about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Monday, April 22, 2002

Visited the wake of Catcat's mom today at the Magallanes chapels. Mrs. Victoria Marasigan died on April 20, 2002 at 5:30 pm due to her original breast cancer spreading to vital organs. She was 43.

Catcat told us that her mom died a peaceful death, so unlike the characteristic frantic final gasping the dying usually are remembered to do. As we asked Catcat about the details, I was very impressed to see her carry herself as cool and poised. My classmate seemed strong and very much able to carry the realization. I've got to hand it to her: she's one brave lass. If I ever decide to crown someone I know as the "queen of poise," she would easily be it.
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The Zen people present at the wake decided to watch The Scorpion King at Glorietta 4 right after. We have this sort of superstition that attendees of a wake shouldn't go home immediately; they should go somewhere else first. In all honesty though, I'd rather have avoided watching the movie. Not that it was bad (it was pretty entertaining) --- it's just that I feel I've spent too much time in Glorietta already. I'm dreadfully short on cash and I'm spending too much of it.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

We had my relatives over here for lunch, instead of our usual "hangout," my grandma's house in Caloocan. Never quite thought that hosting would be such a chore. Partly because I didn't expect so many of my usually missing-in-action aunts/uncles/cousins to come over. We prepared an absolute feast.

My mom was too tired to realize that there were too many people for our rented tables -- she never even got to take a bath or freshen up before they all came over. My dad was more talkative than usual, mostly due to the indoor drinking spree my uncles invited him into. My sister was helping along and entertaining the little rascals I call my younger cousins. I in turn was trying my best to avoid my cousins fighting over my PlayStation and their chances of being next to play Street Fighter Zero 3 or Tekken 3. I really really didn't want my cousins to play those games, knowing how quickly their squabbles turn into screamfests.

Thank God the day's over. What a mess. At least it wasn't as bad as I thought it'd turn out.

Saturday, April 20, 2002

I had a fitful sleep just before the Otakuboard EB today. I dreamt about the worst possible things that could happen to the day when I would meet my online friends in person...trust me, I'd rather not go into details.

Turns out I never had to worry at all.

Today was the third Otakuboard.com "grand eyeball" meeting/gimmick, and frankly my very first eyeball ever. I arrived at Congo Grille at 9:55 am only to see it was closed until 11:00 am this morning. I texted everyone that I'd kill time at nearby Powerbooks until it does open. I was a bunch of jangled nerves, rather insecure about how the guys would take me as part of their little posse on the Web. It didn't help that my first few minutes with the early bird members were spent in awkwardly silence.

When we did get to Congo Grille, though, I managed to loosen up after lunch. I was rather afraid of what to say to each of them, but when I saw them having fun, I just went along. After lunch we had a game of billiards and played some arcade games at Timezone. I guess I impressed them with my prowess with Percussion Freaks and billiards. Strange, though --- I don't play billiards that often, yet they were telling me how "decisive" some of my shots were...if only they knew how I shy away from the game most of the time...

It was kind of sad because I had to leave by 4:30 pm. They were planning to watch Spider-Man after lounging at the Starbucks balcony. Oh well, I guess I can't have it all. Don't get me wrong though; I really enjoyed today. Thanks guys. I never thought a day spent in the company of strangers could be so much fun. :)

Friday, April 19, 2002

Boy, am I a lucky man.

I got my course cards just this afternoon. By some sheer stroke of divine intervention I got the exact grades I was hoping for in Accounting and Algebra: 2.0 and 2.5 respectively. Even better, I managed to sneak into the Dean's List for the third time --- all thanks to my sky-high 4.0 grades in Literature 1 and General Psychology (subjects I never thought I'd be able to score very high in). My GPA this term is a good 3.05; it means I managed to make it to the Dean's List for the entire year.

In addition to that, I'm clear for the Otakuboard EB at Congo Grille in Makati. I'll finally get to meet some of the wacky Pinoys behind the even wackier aliases tomorrow over high-calorie sizzling plates of sisig. I hope I'm in my best mood tomorrow.

Ah, life is good.
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I seriously want to learn how to play real drums. Three years of playing Percussion Freaks can only do so much for me. I've probably spent enough money on the various incarnations of the game (PF, PF 2nd Mix, PF 3rd Mix, PF 4th Mix) to buy my own cheap drum set, complete with cymbals and drumsticks. Well, that might be a slight exaggeration.

After PE this term, I've also discovered that after so many years of abstinence and semi-hate for the sport, I actually like playing basketball. I mean, really, I can be quite good at it if I just had a ball and practiced as often as I could. Yeah, sure, I might not have the skyscraping height (I'm only five feet, eight inches tall) and I get tired real quick, but there's something in the game I just have to achieve.

Perhaps it's the disappointment after my joining the Milo BEST basketball training camp when I was in first grade. I joined simply because my mom wanted it more, she being a b-ball fanatic back in the day. I never took it seriously.

I wonder if it isn't too late to join the DLSU Green Archers. Nah. I'd probably make them lose. The college president wouldn't want that...heheheh.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Tomorrow's the day I get my course cards --- and learn whether or not my meager expertise in Accounting and Algebra did the job. Strange --- I'm not feeling tense or anything. Perhaps it's because I've played too many games of Gran Turismo 2...
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Why on earth is she coming back to my mind's eye? After a whole year managing to forget about my high school crush, she's appeared to me once again in a dream. Does this mean I still seriously want her in my life after she dropped me like a hot potato upon entering college?

Relax, JM. It's only a dream. Then again, Freudian psychology would say otherwise...

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Bought a copy of Ha Jin's novel "Waiting." It's rather old already, and it was a supposed bestseller a year ago. I decided to pick it up, since I was always so curious about the Chinese, having had enough exposure to Japanese culture already.

It's about this doctor in the Chinese Red Army who had a wife he didn't love, since they were married under arranged marriage conditions. Now that his parents are deceased, the doctor decides to divorce his wife for a nurse he meets in the army hospital in the town of Muji. Every time the doctor talks to his wife about divorce, she goes along until she disagrees in front of the judge himself. Now it's been eighteen years, and the doctor decides it's been long enough waiting.

The book is quite simple to read, and it isn't that long either. "Waiting" is a pretty good book because it's actually full of ironies about love. Living in a country where native Chinese usually insist on keeping their bloodline pure, I noticed in the book that deep down, the Chinese and the Filipinos are very similar when it comes to emotions, love and family.

Now if only we had a lot more respect for each other's cultural peculiarities...
I wonder when exactly the trip to South Pasadena was supposed to take place. For something my mom really wanted to happen, it seems she's half-hearted about the details. I don't even know when she planned on leaving. True, our passports are still unapproved and sitting at the US Embassy's desks, but come on -- at least a definite date would do.
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I'm beginning to worry about what I'd actually do in America once we finally get there. The last time I was there I just wasted away playing video games. Knowing how fattening food is in America, I gained at least seven pounds. That was five years ago.

I should exercise when I get there. Perhaps I could borrow a friend's mountain bike and go exploring. Too bad my mom wouldn't allow any exploring by my lonesome. That's no fun...

Monday, April 15, 2002

Summer vacation's finally here.

I managed to get over my finals exams, especially those in Accounting 1a and Algebra 101. These were such hellishly difficult exams. Algebra wasn't as tedious as I thought, but I managed to fudge up and miss three problem-solving questions. Accounting was utter hell. I could only hope I journalized as well as I thought I did, because I am no good with income statements.

Moving on to better things...
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Jake left home for the US while I was slaving over my Algebra finals exam. I feel rather sad about not being able to take him around town before he left. I guess it wasn't really my fault, although I couldn't help but feel guilty. Perhaps it was his wrong timing then?

He consoled me once by saying he'd be back next year, and this time his elder brother and sister would come along too. Hmmm...better not fudge up that opportunity.
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Today we had a Zen "sports day" over at Angel Aguinaldo's place in Alabang. It was sort of an antidote to all the stress and studying we had to endure for this term's shocking subjects and its fucking hard finals. I was rather sad that not too many people were able to come due to unexpected events taking up their time. Zerissa and Teresa were able to come along though, as "new" members of our little posse.

We had a lot of fun...had a whole bucket of KFC chicken to ourselves; played basketball; went swimming in Angel's pool; played a mean game of Charades...and snapped so many pictures along the way. We were actually acting like aspiring/real Communication Arts students. I wonder if things like these are meant to last a long time, since we managed to stay together for ten months already. I do wish the Zen barkada would still be there even after our courses would inevitably dismantle our noisy little block.

Monday, April 01, 2002

Whoops. It's been a full month since I last wrote anything in this little corner of mine. I never really noticed. Perhaps it was just all the ordinariness of life in college which I already tire of. I feel as if I'm right back in high school, stuck in the same old routine repeated everyday ad nauseam.

Whenever I get to visit my friend Pam Pastor's blog, I read about her and I turn a little jealous. Compared to my mundane existence, at the very least her life's a little more exciting to read about (if not more angsty and traumatic). I rather wonder why I never managed to break out of this irritatingly little bubble I feel squished inside of. I've always played life on the safe side even at this horrendously adverturous age that I am right now. It makes for smooth sailing most of the time but it's so goddamn fucking BORING!

I need a break. I need a big fucking dose of adventure. At least I think I'm gonna get that pretty soon when my family's month-long trip to South Pasadena pushes through later on this month.
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Jake arrived March 13th. I'm surprised at how much he's changed. He's no longer the mischievous little imp I knew him eight years ago. He's actually amazing me at how much he's been able to accomplish.

He's turned a deep tan lately because of his work at Mountain View, a ski resort 150 miles from their Chino Hills home. According to him, Mountain View's pay's a lot better than what he used to get back as a manager at McDonald's. He's yet to enter college in September. And while I only race virtual Supras and Skyline GT-Rs in the PlayStation game Gran Turismo 2, he's already been modifying his 1980s Sentra and racing it. He quit it because it was too expensive though. Yeah right. At the buying power you enjoy? C'mon, Jake...

There's one thing he does like about the Philippines. "Do you know how expensive music CDs are back there?" he told me, on the subject of his purchase of a System of a Down CD.

I give a safe answer. "Nine, ten bucks?"

He shakes his head. "Twenty bucks, dude. It's expensive there!" Turns out it's more than twice our price.

He's only going to be here for a month and I haven't been able to take him out anywhere because of a multitude of hang-ups (he got sick for a while; Holy Week; my finals are coming up). I'm finally going to have the chance to show him around on Saturday. I haven't even decided on where exactly I'm going to take him. I just hope I don't screw it all up...
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I got into my first vehicular accident the day after Jake arrived. Apparently I was too busy scoping my side mirrors for an empty spot in the left lane. I didn't notice my bumper was creeping dangerously close to the Space Wagon in front of me. I applied my brakes...not enough. Intending to avoid my brakes squeaking all over the gas station, I braked only halfway in.

I gotta learn how to leave myself enough distance to avoid such close calls next time...and I gotta find new brake pads! I hate having to hear my wheels squeak like hell.
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Managed to snap up Hoobastank's new CD just before the Holy Week weekend. I've been totally addicted to it so far. I think it's rather unfair for them to be compared to Incubus as I've always heard over here. They have their own brand of music, a raucous yet unique mix of Incubus, Blink 182, Foo Fighters and the Offspring's sound. Two thumbs up.

Now I need a new CD Walkman.
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When I thought of entering DLSU, I never thought my schoolyear would have to go on three whole weeks after everyone else starts enjoying the goddamned summer vacation. It's actually rather ridiculous. No matter how much DLSU prides itself on its trimestral system, it's really rather impractical to keep students locked in airconditioned classrooms on ridiculous overtime.

Worse, Comm Arts students like me don't get to reap the benefits of really important subjects where practical application of theory is important. Everything has to be crammed into 14 quick weeks. I'm getting rather irritated.
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Well, that's my life so far. I'll make sure I won't have to wait another whole month before posting in my blog once again. I just hope I remember to exercise while I'm in the US. The last time I was there (1997), I gained a LOT of weight. American food sure is fattening compared to Pinoy food...