random thoughts, musings and workings of a totally warped mind. tintin is a colorblind writer who paints,dreams of flying a kite along EDSA, teaches middle & high school writing & literature, and is the future mother of Kulay and Una Rosa Maria.

Friday, September 24, 2004

fun! Posted by Hello

The Creative Machine Camp! Oct. 16-17, 2004 Fairmount, Antipolo

If you know 6-12 year old boys and girls who like fun and new experiences, the Creative Machine Camp is for them!

There will be arts and crafts, hand & mural painting, storytelling, music making, creative writing, theater, street dancing, hiking, star gazing and of course, a camp fire! An exhibit and family day will end the camp.

To all you 7 million readers of this blog, please pass this on :) Let kids create. There are so many amazing things they can do. And yep, I'm directing the camp together with Teacher Rex, Teacher Vlad and other teachers/storytellers.

Visit Our House for more details.

We need Camp Aides. If you like kids and don't mind messing up your shirt with paint or dirt, leave your email here and I'll get back to you. A modest honorarium will be given to accepted Aides.

2,700.00 camp fee includes food and accommodations, materials, kit, camp shirt/art smock and art work framing. 15% Discount for first 10 kids. Limited slots only.

We have an in-house physician and 24-hr security. Fairmount is a peaceful, executive village in Antipolo near Town & Country and Barrington Heights.

Also, if you just like kids and you want to hang out during the camp, you're most welcome. Just bring cookies and milk for everyone :) Oh and an extra shirt too (in case, you decide to splatter the wall with finger paints too).


In other news, I'll be off to Cagayan de Oro this Sunday til Friday next week. I've been busy preparing for the camp and the workshop in CDO the whole week that my life has been transformed to a work-go home/sleep-work routine.

It's surprising though that I managed to finish three books in five days:

"The Pleasure of My Company" by Steve Martin - I had high expectations of it--but. I'll leave it at that.

"The Time-traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger - a film version of it would be nice, I think. It had its moments. Again, I won't say much.

"The Wind-up Bird Chronicles" by Haruki Murakami - Mahusay! (Murakami's an all-time favorite)

Now, i'm trying to finish Chabon's "Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay".

It's better this way. Drown myself with the drone of others' words than my own.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

At Dakak Posted by Hello

I am so in love with him. Do I really have to tell the world about it? And do I really have to be so Carrie Bradshaw about it?

I'm here in the office while he's out on official business. He had just called to ask about somebody's contact number. The last words he uttered were 'thank you'. That's it and I'm swooning.

I keep replaying those words in my mind you you you. It's the way he says words; the way syllables roll in his tongue, the way his mouth opens and closes and I imagine ten thousand other things he does so well with it.

Is it hormones, me or my forty-something man is utterly, undeniably sexy?

Monday, September 20, 2004

Bok: "tintinnnnn give me a bath na!" Posted by Hello

Bok: "something stinks here..." Posted by Hello

Bok: " aha! agua!" Posted by Hello

Bok: "hi there, I'm Bok. Aren't you thirsty or somethin'?" Posted by Hello

Bok:" (so near yet so far...)" Posted by Hello

Bok: "oops..." Posted by Hello

"oki..oki.." Posted by Hello

Friday, September 17, 2004

Afternoon thoughts suspended in mid-air

A sad bird perched herself on top of my shoulder and whispered to my ear: "have you ever wanted to be alone and at the same time you do not want to be alone?"

"Yes", I said, "it happens to me all the time." I emptied the plastic cup of water and turned it upside down and I motioned to her to sit on it.

"Why are you here if you wanted to be all by yourself?"

She opened her wings and started flapping them like she was trying to shake off whatever that was burdening them.

"I don’t want to be alone either."
"But I’m busy. I have work to do. How did you find me?"

She was still fluttering her wings up and down as she said: "I have been looking for you all morning. I wanted to ask the sun where you might be but I remembered the boy who flew close to it. I don’t want to lose my wings, they are delicate, you know--my feathers."

"How did you find me? Oh Never mind. I have no time."

With that, I turned my swivel chair to what I was doing before she came. The bird flew off and I thought she had sensed my indifference and thought it was best to leave.

But the bird transformed itself into a little girl and there she was, in a white shirt and brown trek shorts, sitting on the chair beside my table. She had a yellow backpack that appeared too heavy for her frail body. I shook my head in resignation, she was not planning to go after all.

"I said I’m busy."

"You have beautiful eyelashes."

"Very well. You may stay here if you want but I cannot talk to you. I have so many things to do."

"Could you close your eyes for a while so I could take a much longer look at them?"

"I’m busy."

I handed a sheet of notebook paper and the purple crayon I use as a highlighter.
"Here, draw circles."

"But you have to teach me how to hold a crayon first. Could you close your eyes for a while, please?"

"I said I’m busy."

I put the paper and crayon back on the table. She sat there, her thin legs swinging back and forth back and forth, the way the bird was trying to shake off something heavy. She was humming some unheard of song: letmeuponaredhorseandswingmeroundandround.

"Stop that," I said.
"Stop what?"
"Your feet."

Her gaze fell, expectantly, on to my cluttered table, as if there was some magical spectacle about to unfold. She pulled up her feet and hugged her knees tightly, rocking her body slowly, like one does when she feels cold or scared or sad. I saw in my mind another girl doing exactly that. And then there were more: yellow light illuminating faces in a kitchen. a woman staring at her half-empty plate. a little boy about to cry. a man going down a long flight of stairs, his arms loaded with bags and boxes. a girl clenching her fists...

"Stop that."
"Stop what?"

With that, she started emptying her backpack taking out a book, a brown wooded top, a purple baseball cap. A stuffed beetle, a red sock, a rag doll with a pink apron and black buttons for eyes.
A faded photograph of a man carrying a girl on his shoulders.

The noise of her rummaging annoyed me.

"What are you doing?"

“I’m trying to see if what you’re looking for is in my bag.”

"But I have not lost anything."

"It doesn’t mean you are not searching for something."

She sat there searching thoroughly, and I could not take my eyes off of the pieces of odds and ends that was beginning to pile up on my table. Her silence was making so much noise in my head like china being thrown into walls.

I turned back to my table and faced the screen of the computer. I tried to remember what I was about to type before she came. The solitary line on the monitor reminded me: I am here.

I began working again. I have no more time, I muttered; my fingers furiously pounding the keys. When I stopped hearing the girl moving about, I looked back and saw that she was gone.

A sleek, black gun was sitting on the chair instead.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Woke up at around 3 this morning with the bed shaking. How would you describe the sound of an earthquake? More than the tremor, it's actually the sound of walls trembling and floors quivering that scare me during earthquakes. I woke up Tere and we were holding hands in the darkness for five seconds or so.

Earthquakes scare me like hell. My mind always drifts back to the 1991 earthquake that shook the entire Philippines, with Central Luzon as the epicenter. I was in sixth grade then and was in school. I think it was Math when suddenly the wood partitions of the classrooms started shaking. It was the sound that really terrified me. It sounded like hooves, monsters' hooves and ghouls wailing. We were all plastered in our seats, the teacher calmed us students but didnt lead us out of the classroom.

I was 12 and I thought I was going to die--die without my loved ones beside me. But again, it's the thought of my family getting hurt that scared me more.

I started crying and I desperately wanted to go to the Grades 2 and 4 classrooms to get TJ and Tere. I wanted the three of us to be together and look for Mama at the high school building.

I remember the prayers, my classmates crying for their moms, the Hail Mary's and the hooves, the monsters.

And this morning, while the earth was shaking, I called Kulas on my mobile and told him there's an earthquake. He didn't feel it until my call woke him up. I texted Mama that there's been an earthquake and Tere and I were so scared. Kulas and Mama were two of the most important people in my life who weren't near me that time.

Now, I'm bracing myself for the aftershocks.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Weekend recap

Friday - Freestyle at Virgin Cafe. It's Kulas' favorite band and Jinky is his super crush so I compromised.

Saturday - I went shopping with Tere at Glorietta. I fell in love with Pretty Fit's shoes. They had this silver ballet flats with a small rainbow-winged butterfly perched on the side of the toes; it was simply adorable. People are People's Purple Denim line is so far one of my favorite jeans, and reasonably priced too at P1,099. The anti-social bitch in me turned up that night when two of Tere's male friends approached us, lingered, and then finally tagged along. I was frowning while they were catching up and said an unabashed "no" when they asked my sister if they could join us for dinner. Besides, it was our "date", they can think of me as the evil, wicked sister for all I care.

Sunday - went to hear mass at De La Strada with Kulas, lunch in Malong where we also took a nap in the sala. Kulas then dropped me to Katipunan to meet up with Joacs and Ceia. Dinner with Joacs at JT's in Gilmore.

Monday - finally met up with Ayvi at Cafea in Intramuros for beer and kababs. I told her to get ready for my sermon: she was silent for five months! She didn't take my calls, didn't reply to my text messages and didn't answer my emails. Actually, I somehow thought that she was alright despite her silence, as long as I see her name as editor of the Star's K.O. magazine. I myself would sometimes lapse into a "hanging up mode" where I wouldn't talk to anybody except for people at work and family; even then that would just be because I have to. True enough, she had just wanted to keep to herself. I told her she was selfish. I could have helped her, especially when she needed money for Isis or anything they needed. Well, she said I become selfish, too, when I start shutting out friends when I'm depressed. Oh well.

Falling in love with Adrienne

I am rediscovering Adrienne Rich. It must have been brought about by talks of fashion,feminism and the fat with Ayvi. Hence:

No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees,sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air, dappled with scars, still exhuberantly budding,our animal passion rooted in the city.- Adrienne Rich

She will never be able to love another person as when she was in love with a woman. That love was different, eloquent: it was physical, breathing inside her, growing like an infant in small steps, with fists closed but tender. It was in her mind surging up every nerve, filling her with thoughts that drown her because they are too many, swirling in her brain, like blood…

She prays for that love now, for her to feel the weight of stares at her face, the light touch of pink nails grazing her skin, even the demand of hands pressing on her back . She prays for it now, with a man who loves her, and with whom she vows to love too. But what she needs is this love, as when she loved a woman…

08 September 2004
2:10 pm

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

01 SeptemBER

Ilang tulog na lang, pasko na.Merry christmas! :)

It was midnight and I was not sleepy at all. Perhaps it was because of the grande Cafe Mocha I had with Borgy after work.

I needed a rugby or a Mighty Bond or anything to fix my white shoe. I wanted to wear it today. I searched the house up and down, but couldn't find anything to glue the sole of my shoe with. Frustrating.

For the first time in three years, I opened Tatay's bodega under the staircase. It smelled the same: old, musty, it reeked of oil and rat poop. I missed seeing Tatay fixing something in the house, seeing his hands working.

Tatay had the most junk--scraps of metal, rusty pipes, blocks of wood, a handleless saw, a cranky transistor radio, old bicycle tires, a twenty year old BMX named Nat--anything and everything an obsessive-compulsive housewife could die of. Oh but Nanay loved him alright. But I digress.

Tatay had refused to throw these junk because he said he'd find use for them or make them work again. It was his own excuse to be busy despite admonishing him to rest, take a break, wash his hands off that grime. He wouldn't sit still, much less allow himself to be idle. Sometimes we suspected that he deliberately broke stuff or dismantled, say, the radio or the electric egg beater or the faucet, just so he could fix them again.

Sometimes they'd work out alright but then the old-fashioned black telephone never sounded right again. You know what I mean.

His bodega is much more organized now. We have also earned thousands of pesos from all the clutter that had accumulated in the house. We had a musem of junk that virtually made us and the house a tinder box. Light up a matchstick and throw it inside the house and the Chinese volunteer fire brigades would go scampering to our street.

So Tatay never made it possible for our house look spotless or Zen or plain orderly (clean but cluttered). He had kept too much useless, broken pieces of things that used to be functional and indispensable to the household. He had taken too much space in the house. No, you couldn't throw that old sofa out even if your butt already touched the springs under it. That cracked mirror could be turned into a smaller one, probably for the bathroom. There is really no junk. Nothing is useless. Nothing is irreparable. Nothing is really broken unless you cease looking for glue, hammer on a nail, screw in on a knot.

For Tatay, anything can be turned into something more than what it promises to be.

I didn't find a rugby or a Mighty Bond in his bodega. I saw only an image of him sitting on his stool contemplating on a dismantled cuckoo clock. After, I sat there on the now spotless sala, wondering how we had easily gotten rid of decades of junk and unused objects in the house. Somehow we threw away pieces of Tatay too. The thought of it made me want to wake up everyone in the house and make them assure me that Tatay isn't mad at us or sad or disappointed.

I took out my white shoe whose sole smiled at me, but I cried back. Perhaps I could turn it into a hand puppet instead.

For Tatay
12:40 am 01 September 2004