Monthly Archives: August 2013

Going (Senti)Mental

My day didn’t turn out the way I planned it. All my classes were cancelled for some reason or another, that means I earned zilch today. It’s not going to ruin me, but for a freelance tutor, every hour counts. Sigh. Así es la vida. It is what it is. So what do I do on a sunny Saturday?

Initially I wanted to stay home and catch up on my sleep. I’m always bone tired and the heat was not really helping. And then, as I was getting ready to take a nap, I started thinking about doing something unexpected. I’ve been in a rut the past— month, two months?—and have tried a number of things to get out of it and, so far, nothing has helped. So I called up a friend and decided to meet up in UP (the University of the Philippines). I haven’t been there in ages and wanted to revisit my old haunts.

In 2008 I entered the College of Fine Arts’ Masters Degree program. I couldn’t study full time; I only had classes twice a week. Before UP I’ve had the privilege of studying at the Ateneo de Manila University, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, and la Universidad de Barcelona. I love all of these institutions, I’ve met some wonderful people there, learned different lessons in and out of the classrooms, and each one has its distinct feel, culture, quirks. UP was no different. I even had a bit of culture shock—yeah, in my own country!—during my first semester. It was all good, but my stint at the national university ended after two years. I decided to take an indefinite leave of absence from the program. That’s one loooong story I don’t really want to get into right now.

ANYWAY, back to today. 🙂 I put on my brand new trainers and headed to UP. I walked a bit before meeting up with my friend. We skipped the jeepney and just sauntered through the campus while talking about our memories of the place, our current lives (her move and BF, and my cats and angst about art and life in general), and just enjoying the view and the vibe of the campus. We didn’t really do anything outrageous or ground breaking —ate late lunch at Rodic’s, had isaw and creamy, yummy ice cream, and just talked non-stop—but it was exactly what I needed to feel relaxed and happy in my head again. What I needed was a simple, carefree walk down memory lane to help me focus again. Or maybe it was just the UP effect—the last place where I did major grappling with my life as an artist. I went there to visit old hangouts but ended up digging into old mines in my head.

Okay, it’s not a magic pill and I know the happy molecules are probably going to lose their effect tomorrow, but I think things are going to clear up soon. At least that’s what I hope would happen. Hope springs eternal, right?

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(This little Piggie went to Rodic’s, had great tapsilog, and oinked with glee all the way home! Wheee!)

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Crazy Cat Lady

Not all Cat Ladies are created equal.

I found this on the Black Cat Appreciation Group’s Facebook page yesterday. Whoever manufactured this action figure should make different versions: brunette with glasses, cats by the dozen… Hahaha. I can’t relate to this one—it’s too hot here in Manila to wear a house coat! ;o) It’s ridiculous, but I still want one! ;o)

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In-between days

I’ve been having low-grade headaches for the past couple of days. I’ve been waiting for the full-on migraine to come along, but so far it hasn’t made it’s appearance yet. I don’t have a headache now, but I am not 100% lucid and I’m fighting off fatigue. Sometimes I don’t know which is worse: a roaring migraine or this in-between state wherein you know you are about to get a big one. I spend a lot of time in this limbo state—fatigued, forgetful, with a foggy head, and a general feeling of not being completely there—and yet I’m still not used to it.

Times like these, I always turn to migraine.com to shed some light on my situation and find relief from my pain, or in this case, non-pain. I stumbled upon this article and could completely relate to it. This is exactly what I am going through. It’s good to know that I am not alone in this, but has someone found a way to skip this phase altogether?

Okay, I’m not usually this whiny when it comes to my headaches. I’ve been living with this for a while now and I can normally cope with my foggy senses and would not complain about it, but this week has been tough. I’ve been trying to draw and paint (I have a deadline!), but I just can’t focus. All I want is to go back to bed and have another go at a snooze. I’ve tried exercising, but I think I just added to the fatigue. I’ve been reading a lot just to see if I could sharpen my senses, but I’ve noticed that I have to go back to some paragraphs because the words didn’t register. Sigh. And I’ve been doing so well the past month, month and a half. Is it because I have been skipping my acupuncture sessions? Hmmm… maybe…

Again, I don’t know which is better: the migraine or limbo? At least with a migraine you can drink the magic pill of your choice (mine is Zomig) and—click!!!—the world is clear again, but in this in-between state, you have no choice but to wait it out and see what happens next. Maybe I really need to go back to my acupuncturist. Oh well. In the meantime, I really can’t do anything about it. I think I will—no, I choose—to breathe deeply through the fog and hug my cats. 🙂

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(Wednesday still believes that I can create and sticks by my side no matter what. She’s taking her job as my muse seriously! 😀 )

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Cat nap

I had a bum stomach and a mild headache early this afternoon so I decided to take a break and nap. I woke up after an hour and found Wednesday snoozing beside me. I still feel bleergh & not fit to socialize with anyone; I guess I’m skipping dinner in Makati and will just have more cat naps with Wednesday! 🙂

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Excuse the photo—I’m too lazy to get up & turn on the light! 🙂

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Lost Cat

I bought a digital copy of “Lost Cat” on Amazon recently (written by Caroline Paul and illustrated by her partner Wendy MacNaughton). It tells the story of Tibby, Caroline’s elderly cat, who disappeared for several weeks and returned healthier and happier then before. The book centers on how Caroline—with the help of Wendy—tries to uncover the mystery behind his disappearance, where he’d been, who he’s been with, and why. Ultimately, I think it talks about love and relationships and how we are with the object of our affections, whether it’s feline or human.

At one point, Wendy made an illustration of Tibby’s world and his fears: the cat was in the middle of 5 concentric circles, the smallest being his safe zone, then the next was occupied by “general fear” or slow moving objects, then “definite danger” like water and such, followed by dogs, raccoons, and loud banging noises, then finally the biggest circle represented “certain death”.

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When I really think about it, Tibby’s hierarchy of fears is not so different from mine. After putting my iPad down, I wanted to see how I could move beyond my concentric circles and conquer my fear of “certain death.” It made his life so much better in the end, why don’t I do the same and go off on my adventure, too?

I really enjoyed reading this book not only because I’m a crazy cat lady like Wendy and could relate to her paranoia, but also because it made me think about my life and how much I’ve let some of my fears rule me. Maybe I could be more like Tibby from now on and be less like Wendy. ;o)

You can learn more about the book and its creators here.

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Million People March

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“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.” – Galadriel to Frodo

Today I took part in the Million People March, a peaceful protest against the Priority Development Assistance Fund commonly called as the Pork Barrel. I am not a political activist, but I went because I wanted to be heard. Over 400,000 filipinos, like me, in their own way, wanted to make a difference and showed up at Luneta Park to clamor for change. I didn’t have to make a speech to be heard or to sing and dance to be noticed. By being there I showed the nation (and the world!) that my voice mattered. Enough is enough. No to corruption. No to the misuse of public funds. Philippine government, we are watching you.

Note: aerial shots were taken by Architect Paulo Alcazaren

To know more about the issue, watch this video.

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Yoga

I couldn’t sign in yesterday. I hated not being able to blog and keep my promise. But, sigh, I did my best. Breathe.

Practiced yoga yesterday and the cats kept me company. Purrrrfect.

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The return of the comeback

It’s been almost a month since my last entry. I’ve not only been a lapse blogger, but a lapse-a-lot-of-things since the end of July. Thank God August has been good and that my head is starting to clear up. Today I’ve devised a way for me to stick to my responsibilities, goals and promises. So this means that not only will I blog every day, I’m going to do yoga or some form of exercise, write in my journal, read, meditate, and–the most important thing of all–create every single day from now on. I’m going to talk more about this next time.

I’m keeping this short. I still need time to organize my thoughts and work on my plan for recovery. I leave you with this photo of my journal. I was a bit upset and needed to spew everything out on page. 🙂 Not the prettiest thing in the world, but who cares, right? It is what it is.

Good night and happy weekend! 🙂

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August

It’s been a month since I’ve visited my blog. I apologize for that.

I’m gearing up for some changes. It made me revisit an old entry from 2006. Here it is:

August
http://stephdisturbstheuniverse.blogspot.com/2006/08/august.html

I always have mixed feelings about August. It’s the time of year when the sun mercilessly blazes the whole day without relief, while the nights grow balmy and indigo dark. It is accompanied by volatile and indecisive weather; monsoon rains and tropical depressions form in the east and heat waves reign in the west. It’s as if the earth is heaving with anticipation for the coming birth pains—its nine months is almost up. It’s time to give it up.

It doesn’t matter where I am; August still feels the same way. It’s melancholy and silent, like someone tethering on a wire over a precipice. You are all alone and you could fall and no one would hear you or you could fly and your wings would bring you closer to the sun.

I can’t say that I am crazy about August, but I can definitely say that I can’t live without it. I was born on this month some odd years ago. Which is probably the reason why I have so much affinity and dislike for it; sometimes I can burst into flames with so much passion and intensity for everyone to see or I could disappear into a cesspool of murky, uneven shadows where no one dares to follow.

This month has always brought me changes. For one thing, I turn a year older every year. What have I got show for, I ask myself sometimes, when that day comes. And on some years, like this one, I couldn’t care less that it happened once again. We all have to grow old anyways.

Most of my plans come into fruition or end in August—I moved back to the Philippines twice, moved out of 3 apartments (or is it 4?), received acceptance and rejection letters from schools, awarded two scholarships, etc, etc. Dreams are born at the same time hope is discarded. I go along with the year. I always feel the need to purge and reap the fruits of my labor and to face the repercussions of my actions. Time’s up. Now I have to move on.

The month is almost over and I am still undecided if I want it to end. September brings a different set of feelings and responsibilities. Am I ready for my new life? Am I ready for the end of the year? Am I ready for the birth pains? I don’t really know, but I have 12 days to find out.

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