That Age Old Question

When I lived in NY I used to lie about my age on a regular basis but it’s not in the way you’d think. Most of the time I tried my best to keep it a secret but in those situations when I was called to answer the question Ena, how old are you? instead of telling the truth I would say 33 with a smile and walk away before any more questions could be asked.

I was reminded why I felt almost forced to do this while reading an article in Glamour about a 28-year-old female entrepreneur. She too felt the need to avoid the dreaded age question. Fact is, as an intelligent, creative and confident woman I’m taken less seriously as soon as people find out my age. Especially when taking a look at my résumé in which case most people think I have way too much experience for someone of 25. Now THAT I don’t exaggerate. I’ve been working since I was 16 and have done everything from assisting to writing to counseling to managing so it’s only natural that I have a lot to offer, no?

The habit of lying about my age really came about when I worked at an English school as a student counselor. I had created the administration and immigration systems while there and pretty much ran the admin department. It was my responsibility to make sure all the students were happy but that they were also going to the classes. Unfortunately a lot of the students were either my age or older so I spent a lot of time in the beginning having to prove that despite my age I was in charge and deserved to be so. In the end, it was just easier to lie and thirty-three rolled so easily off the tongue.

Surprisingly, I haven’t felt the need at all to lie here in LA. Then again I’ve been freelancing and interning while here. As soon as I get off my rump and find a 9 to 5 worth the sacrifice of my flexible schedule I’ll probably turn to lying again. Le sigh.



I miss my drinking buddies.

Since I moved back to Cali, my tolerance has slowly deteriorated. I guess that’s KIND of good thing. It definitely makes the nights less expensive and should I ever let a guy buy me a drink… at least I’m a cheap date, right? I can definitely still outdrink any skinny minny, size 2 in Hollywood and whatever douche who’s at her side, BUT it’s a certainty: I can’t hold my liquor as well as I did in NY or SD.

Speaking of which… I wonder who could outdrink who: my friends that reside on the east coast or those I now share an ocean with. I can only imagine the mischief I’d get into should my NY and San Diego friends ever congregate in one city. There have been mixings of course, but never an all out crazed night of throwing back whiskey and g&t’s. I think I need to make that happen.

Point of this post: I’m officially looking for boozing buddies. And hiking buddies. And willing-to-attend-gallery-openings buddies. Lol. Basically what I need to do is stop going out of town and actually meet people in the city where I purportedly come from. It’s insane that I grew up here and aside from my awesome work friends, extremely large family and the random university friends who happen to live in LA, I don’t really know very many people. I’m so used to picking up the phone and calling Jess, or Anna, or Jesper, or Alex, etc., etc. and convincing them to go grab a drink with me on a random Tuesday night.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go back to my partying ways in NY (I admit I was kind of out of control for a few months there), but it would be nice to not be so responsible all the time. I think it’s about time I find some irresponsible friends to play with in El Yay.

I’m taking to the streets. Drink up, ya bums.

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Callback: New York

My amazingly talented sister Lorelei Conover posted a lovely album of New York from my birthday weekend.

I almost cried while looking through these photos of my old neighborhood, apartment, Central Park, Times Square… *le sigh* how I miss my home away from home.

“I Miss New York” by The Brendan Hines & Co.

Hello, 2011.

First thing’s first. I’ve moved back to LA. It’s been an interesting adjustment but a fun one. I actually just hung out with my best friend since forever, the lovely Ms. Jamie (aka James), and she seems to be the only person who understands (so far) what a weird transition this is for me. Suffice it to say, though I grew up here… I never really lived in LA as an “adult”. I left when I was 17 and save for a few sporadic visits to see the family, I haven’t really been back. Now that I’m living here, it’s been pretty cool getting reacquainted with the city and all it has to offer. Not going to lie, I miss my neighborhood bar (oh Woodwork, how I yearn for your mac & cheese), my friends, Prospect Park, my apartment, SoHo, LES, the subway, walking through the city, my bike, the different pockets of NY, weekly gallery openings, impromptu dinner parties… the list can go on and on. Who knows what’s in the future, but for now, LA suits me and this is exactly where I need to be.

Another crazy thing I’ve experienced in the last few months… I was mugged. I refuse to let it change the way I live my life, but the experience was terrifying and some of the physical effects are still present, unfortunately. It was quick, I remember half-of it and I still can’t believe it happened during my last week in NY at around 9pm no-less… but whenever I think of it, I remember how shaken I was. The only time I really get angry about it is when I reach for my keys and realize my Filipino flag keychain is gone… or my favorite wallet that fit perfectly into my pocket and was not “female” sized but not so masculine that people looked at me funny, is no longer in my possession. I can’t completely be angry though since it could have been SO much worse had a random stranger not run out to scare off my attackers. I was already bruised, battered, passed out and (once I came to) terrified out of my wits… but had it not been for him, I don’t know what would have happened to me. So thank you random stranger… I hope the detectives gave you the batch of cupcakes I sent.

I think that’s why I’ve been so thankful to be home. I haven’t really changed anything about my lifestyle. I still like to go out. I still like to meet new people. I still “wild-out” every now and again. But knowing that I have a home to come to full of people who I love and who love me back is the biggest blessing in the world.

That and the fact that I’m working on projects that challenge and excite me… but that’s another post for a later date.

So hello, 2011. May this year be just as crazy, evolving and wonderful as the last.

But please: no more violence.

One thing’s for sure… guys still have ZERO balls. Ha.


I miss Robinhood too. *sadface* Stupid, muggers.

[intermission close]

Hello loves—it’s been a while.

I’ve had a rather eventful August filled with late nights, rampages through the streets of Crooklyn & the city, trips on stairs [literally], mornings on air mattresses & couches, old friends, new friends, birthdays, broken hearts [not mine], happy hours, fashion openings, tearing up dance floors and lots of roof top mischief. Even with everything that’s already going on, I’ve a feeling the craziness is going to multiply once my little sister arrives in just 2 short days. The last time we were together, we got into a very large bottle of jager, and proceeded to laugh and make fun of any guy who had the unfortunate experience of flashing us on If this picture is any indication of what we get into on an average evening, we’re bound to stir up some trouble—

Wish she could have been here for this past weekend of mischief.

It started with a night in the Burg with my sky-diving partner in crime. We spent most of the evening at the Charleston sitting in a booth where boys would just sit down completely uninvited & interrupt our conversations. Being the polite girls that we are, we’d engage in a few minutes of conversation before asking them to leave… and then another set of boys would plop down. I swear, it was as if there was a sign on our booth that read “Speed Dating Here”. Still… it was a fun filled night of fedoras and socializing.

The next day, my friends and I participated in Improv Everywhere‘s latest scheme: Black Tie Beach. It was ridiculous amounts of fun in the sun frolicking through the sand & waves in our formal wear. The 400+ group of people dressed to the nines for a day at the beach drew lots of attention from laughter, to questions and exasperated sighs of frustration with our less than reasonable explanations as to why we were dressed the way we were. The best exchange I’ve read so far was this:

Random Stranger: Why are you taking off your shoes while swimming in the ocean with a suit?

Man in Suit: “Swimming with my shoes on? Now that’s just silly. Who does that?”

My friends and I just told people that it was a beautiful day so we wanted to look pretty. I mean… who doesn’t, right?

I finished off the day with a burrito and bike ride to Prospect Park then Brooklyn Bridge. During the ride, my friend and I came across this—

& ended with this—

All in all a fantastic weekend to bring me closer to seeing one of my most favorite people in all the world. ♥

an interesting curiosity.

I was talking to my wise-beyond-her-years, little sister today and she brought up a very good point : there is a big difference between curiosity and actual interest.

I’ve been single now for over two years. For those who don’t know, prior to those two years I was in a long and loving 7-year relationship with my high school sweetheart. We parted ways for several reasons that I would rather keep private, but one thing is for sure, he was my first and only boyfriend in the 24+ years I’ve been living and breathing in this world.

Now that I’ve actually experienced what it’s like to “date” I can say with a certainty that though it’s not as bad as some say, it’s definitely not a walk in the park. I never really thought about the whys and whats that make single life (especially in a large city) so complicated and messy until she brought up the simple idea that a lot of people confuse their curiosity for real interest.

I’ve been in so many situations where I was really “just curious” and not so much interested in pursuing something other than a few meet-ups and then a “see-ya-later” with this guy or that guy or whomever. And then I’ve had about a handful of scenarios in which I played the other role and unfortunately, that other role can really suck.

But that’s just it. I don’t think most people realize when all they’re pursuing is a curiosity and that the person on the other side just might be mistaking that curiosity for a genuine interest in something more… more what? Stable… real… not-just-sex?

Who knows?

I do think, however that when there’s an honest (& balanced) interest on both sides, the complications should fade and the stupid and bothersome rules of dating that I try to avoid like waiting for the right time to call… or not asking someone out… or having to play aloof would be completely unnecessary. I’d also hope that this situation would result in a natural relationship in which that irksome “conversation” would never have to occur.

Ugh… “The Conversation”. It’s so irksome, I don’t even want to blog about it.

Goodnight folks. See you when the sun comes up.

friends, phones & rooftops.

What a fantastic and interesting weekend.

First off, I got the new iPhone. The last activity my outdated (but much loved) g1 performed was to photograph the shiny & skinny iPhone 4. What a regrettable, yet entirely suitable, ending—

This of course led to a weekend filled with the same position in various locations—head down, eyes focused, with the occasional “huh” when I realized someone was trying to speak to me. It’s a pretty nice phone considering I didn’t have to spend a dime on it [thank you, new job] although it is true what everyone’s saying about dropped calls and lost signals when you hold the phone in a certain position. The irony of this has not been lost on anyone but I still feel inclined to put in my two cents.

Though the design is beautiful why on earth would you create a phone that does everything it’s supposed to as long as you don’t hold it? Better yet, why create one of the most commonly thrown around objects that is most likely going to be used, held and abused on a daily basis out of glass ON BOTH SIDES. I guess aesthetic quality is more important than practicality. But, like I said, not one cent of my own money went into this purchase, so I guess I can’t complain. I do have a shiny purple cover to protect my new little toy so as long as I’m not as clumsy as I usually am I’m guessing the phone will survive a good… year? 6 months? a week? I’ve already dropped it once (thank gulay for the cover) so I’m going to have to be extra, extra careful.

Also on my weekend’s agenda was the wonderful time I spent with my old friend Jono who was in town for the week before jetting off to China to film a documentary [oh the life he leads]. I hadn’t seen him in over 5 years, so it was quite the treat. There was too much done in too few days to really & truly give it credit through words but suffice it to say that there was drinking, dancing, roof top mischief, waiting for the sun to rise, singing, poetry, storytelling and a LOT of catching up. It’s interesting to think that I can spend one thousand, eight hundred, twenty-six days and counting without seeing this crazy, artistic and amazing fellow living on the opposite coast, but within a few seconds of seeing him and getting over that initial shock of oh wowza, we’re actually standing face to face, it’s like no time has passed at all. I actually LOVE when that happens.


I also got to see my lovely ex-roomie, Lara for some dinner, drinks and a little bit of a life catch-up session. She is pretty much the sole reason I moved to New York in the first place, so it’s always great to get a sit down with this crazy, busy and tough little Asian lady.

And now that my weekend of dancing, galavanting and singing throughout the streets of New York and Brooklyn is over, I have to give a great big MALIGAYANG BATI to my wonderful and talented sister, Lorelei. She’s the best friend, cousin, daughter, wife and mother anyone could ever ask for. Mahal na mahal at namimis kita, Ate!

Happy Monday, everyone. ♥

Apparently, I’m offensive.

On Monday afternoon, I ran outside of my office building to an awning in order to avoid the rain. I took out my pack of girlish Capris & had my first break of the day. Whilst trying to enjoy the five minutes I had outside, a man appeared before me and yelled this at my face:

I should call the f*ckin’ INS. F*ckin’ Beijing motherf*cker.

…then stormed off as angry as he had walked up but without yelling or cursing at anyone else on the street.

Mind you, I realize that New York can be full of crazies but this man seemed like a totally normal, albeit rather antagonized, human being. I also haven’t had anyone say something like that to me in such a direct and offensive manner in almost ten years. And no, I did not retaliate with vulgar words of my own. I could only stand in shock that my presence on a street, just trying to stay dry & enjoy a rather sullen day, would offend someone so much that they would react in that manner.

I also thought I had let it go & that it hadn’t bothered me all that much, but I’ve felt so incredibly tired today & the memory of it nags in my head.

Maybe it’s also the fact that I work at an international school & come across different ethnicities, cultures & religions on a daily basis. It shocks me that this kind of thinking still exists.

To clarify, angry stranger : I’m Filipino, not from Beijing and it’s called the ICE now. If you’re going to try and deport a US Citizen by calling immigration, you should probably get the name right [it stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement if you were curious].

the nation of hiber.

I’ve decided to be a good girl for the weekend. My life as of late has taken a dive into new depths of crazy : strangers, dark corners, secret-rendezvous, & watching the sun come up as I’m going to bed. All of the aforementioned are acceptable on an “unusual” basis, but not when they become the norm, which sadly they have.

As such, I’ve decided that this weekend is all about hibernating, learning to say no when my mobile rings, & taking care of my poor, bruised, battered & feverish body.

Goodnight kids. I’ll see you when the sun comes up.