Monday, March 13, 2006

No more piracy

Before my fellow countrymen can shout "BULLSHIT" to my apparent hypocrisy I would just simply like to say: "COZ I CAN!"

It all started from a simple video game purchase at Data Blitz in Manila. I have been trying for weeks now to find a rally racing game that I cannot seem to find in a nearby warez store and the original one was sold out. It's a sign, I thought. Yes, I admit I buy pirated games. I have whole cabinet full of it. There's really not much to do with them since playing them is as far as I go. I can't play it online coz it's not legit.

When I bought that game I was changed. Like one of those dramatic effects you see on Anime movies where the character gets an epiphany of something. That's what it was like. The box, the case and, oooh, the MANUAL! 50% of the cost of any software belongs to packaging and documentation. I should know, I work for a software/hardware company!

Last month I had the frustration of not getting a game I've waited to be released. I was expecting to get it on the release date but sadly the local retailer did not have. After two weeks of waiting, I gave up and waited to get the "copied" version as it is fondly called here. No luck either. No site on the wester hemisphere would accept my credit card except one. In 4 days the game was here. Probably months earlier that all the bullshit stores I have to put up with here.

I just love the quality of these originals. Yes, it is more expensive. Even in a 3rd world country like mine who would settle for less because they can't afford it I still have to hold my breath when making these purchases. But I have to think of the stuff I have to do when buying copies. I have to crack it. If I have to update it, I have to crack it again. I have no access to online services and I have no tech support. The time and money invested in trying to get these things running probably equals the price of the original.

I now own two original games with a few more coming in in the next few months. I'll be buying original movies and others in the future. The experience and economic security of buying the best will insure my satisfaction for the future and the future of these companies that make them because if you buy pirated make sure you're willing to live with the fact that the stuff you buy may very well be that company's last product because you ran them out of business.

Enough with the MS jokes.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bachelorhood Revisited

After the startling realization of my lack of taste for women I have a newfound appreciation to my predicament here. Actually would much prefer to call it a rediscovery.

I have this officemate that I despise so much not just for being obnoxious but for the idea that he got a senior level in our company when we got in together. I really hated HR for their poor quality in background checks. I could've done better.

Well, anyway, being the "senior" level that he was, we were all under the impression that he was livin it up. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Having a family with 2 kids and a 3rd on the way is a daunting task. This added with paying bills, mortgage and other expenses (he really doesn't know how to budget his money) is a recipe for going broke. To even think that he earns 3 times than I do and yet he's drowning in expenses. Actually his earnings are not the problem. It's just that he is very irresponsible either as a family man or as a professional. He just plain sucks. This guy was just the shining definition of biting off more than you can chew - living beyond your means.

This is the harsh reality, folks. Life is not easy! It never is and it never was. Whoever told you that they've lived the easy life or that they've found an easy way to live it is either lying to you or just wants to suck you into one of the MLM (bullshit) schemes. If they were telling the truth they must've forgot about their hard lives.

Having been single for months on end I have rediscovered the beautiful significance of my predicament. I can buy whatever I want without ever feeling guilty of not leaving something behind. I can go wherever I want without having to ask someone if I could go. Being the loyal asshole (ergo, boyfriend) that I was, I could never do these things having the uncontrollable urge to take care of my girl.

Computers, cellphones, clothes and accessories as well as travel plans are just a few of the many things I have either accomplished or planned to do in the upcoming days. I just love it! After putting my life and my resources on the line for years for someone who cannot promise me anything or give me anything in return I can finally set myself free.

There's another thing I have always overlooked in my past that I never did - my parents. With all the things I have accomplished I have never returned the favor to them. They are not getting any younger. My mother can no longer do simple house chores due to a disorder in her spine. My father has reached that age where neither my taxes nor my insurance can cover. He's not so lucky with his business as he used to. For months now he hasn't had any luck at all. He's flat broke and he has to rely on me to give him some wedge. I'm just glad I can help him. I've got lots to spare. If I weren't single I'd have to sacrifice one of them. Never again. They come first now. I never bug him about what he owes me. After all, I owe a lot to them. Although most of the stuff I did was all me they were there to give me some guidance.

I wasn't raised to be materialistic. We came from humble beginnings. Little by little we came through. I wasn't an heir to a thriving business empire like the typical Chinese brats of my time who did nothing in their life except catch the afterglow of their parents. This is where I learned the value of ambition and hard work - values these kids will probably learn when they're going out of business. I can only smirk at their so-called "success stories" in newspapers. It is so sensational you could've sworn the page was probably paid for. Sent to blah blah school of blah blah country studying this and that of "nobody gives a shit". An expected outcome hardly seems sensational given the resources at hand. Why not feature a rags to riches story to inspire others instead of making them feel insignificant towards people who got there by doing insignificant things?

While churches and lower class people tell me their delusional philosophies of the vices of ambition, I went the extra mile. You go nowhere by being simple-minded. I eventually realized that there is nothing wrong with being ambitious as long as you are humble in the eyes of God and to the people who brought you wherever you are. It's ok to want things. It's even better to be resourceful enough to know how. I won't let anyone tell me what I'm doing is wrong. If ever you feel the need to listen to them ask yourself: Are they gonna be the one to raise me? Are they gonna give me what I want in life? Why not live with them then? Remember, you first BEFORE others! Help yourself before you help others. There's a reason why they put that simple instruction on airplanes. You're no good to anyone else if you're either helpless or dead.

I have everything I could ever realistically want right now. I can live a life I can appreciate and I have a promising and successful career that I love so much. I still have so many plans in life and I'm only in the beginning. I realize now, with a hard-earned lesson, that I can get to where I want if no one will ever hold me down again. Live free!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Terrible Taste in Women

Ok. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that my choice in women leaves something to be desired. It's just terrible!

After 6 disasters in my relationship department I swear my love life would overwhelm any natural calamity and civil unrest this country is going through - IF it were represented at the same magnitude of course. It's just colossal! I can't believe my luck!

I'm beginning to re-assess my visual capabilities here. Well, to be honest it wasn't all a waste. 2 out 6 isn't all bad. Just don't ask me about the details of what put these two to an abrupt end.

I don't know if that's just my libido talking or my somewhat twisted nature of thinking that led me to just frantically grab these walking, breathing accidents. Yes, I am totally to blame for picking up any girl I can find them and putting them in a place that is not meant for them. Thus, a tragic vehicle of my demise. Fact is, these girls were just a game that I ended up being played. At least I had one good advice from one of them. "Easy come, easy go." Cheap women are just that. They're cheap. If you took them in without a fight, chances are they'll go elsewhere at the same you took them in.

With these kind of mistakes I've been making, it's no wonder even my mother keeps my ability to have a relationship under lock and key. I can't blame her or anyone else who would think the same thing. After all, I've loved women who would make any girl I meet across the street commit suicide in regret.

A friend once told me that at least I had the intelligence i.e. awareness to realize I have no taste in girlfriends compared to some guys out there can't take a hint. Maybe it was my disillusionment or something else but it never occured to me until I came out of their lives with a terrible taste in my mouth, severe emotional distress and a startling realization that I'm flat broke. This led me to wonder WHERE the hell I went; WHY I went there and HOW I managed to stay alive this long.

These days I just step up my taste just a notch. I wouldn't consider this a standards adjustment but rather being more steadfast in what I really want in a relationship. Someone once told me that the one we fall for will always be the exception. This time no more. This is my lifelong promise. I do this to everything else in my life. In fact, this is how I do it with everything else. I never settled for less and yet in this little chapter of my life I've made too many exceptions already. I realize now that I'm not getting any younger and I'm not that stupid to make too many mistakes regarding this matter.

Never again.

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