Pa

My father turn 66 tomorrow. Must remember to call in the morning.

I think I got a lot from the father, if its personality we’re talking about. Well I should. He’s the only parent I could look up to during the first five years of my life – the formative years, they call it. He doesn’t talk much. We don’t talk much. Our conversations revolved around giving and clarifying instructions when I’m helping him out with whatever repair he’s doing or when I need him to help me with something.

He smokes a lot. Hope his preferred brand. I realized that when the was the Hope and Winston raffle and we had rolls of paper packs to fill out. We never really won. Not much luck with raffles.

He expresses things more with actions than words. A s a kid, you get to be more conscious of these things. The fact that he allows you to help means you’re not a distraction from work (so you’re really helping). Otherwise, he’d politely suggest other things you can do. He displays your ribbons, certificates, and medals as if it were something he’s proud of but he never tells you you did great or give you a hug or a firm hand shake. It was high school when I managed to process this piece of information. The biggest compliment I got was when he shouldered the family’s transportation expenses to attend my college graduation – him hating travelling and being close-fisted with money and all. That was quite something.

He’d scold you for wasting his paint or using his paint brush with you childish projects but he doesn’t really tell you to stop. He’ll make suggestions on how to use paint more efficiently and how to make sure the brush can still be used after your project. He explains how to remove paint stains and how the brush strokes should be so that the surface would look good after it dries.

He’d take you with him as his assistant – always a proud moment for me.

When you make his toe bleed with your attempts with the pedicure set, he doesn’t blame you. Sure he’d complain about the pain. But there’s no blame.

He takes his time to think about the things he needs to do before doing it. To a fault, I may have taken this one. The planning’s 70% of the time and actually doing things – 30%.

He’s too quiet. His answers limited to your questions. Free conversation’s not his thing – or mine. Sometimes I go on telling him stories that I’d assume family members would want to know.

He loves reading novels. Probably an escape from the not-so-eventful life in the rural coasts of our town. The longest conversation you can have with this guy’s discussing story plots and author/book reviews.

He’ll never tell or write that he loves you. He’ll never give you a hug or a direct compliment. He has his ways. When you figure him out, everything’s more meaningful.

In his quiet presence, you’ll find comforting company. From his room, you’d know what you mean to him. In his silence, you’d feel the words you wanted to hear.

Never through words.

 

got that right

It’s a gift. Some people just have the knack for the right words at the right time. It amazes me.

You find yourself stepping back from the scene. Is this scripted? That’s one hell of a dialogue. Great lines there. You’d know you’re in the company of people you’d want to have long conversations with. That doesn’t happen as often as we would like them to. In this company, you’re amazed how even you can throw lines worthy of being in a script somewhere (or maybe I just have low standards. It sure is higher than some I have viewed.)

There’s that feeling of being in a shoot set. You find yourself looking for cameras and crews. It would have been a charming scene. You find none of these. All you can do is smile to yourself and be grateful for having these moments. Some people have to watch movies to experience these. You got to experience it for free firsthand.

That’s the beauty of keeping great company.

disoriented

It was dark – at about eight in the morning. Leapt out of the bed realizing I’d be late. It was such a relief to see text messages of the suspension of classes and work for the day.

Howling winds and the sound of rain plus that irritating noise of the metal sheet flapping at the neighbor’s kitchen window. It sounded like the wind would rip it off any minute. But then, those a too minor a detail compared with what other neighborhoods are dealing with. I’m thankful that I am safe in the apartment.

That is, until I was summoned by the mother to the salon under false information. To go out in this weather is not something I’d do.  I went to the salon and stayed a bit then took the soonest opportunity to leave. Basically, that’s when one of her friends visit.

Spent the afternoon staring (not necessarily processing) student outputs. The red pen has been on my side for quite some time now ready for the comments that should have come to mind hours ago. Still, the drafts remain blank. I’ve flipped through the pages repeatedly. I see words blurring.  I realized I was wasting time so movies, it was. Read a chapter or so from one of the books piled by the bedside. Didn’t last long. Tried another set of outputs – electronic ones this time. Still no progress. Didn’t go past the renaming and compiling all submitted outputs in one file for ease in format and editing.

I didn’t know what to focus on first. This day was off the daily routine. Shifted from one thing to another hoping to make the most out of time. Finally gave up and decided to sleep hoping I’d manage to wake up at midnight to really do the editing – some editing.

We’ll see.

 

____________________

No matter how hard or how long you stare at the piece of paper or how many deep a breath you let go of, not a thought seemed worthy of being written.  An idea comes into mind. Naaah, too mushy, too personal, too raw, it makes no sense, and the list goes on. Now that’s where your thoughts drift off.

I flip back the pages and all I’ve written are dates. There should be some entries after the date, time, and location in these pages. So far, there are lines. Lots of them. And spaces between them. No words though. Whoever said the entries had to make sense. Anything would be better than an empty page. I have no way of remembering the next weeks if I fail to get something (anything!) in these pages.

Yield Avenue

Two years ago, we crossed paths with a Los Baños group whose name was inspired by the signs scattered in the University of the Philippines Los Baños campus. These Yield signs were everywhere. That’s where they got the name Yield Avenue.

The group was kind enough to lend us an original track for the college’s Christmas series project and we promised to help them with some materials. Finally, we’re able to deliver our end of the bargain. To Yield Avenue, our deepest thanks 😀

out

I had to get out of the apartment. Another Saturday night at home was not an option. I’ve ran out of The Mentalist episodes and new movies. The brain shuts down whenever I attempt to continue with the student outputs.

Did the photo documentation for the nephew’s school activity. The proud aunt clicked on as the seven-year-old walked with their class banner (he volunteered to hold the banner, totally unlike the aunt) around the block. For the rest of the morning, Angry Birds on my phone kept him happy and still. Dropped him off to the mother after lunch. At least, I planned to. I ended up staying until early evening.

I saw how my mother shopped and I now believe habits can be handed down. I didn’t spend much time with the mother. It’s freaky when she does things that you know you also do. I could not have learned that from her. Not possible. It makes me wonder what else I may have gotten from her.

Obviously, charm and social skills are out of the list. Not a drop. How else would I have managed to keep to myself (except when placing orders) in a coffee shop  during a band sessions night?

I did feel good at the end of the evening. Managed to (finally!)  fulfill a promise made two years ago. All I needed was that Hawaiian pressed coffee to keep me focused. It would have been better if I brought the laptop charger but I did manage to finish the design on time.

Saturday evening out ended with me feeling productive – and palpitating (I mean caffeinated). I’m just happy I spent the day not facing the screen.