The things we fight for

June 17, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last night was a crazy night for Canadians. After the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley cup finals to the Boston Bruins, riot broke out. Burning cars, blood and shattered glass were all over the streets. Vancouver was in total chaos. And then in the middle of all that, there’s this couple. Some people say it was an assault, some say the guy was just trying to help her. I guess we will know later when they finally realize that’s them all over the news. Maybe they just met and fell in love at first sight. Maybe they’re star-crossed lovers, he’s from Vancouver and she’s from Boston. That’s to cheesy. Maybe they just made up. Maybe they had a big fight that day, and when the whole world around them started fighting over a hockey game, they realized the pointlessness of  fighting and decided to end this crazy night with a kiss.

Photo by Richard Lam @ Getty images

Message in a Rocket

June 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

somebody once said that getting older is about getting lesser choices in life.

Maybe it’s true. You get to a point when you can’t eat certain things, can’t get into certain bars, or just can’t seem to get into music other than the ones that you listened to when you were in high school. And then there are the dreams you’ve made, and how being younger had given you so many options, so many roads to take in your life, and now that you’re older, you’ve seen some of those dreams fall away like one fork in the road that you passed after another. You may feel that you have no choice but to keep taking the road you’ve been on, the one that you feel you’ve “settled” for.

At 32, i feel that it’s not about being cornered to a few choices. It’s more of having finally gotten to know myself, what i can and can’t do, being able to differentiate a  dream from a fantasy, and most of all, being able to tell what i really want to do with my life. To me, getting older is like being strapped to a rocket and launched into outer space. You can’t take too many detours and too much time to get to where you want to go, unless you’re a message in a bottle waiting to be found. But then again, even a message in a bottle has an intended destination and an urgency to be found.

Jason Kidd

June 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

“it has been an unbelievable journey..”

Jason Kidd says in an interview after the Dallas Mavericks won the NBA finals. If you’re like me, having lost track of the NBA, the only people you probably remember from the game are Jordan, Scottie Pippen, or even the younger Shaquille O’ Neal, all of whom have retired. But i remember Jason Kidd too. He was drafted in the NBA when i was in highschool. Translation: it was a very long time ago. Dirk Nowitzki calls him a “fossil”. Remember the USA dream team posters? He was in those, both during the 2000 Sydney olympics and the 2008 Beijing. He set countless records in (basketball stats/gibberish here) the game’s history ranking among the greats as Magic Jonhson and Larry Bird.

He had gotten close to winning a championship twice, but was denied of it. One of them was during the height of the Shaq-Bryant tandem. It could be said that he had fought the greats in NBA, and as fortune would have it, always on the side of the underdog. But today was a great day for underdogs.  After 17 years, at 38 years old, Jason Kidd finally got his championship ring. It was like watching the kid you grew up with who always got left behind finally finishing first.


20 million things

June 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

I’m guessing that there’s 20 million awesome  things in the world i can think of, for starters.

And out of those, i can name three right now:

1. Lying on a real bed after 14.5 + 2.75 hours of flight, 3 hours waiting at the airport, 1.5 hours car ride and 2 hours on a boat. Trust me, this is the best bed ever.

2. Coming home to the only woman in the world you’re consistently infatuated with for years.

3. And shutting your blackberry off.

The Breakfast Club

March 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

it is common knowledge in the trades that painters are a different breed of workers. By different i mean theyre mostly renegades, more like what happens to pirates when they quit their sailing days and trade their swords for brushes. My dad used to tell me that the hardest drinkers in his crew were the painters. And that’s the same here as it was there.  i heard of a painter who can’t draw a straight line when sober.

The reason for this behavior, according to some people, is that oil paint leaves a bad after taste that only alcohol can take away. I don’t know if you’ll buy that, but it sounds legit, doesn’t it?  We all come up with good excuses to drink.

I go to a class of 8 painters from different fields. One is an industrial painter, doing mostly sandblasting and painting metal. He also drives a mean motorcycle. Another guy works for one of the biggest painting crews in the city, doing malls and commercial places. He looks like a blonde charlie sheen. A girl works with him in the same company. She doesn’t seem to like math. One guy is your regular tall and lanky painter. He works with living legends on the field and seems to be a sponge with information, so it’s a giveaway who’s going to top the class. And then there’s an ex-boxer who takes care of the jokes in class. He drinks at least six tall cups of coffee during class. It’s probably the coffee doing the talking most of the time. There’s a russian guy too with a thick accent who stares down at you like a movie cookie cut russian guy, but is actually the nicest in class. His name is, as you might have guessed, Boris. And there’s a kid, who we all thought quit after not showing up in class two consecutive days but is suddenly back.

Despite the obvious diversity, we all get a long just fine. There’s plenty of work to do in a day, a lot of reading on some days, and of course, painting, but there’s always room for goofing around,  for some good old fun in the classroom. After all, among all the trades, painting is the most colorful one.

alternate universe # 32

March 13, 2011 § 2 Comments

last night i dreamed i was on a trip to some city in the south. It was one of those trips that my brother tristan organizes. So when we stopped in front of the hotel, and after everyone had stepped out the van, i picked up the garbage and put everything in a bag. But when i was carrying it away to a bin, the bag ripped open and garbage spilled all over the front receiving area. Quickly i went to ask the receptionist where i could find a broom and a dustpan, but he wasn’t too happy with me, even throwing an unpleasant comment my way. So i turned around just as quickly as i came and went looking for them myself.

Down the hall, i met a woman who was carrying a broom and a dustpan like she knew what i was looking for. With that she carried a smile and an air of humility. She was of my age or slightly younger, probably the same height as i am, slender, had a nice and even tan, hair just about sitting on her shoulders, and a pretty face. We started talking about her work at the hotel, eventually realizing that she owned the place. We hanged out the whole time i was there.

When i woke up i thought this is probably what it’s like had i not met Janice. Tristan would go on with his travel business, and i would come home maybe once a year to join him in his trips, and i would meet people along the way, great people, beautiful people. But i cannot help but think of how fortunate i am. Traveling halfway across the world to see Janice for the first time was probably the best thing i’ve ever done. I think what my dream is trying to tell is that maybe it could’ve been anyone. i’m glad it’s Janice.

She could’ve been the one that got away. But i didn’t let her.

the benefits of asking

March 2, 2011 § 6 Comments

i was one of those kids who’d rather not ask any questions in school or ask for a particular present for christmas. I took everything as it came. i rarely argued even if i didn’t agree with what’s being said. And i thought it was too much to bother someone else for anything, often convincing myself that i should be self-sufficient in every way. But over the last few years i learned that it doesn’t hurt to ask. and even if it did, it never hurt much. at least not as much as the thought of missing something because i didn’t try or failing because i was too proud to ask for help.

I know last summer that i was ready to quit my menial job, when a chance came at a meeting, and i asked one my bosses if i could get into painting. Weeks later i’ve been set up with a tradesman through an apprenticeship program, training under him and going to a real painting school. At 31, i finally learned to ask. Sounds a little late, doesn’t it? But no, some things are never too late to do.

At 31, i asked the woman of my dreams to marry me. And she said yes. A million possibilities lit up the sky.

the whys of this

February 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

there’s so many reasons why i wanted to blog again.

Most days, my mind is a superhighway of thoughts rushing to different directions. and being a painter working inside an empty house all day doesnt help get those thoughts out there. so they just keep going in circles, until night comes and they become like light streaks in an overly populated cityscape. i could use a page to get my thoughts organized.

but more importantly, i miss the time with friends and loved ones, when there’s really nothing important to tell, and yet, we never run out of words to say to each other.

“the afternoon drive” sounds like a radio show. And this is something like that, except that you and i are in my car pretending to be DJs and telling each other how our days went, stories we heard, or having an “i love this song” moment as it plays on the background.

So join me as i try to make sense of the events in my life within that bit of time between the songs. i hope to be able to share with you my hopes, failures, simple joys, triumphs, and the many things i’m thankful for.