Music, my mother, and me

musicWag mong ilipat!” my mother exclaimed with glee while I was radio station surfing one night in 1997. We were having some chit chat after dinner then, with the FM radio as our background music.

“That was sung by [I forgot the artist]. That was [I forgot the exact year as well]. I was in college,” she said nostalgically. “But that was one of my least favorite songs back then.”

Her last statement puzzled me. How could she enjoy listening to music that she once never liked? We both had no issues with 90’s music. In fact, like me, she listened to Spice Girls, and even noted that Victoria was her favorite Spice Girl.

So I wondered: Why would she want the radio tuned in to some old song that she didn’t fancy when she was young over some rockin’ 90’s song that we’d both like?

Curious and confused, I asked her, “Ma, why do you like listening to old songs?”

She chuckled as if I asked a stupid question. I didn’t mind and just waited for her to enlighten me.

“It reminds you of your childhood,” she explained. “It brings back memories.”

Pag tanda ko din kaya, ganun din ako?” the silly 13-year-old girl that I was asked.  My mother laughed at my thinking-out-loud moment.

Fast forward to 2011 and in one of those random days, Jars of Clay’s Unforgetful You  started playing in my iPod shuffle. The song reminded me of how carefree and how fun being young is.

If I had an MP3 player back in high school, I wouldn’t have that song in my favorites’ list. But today, as I listen to it, I relish every drum beat and every note. I remember our stereo system, where it used to play. I remember the CD . I remember the problems I faced as a teenager. Today, it dawns on me that they were miniscule compared with my late 20’s problems. And it dawns on me that there are certain things that you’d only understand as you get older–like how nostalgic it is to listen to songs of our childhood. 🙂

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Stilettos

stilettos
Is it deadly or lovely?

It’s not everyday that I get to share anecdotes like this. So allow me to tell you a short story on how a pair of stiletto shoes taught me a lesson on perspective and interpretations.


My friend Kathy and I went window-shopping at the mall while waiting for dinner time with another friend. She spotted a purple stiletto shoe at one of the shoe shops and shrieked “That’s love!”

Kathy went inside the shop. I’m not a big fan of such shoes, but I went in, too. I looked around at the flats, the boots, and some sandals, while Kathy made her way through the rack where the five-inch stiletto shoe stood proud.

While we left the shop, Kathy mused again on how pretty the shoes looked. I gave her a reluctant nod, which she understood perfectly: “Look at you. You don’t agree, do you?” And then she laughed.

She knew well that I can’t walk on four-inch high heels. How can I even manage to stand on five-inch shoes?

We strolled some more and found ourselves in front of the same shoe shop again. “That’s love!” I heard Kathy said again.

“Kat, please,” I said finally. “Don’t call it love. You think it’s love. I think it’s deadly. Put them together and it’s like saying ‘love is deadly.’”

So now you see how two different people view the same thing differently. 😛

Zomboss’ First & Final Tale: Scrutinizing BlackBerry

Call me Zomboss. I am neither human nor animal. But I used to accompany a human everywhere even in the mountains and even in bed. Neither am I a fictional character nor a historical figure. But I have been a great part in technology’s history—for I am one of man’s best products of ingenuity.

The good ol' days: When I was in tip top shape. Photo by Patrick Oliveros

Once upon a time, I was the smartest. Once upon a time, I had the most stars in reviews. Once upon a time, I was the most desired gadget of this blog’s owner.

And oh yes, I met her expectations. Before the netbook era and before tablets became man’s favorite object to swish-woosh-touch, I was one of the few you could “touch.” Before accelerometers and gyroscopes made it to simple devices for daily use, I stood out in the crowd.

But apparently, the trends have changed. Moore’s Law has pushed technological advancements. And I was pushed back and left behind until I had to retire:

So the quest for another smart phone for this blogger began. I saw her candidates: the iPhone, Samsung, BlackBerry and even my descendant whom I am very proud of: the Xperia.

But only one stood out. I knew how much she fancied my Qwerty keyboard, my Wi-Fi capability, my simple block form, and my ability to let her read her ebooks even when the lights are off.

Hence, she picked the BlackBerry.

Black-colored and simple, it looked like a typical handset with a Qwerty keyboard. Black and bland, but it outsmarted me.

I loathe every semiconductor that make up its genetic code. The BlackBerry made me look like a chimpanzee, while the black and bland thing looked like a Homo sapiens sapiens.

The Multi-tasker

Unlike me, this smart phone, which she dubbed StrawBerry, is really capable of doing what a “smart” gadget can really do: Perform multitasking well.

She can check her personal e-mail while Jon Schmidt plays in the background. She sends and receives Gtalk messages to family and friends while her phone alerts her of incoming SMS, too. She can connect to WLAN while she jots down quick notes.

She dragged and dropped Harry Potter movies and astonishing Jon Schmidt videos to the gadget when it was connected to her netbook, as if the phone was just a flash disk. But there’s more to the BlackBerry than its memory: It played her videos, too!

The Jack of All Apps

In addition to providing messaging and office applications, the smart phone blended well with her lifestyle. She got the chance to lay her hands on a GPS-enabled BlackBerry Bold, which allowed her to track her run training through a free application called Endomondo.

With a smorgasbord of applications, the BlackBerry offered her countless possibilities at her fingertips: a dictionary, PDF reader, a translator, a BlackBerry Protect app, expense tracker, and even a calorie counter. But its camera doesn’t provide digicam-quality images like yours truly.

BlackBerry means connectivity.

Wi-Fi-ready and Bluetooth-enabled, this handset seriously meant connectivity. However, the phone lacked an FM radio.

And that is just odd. A few years ago, a chipset that bundled FM radio and Bluetooth had been released. My feeble processor is wondering why RIM didn’t consider that. Perhaps it was meant for low-end phones or smaller-footprint devices.

Nonetheless, you won’t miss out on the latest news and music if you stay tuned in via Twitter, which can also be available to BlackBerry users through different Twitter apps.

Hence, to stay connected while allowing diversity of applications on-the-go, I must admit, cross me out of your list and consider BlackBerry. My maker doesn’t even have software upgrades of me anymore!

But if you want quality images, don’t rely on us, smart phones. Consider a DSLR. 😛

‘Tis the Season…

To be jolly?

Yes.

But not only because it’s Yuletide season.

‘Tis the season for my slacker side to be happy, too, because I swore I wouldn’t be racing for the rest of the year.

A few weeks ago, fellow Team Endure gals Ellen and Carly, and I joined the Tri United White Rock Triathlon (WRT) as a relay team. This was the conclusion of my 2010 race season. But oops, technically, it’s the second to the last. It was that particular weekend that concluded it: a back-to-back race weekend of WRT and Milo Olongapo Eliminations. Continue reading “‘Tis the Season…”

For you.

I stand before you with very little courage left. You stare back. I’m afraid of you. Given the circumstances, I’m vulnerable.

You appear placid and harmless, but I know you are dangerous. You have hidden fangs capable of ripping skin the moment I fall, which is likely because I might forget I’m on cleats.

Hence, I postpone our tryst.

We shall meet again.

– Tracy’s message to the road. She’s just too chicken to try riding with cleats yet.

Falcon’s first century

We made it safely!
We made it safely!

I could allude long rides to real life—an adventure with uphill battles and downhill excitement, appreciation of the journey, presence of mind at critical points, sharing it with people who matter to you, and trusting a greater Force for a safe and meaningful journey.

Falcon in Tagaytay
Falcon in Tagaytay

Read more about the adventure here.