Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everybody

I would like to begin this entry by greeting everybody a Merry Christmas.

Ironically, most of my Christmas spirit is not rooted on the true and sole source of the said celebration - the birth of Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind - the family celebrated a hefty Christmas dinner, opened their presents promptly by midnight of the 25th. I sense that Christmas, as I've mentioned oh-so-often, has fallen into becoming a mere sense of responsibility to fulfill and probably sustain the annual rituals performed by families - like a seemingly imperative superstition that has to be kept even without the internal passion that ought to be burning within one's person. Like a kid who pretends to believe in Santa Clause in order to please his parents' misconception that their child is yet too dumb or young to recognize that the holiday mascot is a complete farce.

I just feel this song is kind of appropriate..


Today, my paternal family side went to the mall for a family picture. It's been a real while since our last complete family photograph. They say that the affinities and relationships between the people of a family would reflect in the photograph even without being completely conscious of it extending into the said picture. The way people are "out of place", their distance from the immediate people, the way people try to "group hug" or how they seem pushed out - all contributes to the overall image and dynamics of the subjects' relationship with regards to each other.

I am, as everybody is, living in a typical family where rivalry and unspoken divisions affects one's day-to-day life. I was observing our family picture and later on, how the family was divided into their respective seating positions in the restaurant.. that's when I fully realized how these internal feelings are unconciously making it's presence felt in a glaringly observable manner.

Try observing your family. your friends. Just observe.. and believe me, you'd be surprised how much more you'd learn.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Brown in the Color Of Perfection

Caught this from Jourdan's new blog. As I've noticed most of my friends who used to be my bloggermates a year back (we were a team of friends commenting on each other's thoughts) have either withdrawn from their cyber journals or have transferred to a different blog provider.. Oh well...

From TICKLE's tests, try to find out your "color"...

This is mine..

Katrina's true color is Brown!

You're brown, a credible, stable color that's reminiscent of fine wood, rich leather, and wistful melancholy. Most likely, you're a logical, practical person ruled more by your head than your heart. With your inquisitive mind and insatiable curiosity, you're probably a great problem solver. And you always gather all of the facts before coming to a timely, informed decision. Easily intrigued, you're constantly finding new ways to challenge your mind, whether it's by reading the newspaper, playing a trivia game, or composing a piece of music. Brown is an impartial, neutral color, which means you tend to see the difference between fact and opinion easily and are open to many points of view. Trustworthy and steady, you really are a brown at heart.

Site: Click Here
I'm tagging: Jenn, Tanis, and whoever else is browsing through...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Mind If I Use Your Bathroom?

This Christmas is rather special because it is the first time that I'm not in any way enthusiastic in preparing my Christmas give aways. Usually, I'd have done my naughty and nice list and have already checked them twice before the first ten days of December. Now, the number of prospective receipients have decreased by nearly 50 percent and I haven't connected-the-dots as to who will receive what - and honestly, I feel that I'm procrastinating to the point of perhaps completely forgetting to give the gifts.

I've learned a couple of new tricks with PS and am trying to vector out Zhang Zi Yi from the Banquet, and honestly, it's not as quick as I thought - or because I am so conservative when it comes to color schemes. This knowledge, I'd like to pay my thanks to Charm who kinda gave me the basic idea that vectoring in PS is actually possible.

So, aside from moping at my pictures and sketches, or rereading diary entries, or learning how to put on make up by myself, or going out with friends, or fingering the piano should I come up with a new catchy tune, or listening to my CDs all day long, or attending stupid meetings - I watch youtube to get my mind off "reality". I'm going to post one video I particularly enjoyed because my mom was almost howling in laughter beside me when we were watching this. (There are alot nicer ones online.. check em out - Whose Line Is It Anyway) -Thanks to Jourdy that I learned that there is such a show.. (I so don't watch television - as in American series and American soaps and comedy shows - as often as I ought to)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My Grandma and Your Grandma Sitting By The Fire

Yesterday, I accompanied Marjorie and Mark to Robinson's Place to help the previous buy a bathing suit for her out of town swimming escapade with her thesis mates tomorrow. After we have dropped her off for her Spanish lessons at the Instituto Cervantes, Mark and I had our own little chit chat until late night. It seems that in the middle of the conversation, I began to process several observations regarding our monthly night-outs together. I've been open in mentioning several circumstances where I felt compromised.

Now that one of our peers has taken up a girl friend, one who is by far the prettiest girl we've ever met or seen, I could not stress how much I am experiencing that pang of jealousy. My friends have always been a lovely bunch - most are courtable beauties who know how to carry themselves with trendy outfits and matching accessories. During our nights together, they'd be clad in hip bar clothes with their intricately painted faces, while I'd feel completely out of place in my casual jeans and sleeveless top (one which I'd often wear since I don't have much in my wardrobe). They'd be very pumped to order alcoholic drinks, sometimes take time out to smoke a cig, while I feel the need to conform despite my aversion to such habits. Now that there is a new addition to our group, I feel more threatened to be pushed as one of the plain ones and thus I feel compelled further to move into the fashionista circle - a feat I fear would somehow give rise to some identity issues.

Sigh. My friends do not force me to fit into their manner of dressing and acting but of course, by lack of fitting in, one runs the risk of being cut off from particular vitalities. As I illustrated.. since I don't drink.. would you take me as a drinking buddy? Of course not. And therefore you cut me off from any information that you'd mind sharing in the course of drunkeness. Sigh. Introverted and conventional little me.

Beauty Trap

I've received several emails containing how powerful the medium of photoshop could be - capable of transforming a normal woman into a seductive temptress. My friends have told me that they are capable of incresing bust sizes, decreasing age lines and wrinkles by using a few tools. Imagine defeating the aging process by giving your face a lift through this miraculous program. Unfortunately, by distorting reality could the picture still pose to be a true recording of an event? By trying to redefine your status, appearance, etc. in order to look good in a picture, are we truly capturing the "is"? Partially, I feel like being a "purist" at the moment, but I am sure I am bound to side with the other side just as soon as you show me my pimple laden picture.. I guess, physical manipulation has been so given emphasis to that make-up, facial creams and beauty products have proven to be such widespread and lucrative forms of business. People want to look good - that's the bottom line.

I'd just like to share a Chinese story about one of the four most beautiful women (Xishi, Wang Zhaojun, Diaochan, Yang Gueifei) in China's history to somehow strike a contrast to the pursuit of beauty I've mentioned above.


Wang Zhaojun is perhaps the best known of China's "political brides". Many tales have been told about her life.

Her name was Jiang, her style Zhaojun but during the Jin Dynasty, she was referred to as Minghou as the name Zhao could not be used by ordinary folks since the king, Sima Zhao had the same surname. Later generations, however, addressed her as Mingfei.

A native of Zigui ( in Western Hubei province), she entered the imperial harem during the reign of Emperor Yuan of Western Han (48-33 BC). The emperor chose companions from his vast harem of maidens by looking at their portraits. As a result of this practice, it had become the custom for palace ladies to offer large bribes to court artists to ensure that they painted a flattering likeness. Wang Zhaojun, however, was confident of her natural beauty and refused to pay the court painter, Mao Yanshou, his customary bribe. As a result, from her finished portrait, she seemed to be the ugliest of all the palace ladies and thus, never received the emperor's favour.

When the Xiongnu chieftain, Huhanxie became a subject of the Han empire, he told Emperor Yuan: "I wish to take a Han beauty as my empress.

To cement relations with this barbarous nation, Emperor Yuan agreed to the request. Unwilling to pick out a real beauty, the emperor ordered that the plainest girl in the harem be selected for the marriage. When the lady-in-charge of the harem sent the unflattering portrait of Wang Zhaojun to the emperor, he merely glanced at it and nodded his approval.

Only when she was on the point of departure did Emperor Yuan set eyes on her. Much to his dismay, he realised that she was in fact the loveliest woman in his harem. Emperor Yuan was intent on finding out how such an error could have arisen. He discovered that the blame lay with the fraudulent behaviour of the court artist Mao Yanshou so Emperor Yuan ordered that he be put to death.

This redress, however, came too late for Wang Zhaojun. Dressed in the regalia of the Han court, clutching her Pipa to her bosom, she travelled beyond the Great Wall. Wang Zhaojun never returned and died in a distant barbarous land. There is a rich and poignant poem entitled Song of Mingfei:

"When Mingfei left the palace of Han,
Face damp with tears, hair hanging loose,
Turning her lowered head she gazed back, expressionless.
And her sovereign could not restrain his anguish.
Blame lay in an artist's hand,
Few had he seen so pleasing to the eye.
Yet the source of such beauty was not painted;
Mao Yanshou was killed at once.
Departing, she knew, never to return,
Pitiable in the costume of the Han court.
Her plaintive voice asking for news of the south.
Where only the swan geese flew and returned each year.
Messages sent by her family, ten thousand li,
So that she in the foreign land will not pine.
Close by, Chang'an gate has locked out the beauty,
Life's aspirations thwarted by neither north nor south.

Humpty Dumpty Sat On The Wall

Tanis included me in his tagged list - to write six weird things about one's person so.. here is what I came up with...

1. Whenever I hurt myself, I would usually end up laughing uncontrollably at the pain

2. I keep bowing to people, even to those who are of the same age as I am

3. I stare completely at nothing while listening to nursery rhymes whenever I feel completely down

4. I get frustrated whenever I can't get people's attention and when I actually do, I usually try to shun away

5. I like to put toasted garlic in or on almost any food item.. even ice cream..

6. I think that if you just sit down and observe me, you'll think I am both normal and weird at the same time.

People I want to tag? Whoever gets to read this.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I could practically throw a fit.

Lately, due to the many deadlines swarming above my head, I've been lacking precious sleep and because of that.. my head is starting to function poorly - not to mention the fact that my patience is wearing thin. Yesterday, I actually screamed at our driver just because he didn't reply to my Sms. I know it's immature and uncalled for, but he was addressing me in an equally high volume that I just couldn't resist - I wasn't thinking clearly.

Today was an ultra frustration. I promised my groupmate yesterday to pass my share in the paper by yesternight. Unfortunately, the people in our family parallel me to a virus - waiting to ruin a finely tuned computer as soon as the possibility allows me - and boycotts me from using most of the computers, except one which my aunt uses in her factory. By 11, I was begging my uncle to just send my file so I could fulfill my promise but he answers me, "why are you doing things at the last minute?" and "I don't have an anti-virus here, so I am not willing to take the risk." My dad blames me for the virus in his computer and thus secures his little precious with passwords. I was at the verge of leaving the house at midnight when my aunt came home and lent her me computer. And my uncle.. heck, he didn't care that I was already planning to venture out in the middle of the night just because he's scardy-cat to get some virus pestering him.. JUST UPLOAD A DAMN FILE.. ugh...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Whats Going On..

The much rumored supertyphoon that was supposed to plague Manila proved to be completely such an anti climax. With one day suspension of all levels and a national holiday following that, the weather only proved to be anything but rainy, dangerously windy or thunderous. I had feared that most of our projects and activities may be delayed or cancelled due to this event, and I am completely in a predicament trying to figure out how to balance all my six deadlines without compromising any over the other.

I can say that the sloth in me has struck again and I find myself trying to complete unrelated tasks rather than any of my six deadlines (forgot to include four extra optional projects). I have reorganized my study table, watched Happy Feet (which I must say was a terrible movie - had it not been for my overenthusiastic sister, I might have fallen asleep halfway.. Imagine a penguin's version of a Prince single.. ugh), Casino Royale for the second time (I've never felt more compassion for James Bond.. to a point of finding Daniel Craig curiously dashing and charming, and admiration for a sex and violence film director until I watched this movie), Amelie twice (Amelie was so worth my time.. It was different from the typical Hollywood flow.. I want a copy of my own.. I just borrowed the DVD from Marjorie).

In the weeks earlier, I also completed the book Booker Prize Winner, Ian McEwan's Amsterdam and John Berendt's Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil. I must admit that although Berendt's book was hyponitizing regarding Savannian lifestyles and personalities, Amsterdam has kept me contemplating it's unconventional story plot for two weeks on and off. I have attempted reading Charles Dicken's Tale of Two Cities, unfortunately, the text proved far complicated than I imagined and thus I managed to only absorb the contents of the first chapter. I am withdrawing from this attempt and will try reading it again after a good period of time.

After completing this entry, I will be attempting to do further research on my character - Magnus - a character designed to be my fictional self. This character will be the lead protagonist in our COMARTS thesis. I'm reading Jung's theories of the mind and the human libido, hand in hand, with parental care and nurturing. How much perhaps of myself would I be capable of delving?