RN | grad student | Filipino | centrist | writer | copy editor | bookworm | philomath | evolutionist | conservationist | aspiring veterinarian | Ravenclaw
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No, I’m not one those purist Pokemon geeks who owe their very existence to generation 1 (though gen 1 is really nice). Ever since Pokemon X and Y was announced, I have been puking rainbows and visiting Bulbapedia every day. I was excited probably because generation 5 was released just last 2010—and also because Xerneas looks really cool and classy and Yveltal looks very badass. I decided to post something about generation 6 now that the game is released worldwide and officially. (Not that I didn’t like the leaks.)
This not going to be one of those very lengthy reviews, but I just want raise some specific aspects about generation 6.
3D: Need I say more?
Fairy Type: Awesome. There has been an outrage about the new type’s name. But come on, guys. Light type? Magic type? Seriously? Total cliche. And haters seem to forget that faeries like banshees, trolls, merfolk, unicorns, treefolk, and so on could take down dragons with a spell or two. (NB: Some mythology and folklore books classify beasts such as unicorns, dragons, manticores, and krakens as faerie animals.) And not all faeries are Tinkerbellish pixies, people; the entire world’s faerie mythology is not confined in Cornwall, England. It’s good that Game Freak still do their homework for their Pokemon mythos and designs (but some critics apparently did not).
Sylveon: Cool, but not that cool. I love the new type and all, but Sylveon … I guess Sylveon just has too many ribbons. Its body build and color look really great, in my opinion, but those ribbons just don’t look right (especially the bows on its head). I am not against the whole “feminine” design (who would ever hate Gardevoir’s design?), but the ribbons are overkill. However, it’s an Eeveelution, so I still love it. Bitches love Eeveelutions.
New Pokemon: I feel ambivalent about the number of new Pokemon. I was expecting at least 150 new species (and another Eeveelution or two), but so far, only around 70 (non-Mega) Pokemon have been revealed. Perhaps they’re just testing the waters for generation 6 and plan to release some event-exclusive and Pokemon Z species (of course there is going to be Pokemon Z).
And honestly, I like the starters and their evolutions. But they could have done better with Quilladin (it looks like a negligibly improved Pignite), and Greninja’s tongue scarf could have been bubbles. Just saying. I particularly like Talonflame, Gogoat, Pangoro, Skrelp, Malamar, and Aurorus. But the new bunny, goo-slug-dragon, and barnacle Pokemon designs are just … meh.
Meh: a polite expression of disappointment when I see Nosepass and Probopass, Lickilicky, Ludiloco, Rotom (all forms), the Vanillite line, Amoongus, Hippotas, Magmortar (ugly and creepy), the Gothita line, Pignite and Emboar, Vullaby, Purugly, Togetic, Electrode (an injustice to Voltorb’s design), Dugtrio (not as “good-looking” as Magneton and Dodrio), Magnezone, and Dragonite (yes, I hate its design; don’t judge me).
I’m not biggest hardcore Pokemon fan in the world, but ever since I found out about its species diversity and its concept of evolution (it’s more of a metamorphosis, really), I was hooked. Nope, nobody’s too old for Pokemon. And I’ll probably never stop playing and watching it until they straighten a couple things that never really made sense to me (e.g., re-typing Gyarados to Water-Dragon and Noctowl to Psychic-Flying and revealing Genesect’s prehistoric form [the bionic design sucks, and I don’t buy the Kabutops hypothesis].)
Now, excuse me while I attempt to catch ‘em all.
Images not mine. Click the photos to be directed to their sources.
No, I didn’t forget I had a Tumblr account. For the past two months, I occasionally check the dashboard to view blog posts (awesome as ever). Sometimes I have the urge to post something too, only to be held back by writer’s block. It’s surprising that my number of followers didn’t decrease, but I think that some of them might be (semi-)inactive like me. Posting on Tumblr seems like a chore now that work, grad school, and booze is slowly taking their toll on my fragile brain.
Fortunately, life outside the confines of the cyberworld is relatively cool too, especially in my own holy sanctuary (i.e., the bedroom), where all the magic happens.
No, my bedroom has no porn (a tragedy, TBH). I mean actual magic, like this Book of Shadows I made. I’ve been planning to remake my old Charmed BOS, after watching these awesome DIY videos on YouTube, and now I am halfway done (or perhaps not quite). The pages are still empty (I had to dispose the old ones and still need to stain more book leaves). I am also reconsidering using acrylic paint instead of watercolor pencils. The contents for my grimoire will contain elements from Charmed, mythology, folklore, and popular fiction. This will take a lot of time for research and outlining before I could set my pen on the pages.
I found my dad’s old Speedball nibs. I was reluctant to use the more traditional India ink (I have been comfortable with felt-tip calligraphy pens), but it’s surprisingly great to use (albeit messy for newbies like me). I couldn’t find colored inks anywhere, but diluted acrylic paint works fine.
To keep me company when I do not dabble with arts and crafts are my babies. Evidently, I need new shelves for my fiction books (most of my nonfiction, reference books are on other shelves). I haven’t some of them yet even after all the book sales I’ve squandered my money on. For months I had a rare “I’m not in the mood for anything” episode, but after reading Moore’s Practical Demonkeeping, I am back being a bookworm. (Now I don’t have to hear the imaginary protests of my unread, dust-laden, susceptible-to-termite-attack books.)
Ah, my old, reliable work space, where I usually draw, read, doodle, write, paint, drool, daydream, bang my head, cast spells, and whatnot. This and my bed are the silent witnesses of all the nerdiness I do not usually show to the world (trust me, my über-nerd mode is not something you’d like to see).
There’s that nostalgia I feel every now and then when I visit my almost-deserted Tumblelog. I’d like to echo a fellow Tumblelogger (hi, codebluealert): my Tumblr status is not as active as it used to be.
I miss the times when I consider a day incomplete when I do not visit Tumblr. It was part of my daily routine: Tumblr, school, lunch, Tumblr, school, [booze,] Tumblr, reading, bedtime (?). Non-Tumbleloggers may find this to boring and mechanical, but Tumblr always has something fresh, something uplifting, something inspiring. (And of course, there are memes, animated GIFs, and fluffy beasts.) Tumblr was my daily dose of [in]sanity, a temporary cure for the unflattering influence of reality.
I miss the bloggers I used to frequently communicate with, bloggers I do not know personally but with whom I share the same (and sometimes intimate) interests. Bookworms, animal lovers, photo hobbyists, couch potatoes, artists, poets, surprisingly awesome hipsters, immature kids with mind-blowing philosophies and social critiques—you’ll find them all here. It’s comforting to know that in some geographically inaccessible place, a blogger exists to touch and (somehow) influence me. It’s nice in a freaky kind of way.
I miss the times when I make Tumblr an excuse to delay making my homework and school projects. I think a lot of bloggers can relate with this. Such procrastination often happens when I write, edit, reedit, and reedit (and reedit) my text blogs. Waiting for followers to like and comment on my posts also contribute to this form of juvenile irresponsibility. “But fuck the exam tomorrow,” I used to say, “this shit is Tumblr!”
Oh, the good ol’ Internet days … Sometimes I am seriously considering abandoning my blog altogether, but my conscience tells me no. A lot of great memories were made in this blog site. It’s one of the very few places in the cyberworld that I consider worth the time. I can still vividly remember the day Ryann Reyes introduced me to Tumblr and I nonchalantly registered. The rest was history. Maybe one day I’ll be childishly hooked with Tumblr again. Maybe. But maybe I’m living my young adult life way too seriously.
I almost forgot how rewarding and euphoric it is to hang out with fellow nerds, geeks, socially deplorable people who talk loudly in the elevator about a book no one else has read—call them whatever you want. I thought my geekiness was over when I stopped drinking with psychology majors right after my undergrad. Intellectual conversations are quite rare with my other groups of friends: one group is composed of “juvenile” delinquents; another, cheesy friends with homosexual tendencies; and another, nursing batchmates whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Hanging out with some people with the same frequency as I have is nice for a change. And I found them in the most unexpected place in the world: my boring workplace. But I guess it’s not surprising to find my own kind in job that requires herculean willpower to not throw the keyboard and punch the monitor while editing a horribly written manuscript from a self-publishing author with negligible grammatical (and storytelling) ability. Fucking authors. Being with my fellow editors is such a reprieve.
Anyway, apart from the random geeky conversations and bad puns we have in the hallways, fast-food restos, and the pantry (which would often gain us uncomfortable glances from officemates), we did some fun things normal people would consider weird.
National Bookstore just had this crazy sale. I arrived three hours after the store opened only to find out that many of the best sellers were sold out. I really had to dig into the piles and boxes of books just to find Al Gore, Shakespeare, Maguire, Austen, and a couple of nonfiction, academic works that would have each cost one-tenth of my paycheck. In the end, after a thorough rummaging session (and snatching a couple of books from unattended shopping carts, tee-hee), I was happily carrying three bags of books, which would have cost two months’ worth of my current salary. The best part, though, was that I spent my shopping spree with my fellow bookworms. You cannot begin to imagine the happiness—no, exuberance—we felt.
And then …
That’s right. I and the same weirdos I hang out with five times a week decided to wear these Hogwarts shirts. Think of it as a Harry Potter Pride thing. Oh, how awesome we looked that day. Harry Potter will never be over no matter what other people (e.g., psychiatrists) think. We graduated from Hogwarts, and that’s that.
I wish I could meet others like these guys in the future. It’s rare to get acquainted with people who argue which house in Westeros is the best, who discuss fictional characters as if they’re real, who find inspiration and comfort in places, persons, and events that never were.
But I think it’s safe to say that nerds and geeks would never be extinct. Otherwise, wouldn’t the world be a less awesome place?
I just spent ten grueling hours in front of the PC, munching pizza, creating almost thirty fairy tales with—how did my online boss phrase it—“zombie twist.” It took me two hours of contemplation how to make a bright, happy, preschool-likable stories with zombies in them. My morbid ideas keep influencing my barely existent innocence. But I persevered because extra cash is extra cash.
Since my Tumblelog has been stagnant lately, I might as well post melodramatic shit about my life.
I will deny later that I said this, of course, but yesterday, January 11, 2013, I became 22 years old. Ain’t that grand? No, not really. I’m not the type who celebrates my own birthday (unless you call polluting my blood with alcohol a “celebration”). Apart from I feel old, January 11 makes me look back and examine the footprints I have made so far. I am doing relatively well in my graduate studies and have been earning decently for a young adult (my savings account is a totally different story, though). Still, I feel that I’m not “there yet,” you know. I have tons of ambitions, dreams that have inspired and haunted for the past couple of years, but I feel that my life has no definite sense of direction. And I am truly bothered with that. Some say that I’m still too young to worry about the future; I’m just going through a phase, they say. But I can’t help but worry.
Books and Other Drugs
More than three hundred books in my bedroom, not counting textbooks and the ones I’ve read but haven’t bought yet. I am seriously considering that I maybe too obsessed with books. They’re freakin’ expensive (thank God for bookshops selling secondhand prints), and add that up to my frequent night-outs and wolfish appetite, they really make a big cut out of my monthly budget. Not to mention there are silverfish threatening to chew them! Now my room smells like mothballs, so I need to buy (reluctantly) one of those scented insecticides because the naphthalene in the air makes me feel headachy.
Also, little by little, I am starting to quit smoking, which I should have done a long time ago. Ever since the sin tax was passed, smoking isn’t a very “practical” vice anymore. And drinking … meh, a party isn’t a party without alcohol.
Studying my master’s degree is making me love nursing even more—and I’ve got awesome classmates who, apparently like me, haven’t moved on yet from the “rebellious undergraduate student” phase. But I cannot help to consider finding alternative career paths. I mean, there are many good things about being a nurse—the blood and gore and medications to be injected and trying-to-be-busy mentality are just a few on my list—but working in an unrelated job makes me think and rethink. Perhaps I’m just a tiny bit jealous of my classmates working as staff nurses now. Keeping my RN title inside a dusty box doesn’t really boost my morale.
I’ve never regretted working as a copy editor. Editing manuscripts the slash-and-burn way (which is not allowed, ideally) increases my interest in linguistics. Maybe it’s just my way of saying that I should have had a languages-related course. Or maybe I just enjoy pinpointing grammar and punctuation mistakes on every billboard, signage, and book could see. And yes, even my own writings.
Taking a course in zoology, vet medicine, or environmental science is also nagging me. With this kind of indecision, I wouldn’t be surprised if my life would be a mess one day. A messy life, that is, with three degrees. That’s not too bad, right?
It all started when I was copyediting a philosophy-oriented manuscript to be published. While the author wasn’t good with syntax and punctuation (that’s why I have a job, LOL), he was really good in presenting his ideas and deductions on the concept of divinity. He wasn’t an atheist but a believer with a streak of agnosticism. Then that tiny voice that had been “repressed” all these years to sneak into my consciousness finally spoke; that voice is doubt.
I was raised a Catholic. I was not religious but spiritual. We’re not a pious family, but I guess many Filipinos have that deep-rooted belief of some higher power. Hell, even pickpockets and prostitutes in my province would make the sign of the cross whenever they pass by a church or chapel. Unlike other Christians, my attitude toward science and “potentially antireligious” subjects has never been antagonistic. I guess I owe that to my paternal grandfather, who was a bookworm even until he became senile, and my mother, who is a biology, algebra, and chemistry teacher and educates about evolution like a gospel (she’s kind of reserved when it comes to human evolution, though). Both of whom are Catholics to the core. I never bothered to entertain the reason-versus-faith debate; I can handle both, I often told myself. Well, until I edited that freakin’ book.
Questions about evil, about divine omnipotence, about the inerrancy and legitimacy of sacred texts, about the origins of religion—all these things haunted me for a while, prompting me to read and read and internally debate and read some more. I sought opinions from netizens, sometimes deliberately creating “hateful” threads just to juice out credible arguments from the religious. Unfortunately, all I could find good in believing in a deity is its therapeutic and antianxiety effects on its believers.
From philosophical doubt, to derision toward religion, to disbelieving in God. That’s pretty much it.
You can say lots of bad stuff about religion, organized or otherwise, but there are good stuff too. There are certain things that I owe my former belief. It taught me charity, humility, and temperance, among many others. These I am trying to continue to keep. But I cannot accommodate the idea of an “all-powerful” god, an “ever-merciful” supreme being who’d allow evil and suffering to happen.
I do not profess that I am right, and I still have a lot of questions. I guess that’s the real appeal of atheism: question everything. Being cynical is not wholly accepted in many religions: Do as you’re told. Don’t ask questions. And that just doesn’t work for me.
My journey is still moving forward. Perhaps I’ll become a deist or an agnostic in the end. Or go back to being a Catholic (less likely).
Until then …
Apart from copyediting, I’m doing a part-time job as a ghostwriter of children’s books. I just finished writing stuff like “30 Facts about the Red-Bellied Blood-Sucking Unicorn–Dodo Bird Hybrids." It really drained me out, writing zoology articles for children under twelve. I love writing stuff about natural sciences, but it’s uncharacteristic of me to write meager shit like “Koalas eat eucalyptus leaves” instead of “Koalas are marsupials and close relatives of wombats, and they inhabit areas in Australia moist enough to support suitable woodland.” Bummer.
So I used my modest writing talents in writing nursery rhymes just for, you know, variety. So far, this is the best that I’ve written:
Three blind mice, knives gouged their eyes,
See how they bleed, their guts cut to dice,
So grate the tail, and stew the head,
And mix intestines with the bread,
Don’t eat another meat instead
Of three blind mice.
Worthy of a Palanca award, yes? It’s more fun than using my red pen on to-be-published books anyway.
I just enrolled myself in graduate school this semester, and I heard that our university president would be our professor for my one subject or two. Don’t fret! Being the president, he tends to travel a lot, so it’s good news for me! I don’t like my subjects anyway—about nursing education shit, not the good ol’ medical-surgical awesomeness I had last semester.
And I still have three articles to finish, writing something about, hmm … “facts about trains, motorcycles, and helicopters.” Fascinatingly dull.
Gods help me.