CROSSING

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Photo from Google Maps

When I was in college I tried to ride the bus going home from SM City (now called SM North EDSA), the new mall that was at the end of E. de los Santos Ave., or EDSA, back to my university campus. I was rather sheltered, and had never ridden much public transportation alone before. When the conductor of the bus came to me to sell me my ticket and asked where I was getting down, I said, “Crossing.”

I was thinking that by saying “Crossing”, I meant the nearest big intersection from the mall I came from. Then I realized that I had paid too much bus fare. I ran after him and said, “Sorry po, Quezon Ave. lang.” The conductor looked kind of mad, but he refunded me the excess fare.

I had no idea that “Crossing” was a specific location. Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, to be exact. The question was recently asked on Reddit, but of all the answers, I like best the one that said it used to be the only major intersection in EDSA, back when it was still called Highway 54, but of course we can’t be sure that’s the correct answer. I’m asking that question on Facebook, maybe some of my friends know the answer.

Addendum: One of my friends commented that there may have been a pre-war railway crossing in the area, given that it was a major intersection without a rotonda.  Interesting theory!

Daily Prompt: Crossing

OLDER

I celebrated my birthday several days ago, and we’re into the New Year. Every time my birthday comes I register the fact that my age is advancing and yet I don’t feel any older.

One day a few years ago, while powdering my nose at a hotel ladies’ room, I discovered lines under my eyes. The halogen room lighting wasn’t kind; all of a sudden I was confronted with physical age. In a few minutes I passed through the stages of panic, sorrow and regret (at not using eye cream or under-eye concealer or specific anti-aging products) straight onto resignation and acceptance. It was painful, because there was no denying I was in mid-life, and there was no unseeing what I had just seen. But then I had also just been to my high school reunion last December, and was comforted to discover that all of my classmates had lines under their eyes, too. While I have a few horizontal lines across my neck, at least I had no lines on my forehead or between my brows. I still don’t use eye cream, rarely use under-eye concealer and have no dedicated anti-aging products. My skin is dry, but it’s in relatively good shape. I don’t wear heavy makeup.

I didn’t have that kind of reaction to when I started getting white hairs. It’s so easy to have one’s hair colored. There have been times I wished I didn’t have to go to the salon to maintain my hair color. I do feel that I’m too young to go fully grey, though. I read somewhere that I should only go grey when my white hairs regrow in less than a month after coloring, or that I should be 75% grey already, something like that. Then I came across this video:

The thing is, I don’t feel old. I’m reasonably active and can still touch my toes at yoga. There are times I don’t feel young, either (when my energy is low and I’m hormonal). My friends are having grandchildren. I don’t have children, so I can only imagine how it feels. As Carrie Fisher said, “Youth and beauty aren’t accomplishments. They’re the happy by-product of age and/or DNA.” I like to think I’ve come to terms with my mid-life body, the way I think and the person I am at this age. And I still like myself. There are still so many things to do, there’s little time for mourning years and youth that have gone.

It’s a new year, hopefully with good new things in store for us all.

Daily Prompt: Gone

POIROT, POST-CHRISTIE

closedcasket

Photo from Google

This is not a review.  This is a read-in-progress. I received a copy of this book from my dad, for Christmas.  Closed Casket is the new book from Sophie Hannah, who was authorized by the Christie estate to write more books featuring Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Hannah is a well-received writer of psychological crime thrillers, as well as a poet.

The Washington Post’s review notes that Closed Casket “lacks the special charm of the originals”, yet calls it “endearing”.  They wanted more of Poirot’s larger-than-life brilliance, I suspect. I suppose it’s difficult to take one author’s character and write with her template in mind. I won’t let this review color my judgment – I find the first few chapters well-written and intriguing.

I’m not a fangirl nitpicker, I just want to read an interesting mystery, regardless of who reboots the franchise.  The Christie estate has resisted what The Guardian calls “authorial regeneration” for the longest time. I guess the truth is that ultimately, nobody will measure up to Agatha Christie.

I still want to buy The Monogram Murders.  A friend of mine who has both books says, “You know it’s not Agatha Christie, but you can enjoy it anyway.”

Daily Prompt: Renewal

A DARK YEAR PASSES

This year has pillaged the world
Of its musicians, actors, writers.
We are tired of so much loss,
So much death.
We are anxious
For the year to end.

There are two days left.
Hide all of your beloved heroes,
Your teachers, your dream-weavers,
Lest the wars of 2016 find them
And smite them without mercy.
We do not want to be bereft.

But there is no guarantee
The next year will not betray us.

Daily Prompt: Pillage

FAREWELL, PRINCESS

When I was ten, I saw Star Wars (A New Hope) for the first time. I queued at the movie theater with my grandma. The moment I saw Princess Leia, I knew she was a different kind of princess: a feisty, kickass woman who would eventually lead a rebellion, a heroine for the ages.  She remains one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

Aside from playing Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher was also a successful screenwriter and memoirist, all the while battling bipolar disorder and drug addictions. She reminds us, “Youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They’re the temporary, happy by-products of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.”

Here’s a jazzy love theme to remember Carrie Fisher by, from the now-rare album, Empire Jazz, by Ron Carter.

Carrie, you deserve a standing ovation.  Thank you for being real.

Daily Prompt: Ovation

ORANGE TABBY

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This is the cat who lives in our building lobby. He goes by several names, but we like to call him Needy Cat, because he likes to hog all the cuddles from the residents.

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He has been spayed, so he became very chubby.  The janitors feed him on the sly, because building rules prohibit feeding strays. Obviously he’s not a stray anymore.  This is how he likes to sit, even though he doesn’t know where to put his belly.

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I really like Needy Cat. He comes when I call. I wave my hand and make meowing noises and then he runs to me. He loves being petted. I love petting him, feeling that round tummy.