calvin

...and I've just lost another battle against procrastination

Earlier this day, I have been doing my favorite internet activity: topic hopping on info-source sites. If you don't don't understand what I mean, let me illustrate it for you. I would simply think of whatever topic (doesn't matter if it's about apples or the cosmos) then I read it's article in an info-source site (ie Wikipedia). Through the article, I would see words with hyperlinks directed to another article about a supposedly related word. I would click it, read through this article, then hop on to another article through a hyperlink.

I do this quite a lot and I usually find some really interesting things. This morning though, I got to read about three very fascinating (and, for me, very similar) people. They are Bailan of Ibelin, Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg, and Robin Soderling.You could just google their names to learn more about them, but all I want to share to you about them is that they all fought in battles where they never expected to win. Of course, they lost in the end, but that's not really important.

Sometimes, all that really matters is that you fought. Hard. It doesn't matter even if you didn't have any chances of winning to begin with. What's essential is that you fight with all you've got. It's much better to struggle and fail than to give up and spend forever wondering what if.

Besides, sometimes, an effort great enough would be able to change the direction of destiny. Not all the the way to the other side, but enough to make a difference.

When Bailan defended Jerusalem with only a couple of proper knights against the whole army of the great Saladin, he inevitably lost. But he was inflicting heavy damage against the enemy that Saladin allowed the Christians in Jerusalem to leave the kingdom freely as a condition for Bailan's surrender.

When Stauffenberg, with only a handful of officers, attempted to kill Hitler and overthrow the Reich, he inevitably failed. But he succeeded in proving to the world that not all Germans supported Hitler.

When Soderling played in the French Open in 2009 ranked as the 23rd seed, he inevitably lost. But not before defeating higher ranked players including Rafael Nadal who was then defending champion. He has since reached the French Open Finals twice and has climbed as the 5th seed.

The thing is, though maybe not as grand as you want, miracles do happen. But remember that no one wins the lottery without playing it.
calvin

Stupid Smart-Ass

Let me tell you something about myself: I'm fcking smart. Srsly. And, obviously, I am among those smart people who know that they are indeed smart. The problem with this is that I end up expecting too much from myself. Like how I find it unacceptable not to know about certain things that I am supposed to know. This way of thinking happens to be plain stupid.

Whenever I suddenly find myself lost, I could not accept that it all happened without me realizing it. And so I try to analyze how things unraveled as such. And usually, I do get to realize how such events happened. However, I usually end up spending too much energy trying to figure out how I got lost. And I fail to see that the path I was looking for was just behind the bushes. It was paralysis by analysis. Suddenly, my smart brain no longer looks so smart.

Last night, I found myself in a familiar situation: I'm lost once again. It was even sort of a double whammy this time. I already detoured in a longer path to avoid the dangers I had foreseen in the shorter path. I had already wasted precious time just to avoid those dangers, and then I got lost.

As usual, my brain quickly started analyzing how I got there. I tried to figure out which turn I failed to take, which sign I failed to see. I was once again on the verge of handicapping myself. This time, however, my smart brain acted smart enough by quickly realizing that I'm doing my favorite mistake once again.

And so I stopped my useless analysis, got myself up on my feet, looked around for an alternative path to take, and started walking down that direction. It is possible that this path would take me to my destination. It is also just as probable, however, that it would lead me to my death. I do not fear it much, though. I have trust in myself. I know that I'm fcking smart that if ever I end up finding myself dead, I'd be able to think of a way to bring myself back to life.
calvin

haters will hate

A couple of days ago, Germany lost to Spain in the World Cup. I was so heart broken by this that I felt like I lost interest to the whole sporting world in general. But a few hours ago, every one around me is suddenly talking sports and there's no way I could ignore it. The topic? LeBron James.

LeBron James has just announced that he will be joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami for a superstar triumvirate that is arguably the greatest ever made in NBA history. Such big news is inevitably accompanied by many talks and controversies. People are talking about the greatness of it, the insanity of it, the foolishness of it, the apparent impossibility of completing a roster to support such high-salary players, and, of course, the people's hate for James.

It seems that everyone outside of Miami hates him now. They're saying he doesn't have guts and he made an awfully cheap move. But I can't help but adore LeBron with his decision.

His move is the embodiment of an innocent child's idealistic belief: your real dream should never be traded for money and fame. He lost $30M by not signing with Cleveland and his whole brand is in danger of collapsing. His reputation as one of the most idolized athletes is shifting to one of the most hated. All of this just so he could have a chance to finally win a championship.

His move is an answer to all the accusations that he is arrogant and egoistic. In announcing his decision, he's proclaiming acceptance that he can't win a ring on his own. He is joining a team where he is not guaranteed of the MVP trophy in case they do win in the Finals. LeBron James, whom some call "The King", is bowing with humility by admitting that he is not capable of winning in Cleveland.

But none of these things seem to matter to the people of Ohio. To them, they were betrayed by the man they supported all these years. And they hate him to the bones.This has some base of reason. The way LeBron announced leaving them is similar to a guy dumping his girlfriend on the Jumbotron in the Super Bowl. It was stupid in his part. It was stupid on the part of his advisers. It was stupid at all angles.

But it is sad to see that in a blink of an eye, they all seem to have forgotten what James has done for them. LeBron gave them their one and only NBA Finals experience. He turned their crumbling franchise into a house of glory. He gave his town everything. Is it still wrong to leave when you realize that despite what you've done, your team is incapable of giving you a championship? Is LeBron really the one being selfish?

I'm not really an LBJ fan. But I think he is being unfairly hated for his decision. His move to Miami may be ugly for the league. It is probably a cheap move. It might take away the excitement that us NBA fans get hooked by. But let's not be selfish and let James get the championship he deserves.
calvin

When all is lost, sing.

So today was a holiday. And a lot of people spent it in cinemas. With so many awaited movies like Eclipse, Toy Story 3, The Karate Kid, and Knight and Day, who wouldn't want to rush to theaters immediately? Unfortunately for me, I couldn't do the same because I'm pathetically broke.

Actually, I supposedly prepared for this day. I saved some money so that I can finally watch Toy Story 3. But 3 days ago, as I was accompanying my mother in the grocery store, I spotted something that pulled me to it. Then it took control of my body. It made me pick it up, take it to the counter, pull out my wallet, take out my savings, and pay it to the cashier. Only after that did I come back to my senses and realized my wallet is empty! FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU--wait, I'm holding something else. As I observed what was in my hand, I forgot about the money. I was holding something more precious, something that I always wanted, something that I can pass down to my children. In my hand was an original DVD copy of Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street!

It's one of my favorite movies ever. I mean, who wouldn't like a musical set in a gloomy imperialistic England with Johnny Depp looking like an Adam family member and singing! Here's a clip from the movie with Johnny Depp singing the track Epiphany. Just who wouldn't love this?



Anyway, since I can no longer go to the cinema today, I decided to just watch this DVD at home instead. And I had no regrets with choosing to buy this DVD than to watch a new movie today. I really love revenge stories where the main character does a very articulate preparation just to accomplish his vengeance. By the way, this movie's tagline is "Never forget, never forgive".

Many people should be able to relate to the theme. After all, all of us had most likely experienced to be gravely wronged by someone that we promised we would get back at him for it. And why wouldn't we? He afflicted you so you'll hurt him too. Justice in its simplest form, right? But I realized we only see justice from one side. It's always "you hurt me, I hurt you" never "you love me, I love you". I wonder if anyone would someday make a movie where instead of the main character finding a way for vengeance, he is finding a way to give back to all those who has shown him kindness. That would probably be boring as hell, though.

And now I'm also wondering, what post could I have been writing if I watched Toy Story 3 today instead?
calvin

Main Character Syndrome

Yesterday, I got to talk to a very close friend of mine. We haven't got to talk much lately but when we do get to talk, it's always a very long one. We usually talk about things that are way larger than us, things that we have no formal knowledge of and we don't have any authority to speak of. We talk about things like politics, economics, history, culture,  and other stuff closely related to these topics. And yesterday, we got to talk about human behavior. Now this is my favorite topic because when we talk about human behavior, we argue about which of our life philosophies is better all the while being judgmental to other people's. And from our talk yesterday, we ended up with a biased conclusion that is actually pretty interesting.

There is currently a lot of anticipation in the upcoming NBA Finals, which will be a fight between the two winningest teams in the league, Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers. And there is even a much larger excitement about the upcoming World Cup 2010 where hundreds of players from 32 teams will be grinding it out to win the most popular trophy in the world. You could almost feel the tension in the air caused by these people's intense desire to win. But don't let this hype fool you that everyone has a desire to win. A lot of people actually desire to lose. This is what we concluded. And we blame this phenomenon to too much TV.

Well, it's not just TV, to be fair, it's also the movies and books and plays and short stories and fairy tales. It's all those stories with lovable main characters and everyone ends up wanting to be just like them. The problem? These main characters have fucked up lives--dysfunctional families, extreme poverty, dead-end problems, fake friends--you name it. It's true that there are some people who really experience these things but the problem is with the people who doesn't. Instead of being happy with their lives and make sure they don't encounter these problems, they are actually envious of those who do. 

People want to feel that the movies were intended for them. They want to say, "That guy in there is just like me." They want to have the right to sing sad songs. They want the right to say that "life sucks" and that "the world is a cruel place to live in". They have happy lives to start with but they don't want it. They were made to be winners but they want to be losers. So even if their lives are a whole bunch of happy things with blemishes of little problems, they blow up their problems and assume that they live in the worst possible way.

Well, here's the thing, stories' main characters have problems for a reason. It's because a story needs conflict/s. If there is no problem and everybody is happy all around, the story would be considered boring and senseless to write. If Harry Potter did not have murdered parents and an ultimately cruel foster family, we would not have loved him the way we do and the story would not have sold as much.

But we are not characters in a story. We are people living lives. We don't need our life stories to be bestsellers and so we have no use for conflicts in our lives. If we don't have problems, then all the better. You know, main characters are overrated. Instead, try to be the sidekick. Be the old wise guy who has a solution for anything. Or be the loyal friend who always finds a way to make things a little brighter. Just keep away form the sad main characters. It's even better to be the villain, just be a little less rich and a lot kinder. Or in the case of Voldemort, just be a little more human and a lot less ugly.

This is just our opinion though. As I have already said, we are in no real knowledge in the topic of human behavior and we have no authority to judge anyone's actions, but we do so anyway. This is merely the opinion of arrogant people who think that their life philosophy is the best one that exists and that any other way of life is pure bullshit. Anyway, here's a song I'd like to share. It's "Shut Up and Smile" by Bowling for Soup.

:)

calvin

unreasonable reasons

For the summer break this year, I decided not to enroll to any class. And then I quit my job. It was all so I could enjoy a real summer vacation which I haven't experienced in a long time. And for this rare vacation, I planned to do a lot of things like getting my body back in shape, partying like I've got nothing to do tomorrow because i really don't, hitting the beach, see new places and visit places of old memories, get in touch with old friends and meet new ones, among other things.

I actually managed to do most of them. I have been going to the gym, playing basketball regularly, and hitting the pool occasionally. I have been going to a lot of parties and I only left them for the sole reason of missing my bed. It seems that my plans were successful after all. However, these were not the only things I planned to do this summer.

One of my plans was to finish the novel that I had started writing last November. It is actually almost done. It just needs a few more filler characters and side stories, a few more paragraphs per chapter just to make the story smoother, and a few more little things. Just a few more details and it's all finished. But I just can't get myself to do them. Every time I try to sit down and focus on it, I would end up doing something else. I don't have any will to finish it. And it made me realize that outside of NaNoWriMo, I don't have any reason to write a novel. I don't have anyone to write it for, or any particular story I want to share through it. I have been writing just for the heck of it and that kind of reason is not that sustainable after all.

Nevertheless, I still tried to do it tonight. I persuaded myself that I should not waste the time and effort I had spent writing this novel by not finishing it anyway. So I got myself to open my laptop but I turned off its modem so I would not be tempted to just surf the net. And so I went to work. But before writing anything new, I first had to read what I had already written. This move was apparently a fatal one, however.

I exerted great effort to read through the paragraphs. The story doesn't make any sense. There were too many inconsistencies. There was no sensibility in the characters. The scenes were not realistic in any way. I suddenly thought of just deleting the file and all its backups and just forget I ever tried to write a silly novel. But i didn't do it anyway. I just closed the window, turned on my modem and sought comfort in the world-wide web.

I was soon doing one of my favorite hobbies which is watching movie trailers. I went through the sci-fi movies with amazing CG's and even more amazing concepts, the chick-flicks with cheesy lines and sizzling ladies, and then somewhere along the way, I ended up watching animated movie trailers. Then I came up with the trailer of the movie adaptation of the Guardians of Ga Hoole.

I've read the first five books of the series if I remember correctly. I remember being touched by the main character's persistence to fly through harsh conditions to reach an island that may not even exist simply because he believes it's what he's supposed to do, regardless of the countless reasons why he shouldn't do it. But no, guys, this did not get me to continue with my novel. He is just a novel character after all.

 I tried to remember more about the book series. I could no longer remember all the details but I know it was a very good read despite having a stupid plot, and even more stupid characters plus the fact that they are talking owls. Now this thought hit me squarely in the face. Suddenly, I could no longer find any reason why I should not finish my novel.

A good story doesn't need its plot to make sense nor does it require its characters to be sane. And how can I get discouraged into sitting down and writing simply because it's unreasonable while the owl did not even complain to his author when it told him to fly through a storm. Maybe I'm the one who's not making sense after all. And so I promised to finally start finishing my novel right after posting this. I just had to share this trailer with you. I hope it convinces you to watch the movie. :)

calvin

Say, what?

I finally got the chance to head to the cinema to watch Robin Hood. It's already been more than a week since its release in theaters and copies of it could easily be streamed or downloaded all over the internet but I never really considered watching the show outside the cinema.

I have a reason why I want to watch every movie in theaters when possible. Not everyone understands my reason, though. One of my friends actually could not comprehend why I settled on watching Transformers 2 via a low quality copy on Megavideo but I had to insist on watching Dear John on cinema.

When I go watch a movie on theaters, I'm not after the widescreen, or the 3D effects, or the expensive CG's that look so good on such a big screen. Sure, I like them as well, but I just don't feel like spending a couple of days worth of work just for those. What I'm really after in theaters is their superior sound system. Because what I'm really after in movies is the dialogue. And I want to hear them in a high quality surround sound.

Call me weird if you want, but you can't really blame me when my dream is to someday write the lines that will be the quotable quotes of great movies. I want to be the one who makes those catchy outrageous analogies and those grand speeches. That's mostly why my poems, if ever you managed to read some, actually looks more of a speech than of poem. And as a matter of fact, I have actually started to create such lines as if to practice. Let me share with you a few examples with their given situations:

A guy breaking up with his girlfriend. "My love for you hasn't changed. It has never diminished nor faltered. It's just that I realized I'm capable of feeling something greater...only, for someone else."

A guy in-love talking to a friend over a drink. "You know, falling in love is much like having the bartender inject you with someone else's order. You did not ask for it but you can't even vomit it out. And then you have to pay for it."

An old man advising a young boy about fate. "Through my experiences, I have concluded that Fate is actually a girl. So you should not try to understand Fate just as you should not try to understand girls. Moreover, Fate is the type of girl who takes over your life but when something wrong happens, she would say, 'It's all your fault'."

A young but successful business mogul talking to an intern. "Experience is actually overrated. Rather than experience, what's important to succeed is wisdom. And don't get me started with that you-get-wisdom-through-experience thing. That's bullshit. The truth is, you get experience through lack of wisdom."

Well, these are just some of the lines I've created. I know they are not quite to the level of those famous Hollywood quotes, but hey, the Philippine movie industry is still half-a-century behind so I still have time to improve. And my best lines are not among these. But you should be able to catch them through movies in theaters soon enough. :]
calvin

A Sober Post

I almost always access this blog through my laptop. And since I'm the only one who uses it, I find no reason to log out since it saves me the effort of logging in every time I visit here. But this time, I accessed this site through another PC. As a result, I once again got the chance to see how my page looks like to other people. And what I saw shocked me.

My page shows my "Happy New Year!" post as my latest one. But I have posted 10 entries after that! Then I started to panic and thought of the possible reasons how this happened. Did I delete them all when I was drunk the other night? Or could someone have hacked into my account and deleted them? Though I can't really rationalize why anyone would do that.

Then after wasting too much time thinking about it, I finally logged in. That's when I realized what really happened: all my posts this past 2 months are set to "private" and are visible only to me. So that's what happened! But how they all ended up that way, I honestly have no idea. Well, in any case, now that the mystery is solved, I can fix it. I just need to change the privacy settings--WAIT! Why the hell would I do that? 

This past couple of months, I have been drunk for the majority of my nights. And if I wasn't drunk, it only means I can't afford to be because I was studying for my crazy exams. Both situations practically leading to the same thing: making my brain work like a fcking retard's.

This only means that these last 10 posts (well, truth be told, even the majority of my other posts) were made when my mind was at its lowest. These types of entries are the reason why I stand that friends don't let friends blog drunk. As far as I'm concerned, the way that these entries were private is actually for the best. And so, I just let them be.

There is only one problem with this decision though. If I would keep my page to show only the entries I made when I'm sober, then you'll be seeing updates here rarer than the blue moon. :D
calvin

Happy New Year!

i know it is already February but hey, Chinese New Year is yet to happen two weeks from now. and besides, it's my first post for the year so i might as well make this my New Year's post. why i only posted this now, i'm not sure either. maybe because for the first time this year, i am actually sober enough to write. or maybe all the alcohol i have been drinking has finally damaged my brain and led me to thinking there is actually some sense in writing in a blog no one reads.

anyway, speaking of New Year, here in the Philippines as well as with the rest of Asia, January 1 had a full moon. a couple of days ago, just before the month ended, it was a full moon again. and so occurred what we call a blue moon. people say it is a special event because blue moons are even rarer than meteor showers. and so i spent the whole night staring at the moon. that's when i realized something. i hate blue moons.

well, what i really realized was that i hate full moons but since a blue moon is the second full moon of the month, i hate it even more. and it is because when a full moon occurs, the moon shines so bright i can no longer see the stars that are close to it or whose light is weaker than the moon's. the full moon destroys the evening sky. well, at least that is the case for me who prefers to see thousands of stars over a single bright satellite.

it was a good thing full moons only occur once a month. except when a blue moon occurs but that is a relatively rare event. so it was no big deal, really. but this morning, i checked calendar and noticed something terribly awful. the blue moon, which is supposed to happen only every two-and-a-half years, is going to occur again this March for the second time this year! FML. that is just bullshit.

there's still a bright side to it though. if i would continue to write here only after a blue moon happens, it means i would get to write a second post for this year. but to post once more for a blog hardly anyone knows even exists, i don't think my brain is that terribly damaged just yet. oh well, with still two months to go, i think that can be accomplished with help from the new bar in the neighborhood. and i might as well get started now.
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    silly silly
calvin

tick tock

time flies. things change. everything changes.
the world climate changes.
students leave school. some graduate on time, some in time. some just leave.
you gain friends, you lose some, you reconnect with others.
the place you love to hang out in closes while a new one opens.
the body you hate, it will become even worse.
the place you currently live in will be unrecognizable to you after some years even when nothing about it is different.

the whole world is bound to change. the things we now know and cherish will not be the same after a certain amount of time. some will grow and define who we are but some will become nothing more than a funny story told over dinner.

everything around me is changing and i can do nothing about it. that's the sad part of it all. it takes so much time and effort before we could attain a state where we can consider ourselves a contented person but before we could even take a picture of it, the moment has passed.

but even though we can't stop the wind from blowing, we can still steer our kites towards the direction we want. that is why even though i couldn't make the time stop so that the forbidden hours i spent with her would go on forever, i can at least do something to make it happen again many times over.

time forces us to grow older, but it also allows us to grow wiser. and me, i have grown older. i am not saying i'm not young anymore. i will consider myself young for at least a few more years. but i can no longer use being young as an excuse. i'm too old for that.

i guess time did not only change the things around me, it changed me as well. and i hate and thank time for it.