Monday, November 28, 2011

Things I Miss: Studying

No I'm not being phony.

While randomly searching subjects in CRS, I found this subject, EgyE 297 (Special Topics) Sustainable Energy Development. I thought maybe I should sit in the class since I'm really interested in Sustainable Engineering and it could help me reinforce my decision to take MS Energy Engineering next semester. Also, the subject isn't offered regularly so it really had to be this semester even if I'm not enrolled.

And so I sat in the class last Saturday (!) even if I didn't have any business in school that day. I'm glad that the professor is really kind and immediately allowed me to sit in.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Civil Engineer

But PRC registration first!

My co-faculty members have been trolling me since Monday "May results na? May results na?" even when they know that it takes a couple of days for licensure exam results to be released. Of course I kept my cool. After all I could only wait (and ask for Grace) as I've already done what I could during the exam. I wasn't really anxious last Monday and Tuesday but the anxiousness inside increased as Wednesday night approached.

My countdown calendar to keep track of the number of days left to study

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things I Miss: Making Flowers

I just ran out of books to read (I just finished American Gods and Geisha of Gion this week) so I need something else to distract myself in order to keep the nervousness at bay. Heehee. XD

A close-up on the hair accessory I made for AME Monogatari:

I made this with the help of an internet tutorial (which, unfortunately, I didn't bookmark and it wasn't on top results too). I am happy with the result because this is the fluffiest hair flower I have ever made. And it's so easy to make too! I really miss crafting! I hope I can make some of these for Christmas gifts!

Don't mind my hair being everywhere, it's actually a good hair day. I normally can't wear my hair down because it's frizzy but it's been behaving recently and I dunno the reason but I appreciate it anyway.

Yesterday, I went to Baclaran church with my Mom. After hearing mass, we dropped by the area that sells stuff (it's pretty much like Divisoria Mall and Tutuban Mall). I can't remember the last time I went to that kind of place. I got a loose striped polo (boyfriend shirt, as they call it). It costs PhP250 but my mom was able to haggle it down to PhP180! She's probably one of the best hagglers in the world, LOL. If it were just me, I'd probably stop haggling at PhP220 or PhP200! Not the best of quality but it's something trendy and I don't invest on trendy clothes because once the trend dies down, I won't be able to wear them anymore.

I also got these two rings:

The blue one costs PhP120 and the black one costs PhP150 but I got the two for PhP200 because of mom's haggling powers. I'm really starting to like rings that wrap around my fingers (like this)! I wanted to buy more of them. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stick around Baclaran much because I still had to study. 

You see, I don't exactly like wearing accessories even though I love making them because they bother movement sometimes (if not most of the time) but maybe I'll try changing my disposition a bit. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

There are no words for AME Monogatari

Congratulations for another successful event, UP AME! The comments left at the Facebook page were all positive comments, usually containing the words "awesome" and/or "epic".

I remember the first AME event I attended back in 2006: AME Matsuri. That was AME's third fair. It was still held at the Bahay ng Alumni because that was the best venue that the org can afford during that time. No air-conditioning units, no air coolers and lots of people so the venue was really hot! It was also labor-intensive because the members had to do a lot of manual labor like setting up and moving the tables, chairs and the barricades. Also, BnA had a lot of doors and each door had to have guards. And there were troublesome kids who repeatedly try to sneak into BnA without paying.

This year, AMEmono was held at the World Trade Center East Pavilion Tent. There's an air-conditioner every few meters. AME had these neat modular dividers, which I could only dream of during my LogiCom [head] days. LOL. :)) There weren't any major problems so I applaud you guys for that. UP AME has come a long way since those Bahay ng Alumni days.

It's my first time to attend an AME fair as an alumna. Since 2006, I've been attending as a member so this year feels rather weird because I didn't have to stay up very late the night before to do last minute work before the fair, I didn't have to go to the venue so early for ingress, I didn't have a work post and I didn't have to stay late until egress.

I tell you, an AME event is probably one of the best if not the best (not that I go to anime events much haha). Aside from exhibitor/sponsor booths, AME has their own booths: sumou booth, darts booth, ring toss booth, love shrine, photobooth, fortune booth, emma booth, tarot booth, merchandise booth, sari-sari [food] booth and maid cafe. There are also contests like the karaoke contest, cosplay competition, fanart contest, etc. There are also workshops and I really wanted to attend that workshop where you get to wear a yukata (a.k.a. summer kimono), the Japanese speaker will teach you how to wear it properly and you also get photos taken but it was too expensive (Php400) although Kyle explained to me why and I understood.

Airis and I at the Love Shrine booth. Those boulders are made of rubber foam and were done by the members
photo from Ate Mic

Sumou booth!

Another awesome production
photo from Zaru

Emma booth

Emma booth

Qlab and cutie Kat manning the merchandise booth

AME's Sari Sari Food Booth

Spirit (Maid) Cafe
Lira entertaining a customer

I was able to try the Maid Cafe for the first time. Quite expensive for its worth (Php150) but I had to experience it at least once!

Isn't she pretty? You've been had. That's a man. And he's straight as hell.

with my friend Xanne, former AME VP and AME 8th Avenue project head
photo from Zaru

I had no time to assemble an outfit so I just wore that top from Taiwan (which really looks like a blanket when not worn hahaha), Surplus Shop shorts, Landmark belt and Tonic wedges. I also made that flower on my hair the night before. XD But now that I think about it, I should have worn something anime-ish because I rarely get to do that. T_T Oh well.

Ate Hanna and Kuya Deedrick in cosplay

Numi posing with a guest. Numi sews her costumes. Isn't that awesome?

with Kyle, my friend, AME Monogatari project head

Kuya Max and Lolo Klaine as a shrine maiden

Jijo, my pretty friend, the Finance Committee Head, working hard

Lunch was bento from Pandamonium. Pretty much good and sulit at Php100.

Soujirou Seta cosplayer
Haha the guy beside him had pretty eyes... fine and a pretty face, LOL

The Best Mecha cosplayer! Caught him backstage after his catwalk turn!

Pretty yukatas and kimonos on display

Super pretty AME Calendar

I wanted it so bad

But it was expensive T_T

Awesome dragons. Papier mache, I think. Made by AME members, of course! There were four of them!

Ate Mic as Princess Mononoke with Diego
photo from Zaru

Ate Mic (a.k.a. Delurianne) is one of the most awesome persons I know. She graduated summa cum laude. She was UP AME president. She's a great artist and cosplayer!

Hehehe. Look at Zaru, she's so cute!
photo from Zaru herself

I went home before 7pm. I could have stayed longer and slept over Kyle's house but I had board exams the following week.

And these are things I bought:

Nice shirt with soft and stretchy fabric. Surplus from last year's AME Track 10, LOL

AME Monogatari pin
AME Track 10 keychain (misplaced the one I bought last year)
mismatched Eiffel Tower earrings
angel wing earrings
Fimo sticks for nail art

Ugh I can't wait for next year!! And I hope you guys will hold one next year :)) Advanced happy birthday, UP AME!

Getting There

More than a year ago, I started going out with a person.

Almost exactly a year ago, I told that person that I liked him. (I'm probably one of the most honest and straighforward persons you'll know.) Of course he told me he liked me back. (I would have punched him if he went out with me and didn't like me!) He never became my boyfriend but I hope you get the picture.

Unfortunately, some months ago, he broke my heart. He had reasons although they weren't enough excuse to hurt me. After all, he had a choice NOT to hurt me. Everything was sudden and we didn't part in good terms because he crossed the ocean the day after and hasn't come back since.

Last month, however, it suddenly dawned into me that I wanted to forgive him and that I had to forgive him if I wanted to move on. But since he's an ocean away, I had no choice but to say things through a Facebook message (yeah, lame, I know). It was a very short message exchange, which was preferable because more messages meant being more prone to misunderstandings.

To be honest, I haven't fully gotten over what he did and sometimes I still feel resentful but I'm trying to get there. It's just not easy because I was emotionally invested. But I guess what's important is my decision to forgive the person and to move on. And no worries, I have accepted the fact that things won't go back to how they were and I'm happy with my life right now. :) Besides, as I always say, we always have to look at the brighter side of things.


Heh, a lot of times my straightforward attitude gets me into trouble and/or embarrassing situations but I still prefer being me. :))

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Because I'm incoherent and I like lists

1. I think I'm getting old. I'm starting to love vegetables and fish a lot-- food I used to hate as a kid.

2. I haven't been eating out for the longest time. I'd usually bring a ciabatta with butter or pesto for lunch when I'm out. I've gotten too used to home-cooked food, which I prefer. I haven't eaten fast food for a long time too, which is great. 

3. One week until AME Monogatari! I miss going to anime conventions! Unfortunately, I don't have a camera so I won't be able to take photos of cool cosplayers. I just hope I can buy good merchandise at AMEmono. :)

4. I finally got to watch A Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It's been so long, I know I know. But I was too busy to download and I kept forgetting too. Well, I cried lots while watching the movie. Although when I think too much about the plot, there were a lot of unreasonable (i.e. stupid) and counter-intuitive things that happened. Then again, with these kinds of movies, you don't really have to think. You just have to be in love or something. :)) Oh, but yes, I did enjoy even though there were things I couldn't understand because I don't know anything about Thai culture. Unlike with Jdrama or Kdrama with which I've gotten a little familiar with because I used to watch a lot of those.

This scene made me cry so hard.

I love Pin a lot!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Recipe: reversed California maki minus the roe

I dunno anymore if you can still call this California roll if the rice and the nori are in reverse and if it doesn't have roe (those tiny, translucent, orange spheres). But anyway...

During a sleepover in Airis's house a few years ago, her mom served us homemade California maki with the nori outside instead of the rice outside. I love Japanese food (and my family does too) so after that sleepover, I got the idea that I can actually make California rolls at home. I just searched the internet for tips on how to make them.

Of course it's not the same as how the Japanese make their sushi but I guess we can make do with it if it's just to appease our sushi cravings at home. California rolls sold in random places outside are also quite expensive but my homemade version is cheap, I promise. :)

What you need:
Short-grained rice. I was able to buy Japanese rice at SM Hypermarket for Php63/kilo.
Vinegar. You can buy vinegar imported from Japan in SM or Landmark. I don't know the brand, it's was written in kanji. But you can also use just any vinegar.
 Iodized salt.
Mangoes sliced into sticks.
Nori (dried seaweed).

Cook the rice first. While it's still hot, sprinkle vinegar and salt. Mix the rice thoroughly. The Japanese fan their sushi rice while mixing in wooden bowls with wooden spoons (I learned this from Cooking Mama, the Nintendo game hahaha). I don't have a wooden bowl but that's okay. I also mix in front of the electric fan to cool the rice faster.

Slice and peel the mangoes. You don't really need to slice the crabsticks.

Now you can assemble the California roll. People usually use those bamboo mats but I don't. Lay down the nori and spread the cooled rice evenly on the nori using a spoon. Don't spread the rice if it's still hot or the nori will break. Also, don't spread rice on the whole nori. Leave a bare strip one inch thick at the top edge.

Place the mangoes and crabsticks and then roll up to the bare strip you left at the top. Wrap firmly. Not too tight because the nori will break. Not too loose either because the California roll will break when you slice it. The moisture from the rice will bind the nori and seal your roll.

You now have these black tubes!

Finally, you can slice your California roll! When slicing, dip your knife in water first so that the rice won't stick too much to the knife. The water also aids in cutting the nori.

Prepare your dip! Soy sauce with calamansi or lemon. I buy wasabi paste from SM or Landmark. They come in slim green boxes labeled わさび (wasabi). Oh, don't buy too much wasabi that you can't consume. They expire quickly. After making your dip, dig in! I love making these rolls when Dad comes from field work in Davao and he brings home tuna sashimi with him. :))

Rolling takes practice. Before, I'd usually break the nori because my rice was too hot or I wrapped the roll too tightly. But yesterday, I was able to make ten rolls problem-free. So yeah, just practice. :) Next time, maybe I'll buy a bamboo mat and make California rolls "properly" (i.e. not reversed).

For ten rolls (around 100 slices, depending on how thick your slices are), I only spend around Php360. That's Php3.60 per piece, not bad at all.

It's still my dream to eat at a sushi bar with conveyor belts and color-coded plates. I've seen one at the food court in Taipei 101 but I think Sakae Sushi (there's a branch in SM North) also has conveyor belts so maybe I should try that soon. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

UP AME presents AME Monogatari

This org is very special to me. Aside from the fact that I've been a member since first year college (even an officer for a year), it taught me responsibility, initiative, working relations, cooperation, leadership and many others. It introduced me to a variety of TALENTED people and to my awesome friends. I could go on and on about how much this org played a role in improving my personality... which is quite ironic because anime is mostly considered for kids and yet the org helped me grow a lot. I learned so much things from that org... things that you don't learn inside the classroom. Honestly, I can't imagine myself right now if I didn't join that org during my first year.

I can also remember my parents being VERY apprehensive about my joining this org (i.e. I can't go home late from attending meetings) and we'd even fight a lot over it. I kind of understand them because they don't want me to screw up my studies. But then after a few years, I was able to prove my parents that I can balance academics and extra-curricular activities with academics still in top priority.

I'm sure some people laugh at the back of their minds whenever they see "UP Anime Manga Enthusiasts" in my resume. If you look at it from the surface, it seems childish. And maybe yes, it is childish but you have to see past the "anime" and "manga" to see that it's actually some serious business. But that's the best thing about UP AME: it's a mix of fun and work.

The University of the Philippines Anime Manga Enthusiasts (UP AME) is the first-ever recognized collegiate anime organization in the Philippines, and are the same minds behind Una kAME!, kAME ulit!, AME Matsuri, AME Gakuensai, AME 8th Avenue, AME no Jidai and last year's AME Track 10. This year, we are celebrating our 11th anniversary through another event: AME Monogatari.

For more information, check out UP AME's website or the official AME Monogatari Facebook page

If you look closely at the org's profile, you will realize that while the members who organize the event are just anime-loving college students who also have plates, exams and papers to worry about, you can't simply call them "a bunch of kids". I mean, organizing events like this isn't a kiddie task! The org has been pulling this kind of event SEVEN TIMES prior already (successfully, if I may add), five of which I attended as a member. This year is going to be the first time that I'm attending the fair as an alumna. It's set one week before the board exams but I'm still not missing this. Maybe I'll just go home a bit early (not early dawn). You shouldn't miss it too!

I may not be as much of an anime or manga fan as before (gah, maybe I'm growing old and growing too busy... I haven't watched anime for more than a year already) but I love and am proud of my organization just the same.

Edit at 6:35pm (because my AME buddy is an awesome artist and she's not from Fine Arts, she's from ComSci)

Awesome art by Numi. That's just one of her many works. Find more of her art here.