Continued from

Go GREEN. Read from


Oriental Masks

Oriental Masks
Photo by Jefferson Solayao, 2016

Friday, March 31, 2017

It is the mandate of every mage to do things naturally and normally whenever possible.
Let a cough mature. Don't attempt to arrest it. You will only manage to trap all of your phlegm inside your body.
Bask in mild sunshine when you feel that you might have pneumonia.
Your Messenger message:

"(ngayon po nangyari) nagising ako dahil sa panaginip ko may imatake po sa akin habang tulog po ako sa panaginip ko:. struggle may nag chochoke sa akin...may sinubo sakin tapos parang chinochoke niya ako... nagdsal ako at sinabi ko lang sa utak ko mas matapang ako sa kanya (sa isip ko lang sinasabi hangang nagbstruggle po ako, tapos gumising na ko. tinanggal ko na blindfold ko na suot ko po. sino po o ano po kaya yun? salamat po ."

My reply:

Hello ______!

This is a typical bangungot. Did you at spicy food or pasta before going to sleep? The former is an especially bad idea in hot weather.

The sleeping blindfold helped create this nightmare. It is a form of restraint, like ropes, handcuffs, masks, and the like, and contributed to the imagery in your dream.

Your question, of course, is whether or not this was an actual, astral attack. It was not.

The March leaf falls off my planner.

Everyone home. Lunch with Aubrey. Then Angelique arrived from university.
The morning brought itself together like a four-piece, children's jigsaw puzzle.
Good morning, Cubao!

Chito, Chevy, and Vinci visited.
Aubrey's long summer break begins tomorrow before she enrolls at university.
During all the 36 years when I was employed, I saw things that other people did not see, and I don't mean spirits but matters as they were from unusual perspectives. It disturbed my supervisors and colleagues. And so, I continued seeing what I was seeing but refrained from telling others what I saw. To their great loss, I still believe.
Watched 2/3 of the nth replay of 2012 on AXN. The last third, to me, is mawkish, corny, and boring.

Yet another disaster movie that underscores the importance of having fun in life as well as responsibly working, since one never knows when everything will end.

Aubrey's High School Graduation Day at Saint Paul Pasig: Friday, March 31, 2017

Aubrey's High School Graduation Dinner: Friday, March 31, 2017

Aubrey's graduation ceremony took forever, and so she decided that we have dinner at the center instead of on Morato. Walked to the restaurant to order food in advance. The place was crowded, but there was a table for four vacant as though waiting for me. I felt that Ivy kept it available for us.

Now home. Gave some food to the security guard on duty.
Qingming Festival, a day honoring ancestors, is on April 4.
The best way for both parties to go about romantic love is to know and accept that nothing is perfect and that nothing is ideal.
Danger now comes from a different cardinal direction.
Gangs and gang wars are always the result of a lack of affirmation of manhood and masculinity in society. That is why even men need to be liberated.
Rumbling precedes it.
Do not be quick to judge someone whose actions are born of sheer despair.
Listen to the heartbeat of every flower.
The curtain falls even on the most enthusiastic clown.
Dust flies long after you think it has already settled.
Everything in life is art, but not everything is meant to be hung on walls.
Even if you feel that you have not yet arrived, it is enjoyable to sit back every once in a while and be a passive observer rather than a proactive participant.
Interpret, but interpret well.
Sometimes, when you just let things happen, the universe takes over and you find yourself not wanting and provided for.
Guidelines for the weekend are now on my Google+ Page.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

It is the guilty person who must determine his own punishment, and it will always be one that not only expiates his transgression but benefits his victims, all of society, and future generations as well.
When watching a competition on TV such as American Ninja Warrior or Master Chef Australia, I want everyone to win, and I become quite upset when someone gets eliminated.
The clouds are structures in a city of light.
Good day, Cubao!

Lunch at home with Angelique, Aubrey, and J., after Aubrey came home from Gateway to have her hair and make-up done.

Now J. sleeping upstairs and I at the computer downstairs. My sister Alice, Angelique, and Aubrey off to school to attend Aubrey's high school graduation.

Dinner out later.
My baby Aubrey graduates from high school today. It seems like only yesterday when I carried her in my arms and raised her high up in the air, above my head.

I wish her success in life. She aims to be a neurologist, and that would certainly place her high above me, as I want it to be.
It was Sweet 60
Then Serene 61
Solitary 62
Then Stunning 63
Superb 64
And Suave 65

Now Soaring 66!

"I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors."
--African proverb

The werewolf crossed the street to the burger stand.

Saw that M.'s cafe is still open.

It is a cool night out in Cubao, if I may say so.
Dinner at home with the granddaughters. Everyone is prepared for Aubrey's graduation day tomorrow.
A lively drinking party with videoke music is ongoing at M.'s cafe, which is located at the south end of our house. I can hear the sounds all the way from our kitchen, at the north end of our house, where I am eating white rice cakes. It all seems like a scene from a Judge Dee novel.
Shared from my Friend Steen.

I am an Osiris. Of course.
My best patrons are those who see my works not as expressions of myself but as reflections of themselves.
A quiet afternoon with slanted sunshine, the kind of afternoon some people spend by taking a siesta or listening to a radio melodrama.
After I retired I no longer had to dance to other people's music--employers, producers, publishers, art gallery owners. My real, definitive self, devoid of all social personae, emerged and established itself. As a result when many people from the past come to me they are shocked to be confronted by a complete stranger.

I am very happy with my current situation, though, and that I saw, early on, that public relations is a disgusting affair when one is dealing with atchays anyway.
If you have to try too hard to achieve victory, consider that it might not have been meant for you, because, sometimes, the acquisition of victory is a gift from the gods and the goddesses and is essentially effortless.
All of the fat caterer's clients caught her griping maliciously behind their backs. She spreads bitterness to compensate for her own, bitter life and her broken drams. Now only her relatives call for her services.
When my daughter-in-law Ivy was ill we hired two caregivers in succession, both of whom we were dissatisfied with. It was a bad idea to begin with because I'd not yet retired at the time. The granddaughters were in school the whole day and I at the office.

The first caregiver was an elderly woman who stole my son Nelson's gold, creole earring, all of my MRT and LRT tickets, and clothes from our laundry room. We also later discovered that she consumed part of my wine stock by drinking a cup of wine every night.

The second caregiver was really nice, but she wanted us to put up her brothers in our house while they were looking for jobs in the city.

Now that I've retired I could have supervised them properly. Alas, the timing of the universe is never set to our individual preferences.
They who come to put on a show eventually pack up and go.
One hour painting. Third layer finished.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

It is as useless to expect others who disagree with you to agree with you as it is useless to expect tossed Pick-up Stix to fall in only one direction.
One of my antique dealers dropped by and showed me his photo album. I ordered something I'd always wanted.
The sun is a gleaming, brass gong.
Good day, Cubao!

Lunch with the granddaughters. Angelique has no classes today and Aubrey is on rest day before her graduation tomorrow.
Happy Birthday, Cherry!

Your birthday messages:

1) Do not rely on secondhand information.
2) Awaken a dormant hobby or interest.
3) Learn to free yourself from cumbersome friends.
4) It is never too late to pursue a legal-related profession.
5) This is the year to redefine yourself, but only if you want to.
Everybody home and resting.

Actually, Angelique has the German measles. Last night we thought that she was allergic to shrimp. She was given a shot at the university hospital this afternoon and then she bought expensive medicine afterward. Two days before Aubrey's graduation day.
Waiting for Aubrey, who had dress rehearsals for their graduation ceremony at school today and is now out having dinner with classmates.

In the meantime Angelique and J. arrived with two boxes of pizza and two slices of carrot cake for Aubrey and me. I'd bought food for dinner already, though.

For the past nights we've been giving excess food to the compound security guards and M.'s cafe's waiters.
I see. I understand.
Another hour painting. It's gotten to that stage when I don't want to stop.
Two cups guyabano tea.
After more than 65 years I have yet to find a set of table salt and pepper shakers that I really like and that work the way I want them to.

The same for candle holders.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Set aside The Chinese Maze Murders to begin rereading later.
Another hour painting.
Did some painting.

Finished reading The Chinese Lake Murders too.
Granddaughters in school. Lunch alone with Benjie, who is cleaning the house today.
It is how an employee will remember you, not what he thinks of you now, that will ultimately matter.
L. dropped by to give me something on his way from work. It's something that I like very much. We smoked cigarettes inside the small loggia until his ride home arrived.
All of my friends think that I am celebrating my birthday at the end of the month. However, I am not. It is Aubrey's graduation day from high school. The family will be at the ceremony, after which we are having dinner out.
Good morning, Cubao!

The sun is an open, leather-bound journal.
Note that in every discussion, the person who browbeats you, raises his voice, and overlaps your answers with his own is the person who has no listening skills, who has the most biases, who is most rude, and who really loses face without even knowing it.
Tony Perez's Art of War: Do NOT change your mind just because someone disagrees with you.

And when someone tells you, "I don't agree with you," smile with a look of interest at the unenlightened and at the definitely less intelligent.
Cozy dinner at home with Angelique, Aubrey, and Angelique's two thesis group co-members.
One of my spirit guides told me that something earth-shaking will happen tomorrow, Wednesday.
Once in a while celebrate nothing in particular with a sumptuous meal. It is a very good form of self-affirmation.
She doesn't smile. She grins like The Joker. And that is what the TV cameras always capture.
Do not curse, use harsh words, criticize or harangue others, or articulate similar forms of negative, verbal energy while EATING or DRINKING. Otherwise you will ingest or imbibe that energy. Note that dysfunctional families often argue during meals, and this only causes their relationships to deteriorate further.

This is the reason why more and more people prefer and enjoy eating and drinking alone.
There are people who pretend not to care but do care, because they are revolted by people who care and make a spectacle of it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Lunch at home with Angelique. Her group co-members are coming to polish their thesis and prepare it for printing and binding.
Good morning, Cubao!

The sky is a three-layered chiffon cake.
I never take in students who have had a series of other teachers in magic, or who hop from one teacher in magic to another.

I call them victims of unwarranted intervention.

Other people call them sluts.
Everyone now home.

We paid for Angelique's pre-graduate school exam.

Aubrey was given an award for academics.
When the sky is completely covered with a solid sheet of white clouds, sense where the energy is located. Is it above your house? What are the clouds trying to hide from sight?
As the month comes to an end, remember to prepare a basin to gather some water from the first rainfall of April, and then keep the water in a bottle for healing.

Do this with the first rainfall of May as well.
My sister Alice buys me some tea. Am having a cup of sambong right now.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Finished another hour of painting.
My student and I stared at the talisman that arrived, asking questions in our minds and silently waiting, as though hoping that the talisman would speak up and answer them.
A brief cloudburst over Cubao, which watered the plants on our front and side balconies anyway.
Home alone, both granddaughters in school. Decided to have a solitary lunch at Sitio Catacutan Hawkers' Alley. Had a vegetable dish of green papaya and horseradish leaves cooked in coconut milk, and a bowl of steamed rice.

The hawkers' stalls here are like those in Thailand and Singapore minus the tiled surfaces and chef's caps and aprons. One of my favorite food operators is from Iloilo and serves her hometown cuisine. The barangay provided the stalls with running water and a roofed pavilion with tables and chairs for people to eat their food in. I ate, however, in John's canteen, which he and his wife set up in the garage area of their townhouse unit.

The SCHA serves as an outdoor cafeteria not only for the neighborhood but for surrounding schools and offices as well, most especially Cubao Police Station PS-7, which looks like it is being developed to become the main PNP headquarters.

When individuals and groups prefer to be waited on, have their food plated, and watch the news on TV, though, they go to M.'s cafe.

Good morning, Cubao!

The sky is an astral theme park.
I can't ever recall going through male menopause. As I grew older I felt that I was also growing wiser, more knowledgeable, more effective, more skillful in writing and in painting, and more potent.

I think that menopause is only for people who are bound to their bodies more than they are bound to their hearts, their minds, and their spirits.
Wands are best charged in bright sunshine. Prop them up SECURELY butt end up, point end down.
Judge Dee is currently visiting a rich man's private, Buddhist chapel late at night.
And know that there are fantasies that should never be articulated and never brought to the level of reality.
Though it has been clearly demonstrated that there is no true democracy anywhere, never be afraid to be outspoken when you are right. Otherwise there will be more and more atchays in this world.
Looking back now, one of the things I detested from my day job was being assigned to construct programs for foreign artists whose sponsors deemed young and promising but who, to me, were absolute nobodies with mediocre talent yet who felt they should be treated like royalty. After all those years, though, how many of those artists really made it? Where are they now?

One other thing was taking care of political entourages comprised of cheapskates who expected me to wangle theater tickets, concert tickets, museum tickets, tours, and restaurant lunches and dinners from my contacts for free.

Both, to me, were, and still are, distasteful and disgusting, and I wonder how my successor feels about them himself or herself.
People who go to a mage are essentially curious. The mage's first obligation is to tell them clearly that magic is a personal hobby--it is neither a profession nor an occupation--and that anyone who signs up for training in it suffers from a psychotic delusion.
There is at least one role model for each of the many stages in your life.
Trees are happiest in the summer, when you frequently hear their laughter in the breeze.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

He will soon give up his exorbitantly expensive house.

You cannot own a castle if you do not own the city.
Every act of crudeness committed by a foreigner in any country is an act of vengeance against discrimination.
When an obnoxious person tells you, "You'll do no such thing!", go out of your way to do it.
A nation hung up on superheroes should wake up and look for real heroes who have no superpowers.
For every crime committed by a green man, there is an identical or similar crime committed by an orange man, except that everything depends on whom you are looking at--the green man or the orange man.
It might be time to change the lyrics of that national anthem.
Good morning, Cubao!

The sun is a blazing, smith's forge.
Please study very carefully all of the events and stakeholders that led to the Civil War.
Finally got rid of one more box of books.
The more prudish a society is, the more perverse its collective imagination.
Wear and enjoy your jewelry even if you are at home. You won't have the exact, same jewelry in your next lifetime. That is the true meaning of "You can't take it with you"--into your next lifetime.
Another hot, steamy, night, the kind of night that makes me want to spend some time on our front balcony holding a tall glass of tea with our gemstone-shaped ice cubes tinkling inside it, watching passersby and vehicular traffic on P. Tuazon Boulevard, pretending I am in the New Orleans French Quarter, waiting for a five-man band to tune up beside the street, and prepared to toss necklaces of bright, enchanted beads to those who want them.

Dinner at home with Angelique, Aubrey, and J. A very quiet Saturday night for us. I think I'll read some more Judge Dee in bed later.
She wanted so much to remain in show business that she went out of her way to wrangle a hosting job from someone else. Unfortunately the producers not only don't like her history, they know she has no talent as well. She will never make it back, and she will grow old in misery, spending what little time and money she has in more and more attempts to get in.
Last week a rat had somehow gotten into the upper floor of our house. It gnawed a hole through the plastic bin containing Kichiro Mayuzumi's food pellets. We had to lay out a box of rat poison where the pets couldn't get to it.

This evening Angelique discovered the rat, dead, in a corner of our laundry room. I went upstairs to dispose of it. It was, if I may say so, a cute rat, like something out of Beatrix Potter. It lay in a gentle, curled-up position, as though it'd known that it was dying and decided to look decent about it.

That was the second cute rat I saw; the first one was 15 years ago, before the house was remodeled, in our old kitchen.
Tonight watch out for a falling star, and reiterate your favorite wish.
He is spending all of his time trying to establish his credibility, not knowing that it is he himself who undermines it.
Never allow other people to derail you from your journey by telling you what to think, what to say, and what to do.
Yesterday I had a slice of Lani's pound cake drizzled with black, brewed coffee. Today I had a slice of it a la mode, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Clear, cerulean skies over Cubao. A perfect day to go jalan-jalan, but it is a Saturday and the center will be densely populated with transients.
Restraint and control are two secrets behind maintaining power.
You need to recite the magical text that goes with your tattoos but once, and merely rub the tattoos to release their power thereafter.
Not everything that is alive, moves.
Judge Dee is now investigating the death of a young bride, and is inspecting the library of her husband, a student.
Resumed work on my current painting. Looking good.

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Serpent comes second to the Dragon.
And if I gave you something like this, know that it will protect you from the dangers of fire.

He is flattered by the favor and attention given him by the king with the serpent's gaze. Little does he know that all the king wants is to see him bring his city to chaos and ruination.
The poor will always have their revenge on the rich.

The powerless will always have their revenge on the powerful.
Never had they had so much fun.

The people who applaud his hysterics are the same people who relish seeing him being shot down and huffing and puffing like a spoiled brat.
The sun is a dish of trembling jello.
He thinks that his traitors are outside his circle, but most of them are inside it.

No one still seems to have learned from the Julius Caesar archetype--or at least Shakespeare's version of it.
They finally began to see that he thinks and acts like a leader of the KKK.
Good morning, Cubao!

Loved that BBC feature on Norway! It had Kierkegaard, Munch, and Ibsen!
Watched a live video of one of my Russian Friends. He was just lounging in his bedroom doing nothing, possibly just experimenting with live video as most people still do. To me, however, it was a phenomenological experience--I was in my bedroom and he was in his, while an entire ocean and the night, bigger than the ocean, separated us. In spite of all this I saw his bed, his pillows, his bed sheets, the color of his walls and what he hung on them, and what he was wearing in bed.

He was wearing a pullover. Apparently it is spring time in Russia and still cold. And, since it is summer time where I am, I was half-naked, but then again the camera wasn't on me.

I wonder if, in the future, some cold can be sent to me through my computer, and if I can send some heat in return.
The more you push your religion, the more others will push their own.
The summer heat will send needles of energy through the core of the earth.
His puppy dog looks couldn't save him. Worse, my spirit guide says that he will be afflicted with a disease.
Home alone--and had dinner alone too. Angelique and J. are eating out, Aubrey and a classmate are at a friend's surprise birthday party, and Benjie has gone home for the day.
We are buying food for the baby black moors.
All he should have said was, "I'm a defense lawyer. What do you expect? And why are you asking questions as though you were the prosecutor? Who do you think is the jury here--the public?"
Keep in mind that it is still highly possible to contract the flu even in the heat of summer.
Remember that your children will always think of summer as their rightful time of year, and so it might never be your time of year at all.
Never break a promise to someone, or someone will break a promise to you.
Keep a thermos of drinking water, whether iced or not iced, and a roll of toilet paper near your bed at all times of the day and night. You will be surprised to find that this makes you feel loved, cared for, and cozy.
As long as your room or house remains secure, keep a window or door ajar to prevent the interior from combustion due to intense heat.
Never laugh at a child's work. Never embarrass a child in public. If you do either one or both, he will not grow up to be a creative person.
Do not curse the dust in the wind, for it reminds you that you are not being consumed by maggots inside a grave.
Earth changes, fire dies
Ice crumbles, rivers go dry

But the sea remains the sea
As I shall always be

And the sky remains the sky
And so shall I
Will just have to resume my painting after Benjie finishes his week of house cleaning, because he needs or asks me something every once in a while, and it is quite distracting.
After searching for a lost or misplaced object and not finding it, ask ANOTHER, more detached, person to do a search for you.
When you misjudge a person and that person is no longer available for you to make amends to, make amends by doing a great kindness to a similar person.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Sheer Madness

My new fountain pen arrives--not a dragon pen but one embellished in brass with the archetypal Eight Chinese Horses (my son Chito's Chinese zodiac animal is Horse).

Can't wait to use it!

Wearing Platinum by Roberto Verino.
Maintaining 5,000 Friends while being very selective about whom I keep.
When someone unFriends me, someone else from my 100 Sent Requests to different countries jumps in.
My favorite Spam messages:

1) From a woman named Lisa Williams, who still seems to be alive after all these years.
2) From Candian Pharmacy, offering all sorts of potency medication. Did he actually spell the name "Candian" so that atchays will read it as "Canadian"?
3) Those with paragraphs beginning with "Hello beloved" and "Hello dear", written by lonely idiots searching for the equally lonely, and, unfortunately, the world is filled with people like them.

Of course I delete them immediately.
Good morning, Cubao!

The sky is a bubbling, glass kettle on the summer's stove.
The werewolf crossed the street to the burger stand.
Hot day, hot night.

Coincidentally, it is sweltering hot also for Judge Dee and the characters of _The Chinese Lake Murders_.
There are people who finally mature not when they start giving, but when they stop giving.
Successful research and investigation are talents and skills that not everyone has developed for themselves.
Some psychics are unable to sleep because they do not know how to shut off cries for help.
Rage is really a symptom of deep-seated envy.
The god of iron says that vehicular accidents usually occur at or near a crossroads.
M. and his former classmates are having a get-together at M.'s cafe tonight.

I know whenever M.'s staff is cleaning and decorating for a party. They borrow my aluminum ladder.
Sometimes the person who cries the loudest for you to rescue them is the person who needs it least.
Why is this cake day?

The Magnolia Depot's much-vaunted yema cake.

Tony Perez's Art of War: Remember everyone who did not feed you. Remember not to feed them should you happen to be with them again.
Judge Dee and his retinue are currently at a banquet on a flower boat.
Buzzed by the Sitio Catacutan Magnolia Depot to buy two boxes of ice cream. When I came back, the compound security guard said that a lady named Karen dropped off this rum cake for me. I know several Karens, though. Karen, please identify yourself. I don't know whom to thank.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Insecure students learn nothing because, when the teacher speaks, they hear only what they want to hear.
For everyone, today is a day comprised of more choices to make than usual.
If a student of magic comes and goes at whim, teach him also only at whim.
Good morning, Cubao!

Every dust mote is a planet, and the dust motes rise in galaxies that sparkle in the sun.
Summer heat. I recall that a former co-worker and his wife used to take up their pillows and bed mats and sleep on their rooftop on nights like this.
I turn the soil, keeping in the little stones
Roots love to curl their fingers round
And throwing away big ones. Here is one--no,
It crumbles into soil--and others--but, again, no,
They are plastic pouches long forgotten,
Containing dead, pet birds I'd buried over the years.
How I wish they could have clung to little stones
Like plants do, and kept on living.
Drops of sweat run down my face, into the soil
And, briefly, now, I wonder whether they are tears.

My plants will keep the soil,
The soil will keep my memories
Of pet birds that said goodbye.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

More work on the hanging gardens on our balconies while Benjie cleans the house. I like handling plants, soil, and water. It is my most grounding activity, pun intended. It directly connects me with the planet. I feel that I am being centered and healed, and I believe that every sprout and bud that flourishes under my care is a positive answer to my wishes.
A teacher is never a substitute for a parent. If you continue to believe so, you will eventually be a victim of double, psychological abandonment--first by your parent and second by your teacher.
Replacing four ceiling bulbs.

I love lights. I can't have enough of them.
You offend gnomes not because you accidentally step on them or accidentally hit them with something. You offend them because you unwittingly give them a glimpse of your cruel heart.
Very soon you will see kites flying in the sky.
Heat is the earth's most subtle perfume.
Partake of the fruits of every season, for they are the right nourishment that you need.
Be a rebel, but do not be a rebel caricature. The most effective rebel is he whom others perceive as the least likely to be one.
The baby black moors in Aubrey's fish tank have hatched and are now swimming about.
A bargain is not a good deal if you get what you pay for.
One fine morning the Animation major will take a trip to a remote village that has no advanced technology, and he will ask himself whether he is on the right road to happiness.
The best and the worst are within every person, and it takes but a tiny stimulus to bring out one or the other.
An absent parent is ten times better than an abusive one.
Every tree has a thousand eyes.
To a passionate writer, there is no such thing as having too many pens.
The sun glows through a tumbler of apple cider.
Good morning, Cubao!

Not home alone. Benjie cleans the house today.
The vodka warms my body even on this hot, summer night, but the warmth is pleasant, and it makes me sleepy. My last thoughts before drifting off to sleep are of my Russian Friends.
The best and the most expeditious way to get rid of an unwanted student is to show him things he disagrees with. He will then question whether he is with the right teacher--and he will eventually leave. This is so much more effective than directly sending him away. Since he will believe that it was he who voluntarily left you and not you who turned his back on him, he will never come back, and to your great relief.
The werewolf did not cross the street to the burger stand. Instead he had an unusual bedtime snack: pistachio-infused Turkish delight cubes, and a Pepsi and vodka.
Finished reading all six, heavyweight books on the I-Ching.

Curling up in bed later to reread The Chinese Lake Murders. Whenever I am reading a Judge Dee I lose myself in ancient China and delight in all its quaint settings and customs and characters. It is like getting on a raft on a river. As the soon as the raft pulls away, I feel that I have left all of my problems and concerns on the shore.
We have upgraded to translucent drinking glasses and are in the process of giving our opaque, drinking glasses away.

Yes, the hermit entertains but only when he wants to.

Ten ways to acquire a sense of good composition:

1) Use the Greek Golden Rectangle.

2) Contemplate Nature's works whenever you can.

3) Master Gestalt perception.

4) Study sacred geometry.

5) Employ the envelope drawing technique.

6) View your initial outline in a mirror.

7) Turn your canvas upside down and gaze at it.

8) Be conscious of measurements, ratios, correlations, proportions, and relationships.

9) Be comfortable with both symmetry and asymmetry.

10) Divide your canvas into quadrants before applying construction lines. This locates the centers of your canvas both ways.

The following prevent you from developing a sense of good composition:

1) Being a slave to the grid method.

2) Being a slave to the pantograph.

3) Thinking in terms of "landscape" and "portrait" orientations only.

4) Believing that composition in photography and composition in painting are identical.

5) Convincing yourself that shading and/or the addition of other figures or elements will improve your work.

6) Being unwilling to revise and rework your painting at ANY stage of its creation.

7) Locating your vanishing points INSIDE your canvas rather than way outside it.

More on atchays and language:

Years ago, I called up VA to ask about something in connection with the 75th Year of the Liberation of the Philippines, a program series I was organizing at the time. Since I was at the Embassy, I spoke to the VA employee in English. Thinking that I was trying to sound like an American, she suddenly blurted out passages in Tagalog, perhaps hoping to embarrass me. She didn't know, of course, that I was a creative writer. I responded to her in my deepest and most archaic Tagalog. She couldn't understand a thing.

We switched back to English.
Love has no qualms about the most foolish things.
Regeneration is one of the true, everyday miracles in life.
You have only two or three real friends in every lifetime.
When an atchay is on the losing end, he criticizes you for speaking in English, as though speaking in English were a social sin.

But, the truth is, atchays resent people who speak in English because it subconsciously makes them feel less intelligent.
I'm currently working on a small painting but will show it only after it's done rather than document its process of being created.
Tony Perez's Art of War: The most pathetic critic is he who will actually give an arm and a leg to be like you and have everything that you have.
The old librarian used to be a burden to her co-workers before she retired. Now she is a burden to her neighbors.
The enticer of prosperity and good fortune must be located at the entrance to your house.
It is tedious to have silverware and then count them every night after the guests have gone.
Today's religion is tomorrow's mythology.
One does not have to live long enough in order to leave behind a lasting legacy.
When the maid falls in love, you are paying her to go on vacation.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Your Messenger message:

"Good morning, Tony ! [...] "I dreamt last night of a month-old newborn babe lying beside its mother , whose face I didn't see in the dream. The baby was so beautiful. I was aware that it was a boy. I sensed in the dream that the extraordinary baby was aware of my presence and was waiting for my kiss so I kissed him on the left cheek. Then it was my turn to ask him for a kiss

" the baby lifted his head and to give me a kiss on my left cheek. The whole time we were just communicating via mental telepathy. The baby and I had a strange psychic connection , in the dream.

"Then the memory of his beautiful face lingered on my mind until I awoke. I was very happy in that dream as the baby had a Buddhalike purity and was so beautiful ."

My reply:

Hello _______________!

A wonderful thing is about to happen in your life. It is a gift from the cosmos, but, no matter how simple or mundane or spectacular it is, you must be able to recognize it and act accordingly.

If the baby was floating or hovering in the air, part of your responsibility may be to teach others.

If the baby was in a crib by itself, you are asked to translate the numen of the dream into other forms, such as writing or painting.

If the baby was in its mother's arms, you are called upon as a mere observer and need not share your experience with others.

The female black moor in Aubrey's aquarium laid eggs. Aubrey carefully segregated them in a separate vessel with water plants.
It takes two years for a teacher to see his student's true colors.

It is at that point that the teacher may decide to get rid of the student.
Good morning, Cubao!

The sky is festooned with white pasta.
When a young person is depressive or suicidal, it is because:

1) His main support system (his immediate family) has collapsed. The psychotherapist's job is to help him come to realistic and acceptable terms with his family members, NOT enter the scene as a SUBSTITUTE for any or all family members.

From my observation, a supportive girlfriend is not a solution because she functions as an extended family member and sometimes becomes additional baggage. (Unless she is a psychologist and is capable of constructing a program for her boyfriend.)

2) His religion does not work for him. Especially if his parents are outwardly "religious" but actually hypocritical.
If your son is depressive and suicidal, I am willing to counsel him not only to love life but live a productive life as well. I used to do this when I was adjunct lecturer at three universities.

Know, however, that I counsel on my own terms. I use psychic exercises.
A criminal has wiles, not brains.
Consulted the I-Ching for the first time after 25 years, and its answers were stunning.
If your right hand knows not what your left hand is doing, go to a neurologist.
Beware of summer, for it is the season of the kind of boredom that makes you take dangerous risks.
Diversity teaches us that it is all right to work in a call center without having to speak and sound like your foreign clients, as long as you are humble but proud of your culture and your race, polite, patient, and gently persistent.
I can no longer conceive of a cozy home without a porch, no matter how small, to sit in.