The Reason I Tangle

Sometime ago, I was drawn to the magic that is Zentangle after seeing posts by my artist friends on Instagram. I was just amazed by the calming and mesmerizing effect their doodles had on me. After a few months and seeing their more recent work, I decided to look up what Zentangle is all about and the rest is history.

I am only at the crux of my obsession and while I am tangling daily, I am not sure that I will be able to sustain it so here’s hoping to keeping it up.

So let me share why I do it, how to do it, and why anyone who wants to try can also do it.

Why I do it.

The creators of Zentangle purported for it to be easy to learn, fun and relaxing.
Here’s how they define it on their website:

The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle Method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle Method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.We invite you to explore our web site and learn more about this wonderful and uplifting method and art form.

E for Elon, my first publicly shared Zentangle inspired Art

So essentially, the reasons mentioned above are the reasons behind my interest but also so much more. I like seeing the finished product and doing it for people I love. The first one I ever did was the letter E for my son Elon, then another for my first born Nikolai, then requests started to come from Facebook friends. Albeit, I’ve only done four letters at this stage, but I am to continue and complete the rest of the alphabet. 🙂

How to do it

You basically need black fineliner pens, paper, and pencil.

If you are going to strictly abide by the Zentangle method, there are no rulers or erasers allowed. However, I do go out of the Zentangle mode a lot so I do use more than the basics.

I call this David Mandala. 🙂

I also follow the patterns from this site which gives you the best directory of official patterns and step-by-step tutorials.

Why you should do it

Because you’ve read this far and for all the reasons stated above. It’s a great way to while away the time and doesn’t need gadgets or wifi. 🙂 So go grab a pen and start drawing.


While sorting two big buckets of clothes from four to five years ago, I realize how much my taste has changed. Much of it has colours of pink, purple, teal and blue as well as patterns that tiptoe between loud and subtle. Florals, stripes, even bears. I grabbed a few dresses and tops (that may or not fit me, shhh.. that’s beside the point) and hang them in my wardrobe next to my recent purchases, which are a boring sea of greys, blacks and whites.

It’s as if I was seeing my past self meet my present self. And I’m still unsure what to call this feeling, but it’s an…interesting one to say the least.

Every piece of clothing I have ever owned has a memory attached to it. Some detailed, some vague, but memories regardless. For example, this halter swing dress took me back to my prenuptial photoshoot in the hills of Tagaytay (Philippines) and to feeling nervous and excited about getting married a few days from that point. I remember feeling stressed under the burden of planning my own wedding partly because I was such a frugal control freak. 🙂 My present self would have advised my old self to just take it easy because in the bigger scheme of things, details don’t ultimately matter .

I kept various piles today. One for donation. Another for the bins. Yet another for clothes that fit me now, and another one for clothes that don’t fit me now but are too good to throw away or donate. I am not ready to part with them just yet.

The prospect of wearing old clothes that fit me five years ago is my takeaway from today’s activity. It may be futile, but I’m going to die trying. And if I fail, what’s the worst that can happen? Resorting them will be another trip down memory lane and a welcome one at that.

My Uber Story: Before Uber Becomes A Thing of the Past

The first time I tried using Uber in the Philippines, my driver drove to my destination without me. I simply wasn’t ready to go, having only woken up a few minutes before my “conyo” Uber driver turned up. Apologies were given of course and I said I’ll definitely pay for the ride, I didn’t have a choice anyway, but in order to do that, he had to go to my destination. Some GPS related stuff. Up to this day though I still don’t know if it was my fault or my toddler’s for messing with my phone when I wasn’t looking. My husband and I were staying at my sister’s place in Manila and we thought we would try Uber to get to SM South Mall which was only about 10 minutes or one hour away (depending on traffic).

Going back home from the mall that day though, we successfully rode our first (technically second) Uber and it was a breeze. Thanks to the star system, our experience was a textbook Uber one; i.e. polite driver, clean car, seamless payment. We did tip him on top of the payment that’s taken automatically from my card.

Since then, I’ve used Uber only maybe four times in the Philippines and each one proved to be a pleasant riding experience. We always talk to the driver to try and siphon stories from him (I still have yet to meet a female Uber driver). One was a former OFW who worked in Dubai for 15 years or so and is now driving with Uber full time. Another is not only driving for Uber full time, but also Grab Taxi and that other service that picks up and delivers packages. Yet another called Uber “You-ber.” I’ve always find their stories fascinating.

It was only a couple of days ago when I had my first Uber experience here in Australia. I had a pregnancy appointment that I was late for and a host of car and keys issues to deal with. So I left my son with my husband and went to the city by myself. My driver welcomed me in his car using my first name as listed on the app. “Personable,” I thought to myself. I decided to sit at the front next to him thinking it was the polite thing to do. I will later find out from my husband that this was not necessary but also not a bad thing either.

“I just didn’t want him to feel as though he’s my chauffeur, or something,” I explained.

The Uber driver-rider dynamic is unique. As a rider, you readily associate this driver to a real person who has back stories, to a former job other than being an uber driver, or to a product of modern technology. It’s one or the other, or a mixture of all those, but whatever it is, it’s definitely no taxi trip.

My uber driver and I talked about what we used to do in our past lives. I shared that I was a teacher for 10 years before coming to Australia and my plan when I’m ready to work again is to dabble again in graphic design or something totally different such as culinary arts.

“Oh I’m a qualified chef,” he humbly stated.

I was floored when I found out that he used to work at none of other than my favorite Indian restaurant here in Geelong.

“Wait, so are you saying that you have cooked my meal sometime ago?!” I mean of course I get it that there are people preparing food for me but how often do I get to meet in person and in a different capacity?

Having been in Geelong for 5 years, I feel it’s highly likely that he indeed has at least once or twice. Small world indeed. And an amazing one at that. I told him I imagine he still prepares those beautiful dishes at home at his convenience. But to my surprise, this is not the case. At home his wife runs their kitchen. He even claimed that he considers her to be a better cook. As he desribed this stuffed bread they had for lunch just before he picked me up, I was definitely looking forward to the weekend so I could order some Indian takeaway.

And there it was. Another uber nice uber pleasant Uber experience.

We meet new people even for a brief moment, or indirectly without ever meeting them in person (through food we order online hehe), and that may be enough to change our perspective even momentarily. And while I don’t enjoy public transportation, I wouldn’t mind Ubering my way to my destination even for just the chat.