Wednesday, July 31, 2013

020/365 - Expected Surprise

Thanks, Anino Games!
As is tradition every end of the month at the office, I received a big birthday greeting card signed by most of the people in the office. I also get a small cupcake. Thanks, Anino Games!

These small, simple things help ease the stress.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

019/365 - Dead Weight

Dead lizard I saw on top of my CD Album
I did something that will require a lot of risk in the future. But a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. For now, it is best to remember that memorable line from the movie Meet the Robinsons, "Keep moving forward!"


Monday, July 29, 2013

017-018/365 - Cars

2006 Toyota Rav4 Dashboard
Apologies for a two day post. I'm a lazy slob and I didn't have a single picture yesterday. I could come up with a dozen other reasons why I couldn't post, but that is closest to the truth.

I am a car fan. I enjoy looking at cars, reading their specs, finding out their performance, etc. etc. etc.

If you've been reading my blog you will know that I really want a classic VW Beetle converted into a semi-Baja Bug. Semi meaning I'd like the larger and slightly wider wheels, the new front end, the roll cage, and the fog lamps. But not the exposed engine.

You also probably know that I'm a relatively slow, defensive driver. I try not to be rude on the road, but when push comes to shove I can proudly claim that I am a Pinoy Driver.

And finally, you probably know that for all the times I've dreamt (I can't believe Chrome is marking the word 'dreamt' as a misspelled word) of owning a sports car, I prefer the spacious, economical, practical family cars.

Despite all these things, I know little as to how a car works. Unfortunately for me, as I was growing up my dad sold our classic Beetle and 70's Toyota Hi-Ace. The next cars we had were all maintained in the dealer shops. So I never got to reach the age when I could appreciate the elbow grease my dad used to do with his Beetle. Sure, I tried to help him once in a while. But I never appreciated what I was doing because I was too young and too impatient.

... And I'm rambling about cars again.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

016/365 - My Old Room

Panoramic shot of my old room.
This is my old room. It didn't look like this when I still slept here. For one thing, the bed is new. Second, this has become sort of a storage room in the house when I moved to my grandmother's old room.

Now most of my stuff is still here. Mostly toys, magazines, guitars, and other miscellaneous knick-knacks. Some of the cabinets also hold my dad's clothes, since their room can't hold all my mom's clothes (haha).

I've been thinking of how to fix this room up. Either for when my daughter gets big enough and moves here, or just to liven up the room again. You can sleep in this room. It was used as a guest room by one of my mom's friends when she spent the night here. So it's still livable. Its just a great big mess that needs cleaning.


015/365 - Losing Focus (July 26)

I lost focus.
First off, apologies for not posting yesterday. As you can see from the title of my post, and the picture attached, it has something to do with my lack (or loss) of focus.

It was an interesting day. I'd rather not talk about it online, but the bottom line was simple. I had lost focus of my life, and I needed to re-focus.

How? I don't know.

Why? I'm already thirty-three. I have a wife and a daughter. I'm still stuck with my really negative attitude, and it's pretty apparent that that's been bringing me down.

So I need help. My mom has suggested a life coach. I'm thinking prescription anti-depressants. All I know is I need to focus. Focus.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

014/365 - What the Shit?

This has been a trend lately.
My original post was supposed to be of a panoramic 360 shot of the street outside the house where I live. I grew up in that house and I have tons of fond memories of the place. Fond meaning good OR bad.

If I had my way I would live in the house I grew up in until the day I died. And, even if this is contrary to my usual mentality, I would love to have a new house built on the lot the current one is on right now. Because let's face it. This house is old. All the repairs we've been doing are just band-aid solutions that address one problem at a time.

For all the good memories I've had of this house, if I had the choice to remove it and build a new one I would. Because then I would be looking forward to more new fond memories I will spend in it.

On another note, Flickr is supposedly going offline for a good amount of time to do some maintenance. They'd better. That screen cap I have above has been happening to me for the past week or so. ONLY. ON. FLICKR. I try Facebook and I can connect. But Flickr always goes haywire.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

013/365 - A 33-Year Old Kid

Take two of these and call me in the morning.
I eat when I am happy. I eat when I am stressed out. I eat when I am sad. Basically, I love to eat. And there are days I just let the temptation take over.

Take this morning. I was honestly craving for chocolate milk. So I bought two packs and drank them. Did it make me feel better? The craving stopped, so I could say yes.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that sometimes I try to complicate things a lot, when I should just keep things simple. Like a nice tetra-pack of chocolate milk. Or two.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

012/365 - Gloomy Skies

Signs of the rainy season

I believe in fate. I believe in coincidences. And I believe that there are times that the Universe, or a higher being (God in my case, seeing as how I'm Catholic), tells me something.

This is one of those days. I'd been on a pretty low note this past week or so, and while browsing the web earlier today I saw a youtube clip (that I have embedded below, courtesy of espnmediazone's youtube channel) about Richie Parker. His parents did all they could to make him feel normal. He overcame his incredible situation and became a successful person.

Compared to his life, I've had it easy. And yet here I am feeling sorry for myself. So I needed the extra sign to remind me not to get too down. Besides, there's no where else to go but up.


Monday, July 22, 2013

011/365 - Censorship

See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
I've written before about self-censoring my posts. And whenever I feel down, I sometimes slip and let loose an occasional negative bomb or ten.

It is an amazing skill for people to see no evil, hear no evil, or speak no evil. I've managed to be pretty successful in seeing no evil and hearing no evil. But sometimes I just can't keep my own damned mouth shut.

I should always remember that I am an only child, and my first (and last) best friend will always be... myself.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

010/365 - Ten Days!

This is my confused face (with fresh shaved head).
So it's been ten whole days since I started my Project 365. It's been up and it's been down, with days I've posted great photos and thoughts, and days when I just want to post something for the sake of continuity.

This day falls on the latter. Not too much photos taken, and nothing thoughtful to post.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

009/365 - Food!

Gustare Kitchen's take home treats for sale.
Today was a special day as my mother treated myself and a few of her good friends to lunch in Gustare Kitchen. It was originally planned as a very belated wedding anniversary lunch, but thanks to my mom's creativity, it was turned into something totally different.

She wanted to celebrate the good times she spent travelling the world with her good friends. That was the theme of the lunch. So instead of featuring one type of cuisine, we were served with different types of food from many parts of the world.

We had a cacophony of different cuisines. We had local dishes, the Ilonggo kadios and the Ilocano poque poque, fried Batangas tawilis, and some achara. The international Chinese salted fish fried rice, and the French roasted chicken with haricot vert. Capped off with some green tea sans rival, and some lychee cheesecake.

It was a very pleasant lunch. I cannot do justice to the taste of the food in this blog, but take my word for it. IT. WAS. FUCKING. DELICIOUS. Also, despite the different cuisines served, they all worked well together.

And surprisingly, I actually ate everything served. Even the tawilis (head, bones, and tail included). Even the jackfruit in the kadios. I am a normally finicky eater, but with the quality of the food there, I was game to try everything. And thank God I did.


Click here to see my flickr page containing the food served at Gustare Kitchen.

Friday, July 19, 2013

008/365 - Let Your Dim Light Shine

This is how optimistic I am right now
Let Your Dim Light Shine is also the title of one of Soul Asylum's records in the 1990s. That's also how optimistic I am right now.

I am an acknowledged pessimist. I have taken steps to improve my attitude, and it can be seen and felt. I was worse before I got married. And it was even more so when I was still studying. Things force me to change.

But with the way things are going right now in some aspects of my life, I can only shrug my shoulders and brace for impact. Because right now there are so many things I would rather not be doing, but am forced to do so because of my pessimism. So let my dim light shine indeed. Because I will need it.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

007/365 - Throwback Thursdays

Is there a rule than you can only post old photos during Thursdays? Why not Tuesdays?
They say hindsight is always 20/20. I couldn't agree more.

There are things happening in my life right now that I honestly feel I could have avoided had I done things differently.

I quite honestly regret making those decisions. But I guess I'm here already, and I have to make do with the path I have chosen. The only way to fix this is to gut it out and learn from my mistakes.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

006/365 - I Watch Too Many Cooking Shows

East Meets West
Here's a unique taste on your classic grilled cheese sandwich. It's a fusion of Korean and American tastes. And this is something I'm guessing not a lot of you have tried out, but I am sharing this one to everyone reading my blog. Because sometimes it's nice to share.

Spread ssamjang on a slice of pullman loaf. Place a slice of cheddar cheese on top. Cover with another slice of bread. Grill to taste. It would have been better if we had quick melt cheddar cheese.

I've been experimenting with my food for quite some time now. I watch too many cooking shows, and I take my ideas off of the shows I see. I don't know the basics to cooking, I have no idea about fundamentals. My knife skills are horrible. But as I keep cooking, my food starts to taste better.

Some of the things I've cooked successfully (following a recipe, surprisingly) are:

  • Shepherd's Pie (Or Cottage Pie, because I used minced beef)
  • Tartiflette, Filipino style (I had to use local bacons and not lardons)
  • Chicken Tandoori (I didn't bother creating the sauce, it was supposed to be chicken tikka masala)
  • Tiramisu, Filipino style (using cream cheese, instant coffee, and local broas)
  • Chicken Inasal (following a recipe my mother-in-law gave me)
Would I consider studying cooking to make it a career? I don't know. Right now, cooking is one of the ways I relieve stress. I have no idea how I would view cooking if I tried to make a living out of it.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

005/365 - Goofing Off

Life Imitates Art?
There are times that you need to blow off steam. This is one of those times.

I've never seen the movie 'Insidious' because I dislike watching scary or suspenseful movies. I still recall the time my then girlfriend (now wife) and I watched 'The Exorcist' that was digitally remastered, and I got sick for two days after watching it due to whatever psychological thing happened to me.

On another note, I seem to be encountering problems with my Project 365. Apparently staying in the office the whole day will lead to problems getting interesting photos that I can post about. So I guess that means instead of just having a daily routine of house-work-house, I will have to start going out more. Either that or my creative juices aren't flowing yet.


Monday, July 15, 2013

004/365 - Work

At My Workstation
Folks, this is me and my workstation. You'll notice that my wallpaper features Ken Block's Ford Fiesta HFHV (Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle).

Because I had to renew some government documents I had a four-day weekend last week. I also did not go to work on my birthday, because I seriously don't want to work on my birthday. So it has been a while since I saw my desk. It's still the same bare desk.

I had originally planned to switch to a standing desk when I was still with the 3D team. I eventually thought against it since a) I would stick out like a sore thumb (I used to be seated in the middle of a 3 x 3 grid of people) and b) if they got rid of my chair and I got tired, I'd probably regret not sitting on my fat ass the whole day.

What does this have to do with the picture above? Nothing. I'm just reminiscing about the good old days at work. Now things are different.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

003/365 - Do They Know?

Travis (foreground) and Nero (background)
Meet Travis and Nero, two of Rebus' offspring.

It's been a day since Rebus left us. How I wish these two dogs could speak. I wonder if they know what has happened, and I wonder if they understand why it happened. It still pains me thinking my friend is gone, but at the same time logic dictates that it was for the best. F*ck logic.

It feels weird knowing there are only two dogs left in the house.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

002/365 - Thank you, Rebus

My last good photo with Rebus (2001 - 2013)
I will cheat on this photo. I took this yesterday. But this photo has more meaning than any I could have taken today. Plus I didn't take a single photo today.

July 13, 2013, we euthanized our good friend Rebus. This was shot on July 12, 2013 - my birthday. I guess he just wanted to see me reach 33. And he wanted me to have this beautiful picture of us on my 33rd birthday as a remembrance.

It started yesterday, he started having seizures in the afternoon. I thought it was just stretching, but when I saw it happen I knew. My mom did not sleep the whole night staying with him. It continued on until this morning.

We sent him to the vet to be observed. I was still hoping for the best, denying the worst. This afternoon my mother, with the consultation of our vet, Dr. Cabanlig, decided to euthanize him.

I was there when they put him to sleep. My dad, myself, and our help went there to see Rebus off. He saw us, he recognized us, and I cried the most. It was relatively fast and painless. I saw him sent to his grave.

Thank you for the memories, Rebus. I cannot write anything to justify the great times and the amazing memories we had. Rest in peace.


001/365 - It Begins

Meet my family.
Yesterday I turned 33 years old. I was supposed to start this project yesterday. I will try to take photos and upload the most memorable one everyday for a whole year. Already I'm a day late, not a good sign.

Meet my family. I took this photo on my birthday.


Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Land Rover Defender

The Land Rover Defender has been around for quite some time. It's always flown under my radar because these vehicles are too pricey. It only started grabbing my attention last 2012, when I saw a Defender Station Wagon 90 in Ilocos.

It was at the parking lot of Kapuluan Vista Resort. One of the guests owned it, and it was parked beside our van. It looked nice. It had a rugged, indestructible feel. It had decent ride height, and it looked like it fit my categories for an ideal city vehicle. Practical, spacious, high ride height, and nice to look at.
from Land Rover's official site
There is a longer, five-door version of the Defender. But I quite like this one. It's not that long so it can still fit decently in parking areas. And you can still seat four to five people in it. As for accommodating groceries, well with some good packing you can most likely fit it in easily also.

So what's the biggest downside of this vehicle? For me it's the fact that it doesn't have an automatic transmission. I'm 'lazy' when it comes to shifting gears, but I still know how to drive a stick shift. I'll probably need some practice to get the hang of manual transmissions again, but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

(In fact, there are only three vehicles I wouldn't mind driving stick if someone gave me one for free. The first is the classic Volkswagen Beetle, the second is this Defender 90, and the last is... any stick shift vehicle. I mean, come on, would you really say NO to a free ride?)

For the price of one of these you can easily purchase a diesel Kia Sportage or the newest Toyota Rav4 and still have change to buy a nice set of rims. So why would I choose this over them? To be honest, I'm not sure. All I know is I wouldn't mind owning one of these.

The Land Rover Defender is slowly making its way up my list of family car vehicles I want to own. But to be honest, the order is still:

  1. Diesel Kia Sportage A/T
  2. Diesel Toyota Innova A/T
  3. Toyota Rav4 A/T
  4. Land Rover Defender 90
  5. Toyota Avanza A/T
Notice a pattern? Yes, I still prefer automatic transmissions. But that doesn't mean I will completely shut the door on manuals.