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.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

We held our Mexican-themed party today for our idiosyncratic PE class.

So many things were needed, actually: we planned about five games (some which didn't quite push through because of lack of time), brought an insane amount of food (considering how stringent DLSU is with bringing large amounts of food inside the premises) and got screwed by the awfully timed rainshowers. Because of that damn rain, we had trouble organizing how we'd get the food into the Sports Complex without the guards noticing...and that means using my mom's van. I actually arrived earlier than expected, not the other way around. I was expecting to come in last so I wouldn't have to wait for anyone else. Worse, actually transferring the food to my van meant that we'd have to brave the flooded canals of Taft Avenue.

I'm happy though...I guess we pulled off the party quite well despite all the troubles and a cut class in Philosophy. It was more of a food-driven party than the games-driven parties our other classmates had, since we taught them how to make chicken burritos and paella with shrimp and scallops. Had some games, too...had to make do with a simple palayok (earthen pot) instead of a genuine piƱata because of the price difference...had a sack-race type of game with a twist...those sorts of things.

I'm exhausted.

These stupid rains have caught me unawares. I was driving my sister home, honking along the Skyway at 70 km/h, when the sky suddenly darkens five shades of PANTONE gray. Every street I turned into had rollicking waves of muddy floodwater. The showers seemed tame, actually, but they were persistent enough to cut my forward visibility.

Thank goodness the Pregio van's a diesel. I would've freaked out otherwise.

While at the party, I brandished my old Nikon FM camera once again, after a long period of disuse. I took pictures of my constumed classmates eating, playing games, and basically having fun. While I was at it, I felt something missing in me. Taking pictures suddenly made me realize how much of a bore my life's been.

I always put off using my camera because of the most frivolous reasons---most notably that of not being "outside" of my usual daily grind. Nothing was picture-worthy if it was part of the everyday experience I get to repeat ad nauseam. I realize, though, that I have to make those picture-worthy moments happen, or at least keep a keen eye out for the unusual.

I guess this realization came just in time. I'll have my major subject in photography (FOTOCAM) next term. I can't afford to slack off, I suppose.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

I have busy days up ahead. Due to the two five-day weekends we've had from the recurring storms, the school's gifted us with two days' worth of make-up classes on two consecutive Sundays. Yuck. Why this stupidity has to happen on Sundays is beyond me, actually. Why not swipe some Saturdays off instead, like they've always done?

We've been given our all-important schedules for the next term starting September, in preparation for online enrollment beginning next week. Now that our LC24 block will be practically dismantled, we're now given free rein on how we organize our lives and schedules for three months. I guess it allows for some degree of freedom, but being given the worst possible times for our oh-so-unique Communications Arts major subjects stinks. I still can't quite juggle the schedule so that I can get ample breathing room in between our demanding major classes.

I guess I formally started my tenure in The LaSallian this week as well, too. I slowly started to get to know my co-staffers at the news section, but I still have my chilly doubts as to how I'm supposed to go about collecting my factual information. I haven't written news in such a long time (I did layout in my final years at Counterpoint), and it doesn't help that Zobel and DLSU, while on the same school system, are worlds apart in terms of size and scope (not to mention population). I used to simply go to events, attend them and gather my facts without much interaction with the people behind the scenes. Now I slowly realize that what little "newswriting" I did in high school was nothing more than child's play.

Why do I suddenly feel like such a freshman in my sophomore year? I feel my co-staffers and my boss Mike have noticed...

Am supposed to host a party with my group for Social Recreation on Thursday (it's my PE for this term...and yes, I know it's weird). We have a Mexican theme and I'm still wondering about what we need for the big "occasion." Hmmm.

Sunday, July 21, 2002

I finally have a new computer. Eherm, let me correct myself: I was finally able to make my new computer work the way it should.

My new "black box" is a Pentium 4 running at 1.7GHz with a 40GB hard drive and 128MB of memory. Okay, so it's not state-of-the-art, but hey, all I wanted was enough hardware power to run Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Microsoft Word simultaneously. I don't even think I'll be using this new box for heavy PC gaming either, since it doesn't have much of high-end graphics capabilities (the graphics and sound cards are integrated into the motherboard).

Most important of all, however, the thing's got a quicker 56K internal modem than our old reliable 33.6K Sportster, and it's not as crash-prone as my old Pentium 2 was. We found out the cause of the irritating 30-minute-per-use crash habit of our old PC, and it's because the cooling systems aren't working well anymore. My dad and I cleaned out the computer of all its dust (I never thought computers could get so dirty on the inside) and had the CPU fan cleaned out too. Pretty soon I'll have to clean out my stuff from the old hard disk as well.

That's fine though. I'm just happy. Now maybe I can get on with my work...

Thursday, July 18, 2002

I haven't posted in such a long while that I feel myself very detached from my blog already. Oh well...since my dear Ate Pam's been badgering me about updating my blog for quite a while already, here I am back in my little home on the Web.

I've had the worst luck with my computer...it's been the cause of so many headaches. Every time I use it I can only do my things for 30 minutes, after which it automatically goes suicidal, freezes and hangs itself. I can't get it to reboot until 20 minutes after the dreaded crash.

What complicates it even more are my circumstances. When you're working on a thirtysomething-page Sociology paper with all your relatives crashing your house for two successive weekly parties, and you're constantly nagged by the responsibility of entertaining your cousins from America, and you're stuck with a heinously uncooperative computer, and finally you're stuck with a dreadfully slow dot-matrix printer, you can imagine how I felt. I was practically pulling my hair out in despair, begging for God to let the typhoons stay and call off classes longer. What's worse, when I submitted the damn thing, I didn't get to study for my Sociology midterms that day.

I managed to persuade my parents that I had had enough of my work interrupted with frequent computer crashes. Just last night I got home to a new CPU unit, although my Dad hadn't set it up yet because we couldn't find the activation code for Windows. Strange thing---now my old computer behaves properly.

Very very weird.

Speaking of computers, my parents have expressed grave concern for our Internet bill. I personally managed to make our bill shoot up to 65 hours---15 hours beyond the limit. Now I feel really guilty because we have a bill that's almost double our normal monthly charge.

Maybe I should seriously consider getting prepaid Internet instead...and hide it from my parents...

Auntie Carole, Uncle Butch, and my cousins Czasha and JB left for South Pasadena two Tuesdays ago. Despite my computer troubles, I was happy that they stayed at our place and actually had loads of fun, despite their being here only for a couple of weeks. I had so much fun with JB that I forgot how traumatic our first encounter was back in 1997, when we stayed at their place. The kid was very skilled with Dance Dance Revolution, about the same skill I have with Percussion Freaks. One Monday we even went to Alabang Town Center and played almost endless games of DDR and PF. My right arm was aching so much afterwards.

Czasha and I were a little more civil now, seeing as we actually were quite similar in temperament (we both had short tempers). I learned a lot of things about her when I accompanied her to buy a prepaid calling card and took a very long detour to avoid the traffic in our suburbs. I was sorry I delayed her for so long, but I was happy I actually got to talk with her.

Uncle Butch and Auntie Carole were great company. Their jokes and stories were enough to keep me sane. I'm going to miss all of them, since the next time we see each other might be five or so years from now.

I've been spending more time with Pam on the phone lately. What's weird, though, is finding out that her faraway significant other even got jealous of me. (I have to say...that's a first.) I won't spill the details to protect their privacy though. Just read her blog.

I am so proud to say I successfully made a fool of myself in front of her. It all started with my penchant for remembering the most useless trivia---things such as termites eating wood faster when exposed to heavy metal music, or my remembering watching the movie "The Fly" and not remembering most of the plot except for the main character having had his first sexual encounter at five years old. (Jeff Goldblum's character matured very quickly, that at 11 months of age he was already a boy of five years old.)

Then I said that mosquitoes have an attraction to the color blue. Looking out the window and seeing my blue Honda, I remarked that I found it weird that despite my choice of college, I never liked green and liked a rival college's blue instead. I innocently remarked that perhaps I was a mosquito in my past life.

I never heard the end of it. Now my name on her phone's contact list is "mosquito." She even told me, "Now I know what the M in JM stands for." Well, she laughed so heartily that I guess I didn't mind.

Argh, I had my accounting midterms just this morning. It was such a nerve-wracking experience, since we didn't have much of time on our hands. I was so pressed for time that I forgot to do the simplest and easiest part of the test: making adjusting entries. That's an instant 20 points down the drain...

Not that I'm aiming for Dean's List this term anymore anyway. I just don't have the same zest I used to have. At this rate I'm going to be very lucky if I even get a 3.05 GPA.

Sent my little blue Honda City to Honda Cars Makati for a biannual tune-up. It was such a harrowing experience. I came in at around 9:30 am and dropped my queue slip at one of two little boxes. Ninety minutes later I realize I dropped my slip at the wrong box...it was for those who had set appointments. I swapped my slip and put it into the walk-in box.

I already managed to finish watching the film Cool Runnings when I realized nothing yet had happened to my slip and it was still swallowed under the big swath of slips. I went out for lunch...only to come back and find out that I had already been called and my slip had been marked "No Response, 12:40." I waited another two hours until I was so tempted to snatch my slip and have my turn cancelled. They finally noticed my slip---it was number 99 in a whole swath of 130s and 140s---and asked me about what I wanted.

I seriously don't enjoy having to do that again. The next time, I'll set an appointment instead of losing my cool after five hours of wasted wait.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

This past weekend saw me in Subic, up north in Olongapo City. Subic is a former US naval base converted into a free port in the last decade. We caught up with my mom and my other relatives who were taking JB, Czasha and my other relatives from the US around Baguio three days before. Despite warnings from friends that I'd get really bored there, I actually had quite a fun day's stay.

The flat we stayed in had ridiculously cold air conditioning, which was non-adjustable. This countered with the dry, arid Palm Springs-like heat of the outdoors in mid-afternoon (I thought that kind of heat would be impossible here in the Philippines). All this just made my persistent cold much worse than it already was.

We didn't really get to do much since we stayed there only about a day. I brought my PlayStation there to help keep my little devil cousins busy, but eventually had to stay behind most of the time to keep them from fighting over my machine. Bianca and Czasha got to swim with whales in a nearby marine park for about 45 minutes. The cost was ridiculously expensive though...it cost around PhP4,600 just for their time with the black pilot whales. I suppose it was worth it though, seeing as the two girls enjoyed. Later on we went around and saw bats swooping over our vans. Along the way we stopped at an obstacle course probably used by the US soldiers before, and my cousins went all over it. Back at the flat, my uncles and aunts played endless rounds of Bingo, even inviting my cousins over.

It was a fun stay, but I wish I could've done and explored more. I wish I didn't have to play babysitter to the little brats.