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Being in Touch September 23, 2008

Posted by tamark in Uncategorized.

It’s been such a long while since I last posted on this blog. I have been preoccupied with a lot of career changes and events that ate up a lot of my precious little time. Being somewhat excessively absorbed with all that writing as a part-time job ( and it was supposedly intended to be part-time only. My golly, it turned out to be quite tedious and stressful. Don’t make me relate it as it’s going to be another topic for a future blog. Perhaps.)

I had plans to shop this afternoon for condiments for my “specialized meals.” Mind you, I’m now on my fourth week of eating healthy (read: dieting to the highest levels). Hooray!! Sensibly losing weight I believe, begins with a wholistic approach. That means having a firm stance on not falling prey to the temptations of binging as well as enough food in controlled portions of course. Unfortunately, I decidedly dismissed the idea of shopping when I turned on the boob tube. In a few minutes as it promised it will be screening a week’s run of the film Freedom Writers. Having been unable to catch it in some of its earlier runs on HBO, I surmised this is a good opportunity for me to see it. Plop! I went on the bed.

I have been hearing good reviews of the movie. It must be really interesting. It was even screened at the office where I was working–part of their employee benefit schemes–screened on duty hours. Haha! Anyway, I guess it better make a very worthy excuse for not purchasing my essentials. I deemed I still have enough stuff to last me tomorrow at least.

The film proved to be one exceptional movie that shouldn’t be missed. It reveals of the harsh realities of life–that in this world we can’t be choosers. That although we are masters of our dreams, we have to strive hard to stand out and be respected individuals. I especially like the protagonist’s role (played by Oscar winner Hillary Swank), having similar difficulties in freshman year of teaching, although not necessarily having the same degree . I recognized a few supporting casts like Patrick Dempsey and Mario. The script was well-written and well acted. It gave me the insight that we all need to stand up for one another and get in the experience. Indeed, watching the film was a liberating experience. I had no regrets.

Go watch it if you haven’t seen it.


Blunders, etc. July 4, 2008

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Being assigned to first shift (that’s 6am-2pm) this week at the White Castle has given me a combination of circumstances and the choice of how to spend them. Usually after I get off from a grueling campaign, I free myself from the bondage of RSDs, equations, figure, tables, MMcs, etc. Either I go on a food binging episode, expend whatever mana there is left of my worn out wonderland (I wish!) of a body at the internet shop playing DOTA (I have been trying out new heroes and I still couldn’t figure out the best item combinations for each particular character, this is so trying) or I go channel surfing the boob tube. Or I sleep, which is rare these past weeks.

I was having my very early dinner as I would be sleeping very early (in preparation for an OT at dawn!) and it was my first time to watch Kris Aquino host Wheel Of Fortune–that is of course, the Pinoy version which is relatively a bit different from the American version which I have been familiar with. I figured she was at least less screamy and toned down her choices of wardrobe as compared to her Deal or No Deal show. One of the categories up for grab was star and role. The contestants for this episode were, by the way, racers or riders of some sort so one can surmise the topics to be taken up. It was apparent that the answer to this particular category was Nicolas Cage as Ghost Rider. The poor souls were having a hard time getting the clues and I was amused at how exasperated Kris looked. Imagine her disappointment at the boys having a hard time guessing over such obvious letter pattern. When the category was won by the second contestant, I too was in for a little surprise. It’s only now that I realized that Nicolas Cage’s first name is spelled without an H. And all the while I thought it had an H. Shoonga-ernz!

Similarly, in the earlier part of the day, I was told that the Queen of Pain wanted to see me in her squalid dwelling place. I was curious as to why she wanted to see me. I had been diligent with my work lately so I was wondering what was the matter again. It is interesting to note, that the two of us had a previous encounter and I was in no position to be attacked again unknowingly. When I arrived at her den, she gave of her usual cunning and synthetic smile. Attractive yet artificial. She nonetheless asked me when I sat down. This transpired: “Explain why you were not able to render allegiance in honor of the Deities?” I replied. “I offered my sacrifice already this morning.” “Did you ask permission from Fido?” I retorted, “He was informed.” “OK, thanks.” She looked dumbfounded. I could have given her a battering courtesy of my eye of Skadi. But then again I saw she froze in shame. Because why in the first place would you ask someone something without first getting your facts. Double Shoonga-ernz!!!

Geeeez! Gotta have some sleep!!!

Blast from the Past July 3, 2008

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July 3 will be memorable of sorts to some of us Sentinels, particularly the EN batch, working at the White Castle. Who would have thought we could last this long under the turmoils experienced by, take note, everyone of the batch. But then when the going gets tough, the Deities they believe they are, failed to recognize and realize that ours is the batch to reckon with. Even with great physical effort, no amount of Herculean task thrown our way would make us falter. People come and go. That’s the kind of preaching they do here at the White Castle. They never devise ways of retaining the loyalties of their battalion, much more their welfare. As long as there are other neophyte Sentinels to be trained and taken in, then business will just do fine.

I still remember vividly the different ideals posed by the original heterogeneous set of Sentinels of our batch who had their own individualities, each waiting for their own share of time. Each of us had our own stories to tell, and it so happened, destiny allowed us to convene in the pearly halls of the White Castle.

He amuses me with his simple ways. Tidehunter I call him, is a man of few words and a man of good deeds. Conscientious with his role, he started off at fending for himself as his parents were financially unable to provide him with some of the more important basic necessities in life needed to level up in battle. His famous line “cocoa butter” never fails to elicit crisp laughters and chuckles from us. Sheer hardwork and determination has made this silent fellow rise above the ranks. I’m glad that through the many moons of his stay at the White Castle, he now manages to share his own brand of wit and humor. He now even has his share of sexy poses over the net. Good for him!

Luna Moonfang would always find ways of getting the ease out of things, even though in tight situations. Blame it on her being trained under Hard Knox Life Academy, where she learned her dangerous skill of the innocent orchid. She usually utilizes her cherub glances at her enemies convincingly so that she can logout way ahead of others. Undoubtedly, because of this skill she has her daily CR break at the White Castle. That’s right. She manages to be in the CR daily for even half an hour unnoticed because of her dupe look skill. Prepare yourself!

Enigma stands out in the batch for all the academic reasons. Having highly intelligent conversions gained at a nearby academy, he has the skill of malesfice and black hole. It is said that he was once a chef from one of his past lives. He lives life daily accustomed to the fact that one day if plans push through, he will have a happy and contented life with Gorgon, the Naga princess.

Sharing my space, thoughts and time with these batchmates, I conclude that in a way I had a productive stay at the White Castle in so many ways. Through all the unpaid OTs, bickerings with fellow Sentinels and the much hated Scourges, we have become a family in a way, existing like a horse and carriage example–useless each without the other. Question is, how long can we bear up against everything that will come along the way.

This goes out to the separated Sentinels who dreamt otherwise and went to pursue their own denouement. Tiny, Chloe, Jonjie, Ellen and Basil (yes in that order were they banished by the Queen of Pain), you are still remembered.

Another 5 SILs. Happy Anniversary to Us!!!

Photo taken from http://www.imageshack.us.

A Nudge in the Knee July 2, 2008

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My left knee’s at it again. I intended to do early work at the White Castle as there has been another deluge of files on our end ( as if it’s something new for us). Unfortunately, my bad knee plagued me with this excruciating pain like some muscle tissues being wrung and twisted to some degree. So I opted to do my regular shift with hopes (I wish! hahaha!!) of extending after my scheduled duty.

I indulged myself in recalling when I still had a good, sturdy and reliable knee. After all those years of being so hyperactive, maybe this is the prize to pay of vigorously and exhaustively treating this body of mine. Obviously, I know a few people having the same predicament as I am. I recall starting in primary school. How I enjoyed playing lawn tennis to my heart’s delight. After all we lived nearby the old Perdices Coliseum (that’s before it was razed down by an unexplained fire incident but is now being renovated into a massive edifice) and Praxevilla Tennis Courts so I had all the time and reasons to.

I shifted to track by the time I reached secondary school. Those were the years where I really went competitive as I was admitted to Silliman U’s varsity track and field team (read: tertiary level). That meant competing regularly in meets, opens and having the opportunity to mingle with national players. I could still remember meeting Elma Muros the first time. I thought she was male, with all those muscles. We lived in the same dorm one time during one of those Philippine Track and Field Opens in Ateneo de Davao. I was on the third floor and they were on the fourth. I remember her banging a coconut on the floor and trying to open it. I was so amused when she gave up her futile attempt at trying to pry open the poor coconut, which was now badly bruised and dented. Lydia de Vega was laughing at her all the time. She was visiting them and was also competing. However, she was billeted at some five-star hotel for obvious reasons. You can’t be Asia’s fastest woman for nothing.

As I was approaching my last year in secondary school, I learned to play volleyball and I played it quite well that I was also included in the varsity team. As such, I was playing for two varsity teams for the secondary level and for the University track team. My life couldn’t be more active and I was playing ballistic. I was going in and out of the province for meets and games. I went to places for free and received honorarium and allowances as well. What more can you ask and I was still in secondary school at that. A blast at playing one can say.

College life was another episode where I decidedly concentrated on volleyball. Not because track eats up most of my time as a student (imagine running at the early hours of the morning until 7, and back at 4 in the afternoon until past 7, Sundays not included…well sometimes). I went playing even at purok and inter-barangay tournaments. How’s that for passion for the game. This went on for several years.

Clutching my knee while walking down the corridors of the White Castle, I smiled at those wonderful memories. More like half limping, I know I employed my body for a lot of physical activities during those years. My knee, no make that my two knees, served me a lot for all that boundless enthusiasm for playing those sports. And I wouldn’t regret doing all those if I had the chance to do it all over again.

Right now, I have got to go to the White Castle’s mess hall. I’m hungry and I’ll limp my way there.

Slothful Start July 1, 2008

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I’m feeling a bit sluggish today. And to think it’s the start of the month. There are so many things running in my mind right now. Stuff that make me deviate from the regular work which I have to make myself be accustom to for the next two weeks.

Maybe I’m still feeling the effects of my sweet ordeal last Saturday. I casually commented sweet ordeal as I was unable to work last Saturday as I had a severe reaction of migraine due to chocolate overdose. Hahaha! That was what I placed in my leave form yesterday. I had actually no plans of filing it but since my TL said I needed to in order to appease the moods of the Queen of Pain.

Last Friday, I was set to go to the city of Tanjay for the presentation of candidates for its beauty pageant. I was sure I will have time for myself after I would have finished prepping up my candidate for the activity. I thought of buying chocolates to satisfy my saccharin cravings. Sure enough, I bought two blocks of dark chocolates. Yes, not one but two (glasses a day: I think I’m beginning to sound like Eugene Domingo here, hehehe). Imagine! The day after that, I was not feeling awesome at all. Talk about an head-splitting experience. I was too sensitive to light, that I had to draw the heavy curtains in my room so that not even a soft ray of sunshine can enter the premises. I was perspiring profusely. I had a terrible episode of migraine. And just because I finished what was left of that second block of chocolate from Tanjay. A fellow makeup artist, Rene, also relates his similar experience with chocolate. He had pharyngitis after eating his share. And that was only one block.

It’s still early in the morning, half past seven that is. I have got to think of things to perk me up aside from this file loaded with of equations. I think I’m going to have an output of 2 files only today. I have this funny belief that the first day of the month will be your gauge of how days will be for the rest of the month (God forbid!). Talk about pattern! Coffee is out of the question. I didn’t bring my bottle of sodium bicarb so I wouldn’t dare even considering the idea or else there goes my hyperacidity. For the meantime, I still have chocolates in my green pouch. Migraine anyone?

Photo taken from http://www.imageshack.us.

Angels Fall June 29, 2008

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“Repeated glances = a stare.”

-Reese Gilmore

Probably this is the best line I can remember from the TV movie Angels Fall. Not because it amplifies the sarcasm in me, but it just stood out from among the dialogues of the different characters of the movie. Or maybe because I was also staring out in space. Having been unable to work due to bad migraine attack, I considered watching this production to while free time.

Angels Fall is a Lifetime Television 2007 film adaptation of a 1996 New York bestseller novel by famed author Nora Roberts. It starred the adorable Heather Locklear (of TJ Hooker, Melrose Place and Spin City fame) and the hunky Johnathon Schaech (How to Make an American Quilt, Hush and Forsaken among others). Now who’s not to watch the film with such likeable stars?

The movie starts with Reese Gilmore (Locklear) traveling down the road when her car suddenly breaks down in a small Wyoming town. After being told that fixing her car will takes some time, she heads downtown and chances upon a small diner. She gets inside, looks around and was approached by the waitress. When she was about to order, the waitress asked if she was just passing through or if she wanted to apply for house cook since she noticed she kept looking at the sign. When it appeared she was interested in the position, the manager engaged Reese in a random interview. She immediately got the job and as soon as she reach the kitchen area, she whipped up ordinary meals with a personal flair. The management and the townsfolk were impressed. Being a small town where everybody knows everybody, including strangers and passing-by tourists, the local people were drawn to Reese’s mysterious character. Their take on her were that she was assumably running from the law, or was hiding from an abusive husband or even was heart-broken. In reality, she was the lone survivor of a brutal massacre in a local restaurant back in Boston where she was head chef. The movie was given another twist when her character witnessed another murder. She is aided by Brody (Schaech) in solving this mystery. So much for the fun and the cooking part. There are more angles and twists thrown into the plot and just like stew, it boils and thickens.

I guess I was drawn to the film because of the cooking aspect. Although I don’t professionally cook, ever since I was a child, I’ve always had a passion for cooking. I’m glad the central character emphasized on the importance of using fresh herbs in her cooking. It works wonders actually. And the film worked for me too. Not all film adaptations of bestselling novels are effective and successful. This one however gets a thumbs-up.

Will they or will they not? June 26, 2008

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It never fails to amuse me when new batches of Sentinels are being toured around the White Castle. Just seeing their varied expressions not mentioning their personal assessments of this notorious edifice, like immigrants coming over to a new land and territory, makes me remember how I, Lotus Eater, also shared similar actuations. Eyes wandering, these new batches blank stares throw back images at you, as if asking “What’s in store me?”, “Will I be able to survive the grounding disciplines?” Or most importantly, “Have I made the RIGHT decision?”

As always, having a perceptive eye always has its advantages. Using that ability to recognize the
passables from the more distinct ones from the new batch (well including the not so new and obviously newer ones), I discerned these faces:

  • Replicanthus gurangus . She is a sight to behold, that is, figuratively among other things. The White Castle is more or less known as a haven for young Sentinels who have just graduated from various interdisciplinary bases and are making it a point of reference for their personal abstracts when they transfer their loyalties to other dynamisms in the future. Having mentioned that, one can surmise that the makeup of most Sentinels are young. She normally stands out because of this factor. Having dyed her hair in flashy tinge of brown (I personally prefer a muted tone on her) for camouflage, she’s a sweetie and it’s unfortunate that not all are able to see that as she is often perceived to be some witch doctor. She completes the trio of a new undertaking.
  • Replicanthus pacutenensis. I was informed she trained to be a cultivator and nurturer of health. One can distinctly remember her amongst the newer faces as she has this certain freshness to her (read: always on the powder retouch). True, she bears a trademark charm, as male Sentinels never fail to manage to take a second glance when she passes by. What bothers me, however, as she consistently never attempts to look at anybody she meets or even worse has a distinct hold of an angle between her head and shoulder. Palsy victim or just shy we’re likely to deduce.
  • Typosettorica igatious. Flamboyant, towering, intimidating. It’s (pardon the classification) the perfect answer to another Sentinel character who looks like a horse down first floor of the White Castle. This time, It’s a praying mantis. One becomes amazed at the osmotic personality display from the moment he emerges from the breeding encapsulation. I learned that It’s once told an Overseer that he’s very proud of his good command of English. His admittance into the White House ironically was however wasn’t based on that.
  • Replicanthus jupawnesis. A former mentor for an academe with religious undertones, I learned he chose to pledge allegiance to the Deities as he grew tired of taking charge of 17 battalions of condisciples back then. He constantly reminds me of a fellow Sentinel, Replicanthus kiaysis, who recently left to learn to become a master of the powers of scientific machine. Both share a conspicuous attribute.

It is interesting to note how far these newbies will fare at their responsibilities and tasks in general. Life at the White House can be a blast after all. Now if I just can say the same for a few Deities. Oh well, back to work Lotus Eater!

On a Cold Rainy Night at the White Castle June 20, 2008

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It seemed like eternity. A moonless night, amidst the heavy downpour, life at the White Castle appeared to be particularly inadequate of the characteristic liveliness or vitality. After all, it has been more than seven moons that we Sentinels have been subjected to harsh and exhaustive labor. This as the Queen of Pain has given another of her authoritative indications that each Sentinel offer in propitiation to the Deities of the Moon.

To pass the non-spatial continuum, Lotus Eater decided to study and observe fellow Sentinels who were busy scurrying to and from from their individual bases. He never really knew them personally, except for the fact that he got to be in contact with them on a daily basis because they were pledged to allegiance to the Deities of the Moon and that they interacted under one power for most pat at the White Castle.

There were more variants to the strain than one can count to the normal hand of a Sentinel. This was evident in the different collective embodiments of traits of mind and behavior in each hybrid Sentinel. Lotus Eater began to jot down his faculty of observations. Though quite a number, he managed to note with careful scrutiny, the more striking Sentinels that registered strongly to him.

The creeps would always get his attention, considering that they bray like a requiem of souls. They persistently do their endless cries of pointless jocosity. Aside from their constant babbling and jabbering, they have no consideration for other Sentinels. All they ever think of eliciting attention and most of the time, they cannot communicate without giving out a spasmodic laugh.

They choose to be silent but tend to be deadly in effect. These are the Goblin Techies. Deceiving in so many ways, one usually deems them as a very amiable strain. But watch out! They have ulterior motives of their own and they usually devolve among fellow Sentinels by camouflaging themselves as weak, meek and less able. A notable part of this group maintains control over certain positions in the hierarchy of power at the White Castle, if not, then also does a magnificent and flawless tactic at achieving specified necessities.

The Tinkers from the Sunrise Tavern are the next batch that never fails to attract attention simply they have a profound mental retardation in terms of logic and are generally unable to connect speech or guard with plain common sense. Lotus Feet simply abhors a member of this group. He instinctively remembers Elven Arcane spells being propagated by Spectre, a dazed ego maniacal proponent of this lame assemblage.

Lotus Eater was so eager to continue his observance, deciphering his obscure surrounding, when he noticed the crystal clock and its crystal chimes sounding off its alarm for a day’s attainment of tasks. Later, he promised, to continue deliberating a conscious perspective of his fellow Sentinels. For now, he opted to go home to his abode and call it an opportunity and prominence of getting out from the clutches of the White Castle.

Teaching an Old Dog June 20, 2008

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I started off this lazy day with my usual morning coffee: not too strong, a teaspoon or two of creamer with just a hint of sweetness to it. All I can think of for the moment are affairs within the confines of my very inviting bed or something to that effect. Blame it on the rain which has been drizzling since the night before.

I decided to watch and give myself my daily dose of Ellen (Degeneres you bet! I simply adore her). Normally these are reruns of past episodes. Fortunately, what was being aired was an episode I haven’t watched. It featured a 70-year old black man named Alfred who went to school to learn to read. I was so inspired by his tenacity because despite his age, he never lost the yearning to learn to read. He related that when he started knowing how to read, he realized that after all these years, there are actually signs in the supermarket that tell you where items are being placed. Talk about actualization!! He narrated that his whole experience with having youngsters (that’s ages between 6 and 7) as classmates was an encouraging involvement for a man his age. What culminated his guesting at the show was when Ellen awarded him a check worth $10,000. The school which he also attended was given $2,500 to be used to buys books.

In a way, I felt proud because being an “old dog” myself, I had my share of similar experiences. Before, I was totally lost with the computer world and I just came to chance upon its inception and its whole concept when I started chatting and gaming. Believe me, I was frustratingly clueless before. Thanks to the stubbornness in me, I worked my way to learning the basics of the computer world. I could still remember having that look of disbelief when I once applied for a certain big company in Cebu, and being told I passed the computer technical exams. I never even knew the terms they had on that exam, yet I did pass. Teehee!! And look where I am right now. Exactly tinkering each day with computers at the White Castle.

I guess there needs to be modifications for the old adage after all. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

The Art of Wasting Time June 9, 2008

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Until you value yourself, you will not
value your time. Until you value your
time, you will not do anything with it.
-M. Scott Peck

There are different ways of spending time. Most people usually see time as an important aspect in their daily lives. Time is of the essence they say.

For my part, I see it as an opportunity to spend it an interesting way. Call it indulgence. However other people may see it, I have benefited from this so-called alternative lifestyle.

  • Daydreaming: Envisioning, fantasizing, imagining. Organized people would often say that daydreaming is such an impractical way of spending your day. It permits one’s mind to take a break, a respite from the daily hustle and bustle of of work, a vacation wherein one can visualize and reinforce faith and values imprinted in each of our individual characters. Albert Einstein was into it. Otherwise, we won’t have the very famous formula. So was Steven Spielberg and his fantastic stories immortalized through films. Daydreaming aids us in relaxing, managing conflicts, maintaining relationships and boosting productivity.
  • Napping: It is a healthful way of relieving fatigue or weariness. Although it has been branded with a number of discredits, these stigmas do not hold true and a considerable makeup of society needs to be informed on its benefits. According to the National Sleep Foundation Organization of the US, naps can be classified in three different types: planned, emergency and habitual. Planned napping comprises napping before actually getting sleepy. Hence, it is sometimes referred to as preparatory napping. Emergency napping on the other hand entails engaging in napping to combat fatigue and overwhelming sleepiness. Lastly, habitual napping is routinary napping at a same given period each day. George W. Bush, the late Ronald Reagan and napoleon are among those who share glory in being nappers.
  • Just plain doing nothing: As part of society, we are made into believing that we always have to make every moment significant. Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a professor at the Temple University of Philadelphia says, “There is a myth that doing nothing is wasting time, when it’s actually extremely productive and essential.” True enough, we seem to have forgotten that doing nothing can be one way of reassessing how it feels to be alive, a perfect juncture where we will have unstructured time to think about the little and less important things in life. Let everything pass and take its natural course. Be free for once. Experience the greatest joy of just letting go and letting time pass.