29 June 2006

la vérité

if one of your friends was wearing an unflattering article of clothing, wouldn't you tell him or her about it?

here's a scenario:
anne. four feet, nine inches tall, one hundred and twenty pounds. anne is talking about wanting to look slimmer and taller. she decides to wear a floor-length a-line denim skirt along with a white long-sleeved c&c california top and flip flops. if you wish to be honest with her, you say something like, "anne, that's a really bad idea. not only will it not make you appear slimmer and taller, it will weigh you down and will remind the world of the late eighties'/early nineties' less glamorous moments."

if a friend of yours has horrible table manners, wouldn't you call his or her attention?

here's what might happen:
joe. hungry for chicken alfredo and thirsty for orange soda. he drags you to the nearest faux italian restaurant. both of you eat your food, except joe is eating his pasta three times faster than you are. after a few minutes, his shirt has an orange stain the size of his skull, and when he smiles at the waitress, you see something stuck between his front teeth. if you wish to be honest with him, you say something to the effect of, "dude, can you slow down a bit? it's not like we're on a tight schedule here. oh, and there's something on your teeth."

if a couple of your close friends are thinking about getting tattoos and you (like me) don't dig body art, wouldn't you advise them against it?

here's a possibility:
bob and mel. they both have it hard for tattoos. one day, they ask you for advice about what designs would look good on them. they're reciting their favorite phrases, stuff that remind them about each other, inside jokes, names of tattoo parlors, baby names, each others' names, your name, their mother's names, all that boring crap. finally, bob says he wants a lion on his right bicep. mel says she wants the words "hot bitch" around her belly button. you, the polite, enlightened, prophetic friend, say, "seriously? bob, in sixty years, that's not going to look like a lion anymore. none of your grandkids, no matter how good their eyesight, will be able to tell what that creature on your arm is. and mel, come on! 'hot bitch'? that's not going to look so hot post-pregnancy when your belly is strewn with stretch marks and swinging like a pendulum."

my point is, somehow, you need to tell your friend(s) the truth. not watered down, not sugarcoated. if you think that something does not suit them, or they're making bad decisions, or simply because they need a reality check, someone needs to tell them. hopefully, that someone is you.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 9:47 PM :: (0) comments

28 June 2006

a haircut in haste is a haircut gone to waste

well, i don't really think that anymore.

my locks were chopped off two days ago. long overdue. contrary to my self-predicted emotional reaction, not a single tear escaped either eye. wait, except when i sneezed twice! pre-haircut, i had an enormous attachment to my hair. so enormous, i hardly noticed that it was growing to dangerously hippie lengths. i guess i didn't bawl because i was so fixated on how huge my face is without all the hair (maybe that's tear-inducing for some, but it was more gag-inducing for me). the lady razored the scheiße out of the back. i feared for her own fingers. anyway, on the left is my new hair, styled in three different ways. the middle one's kind of "more of the same," to quote john kerry.

i've crossed out la cara because, you know, i do have consideration for my readers' eyes. you should thank me for that. cash and checks still accepted.

go see superman returns! go!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 11:58 PM :: (0) comments

26 June 2006

are you a meanie?

so marcia cross got married in, of all places, san gabriel, california. it's practically next door to where i live. hop across the boulevard and you're in san gabriel, part of the quintet of asian-dominated enclaves in san gabriel valley. but seriously, san gabriel? at the church of our savior episcopal parish? marcia cross never struck me as the hollywood type, anyway. and besides, wayfarer's chapel is way too overt.

on to the real topic. . .

i think you know at least one. you can't get by saying a couple of sentences without being interrupted and corrected for spewing out double negatives, using an adjective instead of a particular word's adverbial form, misusing subject-verb agreement, and other grammar woes. i have to admit, if i was the obnoxiously outspoken type, i'd be a grammar snob, too. but hey, that's the difference between grammar snobs and grammar geeks.

reading grammar snobs are great big meanies is an excellent way to brush up on grammar while providing a good amount of humor and references to pop culture to keep the material relevant and enjoyable. there are certain points when the on-with-the-war-against-the-grammar-snobs tirades become a little tiring. a lot of the times, the lessons ultimately point the reader towards using one's best judgment, which somewhat defeats the purpose of reading a book about grammar. nevertheless, it is concise without being abrupt, gives great, easy-to-digest examples, and provides sturdy armor for grammatical battle.

it's kind of ironic how, in a chapter about prefixes and suffixes, author june casagrande provides the following:

"warren buffett is overmoneyed."

then a few hours later, i see billionaire buffett on the news, telling reporters that he's giving away $37 billion, most of it going to the bill and melinda gates foundation. ah, more money to the overmoneyed. so i guess the money will continue to fund relief efforts in sub-saharan africa and improve america's educational system. i hope so. besides that, i'm waiting for my share. cash and checks accepted.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 9:06 PM :: (0) comments


girls who run from fittings to shows and back in new york's, paris's and milan's respective fashion weeks. girls whose pristine faces are applied with layers of makeup almost everyday. girls who wear clothes marketed for women ten years their senior.

fashion has an obsession with these girls. it preys on the young! now i won't go to the thirteen-, fourteen- and fifteen-year-olds. we'll concentrate on the sixteen and above, the barely legals.

the majority of today's high fashion models hail from eastern europe. current trends have also called for major scouting from the west. the main requisite: sylphlike, towering girls with arcanely beautiful faces. take note: girls, not women. fashion has few seats for those who are, in its terms, "old." it is through aesthetics and exquisite clothing that these girls are deceptively transformed into women. youth is paramount. rare is the agency who will sign you if your earth years equal twenty-five. and the burden this places on the girls? insurmountable. let's take a look at a handful of la mode's current juvenile style-slaves.

in the DNA camp, there's sixteen-year-old bette franke and seventeen-year-old sophie vlaming, both dutch. in one's current board are brazilian drielle valeretto and estonian claudia merikula, both sixteen. in supreme's very impressive roster is seventeen-year-old namibian behati prinsloo. elite proudly boasts seventeen-year-old canadian coco rocha. IMG stands out for its remarkable newcomers, including sixteen-year-old swede elin skoghagen.

girls scouted at early ages and meticulously groomed to perfection. girls whose bodies should fit size four couture gowns. girls who withstand every uncomfortable pose, too-small heel, and restrictive outfit in the best interests of, yes, fashion.

in an industry where health is second only to appearance, these girls are exposed to (if not already a part of) smoking, drug use, partying, and eating disorders. it's somewhat like high school, but instead of watchful faculty and staff, you're in the midst of critical agents, casting directors, photographers, and designers, adding a lot more gasoline to the once extinguishable bonfire.

marilyn's caroline trentini and IMG's gemma ward, both eighteen, are daughters of this leather-upholstered, rhinestone-encrusted, silk-crepe-georgette-swathed mill. they started out as very young girls, did their share of runway and print work, and made their way to the top. but like all others before their time, the mill could spit you out any day.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 12:56 AM :: (0) comments

25 June 2006

cansei de ser ouvinte

okay, so i know there are plenty of cansei de ser sexy fans out there, but am i going to be stoned (as in hurled rocks at) if i say that they're not my cup of tea? there, i said it!

they sound like a brazilian le tigre (and i'm not too fond of them, either), and CSS's single "i wanna be your j-lo" (mp3) is evocative of adam green's "jessica" (video). you laugh because it's fun and it's funny, but you don't really take it seriously.

they sing a few lines off of "jenny from the block" and add, "i wanna be your j-lo" every now and then. eh, not so riveting audio-wise. i don't know. maybe i'll eat my whiny words later. maybe CSS is the sort of stuff that becomes an acquired taste (for me, at least). but see, i have this thing with brasileiros, brasileiras, and all things brazilian (excluding the depilatory process). if raquel zimmermann (she, with the routinely masculine facial features and screaming overbite) has become easier on the eyes, then maybe CSS will become easier on the ears.

i know i put too many parentheses in this entry. deal with it.

in other news. . . i went to my friend brian’s grad lunch a few hours ago and i've never felt so OP my whole life! i barely knew a soul, but ‘twas okay.

guess what raquel's ethnicity is? german, of course!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 2:42 AM :: (1) comments

22 June 2006

visual fixation

slam dunk is my one and only anime obsession! it reminds me of my failed attempt at learning nihonggo. ike, ike shohoku! for those who are too young (or too old) to remember, slam dunk was first aired around 1993 and became wildly popular for about three or four years. i am eagerly anticipating the fourth box set!

if you like japanese school uniforms, a dollop of violence, a lot of grandiosity, not-so-japanese-looking boys, fanatical japanese girls, and basketball (of course), you can purchase slam dunk and many other anime and manga selections at kawaii anime. the uniforms are an absolute throwback to the bulls uniforms, don't you think?

kawaii anime ● 1667 e colorado blvd, pasadena

so US lost to ghana. yea, i'm over it.

lessons learned yesterday:
1 (from jacqueline) never break your camera's LCD screen. repairing it will cost more than your camera itself.

2 (from sarah) always turn down a porn scout, even though how attractive he is. you don't want to be socially damned for the rest of your life.

3 (from jacqueline, sean, dr johnson, sandra, and myself) never overindulge in cocktails. scratch that. give up the cocktails.

i'm taking the first step towards accomplishing the tasks on my summer to-do list.

library this afternoon!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 2:14 PM :: (0) comments

21 June 2006

we do a little this, we a do a little that

so the mavs lost. big friggin' deal. i'm over it.

"is your game mvp like dirk nowitzki?"
~ nelly furtado in her sytycd performance.

i'm guessing that won't happen, ms furtado.

at tea zone

after the da vinci code

my hair almost reaching hippie status

i think god was punishing us today for watching the da vinci code. walking from fair oaks to missing connections, and then walking from halstead to rosemead boulevard?! pasadena sucks. mta sucks. ok so after re-refueling at lollicup, cee, kaye, mami and i made our way to pacific theatres in paseo colorado. we had to do without a wide selection of movies (we passed laemmle on the way back and i really wanted to see an inconvenient truth), so we decided to watch the da vinci code. mademoiselle tautou est très belle. très, très belle. anyway, it was one of our rare opportunities to chill as a group.

my current summer to-do list:
[ ] read at least three books.
[ ] get (at least) out-of-state.
[ ] do at least one community service.
[ ] register for RN classes (barfy mcbarf).
[ ] take care of RN program requirements.
[ ] change my hair.
[ ] splurge, splurge, splurge.

uh-oh. looks like i'm getting sick. ugh.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 2:52 AM :: (0) comments

20 June 2006

the funny, the sad, and the disappointing

dwyane wade and miami heat. darn them.

the other day, one of the instant messaging programs i was using froze every five minutes, so i decided to switch to meebo.

i haven't visited the site in a few weeks so i was surprised upon seeing that they have it in different languages now. so, i scanned the sea of microprint looking for "tagalog" or "filipino". to my surprise, the list had both! note to meebo people: they're the same thing. anyway, filipinos love speaking and writing in taglish (tagalog + english) so seeing words exhaustively translated to what would be the closest genuine filipino equivalent is pretty darn hilarious.

here's a mini glossary of selected high-lare-ee-yus tagalog meeboisms:

listahan ng mga kaibigan - friend list

ako'y bakante - i'm available

ako'y hindi nakikita - literally, it's "no one can see me"

pasok! - translated literally, it's "come in!" but here, it's "log in!"

labas! - in literal terms, it's really "go out!" but in meebo, it's "log out!"

si ___ ay nagsusulat - ___ is writing

simulan o sumali sa usapang pang-grupo - start or join a group conversation

also, how come they have pahilis (italic) and may salungguhit (underlined) and no translation for "bold"? haha.

so funny naman.

today, it was weird visiting PCC and doing absolutely nothing there. yea. today with jacqueline: admissions, fall schedule of classes, 'space, tacos, and boba.

i can't wait for basic skills testing tomorrow from 8:30am to 3:00pm! i'm going to have so much fun! but wait, i do get to hang out with mes amis later.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:14 AM :: (1) comments

18 June 2006


just plain nasty! jorge larrionda, tsk tsk. i can't fully elucidate the gravity of what you did. those red flags. . . what the? you messed it up, jorge, you messed it up. go USA! #13 jimmy conrad is a temple city, CA native! go jimmy! i wish i could go to germany right now. any financiers?

continuing the trend of nastiness, i have to say save them goldfish! is the most distressing game i've played in a while. i feel awful for the fish. darn that roommate! are goldfish even edible? and why would you fry them out of the bowl? that's nasty. if you're going to (not that i recommend it) eat fish, don't you have to at least clean it first? hate for the roommate. see, that's how distressing this game is!

well, i'm taking it easy for now. ah, l'été. i'll miss the agitation, chaos, excitement and the drama at school, and everything else that comes with it.

¡los voy a extrañar muchísimo!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:56 AM :: (0) comments

17 June 2006

caps, gowns, stoles, and tassels

oh and diplomas, too. so today in the searing 11am heat, a couple of my friends and i volunteered to set up for commencement. sun protection factor is your friend. our free lunch was delicious, even though it was mostly crap, nutritional-wise.

karina, me, and carol on a break, in front of candice’s USC stuff.

¿estás embarazada?

being indoors is good for you! instead of charring ourselves to death outside, carol and i decided to blow balloons, help out in the cap and gown room, and carry seven division banners ("yes, we'll take everything!") down a flight of stairs. oh, the things we've done for PCC.

look at the cool mountains! and the virgin astroturf!

we were really loud. really.

guess whose forearm got dislocated? jk.

my friend soichi graduated! go soichi! he is our treasured treasurer, the first ever of TROPA's (hopefully) many future years at PCC. he's transferring to UCSD! it was lots of fun being the only group in the south bleachers with pots, pans, ladles, and spoons! thank you sandra for bringing them all the way from your house! i was still in my volunteer shirt even though i was off duty, but i still had to look after a couple of boxes of programs. it was awesome to see people move on and out of PCC. go jolie! go melissa! go candice! go everyone else i forgot to mention!

hardwork + free lunch = a great way to end the school year!

why didn't i use my volunteer shirt to wield more power? because i'm nice like that.

i enjoyed noodle planet after the ceremony!

making a complete departure from the subject, last night i watched nelly furtado (and timbaland) perform in so you think you can dance? and i marveled at how she bears an uncanny resemblance to bianca balti, peppered with a little bit of marija vujovic.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 4:41 AM :: (0) comments

15 June 2006

a semester's worth of stories part three

yesterday, "carmen electra" called my house. funnily enough, no one picked it up and it went to voicemail. ridiculous automated messages.

situated near the pasadena city college campus and the apartment rows of harkness avenue, ric rac clothing is a widely overlooked (by hungry, stressed-out, procrastinating students and indifferent passers-by alike) treasure chest of new, vintage, and one-of-a-kind clothes. the ambiance is reminiscent of a certain overexposed and overexpanded store chain but the tags are a little above thrift store prices without the fresh-off-the-estate smell. ric rac caters to both girls and guys and constantly has new arrivals. my recent favorite is a vintage barney purple elastic belt from converse.

ric rac clothing ● 1487 e colorado blvd, pasadena

and to conclude, here's the last installation of my semester summary. . .

man, it's been great. even the not-so-great things made it a standout semester: being rejected by omicron mu delta, attracting unwanted attention, karina losing the associated students election (and therefore wasting the entire campaign! jk), and having my left index finger almost crushed during our tinikling presentation at glendale community college, among other things.

i feel like i've come full circle.

'tis magnificent.

tomorrow is spring 2006 commencement. carol and i are volunteering from 11am-6pm. hopefully, there will still be volunteer shirts available! our friend soichi is graduating and transferring to UCSD! go soichi! most of the associated students board is graduating, hopefully i'll get to see them and also, other friends and former classmates that i don't know are graduating. congratulations to all them!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:26 PM :: (0) comments

a semester's worth of stories part two

the unfamiliar will think of pasadena city college as a second high school, only bigger, busier, and with a lot more leeway. the thing that still surprises me is that plenty don't know about the variety of services the community college has to offer. first of all, i've come across people who don't have a student ID. worse, there's a good number who don't know that they can avail of a student ID. that's your ticket to checking out a book from the library, going to the gym, using computers, getting printouts, using equipment from the music department, etc. second, i'd guess more than half the student population is unfamiliar with the campus in its entirety. it's a pretty small campus compared to university standards, so it's fairly traversable and there are many interesting places to visit. last and most important, a lot of students don't know that you could get free food (!) on campus, that is if you look a little harder.

there are various hotspots for complimentary grub. these include:

the cross cultural center's dinner and a movie. their last movie, boys of baraka, was terrific. the dinner consisted of yellow rice with cashews, seasoned fried chicken, carrots, celery and ranch dip, iced tea, lemonade, and water. earlier in the semester, they also showed crash with free popcorn, nachos, cream puffs, and pizza.

workshops. during week without violence, there was a series of workships discussing domestic violence, partner abuse, rape, etc. think about it. you leave educated and well-fed. they served wraps, fruit, cookies, and other pastries.

art gallery exhibits. great art, photography, and the occasional food.

club events. alpha gamma sigma gave out free pizza and soda during their first general meeting. being part of a club could also mean having free banquets at the end of each semester, or other year-end activities like club italia's caffé teatro and students for social justice's spring mixer. even TROPA gave away free (albeit very commercialized) halo-halo. the inter-club council's end-of-the-year celebration had good food: adobo, five-cheese lasagna, pad thai, rice, potstickers, lemon bars, pecan bars, pita, and hummus.

el pollo loco. that's right, el pollo loco. if you guys didn't notice, bank of america had a tent in front of the fast food restaurant, giving away credit promotions. participating in one meant a free meal: two pieces of chicken and two sides in exchange for filling out a piece of paper! let's just say students are not completely responsible for aliases, spur-of-the-moment nicknames, and names derived from characters in a play, not to mention nonexistent addresses and weird number combinations. let's wait and see if they come back next fall. teehee.

there are other locations and events wherein you can enjoy free food. just this week, i scored free wafers, white fudge, chocolate chip, and m&m cookies from the D building. there are seminars which have just ended and have free lemonade, iced tea, and water waiting to be thrown away. welcome week had cotton candy. discovering pcc day did too, plus snow cones and popcorn.

chicken steak and rice at tea zone $4.99 you know you liiike it.

when you can't find any free food, you could always live off the dollar menus at jack in the box, carl's jr, mcdonald's, and burger king. it also helps if you have a friend who works at yoshinoya and could toss you a free drink and cheesecake every now and then. buy the large and delicious portions they have at tea zone and split the meal and the bill with a friend. taipan café has great food, too.

hey, students starve. you gotta do what you gotta do.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 12:47 AM :: (0) comments

14 June 2006

a semester's worth of stories part one

first of all, it's funny how this household actually owns a copy of the video on the right. those leg-warming eighties.

just when a lot has been happening, i was unable to post even a single blog entry. it's odd how things work out.

sadly, i was left to depend on others for mobility after a horribly debilitating overuse injury of the right ankle. taking dr pavlovitch's class at the same time is a paper, a dissertation, and an anatomy and physiology textbook all its own. . . and i thought fall 2005 was my most extraordinary sixteen weeks of school! little did i know that that was the calm before the storm.

winter zipped by and spring 2006 was in full bloom, when a strange turn of events compelled me to take on the role of president of the reunited organization of pilipino-americans, aka TROPA.

the upsides: the experience, which furthered my leadership and organizational skills greatly. the exposure, having met and communicated with other filipino organizations at other colleges. the friendships, which i wouldn't have gained otherwise if i wasn't a part of the club. the wonderful people i've worked with, whom i enjoyed collaborating with and creating a good base for future TROPA leaders and members. the events (especially our pilipino cultural night), through which we've reached out to the college and community and shared our culture with them.

the downside: being caught in the middle of conflicts, which put me through a lot of stress (sarah knows), worry (carol and karina know), and anger (that one cadet witnesed it, and i feel embarrassed about it to this day). it's as though i've aged a couple of years, having to mediate and/or avoid tons of different issues that emerged throughout the entire semester.

the lesson learned: drama is almost always inevitable in any organization; you just have to learn to deal with it!

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 8:34 PM :: (0) comments

13 June 2006

tabula rasa

hello readers! (how many of you are there?)

i've officially decamped from my permanently defunct blog to an achingly new and fresh i love secondhand smoke (who doesn't, right?).

like my previous unnamed blog, (it will be forever non-operational anyway) ILSHS will be just as, if not more casual, serious, spasmodic, updated, droll, and dreary all churned into one buttery, creamy, high-cholesterol mess.

i promise to be neat.

Posted by ilovesecondhandsmoke @ 1:22 AM :: (0) comments