Saturday, January 12, 2002

Looks like my insomia is hitting me again. Anyway, I've actually managed to write something for my fiction class although it's far from finished. I also still have an assignment for Jap but I'll probably do it tomorrow.

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Before I end my posts for the week, there are three things I'd like to focus on: the past, the future, and the present.

I just visited a website I used to frequently visit. EX was an online anime magazine I loved. Unlike most webzines, they implemented a practical solution to browsing their mag: downloading it. This saved a lot of Internet time as their great articles were in your computer, freely read when you have the time instead of logging on to the Internet and downloading it repeatedly.

Of course the download gimmick would have never worked if it weren't for the quality of the content. While the reviews and features were good, what really shined were the columns which for me was the most informative. Charles McCarter and his staff would give their views on the anime industry while Scott Frazier would make me laugh and learn.

They also used to have a TV schedule of the latest anime shows in Japan. Another feature which I found very helpful was their regular update of Shonen Jump and Shonen Sunday. I'd know the latest stuff like Hunter x Hunter and Inu-Yasha even before they were adapted into animation or American comics. It's too bad they already changed the format and a lot of this has disappeared. And I can't blame them since I used to manage a fanzine myself, I know how the workload can be overbearing, especially when you can't exactly coerce your writers to write (since I don't pay them).

Regarding the future, a project I've been thinking up for quite some time is to set up a fantasy mailing list for Filipinos. I first thought of this before my sem break this year ended but I forgot to follow up on it. I'm looking for net-savvy people who are interested in the fantasy genre. Whether it's Tolkien, Rowling, Moorcock, Jordan, Brooks, or whoever else you can think of, I'm willing to moderate a mailing list. To anyone who's interested, email me!

As for the present, well, my BLOG is my main priority. I also want to set up a new website and perhaps incorporate my BLOG into that so if anyone has suggestions (along with a good and fast server, and a memorable domain name), tell me. In the meantime, you'll have to deal with my various rants and mutterings. As if someone actually reads this stuff.

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It'll only be a few hours more before my BLOG will make its first archive. I'm actually surprised at the amount of stuff I've written in the past week. It's amazing what you're inspired to write when you have 1) a nice layout, 2) an easy way to update stuff, and 3) have lots of free time. Anyway, I still have to write my story for my ficton class. It's really too bad I couldn't watch Gladiator tonight becauase of my assignments. Oh well.

I wonder if I'll be consistent with my entries. So far this week, I haven't missed a day except Tuesday and that was because I couldn't log on to Blogger. Hopefully, their service will continue to improve. In the mean time, you'll hear from me from now on. =)

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Doing layout for the web can be one of the most frustrating jobs. No matter how much good you try to make it appear in your computer, it'll probably look different (at the very least) in another person's PC.

According to economics, competition is good for consumers. Alas, that's not true when it comes to the Internet. Aside from varying web browsers such as Netscape and Internet Explorer, different computer models play a significant in web browsing which makes layouting tedious. Your computer may have this kind of font or display this shade of color but when browsed using a different computer (say the one in an Internet cafe), the color scheme may all go wrong and the font may differ. That's not mentioning other settings such as scripts which are turned on (or off), size, and plug-ins.

If only computer companies could get along. While HTML 4.0 is the standard when it comes to ummm, HTML, Microsoft and Netscape still have minor differences which greatly affect what will work and will not work with their web browsers. What's more, the choice of colors should also be improved. I find that the safe colors is not enough. Why are we stuck with 215 when there's 256 at the very least?

Plug-ins are another matter, especially when you're trying to do fancy stuff. Whether it's java, flash, pdf, or any other nifty program which you like, it takes time to go to the site and download it. At least that's so for users like me who still uses modems that don't go faster than 56K.

Sometimes, the simple things are the best. By minimizing images, downloading a site is faster. The same goes for using scripts. I was just surfing awhile ago when I ran into an acquaintance's BLOG. God, he was using a script which made all my other windows freeze and concentrate on him. His webpage was slowly filling the screen so I ran out of patience and closed it. Worse things could happen when you're using scripts.

While stylesheets have answered the need for fonts, alignment, and other wacky stuff that's available on most word processors, there's still some bugs to work out and they're not backwards compatible with old browsers. Oh well, maybe ten years from now...

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Friday, January 11, 2002

One thing I dislike is the color white. It's not white per se but more of wearing white and having a webpage whose background color is white.

To me, white is dull. It can't stand alone. The only times I wear a white shirt is when I'm required to, like ROTC. Of course adding a bit of detail, such as as blue line or a good logo, can change my opinion of that. But as I said, white isn't a good color that can stand alone.

When it comes to fonts though, I like white, especially when it comes to webpages. The only problem is that when you're set out to print the website, nothing comes out (or more precisely, white comes out on your bond paper.

Oh yeah, before I end, anyone has layouting tips for me? ^_^

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After failing to customize my layout, I've returned to the old one. Oh well, back to the drawing board for me. ^^

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Changing and updating my BLOG is getting more and more difficult by the day. Apparently, my connection to Blogger has slowed down to a crawl. I even wasted several hours last night choosing a new template only unable to utilize it. *sigh*

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Trusting my instincts is something I relearned today. As you know, Survivor: Africa ended today and I was actually able to predict the winner. Before going to my dentist appointment at 2 pm, I talked to Ela and told her that "the football player will win". A few hours later, just when I thought he'd lose, my instincts came out on top. ^^

Oh yeah, my Book of Five Rings was lying around in my plastic folder when Chino, my classmate in Sci10, asked if he could see it. I thought he was interested in the Japanese stuff. I was wrong... he followed up with "Is this something like Lord of the Rings?" I merely replied that it was like The Art of War, not a work of fiction. It seems Lord of the Rings' popularity is increasing, all thanks to its film adaptation. By now, everyone wants to read copies of the book. I wonder if it'll overtake Harry Potter by the end of the year.

Lord of the Rings' popularity is a good sign for the fantasy genre. More people are being aware of it and don't treat it as something just for kids. Last last year, we had the Harry Potter phenomenon. Now I might come to see the "Lord of the Rings" phenomenon. All thanks to the film medium.

I can't help but compare it to what happened in the middle of the 20th century. People were revitalized by adult fantasy thanks to J.R.R. Tolkien. 50 years later, the same thing is happening again: people are adoring Lord of the Rings.

As for me, I'm not really into Tolkien that much. I've read Lord of the Rings and its prequel, the Hobbit and I found it to be mediocre. I do understand that during his time, this was one of the first epic fantasies and so many people praised it, especially those much much older than me. I also know that without Tolkien, the existing fantasy genre might not even exist. But that's the past and I've read more modern work. I find that I enjoy what the fantasy writers of today have to offer more than I like reading Tolkien.

You might think I don't enjoy fiction that's not my era. Actually, I like several fantasy novels which were written before I was born. Just look at the Riftwar saga by Raymond E. Feist. Or Terry Brooks' Shannara series, which I must admit got a lot from Tolkien. However, as my friend Jobert said, "the thing with Brooks' work is that in the first few pages of the book, several characters die!" Perhaps there's more melodrama that way, and it makes the characters more dear since you know they're actually mortal. Also in science-fiction, I like Anne McCaffrey and Frank Herbert, and their work is dated several years before I was born.

I can feel proud that I don't fit into the fad-type of person. I read what I want to read. I'm a fantasy enthusiast and while I respect Tolkien, I don't have to fit into the category of being a fan just because it's currently popular. In the end, a person's likes and dislikes is subjective. And that's what makes a person unique.

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Thursday, January 10, 2002

Apparently, Blogger's peak hours is somewhere between midnight and early morning...

Anyway, I have to make this quick since I have to go to school in twenty minutes.

Sleep: I can't seem to get enough of it these days. My daily routine goes something like waking up at 5:30 am and then taking a nap at around 6 pm. I wake up at 7 pm and can't sleep until 11:30 pm at the earliest. Of course since I write best in the evening, I get more work done this way but my biological clock is really strange...

Cramming: Well, we have a report to present today, a quiz to pass, and I still have to write a script for me and my partner in Japanese class. Guess what, I haven't done any of this! And classes start at 7:30 am! *sigh*

Last but not least, I'm almost done with The Deathgate Cycle. I'm finally in the last book, The Seventh Gate. It's shorter than the rest actually and I hope I won't be disappointed by the ending. After reading that, hopefully I won't be distracted so I can get some work done. ^^

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I have yet to meet a girl who doesn't like Legolas. What is it between elves and women? Every female I know who has watched Lord of the Rings seems to adore the elf. A blockmate even went to Burger King to avail of the figures that comes with the kiddie meal and she mentioned that they were all out of Legolas figures. -.-

I was also reading "Articles of Faith" given to us by our fiction teacher and an entry there caught my attention. It said writers should read like a writer. It struck me because that's how I read. Or at least when it comes to science-fiction/fantasy books.

One thing that differentiates me from Steph is the fact that I read supplements such as info on the author, details on how the writer created the world, etc.... An example is the book Rivan Codex which details where David Eddings derived his setting and info for the Belgariad and Mallorean series. It piqued my interest. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for Steph. And I don't blame her, since it's not exactly an enjoyable read. Perhaps what drew me to it is the fact that I'm an aspiring writer and I look at the details on forming this and that. Writing is my calling, in case you haven't noticed. ^^

Interestingly enough, this week will mark the end of two reality game shows I watch: Survivor and Murder in Small Town X. I also have to come up with a short story for my fiction class. I'm one of the few who hasn't submitted one for the semester. How typical of me...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2002

It seems no service provider is perfect. I couldn't log on to Blogger yesterday. Just when I couldn't sleep and needed to write...

Everyone's still taking about Lord of the Rings these days. It started showing last Friday and I think the theaters are going to be full until next week. Even my Fiction teacher praised the movie. Of course he also told us not to buy the books in Powerbooks since they were missing five pages due to a printing error. And Camillo is going crazy that he wants to read the original trilogy but he can't borrow a copy. As for me, I'll sit back and watch. It'll only be ten months before the sequel arrives.

I'm finally reading the sixth book of The Deathgate Cycle. Weis and Hickman have really outdone themselves. There's nothing more I'd rather do than relax and read... except I have assignments. Actually, I have several assignments to do and I haven't done a single thing. It's just like me to do so. Oh well. *sigh*

Oh yeah, Jobert's D&D "Survivor" game commenced this afternoon. There were only seven of us instead of the originally planned ten. I wonder if any of our characters will make it to the tenth gaming session. I wonder if we'll start killing each other by next week...

Meanwhile, I was able to purchase today an Angel Cage artbook for Aiah. It's my birthday/Christmas present to her and she kept thanking me all the time. Just shows you what kind of influence I can exert. ^^ I also noticed that Ela now wears contacts.

Hmmm, to do my assignment or not? Hopefully, laziness won't get the better of me. After all, I was inspired enough to write an entry today. At least I can be grateful for that... I managed to fill out my BLOG. Oh well, reality comes knocking back now.

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Monday, January 07, 2002

Hmmm, it seems I'm out of words today. Not that there wasn't anything that happened today. In fact, there were some interesting events...

Sacha and I were sitting at the cafeteria and since the others were preoccupied, she had only me to talk to. Me being the anti-social person that I am, I just stared at her. "Gee, it's been so long since I made small talk that I forgot how to," she said. I merely retorted with "Errr, I never learned how to make small talk." Anyway, it all degenerated into a stare-down contest, which started at 1 pm and abruptly ended 30 minutes later since she had a class.

Oh yeah, I also received a text message from Mystic. It was asking me to check out the results of the entrance exam in Ateneo. Suffice to say, it was posted far far away from the main building. At least the exercise was good. ^^

Got my Detective Conan Singles Collection CD from Bart today. She also mentioned that Balat surrendered her website to her. One person's loss is another person's gain...

An idea also popped into my head recently. Why not make a dream journal available online? One of our projects in Psychology class is to keep track of our dreams. Like most of my projects and assignments, I'm not exactly doing well in this but keeping track of it by publishing it online is a thought. Maybe someone will make one. Or maybe I'll be inspired enough one of these days...

Oh yeah, people are talking about Lord of the Rings these days. Well, I still haven't gotten to watching it twice since we weren't able to find the time last weekend and I don't think I'll be having time this upcoming weekend. Oh well. Still have lots of books to read...

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Sunday, January 06, 2002

When I look back at the past few months, I find that life has been kind to me. Some would say that's a good thing. For me, perhaps it's made me worse.

Ever since I was a child, I never had it easy. Even at home, I found no respite. I'm who I am today because of the suffering I've endured. Now, I've achieved a state where things have gotten easier. I'm still not contented but things have definitely gotten easier. And it's for that reason that I've been holding back. I'm afraid of returning to that state. Thus I clutch on to my friends, perhaps holding on to them too much. I remember hanging around Steph too much last Thursday and Friday. I could sense strands of irritation, if not now then soon. I've been alone for the past eighteen years of my life. Why am I afraid not to see her for just a few days?

Regarding my love, I know it won't work out. I know she doesn't feel the same way towards me. But perhaps I've come to terms with that. The part that loves her is a part of me. I can't let it go. It just is. I won't fight it. I won't indulge it too much either though. Whether that love feels something in return is up to her. As for me, I'll just wait.

Duke, a former classmate, once gave me what he deemed is a psychological/logic problem. He gave me this situation: "You are courting someone. You are to give her ten roses. There are red and white ones. How many of each do you give to her?" "Ten red roses," I replied. Duke then gave me the interpretation: "You'll love someone wholeheartedly, even though she won't love you back." I feel that's my situation for the past three years. But it's something I've accepted were it to come true. I don't believe much in Duke's interpretation. It might even be a self-fulfilling prophecy so I stay aloof from it. But it lingers in my mind and so I've come to terms with that fact. There's only one way to love for me. It's without condition and wholeheartedly, without reserve. I could do no less.

I'm contented with my life right now. Life has been kind. I have no regrets, whatever the outcomes will be.

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It's only my first day of fiddling with blogger and I find myself writing a lot. Why is that? Nothing inspires me to write more than a wonderful layout! Now that I'm using blogger, things have gone so smooth. Everything is the way I want them to be. And that makes me H-A-P-P-Y!

Writing for me has been a condition. Either I'm in the mood for it or I'm not. When I'm in the former, I'm really itching to write. I can't live without writing. When it's the latter though, I'm always looking for an excuse not to do so. Of course another factor in all this is whether I have a keyboard to type on or not. Back when I was a kid, I wasn't that much fond of writing, primarily because my handwriting was unreadable and writing by hand was a chore. With computers and keyboards, things became so much easier for me. Not only was it easier to put my words down on paper but my hand could keep up with what my mind is thinking. My main obstruction was the fact that I was thinking too fast so a lot of things got lost by the time I was writing them. Not so anymore.

I also remember drawing a lot before. Of course they weren't great drawings and they still suck now but some of my artistic frustrations have gone into layouting. That's one of the reasons why I know how to use Pagemaker. For a writer, his main concern is what his text will deliver to the reader. For me, that's only a part of it. What the text looks like and how it's presented is another factor in itself. Perhaps that's why I'm inspired to write when there's such a great layout. My creativity is given a free hand. Which is why I'm glad my BLOG is not in live journal. ^^ Now if I only knew how to store images here...

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Anyway, I'm done fiddling with stuff. I still have to go to my grandmother's house for dinner and I still haven't done any of my assignments...
Oh well, at least I'm halfway through the book I'm reading now, Serpent Mage, the fourth book of the Deathgate Cycle. I could always rant more later on. ^^

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It may be 2002 but my life hasn't changed much. I'm still the same old me, the person who crams all his projects and surfs the web when he should be doing something else. Oh well. That's the life I'm living I guess.
In case you're wondering why I'm ranting, I'm seeing if anything's wrong with this BLOG. I don't want to get technical on you so let's just say that when the time appears correct and when my links are right, I'll be contented. ^^

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Hi! There's no better way to start the year than to set up a new BLOG. Actually, the real reason is because my code got messed up in PITAS so I needed a new place to host my journal entries. Hopefully, things will be smoother here. ^^

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