Tuesday, November 22, 2005

harry potpot

Perhaps it was too long between movies, or maybe I don't really like the book, but I was not particularly enthralled by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Just like the book, I believe it only serves to further the story before the exciting events of books 5 through 7. What other films did Mike Newell direct? I'm not a big fan of his, really, although there is only so much you can do to a story with beginnings in a three-inch thick book. This is the movie that I like the least, it has the most disappointments, although it is visually excellent. The Tri-Wizard tasks, the dragons, the Dark Water and merpeople, and the maze were beautifully done. I also liked, with morbid fascination, the scenes of the Death Eaters wreaking havoc on the Quidditch World Cup, as well as the resurrection of Voldemort. I just knew the Death Eaters would look like the Ku Klux Klan, only in black! The Beauxbaton Veelas, though, were particularly disappointing, especially Fleur Delacourt, who looked like, well, Claire-effing-Danes. She's supposed to be almost ethereally beautiful. Feh. They should have used the effect of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow on the girls. Meanwhile, Viktor Krum was actually handsome, in fact, more appealing at times than Cedric Diggory. Haha!

Watching the movies in succession is like looking at kids' photo albums, those of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. You see them graduate from their awkward adolescent phases (were they ever? Maybe only Rupert) into young adults. Ron Weasley now has defined biceps, and Hermione Granger is now a beautiful young woman. In this installment, Harry and Ron's friendship hits a snag, they have their first dates (the most successful being Neville and Ginny's) and they learn the niceties of media and how the press can twist events. (Note: Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter was wonderful!)

There are many times I'd rather watch a movie than read the book. Cases in point: Be Cool, The Pelican Brief, Terms of Endearment. Even the Lord of the Rings (because I'm tired of reading "Gimli, son of Gloin..." ad infinitum). But in J.K. Rowling's case, there always seems to be a certain magic (hee!) that she brings to her writing, wry allusions, puns, and trivialities, that make the series fun to read. Sadly, most are abandoned on the big screen because of time constraints and artistic license (hence, no Quidditch matches). Although true to the spirit of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, I'd much rather read the book once more than watch the movie again. Just saying.


PS Whatever you might say about the greasy hair and the somber mien, I still heart Alan Rickman as Severus Snape. Snape in Book 6! Exciting!

the mother-unit is another year wiser

Happy birthday Ma!

Monday, November 14, 2005

my brush with identity theft, part deux

A few weeks ago I received a letter from Citibank advising me that they considered the previous transaction charged to my credit card from the dubious Kochujang Restaurant in Pasay as a valid transaction. They also sent me a copy of the sale slip and recommended that I send the dispute letter by a certain date or else they would charge me the full amount, plus finance charges and a sale slip retrieval fee of P250.00.

I took a look at the sale slip and froze for a few seconds. I had thought it might have been an erroneous transaction, but there, staring back at me in black and white, was a manual transaction slip (the one with the carbon paper and the 'plantsa') with my signature on it. Well, it wasn't my signature, but a shaky and bad forgery. The card was a fake! There were obvious differences between it and my actual card, which was in my possession: the spacing of the letters was different, the positioning of the Visa initial, as well as the Member Since date. I've pointed these out to Citibank's billing dispute department and am just awaiting their response on the obvious fakery and forgery. I've since cancelled the card and requested for a new card.

Meanwhile, I saw a recent episode of CSI Miami regarding identity theft. The thief went through a woman's trash and got her social security number. I thought that there were more stringent laws regarding identity theft and fraud thereabouts, but apparently if you haven't been caught in the act, there's basically not enough evidence to book you; especially if you cover your tracks. I'd like to think criminals in the Philippines are less sophisticated, but maybe not. It's downright scary, especially since you put so much faith in technology that might not have that much security, hence coming around to bite you in the arse.

Lessons learned: Always account for your credit card spending instead of just routinely paying the bill. This goes twice for people like me for whom credit cards are the default mode of payment. For smaller transactions, especially at dubious restaurants, try not to use credit cards anymore because they bring the cards to the back for payment--you don't know what they're doing to the card while it's away. Take all precautions for keeping your personal information private. Transact on the internet only on secure and reputable sites; shred (or, in my case, since I am a closet pyromaniac, burn) all past statements and transaction slips. Also, one shouldn't be hassled when cashiers ask for further identification--this should be status quo. Although licenses can be easily faked too, at least it would help. There should be better legislation regarding identity theft, that much is true. When this happens to you, there's nothing to feel but indignant yet thoroughly helpless. Let's not make it easier for criminals to take advantage of us, then.

Last Song Syndrome : Soul to Squeeze - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

turning thirty

Turning thirty only happens once in a person's life (given, of course, that one never lies about one's age). A milestone, it seems one has to suddenly become more mature, and think about babies and retirement plans. At thirty, I am still unmarried, not yet at managerial level, and retaining quite a large amount of body fat. I am also less impetuous, more pensive, and more easily drawn to mirth than myself in previous times. I am a little more friendly, a little less shy, and a little more empathetic. I have let go of a lot of hurt, I have let in a lot of love. I am still striving to be less ill-tempered, less snappy, more considerate, and more pious. I know that I have a long way to go.

My thirtieth birthday was uneventful, peaceful, filled with contentment. Since last year when I started celebrating my birthday with small gatherings of close friends, it's been stress-free and less tiring. Previous birthdays saw scores of people, up to seventy or eighty, cramped in my pad and the garage, partying 'til 3am. Those friends that filled those spaces are now mostly just old friends and acquaintances, relics from a past life where the music was loud and the beer was overflowing.

Now the music is more restrained, my friends have to leave early to be with their children, and there is no alcohol. This year I had twenty people, including my sisters and their boyfriends, some Glider friends, the SO's two closest friends and their fiancees. Since we're supposed to be saving up, I decided not to spend the usual five figures and decided to go North Park. I'm glad that it seemed that for my friends where I treated them or how much I would spend--I'm just glad that they granted me the pleasure of their company for the evening. Those absent were especially missed.

One thing though, about me and my friends: we love giving gifts, even just little tokens of friendship and affection. Receiving is also quite fun. Bespren D gave me a set of very fragrant candles (the better to banish the smoky smell in the bathroom after a nicotine encounter); Mands provided a beautiful pair of earrings; Gelpren and her boypren gave me a Spoofs shirt proclaiming "The Amazing Face". Hee. Maleen, Rea and JP gave me the CD that I wanted, The Corrs' Home (yes, inspired by old Irish folk songs, as if all my Celtic-inspired CDs weren't enough). DaMike recalled an old blog post wherein I mentioned that Aquaman in the new Justice League series was quite smokin': I received an Aquaman doll (is not an action figure because it is not pose-able, is it not?). [I also left with the knowledge that my mint-condition Two Towers Legolas 6" action figure was now worth P1,200.] Bespren M, who was all the way in Adelaide (and ! now in Sydney), sent over very very cute lingerie: twas a bit early for a bridal shower, but it was not very racy, after all (thanks, M!). Among other things received were a pashmina shawl from Jhon and Beanne, a pouch and two more pairs of funky earrings from the SO's friends, a funky necklace from Vicky's merchandise, a picture frame from Edoods and Jenny, and food from the zeesters--a Sugarhouse cake and a Chili's gift cheque. The parental units gave me cash with specific instructions to buy a watch.

But I reckon the best gift I received came a few weeks ago, when I mentioned to the mother-unit what if we couldn't afford an extravagant wedding at a hotel and everything. Immediately she answers, "I don't mind if you get married just in front of a judge!" and then thinks a minute and suddenly takes it back: "Ay no, you have to get married in church." But the implication was there, and I hope that she's true to her word. Suddenly it felt as if a great weight were lifted and maybe, just maybe, things will turn out alright.

Last Song Syndrome : Crazy for You - M.Y.M.P. live on MUP

Friday, November 04, 2005

Vows

Re-read the Dragonlance saga and still teared up at Riverwind and Goldmoon's marriage vows. Don't know if it's the hormones, the stress, or the fact that someday I'm planning to do my own and hope to be able to capture all that I want to say. I like its message that despite there being much bigger things going on in life (dragon war vs. EVAT), the promises between a husband and wife are still utterly important.


Goldmoon looked into Riverwind's eyes and began to speak softly.

Wars have settled on the North
and dragons ride the skies,
"Now is the time for wisdom,"
say the wise and the nearly wise.
"Here in the heart of battle,
the time to be brave is at hand.
Now most things are larger than
the promise of woman to man."

But you and I, through burning plains,
through darkness of the earth,
affirm this world, its people,
the heavens that gave them birth,
the breath that passes between us,
this altar where we stand,
and all those things made larger by
the promise of woman to man.


Then Riverwind spoke:

Now in the belly of winter,
when ground and sky are gray,
here in the heart of sleeping snow,
now is the time to say
yes to the sprouting vallenwood
in the green countryside,
for these things are far larger than
a man's word to his bride.

Through these promises we keep,
forged in the yawning night,
proved in the presence of heroes
and the prospect of spring light,
the children will see moons and stars
where now the dragons ride,
and humble things made large by
a man's word to his bride.

Monday, October 31, 2005

the workarea

This is where I've been spending 12-hour days and some all-nighters. It's not much but for now, it's home. I wasn't able to take a picture of the mobile cabinet, which, come Monday, is always stocked with snacks and what-not.

the workarea

Now playing : Putumayo - Samba-Bossa Nova

Thursday, October 06, 2005

My Brush With Identity Theft

Early morning one Saturday a few weeks ago, I checked my credit card balance through the internet. It was over four thousand pesos above the balance I was expecting and a panicky thought ran through me. Despite the fact that my annual fee was charged, accounting for PhP1,200 of the extra balance, there was an additional transaction for PhP2,900 charged by a restaurant (Kochujang restaurant in Pasay--I know, I've never heard of it either), last Tuesday. I wasn't even near Pasay on Tuesday (obviously was in the office most of the time), much less spending three thousand bucks in an unheard-of restaurant that could very well be a GRO place (heck, it's Pasay). Needless to say, it was a bad start to my Saturday morning.

At 7am (on a Saturday!) I was on the phone to my bank's call center. At least I do know that they provide 24-hour service. Although the customer service rep was nice enough to file a dispute for me, I still had to fax a letter of dispute, which I hurried within the day. I have been using my Equitable card for almost 10 years now, but I haven't experienced something like this. This card, I have been using for less than a year (I just activated it when we went to HK last year and I didn't have money). Is their system less secure than Equitable's? Or have I been swiping this card in non-secure places? Aside from Cash and Carry and Rustan's, I used the card last week at Heaven n Eggs. I would wonder, if indeed one of them were not secure, which one it would likely be.

The folks at the credit card company have temporarily reversed the charges, but it's still under investigation. It still strikes a chord of paranoia with me, especially after watching the weird TV movie about identity theft starring Kimberly Williams as the victim, and Cynthia Gibb as the identity thief. This could have come at a better time; I've been less than frugal lately, what with the impending transfer and the extra expenses with spending more time in the office and then playing hard afterwards*, and have accumulated quite a large bill (hence the checking of the balance on the internet). I hope that all's well that ends well. I wouldn't want to deplete my savings because of a useless matter such as this.

*Spending more time at the office gives you the notion that you owe yourself more, hence spending more on little rewards to yourself. Sigh. I know it's wrong but it makes me feel better.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

silent all these weeks

it
is
great
to
blog

Typing stuff that isn't email, or test scripts--it's a joy. This is the first time in three weeks that I've been able to blog. I've been able to email, and I've surfed, but I couldn't find the time to sit down and create a blog entry. It's nice to be in the blogging world, if only for the meantime.

You see, today is probably the only respite that I'm getting from the hoopla that is User Acceptance Testing at GeeksForHire. Users in the foreign office are testing the finished product and we are providing the support. Unfortunately, this means late nights, some overnights, and weekend work. So there, I'm glad to be home in front of the PC on a Tuesday evening. This, after logging 80 hours of overtime on a fortnight. That used to be my record for a month at StingyCo. And to think that time, my salary just about doubled. For this I get a measly allowance and the hope of a project bonus. Well.

6610 is gone. I sold it in a fit because of intermittent signal loss. I still got 3,500 for it, not bad. Bought some pDVDs and stuff at Book Sale. Now the SO and I are going to try out those dual SIM packets that are must smaller and lightweight than the old variants.

Lost is done. The heck with that season ender! When does it start again?! Hee. House MD is proving quite entertaining. Nins is viewing the first season of Gilmore Girls and I think she kinda likes it. I don't have any affection for it, though.

Finally, the transfer. We moved too slow on the nice place nearby and it was snatched up by the owner's friend. Instead, we found a place along Pililia near the Makati LTO. The father-unit was able to haggle and we're getting it for a reasonable price, and without the 1-year requisite terms. So if the house is done in 8 months (the target is 6 months), we can terminate the lease straightaway. We're psyched because there's a two-car garage, one really big masters bedroom and two regular sized bedrooms, a mini-garden when we can place the dogs, and a good-sized maids room. My friend said it's a steal for the price, especially since the owners are going to repaint (not just repair and clean), and refinish some stuff. Can't wait to move in. Because of the incessant rain and the roof being beyong Vulca Seal salvation (and of course, us not wanting to spend any more on what's going to be torn down in two weeks), there are mushrooms sprouting in my room. You have to see them to believe it.

Last Song Syndrome : Shoebox - Barenaked Ladies

Sunday, August 14, 2005

short takes

Saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Were the Oompa-Loompas supposed to look like that? I preferred Gene Wilder's Oompa-Loompas. I think I expected too much from the movie. It was nice, but it wasn't that nice. And Johnny Depp reminded one more of Michael Jackson (oh come on, don't you see the resemblance? pale skin, white even teeth, and invitations to kids to come hither?) than Marilyn Manson on whom fafa Johnny said he based his characterization.

Been on a used-magazine buying spree, although I will only consider them if they're worth less than PhP150. I just think that you don't really have to be up-to-date on international home decor magazines since the "styles" usually trickle back here after a season or two. Besides, we're looking towards a modern classic interior, instead of a trendy one, so the magazines I've bought have been basically Romantic Homes, Better Homes and Gardens (and their tons of spin-off magazines), Victoria and Traditional Home (more for the mother-unit), and House and Garden. Is fun, especially when you consider that you've bought 8 back issues for the price of one current issue. I'm clipping away!

More on the homefront: the parentals are finally going to visit the apartment which zeester#1 and I have already checked out. It's owned by this nice Indian lady who lives in Magallanes. I think it's a good find for 20k a month in the Makati area, four bedrooms, two baths, and lots of storage space for all the things that we're packing. Speaking of packing, I've now sorted about 30% of my books and donated about a dozen to this "reading club" about three blocks away from our house. Some of them will be sold, especially the Tom Clancys and Danielle Steels that I've received as gifts but never bothered to read. Some are in mint condition and will sell for about 40 bucks each to this girl I contacted through Bidshot. I'm still taking about two travel boxes' worth of books along, including almost all my Dragonlance books and about 20 new books that I haven't even torn the cellophane off.

Am reading the eBook of Anne Rice's Blood and Gold during breaks in work and during lulls elsewhere. It's both on AchTung Baby and my work PC (It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, lest I get attached). The character or Marius really interests me, but I wasn't in any hurry to buy the paperback (seeing as there are still around 20 books that I haven't unwrapped). Of course, I still ended up reading the eBook, even before giving much attention to Jonathan Strange, or 2004's Best Fantasy (although I had to read Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Nameless House of the Night of Dread Desire... whew!).

Thursday, August 11, 2005

cellphone suicide

I know it. The 6610 wants to be let go. Today it jumped of its own accord into the trashcan under my workarea. I tried to find it for 10 minutes and when I checked if it could have fallen onto the floor, lo and behold, there it was. Sigh. I think this weekend I will bid it farewell and trade it in for a 6020.

Last Song Syndrome : Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

the search continues

The house-hunting continues. Found a good one on T Street near the contractor's house and David's. The mother-unit will inspect later. Strange Indian landlords, but it's the cheapest 4-bedroom this side of the fringes of Makati. And a lot of storage space too for all our junk stuff. I've emptied half a cabinet and I've already filled a "travel box" (the one you can buy from SM at 69.75, sturdy enough).

The house-hunting was made more urgent by the fact that like ursula_lear, I had the roof "fall" in my room... a portion of the right wall (which was my creative aspect, per feng shui) started leaking from minimal rain, drenching most of the stuff on my table including my high school yearbook, various books, and pictures. Honestly, I cried. Because my yearbook was quite ruined (one that I had worked on myself), and so were the pictures, some of which were irreplaceable. Fie upon leaky roofs and delayed house renovations!

Last Song Syndrome : The Day You Said Goodnight - Hale
Can't get that frigging song out of my head!

Monday, August 01, 2005

topsy-turvy

Things are a mess right now. Literally and figuratively. Packing has started for the move to the apartment, because I have so much stuff (taking comfort in objects and all). A box of books and another box containing clothes and (memorabilia? knick-knacks?) and will be parked at the SO's house temporarily. The temporary living quarters will be quite cramped. Adding to that, the gutters in my pad finally gave way yesterday with minimal showers at that. A lot of stuff that wasn't packed yet were, basically, drenched, including my high school yearbook, some pDVDs, and a lot pictures. Yesterday afternoon was spent basically fixing up after a mini-flood at my place, and then looking at apartments within the vicinity. Goodness!

So there. Add to work, some stress, and unpaid bills... I need Stresstabs or something. Hehe!

Last Song Syndrome : Cool - Gwen Stefani

Sunday, July 24, 2005

one day in hp

Because the SO was meeting his friend at said friend's condo along Vito Cruz, we found ourselves at Harrison Plaza. I haven't been to this place in ages; the last two times were just at the Village Square's Seattle's Best (with Bespren J while she was studying for the US boards, and with G! on his birthday two years ago (has it been just two years?!) when I had just broken up with the SO and C!&G! were just starting to get together).

Is a fun and funky place... where else can you find a tattoo booth right beside Rustan's, people getting away with smoking inside the mall, a good-sized chapel, an SM Light Shop with a myriad of lightbulbs on display, tons of bargain/surplus stores, little tiangges sprouting everywhere, dibidi-dibidi stores and an off-track betting site? You go, HP!

Was able to scour Booksale and bought home decor magazines (Maleen's and my current passion) and a Simple Wicca book (was pretty, and, well, Wicca). There's also something to be said about the Rustan's in HP which stocks more pedestrian garb than the other branches. And of course, there's SM. 'Nuff said.

bye bye little boy
Zeester#2 found a better home for Dallas. He was causing the mother-unit's asthma attacks, so he had to go. It was sad, after being attached to the little guy for more than a month despite declaring that his only use was being cute. Any suggestions for a cute, small, but short-haired dog with a good temperament? We don't like mini-pins nor chihuahuas. Do Jack Russells have good temperaments?

the other little boy
Wasn't sure if it was a Freudian slip but I was talking to the SO about G!, but I ended up saying the little boy's name. SO was on my case for a whole minute. And then, well, no more. He's great like that, although sometimes I wonder if it's percolating somewhere within, just waiting to blow. Anyway, about the little boy, I read this testimonial that he wrote on friendster about this girl, and he reused the parting words on my testimonial for him! Haha!

Last Song Syndrome : Across the Universe - Fiona Apple (thanks boi_bitch!)

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

sick again

Sir Nick had ominous words during my going-away dinner at Zong a few weeks ago: "take care of your health." I thought that was a jibe at my constant sick leaves (which was to take care of my employment requirements at GeeksForHire). Well now it seems it was some sort of hex. I've been sick a whole lot more often now compared to before. Oh well. I hope it's not true that sickness is a manifestation of ill feelings and suppressed desires or rage. I think I like my work now, I'm happy with the SO... if anything it would probably be caused by stuff at the homefront. Oh well. I'm not well.

Listening to : Putumayo - Celtic Tides

Sunday, July 17, 2005

not incommunicado for long

Somebody was bound to die, again. Once more, one of my favorite characters. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince started out sluggish, definitely, but momentum and tension built until that ending that left us shaking and teary-eyes. What can I say? Rowling has definitely left us hungry for more. Personally, Prisoner of Azkaban remains at the top of my list, but this story, with its romantic subplots (oh yes, at 16 the Hogwarts barkada should definitely be thinking about romance) and its little jokes, was thoroughly entertaining. It was also thinner than Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, making for an easier read (I think I took 5 hours, give or take some breaks).

People weren't lining up for it like before, though. By 7:45am, the "crowd" had thinned at Powerbooks Greenbelt 4. Of course, stalwarts like myself had to be there early, if only to read about how -bleep!- ended up kissing -bleep!- and that -bleep!- was (surprise!) the Half-Blood Prince. Hermione does a little cheating, Ron's place on the Quidditch team is tenuous, and Harry, well, Harry has been anointed "The Chosen One". Neo, much? There is still some politics, Percy is still the hated Weasley, Draco is still sinister (even more so that his father is in Azkaban), there's a new Minister of Magic, and there's a whole lot more Fleur Delacourt and a lot less of the Dursleys, although not enough Luna Lovegood. Hee!

Harry is definitely older, not much wiser (unfortunately), but altogether, the penultimate book does not disappoint. It is, however, definitely reading like the first act of a two-part ending. Rowling! Give us book 7 soon!

Saturday, July 16, 2005

incommunicado

Between two birthday parties, overtime work, mom in the hospital and Harry Potter, I'm going to be pretty incommunicado this weekend. Meanwhile, here's some form of "deeper insight" into my personality based on my birthdate (yeah, duh):








Your Birthdate: October 30

Your birthday on the 30th day of the month shows individual self-expression is necessary for your happiness.

You tend to have a good way of expressing yourself with words, certainly in a manner that is clear and understandable.

You have a good chance of success in fields requiring skill with words.



You can be very dramatic in your presentation and you may be a good actor or a natural mimic.

You have a vivid imagination that can assist you in becoming a good writer or story-teller.

Strong in your opinions, you always tend to think you are on the right side of an issue.



There may be a tendency to scatter your energies and have a lot of loose ends in your work.

You may have significant artistic talent and be very creative.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

don't you worry 'bout a thing, baby

One of the team leads over at GeeksForHire went impulse-buying and got herself a P910i free with a Globe G-Max plan. Myself, I've got an 800-peso plan that I maximize, although I don't think I would be able to handle the 1,200-peso plan. Got a Motorola E398 to go along with it.

Got to thinking about how many cellphones I've had over the past few years. I started out with a heavy-duty batuta-like Nokia (analog) when I got my Smart line ages ago; then I graduated to a slightly smaller although equally batuta-like Nokia 200 I believe, the phone that Globe was giving free with a 250-peso a month subscription with, yes, free text. From then I went through a Nokia 5110, two 6110s, a strange Motorola one-liner that was so hard to use (that I think belonged to A.), a 6210, an 8310, and now a 6220 and a Motorola E398 (hello Moto!).

It's funny, these phones. They're like ex-boyfriends the way I remember some of them. There were forgettable ones (like that Motorola); there were cherished memories (loved the 6110). [Although now, I have two phones... but I've never had two boyfriends at once!] I know a friend who just recently gave up his well-worn, ages old 3210; much like he just recently gave up his well-worn, ages-old love for his ex. Like me, he sometimes waxes sentimental, but we both like what we have right now.

-oOo-

Am dreading the end of the month because season 5 of C.S.I. (the original is always the best) is coming to a close, although it's also a highly-anticipated season finale directed by none other than Quentin Tarantino. Much fun is expected to be had!

-oOo-

pDVDs gathering dust on my shelf which I should be watching sometime soon:
  • Earthsea
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  • I (heart) Huckabee's
  • Robots
  • Angels in America

    -oOo-

    Great going for the Anglican Church, which has allowed woman priests and are now voting for the installation of woman bishops in Britain... Per BBC, at present only Anglican churches in the United States, Canada, Polynesia and New Zealand have women working as bishops. Still, yay for them. Er, Catholics? CBCP?

    -oOo-

    Have been given different tasks at GeeksForHire because I finished the previous ones on time, relatively. The new project-within-a-project is something new and a bit more challenging than what I was previously doing. I had settled into a good schedule with what I had been doing, and was looking forward to coasting a little this week; instead I'm looking at more than a few overtime days and maybe work on the weekend. Feh. The other geeks on my team are still doing what we were originally scheduled to do. This is the price I pay for being efficient, then.

    And the work goes ever on...

    Last Song Syndrome : Don't Phunk With My Heart - Black-Eyed Peas
  • Sunday, July 10, 2005

    new look

    And now I've had to go and change my template. Something was wrong with my old original template (huhuhu... two years old na yun!), pushing the text of the first post down below the sidebar. This new template is temporary although knowing me this will last for quite a while.

    Uh-huh, two posts in one day. Am I back or what? Hehehehe! I guess with everything that's going on in the world, our embattled President (I still stick with you, Madam President... at least for due process), the London bombing, the break-up of Kristine and Diether... blogging makes for a sense of normalcy. Besides, I haven't been able to write in the longest time. I miss it, terribly.

    Last Song Syndrome : Untitled - Simple Plan

    hiatus

    The supposed "comebank" post was a week early. I just really had to greet the Ger-ber on this medium because of the, um, shared history (heh!). I've been told to stop and smell the blogs, er, roses every once in a while, so here this is. I haven't been able to go online for ages, but I'm going to try to do so more often.

    Things I did while on blogging hiatus:
  • Started actually working for GeeksForHire. Imbibed some of the culture (it's easier to imbibe denim Fridays than, say, having to log all your hours for your billable work).
  • Actually attended a training thingy, within one month of being with the company (which was actually equivalent to the training I attended with StingyCo in four years).
  • Looked for freelance work. Failed. Still looking.
  • Adjusted to twice-a-month salary payouts. Is actually quite convenient. Of course it helps that the salary is also relatively higher. Am still earning less than USD1,000 a month though. Grrr!
  • Had our househelp (who happened to be gay) up and leave us, stealing the life savings of his fellow househelp, her jewelry, bags, my cousin's expensive shirts, and a whole lot of my dad's shirts and pants. Seems he was also planning dognap Dallas (huh!). It wasn't nice because some people in the vicinity made prejudicial comments regarding the third sex and I thought it wasn't fair. However, I do abhor what he did. After we trusted him (well, sort of).
  • Bought a Rottweiler (actually half, she's shared with the SO). Her name is Heart. Hee!
  • Tried to be more understanding of the SO, and I think I succeeded. Although I'd have to ask him.
  • Was glad to be back in the loop now that the work email can receive YahooGroups mail. Yay!
  • Made a complete and utter mess of my room. It's easier to do that when you have a sister-roommate who has five times as many shoes and bags as you do. I've had to cram all my stuff into half of what was once my room. Hayy!
  • Got the old Duron up with the help of the SO. At least zeester#2 will have a workable PC for school stuff (and not bother us for the laptop, heh).
  • Looked for a contractor for the house that would give us what we wanted for the demolition and rebuilding within our budget. No luck. UncleArchitect's detailed plans were apparently too detailed and very expensive. We're looking into just giving the contractor the floor plans and do as you wish within x.xM pesos.
  • Gained weight. Just a hypothesis but with all the eating out (hazards of being in a relationship) and with all the fricking food at GeekForHire (it's worse than StingyCo! everyone has food!)...
  • Speaking of the hazards of being in a relationship... watched roughly a movie a week since getting back together. In one weekend we watched both Hitchhiker's Guide and Sin City. Interesting.
  • Saw papa Neil Gaiman at PowerPlant. Just yesterday. Sigh... Actually was a star-studded day at PowerPlant (saw John Estrada, Brad Turvey), but papa Neil and Jojo Lastimosa in one day...?! Just wonderful.
  • Saturday, July 02, 2005

    to my first blog-friend

    Thought it was fitting that I post my "comeback" post on the birthday of the person who got me involved in blogging in the first place.

    Happy Birthday Ger!

    Last Song Syndrome : Same Ground - Kitchie Nadal

    Friday, June 17, 2005

    smokin', rockin' geeks

    I went a week without nicotine. It was a promise, that I would give it up, but I could not sustain it. At least I tried. The last time I supposedly quit, I was nicotine-free for three months. It was easy to not be around the smoking buddies at the time, but now that the SO is back in my life, it's harder to quit. And I actually experienced what seemed to be withdrawal symptoms. Sitting here now, online with Tori Amos in the background and a cigarette in hand, is like sitting with an old friend that you're glad just to hang with.

    I'm not sure who posted this in the Pinoyslayer blog, but this site rocks.

    I miss working at StingyCo. Rather, I miss not working during work time at StingyCo. Things were a bit laid-back before I left, no major projects. I would leave at 5:15 and not have work left over. Now, at IntlConsultingFirm (which milks you for what you're worth... much like a--factory?!), the earliest I leave is 7pm. Granted, we're in the middle of a project, but I'm starting to get sucked into this vortex of late nights, even if I'm one of the first people to arrive each morning. The strange thing is, I'm starting to really get into it. Today was heavy testing day and I did a case with 45 parameters. It's challenging. Geeks for hire, anyone?

    Filched this from Deepa:






    You Belong in London


    A little old fashioned, and a little modern.

    A little traditional, and a little bit punk rock.

    A unique woman like you needs a city that offers everything.

    No wonder you and London will get along so well.


    What City Do You Belong in? Take This Quiz :-)



    Find the Love of Your Life
    (and More Love Quizzes) at Your New Romance.





    Last Song Syndrome : Hallelujah - Bamboo

    Monday, June 13, 2005

    iq daw o

    Your IQ Is 135

    Your Logical Intelligence is Genius
    Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
    Your Mathematical Intelligence is Genius
    Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

    Saturday, June 11, 2005

    all anew

    First new blog post in two weeks. Full of new stuff. Promise.

    new job
    Finally started an IntlConsultingFirm. Am still undecided on a sobriquet. Maybe when I get to stay there for a month. Am still trying to adjust. It's a whole different culture from StingyCo; and I came in the middle of a hectic season when days bleed into nights, with a new system and a whole different set of methodologies to learn. It's exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.

    new old SO
    Old news, but still. At the risk of sounding mushy, am loving him more and more each day.

    new member of the family
    After a looong trip to Novaliches, we came back with Dallas.
    Dallas 1 Dallas 2
    Some dogs exist merely to be cute, eh?

    new text-stalker
    Someone started texting me vulgar texts about wanting to f*ck me badly. The scary thing is this person knew my name and that I worked for StingyCo. Sigh. As of the moment he or she (I can't discount that it's a she, after all, some people's girlfriends have stuck it to me worse) has stopped texting but if things get worse I may have to consider changing my number. The SO is just concerned that this person might graduate to actual stalking, although I feel it's highly unlikely.

    Thursday, May 26, 2005

    countdown

    It's my second to the last week at StingyCo. It's turnover galore, although my colleagues are fast learners and we haven't had to work overtime for that. Actually I've been going home quite early the past few weeks. No need for overtime; especially since you aren't going to get paid doing it. Been bringing work home--it's easier to work in front of the laptop, near the TV, having a nicotine fix. Promise. I wish I could do remote. Sigh.

    Anyway, my desk is still a mess; production problems are still coming in; and a lot of people seem to be genuinely sad that I'm leaving. I know I can be easily replaced, but I guess I like to feel that I'm special to some of my officemates at least. And I know they'll be having a hard time continuing my public relations tradition for the IT department (providing birthday cards, gifts and PR emails in and out of the department). Hahahaha. The Small Big Boss actually included that (jokingly!) as one of my turnover tasks.

    Turnover is about 70% done. It's quite saddening, actually. I'm sad, nervous, apprehensive, excited and eager all at once.

    -oOo-

    beware: AI spoilery
    Oh, Zane got her wish. She hearts Bo but didn't want him to win. So there. It just proves that Carrie was viewed as more consistent and -dare I say it?- more mainstream. Will I buy Bo's album? Probably. Carrie's? Definitely not. I don't even buy Martina McBride's albums, let alone her little clone-doll. Her voice is good though, unwavering. She really deserved it.

    The final winner, though, is American Idol: still the #1 series despite scandals involving contestants Bo and Scott, and more notably, judge Paula Abdul. The show seems to be the only ratings winner for the Fox network and is widely followed even in Asia, where, the show constantly points out, voting does not apply. Hee!

    Last Song Syndrome : Perfect Strangers theme song
    Sometimes the world looks perfect
    Nothin' to rearrange
    Sometimes you just
    Get a feelin' like you need some kind of change

    Saturday, May 21, 2005

    hectic weekend

    Am getting ready for a teambuilding session at Palms with the new department at IntlConsultingFirm. It was a blessing in disguise (thank you Lord!) that the partner for the intercompany badminton tilt backed out. And then tonight the gehls have a night-out at the baywalk and ovenight at the Grand Boulevard Hotel to take advantage of Helen's free stays. I really hope we don't get a shitty room like last time. After the overnight, tomorrow is Star Wars day with the SO. I wonder when I'm going squeeze in the groceries, IntlConsultingFirm requirements, and other general tasks. Oh well. Things will work out.

    by the way
    Last weekend we celebrated the new lawyer in the family via thanksgiving dinner. Much fun was had. And thanks to my favorite godmother for continually stroking my ego despite the fact that I've gained 20 pounds since she last saw me.
    congratulations, atty

    Last Song Syndrome : Sunrise - Norah Jones (my "discreet" ringtone)

    Thursday, May 19, 2005

    trip to jerusalem

    Finally. Got to watch Orli's supposed starmaking vehicle, Kingdom of Heaven. Okay, okay, so there were also Liam, Eddie N and papa Scar. It was Alright. It wasn't spectacular. It wasn't all that bad, either. I agree Orli needs some workshops (naks, parang Evil Empire workshops yan amyslayer) to work on his depth. I found Eva Green annoying, sorry. But the supporting cast of seasoned actors from Liam to Jeremy to Brendan Gleeson and David Thewlis were quite superb. Edward Norton was wonderful. A lesser actor would have made Baldwin a caricature. Lab yu, Eddie.

    What I appreciated, though, was the take on religion, tolerance, and fanaticism.

    Anyway, a Trip to Jerusalem is actually musical chairs, right? And as the chairs decrease... well, let's just say that it can be termed American Idol. And last night was quite frankly, Bo's night. Sigh. From that great rendition of Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, to that stunt of singing a capella, and finally to the jumping around for Satisfaction (I don't care what Simon says!)... I hope this guy is going to the finals. Honestly. One of the girls is going. Hee.

    Last Song Syndrome : Lonely No More - Rob Thomas

    Wednesday, May 18, 2005

    bugger this skycable

    One lousy thunderstorm. I pay, what, almost ten thousand bucks a year for your cable service, and one lousy thunderstorm knocks it out for 12 hours (and counting)! You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2005

    why did i *know* i was han solo?!





    Star Wars Horoscope for Scorpio




    You are a powerful character.
    You tend to be possessive and lusty - which explains your greedy nature.
    You feel threatened when people try to order you around or control you.
    You are prone to suspicion and jealousy - but your resilience and passion get you what you want.

    Star wars character you are most like: Han Solo



    I really knew. When I clicked the button I thought to myself, "Gaah, I'm going to end up Han Solo." And I did. I didn't even like him at first. But I guess I don't really like myself much, either.

    Last Song Syndrome : Closer You and I - Gino Padilla?

    Monday, May 16, 2005

    double takes

    Both double takes involved the Myx Daily Top Ten... and the Carter brothers...

    Double take #1. Is that Aaron Carter singing to a Britney Spears lookalike in a taxicab? Nope, it's Jesse McCartney. Gaah. Who can tell these kids apart?!

    Double take #2. Are those the friggin' BACKSTREET BOYS?! They are alive? It doesn't seem like them, but yes, it's still them. Grown up. A little edgier but... still them.

    PS That song Hollaback Girl grows on you huh? I'm seriously considering getting a copy of love.angel.music.baby.

    PPS Gaah! Just saw the #1 song, Mariah Carey's We Belong Together. She is marrying Eric (bro of Julia) Roberts, but ends up running away with uber-cutie Gage the Fish Boy Wentworth Miller! I knew that guy at the end of the It's Like That video looked damn familiar. Of course only Buffy fans will get the Gage reference; he also appeared as the young Anthony Hopkins in The Human Stain and as a doctor dude in Underworld. Ay, fafah!

    Last Song Syndrome : Both Sides Now - Sharon Cuneta

    filmick...

    Ger threw over this movie meme. Had a really good chat with him too. Sa uulitin, kiddo, with less depressing topics...

    total number of films i own on DVD/video:
    Do you count pDVDs? Because if it's only legit stuff then I have... 8. Including contraband: 180+?

    the last film i bought:
    Legit: The Cutting Edge (! Hee!)
    pDVD: Being Julia

    the last film i watched:
    In the theater: Hitch
    On video: LoTR RoTK extended edition
    On HBO: Jawbreaker

    five films that i watch a lot or mean a lot to me:
    Ger isn't the only cheater:
  • LoTR - the pinnacle of my romp through fantasy as a teenager became the most outstanding fantasy movies
  • The Flight of Dragons - sometimes I think I'm the only one who likes this movie
  • The Princess Bride - Wesley and Buttercup and Inigo Montoya, ROUSes and dread pirates and raising the dead... it's a helluvalot of fun! Not to mention Robin Wright was actually still beautiful...
  • Some Kind of Wonderful - "I'd rather be alone for the right reasons"
  • Stand and Deliver/Dead Poets Society - I wanted to become a teacher because of these films but unfortunately that wasn't meant to be...
  • Jerry Maguire - sigh...
  • 10 Things I Hate About You - ok, insipid teen movie at times, but Heath Ledger is very lovable and there are times when you just need brain candy
  • Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels/Snatch - pure fun, thinking fun!
  • Good Will Hunting - Matt and Ben did something right with this movie...
  • and there are a whole lot more, of course...!

    to which 5 people am i passing the baton and why?
  • Rea - my film buddy... ok, so she doesn't have a blog... so scratch that...
  • Oliver - because he does reviews and loves movies more than I do
  • JDJ - he has waaay more videos than I do and I would like to see the interplay of math and movies
  • Jennie - because the videoke queen might have extended her realm to video
  • Sunshine - another moviephile, who needs a break from all the stuff going on in her life
  • And finally, a cheat: pinoyslayer-dom - because I always like to hear what they have to say

    Last Song Syndrome : Get Me - M.Y.M.P.
  • Sunday, May 15, 2005

    everybody's changing

    The ankle is healed, although a little tender. The heart is, well, healing, but still also "tender". There are a lot of issues involved with getting back together with someone you've hurt deeply in the past. It also doesn't help that there are other parties involved, because you were both embarking on new relationships when chance brought the two of you together. Oh well. I guess you really have to work at it to make it work.

    Anyway, there are so many changes happening right now, what with a now-active so-called lovelife, Bespren J's own well-traveled love connection, the transfer to IntlConsultingFirm (since I haven't started there yet, I haven't coined it's "proper" name), feeling bad that I can't volunteer properly for either the PinoySlayers or CharmedPinoy at New Worlds 3, trying to deal with my white hairs, trying to adjust to life without Bespren M just a local phone call away...

    Sabi nga ng Keane:
    So little time
    Try to understand that I'm
    Trying to make a move just to stay in the game
    I try to stay awake and remember my name
    But everybody's changing
    And I don't feel the same


    i'm a buffy girl...
    Filched from martea_scryer and magnifique_f8:

    Which Buffy Girl Are You? Find out @ She's Crafty

    Wednesday, May 11, 2005

    writing fini

    Today I will file my resignation from StingyCo. Wish me luck.

    I still have loads of work to do, and tons of work to turnover. Sigh.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2005

    convalesce

    Day 2 of sick leave begins. The ankle is still swollen, although feeling a lot better. Unfortunately, I cannot get more than a few paces without pain shooting up my leg, so the order of the day is working at home with my left foot (whee, Daniel Day-Lewis) elevated on three fluffy pillows.

    The SO spent the day with me yesterday, although half of the time he was asleep (graveyard shift does that). I was wheeled around Makati Med by really thin interns, I wonder if they had a hard time, big girl that I am. The x-ray came back normal, although it was a sprain, no doubt about it. The thing I feel bad about the most is not being able to play badminton tonight, and the inter-company league coming up. At least I am allowed my nicotine fix.

    my geekiness quotient
    Credit where credit's due: Thanks, blogthings!








    Your Geek Profile:



    Internet Geekiness: High

    Movie Geekiness: High

    SciFi Geekiness: High

    Academic Geekiness: Moderate

    Fashion Geekiness: Moderate

    Geekiness in Love: Low

    General Geekiness: Low

    Music Geekiness: Low

    Gamer Geekiness: None



    Last Song Syndrome : Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani (B-A-N-A-N-A-S!)

    Monday, May 09, 2005

    immobilized

    Had Mothers' Day dinner at this Chinese place called Skyhigh in Malate. Yummy! Unfortunately on the way home, I failed to notice a little crater in the mosaic-like pavement they had installed in front. My heel shoots perfectly into the little round basin and I am thrown off balance. I fall two steps and land on my gluteus maximus. I know I hit someone along the way, sorry na lang po. I try to block everything out because of the pain (it was like having my breath knocked out of me, I swear) but I heard some bystanders going "ay ang ale nahulog!" and "ano ba nangyari diyan"... Well, curiosity isn't concern, and I don't care what these people are thinking while I'm sitting cross-legged on a Malate pavement. Took both zeester#1 and zeester#2's boyfriends to help me up.

    So there, my ankle is twisted. Last night it was swollen, a little like the 'manas' of a pregnant woman, and a quick call to Doctora Anj yielded a command to "immobilize and ice". Thanks, good doctor. Anj, I feel, is an epitome of the essence of motherhood for our generation... Hee!

    As of this morning, the ankle is not that swollen anymore although it hurts tremendously if I walk, even with a cane. Any movement hurts. I'm taking it to the hospital later this afternoon (take advantage of free hospital care). Meanwhile, my fingers are not affected--therefore, I blog.

    the announcement
    It had to come sooner or later, but officially, beginning last Friday (and unofficially beginning around mid-April), the ex-SO is now the current SO. I know, I've eaten my words. I like words. They taste good. Hee!

    I am happier now than I have ever been in the last two years, with the exception of the post-Employee of the Year glow. Actually I think I'm happier now because I've found that people do grow even if they're apart; and things always seem to work out if they're meant to work out.

    By the way, ex-SO is not Little Boy. Therefore...

    the little boy chronicles
    Are concluded. I think I was chronicling this because I knew that it was superficial and trivial. Meanwhile, the other thing going on in the background was complicated and real, and therefore remained private. Until now, that is.

    Let's write a new chapter with a returning character. A long one. With hopefully this returning character sticking around til the end of the story. That would be nice.

    Friday, May 06, 2005

    #1

    on most of the current pop charts, I believe.

    Same Ground
    Kitchie Nadal

    My love
    It’s been a long time since I cried
    And left you out of the blue
    It’s hard
    Leaving you the way
    When I never really wanted to

    Self denial
    Is a game so strange I never really should’ve wanted
    Til there was you
    Cause I have learned that love was beyond
    What a human can imagine
    More it clears
    The more I gotta let you go

    ‘Cause what I don’t understand
    Is why I’m feeling so bad now
    When iI know it was my idea
    I could’ve just denied the truth and lied
    Now why am I the only one standing stranded
    On the same ground

    My love
    It’s been a long time since I cried
    And left you out of the blue
    It’s hard
    Leaving you the way
    When I never really wanted to

    Self denial
    Is a game so strange I never really should’ve wanted
    Til there was you
    Cause I have learned that love
    Is a word just thrown
    A little bit too much of this
    Excuse to fill this infinite of desire
    And never ever have to fade

    Cause what I don’t understand
    Is why I’m feeling so bad now
    When I know it was my idea
    I could’ve just denied the truth and lied
    Now why am I the only one standing stranded
    On the same ground

    If all else fails
    Would you be there to love me?
    When all else fails
    Would you be brave to see right through me?

    N.: perhaps?

    Monday, May 02, 2005

    the pleasurable acquisition of reading material

    The patterns are established after all: when I'm feeling depressed, confused or just totally want to escape, I either smoke, binge, or buy things. I like buying things. Not clothes, or shoes, or any other items of clothing. Or make-up. I like buying books, CDs and (at least before) pDVDs. Well, put together the current confusions with IntlConsultingFirm, the little boy, and ex-SO, with the Powerbooks sale and that book baratillo near Papemelroti in Glorietta 3, I ended up with more than a few new books.

    The book sale near Papemelroti had boxes of hardbound books selling from Ps.29 to Ps.49. If you had the time, physical capability, and the will to go through those boxes, you'd end up with some really good finds. I'm not that into James Michener's sprawling epics anymore, but I saw more than a couple of copies of Alaska, Chesapeake, Poland, The Covenant, and what-have-you, selling for Ps.49 each (and these are the big hardbound copies, mind you). I ws really looking for a copy of Mary Stewart's The Crystal Cave to complement the hardbounds of The Hollow Hills and The Last Enchantment, but the search was in vain. Instead a got a couple of books that were in great condition that they could be given as gifts; a copy of Cause Celeb by Bridget Jones author Helen Fielding (Ps.39); The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy; The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; and Tolkien's Unfinished Tales. Six hardbound books for Ps.254 is Not.Bad.At.All.

    But of course that wasn't enough, because there was a sale at Powerbooks. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get there in time to get a copy of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Collected Stories, but I was able to get the following: The Dragon Quintet (dragon stories by Orson Scott Card, Mercedes Lackey, et al); a compilation of Irish Folktales; Bite, a vampire anthology; The Art of War (been meaning to buy this for a long time); requisite fluff reading in Plum Sykes' Bergdorf Blondes; and a paperback of The Princess Bride (squee!) by William Goldman. That was fun.

    So there. I'm still a bit confused, but I'm feeling better about it. Hee!

    Kevin Smith on Revenge of the Sith
    Great link from Oliver: Kevin Smith geeks out on 'Sith'. Lots of spoilers, so beware. Enjoy.

    Last Song Syndrome : Motorazr commercial theme

    Sunday, May 01, 2005

    terminate me

    At this precise moment, HBO is playing Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, and Star Movies is showing Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Wow, how fun.

    anniversary
    Happy Anniversary DnA!
    DnA, post-wedding

    fugi
    Ang fugi naman ni papa Neil!

    the little boy chronicles
    I've ended up calling him "little boy" to his face, sometimes. And then one time he heard me call Mocha (me little doggie) "little girl". Haha.

    Friday, April 29, 2005

    tragedy

    First, the real one. Former Philvolcs chief and current PNRC governor Punongbayan was killed when the helicopter he was riding crashed. Most everyone else on the chopper also perished, including people I think were close to my aunt, former executive secretary for the Red Cross. It's sad when people die in war, and even worse when people die in projects such as this, as they were on their way to survey sites for the Red Cross when the craft crashed in Nueva Ecija. God rest their souls.

    Now, for the more flippant side... Unfortunately for millions of gurls, smoldering idol Constantine Maroulis has been booted out of American Idol. Sorry Bespren D and Appleby. Nins and I really thought that Scott would go. And then when it was down to Anthony the Wonderboy and Constantine, I really thought A-Fed would go. But it was Constantine. Where were his legions of fans? Did they get tired of voting? We were really hoping for a Bo-Con showdown in the final two (hihgly unlikely but we could dream). No matter, I believe that Constantine will enjoy his moment of fame--further fame, post-Idol. Just hope it doesn't disappoint like Tamyra Gray's career. That girl could still go places, though.

    meanwhile
    Things are not yet back to normal. I haven't caught up on other people's blogs. Just dropped by Fast Fingers to see what was up. G-boy's Fables 3 and 4 are also with me, but I haven't had time to finish them (of course I already read 3-Storybook Love, because Snow and Bigby are gonna get it on! haha!). IntlConsultingFirm and I are locked in negotations and it looks pretty favorable... a 25% increase for a lateral move with opportunities for travel looks good indeed. No overtime pay, though. Ha! Will be in seclusion for the next few days because I have an exam coming up on May 9. If all goes well, this might be my last exam for the industry org--because I'd then be shifting industries. Oh well. Who knows? Fingers crossed.

    Last Song Syndrome : How You Remind Me - Constantine Maroulis

    Tuesday, April 26, 2005

    rob and amber... ang bidang kontrabida

    The New York Times > Arts > Television > On TV, Reality Loves a Villain

    I have fun watching Romber romp through The Amazing Race 7. They are scheming, conniving, manipulative, and also very street-smart, think fast on their feet and have a good grasp of psychology. I can't say I'm not rooting for them to win, because of the remaining teams (aside from Joyce's voluntary head-shaving) I think they deserve to win. Go Romber!

    Sunday, April 24, 2005

    one night in bangkok

    Am logging this in from an overpriced internet cafe at our hotel (technically, a serviced bed-and-breakfast, really). The past two days have gone by in a blur, and tomorrow the zeester and I are flying back around noon. Between shopping and temples, we are definitely exhausted. Just logged on tonight to check on the ex-SO (!) and send some messages. Just realized that people younger than a certain age will not recognize the title of this blog. Hee! A sign of aging.

    So far, Bangkok has been sweltering heat, paranoia re: con artists, wondrous temples, hearing Filipino at the strangest places, lots of ice(!), Buddhist monks in the street, different kinds of ferry rides, really cheap clothes+bags+shoes, wondrous temples, photo-ops, and did I mention the sweltering heat? Hee!

    One night in Bangkok

    THE AMERICAN:
    Bangkok, Oriental setting
    And the city don't know what the city is getting
    The creme de la creme of the chess world in a
    Show with everything but Yul Brynner

    Time flies -- doesn't seem a minute
    Since the Tirolean spa had the chess boys in it
    All change -- don't you know that when you
    Play at this level there's no ordinary venue

    It's Iceland -- or the Philippines -- or Hastings -- or --
    or this place!

    COMPANY:
    One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
    The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
    You'll find a god in every golden cloister
    And if you're lucky then the god's a she
    I can feel an angel sliding up to me

    THE AMERICAN:
    One town's very like another
    When your head's down over your pieces, brother

    COMPANY:
    It's a drag, it's a bore, it's really such a pity
    To be looking at the board, not looking at the city

    THE AMERICAN:
    Whaddya mean? Ya seen one crowded, polluted, stinking town --

    COMPANY:
    Tea, girls, warm, sweet
    Some are set up in the Somerset Maugham suite

    THE AMERICAN:
    Get Thai'd! You're talking to a tourist
    Whose every move's among the purest
    I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine

    COMPANY:
    One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
    Not much between despair and ecstasy
    One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
    Can't be too careful with your company
    I can feel the devil walking next to me

    THE AMERICAN:
    Siam's gonna be the witness
    To the ultimate test of cerebral fitness
    This grips me more than would a
    Muddy old river or reclining Buddha

    And thank God I'm only watching the game -- controlling it --

    I don't see you guys rating
    The kind of mate I'm contemplating
    I'd let you watch, I would invite you
    But the queens we use would not excite you

    So you better go back to your bars, your temples, your massage
    parlours --

    COMPANY:
    One night in Bangkok and the world's your oyster
    The bars are temples but the pearls ain't free
    You'll find a god in every golden cloister
    A little flesh, a little history
    I can feel an angel sliding up to me

    One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
    Not much between despair and ecstasy
    One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble
    Can't be too careful with your company
    I can feel the devil walking next to me

    Wednesday, April 20, 2005

    after.math

    An ultimate geek and keeper of a multitude of my secrets, JDJ goes online (finally!) with aftermath. Meanwhile, J&J's wedding site is here.

    Monday, April 18, 2005

    back in business

    Office internet is back up. I just hope NewTechDude doesn't go all dictatorial and take it away again (especially since I went through a few weeks' worth of LJ backlog today). Blogging from the office. Just like the old days.

    josmiyo
    Spending more waking hours at the office than anywhere else is taking its toll. I just realized this a while ago, when I used the restroom and started unzipping my pants before entering the cubicle. Feh. What the hell was that?

    my inner European




    Your Inner European is Italian!









    Passionate and colorful.

    You show the world what culture really is.




    Last Song Syndrome : Linger - The Cranberries

    books!

    80% off on imported pocketbooks at Goodwill. I bought five, therefore, for the price of one. Stocked up on those strange collections of sci-fi stories that I only find in Goodwill, adding KnightFantastic and PharaohFantastic to my CastleFantastic, CatFantastic, and other titles. Also got Single White Vampire Seeks Same (been eyeing that for a while) as well as a Harry Turtledove book (Departures) and Secrets of the Ancient Goddess. Brain candy.

    Here's the book meme I got from g!
    you're stuck inside fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
    Why would I want to be stuck inside Fahrenheit 451? Well if I would burn for being a
    book, it would have to be either as the Bible (seriously!) or, on a less serious note, it would have to be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Wala lang, fun.

    have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
    Of course... Legolas Greenleaf (based on a special edition illustration in 1991); then of course there's Sirius Black; and Jules Bartolome (and then Piolo went and played him and all was lost). And Spike. Nuff said.

    the last book you bought is:
    @BookSale: Sense of Evil by Kay Hooper, per aurie_slayer's recommendation
    @PowerBooks: Irish Girls About Town
    @Goodwill: see above

    the last book you've read:
    I hate to admit it but it's The Time Traveller's Wife. I haven't had much time to read... :(

    [Too lazy to look for links now.]
    what are you currently reading:
    A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, Irish Girls About Town

    what will you be reading next:
    It's on the list at the right -->
    [And then, if the G-boy lends me his new Fables books (and I agree, graphic novels are books), those would be next on the list. Whee!]

    next 5 books on your To Buy list:
    1. Collected Stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    2. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    3. Amber and Ashes by Margaret Weis
    4. Friends: The One with All Ten Years
    5. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene

    five books you would take to a deserted island:
    1. Robinson Crusoe
    1. Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman
    2. Ulysses by James Joyce (I might finally get to finish it there)
    3. Books that Changed the World (I know, I'm cheating)
    4. One Hundred Years of Solitude
    5. the Harry Potter series (including the upcoming Half-Blood Prince)... hey if g! can bring the entire Sandman series...
    [wala bang Complete Idiot's Guide to Surviving on a Desert Island?]

    who will you pass this quiz to:
    pinoyslayer-kind.

    Saturday, April 16, 2005

    it's all over but the haggling

    IntlConsultingFirm said in no uncertain terms that they wanted me on board. We are haggling though because although StingyCo is StingyCo, it is also JP, Maleen, Rea, Direk, Dencio, Helen-a, Bang, JennyVi, Lei, Cath, Kath, Bunsoy... not to mention pension vesting, profit sharing, and something that has been very comfy for the last five years. This requires a great deal of thought. There are some things that a rightly nice compensation package cannot compensate (hee!) for. Shyaks.

    Last Song Syndrome : Bulong - Kitchie Nadal

    Friday, April 15, 2005

    Thursday, April 14, 2005

    for the first time

    I actually thought Constantine gave a better performance than Nick Stahl Bo. He had a little Faramir thing going with the hair too. These two guys are both my age, huh. That's a thought. And we are as old as Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird and Bohemian Rhapsody. I think Bo's going to be in the bottom 3 this week. I hope I'm proven wrong. Bottom 3 forecast: Nadia, Carrie and Bo... three of my early favorites. But Appleby, I'm still not rooting for your lust-object Constantine.

    the big break
    CSI Las Vegas' night shift is officially broken up. This was a good episode. And of course Jason London was guilty. Guy as cute as that...? Well, next week's episode looks like it's going to rock. That Ecklies dude is such a snake. Hee!

    the little boy chronicles
    Little Boy suddenly had to go to the province because it was BigShotTito's birthday and he had to drive his political parentals (nice ring!). Apparently he had forgotten about this when he said he would come with me to J's party on Friday. It's not that it's going to be difficult to get there; it only throws a wrench on some plans. Well. No expectations. And be prepared for curveballs.


    Last Song Syndrome : Eternal Flame - M.Y.M.P.

    Monday, April 11, 2005

    my sister, the lawyer

    Bar exam results came out late Friday afternoon and squashed among the throng at the Supreme Court was 85-pound zeester#1. She passed.

    The Bangkok trip we planned a while back now becomes celebration#1, while celebration#2 is still being planned. Apparently it's going to be a rather big event, somewhere along the lines of my initial plans for my wedding with ex-S.O. Haha. Seriously, since I will probably be event coordinator, I am not amused.

    Last Song Syndrome : Harana - Parokya ni Edgar

    Thursday, April 07, 2005

    work is a four-letter word

    The other day, I played hooky. Even if I'm not actively searching for other employment, I went on a job interview at IntlConsultingFirm, which, should negotiations fall through, will up my annual compensation by a significant 30 percent. After the interview, which ended by 3pm, I met with Mader at Greenbelt 3, and stayed there until 7:45pm, when the zeester was to be picked up from her nearby office. That was almost five hours of... bumming around, consuming a ton of nicotine and balancing that (!) with fruit juice, bemoaning the lack of eye candy, watching the set-up for the Ayala Merchant Awards and Sybil doing a soundcheck. It was a whole lot of fun. I've been doing that a lot lately, bumming around: going on leave for interviews, half-days off to help with the preparations for that golden founding anniversary thingy, going home early to see the little boy, chatting 'til the wee hours of the morning, staying up to visit graveyard shifters or watch the American Idol and CSI replays, leaving home in the nick of time and sometimes actually being late for work (a rarity, for those who know my working hours and my supposed-morning-person-ness).

    Whereas I regularly log about 15 to 20 hours of overtime within a month, this month I've so far only logged two. I know that the lady in Sales is doing all she can to stop herself from wringing my neck because of an issue we have not yet resolved. There are outstanding items to which I haven't replied, something I could not have imagined myself doing a few months ago (yes, employee of the year and all that crap). Some aspects of work have definitely deteriorated and become bland for me; aside from the internet withdrawal symptoms, the eyestrain from countless hours in front of the monitor here and at home, the growing dependence on caffeine and nicotine, and the frequent trips to 7-Eleven for junk food trips, work has even become quite unhealthy. I would rather veg out in front of the TV or re-arrange my room yet again than work sometimes. Heck, most of the time.

    I know: I'm whining. And I'm bored. I sure hope it's just a phase that will dissipate soon. The thing is, for the past few years, I've let my work define me; and it goes against everything that I believe, in totality, in spirit. It doesn't help my self-esteem that my work pretty much sucks sometimes. [I believe] I'm underpaid but I haven't done anything concrete about it, until of course this series of interviews with IntlConsultingFirm. If anything, I've been complacent, mainly because I've grown accustomed to and comfortable with the motley blend of camaraderie, eccentricity, bellyaching and mirth that I experienced everyday here at StingyCo--Reg's antics, Pretty Girl's cute kasungitan, JP's obsessions, cigarette breaks with Direk. Sometimes a bright idea or a novel project comes along and I attack it with gusto, and at those times, I love my work. I would work without being paid... er, no, not really. They say that if you could find work that you love enough to do without getting paid and actually get paid for it would be perfection. Meanwhile, I find that to do the things that I would love to do, I still have to work the daily grind, and work hard at it. Come to think of it, it's not that bad--only, I have to remember that I am not my work, and I am much more than this.

    Things to remember when I'm feeling this way:
  • I am not my work.
  • Have I offered my workday to God today? If so, what is this crap I'm offering?
  • There is that exhilarating spark upon the completion of certain projects or tasks that makes me feel real (ala-Velveteen Rabbit).
  • Despite everything, this job keeps food on our table and SkyCable on our TVs.
  • Going on leave sometimes and just fooling around are essential to remaining sane.
  • Remaining sane is not essential to working, but rather is essential to enjoying life.
  • Despite all the whining, I know that it is in me to make the most of where I am and what I'm doing now. Sometimes I just forget.

    Last Song Syndrome : Leaving You Now - Session Road
    [Again, another song applicable to the little boy.]
  • Tuesday, April 05, 2005

    remembering the vinyl

    When I was a kid, we had a turntable (which self-respecting music lover didn't? so my dad had one). The turntable would alternate with the television; one of the two was always on. In between his LPs of Matt Monro, Engelbert Humperdinck, ABBA, and Shirley Bassey, they would play songs for me too. By the time I was in first grade, I had memorized the multiplication tables because of this series of 45s (the small vinyl records, with the bigger holes, the ones that you had to have that plastic attachment to play--I have to explain for the younger generation?), this series of 45s that each had 1 multiplication table. And so each day I would go through at least three numbers. It was pretty catchy, and up to now I can still recall that sing-song chanting of "six times one equals six"...

    Another album that they used to play was something like Children's Songs from Around the World. This song was one of my favorites, and at least by the time I was five, I knew what a solar plexus was:
    O Senor Don Gato was a cat.
    On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
    He was there to read a letter,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    where the reading light was better,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    'Twas a love-note for Don Gato!

    "I adore you," wrote the ladycat,
    who was fluffy white, and nice and fat.
    There was not a sweeter kitty,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    in the country or the city
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    and she said she'd wed Don Gato!

    O Senor Don Gato jumped with glee!
    He fell off the roof and broke his knee,
    broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    and his little solar plexus
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    "Ay Caramba!!" cried Don Gato.

    All the doctors they came on the run,
    just to see if something could be done.
    And they held a consultation,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    about how to save their patient,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    how to save Senor Don Gato.

    But in spite of everything they tried,
    poor Senor Don Gato up and died.
    No, it wasn't very merry,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    going to the cemetary,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    for the ending of Don Gato.

    But as the the funeral passed the market square,
    such a smell of fish was in the air,
    though the burial was plated,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    he became reanimated,
    - (meow, meow, meow)
    he came back to life, Don Gato!


    And so multiplication tables and a reanimated cat, not to mention a whole lot of ABBA, were an integral part of my formative years. Wonderful. I can see what that got me.

    Monday, April 04, 2005

    farewell, john paul ii

    In 1981, John Paul II made his first papal visit to the Philippines. My sister had just been born and looked like a little Caucasian siopao: we joked that the Santo Papa was her grandfather. During the World Youth Day celebrations, we camped out at Roxas to catch a glimpse of him and hear him say Mass.

    The world mourns the passing of a great man. It is the end of an era, and the Roman Catholic Church has lost one of its greatest Popes. Some say it was like losing a family member, a beloved patriarch. The Lord has called back his shepherd—we are all mortal, after all—but in the end, Karol Wojtyla became one of the world's greatest men, who became the staunch, reforming, unifying leader of a sometimes-wavering faith, and he will always be remembered as such. He was the only Pope I knew, and his impact on the church and on individual lives will be felt for ages to come.

    Last Song Syndrome : the Breakfast theme

    Saturday, April 02, 2005

    when it comes to little boys

    Sometimes it's hard but I think I'm learning: Don't expect. Don't assume. Don't give in. Don't let yourself fall.

    Had a good evening with the little boy. Made up for the fiasco yesterday. If I don't over-think, I actually have fun.

    Last Song Syndrome : that last Christina Milian (a.k.a. Linda Moon) song from Be Cool

    Thursday, March 31, 2005

    exspeak

    The ex-SO (N.) and I have been talking a lot lately. It really helps that he's purportedly in love with somebody else, and I don't feel his stalker tendencies anymore. I really didn't relish receiving alternately mushy and angry texts. Anyway, N. has fallen, apparently, for this girl Chinky. Chinky has a boyfriend, whom she tells N. she doesn't love anymore, but she can't seem to break up with him. She says she reciprocates N.'s feelings though.

    There must really be people like that, right? Those who can't break up with their significant others even if they've fallen out of love? It wasn't a problem with me, and N. won't let me forget it. Seems Chinky is the better person... or is she? I keep on wondering if she's really in like at least with N. Sometimes I feel like she's using him because she has a computer shop in their province and N. is her free technician. Today he passed by the computer store and a kikay store to get things for her because he's going to her province during his days off next week.

    Maybe it really is love, but if it is, why does it seem like she's stringing him along? Seems like it's just convenient. But that's just me. According to him, he's willing to wait--something he also told me before. I'm just really glad that he's not waiting for me anymore and that he's moved on, but somehow this strikes a chord of discontent, and wariness. I don't want him to get hurt again; but I'm glad that he's found this sliver of happiness. I can't say that I don't care for him anymore, and it's because of this that I hope that it's the real thing with Chinky. I really hope that she can own up to her emotions if she really wants to be with him, for both their sakes. Is she waiting for the two guys to fight over her? At this point in time, I still think of her as a sigurista though, and not worthy of N.'s devotion. But that's just me. Only the best for my (ex-)boy!

    idolmunatayo
    I agree with Simon Cowell. I find that I agree with him most of the time anyway. Scott (or Anthony) deserved to be eliminated more than Jessica, at least in my book. And peyborit Bo got his first bad comment from Simon, who thought Constantine (heaven forbid!) was better than Bo was. Bespren D (a.k.a. Constantine fangirl) is ecstatic.

    oliver
    ...is a freelance writer, a fan of the Whedonverse, a friend of the Amy, likes Celtic-inspired music (I think), and has this rocking drawing he's entitled Marleina. Read his alternatural thoughts.

    [The little boy? Is no more. I don't exactly enjoy his company right now. I'm glad we had that one meeting and I realized that although he has a lot of things going for him, he really doesn't do it for me cerebrally. And I think he has Attention Deficit Disorder, or maybe he just wasn't paying that much attention to me because I wasn't a GRO dudette--whose company he was enjoying one time when he wasn't answering any calls. Egad! This guy freaks me out now!]

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    words

    "Yes, there is something brutal and hurt inside of me, and I wander alone, refusing the cup of anger, choosing silence rather than angry words."
    - Marius the Blood Drinker, in Anne Rice's Blood and Gold

    Last Song Syndrome : Always on My Mind - Elvis Presley
    Am listening to the Practical Magic OST.

    Sunday, March 27, 2005

    just a few things before i turn in

  • Little Jelly Belly bags are now available pre-packed for about a hundred bucks. What fun looking at each individual Jelly Belly marker! I love almost all of the 20 flavors in this particular pack, except for coconut and licorice (white and black, how fitting). I'm still finishing up the pack right now, with a lot of pink stuff floating around (the absolute favorites: bubble gum, cotton candy and strawberry daquiri). The sugar-free version (which I should be munching on) is a little more expensive at PhP127.50. I wonder how sugar-free cotton candy will taste...
  • The clean-room project hit a snag because the mother-unit and zeester#2 started packing and looking for stuff. And now I'm back to around square 1.5 (because I did get some stuff done anyway).
  • Blasts from the past are sometimes all they're made out to be, but sometimes they're also confusing, as are strange little boys who murmur sweet nothings and then suddenly disappear...
  • Bye Mikalah! Zeester#1 was right about this elimination, while I was wrong about Bo Bice being in the bottom 3. Come on, if you're gonna be my favorite, stop singing Jim Croce songs!!!
  • Just got back from bringing the mother-unit and zeester#2 to the airport. I love driving at this time of day/night.
  • Finally, the Blue Paint Killer is nabbed on CSI. Gil finally gets his man. And it was really disturbing too. Talk about sordid.

    Adieu, adieu! I shall wake early this morn because we will go to Alabang and hide Easter eggs for the little nieces and nephews.

    Last Song Syndrome : Honey - Bobby Goldsboro
    Don't ask me... it was the last song playing on the radio on the way home.
  • Thursday, March 24, 2005

    maundy thursday musings

  • I don't wash other people's feet (figuratively) as often as I should. I believe I do my family's, but there is still always something more that can be done.
  • I have too many things. Objects. I think I find some form of comfort in these (e.g. when A and I broke up I went on a CD-binge, about 20 CDs in 2 weeks). I have to stop. I have countless books I still haven't read; and a ton of pDVDs I don't watch anymore. Today I'm going to try to purge some of the stuff. Let go and let God, probably!
  • If people don't need drugs medicinally, or for some form of escape, what do they need them for? How come some people cannot function without a fix? What if I were to try?
  • If I were to meet someone, I need a man, not (still) another boy.
  • I've started the filthy nicotine habit again. Stress, work-induced, as well as yet-another-little-boy-induced. Sigh.

    and now that i've started
    the purging, I've found one of my most beloved CDs, Sinead Lohan's No Mermaid. Nice music to declutter to.

    for the (yet-another) little boy
    Lift your head up out of your hands, love,
    I can't take you anywhere.
    Sometimes you give me all you've got to give me
    and sometimes you act like you don't care.

    - Don't I Know, Sinead Lohan

    Last Song Syndrome : Disillusioned - Sinead Lohan
    In agony we drew a circle with a stone.
    What's the colour of the raindance, I don't know.
    When it closes in, I know you'd rather be alone.
    In the day's disguise, night's howling at the moon.
  • Sunday, March 20, 2005

    a day of nothing

    Just finished reading a TWoP recap of the episode of C.S.I. that aired last Wednesday. I missed a certain part because G was taking full advantage of Sun's 24/7. Haha. Anyway, the episode (in which papa Gary D. was utterly yummy)... ANYWAY, the episode centered on an idyllic upper-class suburban community which engaged in sexual swap-meets. It was funny because I didn't realize that the family names used were family names from various sitcoms. The woman who dies in the episode is surnamed Keaton (Family Ties!), the party hosts are the Bradys (hee!) and another couple are the Cunninghams (Happy Days was before my time, but they showed reruns a few years ago which zeester#2 insisted on watching). Wasn't that fun? The other families daw were the Huxtables (Cosby Show!), the Seavers (Growing Pains!)... and I don't know who the Jeffersons and the Bunkers are... who's Archie Bunker anyway?

    Also watched Ocean's Twelve a little earlier. [Sidebar: Thanks to Dread Pirate Roberts (whose identity shall remain hidden), I'm still able to get my twice-monthly fix of -ahem- contraband, while not having to go out and brave the crackdown. A wee bit pricier but it's more convenient.] Anyway, Ocean's Twelve was a terribly fun movie, although I don't regret not watching it at the theater. Like Ocean's Eleven, which I just watched on HBO a year ago, I think. Everyone just seemed to be having so much fun; and of course, the added bonus of Vincent Cassel (squee!).

    I just realized I missed the first episode of Lost. I don't know what I was doing last Thursday night. Probably sleeping. Thank heavens for AXN's (and StarWorld's) weekend replays. Bravo!

    After meeting Dread Pirate Roberts, I brought zeester#2 to Ortigas and ran into uber-foul traffic on EDSA. Somewhere near EDSA-Crossing, the private cars' lanes merge into one (read and weep: ONE!) lane. Traffic was stopped up from Guadalupe onward. That was great, just great. I have so much time to waste, after all. On the way back, inspiration strikes and I decide to go to the mall. Ayala Center. With the second day of Double Midnight Madness. Madness it was, indeed. Picked up a couple of books but no main goal (shoes). Oh well. I was able to get a copy of Irish Girls About Town (seemed like fun reading), replacement copy of Einstein's Dreams (lost mine), A Brief History of The Celts, and a box of postcards for 300 bucks (15 bucks each for really pretty cards, not bad). Oh well.

    [Well actually, there's something. I feel like I'm being dragged deeper every day and I allow myself to be carried by the current, but I know that I'm setting myself up for a fall. But it's fun, this freefalling and not knowing. I'm weird like that. Cy told me to stay away from that particular crew. Sorry, Cy.]

    Last Song Syndrome : L'Appuntamento from Ocean's Twelve

    Sunday, March 13, 2005

    things to do at 2am

    ...when you're frantically applying updates to your antivirus and downloading anti-spyware because suddenly you can't connect to the internet...
  • listen to Mojofly, Kitchie Nadal days (even then I was in love with her voice)
  • replace grip on badminton racket, which had been put off for two months now, thank you
  • convince myself that there are neither intentions nor sparks between me and G
  • list down stuff to buy tomorrow (Irish Girls About Town, Phillips earphones with case, toilet paper, toothpaste)
  • think about starting to work on latest Factory freelance job
  • end up playing Warfare on AchTung Baby
  • blog for the first time in two weeks about (go back to top)

    Ah well. Such is life. Prevention is definitely better than having to go through all these (yes, JP, I have learned my lesson).

    Last Song Syndrome : Another Day - Mojofly
  • Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    i hate you for this, appleby!

    Appleby made me cry. A few months ago, Appleby started her new blog, Blink and You Miss a Beat. I wondered what 'detamble' meant. Appleby replies with, "It's from The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It's a wonderful book, you should read it." So I looked around Powerbooks for a copy and finally found one a couple of weeks ago, an early Valentine's gift to myself. And what a wonderful gift it was.

    I couldn't stop reading it at every possible non-working hour. Heck, I even read it while I was working, sneaking in a few lines every now and then. The Time Traveler's Wife hooks you into an intricate story told in simple yet poignant prose. The sci-fi nature of time travel is woven into a wonderful love story, and chrono-displacement becomes quite probable when placed in the context of everyday life. The laid-back narration of Henry and Clare's sojourn from either's point of view is deceiving: the story is wondrous and thrilling. It made you wonder about destiny, about chance, and about truth.

    I didn't know when I started crying, but it was through most of the last hundred pages. It was a great ending, but I didn't want the story to end. All that said, this is a wonderful book. I would recommend it to anyone, in love or not (that's me). It's a timeless (heh!) tale of loyalty and destiny, of love through and despite time.

    Monday, February 28, 2005

    sick and sin

    Honestly, I've been in denial about this. Her impending departure is always pushed to the back of my head, superseded by tons of work yet to be accomplished and various other concerns. But now there is no way to escape it--only three days to go and one more of my dearest friends will have left the Philippines.

    Bespren M and I have known each other since we were classmates in Prep. That's more than twenty years, more than three-fourths of our lives. More than four-fifths even. Bespren M and I have been through thick and thin, through sick and sin. And now she is leaving, for the land Down Under. Maybe my feeble, sentimental emotional center cannot process the fact that she will be gone for at least two years, and maybe, just maybe, forever. I think I cannot bear the thought of her not being a (local) phone call away on weekends; of not being able to meet up for a shopping date when we're both playing hooky. She will be Gone.

    I am not giving her up for dead, of course not. But it seems that an invisible chain is broken, a chain that was built by being minutes away, a phone call apart. We are still a phone call apart, but Sunday lunch and three-hour conversations are now out of the question. I will miss her terribly, but I know that this is all for the best. Come to think of it, the invisible chain is not broken--instead it's just stretched really far. I will not allow it to be broken, and I hope she will neither.

    staying here
    M is leaving on the second day of March. We will not celebrate her birthday together this year. I am left with the other twin, Bespren J, who is equally dear, and my closest friend, who is also setting her sights on leaving. It seems my friends are leaving me one by one, and I am left here, bereft at times, fending off forms of loneliness, glad that they are in better places, but steadfastly holding on to a hope that my mother country will become a better place. Am I desperate in holding on to a hopeless cause?

    Saturday, February 26, 2005

    one week

    For a while there, we didn't have internet access at StingyCo and we thought that it really was going to live up to its name. It was mentioned that only higher-level officers would be given access. Of course I should have more faith in the fact that I belong to the department that is actually in charge of the internet access (although I don't do that kind of work); internet access was restored, but unfortunately, work had piled up due to the holiday. Merit increases were also given, and I'm glad that I wasn't one of those who only got three-digit increases (yes, Virgina, there is a StingyCo). We mustn't be compared to other branches in the region, whom, it was pointed out, didn't even get increases. Their cost of living doesn't increase ever so significantly every year. Sigh.

    to hell and back
    I don't care what critics may say, I thoroughly enjoyed Constantine. I wasn't moved to be more pious in my non-practiced Catholic faith, but I had a great time watching. The background mythos of it all was quite interesting and though I've never read a Hellblazer comic, I just might look around for someone to lend me some. It's most interesting to note that the John Constantine of the comic was actually based physically on Sting. Hehe.

    The twists and turns (never mind the plot-holes) were interesting, and there were some literally-almost-jump-out-of-your-seat scenes; the casting of Tilda Swinton at her androgynous best was wonderful; and then we got to see Papa Gavin (Rossdale, squee!). And I love Rachel Weisz. Totally. Wasn't able to see the final scene after the credits, but a lot of people have graciously posted what it was, so I didn't see the need to see the movie again. Does Keanu have a new franchise? Will he ever learn to act? Ah, we'll see.

    wine as a metaphor for life
    Virginia Madsen will probably not win the Oscar Best Supporting Actress for what A.O. Scott of the New York Times called the most overrated films of the year. Sideways was an intriguing, thinking movie; it didn't seem poised for commercial success but they were able to build up the hype. Meanwhile, Paul Giamatti's portrayal of a depressed wine-lover and Thomas Haden Church's non-hatable cad were also wonderful. Maleen left the theater feeling heavy because she had channeled Giamatti's depression; meanwhile, it didn't do any good for my contempt for most members of the opposite sex. Heh.

    mathilde et manech
    Superb. This is a gem of a movie, half-romance, half-war mystery. A lot of familiar faces provide Audrey Tautou support, and the visuals are wonderful, but what was most significant was the experience of watching Mathilde labor through her search for Manech, doubting sometimes but knowing always that her love was still alive. It's a movie about hope, something that we could use a lot of these days.

    my newest godchild
    ...is DnA's son, who turns two months old on Wednesday. Welcome to the Christian world, Mari Alejandro. Your parents are blessed to have you; and you are blessed to be born into a family (and a god-family) filled with love.
    Ali's baptism

    Last Song Syndrome : Drift Away - Bo Bice's version