Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Naked Barbies

July 21, 2012.

There was a bagyo (storm) that day.

The kids woke me up so early even though it was a Saturday. I had forgotten that their idea of a well spent Saturday was waking up early so they had more hours to play. No amount of explaining that I had slept at 2AM that morning would make them stop bugging me to wake up. I tried sleeping in the living room, but Ada and Téa followed me to the sala and started singing Firework. I decided to eat breakfast and told them that if I passed out on the floor not to wake me up. After breakfast, they somehow forgot to bug me, but I had already gotten over my lack of sleep. 

I remembered that a few days before that rainy Saturday, I was forced to play with naked Barbie dolls. Téa did not seem to mind that the Barbies we were playing with were all naked. But I found them so disturbing! The whole time I was playing with her, my mind kept saying, 'Cover up their freaking bodies!' I guess I am used to seeing Barbies with clothes and the only dolls that are fine when naked are real dolls. But Barbies? They look disturbing when they don't have clothes on.  They look like they just had sex or they just came out of their bath. My brain kept thinking, 'How gross is that? Téa looks like she's playing with a Barbie that just had sex with Ken.' What a thought. 

My friend's dad, Tito Mar, saw my post earlier that week on Facebook and suggested that I cover up the Barbies by putting band aids on them or by wrapping them in plastic. And I kinda did that. I went around the house looking for any kind of plastic I could use. I begged the yayas to give me old plastic bags that were clean. I grabbed the kitchen scissors and went to work on the floor of the TV room. My original plan was to just make one dress for the Barbie that Ada and  Téa  let me use. I had no intention of making plastic dresses for the other Barbies. But then, the kids saw what I was doing.

Ada: 'Uhm, what's that Tita Anna?'   
Me: 'Am making a plastic dress for my Barbie.' 
Téa: 'Let me get my Barbie. You have to make one for her too.' 
Ada: 'Mine also! She needs clothes too! Wait!'

And that is how I ended up making three plastic dresses. 

Boy, was it ever tedious! Cutting little strips of plastic, making sure the plastic stays in place and getting the plastic to cooperate with the design in my head took up so much time. Every five minutes, the girls would come by to ask me if I was done with the dresses for the Barbies. And I would be like, 'I just started! Come back later.' They would forget about it for some time, but when they remembered they were back to bugging me to work faster. The yayas thought that it was the most brilliant thing! Yaya Cora kept on checking up on me to bring me more colored plastic. I had to tell her to stop bringing me plastic because I was drowning in supplies. The news about me making plastic dresses for the Barbie dolls reached the bedroom where my Manong and Manang were. Manang Rina came out and was like, 'Anna, that is so funny!'

It was so funny! I spent half a day making three plastic dresses. I was so dizzy by the time I finished making those dresses. Ada and Téa decided to have a Barbie fashion show. I made the stupid mistake of saying, 'But only three Barbie dolls have plastic dressed. What will the others wear?' I am now commissioned to make more plastic dresses for the other Barbies until my friend Jani can hopefully find her stash of Barbie clothes. Ada and Téa promise that if I make more clothes for their Barbies they will repay my kindness with lots of kisses and hugs. Sounds like a good bargain!

Good-bye, July!

Hello with glasses on!

My strangest fear has always been having to wear glasses. I have been bragging about the fact that I have perfect vision and I can be a pilot just in case I want to get myself in the air force. However, I had been getting these mind blowing headaches that would leave me feeling so out of whack. Got those headaches months ago and I went around asking my friends who had glasses I maybe needed one too. They all told me to see a doctor. Thing is, I hate eye doctors ever since I found out I had optic neuritis. No one wants to be told that they may die or go blind. But the headaches got worse, I could not watch TV, I could not see my laptop's screen and so I dragged myself to the eye doctor. I am living out my strangest fear by wearing glasses from the time I wake up until the time I sleep. 

I am thoroughly impressed with how clear I can now see! I think that makes up for all the cons about wearing these glasses. I still have a hard time finding a way of putting them on my ears so that my hair does not get messed up. I cannot figure out how not to get my glasses all dirty with finger prints and well, dirt. My glasses also love falling off! I find myself constantly pushing them up or putting them back in place. And then I see my classmates and they never have to adjust their glasses. How on earth do they do that? Oh, my mom said that I now look like ugly Betty. 

Lent my cousin, Leni, my camera. It's an Instax Mini 7 which works like a Polaroid. (Yes, a Polaroid is different from an Instax Mini.) Actually, I did not lend it to her. I technically forced her to borrow it from me so she could take awesome shots of France. Lucky her! Ever since I heard that she was leaving for France to study, I had been toying with the idea of lending her one of my lomo cameras. Then, I would see all her tweets on Twitter where she would be mopping about the fact that Polaroids were so expensive, but she wanted one for France. And I was like, 'I haven't used Elya the Instax Mini in months since papa refuses to buy me film! So why don't I just dump it with Leni?' 

And yes, I dumped Elya on her last July 21. Leni was talking to my dad and I ran in with the camera. She saw the camera and said something like, 'Ate, meron siya!' Little did she know that a few seconds later I was gonna be like, 'This is yours for the duration of your stay in France. Fill it with film! Have fun!' When I finally did my dumb little speech, Leni had this shocked look on her face. The look was like I-know-we're-cousins-but-we're-not-that-close-so-why-are-you-lending-this-to-me? Because it's nice to put smiles on other people's faces especially if they're your family! =)

Two B Two. Last semester, I was a totally irregular student. I had about seven different blocks and I was not that friendly. This semester, I am mostly with the block that calls themselves 2B2. They've been totally nice to me since June! But then things kinda changed when we became group-mates for a play. I mean, how can you not open up a little bit to people you have to practice with around two to three times a week? You start talking about s script and then get into talking about K-Pop and then random people and then you find yourself laughing to their jokes and stories. They make classes bearable and projects doable. 

I guess after talking and spending a day with some of them, I realized that people are still kinda alike. We all have dreams. We all like certain books, movies and music. We all crush on so and so. We're all human. So after getting over the oh-she-speaks-english-but-understands-filipino part, it's easier for all of us to get along. And hopefully I get to stay with this block for the rest of my stay in college. That would make things easier for me! 

Have not hung out with my usual gang for a good number of weeks now. After so much drama, Jani and I have learned how not to talk to people when we have so much on our minds. And sometimes it's better to shut up than to explain yourself over and over again to someone who chooses not to understand. Jani and I have been dumping our thoughts on each other and it has become therapy. It's also both a relief and pain to realize that I am the only one who can deal with whatever situation I am in and that no amount of talking about it with other people will make it their problem. I think when Jani and I came to that conclusion, we had this eureka moment! 

Good bye, July! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Forced Prayer

'Anna, please lead the prayer,' she said. 

It was another Intro to Journalism class with Miss de Villa. I say another because I know her style of teaching already. She will give a lecture, let us have a short break and then send us out to write. Another because I have this love hate relationship with writing. I love it because Miss de Villa knows and I know that I can write. I hate it because she pushes me to my limit and I sometimes resist that pressure. Another because the class is supposed to be easy, but I end up complicating my life. Another class. Another day to try to get away with eating in, sleeping and talking in class. Just another day.

Not really. Before Miss de Villa asked me to lead the prayer, I was contemplating if I should buy breakfast at the canteen. My friend, Char, was already out of the room buying her own food. Tria and Bea were yakking away at some interesting happening I already knew about. I remembered that I had a pack of lollipops in my bag, but that would not keep me full from 9:10am to 1:50pm. I suddenly jumped up from my seat, grabbed my wallet and ran to the door of the classroom. I was all set to run to the canteen when I noticed that Miss de Villa was standing right in front of me giving me the look my mom gives me when she catches me trying to do something naughty. 

She laughed. Miss de Villa laughed, walked right into the room and I walked right back in with her. My stomach was grumbling so I stuck a lollipop into my mouth. The class calmed down since the professor was there already. She arranged her things on her table and we tensed up knowing that class was about to start. Unlike all my other professors, only Miss de Villa starts her classes with a prayer. Last semester, when she was my professor for Creative Writing, I got away without having to lead a prayer in her class. In fact, in my two years of going to a Catholic college, I had never led the prayer. And then she asked me to lead the prayer.

In that split second, I thought of all my opinions when it came to religion and faith. I thought about my stand about praying in public and how I run away whenever the pastor asks us to pray in groups. I tried to get myself to say that I was not a Catholic and that I did not belong to any religion, but I believed in a God. But that did not matter because all religions still pray the Our Father because we just have to. It's required. I wanted to say that by praying their prayer or even by just praying in school, the college is kinda like forcing religion on the students. I wanted to say that religion is a private thing that some people do not even believe in. But it is a Catholic college and I signed the waiver. 

I did not want to act like having to lead the prayer was the worst thing someone could ask me to do. On the other hand, it annoyed me that I had to compromise my beliefs just so that people would not think I was weird or anything. People assume that everyone prays, everyone goes to church or mass, that everyone shares the same morals and values and that everyone will just accept religion. And if you make a statement that you do not do those things, you will be mocked, laughed at, punished and questioned. I was not in the mood to get into the nitty- gritty of my personal beliefs. I'm tired of all that. 

And so I walked to the front of the classroom to lead the class in prayer.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Took Up My Time

Conscience:  'I have not heard from you in ages!' 
Me: 'Sure you have!' 
Conscience: ' No, I have not.' 
Me: 'Shut up and let me type then.'

There is a rabbit, Thunder, who loves annoying my mom. Thunder does not really belong to me. And the only reason Thunder is with me is because it was sleeping in its own poop and I felt so bad for it. Of course, I now wish that I could make Thunder into rabbit stew because it poops too much, it eats too much and it jumps around a lot. It? I have no idea if the rabbit is a boy or a girl. And I am too scared to hold it up to check its gender. But Thunder is so cute! Thunder  stays by the screen door and jumps up and down when she wants food. Thunder also follows me around the patio, chews my slippers, smells my butt and licks my feet. It's almost like having a dog that does not bark. 

Conscience: 'You say that your MacBook is full of Téa's pictures. How true is that?' 
Me: 'Pictures and videos.' 
Conscience: 'Oh. Pictures and videos. Wow.' 
Me: 'Around four hundred fifty pictures and exactly eighty three movies of Téa.'

I wish I could buy Téa her very own iPad. And I am not being mean. I just find it so cute when she steals my Mac, brings it to the living room, looks for props and then proceeds to shoot herself. It would be more convenient if she had her very own iPad and could shoot herself whenever and wherever!  Originally, I was planning to delete some of her shots on Photo Booth. I wanted to delete those that I found odd and repetitive. But then, I remembered that I did not have that many pictures growing up. So even if my laptop is full of her shots and even if I do not have space for more TV shows, I will just leave Téa's pictures on this MacBook. It is kinda nice to view her shots after a long and sad day. 

Conscience: 'Say something about the shoot you and your friends did last Saturday?'
Me: 'My honest opinion?' 
Conscience: 'Or whatever you can say about it!' 
Me: 'Let us see.'

It was not the best shoot, but it also was not the worst. We played in the rain and got sick afterwards. We ate junk food the whole time. We drank Coke. We tried our best to cooperate and not give each other a headache. I hope we succeeded at doing that. I saw the neighbors staring when we were taking some shots. And the guard saw what we were doing. So what did I do the whole time? Let's just say that I tried as much as possible not to be in any of the pictures. I tried. I hate the fact that you gotta prepare for a long time and then it takes hours to shoot. And then at the end of the day, when you see your shots on your laptop, you wonder why you even went through the trouble to do what you just did. And then you wonder if it was worth it.