Wednesday, February 08, 2006

reasons for absence

Yes, I've been remiss.

1. I've been busy with work. I'm juggling a number of projects, including art directing the mammoth one for my company, which involves multiple oculars in places like the Mall of Asia, among others. Things like client meetings take up a lot of my time and I'm almost always on multi-task mode. Even my usual guerilla tactics have been rendered inutile given my schedule.

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Onsite, my inner grammarian cannot help himself.

2. I was on location for a couple of days. Having a car again after all these years (in my sordid youth I used to drive a '77 Datsun) is exhilirating. We went up to Tagaytay Highlands for a shoot and I didn't mind so much. More on this later. But the neato thing was that my best friend drove for me (I'm so rusty that I'm concerned about driving longish-haul - that, and the fact that I'm practically blind in one eye), which is actually #3.

3. Vin is my houseguest. My best friend has taken the biggest step in his life and lives with me and mine while he put things in order for his next bold step. Nikki and I are happy to have him (and Sage is delighted that her ninong is wth us). It's important to me that he knows he can rely on me and not have to worry about certain things. It's been endless conversations and games (Acquire!) - which are great but preclude blogging.

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Vin, at the fireplace of the log cabin in Highlands.

4. I've been in shock. Sage's beloved nanny ask permission to leave our service in a couple of months to be a pastor's wife. Gah. If you think my recent episode with my stepdad was bad, this is much worse. Sage loves her and we love her and I have issues on trust, security and all that. Finding a kindhearted, intelligent and trustworthy nanny is no joke. It is my biggest stress in this no-so-fantastic beginning of the year (the Year of the Dog, for Monkeys like me, is not terribly opportune).

5. The family has been under the weather. Poor Sage is 50% snot, hacking and coughing like her insides want out. Nikki, buried under a ton of work, struggles to unclog her nose. As for me, well, it feels like the entire right hemisphere of my brain is goo and my bones ache. I do get sick once a year, around midyear when the dry season gives way to the wet, and that's pretty much scheduled. This isn't. Upsetting.

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Pensive? Nah. just tired.

6. I've been trying to write. Despite everything, the need to write wins out. There's the Gaiman contest at Fully Booked with a deadline this Feb. Soft copies of the Palanca forms should be available by now. There are two mags I'm subbing to, plus two antho contributions, an intimidating paper for Ian (that I'm not 100% convinced is within my power to write) and an essay for PCIJ. So I try to eke out some time in the early mornings, but will soon need to block out an entire day or two with no distractions to get things done.

7. I've been coordinating with my publisher. I have a couple of more meetings before Salamanca comes to paper-life - approving the final covers, blurbs and such and planning the marketing and other related events. I haven't read my novel for some time and I hope to have a fresh perspective when I need to, in the context of absolute final changes for the first edition (actually I'm itching to cut and rewrite but am controlling myself).

8. I've been in a thinking mood. I've been thinking a lot about time and the past and how things change. I've a big fan of change, usually being an instigator, but there are certain changes that are just so heartwrenching. But I'm really not one to dwell on these things. It's more like I need to recognize that I'm sad but will move on, as usual. My thought life is different from my writing life. Sometimes there's an overlap, but when truly big thoughts come I do not write. I think quietly. Sometimes I need to articulate my ideas in conversation, bouncing things around to solidify a notion. But most of the time I prefer to think on my own, in silence, and I get irked by people who want to talk to me. Sadly, given the nature of my job, my relationships and my personality, it is inevitable.

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Tatlong Kalbo: Andrew, Vin and the elusive Dino Yu.

9. We've been planning Sage's birthday party. She turns 4 on the 14th but will have her party on the 18th (and just a day before Nikki's birthday). Again, I'm stunned at how fast time flies and the quality of the conversations I have with my daughter (a Sage post is long overdue, don't you think?). Anyway, here's Sage's 'want list' for her birthday, courtesy of her mom.

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Even Sage confesses that she has too many Barbies.

10. I've been watching films and Div-x episodes of TV shows. I found the place near Camp Crame where the some of the ex-Virra Mall pirates settled (they sell Malaysian copies as opposed to Pirate Billy and the Metrowalk crew who sell Quiapo burned copies). It was a surreal experience - a bit scary because I thought I was going to robbed and killed - and I'll write about it soon. I got over 20 discs, including Brokeback Mountain (which I really really really really wanted to like but ultimately found lacking in the scripting but excellent in everything else), Munich, Tritan + Isolde, Mrs. Henderson Presents, Proof, and a lot more. From downloaded TV, I have eps of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Everybody Hates Chris, Prison Break and Alias.

Anyway, I hope to be back to regular blogging tomorrow.


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