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.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

"The time between meeting and finally leaving is sometimes like falling in love."
--- Lisa Loeb

Women. Sigh. 'Tis weird.

Just exactly how many chances do I have with them? I'm still so ignorant of their ways, of how to convince them to be with me. Being true to myself just doesn't seem to appeal.

Watched Shrek 2 last Wednesday and came off laughing every second. That film is marvelously funny, and much, much better than the first. Antonio Banderas' Puss in Boots is the movie's biggest star.

Do NOT fail to watch it. You'll regret it.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

You with the electronic snapshots
The interesting conversations
Smooth skin, charming features
Long ebony hair
Just who are you anyway?

Why am I drawn to you?
What guarantee would I have
That all these bits and pieces
Of the you I see and you provide
Are really what you are in real life?
How easily can I be drawn in
Hook line and sinker
By some intricately created composite
Scraps taken from so many others

You terrify me, you puzzle
Where is the glue that holds
All your relevant pieces together
You may simply not exist
Rest in the pieces from whence you came

I'm being punished for all my offences
I wanna touch you but I'm afraid of the consequences
I wanna banish you from whence you came
But you're part of me now
And I've only got myself to blame...

--- The Darkness, "Growing on Me"

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Lesson for today: Prudence.

Just one chance is all I wanted
Just once I might like to win this game
From now on I'll take the chance if I can have it
Just once, just one...

--- Hoobastank, "Just One"

Monday, May 24, 2004

First day back in school today.

My biggest concern so far is how to burn four hours in between classes, three times a week. Frankly I think this is ridiculous. However I need COMLAW1 now.

At least I managed to snag a computer terminal at the eternally crowded Library Cybernook.

It feels strange. This term I have absolutely nothing to do with my "home building," St. Miguel Hall. All my classes are in St. La Salle Hall.

I guess it'll take some time before reality sinks in.

For once I was actually laughing to a Formula 1 race. At the Monaco Grand Prix I laughed so heartily when that stinker Michael Schumacher put himself out of the race...and all down to an error of his own making.

He chose the worst possible place to try and warm up his brakes and tires: at the track's tunnel, trailing the safety car. Left front brake disc locked up, blue smoke everywhere, he couldn't control the car, he ultimately got bumped to the barriers by Juan Pablo Montoya's tires...and the rest you can probably watch on the news.

Accidents galore happened at the first few laps too, Takuma Sato's BAR-Honda engine failure sparking a series of wrecks that ultimately left only 8 out of the 20 cars finishing the 77-lap race.

But I am very joyous because Monaco 2004 proved that an all-dominating Michael Schumacher is the last thing F1 needs. Two of F1's greatest young guns, Renault's Jarno Trulli and BAR-Honda's Jenson Button, fought it out hammer and tongs at the sharp end of the twisty street race until the very end, and it was such a sight to behold...a world of difference from the mundaneness of Schumacher leading and winning 5 races in a row.

At the checkered flag, Trulli won his maiden F1 race (no better place to do it than in Monaco!), but Button pressed on to the end, claiming second just 0.4 seconds behind.

Bahrain and Monaco...so far they've been the highlights of the season, for one simple reason: genuine wheel-to-wheel racing excitement.

One more reason to love my new Turanza tires: high speed shaking is now completely GONE.

On the way to school, I attempted to bring the fight to a speeding Corolla Altis on the Skyway two gears down the 'box. As I pulled away seconds later in fourth gear, little did I realize I was going a butter-smooth 145 km/h.

Martin of HCP egged me to push 160 now. Not anytime soon, dude. But if I do, I'd have more confidence.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Before setting out to the HCP May EB, I dropped by SM Bicutan and bought tapes of The Darkness' album "Permission to Land" and Hoobastank's album "The Reason."

Am I glad I did just that.

"Permission to Land" is a fantastic album, perfect for those times when you simply want to feel good and listen to some gratuitous rock to wash the blues away. All of the tracks are excellent; there isn't one that breaks the album or feels out of place. I had so much fun moshing inside my car, cranking my head unit to 13, cracking Justin Hawkins-style falsettos, doing air guitar in traffic...and generally just being a glam-rock-infused fool.

When they have a concert tour here I'm going to go get tickets. I just can't have enough of The Darkness' glam rock silliness.

Hoobastank meanwhile has matured with their sophomore outing. "The Reason" has more varied and harder-edged music compared to their debut album, and they come off all the better for it. Their first single "The Reason" is deceptively whiny as the rest of the album is signature Hoobastank rock, some years wiser. Nice to see the guys improving.

Got to the Fort parking area at around 2:30. I thought it was going to be a sunny EB, but the sky had other plans come 3:30. Rain came hard and fast, and the strong winds threatened to scrap any umbrellas that dared to open the wrong way. When enough people had arrived, President Jun rallied all of us to the nearby Gonuts Donuts store for shelter and for the EB agenda.

Even though my feet were sore from standing up for hours, my shirt and jeans got wet from the rain and I got really chilled from the winds, it was still a fun EB.

At least the rain gave me yet another chance to sample the wet traction of my Bridgestone Turanza GR-80 rubber. Still amazing, it is.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

I'm looking into music right now. I've gotten intrigued with the glam-rock orgy that is The Darkness. Funny videos, bad hair and ball-busting falsettos aside, the band's sound is pretty addictive---perfect for the days when one feels good and just wants to mosh along to great riffs.

I might even get the new Hoobastank album too. I doubt it'll be as fun to listen to as The Darkness' "Permission to Land" though.

I'm still a raving, incoherent and helpless dunce when it comes to beautiful women. Sigh. Then again I don't want to be a "lonely driver" forever.

Brought the Pregio to Cool-Mate for an estimate of what repairs the aircon system needs. The thing just doesn't cool the cabin anymore.

Found out that there may well be a refrigerant leak, and it's going to cost at least PhP10,000 to repair. Yikes.

The fact that I'm here writing this post means that I didn't go to Puerto Galera. The winds and rains are just too worrying to go sailing in. It would've been great if I went there too, but personally I was wishing it happened a lot earlier, when sun and heat were still in abundance.

On a side note it looks like we'll be singing in the rain at the HCP EB later.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

I finally got new rubber shod on my Honda.

No, they were not Yokohama S306s. They were Bridgestone Turanza GR-80s, and I couldn't believe they were being offered in the right size for my SX8 City.

I've read a lot of kudos for this particular variety and I confirm it. When my car came off the jack stands, I felt the steering wheel lighten. All of a sudden it required even less effort to twirl the wheel around (despite the excellent maneuverability of the City), and as I drove over the same old road acne all over Osmena Highway, I noticed the old omnipresent tire howl was muted almost completely.

On the way home from Villamor AFB, I thought it was the perfect time to test how good the latest Turanzas were on wet asphalt. I was pretty impressed---even against the better-wearing of my old Premios, these tires seemed to resist aquaplaning (and that is a GREAT thing). Even when I was cruising along at 80 km/h on the Skyway, the steering wheel felt resolutely smooth and free of the nasty little lateral tugs that are the hallmark of aquaplaning front tires.

Better still...they fit my budget. The whole shebang cost PhP7,400, amounting to PhP1,850 a tire. I'm a happy customer.

Why is it that no one told me the Adidas Stratos 3s I bought were WOMENS' shoes? No wonder they're a size smaller than my Yonexes despite being badged "9".

Ehhh, no matter. As badminton shoes they're pretty damn good. Tito, one of my Villamor AFB badminton barkada, told me tight shoes are better for the sport so that feet don't shuffle inside the shoe that much. He even told me the Stratos looked unisex from most angles.

As long as I don't tie them too tight, the Stratos will serve me well.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

I've gotten so absent-minded lately. That just cost me one of my beloved shirts and a towel, both of which got "lost" at Villamor. Years of not having lost anything and now this...

I'm just glad I haven't lost anything more important. What on earth would I do if I lost my car?

I might as well give up convincing my parents to let me go to Puerto Galera on Friday. Thing is, the strong winds and torrential rains are the fruit of two typhoons slated to run aground soon, and I don't want to take chances (I bet my parents would think likewise).

Oh well...that's too bad. I will go to the HCP EB this Saturday though.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Thanks to Ercx suggesting a soundtrack for our film, this song is stuck in my brains.

I'm not a perfect person
As many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why i need you to hear

I've found a resaon for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you
And the reason is you

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

--- Hoobastank, "The Reason"

I have complained about Hoobastank becoming a band of whiners with this song...but in fairness to them the song's quite good. Just get rid of that stupid video.
Even though it rained buckets today, I came horribly late for the shoot, I got lost in St. Luke's and I had to pedal my car 100 kilometers to bring and fetch Ercx and Gonzo, today's shoot was pretty much a success.

I just hope I could go to Puerto Galera on the 21st, too. It's been years since I've been to a beach. Not that I have a body to strut confidently, but I just want to have some fun with the blockmates I so rarely see nowadays. Ercx seems to have plans of going up north to Ilocos too...a final summer gimmick just like ours, only longer.

I've got one final week of summer left...I should use it wisely.

Dad gave me money for replacement tires. It seems I'm finally going with the S306 Yokohamas. Tiremasters, a shop he frequents, offers PhP1,850 per tire but with free balancing and mounting...seems like a good deal to me. All I pay extra for are any lead weights needed to get all the wheels perfectly balanced.

Got to wear my Adidas Stratos 3s the whole day today. I'm amazed at how grippy the gum soles are.

My right foot seems happy with the shoe, my left foot less so. My big toe seemed to receive a lot of undue pressure. This after a three games of Dance Maniax. I guess it is a little tight. However I think it'll be all right on the badminton courts.

Weekend afternoons I now set aside for YM chats with Cher. I miss that girl.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Day 2 of thesis shooting is tomorrow. We'll be going to St. Luke's Hospital in Quezon City to shoot some footage inside the emergency room.

Went on a shopping day with my mom and Bianx yesterday. After doing the groceries, I got a couple new shirts and my second pair of badminton shoes---white/blue/mustard Adidas Stratos 3s worth PhP2,700. I should say they're lower-cut and feel a lot lighter than my pair of Yonexes (which by the way are being sold for PhP2,750 elsewhere---I managed to save PhP250), and offer better arch support too. I don't feel like I'll be buying expensive replacement insoles for this pair anytime soon. I know this from previous experience as the last pair of Adidas shoes I got had terrific foot cushioning too. I just hope the Stratos 3s last longer.

On a side note, they even look good off the court. They're mostly white so I'm pretty sure they'll get soiled quickly though.

Bianx and I also got to see Rocky after so long. He seemed fine---still as irritatingly lean as he was the last time I saw him---and he was on a break from "work" when we saw him. He's supposedly working at Paul Smith now.

I did some canvassing for the replacement tires I might get soon to retire my current Bridgestone Premio 325s.

Best deal I saw was for Yokohama S306s---PhP1,800 a tire. Not bad. Nyl from HCP also told me they're pretty good despite the price, older design and the local construction.

Of course I'd love to get better tires...but that would necessitate my moving up to 15" rims as I'd be hard-pressed to find Advan Neovas, Bridgestone GIIIs or Yokohama ES100s for my alloys.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Do you not feel strange
Being the butt of all these jokes
Do you not feel ashamed
That strangers keep putting you down
Do you not feel discouraged
Seeing others trample on your hopes
Do you not feel rage
On those who look at you as a clown

Brown man,
Where has your honor gone?
When will you stop joking at yourself
Making fun of things that point right back to you?
Have you not had enough?
Have you not been confused for too long?
Are you not sick of fighting with yourself?

You need not lash back
Nor resort to gimmickry
All you need is a clear track
Of things to attain victory
All you need is a clear head
Not rage that can leave you dead
All you need is a little self-respect
To make good use of your prospects

Brown man, I believe in you
For you are irreplaceable
Indomitable and true
It is only you
That can dictate what you are
Realize what you aspire for
And reach, no matter how far

Brown man, you must live.

Friday, May 14, 2004

I miss Cher a lot.

It's just been so long since I've spent some time with my friend. It's been a good three months since we've been able to pester each other via YM. It's been a while since we'd exchanged text messages upon messages on end, or dropped a line on the phone. Now that she won in the local elections as councilor I feel like she's become more distant than ever. Maybe I'm being paranoid. I guess I'm just afraid of losing her as she's pretty important to me, despite never having met her in person.

If I only had the time and resources I'd fly to Isabel, Leyte right now...and I'd give her a nice long hug.
I guess I haven't posted about this, but I've been listening to Maroon5 years before anyone else heard about them. (Ahh, the advantages of listening to NU107.) The first time I heard "This Love" I was reminded of the Fine Young Cannibals, a 1980s act, and I was amazed by their other singles. I decided to buy the album---a cassette with a maroon cover and a sketch of a nude long-haired lady holding a musical Pandora's Box.

Now that they've been, ahem, "discovered" by MTV et al, I don't like what all this fame's done to them. I am appalled at groupie girls screaming for Maroon5 simply because lead singer Adam is poster-boy material, not because of the music. (A similar situation hounds Incubus and its front man Brandon Boyd.) The album cover's been changed to make them look like some sort of rock and roll princes (which they are NOT). Worse I just heard "This Love" being played on a noontime show, accompanied by the usual brainless dance routines it has everyday.

The same thing happened to John Mayer...

Ah well. The price of fame. If I don't like Maroon5's next album I can simply skip buying it.

Jack Black had a good point in "School of Rock." MTV tends to just destroy the purity of music and turns it into brainless mush repeated ad nauseam.

Woke up at noon today. That's a first.

My view on the elections still stands: Had the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) simply pushed through with the plan to automate the process, such complaints of electoral fraud, voter disenfranchisement and slow counting would have been greatly reduced.

I can't stomach how the COMELEC is washing its hands of its failures. It's constantly telling the public that slow counting and disenfranchisement are all their fault. Who on earth squandered billions of pesos of taxpayers' money on automated vote-counting machines that are now out of commission? They could have used those last Monday and saved all of us some unnecessary suspense on who won. Who on earth pushed through with an electronic voter registration program that ultimately resorted to moldy old voters' lists of yesteryear?

Sigh...let's keep things simple all right? Our national elections are a comparatively simple and straightforward exercise compared to those in the United States.

Tara called me up the other day. It seems plans are afoot for the Zen Clan's summer outing, just before school starts again on the 24th...and I heard Puerto Galera being mentioned. Cool.

It's been too long since I had a chance to be with all my blockmate friends without any obligations to fulfill in school. I certainly hope my schedule allows it.

New e-mail address by the way. I'm sick of Yahoo's worm-infested mail servers.

My new address is bluepiranha@gmail.com.
Just thought I should post the lyrics to one of my favorite songs.

I think
It's getting to the point
Where I can be myself again
It's getting to the point
Where we have almost made amends
I think
It's getting to the point
Where it's the hardest part

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you cause this disaster
I'll point you home
I'll point you home...

You think
I only think about you
When we're both in the same room
I'm only here to witness
The remains of love exhumed
You think
We're here to play a game of who loves
More than whom

And if you call, I will answer
And if you fall, I'll pick you up
And if you cause this disaster
I'll point you home

But I'm warning you, don't ever do
Those crazy messed-up things that you do
If you ever do, I promise you
I'll be the first to crucify you
Now it's time to prove
That you've come back here to rebuild...

- Barenaked Ladies, "Call and Answer"

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

We shot our first three scenes at Geraldine's house in Quezon City yesterday, and it turned out pretty good.

There I got to meet Geraldine, Reggie Curly (Denise's actors in her famous 6-minute short film "Hallucinations") and Geraldine's parents Mr. and Mrs. Tan, who were more than game to help us all out. It seemed like we were having more fun and jokes than footage, but it was all right because we enjoyed it.

I'm going to enjoy working with them again...and we will be. The next shoot's tentatively scheduled for next Monday.

Cher made it.

As of last count she was fifth in the councilorship race; she was the only new candidate in the top eight.

I'm happy for you my friend. Congratulations. *HUGS*

A dream I had this morning disturbed me. I dreamt Tita Vik had died for some reason. I simply couldn't believe my favorite aunt would die just like that.

My imagination's toying with me I guess.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Am still trying to get used to the new features of Blogger. Apparently nowadays people can add comments to mine, too, without my having to get third-party utilities and messing around with more code.

The others I'm still figuring out. I doubt I'll be able to use them though. I'm not as techie as I used to be.

Our first shoot's going to be this afternoon. Am crossing my fingers it's going to be a good one.

Before that...I'll try to dabble with my blog template for a while.

Monday, May 10, 2004

I thought it's about time I changed the way my blog looked. I love blue, yes, but the old template just reeks of flatness. Besides I'm still not skilled enough to trust myself with HTML code.

My other computer just shuts down whenever I try to go online. Turns out it might have the Sasser virus, so I'm now downloading a patch or two from Microsoft.

Apparently Sasser is so potent, it's managed to interfere with so many vital operations (I'm talking about the UK Coast Guard, banks, and government offices) in Europe, and tech analysts are spooked by this latest security threat.

All I can say is...Microsoft should write this up as another FAILURE.

I got to see "School of Rock" and "Drumline" on Pao's DVDs. The first movie ain't bad at all, but I guess I found it a little too simplistic for my liking. If you've seen the trailers there isn't much more to look forward to. Jack Black is way funny though, and he does show a healthy development of his character.

I can't help but notice that little kid Melinda Cosgrove though. She looks eerily like my ex.

"Drumline" meanwhile is "Bring It On" with a decidedly African-American flavor, and with big-band performances instead of flash cheering routines. The whole film is very slick and oozes high production values---just how can one explain the smoothness of the marching band routines, with all their complicated formations? You just have to give it kudos.

The film is a little generic in terms of its main story (a fish-out-of-water situation with a coming-of-age story) but it's well done and I have no complaints. Great stuff.

As it turns out I am unable to cast my vote. After 4 weeks of searching for my name in the voters' lists, it has never shown up.

Their loss, I guess. I have no fault here.

Thinking about the high school crush I bumped into the past couple of days has got me thinking. How much have I changed?

I used to think of there being no one more beautiful than her, back when my world consisted of high school and nothing else. In hindsight she wasn't as desirable as I once thought she was. She was just someone I didn't know, apart from being ludicrously smart, friendly and cute. Cute, yes, but she was nowhere near being beautiful. I bet if we had ever had a chance to talk any longer than we used to, I would've discovered more things I'd find not as desirable as I once thought.

Now that I've gotten to where I am, I think I've grown up---even just by a little bit.

I think I should give this new template a test spin.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Yesterday I was pretty much out the whole time. I had volunteered to join Paolo to help out with the nitty-gritty of the DLSU enrollment process. Turns out it didn't really take him that long. He's pretty much in---all he's waiting for is the payment from his educational plan.

I met one of his friends there, too. Her name was Vicky, and she was supposedly a rocker chick and "one of the boys" in terms of demeanor. Found out she was also a budding photographer itching to get a digital camera. She has a good imaginative head on her shoulders, methinks. I also noticed that Vicky and Pao were quite chummy with each other, but he told me it was nothing more than that.

After enrollment requirements we headed off to Glorietta to bring Vicky to some people she'd meet to go to a gig later on. Pao and I decided to burn some money in Timezone on a couple games of Initial D. I swear, I seem to be the only player who drives a Honda S2000.

While we were on the way back to parking, I noticed a familiar face on the escalator right in front of me. I felt like I knew this girl---she reminded me a lot of my old high school crush, and I'm still pretty convinced it was her. She was with a group of friends and they seemed all primped up for some occasion (girls' night out perhaps?) while I was having second thoughts about calling her, partly because of the lingering stench of the caramelized-onion burger I had eaten an hour earlier.

But then I looked at her legs just under her skirt and I noticed that she wasn't this chubby before. Then again it's been a fair 3-4 years since I saw her last...

I joked to Pao that the Ateneo makes one fat. Of course it's just a joke. Marc, that Atenean DJ friend of mine, has always been thin as a matchstick.

Overall it was a good day.

We're finally going to start shooting our thesis film's footage. The plan so far is for shooting at Quezon City on Election Day afternoon. I wonder what happened to our storyboard though...

Speaking of Election Day...it looks like I won't be able to vote after all. My name hasn't shown up on the voters list all these weeks.

Oh well.

Currently these are the things I want for myself.

- A new Mercedes-Benz SLK 200. This roadster is so damn cute, sporty and suave...too bad it's so damn expensive too. Then again that fancy folding steel roof may not be as useful here as it is in other places. Maybe I'll wait until I generate my first couple million or so. When on earth will that happen?

- A spare badminton racket. A cheap Yonex Carbonex model would be okay. Just in case my Kawasaki's strings snap.

- My second pair of badminton shoes. Pao tells me Asics are the best. I'll need to save up PhP3,200 first.

- A replacement phone. There's nothing wrong with my Nokia 8250, but I'd like to try a nice cheap Sony Ericsson model for now. Besides it's about time I banished the memories that came with the damn thing.

- Sennheiser headphones. Reputed to be the best, period...and I saw a PhP1,550 pair being sold in Park Square. Not bad. Pao says you get what you pay for, and I'm definitely NOT buying cheap-ass Philips headphones any more.

- The squarish gold-colored Panasonic CD/MP3 player. It looks so damn classy and it's a welcome change from all those round clamshells of plastic I usually see. PhP9,000.

- A nice budget sound system for my car. I can probably be happy with a good premium amp and some middle-class tweeters for now. Am addicted to subwoofers now, but that's going to add too much weight for my kind of driving.

I think I'm going to need some serious moolah. Must save.

Mao's been sending me e-mail from San Francisco. She says she's enjoying her stay, although she noted the heat was quite similar to that of Manila. I think they're off to Las Vegas now.