Thursday, March 29, 2012

books and bookmarks

whenever i go abroad, i always make it a point to bring a book set in the same location. it's a way to get closer to the place especially if it's written by a local. 

it started when i first went to Paris in 2004. i brought the Da Vinci Code  with me and read it in a park somewhere. i remember an African-American approached me asking me if i was a student and then some more small talk. he went away and said he was coming back. i left immediately. i never thought it would happen again after 4 years! and that time, i wasn't a scaredy cat anymore.

anyway back to the book. i just bought this one which was recommended to me in FB. i don't think i'll like Paulo Coelho so i settled with this.  

it's a vampire book. so far so good! i'm trying not to read too fast. 
and then i realized i had no bookmarks so i made these.

i used the cardboard that came with my new stockings, some washi tapes, magazine cutout and my scrap yarns and leather cords

i realized while reading in a coffee shop earlier that i missed reading a lot. this year though i started to make time to read again and so far i only read one book: Natsuo Kirino's OUT. i love it and finished reading it overnight. 

while on my way home, i was wishing that books don't suffer the same fate as the Encylopedia Britannica which is going to cease printing this year :(  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DIY leather purse

i made a leather purse today!

after surfing the web, i finally settled on a simple design.
i hand stitched the sides and then put a snap closure.

the sewing took me less than 30 minutes but installing the closure took hours.
i had to figure out how to install the female part of the snap.  

since i don't have this Snap-All/Rivet Setter...

...i cheated and just super-glued the snap. it worked!

if i had the setter, i'm sure it's supposed to be flat and not elevated. 
but it's still good and i like it!

hope it doesn't come off :D

update (may 3, 2012)

it survived the trip! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

DSWD on teleseryes

so timely!

DSWD Airs Concern Over Teleseryes

i quite agree with the comments. so why am i still writing for soap again? the money? shameful.

at wit's end

sometimes, it's just tiring to live with no real purpose in life. it's all the same thing everyday. you sleep. you wake up. you eat. you work. you pay the bills. you solve a problem. you sleep again. another problem crops up the next day. another deadline to beat. you don't notice the day passing you by. when you wake up, your old and gray and things are still the same around you.

what's the meaning of this routine called life? and why do i have to live it?

AND WHY, why do i have to write these teleplays? am i making the world a better place with my contribution? if i were a fugitive, i would have made more contribution in society. because then, the police would try to up their game just to catch me. next time, they'll know better. but as a soap opera writer, what am i really improving?

am i improving anything at all? or i'm just telling the same old story over and over again. how many times can you tell a mother-daughter search? apparently, a thousand times and more! how can you make a young girl cry? a thousand times and more! and it's as if i'm making Filipinos smarter and wiser.

i always have a deja vu while writing dialogues. "wait, i already wrote this before".

i'll be eighty and i'll still be writing about a mother looking for her daughter and exchanging heated arguments with matching sampalan with the kontrabida whose maltreating the (surprise surprise) missing daughter.

sometimes i just want to disappear in a faraway place, never to be seen again. or maybe sleep forever, never to be woken up by a magical kiss.

i'm so bored i want to kill myself!

and as i say everyday to the universe, ayoko nang magsulat. to be specific, ayoko nang magsulat sa TV.

when will the world end? when will the world of soap operas end? when will i end?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

us embassy interview

tomorrow morning.

habang palapit ng palapit, kinakabahan ako. wala naman akong balak mag-TNT. pano pa kaya yung mga nag-a-apply na yun ang main reason?

feeling ko may nagawa akong kasalanan na malalaman nila pagpindot nila sa computer nila. sinasadya ba nila maging intimidating?

good luck to me.

(update: i'll post my embassy experience here to give an idea to other future applicants.)

my appointment was at 8:30 but i was already there by 7:30am. i didn't bring a bag, just a plastic envelope with all my documents in it but i saw women wearing shoulder bags which was supposed to be prohibited according to the notice that came from our travel agent :(

anyway, i got in after the lady put a barcode at the back of my new passport.  then i entered the building and got through the X-ray machine, was given a ticket number and was told to wait in the waiting area.

i noticed the embassy has changed since the last time i went there in 2006.  it's larger, more organized and crowd control is better. when i finally got inside there are more windows to accommodate the applicants. and it's separated in two. i think the other side is for immigrants, fiances and nationals.

by 8:30, i was finished with the initial interview (where the lady behind the window only asked me my name, my birthdate and if i filled up my application online myself) and the finger scanning by a nice American guy.

while i was at the first window, i heard a Visa Officer (VO) talking loudly on her mic in Window 10. she was denying visa to a family due to their weak socio-economic ties in the Philippines. the elderly father and the younger wife kept on asking her for the reason and she just kept on repeating what she said. i even heard her tell the father not to argue with her about the law. almost everyone near the window can hear everything. i was only a few meters away.

i cringed. i thought they looked desperate for a visa and it further weakened their case. kahit kulitin mo yung mga VO, they won't change their minds unless you present a document to try to convince them otherwise. oral arguments won't work here.

while i was waiting for my number 2156, i noticed other applicants getting denied in that window though there were also others who walked away with a smile. i thought maybe i should get another window just to be safe.

the numbers were now called in random. 2158 and 3022 were called before me. finally when it was my turn, it was in Window 10!

the family of 4 were approved before me. the father was a stockbroker. when i got nearer, i noticed the young curly-haired woman looked nice and approachable naman.

here's how the question and answer portion went:

Me: Good morning.
VO:  Good morning. How do you do?

I gave her my passports with my old US visa and my application form.
She typed on her computer.

VO: What do you do?
Me: I'm a writer for TV and film.
She said something and i didn't hear it.
Me: I'm sorry?
VO: Where do you work?
Me: GMA Network.

She nodded. Recognizing the name.

VO: So you write news?
Me: No. I write for TV and film (i should have rephrased it better: TV and film writer but anyway)
VO: Oh I thought you write news articles. (maybe she saw my issued Journalist visa in Japan in 2008)

At this point maybe she understood that i write scripts.
She kept on typing and looking at her monitor.

VO: Is your salary basically the same?
Me: Yes. Just average. (my answer doesn't make sense no? haha!)
She nodded and smiled.
VO: Average.

Back to her monitor. More typing. 

VO: What was your longest stay in the US?
Me: About a month.
VO: That long? Why?
Me: I was there for a film festival. I went to Sundance.
VO: Oh you've been to Sundance.

She nodded and typed again. She mostly looked at the monitor while interviewing me.
I wonder what she was reading there.

VO: And was that the last time you've been to the US?
Me: No. I was also there in 2009.
VO: For how long?
Me: About 2 weeks.
VO: What do you plan to do there this time?
Me: We're just going to Niagara falls and watch some Broadway shows.

VO: Who are you going with?
Me: My live-in partner.
VO: Does he have a US Visa?
Me: Yes. He has a 10 year multiple.

She looks curious as she turns to me.

VO: Are your parents Japanese? I hope you don't mind.
Me: My father is Japanese and my mother is from here.

She nodded. More typing. And then she stamped on my old US Visa and gave it back to me.

VO: Ok you're approved (not sure about this first line. maybe i just imagined it). We'll send it by courier.
Me: Thank you.

It took less than 5 minutes. She didn't even look at one single document i brought with me. Those documents made me paranoid especially the hotel booking (by the travel agent) at the expensive Marriott hotel and the company ITR which i didn't bring with me. That's always the scary part: when you're asked for a document which you don't have.

I was already on my way home by 9:30am. Quite fast.

On the way home, i was thinking why i wasn't denied. I don't know how she thought that i had enough ties here because i didn't present any job contract, not even our SEC papers for Origin8. She knows i'm single and don't have children. Bakit hindi niya inisip na magti-TNT ako? The socio-economic-ties thing applies to me!

I have a feeling that the questions were just to see if my answers would match what's in my record. I think they already pre-approved me even before i got there because the questions she asked me were so basic. I thought she would ask me more about my financial status and my ties in Pinas but she didn't.

I think these factors helped me get approved:

a. 10 is my lucky number. (the first time I ever gambled in a game at the school fair when i was in grade school, i chose no. 10. I won a liter of Coke and some chicheria ata. I was so happy and that was the beginning of my fascination to gambling.)
b. but seriously, my 5-year Japan visa helped a lot.
c. maybe my old 1-year Journalist visa in Japan too
d. my recently acquired Schengen visa.
e. my travel record. i travel regularly, every year since 2004. most of all, i don't overstay during my trips. I always come back.
e. during the interview, it also helped that I gave (very) short and concise answers. I didn't elaborate  because if they want you to explain they will ask more questions.

you also have to be lucky too when you apply. millions in your bank account won't help, extensive travel and properties here. i really have no idea how their system works.

if i can become invisible in a day, one of my first stops would be at the US embassy to see what they're reading in their monitors and to know what they are typing!

my stress ball

i want to be a Shih Tzu
particularly Sushi.

everybody loves her and takes care of her. 

she plays all day. 
she does nothing.
yet everybody still loves her. 

she exists to give happiness. 

i love her.
i'll go crazy if she's not here.

i'm so glad i bought her 2 Decembers ago. 
she's more a gift to me than she is to Erik.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

shopping discoveries

i just discovered there are better choices of shoes in Rustan's than in boutiques! 
in fact, i wanted to buy 5 pairs but i stopped myself. 

I searched the internet to find the best flats for walking. 
Cole Haan has the Nike Air technology 
which makes it comfy for walking. 
Cole Haan Air Bacara Ballet flats.

 I tried it and it's true! i have yet to walk miles in it though.
Aerosoles Feature Film in dark orange

i also discovered Zatchels, satchel bags handmade in London. 
very nice designs! 
 Ladybug Cracked Leather Satchel at 109 pounds with handle
Light Red Distressed Leather Barrel Bag for 45 pounds
how nice are they?!

shop in FB is selling them for reasonable prices. you can also order from them
but it will take 2 months before you can get your item. 
you can opt to order directly from the Zatchels website 
but shipping to the Philippines will cost you 30 pounds (P1,700).

i think it's better to buy quality shoes, bags, clothes that will last a long time than 
having lots of items in your closet that you will have to throw away
 after 2 or 3 uses (just like Forever 21 clothes).

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bead hairpins with Swarovski crystal

I enjoyed making these! 

Teardrop gemstone and colored beads at P10@

For the white zen-themed porcelain bead with Swarovski 
crystal in the middle,  P30@

Will (maybe) accept orders :)

using ordinary iPhone camera

you put it on your hair just like this:

sorry for the ugly pic. i took this one myself

 Teardrop bead hairpin would look nice too!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

origami owl lamp

Origami owl lampshade

double sided origami paper - 9pcs
decoupage glue used as sealer

For the base:
LED or CFL bulb
chocolate top box covered with black masking tape

almost burned the house down while making the socket.  
i blew up two fuses in the process (master doesn't know yet).

back view; on my decoupaged table