Archive for February, 2008

Wearable Art by Steph

Wednesday, 27 February 08

New Look

Oh, by the way, I have a new collection of handmade jewelry! Please go to my multiply site and check out the photos. For more information on how to get them, please email me at magicpoppet@gmail.com.

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Una Relación de Amor y Odio

Wednesday, 27 February 08

I have been having a hard time blogging lately because I’ve been thinking and talking in Spanish. I don’t know how other people can just jump from one language to another, but with me, I feel a bit better if I stick with one. And once the Spanish processing chip is in place–ngarggh– it’s hard for me to go back to English. (Sample: it took me about five million years to write the sentences above. And I was thinking in Spanish the whole time and translating it to English! Weird)

So, I was thinking of just blogging in Spanish… for now. ;) Sorry, my non Spanish speaking friends. I’ll probably start a Spanish blog soon… Anyhoo, here’s something I wrote recently, about my experience/story of how I started studying Spanish.

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Una Relación de Amor y Odio

Odiaba el castellano. Lo odiaba tanto que llegué a decir a mis amigos que nunca hablaría más en ese idioma y jamás iría a España. Empecé a detestarlo en la universidad donde tuve que aprender un idioma. Elegí el español porque creía que iba a ser fácil. Pero no fue así. No podía con los verbos (aunque fueran perfectos) ni con la pronunciación del C, J, Ll, R y Z. Tampoco entendí porque se indicaba el género de los sustantivos, y por culpa de ese lío suspendí los exámenes y casi no terminé la carrera.

Al final me gradué, puse punto final a esa historia y no quise saber más del idioma. Pero no pude escaparme de él. Como en las novelas de terror que van de mal en peor, me perseguía como un novio rechazado y no me dejó en paz. Se presentó en mi primer trabajo. En el Museo Pambata estuve encargada de diseñar un espacio dedicado a la historia de filipinas y no podía reunir los datos necesarios para crear los módulos educativos porque casi todos los libros estaban escritos en castellano, y tuvieron que contratar a otra persona para ayudarme. Después, en el Clean and Green, perdí la oportunidad de ir a Madrid con mi jefa como ella necesitaba a alguien que pudiera traducir y escribir en español.

Pensé que esa pesadilla no se acabaría nunca pero todo cambió en 1997. Estaba loca por el tenis sobre todo por Alex Corretja y la armada española así que fui a verlos en el campeonato de tenis en Melbourne. No solo logré a asistir a sus partidos sino también tuve la oportunidad de hablar con Alex Corretja. Me atreví a acercarme a él después de su primer partido y con mucha energía le saludé “¡Hola!” Mi Príncipe azul, quizás pensando que yo tuviera dominio del idioma, empezó a hablarme en castellano. Me puse roja y me quedé en blanco. Le señalé con mis manos que querría una foto con él y salí corriendo nada más del oír el clic de la cámara.

Al regresar a Filipinas rompí con mi promesa y me matriculé inmediatamente en el Instituto Cervantes. Siete meses después estuve en un avión rumbo a España con una beca para estudiar en la Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. Pasé 3 años maravillosos allí conociendo al país y la gente, y poquito a poco empecé a gustarme el idioma. Volví a Filipinas y poco después conseguí un trabajo en el Cervantes. En 2003 regresé a España a estudiar otra vez. Sin prisa pero sin pausa, el castellano llegó a ser esencial a mi vida.

Como en cualquier otra relación, la que tengo con el español no es perfecta. Pero a pesar de que hay días que no puedo soportar los verbos pronominales y hay momentos que no consigo que los adjetivos estén de acuerdos con los sustantivos, seguimos adelante juntos. Sé que no fue un flechazo pero el hecho de que este aquí ahora da testimonio de que al final y a pesar de todo me enamoré completamente de él.

Steph The Sphinx

Saturday, 16 February 08

I feel as if I’ve just opened Pandora’s Box. I don’t think I’ve brought on Armageddon to the World, but I believe I might have brought it on to myself. I don’t think I’ve sicked the Reaper on little old me, but I might have triggered the beginning of an end of something… in my head. I’m sorry; I am suffering from verbal constipation. I can’t get anything out so I am not making any sense here… bleeaarrggghh.

I woke up extremely late today. It was around 13:20 when I finally opened my lids and thought about crawling out of my bed. This is pretty unusual for me because I’ve been habitually waking up at the first sign of sunlight. I even retired early (before midnight)—yet another atypical move on my part since I normally hit the sack at 3ish AM and, therefore, clocking in an average of 3-4 hours of sleep per night. What’s even more remarkable is that this is the 2nd time this happened to me in the last five days!

Ok, my body was bound to crash at some point (with 3 hours of sleep per night? Hello, I’m no spring chicken anymore!), but I think it’s more than that; this may be an aftershock of the unlocking of my personal Pandora’s Box. I still can’t give you a full account of that incident… I don’t even know if I ever will… which is making this entry a bit of a cryptic mess and making this whole blogging thing next to impossible for me. I don’t want to talk about it, but I feel the need to tiptoe around it and see if I could make sense of what happened.

It transpired last Monday—that much I can say. I’ve been going through a bumpy patch in my life lately and was sinking deeper and deeper into the quagmire of my dark thoughts. I was in desperate need of a reprieve so I took the lifeline that was dangled in front of me by a complete stranger. I went with the flow and threw all my doubts and Cynic Steph out the window. It was taxing in every level you could think of, but I’d like to think that that little adventure into the unknown paid off. I felt alive and was giddy and excited and enthusiastic about my life again.

I am still riding that wave of euphoria—still buoyant and thrilled about the possibilities, but I think part of me is starting to grow dim once more. I feel desolate and hopeful at the same time. Is that even possible? Does that make sense? I just want to turn off my head and sleep. I’m exhausted from pushing and pushing… Maybe my body is telling me to regenerate, to hibernate for a bit, to stop fighting and resisting. I know I am far from untangling myself from the Box, but I’d like to think that I’m finally on my way to breaking away from it or even obliterating it. I still don’t know when I’m finally going to reach escape velocity (how can I when my body feels like a ton of bricks), but I’d like to think that it is well within my reach already. I hope I don’t miss it though by being too worried about it.

Again… does any of this make sense to you? *Sigh* I’m channeling the Sphinx with great passion; I’m spewing more and more questions and riddles than solutions. Oh, and I am so ready to slay the unfortunate wayfarers who come my way who cannot give me the correct answers! HAHAHA! At least I feel passion for something again! Teeheehee. Ayayay… What a conundrum, eh!

Passion

Friday, 8 February 08

Passion.
It lies in all of us.
Sleeping,
waiting,
and though unwanted,
unbidden.
it will stir,
open its jaws, and howl.

It speaks to us,
guides us.
Passion rules us all.
And we obey.
What other choice do we have?

Passion is the source of our finest moments.
The joy of love,
the clarity of hatred,
and the ecstasy of grief.

It hurts sometimes more than we can bear.
If we could live without passion,
maybe we’d know some kind of peace.
But we would be hollow.
Empty rooms, shuttered and dank,
without passion, we’d be truly dead.

–Angelus narrates
“Passion”
Season 2—Episode 17
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I just saw a rerun of “Passion” on AXN Beyond, which, for me, was probably one of the best and beautifully written episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer of all time. At least it’s in my top 10 best. Creator Joss Whedon broke the mold right here. The series up to this point was already inimitable, exciting, and remarkable, but this turned the whole thing around and set a different tone to the show and pushed it on to the right road to becoming a cult favorite and classic.

I personally liked this episode because it reflected the passion and drive the creators had for the series. They gambled and pushed the limits that existed for TV shows during that time. They meant business. They were not afraid to go deep into the murky recesses of their minds and bring us along for the ride. They were ruthless and cold and had no qualms about killing a character to fortify a storyline. No one was safe. Buffy was not just another teenage angst ridden, campy fantasy series; it made you think, feel, and see things differently. It was more real to me than any other show that was being aired during that era–even if I was not a vampire or a Slayer or part of some Scoobydoo gang (Although I wanted to be a blood-sucking, night crawling creature! heh).

“If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank, without passion, we’d be truly dead.”

Would you like to lead a life without passion and not experience the risks, joys, follies, madness, exhilaration that come with it? I think not. I might as well be dead.

Guilty!

Friday, 8 February 08

Are you on Facebook? And is it ruining your life? Then you should read this article on the Daily Mail.

Time to wean myself off that @#%* site!!!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Thursday, 7 February 08

Chinese 2008

Waiting to inhale

Monday, 4 February 08

Breathless

I forget to breathe sometimes. No, that’s not right—every so often I would stop myself from breathing. I’d feel lightheaded and my jaws would lock and then I’d realize that—ooooops—I had forgotten to inhale again. Hey, is it possible for someone to suffer from chronic asphyxiation?

There… I’m doing it yet again. I seem to have overlooked the fact that breathing was a natural, automatic activity and that I should just leave my lungs alone to take in and release air. I should just trust them to do their job.

I feel as if I’m constantly waiting for something to take place or come to an end … or that I’m preventing a cycle from ending or beginning. I always find myself standing on the edge of a precipice over an expanding chasm… anxiously waiting, wondering and being thrifty with my breath. I’m slowly drowning on dry land; the undertow created by my desperate, ragged gasps for air steadily drags me under into the bitter, disconsolate place of nothingness.