM. |

Cause and Ill-Effect

Do you ever have those times when you suddenly feel bummed out, and you don't exactly know why, so you start backtracking your day to try to pinpoint what exactly is causing it? You think of all the things you did, all the people you talked to, all the emails and blogs you read, all the news you heard. Could it be this? No, I was kinda expecting it. That? Nah, that's not big enough to make me feel this shitty. And suddenly.. boom! Yes, that's it. The fact that this person said those things about me.

And then you feel really bad again, but at least now you know why.

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 10.04.2004 8:14 PM. |