Synth Lead Noodling

Jeddi bought a new keyboard yesterday (AGAIN?!). It’s called Roland FA-06. He left it inside my box after un-boxing it because he had some errands to run. So of course, I played with it. Ha!

So here’s a nonsense noodling using my favorite lead patch. It’s noisy, it’s prog-y, and I think, it kicks ass.

 

Man, I really miss synthesizers.

 

 

Ninong-mode

Antipolo City – I was invited to be a ninong of a charming little kid named Himaya Bathala. He is the son of a good friend (Jake), who happens to be a lawyer now (congratulations pare!).

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Being a ninong is something that I will not say no to, nor shun, just because. I mean, I may not believe in the sacrament but I sincerely accept the role to be the child’s second parent (or one of the child’s second parents). I am willing to give Bathala the needed guidance if his father and mother screw up (which I’m sure will not happen). I am also eager (if I’m asked to) to teach (or inspire) the kid (in the most basal approach) out-of-the-books-and-internet stuff that he might want to imbibe in his pursuit of becoming a better, well-rounded person someday.

But this is not just for Bathi. This also goes for all of my other inaanak, and of course, to all my beloved pamangkin. Together with my father/husband duties to C and Z, this is a lifetime stint that I’d consider as one of my whyfors on earth. This is just a bit of the purpose that I instill to myself while I am existing in this planet.

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Good job, Jake and Deph! I hope to see you soon, Bathi!

I Don’t Drink Coffee, I Drink Tea, My Dear

I’ve been drinking this turmeric tea since last year when I found out that I have fatty liver.

[Turmeric in Tagalog is luyang dilaw. It is one of the main ingredients for curry powder.]

Concentrated to powder form to mix with hot water, this is a fine blend of some herbal substances that can ideally restore and/or improve good health, organically.

The ingredients in this 10-in-1 concoction are known for their medicinal properties.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

Peppermint (Mentha × piperita)

Longevity spinach (Gynura procumbens)

Sambong (Blumea balsamifera)

Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Pandan (Pandanus odoratissimus)

Lagundi (Vitex negundo L.)

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)

Malunggay (Moringa oleifera)

Turmeric is liver’s bestie. Sambong prevents kidney stones. Peppermint improves digestion. Longevity spinach regulates blood sugar. Ginger also helps digestion and has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Banaba might trim high glucose levels.  Pandan lowers high blood pressure. Lagundi soothes digestive troubles. Lemongrass is a detox assistant. Malunggay is known for its anti-infection, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal essential attribute.

[Based on personal research from books and reliable health websites. Do your research as well.]

 

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But after everything that I’ve written here, I have to point out that this is NOT some kind of medicine. There’s NO THERAPEUTIC CLAIM for the drink. But if I have to review it or something, I will still give it a thumbs up. Or two.

It took me three days to get accustomed to the punchy and spicy flavor though I love its ginger-y aroma. I felt better after weeks of drinking it twice a day (first thing in the morning and before bed). It removed the sharp pain in my right belly (I also cut down my intake of alcohol and carbonated beverages). It also seems to properly discharge my body waste on a regular basis so I always have this clean feeling every morning. Placebo effect or not, I don’t know, I don’t care, as long as it delivers.

What’s also cool about this drink is it complements any of my cheesecake and RY4 Bavarian vape juices. Well, at least for me. Taste is still subjective.

Serving suggestion:

Pour hot water in a cup. Add two to three teaspoons of powdered tea. Stir well. Enjoy.

You can also add a teaspoon of honey.

(Personally, I love the pure and authentic honey from Sagada and Palawan.)

So if you happen to see Yamang Bukid Food Products (in malls and souvenir shops), especially this turmeric herbal tea, you might want to give it a try. It only costs 350 PHP-ish per 350g / 400g (as of writing this post). 1000 PHP for the whole set (1st picture from the top).

 

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This is a personal WordPress post coming from the author’s personal experience of the product. He was not paid to review it or advertise otherwise.

The author’s words should not be taken for it because the product’s effects, taste, and smell may vary on every consumer.

 

Work

… has been consuming me lately. I stretch my hours in the office to outrun the numbers that I chase and I’m in an intemperate rush to be better in my job. Man, it’s a very demanding position.

Scrutinizing MIDI files is a strenuous work after all. The influx of difficult files in my workload folder is not obviable and I’m still not good enough to deal with them in the ideal time allowance. I come home late and dog-tired; forcing to squeeze family time, band time, me time, and other activities in a span of few hours. I often don’t sleep enough and sometimes, I can’t even snooze even though I’m already enervated (and/or drunk).

Going to work is now autopilot. I wake up every morning without even giving an effort to think of what to do or plan my day ahead (though I always have an hour to practice some piano chops). Imagine, I will just realize that I am in a jeepney going to Buendia Avenue, then I will suddenly find myself in an elevator pressing the right button (floor number) without even looking. If I will continue to allow this, my life will become a big bad rut.

But I’m not complaining.

Optimistically, I look at it as a way of growing and learning. I see my situation as a stormy desert with an oasis in 317 meters. Or a dark tunnel with a ray of light at the end. Or a long and winding road tha..a..at leads to your door. I know one day, I will be over this present wonted grind and work will be duck soup waiting to be slurped through the nose.

I’ve been in this industry for almost a decade. I’m very familiar with the work per se but I am still a tenderfoot (though an old one) to the new job title. There’s a lot of instances that my bungles daunt me like crazy. They even haunt me when I am commuting and when I am having cigarette breaks alone. Sometimes I even lose my gumption when I fuck up big time, especially on careless mistakes. 

Luckily, I have good friends/coworkers to impart assistance when I can’t figure out what to do anymore. I also have adept leaders to guide me and teach me stuff. I owe them a lot. I will always stand on their shoulders and aim to see farther.

Work maybe an bitch (for now) but I will not just sit still and let it suppress me. I have pride and rigid professionalism. I’m not the “I fuckin’ quit” nor the “I’m gonna take this for granted” nor the “I’m gonna rebel to the management” type. I do what I can to give what is asked from me. I’ll hit my targets without treading on those who have decent work ethics.

Stress? Yeah, I collect a lot of it everyday. It’s a fact. But by the end of every long tedious week, I’m still glad that I am a part of the company (‘s pay roll). I am pleased as punch that I am earning money through this recondite job that most commoners might not understand. I am honestly grateful.

Slowly and surely, I will eventually improve and become worthier. Just you wait.

 

Love

…comes in different forms:

BOYETUS_LOVE_LORELAND

 good music, bad licks, burnt hotdogs, room temperature Red Horse beer, ammoniacal pool water, velocity 119 snuffles panning left to right, Jack Daniels, kare-kare, dad bods, or grounded microphones. Love may commence even in a snoozy state and can hit anyone in a blink of an inebriated eye. Love may take a break, but will surely resurface in a juncture or through an unexpected catalyst. It can be puked in the evening and be a part of your omelette afterwards. Love can be forced. It can be achieved after some struggle. It helps a person hit pay dirt. Love comes with regrets if there’s not enough organics. Love means transferring from a threesome room to Marlboro County. Love means leaving your wallet and mobile phone locked in the dresser drawer. Love means not-forgetting your silymarin at home. Love means loosening yourself and dipping in the pool without your swim shorts. Love is a juggernaut. Love means using gravity to get the trapped water out of your ears. Love can be the vegan sisig but not the vegan litid. Love means not staying overnight because of daddy duties. Love means making a sudden escape to find more love outside Loreland Farm Resort. Because love is overwhelming. Love is consuming. Love is not hydrophobic. Love is 7 ft. deep. Love knows no swimming. Love knows no diving. But love can float with a lifebouy. It has weight. It has volume. It has formulas. Love means understanding the equations. Love means accepting your bed-mate’s pesky fingers. Love means Arnie in walwal-mode. Love means wasting nothing but time. Love means trusting Waze for a Minute Burger joint somewhere in Rizal. Love means “Someday My Prince Will Come” in 5/8. Love means laughing with a blue tongue. Love is the HR slash policewoman slash facilitator. Love is running back in the room because you can’t fight this feeling anymore.

Love can make you sick. Love can cure hangovers. Love is attack, decay, sustain, release. Love is the P25 palamig. Love is the sapid balot and penoy. Love means hating that asshole hitcher in your car. Love means desiring to ditch the stupid passenger/s. Love can make you feel you are playing someone. Love is realizing you are the one being played. Love is the used Trust condom. Love is the flavored polvoron. Love is the files inside the flash drive.

Love is not faithful. Love is loyal. Love moves in scientific ways. Love is in the VTA. Love flows inside our heads. Love is not the blood that the heart pumps. But it is the pseudo-waterfalls in the private pool. Love is hidden in Magsy’s wool.

Love is a magic trick explained. It is not divine. It is not choosy. It is not planned. It is wrong timing, mostly.

Love can always be defined. But can never be denied.

What-To-Buy-List-For-2017

Online window shopping is a plebeian activity for indolent people who are not capable of buying the luxuries that they are hankering for. In other words, it is for people with no money to spend or no money at all.

Just like me.

Fortunately, extreme positivity can flip someone’s monetary insufficiencies. Not in a magical or divine way, but together with discipline, it can give a person the needed push to apperceptively or obliviously take little pains to get his wants. Add a pinch of patience to the ingredients and you can move mountains of financial inadequacies without even knowing it.

Sometimes, outside forces can also make our materialistic frills come true. There are cool and bounteous people around (like family, friends, and lovers) who can provide us with the much needed indulgence.

Receiving gifts is awesome, right?

But either it’s a by-product of hard labor or a fruit of random presents, having luxuries will always be great.

I sometimes make a so-called wish list that will remind me of what to purchase in the future. Mostly musician’s toys and what-nots (or some nerdy stuff), the things that I want are basically passion-based. Like an itch that needs some big time scratching.

Well of course, I have my priorities and responsibilities in life that always come first. I also have a lot of people to pay to and debts to settle so I don’t think I can accomplish everything soon. Life’s a bitch, isn’t it?

Anyway, here is my wishlist for the early quarter of 2017. I hope I can manage to have them all. But no pressure as always.

 

1. The Pulse by Soundbrenner

I have the app on Android and I think it’s really cool. I just need the wrist gear that vibrates.

2. Korg Micro X

Okay. I have a stage piano now (named Maze), accidentally. I love it so much. It’s everything that I needed… last year, when I was into jazz. But when Tito Science came along, I feel like I need a second gear to add more flavors to the band’s sound. Just saying, maybe on the next album (?). By the way, Korg Micro X was in my 2009 wish list, kinda. Meaning, I really want this shit.

Well, if there’s something that I really really want on top of my main gear is of course, Alesis A6 Andromeda. For me, this is the real deal.

3. Hercules – Z Stand 

This will never leave the house. It’s Maze’s throne. It’s sturdy and new for me since all of my stands are X-modeled.

4. Harper Lee – Go Set a Watchman

I was so disappointed that no first-first arrived the country when it was released two years ago. For a booky/collector/hardcover buff like me, I MUST have this book!

5. Of course… I want a new house, a car, a new small business, and an island with pet dolphins.

But if this slot is reserved for the outside forces, just buy me a burger (with avocado) in Lazy Bastard… and a beer.

Well, that’s it folks. I need to sleep now and work my ass off later.

Meanwhile…

I never thought I’d see a team leader with way below average I.Q., extreme inefficiency, and utmost unprofessionalism.

If intelligence can only be bought, I’d buy her a handful. Yeah, a handful might not be enough but at least I can help her upgrade her mental capacity even just a little.

That way, she may comprehend the meaning of rest days or maybe understand that her incessant gabbling is pointless and trivial in all fucking facet.

My Foolish Heart 

Around September last year, I posted a video on Facebook, of me playing a cover of the song My Foolish Heart (V. Young / N. Washington). It was a few weeks after I re-activated my Facebook account. I only used my phone’s camera for the video so it was so raw that you can even hear tricycle horns and neighbors gossiping.

I uploaded it on YouTube after some weeks (unlisted) but I forgot to share it here.

So friends, here is my roughly played version of “My Foolish Heart”. Slightly improvised.

#minimalist #rootless #closevoicings #stifffingers 

Don’t expect too much. 🙂

Tito Science – Teaser – Baepolar 

Here’s a clip from one of the songs in our upcoming album.

This is entitled Baepolar.

It’s just me playing with a backing track. Minus the vocals.

Note: 

This is the complete raw clip without the video effects. If you want to view the actual teaser that we posted, you might like to see our Facebook page.

If appropriate, you can share it with your friends.

Sharing is caring. 🙂

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For more information about my band, please check out our website.

Happy New Year!

2016 has been a fine concoction of pleasant and rough times for me. It’s been fast, balanced, and aboveboard. Yeah, there were some depressing plights that I won’t expound now, but mostly, it was complexly amazing.

For the past twelve months, I learned a lot. I was chasing knowledge. I voraciously grabbed chunks of life, music, love, technology, and well, anything that I could lay my hands on along the way. Heaps of them, actually. I aimed higher and tried to be better in everything that I was doing. Later on, I realized that chasing knowledge is just a mere step in what I really wanted. So I dropped some of the things that I caught hold of and pursued wisdom.

Maturity? Maybe. But after the long yet brisk hankering for progress, I am now adamant of all my life’s nitty-gritty and priorities. I have also established feasible plans waiting to be achieved. I will indubitably bring them off.

Now, amidst the cacophony of firecrackers, carton torotots, and cheap karaoke machines; being a witness to the transition of years; still sober and stuffed with a shitload of carbs… I am positively looking forward to the new emprises, lessons, and challenges of 2017.

Let this year be a better one.

About 9:30 This Morning

… I was awoken by a horde of people screaming just outside our house. I thought it was just the usual neighborhood clamor consisting of poppycock and idiocy so I was listless as fuck.

Then I heard someone roughly uttering about something getting bigger so I thought they already found a lost/lose pet phyton (which is another story)  and took a peek from our front window.

side commentary: 

Yeah, I was curious how big the snake has gotten after all its years of independence.

going back:

(But) There was no serpent. Instead, I was alarmed to find out that that something getting bigger was the fire that started just four houses away from ours.

I panicked and rushed upstairs and woke up Z who was catching up sleep because of her nightly Naruto marathon. I told her to gather all her important things and put them inside her backpack.

Four houses away is a serious distance. In a windy morning like this one, even a piddling spark can become a terrifying conflagration in a matter of minutes, and, can scatter quickly. If that fire amplified, reached our abode and turned it to embers, at least me and Z were already out to safety with some essential stuff salvaged.

side commentary:

I cannot explain now if it was the dread, but in a span of a minute (or slightly longer): I already cased my keyboard with its accessories, packed some gadgets and IDs in my knapsack, grabbed a few good books, and pocketed an ample amount of valuables apace. I also can’t remember how I brought everything downstairs… in one run.

going back: 

Luckily, the fire was put out by the concerned neighbors. And just like the policemen in old school Tagalog flicks, then came the firemen.

According to the fire investigator, a child was playing with a lighter, burned a rag, panicked, threw the flaming scrap away that hit their washing machine and caused it to flare up.

wrapping up:

Now who’s fault was it?

A. The child, for his/her bungle.

B. The lighter, for being accessible to anyone, including children.

C. The parents, for being ugly and negligent.

D. The snake, for escaping the captivity of an idiotic family.

answer: F

 

December 25 Family Boodle Fight 

My side of the family doesn’t really do noche buenas. Ever since me and my sister were small kids, we’re always asleep on the eve of December 25.

As you know, my family is into the business of selling. My parents are into meat products and my mother’s siblings are grocers. Even my late grandparents, who, by the way, started it all.

From the early morning of December 24 until about 8 PM, they’re always busy vending pork, beef, poultry, and general food supplies to people shopping for their so-called Christmas feast.

Though December 24 is a good day for business, it’s one of the most tiring days of the year for us. Hence, it always ends up with z’s. 

We are used to that.

When I became a father with a family of my own, and not living with my parents anymore, Cez, Ziann, and I see the eve of December 25 as a normal day of the year-end vacation. Most of the time, we let it pass in the house of C’s parents in Quezon City. Or when time and budget will permit it, we travel. 

This year, due to some unexpected circumstances like the typhoon and the inkling of saving up more for business purposes, we failed to travel. On the other hand, my sister tried to organize a little happening for our family and the extensions. And she succeeded. 

(We’ll never know, maybe it’s the last time that we’ll do something like that in our house in Sampaloc.)

It ended up as an outdoor boodle fight. Pot luck, kamayan styleand that’s it. That’s our family’s simple way to pull the occasion off. 

boodle-fight

Nothing extravagant. Nothing artificial. Nothing ostentatious. Just an ordinary lunch time repast with unsophisticated victuals and authentic smiles. It’s just us being us: the typical family that does not conform to the standards of… let’s say… social media sites. 

But still, I’m glad it happened. Happy vacation everyone!

 

Pink Lighter and Marlboro 

So what’s with this picture?

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1. This is my favorite cigarette brand and lighter.

2. I kinda like the idea of how they depicted impotence.

3. Lastly, this might be the last pack of cigarette that I will smoke for this year. Or maybe, for the rest of my life. Maybe. I will rekindle with my e-cigarette for some reasons.

Vape mode on.

Christmas Party 2016

Our company’s Christmas party was a humble bash held in the/an (appropriately) cozy private lounge of One Esplanade – Pasay City.

It was an accustomed celebration consisting of Spartan-ish binging on the caterer’s comestibles, extreme appeasement on alcohol, and playing music incessantly. We also had some classic adult games (that one involving eggplants and that one involving popping balloons on someone’s ass) and musicians’ “sports” like Name that Tune, etcetera. The raffle prizes leveled up (I didn’t win any) this year for some reason, and for the first time in the history of our company, there were awards given to deserving employees (of course, I didn’t receive any). Surprisingly, we followed the program proper. Man, I was even the male host.

The extreme indulgence on beer and cocktail drinks led to impromptu moments indicative of our riotous yet orderly trippings. There was a cool fliptop scene when Akisuda was doing his craft. There was break dancing (courtesy of Nicco) and pseudo-mosh pit caper. There was some friendly taunting on each other that was sheer hilarious than offensive. There were great jams and farcical ones… that were surprisingly up to snuff too. There was even a keyboard “showdown”. Haha!

And of course, there were the superb band performances that, I can say, way above your run-of-the-mill shit. Almost everyone participated. Employees formed bands, rehearsed (in less than a week’s time), and just did what they do best. (Our set was, well… B edit)

You guys are amazing! Thank you for your cooperation and to all the effort that you’ve given to make the event successful and more interesting.

Too bad I can’t publish the videos here for I might run out of free space in my media gallery. But I grabbed some favorite photos from a co-worker’s Facebook account.

Photos by Jerome Capistrano.

Tito Science

Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to introduce my new band…  (drum roll)

Tito Science!

ts_logo

We are still tightening things up but we already have 10 originals in the pipeline.

See you at the gigs!

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Tito Science is

Vinny Marquez on vocals

Jerome Digueno on guitar

Felman Sumortin on bass

Boyetus Irabon on keys

Benjo Criste on drums

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For more information about my band, please check out our website or go to our Facebook page.

Alleviation

Two bad molars extracted and I am now capable of discerning rainbows and dragonflies above my head.

Instead of the steady pulse that I felt in my mouth for weeks, there’s this odd-time rhythm now that I can seriously sense in my chest.

Instead of affliction and sleepless nights, I can meander slumberland now with a smile and an aftertaste of vanilla sundae in my mouth.

Instead of Ibuprofens, I can masticate meat like a man now without fearing a wrong bite and/or vexing a bleak cavity.

Instead of acupressure and ice cubes, I can locomote and function normally now like a machine and chill out after a tedious day.

Instead of overthinking and disturbed rumination, I can focus on my daily grind and be prolific with my craft.

All thanks to my cool dentist.

Beer? Anyone?

Baller Boyetus 

So we had this official company sports fest the other day.

The guys were grouped into four teams and played ball while the ladies smashed some shuttlecocks in badminton.

As expected, my team ended up 4th in the ranking. It’s something that I can not brag about, but I am proud that the event was a mere success.

Conceived by Paul and I, the thumbs up from the management was more than enough to recompense all the efforts and little troubles that we’ve been into.

Since it was a auspicious event, as I said earlier, maybe, the basketball games might become a regular thing for us in 2017.

Anyway, the sports fest was just about having fun and sharing good vibes. It subtly served as a catalyst that somehow upswang the camaraderie of the employees. First time in the history of the company, it was also a refreshing new outlet for most of us. In a span of a few hours, I was glad that we were sheer oblivious of chord progressions, music theories, piano roll views, CCs, PCs, SysEx, and MIDI in general.

The term passing the ball became literal. Note scoring turned into basket scoring. Quantizing events turned into accurately tossing the ball into the hoop. Grid lines became trajectories. Inputting note velocities and impeccable dynamics were changed into throwing the ball with the right amount of force. Assembly methods became offense strategies. Block scoring turned to shot blocks (none I remember though).Even stealing workloads (ha!) turned into ball steals.

File grading was also evidently comparable in players. Guys like Captain Jerome, Noriel, Arnie, and of course, our MVP, Charles are on a par to A data. Guys like me on the other hand are, well, NGs.

For now. *winks*

By the end of the night, after the competitive trash-talks and convivial taunts, after the ironically heavy meal (after and in-between games), after the awarding and receiving of the generous prizes, after the arduous hours of physical and mental battles, after blithely battering our dormant muscles and bones… almost all of us went home with laughter and new stories to talk about the next day.

It was fun.

Photos by: Vence Lalunio

Impacted 

A molar of mine has been throbbing for days.

impacted

My dentist already told me a year ago that it badly needs to be extracted. Its awkward position has impinged upon the other molar beside it, which needs to be removed too.

Talk about pain.

I know I can still bear the brunt but I deeply desiderate to get rid of it (or them). My dentist, Doc M, said it can’t be saved anymore so I was advised to undergo a minor oral surgery after a few days of taking pain reliever.

Wait, what’s that again?

Minor oral surgery?!

Minor oral surgery means pulling that tooth out, together with its seat mate.

And pulling it out means it is bundled with unpleasant procedures like slicing and digging the gums.

And slicing and digging the gums mean that the use of sharp surgical tools is verily necessary.

And the use of sharp and surgical gadgets means there’s stitching involved after.

Oh well. One of life’s big challenges. But I will do it, for a more comfortable life.

As if I have a better choice.

 

Liver Lover Boyetus

1. Fatty liver.

2. Gallbladder polyps.

The results of my check-up are seriously giving me anxieties. I cannot say that it’s malayo sa bituka [far from the intestines] (Filipino saying) because the liver and gall bladder are actually near the damn intestines and are part of the digestive system.

My doctor is now dissuading me from drinking alcohol. I was also prescribed to have a bland diet and shuffle off oily food, caffeine, tomatoes, citrus-y stuff, ice cream, chocolates, and dairy products from my everyday meals. Funny because everything in the list are part of my everyday meals.

It sucks and it’s pathetic in certain levels. It sucks and/but I have to comply. Did I say it sucks? Yeah, it sucks.

On a serious note, I guess it’s time to shape up and heed the doctor’s advice. Better no than never, right?

So… beer? Anyone?

34

It’s been raining for days because of the southwest monsoon and most schools in Central Luzon and NCR suspended their classes. There was even a tornado in Manila the other day.

I remember celebrating my birthdays when I was younger and my parents would prepare a lot of food and only five guests (to a minimum of two) would arrive in our house because of bad weather (or worse, a typhoon). I’m used to that.

This morning, I was about to take a bath, getting ready for work, when someone knocked on our door. I thought it was just some Meralco or Maynilad guy with a disconnection notice, or some Jehovah’s Witness lady trying to come back at me with a new argument, but it was my wife… with a cake and Jolli-spaghetti!

34

It was indeed a surprise. She’s got work today but her boss told her to take a leave to celebrate my natal day. How sweet, right?

Thank you, honey. I know you know I don’t believe in birthdays anymore, but hey, I appreciate the effort. Much love.

Roland-ing

Impulse buying was never my thing… until I found myself inside Perfect Pitch – SM Megamall with Jeddi and Paul on a Thursday lunch break, testing Roland keyboards and toying other stuff. Until now, I still can’t believe that we (Jeddi and I) actually bought new gear for ourselves.

He scored an amazing keyboard/workstation called Roland Juno DS88 and I, my friends, am now a proud owner of Roland RD-64.

new-toys

For years,  I have been waiting and looking for a keyboard with less keys but with a weighted-hammer action. I was really eyeing for this since I am a big Korg buff, but for a nicer piano sound and gigging purposes (without much heap), Roland RD-64 is the shit.

My new toy comes with Roland’s SuperNATURAL technology (its grandeur) that makes me almost feel like having a baby grand. Since RD-64 is under the RD series which is under the stage piano category, I got a free Roland DP-10 damper pedal with continuous function that can enable me to do half-pedaling.

It was really a great day beside the trouble of figuring out how we could fit two huge boxes in Jeddi’s car back to our office in Makati.

 

Moral of the story:

Unplanned adventures will likely happen.
(But I guess I’ll be eating cheap meals in the next few days… or months)

***
Thanks for the ride,. Jeddi!

***

maze-9-15-16
late upload: I named her Maze

Tuesday with Tanya Markova 

C and I arrived at 70’s Bistro in Anonas – Quezon City and I saw the Tanya Markova guys signing CDs outside, still without their trademark make-up. I bought a copy of their new album through their guitarist, Isabel Ole, who happens to be a co-worker. They’d be playing last so me and C decided to go inside first and watch the other acts. Eevee is such an amazing band.

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I bumped into some other co-workers and we just shared a table to enjoy the rest of the night. I’ve been a fan of TM since day one and I’ve seen them play live for more than a couple of times. I like their first album and now I can say that this second effort can level to the former and, in growth aspect, might even surpass it. But of course, songs like Disney, Linda Blair, Jacuzzi, and Picture Picture will forever be considered classics.

It was a nice gig. I was slightly drunk and Lex threw up in a urinal.

Until next time. Thanks for the signed CD.

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May One. Family Outing. Zambales.

It was one of those few moments when I can actually forget about my unpaid dues, debts, work, inefficient supervisor, and stupid (and ugly) neighbors even for a day or two.

It was one of those few moments when getting away from the city can attenuate or even dispel the hefty quandaries running in my mind.

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It was one of those few moments that I am beach-ing (though I love clean fresh water brooks more), not to submerse myself in saltwater nor to sunbathe, but to just tread on the fine sand with the tide touching my feet.

It was one of those few moments when unlike in Manila, I can observe more than nineteen stars.

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It was one of those few moments that my family are complete (almost), sharing a table together with a lot of grilled anything, ensalada, alcohol, and loud OPM on speakers.

It was one of those few moments when I am catching up with my clan and trading stories and/or thoughts about life, politics, and the latest neighborhood gossips as we drink brandy and smoke like there’s no tomorrow… while the kids are playing on the sand or in the pool (attended by my mom).

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Yeah, it was one of those few moments… and I want more.

Z’ Graduation 

As parents, Cez and I have this unexplained delight seeing our daughter graduate elementary. But Ziann, finishing it with a gold medal is another story. It made us realize that we created a kid who can push herself farther to surpass the fringe of her capacities. She’s indeed a gift from our unfair yet occasionally munificent universe.

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Quite honestly, I wasn’t really that surprised about it. My mind was already persuaded by the quarterly top 1 certificates to anticipate my daughter receiving laurels and delivering a speech.

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Though she’s a transferee, I know that being a new kid in school wouldn’t be a snag for her academical growth and social battles. Yeah, she failed half of the entrance exam but that was just scratching the surface. She dealt with it and apparently proved that she’s not just a student that only has a wherewithal to pay the tuition fee (we are not even rich). She’s something more. She’s a someone.

We couldn’t be any prouder.

She did not ask for any exorbitant reward (for nailing the highest award and two minor achievements). She just wanted to ice skate with her friends (who will transfer to different schools) after the commencement, so we took the BFFs to SM Ice Skating rink and they played on ice until closing time.

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Congratulations, Ziann! 

My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things

Pink lighters, sneakers, Himalayan kitten
Ear piercings, slingshot, a bucket of chicken
Brown paper, bookmarks, and Hummingbird wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Vanilla sundae and plastic containers
Blaptica dubia and big hairy spiders
Double patty burger, beer, onion rings
These are a few of my favorite things

Pencil eraser, space, electric piano
Flip phones, smooth cleavages, Pepsi, Marlboro
Bebop and any cool music that swings
These are a few of my favorite things

When I’m always constipated
When I’m feeling bad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Metronome, fireflies, trees, fresh water dippin’
Induction cooker, glass pipe, weed for chillin’
B-boying, silver bracelets and rings
These are a few of my favorite things

Paper clips, shrimp paste, Science facts, and turnips
Traffic lights, driftwoods, six digits in payslips
Mario 3, and ladies wearing g-strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Hard covered books, spoons, Aurora Borealis
Hibiscus, cacti, boomerang, anchovies
Cuddling and pumping on big beds with springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When I have zits, or hangover
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so sad

Inked

About 13 (or 15-ish?) years ago, I met a man named Alfred Guevara, who’s a member of the legendary local band called The Wuds. It was the 18th birthday bash of a friend that time held in Atrium Hotel where the group played an awesome set (as one of guest performers). Alfred Guevara was giving away calling cards after their set and was promoting his tattoo shop named Avatar something.

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Last month, I found myself sitting nervously in a tattoo shop under the roof of University Mall – Taft Avenue, Manila. It is called Avatar Arts. Shirtless, I was anticipating to experience extreme pain on the next hours.

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Tom, my tattoo artist and the man that would draw my first blood, told me that the prick is something that I can endure. I did accept that because I was honesty more excited than afraid.

But every time he tested that tattoo machine (if that’s what you call it), the buzzing made me dread for something that I thought might make me scream like a little girl who saw a giant alien dick. Or worse, I imagined myself fainting.

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But no. No jimjams because “no pain, no gain”. Right?

My tattoo is a chest piece that’s not an original design. A lot of people actually have this on their skin. This is the anti-possession sigil that the Winchester brothers have on their chests… so they won’t be possessed by demons.

Not that I believe in that kind of stuff, but I promised myself that when my favorite TV series, Supernatural, reached 10 seasons, I would have this on my upper trunk as a tribute to the show.

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I also did a research about its origin and I found out that it might be modeled from an African symbol that means, new life. It is still not confirmed where the producers of the show got the inspiration for it but it has resemblance. This one from Supernatural is like a remastered version. Check this out.

After one and half hour, Tom and his father, Alfred Guevara, welcomed me to the ink club. Yeah, there was pain but he was right, it was tolerable and I’m happy with it.

Then C had her turn and had a Hakuna Matata symbol inked on right her wrist.

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freshly cleaned

By the way, Karu-san dropped by while I was half-way done. He and Tom are business partners and good friends.

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It was a great experience sharing an ink day with my wife, tropa, and a new-found friend.

Thanks Tom and Avatar Arts!

Now I’m wondering what my next tattoo will be.

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This is the tattoo after a month.

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GoW

I’m not really a gamer (though I like and still love playing old school stuff like Super Mario 3, other cool Family Computer games, Strider 2, NBA 2k, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter vs. Capcom). But when I started something and I got hooked into it, I am adamant I will finish it.

God of War (yes, I am a late bloomer) was just my idea to take past the time in our Baguio-Sagada escapade (thanks to Cez’ handy PS Vita). But I got interested in the story and the challenge. So thirty minutes before bed time, I make sure Kratos’ quest will have even just a little progress.

I did finish the game after a few weeks of headaches and cursing on somebody else’s mother. But it seemed like Zeus was challenging me so God of War 2 became my next pre-slumber routine.

After another few weeks, I can say that I still can wrap a RPG game up, without cheats.

So what’s next?

Baguio-Sagada Escapade

While most people were having noche buena, I was traversing TPLEX to Baguio City with C and Z on the other aisle of a de luxe Victory Liner bus. I was asleep half of the trip for it was freezing inside the vehicle that was so conducive for a quasi-uncomfortable slumber. It was also a strenuous battle with the Hydra in GoW (first time player / late bloomer). But I, together with rest of the passengers woke up when we were almost there.

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We arrived at the bus terminal around 3:30 A.M. and welcomed by the city’s frigid temperature. Me and C had a quick smoke and took a cab to the house where we would be staying for a day.

It felt nice that Baguio greeted us with a wonderful impression. The taxi driver was honest and polite. Then there was Ate Virgie: the genial and accommodating owner of the dwelling.

We hit the shower anon upon checking in our room to clean up.

Water heaters are indeed a big necessity in Benguet. Being thousands of feet above sea level, taking a bath becomes a big challenge for man. The ball-shrinking, nipple-hardening algid water in Baguio is the shit.

After flushing out the unholy dirt of the Metro from our bodies, we set to snooze with the cold, doobie-smelling Baguio air penetrating through our blankets.

We didn’t actually sleep enough because when the sun broke up three hours later, we started preparing for our exploration.

We literally traipsed from Upper QM to Burnham Park to SM Baguio to Session Road to the public market to that steep ukay-ukay street and to the City Hall. We bought some small stuff and whatnot and tried some interesting and not-so-appealing grubs en route. Then we took a cab back to Upper QM when night time gave a hint.

We prepared for our own dinner because the house where we were staying had an actual kitchen. Then we opted to just chill and rest to have enough energy for the main adventure latterly.

I needed to spend some time outside trying to make a reservation to almost any transient house where we could stay in our next destination. Weak signals under the roof from both networks. I managed to find some lodges through on-line browsing that I called one by one. It was fully-booked everywhere. Everyone of them said they would ring or SMS me back if they already got vacant rooms. So I bit and waited for about an hour. “Waited”, by the way, means smoking Marlboro and having chit-chats with some locals drinking under a huge pine tree. They were kind to me that they gave me a few shots of brandy and let me have a bite of their pulutan. Later I found out it was dog meat.

Then my phone rang and there’s a woman on the other line politely offering an attic room for a steal. I said “yes”, out of desperation, and went inside for the good news.

Lodging secured. We called it a day.

6 A.M. in Dangwa Terminal and the queue for the bus tickets going to Sagada was as long as the patience of the passengers who failed to get the remaining morning trips.

We really wanted to travel early, but the only schedule available left was 1 P.M., so we bit and waited for six hours. “Waited”, by the way, means strolling around Session Road and food-tripping.

Finally, it was time.

The six-hour Sagada trip was not the most comfortable ride that I ever had. It was a mixture of awe, joy, slight fear, and amazement. But the scenery was so beautiful I could cry. It was fascinating. The roads, they said were scary and dangerous, but for me, it was safer than, let’s say, Aurora Province. I’ve had worse.

After battling the cliffs of Mountain Province and two stopovers, we arrived Sagada proper. It was around 7 P.M. and it was dark. We didn’t reach the bus terminal because we alighted in front of the house were we would stay for about two days.

Misty Lodge is a comely transient abode. It is a neat, cozy, three-floor domicile with a little restaurant on the ground floor.

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Since it was dinner time and we three were so exhausted from the trip, we treated ourselves with Misty Lodge’s home-made cheeseburgers and pizza. They didn’t have Redhorse beer (too bad) but San Miguel Pale Pilsen did the trick.

We freshened up then lulled our drained-up bodies in our attic room. There’s a book shelf beside our door so I flipped through the seemingly inviting hardcovers but decided to just read some of my e-books. Kratos was also calling me to continue the quest.

We had to wake up early for our 5 A.M. call time so once again, we mustered our guts to face the more powerful force of ball-shrinking, nipple-hardening cold water.

We tagged along with a family in Sir Aweng’s jeepney going to the peak of Mt. Kiltepan. I know it’s too mainstream nowadays, but being a witness to a beautiful sunrise is quite an experience. I love it.

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Sagada early mornings are more exciting than of Baguio’s. If you’re staying far-flung from the town proper (like Misty Lodge), you have to go on foot (there are no short trip rides) in order to amble around and go where most adventures are nigher: the town proper itself.

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Of course, it wasn’t a hassle for us since the rustic neighborhood is fresh and overwhelming, adding the chance to interact with the accommodating and friendly locals. It was quite a romp.

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We headed back to base in the afternoon to rest and have merienda. Cez took a nap while me and Ziann picked some fallen pine cones.

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The latter was so tired in the evening that she fell asleep anon. Skipping dinner. C and I had some beer and pizza downstairs.

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There was a traditional party nearby where the silent vicinity was filled with authentic ethnic music. Nice jam.

There was also a sudden power interruption so the only sources of light available were our flashlights and the house’s emergency lamps/candles. We didn’t complain for it was still cold and more stars appeared in the sky. It was a beautiful night. We stayed a little while warming our hands in the fireplace.

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The power came back in the morning after taking another cold bath.Too bad we had to leave because C had work the following day. The only problem in traveling is indeed time. We hitched at Sir Aweng’s jeepney to town where the bus terminal is located.

We were there at around 9 A.M. but since the queue was as long as the list of great memories that we had in that place, we waited for two hours. “Waited”, by the way, means eating two bowls of sapid lugaw with hardboiled native chicken egg and trying every comestible from the local peddlers. Our kind of breakfast.

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The bus back to Benguet arrived at 11 A.M. Once again, we had a six-hour, two-stop-over journey to the cliffs of Mountain Province. Same thrill, different side of the bus.

Probably, the final challenge of the journey was the long queue of passengers going back to Manila. We didn’t have ticket reservations so we fell in line. It was from the ticket booth of the Victory Liner bus terminal going outside at the back of the edifice, so we waited for two hours. “Waited”, by the way, means alternating in the line while having dinner and regular bio and yosi breaks.

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Our trip would be at 11 P.M. so again, we waited for two hours. “Waited”, by the way, means going to SM Baguio to grab more souvenirs and eats, and making plans of settling in that city. We asked around on how’s life like there and it’s quite convincing that we decided to settle there someday.

The trip back to Manila was a four-hour de luxe Victory Liner bus ride, with snoring passengers and a sleepy stewardess. I fell asleep after thirty minutes of figuring out how to save Oracle from falling.

We reached Cubao – Quezon City at exactly 4 A.M.

C went straight to work. She was late, of course. Me and Ziann went home and continued our slumber in our own itchy beds and reeking pillows. No more blanket of stars. No more ball-shrinking, nipple-hardening cold water. No more doobie-smelling mist. No more tall pine trees and cool mountain breeze.

We’re back home. We’re back to reality.

To conclude this, it was a pleasant trip and we enjoyed every second of it. We are looking forward to do it again.

Christmas Party 2015

…was my first Christmas party in this company after two years of delving into the perquisites of the world outside it. The outing event itself was actually cool (even literally) and straightforward, though a little odd for it was an overnight swimming party (in December!) outside Metro Manila. But of course, the occasion was also comprised of a band set-up and catered victuals to quench our extreme appetence for delectable grubs and jamming jag.

There was two service vans rented to take (and fetch) the employees to the venue (and back) in a remote part of Laguna province. They should have hired one because most of my co-workers hitched rides to those who have wheels. Aki, Arnie, and I hooked with Otep for a joyride.

This is another story, but after that long trip, we (in a hard way) learned that hotboxes MUST not be done while passing H.V. dela Costa or any busy street in the heart of Makati’s CBD in a rush hour of a Friday. We fuckin’ acted like kids lighting our first cigarettes. We promised ourselves never to do it again.

Back to the story.

After two (or three) hours of battling traffic jams and paranoia, we finally arrived the venue.

Quite frankly, the place was nice. The pool was commodious if we opted to swim or wade en masse. The sleeping quarters were just apt for tired and drunk mortals. There was also a billiard area/terrace where we could do our semi-dissolute schemes.

Me and Bing had prepared a little program for the event consisting of games and whatnot but we (or I?) somehow forgot about it. Everybody just conformed to their own individual (and/or) group trips. The band set-up was never vacant though. Yes, until before dawn. Like what I said earlier, our employees have an excessive hunger for music jams. I was totally amused.

I witnessed a lot of scenes from the occasion. I saw how some of my new found colleagues enjoy an evening of fun and (in a way) freedom. I watched them laugh, play, and open up, especially later into the night when I was chilling out solo flight at the poolside with booze and cigarettes. I was like a slow-moving planet observing the neighboring galaxies. Whatever that means. Honestly, it felt strange that I didn’t get wasted even though I had taken a lot of available poison in the site. And I couldn’t/didn’t sleep. I guess I was prepared for the wasakan part.

Less than ten people were left to enjoy the sapid lunch the next day, including me. We feasted on Pork Sinigang, daing na Bangus, and other good stuff that’s good for a whole company. After eating, we cleaned up, and went back to Makati City when the service arrived to pick us up.

Good party, eh?

Here are some photos that I grabbed from a co-worker’s Facebook page.

Photos by Jerome Capistrano.

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my joke for that night. 🙂

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From my phone’s camera:

Things That I Re-learned This Month

1. The problem when you are befriending women even in pure befriending intentions is that eighty percent will think you are hitting on them. They tend to play with the idea that you are amorously into them just because. 

2. Destiny is not true. Coincidence, on the other hand, is the shit. The latter is the reason why the lady that you saw in Bulacan last year happens to be working in your building right now. It isn’t fate. It is a fact that Luzon is plainly small and Baliwag is just 49 kilometers away (approximately) from Makati. It is also a substantial factor that you have a transcendent photographic memory to remember her pretty face.

3. People assume. People conclude even on weak and inadequate bases. People will talk and/or laugh behind your back for kicks. They will always be people. They will investigate your raiment, your mug, and your comportment, surmising about your persona and judging you as if they have unerring conceits, demeanor, anatomy, and brainpower. 

Just don’t give a fuck about them and move on when they are shunning you or when they are giving hints of enmity. 

4. Lastly: gossips spread, melt, and smell like Dari Creme smeared on a hot pan de sal. Inviting. 

But unlike the bread and the butter, cheap and uncertain rumors don’t taste good.

How To Be An Inefficient Supervisor

1. When your PC is getting fucked up, blame someone else’s wallpaper.

2. Never allow your people to have cigarette, lunch, and even bio breaks.

3. When your PC is getting fucked up again, adamantly assume that someone is sabotaging you. You MUST tell the General Manager and the CEO about it.

4. If you don’t, or most probably CAN’T understand the new software, DON’T ASK anyone for help. You are the only “perfect” employee.

5. Be stupid. You’ve been doing this job longer than anyone else so it’s okay if you don’t know the use of alt+f+u+c+k+y+o+u and what in the world the purpose of .bobo file is.

6. Make a scene. Start shouting at the people from the other department. Maybe one of them is the reason for Number 3.

7. Blame the client’s software for ALL the ERRORS that YOU carelessly created. If your people MIRACULOUSLY solved it, DON’T THANK THEM. Never. Create more errors if you want.

8. If the client said that you should deliver a six-hour work in two fuckin’ minutes, SAY YES. Remember, you’ve been doing this job longer than the rest. You must know how EVERYTHING WORKS.

9. If the client replies to your e-mail message/complain saying that you should just IGNORE a TRIVIAL ERROR that seems to make you crazy, BE PROUD. Think that you are the only one bothered by said error. You are so special that you CANNOT solve it. Be proud that you are a motherfuckin’ moron.

10. Be insecure. If you feel that someone is better than you, sarcastically call him sir / ma’am and tell it to your close friends.

Remember, YOU are STUPID and you must know that you are only there in that fuckin’ position because the management had no choice. You should thank that someone for leaving the company two years ago.

Back to the Jungle

Where the skilled beasts of the MIDI world dwell. Where the seemingly savage creatures of the 2705 corporate morass laugh freely and roam in the not-so-vast gamut of its territory. Where the alphas lurk in their new boxes fixing and scrutinizing raw files. Where the animals smoke, masticate meals, and kill time whenever they want. Where maybe corruption resides and pride reeks like an old elephant’s turd. Where the king of the land gives chances for learning and earning. Where speculations of anomalies eat the system that still mysteriously work. Where everybody can be themselves. Where the best critters are found.

Back to the jungle…

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That resides under the Pacific Star.

That I want to change for the better. Now, with the new pack… we will.

Cez’ “Halloween” Workstation

My wife’s company will have this Halloween celebration in the end of the month. So last weekend, Ziann and I helped Cez design and decorate her station. And since we don’t actually have Halloween in this country, I came about with the idea of turning her desk into a workstation of a popular character in our local folklore called Mambabarang.

Cez' Station I know it’s not as complex and extravagant as the others, but for me, it’s indeed creative and neat. Plus, we didn’t spend a lot for it. It was a clever bricolage of local and free materials from our house and from the neighborhood.

Basically, we just used:

1. Dried leaves, hay, roots, and branches that we picked-up from the street.

2. Black candles and black jars.

3. An old cloth from our cabinet drawer.

4. Hex bags that surely looked legit.

5. Glass jars with fake fingernails and colored liquids (from Ziann’s old watercolor set).

6. Fake insects and arachnids.

7. Live worms and roaches.

8. Authentic tarantula exuviae.

9. Manila paper.

10. Old crystals and gems.

11. More candles and small plastic skulls.

12. My picture pinned to a voodoo doll.

and of course…

13. Kulam List.

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Moral of the story:

Sometimes you’ll only notice that you lose something essential after you destroyed it for a convivial intent. I actually looked good in that photograph. It’s a bit Photoshoped I know, but still, I looked good. Too bad, it’s my only copy.

Hello Moto

After five cities and six means of transportation, I finally found what I’ve been looking for: a classic Motorola Razr V3.

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I have decided long ago that I am tired of touch screens, Android stuff, and any iProducts, and that a mobile phone is just a contrivance used by people to call, be called, and send / receive SMS. After years of having different kinds of smart phones, the only thing that I personally found useful beside the basic features (call, SMS, time, alarm clock, datebook, and calculator) is the Metronome application (this for Android and this for Apple). The rest is just okay but I can definitely live without them.

My “new” phone is a pre-owned unit (it is already phased-out from the stores) from a weird guy in Sta. Ana but it’s a very good purchase because it is in excellent working condition. The cosmetics is about 98% smooth and there are no hidden defects. I had this phone around 2007 but it was stolen with my bag in 2009. After that, I went with the flow.

MotoRazrV3.

In the history of the gadgets that I bought and used, I can say that Motorola Razr V3 is the only phone that I truly wanted. I am so pleased I found one again. I hope Motorola revive this unit using slimmer metal housing and stronger flex technology so it will be detached from its disposable reputation. I know that’s wishful thinking that’s why, I’ll just enjoy using it until it’s done.

Being Unemployed

…doesn’t mean that I am jobless. In fact, I find my current work better than the previous ones.

I am a home-based music arranger creating backing tracks for music students in a foreign land. From a wide gamut of genres: from Taylor Swift to Megadeth to Eric Clapton to Extreme, and from different levels of musicality, I have never been so excited to face a blank .cwp template and start a new file. Most of the songs that I arrange are so familiar that I have already played them before in gigs and the likes.

A home-based job has its own advantages. In my calculation and conversion (since the pay is in different currency), the compensation is three times higher than any of my prior pay checks. Enough said. There’s no office, no commuting, and no stinky Korean bosses. I can work whenever I want as long as I beat the deadline. I can smoke and drink beer while syncing MP3s and inputting data in real-time.

I control my schedule. I can sleep anytime, amble around with my wife and daughter, hang-out with my friends, cook lunch / dinner, and do other important things like DVD marathons and read more books. I even have time now to trim my fingernails.

I can also work wherever I want. It just depends on my mood and the situation of my surroundings. Since I only use a laptop and other small stuff, I can bring my gear anywhere I desire and work when I feel like it.

However, as we all know, there’s no such thing as perfect job. It’s a fact. One of the drawbacks of my so-called career is the unavoidable circumstances of my location. Every house where I can do my thing is next to the road. The noise of the vehicles plus the clatter of people and animals (and the cross-breed of both) outside is a big impediment for my ideal work flow. It makes me miss my office in Makati sometimes where my station looks like this…

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…enhanced by a beautiful view of the business district. But now my space is as plain as this…

Workstation

…including a horrid sight of imbecile and ugly criminal neighbors that’s so daunting.

Having a small abode also makes me lose my impetus when I have to transfer my things from one spot to another when someone will use the space. You know, being disturbed when I am in the middle of something really gripes me.  Especially when that something is related to bio breaks, reading books, and/or work.

The worst part of being a home-based music arranger is, well, being a home-based music arranger. A long list of needs just whacks my face from time to time and makes me realize that there’s a lot of things that I am lacking like: a big home studio, Genelec speakers, high-end AKG headphones, a new powerful computer, and so on.

But no matter what, this is the life I chose.

I chose to be unemployed and do one the things that I want. I chose to do one of the things that I know I am somehow good at. Also, I still have local MIDI clients and writing jobs that I will deal with when a day officially becomes thirty-seven hours.  And as long as I am earning money and providing for my family, I am content.

The moral of the story is, for commoners, Extreme is just a band that sang More Than Words. But I am not a commoner and this song is fuckin’ more than words.