otherwise engaged.

a random mental scrapbook for things rescued from the detritus of everyday, maintained
by an impossibly romantic, oftentimes obsessive compulsive, but always incredibly
unfrazzled and beautiful (or so she'd like to think), bride-to-be.
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A woman who writes feels too much,those trances and portents!
As if cycles and children and islands weren't enough;
as if mourners and gossips and vegetables were never enough.
She thinks she can warn the stars. A writer is essentially
a spy. Dear love,
I am that girl. --from THE BLACK ART by Anne Sexton

Thursday, September 30, 2004

10 AM: Met the dressmaker, Ms. Mely Halim. She was
highly recommended by Prof. Hila. Apparently, Ms.
Halim makes the recital gowns of Prof. Hila's daughter

Ms. Halim is a kindly lady who looks like the late Doreen
Fernandez--glasses, white hair, disposition, figure and all--
who has a very young voice--I thought she was just my age
when I was talking to her on the phone earlier when I set
the appointment.

I didn't ask for a discount, but I thought the price she gave
me was very good, for the labor, including the beadwork.
So I'm still very well within budget. Now if I can manage
to buy all the materials and keep the cost down to a thousand...

4 PM: Sketched this in the client's office this afternoon,
while waiting for client to seek approval from his boss. I
think I like this one best, so far.

5:50 PM: After the client approved the compres for FA,
I took off for Carolina's in Glorietta, Makati to shop for
the lace.

Then Gigi texted me if I liked Meiling her friend to do my hair
and make-up. No, I said. As much as I would love for Meiling
to do my hair and make-up I couldn't possibly afford her, or
anybody from Propaganda, for that matter. Then Gigi texted
again that Meiling would only like to do make-up, and she would
have to bring somebody named Vic to do my hair. Naku, lalo
na, I texted her. Their combined talent fees would feed at
least 15 more people! Then she texted me to quit worrying
because it was going to be her gift to me! I love my sister!

At the end of the day, I overshot my budget for the gown
by at least a thousand pesos, mainly because i didn't
allow the cheapskate in me to buy the Php 150 per yard
lace Carolina's had on sale. I liked a fine white Chantilly
(I think) lace which had very dainty and elegant cherry
blossoms on very fine netting but it cost Php 850 per yard!
With the dressmaker's fee, it would cost twice my budget.
Sadly, I had to give up the idea. I befriended the salesgirl
who patiently assisted me, carrying the bolts of lace
around the store as I matched it against the different-hued
satin--white, ecru, ivory, etc. I finally chose a Guipure-looking
lace which had just the right size flowers, and density of
design (most laces were just downright heavily patterned!),
and most of all, had the right bagsak--just like my

Then I got rice pearl and round pearl beads. Was contemplating
on buying the veil already but I held off--the veil still needs more
research work. But at least I now know that the material
to look for is illusion tulle.

At the counter I tried asking for a discount. "Baka may Bridal
I jokingly asked. She laughed. "Cash po ba?"
I said yes. Then she talked to the cashier. I got 15 % discount
for the lace and satin--yahoo! I am not normally barato
but getting married on a tight budget, you learn to be more
resourceful. All those years in advertising and experience
working with tight production budgets--so this is where it all
comes in handy!

Auden's drivel

Because of its breathless exclamations
and mundane musings, you would think
the following lines were written by a young girl
in love. Not. It was by Wystan Hugh Auden.

O Tell Me the Truth About Love

Some say love's a little boy,
And some say it's a bird,
Some say it makes the world go around,
Some say that's absurd,
And when I asked the man next-door,
Who looked as if he knew,
His wife got very cross indeed,
And said it wouldn't do.

Does it look like a pair of pyjamas,
Or the ham in a temperance hotel?
Does its odour remind one of llamas,
Or has it a comforting smell?
Is it prickly to touch as a hedge is,
Or soft as eiderdown fluff?
Is it sharp or quite smooth at the edges?
O tell me the truth about love.

Our history books refer to it
In cryptic little notes,
It's quite a common topic on
The Transatlantic boats;
I've found the subject mentioned in
Accounts of suicides,
And even seen it scribbled on
The backs of railway guides.

Does it howl like a hungry Alsatian,
Or boom like a military band?
Could one give a first-rate imitation
On a saw or a Steinway Grand?
Is its singing at parties a riot?
Does it only like Classical stuff?
Will it stop when one wants to be quiet?
O tell me the truth about love.

I looked inside the summer-house;
It wasn't over there;
I tried the Thames at Maidenhead,
And Brighton's bracing air.
I don't know what the blackbird sang,
Or what the tulip said;
But it wasn't in the chicken-run,
Or underneath the bed.

Can it pull extraordinary faces?
Is it usually sick on a swing?
Does it spend all its time at the races,
or fiddling with pieces of string?
Has it views of its own about money?
Does it think Patriotism enough?
Are its stories vulgar but funny?
O tell me the truth about love.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as I'm picking my nose?
Will it knock on my door in the morning,
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
Will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
Will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

W. H. Auden (1907-1973)