Showing posts with label Interests. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interests. Show all posts
Yes, folks! I still play (with really long breaks in between). And yes, after 13xx hours, I am NOT YET DONE. I strongly believe that no Resident Representative (a.k.a Player 1), not one, has ever finished this game. I lost count on how many times I've tore down some parts of my island because new ideas and inspirations always come popping in. And when I "finish", I actually feel the need to start another. The possibilities are so endless! 

My island is a never ending work in progress but, at least, I have some update and I know it's getting better with each build. (Related article: my last island tour)

So let's start...

The Entrance

When I first built my island, I didn't care about entrances. I placed my Resident Services (town hall) near the airport because I thought it would be better for easy access.  Until I started joining catalog parties and trading with other players around the globe that every time I step out of their airports, their grand entrances would stun me, wishing I could stay long to explore their islands. 

That's when I realized that I placed my town hall way too close to the airport. Since it is not aligned sensibly and the structure cannot be relocated, I had a hard time designing my entrance creatively. It took me too many builds before I settled with this one:
Animal Crossing Island Tour - Airport
This is what you will see the moment you step out of the airport.
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I remember it was summer of 2003 when I created my first blog. I did it out of the need to channel my inner Hulk who gets infuriated at life's slightest inconveniences into something rather creative. Then I got through that teenage angst phase and became mature (surprisingly). Started sharing my opinions—without being pompous, my experiences—the good, the bad, and the mundane, and pretty much every minuscule achievement and monumental milestone in my life. I have always thought it's not a bad thing to have something to look back to. 

I know people rarely read blogs nowadays. Most people crave for aesthetic visual content, usually in the form of a curated feed or fifteen-second reels. But then again, even though I have active accounts in most of these content-sharing platforms, I still wouldn't want to fully detach myself from this little old habit. I have not changed my content just to stay relevant. This blog is still about me and the mundane things I do. And it's reassuring to know that there are readers who have been somehow inspired despite the fact that my blog lacks depth and seriousness.

But for the most part, I have used this little space in the internet as a training gym to build and flex my writing muscles until I make it as a Palanca awardee.

It is just not happening as I have envisioned and planned it though. 

I often find myself slipping into a slump. And sometimes, I would stay down there because drowning in self-doubt is easier than believing in yourself. I even declined those offers to become a columnist for a local newspaper and a contributor for an online news publication because the mocking voices in my head tell me I could not do it. And I think my middle finger agrees. 

Look how swollen it has become. I guess gotta stop writing typing.

My writing journey resembles a roller coaster ride. There are the overwhelming highs and crippling lows, the slow and relaxing ascent, then the big exhilarating drop. The ride will eventually come to a stop, which is a good time to take breather before I hop on to the next, probably more challenging one.

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At this point, I think I already lost the ability to write. I find it hard to write anything even when there is so much to share the past three months. This is probably the longest time I have been gone—in the blogosphere at least. I would have started this comeback post with an apology for the absence but nobody really notices that, so it doesn't matter.

Anyway, I have gone down the rabbit hole—that is TikTok. And I am still here with no plans of resurfacing soon. I am far too busy watching funny, dancing, and oddly satisfying videos to blog. 

It's crazy how I used to cringe at content made on TikTok and here I am with twenty-seven published videos on the same platform that I loathed so much. Well, what can I say? TikTok saved my life.

In case you are wondering how...

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And yes, you are allowed to judge me
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I take pride in my DIY skills

I was born creative. But if we're going to be honest here, I only do it because I am cheap practical. If I can do something with what's available, I will do it if it means saving more money for better things like books I don't get to read.

I don't go great lengths though. I know little of carpentry and nothing of plumbing, robotics, pottery, nor baking—if that's what you're thinking. But I do love crafting. I'm good at repurposing broken and useless household items to even more useless stuff.  

I DIYed almost everything in our wedding—invitation, welcome board, giveaways, cake topper, ring holder, and guest book. All costumes in all the themed parties I have attended, Rhett's school event costumes, and even few of the household items that we still use are DIYed too. I mostly craft things that look pretty and cute.

But I have never created one that's used for the halloween. And I have to make one for Jan's virtual halloween party with workmates. No chance of throwing in one of my totally believable excuses to not do it after deliberately forgetting to checkout the wolf hat that he initially planned to wear because I was reluctant to spend his own money for a single-use item. 

Like, duh? Dude, we do not go half-assed by doing things that are not well thought out here. 

The event is happening in less than 24 hours and all I have are scratch papers, an old cardboard, a pair of scissors, and a bottle of glue that seem to have dried out. 

Since it is a virtual party, a full-body costume, while encouraged, is not necessary. Albeit we could have gone extra and pulled off a Hannibal Lecter. But right now, this is the best I can come up with:

This "mask" and a green screen that is actually orange. 
It's not perfect yet. I still have to poke holes for the eyes on it. And Jan's probably going to wear white or orange to blend with the background. But this is how it's going to look on Zoom.

It is not creative creative and it did not take a lot of effort to make. But obviously, this warrants a blog post because it is brilliant. We'd probably win the scariest costume award, if there will be one.

We have been experiencing internet losses for five days straight. Other than disagreeing with your wife, this is the scariest thing that is happening wherever you are in the world. Our mood, mental health, jobs, relationships, and subpar lives depend heavily on the internet. And I know everyone agrees with me, right? Right.


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This is not something that a lot of people can relate to. But in case you are wondering, this is how I got by those raging pregnancy hormones during the isolation. I've heard a few kids play this but from what I know, this game kept A LOT OF PEOPLE (mostly adults) from spiraling downward during the pandemic. It is truly a life saver.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the most expensive game I have ever bought ($60 + Nintendo Switch Online membership worth Php350/year). But with the number of hours I have played, you can tell that it is absolutely WORTH IT. If I didn't have children and a business to attend to, I would have probably spent more than 5,000 hours with it.

A few days ago, Animal Crossing just released a major update and I have never been so excited to play a tedious game my entire life.

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I was asked to do a speech after my name was announced. I don't exactly have an affinity for speaking, let alone an impromptu one. Usually, the words I compose in my head are not the same words that come out of my mouth. I only wanted to be grateful but instead, I uttered:

"I wrote my entry without the intention to win."

And that was only half the truth.

You see, when I decided to join the blogging competition, I would be a hypocrite if I say I didn't want to win. I wrote my piece with the Php30,000 prize money on my mind. Well, that's almost half of Rhett's tuition fee balance. Who wouldn't want that?

So I started brainstorming for topics only to be confronted by the fact that I do not have a story to tell. I do know I have the writing prowess, pero hindi ko talaga kayang tapatan ang kwento ng iba. My story pales in comparison with others. Yes, it was a mistake to read other entries before starting with mine. But I wrote anyway because I wanted to challenge myself to write something inspiring out of the ordinary. The last time I did this, my article inadvertently went viral. Sort of. Not that I'm trying to do the same thing. 

It took me at least twenty revisions and a hundred self doubts before I published my entry. And truthfully, by the time I submitted my piece a day before the deadline, I had no intention of winning. What I just wanted to do was share what I feel and make a difference—to myself at least.

The last time I joined this competition, there were 70+ entries and I did not make it to the top 20. I thought of the same thing when I learned there were 108 blog entries this season. Being part of the top 40 was good enough. And while I only hoped to win from any of the raffle draws during the virtual awarding (unfortunately, there wasn't any), I unexpectedly bagged 5th place.

Honestly, among all the writing competitions I have won, this one felt like the biggest win (hence, the blog post). The feeling is just amazing when you least expect it. It feels like winning first. It was a real surprise. Unexpected. But I know it is well-deserved.

What else can I say? If you want to achieve your dreams and aspirations, you have to do it for yourself. Not for the glory and certainly not for others. If you free yourself from expectations, that's when you will realize how unstoppable you can be. 

As for me, more than the ego boost, becoming Php10,000 richer, and helping WWF-Philippines, this experience strengthened my dream of writing for the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. Sure, winning might be out of the question here. But if I muster the courage to write and submit what seem to be a daunting 10-page typewritten essay, then that means I've already won.

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I have been reading someone lately. And it's not because he is famous nor do I find his life interesting. I know this blog can be described exactly the same way, but nope, this is not about me. He was also a competitor from the last blogging contest I joined. And even though I wanted to win against a pool of professional writers, seasoned bloggers, and journalists, I rooted for him—whom I had never heard of before. He won, unsurprisingly. 

I would say I am a fan. I don’t remember the last time I engulfed myself into reading as much as I did his blog. He can write topics that can set off cricket noises without boring the reader at all. And the more I read, the more it becomes clear how my writing is a million light years away from his. 

Whenever I express (with a twinge of envy) how good he is with the craft, Jan is always quick to remind me, "He has a degree in English. He was taught and trained for that. You are a natural." Which is actually a less obnoxious way of saying I would need to graduate with the same degree, probably with Latin honors, a PhD, and vow to never eat bacon ever again to come close to his level. It's sad that I can never make the last one happen. It is worse than having a morally questionable deal with the devil for a never-ending creativity. 

Of course, the husband does not mean it that way. But the little mocking voice inside my head would say the same thing. It's the same voice that told me to turn down an opportunity to become a regular columnist for a local newspaper because my writing skills, or lack thereof, have fallen far behind me. And I don't think I do well writing with deadlines.

Also, I do not have a machine to work on. 

That being said, Jan got himself a new Mac mini yesterday. His Macbook Pro belongs to me now. And as much as I want an iMac Pro that I'll mostly use for googling secret societies of people who worship Comic Sans (I believe they're out there and I want to be in), I don't have a job and beggars can't be choosers. 
So even though this Macbook's keyboard doesn't feel as awesome as the mechanical keyboard he gave me way back, this should be enough to keep me motivated to win an argument on the internet write more because well...

I still have a Palanca to win. 😁

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I thought that my blogger duties were put on halt (if it is still not obvious, I haven't been Instagramming and blogging as regularly as I would have). For the past few days, all I did was literally eat and sleep the whole day, and Google about these aBsOLutEly HeLPfuL tHinGs iN LiFe like duck cannibalism, snake poop, and galloping crocodiles in between.

I have been declining design job opportunities and writing gigs because this pregnancy is getting more and more difficult I am simply lazy. But I wouldn't say I am lazy all the time. I make myself useful by giving the husband a pat on the back for being the hardworking man that he is because he needs more motivation to work harder now that I don't have job (and I got items on my cart waiting to be checked out). Haha. But I guess, it's also worth mentioning that I am not the whiny and demanding pregnant wife every husband is terrified about. Or to put it simply, I try not to be a burden to him even though this has got to be my life right now:
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Just when I thought I'm already done with video games, I find myself attacked by this:
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I started blogging more than a decade ago but it was only in 2015 when I started to up the ante. I wrote a lot of helpful, inspiring, and relatable posts. I focused on evergreen content. And it definitely paid off. I was able to earn, rake in a few sponsorship, get invited to exclusive events, enjoy premium services at no cost, receive PR kits and blogger mails, eat food I cannot afford, enjoy all-expense paid trips, stay in 5-star hotels for free, won awards, and more!

But it has to a price to pay.

You see, I get different reactions whenever PRs probe this blog. I am not surprised if a lot of them feel uneasy and retreat at the sight of the title alone. My blog title stinks, I know. Plus, I do not have a huge following that would have been an advantage in luring brands to work with. But I have a knack for writing, or so I would like to believe. So I used that as my strength. Thankfully, there are those who actually read through my posts. Most of them are amused and I love it when they tell me about it. It is one of the things that propel me to write more.

Some of the brands I trust and love working with. With the help of Davao Bloggers Society, of course!
However, I had to be careful with what I write. I created an entirely different blog and revived my Instagram account for professional reasons so I can continue writing gibberish here. But even so, I avoided fingerrhea. My rants are kept at minimum to none. I refrained from using strong language. I delivered my opinions mildly. And I didn't really write about things that are too personal (you know, the TMIs). No one is restricting me at all, but to me, it felt like I had to look good all the time. 

Then this pandemic happened. This more than a month long quarantine period has led me back to the blogging I knew in 2003—when there were no brands to work with and monetization wasn't a thing. I didn't know how much I missed writing about the bad, the ugly, and the nonsense. I know none of these things seem attractive to anyone. And if I keep writing about what I have eaten for lunch three days ago, I would not be surprised if my readership will drop drastically. But to tell you honestly, the perks I get writing for others do not measure to the satisfaction I get in writing for me. Or to put it simply, this is what I love to do. So to all the readers out there who are still stickiing around, thank you for reading me even if I am sure you have better things to do.

And I think this what I need to impart to all those who ask me how to start blogging. You have to love the craft first. Because if you're here for the fame, the money, and the perks that come with it, you're not going to last long, buddy.

It's 2020. I don't know if blogging is still a thing. Social media has probably killed it. But even when everybody's attention span has been cut short to 160 characters, I'd still be here... blogging about crap no one's really interested about.
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If zombies were to chase me, I only have a 300-meter chance to run for my life. Anything farther than that does not guarantee my survival.

Because I hate to admit this, I AM NO LONGER FIT AS I WAS BEFORE.
Rule#1: Cardio
How do you survive a zombie apocalypse?

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I'm not sure whether I should start my intro with a defensive speech as to why I got 39 new books (not including the children's book I got for Rhett) in less than two months or should I just accept my fate that I always get defeated in a battle against impulsive book buying.
Supportive. As always ♥
Here’s the thing, when you are in front of a million new books priced at 50-90% off, there's no way you could ever resist that. Not me. And it's not all the time you can get big book sales like this, that's why you have take advantage of it.  Meaning, you can’t just go barging in a book sale and NOT buy a book… because that’s just stupid. And besides, I don't really have anything to spend my money on.

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Today is 11.11. Every online and physical store is on a HUUUUGE sale. Tempting, yes. But I wasn't really psyched about it because:

1. I'm broke. And even if I had the money,
2. The internet has been fucked up since Thursday.

So instead of wasting precious bandwidth, loading websites that will only make me a thousand more poorer, I'll blog about last month's National Book Store's Book Binge Bazaar book haul instead.

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Even though I go gaga over Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, or Linkin Park, it has never been a secret how much I love boy bands.

I guess you can blame that to the curtain haircuts made famous by Nick Carter back in the 90s. That pretty boy look definitely won too many hearts. But more than the pretty face, they got the phenomenal stage presence, smooth dance moves, cheesy songs, and the voice that definitely made teen girls fall head over heels. And I guess, I have not outgrown that stage until this very day.

I was 12 when I fell in love with these guys. I used to watch them every day on MTV. And even though I claim to be a huge boy band fan, I've never seen one group performed live.
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I remember during my freshman year in high school, I saw a batch of seniors who were standing in neat rows under the heat of the sun. They looked cool in their combat boots and fatigue, except, they were more like puppies to me than soldiers. They're pretty good at obeying commands. Sit, roll over, drop and play dead, or whatever the commanding officer tells them to. I watched them every Friday and told myself I've already been potty-trained since 2, I don't need new tricks, and I'm never going to be a trained pup. And the only way to elude the comedy and horror of Preparatory Military Training (PMT) is to be part of a varsity team.
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I’m not claiming to be an interesting person but new and seemingly interesting things happened lately. Plus, I need more entries for this blog, so here goes.
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"Hey, I got a new badge on my blog."

"Congratulations! You deserve that!"

"Thanks! But I want to add something right there."

There was a pause.

"I want to win a Palanca," I told Jan flat out loud.

He gave me an eager look as he continued to listen to me and my absurd dreams.

I rolled my eyes, gave out a soft sigh, and blurted, "I just do not know how to do it."

You see, I've read this year's winning entries - mostly from established writers, journalist, and columnists - and I certainly do not make the cut.
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For the first time in my life, I wished I have the singing voice and be in a musical.

Well actually, I have been part of musicals. The biggest one I had was just a mere school play in college. But what difference does it make? I think the only line that divides both professional and amateur school plays is that they do it for money while we do it for grades. Haha.

Anyway, I played as a hooker and as Kim in Miss Saigon on different occasions. But don't get me wrong, even though I (assume to) have a talent in acting, I can never carry a tune to save my life. So apparently, on both musicals that I have been part of, we were just lip-syncing the entire time.
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Everybody knows that I am into arts and crafts. I can DIY whatever the hell I want. It's just that... I am lazy. And I don't have a lot of patience for it.

Today, I installed a new cork board and a whiteboard for my workstation - which is pretty boring. And even though I am lazy as can be, I can't have it that way. So to add a little pizzazz to it, I created a pen holder that will hold my whiteboard markers so that I don't have to reach far if I want to write something on it. I saw this somewhere on Pinterest and decided to make one myself.

And bam! My cute DIY pen holder:

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