Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Almond Cakes woohoo!

Everyone who knows me well enough know I'm crazy about cookies. Keebler Soft Batch cookies holds first place in my cookie monster heart, and will probably not be dethroned any time soon. After all, I attach lots of childhood memories to it, serving it as the pizza beside platefuls of grass spaghetti when I had make-believe tea parties (with, take note, my all-boy group of friends).

Other notable cookies are Oreos. I won't forget those dunkin' days, even if they don't taste as good anymore. Mrs. Fields also bakes great munchies. Love the ones with whole M&Ms sticking out from the cookies (can't remember what they're called). Other faves are Fibisco Choco Mallows and Hi-Ro cookies.

But I guess I'm still an Asian at heart because I'm totally crazy over those almond cookies / cakes from Macau. They're crumby and absorbs all the moisture from your mouth, but I love them. When we went to Macau, we bought the ones from Pastileria de Koi Kei, which also sells superb egg rolls and almond pastries (though kinda pricey). This time, some relatives returned and brought me pasalubong. They got me the ones from Choi Heong Yuen Bakery. Time to munch away! :)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rain check

I wanted to do so much today, like run, go look for a new phone, shop for a dress or a new pair of shoes...but the rain ruined everything. Well, anyway, this gives me reason to stay in and play Sims Social! I'm so addicted to this game. I keep collecting random items like cheese, fruits, rulers, etc. so I can build a better home. Can't stop obsessing over how I can design my house so that it'll look great. Is this bad? Who knows, I just tell myself I'm  simulating my dream home via cyberspace. :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

RUNRIO Trilogy Leg 2: RUN UNITED 2

This was really an unplanned race. Lately, I'd been sleeping late and missing lots of training days to catch up on sleep. But I signed up for the 10K distance anyway. I was thinking I could walk if I couldn't take it anymore. I could take it easy. Didn't have to be in competitive mode. Although knowing how I am, I kind of foresaw that I would still go all out.

And I did (kinda) go all out this morning. Or at least I tried. I didn't feel like I was in tip top form, but the energy of the 4,000 other 10K races gathered at the starting line seeped into me. I got psyched up by default. The gun start for 10K had to be cut up in three waves due to the overwhelming number of runners who joined. Start was slow. We just marched along until we reached the big Start arc. Had to do a lot of weaving left and right to avoid bumping into someone. I was so thirsty just five minutes after crossing the starting line due to the heat of being in the crowd earlier.

My watch acted weird so I have no idea what my finish time is. I think I pressed some wrong buttons, sheesh. I may have crossed the finish line at around 57 mins. (Asa!!!). Bonifacio High Street really has a way of making you hate its numerous uphill climbs. I bonked 1K away from the finish line, but I didn't walk. I was too near the end to stop.

After the race, I didn't stay behind anymore to check out all the sponsor booths because I knew there'd be really long lines, given that a total of 16,000 runners joined. I just got the basic Unilab goody bag and a copy of Women's Health mag. Official results aren't out yet. Let's see how RunRio's new reusable time chip fares.

Look at all those goodies! I got 1 Unilab water bottle, 1 Women's Health mag, 1 The Bull Runner mag, 1 box Athena milk, 1 Viva water, 1 Powerade (not there drank it up already), 1 Tuna Meatloaf, 1 Allerta tablet, 1 Allerta syrup, 1 Medicol, 1 Alaxan FR, 1 pH Care, 1 box CarbTrim, 1 box, Enervon Prime, Equal samples, 1 Kaspersky visor, Chubby the Bear isn't a freebie I just thought it'll look cute in the pic :)

Pervasive Connectivity? Or Pervasive Separation?

I'm writing this while playing The Sims Social on Facebook, because I remembered a very interesting and, I believe, very relevant topic covered during the 5th IMMAP Summit. Barney Loehnis, Chairman, MMA, APAC, and Digital Lead of Ogilvy gave the conference's second keynote address: The Dilemma of Pervasive Connectivity. He described this situation as "exhausting." We are always on--through our phones, laptops, and other gadgets. And yet, we still find ourselves wanting and restless. I've heard many friends complain about how they feel so alone; I myself get this feeling at times when I think I shouldn't be feeling that way (like when I'm chatting my heart out, hanging out with friends or when I'm in a family reunion). All this loneliness for reasons we can't quite pinpoint. Or can we?

I was thinking, the dilemma may not be so much about the ubiquitous technologies that supposedly keep us connected (sometimes to the point of violating our sense of personal space) but how this situation makes our separation more glaring than ever. Not to discount the value of social networks in helping us keep in touch with our friends, just that there are times when I wonder how these platforms have affected the way we communicate with each other. The Sims Social, a perfect example of how I am connected, yet alone. A number of my virtual neighbors are acquaintances and former classmates I haven't talked to for years. Now we're interacting again, or at least our sims are. But will this improve our rapport in the real world? I honestly don't know, what I do know is we probably still won't be seeing much of each other any time soon (so I can start a cat fight if I want and not worry about getting in trouble hehe). Furthermore, these days, I noticed how many people would rather chat than make actual calls, thereby limiting vocal cues, not to mention nonverbal ones. The same is true with texting. It's so much easier to chat and text because we can take our sweet time responding and crafting what we want to say. Or, we can just not respond at all, and maybe just make an excuse about never receiving the other's message.

And then the opportunity for face-to-face interaction arrives. It has happened often enough that I find myself unable to say much, maybe I'll just fidget, or mumble an awkward word or two. The other person is often just as awkward. We end up wanting to end the interaction as soon as possible. The "hey I gotta go" becomes the best part of that brief contact. Makes me wonder if the person I had been having such lively chats with is actually the same person in front of me. Do we develop some sort of cyber-schizophrenia, that our online personalities develop separately from our real-world selves? Is the "unconnected" self unable to catch up with the social growth of the online self?

I've read an article from Psychology Today that persons who create good-looking avatars tend to carry over their "online confidence" in the real world. Given that, then there shouldn't be much disparity in online-offline personalities. However, this study was done around three years back. The game might have changed, who knows. I think I will be reading up on this a bit more in the next few days. It's something I feel is worth looking into (maybe I can even do a study on it for when I take my masters next year).

Oh wow is that me and Joselle and Des? I bet they'll kill me when they see this :p

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting used to things

New job. New place. New people.
Have proven to be good for me (of course the question is, will I be good for them? :D)

It's been late-nighters for the last two weeks. I might be a newbie, but that doesn't spare me from the rigors of the ad industry. When they said it's tough, they weren't kidding. By they, I mean my former office mates at Resorts World Manila, who've had experience working in an ad agency.

Funny thing is, I'm busy. Yet I'm productive in that other side of life that isn't work related. I feel like chasing my dreams again. I want to write. Everyday.

And I do. I've got lots of stuff coming up in the next few weeks. I just need to polish them. The next challenge I want to take is to apply form to my poems. A friend challenged me today to try the Villanelle, but well I ended up with a pile of mumbo jumbo. I'll go try the haiku first, then common measure, then maybe the sonnet. Just to get the hang of working with (or around) constraints.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Upcoming Appearance: The Asia Literary Review

This is a dream. This is dream...

As a writer, I get rejected a lot. I submit my work, and dread getting that return email. In my inbox, the message's first few words would be previewed. When the message starts with something like "Thank you for your submission," I already know that the next line (once I do click open the message), would be "We regret to inform you that we will not be publishing your work blah blah". That's the rejection form letter.

That was how I felt when I saw the Asia Literary Review's email. I read the previewed "Thank you..." and my  mind was automatically resigned to the fate of the poems I submitted on December 2010 (yeah, it was that long ago). But I was wrong. It was an acceptance letter for two poems, "Three Meals" and "Etiquette."

Poetry editor Martin Alexander mentioned "I very much enjoyed reading your work..." and I was extremely thankful and humbled that the pieces would be that much appreciated. I was like, so dreams do come true. Because when I was writing more fiction, I kind of didn't expect anymore, with the heaps of rejection letters I kept getting.

I have many many people to thank for these recent successes. The fellows and panelists of the 18th Iligan National Writers Workshop, 49th Silliman University National Writers Workshop, 10th Iyas Creative Writing Workshop, 9th Ateneo National Writers Workshop. I had little access to poetry because I was all sci-fi and fantasy, but through these workshops, I learned about stuff like line cuts and objective correlatives.

I still can't believe it.