Monthly Archives: May 2012

driving (sideways)

“But you’re mistaking speed for getting what you need” – Driving Sideways

Some friends know that one of my ultra favorite singers is Aimee Mann. And this song, Driving Sideways, is one of my most lauded songs of hers.

I was reminded of this song when I actually got behind the steering wheel and learned how to drive. On manual mode.

This may not be exceptional to those who have been driving vehicles for several years now. But to friends and to my siblings, they know that driving and myself are like oil and water, villain and heroine, Church and forward thinking… Oh, you get the picture.

I am terrified of driving. I am also afraid for myself and for others once I find myself behind the wheel so I never bothered to learn this skill.

I don’t know if it was out of overoptimism or crazy confidence, but someone decided to make me learn this skill stat. What vera did was to teach me the rudiments of the gears first. Familiarity is one key as we found out. The next level was for me to actually learn to control the pedals and the stick shift and the steering wheel. And to watch out for people and cars behind me, in front, and on either of my sides. My mind was on overdrive as it struggled to make sense out of these new nuggets of learning and of these instructions:

– Turn on the ignition. Do not bear weight on the key; release hold on key quickly.
– Activate gear by stepping on clutch.
– Release hand brake when about to step on gas.
– Release clutch as you step on the gas. Coordinate this step well or else the engine will stop. Or your car will jolt. Choose your own misadventure. The goal is to launch the car smoothly.
– Step on the clutch and step on the brake when making a turn or braking.
– Listen to the engine. When it whines or complains, it means your gear is wrong. Go to the higher gear then.
– And a million other reminders that made me dizzy and jarred my brain cells.

Miracles do happen, haha

So we went around the streets of Alabang with me behind the wheel. Instead of just saying “Car on your right/left”, Vera was reciting the brands of cars as I went plying by: Expedition! Kawasaki jet ski! Tucson! And the winner among all her statements: “O wag yang bata, di napapalitan yan.”

I actually drove on an actual road outside the village and did turns (like 20 times!) around a rotunda. I was able to change lanes. I managed to conquer humps. No blood was shed, and no car paint was scraped off.

My faults were the following:
– Since I was driving on the left side, I was only aware of that side. I wasn’t aware of my right so there were times I almost had close encounters with cars. And people. 😦
– Changing gears while I was cruising was relatively easy. Once the engine died on me, I couldn’t for the life of me coordinate the “release clutch as you step on gas” choreography. Many times my engine complained and died on me, and many times Kevin, the car, jolted.

My teacher was very proud of me citing another instance when she taught a friend and that friend didn’t learn much from her driving instructions. “Looks like I’m not a bad teacher after all,” she said.  (See! Crazy confidence!)

What I did to cope with the onslaught of new information and conflicting emotions: (or what I did so that I didn’t pee in my pants) (or as usual, what I did as coping mechanisms because my mind is the way it is. Read: a basket case)
– I removed my slippers so that I could feel the pedals. Imagine my icky feeling #germphobic.
– Of course, being of Thumbelina origin, I had to adjust the seat.
– I recited the instructions aloud: “Eva, brake softly nooooowwww.”
– Of course, my sailor’s mouth was on hand to dispel tension.
– There were times I had to ask people (meaning, yaya and cute child) to step toward the gutter as I was lumbering by.

At the end of the day, my teacher was very proud of me.

I, on the other hand, am still bewildered. And scared. Why? Because the next few sessions will cover reverse driving and parking. And if these are held on weekends, better kill me now. Weekends = kids and yayas on the streets = bigger risks.

And as usual, Aimee Mann provides another nice dig to this episode: “Let’s hope that you know what to do to start it up again”. Ouch.

Tense as I’ll ever be. Just take a look at my neck.

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…beating like a hammer

(title courtesy of Metric’s song)

Next thing I knew, his good hand was resting on my booblet.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Working for a TV network has its ups and downs, downs that include erratic work schedule and ups that include meeting the who’s who of society.

Work of a National Artist

Vera dragged me to a shoot featuring a living National Artist. His works are found in different cities with a renowned campus teeming with testaments of his opus. Yes, he remains a giant in the world of sculpture — even if he’s a fragile creature who’s undergone a surgery or two and even if he can no longer move his hand to sculpt figures and shape clays.

One of his celebrated works

We were with a reporter and with a crew. While setting up, the reporter was trying to engage the National Artist in small talk. Like a curious person with no sight, he started using his good hand to feel the reporter’s arms and thighs. It was not really offensive; it was more like spending time with a doddering person who wanted to get to know someone through touch.

The reporter stepped aside to practice her spiels. I was left alone with him and that was when his hand that was previously clutching my hand flew to my chest. I just held his wrist and tried massaging his good hand. It was awkward, but things had to move fast according to the shoot schedule.

This post is not meant to show him in a bad light. I actually took pity on him — to be once alive with verve and now to be strapped to a life of medical check-ups, pureed food, and schedules.

But once in a while when you turn to look at him, there is fire left smoldering in his eyes, and his arms seem to call out to his tools sleeping in their cases.

This piece is as heavy as two adult horses (don’t ask how I know how heavy a horse or two weighs)

I like this photo because I seem to be disintegrating into thin air Haruki Murakami style.

my goddess sings yet again

whenever i get to catch her, i feel blessed as if I were a pilgrim, and i was given the chance to speak with my goddess.

 

I like this shot since the reflected light appears like a glowing star behind Cynthia. ❤

 

I don’t mind walk(ing) down the road (with) no umbrella ❤

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Apo Reef trip

Apo Reef trip :> No need for words, images will suffice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Short Calls

somebody ‘dedicated’ this piece to me as a birthday gift.

it’s a wonderful text, and it makes me think of sunflowers and bubbles, spun wheels and wishing feathers.

thank you for this.

***

Happy Birthday to You
By Etgar Keret

The bus stops, the driver smiles at you, the windows are gleaming, and you’ve got plenty of small change. In the row of single seats on the left, the last one is vacant, as if it has your name on it, your favorite one. The bus turns out, the lights turn green as it approaches, and the guy cracking sunflower seeds gathers up the shells in a brown paper bag.

The elderly inspector doesn’t ask to see your ticket, just tips his hat and, in a very pleasant voice, wishes you a nice day.

And it will be a nice day. Because it’s your birthday. You’re bright, you’re pretty, and you have your whole life ahead of you. Four more stops and you’ll pull the cord, and the driver will stop, just for you.

You’ll get out of the bus, no one will jostle you, and the door won’t close till you’ve stepped down. And the bus will leave, the passengers will be happy for you, and the guy with the flower seeds will keep waving goodbye, for no reason at all, till he’s out of sight.

Who needs a reason, it’s a birthday, and on birthdays nice things happen. And the puppy running toward you now will wag its tail when you pet it. When it’s a really special date, even dogs can tell.

In your apartment, people will be waiting in the dark , behind the beautiful furniture the two of you chose yourselves. When you open the door, they’ll jump out and shout, “Surprise!” And you’ll be perfectly surprised.

They’ll all be there, the people you’ve loved. Those closest to you, and the ones who meant the most. And they’ll bring presents that they bought or dreamed up themselves. Inspired presents, and useful things too.

The funny ones will entertain, the smart ones will edify, even the melancholy ones will smile and mean it. The food will be amazing, then they’ll serve strawberries and top it off will vanilla milkshakes from the best ice-cream parlor in town.

They’ll play a Keith Jarrett disc and everyone will listen, they’ll play a record and nobody will feel sad. And the ones who are on their own won’t feel alone tonight, and nobody will ask “Milk or cream?” because by now they’ll all know one another.

In the end they’ll leave, and the ones you wanted to kiss you will kiss you, and the ones you didn’t will just shake your hand. And he’ll be the only one that will stay behind, the man you live with, kinder and gentler than ever.

If you want to, you’ll make love or he’ll massage your body in oil, something he picked out just for you in an old Bedouin shop. He’ll dim the halogen light–all you have to do is ask–and you’ll sit there enfolded in his arms, waiting for dawn.

And on that magical night, I’ll be there too, drinking my vanilla milkshake and smiling a genuine smile. And before I go, if you want I’ll kiss you. And if not, I’ll just shake your hand.

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high school moment

i know, i know, i’ve been dropping promises that i’ll eventually upload photos from my latest tat adventure (and that was months back, gah!) to my latest meet-up with my kids at Redeemer’s Home Orphanage.

but what can i say about my priorities? skewed forever.

meet my cuddle buddy and arm candy for the moment, fashion designer and father of two adopted kids, francis libiran.

he’s a twitter and facebook fixture nowadays because of his stint at America’s Next Top Model designing J-pop-meets-museum-gallery Hello Kitty gowns. but he’s no stranger to the circuit what with his being a dependable name in the local fashion world for years now.

i again encountered his name and his delectable photos gracing the pages of a high society magazine weeks back. next thing you know, i was requesting our team researcher to try to touch base with francis so he can guest in our show. in short, i made a wish, and it was granted!

so here it is. now look at that hand resting on my shoulder, hee.

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