Monday, January 30, 2012

Cassette Orgel

Hey, do you know that trend in Facebook where you post the number one song the week you were born? Mine was Down Under by Men at Work. I'm not exactly a fan, but I do like some of their songs. I am a fan, though, of the 80s and 90s music, probably the best era in music for someone who grew up on those years. At the time, there were no ipods and itunes, no youtube singing sensations, and very few singing talent competitions. But back then, music made a lot of sense (IMHO). We had Walkman though, and cassette tapes.

Ahhh the cassette tape... up until the new millennium (Y2K) I used them to collect songs. I couldn't afford to buy the official albums, I had blank tapes instead. On weekends, I stayed up late to wait for my favorite songs in the radio so I can record them in my tapes. Sometimes, I'd record a talk in between songs, pretending to be a DJ playing a fan request song. Then I used them to record anime songs too. It sounds so primitive, but TVs don't come with a tape recorder, so what I did was place the cassette recorder beside the TV and hit the record button once the opening or ending theme plays. The ending song was a bummer, sometimes, the network stations won't finish the song, in a hurry to start the new program.

Then, way way back from my childhood, when my dad was working overseas, because we had no telephone, we communicate through letters and cassette tapes. We recorded our messages in blank tapes and send them to my dad. I had no idea where those tapes are now, it would have been great to find them and hear what my voice sounded like. Kids today are so luck that they'll get to see their videos of their formative years when they become adults.

I no longer have my cassette tapes. Maybe I do, maybe they are somewhere here. I never knew what happened to them. Just like any normal human, I moved on with the evolution of music medium. I listen to music through my CD player, laptop or smartphone. What I do have though, as a tribute to the music era that I love so much, is a cassette tape music box.

Sorry if I fooled you, this is another music box appreciation post, LOL. But this is great I tell you. The cassette orgel was manufactured by Takara Co., Ltd. and was designed by Yasuyuki Moriyama. The orgel mechanism, which is smaller than most music boxes around, is encased in a cassette tape. The spools spin when you wind up the music box, very similar to a real cassette tape when played. This music box plays Akai Sweet Pea by Seiko Matsuda, dubbed as the "Eternal Pop Idol" of Japan. The song was a big hit in the early 80s and was covered nunmerous times by different artists, even Patti Austin!

I'm not sure if I've heard it covered by some of the Jpop artists I know or was featured on any anime but the music song is very familiar. I find it kinda similar to Satou Akemi's (Fushigi Yuugi) Shiawase Ni Naroune.

Because of my attachment to the 80s and 90s, and its cuteness, this is one of my favorite music box.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guess who's in my room?


Okay so that's the statue St. Ildefonsus of Toledo, our town's patron saint. Actually the statue had been in my room a couple of days ago. Barangay halls conduct mass every night in preparation for his feast, which was yesterday (Yes I posted late again). So while the statue was on rotation, I'm assuming parish officials decided to store it in our house, and my religious parents decided to store it temporarily in my room. Because, I am the most holy child in the house. No, my room seems to be the most secure. So for like 3 days, I had a room mate hehehe. How cool is that? :)

Monday, January 09, 2012

Resolutions and More

Okay this is my first post in 2012, this should be good! This is the post when I lay out the things I need to change and goals I need to hit for the year. I have stopped making resolutions years ago, but recently, I realized that it's important to set goals and try to be a better person, not just every year, but every possible time we could. Last year I listed some things I need to do and I'm proud to say I did accomplish some of them :)

But I'll be honest, we're now in the so called page 9 of 366 (ugh, did I just say that?) but I haven't think of anything I need to accomplish yet. Not that I feel like I'm done now, but I feel like I still have responsibility to carry out the things I failed to do. I won't talk about all of them but I'll talk about the things I pledge to do this year.

I want to cook! For real I want to learn how to cook. For many reasons, I need to learn it as soon as possible. I'm turning 29 next month, it's a shame that the only thing I'm proud of making is pancake. That's not right either, I can only do the ready to cook pancake mix and I follow a standardized recipe. When I try to mix something to spin a new flavor, the result is always -- epic fail. I tried experimenting with eggs, making all kinds of omelet, but nothing really works. Again, I'm turning 29 next month, my hidden talent refuses to reveal itself anytime soon, I think cooking is something I'd like to impress people at, especially when I started inviting friends in our house. It's no secret that I suck in any domestic chores, cooking is something that I want to improve on. I want to start going organic. I want to live healthy. I want to start bringing lunch box to work, which leads me to my next goal -- to save.

Save money that is. I think I've been promising myself that I'll start saving for the longest time, I've been working for more than 8 years now, and still no significant amount of money in the bank -sigh-. What's wrong with me? I'm a spendthrift alright, but I'd like to believe that I've let go of my splurging habit on toys. I have not purchased any action figure ever since I pledged not to. I only bought 3 music boxes and some books last year. Why is that? Oh yeah, I've gotten more decadent with food (that's why I need to start bringing lunch box dammit!) and travel.

Hear me out okay? I love money, my friends know that, but I love spending it more. I believe that if I could be happy now, I'd do it and perhaps sacrifice the future. Why deprived myself of fun so I can save when I'm not sure if I would be alive tomorrow? Don't get me wrong, I'm as healthy as a pony (I can't run like a horse okay) but you never know when the time comes. Still, I want to save! I should be able to have fun and still keep something for the future. Besides, I want to buy a car! See, that's another goal. But how to? I am very weak with temptations.. oh the malls. Just the other day, after my shift, I dropped by at Megamall to look for my sister's cellphone charger and I found out that every damn store is on sale! UGH! I was thinking, maybe I should hold all shoppings for the year and just do a one time shopping after the Holidays. I can have my own version of Black Friday without competing with other shoppers. See, I'm thinking of spending again. Okay, I'm gonna set this thing straight, I will have fun and save money. There's gotta be a way, it's an ongoing struggle, but if I get to hit my goal figure in 6 months, I will get myself a real good present. Ack! No!

Enough about monetary talks, here's something I'd like to commit myself -- I want to plant a tree. No, not just a tree, many trees. When I think of a fulfilling job, I always say to myself that I want something that would make me feel like I've done something for the society. While I can't do that with my current job, I can make time to do something helpful. There are so many short marathon runs being held to benefit something and that's good, but I want to join an activity that feels more helpful by my standard. SO, this year, I must join a plant a tree activity. I've scoured the web and I have a pretty good idea which NGO to join to. There was a time in college when I got to do this. It was a project of Bantay Kalikasan. Other foundations joined including Metrobank foundation (who granted my scholarship) so I was able to participate (at the time, it was more like an involuntary action). I can't remember much about it, but I remember an old man from one of the organizations, while planting, he showed me a rare flower that grows in the area, it reminded me of Mr. Wilson's flower (from Dennis the Menace film). I thought that was a really special discovery and it's one of those things that stays on my memory for a long time. I wanna be able to experience it again.

Another thing I wanted to do this year (and I've been putting this off for so long now by the way) is to learn Japanese. I mean like learn to be fluent. In my Facebook profile, I claimed that I know Japanese, and it's not like I'm bluffing or posing, I do know a little of it - I can read Katakana and Hiragana, I recognize few Kanji characters. I'm confident that I know more Nihongo words than somebody who has taken Nihongo 101. In fact I installed Japanese MS office, so I have the capability to write Nihongo characters using my laptop. 嘘じゃない!(Not kidding!)


If you know me, you know that I love Japan. Though the past years, I've been rather detached, picking one or 2 JFMO events to attend and immersing more on American shows and documentaries. But hey, I still love Japan to the bone, when I buy electronic products, I always choose Japanese brand. And when I get a car, I'll go for Japanese too :) I think I can intensify my Nihongo literacy whether I study formally or not, my main issue is my laziness. I'm too lazy to get things done. Now that's what I really need to work on. It's not like I don't know how to do it, but the execution is the hardest part. To commit to something is one thing, but to actually do it is another. ~sigh again~

There's definitely a lot of work to be done this year, I'll try my best to accomplish everything I set to do. God help me.