Iniisip ko na itong countdown na ito ang gagawin kong isang way para lagi kong maalala 'yung parating kong birthday. Para hindi ako tetengga. Para lagi akong may gagawin. Para productive ang bawat araw ko. Para pwede kong sabihin sa sarili ko na may mga natapos naman ako sa mga sinimulan ko... kahit paano.
. o O o .
To Do List
1. I went to UP today para bumoto sa susunod na faculty regent ng buong UP System. Accomplished.
2. Sinubukan kong tapusin ang pag-e-enroll ko, kaso kulang pa 'yung pirma nu'ng... 'yung ano... [wala talagang pangalan 'yung form na 'yun dahil nu'ng hinanapan ako ng mga staff ng Office of the University Registrar, ang sabi lang nila sa akin *ganito... 'yung ano...*]. For follow up.
3. In-attempt ko ring ituloy 'yung pagkakabit ng mga curtain rods. After about an hour, after lalong magsakitan 'yung mga kasu-kasuan, after maibaon 'yung isang turnilyo I decided to put it off for another day. [Sigh] Sana matapos ko lahat ng mga ito before my birthday... in 35 days. Divine intervention badly needed.
. o O o .
To unwind, pinuntahan ko 'yung website na dedicated para sa mga narcissistic yet invisible earthlings that my nephew Rap recommended. It's called photofunia. Medyo cheesy 'yung name. Pero, promise, nakakaubos-oras. At makakalimutan mo lahat ng mga taong kinaiinisan mo, or kung gaano ka kaliit, ka-invisible, ka-unimportant, ka-helpless, ka-nameless, ka-faceless, ka... ka... ka... Basta.
Kung sinuman ang gumawa ng program para rito, ang masasabi ko lang--karir! Pati 'yung contour, dimension, etc, nu'ng surface sinunod. 'Di ko alam kung masyado lang s'yang magaling, matalino, technologically advanced... or wala lang talagang magawa sa buhay.
Syempre, dahil Narciso rin ang middle name ko, puro mukha ko ang pinag-eksperimentuhan ko. Kahit man lang dito eh maramdaman kong ako ang nasa sentro ng universe.
Click thumbnails to enlarge. Kung gusto mo lang. Hindi naman required.
Full moon nu'ng huling birthday ko bago natapos ang 2nd millennium ['yun ang popular belief, na ang dulo ng 2nd millennium ay ang 1999; pero alam naman nating lahat na kalokohan 'yun, at magsisimula lang talaga ang 3rd millennium pagdating ng 2001].
Supposedly, it was the largest full moon in about 2,000 years.
Hindi ko alam kung totoo 'yun. Hanggang ngayon. Hindi naman sa ayokong malaman. Tinatamad lang akong i-research pa 'yun. Ang mahalaga, it made my birthday extra special. Mababaw lang naman nga kasi akong tao. Masaya na 'ko sa mga ganu'ng kakornihan.
. o O o .
Nananakit ang buong katawan ko. Nakakapagod ang araw na 'to. I finally started installing yung mga binili kong curtain rod a few weeks ago. Akala ko madali lang since electric drill ang gamit ko. But no, heavy-duty / industrial-strength pala 'yung concrete wall nitong bahay. Sa awa ni Batman, inabot nang almost 1 hour kada isang turnilyo. [Siyempre kasama na ru'n 'yung mini-siestas, meryenda, inom ng coke, chat, etc.] Eh 16 na turnilyo 'yung kailangang ikabit. Isang kurtina lang natapos ko today. May dalawa pa. Good luck na lang.
Pero kahit mahirap, mas gusto ko 'yung ganito. Na ako ang gumagawa ng mga bagay dito sa house. Kaya nga inabot nang ganito katagal. Walang ma-decide na design, walang plano, walang inspiration [yebah!]. Basta lahat wala.
Pero nu'ng na-start ko 'tong maliliit na makeover the other day, naisip ko, saan ma-keep ko 'yung interest ko hanggang matapos. Hopefully, before ng birthday ko--in 36 days.
Kakapagod. Pero ito 'yung masarap na klase ng pagod. Sarap ng tulog ko nito mamaya.
. o O o .
Tomorrow, 'yung 2nd na kurtina naman ang ikakabit ko. And sa friday, 'yung 3rd and final kurtina.
Then, staining and varnishing, and installation nu'ng wooden cabinet...
Sigh... Iniisip ko pa lang napapagod na 'ko.
. o O o .
Sabi ng horoscope ko for today: It can be so annoying when bureaucrats give you mixed signals. You may be tearing your hair out just now trying to solve what should really be a simple problem. Not so. You may spend inordinate amounts of time on the telephone, sending e-mails or basically driving yourself crazy. You may just have to stop for a moment and that the universe solve this rather than bang your head against the wall today.
Somehow, it's true. Hindi pa ako nakaka-enroll sa MA ko dahil sa bureaucracy. Pati 'yung dito sa house, tinamaan ng lint*k na bureaucracy. Basta. This system that we have constantly makes me feel small, irrelevant and unimportant. .
It's 37 days before my birthday. I thought of doing some kind of a countdown. I'm not sure I can keep it until Day 0. But I don't care. Right now, I'm here, writing down my thoughts... 37 days before my birthday.
I love birthdays--mine and everybody else's. It just feels special. To think that in all those 365.25 days every year, there's 1 day that's just for me. It's enough excuse to get mushy, to spend time with family and friends, to get drunk and pigout, to put on a new shirt and a new pair of jeans, to ban work.
I have always thought that my birthday, December 22, is special:
> Winter Solstice usually falls on this date--the longest night of the year, the start of winter, the time of year when the Earth is farthest from the sun. One of the two times when the huge piles of rocks at the Stonehenge in England are in perfect alignment with the sun; the other being the Summer Solstice.
1 "Do this one cheap (or free) and we'll make it up on the next one." No reputable business person would first give away their work and time or merchandise on the hope of making it up later. Can you imagine what a plumber would say if you said "come in, provide and install the sink for free and next time we'll make it up when we need a sink." You would be laughed at! Also the likelyhood is that if something important came along, they wouldn't use you.
2 "We never pay a cent until we see the final product." This is a croc, unless the person is leaving the door open to cheat you out of your pay. Virtually every profession requres a deposit or incremental payment during anything but the smallest project. Once you have a working relationship, you may work out another arrangement with a client. But a new client should not ask you to go beyond an initial meeting and, perhaps some preliminary sketches without pay on the job!
3 "Do this for us and you'll get great exposure! The jobs will just pour in!" Baloney. Tell a plumber "Install this sink and my friend will see and you'll get lots of business!" Our plumber friend would say "You mean even if I do a good job I have to give my work away to get noticed? Then it isn't worth the notice." Also the guy would likely brag to everyone he knows about how this would normally cost (X) dollars, but brilliant businessman that he is he got if for free! If anyone calls, they'll expect the same or better deal.
4 On looking at sketches or concepts: "Well, we aren't sure if we want to use you yet, but leave your material here so I can talk to my partner/investor/wife/clergy." You can be sure that 15 minutes after you leave he will be on the phone to other designers, now with concepts in hand, asking for price quotes. When you call back you will be informed that your prices were too high and Joe Blow Design/Illustration will be doing the job. Why shouldn't they be cheaper? You just gave them hours of free consulting work! Until you have a deal, LEAVE NOTHING CREATIVE at the clients office.
5 "Well, the job isn't CANCELLED, just delayed. Keep the account open and we'll continue in a month or two." Ummm, probably not. If something is hot, then not, it could be dead. It would be a mistake to *not* bill for work performed at this point and then let the chips fall where they may! Call in two months and someone else may be in that job. And guess what? They don't know you at all.....
6 "Contract? We don't need no stinking contact! Aren't we friends?" Yes, we are, until something goes wrong or is misunderstood, then you are the jerk in the suit and I am that idiot designer, then the contract is essential. That is, unless one doesn't care about being paid. Any reputable business uses paperwork to define relationships and you should too.
7 "Send me a bill after the work goes to press." Why wait for an irrelevant deadline to send an invoice? You stand behind your work, right? You are honest, right? Why would you feel bound to this deadline? Once you deliver the work and it is accepted, BILL IT. This point may just be a delaying tactic so the job goes through the printer prior to any question of your being paid. If the guy waits for the job to be printed, and you do changes as necessary, then he can stiff you and not take a chance that he'll have to pay someone else for changes.
8 "The last guy did it for XXX dollars." That is irrelevant. If the last guy was so good they wouldn't be talking to you, now would they? And what that guy charged means nothing to you, really. People who charge too little for their time go out of business (or self-destruct financially, or change occupations) and then someone else has to step in. Set a fair price and stick to it.
9 "Our budget is XXX dollars, firm." Amazing, isn't it? This guy goes out to buy a car, and what, knows exactly what he is going to spend before even looking or researching? Not likely. A certain amount of work costs a certain amount of money. If they have less money (and you *can*) do less work and still take the job. But make sure they understand that you are doing less work if you take less money that you originally estimated. Give fewer comps, simplify, let them go elsewhere for services (like films) etc.
10 "We are having financial problems. Give us the work, we'll make some money and we'll pay you. Simple." Yeah, except when the money comes, you can expect that you will be pretty low on the list to be paid. If someone reaches the point where they admit that the company is in trouble, then they are probably much worse off than they are admitting to. Even then, are you a bank? Are you qualified to check out their financials? If the company is strapped to the point where credit is a problem through credit agencies, banks etc. what business would you have extending credit to them. You have exactly ZERO pull once they have the work. Noble intentions or not, this is probably a losing bet. But if you are going to roll the dice, AT LEAST you should be getting additional money for waiting. The bank gets interest and so should you. That is probably why the person is approaching you; to get six months worth of free interest instead of paying bank rates for credit and then paying you with that money. Don't give away money.
Now, this list wasn't meant to make anyone crazy or paranoid, but is designed to inject some reality into the fantasy.
You are GOING to be dealing with people who are unlike yourself. Their motivations are their own and their attitudes are probably different than yours. There are going to be demands, problems, issues and all the hassles that go with practically ANY work/job/money situation. Too many times I see the sad example of someone walking in to a situation with noble intentions and then getting royally screwed, because what they see as an opportunity and a labor of love, the other party sees as something else entirely, not at all romantic or idealized, but raw and simple.
How can you deal with this stuff and still do good creative work? Good question. THIS is why an education is important. You learn, out of the line of fire, how to deal with the art at it's own level and also how to deal with the crap that surrounds it. You may have tough teachers and think that it can't be worse, but wait until a business person has a hundred grand riding on your art! Then you will know what "demanding" means. You will then thank all those tough teachers for building up the calluses that enable you to enjoy the job rather than just feeling like it is all a big waste of time!
In the end, working commercially, being a terrific artist is about 25% of the task. If that is the only part of the task that you are interested in, do yourself a favor. Don't turn "pro."
Biglang bumuhos ang ulan. Buhos talaga. Hindi patak. Buhos. Parang bomba ng bumbero. 'Yung tunog ay parang mga sasakyan na tumatakbo nang mabilis at sabay-sabay.
Buhos. Hindi patak.
. o O o .
Parang gusto kong maiyak. Hindi UMiyak. Kundi MAiyak. Hindi dahil trip ko o dahil nararamdaman ko. Pero parang kailangan ko. Ang problema, wala akong mapaghugutan.
Nalulungkot ako. Hindi dahil mayroong bagay na dapat kong ikalungkot. Actually, wala lang talagang anumang bagay na dapat ikasaya.
Kung ipagpipilitan ko talaga, ia-apply ko rito 'yung Theory of Reciprocity. Ibig sabihin, one won't exist without the other. Ergo, kung walang lungkot at iyak, wala ring saya at tawa. Baka mas 'yun ang pino-problema ko.
Ewan ko. Naguguluhan na 'ko sa sarili kong pretensyon. Baka bigla akong maiyak at matawa nang sabay dito.
. o O o .
Sabi, patience is a virtue. Naisip ko, paano 'yan? wala akong patience. Ibig kayang sabihin nu'n eh hindi ako virtuous? Meaning, immoral ako at hindi... chaste?
Uhm... Ewan. Ito 'yung mga isyu na ayokong ina-address.
Naging supernova na 'yung mga star, at nag-lunar eclipse na agad. Kainis. Two weeks lang halos.
Lumipad at lumanding sa harapan 'yung reality. Nadaganan 'yung mga butterfly. Pisat. Tumalsik 'yung kulay green and white na laman-loob. Tapos binuhusan ng gasolina, tsaka hinagisan ng posporo. At nu'ng abo na, binagsakan ng atomic bomb. Tapos, ng nuclear warhead. Good luck.
. o O o .
I hope this doesn't make me a bad person. I'm trying to earn pogi points sa universe.
. o O o .
Anyway, ang mga tao daw, 'pag naguguluhan at mayroong hindi naiintindihan, at walang mahanap na matinong kausap o maayos na sagot, tumitingala at tumitingin sa mga bituin at mga planeta. Pero kung dito sa Maynila nakatira, asa pa. Maski nga ilaw sa poste 'di maaninag sa kapal ng smog. Ang ending, online tarot reading na lang.
Hindi ko naintindihan 'tong sagot ng virtual baraha. Pero ayoko nang magtanong ulit. Baka magalit eh kung ano pa lumabas. Besides, inaantok na 'ko.
Tsaka parang, uhm, nauubos na rin ang pasensya ko.
Two of Cups - Reversed
in the Past position. A card in the left position indicates what has happened to affect your question in the past.
Cowardice. False love and weakness. Jealousy. Outside influences damage the fragile growth of a new relationship. The intense energy of a good match gone awry proves equally passionate in the negative direction. Panic, hurt, sabotage.
Eight of Pentacles - Reversed
in the Present position. A card in the middle position indicates what is affecting your question at this time.
Loathing the workplace. Avoiding making a choice of career or lack of ambition. One who manipulates and exploits to acquire rather than labours. Double standards within a familyrun business. Freeloader. Attitude of a spoiled child.
Six of Swords
in the Future position.
A card in the right position indicates your questions future.
Movement. Improvement of any situation. Safe passage. More than sympathy, but help from others. Moving away from an unhealthy situation. Lessening stress, yet destination unknown. Travel over water. A new chapter. Sometimes interpreted as a declaration of love. Direction. A powerful card in aligning heart and mind. Focus and follow-through, yet unpredictable result.
Hindi naman ako 'yung tipong astrology-freak. Usually it takes more than a couple of general statements to convince me na tama nga 'yung predictions.
However, for some strange reason, parang korek / tama / eksakto 'yung horoscope ko for today. Ngayon ko lang 'to nabasa dahil nagpapaantok ako. Pero tumambling ako at napa-cartwheel dahil parang... precise. As in razor-sharp precise.
Today brings an ending of some kind that is much better for you than you would have expected. It's a great day to try new things or to just relax and bask in the glow of your great results!
Ang pinakapaborito ko ay 'yung part tungkol sa *ending.* True enough, when I woke up this morning, sobrang sama ng pakiramdam ko. I felt like I had Mystica's nails stuck inside my throat. Tapos, mainit 'yung pakiramdam ko--at hindi 'yung sexy na klase ng *init.* Tapos nahihirapan ako huminga. Tapos inuubo, pero since kinakalmot nga ni Mystica 'yung throat ko, ang sakit [feeling ata nya eh mukha 'yun ni Cristy "Sumalangit Nawa" Fermin]. Tapos...
Tapos, wala pa 'yung inaabangan / inaasahan. Bad trip.
Pero dahil Capricorn ako, hindi ako nagpahalata nu'ng naramdaman kong disappointment. Dapat cool lang. Unaffected. Parang... I-couldn't-care-less. Goatshit.
Buti na lang, naka-align ata nang maayos ang mga planet, star at galaxy ngayong araw na 'to. Somehow 'yung hintayan na nauwi sa dedmahan na nauwi sa *hmpf!* ay na-address naman. Nagkausap. Nagkalinawan. Tapos may bonus pang konting bolahan.
At 'yung nakakairitang simula ng araw, maganda naman ang ending. Well, more than maganda, it was way beyond what I was expecting. Way beyond what I wanted at this point. Way beyond what I deserved.
I don't know if this is the next level. Siguro. I don't want to get ahead of myself. Basta. Baby steps lang muna. Hindi ko alam kung saan 'to makakarating. Pero ang sigurado ko, it will be somewhere magical.
If ito ang regalo ko ngayong Pasko, grabe, sulit na sulit ang pagpapa-good boy ko nitong mga nakaraang taon. At mukhang I'll giggle-like-a-high-school-girl the rest of the year away. .
Tinanong n'ya 'ko, "Are you the stars that look down on me? Or the moon that shines above me?"
Mula kasi nang magkakilala kami, naka-create kami ng routine. Sa mga usapan, laging nasisingit ang takutan. And a couple of nights ago, sinimulan ko ulit, "Tingin ka sa labas. Nandito ako."
I was hoping na matakot s'ya. Na either may magic ako para mag-travel nang mabilis. Or at least ma-freak out man lang na ako pala 'yung tipong nang-i-stalk o nag-aabang sa labas ng bahay.
But, no. Humirit ng "Are you the stars that look down on me? Or the moon that shines above me?"
I was caught off guard. Akala ko hihiritan ako ng mas malupit.
A few days earlier kasi, tinakot ko, "Sino 'yang nasa likod mo?"
Eh, since mukha ngang matapang, sabi n'ya "Pader. Eh, ikaw, sino 'yang matandang nakakapit sa binti mo?"
"Bwiset bwiset bwiset!" Sobrang visual ko kaya mag-isip. Same reason kaya ayoko ng mga adult na usapan. Nai-imagine ko na agad. 'Pag may mention ng private parts or 'yung bagay na ginagawa ng mga taong *nagmamahalan,* nakikita ko na agad 'yun sa isip ko.
Eh 'di lalo na 'yung matandang nakakapit sa binti ko. Tumatak agad sa isip ko si Lilian Cantapay [?] na nakayakap sa binti ko sa ilalim ng sofa. At ayaw bumitiw. Hindi nagsasalita, pero ang talim ng tingin.
Bwiset talaga. Ilang oras bago ko naibaba at naalis ang tingin ko sa mga binti ko.
Kaya nu'ng sinabihan ko s'ya na "Tingin ka sa labas. Nandito ako." At nagtanong s'ya, "Are you the stars that look down on me? Or the moon that shines above me?" Tumambling ako. Tatlong beses. Sabay backflip.
Tsaka ko pinatulan, "I'm both. Are you the butterflies fluttering restlessly inside my chest?"
Nyahahaha! [Although, I wasn't really laughing like that. I was actually giggling like a high school girl. High pitched.]
Sabi n'ya, "Yes, I am."
And on and on it went. Blah blah blah... Pero high pitched.
Needless to say, natulog ako nu'ng gabi na 'yun nang nakangiti. At paggising naman ay may malutong na "ha ha ha!" [Hiwa-hiwalay bawat isang *ha* dahil ganu'n talaga ako tumawa sa totoong buhay.]
In love na ba 'ko? Nope, I don't think so. Am I getting there? Maybe, I don't know. Do I like how I'm feeling right now? Definitely.
It's been years--three? four?--since I felt this way. I was beginning to think na never ko nang mararamdaman 'to ulit. Kaya right now, kahit walang sigurado, ayoko munang mag-isip masyado. Gusto ko munang maramdaman 'yung kiliti sa dulo ng mga daliri sa paa, 'yung kuryente sa kamay, at 'yung involuntary na tawa na lumalabas sa bibig. 'Wag muna love; du'n na lang muna sa idea ng love.
Is it the person? Ewan. Unfair siguro para sa kanya, but I think medyo matagal-tagal na 'tong in the making. Tried getting into relationships, konti. Tried going out on dates, konti ulit. Tried meeting new people, konti pa ulit. Konti pa. Konti ulit. Konti-konti. Baka ito 'yung sinasabi nilang feather that broke the camel's back. Or para sa 'kin, the flirting that made me giggle again. Like a high school girl. High pitched. Hiwa-hiwalay na "ha ha ha".
Kaya naman mula nu'ng tinanong n'ya, "Are you the stars that look down on me? Or the moon that shines above me?" At sinabi kong "I'm both. Are you the butterflies fluttering restlessly inside my chest?" At in-assure n'ya 'kong "Yes, I am." ang saya-saya ko. Ninanamnam ko bawat salita. Bawat personal pronoun at bawat noun na magkarugtong. Matagal ko nang gusto ang moon, pero parang lalo 'yun gumanda sa paningin ko. Pati 'yung mga stars. Pati 'yung mga butterfly.
And to use 'yung favorite word namin, lahat naging *magical.*
Muntik ko nang nalimutan how this felt. Sarap nga pala ng ganito. Sana 'wag na 'tong mawala ulit. Sana makaramdam ako ng ganito habambuhay.
Tapos bigla kong na-realize, P*tah! Eh, one to two weeks nga lang pala ang lifespan ng butterflies!