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 31, 2008

Apparently I thought wrong

I thought all I promised you was a movie date over "Sex and the City."

I thought I had done enough to keep you company.

I thought the movie was great.

I thought I yakked about the movie long enough to entertain you.

I thought you enjoyed the afternoon as much as I did. I even thought everything was fine.

I thought I did a good job of doing my part.

Apparently, according to you, I was wrong. I actually bored you. I found this out as I was stuck in traffic, on my way home, two hours after we parted. And I felt insulted.

I was going over the whole afternoon on instant replay. I don't think I did anything bad or lacking, as far as I knew. Then later you said you were feeling all crappy because I didn't hug you.

Well all I have to say is: Ask, and you shall receive. Unfortunately for you, you never did. If you were expecting to date a mind reader then I'm so proud to have disappointed you full stop, because I'm disappointed you acted so prattishly.

This is your loss, not mine...and consider it a permanent one.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wrapping up May

Since I recovered from my brush with prolonged vertigo and a massive head cold, I've been staying away from the home PC for fear of getting an undesirable relapse. With the overtime wick turned up at work, I strain my eyes and brain enough already.

For the longest time, using a computer was the one thing I could not do without bad consequences. It's funny how I could vegetate in bed watching TV and reading magazines without incident, or even drive around for two hours, but a week ago I could barely stand two hours of using an LCD-monitor-equipped PC.

Grace and I have patched things up. In the end, despite everything that's happened between us emotionally, I guess we're just really good friends after all. She was concerned about me when I was still struggling through my first couple of days back at work. She's asked me to watch "Sex and the City" along with her...perhaps one of these weekends.

My friend Mav was a big help too. All the while she was keeping me company over SMS, and I appreciated her company despite our differences.

Fuel prices have gotten fairly ridiculous in how quickly they've risen over the past year. I remember this time last year it was PhP38 per liter...now it's PhP52 and rising per week. I was lucky to have avoided a week at the pump, but ultimately my Honda has to fill up and I have to pay up to do so. I wonder when all the price increases will end?

At least tomorrow is another Friday though. A payday Friday. One I'm actually looking forward to, because I'm getting my just-desserts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I, the jerk

Over the weekend I got sidetracked by a massive head cold and the kind of heavy headache that would normally point to me getting the flu. Fortunately I didn't get chills or fever, but I didn't want to take any chances either so I took today off.

I am disappointed with myself once again. It seems no matter how hard I try to make other people happy, I will just end up acting like an insensitive, manipulative jerk when all is said and done. Grace was looking for something I unfortunately could not give her, and in the end I became exactly the type of person she didn't want.

I begin to wonder when I can convince myself that I am truly ready for a relationship once again. It is funny how I've become the one actively resisting it, after falling over myself time and time again searching for it for the past God-knows-how-many years. Now that relationships aren't part of my itinerary, there the chances for it pop up. What kind of sick, cruel joke is this?

If Grace proved something, she proved I am not unlovable and I am grateful for that. But right now, I'm just not looking.

Monday, May 12, 2008

So many parts, not enough money

Ever since I got those Rota Circuit 10 wheels for my GD1 Jazz, I haven't stopped scouring the Internet for parts that will fit my car. Getting those wheels opened the floodgates, I guess---and now I know why the Jazz-City United guys joke about the "GD" chassis code as an acronym for "Gastos Dami." The Jazz just lends itself really well to customization.

Unfortunately for me, the parts I want installed on my ride cost a pretty penny and require major saving-up.

My current wishlist goes like this.
  • A pair of Bride Digo seats, mounted on Type-YO seat rails. These will help support my thighs and knees on longer journeys. The stock seats are comfortable but their squabs are a little too short. Even just one Digo seat is fine for me.
  • A set of Buddy Club Wagon-Spec coilover dampers. Ever since my dad complained of the Jazz's bordering-on-harsh ride at the back, I've wanted to do something about addressing it while improving the car's handling at the same time. The ability to lower the car's stance by turning a couple of wrenches is a nice bonus.
  • Yokohama S.Drive tires in the 205/45 R16 size, to replace my bought-new-but-actually-aged Bridgestone Potenza S-02 Pole Position rubber. One notable thing about these tires is their unusually high treadwear rating for high-performance rubber. The 300 treadwear rating means these will last much longer than the 180-rated S-02s I currently have, and people say it rides pretty well too. Best of all, it's relatively cheap, given the benefits.
  • LED taillights. Since my taillights have cracks in them anyway, I might as well upgrade to the brighter LEDs on the newer Jazzes that won't burn out. This is more of an active-safety modification as well, because the surface area of my stock brake lights is a little too small for my liking. The LEDs light up a greater area of the rear of the car, by comparison. I might even spring for a high-mount LED brake light, too.
  • A JDM Honda armrest and lower center console assembly for the Jazz. This is just way more useful than the one I have. That snazzy extending armrest has a compartment for stuff too, such as my CD collection.
All these cool doodads are going to cost me a pretty penny...and I haven't even started modifying the engine yet.

I gotta save up.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Seat-hunting at the cinema for Mother's Day

This afternoon I drove to Evangelista St. in Makati to try looking for sport seats. The stock seats on my Jazz are fine, but lack lumbar support and sufficient length on the seat squab. Both are important on longer drives. A longer seat squab will help thigh and knee support. Ever since I sat on a Bride Ergo II seat installed in Francis' GD6 City, I began ogling Bride's excellent sport seats on the Internet...only to weep after looking at the exorbitant price tags on even the cheapest of these babies.

Jobs of Jazz-City United directed me to a shop where he found a used Bride seat selling for a ridiculously cheap PhP10,000. I found the seat, but unfortunately it was used and needed reupholstering. The store owners directed me to a few other shops down the block that also sold cheaper Recaro and Sparco seats, but I will have to buy them as a pair and have seat rails fabricated to fit the Jazz. Still, PhP40,000 for two good seats might make me empty my wallet if I had that kind of cash.

Seat hunting done, I wheeled over to Glorietta to meet up with my friend Mav and watch "Iron Man." We were amazed at how the suave Robert Downey Jr. absolutely owned the role of Tony Stark. Aside from the predictability of the general plot, and the surprising lack of action for a superhero movie, I have absolutely no complaints. Marvel Studios have a gem on their hands here. As long as they don't repeat the major disappointment that was "Spider-Man 3," I will look forward to Downey's next turn as Stark.

After the movie, Mav and I looked for Mother's Day presents. She got a cake, while I bought a baker's serving knife for cakes and pies. We navigated through the darkness and torrential rain of C5 to get home.

All in all, a nice day. Until next time Mav!

Beach trip? No thanks.

I gave up joining the Barclays summer outing to Cavite this year because it coincided with a long-planned outing my family and relatives had planned for about a month already. The plan was to go to Pangasinan.

So why am I still in Manila?

My dad decided to cancel the night before. Apparently, Nanay and Tita Hedwig were already there and it was definitely not worth the effort. After a long six-hour drive, they arrived at a resort that had so many people on a teambuilding event from some company that didn't have the common sense to just reserve the venue exclusively. They felt like gatecrashers. Add to that a beach that couldn't hold high tide in the afternoon, and with barnacles and sea urchins left in the tide's wake, and you have, in Tita Hedwig's words, "a vacation from hell."

I'm okay with that, to be honest. It's not as if the Barclays Cavite trip is anything to look forward to, anyway. Unlike the previous two outings, this wasn't even an overnight stay. Funny how the office summer outings just keep on going downhill year after year.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Wasting a week

Today is the last day of my week-long vacation. What was supposed to be a break to repair my Jazz's underchassis turned out to be just a simple break, due to the many customers requesting repairs at Honda Makati's body repair shop.

At least I made some sense out of this break, though. I caught up on my lack of sleep. I had the hub-centric rings for my wheels fabricated and installed. I finally met my friend Grace on quite a wonderful date. I canvassed the tire shops on Evangelista St. for prices of the Yokohama S.Drive tires I planned to replace my aged Bridgestone Potenza S-02s with. I went to Robinsons Place Manila and spelunked within its brand-spanking-new Midtown wing. I cursed the heat. I spent whole days texting with my new friend Mav about anything and everything. I drove to Trinoma, Banawe St., Greenhills, Aurora Blvd., and C5---basically wandering around in boredom.

Perhaps the next time I have a vacation this long I should put it to better use. But on balance, this wasn't so bad.