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, November 25, 2002

I've done absolutely nothing today.

At least apart from shooting pictures from the most unusual places, buying photo paper, developing two rolls of film at the same time, and making my prints, sometimes in dismay and sometimes in glee.

Apart from that...yeah, absolutely nothing. Hee.

I never thought a fuddy-duddy like me could be so darned cute to my baby. It helps that she's so darn cute herself, too.

Can't resist being cute with you, my love...

I gotta wonder if school's simply taken too much of my time lately. I have scarcely any time to go to Otakuboard, or update my blog, or report to The LaSallian for articles and work.

Hmmm...I'm still glad I have time to be with my darling, though. That's something I wouldn't allow omitting.

Saturday, November 23, 2002

It's been so long since I blogged, but if you've read my baby's blog, you probably have kept tabs with what essentially has happened with me these past few days.

Yes, I have been a major asshole to Pam. I could go into details, but ultimately I made her doubt her place in my life and the scheme of things. Every night, we'd be fighting over the phone, crying our eyes out with feelings of inadequacy, grief and loneliness. I hurt her so much with the things I kept from her, and no matter what I did, I couldn't even take the pain away even if I wanted to. I didn't know how.

Yet all that mattered to me was her.

In the span of our three months together, I have never felt so loved and so special. There had been problems along the way, yes, but we somehow hurdled them together and stayed with each other. She is the one woman whose happiness matters to me the most---I dare say, more than even the happiness I keep trying to give my parents to no avail. She is the only one I can stand to be with when I feel I am at my worst, because she knows and understands me so completely.

Pam, you're the only one I can see myself growing old with. You just suit me so well. I will never love anyone as much or as deeply as I have loved you. No matter what happens to us, I always will love you---because you're such a great person, friend and lover. Thank you for giving me the love you've never given anyone else these past three months, and I want to share our love as long as humanly possible.

I love you, Pam.

Saturday, November 16, 2002

There are so many things I'd like to write about that happened these past few days, but I don't have the time. Besides I'll be gone for the weekend; we'll be in Marilao, Bulacan to shoot our video project for JPRIZAL.

Love...thank you for accepting me for all my faults, for recognizing the strengths in me I never even knew I had...I fall deeper in love with you with each passing day...

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

The COLPAN film negatives I shot last Friday evening got screwed by my clumsy loading inside the changing bags, so I had to buy film and photo paper, and reshoot my portraits yesterday. COLPAN 21 was out of stock, so I had to buy Kodak T-MAX 400 for a staggering PhP190 per roll, along with Kodabrome F3-grade paper for PhP310 (comparatively, not too bad a price).

I wish I didn't screw up loading my film negatives last Friday.

Even after nine minutes of developing in 1:1 solution of developer and water, T-MAX film has very bad contrast. No matter what I did with my brand-new LPL enlarger this morning, and all through the afternoon, I couldn't produce satisfactory 5" x 7" prints with the whitest whites and the blackest blacks. All my portraits had contrast problems, which had nothing to do with the way I shot my photos---some of them even without the intervention of my camera's meter (my batteries died on both shoots). I could only peer at my classmates' portraits with envy as they came out contrasty and sharp.

I'm glad I got to submit all 7 of my bad portraits and their test strips before 4:00 pm today, but I'm sorely irritated with the waste of photo paper T-MAX cost me. I started my FOTOCAM this term with with COLPAN, and I'll end it with COLPAN.

Now I see why my FOTOCAM classmates are all recent COLPAN converts. And at PhP45-75 a roll, plus PhP80 for Atlas developer, who wouldn't be?

Speaking of my FOTOCAM classmates, they lifted me out of my midday mopes with absolutely the wackiest behavior we've displayed while inside the M216 photo workshop. We were actually singing our hearts out with the cheesiest songs while printing, laughing all the time. At one point we even cooked up a plan to drive Eastman Kodak into bankruptcy.

Thanks guys. We've only just met, but it means a lot to me.

And speaking of moping, my darling was there with all-too-disconsolate me on the phone.

Love, we'll always get COLPAN film for my shoots. Thank you for everything. With you I am as human as I can possibly get, and I feel so liberated when I am with you.

For now, I don't want to smell the pungent scent of fixer. Give me a break.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Had an unusual breakfast this morning: french fries, onion rings and fried mushrooms from Outback Steakhouse. It's indicative of where my baby and I have been the other day.

Yes, Pam is back from Beijing. And yes, we had a date last night---this time in Alabang Town Center.

It just so happened there was a car exposition inside Corte de las Palmas, and one of the cars on show was the exact same car I bought for Pam in GT2: a raven-black Audi TT 1.8 quattro Coupe. (Okay, fine, I bought one in denim blue pearl-effect.) We were both bowled over with awe at how concept-car-like the damn thing was (read: stunning little details). Might not be a total hoot to drive, but it sure looks great...

Other notable cars in the expo were a red-and-white supercharged Mini Cooper S (never thought I'd see one here...it's so gorgeous), a black Porsche 911 Carrera, a couple of BMWs and a silver Mercedes-Benz/Brabus-tuned SLK. Oh, and I got to see the new Subaru Forester, too.

And to complement our joy at seeing them multi-million-peso automotive marvels, we bought lots of candy too. Wasn't too keen on the purple balloon that came free, though.

Went to the cinemas and bought tickets for Sweet Home Alabama. Since we had a lot of time to burn, we went over to Olympic World and Timezone. Played three games of Percussion Freaks 3rd Mix non-stop, and I was able to finish all nine songs I played. Grew a couple of blisters and sweated like a pig, but damn I felt good.

Had a nice strawberry milkshake before actually watching the movie.

Pam and I agreed: we didn't really like it. There were some funny moments but I was constantly wondering what kind of film Sweet Home Alabama was. I didn't know what it was trying to be until the closing credits rolled in, and that's bad.

It's also too bad that you only need to know the title of the movie to know what's going to happen.

After that, we ordered take-out from Outback before taking Pam back to Starbucks in Makati for her to get a cab home. While humming along at 80 km/h, she was feeding me morsels of food all the time.

I miss you, my baby. I love capping off three months' worth of love with such a perfect perfect date.

We did forget something, though. We didn't get to eat pistachio ice cream. But that's for next time. I love you, Pam.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

Rain poured in buckets last night while I was driving my sister home. Trying to avoid the traffic on the expressway, I took the Skyway instead.

Set my pace at a humming 85 km/h (speed limit's 100) along the elevated stretch of the highway, more relaxed than I normally do. Perhaps the rain was worse than it usually was, or the Skyway's drainage wasn't working as well, because I could feel my steering wheel kick back abnormally against my steady hands at speed. I could actually feel my tires slipping; something that's never happened before even on rainy nights.

That gave me a little scare. After that I eased off a bit on the loud pedal and held my hands as firmly as possible on the little helm. No point in driving home ASAP when you can aquaplane and skid your tires into a flatspin over rainy tarmac.

Finally had a change of hair fashion in 19 years. I had an undercut.

Was actually having second thoughts about the whole thing, but my ears got so itchy from all the surplus uncut hair growing from my temples like weeds. I wanted to keep my long bangs without the hassle of mussing up my hair so often.

When I finally finished with the haircut my nape felt weird, having long hair but without any shorter hair under it. I suppose I'll get used to it though. The little inconvenience I pay to get hair that arranges itself back with only a flick of my head.

Look Ma, no combing.

Thanks, my baby. I love you. I wish I could be in Beijing with you and keep you warm...

Monday, November 04, 2002

As of this morning, Pam's already left for Beijing, China.

Forgetting to set my alarm clock, I bolt right out of bed anyway, seemingly simultaneously greeted by Pam's SMS message on my phone. At 5:15 am, she was already waiting at the airport for her boarding call, yet we were both worried as to why we couldn't use our mobile phones to actually call each other.

We texted right through the day as I sat through a JPRIZAL screening of Bayaning Third World, processed my All Saints' roll of film, took an Accounting quiz and printed my test strip and contact print. Then as I went online a while ago, my inbox had a list of bilin she left before she had to run off to the plane.

Love...even if you're in China's "northern capital" (that's what Beijing means...heheheh), I can still feel you here with me somehow. I love you so much. Please come back to me soon...

Passed my last Accounting quiz with a 40.5 out of 50. Not bad, not bad. I doubt it's going to be good enough for me to pass this term though.

Shit. Shitshitshit.

This morning, while we were at the M216 photo lab developing our rolls of film, the unthinkable happened. One by one, my classmates' rolls of Kodak film were coming out of their developing tanks with nothing but the faintest traces of pictures on the emulsion side.

So imagine my surprise when my COLPAN roll came out as dark and contrasty as it's always been, albeit suffering from a lot of crimps due to a bad time loading.

Turns out someone had inadvertently poured the reusable fixer solution into the tank of disposable D-76 Kodak developer, effectively weakening the action of the developer on the film by a factor of 20. My roll wasn't affected because COLPAN film used its own developer D-76 chemical.

That morning saw a lot of us rushing to Paco Park or the South Cemetery in Makati to hurriedly shoot frames of B&W film for tomorrow's photo essay. Shame. An innocent mistake cost so many students a lot of headaches.

Sunday, November 03, 2002

Like most Filipinos on All Saints' Day, I went to my family's cemetery a few hours north to Baliwag, Bulacan province. It's been a while since I've last been there, and it's also been some time since I've seen my relatives on my father's side, too.

Dr. Forbes made sure we didn't leave for the cemeteries without anything to do. She told us she'd be asking for a photo essay of what All Saints' meant to me. Right. And I shot my roll of particularly slow ISO 100 film at late afternoon to early evening---without a tripod or flash. Interesting at the least, frustrating at the most.

I'm glad I was able to talk to Tita Vik again, though. We strolled through the cemetery grounds looking for anything particularly interesting. At first I had a central theme to my roll, depicting All Saints' Day celebration as a cruel joke of what it was supposed to be, but towards the end I simply took snapshots because of the godforsaken lighting conditions.

My baby's leaving for China tomorrow for four days. Even worse, the forecast for Beijing reads 8-9 degrees Celsius for the length of her stay there, and 9 degrees is the coldest it's ever been here---at least in mountainous Baguio City.

Baby, I'll miss you. I wish I was there to keep you warm and cozy.

I don't understand what the fuss is all about with Audi's TT coupe/roadster. It looks good, yeah, and it looks like it came straight out of a car show in concept form, but it drives so horribly. Even its four-wheel-drive system doesn't help at all in navigating tight corners at speed, as it loses grip so easily it does a horrible combination of fishtailing and understeer.

This is one car whose donor chassis and engine---a "humble" S3 hatchback---is actually better than itself. Audi, grow up. Trash your TT, please.