from the beach to the casino

I had a fun, food-filled weekend. On April 19 to 20 the department went to Palm Beach Resort in San Juan, Batangas. According to their website, “The Resort is designed to be a private retreat for those who prefer the tranquility and peace of a place with a well-preserved natural setting as an alternative to other overdeveloped destinations.”

It is definitely a private place. It’s a long drive from the main road (it felt like the edge of the earth), and there is no signal.

But it is serene and beautiful.

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Where we stayed, and the path to the dining pavilion. They serve good food!

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On Sunday, we visited Solaire with J’s mom to have lunch at their sosyal food court.

Solaire Resort & Casino has beautiful decor.

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And fresh flowers!

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The food court looks great, but I think the food is too expensive.

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Cute take-out box. :)

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‘party like it’s 1999’

It’s the end of the world and we’re still here, so I’m going to Bulacan for Christmas. Maybe The Hobbit tonight, maybe another poem tomorrow.

I might be offline until Tuesday night, but first, here are last night’s office shenanigans at the Hard Rock Cafe, starring the Mocha Girls.

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Got Revlon Colorburst in Sugar Plum at the office exchange gift! It’s a great shade. Here be my big face:

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Before I let you go, a couple of things:

Be with your loved ones this coming weekend. Take care!

back

I wasn’t online for two days due to a work-related workshop, wherein I learned that when giving CPR, and you’re a wee bit overweight, your knees tend to hurt like hell. My entire weight crushing my kneecaps – what an excellent mode of torture. I have bruises on both knees to prove it to you.

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Anyway, before that, on Tuesday, Charles Tan told me to listen to Emily Jiang and Rose Lemberg talk about speculative poetry in a Locus Roundtable. I listened to it while jogging Wednesday night. It was great to finally hear their voices! I had to stop jogging when Rose mentioned my name.

It’s a great podcast. Listen to the whole thing!

As part of our series on poetry, I was happy to get Emily Jiang and Rose Lemberg to talk with me about their experiences with the speculative poetry community. You can tell that this was recorded before Wiscon; I hope that everyone had a great time there! You can read more of Emily’s work atStrange Horizons, and see the product of Rose’s editing work at Stone Telling. – Karen Burnham

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 Before that, J had a great birthday dinner, took his Financial Math exam (second in a series of actuarial exams that he’s taking – if you’re looking for an actuary, tell us!) and learned that he passed!

He took me out to dinner Tuesday night:

Congrats!

Heaven & Eggs. Bring back your old decor. Your rock & roll theme just looks weird, but the food’s still good!

These photos have been posted on Instagram. (Oh, right, I have an Instagram account – follow me if you wish.)

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Getting bored with all of my books for some reason, so re-reading Moxyland. Also, I need a bookshelf.

So I’ve resigned from the “new job” and will soon be employed as a writer here. I don’t know why I keep updating you about my work situation. Perhaps also to remind myself. Why did I resign? Let us meet up for coffee and I’ll tell you. But the quick summary: It was a fun place to work, but I didn’t have the stamina.

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In the meantime I’m at home trying to get my shit together. Step 1 of getting my shit together was applying for an NBI Clearance, which I did yesterday. An entire lifetime could be lived during an NBI Clearance application. I was told to go to Robinsons Otis because it was reportedly faster, but I was going to meet up with Eula anyway so I chose to go to Robinsons Galleria. If you’re planning to line up there, for the love of all that is holy, be there early. And by early I mean earlier than 5:30 a.m., because I was there before the sun even rose and I was number 364. Can you believe that? What time did people start arriving, 3 a.m? The NBI satellite centers process only 500 applications a day. (NBI Main processes 2,000.) Number 500 was handed out at Galleria yesterday before 7 a.m. Yep. So. Be there early.

They allowed numbers 201 to 399 to come in at 10 a.m., and numbers 400 onwards at 12 noon. Bring a book, an mp3 player, a friend to chat with. And food. And patience. And remember: 2 valid IDs, P115.

I finished the application at 5:30 p.m. And was told that I got a “hit” and could only get my clearance on Feb. 8. Feb. 8! I was too tired to feel angry at that point, so I just got on a bus and went home.

Check out the NBI website to find out where else you can go to get clearance.

Also, NBI? There has got to be an easier way to secure clearance. I mean, come on, man, I pay my taxes. I don’t pay my taxes just so I can sit inside a mall for 12 hours waiting for a lousy piece of paper.

I imagine my younger siblings lining up for this for employment and I die a little inside.

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Anywho, recommendations!

Lucifer – In Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Lucifer Morningstar throws up his hands and says, “I give up!”, and hands the keys to Dream. Hell is Dream’s problem now, and good riddance. In The Kindly Ones we find him running a piano bar. But what are the other plans of the former Lord of Hell? Author Mike Carey tells us. And what a series! High concepts! I love this.

Room – Jack and Ma live in Room. It’s a very small room. Look. Five-year-old Jack believes Room is the world, and everything else (the shows on TV, the stories in their books) is fantasy. Old Nick brings them food and clothes and takes their garbage away. Jack has to stay in Wardrobe when Old Nick visits Ma at night. One day, Jack watches TV and sees a man taking the same painkillers her Ma keeps in a bottle. But how is that possible? How can the painkillers in Room appear in TV, which isn’t real?

At that point I felt real terror, and that’s when I knew what a gripping tale this is. Of course if you follow the news you’d know what the novel is based on. The knowledge doesn’t diminish the story’s power. Do check it out. I read it in two days.

Sherlock – And the most adorable picture ever.

That’s it, pancit!

cafe med + cheesecake etc

These food photos were from last week. Delayed post is delayed.

Anyway! The Podium on a Saturday. I loved this lamp inside Cafe Mediterranean:

GPOY (aka what kids call “photo of my face” these days):

I had Portobello Burger:

J had moussaka with Moroccan rice pilaf. Then we tried Cheesecake Etc. for the first time.

I want to go right back.

Love their Choco Dome Cake.

J had Belgian Double Cream.

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Company anniversary party on Friday. My first, after only two weeks at the job.

(Photo credit: Reg. Thanks!)

(photo credit: Milton. Thanks!)

I still (somehow) feel like an outsider. Hope that changes soon.

various updates

  • Jaykie passed Exam P (the first in a series of actuarial exams) after days of studying and worrying. I knew this the moment he stepped out of the Ateneo Professional School – Salcedo building on July 28. I looked across the street and saw him trying to hide a smile. Of course we celebrated with food and drinks.

Congrats Jaykie, you deserve it!

  • We went to Eastwood on Sunday to watch Captain America. My first time in Eastwood! My Eastwood cherry’s been popped! I know nothing about Captain America, except that he has a shield and a possible hatred of the Soviets. And the Japs. And the Nazis. I think he’s boring, corny, one-dimensional, and a tad bit offensive. Oh look, the personification of America’s Messiah Complex. Certainly not the superhero I’d share an elevator with. But the film gives him  a plausible origin story. (Even the origin of the shield is explained.) He hates bullies. I empathize with him. I enjoyed the movie.

  • Stay after the credits for The Avengers trailer. To quote one enthusiastic YouTube commenter: “I nerded on the floor.”
  • Phil mentioned that adamantium (which makes up Wolverine’s claws and the rest of his bones) is the synthetic version of vibranium (which is used to construct Capt. America’s shield). So the interesting question of the night was, “Who would win, Wolverine, or Captain America?”
  • There was a bazaar, and I ended up buying two bags and a ring. (This was Jaykie’s fault! He’s an enabler!) I almost bought a new pair of shoes but I managed to stop myself. (And also managed to stop Jaykie from not stopping me.)
  • I’m in love with this ring, though.

  • Watched Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank with a large group of friends. (There were 13 of us! Lucky and very noisy 13!) Photo from Almi:

  • The film concerns three young, hopeful, awards-hungry filmmakers out to make Walang-Wala, an indie film about a mother living in the slums who is so poor she is forced to sell her child to a pedophile. How can you gauge sincerity in this kind of creative expression? Can we simply judge the final product and forget about the authors’ intentions? Are the filmmakers producing this film because they sincerely want to tell the mother’s story and inform the world at large of the level of poverty that exists in this country? Or are they doing this for the shock value, the chance to dig an award and travel opportunities from the grit? The filmmakers carry expensive gadgets and talk about poverty  in an expensive coffee place. Does this invalidate their art?  Does the fact that they are well-off reduce the value of the story they are going to tell?  I still don’t know the answers to the questions. But I’m glad an indie film managed to step away and ask them, and make me laugh in the process.

  • New job. I’m enjoying myself, so far. (Stress on the “so far”, as, directly or indirectly, my immediate boss is wont to remind me haha.)