quaint little rutted bucket

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

First post!

Fun. Really. After a week without no updates at all, here I am again. :))

Anyway, it was fun. I dunno. I just feel as happy and as cheery as hell. I really have no idea why. Maybe for the first time, i have no immediate worries; only long-term ones that have existed since I had an inkling of what life really is.

(Gee. Here I go again, writing about something abstract and intangible. Anyway, if you couldn't stand it, the exit's just around the corner. And oh, thank you for coming. :))

Seriously, my almost worthless and un-eventful life had some developments recently. (Finally.) Read about it maybe tomorrow. I'm sleepy.

You know what? Nothing. Never mind.

Sheesh. I can't organize my thoughts today. For chrissakes. (Oops. My bad.)

I'll be posting my reaction paper on 'The Last Samurai' maybe tomorrow or on Thursday, whenever I feel like it. It's actually a paper I did for ENGLONE, my real, honest-to-goodness fave subject. Literally made out of nothing, just at the onset of a desire to write and rediscover a couple of things. Wala lang. I just wanted my profie to see it. No, she said she'll be giving incentives for anything written, so maybe I could try my hand on a reaction paper.

And to think I even found time to update this.

I'm in a dilemma right now. I was walking when I realized a couple of things. Is COMSCI for me? I mean, my interests lies in other things: writing, behavioral science or even psychology, and ugh, teaching. Teaching something like history or english. And yeah, I'm really fascinated by young tots. Not computers. Sure, I'm passionate about them, but then again, my skills aren't really COMSCI-ish. (Sometimes, you have to face facts. Fast.)

I'll be going to CCD tomorrow (SPS, 3rd Floor.) for counselling. Maybe they could help. I'm really confused. My parents are of no help, either: all they say is they'll support me in whatever I decide to take. What about a degree in being a bum or lifetime slacker now? Would they support me in that? I thought not too. :))

Aside from being in a dilemma, I'm also fazed too. Over people of the opposite gender.

You know, there's two equally-interesting girls in my A55 JPRIZAL class. She's ******* and ******* (Heh. All of my admirationaroos thus far have seven letter names. What fun!)

One's a chinese mestiza-type, the latter's a quaint young woman who has this wonderful pair of earrings with pearls on them. Really pretty.

And yeah, I've got an entire term to get to know them both. :)))))))))))))

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Top Pick: Mandy Moore's latest, 'Coverage', hits the sweet spot between pop and maturity

This nineteen-year old charmer has lots of things going for her. Whether it is on the music scene or onscreen, Miss Moore's talent has never failed her, only to continue maturing and growing to be better over time. As perhaps the most successful of the female teen pop idols, her continued success stems from the drastic changes we've seen from the girl we heard debuting with the sweety-pop song 'Candy' (some pun intended) to the actress that carried 'A Walk to Remember' to the vestibule of success. Enter 'Coverage.'

As you may know (and as hinted by the album's title), Coverage at its rawest form, is only a cover album of older hits. Most people who have listened to covers know that the cover song could only be as good as the artist rendering it, so Mandy has lots to lose if she disappoints (read: babyboomers) fans of the songs.

But in typical Mandy-fashion, she doesn’t.

I’ve tried hunting some of the older, original versions of the songs, and while Mandy may sound like a pro singing on the karaoke, don't be fooled: these are good, first-rate covers.

‘Coverage’ starts off with ‘Senses Working Overtime,’ a fast-paced song to start and warm things up. Some are on the slow and mellow side of things, while some follows the oft-trodden track and delivered in Mandy’s unique style of pop. Personally, I’ve liked almost all the songs, with the exception of ‘One Way or Another,’ a track is which is awfully cheesy. (Maybe it’s just me, but I dunno. :)) Of particular note was the last two tracks, ‘Help Me’ and the recently-released hit single, ‘Have A Little Faith in Me.’

What actually surprised me was that, after listening over and over to ‘Coverage,’ I found myself hunting for most of the songs and trying to listen and obtain the original versions online. (Don’t ask where; most per-pay-download services like Apple iTunes are still limited to US/North America-only, so that leaves me with P2P :)) and on my folk’s CD collections. I found some, and listening to Mandy’s and the original artist’s rendition, I find that Mandy’s efforts in doing covers give the original works justice, by bringing wonderful pieces of music back into the mainstream and reintroducing them to entirely new generations of listeners who might or might have not listened nor heard the original artists’ works that are featured in Coverage. In fact, she doesn’t spoil them or anything; her renditions are juicy; very ingeniously and wonderfully done, and give new-found life to works that have been considered mainstays and popular acts of their eras.

Even if ‘Coverage’ is still pretty much a cover album, it showcases the great strides Mandy’s talent and maturity has so far achieved in an entirely new level and light. Surely good things can be expected from this wonderful girl-just-turning-to-woman. Coupled with lots of opportunities, plus her already-good plethora of talent, genius and creativity at her disposal, Mandy is sure poised to win more fans over. In all, Coverage is an excellent album; paying good homage to the originals in the covers she has done here. 8.5 out of 10. Recommended, if you’re after some good pop music you can kick back and listen to.

(So, liked my review? Honestly, I’m really not sure if it’s any good or not. But it was an attempt to get my writing back into focus. Email me your comments here. :))

It’s a no-brainer, really. The system needs change, now!

If there’s anything I had noticed lately that I could wish happened here, it’s the US Democrats’ method of choosing their party’s standard bearer. They hold caucuses which then hopefully determines the *real* candidate the Democrats want to run against Bush.

I wish we had the same system set-up here.

I wish we had real parties; where one could really join and pitch in ideas and suggestions, then work together on a plan of implementing action and change, and not just ‘coalitions’ that ‘break-up’ after each other’s through getting what they needed and wanted. Sigh. Philippine politics is a joke and an exercise in futility, really.

That was why I wondered then why our politicos seem to make too great a joke on our country’s elections and party system (Do we really have one?), whereas politicians in progressive democratic nations such as France, the USA, France and Germany make great strides in sticking it out with their party even when the going gets tough. I could only wish I could say the same for my beloved country.

Without collectivity, credible and honest politicians’ true and noble efforts can only be as good as the person next to us. Without a real party system in place, politics degrade into a long, big yarn of joke, leaving us with that bitter-after taste of bickering and dog-eat-dog mentality that pervades our country’s political scene. Without a real party system, people can go in and out of politics whenever they wish to. (Just take a look at the sheer length of actors/actresses-turned politicians who say that their desire to serve are the only qualifications they need to serve effectively. Sheesh!) Where are we to go?

I’m not really surprised at all why Communist movements such as the CPP-NDF-NPA continue to exist.

Inaction, lack of tangible and concrete progress, almost-endless infighting and backbiting, political butterflies… where are we now, after two EDSA revolts, a dictator, and a silly excuse for an actor-turned-Prez? (that is poised to happen again?!? $#@$%^*#!) Nowhere.

All because of this big shenanigan we even dare to call politics. And oh, all of those silly, ‘infallible’ idiots who continue to run for office.

We need real, sharp, honest and sincere politicians, not actors/actresses, not elitists, nor even trapos.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Do you call yourself l337?

Here's my dare: Down two baluts (duck embryo eggs, cooked. yum. :)) as fast as you can, and tell the entire world how good it tastes, with some salt added. really, it's yum.

anyway, the thing is that it also has lots of cholesterol too, so don't eat too much of the stuff.

[Now what was that about posting about balut? Ewan. Masarap lang talaga eh. :D

Michelle Branch's 'Hotel Paper' s*cks!

I hate it not because of the music. But because this is a case of technology spoiling perfectly nice and sane music.

It's called 'copy control', and even Philips, the inventor of Compact Disc technology, had already disowned 'CDs' bearing copy-control technologies, saying that they do not warrant being called compact discs anymore, lest they start following the Red Book CD Audio standard.

For instance, even after cracking the protection, some tracks still are absent. This sucks, as my sister bought this thing for 400++ pesos. We both like Michelle's music, and this is not the way I wanted things to be.

RIAA and all their minions suck. They should all just go to hell, instead of trying to use technology against us instead of embracing it.

I mean, is copy-protection bad? Sure, it is. How about companies making beta testers out of you? We've seen this before with M$, and now record companies are doing exactly the same thing. They literally sell you discs that aren't guaranteed to work, (Some CCTs even damage/destroy the players they are used in) and offer almost no renumeration for the costs and the hassle that you, as a consumer endured. They release technologies onto the marketplace without even conducting testing. This is bad. I can honestly say that this is a step in the wrong direction for the music industry.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

meeeco! here's the comment you've asked for.

first up: i hate to break it to you, but alcove of secrets™ is just *so* cheesy, it's almost clichè-ish. i suggest something subtler. (honestly, it reminds me of harry potter. oh wait, 'chamber of secrets' pala yun! heeheeh.) :))

on a related note, men are programmed to be hunters, just as females are programmed by nature to be hunted. no really, I'm dead serious here. That's how nature shaped us over the course of history and over the millenias. But then again, people still misconstrue your actions as being a 'player' or being a playboy, whichever comes first. IMHO, that's the risk you take as a guy in finding that one true love you've always sought for.

being popular with them feemales is *not* the same as being likable. believe me.

(baket mico, meron na naman bang bago? Heeheeh. :))

and it's not paranoia that overcomes you. it's something called anxiety. the feeling of butterflies in your tummy whenever you try to decide on something... yep, that's the feeling. and really, it's a glorious feeling, as its a sign that you're as far as normal teens could get. :))

you loathe local movies. that's fine, i did so too. i like crying ladies, though, as it brings a lot of refreshing things to local moviemaking. but then again, the rash of actors and actresses jumping to politics makes me sick as hell, so I figure I'll have another boycott.

and oh, the official PR scoopage on why ralph blay failed englone is down below! read and understand, you insensitive clod! (been slashdotting lately... so, pardon me.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I view, I came, and I saw.

My eyes were glued to the boob tube for some moments earlier today, and my hands were full as I was fiddling with the remote, mindlessly shifting from one channel to another when I stumbled upon Extra Challenge at GMA-7, with Paolo Bediones and Phoemela Baranda as hosts. (as you may know, Phoemela isn't actually Paolo's partner--it was Miriam Quiambao, another real pretty Filipina face. :D

They were on Boracay (Gee, I'm envious as hell.) for Phoemela's 'initiation' challenges, and it was only then that Miriam's disapperance isn't that bad at all: Here's Phoemela, an equally-pretty, intelligible host replacing Miriam! And boy, Phoemela sure is pretty too.

I liked how Miriam handled the show with Paolo in the past, along with the fact that Miriam sure is a nice and refreshing face to see after a rash of chinitas invading local TV. Phoemela isn't exactly the epitome of Filipina beauty (read: morena), but she's well up there with them, at the pantheon of Filipinas whom we have considered to be the prettiest faces to ever grace media.

In all, maybe here's one local show worth watching again. (Yeah, Phoemela's presence is indeed a factor. :))

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Here's the word, straight from the horse's mouth.

I failed ENGLONE. Yep, some of you might have noticed (and asked) about the seemingly erroneous entry a couple of days ago about my subjects, but as painful and as unbelievable as it may be, ENGLONE is indeed one of my subjects for this term, as I've failed ENGLONE, one of the few subjects in which I've done relatively well.

Honestly, it was a lack of responsibility on my part, plus some problems with my family. It's real personal, so I tend to not talk about it. But my mistake was to let the bad goings-on that have been happening lately to affect me and my studies. You know, it's hard to go home to a place that you hate going home to, going as far as delaying my trip home just to stay out of the entire mess.

My ENGLONE failure might be too good a thing too, as it helped me get back on my feet and have some semblance of responsibility and diligence on my part, two things I've never really had since I was in high school. I dunno if it was from my apparent lack of fear for failure and for deadlines, but heck, I must agree, I do slack a bit too much. It was also a good reality check, as I think i've already had my skill in english all over my head, when in reality, there are tons of people who are miles-away-better than me. Heh.

What I was surprised about was my comtech2003 batchmates' reaction to my failure. And they were with good reason: it was only lately that I remembered that I was the guy who brought DB a silver medal (bested only by Ateneo! Hah! Take that, you blue-blooded katipuneros! Heheh. Just kidding. :)) in PCPGE's english essay writing contest, and wrote in a manner that is still considered prolific by my peers even up to now. Heck, I even have the cream of DB batch 2003's respect when it came to writing... but still, I failed.

Sigh. Ralph, where art thou? :|

I know my mistakes. I... I really am at a loss for words. Here I am, thinking over where and what I've done wrong, and got an entire term to do the thinking. Gee, real neat. Seriously, I think it's nigh time I get off the less-trudged path and just stay with what everybody else does. It's not that bad, really.

Mico! You leery git! You even had the tenacity to post my full name on your blog. anyway, the publicity's good. i suppose that's for free. it's nice and lovely. really. :p

JPRIZAL? Fun, really!

Hah. My class in CLA, JPRIZAL, is fun. Why? The reason's real strange, but here goes.

It's the first class, in my entire life, that is dominated by feemales. Yep, that's right, the opposite gender. And how they dominate is pretty odd. They're like... boys, minus the rowdyness and green jokes. :D I mean, on my block and back in HS, we guys are responsible for much of the ruckus and the clowning around, but on my A55 JPRIZAL class, the girls do much of the kidding around, while we guys just sit back and laugh. Gee. It's odd to be on the other side of the fence. :))

And if you're wondering, yep, there's lots of lookers in that class. :D

Monday, January 12, 2004

You might have, or might. Or whatever, actually. :))

I've added another site to my daily reading list--the list of sites I go to check on an almost ritualistic basis. Check it out here. Yes, it's New York Times on the Web. (Membership required, but it's free as beer and their privacy policy is credible enough to be trusted, so check it out.)

I find CNN.com slow on dial-up, and NYTimes gives that much-needed foreign news updatage that complements the slew of news coming from local media outlets.

Fun? Think PEDANCE.

I've had my first encounter with PEDANCE early today. And yeah, for a guy like me who has so much loathing for dancing, I find it fun.

Despite P1003's lack of airconditioning, I still managed to keep my cool somehow. I don't know how or why, but lately, I've been feeling really cheery and nice. I wish it could last forever. :))

We've done a series of figures for 'LA Walk' today, and while it may not necessarily be *that* challenging, (My mom, a self-confessed lady who finds ballroom dancing fun and engrossing, laughed at me after I said I still find it difficult to follow dance steps. Go figure.) it was, for somebody like me who is really clueless when it comes to anything related to dancing.

I really felt great after PEDANCE today, and I'm certainly looking forward to the next meeting. :D

Thursday, January 08, 2004

w007! First day rocks!

(Okay, so it's not really my first day, but I figured that this is indeed my first real and serious day of classes, so the reason to call it first day.)

Anyway, I love my classes during Tuesdays and Thursdays! Sure, they're ENGLONE, JPRIZAL and COMPRO2, but the professors are what makes them more worthwhile. I've got more moderate professors now, and it really helps to have their kind as they can ultimately, make or break my studies for this term.

I'm touring a bigger part of La Salle, now that I have classes in three different colleges. My ENGLONE class is with engineering first year majors, while my JPRIZAL class is with an overly noisy, female-majority CLA frosh block, and my COMPRO2 class is with Andrew, plus a couple of 15 people.

I'm loving it, really. I know I should, as this could spell trouble if I don't cut this one off correctly.

I wasn't expecting it, but I thought I just saw her pass by...

Yes, *******. Her. Of all the persons. It's not that there's something bad about seeing somebody you have a crush on, but it kinda makes things somewhat complicated for me.

For starters, I wasn't expecting she would taking an afternoon class for her COMPRO2 course, along with that guy who has been 'careering' her. That's why I saw her, and saw her lots.

As we were waiting for Kenneth to scamper away from his last class, (also COMPRO2, albeit under a different professor) the bell rang. I knew that she was still in Gox, but not that it did matter now. I looked upon the direction of the bridgeway, and there she was. And our eyes met, only broken by the arrival of her two blockmates, who I had presumed to having invited her to join them and watch her block's game against another frosh CS block.

Gee. For a moment there, I thought what I just did was evil. But then again, maybe not. ;)) For starters, she caught me looking at her. Again, not that it matters, as I'm a guy and she's, well, a girl, but it does give away some of the secrecy factor.

This wasn't the first incident. This also occured lotsa times last term, and yeah, it makes me feel a li'l bit jumpy.

Sigh. I need rest.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Blogger screwed up my posting last Sunday, after my dial-up connection was cut-off after a period of inactivity. Oh well. :|

Kabalarian Philosophy? You decide.

Here's a rather amusing thing to get things started this week and this term.

"What's in a Name?"

First Name:
Male Female

Please use standard keyboard characters and hyphens instead of spaces.

My name revealed something like this:

Your first name of Ralph creates individuality, independence, self-confidence, initiative, and an inclination to physical activity. You are not inclined to merge your opinions and viewpoints with others, to accept compromise, or to work in a subservient position against your will. Your expression is invariably quite direct and candid. Others find it difficult to accept your domineering and, at times, argumentative manner.

Heh. I'm domineering and argumentative? Gee. Quite the contrary, in fact. :))

another term starts anew

third term officially kicks off today. and so are my classes. of late, the only class I have for today is INTRODS, before lunch. Wednesdays. Sheesh. You gotta love 'em.

I'm still optimistic about the possibility of adjusting to another section for my COMPRO2 (Yay. My new fave course, after ALGTRIG. :) simply because I don't relish anymore the idea of going home at six in the evening. Sure, I'll get to see dusk set in, but nowadays, I figure I've already gotten more than enough of what I think is the best amount of PSE (poetic sunset exposure), so I digress.

I'm deblocked as hell too, so that makes me somewhat of an irregular student now. As of late, I'm enrolled in a CLA JPRIZAL class, a COE ENGLONE class, and the rest, in CCS, along with my PEDANCE class. (Dance! Hrrmph! Nakakahiya. o.0

At last! Finally! »» Kenny G's Paradise album is now in my hands

After waiting more than a year for this, I've finally gotten my hands on Kenny G's latest and greatest.

To start things up, this isn't your typical Kenny G album. Most of the tracks are bossanova-flavored, giving rise to another dimension to Kenny G's almost prodigious manner of playing the alto saxophone. This isn't smooth-jazzy either, as 'jazz' isn't necessarily splottered all over the cover of this album.

While Kenny G isn't at all the epitome of smooth jazz, his efforts at making it more accessible to more mainstream audiences is particularly laudable, especially with this album.

To some degree, I must admit, this isn't what I had expected of this album after hearing the duet he made with Chante Moore on 'One More Time' and with Brian McKnight on 'All The Way,' but album more than redeems itself with the variety of music and subtle touches of creativity Kenny G has rendered into his compositions. I'm a bit disappointed, but it was still good.

In all, I think it warrants the Grammy Award nomination that Kenny G got for this one. A good album, especially if you're into these genres of music. :))

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Welcome, 2004!

Yey, a new year dawns upon all of us. A new year full of surprises, pleasant and painful alike. An entire new year to screw up. Or to correct on my own mistakes. To realize a few things I want to happen to me.

Anyway, I bid all of the people who drop by here good tidings for the rest of the year. God has been so good this year, despite the almost insurmountable heap of problems I had, I still am grateful for Him. God is great. :))

The explosions have all been silenced now, and an uneasy silence has come, at least in the immediate vicinity of my room. There are still the occasionally pops in the distance, but like the night, it also fades slowly, melting into the darkness of January 1st's early morning hours.

Tip: When life seems to have hit the lowest of the lows you could ever have, try to see the big picture. Get some fresh air to clear your mind.

Teodoro Benigno @ Online (Gene Orejana, ANC)

I was watching Online after Star Wars EP2 wrapped-up in Star Movies, and Gene Orejana had Teodoro Benigno, the famed columnist on the hot seat. Things were interesting in that they discussed the big things that will and might happen this year. Like the May national elections.

I'm not yet a registered voter, until the next elections, simply because of my age. But I do care a lot about this seemingly-forsaken country. There have instances tears ran down my cheeks because of the bickering and the selfishness that pervades today's national culture.

I agree in Benigno's comment on who he sees as the best bet *objectively* for everyone as Prez, and that is Roco. He has come unscathed even after a flurry of scandals (Or were they 'smear campaigns,' I wonder) as DepEd Sec, and his integrity is what carries his name. This is also reflected by the people in PPC, followed by [gulp] FPJ. If i have the chance to vote, Roco and either Barbers or BF gets my votes.

I really am not comfortable with the idea of having another celebrity as Prez. For one thing, he looks even less compared to Erap, as he is definitely clueless as to how to run a government, much less a country. (Erap did serve as mayor, senator, and veep before suceeding FVR as Prez.) Sure, he is clean, but how will he ever have dirt in his name when he didn't even have the chance to serve in public office in the past? I mean, let's have a reality check here, folks: He doesn't know a dime about governance, and his humble demeanor can be abused by the very people who put him in power in the guise of 'utang na loob.' I'm not in anyway being prejudicial, but we have to weigh our options here. Presidency is a serious thing to mess up with. If we mess this one up, we're definitely screwed: For six years.


I accidentally stumbled upon another's blog just this mornin', and pogz's blog reveals a lot more about him than I'll perhaps ever know of him. He's the realization of the adage that behind every smile, every happy face, is a person who is as vulnerable and sensitive like the rest of the world. A person who perhaps shares in the same pains as we all do.

Teenage life is frustrating, as you try to re-learn the world as an adult, and throw away all you've learned of it as a child. The loves, the problems with family and studies, and questions on life. The search for meaning; of reasons for existing. For contentment. The seemingly destructive human cycle of emotions. It's deafening, confusing and can sometimes be a complete let-down, even for the most seasoned optimist.

You search for ways to escape, but it then haunts you, like a restless soul searching for deliverance.


What's playing? Poets of the Fall's "Late Goodbye." (Yes, it's Max Payne 2's OST.)