Monday, March 31, 2008

Uneven Score

I don't usually do this (post quiz results), but this is so wrong! And worse yet is the fact that I'm proud! I could take on a whole kindergarten classroom! Yay!


Friday, March 28, 2008

The Man Who Made Me Believe Again

It's been nearly a year since we visited San Diego to attend the yearly Comic Con. Right after our return, I diligently posted and discussed my experiences there, specifically in San Diego in general, as well as in the San Diego Zoo. But I never said anything about our experience in the Comic Con itself, the main reason of our visit to SD. I think that it has taken a long while for the experience to sink in and get digested: it was so rich, so vast, so powerful... we spent 5 days dawdling around in a convention center, and it's amazing to believe that those 5 days changed our lives a little bit.

However, I'm gonna have to postpone the review of the whole deal in favor of the highlight of the visit, which deserves its own blog entry.

Mr. Peter S. Beagle
The man who made me believe again

Day (No-There-Are-No-Day-Three-Pics!) Four - The Unexpected

This happened on the fourth day of our visit, as we were walking around the show floor looking at the different booths and just gawking and being amazed by the variety of it all. But something caught my eye then, an echo of my roots; more than an echo, a stark beacon. If you look closely at the photograph above, you will see what I saw: two big posters at each side of the booth, one of Lady Amalthea, one of The Last Unicorn.

The Last Unicorn is a story that has been in my conscious since I saw it when I was a small child, so this wasn't an "Ohmygawd, so LONG since I saw this last, I had forgotten!" kind of moment. I just wasn't expecting it there, among all the Supermans and sci-fi characters. It caught me by surprise so much that it brought tears to my eyes, and the guy at the booth caught me at that, crying a bit, with a wide smile of amazement on my face. So he seizes the moment to start driving his sale (they were selling DVD copies, as well as books by the author), but then he twisted it around a bit and starts telling me about a legal situation the author has been going through, regarding unpaid work, including being cheated out of payment for his collaboration in the making of the The Last Unicorn movie (you can read a bit more about it here).

And then, the moment of brain-shock, he tells me that the man who wrote this wonderful story was right there. Just then and there, I started bawling my heart out ... and let me explain:

Little Diana was brought up surrounded by fantastical figures, either inherited from her aunt's toy collection or things that popped up in the toy and entertainment market. Her world included gods from the Greek and Roman mythology, unicorns, mermaids, pegasus, horses, mammoths, faeries, spirits and the occasional princess from a fairy tale. These characters had sprung up from books, drawings and movies. And one of the movies that introduced her to the unicorns was The Last Unicorn.

The unicorn, as a figure, would accompany Little Diana for years to come, until adolescence would render the unicorn incompatible with her interests and beliefs. However, in the time she allowed it so, she surrounded herself with unicorn plush toys, rubber figurines (Hasbro's My Little Pony had a lot to do with that as well), drawings, posters, notebooks, books, movies ... all things unicorn came hand in hand with as much as she could find about mermaids (which was much less, since this was before Disney bastardized Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" and provoked the deluge of mermaid merchandise afterwards).

Little by little, all unicorn things were shed, and only a distant memory remained of the legendary horned beast. The steadfast belief that unicorns existed gave way to a good-natured indifference ... until she met with the one who made her believe first.

Mr. Peter S. Beagle, author to The Last Unicorn, creator of the world that in its turn helped me create mine, came over to me and hugged me, and talked to me, and embraced me in his words. During the time of our conversation, I was enveloped in a warm cocoon of stories, lullabied by a soft, flowing voice that spoke of the roots of my world, of the nutrients that gave life to that humongous tree that was the fantasy I knew. He reached into my heart and blew life back into that dormant seed that was Little Diana and her steadfast beliefs.

At that moment I felt more alive and more eternal than I had felt in decades. I still choke up when I remember how it felt to be before the man that helped shape what I've become. No other worlds existed at that moment, only him, and me curled up around the fluid stream of flowers, magic and music his words made.

I purchased a different book from the one I already knew by heart: The Unicorn Sonata. It sat in my nightstand's shelf for a few months, but as soon as I read it, it became water to the seed Mr. Beagle had brought back to life. As soon as I finished it and closed its covers, I realized: once again I believed in unicorns with all of my heart.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Nose Experience

At the beginning of this week, at some point while I drove, I had the distinct feeling of being back in 1999. How does that happen? Was it the smell? I've been aware for about ten or eleven years now that one of my favorite senses is the sense of smell. Contrary to taste, it hasn't been as deeply crippled by my smoking vice. My eyesight is not the best either (I have a mild case of progressive myopia and astigmatism, a trademark for computer professionals). I think I might have also lost some of my hearing at one point or another, since I can remember having problems with it as far as 11 years ago. And hell, I can't go around touching everything I please! Haha! So ... smell!

Smell is what drives me around my world: with a whiff of fragrance I've been able to recognize someone faster than by a look to their face. I get hungrier by the smell of BBQ'ed steak than by the sight of a juicy meat cut. The fragrance of apple/cinnamon incenses and candles has been irrevocably associated with my stepmother. Same applies for the smell of perfumes like Shalimar, Ciara and Anais Anais (each one represents an era in my mother's life). Some smells have haunted me for years as well, like for example the aroma one of my friends exuded, which I was never able to identify as any cologne, soap or perfume I knew. Others, I will never forget, like the smell of puppy breath.

I can better determine how dirty my house is by the smell that welcomes me in the afternoon. The tiles can look clean as whistles, but if I can smell mop water, I know it's time to clean up a bit.

It's safe to say then that each era in my life has a set of smells inherent to it. Perfumes on the trend are primary examples of how this works, and then there are also the smells of friends and places (years 1995 - 1997 had a high incidence of fun fair smells - musty oil, vomit and cotton candy).

But what happened to me earlier this week, I'm sure it wasn't a smell. Smells are just the perceptible face of the deal. When I felt like I was back in 1999, it wasn't the smell of business office lobby that triggered it. It must have been the feeling of impending doom, of sunlight bouncing off mirrored windows from offices in buildings towering overhead. It must have been the realization (and in a way, coming to terms with) that I am what I feared I'd become. Thankfully, that same morning I decided to take control of what I could to change what I didn't like in my life. I'll start with the small things ... like the smell of my car.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Disconnected - Disjointed

These past few months I've felt somewhat "out of it", disconnected from myself in a way, like a spectator watching the daily events this body goes through from a balcony seat far away.

Sometimes I even lose interest, it's a tragedy, really.

It's like my consciousness is waiting for the larvae to turn into a moth and break away from the cocoon these last 30 years have been.

Yeah, it's the issue of inconformity (always is), turned into a solid perception of my own self-worth. I'm trying to turn it around, to make myself believe that It will not always be like this, that someday I will not dread to wake up in the morning to go to work in something I absolutely detest.

But pessimism is a die hard trait, and more times than not, I have this sinking feeling that this is my lot in life, that I've been doomed by my own choices, that It will not work out the way I've been hoping.

So I carry on, I turn 30, it's no big deal. Age is not a big deal, specially because as of late, some things have given me hope for my future, and I've seen 30 as an opportunity for a rebirth, a renewal.

But pessimism, and the day-to-day reality (waking up, going to work, feeling out of sorts, going back home, sleeping) have made me forget hope and the reason for hope (reasons that also surround me day by day, and I sometimes take for granted, I apologize for that).

So what to do? Keep dragging my feet through the bad times just to see the good on the other side? Or try to leap over the puddle of muddy corporate waters, try to find footing on the other side?

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Well, my weekend has begun.

I'm finally turning all of 30 in two days, and I'm glad about it.

I'm glad because at the age of 30 I've finally decided the turns I want my life to take, and I have the ways of starting down that road (if things turn out differently from what I expect, no matter, because at least I'll know I truly tried this time around).

I'm glad because I didn't succumb to the whims and expectations of society, and the life I lead right now is pretty unconventional for most 30-year-olds (my group of friends not included, since life has recently surrounded me with like-minded people).

I'm glad because unlike some 30-year old women I know or see around me, my lifestyle is not shackled down by unhappy marriages or unwanted children. I'm glad because I've been able to flip the bird (and kept it up) at the standards society has set, including contentment with the chosen career. I know I chose wrong, and unlike most women my age, I'm not striving to grow and be of importance in my workplace.

I'm not a suit-clad career woman, bent on showing the world that I can do it as well or better than a man. I couldn't care less about feminism in the polyester rat race.

I'm glad because I've been able to fit in with all aforementioned stereotypes without losing my identity and my motivations. I don't read gossip magazines, and couldn't care less about Britney Spears or Maripily (don't ask, local paparazzi sensation, that's all I care to explain). I don't watch soap operas, and I don't drown my sorrows in aimless 5-hour television binges.

At 30 I'm stilll a geek, I still believe in unicorns, and a well-made anime movie can still bring me to tears.

The child is still alive and well inside me, and the 20-something idiot I once was is long dead. How I did that, I do not know. But it happened. I'm more in touch with 5-year-old Din Din (yay! finally my nickname out in the open! Hahahah!) than I am with 23-year-old idiotic Diana.

And I'm glad, because at 30, I know much more about who I am, and care much less about what the world wants me to be.