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Category: Ramblings

I need music in my life. Not the kind of passive soundtracks that clutter your commute in the car, accompaniment in the elevator. Not the overproduced pop junk that saturate airwaves.

I need the dynamics of live music. The obscurity of the artist that writes to seek his/her own voice. The palpable chemistry of a collective group of souls that individually, create their own, but paint the overall message. The strange calmness of getting lost in a thought, in a time, in a feeling.


The real world is a strange place. So much emptiness for us to conquer..

Sleep, eat, live. Love. Get your heart broken.


Wake up all over again.

It's a free market enterprise, marked by the occasional greedy man who dares to seek more than what he's worth. But with the risk comes the reward, and you meet those whose reward outweigh what they seem they are worth. But the reality of it, lies in the fact that they were willing to risk, and went out on a limb. Where you were content to normalcy. Where you were content with what you had. Because you did not dare to dream for more, in that space that you did not dare to dream what you would have deserved otherwise. And at the end of it all, it's really no one's fault. Except for your own, for all the risks, and the rewards, that you choose to pursue.

Makati Skyline

Do which makes the most sense, even if it means the sensible thing is to not follow the beat of everyone else's drum. There are no other answers which matter except for your own, because there will be no one else to back you up on the choices you've made. People may say otherwise, but all is talk unless it's action that's spoken. Past is the past. Present is the present. The future, is the future.

I distinctly remember a few years ago when I got the DVD of the Smashing Pumpkins Greatest Hits, and watched a gig from Seattle where they played Geek USA. They rocked out so hard it scarred my heart. I prayed to God and said I would give my left nut to see them play live - I now owe him my left nut.

At first I was skeptical about the impending reality of seeing the Pumpkins, albeit sans original lineup. It was mainly Corgan with support of Chamberlin who wrote the material anyway, so I'm not too fazzled by that part. However, it's just the idea of liking something so much, investing your own feelings toward a certain art, and to be given the privilege of being a part of it. I mean, being a part it although you're the audience, in some passive visceral way, still puts you in the boundaries of being able to share that collective experience together with the artist. And I can't imagine anything else less gratifying.

I was secretly hoping that they would suck. Just to ground the whole idea of them as my personal super band. But no. Billy's guitar had this familiar voice, which I've heard countless times blasting through my speakers before. But this time, it was real. So heavy, so pure, and so real. Shit, they rocked. I have no idea how the band manages to recreate the depth of their sound, outside of the studio. I am just totally smitten. I'm on Craiglist now trying to find pit tickets for tomorrow's show. It's the last show of their tour. My new t-shirt says "Celebrating 20 Years of Sadness".

Thank you, Smashing Pumpkins for allowing me to know what it's like to feel, when you realize you love music.

Outside Love

Inside small spaces we find
what's hiding across imaginations
to forget about the ants marching.

So the whole family (sort of) is now in Las Vegas to attend the SEMA convention, which is basically heaven for anyone remotely interested in anything automotive. This is pretty much the most productive year I've attended. It used to be a shiny-cars and hot-chicks kind of deal, but I have graduated to actually talking to exhibitors and trying to find software solutions for the Family Empire. My sister and I have also between attending the free seminars that range from inventory management, small business IT, and online marketing presented by leaders of their respective fields. The last seminar we attended was chaired by execs from eBay Motors, Amazon, Google, Activant, etc! This is a pretty damn good deal for the $15 registration fee that we paid!

Rambling mode on. So it's a cut throat market, and everyone's out to make a buck. I used to subscribe to the school of modesty, and self-deprecation. "Set expectations low, and perform high." Never acknowledge your talent, because there seems to be greater satisfaction when it comes unsolicited from a third party. There are, however, some potential drawbacks to this approach if it starts to manifest itself internally. To guise yourself from others through modesty, may be a formidable plan of attack, but be sure to always keep in mind what is real, and believe the truth in what you can do. It's easy to get swayed into the cop-out that you cannot do something, when all you need to do is to take that first step and make the effort to make it happen. It's easy to follow the crowd of lemmings and go with the flow. And this fear of 'failure' (that can present itself in many forms), marks the difference of those successful, and those who are not. And no matter how intelligent you are, no matter how much you understand it better than the monkey next to you, what stays in your mind as ideas can never be as real as the actions you put to follow the idea through.

There are constant disconnects between what I believe in, and the life I am stuck with. Each day is another opportunity to weed them out. Nothing that a few beers can't fix. :)

Fallen Giant

All I am is a curious monkey that wants to tinker around, learn, and be the best at what piques my interest. Boredom is my enemy, and it doesn't help that my attention span is beginning to wither into goldfish territory. I need to be exposed to new people, new situations, and never be allowed to stagnate lest I start to embrace the boring tranquils of comfort. The mestre once said, that each moment spent not training, is a moment taken by the enemy to train and defeat you in battle.

Sunrise at Valley View
Sunrise at Valley View in Yosemite.

A lot of times we attach our personal memories to certain events, that make them more meaningful. Specific smells from a period of our lives, the friends you hung out with when you hear a certain song. But there are times, when you venture out into the world, and realize how tiny you (and your personal life) are while you scrape your jaw off the floor. There is beauty built by our experiences, but then there is beauty built by something, someone, greater than all of us combined can ever be.

And little do we really realize, that we live in it.

Happy birthday to the newest member of the Paul and Kat lens family! :) Hopefully she will bring us good tidings and cheer in the form of pretentious pixels and incoherent images.

Praying friend

A pencil is useless without it's artist on the other end of the lead. Camera - useless, without it told what to see. Gadgets designed to create, will never serve their purpose without a curious mind on the swing. And a curious mind remains steadfast in its curiosity, as it explores what's on the other side of that rabbit hole.

i: only the best for you j!! and its up to you to determine what that is ;)
j: thanks g! i really needed to hear that!:D
i: the only catch, is that you cannot blame other people for the choices you make :)
i: so choose wisely, but be happy :)

Lazy days

Art takes time. Understanding takes time. Knowing takes time. Forgetting takes time. Time takes nothing - except for what you don't give.

At the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño

I like the anonymity of night. I can work tirelessly, without concern and disruption of interludes that daylight brings. During the day you're preoccupied (or too busy pretending not to be preoccupied) keeping tabs on the clock as it ticks to lunch time. Then your senses fail after a heavy meal. Perhaps indulge in a caffeine pep, or energy drink to prop you up the rest of the afternoon. Wait in your windowless cube until the seconds turn to minutes turn to hours turn to another day on your hamster wheel.

The silence of past midnight is all encompassing. The world is quiet. Your mind is free. To create, or to vegetate. The reasons are all your own.

I can find all the reasons to stay up all night. The missing piece of the puzzle though, is finding all the right reasons to wake up earlier in the morning. :P

Downtown LA

Fascinating to point out, that the quantity and quality of my posts are directly proportional to my alcohol intake. Not that it's an excuse to drink more - I just find words easier when inebriated. Otherwise, it takes me forever to sit down, gather my thoughts, and pound it out to have no bearing of logical importance whatsoever. It's like spending the time to fix your hair to look like you just got out of bed.

It's that time of the year again! A year always comes fast in retrospect, but slower when looked forward to. Let's do a recap. I was going to write little blurbs, then thought pictures would be better, but changed my mind again. I ended up just reading my blog. How narcissistic, I know. Only because it's a Lovine Holiday :)

Spent my last birthday where I was born. Pretty cool for me, since I haven't been to Chicago in forever. Made in the Philippines, Born in the USA!

I know it's from last year, but I can't get over the best damn possible birthday gift I could ever have. I can't get over it, and will most likely never ever get over it. Handmade, with love. :) I love you Ms. Kat!

Adopted Nickel. :)

Quit my job at a risk consulting firm. Rode the Vespa from LA to SF, the morning after my last day of work. Bought a tent and sleeping bag from REI, little did I know it would be the beginning of a new era. A few months later I went crazy and took the Vespa on a 2,000 mile personal odyssey across Highway 1, to Red Rock Canyon, across Death Valley, to Las Vegas, to Yosemite, San Francisco, and back to LA. Camped in all the spots in between. Loved it. Would do it again in a heartbeat. And for sure someday, I will do it again.

Got addicted to snowboarding. Went a total of 10 times this season, 3 of which were by myself!

I can't remember what made us look for one, but all of a sudden Kat and I were in a mad rush to find a Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter. Made a few quick decisions, called some shots, and found ourselves on an Amtrak train headed north towards Oregon. Game plan was to check out this 1979 Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter (also known as a Kombi, hippie/turtle van, breadloaf, or in our case was to become - Vanessa). There was no contingency plan in case the deal fell through - we were on a one way ticket to Oregon, with no way to come back. Needless to say, we fell in love with the van, wrote the previous owners a check, and began to write a new chapter of awesomeness.

With Vanessa, and Nickel the boy wonder, we set out to conquer Death Valley and Yosemite. Had some mechanical issues, but all's well that ends with beautiful pictures! New friends! And stories to tell! I still find it funny that everyone got mad when they found out we picked up hitchhikers along the outskirts of Sequoia National Forest. "They could've been serial killers! Rapists! Goons!". Sorry boys and girls, that's how Paul and Kat roll.


I was telling her that I always feel like I haven't done much. But when I sit down to think about it, I don't even know where to start. In this sappy little heart of mine, I can find a million reasons to get excited about a single second.. let alone a year.. let alone, a lifetime. I like that feeling of not having done enough, because there really is so much more to do. The best part is, looking forward to it :)



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