Sunday, March 10, 2013
Thursday, January 3, 2013
This blog has just been resurrected. Save for the now inactive links for old photos and slideshows, lists of favorite posts and other widgets from the sidebar, everything remains intact.
Funny that just yesterday, with much dread and frustration, I have outlined how I wanted my 2013 to pan out - and the item "resurrect blog" was actually scheduled for "when have time/when I feel like it" on this list. Based on my experience, that means either "never" or "the worst time possible when I should be doing more pressing things". It happened to be the latter. The sudden discovery that my old domain name was available again (which I didn't think was possible) excited me so much that it had to trump everything else that I had to do today (being on leave has its perks). Several hours and a refresher on HTML code writing later, I am proud to say I have ticked my third item off my 2013 to-do list (the first, finishing reading a non-yoga book for the longest time; and second, my 2013 list).
Anyway, writing has obviously not been my most preferred form of expression in the past one and a half years, owing to social networking, restricted typing on touch screen mobile devices, plain laziness, and just the reluctance to explain anything to anyone. Hence I don't think this blog will see a lot of more recent entries after this. Just think of this entry as a sort of welcome back post to anyone who might stumble upon it and for whatever it's worth, I'll list off some stuff that's happened since I lapsed with my writing.
1. Why I'm welcoming myself back in the first place. I deactivated my blog some time last year for privacy issues. It was meant to be reactivated after 90 days before it truly got deleted, but I set my alarm a few days late (3 whole months, of course is a couple of days over 90). When I realized what had happened, it took a while to accept and let go of the fact that I lost 5 years' worth of entries (though I did back them up), 15,000+ page views from people who did not even know me (this was supposed to be a blog for just my online persona), the link to my Philippine Blog Awards-winning entry and my domain name. It did not help that Multiply (which mirrors most of my entries here and are for friends and family) was shutting down its personal blogs. Sure, nobody really writes or reads blogs anymore, but it did feel sad to be virtually erased, as if I was never here in the blogosphere.
2. The Fourth Age. The recently screened film adaptation of The Hobbit has made Tolkien references relevant again. I've always used this as a metaphor to my major life shift - the aftermath of internal battles, an era of peace with myself. It's been a slow journey, I'm not even sure if I'm nearing the end of it already. Maybe I'll never be. In one of the many lectures I went to last year, a Swami said, "the journey is never complete until you have come back home". Using that Lord of the Rings analogy again, let's say I'm now in that stage after having thrown off the Ring at Mordor and I'm on my way back to the Shire. Maybe I'm still in Rivendell, resting, transitioning. Who knows for how long, but I have come a long way, from my last post and definitely since I started this blog and especially since I first used this analogy - and I should take some comfort in that.
|Sun shines over me at the proverbial "Rivendell" (actually at the Ayala|
Triangle Gardens after an outdoor yoga practice).
|Queen (Dharma, right) and king (Gur, left). Such is the hierarchy of things, according to Gur.|
Well, this post has served its purpose for me not just as a welcome back message but in a way, a welcome to 2013 as well. I'm still contemplating on whether there's value at all in publishing it. Maybe at the very least, people who are looking for Cynthia Alexander chords and enlightenment on the uncanny similarities between Sandra Bullock's movies The Proposal and While You Were Sleeping (both pretty popular from search engines back in the day) will find what they're looking for in my blog again.
* by an unknown male cat prior to her adoption (take note, Gur is a neutered male).
Friday, July 8, 2011
"each day that i get on my mat, i open to the vastness of yoga rather than narrow myself to a goal for that particular day. i feel wonder as i realize that every pose is infinite and that ultimate mastery is not possible. i feel wonder that time, dedication, and curiosity are what brings me progress, not the intensity of my will...
"finally, i am filled with a sense of wonder that my yoga practice allows me to refine the quality of my existence."
the path less traveled
yoga journal, february 2009
Monday, June 20, 2011
We ask you to help us find Figaro,
our dear pet who is now lost.
We know that you placed animals on the earth
for many reasons, including companionship for man.
We therefore ask you to help us find our lost companion,
and pray that You will keep him safe
and protect him from harm until he is found.
We join our prayers with St. Francis,
St. Anthony of Padua, and all the saints,
and pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- David Bennett
Saturday, June 18, 2011
it is the cat lover's worst nightmare to find your semi-indoor middle-aged cat not returning from his usual stroll, especially when he is neutered and timid and thus not likely to roam looking for females in heat or be picked up by a complete stranger. i'd like to think i have done my part looking for him in the neighborhood, asking people and posting notices at the stores around the block. now i wait and take comfort in stories of cats (even the mistreated ones) strolling back home after months or even years of disappearance.
but thinking of months or years is unbearable to me right now. i would like to hear his paws scratching the kitchen door from outside right about it and see him nothing worse than tired and super hungry.
i'd like to be optimistic and continue to pray, as these are my only options and, if only to keep myself from falling apart. figaro has been my cat for 9 years, and he is more than a cat to me, he is my family, my best friend.
give your vitamins.
short warm bath.
good sleep wrapped in a blanket.
make you an indoor cat here in the suburbs
as you are in the city.
(to check you had not come down with
anything while missing for 5 days).
have collar and a nameplate made,
with your name and my name and telephone number.
buy new scratching post,
maybe a new litterbox.
yours is already 6 years old.
take you out for a stroll on the rooftop (in a cage, sorry).
have more and more fun and lazy days together.
you will live long enough to see my child born and grow to a toddler.
take care of you until the end of your days.
you will die peacefully on your bed,
surrounded by people you love and who love you,
perhaps a ripe age of 20.
and you will always be
the best loved cat in the whole world.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
"Your path at 22 will not necessarily be your path at 32 or 42. One's dream is constantly evolving, rising and falling, changing course... And that's okay."
Thursday, May 12, 2011
It was ironic that my favorite yoga teacher focused on openness in today's class. I thought, she has got to be kidding. More than 30 people came to class today - some, including me, could not even figure out where to place themselves. There was barely room to raise the arms sideways. Where has the sensitivity gone?
I struggled to settle my breathing in the introductory child's pose, knowing I will have to constantly adjust myself within my little 24" x 72" rubber of a space to avoid accidentally slapping my neighbors during the Suriya Namaskar. It was at that moment, that it made sense to me, what today's lesson was. As I tried not to get kicked by the person in front of me or not kiss his rear on my way to a forward bend, I learned to take it slow, assess my space, adjust and just embrace the energy of this crowded room. And then I found calm.
Outside the mat there are far more occasions when we will feel constricted - be it by other people, circumstances, opposing ideas or our own thoughts and fears. After the class I didn't feel shortchanged. I felt all the good stuff in the right places in my body - reminding me that I can still make the most out of anything in life even without having my own comfortable space. And for that I am thankful for this class. The teacher probably did this on purpose (she is wise that way).
Sunday, October 31, 2010
this one appears as if it's made just for my big big plans in 2011.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
I quote from an entry I wrote about a dream I had where I was having an adventure with the Oceanic survivors, the day before the Season 5 Finale.
Written/dreamt 20 May, 2009.
We watched as this man/monster resurrected from its box. Unfortunately for us, he turned out to be a killer... Chaos ensued and we quickly ran down... but when I thought I was far enough to be safe, I also realized that I've separated myself from the others...Read about the entire dream here.
Outside, people were all waiting for their rides home. An acquaintance was talking to me... offering me a ride. But I said I'm staying for a while. When I said that, I wasn't sure why, then I realized I wanted to wait for the others. Surely they'd go out this way, too.
I didn't wait very long, for a small group of my former companions came out of the gate... I took one of their hands and we hugged tight, it was a reunion of relief (that we were all safe) and longing. I felt I belonged with these people... I wept out of exhaustion and happiness at finding these people again...
I asked the girl beside me, what happened to the others? I whispered to her ear "I meant Jack, Kate and Sawyer, what happened to them?... I wasn't expecting the response. I thought they just headed to a different direction or traveled to another time, but when she started to speak with tears in her eyes, a lump formed in my throat.
They were all dead. I then wondered what happened to everybody else not on this jeepney - Juliet? Sun? Sayid?
To quote Damon Lindelof's twitter post: "Remember. Let go. Move on. I will miss it more than I can ever say." I'm still on the first phase, obviously. Still hanging on to what I can.
Photo courtesy of http://www.nypost.com/
Thursday, May 6, 2010
from the Ananda Marga Yoga Center's vegetarian buffet. Not just for vegs, but for anyone open to something new, healthy or even life-changing (yummy, too, need I add?).
29 May, 2010, 6pm
Ananda Marga Yoga Center
46 Maamo St., Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Click here for directions.
Tickets are at P500/pax for dinner only. P1,000 for dinner plus 3 yoga sessions at the center.
Food's great, I can tell you that. It's also for a good cause. Proceeds will be for the benefit of AM's scholarship projects.
For tickets and inquiries,
Or call Ananda Marga QC - +632 9246068 / +639295419501eg etvegetarian
Monday, May 3, 2010
It's official. SinoSikat's 2nd album is up there on my ultimate favorites list. It's didn't even take a week's listening to the album for me to say so.
Their debut record was one that got the Pinoy Soul out of the underground - with its solid work of powerful individual tracks. The 2nd album could be considered softer, as expected of sophomore albums - yet not necessarily less stronger chapter of this group's resume.
The opener Toilet sets the mood, a trademark SinoSikat in its sultriness that lets you tap into your own brazenness. Sa Ngalan Ng Pag-Ibig Mo, at first glance at the title from the sleeve and even first few listens, could be dismissed as simple and bordering on cheesy. It eventually grows on you as you take a whiff of its poetry and richness complemented by bite of naughtiness from that very simplicity, even scarcity, of words.
There's a melodic approach on longing in Look At Me; a Moroccan-infused Heartbreak Blues; and the almost spiritual first single Wherever You Are. While there are some out of place ballad-y tracks and some that just don't have the same kick, the album is simply a love story with music itself - with a commentary in the form of a remake of Sonny Nicolas' Mr. Musikero (Pwede Ba?) and the (Incognito-ish) Acid Funk, that's sure to get your feet dancing crazy even through post-workout soreness.
As a whole, there are definitely more memorable tracks in their debut. The technical prowess and musicality is unquestionably intact, but in the sophomore album's attempt to widen its scope, it almost becomes too polarized with the effect of dilution. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the continuity the band has established. I can put the two albums together in one seamless playlist and feel my listening journey is complete.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Going home from a birthday party at a friend's house, I've decided to take a different route from the one I used going there. I had a city map in the car and normally I'd open it before driving in unfamiliar territory. But feeling adventurous, decided to rely purely on my instincts, thinking that the road I took was just parallel to my earlier route. Maybe a few degrees off, but surely it would lead me to the same main road that will lead me home. It did not. For traversing that long road, the main road I was expecting to see was nowhere in sight. Instead, I ended up in a completely different city altogether.
I passed by familiar roads, but it was puzzling how I ended up here, for I never even knew these cities were connected. Of course, the very wanting street signs of Manila didn't help. When I came to a road that I knew would remotely lead me to where I lived, I stopped at a gas station to finally check my map just to know which direction I should take (and not end up in yet another city).
The map was a bit confusing (even for me), but with the help of the gas station staff who offered help without my asking, I realized I was right. I was a few intersections from home. I was right to take this road, it was just a surprise how I exactly got there.
I felt a deep satisfaction as I parked the car at home. Not only because I got home without so much confusion, but more importantly, this little trip taught me a lesson in faith. It's okay to take an unknown route at times. At least once in your life, you just have to know where you're going and let the open road take you there, even blindly . Without a plan or map, just an instinct that you are in the right direction. It may come as a surprise, but who knows, it may be the easiest route home.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
When we mention Christmas, we usually think of joy, lights, feasts, spirituality, gifts, excess, thanksgiving, happy children and love. When thinking of Tori Amos, one might conjure images of cornflakes, waitress murder, unorthodox takes on religious concepts, celebration of womanhood. As you see, there is very little overlap and that is why Tori, despite her being a minister's daughter, would probably be the last musician we'd ever expect a Christmas album from. But then, she's not really calling it a Christmas album, is she? Midwinter Graces is technically labeled a "seasonal album" instead, so I go and nod, okay, this is characteristic of her, after all.
But what could a "Christmas" album from Tori Amos sound like? Definitely not trite or religious. But surprisingly not at all that would make devouts rally to ban this album from being sold in a Catholic country. For one, she retains the soul of traditional (and Christian) hymns (What Child, Nowell, Emmanuel, Star of Wonder, Jeanette, Isabella and quotes from Gloria in Harps of Gold), and yet fuses them seamlessly with the rest of the album.
"The rest of the album" is the one that I can happily say sounds very Little Earthquakes/Under The Pink-like, where the piano rules. Not lacking in richness - the sorely missed harpsichord makes a comeback, complementing the strings and the perfunctory Christmas bells that lend themselves to some of the songs' old world-ly sound. Precious tracks Holly, Ivy and Rose (where Tori duets with daughter) and Candle: Coventry Carol bring you to an entirely different world. I have never experienced winter where I live but this album puts in my head snapshots of the season over the ages and across cultures like a silent movie.
Meanwhile the cheery, urban side that is associated with the holidays is in the subtly wrapped present that is Pink and Glitter, with its (quiet) big band ballad arrangement. Very anti-Tori title, but nice song. My favorites are Winter's Carol (this is Tori's return to form) and Our New Year (the "saudade"-filled finale that seemed to be a common thread going on with Toast in The Beekeeper and Gold Dust in Scarlet's Walk). There is a love song Silent Night With You that borders on sappy, but forgivable.
Short, sweet, different and spiritual, this album is. Not much about the lyrics, but I like that it successfully set a mood - that is, of bittersweetness. The minor chords and orchestral arrangements can take your mind to a gray and cold Northern village where faint lights bring hope and a spirit of rebirth for the New Year, an overall sentiment of peace, which is what the winter solstice (and Christmas, for that matter) represents for most people.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Disclaimer: Chords are blog author's own transcription and are therefore unofficial. Corrections are most welcome.
(for verse, do intro chords)
me & you
whispering of ripplewind
& faerie wing
me & you
our joyful scarring
(repeat intro chords)
me & you
of twisting fates
in corridors of time
silence is the fire
that speaks to us in tongues
what is tomorrow
it may never come
what is yesterday
is now done
for we always were
we always will
we always are
we always intertwyne
we always intertwyne
me & you
in our eyes
in our hands
what is tomorrow
it may never come
what is yesterday
is now done
for we always were
we always will
we always are
we always intertwyne
we always intertwyne
we always intertwyne
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
You know you're a rehabbed shopaholic when:
You enter a shop for a pair of slacks that you genuinely need and while sieving through the sale rack, your eyes wander and end up gawking at stuff that aren't for sale - the lovely faux-finished walls, the Turkish lamps, the old-world feel mirrors.
You traipse past hangers, totally unaffected, but your heart skips a beat at the sight of well-styled vignettes on a shelf.
You try on one piece of clothing to check for signs of a relapse, but you look not at your reflection but stand transfixed by the wood and iron clothes hooks in the changing rooms.
As you let sound the chimes at the exit, you head out, emptyhanded and fashion-challenged, but with a smile on your lips and a bagful of ideas.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I've discovered a new meaning to the word "busy". In that it can mean something good, something that you can actually like being. I guess it makes a whole lot of difference what you're busy with. If it's something you really take pride in letting it consume you - you wouldn't mind so much missing out for a while on other things that also mean a lot to you. In my case - time with friends, yoga, running, the Cinemalaya festival, or just the point I made earlier - writing.Been occupied in the past few months that I noticed I haven't been blogging as much as last year. Strangely, I've discovered a new meaning to the word "busy". In that it can mean something good, something that you can actually like being. I guess it makes a whole lot of difference what you're busy with. If it's something you really take pride in letting it consume you - you wouldn't mind so much missing out for a while on other things that also mean a lot to you. In my case - time with friends, yoga, running, the Cinemalaya festival, or just the point I made earlier - writing.
This blog gets a lot of online traffic from people searching for Cynthia Alexander chords, with some visitors asking for more. I got into a transcribing mood over a month ago and here is part of what came out of that exercise. I was going to post another song first but decided on Motorbykle as it is simpler and probably nearer to the actual chords that Cynthia used (thus more useful to whoever stumbles upon this entry).
In a way, the song also sounds more appropriate right now, in light of some recent changes and choices. I hope it is not the road back to the old "busy" definition - I am reassuring myself that there need not always be a highway's end. As Iris advised Samantha in Sophie Kinsella's Undomestic Goddess, "Sometimes it’s enough just to know what you’re going to do next.” And I do. So meantime, let me just enjoy the ride.
Disclaimer: Chords are blog author's own transcription and are therefore unofficial. Corrections are most welcome.
Intro: G-D G-D
we barely survive the abuses
we inflict upon ourselves
we never mean to be unkind
the colors leave us blind
we get what we deserve
we pay for what we get
here is the game
and here is the cycle
G A D
while I ride my motorbykle
(Use same chord pattern)
we brave the accusations
& stand on burning bridges
blame it all on weakness
& crucify our innocence
& we get what we deserve
& we pay for what we get
here is the game
and here is the cycle
while I ride my motorbykle
now we have come
to our hi-ways' end
run along now & carry on
& embrace the changes
sanctify this distance
we're certified experienced
to do it all again
but we get what we deserve
& we pay for what we get
here is the game
and here is the cycle
while I ride my motorbykle
Monday, August 24, 2009
- Stephane from The Science of Sleep
I have read one dream dictionary in the past, when I was but a teenager. It was Freudian and had nothing but interpretations for all different kinds of phallic images - I threw it away immediately. As I grew older and recalled many vivid stories from my REM states, I have learned that a dream can be interpreted by the dreamer alone, and as Gael Garcia Bernal's character said in that movie, they are always in the context of: (1)what is happening around him, (2)his past, (3)his feelings (especially repressed ones) and anxieties. the dream thus can just be (a)a mixture of images pertaining to what is happening around him, what activities he is anticipating or dreading, or (b)symbols of what he is feeling.
On occasions, I immediately know what a dream means the moment I wake up. On some, it dawns on me at a later time. Some I don't bother deciphering but record anyway for their potential artistic value.
This morning's was rather disturbing because it was of me literally losing my head. I was sentenced to treason of which beheading was the punishment. I felt the blade slice my neck but I must either have fainted or severed the nerves before my brain registered the pain because I didn't feel any. The next thing I knew I was watching my own life.
And now here I am googling it.
One website says: "To be decapitated in your dream may mean that there is a strong conflict between reason (the head) and how you feel (the body), which may eventually be won by your feelings and emotions.
The head is the symbol for reason and rational thinking; therefore, if it is removed, you will not be able to think clearly, you are going to be confused and insecure. Do not let yourself ruled by your feelings or your subconscious, try to 'keep your head', do not act before you think and don't rush in when taking a decision.
Another says: "... punishment, punishing ourselves, unconsciously, as a result of guilt feelings or emotions. The dream may be showing you a negative pattern in your life that needs to be death [sic] with. It could also symbolize a need to get free of a too dominating head-you rely too much on your intellect and neglect your instincts."
And another: "... can mean you are feeling like your identity is being threatened in real life. The head would represent your personality, or who you are."
Yikes, the interpretation is much more disturbing than the dream itself. Actually, writing it in idiom form a few paragraphs back already hit bull's eye, but acknowledging what it means - means opening this Pandora's Box once again. Should I? Is there hope at the bottom of it?
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
But it is not how I liked the movie that brings me to write this. For me, what's most amusing about it are what appears to be several shoutouts to another Sandra Bullock movie (which happens to be my absolute favorite that I have seen a gazillion times) While You Were Sleeping. While the characters of Lucy (While You Were Sleeping) and Margaret (The Proposal) are polar opposites, the circumstances surrounding them are so eerily similar that I wonder if it's done on purpose.
1. Both Sandra's characters are orphans.
2. In both movies Sandra's characters are involved a fake engagement, with a guy from a close-knit family that he rarely visits.
3. Sandra's character has known the guy long before they have "hooked up". Lucy had a crush on the unknowing Peter in WYWS; Margaret has worked with Andrew for 3 years in TP.
4. Both couples share an awkward kiss in front of the family (Lucy and Jack under the mistletoe, Margaret and Andrew after they announced the "engagement").
5. Both movies involve the guy and his father having issues about the guy not wanting to take over the family business. The Callaghans (WYWS) have an estate furniture business but Jack wanted to make his own furniture. Andrew of (TP) wants to write/read books than manage the various Paxton establishments.
6. Lucy falls on ice. Margaret falls in the water.
7. There is a doting grandmother in the guy's family whom everyone fears will have a heart attack.
8. Both movies have the token cooky character - Ramon on TP and Joe Jr. in WYWS, both seeming very gay, yet displaying a somewhat perverted interest in Sandra's character.
9. Both characters have a thing about leaving their home country. For Margaret, the whole plot was all about not wanting to go back to Canada. Meanwhile, Lucy has never gone out of the country but she always brings her passport with her. It is her most fervent dream to have it stamped.
10. Lucy and Margaret both wear 1920s era wedding dresses.
11. In both movies, Sandra's character makes a confession right before the recital of wedding vows in which she gushes about how she loved her "groom's" family. (Remember Lucy saying "I fell in love with you" and the groom's father asks -"You fell in love with me?") Then she walks out.
12. The whole family goes with guy to get girl back, both in transport terminals (airport in TP and train booth in WYWS).
13. The couples (Lucy and Jack/Lucy and Peter/Margaret and Andrew) don't have sex (which each other or with other people) in the entire duration of the movie.
14. In TP, the couple falls in love in 3 days. In WYWS, about a week.
15. It's a bit of a stretch, but aren't the posters a bit similar, too?
* Images courtesy of wikipedia.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I blurted out a laugh seeing Figaro sitting by the kitchen window, having come back from wherever he goes during the day. Impeccable timing, this cat has.
I was just standing at the opposite side of the room with my back to him, inspecting the new and still empty pocket garden where the remodeled kitchen and my new bedroom lead to, mulling over the design of his cat ladder. I've almost abandoned that ladder idea just to trim my very long list of mini-projects for our provincial family home reno a little bit, but this apartmenttherapy post (click here) got me to ressurecting the project.
The ladder will give Figaro direct access from my room to the roof if he needs to be let out in the ungodly hours. It'll be like the one at the elevated water tank in our backyard that he's been using, but a new one would lessen the possibility of him ruining the new window mosquito screens because the doors to my room and kitchen are glass from the outside. More importantly, no trip to the back door means better sleep for me.
Like the air conditioner support, the ladder will be made from recycled iron grills and painted in the same color as the wall. I'm gravitating toward Option 2, it's a happy medium.
So now, who's to say this isn't true? Cats Control Humans, Study Finds.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
some old DIY artwork from my old apartment,
thrift store pottery,
a 10-month old lamp just out of the box
are temporarily in place
before the exciting stuff of decorating begins.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
- Fabrics from last Sunday's Divisoria shopping.
When you can't afford or can't decide to change furniture/paint/drill holes through your walls/embark on a major remodel - using fabric is an age-old solution. It's cheap, and it allows you to be as fickle as you can be. Moreso if you can find mod prints that are dirt-cheap (as the case was in Tabora St. in Divisoria) - the possibilities could even be more exciting than getting a spankin' new sofa.
Funny that this fabric-hoarding day-out can turn out to be an epiphany for much-needed wisdom. I guess it's not so bad when the way to real change isn't paved for us as soon as we would like it. Maybe people need not define himself to be one thing or the other. Maybe they can be like a myriad of fabric slipcovers that are interchangeable at any given time. Maybe they can forget about the old sofa or paint color for a while and just revel in the many things that inspire them and make them feel alive.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
There are strange dreams that make you dig deep into your subconscious in vain. And then there are semi-strange dreams that simply mirror your mundane daytime preoccupations. This recent dream was a no-brainer. One of the Top Design Season 2 finalists, Preston Lee, already made a cameo in my dream a month ago (along with characters of a TV show I'm equally addicted to). These days, I cannot content myself watching TD reruns alone, I also watch the replays of the reruns, so I guess it's no surprise for one of the judges to play a starring role in another dream, now infused with excitement about going somewhere after a month's absence.
Here's how it went:
Margaret Russell, editor-in-chief of Elle Decor magazine was my yoga teacher. She was rather cross with the class because the students weren't working hard enough. After a stern talking-to, she shifted her mood to teach us a rather special pose. It involved a pillow and a cabinet, or more like... a box that's very similar to the one in Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes album cover. We're supposed to do an inversion inside the cabinet (box), pressing our bodies around the 4 sides of box, and propped by a pillow.
Margaret said, each individual's version of the pose is as unique as the individuals themselves, so she provided us with individual pillows and cabinets, that came with instructions. These instructions were supposed to be different for each person, which I thought Margaret deduced from her interactions with us. I was impressed and excited about what I will be learning, and a bit incredulous that someone world-renowned (though renowned in a different field altogether) taught at this center. I even whispered in a classmates' ear, "aren't we lucky we're being taught by the best?"
Soon, a lady from outside began to give us these props, calling each of our names. It's taking a while but I'm thinking, well, I shouldn't mind - this is as personalized as a class can get. In the midst of this, Margaret waved and called out to me by name, in Filipino, "don't leave yet!" which I'm not sure if (a)she thought I was getting impatient about the process (b)she meant not to leave the yoga center, because (in waking life) I was planning to take classes elsewhere (nearer to home) after my 1-year enrollment expires next month. In my mind, I know I'll still come to this center even just occasionally, having felt a sense of community here. And all the more reason to do so, with no less than Margaret Russell in the faculty.
My pillow and cabinet were one of the last ones to be distributed. I was puzzled to see that they were no different from my classmates', even down to the embroidered pillowcases. I absolutely adored the embroidery that resembled those on peasant blouses, but all I could think about was, "what in the world was the fuss about it being personalized all about?" I peeled off the a piece of paper from the pillow-wrappings, hoping that the essence really came from the instructions on how to do the pose, but there was nothing there except for a manual on how to put on the pillowcases.
* Photos courtesy of Design*Sponge (Margaret Russell) and Wikipedia (Little Earthquakes).
Monday, June 15, 2009
In the wake of a home remodeling, we've been living in rubble for a couple of months now. Our stuff are hauled in boxes and garbage bags, and like ourselves, moving from room to room, awaiting their refurbished cribs.
I told myself not to look at these stuff for now - lest I prematurely be struck by an urge to do serious sorting. I'm saving my energy for that activity for when there'd be enough space around here - and for when I'd have the time, too. I indulged in a little sneak peek reading through over-a-decade-old journals and letters when I took them out of my old closet weeks ago, but that was it. As it is, I have enough on my plate with choice of paint colors, crown mouldings, etc. and working around mini-disasters like discovering manufacturing defects on the tiles I've painstakingly chosen after all of them have been installed.
Today, Mom was moving out the last few stuff from her room and showing me some items of old. Some best forgotten (and bookmarked for disposal come Sorting Day) like a pink "lace" floral scarf with fringes, a telephone cover set with chintz-y prints and ruffles (or were those electric pleats?) in dusty rose - both received as gifts, and a number of thingamajig-ceramic-container-wedding-slash-baptism-giveaways.
But there were a couple of moments when I reached out my hand and shouted "gimme gimme!" One was for a palm-sized Pentax binoculars (we actually have 2 other bigger ones but this will be a more handy device for impromptu bird-watching or maybe stalking). The other was for this... Funny that she asked me, "I wonder who would want this thing?".
I remember having only a handful of childhood pictures from this Polaroid camera - the film was too expensive, and soon we've forgotten we had this. Oh, I hope it still works and I can still find (and afford) film around here.
Friday, June 5, 2009
I definitely wouldn't mind vicariously enjoying a four-poster bed through my furry friend. Especially if it's in my all-time favorite color like this table-resurrected-as-bed in the picture.
This morning I saw a DIY show make the same kind of project (but with less tasteful colors and fabrics) and was appalled that the host lay down dolls on the bed after it was made. All the while I was thinking how preposterous an idea that was when I reread ohdeedoh post and realized why it was called "Kid Friendly Transformation". These were probably more commonly made for dolls. After all, most cats don't care much for dedicated sleeping quarters and can just plop themselves down anywhere they please.
Well, the maker of this bed really did have kitty in mind. As far as cuteness is concerned, I'm totally with her.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Such was the case of technology saving the day. And possibly, a dream.
I had some creative material I've been holding on to since 1996 and been thinking of publishing since 1999. One of them, I actually wrote when I was 7 years old. Several factors including forgetfulness, procrastination, lukewarm reception, fear, etc. etc. kept the project from moving.
The recent years that I felt motivated to resurrect the project - I spent trying to locate the manuscript. Mentally, for the most part, but finally this year, an actual physical search.
I did a sweep of all possible hard copy locations in vain. As for the soft copy, I'm not sure if I would luck out on it even if I do find the file, since my attempts at cracking the password since the year 2000 were futile. I was amazed that almost all of my 7 year-old (or older) floppy disks are still intact but I finally found the file in a 7 year-old CD-ROM. My hurrah at seeing it uncorrupted was for naught, though - I still can't remember the password.
I've had pretty standard passwords for as long as I can remember and ironically, the origin of my mother password had something to do with this manuscript. So how can it not be that or any of its variations? Or any other possible and silly thing I can think of? I began to feel depressed that, unless I rewrite these stories from scratch, this project won't ever see print. Not even for just my own kids to enjoy.
Today I found myself clicking that folder where the file was and struck by an inspiration. I asked a friend if he knew of a solution. He directed me to something that worked quite perfectly, but alas, being free, offered limited results. Two more attempts - same limited results. One of them did help by giving clues and I thought, that's good enough for me to remember the rest. But then it revealed that while I did use my mother password to protect file modification, the first few characters of the password to open were totally unrecognizable. Sigh. Nothing is free after all.
Oh but wait... that's not entirely true. For some things, all it takes is decent internet connection and time. And shame. And the offshoot problem that if it works, I have to find some other effective way to encrypt my other private files. Well, it did work. And right now, happiness at seeing my 13 year-old work again trumps this "price" for now.
The password? It's from one of Matt Damon's late 90s movies.
I’ve always said my dreams are vivid and lucid enough to make into surrealist film sequences. But I forgot that once or twice, back in college, I have used my dreams as material for a Filipino poetry class. Looking for something else I wrote in my old closet, I came upon a notebook that contained these. Here’s one that I found the funniest. Written in circa 1996.
Nagkayayaan lamang na magkumpisal;
Hindi ako natakot, nakapagtataka,
Dati-rati’y damdamin ay tila penitensya.
Nauna siya’t, naghintay ako sa kabila,
Sumilip ako, hindi raw masama;
Nagulat ako, hitsura’y kakaiba,
Kumpisalan pala rito’y parang opisina.
S’ya at ang pari’y mayroong mikropono,
Pati tuloy kasalanan’y naririnig ko;
Ako na’ng kasunod – nakakahiya,
Kita ng pari ang aking mukha.
Wala kasing tabing at kay dami’ng tao,
May sekretarya pa ang pari atsaka may isteryo;
At di ko akalain, kumpisal – may bayad?
Kutob ko – pari dito’y isang mapagpanggap.
Kumpisal ng kasama’y akin ding binayaran,
Sinadya niya ito – ako’y kanyang nilayasan;
Niloko nila ako, ngunit mabuti na lang,
Nagkumpisal lang kami at hindi nagpakasal.
Rough translation for non-Filipino readers:
Instead, to confess the sins we carried;
But I wasn’t scared, that was peculiar,
Stomach in knots was the more familiar.
I waited across while he went on ahead,
I peeked inside, I can do that, they said;
The booth looked uncommon, much to my awe,
It looked like an office, is what I saw.
And him and the priest talked on a mic,
His sins I heard him tell, all psyched;
And now it’s my turn, I paled and I cowered,
Not only my sins but my face, too, uncovered.
For there was no screen and there was a crowd,
The priest’s assistant and the stereo’re so loud;
To top it all off, “I’ve to pay to confess?”
That the priest is a fake is my instinctual guess.
My boyfriend’s confession I reluctantly paid,
For he left me on purpose, so far from my aid;
I’ve been duped, I know, but one deep sigh I heaved -
Good thing we just confessed and not gotten married.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
To call Tori Amos’ work “mediocre” or “uninspired” is almost sacrilegious to her most loyal of fans, myself included.
I avoided those words when I delivered my review of her 2007 album American Doll Posse with a thin coat of sugar, even if my Posse CD has, since, a mileage of less than 5 full playbacks and even if I barely recall anything more than three-quarters of one song and mere single lines from about 3 others. I owed that to a matter of preference. Tori lost me after her foray into heavier piano-less sound in Choirgirl, and picked up Scarlet and Beekeeper which was for me were a more familiar Tori in instrumentation and spirit.
Yep, call me the fan in the “soft” (i.e., piano) Tori spectrum. While I do respect the range of musical stylings present in Posse, in retrospect, it lacked emotional connection – something that even her most cryptic of lyrics and most bizarre arrangements in her early-90s albums were rich with. And that was what made Tori so great to me – the music transcended the surrealism of her words. You listen to her wanting to kill a waitress, taking the Lord’s name in vain, you conjure dirty abstract images in your head – and yet, you feel the songs speaking to/about you clearly. Like magic, it was as if the Bösendorfer and harpsichords lent perfect sense to them somehow. (Why, people even created graphic novels out of her songs.)
Meanwhile, there’s her recent release, Abnormally Attracted To Sin. And I go, “can I say ‘huh’ now?”
It has its share of heavy and slow tempo arrangements, so I can’t fault it by being too much of a rock album. Predictably, Police Yourself and Strong Black Vine, the most drowned in heavy rhythms are my least favorites.
I do fault it for being… blah. Alright, Fire To Your Plain does have a catchy tune, Welcome To England has the recognizable sweetness in Tori’s elongating of her vowels, and Flavor (my favorite track) mirrors the soulfulness of Beekeeper (plus reminds me of that Bush song from the Buffy The Vampire Slayer soundtrack). The rest seem to be forgettable tracks. A 17-track record is not necessarily too long – but this one is because I’m waiting in vain for a gem. My ears just stop paying attention after track #12.
It’s nice that That Guy starts out nicely like snake charmer’s music, and that there are vibes of other-worldliness and tribal in Give and Not Dying Today, respectively. Touches of eclecticism, sure, but so wanting in the quirkiness and wit that made me love good old Mr. Zebra, Happy Phantom, Past The Mission and Wrong Band so much. Mary Jane has a little hint of that, but not enough to make you smile in wonderment.
Maybe California, with its string accompaniment, evokes a familiar mood as Gold Dust and Toast from a few years ago, and even ends in a similar minor chord. Overall, though the whole record somehow pictures Tori as a more complete and stronger woman – albeit detached and devoid of any vulnerability. Plus, there is absolutely no sign of Tori’s haunting piano anywhere!
What doesn’t help and this was also why Posse didn’t leave me with a stronger impact – was that whatever initial impressions I have of the tracks has little room for "growing on" because... I have no idea what any of these songs are about. And it’s not that they’re odd, it's because apart from choruses… they’re just plain unintelligible! Whether it is the synths and guitars or the accent drowning the vocals, it totally robs the songs of their personalities. While I give up on making out Tori’s garbled speech, I mentally try to find aural cues by finding similarities from old albums just in an attempt to connect to the songs. (For instance, is the title track in any way connected to Original Sin-suality?) But after the comparisons, the connection ends.
As a last note, I can’t help but notice there are some traces of the “dolls” here (yeah, I’m looking at the blonde wig in the Fire To Your Plain video and super-straightened hair on TV guestings). I hope it stops before anybody notices that makeup amount and costume outlandishness level are inversely proportional to quality of music.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
... answers which I hope everyone gets same time next year when Lost bids us farewell. This is just a random list from the top of my head - a few really. If I pool every avid viewer's list I'm sure it'll be much longer. All these questions (not easy ones, mind you, and some are carry-overs from my previous post-Season 3 list) and just about 20 remaining episodes come fall. They better keep their promise! Nobody would want a movie version to forcibly tie up loose ends.
which may be a metaphorical foreshadowing of the theme of reversal.
1. Did the Others not time travel when the island "moved"?
2. Why didn't Sun, Ben and (dead) Locke go back to 1977 like the rest of the Oceanic 5?
3. Who is Jacob and what are his motivations? Why did he appear at some point in the Oceanic survivors' lives? What was the significance of his touch? Why did he appear to Hurley post-island and to the others pre-crash?
4. Who was that man who wants to kill Jacob? Was he the being behind the Smoke Monster? Is he the force that reanimated dead Christian Shepard, Locke and all other dead guys who made apparitions on the island? What is this "loophole" that he says Jacob will find?
5. Why are Richard and Jacob immortal? Or do they just time travel?
6. What is the island? What's up with women having fatal pregnancies and people getting cured of their diseases (except Ben)?
7. What ever happened to Claire?
8. What's the magic behind the numbers? It was on the Swan door and Desmond's password but how did it affect Hurley and all the other loonies who knew about it?
9. What is the aftermath of detonating Jughead? Will it cause Oceanic 815 to land safely? Will Juliet live and remain as an Other and Ben's sex slave? Will Faraday be alive? Will Desmond never leave the hatch? Or has everything happened, happened? Has history really changed or was everything meant to happen in the first place?
10. Why is Libby in that asylum with Hurley and did she know about the island to send Desmond there on her husband's boat?
11. What was so special about Walt that he seemed to have as much affinity to the island as Lock has?
12. What's the consequence of not bringing Aaron back to the island? What was the mystery surrounding him that has been alluded to before he was born (by the fortuneteller, Others kidnapping Claire) and up to now (Jack and Kate being told in dreams or visions that they're not supposed to raise him)? Will he grow up to be Jacob?
13. What happened to Ben from the time he was brought to the Smoke Monster to when he kills off all the Dharma-folk?
14. Who are the Others and how did they come to live on the island with Jacob?
15. If the Dharmaville Genocide occurred sometime in the 80s and someone hired Desmond to press the Swan button in present day, then the Dharma Initiative was never rendered inactive (also, the food drops never ceased). Who of the 70s Dharma guys are still around? But if Widmore was behind Desmond's island gig all along - how is he connected to DI?
The long wait starts. Meanwhile, I took this quiz. Not an easy one, either- I got a measly 78/100.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
I posted this status update on my Facebook page the other day:
you're watching a brad pitt movie and when he narrates,
"my name is benjamin..." you're sure he'll complete the sentence with,
And now an even graver sign - seems that the series (and another reality show I'm following) is even creeping into my subconscious as well...
I was walking around my old high school, back and fourth the corridors of grade schoolers, contemplating that I should teach here at least once in my life. English, maybe?
Then I found myself watching a movie in a theater-like venue and it seemed the movie was about the fates of the Oceanic Flight 815 survivors in the fictional TV show Lost. In the movie, there was an ambiguous part wherein a man (or monster) dressed up like a soldier was inflated back to life. It was unclear in the movie whether this man was a rescuer or something brought to the island to kill everyone. Back at school the next day, the next events that unfolded made me suddenly become part of that show. I was with Jack, Kate, Sawyer and a whole bunch of other people I knew from real life, plus a newfound friend, a really tall handsome (gay) guy who might just be Preston Lee, one of the stronger finalists of Top Design Season 2 (who became blond in this dream). We watched as this man/monster resurrected from its box. Unfortunately for us, he turned out to be a killer.
We ran for our lives, to the gym, where there were a lot of people and thus he won't easily recognize us. I didn't know I could run that fast. A few people were already settled in the gym bleachers, including Jack, Kate and Sawyer. The latter two were on top of the bleachers seemingly engaged in a very intimate conversation and this upset Jack. So upset that when I asked him for help, to grab my hand because I was having trouble climbing their part of the bleachers, he refused. When did Jack turn to be so callous? Eventually he helped me out but it was only a few moments later that we felt the "soldier" monster had followed us to the gym.
Chaos ensued and we quickly ran down the bleachers again. I concentrated on sliding down the steps, that wasn't so difficult, but when I thought I was far enough to be safe, I also realized that I've separated myself from the others. Maybe that's just the best thing that could happen. The monster will have trouble getting us all now.
Outside the school, people were all waiting for their rides home. An acquaintance was talking to me, obviously not aware of what was really happening and was offering me a ride. But I said I'm staying for a while. When I said that, I wasn't sure why, then I realized I wanted to wait for the others. Surely they'd go out this way, too. I didn't wait very long, for a small group of my former companions came out of the gate and was to ride a jeepney. I took one of their hands and we hugged tight, it was a reunion of relief (that we were all safe) and longing. I felt I belonged with these people.
I wept out of exhaustion and happiness at finding these people again. I was hoping someone would comfort me but I guess everyone was crying inwardly, too that nobody had any energy to reach out. Then I asked the girl beside me, what happened to the others? Instead of telling me about the other survivors, she told me all about this group of guys from a younger batch in my high school and what they do now. I let her finish then so as not to embarrass her, I whispered to her ear "I meant Jack, Kate and Sawyer, what happened to them?"
I wasn't expecting the response. I thought they just headed to a different direction or traveled to another time, but when she started to speak with tears in her eyes, a lump formed in my throat. They were all dead. The monster soldier killed them. The girl even had a record of "The Incident" in what appears to be a small TV. I didn't bother to see it and was overcome by a wave of sadness. I then wondered what happened to everybody else not on this jeepney - Juliet? Sun? Sayid?
As our jeepney made a turn into a beautiful boulevard, I guess all we have to do is to be thankful that we're alive. I squeezed the hand of the person sitting at the opposite side of the jeepney (who happened to be Preston's) and smiled.
Lost Season 5 finale is on tonight at Wednesday, US time 9/10c.
* Photo credits from http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com and http://bloggingtopdesign.blogspot.com/