Friday, June 29, 2007

Three Distinct Groups of Friends

When I was younger, almost all my friends were single and had lots of free time on their hands. This made it very easy to plan get-togethers and hang out with the group. We also had lots more in common, which kept the conversations fun and interesting. We were all essentially focused on the same set of things.

Nowadays, I noticed that my friends and acquaintances fall into three distinct groups - Married, Single, and 'Single wanting to be Married'.

The married types are usually more serious, and a bit more boring. They're usually more focused on money and kids and retirement and other grown-up stuff. What's interesting is seeing the transformation in my previously carefree single friends after they get hitched and start families of their own. Frequently, I need to adjust my schedule and patterns to be with this group. And most of the time, it's just having dinner at home with them and the kids, not much fun.

The single group, as expected, usually have lots more activities to fill up the excess time. Boredom is their number one enemy. They are also a bit more relaxed, but can get worked up very quickly on issues that are not at all important to married friends. Being single myself, I find this group very easy and fun to be with. I can be more loose with them and not worry about how late the time is, or how useless the conversation is.

The third type refers to single types who want to shift to the 'married' group. After some time, it gets quite depressing and stressful being with them. I cringe whenever they say some of their favorite lines: "We need to get married soon" or "We're all getting older". And they're also usually the first to move away from you once they do get married, sad but true. Sometimes married friends will say something similar, to the effect of myself needing to get married as it will solve all my problems (and presumably to join the club).

It's cool when you have hybrids of one or more types. For instance, I have several married friends who take care of huge responsibilities, but who still stay relatively relaxed and carefree. Though their family is still their top priority, they did not allow themselves to be consumed by them. There are also single types who are much more mature and responsible in their thinking, yet being able to adjust depending on who they're with.

Of the three groups, which do you belong to, and which do you consider to be your closest friends?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I've been listening to a lot of music lately - mostly pop songs from the 90's and 80's. All guilty pleasures, the type you hope no one finds out you still listen to them. Which of these do you recognize?

L.F.O. - Summer Girls
Spice Girls - Stop!
Spice Girls - Wannabe
Larger Than Life - Backstreet Boys (fantastic!)
Genesis - I Can't Dance
Ini Kamoze - Here Comes The Hotstepper
Snow - Informer
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
Cyndi Lauper - Change of Heart
Fatima Rey - Hey
Kylie Minogue - Locomotion
Men Without Hats - Pop Goes the World
Slow Motion - Colour Me Badd
Ditty - Paperboy
Puttin' on The Ritz - Taco

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

RAN Calendar Girls

Great song, good video, beautiful women - what more can you ask?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Training Montage

Everyone needs a good training montage now and then. This one from Rocky IV is one of the best. The whole movie is like one big music video. Rocky goes to Russia to avenge the death of his friend Apollo. He has to train with inferior equipment and run in the snow to stay in shape. But this gives him the added edge he needed in his final match against Ivan Drago.

Rocky IV Training Montage 1

Rocky IV Training Montage 2


Last night I left the office way past midnight. I probably still could have caught the last bus, but decided to walk instead as the air was cool and I was feeling unusually good about myself. I was outside for just a minute or two when, like Forrest Gump, for no particular reason, I thought maybe I'd run instead. So I ran. I just kept going, guided by the night air and moon, and didn't stop until I arrived at the apartment. It was kind of nice. Maybe I'll do it again.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Yes, we've been busy. Real busy the past three weeks trying to get to feature complete and whittling down the bug list. Today, for the first time in weeks, I actually felt good about our status. We're going to be code complete tomorrow, and release the website update on Thursday. It's not over yet of course as many unexpected things can still go wrong between today and Thursday. But for now I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Bug-wise, we're down to less than ten bugs. All but two of them are assigned to me, and I guess that's what I'm doing tomorrow, along with updating the setup document. During long coding stretches such as this, you get tensed up, your brain is hyperactive trying to get the bugs fixed in a reasonable amount of time, and keep everyone happy, the testers, managers, etc. It's a lonely and stressful time, but it feels good when it's all done.

Good Advice

Lately I've been trying to do more cardiovascular-type exercise. So the past week after work I would do a slow jog home. Nothing too strenuous, just a light jog for ten minutes, then slow down when I get tired, then resume again. I'm definitely a bit out of shape, but slowly but surely I'll eventually get back to my target fitness level.

This was a bit challenging because the past two weeks were a bit hectic in the office. We've been dealing with some crazy deadlines, and people at work seem more highly strung than usual. I think it's because it's close to review time which makes people act weirder than usual. To tell you the truth, I never really cared about reviews, and I think this attitude has served me well in the past.

Another challenging thing the past two weeks has been the curious increase in other people trying to tell me what to do, to change my behavior, giving me advice and tips. While I certainly appreciate any advice I can get, frankly, most of the advice I get nowadays seem more like boasting, and a disturbing amount of 'advice' are just plain wrong and dangerous. Of course I never want to turn down any advice, wrong as it may be, so I try to stay polite and say something like "Oh, I didn't know that" or "That may be just what I need". It makes people feel better about themselves. I guess the best advice is to not believe everything you read and take everything with a grain of salt. In the end you have to make your own decisions and do what you think is best for yourself and not what other people tell you to do.

I've also got a backlog of books to read and DVDs to watch. Need to catch up on that. After this week I should have more free time.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sunset Daze - Selfish

You've been working hard all week. You deserve a break. Put all your cares away, relax with a beer or coffee, and a bit of self-indulgence (after all, it's Friday).

Sunset Daze - Selfish:

Sitti - Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love

One of my favorite songs this year. I think it's even better than the EBTG original. Sitti's version of Didn't Know I Was Looking for Love.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Notebook

I used to carry around a notebook/organizer with me wherever I went. I used this to write down reminders, cellphone numbers, to do items, and lots of little lists and notes. I even put down my daily expenses and a short one sentence summary of the day I had. That way I could go back and recall what happened to me exactly one year ago, for instance. It was fun reading that one line summary of the day and remembering what I thought or felt during the time I wrote it.

I used to call my organizer "buhay ko" or 'my life' because I got so dependent on it, that it would be a real tragedy if I lost it. It was an extension of my brain and I felt a lot smarter when I had it with me (which was all the time).

Then for some reason (around 2001) I used my organizer less and less, and would even go weeks without updating it or carrying it with me. I kind of lost the habit of using it, until I eventually went organizer-less. While it had its positive benefits - both my hands were free when riding the bus/jeep or walking outside, the negative effect was that I had to rely on my memory more and more, and I easily lost track of todo lists and friends' contact numbers. At least I was no longer accidentally mistaken as being a 'mangangaral' in the bus, as the organizer looked a bit like a bible and I dressed similarly to those who went around asking people for love offering donations.

What I miss the most about it was not being able to record those one sentence description of the day I had. I would write something like "Went to Winner's with Max and Jeth, even though I was a loser for the day". Sometimes it would be funny, or ironic, or serious, depending on my mood at the time. It's like a diary without spending too much time writing the entries.

So it's 2007, and I think it's a good idea to keep at least an online journal of what's happening. And while I'm at it, I'll post some of my thoughts and some of the music and books I like. I do maintain a couple of other blogs, some I continue to update, such as dangerousreviewers (with co-contributors max and roehl), and a lot of others that I stopped updating due to laziness or lack of interest. I don't think it will happen with this one though, I intend coffeefriday to be my main journal and repository in the years to come.

Occasionally, you'll also read posts from my alter-ego/doppelganger 'robtwister'. We're the same person, but I'll use him from time to time when I want to absolve myself of all responsibility. Why coffee friday as the title? I was looking for an available domain url I can use for future web projects, and was available. It combines two of my favorite things: Friday nights (because everyone's happy to be out of work and looking forward to the weekend), and relaxing and hanging out with friends over a cup of coffee at starbucks (although nowadays, there are plenty of alternative coffee shops - UCC, Bo's, Coffee Bean, etc.). The two together makes for a killer combination.