Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bum Anniversary

It's been a little over a year since I left the game development company I used to work for. After I left I spent about two months as an unemployed bum. Why?

I couldn't find work. Almost all the companies I applied for either rejected me or never got back in touch. And it was devastating for me. It was a very dark time in my life, not the darkest though.

Sad to say I have a bad feeling I'm repeating some mistakes I've made in the past now. I'm still letting my negativity get the best of me, specially these past few weeks. I'd rather not bring it out in the open for now, but I have been battling my negativity a lot.

So I guess the more things change, the more they stay the same? I have no idea. Maybe I'm just reverting to my old mindset. I'm trying my best not to spiral back into all the negative experiences. Maybe I need to see a shrink.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Moments of Introspection

I've been doing a lot of introspection lately, and I realized my priorities in life have changed. I would say for the better, yes. This might be a long and boring post, but I feel the need to get this off of my chest.

My priorities before were basically 1) Money 2) Myself and 3) Family. It used to be I was after a bigger salary so that I could provide not only for myself, but for my family. I was always gunning for a bigger paycheck, and sadly that left me in a "dangling carrot" scenario, as I liked to call it.

I did a lot of things that were suggested to me in my evals, not because I knew it would help me as a person, but because I thought it would help get me that bigger paycheck. I was bending over backwards (in my mind at least) doing things and changing stuff about myself that I wasn't totally willing to change and I think it made me lose touch of what was really important.

I blogged about this before, but I'm too lazy to look for that post. I was willing to risk my safety for a few hundred Philippine Pesos. Long story short, a big, bad storm was about to hit Metro Manila and I didn't want to under-time so I could go home safely. Until my mom convinced me to leave before usual work hours were over.

The funny thing was, after I left to go home that day most of the people in the office followed my lead.

I was so busy gunning for a bigger paycheck, and even ignoring my own personal safety, for a few Pesos. Was that right? No. Eventually I burned out. I got frustrated at work, and it led to me leaving my old job without a back-up plan. Basically I was jobless for a little over two months after that. Did I hit rock bottom? I don't think so. It did help me realize how skewed my priorities were.

Now my priorities are 1) Myself 2) Family and 3) Money. What changed? I realized the value of time and money. And I believe that taking my current job helped me realize that.

I have a smaller salary now compared to before, and because of that I have learned the value of money, and I have learned to appreciate it more.

I work six days a week now, and thanks to this I now value and appreciate time more than ever.

It's interesting that I had to have a change of careers to have a change of perspective. To be honest, I think it's also because of my new work environment that let to these changes. Yes I still have my faults, and they still manifest a lot. Overall, though, I have seen my changes. And I do feel that now, more than ever, I am prepared to handle whatever life throws at me.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Confessions of a Car Nut

Traced and Riced Ferrari 512bb
Traced 512bb, with fender flare mods by yours truly
I have a confession to make. I am a ricer.

I like the fender flares. The wide stance. There are cars with huge spoilers that I appreciate. Call me weird. Call me an artist. There are certain cars that look good riced out.

However I don't believe it stops at looks. If you want to make your car look fast, you'd better make sure it can go fast too. And stop great. And handle perfectly.

And while I would prefer to drive a sleeper car, meaning a normal looking car that has amazing performance, I still can appreciate those tricked out rides.

I have a confession to make. I never was a Ferrari road car fan.

I liked them. When I was young it was the Testarossa. Then it became the 360 Modena. That's it. I could identify most Ferraris, but I never was a big fan of the cars.

Until Gran Turismo 5.

See, I got a Ferrari 512bb in GT5. Purchased it to race in a few of the series. Similar to what happened to me in Gran Turismo 2, where I fell in love with the Ford GT40, I eventually fell for the 512bb too.

As I grow older, I guess my tastes are starting to develop more, and mix too. See what I drew above? A Ferrari 512bb that I traced from a reference picture, THEN I added fender flares and a wider stance. Sort of like east meets west. The 512bb by itself looks great, but I just think how cool it would be if it had fender flares.

And yes, if I were to be given the chance to own ANY Ferrari, it would be the 512bb. Over the F40. Over the Enzo. Over the LaFerrari. Over the 250 GTO. Or I'd get any Ferrari and sell it so I could buy a 512 and modify that car.

I can dream, can't I?


Sunday, September 07, 2014

Amateur Review: Tonkatsuya Japanese Cuisine

We have work in AutoPerformance on Saturdays. Since yesterday was a relatively slow and good day, my officemate Jeremy suggested we finally try out that katsu place our bosses were telling us about. So we did. With our bosses too.

Tonkatsuya is a simple restaurant located in the lower ground floor of Palm Tower B. Basic directions to get there? If you're on Chino Roces coming from Shopwise, turn right at Estrella St. and turn left at the first corner. Palm Tower is the cluster of condominiums on your right. At the second building building look for the stairs leading down, then turn right. Or you can ask the security guards there where the Japanese restaurant is. I have no idea where you can park, since we just walked. I'm guessing along the street.

Tonkatsuya Menu
Tonkatsuya's address is on their menu
I ordered their hirekatsu curry. Hirekatsu because I prefer lean pork over the fatty pork, not only for health reasons but also because I just don't like fat (even if I am fat).

Tonkatsuya's Hirekatsu Curry
This is their hirekatsu curry
How was the hirekatsu curry? It was good. The meat was lean and tender. The curry sauce had a hidden spicy kick that I like. And similar to Shinjuku's katsu curry, the curry sauce had bits of tender meat. It was very filling, and even the shredded cabbage was good.

My biggest (and only) complaint was the katsu portion seems small. I know this was cheaper than other usual katsu places, but I just found the meat to be a bit lacking.

Can I compare it to your typical katsu franchises like Saboten and Yabu? No, I don't think it would be fair. Tonkatsuya's hirekatsu curry was good in it's own right. And I definitely enjoyed it.

How about the price? It was cheap. My meal cost me Php250.00. Add in canned sodas for an extra Php30.00 (I did not, though, the cold tea was great) and you get a relatively affordable place to grab a bite.

Ambiance? It's simple, nothing too expensive feeling. There was the usual bookshelf filled with various issues of manga. Oh, I forgot to mention a very important detail. There were plenty of Japanese patrons. The best way to find out if a Japanese restaurant is good is if Japanese eat there.

Would I eat at Tonatsuya again? Most definitely. I wouldn't mind eating there once a month or so, budget willing. The food was good, the service was fast, and again, Japanese people were eating there.

Would I recommend the place to others? Sure. Try it out. Keep an open mind, and an empty stomach and you may just be as pleasantly surprised as me.


Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Rav4 Renovations

The Wrath of Typhoon Glenda
This happened on July 16, 2014.
Last July 16, 2014 Typhoon Glenda (internationally called Rammasun) caused a portion of a tree to fall on the hood of the Rav4. It has since been repaired, but the car needs more work done. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.

Most important are the headlights. I may have them sanded to clear the yellowing on the plastic. I'm also saving up a good amount of money to upgrade the headlights and fog lamps to more powerful, all-weather bulbs. I've driven once or twice lately in the dark during rains, and the headlights aren't really up to it anymore. Better illumination will help.

Also a leak has developed on the driver's side of the car. Whenever it rains the driver side carpet gets wet. I haven't been able to find the source of the leak but I'm hoping once I do find the time to look for it we can find a way to seal that leak.

Back to the hood, while it has been repaired I have yet to have it brought back to the shop that did it for sanding. So the hood still looks rough, but hopefully soon that problem will be solved.

The sound system is also an issue. I need a new head unit, basically. And maybe a new antenna.


Monday, September 01, 2014

Welcome the "Ber" Months

September is here.

I won't be surprised to hear Christmas Carols when I go to malls. I won't be surprised if I see a Christmas countdown on most local morning shows. That's just the way things are in the Philippines.

I'm currently listening to Billy Idol - Happy Holidays album. I guess I'm just prepping myself for the inevitable.

Not that it's a bad thing. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Traffic will get worse, for sure. Finding decent parking in malls during weekends will automatically get bad too, for some unknown reason.

Let's focus on the good things, though. From a religious point-of-view, we'll be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ again. It's the time for reunions and catching up with all our friends.

It also signals the last quarter of the year is near. Another year done, another year of personal growth and experiences that lead me on my journey of life. I have learned a lot about a lot of things since last year. And for those things, I am very grateful.

Here's the thing though, I am a negative person. I complain a lot about even the most mundane things. That's just the way I am. However, over the past year I have noticed that I am more aware of the good things around me. I see more good things, I see more beauty around me. I'm more thankful than before, and I am also a bit more optimistic than before.

I really can't remove that part of me that is a negative person / complainer. That's already in me. I just know now how to control that part better, specially around other people.

I still slip once in a while, but not as often and as bad as before. Because of that, I feel like I've improved a lot.