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Sarcasm Aside

random thoughts of a self-diagnosed neurotic with the attention span of a five-year old... a blog by Alternati


Thursday, May 31, 2007

I've been playing Parachutes and Twentysomething all night. Coldplay has always been my melancholy soundtrack, and Jamie Cullum... my crooner.

My 364 days of unbirthdays are over... they all seem short and useless when THAT day arrives. I always get this mixed feeling on the eve of my birthday (Gawd! just saying typing that out loud makes me cringe) I simultaneously feel like a child on Christmas morning and a schizophrenic awaiting electroshock therapy. I could never pinpoint the cause of this antsy anticipation because I really dread each +1 candle cake. An anticipation for time travel? for oblivious bliss? for my own Aston Martin?

I love those short tapered wax candles. Each supposedly represents a year of your life... irrelevant and burned into nothingness in a few minutes. They represent a year lost... a year where I should've read more books, a year where I would've seen the eerie monoliths of Easter Island, a year where I could've done this, could've done that... Shoulda Woulda Coulda Barracuda...

I love the cake. That beautifully crafted confection that goes straight to your thighs... that chocolate filled temptation with the scrumptilicious frosting and your name in icing you cut up into slices... that sweet, sweet reminder that you don't have the same metabolism "x" years ago.

I love that song. That happy happy four worded song that really drills the message "you ain't getting any younger" right into your right ventricle... that song which everybody knows, everybody claims to own, and everybody apparently commits a copyright infringement crime with whenever they sing it... that step above "for he's a jolly good fellow" that always necessitates your widest, most pseudo-genuine smile after it is sung to you and before you almost die of respiratory arrest from blowing out the candles.

I love the expectation to be "happy" and to feel "special". This is after all a "happy birthday"... just as "theory" always has "conspiracy" tagging along with it, "birthday" is lonesome without "happy". I love the wholehearted attempt to really be happy that often ends with either a migraine or an aneurysm. I love teeth... I love dimples... I love crow's feet... I love smile lines... I love straining the muscles n my face.

I love Brooke Shields and how she bashed Tom Cruise's skewed views on prescription drugs. I love Clint Eastwood and how he committed euthanasia on a Million Dollar Baby. I love Chris Elliot's obsession induced rashes on There's Something About Mary. I love Colin Farrell, just for being Irish. I may not know them personally, but we share a bond in birth.

I love (and I say this without an iota of sarcasm) my family and friends. They make this day bearable, sometimes even... dare I say it... may I not be struck by lightning... happy.

For the love of all things sacred... Don't Sing me that Song... or if you do, sing me a "Sometimes Happy (But Never Required To Be) Birthday To You"...

I'll be normal in June... well... like happy, normal is a relative term.


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What Have I Got In My Pocket?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cue flashback music.

For as long as I can remember, I've always had an ardent interest in riddles. The first riddles, or semblance of riddles, ever presented to me came in the form of an IQ test. My parents were in the process of enrolling me in kindergarten. A couple of grey habited nuns led me and a dozen other kids into a library whose shelves have been moved to the walls to accomodate a grid of desks and chairs. Each desk had a long white folder and a #2 Mongol pencil. We were instructed to sit, open the folders and answer sheets of mimeograph paper with symbols on them. The questions were in the "What figure comes next" format and, although I didn't know then, they are supposed to measure mental capabilities like logic, spatial analysis, etc. I finished the test in record time. I dunno what my scores were then, but I got in to kindergarten.

I've always felt my brain is tweaked, like my mom dropped me when I was an infant or something. I can commit a grade school friend's phone number to memory and still write it down now even if that friend has moved abroad and the line has been disconnected. I can absorb useless trivia and totally irrelevant information. I can generally grasp concepts easily. But for some obscure reason, I can't remember if a friend who I visit frequently lives in "old site" or "new site". I can't memorize which of the pin or the amount comes first when you pass cellphone load.

In highschool, I met and became close with relatives from planet Nerdnia. It was a real comfort... not to know that I wasn't mentally imbalanced, but to know that many are mentally imbalanced as well. ( :P )

Anyways... stop the flashback music.

I stumbled upon Notpron when I was random bloghopping. I haven't encountered anything resembling it online. It is an online riddle created by a smart (and I must add, cute) german named David Muennich. It basically presents you with a picture and some overt and hidden clues testing your skills in ciphering, logic, math, chemistry, music, programming, image manipulation, etc (and by etc, I mean your knowledge of german chocolate brands can also be tested... hehe) The aim is to get a password that you place in the URL which allows you to go to the next level. It can get extremely difficult especially in the later levels but it is also extremely addictive. I finished all the positive 86 levels and got as far as 34 in the minus levels (with the aid of help forums!), I haven't finished it cause the author decided to make players pay to play (rhyme?) the final levels... which I think sucks.

The current online riddle I'm working on is the Tim Tang Test. The creator of the riddle is Tim Nicolas Tang. He is intelligent, uber friendly, and can be the most annoying person in the world when he responds to your queries about a level with more cryptic answers. It takes on the format of Notpron, a pioneer of this type of game, but riddles of the TTT are usually more logical and more interesting.

I am now on level 89 and eternally stuck! It is a level on music... I love listening to music, but I haven't the slightest idea about it's technical side... well until now that is. This puzzle makes you read up on things you wouldn't even consider picking up in a book store. I have learned a thing or two about astronomy and computer programming because of some of its levels.

If interested you can start here. I must warn you however that there is a high risk of losing sleep and losing a chunk of your sanity. If you do wish to undertake the riddle, do not look for spoilers because as their name implies, it spoils the whole riddling experience. Tim however has set up a TTT account on Facebook with a forum for the discussion of these riddles when you're stuck. You can access it here, but I think you need to create an account before you can join the discussions. I am currently the PM Officer for levels 43-49. So if you ever get that far I'd be able to dish out hints.

The picture is of a tesseract I made in one of the Notpron levels. I know the craftsmanship is horrid but I did solve that level with that. hehehe

The title is the riddle of Bilbo Baggins which allowed him to "win" the One Ring from Gollum.


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It Ain't Over 'Til...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

It has been an extremely busy work week. Between designing and drafting plans, going through a ream thick set of mark-ups and task designation, I am finding less and less free time. The work has slowly crept into my nights and my weekends practically displacing a chunk of my nocturnal outings and my time online. I won't mind working for hours on end on a project that both challenges me and is close to my design philosophies... The current major project I am handling IS challenging but I find myself totally against the designs of some of the senior architects. This makes the work twice as tedious and half as enjoyable. Whine... I am so in need of a glass (without the "h") right about now.

She has been Singing a lot Lately...

Art from: Paper, Pencil, Pixels

I Believe HE can Fly

I liked the Heroes finale. I give it a 6 out of 10. It wasn't over the top, which is good. Many producers seem to think that the only way to do a memorable final is through explosions and car chases. The understated end to the show's first season (or should I say volume) showed enough for it to keep you glued to your screens but not too much for it to become totally ludicrous. That has always been the reason for my attraction to the show. It keep things real, in a they-don't-wear-leotards, have back stories and fairly relatable lives, kind of way. I would have given it a higher rating if they could explain why Peter Petrelli didn't just fly by himself? (I tried to say that as cryptic as I can to prevent spoilers) Explain that to me Heroes writers? The first season as a whole I give a 7 out of 10. Although the story line isn't really original, it has enough oomf to last a couple more seasons, plus I love the fact that they recognize the fact that they have taken a lot of their inspiration from Marvel, evident in many Hiro and Ando allusions and in the Stan Lee, bus driver cameo. And what really irks me about the show is the pacing. The first 10 episodes were the best written part of the season, after that, you get only a few great episodes scattered between slow and generally inconsequential ones. Tim Kring can learn a thing or two from JJ Abrams.

Heartbreak Hospital

The Grey's Anatomy Season 3 finale was classic. Like both previous GA finales, heartbreak and failure are the palpable themes. The first season ended with: "I'm so sorry, Meredith"/ welcome to the dirty mistress club. The second season's finale, which I personally find to be the most depressing finale ever orchestrated by any TV show ever, was an Izzie rollercoaster (the writers made sure we rode that rollercoaster too) and Meredith love Bermuda triangle. The finale of the third season focused more on Christina, George and Dr. Webber. (Details stop there, I can't ruin it for other fans of the show) However, I just HAVE to say that Christina Yang saying "I'm free" when she did, was priceless. I love it.

One of the great things about the show is their choice of soundtrack music. They have made popular then-upcoming bands like Snow Patrol (Chasing Cars) and The Fray (How to Save a Life) I've also discovered other amazing artists in their OSTs like Ivy (Edge of the Ocean) and Psapp (Cosy in the Rocket - the GA theme) The only other show I could think of that put this value on soundtracks was Ally Mcbeal (anyone up for a Barry White montage?)

Trivia: Did you know every episode of Grey's Anatomy is a song title? Below are the episode title of the three finales.

Season 1: Who's Zoomin' Who? - Aretha Franklin
Season 2: Losing My Religion - REM
Season 3: Didn't We Almost Had It All? - Whitney Houston

Six More...

LOST Season 3's Greatest Hits is the finale that I have really been anticipating. It is, in my opinion, the best written show on TV today.

Veronica Mars will end soon, and like most members if its cult following (like moi and Talamasca), we are bummed that the show, as a whole, got 86-ed... nixed.

Project Runway 3 finale airs next week on local cable. THAT's how delayed some shows here are. I know who the winner is, but I can't wait to see them on the runway.

The Amazing Race 10 final was meh... anti-climactic for an all-star season. I am ecstatic however, that them beauty queens didn't win.

Yau Man should have won Survivor: Fiji, that Dreamz character was so naive. He has created his own niche of naivete that is defined by hilarity.

I have yet to catch a replay of the American Idol 6 Finale. THAT's how busy I was this week.

~ Fin ~


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Me- Ma- Mi-Mo-Muu

Thursday, May 17, 2007


I am so bummed Melinda didn't make it to the American Idol finale. (Insert "but she was the obvious favorite from the onset" and "this is still a singing competition... right?" cliches here) I guess the shock value of Jordin's being 17 (really? she's 17? ahhh shut up, they've been emphasizing that ad nauseam) and the "oh, he's so original" beatboxing antics of Blake outweighed actual gritty talent. Both finalists are good (even great), but I just find not having Melinda there utterly idiotic.

Oh well... I find comfort in the Chris Daughtrys (ies?), Jennifer Hudsons and Clay Gaykens of the "I sold more albums than my winning counterpart" club. I wonder if Melinda's Death Cheater shirt was a message of some sort.


That new Maroon 5 song they performed on tonight's elimination has been on my MP3 player for over a month now. And I've gone gaga over its fabulous and ultra-chic video... They should build a shrine for Adam Levine's eyebrows... and have to admit I'm a developing a thing for the substitute drummer... Matt Flynn...

I have a thing for drummers in general... they just have a certain je ne sais quois whenever they strike them tomtoms and cymbals. (Actual drummer Ryan Desick is recovering from some shoulder problems)

Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder

I am listening to the music like crazy cause when it gets as big as Maroon 5's other singles and everyone starts singing it in public, it becomes lame.

"I still don't have the reason... and you don't have the time..." (yeah baby)


First of all, I TOO wanted to be like Grace Kelly. I've always believed I was some obscure monarch from Monaco. I just had to get that off my chest.

I love Mika.

He has such a great voice reminiscent of Freddie Mercury and he is the ultimate falsettist, he can make Prince and that Robin Thicke newcomer ponder going all Farinelli Il Castrato just to contend with Mika. His musical style is very much like Beck... eclectic, idiosynchratic, experimental. Most of his songs are sarcastically perky (even campy) and very fitting to his debut album Life in Cartoon Motion... these include his first single Grace Kelly which basically delves into the notion of changing oneself to fit the mold of the popular idea of popular.

Gotta love the psychedelic album art, done by Dawack, Mika's sis.

With lyrics like "I tried to be like Grace Kelly, but all her looks were too sad. So I tried a little Freddie, I've gone identity mad". This single is pretty much what triggered his international career and widespread rumors about his sexuality. My gaydar does go crazy when I see him, but he refuses to confirm or deny the rumors (ala Clay Gayken), which I respect, everyone entitled to hisher privacy. It is suicide to do so early in his career. The animated/ shake-your-groove-thing side of his music is also evident in other tracks like Lollipop, Love Today, Billy Brown (which sounds like an 80's sitcom jingle) and Big Girl (You are Beautiful) - a personal fave. He is equally great in his other tracks which are more mellow... I could describe it as music DeVotchka might have done in collaboration with Queen... but that would only be partially accurate.


This is an Italian manufacturer of steering wheels. I have as much knowledge about car parts as I do the mating habits of european tree frogs... I just saw such a steering wheel in a friend's car.


Remember that episode when Homer decidedly gained weight in order to qualify for disability and in so doing be able to work at home?

Homer in a floral muumuu.

I am so feeling like Homer like now. Burn-out! I wonder if there are any muumuu franchises in the country...

(I have to admit that the mo- and mu- parts are lame... I just felt the compulsion to complete the M+vowel list)


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13 On-Screen Matriarchs

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, The Lochness Monster... these creatures are bland and unimaginative compared to that mysterious creature we've all come to know the moment we aren't in utero, held by our ankles and spanked like a fraternity initiate... our mothers. These lactating bipeds, who are also called "mama"s or "mom"s, have built-in inflatable incubators that allow us to grow from seed to weird black and white shapes on an ultrasound. Their mystery lies, based on initial studies, on their volatile and unpredicatable nature. Offspring, the author included, both adore the ground their mothers walk on AND simultaneously blame her for most of the things happening in one's life.

Studies have always been inconclusive... the species evolves quite rapidly and has undergone incalculable metamorphoses that candidates in random samplings are often too different from each other.

However, several common traits have proven useful in our studies:

Test Subject 01: Lois Wilkerson
Known Aliases: Jane Kaczmarek
Last Seen: Malcolm in the Middle

Every mom seems to have tendencies to control offspring via manipulation and will almost always win every single argument with either of the following:
1. cunning and inconspicuous reverse psychology
2. bargaining or blackmail
3. a cold shoulder
4. temporary sweetness and concern
5. sheer brute force
6. a threat to destroy the TV with a baseball bat

Test Subject 02: Lorelai Gilmore
Known Aliases: Lauren Graham
Last Seen: Gilmore Girls

Every mom's survival is dependent on coffee. It has also been found out that mom's are capable of amazing repartee but is totally relient on the speaking companion and/or the skills of a certain Amy-Sherman Palladino. It is interesting to note that mothers share the same volatile relationship with their own mothers, known to offspring as "grandmother". They tend to regress to their rebellious and snappy nature when confronted by grandmothers. Ironically, most grandmother-grandchildren relationships are normal, in most cases even loving. Ergo, normal blood relations skip a generation.

Test Subject 03: Marge Simpson (nee Bouvier)
Known Aliases: Julie Kavner
Last Seen: The Simpsons

Every mom has perfected the art of nagging. They can control the amount of nagging they emit. It can be a simple but extremely difficult to master hoarse "mmmm" or an all out list of things you should do and when you should have done it. Most moms, when they reach a certain age, grab the blue dye. Mrs. Simpson has survived an adulthood wearing the same green dress and red faux pearl necklace.

Test Subject 04: Kitty Forman
Known Aliases: Debra Jo Rupp
Last Seen: That 70's Show

Every mom has the need to nurture. Most mothers dread the day when their offspring "leave the nest". Ironically, it is sometimes that overnurturing which hastens the coming of that day... and has mentally linked mothering with smothering. Some moms are skilled at faking cheerfulness and are skilled in appeasing the oddest and most awkward of situations, often done with a perky laugh. Also, it has been found out that most moms regret a hairdo they had in an earlier time of their life.

Test Subject 05: Catherine Willows
Known Aliases: Muggs, Marg Helgenberger
Last Seen: CSI

Every mom feels like they don't know their offpsring when they reach that hair-growing-in-the-neither-regions, hormonal stage of life known as "teenhood". Reactions of mom's with the discovery of "relics of growing up" (i.e. cigarettes, condoms, pornography) vary widely from denial to confrontation. Mothers are amazingly resilient creatures. They can juggle raising a child, dating, and catching serial killers... and still having shiny, bouncy Vidal Sassoon hair. It might be extremely difficult for children who have walking lie detectors for moms.

Test Subject 06: Niki Sanders
Known Aliases: Jessica Sanders, Ali Larter
Last Seen: Heroes

Every mom has a violent split personality with freakish strength... especially when it comes to their child's well being. The instinct to protect their offspring is a trait etched in every mother's genetic make-up (Well unless you're a gerbil or a prairie dog) In a save-the-world scenario, this maternal instinct is admirable, even heroic, but on a normal day, offspring find maternal overprotection suffocating. Some moms are often seen chasing a playing toddler with a towelette in one hand and baby powder and hand sanitizer in the other. A little bacteria is actually good for kids.

Test Subject 07: Ruth Fisher
Known Aliases: Frances Conroy
Last Seen: Six Feet Under (ok, that came out a little morbid)

Every mom can bottle emotions, complete with a cork, a dainty adhesive label and a note saying "Do Not Touch" in cursive letters. During instances when these bottles are opened (read: alcohol) mothers are actually relatable and are capable of having fun and letting their hair down from the perpetual bun. Mothers are also extremely finicky when it comes to their children's (especially son's) potential mates. They have an invisible list of prerequisites which they mentally edit to include every potential mates' weaknesses.

Test Subject 08: Miranda Hobbes
Known Aliases: Cynthia Nixon
Last Seen: Sex and the City

Every mom can have the most amazing Irish red hair "given the right stylist". Most moms do not plan pregnancies and can get knocked up under the most inconvenient and improbable of circumstances (her partner had only one testes and she had a lazy ovary) Again, I point put the resilience of mothers. They can adapt to new life-changing situations and still have time to drink a couple of Cosmopolitans and sing "The Way We Were" with girlfriends in a chic bar. Single moms have an inclination to cynicism and a tendency for misandry.

Test Subject 09: Nancy Botwin
Known Aliases: Mary-Louise Parker (absolutely love her)
Last Seen: Weeds

Every mom has a secret garden of marijuana. Whether they deal or not is variable. (I have yet to watch episodes of the show aside from the pilot... My friendly neighborhood Jack Sparrows have given me, again, the quizzical looks when I ask for it... and I can't find torrents, why are most interesting shows hard to acquire? Have you seen Spiderman 3? It was hilarious when it didn't mean to be and corn ball when it did! You just wanna give MJ antidepressants and Tobey was just downright irritating, plus... Why did the butler wait til part 3 to tell his story? Ridiculous! There, I filled up the space... tee hee )

Test Subject 10: Carol Brady
Known Aliases: Florence Henderson
Last Seen: The Brady Bunch

Here's the story of a lovely lady, Who was bringing up three very lovely girls. All of them had hair of gold, like their mother, The youngest one in curls.

Here's the story, of a man named Brady, Who was busy with three boys of his own. They were four men, living all together, Yet they were all alone.

Till the one day when the lady met this fellow, And they knew that it was much more than a hunch. That this group would somehow form a family. That's the way we all became the Brady Bunch.

Every mom can, every once in a while, make me vomit in my mouth.

Test Subject 11: Laura Bennett
Known Aliases: "The Ice Queen"
Last Seen: Project Runway 3

Every mom, even after the 1950's, can bear a sixth child. I was partial to her in the last season mainly because of her degree in Architecture (you get to see very few architects on TV, well outside of the Discovery Channel) Most moms, especially when talking to their spouses and/or children, can be brutally frank to the point of insensitivity. It must be real nifty to have a mom who can tailor clothes to your specifications. Every mom can get away with describing something as "serious ugly".

Test Subject 12: Irina Derevko
Known Aliases: Laura Bristow, The Man, Lena Olin
Last Seen: Alias

Every mom has hired a hitman to kill her offspring... well maybe at least in her thoughts when all her kid does is whine and complain and blame everything, even typhoons, on her. Irina is the quintessential example of the undecipherable mother. She can plant verbal landmines to catch you off guard. She can manipulate you into doing for your own good. She can withhold information from you if she thinks you're not ready to handle it. One just can't get what she is thinking of. Every mom used to be a spy for the KGB, but only few have trusting relationships with their offspring and even fewer can pull off a black tank top.

Test Subject 13: Piper Halliwell
Known Aliases: Holly Marie Combs
Last Seen: Charmed

Every mom can freeze time. Mothers can perpetually view their offspring as milk-bottle-wielding, diaper-pooping children, and they have the embarassing albums to remind you (and your guests) They also have a remarkable mental history of time... like the time you first came home drunk, or the time you cried during your first day of school, or the time when you forgot her birthday, etc etc. Every mom can also cast a lovespell on her children, making them utterly enamored by her and extremely guilty the moment they sass. The good thing about that spell is it works vice versa.

Happy Mothers' Day
to my mom who I love and absolutely adore.
and to all moms in the entire known universe.

Oh, and elections are tomorrow... Just remember everything your mom taught you when you pick which names to write down.


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Mosquitoes - Love : Alternati - 40

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I have been intentionally leaving my window open for the past days just to practice my backhand. I am currently establishing my own ATP Tour (not Adenosine Triphosphate dummy... it's Alternati Torturing Pests)

I personally believe that THE most useless, not to mention annoying, creature in the entire known universe is the mosquito (and I am saying this with finality AND an awareness of the existence of such creatures as the howling monkey and the idiotic lemmings) Pesky blood sucking creatures. And did you know only the females of the species bite humans? Apparently they need the protein to produce eggs. Damn male mosquitoes aren't getting off scot free... Sure, their mouths are incapable of sucking blood, but their peckers have been propagating the species for 170 million gazillion years.

I am re-evaluating a previous statement I made that the paint roller is the best human invention... I haven't encountered this yet during the time...

This is the Portable Bug Zapper 3000... a.k.a. My Racket. My Dad brought it home a week ago and it has drastically improved my forehand and my footwork. I just imagine every mosquito I whack has Federer's face on it. Juan Carlos Ferrero would make an excellent spokesperson for the product don't cha think? Aside from the Spanish good looks, his court nick name is hilariously appropriate.

The actual name of the product stenciled on it's plastic handle is "Electronic Mosquito Bat", I guess the chinese translators got baseball and tennis a little mixed up. It works like your typical suspended bug zapper, like so...

Basically electrocuting the damn winged Dengue carriers. The actual sound of the death of a mosquito when it touches the charged inner wire mesh of the racket is one of the most delightful sounds I will ever come to know (insert maniacal laugh here)

I truly detest mosquitoes, so much so that I've contemplated owning a bat, or several bats. Not the baseball thingamajig dummy, the actual nocturnal "flying rodent". Cleaning up guano is a small price to pay for a mosquito free household. I've read online that "a single bat can eat 3,000 mosquitoes and other insects in a single evening"... marvelous creatures. Maybe I can build my own subterrenean cave and have West Coast Customs pimp me a chartreuse bat mobile... hmmmm...

Pre-portable bug zapper, instead of lighting katols, I lit incense and/or cigarettes.

I also came across this article which explains (well... touches on, the researcher had some pending patents so all the useful info had been editted out) why some people (i.e. me) attract mosquitoes more than other people. It has something to do with the chemicals in our sweat.

Back in highschool, we had an electronics class. We had to etch circuit boards and weld in resistors... yaddah yaddah... (I made a two-tone door bell that worked... hah!) Anyways, I remember a classmate making this sonic mosquito deterrent. He said the device emitted a below humanly audible sound which female mosquitoes couldn't stand... I tried looking for a write-up of the device online but only came up with this (It is a similar device but works in reverse... a deterrent for humans using a high pitched mosquito sound) My electronics classmate could have made the whole thing up... I think he got an A in the subject.

The average life span of a mosquito is 3 weeks to several months... in my room, it's a little over a nanosecond plus the amount of time I need to reach for my zapper.


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The 4 o'clock habit

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Guess who came back unscathed from the torturing heat of sauna-esque Manila...

I had a blast at the 33rd Annual United Architects of the Philippines Convention (Link warning: shield your eyes from the tacky twinkling headline) Everything was fabulous... well maybe except for the fact that we were treated like meat. Meat, in a sense that we were moved (No I Know What You Did Last Summer meat hooks involved) from one huge freezer to another transported using mobile refrigerators known as "air-conditioned vehicles". I am all for the movement against global warming but I don't think I could have survived 10 minutes in Manila without air conditioning... I have hyperactive sweat glands, we Baguio folk just ain't cut out for hot-humid lowland weather y'all.

I am not a spell-freak, heck I don't even proof read my blog entries. But upon registering, I couldn't help my inner editor from cringing when I saw the convention ID.

Did you notice the unfortunate typo? And it's in all IDs... tsk tsk.

Our three day weekend of debauchery was beyond my comprehension. I found an inner source of stamina I never knew I had. Just when I thought I couldn't possibly get dressed and go out anymore, a sponsored night out had me picking clothes from my trunk... I never refuse free booze... from friends and paint manufacturers alike.

Me, Dona and Tine in one of Malate's bars... Bars are Malate's mushrooms, they spring up everywhere regardless of the availability of sunlight or parking space. Smoking beside a gas dispenser was a first. I'd post more pics but they're pretty much predictable not to mention redundant. (Us eating a Cabalen's... Us eating at Rai Rai Ken... Us getting liquored up in Dencio's... Us getting plastered in Tropezz... Us getting smashed in a friend's condo... etc. etc... The dionysian life baby) We always found ourselves checking into our hotel rooms by 4 in the morning... like clockwork.

Our days, or what's left of them, were spent at World Trade Center attending (okay, sitting idly) seminars. Most of them appeared interesting on paper but between the inaudible sound system and the newspaper textured catered food, they didn't hold our interest very long. So the CONEX 2007 (Convention Exhibits) were a perfect diversion/ way to spend the remainder of the day. It is here we are introduced to new or improved construction materials and technology (and freebies to boot!) One particular exhibit that caused a stir was a stall that showed a 3d printer. I have seen the technology on TV but never in person... I was starstruck. Here's a "print-out" of a prototype rubber shoe sole.

It uses powdered plaster and a solvent of some sort to bind the powder. It costs helluvalot but I want one!

Our early evenings were spent at the Manila Hotel. I couldn't help but strut like Sydney Bristow on a black ops heist whenever I walked the hotel's plush carpets, especially after I go through the metal detector. Being in a lobby of people clad in suits and sayas has that effect on me.

The last night in the Manila Hotel was particularly memorable. First, we saw a handful of distinguished architects wearing superhero costumes (a contest) They went all out with unflattering white leotards and red spandex. There was a flash and a "mini-me" flash, a mutated wolverine that looked like Winnie the pooh, and several incarnations of Lastikman. Second, Boysen (a major sponsor) showed this TV ad for a new antibacterial paint they were marketing. It's an interesting product, but the ad was frickin hilarious! It was a beyond miserable adaption of House, MD. The main character is a pompous dufus named Dr. Home. That alone had me going stark laughing mad, add the ridiculous one-liners and the background music and I was sure I had lost my sanity.

Lastly came the raffle. I have the worst luck with these things as I've previously blogged about. The grand prize was some something inch LCD TV, which someone from another chapter got. The first set of prizes they handed out were file cabinets. YES, File Cabinets!!! We were laughing our asses off when we heard about the prize. The instant communal image in our heads were those huge clunky metal file cabinets we all grew to detest. That was the first raffle I've ever participated in where everyone, in our table at least, prayed not to win. A couple of my friends kept saying "Mananalo ka! Promise!!!" (You will win) I just crossed my fingers went to my happy place. The raffle drawer announced that third one to win the prize came from our chapter, we were pointing at each other like deranged witch hunters... dramatic pause waiting for a drum roll... and irony of ironies... my name resounded from the speakers. My instant thought was "Fuck!"... and my second thought became "Fuck it!". I am not one to bow down to the humiliating powers of a file cabinet. So I rose with as much grace as I could muster and walked gingerly toward the stage to claim my prize. It wasn't the clunky metal file cabinet we thought it would be... It's a whole lot smaller and is made of plastic. It has found a home in my room now... a tangible manifestation of my abhorrence for raffles.

And that was how I spent my weekend.

FYI, my camel made it back to Baguio safe and sound as well.


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