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, December 31, 2005

Holding back the year

Lately the yearning in my heart has ebbed. I still want you in my life, but the desire has throttled back, the wick turned down a little.

Perhaps it is for the best. Being consumed by desire for you at this stage will just mean I’ll end up not being with you. I’ve never been a patient fellow, but it’s about time I became one.
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Received a strange text message last night. It was written in all caps telling me how the sender found my friendship comforting but I was too different from him/her and that he/she loved me.

Well, now I know what would happen if I came on too strong on my beloved. I’d be livid. That’s the end of that...
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I seem to wear out my denims and other pants in the crotch area. I guess the friction between my legs while I walk degrades the material and makes it thinner, eventually leading to holes in my pants.

I finally have denims after a few months of not having a pair to wear. Thanks Ma.
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Traffic on EDSA was atrocious last night. We got held up in semi-gridlock for a couple hours just to find out everyone was heading for Pasay; the overpass going to the SLEX had almost zero traffic. Talk about taking a damn wrong turn.
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I’m not good at evaluating entire years; there will always be disappointment or regret as well as happiness and glee in an otherwise boring chunk of existence.

Still, I’d say it was a good year overall. Met some wonderful people, finished my thesis and started a new hobby, although one that’s rather hard on the finances. I’m none the worse for wear, either, although there’s no denying I’m getting older now.

According to feng shui experts I’m supposed to have a bad year ahead. I don’t really believe in luck (unless it’s in poker or other games of chance) so it all goes over my head, frankly, and I couldn’t care less. Besides I still like to think that we make a lot of our own luck.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

After Christmas

Today was my first rehearsal at my choirmaster Edith’s house-cum-studio-cum-preschool. From there I learned a little more about the Sun Valley Music Ministry and its members, the cheery chaps I’ll be spending my weekends with.

Turns out I’m one of the youngest on board. A number of them already have their own families, Edith included. As it also turns out there is an overwhelming majority of Lasallians, Edith also included. Upon learning that I spent all my life in Sun Valley, she told me that with my voice I could have joined the choir many, many years ago. It was almost nine years ago that Mrs. Valencia, my music teacher from seventh grade, assured me that I should join the Zobel Chorale after hearing me sing; the present parish choir started just a year earlier.

When I look back at the time I think I sort of wasted my voice. Sure, I had four years devoted to Counterpoint in high school. But because I was relatively inactive in orgs in college I should have considered joining them five years ago. I suppose I had been intimidated by how mature they seemed, how great they were, and discouraged by how late my family heard mass. Then again, if Edith says I’m one of the youngest guys I guess it hasn’t too late. All I really had to do was wait after a morning mass and gather up the guts to ask Edith if I could join.

Fortunately I seem to be picking up on the notes quickly. I want to do well on this new gig and I’ll make sure I reserve time for it, even if other demands siphon off my free time in the future.
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Yesterday I deposited the monetary gifts I received and bought a few things. I finally bought DVDs of Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG, dispelling an impulse to reward myself with a model kit. Browsing Powerbooks for the first time in a long time, I looked for Haruki Murakami’s books. I was aghast at how expensive it is to buy his books these days, and I ended up buying F. Sionil Jose’s Ermita. I’ll get around to buying a 56K modem to replace my 56K-but-acting-at-16.8K unit soon enough.

I watched 0083 on a marathon last night and it was great overall. It has very slick animation, amazing considering it was made in 1990. Quite refreshing to watch a Gundam series without Newtypes—just your ordinary mobile suit pilots fighting each other to the death, with none of the “super robot” influence of recent Gundam anime.

I just got confused about the final three episodes. Suddenly things got too complicated too soon. We know that the Earth Federation’s tyrannical Titans were formed in UC 0083, adopting full military power in Mobile Suit Z Gundam four years later, but exactly how they fit into the big picture of Operation Stardust and the side-switching wasn’t so clear. That ending was rather bizarre, too.
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Boredom is getting the better of me these days. I want to find work ASAP. I’ll give myself a maximum of two months jobless; I can’t stand having nothing beneficial to do. It’s dehumanizing.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ten things I learned this Christmas

1. Christmas will (sadly?) continue to be an overtly commercial holiday.

2. No matter what I do, I will definitely suck at playing chess, checkers or tic-tac-toe—regardless of whether it’s the pen-and-paper or the 3D variety.

3. On the Internet, nothing is sacred, secret or private. (Like this blog, for instance. Maybe I should get a LiveJournal account...)

4. No matter how sound your suggestions are, there will always be people (family members most especially) that will absolutely NOT listen.

5. I need to develop my resistance to disease.

6. I need to develop my resistance to alcohol.

7. Asking people to keep a secret for four years is asking a bit too much, in fairness.

8. Twenty-two years on, I still suck at handling money.

9. It doesn’t really matter what you give—it’s the act that counts. Although very thoughtful gifts get added points for effect.

10. Before I ever get around to confessing my feelings for my beloved, I will need to develop my spine and my self-confidence with her. More waiting, yes.

11. I still do not know how to court girls...I must learn.
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Suddenly that MG Zeta Gundam ver. 2.0 model kit I’ve been eyeing seems attainable now. I’m still not happy about that price tag, though. Friends from MechaPinoy are telling me it’ll cost PhP3,500, and despite already being out in Japan, it most likely won’t be coming in until very early next year.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh.

I’m trying to distract myself from the spiffy new Zeta Gundam kit by fiddling around with my MG Zeta Plus A1 model...to little avail. As flawed as the new kit seems in some parts (I’m not a fan of the lengthened Zeta face), it’s still the prototype—the daddy of transforming mobile suits, gloriously born in 1985.
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Just as I thought I’d be able to help the parish choir with how I am as a singer now, I’ve just been proven dead wrong. There’s no way around it; I will need rehearsals and I need them badly if I am not to drag the choir down. I can only go so far with singing melody.

They’re tapping me for Tenor 2. Just as well: I am a baritone, for all intents and purposes. I’m starting rehearsals this week.
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Anyway, I just hope everyone reading this had a good Christmas. Let’s not forget that essentially, we’re celebrating someone else’s birthday; let’s not celebrate as if it’s all ours and nothing else.

Hangad Kang maging tinig ko’t hininga
Hangad kong tularan ang pagmamahal Mo
Hangad Kang makasabay sa araw-araw
Hangad ko’y hangarin kita...

— Hangad, “Hangad”

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Gone by 7:30

I don’t have much time now so I’ll make this short.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Three days to Christmas.

Finally got my car’s aircon system repaired the other day in BF. At PhP13,800, considering the parts that had to be replaced, I believe we got the best deal we could get, short of going to Mang Mario’s fabled shop in Quezon City. Am I glad I didn’t go to Rapide or Denso for repairs. Who knows how much the bill could have been with them?

Looking back, perhaps I was negligent with maintaining my car’s A/C. The secretary of the shop was offering me advice on how to prolong the life of the A/C, such as having the evaporator cleaned and the drier replaced yearly. She also told me of warning signs that should be noted, such as a wet compressor pulley or unusual noise from the compressor. They seem to be helpful, honest guys. I’ll be going back to M.L. Calilung’s shop if I still have my car next year.

Nowadays however I usually prefer driving with the A/C off. I’ve got a nasty head cold and coughs and it’s quite cold enough these days as it is. I actually miss driving around with the windows open.
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Received my final course card and it was great news. Our efforts had paid off; we bagged a 3.5.

With that grade, I just might be eligible for honorable mention. I hope it’s enough to pull my 2.997 GPA up into the 3.0 range. I’m not a stickler for awards, but it’d be nice if I had it. Would look good on my resume, I guess.
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Speaking of resumes...I wonder what happened to my Accenture application. It’s been 4 months since I had my second interview with them. I did tell them I would be free by January 2006, but they didn’t even update me about my status. Hmmm.

Well anyway I’ll be going back to school on February because of the job expo. There’s also my application with P&G, which I haven’t heard anything about either. Mao told me they’d call, though. Hmmm. That call’s an awful long time coming.
===

I saw you again. My heart couldn’t stand it. As Itsuki of Initial D said, “You’ve gotten so damn beautiful.”

Before coming over I was mulling the thought of telling you everything. That you were all I could think of lately. That lately my blog has been a testament to how I truly felt about you, if you read it.

People have been telling me, I should tell you how I feel; the initiative should come from me. I should stop being so indirect, addressing you the way I do, in the second person and in my blog, of all places. Yes I knew that, but I wanted to keep on waiting for the time when you’d be free from the burden of relationships past. I may just add to the problem.

Then again, if I kept on waiting for you, I may never be able to tell you that there’s someone who’s hopelessly smitten by you, and he’s nearer to you than you think.

Sigh.

For now, I treasure every moment that I have with you, no matter how short.

I wish I can sing you the song you wanted.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

"Good listener"

I wonder what people truly mean when they say I am a good listener.

I listen to their affairs, however mundane: what happened with their boss, who slapped who at which party, who beat who in which race event, who dissed who at which traffic jam at which streets at what time of day.

Often I am relegated to listening because I cannot get a word in. The people I meet can get so self-absorbed; I happen to be their most convenient outlet. I, the blank slate. I, the one perennially unsure of his ability to sustain the interest of others by talking. I, who am also terminally self-absorbed.

I am also relegated to listening because most of the time it is the proper thing to do, even if I honestly don’t give a shit about what some people have to tell me. Yes, let it all out. If it makes you happy, my not-listening can’t really be that bad, as long as you let it out and vent. Perhaps I should be an actor and get roles as a stoic (and be a spectacular failure in the process).

Ultimately however, I am relegated to listening because most of the time I am just too interested in the other person. Although this is beneficial it’s also a personal fault, I guess. I am a prime target for mischief-makers.

Is my being a good listener necessarily a good thing? Or is it some form of weakness? I will never know. All of you whom I will meet will never know, either.

At least I have recognized that I can write, and write well. At the very least, this humble little blog is the place where, for a change, I can get listened to.

If you understand me, that is.

I challenge you. All of you 400 or so people who visit this blog each month. I never started this blog to be popular; I never was. I started this blog so that I may speak the words I cannot speak, the words the people around me will not allow me to speak due to their self-absorption.

I challenge all of you to listen to me.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Belief clung to

Sana ay makilala kang muli, tulad ng dati
Halika at lumapit ka muli, tulad ng dati...
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I want to believe.

I want to think that you and I can connect somehow. I want to fully appreciate you in your beauty, strangeness and peculiarity. I’ve had my fill of staring at you from afar, even though that hasn’t happened all that often. I am like you; the both of us can never be satisfied by having just a part.
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There’s a romantic concept in the early “Universal Century” Gundam anime: the concept of Newtypes.

Newtypes are human beings with their psychic abilities awakened by their residence in space. They are capable of telepathy, limited telekinesis and excellent spatial awareness. Certain Newtypes can also form a special bond with each other—a familiarity, understanding and attachment even purer than love, one that transcends even death.
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Maybe, when the stars and planets align in their celestial dance and everything else works out right, I can finally find you alone and relatively unconcerned with doomed past relationships. Perhaps at that time we can connect. As of now, all I can really do is wait, believe and be there for you.

As you told me once, I am willing to become your punching bag, your listening ear and your ultimate believer.

I just want you to give me a chance.
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If I wasn’t a vampire, what would you and I have become?
— Arcueid Brunestud, “Shingetsutan Tsukihime”

"You were always on my mind..."

Maybe I rushed into things and didn’t give enough time and consideration. Maybe I should have listened harder, been more perceptive to what was going on in your life. I know precious little about you.

Like Elvis’ song goes, you were always on my mind. I was too stupid to admit it. I was too self-absorbed. I kept missing the point.

Maybe in some other lifetime, we’d have met each other differently. Unfortunately there is only one life—one which must be kept sacred, despite the constant allure of sin and the burden of regrets.
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Why are my affections always so misguided? It pains me. This is hardly the first time I felt like I’ve been running around like some headless chicken. Some headless chicken I must be, wanting to cry tears from nonexistent eyes, wanting to bury a headless neck in the sand with all the ostriches.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The wonderful dream

I had a wonderful dream this morning. I don’t get enough of those, and strangely I got it at a time when I had difficulty sleeping.

In it, my biggest college crush was with me. We weren’t romantically involved or anything. We were just on some journey together and it ended a short way from her fictional house. We were basically as amicable as we were on that one and only time we met in an ORIENT3 class, but even so, it felt wonderful. It was great, just seeing her.

It’s funny that we were in the same college for five years yet we only got to meet, really meet, just once. It reminds me of how I met my biggest high school crush only in my final year in Zobel, and we weren’t really all that amicable.
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That was one of my few regrets in college: not getting to meet you earlier. You were a genuinely interesting person, really. It just so happened you were so damn beautiful, too, and for a while there I couldn’t look beyond physical beauty. For a while, too, I had this thing about trying to project that I didn’t find you all that cute...which was all bullshit, really.

How I wish you and I were able to talk, more often. Having you as my friend would have been perfectly fine with me.

These days as I look in my yearbook, I look at the directory and see your address and contact details. It’s a familiar enough place in Alabang; after all I used to study there. Recently I get the fanciful impulse of visiting you, but what for? I guess it’s to make up for the times I wanted you and I to talk. I can’t force that on you though; after all that’s said and done I’m still basically a stranger.

If by some twist of fate we meet again in the future, I’ll make sure I make the most of the time I have with you. Partly to demystify you, partly to get to know you better.
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Perhaps I’ve actually grown up.

Not at maximum-attack mode...

Tara invited us blockmates to dinner at the Pearl Plaza bowling lanes—apparently where the recent Southeast Asian Games’ bowling matches were held, judging from the streamers and banners still posted there. It turns out it was her birthday; it’s unfortunately a trait of mine to forget birthdays especially as I don’t get to see Tara all that often.

Over shabu-shabu and huge plates of salad, the old gang, separated by diverging degree programs, got together once again and it was an overall happy event. After so many failed plans of having a block outing, Roman was inviting us to this beach resort in San Narciso, Zambales on the first weekend of January. Now that we aren’t that busy with thesis and other shit, they were “desperate” to pull this plan off. It’ll be fun. I hope I can come along—and I’ll probably be one of those doing the driving.

Mao and Zeri finally got to defend their Comm Arts thesis film last Wednesday; judging from the comments it seems they did all right. I just wish I could have been there to watch it. Zeri’s made it into the semifinals for the Artic Vodka image model search; the finals are on tomorrow.

The gang was particularly looking forward to course card distribution—for many of us, the last ever course card we’ll be getting—on December 20. Plans were already in the air for a drinking spree right after. Hmmmm. Interesting.

It was nice seeing them all again. As I told Kwapaw on YM, generally speaking, I treasure my college blockmates more than I do my high school Honors Section friends. Despite the friends I have there, at this point in time, I’d really rather forget that clique-ridden chapter in my life existed.

My blockmates and I were already talking about the future after we graduate—planning out reunions, being bridesmaids at each others’ weddings, and godparents of each others’ kids—and one of the reasons why I’m not so keen on graduating is I’ll miss these wonderful people too much. We literally grew up with each other, even in the relatively short span of five years.

I’m going to make sure we keep constant contact with each other even after graduation. The LC24ID101 e-group I made was the first step.
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Now that I’m not so busy it’s about time I have my car’s aircon system repaired. I had estimates done today and it’s not cheap by any means. Huhuhu.

My Honda’s coming apart at the seams. Pretty soon it’ll need suspension work, not to mention the dents I’ve been carrying around for a year or two from all the fellows that wanted to swap paint with me.

Maybe I should put Gunpla on hold for now. Huhuhuhuhuhu!
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For once, I actually got tired of pushing my Honda and myself to the limits of my car-control abilities. This morning, as I was on the expressway going to Bicutan, I shackled myself to the 80 km/h “suggested speed limit”—and it felt rather odd.

It’s been a couple of years since I adopted a take-no-prisoners driving style, with throttle-blipping, occasional heel-and-toe, decisive overtaking and the most recent development, cadence braking (basically anti-lock braking done manually). As I was lumbering along at 80-85 km/h, windows down, with jazz music belting from my speakers, I suddenly felt rather peaceful.

It was a short-lived peace, but it’s nice knowing that I can throttle back on myself whenever I want to. I might as well grab all the moments I don’t have to be at 9/10ths; when I get a job I’ll probably have to be at 10/10ths all the time, the life sucked out of me by the time I get home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Long live the Mazda RX-8

I was at Megamall this afternoon and I ended up playing a good many games of Initial D ver.3. Here the games are literally half the price of Glorietta 4’s machines—a pleasant surprise.

Using my RX-8 almost exclusively, I finally finished Tsuchizaka (even with mystery challengers Keisuke and Takumi) and all the courses. That Takumi actually used the “blind attack” trick on me here, on the high-speed roller-coaster section after the tunnel. Imagine my glee when he slid on the oil slick in one of the pivotal high-speed hairpins—where I ultimately passed him.

As it turns out, I had the ability to conquer Tsuchizaka all along; I was just using the wrong car. Whatever I did, my S14Q would never have enough top-gear oomph to clamber up the tunnel and give chase down the following inbound road, plain and simple.

The final “Extra” race on Akina was ridiculously tough though. It’s a face-off against Bunta in his WRX-STi Type R. It’ll take me a lot of time and practice to take him on someday.

Coming from my underpowered but giant-killing S14 Nissan Silvia Q’s, I simply love my Mazda RX-8. It may be unrealistic, but in the game, at least, it has an enormous appetite for revs and actually has a lot of shove at the engine speeds the races call for (despite having no turbo at all). It’s a tad understeery for an FR, but it rewards experienced players with phenomenal throttle response and good brakes.

Do I have to mention it's a pretty good-looking car too?


I’m going to make the Megamall arcades rather rich...and I’ll end up poor as a result. Hahaha.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Return of the geek?

It’s been a good while since I’ve picked up an issue of PC Magazine again. In my geekier days in high school I used to buy the US edition every chance I got because it was still relatively cheap. I used to salivate at the prospect of 200MHz Pentiums and blazing fast modems and expansion cards. Yes, I used to be a techie geek.

I’ve become pretty lax with following computer technology trends now, because of the sheer futility of doing so. In my experience with reading PC Magazine from 1995-1998, I’ve become exposed to just how ridiculously quickly technology becomes obsolete.

My computer has built-in graphics which don’t offer hardware 3D acceleration, and I was curious as to which AGP cards should I be getting. My 56K internal modem also sucks—it’s been stuck at 21.6K or lower for a couple years. Imagine my mild surprise when I asked a local computer store and found out a replacement internal modem could be mine for just PhP500, cash. I remember our old US Robotics 28.8K Sportster external modem costing PhP7,000 around ten years ago.

So out on a whim, I leafed through the magazine stand today and picked out the local edition of PC Magazine, which just so happened to feature a handful of 3D graphics cards on review.

I have my remarks. Most irritating of all is that many of the products they reviewed (yes, including the 3D graphics cards) didn’t have the price posted along with them. C’mon, that’s standard operating procedure with US PCMag.

Overall it’s pretty helpful, though a lot thinner than how its bimonthly US counterpart used to be.
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I’m glad I’m back to 95% of my usual energy. The doctor gave me a clean bill of health too. In the past two days I’ve even played a lot more Dance Maniax than I ever used to.

Now to finish my remaining hours with PETA...which aren’t all that many. Miss Queng was already telling me to forego my remaining hours as it’s pretty much the summer vacation already, but I promised to finish 200 and I intend to make good on it.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Got the Initial D fever

Back on my blog again. Spent the last three days at home, basically wasting away in my bed watching DVDs. “The Italian Job” was really cool, and so was “Shaolin Soccer.” Zhao Wei is really, really cute.

Nowadays I’m well enough to withstand using my computer without my meninges crying “Uncle!” although I still have the unsightly swelling on my cheek and lower jaw. Needless to say this means I won’t be singing at mass this weekend. I might still be contagious.
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After waiting for so damn long, I finally got the VCDs of Initial D Fourth Stage I ordered. These had episodes 15-20—pretty amazing. Keisuke’s yellow FD Mazda RX-7 is resurrected as a much meaner machine, and we finally see Project D clean up at Saitama as they move on to Ibaraki, where the team “Purple Shadow” waits for them. Purple Shadow’s entrants are a couple of middle-aged drivers nicknamed “God Foot” (for extraordinary throttle control) and “God Hand” (for extraordinary handling), driving an R34 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-spec II Nur and an AP1 Honda S2000 respectively.

Episode 20 left me wanting. I want to see how Keisuke’s widebody FD does against the R34...in full. Of course I’d love to see Takumi’s revoholic AE86 battle against the equally revoholic S2000, too.
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Episode 15 documented how Takumi won over the Evo VI TME-driving guy in Tsuchizaka; he won it via phenomenally late cadence braking. This is the only race I haven’t won in Initial D ver.3 using my S14 Nissan Silvia Q’s, and I wonder if the same tactic will work. I always seem to lose out in power and speed after climbing the tunnel area and I’ve run out of ideas on how to beat the guy.

I even got to see Ryosuke’s car, the good old FC Mazda RX-7, once again. I might as well get that as my next card.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Mumps, death and bullshit.

Just when I was keen on finishing my remaining hours for PETA already, along came this strange swelling and dull pain in my left jawbone area, in front of my left ear. When I felt it on Monday morning, I thought it was stiff neck from watching DVDs while lying on my side—but when did stiff neck involve local pain in the ear area? It also felt like I had been punched in the jaw, but I certainly don’t remember getting into any fights either.

I had a suspicion it was mumps, and a doctor’s checkup confirmed it. Funny how I’m getting this now when I remember having been vaccinated against it when I was in seventh grade. Oh well. I’m living proof that no vaccine is 100% effective, and let’s just say I don’t want my pictures taken anytime soon.

Because of doctor’s orders I’m sidelined for a week. From researching online, mumps is a lot like chickenpox— once you get it, there’s not much you can do to treat it except wait for it to go away, and immunity will be permanent after one round. Unfortunately, I got chickenpox when I was in second grade, so there wasn’t much risk of complications then. Mumps in adults can metamorphose into a number of things—meningitis, encephalitis, even orchitis (that’s literally a pain in the balls for you) which may leave me infertile. These cases are rare, but there’s still a possibility I’ll get any combination of ‘em. Sigh.

While I was eating lunch—a hearty helping of chicken afritada—I felt a LOT of pain in my left jaw. My swollen left parotid salivary glands hurt each time I opened my mouth for each spoonful. Crap. Now I’m restricted to soft foods, and even my breakfast muesli is getting close to doling out pain too. I’m not too keen on eating instant noodles and pancit canton either as they foul up my stomach. I’m eating my mom’s goto as I’m typing this—quite reluctantly.

I certainly hope it’ll go away next week and leave me without any complications. I certainly hope I don’t die of mumps—read somewhere that mumps mortality cases happen past 19 years of age.

Which makes me a prime target.
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There are worse things that could happen to me, you know.

Isa’s mom had lost her long battle with breast cancer, and my thesismates and I heard the news just last Sunday. We had been planning on visiting the wake at San Antonio Church in Forbes Park South on Friday, but I can’t come lest I spread the mumps virus to unsuspecting, unvaccinated mourners.

An aunt of Geraldine’s and Denise’s is in critical condition too. It’s pretty sad how these things are happening...
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Before I went for the doctor’s checkup yesterday, I dropped by DLSU to claim my long-overdue yearbook. It certainly was heavy—it felt like I was lifting 10 or 15 lbs.—as it was a three-volume one.

I’ll be cynical here. I was perusing the yearbook and I noticed something. With all the write-ups next to each picture (including mine), the yearbook seems like a collection of carefully manipulated pieces of bullshit. I see God-knows-how-many writeups saying that the person in the picture is one in a million or unique or multi-talented. This quote came to mind: “Just remember that you are unique...just like everybody else.”

Well, I suppose it’s bullshit we’re all entitled to as college graduates, so I’m not really complaining. If it’s the only way we can leave an imprint on our alma mater, then fine. I just wonder if all the writeups we’ve carefully put into our yearbooks will still matter or be relevant given some years down the line.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Movies...finally!

It’s been ages since I’ve seen any movies, so I borrowed some of Tantan’s DVDs. So far “Shaolin Soccer” was the most enjoyable of the lot, and I’ve got two more to watch.

All these movies I borrowed were relatively old. Goodness. I feel so out-of-date, out of touch with more recent movie offerings.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

All I feel now is major relief. We have successfully defended our thesis.

Our panel seemed generally happy with what we did, especially Gay and Jette who acted as company representatives in Miss Queng's absence. We did take a hit from our statistics though. Looking back, we really should have consulted a statistician before we went into the survey proper and data analysis, but it happened at the defense anyway. I guess being LIA-COM students, our grasp of statistics for business wasn't sufficient due to the classes we took. But that's water under the bridge now.

Still, even with flawed data analysis we managed to bag an 87---good for a 2.5. Not bad at all. While I understand Doc Nards may have been a little disappointed in our failure to be nominated for best thesis, he was genuinely happy we sailed through the defense fine. All we need to do is revise our thesis using proper computation and resubmit on Friday.

Rachel, Tantan and I are finally going to graduate. Leia still has a term of 12 units left, but that shouldn't be any hardship.
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Finally mustered the guts to join our parish's youth choir. I stuck around after attending the 9:30am mass and asked. Turns out they needed more guys so they were glad to have me on board.

First "performance" is this coming Saturday at 6pm, then rehearsal after. I'm quite happy.
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MG Zeta Gundam ver.2.0 is coming after Christmas Day...and it's an estimated PhP3,300 (SRP: JPY 5,250).

I want one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

You flirt. You seduce. You ditch your long-time boyfriend and you pick up another one in the span of one and a half months, seemingly without any remorse or effort at all.

How the hell do you do it?

I wonder how sure you are that you like this new guy who's succumbed to your affections. The whole thing stinks of a relationship on the rebound, entered into by people who don't know what they truly want.

As your friend, I just wish you fully knew and understood what you wanted, instead of letting your sex drive do the thinking for you. You and your unwitting "victims" don't deserve that.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I lead a bittersweet existence, where happiness is never total, always tempered.

I still long for the day when I can be stupidly happy. It ain't coming anytime soon. That's the only thing I know for sure.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The feeling of mutual attraction is just about the greatest emotion I've ever experienced, and it means the world to me.

Although I can't be with you the way I wanted to, I'm still glad that a couple of months on, you and I are as open with each other as we are. With you I can be myself, unedited. With me, I assure you, you can bare your soul and not be ashamed of all the skeletons you have in your closet. You said it yourself: I am a younger male version of you, and for that I feel lucky.

We can be as naked as we want to, with all the scars and wounds shown, safe and confident that we wouldn't poke at or laugh at each other where it hurts. We can be each other's sanctuary from all the weirdos and idiots on the Internet and in real life.

Despite all the heartbreak and all the bullshit life will no doubt unfairly dole out at us, we'll weather it through and remain, still having our special bond.

I love you. Belated happy birthday, my dear.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

"Oh great god of music, take away this indignation that lies in front of me."
===

I wish I could be genuinely, truly, madly, stupidly happy, preferably because I'm so in love with a person I can't act otherwise. Trouble is, this world seems to allow people to be happy only in small doses. Notice how we laugh so shortly, how we smile so briefly. Happiness is so fleeting, sadness seems all-pervading.

Geraldine did quote someone as saying "life is just a collection of moments." What do we do with everything else that happens in between, then? What a colossal waste.

By that same token she also told me of the dangers of letting myself get exposed like this in my blog. Owning a blog and documenting everything in it is akin to being wounded and standing naked in the middle of a street. You're left vulnerable to all sorts of weirdos who'd know precisely where to hit you so it hurts. Those who aren't weirdos and are too chicken to pick on you are free to laugh at you instead.

With this blog I wanted someone to come along who'd listen to and understand me totally, and accept me for all my faults, not simply for what I can do as if I were some sort of tool. I think I've waited far too long, and maybe it's time to admit that it simply ain't coming. I'm pretty scared I've done myself irreparable damage in the process, subjecting myself to weirdos like this. People have plagiarized entire sections of my blog already.

I still so want to believe I can be truly, genuinely, deeply, stupidly happy. And I still want to believe it won't take me my death to get there. I'm sick of feeling either a toxic cocktail of negative emotions or being practically manic-depressive.
===

Where am I on earth if you are not there?
Though my body has broken down
Though my heart dies, you are my rock
My God, the future that waits for me

Far away from you, life is not life
To break faith with you is to be no one

With you, I am always with you
You hold me tight, your hand in mine
You bring all things to a good end
You lead me on in your good pleasure
What is heaven to me without you?


- Hangad, "Psalm 73"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Our thesis has finally been put to bed. This means Tantan, Rachel and Leia can go to bed now as well.

We got our endorsement letters from Doc Nards tonight. All we need to do is photocopy the appendices, print out 2 more copies of the thesis, have one ring-bound and submitted to our boss Ms. Queng Reyles tomorrow. We'll submit the two other copies for the Marketing Department by lunch time, Tuesday.

We never thought it possible that we could finish our 99-page thesis this early. We were one of the very last groups to begin OJT and we were particularly indecisive about what we wanted to write as thesis, but look at us now.

All that stands in the way of graduating is thesis defense on December 3...and God, we worked hard and throughly enough not to hear the word "REDEFEND" from our panelists. We leave it up to you now.
===

I'm not one to count chickens before they hatch, but talking about graduation at this point is inevitable. I told Rachel I actually feared graduating, because while you're in school, you at least have something definite to look forward to, such as high school and college. But after college it'll be all up in the air, especially since a college degree just isn't a good enough guarantee to get employed these days. Sad but true.

For now, perhaps it's best to stop worrying about tomorrow. All Rachel and I have in our heads is that we've finally finished thesis. Rachel was especially fulfilled as she finished TWO theses in the span of 6 months---they successfully defended their feature film just last term. Enough reason for celebration to me.
===

Rachel Quinto, Leia Medina, and Tristan Ramirez: Though I wasn't always able to show it, let me tell you right now that I love you guys from the bottom of my heart. I can't imagine doing a Marketing thesis and OJT at PETA with anybody else.

Mula ngayon kayo'y aking kaibigan
Hinango sa dilim at kababaan
Ang kaibiga'y mag-aalay ng sarili niyang buhay
Walang hihigit sa yaring pag-aalay...


- Hangad, "Pagkakaibigan"

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I'm quite happy these days because we're actually finishing our thesis. As it stands we actually stand to exceed the 100-page limit and we're missing just one chapter, with the other four chapters needing just some polishing.

I really hope our defense goes well on December 3. Doc Nards will surely help us when we meet him tomorrow for revisions.
===

I just don't like how confused I've gotten recently. I'm at that all-too-familiar point where I don't know what exactly I want, but I feel hollow, like I'm missing something.

Do I want a relationship? Do I want to move out of my house? Do I want to get work that makes me financially stable ASAP or do I want to do what I really want to do for a living? I wish I could be truly, madly, stupidly happy---but the world just won't allow me that luxury anymore.

All I know now is that I want to sing, and I want to buy the CDs of Jesuit music groups Hangad and Bukas Palad. And yes, I want to finish thesis and get on with my life.
===

I absolutely love this song.


[I think I'll follow...
Follow...
In the greater scheme of...oooh...]

Tired of weaving dreams too loose for me to wear
Tired of watching clouds repeat their dance on air
Tired of getting tied to doing what’s required
Is life a mere routine in the greater scheme of things?

Through with taking roads someone else designed
Through with chasing stars that soon forget to shine
Through with going through one more day – what’s new?
Does my life still mean a thing in the greater scheme of things?

I think I’ll follow the voice that calls within
Dance to the silent song it sings
I hope to find my place, so my life will fall in place
I know in time I’ll find my place
In the greater scheme of things...

Each must go his way, but how can I decide?
Which path I should take; who will be my guide?
I need some kind of star to lead me somewhere far.
To find a higher dream in the greater scheme of things.

The road before me bends; I don’t know what I’ll find
Will I meet a friend or ghosts I left behind?
Should I even be surprised that you’re with me in disguise
For it’s your hand I have seen
In the greater scheme of things

I think I’ll follow the voice that calls within
Dance to the silent song it sings
I hope to find my place so my life will fall in place
I know in time I’ll find my place...

For yours is the voice in my deepest dreams
You are the heart, the very heart of the greater scheme of things...

So here I’ll follow the voice that calls within
Dance to the silent song it sings
I hope to find my place, so my life will fall in place
I know in time I’ll find my place...

Why don’t we follow the voice that calls within
Dance to the silent song it sings
One day we’ll find our place
For all things fall in place
For all things have a place
in the greater scheme of things...


- Hangad, "Pilgrim's Theme"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I know I'm supposed to be doing my review of related literature for thesis right about now, but I just can't let this pass by. Besides I feel I've gone for too long without blogging.

I've never been that spiritual, and I usually scorn people who spend their days praying and praying and never doing anything else. But I have such a weakness for religious music. Whenever I hear the power of a well-sung chorus of Filipinos belting out a Filipino religious hymn, I feel it's the closest I'll ever get to God. Tears well up in my eyes and my chest aches with an inexplicable sensation of simultaneous lightness and heaviness.

My recent nights at Tantan's house with Leia and Rachel have brought out a hobby that I've wanted to do for so long. It's just that I've always denied it for some reason or other.

I want to sing. I want to join a choir and have my voice meld with the voices of angels on earth. I haven't done much in homage of God, but I feel singing would be the best thing I could do.

I realize I've always had a great voice. It's just that I never really appreciated it before others did. Now they're egging me on to sing. Maybe I'll do just that.

Any further pursuits in fulfillment of my being a frustrated performer can wait. Singing seems to be what I was born to do.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I was at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines today for my part of the survey for our thesis. Being conservative, I decided to scope out a little eatery outside the school grounds. At this time, I didn't know that PUP had a smattering of buildings around the Sta. Mesa area, and I had landed first in the Engineering and Architecture campus along Pureza St. (the nearer campus to the Pureza LRT-2 station).

After a nondescript lunch break and initial survey at the Engineering building, I went off to the main campus at A. Mabini, located a bit further down the road. This time I decided to be more adventurous. I entered the campus gates and wandered about.

In a lot of ways PUP-Main reminded me of my visit to Philippine Normal University back when I was in fifth grade. Although DLSU obviously has better facilities (it's where the high tuition goes to), there's sort of a homey atmosphere to the Mabini campus that's also alive with activity. There a Lasallian can see a few indulgences other college students have that aren't allowed in DLSU: wearing slippers, no particular dress code (or one that's a lot more lax) and smoking in the campus grounds. They were even watching TV noontime shows inside the cafeteria. PUP is also one of the few places left where you can get a full meal for PhP30. I found it all pretty interesting.

The students I surveyed are a relatively happy bunch too. The 90 or so surveyees were generally willing to answer our 3-page questionnaire. Some of them had asked where I was from and what the survey was for. When I told them I was from DLSU and it was for my thesis, they wished me good luck. One of them, a fellow Marketing major, even sat me down and talked about the most recent Strategic Marketing Conference of the Philippine Marketing Association that I didn't get to join (I was at the 2004 event).

It was a nice visit, and I enjoyed getting myself lost in the campus and taking pictures on my "new" Nokia 6600 cellphone (a hand-me-down from my mom).

PUP is OK.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

After meeting with Doc Nards and being told our stuff was still rather sketchy, I stayed over at Tantan's place this time to work on thesis, again. The survey has to be done this week.

We battered and questioned every single question and hypothesis until our heads couldn't take it anymore (or 4:30 am for mere mortals). The upshot was that we finally refined our questionnaire to accept all the recommendations thrown at us. The bad thing is I'm now rather sick of thinking of anything thesis-related, though I'm sure I have to refine Chapters 1 and 2 further.

November 25 is D-Day. Crap. Couldn't we have had thesis on some other term? Being on-time actually meant having it on the shortest term of the year, with the most vacations.
===

I'm feeling a fair number of things nowadays, but "good" isn't one of them.

At least I know Leia gives a great massage. I hope I returned the favor well.
===

It takes guts to live as honestly as one can. That I realize now after Geraldine sent me a concerned message over Friendster about how I blog.

I've heard people tell me I'm different because of how true I am to myself, that I'm "refreshing" because I don't make any pretentions. The flip side is I'm easier to hurt because I'm so damn open, hence predictable.

Still, I don't know any other way to live. I will keep waiting (not in vain I hope) that a special someone will come along and accept me for everything I am, warts and all.

At least it's comforting to know there are people I've met that come really close to that ideal.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Geraldine and my friends have already egged me on, encouraging me to figure out just how exactly I feel about you. Yet you seem to be stuck in the ghosts of the past.

As much as I admire you for your inner beauty and am smitten by how your outer beauty has grown on me, I feel I have no choice but to abandon you.

Yet you...you confuse me. I'm not sure if I should keep playing your game or drop out of it altogether.
HCP is no longer what it used to be.

I really don't like what I'm seeing on the forums. What happened to people who make sensible posts? All the newbies and adiks want these days is to get their post count up to Level Meow (10,000), and they're willing to ignore the forum rules just for this stupid, meaningless achievement.

===
Speaking of Meow, I found out that my friend Angiela's having her first ever bout of bulimia. Apparently this came from a recent breakup from a guy which just had to come from HCP, her stress-buster. Poor girl.
===

Since Friday was a holiday due to Eid-al-Fit'r (the end of the Islamic Ramadan month), I decided to invite my thesismates over to my house to work on Chapters 1 and 3 of our thesis. After all, Leia had already invited us over to her house.

It was a surprisingly productive day. Although we weren't all that efficient, we managed to send Doc Nards our draft by 7 pm. Like my other blockmates, my visitors told me my house could pass for a vacation house location in Baguio or Tagaytay because of all the wood. For food we went to Yellow Cab for a couple of calzones and boxes of pasta---decadent but very filling.

I'm just glad they enjoyed their stay.
===

After months of not touching a machine, I got behind the wheel of Initial D v.3 again yesterday, using nothing else but my latest car, a dark green Mazda RX-8 with black wheels. It looks so dark and menacing. Not exactly what I wanted, but it's good all the same.

The RX-8 has a lot in common with my old Honda S2000. It's a 6-speeder FR with poor torque down low, but revs to a stratospheric 9500 RPM to unleash its 250 HP, so it needs to be driven a bit differently than more usual cars such as my S14 Silvia Q's. Interesting how none of my cars so far are turbocharged...

In the span of time I was there I conquered Akina Snow, beat Shingo on Myogi (okay, that's very easy), Daiki on Happogahara and Kyoko on Tsuchizaka. Akina Snow took me 4 tries to finish, but that taught me to use less steering lock for the turns and be gentler on the gas.

Looks like I've still got the skills...
===

Some stranger got into the Initial D v.3 machine and used a stock Honda S2000 to make mincemeat out of all his opponents. His driving looked rough, but it was undeniably FAST. Maybe there's hope for my fully-modified S2000 after all.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Chris Longhurst, author of the famous Car Bibles website, had this to say about the design idiosyncrasies of modern cars. So many of the features put into new cars are pointless and actually make us more unsafe drivers.

It's a long read, but petrolheads will appreciate this.

On 'Nanny Cars' and Bad Vehicle Design

Friday, October 28, 2005

PETA had its first-ever Mekong Performing Arts Laboratory showcase program this year, and the culminating event was on tonight at the Theater Center. The participants of the project, coming from the Mekong River sub-region of Indochina (Lao PDR, Yunnan province in China, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia), each had mini-plays and performances dabbling with dance, acting and alternative methods such as puppetry and shadow manipulation.

All 8 or so performances were unique and had their own merits---in short they were all very good! Whether it was the violently dancing Thais, the Lao puppeteers, the kicking, juggling and contorting Cambodians or the unusual acting and storytelling of the Vietnamese, the whole show was a joy to watch for something so minimalist and done at a tight deadline.

Met my new Japanese friend Chisato there once again, after the theater management stint for "Ang Palasyo ni Valentin." She's been here and with PETA for 8 months for theater workshops which according to her are pretty hard to find in her native Shizuoka, and she's taking the plane home on November 8th. She'll drop by the office just before then to say farewell.

I wanted to congratulate the actors (especially the Cambodians and Vietnamese) for a supremely funny and entertaining show, but I was afraid they wouldn't understand English and they might take offense at my good-natured actions. Cocktails were served after the show.

It dawned on me that although we're the most beleaguered group when it comes to finishing our OJT hours, I have no doubt we're having the most fun. We get to laugh, play games, watch theater shows and fool around with our officemates as our job---what's not to like?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I've been feeling rather bummed lately about how OJT and thesis would pan out. The past couple of weeks we didn't seem to be heading anywhere, especially as theater isn't exactly the usual stuff of a marketing paper.

Our spirits have started to perk up though. We've decided to do a marketing research paper on the perceptions of college students regarding plays and theatrical productions. That'll mean delving into the theories, research and other stuff of MARKCU1 (consumer behavior) all over again---and we don't really mind doing that.

Our mentor, Dr. Leonardo Garcia (or Doc Nards as we fondly call him), has been energetic in his support after the admitted waste of two weeks regarding our thesis. I keep wondering where he's been all this time; we've never had him as professor but he seems the most amiable of the entire "feeling cool" bunch. He even had a "strategy" to help us bag the best thesis award this term. Strategy or not, I'm really glad we're having him as our mentor.

The marketing work for PETA has been rather nondescript as of the moment, but we're not complaining. We've gotten along with the rest of the Marketing and Public Relations staff and we're doing our jobs smoothly, despite the occasional bouts of boredom and games of Luxor and Zuma. Time seems to fly by at PETA, although being one of the last groups to start OJT, we've got to hustle to finish our 200 hours.

Right now I just feel happy. It's going to be tough, but my groupmates and I will pull it off.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Good news: My head cold's slowly starting to heal.

More good news: I managed my best fuel economy in years---and all it took was an everyday trip from Bicutan to Cubao. On Petron's Xtra Unleaded fuel, and even with my hard-charging driving style, I capped 11.75 km/L.

It's a huge leap from the 9 km/L I average on the way to school and back home. I credit light weight, constant high speed and long trip distance for my achievement.

Just imagine how many more kilometers I'd have put in the tank if I were easier on the gas.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for...
- U2

After all's said and done, I find myself right back to where I started: empty. Whom have I been fooling all this time? I'm the same forlorn and abandoned soul, still looking for love in all the wrong places.

Yet time waits for no one and I should be moving along too. If only life were more like "Ang Palasyo ni Valentin"...
===

I'm currently sick with a really bad cold. I feel like I have the flu (i.e. weakened and woozy), but I still move my bowels and I actually have a lower temperature than normal.

Weird. I guess I'm a zombie now? I'm trying to remember if I ate any brains lately.
===

With the way I drive, I guess it was inevitable that I'd find the limits of my Honda and my driving skill sooner or later.

It started with braking. I was beginning to notice that I took an awfully long time to slow down because I was keeping my foot on the clutch all the time. Kookie Ramirez's advice was timely: use the engine to brake, and don't use that clutch. Simple enough.

Then came yesterday. I was forced to use C5 on the way home. Barreling along at high speed, I came to the bridge area where the asphalt undulated. I felt like rubbing off some speed so I used the brakes. However when the wheels re-contacted the asphalt after a short hop, I found that my steering wheel wasn't pointing straight, and my braking had actually locked up the wheels. Apparently I was still going too fast, as the car understeered and skidded at a narrow angle to the right---still within the left lane, but enough to give me a fright. I let go, pumped the brakes, got back online and got on the gas and I was away scot-free.

The fact that all this happened within a couple of seconds or so was shocking, but it did uncover a benefit to my driving: I had become familiar enough with the car's attitude in extremis to recognize what and when exactly was going wrong. I don't deny that I was very lucky though.

No more high-speed runs at C5 for me, I'll stick to 100 and below. Besides, my suspension isn't exactly up to snuff anymore, and I don't see a repair coming anytime in the future. :(
===

Still, it'd be nice if there were less idiots on the streets.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Hold onto love
That is what I do, now that I've found you
And from above
Everything's stinking, they're not around you

And in the night, I could be helpless,
I could be lonely, sleeping without you.

And in the day, everything's complex,
There's nothing simple, when I'm not around you.

But I'll miss you when you're gone
That is what I do, hey, baby
And it's going to carry on
That is what I do, hey, baby...

Hold onto my hands,
I feel I'm sinking, sinking without you
And to my mind,
Everything's stinking, stinking without you

And in the night, I could be helpless,
I could be lonely, sleeping without you

And in the day, everything's complex,
There's nothing simple, when I'm not around you

But I'll miss you when you're gone
That is what I do, hey, baby
And it's going to carry on
That is what I do, hey, baby...


- The Cranberries, "When You're Gone"

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I spent 10 hours today in the PETA Theater Center helping out in house management, and we're going to do the exact same thing tomorrow. While it wreaked considerable havoc on my feet (they hurt from all that time standing up), it was also proof that working for PETA was pretty enjoyable.

I'm looking forward to the final two showings of "Ang Palasyo ni Valentin." I've fallen in love with the play even after watching it 4 times.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

"That's not even a real smile. That's just a bunch of teeth messing with my mind."
- Faceman Peck, "The A-Team"
===

Today and tomorrow are my weekends as per OJT. On Saturday and Sunday we'll have 10 hours each of house management at PETA's Theater Center, on the final two performances of "Ang Palasyo ni Valentin."

Great. After that we'll be starting with marketing "Romulus The Grayt," expected to eat our share of 200 hours' work. I do hope we finish that and our thesis paper in time.
===

The past few days have been utterly beautiful.

I may not be 100% in love, I may not have a girlfriend, and I might still remain a forlorn romantic soul for the near future. But now I'm reassured that despite my being single, I'm essentially a great guy the girls have just glossed over.

Nice guys may finish last, but when they do it will be all the more fulfilling. Girls just don't have any idea what they're missing.

Thanks, Geraldine.
===

But I'm in so deep.
You know I'm such a fool for you.
You got me wrapped around your finger, ah, ha, ha.
Do you have to let it linger?
Do you have to, do you have to, do you have to let it linger?


- The Cranberries, "Linger"
===

"Everyone fears what they don’t understand… for example, I fear the undying idiocy of Gundam SEED DESTINY."

- Ben Davis, "Mecha Musings" on MAHQ.net

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You know, you've got an uncanny knack for disappearing from my life. For a couple months every message I sent you you simply ignored with the utmost convenience. Now you pop out of nowhere. You say you're dealing with your issues and you're farther away from me than ever.

All this time I thought we were supposed to be FRIENDS?! Frankly I do my best to help you and check up on you despite our long-distance arrangement, yet the part that positively ticks me off is how you don't seem to give a damn about the people that care for you! People can only hold out believing for so long.

Friend, my ass. You've been such a major disappointment---friends aren't supposed to go ignoring each other. Let's see how YOU behave when I decide to shut you out of my life for good.

The frustrating part about all this? You still owe me.
"I can't remember this quote exactly, but there is a writing by Jean Cocteau where he says friendship is higher than love. Sometimes it's less glamorous, or less passionate, but it's deeper and kind of wiser, I think. At the heart of my relationship [with my wife] is a great friendship."
- U2's Bono on Marie Claire

If only the world acted like that.
===

Recently I've stumbled across the huge pile of MP3s I have on my computer that it gained when it saw service in an Internet cafe for a while back, and the Cranberries immediately made their impact on me again after so long an absence. Their songs and lyrics fit my currently melancholy mood in a way Coldplay can't seem to do---the Cranberries have undeniable 1990s classics which reach deep into my soul and memories.
===

Suddenly something has happened to me
As I was having my cup of tea
Suddenly I was feeling depressed
I was utterly and totally stressed
Do you know you made me cry
Do you know you made me die

And the thing that gets to me
Is you'll never really see
And the thing that freaks me out
Is I'll always be in doubt
It is a lovely thing that we have
It is a lovely thing that we
It is a lovely thing, the animal
The animal instinct

So take my hands and come with me
We will change reality
So take my hands and we will pray
They won't take you away
They will never make me cry, no
They will never make me die

And the thing that gets to me
Is you'll never really see
And the thing that freaks me out
Is I'll always be in doubt

The animal, the animal, the animal instinct in me
It's the animal, the animal, the animal instinct in me
It's the animal, it's the animal, it's the animal instinct in me...


- The Cranberries, "Animal Instinct"

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Today was supposed to be our first proper day of OJT.

I set out at 11am, walking 5 kilometers or so from my home to the Bicutan interchange. Got on the bus to Makati, then got off and took the MRT to Cubao. We had hoped to meet Leia there because she wasn't with us when we met with our mentor, Dr. Leonardo "Nards" Garcia, at CSB's Angelo King building.

Doc Nards was a bit surprised at the work plan PETA gave us. Our friend Miss Gay wanted us to formulate a marketing plan in a week for PETA's upcoming play so we could have hands-on experience as to implementing it, and determining the causes of success or failure. However Doc Nards told us that wasn't what the Marketing department was looking for in our thesis: it had to be an academic paper with a full-on research component, something that can't simply be done in a week. So we had to ask our leader Miss Queng to let us do a marketing plan for a production in the much later future.

Anyhow, when we got to the old PETA office we were briefed by Miss Arlin on the ins and outs of PETA's rather interesting org structure. Then we presented our predicament to Miss Gay and Miss Queng and they were amenable to the changes in plan; we'd still be helping out with the promotion of the November production anyway.

Funny how our meeting ended very early. We were supposed to have stayed on until 5pm, but they let us go by 2:30. Oh well, we'll finish the 200 hours on other days.

I'm kinda excited about thesis, but I'm also rather scared of what we have to do. At least it's going to be interesting.
===

My other blockmates have been complaining about OJT over on the block e-group. Kate was the first to rant, saying that their work sucked. KD followed suit remarking that it's no fun working for other people---ever the entrepreneur.

It's the same story for my other friends on the topic of work. Jason from MP misses college, as he's working as a bookkeeper for a bank in Baliuag and has a wife and a kid and another on the way. And he's younger than I am.

I suppose I've belabored the point that I've become sick of school and am raring to get to work. I've had my fill of spending too much and not earning enough. However, I didn't expect people to be dissuading me from the inevitable. Sure I'll be making my own dough, but it seems I'll end up as burnt-out from work as I have from school and the thought spooks me.

I sincerely hope I land a job I really, really love. I suppose it's about time I took my dad's advice about working for a car magazine. Where would I start?
===

Love is a funny thing.

Geraldine summed it up quite well. "Imagine you're a dog, and this really juicy steak is hanging right before your eyes. You're drooling and salivating to get it, naturally.

"WELL GUESS WHAT YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!"

While I laughed at her joke, I was thinking if that was actually a joke at all.

They say the sign of a successful romance is the presence of tension between the two parties. Not the bawling, heated argument type, but the kind that makes the girl go giddy and the guy mumble in his head "I wonder what I can do for her tonight?"

Whenever I'm in love I get the exact same thing, with a horrible twist. The giddiness and lightness of being is there, but it's not so far removed from the stuff that fuels my insecurities and self-pity.

Love is a funny thing, indeed. HA. HA. HA.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Read this interesting article in an issue of Marie Claire. The gist of it says that a lot of our problems stem from the fact that we're now living our lives too quickly for us to enjoy them. The Internet and the general pace of life have forced us to become multitaskers, mindlessly doing things and finishing them all ASAP and that isn't always good. For example, wolfing your lunch down instead of eating it slowly has always been looked at as a way of getting yourself fat.

On the bundled timeline they had, aptly entitled "A History of Hurrying," there were years where something "instant" was invented, such as the book "The Instant Millionaire," the One Minute Manicure and so-called speed dating (I'll leave out quickie sex and fast food as they're so out there). The sheer number of "instant" things we have has gotten to a point where it's so ridiculous it isn't funny. While I wholeheartedly agree with Jeremy Clarkson's old Top Gear column stating that speed is a big part of what makes us human, the Marie Claire articles also had me thinking on the flipside. This isn't totally new to my psyche as I've actually mulled it over a few times.

Really, when was the last time you stopped to smell the flowers?

Perhaps our lifestyles have gotten so very fast that they can literally leave us stranded on the street, dazed and bewildered. Just keeping up with the ever-increasing pace seems to be impossible---at least that's the impression I get from American culture now. Whole empires rise and fall in the span of time it takes for a kid to finish puberty. That seems to explain a growing "slow movement" happening that shuns fast food, restricts car travel and encourages people to slow down, chill out and enjoy life for once.

What's especially interesting is that some of these things we've created to increase our efficiency actually have the potential to hinder our progress and have us wallow in procrastination. Mao told me last night the Internet was the number one procrastinator's tool.

She's right.
===

Sigh. I'm thinking of her again.

The Marie Claire article had another related story covering a new way of meeting other people and going on dates in New York City, called "Quiet Parties." Part of the "slow movement" this time trying to shun speed dating, all the participants meet in a room and are not supposed to talk to anyone. All communication is anonymous and happens via pen and cards. No music, no phones, no nothing. They really mean it when they say it's a Quiet Party. Think of it as online chat, with the added benefit of instantly seeing the other party's facial reactions, says author Melissa Schweiger.

It's an interesting premise. The whole point is to get rid of small talk and get to know other people in an unpretentious way. Since the whole thing is based on anonymous cards it can be tough to tell the writing on the cards apart. But I wonder if this was what I've been doing with the girls I liked all this time.

Like I said I've been thinking of her again and I can't get her out of my head. Had we met via Quiet Party I doubt if we'd have become any different. I honestly don't know jack about courting girls---I've asked some out on dates but those didn't seem all that 'romantic.' I don't know what to do with her, honestly. Should I carry on as her friend and make my presence known more little by little, or should I completely reintroduce myself? I'm also afraid of destroying whatever friendship we already have just because I let my dick do the thinking. :(

Love is a two-way street, true. I may want her to be in my life, but what if she doesn't? Sigh.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Had an absolute hoot on YM with Geraldine last night. Now I'm convinced I really am a younger male version of her. Despite having a terrible head cold and a heavy head, I was laughing my ass off in front of the computer from all her jokes, and we were commiserating all our fuck-ups with love and relationships.
===

Managed to make a bit of magic tonight with Mao on YM too. She was having trouble with her thesis film, making a script for a pretty cool premise they had for their proposal which they found hard to do on film.

I'm trying to rack my brains for more spins on the basic idea to help her out.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

There are people in my really close circle of friends that I truly, deeply care about, yet I've taken it as a given that they'll never fully reciprocate my feelings because of the nature of our relationship as longtime friends.

I know I've lambasted the idea of falling in love with friends before. Yeah I know it's doomed to fail, from personal experience. And yes I know it's messy. But dammit, given the kind of person I am, there are only so many meaningful people I meet along the way---and I believe I've already met 80% of the people that will matter to me the most till the day I croak. Why not give it a shot?

I've been by her side all this time, longer than I thought, encouraging her whenever I get the chance (increasingly rarely nowadays) and listening to her problems. I'm convinced we can connect in that really special way. I just hope my aspirations are true.

For all the tacit demeanor and romantic nonchalance I show, inside I'm just yearning for someone to love me, and how I wish it could be her. I sound pathetic, I know, but I'm too damn lonely to care.

Love being a two-way street is both a blessing and a curse, I swear.
===

Got to watch PETA's play "Ang Palasyo ni Valentin" on a rainy Thursday night after having the OJT work plan discussed to us. Gorgeous play, really---and it's the kind that people aren't doing enough of these days. There isn't much of a motivation these days to write stories about undying love. "Valentin" is a pretty good wake-up call.
===

Went to visit my ex's blog on a whim. After 30 seconds' exposure I turned around and walked away, thinking "What the hell am I doing?!"

My ex is nothing more than another ghost to exorcise from the deepest recesses of my memory. Yet I seem to be condemned never to be able to forget.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I claimed my 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame kit yesterday and promptly went about building it. It's a pretty cool model once finished---very, very articulated for a non-MG kit, yet also very light because it's not an MG (no internal structures, strictly speaking---check the picture) so it's more posable. The build, with cleanup, took me around 5 hours.

Would be nice to paint this baby, especially as the scabbard for its katana is in plain white, but I'm happy with it as it is.
===

Lately I've been catching that big '80s favorite, "The A-Team," on Star World in the mornings when I wake up. I used to watch this when I was a kid and it's unbelievable that the show's actually as old as I am.

"In 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime they didn't commit. These men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire the A-Team."

All the characters are zany and memorable, especially Mr. T as Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus who raised the flag for African-Americans on '80s TV next to a primarily white cast. Despite his grumpy demeanor, B.A. was smart, brave and capable with all things mechanical (except airplanes---he hated flying), and I gotta say he probably started the whole "bling" phenomenon on black hip-hop artists with all the rings and jewelry he wore on the show. I checked his Wikipedia page, and Mr. T says all the (heavy) bling he carries is his way of sympathizing with his ancestors---Negro slaves. Pretty cool!

The other cast members are still alive, save for George Peppard (who played lead character Col. John "Hannibal" Smith"), who died in 1994 from pneumonia. Apparently the guy had a sad life.

The A-Team lives on: Some guy in the UK made a fantastic shrine on them. Click here for more on this fantastic five-season TV show.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We're finally going to start OJT on Thursday night. Tantan, Leia, Rachel and I are to meet at PETA's new Theater Center at 6pm to learn of our work plan. After that, our first assignment is to watch one of their plays at 7:30 pm.

Great. I'm finally going to get busy after a month of stagnation. One concern is my mode of transport though, since I'm pretty sure the play will end sometime around 10pm. Being a Thursday rules out bringing a car too, so I guess I'll commute. Should be no problem, but I don't know how much of a fit my mom's going to throw. Sigh.
===

Geraldine's been sending me hilarious messages on Friendster, talking about how being old makes her more makulit, or how her nose sank New Orleans. She sees me as a younger male version of herself---although I'm not sure I live up to the claim.

Thanks, Lola Basyang. :p
===

She sent me one of those email surveys about love. Although I admit I can live without erotic love (I should!), the fact remains I won't mind having it in my life once again. I can only have so much talking to myself before the very thought gets sickening.

I've been looking for it especially since these days I've become pretty jaded. As irrational and selfish as it seems, I'd like nothing more than to be swept away by my feet by an unearthly impulse to be with the woman I love, whom as of now remains faceless.
===

It's only now that I noticed how much I gave up to finance this modelmaking hobby of mine. I haven't bought a new CD in months, and there are in fact a number I'd like to buy. I've been pining for Anton Ramos' Chillout Project Acid Jazz album, as well as Keane's and Franz Ferdinand's. Mao got me interested in listening to Coldplay too. It's funny how I never really detested their music (I rather like it), but I never got around to buying their CDs either.

It's also been months since I bought a new car magazine. Bought one this month, just to bring me up to date with what's been happening to the local motoring scene. I miss the days when I could buy Autocar ASEAN---now I hardly see any issues in stock. Hmmm.

Ahh, money. I never have enough of it. Now that I'm close to earning my own dough, I'm hearing stories from employed friends that they'd really rather stay as students for a bit longer. I don't know---I'm rather sick of studying. I'm sick of not being able to earn anything, which is why I'm actually quite jealous of my sister's entrepreneurial sense.

Oh well. At least I haven't done the absolute worst thing I can do---fuck and get a girl pregnant. Maybe there's an upside to this avoiding relationships after all.
===

Put in a 25% downpayment reservation for this kit, finally: the 1/100 Gundam Astray Red Frame. It's very close to being a MG model at a few hundred pesos less.



Great news: Bandai finally intends to release an MG Zeta Gundam ver.2.0 in December! Damn! This puts me at a quandary...should I get it or the MG Dom?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Spammers are fucking with my blog and leaving nonsense comments. I'm disabling them. Have anything to say? E-mail me instead.
===

This is from my friend and former actress Geraldine. Had nothing to do so here goes.

Name your 5 favorite:
1. Color
Yellow, Black, Blue, White, Ecru

2. Foods
Salpicao, pasta with red sauce, chopsuey, grilled veggie sandwiches, bread

3. Pastimes
going online, singing, working out, reading, modelmaking

4. Outfits
boot-cut jeans, cargo shorts, slogan shirts, caps and anything from American Eagle

5. Animals
cats, dogs, tigers, sheep, reindeer

6. Movies
Seven Samurai, Schindler's List, Driven, Shall We Dance, Wicker Park

7. TV channels
Animax, Sports Plus, Star Sports, HBO, AXN

8. Drink
water, hot green tea, rich hot chocolate, hot jasmine tea, 7-Up

9. Months
None in particular

10. Subjects in school
literature, philosophy, history, physics, chemistry

11. Breakfast foods
rice crispies, sinangag, longganiza, tocino, bread

12. Ice cream flavors
vanilla, cookie dough, cookies and cream, strawberry, mint choco chip

13. Scents
not much of a cologne person

14. Websites
hondaclub.com.ph, mechapinoy.net, gmail.com, pinoyexchange.com, autocar.co.uk

15. Junk Food
Oishi pillows, piattos, nova, chocolate, Lil' Caesars crazy bread
***
1. IF...you were a day, you'd be...
Wednesday.

2. IF you were a mythical goddess/god, you'd be...
Apollo.

3. IF you were an animal, you'd be...
A rabbit.

4. IF you were a fruit, (sounds bad, I know), you'd be...
Kiwifruit. Tastes like a little bit of everything.

5. IF you were a ruler, you'd be...
Franklin Roosevelt, I guess.

6. IF you were a doctor, you'd be...
A shrink

7. IF you were a lawyer, you'd be...
Oh God, I hate law.

8. IF you won the lotto, you'd...
get my car fixed, get an airbrush and paints, get some plastic models. I'll save the excess

9. IF you could change anything in the past, what would that be?
I'd love to be more headstrong and independent. I was always pushed around when I was a kid and people always took advantage of my dependency on them.

10. IF you were to take up 3 foreign languages, they'd be...
Japanese, French, Spanish

11. IF you had the power to change things, what would it be?
Having more control over people and situations.

12. IF you had one wish, what would it be?
That I could be fully free to live my own life without my family badgering me and my affairs.

13. IF you won an free trip anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
Japan, somewhere in the province. Maybe in the mountains of Gunma prefecture...

14. IF you were a cartoon character, you'd be...
Tetsuwan Atom/Astro Boy

15. IF you were to sing, who would you want to sing with?
Lea Salonga?
***
1. Right now, you're wearing...
DLSZ 22nd Foundation Anniv. shirt and DKNY black shorts

2. Watching...
Nothing in particular, last thing I saw was race 1 of the A1 Grand Prix in Brands Hatch, UK

3. Listening...
"Rise" by Origa (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG)

4. You just ate...
Rice, fried bangus, lowfat mango yogurt

5. You last talked to...
My mom. Urgh.

6. You last drank...
Water

7. The weather is...
Ridiculously indecisive

8. After this, you'll...
Accompany my mom to the bank. Urgh again.

9. Where are you?
Obviously in front of the computer

10. Where would you like to be?
Away from my parents.

11. When did you last answer something like this?
A few months ago

12. Why do you answer this?
Because I was bored. Wakekekekeke!

13. How do these questions help?
They're a gloriously fun way to waste time, that's for sure

14. Will you make a set of these questions?
no. I never make my own.

15. Who do you want to answer the questions posted above...
Anyone who’s interested.
***
Essay Time...answer honestly...
1. Love to you is...
A major headache and the most potent analgesic all rolled into one.

2. Is there such a thing as a soul mate?
I don't believe that

3. Do you love being in love? Why?
Not really...I've learned how to get by without love, it's not like erotic love is essential to my existence or anything. But it sure does make my life more interesting...

4. What are your plans in life?
Be a motoring journalist. That kind of job I won't mind doing every day.

5. Who is the most important person in your life and why?
My Tita Vik. Favorite aunt in the world!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Minsan ay aking nakita
Kalawakan sa iyong mga mata
Liwanag, ako'y bigyan sana
Upang langit ay makamtan ko na

Ikaw ang kalayaan ko
Ikaw ang kalayaan ko

Nasa iyo ang kasagutan
Sa dilim ikaw ang aking daan
Pag-asa, sa ikot ng mundong
Napakabilis at nakakatuliro...

Marami kaming naghahanap, marami kaming napapadpad
Sa pansamantalang lunas
At di alam kung may bukas
Heto ang kahinaan ko, inaalay ko sa iyo
Upang mabigyang-tibay at lakas ang isang katulad ko!

Marami pa akong dapat malaman
Ituro mo ang landas sa iyo...

Ikaw ang kalayaan ko
Ikaw ang kalayaan ko


- The Dawn, "Kalayaan" from the album "Prodigal Sun"

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We finally have a company to take us in for OJT. PETA approved our request this afternoon, so I drove Tantan and Rachel back to their office to get our needed documents for approval. The work seemed interesting. We were basically continuing our work for the Pops Orchestra but in a slightly different field. Also, our final output was to be a marketing research paper to judge the audience for Philippine plays. One pivotal factor that drew Tantan and Rachel to PETA was the promise of doing mostly fieldwork, as they seem to hate the prospect of stagnating in an office.

My parents don't seem to agree with the idea however. My mom was especially incensed when I told her PETA didn't guarantee any allowance, especially since going to and from Quezon City was bound to be expensive. She says she didn't understand the logic behind our line of thinking---after all the legwork we did, we ended up with some second-rate company with nothing in compensation for our efforts. What's the point of going to DLSU for schooling?

My dad told me the exact opposite at the dinner table. Why were we being so choosy with OJT? It's hard enough to get real work nowadays; we should be taking the first company to approve us, especially since this is just "training." Funny, I thought this was EXACTLY what the four of us did.

To hell with them and their logic, it's my life I'm living. I'm disappointed none of them were happy with the fact that we finally found a company to take us in. It'll just be 200 hours anyway---just a month of 8-hour working days.

Sigh. Knowing how my parents think, I never bothered replying or talking back. They never listen anyway.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I spent the morning with my thesismate Leia in the co-pilot's seat. We had Ms. Zamora sign our OJT letter for BPI in school (a big thank you to you ma'am!), then set off to Quezon City, where we navigated our way through the maze of streets that is New Manila to find one of our potential OJT locations, the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA). It took a few tries to get to the right side of Lanuza St., especially in the exasperating heat.

We tried going to Gateway Mall for lunch, but the traffic in Aurora Blvd. was unbearable and the heat from my malfunctioning aircon was getting to my dehydrated brain. We steered to Glorietta instead where we ate at the Evergreen Vegetarian Gourmet. I couldn't believe my eyes: it looked like a typical turo-turo with dishes a meat-loving Filipino would love, but none of it was meat. It tasted the part too, the difference almost indistinguishable. It was priced like your friendly neighborhood turo-turo too: 2 viands and rice with soup for a mere PhP65, unlike most of the stalls in the food court that will set you back at least PhP100.

It dawned on the two of us that we had been classmates for 10 years. Funny, it doesn't seem like it's been that long---probably due to us not hanging out with each other all the time. Even up to our final hurrah in DLSU we're still thesismates. It's only now that I realized we shared a lot of traits too. We're both fast walkers who understand the value of time wasted in transport. Lei is also a really capable navigator---unlike most girls I know, she can quickly make sense of a street atlas and put it to good use.

I wonder why we never really hit it off back in grade school and high school. We were always relegated to being coworkers on projects, but we didn't really get to talk a lot outside of that. I suppose we were busy with our own concerns and thought that we didn't have anything in common. Oh well, what's past is past.

I'd welcome having her as one of my co-workers.
===

Quezon City is confusing.

I understand now why my parents were never so keen on me going to places like QC or San Juan. It's not the inherent danger in those places (although that counts, a spate of carnappings happening in shady areas of QC), but rather it's the huge headache of navigating their streets.
===

The more I post in GOUF, the more I find that it's not the forum for me. The administrators and moderators are so damn restrictive it's not funny, and 90% of the members aren't too bright either. It's also very obvious that most things that go counter to a set of manipulative rules promoting Bandai's interest, euphemistically called "Forum Policy," have no place in the forum.

Sheesh.

Richie of MechaPinoy.net was right: If the MP moderators were anywhere that strict, we would have killed them a long time ago.

I'm just grateful MP and HCP are still there, with some of the friendliest moderators and officers around.
===

Just saw "Wicker Park" on Star Movies after an eternity of not having seen any movie. I thought it was a predictable film about Josh Hartnett stalking Diane Kruger. Boy, was I flat out wrong: it's a very clever tale of lies, manipulation and deception. I am glad I got to finish the whole movie, and I have nothing but praise for actress Rose Byrne portraying Alex. The soundtrack kicked mighty ass, too.

I'm glad that when I finally got around to watching a film, it had to be this one.

Monday, September 26, 2005

It's 90 days till Christmas. The news programs have begun counting, and you all know what that means.

Still without OJT, I spent the afternoon at SM Bicutan. I had recently gotten back to being physically active, lifting weights on Sunday and getting aerobic exercise from 5 games of Dance Maniax this afternoon. It's better than melting away at home.

I almost gave in to the urge of buying that MG Zaku II F2 kit the toy section was selling for just PhP1500 (PhP500 off only till the end of the month). However the thought of my debt with AVON and the coming holidays led me to step off the queue at the register and bring the box back to its shelf. I decided to buy a Christmas present for my dear goddaughter Mikaela instead.

That kid's a lovable baby girl. She's outgoing and happy and very charismatic---not to mention very chubby and cute. I made sure my gift fits her.
===

Now I've never been keen on cleaning computers, but I had nothing better to do so I decided to give my keyboard a little TLC. The keys are dirty and I'm pretty sure some dirt literally fell through the cracks.

I never knew cleaning a keyboard would be so hard.

I initially resorted to prying off the keys one by one and wiping them with wet tissue. That took too much time and paper, so I pried them all at once and put them in a small tub of water and detergent. Meanwhile the main keyboard body was quite filthy, with all the hidden dirt. I tried putting a small amount of water to run along the grooves to help clean it. Needless to say I ended up disassembling the keyboard, trying to make sure nothing in the internals got wet.

Now I'm using it again, and apart from a remedied problem with the Shift keys it's now okay. Not something I'd like to do again in the near future, though.

Friday, September 23, 2005

It's been a while. Hisashiburi ne...

Honestly there hasn't much writing about since term break because it seems I've gotten a really extended one. I've been to school only twice since the term started, and it's only because I had to attend an orientation to get me up to speed with OJT. The rest of the time I've been decaying at home, trying to forget the worse things that happened like having my car towed away and me losing a hard-earned PhP1500.

The sole highlight of the four inactive weeks was my constant participation in the MechaPinoy.net YM conferences.

We have until Wednesday to get a company to accept us four for OJT. I really hope it goes well since it seems we started really late compared to the other groups, which already have definite places they'll be spending their 200 hours on.
===

There are rumors spreading around my friends' ears regarding an affair being carried out by one of my friends' co-workers. True to Filipino gossipy tradition, dirt has been dug up and it seems the woman is a known swinger and participant in E parties...or so I've heard. The woman sales exec returned to work as if nothing happened, yet is now being asked to resign.

I have no idea of who she is, despite having seen pictures of her. It's also unfair to lay down any judgment on her character.

Well that's beside the point. The point is I'm going to have to prepare for dirt being dug up like this when I've graduated and have begun on a career. Despite not having known the purported lady sales exec, I'm rather proud of her for keeping focused on her job, neither defending against nor denying the scandal. She seems to have kept her resolve.

I can only hope I can be anywhere as strong-willed as she is.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The boredom's beginning to set in.

Now that my PlayStation's CD lens has finally bitten the dust I'm left with very few things to do at home apart from going online and playing old games for the nth time. As usual I have little in terms of cash to play around with. Sigh. I really must take care of my Avon transfer application, as much as I hate thinking about having to pay debts again. I need to make money because I'm not sure if I'm going to be getting any allowances from OJT.

I'll need to get my car fixed as well. I realize I can't delay the repairs to February. Sigh.
===

I just found out from Arvin Lim that Toy Kingdom has a 30% sale on its Gunpla kits, and it's only till October 31. CRAP!

Imagine owning a "Perfect Grade" RX-178 Gundam Mk-II at just PhP7,000...oh my goodness. Not that I have the money...but shit, it's the stuff of my dreams.

Must concentrate on suspension repairs, dammit...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect anything like this.

Today is course card day, and I am very proud to say that I got a trio of 4.0s, a couple of 3.5s and a 2.0 from SALETAX. All in all, enough for a term GPA of 3.611---my highest ever, and enough to pull my cumulative GPA to 3.020. How fitting that it should happen in my very last academic term.

As my dad said, "You certainly ended your school life with a bang."

OJT, here I come.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The house party at Tara's pushed through last night.

I haven't been there in three years and it manifested in how sloppy I was in pinpointing the location of their compound. Getting there was no hardship, it was just that I no longer remembered which white gate was theirs.

When I got there, we pretty much started watching movies. Zeri (who is surprisingly now the girlfriend of Tara's brother Mikey) had slept over, while her sister Zaillah was shuffling the DVD wallets for stuff to watch. Rachel and Tara were doing their post-defense thesis paper with Roman, who had brought along his friend and my batchmate Anton HalagueƱa (I can't believe how thin he is now). Leia was absent as she was in Hong Kong for 4 days. Kate, Catcat and Denise were absent too. Chabeli and Mao came along and brought nachos and donuts, but ultimately had to leave early at midnight---as Rachel would say, "How sad!" Tantan in contrast arrived at 12:30 am and seemed to go to Tara's just to get some sleep.

We watched "The Pacifier," their thesis film "Simbuyo," and "The Machinist" with a shockingly thin Christian Bale. I brought along some pancit Malabon for chow, which everyone seemed to enjoy. Tantan's cake and Mao's nachos were equally well received too.

Ultimately I thought the house party was boring and a bit of a disappointment, mostly because people left too damn early and not enough of us was around. If there had to be one highlight of the evening though, it was poker.

We played No-limit Hold'em for much of the evening. I first played with Anton and Mikey because we seemed to be the only ones who had experience. Later, after Roman and Anton left, Zeri, Tara and Rachel were interested and so we went at it, and the girls picked up the game quite quickly. After that, Mikey, Rachel and I were the last players.

I kept on winning. It's funny how often I was winning. I was actually getting sick of it, either having good cards very often, or acting on a good bluff---and I'm not kidding. It took Mikey's cards and my voluntarily going all in on a really worthless hand for me to lose and stop playing because I was getting pretty sleepy by 3am. After an hour of trying to sleep and 30 minutes of actual shut-eye, I decided to go home.

It was a nice party, but ultimately it felt a bit hollow. I was disappointed that now that I was finally able to go, not enough people were present. Oh well. That's that.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My final test---the PHILPER finals---went weird. I was supposed to write a coherent argumentative essay at the very end, but what came out of my pen was a jumble of rants and raves about Sartre. I wonder if it's worth 40 points as it is.

Oh well. That's finished. That's the last school test I'm ever going to take.
===

Someone on HCP started a topic on just how the kids of the 60s, 70s and 80s grew up. It was an interesting talking point. Kids back then ate absolutely anything, yet most didn't grow up obese. Kids back then played real games on the empty streets or the parks, not on PlayStations and Xboxes. Kids back then could satisfy their wanderlust---a luxury nowadays where parents and nannies have their eagle eyes on the little tikes especially with the advent of cellphones.

It's arguable that kids back then were a happier, healthier bunch. I wonder what the hell happened?
===

The night out at Tara's is still on, or so it seems. We're now tentatively set for Saturday night. I just hope it stays on and that I can finally come over. I've missed one too many of Tara's term-ending house parties.
===

After the PHILPER final I scooted to Festival Mall in Alabang just to get out of the boredom of the house. I'm black-listed today due to the car coding scheme, so I can't go to Makati if I want to keep my license.

Festival is still a good place to hunt for Gundam model kits, although you'll pay a bit more for the privilege. Still, the stores there have a wide selection of popular kits that have been discontinued elsewhere. I was really tempted to buy the 1/100 Astray Red Frame or Aegis Gundam, but I found them just too expensive (PhP1,600 each!) and I had other plans for my cash.

Since my goddaughter is celebrating her birthday party on Sunday, I thought of buying her a little gift. I was also attracted by dirt-cheap denims as my pairs are getting worn out in the crotch area. Bench was selling jeans for PhP350 a pair! Really tempting, but I didn't splurge.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The SALETAX final was okay. Pretty manageable although I'm sure I made a few wrong answers. I just hope I have enough points to pass. I need less than 40 anyway.

I feel a bit deflated though because we're not pushing through with the night at Tara's house tomorrow. Sigh. Bummer.

I wonder what I'll be doing tomorrow. I might as well go visit Festival Supermall and look at their hobby shops once again.
I'm really supposed to be sleeping now, but for some reason I'm really excited. I can't wait for Thursday to come around for me and my blockmates to have a little bit of much-deserved fun. I can't wait till next week, too. I'm really praying my parents allow me to go to Quezon.
===

Finally got to rip some D'Sound songs from my sister's CD. They're a really good group with lots of nice tracks.
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I miss having someone to talk to, just the two of us about absolutely anything under the sun. Sigh. Growing up probably means I also have to deal with existentialist abandonment.

I love Sartre, but dammit did he have to make the world so lonely?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The MARKPUB defense went well, as did the BUSIPOL final exam. Rachel, Roman and Tara finally got to defend their thesis---at last they're done! Overall, this was a good day.
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I have serious doubts about BUSIPOL, after having taken it. It's one of the most worthless subjects I've ever taken. I understand the motive behind it: as business students we should be prepared to be strategists of organizations or firms someday and effectively implement whatever strategies we formulate. But really, this spoon-feed approach of teaching was something that didn't quite appeal to me. What made it even less appealing was the fact that the final exam reflected just how sloppy this subject seems to be.

I guess I would have become more appreciative of the subject if it required me to use my brain a bit and apply whatever I learned. All these high-falutin concepts will fly right by my head if I don't have enough chances to apply them. Participation in the GLO-BUS global business simulation just isn't enough. Besides I've already learned a huge chunk of BUSIPOL from my Marketing major subjects---very redundant. Now I hear some people want a second term extension for BUSIPOL? Give me a break.

BUSIPOL should undergo an overhaul before it even considers being granted a second term extension.
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My next exam's bound to be my toughest: SALETAX. Oh my. I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight.

As usual, right now I'm procrastinating. Yes, I'm obviously sick of studying.
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My blockmates and I plan to end our term with a bang. Right after the last final exam, we're going to Tara's place and have a movie marathon to end at 4am. I won't allow anything to get in the way now that I've missed so many of these house parties.

There are plans to go to Quezon province too. One of Leia's friends from Engineering has a beach house we can crash. After a 6-hour drive we'll be together without having to worry about anything academic at all. That'll be a treat. I'd love to come along.

I hope my car's up to the job. I'm hearing strange pings from my front suspension.