quaint little rutted bucket

Friday, February 20, 2004

here's a song I've found too hard to take away my ears from. Yes, it's a tad old, but it's just too mellifluous to pass. :D

No Stopping Us
words & music by jason mraz

Would it take a bakers dozen to get my point to you?
Would it take a half a pound to roll a joint for you
Would it take some hailing marys so full of grace to get my sound to you
Will you help me break it down and get on through

Down to the other side
It's easy of you only try
We don't lie down on the job
Because once we hit the top there's no stopping us

Should I address all my letters to the well to be
Should I say return to sender is just a well be done
Should I better not it take so personally if all the good loving is never received
Baby if it was me well I wouldn't think twice

No not I...
It's easy if you only try
We don't lie down on the job
Because once we hit the top there's no stopping us.

I will drive a thousand miles or I'll meet you at the station
If only you would take a vacation from this thing you have created
I promise to make it worth your while

So c'mon try. Baby wont you try
It's easy if you do not run
I promise you you'll have your fun
Because once we hit the top we've just begun

There's no stopping us...

Doubt? What doubt?

The doubt's getting pretty stronger by the day. The doubt in my abilities. The doubt in this whole "the-college-for-me-is-ComSci" thingy. I just want to get on with my life. Do something I have passion for.

The question is a toss-up between some practical sense and passion. Sure, I still have passion for computers, but when it boils down to the intricacies of Computer Science, like mathematics and programming, there's simply not enough motivation for me to continue. I might have improved upon my ability in programming lately, but it still pales in comparison to most of the people I know. Sigh.

And there's numbers and my intellectual capabilities. Gawd, how I hate numbers. Seems like I was born to *loathe* numbers. My grade school days were filled of difficult days in math (it was my perennial Achilles' Heel; it was the subject that I tend to have to lowest grades in, so anything even distinctly related to it suffered as well. Take physics for example. Sheesh, I got a barely-passing grade last term for it.) and up to now, I still have that hatred. I guess my mind isn't simply built for numbers.

(Here's something interesting: the list of famous people with the name 'Ralph' contains more creative, (writers, poets, painters) political and scholarly types than the all the engineers named 'Ralph' combined. Gee. Me, another reason in maintaining the status quo? Hahah.)

So, despite all the interest and passion I have for computers in general, I can't seem to find myself when faced with programming and math. Sigh.

That's where my other fields of interest start appearing attractive than ever before. Fields like Psychology, Behavioral Science, Literature, PolSci/International Studies, Education, History... the degree programs I'm contemplating shifting to. I now even more passion and genuine enthusiasm for those things; things I think I never had with ComSci. My writing is coming back now, thanks to a more understanding and equally-interesting professor I have in ENGLONE, Ms. Elizabeth Calero. I have even more confidence in my writing now (think about it, I even got accepted for TLS back in first term against the many who hoped to get in... too bad it took too much of my time and mum decided against it. Yep, that's the story why didn't anybody see any byline in TLS with my name on it.) and its something that I seriously consider. I mean, can writing be used much in ComSci? No it can't, but a BS degree in Lit or a BSE in English does, at least in the case of some IBMers featured somewhere online.

But then again, maybe it's just a bad case of that inferiority complex cropping up here and there. The list of countless insecurities I have on myself. Despite that cool, almost-resilient nature I seem to have, I must confess that it's just a mask to hide all the anxieties and doubts I have on myself.

Sigh. Maybe I just dislike that math too much that its become the source of all the pains I have in my life right now.

I dunno.

On a related note, I still haven't went to CCD for counselling. I'll schedule that, maybe on Munday. Or Wednesday.

Currently playing on my sweet Sennheiser HD497s
(para hindi maka-istorbo ng tulog. heheh.): "The Angels Sing" Album, a collection of the sweetest, most soothing female voices to have ever graced modern classical music. :D

Saturday, February 14, 2004

It's back! I guess...

If you're wondering what's back, it actually has something to do with one of the weirder aspects as to who i am. Sure, you guys may have noticed my relative strangeness whenever I start mumbling words on my own (haha.), but it has to do with the apparent lack of people to speak to; somebody who could listen and respond in a manner that more or less, is on the level of the conversation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not discriminating against people, but there's not just enough people willing to talk intelligible stuff that I know. (that would be politics, business and urm, computers. gee, no wonder no one wants to talk. everything stuffed in my head is geeky. heeheeh.)

The thing that's back is those scrolling words in the back of my head. It's weird, really, as its something that enables me to write things and stuff (and do the occasional self-talk thingy. :) It's actually something that turns itself on whenever I least expect it, more like Peter Parker's "spidey-sense" in a kind-of-way. Like when I'm in a public conveyance like a FX or a jeep, when there's no paper nor a blog entry page to write on.

When I entered college, I noticed that it was all but gone. I wasn't doing self-talk anymore, nor was there any scrolling words. Nothing. Zilch. It was only now that parts of it started coming back, like a dog returning to his master after fetching some object. (What a strange analogy! :)

Also, there's that nasty ability that I have whenever I'm in the mood for writing that enables me to think a word I've encountered once before, and try to use it in what I'm doing, say in an essay or paper. Not that I'm sure of its usage; in fact, it's quite the contrary. I'd have to check the definition I derived from the context clues presented in its original usage against Webster to make sure its the appropriate word. And more often than not, it is correct. Really strange ability. Any of you guys experienced it before too? Drop me a line or two here.

I'm not sure how all of this would make sense to anyone who reads this, but hey, it's better to have shared than to have done nothing at all. :D

Hrrmph... KC now knows about this little thing I have for one of his blockmates. I was so stupid to have asked about her. :)) On the other hand, he offered to introduce me to her. Yipee. Better brush up on opposite-gender socializing 101.

Currently playing: Regine Velasquez/David Hasselhoff's 'More Than Words Can Say' (syet. Love song na naman. Valentines pa man din. Heheh.)

Friday, February 13, 2004

Smoking is really bad for your health. I'm serious.

Apparently, here comes a study that proves and supports what we've known all along: that smoking can in fact lead to ugh, suckier love lives and some loss in the bedroom department.

More information here: http://www.newscientist.com/news/print.jsp?id=ns99994672

2003 Valentines Resolution: not fulfilled. Dang.

If some may remember way back valentines of 2003 (see here) I did state there that one of my resolutions for this year is "to be with somebody worthwhile" (Direct quotation yan ha! :) Guess what? Didn't fulfill it.

Instead, another fabulously single Valentines this year. Yay. While you see people going gaga over all this valentine shenanigan, as seen in the sheer number of flower and gift vendors arount the metro. Gee, even an org (not sure of its name, but I did saw their poster) at school got into the act too, organizing a Valentines' bazaar, together with haranas.


Chasing Liberty: another teen-flick, that is (cough, cough) perfect for those tweedledums looking to cuddle their special somebody this Valentines

Is this an omen?

I don't have any decent screenie to show you, so pardon the relative crummyness of my pic today. (But I love GB3's THX cinemas! Makes me even drool even more over a THX-Certified 5.1 system for myself at home.)

Anyway, if you're expecting something new over Mandy this time, you're out of luck. Sure, this film has been labelled something 'sexier', 'bolder' and more mature for Mandy, but believe me, that's what they are: just labels. The movie's just pure fluff and hype, if you are to believe the marketing they did for that movie.

But Mandy does what she does best: be that charming, enchanting lass that always ends up happily ever after. (Well, siguro with the exception of 'A Walk to Remember.') Which, as you may know, makes for some really nice kilig moments. :D (Why, is being a guy automatically something that prohibits you from experiencing moments of heightened emotion, like sharing in the rush of PEA in one's brain when love's around?)

Ben Calder (played by Matthey Goode, his first starring role BTW) plays as a European agent for the Secret Service, that gets to be the President's daughter, Ana Foster's first real serious love interest in the film, all while touring Europe's quaintest-of-quaint cities (Prague, Venice, Berlin and finally London... me wonder why Paris doesn't count. Perhaps it has to do with the chafing of relations between the US and France over the war in Iraq. Anyway, back to the comments... :)

Honestly though, Mandy was indeed sexier this time around. (Yeah, me a self-confessed Mandy fan. I own two of her CDs. So what?!? :)

To be fair, Ben Calder was really played his role well, and with his real schweet British accent, made for some real good performance in the movie. (Case in point: "I am just so un-bloody-hinged just being near you.") Not bad really, for his first big break on the silverscreen. Mandy, meanwhile, fared well too, despite the obvious pressures on her on this film.

While we have to give credit to the story as being real fascinating and unique in some ways, it is still, a teen-love flick. Which means cheesy lines, right? No. This movie makes an exception, and it does give light to one of the many problems teens all over the world experience: the continued struggle for independence as we all grow older. Combining love and freedom, Ana explores the world on her own, along with Ben, in a hubbub-of-a-tour of Europe, and makes a few exceptional realizations, like love and the true value of liberty, as also being responsible enough for your own good.

Overall, the movie makes for an excellent Valentines' and a teen-targeted romance at that. Recommended. :)

Monday, February 09, 2004

mozilla.org releases a combo today

Firefox Browser (now at 0.8 milestone, formerly known as Firebird/Phoenix) and Thunderbird 0.5 (standalone mail client) released. Get yours now here. Available in almost every desktop OS: Windows, Linux and Mac OSX.

Also, I've added an advocacy button on the near right, below my list o' links. Check it out, seems sweet.

Hey emvin, nice partey. Happy Birthday. :D

After emvin's partey, I must admit that I got a wee-bit sober. And Philip [Duay] was telling me that I was somewhat of a wreck last Friday eve. Shucks. I'm pretty sure I only had around two bottles of beer, plus a couple of cups of that grape-flavored 'cartoons' thingy. Oh, the wine and the whiskey too. Awful stuff, in my opinion. With that, I was already tipsy and red, so said by my friends. I dunno. I did manage to avoid more bottles, as somebody at home might notice and I've still got a class the day after. But one thing's for sure: I enjoyed myself last Friday.

Some of comtech2003's people were also hurting that night. Reason? Don't ask, as it's all too predictable.

Pogz was hurting, and I was trying to console and let him see reason in just getting over the thought of ******, as she apparently has her eyes on another guy. Also hurting was Chris, when he got hold of the info that the object of her interest has gone off with somebody for at least an hour. Sigh. For the past week, all I've heard of from ct2003 people were problems with the opposite gender. Hey DB, here's a suggestion: why not a subject on opposite-gender relations, so we can at least be up to snuff when we go out into college. Being in an exclusive-for-boys school does have its merits, but it does have cons too. Like the majority of us being clueless about females. :)

Also got to see mico's place. Not bad. Relatively saner compared to our place. :))

I got suffocated too, from all the exhaust in EDSA and in SLEX. Darn jeepneys and buses. They should go the way of the dodo already.

Currently playing: Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me" CD.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Here's my first minor essay for ENGLONE--see, with little passion and dedication, I can still churn out pretty good compositions. The structuring is still fscked, so pardon that, but among others, it's actually something pretty good.

Required Reading: A testimonial on how reading can affect the course of our lives

I was a born reader. That is, if you are to believe any inkling of what my mum says of me.

I started reading at an early age; a full year even before my peers in nursery class learned theirs. If my memory doesn’t fail me, I was around four at that time, and my first taste of reading, apart from my basic “Abakada” book, was a Snoopy and Woodstock guide to things that fly—a perfect combination that was in itself, can be considered an omen of what I was to become in the future: a demi-geek in denial.

I was completely absorbed by that Snoopy book, a lot of it largely by the fascinating nature of airplanes. Remember when older people asked kids on what they wanted to become when they grew up? My answer was always immediate, in a manner that was enthusiastic as it was interesting: a pilot. And to think it all started from reading.

About a year after I had learned to read, my parents decided to purchase more books for me. It was then I encountered my very first encyclopedia: a Sesame Street-inspired encyclopedia that contained activities and lessons that preschoolers are bound to enjoy. Soon after, it was followed by not one, but two[!] sets of encyclopedias: A ‘real’ one, “Lexicon Universal”, and my early favorite, another Peanuts-inspired material, “Charlie Brown’s ‘Cyclopedia.” That Charlie Brown set would prove to be my boon (helping me get honors) and my best friend as I stepped into early grade school, as I found a lot of its contents to be helpful, especially in my science classes.

At that time, my burgeoning fondness for books started to become my new-found reason not to attend social gatherings (read: family affairs, e.g. reunions), going as far as persuading my mum that I loved reading above anything else. Of course, I do love reading, but in truth, it was more of a reason to avoid meeting my cousins and other relatives. My mum fell for it then, and coming to a realization, I think it was also a factor that contributed to my somewhat coy nature now as an individual.

My readings grew to include classical children’s fiction such as “Swiss Family Robinson”, “The Last of the Mohicans”, “The Three Musketeers” and “The Wind in the Willows.” I also received a gift of books on a Christmas Day of years ago, purportedly from Santa Claus, on the lives of inventors and scientists such as the Wright Brothers, Thomas Alva Edison, Marie Curie and Guglielmo Marconi. My growing collection of books prompted me, in a manner that is almost reminiscent of obsessive-compulsive behavior, to set aside a corner of my room as my miniature library, going as far as labeling it ‘Mini-Library’ to dissuade other people in the house from disturbing it. At an early age, I was already on my way to geekdom.

My extracurricular activity back in Lourdes School was also a testament in how I was lured by the plethora of information and entertainment books could bring: For three straight school years, I was a part of the grade school library’s Junior Librarians, a club that helps out our librarians in organizing books and the shelves, managing borrowers and returned books and helping maintain order in the library by policing other students by reminding them of their behavior. I could still remember enduring lectures on how the Dewey Decimal Classification System worked, and at that time, my biggest fulfilled dream then was when we went to the annual National Bookfair held in SM Megamall’s Megatrade Halls—an event filled with cheap, new releases of local and foreign titles and tons of magazines only then I had started to discover. My experiences as a budding librarian exposed me to even more books; it was this time that I had started reading other works of fiction popular with other kids, such as the Hardy Boys.

Before I finally stepped out of grade school and onto Don Bosco Makati HS, Dad started our subscription to Time Magazine, the prominent international newsweekly. At that time, I also had my first brush with Zafra’s works, reading my older cousin’s original ‘Twisted’ and ‘Twisted II.’ I found myself occasionally guffawing off Jessica’s articles, yet at the same time, realizing her points in the issues she had presented. Little did I know that those were going to be a start of something more worthwhile in both my reading and writing activities.

While I must confess that I was bored to death by my high school readings and studies, one thing that consumed much of my leisure time was my weekly dose of news and critical analysis from the plethora of magazines my father subscribed to. These included Time, Fortune and the now-defunct Asiaweek, plus a monthly dosage of National Geographic. I found myself sometimes being harangued for simply reading too much non-academe-related stuff. Nevertheless, it was still good, as there are some people in school who appreciated it: my history teacher became so fond of me, that when she became the head of the department, I was one of her top picks in sending to competitions because of my supposed knowledge in current affairs.

Reading also introduced me to the world of computers. It all started from the occasional issue of computer-specific magazines such as PC World and the like, while I was researching for an upgrade to my then-ageing 166 MHz Pentium system. I was interested and later on became hooked to a myriad of websites on the Internet that catered to the hardware enthusiast community. This was to influence me in a lot of crucial decisions; from my shop specialization in technical high school (computer technology) to the degree I am pursuing now, which is computer science. The geek image became more apparent as a result of that.

Today, a day in my life never goes on without reading. A day starts with my daily dose of news from NYTimes.com, techie news and rumors from The Inquirer.net, all the way to reading about my friends’ lives online on their blogs. Of course, these still include the magazines I’ve had since late elementary and the occasional broadsheet once or twice a week. I keep self-help books on socializing[!] and writing, plus a couple of books in Zafra’s “Twisted” series.

While writing this, it was only now that I realized that what we read forms us, both in character and personality. It ultimately affects a lot of things in the course of our lives, ranging from the decisions we make to how we turn out later on in life as individuals. Even indirectly, a lot can be learned from simply picking up a random book and reading it. I gained a lot of style points from the materials I’ve read in the past and subconsciously integrated them into the manner I dish out my writings. I could go on and further elaborate on my reading activities, but I digress.