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Several years ago, I told myself that if I had a house there are two rooms it must have: a crafts room and a tea room. I have a house now and the only special room I have prepared is a painting room. Unfortunately, I haven’t done much painting in it because I haven’t made time.
The painting room accomplishes the ideas of a crafts room and a tea room. I can be creative in the painting room and be relaxed as well. In the room, I have an easel. Next to it is a small table with a glass palette that I created out of a 2 ft. × 2ft. piece of glass and plywood. There is also a bookshelf with oil paints, brushes, and small canvases. I have two boxes of art materials; one for painting and the other for drawing. There are two windows in the room; one facing west and the other, north. I have three lamps for lighting at night. On the south side of the room, I have a small bed where I can relax.
I want to use this room more. First thing to do: start a quick painting project that can be finished in a day.
In my home office is a wall onto which I pin various memorabilia from my life. I started the wall when I started my PhD in Pittsburgh. The wall started with postcards. Some feature famous people like Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Muhammad Ali, and The Beatles; some feature works of art, beautiful scenes, or funny situations; some are postcards I received from people.
The wall also has ticket stubs from events I attended, boarding passes from travel, inspirational quotes from fortune cookies. I keep all tickets I get from concerts, movies, and plays; the memorable ones go on the wall. One of my favorite quotes on the wall is “Dance like no one is watching.”
I also have my own drawings, pictures I took, and objects I made on the wall.
The neighborhood I lived in the Philippines would lose power several times a year. We called these power outages “brownouts” instead of “blackouts”.
During these brownouts, the kids on my street would come out and we would play games outside. Our only light was the moon if there were one.
My favorite brownout game was hide-and-seek. I thought it fit the situation very well. The darkness gave the hiders an advantage.
We would use all the houses and empty lots as hiding places. Trees, bushes, nooks, trash heaps were all fair game. Though the fun hiding spots were those with a chance you will be found.
When I was young, I prayed every night that I would not grow hunchbacked. I asked my grandmother why some people have hunched backs. She said that those people fell from trees more than three times. Believing this legend, I was petrified. I counted the number of times I have fallen from trees and it was more than I could count with my fingers. I relived each fall from a tree and conjured up an excuse why that fall did not count: the fall was too short; I landed on my foot; I rolled onto the ground; only falls on your back counted. Despite the excuses, I still had more than three falls that would contribute to my growth as a hunchback. I thought only divine intervention would save me. It has been twenty years since and my back is still straight. I guess it worked.
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