Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Birthday Card. Ever.

The Best Birthday Card Ever!

I woke up late today and found this on my breakfast plate, with a little shell, and kisses from my one and only darling niece. *** LOVE ***

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ink Mix Recipes

Based on VegasPens' (Darlene) question on Twitter: "What kinds of inks do you like to mix together?" Mabeloos asked me to combine my ink mixes in one post for her reference. Actually some of these I learned from The Fountain Pen Network, some via trial and error:

5:1 Parker Quink Blue to Parker Quink Black make a great Blue-Black that doesn't turn teal.

3:1 Parker Quink Green to Waterman Havana Brown was inspired by Herbin's Lie de The. If you don't like "muddy" old-fashioned colors, this might not be for you.

3:1 Rotring Brilliant Red to Rotring Brilliant Blue make something not quite purple but lovely and retro-looking when used in a Pelikan.

3:1 Parker Quink Green to Parker Quink Black to make something close to Herbin's Vert Empire or Noodler's Zhivago. You can add more black by the drops to your preference.

2:1 Parker Quink Blue to Waterman Purple to "tame" the purple.

3: 1: 1/2 Rotring Brilliant Red to Waterman Purple to Parker Quink Black/Waterman Black. You can try using a brighter red, like Waterman or Parker Red, and it will come out looking like what I'd call Roasted Cranberry. Without the black, I call it Alugbati, which is the purplish berry of a Philippine leafy vegetable we used to wear as "play lipstick" when we were little kids.

Please use a syringe, and write each recipe down in your notebook with a writing sample as soon as you get the color you like. Please do not mix alkaline inks with other inks, and most of all, please do not mix iron gall inks with other inks. Please do not make any quantity larger than 3ml so that when you get tired of it you can recreate the color without wasting ink.

To refill empty cartridges, use the syringe and reseal with a drop of hot glue from a glue gun. Try not to make too many cartridge refills since they do eventually evaporate. Always put in ziploc bags when storing in your handbag to avoid staining your other items.

Of course I always write this advice down but I never seem to make the writing samples with the reviews and the q-tip swabs and the F/M/B comparisons because I prefer to write snail mail and other longer things.

I hope this has been useful!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Sky Was My Ceiling

I haven't attended a UP Lantern Parade in ages. I can't even remember when the last time was. Maybe it was when I was still an undergrad, when I was actually IN the parade, not watching it. Some friends of mine attend, like it was part of some great big pilgrimage. If I lived nearer campus, I probably wouldn't miss it. All that creativity! All that energy! The cold air!

Last night I was at the Christmas party of my high school batchmates. Across me was Ney, who this morning was attempting to break 60 minutes in her 10k run. That reminded me of January 2008 when I joined the UP Centennial Run, the 5k leg. It was still dark when we started running, and the fairy lights were still on in the bushes, and there was a huge swathe of mist in the air. It was cold. I was wearing two layers of running jersey. I was shivering. UP was beautiful.

It used to be that whenever I would dream of home, it would be of this place. I never dream of the place where I live now. They say the home in your head is the home of your heart - that is, of your childhood, if you had a happy one. Mine was extremely happy. I remember cool mornings, walking around campus with six dogs, with friends, chatting about everything and nothing. The air was clean. There was green everywhere. Time was slow under the acacia arches.

After the Lantern Parade people used to gather at the Sunken Garden for a concert, to grill some barbecue, to laze about on sleeping bags and have a forbidden (within school perimeter) beer. It would be the last day of the academic year, and people would celebrate. One morning I woke up, and the sky was my bedroom ceiling. Three of my close friends were snoring nearby on their sleeping bags. It was amazing we were not arrested; we were the only people left in the entire Sunken Garden. The sun was just about to rise. I looked around, with this sense that the dawn seemed unreal. I was shivering; UP was cold. And so beautiful.

Monday, December 14, 2009



Here's a slideshow someone made of UP Integrated School Class of 1984's Silver Jubilee and alumni homecoming:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

What's In A Word?


When my sister was very young, she loved the Christmas song "Joy To The World", because her name is Joy. But she didn't know all the words to the song, so she used to sing

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come

It was so cute we made her sing it over and over. She was teased about this so often, she ended up learning the rest of the song very fast.


A generation later, when Joy's daughter Lilo turned four, she learned to sing "Joy To The World". She didn't have to go through the WA-TI route, but she did sing this:

"Joy to the world, the Lord is come
Let earth receive her King
Let HAIRY heart, prepare him room..."

Lilo's actually very articulate, but up to now she still asks us to "merove" something from her play table. Her dad actually misses the days she used to be afraid of the "kunder" and the lightning.