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.

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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I don't feel or realize it yet, but today is the last day my blockmates and I will be spending inside a classroom in a proper class. It took Rachel's intuition for us to realize it. Funny but Kate and I didn't feel any sense of impending parting. We still had one term of OJT/thesis to go, and we still had finals to take and pass before that.

We already had plans set to commemorate our union as a block. In addition to the many e-groups we had created on Yahoo!, we wanted to have another one specifically for the block---without any other purpose such as a project or class or such. I also reminded them of a get-together at Tara's house during the term break.

Sigh...I still have things to do this term that I have to finish, first and foremost the little "event" we'll be having tomorrow at the Daughters of Charity hall for MARKEVE, and the stupid PR campaign for MARKPUB. I guess I had these things on my head so much that I had forgotten all about the last bits of time I'd spend with my beloved blockmates in the classroom.
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To all of you guys...I'm really sorry for being such a hotheaded headache at times and for not being able to stand up to your all-nighters.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Just finished up layout on our children's storybook project in FILIPI3.

I miss these kinds of jobs. Granted, designing a book isn't anywhere as complicated or as time-consuming as magazine layout, but layout is layout and it appeals to that visual side of me.

"Bahaghari" or "Rainbow" now stands at 214 pages. I wonder how it'd look like when it's finally printed? I'll find out by the end of the week. Until then I'll have to buy some blank CDs and have my PDFs burned onto them for my friends to print, pronto.
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Made a new friend from GOUF just now. She's Rei (wouldn't give me her real name for some reason) and currently lives in Barbados. Seems like one of the brainier people on GOUF---always a good thing.

She's the quiet loner type though. It's all deja vu for me...

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Okay, I've gotten a couple of weird anonymous comments on my blog and they seem to have been posted by people who have nothing to do---in short, spammers.

Their comments have a formula: "Hey I've bookmarked your nice blog, please visit my site." Nothing wrong with that. Until you check the linked sites, that is.

One pointed to a phantom blog, while another pointed to a ceiling fan web directory. Goodness. Spam, indeed.

Granted, I don't get too many comments, but if I ever get any more of these fucking stupid spam-type ones I'll disable the comments system and urge you to email me your reactions instead. And for crying out loud, LEAVE YOUR NAME!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lately I've had nothing but this song on my mind, probably due to my present state of mellowed melancholia.

Labis na naiinip
Nayayamot sa bawat saglit
Kapag naaalala ka
Wala naman akong magawa...

Umuwi ka na baby
Di na ako sanay ng wala ka
Mahirap ang mag-isa
At sa gabi'y hinahanap hanap kita...

Hanggang kailan ako maghihintay
Na makasama kang muli
Sa buhay kong puno ng
Paghihirap
At tanging ikaw lang ang
Pumapawi sa mga luha at
Naglalagay ng ngiti sa mga labi...

Di mapigilang mag-isip
O baka sa tagal
Mahulog ang loob mo sa iba
Nakaka balisa
Knock on wood wag naman sana...

Umuwi ka na baby
Di na ako sanay ng wala ka
Mahirap ang mag-isa
At sa gabi'y hinahanap hanap kita...

Hanggang kailan ako maghihintay
Na makasama kang muli
Sa buhay kong puno ng
Paghihirap
At tanging ikaw lang ang
Pumapawi sa mga luha
Naglalagay ng ngiti sa mga labi...


- Orange and Lemons, "Hanggang Kailan"
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I remember the times when I absolutely regretted buying my Adidas Samba Millenniums back when I was still in Santa Monica.



These were the fruit of effort to buy badminton shoes in the US. How misguided I was to think I'd find anything there (the same goes for Gundam model kits). Luckily these gum-soled Sambas were built for indoor soccer or futsal, so they're at least as functional, if not as thin-soled as proper gum-soled badminton shoes.

I was excited to take them out for a test walk at the Getty Center. Midway through our visit however, my right Achilles' tendon was getting very sore. I was getting tendinitis from the rear of the shoe that's unusually high. It was digging into my right Achilles' tendon with every step I took. The funny shoelaces also had the habit of undoing themselves because of lack of friction, and my soles complained of poor arch support.

I stuck with them though. I made it a habit of bending the offending rear part of the shoe backwards so that it's not so stiff and develops a bit of give, to avoid giving me tendinitis. Luckily it's made of leather, so after a few weeks it was okay. The arch support problem went away as I broke the shoe in, and I discovered it's a pretty good shoe for doing heel-and-toe. Shame about these stupid laces though.

With my Puma Speed Cats having had their share of leather damage, I've been wearing my Samba Millenniums almost everyday.
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Here are some pictures of my not-so-recent-anymore model works. It just so happened I posted them here just now.

Here's the MG Zeta Plus A1, the mass-produced cousin of the Zeta Gundam from the Model Graphix photo novel "Gundam Sentinel."




And here's my birthday present this year, the MG Wing Gundam ver.Ka.




As you can see, I have a fondness for transforming mobile suits.
I woke up extra early this morning to make it to my very first ever job interview, one with Accenture.

Well, I gotta say it was a draining experience. The interviewer was constantly asking me for certain situations that have happened in the past couple years, usually involving a problem of some sort, and how I overcame them. She'd then dissect each one and go over it in detail. It's kind of hard trying to recall such things when you're tired, sleepy and totally blank, at least as far as the events of the "recent past" of two years ago are concerned.

I have to say I was surprised when they phoned me they were considering me for the position of "junior software engineer." They're getting the wrong person; IT isn't my expertise as can be gleaned from my courses. Apparently they really were looking for non-IT people---exactly why, I have no idea. The interviewer did tell me I'd undergo a month of training for the job though.

Still the interview was a learning experience, and the prospect of sitting down in front of a computer and doing lines upon lines of code seems all right for a starting job, although not what I was aspiring for. First and foremost, I need cash.

There's also the prospect of being granted another interview, this time with Procter and Gamble.

As for Accenture I'll learn what fate has in store for me next week.
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I think I've exhausted myself. My head feels fried and my eyes feel heavy. Sigh. Animax sure isn't making things easy for me, showing Shingetsutan Tsukihime at such a late hour. I almost fell asleep through one episode because of fatigue.
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We've almost finished discussing our book in SALETAX, and Atty. Caoile has started entertaining requests to raise students' grades by singing or performing cheerdancer routines in class.

I might as well try my luck. The problem is looking for a song she'll know. I mean, she isn't THAT old---just not abreast with new music I guess.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dread is my predominant mood these days.

I dread doing school stuff. I dread actually having to attend what I know are worthless classes. I dread the impending close of the present trimester and with it all the things I have to do. The "event" project for MARKEVE. The PR campaign and defense for MARKPUB. The final exams for SALETAX. Pretty much the only school-related thing I enjoy doing is the layout of the children's book class project for FILIPI3, of which I'm about 70% complete.

I'm actually being a truant student now after so many years of stomaching the work. I don't even feel anything about Pops and me not doing my task. I guess this is what people call getting burned out. I don't see the point anymore, honestly. I'll be out of here in a few months anyway. I might as well sit in the many free computer labs and rot in my chair while getting absorbed into the Internet. Let the new blood replace tired and worn old university "relics" like me.

All that time spent on the Internet usually goes to three things: Honda Club Philippines, G.O.U.F., and MechaPinoy. Even so I admit to getting tired of seeing the same old, same old day in and day out. G.O.U.F., especially, has lot of annoying posters that type in super-idiotic questions, and the moderators seem to be dour, lifeless puritan types that spring into action at the very instance of out-of-line behavior. Good grief.

I'm usually alone these days as well. I've been making half-hearted efforts to reach out and find new people to talk to and old company to keep, but they're either too busy with their own lives or are too shallow in thinking for me to take a serious interest in them.
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I've been dismantling and rebuilding some of my model kits, and I've discovered the wonders of plain old Elmer's White Glue (EWG) in the process.

A dried layer of EWG is very helpful to reduce excessive play and floppiness in some mobile suit parts. Applied it onto my MG Strike Rouge's Aile Striker flight pack, on its folding wings, where they have problems staying up. After layering some EWG the joints have tightened up quite nicely, and the wings still fold while keeping their position. It works so darned well that I put some on the waist ball joint too, so that the MS stays upright and doesn't lean back due to the heavy Aile Striker.

I put in more EWG on my MG Wing Gundam ver.Ka, especially on the shoulder pegs, the wing hinges, the backpack swingarm and the overly loose right leg's lower knee joint. Worked like a charm. Apparently I hadn't installed the arms firmly enough too so my earlier comments of its arms being pathetically weak are partly my own fault.

I'm beginning to think of unique paint schemes for my kits too. My painted HG Duel Gundam is still 50% complete, but this early I plan to apply paint to my bigger kits. Fichtenfoo.com has a great rendition of the MG Wing Gundam ver.Ka that I might find some inspiration from.
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Reconstructing, rebuilding, solving problems and painting my current kits is all cheaper than buying a new one. It didn't stop me from getting an HGUC black Rick Dias though. Couldn't help it---it was half price, and I was going to get it sooner or later.

Talk about throwing a wrench into my future model kit plans. I was planning to use the money on something else.
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There was this recent column on the STAR that had me thinking. It was about a woman who had a very close guy friend, and they knew each other inside out. Both of them found each other mutually attractive, but they never actually got romantically involved with one another.

Why?

One reason I remembered with clarity was that now that they knew the traits each other's perfect partner should have, had they ended up together they would have had trouble living up to those expectations.

Besides it was better for them to remain the way they were. There is always the danger of not being able to go back to the original friendship if the relationship doesn't work out.

The guy is now married, but his wife allows her husband's "girl best friend" to hang out just like they used to, as she understands her place in her husband's life.

That got me thinking. Wouldn't it have been a lot better if I never proceeded to think with my dick and get her as my now-ex-girlfriend? I imagine the friendship described in the article would have been a lot like what my ex and I had. I suppose the fault of losing her as one of my best friends lies squarely on my shoulders. I now understand why Denise never considered me as boyfriend material.

Well anyway, so what would this mean for me in the future, in terms of romantic relationships? I suppose continuing my old habit of "friends first, possible lovers second" would be pointless. I guess I'll have to develop enough guts to get girls I like to go out with me for at least 3 dates.

No more friends-to-lovers scenarios. I'll have to wing it from now on.
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Speaking of Denise...I guess I've finally outgrown her.

Nowadays I don't even feel like talking to her all that much. To my surprise I noticed a certain formula she uses whenever she talks to me, and the said formula's just worn a little too thin on me to have much of an effect. She just doesn't appeal to me anymore. It's akin to eating one too many pineapples because they're so damn good, and when you eat one more, you notice your sense of taste gets destroyed as your tongue tells you the thing's bloody bitter.

That said, I have to say I took my fucking bloody time outgrowing her. Goodness. I feel insipid.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I've had a mountain of things I wanted to talk about but for some reason just thinking about typing into my blog has turned into a burden. I don't really know why. Was probably discouraged by the low traffic my site's gotten, among other things, but oh well.
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Finished the 47-episode run of Kidou Senshi Gundam ZZ. My thoughts here.

Just when I thought I'd be able to sleep earlier now that ZZ's finished, along comes another intriguing anime on Animax called "Lunar Legend Tsukihime." Judging from the music and visuals, I had impressions that this title was imitating a bishoujo game. In fact it was the other way around. Tsukihime was first a novel-type b-game before an anime---an apparently untranslatable effort so far due to its length.

All I can tell you from now is that it's a gothic story of an alliance made between a sickly boy with a dangerous gift, and a beatiful vampire that breaks all the conventional stereotypes of one. I'm at episode 4 out of a supposed 12. Would love to finish this and give it a proper review on Otakufridge.com.
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Lately class has been very boring and pointless. I've just about had it with school. I suppose I'm entitled to it as I'm almost finished with my academics; thesis and OJT alone remain for next term.

The diamond in the rough this term was PHILPER. Goodness, I need more of this kind of learning, where I'm not forced upon a certain recipe of doing things step-by-step. Rather I can relax in PHILPER and enjoy getting lost in philosophy, thinking and reflecting about what it is to be human and why we do the things we do.

I just love the class and I'd be very sorry to see it go if and when the time comes.