Month: May 2008

Arte y Pico Award

Friends, Romans (and people of different races), and readers, allow me to (not so humbly) say this. You are now reading a blog that has been given — nay, bestowed — the Arte y Pico Award

which was given for the following merit:

The award will be given to those who are creative and have penchant for art.

I’m touched.

Thank you, Shenzee, for recognizing “talent” in all the mishmash written here.

 

I still have to think of whom to pass on the trophy.

But I’ll start with Tamark’s More Than a Mouthful.

Some People Eat Their Words

Here’s a post that was spawned by one of my conversations with Master Joh.

Imagine having a toffee-flavored parakeet, a French fry auntie, or a Math teacher who tastes like mustard.

There are people who can literally taste words, whether written or spoken ones. And this neurogical phenomenon is called synaesthesia (see Wikipedia) or, specifically, lexical-gustatory synaesthesia.

And although there are those who would label people who have such a condition weird or odd or different, having synthaesthesia works to one’s advantage, especially when it comes to committing things to memory, creating works of art or solving complex mathematical problems.

Literally tasting spoken or written words is just one form that synthaesia could take. Sometimes, people who have the condition could see colors associated with words or letters or numbers, e.g., the letter “H” is yellow or the number “2” is pink. There are those who see personalities in their alphabet. Example, letter “B” is grumpy and lazy or the number “6” is trusting.

The medical term for a person who has synaesthesia is “synesthete.”

***

This post was brought to you by smiley letter Q and purple number 1.

Wednesday’s Freaky Weather

It was Quiet at the Start

It was a balmy morning when I woke up in my tropical jungle home. The Sun peeked through the bamboo lattice above our bed, bathing us sleepers in golden light. Birds sang from tree branches, expressing their gratefulness for the blissful morning.

I got up, stretched, freshened up a bit, and did some chores. Then it was breakfast.

After breakfast, I couldn’t help but look around me with amazement — everywhere, the leaves of all the trees and flowers glistened. The sky had never been bluer that this morning. The air smelled sweet.

It was a perfect May morning. But it lasted only for a few hours. Minutes before 9am, the bank of clouds to our West, cloaking Mt. Talinis, suddenly turned dark. Ominous rumblings rolled down from the cloaked mountain, and the wind suddenly picked up, chilling me to the bone.

 

Climate Change

Tata advised that we might as well head down to the Shoe Factory while there’s still time, as we would be driving down only in a motorcyle, which could not afford us shelter in case it started raining. I agreed and was at once in a flurry to beat the coming droplets. While I was taking a bath, a light drizzle started. Still, the Sun was out and shining from overhead. We still have time.

Driving down the mountains, Tata and I talked about the choices people make in order to survive. While we were discussing the pros and cons of marrying an old guy who has only a short time to live for the money, water suddenly gushed down from above, like it was tipped from a barrel. We had to take shelter, fast! Our first stop was under a canopy of banana leaves and coconut fronds, which did not help much in keeping us dry. We got on the motorcycle again and drove under the rain until, a few meters away, we saw a makeshift shed. There were people in the shed halloing us to get out from the rain, and we didn’t need any more coaxing.

We saw that the shed under which we took shelter was actually a furniture and upholstery shop, with sawdust, wood glue, bits and pieces of wood shavings, half-finished cabinets and dining chairs, and cuts of lumber all over. A green-painted wooden sign said

Tatang’s Furniture Shop

– Accepts upholstery and carving

– Any kind of anything

The people of the shop were very friendly (topic of another post) and entertained us with their humorous jabs at each other.

When the rains stopped two hours (yes, two hours!) later, Tata and I drove off, happy in the knowledge that we’ve found new friends.

 

Strange

A few hundreds of meters from where we stopped for shelter because of the torrential rain, the soggy muddy ground abruptly gave way to gravely bone-dry cemented road; it was obvious that, despite the couple of hours of heavy rain where we got stranded, not a drop fell here. The Sun was even out, scorching us like any noonday Sun would.

I arrived at the Shoe Factory just in time for me to log a few hours of overtime.

 

Freak Storms and Flash Floods

Then it rained again. Thunder boomed outside, and some people in the other processes cracked nervous jokes about the weather. With each thunder clap, the lights would flicker as if power outtage would follow. Change of shift came, and the power held. There were, however, a lot of employees who were not able to come for the second shift. News reached us that the South National Highway, which is the main artery by which to reach the Shoe Factory, was inundated with knee-high (and in some places, thigh-high) water.

Motorists were stranded, and some had opted to take a detour through the mountains, passing the place where Tata and I stopped for shelter, just to get to their destinations across the flooded part of the main roadway. My friend, Hyacinth, was one of those came in at 4pm; she’s tardy by two hours for the afternoon shift. At five in the afternoon, that part of the road was still flooded.

The last time that that part of the highway was waterlogged was in 1999, and that time, there was a supertyphoon harassing the Visayas region.

The rains have stopped for the time being, and the Sun is shining out again, hotter that it has been a few hours ago. But in the West I see dark sinister clouds lurking.

I wish for a dry passage tonight when we go home.

[images courtesy of Diana Pilson of Uni.of Nebraska (www.unl.edu)  and of news.motorbiker.org]

Moodswing: Cheery

i recently inherited a typewriter.

yep, it’s non-electronic, clunky, chunky, noisy, and sooty. and i feel so blessed to be given such a boon.

it was from a writer friend of my family who, sadly, passed away three years ago. since then, the typewriter sat in a dark corner in our friend’s house until her written bequest was known, where the typewriter was one of the things that  we’ve inherited from her.

it’s a green-colored ca. 1940s well-worn Royal Arrow, whose likeness is shown below, in black.

 

it’s not in mint condition but it has the warm feeling of a machine that has been lovingly used for the purpose it was created: to pour forth words, word, words.

each morning since Saturday, which was when I received the typewriter, i’ve spent more than an hour hammering out anything that came to mind. i know that one of these days, i have to write a decent story or poem or something that is coherent and worth reading… a piece of literature.

when my shift changes to daytime, i plan to flesh out, in the evenings, a story that’s been haunting me for months now, and i’d be doing my typing by lamp light… a bit of romanticism for my stressed-out brain.

 

p.s…

a bit of trivia. there are still publishing houses that refuse submission of manuscripts if these have been computer encoded. these publishing houses still prefer typewritten material.

just thought you’d know.

 

[image courtesy of mytypewriter.com]

Impatience Growing

 

A bit of advice came from someone I just met this morning at the airport.

While you still can, do what you really want to do. Don’t get stuck in a job just because it pays the bills and yet in the long run leaves you empty within.

The advice was given by someone who cares about people and of the contribution that each one could give in making this world a bit of a better place to celebrate life. He is a university professor teaching in Virginia. His being in the country is because of a subject he handles at his university, where he and his students study the impact of the insanity of my country’s un/employment condition on the geography of the archipelago.

~Sigh.~

I want to take the advice.

I would now if I could now.

 

[thanks to www.brighamandwomens.org for the photo]

Slow Blogging Turnout

Notice to the Public

There is a bit of a backlog in the post turnout these past few days. Deliverables that come from Sector C.Ed001 of the Concentration Camp that, from here on in will be dubbed the Shoe Factory, have not reached the target quota for blog posts. This is due to the fact that another blog hosting platform had been disabled, broken down, and restricted user access by The Search-and-Destroy Division of the Highly Exalted Administration of the Shoe Factory. It should be known that Search-and-Destroy missions have been ordered by the upper echelons so as to force the elves in the Shoe Factory to focus exclusively, and in non-stop fashion (except for the regular bathroom breaks), on their work creating sneakers and steel-toe boots, never mind that, as studies* show, the (normal) brain can take only, at most, fifteen minutes of pure mind-numbing and totally concentration-intensive activity before shutting down to preserve the sanity of said brain’s owner.

But who am I to complain? I still work, after all, in a Shoe Factory run by ex-Gestapos.

_______________

*Studies also show that engaging the brain in highly analytical stuff for extended periods of time is the leading cause of nervous breakdowns and increases risks for burnout. Studies also show that all work and no play make Jack and Jane dull, angst-ridden, depressed, and downright mutinous.

How are we feeling today?

Seems like memes are in abundance these past days. The Monkey Keeper wants to know how I feel today. Here are her instructions.

Rules:

1. List 6 things that describe yourself today.
2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs.
3. Tag other online friends you know.

Here you go… my emotional/physical state for today:

1. Cold
>>>>>>> The airconditioning’s turned full blast and it’s right in front of where I’m sitting.
2. Bored
>>>>>>> Although I am working on something pretty interesting, hunting down for subject-verb disagreements has lately lost its allure.
3. Achy
>>>>>>>I’ve romped in the beach last Saturday and my muscles are still sore.
4. Excited
>>>>>>> I have family coming over from Australia tomorrow morning.
5. Hopeful
>>>>>>> It’s nearly payday and I hope I could pay some bills and have a bit of extra for something nice.
6. Blessed
>>>>>>> There have been so many blessing in my life that I’ve only begun to acknowledge.

Links: Creative In Me Little Peanut Me and Mine Pea in a Pod Sugar Magnolias A Slice of Life Simply Jen Jenny Said So This and That We are Family Mommastuff MoMieSpace Being a wife & mom ChatnChill moms….. check nyo A Simple Life Mommy’s Little Corner My Life’s Rollercoaster Ride My Inner Thoughts Revealed MOMEMO Pinay Mommy Online NeverDainty Anthology of Snippets My Climbing Peso Broken Coffee Cafe Earth Cauldron Toadstools and Tadpoles

 

I hereby tag jeffreyandgracey, bryan, earnesthope, val, and khyria.

What’s inside YOUR purse?

Bloghopping through the Monkey Keeper’s site today had me coming off from reading her entries with being tagged to gut out my purse, or in my present case, a Caterpillar messenger bag (I just came from the beach where  the company-sponsored team-building activity was held), and list down the contents.

This meme has ground rules of its own, and the Monkey Keeper says that they go like this (with a bit of rephrasing):

the first one lists the contents of her/his purse/bag that s/he would find in a usual time, and the next one shows the list of the contents of the purse/bag of the person from whom s/he received the tag.

My bag contains the following items:

  • a change of clothing (corduroy pants and a gauzy blouse; these are not part of the usual contents of my bag)
  • a coin purse given by the Monkey Keeper
  • loose coins that have somehow escaped from my coin purse
  • driver’s license
  • bank ATM card as I meant to withdraw money today (but I didn’t)
  • a spring-bound notebook for the random doodles and thoughtforms
  • a green highlighter
  • key to my motorcycle, which hangs from a heart-shaped keyholder that Daphy gave after she got back from Singapore
  • company ID
  • a paperback with the title “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.” Another not usual item to be found in my bag. I slipped this into my bag at the last minute before going out from the house, thinking that I’d have something to read when things got dull at the team-building run (which never happened; more on this in a later post). As for the title, let’s just say I’m getting in touch with my ancestral roots
  • a Pilot G-2 pen for caricatures
  • a Mitsubishi BA-45 pen for regular writing
  • a jumbo nail clipper (I wonder how it got there; not usual stuff)
  • a compact
  • a tube of lip gloss
  • an almost empty bottle of my favorite cologne

Seems like I lug a lot of stuff around.

And the person who tagged me (Ann, a.k.a. the Monkey Keeper) has a purse that contains the following items:

  1. Ball pens (I normally have 2)
  2. Coin purse (I don’t bring a lot of cash around especially since the frequent robberies here)
  3. Glasses (I hate wearing my glasses all the time, but I use them frequently)
  4. Menthol stick/cone (for headaches, colds, nausea: Five Cranes)
  5. Eye-drops (Celluvisc MD; Sterile Opthalmic Drops Eye Lubricant – opthalmologist prescribed)
  6. Beauty kit (just in case I feel like going girly [lipgloss, lipstick, eyeliner,face powder, leave-on conditioner])
  7. Cellphone
  8. Hair doctor comb
  9. Small notepad
  10. Company ID

For this meme to keep on rolling, I’m tagging Earnest, Contrariwise, Moonstruckfemme, and Becky.

This post is R-18

Follow me closely on this.

The clock says it is three in the morning. Police sirens wail every thirty minutes, but the cops don’t stop nor slow down. Neons flash gaudy and provocative signs, flooding the streets with sultry red light. The smell of fermenting beer hangs heavily in the air, like a thick fog carrying ghosts who are on visitation missions. Catcalls, jeers, and throaty laughter abound, fueling the night to steal a few more hours from daytime. Musk and floral scents mingle into one heady fragrance, exploding all throughout and intoxicating passersby.

There are cars with tinted windows and bass-thumping stereos that slow down as their drivers approach the area; windows roll, prices are negotiated, money changes hands, someone gets in the car, and they drive away in the roar of well-tuned engines.

Women with red glossy lips. Wavy hair. Smoky eyes. Short skirts. Flimsy and transluscent blouses.

When I was thirteen, I used to live with them in a red-light district in Q city, and my family’s living space was separated by a thin concrete wall from a night club. Each night, my brother and I were lulled to sleep by thumping bass beats and sultry saxophone tunes that signalled the start of the star dancer’s nightly performance.

Allow me to elaborate and clarify before any child abuse raps come in the way of my hard-working mother.

My mother used to work for a center that was put up for prostituted women. It was organized by a non-government organization that had ties with the religious denomination in which my ma is a minister. My mother was tapped to be the facilitator of the center. Her appointment as the center’s facilitator coincided with the time when we had no place to stay in Q city after my mother’s church assignment was already done, and the board of trustees of the mentioned non-government organization offered Ma and her kids a place to stay in the second floor of the center, which was in an apartment smack in the middle of Q city’s red-light haven.

The center served as a “rest station” for the women of the night; it was open to them who wanted coffee, a shower, a place to rest in-between clients, to use the telephone to call their families (some women have kids at home) to check on them, or just to hang out and exchange stories and talk shop with women like themselves.

The center also offered legal services for women who have experienced abuse from their clients, their pimps, or from the police. The center also offered free lectures on protecting the self through safe s3x, gave out free condoms to those women who cared to use them, and assisted women who needed medical care if they caught something from their occupation.

The center is gone now, and most of the women who went there at the wee hours of the morning are now either retired from the trade or have other means of livelihood.

The experience was an eye opener and the best education I could have had on the darker side of the city, of human nature, the importance of self-preservation, and of the conditions that prostituted women undergo in the hands of their clients, of their pimps, of the police, and of society, in general. At thirteen, I knew that life is never a bed of roses, or if it is, the thorns are there to pierce unguarded skin.

Race Day

It’s a perfect day for a race (**insert wicked laugh here).

It’s been raining like there’s going to be Part 2 of Noah and the Great Flood. Boulders have dislodged from their beds because of the incessant rain that loosened the soil, and the big rocks chose to settle in the middle of roads that wind their way down from my jungle home. Roads have turned into quagmire pits, and visibility is almost nill because of the constant fog.

Later today, twenty or so downhill mountain bikers will be slip-sliding down mountain trails near where I live, competing for the best time to ride through slippery, rocky, and cow-dung-strewn mountain footpaths that the mountain folks use to get to their homes on the shoulder of Mt. Talinis, which, for the time being, would serve as the racetrack for this impromptu downhill competition.

image courtesy of gravity-slaves.co.uk

The standing record for best time on the open category for downhill mountain biking in the Camp Lookout, Valencia, Negros Oriental track is held by Joey Barba, who is the gold medal winner in the 2007 Southeast Asian Games downhill mountain bike competition. He ravaged through the 5-kilometer winding track that had technical obstacles of bushes, lanzones orchards, exposed tree roots, coconuts, cow manure, mud, barbed-wire fences, polythelene hoses the size of tree trunks, and dirt ramps in just three minutes and five seconds.

The rides will be using the same track today, and Tata plans on riding too (he won in the last Sandurot 2007 downhill mtb executive category champion cup at a time of 3 minutes and thirty-three seconds).

Safe ride, you guys!

 

i hope all days aren’t like this

guess what?! there are no tasks at work for today.

even though it’s sunday, i’ve been assigned, along with several colleagues, to be in the office for eight hours today as “payment” for a day later this month when we’ll have no work because of some interior upgrade that would involve drilling and hammering and sawing and building within the office.

still, i can’t (and won’t) complain much because when i got to the office, the in bin is actually empty. and because my eight-hour attendance today is compulsory, i can’t head off to just anywhere and come back later.

what must one do when faced with such challenge? there’s no other recourse but visit the web neighborhood. thus, this is when i stumbled upon photobucket’s “insert a face” photoediting taskbar. it filled my few hours after i finished a pending task i had from yesterday.

here’s one of my creations (that’s me in the green strappy dress with my chichuahua. on my left is my new best friend).

scary, i know, and i like cats better. hehehe.

feyoh phoned home

 

for those who think otherwise, i would have it known that i am part of the human race.

and because i am part of the human race, i do have a family, although the members of our tribe are scattered across the globe doing goodness knows what [rest assured that when it comes to my case, i am working in a decent profession (see blog sidebar)].

feeling a bit homesick just recently, i made a call to our “ancestral domain” in my hometown. i meant to speak with my auntie-grandmama (she’s the aunt of my real grandmother) to assure her that i haven’t married yet because the latest news i’ve heard was that she burst into tears when she received mail from me bearing my legal name + feyoh (my second name). she’d assumed the worst and could not be consoled because her “dear little (insert pet name here)” has gone off and gotten married without telling her. it got sorted out in the end, with an overseas call to New York, where my aunts live, to confirm that I haven’t hitched myself to a horse buggy or something.

so, okay, back to the present… i made a call to the old folks, hoping with speak to auntie-grandmama. however. after five rings, the phone was picked up by no other than (insert transylvanian music here) my real grandmother, back from her vacation in boracay.

no offense, okay, but my real grandmother and i are not that close. maybe because i grew up far from her and her monarchial ways, or maybe, years back, she witnessed me morph into a hellion teenager in one of her annual visits to the country, that we don’t seem to have things in common which could have made our conversation sessions more flowery and memorable. umm, we do have the same tastes in interior decorating and the fact that people who know us both would say that i resemble her in her younger days.

our phone conversation, which lasted two minutes and twenty-seven seconds, went on like this:

real grandmother (RG): hello.

me: hello, may i speak with auntie-grandmama?

RG: who is this?

me (recognizing RG’s imperious tone): this is feyoh… RG?

RG: oh. feyoh.

[uncomfortable pause]

RG: where are you now?

me: um, still in dumzville. working. how are you?

RG: so-so. i just came back yesterday from bora.

me: oh. how was it?

RG: fine. how’s work?

me: fine.

[uncomfortable pause]

RG: i’m off to NY on the 22nd.

me: oh.

RG: so, how’s your mama?

me: she’s in Australia.

RG: oh.

[uncomfortable pause]

me: please give my hello to the aunts when you get to NY.

RG: sure. you wanna talk with auntie-grandmama?

me: oh, no. it’s okay. i just wanted to say hello to all of you.

RG: okay.

me: bye.

RG: bye.

then i hung up.

i really should attend those family counselling sessions.

 

Mocha Java, straight

Insanity.

Or is it?image courtesy of thewaffleplace.co.uk

I just made a resolution to live a healthy lifestyle, but hours after I posted that declaration, I went off overspeeding to the city and feasted on Mocha Java ice cream — not a scoop, not cup, but an entire pint!

Oh! The horror!

But, honestly, I felt better afterwards like a lioness in the African savannah would after a good hunt.

 

This Post was Brought to You by the Letter C

Good morning girls and boys! Today you will be enthralled and entertained as I present to you another post glorifying the wonderful goddess person that i am.

Lurchie tagged me to name ten things that start with the letter “C.”

So, hang on to your hats and keep glued to your seats as I give you

“The Letter C”

  • Cookies = my favorite Sesame Street character of all time is Cookie Monster because we share the same love, which is… you got it! “Cookies!” C’mon everyone, sing with me if you know the song “Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!”
  • Campfire = ghost stories and sleeping under starry skies
  • Crayola = best brand of crayons
  • Cramped = (verb, does this count?) is what I get to be after a number of hours sitting in front of a
  • Computer = which is my best friend in the workplace — we stare at each other for hours on end
  • Champola = wafer sticks that I plan on buying for Faith later
  • Cheese = been talking with Tata about cheese earlier today (don’t ask!)
  • Curse = how do I make one?
  • Celsius = unit of temperature
  • Coins = I have a lot in my bag, making it heavier than usual

There ya go! Another insightful post to start your day right.

As you got this far reading this, you’re tagged as It!

currently reading: Language of the Body

Redcaptrio, a colleague, lent me this book that, at first glance, reminded me of the sort of reading material that the discipline officer in my high school used to confiscate from her pheromonal teenage captives students.

image courtesy of amazon.com

The book, however, is very insightful, being a research on how a person’s posture determines their personality type. A discussion that really grabbed my attention was when the author, Alexander Lowen, put forth his theory that the aches all over our bodies are the result of some unresolved issues in the past. The aches are caused by keeping the tension within, thus distorting the posture and cramping the muscles. Each time a past hurtful experience or issue is re-lived by an individual, the action adds stress and strain to the tensed muscle, resulting in its hardening and rigidity. This thread piqued my interest because I’m someone who keeps reliving the “mire” of what has been. And I’m someone who suffers aches and creaks in my joints, which I cannot really blame on so much bad posturing; after all, I’ve been taught how to sit up and stand up properly, thanks to that discipline officer in high school.

I’m halfway through the book, and I’m ingesting the data found within really slowly — partly because it’s written in highly technical English of ca. 1950s, which requires a Martian Unix7 language decoder, and also because at each and every extrapolation that the author made about the different character types, I kept going through the personal impressions I have of people I’ve met over the course of the years and tried to equate their behavior and posture with what was written by Dr. Lowen.

That discipline officer I’ve mentioned earlier… well, my guess is that she has a masochistic character trait.

 

Interstellar Eavesdropping

Transcripts from the Void

Stardate 69-O-7723212

An interstellar chat transcript at the General Headquarters of the Kryolian-Oompahloompas, between Her Eminence Supreme Commander of the Krayolapots General Mine-regla Esquivel and her ABFF (Alien Best Friend Forever) Lucresia Dimdim from Asteroid 56AART, was intercepted by space hacks.

For your voyeuristic pleasure, we space hacks hereby broadcast this transmission. For the glory of a united universe!

[…start transmission…]

Lucresia Dimdim (chatname: Liliput) U there?

Her Eminence Supreme Commander of the Krayolapots General Mine-regla Esquivel (chatname: Cutie Pie): Wazzup?

Liliput: I need 2 ask you sumthing.

Cutie Pie: Fire away, ABFF.

Liliput: K. Bin with a hottie from Earth for months now. Last night said hottie asked me sumthing.

Cutie Pie: Ok…

Liliput: Askd f am ready 2 take our relationshp 2 d nxt level. Does it mean that he doesn’t rspect me anymore?

Cutie Pie: Not ncessarily. U shud expct dat the questn will pop up sooner or l8r, as u are 2gether.

Liliput: What shud I do. I said no. I’m still cherry.

Cutie Pie: With ur 8 holes?

Liliput: Yep.

Cutie Pie: Earthman hottie doesn’t know?

Liliput: We met through universal SMS. Haven’t EBed yet. Shud I tell him what he’s up against?

Cutie Pie: Thought u weren’t ready.

Liliput: It’s four against four saying I’m ready/I’m not.

Cutie Pie: hmmm.

Liliput: We did it online, I had an Earthwoman avatar.

Cutie Pie: ….

Liliput: I think he’s the real deal.

Cutie Pie: Come on over to my place. I’ll instruct the soldiers to lower the force field once your ship’s in radar range. We’ll talk it over. popcorn and ice cream n da hwse.

Liliput: Ice cream’s kryptonite for me, Cutie Pie. I morph into a slug, ya know, if that stuff gets close enough.

Cutie Pie: K. Popcorn and corn dogs then. See u n 3 light years!

Liliput: Be there! 🙂 Thanx, best!

Cutie Pie: No probs, ABFF!

[…end of transmission.]

 

thanks much to liliput, aka Hyacinth, and to phil over at the rut. for the inspiration for this post.

a resolution in may

this is the time of the month when my worries pile up.

mostly i worry about my health… i’m not getting any younger (ouch!) and i am beginning to feel the consequences of my past transgressions.

i have never been health conscious, but with the aches and creaks i am beginning to feel each time i wake up, perhaps it is already time to lay low on the potato chips and soda, and this may be the time to begin an active lifestyle.

note to self: will be starting a “healthy me” regimen from now on in. details will be ironed out later.

~sigh~ i guess this will be harder than giving up smoking.