served fresh from the forest floor

Archive for April, 2008

have skills, will work

ha. here i am touting the title “deranged palmist” and yet i feel i haven’t lived up to the handle.

for the sake of my well being, which is suffering from being stifled in an office cubicle most hours of the week, and hoping that this may somehow help spread the word about other stuff i do after my day job, i shall be reading palms again (and cards as well).

preferably, considering that i am based in dumzville in the philippines, it’s one-on-one, the more up-close, the better. send me fireworks signals through derangedpalmist@gmail.com for those of you who are interested. readings shall be by appointment.

long-distance readings will have to be arranged on a case-to-case basis as i am still figuring out if scanning palms, receiving the .jpg or .bmp image through e-mail, and sending out my reply through the wide WWW is ethical.

ciao for now.


picked this up from lurchie

hey lurchie, if you are reading this, know that i’ve followed your suggestion of how to increase traffic to my site and listed the broken coffee cafe in the Million Blog List (i’m #942).

and lurch, i’ve also listed myself in wiki’s wikibog directory, as per your suggestion, too. yep, i added my blog addy to those categories that i think were appropriate.

and, oh, for everybody else reading this post, the Million Blog list is simply an experiment to see how long it will take for the 1,000,000th blogger to list him/herself in the million blog list’s site. as lurchie said, there’s still a lot of numbers waiting to be filled.

I’ll wait and see in the coming days what surprises this might bring.

thanks monkey keeper.


feeling mushy

overheard:

when you say “I love you” it feels like you are forcing me to say it back.

it doesn’t work that way. you wait. you wait for it, nurture the moment, feel my heart, hear it tattoo your name on my chest. just — just don’t whine out a limp i love you and expect to hear me say it in the same tone as yours.

if i do say it, it will be because i was swept by your presence, your very nearness has intoxicated me, and i want — i want the whole world to know, to hear, that it is you that i love. the wind will carry my message, to the clouds, to the earth, to the seas… and all of creation will know that i love you.

 


not-so-manic monday

Here we go…

It’s Monday again, another start of the work grind cycle. But wonder of wonders! I am (almost) happily cruising through my shift. I am actually grinning. And I know not from where these good vibes are coming from. Mayhap this is hormonal?

Well, whatever it is, I like this sort of lightness, which is akin to bubbly-feely, bordering on fluffy bunnyish.

Oh, Faith turned four yesterday. It is something that the entire familia is grateful for. We had a little party for the little one. Her proxy grandmiere bought her a dress and she insisted on wearing it the entire time (dragging dust at the racetracks for our annual Ligiron grand prix race) and even going to bed wearing it. Faith said she likes the dress because it made her look like a princess. This morning, I finally managed to make her change her clothes for something more play appropriate.

Speaking of the Ligiron race, it’s now become an annual thing.

This year, we had eight riders who competed for the championship cup. The race was pseudo supercross, pitting two riders at a time and eliminating the slower rider until only one dominates in the final heat.

For those not familiar with what a ligiron is, it’s a four-wheeled contraption assembled from a rag-tag collection strips of wood, scraps of rubber, and thin planks of bamboo. The wheels are constructed from pieces of thick plywood and treaded with strips of old tire treads. These materials are whipped to shape with a few strikes of a hammer on rusty nails, and voila! a rustic riding contraption is born! The closest thing I can compare what happens in a Ligiron race is the American soap box derby, but in a more exotic locale and with indigenous materials for the vehicle.

The standard lubricant to keep the ligiron’s wooden axles going was cacao (Theobroma cacao) pulp. However, modernity has caught up with the mountain folks, and this time, it’s good old grease that makes the ligirons reach speeds of 60 km/h on a downhill ride.

That, with a strong sense of adventure and honest to goodness guts qualify you to be a rider.

Risks are higher, with the potential for splinters to the ligiron disintegrating upon landing. It is more frightful to crash against another ligiron made out of bamboo slats while it’s being driven at 45-60 km/h than colliding against an alloyed bicycle in downhill cycling heats. Fortunately, nothing like that happened yesterday.

And the tracks (made by Tata and his barkada) by the way, wound around coconut groves, through forests of bracken, a field of boulders, and then led the rider up a dirt jump that suddenly drops 30 feet down the forest floor before reaching the finish line, which is, to suit the tropical jungle surroundings, fashioned out of an abaca (Musa textilis) trunk.

The riders were thirteen- to sixteen-year olds and their driving skills continued to amaze me. I took some videos (and photos too) that I’ll be posting on my multiply site soon.

As it was Faith’s birthday, every race participant and most of the spectators were the guests to the small agape meal that we had.

It was a fun weekend. I guess it’s what’s fueling my Monday good vibes.


weekend lament

veiled. padded. glum.

come to think of it, i haven’t used the word forlorn lately.

days like this are here again. i feel cut off from all of reality. again, i am viewing the world through a lens, and again, i feel that i am not part of anything that goes on over there.

maybe it is time to try something new. or maybe it is time to go up the attic, unlock the trunk, get the dusty nine-league slippers out, and head out the door to goodness knows where.

i am a believer in the good found in each person, which is just waiting to be unearthed like a genie coming out from a dusty lamp. yet often, dusty lamps are just empty dusty lamps. so i guess it’s no wonder that i am lugging about a bagful of frustrations.

but there’s hope, i think. i am a believer that this, too, shall pass.

i could use a weekend off.


to the child

child,

i watch you sleep your quiet slumber. i hear your soft sigh as you turn, rumpling the hello kitty bed covers.

this is another night i lie awake as you sleep on, unmindful of the tempest of the rest of the world.

nights like this i stay up, losing sleep over the near tomorrow that will surely come. hoping i have the right answers to the questions that will bubble forth and take form from your tiny mouth.

questions of why it is me raising you, when you are supposed to have a mother of your own.

questions of why you live away from your mother and brother, and how come your mother does not come at all to take you to school, to ask about your day, to play, to tickle you, to comb your hair after those chaotic interludes that happen every time you take a bath.

questions of why it is not your mother who kissed your hurt away when you scraped your knee.

i would still not know how to answer you. But know this: you are special, an angel God sent when i thought i was not ready for any responsibility. And answering that call, i chose to take you as part of my life when all those who are supposed to love and cherish you have shut their eyes and turned away from the biggest blessing that could have ever arrived in their lives.

for you see, if others have thought you are a burden, each day i am thankful for having you to enrich my life, for teaching me to be patient and gentle yet to be strong and brave, too. You have put enough fear in my heart to make me grow courageous in facing a tomorrow where you and i are together.

i cannot make the world free from any hurts you might feel nor any falls you might take. but all ways and all days, i will be here — to take your hand in mine. if need be, i will be here. that is a promise as well as a prayer. 

love,

feyoh


snicker*snort

i’ve watched this movie twice over the course of twenty-four hours. it may be the slugs, or the action-packed scenes featuring rats chased by underworld sewer rats, or it might be the one rat’s wistfulness for the family he’s never had and has found it in the company of very unlikely individuals, individuals below his class; he is, after all, a rat who belongs in Kensington, the royal borough.


My Comfort Food

Okay, here’s something I should have done ages ago but it completely slipped from my spongy gray matter. Lurchie tagged me to name my comfort food.

Hmm. I do love food — whether it be gourmet, deli, or cooked in some provincial nanay’s woodstove, I love food. But those that stand out and bring great cheer to my palate are those that are simply made, home cooked, and done with love (and it shows through the waistline I’m lugging about). But my weight is one matter I shall not write about in this blog, so, here are three favorites that provide a source of solace when the going gets tough and my soul needs a little soothing to face what lies ahead.

(never mind the calories just for a moment)

1) Fried Chicken

my memories of my late grandfather (on my father’s side) involved Sunday lunches with the Sunday special crispy-fried chicken from KFC. the family (during those happier times) would sit around the table and share a bucket of chicken, exchange jokes and family news. I considered including gravy as a separate comfort food, but i guess it just goes well with the chicken. Today, at work, I still seek out fried chicken from the office canteen when I am feeling just a bit overwhelmed.

2) White Bean Stew

a very simple and homely dish. i seek this out each time the weather gets too cold and i need something that would warm me down to my toes. works every time!

3) Spaghetti Carbonara

light, creamy, with just the right zap of garlicky flavor. i prefer eating this rather than discussing its flavorful merits.

Therefore, I conclude, from the above display of gustatoria, that I am no sweet tooth. Savory dishes are what makes me happy.

(I’m tagging anybody who stumbles on this post. Happy Eats!)

images courtesy of my recipes.com for the chicken, the fat-free vegan for the beans, and steffen’s dinners for the spaghetti.


Saved by the Beach

It has been a hectic time at work the past few weeks.

Although our group didn’t really render that much overtime, each day of last week was spent slogging off and agonizing over complicated files that seemed to be written by authors not of Earthly descent but may have come from planets Jupiter or Mars or from Galaxy 6-O-991. It was no surprise that output was low and group morale was lower than Marianas Trench’s depth could go.

blue overall

To save my sanity, I proposed to the family that we head off to the beach at the closest weekend. They all readily agreed, especially Tata who, for the past weeks, had been taking the brunt of my stresses at work (sorry, baby!)

Sunday morning shone bright; the skies had the blue hue of an ideal summer day. The clouds were scattered above just so, and the breeze picked up nicely as we went down from our mountain home to the beach. Faith had a new yellow lifesaver.

Tata with the new lifesaver

We took off with a few friends who were also eager to do something that would herald summer for them. Our slice of beach was not in some commercialized resort lining the shores of this side of the island. I’m very pleased to know that there is actually, in Bacong, a little clearing — free from cottages and the omnipresent hawkers and vendors — with a strip of sand and shade from coconut trees, which is very much like the beaches of my childhood memory: untainted, unspoiled, and isolated.

cool summer

Nevertheless, our group’s elation at being the only ones on that deserted beach lasted until a couple of hours before lunchtime. By then, other beach goers — families, couples, kiddies, grannies, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins all — came in and invaded our sanctuary by the truckload and busload. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones who knew of that strip of beach’s existence.

faith by the beach

Still, that didn’t stop the fun that we were having. The tide was coming in, and the waves crash to the shore with such force that took my breath away. I swam over, under, and into the waves, appreciating how powerful such force of nature really is. I think I already have an idea how it is to be punched on the abdomen. I was screaming and laughing and swimming along with everybody. We body surfed and built sand castles. We buried someone in the sand! I realized that I never had such fun in such a long time. I’m all brown and a bit of sunburnt from staying under the scorching Great Yellow for a great many hours; Faith and Ta are browner as well.

I could really say, from experience, that a little unwinding could do wonders for wage earners such as moi. A little break can be all we need before tackling another grind on the work mill.  Ask me how I’m feeling today, and you could already guess that my reply is, “I feel good!”


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