Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Greeting Cards In Transit

As I type this, I'm currently in Raleigh, North Carolina. It's actually my first time in the United States so of course I go to the south, instead of a busy city like New York or Los Angeles. I don't think anyone ever chooses to go to Raleigh as a vacation spot but I personally love how spacious and suburban it is.

I've been exploring shops around here and one of them was Family Dollar. Okay, to get it out of the way, just because it says "dollar" on the store name does not immediately make it a dollar store where everything is a dollar. What caught my eye was the greeting card section. Sure, it looks like any other greeting card section in any store but it's my first encounter with one in America so that's something, right? Right?
To me, greeting cards are the simplest and easiest way to get something for someone with minimal effort. It's something premade - you didn't have to make the designs or the intro spiel. You just have to buy it, write something generic, and make it seem like you tried. 7 dollars? Done, happy birthday. I've personally done better things with a greeting card just to make it worth the hassle of sending it.

You know what? The perfect way to describe my experience with greeting cards is by using a stolen writing style of a series I used to write about nearly a decade ago on my Tumblr.


How I Never Met Your Mother Part [?] - Happy Happy Sappy



Kids, in the spring of 2019, I had a brilliant idea to send my best friend at the time a birthday gift. I wanted to do something special for her since she was my best friend and all. Let's call her Betty - she is pretty southern after all. At the time, Betty and I were the best of friends and I absolutely loved her.

It was Betty's birthday in the end of March and I was too far to even come to her house. So I thought I'd do the next best thing and send something along the lines of a care package. To keep it a surprise, I just told Betty that I'd be sending her a greeting card. Nothing too special.



I thought I'd try to be nice and give her a gift for her birthday. It's not much but I thought it was more than enough. I remember putting two PS4 games that she'd never played before - Final Fantasy XV and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. I put the artbook and soundtrack from my Life is Strange collectors edition because that was a game she and I loved.


Heck, I even threw in a Life is Strange shirt that I bought from Hot Topic at the time. I remember getting two other shirts but I have no memory of what the designs were.


My favorite addition was the book "How Not To Write A Novel", a book that I love and is very useful for writers. As a joke, I left in an advertisement card for the WWE Network in the pages. I remember using that as a bookmark. Betty told me she found it hilarious and couldn't stop laughing in front of her sister and grandmother. 

The finishing touch would be the actual card. I remember choosing it from the drug store before work and not knowing what to say until I had to actually pack up the box and send it. Now, in the years since I've written it, I don't remember what I wrote on it. I just knew it sparked a reaction from Betty. 

I remember her sending me a message on my way to work.

Betty: This is not a fiery card.
[Kids, she didn't say "fiery"]
Ralph: How so? Wait, did you open it?
Betty: I had to! My grandma brought it over and was insisting I open it.
Ralph: Hey, I had to surprise you somehow! Love you, buddy!
Betty: You made me cry! In the years that I've been alive, no card has ever made me cry so congratulations and forget you!
[Kids, she didn't say "forget"]

It was amusing to think that a friend of mine cried over a greeting card for her birthday. And kids, this was one of the best memories I had with Betty. This was when her family started knowing about me and how I was her best friend. It was great until it all faded away. But that's a story for another time.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Video Game Thoughts - No Flips, Just Switch


Last Christmas, I bought a Nintendo Switch out of impulse. I say it's out of impulse because I wanted to purchase a present for myself. I wanted to plan it out and wait for a sale after several months. I then remembered that Nintendo products usually never go on sale for one reason or another. I did have the option of buying it last year when I went to the Philippines but this was before any game that I wanted to play was actually released for the system.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Art Appreciation Self-Portrait If I Won The Lottery

I rummaged through more files and found an unfinished paper that I had for Art Appreciation class back in UST. Long post ahead, by the way.

I dropped out of my Art Application class back in 2012 because I was too goddamn broken. That's when my depression started and I didn't even wanna set foot in any class, let alone a class where I was supposed to express myself somehow. Anyway, I salvaged some of the paper and the idea's still there. Might as well post it here.

At first, I wanted to do something similar to "500 Days of Summer" and call it something else but I didn't know how to pad that out to 20 minutes or so. It would've involved Nirvana'a "Heart Shaped Box" in one way or another. Another idea was lip syncing to "Stay" by Mayday Parade. However, if given the money and resources, I thought of one where it's over the top and captures everything well.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Philippines 2018 - Two Seats For Me

Before going to the Philippines, I remember being miserable. I was going through some stupid stuff like... emotions and stress from work. I got drunk two nights before my flight on vodka and Coke Zero because I had too much on my mind. I wish I had cranberry juice instead but hey, I mixed what I had. Strangely, the lack of hangover made me watch PewDiePie videos on my PS4.

Drunken mess aside, I wanted to go to the Philippines to be happy and not miserable if that made any sense. My mother and my sister couldn't go for reasons beyond their control so it was just me and my brother on the flight. We had to cancel the first set of tickets we had booked with China Airlines, which means we booked more expensive tickets with Cathay Pacific. We're big dudes and we had a row close to the window. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

What's On My Phones?

Knowing me, I have a few backup phones because I'm never satisfied with the battery life of just one phone and bringing along a powerbank is too bulky. Aside from the usual social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, I usually have a whole selection of apps that I instantly install once I get another phone. They might not be for everyone but they're mostly free so you could easily try them out. I'll try to get to them as quick as possible.

Nova Launcher is a go-to launcher. I even bought the Prime version at full price just because I wanted to support the development team. However, I sometimes want something simple and quick. That's where I use Evie Launcher. It's a basic launcher that's quick and recommended for those who never used a custom launcher before. For wallpapers on said launchers, I mainly use Backdrops. Quite a lot of choices and they're all quirky and colorful.

Nova Launcher
For browsers, sure, Google Chrome is the most common but I despise not being able to block ads on sites that I visit. Opera and Brave Browser come in handy. Opera lets me sync open tabs and bookmarks from different devices as well as blocking majority of the ads.