To celebrate President Obama's being in office for a week, here's Dr. Joseph Lowery's benediction at the inauguration.

Happy Chinese New Year!!! East: January 26, 2009-February 13, 2010

My purpose is to alleviate chaos

And perpetuate stability

To hold my ground against

Hardship, danger and adversity

Steadfast and above reproach

I am here to enforce honor and fair play

To set a moral code

By becoming one with nature,

Constantly working toward my goal

To bring about harmony and good fortune.


The year of the Ox is just what’s needed to clean up any mess and clutter left by the Rat. The Ox is not as he appears and should not be underestimated or considered slow or unaware.

The Ox is the quintessential hardworking, conventional cleaner-upper who will put everything back in order and turn chaos back into reason.

There is no room for anyone looking for a free ride during an Ox year. Hard work pays and laziness does not. It’s a plain-and-simple, cut-and-dried, yes-and-no type year. It’s a year to get papers in order and your life back on track, and to do whatever it takes to budget and plan for your financial future, lessening the stress and securing your position. Tradition will be important and keeping order and making sure that everyone plays by the rules a must.

The Ox doesn’t care for sob stories or those looking for a handout. There is nothing less appealing to an Ox than someone wanting his or her way paid for. You must gain respect through your actions if you want to fare well during the year of the Ox.

Click here for the full article.

My mom hasn't been feeling well lately. She was diagnosed with Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo by an EENT, but I didn't like the way my sister described the office visit. I happened to see my neurosurgeon friend online yesterday morning. So I asked if he knew any EENTs or neurologists. He said: "would a neurosurgeon do?" and offered to see my mother. A free housecall at that!

I spoke to my sister this morning and she said the visit went very well. He just confirmed the diagnosis. I feel better now, much reassured. I'm glad I have good friends. Thanks Doc Charles!

When I first heard President Obama's inaugural address, I thought it was hard to follow, and what a tough-talking leader I was seeing. It was not an easy speech for former Pres. Bush to hear because here was the new chief saying how he's repudiating everything his predecessor did. It wasn't the typical poetic, soaring Obama speech that I've come to expect. But as I listened to it again, read and re-read it, it all coalesced. I realized how powerful it really was. Because he spoke to EVERYONE: all Americans, the bickering politicians, the terrorists, lobbyists, the rest of the world. There was something in it for everybody. I even want to believe he was referring to Philippine President Gloria Arroyo when he said "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent". He became the first President to use the word Muslim in an inaugural address. He didn't directly mention slavery or race, because that would be petty and not unifying. It was a sobering speech meant to wake us all up from our indifference and inaction. He gave us hope, he lectured, he gave us a kick-in-the-bum, he inspired. Who knows if it'll go down as one of the best inaugural addresses in history? But in this moment in time, it was perfect. Here's the speech:

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: Know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive ... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you.

And God bless the United States of America.

I learned a new word today: Anaphora- the repetition of a phrase as a rhetorical tool. Like "Yes, we can." in President Obama's brilliant victory speech on 04 November 2008.

More females go into my profession so most of my working life, I've been around women. Since my company laid off 2 female colleagues in November, I now work with 2 guys and a woman. What a difference! Usually, we helped each other with after-care, got things ready or started each other's patients if we're running behind or just swamped. The men aren't like that at all. Treatment-wise, they leave stuff around, don't offer to help, don't clean up after themselves. We wash our own linen and they don't usually start the washer-dryer or even load/unload the machines. There's a laundry basket about 2 feet from the machine; they'll just throw the dirty towels and pillowcases in there, even if it's overflowing. The women take the time to walk the extra 2 feet to put the soiled linen into the washing machine. And when they eat a meal and use a plate or cup, they'll leave their dirty dishes in the sink, sometimes for days at a time. I want so badly to wash them to get them out of there, but I figured they're not at home and I'm not their mother or wife.

Talk about Mars and Venus! Honestly, I don't know how the males and females of our species have managed to co-exist all these years.

After watching President Obama's inauguration at home, I went to work and continued watching the TV coverage there. My first patient said to me "I really don't know what the big deal is." Spoken like a true white dude.

(Photos from Reuters)

Definitely a lot of tough acts to follow for President Obama, but I wish him well. I grew up under martial law with a president-for-life, so the peaceful transition of power is endlessly fascinating and inspiring to me. The last two U.S. inaugurations I made a point NOT to watch, but today I woke up early (even though I don't have to be at work until this afternoon) to see everything unfold on television. It would have been amazing to be in the nation's capital on a day like this, but like Cecile's friend said, you get a front row seat at your own house. I can feel and share the energy and optimism of these ordinary Americans who are there to witness history unfold, especially coming the day after we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday.

Good luck and God bless your presidency Mr. Obama!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

My out-of-state friend was watching CNN's pre-inauguration coverage while I watched here. We'd text comments back and forth. We were both feeling Anderson Cooper in his purple tie. Other members of the panel were Wolf Blitzer (who also had a purplish tie but AC was more fabulous of course), Soledad O'Brien, David Gergen and one other dude. The last three people were so prepared for cold weather, they had hats on and blankets on their laps, etc. My friend sends me a message saying she's impressed with AC 360 not being cold at all unlike David Gergen and Soledad O'Brien who are all bundled up. I text back: That's because he's HOT!

HA, HA, HA!!! Umm...ha, ha, ha! Anyone?

Doogie Howser was the original blogger.

Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III, co-pilot Jeff Skiles and the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 are real-life heroes as they managed to successfully land their crippled plane on a frigid Hudson River, get all 151 passengers out with only a few minor injuries. We were glued to the television set at work yesterday since the news broke. And the tugboat/ferry operators and other rescue personnel also deserve credit for their quick response. Way to go New Yorkers!

Sometime in college, our class started calling each other Tita(aunt) or Tito(uncle) followed by the first name. I don't know how the practice began. Maybe because our male friends called themselves Tsongs (tsong=a shortcut term for uncle) and they called us Tsangs (which I never liked. These names sounded too close to the Filipino word for monkey.). It was a little weird hearing your guy friends call you Auntie, but the habit stuck and over the years the titles became terms of endearment. The title had to be earned.

To this day, we still address each other as Tita or Tito. And we've even taken to calling other friends, even favorite celebrities, actors or actresses by that title. When a certain singer-actor cheated on his girlfriend, he was stripped of his Titohood. (yeah, yeah we don't take these things lightly) I guess it's similar to being disowned by your family. So to all my Titas and Titos, thanks for the friendship, loyalty and good times 20 years later.

Why won't she go away? Here's a nice response from a blogger to all the silly things Sarah Palin said on the so-called documentary.

Lake Superior State University releases an annual list of words or phrases that should be banned due to overuse or misuse, or just plain vulgar. I'd like to add a few:

  1. My bad
  2. "There's something going around" everytime someone says they're not feeling well. Apparently, there's ALWAYS something going around.
  3. "Cold enough for you?"
  4. "Working hard or hardly working?"
  5. Govern from the center
  6. Vet, vetting or vetted
  7. Princess, drama queen, strong black woman
  8. For real?
  9. the race card
  10. sucks big time
  11. "I'd hit that/tap that."
  12. "Talk to the hand!"
  13. "you gotta be kiddin' me!"
  14. hope and change
  15. oh snap!
  16. work it/make it work
  17. metrosexual
  18. Fierce!
  19. cougar
  20. multi-tasking

President Bush took his last scheduled flight on Air Force One yesterday. He will fly back to Texas on the presidential plane after the inauguration, but will not be called Air Force One anymore.
The Obama family did a little bit of sightseeing in D.C. last night. They visited the Lincoln Memorial. (Abraham Lincoln is also my favorite president.) They returned to their hotel after.

President-Elect Obama stopping for lunch at Ben's Chili Bowl, a Washington, D.C. institution.

I love that Mrs. Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, is going to live in the White House. At least for a little while. No mother-in-law issues there apparently.

9 more days to go.

What a weird night for dreams! I dreamt I was hanging out with Daniel Craig for some reason (no complaints there). At one point I was a Radio City Rockette in a very small stage with an ice rink. I remember thinking to myself, this isn't Radio City, and the Rockettes don't ice-skate! The last one before I woke up was me chewing out one of the MalTitas over the phone as my mother nodded or shook her head in approval/disapproval at what I was saying.

My friend Pinky posted this on our group blog on the day of my surgery last year. I still love the quote. It was from the film Stranger than Fiction and Emma Thompson's line reading was perfect.

"Sometimes when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And fortunately enough, when there aren't sugar cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin or a kind and loving gesture, or a subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs and uneaten danish and soft spoken secrets and fender guitars and to maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties which we assume only accessorize our days, are in fact here for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange but I also know that it just so happens to be true."---Karen Eiffel

My co-worker is celebrating her 41st birthday today. She took the day off so we had a text message exchange this morning, which went a little something like this:

ME: Happy Birthday B!
HER: Thanx. I'm being fitted 4 my walker.
ME: I'll help you with your nursing home application.
HER: I think I peed from laughing hard.
ME: Ah the Depends are next on your shopping list then.
HER: I know. It's a sad day at the L. house.

Don't be an indian giver. Apparently, hell hath no fury like a kidney donor scorned. Instead of a child custody battle, a man wants his kidney back (or its monetary equivalent) from his ex-wife.

It's just a kidney...let it go. Who wants a twice-used kidney?

If you're going to commit a felony, don't post it on MySpace.

I thank Lynn everyday for showing me this website, and all its incarnations.

I dreamed the other night that I was an astronaut. So cool! When I looked it up in the dream dictionary, this is what it said:

To see or dream that you are an astronaut, indicates that you are expanding your awareness and consciousness. You are utilizing the information you have and making the best of it. Alternatively, the astronaut symbolizes your ambition. You are reaching for the stars.

I forgot to blog about this until I noticed on my way to work that there's no infant Jesus in a Catholic church's nativity scene. Some churches wait until Christmas Day before they place Jesus' statue but this year, no figurine. Were they afraid that the baby would be abducted? At the beginning of the holiday season, I had heard on the radio that some churches had taken to Lo-Jacking Baby Jesuses to discourage people from stealing them. How sad is it that people can't stop themselves from babynapping our Lord and Savior?

I went to church bright and early today. Freezing outside, but sunny. The Monsignor gave a wonderful homily for this brand spanking new year. The 4 blessed looks:

  • Look back...say thanks.
  • Look God.
  • Look around you...serve God.
  • Look within...find God.
Who needs New Year's resolutions?

Fireworks display along Manila Bay to welcome the new year. A HAPPY, HEALTHY AND JOYOUS NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

(Photo from Reuters)


Copyright 2006| Blogger Templates by GeckoandFly modified and converted to Blogger Beta by Blogcrowds.
No part of the content or the blog may be reproduced without prior written permission.