Friday, April 27, 2007

The Trip (Part 1)

As a follow-up to the last 2 entries, this anachronistic entry will recount my experiences during the trip to Austin. You might notice the chronology of entries this month to be similar to the sequence of movie renditions of the Hannibal Lecter series by Thomas Harris. 2-3-1... Insane. If we know each other well, dear reader, I've probably told you of the time I was reading Hannibal, the last book in the series. Oh, I haven't? Ok, so let me share it with you. I don't remember all the details, just the most vivid parts right before I woke up.

I was sitting on the unfinished skeleton of a massive grandstand. It felt familiar somehow, almost like the one in my high school campus but much bigger. Sunset, my back to the sun. Everything seemed peaceful. I had an amazing view from the bleachers, and I had the feeling that the grandstand was on an elevated place. Perhaps a cliff overlooking the sea. I was relaxing after a day's work of building the grandstand, why I was thinking this, I have no idea. The construction team was around 10 people, I think. Hideously deformed, now that I think of it. They were wrapped in bandages, bleeding in some places. There was a woman sitting beside me, I don't remember who it was anymore. I think she was faceless, as are most of the people in my dreams, but I knew her. And I knew she was beautiful somehow, not deformed like the rest of us. Despite the bizarre surroundings, I was not the least bit uncomfortable. It felt like I was watching the scene with dispassionate detachment, yet I was still part of the scene. I knew that all the other workers were also reflections of me. I could see myself in each of them, and though each was a separate person, they were indistinguishable from each other. They were also resting. We were seated in a straight line, one in front of another, all the way down the grandstand. Then things got even more interesting. I engaged the lady beside me in light, unintelligible conversation. Most of my conversations are like that in dreams. I don't hear the words, but I understand the meaning. Then we start stripping away the bandages of the person in front of us, starting from the head. Underneath the bandages, I see the cranium ripped away, the brain exposed. I know that the person above me is doing the same to me, yet we feel no pain. We don't cry out. Then we start eating the brains of the person in front of us with our hands. Blood streaming down my arms, dribbling down my chin, splattering my chest. Blood everywhere...

And that's when I woke up... Weird, no? The night before, I was reading the end part. Hannibal had abducted Agent Sterling, and had her drugged in an apartment. They were seated at the dining table, and her boss, the chief of police or something, was tied to a chair in front of her. Hannibal then opened up the guy's head, and proceeded to sautee the guys brains. And they all had a meal of human grey matter... This goes to show the extent of desensitization the media does to us. Well, I think that's enough gore for today. I hope you all picked up a valuable lesson today: eat your veggies, or they might eat you! (Huwaaat?! I guess that part of my brain hasn't grown back yet...)

Watch out for the sequel! Sorry for leading you on guys. I got a little carried away by the story. Next time, I'm seriously going to discuss the trip. ;-)

The Apartment

A 20 minute drive from the airport took us to the apartment. It was a very quick 19.2 mile drive (30 km para sa ating mga maka-metric.). On the average, we were making around 60 mph (95 kph), which is close to the speed limit on the SLEX. It was quite a big change for me, being used to the unreasonably heavy, creeping traffic in Manila. A most pleasant change, to be sure. I even remember someone warning me that speed limits in the US are much higher than at home... because they're in miles...

Aaaanyway, another neat thing about traffic here is that people adhere strictly to the rules. Neat is the exactly the right word. Pwede naman pala e! I dream of the day the Philippines would be like this, with the people abiding by the rules. So what if it means harsher punishment for violators? If that's what it takes, bring it on! But I digress, again...

The place was terrific! Fully furnished, clean, in top condition, and ready for occupancy. What's more, our receptionist was kind enough to stock our larders! Praise God! =D After unloading our bags, we dropped by the nearby grocery to stock up on cereals, oatmeal, milk, and other breakfast necessities. When we got home, I went straight to bed. I didn't regain consciousness until 14 hours later. =)

Here are a few snapshots of the place:
Austin Apartment

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It has been a long time since I last made an entry here, as the timestamps would attest to. Only recently have I had the time to sit down and think. As some of you may know, I've been on assignment in Austin for a month now. Five more long months to go before I get back to the Motherland. The closeness of the office to our apartment and the office work schedule (most people usually go home at 5) allow me more free time than I'm used to.

Anyway, I arrived here on the eve of March 24 after a grueling 24+ hour trip. My body was tired and aching from the journey, and my mind wide awake from the confusion brought about by jet lag. I stepped out into the thin, crisp outdoor air of Austin for the first time and thought, "I should have worn a thicker jacket..."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Time Management

Originally posted on April 23rd, 2007 on my Wordpress blog.

It's been really crazy these last few months. I haven't had enough time to clear my mind and reflect. Barely have I completed one task before I move on to the next. I know that its not that I don't have enough time. Everyone on this planet is given the same 24 hour day, but I somehow don't finish everything I set out to do. It only means one thing: poor time management.

I guess its all the switching between different tasks. Some overhead is involved when switching between one task to another. Especially when the jump is between stuff on totally different areas of interest and in varying stages of completion. Knowing that, why do I jump between tasks? It's not that I have a short attention span. At least I don't think so. I can spend hours reading a book, be it for leisure or otherwise (a considerably longer time for leisure of course). The same goes for work. I don't mind sitting for hours on a swivel chair staring blankly at the computer screen, heh. I think the biggest problem is fear. Yes, that's right, fear. Fear to start something, fear to move on to the next step. I spend so much time researching my next move in any task, that I end up wasting time that I should have been using actually taking it. When I finally get through one task, I often find myself thinking, "that wasn't so bad." But only after. The whole time I'm planning to do something, I always get stuck up thinking about negatives. What might go wrong... What an enormous amount of work... I shouldn't be doing this until... I could do this instead... Essentially, its procrastination. Procrastination born out of foolish hesitation.

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More on blogs

Originally posted on January 4th, 2007 on my Wordpress blog.

Amazing, my blogs pop out on Google! This is the first time anything I've made came out over the internet. Whoopee! Though I can't imagine why anyone would want to read this. Shamelessly advertising my thoughts is beginning to seem like a dumb idea. Well, whatever...

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Wordpress blogs

Originally posted on December 18th, 2006 on my Wordpress blog.

This is (obviously) first entry. Waves of trepidation wash over me as I type this out... It may not measure up to Shakespeare, but it's all I can come up with. But who cares! Well, enough of false modesty and... let's get it on!

This blog was created by me as a feeble attempt to express my "2 cents worth" (centavos here, for ethnocentricity's sake) on anything that my capricious mind can come up with. I hope you don't expect too much, my beloved reader, 2 centavos is a meager treasure to gain for the precious time you invested in reading one of my articles. Expect instead to find yourself "2 cents none the richer" after reading some of my aimless essays. That way, you might actually enjoy the pointless banter contained herein. Expect nothing, and you will find yourself with more than you bargained for, obviously. ;)

Man, I had a hard time signing up to this blog. There seem to be some counter-intuitive processes in the activation and profile management of this site. Or it could just be that I'm so clueless in this that I managed to botch a task as simple as this. I signed up, got an email confirmation, clicked the link, then went directly to my blog. Since it was there, I thought that was it. I didn't wait for the activation email. Then when I tried to log in, I realized that I didn't get my password. Being the Alzheimer’s-stricken coffee addict that I am, I thought that I already activated my account, I forgot that I had another email to wait for. So I clicked the "forgot my password link" and got a "new" password. Incidentally, this still did not allow me to access my blog management. I was able to log in with my new password, but apparently my blog was still pending activation. It took a couple of weeks for me to figure this out...

Anyway, to make a long story short, I finally got around to activating my account and gaining access to this site. Though there still seems to be some problems with password re-setting. I just changed my password for the second time, and it doesn't seem to have had any effect. Maybe there's just so much traffice to handle. So, here I am, sharing my thoughts with old friends and faceless strangers alike. I gotta get back to work.

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My Christmas Vacation

Originally posted on January 24th, 2007 on my Wordpress blog.

Like many people in this country I've been asked to write about my Christmas/Summer Vacation around 6 times in my life. Once for every year of elementary school. A tedious and repetitive task for most, at least it was for me. How ironic that I'm writing this now of my own free will (if there such a thing... more on that later).

That aside, I must say that last year's has been one of my best ever. The family went back to Bacolod for a grand reunion. I got an opportunity to see my cousins once again. Its true that you gain a different perspective of things as you grow older. Being an introvert by nature, I have always been uncomfortable around other people. I guess that I'm beginning to overcome the natural, irrational fears associated with human interaction by God's grace. I find myself better adjusted to dealing with people having a wider range of interests. There's still a long, long way to go of course. At least I'm seeing some progress.

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