The Grand Illusion

They were recording music before I was born…..  Styx was the first band to have four consecutive albums go multi-platinum (1977-81).  Nowadays,  they are more famous for having been covered by South Park’s Cartman in his manic rendition of Come Sail Away and  Babe, their contribution to the near bottomless pool of love songs.

I recently discovered The Grand Illusion, the 1977 album whose lyrics still hold true to this day.   According to Dennis de Young,  the album’s theme  was “the struggle to overcome self-deluding superficiality in order to affirm one’s genuine value.  This is reflected in the lyrics to the album’s title track:

don’t be fooled by the radio, the TV, or the magazines
they show you photographs of how your life should be
but they’re just someone else’s fantasy
so if you think your life’s complete confusion
’cause your neighbor’s got it made
just remember that it’s a grand illusion
and deep inside we’re all the same

Pink echoes this lament in Stupid Girls….

Where, oh where, have the smart people gone? 
Oh where, oh where could they be?

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Saving Money? Here are some tips

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The path to Frugal Living can be lonely if you’re doing it on your own.  The key to success is surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who will provide the little extra push to get the ball rolling.    One of my favorites is Dawn and her blog Frugal for Life.  

She recently came out with her BIG list of tips to save money.  While some may not be doable in the Philippine setting,  there any many more which made me go… OO nga ‘no??!!!  

  • When you go out to eat,  order water.  It’s free AND it’s healthy.
  • Take your dinner from the night before to lunch the next day.
  • Be obsessive compulsive and keep lists.  Don’t buy on impulse.  Planning ahead is your biggest money saver.
  • Save those newspapers, plastics and soda cans.  Your junk can be turned to cash.
  • Stay at home more by taking on a hobby or project (hmmm.. transition from paper scrapbooks to escrapbooks). 
  • Learn to sew (alteration costs can add up).
  • Spread the word when you are in need of a particular item.  Someone might actually have one handy to lend / give to you.  Or at the very least  tell you where to get it a good price.  =)

Word of the Day: Affluenza

Got this from Investopedia. Affluenza could very well apply to the Philippine culture. Warning: it is contagious!

Term Of The Day: Affluenza

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A social condition arising from the desire to be more wealthy, successful or to “Keep up with the Joneses.” Affluenza is symptomatic of a culture that prides financial success as one of the highest pursuits to be achieved. People said to be affected by affluenza typically find that the very economic success they have been so vigorously chasing ends up leaving them feeling unfulfilled, and wishing for yet more wealth – sometimes addicted to their economic pursuits.

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Secret to Happiness

“Well, the secret of happiness is that it’s an inside job. I differentiate between pleasure and happiness. The baby boomers, the must-have generation, thought that if they had all these things, they’d be happy, and they’ve discovered that they’re not happy”

~Stephen Pollan (Author- His 1997 best-selling manifesto, “Die Broke,” and its companion piece, “Live Rich,” knocked traditional financial planning on its collective ear with its radical four-part approach to making and enjoying money “quit today, pay cash, don’t retire and die broke“)

Create a Healthy Lifestyle for YOU!

On the day that we returned from Tacloban, I broke out in hives and my nose turned into a tap. Definitely not a pretty sight. This was my sign, my lightbulb moment, if you will.


My life is intolerably full of toxins, where it comes from the polluted air to the polluted politics. I can’t do much about the poisons outside, aside from stocking up on air purifiers but I can do something about the poisons within. Mariel Hemingway has recently released a book which is a god-send: Healthy Living from the Inside Out.

It is a book which is easily read and internalized: the sections are divided into manageable bites. I particularly like the section about silence. Silence is an important part of personal healing and yet it is something most people find difficult to achieve. Sitting quietly is not a waste of time — it’s a healing time, even it nothing fantastic happens.

So excuse me for a bit while I got off, dust off a couple of candles and look for a sacred space.

Workaholism

“Hi… My name is Joelle Horca and I’m a workaholic.”

Recovering workaholic anyway, although I have my relapses. In this age of Blackberries, laptops, cellphones and increasing competition, distinguishing between workaholics and people just doing what’s expected of them can be difficult. Do you think you or someone you know may be a workaholic? Bryan Robinson has listed five common traits which workaholics exhibit. How many do you have? Remember, even if you have just a few but to a great degree, then you’re still in the woods.

1. Preoccupation with work. When you are away from work, does it still preoccupy your thoughts? Are you psychologically absent? Do you find work dominating your conversations in social settings?

2. Discomfort in delegating. Do you feel that only you can handle task which you should be delegating? Does the idea of delegating threaten your sense of control?

3. Neglect other aspects of life. Do you subconsciously put work before families and your personal life? Do you find yourself going back to the office after important social events?

4. Merge other parts of their lives into work. Is you set a clear line between leisure and work? Do you find yourself inevitably turning your personal relationships into business endeavors?

5. “Sneaking”work. Do you try to hide the fact that your working when you’re supposed to be relaxing?

Dr. Robinson’s book presents steps towards managing that this disease which should be treated for society’s own good. There is no easy fix, since we all have to work in order to survive. Keep this book by your side. It could change not just your life but also the lives of those around you!

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Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Life Makeover

Thought for Today
“I believe the only reason we’re here is to find out what we love…and get about the business of living it!”

—Oprah



It’s always good to start the New Year with a do-over. Love her or hate her, you have to give credit to Oprah for discovering people who empower others, whether it be a a great fitness trainer, yummy interior decorator or introspective life coach. There was an Oprah show recently which talked about the Lifestyle Makeover: How to Find Your Passion. The catchphrase was “Uncover your true passion — and find real happiness. Here are some steps provided by Cheryl Robertson:1. Get Quiet. This means slowing down, spending time with yourself, taking good care of your body and mind, nurturing your spirit, and engaging in activities that will move you out of your head and into your body.

2. Become sensitive to your environment. Spend one week paying close attention to what excites you, touches you, inspires you to think in a whole new way, or even frustrates you. Watch for clues. Stories in newspapers, programs on television or conversations with friends may give you an indication of those things that will lead you to your passions. Write about your discoveries.

3. Ask yourself:
– What interest, passion or desire are you most afraid of admitting to yourself and others?
– What do you love about yourself?
– Who do you know that’s doing something you’d like to do? Describe yourself doing it.
– How could you make the world a better place for yourself and others?
– What’s stopping you from moving forward with exploring your passion?

4. Take a risk. Stop thinking about your passions and start doing something. Take a risk, and step out to try something new. By challenging your fear with action, you’ll not only raise your self-esteem, you’ll expand your comfort zone.