Sunday, December 21, 2014

2015 Planner Pick: teNeues Mercede Skulls

Yesterday was 'Act Like A Practical Adult' Day' --and boy, did it affect my 2015 planner-picking mojo.

Planner-picking is the most important year-end activity for me. No, seriously. This is the tine when I choose a year-long partner. A sidekick who I can always rely on for my schedules, run to for notes and life directions, cuddle with when shit after shit after shit hits the goddamn fan.

That's why history insists that I choose planners with fun cartoon pages and quirky words of wisdom and ample amounts of doodle pages. Because a planner is more than a hardbound calendar to me. It's a companion I am to spend a tight 365-day period with.

Well, all those were thrown out the window when I went and asked myself this question: 'As a professional, what should I really be looking for in a planner?' Ugh. I hate it when I get all rational and shit.

Apparently, my biggest issue during client meetings is notes pages shortage. Since all the planners I've used before were up to their proverbial necks in visual gimmicks, there's never enough project briefing scribble space and instantaneous idea-churning space.

But, even with this nerdy cerebral attack, I still found the planner that fed both my practical side and my crazy ass side.

Presenting my spanking new 2015 arm candy, the teNeues Mercede Skulls Planner!

If you know me well enough, you'd know skulls are like my jam. Love them to bits! And Jennifer Mercede, celebrated free-flowing watercolorist, makes the happiest skulls on the planet. This book is lovely!

Oh, and look… notes pages as far as the eye can see! Made from the finest German paper stock, too! My pen just glides over the darn thing.
It does break my heart a bit that this doesn't have my usual doodle pages but, heck, lines never stopped me before.

So, is this planner worth a whole year of panic-stricken deadlines and day-to-day emotional breakdowns? Is this the perfect choice? Ah, that I'll have to find out. As they say in any relationship, you just gotta trust your gut. Or, er, skull.

The 2015 teNeues Mercede Skulls Planner is available at Fullybooked at P780.00 a piece. And the clasp? It's magnetic. SOLD! Haha!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Distraction Fact: Fiction

Writing ads for a kitchen utensil, dog food, or some banging new juice drink can be a complete thrill. But sometimes, you have to wonder… what else is there?

Let me introduce you to a brand new distraction then: ONLINE FICTION WRITING!!!

(awkward pause… cue crickets…)

Okay, so it's not skydiving and it's still writing. But this is the kind of distraction for those people who are too wimpy to step out of their comfort zones completely. Like me. Besides, the discipline of ad writing and fiction writing are woooorlds apart. From selling a product to building a tale from ground zero. From telling a full story in a tagline to telling a story in multiple chapters. From crisp word choices to flowery, flowery prose. AND I love writing! So there!

Well then, Online Fiction Writing. Where do you start?

This is the writer's playground. It allows you to blog, write novels, reviews, poetry, haiku, screenplays, what-have-you. It's for the writer who wants to explore writing outside of the usual brand sell but still doesn't want to give in to a huge commitment such as just writing fiction.

Now, more focus. Okay, as the name suggests, you're here to write a story that comes purely from your imagination. No prompts. No briefing. You're out to create a landscape all on your own. The cool thing about this site is that it allows you to write on a variety of genre. Be it fluff, smut, action, suspense, horror, supernatural. Choose your jam.

Even more focus. This site zooms in on one particular genre. Erotica aka smut. There are other sites that are more particular with the kind of writing genre you want. I just chose this site because. Well. Because.

Here's the cool part. All online fiction writing sites give you the option of enabling online commentary so you get to be praised and dissed by a bunch of strangers. FUN!

And that's where fanfic sites come in. Be it a Harry Potter, Twilight, Sleepy Hollow, The Walking Dead fanfic site, your story is bound to get positive reviews because you're writing about well-loved characters with immense reader fan bases. Here's a tip: Asian fanfic sites are teeming with fangirls who will love your story no matter what. Okay, not really. They will still judge you. You'd be surprised at how many awesome authors actually write in fanfic sites to hone their skills.

Now, you must be asking --"Will I earn from this?" OF COURSE NOT! It's just a distraction. And it's fun. Kinda like skydiving. But, not.

So if you want a break from the usual, go get your fiction going!
What are you waiting for?
A briefing?

*RaketChick's shotgun is inspired by Nerf SledgeFire

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Here's a Shirtload!

Have you ever come across a statement so cool, so clever, that you wished you could have it printed on a T-shirt? I have. All the time. And I relentlessly kick myself on the head for not having thought of those awesome words myself. And then I kick myself again for tempting copyright infringement.

So, just for kicks, I've compiled a few of my Statement Tee-worthy picks right here for your viewing pleasure. Please take note that none of these belong to me. Although I wish they did.

When choosing a statement to lord over your chest plate, you gotta keep in mind that this is something people will see, read, and assume represents your philosophy in life. Hence, this first choice. It defines me.

Aside from a caustic tongue, I am also popular --and I use 'popular' rather loosely-- for loving coffee beyond reason. So this is pick number 2. My inner grammar Nazi is cringing at the lack of a comma in there. But like I said, these cool statements are not mine. Moochers cannot be choosers.

I call this third pick my Post-Pitch Win shirt. Yeah! Sometimes I don't feel like verbalising my awesomeness. But I'd be happy to jut my arrogant chest out for you. Haha!

Fourth pick: The Workaholic Tee that fits me to a T! Like… Like an Audrey Hepburn satin glove. Dude, there's fresh business to be had! Sleep is for babies! GET THE FUDGE UP!

And lastly, a little subtlety. There are rare occasions when I want to make a statement without fanfare. Very rare. And if this were on a shirt, it would be vague but would still be the textile testament to my greatness. Or so I think. Lol!

There you have it. My Statement Tee-Worthy Picks.
They are the finest of the fold. They speak to me and of me on so many levels. But since I can't use them without buying them (and I'm just way too cheap to live), I guess I can always resort to this.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

How-To at TwentyTwo

Scenario One: You decided on a lunch meeting with your clients. You want to impress. Naturally, you'd want a bistro where the ambience is good, the food is fab, a great time is guaranteed --with financial damage you'd hardly feel at all.
Scenario Two: It was an excruciatingly hard day for you and your business friends. You want a well-deserved chill time. Naturally, you'd go for a bar where the ambience is good, the drinks are fab, a great time is guaranteed --with financial damage you'd hardly feel at all.


TwentyTwo is a much-needed haven along the long stretch of Jupiter St, Makati. What makes it different from the other joints there? It was put up by 12 friends, who like you, just wanted that perfect place to hang out in the middle of the day or after work. So this gang knows exactly what you want --and gives it. Lunch. Dinner. And beyond. Frontliners in this fun bunch are Vince Tanjutco as the bistro bar's President, and Marco Legasto, Executive Chef whose culinary creations are pretty much hotel-level at level: affordable.

Us bloggers got first dibs. And so, with excessive fanfare, here's my How-To at TwentyTwo!

Warning: Drooling is expected. Pull back. Keep your keyboard dry.

Lychee Shake
When at TwentyTwo, what do you order first? THIS. No ifs, no buts. This drink is a must. Believe me when I say heaven has never been this sweet, this cool, this white.

Appetizers, they've got tons. But my personal faves are:

Four Cheese Croquettas, Seared Tuna, Scallops with Foie Gras and Mushrooms, and Jalapeño Peppers Sampler
Shrimp Saffron with Chorizo Gambas

Nachos with Chorizo Cheese
My ultimate personal faves (because I'm completely biased like that) are the Croquettas and the Nachos. 'OMG!' is an understatement, I swear.

Now let's hit the Main Attractions!

Paella Negra
Truffle Pasta
Slow Cooked Ox Tripe and Tail 
Stuffed Squid
Bone Marrow and Foie Gras Burger
Bagnet with Thai Sauce
Tenderloin with Spiced Taro
Lamb Rendang
This is a highly inappropriate emotion, but I have fallen madly in love with the Bagnet. The Truffle Pasta made me swoon, too. And their menu yields so much more.

So how do you end such a fantastic gastronomic journey? With the dreamiest desserts, of course!

Rum Cake with Butter Dulce Gatas Sauce
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
I can't choose. Really. I just can't. And this is just a couple from the rich dessert tray.

Oh, but your day's not done. As soon as the sun sets, TwentyTwo dims the lights and amps the entertainment with either a DJ manning house music or an acoustic band that changes genre per night.

And the bar gets severely amped, too. YESSIR!

Overall, expect an incredibly awesome time at TwentyTwo. Be it day or night.

Us bloggers, of course, got off with a little extra. Bagnet Thai Sauce and a P2,000 GC. Just in time for  hunnybunster's and my anniversary! It's not just for friends, clients, and business partners after all. So we'll see you again in a couple of weeks, TwentyTwo. Thanks!

See? I told you this gang knows exactly what you want --and gives it.

TwentyTwo Bistro Bar is at No. 22 Jupiter Street, Bel-air, Makati City, Philippines. 
Opens Mondays to Saturdays, 11am to 2pm and 5pm until you're overjoyed.
Find TwentyTwo Bistro Bar on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"When i grow up, I wanna be a Freelancer!"

Honestly, who was the happiest camper when you decided to take that death-defying leap into Freelancing? Little Junior, of course. Finally, his mom can stay home and play with him, talk to him, and witness the rest of his milestones since you've already missed the crucial ones.

To him, Freelancing isn't just a bold career move his mother made. It's a lifesaver!
So was it any surprise when at Career Day, he brazenly declared "When I grow up, I wanna be a Freelancer!"?
I bet you fell off your chair then. I can guarantee you, so did his teachers.

And this is why, dear Freelancers, a talk with your little ones about the value of career pathing is important. Junior needs to know that Freelancing isn't a career you pull out of a hat. There's a certain journey you take to get there. The turns and bumps of said journey isn't the same for everyone, but for most, Freelancing isn't Door Number One.
Employment is. Going neck-deep into serious Mainstream.
Because before little Junior can jump into Independence, he will need…

He can't run a business solo unless he's familiar with the ropes. And I mean, every rope. Every learning curve while he's in Mainstream builds the back bone of his future accomplishments and future plans.

The longer he stays in Mainstream, the more people in the industry will get to see how much he's worth, and how much they can trust him even without the backing of a huge company.

Naturally, the longer he stays in Mainstream, the more people he'll meet, the more clients he'll please, the more partners he'll favour and vice versa. This sets up his contacts list as soon as he takes the leap.

Duh. He'll need capital to run his own home-based biz, right? That he will get from a sure 9 to 5 work sched with a 15/30 pay day. Facts of life. True story.

To make Junior understand it better, you can go with the 'Reap what you sow' metaphor. Better yet, tell him Freelancing is Level 20 which you reach after the Final Boss Battle --which you reach after the harrowing experiences of Levels 1 through 19.

After the talk, he may look at Freelancing as a reward after all the hard work. Or, he may take the opposite route and think Freelancing is a pain. Either way, so much like your own 'I think it's time I went Freelance' decision, he'll cross the bridge when he gets there.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Raket: A Rant

Some guy once said…
"Anyone who calls a job a raket is bound to come up with shoddy work. After all, he's only in it for the money."

Okay, I may have paraphrased. It's been a while since he said this and at the time, I was too busy doing my load of 'shoddy work' to engage in some kind of bite fest. But now that I've finally found a breather from being 'in it for the money', I have this to say.

Raket in my freelancing world does not mean the same as raket in the judgmental world. If you're an oldie, you'd take raket in a political scamming light… which is way behind what the word represents in the industry today. If you belong in the same industry I speak of, then you would know that raket is a colloquial term. One that modernises the term 'sideline' or 'kalakal'.

Eventually, the term has evolved to house a group of independent creative people called Freelancers. Freelancers do rakets. Which means they do everything. It is not a crime.

If you're going to say that anyone who does rakets purposely does so without any modicum of passion or aim for creativity or good work, then dude, THAT'S the crime. You cannot generalise a group. That's just not done.

But for everyone's amusement, let me go on a little rantage.

I know it will take some people forever to accept this, but a great deal of Freelancers actually strive for excellence. Every. Single. Time.
Every project is a pitch to us --whether it's for a new client or for one we've already established a good working relationship with. Still, every move is a nerve-racking way to prove ourselves. Over and over and over. Why? Because we do not belong in an agency that promises stability. We do not have paperwork that guarantees us a steady flow of projects. That is why every TV concept, every flyer copy, is a test. A make or break. One misstep and we can lose everything to another Freelancer.
You think sitting in a plush agency office puts one in a dog-eat-dog world? Oh, that's nothing compared to the Freelancer's shark feeding frenzy.

Can you imagine living like that for the rest of your working life? Maybe not.
But us Raketistas do. Because we're daredevils. We enjoy the daily competition because it's a way to hone our skills. Without the benefit of agency-funded immersion programs, we go out and self-teach ourselves to improve our craft or add a new service to our portfolio to keep us relevant and wanted. That's called survival. And you can't go shoddy on survival.

Okay, I'm not saying every Raketista is like that. Some Freelancers do stray. So I DON'T generalise.

PS. I really, really do like the name RaketChick, and I am keeping it. Sure, it has that evil word raket in it, but the image of RaketChick is what tells my clients that I'm badass, ballsy, and that I get things done. The word does not literally describe the person nor her work. Just as when Michael Jackson said, "I'm bad.", people didn't literally think he was. :P

PS2: I cannot accept someone's suggestion to change my name to Freelance Girl. Nope. Sorry.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Nostalgia that is Typewriter Sculpting

Ever wondered where your old Remington went? If you're an old copywriter like me, then this post is bound to make you smile and shed a tiny happy tear.

Hold your carbon transfer mechanical keys up for Jeremy Mayer!

This Oakland, California artist transforms old typewriters into majestic mythical beings in undeniable human form. The latest of which is the 7-foot sculpture of the Greek titaness, Theia-- made solely out of the cut casings, keys, screws, nuts, bolts, and springs of 40 different typewriters. One piece takes him more than one painstaking year to complete.

His take on completing a project?
"Doing an accurate likeness of a person hurts my brain. Hurts so good though. There's a lot of trial and error. I'm done when it creeps me out, or if I walk into the studio and the sculpture startles me because it looks like come one is standing there."

Ok, ok… a huge typewriter sculpture may make me scream my lungs out for a few seconds… THEN, I'll shed a tiny happy tear.

For more of Jeremy Mayer's work, follow @jeremymayer on Instagram.

Info and Photos from Instagram Blog

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Struggling with Pigmentophobia

OCDically documenting.

I was never a fan of colour so this is a bold, albeit lame, move for me. People who know me can attest to the fact that I have Pigmentophobia (coined). My art is monochromatic, my clothes are all black, and my happy version of food is of the one-hued palate.
Going back to art, I'm scared of mixing shades to come up with something pretty and glorious and shit. I'm just positive (or negative) that I'd botch it up.
And yet yesterday, after enduring Hell Week in the hands of demanding work projects, there I was --stroking away with one year-old, only slightly used Maped Coloured Pencils.

Yeah. It's not much. Baby steps. Hey, the last time I dove happily into the world of colour was in preschool!

If you want to see the other junk I put up for the world to see and cringe to, check out RaketChickGrams.  Don't expect sunshine, rainbows, and unicorns though.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pick it, Zip it, Keep it with Clothes Buffet Manila!

I am a Certified Adrenaline Junkie.
If I could just stuff all of my work deadlines in one big, fat Ziploc bag and tear at them in 15 minutes flat, I would. There's nothing more exciting than the thrill of a time limit. And, bagging ultimate success by using expert cunning and strategic thinking to beat that 15-minute mark. YAAASSS!
Call me a stressaholic, but work is all a huge buffet to me. Buffeting it. That's my shtick. *snaps fingers to look cool; ends up looking like a dweeb* 

So imagine my ridiculous joy when I learned about Clothes Buffet Manila. Are you kidding me?! Aside from being a workaholic, I happen to be a shopaholic, too! Adrenaline Junkie mode is so on!
Clothes Buffet Manila is the best idea in shopping since the Buy-One-Take-One phenomenon.
Check it. All you have to do is head on to Clothes Buffet Manila's Buffet floor --where a frikkin''  30,000-piece signature brand clothes spread is waiting to be ravaged-- and PICK IT, ZIP IT, and KEEP IT! 

You feeling like a Smart Chic office girl? A Girls' Night Out party princess? Or a Festival Madness diva? Do you spend your waking hours staring at your closet and mumbling, "I have nothing to wear…'? Look no further! Clothes Buffet has all the looks you want covered. Just pick your wild. 30,000 pieces. How can you go wrong?

Here's the fun part. Clothes Buffet Manila is setting up this event on October 17 and 18 where you can just ram all the clothes you've chosen in a choice Ziploc bag and consider them all yours. No questions asked. This requires strategic folding and ramming, mind you. Because the shopping spree wave lasts for only 15 minutes. If I were you, I'd practice. Like, really Karate Kid it and train.

Aaaand that's it! Go home! You have just bagged a fine fashion collection of your own in just 15 minutes. Ugghhh… doesn't that concept alone make your heart pump like crazy?!!
The cool part is that it's so easy to be part of this unique shopping experience. All you have to do is book a slot for October 17 or 18 and you're in.

So, if you're an adrenaline junkie like me, your fingers had better be working on hooking up with Clothes Buffet Manila this instant. Aside from work (which might just be an isolated case with me. *facepalms*), nothing feeds that rush quite like good quality, heart-stopping shopping.

Meanwhile… train… speed… fold… ooommm...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

CyberRave: LG G3 4ME!

How does it feel to be an Independent Creative warrior?
It's fun.
It's exciting.
It's risky.
It's complicated.
It's unpredictable.
It's dramatic.
In other words, it's like sky diving with no clear idea of weather conditions, safe landing, or if your parachute is actually a misplaced folded bed sheet.

So what, pray tell, has kept my sanity in tact the past 5 years of Freelancing? A good gadget.
Since I started going solo, LG Optimus has been my partner in crime. My reliable sidekick. But, like anything that helps one survive, there is a need to upgrade. And that's where the LG G3 comes in. Easily, the answer to my complicated life's cry for simplicity.

LG G3 goes by the dictum. 'SIMPLE IS THE NEW SMART'. Right off the bat, it has spoken my language.

LG G3 is performance, amped! This baby has a stunning Quad HD display that helps me check out ad layouts in exquisite, pixel-less picture quality on a bezel-free, edge-to-edge 5.5-inch screen.
Its camera has an OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) that lets me shoot sans blur.
Its Smart Keyboard lets me send email in transit minus the usual typos.
And, with its built-in 1-watt speaker with boost amp, I can make music presentations without having to lug around a back-breaking sound system.

LG G3 is goodies, re-pumped! It's larger than most phones but smaller than most phablets… with a classic metallic, light weight body. That means better, safer grip in the middle of swinging from Facebook to Instagram to Twitter.
It has an Intuitive Graphic UI which removes unnecessary elements giving me a cleaner interface while I dabble on Word, then shift to Gallery, moving to GMail. Hyperfocusing! Love it!
And… Software Diet. LG G3 comes with a more streamlined number of pre-installed apps, only the ones I need to multitask. If I'm fickle-minded (which I usually am), I can even delete an existing app for more free space.

LG G3 is user-friendly, maxed! With its Smart Notice that predicts and recommends what I need to do for my phone, I feel like I have an assistant. An assistant that deserves a raise!
Its Quick Circle flashes my most recently used apps like a Top Sites kind of thing for quicker navigation.
And, dude, don't get me started on its Wireless Charging. Best. Thing. Evarr!

This crazy-ass world of Independent Creative warriors, simplified. By LG G3.
I'm getting mine at SM Supermalls' Cyber Month Tech Sale. #31HappyCyberDays #EverythingForTheTechieInYou
You should, too.