Hi, guys. Lots of things have happened. In sum:

Still don't have a job. I am okay with this.

Gaming a lot, writing a lot, RPing like a boss, doing well in my studies, dealing with stupid classmates.

Switched ISPs to something faster. This is about the only reason why I'm finally doing personal LJ things - my old connection just couldn't load all the stuff going on on my flist, and I couldn't download doujin/anime anyway, so there wasn't a point. Coming back now that I have the means.

Feeling better about myself and the direction I'm going in, overall. Things will only get better from here on, with luck.

How have all of you been? Apologies: I suck at keeping up with you folks these days. You're welcome to scold me through the usual means. As a sort of peace offering, have some fics:


GINTAMA. // A lover as faithful as guilt.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Fate could create you and I.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Open up and let me inside.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Errands and affairs.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Deny, deny, deny.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Regarder la lumiere
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Nautical dawn.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: I will be the water for your thirst.
GINTAMA. // Something's Burning: Epilogue.




Fandom bias, thy name is Gintama.
izkariote: (procrastinating.)
( Jul. 3rd, 2011 10:54 am)
Went a long time without checking LJ, yet again.

I have a bit of an excuse this time - my personal journal simply wouldn't load on Firefox, and when it DID load, it was way too slow for my taste.

If you suddenly get me commenting on some entry of yours from god-knows-when, this is why. OTL

So, life things. Been keeping up fabulously with my studies. Got a report coming up on Tuesday for World Fiction, and another one on the 11th for Text and Context. Text and Context professor has thankfully moved our class from Saturday morning to Monday afternoon to evening. Never been hot about 4:30-7:30 PM classes, but they're still worlds better than Saturday morning ones. I'm going to miss the novelty of stumbling into a room full of students who are just as sleepy as you are, though. There's some odd camaraderie to be found in that.

On that note, my report for World Fiction is on Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go". Until now, that novel has always been on my Books I Have to Read When I Am Less Busy list, so I'm kind of glad that I had an opportunity to pick it up and just go for it because of class, strange as that might sound. It was a good read overall, but I didn't feel nearly as sad about the way things go in the story as I suppose I should have. Either it just didn't work for me, or I'm too used to reading Japanese literature/manga and watching Japanese series.

Family's been meeting up a lot this week. There was my brother Paolo's birthday dinner, for one, then mother's birthday dinner, then the actual celebration we had for mom at home. Got to catch up with cousins there, and gave a pep talk to one of the younger ones about college. Time flies hella fast when you're not looking, doesn't it?

On another note: Shangrila Plaza and I have become rather familiar with each other. And I got to see [livejournal.com profile] mlina for the first time in a long time. Good stuff.

Things are slow and quiet, for the most part. This is a good thing, because I'm finally feeling more like myself again. That means that I should be ready to do what I've got to do soon.




Now for your usual fic dump.

► COUNT CAIN. // Forever was so many different things.
► GINTAMA. // This broken world we choose.
► GINTAMA. // What brought us to this.
► GINTAMA. // The world is tiny; the heart's enormous.
► GINTAMA. // There's a bird that nests inside you.
► OOKIKU FURIKABUTTE. // And I love you even through uncertainty.
► SENGOKU BASARA. // Feel my heart beat.
► KINGDOM HEARTS. // Tomorrow is something we remember.
► THE SKYTIDES RP. // Return my heart when I am dead.
► D.GRAYMAN. // Burning bridges.
Registration, by the way, was incredibly tedious. I won't say 'hell' because that would be exaggerating the entire exercise, but let's just say I left school that afternoon murderous. Interestingly enough, this is the first time I finished registering in one day since I started my master's degree. That's got to count for something, right?

Last weekend of 'freedom' was spent with friends on Saturday, and family on Sunday. Went to my older brother's new place: it's a townhouse that's a stone's throw away from Holy Spirit. It was abymssally hot and I was terribly sleepy, but few things beat the joy of chilling out with your parents, your brothers and your sisters-in-law with the kids running around, eating Ferrero Rocher and talking about nothing at all.

My cat's been my only real company at home during the day, and my younger brother swings by in the evening to do work. His laptop finally gave out on him, so he doesn't have much of a choice. Been falling asleep to the sound of him working these past few days. Going abroad appears to have fixed my sleeping schedule: I don't stay up at ungodly hours, and I tend to wake up with the dawn.

Just had my first of two classes - no formal lecture, of course, just some questions and a bit of small talk. Spent more of my time catching up with a colleague, who gave me some interesting news. I've missed her a lot, I realize, but I haven't been very good with people these days. She hasn't been either, though, and we said as much to each other. There's some camaraderie to be found in being disconnected, then connecting with people who decided to disconnect the way you did for a while.

Won't be on campus again until Saturday, if I have any say in it. Home's just too comfortable these days.




Been wrestling with a general feeling of uselessness. Sure, I'm free and yes, it's wonderful, but I don't have a job, and after three years of earning it's kind of hard to fall back on that. My friends all appear to be moving ahead too, which doesn't really help.

Such as it is. I'll get on my feet again eventually. In the meantime, I ought to enjoy my break because I doubt that I'll get another one after this is finished.




I'd normally let an issue like this resolve itself and not chip in my two cents unless prompted to, but this debate on the RH Bill is becoming ridiculous. The Ruling Powers down hear (read: the Philippine Catholic Church) have it in their heads that they're waging a war against heathen, and the flock MUST obey them if they are to save their souls.

We were made to pray "for the sanctity of the Church" and "the well-being of all families" against the RH bill during last Sunday's service. Suffice to say, I did not kneel, and I did not pray at all. I believe I was the only one.

Perhaps I will stand next time. I can't walk out - it'll break my parents' hearts, and they are the only reason why I continue to suffer through Mass - but I can resist in my own way.

For any of you bishops in the audience, this is how I live my faith. Fucking deal with it. And no, you can't excommunicate me. I'd sure as hell like to see you try.




For the interested: I chronicled my entire trip abroad. I've listed down the entries here in chronological order:

Vancouver, May 5
Vancouver, May 6
Vancouver, May 7
Vancouver, May 8
Vancouver, May 9-10
Toronto, May 11-13
Toronto and New York, May 14-19
New York and Washington D.C., May 20-22
Washington D.C., May 23-26
Washington D.C./New York again/Toronto again, May 26-31
Vancouver again and coming home, June 1-5

No pictures yet. I'll have to sit down a while and sift through them before I show anything off.




Now, for the mandatory fic dump.

► DEVIL SUMMONER. // From blossom to dusty blossom.
► SUIKODEN TIERKREIS. // Everybody knows I hate you except you.
► SUIKODEN TIEKRKREIS. // Tireless hunger in your eyes.
► METAL GEAR SOLID 4. // Take care of all our dreams.
► GINTAMA. // We outgrow love like other things.
► FULL METAL ALCHEMIST. // Don't trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself.

Got a lot of backlog, but my activities on LJ and my own need to catch up with downloads keeps me from posting them up in a timely fashion, or working on others.
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.
Missed out on updating this for a while again, since we got pretty busy. I'm currently typing all of this out from my brother's apartment: it's our last day in Toronto before the last Vancouver run, and my folks have gone off to do some last minute shopping things. Peter and I are done packing, so we're chilling out and waiting for them.




May 26

This was our last day in Washington do to whatever we could, so after sleeping in and eating brunch at our leisure, my family elected to hit the Mall again to cover the Museum of American History. That place had some of the coolest exhibits I've ever seen, and one incredibly impressive exhibit on America's involvement in the different major wars along with some of their own on the home front. Military history and the like are among my favorite topics of interest, so you can only guess how much time I spent bouncing around in there, gawking at everything.

(Have I mentioned, on a related note, that we caught field trip season while we were in Washington, so we've been constantly swarmed by crowds of irritating children? I sometimes wonder if I've ever been so unappreciative of heritage and culture at those ages.

Shut up, I'm an old woman.)

We spent most of our morning and afternoon there, and then we split up to check out places we were interested in. Mom hit the art galleries; dad, Peter and I wanted to take a look at the Museum of the American Indian. Everything about that place was amazing, and my only regret is that we really, REALLY didn't get to see a lot of it before closing time. I was hoping to pick up a good book on Native American beliefs - something like a general reference on systems of religion, worship and philosophy - but there doesn't seem to be one in existence. That saddened me greatly, because the one exhibit we really got to go through tackled that topic, and was so fascinating. ;;

My feet were smarting from the collective pain of constantly walking since Toronto by that period. I think I spent most of the remainder of our last day in bed.


May 27

We got kicked out of the hotel by 12 because of check out times, and since our flight had been pushed back into the evening, we were left to stroll a bit around town and lounge in the lobby until it was time for us to head off. That was the start of all the shit, I believe.

Because of horrendous weather conditions and lots of air traffic, our flight was pushed back at least seven times, which resulted in my family and everyone else waiting for flights coming from New York waiting in the departure area for over four hours. The long delay made us miss our connecting flight to Buffalo (and, subsequently, an extra afternoon and evening with my brother Philip in Niagara on his birthday), so after riding a plane that smelled of piss (no joke; I don't want to think about whatever went in there before we came around), we were forced to putter around for a hotel at 2 in the morning upon our arrival to spend an extra night in NYC. We nailed one, but they dinged my parents for a crapload of money that didn't quite add up to the services and room quality of the place we were stuck with. It was one of those hotels that used to be really classy but is now falling apart all over the place.

At least the shuttle driver who took us over to our hotel was really cool.

In retrospect, the situation really wasn't so bad because I had my family with me. I think I would have been a lot angrier (and maybe a little insecure) if I had been traveling alone. The last delay I had to go through was back in LA, when I flew off for a conference. That wasn't very fun. :\


May 28

Our flight to Buffalo was, thankfully, NOT delayed, and we managed to get our suitcases upon landing without a fuss (they had been checked in the day before and had gotten to the airport way ahead of us). Philip was there to pick us up, along with Russell, one of my white brothers. The road trip going to Niagara was fun. XD

Russell accompanied Peter and I on the Maid of the Mist tour, which was so damned awesome... the last time I had been to see the Falls, I had been very young, so encountering them again at an age where I could truly appreciate their beauty and power was something else entirely. After that, we all spent a night out on the town, checking the place out. They really built a tourist town on the Canadian end! It made me miss the company of my friends back home.

The only solution, it seems, is to come back there with them someday.


May 30

Did some last minute touring of Niagara (Russell, Peter and I hit the Journey Behind the Falls this time and got thoroughly soaked) then went for a pit stop at Niagara-at-the-Lake (lovely little town; got to eat Canada's best ice cream, or so the sign said) before heading home. Didn't get to see Geoff since we arrived pretty late, which kind of sucked. Blame it on all of those damned delays...

Attended Mass with Phil and his family in the evening, then spent the rest of the time settling down and bonding. The little bro and I were dragged out early the very next day to go around the Greater Ontario area, checking out some of the universities that my folks are aiming to send my brother to. I went, of course, because these are the places I will have to seriously consider myself, since we might be moving.

Phil, Peter and I picked Liza and Liana up as soon as we were home so that we could catch Kung Fu Panda 2, which was pretty damned good for a sequel. After that, we picked up ginormous sandwiches for dinner, and the bros and I talked on things - family, growing up, moving out - while waiting for my parents to get home.




This trip, it seems, has been all about thinking back, looking forward and wondering where the hell I am now, in more ways than one. I am occasionally surprised at realizing how I really feel about things, and I'm also becoming increasingly aware of the fact that there's only so much time to do everything I need to do, and all of the other things that I simply want to do.

Interesting, really, this process of getting older.

On other news, I'm on my second (and heaviest) day of my period. I will be in transit. Fun.
Late Afternoon/Evening of the 22nd

After rolling around in our hotel room, we took a walk through the Washington Circle area, checking out the sights before attending mass. This city feels entirely different from New York: it has all the marks of a big city (homeless folks roaming around/loitering on the park benches, busy business men and women scurrying about, fire trucks and police cars occasionally screaming down streets), but it's just... different, from the buildings right down to the air one breathes. It looks and feels more laid back, and the people, in general, are nicer. Our next few adventures proved that easily, with all the folks who went of their way to help out or to simply be courteous, and some random encounters in restaurants with people being nice enough to give us advice on where to go and what to do. I like the energy of New York, but I also like the neighborly sort of ambiance this place has to offer.

Anyway, we ate an expensive and slightly disappointing dinner at the hotel's bistro (not doing THAT again, for sure), then spent our first evening properly settling in. This time to relax and cool our heels really helped, given the fact that we spent the entire day afterward walking through the Tidal Basin and National Mall area, soaking up the sights.


The 23rd

The Tidal Basin and the sprawling area of the Mall with its trees and birds and squirrels and flowers made me feel like a kid again. I do recall that such expansiveness was what I immediately missed when we moved back to the Philippines. Manila is simply too crowded and too tiny for a girl who grew up with trees and mountains.

War memorials hold a special place in my heart, if only because I have always been fascinated by stories of the battlefield and warfare. I'm no war freak, but military history is one of my not-so-secret passions. I also feel that the soldiers who were out there ought to be remembered, and the families some of them left behind ought to have somewhere to go back to, to know that their loved ones fought the good fight.

On another note, it was nice going to the World War II memorial and see that the Philippines was recognized. I hadn't expected it, but a bit of thinking did make me remember that at the time, my country was still considered a part of the United States, in a way. Of course, strolling through that area brought out the old stories of my grandfather, who served in the USAFFE. Apparently, sometime before he died, my parents took a detour to Corrigidor on the way to Baguio, and searched out his name on the monument to the battle that was fought there. We have a picture of him pointing to it.

Beyond that, the presidential memorials were truly impressive, and even had exhibits that better acquaint outsiders like myself with what these people did to build the country that stands at present. Every piece is directed towards building the image that they want you to see - this isn't necessarily a bad thing, in my eyes. As it is, it's enough to make one reflect, should one care to.

In general, I am impressed at how America really attempts to remember its forefathers, and honor the people who fell in order to defend their country, whatever the country's 'actual' reasons may have been.

We topped off the day with an excellent dinner at Full Kee, this Chinese restaurant in, well, Chinatown. Unsurprisingly, all of us conked out early and woke up rather late the next morning.


May 24th

Our first Smisthsonian stop was the National Air and Space Museum by unanimous vote. Every single display had me giggling like a fangirl, and I, of course, dragged my brother over to the Mustang they had in the World War II section for a picture.

Shut up, it's a beautiful plane. 8|

As it is, many of you know that my childhood dream was to be a veritech pilot or an astronaut (since the veritech pilot thing would obviously be very hard to do), so my massive fangirling and enjoyment of this particular museum should come as no surprise.

After a stopover at the McDonald's in the Air and Space museum (father reacted a bit to this; we've been surviving on McDonald's stopovers a lot, in his eyes), we sped to the Museum of Natural History to gawk a bit at their dinosaurs and their mammals and the ocean hall and the Hope Diamond. I kind of wish I had more time to go back and really explore the Museum of Natural History, but I suppose that'll have to be for another day.

Cooled our heels off at the hotel again, then went back to the fringes of Chinatown for a dinner at Zaytinya. Small plate restaurant, so the servings were dismally tiny, but the food was wonderful. I've fallen in love all over again with Mediterranean cuisine. *^*


May 25th

Took the Metro down to Arlington Cemetery, and hopped on the tour mobile in order to get a good overview of the place without dying under the heat of the sun. There is no way we could have walked that thing - the place is massive.

As it is, though, I really enjoyed myself. I've got a thing for old cemeteries, and Arlington is a combination of two of my favorite things since it's a cemetery for soldiers, and is full of interesting war memorials. I was reminded, once again, of my grandfather, although he's buried back at home in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Our second and last stop for the evening was Georgetown, beginning at Georgetown University. The banners sounded eerily Jesuit, and a bit of walking and a stop at a statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola proved to us that it was, indeed, a Jesuit university (we didn't know this when we got there).

Peter was suitably creeped out. Mom promptly dragged him to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, and some research has proven that if he does land a scholarship, my folks may just be able to send him there. Now he's agonizing over his future. "THINGS WERE SIMPLE BACK IN MANILA," in his words.

I do agree, but simple isn't always good when it comes to one's education, you know?

As it is, Georgetown U was a real treat, with its gothic architecture and Harry Potter-ish feel. Not a place I can see myself taking up a degree in, but lovely nonetheless.

Dad had me take the reins at that point, for our walking tour of Georgetown. I used our Frommer's book, and we pretty much covered the ENTIRE area. The place really is quaint and lovely, and there was this lovely ice cream bar that I wish we could go back to. I want to try their other flavors. ;w;

We were going to go out for dinner after a bit of a rest at the hotel, but we ended up ordering Chinese takeout instead. It was delicious. owo
Has it been a while, or has it been a while? It's been crazy down here, and I've pretty much moved all of my activity unto plurk these days, due to [livejournal.com profile] soul_campaign and, well. Sheer laziness, really.

You all haven't gotten rid of me just yet, though. I get assaulted, at random, by the sudden need to fix my little internet hovels on a regular basis. For those of you who may not even remember me, hi, hello, this is Kae/Pam/Pammu/Pammeth, signing in, once again.

I know I ought to be making a lengthier update, given how long it's been and everything that has happened, but I'm not one for really writing out what goes on in my life at length over the internet anymore. This is either because I'm growing older, I'm getting busier, I'm doing a whole bunch of OTHER things all at once or it's just been crazy and my habits are changing because of it. Still, a few points of information:

I'm back from Singapore. Learned a lot on the trip, deepened my ties with the people over there, but I don't think I ever want to do something like that again. This isn't the place to really talk about exactly what happened to me, but let's just say that all around, people were crappy.

Been on the retreat for personal reasons. I sort of... shut down on the internet end in the middle of March, and I haven't quite gone out of hiding yet, as many of my RP buddies have noticed. My entire experience in Singapore and a few unrelated, isolated incidents on the personal front have gotten me seriously thinking about what I want to do with my life, along with the relationships I have with people in general, the state of my research and my job, and the stuff that I truly want to be doing, in spite of all the interferance. Suffice to say, the shut down has allowed me to reconnect with folks I haven't spoken to or seen in a while, and beyond that? I think it's helping.

Did I mention that my internet connection has become even crappier since I came home? That actually contributes a lot to my overall feeling of disconnection, actually, since I end up flipping tables at the mere thought of puttering around and checking up on things and people since I rarely get anywhere with it.

I'll have to be back in gear by June, though, and I know I owe more than a few people an explanation for my decision to hide. When it comes, then.

The family's doing well, all things considered. To make a long story short, it has been... interesting, in the Punzalan household. Things are changing in ways I cannot begin to describe, and it is part of the reason why I've sort of withdrawn from the usual places outside of plurk. Plurk is easy for me, see. Connectivity without too much of the pressure, terrible as that might sound.

Going out on another trip. This will likely be the last trip I will ever take, all expenses paid, with my parents. They are getting older, things are getting more expensive and business is getting harder. Dad says that this is his last 'gift' to me and my little bro, since, being the youngest in the family, we were never able to travel as much as our siblings were. Paolo won't be on this one for that precise reason.

Will be out for the entirety of May and June, then it's back to the school and research grind.

Now, for internet things.


Friends Cut, All Around;



Did some major cleaning up of the flist to ditch old fangirl things, streamline my feed and make sure I actually see the entries that matter on the few times that I check back here (because I have a feeling I'll keep dropping out of this Regularly Checking LJ habit more and more as the months pass), so I've also removed a lot of people from my list.

Please note that you're free to remove me as well, especially if you don't even remember why you've got me friended in the first place. Nothing personal: we're all just moving on.

Oh yeah. Have some fics, guys.


fic pimpage
► FINAL FANTASY 13. // And light becomes what it touches.
► SENGOKU BASARA. // Mine is a crazy heart / what has it to fear?
► SOUL EATER. // Unclench your floodgates
► SOUL CAMPAIGN RP. // Trusting strangers
► SOUL CAMPAIGN RP. // These are the days of miracle and wonder.
► SOUL CAMPAIGN RP. // Men are born for games.

TO ALL FILIPINO AND SINGAPOREAN GIRL GAMERS (or people who have Filipino and Singaporean girl gamer contacts and friends)!



As I mentioned in the original pimping post that I had, I'm conducting research on girl gamers in these two regions, and I would absolutely love it if you could take the time out to answer my survey.

Alternatively, if you're a very good friend of mine or available for an interview while I'm in Singapore, please contact me? It's probably better if I interview you. That way, I can treat you out to dinner or dessert.

ANSWER THE SURVEY HERE


This one is an online form now, versus the downloadable questions I had before. It should also be a lot easier for folks to answer!

Please spread the word, and distribute the survey as you will - just remember that respondents have to be Filipino or Singaporean girls and women between the age of 15 and 30. I need as many responses to my survey as I can get by 12 AM, March 21.

Let me know if you're ganking this link and spreading it around, and to who!
.

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