Soaking and Steaming

July 31, 2011

One word can describe how today was: rainy. It started pouring hard early in the morning, continued throughout my shift, and only seemed to have stopped just a few minutes ago.  Since I brought an umbrella with me to work, I wasn’t soaked on the way to and from the office, but the same couldn’t be said of my jogging trip this afternoon.  Though my DLSU windbreaker and baseball cap took the brunt of the downpour, I was still wet enough that my jogging spats felt uncomfortably cold whenever the wind picked up. 

I did slightly better on this jog than yesterday, and I was able to go from the back of RCBC plaza up to the Ayala Triangle park without experiencing a tightening of my chest nor an obnoxious cramp.  After a brief detour to the ladies’ room, I did a few circuits.  Hmm, if I were to compare my progress to Miku’s AX 2011 concert, I was able to jog nonstop from Project Diva Diva to Romeo and Cinderella, with a brief pause during Po Pi Po and Electric Angel to catch my breath and buy a bottle of Pocari Sweat.

That said, for that improvement, it’s pretty much a wash on the weight-loss side, as I ate two sticks of liver barbecue and five doughnut centers on my way back home, and finished my evening with the La La pack that my sister brought back from her trip with her boyfriend to SM Mall of Asia. Ugh. Oh well, I suppose I’ll just count today as my cheat day, though it means I’ll have to be extra vigilant again tomorrow with my intake.

On a matter related to my health… the snaps and creaks that I hear whenever I turn or flex my left shoulder is starting to bug me. It really is starting to look like an old weight-training injury that I’ve ignored for far too long.  I’m not really sure if anything can be directly done about it at this point, barring going to a Japanese masseuse and telling him or her not to be gentle with me, but an officemate mentioned that a hot compress could help.  Which is why I dropped by Mercury Drug to get myself some heating pads, and an honest-to-goodness hot water bottle.

I think normally you’d want to hold the bottle on the area with the most creaks, but since the bottle itself was scalding hot at times, I settled for just lying down on it, with my left arm stretched horizontally from my body. Even then I had to shift every so often to avoid getting burned. Ouch. Anyway I’m going to apply another compress before bed, and put on some hot patches on top of that.  While I’m not so optimistic that it’ll get rid of those awful creaks, I hope at least it’ll help with the circulation in my left arm.  I’ve experienced far too many mornings where I’ve woken up with it numb, and it’s not pleasant.

Hmm, I guess this means that I’ll have to skip on the usual bath tomorrow morning.  Oh well, I can live with a towel rub instead.



July 30, 2011

After the consultation session I had earlier with my professor, I’ve decided that I’m going to try my hand at translating Neil Gaiman, specifically one of his short stories. I haven’t decided on the actual story, but at least now I have something to work on. Come to think of it, don’t recall anyone trying to localize a story by an international best-selling author, but I suppose it’s because of all the issues involved with working with established copyrights. I mean, a small and local publishing firm, never mind a local author, can’t possibly afford to translate something like, say, Anansi Boys right?

To help with the project, I dropped by National Bookstore at Glorietta 5 and bought the massive UP Diksyunaryong Pilipino, as well as one of Gaiman’s anthologies to refresh my memory on his writing style. I have no illusions that this will be easy, but I’ll try not to mess up too much on this one.

As for the consultation itself, well, after helping me decide on my topic, I helped my professor in return by answering some of his questions regarding text formatting, the playing of some of the video files he had (VLC player and MPC Home Cinema with the right codecs were the solution), torrenting (u Torrent was my pick), looking for book references as PDFs online (kind of hit and miss) and, in between consulting with my other classmates (who streamed in one by one) about their own projects, watching some of Jacque Derrida’s lectures (his French accent made it rather hard to understand what he was saying though) and Martin Heidegger’s interviews (imposing man, I was surprised to find out) on Youtube. The inability to find any proper English interview of Anna Arendt aside, I thought it was a very fruitful morning for all those involved.

That aside… I predict that I’m going to have less time for anything gaming-related for a while. Ah, what a waste of the Eye of the North Double Allegiance Weekend! 

Rained On, Rained In

July 29, 2011

I went on my customary walk around Makati again today and, wouldn’t you know it, it started raining hard before I could even reach the Ayala Triangle.  I’m not stupid enough to be caught in a full-on-downpour, so I had to seek shelter in one of the buildings on the way.  I didn’t stay too long however, and as soon as the rain let up a bit I started on my way again.  By the time I got the park itself, the rain had turned into a drizzle, which meant that I could run through the paths without fear of getting soaked. At least, not much anyway.

I didn’t experience the usual tightness of my chest this time around (though I did experience an ache much lower down), and I was able to jog through several songs (Hatsune) Miku sung doing her concert in AX 2011, but it still wasn’t near what I used to be able to do.  Still it’s a minor improvement, which only serves to show that I made the right decision.  That said, I estimate it’ll be a few more weeks before I can even try jogging nonstop for more than thirty minutes again, never mind more than that so… Baby steps.  Yeah.

As for other topics… As much as I hate to admit it, I’m still stuck on what to do for my Literary Translation project.  This, after spending most of my morning and early afternoon trying to mull over it.

Although there are the usual issues of theoretical grounding (an aspect I’m weak at, and the lack of accessible reference materials aren’t helping), I’m not sure what to translate either. I mean, sure, something that is ‘intellectually engaging’ gives a student a lot of leeway with regards to choice, but at the same time it means that I could literally translate anything as long as it is engaging to me.  And that doesn’t quite sit right with me, for some reason even I can’t explain.

If push comes to shove I suppose I can just do a translation of an academic essay, but after hearing the suggested projects of my classmates up to but not limited to ‘translating’ a poem into a short story, well, my submission would seem rather dry by comparison.

Ah whatever, I’ll just have to figure things out tomorrow after consulting with our professor.

Cold Comforts

July 28, 2011

Surprise surprise, despite my misgivings yesterday today’s shift wasn’t so frustrating.  In fact, it was almost like a Monday shift, where I had some control over the calls that came in, and how all customer service calls seem to completely vanish entirely after ten in the morning.  Okay, there were some instances of stupid where I had to raise my voice during a call, but who doesn’t experience those in this industry?  Heck, if there was a center in the greater Makati area where I won’t have to raise my voice ever (AHAHAHAHA) sign me up.

Although it looked really dark on the way back from work I only encountered a slight drizzle, so I was mostly dry when I got home (despite the fact that I didn’t bring an umbrella with me).  The real downpour came sometime mid-afternoon, but by that time I was already comfortably ensconced in my room, killing time before I went to bed for my siesta… Which got interrupted by my father bursting into my room complaining about the phone bill that I already paid.  It’s really wonderful how he can overreact to things sometimes…

Well, at least I’ve cleared things up with him, so it’s one thing he’s not going to worry about.  

Now if only our drainage issues were as easily dispelled… Although he was able to alleviate the issue with our bathroom (caused by a combination of accumulated muck, sediment, and fat), the problems in our kitchen were proving to be much tougher to deal with.  Something about some corner resisting getting poked, which results in continuous flooding of that particular cupboard area during hard rain.  Oh well, he’ll find a solution to that in time, I think.

As for me, hmm… I think I’ll have to decide on what to translate by tomorrow.  So I can actually start on the translation project itself. Yeah, a day should be enough, right?


Rainy Midweek

July 27, 2011

It’s been raining almost nonstop since this morning, but that’s to be expected since the main island got slammed by a typhoon.  It wasn’t a powerful typhoon, but it had a large enough area that while it made landfall somewhere in the middle of Luzon, it was still raining buckets here in Metro Manila.  And while we’ve managed to avoid any sort of flooding in our neighborhood, it still made for a very wet and gloomy day.  Heck the rains were enough that my father had to cancel his usual Wednesday trip to Baclaran Church, and that never happens.

I’m sure grade school and high school students all over the city are celebrating the resulting cancellation of classes though.  College students… not so much, ahaha.

The rains didn’t affect work much, if one didn’t count the fact that it gave the air conditioning on the work floor the curious property of making me go to the toilet even more than usual.  Aside from that, it was relatively slow for the mid-week, but I suppose the fact that two of the folks from the night shift doing overtime eased the queue enough that there were large gaps of time between calls by the time it hit about nine-thirty in the morning.  I’m not complaining though, since it made the day all the less stressful.

Back at home, the temperature drop brought by the rain made it so much easier to go to sleep, which is why I did so. Though I could have done without having to get up and run to the toilet (due to the same drop in temperature), but that’s to be expected…

The rains should end tonight though, which means its back to the same usual work day tomorrow.  Hopefully a few people go on overtime again, as I’d really hate to close out my work week stressed out and frustrated.

Doorstop Purchases

July 26, 2011

Foot, meet mouth.

Remember how I mentioned in a previous post how I hoped to try avoiding needless, expensive credit card-based purchases, especially since my salary really can’t support the months worth of payment that would follow? Well, I just went and did it again. Today’s purchase set me back more than five thousand pesos, but I think (or at least hope) that I can get a lot of mileage out of one of the books I bought: The Norton Anthology of Literary Criticism (2nd Edition).

While we do have copies of the various Norton Anthologies at the university library, they’re not really available for borrowing, and most of the time (particularly those volumes found on the 2nd floor) you can’t have them photocopied either. Although I don’t find note taking as tedious as some teenagers think these days, it’s never fun when you have to transcribe ten to twenty pages of teeny tiny text, including annotations. Which is why when I saw the lone volume at Powerbooks this afternoon I thought, well, that’ll be handy. After all, many of my classes go back to Literary Theory in the end, either through reference or application.

Yeah, I’ll just keep telling myself that. Anything to justify paying for a reference book that’s worth half a month’s pay…

It’s really too bad that there weren’t any books on Translation, particularly on Steiner, but that was kind of expected.  I guess I’ll have to try my luck finding free ebook copies somehow.

Anyway, it’s back to the real world tomorrow. I am so going to hate my shift tomorrow, doubly so if it just happened to be raining on the way to the office.

Always Raining On My Day

July 26, 2011

It looks like Yssa had her share of fun yesterday, so good for her.  This time it’s my turn, but unlike hers it’s been raining on and off ever since this morning.  While it’s not much of an issue while at the office, it’s going to be a pain going home, that’s for sure, as it’ll means that the streets will either be flooded, muddy, or both.  The downside of riding a bike to and from the office, I suppose.

Hmm, I wonder if I can pass by church on the way back. One might say that it’s a family tradition, to give thanks to God for being alive yet another year, and praying for continued health in the months to come. Normally we try to attend the first mass in the morning, but given my line of work (and today’s weather) it wasn’t possible today.  There should be an evening mass at around 6:00 in the evening though, so I’ll just try to attend that one.

It’s kind of funny. My mother commented (during her long-distance call earlier) how it always seems to rain on my birthday.  This isn’t true, and I can only count three birthdays in recent memory where the weather wasn’t sunny.  I blame global warming, but no one should be surprised about this.  It is the rainy season, after all.

At the very least I’m not sick in bed this time around.  2008 was it?  That was something I didn’t want to experience ever again. Okay, it was nice being looked after by Ma. Gaile during that time, but I still felt terrible.  It was no ordinary fever, that’s for sure.

Anyway that was then, this is now.  What’s in store for me when I get home? Maybe some valenciana or spaghetti, possibly pork barbecue as well. If I’m lucky my sister will allow me to open one of the bottles of red wine we have, and have a few sips (not too many, as we both have work).  After that, receiving greetings from my relatives on Facebook, then bed.

It’s the best a bachelor like me can hope for in a birthday, I suppose.  Snuggling up to someone I like for the night… Ah, such a pleasant fantasy.