But don’t forget it’s just a ride.

Edsa before:

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.
Edsa after the storm:
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I don’t miss the billboard clutter at all1 but the highway just looks so forlorn undressed, no? 🙁

***
On to brighter things:
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Katamari Damacy2 has been around for more than 2 years now but believe it or not I only got into the craze last month *sheepish smile*. It’s so fun! And easy! And weird! Lovit, lovit. The soundtrack’s really good, too. Click here if you don’t know (and would like to know) what I’m talking about.

***
And I might as well announce it since SonyBMG already did.
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The Eraserheads Anthology Two will be out by October 16. Cover and interior artwork is again courtesy of my fabulous husband3 🙂
.
Related projects:
Eraserheads Anthology (volume 1)
The 2-in-1 Series (batch 1)
The 2-in-1 Series (batch 2)
UltraelectromagneticJam

  1. Especially not the ones with ginormous photoshopped-to-perfection images of her, what a relief they’re all down hehe.[ back]
  2. I know you told me about this MONTHS ago, Nest — ngayon ko lang nilaro![ back]
  3. With layout duties again by yours truly.[ back]
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The color of the sky as far as I can see is coal grey


{More Flickr photos tagged with Milenyo}



How are you?
***
Our families, Arn, and myself are extremely fortunate not to have been directly affected by Milenyo (Xangsane) one of the angriest typhoons ever to hit our shores. I was actually down with the flu the entire day so believe it or not, I slept right through it. Power was out1, the mobile networks were down, and we didn’t have a short wave radio so we had no idea about what was happening outdoors. Arn was busy overseeing some construction being done inside the house and didn’t realize the gravity of the situation until he stepped out to purchase cement and found the roads covered with leaves and fallen/uprooted trees everywhere. When we talked to my mom, we found out that my brother was stranded at work and he told us later on about the horrifying view from his office window in Eastwood: tree branches, sheets of yero, lamp posts, bits & pieces of bright pink MMDA fences and urinals, and (gasp) entire roofs of houses spinning helter skelter in the air. Good grief! Thankfully he managed to drive home safely by 8pm.
***
What we also didn’t expect was a Luzon-wide blackout (although Meralco promises to have power fully restored by today. Our area in Quezon City already had electricity back by 5am the next day, Friday. Lights went out at 2pm Thursday so I actually thought that it sure was a looong time to have a blackout until I learned that more than half of the Metro was still in darkness. In fact, a friend who also lives in QC2 didn’t have electricity yet by Friday afternoon, and Arn’s parents in Cainta did not have power restored until Saturday morning. I thought that was the last of it until I heard from cousins in the South today (Sunday!) that their village is still in darkness. Good golly, shades of the early 90s (remember the blackout era?)
***
At the end of the day, Arn and I are just thankful that none of our loved ones were harmed.
***
One of my blog-friends, Mr. BP, posted a comprehensive list of happenings in the blogosphere after Milenyo’s wrath.
***
More Milenyo stories from other blogs:
M for Milenyo (with pics taken at the Mall of Asia)
Marshalls in Manila (with videos taken in Makati)
Balitang Morong (with pics taken in Morong, Rizal)
Meeting Milenyo (with pics taken in Buendia, Roxas Ave, Taft Ave)
Doomsday: A Sneak Preview (with pics)

  1. We were also lucky to have power back by 5am the next day Maybe because we live near all the major TV networks? There was an outage again today but it only lasted for an hour.[ back]
  2. She lives almost beside the ABS-CBN compound to be exact[ back]
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A little hug becomes huge instantly.

Like our good pals Sheila and Mike, Arn and I have been going on a nostalgia trip, to the 70s this time. It all started when I gave him The Incredible Hulk1 tv series on his birthday.

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And then my ate Pam2, a dear cousin all the way in Oz sent me an Amazon gift certificate worth, well, a lot so I decided to use it on items that remind me of her and the days when she and her family still lived next door: The Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys tv series starring Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy, and Patrick Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as Frank and Joe3. I’m a bigger fan of the books but watching these again made me miss the old days when plots were less complicated and when primetime tv was so much… “cleaner”. It’s true, they just don’t make shows like they used to. By the way, a Nancy Drew movie (starring Emma Roberts as our beloved strawberry blonde sleuth) is slated to come out next year. I can only hope that she stays true to her character in the original Carolyn Keene novels4.
***
And my fellow 70s kids, because I think I love you5 here’s a little video that I’m sure will put smiles on your faces 😀

***

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The other DVD set I ordered was The Best of The Electric Company which was really fun to watch then and surprisingly even more fun to watch now! Talk about being ahead of its time. And omigosh who can forget the cool Easy Reader, the bumbling Fargo North: Decoder, the bratty Pandora, and of course the singing group Short Circus. Or how about songs like “Punctuation“, “Silent E“, and the spelling silhouettes (which eventually inspired a TV ad for Nike Shox). Like I told Arn, watching the cast in the classic and oh-so-familiar sketches is just like seeing old friends family members again. It’s true, hearing Rita Moreno holler “Hey you guys!” actually brought a tear to my eye6.

***
I’m still in denial that my schedule is turning topsy turvy again. Here’s what’s on my plate right now:
• Two album packaging projects7
• An identity system8 for a soon-to-open restaurant in Greenbelt2.
• And of course, the 5th issue of Wedding Essentials which we’re all very excited about. We’ve started shooting already so take a peek now and then if you like. 😉
Ideally my schedule by now should be blocked off to accommodate WE but (1) the album projects were given by one of our favorite and most suki clients so “no, we’re booked” was not an option; and (2) I wanted to take on the restaurant project because, well, it was challenging and not to mention a good addition to my ever-growing-but-needs-updating portfolio.
So if I don’t get to post the following days, you know where to look.

  1. Sigh, it’s a much-delayed reaction but I feel bad knowing that David Banner (Bill Bixby) and Jack Colvin (Mr. McGhee) are both gone. 🙁 [ back]
  2. With the exception of one, all my Feliciano-side cousins are 4+ years older and she was the one I tagged along behind most often. I don’t have a sister so she was my very first “ate” figure.[ back]
  3. …I know! As in “Da doo run run!” Can someone say “Hit-baaaaaackk-baacck-baaacck”?[ back]
  4. I’ve read and have most of the 56 original hardcovers, from “Secret of the Old Clock” to “The Thirteenth Pearl”.[ back]
  5. Ah yes, another tv series I have to get my hands on. Someday.[ back]
  6. Also because I remembered my brother Toting who I used to watch the show with.[ back]
  7. Yes, they’re both tribute albums, surprise surprise — that seems to be the trend nowadays.[ back]
  8. Meaning logo and signage design, logo application on business cards and stationery, layouts for the menu, flyers, in-house signs, etc. Fun, yes, but it’s also a lot of work.[ back]
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I need perfection, some twisted selection

realsimp.jpg

One of the best things about having a blog is that you get to meet and interact with people who share your interests. A few posts ago, I talked about how much I liked Real Simple mag. And then a friend of mine — working mom Candiceposted a note saying that, surprise, there’s a Real Simple online newsletter.1 I’m glad she told me because now it’s the only newsletter I look forward to receiving every week. It’s chockfull of clever and aha! tips with titles like: “Decorate on the Cheap with Everyday Items” (ex: Use binder clips to display photos), “Learn How to Say No2, “16 Quick Ways to Take Control of Your Life” (ex: Itemize your possesions), and “27 Clever Cleaning Tips” (ex: Store cleaning products in a see-through shoe holder). If you want to simplify your life, go ahead, do yourself a favor and subscribe.

***
By the way, I think I’ve gained some three years worth of stay-at-home-wifedom cred to list down a few household tips myself. Let me share them with you:

1. Baking soda is your friend. Use it to unclog drains (sprinkle some on the drain before pouring boiling water through it), freshen up kitchen counters (sprinkle some on the counter, pour some vinegar or squeeze a few pieces of calamansi on the powder — it will fizz — then wipe it off), or remove unpleasant smells in your ref (keep an open container of it inside your ref).
2. Rub off the nasty black stains on the bottoms of your pots and pans with vinegar.
3. Keep a little basket or tray containing everything you’ll need when you go out. Ours holds our house keys, car keys, wedding rings, cellphones, and a wallet with “emergency money”. We bring it to the bedroom with us when we sleep, and we bring it downstairs every morning when we open the doors. We’ve made it a habit to put the abovementioned items in it everytime we go home.
4. Make duplicates of all your keys and label each one carefully. Entrust the duplicates, or at least the ones that open the main doors) to a trusted family member or friend who doesn’t live in the same house.
5. Make it a habit to switch off the gas before turning off the stove.
6. Have scissors, even the kid-size ones will do, available in every room. Trust me.
7. Put all loose change on a bowl on your kitchen counter. Pretty soon you’ll end up with a big pile that you can use for miscellaneous expenses like parking, tips for your cleaning lady and drinking water delivery guy.
8. Enroll your bank accounts in an online facility, if possible. (I’m not sure about the other banks but I know BPI and Citibank accounts can be managed online). My fabulous friend Tippi introduced me to online finance management and I’m glad I took her advice. It’s so convenient — you can check your balances, transfer funds, and pay monthly bills all from the comforts of home, even on weekends and holidays!
9. Keep extra trash bags at the bottom of your trash cans. This way there’ll always be a bag when you need one.
10. Buy toilet paper, paper towels, and table napkins in bulk. They don’t spoil, it’ll come out cheaper, and having them around will give you peace of mind.
More next time. 😀
***
By the way, another fabulous friend Sheila has a happy new blog. She’s an award-winning advertising creative director so please visit her site, try out her tasty recipes, and just see what else goes on inside the mind of a genius! Clicky.

  1. See, I didn’t even know that and I probably wouldn’t have if I didn’t blog about it and if she didn’t point it out. Thank you Cands![ back]
  2. A must-read. In my life I’ve been through a lot of sticky situations where I had difficulty saying no.[ back]
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That day will come, when everybody is a number one.

One of the questions I often get asked is “who are the graphic designers you admire?” It’s quite a list actually so I hope you have time because I’m gonna take you through it right now.

***
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David Carson. He was the Nirvana and Pearl Jam of the visual movement in the 90s. His work on Raygun changed the way I looked at graphic design forever — now here was someone who came up with attention-grabbing work by tossing the rulebook out the window. If you’ve seen the Pillbox magazines and a lot of the local Pepsi ads in the 90s, you’ll see how heavy his influence was on the art director.1

***
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Neville Brody. Consistent use of loud colors, big and bold type, and striking graphic elements make his work distinct and memorable. It was also through studying his work that I learned the proper use of typography2 as a design element. His designs seem to have a life of their own, they leap out of the pages containing them, just like the designer himself — he didn’t stop at print and has branched out to motion and space design as well.3

***
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Saul Bass. This man is a legend, just take a look at the work he’s done — they include iconic posters and logos that have stood the test of time. The use of flat colors, blocky hand-lettered type, and simple shapes define his minimalist style. It’s most likely a testament to the limitations in printing during his time but I’ve always believed that when it comes to visual communication, the simpler and the more straight to the point, the better. Right? 😀

***
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Milton Glaser. You’ve seen his “I *heart* NY” logo a million times, but the body of work he’s produced speaks volumes about his range as a designer. I can’t say he has a particular style because when you look at his designs, they don’t look like they came from just one person. But the randomness is good in that it shows versatility. Of his work, I like the ones that have illustrations the most. His psychedelic, free-flowing drawings seem to take us back to a time when producing art actually meant freedom of expression (and didn’t involve deadlines).

***
Locally, I have my design heroes as well and fortunately I’ve had a chance to work with them.

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Robert Alejandro. Sir Robert is best known for his whimsical and stylish artworks for Papemelroti and the Ayala Malls. He was my Figure Drawing and Advertising 101 teacher in 3rd year college4 at the UPCFA and he just blew everyone away with his art and out-of-the-box way of thinking. Ask anyone in my class and they’ll tell you that he was the one who inspired them to be (a) an advertising art director; (b) a children’s book illustrator; or (c) a graphic designer — all of which he was.5 How cosmic is it that we formed and now belong to the same design group?

***
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Raymond Legaspi. He’s not as publicly known as Robert but he’s a force to be reckoned with in the Direct Marketing world, having won a ton of awards locally and internationally. Mr. Ray was my very first boss — I had my OJT at J. Walter Thompson in 1991 and was assigned to be his trainee. A few years later, we worked in the same company, Ogilvy & Mather, as colleagues where he was certainly one of the few art-based Creative Directors I had huge respect for because he always stressed on the importance of a big idea in visual thinking, unlike some who focused primarily on execution.6 Incidentally, he retired from the corporate world just a few weeks ago to pursue his first love, painting.

***
And of course,

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Arnold Arre. I know, I know, he’s my husband but to be honest, I’ve admired him and his work waaay before we even met. The first time I ever saw his paintings for Mythos, my mind just reeled at the detail he put into all of them — intricate brush and pen work, the stories behind them7 — the overall distinct style and theme of the entire exhibit was just so well thought of that I knew this guy was an intense and very passionate artist. The same goes for every piece of work he churns out, everything has a story. Everything has a reason. And isn’t that what good design should have? Reason. To matter.

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  1. Oh wait a minute, that’s me hehe.[ back]
  2. My ultimate pet peeve: “designers” who stretch, squash and distort type. Ugh, I see it here all the time.[ back]
  3. By the way I have a copy of the Propaganda album, 1234, which is one of his earlier designs. I swear I’ll have it autographed someday.[ back]
  4. In 1990. That was the ONLY year he ever taught, lucky us.[ back]
  5. I guess I’m guilty on all three counts.[ back]
  6. I think the ultimate compliment was when he recommended that I be part of the Design Jury for last year’s Ad congress Araw Awards. I knew then that I’ve somehow earned his nod.[ back]
  7. Yes can you believe it? Ask him about a character in his painting and he’ll tell you the back story he thought up for it.[ back]
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I'm Cynthia Bauzon-Arre, a Filipino watercolor artist & graphic designer. I live in QC with my talented graphic novelist husband Arnold and our friendly marmalade tabby Abbas. This blog has been chronicling my life, likes, and loves since 2001. [ more ]

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