Sunday, November 3, 2013

Update: We're Moving!


Hi Everyone! This blog (and it's stories and juiciness) has moved to John Evangel (http://evangeljohn.wordpress.com).

This move has been in the works for a while. My new home offers more options for me to create more awesome stuff for you and me, hence the move!
Head on over to John Evangel right now and sign up for updates from there (and check out the new story I posted, too).

We'll miss blogspot. Toodles! :D

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Event: expect the Unexpected (4)

Hey! Welcome to Part 4 of this series. I'm glad you enjoyed the last one. So, U know the deal eh? If you like it, share. (Tweet button to the right, bunch of share buttons under each post - facebook, blogger, etc). If you don't like it, drop a comment so I'll know what's up.
Btw, Tuesday's the Birthday of a really cool friend, Lola Carissa. Stop by her facebook page here and show her some love, will ya? Thanks for that!
Also, I'm not one of those to apologize for not posting after a while. Just enjoy the read, and don't forget your drink. Its gonna be a fun ride!
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The BOY

Sir, please don’t tell my Mom”, Hiko pleaded. “She’s going to ground me for a month! Please!” he begged further.
The bus driver gave him a vicious look, and said “No! I will tell your mother. I will make sure Principal Naoki knows, and I’m sure she is going to suspend you for at least two weeks. For goodness’ sake, you punched a tooth out of the boy’s mouth!
Hiko knew he was in for it at this point. He had no other option, except the one that dominated his cerebrum.
Before he could implement the devious plan that was occupying his thoughts, he heard a rumbling sound from behind the bus. The bus driver looked at him again, and as if he could read Hiko’s thoughts, shouted at him: “Don’t go anywhere!
Hiko strained his neck to see what was going on as the bus driver went to inspect what was going on. Then he heard the rumble again, much louder this time. Then…

CRACCKKKKK!!!

The road split in two! And the crack in the road kept coming – coming for the buses, coming for Tohoku Elementary.

Image obtained from this link.
GET INTO THE BUS!  NOW!” the bus driver roared. Hiko jumped into the bus faster than one could say Jack Sparrow. The bus driver leaped into the driver’s seat and floored the accelerator.
SEATBELTS ON! NOW!!” the bus driver roared again. Hiko didn’t need anyone to tell him twice – he slapped the seatbelt on as the bus driver sped off. Hiko was sure that the bus was going at 80mph now – well above the speed limit for a regular car, let alone a school bus. He saw the children in the bus looking back, and he followed suit. He saw it happening. 

One of the two buses behind his was sinking. They saw the driver of that bus rev his engine, but the crack had caught up with them. The bus began to fall back into the huge chasm that was being created. In a last attempt at survival, the driver abandoned the children, jumped out his bus and tried to save his life. At that moment, Hiko’s bus driver made a left turn, and the sight was taken away.
The children kept looking back in terror. What made them more horror-struck was when they didn’t see the second bus make that same turn. It was gone.

Shaking. Shaking. Violent SHAKING.

At that moment, Hiko realized what was happening. He had seen this in a movie once. Realizing that this was no movie, he shouted: “EARTHQUAKE!

The MAN

Shou looked at the kid that pleaded with him. “He’s not even as remorseful as he should be”, he thought. He rained threats on the kid. “This kid has no idea what he has gotten himself into, does he? He took out his friend’s tooth!” Shou mused. He was about to send another barrage of threats when he heard the distinct rumble behind the bus. He went to check it out. He saw the kid trying to move away, and screamed at him: “Don’t go anywhere!

Image obtained from this link.
He looked ahead, but he could not believe what his eyes told him. The ground was opening, and the crack looked like it was heading for them! He saw two cars aligned at 80° angles to the ground inside the ditch created, and they were falling – falling headlong into the crack! He could make out a person’s figure in the backseat of one of the cars, her arms flailing and banging, trying to get out of the car. He watched motionlessly as the cars were swallowed by the ground. A loud cracking sound and the quivering of the ground jolted him into action.

“No way THIS is gonna happen to ME!” he thought. He turned and ran to the driver’s seat, revved the engine and moved the transmission at the same time. The car lurched forward and sped off. He grabbed the steering to steady the bus, and shouted to the children behind him: “SEATBELTS ON! NOW!!

He kept his foot on the gas pedal, and then stole a look at his rearview mirror. He saw another bus sinking into the ground behind him. A bus from Tohoku Elementary. 39 kids and a bus driver just died behind him.

“Oh HECK NO! Not happening! Not to ME! Not to my kids!” he thought. He took his foot off the gas pedal, pushed the transmission one step down, pulled the handbrake, and turned the steering hard to the left. The tires made a loud SCREEEECCHH as the bus drifted into the left turn. He pushed the handbrake down, slammed the gas pedal and moved the transmission one step up. The car jerked and jumped forward like a little boy who got stung by a soldier ant on his behind. “Who says one can’t learn driving skills from ‘Need for Speed’? I certainly did”, he thought.

He felt a huge RUMBLE, and the car shook violently like a leaf in the wind. One of the kids in the bus screamed “EARTHQUAKE!” He retorted “Really? You just realized that we were in the middle of an earthquake? Tell me something I don’t know!

 The safest place he could think of was the military base thirty minutes away. “They’ve got underground bunkers and the roads are reinforced against earthquakes. We have to get there fast”, he muttered under his breath. He made a right turn in a manner similar to the earlier left turn, and barely saw the small black Hyundai speeding towards him.

Instinctively, he made a left turn to avoid the car. The combination of the drifts and sharp turns made the car somersault sideways.

BLAM! BLAAM!! BOOOOM!!!
The WOMAN

Kiyoshi felt another speed bump. “Oh no! Not my TIRES! Tadashi is in more trouble than he knows – he’s making me puncture my tires!” she thought. Her thoughts distracted her from seeing the distinct yellow of the school bus hurtling towards her.

She reflexively steered the black Hyundai she was driving to the left.

BLAM!

Image obtained from this link.
She had crashed into a tree on the side of the road. She was dazed, and everything looked fuzzy. Then, POOOF went the airbag, thumping her head against her car seat and knocking her unconscious.

***********

The quivering of the ground roused her back to consciousness. She looked at her body; no major damage. She could feel her hands and legs; her nose and ribs hurt badly however. She put a hand to feel her nose.

Blood.

She tried to shout, but all she could let out was a moan. She stumbled out of the car after unhooking her seatbelt and used her shirt sleeve to wipe off the blood on her nose. Her ribs hurt more now as she stood. “I’m probably bleeding internally”, she thought. Then she saw the yellow bus that she had swerved to avoid, on its side, and partially sunk into the ground. It was a bus from Tohoku Elementary. Another RUMBLE of the ground. She could make out the big lettering on the back of the bus, now turned sideways: AF16B9.

“Tadashi! My Tad!” she thought, as she ran toward the bus. The ground vibrated some more. The bus slid deeper and deeper into the ground. Her nose caught a whiff of some smoke. “It’s coming from…it’s coming from the bus! The bus is going to explode!” she thought.

She ran faster. Her ribs ached more. They shifted and ground against themselves inside her as she tried to increase her speed. She whimpered, but didn’t slow down; she had to get her son from that bus. She arrived at the foot of the rift that was swallowing up the bus; it was bigger than she had imagined. At that moment, the earthquake seemed to reach its peak with the loudest and most violent quivering she had ever experienced. She hit the ground before she knew it, and watched as the bus slid and jostled itself into the ready throat of the chasm. Then she heard the explosion from the belly of the ground.

Tad! Tadashi!!” she cried. “TADASHI! MY BABY!!” she wailed. The mental and physical pain racked her mind and body, and it gave way: she coasted once more into the sweet nothingness of unconsciousness.

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.... (still) to be continued.

Are you enjoying the story? Lemme know what you think of the design and story in the comments section!
(P.S: All images that are not mine have links to their source. Tryna avoid plagiarism and all that, you know...)

Graphic Design Blog, remember? I couldn't find a good place to put this in the story, so...
Original Graphic/Logo for Tohoku Elementary. Opinions?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Event: expect the Unexpected (3)

Hello! So you guys enjoyed the last post eh? Good stuff! I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. My blog-mum gave me work, that's why I didn't post this earlier, added to the fact that I've not eaten/slept well in days....lol. I'm under the influence of creativity. Also, I'd like to say that it's Frank Edwards birthday today - go to his page on facebook or twitter and show him some love, will ya? Thanks! Also, to my great childhood friend Chidinma Igwegbe, get well soon! This one is for you to pass the time.
Furthermore, know that I pay attention to detail - every detail is important. If you don't understand something, the 2 previous posts in this series will surely explain. Or you can always ask me using the comments box. And, if you like it, tell 5 friends using the links at the bottom!
Ok, enuff talk. Here's part 3. Don't forget your drink!
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The Event. Are You ready?
Friday Morning. 6.30am.
You make the best coffee in the world, honey. And I should know. I’ve been drinking your coffee for ten years now. Starbucks got nothing on you, baby.” She smiled at that statement, a cute, coy smile, and her left cheek swelled with the smile. The single dimple formed. Her husband always knew the right things to say to make her smile. He’d been doing it for years now. And he had gotten good at it. His primary tool of courtship was his words, and he used them well. She loved hearing him work magic with his expressions. He continued: “What flavor of coffee is this? I detect a hint of cherry and blackberry.

It’s my secret ingredient, honey. It’s called love”, she answered, smiling more broadly now. He returned the grin. She briefly recalled when they first met; he always thought he spotted her first. He thought wrong.

He had walked into her place of work jauntily, took a seat, and waited for a waiter to come take his order. She was taking someone else’s order at the time, but briefly looked up to see who caused the doorbell to ring by walking in. “Yummy”, she thought. She forced her gaze back to the customer whose order she was taking, but her thoughts were a thousand miles away. She hadn’t had a meaningful relationship in one and a half years. What was she doing?

Go talk to him”, a voice in her head said.
 “He’ll just use you and dump you, like the other men have done”, another voice quipped.
You never know how he’ll treat you – you do know all guys are NOT the same, right?” the first voice urged.
But all guys ARE the same, and act the same way, and want the same things, so.…” the other voice retorted.
‘The War of the Minds’ raged on inside her. Then she saw another waitress - a lady five years younger than she - going over to take his order. She stopped thinking instantly.

She abandoned the customer she was attending to, leaving him rattling off names of spices and dishes to himself like a madman at the dumpster. She moved as quickly as she could to the rows of tables and chairs on the side of the inner wall, and with superhuman calculation, shoved the first table as hard as she could at exactly the right moment. The other waiter was still moving, unaware that all the tables and chairs were tipping over each other behind her, and that the resultant domino effect was coming straight for her. It all happened in the space of two seconds.

BLAM!!

 The other waiter was flat on her face and hands. Everyone laughed and pointed. Some people whose conscience chastised them for laughing moved to help the fallen waitress. She took advantage of the opening, and walked up to him smartly.

Hello Sir. May I take your order?
The young lady! She just fell! I need to go help her…” He made to stand up.
No need for that Sir. She already has people there taking care of her”, she said as she held his hand to restrain him from getting up. “Accidents like these happen every day, Sir”, she continued. “They’re not new. That’s what the job training is about, isn’t it? Now, sit down. Tell me what you want to eat.

He was not used to women standing up to him like that. This was new. This piqued his interest. He saw her in a different light; as his wife, a mother to their kids, and the yin to his yang. Then he snapped out of his daydream.

I’d like whatever you think would be best for me, Ma’am” he said.
She smiled; teeth white as ivory, her left cheek proudly displaying its single dimple. “One order of ‘whatever’s best for you’ coming right up”, she said.  He returned the smile. A thought came to him, and he acted on it immediately.
Permit me to say”, he started, “I’ve never seen anyone look this pretty in a uniform and apron. In my opinion, other waitresses pale in comparison to you.
She smiled again. “Thank you Sir. You’re very kind.
That smile was growing on him. Green light. Emboldened by her response, he continued: “I’d like to know your name, if you don’t mind.

Well, she wasn’t going to be that easy to get. “I don’t mind”, she replied. “You’re just going to have to work for it”, she finished. As she turned to go, she left him with a stern warning: “Don’t call me Ma’am.” Then she sashayed away purposefully, for his viewing pleasure.

Her efforts were not in vain. They got married a year later, and gave birth to their first son the following year. They had discussed moving to a new environment that would be safer for them and their son; she refused. Her home was here. She was quite headstrong and persuasive. They discussed getting her a new job in the town, a job where she could earn more money. He was already earning some good cash from his site management enterprise, and it was enough for two of them initially. 
When the baby came, however, it became insufficient. Then, they had a light bulb moment: why not buy the eatery where they first met? She would make five times what she was making now, and have more time to take care of their little boy, Tadashi. This meant emptying out their emergency stash to finance the project. The previous owner was glad to let the eatery go – he had been looking for someone to sell it to, so they got it at a discounted price.

What are we going to call it dear? Is it still going to be called ‘Stop-And-Sop?” her husband quizzed.
No”, she replied. “I never liked that name. How about ‘The Old House Café'? 
I think it’s a nice name. Has an old yet young feel to it”, he answered.

Like I said, Graphic Design Blog, remember? (lol)
Original Logo Design/Graphic for Old House Cafe.
(Not in anyway affiliated with any other similar brand)
Which do you prefer? How can I improve on it? Opinions are welcomed.
Good times, good times.

She snapped out of her reminiscence, gave her husband a peck before he dashed off to work, and went to prepare Tadashi for school. “At ten years of age, my boy should be able to get himself ready for school by now, shouldn’t he?” she asked Tadashi. 

He replied, “Yes Mom, I can take care of myself, but I like it when you do it. You do it so well, you know.

“He’s just like his Dad”, she thought, as a smile caressed her lips once more.

She dropped off Tadashi at school and headed to open The Old House Café for the day. She arrived at 8.00am; none of the waiters had arrived yet. “Someone’s gonna get a pink slip soon”, she thought. She had to fill in for the waiters till they arrived. At 8:25am, a man walked into the store, dressed in a brown jacket and a baseball hat, and he held a newspaper in his left hand. Her first customer for the day.  He walked up to the counter.

The usual, please”, he requested.
I’m sorry Sir, I do not know what you usually order here”, she replied. “None of my waiters are around today, so I’m filling in till someone arrives.
A Double Mochachino Latte”, he demanded. That was when she recognized him.
Don’t you work at Tohoku Elementary?”, she asked.
I do. I’m the bus driver for Route #AF16.
Really? My son attends that school! I think you must be his bus driver. His name is Tadashi Jirou. I’m his mother.
Yeah, I know him. He’s a good kid. Doesn’t make trouble.
That’s good to hear. My name is Kiyoshi Jirou. It’s good to meet you.
Added noise effect to make it look old and
newspaper-ish. It is called the
'Old House Cafe' after all... isn't it?
Shou Masato. Pleased to make your acquaintance, Mrs. Jirou.

Shou paid for his coffee, went to sit down in the booth at the far corner by the window, and dug into his newspaper.
“He's a nice man, but he seems introverted", Kiyoshi thought. Then the waiters arrived. When they saw Mrs. Jirou working at the counter, they didn’t try to enter from the front. Instead, they swerved to the left, with the iintent of using the back entrance. Kiyoshi saw them and laughed. “Amateurs”, she thought. “I was much smarter than my boss in my day. I’ll let them slide this once though.”

The rest of the day went by without a quandary. Then, at 2: 43pm, she received a call.

Hello”, Kiyoshi began.
Hello. Is this Mrs. Jirou?”, the male voice on the other end of the line replied.
Speaking. How may I help you?
This is the clinic at Tohoku Elementary School. Your son was involved in an altercation on one of our school buses some minutes ago. He lost his 2nd lower right incisor…
WHAAAT!!??!
We just wanted to make sure you were aware. We are cleaning up the cavity created now, but he will have to see a dentist eventually. You do have the means to pay for that, right?
Crackle. Crackle.
No answer. The man on the other end of the line repeated what he said previously, then looked at his phone like something was wrong. He dropped the call.

Kiyoshi was already on the highway before the conversation ended. She sped to Tohoku Elementary like her life depended on it.

“My son? In an altercation? He was in a fight?” she thought. She floored the accelerator and the car approached 100mph. Her mind kept racing: “When did he start fighting? Why would he do that? And he lost a tooth! Does he know how much that will cost at the dentist’s? Who was the person that knocked out his tooth? That kid needs some serious spanking! Someone's gonna hear from me today!!”

She hit a speedbump at 100mph, but that didn’t faze her - she just slowed down to 85mph. She was gonna confront someone about her baby. Then she hit another speed bump. And another.  Another still. “There aren’t this many speedbumps on the way to Tohoku Elementary”, she thought. “Is someone renovating the road? Or – my tires!! God, NOT my CAR TIRES!! I have too much I’m spending on already!!”, she pleaded in her mind.

Then it began. What happened next was beyond anything she had ever seen or imagined.….

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.... (still) to be continued. (Oh boi, this story is getting more interesting everyday! I'm even excited abt reading the posts myself...can't wait to read the next one!)

Till next time, have a Kolor-Full Life!

Yours Truly.



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Event: expect the unexpected (2)

Hey There! How are you? I wanna know! :) 
Enjoy the last post? I appreciate all your comments and likes. I'm enjoying this story mehn - its a fun read! Enjoy, share, click the like button, spread the word. You know you want to...lol. You can even subscribe to the blog and receive a notification email when a new post arrives. First, some instructions.
All definitions of words that may be confusing have a hyperlink that you can click and learn the meaning of the word. 
I told you to grab a drink, last time, right? This time, You might wanna grab the whole bottle and a glass.  Now, I present part 2 of the story. Enjoy the ride, and don't forget to leave a comment and tell 5 friends!
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So, what do You think of the design?
Its custom-made, in case you were wondering.

Rumble. Rumble. Bright Flashing light.

Rain. Most likely a minor thunderstorm.

The man sat up straight. Unlike many of his friends, he was a morning person. He was ready to take on the day. He looked to his left, took out his pen and cards from the bedside cabinet, and was ready to begin his morning ritual of list-making and positive reinforcements. He looked at his alarm clock; the poor old alarm clock. Once again, he had woken before the clock could do its duty: spreading morning gloom with its incessant tintinnabulation. He was smarter than it was, of course. He wouldn’t let it spoil his day. So he competed with the clock constantly, and had soon made a habit of waking up at exactly 5:59am. “Well”, he said, “Beat you to the punch again, didn’t I?” Then he thought, “I’m talking to my clock. I really need to schedule an appointment with a new psychiatrist.” He moved to get off the bed. Suddenly, something jerked under the sheets.

The figure that was revealed when the sheets moved was quite astonishing. Shapely, yet mature, wearing only a striped blue longsleeved shirt. Long auburn hair, full red lips, long eyelashes, face shaped like an orange, light colored skin with evidence of tanning, legs that looked athletic and frail at the same time. The duvet covered her midsection. She had spent the night there. With him. And who was to blame? Her? She was 38, divorced, with 2 kids who abhorred her, and had traveled far away from the United States to this place, where she could continue her profession and begin a new life. She had no friends or acquaintances to keep her company. Or was he to blame, for sleeping with his psychiatrist?

This was not him. He didn’t even know why he had done it. He was told by his boss to seek help for his addiction. Indeed, his boss was a lenient, sweet, old lady: she knew he was addicted to gambling, and that he especially had a thing for Poker and Dominoes. And she had called him into her office one day.

Welcome, Mr. Shou Masato.” she began, “How are you today?
Hello Principal Naoki. I’m okay, I guess. Is there a problem?
Yes, my young man, there is. A huge problem. Bigger than an elephant. In. This. Very. Room.” She brought her round-rimmed glasses to the tip of her nose, so she could peer at him directly without taking the glasses off. Then she bent down and looked into his face. This intimidating move had the desired effect; Shou became afraid. Her face bore no inkling of the sweetness she was known for.
This is a graphic design blog, remember? So I made an original graphic for  
'Three Fingers Bar'. What do U think? What could I have done better? 
Opinions are sincerely welcomed.


I heard what happened at the Three Fingers Bar two nights ago”, Principal Naoki started again. “I have booked an appointment for you with this lady.” She shoved a business card into his hand. “I want you to see her as soon as you are done with today’s duties.”
But Principal Naoki, I have to …” he started.
She gave him a piercing gaze, fiercer than the first one. She seemed to bore a hole right through his forehead with her eyes. It worked like a charm. He shut up.
You can leave now. And know that I’m doing this because I like you, young man. I want you to keep working here. But realize that the reputation of this school is at stake. If you do not go to the appointment, you can feel free to pack your things after today, and turn in your I.D. badge.
He nodded, stood up, and left. “The restroom”, he thought. He had to use the restroom. The Principal almost made him wet himself in her office. He would have to go see the woman whose name was on the card. “Why do they think I have an issue?” he thought. “Gambling is a way of life; I live on the edge everyday! It’s so much fun. Those who say gambling is an addiction say so because they have no life; they do nothing interesting. Now I have to go see this silly old hag who was paid one week’s worth of my wages to listen to me talk about something I love for 2 hours. What a waste.”

Well, it wasn’t that much of a waste. He was intrigued when he first saw her. She wasn’t his type of woman, being from the States and all. However, she had a presence, a charisma, an allure that most of the ladies he had met didn’t have. She listened to him intently, but was able to steer him back onto the right course of conversation when he started drifting or rambling. It made her all the more enigmatic, and he was determined to solve her. By the second appointment, they had kissed. He knew what he was doing was wrong, but he had no power to stop it. He had heard of people whose lives were ruined because they started sleeping with someone who was close to them or someone who was helping them. He had heard of people who talked of some guy – what was he called again – that could make one stop doing wrong things. “Well, I need whoever that guy is. Iesu Kirisuto*. I think that’s his name…or something like that. But later on, not now”, he thought.
Yesterday afternoon was his third appointment – and their first date. And here she was, lying on his bed. How did it come to this? Not that he didn’t like her – he liked her very much. He liked her even more after last night. Yet, he was in love with someone else. Unfortunately, that someone had been refusing his several date requests. “It’s not like I had a choice,” he thought. “Anyway, she’s gonna have to do the ‘walk of shame’ later on – I’m heading to work.” He left the bed and went into the shower.

Shou had a quick shower and breakfast; total time spent was 15 minutes. She still hadn’t woken up. “Mehn! She sleeps like a log!” he thought. “Or, maybe I’m quite good at….” He let the thought wander without finishing, while his face contorted into a leer. He scribbled something on a sticky note and stuck it to the bed poster of the side where she slept. He dropped a few notes and coins on the table, and put on his baseball hat and brown jacket, then he was out the door and into his car. He was a brisk man; he didn’t believe in dull moments. Surprisingly, he had one of the dullest jobs he could think of: a bus-driver. What was worse than being a bus driver? A bus driver for school kids. Stubborn, dirty, foul-mouthed, loud, angry school kids. A livid thought raced through his mind: “Who in the world invented kids? Worst Invention Ever!” Then a softer, mellow, follow-up thought: “I was once a kid though. I probably behaved like some of them. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on them.” The second thought softened him up a bit. He could hear the patter of the rain drops as he drove to the school. He decided to go slower; he was going to be driving for a while. He arrived at Tohoku Elementary School at 6:50am. He greeted the ‘Man of the Gate’, and collected the keys for his bus. He got into the driver’s seat of Bus #AF16B9, and drove off to pick the children whose houses were on the #AF16 route. The morning drive was the easy shift. Most parents took their children to school anyway, so he had a handful of children in the bus. It was quiet and uneventful. A series of thoughts raced through his mind: “Why is the ‘Man of the Gate’ called that? Because he’s been watching the gate for over 6 years now? Because his previous job was also watching the gate at the house of an opulent couple? Because he’s so old, his government ID number is 5? Why doesn’t he just shorten the self-adopted nickname to ‘Gate-Man’? But he really freaked out on me the last time I called him that. Old people are funny. Well, they make life more interesting with their names. Man of the Gate. Hahaha…” He smiled a hearty smile.

The morning went by without any commotion. He dropped off the kids at Tohoku Elementary, and drove his car to the nearest news stand. He picked up one of the several newspapers at the stand, walked into The Old House Café right next to it, and requested his usual. A Double Mochachino Latte. He paid, sat down in the lone booth by the window, and settled into his eight-hour wait for the school to close. This was a day like any other.

At 2.00pm prompt, Shou left the Old House Café , got into his car, and drove off to Tohoku Elementary. He began mentally preparing himself for the battle that was the afternoon shift, with all the children. And today was a Friday. “Woooh – saaah…. Wooooh – saaaah…I’m calm, confident, assertive. I’m relaxed. No pressure. WOOOOH – SAAAAH…”, he muttered to himself. He arrived at his destination at 2:25pm, got into Bus #AF16B9, and waited for the wave of children. At exactly 2:30pm, it happened.

The gates of Tohoku Elementary burst open as she launched out her little minions onto the sidewalk, armed with lunchboxes, schoolbags, and waterbottles. The invasion had begun. They even managed to topple the ‘Man of the Gate’! He landed on his behind with a thud. The kids laughed so hard, tears dropped from their eyes. Even Shou grinned. Everyone was rushing to get into their respective buses first – because they wanted the back row of seats. The back row was known as ‘The Naughty Row’, and rightly so. Pranks were masterminded, people were jeered at, stones were thrown at people - all from The Naughty Row. And when sitting in the naughty row, the driver had the least possible view of what one was doing. During the 20-minute to 1-hour ride home, the ‘Naughty Row’ for that day had the least adult supervision. Little wonder Shou looked at the back of his bus through the mirror above him and saw 2 young boys struggling to take the last seat in the back row. Before he could get up to go separate them, one of them had thrown a punch. The other kid dodged it and retorted with a left hook. It sank in. The first kid held his face to absorb the pain. Then he pretended to slap the other kid with his right hand. As the other kid moved his hands to block the slap, the first kid saw the opening he was trying to create, and gave the other kid a walloping uppercut with his left hand. A tooth flew upwards, followed by some blood. Shou arrived.

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH YOU KIDS! HAVE YOU GONE MAD?! WHY ARE YOU FIGHTING???” Shou started furiously.
First Kid:He started it! He was trying to take my seat! I got here first!
Second Kid: [amidst muffled cries of pain] “Not true! I got here first! Ask the girl over there!
Shou:No! No!! I don’t wanna hear it. No one is sitting on the back row today. Everyone, find another seat! Now, you two, apologize to each other!
First kid: [with a red face] “I’m sorry.
Second Kid: [crying fully now]: “I’m sorry.”
Shou:You,” [pointing at the second kid] “Go to the school infirmary so they can take a look at that tooth – or the space where the tooth was supposed to be. Go! Now!!

The other kid scampered out of the bus and back into the school premises.

Shou:You!” [pointing at the first kid] “What is your name, fighter? I’ll make sure to report you to your parents and the principal. What is your name?!
First kid: “‘The Terminator’. My name is The Terminator.

The other kids, who were watching the entire altercation with gusto, laughed and cheered in the background. Shou realized that with all the kids present, he was fighting a losing battle. He took the kid outside and shoved him up against the bus.

Shou:  “Do I look like I’m joking? Do you want to be suspended? Your name! Now!!
First kid:My name is Hiko.
Shou:Full name, son!
First Kid:Akihiko Daichi.”   [pause]

Sir, please don’t tell my mother.

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..to be continued. (That feels really good to say! try it...lol)
2. * Iesu Kirisuto = Jesus Christ (from the Japanese katakana).

Till next time, have a Kolor-Full Life!

Yours truly.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Event: expect the unexpected (1)

Hey There. What's up? U miss me?
Before I begin, permit me to dedicate these series of posts to 2 lovely people: Tomilola Lawal (for inspiring me to be consistent with my posts, and for persuading me to join Blogsville - U're awesome!), and Ifunanya ( for inspiring me to take a leap into writing a series. You showed me - indirectly - how to let a story craft itself, and I intend to do that with these). I appreciate you all. You guys can check out Tomi's Blogs here and here; and Ifunanya's blog here. Fun stuff, I tell U! Great writers they are.

Now, to the post. Get a glass of juice or something to sip on. This is kinda a long read.
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Decided to do my own design as the picture for the post -
This is a blog about the beauty of graphic design, remember?
What do you think? What could I have done better?
Opinions are welcomed.

He opened his eyes; everything was fuzzy. He could make out the outlines of an image above him and a dim curve on the lower part of the image. A smile. He felt loved. “Wake up, Hiko. It’s time to get ready for school”, the soft yet firm voice said. “O.K. Mom, I’m coming”, Akihiko replied groggily. He rolled out of bed and walked to the bathroom like a Resident Evil zombie who had overdosed on opium and alcohol. His full consciousness returned to him as soon as the water hit him.

He had a good life: had never known what it was to miss a meal, had two parents who were happily married, who loved him dearly and never failed to tell him, had a nice apartment to live in, was attending one of the best schools in his district. Not many of his mates or friends were that lucky. He was the only child of his parents, albeit not by choice.

The Daichis were a happy couple. They enjoyed each other’s company, but one thing that brought them sadness was the fact that they were married for several years with no child to share their love with. Yet they managed to stay happy. Mr. Daichi was quite the romantic. He would bring home flowers for his wife while returning from work at least once a week, and constantly researched new ways to spice up their romance. Nevertheless, when they saw other couples with their baby trams and screaming kids, they longed for the day they would hold their own child in their arms. Their own flesh and blood.

After being married for three years with no sign of pregnancy, they had panicked themselves into the doctor’s office. The doctor had told them that their reproductive organs were working fine; there was no logical reason they shouldn’t have a baby in the next few months. This calmed the Daichis down a bit. Then, one year. Two years. Three years. Four years. Five years. Six years later. They decided that the first doctor they were seeing was a quack, and sought a second opinion. The second doctor told them that they were fine, except for one small issue: Mrs. Daichi’s fallopian tubes were very small – if she got pregnant, the chances of an ectopic pregnancy occurring were 95%. This news brought gloom, enough to suck the light out of a street lamp. That day, Mr. Daichi got his wife the biggest bouquet of flowers his “flower guy” could hook him up with, and later took her out for ‘A Night on the Town’. They were happy again, albeit for a little while.

About a month from their “Night on the Town”, Mrs. Daichi was awakened by a deep retching feeling in her gut. She rushed to the bathroom, and threw up for over 20 minutes. Naturally, Mr. Daichi was worried. He did the most logical think he could think of at the moment: he rushed her to the hospital. The diagnosis was not expected. Mrs. Daichi was three weeks pregnant. Oh! What joy! “You can throw up all you want honey, as long as we get the baby!” shouted Mr. Daichi as he drove her hack home from the hospital. She screamed in return, “We’re getting a baby! WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!” The joyous moment had finally arrived! They signed up for pre-natal classes, went shopping for baby things, and hired an interior designer to remodel the third room of their 3-bedroom-apartment into the baby’s room that same day! Their joy was contagious, which turned out to be a blessing for the interior designer and the carpenter they hired to fix up a custom baby cot to their specification – the Daichis tipped them like they contributed to the pregnancy.

During one of the routine prenatal visits to their obstetrician 6 weeks later, Mrs. Daichi got some not so shocking news: she had an ectopic pregnancy. The obstetrician showed them the ultrasound scans – Mrs. Daichi’s fallopian tube was already damaged badly from the pressure of a growing zygote. Mrs. Daichi needed surgery fast to move the zygote into the uterus directly. The surgery took place 1 week later. After 2 days of preparations and 6 hours of surgery, Mr. Daichi was glad to see the lead surgeon come out with a smile on his face. That was all he needed to see - all was well. However, Mrs. Daichi was advised not to get a second baby after the one that was on its way, or it could completely ruin her reproductive system. The rest of the pregnancy went on without a hitch. 

On the 2nd of August, 2001, the Daichis officially welcomed the newest member of their family! They looked down at him, and his eyes seemed to sparkle. “Let’s call him ‘Akihiko’”, Mrs. Daichi said softly. “Hmm. Akihiko. The Bright Prince. I like it”, Mr. Daichi replied. “You always know how to pick the best names, don’t you?” he continued. She smiled; they kissed. Their dreams had come true.

 Hiko got out of the shower and got ready for school. He didn’t let his Dad dress him up anymore; he was an adult now. A ten-year-old adult. He got into the elevator with his Mom and rode it down from the 15th floor where their apartment was located. “Why don’t they let ten-year-olds drive cars? I bet I can drive Mom’s car – it’s not that hard. That’s so unfair.” These were the thoughts swirling around in Hiko’s head as his Mom dropped him off at school. Mrs. Daichi and her son came out of the car, and she knelt so she could look at his face directly.
Hiko, don’t miss the school bus back home, O.K? Do your homework before I get back. I’m working an extra hour today, so I’m gonna be home a little late.
Its fine, Mom. I can take care of myself. I’m fine. I’m a man, you know...
I know, my little man. You’re a man and can take care of yourself. That’s why I love you.” Mrs. Daichi leaned forward to kiss her son on the forehead...
MOM! STOP IT! You’re EMBARASSING ME!!
Really? That’s what you’re gonna tell your Momma before she goes off to work? And where did you learn that word, anyway??
O.K. Mom...sorry.” In a muffled tone: “I love you too. Now go! See you when you get back.” Then he ran off to join the hordes of children pouring into the great halls of Tohoku Elementary.

A smile came across Mrs. Daichi’s face. Indeed, she loved smiling – her face had two small cute creases from her constant smiling, and it made her apple-shaped face look all the more beautiful. She entered the car, revved the engine, made a U-turn and sped off to work, all the while thinking: “Hiko grew up too fast! How did he grow up this fast?”

The day went by quickly. Not much was interesting as usual. The teacher did the same old routine. “I could have just stayed home and taught myself by reading Wikipedia all day”, thought Hiko. “I could have had a three day weekend – I don’t learn much from here anyway. But No – Mom wants Hiko to come to school. Why won’t she leave me alone?? Well, school’s almost over. I can go home and watch some TV. I might even go to Koichi’s house later on. Oh well. Today, March 11, is going to be just another uneventful day. So uncool.”

...if only he knew how wrong he was.
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...to be continued (I've always wanted to say that.)

Have a Kolor-Full  Life!

Yours Truly.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dial 911 for Designer !

Hi Peoples! How're we doing today? I really wanna know. 
For me, I'm doing awesome! Cleaned up the blog a bit (more like a LOT), added a New 'Portfolio' tab (gosh! That thing can take years if you don't know what you are doing), and added a 3-D tag cloud (on the right). Looks good, don't it? A pat on the back for me! I'd have to reach over and pat myself though - and that can be uncomfortable. 

Quick story: about a year ago, a friend of mine had come up with this great idea to make an android app for our school community in which students who needed books could contact other students who had the books directly, and could buy the books from them. And we needed it - the bookstore was committing daylight robbery everyday! The dude is a genius. So he had written all the codes and done everything necessary, and the app was running! Cool stuff, right? The next step was advertising the app. 

What do you think?
Now, most engineers I know have this god-complex - they think they can do everything, and the world cannot run without them. #NotJudging - I have no problem with it. My friend happened to be among the class of engineers described above (I did say he was a genius, didn't I?), and naturally, he designed this flyer to advertise his app on facebook as well as all over campus:

Well, it wasn't a bad attempt. Let's not fool ourselves though - you wouldn't read this even if you were bored! Now, the deadline for the ads was 6pm. Time now is 4:58pm. 

Phone Rings...loudly
Me: [groggily] Hellurr...
Friend: Hey man. I'd like your opinion on something.
[Oh He got my attention good...Who doesn't want to feel like they're an expert on something?]
Me: Cool. 
Friend: Sending it to your skype now.

10 minutes later...

Me: Wait, what is this for again?
Friend explains again in a hurry.
Me: Dude, I can't even see the text - are you kidding me? Who designed this?
Friend: Me. I just pulled together on MS publisher - we needed something really fast.
Me: Wow. My opinion? The text is non-visible. background is not catchy. The picture is OK, but the whole thing is...I don't know mehn.
Friend: Give it to me straight.
Me: Its NOT good. Emphasis on the 'NOT'
Friend:  What can you do?
Me: Nothing! Its due @ 6, and its 5:28 now. I'd have to change the whole concept, start from scratch. Can't do anything.
Friend: Come on - you gotta help me out man! I need this!
Me: I can do something, but its gonna be late...
Friend: Anything you do is fine - just make it look pretty - PLEASE!
Me:     Ok... Gimme 20-25 minutes.
So, I'm there, looking at this picture above, wondering what to do, and as I open the file (it was a .pub file), the idea just dropped in my spirit #GBAM! Ain't the HolySpirit beautiful?

Personally, I wanted to take out the whole Middle row of text.
In my Opinion, Less is more when designing.
He wasn't grateful...NOT! He was super grateful! I was glad to be of help. And it was on time - he beat the deadline!
Well, what do you think? I managed to retain as many of the original elements as I could, while revamping the theme. Could it have been better? I think so. Under 25 minutes? Well...what do you think? What could I have done to make it better? Your opinion is highly valued!

Till next time, have a kolor-full life!

Yours truly.

P.S:     @KingObi, I'm talking about you
P.P.S: Also, I told the story as I remembered it. In reality, he may not have begged as much....lol.