Tuesday, December 28, 2010

new year fodder

photo by Shantel Z.
The new year is coming to a fore, and by extension, so does a boatload of resolutions and promises. The blank canvas-associated notions of the start of a year are irresistibly attractive, and rightfully so, because of the hint of so much potential. In essence, we all selfishly want a year better than the last. And this idea of renewal is resonant for us internally because of the sole reason that it gives hope for change and improvement.

Sometimes, I privy myself to these overarching thoughts about the things that are deemed Most Important in Life: love, happiness, hope; and it's a little weird to realize that such things are merely human constructs and are therefore quite intangible.

dancing on my own

"Remember: the time you feel lonely is the time you most need to be by yourself. Life’s cruelest irony."
— Douglas Coupland

I blame exams, failed relationships, and laziness, as the main reasons why this blog has halted into a stand-still. However, things are looking up. Things will blossom again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hurry Up

How I feel right now.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Last weekend, MJ and I went to Kingston to see Myra and other high school friends.
We spent Halloween there -- an interesting time to explore the town and the Queens campus.
It's a lovely, quaint place.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

irony in freedom


He stood, a point
on a sheet of green paper
proclaiming himself the centre,

with no walls, no borders
anywhere; the sky no height
above him, totally un-
and shouted:

Let me out!

- Margaret Atwood, Progressive Insanities of a Pioneer

Sunday, October 10, 2010

flotsam and jetsam

Some updates, not that they really matter:
  • For October, the Toronto Public Library is holding a month-long art display at the North York Central branch. Ten of my photos, including a little blurb about this here blog is mounted on the wall. Go check it out if you like, but we we're not forcing you. Really.
  • Earlier this month, Shantel was in town with her roommate Nicoletta for Nuit Blanche. We went out just to browse all the arty things that were in store for the night, not really intending to stay too long. But then a series of funny incidents and random encounters led us to staying out much later than expected. We essentially got home a little before 3am. (And to think, I anticipated to be home before midnight...)
  • Also, I just recently jumped on to the bandwagon and watched The Social Network with Georgia, and to be frank, we didn't expect it to be as intellectually intense as it actually was. It's kind of interesting to note that the roots of Facebook and its conception, like most things men create in life, always involve a girl. This observation doesn't pertain to the "intellectual" bit of the story at all, but it resonates with a topic that I've been meaning to write about on here. I'll probably get around to doing that in the near future.
  • But of course, it's Thanksgiving weekend, so enjoy your days off! (if you're in Canada)

Thursday, September 30, 2010


A little over a month ago, I decided to sign up for this international postcard exchange project called Postcrossing. Basically, you sign up and are given an address from a random part of the world. Once the person receives it, they register your postcard #, which would then enable you to start receiving postcards from someone else from another part of the world - what a concept!
This week, I finally received my first batch of postcards. One from the US and the other from Finland!
The second photo above is of my first batch of postcards that I've sent about a month ago. I'm excited to start sending again. You should give it a try!

remnants of summer

I'm pretty much on the same boat as Shantel about not really missing summer. But I sure do miss the time of liberty. Last night, I finally set aside readings and overall feelings of uni lethargy and got around to uploading my remaining photos of summer.
The above photo's a favourite of mine. Georgia and I went for afternoon tea at a place on Queen West back in June/July. We loved it there so much, we just had to go back!
Notice the water in the glass seems to be almost translucent in colour - that's because they add cantaloupe in the jar to add some flavour to it. Neat-o.


Suffering … is not just lots of pain but pain amplified by distinctly human emotions such as regret, self-pity, shame, humiliation, and dread.

If you have not read the works of Michael Pollan, I suggest you work your way into a book store, as soon as possible.

Autumn is here, and I don't miss summer one bit.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Today's post is dedicated to the one place we always retreat to - somewhere we can always count to find solace in.

Happy Wednesday!

photo from the Coastal Living Magazine, via decor8

photo from Loppe Leah

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To see a world in a grain of sand...

And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

-William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

Monday, September 27, 2010

quiet loss

I've noticed there are times in the night when everything appears to be crystal clear - when thoughts and ideas just sort of tie in smoothly with one another, and everything just seems to make sense. In these fleeting and rare instances of time, it's as if Life momentarily gives you a taste of the answers that you've sought after for so long, just as you are about to doze off. But trying to grapple onto such moments of clarity, while fighting the urge to surrender to slumber, is never easy.

And then, the next thing you know, the morning sun is greeting you once again with a promise of a fresh start of a new day.

Yet there's also that quiet lingering feeling inside as if you just lost something. You can't really put your finger on what it was, but you're kind of sure it was there...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

changing seasons

Not too recently, I've been interested in all things philately, so expect a tonne of future posts from me relating to snail mail and such. For the meantime, we all recently got back to uni, hence an even more sparsely updated blog.
Temperatures are gradually dropping each day, and the leaves from the rustling trees are prepping up to change hues. Fall is among us, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I was never fond of the previous season - with all the sweltering heat and pesky mosquitoes it never failed to bring about. And not to mention the overall feel of lethargy that seems to take over everything. Don't get me wrong, I love the freedom summer brings, but its overall romanticism just seems to get lost whenever the season is actually upon us. Nevertheless, my summer went well. I spent a bit of it in East Coast America, which was neat.
There was a family of hawks nesting in the neighbour's pier when I was in Woodbridge, VA.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


"Seclusion is the price of greatness."

School has already begun for some of us.
My coffee-induced sleep patterns will be just as whack as it was in the summer.
However, I couldn't mind - autumn is right around the corner, and I cannot wait to buy myself a pair of warm boots!

Breathe a good, long sigh of relief, after finishing up your back-to-school errands. Make this year, a memorable one.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homes don't matter.

[...] We could live in any home, in any city, in any country, in any century, and be happy, as if the world were just what we lived in.
- Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Sunday, September 5, 2010

a get-to-know-us-through-pictures kind of post

summer at the Abbey
The photo above is of our old high school, where Shantel, Myra and I all went.

Typically, we would all bask in the sun during our spare/lunch come May and June - not only because the romance of summer, heat, and sweet freedom were almost upon us but also due to the fact that our main (junior) cafeteria would get all gross and extra-humid in the summertime. Plus, said cafeteria looked like a very large bathroom, with vomit-green tiles all over the walls and floor. I wish I was kidding. How could anyone stay in and be expected to keep their appetite?

Getting out and smelling the roses were kind of a given in high school. Overall, I can't really say university is that much different.

More recently, Myra has officially moved out to her Kingston apartment this week, but much correspondence will (must) take place.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We apologize for the lack of posts lately.
To make it up to you, here's a picture of homemade crepes slathered in peanut butter with banana slices that I prepared one morning last week.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

wedding bells

Photo from Green Go's blog

The past few days have been quite eventful. A couple of friends and I decorated The Garrison for our friends' wedding party. We did the best we could to spruce up what is usually just another dingy rock club. The party, in itself, was also amazing. I regrettably didn't take much photos, and I have yet to finish up the roll of film I used that night.

Yesterday's turn of events also ended up the most amusing - mainly due to the hilarity of friends. Among other things, Ra Ra Riot played the Mod Club and surprisingly did a lot of Rhumb Line songs (which never disappoint). I also interviewed them earlier today, which turned out really well despite the fact that Cooper, the resident Golden Retriever at the Arts & Crafts offices wanted my head for lunch.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


"As you think, you travel, and as you love, you attract. You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."

I spent the last weekend and a few days with one of my best friends, right in the heart of Montreal. The idea sparked inside of a coffee shop, and merged into a last-minute-spur-of-the-moment quest. The antagonizing rain and strenuous walking left me begging for home soil, but I got to spend time with a good friend, and the wonderful French culture right inside of Canada.
Needless to say, the adventure was worth the travelling time. The new people we met, from all walks of life, and the different landscapes that blew away my mind; our adventure was perfect for a couple of days.
I wouldn't change this experience at all.

Travel is absolutely vital to human growth.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Sunday, August 22, 2010

winding down summer

Summer's almost over, and I'm more than ready to change seasons.

Friday, August 20, 2010


walking home

It made me start to wonder if there were other people so lonely so close. I thought about "Eleanor Rigby." It's true, where do they all come from? And where do they all belong?
- Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Thursday, August 19, 2010

dog days are over

This week has been full to the brim. Not much web-lingering to be had, which is kind of good but not really after looking at an inbox full of unanswered e-mails.

The photo above was taken on the same day as The Big Morning Benders Chill Day. A bit unrelated, but I thought it was a good photo.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

the unexplored sea.

Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.

That is why we get a heart-ache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty…We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up to discover what is already there.

Henry Miller was a very bright man.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

To live is to battle with trolls...

in the vaults of heart and brain.
To write: that is to sit in judgement over one's self.

- Henrik Ibsen

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

in the same vein of miscommunication

This is taken from a Godard film that I have not seen. Not really sure if I ever will in the future, though since I've pretty much lost all interest in Godard after watching "Weekend" a while ago.
I just thought the dialogue above illustrated much of my previous musings.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

expressing frustration over the unexpressed

The irony!

I guess what I'm trying to say is that words have the ability to betray. Always, I try and try to make myself clear only to make out a blur. Sometimes, I wish in secret that some aspects of life could be borrowed from science fiction. To live in a world where people can just transmit thoughts mentally without the need to use words. A place of quiet understanding.

Monday, August 9, 2010

crooked eyes.

"True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment. This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering. Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you as a human being, no humility, no compassion. You would not be reading this now. Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, and then comes a point when it has served its purpose. Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary."

Every person in their lifetime will experience suffering. It happens on a daily basis. When we make sacrifices for others, or when we give up for ourselves to grow and mature, we are suffering. Though it may seem that suffering is nothing but a painful memory, it is suffering that can be justified as a factor in human growth.
We suffer to grow, we suffer to realize, we suffer to acknowledge what kind of life we have, and how to make necessary changes.

I suggest you all to pick up one of Eckhart Tolle's books on self-realization, and spiritual/emotional balance. It really does turn your lazy Sundays right-side up.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

another sunday

what's on a desk
Sundays have essentially become time for one's self. It has become a routine to walk around the neighbourhood, books and magazines in tow. Usually, I head to the nearby school's field or playground, sit under a tree and read. But it drizzled a little bit this morning, so I went to the nearest Starbucks.

Reading in popular coffee shops such as this is never ideal, and sometimes, you can't help but overhear seemingly compelling life-conversations at the table next to yours. It's a different kind of entertainment, which also depends largely on one's patience/level of tolerance.

I snapped the photo above after getting back, just to test the natural light streaming from my east-facing window. There's nothing particularly special about it, except for the guanábana milkshake my dad made earlier. The last time I had this fruit was in ice cream form when I went to Ecuador for a school trip. It's currently giving me nostalgic vibes.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

intricate words

web on pier
Most conflicts arise from miscommunication. Oftentimes, it's because we say what we don't mean. Regularly overlooked and shrugged off as insignificant, the craft of speech is in fact quite intricate, if you really think about it. And with intricacy comes difficulty and inevitable frustration. A "Freudian slip" or one incorrect usage of a word can intensify the tension in an argument or take a discussion into an unanticipated direction.

Of course, time also plays a vital part in communication. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time is too common a mistake - a human obstacle that cannot be averted so easily. Especially when caught up in an intensely crucial moment where overwrought emotions are involved, our minds and mouths race correspondingly. We stagger in search for the right things to say. And sometimes, words just fail to convey what we really mean to express. Most of the time, a word can be too strong, too weak, or can pertain to something else completely irrelevant.

And when we opt to keep our thoughts to ourselves and say nothing at all, what becomes of such thoughts, ideas, opinions? There's only so much we can remember, and it's not like we can command our minds to stop thinking. A vow of silence won't achieve anything either. So, we're forced to speak and express ourselves inaccurately. Say whatever we want and hope that our delivery captures the gist of what we truly mean.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ice cream and music attribute to a great summer.

I'm gradually getting back to the swing of things. My mild insomnia that transpired over the course of the past few months has essentially gone away. Thanks to copious amounts of allergy medication and a fully-booked, tiresome vacation schedule (oxymoron?). Waking up in the early morn like the rest of the world is so refreshing. And of course, nothing beats a hearty breakfast to kick-start a day.

I met Myra early in the afternoon today to catch up and exchange stories, naturally. We stopped by Public Butter in Parkdale just to browse and potentially shop. Myra almost bought a cute little hat straight from the '60s, but she eventually decided against it. That girl. She promises to post more on this here blog, by the way - under the condition of having me point a gun to her head, so to speak. (Her terms, not mine.)
Fast forward to the Big Chill, where The Morning Benders were set to play a free performance - by way of Soundscapes - we all got our much-needed fix of ice cream. The weather wasn't as unbearable as it was in Washington, DC or Woodbridge, VA, where I just recently visited, but it wasn't entirely pleasant either. Hints of nimbus clouds formed to tease us, but it didn't pour. Thank goodness.
Chris from The Morning Benders
The acoustic performance was short and sweet. I think everyone thereafter all proceeded down to Union Station for Metric's "worst-kept-secret" show. By the time we arrived, the streets were already filled with thousands of psyched fans and curious passersby. Unimpressed and totally beat by the increasing temperatures, we didn't stay too long in the sea of people.


"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." - Buddha

I am determined that by the end of the summer, I will become more fluent in understanding the art of buddhist philosophy, with regards to their view on anatta, or "insubstantiality of the ego".

To develop one's self, is actually one of the most challenging aspects of self-realization. Although we may be comfortable with our bodies, and who we are, we still face the many insecurities - many on a daily basis.
Personally, I always seem to find anything and everything to stress over; whether it'd be about school, family, friends, or even little events that come on a rare note, stress piles up, and leaves me feeling a little more insecure about myself.

As I sat on my desk and read hundreds of passages concerning buddhist philosophy, I realized that my mind suddenly cleared: It's fascinating how words can play a vital role in manipulating our emotions. Throughout the time reading up Buddhist Philosophy, I came across these words from Thich Nhat Hanh:

"Live your daily life in a way that you never lose yourself. When you are carried away with your worries, fears, cravings, anger, and desire, you run away from yourself and you lose yourself. The practice is always to go back to oneself."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I never realize...

how much I like being home unless I've been somewhere really different for a while.
- Juno


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

like the sunset.

"Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia." - Charles Schultz

Inspired by the rainy weather, I crawled right back into the endless sea of blankets, and swept right into my bed. Here are some of the tracks I listened to.

With artists such as Dustin O'Halloran, it slipped my mind whether I should look outside my window, to see if the skies had cleared up. Instrumental pieces are always soothing alternatives nearing the end of a busy week.

As we speak, I'm baking some wonderful banana loafs with walnuts. The entire kitchen is perfumed by these little cakes in the oven, kicking off Monday morning with a bang. Cheers to a wonderful week ahead.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

miniature cupboard atop life-size dresser

another one of our thrift finds from today

Thursday, July 15, 2010

human identity.

"Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back—she will hear her heart."
- Paolo Coehlo

Monday, July 12, 2010

champagne supernova.

When you’ve found your once in a lifetime, any time is worth the wait.

I've forgotten how good it feels to wake up, voluntarily, in the early morning. Being quite the nocturnal owl (4AM has nothing on me, folks), I never seem to catch how amazing it feels to prepare breakfast, read over a newspaper, and go for a morning stroll around my neighbourhood.

The goal for the summer is to become much more appreciative of what we have. Start in the morning:

1. Give yourself some time to stretch your body, as you prepare for a stress-free day. Before moving out of my bed, I start up a playlist to get my senses going (check: morning mix)

2. I always prepare some fresh coffee and toast, and some fruits I pick up at the local farmers market. I always prepare breakfast before my shower, so I can take a little more time soaking my body.

3. Don't bother with the T.V, until your ready to head out. I personally feel that watching T.V destroys your natural vibe with the morning, so I instead pick up the newspaper, and get my read on. It's quieter, and much more relaxing, than having a news anchor throw you awkward topics at the speed of sound.

4. Breathe, love. Take some deep breaths, before you read over the daily agenda. This way, you can focus on what is actually important, versus what's on the schedule. I've begun this little routine, and I feel much more eased out throughout the day.

5. Little things add up, m'darlings. Try this routine out, and see how much calmer you become!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A thing of beauty...

is a joy for ever:

Its loveliness increases; it will never 
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep 
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep 
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
- John Keats

Photographs by Elaine Crisostomo


People-watching is always so intriguing. We do it in transit, on the streets, in coffee shops, around campus, and everywhere else we find ourselves in the company of others. There is always something curious about people as strangers. We are hooked by the mystery behind all the faces and the stories hidden behind such characters.

I found this photograph, among others, from an antique store a few months ago.
Scribbled behind it, in cursive, was "Taken Sept 24th, 1924/London".

The concept behind a photograph is quite poetic as it is meant to capture a moment in time and keep it frozen for as long as it can. I may never know what the man in the photo above was like, nor will I find out his name, but I'd like to think his photograph imparts a memory that still lingers to this day.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The heat...

makes me want to crawl back into winter.
view outside Bio room

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Today, I realized how beautiful the sun can be. Summer has definitely begun (with constant work, over-sized bugs, and angry drivers), and I think that we should high-light some pre-check ideas to get your days in motion.

1. Try something invigorating, like cooking. I personally love to cook - making up experiments as I go, so I always end up in control of the things I eat. Try going on food blogs to grab some tips and recipes, so you've got back up plans for these long summer nights. My first place to check out, would probably be Simply Recipes. Don't be afraid of the steps, just make sure you're enjoying what you're creating.

2. Music is essential. Look up music blogs (http://hypem.com), or even mixtapes. I'm currently listening to: Kevin's Mixtape

3. Go for a walk, and explore your area. Snap some pictures, take some walks with pals, grab an iced coffee. Don't stay inside, when the weather's become much more appealing. I always carry around my camera, and my journal: this way, I'll always have something to doodle into, or capture great moments.

Harness that positive energy during the 2-4 months away from school. It's time to focus on personal energy, rather than the energy we reserve for our obligations.
Take time for yourself, and learn to enjoy your own time, with your own rules.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

summer mix

Summer '10 mix
A lot of my friends are out of town, all over Europe, Asia, etc. (Myra's current whereabouts is still unknown. Though, her cryptic e-mail from this morning hints New York.)

This past week, before Georgia left for Rome, I made her a summer mix. Being out of university for the summer has permeated a great deal of sulking, listlessness and overall blasé. And of course, having to face questions about your future at awkward family parties and long-winded lectures by the parental units about what-you're-going-to-do-with-your-life are becoming all the more frequent. It also turns out that I wasn't alone in such an unpleasant position. Hence, I decided to put together a pick-me-up/feel-good mix of sorts.

Browsing through my iTunes, I realized that almost everything I listen to has something to do with loss, grief, bitterness, heartbreak, suicide, unhealthy relationships, deceased lovers, falling out of love, unrequited love... you get the idea. This made the concept of the mix an almost impossible feat.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

hold your breath

I have been coloring my truths with particular care recently.
I have been fully aware of the lines, and kept within them, moving the pen in only two directions, neatly overlapped parallels at a degree.

Today is a recording of vitality, defiant living; following notions that if something exists, then nothing is an impossibility - thus hating quantative measurement and the ideal of “been done”.

Today is a precedent, an islanded precedent, a singular that seems all the more remarkable from my chair, as I watch two vehicles nearly collide, and the silent fury and relief within the respective vehicles. My interpretations allow. There are barely any marks on the road, however, only me and those that saw, saw.

We as humans, are unique as humans.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.