Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where are You?

Taking a break for this week. Meanwhile, I'm here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Number One Rule of Clubbing

Seriously speaking, I'm not the kind of person who goes to clubs. And of course, when I say that, I lie - I like clubs. I like how you can drown in the noise of club music, I like how you get to dance with pretty ladies who pretty much don't care who they dance with, so long as you don't act like a douchebag.

Let's see. I started clubbing back when I was in CdO. Lots of things happened back in CdO, if you think about it, but clubbing was an experience I found exhilarating. It was a way of communicating without having to think about what to do while you're out on the dance floor. You let the music get your adrenaline going, and once it's pumping your blood through the entire network of veins and arteries in your body, you know that it's time to break out your jam, brotha.

But there's this stigma that clubbing just can't seem to get rid of. See, since this is such a hotbed for the onrush of passions and mindless emotions, the need to get a better kick out of the experience is always present. See, people have a hard time letting go of their inhibitions just like so, and sometimes rely on narcotics like alcohol, caffeine (it works sometimes), and other more dangerous substances that can addle the brain. No, I'm not talking about doobie - I'm all for the legalization of the herb. I speak here of chemical elements that seriously fuck up your system. No other way to put it.

It's also pretty well-known that the clubbing / bar scene is a place where people go to hook up with other people, either for a one-nighter or for a longer commitment. I attribute this to two factors:

  • The alcohol / drugs in your system tend to make you more footloose. The smoother, more predatory side of your psyche is unleashed, and when you get the chance to bed somebody, you dig right in.
  • There's also the fact that you're talking about a social hotpot brought to a boil when you talk about clubs. You have people who technically don't know each other dancing, grabbing and groping each other. You can't help yourself - you get too close, and you get turned on. Once you've bonered, or once you've soaked your panties, the rest of the night's likely to be an apostrophe to what happens when you step into your new friend's car.

I will not kid you - I still think this way. When I step into a club with all that heat around me, all those laser lights and all those bodies moving, I can't help but think about who of the women in this throng do I find hot. The next thought is, is she alone? You get the picture. But that's just one side there is to clubbing.

Recently, I've been going to discos with two friends who've been looking to have a good time. Mostly, my work has been that of a wingman, and it's been pretty interesting so far. See, it's one thing to look for a lay on a Friday night by stalking clubs, and it's another thing to look for women you can introduce your friends to on a Friday night. You've got different considerations you need to look out for, and for once, you're not evaluating the girls with just how well they can put out in bed (sic), but just how interesting they'll be to talk to. You don't want to get your friend a woman for the night either, because if he's got the car and he skeets off with a woman, he sure as hell won't be bringing you along - which means you'll be pretty much stranded. So yeah, when you play wingman without a car, you look for people who're just there to talk.

Which is where it gets difficult. See, when you've got an ulterior motive, you can't help but think positive: you pretty much will all that adrenaline out of your system. You're a friggin tiger out on the prowl. It gives you an edge. There's also a slight possibility that you will exude a slight pheromone in order to attract the opposite sex.

When you're just there to have fun, you don't do all of this. You are relaxed, and what little musk emanates from you is probably just you - body odor. And that was my biggest problem when I was playing wingman, the one reason that I couldn't bring out my A-game. This led me to try a different approach, which leads me to stating the number one rule of clubbing (which applies both to wingmen and hunters, and pretty much life in general):

Your confidence is your greatest weapon. Use it to your advantage, and great success you will reap.

If you can't do something as simple as that, then don't even think of going to clubs. You'll probably spaz out minutes into the first song - if you ever make it to the dance floor at all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Day Piracy Suffered a Massive Stroke

Just because you're a pirate, does that make you a pirate?

I'm talking about the recent court ruling in the Pirate Bay piracy case. If you've been keeping tabs, then you'll know that the four founding rulers of the file sharing network were recently found guilty by the Stockholm District court. Their crime: "assisting making available copyright material."


First of all, that's a structurally unsound sentence. Secondly, you can't prosecute a bunch of friends for lending dvds or cd to each other - which is what the Pirate Bay and other file-sharing networks are doing, except that they're working with digital media. This CNN article does a good job of showing us just what the stand of the Pirate Bay is on copyright material - that it's free for everybody, whether you like it or not.

But that didn't stop the big entertainment companies from clamping down on the Pirate Bay, though. But the question in my mind is whether or not the ability to find digital media on the web is tantamount to intellectual theft or not.

Because you know. That'll make me a pirate. Or anybody who's tried looking for a song via Kazaa or Soulseek. Rapidshare users or people who subscribe to aren't any different. Because see, if you follow the line of reasoning saying that the acquisition of digital media via the Internet without paying for it prior to your acquisition is tantamount to piracy, then pretty much any Internet user can be considered a thief.

I like the point that Magnus Eriksson pointed out: file sharing is only hurting the prospective returns of the entertainment industry. He also makes sense when he says that any so-called anti-piracy efforts online is equivalent to the prosecution of an individual's right to information - which the Internet vastly revolutionized.

Okay, in a way I'm an artist, and if I ever get published and I see my works spreading on the net as a hastily scanned pdf file, I'll probably hate it as well. But that's the way the ball bounces on the age of the Internet, I think. So it's either you find a way to better protect digital media with a copyright, or you let it slide and just carry on with your work, because you might be able to complain (and indict!) a couple of people responsible for a website, but you can't disillusion the millions of users who believe in what that website stands for.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Slight Revamp

You might not notice it, but there have been a few changes in the blog these past few days. Some of them have been physical - you might notice that the box surrounding the blog title has become, um, whiter. Or that the links are now orange. Or that ugly-looking widget that people can use to subscribe to my blog. Seriously, it's a nice tool, but it's ugly as hell. I'm thinking of getting rid of that.

But it's what you can't see in this blog that really makes this baby rock. Let me tell you, right here, and right now, that my blog - The Mezzanine of the Zeppelin of Burning Dreams - is at least fifty times more kickass than it used to be.

If you just hit that "read more" link right there, then yes, that's pretty much the reason why this blog has gone from adolescent boy to pure testosterone-filled manhood. See, I have this penchant for writing massively long diatribes about this and that, and some people just don't have the patience to read all that.

It also takes up a lot of space, and I am, if anything, addicted to space-efficiency. Why do you think I want to get rid of that optional RSS feeder right there? It's large, it's clunky, and I feel like I'm pimping something.

Anyway, that's pretty much all that I have to say for today. Let it be said that it took an entire morning's worth of work, but upgrading the template of the Mezzanine was probably one of the best things I could have done for it. Now if only somebody can help me fix my Multiply page.

Friday, April 17, 2009

An Ode to the Motorola L6

Up until last year, my mobile phone was the precursor of the sleek, thin phones that became so fashionable that even the iPhone's design is a testament to just how chic my phone was back in the day.

The unit I speak of is the Motorola L6, a simple phone with nice functions that was enough to keep me happy since I didn't really use it for anything else aside from texting, phone calls, and as a calendar. I lived without a watch for a pretty long time thanks to my trusty L6, and I could connect my phone to the computer and send and receive text messages without having to let go of the keyboard.

I know, I know, that last line reeks of nerd. Sue me. But the fact still remains that after I lost that phone, I had to replace it with a Nokia unit whose proper name escapes me to this day. I now attach my mobile phone to my person at all times, ensuring that people like Obbie will have a hard time reading my messages surreptitiously, and that it will no longer accidentally slip out of my big-ass pockets without my knowledge.

But I sometimes regret not doing that with my old mobile phone. I mean, how difficult was it to connect an ID lace to the L6 and tie it to my belthooks? Man, they say regret always comes in the end and this is me saying yes indeedy.

So now I come to a quandary. I am earning enough to buy myself a new phone, and knowing my friends, they will have plenty of things to say about what model I should get, et cetera. Knowing Nina, if I get a phone that she doesn't like, I will never hear the end of it and will probably have to cower in a hole for the rest of my life in shame. But the thing is, I don't know if I want to get a new phone; I no longer keep track of the newer models, and frankly speaking, if the phone I get departs way too much from the design of the L6, I will cry and probably cut of one of my fingers in remorse.

But the only other mobile phone worth my while is the iPhone, it seems to me. And that unit's hella expensive. I know how I can get one for cheap, but it still entails suffering the monetary consequences for months on end after. Thus my hand is reluctant to pull out my card and grab myself another phone. I mean, that's a LOT of money. And I'm still paying for my bass, among other things.

But if I get myself another L6 or an L7 even, I'll have to face two things:

  • ridicule from one person due to my backwards lax view on what's hot and not in the face of new technology
  • the fact that it's hard to find a store that sells a brand-new L-series unit.

Yet again another quandary.

Of course I could stay with my klunker of a phone that was handed down to me by my brother, and let that be the end of all debates, but knowing me, that just won't happen. Firstly, I hate the color. Orange and white does not sit well with me. And secondly, well. It just isn't my phone. So no matter how much I tell myself that I'll be okay with it, I know that sooner or later, I'll find myself drawn to the malls, looking at the various displays of mobile phones on stores like Semicon and Games and Gadgets.

And I'll feel an L6-shaped hole in my pocket. And begin to think.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Work your way to Happiness. Literally.

I love going to the gym. While it has yet to become one of the things that I absolutely must do in order to call a day complete, I can't say that I mind the sensation of actually working muscles into a physical concept, as opposed to a metaphysical one.

But I managed to find an article related to something Nina showed me a link that blew me away. I never imagined that the opposite gender'll be going for their workouts for a reason far removed from fitness and endorphins. Oh yes, the logic behind this new motive still relies on happiness, but the emphasis is more on instant gratification as opposed to maintenance of moods and increasing the body's capacity for hard work.

I speak of the coregasm. Read the article here, but let me give you the low down on what it is.

The coregasm is, in as few words as possible, an orgasm induced by core workout. I poked around the Internet a bit, and came up with testimonials that validate it's existence, and queries from women who have yet to experience this unprecedented wonder that have -probably- been the deepest, darkest secret of female gym rats for decades now.

There probably haven't been studies about it, so there's no way of saying if the coregasm is rooted on fact or fiction. But the rationale behind it isn't far-fetched - I will not relate how it is possible here, for fear of incriminating myself since my family reads this blog on occasion, so feel free to conduct a little bit of research. It shouldn't take you long - I mean, as far as keywords go, coregasm has got to be one of the most unusual words you can find in any dictionary. I doubt if it'll have any other meaning aside from the obvious.

Monday, April 13, 2009

So It's Lent

And it came and went. How was it spent?

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Technically speaking, it's the Easter season now, and will be for several weeks to come. But everybody's sure to post their lenten activities, lemme join in on the fray.

So here was what I did during lent, in no proper order:

1. I slept. Good lord almighty, I don't think I slept as much as I did this season. I would sleep for hours on end, wake up, and then go back to sleep. It was so bad that my cats nearly thought I was comatose.

2. I played Grand Theft Auto 3. Thanks to Bruce who rekindled my interest in the mindless gunning down of NPC's in a sandbox environment like Liberty City. I don't think any vacation is complete without a little bit of de-stress activities, and this was it for me.

3. Learned about, and fully utilised, a whole bunch of streaming websites. I am currently loading Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay, I managed to catch up on House and Heroes, and rediscovered my roots as a cartoon addict with online streams of Garfield and Friends. And helped Nina discover Madagascar's Penguins. Online streaming is the win.

4. Spent loads of time with myself. I sometimes wonder about people who can't live without other people. A couple of days ago, a friend was panicking because she was left home alone and everybody she knew was out of town. Big deal, I thought. I think learning to enjoy your time by yourself is an essential survival tool humans have to learn - after all, no matter how social a creature we all are, handling solace is still a very important psychological tool.

5. I did not write. Honest to Mergatroid, I did not write one word during this entire break. It feels good. But it also got me thinking about a lot of things. More on this later.

6. Spent some time with the ones who really matter. Whether I'm picking Nina up from the bus station in the morning, or drinking posca with Jon late at night, arguing with my dad or waiting for my mom to finish a complete sentence.

7. Did I mention that I watched Journey to the Center of the Earth as well? I hope that they make a sequel. Real badly.

And that's pretty much it, folks. So how did YOU spend your lenten break?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Halo-Halo Special

(This was supposed to be posted way way back. Like a couple of weeks ago. My bad.)

I was running an errand for my father earlier, running to the store to buy a bottle of Coca-Cola. Since it's the summer here in the Philippines, everybody who's even halfway enterprising has set up a stall selling halo-halo, which is pretty much heaven in a tall parfait glass or a plastic cup during the warmer months.

Glorious. None of that Chowking bullcrap for me.

What is it? For the uninitiated non-Pinoy, halo-halo is that holy grail of sidewalk foodstuffs during summer that nobody in his right mind would deny. It is a conglomeration of pandan and coconut jelly, chickpeas, mung beans, saging na saba, corn kernels, pounded dry rice, sugar and shaved ice topped with evaporated milk with a slice of the local custard on top. The really special variants will include coconut shavings and purple yam into the mix. Then you mix, mix, mix the contents around, before you start spooning it into your mouth.

If you're a Pinoy kid who never experienced the joys of halo-halo on summer, you are to be pitied.

Ahem. Anyway. I was buying a bottle of Coke when I saw that the mini mart had opened up their own halo-halo stall - which was excellent, because there can't be enough halo-halo vendors during the summer. I speaketh no bullshit - it gets that hot here in this country, or at least in Manila. But while I was waiting for the woman to finish with her current customer so that I could get the bottle of Coke, something unusual struck my fancy.

The woman was frowning. She looked like she'd rather be elsewhere, and that was considering that she didn't really have to fill a tall parfait glass with the condiments. The halo-halo these guys were making came in those hardly five inches tall plastic cups that would break if the wind blew on them, and yet she was making such an annoying show out of it that I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at the entire thing.

Let me explain. Back when I was a kid, my next door neighbors were the halo-halo kings along our street. They would set up this table outside their driveway, bring out these big-ass jars of ingredients and a variety of tall glasses, a huge ice chest, AND - get this - an ice shaver. One of those manual implements that looked like it had remained unchanged ever since before the industrial revolution. It had a crank that would require considerable effort to turn considering it was solid ice it was churning, and it was cool to see the folks who ran the stall have at it whenever they'd run out of reserve ice. They'd sweat like fuck-all, but the kids enjoyed waiting, and you know the vendor had fun too, when they exchanged a freezing glass for fifteen pesos with a smile.

That's dedication for you. None of these people who have too many important things to do that they can't mix a small cup of halo-halo with a smile. These guys were the heroes of the street urchins - myself included - during those hot summer afternoons, and it's a pity that it's hard to find somebody who put so much effort and love into churning enough ice to fill the tall halo-halo glasses waiting in the hands of small and sweltering kids that smelled of sun (thanks to Nina for this little bit of transliteration, haha: I wouldn't know how to describe amoy araw in English) due to an afternoon out in the streets playing games that only children will know well.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Prank? Or . . .

I have no idea whether the link I am about to post is rooted on reality or just somebody's brilliant idea of a joke. The reason why I doubt its veracity is that I happened to Stumble Upon the link on April 1, 2009 - April Fools Day. I just finished watching Hideo Kojima's attempt at an April Fools joke here, so you could say I'm still a little bit wary.

But if this is real, then this is a pretty big problem. Not just for Americans, but for every user of the Internet.

Here is the link.

So what do you think?