Wednesday, May 27, 2009

come back to me

She couldn’t remember much about that day. They were driving in the desert and the road seemed to stretch out for miles. All she remembers is that it was very hot- scorching even- and she could barely think straight from all the heat. They were in his car. It was a beat up old Chevy- a mere shadow of what it was ten years ago. They could sense what was coming but perhaps out of fear, they both ignored it. The heat was unbearable but his gaze on her fevered neck burned even more.

“Do you believe in God?” she whispered. He held her hand, looked into her eyes and sighed.

“In moments like this, I know God exists.”

She looked at him, helpless in his car’s leather seat. Why this? Why now? Why me?

“Maybe one day… when you’re older or bigger or stronger… maybe we could start again.” It was a silent promise that she would keep in her heart forever. He opened the door- his personal way of letting her go. The desert was hot. She was unsure of what was to come. She looked at him as if to say please don’t leave me.

It is night time. A small blue car pulls up. The window rolls down and from the benign darkness, a shadow could be seen inside.

“Need a ride?” he asks.

“No. I’m waiting for someone.”

“Are you sure? It must be scorching out there. I can take you where you need to go.”

“I’m waiting for someone. He said he’ll come back for me.”

He looks in her eyes, so full of despair. I can’t help you, they seemed to say. He drove away, leaving only the dust to settle once again on the barren desert road.

In the morning, another car pulls up.

“Get in.” he says, confident of his next conquest.

“I’m waiting for someone. He’ll be here soon.”

“I won’t take no for an answer. I can give you a better life.”

“He’ll be here soon. You wouldn’t want him to see you. He’s coming back. I just know it.”

He drives away, the dust forming clouds in the air. She imagines faces and places in those clouds. That one looked like a rabbit caught mid-leap. Another one looks like a cat giving birth. This one looks a lot like him. Maybe he’s just circling around the block. Maybe he’s on his way back.

“Please don’t tell me you’re coming back...” she whispers. “…if you’re not.” It was a silent prayer. God knows if He heard her.

It’s been two years. She still walks the lonely road alone. She still thinks about him sometimes. The desert leaves no leaf unturned, no dirt unshaken.

Photo Credit: PBase

David Cook
Come Back To Me
David Cook

Monday, May 25, 2009

sooner or later

…everyone leaves.

I was a little sleepy when I checked my mail today. I swore I must’ve been still sleeping when I saw an annulment of sorts in my inbox.

From: Multiply <>
Subject: Please confirm _____’s change to your relationship

_____ is requesting a change in the way your relationship is identified on Multiply - from Life Partner to Friend. Please visit your Home page to either accept or reject _____'s request. If you reject, then we will continue to recognize your relationship with _____ as Life Partner.

With a few mouse clicks, she was finally able to tell me everything she’s been holding back for months. Much as I would like to think that we would be partners for life, she needed to make some changes- note: not want to but had to. I can't blame her. She had every right to do this.

I’ve been moved to the Friends category (which is undoubtedly where I belong).

I guess I got what I deserved. “I’m sorry, I really tried.” I said six months ago*. I was sorry then. I’m still sorry now.

Sorry I wasn’t who you expected. Sorry I wasn't who I expected. Sorry we couldn’t get past certain things. Sorry I couldn’t even tell you to your face. Sorry. Sorry.

My hand slowly crept up the mouse. I closed my eyes, clicked the green button and let her go. Isn't it strange how technology has warped us all?

The All-American Rejects
It Ends Tonight
Move Along

Sunday, May 24, 2009

comfort of strangers

Growing up, our parents would always tell us to never talk to strangers. Strangers must never be trusted. They could kidnap you if you talk to them long enough or they could get you hooked on drugs if you accept their candy. If you really think about it, it’s a little scary- the thought that this entire city is filled with strangers. Sometimes, they’re closer to us than we think.

In the age where technology exists to bring us together, it’s ironic how we’ve lost sight of intimacy. Sometimes, our best friends become strangers, too. But that’s not what I wanted to talk about.

Beep! My personal phone got a message. I was in the middle of class when I discreetly checked who it was.

For some time now, someone has been loading prepaid credits into my account. I first noticed it sometime in March. Someone loaded P100 into my account. I was very grateful and stuff but eventually dismissed it as some glitch in the system. Two weeks later, someone loaded P50. After a few more weeks, P30. I got a little curious. Who was loading money into my account? Maybe they jumbled a few numbers when they keyed it in and they’re still waiting for their prepaid credits. I felt bad for whoever that person was but I also felt grateful that I was somehow gaining from his stupidity.

For a few weeks, no one loaded into my account anymore. If that whole thing was a glitch, perhaps Globe finally fixed it. If the error was caused by a dyslexic loader, maybe he finally wised up. That’s why I was a little surprised when I saw that I got P30 again a few days ago. This could not be a glitch anymore. I decided to call Globe.

The woman I spoke with (I believe her name was Ella) was very nice. I basically told her that I’m not complaining or anything but someone’s been loading money into my account and I asked if there was a way to trace that. I told her I still had the message with me and I’d be happy to provide her with any information that she may need to trace this transaction. She placed me on hold while she checked on her resources and I couldn’t help but notice how professional she was. She spoke in broken English but she was very confident and she never made feel like my concern was really silly.

“Most people would just take the money and run.” I told her. “I’m really grateful for all the free stuff but I was hoping you could tell me who I have to thank.”

After several minutes, she told me she couldn’t find the transaction in the system. She gave me a couple of useless details, mostly things you could see from the message anyway. What I liked about my time with her is that she never made me feel like a stupid person for questioning something that was basically being given to me for free. I asked for her supervisor and gave her a commendation. I figured if a stranger was nice to me, I should be nice to strangers as well, starting with this one. She did an awesome job and I hope my glowing review of her customer service would help her get ahead.

Although I’m not about to eat their candy, I think I’m beginning to see the value in strangers. It’s an anonymous world out there and if one person would go out of his way to make someone like me smile, I think there’s hope for the rest of us. Although my commendation to Ella wasn’t much, it still felt good. It was the closest thing I could give to a hug. While she was thanking me, I could hear a smile in her voice. It was as if she hugged me back.

To the person who sends me load (even if my primary number is postpaid), thank you very much. I don’t know what I did to you or what moved you to start doing this but I want you to know I appreciate it very much.

Speaking of strangers, I got a really nice review from the people at Bloggy Award. Apparently, someone who reads this blog sent them my URL. It was very flattering to hear that a complete stranger took the time to nominate me. To whoever sent in the nomination, thank you very much. You just made blogging even more rewarding for me. You will always be welcome in this little piece of cyberspace I call home.

I got a nice review from one of their reviewers. I wanna thank Noemi for taking the time to read my blog (click here to read the full article) and for giving me a good review. I’m definitely going to take your comments into consideration the next time I update my template.  Thank you once again!

Beth Orton
Comfort of Strangers
Comfort of Strangers

Friday, May 22, 2009


I was fixing my room when I found an old notebook I used in college. As I was leafing through the pages, I noticed a story that I forgot about. It was one of the last things I wrote before my literary juices dried out. I was in the middle of Janet Fitch’s White Oleander when I suddenly felt inspired to write a little story. I wrote it hurriedly so my penmanship is barely legible and I noticed an apparent need for more punctuation marks. I did my best to understand what exactly I was saying and with a few minor edits, I think it’s finally ready for an online debut.

From a distance, I stared at him. He was dragging on a cigarette, naked as the day he was born as beads of sweat glistened on his brow.

Can he even see me with my clothes on? I began to wonder. Maybe this was it. This was all I was going to get. He seems so different when it’s like this- when I have him all to myself- when we don’t have to think about the people who lack the logic to comprehend our love.

It was an agreement I did not agree with, like absentmindedly scratching the scab off a healing wound, revealing the flesh yet again. He said, nay insisted that this could never see the light of day.

“Our little secret.” he said.

At school, I watched the prepubescent girls follow him, eating nothing so they could shed their bones.

“Where were you last night? I called you like fifty times!” they shrilled in monotonous voices. Even their voices could not hide their intelligence (or lack thereof). I listened as he told them he fell asleep watching his sick father. Funny, seeing as it was I who fell into slumber in his arms last night.

How would these girls even know how to touch him? Did they know how he grew with lust when I kiss the small of his back? Or how his eyes would burn with passion when I take him from behind? No, for it was a secret. “Our little secret.”

I listened as the girls retold his story to each other. It was the same story, told twice simultaneously, each one giving or taking a detail as she pleased. It was like the sea rearranging the sand with each wave, I could feel the weight of his gaze at the back of my neck, causing the tiny hairs to rise. I turned to face him and watched him act like he saw nothing. I looked down and saw I still had my clothes on. He could not see me with my clothes on.

That night, I listened as he climbed up my window. He propped it up, lit a cigarette and I could feel my gut wrenching at the sight of him. He put his hand on my waist. I closed me eyes and let him take me. There, beneath the pale moonlight, I knew my body has started reclaiming its rightful place.

Yes, he only sees me with my clothes off but it was better than him not seeing me at all.

“Do you love me?” he whispered to no one at all and I began to wonder if this was all there would ever be.

Rachael Yamagata
What If I Leave
Elephants...Teeth Sinking Into Heart

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

i believe in love

Scene: Close friends over a post-shift-slash-makeshift meeting. The question: if you were the person next to you, what would be the one thing you would change about yourself? When we’re with each other, we just let all our guards down so a question that would’ve crumbled the average Joe felt like nothing to us. I anxiously waited for my turn. I was more than a little curious with what my friend would say about me.

“Siguro yung pagka-jaded niya.” she finally said. My eyes grew wide with quasi-pain. I’ve always seen myself as an optimist. I thought it was just her who felt this way until another friend chimed in.

“Wag ka nang umalma kasi we all see it. Siguro di mo lang nakikita.” The second room in my Johari Window was become more and more apparent. Was I really as jaded as they say I am? *deep breath*

Well, I don’t believe in love anymore. Maybe that’s a good indicator. Maybe I am a little jaded. Just a little though.

Scene: New friends over coffee. We were all just buzzing from the energy emanating from our newfound brotherhood. I got into an interesting conversation with a particularly interesting character. Unjaded is in his late twenties, comes from a semi-broken home and shares a child with a woman he feels no love for. We were talking about how I didn’t think that love is a permanent thing. You would think that someone like him would share the same view but he proved me wrong.

"What is love? It’s when lust and convenience converge. If you think about the percentage of marriages that end in divorce, you would wonder why people even bother.” I said.

“It goes back to the glass being half-empty and half-full. You said that almost half of American marriages end in divorce. Did you ever consider that more than half of American marriages do not end in divorce?”

“Love is like a destination that only a few people reach. Most people who get there are either too busy being in love or too unsure if they really found it to give everyone else directions. If it’s real, it’s pretty darn elusive.”

“You’re too young to think that way. Call me in five years when you finally find someone to change your mind- and you will.”

I stared at him while I thought of a witty comeback. How could this man come home to a woman he feels no love for but still believe that love exists?

“You will find your soul mate.” he added.

Soul mate? He could not be serious. “Are you telling me that you still believe in soul mates? Even if your responsibilities prohibit you from finding that person, you’re actually telling me that you believe she’s out there?”

“Yes.” he answered, without batting an eyelash.

I was speechless. What right do I have- a person who grew up in a close Christian family and who does not even have half the scars he has- to question that? I’m not sure if it was the weather but all of a sudden, his optimism started rubbing off on me. I closed my eyes and tried to channel my thirteen year old self.

“I wonder what my soul mate is doing right now.” I wondered as I fiddled with my mother’s Nokia 3210. I was dressed in my usual sando and puruntong combo in the house I grew up in. When I was younger and more naïve, I even gave my soul mate a name- Lynne.

Something happened sometime between 1999 and 2009. Something changed me. I used to think Lynne was out there. Now I’ve lost sight of her. I wonder what she’s doing right now. Maybe she’s wondering what’s taking me so long. Maybe I’ve already met her but my cynicism somehow drove her away.

Do I believe in love? I have to. What right do I have to challenge its existence? Just because I haven’t seen it, doesn’t mean it’s not real. If only I could be more like myself when I was younger- before I lost sight of the things that really mattered- maybe the skies wouldn’t seem so gray.

It starts with the little things. I went upstairs and searched through the deepest corners of my closet. I took off my shirt and put on a tattered sando. It’s amazing that this thing actually still fits me. I sat in bed and looked hopefully at the moon. What is Lynne doing right now? Is she seeing the big ol’ moon as well? I wonder if she’s alright. I wonder if she thinks about me, too.

Dixie Chicks
I Believe In Love

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Today was a very tiring day. I barely made it to the front door. I was dead tired. I could feel that my mouth was agape. I wanted to brush it off and think that it was just one of those days but something inside me tells me there’s more to this feeling than meets the eye.

Drained and only partly conscious, I took my shoes off and began to undress. Everyone detoxifies in their own unique way. I listen to music to take things off my mind. For today’s soundtrack, I flipped through my dusty record collection. Fiona's Tidal would keep me company today.

Days like this, I don’t know what to do with myself… all day and all night. I wander the halls along the walls and under my breath I say to myself… I need fuel to take flight.

One of the lead trainers called in sick today and I took over her class. I was in her class all day. I even sent out the reports and stuff. It gave me a taste of things to come. If I play my cards right, I have a pretty good shot at a promotion but after today, I started wondering if I even wanted my own class. I’ve been here for a year and most days, I find myself wondering if this is all there will ever be. What am I doing here? Am I making a difference? It’s silly- to be disillusioned after working really hard to get to where I am now. As the finish line approaches, why do I feel the need to run in the other direction?

My feet, if they could talk, would probably have nothing nice to say to me. My job requires me to be on my feet 80% of the time. I slowly massaged each one. I’m sorry, I told them. It was all I could say. It’s not like I have a choice.

Or do I? I’ve been thinking about the difference between what I’m doing and what I set out to do. People teach because we do not want the youth to be ignorant. We want them to be responsible people in the future. We don’t want them to venture into the world unprepared. Along with their lessons, we hope that teachers would instill a level of morality in their students. We don’t just want them to be learned, we want them to be righteous. That’s a mouthful and we all know the pay rarely suits the job description but a lot of my bestest friends do this for a living and they actually enjoy it.

What am I doing? I’m contributing to a consumerist culture. People buy things. People avail of services. Sometimes, things don’t work. Sometimes, the services need a little nudging. They need to call people to get things fixed. Labor is expensive. Let’s ship these phones to the third world country that has the best English speakers. They can’t all be good. Someone needs to train them. Let’s get a couple of those, too. While teaching and training may appear to be similar, there’s something about the selflessness in education that I seem to be craving for. Back when I was still teaching, I felt a sense of pride that took away even the smallest bit of exhaustion.

There’s something about the greed and all that corporate stuff that leaves me a little dissatisfied. Before you label me a hypocrite, I must say that it was money that brought me to this path. My friends who went into teaching full time are pretty well off and they can afford to live comfortably with the help of their parents. I couldn’t do that. I wanted to be independent, if not physically then at least financially. The thing that brought me here has me chained to my desk. Gotta work if I wanna buy clothes. Gotta work if I wanna hang out with friends. Gotta work if I wanna get this and that. This line of thinking has me living from paycheck to paycheck. Thousands of pesos have been spent trying to pacify the feeling of guilt that comes with abandoning my passion and calling. So why do I even bother?

I was pondering this thought as I got ready for bed. I was just about to kill the lights when my phone started beeping. A message! It was an ex-trainee from about two months ago. After the usual hi’s and hello’s, I asked him how he was adjusting to his new account. What he told me blew me away at first but after it sunk in, it totally changed my mind. Suddenly, I didn’t have any doubts that I was in the right place.

He got terminated for exceeding the total number of allowable absences. Good job, I thought to myself. I must suck at what I do if my trainees can’t even survive the first two weeks on the job. I told him that that was sad news and that (standard line) I hope he could use what he learned from me and my colleagues wherever he chooses to go to next. He told me he applied at another call center. It was one of the big ones and prior to training with us, he wasn’t really that confident he could make it through the first screening. After nine excruciating weeks with us, he was able to pick up the skills he needed for his future. Not only did he get accepted, he's officially hired and will be taking calls soon. Although his future may not be with us, at least he is now able to support himself and his family. He never thanked me but he might as well have. I may not be changing the world or shaping the youth but talking to this person made me see the value in what I do. Screw consumerism. We live in a consumerist world. If I could help just one person survive in it, everything- every bad day or bad week or bad month- would be completely worth it.

Yes, I love my job and not in the way that Emily from The Devil Wears Prada loves hers. It’s funny how a simple SMS exchange could bring me to that conclusion. Not only will I run through the finish line. I’m going to grab that silly piece of tape like there’s no tomorrow. I love what I do and I hope to still be at it in the years to come.

Fiona Apple
Sullen Girl

Monday, May 11, 2009


I'm not exactly sure when I started writing this story. It's been a work in progress for several months now. I scribbled parts of it on coffee shop napkins, receipts and other pieces of paper I found in my bag. I finally had enough time to sit down and put the pieces together while maintaining the timeline and the mindset I had when I wrote it. So far, I like how it turned out. It doesn't sound like anything I wrote before- maybe because it's been a while since I seriously wrote anything. Anyway, here it is.

What does one wear when he’s about to break somebody’s heart? I pondered this question as I stepped out of the bathroom, freshly scrubbed but hardly invigorated. I didn’t know what words I could say. All I knew was this was the day that things would finally end.

Should I wear red? Should we celebrate what we had? We had a lot of good times. We certainly laughed enough, cried enough, fought enough, made up enough. The end doesn’t have to be any different. Let’s just say that we had a lot of good times and now it’s finally time to part ways.

Should I wear white? Like a silent flag raised in the middle of battle, would it get my message across? I don’t want to fight anymore. I don’t know if we even have enough left to become friends. Should I be the beacon of peace and serenity? Would that cushion the blow?

Should I wear nothing? Let you come to me. No. That wouldn’t solve anything and I just changed the sheets.

Should I wear purple? Wasn’t that your favorite color? Remember when we said we would someday rule the world? Maybe we should dress like kings and queens. No one would ever suspect that between the main course and dinner, we finally penned our story’s ending.

Should I wear black? It would go so much better with ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’ Maybe if you could see that I wasn’t right for you or that something about me just wasn’t right, you’d wise up and leave. It seems easier that way- to lay all the blame on my side of the bed.

My apprehension and indecision has got me so confused. I stood naked in front of a full closet for what felt like two years but was actually fifteen minutes. As I took out a green shirt (my favorite color), I realized I wasn’t breaking your heart. I was breaking my own. I’m going to miss you- our stupid conversations about God and politics, about suffrage and sloth. I looked in the mirror and didn’t know if I would ever be completely ready so I put on my pants, went out and hailed a cab. It was raining as the skies are wont to do when people break up. I sat antsy on the cool leather seats, expecting the best but bracing for the worst. One day, you’ll look back at all this the way a ten year old runs his hands through a healing scar. One day, you’ll forgive me.

Friday, May 8, 2009

sophia: ze ratteur

One of the problems of living in the city is that in most of the metro's biggest cities, rats and cockroaches lurk relentlessly in the darkness. It's unavoidable. The houses are cramped together. No one has time to clean. Who has time to sweep the crumbs off the bed at 3AM? Voila! Our houses have become playgrounds for rats and other pests.

(Come to think of it, it doesn't even matter how pristine your house is. You can scrub the floors all you want but the ratties and roachies are here to stay.)

A few months ago*, my sister had a close (and expensive) encounter with Mickey Rat. Dear 'ol Mickey is really fat and really ugly and is said to be a far relative of the lovable Disney character. I haven't heard anything from Mickey lately and I finally understood the reason why.

I met Sophia on a day like today. It was slightly cloudy and every few hours, the heavens would shower the earth with immense amounts of (dirty, perhaps acidic) rain. She was really young and was meowing 'till kingdom come. We didn't let her in. We just ignored her. God knows where this strange creature came from. She could have a string of diseases we couldn't spell, let alone treat. She ignored the fact that we shut the door. She just kept meowing and meowing and meeeeeeeeeowing!

Segue to two days later. Sophia was seen with Mickey Rat. The latter was undeniably (not to mention disgustingly) deceased. I have no idea how this little kitten managed to take on a rat almost double her size. I suppose these are questions that are better left unanswered. I don't really want that visual in my head.

Because she saved us from leptospirosis and a plethora of other rat-related diseases, we decided to pseudo-keep her as a pet. It started with little bits of fish until one day, Sophie had her own bowl and everything. So far, things have been awesome. We don't keep a schedule. We just feed her when she comes. Lately though, she's been keeping track of my schedule. At 12:30 (which is the time I usually wake up), rain or shine, Sophia is always there- clawing at the screen door, meowing as loudly as the day she first came into our lives.

Last weekend, I decided to help Sophia exercise.

"Ratters need great upper body strength." I said to her. I lifted her tiny body off the floor and guided her up the screen door. I let her hang there for a few seconds just to see if she could take it. "Very good!" I added, convinced that she and I were succesful. I gave her the remainder of my brunch and played with her for a little while.

I should've seen this coming.

It was so cute. I just had to take a video. I was eating lunch this afternoon and on the dot, Sophia showed up. I was ignoring her because I was busy multi-tasking- eating lunch while checking my email. I noticed that the meows were getting louder and louder. When I looked behind me, I almost fell of my chair. See for yourself.

For your ratting and various extermination needs, call 1-800-SOFIRAT. Our representatives are available 24/7 and will be more than happy to assist you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

update: rain

What is it about the quiet that comes after a storm that seems so beautiful? It's like everything that happened moments before becomes so minute. You start to appreciate the beauty of the little things- a small dog yapping a few miles away, the sound of bustling traffic slowly gaining pace and the precise shrieking of the neighbor's broom sweeping in a new day. I've never seen a morning quite like this before. How could it have been just there- hiding in plain sight?

When it rains for two whole years, one cannot help but appreciate the first spot of dry land.

Friday, May 1, 2009

confessions of a photo-shopaholic

It's 3AM and I can't sleep.

I was having desert with a co-worker and in the middle of this delicious carrot-walnut cupcake, I realized I had the hugest zit on my forehead. Pimples are funny things. They can totally make or break you. At times, I feel so old and mature in my smart casual outfits and designer coffee and then my skin decides it has a different plan for me. It doesn't matter where it is. The point of the matter is it's there and it just screams for attention. I haven't had a huge pimple like this in months. I couldn't resist it. The minute I got home, I pricked it and now I'm practically bleeding. Damn it.
I remember what YJ from inyourarmsmanila said when I first met him. He was the third person I ever met through blogging despite the fact that I've been blogging since God knows when. "Sa picture, mukha kang tisoy." I do not have Spanish blood. Anyone who's seen me can attest to that. I'm one-fourth Chinese but one would never suspect that based on how I look. I realized that I've been Photoshop-ping myself too much.

In celebration of labor day, I decided to post one of the things I really work hard for. I guess you could also call it coming clean from all the hiding and airbrushing. The following are the befores and afters of some pictures I used for my blog.

Confessions of a Photo-shopaholic

Case # 1: Pout your lips. I used this one late last year. Despite looking really simple, I actually had to do a lot of editing. First, I used the Heal tool to remove a major pimple below my left eyebrow. I manipulated the Hue/Saturation to make me look less brown. I then colored my eyes but I purposely left some of the red-eye so that it wouldn't look so manufactured. I then airbrushed my forehead and eyebags. Finally I used Liquify to make my nose and lips smaller and to tuck in my flabby cheeks.

Case # 2: Feigning Nonchalance. First thing I did was I manipulated the colors. I was going for a vivid look and I wanted the blue to really pop out. I selected the background and made it bluer. I added a little white to make my cheekbones more visible. I blurred out and airbrushed some ugly shadows on my neck. Lastly, I used Liquify to make my nose smaller and to remove my double chin.

Case # 3: Kalbo! I said goodbye to my hair back in February* and everytime I saw my last avatar, I felt a little sad. It took me some time to get used to my new hair (or lack thereof) and when I felt a little more comfortable, I decided to show the (online) world what I had done. I selected the background, changed it to blue, and added a little glow/shadow using a duplicate of my outline. I then used the Heal tool for a pimple scar below my lip. After that, I airbrushed my forehead, cheeks and eyebags. Lastly, I liquified my cheeks and chin to make it look smaller.

Case # 4: Online Stalker. I didn't really have to change much for this one. I just blurred parts of my skin, liquified my nose a little and manipulated the Hue/Saturation to make it look more drab.

Case # 5: Spongebob Tattoo! The dilemma I had for this picture was that I already posted it* days before I decided it would be a good avatar. I couldn't drastically edit it without looking like a complete Photoshop whore so I just used some Auto Adjustments to get the color right. I decided my teeth looked too yellow (and I blame it on North Park's lighting bwahahahaha!!!) so I selected it and pasted it on a new layer. I then stripped it of its color and manipulated the brightness and contrast. This new layer became my false teeth and after fiddling with the opacity, I thought it was finally presentable. Looking at it now, i see that it's so obviously fake.

Case # 6: The Russ-Russ-Can-We-Leeezen? Portrait. I really liked the collages that a friend of mine made*. He used the better half of the millions of pictures we took on his birthday. This one was pretty simple because I didn't want to change it too much. I airbrushed my forehead, fixed my teeth a little and darkened the guy in the background. I then rearranged the picture so that it would look like it was in the middle of other pictures.

Case # 7: The Beach. I posted this picture last Tuesday and I'm glad to report that I mostly edited the beach and not myself. I fixed my teeth a little but that's basically it. I even left a mini zit on my forehead. The beach wasn''t exactly picture perfect but I wanted to share to the world that I finally saw the damn sea. I first manipulated the Hue/Saturation for the sea so that it would look really nice and deep. I realized the sea and the sky became the same color so I separated them by placing them on different layers. This allowed me to make the sky look a little brighter. If only it was that easy in real life.

I'll probably hate myself for posting these but honestly, who cares? Everyone does it. No one just wants to admit it. I'm not sure if I'm still making sense. Putting captions on those damn pictures was exhausting. Happy Labor Day everyone!