Jerome's incomprehensible but improving...
Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Two occasions of midnight-philosophical-reflective blog post, followed by haikus.


Skpping on round stones
Water lilies watch me dance
On shimmering edge

Their latest cellphones
Pay respect during noon Mass
Just barely, seething

Pink morning commute
Smug skyline in the distance
Might go for hash browns

I can't exactly sleep, with these thoughts.

I will pay for it in drowsy moments and caffeine tomorrow. Suddenly conscious of caffeine intake, I decide to drink water. Stare at ref. No. A bar segment of chocolate is more like it. One needs energy for this. It's simple logic sometimes, what you need to eat. No taste moods or long-term Gaia-ish vegetable considerations.

A sleep debt to pay. I'll pay on a Greek calend. (Hah, managed to use Greek calend somewhere.) (Er, that seemed pathetic.)

Something decidedly non-linear for the blog. I happened to do something around Tuesday morning, afterwards Tuesday afternoon. Later, it was Tuesday evening. However, it was Wednesday morning the next day. None of that.

What does it mean to communicate, through a monologue. The ultimate irony. Not only that, but I'm analyzing the monologue sometimes. A meta-monologue. Another onion skin of abstraction.

Am such a bore, instinctively, I thought. No, it's...pathetic-ness of Greek calend comment bearing down on me. It's not like I'm rambling from one thought to another. This written piece in MS Word, it archives my recent ramblings, further influencing thoughts down the page. Something like a cumulative average. It doubles down on itself. It's a self-reflecting, semi-sentient introspective piece. All these red and green squiggly lines to boot. Hey you know what, I inserted "red and green" in that previous sentence, right after I wrote the rest of this. Definitely non-linear.

And like a decent person who realizes that he's walking in circles, I realize I'm writing in circles. More like an outward spiral actually, text doubling and doubling upon itself like a thin blue sleeping bag we used to have. At some point you imagine you'll really have a hard time rolling it up, let alone shove it in a closet. I used to have a lot of fun tossing those pillows, knotting up blankets, making mini-slides when used to sleep over in the air-conditioned room downstairs.

Stop. Really I'm making nice little additions, corrections to the narrative above. Smoothing the flow. Adding pleasant-sounding adjectives, connecting details. Would be fascinating seeing this being typed again, playback, seeing the non-linearness of the word processor, this sentence, this paragraph not being spared.


Why am I writing?

What does it mean to communicate? Ugh that sounds bad. And this should be in the same paragraph (corrected version evident here.)

I got into bed, and as usual had a craving to read a book. I grabbed "God of Small Things" from the headboard. I liked the end part best (so did a book critic) because it captured the essence of the book. People reveling in small things while the Big Things left them dejected in their failed lives. Ammu and Velutha talking about the simplest things, deliberately.

Note to self: will not wrap this up in typical Ateneo-paper generality, somehow involving a paradox and a warm fuzzy blanket statement at the end.

So I thought about this week, and past months, and I thought about how I talked to different people. I found that especially with Sach nowadays, the question of quality of conversation is something that I am reminded of. Not just because the phone downstairs has rather frequent lightning storms of static.

Side quip: this really is a nonsense post. Pity the person reading this. One insomniac netizen talking to another. No I object, this will have sense. Or at least give the author a better realization on something. Not that I will end it in aforementioned alma mater writing style.

Why quality of conversation? And it really shouldn't be a thing you talk about. It's not really talking about anything most of the time, but not all of the time, or else communication students should get their money back from listening to all those lectures.

It seems sometimes though, that it is not dissimilar to trying to sleep. We do have that tendency sometimes to like talking about talking since it's a nice topic you can take apart and analyze.

Must work towards a good conclusion. Note caveats above. Point of exercise is to really learn something here. Speaking of, regrettably did not get to jog on Sunday morning, or afternoon. Anyway.

Why do -- wait I got a sudden fast-forward insight. It's about expectation. (We can skip the rest of the math proof getting to that thought.) We expect to discuss something substantial all the time, since we've had a lot of nice topics to talk about before.

This really seems so far removed from reality. (Yeah, and I'm contentedly typing on virtual paper, with a vertical line leaving these black marks that does not even remotely resemble typewriter keys or a Panda ballpen.) But seriously -- think Ferriols "meron" -- this is really a pointer to a reality. It's not an academic discussion, though the format (save for 1 1/2 spaced, font size 11 Times New Roman requirements) makes it seem like it. Waaah. Enough.

My point is, I should enjoy whatever time we happen to talk. No it shouldn't be a scheduled affair, and we just talk naturally. Why was I even considering that. There's something to be said about deliberately not talking, since we should really get to learn more about things. Why I reach out and talk to friends, invite them for lunch, dinner, movies, whatnot. Why I would like to talk again to Gladys, or Mau, or Sanjay, or Neil, or Mike, or Orson, etc. Because I feel a genuine need to talk.

It's about being honest. I'm not afraid to say that I am not decided about some things in life. Similarly, I should not be afraid to say that, well, um, keep quiet and just think while cars or trucks go by. Note: this is meant to be a general principle, just that some references had some context. Again, instinctive feeling that am overdoing the methodical analysis. The gut-feel, common-sense-level point is there.

If I don't feel like talking, then there's a reason, which I may need to look into. Maybe I am not reflective enough. Maybe I haven't been more adventurous to learn new things. Maybe I lack sleep. But should be honest. The let's-go-to-Macau-or-McDo-and-talk-about-anything-about-work-or-jokes-or-stories-no-profundity-or-superb-wittiness-required kind of discussion. This reminds me, this just uncovered something about some thought or feeling I have to be honest about (well not here though.)

Lofty thoughts, airy ideas, without some nitty-gritty life story behind them, something that happened last Tuesday morning, Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday (nice tying up with a previous paragraph, eh?) is not a concept I am very comfortable with. I think I am doing the right thing, by trying to get to know more about life and people. (I need sleep too, also the right thing.) I hope to be able to share these things with people. Of course you need to swap stories with them like so and such movie, or this and that family gathering (not to trivialize these, not at all! Just that you can't write the detail here of course. They should write those in their respective blogs! So I can read them. Or just swap these stories with me over nice outdoor dinner at Eastwood, sometime.) It's really what gives the entire art of conversation color. (Warning: warm fuzzy generalization detected. Comfort oneself by thought that one really means to internalize the fact.)

I have to be honest. I don't have that many recollections of my past 10 years in programming competitions. A shame I haven't done blogs then. I do have some memories which I can recall vividly.

I have to be a person foremost, know oneself. Then a friend. Then reach others truly. Again shouldn't take this as just great words that are just great words, but great words from someone who would like to live up to them. That's how I can have really good profound sharing with others. With a whole lot of humdrum, down-to-earth chats, in the pantry, on the commute, wherever, in between. It's not all sketchy conclusions anyhow.

Still not crystal clear but getting there. That's the truth, and (whew) managed to avoid nice summing up sentences that would rack up lines for my PH 103 term paper quota.

This piece is heavily leaning towards intellectual (about to topple in fact.) Several reasons, among them being, I am feeling rather thoughtful right now, and also, the rather sentimental repercussions of any partial epiphanies realized through this will be left in other writings, if at all. Lastly, no time to digress towards that since I have to sleep. Also must post this quickly, or the weight of those grammatical inconsistencies and narrative flaws above may force my hand and cause this entire work to fall like a deck of cards. Or lose its essence. Disjoint metaphors. But I'll leave that as is. Not important. So there.
Monday, November 24, 2003

MS n-Tier Web App discussion

Cubicle-less office failed experiment

Mike's free speech idea

[BACKLOG 2203/11/17-2003/11/21]

Monday and Tuesday: Fix calendar stuff in Intranet. Nasty assumptions. Found proper events to hook to, now saving operations going smoothly with the (CMS) flow. Neat!

Make a release. Have a nice dinner with Eric, Sach and Fanny, followed by reminiscing besides familiar Ateneo grounds.

Wednesday: Had a developer meeting re Forward Agenda. Was cramming with handwritten stuff! Anyhow, final release will be much better (Coding Standards for C#). Release Intranet 1.1. Research on discussion forums.

Thursday: Not particularly productive on project proper. Set up ASP.NET discussion forum though. Release maintenance build.

Friday: Work on more Intranet fixes, translations, etc. Worked on updating tech documentation -- quite an important task! Some research on coding standards, refactoring tools, random Net browsing.

[BACKLOG 2003/11/15-2003/11/16]

I had a small but significant chat with Sacha in the afternoon, then spent the rest of the day up to early Sunday morning working on this 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle with Dom and Sach.

Really crazy. Some techniques employed:
- I do edges first. Simpler to do, and psych effect of completing a big contiguous piece is a plus
- Group pieces that fall into general areas. Divide work accordingly (do the "face", the "musical notes", the "branches", whatnot
- I played the "matchmaker". Basically give me a piece and I'll tell you where it goes based on the reference pic on the cover. Everyone should really use the pic, but since there's only one, others have to try putting things at random, kind of

We had some really interesting conversations. I need to recall some of them soon, but I remember Dom cracking some jokes, and a nifty discussion on time zones.

Dom had to leave a bit early to visit a friend at a hospital. Sach and I finished the puzzle after almost 2 more hours. A grand total of 16 hours or so! (Quip: "or so" doesn't sound right when followed by an exclamation point.)

Sach mentioned about a concert later that evening by the UP Singing Ambassadors. I went home, spent most of the day sleeping. I woke up to attend the 4PM mass. Then off to meet again with Dom. We hitched a ride with Ching and John to Philam Theatre.

Concert was really great! I liked the classical choir pieces, the modern pieces, the Filipino classics, and the contemporary numbers such as This Guy's in Love With You, Pare. In short, everything.

We had a little discussion on Yoyoy Villame's history song (In March 16, 1521...) Dom went out for dinner and gave me the freebie BK CD. I bought him a programme in return.

In other news, parents did not ask much about most unconventional weekend. I usually jokingly make a fuss of what my parents think, but they're cool. :-)

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