Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Feeding on Words: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore (2011)



Technically, this isn't about a book but it deals with much more than that. This animation won the oscar during the 84th Academy Awards, Short Film (Animation) category and there is no wonder that it did.

I literally cried while watching this. So glad I was alone or else people might think me crazy. It doesn't matter though. This short film has spoken more words to me even though it's a 'silent' clip.

Books are special. Printed, paper or hard bound literature hold a special place in my heart because I don't remember not knowing how to read. Of course, I wasn't born reading but all my life I've known that I love to read. I still do. And even more, I write. Though I haven't finished writing a full length novel yet, this animation is a gift.

A few minutes ago, I consciously mulled over the possibility of letting my dream of writing novels die. Tragic, I know, but when you've tried so hard to discipline yourself into writing and get blocked almost every time, quitting seems to be very attractive. I checked my FB because I needed to get my mind off a funeral of dreams. People may call it fate but I found one of my friends shared this video and I immediately watched it.

Somewhere between the world turning black and white and Mr. Lessmore growing old, tears started making its way down my face. I don't understand. It's not a sad video but it spoke volumes to me. I was overwhelmed by its beauty and the subtleties that lie beneath their animations.

Life without books is black and white. It can get boring and monotonous. It can lack adventure and be filled with fear and longing. Life without books can make a person hopeless. Books bring color into our life. Books bring us into worlds unknown and characters whom we dare not cross but have to endure. Books keep us alive and keep us from falling into the monochromatic world of routine.

Everyday, however, a book dies because no one reads it. Everyday a volume gets eaten by age and decay, leaving its bindings and losing its letters. Because we don't pay them attention, they die. What purpose does a book have in its existence if it doesn't get read? It doesn't matter if you have them with you, display them on the bookshelf, or sleep on them at night. If you don't read them, they die. Books can only be effective when they're read. Books can only bring color into your life if you allow them to transport you out of this world and into theirs.

Books are our friends. They can be our companion in any situation. When we're sad, happy, troubled or celebrating something, books don't complain. They lead you and push you on. Some books encourage, other books give warning. All books teach something.

For a frustrated writer, who thankfully does not yet live on the streets begging for bread, I believe that life will not be complete without books. It's good to read them but it's even better to write them. Mr. Lessmore knew this and even though the words on his pages had been blown away, he wrote again. He kept writing, unearthing wisdom and stories from his experiences. He kept writing until everything he was meant to write had been written and it was to this end that he knew his life was complete. The transition of being a caretaker of books to a parent of one is astonishing. Birthing a story that can stretch its wings and soar is an amazing achievement and though writers come and go, the books--their children-- will live on, waiting for the next set of eyes to pore through them and keep them alive.

I'm sure we all loved reading once in our life. This animation showed me I shouldn't give up. There's a story out there, or even already inside of me, and they're waiting for me to write them down. They're waiting until I labor in my typing or with my pen and eventually, miraculously, give birth to a book of wonders--a book that can soar on its own even when I am gone.

Thank you William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg of Moonbot Studios for creating such a wonderful short film. I love it and so does the world, the people who live their lives on creating and caring for books. May you continue making inspirational videos that change lives. I know my perspective has changed.

And as Mr. Morris Lessmore contemplates on the world he lives in, he asks the questions that matter most:


"Does it matter? If life is enjoyed, does it have to make sense?"

Enjoy the video everyone. Have a wonderful day!






From williamjoyce.com

“The idea for the film was inspired by a dear friend and mentor, Bill Morris, a lover of books and a grand old gentleman of children's book publishing,” said William Joyce, co-founder of Moonbot Studios and co-director on the “Morris Lessmore” film.  “I know Bill would be touched to see a film about his life’s passion honored by the Academy.”

Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story.  Using a variety of techniques, including filmed miniatures, stop motion, 2D, and 3D animation, award-winning author and illustrator William Joyce and co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals and is the most cutting edge of today.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fashion Confined: Pretty Ingenious Birthday Blowout!

Woohoo, blog surfing got me washed onto the shores of Phylicia Marie's tumblr (click me) and she's having a birthday giveaway because...dumdumdum..it's her birthday! woohoo! Happy birthday Phya! (feeling close? hehe) I hope you enjoy the many years yet to come.

Anyhoo, if you want to learn more about her giveaway, which by the way has awesome stuff I don't mind winning, read her post. Yep, that's about it.

Wanted to write more about that but I'll be watching some Oscar nominated movies in a while. =)

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, February 20, 2012

Feeding on Words: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Description of the book in Amazon.com's site:

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.


My take on the story:


I have to admit that now, after finishing all three books, I still have to think of where The Hunger Games ended and where the Mockingjay begins before I remember what happened in Catching Fire. It's not really a bad thing, it's more of Collins' expert ability to segue stories together even between books. She has effectively connected all the books by some events and one book will not survive without the other. Catching Fire definitely will not be as exciting as it is if you don't read Hunger Games first or read Mockingjay after. (Just my opinion and maybe I'm wrong since I read the three in order.)


Anyway, despite that, I think Catching Fire is still as awesome as its predecessor. The build up of the rebellion, the desire of Katniss to end the spark she started, the Capitol's threats, everything that leads to a full blown war was taken up by this magnificent piece of work. 


I felt Katniss' confusion on starting a rebellion or stopping it. I was there with her when the Capitol wanted the victors to fight against each other in the Quarter Quell. I felt the desperation of alliances to be made and to whom they will be made with. The prose of this book guides you into the challenges of fire-starters, the ones whose opinions and actions ignite the world. It lets you think of how wars start, of how power-hungry people cause too much damage and how people caught in between have to suffer for it.


Of course, the love story of Peeta and Katniss is also a centerpiece. The second book, however, was not able to deliver the disdain Peeta had felt at the end of the first book. It was like he was very angry at her and by the time they talk to each other in the second book, the anger was greatly diminished. For me it felt a little weird and a little like being cut out because of a wrong plot turn. On the other hand, I guess it shows how much Peeta actually loves Katniss. No matter how angry he'd been, when Katniss suddenly exploded, he was there to comfort her. It was beautiful. And throughout the book Peeta was always there for her, supporting her. When they knew they were going back to the arena, he was prepared to die for her like he had decided even in the first hunger games. 


Even more, the victors and the people in the districts already had plans for Katniss. She was the Mockingjay and they were prepared to save her. There were victors who died just for her and District 13 (yes, the one that was supposed to have been disintegrated) took pains in revealing their existence just to get them out of the arena alive. The teamwork, the compassion, the strategies, everything was well planned and even though Katniss and Peeta had no idea what was to happen, the plan went well.


At least, well enough to lead all of us into the next book because at the very end we are left with the knowledge that Peeta had been captured by the Capitol. At this time, we're all rooting for him rather than for Gale who has always been absent despite his expressed claims to want to run away with her and leave everything behind. We are left wondering if Peeta is still alive, if the Capitol will strike against District 13 and the other districts, if Katniss will ever forgive Haymitch for leaving her out of the plans, if Panem will ever be safe and livable again.


Oh and the very last line in Catching Fire tells us that "there is no District 12". Doesn't that just make you want to scream and read the next book? =)


In all, I think Catching Fire is not really as effective as a solo book but is a wonderful segue for the first and the third books. The events in the story were beautiful but everything now seems to blend into either the first or the third book. Basically, I love it still.


Read my The Hunger Games review here. Will post Mockingjay review soon.


May the odds be ever in your favor! 


p.s. Wait with me for March 23, 2012 when The Hunger Games Movie gets released! The world will be watching. =)



Sunday, February 19, 2012

She Explains: The Value of Celebrating Love


A late post, obviously. But then again, celebrating love can be any day and every day of everyone's life!

Valentines Day. Awh. The day when lovers are forced to find time for a date or to do something special. The day when the world stops and turns red in the face, making heart pumping, hormone inducing, brain squishing and tonsilitis causing motions we don't normally feel on any given day. Yep, Valentines Day.

It may be obvious that I'm not one for that day but I am not against love. It just so happens that most of the Valentines days I've had went rather poorly and most of those days I've worn black indicating my apparent rebellion against the world.

This year, I decided to finally succumb to the trend. Yep, I wore red...shoes!


hehe as if I had a choice. That's my only pair of sneakers and I needed it for my Hearts day surprise. Okay, on to the real subject of this post.

Having no one to spend the day with and nothing to do, I decided to make it special for my parents instead. This served a double purpose for me: 1) I wouldn't be spending Valentines night alone while they're out on a date and 2) I get to keep my mind away from being...alone. Besides, what better way to spend Hearts day but by giving your time and effort to people you really love?

So I planned a dinner date for my parents at the annex of our house. It was a surprise and I did all the decorating and buying of food without their knowledge, at least I think they didn't know. By the time they got home, I asked them to get dressed for a date, turned on the fine-dining music and welcomed them to my makeshift dinner pad.


Don't you just love fairy lights? =)


Thanks to Red Ribbon for the Black Forest Heart Cake. For the sparkly 'wine', I'd like to introduce to you the combination of Fit n Right Apple and Sprite. Sprapplitight! Okay, any other suggestions for that combi?



Celebrating love is important. If you're single, you celebrate it with the people around you who don't seem to have anyone to celebrate it with. You share your gifts, talents and time. You make sure that their day is extra special and you'll find out that you're day will turn out even more special. It's by thinking about other people that we forget our own deficiencies and our own needs. By making other people smile and laugh and fall in love, we make ourselves smile, laugh and fall in love. It starts to feel like everything fits and that we don't need somebody else to make us happy. We can be happy by making other people happy. This doesn't, of course, diminish our desire to have someone to go out with and to celebrate with on Hearts day but it does buffer the loneliness and the constant wondering of what's taking our prince charming so long.

For those who have special someones, treat every day as Valentines day. Love should not be confined to just one day of the year. Love is supposed to be the life force that keeps us living every day. We exist to love just like we were created to be loved. Never take for granted what God has given you. Your significant other may not be as expressive as you are but it doesn't mean they don't love you back. Sometimes it takes one person to step out into the open for the rest of the world to follow. When you love someone, remind them every day that you do. Treat them as if it was your first day together or the last day you'll ever have. Treat them the way you would treat yourself every day by taking care of them, making sure they have what they need and protecting them always. I don't mean to say that you should spoil them. What I'm saying is that you should learn to help them grow. Step back when needed. Catch them when they stumble. Comfort them when they hurt. Then let them go if they want. Lovers also need to grow as individuals and when they do, they realize that they are better together now, they complement each other better.

It's never easy to have someone rely on you with such emotional needs. It's never easy to be the one to think everything through. And of course no one said love was going to be easy. Love, however, will be worth everything in the end. Love will be worth the work and the strain and yes, even the hurts and pains. Love is, after all, what we're living for.

Now, I don't seem to have credibility to say any of this but sometimes being a few steps back can make a person see everything clearly. And I see everything.

I hope everyone has a love-filled day!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fashion Confined: Detachable Collars

I'm a noob at this fashion trend and I'm embarrassed to say that I've only found out about it last month. I was looking through Camille Co's blog one very boring day and was attracted to a certain outfit she had on (I'll post the photo if I can find it). The detachable collar seemed to seamlessly blend in with, what, her skin? No, I don't mean it was the same color as her neck but she was wearing a tube dress (what do you call that anyway?) and there's no way the collar was attached to the dress so it must be...detachable! duh.

(*update: found the picture!)
From her Swanlake post


Anyway, soon enough I saw that many of her outfit posts included detachable collars and when I started browsing through other fashion blogs, I saw that I may be the last one to find out about the trend. (Then when I wore my DIY collar to an event they were amazed...apparently I'm not the last one to find out about it. Yey!)

So, when I decided I wanted in with the trend, I went ahead and took my father's old polo, one that has been hidden under piles of unused clothes and what used to be his uniform so I'm sure that it won't be donation material, and cut off the collar. Yup, I just cut it off with a trusty pair of shearers. How'd it look like? See for yourself.


See, it does add sophistication to a normally boring look. It instantly makes an outfit a bit formal therefore I am definitely going to stock my closet with detachable collars. But of course don't compare my look with that of the awesome girl's picture above mine. =)

I used to only have collared shirts or polos but now I can't seem to find them (or maybe we gave them away already). With these babies, I can have unlimited collar experience.

I love collars because I have a long neck (giraffe) and being bare or just wearing necklaces seem to normal for me now. hehe. I blame Candymag for that. =)

SOOO, I'm thinking of embarking on a Crochet Collar Project! Here are some inspirations I plan to copy and their respective websites.

Photo taken from http://theongoingproject.blogspot.com

Collar from Etsy found on Stylehive

from Annette Petavy

Charming Crochet Collar from Etsy 
Yup, so basically I'll be choosing one of these creations and try my hardest to get a finished product that's not remotely unlike the originals. Tomorrow (probably) I'll be buying the following stuff:

  • Yellow and White, Pink, Blue, White Yarn
  • Yellow, Black, Blue Ribbons
I already have the hooks. My problem now is that I'm not very good with patterns and I'm winging this project out. I did search the net for patterns but, like I said, I don't understand a thing. I know the basics though because I've been crocheting cellphone cases and bracelets for a long time now. 

Estimated Time of Accomplishment: about next month. =) Well, I do hope I can finish it in a week but with this kind of discipline, I doubt myself. 

Anyway, I'll be posting my progress every now and then just to keep you updated. Have a great day everyone!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Special Spaces: Bedroom Inspirations from digsdigs.com

Okay, since my head hurts so much today that I can't think of the words I actually want to post, I'll be leading you through a slideshow of awesome bedrooms I found at digsdigs.com. These are 15 Classic Children's Bedroom Design Inspirations posted last October 2010. The post says the furniture was by Arcadia, a subdivision of Colombini.

Just to make sure that I'm not inflicting any violation of copying rights, here's the link to the full post

.
Isn't this just beautiful? I love the lavender and purple colors. It's so light to the eyes and the furniture is so simple and organized. I love the closet and the study table with the shelf right beside it. I also love the shelf above the bed. Is that another room beside the study table, though? A dressing room probably.


Now this is the blue version of the room above. It has the same closet but this time the shelf is attached to the side. That blue chair is also beautiful and the chandelier is a pretty touch to make it look classic.


This is a room I've always wanted to have. The bed above the closet makes sleeping more private and mysterious. I love the wooden colors and the sofa's whiteness. What I do wonder is how the child will be opening the closet above the sofa. It seems too high for a child, no?


Mint and white version of the bedroom above. It's very clean looking and the sofa can also be a bed. The drawers below it is also very convenient. We had something like that when I was young and we used to put bed sheets in there.


For awesome bedrooms that have open roofs like this one, decorating it to complement the space will be important. I love the colors and the wall posters. As usual, I also love the study area. What don't I love? =)


This is the blue version of the picture above. You can see how the space has been conserved by moving the study table under the windows and moving the closet to the corner. You can also see that the windows actually have blinds for those afternoon naps when you want to shut out the sun.


For twins! It looks beautiful. he beds each have head space for books and stuff but I still don't know how they'll be able to get the closets open at such a height. hmm.


This is the last one from the section I'll be getting. What's so nice about this is that the beds seem like a double-deck and you can actually get the cupboards open by standing on the other bed. And I love the colors.

Hmm..anyway, you can check for more beautiful designs at digsdigs.com. It's really pretty and I think I'll be spending the next few hours staring at all the room design possibilities. Have a great day!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Feeding on Words: Taylor Swift x Hunger Games "Safe and Sound"




Beautiful. Just beautiful. And I don't just mean Taylor Swift. I mean the whole video, the song, the blending of Civil Wars and Taylor, the chills that run through me because of how watching the whole thing felt like being at the Districts in the Hunger Games.

Yes, one of the comments I've read about the video is that it gives off too much about the third book but that's for the readers to know and the viewers to read about.

I'm still waiting for the right moment to finish my review on Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I'm sure I'll be able to post it soon. You can read my review for the first book, Hunger Games, here.

In the meantime, enjoy this video and wait with me for March 23 when the Hunger Games movie comes out!

Have a great day!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Special Spaces: the Spa Experience

At Bodyline Massage Clinic, Iligan City

For the whole of my twenty two years of existence, I have only ever been in a spa thrice. No, I don't mean I don't go into spas and sit around. I mean I've only ever experienced actually being the customer thrice. My mother goes to massage parlors a lot because she's a teacher and her back aches a lot (although I'm not quite sure if the connection between teaching and back aches should be taken into consideration). Since I'm the youngest of two (duh) and am the only one who can be forced into chaperoning a parent, I was always the one who goes out with her. Okay, they don't force me to go because, with proper lighting, I actually like reading in spas because of their music. The atmosphere is also very relaxing usually and I know this is because it's supposed to be that way. And I also love reading their magazines, which is actually where I started to fall in love with fashion and all things girly. Anyway, I'm veering away from what I'm supposed to be telling you. 

 Okay, the first time I was actually a customer at a spa was when I was an intern in Cebu City. We had a chance to shoot at..hmm..I don't really remember the name of the spa but it had the word 'queen' in it, I think. It was for an advertising spot and we got to interview the owner and test their amenities. I went into a dry sauna where you had to lie on a flat marble bed and they'd raise the temperature to sweating point. It was supposed to release toxins from the body through sweat and was supposed to be relaxing. I admit it was fun but I was too busy trying to keep calm, stay still and breathe to actually enjoy it. The humidity made it hard to breathe and there was no way I was going to walk out because of it. I'm stubborn like that. So if I had fainted inside, that would be the end of me and well, I would probably rather die than to face my supervisors after a fainting spell. So glad that didn't happen. 

 Now, because we were television people and good props from us meant good business for them, the spa gave us free gift certificates. I mentioned that my mother liked going to spas, right? So I brought her with me to experience that dry stone sauna thing. I was hoping she would have something good to say about it because I evidently didn't. She had more experience with relaxation services so her opinion must count. Lo and behold, she didn't enjoy it either, at least that's what I think she really meant by the 'it was okay' comment she made when we got out. I know she wasn't relaxed and was also probably comparing the experience to that of being steamed inside a microwave. (side comment: I just heard the spa people say hot stone which was probably what the spa I'm talking about was)(and yes, I'm writing this inside a spa, waiting for my mother to finish getting a back massage.) 

 The third time, and the first time I really felt relaxed in a spa, was just last December. I got my parents to allow me to get a back massage with my mother. I have scoliosis, so getting into massage parlors was slightly detrimental to my health especially if the one assigned to me accidentally pushed on a wrong muscle connected to a bone connected to my nerves. I've been in physical therapy for almost three years but lacked the discipline to follow through with home exercises. I've been through manipulations that would make anyone watching say 'ouch' while my therapists sweat and I just laugh at the ticklish pain I was feeling. So really, massage parlors pose no threat for me. Anyway, we went to Oasis Spa which was the nearest to our house and waited for the service to begin. (sorry for the lack of pictures. I wasn't planning on writing about it back then.) So first they gave my feet a bath in warm water, to relax it or clean it or exfoliate it, I really don't know. Then we went upstairs to a room full of beds, some which looked like the hospital beds I used to have therapy in, and others low like mattresses on the floor. I think those were for the Thai massages. The beds had a face hole! (surprise, surprise *insert sarcasm) Since the lady in charge was told of my condition, she just lightly massaged my whole body. 

 Now I'm not going to comment more about the massage aside from the fact that I didn't feel a thing because it was too light like she was afraid she would break my bones or something. What I am going to talk about next is the question that popped into my mind while my face was inside that bed hole: what do people think about while staring at the floor? 

 Well, the first thing I thought about was how nice it would be if they had attached a tv under there so we could enjoy a favorite show while being pampered. At least it would distract us from the tickling the therapists were doing to our feet and such. The idea probably came from one of the many movies I've watched that had some scene of rich people getting pampered in VIP rooms. Then I thought of this blog post, which by then was too late to take pictures for. Boohoo. 

 What would teachers be thinking of? Would their thoughts be about their students, that one boy who couldn't stay still, that other child who was too smart for his age, that talkative girl who can't seem to shut up? Or maybe their lesson plans and how to implement them properly. Or maybe their personal lives that most students tend not to think teachers have. 

 What about engineers or politicians or nurses? What would these people think about during that free hour when the stresses of everyday living were slowly being released by the trained hands of the spa therapists? It seems mundane but it would be interesting to know what thoughts run through their minds and if they were ever conscious of those thoughts passing by. Maybe I could do a project about that but it would defeat the point of the customers to be free of duties while in a spa. Unless of course there would be volunteers for this, =) 

 By the end of the experience, I actually had fun. I admit, it was relaxing to have someone pamper your stressed muscles like that. But the experience was made better because I was with my mother and I had a lot of ideas for blog posts. I guess that was the best part actually, the time to organize what I wanted to say and what I wanted to post. It was a beautiful time well spent with my own thoughts. 

 Spas are great and I'd love to experience them in other forms given the chance. For now, I think I'll be better off forcing myself to do back exercises...because it's free! 

 Have a great day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

She Explains: Gossip and Perception


I woke up one morning and saw these two talking about something right beside me. I know, someone should grow up and move out of the stuffed toy bed she currently lives in. The comfort of having stuff to hug while you sleep overpowers that desire. =)

While I was staring at the two, the word gossip came into mind. Gossip has done much damage in today's world. People thrive in it and people die because of it. Though 'sticks and stones may break your bones but words can never hurt you' is believed to keep people strong in the midst of squabbles, words, contrary to the saying, do hurt. Words pointedly thrown at you, carelessly and tactlessly said can destroy a life. One's belief, self-esteem and confidence can quickly crumble in the face of someone who says things that bring people down. Worse comes to worse when the person talking is actually someone special to you. Words, in fact, hurt.

In a world that craves entertainment through gossip, it is hard to avoid dipping our toes into such a trend. We hear, we say and the cycle goes on. People are targeted, people are accused, people are branded. Gossip fuels fires and fires burn. They spread like an epidemic. Reminds of the story about gossip and the feathers that had to be collected to erase the act and the words that had been said. Once a bag of feathers is released, it is near impossible to put everything back in place. Just like taking back words that have been said. That's why they tell us to be careful with our words.

Now, if you are the target of such gossip, you have the power to react and in this power lies your victory. It is all about perception. You can view things in a good way, taking their attention from the words that are said to the person being talked about. You can use their attention to influence what they are talking about. You can prove them wrong. But you can also make it worse if you view it as a hostile attack against your character. The only person who can control you is you and if you let their words drive you into a person you aren't supposed to be then they've won. If you keep the wound fresh and not deal with it positively, it will spread and soon you will be in more trouble than you ever expected.

Gossip and perception. It's hard to think clearly when things are not going your way but sometimes thinking clearly will be the only way to get out of trouble. You control your actions and reactions. You have a choice.

Never let other people dictate how you feel and what you do about it. Be yourself. And never forget to have fun!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bloglovin

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/3459790/pending-passions?claim=tqv2psbqtsr">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Claiming my blog on Bloglovin.com

Sunsets, Gas stations and Debuts

I've committed one of the most annoying sins a blogger may be able to make: forgetting to bring a camera.

Seriously, if blogging is an all out form of media, then I should consider always carrying my Canon DSLR or just throw in my point and shoot one. And I do consider this, only I forget right when I step out of the door. When blogging is no longer in my head, everything else that connects to it hides in the background, until of course something comes up that is blog-worthy and picturesque...but you don't have anything to capture it with except your eyes.

I. Sunsets

I am a nature lover. That means I fall in love with scenes that are common but usually occur in nature. Sunrises and sunsets, flowers, greenery, mountains and valleys, lakes and oceans, the wide expanse we call the sky. These are creations that no human being can create. I mean, sure, you can chop off a mountain and forklift it to another location but it isn't really the same mountain. Somehow, it's bound to show irregularities. I believe in originals and not ones that are copied. Landscapes and natural wonders are no exception.

Having established the fact that I love nature, I saw a beautiful sunset last Saturday February 5, 2012 while we were driving home from Cagayan de Oro. It's unusual to see beauty in such a busy world but I looked up and saw something different in the sky. The sun wasn't its usual bright, irregular orb of light. Its round outline was distinct. There were few clouds and the ones that were close to the sun only highlighted the queer appearance our bright star is showing.

The sun seemed BIG! I mean, usually it's just too bright to make out what shape it's in or how big it appears to be but this time it was like looking at a new moon, a full moon, or something just really big and round in the sky. It was beautiful.

As it was already about 5 in the afternoon, eventually the sun will have to hide. As I unsuccessfully searched for a camera, ruling out all three cellphones that we had, I looked up again and saw that the sun had landed on a mountain range. Again, it was beautiful. It was like what every child would draw when they are asked to draw a sunset, or a sunrise even. It was right in the crook of two mountains and was slowly sinking. Literally, I could see its size shrinking and all too soon it was gone. Sniff. It was the first time...okay, second time I've ever watched the sun disappear from the sky. (The first was in Zamboanga City and no, I did not bring a camera...maybe I should attach one on my forehead so I would never forget)

The scene made me realize what a fast and insensitive world we're living in. As I was gushing and giddy all around inside the car, I realized that probably only very few people would feel what I felt. I was excited to see beauty, to wonder at its mystery and to sit(bounce) in awe of its majestic splendor (so many big words). If someone else was in the car, I would even probably shut up and admire the view in silence, in fear of being told off as ignorant and childish. In private, however, I felt like I've witnessed the stuff love stories, heroic epics and grand reunions are made of. I've witnessed what our eyes were made to see.

And even if I don't have the picture to prove it, I believe that the best photography equipment ever made is our eyes and you've absolutely got every day to look for the beauty in nature just waiting for you to notice it.

II. Gas Stations

A few meters into the disappearing sun, we passed by a gas station which was practically right in the middle of nowhere. Since I don't have a picture, I don't think I need to plug the place up. (Knocking my head 3 times for leaving the cam at home.) Anyway, with all this news of oil price hikes, fare increases and price freezing in markets, it was refreshingly hilarious to see a gas station where prices are the following: Unleaded = I Diesel = LOVE Gasoline = YOU. So that makes an I LOVE YOU replacing all those increasing prices.

In a place that has been affected by the flood brought on by the typhoon Sendong, it seemed weird to find a gas station, one that was probably severely damaged to the point of non-operation, to go out of their way and express love. I also think it's their way to celebrate Valentines and the month of love. Whatever these people were thinking, they did right to make such a statement in a lonely place where people may forget what life feels like with a smile and a warm heart.

It's a rare feat but the people of this gas station found a way to sink their statement of love everywhere through their price stand (whatever it's called). I'm semi-sure that anyone who passes by that place will feel a little lighter and happier because of that message. I hope people will start spreading the word and actually doing what their message suggests. It's telling the people who are important to you how much you love them. Telling those who have made your life all the more livable how you feel and showing them that you are there to make their life complete, like how they have made yours. It's just saying I LOVE YOU in ways that may seem unreal but effectively drilling and making its bed inside your soul.

III. Debuts

Cutting off everything connected to the two parts of this post, I want to ask help from any of you out there on making Debut Celebration videos. My cousin is turning 18 on April and my aunt assigned me to make a video for her debut.

Now, please consider these when you suggest anything: I only have pictures to work with. I don't think I have the time (or the guts) to talk to her friends and shoot their messages or whatever. My cousin is very camera shy and I probably would have better luck shooting a bird in flight than her face not distorted or hidden by unwanted things. I have never been to a debut that had a beautiful video and I have never celebrated a debut of my own, hence I don't have a standard. I made a video for such a celebration two years ago and I'm pretty sure that they didn't play it during the party. In short, I may be a loser in this department but I'm determined to change that.

So, right now, I'm guessing that I'll just have to keep surfing the net for ideas, working out plots and storyboards for the video. And I have to do all this in one week because if I don't, I don't know if I'll ever finish it in time. Sure I still have about 3 months but procrastinating does things to people and these things rarely turn out to be good.

If by some reason you're confused at what a debut is, it's a birthday celebration usually conducted when a girl hits the age of 18, letting her parents announce to the world that she's a woman and is therefore up for grabs in the relationship department. This may also be the reason that I don't have a boyfriend and am still acting like a child lost in transition and aimlessly throwing stones into the shallow part of the ocean. The previous sentence made no sense. =)

Anyway, if you've read the post up to this point, even without pictures, hooray for you! If you suggest anything for the video I'll be making, three cheers for you! Maybe someday I'll make you a video or give stuff away when I'm popular and rich enough to do so. =)

By the way, here's a video I've recently made out of boredom and yes, I'm productive when I'm bored.


Have fun!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Feeding on Words: Nothing Spaces x Field Notes Giveaway

Photo from nothingspaces.com
If you are anything like me, then maybe you have never heard of Field Notes or only have an inkling that you've read about it somewhere a long, long time ago. Being shut out of the outside world does that. However, because the internet is such an interesting alternative to the real world, and I am a sucker for notebooks you can actually flip around, write on with a real pen, or stuff inside your bag without worrying about its screen getting damaged because of all the other knick-knacks it has to contend with, this giveaway from Nothing Spaces is wonderful news!

A little background on Field Notes: It's made in Chicago, IL and used to never exist in the Philippines. Now it does through Avalon.ph. It's handy and convenient to bring around. It is aptly named and reminds me of archaeologists and scientists who dig and discover stuff, logging findings in their own version of field notes. It's a bit like moleskine but of course each brand has differences and similarities. It has lots of designs (I think) and well, they're not your average classroom notebook. I'd like to think they were made to inspire notes. =)

Nothing Spaces, in partnership with Avalon.ph is giving away a pack of these pretty notebooks to a lucky winner (though I can't seem to find how many winners will actually get this). Promo ends on February 5, 2012 which is this SUNDAY! It's easy to join, really. You just have to go to Carina Santos' (author of Nothing Spaces) site using this link: http://bit.ly/ns-fieldnotes  and follow her instructions. It's basically just getting the word out and there's nothing to lose! The winner will be chosen through a randomizer so that's going to be really fair. Gives me the feeling that I should practice hacking programs like that...just kidding, I don't even know how to hack. So anyway, give it a shot people! Who knows, you might just get yourself a couple of empty pages you can fill from end to end with everything from your thoughts, to your notes, to sketches and to manuscripts of future best selling books (at least that's what I intend to do with mine if I do win =)