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The Galaxy According To BalatStar
all five horizons revolve around my soul
My Journal 
22nd-Nov-2014 10:52 pm(no subject)
live long and prosper
I don't think I will be taking the JLPT this year, after all. It's only two weeks away, and I still haven't found the time to really sit down and study for it. There's such a whirlwind of revenue-generating work coming in that it seems silly to 'waste' time on something that has no value for me (yet) aside from a sense of accomplishment. It feels like such a letdown to choose the JLPT to let go, though, because it's been a goal for years. Oh well. I'll just take it when I'm rich, and more pera pera desu. Next year, I hope. Haha!

(Or maybe I can just wing the JLPT anyway, but it's almost a whole day lost when I could be working on getting more of my backlog finished instead. *sigh* Well, we'll see.)

I'm settling down at work. I've been given more responsibilities, which I like, and I'm learning so many new things. I also finally got my own desk with a lockable cabinet. The last time I had one of those was over 10 years ago! XD

One upside to being busy is I have no time to get the doldrums and dwell on all the negative things that have happened this year. I have hope that I can end it with a bang, anyway. Fingers crossed! Things are looking up!
29th-Sep-2014 06:59 pm - because this was meant to be shared
rabbit
Cone of snacks:

cone of snacks
28th-Sep-2014 11:20 am(no subject)
castiel
I stepped on a snail last night, and its shell cracked to pieces. I always look at the ground when I walk so that I don't accidentally step on small creatures, but it was dark and I wasn't able to see it. I'm so sorry, Snail. I'd bring you back to life if I could. :(
16th-Aug-2014 10:51 am - Is this what mid-life crisis is like?
noodle
When I decided to quit my job, I promised myself I'd pursue my long-time dream of being my own boss. I have big plans! Travel! Rock and roll! But two days into my "retirement", I get an offer that's really, really, really hard to resist. I don't know what to do. On the one hand... back to my comfort zone, and in a prestigious organization. On the other... an uncertain future, but freedom.

I know this isn't even remotely close to being a bad problem to have, but why these forks in the road, universe? Can't you just give me one straight, well-lit path to follow?
1st-Jul-2014 01:57 pm(no subject)
oops
I can handle the flu. I can handle diarrhea. But not both at the same time. I think I'm dying.
19th-Jun-2014 10:31 am(no subject)
oyako
Last night, I mistakenly called my nephew Aky, "Bunny". My heart almost stopped.
18th-Jun-2014 07:18 pm(no subject)
noodle
Had an informal chat with one of my young colleagues yesterday about his resignation. Unlike others like him whose reasons for leaving were job offers with (much) higher pay, he said he was quitting because he felt his youth was being wasted working for someone else when he could be spending the time building his own thing with his brother (who's in the same field and also quit his job recently).

I really respect these kids with big goals and the courage to go after them. I wish I could have been the same. Do dreams have expiration dates?
29th-May-2014 12:37 pm - Bryan Fuller and Hannibal
hannibal, clock
Oh, I didn't know that the creator of Hannibal (Bryan Fuller) also created two other shows I used to like watching: Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies. So I guess I'm a long-time fan, just oblivious of the fact? :D

At least, Hannibal already escaped the 2-season curse of Fuller's previous shows. I hope it lasts the whole planned 6-season run. It's currently my favorite ongoing show. I think I actually liked Hannibal's most recent season better than the most recent Sherlock. And I'm a die-hard Sherlock fangirl! *gasp*

I love the beautiful cinematography, the loaded dialogue (nobody really talks like that in real life, but it's just so SEXY), Hannibal's elegant 3-piece suits, Will's cute dogs... and of course, the gorgeous food (I don't care if a lot of those are people xD).

That Hannibal season 2 finale, though... I have no words! Well, almost. I don't know whether to squee with kilig or die from the deluge of feels. It's been days since I've seen it, and my heart still races every time I think about those final few minutes. I don't think I can last waiting until next year!

Hannigram Mizumono spoilery imagesCollapse )
18th-May-2014 07:24 am - its squall day!
squall
If I could view the earth from exactly 14 light-years away, I can watch Squall being born and live his life all over again. Happy birthday, baby.

14th-May-2014 06:07 pm(no subject)
hannibal, clock
Dragged myself to the health clinic today for our APE (annual physical exam). Why these things are scheduled in the middle of summer is beyond me. The 15-minute trek from the office to the clinic under the glaring sun was horrible.

The consulting doctor found what were probably imaginary lumps on my breasts (I tried feeling for them after, but couldn't find any). I think she just wants the commission/TF on the breast ultrasound, which I heard was quite expensive, but that she confirmed was covered by my HMO (she asked me what my HMO provider was before prescribing the test). Okay. I didn't have time to take the ultrasound today (I was only on lunch break) so I'll just go back when the weather is cooler. If I die of breast cancer before then, you can all just leave i-told-you-so notes by my gravestone. ;P

If you're wondering why I'm being blase about this, it's just experience. Last year they found "cardiac arrhythmia" and prescribed a batch of what I'd also guess were pretty expensive tests (of course, covered by my HMO). I didn't go for those tests, because I saw the reading they based it on was just off by 1 point from the normal. And don't even get me started on all the other urinalysis re-tests and specialist consults from just a slight deviation on the normal urinalysis numbers (and that one doctor actually confided to me was "OA"). These health clinics are big business.
2nd-May-2014 10:23 am - Hannibal (spoilers)
noodle
Marathoned Hannibal at home during the Labor day holiday.

I realized there are a lot of references to kindness to animals as a semi-reliable indicator that one is NOT a sociopath/psychopath. I haven't read the original books, but with the way Will is progressing in the latter parts of the series, I'm starting to wonder if I should worry about his dogs' futures.

I mean, here we are post-episode 9, where Will presumably (if the next episode trailer is any indication) beat the Beast Guy to death and calmly brought the body to Dr. Lecter. And I think: ah, but he did save Buster at the risk of his own life, so he couldn't be regressing to psychopathy. And then it just hits me, what if that's going to be the final final act that convinces the viewers that Will has gone to the dark side? (Although, is it really possible for someone to tip over into psycho-/sociopathy if he wasn't born with it?)

Ugh. Maybe I should grab the book so I know what Will's fate is.

Yeah, just thinking aloud. I hope I'm just overthinking stuff.

***

Watching Hannibal (among other things) makes me really miss having a dog. I miss having someone follow me around in the house. And having someone miss me when I'm away. And glad when I come back home. The world is a very very lonely place without one.
oops
Do you know how long it takes for BDO to update a client's contact information? Well, I don't know either, because I have been requesting for this update since last year, and I am STILL going back and forth with them on this request now.

The first time, May or June of last year, I went to one of their bank branches, and they gave me a change request form to fill out. So I thought that was that. I mean, this isn't a small bank we're talking about, right? They should have their system spinning flawlessly. And besides, how hard can it be to update a few simple fields on their system, right?

Apparently, I was incorrect to assume so. Early this year (January-February), I found out that they still have the old contact info on record. So I went back to the bank again, and they put me in touch with their hotline. I gave the rep the updated information, and she assured me that it would be updated within three days. Okay, I thought, that's that; I already talked to an actual person, so my change request can't possibly get lost anymore.

Was I ever wrong! About a month later, I got a call from BDO confirming if I received a letter they sent out. I didn't. Upon checking, I found out that they STILL are sending correspondence to the incorrect address. So I ask the person on the phone to update the information, and I was told to go through the customer support for this request.

Okay, so I calmed myself and decided to get in touch with support through email. I thought I probably needed the "paper trail" on this because I had no proof of their assurances through phone. A dizzying amount of back and forth emails ensued, from which I got three (3!) separate confirmations and assurances that my contact information has already been updated last February.

And today, what do I get? A letter from BDO that miraculously/luckily ended up at our house, still bearing the WRONG mailing address, dated April 2014. This was sent out 2 months AFTER they allegedly already updated my information. Unfuckingbelievable!! GODDAMMIT PEOPLE, UPDATING CONTACT INFO IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, IS IT??!!!!!!

I'm at my wit's end. BDO, please explain how something so simple has become this complicated. You do find ways. To make me miserable.
rabbit
hanabishi-3942-32601-1-product

I bought this model of Hanabishi electric kettle last January and had to get it exchanged for a new one after a month because it broke down. The replacement broke down again last week (April). We're a coffee-/tea-drinking family, so the kettle has been through a lot of use, but breaking down every 1-2 months is downright ridiculous. I appreciate the one-year warranty on the product, but really, I don't want to go back all the time just to get it replaced/repaired!

So I asked for a refund, and SM Supermarket nicely agreed to give me one, even if I'm way past the 7-day return window. (I think I've gotten pretty good at demanding things in my dotage. Hehe.) They didn't have any other brands of electric kettles, though, so I didn't know what to get as a replacement. I ended up getting lechon cebu. Hahahaha! I've always wanted to try some; I finally have an excuse! XDDD

I need to get another kettle, though. Something that's not a sucky Hanabishi. It's such a hassle to wait over 10 minutes for water to boil on the stove. When I want my tea, I want it now! (Or in 2-3 minutes, which is how long I have to wait for water to boil in an electric kettle.)
6th-Apr-2014 07:26 pm - Wheel of Time, Extra Challenge
snape
Because I am bored, I'm reading the Wheel of Time series backwards, from Book 14 to Book 1. Well, I guess that's not really backwards because I still read each book from chapter 1 to the last. I guess it's more like reading in Okazaki fragments. Hahaha! (Sorry, #MBBjoke)

I surprisingly find I'm enjoying the Brandon Sanderson books more, now that I'm not reading them fresh after Jordan's installments. I still want to kick his over-discussy ass at some scenes, and still think there are far too many Perrin chapters and too few Mat Cauthon ones (I think BS finds it difficult to write in Mat's voice), but I don't gnash my teeth all the time anymore. And his battle scenes are actually quite fun. Of course, I'm not at his worst book yet, so I'll have to hold off on conclusions until then.

taimon_gaidon_by_dem888-d348zgo
Perrin, Rand and Mat. Yummy Ta'veren fanart by dem888.

[Update]
Okay, so I finished reading Brandon Sanderson's worst WoT book and... it wasn't so bad! I was even able to read the chapter I thought was ridiculously corny (that Hinderstap episode) without twitching. I might have stumbled on the proper way to read these books without getting frustrated as hell! :D

Next time, I'll try reading from the beginning, and then take a 1- or 2-month break after Jordan's books, maybe read horrible pulp novels like Twilight and the 50 Shades series, before moving on to the Sanderson WoT books. Might also work, yeah?
12th-Mar-2014 08:33 am - #1dayofhappiness
squall
Some of my clothes are still covered in fur. This makes me happy. I am never cleaning my room. And changing my sheets.
11th-Mar-2014 04:25 am(no subject)
glambert
some people just can't keep their big mouths shut. i don't know why i even expect otherwise.
6th-Mar-2014 12:55 pm(no subject)
rabbit
Neal and Peter

Tingingang yan. Hehe. Neal Caffrey, please be mine.
4th-Mar-2014 02:27 pm(no subject)
gdragon
Called Citibank to get my annual membership fee waived, and the support person offered me a Rudy Project watch if I change my mind and choose to pay the P2500 fee instead. Hahaha! Sorry, no. You guys will never earn a centavo from me.

*

Well, okay, I'm sure they earn money selling my personal info all over the place anyway. Ugh.
1st-Mar-2014 08:35 am(no subject)
rabbit
Whenever I binge-watch Supernatural, I get a hankering for fruit pie. I don't even like fruit pie.
20th-Feb-2014 02:22 pm - UPCAT reviews
snape
In my humble opinion, UPCAT reviews are a waste of money (and time). The UP entrance exam is basically stock knowledge and common sense. If you don't have the required knowledge, principles and ideas ingrained in your mind by the time you're in 4th year high school, I'm sorry, but you will never learn them at review sessions. One is either bound to pass or fail the UPCAT, no matter if he busts his ass at a review course or not.

Of course, review courses aren't a total waste of time. Other university entrance exams are greatly helped by studying. ADMU's, for one, feels like final exams for 4 years of HS. While really smart people can still probably get by on what they remember naturally, intensive reviews (especially on core subjects like Math, Science and English) would definitely boost the chances of those who aren't as gifted.

So I guess my advice would be, if someone is keen on paying for review courses to prepare for university or college entrance exams, it's more worthwhile to sign up for one geared for Ateneo's rather than the UPCAT. Although, really, if your high school offers free reviews (and I think most do), then just go to those! It's one's own efforts and skills that will determine success, anyway, not the review centers'.
rabbit
I didn't renew my gym membership at Richmonde. Instead, I'll try this out:
HASfit 30-Day Fitness Challenge Program

It's free, with videos I can follow along. Looks promising. I won't be following the actual calendar, though (I don't think I can do 5x/week workouts). I'll just go through them one by one on my usual M-W-F schedule. So it will be more like a 45-day program (or whatever, I'm too lazy to do the math :p).

[Update 2/19]
Of course, the downside of this cheapo plan is that if net goes down, I can't do any workouts. Ugh. I should have downloaded a few of the videos last week. PLDT technical problems in our area usually last weeks (even months, if I'm lucky). :/

[Update 2/20]
Found this DIY option for when I have no net:
Periodic Table of Bodyweight Exercises

Now I don't have an excuse to slack off. :)
rabbit
In case anyone is interested. I inquired about String lessons from the Manila Symphony Orchestra group. Here are their rates and packages...Collapse )

***

I wanted to learn the violin, but the rates are a bit too stiff for me, considering I'd have to also buy a not-too-shabby violin to be able to practice. Seems like such a high price to pay for something I'm actually too old to be even respectably good at.

***

I was kinda looking forward to the free Philharmonic Orchestra Valentine concert on Saturday to take my mind off of things. Sadly, it got canceled postponed.
12th-Feb-2014 08:02 am(no subject)
noodle
On a universal scale, our joys, our dreams, our pain don't mean a thing. Gandhi, Einstein, Jesus, the entire human race are of no consequence. Even if our planet blows up tomorrow, in the grand, grand scheme of things, it will be no more than a blip. A tinny pinpoint of light in a vast ocean of space populated by stars.
11th-Feb-2014 02:20 pm(no subject)
oyako
I feel so sad when I'm at home. Everything reminds me of Squall. But I don't have the energy to go anywhere else.
9th-Feb-2014 12:12 pm - Squall
oyako
I brought another loved one home in a sealed box again yesterday. I don't know how I'm still alive when my whole world feels dead.

squall-mirror

Squall
May 18, 2000 - February 7, 2014

Thanks, Bunny, for over thirteen years of happiness you have shared with me. I love you so much.
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