Latest Posts

monday

Hello, it’s a Monday

Welcome, again, to another installment of my shitty titling practice, carried over from my LiveJournal days. I’m really trying—because it has become very hard to sift through old posts when all you have to go by are song lyrics stuck in your head at the time—but, I think you can tell how hard a time I’m having by the totally lackluster and, also pretty nondescript title.

But yes, trying.

Poems & perfume / 🍃 clean, sopy scent by @radioactivemushroomsitf — #CarinaReads2016

A photo posted by Carina (@presidents) on

Since I didn’t do The Sunday Currently yesterday (not that it’s a regular occurrence—overexplaining, again), on account of I was actually reading stuff, I wanted to talk a little bit about that. I finished two short books yesterday, a tiny, tiny Sappho volume—which was good, but I don’t think is a great overall representation, for obvious reasons—and a Wayne Thiebaud interview/conversation which totally inspired me, by way of making art for the act of making it. Like an exploration or something. I’m really not very trained with materials, especially working with mostly collages (so, found objects, paper, composition; not actual handling of mediums), so it was quite interesting to read about paint, how they handled it, and then wanting to try and learn about it by making stuff that no one has to see. If that makes sense. Different story, but something I thought about quite a bit, too.

And maybe it’s indulgent to have no sort of statement or political message or whatever, in the grand scheme of things, but there’s something exhilarating when you think about paint and paper and light, and what you can do with them.

The book is called Episodes with Wayne Thiebaud and it’s essentially a series of conversations with Eve Aschheim and Chris Daubert, and man, it really was pretty extensive. It’s mainly a transcript, but it was quite nice to read anyway. I loved his approach to art (being commercially-trained, and then living away from any sort of big “art locus” like New York later in his life) and the chismis about artists like Ad Reinhardt and Barnett Newman (as in suing because of name-calling, i.e. one likened the other to a prostitute), because of course I would enjoy that. (Sorry.)

Speaking of books, Penguin Books UK and Design Museum instigated #FontSunday yesterday, and you know, so many vintage covers were so clever. I wonder what happened to book design, on the whole… I mean, I still love a lot of book covers, obviously, and #NotAllBookCovers of yore were great, obviously, but it feels like there was something visually appealing and quite playful about old covers. I mean, I think so. Anyway, here are the covers I posted in participation:

I really can’t get over the Mendelsund ones for James Joyce. He blogged about that a little over here, but I had the pleasure of listening to him speak briefly about it (among other things!) about a year and a half ago when I went to the States. Petra asked if I wanted to hear him speak at McNally Jackson.


A creepy shot from 88 weeks ago. But Petra! And Peter Mendelsund!

I still listen to the conversation quite often (because I recorded it…) and hearing him shift careers well into his life from being a classical pianist—practicing from the age of 4!—to a pretty successful book designer (whose work I enjoy) is always an encouragement to me, she who is perpetually confused about what to do about life. In terms of my “purpose” (yech) and otherwise.

Also, this weekend, I saw The Blair Witch Project for the first time, and for a straight-up wuss, I was not as scared as I thought I would be. (Tintin will probably deny and say that I was buried quite low in my seat, but I will deny this.) The most horrific things about the screening were a) some post-Blair Witch occurrences that the producer, Kevin Foxe, disclosed, such as the actors not getting jobs when it aired because the distributors refused to correct their IMDB bios from “deceased” to, well, “alive and looking for work,” and of course, The Blair Witch Project 2, and b) it’s a Monday and I still feel fucking dizzy as shit.

I’d say that it still holds up pretty well, though perhaps as kind of a pioneering force in film and not so much a horror movie, though that’s probably because I know now that this wasn’t actually found footage, etc etc. When you try to make sense of it, the myth kind of falls apart on itself, but I think I would have been terrified for a good long while had I seen this as a kid. Though I may also have been too busy throwing up.

Do you think I want to be this kind of person? No, I do not. — #midori #mtn #mycapitalisthell

A photo posted by Carina (@presidents) on

I posted this photo a few days ago, and someone asked for my set-up. I actually still have a Hobonichi that I’ve given up trying to make my “planner” and is now a sort of diary/journal type thing for day-to-day things—when I remember to write in it—and a Sunday Paper Co planner for something else, but as for my Traveler’s Notebooks:

  • Black regular size: my newest one and has a blank Midori insert that’s more of a sketchbook/standard issue journal for when I’m feeling wordy and/or restless, and also a “big” Field Notes insert that is my general “bullet journal” for the year. I had been using a large Leuchtturm 1917 but I got tired of bringing it around, because it was heavy and had a lot of unnecessary information for day-to-day planning, so I transferred data out of that and into the FN, and that’s what I’m working with right now. This mostly stays at home unless I know I have time to draw and write aimlessly.
  • Brown passport: has 1 Field Notes insert (currently using a “reticle-graph,” which is a cross between graph and dot grid) that’s basically a catch-all notebook, and a plastic zipper case that acts as my wallet, pretty much.
  • Star Ferry/camel passport: has a Field Notes weekly agenda insert for forward-planning, and a Field Notes ledger insert as a daily bullet journal for tasks, both are from the Ambition edition from 2014

If you have any questions about this or anything else, let me know. I’m the type of person who enjoys very detailed set-up posts, but I don’t know about you.

I have a few things planned for the week, and I’m already dreading it. I think writing this is my act of self-sabotaging rebellion, because I did indeed have other things I should have taken care of, but you know. My anxiety has been off-the-charts recently, and I’d like to blame The Blair Witch Project for my prolonged nausea, but I know that it’s something else. I’m looking to see someone about it. Soon, I hope. I just have to get these other real life things I have to do out of the way.

tsc29

The Sunday Currently Vol. 29

Reading

I’ve been reading a lot of comics (let me know if you want to hear about them?) but my main point of concern currently is Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt upon which Carol was based. It’s really, really beautiful; I’ve just been very distracted so it’s a little slow going.

Writing

Some fiction, some… I don’t know. Introspection. Some ideas. Just some things.

Listening

I’ve been on an intense Okkervil River kick that started today. “Okkervil River RIP,” off their forthcoming album, Away, is so, so, so gorgeous:

Other than that, I’ve been preoccupied with Wolf Parade’s Apologies to the Queen Mary (ofc) and their new EP, EP 4:

Also been listening to a lot of Brand New (Deja Entendu is always, as Jamie has said) and The National (happy ninth birthday, Boxer—you know I dreamed about you, for twenty-nine years, before I saw you)!

Thinking

You know when you’ve thought so much about stuff that you’ve ceased to make delineations or like, sense… so when someone asks you “What are you thinking?” you can’t seem to give a decent answer. So, that. Also, a lot about drugs, and addiction, and compassion, and empathy… And music, and death, and responsibility, and perspective. Just. It’s been a lot.

Wishing

For motivation and bravery and patience.

Hoping

I don’t get sick this week? My body is breaking down, I swear.

Loving

WILL SHEFF.

Wanting

I want to eat better, and to learn how to take care of myself instead of relying on other people.

Needing

Um, to figure out how to do the above ^^ want.

Feeling

Not quite as filled with dread as I had been feeling.

Clicking

Geraldine Roman wants to be more than just ‘the transgender congresswoman’ on CNN Philippines Life
Songs We Love: Okkervil River, ‘Okkervil River R.I.P.’ on NPR
How Blac Chyna Beat The Kardashians At Their Own Game on BuzzFeed
Revisitation Rights on Young Star (something I wrote about revisiting media you love)

The Sunday Currently was originally created by SiddaThornton

JanuaryDailies

January 2016

Housekeeping, keeping house. I was thinking about February in particular the other day, and how it felt so far away, but how—when you look at the calendar—not really that much time has passed. I think I mentioned somewhere that I started the year with quite an obsessive need to document everything… that didn’t carry on for the rest of the year, to be honest, haha. Here’s what January looked like, anyway.

(I made a post about exhibits & the mix I made)

A notable food discovery c/o Raymond: Oyasumi Ramen along P. Guevarra St. in San Juan. I had the black pepper ramen, and although many of the offerings they had sound good, I kind of never want to change my order again. They started projecting Spirited Away on the wall once it got dark enough.

Untitled

Untitled

Funny story, we had a family cover story thing for Northern Living, which came out in February, just in time for Art Fair Philippines (which I posted about hurr). I don’t think I actually knew it was a cover shoot until that day or the day before that.

Untitled

Untitled
Ryan and Garovs (Everywhere We Shoot) took the photos!

And an intermission of some gratuitous Noah pictures: look at how he was sitting in the first picture with me, I cry. In the second photo, he was so fixated on the balloons!
Untitled

We shot our cover shoot for the special Art Fair Philippines x The Philippine Star magazine thing. Which was stressful but enjoyable.
Untitled

Untitled

Untitled
Lewk at me, destined to be on my knees, in the presence of beautiful girls. 🙃

Untitled

This is how the actual Northern Living cover and the P.S. Art Fair PH mag turned out:

A photo posted by Carina (@presidents) on

We were working on the magazine with Maine in EDSA BDG and ran into David Ong, who I met just that night. He proceeded to make us some cocktails, and they were so good. I was in heaven, honestly. I wish I remembered what they were, but he said he just made them up right there, lol. Isn’t that insane?

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled
We literally had to tap out because Maine had to drive home and Raymond had dinner. Four cocktails in, and I was ready to pass out. We kind of downed them pretty quickly, though. Anyway, basta masarap lahat ng ininom ko, and I wasn’t really a cocktail person before this. But now, I’m like—try everything!

The drink David made us with the egg whites was out of this world, though. I think it still holds top spot in my heart.

Untitled
Met up with Pam, Tata, and Apple for lunch, too. But I wasn’t smart enough to propose a photo before Pam had to go back to her office. Excellent. Still some of my favorite people, even though we all just probably get to see each other once or twice a year, max.

Untitled
Then, because we both suck at proposing meet-ups, Isa and I really tried to see each other for lunch this week. I was mostly distracted (sorry, Isa) because that was the day Zayn’s first ever solo single dropped (“Pillowtalk”) so I was a little stupid that day. Again, sorry Is. Also photographed is Noah next to a pile of acrylic backing I was discarding. I’d been working on my pieces for Art Fair and he was keeping me company:

Untitled

Also, my Ramesh package came in the mail. I was pretty ecstatic, because I’d been waiting for this since 2013. For serious. Anyway, the book is beautiful. I wish more people could see it.

Untitled

Oversharing 6

Oversharing No. 6: Politicking

If you’ve engaged with me in real life over the last two weeks or so, you may have noticed an increase in political interest, as far as what I have to say. I don’t know nearly as much as I probably ought to, and I have been trying to better inform myself about the affairs of this country in whatever way I can, but I suppose I felt the need to write this stuff down, post-elections, and post #RP69FanFic/tion and #RPNonFiction—two Twitter hashtags that tell very different stories.

It’s safe to say that I grew up fairly safe against most Martial Law horrors. All I knew about it was that there was a curfew, and people obeyed the law, and that you couldn’t really travel, that things like luxury cars were offered to close friends, and things like M&Ms were contraband. I knew that the government was stricter, that people got away with less awful things. I was frustrated with the administrations that followed, because it seemed to me like we were set on a path of regression.

As I grew up and learned more about the other side of the coin, so to speak, I felt so ashamed of the position I held—of declaring certainties, which were certainties only to me, publicly. It felt irresponsible that I hadn’t paid more attention to what happened aside from the stories that surrounded me.

Just because the horrifying things didn’t happen to me, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t happen.

When people actively try to tell you that these are the things you never knew about or were never taught or your family wasn’t aware of—especially since the media was heavily monitored the administration that carried out these heinous things—I don’t think it’s ever wise to hold your hands over your ears and refuse to listen. Listen to everything, then pick your side. It’s hard to not be biased, but when presented with truths that don’t sit well with you, it’s okay to change your mind. We are constantly finding out about facts and bits of buried history, so I honestly don’t think it’s ever too late to reevaluate, as you get more informed.

But anyway. I realized that I don’t have time to argue with Marcos apologists, with those who honestly think that Martial Law was good for our country, with those who admit that it wasn’t yet still chose to support someone who, to this day, directly benefits, profoundly, from it. I fundamentally can’t accept this, and I’ve tried my best to reach out to people like me who didn’t experience it firsthand or didn’t have family who did. We owe it to ourselves to learn, but I’m not interested in arguing with anyone anymore. I feel like rejecting other people’s stories and the context of Martial Law and the Marcos Dictatorship in its entirety, is willful ignorance, and that’s ultimately on you.

So, onto the thing that’s been keeping me up at night and has instilled in me some kind of permanent coating of dread all over my body. The Duterte presidency, in its current manifestation, is something that has not, so far, made sense to me. When it was clear he was going to win, I think a part of me felt like it died (dramatic, I know), but I wanted to be a “good citizen” and support the government and “do my part” and it was easier to find the energy to feel these things then. Right now, it just feels like a death sentence for a lot of things like due process, and honestly, it’s just fucking terrifying to see how things are kind of unfolding right now.

Right after the elections, I had been approaching everything with a “wait and see” attitude, because I did realize that it’s unfair to judge someone without letting them make their moves first. And of course, I really want to like the guy. I’ve been saying over and over, that it’s not about the candidates that we root for, but that it ultimately has to benefit the Philippines and our countrymen. So, if he is the best bet, I will support it. But every move he’s made so far has just turned this liquid dread inside my chest into something solid and permanent-seeming. I just don’t know how to get out of this situation, and I guess we’re all going to have to ride it out… and it is honestly so terrifying to me that we have literally no other choice but to “wait and see.”

Anyway, maybe I’m being irrationally scared about this, though I don’t think that I am. I have to keep reminding myself that if I’m in the position that I am able to help make the situation better for others, I ought not to ignore that. It’s not the end until it’s the end, even though it feels like it sometimes.

Header image is from the Esquire Dec 2015 issue. Words by Luis Katigbak, art by Kristine Caguiat.

Carol, 2015

Casual Consumption No. 14

I should pace myself better with these entries, but you know. This is a fine way to really edit my media/whatever consumption to just the things that have really made their mark on me. Even though I probably have consumed way more “good” things.

I think we should make more room for meaningful connections, probably. There’s so much detritus, it’s hard to figure out who you are and what things mean to you these days. Perhaps that’s just me. Plus, who am I to talk when I’ve been watching so much trash television anyway?

Transparent season 1

Okay, so this isn’t trash television. Au contraire, it’s possibly one of the best seasons of T.V. I’ve witnessed in my life. If you aren’t familiar with the premise of Transparent, it follows an aging father who’s slowly transitioning (get it? Trans Parent?) and gets “caught” by one of his daughters a little prematurely. The show follows the family as they go through this together, and it’s really a rather nuanced way of approaching this issue, as well as some “fringe” sexualities, etc. Much of media these days queerbait and only ever consider trans stories because it’s such a hot topic these days, but I feel like this particular show handled these stories well and respectfully, never going into full-on sob story territory.

cb1

And even though she is a minor character in this series, Carrie Brownstein’s Syd was someone I really enjoyed watching onscreen. Like, really enjoyed. Like, I’m probably a little bit in love with her right now.

Mind of Mine by ZAYN

Anyway, so I had to mention it somewhere. I was planning on writing a full review, but as time went on, I found myself not having much to say about it. I’m super proud of this record in that it is something so different from One Direction, something that Zayn has stated he has been wanting to explore more of. So in that regard, I’m glad that he was able to explore and tap into that side of him a little bit more.

So, although I liked majority of the album, I did find Mind of Mine a little meandering, with some tracks a little bit generic, probably only really saved from blandness by his own damn voice, which let’s be real, is angelic. I don’t feel like MoM quite reaches the rawness and openness of fellow Malay-produced artist, Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange, but I think there are merits to this solo album that came out so soon after he left One Direction.

In the interest of indulging nosiness, my favorite tracks are: “Mind of Mine (Intro),” “It’s You,” “Befour,” “Drunk,” “Intermission: Flower,” “Fool For You,” “TiO,” and “Blue.” That’s a lot, but I’m probably being quite generous, as I love him, as you know.

Dear Distance and Happy Endings by Luis Katigbak

I read Dear Distance early in the year and fell in love with the stories, rationing the slim volume because I never wanted to run out of his words. When Luis passed away, I reached for his first short story collection, Happy Endings, which I had stored in an unused bookshelf. Petra lent (gave?) it to me in high school, and I guess I had planned on returning it but never did. I had forgotten a lot of the stories, so it was nice revisiting them. I don’t feel like this is a place for a review, really, but if you manage to find a copy, do yourself a favor and get it for yourself.

Luis Katigbak

A photo posted by carina (@presidents) on

The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith and Carol, 2015

I snagged this copy of The Price of Salt before meeting BP for lunch a few weeks ago, even though it was kind of painfully expensive, as it was the only edition I had seen so far that I really liked. I watched Carol first, then I began reading this (still not finished), and it really enriched my experience of it, made Therese’s longing that much more acute and realized. This is my first Patricia Highsmith novel, and I’m just so in love with it.

2016-carol4

Carol was a beautiful film, the kind that makes you root for love.

Hurry Home & Rest by No Rome

BP lent me this EP by No Rome, and like, I’m really not the best judge of music. I just like shit or I don’t—that’s the extent of my critique, because that’s all I know how to do. So I hesitate to “critique” this beyond “I really like it,” my attention especially trained on “Adore” and “Rest_Less.” To be honest, I’m drawn to the entire EP, even though I generally don’t like it when remixes of a single song is how EPs end (I get why they’re put in the end; I just feel weird about multiple remixes on EPs and albums), but that just gives me more of a reason to start it back up again.

Cell-O-Phane by The Buildings

I missed The Buildings’ launch of Cell-O-Phane, which is a pretty long album that really pulled me in, because it played on my nostalgia so much. Even though The Buildings is comprised of cool people who are almost a decade younger than me. I’m fucking old. In any case, I was literally transported back to the days when I scoured record stores for something new to listen to that wasn’t corny acoustic albums or pop I wasn’t interested in. It spoke to then-me, kind of like a time machine of sorts. I’m attached to “Different Shades of Blue,” particularly.

Itch by Mich Cervantes

A photo posted by carina (@presidents) on

So I kind of fell in love with Itch, as short a volume as it is (which, to be honest, I wish it was longer). I always wondered how hard it probably is to coordinate as an artist with a writer, and vice versa, when it comes to comics and graphic novels, but Mich is both in this regard. This came out last year, but I only got a copy of it last week when I went to Mow’s. Anyway, this is a great coming-of-age story that I feel like fills a gap, currently. I don’t think very many stories address sexual exploration and identity as openly and safely as this one, since it seems to still be a taboo topic, even though it shouldn’t be. The art is beautiful, too.

The Faith Diaries

The Faith Diaries is a web series companion that follows the first season’s finale of UnReal—another non-trash T.V. show you should probably add to your to-watch list—that follows one of the character’s journey as she explores her very queer leanings. The episodes are short, about five minutes, and the typical talking heads shots of vlogs and web series are interspersed with the actual scenes (which, I suppose, we’re supposed to ignore?). Anyway, I don’t want to give too much away, but the final episodes’ final “confrontation” was so moving to me that I was brought to tears.

If you are struggling with your own identity, and feelings of acceptance, especially your own, please consider watching it, even if you don’t really know what happened on UnReal, prior to this web series. It honestly helped me sort through some shit, and I wasn’t expecting it to.

Fountain pen shit

I fell into this black hole again, and for the sake of documentation, here are my favorite inks, currently:

Inks-april21-2016

I currently have 5 LAMYs (4 Safaris and 1 Al Star), 1 Montblanc (obsolete hand me down from my dad), 1 Kaweco (Liliput), 2 Pilots (Metropolitan and Kakuno), and 1 TWSBI (Eco). I am eyeing a Pilot with a soft nib (kind of a soft flex effect, I guess), but I guess I’m trying to grasp onto what little sanity I have left.