Friday, April 25, 2003

From Level-Up Games

Level-Up Games Inc. is bringing Ragnarok Online to the Philippines. Our website for Betatesting can be found here.:

Anyway, we're set up closest to the entrance right beside the PLDT booth at the current Anime Convention (Anime Quest 2k3) in Megatrade Hall 2. Look for some fantasy cardboard cutouts and a huge banner with Ragnarok Online on it... that's our booth.

If you're interested in the game, please register at our booth with a valid email address so you can be informed as to where you can pick up our FREE GAME CD on our JUNE 1 BETA LAUNCH.

In exchange you get a FREE LIMITED EDITION PROMO CARD (we won't be reprinting them again...) and our PROMO FLYER CARD, we also have a limited supply of Level-up's other MMOG OZWORLD (1.2 version) available when possible at the booth (ask us if you want to have any)

You'll also have a chance to win a FREE PORING PLUSHIE by joining our IN-BOOTH GAME.

Read more!

Thursday, April 24, 2003

More Whining

Finally done with my Flash job, whether my employers like it or not.

Well, my employer did drop by my house because she needed it by tomorrow morning. Spent the last five hours cramming it. And uh, they don't have a right to complain since they were doing the layout in the first place.

So far yet so near... the "head programmer" will be arriving on Saturday. One day after the deadline. >.< It's been a grueling four weeks. I don't get paid enough for this.

What Turns Women Into Giddy Girls

My dog. My huge, dobberman dog. My employer did drop by my house. And then squealed when she saw the dog. She was so afraid to take those few steps to enter the house.

And then I remember that this is the usual reaction when girls (and some guys) see my dog. Girls have clutched my arm at the sight of the dog.

Too bad not a lot of girls drop by the house.

Read more!

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Perks and Cons of Being Me, A Stalker

Perk: I can move through a crowd unseen.

Con: I can't turn it off. (The staff at the cafeteria actually didn't notice me and didn't open the door until the guy behind me was in front of him.)

Perk: I'm famous.

Con: I'm infamous.

Perk: I know a lot of people.

Con: I spook a lot of people.

Perk: I have lots of friends.

Con: I don't have a best friend.

Perk: I know a lot of cute girls.

Con: I'm nothing more than a "brother" to them.

Perk: People laugh when I say I'm a stalker.

Con: People don't take me seriously.

Perk: I can get away with not revealing my sources by just saying "I'm a stalker."

Con: Now they take me seriously.

Perk: I make accurate observations.

Con: People dislike me for knowing (or for saying it out loud).

Perk: People actually read my blog.

Con: People don't like what I say.

Read more!
Being Preoccupied

For the past few years, I didn't want to be idle during summer, mainly because boredom results in a lot of spending.

The solution to this was usually getting a summer job. Sure, it was low paying, but time spent working was time not spent buying stuff.

Of course lately, I've been too busy.

Had to wake up early yesterday in order to make my tuition payments. I did manage to finish early and board a jeepney by 8:45. By the time I was at the MRT station, I got a call from my employers. I was supposed to drop off a CD but they wanted to have a meeting with me instead.

Despite the fact that my legs were in pain because of the other day's waiting in line, I got off at Guadalupe and started walking towards Rockwell.

It has occured to me that I've been to Rockwell in the past three weeks more than I've been there for the past two years.

What was supposed to be a quick meeting turned into a 3-hour long session, since by the time I left their offices, people were already having their lunch.


Communication plays a vital role in any organization, whether it's business or not. Since my employers have a screwed up communication system (e.g. the executives are asking for one thing but their head honcho is asking for another), I get the short end of the stick. It goes something like this:

We want you to submit the project by 5 pm on Wednesday, but we'll only be able to give you the materials on the day itself.

We want you to submit the final product by 5 pm but we haven't given you the materials yet by 5 pm.

We trust your judgement in layouting so we're sure you'll do fine. By the way, we want you to place this pic here, this text there, etc.

We want this pic on the front page. You done with it? We changed our minds. We want another picture.

What's Free Time?

By the time I got home, found out my mom didn't have the phone line fixed even though it was grounded and I told her to call PLDT before I went to school.

Stayed a total of 30 minutes at home before I had to leave again and fetch Elbert from the MRT to escort to Dean's office.

You Learn Something New Every Day

I knew ArtFarm was in the same building as Pipineline but it was only then that I realized their offices were right next to each other. And as usual, it's the time of the year where ArtFarm actually earns money because they're giving out tutorials to students.

Surrounded by Celebrities

That's how I felt when I was in Dean's office. For one thing, there's Dean! Then there was Carlo Vergara (mental note: chide Tin and MM to buy Zsa Zsa Zaturnah which is coming out this Saturday). And I'm sure Elbert will join their ranks in a few years, if he hasn't reached that point already.

I mainly listened to Dean and Elbert's discussion, since I know zilch about comics. Some interesting points were mentioned, but I'm not at liberty to mention them (I think).

"My Time"

5 pm - 8 pm is off limits. That's the time I actually watch TV, and most of them involves anime. At least that'll be the case until this season ends.

Summer School

You'd be surprised at how busy summer can be. Heck, even the photocopiers at the library have their hands full.

A Dozen of the Century (Books of the Century)

It's the class of Mr. Pulan I'm attending. Guess how many books we're supposed to read in the span of four weeks? (Apparently, summer is only until the 23rd of May.)

And unlike Phil. Lit. where the books we were reading were mostly published here in the Philippines (hence having a cheaper price tag), the books we're reading are all imports.

Aside from the problem of price, there's also the dilemma of availability. After trying to search around Metro Manila for his own reading list, Mr. Pulan came to the conclusion not to take into consideration the availability of books when making his syllabus. "We're a third world country with third world bookstores."

Beleive me, I'm not in the mood to photocopy a dozen books.

30 minutes of Rest

Like yesterday, that's how much sleep I got once I got home. And then, it was off to work. My annoying employers sent me three emails, each containing an image that was 1 MB. Aaaaggh. It nearly clogged up my inbox.

Then, I had two and a half hours to cram work.

The Great Book Scavenging

Since I was going to pass by Rockwell to submit my work, I dropped by Fully Booked (a.k.a. Page One) to get the books on the syllabus.

Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway was barely available, and Franz Kafka's The Castle was out of stock. Off to my next stop, Powerbooks PB Arnaiz.

There was only one book that I managed to obtain there, which was The Stranger by Albert Camus. Surprisingly, the main branch of Powerbooks didn't have a copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the branch in Glorietta did.

Then it was off to my favorite bookstore, A Different Bookstore. Managed to get the last copies of Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov) and Midnight's Children (Salman Rushdie). On a side note, ADB has Raymond Feist's new book on hardcover, Talons of a Silver Hawk.

Things I Observed About Our Bookstores

As I said before, there's a monopoly on our bookstores. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all. I didn't bother going to National Bookstore because I only had a discount card to Powerbooks. Never mind the fact that they have the same owner, the same prices, and the same selection of books.

Bibliarch = Fully Booked = Sketchpad. Expensive prices but a distinctly different selection (mainly because a lot of their books are European versions).

Oh yeah, saw this ad at Fully Booked. "Get a discount card with P10,000 worth of purchases on ONE receipt." Hahaha. I don't even shop there often enough to cover the P700 cost of the discount card. That P10,000 on one receipt is almost as ridiculous as ADB's offer to give you a 15% discount card with an accumulated purchase worth P300,000 (at least not in the three years I've been shopping there).

ADB is the only bookstore that has a bookshelf which isn't alphabetized (at least their fiction section isn't). Then again, it's a small shelf, so I don't mind. And their fiction bookshelf has sub-categories, such as Asian authors, Latin authors, etc.

I would have dropped by Goodwill Bookstore, but I feel there's just something wrong entering there carrying plastic bags from Fully Booked, Powerbooks, and ADB.

If I had the time, I would also have dropped by Books for Less, but...

Read more!

Monday, April 21, 2003

Some random musings... they're insights but you'll never have practical use for most of them.

There was a time...

When I actually read each and every blog on my link list. Every single day (on the condition that my brother isn't using the phoneline or my sister isn't surfing). Of course back then, I had, what... half a dozen links? And I remember Tin's link list back when she was still using red-negative. There was something like three to four dozen links, and much more people linking to her.

Of course now, aside from the fact that my blog links hasn't significantly increased, there are some factors that hinder me from actually checking other people's blogs on a daily basis.

1) People don't update as often. Honestly, it takes time to visit other people's blogs, especially those with fancy layouts and HUGE images (*hint* *hint* Gio). And well, while it's not like going all the way to Makati coming from North Edsa, there's a real disappointment when you're itching to read other people's blogs only to find out it hasn't been updated in a month or two. And when it happens on the next day, and the day that follows, and the day after that... well, you start losing interest (provided that the blog was interesting to read in the first place). But not to sound like a hypocrite, we've all been guilty of this, especially me. I mean my other blogs haven't been updated as of late, but then those blogs require specialized preparation (reading a book, writing a long essay or article, etc.). But even this blog has been known to suddenly disappear for a week...

2) Huge files. Despite the fact that a lot of people have access to broadband, this is the Philippines, and people still use dialup (and even Philippine broadband doesn't exactly offer the best services). I don't want to waste the next five minutes waiting for images to download, only to find out that all you have to say for the day is an unenlightening one-liner (of course sometimes the occassional entry like "*insert name* died" is more than enough to explain the person's current situation). Of course artistic freedom in web design is well and good. But some people start posting large pics in their entries for the sake of doing so rather than being relevant. If that's just going to be the case, couldn't it just be a link instead of forcing people to download half a meg of, say, Yuna? And the same goes for blog entries which contain nothing but lots of quiz results (especially those with large pic files). Oh yeah, and ignore the pic of my room below. =) And times like these, you're glad that the computer actually has a cache...

3) This really doesn't apply to a lot of people unlike the previous two. It's a matter of browser compatability. I mean unlike most people, I don't use Internet Explorerer. I use Netscape 6. And sometimes, people's coding (especially those who change their layout every few weeks or so) is optimized for IE that it Netscape becomes neglected. Some pages have the text merging, others missing a text file or two, and some even not loading at all. Well, I do turn on IE just to browse those blogs, but not as often as the other blogs which I can easily view through Netscape.

Everything has life

I'm not the first to formulate this theory but in Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Earth book, he did come out with the theory that every organism has life. Not only our living cells but even plants, rocks, even metals. Of course life does not automatically equate with sentience. I mean the cells in our bodies have life, but the organisms themselves don't have significant intelligence. Rather, all the cells in our body form us human beings, who are capable of thought as a collective (of cellular organisms).

I guess an extension of that theory is that anything we excrete has life as well, from tears to snot to shit. And each one of those is unique. I mean a teardrop is dumb as a rock, but my teardrop is different from yours or his or hers. And me being the fantasy fan that I am, perhaps a story could have a setting where magic has life. It's still a tool used by people but it does not necessarily have sentience. Perhaps you casting fireball and me casting fireball results in the same effects (such as a tree burning from the flames) but it doesn't mean both fireballs are the same. One might have a bluish tint than the other, or one might have a more oval shape. Either way, each spell is unique, rather than the ritualized and memorized spell stereotype common in the fantasy genre.

Obviously, an extension of this in real life is that my writing, or my composition, or my gardening/baking/drawing, etc. is unique from another person's. Perhaps you can even take the artist's point of view that art has life literally. And what differentiates us from this or that object is not our genetic makeup but the fact that we possess significant sentience to dwell on the fact that we are capable of thought (although there are a lot of stupid people out there...).


Did talk to Elbert an hour ago. He was asking me how to get to Dean's office. I merely replied "look for Slimmers... they're the ones with the banners edited with Photoshop." I mean seriously, Slimmers has these male and female pictures, which basically have Schwarzanegger bodies and then these Filipino heads on top of them. Clearly fake.

Jaime Bautista will hopefully be back from his vacation this week. And hopefully, I can finally take a break. Of course that's not likely since I'm enrolled in Mr. Pulan's class and I have six weeks to go through twelve books.

Read more!

That might as well have been my prison number. Today as enrollment and one of Ateneo's latest efforts to streamline the enrollment process is to assign people random numbers on their regform. That number would dictate their place in line. So if you got number 14, thereotically, you'd be the 14th person in line to get priority.

Of course my reg has been screwy ever since they released my grades. I didn't even have a reg form back then. And even until now, it looks like I'm not even enlisted. It feels like the secratary lost my file or something.

Anyway, so even if I came to school early (staying awake with less than five hours of sleep), I was letting people go ahead of me. I mean I encountered people with registration numbers like 26, 130, 214... and then there's the gap from 200+ to 2000.

I guess I can be glad that I'm not the only person with a four digit registration number. There's like two, three other people. And at this point, I'm glad I'm in Humanities, because usually it's only the people in Science or Management who have required summer classes.

Of course the far from perfect enrollment method requires you to be at school in the morning for your required classes and again in the afternoon for your non-required subjects. And even if I went through the checkers during the morning, I had to undergo the entire waiting procedure and letting people go ahead of me during the afternoon. And then when I finally got to sign up for my class, the slots were already filled.

And I had to go various departments (since the Creative Writing program is both in the Interdisciplinary Studies department and in the Fine Arts deparment) just to confirm and eliminate from my reg form that I wouldn't take my non required subject because I ran out of slots.

Of course I'll have to go back to school tomorrow to pay as well as obtain a new ID. I'm a senior now. 20 years old. Welcome to my last year in Ateneo.

The Martial Artist

Elbert's gone bald. And now of all times, he decided to start retraining in Wushu. Will we see the comic artist convert to a martial artist?

Anime Radar Haywire

I've always prided myself in the fact that I could spot an anime fan a mile away. Too bad it wasn't working when I met Jamie (yes, there are a lot of Jamie's I know of... there's the comic teacher, the friend's ex, the other friend's ex, the friend's friend...) a few months ago in LitSoc. I don't know why it didn't work. Am I losing my touch? Or is it because she's been hanging out with Allen and Liana, thus inhibiting the "otaku" in her. I mean she doesn't act like a fan girl, talk like a fan girl, or even appear like a fan girl. Hmmmm...

Liana's Rich

Well, Liana told me that if she couldn't sign up in at least 6 units worth of classes, her mom will be sending her back to Cebu this Wednesday. And apparently, Liana will go back to Cebu even though she just arrived a few days ago. At least we can always ask her to pimp out Grafic...

Read more!

Sunday, April 20, 2003

An End to Holy Week

It's finally over. People have come back from the far-flung reaches of the world to civilization, or at least the semblance of it in Metro Manila.

I don't know but the past four days seems to have lasted longer. Perhaps it's because I'm trapped in my room without much to do (not much TV on Holy Week, I don't listen to the radio, Gio and Elbert haven't given me reading material, etc.). But in any case, the hectic tradition that is summer enrollment begins tomorrow, which will put an end to my early morning sleeping habits.
No More Internet

Well, basically I enjoyed the privilege of using the Internet for the past few days without worry someone's going to use the phone, since my brother went on a vacation himself. I wish it could have lasted though but he came back yesterday, which brought a halt to my hours of engrossing in online Flash tutorials.

Speaking of Flash

Since I presumed my work was done, I started breaking down Flash code and downloading tutorials. I did experiment and made Elbert a Flash menu for his various sites but I don't think he's going to use it (to those who want to see what I've done, email me... it's only 50 kb). The comment? I was using too much space.

Maybe I'm suffering from the Filipino aesthetic sensibility, which is to fill up white spaces.

11th Hour Revisions

In line with white spaces, well, my employers follow that sensibility and I was asked to make revisions on program because it had too much blank spaces (one reason is because Elbert designed it, and the other is that it originally had a menu which cramped up picture space but since they opted for a drop down menu, there's suddenly lots of free space).

Guilty Pleasures

Not exactly grade-A shows but they have their own charm. Zoids: New Century and Digimon Tamers finally started airing last Friday on Cartoon Network, and Crush Gear Turbo still has its appeal. Too bad I missed the return of Harvey Birdman on Cartoon Network last Friday...

Virra Mall

Did drop by the place this afternoon to supposedly meet up with MechaPinoy since it's a been a long time since I last attended their meetings but they weren't at the meeting place.

On the way, I did see lots of pirated PS2 games, and on the third floor, people were chiding me to buy DVDs and porn. How some things remain the same...

Also did buy some CD-RWs but unfortunately, the shop that I usually buy my diskettes was closed (I finally remembered it's closed on Sundays). And then it was a bit difficult finding shops that sell diskettes. CDs, DVDs, and even Zip drives are probably more common nowadays.

Read more!