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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Leaving March with a few kind words

I'm usually crappy at reading up on other people's blogs...and for that I apologize.

Proof of that is this belated New Year's post I read on Dynee's blog, which is one of the most unexpected yet touching things I've come across. I'm not used to people paying me any compliments, so this is a surprise I liked.

It's been so many years since she left that comment on this same blog, and never did I think that we'd end up working for the same firm or have a lot of things in common. It's a nice feeling, knowing that I've actually inspired someone else.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Death of a dream?

People who've known me from my high school days know that I've had real experience doing the dirty work of writing, designing layout and preparing to print a magazine. Indeed, all this experience really influenced me in choosing my courses in college. I tried to continue my enthusiasm for the magazine into college, but got tripped up by my inability to follow beats in preparation for writing a decent news article.

College aside, my time with Counterpoint was definitely one of my most productive spells I've ever had in my lifetime. As layout editor, I was in love with the entire process of making a magazine from a bunch of articles and photos, trying to synthesize all of them into one cohesive, attractive-looking whole. Working with Adobe PageMaker and InDesign since the sixth grade taught me the importance of a proper "preflight" check of a project before sending it off to the print shop, and the creative power one can wield with only two inks -- usually black and PANTONE 121 CVU for me (a bright yellow to everyone else).

Fast forward to today, and I am saddened by the realization that the Internet has saturated our lives so much that entire magazines and newspapers such as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and San Francisco Chronicle are closing up shop, opting to become entirely "Internet-only" publications.

I never really got the hang of HTML. Sure, I hard-coded an entire website once in the past with nothing but Notepad, but I found the whole process exceedingly clunky and nowhere near as intuitive as using PageMaker/InDesign. I am aware that the Internet opens so many other ways of turning a web page into eye candy, but most of the animated banners I see on websites do them no favors as coherent wholes. Novelty for the sake of novelty, I'd say. From a design standpoint, I've always believed in keeping things simple -- my tools involving nothing more than typefaces and drawn objects.

Back in high school I thought I could make a living as a layout editor for a magazine. That probably isn't the case in the US any longer, with magazines slowly slipping into obsolescence, taking one of my greatest ambitions along with them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hugs and kisses

Sometimes, all I really need to break me out of my rut of depression and self-pity is the knowledge that someone still loves me, despite my personality flaws and quick temper.

Sometimes, all I really need to soothe my tired soul is a warm, enveloping hug from someone who knows their true worth.

Sometimes, all I really need to calm my frayed nerves are kisses so balmy from lips so soft that they relax me to the core.

Thank you Mav, for six months of joy and gladness. I love you!

Millionaire by thirty?

On a whim I bought myself a copy of Doug Andrew's book "Millionaire By Thirty: The Quickest Path to Financial Independence." Despite my hobby-slash-vice of car modification, I am interested in trying to make my money grow.

I'm almost halfway through the book, and he does offer quite unconventional advice. Never have I heard of actually embracing a select amount and type of debt to make money. Unfortunately most of the tips the Andrews offer -- Doug shares writing credits with his two sons -- seems more applicable to the US than the Philippines. I have no idea, for example, if his suggestion of getting a mortgage is as tax-deductible here as it is in America.

Because of that, my feelings toward the book are mixed. Great tips, yes -- but I have no idea if they'll work here.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The perennially late reaction engine

No, that's not something from Macross. I'm talking about myself.

Lately I seem to have become a reactionary hair-trigger. It's not as if it's anything new. I guess I've struggled with this my whole life. This past week I've failed putting a throttle on my reactions, the end result being a huge mess that's gotten me in trouble with my leads.

They've expressed their disappointment with me. It's a shame I have such a tendency to snap at people because my skills are more than adequate, they told me. Why don't you realize your reactions have an effect on the people around you?

I can't go on like this. The world is becoming less and less forgiving of my actions. I feel like I'm always playing catch-up and learning the old lessons in a ball game everybody else has played and finished at least once. Not everyone understands that I'm basically a late bloomer. How long am I going to be a late bloomer? How long will I go through the motions of learning things I should have known years ago because everybody else does?

This just bums me out. The pathetic thing about this is I can't turn to anyone for help.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Just thought I'd share a few photos of a nice place Mav and I found in Robinsons Place Ermita. MoMo! is a little new cafe which college students frequent (or infest) due to free WiFi. However I feel they could make much more if they downplay the WiFi a little, because they do make really good food.

Okay, so their Ultimate Mac & Cheese isn't so ultimate, but the 10" Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese pizza is a decadent, yummy treat and can literally make your visit there.

We're going back there for dessert.

More photos over here.