Sitting back in my room with the blinds down and my electric fan at full blast directed at my face. The internet is crappy, the humidity is unbearable and my eyes haven't adjusted to the tropical sun yet, so I feel vaguely like a vampire.

Still, I'm home in one piece. That is a good thing.

May 31

Bad turbulence on the plane plus my period tested my patience on the flight going to Vancouver, but everything turned out just fine once we hit the airport. My old helper picked us up again, and this time she was accompanied by her son (he's really tall and looks like a professional basketball player, by the way. o_o) and the husband of my other old helper. We were going to eat dinner at helper #2's house. There was so much food, and all of it was wonderful, and they have two cats the size of raccoons. I kind of really wanted to bring them home. ;;

The house we stayed in was actually a bit of a compound, and it served as a boarding house for students coming in from abroad. Peter and I got to occupy two of the dormitory rooms in the basement - it was the first time either of us got our own space this entire trip, so it was a little nice.

There are two pets at the house: a fluffy black cat named Angel and an old cocker spaniel named Randy. Angel hates guys and because of some trauma with her former owner's boyfriend, she'll only allow people to touch her with their feet. Randy's super polite and loves people and sniffs around everywhere - his former owner grew old and developed Alzheimer's, but fortunately, my old helper was more than willing to take him in. They are the most adorable things in the world.

June 1

Took the ferry to Victoria: it's been ages since I've ridden on a proper ferry, and the route was definitely part of the beauty and fun of the entire exercise. The sea breeze was fucking cold but amazing, and it was lovely, just leaning on the rails, watching the sea gulls sail on the current.

Since we left the house a little late and we had a deadline to catch for my little brother (lol, Ateneo enlistment), our first and only real stop was Buchart Gardens. You have not seen a garden until you've seen this place, and I honestly believe that even people who don't really like nature will be hard-pressed NOT to enjoy this place.

Had a bit of a fiasco with the car, but two nice strangers and my dad's sudden expertise (seriously, how does he know all of this shit?!) helped us along just fine.

June 2

Our last full day in Vancouver, so all of us kicked back, fixed our things for the trip and relaxed. The bro and I went out with Marc, my old helper's son, and his girlfriend. That meant me adding another subway/trains to the list of subway/train systems I have taken around the world, and all of us watching Pirates. It was an okay movie, I suppose.

Big dinner at the house when we got back, with more of mom's old friends. One of them has a daughter who has pretty much the same dream I do: by hook or by crook, get into the gaming industry. It was awesome talking to her, and the night just got better after the bro and I hung out with Marc again for some cards and drinks. I got scary lucky, and one all but two of our games. I also got to smoke out in the chill and beauty of my hometown, which was one of the goals I set out for myself before flying off.

June 3-4

Transit day, which meant running around, sitting in airports and spending my birthday on the plane. The flights weren't so bad, though, since I got to spent them asleep or plotting.

A bit of a shock, though, coming back to the fantastic chaos and unrivaled humidity of Manila. Also: my cat doesn't hate me!

It'll be back to the grind soon enough for me. I won't be teaching, which means I'll have to move my stuff out of the department, and I'll have to attend to my registration and hook up with folks that I haven't talked to in ages.

I've got a new goal now, one that doesn't mean staying in the Philippines. I don't know if I'll succeed or where it'll ultimately take me, but this trip and everything that has happened before that point and during it has made me realize that it's something I've got to do.
Haven't been able to sign on for the past two days because we were on the move and such. Taking some time out to write this before my parents pretty much kick my bro and I out the door again.

Sore throat was gone by the time we had to fly to Toronto, but it was replaced by this allergy-cold sort of thing that I must've gotten from staying in our room - it was apparently pretty dusty in there. If you think about it, that put me between a rock and a hard place: staying inside rooms meant suitable warmth but a lot of dust, and staying outside meant good, fresh air but cold conditions. We were already heading out, though, and the only thing that I could possibly be concerned about was if my 'cold' was going to make landing and taking off hellish.

Our old maid picked us up and brought us to the airport, where we proceeded to go through the simplest check in and registration process that I have ever had to go through. Dad was amazed at how everything was so smooth, and how most of the proecess was automated. I told him that since we're used to crushing ineffeciency, we forget how most people actually expect things to work out versus expecting things to go horribly wrong. We then met up with our other old maid and her husband at the White Spot for brunch. It was really, really nice, hanging out with them and actually seeing the kind of people they are - I was very young the last time I was in close contact with them, and you know how that sort of thing goes. It's touching how much gratitude and respect they still have for my parents: they really feel as though they wouldn't have had anything of value if my folks hadn't brought them to Canada with us back then. From the stories I have heard from them and my folks, this might just be true.

The last check right before hitting the boarding area was a bit hassling for everyone except me: Dad got tagged for bringing in the food that our maids prepared for us (some of it had gravy), and my bro and my mother were randomly tagged for a full body scan. The plane ride itself was also the most turbulent flight that any of us have been on in a long while, aaaand they didn't feed us or provide free earphones for their in-flight entertainment systems (thank god for my headphones). Beyond that, though, all was well - I finally watched Toy Story 3 (nice way of finishing the series, imho), and since my folks were seated beside me, I got to watch them watching a movie together, which was super cute since they were leaning against each other and holding hands. Still going strong after thirty-seven years, and all.

Landing was super smooth, and my ears didn't feel the shift in air pressure at all in spite of my cold. My brother Phil picked us up with his little girl, and it was an adventure traveling through Toronto airport in order to get to his car. Place is fucking HUGE, let me tell you. It is also apparently thrice more expensive to fly in and out of Toronto than any other place in North America. Maybe even the world, if I was hearing Phil correctly.

Car ride to Phil's place was short and sweet since he and his family live nearby - we're staying at one of the apartment complex's guest suites, which is tiny, hot (since the entire tower's air conditioning system is offline for maintenance) but otherwise very swanky (lol full glass shower stall). We all ventured down to my bro's unit (which is, like, three doors away from our suite) and ate all of the food that our old maids packed for us (Dad admitted that he suddenly didn't regret the hassle of bringing it through the airport). We must've ended by midnight or so, and only because Phil does the graveyard shift and we didn't want to keep him up for too long.

Hands down: my first official day in Toronto was amazing. The subway system looks like something out of the movies (old trains, dingy stations, street performers in the tunnels, bustling crowds, strange people lurking around), and the city itself just has character, from the people wandering the sidewalks right down to the buildings themselves. It's been a long time since I've been in a city this huge at an age where I can really pay attention to the details, and believe me: I was looking every which way to try and catch as much of it as possible. We walkd down a bit of Yonge Street to get to the square on purpose so that we could get a good look of the place. I now understand the appeal of window shopping - the stores were all so different, and given the fact that I'm in the Philippines, it was pretty awesome, seeing adult sex shops, video rentals, fortune telling shops and kink stores spilling from every corner. The crowds themselves were a treat too; we even met crazy people on the way. My parents weren't too thrilled, but my bro and I found it cool.

We decided to take this city bus tour that does the entire route through the central area and lets you get off wherever you please. In spite of the fact that it was cold and slightly rainy, my bro and I stayed on the top deck of the bus the entire way to get a really good look of the place. It was totally worth it, because if the buildings weren't awesome, the pieces of art that they have scattered around were in their place. It was at that moment that I fell in love with Toronto, and I think that if I ever had to move back to Canada, it'd have to be here. There's just so much happening; it makes perfect sense now, how writers seem to love the place.

All four of us were freezing, tired but happy by the time we got off the bus. Stopped by McDonald's for a bit of food and to catch our breath, then we headed down into the Path, which is apparently the largest underground shopping mall in the world. All of the people who should've been up in the streets were down there instead, since it was bright and warm. We didn't walk around too much, though, since we had to head back to the station near my bro's place to meet up with him and his family. They drove us through Missisaga, the area that they used to stay in before moving to Sherway. Totally enjoyed the quick stopover we had by the lake in his old neighborhood: there were swans (they're bigger than my niece, holy shit), mallard ducks and Canadian geese!

Ate dinner at this lovely Vietnamese place with wonderful food and huge servings - we all just sat around and talked again, which is the best part about staying close to family. Got home late, of course, but I managed to stay around with my bro for a bit to hook up the internet on this thing and just catch up.

Little bro dutifully informed my parents and I, first thing this morning, that all three of us were snoring now. I apparently do that when I'm sick or really tired, ahaha. Now we're off to breakfast with Phil's wife and kid before heading out for the day.

The original plan was to go for the museum since the weather was supposed to take a turn for the worse, but when noon hit and there was no sign of that so-called thunderstorm, we took a chance and zipped down to the Toronto Zoo.


Kick ass.



(Pics will follow eventually.)

My new favorite animal is the snow leopard.

Now that that is out of the way, let me babble briefly about the GPS that Phil lent to my dad. It's incredibly smart and can be programmed to calculate routes that best suit your driving style and speaks in this interesting, low female voice.

I want to name it after that computer system in Eden of the East. Yes, I am a dork.

We met up with Rob (my white brother) and his wife Regina for dinner after we finished walking the entire length of the Toronto Zoo (my legs still hurt like a bitch, by the way). We ate at this lovely Chinese place, and I am one to believe that the food really was excellent and it wasn't just me and my little bro starving after walking everywhere on a light breakfast and no lunch. We also got to meet up with this guy who has apparently become one of Philip's good friends while he's been staying here. A bonafide Chinese genius who calls himself 'yellow and geeky'. He appears to live up to this title well.

Peter wanted to stay up to watch stuff for a bit, and I took so long settling in and checking online accounts that out of desperation, he actually clamped down unto my shoulder and whined unto I turned on the next episode of Supernatural. Oh, family.
So uuuuh summer class is over.

I think it made me a better teacher, but overall? I kind of don't want to do it again. ;;

I CAN ALSO OFFICIALLY DRIVE although I am yet to go on the road!


Picspam. [Answers a photo meme from WAY BACK and then some.] )

I'll upload the rest of the stuff on my phone tomorrow. owo

Now that we're nearing the halfway point of 2010, I have but one thing to say:

It's been interesting.
izkariote: (ennui.)
( Mar. 7th, 2010 09:01 am)


I-I'm working on it, seriously...

On other news:

Personal Stuff; Have worked my way back to a-okay, which is lovely beyond words.

Cat Saga; Gouto likes nipping, Ginkitty likes harrassing Gouto. AND I HAVE MET SHINSUKE, MY FELINE COUNTERPART.

Academic Stuff; got a 25-page paper due for my grad studies tutorial class. Not sure if I mentioned it online, but I know my RL friends are aware of this since I keep whining about it. Got all the sources, and I've been working through the books I borrowed, but I'm starting to realize that I have absolutely no drive to do the paper. I could pin it on simple laziness, but on another end, it might be because I feel like I'm researching for nothing?

Let's quantify that. Since I'm an MA student, I'm expected to work towards some sort of specialization. I've been given the space to do papers that reflect my areas of interest in my other classes, but it does not seem possible for me to do that now. Hence, I'm stuck researching on drama (not my favorite thing, at least on a critical level) and performing a textual analysis using theories that, while I'm familiar with, aren't the ones I'm out to use in the future.

It's always good to read outside of your comfort zone, but given my time constraints and the stuff I'm pulling outside of scholarly work, I feel as though I'm just punishing myself for something whose benefits will only really come out later, if there are any benefits to be had at all.

(I could also be needlessly arrogant about this whole thing. In actuality, I could easily defer the submission of the paper for next semester with absolutely no loss to me, but I abhor the idea of having an incomplete mark on my record.)

I've considered writing up a new bibliography and a paper proposal for an idea I've been tossing around in my head for some time. I'm not sure how it'll float with this professor (she's cool, but very much a member of "the old guard", to quote [ profile] unsymbolic), but I might as well try, right? If I manage to convince her, I'll have a much easier time.

Phoenix Wright; Just.


This game series?

It's eaten me alive.
I really suck at maintaining online accounts these days. There are times when they honestly feel like a hassle, and at worst, they make me paranoid about a lot of stuff, big and small. o_o

Started Dead. (Still Dreaming.), my second World of Darkness campaign with the girls yesterday. Which was also doubly funny, because Khursten was the only one who was supposed to get a cat.

Now I have one too.

She really likes the lowest, most shadowed corner of my bookshelf.

Yes, I'll take pictures once I have the means to!

My interest in online RP has waxed and waned a whole lot these days, but I do know one thing:

[ profile] soul_campaign is full of amazing people.

Work has been extremely interesting.

'Interesting' in the Chinese sense, mind you.
As [ profile] yukitsu realized, I was about ready to give up on school and skip right over to ChristmasBreak!Mode.

Then I saw this, and the world felt like a better place.

KITTEN SPAM!!!111oneoneone

Feel the furry love.

...And on other news, someone finally, FINALLY posts up a decent [ profile] fst for Axel & Roxas of Kingdom Hearts II fame. Makes me want to throw together my line-up too now that I know the fandom for the pair isn't entirely hopeless anymore.
izkariote: (asplodey.)
( Sep. 4th, 2005 11:05 am)
So I open up the newspapers for the first time in a while and update myself on everything that's going on. Katrina sure did a lot of damage over in the land of the free and purple mountain majesty, but the real tragedy was the lack of response. I guess it comes from having a redneck for a president and a government that doesn't care if a whole bunch of Mexicans and African-Americans who happen to be paying taxes drown. I don't think the natural disaster is the real issue here.

Mentioned it off-handedly to my Mom in the car on the way to Mass. She was disturbed by it too. Watched CNN the other night apparently and listened to everyone voice out their opinions. Then I mentioned it to my brother Pio while we were at the pews. Added a bit on how the calamities down here actually take more lives and do more damage. He agreed.

"The only reason why it's such a big thing is because it happened to a first-world country."

Then he said that eventually, people would forget, kind of like the way Cherry Hills Subdivision doesn't ring a bell with many of the people on our side of the fence anymore. I'm inclined to agree, in many ways.

On other news. Might be skipping out again the way I did yesterday (the event was beyond fun, if I do say so myself) because it's the baby shower for my niece, who's due sometime later this month. Petrik, my eldest brother and the girl's father, is inviting us all down to celebrate. Pio, Paolo, Peter and I all plan on going as representatives for the family, as Mom has work at a missionary and Dad might be going with her to help her find the place in the concrete jungle of our city. Kinda wanted to go to the Book Fair today but I don't think that's happening.

3 more readings to go for the Lit Crit midterms on the 12th, and I still have some stuff to go for Lit 171. I'm generally all right though. I plan on maximizing the amount of time I'll be getting from that free cut in Math that Ma'am Queena wasn't supposed to give but did. Talk about godsend.

Well wishes to Lex, [ profile] hel_interrupted's cat. She mentioned something about his poo being funny and as minor as a role I played in taking care of him, I'm as worried as she is.

By the way, [ profile] omnicresence. We need to go out sometime. And [ profile] yukitsu, you and I need to smooth out that story. The same could be said to [ profile] seranx. The tragedy of it all is that we're only too busy. I guess that could explain why I'm particularly sensitive to pretentiousness.

Speaking of pretentiousness, the person actually picked up the signals and asked what was up and who it was. That was rather funny.
One last plug: Stitched Ophelia, formerly located here, has been moved to a swankier location at this point with much love and gratitude to [ profile] khursten.
It will have an RSS feed soon, along with all the rest of the writing junk I will be churning out in the small pockets of air I've been given to breathe in between all the work for school.

This entry was long enough to merit LiveJournal cuts! o_o

on work. )

on play. )

There may not be school on Monday for us blue eagles. Oh joy.


izkariote: (Default)


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