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    This one made me weepy this morning. Girl finds out her bestfriend and roommate -- a 160-lb English Mastiff has terminal bone cancer and only has a few months to live. So armed with a bucket list of adventures she would like to share with her dog, they go off on canoe rides, road trips, visits to both busy spots and quiet spaces and, finally, spend a last day together by the ocean in Maine, where she finally finds peace and acceptance. This is real love, people.


    I still keep a journal despite having a blog. No matter how spill-all-my-guts-out open I may seem, there are many things I do and think that I'll just never tell. I've always thought it kept me sane to be able to express myself without fear of being censored or criticized. Whenever I pick up an old journal, even one from my 13-year-old self I realize that as much as I've changed so much is still the same. I just know how to dodge bullets faster and better. From: HUFFPOST Healthy Living, 01/20/15


    Which is why I've decided to keep this blog around, at least for a little while longer. I've always picked up a pen (or sat in front of a keyboard) any time I needed to make sense of my world; writing allows me to get into my head and get all my thoughts out without having to worry about how ridiculous I sound (that's where the editing comes in). From: The New York Times, 01/19/15
    This was lovely. The post is by a novelist who was asked how to encourage a young writer. It sounds eerily like the story of my life -- now all I need is to keep reading and keep writing (and, okay, start submitting). From: M Molly Backes' blog, 07/12/11


    Every day at work I see all kinds of female bodies: athletic, boyish, curvy, voluptuous, natural, enhanced, preteen, post-baby, postmenopausal -- thousands of different bodies I've seen up close and personal in my lifetime. This infographic shows that the description of the ideal female body changes every decade or so, going back hundreds of years. I hope that soon we define the "perfect" body as one that is simply healthy and functioning; that what matters is that we're comfortable in our own skin. From: Greatist, 01/15/15



    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
    The Normal Bar: Where Does Your Relationship Fall?
    All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost
    Gun Dealers' Daughter: A Novel: A Novel
    Crazy Rich Asians
    The Undomestic Goddess
    The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

    Gigi's favorite books »
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August 03, 2005



#7!!my date couldn't stop talking about his ex."you're very much like hurts just being with you."waaaah.nightmare!haha, we should compile the tips!and make a dictionary of what certain things mean!


Geez!!! I'm so flattered I got a mention!
I dont know how I became a frog-kisser, but I've learned so far to take the good with the bad--sometimes you like them, sometimes you don't. At times the guy doesn't like me, I no longer obsess why.
Yes, the list is necessary!


Hi Golda - Whoa -- what??? "It hurts just being with you."? Oh man, I'd have told the loser he had NO idea how much he could REALLY hurt being with you after saying something so stupid. I just read your 8/1 dating post now too -- so they have speed dating in Manila now?

Hi Cathy - What can I say, I love your stories! Plus we're both bonafide frog kissers (with exception of the hubby -- of course), so I can truly relate to your dating woes. :)


Dating is a straight-up freak show. There's just no way around it. It might actually be giving me an ulcer.


My advice on the three-day calling rule: Women, if you like 'im, call 'im. Just thank him nicely for the great time you had on the last date; if he doesn't take the bait and ask you out again at this point, chances are he never will. So you can move on and not wonder why he isn't calling. If he doesn't get you, then he probably doesn't deserve you.


Stacy - SO??? How did it go? I'm calling you and I want DETAILS. Oh lord, now dating is a health hazard...

Nikki - Ooh, I'm so glad you said that! See -- this is why a "dating tips" list needs to be a collective effort: I forgot to mention women can pick up the phone and should if they want to (short of stalking, of course). I will admit I've always been too chicken (or proud? ugh) to call -- I'll stare at a phone and try to "will" it to ring (and OF COURSE it does...but it's never the right person on the line). I think IM, email, and sites like Friendster have made it easier for women like me, though. Not so obvious or forward, and a lack of response (or rather, the "right" response) lets us know to move on as well.


Hi Gigi - I don't know what our age difference is but, my, how the rules have changed! I had a good laugh on tip #9 though. Tip #7 is one rule that seems to be perpetually violated.


I used to date girls that are way too in love with themselves. After several such dates, I eventually learned how to pre-qualify potential dates. Yeah, I know. I shoulda learn from one or two, but no, it took me a few.

Excellent post, by the way.


Hey Gi!

Great blog! I've been catching up and have been thoroughly entertained for the past hour! It's also surprising to see snippets of my life here, but that's ok. This one brings back memories.

You and I shared the same high school with its all-girls/Catholic nuns standards, and there were rules galore on courtship and dating (which, needless to say, will not work here). Being the first girl after two boys in a "traditional" Filipino family with four kids, just imagine how protected I was. This was, of course, heightened when we came to LA from Manila - my brother, who had been a junior in college, had to start all over again just so he could watch over me. See, I first came here at 15 and directly into college where everyone just seemed so much older and experienced. No one even understood the concept of "courtship".

It took a lot of creativity to turn down dates just to hide my embarassment at not being allowed to officially date until I turned 18! And by the time I turned 18, my mom said that I had to bring a chaperone!! If my mom only knew the things I did in high school - wasn't discretion the key? It was a lot more difficult in college because my brother had many friends who all somehow shared the same over-protectiveness over me - because of my age, they said. This somehow spilled over to my friends, too. Whew! It was a bizarre situation to be allowed to drink from age 13 (your former jet-setter cousin B gave me my first drink at a party in my house in front of my mom) and then be transported into a society where drinking is not legally allowed until age 21, and yet, I was not allowed to officially date even at 18.

Interestingly, though, I always had a boyfriend... but that's another story. Those were the days when guys gave undying love and devotion. Love was pure and guys gave you their undivided attention (when they weren't studying or playing sports, of course). What happened to these guys?

My friend Wilma says that guys are at their best only until age 25. Then they go downhill from there because they start collecting baggage. That is, until they reach age 50. At this point, they start acting more like women - you know, they start learning how to cook, garden, take more care of their person and surroundings (i.e., they groom themselves and clean their homes), and they take up a hobby! (Guys, please don't get mad at me - I'm just repeating what Wilma said, ok?)

Of course, I'm sure that there is an alternate version for women - I just haven't heard it, yet. ;-)

One of these days, when I go back to dating - hopefully soon - maybe I will find the right one. Simply seeing you and Arnel together is enough inspiration for me. In the meantime, tips always help! Thanks and more power!


Hi John - I'd love to know how you prequalify dates! I'm sure we can all learn from your pointers. :) My friend once waited for his date to get ready -- for almost two hours! He said she looked perfect when she finally came downstairs to meet him, but he never asked her out again.

My husband once went on a blind date, and this woman kept blabbing on her cellphone all night. He excused himself, said he was going to the restroom -- and then discreetly walked out the door and drove away (they had arrived at the restaurant separately).

Hi Yey - I was pleasantly surprised to see your comment pop up here! Anyway, here's my personal tip: the truth is whenever I used to go out with a guy, I didn't think of it as a date. I'd think of it as just meeting a person, a potential friend. It always took the fear away and brought an element of fun instead. So GO meet more friends!!! :)


Gi, dating or meeting people is not the problem - it's me making sure that I'm ready to play the game again. Ok, so one of my desperate (for me) friends set me up with a guy on a blind date. Of course, he emailed me his picture first. He's cute, so I considered it. But when he gave me his full name (yes, including his middle name), I got the heevie-jeevies because he has the same name as the victim/relative of a suspected axe murderer. Granted, it was a case from about a hundred years ago, but still... One day, it will feel right. Don't worry. Oh, and you don't have to tell me that I'm being ridiculous - I already know it. ;-)


You hit the nail on the head, as always - why did I not know you back when I was still a greenhorn in the dating game? I would like to add a very huge AMEN to #10, but for selfish reasons. My mother drummed it into my head while I was growing up that girls never, NEVER called boys first unless it was a work-related matter. Therefore to this day I am stuck agonizing over whether a boy is going to call me or not after a date, and after three days I'm usually torn between gratitude and wanting to kill him for making me wait so long.

I used to only date people I'd already known for a while, which kind of negated a few of the rules. I must say, though, when you're out there in the jungle, ALL of your rules apply.


Hello Yey - I once told my bestfriend I'd never ever date a guy named "Arnel" -- I just thought it was (never mind, I might be offending any Arnels reading this). But look who I ended up with after all. :) No wonder I call him "hon."

Hi Rei - I've got to admit I should be more "enlightened" -- but I'm afraid when I was single I used to call a guy only if he called first (because it would be rude if I didn't return his call after all) or for work/school matters. When I was 17 my best guyfriend kissed me as he took me home -- I was so thrilled and scared, and thought for SURE he'd call me once he got home so we could discuss what was happening between us. But the bastard didn't call for 24 HOURS!!! I was crying from fear -- and still I didn't even call first. Ugh.

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  • LISTEN: "Pluto" by Chamsom


    I don't have to understand Korean to love this song, although I think it's about a person who was in a rocky relationship that ended but still feels deeply for her former lover and is feeling lonely tonight. "You're like a little star that's far away from me and keeps disappearing." I suppose the title -- Pluto used to be known as the ninth planet from the sun but now isn't even considered one -- might provide a bit more context to the song's meaning. Spotify


    Immortal Perfumes is a Seattle-based micro-perfumery specializing in historically inspired, handmade perfumes. All perfume blends are original recipes made from a mix of jojoba, essential and fragrance oils. None of the oils used in this shop are derived from animals. Every bottle is handmade by JT Siems in her Seattle studio. I'm already in love with the fragrance inspired and named after Duchess Georgiana Cavendish. Notes: Black Tea, Lavender, Jasmine, Amber, Bergamot. Read her story here. #6mosnoshopping