Misty Monday

I actually have a monicker that’s shoe-related somewhere, and the number one question I get asked when people find out I’m Filipina is how many shoes I have.. I will proudly say not as many as the infamous Imelda, but just enough.  Unlike my Starbucks mugs and postcards, there’s no shoe collection to speak of.  However, I am a good shopper, so a “Buy-One-Get-One-Half-Off” deal on rain boots at a boutique near me saw me getting 2 pairs. One was a short pair, and the other the usual tall ones.

#HappyFeet this #rainy day in #NYC. #rainboots #shoelove #shoes #boots #readyfortherain #cuteshoes
I picked them in a funky floral print and a lace mock up, and I’m quite happy with my purchase.  So my feet will be well dressed and dry as the rains come.  Like today.  $42 for both and I even got a free item — I chose a pair of practical flip flops.


#FoggyNYC #nofilter #cantseeathing #mynyc #myny #NewYorkCity

Monday wasn’t meant to be a sunny day and it was obvious from the start.  It was wet outside (hence, the raingear), and temperatures have dropped yet again.  (Our heat is on, for one. =(..)  I know, I shouldn’t be complaining.  But we expect April showers and it’s June.  Almost summer, imagine?

So what do I do on days like this?  I wear my rainboots, of course.  Dress in the proper coat (pink raincoat to the rescue) and just brave the elements.  The rain was pervasive but mild.  We don’t really get mist in the Philippines.  Like I kiddingly tell the people who ask me about seasons back home, we only have the wet and dry seasons.  No spring, no fall and no winter.  It’s summer or it’s not.

Like snow, there is a certain magic to the mist.  You don’t see it but feel it falling gently on your skin.  There are times when it falls strong enough for you to feel wet enough to whip out the umbrella, but there are times when you will just let it fall and put your face up to the wind.

In a naughty mood, I had texted a friend earlier if he could make the rain stop.  His curt yet hilarious reply: “I can’t make anything happen these days.  However, I spoke briefly to the rain department who said that I should stop calling them.”  I literally laughed out loud, while on the phone, upon reading his quip.

It was misty when I stepped out for a quick coffee and hug from a dear old friend from college who popped up from Connecticut.  I suddenly get a message he was at the consulate, five blocks away.  It had been a while since we last saw each other — so I grabbed the chance to catch up.  Those chance meetings — unplanned, though they may be — turn out to be the things that make one’s day on a misty Monday like yesterday bearable.  And don’t forget about the rain department!

Tuesday sees us with similar weather, but I can hear the birds chirping outside.  That can only mean that it hasn’t been as bad.  Not quite as windy (hopefully), and maybe, the sun will wake up from it’s slumber and stretch out even for a bit.  We’re not even hitting 60 today, temperature-wise, and that IS cold.  I guess it’s a day for coats, and maybe a decent pair of warm leggings.

This is the way we live here in New York.  Makes me miss the heat and humidity that everyone hates about Manila.. If you guys only knew..

Between sighs

We finally got a reprieve from the heat today. I actually noticed a cooler breeze last night which was a refreshing change from the otherwise oppressive heat of the previous weeks. It was even chilly this morning. Nature has its way of balancing things as always.

My rain boots proved to be unnecessary but I hate walking home in the rain with the extra aggravation of literally walking with cold feet.

My mood seems to be in synch with the gloomy weather these days. I don’t know if it’s my late father’s birthday coming upon us or his death anniversary around the corner, or the finality of saying goodbye to Donna again who leaves our side of the world tonight to go back down under. July is not an upbeat month. So I try harder to make it upbeat — I think of my favorite niece, Julia’s birthday… And summer which, despite its punishing heat, is my favorite season because it’s the closest New York will ever come to mimicking the hot days back in Manila. I think of July as being past midway through the year which means December cannot be far behind.

They said that if you think happy thoughts and try to make a list of blessings in your life, you will actually be able to fight the sadness.

And there’s just avoiding wallowing in the negative. I thought about writing about Papa but thinking of his birthday and passing in one linear thought is just too much for my heart to bear. Even just glossing it over now is hard. The grieving never really stops or ends. We just learn to cope better.


When rain threatens

I left the house wearing my rainboots, but I packed my raincoat. It was too warm and humid to be layered — so I opted instead for my sweater blazer.

I got off to a slow start today. I didn’t even prepare anything beyond the morning cup of espresso and I crawled my way through getting ready for work. It’s one of those days where, if I had a choice, I would have opted to just stay home.

But there is work.. And it’s almost Saturday. (Trying to stay positive about this..). I tell myself that no matter how glum things get, there will always be something to smile about.

Rain threatening in the horizon

It’s just another day, I tell myself.  But the normally bright sunshine we have to put the shades down for is nowhere to be seen.  Gloomy and grey… =(

Strong Rain today

I can just sit in front of this window and watch the rain all day until it stops.  You know it’s bad when you can actually hear the rain as it pelts the glass.  The fog outside makes it even look gloomier.

From rain to sunshine

Rainy afternoon in New York City

I’m probably being overly optimistic with the blogpost title, but it’s stopped raining this Saturday, and the sun is being lazy, hiding behind some clouds.  We were pelted with rain and wind yesterday as you can see from the view from my window above taken late Friday and it rained all night.  It’s just nature taking care of us again, making sure we have enough water to sustain spring into summer.  Thankfully — at least in our area, that is — we didn’t have an over-abundance of mother nature’s blessing.

I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend.  Hoping to create a few pieces, and sending off some Zentangled Mail Art from Swap-bot that you can read more about at my craft blog, Gotham Chick, once I’m able to post (link to be supplied when the post is uploaded…).  I was supposed to mail it out this Saturday, but I ended up leaving my ‘inserts’ in the office.  (Mailing on Monday then!

I did my postcard giveaway video in connection with some lenticular (3D) postcards I picked up from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) which I had picked up this week.  I got so excited seeing the new postcards displayed on their rack when I hopped over the museum shop before meeting up for the ride home, I had to grab a copy plus an extra before they ran out.  I had advertised the giveaway at our Postcrossing Philippines Facebook group and I promised the drawing would be my Saturday.  I wanted to show that it was all done above board, so the video pertaining to the actual drawing is straight-through, uncut, so there are no substitutions, cuts or what-not.  All fair!  =)  I’m sending the winner’s postcard prize (I had them choose the artist) via snail mail with some extra goodies.  Playing postcard santa!

I guess now that THAT’s done, I can look at maybe beginning another Philippine Map hand-drawn postcard before the weekend ends.  (I currently have five finished which I am dying to post but scanning the PC has been too much trouble.  I will try again next week.)

So here’s the video I worked on this evening.  I’m totally bushed after editing it and putting music to it, so no, you don’t have to bear with my narration/spiel.  It was fun to make, though.

If you’re interested to get any of the postcards in the video, please e-mail me at postcardmailbox at gmail.com.


Postcard talk

My heart has been heavy these days.  I received news about someone dear being terribly, terribly sick.  I’m not supposed to know, and the news almost made me cry when I read the e-mail.  The only thing that stopped the tears was the fact that I was in a very public place. I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer, acknowledged the message, but from there, my mind froze.

I feel so deeply saddened that while I was planning to write my friend, I have yet to pick up paper and pen since Sunday.  This even as I have immersed myself in postcard exchanges.

When I walk alone, or as I do my regular chores, the sadness envelopes my heart.  I think about how fragile life is and how we all live on borrowed time.  I think about the pain and anger I sometimes find myself immersed in.  I float in and out convincing myself everything is alright.  I wish..

We take so many things forgranted.  This morning as I walked out of the house, I caught sight of the muted sun, more like the moon, as the dark clouds started to cover it.  I started to reach for my camera but the clouds were much too fast.  I missed out on it.  It would’ve made for a good graphic for today’s post.

I haven’t been here in a while.  I’ve been busy.  I can only blog late at night or early in the morning, and it’s difficult when I have to make a deliberate effort to do it.  Tonight, I’m working off of a blogpost I started drafting yesterday in the bus, and I’m continuing writing it — while on the bus.  I can just vegetate and try to catch some shut-eye, but I feel bad that I haven’t written.

Postcards are being sent out.  I’m lucky there’s a post office a block away from where I work, and a nice walk from where I live.  I’m trying to manage my trading, and I’m getting into the swing of things again.  Not where the mail art is concerned, though.  I’m still a little shy about sharing my work but I’m trying to build a network over at IUOMA.

I’m continuing with the newspaper collage although I’m missing a few.  (They weren’t with the postcards in the office so I guess they’re back home.). One thing I like is that headlines here in the US tend to be distinct from newspaper to newspaper, unlike back in Manila where one headline is paraphrased in the next newspaper’s front page.  It seems like everyone’s buzzing about Ryan but in whispers.

(Almost 2 hrs on the road with traffic crawling through the rain.  Sigh.  This is one of those nights I wish I had full time househelp to take care of Angelo.  Not in America, though.)

Back to the postcards… I am trying Postcrossing out and have had 2 postcards reach their intended destination but I have yet to receive one.  I noticed there are a lot of Filipinos on the site and some have chalked up quite a record sending out postcards.  I am amazed and then I suddenly remember my boxes of postcards.  Guilty.  I really have to start listing those postcards which need to find a new home.

For one, I have around a dozen Star Trek postcards — to keep or not to keep?  I have more than a hundred Canadiana I need to “release”.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Canada but if they’re not maps and not lighthouses, they’re sitting untouched and unadmired in the darkness of a storage box.  And what about duplicate maps and lighthouses, most of which I picked up as spares to trade?

The stadiums are slowly going… (Can’t wait until they are all on their merry way.)  I am starting to sort out the unsorted postcards and will hopefully combine them with those sorted in boxes already.  A little at a time..

Midnight.  Time for bed.. and it’s another day.  Have to get that letter on its way to my friend.

Tastes that bring me the flavor of home

It’s the time of the year for bibingka and puto bumbong — but it’s the everyday taste of Manila that truly brings me home.

Tonight, it was balut.  My sister and I were waiting for the kids to return from a screening of Arthur Christmas when I heard the call resonate from somewhere down the street.  I called back.. and before I knew it, I was sitting down enjoying the juicy delicacy of you know what.  (No sense grossing out the uninitiated.)

I wasn’t always a fan of balut but learned to savor its delicate and filling flavor back in the day when law books kept me company into the wee hours of the morning.  Did it have a placebo effect on me, I wonder.  I, of course, was one of the many believers that it gave you stamina.  As they say it in the vernacular, pampatigas ng tuhod.  But now I simply love it for its taste.  Plus the fact that while they are offered by some Asian and Filipino stores back in the big apple, they are not quite as flavorful nor as enjoyable coming from a cloth lined basket from whence it came tonight.  Yum!

I waited for the taho vendor this morning but he did not come — probably owing to the heavy rains.  Maybe I’ll get lucky tomorrow.  Sure hope so!

Up at the crack of dawn

I watched the sky outside my window turn from a dark to a now glowing light blue as the sun is slowly made its way up. I woke up at just before 5am this morning which isn’t really all that bad, considering I was asleep a few minutes after 10pm. As I was used to sleeping after midnight or later, I guess it was just my body clock “adjusting” — hence the early wake up call.

So I sat here in the living room catching up on news back home — (via Philstar and Inquirer).  I deleted e-mails from the blackberry.  And here I am finally writing a post.

I feel much better.  I think the jetlag is practically gone, but the after effects of the staggered and irregular sleep patterns has started to catch up with me.  Last night, I whipped up dinner and took care of the boy and lay next to him.  Father and son were still in a playful mood but I just needed sleep.  I drifted off to lala land and woke up feeling refreshed.

The sun is finally out.  I am hoping the rain doesn’t make a reappearance anytime soon.  There is something relaxing about falling rain, true.  But there is also an element of sadness to it.

Late evenings and early mornings are the best times for me.  It’s quietest and calmest then.  The silence and tranquility somehow helps me to recalibrate myself and just end or start the day in a more positive vein.  I’ve always been a night owl.  I have found that the best time for me is when the sun is not up.  While I am fully functional during the day, my most productive time is when the skies are dark.

It’s been almost a month now since Dad passed.  I am trying to get on with life and will now try to attend to the many messages of condolences I have yet  to acknowledge.  Even doing that has been difficult.  In fact there are still times when people ask me about my “vacation” and I simply say “It went fine..,” only because explaining I had gone home because Dad passed gets a tad bit too emotional for me. 

I thought I’d be scared to see him or feel him but I can walk into the darkness without fear at any time of the day.  He is here that he isn’t here.