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, February 19, 2005

I've been nominated recently for the Cultural Arts Office (CAO) Awards as "most promising managing member of a performing group" (namely Pops). This coming Monday I'm supposed to come in business attire at the CAO for my interview at 2 pm.

While I am very honored about the nomination, I feel that I have to forfeit my slot. Past accomplishments are all well and good, and they will be the locus of the panel's questions. However with my relative ineptitude in raising any sponsorships for the major concert, I feel as if joining the race for this award will be hypocritical.

I feel I don't deserve this award, yet I know that racking up credentials for a good resume is important.

Getting angry with yourself isn't the best feeling in the world.

Friday, February 18, 2005

I'm trying Mozilla Firefox for the first time. Damn it's sweet!

Some pages like HCP look a bit funny (all text is center-aligned for some reason) but the greater ease of use offsets that. I feel I'll have to unlearn some stuff I got used to with IE6 though.

I'll be going to the Manila City Jail tomorrow to interact with political prisoners as part of my RELSFOR advocacy work for TFDP.

Honestly, despite the honorable aim of the organization I can't help but feel a little scared about tomorrow. Then again I've been scared about a few other things lately.

First and foremost would be the looming major concert for Pops. While I did succeed in securing Yehey! as our online media sponsor, I haven't been as successful in getting other cash sponsors. That wouldn't be so bad in itself, but no one else among the Marketing team has had any success either so we're feeling the pressure mounting.

I have to wonder how much of this is our fault and how much is due to force majeure. Speaking for my assigned industry (automotive), only Toyota has had any progress with releasing new models that it might want to promote, like the Hilux pickup and Innova AUV/wagon. Our sponsor last year, Honda, seems to have gone defensive from their enthusiastic media blitz with the Jazz. They're probably opting to wait out this year, empty their stocks and get ready for the release of the 2006 model year Civic. I can't find Mitsubishi's contact info, which is sad because they did release their Grandis MPV and the Montero Sport SUV.

Wednesday is judgment day...

Second would be my grades. I haven't been doing as well with my major subjects. While I might be blamed for all these other orgs and hobbies I chose to get into, I have serious reservations about how my classmates in Marketing are behaving.

Simply put I don't like the way my Marketing major classes feel like a circus 8 times out of 10. No one listens to any reports. No one takes the lessons seriously. It's always a din of noise that fights with the professors for the attention of the students---and the pandemonium always wins. The only things my younger classmates seem to care about are the upcoming Bangkok international exposure trip and finding ways to keep their grades good without massaging their brains.

Something has to be wrong when the Marketing Management majors score poorly in the same International Marketing midterm exam that was aced by Business Management students two years our junior.

Lastly I'm getting very confused with what I have to do with my life...thanks to RELSFOR.

We have these readings from "The Universe Story" and "The Great Work" as our weekly assignment. Basically they're all about how mankind should be the steward of nature and of all creation, not its master. Unfortunately we've been acting as if we're the only ones that matter in this world---everything that's non-human is of value to us only when we can use it.

Our major institutions---the government, the corporation, the university and the religious congregations---are all fostering and perpetuating this destructive lifestyle of humans living only for themselves and not for others, as well as all which is non-human. (Strange to learn from a Religion class that religion is indeed one of the ills of the world, and my professor's a real priest.) We're consuming resources at an alarming rate. We're plundering the lands and seas which should remain with the fragile ecosystems of plants and animals that ultimately maintain the world's order and keep it a viable place to live in.

In a nutshell, our lavish profit-driven lifestyle, which gives all rights to humans and none to the non-human, is destroying the Earth. We'll have to give up some of our frivolous unnecessary desires if only to ensure that we have an Earth to reside in for the long term.

Yet looking at all my subjects this term, it seems like RELSFOR is running contrary to the lessons being taught by BUCOTAX (taxation, part of the legal system), my Marketing majors (business and profit), and FINAMA2 (financial management, which is ditto).

I'm suddenly questioning the value of all the things I'm learning. Of the four institutions, it is supposedly the university that is the only agent which can turn this destructive tide of human consumption around, and help people realize that we are not conquerors of the universe and the Earth---rather, we are part of it.

Perhaps that teaching career people suggested is my life's calling...?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

I was supposed to go to the Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) office today to drop in on the introductory orientation of what we're supposed to do for the advocacy work portion of our RELSFOR class. Taking the MRT to Cubao was easy enough, but when I tried looking for landmarks on Aurora Blvd. things started to get messy.

I spent a good hour walking around in circles in the 9:00am summer heat, trying to find my bearings. It was then that I realized that I was on the wrong side of Aurora Blvd. I had to cross EDSA.

My sense of direction apparently fouls up at times. If it hadn't been for my classmate KG I would have probably remained lost for another hour.

Happy birthday chocos I got from the harana. Bianca already ate the H when I took this.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Happy birthday to me! :D

I've got so much to write about but very little time to do so. Shucks. So far though it's been a great week in general. I hope it stays that way.

I got an unexpected surprise this afternoon. I was confused with Anna ordering me to stand by the tree at the corner of the Central Plaza. As it turns out that was because someone had a harana for me as a birthday present---courtesy of the DLSU Pops Orchestra.

Man, I was surprised and rather embarrassed being the center of attention in this way---I had thought I would be the one to request a harana, not be on the receiving end of one. But it really made my birthday extra special. I was also given letter-shaped chocolates that spelled out "Happy Birthday JM." I'll post pictures of them later.

My boss Rachel, as it turns out, did this for me on behalf of Pops. Awwww. Thanks.

Monday, February 07, 2005

We got to watch "Shall We Dance" at Rockwell the other night.

Pretty nice film, really. The story is rather mundane on its own, which leaves the actors to do a good job of fleshing out the memorable characters that carry the movie. No one among the main characters is left unnoticed, and by the time the film ends we feel as if we've known them a long time.

Apparently a big reason why the film works that well is because it's a remake of a Japanese film of the same title. Due credit however goes to Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Stanley Tucci who give a sentimental yet comic performance here.

I particularly like one of the quotes of Susan Sarandon's character Beverly. Paraphrased:
"Why do we get married? It's because we want someone to be a witness to our mundane lives."

I've lost all possible reason to go to Robinsons Place Manila. The arcade has closed and the department store isn't all that exciting. Oh well. This will do wonders for my bank account.

Got an early birthday present while doing my service evaluation assignment for MARKSER: a pair of Puma Speed Cats.

They're leather non-fireproof replicas of the shoes used by Formula 1 drivers. As you can probably see, the narrow rubber sole has an intermediate tire tread pattern embossed all over it.

Despite the light off-white color being prone to stains, I love them. They're not as shock-absorbent nor as light as my Adidas Stratos badminton shoes, nor are their soles as wide, so playing badminton in this pair is out of the question. But they're comfortable enough to live with without Dr. Scholls' finest products in them.

Thanks Mom!

A similar shoe to the Speed Cat L is the Adidas Tuscany, which comes in leather or nylon. It's also based on Adidas' previous Monza racing boot, and has the Goodyear Eagle F1 tire tread pattern etched into the sole.

Since I had had great experiences with all their shoes I've owned over the years (excellent comfort and shock absorption is an Adidas trademark in my opinion), I decided to try the Tuscany pair on this evening to see how it compared to the heretofore untested Pumas.

The Tuscany had a wider, more accommodating outsole, but had a pronounced "spine" that ran along the length of the sole, which felt rather weird on my feet as I tried a few steps and hops. As a result the normally comfortable insoles felt a bit inadequate. The Speed Cats may have less comfortable insoles but the shoe in its entirety is just easier to live with. Given the same size (my feet are 9s) they fit better too.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Traffic was simply atrocious today.

It was as if the fates had conspired in secret just to make all the roads and highways tangled, clogged and messed up on this one day. This conclusion I had arrived at because I could figure no other reason as to why exactly the traffic was THAT bad. It's no payday and Fridays aren't usually all this crowded. It's just insane.

I'm just glad I'm home. My legs hurt from prodding the clutch all the time. My bladder hurts from holding all that urine in the driver's seat for nearly two hours. And I bet my engine's hurting from burning all that wasted gas in traffic. Shucks.

Times like these...I wish I owned a decent 400cc motorcycle. That black Honda CB400 Version S I see parked at the STRC seems like a damn fine bike...wonder how much it costs?

That was the LEAP alternative class I took a couple weeks ago. While we didn't really learn how to ride a bike (c'mon, how could you do that inside a classroom in Gokongwei Hall?), I got to learn important things about dealing with and tolerating bike riders who share the same roads as I do in my City. Instructors Patrick and Jake were really accommodating. I really feel like taking a class one of these days...of course, money's my perennial concern.

Interestingly there are more motorbikes than cars in the whole of the Philippines now. It's about time they had more of a say in setting public policy regarding traffic.

Just after the first three days in February I've sold PhP3,900 worth of AVON stuff. I think I'm getting better at this selling thing.

I just hope my clients have the mind to pay me on time because I'm not comfortable with leaving a PhP7,000 tab at the Remedios office.

The Job Expo has yet again come...and gone.

The prospect of getting employed, even just as a part-time employee or on OJT, kind of appeals to me already. It's just too bad that it looks like I'll be somewhere else during the summer break and I have two more terms to go before I'm free. All I'm left with is an incomplete (and now useless) transcript of records and a flawed resume.

What a shame. I already got application forms from Toyota Motor Phils. Corp. and Rustan Coffee Corp. (aka the local Starbucks franchise), but I didn't get to send them in. I did manage to get a hold of Toyota's PR supervisor's fax number though. Thought I could send a sponsorship proposal their way.

Crap, I'm getting old. I'll be 22 next week.

I'm not entirely sure if it's cause for celebration.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

This term's beginning to feel like an exact replica of the last. The same sort of demands are made on me and they don't seem to be letting up.

There's the major concert for Pops. There are only four weeks left till the big night and we really, really need sponsorships. I'll be responsible for making print materials for that event too, namely the souvenir program.

There's also the matter of the professors beginning to bare their teeth. I had thought our profs were kind enough to give us some easy sailing, but I'm beginning to see low test scores on my papers. Shucks.

I gotta pull my act together somehow.

Now more people can start believing in the sign of Z.

"Mobile Suit Z Gundam" premieres on Animax on February 13. This is probably a broadcast of Bandai's recent DVD box set. I'll be watching this just to check the differences.

I've become an absolute nut for Initial D ver.3. I've spent quite a lot of time and money on it and I'm pleased to say I've gotten pretty good. My regular stomping grounds are twisty Happogahara and Tsuchizaka nowadays.

However I still can't manage to defeat Takumi on Akina's downhill, always losing by a mere 25 meters. Darn.

I might not be able to play as often as I did though; Robinsons Place Manila's arcade will supposedly cease operation on February 5. Oh well.