Life lately

✱ Long overdue oil change!


Last weekend we had our long overdue oil change and PMS at Shell Dahlia. We're supposed to do it every 8 months or 10,000 km, whichever comes first daw. But well, it's been 15 months and the car has only been driven 2,000 km since. We usually go with the distance marker cos it looks more practical, but at our current rate it'll take us over 5 years to get the oil changed lol and that's something no one should ever do unless you enjoy riding an active road hazard.

The mechanic says everything looks good except for the AT fluid which needs changing. Have to buy this from Toyota directly so we'll get to that this weekend. It's the first time I heard of such fluid. Apparently it's used to lubricate the transmission component of the car to ensure smooth shifting from gear to gear.


We got the battery checked as well cos it's going 2 years and 10 months already and I feel like the headlights are starting to dim. The battery tester says it's at 62%, mechanic says it still a good number but if we're starting to observe some performance issues then it's probably time to change.

I did some Googling and it found that SOH (state of health) refers to the condition of the battery cells relative to its age, maybe like our phone battery health? SOC (state of charge) is the battery level relative to its capacity, so it's uhm 99% charged in a 62% capable battery. RES (resistance) - I don't really understand this but it says the lower the value of the internal resistance, the better the battery can discharge a high voltage load. Today I learned! Thanks to this Q&A.

✱ Maya and my first crypto purchase


So Paymaya recently rebranded into a neobank and it's offering 6% p.a. savings as its early access promo. Naturally I have to try. I pulled out a small amount from CIMB and transferred it to Maya. For CIMB to GCash to Paymaya, transfer fee is  ₱15 via InstaPay. Maya Bank is not listed yet so I have to move from Paymaya wallet to Maya bank account within the same app.

Since they also offer crypto on the platform, I tried that as well. Don't really know much about bitcoin so I just bought ₱500 worth. I mean it plumetted quickly cos I bought it on a downtrend lol but that's fine as I only intend to watch it fluctuate.

✱ Looking out 

You know I'm dreading RTO so much that I started handing out resumes to several companies through LinkedIn. I'm specifically avoiding consulting firms and agencies and so far I've gotten to three HR interviews. They all happened last week on Friday. It was a back-to-back-to-back interview begining 3pm and what can I say, I think it only made me more grateful for the firm lol. 

Company 1 has enough budget for my asking, offers permanent remote work, but I don't think I'm a good fit for the role. It's an automation testing role that uses technologies I'm familiar with but have never used within the scope of testing.

Company 2 has no budget for my asking, so they tried to encourage me by sharing their benefits. I was a bit hopeful about this company because the Jobstreet and Glassdoor reviews are good, and they're listed in Great Place to Work PH so those count for something right? But again, I don't think I'm a good fit because they wanted an automation tester with experience on Selenium and Cucumber so I'm definitely not the person they're looking for. Their max budget for the role is pretty much my current basic pay already so I decided not to pursue. The benefits are okay but not stellar compared to what I'm currently enjoying.

Company 3 is also a no-go. The position looks promising, very relevant to what I'm currently doing. The tools and technologies match, my years of experience check out, and it's a big company with a big infrastructure so it excited me how much I could learn from developing in such a scaled up environment. However, as much as I felt the fit, they couldn't possibly meet me at my asking price. Their budget is way below my current salary. And my asking, according to the HR is already on the executive level lol.

So yeah, after the call HR formally told me they'll keep me in the pool but would not pursue with my application. We talked for over 30 minutes, starting with a long primer on the history of the company, it's partners, subsidiaries, and parent conglomerate. It's actually the same company I worked with 10 years ago as a fresh grad haha, and back then the HR didn't give me this intro lol so I actually learned a lot haha.

It's kinda sad that none of the interviews worked out for me. It made me wonder if I'm actually overpaid or I'm just looking at the wrong companies lol. Actually no I'm not overpaid, some companies - specially local ones - just don't have the budget haha. Also, as my husband says, "better overpaid than underpaid".

It also gave me an insight at how blessed I am with the firm. In 5 years my pay has increased by 56% so I'm still on track as far as my personal standards go. My workload is manageable, my teammates are all great to work with, my manager is cool, and my office friends are a delight. I've become so comfortable I don't wanna leave. Also I don't wanna lose the iphone plan I literally can't afford it haha.

Okay that said I think I'm gonna give RTO a chance. Still actively responding to promising opportunities though, specially overseas ones!


✱ YouTube payout

Good news! I just got my second YouTube payout! I'm saying it's YouTube but it's actually Google Adsense so that's a combination of my blog and vlog earnings. The income ratio being 25% blog and 75% vlog so yeah it's mostly YouTube. I set my withdrawal threshold to $200 and I was able to reach it in six months! I know it's not that big, when I got in the Youtube Partner Program (aka monetized my channel) my first payout came nine months later. So this arriving three months early is a great thing! It means I'm still earning lol. It's fun to get paid doing stuff you enjoy no? lol

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Ah, life

For the first time in my life, I voted! May 9 was a monumental day for me. It's the first time I gave over zero fucks for this goddamned country. For a while I had hope for the Philippines. That while being less than 24 hours. Cos not even two hours after the voting period closed my heart began to sink. With every passing hour I tried to make sense of things. How is this possible? Has anyone applied Benford's law to the election results? The answer is yes and the data trend checks out. Read: PH 2022 election results analysis using Newcomb-Benford’s Law

So eventually the feeling of defeat turned into acceptance. Whatever fucks I invested during the day dwindled back to zero. Apathy. Then to a negative. Hatred. I was never proud to be a Filipino. This time I'm ashamed.

Now I'm back to usual. Lazy. Unmotivated. Didn't take a day to lose all the hope I had. Maybe because there was never much to begin with. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

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Samgyup with the fam with our new portable stove


I have always wanted to treat my parents to samgyup but we could never find a weekend that's not too crowded and ma-traffic. My parents are always wary of going out and as much as possible would rather dine in at home than expose themselves to the horrible Metro Manila traffic, and also people lol. And then I got a portable stove and an outdoor table and the first thing I thought was finally, we can eat samgyup at home!


It was a fine Sunday afternoon when we gathered at my parent's roofdeck. Jeckie and I brought meat for grilling. And to complete the samgyup kit we also came with some kimchi, minced garlic, and of course a bunch of lettuce!


Setting up the portable stove was very easy. It comes in a cute carrying case and also includes an English manual so you won't get lost. You may get this Gem portable stove from True Value. Don't forget to also purchase a butane gas!


Just place the butane gas in place, aligning the notch collar on the index arm. Our butane can is too big so we can't close the cover but that's fine! Press down the black lever to lock the cartridge in place. When it's firmly set turn the ignition knob all the way down to Max, then turn it a bit more till you hear a click. The burner should ignite automatically.


Didn't think it was so easy to set up your own samgyup at home if you have a portable stove with you!
 


Get the stove along with this Lifetime table that's adjustable and extremely portable and you've got yourself an easy to setup dining set that you can take with you anywhere you want. It fits just right at the trunk of our car and even the backseat. This portable Lifetime table is also available at True Value. I couldn't be happier about this table cos it's so multipurpose and compact, I can use it to work and just stow it away when not needed.




Needless to say we had loads of fun eating together this way. It was a welcome change dining in an indoor-outdoor space under the bright sun in a cool afternoon. It was worth hauling a bunch of things up two flights of stairs haha!


Already excited for our next picnic!

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Life lately: bye Bob, new office, and our dismal Eton stay


I'm usually very lazy at work but last week I achieved peak laziness cos I was just looking forward to the very long weekend. We didn't have anything planned aside from visiting our parents. But of course things inevitably come up when you have so much free time so we finally had the car washed after a long time, sold off Bob, met with the Chancos, and checked in at a hotel in anticipation of the scheduled power outage in our condo.

Here's my latest Weekly Monotony...



Bye Bob


Jeckie bought this training dummy two years ago and sold it off for less than half the price. After he went back to the gym it's not being used much anymore. I was initially against getting this in the first place cos it's fucking expensive but it's his money and we (kinda) have space for it so whatever. I also wanted a punching bag but I'm fine with the standing hotdog types. This Bob is too big and bulky. Thanks for the memories though! Off you go to someone who can hurt you more! :D

First day at our new office!
Our condo announced a tower-wide power interruption from 9am to 5pm on Monday so I took it as a chance to finally check out our new office and setup my things in hopes of maybe getting a bit of my mojo back lol.

Our new office is beautiful. 


It almost looks like I'm in a different country with that view. Like downtown Minnesota lol. But as much as I love the new vibe, it's not enough to make me wanna come here regularly.

All I know is that I don't want to go back to the office; for two reasons:

First and foremost, the terrible commute. Normally (pre-pandemic) I only take one ride to and from work. Now I don't have that option anymore. Because they moved the bus stops, what used to be a 350m walk to the nearest stop is now a 1.6km pilgrimage to an MRT station. Not walking distance considering my short legs and sweaty genes. Besides the bus stops getting a lot farther, the buses that usually get me to work are now ALL GONE. There are no more LRT-Ayala-Leveriza buses plying EDSA from the North. So taking the bus is off the list. Well, I could walk to MRT Boni, get off at Buendia station, take a jeepney, then walk to the office. But that's one very exhausting option that's well beyond the kind of suffering I'm willing to subject myself to. Plus, its not available all day round. By the time I get off of work, the only available mode of transportation is a cab.

So what now? The only option I'm considering is taking a cab/Grab to and from work. Not very economical. Plus, it's not always easy to get a ride!


Next reason why I don't want to go back to the office: Our 60-40 hybrid work situation means I have to maintain two workstations now. One at the office and one at home. And because I've gotten used to my current setup I kinda want my office setup to be the same. That means I must have a wireless mechanical keyboard (very specific with this), wireless mouse, laptop stand, chargers, etc. Just because I don't wanna keep bringing them with me in case I wanna work elsewhere. I picked up a lot of kaartehan in the two years I worked at home that I'm not willing to let go lol. I have very specific workstation needs now. I mean I could just work 5 days in the office to avoid having to maintain multiple setups, but do I really want that? Specially when there's an option not to? Hahaha I'm kinda conflicted about this actually. On one hand, I don't wanna keep bringing a laptop to work cos it's risky and I have to bring a bigger bag, you know the hassle. On the other, I want the flexibility of working at home specially when there's not much going on at work. 


With the thought of mandatory RTO looming ever so closely, I had to weigh my options. Is it worth it coming back to the office, what with the terrible state of our public transpo? Or should I look out for remote jobs and leave? Oooor look out, figure out my market value, and use that to gain leverage at the firm? lol Maybe I can demand for a permanent wfh setup and ofc a pay raise? Ugh. I don't know.

Although to be honest, I don't think I'm strong enough to get an offer at this point. I'm not confident with any of the skills I've put in my CV, and I kinda feel stuck at the intermediate level with regards to the technologies I use in my line of work. At this point, as a senior, I should have advanced knowledge on something right? But alas, I feel lost, career wise. Oh well.

I've submitted applications to nearby companies lol, hope they notice. At best, I'll get a new job that's walking distance from home. At worst, I get to keep a job that offers great benefits, has a light to moderate workload, and pays me 6-digits. Nothing to lose no? So I'll just keep passing resumes lol. Got an opening? If I can't get somewhere within walking distance, maybe I can try getting out of this country.

Eton Mini Suites

Before I forget, we checked in at Eton Mini Suites for two nights because of the power interruption at our place. What can I say, it's probably the worst hotel we've stayed at.


The rooms are tiny but they're neat alright, the people are polite and hospitable. But the amenities are subpar.

❌ There's only one TV remote (Cignal) so we can't control the TV itself in case we wanna attach our HDDs. Hassle naman to fumble through the buttons under the sceen so nevermind lol. 
❌ Also I hit the TV a whopping 5 times during our stay because it's in the way. I told you, the room is tiny. TV is mounted on one side of the wall and even in its least obtrusive position it's still a darned obstacle.
❌ Parking is hella confusing. Good thing it's not Jec's first time in this building. Actually their office is just right behind so he has tried parking at Eton before
❌Wifi is limited to 2 devices only, which is the first 2 gadgets you connect. If you wanna connect another one, you can't just disconnect another to free up a slot. You have to call front desk to reset your wifi device list. At minimum we have three devices with us (2 phones and an ipad). Sometimes we bring a laptop to work pa so good luck with that. Good thing I have data. 
❌ Also, wifi is slow. 5mbps tops. Smart 5G has good reception in the room though. I'm getting 200mbps+ which is great. I mean I can see the Smart building from our room haha there's probably a nearby tower too.
❌ The walls are freakishly thin. I could hear our neighbor playing music and talking. I didn't complain about them, cos they're not even noisy they're just plain talking to each other and yet I can fucking hear them! Oh wall.


❌ The worst part really is the shower. It freaking leaks. You have to face the showerhead a certain way to avoid water from spilling out into the room because the shower door has gaps. I've reported this and housekeeping acknowledged that it's been a known issue. Not much they can do about it except provide us with extra rugs and mop the floor. I wonder when Eton is planning to fix this at all.


Stuff I'm neutral about...

🔘 There's nowhere to put our things so I had to request for a desk and chair
🔘 There's no water kettle and hair dryer, had to request for those too
🔘 There's no restaurant or in-room dining

Stuff I'm okay about...

✔️ The people are nice and hospitable. As expected.
✔️ AC gets cold naman haha
✔️ Bed and pillows are okay
✔️ Location is great but honestly just go check-in elsewhere hehe

I couldn't find any reason to recommend it. The obvious lack in square footage they could've made up for room features but meh. We're not really fuming mad about this experience because we had low expecations. And they were met can you believe it haha.


Look, we're still happy despite our lackluster stay. It can only get better from here right?

Happy Weekend!

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😞

My throat has been hurting for almost three days now. I think I must've overloaded on sweets last week. I was afraid it might turn to covid (again) but thankfully, I haven't gotten the rest of the symptoms. Just this one heck of a pain in the neck. And it doesn't seem to be getting better. I've been downing a lot of water, consquently peeing a lot. Been spraying Kamillosan, and now swtiched to Difflam cos it's more targetted and has a numbing effect. I've also avoided eating anything sweet! And yet, every time I wake up my left tonsil stings like hell. Urgh. Hope it's nothing serious.


Been feeling down lately because I haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks now because of my knee injury. So yeah, I haven't worked out at all and it sucks. I feel heavy and ugly and fat, and somehow my cravings are back huhu. So this is how it feels to withdraw from a habit that's been working for you so well. I can't believe I'm saying this but I love going to the gym. I love getting wasted in sweat. I love the changes that I'm seeing in myself, the strength I'm gaining from each workout, the clothes that are starting to fit. The scale hasn't budged significantly but I'm feeling lighter, stronger, and better every day ever since I started working out regularly. I can't wait to be back but I'm also afraid to get injured again. Huhu.

Earlier this afternoon I went to follow-up with an ortho who advised me to get physical therapy sessions. After that I don't know anymore. I think it's gonna take over a month to fully recover and regain my footing. Right now I couldn't run or jump. Thankfully I could walk properly now so I was able to return the crutches I borrowed from the neighbor, but I still can't walk for lengths or stand for long.

Hay. Been struggling spiritually as well. Struggling in a sense that I think I've lost it completely, and I feel like I don't want it back. Don't need it back. Cos somehow I may just be keeping it for the sake of having it, but deep inside I know I'm hollow. Do I let faith fill this gaping hole? Or should I seek something more tangible like knowledge and confirmation and evidence of what's real? I'm not even that plagued about the lack of truth in my life. I don't know where to begin. Maybe I don't even want to begin.

lol


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