Christmas Wishlist 2016

It’s December!
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The logistics of this year’s Christmas celebrations are already stressing me out so here’s my annual list of shit I want from Santa.

1. Sirius Black Funko Pop

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I’d planned to buy this the minute it became available locally, but never get around to for some reason or another. Ideally, I’d get his boyfriend too, but Funko hasn’t come out with a Lupin Pop yet. Boo. 😦

2. A Kigurumi

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LOOK AT THAT OCTOPUS KIGURUMI. LOOK AT IT.

The skeleton and the midnight cat are my runner ups, but that octopus omg. Living in the tropics, I can’t justify spending for a kigurumi. I still want one though.

3. Tickets to Wicked

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I missed Wicked in Manila the first time around. Planned to watch this second run, but adulting just seems to keep getting in the way.

4. An 8’0 boardbag

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I’m having a bitch of a time trying to look for a bag for my board. The ones I find are usually either for longboards or shortboards. I’ve been using a sock, but it’s such a pain in the arse to put on and take off.

5. The Mexican Wolf Dia de los Muertos Spirithood

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I’m really mad Spirithoods only came out with a Dia de los Muertos-themed hood now. I would have bought this instead of the skunk hood. That lining print’s so pretty. /cry

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Gab, Currently XIII

Commission-ing:

The muses struck the other night, so I’ve got one commission down!

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Tea-ki time. #WIP

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I’ve been having a lot of fun working with markers and non-traditional surfaces. Give me more, universe!

Potterhype

Unpopular opinion: I’m not a huge fan of Rowling’s constant adding and expansion of her universe. I love the Harry Potter series, don’t get me wrong, and I will most likely eat up everything Warner Brothers throws at me, but it just feels like she’s writing fanfiction of her own work and making it canon.

I watched, “Fantastic Beasts…” last weekend. I enjoyed it, but it left me a little underwhelmed. It had had pacing issues, and felt a little disjointed. I did, however, fall in love with Queenie.

I love her so much, you don’t understand. my precious ball of sunshine ❤

The movie might have been meh, but it has rekindled my hype for all things Potter. Timely then, that I should find this photo when I was cleaning my files the other day. It’s from our friends’ cosplay-themed wedding a couple of years ago. Note our matching Resting Bitch Faces. We look like Dumbledore’s just awarded Gryffindor the House Cup. Haha!

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I’ve been in a bad head space for a while now and I could use an excuse to run around in house robes, but I’m also not in the mood to people.

What a loser

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Guess which anal retentive has bought and wrapped half of her Christmas shopping?

In my defense, I needed to get these as soon as I could because I ordered them online and didn’t want shipping issues if I ordered too close to Christmas. I’d get all my gift shopping out of the way now if I could, but I do need to wait for my 13th month to come in. But you know, I’m poor. :))

Rethinking City-zenship

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I have never not lived in a major city. True, Kathmandu isn’t as metropolitan as Manila, but a capital nonetheless. I’ve always said I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but the city. I’m used to being in the centre of things, falling asleep to the sounds of traffic and airplanes overhead. As a kid, spending weekends and holidays at my cousins’ in the suburbs meant sleepless nights because it was just too quiet.

Thanks to surfing, I’ve spent more time out of town in the past two years than the 20 or so years we’ve been in Manila. I recently spent a few days in Zambales and being there on the weekdays made it feel more homey than our usual weekend trips. It it really hit me hard how much I now dislike living in Manila.

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Case in point.

Manila traffic has become increasingly absurd these past couple of years. It can take three hours to get to my  former university in Quezon City. Which, if you drive without rest stops, is the same amount of time it can take you to get to Zambales.

I’m lucky I work from home and don’t have to deal with the traffic on the daily. It’s working remotely that has also made me be more comfortable with being alone, which is one of the reasons I used to hate the idea of life in the province. You’re never really alone in the city, and that’s not as a good of a thing to me anymore.

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Photography by Maybelyn Abuyo

I’ve always been a city mouse, but the sinking feeling in my stomach every time we get to the toll gate that marks our return into the city tells me I’m ready to become a country rat.

Gab, Currently XII

Combo Breaker:

The little painting momentum I got has come to a grinding halt because of life. Which sucks balls because I really thought I had a good thing going. Oh well.

Khursten got me a DIY watercolour postcard pad almost a month ago so I really need to get started on postcards for her and Rotch.

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Asia Pop Comic Con 2016:

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For the second year in a row, my #TitasofCosplay squad and I went as yet another most mismatched cosplay group ever. :)) APCC was pretty fun this year, though I wish it were at the WTC this year as well instead of SMX. A lot of floors to deal with at SMX.

carolcosplay702 Photography & post processing: Mickey Rambaud Galdiano | Galdiano Cosplay Photography

The corridors do make for pretty photos though.

Almost toothless:

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I got careless last weekend in Zambales. A wave dumped on me and slammed my face into my board as I was paddling out. For a second there, I thought I’d lost my two front teeth and it was probably the most scared I’d felt out there in a while.

Still looking forward to getting some quality water time next month, though. Particularly because my insides feel a bit wibbly wobbly and I could use a little quiet from both my surroundings, and my brain haha.

 

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Gab, Currently XI

Art-ing:

Finishing the mermaid piece left me on a high so I though I’d jump right into a Sailor Senshi series I’d been planning for a very long time. Unfortunately, I fucked it up when I started painting, so it’s off to the scrap pile. I did, however, manage to snap a photo of the lineart before I ruined it. IMG_3633

I’m still in mourning, but oh well, that’s life for ya.

Playing:

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I caved and started playing Pokemon Go, although it’s been slow going because working from home doesn’t really get me out of the house. The last time I played Pokemon was in 1999!

Unreliable data has lost me far too many pokemon. /Shakes fist at Philippine Telcos.

Cosplay Prep!

My Carol costume is 99% ready. Meaning it’s basically ready, but I will no doubt find something new to tweak right up til it’s time to leave for the con.

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Bought the cloth in January, got back in touch with my usual tailor, made too many 8-point stars, but I’m pretty much ready. I can allow myself to be excited for comic con.

Gab, Currently X

Sick and Tired and Tanned:

I think it’s going to be a 30’s thing that I’m sick on my birthday every year. As we speak, I’m still physically weak and have a hacking cough because I overexerted myself surfing two weekends ago.

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📷: Vien Gil

It’s pretty frustrating whenever I start to make real progress on my board, I get swamped for months and when I finally get back in the water, it’s back to square one. Planning to spend about a week at Crystal later this year so my board and I can get a proper honeymoon. 😛

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6am bikini wax haha! 👙🏄🏽

Umaarte:

If we’re friends on Instagram, you’ve noticed I’ve started drawing again, yay! Still pencil/tech pen stuff until I’ve replenished my art supplies.

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Pretty relieved that I can draw again. Was so unmotivated and uninspired for the longest time, I thought I’d never get back on the saddle.

Listening:

Without irony, I really like this song. It makes me wanna throw on a pair of booty shorts and flip my hair as I, ahem, work from home oh, oh, oh-oh.

Watching:

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Having inherited my mother’s love for historical fiction, I’m a sucker for a good costume drama. Which is what Outlander is, but I can’t quite decide if I like it or not.

The problem is, it’s part historical fiction, part bodice-ripping-Fabio-on-the-cover-cheap-romance-novel.

Love the former, hate the latter. I’m stuck halfway through season two because I can’t bring myself to plough through the bits I don’t like to get to the good parts: Like what looks to be the Battle of Culloden based on the tumblr gif sets.

Murtagh is my favourite, though. Such a grumpy tsundere nanny-man.

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Gab, Currently IX

I’ve had this entry in my drafts for four weeks, so it’s about time I publish it, yes? Kept putting it off because current events in the Philippines have been well bad for the past month or so and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to talk about it or not. Sunday triggered a pretty bad episode for me so in the words of Miranda Hart, let’s say no more of and on with the show.

Manners Maketh (Wo)Men:

Went to NexCon3 a few weekends ago. Mostly because it was an excuse to meet up with my #TitasofCosplay squad, who I don’t really get to see often anymore. We did an all-girl Kingsman group, because this is what happens when you get semi-retired cosplayers who have no time to make proper costumes at a con together: they refuse to go in civvies. Hahaha!

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Kings(wo)men: Gazelle, Roxy, Eggsy, Harry, Merlin
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Titas of Cosplay

Watching:

I am officially all caught up with Doctor Who! Well, sort of. I did skip the majority of Eleventh’s last series because 1) Eleventh really got on my nerves, and 2) It jumped the shark. I hope the writing gets better when Series 10 airs next year, because I quite like Twelfth even if his episodes are hit and miss.

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I still think I’d make a terrible companion on account of all the cardio it entails.

I said I was going to start on season two of Daredevil once I was done with DW, but instead I’ve been binging on Travel Man, which brings together two things I love: Travel and Richard Ayoade (who is not a thing, but a person).

It has ruined all other travel shows for me. As far as I’m concerned, if it doesn’t have deadpan, snarky commentary and hosts that are only mildly enjoying themselves some of the time, I’m not interested. Of course, my favourite episode is the one with Noel Fielding because Ayoade with Fielding is best.

Cupping!

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This month marks my first cycle on a cup and it’s awesome! Not gonna lie, I had a pretty awkward and uncomfortable first day, but it’s been smooth sailing after that. I totally understand Julie’s enthusiasm in trying to convert me to a cup years ago, because now I want to go up to anyone with ovaries and tell them to switch.

I thought about doing a separate entry on it, but Noelle has a pretty comprehensive blog about it here, if you wanna learn more about switching to a menstrual cup.

If I’m not Filipino and I’m not Nepali, What am I?

I’ve always been aware of my lack of cultural identity. I’m Filipino by ethnicity and citizenship and Nepali by osmosis. In terms of culture, I feel like I don’t have an anchor. If I’m not Filipino and I’m not Nepali, what am I?

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Patan Durbar Square

I’m a former expat kid. I was three when my dad’s work brought us to Nepal. I could say I felt more Nepali, as I was fluent in Nepali but not in Tagalog, went to a local school, and celebrated Hindu & Newari festivals, but the truth is I’d felt just as odd in Kathmandu as I do in Manila. My brother and I were the only non-Nepali kids in our whole school and the only full-Filipinos among our non-school friends.

When we moved back to Manila a few months shy of my ninth birthday, classmates called me maarte because I couldn’t speak Tagalog. If we’re with our Nepali friends, who consider my brother and I as one of them, I feel horrible because I don’t understand Nepali anymore.

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Third grade class photo

When Manila friends talk about home towns/provinces, I immediately think of Kathmandu. But when I visited Nepal a few years ago, I nearly had a breakdown at the entrance to one of the UNESCO Heritage Sites because I realised I wasn’t a local anymore. I was a tourist, being charged exorbitant tourist prices because I couldn’t speak the language anymore.

So if I’m not Filipino and I’m not Nepali, what am I?

Mha Puja (?)

It was a cousin, who’d spent most of his childhood in Tanzania and Kenya, who first introduced the term Third Culture Kid to me.

Third culture kid (TCK) is a term used to refer to children who were raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years.

…The first culture of children refers to the culture of the country from which the parents originated, the second culture refers to the culture in which the family currently resides, and the third culture refers to the amalgamation of these two cultures.

…Third culture individuals can also be referred to as cultural hybrids, cultural chameleons, and global nomads.

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Christmas pageant at my preschool.

With the popularity of low-cost carriers, international travel has become a huge thing among people my age. Which is great, don’t get me wrong. I don’t think I could have afforded to go back to Kathmandu if not for LCCs, but it also comes with this romanticisation of being rootless, of being restless, of wanderlust, which annoys me.

I feel like a lot of people romanticise these ideas but don’t think of how disjointed and othered it can feel. I know it makes me sound like a hypocrite since there’s nothing I love more than visiting other countries, but I think what makes travel great is the concept of home. I’ve been living in the Philippines  for 20 years now, and it still doesn’t feel like home. It still feels temporary.

So if I’m not Filipino and I’m not Nepali, what am I?

I guess Third Culture Kid is the closest I’m going to get. It’s not the answer I’ve been looking for, but it’s an answer nonetheless and I can live with that. 🙂

p.s Here’s a great TED talk on TCKs

Gab, Currently VIII

Hullo, it’s been a while. I had a New Year’s post planned, I really did, but it just stagnated in my drafts and there’s not much point in it now, seeing as it’s March.

I haven’t been updating because I’ve been dead inside for a while now and am not really in a sharing mood. So this is me, attempting to pull my head out of my arse and get something done that doesn’t involve work or sulking in bed.

Sort of. I’m not really getting out of bed much, but I am not sulking. Because Netflix. Blessed, cursed Netflix.

Watching:

I have started down the rabbit hole that is Doctor Who. Not for lack of want, mind. I’ve been wanting to start on it for years but was too lazy to download so many episodes. Thank the universe for streaming.

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The downside to this is, I have a lot feelings about things my Whovian friends have already moved on from. Like Eccleston’s short run as the Doctor. Not that I don’t like Tennant, but I’m two episodes shy of finishing Series 3, and I still miss Eccleston.

For someone who gets overly attached to fictional characters, it’s obvious getting hooked on this show is not the wisest thing hahaha! It’s taking all of my self-control to limit myself to 3-4 episodes a day and not skive off work.

Living unhealthy:

I haven’t been to the gym in months and I miss it terribly. My usual gym closed down for renovations at the beginning of the year and I still haven’t figured out where to go. I’m mostly dreading having to get to know a new trainer. Just when I’d broken in my trainer and bought new running shoes.

The lack of exercise has been taking a toll on me, I think. I’ve been gloomier than usual, cramping’s regressing back to near-unbearable, and my sleep pattern’s completely out of whack.

“Quitting” Cosplay:

My friends are sick of me saying that I’m going to retire from cosplay. The longest I’ve gone was 3 years, I think. After Peggy, I thought I’d quietly go back to cosplay retirement. I only really wanted to do that costume for my first comic con overseas, anyway. Two months ago, Rotch and Rael asked me to tag along when they went to source materials for their Kingsman costumes. Predictably, I went home with 5 yards of cloth and no idea where to find a new tailor who sews spandex. (I lost contact with my usual one when they moved workshops.)

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Oh cosplay, why can’t I quit you?

Of New Tattoos and Fictional Boyfriends:

…for with Jo, brain developed earlier than heart, and she preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen ‘til called for, and latter were less manageable. — Little Women

I’d been planning a Harry Potter-related tattoo for years now, but could never decide on what. I knew I wanted something small and subtle – something like the Hallows, only not the Hallows haha!

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In the end, it took a month-long fanfic binge (prompted by this article a friend shared on Facebook) for me to decide on something for my favourite Marauder and fictional boyfriend of my teenage years, Sirius Black.

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So this just happened. 💀

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Sirius’ Azkaban Prison number is my smallest tattoo to date, but it was the hardest for me to sit for. I don’t think I’ll be getting any more work done on my ribs. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life. Haha!

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Happy early Christmas, self!