April 17, 2006

Bulk view

How to wear a malong

Someone came upon my webpages while looking for ways to wear a malong,
one of the traditional Filipino costumes. It’s really simple – just a
tube of cloth – but incredibly versatile. Although a number of
creative ways to use a malong are featured in a traditional dance
called (unsurprisingly) the malong-malong, I haven’t been able to find
a good Web reference that gives step-by-step instructions on how to
wear a malong. I may just build a malong site this summer, after
sewing that pretty blue/green batik cloth into a spring/summer malong.

Here are a number of ways to wear a malong as a full-length skirt. The
easiest way to wear a malong around your waist would be to flatten the
tube and wrap it around your waist, tucking it in at the end. My
malong is ankle-length when worn like that, which probably goes to
show that I’m exactly the typical Filipino’s height.

Alternatively, you can step into the tube and fold the malong inwards
until it’s the height you want. Then:

  • draw it to one side and wrap that one around tightly, tucking in
    the other end with or without pleating. To pleat, you wrap part of
    it tightly and then fold the excess back and forth with a little
    bit of overlap (like making a paper fan, except with less
    overlap), then tucking this bulky part into the tight inner part.

OR

  • stand in the middle and use your elbows to keep the front side of the malong
    close to your waist while you tie the excess ends into a knot (or a
    double knot), or

OR

  • draw it forward and backward, then use your elbows to keep the
    inside part of the malong close to your body as you fold the excess
    ends to one side and tie a knot

Or you can make something up. =)

I tend to like pleating over a tight wrap because pleating gives you
some freedom of movement. If I knot the malong, I prefer to knot it at
the side so that it has more of a shape, although middle-knotted
malongs go nicely with certain tops.

I should post pictures sometime – maybe three weeks from now, when things quiet down a bit (end of term cramming)…

I’ve also figured out how to wear it as a dress that reminds people of
India or togas. It’s interestingly cultural and gets a lot of comments
(although I’m not sure how many of those are being politically
sensitive) although it’s probably not kosher (safety pins?!). For that
one, you step into the tube and pin it under one arm, then take the
excess and drape it over the opposite shoulder, pinning it to the
front side and adding a large brooch.

I also experimented with using garters to hold up a tube dress (wrap
the tube around you, fold it in front, fold a little bit back, tuck
the excess under that fold, fold the top part in a bit to secure, then
clip on the garters like dress straps). White garters with metal
fasteners looked incongruous. Black or beaded garters with black
fasteners might do the trick.

And yes, I know, I should just post pictures so that you know what I’m
talking about, but I’m technically not supposed to be up this late
documenting part of my cultural heritage… =)

Besides, isn’t it just _so_ cool that malongs are one of the
acceptable skirt-like garments that guys can wear? ;)

More malong tips would be very much appreciated. If my blue/green
malong goes well, I’ll probably shift more of my wardrobe to malongs.
(I can’t sew a balintawak or a Maria Clara!) People can chalk it up to
my being charmingly quirky/nationalistic/exotic/weird…

On Technorati: ,

Rails pub night

I had tons of fun at the Toronto Rails pub night. Met some really cool people. =) Pictures to follow.
Finally got to listen to Joey de Villa (The Accordion Guy) play, and his stories about the perks of accordion-playing were absolutely hilarious. Also greatly enjoyed chatting with the other Rails geeks there… =) Totally, totally cool.

I love going to events like these because I not only get to meet
interesting people, but I also understand more about the social and
technological space we work in.

From the experiences of others, I also learn a little bit more about
what _I_ want to do. I’m starting to realize that my ideal life isn’t
one of teaching within the four walls of the classroom or the
four/five months of a term. I want to be out there, teaching really
diverse groups of people: schoolkids, seniors, entrepreneurs,
volunteers. I want to help people discover how to make the most of
technology. It isn’t just about teaching, either. In the process of
helping people discover something, I learn more about their needs and
opportunities for technologies to adapt to people (instead of just the
other way around!). That’s what I love about the stuff I’m doing at
IBM. It’s not just data crunching and visualization. I’m there because
I’m excited about trying new things _and_ bridging the gap for other
people. That requires speaking and writing skills, yes, but that also
requires deep listening skills, and I hope to learn all of those
really well. =)

If I’m going to go down this path, then – training, teaching,
mentoring, coaching, what-have-you – I’ll need more experience in
order to have more things in common with the people I want to teach.
For example, I care deeply about encouraging people in developing
countries to make their own opportunities, start their own business,
build interesting and useful things. If I’m going to help people
create opportunities, then I should immerse myself in the culture and
experience here so that I can share those things with them.

That sounds like a plan…

On Technorati: ,

Random Japanese sentence: すると、ねこが一匹もいなくなっていました。 They could not see a single cat! Suru to, neko ga ippiki mo inaku natte imashita.

Dips

The dips Bill brought deserve their own entry. He brought taramosalata, a Greek dip of… umm… carp egg caviar. =) But it was really nice, particularly with the chips. He also brought this totally awesome cheese dip with hints of curry, and I have to steal that recipe from him.

And he makes his own sausages. Isn’t that just mind-boggling?

On Technorati: , ,

Random Japanese sentence: あなたが不在の間、誰があなたの猫の世話をするのか。 Who will look after your cat while you are away?

Backlog: I’m feeling potlucky!

Sunday was a very culinary day. ;) After doing my chores and my
laundry, I decided that a potluck lunch was in order, and I called up
Andrew and Mike. They were glad to come even though they had just half
an hour’s notice. (Heh.) Mike didn’t answer his phone the first few
times I called, so I couldn’t borrow his teriyaki stirfry sauce.
Instead, I prepared sesame and ginger chicken stirfry from scratch. I
also contributed jasmine rice (no ginger this time). Andrew brought
homemade wonton and garlic string beans, and Mike brought a sack of
fruits. Much fun was had by all, especially by Andrew, who turned out
to be a closet food stylist.

Barbecue for dinner was absolutely fantastic, too. Bill joined us,
bringing these totally awesome homemade(!!) jalapeno sausages and
other wonderful things. Andrew brought vegetable skewers, Mike brought
potatoes and turkey sausages, and I brought fruits (my canteloupe,
oranges and apples, plus Mike’s mango).

This segued naturally into coffee time and a nice long chat with Bill,
Chloe, and Stefan. Chloe’s even perkier than I am. She’s _so_ cool.
And so British, too… =)

On Technorati: , , ,

Random Japanese sentence: 彼はネコにトムとジェリーとなづけた。 They named their cats Tom and Jerry.