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Sometimes when I’m juxtaposing the bills I have to pay with the digits on my money log book, I get disheartened. I’ve also experienced delayed cheques and kill fees for pieces I dedicated quite a lot of bed time to. The kill fees hurt but delayed cheques are especially bad. What if you had anticipated treating yourself to Thai noodles grande? What if you’ve been aching for it for 3 long months? What if the collection company couldn’t move your payment deadlines? Oh, my mistake. They don’t give extensions, like, ever. Just penalties hahaha.
When I started freelancing earlier this year, I only took writing jobs I liked to do because I was dumb and goddamn arrogant. I was in the red before the first month even ended. You know how panic has this way of building up slowly, just under your skin? And when you’re really close to screwing it, stress and desperation rolls in an all kinds of dread just tides over your chest in waves? I had a really bad case of the waves. I started freelancing without a backup plan and not enough capital. What if I had nothing at all? I’d probably be in that proverbial kangkungan, lying on my side and starving to death.
[[MORE]]Sometimes I find myself comparing the situation I’m in now to when I had a regular job (another dumb thing to do). I didn’t even think twice about what I was spending on then. I could’ve had those Thai noodles every week because I didn’t care about making ends meet. Now it’s like I’ve been demoted back to college where I turned down lunch invitations saying I’d already eaten or I had something else to do—in truth I was skimping for art supply funds (there was nothing I hated more than asking my parents for money) (and oil paint is expensive).
It’s like when I was back in college, this holding back on everything else so I have enough for the essentials. Except now I know the taste of a daily salary.

These days, I’m trying to master plotting out money. We allot the money we have to the things we need to spend on, right? In my version, I designate and lock the money in boxes inside my head so I know exactly what I can’t spend. I do this way in advance and I try not to include money I don’t have yet. When I’m faced with an emergency, I’ll take money out of one of the less critical “boxes” and flag it for immediate refill. There’s also the emergency fund box, which I won’t touch unless I’m dying. It’s frightening when you don’t have anything to fall back on. I’m an idealist who tends to assume I have enough and always end up spending too much. The only way to sidestep this is if I am constantly aware of exactly how much I have. So if you catch me staring out into space, I’m probably thinking of money.
The problem now is how thinly spread my resources are. That’s why I’m trying to get this job where I get to decide my rates. Maybe I’d be able to generate a comfortable margin and my financial log book would be a bit more stable. I just need to figure out how much to charge. Right now, the compensation I get on writing assignments depends on the publication—if it’s a commercial magazine or a freezine, the number of subscribers, circulation figures, the company’s standing, etc. In my limited experience, the fees have always been arranged already. Asking me how much to charge is like summoning a tumbleweed to roll around the vast emptiness that is my brain’s business section.
Well, whatever. I’ll figure it out. This is one of those constructive learning experiences—part of the adventure this whole freelancing thing has been for me. Mostly, it’s been a lesson on frugality but I’ve also gotten to learn and write about things I wouldn’t normally know about. And that makes it all worthwhile. :)
…I told you I’m an idealist.

Sometimes when I’m juxtaposing the bills I have to pay with the digits on my money log book, I get disheartened. I’ve also experienced delayed cheques and kill fees for pieces I dedicated quite a lot of bed time to. The kill fees hurt but delayed cheques are especially bad. What if you had anticipated treating yourself to Thai noodles grande? What if you’ve been aching for it for 3 long months? What if the collection company couldn’t move your payment deadlines? Oh, my mistake. They don’t give extensions, like, ever. Just penalties hahaha.

When I started freelancing earlier this year, I only took writing jobs I liked to do because I was dumb and goddamn arrogant. I was in the red before the first month even ended. You know how panic has this way of building up slowly, just under your skin? And when you’re really close to screwing it, stress and desperation rolls in an all kinds of dread just tides over your chest in waves? I had a really bad case of the waves. I started freelancing without a backup plan and not enough capital. What if I had nothing at all? I’d probably be in that proverbial kangkungan, lying on my side and starving to death.

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JESSICA ZAFRA | The perils of being a writer

^Ahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaa. I’m dirt poor.

But I’m serious. And I certainly do not want to inflict tone-deaf prose on the public.

"Writing is a discipline. You train for it the way tennis players do. They practice serving a thousand times a day so that they can do it automatically. If you’re serious about writing, write every single day. 1,000 words a day."

Tobi’s guide to dealing with embarrassing situations

"All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship."
— For Banned Books Week, George Bernard Shaw (above) and other literary icons on censorship (via explore-blog)

Restoration of temple 'harder than building it'

According to Utsumi, the main challenge for the 100-strong team working there was to find out what exactly the original architecture looked like 250 years ago. That involved a lot of informed guesswork by craftsmen at Konishi Arts, since most of the original paint had come off and many carvings had lost their details. To do this, as well as using hints provided by remnants of old pigments on the wood, a technique known as X-ray fluorescent analysis was also used to study the chemical elements of the pigments. Altogether, such investigations of the architecture took two full years, he said.

THIS IS WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT. Restoration is not something you do haphazardly especially on sites that are considered National Historical Landmarks. The architecture and original materials should be exhaustively studied and everything that can still be preserved must be equipped with longevity. And then you create proper documentation so that future restorers and the public are informed. That’s restoration.

Wonder Woman's Secret Past

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newyorker: In the magazine this week, Jill Lepore investigates the female superhero’s feminist origins:

"The much cited difficulties regarding putting Wonder Woman on film—Wonder Woman isn’t big enough, and neither are Gal Gadot’s breasts—aren’t chiefly about Wonder Woman, or comic books, or superheroes, or movies. They’re about politics. Superman owes a debt to science fiction, Batman to the hardboiled detective. Wonder Woman’s debt is to feminism. She’s the missing link in a chain of events that begins with the woman-suffrage campaigns of the nineteen-tens and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later. Wonder Woman is so hard to put on film because the fight for women’s rights has gone so badly."

Photograph by Grant Cornett

Maybe anger is the only emotion that moves me these days, that’s why I like provoking it. My latest method is accepting writing assignments that involve the government. It’s impossible to stay apathetic when you keep learning anew just how much bullshit they feed us everyday. There’s an anomaly everywhere you probe and you don’t even have to dig that deep.

The saddest was that time I researched about a certain organization that helps out marginalized communities. You might have already heard about this one—the PEACe Bonds scam. As per usual, it caused “some” money to be pocketed by certain people and certain private companies. Know what PEACe stands for? Poverty Eradication and Alleviation Certificates. It’s been more than a decade and this one’s still unresolved. If you research further, you’ll find that the person who spearheaded this project was Dinky Soliman—she has since become the secretary of the, ehem, Department of Social Welfare and Development. She was in the news just last month because Sen. Miriam is out to probe her about the unaccounted for 5 billion pesos over at Philpost. Even this news is old now and Dinky’s dirt is just getting absorbed into a word that’s been dulled into something people have just gotten used to. Oh, you know, “corruption.” Shrug. (Read about the PEACe Bonds scam here.)

That’s just one. It’s a given that Philippine politics is nasty business, but it’s even nastier. If you look beyond trending areas covered by the media, you’ll only find more. And then more.

There are more government projects other than the overpriced Makati buildings you need to dig about. I’m reading about heritage projects right now. So far, it’s not yet as bad as the last subject I researched—that one made me so miserable I actually cried.

Come, let’s work ourselves into astronomical rages.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become."
— Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (via likethesun)

(via lots-of-planets-have-a-north)

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But the 8-hour workday is too profitable for big business, not because of the amount of work people get done in eight hours (the average office worker gets less than three hours of actual work done in 8 hours) but because it makes for such a purchase-happy public. Keeping free time scarce means people pay a lot more for convenience, gratification, and any other relief they can buy. It keeps them watching television, and its commercials. It keeps them unambitious outside of work.

We’ve been led into a culture that has been engineered to leave us tired, hungry for indulgence, willing to pay a lot for convenience and entertainment, and most importantly, vaguely dissatisfied with our lives so that we continue wanting things we don’t have. We buy so much because it always seems like something is still missing.

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