Category Archives: arts and hobbies

….and I’m back (sort of)!

Haven’t written anything in here for quite sometime. I intend to rectify that. A lot has happened (some I still can’t get my head around, but I’m definitely getting there. Hopefully.) new people met, a few adventures here and there. ūüôā

Might overhaul the site a little bit. I like writing about diverse topics: travel (I’ve been to quite a few places recently), food (I’m still a certified food enthusiast, although I’ve decided to “watch what I eat”, switching to healthier options), art/drawing (my main interest, always has been), movie reviews, and random weirdness. I’ve also become interested in “fitness” (running marathons is something I enjoyed recently – starting with 10K, and another 21K next month) though I am by no means a “gym addict” – and have no desire whatsoever to be one, mind you. So in the following weeks I’ll try to write as much as I can. Writing is the equivalent of the “Pensieve” for me, not only helps me think clearly but also puts things in perspective when I’m slightly “out of sorts”. Man, the simple act of composing this entry felt like de-greasing an old rusty bucket of bolts (yey! another Star Wars reference, couldn’t help it, no?) I¬†think I’ve been very rusty indeed in the writing department.

The “problem” I think is that I have too many “interests”. And they’re not even related to each other at times (cross stitching, photography and building Gundam models, what the heck right?) But I’ll try to “reconcile” them as much as I can (part of my New Year’s Resolution, if there ever was one).

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The Joys of Dining Out (Alone)

For some reason, there is a notion that dining out with yourself as company is the equivalent of “pathetic”. Especially if you’re a woman. You can just visualize every head in the restaurant turning in your direction as soon as they hear the words “A table for one, please.” (on a side note: you can say that using your very best Darth Vader voice and wait for their reaction :D) *Eye Roll* Then it will certainly be followed by various pitying/patronizing looks and mutterings. What? Is this the high school cafeteria? Do you also expect the requisite jock to manhandle you (if you’re a guy) or the random¬†snickering coming from the “popular” table (if you’re a girl). Please! Let’s grow up a bit and realize that the world does not revolve around you. And that unless you are Jennifer Aniston, nobody cares that you are single and dining out alone!

I usually dine out with one of my gay friends or my cousin (because I’m practically oozing pathetic from every pore and can’t find a decent guy to save my life. *snicker*). Said gay friend recently acquired a boyfriend (I’m happy for them by the way. But I don’t fancy being the proverbial third wheel), so it’s definitely a no-go in that direction. My cousin and I only see each other every other weekend. Does this mean I have to sit in my room, staring at the walls the entire day, because I don’t have anyone to go out with?? Didn’t think so. Besides, I’m a fan of dining out. I consider it a “treat” after ¬†long hours of working my ass off.

I’ve been dining out by myself for quite sometime. And believe me, it does have benefits. One of which is you can really savor the food without having to make conversation. No discussions about the menu and no worries whether the food you are getting makes you appear like a glutton; thereby busting your chances of getting a second date (so yeah, go ahead, demolish that entire serving of Nabemono, with Gyoza or Takoyaki on the side; then order a large platter of Kani Salad ¬†or Sashimi. Have a beer afterwards.) Another is that you can do anything you damn well please (as long as it does not involve yelling “It’s a trap!” at your fellow diners) ūüėÄ I usually bring a book to read or take notes on the quality of the food or service I’m getting. Or¬†surreptitiously watch and contemplate the rest of humanity from my table (for this purpose I ¬†mostly request a seat near the window.)

Japanese restaurants are the best option, in my opinion, for “quirky-alone” diners like myself. Because they have the option of dining at the counter (bar) where you can also watch the chef prepare your food. That or mind your own business.¬†I would definitely recommend Little Tokyo (a cluster of ¬†authentic Japanese restaurants along Pasong Tamo, Makati). Great service and no-frills dining. No mutterings and judging stares so far. ūüėõ

Lastly, so what if they are in fact judging you for dining out by yourself? Are they the ones paying the bill?? The answer is no. So there is absolutely no reason to be bothered, at all.

I’ll try Chelsea at Serendra this weekend. A little too upscale for my taste. But I could have imaginary conversations with Hannibal Lecter. ūüôā

08/25 – 26/12 Odds and Ends

Listening to: “Wag Kang Matakot” by Eraserheads

Reading : “Julie and Julia” by Julie Powell

This is by far one of my more “productive” weekends. Meaning, I’ve actually managed to do something of import. As opposed to sleeping my ass off from sunrise to sundown (and sometimes all throughout the evening as well. I tend to wake up around 1:00 AM though).

One of my friends invited me to become a member of one of the art groups he’s currently into. An exhibit is due on September 10, 2012. So I’m currently working on my piece. Hopefully, I will be able to finish it before then. It’s pretty big (20×30, Acrylic on canvas), but I’m much comfortable working on larger pieces, more room for details and I don’t have to strain my eyes (and my hands).

From time to time I like to go out by myself. ¬†So that’s what I did yesterday. Decided to visit Little Tokyo (along Pasong Tamo, Makati) and eat at “Hana” (one of my go-to restaurants aside from “Izakaya Kikufuji”). I had Chirashi Don (that is rice topped with various sashimi and seaweeds), Miso Soup (which comes with the Chirashi Don meal) and 6 pieces of steaming hot, authentic Takoyaki. Needless to say, I left with a full stomach (though not necessarily heavy). Oh, and they gave me another free drink stub. I might come back later for a bottle of beer. Cheers!

I also bought a couple of DVDs at MCS. They already have a Blue Ray copy of ¬†Hunger Games ( the pirated variety of course) then went to “Market! Market!” and watched “Total Recall”. It’s an OK movie (if you happen to love seeing Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel kicking some serious ass. I’m not much of a Colin Farrell fan though). It strongly reminded me of “Blade Runner” (neon, Chinese signs, loads of grime and of course, who could forget the rain), “Fallout” (just look at the “No-Zone” sequence; I expected large green mutants to pop up and attack the characters) and oddly enough “The Bourne Identity”. Maybe we can call it “The Quaid Identity” or some such. ūüėÄ

Not sure what my plan is today. I might come back at Little Tokyo. I have half a mind to try the “Shinjuku Ramen House” and their famous Gyoza. I’ll try to see if I can finish at least 3/4’s of the painting ¬†tonight.

Ramblings of a Sleepyhead..

There. The title says it all. I haven’t slept properly today.¬† Wait, I haven’t been sleeping properly for almost a year now.¬† Let’s see how long this would last.¬† The truth is, I think I should really congratulate myself (applause, applause) for even managing to hang on for this long.¬† With my previous jobs I usually stay 6 months and “disappear”. Anyway, don’t expect anything coherent at all from this post (but of course I shall try my very best to make it so – *bow*). I’m writing this so as not to suddenly find myself being issued another paper for “sleeping” (which is yes, a terminable offense in this job, the normal body clock be damned).

And here we go..

I’ve been thinking of¬† doing this end of the year review. Probably will, probably won’t; as it is quite possible that I might just forget to do so. In any case, I’m glad my year isn’t as chaotic as the last. What with all the shenanigans concerning our old house. That one is over now (hopefully).

Let’s make a list.

Stuff I’d like to do & some random thoughts:

  1. I’d like to draw again. What I meant was to actually finish something, as opposed to starting some preliminary¬†sketch and consigning it to oblivion. I have to give myself a mental poke to¬†get my niece’s portrait¬†finished this weekend. And start another one. The main ingredient for a successful drawing for me is “peace & quiet”. I must be completely relaxed when I’m sketching or else the results would embarrass Pollock.
  2. Been reading a couple of books. I’m into “Schindler’s Ark” (I miss that old graffiti-ed copy of mine back in high school) and “Buffy” (Book 2)¬†¬†. I’d like to get the first book (The Girl¬†with the Dragon Tattoo)¬†of the millenium¬†Trilogy by Steig¬†Larsson, been hearing a lot of positive reviews about it. And the heroine looks positively kick-ass.
  3. Observation: just realized something. Don’t know if it’s good or bad. Who cares anyway, maybe I do. Must look into this.
  4. I managed to finally visit Fully Booked Bonifacio Branch sometime ago (around the end of November I think). Made me happy (it’s like a giant library except everything is for sale – you can read in a corner and no one will bother you)¬†and quite sad at the same time. The comic book/art section suddenly reminded me of how far from my calling I am. Gave me a “glimpse” of what I should be doing instead of being stuck someplace else. Anyway, knock on wood, I’m not complaining about my current profession at all (no sir), what I’m saying is that it’s not a place where I can utilize my own talents.

I don’t care how you do it…

just save me! More music please!

Listening to: “Save Me” (what else?)¬† by Remy Zero

What a way to productively spend my rest day! I spent the last 3 hours (maybe more) watching Smallville; and managed to finish (again) Season One in it’s entirety. Even crossed over to Season 2 (first couple of episodes). I find the whole show very enjoyable, if a little episodic in the beginning.

I feel rather sorry for Lex Luthor (played very well by Michael Rosenbaum), he is really trying hard to go against his darker leanings (can you say walking the very fine line between good and evil?) Clark is extremely likable, a little bit obtuse from time to time, but essentially a good person. I like the fact that he is very loyal and loving to his friends (and some of the credit goes to Jonathan and Martha Kent for raising him so well). Lana’s ok, but I think she is more suited to Lex Luthor (I know! My personal bias is showing! hehe I’ve always been a Lex-Lana fan ) than Clark Kent (Chloe is better-suited to Clark, they just don’t know it). Speaking of Chloe Sullivan. She’s my favourite character, don’t even ask why. I’ll tell anyway, she’s the one I can relate to the most. You¬† know, newspaper staff in high school? Brainy girl? Well, not just that, but a myriad of other things (I like her fashion sense as well. Brainy-chic.) I’ll say this, I’ve always been glad to be appreciated for my supposed “intelligence” (academic and other-wise) and visual talents, but sometimes, a person wants to be noticed for other things as well (not just because your name is plastered in the honors list or you’ve happened to finish a good drawing). But at the end of the day, I think a person should have been happy to have been appreciated in any way at all. And it may sound totally unrelated, but in my lif e experience,¬† it’s important for people to build a “strong backbone” (lest you get trampled upon) . Apart from maintaining good friendships.

I’ll finish Season 2 today probably. I just kept pressing the “Next” button on the DVD player and then I noticed it’s already 8:30 in the morning.

I did not totally laze-around the house all day though, I spent some time “cooking” (although I’m not much of a cook), washing some dishes, and doing the laundry (the usual domestic stuff). Not to mention wiping off dog poo.

I’ve also finished reading “Dead to the World” by Charlaine Harris (book 4 of the Sookie Stackhouse novels). It’s an immensely good read. Not like the tripe that is¬† Twilight (sorry, can’t resist the comparison). It’s more of an adventure than actual romance, and the plot is fast moving and quite concise. Most of all, Sookie is a much better narrator and character than Bella Swan. She has a sharp, witty, if sometimes ironic sense of humor. She knows who she is and is very much comfy in her own skin. And insists that she be treated as an equal by both Bill (and Eric).Although I think Eric is the one who really knows how to treat her well. Another very nice quality of hers is that she doesn’t wallow in despair like Bella. So Bill went to Peru, life goes on. You can’t suddenly become incapacitated just because your boyfriend left you. Most of all, Sookie has the backbone I’m talking about earlier, possibly borne out of her “talent”/”disability”.

Back to real life. Things are looking better at work, but not peachy (we’re expected to be on ultra-formal tomorrow).¬† Although I always try to keep my work and my “Life” in separate boxes. I have this tendency to compartmentalize. Hard habit to break.

I was cleaning up and then there were zombies…

Watching: “Resident Evil: Degeneration” (wasn’t able to finish it the first time)

Reading: “Cold Mountain” by Charles Frazier

(on a related note, aside from this book, I’m also able to get something by E. Annie Proulx all for 50php each-and hardbound to boot – at ¬† Makati Cinema Square. I’ll go back there probably by next payout to check out some more books.¬† I have Percy Jackson and the Olympians on my next reading list – the protagonist has the same name as my younger brother, Perseus – but I’ll need to go to Fully Booked for those).

In our apartment, things tend to pile up (dishes, clothes, footware, books). No matter what sort of clean up you try to do. That can’t be helped since all 6 of us work in the night shift. And like vampires, we are asleep during the day (except maybe on weekends). I’ve just finished washing last night’s dishes (left in the sink until someone gets in the mood to wash them) and believe me, I’ll see another pile tomorrow. I’m not complaining though. I like the people I’m living with. Just an observation. ūüėČ

Not a bad week, I guess. Somehow,¬† I can see that things are progressing for the better. Update on RE: Degeneration, so why was Leon Scott Kennedy the only one not wearing any protective gear?? I understand he’s the big, bad-ass agent sent by the White House – due to his experience in handling zombified citizens – but I’m quite sure he’s not bite-resistant, is he? I guess the helmet would mess-up his hair! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Resident Evil games (the movies are another story); but don’t tell me you didn’t notice some “impracticalities” from time to time. Just look at Jill Valentine’s attire on RE: Nemesis (which they have unwisely adopted in the movie). Would you fight zombies on a skirt and a tank top?? On top of that, the T-Virus is highly infectious. What if she gets bitten by infected mosquitoes?? But that’s just me being nitpicky.

>on RE: Degeneration : They are now being herded together in a military camp (Leon, Claire and the rest) just outside the airport. Trust me, the military is always almost useless on RE games; their only purpose is to propagate the number of the infected-undead. Oh and the vaccine just happened to be destroyed. And before the movie is over, I’m sure the long-haired guy (who happens to be the older brother of¬† one of the SRT members – the Japanese really love this theme) shown earlier will make an appearance. Will he be the customary “boss”? I’m getting ahead of myself. Really? Or will that be the Brit-guy?

>on RE: Degeneration : And Brit-guy with the sexy accent just invited Claire to “a late afternoon tea”. Naturally, she said yes. This movie is getting better all the time.

Tomorrow is laundry day. Yay! If I can manage to finish with HealthLab early.

>on RE: Degeneration : Ok, so big-brother (named Curtis) is the “Birkin” stand-in (he didn’t manage to keep his full consciousness either). He’s now fully transformed (after many explosions), and looks far uglier than Nemesis. Movie is almost over. From what I’ve seen, it’s a conglomeration of plots from the previous RE games. Wait! Brit-guy just disappeared.

I’m quite excited to see the re-make of¬† “Clash of the Titans” (I’ve seen the 1981 version when I was in the 5th grade, shown alongside “Sakay”, if you can believe it). It has to be exciting, with Liam Neeson as Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades. Sam Worthington as Perseus? well I guess he’s ok (I can see an action-fantasy actor in the making).

Random Insanity and Bad Movies

Forgive this post for occasional lack of coherence, it’s 11:28 pm here and I haven’t taken a bath yet. How’s that for an excuse?

Ok, I’m back at the boarding house (I just went and submitted my requirements for a company I will not mention here. Top secret stuff) here in Manila. Neil Gaiman was at Rockwell today apparently. Too bad I wasn’t able to make it for a number of reasons (including lack of funds).

I curse the person who typed my NBI Clearance. How could he/she make the mistake of misspelling my name? Well, not entirely, more like a single letter typo. Which is more infuriating, considering it’s the reason I’m stuck in here;¬† I’m also pissed with myself for not checking! Another thing, is my lack of success at procuring funds from a relative, whom I know has money (but refuses to help because of blah, blah, blah, excuses, excuses). I¬† may sound childish,¬† but I’m shot of him. Ok, moving on.

I’m currently watching something called “Dinocroc”. No kidding. I like watching B-Movies from time to time.¬† As the title implies, it’s about a dinosaur-crocodile hybrid running amok and killing a bunch of people. Opens with some guy (who looks suspiciously like Crocodile Dundee) sitting on a boat, trying to shoot something in the murky waters of a place called Ngukurr, Northern Australia. Oh, wait I missed something, he sort of slit his arm open to draw blood (to attract whatever creature he is hunting I presume. Although I miss the point of injuring yourself on purpose while on the hunt. He could have drawn the blood earlier or something). Well, cue in some exposition (in the form of power-pointy letters) and supposedly-scary-but-really-annoying music. And now we cut to¬† scientists making genetic experiments on some lab. For the purposes of what? I forgot. Anyway, one of the specimens went postal and destroys the cameras on the holding cell. Of course the first thing a sensible person would do is to ENTER the cage, when you don’t KNOW WHERE the creature is. How this person ever became a scientist boggles the mind.

So, naturally, the girl gets killed and the creature escapes. Let’s see what happens. I’m sure “Crocodile Dundee” will appear later. And there’s a kid with a missing dog. I think I know where this is going. Hm. And the guy who plays the sheriff of sorts looks awfully familiar (I’m sure I’ve seen him as a minor character on another movie).