Red-Letter Day

Don't you hate it when how you feel doesn't match what is actually incontrovertible fact? Like your actual age. It could be plain denial, or worse, some sort of delusion.

My question is, when will both actually match-up? If ever. Does it happen naturally (didn't happen when I started medicating for blood pressure, cholesterol), or do we make that effort to somehow make peace with things we can't change? But in my defence, I'm not changing anything that I know I can't alter. 

I am simply living my best life, which sadly, does not merely involve affirmations of positivity, faith and a leave-it-to-God-kind of mentality. You need to exercise. You need to eat good, nourishing (and consequently expensive) food. You need to protect your skin, to dress comfortably so as not to be judged by an always judging world (and I do care about being judged).

You need to work at life, to develop and take advantage of the gifts and passions and flaws that were given to you. 

You need to ALWAYS give your best

If You Can’t Love Yourself How In The Hell Are You Gonna Love Somebody Else
— RuPaul

I did (inadvertently) gift myself last year with Apple products that totalled a low five figures so I don't think I can afford the same this year- there's always that year for more 'meaningful' gifts...

Belated happy birthday to this one

With the exception of Yanna/Ally, none of my siblings' children resemble them at all. My mom would moan something vaguely racist about dominant bloodlines but I get her point; there is something comforting seeing your likeness passed on to your children. So I've used an image of Yanna/Ally because I couldn't find a photo of her mother that I liked. I find this photo taken when we spent Christmas in Hawaii a few years back particularly interesting because this is how I remember Binky when we were younger. She was always the serious one and it was rare to catch her simply unguarded, unburdened by whatever she was thinking. 

I would like to think that we're polar opposites but it doesn't seem to be true; I just hide the seriousness very well. In photos, we have the same expression of hesitation; should I smile? Should it be a half-one, a full-on grin? We get caught in photos always looking unsure of what to project. But maybe that's our problem- do we need to project anything at all? And if we do, should it be what the world expects, or should it be what we truly feel at that moment?

And the search goes on, looking for the 'perfect photo'.

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Happy birthday to this one...

My mother makes it a point to ring us on our birthdays. After the greetings have been dispensed with, it's mostly a catch-up on what's happening at home. Unlike dreaded text messages in the middle of the night, most of the news- admittedly grim ones- concern other people. Because really, there are only two kinds of news anyway right?

Binky hates it tho- what kind of news is that she complained to Doyet who told her about what had happened to Atchi Gina. But she's not the only one who chose to brush that away. When I was home last December mom had urged me to pay Atchi Gina a visit, but I really didn't want to. What does one say to someone who is dying from a mysterious condition that doctors couldn't diagnose?

These are people you've known your entire life, but the connections are now so tenuous, I feel as if the stories are not real. It seems like copping out, but I would choose to remember people as they were in the past- alive, healthy, happy.

And on a happier note, we settled on Chinese for Doyet's birthday.

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A Matt gallery

Happy birthday Matt!

Happy birthday to me

How you celebrate your birthday shows exactly where your life is at the moment. There was a full decade when it was all about other people; I closed a restaurant once, and a bar just to accommodate everyone I had invited. And these people weren't hangers-on- I was neither rich nor popular- but friends who at that point in my life, were there. And then were gone. I was gone, to a really far country no less. Each time I visit, things change more and more until everything just disappears and I wonder, going through the memories, if the things I remember actually happened.

I had celebrated turning 40 with a quiet dinner at home. I cooked all the dishes I wanted to eat- familiar ones like kare-kare, fried snapper and new favourites like rum and raisin ice-cream for desert- and I was perfectly happy.

This year, it's food again, and family, and new friends and a nagging suspicion that no one's going away just yet.