about the talking fish

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

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Keeping "a healthy dose of insanity"

A lot of things have happened.

I have formally resigned as forum moderator for Honda Club of the Philippines, and pretty soon I’m terminating my membership. Lately I’ve been too busy to take a gander at the forums except on weekends, what with the number of banned websites at my place of work. I can’t even check my Yahoo Mail or Gmail accounts anymore.

The fact that I had sideswiped another member on the evening of May 17 and ran away in fear is another reason. While Francis and I have met and come to an amicable settlement, I’m not sure someone like me who lies and escapes responsibility should be trusted with the upkeep of the forum.

The night of the collision, as soon as I got home I tried ripping out the HCP sticker on the back of my car out of great shame. The lower half is still there, but I figure it’ll come off eventually. I feel that avoiding any more damage to HCP’s goodwill is the best thing I can do.

I’m very sad that not one of the current officers or moderators has dropped me a line ever since I posted my resignation last night. No one replied to my posts either. Maybe that’s what I should have expected. The club had moved on without me already.

Shunichi Sakurai aka “Shuni”
January 2003 – May 2006
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I am so sick of hanging my head in shame whenever I go to the HCP website.

I am tired of constantly looking for tears to cry. Where have my tears gone now that I needed them?
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“The Da Vinci Code” was...interesting. I’ve never read the book, but the plot is a fanciful way of connecting a lot of real-life figures into a fictional story.

It was also rather disappointing. It relies too much on talk and it’s way too easy to get lost and lose interest. Sad to say, the book—and its ensuing controversy value—seems too big for the film.
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To keep a healthy dose of insanity, I’ve immersed myself in my work. I still enjoy working with my officemates and I’m very happy that I’ve embraced them this well this quickly. I don’t really mind the work I do, either.

It is with them that I found my laughter again, and I am grateful. It is with them that I learned that yes, I can be Mr. Sunshine once more, if only to give back what they have given me.

I’ve hit the gym with a renewed energy. I was shooting for three times a week, but my body could not take the exhaustion and I nearly got a fever from the nasty chill of my cubicle. (That’s pretty much the only thing I dislike about work: it’s too damn cold in the office.) I’m playing badminton again, too. I’ve managed to lose four pounds without really trying. For once, I’m actually losing the fat I’d put on when I was still dating my ex four years ago!

I am so lucky, really. I never want to leave. I don’t want anyone to leave because at this point I need my happiness.

Now if only I got my paycheck...

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Pride goeth before a fall

My pride has gotten the better of me again. I got into another accident. The damage was mostly  superficial (nothing mechanical was involved), but it forced me to ask serious questions about how good I really am as a driver, how fit my car is...and how responsible I am as an adult.

The ensuing guilt trip has basically taken the wind out of my sails for the remainder of the week. It was wrong, blatantly wrong, what I did that Wednesday night. I am fortunate the other party was also from HCP and was amenable to an amicable settlement.
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I’m just not myself right about now. I’m in a semi-constant mope.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

After, after, after

After three weeks, Gerald, Jho and I are no longer “new.”

This morning we were joined by Jackie and Vlad, the newest addition to our team. Everything went the way it did with us until lunch time came. By then the two newbies had access passes and could log on to their computers. I was somewhat chagrined by that, seeing as the three of us spent a week bored out of our heads, waiting for the same things Jackie and Vlad got in their first day. Oh well.

Still, they seem like a nice bunch. I really do hope they get to enjoy being in BDCN the same way I do.
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After lunch I went to an ATM to check my account. I was curious to see if I’d already been paid my salary. Sadly my balance still reports I have nothing but a measly PhP100 as placeholder.

I really want to see my payslip...and I really want to see my hard-earned money. At least it’d make me appreciate it more.
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After leaving my cubicle and my teammates tonight, just before going home I decided to take the elevator a few floors down. I had this crazy idea of visiting where she worked...and I did.

I really, really want to ask her out to lunch or dinner...

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Work...I love it!

As far as summer outings go, my first work-related one should be pretty shambolic.

Rain was already pouring in since Friday morning due to a tropical storm. We had no idea how bad it would become by that evening, when the higher-ups were meeting about whether or not to proceed with the summer outing at Blue Coral resort in San Juan, Batangas. We were e-mailed that the outing was a go.

Imagine the sight at our meeting place at the Makati Stock Exchange, where people had either very optimistic or very realistic clothing. In the chilled wind and rain, a significant number of my officemates were hanging out in their sandos, slippers and board shorts.

Before we even made it to Blue Coral, the telltale signs were staring us in the face. Along the length of the STAR Tollway, billboards were getting sheared into jagged strips, power pylons were being swayed left and right, and the palm trees’ branches were being swept back at an unusual angle all because of the gale-force winds. That Saturday morning, the rain was no longer much of an issue—it was the fierce winds that were the talk of the trip. As we neared our destination, we saw along the shoreline the upturned remains of beachside gazebos and remarkably choppy seas.

One in the afternoon and we had arrived. The resort staff obviously did not expect us to come...and why should they? Typhoon signal #2 was already raised in the whole province of Batangas. They reported there was no electricity, no water and not enough generator capacity to keep all the cottages lit. They were so flabbergasted of our arrival that they hadn’t even prepared any lunch; it had to be prepared in haste. It was clear as day: no one’s staying here overnight.

Nonetheless we trooped back to our two buses in good spirits. I was slightly disappointed our jamming sessions at nearby Audiophile studio were for naught as there was obviously no battle of the bands going to happen at beachside. We made the most out of our current situation by shooting pool with defective cue sticks, cracking jokes, playing pusoy-dos and singing a few tunes on the trip back home. As a consolation, we were treated to an eat-all-you-can buffet dinner at Dads Glorietta, where I stuffed my face with sushi.

The success or failure of the summer outing didn’t really matter to me. What ultimately mattered was the time I shared with my co-workers. I’m very lucky I got assigned to my current project, because it really is an extension of my very joyous college experience, with new-but-somehow-quite-familiar people. Our team is a very loud, noisy, happy bunch of people that knows all too well how to have fun on a regular basis and doesn’t really give a damn about rank.

I am very, very grateful for my new friends. I wish I could stay with BDCN and never get reassigned anywhere else. I’ve already found my comfort zone and I would really rather not leave.
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Here’s one of the songs I was supposed to sing at the summer outing. Yes, I practiced, and I was so, so prepared to get rid of my solo-vocalist shyness at the beach. Somehow, I’m convinced I would have done well if it had pushed through.

Sunday morning, rain is falling
Steal some cover, share some skin
Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
You twist to fit the mold that I am in

But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
And I would gladly hit the road, get up and go if I knew
That someday it would lead me back to you
That someday it would lead me back to you

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never wanna leave

Fingers trace your every outline
Paint a picture with my hands
And back and forth we sway like branches in a storm
Change the weather, still together when it ends

That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning
And I never wanna leave

But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
Sunday morning rain is falling and I’m calling out to you
Singing someday, it’ll bring me back to you
Find a way to bring myself back home to you

You may not know
That may be all I need
In darkness she is all I see
Come and rest your bones with me
Driving slow on Sunday morning...

- Maroon 5, “Sunday Morning”

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Lacking

Three weeks into my job and I’m learning that I need two things more than ever. Sleep and patience.

Whatever I do, I never seem to be able to get rid of the dark circles around my eyes. I am really jealous of my friends who can survive with barely three hours of kip and still look as fresh as ever. I on the other hand try my hardest to sleep a fitful six hours a day (at least), yet I still look as if I hadn’t caught a wink in years.

There are also so many things that can distract me from getting the job at hand done. Whether it’s a sudden meeting, the call of nature or a report of bad news, it’s there and it conspires to impede or basically drive me nuts. I find myself really lacking in adaptability.

I need more sleep and patience...fast.
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This weekend we’ll be at Blue Coral resort in San Juan, Batangas for our summer outing at work. I’m really considering driving there, if only for the reason that I should be passing by the Batangas Racing Circuit en route to the destination.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Definitely maybe...

It’s been a long while since I last dated, and the thought of starting anew did cross my mind lately. From the last training gig, I met Carla and I do think she’s very cute. That said, I rather regret that I didn’t ask for her number.

I wonder if guessing her email address would be too hard?

Pata-Team

Lately I’ve been eyeing MP3 players. After years of being told that MP3 players aren’t supposed to be used in school, I find that at the becubicled reality of work, they’re something of a necessity.

I’ve been using my mom’s 128MB Music Stick, a gift from Tita Susan. It’s a nice little gadget, but I wish it had more memory and a rechargeable battery. I was shocked at how quickly an alkaline AAA dry cell got drained with the amount of listening I did. Also, I’ve had a long-running fetish for headphones (I never liked earphones) and I really want the most comfortable pair I can find. Those spiffy DJ-style headphones would be right up my alley, although expensive.
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Jho, Gerald and I were surprised last Thursday when Robert, our manager, said we were supposed to be at PSE Tower One for Application Testing training instead of at Cybergate. No one had informed us though our newly acquired email addresses, so we got there three hours late.

Jho and I got into one group composed of fellow new-joiners Carla, Jon and Chester, and long-time member Dio. We named ourselves the “Pata-Team,” and throughout the activities of the training session we had amassed the most number of points. Some of them were working at UBP and at Cybergate too. I would love to meet these guys again.

Our seasoned programmer instructors Fiel and Mario were entertaining despite a potentially heavy topic. It was nice listening to their stories, both successes and failures, and from them I got to understand a little about how the IT world works. Thanks to them and their seminar I finally understood my work and had an idea of how it really is to be a tester.
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Weekends so far have been opportunites for me to grab some shut-eye. Instead of getting up to watch Detective Conan, I slept very early on Saturday night. Instead of playing badminton this afternoon I slept right through the expected 1:45pm departure time. Sheesh. It’s got to be the heat.

I just hope I don’t sleep right through next weekend’s company outing. That’d be a big waste.