Saturday, December 07, 2002

There's an offer at Amazon Japan for the DVD of both Ring and Ring 2 for Y9400.

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One of the most overused titles I've ever seen must be "A New Beginning". HBO just showed the sequel to Dragonheart and guess what's the title? Even the prologue wasn't up to standards, which is why I just switched the channel to ESPN and watch the game of the Lakers against the Mavericks.

It was good judgement on my part to do that since I watched what was probably one of the best NBA games. The Lakers, the defending champs, were down by some thirty points in the first half. Just to emphasize how horrible they were playing, Kobe Bryant only managed to score two points so far. For someone that averages twenty plus points a game, for you to have only two points in the first half is just plain terrible.

Anyway, Lakers were down by twenty plus points when they entered the fourth quarter but managed to draw the game in less than two minutes, gained the winning shot, and prevented the Mavericks from scoring in the last eight seconds. The team also made NBA history by winning the game from a huge deficit (the previous record was winning the game from a 25-point deficit).

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I'm bored. I might just go on a movie-watching spree all by myself. Either that or start writing.

I forgot to mention today that Elbert told me that some movie theaters are showing two versions of the Japanese Ring: One with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. The other dubbed in Filipino. *Now that is scary* I guess I should be glad I watched it last night in Robinsons instead of Megamall...

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Friday, December 06, 2002

Haven't had breakfast nor lunch yet and considering I came from Katipunan (which entails commuting from there to Cubao, taking the MRT to Annapolis, and finally making a half-hour walk home) but since I'm yearning to write this, here I am.

Today's entry is supposed to be "Geeks (yes, I know I'm one), Bribery, and 9-11". It started when I arrived at school. Elbert was there, waiting for our Feature writing class to start. Soon, Carlos joins us and tells us how geeky Antonio is, Antonio being Leo's carbon copy minus the FHM and Hentai videos.

Apparently, Carlos's teacher, Ricky Lee, was making a lecture on the spiral element of film. Antonio then starts mentioning Eva. Apparently, this "geeked" Carlos out. Which is strange considering Carlos has done something similar in the past, despite his own protests.

And true to Antonio being Leo's carbon copy, our teacher was making a lecture about how this girl still loves this guy (it's in the papers but since I don't read newspapers, I forgot their names) despite the fact that he beats her. And then Leo suddenly starts talking about the anime Jin-Roh and how it's a sad tragedy of love. Never mind the fact that it's totally unrelated to the discussion and the fact that he didn't bother asking our teacher if she's watched the film, considering it's an anime flick.

During feature writing class, we discussed the elements of the feature story, as well as distinguishing it from news, editorial, columns, and interprative news (which I'm totally unfamiliar with and if I've probably read one, I didn't now it). Somehow, that drifted to the current newspaper industry and how bribery is prevalent.

The basic element of bribery in the Philippine broadsheet industry is getting paychecks in envelops. That's the obvious ones. Right now, it could be as easy as giving your account number to the PR people and the briber will just deposit it in your bank account. It's hard to trace since there's no paperwork involved and banks can't divulge information for security and privacy reasons.

Gray areas revolve around the "gifts" you get during Christmas. As a policy by some, if they couldn't have bought the gift with their own paycheck, they return or decline the gift.

Even more subtle techniques involve treating reporters and journalists out to dinner, or being their "best friend". One thing not mentioned is that after press conferences, there's a lunch or dinner involved, so this in a way may sway the opinions of a writer towards a certain person. This is subtle since it's not a direct bribery but instead makes you think the person is kind or not that bad. As for being their "best friend", people are willing to help out journalists and writers. Of course, they don't ask for anything in return directly but as the recipient of help, you can't help but feel indebted to that person, especially in our country where utang ng loob is prevalent. And I know all about this since people I give gifts expect that there's some ulterior motive behind it or can't receive a gift at face value, feeling indebted to me in some way. I mean that's not my intention, but the fact that some people are expecting it from me is just an example of how such a practice is malignant in Philippine culture.

Then there's 9-11. We were given four articles to read on, each taking a different angle at the event which confounded a lot of Americans. One was on how in declaring war against "terrorism", the US was actually giving up a lot of their freedom for the sake of security (and actually helping the insurance agencies). Another was how New York is considered Ground Zero not just because of what happened in 9-11 but of its past. Another was a peace rally and the last was a sarcastic column on how one mayor in his lows suddenly got a boom in his career via unreputable means.

And before I end, our teacher did point out that one of the most controversial (read: most liable to be sued) columnists are the ones widely read. And since I'm not exactly popular...

Carlos told me that he'd be dropping me off at EDSA but since his class ended earlier than ours, I guess he didn't bother to wait. Dropped by the FBR building to see what's new in CCHQ and I couldn't see much of the anime event that was going on since black sheets were covering it. I did see Vincent and company (the yaoi dudes, if I'm not mistaken). I know Krizelle is joining in the cosplay but she wasn't there yet when I came. Not wanting to spend the next few hours waiting for people I know to arrive, I went home, hungry and eager to write this. =)

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It looks like I won't be getting any sleep on Fridays. Last week, it was my brother's birthday party. Today, it's my dad's Christmas party. What keeps me isn't the bright lights or even the noise. It's the smoke that seeps into my windows. Forget the fact that I have a respiratory disease. I already told my parents about this "handicap" about my room not being airtight and the perils of having a party out in the garden but do they listen to me? I said it before and I'll say it now. Be grateful for your parents. They aren't killing you, literally.

Anyway, since I wanted to get out of the house and grab some fresh air, I went out three hours ago to watch a movie. And since there's always been something fatalistic about me, I caught the last full show of "The Ring". The Japanese one, mind you, not the poor excuse for a US adaptation. Did I mention I walked home since the movie ended past ten and the nearest gate to our house was closed so what should have been a ten-minute walk turned into a thirty-minute sprint? All under the cover of darkness.

So there I was in Robinsons Galleria, arriving sometime at 8:15 pm. The Ring was going to be shown at 9 pm. There was a sign at the ticket booth saying "all seats were taken". But since I know Philippine culture, I tried my luck in case it was just error on the movie staff's part. And apparently, I was right. They were still selling tickets.

Of course the ticket lady confirmed me purchasing the ticket saying that it was the Japanese version and not the American one. Even the guy behind me asked if it had subtitles.

Of course since I was early, headed off to Neutral Grounds to rave to Elvin about the Epic Level Handbook (told him about this template that maximized your hit dice and gave you 12 hit points for each HD the creature has). Which was foolish of me. I should have entered the theater to get good seating. I was stuck at the left-most part of the center seats. I guess it wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't so close to the screen, merely three seats away from the bottom. And I always did think that it was good advice to stay a certain distance from the screen when watching something with subtitles.

I did catch the trailers and an interesting movie was Robert DeNiro and Billy Crystal's sequel to Analyze This. At least the title's original: Analyze That. Probably fun but moving on to the movie I came to see.

I just realized how important sound and background music is to a suspense movie. Even Ring couldn't do without those elements. I also would have appreciated the movie better if the girl behind me wasn't asking her boyfriend annoying (yes, they weren't even intelligent) questions. I mean she couldn't even distinguish flashback and memories from actual perception.

It would also have been more suspensful if I didn't know the premise of the movie, which is actually told in the trailers of the US adaptation.

As for horror factor, well, I did manage to get home didn't I? I guess Elvin was right when he told me Ring would be better seen at home. With a VCR. (Also, I forgot if I read it somewhere or someone told me, but this person watched it on tape and when he ejected the VHS, he found out the tape was a copy.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm too busy choking on cigarette smoking than to be afraid of a cult horror movie.

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Thursday, December 05, 2002

For Ateneans, it's the start of a four-day weekend. For everyone else, it's a three-day rest period. For me, ummm, well, I have classes on Saturday so...

There was a mass today at 9 am for the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Being the irreverent person that I am (actually, I'm Protestant), we scheduled the Comicol meeting at around that time. No excuses not to come since classes were cancelled.

CCHQ hasn't restocked yet since their shipment didn't get delivered yet. It's still stuck in customs. Maybe by tomorrow or Saturday, it'll be in the shop. Until then... Oh yeah, I was going to get Athene the Kurapika plushie but ummmm, someone bought it. And either way, I'm broke.

And why am I suddenly broke? Aside from the debts that have been creeping up, there's the LotR tickets I have to pay when they finally arrive (will they sell them next week or next next week?), I bought a D&D supplement at A Different Bookstore awhile ago and it was priced at P2018. Which is not bad considering Comic Quest was selling the same book for what, P2500? And I have a 10% discount (bringing it something like P1816.2). I guess it's not so bad for a book costing $30.

To put how important this book is, aside from the core books (Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monsters Manual), there are three other supplements that I consider a must have that just got released this year and is guaranteed to spicen up your D&D RPG gaming experience: Monsters Manual 2 (more meanies!), Epic Level Handbook (literally limitless progression for your character), and Book of Vile Darkness (for evil GMs, hehehe). Now, let's just say I have two out of the three. =)

And while A Different Bookstore now gives paper bags, mine got ruined even before I stepped out of Glorietta. Golly, those paperbags are fragile. Cool design, but fragile nonetheless.

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Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Hmmm, guess what? President's Day won't be observed but Ateneo is giving a holiday on Feb. 3, 2003, as the UAAP Championship holiday. Oh wow. Makes me feel disappointed in the admnistration (not for not observing President's Day, mind you).

And of course, it took me nearly two hours to go through everyone in my link list and comment to their blogs. Not that I'm complaining. I just need a faster Internet connection... =) And of course, I'm happy that I've got an extensive link list, and that a lot of people are reading this (no matter how irrational that is).

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Some people like me and some people don't like me. Either way, they read my blog. Why is that?

Day started with me doing research in the library. Hmmm, there's some construction going on in there. Also, a lot of Miriam students were entering Ateneo's art exhibit which featured Doreen Fernandez and her brother(?). Elbert did ask me later that afternoon if I've been to the place. I just told him that it already smells of paint from outside the library. And that was what he was going to point out, that the smell of the art exhibit was strong.

Next stop was CCHQ. Hopefully they'll bring in the new Japanese shipments by either tomorrow or Friday.

Enzo, my carpool, told me yesterday that he couldn't bring me home that day since he was going out. He neglected to tell me that he would be out for the entire week. Just found out today that he's outside of Metro Manila...

And strangely enough, today of all days, people were sending me text messages asking me for LotR premiere tickets. First off, I don't have them. >.< The org that's hosting the premiere hasn't sold the tickets yet. I just asked one of my friends in the org to hold some tickets for me. And ummmm, I can't get too much since most likely, I'll have to pay for all of those before people who are asking me for tickets can pay me. And I don't know the price yet. Worst case scenario is around P240 if they didn't get enough sponsors. Hopefully, it'll cost less than that.

And here's a link I got from Richie's blog about what happened to the stage actress that played the love interest of Fred Savage in The Wonder Years.

Also couldn't resist buying bubblegum ice cream (yogurt actually). The reason I can't eat bubblegum is because it sticks to my braces (bad enough that I step on bubblegum from time to time and it's a hassle to remove it from my shoe). And there was this time when I was a kid that I kept on swallowing bubblegum...

Lastly, ummm, to those who think the reason I buy gifts for people is so that I can "buy friends", think again. Here's my criteria (as well as Charles propaganda) for giving gifts, provided that I have the money to actually purchase it.

1) If the person really really wants it. I mean come on, why give a gift if you know the person's not going to like it? Let's just say I have a weak heart for making people happy, especially when they're down.

2) If what the person wants is related to what I want. Despite the fact that I'm dense, I have empathy for people. And I guess I can relate more with the happiness other people feel when they receive my gift if I can relate to it. I mean if someone wants clothes badly, ummmm, it's harder to part with the money in buying it for that person. But if it's something, like say, anime, manga, or books, that's something I can sympathize and when I see the smiles that light up their faces, well, I'm happy too.

3) If I'm depressed. Okay, a lot of people find it hard to believe that cheering up other people makes me happy. And well, let's face it, the people I know are materialistic to a certain degree so cheering them up is simple as buying this and that. So when I'm sad, I buy stuff for people. ^^ (Uh, in my past summer job, I seldom eat lunch but when I do, I treat everyone out. Maybe it's a corollary... when I'm hungry, everyone should eat. ^^)

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Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Well, if it isn't my ISP, it's blogger that's screwy. Except, of course, if you're paying for your blogger service. It seems everything has a price these days.

Anyway, hope Daimira's computer is now okay, since she was sending me text messages about her computer troubles.

Meanwhile, Van's latest sidekick in Zoids has an AI whose sound effects got ripped off from R2D2.

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Another day in my life...

I guess I'll never get rid of the smokers at Ateneo's library steps. Anyway, after *trying* to read my assignments, off to CCHQ.

First off, CCHQ will restock on Japanese stuff hopefully by either Thursday or Friday. I wish I had lots of money. =)

Second, the situation with girl-who-is-mad-at-me is an ideal scenario, ideal in the sense that we ignored each other the entire time (because I know making amends is futile since no amount of reasoning will erase her anger).

Third, more old PO members dropped by: Lindsay, Mars, and Mavis.

*The three enter*

*I wave*

*Mavis squints her eyes*

Me: It's me, Charles. Ummm, stalker!

Mavis: Charles! Your hair's long...

Anyway, chatted with Mavis while Lindsay and Mars were inseperable. Mavis couldn't resist buying the Valkryie Profile manga. As usual, I offered to buy it for her as a Christmas present but well, she declined. And despite the fact that Mars was going to be late for class, well, the three lingered for quite awhile.

And it's confirmed. We don't have classes on Friday and on Monday. Too bad I have Saturday class... maybe I could crash at Elbert's and watch the extended version of LotR.

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Monday, December 02, 2002

Talk about Lovecraftian horrors, had a dream early this morning that kept my nerves up the entire time, although I didn't really encounter anything gruesome. Basically, I was in a city and it was evening and raining. Strange things were going on that kept everyone in paranoid mode. I guess that and the fact you're wandering around town without even a weapon.

Anyway, just want to inform those that have accidentally deleted their blog posts, typed in a wrong code to obliterate their archives and such, that Google more likely than not has your blog on cache unless your blog's really recent. Recovering old data is still possible. =)

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Before I start with more "horrible but irresistable" posts (yes, I'm arrogant... it's in my description), I'd like to plug for the gaming group mailing list I'm in, AEGIS.

They apparently will be at the Culture Crash Convention (C3) and here are several RPG games they'll be demoing: Culture Crash's Pasig using Wizard of the Coast's (WotC) D20 Modern (system), Alexandro Osias (you might recognize his name from Flip magazine) will be hosting a X-men/Justice League using the hero system, Jacob Reynoso (LotR official judge for the CCG) for Decipher's Lord of the Rings RPG, Star Wars: Episode 2 RPG using WotC's Star Wars rules, and finally a Rurouni Kenshin RPG using one of the oldest (and probably most workable) anime RPG system, Big Eyes Small Mouth (BESM).

Anyway, the highlight of this post is all about my fiction class which is being taught by Krip Yuson (by the way, the guy who wanted me to criticize his poem, please email it to me as it's not on your site anymore...). Last last week (since he gave a free cut last week), he did tell us that one of the biggest weaknesses he finds in Philippine fiction, be it movies, television, or books, is the use of this popular phrase: ano ang ibig mong sabihin? (What exactly do you mean?). He describes it as never being used in real life and is obviously used as a way to kill screen time.

This is how Elbert put it in a conversation earlier while we were at Jollibee:

Elbert: Ano ang ibig mong sabihin? That's my favorite phrase in telenovelas. It would go something like this.

-grandfather- "you are actually the *insert relation here* of *insert another relation* of *insert another relation* of *insert name*."

-female- "ano ang ibig mong sabihin?"

-grandfather- "*repeats what he said*"

Some third party would then enter to reiterate the answer.

-third party- "Do you mean *insert daughter's name* is the *insert relation* of *insert another relation* of *insert another relation* of *insert name*?"

That being said and done, I'll discuss today's high point of the lecture.

After one and a half hour of discussing Krip's short story, we took a break (since he needed some Nicotine by now) and then he was going to use the overhead projector when he realized it wasn't an opaque projector (one that can display onto the screen even if the medium isn't a transparency) so he extended his break by giving us a class activity on exposition. He asked the guy beside me to give a gender (one of four). My seatmate uttered lesbian (I guess only a guy would really mention such a gender). He then asked me to give an age. At the spur of the moment, I answered eighteen (one of my female classmates was rooting for twenty five). The girl next to me was then asked to give a name. Erika. Last name. King. Background. Has a "dark history" with her cousin. And so the exposition writing exercise began, all of us working on those given.

Something like ten to fifteen minutes passed by and he asked if we were done. Since there was no reply, he quickly added that he'd give food to those who were finished. Suddenly, people were raising their hands. The girls got something like a mini-Chicken ala king while us guys got this ube like snack which was a bit hot and very oily. Only two stories actually got read aloud since there was insufficient time and one of those stories were mine. Basically, without all the flowery words and descriptions, here's what happened:

Erika is alone at the cafeteria in an early morning. Guy and girl enter. Guy asks Erika if the three of them could share a table. Erika finds girl attractive. Erika's cousin enters. Erika's cousin is gay. Erika's cousin finds guy attractive. All four share a table. They have breakfast.

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I want to throttle my ISP. Yup, you guessed it: bouncing email adress.

Before I start, I just want to say National Bookstore now has all of Raymond E. Feist's books, from Magician: Apprentice to Janny Wurts's Empire trilogy. Which is why I'm grateful for my crush because I can rant to her about these stuff, considering it was quite difficult to find these books before in addition to costing an arm and a leg for my (and her) copies.

Anyway, started the day by arriving to school and obtaining readings for my feature writing class. I would have gotten them last week if Leo the inept left a note to the photocopier lady that "it" was our feature readings. Thank God Elbert clarified things and separated our readings. Unfortunately, when I looked at it, apparently the photocopier lady wrote down "picture writing class" with the letter p superimposed with an f. Imagine saying it out loud, in a Rex Navarrette voice: "Ficture writing class".

Then, it was off strolling around the campus, looking for a place to do my homework. My usual haunt, the library steps, were not only full of people but smokers as well. Definitely not for me. The cafeterias were full and since I don't have a tambayan (hangout)... then I ran into Gio who is so dense that he still doesn't know where to buy Lord of the Rings ticket even if he is an Atenean (and no, this is not considered backstabbing since I know he will read this eventually).

Charles: How did you get your premier tickets last year?

Carlos: Ummm, from you. (Actually, they were selling it at the Kostka extension and told him to go there and buy them there.)

Yes Carlos, I can see your self-sufficiency and independence. Despite the fact that "Celadon" is emblazoned on the ticket and one of the people we hang out with (Russ) is a Celadon member, you still don't know where to obtain tickets. Or have them reserved, for that matter. ^^

Off to CCHQ but before I went there, ran into a Comicol member who submitted me artwork which would be given to Elbert. And of course, at the bottom of the FBR building, Elbert arrives... (this, of course, is the best explanation for my "mysterious stalker powers", which is also called luck, chance, and fate)

Anyway, found more clues as to why some people are angry at me (and since I am the person in question involved, yes, it very well concerns me). First, I'm accused of something that if it occurred in a workplace, would be considered sexual harrassment. Of course, over the weekend, I pondered what this could be (if you're reading this and actually thought that I'm capable of sexual harrassment, at least when I'm sober, then you don't know me as much). Well, I find out it occurred last Wednesday when I sat beside a friend, touched her hair, and tucked it in her ear since I was obsessive compulsive and the hair sticking out didn't exactly look good. She did tell me not to mess up her hair so I didn't touch it again. And of course, that act was done out of being OC (obsessive-compulsive) rather than out of malice or even an intent to flirt. My God, that was the last thing on my mind when I was thinking of what I could have "done".

Good news: CCHQ sports a new Christmas decor. And of course, Elbert would just love it if Khristine and Katya began to set up mistletoes in the store. New issue of previews, by the way.

Afterwards, it was off to Jollibee. And on the way, it rained. There were four of us but only three bothered to bring umbrellas. Which is why I have two umbrellas in my bag. One for me, and one for those in need. So sue me for being nice and prepared.

Sometime later, I finally got to see and talk to my Fil 11 teacher, Ms. Belen, after two years. Of course the comment she makes about me is this:

Ms. Belen: Siyempre si Charles marami nang nabasang libro. Palagi ko siyang nakikita sa lib steps nagbabasa. (Of course Charles should have read a lot by now. I always see him at the lib steps readings.)

Well, I guess that's a good reputation as any.

And for Philo class, Mr. Bulaong told us that he'll be giving us a free cut on Friday (since it's Ramadan, a Muslim tradition, hence a holiday) and he might give a free cut on Monday (because Dec. 8 is the feast of Immaculate Conception but since it falls on a Sunday, the school must celebrate it on Monday via a holiday, especially considering the fact that the UAAP basketball team won the championships, and they supposedly honored the game to Mary). That's student I-don't-want-class logic for you.

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Sunday, December 01, 2002

The pictures of my room (and bookshelf!) finally got developed. Now if only I could have someone scan then and if someone could volunteer web space for me to post them...

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Great. Thirty minutes before we supposedly leave for grandparent's house, they tell me that we're not eating out tonight. At least one of my assignments is done. Off to Philo readings...

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Yey! It's the start of December and the start of the week... which means I'll have money by tomorrow. No more days of fasting and penniless existence.

Meanwhile, tonight's the routine eating at (surviving) grandparent's house and then cramming all my assignments in one evening. Then tomorrow, I have to search for the readings in my feature writing class as well as doing research in the library.

Elbert, I'm flattered you read my blog. For more funnies, try reading Carlos/Gio/Navarro's. Meanwhile, my blog will be the subject of a lot of controversy, as usual, ever since it was put up last January.

And joy, I'll only have classes five days next week since Friday's the Ramadan and we have no school. Too bad I have a dentist appointment on that day, so I'll still be leaving the house. Hmmmm, I wonder when CCHQ's new shipment will arrive.

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