about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

For FILIPI3 I had to write a short story for kids as my midterm exam.

You can imagine how I felt. Me write a story? I have so many experiences of setting out to write a story or novel but never getting past the initial enthusiasm and ultimately stumbling with writer's block. I generate great ideas but I never have been successful in threading them together coherently. To this day I have so many characters and stories that wander in the graveyard of my head as formless ghosts.

Moreover my story had to be for KIDS. If you know me, I personally don't like kids very much. How am I supposed to connect with an audience I despised?

To top it all off, I procrastinated. We had two class days off from FILIPI3 and I had to use the free time for something else.

I was able to submit my story on time this morning though. It's entitled "Ang Kagilala-gilalas na Pakikipagsapalaran ni Kapitan Kuhol" and I'm rather proud of how well it came out.

I owe the basic idea to Paul, a classmate. What if your parents were actually superheroes in disguise? The premise is nothing new---it's sort of the backbone of "The Incredibles"---but it still makes for some interesting possibilities to tell. I'll see if my story made it as one of those when Mr. Gojo Cruz returns our papers a week after with his corrections and suggested revisions.

Two weeks ago I claimed the MG Zeta Plus A1 kit I had reserved in Greenhills. I'm pretty darned satisfied with the end product. It's a commendably solid suit that lends itself well to transformation into an atmospheric Wave Rider without going all floppy like the MG Zeta Gundam does. It's not anywhere as articulated as the MG Strike Rouge, but I don't really mind as long as it can stand well.

I was more enthusiastic about the Zeta Plus A1's orange-and-white test color scheme than the space-use C1's dull gray one. However now that I heard the C1's also being offered in Great Toys now, with its long beam smart-gun and drop tanks, I'm starting to wonder if I should plump for it too...

This Gloriagate scandal shit has frankly hit the fan for me.

I'm sick and tired of hearing the opposition blab and blab about how Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should resign. I'm not convinced anybody else can take her place for now, in terms of capability.

Besides, how dare these people brag to all and sundry that "Gloria cheated." Everybody else who's in power has more or less participated in some sort of electoral fraud. If that's not true then the ruling impression that the Philippine government is run by cheaters is still there and that means it's still a valid assumption. What's there to disprove it? "He who is without sin should cast the first stone."

Saturday, June 11, 2005

I recently got struck with a 39-degree fever, a hellishly runny nose and a nasty case of the chills---hallmark symptoms of flu.

I'm still a bit weak and woozy but I'm recuperating just fine---rather amazingly at that, given that I felt really miserable the other day.

Being sick is boring.

Well actually, staying at home without the Internet or TV is quite boring in itself. I haven't been buying any new magazines the past 4 months or so, so I'm usually re-reading all my old issues for the umpteenth time. My PlayStation's sort of busted, as you might probably know. The lens on the CD-ROM mechanism seems to be dirty or scratched and so I'm able to play only one game. There are just so many games of Gundam Battle Assault 2 one can take, even for a big Gundam fan like me.

So I guess you can imagine how much I wanted to go to Greenhills, pay the balance and bring my Zeta Plus A1 kit home. That'll keep me busy for a good 7 hours.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Seems like I gained another friend from my blog---an 18-year-old nursing student from Las PiƱas. I don't know her all that well yet but we did have a fruitful first chat. Thanks.

School's been proceeding quite smoothly. I have to say I'm learning a lot of things from my professors on this final academic term of mine.

MARKPUB professor Mr. Jaime Ong in particular is quite an interesting fellow. He used to work for San Miguel Corp.'s management and he has all of these anecdotes from the many businesses the firm is engaged in. The way he talks business sense really reminds me of my dad---with an easier sense of humor.

PHILPER's Ms. Natty Manauat is also quite an animated character. If my Tita Vik had leaned heavily towards the philosophy-heavy culture of Ateneo de Manila, I suppose Ms. Natty would be the result. The two of them look quite alike from some angles.

My BUSIPOL prof, Mr. Banjo Velasco, is someone I could probably call "very manly." He's tall, dark and has quite a booming voice---a combination that has a couple of my blockmates swooning over him. The man doesn't laugh---he guffaws. Because he's also had a lot of experiences in the US as a college student and in Indonesia at work, BUSIPOL class is also full of interesting stories.

I guess I'm taking note of these profs because they're quite unique and pleasurable to learn from, and it's going to be the last-ever term that I'll be in the relative comfort and stability of a classroom lecture.

It's in BUSIPOL that some of my thoughts on just how flawed Filipino society is are justified.

Sir Banjo uploaded the Wallace Report on our Yahoo! group---basically a 40-page condensing of all the Philippines' problems and what Mr. Wallace desperately urges government should do to improve its situation. I agree with everything he said. Our biggest enemies to effective social change are our apathy, selfishness, lack of discipline, corruption and (controversially and rightly enough!) the Catholic Church. I won't get into the nitty-gritty of the report; I suggest you download and read it yourself.

I will say, though, that we Filipinos are a pathetic lot. It took a Philippine-loving foreigner to study our culture and our problems for 30 years to rouse Filipinos like me to awareness of our situation. Couldn't we have done this same feat ourselves? Have we become so blind and tolerant to our discordant hovel that we've simply accepted the way things are, without even trying to make a difference for the better?

I feel sorry for us. I really do.

The least I could do is to forward it via e-mail to every Pinoy I know.

After two months of looking for it in vain, I finally found it and reserved it for my own.

I'm talking about my latest Gundam model kit obsession, the MG MSZ-006A1 Zeta Plus A1.

I had tried looking for it in America; a search for any Gundam model at all proved fruitless and frustrating, although I did find a straggler HGUC Z'gok kit in the Renton, WA Wal-Mart. I managed to find it in the last possible place I expected: Victoria, British Columbia, but there it had cost an outrageous CAN$60, plus 14% Canadian GST.

So imagine my surprise when I found it in Greenhills. I swear, that place is model kit heaven. Stores upon stores upon stores of plastic model kits, many of them the kind that I never expected to see, tucked away in a neat little alcove in Shoppesville...many of them quite cheap! Then I saw that beautiful orange and white Zeta Plus at the glass cabinet in Great Toys (couldn't find it in their Makati store) and immediately made a down payment. I'm glad to say it's my cheapest MG kit to date, at PhP1900.

I am one giddy model maker. I can't wait to pay the balance, bring it home and shut myself in my room building it.

I've been active on Otaku Fridge lately, writing a few anime reviews on Gundam, .hack//Legend of the Twilight and other series. I was surprised that Beia decided to make a Contributor of the Month award and I was the recipient for May. I apparently won an original release of the bishoujo game Gibo: Stepmother's Sin---not unusual considering Beia runs Hentai Neko.

Thanks, Beia. I feel really honored.