Monday, December 31, 2007
Yoi Otoshi Wo

An hour and a half to go until the year ends on this side of the world, and there is only one resolution I can stand by, which is to blog more often. The problem is that by the day's end, I'm too drained to wring out any coherent thoughts from my dried-up mind. In fact, it's been so long since I've sat down and put the feelings I've accumulated into written form. To think that I sort of prided myself for being able phrase things in ways that some find impressive. Oh well...that is the reason for this post anyway, to get back on the old horse. Lyn (who is fast asleep) and I decided to skip the traditional countdown to the new year and just kick back and relax for now. We can always drink our wine some other day. So here I am, finding a rare window of opportunity to post.

As for work, there is no other better way to explain how I feel other than just coming out with it. This was not what we came here for. We were told that we were to be management trainees yet all we do is just work for the sake of it. It was impressed upon us that our current duties would lead up to a certain career path, but we have slowly realized that this is just a job, and nothing more after the year is over. We have emailed our manager about our concerns, but his half-hearted ambigious answers offer me little reassurance on their long-term plans for us.

If I wanted to work, I would have stayed back home because what we're getting now is almost the same as I was earning before we came here. I could get paid the same and not have to be away from my son for so long. Technically though, we aren't compensated as employees since we're trainees on allowance. They led us to think that our difficult "training" now would result in a better position and of course better pay in the future. After all, nothing worthwhile in the long run is attained so quickly. That is why I agreed to supposedly train here (and earn the same for now) so that my hard work now would result in greener pastures later on. Yet, they just left us to our own devices to do the same thing over and over under the guise of training. I don't believe that it's culture behind this puzzling lack of guidance on their part. Any company around the world would at least set certain goals and a timetable for their trainees. As for us, we don't even have a single tangible piece of documentation to let us know what the hell is going to happen to us after (let alone a verbal explanation). Painful as it is to say, I traded one dead end for another.

But as Lyn has told me, it is really up to us to make the most our stay here so that our time away from Dan will be worth it. Even if the company truly has no plans to make us managers after this, our tenure here will still translate to weighty credentials for our resumes later on. Since immersion is the best kind of learning, our increased language proficiency is another asset that we'll inevitably have when our contract ends. Honestly, staying positive is an uphill battle, but it's getting easier with each passing day, even I might get burned out occasionally.

There many other insights and observations I've had about some of the people I work with and with my experience here in general, but that can wait for tomorrow. I just wanted to get back into the motions of writing again and knock something loose in the old noggin to get the juices flowing again, so to speak.

May you all have a happy new year, and I wish that 2008 will turn the tide for all of us. Next up, thoughts on snow (it just started yesterday), work and foodblogging :)
Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When daddy looks at the sunset, he wonders if you see the same one as well. As the sun dips into the horizon, daddy thinks about you and asks himself if you're doing fine over there. He remembers the time when he raised his voice at you not because you were misbehaving, but because he was just tired and impatient. Daddy still remembers how you only flinched and didn't cry because you're a brave little boy. It was just like the time when you were sick at the hospital and didn't throw a fit as they pricked you with the IV needle. It's those memories that makes daddy recall all the times when he could have been more understanding.

And now daddy wishes he could kiss you goodnight but he can't because you're there and he's here. He misses you so much that he even dreamt that he was carrying you in his arms with your head resting on his shoulder. Daddy wishes that he could pick you up and tell you that he loves you but he can't because there are oceans and seas keeping him away from you. He doesn't open your pictures on his computer because they're too painful for him to look at. It reminds him how far away you are and can't be with him for now. But daddy's trying his best to be strong and not come undone from the pain of not being with you. Someday, he hopes you'll understand why he left you, and not hate him for doing so. Will you still remember daddy when he finally sees you again?
Worlds Apart

It hasn't totally sunk in that I'm actually here, in a foreign country that I've wanted to go to for the longest time. Being cooped up at work for 11 hours a day doesn't make me feel that I'm in Japan. All I know is that I'm just somewhere far away from Dan and won't get to see him until next year. Every day without him is another thorn in my chest. I hope they allow Dan to come over even for just a little while, or least let Lyn go home with the manager (for an export meeting tentatively scheduled next January or February). There are times at night when we come home from work and I look up to the sky, forgetting for a few moments that I'm all the way here. I look away and I suddenly remember that I'm far, far away from my little boy. The most difficult part of the day is in the morning because that's when I think about Dan the most. Is he happy, content, well-fed, safe and warm?

Now I know what it means to die a just a little more as each day passes by. Each day is another one spent without my child. Even before I left, I knew it would be difficult to be apart from Dan in order to further my career, and ultimately secure his future. But as it turns out, anticipating the storm and actually being in middle of its eye are two very different things. It pains me to think that I can't be there for him now. I hope he thanks me for doing this and not resent me instead. The only thing I can do now is make the most of my stay here so they make me manager or at least upgrade my training visa into a working one. Then I would earn more, which is the entire point of being here. Then it would be worth leaving Dan behind for so long. Otherwise, all the hurt I'm going through will have been for nothing.

I have no other option but to succeed.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I was planning to sit down and revise my earlier post about our stay here, but I can't muster enough brainpower to write any further. In the meantime, pics can be viewed here.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Dansu Wo Shiteiru

Saturday, September 22, 2007
Nihon At Last

We finally made it after more than a year in the making. Looking back, the delay was just about right since it gave us time to prepare for our departure. Of course, the toughest part is leaving Dan behind. Hopefully we can negotiate for him to stay here with us, or at least come over for the holidays this December. We bought yahoo credit so we can call home from time to time and check on Dan.

What's happened so far:

9/19: Our original flight the day before was cancelled on account of a typhoon blowing through the Taipei region, so we had to come back. The NAIA staff was pretty strict with each passenger's checked in and handcarried luggage weight limit which is 20 kg and 7 kg respectively. Since we previously exceeded the checked in limit by 100%, a lot of rearranging was done but we still went a bit over the maximum amount. After we had DIL take a lot of stuff back home, we finally passed the first step but not without pissing me off. I calmed down by the time we took off for the first leg of our journey. We stopped over at the Taipei aiport for a few hours to take a connecting flight to Hiroshima. Touchdown in Japan was about 8:30 PM local time and we proceeded to have a bit of dinner with our new boss, staff member and a Filipino friend who arrived here a year before us. The place we're staying at is not bad at all, here are some videos:

part 1:

part 2:

part 3:


This was a busy day. We drove over to the the main office (which was an hour from our place) for a short meeting with the sacho (president). For a man of his rank, he seemed like a very simple man who was down to earth and talked to us very politely. As best as I could decipher from our conversation, he wants to eventually help him with exporting stuff from home to here. From what I understood he'll arrange to upgrade our training Visas to working ones after a year. We could negotiate for Dan to stay with us by then, but then we also have to request for him to come over during the summer because it might not be feasible to do so by December. After all, I can't bear not to see him for a whole year. They've been pretty accomodating so far so I think there's a good chance for that to push through.

Sadly I don't have much pictures of the sights yet, but I have a year to go so there's plenty of time for that. After that, we headed over to city hall to get registered for an alien certificate and open a bank account. It was off to the grocery (called "supaa", or supermarket for short). The food here is expensive but the electronics is cheap.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Just Messin' Around

*courtesy of the bonus disc that came along with my Terminator 2 DVD (courtesy of my friend who shipped it all the way from Las Vegas):

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Your flesh is a relic, a mere vessel. Hand over your flesh and a new world awaits you. We demand it.

Mechanical Artificial Repair and Killing Organism

*Get Your Cyborg Name

Monday, August 13, 2007
Has it been 4 years ago??

I took these with my old faithful Olympus which was brand new back then. My friend made a video with a soundtrack and here is the result:

Sunday, August 12, 2007
Melancholic Emo Drama

If only I could use hindsight during an eye exam or when driving at night, but alas it only serves to remind me of all the times I could have been a better person to the people around me. If I could go back in time, would I really want to? Probably, if only to seize the opportunities when I could have done the right thing.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Updates, yo

My masters have been less than pleased with my recent slump in overall performance which comprises attendance and whatnot. It's been a while since I got chewed out that good. So much so that I'm anticipating a denied request for leave I had planned at the month's end. Oh well, what's an errant phone monkey to do right? To be fair though, I have been pulling 11 and 13 hour shifts over the past two weeks, and while I have been late often, I haven't been absent in over a month. But I know when I'm wrong. Hopefully, my masters will put greater weight on my good traits over my less than desirable ones and grant permission for leave.

The only thing that bums me out is that I was probably made trainer only once because of my said lackluster attendance records. A while back I was made to train a couple of agents who needed a bit of help but that seems to be more and more like a one-shot deal. And to think the boss personally talked to me about handing me this new task (well it was an online conversation but that's as personal as it gets as we're continents apart). I don't know if they just don't need to train anyone for now or they just got someone else who slacks off less than I do. While I had to give up the privilege of not physically commuting to work, I liked the feeling of breaking the monotony of my usual routine and actually relished in an added sense of responsibility.

Ah well, them's the breaks I suppose.

Moving on! Speaking as a member of the non-athletic subspecies of humanity, it's mighty easy to get into badminton. I'm talking about the casual, freestyle, just-for-shits-and-giggle kind and not the professional type of play. Lyn and I have enlisted our next door neighbor and BIL (who usually get together to drink more than anything else) to join us in our bi-weekly (or tri-weekly, God and my wallet permitting) sessions. It feels good to sweat out your stress and other hangups over a nice one or two hour game.

I don't know if the scale at the local grocery is broken or what, but I think the readings show a drop in my weight faster than what I was expecting. I had weighed myself before and after a month of playing, and the results took me by surprise. I'm going back to getting weighed soon but my parents did say I trimmed down a bit since my belly wasn't as obvious as before. All I can say is that marginal improvement is better than none. Who knows - if I keep at it, I'll lose enough to look like I did before enlisting for the sedentary life of a drone of the digital empire. Not that it was anything like rippling musculature back then, but I certainly felt better about how I looked before.

Oh, Kastigo's album launch last week went very well. Hopefully I can post videos and pictures here once decent videos surface and Dad emails his snapshots over. But that's all for now.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
The Anti-Me's Vehicle of Choice

I only wish I had thought of this first :)

cartoon from

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.
Friday, July 06, 2007
The Simpsons Me

If I ever become famous and they ask me to be a guest on the show, this would be my image and likeness in their universe.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The Anti-Me

* idea ripped off from a random forum

I am a successfully established man of substance who makes all the right decisions (read: DISKAAAARTE) and never gets flustered or confused. I know what exactly to say or do in any given situation, all my moves are slick as owlshit. I'm a badass that can hold his own against a fight and can take on anyone, anytime, and anywhere. I'm an asshole who doesn't give a shit that he is one and everyone else is too afraid to point it out. I like talking about basketball, politics and other manly things with my big shot friends who equal my machismo, preferably over 20 cases of beer. We like to gather around and talk about how much we rule and share other grand tales of testosterone.

Additionally, I am also an accomplished musician who excels in guitar and the drums. I belong in a kickass rock band whose songs offer a mix of thought-provoking lyrical content with a smattering of all-around heaviness. I am confident, sociable and outgoing - not to mention hip, young, and fresh. I am a specimen of physical prowess, my stamina is nigh inexhaustible and hardly break a sweat during the most rigorous of sport activities. My preferred look when leaving the house is sporting the biggest pair of aviator shades, a fauxhawk (because a mohawk would be too inconvenient), a shirt with a popped collar, and pre-torn, pseudo faded jeans.

Shows like Heroes and Firefly and The Office are too much for me to handle since it requires some thought to appreciate them so I'd rather watch other people's self-important, manufactured drama which is commonly referred to as reality shows. There's one show in particular that I can't enough of and most of its viewers know nothing about references it makes to the George Orwell book that its namesake is taken from. Nothing passes off for entertainment better than people lying around in a house doing the most inane things conceivable by man.
Thank goodness I don't have to stretch my neck over the neighbor's fence to hear them fight, all I have to is turn on the TV and I can actually see inside another person's house to endlessly scrutinize everything they do since I am the paragon of perfection. And don't forget the babes in the show, nothing like a little T & A to boost viewership eh? Not only are we rubberneckers, we're also voyeurs!
Most importantly, this post makes sense to everyone else but me. There are many other things that define who I am, but they escape me at the moment so this coherent organization of thoughts is far from finished.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Fantastic Four

All in all, F4 was a great popcorn flick since I watched it for the effects and the humor, not for depth or emotional attachment. It had great action sequences loaded with CGI, especially when the Torch did a Peter Petrelli and kicked Doom's butt. Of course he's ambigiously dead yet again, hopefully in store for the third movie (if there will be, but I have a strong feeling there will be).

Effects-wise, they did a pretty good job with Ben's rocky skin. It gave an appearance of a hard yet malleable texture which allowed subtle creases and folds to match the Thing's facial expressions. I was watching The Mask last night, and it just occured to me that Jim Carrey's stretchy legs during his dance number with Cameron Diaz were way more beliveable than Reed's arms during his respective performance. Are dance sequences a new prerequisite for superhero movies? Personally, it should be the opposite and should even be prohibited by international law because they only serve to make me cringe.

There were a few more things I didn't like, with Galactus being on top of the list. I'm the millionth guy to complain about him, but it's not because he was depicted as a giant, swirling cosmic cloud instead of a giant man in purple tights (as in the comics). Rather, it's one particular scene building up to his arrival where he casts a shadow over Saturn. Even casual readers of Marvel will be quick to point out that its shape is undoubetdly that of his (again, comic version) head. Why bother if they weren't going to actually show Galactus as he appeared in the comics? It felt like a slap in the face of the collective fanbase. Was it a cruel joke or were they basically saying "sorry fans, this is the best we could do since we didn't have the time and/or budget"? And what was the point of the Torch paying for airfare if he was gonna fly outside the damn plane (aside from pandering to the Chris Evans fans)?

Wasn't it pretty obvious to the US military that Doom wasn't just going to observe the Silver's Surfer's board? Geez, they were going to accompany him "under armed guard" and didn't see a betrayal coming? Whatever. And what was up with Jessica Alba's orange skin? Her natural tone was fine, were they trying too much to make her look caucasian?

The funniest bits throughout were the scenes with the Thing and the Torch. Being that Johnny's vain, it was pretty hilarious seeing him temporarily switch powers with Ben, rocky but with hair. I also laughed when Ben scared the bear away and told him off after it left. Chris Evans still has the best lines, this time laced with some innuendo (Torch asking Thing about his girlfriend: "So, uh, how do u guys, uh you know..."). The acting between Reed and Sue felt pretty wooden though. What were supposed to be meaningful emotions shared between the couple kinda fell flat.

Otherwise, F4 was really entertaining as a whole and I got what I paid for.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Fancy me getting sick just a bit after my goddamn health card ran out. I'm sure I'll able to cough up the 2 grand that I don't fucking have for a doctor and medication.

That is all.
Sunday, June 03, 2007

I first dreamt that I was taking Dan out of the hospital and needed money, so I picked up Jamir and we drove somewhere. We pulled over because he thought he knew the owner of a nearby parked car. He got down and I followed him after I parked the car. Upon entering the house, it was my mom and sister inside asking me to watch TV. Then I found myself in another dream.

My dad decided to come home and live with my mom again. She was already in the bedroom with him and they were unpacking. But they were in this house (the in-laws), and not our home in Paranaque. My dad said he was going to give me some money which was hidden inside an alarm clock. After that I dreamt I had Peter Petrelli's abilities and was being chased by someone whom I assume was Sylar. I was passing through walls and stopping time to avoid Him. My powers stopped working suddenly right after I teleported somewhere far away. Then I ended up in our home in Paranaque, trying to convince our pediatrician of the things I could do when time suddenly stopped by itself and everything went dark. Feeling scared, I walked across the room alone and tried to turn on the bathroom light to see myself in the mirror. It didn't switch on but I knew it was my reflection.

Finally, I went into the other room and saw my parents tied up in bed. I freed the gag from my Dad's mouth. Lyn and Dan was lying in the next bed. I removed the hankerchief from Lyn's mouth and she said, "si Dan unahin mo, malapit na syang mamatay". So I untied Dan and he smiled wickedly at me, occuring to me then that it was Sylar only pretending. I said "gotcha" and threw him away before he shapeshifted. The sound of the alarm went off in my dream, reminding me that it wasn't real. I was mostly relieved but felt a bit cheated too because the confrontation with my antagonist didn't happen.
Friday, June 01, 2007
It's really useless to explain why Borat sucks (and is just as annoying as Cohen's other character Ali G) because talking about it generates more publicity. Instead, here's a bit of great news I watched today:

Borat gets punched in the face. Repeatedly.

It would be great to see him act like an annoying little twat in the most depressed ghettos of America. Let's see him piss off the gangbangers on the streets, I would pay to see his obnoxious ass get shot. He could make like Bruce Willis in Die Hard 3 and wear a "I hate niggers" sign while walking down the streets of Harlem. Now that's the kind of offensive comedy I would call brilliant. I get the whole social-commentary-slash-getting-bigots-and-chauvinists-to-expose-their-flawed-arguments bit, but I didn't see any of that when he was breaking shit in that eldery couple's shop (and offering a pubic hair as payment) nor when he was purposely being an ignorant and obnoxious asshole on that news show. It felt like he was just after a cheap laugh. The guys from Jackass harass people and it's funny becuase they don't make any pretentions of anything beyond a cheap laugh.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Long Overdue

I've been trying to post about the stuff that's been going on lately but I've had what's typically called as “writer's block”. However, “laziness” is more accurate. We just came from a massage and I think the heavy-handed lady knocked something loose because I genuinely feel like rambling as I usually do when the need to vent arises.

*Anyway, two weeks ago a driver plowed the (tough) front end of his jeepney right into our rear-end at the Imperial intersection in Antipolo. At the time we were canvassing for resorts within the vicinity to celebrate DIL and a cousin's birthday (they share the same date). Lucky for us the traffic enforcer stationed at the stoplight saw everything so it was pretty much an open-and-shut case. We went through the usual drill of filing a police report at the nearest precinct and pressed the guy to shoulder the cost of repairs since it was obviously his fault. It boiled down to him shelling out one-third of the total cost while I paid the rest under a written and signed agreement that he would settle the remaining balance by the end of May. NOT to my surprise, he's asking me to cut him a little slack when I called to remind him yesterday. I guess it's mean of me to pressure him to pay up but I was the one inconvenienced, not him. Realistically speaking, it's a financial loss I can absorb, but I was supposed to use that money to replace the upper arm suspension, and I was on my way to buy the parts on the same day of the accident no less.

*Going back to that massage we had, it definitely helped me clear my thoughts and loosen me up some. Right up to the time we walked in, I wasn't having a great day. Lyn and I were out driving under the sun during a typical summer day with the car's air conditioner out of order YET again. We were doing errands and part of our to-do list was my least favorite thing in the world which was to pay the phone bill at the local PLDT business office. Let me just sidetrack for a moment to say that this particular office has given me nothing but grief with their incompetent staff and useless supervisor. About half a year ago, I had made a direct request with these morons to increase my bandwidth from 1.6 to 2.2 Mbps since that was the advertised speed on their site that matches the rate I'm paying. It actually hit as high as 2.0 right before Milenyo passed- after that the speed's been screwed up ever since. So the ineffectual rep at the office had no idea what I was talking about but was quick to give me their boss' direct phone number which he NEVER picked up during the numerous attempts I made trying to reach him in vain.

*With that said, my asshole factor was exponentially increasing with each passing minute and the trip to the spa really did the trick. I had requested the hefty lady to spend just a little bit more time on my feet, and she complied a little too zealously. With my belly flat on the mat, she positioned each foot with my soles (obviously) facing upwards and proceeded to knead from heel to toe with her knuckles. The oil she applied made it painfully easy for her to grind my arches and soles which made me whimper just a bit, regretting I made the request at all. She explained that “madaming lamig sa paa nyo”. I never really understood the concept of “lamig” (which literally means “cold”) and unfortunately I don't know how to explain that in English (“your feet have cold spots”? WTF?). Is there even an equivalent term for that in western medicine? By the time she was done it felt like the blood vessels in my feet had burst but surprisingly felt better just a few minutes after. Whatever she did, the tension went away and I stepped out of their office with a clear mind. It was around 6:00 PM and the drive home was pleasant as the sun had just left and the full, round moon was hanging over the cloudy, orange-tinted sky . The city lights in the horizon were coming on one at time like they always do during that time of the day – it couldn't have been more picturesque and surreal even if I wanted to.

*I just read a review on Spider-Man III and am now irreversibly tainted with a preemptive bias when I eventually see it. Sort of like how reading the 300 comic book in advance was a basically a trip to spoilerland and ruined the movie for me.

*It's been said that our perpetual inner critic will keep us from being truly satisfied with our own work. I guess that's true when I think about the stuff I've (professionally) written and it leaves me wondering whether I had so many assignments a while back solely due to my sister or because they actually liked my work after she got my foot in the door. I suppose I have to give myself a least bit of credit and go with the latter because this is my space after all (pun intended, I have an attention-whorish account on that site). Now that sis has left the company, I'll have to make it on own steam should I choose to pursue that sideline. I've left messages with my contacts at the various magazines I've written for, asking if they need me for new features. Nothing yet so far.
Monday, April 30, 2007
One shouldn't feel compelled to write a blog post, but here goes anyway. So the Japan plan has been moved back even further. At this point, I wonder if we're even going at all. Word from the grapevine is that the Japs have decided that we are the last Filipinos they're gonna send over and stick to their prevous Chinese workforce instead. I suppose all the hoops from the red tape has worn their patience thin.

Had a few drinks with the Palmera boys last night. We started around 6PM and as usual I left the earliest which was around 9:30; God knows what time they packed up. It was fun pinballing from various topics ranging from horse racing to politics to spiderman etc etc. We got bills up the wazoo and have just enough to cover them. And by "enough" I mean gone in a blink of an eye. Well I suppose we'll still be able to catch Spidey 3 this week. Unless we have tickets reserved, I'm sure as hell aint gonna battle it out with the crowds on opening day.
Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tech Lust

I've had my eye on the Gameboy Micro and Gameboy Advance SP for some time now. I'm feeling conflicted over which one I should get. Advance SP has a bigger screen and a clamshell design (added screen protection) but needs an extra accessory to use standard headphones with it. On the other hand, Micro boasts a sleeker design, looking like a modern version of the beloved Game and Watch. It has a smaller (but reportedly sharper) screen of 51 mm (or 2 inches) compared to 74 mm (or 2.9 inches) for the GBA. It's basically a clash of form over function.
Of course Micro is prettier, but is the smaller screen and lack of screen protection (clamshell design) worth it? It does have a built in slot for standard headphones, but I'm wondering if it will be easier playing games on it. I've read about minor gripes about the mushier feel the control pad and the other buttons buttons have during gameplay. There are a couple of negligible things about Micro that don't bother me, namely that it can't play old Gameboy and Gameboy color games and that it's pricier by about 200Php. I guess the only way to decide which is best is by trying out both versions at the store.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
There's this public service ad on TV preaching that voting is a way to change the state of things in the country. It went as far as implying that it could create a ripple effect of stopping the flow of workers going overseas for employment. "Nagpapaalipin sa dayuhan" (to be slaves of foreigners) is how they put it. Well that's quite lofty to say so. Working for a company here is just a local version of corporate slavery. No matter how you look at it, it still means being under the heel of somone higher up in the food chain; the color their skin is irrelevant. It sort of struck a chord with me since I'm due to fly off and work abroad before the year ends.

For sure, the right to vote to is something the people before us fought long and hard for. But my inner cynic tells me that voting now isn't really going to change a whole lot since the whole thing is probably gonna be rigged anyway. And don't even get me started on the idiocy of block voting.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
The Musical Se7en Tag

Here's something interesting courtesy of E. It's a welcome diversion from the usual angsty stuff that plagues this site. The task at hand is to post seven songs and/or albums along with a brief description for each. It's optional to post a picture or link for the song/album but I put a little twist and posted a video instead.

Dig by Incubus

This song could be interpreted in many ways, and I have two takes on it. The first is that we all need someone to hang to for support in some way or another, and that there is at least one person in our lives that keeps us in check and safe from harm. On the other hand, the lyrics could have been the thoughts of a needy and overly dependent partner involved in a one-way disfucntional relationship. I'd rather go with the former though.

War Pigs by Black Sabbath

I was a Sabbath head back in high school and suddenly felt a twitch of nostalgia these past few days (hence this pick). I caught up with old times by putting a bunch of their songs on my iPod, and it really took me back. Hearing the opening riff of this song reminded me who I was as a teenager and how much I've changed (in both good and bad ways). It was somewhat of a dark period for me back then so this song kind of reflected and channeled the pointless and unecessary angst I felt at the time. It's funny to think that most people don't have what I took for granted back then, and there I was moping around feeling like I was the butt of a cosmic joke.

Before I Forget by Slipknot

This is a great effort on the band's part to evolve musically and try new things. Sticking to the winning formula isn't for them I guess, and this song still has the maggot heads banging.

Green Tinted Sixties Mind by Mr. Big

For those of my age, there has to have been one point in their lives that they listened to glam rock. This album (Lean Into it) was one of the first cassettes I owned and still listen to them now. I remember first playing this on my old faithful walkman in the sixth grade during one of the most memorable, carefree summers of my life.

Himlaya by Kastigo

A great song by a relatively new band depicting images plucked out of a dream and put into music. Hopefully one of many groups out there that will bring balance to the local music scene plagued with watered down pop drivel. This live clip doesn't do them justice so I've added an mp3 version of their live performance at Hit FM 99.5 some time ago.

Maybe by N.E.R.D.

Pharrell may look like a stereotypical rapper but there's more to his music than the customary bling that I would have steered clear of in a different context. Instead of using samplers, DJs, and what have you, they use a live band instead and that's just cool. I guess I'm just biased about making music, but it's harder work to play instruments than flipping some switches. Ironically, what really drew me to the band (aside from the live factor) was the trademark synthesizer and keyboard riffs. Besides, I've always had a thing for rock that draws heavily from funk, just like Incubus was back in the day.

Metropolis by Dream Theater

The studio version is great, but crowd's reaction to the live performance is better. As I said before, you don't know the meaning of PRO until you see the whole clip.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Here are some new pics for this month. These ones were from Dan's recognition day, which is sort of like his graduation from prenursery.

They were dancing to "Happy Together" by the Turtles. Dan started doing their rehearsed routine, but then the tag in his shirt was bothering him so he just fiddled with it (as seen in the picture) until the song ended. So much for all that time spent on practice :) Anyway, he did better than the other boys who just stood there the whole time; the girls did quite well I might add.

Here's Dan accepting his certificate.

Family shot :)

We headed to Grilla @ Antipolo afterwards. I'll have whatever the gorilla was smoking, thanks.

We went home to have a few drinks afterwards with Mechille from PNKC and Takashima-san, our nihongo sensei. I think I was doing "Bohemian Rhapsody" in this one.

Dan had a party at home for the kids in the neighborhood. He loves Thomas the Tank Engine so we made a little backdrop for him. I would have added a few more things to it but there wasn't enough time.
Monday, March 19, 2007
Just some overdue pics from our recent activities in the past month. We brought Dan to the PACEM Eco-Park in Assumption Antipolo and he enjoyed seeing all the animals over there.
Wikipedia states that this animal, called the Cassowary, was voted by Guiness as the world's most dangerous bird. Apparently, it's capable of disemboweling a human with a single kick from its strong legs and sharp claws on its feet. The theory is that this is a genetic descendant of the Velociraptor (probably in line with the hypothesis that birds came from dinosaurs) since their feet and legs share a strong resemblance with one another. If the other sources I've checked are correct, the cassowary can also jump up to five feet in the air and are good swimmers too. In a video I saw, a zookeeper said that they are known to sneak up on their prey and stab them in the back with its claws and proceed to eat them alive.
Of course I didn't know all that when we came upon this creature at the zoo. My family and I were right in this bird's face with just a low fence between us, thinking it was just a harmless relative of the ostrich (which it is by the way). The only reason why I looked it up online was that it honked at us after it noticed we were gawking at it. Although "honk" isn't really as accurate description compared to "an unearthly, guttural bellow as it parted its beak nice and wide". Pauline could have sworn she saw the soundwaves coming out of its mouth as it screeched at us. When I read about how nasty this bird could be, I was a bit shocked since we were standing so close to it at the time, unaware of what it could do.

Here's one with Lyn and Dan by the bridge. The view is way better than what you can see here. From where I was standing, the path really makes a vague U-shaped downward slope then goes uphill again after bridge (which was sort of the midpoint).

Dan developed an interest in birds because they were studying it in school but the monkeys also got his attention at the zoo. He got a kick out of watching them climb and eat their food. He liked the baby monkey in particular probably because it was the cutest of the bunch, nibbling its meal.
This spot was unoccupied until the caretaker threw some food on the ground and these guys swamped the place in a matter of seconds.
It's nice how clear this shot came out. The camera's taking some blurry pics even if it's perfectly is 4 years old though.

At the entrance with my family, wearing my blog's namesake :)
Monday, March 05, 2007
Which Hero Are You?

Before you start scratching your head, educate yourself by clicking here and here. I can imagine I'm like most of the others that watch the show who would rather be Hiro, but this is still cool nonetheless.

Mr. Bennet (click here)
You scored 50 Idealism, 45 Nonconformity, 58 Nerdiness

Are you on the list?

Congratulations, you're Mr. Bennet! You are one mysterious person with mysterious motives. Despite all the mystery, it's clear that you believe what you do is for the greater good, and you are obviously a well-educated person in your field.

Your best quality: Dedication to your work/organization/etc.
Your worst quality: Keeping too many secrets
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Have a Nice Day

I suppose it would be petty for me to be pissed that most of the money I worked for last cut-off was used to pay the DSL bill... so I can work some more. Never mind spending on frivolus things like my son's milk and diapers, or food to last us until the end of the month. Not exactly something that will make me spring out of bed and yell "I'm ready" right before I start my shift right? Right.

Oh well, rules are rules I suppose; after all, I'm merely the agent that is the lifeblood of the business. Perish the thought that I'm upset. Oh no not at all. That would be incerdibly petty of me. I have had plenty of shit sandwiches to eat, so what's another bite, right?
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Happy Valentines to everyone :) Three consecutive non-angry posts must be a sign of progress for me. Anyways, this song right here ("Dig" by Incubus) fits today quite nicely.


If I turn into another
Dig me up from under
What is covering the better part of me

Sing this song!
Remind me that we'll always have each other
When everything else is gone.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Happy new year to all :) It's been so busy I've only gotten around to post now. I can't believe they're actually publishing the crap I'm writing in a frenzied rush. To date, I've had three articles published (or four if you're counting the two separate features in the second magazine I wrote for) and a new one I hammering out to make the Valentine's deadline. I'm still seeing how long I can get away with my current work ethic. If I relied on writing as a means of livelihood, I'd be out on the street. Case in point: I'm still waiting for the complimentary copy from Maxim because I'm too flat-ass broke to buy my own copy. In fact, I'm hemming and hawing over how much they changed my final draft, and whether I've finally made a fool of myself with that last article (unless I've already become a laughing stock with my earlier stuff and don't realize it yet). The little money I get out of it doesn't hurt at all, but it's honestly more for the gratification of seeing my name and stuff printed in glossy format.
It's late...I hope work doesn't get too busy tomorrow so I can finally get this sucker done before my shift ends.