jaqen

nothing to see here but old old fresh news

So I just heard from the grapevine that back when we were in high school, there was a rumor going around that one of our team captains had a relationship with our batch's favorite nun. OMG! If true, it sure would explain the birthday gift of a Chips Ahoy mountain, and the following us from junior to senior year! Hahaha!!

Not that I believe the truth of it (I really can't, sorry). But that such a juicy rumor existed and I hadn't heard is extremely hard to digest!! Have I been living in a hole all those years?!

***

I'm still wondering why, out of everyone in our HS class, only my two closest friends and I disliked that nun so much. Everybody else adored her. Well, actually, a lot of students from other batches hated her, too. But we belonged to the batch that was the nun's favorite. So why didn't we fall for her charm? Were we that dysfunctional? Or just immune to her Jedi Sith mind tricks? Heheh.

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I remember when a nun had us keep a journal which we update with our thoughts weekly. I didn't really think she'd go around reading everyone's stuff, so one time I wrote about being confused whether I hated God or didn't believe he existed, because our puppy died even after I prayed hard for him to get well. I got my journal back with those entries underlined in red ink!

She didn't do anything other than use her red ink, though. At the time, I was glad. In hindsight I'd have to say... what a useless crone! A better teacher/nun would have at least tried to counsel an obviously depressed kid, di ba? :/
rabbit

Yay

I am now able to semi-confidently backwards park between two cars. Yeah, just thought I'd mention it. :D
sherlock

Sherlock: His Last Vow

Hrmmm. That third episode of Sherlock 3 was a little thin on the logic, wasn't it?

The second episode had a good idea for plot and mystery but didn't quite get the execution right. It got boring and plodding at times. Still, a few scenes were pretty touching and memorable.

This third one, though. I really, really wanted to like it, but I can't. The idea was there. So was the action. Execution was okay. It just wasn't.... clever enough. A lot of times I found myself arguing with the screen because of the characters' unnatural (re)actions, which made the plot progression extremely heavy-handed and, well, plotted.

I mean, just to mention a couple of items that really got my nerves itchy:

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I DID love a few details, though. And I mean really LOVE them. Like Collapse )

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For Sherlock S4, I predict that the unknown Holmes is somewhat responsible for 'bringing back' Moriarty. Oh, and I predict that the series will start off with John moving back into Baker Street after his wife's death. (Well, yeah, that second one is half prediction and half wishful thinking. :D)
oyako

squall

Had to take Squall to the 24-hour vet at 1 AM today because he wouldn't (couldn't?) lie down since after his dinner, even if he looked like he was ready to fall asleep on his feet, and my sis didn't know what to make of it. However, vet couldn't find what was wrong with him, either, because his blood test came out normal and he doesn't seem to be in pain. So sleepness night for all.

Tonight, Squall fell asleep in my sister's room. I'm not supposed to wake him up, but I don't think I can sleep without him by my bed! I can't be without my warm and furry security blanket. T___T

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PS Vet said it's okay if Squall doesn't lie down all night because dogs are able to sleep even when standing up. Ummmm, yeah. No. :|
oyako

An ordinary weekend with Squall

I walk to my room, carrying my freshly microwaved lunch and a mug of green tea, which is the usual for weekends. Squall is there, just outside the door. I try to entice him in with the smell of food but he just stares, unconvinced.

I go in, plop my plate, and myself, in front of the PC, watch the latest episode of Sherlock for maybe the millionth time. It's the first episode out, after the 2-year hiatus. John has a girlfriend, and Sherlock is, short version: Not Dead.

My door opens and in comes Squall. He parks himself beside my chair, looks at me with forlorn eyes. "Mummy, food!" The words come out of my lips but it is he who says it. "No, Hunnykie," I reply, in my own voice. This is how conversations go between me and Squall, not unlike a ventriloquist and his puppet. Today, lunch is spaghetti, with drippy tomato sauce and ground pork, which is impossible to feed him without making a mess.

After a while, he gives up, walks out. I get up and close the door. I feel uncomfortable watching shows with the bedroom door open. The disembodied sounds are possibly irritations to others, like neighbors singing karaoke in full volume in the middle of the night.

Squall sees me close the door, and after a few seconds, he opens it again. He gets suspicious when my door is closed. He wants me in sight. He stations himself back beside my chair. I look at him and smile. I try to rub his head but he ducks away. He doesn't want my touch, just my food. He gets bored, walks out again. I wait a few minutes to make sure he's out of range before I get up to close the door.

This time it takes him a few minutes to come back in.

"Bunny," I say in exasperation.

He stares at my plate for a few minutes. When he gets bored watching me watch Sherlock, he walks over to his corner, curls up and goes to sleep.
sherlock

Short Version: Not Dead.

I thought I'd hate Mary, but I liked her. And she's right. We do need shirts that say "I don't shave for Sherlock Holmes." :D

Okay, so the first episode was pretty thin on plot and not too good on the mystery as well, but I LOVED IT! It's funny and entertaining, and all the characters were such a delight to watch. Besides, we haven't had a Sherlock episode in, what, twoish years?! I don't mind being re-introduced to each character at all, and finding out how they've changed in those years they've been away from our screens. And really, it felt like the writers knew exactly what would grab their audience by their (halfly-nonexistent) balls.

I won't give a detailed review. I'm sure there are already a lot of those out there written by people more eloquent than me. But here are some of my highlights:

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Also, posting this prequel mini-episode here for posterity. Collapse )

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And for the curious, non-English folk:

1. his nibs

Someone who gives a command or makes a demand, often one who acts in a self-important manner, sometimes one with authority; - used mockingly as a jocose term, as if a title of honor, but not usually in the presence of the person referred to, and usually indicating resentment or contempt. Source

Usage: "I have six months of bristly kisses for me and his nibs turns up..."

2. Derren Brown

Derren Brown (born 27 February 1971) is a British illusionist, mentalist, trickster, hypnotist, painter, writer, and sceptic. Source

Usage: "A bungee rope, a mask, Derren Brown... two years and the theories keep getting more stupid."

3. There is no unused station in Sumatra Road, but abandoned stations really do exist.
glambert

Why I absolutely hate driving to work

The cons of driving to work:

  1. Public commute to and from work is an easy-peasy 30-minute tricycle + FX ride.

  2. I can't daydream during the trip.

  3. I can't sleep on the way.

  4. I get stressed thinking about parking.

  5. I can't buy food from my favorite carinderia because there aren't any places to park a car nearby.

  6. Parking fee + gas.


The pros:

  1. Car needs the exercise.


Dude. Enough said?
rabbit

looking back at 2013, looking forward to 2014

Here's a look back at the goals I made for this year:

1. Stop letting people bully me or treat me like sh*t. If they don't like me and what I do, then tough luck. Next year, peg ko si Cherry J. for her focus and her no-nonsense approach. No more Miss Nice Joyce. I'm not vying for the popularity vote. Kanilang kanila na yun!

I guess I sort of accomplished this one, but I should try some more next year. I think maybe I should also edit this to add that I should also be more mindful of the duties and responsibilities of my job, and also spend more effort bonding with my newbies (who I guess still need less carinyo brutal and more actual carinyo, at least during their first year XD).

2. Save up for a car!!!

Done and done! I finally bought my first car -- a 1.3G Vios -- with my own money, last July! I feel like such an adult. *proud*

3. Learn how to do my own make-up.

Fail. :(

4. Spend my vacation in Japan. By hook or by crook.

Fail on this one, too. But I was able to travel to other countries for Japanese-music-related stuff, so I guess it's not a total fail.

5. Learn to drive for real. (I do have a driver's license but I don't even know how to start a car. XD)

This was actually a 2012 goal that I gave up on for 2013 because I didn't think it was realistic. But I actually did it! I enrolled at a driving school and re-took the license exam, and got a new license without resorting to the lagay system. Hahaha! I really passed on my own merit! I should practice parking more, though. It always stresses me out.


Some my other achievements this year that weren't part of New Year's resolutions:

1. I saw GLAY live for the first time! After, like, over ten years of being a fan?!!

2. I saw Luna Sea again!! I already saw them back in 2008 at the hide memorial summit, where they announced that they had plans of getting back together. And when they finally did this year, I was able to see them at their first live tour!

3. Well, nothing beats seeing two of my most favorite jrock bands to jump-start my interest in learning Nihongo. So, years and years (and years) after I took Nihongo 10 and 11, I signed up for continuation modules at UP Linguistics. As of December 2013, I've completed up to Japanese Intermediate 1. I've also already signed up for the next module, which begins on January. :)

4. Traveled to Singapore for the first time (at a budget budget LOL!). I stayed at my friend's (Sherelyn) place, and she toured me around.

5. Established a fairly regular gym routine. I've been going to the gym on my lunch hour, and so far it's a lot more effective than dragging myself to gym after work, when I feel really tired already. I only get in around 30 minutes of actual workout time though, but at least I rarely miss a gym day.

6. I found a long-term renter for my Berkeley condo unit. Passive income, yes.

7. This one isn't really an achievement, but more of an update: my sister gave birth to my first-ever 1st-degree nephew! It's so exciting (and challenging) to have a baby around the house again. I don't know, but I feel more cheerful with him around.

8. Squall turned 13!!! ♥♥♥♥


***


Aaaaannnd here are my resolutions and goals for 2014:

1. Be more mindful of the duties and responsibilities of my job, and also spend more effort bonding with my newbies. And be nicer! (To the nice people, at least.)

2. Learn to do my own make-up.

3. Spend my birthday in Japan!

4. Learn to parallel-park.

5. Get JLPT level 3 certification.

6. Earn enough I-am-the-boss-of-me income so I can quit my day job any time I want to.

7. Keep loving Squall with all my heart. (This one's easy-peasy and good as done. :D)


I know I don't usually have a good track record when I have set more than 3 or 4 goals for the year. But I feel these ones (except for #6) are doable enough. And look: no diet and losing weight goals! That's an achievement in itself, yeah?

Wish me luck!
rabbit

Holiday picspam (aka A Half-Hearted Attempt at an update)

TDP Christmas Party at Opus

The Design People Christmas Party at Opus (Resorts World)

I wasn't feeling well this night, so I didn't really enjoy it much. I got in about an hour late, and the finger food was already mostly gone. Posh location, though, and everyone was dressed to the nines. I had to leave early because I was getting a headache and sort of getting hungry. Had a late dinner at McDonald's with my sis, who accompanied me to the venue because I couldn't drive alone.

ZS friends meetup at QC

With my college buddies

It was Fungi's idea to meet up at UP and then drive to the floating (fishing?) restaurant in Pililla, but when we got to our meeting place at 11AM, he said we were already too late for lunch because we still had to fish. I don't know why he set the meet-up at 11AM, though, if it was going to be too late. The guy's weird! XD

So anyway, we ended up at the new UP Town Center, which none of us have been to and which was only a few minutes away from the meeting place. We had a hearty ramen lunch at Ryu (which was ho-hum). We roamed the rest of the area after lunch, but there really wasn't anything much to look at. So we drove off to Katipunan and had coffee and cake at Banapple, which was where the above photo was taken.

Christmas Day with my family

Wacky!

Christmas with the family

This year, we didn't follow our tradition where we open gifts at exactly 12 midnight because our new baby, Aky, was already asleep. We opened gifts in the morning when he woke up.

With TDP friends at SM Aura

Holiday Meet-up with the Literati at SM Aura

Had lunch with some of my ex-officemates at Cafe Mary Grace in SM Aura. I really miss these guys and their conversation!
glambert

My Nihongo 3 experience

Sorry, but I'm highly unsatisfied with our Nihongo 3 instructor. He always comes to our 3-hour class at least 30 minutes late (usually more), and dismisses us at least 30 minutes early. Which doesn't leave us with enough time for examples and practice exercises to apply the new sentence/grammar patterns.

When one of our classes was canceled because of a typhoon, we had to beg him for a make-up class, even though the Linguistics department already announced that there would be make-up classes for the missed session.

Furthermore, he insists on not covering the kanji lessons from each chapter, telling us that we should just learn it ourselves because "we don't need to learn to write kanji anyway, we just have to be able to read it." WTF??!!! So we cajole him into teaching us, and he crams them all in one and a half sessions. We're supposed to have memorized 4 chapters' worth (50++) of kanji by the next class. Okay, thanks for that.

I agree that spoonfeeding isn't the best way to teach, and I don't expect it of him. But honestly, his method is just downright sloppy and LAZY. Hello, if I wanted someone to just paraphrase to me what's on the book, I'd have just downloaded it and saved up on class fees.

I hope he doesn't teach any higher courses because I never want to be "taught" by him ever again.

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There's really a huge difference in attitude when you're taking a class for credits and when you're taking it because you want to learn. If I were taking this class back in college, he'd probably be one of my favorite teachers. Hahaha!

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I kinda miss my module 2 instructor, Miss Weng. She's very thorough. I never had to put in a lot of effort outside of class to learn; she always made sure everyone already has a firm grasp of each concept before moving on to the next. She'd just drill us with exercise after exercise until the sentence patterns come naturally.