We have to hate boxes. They teach us the wrong things sometimes, often to cataclysmic proportions. There are decisions we make that are based on these boxes, things that we say that sound right when played against the walls. There are lives we never touch. There are things we never get around to doing. Our lives are not so much about what you can say in an hour's conversation; our lives are choices done over and over and over again until a monster is created: a monster we may have to spend the rest of our waking hours fighting. We have to see these boxes for what they are. They are evil. They are wrong.

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Feb 14, 2007
Quick Fix for Sony's White/Blank LCD Screen Defect

In a world where there is no such thing as a free lunch, I hereby hail the "Quick Fix."

The parents were going out to bond with the family from the mother's side, but I had a migraine and must stay behind. To forever remember dinner at Max's, my father decided to bring my brother's 1-year-old Sony Cybershot camera.

But, alas, when we tested it, the LCD screen was a depressing white blank.

I immediately felt a pang of sadness. Indeed, good things never last. We were happy, camera-toting citizens; I did not care for high-tech camera phones and ultra-small video cameras. We had a Cybershot, and we were happy.

So a few minutes went by, performing the customary hope-against-hope maniacally turning the power button on and off again and again, when I figured I must search the Internet for answers.

And here it is. It blew my mind away.

Posted at 05:04 pm by ccsantossa
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Feb 7, 2007
Lazy Morning at 5 AM

Well the early morning rituals have done little to change my mood, which is a little on the scared side. For what reason, I don't think I know exactly, which makes it scarier and more horrible (I considered using horribler but figured well, I'm not really in the mood to do that). This feels a little bit like the way I'd feel before when all things were up in the air. Now things are more stable, directions clearer, objectives a little more entrenched than the last time.

But peace remains elusive.

Nothing to blame, in particular, just the hormones. I guess it happens to the best of us. It just so happens my hormones are a little more overdeveloped than the next person. Both male (physically, mentally, I'm a walking strong-man complete with balls and tobbacco-chewing machismo) and female (for weepy episodes and wishy-washiness).

So to compensate for murky waters I'm redoing my brother's portabar manual which may just turn out to be the coolest thing to hit the Philippine bartending scene. It's this waist-high contraption you can take anywhere, a moving bar.

Anyway I just realized how hard it was to make certain steps understandable. Hence I should take more pictures.

And that is just what I'm gonna do, right about now.

Posted at 06:02 am by ccsantossa
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Jan 26, 2007

So it's been two weeks since this baby (the Kick-Ass PC) has been running on Ubuntu (the Linux no-brainer distro), and so far, all raves. I still have a bit of cleaning up to do in repartitioning drives since Windows seems to want to hog Drive C even after defragmenting it for more space for the Linux partition. But other than that minor setback, I'm really pretty happy with the installation.

I'm hardly techie and that says much about how easy this thing really was.

Why I migrated?

For moral reasons, mostly.

No, really.

Do I really have money to install a legitimate Windows OS? And with the genuine certification tool they got going on the Web site when I sought out patches (since, okay, my job at Libis as technical writer sort of scares the hell out of me come to backdoors, Trojans, worms, and bots and all sorts of shit who woulda thought had names) it was a lock-out, really. It was smart, I give them that, but that only pushed me up a wall so bad I had to scramble for an alternative that cost virtually nothing and was safer to maintain.

Enter OpenSource software.

Oh, bliss.

I know migrating doesn't make me entirely immune from all the bad things the Internet has to offer, but it does make me a less likely target. After all, a vast majority of the malware authors find it way more profitable to focus their energies on exploiting Windows vulnerabilities (hello, Vista), than to waste time fucking up a Linux installation, when obviously the reason most people who jumped onto the bandwagon did so because of the monetary relief. Haha.

So, that's what's been happening my side of the country. Meantime I've been learning new things, mostly about viruses and scary Internet stuff like zombie computers -- the thought of someone else taking over my computer, consuming MY bandwidth -- that's what pushed me into this game anyways (the Let's See If I Can Do This Without Reformatting My Hard Drive Game).

And I've been sleeping badly again and I don't know why. My brother's leaving soon and nobody wants to admit that we miss him but we do and families are corny like that, but that's the truth so help us God.

And I'm about to lose P4,000 from the UCPB account because of some serious shit going on at the BPI ATM at Robinsons Pioneer and so I wrote a really loaded letter about how they're all gonna die horrible deaths if I don't get my money back. So Monday I'm preparing this speech. Humanda kayo, mga hudyo.

And! And! Tomorrow, Saturday, Mitzi and I are going on our first French class for the year. It'll last till March, and by then we hope to be ready for that adventure of a lifetime where anything can happen and so we must be ready to speak French at a moment's notice. Oui!

And! And! Canker sores all over my mouth I'm beginning to think of it as a fact of life. God forbid! One more year and this'll stop being a monthly suffering. Lord knows I have enough of that.

And so to cheat the hormones my medicine cabinet is full of Alaxan Fast Release but something tells me it was really the mefenamic acid that saved my life last Monday. And so, Mike Enriquez reminded me (free tip: if you want really good build-up for your product, pay to sponsor Mike Enriquez's morning show at DZBB; yes, I'm also an AM baby, but it's second only to NU, which is really the only station people should be listening to if they wanna make sense of this circus) to ask for RiteMed next time, gawa ng Unilab.

And so that's all, and I've been feeling a strange chill up my spine since I've read this report on wireless forensics, and how somehow, someway, things are gonna come full circle.

And I've so delegated a huge chunk of the things I used to worry about constantly to that Guy Who Does the Thinking For You If You Allow Him and so that really is the formula for a happy life.

Alas, it is not the formula for a good night's sleep. Not when you're me. Sigh.

Anyways, I still love this world. Can't blame myself. I'm in it! There's so much to do! So many people to touch! And bother! And laugh with! Eat ice cream with!

Posted at 09:34 pm by ccsantossa
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Jan 4, 2007
Open Til Midnight

Fucken Classic Quote for the New Year:

On the plains of hesitation lie the blackened bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of victory, sat down to rest, and resting, died.

Deja Vu (or Whaddafuck) Moment:
So here I was, getting all ready to develop a sort-of crush on the guy playing Tim Speedle on CSI: Miami after watching a good chunk of season 1 over the festivities, when I got around to surfing about the said guy and realized that this guy was actually Rory Cochrane (who?) --- the same guy who played Lucas on Empire Records (1995). I mean, this, of course, means absolutely nothing to you who do not know me, but, okay, let me draw it up like this: it's a bit like crushing on a guy you think is totally cute and then when you were about to launch an all-out search-and-capture operation, you realize, with you don't know what, that this same guy was the dork you crushed on when you were way younger. That's a loser way of explaining it and I hope I'll come up with something better in the next few days, but the shock value was intense. This guy Rory, was Lucas!

When I was younger, we had a club in high school, where I met some girls I would not have been friends with had the circumstances been more uh.. normal (simply because we were uh.. different), but somehow, watching Empire Records brought out something uh... strange, in all of us, and I couldn't explain it, but we used to stay at Teresa's house (who plays Joe, I'll explain later) to write out the script and give each other copies of the classic lines and they even gave me a CD for my birthday a few years after (which I lost one time at Narra I think), and we even went around acting like our assigned characters.. yes, we assigned characters to ourselves, there was Mark, Warren, Eddie... it's amazing. I remember now, we were all scriptwriters for COMTAG, the theatre guild in high school. We were the same group, I think, that wanted to do the script for Makamisa, the purported last missing part of the Rizal novels after El Filibusterismo. Really! We had strange preoccupations.

Okay, so anyway, the really strange thing about this entire thing is that when we were assigning roles to ourselves from the movie, well.. guess which character I got? The cool, albeit eccentric it-guy (black outfits, strange one-liners), and if you saw the movie, the entire reason the movie rolled out like it did -- LUCAS! I just realized I had a crush on the guy I was playing in high school. Surreal.

And so, save for the nice surprise, things are looking up in Mackyscope.

Posted at 07:11 pm by ccsantossa
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Dec 11, 2006

Friday night at Legend Villas, GFS Girls Christmas Party, playing Pinoy Henyo, tag on Sheila's forehead said: SAP

Sheila: Bagay ba to?
Janice: Hindi!
Sheila: Aircon? Ilaw? Bedsheet?

Also, I Never, Fill in the Blanks, Gilbeys and Toska (ick daw, sabi ni Kuya, ick!), received Anansi Boys, gave pink bedsheet, gave out A/R 2005 Christmas CD, swimming at 3am, Jacuzzi till 6am, rush in a cab to Renee Salud at E Rodriguez for the gown-fitting, got smiley reviews for the CDs.

Purple beauty, must not get fat, beadwork within the week, snug around the chest, must catch male attention.
Checked in at Fraser while Tish went to post-prod, Melay and Rhea and me gaping at the service residence: the sweetest place on earth, jacuzzi in the restroom, wide open space, overlooking Makati, wooden floorboards, nice interior, sublime, hidden rooms discovered after two hours, watching Christmas party presentation for the P&A Christmas Party, Noreen called me a disgrace because of the green sleeveless number, video-ed the entire place with Kuya's cam.

Saturday night: clay penises, porn, Brazilian wax, phone sex, kinky lingerie, easy access, sleeping while waiting for the place to fill up with friends, ate Yellow Cab pizza and Charlie Chan pasta stuff, Baileys, Toska part two (ick!), Cuervo, ice cream, nobody touched the chicharon, La Salle scandal, catching up, a friend falling for a Cambodian, Y chromosomes (the ultimate discussion on Why Something Has to Be Done), phone patch from a Cayman auditor friend, baby talk, agogo dancing, more catching up, love lives, missing friends.

Sunday morning: Jacuzzi part two, skimmed Makati, mass at Concepcion, HouseCall-ed The PC that Used to Kick Ass.

Monday: late for thirty minutes, truck mishap at C5, practice edits, YM sessions, new friend at Friendster, loving every minute, finishing Christmas Project storyboard, HouseCall-ing Part Two, blogging, BitLord+Torretspy=Happy Macky, could not download BitLord, don't know why, sadness, minor, but hey, things are looking up.

Rest of Life: Canada after braces, UBC, forensic psychology, government service, teaching highschool misfits, marry right guy. Still on track, see Cartolina of Dreams.

Posted at 10:11 pm by ccsantossa
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Dec 3, 2006
First Day High (+ memories of the Empire)

SUGAR HIGH (Coyote Shivers)

They all said life's just a bowl of cherries,
but sometimes it seems like anything but.. (think again)
Sometimes reputations outlive their applications
Sometimes fires don't go out
when you're done playing with them
I feel so funny deep inside
I wanna kiss myself goodbye

(I gotta have it, really need it to get by)
(I wanna feel it, can't quite feel it... sugarhigh)

I could go out and not even leave the house... a T.V set and a bottle of wine's just fine
Crashing out on that old pull-out couch, watching Saturday Night Live
I guess that's why
When I think about my life
I want to kiss myself goodbye

(I gotta have it, really need it to get by)

I've searched far and wide
And I've explored the deepest caverns of my mind
To try and find an explanation why
I get this funny feeling deep inside
When I think about my life... I wanna kiss myself goodbye

(I gotta have it, really need it to get by)
(I wanna feel it, can't quite feel it... makes me high)
(I need it now... I've got to live it 'til I die)

Posted at 04:07 pm by ccsantossa
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Dec 1, 2006
The Christmas Project

People who know me know I do things one year late. One day, a year ago, I promised myself that I will be giving away storybooks (comics, really) to people for Christmas. But that was, of course, near impossible with the job I had then, so I went out and bought everybody some normal gifts which I could not really remember right now. So anyway, I asked a Tita (actually my father's relative / good friend) to buy me one of three books: Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy or Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things (still in hardbound, I think). Scott McCloud won. Inspired, I did this today, page one of Ding and Ferdinand Lancaster's Search for the Great Uncanny.

Posted at 09:19 pm by ccsantossa
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Nov 30, 2006
Final Friends

High school friends are amazing.

You hang out with them, same way you hang out with office mates and college buddies, thinking they're really the same type of people across the board, I mean, really, we do tend to attract people who are similar to us. You say the same sort of things, you confide the same sort of concerns, you vent, you rant, you share.

And then just when you thought you had a good idea how you're coming across people you are constantly interacting with, one of the highschool friends makes this random comment about who you really are, what you REALLY feel, apart from what you say you do, or what you think they'll be able to get from what you tell them; it's like suddenly realizing you were butt-naked in a public place and you have nowhere to go.

When C.Pike called high school friends your final friends, I guess he meant that high school friends have a unique vantage point from which to see the things that are happening in your life. High school is a sticky stage. We were all works-in-progress then, all quite unsure about the future, all raw and untarnished like unfinished pottery. Raging hormones, confused sexualities, obvious fronts, those sorts of high school drama. Being friends with people from way back have the strange advantage of saying things that are more relevant to your over-all development than anything else any other people can say about you.

It's like the viewing decks in many manufacturing plants: when you watch long enough, the magic is gone. The final products, what you see right now, lose their glitter, their immortality (of sorts). To the privileged viewer, it is what it is -- a bag of potato chips, a vacuum pack of processed meat.

That's why it's always safe to keep your high school friends. If you want the truth by your side when you need it.

What happened, really?

I was trying to analyze with a friend (look closely and you'll find her name here) why I never really went out to participate in this youth group thing I joined lately after hounding her to help me get in. I told her I wasn't really comfortable in the circles of people who already knew each other, whereas I, the newcomer, only had the genuine desire to do things (build houses, change lives, etc.), and how eventually that translated to nonparticipation, and how that was sad because I hated that it mattered who the people around me were.

She suggested that maybe the reason I was feeling that way was because I wasn't responsible for anything yet. She alluded to what I used to be when I was in my element, so to speak.

"Leader ka diba?"

And it so struck home. For one thing, I never saw it coming. I thought she was just going to sympathize and say she used to feel that way, too. And suddenly she sees me, in a way I forgot to see myself for the longest time.

That also says a lot about me, about my motivations, my prejudices, my ego. It's not a pretty picture, but she's right; it's the truth.

Any other set of friends would never come close to spelling it out for me like that. High school was about acting out inner dreams. The years after that, for me, were about fitting molds, digging up new challenges, proving I was invincible. People who knew me after high school are really just guessing who I really am.

Thank God for high school friends.

On a lighter note, Michael Scofield is fast becoming number 2 in my short list of preoccupations. Number one is that guy from Lost.  He has an Asian wife (Indonesian, actually), and this is why I'm moving to Canada to work and get a similar husband to find me after I get my braces out. That's a plan! Ayos!

Posted at 11:57 am by ccsantossa
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Nov 18, 2006
So It's Possible

Because, in a spark of corniness, I googled "fiction writers' day jobs" and found this and this and, finally, this.

Posted at 11:27 am by ccsantossa
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Nov 11, 2006
Happy Birthday, Dream King

Well, this is in celebration of fiction's rock god, Neil Gaiman, who was born today.

I remember this tiny hobby store in Katipunan, the one across KFC, on the second floor, somewhere above Sylvia's Flower Shop. I was in second year college when my Communications professor told me I was in the wrong course (Should I be writing? Should I take up Psychology? I wrote a paper on schizophrenia so that could really mean a lot of things and one thing only: Business Finance is not my game.). I had doubts about my future, but I just joined the coolest college org on earth, so I shelved it. Whatever little hope I had of making it as the next coolest pop fic writer, I shelved it. What I did, instead, was spend every minute of my spare time up there, in that wonderful place of old stuff, and Sandman comics, and Michael Moorcock novels, and Stephen King's books, etc., etc.

I don't know why that place is dead now. I just remember coming back some time third year and then realizing it's not the same place anymore. They set up computer stalls so now it was a gaming station. The books were gone.

I adore fiction. When I was younger, my concept of books in general was that of story books. I thought when they said non-fiction I thought they meant stories that were not fantasy/sci-fi, like John Grisham books, stories that could happen in real life. And that when you said fiction you meant all the sorts of things Neil Gaiman would write. That's the divide, for me. Fiction, and non-fiction. Nothing else.

What I want to say, really, is that I miss those days. Those days inspired me to write, to make my own stories, to fall in love with characters that have no chance of existing/being found in the real world. Those were the good times.

Posted at 10:10 am by ccsantossa
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