I’m panting. Or at least I think I should be. Just finished a marathon project that demanded headache-inducing focus, snappy wordsmithing, and extra swiftness with the computer mouse! In the haste, I fear I was a bit rude and cranky to workmates, shutting them off and not making eye contact because of this “rushian” task. Finished it just in time, but, boy, do I feel rusty! I don’t feel particularly proud about the outcome, but I think it’s decent given the constraints. Guess I need to workout those creative and mental muscles some more…

A realization: When the going gets tough at the work, it really helps to be able to draw from an inner reserve of purpose and reason for doing what I’m doing. Because when I really think about it, it’s not about impressing the boss or feeling exhilarated about a job well done. It’s about giving God glory–even in the mind-stretching and energy-sapping “rushian” tasks that spring up during the work day.

Thankfully, grace abounds–yes, even for control freaks 🙂

(Was supposed to rant about being stressed. Maybe next time.)

the psychology behind changing templates

I’ve swapped templates too many times and so impulsively I fear I may have induced migraine in some of you. I’m feeling a bit dizzy myself, so let’s call it even.

What’s with the blog template schizophrenia? I guess it’s how I cope when I know I should be posting but am stuck in a rut. Changing the template disturbs the dust and downplays the lack of new material. Good thing is sometimes the new look does inspire a post or two, in much the same way as redecorating your cubicle or bedroom naturally stimulates new ideas.

It’s curious that I can’t seem to stick with one template for too long. Maybe I have commitment issues? Oh dear.

cs lewis on reading

Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom fully realise the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realise it best when we talk with an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through those of others. Reality, even seen through the eyes of many, is not enough. I will see what others have invented….

[I]n reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with a myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

Thanks to my friend Polaris, a voracious reader and gifted writer, for posting this same quote on her blog.

missing hymns

All the way my Savior leads me;
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
Who through life has been my Guide?
Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
Here by faith in Him to dwell!
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well;
For I know, whate’er befall me,
Jesus doeth all things well.

I grew up in a church that sang hymns. Accompanied by an old piano with some dead keys (an even older church organ was reserved for special occasions), I sang along with elder people who didn’t look at the hymn book for the words or the notes—they knew them by heart.

It’s sad that many worshipers today find hymns boring. They deem the language too deep and old, the melody too strange and slow. They prefer the repetitive words and pop-sounding beat of contemporary choruses. I like some of these modern songs too, but not in the same way that I love hymns. There is so much literary beauty and depth of insight in hymns that have time and time again brought me to tears. Oh what joys are missed by those who have shrugged off the classics!

These days I find myself longing to be transported back to the church pew of my childhood, the dog-eared maroon hymn book in my hands, my voice joining in harmony with a hundred others.

I wish they would sing more hymns at church this Sunday. I won’t mind if they don’t jazz it up with a modern tempo or lavish instrumentalization. A capella would be fine too. Just give me good ol’ hymn-singing.

It’s the kind of music my heart longs for these days.

tagged: desktop capture

Gypsy tagged me–ages ago, it seems. Here is my belated response.

The tag calls for a posting of one’s desktop image. So here is a snapshot of how my desktop looks like when it rotates as a “cube.” I’m running Ubuntu (Gutsy Gibbon edition) with its oooh-some eye candy 😉

The desktop on the left has my blog site on Firefox, while the right shows an episode of Heroes. The cube can be rotated on command. The Mac-like dock with the icons at the bottom are courtesy of an application called Avant Window Navigator (awn). Linux is cool! But XP runs faster still, at least on my computer. The mileage, I hear, varies and there are some tweaks that improve performance. The wireless issue of Ubuntu on my machine has been resolved with the recent update, so I have found myself booting onto Ubuntu more than XP. Maybe one day I’ll wean myself off of XP? Who knows.

But I digress…

Anyhoo, here are instructions for this tag:

Upon receiving this tag, immediately perform a screen capture of your desktop. It is best that no icons be deleted before the screen capture so as to add to the element of fun.

You can do a screen capture by:

  1. Going to your desktop and pressing the Print Scrn key (located on the right side of the F12 key).
  2. Open a graphics program (like Picture Manager, Paint, or Photoshop) and do a Paste (CTRL + V).
  3. If you wish, you can edit the image, before saving it.

For MAC users: Press [ Apple] [ Ctrl ] [ Shift ] and [ 3 ]

Post the picture in your blog. You can also give a short explanation on the look of your desktop just below it if you want. You can explain why you preferred such look or why is it full of icons. Things like that.

Tag five of your friends and ask them to give you a Free View of their desktop as well.

And I tag everyone who wants to share the view from their desktop! 🙂

the teddy mark

At the pedestrian entrance of the Land Transportation Office on East Ave, a strange man screens everyone who seeks entry into the government agency’s grounds. He is imposing, like a seasoned sentry of an imperial palace. He sits behind a glass window and speaks into a microphone. (That alone should warn you not to get into an argument with him.)

Ano’ng pakay mo? (What’re you here for?)” his voice booms from the sound system, and I suspect everyone within a one-kilometer radius hears.

“Student permit po,” I answer, deciding it is wiser to play meek visitor rather than arrogant tax payer. But that doesn’t mean I don’t wish I brought a megaphone or my neighbor’s portable karaoke system–just to even the playing field a little.

The Guardian doesn’t turn me away, unlike what he did to the two men before me. Instead, he grabs my right hand before I can even think of protesting, and then stamps on my palm the blue image of…

…a teddy bear!

I have been marked for entry. He points to the gate with his pursed lips and the guard there steps aside to let me in. In less than an hour, I get my student permit. The process is quite efficient, to my delight (and great surprise?).

Must be the teddy magic.

So. What is the very first step to getting a student driving permit? Why, of course, get a teddy bear stamp on your palm.


(Thanks for emailing me the pic, Shii!)


talk about blogging

When LJ popped me a YM message to guest on her radio show’s episode on blogging, I was a bit hesitant. Although I’ve been blogging (sporadically) since 2004, I am nowhere near being an expert on the subject! But LJ’s charms (ahem!) and our organizations’ long-standing partnership (ahem! ahem!) prevailed in the end.

So there I was, in the radio studio this morning, trying to sound coherent, taking pains not to mispronounce, translating my thoughts to Filipino as fast as I could — all while ignoring the urge to clear my throat (since I wasn’t sure whether to press the yellow or the red button to mute my mic!) The interaction went pretty well, I think. LJ and co-host Kuya Lem asked very good (and easy!) questions, which I hoped I answered satisfactorily. Before I knew it, our time was up and we had to wind down.

Last night, in anticipation of additional traffic on this site as a result of the radio guesting, I felt the urge to review three years’ worth of posts and start deleting those that seem too telling or mushy! The thought of being read by more strangers made me squirm a little inside. Then I remembered one of my earliest posts, titled “Stripping,” about why I decided to blog despite the awkwardness of baring heart and soul in a public blog. That jolted me back to my senses. So don’t worry, every post before the radio thing is still here. Uncensored — except for the one about… never mind 🙂

Thanks, LJ, for having me on your show! (And for giving me something to blog about, thus ending my nearly month-long blogging dry spell.)

As for you, new reader, welcome to my sillyserious soliloquies. May I have the pleasure of eavesdropping on your blog, too? What?! You don’t have a blog yet? Why, start one now! Blog, blog, blog! 😉

Meet Aleks, a blogging advocate. Not bad, eh? 😉