Thursday, January 29, 2009

Attila


I have these odd moments where I start thinking of the most unwieldy things. This morning, while I was taking a shower, I was pondering on the wise bodybuilder's rule of not working the same muscle out on a daily basis. I've often questioned this rule; you see farmers going about their work everyday, and while the chores vary from day to day, you can't say that they really change the muscles they work. The same goes for construction workers.

But today, these two were not my examples of choice. This morning, while I was bathing, the exception (?) to the one-muscle group per day rule was something far more absurd.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Attila the Hun's invasion of Italy:

[Curtain. The lights open to Attila Dragomer, known as flagella dei, gathering his forces at the outskirts of Italy, which was then known as a part of the Roman Empire.]

A: Today, we reclaim the hand of Justa Grata Honoria, and she will grace my bed and be a very good wife for my kingdom!

Huns: AHOO! (i just had to put this in here) [The Huns rattle their weapons of war]

A: [surveys the land vis-a-vis his map, and upon finding what he was looking for - the neighboring region of Aquileia - withdrew his sword from its sheath and issued the command] Let us go, brethren! Onwards to the Roman empire!

Huns: AHOO! [charges]

[The Huns begin the invasion and soon, after many skirmishes with the forces of Valentinian III and his consort, settle down to building a castle on Aquileia. Not a single part of the former city remains.]

A: We have done well thus far, my people. Now our battle tack. Drive the people from the cities away, into the Venetian lagoon! A city floating in water has always been deemed impossible; now these Romans will disprove that, with our help!

Huns: AHOO! [scampers away to do Attila's bidding]

[Thus was the second phase of Attila's invasion of Italy the driving force behind the creation of the city of Venice. Let it be said that Attila did not just destroy, but he created as well.]

[After more skirmishes, Pope Leo I, after being convinced by the ungodly charms of Valentinian III, decides to go and bargain for the peaceful fate of Rome (now Italy). Little did he know that he was accompanied by two forces that would later on be instrumental in his success.]

[At Mantua, the two parties meet, exchange civilities and begin talking.]

Leo: You go home now please?

The ghosts of St. Peter and St. Paul: [Unseen by everybody else, except for Attila, these two spirits flank Leo I, probably carrying weapons of mass destruction as yet unseen by man during the time] Git going or else we will fuck you up real good.

Attilla: [Mellows down] Ok thx bye.

[Attila goes home to his palace, makes new plans to conquer Constantinople, and all is well. Or so he thinks. One night, after his marriage to his newest wife, Ildico:]

Gudrun (one of his previous wives): You harlot! [stabs Attila with a knife]

A: Ghraaakkkkk!

Huns: AHOO! [mourns Attila's death not with tears, but with more bloodshed. The curtains close to Attila's coffin being buried beneath the Tisza river.]

End

Seriously. All that arising from the mere thought of how soldiers in the Hunnic army developed muscles that were repeatedly used in fighting, which goes against the bodybuilder's rules. Something's wrong with me.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Item


Item #1

I was at the gym this morning, and I was wearing my swim shorts the entire time. The plan was that after a relatively light workout, I'd hit the Pan Pacific swim pool for a couple of laps - this was going to be my cardiovascular exercise for the day.

Well, upon checking on the availability of showers around the pool area (it was beside the gym, so I wasn't sure if there were decent showers aside from the ones in Slimmer's World), I change shoes, grab my towel, and head on up to the pool, looking forward to a good, straightforward swim.

And was utterly disappointed when I discovered that the pool was a kidney pool. The problem with a kidney pool is that the shape lends it impossible to perform decent laps. So much for decent cardio. I slung my towel back over my shoulder and slumped into the gym's lockers.

Item #2

I ended up discussing a single question with two friends, who had similar answers but with different outlooks. It was curious. They were both down and out folks, but the younger guy had a more detached opinion in the matter, while the guy who was pushing his forties was more hopeful.

I wonder if age really does make one more capable of thinking things through.

Item #3

People put too much stock on point of view, or perspective. Some people might call it a difference in opinions. I call it an inability to be patient.

Item #4

Maybe this really is a dream.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Proverbial Swordfish


Okay, the whole anime community is probably abuzz with the news by now. If you are an otaku who has been out of the loop, consider yourself lucky for you may have not yet heard of the horror that is:


Keanu Reeves as Spike Spiegel

Nobody knows if the news is true, but Keanu is a huge fan of Cowboy Bebop, and if he uses his clout to get the part, he will get it, in the midst of an entire niche's cries of despair and anguish.

Why the ruckus, you ask? The biggest reason probably lies in the fact that whilst Keanu might have the good looks and the bad-ass ability to dish out chock-fu whilst suspended in wires, the fact remains that the last role he was able to portray effectively enough remains to be Theodore "Ted" Logan. Throughout the rest of his esteemed filmography, Keanu has exhibited the acting level equal to that of a wooden plank.


Say hello, Keanu

A grain of salt, though: I was talking to Siloportem earlier, a stalwart otaku who greatly respects the CB franchise and everything it stands for, a person known for his scathing and intelligent analyses of anime and manga in general. Having said this, he was of the persuasion that the film and the casting is, in fact, a good thing.

The reason? To spread the word of Cowboy Bebop. And the possibility that, for lack of anything else, the movie might actually be entertaining.

Wise words, indeed.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

That Funky Beat


Listening to Jamiroquai makes me want to break down and dance. Go to a club and start swinging. Or set up a funk / disco band and get other people dancing. Dammit. Such awesome grooves.


Love Foolosophy. Killer groove. Rawr.

Jay Kay is such a blur of creative frenzy. He makes vocalisation look like an instrument, so much so that even when he isn't singing, he looks like he's doing something.


Jason Kay. The one man I'd probably turn gay pay lots of money for.


Thanks to Denise "Oi woman" Palines for pointing me to this vid. Meanwhile, I will now listen to all the Jamiroquai songs. And dream of bringing disco back to life.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Toxic Love


The title has nothing to do with my post today. It just happens to be the title of the song I'm listening to. Comes from the soundtrack of Fern Gully: the Last Rainforest, and features Tim Curry's singing prowess.

I am also a fan of Tim Curry.

Anyway. I haven't really had anything to blog about ever since my last post. I can feel my brain starting to atrophy (a line I've grown rather fond of, ever since I figured out that atrophy actually meant the gradual degradation of a muscle and was not a typo). There were a lot of instances that made me stop and go "Hey, this is something I can go write about," but, well, you know how it is. You finally find something worth smearing the hallowed ground of your blog with, and several hours later, it's flown away like a hanky during a storm.

(Ophie Dimalanta had something to say about this in relation to writing poetry, or writing in general: If you can't remember the instance you want to write about several days after it happens, then it isn't worth writing about).

This brings me to my "topic," for lack of a better word, in this post. Writing, or the lack thereof. That's lack used twice in a paragraph. Now thrice.

To say that I haven't written anything even remotely interesting in days is an understatement, unless you want to know more about shaping your abdominal muscles, which considering my admirable girth, is ironic coming from me (I am in shape! Round is a shape!). And the sad thing about it is that I'm not even trying - you could count the number of times I've opened Live Writer or pulled out my legal pad and pencil the past few months for a serious sit down in one hand. By the way, if you understood that last sentence without having to reread it, then you have admirable attention span. And now after reading that, you will go over my second to the last sentence in this paragraph.

You remember me talking about my Murakami diary? I probably only used it for the first few days of the month, and promptly forgot about it (so why the hell am I talking about it now?) thanks to the big-ass contraption in my room called a desk. The desk has drawers, by the way. Which explains why I forgot about it.

If you still don't get it, then wow.

On a related note, I just finished reading Ninsy's copy of Life of Pi. Which was a largely impressive book, to say the least. Yann Martel now joins the ranks of the Canadian authors I read and respect, although the spirituality of the book might have been a bit too tongue-in-cheek. Finding religion in desperation is a well-overused cliche, in my opinion. But a good book it was, nevertheless. Comparable to The Little Prince.

Wow, I'm just rambling. I no longer have a point. On a final note, I would just like to say that my room has been transformed into a playground for three cats. They slept with me last night. I woke up with two cats sleeping on the desk (beside my laptop!), and one at my feet. No doubt to nibble on my unsuspecting toes whilst I snoozed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

To Break the Ice


Well. To be honest, I have no idea as to how I can break the ice. By ice, I mean the uncharacteristically freezing temperature Metro Manila has been experiencing the past few weeks.

I'm not really complaining about the cold per se; God knows I love the weather, since the alternative would be inane humidity. I'd rather it were sweltering hot, or not at all. What I'm complaining about is the fact that the cold weather is slapping people left and right with virii that you wouldn't normally see at the end of January, for crying out loud.

Me, I'm stuck with a cold and my trusty jacket. I can't sleep without bedcovers, my fan's on the lowest speed, and I have a painful mouth sore. Have had it for a week. And to add to that, my sleeping pattern's gone kaboom once again. The pasts three days, I have had a total of eleven hours of sleep. I have been woken up prematurely by

  1. Fireworks
  2. Parties
  3. Weird dreams
  4. My alarm clock (mobile phone) reverberating on the big-ass wooden desk sleeping beside my bed
  5. A draft from the new hole in my floor

It's been insane. And my lack of sleep's keeping me from writing (typing) anything even halfway decent. I visit the blogs of other people and I say well, shit, these guys have all these stories to tell and I'm all just "nyo?"

I haven't even visited Multiply the past few days. I think I'm turning into that Legendary Being, the "Internet Monk."

Internet Monk n. A denizen of the Internet who uses such method of communication for entirely ascetic purposes and leaves the rest of the Internet community pretty damn well alone.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Making the Internet a Better Place


I'm addicted to browsers. And like everybody on Windows and with any bit of common sense, I've been using Mozilla Firefox, which is without a doubt the best browser on the face of the earth - well, on Windows - in this day and age.

This is because Firefox just happens to be the most versatile open source browser there is. You can install a whole slew of personalized plug-ins and other additional widgets to improve your overall browsing experience with Firefox, and this, in my book, is nothing short of excellent.

Firefox. The browser of pure sex.

Enter 2008, and one of Mozilla's affiliates in the industry decides to come up with an experimental new browser for everybody to enjoy. This was Google, and this yielded the amazing Google Chrome. That browser took all the best elements from across the board and put it together with a speedier (and definitely better-looking) interface. I started calling Chrome the "cheetah" of web browsers, since system slow-downs were few and far between. The only problem this browser ever had, as far as functionality goes, was a system issue with Java script - too much JS on a page, and Chrome will crash without remorse.

The undisputed cheetah

But there was one thing I missed with Firefox that I couldn't find in Chrome - the seamless addition of widgets. I blame Ninsy and her residual, creeping influence that eventually made me curious enough to try StumbleUpon. I couldn't add the Stumble toolbar to Chrome, and this nagging lack of expandable personality eventually led me to look for themes and extensions for Firefox that will transform my browser into a Chrome clone.

This led me to Chromifox. This skin gives your Firefox browser a makeover that gives it a Chrome-like appearance. While the latest version of Chromifox isn't compatible with the latest version of FF, I was able to find a way around this little hurdle purely by accident. This was by way of the Chromin Frame extension - the most obvious difference is the movement of your tabs to the top of the window, as opposed to the regular spot beneath the toolbars. Upon installation, Chromin Frame demanded that I install Chromifox. I was only too happy to comply.

Several minutes later, and voila! Don't let me ruin this moment with words. Instead, let me present to you my Firefox browser - Chromified!

It is beautiful

While it still lacks some of the better features of Chrome - such as the Omnibox, stealth browsing and tabs that can be converted to separate windows with the simple pull of the mouse - it still looks pretty damn good from where I'm standing. And that's one small step, in my opinion, in making my Internet experience a much better place.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Resolute


As an attempt to get over this slump I'm going through, I will write down a couple of the resolutions I have for 2009. A week too late, I know, and I probably won't take these to heart at all, but I guess it'll be nice (and somewhat maddening) to look back to this post a year later and see just how much of a slouch you've been.

Take note that this is my first new year's resolution list in twenty-five years, so be gentle.

1. Budget my time more. Here are some corollaries:

  • I need to spend more time with my family, and select friends. This is of utmost importance.
  • My other friends deserve a little bit more of my time as well. They have been nothing short of awesome these past few months.
  • Spend more time practicing with the bass guitar, and regularly practice with my bands.

2. Work harder. I've got brilliant opportunities - I need to make the most of them.

3. Work out more. I need a regular routine wherein I do my house workout every other day, and go to the gym in between. I've slowly but surely been gaining some girth; while my weight hasn't changed (which is good), this accumulation only means that I am losing muscle mass and gaining fat (which is bad). It doesn't help that I finally have a neck - I need to work out and maintain 200 lbs for at least six months before I can be happier with how I am.

4. Open up another bank account. For savings, this time. There are plenty of things I need / want to buy (such as that bloody treadmill), but there are several things that are way more important that needs saving up for.

5. Be more patient. I think I'm one of the most easygoing people in the world, but this has been proven wrong time and again. I won't ever think otherwise, but I think this is a good year to be more of the fact.

6. Spend less time on the internet, more time with real people. This is tough, since my work requires me to be virtually connected with people all day long. And some people you can only regularly talk to on the 'net. But I'll find a way around this.

7. Be more independent. This should have been a corollary of #4, but there are some aspects of independence that money can't buy.

8. Walk more. This is also a health-related item. Back in the province, I walked a lot and I mean a lot. The sheer size of Manila is daunting enough to keep any sane man from walking constantly, but I think this is doable, given the proper motivation.

9. Update the wardrobe. This means buying more shoes, shirts and pants, and getting rid of the older shirts. This probably also means getting a new closet, because the one I have right now is falling apart.

10. Move out. But not in the conventional, get-an-apartment sense. More on this later on.

 

So there you have it, ladies and gents. My ten resolutions for the new year. Will I be able to keep them? I doubt it - some of the items are a bit too hard or too wild to commit to, but it's nice to finally have them in writing.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Indefinite Hiatus Starts Here


No, I'm not going on a break - or at least, on a planned break. It's just that I've been staring at my monitor for the past few days, and I really haven't had anything to write about. Once again, it's as if the words refuse to come out, and writer's block is keeping me from saying anything substantial.

It isn't that nothing exciting's happened. No. A lot of good (and bad) things have happened, and if you know where to look, you might stumble upon other testaments to the fact.

But these days, I make a lousy scribe. What the hell.