Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Welcome to Karisafication Nation!

Going a little off-format here.  I would've written this on my parenting/family blog, but that one showcases a nicer side of me.  And I am definitely not one to spread niceties right now.  So let's go with that badass RaketChick, shall we?

I have a wonderful friend who has 2 beautiful babies.  Her name is Karisa.  And she has adrenal cancer.

Ever heard of that kind of cancer?  Me neither.  Because it's a sneaky bastard kind of cancer.  You never know it's there until you're way up there on Stage 4.  Sucks.  Severely sucks.
But how does Karisa handle it?  With grace and balls, of course!  Because that's how it rolls in Karisaland.  Her 6-step plan to cancer butt-whipping is outlined below.

1.  Turn your plight into an advocacy.
Instead of hosting a pity party, Karisa is exposing adrenal cancer for what it is.  Why should it slink in the shadows?  People must know it exists!  We've put up the Karisafication! page for everyone's info sharing, fundraising, love-friendship-confidence building.  It's an army for the adrenal cancer awareness and stomping advocacy.  Everyone's free to jump in!

2.  Know your enemy.
Research is the key to facing a shrouded character.  While you have your doctors, open yourself up to a second opinion.  Get backed up by a foundation.  Write down everything an expert has to say.  And remember, Google is your friend.  Every problem has a solution if you know everything about it. 

3.  Name your enemy.
This is a secret weapon. When you give cancer a name, it becomes easier to push over.  Karisa's named hers Theo.  It's not the Big C.  It's just Theo.

4.  Consider yourself blessed.  Always.
Never face all this alone.  Karisa's one strong bitch.  And she has a whole pack of like-minded friends and family backing her up on this.  Hence, Karisafication Nation.  Never ever think you can't rely on anyone.  Everyone is blessed with a support system, even if you're not aware of it.

5.  Be fashionable for tests, check ups, and consultations.
Karisa recommends this with a passion.  Never go to the hospital looking whipped --because you're not.  Fashion is, in fact, a good confidence builder.  Hot blue pants and Vera Wang for Kohls scarf was yesterday's OOTD.  What could be next?

6.  FIGHT!
Karisafication! isn't just a cutesy name for a group.  It's a battlecry!  For all those in the same boat and coasting through the dark, get yourself Karisafied by knowing how to cope and survive.  Karisafication! is a living, thriving community that doesn't give clear cut answers, but it does help you through this every single step of the way.. the Karisa way.  You can join the movement here and here.  No one should take Adrenal Cancer/Theo/Wumba/Lulabelle/Slinky/Jerky/Doodoohead sitting down.

Karisa.  RaketChick supports that bitch.  I'm Karisafying Cancer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

FREE Happy Even Afters to Solo Flighters!

So a solo mom and a freelance Creative walk into a bar...

What do you think they talked about?
What they learned for the day, of course!  If there's one common denominator between a mom-gone-solo and a Creative-gone-mercenary, it's their openness to push themselves to new heights of knowledge and skill.  Entering realms of paradigm shifts in the name of self-sufficiency.

Like, I'm a writer by profession and I just started making storyboards on my own a few days ago.  I'm suddenly a Photoshopping whiz!  Imagine that.  My solo mom friend, on the other hand, once a banker --has turned publisher!  Releasing a gem called Happy Even After: A Solo Mom's Journal, a book brimming with child care tips, inspirational tidbits, heart-to-heart stories, and pages for a solo mom's own achievement cataloging.

If you're a solo mom or a solo moneymaker, share your riveting nuggets of independent learning on the comment box below.  And, I'll give you your very own copy of HAPPY EVEN AFTER:  A SOLO MOM'S JOURNAL --absolutely free!  I'll be choosing three.  Because THREE rhymes with FREE. Teehee. 

Were you once a damsel in distress who's now an expert at changing flat tires?
Were you once a money splurger and now a fully transformed professional budgeteer?
Did you ever rely on take-out in the old days but now cook like a boss on your own?

How has going solo made you learn new stuff and made you HAPPY EVEN AFTER... I'm dying to know, and reward you for it.  Heck, I'm feeling all generous I'll even ship you your Happy Even After book for free if you live in Metro Manila!  Yep, I'm a giver.  Haha!  Just my little way of saying Happy Holidays to solo mommying and freelancing. :)

What are you waiting for?  Fill up those comment boxes with Independence and Happiness!


UPDATE:  I've received some really cool sharing in both my comment box and Nuffnangx convo box!  Thanks!  You can share some more until December 30. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good Taste, Great Pairings With San Miguel Lifestyle Brews

As my self-proclaimed kitchen king hubby always say, "There's always a reason to drink beer."  And that's why he makes great food to go with it.
My take:  "Yes, there's always a reason --and you can satisfy them all with a Great Pairing suggestion.  San Miguel Lifestyle Brews + Awesome Food = Helluva drinking experience that's above the ordinary!"

Yes, it's an equation.  I majored in Nerdology.

For instance...
San Miguel Premium All-Malt + Garlic Butter Shrimp = Success
This beer sits nicely in the middle of my make-or-break dinner with my most discriminating clients.  Coupled with my husband's classic Garlic Butter Shrimp, San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer goes down with its distinctive taste that makes it a status symbol maker.   This great pairing is a smooth statement that tells my clients I have sophistication, style, success.  Oh yeah.  In business, you drink to impress. *snap-snap*

San Miguel Super Dry + Extra Spicy Sisig = Sizzle
Ah, old reliable.  It's there when I want to wrap up a long productive week.  Best served with my husband's Extra Spicy Sisig.  Best enjoyed with my extra feisty girlfriends.  San Miguel Super Dry's crisp, dry taste and elegant finish complements the fire and crackle of sisig.  This great pairing is how hardworking, strong ladies have fun and recharge for next day's war.  GRAAAHH!!!

Cerveza Negra + Cheesecake Chunks = Satisfaction
After all is said and done, there's that rich multi-sensorial experience that can only be Cerveza Negra.  This caramel-flavored, full-bodied dark lager and my very own Cheesecake Chunks recipe is definitely a marriage made in winding-down heaven. I recommend you take this great pairing slowly and pleasurably, completely uninterrupted.  Except may be if you drink with someone you want to cuddle with in between gulps --which I did.  Cheese-y...

Obviously, this pairing tops my list of Lifestyle Brew favorites.
One, the play of flavors reaches comfort food level.  If you're a freelancer, this is your delicious de-stressor.
Two, it's a quiet, gratifying, and honestly, romantic adventure you can have at home.  I'm not a bar person.  Yep, nerd.
Three,  I cooked up this great pairing myself.  And my husband loved it!  Boo-yeah! :P

Drinking experience that's above the ordinary!
I bet you're raring to do your own Great Pairing, aren't you?  So head on over to the San Miguel Lifestyle Brews website and see what magic you can cook up tonight.  There's a guaranteed wonderful experience for you in every matched-up brew.
THREE CHEERS!
(Woohoo!  Finally got to use that!)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Badnalogies

This was totally lifted from the net.  I don't even have any idea where it came from originally.

But more than a bad list, it's a fun list!  It tells us that bad analogies can still work specially if you're aiming at humor.  This list is actually awesome inspiration for when you're writing for comedy.  Which is essentially one of the sturdiest backbones of a viral video project.  Or, of a catchy headline ad or online banner ad.

I don't know about you guys, but this just rocked my shorts and my copywriting brain.  Haha!
You must understand though that it's already 4:02 AM here and I'm on my 3rd coffee mug.  I may be waaay too easy to please right now. :P

Monday, December 3, 2012

My First Moleskine

I'm not one of those serious, ultra meticulous artists out there.  I'm more of a hobo artist.  In fact, I still cringe and blush when I refer to myself as an artist.  *cringes and blushes upon typing those words*  I don't require fancy paper to get the job done.  I sketch on the margins of discarded documents and on the backboards of old cereal boxes.  And I'm fine with that.  I'm ghetto like that.
And then one day, I decided to part ways with a thousand bucks to buy myself a Moleskine Sketchbook.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!

Honestly, nothing.  I had an el chep-o sketch pad in one hand and then this spasm overtook my body.  I blacked out.  The next thing I knew, I was at the counter holding the most expensive piece of art supply I have ever purchased in my entire life.

Upon closer inspection, the Moleskine yields 104 pages.
Each, heavy acid free paper.
Each, thick with a texture so smooth, you glide on it.
The book totes easily at 13 x 21cm.
It even has a very convenient expandable inner pocket.
And a garter binder that hugs the leather bound book close when not in use.
It screamed quality.  Altogether a glorious buy!

And so, regrets long gone, let this day be known as the day I finally jumped into a higher class of artistry and taste.  Gingerly --and extra cautiously-- I dove in!
With ...my Panda Ballpen.
(What were you expecting?  A fountain pen?  Let's not rush this initiation into quality, ok?!)
And I am superbly pleased. 

The Moleskine Sketchbook is available at Fullybooked for Php1,195.00.

Friday, November 30, 2012

RaketChick RePumped

Still reeling from the euphoria that is the Blogopolis wisdom overload (yes, it has been over 2 weeks, but that kind of information and inspiration bombardment does not go down fast), please allow me a moment to binge-vomit my afterthoughts on this here post.

The whole point of the Nuffnang Blogopolis was all about leveling up your blog.  Pumped, I can think of a gazillion ways to take RaketChick further.

Say, for additional hits, let's have an in-blog comic strip that pokes fun at freelancing mishaps!
Wait, I already do that.  Perhaps an online comic book that links to the blog then.  Hmmm...

An in-blog interactive app like... like... a Dropping Bad Businessmen game!  All you have to do is click and start chopping the evil dudes down while catching good business points.  Neat!
But why stop there when we can jack this up to an actual Android Game App!  Feel the power!

A 'Send a pic of you cosplaying RaketChick' contest!
Ooohkaay, I don't really see anyone joining that kind of thing so maybe we can go with a 'Send your own RaketChick artwork'.  Still nothing?  Oh well.

Not unless the prize is a genuine G.I. Joe-issue RaketChick action figure!  Also available in Dark RaketChick and Sunny RaketChick with a variation of weapon attachments.
And, also available at the RaketChick online store.  Woohoo!

Oh!  Oh!  Better yet, how about a hyper-realistic RaketChick die-cast figurine give-away for the lucky reader who does a post's 100th share?  That would be so worth it!  Why, this figurine is finely crafted.  It can double as a bookend.  It can even be that ever-reliable blunt object for when a raket negotiation goes sour!

The possibilities are endless!
Unfortunately, the migraine that goes with overthinking tends to be endless, too.  Oww...

Let me get back to you on this, ok?  But I swear on my hamster's grave, we are going further.  Soon.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Acqua Bella Pour RaketChika: A Blogopolis Lootbag Review

Ah, the phenomenal Nuffnang Blogopolis lootbags.  I don't think any Nuffnang blogger will be forgetting about them any time soon.  What with 2 months' worth of groceries busting right out of our cupboard's seams.  For that, sponsors, the family thanks you.

For the little Penshoppe lootbag, on the other hand... I thank you.  ME AND ONLY ME!
Finally, 4 ...count 'em!... FOUR girly-girl freebies just for moi, La RaketChika!  Give it up for Penshoppe's Acqua Bella Fruity Mist, Flames, and I Am Body Sprays!

C'mon.  Even a tough girl wanna smell nice, right?

Like when I'm in the middle of a hectic day, jumping from one meeting to another, diving from one production to the next,  catapulting from one overtime to... ugh... more overtime.  A day this action-packed just has to come with the fragrance and confidence of I AM SPORTY or FLAMES MESMERIZE.  Each one with its unique freshness and intensity.  Because a girl who has to work HAS to work it. 

Of course, I do have slow days, too.  Days when all I want to do is bask in the sun, have coffee with a friend, or have a nice, cozy, cuddly, phone-off-the-hook dinner with the hubby.  For rare times like these, I'll need the laid back, sunshiny scent and aura of FRUITY MIST'S RASPBERRY DRIZZLE or (wait for it!) I AM SWEETHEART.  Weak moments.  Apparently, a girl who wields a metaphorical samurai for a living has them, too.

The good news is that Acqua Bella by Penshoppe is available at all Penshoppe stores, which makes these distinct fragrances easy picking for everyone.  You don't have to be a Nuffnang blogger and a Blogopolis attendee to smell (wait for it!) ...Babelicious.
Weak moment.  Apparently, I have a lot of those lately. :P

From RaketChick's sweetly scented day to yours, fo' knucks.

Friday, November 23, 2012

NUFFNANG BLOGOPOLIS 2012

Blog-OOOH-polis!
When they said this was going to the biggest thing in Philippine blogging history, they weren't kidding.  It was like Secret Agent Training Day, the Blogosphere edition.  With a premise like that, naturally, RaketChick had to be there.

The 9 to 9 summit took over the whole of my November 18.  Best Sunday well spent!  Allow me to give you a rundown as to how.

HIGH TECH GADGETRY
You have not tapped into the power of tapping unless you've tapped the RFID Tap It Technology.  (Now say that five times fast.)  The RFID is the mother of all summit IDs.  Just by tapping it on booth sensors, you automatically get registered per sponsor, get entered per contest, get logged on to blow-by-blow social networking.  It's the brainchild of LetsTrendIt, piloted by Nuffnang PH.

SCANNER INTELLIGENCE
Ok, they're just photobooths.  But they connect to your personal Facebook and Twitter accounts and post updates on your behalf.  That's genius and slightly covert.  Lol!  And being Filipinos, how can we possibly refuse the call of a photo op?

CASE DEBRIEFINGS
Blogging giants, sharing their secrets to success and back stories.  How cool is that?!

The best for me would be Yugatech King Abe Olandres' talk on the Business of Blogging.  It was all about leveling up your blog from a teeny bopper's diary to a lucrative money-making gig.  Abe went through the high impact spiel like a warmer, cuddlier Morpheus.  Straight up.  Spot on. 

The most inspiring talk would be from Miss Maria Ressa.  The most animated Agent M.  Utterly passionate about her craft and brimming with intelligence, she's the only Rappler who can make an Excel file endearing.  Her talk empowered me.  And she knows how to map moods.  Damn.

The most engaging for me would be Anthony and Tippy Go's of Googly Gooeys.  Primarily because their blog featured the bloggers' cartoon alter egos, too.  High five! They tag-teamed their talk on Content Generation --kinda like Agents K and J of M.I.B.

Divine Lee of, well, Divine Lee... is just divine!  She's the perfect picture of an Undercover Blogger.  Behind this sexy, funny woman is a brain as fierce as heck.  The woman is hell smart!  She slayed the Q and A, seriously.

NETWORKING
Aka, the mingling.  Spiked only by raffle draws and crazed screams of bloggers who have won even more gadgets.  Ok, so I didn't win.  Hence, bitter.  The food was great though.  And I got to dance a few beats.  Woohoo!

PERKS
Spies usually get the girl in the end.  Us, we got something better.  FREEBIES!  It isn't a Nuffnang event if you went home empty-handed.  That just doesn't happen.  More on the phenomenal freebies on the next post.

Overall, Blogopolis sincerely rocked.  We learned a lot, and we got a new mission.  One that will take bloggers higher and reshape the future of blogging forever!  On that note --and since I'm on secret agent mode-- please bear with me as I belt out my best Shirley Bassey...
"Blogging is forevaaah!"

Monday, November 12, 2012

In Defense of Doodles

Doodling is a natural manifestation of creativity.
During a meeting, when someone starts vandalizing that briefing document you've distributed earlier (the one you spent a week and a half working on), it's not meant to offend you.  It simply means that while you were presenting the task at hand, the gears in this someone's brain have also started moving.  Doodling on your 'carefully crafted' paper is his way of saying "That's a brilliant project briefing!  My creativity is now severely pumped with the greatness of your strategic words!"

You.  Wish. 

When I doodle, it's actually a cry for help.  Roughly, "I would rather stab myself with a ballpoint pen in the cornea than listen to your load of crappisimooo!"

Brief with meat that's intelligent enough to make me gasp, and interesting enough to keep my ADHD at bay.  That's the test of a well-written strategy.  :P  Once you keep my attention, that means there's a good direction, and you've fired up some passion.  Now, maybe your sacred briefing document will be defiled no more.

May.  Be.

Friday, November 9, 2012

If you gotta Quote, make it Big

People draw strength from quotes.  You have your Facebook news feed to prove that.  You see posted words of wisdom from bestselling novelists, poets, philosophers, canonized saints... heck, even God.
There's nothing wrong with that.  Everybody needs a motivational poster every now and again.  And getting them from authority figures is the most credible way to get inspired.

But from where I'm sitting, inspiration can come from anywhere, and anyone.  Lately, I get mine from the fictitious characters documented by Big Quote.

Big Quote doesn't rely on big-named strangers to deliver an inspirational message.  They get theirs from pop culture, from larger-than-life characters people know and can relate to on a rather artistic 'slash' transcendental plane. (Yeah, let's go with that.)
I see a lot of them applying to freelancing, too.  Allow me to illustrate.

On freelancing per se.

On being open to all sorts of opportunities.

On criticism.

On negotiations.

On making compromises.
What?!!  The man runs on image and attitude and goes by the name 'Eminem' --he's fictitious!
To continue...

On necessary professional paranoia.

On saying no because you can.

And my personal favorite:  On pushing and succeeding like the badass Jedi you truly are.

Big Quote inspires you through catchphrases you repeat in your head after movie night, or years later when you feel the wisdom applies.

Inspired yet?  I know I am.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Playing Blogopolis Police

One quite disturbing question hit me on the head like a flying snow plow today:
Am I too old to blog?

Does it really matter?  I blog behind the anonymity of a computer screen and behind the illustrated persona of a young, fit, noseless samurai-wielder.  No one will ever need to know how much of a geezer I am.
But when idle convos with my age group stray to "Hey, aside from knitting, what else do you do?", they ARE completely aghast when the words "I blog." escape my lips.  "WHAT?!!  You mean you don't ballroom dance?!!", they cry in disbelief.

Haha!  Ok, I exaggerate.  But the fact remains that they think blogging should be left to the younger set.  And that I should be getting off my lazy butt and doing yoga or something more wellness-skewed.

Minutes later, a second question the size of heavy farming equipment collided with my cranium. 
Am I too old to attend blogging events?

Now THIS is more pointed.  I've gone to a total of 2 blogging events ever, and --I'm not gonna lie-- did feel a wee bit awkward.  Up close and personal, the other bloggers were verrrry young.  20-somethings.  Pretty.  Sexy.  Perky.  Highly fashionable.
Despite being (...er) fashionable in my own right, I wallflower-ed it for a bit.  I learned a lot from the workshops though.  Toward the end, I made a couple of friends --one for each event.  Haha!  I bet with practice, I can make more.  Ha!  Such a nerd. :P

My point is this.  C.S. Lewis once said, 'You're never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.'  To that, I say, "You're never too old to learn how to skydive." 
If you're forever hungry for new, fun experiences and new buckets of wisdom, then you're ageless.

So, amigas and kumadres, pardon this old bitch who's open to learn new tricks and get a happy belly rub at the same time.  Like them whipper-snappers, she's off to Nuffnang Blogopolis.
The biggest names in the industry.  The coolest tricks of the trade.  The biggest blogging event ever.  November 18, 2012, Sunday, 9am to 9pm. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Success...

Today is Freelancer Freedom Day!
(or so I say)

To celebrate, allow me to drop a bomb.


We all know taking that first step to freelancing can be a bit nerve-racking.  Specially when you've got them know-it-alls muttering negative energies around you.  But if you're hell bent in pursuing this path, remember this.

Don't get bitter, get better.

When people question your strength, that's when you get stronger.

Why wimp it when you can Tony Stark it?

Ya know what I'm saying?  Heed these words and aim for success.  Aim for the jugular, too, while you're at it. :P

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Culture Club

Consultancy work exposes you to a lot of people.  Specially if you're like me who's greedy enough to maintain consultancy gigs here and there.
This means you're exposed to a variety of cultures.  Everyday is a different trip.  It's kinda like you're a Travelogue photographer documenting different kinds of species.  Except you're doing more than just documenting.  You're doing hard work.

The trick is to know how to adapt to these cultures.  Changing your outlook per scheduled facetime.  That starts with knowing why that certain culture hired you. 

THE LOST CULTURE
This is usually a small group looking for a big change, not knowing how to go about it.  They hired you to be the catalyst for that big change.  This is true blue, hard core Creative Consultancy.
How to deal:   If there was ever a time when you thought the onus was on you, scratch that.  This time, the onus is really on you.  Here is where you put your portfolio and all that BS you put in your resume to work.  Go on full blown maverick mode!  Go on pep rally cheerleader mode!  This is your baby now.

THE OLD WORLD CULTURE
It sucks to be contracted for a less evolved set-up.  Here --as in medieval times-- there is an overlord and nobody questions him.  On paper, he hired you to be his right-hand man.  In real life, he's hired you to be his senior slave.
How to deal:  Everyone else is scared.  Are you?  Take note that this deal can be emotionally draining and performance zapping.  You have 2 chances for survival:  Get the hell out of the tyrant's way, or get on his good side (if he has one).  The latter requires extra effort though. 

THE NEW WORLD CULTURE
You're in the midst of straight-up progressive pros.  A highly-evolved bunch, they're all treading new ground because they have the skills and the passion for it.  They most likely hired you to be a partner.
How to deal:  Keep up!  Aim high!  Share the passion!  Do your research and make sure you live up to these experts' expectations. You should also throw in one contribution that defines your importance to the company.  Sounds like a tall order?  Well, that's how it goes when you play in the big league.

THE FOUND CULTURE
This group is already made.  They hired you simply to be one of the dozens of other consultants they have on pay roll.  That means you're there as an extra brain.  An extra brain that is expendable at any given time.
How to deal:  This, by far, is my favorite set-up because every freakin day is a freakin pitch.  Nothing sets my adrenaline on fire quite like competition.  Here, there's no seniority.  You fight!  But fairly.  You don't put any other consultant down.  That's just not done.

Any of these sound familiar?  Then get to motherfudgin' work.  Good luck!


Sadly, none of these awesome steampunk wallpaper designs are owned by me.