Aug 31, 2014

Daily thoughts - 4 positives of the day

1) of course at the top of my list is i managed to get home after that crazy experience i had while running today. grateful i didnt fall on my face or ran into a sex criminal while i was running in the dark at a semi secluded running path tonight. 

2) waking up energized and in the company of those I love. 

3) Had a nice brunch, dinner and dessert today with my sweetie. 


dessert. a little bit of good and bad

4) I feel always healthier and stronger every day because of this healthy diet and workout regimen. I thank God for giving me the strength to finish every run uninjured. 

Daily thoughts - Ran for my life tonight!

I ran 7 miles and an unplanned additional 1.22 miles tonight.This is not about my run today. I have a separate blog where I post photos of my running route view and the details of my workout.This is rather about how I had to sprint for 1.22 miles because I failed to get out of the right exit. This is about how scared I was during that short period of time that could have changed my life.

I left the apartment around 6PM tonight to run my planned distance of 7 miles. I usually take the route by the river side park. 
The path going to riverside park (From 160 something street)
Summer is almost over and the sun set has moved around 7oclock something. It was also overcast and a bit dark today.I ran the first four miles by the river and moved to the the riverside residential area. on my 5th mile around street 74 I descended the steps from the park, and went back to the riverside area by Pier 1. 
Bird near Pier 1
When I reached my 6th mile I thought of running back towards 96 street and then get off from the park to an exit tunnel leading to Broadway. When my phone signaled that I reached my 7th mile, I walked to cool myself down and took a few photos of the path and the ducks by the river. It was starting to get dark and I was seeing less and less people on the running path. I saw a couple who took an exit somewhere by 90 something street, and a family with a baby carriage. A few minutes later I wished I had joined them. Because when I was about to get to the 100th street i just saw a few bikers and runners. 

When the sun disappeared I realized there was no way I can get through another exit from the riverside running/cycling path until I reached 125th street. At this time I was already exhausted from my run and also for walking another mile or so. I was starting to get worried and scared that if I walked all the way to 125th, it would take me forever. While I was contemplating on whether to run or not, I couldnt stop thinking again of what happened to that poor girl in the Philippines named Anria Galang Espiritu. This morning I watched a reenactment of the grisly crime that everyone is talking about right now in the Philippines (I might write a separate article about her tragic death). I was just sharing with my husband about the numerous times I came home late when I was younger. I was telling him how lucky I am for making it home in one piece. I added that my Dad scolded me on those occasions and in retrospect I totally understand why he had to. It is very dangerous to come home late in the Philippines, or probably anywhere else in the world nowadays. 
Sometimes it doesnt even have to be late at night. I read about this girl named Chelsea King who was murdered while she was out running in a park by herself. Then there's the Central Park Jogger who was left for dead but lived to tell her harrowing tale.

It is more often than not that during the times we put ourselves in compromising situations that bad things happen. I am not saying that it is a woman's fault why she is raped or murdered. I have read countless stories where girls, women even babies, were raped and murdered in their own homes. You dont have to wear anything provocative to make a criminal want to hurt you. there are just people evil out there and you have to make an extra effort to really be careful. 

And thats exactly what I was thinking while I was walking in the dark. How stupid I was to not have taken the exit at 72nd street instead and finished my last mile there. I did see a few people riding their bikes every 2 minutes. And although there were cars going by the highway I couldnt really take any comfort in that. If a pervert or criminal was there hiding behind the bushes and really intent to hurt me, they could just grab me or push me to the river and none of those cars would stop to see what's going on. If a car stopped, there would be a pile up on the highway. im sure the drivers are too focused watching the road than glancing on the side to see if some runner was being attacked.

I told myself, I will never do this again. I wanted to cry because I haven't felt this terrified in a long time. Then I saw a young man run past me. He was really fast but I tried my best to catch up to him. In a few minutes he was like 100 meters away from me but I didn't stop running. I tried to reassure myself as long as I can still see him, Ill be ok, but I remembered he had his headphones on, shit. During this time I also saw a couple of joggers and cyclists going the other direction. I just kept telling myself, I could see the billboard of fairways supermarket from where I was. It's not too far now. I had to get out of that running path soon and get to 125th street. 

After running for what felt like eternity (but was actually just 11.30 mins at a pace of 9:27 mph and 1.22 miles later), I reached my destination at 125th street by West Harlem River Park. I was very very exhausted but happy and oh so relieved. 

I love running and seeing wonderful things while I run. No one is telling me to stop running but I just need to be aware that if I want to keep doing it, I have to take care of myself and avoid situations that could endanger my life.I felt that I was a big idiot today for risking my life out there to be adventurous. I have heard of crazy things happen to people here while they were just minding their own business. I just cannot be that careless again. 

I learned my lesson and Im glad it was not the hard way. Although I thought I almost busted my hamstring running as fast as I could in the unlit part of the path, while also dodging tree branches to my destination, I cannot really complain. I am still very fortunate to have come out unscathed from potentially injuring myself for running in the dark..or running into someone evil.

Lots of ducks
Running path from 100th street

Ducks by the river
man listening to bob marley music (filter used) and smoking weed lol
Almost at my destination
West Harlem River by 125th street. 

Aug 28, 2014

Daily thoughts - Daily positives

Today I spent most of the time just relaxing and preparing little meals for me and the spouse. We went downtown for our wednesday evening classes. its past 2 am here but I still wanted to do my daily positive because I cannot help but be grateful for each day I am alive, healthy and in the company of those I love. 

1) I dont know how to make this one sound really positive.  My friend's brother was murdered 2 months ago and I didnt know it was him until I went over the news article. The man's name is Enzo Pastor and he is an international race car driver from my home country. the first of his kind to rise to that kind of status and prominence. His promising life was taken in one terrible instant on the night of June 12, 2014. He was brutally, mercilessly murdered on his way to Batanggas to transport his race car for a scheduled competition. Check this link on the recent update about his case.  

So why is this part of my daily positive. This is obviously a tragedy and this news actually made me sick to my stomach this morning. His sister is my age and we came from the same university. on the other hand, Enzo and my brother are from the same highschool and came from the same batch. I cannot imagine how id deal if this incident happened to my baby brother. 

In my home country, justice is elusive. finding suspects in high profile cases as such is like finding a needle in a haystack.  

The good news is the cops have arrested the suspects in the grisly murder of Enzo. I dont know what to make of the widow because currently she is still at large and is also a suspect. I honestly dont want to judge her because the investigations arent over yet. But im just glad that the nbi (our countrys version of the fbi) have done a good job in swiftly finding the perpetrators of this heinous crime. 

To me that is a positive because justice is hard to come by in my country. This is a feat that despite this tragedy, we see progress as a nation when people are cooperating to help bring justice to the victim and his family.

2) Waking up alive, healthy and happy in the company of my loved ones is always among my daily positives.

3) We werent late for class today. Lol. to me that is a big deal because the train is always flaky.

4) Lastly, had a wonderful time just being with my hubby today. We had a small snack at au bon pain and when we got home I prepared some bulilit (it means tiny in tagalog) burgers for our 2nd snack. 

Aug 27, 2014

Daily thoughts - Daily positives

I completed my 4 days of positive challenge but I decided that if I have the time, I would like to highlight he 4 things that made my day.

1. Waking up refreshed and happy, in the company of my bashert and our 3 babies=)

2. Checked the id number of Pluto on google and he is still on the Downey shelter website. That means, they haven't euthanized him yet.. Im still praying and hoping someone out there would read my article and share it with a potential adopter or rescue group. 

3. Ran 4 miles today. I was feeling a little tired and not quite in the mood for it, but i still managed to finish my run in less than 45 mins, pace of 10:20 which isnt so bad. Thank God for giving me that extra energy!

4. And just like yesterday's positive, I want to say again I am grateful to be alive, healthy and with internet connection d a fridge full of food!. I cooked seitan curry today too and the hubby said it was really good=) 

Aug 26, 2014

Daily thoughts - Four positives for my 4th day out of 4days challenge

Day 4 of 4: My 4 positives for 08/25/2014

1. I slept for 8 hours today. For the past 9 months I was employed, I seldom slept for more than 6 hours. so each day I have the privilege of being lazy is a blessing. 

2. I was offered to do a commissioned sketch yesterday by a friend. Even as I was adamant on saying sketching is just a hobby and I dont consider myself that good to actually be paid to do a drawing, my friend insisted my work is good enough. It was quite a shock but I feel very flattered.

3. I had a short chat with my baby brother (who is 6 years my junior) today and he really made me smile.I havent seen him in almost 3 years and I miss him and his family very much. 15 years ago, we lived in a studio type dormitory room in Dasmarinas Cavite. He was a freshman in college and I was freshman in medical school. He was supposed to go to DLSU Manila but instead he moved to the provincial sister school in Cavite so that he could "look after me" while I finished my degree. It was quite the opposite though coz I looked after him instead. It was quite a ride to hang out with him. He is always the life of every party and made my stay in cavite bearable. For four years we managed to not kill each other and I consider him one of my best friends in this world. cant believe it has been that long! Im just always grateful at every opportunity to communicate with any of my brothers ( I have 4!). Family is everything.

4. Just grateful to be alive, healthy and with internet connection! lol and a fridge full of food. not everyone is as lucky so i just cant help but say Thank you Lord.

Aug 25, 2014

Daily thoughts - Enjoying what's left of summer and trying to complete my 3rd out of 4 days of positives

Almost a month ago a facebook friend of mine tagged me in a post where I am supposed to enumerate 3 positive things for 4 days and tag friends for each of those days. The month is almost over and I have only tagged a few people and did the 2 out of the 4 day challenge. Can you believe that,  4 days and I cannot even manage to do that tiny deed. I am not going to say I have been really busy because sleeping for over 12 hours doesnt count as productive kind of busy. I know im sort of catching up for the 9 grueling months that I had to do overtime for work while cramming other activities in my packed schedule. But still picking out 3 positives for just 4 days shouldnt be hard work. I love the idea and in fact I should do it more often. So for the challenge I will just complete the 4 day request and try to do this on a more regular basis.

Day 3 of 4: My 3 positives for 08/23/2014:

1. Had a wonderful church service and I feel refreshed reading and hearing about the good word 
2. Our cat Cheesecake aka Cheesebolah was wheeled in the ASPCA ANIMAL HOSPITAL yesterday. We waited for 4 hours but he was never checked. We decided to go home and look for other reliable veterinary clinics in Manhattan online. Cheesecake did not have one major episode of sneezing and hacking the entire evening. He slept peacefully last night and was still snoring this morning.
3. Had a wonderful dinner with the spouse and watched our current favorite show Copper on Netflix without internet interruption by Time Warner. Yipee

Bonus 4. Managed to cram on a short blogpost about Pluto the dog who needs to be saved from Downey Shelter. Here's praying my friends from facebook would share the post I wrote though.

As for Summer, we didnt really do anything that grand other than see Philly to check out touristy historical hotspots. I ran a lot this month too despite the sweltering heat (not as bad as last year) and went to fort tryon and central park. We also squeezed in that trip to staten island a month ago where we visited the historic richmond town. i loved it.  later this week we will watch a baseball game. Im not that crazy about baseball because Im not American but who knows I might enjoy this upcoming game. 

Aug 24, 2014

Daily thoughts - Another sad story hoping for a happy ending

A friend adopted a stray dog whom she and her son has learned to love. The dog followed her son home one day and was so amiable and super friendly that my friend decided to take him in. She named him Pluto. It could have been a wonderful forever home kind of story for this apparently sweet dog. Everything would have been great if only the older dog accepted Pluto. After almost 4 weeks, my friend concluded that its not going to happen. The two dogs getting along seem like a remote possibility.  The older dog just wont accept Pluto.

Another major issue to consider is that the older dog is 5lbs and Pluto is 20lbs. At one point even the kindest animal will retaliate and get physical if subject to this constant hostility and eventually this will be a real problem. Sadly, my friend knew how this was going to end. One has to go. It was not an easy decision for her and she has begged family members to give the dog another chance but she had to understand, one day Pluto will get tired of being pushed around and it might end ugly.

Reluctantly and with a broken heart she drove Pluto to the closest shelter, prayed and hoped for the best, a miracle even. She checks on him everyday to see if there are any updates but so far no one has stepped in to claim or adopt Pluto. She also has tried to coax her husband to hopefully change his mind and he said no.
Truthfully, I dont blame my friend's husband. If my husband would have had his way, the new cat we adopted last february wont be here anymore with us either.

Just to share, a  few months ago, our new cat, Cheesecake, attacked our older cat Thumper. The squabble got ugly or rather bloody when my husband intervened and Cheesecake attacked him instead. My husband decided, the cat had to go. I cried but I knew he was right. So the next day instead of bringing the cat to the shelter, I just let him stroll out of the door. He actually ran quickly out of the apartment like he hated living with us. I was broken because I have grown to lovethe new cat but I knew we just couldnt have that kind of arrangement. We live in a shoebox apartment with 2 cats already and we cant deal with this kind of hostility or bloody drama on a daily basis.

I didnt want to surrender Cheesecake to the shelter because I knew if I did that, they will put him down if noone claimed him. NYC ACC has a reputation for being a high kill shelter and that is exactly why i adopted Cheesecake in the first place. I figured it is best to let him out to the surroundings where we got him  where he has survived for a number of years. I know it doesnt sound right but when we found him on that winter night, i have always wondered how he survived all those years out there by himself.

When I opened the door an hour later to leave for work, guess who decided to waltz back in. Cheesecake. And we let him back in alright, observed him for a couple of days and weird enough he acts nonchalant about it like nothing  happened. We havent had any incidents after that. We try as much as possible to prevent fighting between our 3 cats. Thank God also so far it has been a peaceful coexistence . But God forbid if it does happen again, we will also have to resort to the option of rehoming. I pray it doesnt come to that though.

I understand why it is a dilemma for my friend and her husband to reconsider adopting Pluto. Evidently also, the size of the animals in the picture is an issue. Cheesecake is 2-3lbs heavier and slightly bigger than my other cats. Pluto on the other hand is 20lbs and the older dog is 5lbs. they are just avoiding a catastrophe from happening. Sadly the reality is that you cannot just part with a pet you have had longer. It is just the way it is.

Right now we hope and pray Pluto finds a foster or rescue group while he is in the process of finding a more permanent home.

If there is a potential adopter that already has a dog, we do hope that other dog wouldn't mind having a new friend around.

For now we are crossing our fingers, praying that someone will give Pluto a chance.  Because just like the rest of us, he simply wants someone to love him, because he has a lot of that to give.

Please click this link if you or anyone you know is interested in giving this poor dog a chance. Enter the intake animal ID number A4746111 when looking through the view our animals tab.

Pluto is currently at the LA COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL SHELTER.  

On a side note, I want to share that I adopted 3 cats from Singapore. I have moved them from that country to the Philippines and now to the United States. It wasn't easy but love makes you do crazy and almost impossible things. People I knew dissuaded me, and thought i was insane saying how costly it is going to be. But I did it,  I moved 3 stray cats across the globe. Even with the limited resources I had then and even now, I have managed to give them (and continue to do so) a wonderful life and I don't regret a single day that I gave them the chance. I know what its like to be given a chance too. and i know that these pets are capable of giving unconditional love and are as vulnerable as we humans are.

Who knows one day you might say the same thing about Pluto.

Thank you for reading this post and I hope you share it too.

Aug 15, 2014

Daily thoughts - Saying goodbye to Mork, Peter Pan, Mrs Doubtfire or simply to one of the best, the talented Robin Williams

It is with sadness that the world had to accept the untimely demise of a real talented genius. The death part was already shocking, but finding out he took his own life was truly unbelievable. I have always loved Robin Williams. I watched him as a kid in our black and white television as Mork the lovable "alien". Growing up I went on to watch his many other successful movies. I think I have watched most of his films. I even bought the John Irving Novel the World according to Garp to supplement the movie with the same book title. I have always enjoyed watching him in funny movies and marveled at his versatility for also playing serious roles. Hook was one of my favorite movies where he played the hypothetical "what if he got old" Peter Pan. When I was in Medical School, I was inspired by the true to life adaptation of Patch Adams' story where again Robin Williams delivered a stellar performance. He is one of the best actors around and when he topbills a movie, most of the time, he gets a positive reception.

One of his movies that I couldn't forget was What dreams may come. I have always been mystified with suicide. Ive always wondered what goes on in a person's last few days or hours before he decides to take his life. Having experienced overwhelming sadness myself I have always contemplated on it. I have experienced being on the verge of ending it all but never mustering that courage to actually do it. Fortunately, I manage to snap out of it somehow and move on. In that movie, What dreams may come, the mother succumbed to suicide because she could no longer bear the pain of losing her two children. I was young when I saw that movie but the gist of it gripped me like I can totally relate. I know what it is like to love someone deeply. that that kind of loss is devastating. crazy as it may sound to some, I always mourn the death of my pets.  It takes months for me to get over it. Up to this day I remember all the names of my pets and sometimes i still  cry when i remember how happy they used to make me feel. Now, I cannot even fathom how it would be if i lost my children or even my three cats.  Moreso, I dont even want to imagine losing my soulmate, who is the love of my life.

When I lost my Dad 4 years ago, I was so sad I couldnt go out of the house for a month. The pain is not as bad anymore now, but sometimes I would still have these terrible depressing spells that would immobilize me and i just want to spend the whole day in bed, asleep. But I have never brought myself to commit suicide. I do not know what I am afraid of, or maybe someone out (or UP ) there was just giving me enough strength to go through the day. Or maybe im just really a coward to finish the job.

Robin Williams as we all seem to know him, may have had everything in the world. He had a beautiful family, fame, money, the privilege of being associated with the upper echelons of society. But he probably just had an unshakable kind of loneliness that cannot be treated by therapy or even the seeming insulation of all the good things life has to offer. not fame, wealth, even love. I will not judge him for what he has done. In fact i would rather hope that wherever he is , he has found comfort and peace. I also pray that other people in the same predicament he was in, would find the help they need, on time.

It is really sad to think that in a world full of so many people, one can still feel so alone. That even amidst the all the beauty, what stands out is the pain, the ugly chaotic world. The kind of hopelessness that can dissuade even the most seemingly blessed people.

I said my prayers last night and thanked the Lord for giving us a wonderful talented man like Robin Williams.

But before I retired for bed, I also had to thank the Lord that even in this cramped apartment I live in, with my 3 rowdy pets, an uncertain job and paycheck, I am, at the moment, at peace with myself. And in retrospect, I feel nothing but gratitude that in those very dark moments of my life, the Lord somehow has pulled me out of that desperation and reminded me there is still hope. Thankful that He has always provided me and my husband with everything we needed. He always kept us safe,well fed and sheltered.

The days wont be great all the time but at least today it is.

Again, Thank you Robin Williams for entertaining us all these years. For bringing out the laughs and tears. You will be sorely missed. Thank you most of all that despite this tragedy, you have also reminded us to appreciate what we have. That fame, wealth isn't all that. That even people who seem successful can feel pain and be unhappy. It is not right for us to assume that sadness is exclusive only for regular folks like us.

Thank you for being a part of our lives even for just this brief moment. I truly hope you are happy now wherever you are.

Aug 9, 2014

Daily thoughts - Positives amidst the negative things going on around the world..

Day 2 of 4: My 3 positives for 08/01/2014:
1. The fact that Im alive. waking up next to my soulmate and my 3 furry babies. 
2. Made it back to the apartment on time for Shabbat, the most important day of the week. A gift from God
3. Had an awesome meal at home, salmon, couscous and kale for dinner. food and shelter, something some people take for granted each day.I am always grateful for having a warm bed to sleep on, food in my fridge and a warm body to share the food and bed with=) God is good.