Monday, December 19, 2005

Parties, Sunday Night Soccer and King Kong

Last week, the day after my last post, I got shanghied into attending 4 Christmas parties and 2 birthday parties. There was the Bacolod CH party, the Architects Party ( two on the same day in fact ) and our very own office party, all related to our business. Suffice to say I went home late everyday feeling like a stuffed pig. Thus, the two month buffet sessions begins...
The need to go the gym increases more and more...
Saturday's birthday party is for one of my dearest friends, Pink Gurl. We arrived late since it was the same day as in our office party, but we had fun, even though it lasted just 20 minutes since the electricity was down. Me and my bro had to drive the guests home, since Pink Gurl's place is "away from civilization".
Sunday, on the other hand, was a HS friend, one of the brotherhood. Having eaten a sumptous meal, we settled down and watch the San Paolo beat Liverpool 1-0, amids jeers, commentary, and bottles of beer. It was exciting to watch, even if I'm not a "futbol fanatico" , and since it was the finals. I think I learned more about soccer that night in just five years. It was great to see the gang again in the living, crowded on the sofa, cheering and agonizing each missed goal with beer on our hands. We haven't done this for a long time I guess.
I didn't get to finished the party though, as I promised my cousins to watch King Kong with them. And boy, I wasn't disappointed.
Peter Jackson is a god, and the cinematography is just too rich and vibrant and awesome. It's like watching LOTR but you know you aren't. Sweeping shots through the landscape, close-ups on the actors, the scenes ... all are so riveting.
For me, Jack Black was the man to watch, a man obessesed with movies and fame. He palyed his character to the T, and does with enough style in geekiness to pull it off. More power to you Mr. Black!
Actually, I'm operating now in safe mode, mind hardly online to write even a coherent report. It's past 3 am and I'm tired from the day's basketball game. To sum it all up, King Kong rocks and gets my vote for the Oscars!
State of Mind: Safe Mode
Now listening to: First of Summer
Game Day stats: 2 points, 4 steals, 8 rebounds
Best bit in King Kong: Diplodocuses ( dinosaurs with long necks to the ignorant ) slamming into each other with such realism!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Prologue: Short Stories for Viewing

I started going to the gym this week, and I can now say with absolute certainity that there is a substitute for those long gone days of torture and the Spanish Inquisition. My body feels like it's been passed through a combination of neural synthesizers and molecular disassemblers and processed by hypervacuum rays.

Or, in plain English, beaten into ten shades of blue and pink.

And some people actually enjoy this?!

Actually, at the end of the day, I feel a little lighter, though I still question the amount of effort of doing this much for just feeling a little lighter.


Anyways, its been back to the grind, back to reality so to speak. Work has been satisfying so far, if you call my kind of work satisfying. The only thing I hate about my job is customer complaints. Since being the head of sales includes dealing with all problems related to sales, there isn't a day going by where I had to reassure, console, seek answers, make up stories or just plain lie to the customer in order to maintain peace and order. Sometimes I think the reason I write good stories is that I can whip them up in a second and actually make them believable.

Necessity is STILL the mother of invention.

Funny, how the world turns and grins you a lopsided smile. I keep complaining that my work never gives me time to write, while at the same time my work actually keeps me in practice, albeit in giving me the edge in thinking fast and smart.

To wit.

Starting maybe this week, I'll be posting some stories, mostly 5 or 6 part tales of mostly fantasy, with perhaps a couple of short stories of urban and science fiction, basing my structures on the likes of Dungeons and Dragons, Legend of the Five Rings, Nobilis, Call of Cthulhu and Warhammer. If things work out the way I see it to be, MWF would be for my blogs while STTHS would be for shorts. The reason seem obvious; I need to keep in practice. So expect the first one to come up this Sunday, if not this week. First up, Dungeons and Dragons...

Hmmm...wishes, wishes, wishes...

State of Mind: Battered thoughts....
Song of the Day: Ligaya by Kitchie Nadal/Eraserheads
Now Reading: Anansi's Boys by Neil Gaiman
Short Story Status: 40% finished

Monday, December 12, 2005

Indonesian Incursion

We promised the world we'd tame it!
What are we waiting for?!
-Pioneers by Bloc Party
Well I'm back.
Actually, I was back last week to this day, but seeing the amount of paperwork piled high in desk like the Himalayas, I was forced to finish my work backlog first rather than write then and there and be screamed aat like a little naughty boy for the unfinished papers. I hate paperwork.
Indonesia was a blast, I had a great time enjoying the sun, the scenes, the culture. Our first day was spent touring around Bandung, a little over a hour away from the Jakarta. Went to see a volcano, but due to the weather, which was so foggy I could actually grab the clouds and use it for pillows, we were bewilderedly transported to heaven. Going down the mountain is a trip and a half too, since we drove down at a max speed of 10km, inching ourselves slowly else we'll fall down a ravine and find ourselves in true Heaven. Brrrrr....
Wandered around some of really neat restos, which the design I think I'll be pirating if ever I'll build my own resto. Hmmmm...
Had lunch at a strawberry plantation, with authentic Indonesian cuisine served to us i.e. everything is spicy. Hell, even the fruits and veggies get their own sauce to make them spicy too. Them indonesians have weird tastes...
But the food was tasty, albeit a little disconcerting, since everything looks...different. And this from a Filipino whose cuisine include pig's blood and unborn duck egg. It's a cultural thing I guess.
Afternoon saw us at a popular hot spring site, to relax our tired muscles from the jet lag and stress. One word: Hot.
Then we went to a massage center to experience the Indonesian technique of relieving tired cooked muscles. After an hour of backbreaking, tendon stretching and ribcage twisting, also jumping on my back a couple times for good measure, I feel I just been killed and resurrected. It felt good.
Had dinner at a very romantic place in top of another mountain, this time overlooking the city.. Bandung is city within a valley, so the places have some spectacular sights. Western food for a change, so it was ok. Oh, and I stole the menu book.
Before you react, I was looking for a nice souvenier and the menu book look to be the perfect one. I used to do it when I was young, but I stopped since my place is just small city, so I might get noticed. There, I had no compunctions since I don't live there.
Ok, fine it was a stupid thing to do, just let it go as my O.C. ok?
The next day saw us travelling at Jogjakarta to see one of the wonders of the world, the Borubodur temple or the Temple of Buddha. Legend says that it was the site where Buddha was born and took his first eight steps. And it place of those steps grew a lotus flower, so the lotus has big meaning in the Hindu-Buddhism religion. Indeed, the place is just encircled with buddha statues trapped in an upside down lotus blossom. And I got my ass chewed up because I climbed up the wall to get a better view i.e. take a picture of one of the buddhas. Thus I just consoled myself for taking taking a picture of me with a sign saying "No climbing!"
Yep, I'll remember that for a long time.
After the temple and a detour to silver smithing shop ( why does every tour in Southeast Asia have this kind of place ?!! ) and buying a mother some bracelet, we ran back to city to grab some grub at one of the famous big sidewalk chicken stalls. Sitting cross-legged at the mats and being seneraded by some indonesians whose songs I don't recognized is kinda ok, nevermind that the food was really great.
Then we took our full bellies off the mat ( now that's a challenge for me ) and headed for the
airport for our trip to Bali.
Wow. I'm actually going to Bali.
We arrived late at night, and decided to sleep early for some culture and watersports the next day. The next day saw us watching a kind of Bali dance, where the history of the world was supposed to created and the eternal fight between good and evil. Never paid much attention, since my eyes was riveted to the band section, where the music accompanies the movements of the actors on stage.There was a one guy who, out of the 20 people in the band, is the sole percussionist. And he sounded like he has ten hands and twenty drums. Wow. I'm very impressed. Once a musician, always a musician I guess.

Then we tried parasailing.
It was the single most exciting event that day.
It was the single most horrifying event in my life.
I'm afraid of heights, and doing that took great amounts of guts....or in my case, peer pressure.
Sometimes the latter is a more effective bludgeon in forcing us in doing what we loathed, but I digress. That is another long topic for another day.
There I was, hanging ten stories high with only a harness to keep me from literally splashing to the sea. And I still opened my eyes to see the sights in front of me, though it was an effort to keep them from looking down. I'm not doing this again unless I'm a. drunk, b. stoned, c. insane, or all of the above. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.
The next day was more better, since we got on a cruise for the whole day and travelled to an distant island to enjoy some snorkeling, slides and sea trampoline. Nothing but fun, fun and more fun. Visited the nearby island too, and checked out this site where a guy single handedly built his own bomb shelter, complete with stone bedrooms, stone dining room and also, you
guessed it, a stone bathroom. Weird or not, it was one cool place to visit.

Next day early morning saw us travelling to a rafting site. From the top of the mountain going down, it was very nice ride, what with the scenic area all around us. Personally I'd still prefer kayaking in Davao for a more exciting trip down the rapids, but for the scenery nothing beats Bali.
After lunch at the river edge, we went upwards to another temple situated in the mountain cliffs. What's different about these one is that the monkeys rule here, and go hither all over with not a whit of care. The guides even warned us to watch our cameras and glasses, as they tend to grabbed by the simians and gleefully jump off and hang in the side of a cliff. Your grabbed item is now officially lost. Forever.
But the view is breathtaking, with the temple situated some 30 stories up a sheer cliff. Mission Impossible it ain't.
Then we had dinner by the seaside, with lobster and crabs for our, ehem, guests. And yep, they were all spicy as hell. Romantic place. If the weather didn't turn cloudy, we could have watch the sunset. But we did get to see some cool lightning effects, so that's ok.
The most fun day we had was at the Waterbom, a water park were there are slides galore. There's also a small stream where we just hang on to our infalted thingys and just lounge in the sun while the current takes you to the different parts of the park. But it's foremost attraction is the slides, where you climbed a tower 6 stories high and race down to experience 20 seconds of sliding goodness. You'd think that it's tiring to go up six stories and just slide down but no, the experience is worth that and more. I think I did at least 20 slides all in all. My favorite is the Macaroni, where the slide takes you inside a tunnel and makes you whoosh up, down, left and right. Since there it's a tunnel, there's no fear of falling off. And that slide goes round and round, like it's namesake. I even did it backwards and boy, the experience changed. It's like being in a timewarp or speed, and you end up upside down in the pool with half a water in your lungs.
Finally, our last day arrived, and we spent it going back to Jakarta for some much needed mall shopping. I was happy that day, not because of civilization, but I found a bookstore! Woot! And inside that bookstore, I found the continuation of the Lone Wolf and Cub series! I'm in heaven...
Dinner saw us at a posh place somewhere in the city, and after dinner saw me debating the fine points of long distance relationship and it's pros and cons. My three Indonesian friends, all whom are very very beautiful, are somewhat disgusted over their boyfriend's behaviour. So what is it in for me? Their boyfriends are Filipinos, so in some part I got mixed up with the mess and ended up defending the Filipino manhood. It's not my fault they choose their boyfriends because of their sweetness and looks, but overlooked the immaturity and irresponsiveness.
Why me?
All in all though, our Indonesian trip was blast. Had a great time actually, just enough to get me all fired up for work. Next stop? Maybe Hong Kong.
This is me, Hamsterbot, signing out.
State of Mind: Happy happy joy joy... but back to work
Now Listening: Ikot by Stonefree
Now Reading: Thud! by Terry Pratchet
Best bit about the trip: The whole thing!