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“Having been struck by a 150-ton meteorite, Henry has to adapt to living precisely ninety-one centimeters from himself.”

Once in a while, you come across something that so resonates with you to the point of altering your reality. Or your perception of reality. It’s like, all of a sudden, you can see yourself more clearly. You understand what is going on inside your head. You see what the root of your problem is. Yet to explain that something, or how or why, is completely beyond your command with words. Haunting. That is all you can think of.

Tautology: using something incomprehensible to explain something incomprehensible.


Exactly 91 cm away from himself...


I came across something yesterday.  The Bloggess mentioned it as “Painfully poignant: you should watch this”.  So I did. And I have not been able to stop thinking about it. Have not been able to stop crying actually.

If you have ever questioned who you are, where you are, what you are, why you are. If you live with the haunting that you may not be yourself. Or that if you are, then who is this other person. If you ever feel/fear that if you lie still long enough, you will for sure float outside of your body and look down back on yourself lying in bed, and you are scared that you may not recognize yourself. If you could almost precisely predict when you will have an existential breakdown.

If you wonder what it is like to have such chaotic thoughts inside your being. Watch this.

Skhizein. Greek word meaning “to split” or “to cleave”. The root for the word schizophrenia.


Skhizein (Jérémy Clapin,2008) from Bertie on Vimeo.


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Scary Movies

February 24, 2010

in random

The boys and I are still awake.

We went to bed at around 10:30 pm. Or rather, we started getting into bed at around 10:30 pm. When my husband is out of town, both boys like to sleep in the big bed with me. I let them. You know why? Because I am scared. I want to keep both of them in the same room with me, with the bedroom door locked. If I remember, I’ll have my Blackberry with me in case the phone line is cut off.

THAT is always the first thing to go.

You know what I am talking about. The movies. The scary movies.

I never watch them. Except the few movies I watched when I was younger before I knew better. I stay away because I know my brain will choose to replay the scenes at the most inconvenient moments. Even the ones that are not billed specifically as scary movies, the thrillers, now add to my psychological burden.

Just as we were finally settled down, after I had threatened hundreds of times that I would send the boys back to their rooms if they didn’t go to bed, RIGHT NOW!, we heard a noise. Something had fallen.

No. Some object was knocked down.

There is a difference, isn’t it? Inside my head. Fallen vs. Knocked down

The heater started up at the exact moment. Ok. So maybe it was just my overactive imagination. Wouldn’t be the first time. I decided to ignore it.

“What was that?” My oldest sat up. “Did you hear that?”

“Yup. I did.” Resigned to a restless, probably sleepless night. Again.

He lied back down. Thank goodness. I waited for the deep breathing that signals their drifting to sleep. In the mean time, I became more and more alert.

I am so exhausted, I thought. I really should try and fall asleep. That was probably nothing. Yup. It was NOTHING. Go to sleep, you crazy woman.

As on cue, all of the movie plots involving home invasion rose up to my consciousness, scenes after scenes played themselves out behind my tightly squeezed-shut eyelids. The consequences became more and more dire because my kids would be in the movies. I am ashamed to admit this, and I was shocked by myself, but at that moment, as the plots unfolded in my frenzied mind’s eye, each one worse than its predecessor, I thought to myself, “I wish I had a gun. I wish I had bought a gun and practiced at a firing range,” because I would do anything, anything, including something that’s so against my ingrained beliefs, to protect my boys from harm. All of a sudden, I couldn’t wait for them to be all grown-up and no longer living with me. They’d be in their own apartments. Safe and sound asleep. Exactly how I like them.

“Mom? I am still thinking about the noise.” Great. I don’t need to pass on my neurosis to my children. Is it too late?

“It’s probably nothing. Just go to sleep ok?”

But we both knew we wouldn’t be able to get any shuteye, thinking that there was someone in the house.

“What are you doing?” My oldest was alarmed as I got out of the bed.

“I am going to check it out.” I checked the cordless phone for a dial tone. Still working. GOOD! I handed him the phone, “Dial 911 if anything.”

“I am coming with you!”

“No. You are staying here with your brother!”  I searched the bedroom for a likely weapon. Both the steel Samurai sword and the steel Excalibur are too heavy for me to wield with any convincing malice. The wooden Samurai sword would have to do.

I opened the door and turned on all the lights from the light switches by the door. No scuttling of footsteps. GOOD! The downstairs of the house looked exactly the way we had left it. Messy. Perhaps we should have deliberately left Lego pieces on the floor as deterrent. I surveyed their bedrooms upstairs first. Nothing out of order. Internal sigh of relief.

“Are you really going to whack the bad guy with the sword?” My oldest appeared beside me.

“What are we doing?” Mr. Monk caught up with us.

“I am just going to check downstairs.”

“I am coming with you!” My oldest handed me the phone while he took the sword away from me.

“Me too!” Mr. Monk shouted.

The next ten minutes we searched the house, trying to locate the cause of the noise.

“Ah I know. It is THIS.” “No. Not it.” “Ok. It must have been THIS.” “No. Not it.” “Could it be THIS?” “No. Not that either.”

(Wouldn’t you know that as we walked around the house trying to solve the mystery, I was picking up the house along the way! I seriously need help!)

Finally, I saw a picture frame lying on the floor by a bookshelf.  ”Here’s what happened…” As the real Mr. Monk on TV would have said: The books next to it had apparently toppled and knocked the picture frame to the floor.

Mystery solved.

Back to bed for the boys. My oldest insisted on staying by my side “To guard you!”

“Please go to bed with your brother. He needs to be in bed.” For once, he left with his younger brother without arguing.

As I conclude this post, they are both sound asleep. I hope they were not traumatized by this incident. As for me? Well, when I picked up my Blackberry to bring it to bed with me, Never again without! I saw that my boss had sent out an email marked URGENT. Sleep is overrated anyway. At least in my neurotic world.

And I will never, ever, ever, watch another scary movie in my life. I scare myself enough.

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We have all been asked of this quiz question before:

What Super Power do you wish you had?

I still don’t know what my answer should be.


Mind control?


“The ability to eat as much as I want without gaining any weight”. Yeah. That’s what I am thinking right at this moment.

You all know The Bloggess. She of the power of turning everything into a hilarious nature. Really. We should send her to the frontline, protected inside an armor car of course, and give her a microphone. She has the Super Power of turning people into a howling, thigh-slapping, LMAOROTF, Dionysian mass. And believe me: I normally do not like touching my own thighs. Except one thigh would always inadvertently touching the other, but that cannot be helped. I sometimes would get mind-clarifying, “Come to Jesus” moments when I read her blog. It ain’t all fluff.

A line I heard from the video embedded in one of her posts still haunts me till this day:

“I have the intellectual confidence to appear stupid sometimes.”

THIS is one of the best quotes I have learned in my whole life. Now, please repeat it with me:

“I have the intellectual confidence to appear stupid sometimes.”

I believe, by internalizing this line, we can all be liberated from self-consciousness and self-censorship. I believe this will be especially helpful for women climbing the corporate ladder, especially if the work place is predominantly male.

At first I thought that men are so good at “chiming in” and “making their points” at any meeting because they somehow were privy to this secret. Nah. Based on my years of ethnographic study of the male species in the corporate jungle, I believe that they are so good at “speaking up” because, unlike women who are often self-reflexive, most men never even consider the possibility that what comes out of their mouth may just be flat out the stupidest thing someone has ever heard of. See, they never apologize before they speak. The strength of not giving a damn. THAT is the Super Power I would like to have.

Today’s BOGO special:

In addition to the quote above that can serve as an awesomely witty throw-away remark when someone suggests that you are intelligence-challenged, AFTER you sucker punch them of course, here is another motto for you to use in your role as Truth Seeker:

We are entitled to our own opinions; we’re not entitled to our own facts. - Al Franken

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

December 11, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

I was thinking since I am all over the map going from warm fuzzy pictures of my kids smiling like angels to crazy ass inappropriate jokes and cursing to crazy ass all-out ranting on people/events/things that piss me off. I either have ADHD or Bi-Polar, I realized, or as my husband would gladly tell you, [...]


Freedom from Want, Or The Case of the Golden Turkey

November 22, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Even if you don’t know its name, you must have seen this iconic painting by Norman Rockwell:

The name of the painting is Freedom from Want, by Norman Rockwell in 1943. Ever since its appearance and subsequent permeation into the pop culture and the collective American consciousness, it is also known as Thanksgiving Dinner.
This is the [...]


If you keep a “life” blog and therefore experience existential crisis on a regular basis…

November 7, 2009 random

You have got to read this:
Blogging for Dummies by Aunt Becky (she’s actually young and hot) over at Mommy Wants Vodka.  As someone who has experimented with making my own bacon-flavored vodka, she had me at the name of her blog…
When I stumbled upon her genuine, honest, tell-it-like-it-is advice about blogging and perhaps more importantly, [...]


Day 5 of NaBloPoMo: When in doubt, talk about phobias…

November 5, 2009 random

I suck. It is only the fifth day of National Blog Posting Month and I am already wanting to quit. Life and work seem to have a way of getting into the way of daily blogging…
I am totally kidding up there.  Blogging should be a supplement to life: a conduit to reflect on life and [...]


How do you know what you are having is NOT swine flu? Waiting for the other shoe to drop…

October 14, 2009 random

For days I thought I may have had IT. Not because I had any telltale symptoms because, well, so far, after I scoured the Interweb, I can’t find any statement on Telltale Signs for Swine Flu.
I watched the CDC video with an obsession, “Symptoms of H1N1″ at 2 am in the morning one night [...]


Got Summer? Or, On the Agonizing Ritual of Closet Reorg

October 3, 2009 random

Apparently not this year.
Despite its severe winters and famous 3-foot snow, Chicago has always delivered hot and humid summers.  These two things are not mutually exclusive, I am sure, according to a meteorologist, but in my mind I always wonder, while either dying from motion sickness from all the shivering or from dehydration when my [...]

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I went to get Starbucks and I got an Existential Crisis instead…

September 16, 2009 random

One thing about working is that, when you are assigned a project whose essence you detest, you become very easily distracted.  After finding it extremely difficult to focus on the tasks at hand, while the clock tick tick tick away, and truth be told, a trip to the restroom to reapply my makeup, I made [...]


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