STORY: Thesis Night

Thesis will be (semi) over the next few weeks so our group finally had another overnight to finish everything that needs to be (despite our belief that overnights are not necessary to get the job done). 

This is us taking a (looooong) break while working. Actually, we take longer breaks than we do work! See, this is why overnights aren't very advisable.

I'm getting really nervous about thesis defense (ours is on Dec. 13) so I'm really praying that we get through it as fast as possible. If you're asking me if I'm going to miss thesis, I won't (hihi). When its all over, besides all the new knowledge I've gained, I will also have memories of these two gals to keep as souvenirs anyways. I'm itching to bid thesis goodbye already but I must bid blogging farewell first to do that. So, bye! :)

STORY: Check this Star!

My cool professor in Mass Media & Society showed the video of The Buggles' hit "Video Killed the Radio Star" in class today in line with our discussion of the evolution of communication. The first time we viewed it, I thought it was a catchy song but when we listened to it again while we talked about the lyrics, i found myself hooked (And since I knew the lyrics now, I found myself singing it to it the whole day!)

The moment I heard it, I knew it was familiar... and that was because I heard the same "Oh-a-oh" in feat Nicki Minaj's song Check it out! :) I'm not sure if the new song took the tune from the The Buggles or it was just plain coincidence but its so cool that my fave part in Nicki Minaj's song (the Oh-a-oh) is part of a song I'm totally hooked on now. :)

Anyway, the song got us talking about making a modern version of the The Buggle's hit and we'd call it "Internet mutated the TV star." If only I could play an instrument, I'd get started on the project right away... but, no. But then again, you'll never know. :)


I'm constantly trying to rewire my brain to care less or not care at all about what other people think. I convince myself that they're jealous or insecure or that for them to be pulling me down just proves that I'm above them and all that stuff just so I won't feel bothered about all the things they have to say but this, like everything else, is easier said than done.

I like to believe (and I do believe) that I'm just doing what I should be doing and I'm doing it the only way I know how. I am not like others and others are not like me so our way of going about things is obviously going to be different. I know sometimes I try to make things work my way but I know when it isn't my boat to be captain of. And when I am a mere crew member I back off and let whoever is in charge call the shots. I think this is only proper and what everyone deserves. I just hope other people realize that, too. Because no matter how different we may be and how different we do things, respect only has one face and I expect that I get the amount of it that I deserve.

I don't want to proclaim that I have never stepped on some toes before because I may have (although I swear they were unintentional). I'm just a very driven person and always want the best in everything I do... so sometimes I like to do more than what is assigned to me and that may offend the leader (and for that, I am sincerely sorry). I have never felt being the captain of the ship with a crew member trying to throw me overboard... that is until now. I feel my place as captain is under attack and I do not know how to respond appropriately. I want to be nice but I'm not nice... and being nice isn't the most logical thing to do when one is under attack (although the saying does say that one must throw bread to those who throw stones). I'm still processing everything and I admit that my decision making is a bit unreliable now since my mind is mostly clouded with annoyance and irritation.

I'm trying to be the better person and continue to respect people who do not seem to know what that is. Maybe by showing them a lot of it, some of it might rub off on them. Who knows? That's the least I could do. Besides, being catty isn't something I've learned over the years and I don't plan to learn now. Its a "skill" that wouldn't take me anywhere good or be of any use in the future (but I wonder why many seem to have invested a lot of time mastering it... oh well).

STORY: Little spurts of creativity

I was waiting for the torrent I was downloading (for 5 days almost!) to finally finish when I decided it would better to actually "produce" something while waiting rather than clicking back and forth the same sites and refreshing over and over just to find out nothing new has happened since the last visit (which was a minute or two ago). So here is what I spat out:

The original photo and the traced vector.
I originally wanted a lot of other objects in the background (and not only the pencil) but somehow, I stopped with this. I wanted to fill it up with all things me but I guess a pencil (in yellow, my fave) with my name is good enough. Maybe next torrent I'll get back to that. :) Oh well, back to school work.

STORY: The Last Stretch

Its already November and for seniors of my school who are taking up Mass Communications this could only mean that thesis defense is just around the corner. Everyone is busy picking up the pieces of what is a messy study as of now (well, for some) so that they can present and defend something come December. Once you've got defense down, you basically got rid of half of your worries.

For the past month, my thesis group hasn't been working as hard as we have been the first few months so now, its a bit difficult to get back in the "zone." We used to meet every day to plan everything, research, write and rewrite our thesis but after passing the initial test last September 30 (this was when the school decided whether we are eligible for the December defense), we sort of... relaxed. Now, after a whole month of slacking, we are finally back to work and I'm trying my best to get the old routine back.

So, goodbye blogging for a while. It was nice while it lasted. But I swear, after all these are done, I will come running back to you... with loads of stories and theories to share! Hopefully, it will all be good news (one being that we passed defense!) Fingers crossed! :)

We meet again PDFs

STORY: Spontaneity

On our way to church, Jose suddenly asks me if we could visit his Lolo's grave instead and have dinner after (since it was my birthday tomorrow and All Soul's Day was just the day after -- that didn't sound very nice, huh?). I agreed.

As I felt the adrenaline of doing something so spontaneous, I looked out the car window and saw the passing lights that appeared to form lines in the air as we quickly drove by them. Unfortunately, the excitement died down when we met face to face with the bumper of the car in front of us -- oh, traffic. Apparently, a lot of people decided to visit their departed loved ones earlier to skip on the traffic but still ended up with traffic... and unfortunately we got caught up in it, too.

Since the traffic wasn't getting any better, Jose took a right turn and we decided to just have dinner. We were still pretty pumped about being pretty far and just being there for dinner. However, the excitement died down again when couldn't find a place to eat. I wanted to eat somewhere we couldn't easily find back home but we ended up eating at Conti's (and the branch we dined at was terrible. It was small and not very clean looking... if we wanted to eat at Conti's we should've just gone to Greenbelt. But then again, where's the adventure in that?)

The place had full parking so Jose and I ate an Oreo cheesecake in Starbucks across the street just so he could park there then ditch to eat at Conti's. (This was the reason he bought me a whole Oreo cheesecake the next day for my birthday because I kept raving about the cake. Read about it here). Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy its yumminess that much because I had to swallow it down quickly if we wanted to eat dinner anytime soon. 

So here's what we ordered:

I am not a fan of seafood but I absolutely love munching on this crispy squidlets!
I had the Grilled Salmon Head since  I was feeling a bit "healthy" this night (that is if the meal is healthy, it just feels healthy with the absence of the words "fried" and any kind of meat in the description in the menu)
Jose, still on his uber strict diet, ordered the Herb Crusted Fish Fillet which from the looks of it, isn't that appetizing. He had rice on the side by the way, just so you won't feel too bad for him. 
It took us a while to get seated so we were really hungry at this point. So, sorry if we (actually just me) look unhappy in this photo but we actually had a nice time this night.

On the way home, we noticed that the traffic has subsided and that the road towards Manila Memorial has cleared out. We then decided to continue on our original plan and visit his Lolo.

It was my first time to be at a cemetery on All Soul's Day. All my immediate family members are still alive on both sides so thankfully, we still do not have someone to visit during this occasion. So as we walked towards his Lolo's "spot," I was surprised and amazed by how the place looked like. It was filled with tents (bigger and more creative than the next), flowers and candles (that were very beautiful to look at from a distance). There were also a ton of food stalls which I wasn't really expecting to see. The abundance of food stalls actually make you want to eat something even if you aren't hungry just because. It was like a fair or something. (By the way, I caved. I had a snow cone with Jose)

Jose and I sat in front of his Lolo's "something" (pardon me for not knowing what its called) and we kept quiet. I really felt we had a moment there. As I silently prayed I felt the beauty of the place. Cemeteries are always depicted as scary and dark places but it actually felt very calm and serene and sacred. It was breezy and just the right kind of cold. I could see some stars while we were sitting on the grass. I have always nagged Jose about doing this "romantic" thing (looking at the stars at night with your loved one on some green grass) which romantic movies have constantly included in their shot list... but we never actually made that happen... until today. Who would have thought that his Lolo would be the one to make this wish of mine come true? :) I've known his Lolo for 3 years before he passed away May of this year and he always spoiled Jose with gifts (without the other apos knowing about it) but this night, I think his Lolo might have given me a gift instead.

Rest in peace Lolo (if I may call you that) and thank you for "spoiling" me, too. :) 

THEORY: Reverse Psychology

I have the courage to talk about this "reverse psychology" I'm doing on someone because I have a strong feeling that he won't be reading this anyway. So, here it goes.

He went out tonight. Yes, he actually did. This may appear as a "So What?" scenario but for someone like him, this is a big moment. And yes, he may have told me about this a few days back and yes, I did not show any signs of disapproval (because I actually encourage this sort of social activity greatly -- you know, for holistic growth and all that jazz) but that does not make me feel any better about finding out that he is already out and having a good time when my memory (unfortunately) fails me and makes me think he is at home, lying on his back like he always does. I was even having a phone conversation with him earlier that day and he didn't even bother to "remind" me or at least pass by his late night plans in our talk.

But before I appear like some psycho, let me get back to the point of  this entry: my plan of action. I will act as though nothing has bothered me (although I am a tad bothered) and that I am not a tiny bit curious about what transpired during his night out. I will not ask what happened when he calls me and merely give out my generic replies which I give out only on two occasions: (1) when I don't care that much about the topic of discussion for me to think of a more meaningful response and (2) when I really want to know more about the discussion but want the other party to "voluntarily" divulge the information. So for this event, I'm doing it for reason number two.

I believe its working. I just keep saying "That's nice" or "Good for you" and immediately terminate the conversation. He was the one who ended up wondering why I didn't want to know more about the night and continued narrating the story. During the first 3-4 sentences of him talking about whatever happened, I lost interest in knowing much about it. The fact that he is willing divulge information means that there isn't much to worry about (that is if I was even worrying in the first place which obviously isn't the case... right?)

But for the fun of it, I shall continue this reverse psychology thing, just because I really am curious of what went down. Hihi. :)

STORY: Score!

Today (actually yesterday since its already 12:40 am but whatever) is my 20th birthday. I celebrated it in bits so the day itself was a bit "calm." If this happened last year, I would have felt like my day wasn't special at all (since the day was pretty normal minus the singing and cake) but maybe its the maturity kicking in which is why I was very, very pleased with how today turned out... very happy and content even.

The night before I promised myself I would get up early (you know, start my year right), go to church and light some candles. This is a habit mom has hardwired into my system already. Since I was a kid, mommy and I would go to our parish church and pick out a candle for me to light. She would stay beside me as I prayed (well, wished) for the things I want for my birthday (I remember looking forward to melting the bottom of the candle so that it would stand on the metal thing they had in churches). But ever since I was capable of going to church on my own, my mom would simply remind me to do this "ritual." I felt sad the first few years since we would always do this together. Usually we would do this before we headed to the mall for my birthday celebration. But now, I do it alone. This year though, I wasn't sad. I actually didn't think of it as a ritual. I just felt that I had to go to church and light those candles, and pray. Not wish, pray.

I snoozed my alarm once but I thankfully I was able to drag myself off the bed, get changed and head off to church. I walked to and from church today. First, its because I used to walk to church all the time during the time  Jose wasn't my church mate. It was a nice activity to revisit. Second, its because I was broke. Seriously. I mean I had a few pesos left but I wasn't going to spend it on tricycle fare when I could walk there, you know.

When I got to the church, I felt how much I've missed the place. For years I would hear mass at this old place. It has undergone a huge transformation since then but its still the same old church to me. Anyway, I went to the lady selling candles and picked 3 based on the little sign she had of the meanings of each color. Usually I would pick a pink candle for love and another candle or two but this year I decided to skip that. I picked a red one for family, peach one for career or studies and a blue one for peace of mind. I picked the red one because this year, I want it to be all about the family. I've drifted away from them a bit the past years and I miss them. I miss how I would always go with them and eat with them and everything. I picked the peach candle because this would be my last year of school. I never really prayed for school (except for thesis concerns) and I never really gave it much thought but now that I'm coming to realize that this is something I'm going to move away from, I decided its time to offer it all to God and give it my best. End my school life with a big bang! Lastly, I chose the blue candle for peace of mind. Its not that there is something bugging me or anything, its just that I want to find my purpose in life. The next year of my life (today until my next birthday) will be a very significant one. In that time frame, I'm going to graduate, get my first job, get my first pay check, meet new co-workers, etc. The next year will be adjustment period all over again filled with new people and new experiences. I pray that all the decisions I make during this time would be what would give me peace of mind and what would truly make me happy in life.

I seriously stopped myself from taking photos of my candles even though I really, really wanted to. I thought that it would ruin the moment. People document everything these days and its nice that some things are remembered through our imagination where the megapixels aren't going to be as clear today and in the next 10 years but it would be remembered with a whole lot more than just visual memories. As I was praying, I was also looking at the other candles and a lot of them were peach, pink and green (for material wealth). From the candles I imagined the people who lit them and what their woes in life are. I tried to be deep and all but I decided to just pray for them as well. That they receive as much if not more blessings than I have and that they get what they needed and not only what the colors of the candles meant.

After my "candle moment," I prayed inside the church. It was full of old ladies (I've always wondered why church going has been a woman, specifically old woman thing) some with their grandchildren beside them. I stayed for a few minutes, and walked all the way home.

When I got back home, I watched a little TV. Mom and Dad were awake while all my siblings were still asleep. I eventually fell asleep again and was awaken by my sister by lunchtime. Mom prepared spaghetti and fried chicken. She also heated the left over kaldereta (which I didn't mind was left over because they were soooooo delicious). I led the prayer and we dug in.

My birthday "feast"
I called Jose before I fell asleep earlier this day about coming over for lunch. I was pretty pissed the past few days about his insane (and kinda hypocritical) diet so I also included in my "invite" that if he wasn't going to eat any of the food my mom prepared, he shouldn't come at all. He said he would come at around 1230pm.

We finished lunch and everything and Jose still wasn't around. I thought maybe he decided not to show up since he couldn't eat any of the food mom prepared (he was banned from pork which the spaghetti sauce had a lot off and from chicken skin which obviously the fried chicken had). He did call earlier (a few minutes before we started eating) and said that sorry he was late because he had to pass by something. I didn't listen to the rest of what he was saying because I was already pretty disappointed.  My family kept asking if Jose was coming and I just kept saying that he was on the way (even if deep inside I wasn't quite sure).
The family before eating <--  it was just us so we didn't really get dressed for the photo. I came straight from bed!
After lunch, I went upstairs and hopped into bed. I was tempted to sleep again but I told myself I wasn't going to start my 20th year by being lazy. I also told myself that I shall not use my laptop or my phone to go online the whole day. I want the day to be like the days when I wasn't so attached online. When the internet didn't control my life. For once, I wanted my day to be about the world offline. So, with internet out of the to do list, the list of possible things I would do was down to... zero. I thought for awhile and realized how much I used to draw on my sketch pads. So, I decided this was the perfect day to do so. I grabbed a pencil and started drawing. As usual, Amanda did whatever I was doing so she grabbed her own paper and pencil and she drew alongside me.

My drawing. Its been a while since I last drew so...

At around 2pm when I was almost done with my drawing, Jose came inside my room. I was surprised because he was in my room. Mom and Dad told him to go upstairs and surprise me coz they figured I was pretty unhappy earlier (without me even saying it or making it obvious) and they knew it was because of Jose's absence. He held 3 paper bags in his hands and he handed over the red square one first. Before I looked inside, I hugged him because by this time, I have already seriously accepted the idea that he really wasn't coming (and that he was capable of disappointing me like that).

Anyways, I saw that he had bought me a whole Oreo cheesecake from Starbucks which I tasted for the first time the night before with him. I was raving about how it was the best cheesecake ever and voila! He bought me one for my birthday :) I grabbed the 2 other paper bags and we headed downstairs so he could eat lunch already.

He ate rice and chicken, a little kaldereta and some spaghetti. I was very happy. We have been arguing and getting irritated with each other a lot because of his "diet" and I was so happy that he decided to just let it go this day and eat. Who knew eating would be what ticks both of us off so much? (Actually, he ate even more than I wanted because he ate a lot but I didn't comment on that anymore. It might ruin the positive vibes)

Before he started eating, I opened the paper bags he gave me. I opened the big one first and I lost my breathe for a minute there (this is exaggerated but it felt that way). Out came the most beautiful camel colored bag ever! It was perfect. If I were to have a bag designed for me, it would look like this one. It was beautiful.

After seeing what the first paper bag had inside, I was so excited to see the second one. When I opened it, it was a shoe box which I excitedly opened. Out came this white wedges (rather short, about 2 inches high). It wasn't something I would choose but since Jose gave it, I was happy to wear it for him. I tried it on and it was  a size too big for me. He said that we could always have it changed at the store.

Ze gifts + 1 gigantic one beside me
I brought my laptop downstairs so we could see the sizes online so that he could get the exchange right. Apparently, Charles & Keith didn't have an online store like Forever 21 so we couldn't see what we were looking for. I decided to go with him instead so that the size will be right for sure. I haven't taken a bath yet but I did get cleaned up when I went to church this morning so I decided to take a bath when I get home (It was already 3:40pm and we didn't want to stay out late). I just changed my clothes and we headed off to Rockwell.

This is the white pair of wedges he originally got me and the bag when I first  pulled it out of the paper bag!

When we got to Rockwell, another pair of lovely shoes caught my eye. Jose told me that if I liked another pair, we could always have the white wedges exchanged for it so I told him I liked the mustardy yellow wedges which were way higher than the ones he chose. When I tried it on, it was beautiful. I loved it! The size I tried on was pretty small though with my big toe sticking out a bit so the sales lady brought out the next size. Jose also had the correct size of the shoes he chose brought out so I could try them on as well. The white ones came out first so I tried them on. They fitted well but I wasn't in love with it. As a girl (and only in the past 3 years or so have I fully become one --- you know the shoe/clothes loving type), shoes speak to you and tell you if they are meant to be for you. These white ones weren't speaking to me at all, and if they were they'd be saying we were just not meant to be. But these mustard wedges spoke to me from a distance and I couldn't help but follow her call.

Jose got the mustard ones. ;)

I just used my phone to take this shot so you can't see the beauty of it that well
We headed to Cash & Carry to have my phone unblocked. My dad and I switched phones and the one he gave me came free from his postpaid line. It was locked to Smart network and I was a Globe user so I needed to have the phone made open-line for me to use it. While walking, I saw that Jose seemed unhappy. I think it was about the shoes. I think he really did want the white ones but I told him that it wasn't "special" to me and said I was sorry. I felt bad that I hurt his feelings in some way but I thought and explained to him that it would be more hurtful if he spent that much money on shoes I wasn't going to wear. He said he was okay and we continued to walk.

My goodness, the shop (which we picked because Jose knew the owner and gave us a big discount on the service) took forever to get a simple request done! It was just to make the phone open line and the guy who was going to fix it acted like it was soooo easy when we told him what the phone's problem was. If its so easy for him then why did we end up staring at him tinker with the phone and the computer for an hour?! I could have stood the waiting but what ticked me off was all the cursing and swearing. That is just something I cannot take. He already looked pretty idiotic with all his tinkering with the phone for no apparent reason (I felt he knew he looked idiotic which is why he was getting pretty hot headed) so why did he have to make himself look more of an idiot by cursing a machine?! He kept saying bad words to the computer for the internet being too slow or for what he needed not appearing in his searches. Great job, the computer will work that way buddy. Keep going. 

I couldn't take anymore of his dirty mouth so it was a good thing Jose decided we go to CD-R King first to buy himself some CDs. He told the repair guy that we'd just come back for the phone. While at CD-R King, Mr. Hoops (from Repro Printers) saw me and we Hi-5'd and everything. It was funny how he introduced his daughter like this, "Anak ko, tibo. Yan, girlfriend nya. At yung isa, pamangkin ko." I mean, that was information overload, dont you think? It was nice how candid he was but I didn't know how to respond to that so I just asked him if he lived nearby which is why he was at that same mall. He said he was just walking distance from the place and said goodbye. Jose got his CDs after a good 15 minutes.

When we got back to the phone repair shop, the guy finally (and actually) fixed it. I bet he "called a friend" while we were gone to figure it out but whatever. The good thing was that it was fixed. Jose also bought me a yellow covering for my phone which was cute. :)

My Samsung Corby II with its new "clothes" on :)
When Jose parked outside our house, he said that he won't go down na. It was around 630pm already. I was pretty sad since I really, really like it when Jose goes down and just sits with me at our couch (I have been really grouchy about this the past weeks. I snap every time he doesn't go down the car to pick me up inside the house or go down and stay for awhile when he brings me home. He used to this for the first 2 and half years but recently, he stopped doing so. I felt he wasn't treating me the way I want to be treated, you know. I don't know if its all the TV and Fairy tales taking over but I don't want to be dropped off at a corner and left to watch the car drive away, you know. It just makes me feel a bit hurt and having to ask him to do it over and over hurts me 10x more). I didn't make a big deal out of it this day since he did give me a lot already and I didn't want to cause a fight tonight.

When I got home, I showed off my shoes to dad. Mom wasn't around since she went to Landmark for groceries and she brought Amanda with her. I rested in my bed for a while with Allea using dad's laptop beside me. She kept bugging me to check my facebook account but I kept telling her that I wanted to use the computer when I wasn't to get up and do anything else. I wanted to use the computer straight (meaning until 4am) without any interruptions. And since mommy wasn't back from the grocery yet, I know I would have to fix the groceries and put them in the fridge and in the cupboards first. I told Allea that I would check my Facebook when mom gets home.

True enough, I did fix the groceries. After that, I got cleaned up and prep'd myself for a looooong night. When I opened my facebook, I got a lot of birthday greetings! It was overwhelming and touching and everything. What was even more touching was the secret facebook group my brother had formed with all my friends and relatives posting their greetings there. He had the group up since saturday but added me only on the day of my birthday. This was why Allea kept bugging me about Facebook the whole day... and I knew about it all along.

Screen shot of my notification. 168 + greetings and even more came in while I was browsing Facebook. :)

The day before, mommy asked me to open her Facebook account to upload some of our Halloween pictures (from the previous blog post) and when I opened it, one of the notifications that popped out had my full name on it. I clicked on it and saw this thread of people greeting me happy birthday. It took me a while to figure it all out and why I hadn't been seeing this posts on my account. I scrolled down and initially thought it was my friend, Antonette who hadd set up the group to find out later that it was actually my brother.

Screen shot of the "secret" group

I teared up a little when it all became clear. My brother and I have not been in very good terms for the past months and to have him do this sweet thing melted my heart. I couldn't stay mad at him and all the love I felt for my brother just overshadowed any anger I still had in my heart. I told myself I wasn't going to tell them I saw it already so their efforts to surprise me won't be wasted. That's why I was playing with them by prolonging my facebook log-in since they obviously are so eager to see my reaction when I open it.

Allea was with me when I opened it. I acted surprised but I was truly still very happy and touched as I went through the group again. I didn't approach Enzo after seeing it, I waited for everyone to sleep before I do. But good enough, he knocked on my bedroom door to tell me that he'll be sleeping already and I be the one to close the router. I "beso-ed" him and thanked him before he went to his room. That was closest thing we had to affection in months.

That was a nice end to my 20th birthday more than anything else. I got rid of excess baggage and now I feel lighter and happier. Now, I'm ready to face the next chapter and I'm really hoping that it's going to be a bigger and better one.

Of course, after replying to each and everyone of the Facebook greetings, I made my own short "speech" as my status and I think it sums up what I truly want to say at this turning point in my life:

My WISE & PROFOUND status as an official 20 year old. :)
I think I said that pretty okay, don't you? So mature. :) Hihi.
Oh well, Happy Birthday to me! :) I'm 20 and proud! :D