Category Archives: Projects

….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. 🙂

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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Bridget Jones-ing (09/04)

>Daily Cigarette Intake: A stick (after “lunch” last night. Mainly because I’m stressed about the current state of my job. In fact, I would have resigned immediately as soon as I heard the words “merging” and “re-training”, but I’ve got bills to pay. So I’m waiting it out till December.)

>Weight: Not worried about my weight at all. I’m quite happy to be back in shape. All that jogging and avoiding meat seemed to have worked. All the lovely clothes from last, last year which had to be put on hiatus because they no longer fit are now back in circulation. Now it’s the “fat” jeans turn to be put on the back cabinet. I’m turning 30 next year so keeping healthy is a priority. Remember, I’m committed to spinsterhood and staying reasonably in shape will lessen the prospects of tripping over my own feet (by the time I reach 70), unable to move for days to call for help then die of starvation and possibly boredom. The neighbors will inevitably notice after a week or so (who could stand the stench after all??) Unless I happen to live in an isolated farmhouse. In which case I would be found after 3 decades or so by some random nosy kid, scare the living shit out of him/her and eventually become part of the local urban legend. Which I won’t mind actually.

>Daily Alcohol Intake: None today so far. But I just remembered that  I’ve got free beer vouchers from 2 Japanese restaurants I sort of frequent. Should have no problems getting blind, stinking drunk next weekend if I wanted to. 😛

It’s just one of those depressing days, really. Yes, and I’m watching “Bridget Jones Diary” (another one of my kindred spirits, aside from good old Liz Lemon). Oh, I forgot! I just noticed James Callis (Gaius Baltar from   Battlestar Galactica) was in this movie. 🙂

Not to give the misleading impression that I am spending all my days in a self-pitying torpor. No sir. Had a busy schedule this week in fact.

>Went home (meaning to the province) and spent some time with my mom and brother. Haven’t seen them for a month, I think.

>Then went out on “date” with my just-recently-single cousin (ate good food, moaned about our luck-or lack thereof-in relationships, and spent most of the day having fun). Will post our culinary adventures here sometime; when I get myself “organized” enough.

>Worked on my entry for the September 10 Painting Exhibit. Bit of progress. But I guess I should work on it more since I only have a few days left (instead of spending time writing blog posts and watching self-indulgent movies. :)) But what the hell, right??

“To Bridget, who cannot cook. But who we love, just as she is.” (best line from the movie, in my opinion)

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) 😀 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. 😛

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. 🙂

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. 😀

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.

Odds and Ends (the month of November to December)

I decided to change the theme yet again. This one, called “Girl in Green” is one of my “go-to” themes. The last one featuring the characters from The Hunger Games, looks far too dark and gloomy. It’s the end of the year, well almost, and enough of the gloom and doom. It’s time to look forward to some hopefully good things to come. Leave all the bad shit (excuse my French) behind for a change.

Indeed there are some really bad memories I definitely need to leave behind. In fact I am now “seething with rage” (bit of an exaggeration, but in essence true) as to why one person would fail to keep his promise nor fail to inform me as to when he actually intends to compensate me.  It makes me think that he has no intention of doing so, which would have been to both our convenience if he had just been direct about it. Therefore, I would no longer expect him to and consequently move on.

The whole situation makes me think of this “old adage” I frequently see hanging near jeepney dashboards (and some buses too). It never fails to make me smile a bit. If you don’t know what it is, then you must have been pretty unobservant or totally idiotic or both. As always, I still give him the benefit of the doubt (for the one hundredth thousandth time I think.) I must remember to have myself lobotomized in the near future. My supposed intelligence seems to fail me when it comes to these things. I’m usually torn between wanting to kiss him and murder him (the balance shifts frequently). Right now I definitely have cold-blooded murder in mind. 😛 Just trying to lighten things up. I’m giving him an entire week to explain himself. A rather generous offer I’d say, considering.

With that bit of ranting out of the way, I will move on to other things.

Watched a few movies on the big screen. That means seeing a few duds once in a while.

Dud #1 is Apollo 18 aka “Blair-Witch-Project-In-Space-with-Crabs”. As one critic put it, “It’s 80 minutes of dead air.” Nothing could be more descriptive. I thought the poster looked visually intriguing so I dragged one of my friends to see what the film was all about. Well, to save you the headache and a bit of cash (in case you want to buy the DVD), the film is all about a bunch of American (and Russian) astronauts encountering deadly space crabs, all in Blair Witch style. I really wanted to sleep through the whole thing but I just have to get my 170 pesos back (too late for that though) so I forced myself to see the entire cinematic blackhole through. Needless to say, I would have been better off asleep. I’m sure any dreams I’m prone to have will be a hundred times more interesting (if it so happens that crabs will make an appearance, they will be cooked and ready to eat). 😀 One of my favourite lines from the film Ghost World comes to mind, “..after seeing this one, you’d wish you had 10 beers.”

Dud #2 is The Immortals aka “The Cheerleaders, circa 12 BC”. They say curiosity killed the cat. In this case, curiosity made me sleepy (slightly comatose even). Another film I thought  would be interesting (in a good way) based on the poster. It’s on the same vein as “Frank Miller’s 300” (and I didn’t like that one very much either). If there is any lesson to be gleaned from this film, it is this: no amount of “cool” special effects will cover for the lack of character depth and crappy storytelling. The hero (Theseus if I recall correctly) is played so inertly by the actor that I can foresee him playing trees or possibly boulders in the near future. True, he seems to shout a lot but it’s “all sound and fury signifying nothing”. There’s even an almost scene for scene reproduction of the 300 “rally”. But instead of feeling inspired and ready for battle I keep expecting the “warriors” to do a cheerleader dance routine (complete with someone doing a high split). Which I’m sure  was NOT what the filmmakers intended. I would say the Gods were pretty bad ass though. If only the costumes were a little less ridiculous.

I did see “Ghost Protocol” during the weekend though. I’d say it more than made up for the duds I had the misfortune to see. A few good films were in line the following months. There’s the American remake of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – showing this weekend; “Snow White and the Huntsman” – Charlize Theron will eat Kirsten Stewart alive. What were they thinking? But it has Chris Helmsworth. So there. 😛 What else? “The Hunger Games” of course. Quite excited to see this one. Plus some film entries to the Manila Film Festival. Should be enough to keep me entertained.

Still continuing with my drawings, I’m mostly working on quick sketches these days. Hopefully, I can produce at least a painting (canvas) in time for the local Mardi Gras. Crossing my fingers. I’m buying an Easel later in the day. One of the reasons I can’t draw for long periods is the lack of proper working space. The easel should solve that problem for a bit.

Sleepy and a bit hungry….

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. 😉

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).