Archive | January, 2011

Day 31: Celebratory Risotto of Moving Success

31 Jan

WE HAVE OFFICIALLY MOVED IN TO THE NEW APARTMENT! All our stuff’s here, we’re sort of settled, and most importantly, we have internet! So in celebration of this momentous occasion, we cooked our first official homemade meal in the new place: Cheesy Mushroom Risotto. And I’ll show you how we made it.

We went to the market and bought the ingredients: risotto, mushrooms, onions, olive oil, cheese, and secret herbs and spices.

The photo on the left shows me chopping onions. The photo on the right shows what happens to me when I chop onions.


Step 1: Chop everything.
Step 2: Heat oil in pan.
Step 3: Sweat onions then add risotto.
Step 4: Add mushrooms.
Step 5: Add some water and secret herbs and spices. Boil until most of the water is absorbed by the risotto. Mix occasionally.
Step 6: When it has achieved an arroz caldo-like consistency, drown the thing in cheese (which I normally don’t like but it worked out pretty well in this dish.)

Step 7: Get your adorable sister to pose with bowl of Celebratory Risotto.

And done! See you tomorrow!


Days 24-30: A Week of Still Life in Pen

31 Jan

Okay. Obviously, I haven’t been updating this past week and I’m sorry. But I have an excuse! It’s been really snowy and cold in the northeast. As a result, I’ve been living in the new apartment so I don’t have to commute all the way to Jersey through the ice and snow and evil cold. Only, we still don’t have an internet connection in the new place. There’s a Starbucks a couple of blocks away but again, snow and wind and cold. This is a valid excuse.

(I’m writing this post in the office during minute-long breaks in my work. Nakakahiya e.)

I haven’t been idle though! This past week was a very busy one in terms of moving the last of our crap and  getting things in some semblance of order, but still I forced myself was able to set aside some time to draw. It’s been over a year since I last did some Serious Drawing (definition: not stick figures) and I figured I should get back into it. I always liked working in pen because when I work with pencil or charcoal, I tend to abuse my eraser and it just takes me much longer to get drawings finished. Pen registers all the mistakes and there’s nothing I can do about it so I just let it go. It’s easier for everyone involved (me, my eraser, etc) I decided to draw one object per day for seven days (and I’ve included titles just in case the objects are unrecognizable) and here are the results.

Day 24: Very rusty.

Day 25: Ugh.

Day 26: Marked improvement.

Day 27: Meh.

Day 28: Ooooh! Another thing I've been doing aside from drawing was I've been reading The Hunger Games series. I couldn't put the books down so I read all three books this past week. This book was the third in the series: Mockingjay. If you've read the books, talk to me about them! I have feelings!

Day 29: Oh yeah.

Day 30: Way better than the first drawing so I'm happy about that.

Being away from the internet is actually quite nice. I’ve been very productive (reading, drawing, getting 8 hours of sleep a day) and I haven’t been watching TV all that much (Although, I’ve convinced my sister to finally watch Doctor Who and I’m helping her get through the whole series by watching an episode a day with her. Not bad for a recovering TV addict, I must say.) The downside though is that I haven’t been able to reply to emails from friends and I swear I will be on top of that shit once we get our internet connection. The incompetent fools over at Verizon were supposed to get it done two weeks ago but I don’t know (Oh, but I’ve been talking to a lot of Verizon call center reps from the Philippines so that was a lot of fun.)

Blargh. Back to work. See you later!

Day 23: Limerick of Apology

23 Jan

I know that singing is not my strong suit. Although I charmed the socks off my third grade Filipino teacher for my heart-warming rendition of Smokey Mountain’s “Kailan” and was therefore chosen as class representative for a grade-wide song number for Linggo ng Wika, I’ve gotten increasingly worse since then and have come to accept that I will never be the next Geneva Cruz. And so when I posted that video yesterday, I was well-aware that I wasn’t going to win any awards for it. I, however, was not expecting to be punished for it either.

I have a skull-splitting, brain-slushifying, mother-flipping headache.

When I was a kid, someone explained to me the concept of karma by saying that “if you did something bad today, karma will cause something bad to happen to you tomorrow.” I thought Karma was some sort of lady demigod whose job was to decide punishment for the bad things people do. And so sometimes when I’m in a certain degree of pain, I try to figure out what I’d done to piss Karma off.

I’ve had this headache since I woke up this morning and I’ve been thinking about what I could have done yesterday that was so bad that it would warrant a migraine of this magnitude. And the only thing I could come up with is that video I posted. I think Karma is a die-hard Elliott Smith fan and I don’t think she feels that I did the song justice.

And so for today’s task, I decided to write an apology to Karma in the hopes that it would help get rid of the drilling in my head. It’s called “Karma You’re a Bitch: A Limerick of Apology” and it goes a little something like this.

Dear Karma, I wanted to say
I’m sorry my voice ain’t okay.
You think that I suck
But I don’t give a fuck.
Just please make the pain go away.

Let’s see if this works. See you tomorrow.

Day 22: Make Youtube Debut

22 Jan

My mother gave me a blue guitar for Christmas and I’ve named it Clementine because the color reminded me of this guy.

And we all know what his favorite song is.

I thought I’d introduce my guitar to you through a song number. So here we go. This is an Elliott Smith cover and I hope that’s okay.


See you tomorrow!

Day 21: Hand-painted Window Treatments Part 2!

21 Jan

Remember how my sister wanted me to paint a sakura tree on the paper drapes for the bedroom? Of course you do. That was yesterday. Anyway, that’s what I did today. Here are pictures!

The giant window in the room is about 6 feet tall. And there I am. Hello!

Look at our colorful cups and bowls! And look at how tiny our kitchen is!

I have fashioned a take-away lid into a makeshift palette because my actual paint palettes are in the bottom of some boxes that haven't been unpacked yet. I bet you didn't know, but MacGyver is my middle name. I'm Carinia MacGyver C. Cayaban.

And of course, I go and mess up the folds in the pretty paper because I am incapable of keeping things nice and clean and perfect. It's how I roll.

This was when I was watching the paint dry. A lot of the flower placements were determined based on which spots needed to be covered up because I have somehow managed to smudge paint on them with my filthy hands. Great going, me.

And here it is posing with its best friend, the giant window. They look pretty together!

This post makes me happy because the pictures make the thing look prettier than it is in real life.

It makes me look like a pro.
See you tomorrow!

(See that last minute rhyme I wrote on the spot? I am on fire tonight!)

Day 20: Hand-painted Window Treatments

20 Jan

As you know, my sister and I are moving into a new apartment. The buildings in the area are so close together that we could see into other people’s apartments in the buildings next to ours. So it was imperative that we get ourselves some window treatments as soon as possible so that by the time we (finally) move in, we’d be safe from pervy eyes. We got these inexpensive paper shade things that look really nice and asian (like the people who live in our apartment, ba-dum-tssh) called Redi Shade Window Sahdes. This is what they look like.

This photo is from the Redi Shade website. The view from our window is not a garden but somebody else's kitchen.

The deal with these things is, they are sold at pre-set widths so you buy them depending on the size  of your window and then you can easily cut off the excess bit because it is made of paper.

Like so. (Another photo from the website. I'm afraid my hands do not possess the well-manicured daintiness and poise that this man's hands do.)

We got ourselves four of these things that we had to cut down to size. And so we ended up with these little bits of excess Redi Shade that I felt where a waste to throw away.

I apologize for not even attempting to take a well-composed photograph. But look! That's our floor!

It just so happens that the door dividing the living room and dining room has these glass panels that are almost exactly the same width as the excess bits. It looks a little something like this.

Except our place is a whole lot smaller and not quite so upscale.

And so we decided to use them for said door. Only, to make it a little more unique, I wanted to paint something on the paper. And this is what I did.

Working on the floor like a boss.

I went with birds because they are inoffensive enough and everybody loves them, but mainly because they are easy to draw. And we love to do things that are quick and easy here at the Epic Year Project. They turned out to look like they were hatched near a nuclear power plant though (notice the hunchbacked one in the middle) because I didn’t even bother to sketch with pencil first. This is what the final product looks like.

Mutant birds! (Speaking of mutants, have you all seen the cast for the new X-Men movie? James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult are in it. This pleases me intensely.)

I am sure that we will get tired of looking at these ugly things soon enough and when that happens, I won’t feel guilty about throwing them out because then I would have a legit reason to do so.

My sister likes the idea of painting the drapes though and she wants me to paint a sakura tree on the one in the bedroom because she likes sakura trees. I might make a blog entry about that as well because that would be another easy post to make.

Alright! See you tomorrow!

Day 19: Birthday Greetings

19 Jan

Today is the birthday of E, whom I’ve been friends with for something like 25 years. Edgar Allan Poe shares her birthday and he would have been 202 today, if he somehow evaded death and continued to live his dark, macabre existence. On a lighter note, it is also, National Popcorn Day so that’s nice. Triple-purpose greeting card time!

I love it when I know it’s the birthday of any of my friends because not only can I redeem myself for my inability to get them presents for the past few years, but I also don’t have to rack my brain as to what my task should be for the day. So if you want me to make you a card on your birthday, and you’ve seen the quality of my work on this blog so do not expect the Mona Lisa, reply to this message or email me with your date of birth to make your reservations!

See you tomorrow!

Day 18: Motivational Poster

18 Jan

It’s fascinating how sometimes, when you really need it, you’ll see something that will make you realize that things will get better. Something that says, “It’s not the end of the world. You’re okay. The world is beautiful.” This something could be a friend, a text message, or a motivational poster. For me, it was this snow turd that I saw plopped onto the seat of a bike parked in our street.

Humans can't even fake that shit. Pun intended.

This task was a two-fer. I took that photo and made that poster. I’m really proud of myself on that one. It also serves multiple purposes because through this project, not only did I fulfill my task for the day, but I also made a record of an amazing natural phenomenon, and I created something that my friends could save and perhaps use as their desktop wallpaper so that everytime they see it, they would think I was there next to them, in their times of trouble, saying, “You’re going to be alright. It will get better. Now look at this snow turd.”

You’re welcome. And see you tomorrow.

Day 17: Remembering

17 Jan

I never realized, when I set out to make this blog, that anything like this would ever happen. That there are just going to be days when it would be impossible to do anything. Nobody ever prepares for things like this.

My uncle died today.

What productive thing could anyone possibly do after hearing news like that? How does one even start to create anything, knowing that someone that’s been around their whole entire life is suddenly…not there anymore?

I figured that the only thing I could do is think about the good old days. That’s what people do in times like these, don’t they? Isn’t it true that the best way to cope with someone’s death is to remember their life?

My favorite thing about my tito was not that he had gray eyes. It was not that he told the stupidest jokes that would make you laugh hysterically anyway. It was not that he liked Skippy peanut butter way more than any self-respecting sixty-something has the right to. It was that no matter how bad things got in his life, he was always genuinely glad to see you.

So cheers, Tito Bong. You had an awesome run. Get the beers ready because when I see you on the other side, we are going to fucking wreck shit and get a party up in that bitch.

Days 13, 14, 15 and 16: The Sketchbook Project

16 Jan

So I exiled myself to the land of no internet (the new apartment) last Thursday just so that absolutely all the time that I am not at work would be spent on my bloody sketchbook. Tumblr and Facebook tend to distract me for hours so I felt it was necessary. It turned out to be a wise decision indeed because I just found out, now that I’m back in ~cyberspace~, that photos from the new Spider-Man movie have been released since I’ve been gone and maaaan that would have been a giant, enormous, Andrew-Garfield’s-package-sized distraction and it would have sucked hours of my time and I wouldn’t have performed well on the task at hand. (Okay that last sentence needs to be un-dirty-fied but I can’t be bothered right now.) Not that I did very well on the sketchbook anyway. It was rushed and I barely made the deadline and I wish I could change some things on it but hey. It’s done. It’s been sent (from a real-live post office! I might make a post office related post someday because it was a glorious glorious place and it needs to be immortalized somehow. Perhaps in paint. Or pixels. Or popsicle sticks.) And it (the sketchbook, not the post office) will tour the country (this one) starting March and people from all over the place are gonna see it. It’s not exactly the most original artwork (and all the rushing made for some shoddy coloring) so it’s not a great way to represent myself to millions of people but I can’t really do anything about it now.

Oh and remember that story/poem I was writing about the astronaut boy? I finished it and it turned itself into a sort of comic book and that’s what I put into the sketchbook. That’s 232 lines of illustrated rhyming nonsense. And to make up for the lack of updates the past days, I’m posting a whole bunch of scans here. Some of these are going to be out of context so there are going to be mutilated speech bubbles and such. I also apologize for the handwriting. I was brought up being made to believe that I was put on this earth to be a doctor so I did not feel the need to improve my penmanship. Here we go.

This is Neil. I'd like to say that I usually draw better than this and blame the cramming for making it look like a child drew it but that would be a lie. This is just my style. It is also pretty much the extent of my drawing skills but saying it's "my style" justifies it somehow.

Introducing Walden P., my favorite character out of the whole thing. There's only 3 characters, by the way.

That's Walden's speech bubble from the previous page (rubbish drawing so I cropped it out har har).

The Set-Up.

His speech bubbles are in the previous page. It was a particularly cheesy bit of dialogue so I cropped that shit out.

Last frame! Yay!

Clearly, I won’t be getting a phone call from Marvel anytime soon. But I had to get that story out of my system so I could move on with my life. I think it turned out okay. I discovered that I misspelled something in it though, and that sucks because people will remember me for being that girl who couldn’t spell the word “before.”

I think spending the past 70 years of my life on this sketchbook sucked out all of the creativity out of my body and it’s going to take me a while to recover so the next posts are going to be gems of mediocrity and unoriginality. I am comfortable with that.

See you tomorrow!