Saturday, April 30, 2011

My Blog Disappeared... Not!

Early this week, I got so shocked when I found out after a login that my blog had disappeared. My dashboard said that I was not an author of any blogs, and both inbound links and search results led to a "blog not found" notice. It was like it never existed! After 20 posts, 85 comments, and thousands of pageviews, it never existed.

At first, I thought that someone had hacked my account and deliberately deleted my blog. So I did a little experiment -- I created a new one (I don't know what came over me, but I named it "Spritzo") and deleted it myself. But after learning that we have the chance to undelete our blog for a short period (90 days I think), I quickly dismissed the odds.

Then, a colleague told me that she was having problems logging in to her account. This made me think that there might just be a temporary issue in Blogger's system.

Still, since I live and breathe cynicism as if it were a religion, I Googled about such blog disappearances and read forum posts. That was when I learned about the possibility that Blogger might have marked my blog as spam.

My conscience is clean -- MY BLOG IS NOT SPAM. I should know. There was just a mistake and I had to correct it. Because I've put so much effort and thought into making this blog, I promised myself that I'm gonna do whatever it takes to have Google bring it back and make them apologize for marking my work as garbage.

Yeah, I wanted the ginormous company to say sorry.

And so, I made my own forum post, divulging the details of what happened. A contributor provided me with a lengthy reply, but I didn't get to use any of the info since I didn't understand squat. So I decided to just wait for a few more days before I take my protest to the next level, hoping that sooner or later, someone else would leave a more helpful message in my cry for help.

For each day that passed, I prayed hard that my blog would just return magically and erase my bitterness about the incident. I was so desperate that I even thought searching for my posts in Google would resuscitate it like CPR. But every time I opened the links to no avail, my morale just got lower and lower. I got really depressed.

Today wasn't any different. I wrote in my personal journal:
"Dear diary... My blog is still gone. I don't know what do, I feel so helpless about it. My blogging career is over! :( Wait, no, I won't give up. I'm gonna raise hell. I will do everything to retrieve my blog. In fact, right now, I'm logging in t -- holy sh*t, my blog is baaaaack!!!"
*end of reenactment*

Hurrah! Blogger didn't delete it after all. They just had this boo-boo and now it has been fixed. My blog did disappear though, but after logging in a while ago, it was if nothing happened. Except for the presence of the experimental blog, which bothers me like I had OCD. All the content, comments, and pageviews -- they were all restored! I'm sooooo happy!

But it haunted me again, that popular saying we all encounter from time to time: "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." And so, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone for reading and supporting my blog. I know you're only a handful, but you've done so much to inspire me to keep doing this. For each press on your keyboard to type in a comment, and for each click of your mouse to open my posts -- THANK YOU. It's been only 6 months, but for me, the response has been overwhelming already. You made this possible:

Too bad, there won't be any apologies from Google anymore. But still, thank you thank you thank you!!! And I promise, I'm gonna keep on writing. I will try my best to be a better blogger who creates posts with more substance. Here's a sneak peak of what's to come:

  • Review: Nutella & Others
  • Emergency Fund
  • Review: Nokia E63
  • Review: Nivea For Men 10-in-1 Whitening Facial Foam (Nutri-Repair)

I hope you guys stick around for these! Thanks again. :)

P.S. I didn't really write that in my diary.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: Source Code

It's been a while since I made a movie review! My take on Megamind was written more than 5 months ago, so I guess it's about time for another one. Also, it's been 2 months since I last saw a movie in a cinema, so I'm definitely in the mood to compose a film critique. Hahaha!

Source Code is about Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is subjected to this military technology called the Source Code to fulfill a mission: know who was behind the train bombing in order to thwart the culprit's next terrorist attack. To do this, he's taken back to the last 8 minutes of the life of passenger Sean Fentress and he is made to relive those moments again and again until he exposes the bomber's identity and plan.

Neat story, right? I know it sounds kinda familiar, as it may have borrowed ideas from other movies, but after watching it, I realized that the concept has never been interpreted that way before. But I guess that also serves as the film's flaw -- or, to be more exact, burden. Since the premise is unique, the movie is obliged to explain the mechanics of the technology, or at least give enough details for the audience to figure it out, in its 93-minute runtime. That is where the film fell flat.

But let's not cut to the chase yet. I liked the movie, anyway, so I'm gonna lay out the merits of the film first before I explain the negative verdict. Orayt? Game.


  • Impressive storytelling. Sci-fi thrillers that were made to mess with our minds don't usually possess this trait. Source Code's plot points didn't have to be presented in a confusing pattern to make the movie look clever. Bit by bit, the mystery was unraveled to the protagonist as it was done to us, so as Colter Stevens got it, we did too. So kudos to director Duncan Jones.
    • Amazing cast
      • Jake Gyllenhaal was exceptional in showing how his character adapted to each 8-minute scenario, which hugely contributed to the smooth progress of the story. If an action star were made to do his role, say Gerard Butler or Sam Worthington, Colter Stevens would have felt like a character cut out from cardboard.
      • Michelle Monaghan's portrayal was good enough to make us empathize with Jake and his motivations for wanting to save her life. This was pivotal because the romance subplot in sci-fi thrillers usually feels artificial, but in this case it wasn't.
      • The two had an undeniable chemistry. I didn't feel alienated upon seeing the two in one scene, knowing that Sean Fentress was supposed to be there and not Colter Stevens. Instead, I quickly accepted that Colter was supposed to be there.
      • Vera Farmiga's performance was also commendable because she was able to stretch out an underwritten role and stuff it with depth. With her acting, she gave dimensions to a character that had a tendency to be flat. The gestures of her face were enough to let us know the struggles that she went through in her head.

      • Jeffrey Wright. There was something wrong with the way he delivered his lines, especially when he explained the mechanics of the Source Code. His portrayal was so stereotypical and off-putting that instead of deciphering what he was saying, my mind just focused on how it was offensive to real scientists. And unlike Vera Farmiga, he didn't give soul to such character with limited lines, in spite of his spot-on acting.
      • Obvious special effects. You know those scenes in cartoon shows like X-Men where the background evidently looks like it's gonna be animated? Source Code had a couple of scenes like that. It's quite disappointing because with the technology American filmmakers have now, there should be no excuse to such mistake.
      • Opening film score. What was with the fright-inducing score that was used on a showcase of Chicago's beautiful scenery? I know it was supposed to give hints of looming peril in the city, but it was just too much. It felt like the climax of The Dark Knight.
      • Russell Peters' character. I knew him even before the movie, and I think he's a gifted comedian. But the role that he served was utterly contrived. I mean, the best excuse that they came up with to make the train's passengers laugh was to put a real comedian on board? What the F.
      • Ending. I was already satisfied with my understanding of the film's concept when the ending ruined it all. As Colter Stevens found out the true capabilities of the Source Code, I got thrown off-board. The last-minute discovery made things more complicated, and the explanation felt rushed. It was like they came up with this twist and they didn't know how to give details anymore without overstretching the film. It might have worked if it were just a matter of a few choices, like the ending of Inception. But nooooo -- it left a trail of unsettled questions and revealed a different thread to the storyline.

      That's why I think the movie failed to explain the concept in full. Maybe it was their intention, that they really wanted to pass the burden to us because that's the way twists work, but the execution was not the kind that would give you chills after you've figured things out. Rather, it would make you feel exhausted because of the extra thinking you had to do. I'm sure that had left many viewers baffled and disappointed.

      But do I recommend this film? Yes. By all means, watch it! Despite the many flaws, it still is a very entertaining movie that will make you realize that playing on the truths of reality can still be twisted in movies in many other ways. I just hope that those new concepts will still be in the hands of Duncan Jones. Stories like that need a good storyteller.

      Rating: 4/5 stars

      Friday, April 15, 2011

      What's In A Guy's Bag?

      I've grown accustomed to holding something while I walk. When my hands don't have anything to hold on to as I move, I tend to walk in a peculiar way. That's why I never leave the house without a bag or a long wallet in my grip. I know that it makes me look like a college student, especially because I go to work in casual clothes, but I just shrug it off and feel privileged. I mean, at least I get to earn money while wearing comfortable sneakers and jeans while others have to wear heavy leather shoes and heat-trapping slacks.

      My school office bag (I love biking!)

      Now, we've all read those blog posts about what women have in their bag. The usual stuff are make-up, face powder, lip gloss -- things that are associated with their gender. But what about men? Have you ever wondered what's inside a guy's bag? Since neckties, gaming equipment, and testosterone are mostly identified with males, do you expect a typical guy to bring these on any given day?

      Let's see what's in MY bag, shall we? On a normal work day, the contents would be these:

      Looks like a lot, huh? Yes, I have such organizing skills. Believe it or not, I can fit even MORE stuff than that inside my bag. Here's a closer look at the items:

      A bag within a bag (Wet tissue, perfume, alcohol, toothbrush, toothpaste, and drugs medicine)

      Nokia E63 (Review coming soon)

      Jacket (It's cold in the office.)

      Umbrella (It never leaves the bag. You never know when it will rain!)

      Baunan (I eat packed lunch at work.)

      Earphones (I feel incomplete without them.)

      Keys (My parents lock the gates as early as 9:00 PM.)

      Notepad, post-it, and ballpen (Work essentials)

      Long wallet (The "other" bag)

      Here are the runners-up (the ones I seldom bring):

      Phone charger and eyeglass case

      There you go! Now that you've seen what I bring with me to work, if you need anything from these (especially the wet tissue *wink*) just go ahead and ask. LOL! By the way, I'm not saying that I represent all the guys out there who use bags. I'm just one sample of the whole population, plus it's a personal thing, so I'm sure we're all different. But, who knows, there might really be a guy who carries testosterone in his bag every day.

      What about you? What's in your (or your man's) bag?

      Note: All photos are mine.

      Thursday, April 07, 2011

      Night Shift - Advantages and Disadvantages

      Believe it or not, the OT saga is still on. I've been working for 18 days straight now, and I can already feel the exhaustion creeping in to my core. Even if I'm getting ample sleep, it's not enough to make me feel energized when I wake up in the morning. My body's just dragging my spirit to the office now, and that's why I'm still able to report to work normally.

      But that's not what I'm writing about, actually. The thing is, our team will now be working the night shift starting April 18. Meaning, our work time will be from 8PM to 5AM. The "lunch" break will be at 12MN, and the 15-minute breaks will happen at 10PM and 3AM respectively.

      We really don't have a choice since the rest of our department is at night shift, and it will be more convenient for the company when it finally happens. The team was originally in the night shift (I wasn't employed yet), but it was moved to the day, and now it's back. No, we're not a call center. It's quite hard to explain what we do, and I don't want to get myself into trouble for divulging details about the company, so let's just leave it at that.

      So that's why I'm writing about the advantages and disadvantages of the night shift. Here's what I think:

      1. Convenience - The commute will be more convenient for me since I will be avoiding the traffic of Metro Manila, which I'm caught up in every day. That means, I can leave the house an hour before my shift starts, as compared to what I'm doing at present which is leaving two hours before. Therefore, I will have more time in my hands.
      2. Timing on personal chores - I will be able to do things (such as paying bills, buying groceries, even exercising) that I usually am not able to do (or hurry up to accomplish) since most establishments close up a few hours after the end of my shift. I'm not sure about the exercising part, but I think I can come up with more activities that I can finally do when the change happens. Like what I said in #1, I will have more time.
      3. More pay - Night shift differential pay. Money money money. 'Nuff said.
      1. Bad health - I know my body, and I'm certain that I won't be able to sleep well during the day. The light and heat of the sun, the noise of the neighbors and of cars passing by our house --  they will keep me from slumber. And we all know what happens to our body when we don't get enough sleep. My circadian rhythm will get disrupted for a while, but I know it will recover. It's the wrecked sleeping habit (and the subsequent effects on health) that I am most terrified of.
      2. Too much silence - The rules are different in our office during the night shift, and one of the changes that I will have to face is that we won't be able to talk to each other that much anymore. I know it should be an advantage for me because I will be able to concentrate more on my work, but I tend to get sleepy when the environment is too static, and that's a big problem. Sleeping in the office is a big no-no.
      3. Dependence on food - Two things. First, I will have to get used to eating food from convenience stores such as 7-11 and Mini Stop. And second, I will most likely be resorting to eating to keep myself awake, and that will make me even more fat.
      4. Less family, social, and love life - I'm not so sure about this, but these three aspects of my boring life will most likely be affected negatively. I will be asleep when the rest of the world is awake, so it will be tougher for me to bond with my family and friends and also find love among the few people left awake during the night.
      There are more detriments than benefits, but is it really in the number? Did I miss out on something that I should prepare myself for? Help me out here, dear readers. And I also need some advice on how to adjust my body successfully to the change and how to survive the following days. Please please pleeeeeaaase give me some tips!

      I must admit, it's my health that I'm truly scared about. I don't wanna be a regular in the hospital, or worse -- die early! LOL. But I guess I just have to try it out first before I make any decisions whatsoever. I have to stick to my goals.

      Update (4/23): The shift to night schedule will commence at the beginning of May.
      Update (5/15): The shift began on May 9. I'm one week in now.
      Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...