November 2016 RECAP #MonthlyRecap

I followed my own advice and chilled. Of course, whenever I couldn’t post, the blogger-guilt gnawed on me.

I always tell myself I am not in a good position to actually prioritize blogging. It is not my bread-and-butter, for one, then there are other important stuff to do, then my resources are scarce (I don’t feel the need to explain that one), and I prioritize family still. The big  takeaway in my so-called chilling means more family time, so I am not that sorry 🙂

So here’s a recap of my November 2016:

Blog-wise:

(1) I hope I gave you gravy with my hash potatoes 😉

#MondayMemoirs – No time to do this pre-Monday and during Monday. Will try again next time.

#MondayReviews (see An American Crime) – See? At least I had this one.

#TuesdayTunes (see Listening with Your Soul)

#AskWednesday (none this month, sorry)

#WhatsupWednesday (see Yo, Man! Imma Show Ya Rap Battles!) – I just introduced this to you last week. I enjoyed this post 🙂

#ThursdayTips (none) – Will make up for it soon.

#FeatureFriday – Because it’s November, I decided to make it a whole month of #FreakyFriday posts.

#FreakyFriday (see Life Lessons from “Train to Busan”, And RINGU was its name-o!) – Did miss one or two Fridays. I did promise true horror/ghost stories. Failed that one, but I am on it still.

Saturdays and Sundays, or any day, could be about anything. I will post anything when I feel like it, like Finding Grace in a Grilled Ham & Cheese that is a reblog of another writer’s wonderful and heartfelt post. Very relatable.

I also shared three poems written in Filipino in one post: Tula ng Puso: Pananampalataya, Pag-ibig, Pag-asa (Poems of the Heart: Faith, Love, Hope). It was as part of the requirements for a local contest that I decided to join and I was just fortunate to beat the already-extended deadline. I am not sure, though, as of this moment, if my entry made the cut, so to speak. If it didn’t, well, that hurts my ego, but then I can’t mope around. Instead, get better, right? There will always be winners and non-winners. There are many talented writers out there, and many more untapped ones.

(3) My Trending Stories. I failed my November here. I have actually emailed them something and they have promised to make it a better experience for MTS bloggers.

Social Media Reach-out:

Again, I am very thankful to new followers. And of course, I am also very thankful to those who have followed me over the months, especially the years. I shared some of them to you last time. Let me share more–people who follow me and/or whom I follow–and you’re welcome to visit their blogs. Also adding people I actually personally know. You might have to jump over to other blogging platforms like Blogger, though. If I haven’t mentioned you yet, nothing personal, okay? Will get to you.

Here they are in alphabetical order (I am re-mentioning one because I gave the wrong link last time, I just found out now, and I’ve edited appropriately):

Andy,         Cole,         Diana,         Fran,                    

Jason,       Meikah,    Tobe,          Victo      

More bloggers to link to in the coming months, for sure. “Old” ones, new ones.

Fiction/Story- and Poetry-writing:

Well, I mentioned already the contest I joined. Meanwhile, this made me think of honing my craft more. I have cooked up a few personal plans for a few but very important personal reasons.

Literature:

I was in an unintentional hiatus from reading, but have just started again. I am just having trouble prioritizing since I am interested in both The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones. Not sure which to pick. Wanna cast your vote for me?

Personal:

We’re done with season 1 and half of season 2 of  The Walking Dead. Some episodes unexpectedly made me tear up.

***SPOILER ALERTS IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THEM YET AND KNOW NOTHING OF IMDb***

I was distraught with what happened to Dale because I liked him, and I never really had a grandpa. Good that he and Andrea kind of made up already; bad that the others let him down just before he died — in fact, that’s why he was roaming away from safer grounds. Good he wasn’t bitten; bad that he still died a horrible death. Why couldn’t they just let him die from accident while fighting off the zombie??? Or let him die with a heart attack or something while the others killed the walker?

Later, Shane died, too, and I didn’t see that coming. He was  increasingly being impossible and that’s what made the character more interesting (disappointing if he were a real person). I think he should have stayed longer–he was impossible but he was still an ally. And it would make for a more interesting storyline.

Lastly, Lori died as well. She wasn’t Mrs. Perfect, but I don’t understand what I’ve read about viewers hating her. Her reactions were understandable, even her fears. Didn’t make her right, but didn’t make her evil either….So I got distraught again when she died due to childbirth. I’m even surprised she got that far without suffering a miscarriage with all the stress and running around.

Good that she didn’t die because she got bitten; bad that after Carl made sure she wouldn’t turn (what Carl did was heartbreaking for both of them if it were real), a walker would eat all of her, anyway. That made me mad. What, the writers couldn’t let Carl and Maggie make sure the door wouldn’t be opened? Shane did that for Rick.  Maybe they should have let her turn first then have Carl shoot her, so at least, she wasn’t served meal to any walker that happened on her.

Winners! Me and Ian

Aaaaand…I just spent much space discussing about The Walking Dead, ha ha haaaa!!!!

Meanwhile, can you guess what this pic’s about? Clues: office, hunting, game, most candies, longest, Halloween, winners…

Till next time!!! 🙂

Putting the Black Hat On (Just for Halloween!)

First off, let me tell you, we do not really have Halloween here. Halloween was just more of a Western idea that we often saw in American movies and TV shows. I say “was” because in the past decade, more or less, Filipinos have begun adhering to the Western practice of having Halloween parties, donning costumes and letting kids go trick-or-treatin’ within their neighborhoods, sometimes even in malls (it’s become a commercial thing now, too). In some areas, they have taken to having monster parades, no matter how silly the costumes are sometimes.

Halloween is still not a widely practiced new tradition for reasons I really don’t need to mention for now, but it has become such to others. It wasn’t a tradition that most of us grew up observing. What we really observe are All Saints Day and All Souls Day on November 1st and 2nd respectively. We go back to our hometowns and provinces to flock the cemeteries and visit the dead. In some ways, it has become a sort of annual reunion for families.

I am not really going to talk about tradition, not right now. I just thought I’d give you a little background on how it really is here.

Our office did have our own li’l Halloween fun. Our branch did not really have Halloween parties before, but we did begin having contests (although most would rather participate in the Christmas celebrations instead). I won in one (in 2012, yay!!!), at least in the office, and last year was extra fun for all of us!

This year’s theme was “Techie,” or “Internet-related.” It was up to us what to do so, still in keeping with the occasion, I came up with my costume and called it…

The Black Hatter

black-hat

HALLOWEEN 2014! Theme: Techie. I came as “Black Hatter” or a black hat hacker, out to steal your passwords, personal/private information (credit, bank, AdSense account), hijack emails and YouTube, cheat Google Panda and Penguin, and basically wreak havoc, unleashing viruses, worms, bugs…MALWARE MAYHEM!!!!

What is The Black Hatter? S/he is one who does what is termed as black hat SEO practices, also often a bad hacker. To know more, well, it’s very Goog-able (he he…I came up with that one first, okay?). Or you can read the image caption above for an idea, at least. Also, the caption explains the whole look.

BY THE WAY, this in NO WAY means I do black hat, alright? I don’t even have the know-how to do those! This was just for cosplaying purposes.

Let me just say I poured my heart and soul in creating this look (the mention of heart and soul makes it more Halloween-y, don’t you think? he he). The cost was very minimal because I only bought two inexpensive materials — the rest were already available. I did spend many hours in the evenings drawing and painting and basically coming up with appropriate props.

hacker-at-work

What’s a hacker without a computer? In this case, it’s a tablet keypad to serve as laptop

virus-worm

So those were supposed to be a virus and a worm. Had to keep the gummy worms in the fridge for days before I attached them to the jacket and hoped the ants wouldn’t get to them first — they didn’t. HA!

 

malware-bug

I suddenly got inspired and made two of this bug

IMG_20141104_091056

Your GMail, compromised

IMG_20141104_091212

Death to Yahoo!

IMG_20141104_091302

DisLIKE-ing Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

As additional and important props, I carried a stick from which hung representations of those that a black hatter hits and/or ruins — browsers, search engines, Emails and social media (above are just some of them). It was not only to show the extent of what a black hatter can do, but also to emphasize how hackers like to brag about their conquests.

Oh, and for sure you noticed that red (supposedly a shade of orange) thingy on the front of my jacket. I specifically searched for the icon for malware and found it. It did kind of remind me of something but I dismissed the idea until one said, “I know you’re supposed to be Black Hat but why do you have Naruto‘s mangekyou sharingan there?”

naruto-mangekyou-sharingan

Various sharingan “designs,”from the popular mangaNaruto

Uh…oh. Alarm bells went off in my head and I thought, I KNEW it was a sharingan! But why did Google give it? Thankfully, two peeps said it was the icon for “biohazard.” Well, after careful research, I have concluded that no, it’s not a sharingan, and it’s not 100% exactly the same as the biohazard icon, although we know where the inspiration for it came from.

After all the thinking and effort, I didn’t win, HA HA HAAAA!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, I enjoyed it. Below are more pics from our itty-bitty party 🙂

instagram-sadako

Instagram Sadako. Great idea by Jane C.

ym-snapchat

Real-life sweethearts, Count Yahoo! Messenger and the Dancing SnapChat (maybe she’ll let us see her little dance)…Cutie-much!

android-costume

Android E. has lost his screws!

Basketball-ing kitty? Nope. Just Firefox hugging the world

Basketball-ing kitty? Nope. Just Mr. Firefox hugging the world

internet-explorer

Doro the Internet Explorer: The new creepy

office-ghost

Speaking of creepy…..!!!!

all-browsers

Well, Safari got lost (broken compass, maybe), but here are your browsers: Doro the IE  who is perennially behind, Chrome Mama (THE WINNER because everybody just wanted to wear the costume, he he), Mr. Firefox, and Opera Diva

hashtag

Hashtag Lady says she doesn’t have a costume every year, then she whips out one #indenial

hashtag-all

Being a very flexible icon, the hashtag is paired everywhere. Here, a smiling Sadako is forced–er–asked to be the Hashtag model #tree. The list continues with #van, #trashcan, #bike, #person, #yougettheidea

costume-improv

Costume failed but this one joins the party anyway

no-costume

He’s getting made up impromptu #nocostume

google-chrome

How bitter is this mini-Chrome when he comes in to find a giant Chrome? LOL!!!

monster-mold

No costume, too, but don’t you just like his art?

halloween-costumes

Preparing for the Annual Walk. It’s not the same without the Annual Walk

halloween-costume-players

Group shot! Too bad Mr. Firefox left early. 😉 Oh, and introducing Ms. C-Prompt sitting at far right

wacky-shot-halloween

Wacky Techies!

 

Photos courtesy of the office peeps so please do not distribute…Just feel free to link back to here, if ever.

 

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Do you have any pics or stories to share from last Halloween? Share to us! We’d like to see what you’ve been up to 😉