amelialourdes: (icon ; croissant time)

Oh, hi, LiveJournal. It's been a minute, hasn't it? Everyone's just kind of all over the place and I utilize all kinds of social media that I haven't revisited my old haunts. But I wanted to today! I really want to try to get into the habit of writing. I need to start posting on my site more and start using that. If you want to follow me over there, that's where I'll be! I'll provide the link at the bottom. For now, let's talk about Mother's Day. Every year, I try to take my mom somewhere new, somewhere nice. And we've never been to The Melting Pot before so we decided to give that a shot. There used to be one closer to us in Pasadena and we've never been there so we went to the one over in Thousand Oaks. They were open for lunch for the day, which works for my mom since we both like just going out for lunch and hanging out in the afternoon. Besides, Game of Thrones was on in the afternoon.

Warning: Food Photos. You'll be hungry after viewing. )



Never been to Melting Pot before and I walked away pretty pleased. Yes, it's expensive. I think my brain temporarily short-circuited after looking at the bill because I couldn't figure out the tip to add. As we drove away from the restaurant, I realized that I had been short on the tip, and felt incredibly guilty. The little devil on my shoulder said, "It's okay. You'll never go back. Just leave." The bigger angel on my shoulder said, "Are you fucking crazy? Why would you do that to someone? CALL THEM WHEN YOU GET HOME." What did I end up doing? I called them when I got home to add to the tip. I'm not that terrible.

But I pay for the experience to dip things. I love fondue. There aren't restaurants that cater specifically to the idea of fondue and I love it. Everything tasted fresh. The chicken and steak were my favorite parts of the entree. The chocolate was fantastic. How could it not be? The girl at the front desk was adorable. Our server was really, really great. Everyone seemed discombobulated that it was lunch and not dinner since they're usually only open for dinner. We were greeted with a, "I hope you're having a great night." They were charming errors. No complaints here and my mother still talks about what a wonderful experience she had. So we're looking forward to going back! Hope other celebrants had wonderful days, as well.

I can't say with confidence that I'll post here regularly at all, but I am looking to reengage my site and considering an interview part of the site that'll feature different artists that I admire. I've purchased a lot over pop art over the years and there are some talented artists that definitely need to be featured somewhere. That's in the works! For now, visit aimeecurameng.com to see what I'm up to and my recaps from events I've been to last year. Until next time, LJ!

amelialourdes: (qaf ; livejournal = crack)
I'm awake enough tonight to actually respond to previous posts and post something of substance tonight. This week at work I've been trying to get some overtime while they're offering it so I wake up early and spend about 10 hours there. So I'm pretty exhausted when I come home and then I have a day off and then I work and it's been on and off all week. Then yesterday was my mother's birthday.

She had a great day! Thankfully. She's been particularly stressed lately since her brother's been staying with us. She's not the most easy-going when it comes to people or places or things. Very high-strung and stressed out so I wanted her to have a relaxed day. I gave her her present in the morning. I got her that HP bundle from Best Buy. Such a great price for a laptop that comes with a mouse, laptop cover, and an 8 GB flash drive. It has Windows 8 on it which is a little... confusing even for me. It seems really sensitive. I was in one program and all of a sudden it switched to something else without notice. When you open it, they show you all the applications first but it does have a regular looking desktop option? So... looking forward to having to teach my mom when it's confusing to me.

After waiting for my cousin and then waiting for the food (stress) we finally relaxed to have lunch. After lunch, we went on a walk where we took some of the photos I posted yesterday. We took the picture of the two of us while on our walk.

My cousin suggested we go up Palos Verdes (my old 'hood) and check out the view from the lookout. It was gorgeous. It was such a clear, beautiful day! We could see clear to downtown which is very rare. Usually, it's smog-filled but yesterday was so beautiful.

Then we concluded the day with ice cream near our apartment so my mom could have some dessert. Day completed!

DSCN5267
My mom and her brother, Manny.

All of this leads me to thinking about family dynamics. All families have their problems. I've had my problems with my dad. I've never hid that from anyone. But I've learned to accept him and his family. I'd be a more miserable person if I allowed him to disappoint me over and over again. He does disappoint me and makes me angry but I've learned to forgive and move on and try my best to have some kind of relationship with him. I know my dad loves me and I love him and I try to make it work.

My Uncle has an unstable relationship with his younger daughter. We had dinner with her tonight. It was... well, it went just about as well as you might expect. They haven't seen each other in years. It went. It definitely went. And I love my cousin. I love seeing her and being around her and I regret not doing it more especially since she lives her. But, I know she's not in the same place as I am. She has her problems with her dad. The thing is, I know we can relate to each other when it comes to those things. We've had a lot of the same experiences when it comes to parental relationships. And I love my Uncle. He's my mother's brother and I'm very close to my mother's side of the family so it's hard to see them have that dynamic. I wish she felt closer to our side because I think she'd fit in really well. I know my family miss her and would like to see her. That's just not the way things are right now.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks. With the holidays, I've seen my family a lot and I love being around them. Usually, it's just me and my mom and working and coming home and I love that. But I also thrive around my family. I love feeling part of something. I've always liked that feeling of being included rather than excluded. This feeling comes and goes but right now it's here and it's really refreshing.

* note: NOW I'm sleepy. Sleep and then replying tomorrow. Promise.
amelialourdes: (the office ; it is your bday)

Again, falling asleep as I type this so... photos! Details tomorrow.

today001
Beautiful day in Los Angeles! Sky was so blue and you could see all the way to the downtown area.
today002
today003
today004
amelialourdes: (cmas ; white)

Family gathering is finished. Kids love their gifts. Adults loved their gifts. It was hectic and really, really hot but it was a lot of fun to gather for a little while. There was a family emergency in someone else's family so our gathering was cut short a little and everyone was sort of rushing to leave since they had to catch a flight to New York tomorrow. But, it was still nice to see everyone for a little while. Hope everyone has a fantastic day tomorrow and a great night tonight! Merry Christmas!

DSCN5189
My Uncle's tree tonight.

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My tree!
Too lazy to photoshop better lighting.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; decor)

This is a tough one as I don't really have a lot of obligations or responsibilities in my life -- by choice. I like being able to do what I want when I want to. The only obligation I have is to my family. I love my family. And they come first. That being said, it's not always an easy decision to put them first. For example, I won tickets to see Evita tonight in Orange County.

I was incredibly torn. I wanted to go. I wanted to see where the tickets were and I wanted to go. On any other day, I would've driven down there on a whim, no hesitation. Unfortunately, I made a prior commitment to my family. It's my Uncle's birthday. He'll be here for the next few weeks and tonight was his birthday dinner.

I immediately said yes to the tickets and I told my cousin I won them and that I'd be missing dinner. I even called my mom and told her I wasn't coming because I was going to Evita instead. But the guilt was eating at me. My family was going to be there and I needed to be there. I wanted to be there.

So, I sucked it up and canceled the tickets I won. I'd like to think I know where my priorities are.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; white)

photo (1)
Beautiful day today in Los Angeles.

I woke up pretty late after staying up really late last night. I haven't stayed up that late in a long time and I have no idea why. After all the crying and unexpected annoyance of yesterday, I'd have thought I'd go to bed early but that wasn't the case. So, it was close to lunch by the time I woke up and my mom and I decided to go out. We were going to get our tree anyway. We had a really nice lunch, a really nice talk, and a bit of shopping. I crossed a couple more people off my list and I'll send their gifts tomorrow. I'm still working on Christmas cards. I hope I can get those out tomorrow, too.

The tree we picked this year is beautiful. It's the perfect shape, the perfect size, the perfect height. We haven't decorated it yet. I was planning on getting started tonight but I still have the cards to do. I'll post a photo when the tree's decorated and there's something underneath. I solved my little (non) problem about Christmas gifts from my mother. I ordered a few things from amazon and that's that. I'm definitely happy. Gift taken care of! I think I have a small gift for her for Christmas and then I'm probably gonna go all out for her birthday -- present, card, food, the works. I got her a laptop bundle from Best Buy. She's always wanted one and it was so cheap! You get a laptop, mouse, case, and flash drive all for $329 + tax. Crazy, right? My first laptop cost $1,000 and it had 6 GB in it. And the only laptops I buy now are Macs so those are $2,000 but for a basic laptop with the bells and whistles, $329's a great price.

My mom and I are pretty quick about getting a tree every year. We usually see one, make sure it's a nice height, size, cut, and then that's it. Two years in a row now we've picked the first tree we saw, had it wrapped up and tried to the roof of my car in less than half an hour.

One of my favorite Christmas memories is this time we had a Toyota station wagon. We picked a really large tree and we put it inside the car, put the seats down so it would fit. I know this was illegal as hell but we didn't live too far from where we picked the tree. Me and my dad laid down on either side of the tree and held on to it while my mom drove us home. We smiled and laughed the whole way home, holding on to the branches to make sure the tree wouldn't fall out. I mean, I couldn't do anything about it if it fell. I think I was 5 or 6 years old at the time but it was fun, doing something dangerous, all of us happy.

Happiness comes in other ways now. Like today when I was driving the tree home and I drove my mom past a studio we live near. Then *N Sync's "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays" started playing on the radio. I blasted the song at full volume and sang the rest of the way home. Always good to form new happy memories.

amelialourdes: (cmas ; decor)

I haven't finished my Christmas shopping yet. My list isn't extensive but it's enough. I still need something for my dad, grandma, both boy baby cousins... still waiting on my other cousin's Christmas gift that should be coming in the mail any day now. I know presents shouldn't be the most important thing at Christmas. But, presents are important to me because making them happy is important to me. I love seeing how excited the kids get at Christmas. I love that my parents think I think enough of them to get them gifts. And I love thinking about what to get them. I always try to think of something that they absolutely want. It doesn't have to be something you need but why don't you get something you want? I do that enough for myself.

My mother always says she doesn't know what to get me for Christmas or my birthday. And sometimes that feels bad. She's known me for 28 years and she doesn't know what to get me? I'm so easy to buy presents for. Blu-rays, theater tickets, etc. I feel like I'm so easy and it's not the present. It's the thought that counts but she doesn't think about me. Do you know how much jewelry she gets me? I don't wear any jewelry. Only sometimes. And she insists on these gaudy rings. When do I ever wear rings like those? Ever?

I know. I'm awful. Seriously, awful. It is the thought that counts and she just wanted to get me something. And then I hurt her feelings when I don't want it or wear it. Again, I know how ungrateful that makes me sound and I feel awful for it. But, that's parents, right? They don't always get it right and as her child, I'm not getting it right. She gives me so much more during the year that a wrong gift every holiday or special occasion doesn't really matters. It matters to me that she's here and she does more for me than anyone in my life will ever do for me.

amelialourdes: (bj ; *snuggles*)

Apparently the water went all the way up to their waists in the house so they had to leave. My aunts stayed at a neighbor's house who lives higher up and my cousins slept on a table or something. The house is a big mess, water probably ruined everything, and my cousin's kid (she's 16 --- I think) is cleaning up most of it. So, they're okay. I know many people have had it worse. Thanks for your thoughts and I hope everyone who has family there are able to get in contact with them.

amelialourdes: (bj ; *hugs*)

Just got a very kind PM asking me about my family in the Philippines. In case you haven't heard, they're dealing with floods and fires because of a tropical storm that's hovered near the island. Now it's being reported that over 100 people have died and many have lost their homes, many who were living in the slums and didn't really have a home to begin with.

Me and my mom didn't really hear about the news until I read it. I hadn't heard it on the news or anything. I'll be watching the filipino news this afternoon to see what's happening over there. But, she's told me that the area that our family lives in is far from the flooded areas. Doesn't mean that they get an easy ride though. Their house floods pretty regularly when any kind of rain is introduced into the area for a long period of time so they're dealing with that. They just know not to put anything on the floor in those conditions. I don't really know about my dad's family.

Just to make sure, I e-mailed my cousin so hopefully she gets back to me and my mother is probably going to call my aunt, her sister, tonight to see what's going on over there. If you've had any thoughts, thank you for them! Or in tagalog, maraming salamat sa inyong lahat. Huwag kang magalala sa akin and aking pamilya.

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amelialourdes

May 2016

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