Saturday, March 15, 2003

Received a text message from ADB at 7 pm in the evening and I managed to rush there to get the books I ordered. The maids forgot to tell me they called this morning.

ADB is also on sale until... tomorrow. 10% on everything but the new stuff, 15% for 10% discount card holders and 20% discount for 15% discount card holders. So how do you obtain the 15% discount card? By buying stuff amounting to P300,000. Yes, I'm not kidding, which is why the most convenient way to get the 15% discount is by ordering ten or more books.

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Friday, March 14, 2003

First off, here's an Sacha wrote about how to court her (and presumably computer geeks like her). While it was written half-jokingly, it makes sense considering all the "admirers" Sacha has accumulated over the four years she's been in Ateneo. (Elbert is also joking [I hope he's joking] of writing a "how-to-court-Elbert essay.)

Anyway, had to rush to the Podium since Elbert told me to meet him at Megamall at 9:30 am but he called me at 9:00 am and told me he was in the area already. Then it was off to find out where UA&P is located.

Went to Books4Less, a shop that sells used book. The branch opposite UA&P has the books organized according to genre then alphebatized by author, but most of the subgenres of fiction (romance, horror, SF&F, fiction fiction) were all clumped under the fiction section, which made it difficult for me to navigate through the SF&F books. There's a Griffin and Sabine book selling for P650 in case anyone's interested.

Ended up waiting at the lounge for Elbert to meet with a teacher. Saw some acquaintances and when they asked me what I was doing there, I merely replied I was stalking them. And they beleived me.

It was then off to Megamall to find a copy of Empire of Memory, the last book I'm supposed to read for Phil. Lit. However, Powerbooks and National Bookstore didn't have it in stock, and neither did their other branches. Had to go all the way to Katipunan to obtain a copy (where there were half-a-dozen copies on shelf). And at P295, it's a tad bit expensive.

Carlo Vergara dropped by CCHQ to restock them with his ZsaZsa Zaturnah comic (still no vol. 2 though). Since he was there, bought a copy and asked Elbert (because I'm shy and El knows Mr. Vergara personally) to have him sign it for me.

Carlos then kindly dropped me off at EDSA where I walked home. Of course during the trip, I was amazed at all the anime/manga, RPG, and video game knowledge that I have. I've been a geek my whole life.

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First off, to those who have been writing emails to me, sorry if I haven't replied to them. Will start tomorrow (ah, the mantra of one who procastinates).

Because I have been putting off writing in my blog for what seems like a week (two days actually), here are some things I missed about the convention:

Paul won a prize for the Jedi art contest. He got a Star Wars graphic novel.

Someone dressed up as Silent Bob.

Those managing the Harry Potter booth were cute, but they talked like Povedans (no offense to Povedans, and I'm really fascinated with Povedans actually), hence giving me the feeling they're one of the social elite. Which means I should run away.

Since the event was held in the parking lot (which made the con a bit narrow in space), people had to move aside from time to time to let vehicles pass through.

Parking fee was P30 for the first three hours and P30 per hour after. Of course this is only applicable to those who parked before 5 pm. Unfortunately, the con started at 3 pm, so those who came in early and left at midnight ended up paying something like P180 or so. Those who came in after 5 pm paid a flat rate of P25.

Also managed to get Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Earth novel at the con. It's the 5th and final book of the Foundation series and for some strange reason, didn't get reprinted.

Speaking of books, there was a book sale yesterday at Ateneo's library. Elbert snagged some William Gibson books for P20, including Neuromancer. Ended up buying some 17 books, including a set of Belgariad and Mallorean (well, minus one Mallorean book) books by David Eddings, P20 each. Of course I ended up handing the books to Izza since she totally adores Eddings, so that drops to the books I actually kept to eight. Six of those are Fred Saberhagen's (out of print) Lost Swords books. And well, I did get a Fafhrd and Grey Mouser novel there as well so to say it was a steal is an understatement.

I ended up buying so much books that the lady (and staff of Ateneo) who was handling the cash register asked me about the SF&F con. Ended up telling her it occurred last Wednesday and who were there.

Liana was also wearing skirts yesterday. Will bring a camera on Tuesday to take a picture of her wearing skirts again.

E-klik is now using Linux. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Does Kazaa work on Linux?

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Wednesday, March 12, 2003

After my Philo class ended at 4:30, I rushed to the car to get to the SF&F con. On an empty stomach at that.

Ended up playing my usual role of playing the extra. Tanix dragged me to the Harry Potter booth in an attempt to join me to the look-alike contest. I didn't win, although they did take my picture, so I'm sure pictures of me will be circulating in some website any day now.

Also did see Sacha who got an early preview of Nemesis and said that the movie was depressing. She's as cute as ever though.

Bulk of the cosplayers are the same people who cosplay for anime. Robert came in as the Borg, Ria as Terminator 3, Hazel as Amidala, Terri as an elf in Lord of the Rings (forgot her name), Kestrel and co. as Lestat and co., Cathy as Buffy, Pau and Lea as Obi Wan and Anakin, to name a few. Pablo won the cosplay in his alien costume, for the nth time. When the event was nearly ending, I sat there, watching the staff of Digital Tour interview the various cosplayers.

I did get to see MM and Tin, as well as Arianna and Miao (who was in a hobbit getup). Did I mention Tin is getting prettier?

Jacob (Decipher's product champion and LotR CCG judge) won the Tolkien Society's trivia contest, but one of the organizers told me it was only by luck. She then told me that there were two reasons why Jacob won: luck, and that he wasn't nervous. Then again, we all know that Jacob knows no fear.

Benj passed me by to say hi then walked away. But he missed Kero who was behind me. Also saw Fed and kawaii Dice, but only during the first half of the con.

Strangely, the Harry Potter booth closed earlier (by 8 pm). Apparently, they have a curfew. And there were only two games out of six that Aegis ran: one for Harry Potter, and the other for X-Files (which Dennis ran, and had a table full of female fans). Saw Gelo somewhere but he was busy doing something else. There was also a lightsaber duel using sticks (I'd say Arnis sticks but that would be incorrect) timed to lightsaber sound effects, but while the swinging doesn't suit the actions, the clashing of lightsaber sound effects fit.

For dinner, spent ten minutes walking to KFC, which was nearly closing since it closes at 10 pm and we got there at something like 9:55 pm. And well, it's not everyday you see people in costume eating at a fast food joint. Also worthy to note is the Karaoke contest by the Buffy group, using the Buffy musical episode as the basis.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2003

It's only lately that I realized my crush never really said thank you at anything I did for her. There's the occassional smile (which is to die for) or the nod, but I can't remember a sincere thank you particularly directed at me. If I got any thanks, it's usually aimed at the general.

Handed her a few hours ago the scrapbook that Mich was supposed to give to her. Once I handed it, I was already forgotten and she mused that it's been with Mich for the past two years. Even obtaining it from Mich was quite difficult since she tends to procastinate (then again, so do I) and well, I literally had to bribe her to give it to me yesterday. But then, it's only me who wants to be in the limelight, and doesn't that make me the fool?

Right now, I'm at Ateneo's CTC where apparently, there are computers open for students to use. The monitors are below flat, transparent tables and there's a drawer for the keyboard and mouse. The place is really cool. Also visited the RSF where the other computers are supposed to be. I didn't realize the place was so huge, and there were probably several dozen computers. Of course there were a lot of students waiting, which is why I relocated to the CTC (that and I didn't know how to apply to use the computers... the only reason I'm in the CTC is because Kendra was there and I asked her the procedures).

Won't be "blogging" for the rest of the day considering after class, I'm headed for the SF&F con and it'll end at 12 am if I'm lucky. In other news, stalker now calls me a jerk. *shrug* Well, that's one more person in the long list of I-Hate-Charles club.

Still have to finish reading Gangster of Love...

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Upon reflection, yesterday wasn't so bad a day. I mean during the quiz in Phil. Lit., I wasn't the only person who scored low. Of course since the teacher made us check our own quiz papers, I think I saw my seatmate right some answers as we were checking it. It's nice to know I still have some ethics that I'd rather flunk but remain honest rather than pass but deceive the teacher (and myself).

Special thanks to Carlos who loaned me his Sandman comics!!! Saw his driver's license and he looks like one of the Abu Sayaf in that pic. Then again, so does my other friend, Richie (or maybe even Russel [Jobert's "Rifts" 'friend'])...

Elbert took Gabs and me to the Marikina riverfront. It's the first time I've been there. I don't think I have to mention we walked there. But despite walking there, I doubt if I can get there on my own because I am so terrible at navigating (hence my lack of enthusiasm to drive since all the places I know how to navigate, I can easily reach by walking, and everyone knows when you get lost, it's easier to get back on tracking on foot rather than on wheels). As usual, Elbert is the master of the black market, knowing where to go to obtain pirated material.

And since I talk about Elbert often enough (*blech*), making a blog entitled "Stalking Elbert" might be in order. I see him too often. And he doesn't provide me with a carpool at that. =P

Was hurrying to get to Megamall to meet Mich but the traffic lights suddenly went berserk so what usually takes a thirty minute jeep ride to Cubao turned to one hour. I was rushing to meet Mich only to find her not at the meeting place but watching a movie. I was supposed to meet her at 5:15 and she texts me when I'm finally there that she's free at 6 pm. Wow. Talk about informing someone that you'll be late. That and she was rude to me, but that's normal for Mich (at least towards me).

Looks like the Podium has some new shops. I'm surprised there's no Powerbooks there, but there's a "National Bookstore Bestsellers" outlet. The last word probably included to distinguish it from the regular National Bookstores, which cater to the masses. And while in appearance, it might seem like another Powerbooks, they do sell school supplies, hence retaining the National Bookstore name.

Also liked the Astrovision (which also has a different name, although it retained the Astro word). It's huge! It has a large selection (still no Princess Bride though), and they also have other stuff like music CDs, cellphones, electronics, etc.

Elbert did talk about me "purging my social circle" from time to time. I immediately replied that there's two things that usually happen: either they leave me emotionally (we're not friends anymore), or they leave me physically (I'm going to the US!). Of course upon looking back, even that reason is not right. In high school, I had no social life at all (not for lack of trying), so there's really nothing to purge there.

My first year was spent sitting at the library steps, hanging out with Franz's (Fort's brother) barkada of Mahalla, Jeremy, TonTon, some Comm students (Gailee, Lucky, and an ICAn whose name I can't remember right now), two European Studies students (Barren and Blinky), and a couple of Franz's other friends. But that's more of "being there" rather than being invited. There was also my crush, whom I freaked out (when a girl sees a lonely boy and asks him to stay with her during his free time, she doesn't really mean it) and more or less didn't understand (although we did get along quite well in the first four weeks or so). In other words, I didn't have a social circle in first year, although I did make a lot of friends (which mean "hi's" and "hello's" but no real commitment to each other).

Second year there was the RPG gaming group I was in which consists of Jobert, Franco, Carlos, Cyril, Lloyd, PJ, Sacha, Yaiba (he has a real name, can't remember it at the moment though), Kendra, Franchu, and Elvin. It's only the first four I became close with, especially the Jobert and Franco. Of course now, they migrated to the US... And the RPG group also had its ups and downs. I mean there was Marcelle (tolerate, yes, and as I said before, if it weren't for two quirks, would probably be quite an okay guy), Rob (jerk! jerk! jerk!), Antonio/Timmy (who does nothing except talk about military matters and Gundams and fan-service, but otherwise, best describes the term "eager beaver"), and Angelo (I have no job and have nothing better to do than make everyone else's life miserable). Also high point of the second year was when CCHQ opened. Did cling to Lea (although not as obsessive as I was in previous years) during the summer but well, she got mad at me (don't worry, we're friends now, although we don't exactly speak to each other).

This is the third year of my life unfolding to me. For the strangest reason (which meant I didn't see it coming), I'm stuck with Elbert. And not to sound too harsh but he has an uncurable disease (then again, Philippines is the world's 2nd most polluted country so migrating to anywhere else except Mexico, his health can't help but improve). And quite frankly, getting sick and tired of me (don't worry, I don't cling to him). There's the CCHQ people, but it's a mixture of hesitancy, distance, distrust, and sometimes, even hate. And since I don't exactly have a close-knit group, my life is easily spontaneous since I don't have engagements or other priorities. It's to the point that when I go to malls on school holidays, my batchmates see me, alone and by myself, and they take pity on me and ask me to join them.

Oh yeah, there's also Pinoy Otaku, but like the CCHQ people, some outright hate me, some fear me (honestly, I never thought anyone would take me as a "stalker" seriously, because not-so-obviously, I use my skills for the good of people and not the stereotypical stalker, duh!), some distrust me, most just tolerate me, a few accept me, and even fewer actually like me.

Moving on to something "lighter" (but nonetheless controversial) is the quirk for the day.

People like to bash other people's hobby's, especially when they seem childish, even though some of their hobbies seem childish to other people. First it was Gundams (well, not really), then Tamiya mini-4WD (whom some Gundam fans would bash), then Beyblade (whom the former two would bash), and lately, Crush Gear Turbo (whom the previous three would bash). And this is talking about a hobby stemming from the same country and somehow related to each other. How much more from other hobbyists (e.g. The RPG purists, the anime/manga collector, the Pinoy games [trumpo, holen, patentero, etc.] enthusiast). I mean I bash all of these games, but only jokingly and I don't demean the hobby in itself (or think it's absoltuely useless). I see it's silliness, even when I'm playing with them (I used to collect Gundam model kits, for example), but I don't really discourage other people from developing a similar hobby. Yes, this is a controversial topic. I will get flamed...

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Monday, March 10, 2003

Yesterday was one of those days that I was out of synch. I mean among the things I blundered, I said the wrong things to my crush, didn't read what was supposed to be read for Phil. Lit. hence getting 1/10 in the quiz, was blabbering in Philo, and even insulted Elbert a bit too far (unintentionally, of course).

On a side note, no more Salty Dog 2 artbook at CCHQ. ;_; And *sob*, my fiction hasn't yet been discussed in Krip's class. But enough of the whining.

Tomorrow's the SF&F con and I still don't know how to get there, nor do I know how will I get home. Finals week is at the end of March so I'll still be in school for a while. And in any case, I have summer. I just hope I don't flunk my Phil. Lit. class. Meanwhile, I'm still thinking of a plan to earn P10,000 by the start of May so I can ask Carlos to buy stuff for me.

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Sunday, March 09, 2003

My hope for getting eight hours of sleep perished when Elbert called me late in the morning.

The other day, Elbert was thinking of the flattery of being stalked by someone. I don't find it flattering. I mean stalking is a self-act, a masturbation of sorts. I mean when you stalk, you don't really resolve anything. You keep your distance from the person you're stalking, and you really don't introduce yourself. It's anti-social. This might be strange coming from a self-professed stalker but I use the term stalker in a different sense. The only "stalking" I actually do is appearing out of nowhere, sometimes covering the person's eyes and asking them to guess who it is. Other than that, any other thing that coinsides with an actual stalker is coincidental. But no... I get real stalkers, people who annoy you to death that makes you unproductive. They don't even tell you who they are (unlike me, who's as open as a book, hence this blog which details a lot of personal info which some would consider taboo).

But Elbert thought it was probably an enjoyable experience since at least someone pays attention to you, and my current stalker is cute. Suffice to say, Elbert got his wish, And none of it was my doing.

SMART cellphone numbers begin with either 0918, 0919, and 0920. Elbert's friend changed numbers and he wasn't sure which SMART number it began with so he sent a text message to all of them. Serendipity was at work because the owner of the 0920 number was my stalker. And since it's a running joke that me and Elbert are a yaoi couple, well, there's always the saying that the best way to a person's heart is through their friends. So for the past few hours, Elbert felt what I was feeling, getting text messages every five minutes or so (she couldn't make miss calls since Elbert's number is the type that's restricted to only text messages).

Of course Elbert's indulging her, playing the sympathetic guy but well, I'm blunt to people, telling them the truth. I mean it would be easy for me to take advantage of the stalker, since she is cute and quite clingy (and insecure). But no, and at the expense of looking like the bad guy, I tell her straight out: insecurity and "clinginess" isn't friendship, much less love, since it's being preoccupied with yourself rather than the other person. As much as it is a crime for a parent to be overprotective, you don't let the other person grow and mature but keeping them for your own benefit, for your own dependence on them. And that, my friend, is wrong (and even not reading Scott Peck's article on love for Theo 131, I should know).

And yes, I was once clingy, but not to the extent that I send text messages to people every five minutes or so. The most I did was sending text messages to people greeting them good morning and good night every day. And that was when free text was abundant. I'm now reduced to doing that once a week. =P

One thing my stalker brought up is the fact that I seem to be clingy to people via my gift-giving. At the risk of sounding defensive, well, if I actually was clingy, I'd be giving people gifts and treating them out every day. =) But no, despite my generosity, that isn't how I act. I give when the opportunity arises and well, people like me for who I am, not for the gifts I give. And people who think I'm "buying people" should think about themselves. It's only their mentality that makes them say that. Even the most innocent and well-meant acts might seem evil or malicious to the paranoid and cynical person. "They think that's your reason for doing it because that's their own reason for doing such a thing."

And as much as I might want friends, if it's just someone who's clingy and dependent on me, I'd rather not have it, since that's not what you call a friendship. Friendship (and love, for that matter), is something among equals. I mean if you "need" a person, then it's not genuine love since you're seeking something in return for it and it's not a choice based on freedom. When you're equals, you don't need the other person. You have freedom, and that's where genuine love can act. If you choose to befriend someone, it's not because you "need" him or her but because you chose to, out of sincerity.

I guess one of the perks about being my friend is that you're life won't be boring. And I guess that's why I call myself a stalker, since I want to fill your life with "surprises". But people who know me know that I do so without malice. Mischief, perhaps, but never malice. And I'm always honest, so if I pull a prank, I'll admit it. And well, this blog is about transparency, although it is written in my favor, of course. ^^

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