Monday, March 29, 2004

I Just Had to Put This Here...

Carver Carl, in a recent blog entry, enjoins his readers to take a good look at blogging behavior. I'm enjoining you, Gentle Reader, to give his site and article a look-through. He asked for responses: here's mine.

I wrote about this very thing in a few early blog entries. Courts could in theory use what we say against us. Hence my disclaimers... but that really ain't no defense, isn't it? The evil marketing man, ever on the lookout for what makes us tick, will no doubt be using this technology soon-- if not already. And speaking of already: people are looking into corelating images and other sensory input to our brains' pleasure centers all in the name of the great god profit.

I am smugly shocked to find out that HR people have bothered to look up applicants on Google. Good for me, the principle can work both ways. You can Big Brother Evil Dex, but he sure can Big Brother you.

Bloggers should practice a moderate form of censorship-- one that recognizes human decency. That done, he should, like Dean says, entertain with-- and be entertained by-- the contents of his Journal. So the whole world is reading? Write anyway. At best, they'll hang onto every word like the fans we want them to be. At worst they're often too interested in the crap that happens in their own lives to look at yours too closely... unless they're stalkers, cops, lawyers, or yes, HR people.
Project Transcendence: Getting "There" Before Getting Too Old to Go Anywhere Else

Never has the concept of lost time taken as much knowing urgency in my life than as it has now. I'm still basically a laid back temporally displaced hippie who likes improvising, flying by the the seat of my pants. But even I am beginning to feel the Universe tugging at me, as I'm sure it's been doing for decades, urging me to go forward before my my time is utterly spent. It is Krynn's River of Time, beating on me, flowing around me, travelling past me, threatening to erode my house of sand.

Years of bad posture has given me scoliosis-- a misalignment of the spine common to me and to Jonathan Frakes. (Notice the way William Riker sits in any of his chairs. I sit the exact same way.) Unsupervised Tai Chi and years of physical abuse have bequeathed to me bad knees: I'll not be able to run or kick as fast and as hard as I used to, for a good long while. This body is host to a multitude of mysterious pains and symptoms strongly associated with no particular disease.

To this day I am still not rich. And it dawns on me that money is a good way to comfort yourself when you're getting ricketty. Even if you can't spend it to save your life, it makes good tinder.

And I'm getting ricketty. And I'm feeling it. Not in some abstract socratic or zennist way. While I can bring myself to laugh at my state, I am not so elevated as to feel that way all the time. I've spent most of my youth watching and listening to old men and women, immersing myself in really old songs-- the works-- all in preparation for being old. Now it's at my doorstep. I am genuinely afraid.

30 isn't over the hill, no matter what anyone says (true for men and women). Only, I wish I'd made better preparations for the time society would consider me "over the hill." Getting employed and saving up early would have made my life easier; I'm still hippie enough to say that my mistakes were all necessary for making me who I am now. It's just that knowing I coulda "cut corners" with a little conformity then is a b!tch.

What all of this boils down to is this:

Can I afford not to chase after my dreams now, when the next few decades are sure to bring with them greater portions of the vulnerabilities that human minds and bodies are heir to? Someone --namely me-- should have asked this of himself very seriously when he was a lot younger. Only, it's so hard to visualize yourself as a being without limits, especially if you were a boy too intelligent, too trusting for his age (7 years) and his own good. There was so much you wanted to accomplish and just. too. many. limits. set. by. well-intentioned. idiots. --bullies, parents, bosses, lovers-- as to what you could do and what you had a right to.* I grew up believing all their ...bullsh!t.

I want my life to mean something. I want to reshape the world or my small part of it with my own two hands before they get too arthritic to do anything useful. I'm getting there, I know. It galls that I still have a ways to go and still a vague idea as to where that should be.

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*One of my friends does not know how tightly she and a few others are woven into Project Transcendence. This is an issue I should address in another, more suitable entry.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Taking the Ian Quiz

Not to find out about my Ian-ness, mind you. But it is a Sunday, and for once this week, I have free rein over my time.

The last thing you ate: A glorious bowl of squid, pork beef and veggies at the Mongolian Grill. It's right up there with Ma Mon Luk's the Original Mami (pork+chicken, noodles and assorted veggies in broth) on my list of favorite foodstuffs.

Last great meal you had (where and when): See above.

Favorite meal of the day: Dinner! Lunch!

Pork, Chicken or beef? BEEF, if it's a well-prepared steak, or the main ingredient in a native soup that co-stars potatoes, cabbage, lettuce, string beans and assorted spices.

Favorite Fish: Tuna! Especially if it's raw!

Favorite Carbohydrate: Tossup between rice and potatoes.

Favorite dessert: Strictly speaking, I consider another helping of the past meal as dessert.

Favorite ice cream flavor: Strawberry. Vanilla. I don't know how ice cream's evolved now so I'm quoting from my youth.

Cake or Pie? Pie. Apple. Peach Mango. Banana Cream pie. God is soooo good!

Favorite Candy Bar: None yet, but we'll fix that, won't we?

Favorite Cookie: Oatmeal.

Favorite fruit: All my gay friends. Kidding. Tossup between apples, oranges and passionfruit.

Favorite International Cuisine: Ian and I are sushi whores. However, for noodles swimming in hot broth or for pork liver swimming in glucose-rich sauce, Chinese and its Fil-Chinese bastard son are king! Have grown fond of Thai food.

Favorite fast food place: Depends on my mood and my levels of privation. KFC and Chowking.

Favorite Restaurant: Gary's-- I mean, Max's.

Current food trip: Vegetarian meals from Bodhi! Eye yam torning Hindu bifowr my beri eyes-- whch wouldn't be so bad if I weren't already a Buddhist Catholic.

Favorite TV snack: What used to be called Cerelac.

Favorite drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic): Rootbeer. Of course, I'm developing a very nasty co?o taste for flavored water. But fresh fruit juice-- orange, apple-- is a co?o affectation I most heartily approve of. For alcohol, ye can't go wrong with a robust dark beer. It's a little hard to find where I live, so I settle for Danding Cojuangco's saving grace: San Mig light/ice.

Last extravagance you allowed yourself: Writing for my blog.

Food that you absolutely CANNOT tolerate: Ian hates Ginger? But she's a nice, competent gal with a high-pressure piloting job... oh, he meant food. I'm a picky eater. Maybe I've repressed the memories of those times I swallowed something I could not stand.

Food that you would LOVE to eat but can't: A steak at Chili's every week.

Weird food you used to eat as a kid: Don't go there... please.

Weird food combination you eat now: Donuts and pesticide. Tried it once, by accident. Wouldn't advise it.

If you had 10,000 dollars to spend on food and no physical complications (allergies, cholesterol problems, etc) what would you eat? A lot of sushi.

You get home at 10 pm, and everyone's asleep. You're tired but hungry, and have to make dinner for yourself. What do you make? Slop. See below: ""Do you cook?"

Snack of your own invention: See below: ""Do you cook?"

How do you like your steak? Medium Rare. Cooked with plenty of garlic, Served with mashed potatoes and sauteed garlic butter mushrooms and onions. Yum.

Guilty pleasure: Appreciating Women.

Foods no longer around that you miss:That liver dish from chinatown. Not that it's gone-- I just can't get to it anymore.

Do you cook? Yes.

If yes, what's the dish you are most proud of? I deal in novelty food-- like my Hindu Style Corned Beef? and my Islamic Pork?. When I cook, I try to favor baking over frying. I've done wonders with spicy boneless lean chicken and my attempt at a decent pilaf. I also do great slop: tomqato sauce, beans and most leftover meat plus spices and last night's rice.

Make your own ice cream sundae: I can't yet. But we'll fix that.

If you could only eat FIVE foods for the rest of your life, what would they be? Pizza, Max's fried chicken, Sushi, Java Rice and a real big steak.

Is this quiz making you hungry? Yes.

What's the food you plan to eat after this quiz? A Bowl from Mongolian Grill

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Thursday

Everything I'm doing takes too long here. While I feel that I have accomplished something worth noting-- calling cards, wobblers for Nestle, labels upon labels for that dratted Rugby account--- my little victories have been less than complete. What I've doen was done too slowly, too sloppily, too wrongheaded.

Right now, I've had bosses too concerned with speed breathing down my neck because I wasn't working fast enough. I can't completely blame them. But surely they have to know, on some level, that the errors they want to prevent are the same errors they will run into later. A tired artist on a bad day is more prone to overlooking typos, mismatched colors, missing linked files, the whole caboodle. I feel the breathing spaces I've earned, especially on the Rugby account are to be paid for later with anger, disappointment, more blood and sleep lost.

I've started to keep a worklog. Something for me to do during my downtime. A way to keep track of which files go where. A way of accounting. A way to tell myself or at least determine if I've done my best for the day.

I feel happy that I actually get to use a timecard. While I hate bundy clocks in principle, my being issued one signals a form of acceptance (or an attempt at one) by the so-called "real world." It's what I've really wanted-- a little respect. Honey advises I stay on for about a year. I feel I don't have that kind of time.


Saturday

Going into overtime today. I'm currently working on stickers for the Medical Center Trading Corp. account-- the people responsible for distributing those nebulizers that have come to be a big part of my grandmammy's recent life. The file I'm looking for is a CorelDraw 11 document buried somewhere in my workmate's hard drive and in one defective backup cd. Software application, operating system and local area network compatibility problems prevent me from just peeping into his computer and taking what I need. I will have to wait until my workmate relinquishes his workstation at 5pm today. He won't be able to do so until then, as his assigned work is just as important to the company as mine. Meantime, I'm trying to rebuild the missing file from scratch-- I can't work on the overdue RUGBY label on the G4 anyway, until my boss or my coworker leave their posts for home.

I don't want all that work following me all the way to Monday.I want to spend Sunday updating the blog and setting up my website.


Something

pure
Congrats! Your a Pure Angel! Angels, as far as most
of them go, are all compatabile creatures, but
Pure ones simply are symbols of God. Pure
Angels always appear when a child is born, when
a rainbow is seen, or when someone shares their
first kiss. They never grow old, an can appear
in the shape of a naked woman with white, bold
wings. Pure angels are the carriers of god, and
show their love to everyone in the world.


What Kind of ANGEL are you? This Quiz has amazingly Beautiful Pictures!
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Update: The Eternal Jobhunt

Applied for work yesterday at a production house located smack dab in my old school haunts. Was upset with myself for showing up at around 4:00 pm despite my preparations. I was interviewed by a crusty Fil-Chinese named Bernie, who praised my university pedigree while lambasting the production people at McCann-Erickson for what Bernie refers to as their "shoddy work."

Am thinking I should have heeded the alarm bells ringing in my head (the coincidental delays, stress-related minor accidents, etc.) and called this off. But I am nothing if not determined to climb out of my rut and give Honey more reasons to stay with me.

Bernie tells me to show up the following day for "testing" at 8:00 a sharp.

D-Day

...arrives and I'm helping Honey prep for her trip to the 'States by hauling her luggage to the car. Before that, I was found fussing, like a woman, in front of a mirrior and coat hanger.

"It's a damn printing press!!! I don't need to look so snazzy!"
"It's a production house. That deals with print. I at least have to look sharp!"
"Gotta change the black slacks, they are so Jollibee!"
"Screw the brown slacks, they'll be ink-stained by the time I get back!"

Going Blind on the PC

The irony of an illustrator who is inept at Illustrator is not lost on me. I feel it with every mouse click threatening to send me this much closer to carpal tunnel calvary. As my new workplace makes near-exclusive use of vector output imaging software, I was forced to eschew the use of my beloved Photoshop and try my shaking hand at Illustrator 10. And its frustrating competitors.

We were working on the Nestea account. Believe you me, I had long stopped drooling over the swimsuit-clad model on the promotional material. I was far too busy trying to whip up vector-based graphic objects and trying to make them behave. Yes, folks. This was "the Test." I'd had little sleep; been working on the Nestea girl since 8:30 in the morning. It was noon and I was far from done. And more work was on the way. I had begun the climb to calvary.

The beauty in all of this is that I have managed to learn more Illustrator in one day than I did picking at it on and off for a year. And they did ask me to come back on Monday. Which is a good thing. It I think. If I were to stay here, I'm sure to learn more tricks of the trade. I'm just concerned that I may not be able to work for my bosses here at the pace they may want or need. Anyway I still have other avenues of employment-seeking if this deal turns to sh!t.

Deep breath, Dex-- and into the breach!

Monday, March 15, 2004

The Bed of Procrustes

Watching Buffy is basically wasting the time I should be using to facilitate my finding a job. Bottom line: I'm procrastinating, temporizing. Reasons? Cowardice, a case of the nerves,my overanalytic nature and my simple household chores. They said that doing stuff without a ready-to-present diploma was hard; now I know why some people get theirs made along Recto. But sans that, I've got pretty much everything else down pat-- experience, charm, competence plus the requisite clearances. I just need an extra helping of testicular... endowment to get this done. I have a week's worth of classifieds to pore through. They can't all have been filled. I'll start tomorrow.

Sunday, March 14, 2004



You're One Hundred Years of Solitude!

by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Lonely and struggling, you've been around
for a very long time. Conflict has filled most of your life
and torn apart nearly everyone you know.
Yet there is something majestic and even epic
about your presence in the world.
You love life all the more for having seen its decimation.
After all, it takes a village.



Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Gel in My Hair

Missing Adinda
The first "Gel" I met was my Development Communication advisor way back in '91, in UPLB. Well, okay, I wanted him to be my advisor. He was laid back, showed little ambition (and thus none of the frantic zeal and paranoia ambition is heir to), looked as if he'd gotten living down pat and had long curly hair to boot. I'd like to think that he liked having me as a student.

I remember comforting a classmate who had just inadvertently ticked him off. She (my classmate) was a warm, laid back Indonesian gal whom I grew to like very much. When I'd caught up with her that day, she and our adviser were avoiding each other like the plague. Only, that's hard to do in a small crowded canteen, where the patrons couldn't help but see each other over their meals.

Lucky for Advisor Gel, he had company with which to distract himself. Lucky for Adinda, I happened to walk in. True to form, after hours of drinking water and talk about (her) life on the road, I'd told her that I liked her. True to form, she thought I was kidding and laughed in my face. But it was a kind, if uncertain, laugh that didn't mock... too much.(C'est la vie.)

I hear she's married to a good man now, and that's that.

Missing Hilda
The second "Gel" I crossed paths with was a big man with a big heart and a big mouth. He was a UPLB freshman in '92, well versed in the rules Battletech and 1st and 2nd Edition AD&D. He was also his batch's best dancer. Starved for company and wanting to make his mark on the world, he attached himself forthwith, like a hungry squid, to my roleplaying peer group. Initially, I couldn't stand him-- loud, lumbering and socially inept despite his dancing skills-- though he would later prove himself to be one of my closest, wisest friends.

I had just succesfully ducked Big Gel(I also call him Squiddy-- another story) and was racing toward a pre-arranged appointment with a girl named Hilda. We were to take the death bus (then known as BLTB) to Metro Manila, with a mutual friend. Somehow Hilda and I wound up in adjacent seats, tucked in our own pocket dimension for the two-and-a-half hours it would take for the death bus to traverse the distance between Los Banos and Pasay City.

True to form, after hours of lowered barriers and open talk, I hinted very subtly that I liked her-- hinted with my attention, with eyes that took in every detail of her face, ears that took in everything she said. True to form, she complained about having to fend off male admirers when she was at a stage in her life where she didn't need any. And why were all her admiring males such weirdos, Dex...?

Angelica
This girl I prayed novenas to, in violation of my Catholic upbringing. I was besotted with this girl for six. long. years. And much of my self-inflicted suffering for her sake, she knew very little about. I burdened friends with her, won myself awards writing poetry for her (much of which she didn't get to read until year five). She aroused in me a fierce need to protect her even if I knew she was capable in her own right.

I remember asking her once, in '97, if I could speak with her in private. She agreed, but took a friend with her to our meeting place. Looking back, I found much prudence in what she did, what with all the date-rape incidences these days. But it shocked me that she'd even think of that happening here, on campus, in broad daylight, with clusters of people far enough not to overhear but near enough to be viable court witnesses. I guess beauty has its price.

There I told her, voice breaking, that I loved her. I didn't want to change anything between us--I didn't have a right to-- but I wanted to let her know. She had answered with a sharp intake of breath (not good!) followed by a quick "Don't say that!" (Oh the humanityyyyyyy!) There is little pain in writing about her now, though some tough-love advocates would argue that there is also little point. I mean to, though, one day. If only as an integral part of my ongoing study of myself.

Missing Honey's Laptop
The Gel of my latest acquaintance is a shy homosexual relative of my cousin's. He's very good at keeping house (my cousin's), is honest, trustworthy, very polite and considerate to guests and friends. This soft-spoken Gel is a good man. It's on his and my cousin's suffrance that I'm here, typing my writeup and blog entires.
Tired

New Look.
Just finished reformatting the blog. Hope the readers like it, though I find that the lower portions are not that easy on the eye. But that's for later. I feel accomplished, having tweaked the blog template enough to make it behave in almost all ways the way I want it to. I'll return to the drawing board soon enough.

Good Lord, it's almost 3:00 a.m.

Cosmeto-kit.
I managed to send my latest writeup to my publicist client. I hope more fervently than in my previous works, that he finds it worthy of pitching to the broadsheets. I want to earn my keep as well as increase the respect my client has for me-- if I play my cards right, my income could increase by good-sized increments. The value of neworks and prestige.

I am also loath to disappoint my interviewee. And his wife. A wonderful woman-- wonderful mainly because she's got everything she could want and is therefore beyond nagging complaining-- who treated me kindly. Hubby hawks makeup and nail polish, folks. That much I knew from the email briefing. But just how the heck was I s'posed to know that this guy was also president of the bleeding PBL? Fingers crossed, hoping for the best.

Liberation from Bingo
With my moving in with Honey, I effectively liberated myself from Mom and Pop. It's been scary and stressful (I do most of the housework). And it hasn't been cheap. The upshot is that I am free of Bingo. Mom and Pop and Auntie Glo are having a seizure, but...

Nevertheless I still have problems with poverty. I am currently looking for a writing/layout job to augment my income as a writer for one very hardworking publicist. Wish me luck.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Warning

One of the computers I've been using has been compromised. A message supposedly sent through my hotmail address was returned. MailerDaemon's explanation was the attachment may have had malicious code (virus, trojan, worm, whatever). I never sent the original recipient anything.

It's unlikely that the hotmail servers are infected, what with all their layers of protection. My best guess is that it's one of the public computers I've been using to access the 'Net.

I've changed passwords so that the infected computer(s) can't use my address to send people nasty stuff. If you get a message from my hotmail address-- akarui_kirk@hotmail.com --with an attached word document and a corresponding subject line that runs like this: "here is the document," do all of us a favor and delete it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

My Monster Looks a Lot Like Yours

Got this from Ian's blog.

Dex

is a Giant Squid that has a Long Neck and a Massively Swollen Skull.

Strength: 8 Agility: 4 Intelligence: 13



To see if your Giant Battle Monster can
defeat Dex, enter your name and choose an attack:

fights Dex using