Saturday, March 08, 2008

Dream: Ghost Fighter!

I was a delusional kid back in elementary school and I liked to pretend that I was Dennis (aka. Kurama from Yu Yu Hakusho). Last night, without any bidding, I dreamed I was Kurama, which was just too weird.
It was a fight. Post Makai tournament. I was Shuuichi. I was standing beside Yusuke and Hiei. The guy we're fighting makes these weird spikes which look like gnarled roots sprout up from the ground. I'm impaled. There are exactly sixteen holes in my body, from the back straight out the chest. Before I can even feel the pain, I am outside the body, watching as the lights go out of Shuuichi's green eyes.

"Kurama!" Yusuke yells from below.

And then, next thing I know, I'm standing at the bottom. The spikes are gone and so is the body. The enemy is stuttering, confused and frightened. Kurama should be dead. I should be dead. Then, I go on to say something like, "My body took a lot of damage, but it's confused. Should it be in this form or in that? That way, I survived."

When I woke up, I was all O_O and "oh, cool". LOL.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dream: De ja vu?

I had a long conversation with Ivan last night about the things that happened between one of our college friends and myself between two to three years ago. My dream probably stemmed from that.

There were several of us who went out that day. In my dream, it was one of those rare times when our work schedules jived and we ended up whole, as a group. It was a conspiracy, I tell you. Our friends contrived to make that person and I talk. It was a short conversation:

That person: I suppose, because of everything, you're no longer...
Me: Please, I don't want to discuss this. Let's not ruin this reunion between friends.
That person: So you still feel the same way?
Me: Does it matter at this point? I don't see any reason why I should have to tell you...

And then I stretched my arms out, a bit exasperated, and then I felt pain. OMG, the pain in my muscles from joining that Body Pump class woke me up, and I was given another reason why that class is now my favorite. +_+

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Save Up?

Perhaps it's the really kuripot side of me that makes touching my savings unthinkable. I'm always thinking, What if something comes up? So, my money is pretty much going stale at the Pasig Cooperative, under the watchful eye of Ka-Impok. I didn't touch the money to buy a new laptop and I have no plans of touching that money to fix up my car. I'm not going to spend my life savings on such short-sighted things. A trip to the moon or a functioning green house in Antartica, now those are things I would spend money on.

A few years ago, back when we were still 2/3 of M13's "Powerpuff Girls", Patty Jhocson and I talked about managing money. She said something along the lines of, "It's not just that we have a lot of money, we do, but there are a lot of people who earn as much as our parents do. It's what we do with that money we have that counts."

And, newsflash, people, she's right.

I didn't realize until the people around me began earning money how most people really dealt with their money. The money that is left in the ATM account that the office uses to disperse salaries is always for something in particular, never for the future. No one saves for a rainy day, anymore. Well, I do, but I've been informed (with as much affection as possible) that I am weird.

But, is opening a bank account really what it's all about? I have a savings account at BDO, where the interest rate is 0.75%. Two years ago, the bottomless iced tea at Chocolate Kiss was worth P45. If I put that P45 in the bank, and I withdrew that money plus the interest it got two years later (which would mean, like, now), I would get P45.6775. That seems like a good deal, considering I just sat around and waited for my money to earn 68 centavos on its own. However, the last time I went to Chocolate Kiss, which was last Tuesday, the bottomless iced tea was worth P48. So my money from two years ago plus interest isn't even worth one bottomless iced tea with the honey watered down.

It's not just about saving up, it's about investing. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's risky business. I know squat about managing a portfolio and my bottomless iced tea money isn't even enough to buy a fund manager his own bottomless iced. So, right now, I'm considering putting some money into a Unit Investment Trust Fund, which is, to make a long explanation short, a fund that allows the bank's fund managers take care of investing your money for you. But I'm apprehensive about investing right now. The markets are unstable (because of social uncertainty and the US recession) and all the banks I've gone to have admitted that the value of their portfolios (and, effectively the money of their investors) are falling.

So, my battle plan is to stuff a certain amount of money (preferably money I earned and not the money I've been saving) into a short term time deposit, let it brew there a bit (earning a couple of pesos along the way), then invest half of it at the end of the year. I'm hoping that the US elections next year and the economic reforms implemented this year will help the market improve by 2009. If all goes well, the rest of my time deposited money will be invested by the end of March 2009.

Does that seem reasonable or should I just ask Ka-Impok to take care of everything?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sympathizing with Padre Damaso

These are the last lines of our P.I. 100 Noli Me Tangere play. That play turned out well because of the efforts of my groupmates. I had such an awesome team to direct. Here are some of the closing lines of the play, which was a parody of Noli and aimed to sympathize with the story's villain, Padre Damaso.

"May hustisya ba ang Diyos? Bakit niya parurusahan ang isang tao ng ganito? Hindi madaling tumanggi sa tukso. Hindi madaling magparaya sa mga umiinsulto. Akala ko ba'y mapagpatawad at mahabagin ang Diyos? Bakit hindi niya dininig ang panalangin ng isang alagad na matagal na nanilbihan sa kanya?

"At, sa pagtatapos, aking ipinaaalam sa inyong mga minamahal naming manonood na ang pagkamatay ni Padre Damaso ay bunga ng kalungkutan. Hinihiling namin sa inyong iyuko ang inyong mga ulo at ipagdasal ang kanyang kaluluwa na sana'y maligtas mula sa mga apoy ng Purgatoryo. Sapagkat nilahian man ng ulupong ang mga ganitong nilalang ng Diyos, sila pa rin ay mga tao: natutukso, nasasaktan, nagagalit, at higit sa lahat, ay nangangailangan ng inyong paguunawa."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Missing Methodology...

Modesty aside, when I conceptualized this study on decoupling in August of 2007, I believe I was demonstrating an incredible amount of foresight. I wanted to treat the GDP/GNP and currency as products of a complex system and use them as indicators of economic coupling or decoupling. Basically, I wanted to find out if a model Asian economy (probably Thailand or Indonesia, not the Philippines) would decouple from the US economy and, if so, what next? Would it couple with China? Would some form of independence be achieved? The big BUT of this study, though, is the methodology.

What would be the best way to go about the study?

At that time, I tried to devise a risk, compensation, and response model, but it's a bit complicated (needs to be tested on simpler systems), is computationally expensive (but not as much as MD), and would not be able to work for longtime simulations (try simulating several years). I'm also considering projection methods, which would use previous data to predict the future trends. I'm just not sure what would work well on coupled data like the ones that I would have to use. And then, of course, I could just use differential equations.

Hmmm... what to do, what to do? I want to finish a concept paper on this before June so I can formally propose it to Dr. Banzon and my prospective research partner.