(personal) flood watch

Fuck.ing.hell.

Sometime last Sunday my mother sent me a text message saying the house in Bulacan’s no longer flooded. Insert happiness here. I haven’t seen my siblings in months.

This morning (Tuesday), flood inside the house has reached the second step of the staircase. By my estimate that’s thigh-high. Apparently the Angat Dam has released water. Again.

My brother, who was then at home and had class in UST (Manila), had to ride a truck to get to Malolos (Bulacan’s capital). No passenger vehicles were entering/leaving our town, so he had to get on a bus from the capital.

When in fact, our town has its own bus station, now rendered useless by the flood.

To say I’m pissed is a horrible understatement.

* * *

Okay, then.

In happier news, French language classes are a definite go (I’ve just paid my tuition and membership fee, along with Almi). Yehey!

Last night I was able to finish two prose poems.

* * *

I say, I’m not used to not being cynical. I kinda miss it. Friend says, Try it on; maybe it’d look good on you.

Okidoki.

misc.

wherein we talk about whatever

Transmetropolitan

Transmetropolitan

Journalists! A perverse government! Investigation! Data-gathering! Bowel disruptors!

Excellent series. Special thanks to Jaykie for lending me copies.

Orayt. Planetary naman. ;)

Collage Me This

Tearing things up = therapy = FUN.

No, really. Try it. Did me wonders.

(So yeah, picture resolutions are shitty. Let me go find a digicam, then maybe I can upload these again.)

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Gig Book Contest Awards er Brunch

I almost said “awards night”. But these are writers for children, so let’s be clean and nice and alcohol-free.

Awarding was on Oct. 10, at 10 a.m. There were ten winners. See what they did there? :p

Didn’t have cam. Will ask Andrea and Kate for the pictures later. (Thank you pala to Andrea’s parents for letting me hitch. If I had gone there alone, I would have gotten lost. For sure.)

EDIT: Pictures!

Thank you Jake and Katt for coming. So nice to see you guys again. Ke gaganda niyo!

:D

weather talk

Weather forecasters caught in the eye of a storm

MANILA, Philippines—A storm threatens to wallop the Philippines but a huge computer that dominates the forecasting room of the nation’s weather service is on screensaver mode showing a cartoon pattern of unexploded bombs.

While Typhoon “Pepeng” (international name: Parma) ominously hovers near the main island of Luzon, the computer has no data to receive as the main weather radar on a hilltop in Baguio City is out of action—again.

This scenario played out on Tuesday when Agence France Presse visited the forecasters in Manila to examine why they failed to predict the ferocity of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” (international name: Ketsana) that killed nearly 300 people in and around the capital on Sept. 26.

“Our old radar has limitations,” said Fredolina Baldonado, a meteorologist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“It has a blind spot to the south and that includes Metropolitan Manila,” Baldonado added.

And this I think is an excellent commentary on the problems the Metro and elsewhere experienced during and after Ondoy.

The Ipo Dam started spilling water as early as 1:20 a.m. Saturday, and Angat and La Mesa Dams (different watersheds but connected by aqueducts) would follow. Was there no communication between them and with agencies/LGUs downstream? With so many agencies (PDDC, OCD, MWSS, Pagasa, Napocor, LGUs, Mayor’s Office, NDCC, MMDA, etc.), why did residents receive no evacuation order? Was the MM5 weather model predicting hundreds of mm of rain, even the night before? As for people paying more attention to soap operas than bulletins, what bulletins would they have heard?

The weather bulletin of 11 a.m. Saturday the 26th said: “This disturbance is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over central and southern Luzon and Visayas. Residents living in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in areas affected by the Southwest Monsoon and those under signals no. 1 and no. 2 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides … The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 p.m. today.”

What, in that message, suggests anything unusual, and what are “appropriate actions”? Filipinos are by now so used to these standard warnings. Working back, one asks, why keep water in the dams so high, far above the “upper rule curve” (for example, Angat was almost 25 meters above) heading into typhoon season?

And oh, Typhoon Pepeng (international name: Parma) hits northern Philippines a third time. A THIRD TIME! He keeps coming back! Like a shopper who can’t make up his mind! (Do I want this pair of socks No I still have enough socks No wait I really need a new pair of socks Let me take a look again)

Damn weather.

here be plugs

I’ve taken a break from writing (sort of), and now I’m drowning in a sea of SF book compilations (almost done with Year’s Best 14, halfway through the Solaris Book of New SF), True Blood episodes, Transmetropolitan angst, local poetry, and the most inane computer games you can think of (there’s this one where you play a waitress and this one where you’re a hairstylist and one where you guard your house from zombies with plants and one where you take care of guppies and protect them from aliens – )

In post-Ondoy news, the house in Bulacan is still flooded (it’s been what, a week?) . I haven’t seen my parents and siblings in more than a month. :(

How about you? How’s the situation in your area?

Read one of the Inquirer editors’ harrowing flood experience here. (She lives in Malabon.)

* * *

And now: PLUGS!

The Bibliophile Stalker reviews The Farthest Shore fantasy anthology

Given my low expectations, a couple of the stories were pleasant surprises. I expected the anthology to be filled with sword-and-sorcery narratives along the lines of your D&D campaign and while there are those types of fiction here, I’m impressed at how some of the writers make the most of what they consider secondary-world fiction. “The Just World of Helena Jimenez” by Eliza Victoria, for example, juxtaposes the real world with the fantastical, alternating between one to give context to the other, although admittedly it’s the form that impresses me more than the story.

Rocket Kapre interviews moi

* * *

The storm is over. Life goes on. I’m thinking of taking some French language lessons.

tell it like it is, spider

I graduated with a degree in Journalism. I actually now work for a paper. (Hey, fancy that.)

I began reading Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan last night, and this panel just cracked me up.

journo

That you are, Spider Jerusalem. (Dude needed to interview another dude. I understand his frustration completely.)

I want to print this out and stick it on my office computer.

surrogates

What if: you can live your life through a robot proxy?

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You don’t have to get up from bed. You don’t even have to brush your teeth or take a bath, because through your proxy, or Surrogate, you always look perfect.

What if: something goes wrong?

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I enjoyed watching this film.

Photos from Filmofilia.com

* * *

In other news, I’ve finished Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog starring Neil Patrick Harris (Neil Patrick Harris!), and written by Joss Whedon et al. I hate you Mr. Whedon, you are too awesome.

I’ve also started reading Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan.

I couldn’t write anything because I just found out yesterday that my MS Office (and my antivirus) has expired. Darn it.