Friday, September 23, 2005

I haven't signed my name in 6 years

My aunt needed a wedding gift and wanted to know if I had any paintings left over from my old series. Not wanting to turn her down, I suggested that I make her a new one.

So after 3 almost-sleepless nights (not consecutive, thank God!) I'm done and quite tired but happy that I'm painting.

Some compositions are a piece of cake, but this one was a bit more complicated than my previous one. I remember sitting there in the middle of the night thinking how I was gonna mix pink and green without getting things muddy and still convey volume. Pardon me, I can't help it. Sometimes I just miss the shop talk.

In the end, when I finally got the effect that I wanted, I got that "hey, I did it" feeling all over again. I remembered what I told myself every day I was in art school: "The more I know, the more I realize that I don't know." No, that wasn't a tongue-twister. Trust me it makes sense. And do forgive my rambling on; my brain has been reduced to slush after only 3 hours' sleep.

Mom saw me through the process - she of the late nights at the computer. At half past 5 she passed by my room to see how I was doing. I mentioned that I was hungry and she got me some hopia on a tissue because my hands were stained with paint and linseed oil. Now who else can you count on to give you hopia at 5 AM? I thank God every day for the mom that I have.

I told my mom that I was planning to sign my name on the back since the painting was relatively small. She disagreed. "Of course you should sign it," she said. It got me thinking. I'm sure that my aunt would want her friend to know that I had done it. And after all, I've signed and sold scores of paintings.

So I chose a spot and mixed my color. And that's when I realized - I hadn't signed my name in a painting for 6 years! My last show was in November 1999. After so many years, I'd forgotten why I kept such tiny, fine-haired brushes! I thought they were just for irises in tiny portraits, or for baby's breath stems. Gee, it's been a long time.

Do pardon me; I really am so tired. Just wanted to share the good news. In spite of the late nights, painting does make me happy. I just have to figure out a better way to do it. Maybe I should stick to a smaller sized canvas. Or just use pastels. Whatever. I'm glad.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kitchen insanity

Last Saturday I decided to cook for my family and friends. Just 2 dishes, since I really don't cook: our famous carbonara, and Lemon Chicken Caper, a recipe from my officemate.

Here's what I learned from the whole experience.

1. Women who can cook a delicious meal and still look good are goddesses.
How do they do it? I only had to cook 2 dishes, but I had help from my mom, my sis, and our kitchen helper. And don't forget other details like the salad, garlic bread, serving dishes, and ice.

2. Never cook a first-time dish for a big group.
It looks easy enough when you read the recipe - but it's a different story when you're doing it from beginning to end. First-time dishes are fine for a regular day, but you don't need the pressure when you have to entertain guests as well. Thank God that these people are all family to me.

3. Stick to the recipe.
Improvising is okay, but not for first-time recipes. Save the fine-tuning for later. No matter how much of a hurry you're in, resist the temptation to pour in the whole bottle of capers when the recipe calls for only 4 tablespoons. :D

4. Have mom in the kitchen.
Or someone like her, to build your confidence. Though she isn't a cook, my mom's always supportive, never puts anyone down and always helps out. I'm a lucky gal ain't I?

5. Taste the salad dressing first.
I just grabbed the first bottle I saw, assuming that it was the one my mom told me about. By the time I sat down to eat most of the guests had finished their salad - too late! My apologies to the unsuspecting victims, myself included.

6. Have at least one back-up.
One sure-fire dish that you didn't cook yourself. Grill Queen to the rescue!

7. Prepare post-meal snacks and/or activities.
Some love coffee; others like nuts. For us, Doritos and and Playstation 2 did the trick. Not to mention chocolate truffles (including take-home) for Gai.

But what I learned most was that my family loves me. Because my sister fussed over the carbonara. Because my mom stuck it out in the kitchen with me. Because nobody complained about the sub-standard salad dressing. (Fie Craving's Ceasar's salad dressing!) And because they ate everything that I served.

I didn't get a rave review that day but the fact that all that carbonara was wiped out the following day convinced me that it wasn't bad at all. In fact, it was quite good.

Well. Practice makes perfect. But I promise myself that I'll take up a cooking class someday. Fiiind.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Okay, so I was posting a new entry to this blog but then my officemate Mondo came in with a tray full of cold cuts and cheese - his birthday treat.

L-R: Lala a.k.a. Babes, Joaqui, Sonny a.k.a. Buboy, Ace a.k.a. H_ _ K _ E , the birthday boy, Bernice, and moi

Judith offered a bottle of cabernet suavignon and would you believe that after only 2 glasses (I mean, mugs) I already have a buzz. Suffice it to say that as far as I am concerned the workweek is done (at least until this happy-happy-joy-joy feeling wears off).

Long live MOnDo! Cheers!