Thursday, July 24, 2014

Human separation anxiety

It will come to no surprise that my dog is far more stable than I am. In fact, I cling to him (literally) for sanity. 

When my day starts getting messy, I get stressed so I start looking for him just to watch or play with the creature. He is always happy and playful and he always tries to make you happy and playful.

He also likes cuddling in bed because since we got him, he assumed that his thick fur on my face is an appreciated gesture. I've been asthma attack-free for a while but I don't need to breathe when I'm this happy! Let me drown in dog hair. 
I've been away from him before for an extended period of time and it wasn't great. I always just randomly remember him and I start feeling bad for getting a dog and not being 100% there for him. I swear one of the reasons I asked for an extension on my gap year was because I couldn't stand being away from him.

I'm leaving him again this weekend. I don't worry about his safety because he lives in a farm, another person takes care of him here and he has dog friends so he never gets sad but I just get so scared that something might happen to him and I'm not there to get a hold of things. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.

I look at my dog like a younger sibling and I have always believed that I didn't get a sibling because I'll be over-protective, with extreme expectations, and I'd always want only the best. The thing is, you can't always have the best. AND I CAN'T STAND THAT. Sometimes, I get mad at myself for just being tired. I'm not always great at handling limitations. 


Anyways. I just can't. I'll miss my dog. That is it. I'll work something out. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My friends are feminists – HELP! part 1

My friends have recently been very vocal on their social network accounts about being feminist. I left college more than a year ago and the last I’ve been with them, I already felt the urges.

Now, they have come out to play (they’d kill me if they knew I said “play”).


First of all, this is not petty bourgeoisie feminism. No, they are not out rallying about how women are just like men. They’re not using the hashtag either.

Their feminism is more academic in approach so while you do pride yourself in finishing “A Room of One’s Own”, they may start talking about contemporary theories that will bring you to tears. Note: If you have brilliant friends, prepare to feel really, really small. Contemporary theories are also not very happy reads.

I’m not against feminism per se. I’m more of choosing ignorance – a take-away of reading about our age of anxiety. Ignorance (which used to be belief) is bliss; however I feel at such a loss having feminists around me and just turning a blind eye. I couldn’t just sit here and read Game of Thrones.

So I’m taking on the journey with them. Brilliant friend said I should begin with Marxism. I’ve read about “true feminism” achieving its goal only after the abolishment of capitalism. This is hardcore but I like it.

Planting some food

I used to (and probably still do) think that gardening is the boring-est thing in the whole world. If I'd have to choose between watching paint dry or a plant grow, I'd definitely pick jumping off a cliff. I'm a very adventurous person which for me means I get bored easy. I was sure that the only way I can stand tending an herb garden is when the plants are full grown by nighttime and start eating meat by the end of the week.

I bought cabbage, coriander, thyme and bell pepper seeds because they were all that I saw in the seed store that sparked any interest in my beating heart. I was planning to buy two but when I saw that black plastic pots were cheap, I decided to buy two more. Actually, the reason I wanted only two is because two counts of murder is closer to heaven than four.

When my thyme seeds began sprouting, I did whatever sensible person would do. I assumed they were duckweed (which commonly grow in pond water) and ripped them off the soil to throw them away. Of course, it only took an hour for me to have the good sense to Google what thyme sprouts actually look like.

They look like the photo above.

About the fear that it will be boring, I'm a changed man. Before, I would probably have to stare at the pot and let the activity occupy my day. I'd learn witchcraft to make it more interesting but it is actually really chill. You just throw in some seeds, water it and forget it even existed. It'll do the work for you.

Win-win. I'll update you on how it turns out for me. I can even mail you the herbs and vegetables/fruit. They will probably rot by the time they get to you but that my friend, is the smell of patience.

Why off-season Boracay is best Boracay

I’ve been to Boracay a number of times and about a week ago, I went for two weekends on a row. I’m on a nearby province so it doesn’t take much for me to get to the awesome island. I’m also on the island yearly with the best, funnest cousins in the whole world during peak season. We get cray-cray, I swear.

(You can go Google when the peak seasons are. Some even go the extra mile and have a “mid-peak” season which is somewhere between both poles.)


WAY CHEAPER




 This is the first thing you’ll notice. The accommodations will go very cheap, with discounts from 10% to 70%. This means you can stay for more nights in the Boracay if you’re working with a budget. The ideal number of days on the island I would say be minimum of four (4) nights. I think that is enough of great food, binge drinking, dancing and paradise to last you for a while. I will however invite you to stay there for weeks to months as many foreign tourists do. 

A popular Italian local intended on staying for three days and stayed for three months (everyday is laundry day, I guess). He then returned to his motherland but after a few days returned with all his life and he now happily resides on the island. "Permanent tourist" is the term used. Yes, Boracay is paradise and it makes you want to stay there. That is why I had to go there twice the past weeks. So I could come face-to-face with the urge to live there.


LESS CROWDED

When it is peak-season, there will be tourists (a lot of domestic) on the island. If this is your thing, enjoy the crowd but I myself prefer a quieter shore. I like swimming with personal space bigger than the average rainy day puddle. I’m in Boracay for the beach and the vibe and my vision is less people with their touristy instincts (photo in every move, travelling in herds, extremely crowded nightspots). 

I just have to say, I almost shat in my pants when I saw all the vendors with selfie-pods. Those things were invented by Dark Lord Satan and people should avoid using them. It is just wrong to buy equipment to take better photos of yourself for social reasons.


MORE AUTHENTIC, ISLAND FEEL (if that is even possible anymore)

I keep hearing about old Boracay with the villages, wooden huts, and authentic Filipino barangay feel. In the barangay, you know everyone, everything about everyone, eat the same food, and do the same things. Of course, this is impossible with what Boracay is now but the locals do come out more during off-peak seasons. Or maybe they are less drowned by the visiting crowd.

The locals are always easy to talk to. They often have dreadlocks and tattoos and can be intimidating but they’re there for the good time and they will tell you about their life which is often very interesting. I love hearing people talk.

Off-peak season is the best time to meet great people, not only locals but also tourists.  A lot of them will be talking about the fantasy of moving to the island and you will get why.


CLUBBING IS MUCH MORE FUN


The clubs (like Summer Place) still get jam-packed but it is with a better crowd than peak season probably because the people there are less “trendy”. I’m not against trends but you don’t show up to a beach-side club in heels and dress and spend the night taking selfies. I’m a serious club person. If it is my jam, it is my jam and I will dance.


MORE ACTIVITIES


During the habagat season or windy months, kite-surfing and surfing move to the main shore which is great. These activities are often in the back beach because the winds are stronger there but it is great that you won’t have to travel just to try kite-surfing or surfing. Activities are also cheaper (up to 50% off) during “off” months.


Of course, there are cons like the weather being too wet blah blah blah. If you plan to go to Boracay twice or more in the future, try visiting during off-peak and peak seasons. Take your pick, I won’t judge. I’ll be glad if you pick off-peak though!


By the way, I realised I did not want to move to the island. However, I’d love the option to go there when I become too tied up. It’s is really a great place. I was so in love I started looking for cemeteries because I was dead serious about living until death there. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Starting your own bespoke label?

I've been into fashion for a long time. First, it began as this weird, science-y infatuation with the cut and the fit of clothing. Then it moved into the artsier world of haute couture and runway shows where fantasy is nothing but a mere possibility. If you've seen the techniques at Dior, the finesse at Valentino or the love affair with luxury at Chanel, it is hard to not get addicted.

Of course, I also enjoy the newer brands. I am a fan of Alexander Wang, McQueen, Band of Outsiders, Creatures of the Wind and the cozy highness of The Elder Statesmen. Wang taught me about the magic of teaching the market how to demand something. And Marc Jacobs with his avant-garde attacks on the definition of commercial beauty.

So I decided I want to make clothes for people. Which was a win-lose decision because number one, I added a new skill set to my career possibilities and two, because I created a bigger uncertainty. 

Here are tips on starting on your own bespoke thing.

I crie vrytme - not rili.


1. You can't do it on your own. I've made clothes on my own. From drafting the basic bodice on manila to hand-sewing the hem, it would take me around 3 days to finish a lightly embellished evening gown. But imagine making your way through measurement sheets, rulers, french curves then into fabric marking then adding seam allowances then into sewing - it is very tiring. If you have a solid swab of excitement in your stomach, you might survive on your own. Because it is a tiring process, humility is required. Go get help.
Fabric treatment chemical residue can cause sinusitis.


2. Get self-confidence by the dozen. When you deliver a gown to someone, self-confidence is required so you don't go full insomnia worrying if your client actually liked the gown. I think you could only start making clothes when you have enough of this. Unfortunately, I began my venture a century too early.

3. Read a lot. I got minimal formal education on this whole field but it has been years of wastefulness that actually allowed me to make my first basic bodice and skirt. From then on, I read a lot more to learn more. You get the point, just be ready to read. A lot. And stare at pretty pictures, plot points and estimate the right amount of curve you need which is far tougher than it seems. 

4. Humility(again) with honesty. Sometimes, when you are in a creative endeavor such as fashion, you make it a point not to get inspiration from other clothing stuff. Maybe you want to be inspired by a scene, or a color, or a texture - whatever - but not a dress you saw or have. Reason: you are fearful you'll end up as an imitator (which is financially fine but taxing to the soul.) It is ok to be inspired by other clothes and if you already have a firm grasp of the creative process, you will be in less threat of unintentional plagiarism.

5. Don't be afraid of things about money. At present, I have THREE ledger books, all of them in very bad shape because I am very bad with finances. I'm the annoying "art is not about cash" child. Well, fashion is about money - except if you harvest fibers from your garden and weave them in your room, you will purchase textile. You wouldn't like losing money because that wouldn't be responsible.

The end. More tips to come after I fail some more. Oh well.

At present, I'm in the process of finalising my first wedding gown. Because the couple was busier with other things, they only started talking to me about their dream gown about a week ago. This makes everything extra hectic but it is alright. My inspiration is the happy, contented bride and I hope I'll get one.

*I'm actually part of a duo and we are CIVIL ATELIERS. My friend and I are willing to make you your awesome clothes. Contact me if this interests you in any way. Yay. lalutero(at)gmail.com. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Finally Fabrics!

I'm sorry because I seem to have forgotten that I enjoy blogging (yet again).

I'm currently in Zamboanga City, down south where some solid proof of the events last year still remain. Anyhoot-hoot, happy thoughts. My awesome cousin is getting married and I GET TO DESIGN THE GOWN! Which is great because before this project started I have decided that I will pursue my designing dreams.

Well, I've never really wanted to be a designer. Although I had basic pattern making knowledge in high school and early college, what interested me the most was history and the craftmanship. If you are familiar for example with the the process of making a suit, you wouldn't believe the combination of mathematics, architecture, physics and other natural sciences that create a good hang on the shoulders. Not to mention the stages! The fitting of the slopers, muslin, then the lining, then the hand stitched actual fabric etc.

And of course there is the haute couture clothing. The beadwork, the materials, etc. It is like when talented artists with their own clear visions battle it out. Of course, for me Givenchy is the ultra mega master winner in life that is great, of all things modern which appear to be escaping the past you are my champion ok can I touch your clothing i like sheer fabric because of you lalala Hubert you are master and you will be proud - Riccardo Tisci please adopt me. (personal opinion, Galliano's Dior was also a favorite and of course, Valentino. For casual Diane von Furstenberg, Dior. Also Marchesa because the duo is so pretty and they make pretty clothes I hope we marry I'm a fan woot woot)

With Bob, also a patternmaker and all-around guy. Pretty awesome. INSTAGRAM


Maybe before, the hide of a dead animal across a boob was considered clothing. Now, there are multi-factorial equations and new factors to describe the drape, stretch, and warp of a fabric. Everything matters. It's just an amazing world. 

And the vanity, of course. 3 weeks, 8 hours a day to make a single dress. The shrunk corneas or the lacerated fingertips don't matter when making something awesome.

This is a rather ugly blog post. Not much juice, just so many blah blahs but it will get better. For now, this will do. Blog not dead. 

BTW, the brand name is to be finalised soon. And thanks for the many visits even without new posts. =)

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Taking a break

I feel like an asswipe because I haven't put anything up on this blog anymore so let me share something ground-shaking:

I stopped everything productive and relaxed full-time.

Leeching off the resources of my parents, I am focusing all my energy on being a full-time slacker. I can't do any more journalistic work because I am required to go back and forth between places A and B. Even as a freelance journalist, I need to keep some promises and that is hard when you can't stay in one place. It is not under my control.

I'm dancing ballet again but I'm as flexible as a plank of wood. I can't do decent altitudes and my plies share the silhouette of a urinating canine. Worse - I'm forgetting the order of the five positions. Oh joy.

But one thing I do almost regularly is watch movies in the local theater. Now this I can talk about for a while:

Filipinos are so sketchy they think movie theaters are for smooching. Get a room. I know it is more expensive but it is far more appropriate. I don't have to bring seat covers next time I watch a movie.

Even so, movies shouldn't be a "date" thing at all. It should be a solitary activity. It is an immersion, like in a bath tub, all senses dedicated. I don't share bath tubs.

Oh well. Maybe I'm just going to post a string of snarky movie reviews where everything is to low-brow for my cultured armpits. Goodbye!

PS: For the nth time, I've read Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar". Now it's Nabokov's "Lolita". There is every reason to question my mental health.

Also, my parents will be giving me a responsibility regarding their occupations soon. It is one of two things:

1. A red-tape procedure which looks important but isn't.
2. Something that lasts for 30 minutes tops.