Big Screens, Big Deal

September 30, 2011

Today our father finally decided to buy the family a new TV, as he heard that SM had a sale for the weekend. So, with three of us in tow (me, my sister, and our cousin), we headed down to the Mall of Asia, and take a look at what models were available at the mall’s appliance center. Once we got there though, we were bemused to find out that, no, there wasn’t any current store-wide sale, but specific LED/LCDs models by certain manufacturers did have minor discounts or deals associated with them. 

I didn’t really care much about the specific model, as the TV was going into my sister’s room anyway, so whenever my father gave me an imploring look (as if I was the most tech-savvy member of the family) I just gave a bored expression in return. Plus there’s the fact that, well, he was going to pay for it anyway; his money, his decision.

After ten-odd minutes wandering around the different models on display, he eventually settled on one of those buy one-get-another deals, in this case the main purchase was a 32-inch LED from LG that seemed to have most of the newer functions (up to and including being able to play MKVs and AVIs straight from a USB) except the ability to pick up wireless signals and play videos straight from the internet, while the bonus unit was a slightly-smaller LCD with some of the same functionality. Both, by the way, could be used as PC monitors if anyone wanted to. Seemingly happy with his choice, he disappeared for a bit to withdraw some money from an ATM, while me and my sisters had the units tested. With everything seemingly in order, my father went to the counter to pay for the new acquisitions, while the three of us waited for the units to be boxed and prepped for transport.

There was a promo in the store, where the buyer got a ticket for every thousand spent in the purchase, so while the store clerks were tying up the TV boxes (which I might add were very wide, but not thick) we divvied up the tickets among us to fill out. While I was a little dubious at the prospect of winning more stuff after buying already-expensive high-end appliances, it didn’t hurt to try anyway.

Once the packaging was done, my father and cousin carried out the boxes between them (said cousin carrying the smaller TV in his left hand while the two of them shared the load of the bigger one), while us girls dropped off the tickets as we left the store. From there it was a relatively short walk to the taxi stop, then it was straight home from there.

One would think we’d have the two TVs set-up as soon as we got home, but apparently tatay didn’t think things that far ahead. Why did I say this? Well, once the bigger TV was taken up to my sister’s room, we soon found that the darned thing won’t fit on the stand where our older TV had sat for fifteen-odd years. Oops. I expect some awkward moving around of stuff tomorrow, and me having to step in and do the initial set-up for both TVs too.

*sigh* Oh well, it’s not like I have classes tomorrow, since it’s a free day set aside for research and writing. Still, I’d have liked to actually be able to use the day for that, instead of tinkering with newfangled TV controls. 


Book-Wrangling Walkabout

September 29, 2011

My plans were today were simple really: after work, after dropping by the house for a quick lunch (and a loan of a thousand pesos from my father), I’d head straight to the closest bookstores in the Makati area to look for any published screenplays they had available, pick two to buy, then head back home so I can spend the rest of the day (and likely most of tomorrow) reading them so I can finally start on that comparative essay (due next week, by the way). It was a good plan, and simple too. Unfortunately, like many plans cooked up by yours truly, it was doomed. Why? Well, all the bookstores I visited didn’t seem to have any in stock.

What a bloody surprise. On the bright side, the customer service people said that they can just order me what I needed. All they have to do is to go online, order on Amazon, and have me wait for at least three weeks before I can get the volume I ordered… Which is funny, since I can do that myself right here in the comfort of my family’s home, and likely get the darned things much faster too.

So this meant I had to resort to Plan B: heading to the university library and trying my luck there. Unlike yesterday, it was open this time (but that was expected, since there was no typhoon to force the school closed), and with a bit of research I was able to find two I could use in the assignment, and what’s more they’re local screenplays too. While I would like to have had a foreign one to use, if only for contrast, but all of those were sequestered either in the school Archives, in the private collections of specific professors, or both, and what’s more they’re room-use only. That means ‘no taking home to read at one’s own leisure’. So as one might gather, I’ll just have to work with what I found.

On the bright side though, since I didn’t have to spend the one thousand pesos, I was able to return that to my father. Money is still money after all.

All this book-hunting though meant that I wasn’t able to do any jogging, and add that to the fact that we had very delicious champorado as merienda this afternoon and, hmm, I don’t want to even thing about how much I gained over the week. Ugh. Maybe I can  sneak out tomorrow and on Saturday, yeah. As for my hobbies? Well, let’s just say that I didn’t use my judgement again, and went out and used my card to buy myself some Fallout: New Vegas DLCs on Steam…

Nothing really much to share today aside from that. Yeah, even the last day of my workweek was pretty slow and humdrum. Who would have thought, eh?

Nothing to Read Here, Again

September 28, 2011

Even for my low standards, today was very slow and very mellow. Really, there’s nothing of note to share today. The calls were slow, it rained until lunchtime, and I wasn’t able to go to DLSU’s library as planned because apparently classes were cancelled during the morning, which meant that the library was closed as well. Nothing exciting at all. Just a rather lazy and laid-back midweek, which is what I prefer honestly.


Rained In Blues

September 27, 2011

I think it’s common knowledge by now how the main island of Luzon experienced a direct hit by Typhoon Nesat, which explains the gradually-strengthening amount of rain yesterday, and the craziness the metropolis experienced for most of today. Metro Manila was listed under Signal Number 2, which was the highest typhoon signal the capital has experienced for a while. It meant, among other things, that aside from really strong winds many low-lying areas were flooded (the sea beside Roxas Boulevard, for example, overflowed and reached waist-height at one point) and thereby inaccessible, and to add insult to injury, probably without power as well.

Of course, the typhoon warning means squat to us folk who work in the BPO industry, which meant despite all this I still had to go to the office for my shift. Just getting there was hilarious in a way, but at least I was able to take the MRT (whose service unfortunately did not extend until lunchtime, as I learned later). The short walk from the station to the place where the jeeps normally stopped at was anything but easy, with really powerful gusts of wind threatening to wreck the poor umbrella I brought with me (I had to hold one edge of the umbrella to prevent it from getting blown over), nevermind giving me more than a little soaking.

By the time I got off at our office building I was very wet, down to the leather shoes I was wearing, but I suppose I could count it a minor blessing that I wasn’t completely soaked, something which some of my officemates who came in afterward couldn’t claim.  I spent the rest of my shift mostly barefoot, drying off the insides of my shoes the best I could with tissues taken from the toilets, trying not to shiver because of my clothes drying on my skin, all the while answering calls from (mostly) upset Americans, all the while watching the rather gloomy landscape outside the windows. It was like everything was obscured by a thick veil, really, except the veil came and went in waves, which meant that visibility alternatively improved or worsened as the day grew old.

It was still raining once I got out of work. I was a little glad that the road beside the office wasn’t flooded, and that there were still jeepneys plying their routes, but as I mentioned earlier the MRT service was down, which meant I was forced to take a bus home. Since there weren’t too many vehicles on the streets, this meant that the trip home went relatively quick, though once there I faced another set of problems, the first of which was the fact that some of the more direct routes to the house were flooded. This meant that I had to take a detour, but at least the street where our house was in was (relatively) flood-free.

I wish I could say that I was able to relax as soon as I got home, but the fact that our block apparently didn’t have any electricity (my sister said the brown-out started around ten in the morning) limited my options (yeah, no internet or anything of the sort). Once I got out of my wet (again) clothes and changed into something more comfortable, I was able to busy myself with assembling more orks from the Black Reach set. At this point, I think there are only five-odd footslogging greenskins left to put together, ignoring the Koptas of course.

I got sleepy after that, which is not surprising since the cool temperatures brought by the typhoon was conducive to naps. So that’s what I did. When I woke up again it was early evening, and it wasn’t too long after that (around seven in the evening actually) when the power was restored to our block. This didn’t mean I was able to use my computer again, as I quickly found out. Indeed it took many restarts to get the PC going again (it historically has a hard time reactivating after even a day or so of inactivity), and I even had to open the housing at one point to clean the fans (which I noticed were clogged with dust), before everything was (relatively) back to normal.

So, here I am. I’m running some diagnostics, but things seem to be fine for the most part, so I’m just going to set up some torrents before turning in early. It’s the start of the new anime season after all, which means new shows, and some familiar faces (Ikamusume and Working!! are welcome returnees), so one could say that’s a somewhat positive end to my day.

Rained In And Out

September 26, 2011

This result was pretty much expected.

I knew that it’s been raining since early this morning, but I still figured that the downpour would let up sometime during the afternoon. It didn’t quite stop, but it had weakened enough that it was barely drizzling once I started out for my usual route. I’d already gotten used to getting rained on during my afternoon jogs, so I wasn’t worried too much of getting soaked… Okay, that’s not quite true. I was a little worried that the rain would suddenly increase in strength again on the way, so I put on a (lined) windbreaker over my usual jogging tee and shorts.

Obviously the rain just had to go back to squall-strength as I neared the Makati Medical Center area.

I ignored the fact that my windbreaker was getting increasingly soaked, and hoofed it as quickly as I could manage towards the Ayala Triangle Gardens. Interestingly enough I think I only stopped once to drink my water bottle on the way there. I figure that it was the opposite of what happened the other day, with the low temperatures brought by the rain made me less likely to stop and take a drink. Anyway once there, the rain once again let up a bit once I got there, and I took the chance to make a lap or two around the park before dropping by the Greenbelt Powerbooks outlet, to check out whether or not there were any printed screenplays to be found there. It was just as well that I did, as the rain once again decided to increase in strength when I got to the bookstore.

Normally I wouldn’t have minded waiting out the downpour there, but do recall that I was already slightly soaked at the time, so the store’s air conditioning was doing a number on me. Since I couldn’t find what I needed anyway, I left the store and hurried towards the intersection of Makati Avenue and Pasay Road, to where some of the jeepneys heading to Libertad usually picked up passengers. I jumped into one of them, still very wet, and rode the rest of the way until the jeep stopped at Zamora. From there, I hailed a tricycle, and had it drop me off at where my cousin’s place was.

Which is where I am right now. Given how the rains don’t seem to be letting up, I figured it would be best if I stayed the night here instead of trying to catch a bus home. Plus I was wet, and no matter how healthy I’ve been over the past few days, it’s best not to chance it. As it is, I still have some clothes left over from the last time my side of the family dropped by to visit, so I didn’t have any trouble finding a change of clothing.

Hopefully the rain won’t be as bad tomorrow morning. 

Not As Painful

September 25, 2011

I was able to do some jogging again today, after five-odd days of not exercising. This time around I experienced none of the cramps I’ve come to expect after a period of inactivity. Okay, so maybe doing all those stretches prior to walking briskly to the halfway point might have helped, as well as the heat of the afternoon (I’ve found that I’m less prone to cramping up if it’s blazing hot instead of windy or cloudy for some reason), but the run itself was mostly painless. Indeed the only pain I experienced during the route was my stomach feeling like it would it explode, but that was due to the fact that I drank about one-fourth of the contents of the water bottle I brought by the time I got to the halfway point (which I normally do only once I’m close to the Ayala area), since it was so darned hot.

After a few circuits in the triangle, I dropped by the hobby shop in Park Square to pick up a medium can of matte varnish (for the Land Raider mostly) and two cans of Tamiya paint (black for a future Deathwatch project, and Racing Green for the Black Reach orks I had still mostly unassembled). I’m probably going to feel the cost of the purchase next month, but eh, better buy them now rather than later. From there it was straight back home, and a cold bath to wash away all that icky sweat, heh.

Hmm, I wonder if I’ll get any darker after this… Probably not; while I was under the hot sun for half of the route, I spent the other half mostly in the shade of Makati’s buildings, and later on the trees in Ayala Triangle. Besides, it’s not like I can get any darker, especially since it’s already late into the year.

With that business taken care of, I started on some of the orks from the aforementioned Black Reach set. I assembled a group of five (not that hard, as the models included in Black Reach could be snapped together even without glue), slotted them into the bases provided, and gave them a blast of green paint. The result was a lot darker than expected, but this’ll make much of the later painting a little easier, as I’ll only have to focus on the rags and armor the boyz are wearing, as well as the shootas and choppas they’re carrying. Unlike the marines of my DIY Chapter though, I’m in no rush to paint myself some a fieldable squad of greenskins right away, so I’ll likely paint a model at a time as a sort of long-term side project.

It’s going to be a slow day tomorrow, so I’m torn between staying up later than usual, or just going to bed right after I finish this entry. I’m probably just jump into bed, as that’ll give me more energy for work tomorrow, and anything left over will be useful once I get home. Whether or not I’ll actually use the energy left for something creative, however, remains to be seen.

Adding To The Crowd

September 24, 2011

While it would be stretching things to say that the class today was exciting, I was able to learn just a few more things about screenplays, specifically how to start building up the ‘meat’ of your story from just the ending, the midpoint, and the beginning. Oh, and how to essentially summarize the plot of your screenplay’s concept in one sentence (which is apparently used a lot locally to sell an idea to prospective producers). After the lecture we watched another movie (Running On Empty), this time taking care to pay attention and see if we could spot the Initial Conflict, First Plot Twist, and so on, as per the examples listed in Field’s book. I’m not sure if I got everything, but once you know what to look for (and particularly at what time these twists normally occur), it’s easy to narrow things down.

At the end of class we were given another writing assignment. This time around, it’s a five-page treatment of our proposed screenplay, which is pretty pared down, as our professor mentioned that normally they’re around twelve pages long. We’re given three weeks to work on it, which might seem like a lot of time, but when one recalls that there’s also 1500-word Comparative Review of two screenplays to be done on top of that, then every day counts. The latter is much more complicated than it first appears, as the screenplays in question have to be those that were actually published as books. Good luck in finding any of those outside of the school library. Ugh.

On non-academic related concerns, I wasn’t able to do any jogging today, which means this week is yet another loss. If that wasn’t bad enough, my savings took a blow, as I had to pay for the phone and internet use bill. On the bright side, I was actually able to do something creative and hobby-related for a change: I added two more puella magi to the stampede. It’s not quite as time-intensive as the Meltagun marine I’d been working on (hmm, I really have to photograph that sometime), but eh, I’ll take what I can get.

Aside from that, yet another slow weekend for yours truly. With the return to work tomorrow, that’ll change of course, but it’s pretty much the usual for me at this point.