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The Queen Bee

Ella Bella is our little princess, a true Queen Bee. She’s not menacing at all, mind you, but can be overzealous when it comes to dishing out headbutts and hugs. She will crack her skull against yours if she could. She purrs at the slightest provocation and will flash you her jelly belly out of sheer excitement. No one escapes her charm.


The Queen Bee


This is day has been challenging and I almost didn’t make this image. I had to leave El Señor Don Gato at the vet’s clinic earlier today. He had been limping for a bit and I honestly thought that he would eventually shake it off, but he never did. He also stopped eating yesterday and then this morning he drank water and vomited. Not good. So off to the clinic we went.

It turns out that his chipped tooth was bothering him. He damaged that long before I rescued him; it shows you how tough a stray’s life could get. So his vet recommended extraction. She also wanted to take a closer look at his leg, which apparently was swollen (he’s “fluffeh” so I didn’t notice!), so she scheduled him for an x-ray plus she shaved his leg. I will get an update along with the results of his blood work tomorrow. Hopefully he can come back home soon. It’s too quiet here. The other kitties are probably wondering where he is.


Portrait of an annoyed cat. El Señor Don Gato shows us his airplane ears.



From my installation, "Sirens." Photo by Tiffany Urrutia.

“‘Your turn in the chair next time,’ said October.

‘I know,’ said November. He was pale and thin-lipped. He helped October out of the wooden chair. ‘I like your stories. Mine are always too dark.’

‘I don’t think so,’ said October. ‘It’s just that your nights are longer. And you aren’t as warm.’

‘Put it like that,’ said November, ‘and I feel better. I suppose we can’t help who we are.’

‘That’s the spirit,’ said his brother. And they touched hands as they walked away from the fire’s orange embers, taking their stories with them back into the dark.”

—Neil Gaiman, “October in the Chair”

Let there be light!


Just a quick note before I go to bed: we survived Typhoon Glenda/ Rammasun (or Ramassun). It slammed Manila after midnight and we lost power in our area at 4:30AM. I was still awake and heard one of the transformers explode. Approximately 75% of Mega Manila had a blackout. We got ours back just an hour ago at 10:30PM; I still don’t know how much damage has been done to our city and the rest of the country. I did not have a stable mobile phone service (I had to search for spots outside where I could send and receive messages), no 3G connection, and no landline. The flood subsided at around 8AM. I went out at 11AM to check our water meter. Some of the pipes in our compound were damaged and water was leaking out. The streets were covered in branches and leaves, mixed in with garbage, metal sheets and wood. We found a strip of metal from our gate about 15 meters outside of our driveway.

I am grateful that we reached the end of the storm unscathed. From brief phone conversations and text messages I found out that my brother had leaks in his apartment—which he said was his own version of a storm surge— and that my parents’ garden was turned upsidedown. At home, I was scared and my cats were stressed out by the horrible howling wind, but we were all okay. Shaken but safe, warm, and whole. I am extremely grateful for that. Like I said, I still don’t know how the rest of the city and the Philippines fared. I hope no lives were lost.

I’m off now to read the news. Hopefully they are all good.



Sebastian Magnani’s photos made me smile so I did these:



I think I will make some more. 😉

Turning Thirty

Procrastinating again. Looking around the web and found this. Fabulous! I should make a poster like this for me (BLEEP!!) birthday. Number 1 on my Yet-To-Learn list: how to stop procrastinating. 🙂


We remember that we’ve got wedding invitations to show you but as tomorrow is my 30th birthday, we’ve created a little poster to celebrate this weighty and overwhelming occasion. Instead of focusing on the past the poster illustrates 30 (of all the) things I’ve yet to learn in the future.

This was an opportunity to use a style of illustration we developed for a book that never came through so even though it took more time than we had expected, we enjoyed working on the poster.

e birthday poster

e birthday poster

e birthday poster details











e-birthday-detail-30(Thanks everyone for the lovely words of support.)

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Some days are tough. You get up, you do your own thing, then something mundane happens, like receiving a phone call or a text message, and then you realize that the last straw was closer than you thought it was. 

And then you have your meltdown and you get on with it. Sure, you get roughed up by life, but you have to go on. So what if carefully disguised friends are pilfering your ideas? Learn to shut your trap and create some more! So what if someone tries to hoodwink you? Learn to say no and peddle your wares to other possible clients. Having a tantrum or prolonging your cry-fest will not do you any good. These very same vultures and leeches are having a ball and reaping benefits from your ideas and hard work while you are going through a box of Kleenex in the dark. The best revenge would be to just live your life. No ifs, no buts, just live your life the best way you know. They don’t matter in the end.

So what’s it going to be?

A page from my Journal

I think this is a portrait of my soul: she’s tired and weary and gnarly and spent. Now she just wants to kick some ass.



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