(warning: all links open a new window. too bad, so sad.)

looking back at the past year, i can pretty much sum up my writings in three categories: silly, brave and sappy (or, usually, all three). well, there are also the sad things, but i don't like to dwell on those. here's a smattering of a few journally entries that celebrate my life as a charmless, graceless sap.
jan. 28 great expectations
oct. 31 demystify
apr. 04 mirror mirror on the wall
may 17 thin walls
oct. 11 the PMS special

mar. 21 my first time
aug. 04 a letter to grandpa
apr. 21 breaking up is hard to do
feb. 29 like a broken record
mar. 26 doesn't this say it all?

aug. 15 my jack kerouac
sep. 13 brave new world
jul. 26 painting by numbers
jul. 04 independence day
feb. 21 baby's 1st birthday

this section of my site is still my favorite. sometimes those two sentences say more than a whole month's worth of entries.

now, i realize that there are hundreds of brilliant, shiny websites out there, but a few found a special spot in my heart. they consistently impress and surprise me.
dailies jorge colombo is a perceptive, creative man who captures everyday life in new york with his sort of daily sketches.
blogger while i don't consider maganda.org in its entirety a blog, i still love this web app, because it lends a helping hand when i need it and shows that there are intelligent, passionate web people who make products that make sense.
flip flop flyin' if you haven't already noticed, i link this site over and over again, because it's just so smiley and silly and wonderful. craig is a star.
open letters brings a fresh, new perspective to letter writing and online zines. it's best when printed out and read on a bench in the sunshine.
sari sari i'm shamelessly mentioning a site for which i am partially responsible, only because i can't contain my excitement that it finally launched and i expect great things to come in 2001. my partners in crime, erlina and miguel, never cease to amaze me.

i love to eat. ask anyone who knows me. i try most anything at least once, and when i enjoy a meal, i rave about it for years to come. these are some of the more memorable meals i consumed.
chinese banquet
with: dad and his friends
ate: peking duck, fresh abalone, seafood soup, mongolian beef, house special chow mein
bonus: private dining room, ooh la la
cafe lalo
with: michelle and tonia
ate: omelette, baguette, cheesecake, fresh OJ and coffee
bonus: intense girl bonding
christmas dinner
with: family
ate: roast beef, honey-baked ham, sotanghon soup, lasagna, mom's fruit salad
bonus: leftovers, yum
le marmiton
with: my parents
ate: grilled salmon with vegetables and potatoes
bonus: grownup conversation
with: everyone
ate: everything
bonus: whether in or out of town, at a greasy spoon diner or a cozy cafe, this is my favorite meal of the day/week/month. always.

i don't know how i managed to travel as much as i did this year -- to austin, to vegas, to san francisco, to manila, to grand rapids, to new york, and back again. all trips were splendid for various reasons, but since i can only pick five, here.
rosarito one of the many great things about southern california is you can drive, like, anywhere. within hours, you are at the beach, on the mountains, or in mexico. i took a weekend excursion to rosarito with my homies, and we went shopping, ate lobster, frolicked on the sand and drank many coronas. olé!
austin, tx. never in a million years would i have seen myself going to texas. for anything. ever. but there i was, hanging out with all those weird web people*, having a blast. it was so fun i just might do it again this year.
new york i went in june and again in october and had a smashing time times two. i cannot say enough about this city or the people (some of my favorites, ever) or the subways or the buildings or the food. so i won't even try.
philippines although the circumstances were far from ideal (i went to say goodbye to my dying grandpa), it was probably the most worthwhile trip i took. i got to hold my grandpa's hand and kiss his cheek and giggle with my cousins, and for one day, i got to sit in a room with my big brothers, who during the rest of the year are on opposite ends of the world.
vegas, baby was it the 3-hour delayed departing flight or the 5am returning flight? was it my nightmare-ish hotel rooming situation or 110-degree hotter-than-hell heat? was it the panic-stricken moment when i left my wallet in the casino? no. it was the company i kept who made it all worthwhile. they kick ass.

i don't read half as much as i should, and for someone who pretends to know a lot about words, it's rather sad. still, i did put a dent in my reading list. i added these immediately to my favorites.
spilling open by sabrina ward harrison. i've sung the praises of this book a million times over. it's that good. every woman should have a copy beside their bed.
girl's guide to hunting and fishing by melissa banks. thank god for a book about single women that's not ditsy or neurotic.
interpreter of the maladies by jhumpa lahiri. her writing is so graceful the words just glide off the page, telling brilliant and intriguing stories.
flaming iguanas by erika lopez. this is a wholly irreverent and entirely charming road trip tale way better than thelma & louise.
microserfs by douglas coupland. while still not my favorite book of his, this was perfect reading for the tech-crazy year i had.

with the discovery of my friendly, local used CD shops and the kindness of amazon wishlist buyers (thank you), my collection has vastly expanded. if i made a soundtrack for the year, these bands would make the cut.
yo la tengo the album, and then nothing turned itself inside out, got a lot of hype, i think, as indie pop for the yuppies, but whatever. it's a wonderful album and deserves the praise.
pavement makes me so happy, and oh my god, they are just so good for rocking out on a morning commute. i have steve and dawnie to thank for that.
aimee mann somewhere i read that her stuff was music for smart women who do stupid things, anyway. (who, me?) the vaudeville show with michael penn was one of the best i've ever seen.
travis nevermind the fact that fran healey makes me all swoony, that's not the only reason i like this band. they're just good, solid music.
radiohead and i'm not even talking about kid A, although everyone else was this year. i'm still in love with the bends and ok computer, quite frankly. and aren't they coming out with another album soon?

"they don't make them like they used to," lament mom and dad, when we sit and watch the american movie classics. that might be true, but some of the films i saw this year (note: they weren't necessarily released this year) were beautiful in a different kind of way.
dancer in the dark from what i hear, you either loved it or hated it. i loved it. quirky, sure, but also very heartfelt and bjork's performance blew me away.
almost famous while i don't think this movie was brilliant by any means, it was wholly entertaining and enjoyably sappy. and the kid was a rock journalist, for crying out loud. live vicariously through film. being john malkovich i remember sitting on my bedroom floor, laughing out loud so that michelle kept peering in to see what i was watching. i don't remember the last time i was so amused.
hamlet maybe it's because this play holds sentimental value, or because it was set in new york -- wait, no. it was ethan hawke. the film was eh, but he was wow. dreamy.
magnolia i had a crush on paul thomas anderson when he was on the cover of the LA weekly when boogie nights came out. that has nothing to do with anything, but i just thought i'd share. magnolia is one of my favorite movies, ever.

quotable quotes
something i'm starting to hear a lot more these days is the phrase: "don't post that on your website!" people are onto me. i'm going to have to start being more sneaky with my eavesdropping.
me: "that is exactly what i was thinking, but i tried to make it sound nicer."
her: "christine. with me you never have to be nice."

"i had a bad dream last night. i dreamt you were missing, so i had to call to make sure you were there."
"i'm here."
"ok, good."

"i've been wanting to bump into you."

"oh my god, we're becoming our mothers," exclaimed melissa, my cousin and former madonna routine dance partner.

"man, the internet is going to ruin your life," one boy said to another, making pre-show chatter, at the magnetic fields show.

* a term coined by my mother. (hi, mom.)