To Be Beautiful

I see her every morning on the commuter express bus. She’s tall and willowy, with long, wavy, chestnut brown hair. The first time I saw her, I thought that surely she was a model. She reminds me of Petra Nemcova, but with even more delicate facial features.

I am not the only one who has noticed her. I see everyone on the bus watching her, taking note of her graceful movements and appreciating her strong physical presence. When the bus starts to fill and the seats are all taken, I see men rushing out of their seats to offer theirs to her, even if others are already standing, or there are others more deserving of a seat, such as an older person or someone carrying many packages. She always gets a seat, regardless.

It’s a shame, however, that she’s not as generous with her kindness as she is with exuding physical beauty. Once, a man offered her a seat instead of an elderly woman, and she sat down, instead of offering the older woman the seat. I’m not sure if anyone else took notice of the situation, as it appeared as everyone was too mesmerized by her looks. I also noticed that she did not even thank the man for giving up his seat. It seemed as though she had expected it.

She sat next to me once, and I felt uncomfortable sitting next to her. I felt shabby, unattractive, and dull compared to her, with her radiating good looks. I could not even concentrate on the book that I was reading, as I suddenly felt self-conscious of how my feet barely touched the bus floor, while her long legs stretched out in front of her.

I have always wondered what it was like to be so beautiful, and to have beauty that could carry you from day to day, with no worry about having to be kind to others, as everyone else jumps at the chance to be nice to you, as if it were some kind of honor to do something nice for someone so beautiful. She owns the bus, simply because she is beautiful. She doesn’t take care to move her belongings out of the second seat so that someone can sit down, and she walks on the bus with confidence, knowing that she will get a seat no matter what, all simply because she is beautiful.

Take My Puppy!

There’s nothing unusual about seeing drunks walk around aimlessly at 6:00 in the morning here in New York. In fact, I’ve found that it’s actually quite a normal thing to see around here. There are, after all, no shortages of after-hours bars that cater to those that want to stay obliterated past the 4:00 a.m. closing of the regular bars. I’ve actually found that the streets are quite dangerous between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., as all the drunks are either drunkenly driving home or walking (staggering) home as night turns into day.

So, there seemed nothing out of the ordinary this morning for me as I was jogging through my neighborhood and I saw a man stumbling through the streets. He was yelling incomprehensibly to everyone and no one, but I just ignored him and kept on jogging.

However, on my jog back home, I saw that the drunk man had stopped and was yelling at an old Mexican man with a little puppy. As I jogged towards them, I strained to hear what was being said.

“Give me your puppy, old man!” the drunk man yelled.

“Please, sir, go away!” the old man pleaded.

“Give me your f*ckin’ puppy! I’ll take your fuckin’ puppy!”

I saw the drunk man step forward and knock the old Mexican man’s sancho hat off his head. As the old man bent down to pick up his hat, I saw the drunk man step closer towards the old man, and it looked like he was going to kick the old man in the head.

In fear that something bad would happen and without thinking, I yelled,”What the hell is going on here?!”

“Who the f*ck are you, you little chink b*tch?” yelled the drunk man.

“I’m the b*tch that’s gonna kick your ass if you don’t leave this man alone,” I said calmly, and with much more confidence than I felt.

I’m not sure why, but the drunken man started to walk away. Perhaps it was my intimidating 4’11 frame. Or more possibly, the fact that I had my wolf with me frightened him away.

“Here, mister! You want a puppy?! Take mine!”

Ice Cream Summers

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about Summer was playing out in the sun all day long, and waiting for the sound of the Good Humor truck to drive around my neighborhood. The ice cream man always came at the perfect time, between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m., right after dinner, and when I was back outside playing with my friends. Most of the time, we were out on our bicycles, and we’d race around the neighborhood to follow the Good Humor truck. There was no ice cream in the world that tasted better than the ice cream from the Good Humor ice cream man.

Waiting for the sound of the Good Humor truck and running to get ice cream from the ice cream man became a Summer tradition for me and I’m sure for many American kids. What Summer day wasn’t complete until you had ice cream from the Good Humor man?

Even as an adult, I’d spend my Summer evenings waiting for the jingle of the ice cream truck bells. Some things you just can’t ever outgrow.

Last summer was Baby G’s first summer. She was only a few months old, however, and too young to know about the meaning of ice cream. I’d take her around in her stroller in the Summer evenings, and I’d whisper to her to listen for the bells of the ice cream truck. Here in New York, it’s the Mister Softee ice cream truck. I was excited for this Summer because I thought she’d be old enough to listen for Mister Softee.

But the Summer has come, and shortly, it will turn into Autumn. Because of the recession and the outrageous prices of gasoline, our neighborhood ice cream man, Mister Softee, has retired. I ran into him at the park one weekend, and I asked him where he had been. I had already surmised that the high prices of gasoline had driven him out of business, but I was still crestfallen when he confirmed my thoughts.

“I just cannot afford it no more!” he explained.

He had been the neighborhood ice cream man for almost forty years.

I am old enough to have experienced the days when milk and eggs used to be delivered to your doorstep, although it was already coming to the end of its days when I was a kid. I still hear some elderly people reminisce about those days, and I wonder now, if I will be one of those people that can’t ever get over the end of the Good Humor and Mister Softee days.

Mr Softee
(photo courtesy of MSN Images)

“Without ice cream, life and fame are meaningless.” ~ Unknown

Me, Myself & I

One of the things that I learned here in New York is how to be alone and to be able to do things on my own. In a city with more than 8 million people, it’s hard to imagine being by yourself, but it’s true. I would have to say that New York can actually be one of the loneliest places on Earth.

Before moving here, I was always surrounded with family and friends. I had friends that I could call on a minute’s notice to meet me for coffee, a spontaneous lunch, or to just hang out at someone’s house. I always had an endless supply of workout partners and people that I could call to just accompany me on mundane errands.

But it is not so here in New York. I do not have many people to call here at all. It seems that all my friends and acquaintances here are very career-oriented (myself included), and finding someone to meet up with you even for a quick meal seems almost impossible. Since moving here, I seem to be doing everything by myself. I’ve gone to visit museums, explore the city, eat at restaurants, go to the movie theatre, drink at bars – all by myself. I have never been with just myself so much in all my life.

This past weekend, after another long work week, I treated myself to a bike ride along the Shore Promenade in Brooklyn.

My Bike The Shore Promenade

Bike Path through Shore Promenade View of the Verrazano Bridge

I am finding that being with just myself is no longer as lonely as it was. I am actually realizing that it’s not so bad to be around me. In fact, I now look forward to when I can have time to be with myself, all by myself.

“The strongest man in the world, is he who stands alone.” ~ Henrik Ibsen

Dr. Suzanne

From: Dr. Suzanne
To: Nova
Subject: NOVA, THIS is why you’re fat – Please don’t be disgusted though, it’s NOT your fault.


My name is Suzanne, and I’m a real doctor that would like to show you why you may be “fat” and why you’re unable to lose weight no matter how hard you try.

First off, please always know that it’s not your fault…I would like to show you the disgusting truth right now as to what is keeping you fat!

Press here to see the disgusting truth that is keeping you from losing fat:

After you see what the problem is, I will then show you how easy it is to finally lose the fat that you want to lose.

Thank you!

Dr. Suzanne


I swear. They really know how to hit you where it hurts. Who is this Dr. Suzanne and how did she know that I’ve been having body image issues?

I check my junk mail folder only because sometimes “real” emails get re-routed there by accident. There are always all kinds of different advertisement emails, ranging from fake watches, sexual performance enhancing medications, to winning lottery numbers. I wonder, do some people take these junk emails seriously? I have to admit that the email above did get my attention, partly because it addressed me directly, and partly because I have been trying desperately to lose weight. When I was in the Philippines two months ago, all my relatives couldn’t get over how fat I’ve become (I was a size 6), and they did not hesitate in telling me so. So, as soon as I came back home to NY, I’ve been exercising every day. In the six weeks or so that I’ve been exercising, I have managed to drop down to a size 4. It is not my pre-Baby G size (2), but hell, considering I had a 40-inch waist the day before I gave birth, I’m not doing too badly.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Wednesdays at Tako Grill

It’s Wednesday night, and I am home at an unusually early hour. I’ve been working so much lately that I actually feel lost being home at this time. A few years ago, I would have known exactly where I would be at this time.
I went to Happy Hour with an old roommate of mine, P, a few weeks ago in Midtown. We used to live together in Maryland about five years ago. He now also lives and works in New York and is a friend from the Tako Grill days.
P and I, along with a group of friends, mostly from college, used to meet at Tako Grill every Wednesday night. It was our night to be with friends, and to eat, drink, and forget about our worries. It became a spontaneous routine. For many months, Wednesday night was always the best night of the week. It seemed that no matter what responsibilities we all had, we all seemed to make Tako Grill meetings a priority. Any why not? Good times with old friends should be top priority on everyone’s list.
Our Wednesday night happy hours lasted about six months. Eventually, work, family and life obligations took over, and quietly, the Wednesday night fun times ended without notice.
P and I agree that the Wednesday nights at Tako Grill were some of the best Wednesdays of our life.
If I could be anywhere right now at this time, I would be at Tako Grill with my Wednesday night gang.