Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pictures and Pages

Last few pictures from last weekend, along with some thoughts which arose in this morning's Pages, which also came out in a conversation with my sister. They don't necessarily go together, but, anyway, just... ride along :D Think of it as listening to someone rambling on while you look out the window of a running bus. I am still also quite uncertain how to write these constantly meandering thoughts. 

It surfaced in this morning's Pages. My old feelings for certain people seem to have been placed differently now in my perspective. It was like, being out there was like being able to swim out of the pond, and into the sea. And, I wrote, in a way, certain things and ways of thinking were washed away from my eyes and my mind. So it's like, upon returning, the other fish in the pond may not have changed, but I know that somehow I did, or at least something inside me did. I am not sure exactly what sort of change it is. But somehow, now I realize that I had been deeply attached, more deeply attached than I thought, all this time, to certain people or groups. Which now explains why I was quick to anger or why I ended up disappointed and emotionally troubled. It was because I was very attached to them, or whatever it is they represent to me in my life. 

But now, with this change-thing that I cannot even begin to articulate, all that attachment just dissipated into nothingness. It is not they have been replaced. In fact, I might be able to say I seem to be alone as ever, especially since I saw the complete opposite of my situation in others while I was away. However, I also felt/saw/perceived/sensed (what the, I mean really, it is hard to transcribe thoughts zooming by, especially those I cannot fully comprehend yet) that something has "changed." For the nth time I do not know exactly what, but I know something did, at some part inside me. 

Now, there is a sort of "detachment," for lack of a better word. Something magnified the context I was in, right before the "change." The context that I was attaching myself to things, people, or groups that are not really worth it, not worth all the trouble and effort and emotional stress. Something magnified all that, which made the "detachment" process much more fluid, more natural, more effortless. Whatever that something is, I am not sure. But that, combined with a recent realization about a friendship which turned out to be not one, and combined with being away from everyone else I attached myself to, I suddenly saw certain realities about some relationships, which turned out to be not as deep or connected as I would have wanted them to be. There are vast distances in values. There have been elements that simply strain and not strengthen. And being away from everything made me realize that it did not really entail any loss or longing from my end. It was also because I started seeing some things and people in forms closer to the truth, instead of the forms I wanted to see. 

It was like, suddenly being at sea without any specific expectations made me see in a candid manner that I may not have found my tribe yet, but it did remind me that the world is far greater and bigger and there are far more opportunities than I think, and that I do not need to get stuck with the same cycles and habits and people and meaningless rituals nor force myself to believe that I am surrounded by genuine connections or pseudo-tribes. Moreover, I also noticed that, difficult as it may be for me, it has somehow become more automatic to go through a screen-find-(notlookfor)-non-negotiable-flaw-reject-bin. Pretty much like the thing I mentioned that happened recently. Even if I realized it a bit late (again) that something was not as it seemed, I don't feel so bad nor guilty anymore about placing warning labels on it for myself. 

Then I also wrote about those I had been avoiding like the plague. They may still be the same, still give the same reasons why I wanted myself transported to distant lands when they were around. But since that "change," it's like no matter how noisy (literally and figuratively) their presence is, I noticed that I  am just not perturbed anymore. Which means no more rotten moods. No more desire to attack or maim. Which brings me back to my earlier point about certain attachments just suddenly dissipating into thin air. Not that I was attached to those that I avoided, but I was attached to those who reacted to and glorified them. And so when they did all those things, I would internally flare up. But then again, looking at things now in this "new" perspective, it is more like, I am no longer attached, hence I am not affected. Because of the detachment, the root of all my issues from before has just died and is merely fertilizing this new ground I am walking on. 

So there. I do not know exactly what the trigger was, or what changed. But since I returned, I noticed a similar pattern arising from my daily Morning Pages, until it all sort of ripened earlier today. Then it gave birth to that realization that while nothing has really changed, somehow, through a "change" that lies beneath the surface, I was just able to step through something that I have always wanted to get across but never managed to. And it is great, because I have always worked hard to surpass it, and I always faltered. But now, there was just suddenly a path available to me, a path so clear I cannot imagine not having seen it before. 

Friday, August 30, 2013

Unearthed Experimental Bookmarks

My mom recently unearthed some old bookmarks I handcrafted about a couple of years ago. They were like my practice-bookmarks, since I had been thinking of making and selling bookmarks, and was trying to see if I could do it and if I would like doing it. 

The artwork cutouts were from a very old and wornout copy of Clive Barker's Abarat, with many of its pages missing. For these experimental bookmarks, I used pink boards and some special purple wrap, and the artwork cutouts. I temporarily wrapped them in plastic to see how they would look like when "packed" and all that. Anyway, eventually, I made more bookmarks, and this bunch found its way under all the other things and fabrics and paper. Then recently my mom came across them as she cleaned out the crafting area, and so now I just passed them on to her :3 

I miss crafting and sewing, and I intend to spend some time again at the sewing machine soon. I also want to make more cold clay creations, and go back to paper crafting. So many things to do! It's kind of exciting really, I just hope naps won't steal me from them. 

Good Morning Weekend (^_^)

Well it isn't so early in the morning anymore (^^U) I woke up later than usual because I decided I shall allow myself more sleep especially since I am settling back home and into certain realities :D

Anyway speaking of early mornings I took this on my first morning in Penang. 

The window of the hotel room where I stayed was facing east, hence I was able to take this. Next time though, if both my budget and the room availability permit, I'd probably request for a single-bed room.

Moving forward, this bus. (On the way to Universiti Sains Malaysia) 

It's just that it's not nice being treated like a halfwit who can be ordered around and prohibited from going near clean surfaces, and being spoken to as though one has the vocabulary of a splinter, and being literally pushed forward to be the one to try something new or unfamiliar as some kind of thick-headed guinea pig, and being blamed for minor delays that could've otherwise been easily addressed, and being subtly asked to shut up when it was one's turn to speak. I mean really, all that was even more tiring than all the kendo I had to do D: Anyway it took me until the last day to realize what was happening and why I was even more exhausted than I should be. I guess I realized late because all the while, for years, I wanted to believe that all the kindness and connection were genuine, and everything authoritative or harsh was just a hallucination. 

It's still good to finally discern something, though. At least I managed to get out of a trap, or an unhealthy or unequal relationship/connection. I think it all also teaches me (once again) not to get into a similar case in the future, for instance, by recognizing signs that one is not really good for me, and should not be among those who constantly surround me. Like seniors who imply to juniors that they are not made for international competitions or who simply do not care for others except how great oneself is. I think acting as such misses the deeper meaning of kendo, which is more than just physical prowess. 

Yeah all that just came out because sunrise-room-memories-illness-vocabularyquestions-musclememoryofbeingpushed-yeahliterally. What a train of thought :D 

Watching the matches would really lift my spirits though. 

In the late afternoon, there would be goudo keiko and after that I would climb up the bleachers tired and out of breath, but exhilarated at the same time. I was able to play with some of the people I've been wanting to practise with. I was fortunate enough to practise with and be taught by Aimi from the Malaysian team (which was the champion for the Women's Team Matches), who was also the champion for the women's individual tournament. I first saw her play in Hong Kong in 2011 when I took my first exam but did not participate in the tournament, and I have been awed by how she plays ever since. I also practised with people whom I've met for the first time, some of whom I've been in touch with since I got back to Manila. I think it's great, and I am looking forward and hoping to practise with all of them again someday. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Raspberry Peach

This morning:

I decided it was time to change my hair color again (not that I've done it many times, this is actually just the second time). Time to say goodbye to the Pink Brown that somehow, eventually, turned a bit copper.

I noticed that my original black hair is starting to have a distinct color from the Pink-Brown-turned-Copper/Orange, and I remembered I have been wanting something closer to red or maroon, and that I have promised myself a new hair color after Malaysia.

My hair looks straighter here because it was still a bit damp from the shower. By now its natural waves are back and it looks darker away from the daylight. If my Pink Brown from before turned into something like copper with a hint of orange, I wonder what color this Sweet Raspberry is going to be like in a couple of month's time :D

Milk Tea, Mogu Mogu, and Men's Individual Matches

Okay they are not exactly related, I know :D Anyway, I shall be sharing some photos I took from the men's individual tournament, and there are only quite a few since there were four courts and the matches were all happening simultaneously (these are fewer though, as most were posted in Facebook). The girls from our team were assigned to different courts to look after and take care of the men who were fighting there, and I was assigned to court D with Lex, a really nice girl whom I just met when we all arrived in Kuala Lumpur. So we didn't get to watch all the other matches going in the other courts, but it's okay because there were other girls from our team cheering them on. 

Before anything else though, I just wanted to share my joy of discovering this milk tea drink yesterday. I was out for errands with my sister and we dropped by a supermarket to check out some interesting things and I found this.

It smells and tastes exactly like the Roasted milk tea in Chatime! It's good to have plenty of this around for any of those sudden Chatime craving attacks and you don't feel like stepping out or spending or there is no Chatime nearby. It's kind of addictive, really, I feel like I should've gotten like, twenty :D

Anyway so here are some photos from Saturday, during which there was the men's individual tournament. It was really efficient, how Malaysia took care of everything. Everyone just had to show up and basically everything we needed has been anticipated and addressed. Malaysia made everything very orderly and convenient for everyone attending the event, it was really great. For one thing, each group was assigned a waiting area before boarding the bus that would take us to Universiti Sains Malaysia where the event was held. We were originally assigned with Vietnam though I think they were transferred to another location (^^U) 

I know, I know, I just had the compulsion to take a photo of Vietnam and the Philippines together XD ANYWAY, moving on, this trip had so many great things in it, and despite some difficulties and challenges, I was not as emotional and things were not as "oppressive" (for lack of a better word) as last year (2012) in Hong Kong. I think it helped a lot that I had my own thoughts and reactions in check, and I was with a bunch of people, most of whom were very encouraging and supportive and were in very bright moods, so they easily drowned out everyone and everything else who tended to drag me down. So all in all, it was a really marvelous experience and I was able to meet a number of really nice people, both from Manila and other countries. 

The photo above shows Ken having scored a Men point. Though I lost my voice from the night before and couldn't cheer him on loudly, I was kind of doing so in my head :D Lex was also in full support of him and her high spirits carried mine along with her (^_^) 

Speaking of support, I was quite moved by how the young members of the Philippine delegation were so encouraging and supportive. I do not get to practise with them here in Manila as we go to different dojos (which are also far away from each other), and it was the first time I was around them. But seeing them just once and having seen how they interact with one another, I noticed how warm and tight and strong their sense of Team is, particularly the girls I had noodles with on the first day, as well as the young men whom I met the next day. It was something so natural to them, and it was quite moving how well they took care of one another. In fact, even if I am not an original member of their group, but since I am competing alongside them for the Women's Team Competition, I was also taken care of, just like any other member. I was grateful they were there. We were all girls and we were all treated Equally, which I have never felt before. Even if I am not very good in kendo, these young women and young men treated me equally and encouraged me just as much as they did the others. I suddenly understood why they always fought with such high spirits. They do not have any space for fear, or uncertainty, or insecurity. They were already brimming with positive energies and a strong sense of connection with their other members. Together, they are all competent, and not merely competitive against one another. And it is something they naturally are, and not because they were told to be so. 

These guys above are Ken (again :D), and he is fighting against this nice guy whom I met in one of the bus rides. That time I was feeling bad about my exam, but giving away a handful of Skittles sort of made me feel better (^_^) I also had the chance to do keiko with him some time during the weekend. It was nice meeting many different people, as it also reminded me that where I am is just a pond, and there is much bigger world out there at sea. I think it is one of the things that this trip did - make me realize I have just been in a pond and that it's not all there is - people-wise and experience-wise and lesson-wise. Whatever it is that made me feel trapped or oppressed or overlooked or hopeless before has now been gently waved away by the much bigger sea I went to swim into, even for just a while. 

And it was not just kendo-related lessons and things I learned and realized. Of course kendo-wise, I really need to practise harder than ever and do so regularly (meaning I should avoid being absent again for three months straight :D), and for exams I should not suddenly switch to what I hear last, and moving forward I should apply what I learned when I was there, particularly those kindly taught to me by some people I met. But apart from kendo-things, a number of other things surfaced, which showed me more about what and how I can really be towards others, and how I've become compared to a few months to a couple of years back, and how easier or more automatic it has been for me to weed out or acknowledge and discern certain people and things. Anyway like what I mentioned in a previous post, I think "kendo really does that, make you see and realize even the things outside of it." 

Oh I almost forgot the second element in the title :D MOGU MOGU. It is not a biggie, just that I just tried the Orange Mogu Mogu and I really like it. I think it's right to start and end this post with beverages so no one goes home thirsty.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Penang Love

Okay so I love Penang. The place gives me the same feeling I get from Bangkok and Singapore, that right-at-home feeling. I love the feel of the place and I particularly like the walks we'd take (not to mention the FOOD).

Many of us from the Philippine delegation arrived at Penang on Thursday, August 22nd. I stepped out of the airport and already felt Penang give me a HUG. Really ✿⊱╮

On the way to the hotel we ate dried blueberries. 

The drive was a bit long but I loved it, because I like long drives and I loved almost everything I saw. I intend to go back to Penang someday, with my sister, like a real vacation :D By then I won't have mini-traumas and Bitchy Trampolines and being made to drink aviation fuel (early in the morning, when I still comprehend vocabulary but am slow to react) while being expected to magically sense key-needs and to become the guinea pig for anything new and unfamiliar. Okay enough of that. You see, I also learned some lessons that were not related to the kendo event at all. Anyway, moving on, it was quite a pleasant surprise that the sky was still bright even at half-past seven in the evening. On the first day, some of us girls went out to look for FOOD. It was quite a pleasant walk. I was also quite cheerful about some things. 

The weather was warm but it was windy and I thought it was all really lovely. We all took pictures of that violet-blue building above because we thought it was pretty. 

Later on my grumbling stomach was appeased by this nice bowl of hokkien mee which was prepared by this nice old man who also owned the store. Most of these food stalls were run by the owners themselves and they also made the food. 

Later on I got myself iced white coffee and the others got homemade soya milk. 

I was initially thinking of getting the beverages with unusual names or that are just plain unusual but I needed my coffee so I got the white coffee instead. I think I finished the whole glass in two whole seconds after which I felt more human. It was the first time I spent almost twelve hours total in transit. On the way back to the hotel after finishing the drinks, the most attractive things to me were the shower and the bed. 

And then there was this nice artwork on the wall of a building. 

We took note of where to go back for meals the next night.

Anyway that's just a bit for now, because it is way past my bedtime and tomorrow I need to go back to a normal schedule, although there might be some errands I need to take care of that I was not able to do over the time I was in Malaysia. I know, the above are more like random photos than anything :D They're actually more for my Twitter but I have been having problems posting so perhaps tomorrow. Omg am I still making sense I should go to bed good night everyone :3

Back and Beaming Despite

Despite many things. Yes, *BEAM*

Pictures shall be posted soon, and perhaps I shall tell bits of this and that as I go along. Yesterday I flew from Penang (a new Place I Love) to Kuala Lumpur then from Kuala Lumpur to Manila, after having gone through an exam I didn't pass (my fault for not following what I originally intended to do) and my very first tournament against other countries (which I lost but whose experience I realize was quite exhilarating), among a million other things concerning life and friendships and people and myself. As mentioned, more on all of those as I go along in the next posts. 

Meanwhile I am taking a quick rest before I return to normal days tomorrow. I woke up from over eight hours of good, restful sleep, and the weather is lovely in a cloudy sort of way. I look forward to many changes in various aspects of my life. I think kendo really does that, make you see and realize even the things outside of it. There are some tough parts like maybe realizing you need to weed out some people and things and habits, but of course there are also Great Parts. 

Anyway for now I shall share a filtered version of a recent illustration, simply because I like this filtered version better than the actual output :D As for the actual postcard, since I am back I can bring it for the buyer next time I see him. 

I think next time I should use sharper colors. Soon! I can't wait to draw and paint again ❤ 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Postcard Pose

Finally I finished the requested piece I wrote about last time. Initially I was not sure how to go about it, but this filtered version of it sort of gave me an idea.

Rough on the edges. Oh that can mean many things. 

It is not that close to the filtered version but I think it's Rough Enough :D 

Now you get to see the whole thing. Doesn't that make this rainy day a wee bit cozier. Anyway here they are posing for a postcard. 

When I get back from Malaysia (okay I am assuming we get to fly and fight and fly back, right), I shall be painting some rocks again because I think someone wants to order some (^_^) It is a happy thing, selling my artwork and painted things, and a mountain of thanks to those who buy them :) 

By the way I patterned myself above from my girl-next-door self which I first drew in April. I don't think I ever blogged about this though, I am not sure. Maybe the shirt ruffles unnerve me.

Hey You (April 2013)

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Bit of Color

I worked my Sunday away well into the first hour of Monday, and it's been raining non-stop and I have been wanting, specifically, a Coke in can, and this is a rare craving as I rarely take softdrinks, and last night the craving was even accompanied by a Need For A Donut, until all the craving died down and I just wanted to sleep in the joy of my solitude. 

Today I still need to get the last leg of the work done, but I decided to indulge myself and color my last sketch a little, though I am not really done yet because I suddenly felt tired and anxious. Tired because I usually get this feeling on some afternoons on some days of the week, anxious because of kendo things coming up this week all the way in Penang, and I have never even mentioned it until now because I have pretended all this time that it is still FAR OFF AND PROBABLY A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION, though it is Apparently Not :D It worked for a time, until last week when my friend sent me a text message saying she was very anxious upon realizing that we were leaving "next week" which is now THIS week, and since then I've been floaty and a wee bit weirder. 

I babbled. I know. So here is the still unfinished and partly colored request.

Oh and I also meant Partly Shown. I still cannot decide about how I shall make it look the way I see in my head. 

I shall now finish my coffee which is fast turning cold and then jump right into work. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead, and I wish most of you Real Happy Rewarding Dialogues. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

So Far, This Sketch

Another kendo-themed request after a previously requested Ferocity (complete with lion and flames) XD and this is what I have so far, or PART of what I have so far, since it is all just an initial sketch and I don't want to show the whole thing just yet XD 

That's just me, see, all chubby and animatedly talking. 

This request is from another friend though (who also happened to like my Mercury Pineapple and now would like a specific image illustrated), and I am still getting used to requested pieces XD But I do think it's kind of fun making them and I can hardly wait how each will turn out :3 They all just kind of "come out" of my mind as I draw or while I am going about my day making lists and zoning into work. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mercury Pineapple in Progress

Because I only have a short time to paint today, I was still not able to finish yesterday's drawing, but this is what I've finished so far:

I've been quite anxious since this morning I am not sure why T_T 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

This Girl is Back

Well at least, kind of. The long-stretched project which caused me and my sister many many sleepless nights is finally over, and starting this week my schedule has been a bit normal. Still, I have some urgent work to do, though at least I can just do them at home and I do not have to pull an all-nighter. I have also not been drawing in a while and I kind of miss drawing my usual girls, so before beginning work today I warmed up a bit with this girl who kind of Looks To You To See If You'd Be Like Everyone Else Who Scampers Away Just Because You Find Her Too Weird.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cakes, Sundaes, Circles

It feels like I've been away for ages, and my schedule has been all over the place, but right this moment I have a 15-minute breather so I shall write here for a bit. 

So on the Sunday before the last one, I did my usual Sunday morning job (that made me sound kind of Pious, right) then went over to my grandma's for her 92nd birthday celebration. And there was CAKE.

Because my grandma has been sewing since forever.

My cousin took care of the cake. AND THE CUPCAKES.

My grandma loves all things RED and a lot of yellow hence the colors. 

After the lunch party I went home with my sister to her house, where my week-long TOIL had begun. We napped a few hours whenever we started showing symptoms of drunkenness, then went right back to work after. At some point everything was just funny and I was darting Very Weird Random Questions at her, which made her laugh and thus used the last vestiges of energy she had, which made her need to nap again. Her place temporarily looked like some kind of nut house. 

Because there was hardly any time to cook and wash up, we had her McNeighbor feed us for most of our meals. 

A pleasant new discovery. I also tried the blueberry pancakes one morning and it was HAPPY FOOD.

And so this is why almost a week has passed and I have not posted anything I have drawn for the month. I was still able to make something eventually, when my week-long toil was over. I did the background much earlier though, and just added the girl and her dear companion friend after.

I was back home by Thursday night, and the next day, before setting off to work outside of the home, I realized I had not really looked in the mirror for a week, and the blackness of my eye circles stunned me that I had to take a photo. I think it suits those creepy instrumental tunes I listen to. 

Now I shall finish my coffee and prepare for today's work. Happy Tuesday, everyone 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sundae Sunday

I still need to do a lot of work and a longer blog post shall follow next time but lemme just say: 

Happy Sunday!

Now I shall get back to work! I am glad I am totally not sleepy despite having to wake up early and sleeping really really really late last night. I had a GREAT time with good company and even back home I talked to my sister over the phone and I was exchanging messages with a music-kin (who told me I reminded him of a Weezer song which I listened to and it also reminded me of me) and then talked to another friend over the phone and then I spent the rest of my late night tidying up and listening to music and wondering about certain things I shouldn't even be wondering about, but all in all it was a great evening. So alright, really, getting back to work now :D

PS. I also got my shinai last night, the one in exchange for my Illustration of Put-On Ferocity :D 
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