I continuously complain about my life, but at the same time, I am completely in love with it. That's drunkenness.
In my work as a Web Developer, many people ask me about how I see myself in a couple of years in the IT sector. I do expect those kinds of questions, but I feel weird about answering them at the same time. I am a goal-setter, an output-oriented, systems-creator kind of person - that's why I have to say, I do have goals in this line of work. But at the same time, I am Hedonistic (the way Foucault would explain it), and I live for and with what is pleasureable - that is why I have to say I am in this work and in other 'works' because I am pleasured by the way they make me feel. But not everyone could get what I am trying to explain. It's rather complicated to answer in just one sentence.
But just the same, the world opens up. It gets bigger and smaller for me everyday. My state of drunkenness is brought about by the liminality I live in. We are all liminal beings - we cannot box ourself in one category because the world is big enough to continue exploring. But the more we explore, the more we realize how small it could get. I am constantly reminded - we live in just one world. And this one world is big enough and small enough for each one to find purpose.
graduated from college.
last march, ive been able to finish school. looking back, maybe this was the greatest event that has happened so far this year. being able to march in a graduation ceremony and getting your mock diploma used to elude me. i was also thankful for all the people that ive met, got drunk with, jammed with, cheated exams with, cut classes with, that ive met them along the way. also there were people who doubted me if im able to graduate. i guess ive proved you otherwise. (opening chords from Eraserheads' 'Sa Wakas' begins to play in the background)
from doing the carpentry to electrical wirings to painting the room.last september, my cousin and i switched rooms. actually this is my original room, but years ago, after i went to a weekend trek to mt. patag, my tito and my 2 cousins had occupied my room even without my permission ( i was just a college sophomore then), since the spare room is too small for them... now, im back here. anyway, i redid the ceiling, redesigned the closet, put in more electric outlets, installed A/C, put dimmer lights, added more sound insulation, repainted the room. now if i can find a way to recoup all the costs involved in this redesign.. hmmm.. its worth it i guess..hehe
religiously saved a fixed amount from monthly salary.
eversince i had my first job, most of the money earned was spent on booze, nightouts, trips, useless material things -- and almost every month, id end up borrowing from my mom (which wala man gakabayran hehe). this year, though, ive been able to save up a good amount of money from my salary and other sources of income from sidelines, rackets, etc.
promoted to full time position at work.
im working as a web developer for an aussie company on a home-office basis. after more than a year of having a 4-hour workday from my work there, because of me being at school, ive been promoted to 8-hours. means my salary would be twice that i receive every month when i was doing the school-work-school stunt. which i started getting 8 hours the next morning after graduation day.
lost phone for the first time.
must. not. drink. too. much. beer. 'nuff said.
planned and implemented sister's dream wedding.
last august, my sister and panoy, her boyfriend of 10 years, arrived from abroad. we had no idea that they'll get married because panoy has to ask mom's permission personally. when mom gave the green light, we scrambled making wedding preparations because theyre only staying for only a month. but in the end, she got the dream wedding normally we filipinos could only see at movies. everything was non-traditional: modern but formal-looking invitations. Pachelbel's Canon in D was the bridal march, wedding cake is made with choco-muffins, bridal car is a Volkswagen Beetle, complete with 'Just Married' sign with shoes and tin cans at the rear, motif is all-white, music for the reception is classical music, etc.
This Christmas season, a friend bought a brand new cell phone, although his old cell phone works perfectly. His old phone? Not the coolest on the market, not bluetooth compatible, not an MP3 player, but 100% functional.
I wanted to give him a hard time, but I said nothing. I even had to agree with him on the quality of the new phone's camera. It's top notch.
But, it did get me thinking about how often we (as in most people) buy things to replace other things that are in fine working order.
I, for instance, want a new notebook. Mine is slow and old. I won't buy one ... not until this one has died of old age, but that doesn't mean that, in the past, I haven't done just what my friend did last weekend.
We buy things we don't need. We buy duplicates of things we don't need and then toss the first thing we didn't need into the trash.
So, I'm promising myself (especially during the holiday season -- as all my friends and family ask me "What do you want for Christmas?") -- that I'm going to think long and hard about what I truly need. And try even harder to be happy with what I've got.
We quickly moving to era where what you see is far from reality. Microsoft Research based in Bejing demonstrated similar techniques about 2 years ago.
Be afraid, very afraid. Interestingly enough forensics don't have methods yet to determine if image has been manipulated since it's such a new area. You can only hope that someone doesn't decide you are the 'less significant' area.... :D
New method to shrink images — Two Israeli professors, Shai Avidan and Ariel Shamir, have demonstrated a new method to shrink images. The method figures out which parts of an image are less significant, and then makes it possible to change the aspect ratio of an image without make it look skewed. More info after the jump.
Solution : If I am going to use the relative URL’s then I need to use the BASE attribute in the HTML.
The BASE attribute is helpful for calling up relative URLs. The BASE attribute specifies the base directory or URL used in resolving all relative path statements in the Flash Player movie. This attribute is particularly helpful when your Flash Player movies are kept in a different directory from your other files. — from Adobe
It became clear to me this week why IT jobs are outsourced from first world countries to cheap labor markets such as India and the Philippines. Writing source codes is tedious and strenuous mental work. You face the computer for 9 straight hours, and get an overdose of radiation. Your back and butt hurt from perpetually sitting and slouching. By the end of the day, all of your brain cells get depleted. You look like you've just waken up in the morning, cranky and bleary-eyed from all the free caffeinated coffee you drank. You finally get rest after that. You face radiation again, this time in front of the TV, unusually mentally awake, like you've just taken drugs. You want to sleep early but you eventually slumber at around 12-1am. Then you wake up again by 5:30am to do this all over again.
I don't want to give up yet. Beneath all of the negatives, I'm trying to discover elements that can make this job a vocation rather than just plain work. Quoting Mr. Kent Nerburn, "Find out what it is that burns in your heart and do it. Choose a vocation, not a job, and you will be at peace."
For instance, when I create a program that actually works, there is a sense of achievement and satisfaction. This week, 2 very difficult case studies in my MS .NET training placed me at breaking point. The first case involved incorporating 3-control-break routines (say what?) in sorting, merging, updating and printing out business documents. When I failed to meet the deadline for this case, I got so depressed. But still, I insisted to myself to finish this case even if I already passed the deadline. I said to myself, the worse case scenario is accumulating so much unfinished cases, that in the end, I don't finish a case at all.
Being an IT graduate, I should be the first to know of this kind of stress due to the mental calisthenics and the emotional roller coaster. Hence, I said to myself that I will never give up. Pwede ni, kaya ko ni. A day later after the deadline, I eventually finished the program to my utmost relief.
Going back, IT jobs are outsourced, in my opinion, because as a nation progresses, citizens have more disposable income to enjoy life. They have the money to hire laborers to do jobs that they do not want to do. As an example, doing household chores, a very boring and exhausting task, are delegated to domestic helpers. Customer phone servicing, a job that you might hate, are outsourced to call centers here in Bacolod. This job can make you feel guilty at first because intruding random strangers and going through humiliation and verbal abuses are new territories. But as you go on, you become numb to insults and eventually get used to being rudely hanged up at the other end of the line.
At the end of the day, I find it difficult to pinpoint where you contribute to the greater part of society with these kinds of jobs. Maybe being a breadwinner in the family, your salary, contributes to society, not your job per se.
Unfortunately, being in a third world country limits my choices. These are the only jobs available in the market. I can only persevere and work hard to go up the corporate ladder so that I can acquire that longed-for sinecure spot. For now, my motto is work hard, party later.
Working from home can be isolating but highly productive, that's for sure. Sometimes this isolation is a good thing, i.e., when you're working under a deadline or you have a project that requires intense concentration for long periods of time. However, that isolation is a two-edged sword, which is why you see coffee shops full of laptop-wielding workers.
I suspect the coffee-drinking-laptop-toting crowd , especially here in bacolod, e.g. cafe bobs, bo's coffee club, kuppa, etc etc are more interested in their self-images as Hip and Cool, and less interested in doing any work - they just sip their horribly expensive spanish-titled beverages and are seen by others, with similar conceit.