Saturday, April 30, 2005

Cars, cars, and cars...

I've had tons of dream cars, ever since I became aware of them. I've had everything from the Jeep Wrangler, to the Ford GT, to the Subaru Impreza. All dream cars. All unaffordable. Sadly.

Anyway since way back when, I've always had a thing about setting up cars (pimping them). Even before I saw The Fast and the Furious. I guess it dates back to Gran Turismo 2. Oh well...

I've written about what I'd do with a car numerous times, mostly on my old pen and paper diary, er, blog. Blog. Not diary. Alright, diary. I kept a diary while I was studying in Naga. So what? Nothing wrong with that... Nothing wrong with men crying either, but enough about that. I'm not defensive.

Lately its been about the Volkswagen Beetle. Not the New Beetle, piece of $hit expensive car. I mean the old Beetle. Thanks to MTV's Pimp My Ride, when Xzibit and the gang at West Coast pimped a Beetle Baja, I've been hooked.

Why the Beetle? Its old, hard to find parts, and they're also expensive. So what? Here's the deal, even with all my dreaming, I wouldn't be able to get the Beetle and spend for it. Why? Because I don't think my folks would be too happy with me blowing away my cash on an old car. But, if for some miracle they did agree... Hehehe...

I'd get me an old Beetle, maybe a Super Beetle, one with the 1600cc engine. Then I'd first fix the suspension, chassis, brakes and transmission. Make sure the car can stop, safety first. Then I'd relace the wheels, make 'em bigger. Not low profile wheels with big ass rims, bigger wheels. I'm talking Beetle Baja-like wheels. Not as big as them, but big enough to make the ground clearance high.

Then I'd fix the engine. Go for twin carbs with racing air filters, use high quality spark plugs, like Boschs. Stuff like that. Make the engine stronger, so that the car won't be a turtle, even in C5. I just want it to max out at around 100-110kph. I'm not a speed freak anyway, but I ain't no slowpoke eihter.

When that's done I'd fix the headlights and taillights. Maybe use high wattage bulbs for the front. No need for xenon. Add some "foglamps". And thats it.

Now for the interior... Maybe a racing steering wheel? Some nice seats, maybe get rid of the bench in the back and replace it with two bucket seats, for a real 4 seater. Add some nice speakers with tweeters, a six disc CD changer and a decent stereo. Nice.

Maybe someday I'll get to do this. Maybe. Who knows?

Saw an ad in MTV about it. Saw two blogs mentioning this. Went to check it out. Signed up. One man won't make a difference, but in union there is strength. Blah blah blah.

Good cause, why not help it? Doesn't cost me nothing.

What about you?

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Bumaba ka sa Bundok

Kagabi dapat uuwi ako kasabay ng magulang ko mula sa aking trabaho. Ngunit dahil sa mga hindi inaasahang bagay, di ako nakasabay. Sa totoo, medyo ginusto ko rin na mamasahe pauwi. Matagal-tagal ko na rin itong di nagagawa.

Gaano katagal, 'kamo? Sabihin na lang natin na mula nang matuto ako magmaneho ay medyo tinamad na ako gumamit ng pampublikong sasakyan. Natututo ako magmaneho pagtungtong ko sa kolehiyo. Natapos ako ng hayskul sa taong '98.

Sabihin na rin natin na medyo di na ako sanay mamasahe. Napaakyat uli ako sa aking ivory tower, ika nga ng ibang tao. Buhay elitista uli. Wala na sa Naga, balik Maynila. Akyat uli sa tore. Maging manhid sa kahirapan na pumapalibot sa akin. Masayang bumibiyahe sa loob ng kotseng nakabukas ang aircon.

Bakit biglang pumasok yon sa utak ko, ang mamasahe pauwi ng alas-onse ng gabi? Wala lang. Isang spur of the moment decision. Trip lang. Tara, biyahe tayo. Ayos. Saya. Kaba. Takot. Tuwa.

Sumabay ako sa aking kaopisinang si Kemikal. Naglakad kami mula opisina hanggang sa bandang Estrella.

Para sa mga 'di nakaka-alam, si Kemikal (o Kem) ay nakatira sa Laguna. Araw-araw bumibiyahe ng bus. Kahit anong oras.

Kung tutuusin ay ang babaw ng rason ko sa pagsakay ng bus. Gusto ko lang makaranas ng iba sa buhay ko. Kababawan. Ang isang bagay na normal lang sa buhay ng isang tao ay kakaiba na sa akin. Pagsakay lang ng bus, isang gawain na normal sa mga taong walang kotse (o motor). Pero kung sa inyo mababaw ito, sa akin hindi. May mga bagay akong gusto gawin na ang makakaintindi lang ng rason sa pag-gawa ko ay sarili ko.

Matagal-tagal na rin kasi akong di nakaka-biyahe sa bus. Salamat sa Diyos wala namang masamang nangyari sa akin. Kasi hatinggabi na ako nakauwi.

At ano naman ang masasabi ko sa aking ginawa? Wala. Ayos lang. Nagawa ko. Gagawin ko ba uli? Siguro. Dapat bang ikatuwa ko ang nagawa ko kagabi? Aba'y siyempre. Napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na kaya ko pa mamasahe.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Road Trip Blues

Its been years now since I've been on a road trip. Well, one year actually. But that was because I was driving home from Naga with my folks, after graduation.

Yes, I graduated in Naga. Ateneo de Naga University, BS Digital Illustration and Animation. But I digress.

Used to be every summer I'd go on a road trip with my folks. We'd hop in a vehicle and drive off to Ilocos. Pass through Tuguegarao, turn off to Aparri, make a u-turn and head to Pagudpud. That was the last Ilocos road trip I took. Best one also since I got to see a lot of sights.

I miss those days, bonding with my folks. Discovering new sights and beauties in the Philippines that I didn't know existed. The Philippines actually has a hell of a lot of great old churches. Spanish era designs, beautiful red brick. Mostly in the north. In the south the churches are gray. But oh, the north.

Iguig, Sarrat, Vigan, just some towns with great churches. Lets not forget Tuguegarao. Another great place. I miss those times when we'd go sightseeing. Even saw the Luna house in Ilocos. Amazing.

But those days are gone now. Not because we don't do it anymore but because I'm working already, and finding time to take a leave is hard. But soon I will find time to go on a road trip again. Hopefully with my parents, but if not with them then hopefully with good friends.

Road trip blues.

Monday, April 11, 2005

My First Roll of Film (Epilogue)

Originally uploaded by Gani.
Well, got my shot printed today, Sunday. Had to go to work to do some stuff, fortunately the Fuji store near the office was open. So I finally got my film.

How did it turn out? For me, great! 23 of 24 shots. Nice. Need to learn more about composition but aside from that, I really enjoyed the pictures.

Now if only I had my own SLR...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

My First Roll of Film

Friday. While working on a high stress project I realized that I needed to blow off some steam. Enter the Nikon F4. The Nikon F4 is a professional photographer's SLR. Heavy, high-tech. Amazing. And it was sitting on the table between me and my officemate.

FYI, the Nikon F4 was loaned to my officemate (okay, to the 3D department) by this director we met at work. He was planning on selling it and was willing to loan it to us so we could test it and maybe buy it.

So my officemate already used it. He said it was amazing but really heavy. I wanted a chance to try it out. So I head out to the nearest Fuji store (right beside my office) and I buy a roll of 24 shots. ASA 100.

Lock, load, shoot. I take pictures inside the 3D room, of three 1:24 scale die cast cars. A Toyota Celica and a Toyota MR-2, both tuned a la 2 Fast 2 Furious and belonging to my officemate, and my red 2005 Ford GT.

The camera had a macro lens. Perfect. Shot every possible angle I could think of. Shot the interior, shot the cars closed, shot them fully open. Nice.

So how did the shoot go? Fine. Finished the roll in an hour or so then had it developed.

What happend? Don't know. The shop had to close so I have to get the prints either tomorrow or Monday.

Working with a Living Legend

Last Thursday at work I met and had a meeting with Hans Bacher. For those of you who don't know him (like me a few days ago) Mr. Bacher worked for Disney, and did a lot of work with Mulan and lots of other stuff. Animation fans will no doubt be familiar with his work. Anyway.

I was actually in a meeting with him, and I was part of the creative discussion for this project we have. Can't say what since it's totally hush-hush. All I can say is that I met a living legend. But it gets better...

Due to time constraints I had to help my officemate create 3d models (which I am not that good at). Mr. Bacher was the one who would check our models since he designed them. In the morning he arrived, saw my officemate's creation and started critiquing it. Lots of revisions. Got me freakin' scared. He's too good. Saw my work-in-progress (WIP). Made a few comments and said he wanted it this way and that. Got me panicking. How would I meet this man's standards? Shet na malagket.

Anyway in the afternoon he came back to the office, saw my officemate's work and started praising it. Good for my officemate, who is an amazing 3d artist/animator. Then he saw my WIP. For some amazing miracle of God, he said he liked it! It was nice. Man, receiving a compliment like that from someone who has worked on major animation projects, wow. Made me one very happy person. And made all the hard work I've put in worth it.

Then reality kicked in and Murphy's Law reared its ugly head - again. But that's another time, another story.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

As I Sit Here Working...

Replica armor or figurine?
Originally uploaded by Gani.
It is 10:07pm, April 5, 2005. I'm sitting on my office chair, staring at my office workstation, working on a modeling assignment given to me by my officemate, who's also working on other models.

To stay awake I drink coffee, I browse the web. I stare at my newly purchased 1:24 Dub City Red 2005 Ford GT (shameless brag).

A few days ago Terry Schiavo died after being starved to death. A few days later Pope John Paul II died. A few days before those two, an earthquake hit Sumatra. Anyone with amazing charisma and insatiable greed can now go ahead and predict doomsday, and claim that by donating money to them they can avert this disaster.

Rant, rant, rant. Makes any sense? Nope. Just got to fight the sleep.

By the way, like my replica Predator armor? Its too damn hot inside but this shot was worth it.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Me, yah? I'm Jamaican...

This morning at the DJs of the radio station I regularly listen to had this sort of weird trip going. They were fooling around with faux accents. Don't know if it was Jamaican, Haitian, or Chinese. All I know was that they were CRAP. They sucked, couldn't pull it off straight. One minute the accent was there, the next it wasn't, then it was a DIFFERENT accent. Sheesh. And some out there thought I sounded horrible when I spoke Bicol (or TRIED to speak it).

So what's the point of all this in the morning? Nothing. It's my blog. I can rant and ramble about whatever sh*t I choose. So here I am. Ranting. And rambling.

I miss Zach and Joey in the mornings. That ought to give you a clue as to what radio station I listen to. The new DJs are okay, but no one beat Zach and Joey. Or even Sonny and Benny. Did I get the spelling right?

Anyway I know its a DJ's job to try to liven up the listener's day, but Jesus H. Christ these two DJs are trying too hard.

On a side note, right after I wrote the blog about driving I braved the streets of the Philippines. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, eat your heart out.

Braving the Streets of the Philippines

Most foreigners in the Philippines usually comment that we Filipinos are crazy drivers. That it takes guts to brave the streets of the Philippines since we all zoom past each other, cut each other, disobey all sorts of traffice rules and regulations. And thats just the "learned" drivers.

Taxi drivers, bus drivers, jeepney drivers? Forget about it. They are a league unto their own. And they wonder why most people treat them like scum scraped from the bottom of the shoe. Most of them deserve that treatment since the way they drive wrecklessly endangers the lives of everyone in their path. Plus they cut in front of you to avoid other parked passenger vehicles, then stop instantly to pick up rides. Fuck.

Filipino drivers aren't crazy. Most of them are just plain f*cking stupid. And greedy. They can't get it past their tiny, pea-sized brains that traffic (and their days' earnings) would improve greatly if only they followed the traffic rules and regulations. But oh no. They believe traffic rules and regulations apply to everyone EXCEPT themselves. Bastards.

And the worst part of this is that I'm starting to behave like a typical Filipino driver. Not because I want to, but because I'm being forced to be rude, forced to cut people off.

I guess this is the part where I grab a shotgun and start shooting every idiot driver I meet on the road. But I won't. I'm too sane for that.