Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Finally, A Public Statement...

.:Hey, Vader... Why Aren't You On Air?!?:.

After a mere two days of being on radio, some friends of mine were surprised to listen and discover that I wasn't on air the succeeding night. There were quite a few questions asked about it, and while I wanted to immediately address the issue, I didn't think it would be a good idea until I gave myself enough time to be able to speak about it soberly.

To respond to the question of why I'm no longer on air after a mere two days, the answer is painfully simple: I got shot by the Triggerman.

By "got shot", you know I mean that as my potential boss, the Triggerman didn't think I was good enough to put on air at this point, and so yanked me off the air by the third day I was supposed to report as a jock. As I was in Megamall that day just biding my time before going to the station, I received a call from Joe Spinner, giving me a shopping list of things the Triggerman felt I was doing wrong with my on-air, and telling me I'd be paired up with Piper that night.

I was a bit nervous by then, but I took it in stride. When I was given a handshake agreement with Campus, I was specifically told that there are "no promises" to be made, and I understood that this meant I had no guarantees of being a true-blue jock for the station. Joe Spinner told me that I should work on my shopping list of kcuf-ups, but I'll be fine. So yeah, there *were* some issues that needed to be worked out, but thankfully, according to the initial call, it was something we were going to ride out.

But then, after all that, I received an SMS from Joe Spinner, this time telling me that the Triggerman changed his mind, and asked me not to report to boardwork that night. While I understand where they're coming from and all, to say that I was disappointed would be an understatement. It almost felt like a cruel joke where I had a wonderful dream one night and woke up to find out it wasn't true at all. I was subsequently told that they would review the situation and get back to me afterwards.

Well, it's been close to a week already, and still nothing. I still have no idea whatsoever if they've effectively fired me, or they plan to retrain me, or whatever. I dare not ask them about it too much, lest I step on their toes and end up losing any remote chance of getting back into radio that I had altogether. Right now, I just texted John Hendrix to ask about my status and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

It would seem that when it comes to the things I *really* want to do for a living, i.e., teaching and radio, it just isn't in the cards. I know I have a lot to learn, and I respect that it's the station's prerogative whether or not to hire me, but I'm sure you understand why I feel extremely affected about being embarrassingly pulled off the air a mere two days after debuting. It was quite a slap in the face, and people know I don't take my work lightly and work as hard as I could. I was there on my first day a good eleven hours before my show was set to begin.

I've loved radio since I was a kid. It's something I've been into for as long as I can remember, and despite my obvious limitations due to my braces and verbal habits, I've been more than willing to retrain myself for this. Anything's better than suddenly finding myself out of radio all over again after finally rediscovering my passion for it.

So yes, I respect where 99.5 is coming from, and I don't begrudge them their right to reject me as a jock if they deem me unfit to be one. What I wish though was that I would be more informed at this point whether this is the case or if they still have something planned for me. I don't want to keep hoping on empty the way it happened to me in the academe before... it's just too much already.

And Now, Thoughts Just Come Rushing In... RE: I-Blog 4

.:And Now, The Thoughts Come Rushing In...:.

Here's the thing. I've been blogging for about six or so years already, but for the life of me, pro-blogging, or Hades, even just photo-blogging or vlogging, has never really crossed my mind.

Last Saturday though, something about Aileen's and Cokski's presentation at I-Blog 4 struck a chord with me.

Now, being a DJ/former DJ (Let's discuss that bit tomorrow, mmkay? I'm tired blogging almost non-stop today.), I'd like to think I can speak at least just as well as the average podcaster, and I was just asking myself, outside of startup costs and time spent editing, what exactly was stopping me from doing at the very least, an actual, honest-to-goodness vlog, every now and then, never mind the lack of video quality?

Seriously, it made me ponder things quite a bit. While I do like writing, speaking and visual implements are something up my alley due to my hosting and mentalism. Given a decent video camera and a decent concept, I could come up with a program that would prove to be worth at least a weekly watch, and it wouldn't take me too much effort aside from organizing the shoots and doing decent editing once the startup is realized.

Hades, assuming I don't go all-out and just plain pro-blog (Google AdSense would like a word on me about preventing me from ever making much profit, plus I'm nowhere near as prolific a writer as I think the high-end pros are.), and assuming people are fine watching a video shot by a 1.3 Megapixel Nokia Phone, I think I already *have* the capability to do a weekly vlog (Or maybe a bi-weekly one.), although a part of me still wishes to purchase my own domain already.

But having said that, I'm just rambling. I know I know so many bloggers here who have monetized already (Jonas being the first that comes to mind.), I still am honestly daunted by starting up at a time where I'm doing my thesis and still banking on getting back into Campus FM.

So for now, let's just say that unless I suddenly find myself pushed in the right direction by certain wonderful, selfless, helpful people, I guess an actual problogging career for yours truly isn't in the cards, really.

However, I do have an idea for at least a blog/vlog segment I'd like to do that I'm sure is original, since I haven't heard this done even abroad...

.:The Ambassador: Realizing The Dream:.

If there was one thing I wanted to achieve as a performer of mentalism and magic, I always wanted to be an ambassador of sorts, being capable of showing to the world at large what Philippine magic is all about, while at the same time being a very active netizen who stays abreast of the goings-on in the Philippine industry. While my level of fame as such would honestly be suspect when compared to, say, a Rannie Raymundo, I would like to think that my ability to stay connected to other netizens outside of the magic industry helps me get some unexpected leverage in order for me to be able to realize this dream someday.

But then, I can't just keep on dreaming without planning my action towards this eventual goal, and just this weekend, a brilliant idea hit me, when I was asked by the I-Blog 4 attendees to perform for them after I pitched my blog...

You see, aside from cosplayers, I discovered that bloggers are the most appreciative audience I've ever encountered. They're extremely thrilled by mentalism and magic, and even one person whom I expected to heckle me all the way was kind enough to keep the inadvertently mistaken "exposure" off-camera, ergo, treating the art with more expect than I personally expected of him. There's something to be said about being able to entertain everyone from Shari to Ms. Noemi, and I figured, why not share the fun to everyone at large?

So my idea is this, and hear me out, people... how about a weekly vlog where I feature a particular blogger, including the requisite bio-data and perhaps even interview, and cap it off with a small performance for them?

I don't know if it'd work out, but the idea sounds cool to me, and it'd give me a chance to meet up with bloggers on a regular basis. If only for that, I like this plan already, and it's better than anything else anyone has come up with me, because I don't have the cajones JawKneeYeah has to actually sing or dance. That's what I learned mentalism for, after all. Hehehehe.

What do you guys think? Yay, or nay?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Year Later, A Reply...

.:I Don't Hate For The Sake Of Hatin':.

When I wrote some time ago that I am not a fan of Manny Pacquiao, I wasn't surpised at all because it wasn't the first time I wrote about him in a non-flattering light. What took me by surprise though was that after googling my name recently, I found out that a certain Michael Marley has replied to me by quoting my post and responding to me point-by-point.

Was it a valid response? Well, yes and no. I'll get into that a bit later, but I was more amused at the stupidiotic comments he received where people just assumed I'm a "Pacfan hater" who's being envious of the man's success. Why? Can't a guy hate a guy just because he's genuinely worthy of the hate?

So after all this time, and after missing out on talking about Manny for about a couple of fights, did this mean I'm a changed man? Have I finally seen the "error" of my ways, and welcomed Manny as my hero?

Hell, no.

I was vexed to no end about hearing what he had for dinner after the weigh-in, and all other sorts of inanity I would never expect to see on my favorite news program. Something about what another guy ate for dinner just doesn't scream "newsworthy" to me.

I was immensely amused at how the patented "Nationalistic Double-Standard®", where people were quick to defend the judges' decision when Pacquiao won via decision they way they were quick to condemn it whenever Pacquiao would lose.

As if that wasn't enough, I was swarmed with people telling me about his supposed escapades with Ara Mina or whoever the Hades it was he was supposedly cheating with.

Manny doesn't need to be perfect, but I don't need to know about his every move on the news days before his fight, much in the same way that I didn't care that Lebron James is the youngest player to turn 22 in the history of the NBA. He can do anything he wants, he can be rich, he can be famous, but one thing he can't be is our "savior", the way his press has been touting him for the longest time, especially during his failed bid for Congressman last elections.

Mr. Marley's response to me reeked of ad hominem attacks that completely fizzled out...

1. He argued that U.S. politics has a lot of liars, so I shouldn't be so surprised that it happens in the Philippines. I argue that I don't care if it happens everyhwere: it's still not right, and Manny lied when he said he wouldn't run a few months before reneging on his word.

2. He argued that my anti-Manny diatribes would make me a pariah in the Philippine blogosphere: newsflash, Mr. Marley... when it comes to not being a fan of Manny, I'm not the only one.

3. He believes the fact that Manny came from the poor means he can connect better with the masses, versus the traditional politicians born with silver spoons in their mouths: I counter this with the fact that Manny's lavish lifestyle shows an apparent disconnect from the masses, and that he's surrounded by enough traditional politicians who'd steer him in the same direction, anyways, as we saw during the last elections.

4. He insinuated I might be "trapped in the closet", thanks to my R. Kelly reference: I'm sure anyone I've dated would disagree, but that's beside the point. Even if we assumed I were really gay, that does not invalidate my arguments. Nuh-uh.

5. Some commenters even took offense to my calling Manny a "neo-Messiah", completely missing the fact that I was merely parroting what his press is hyping him up to be.

In the end, we just have an out-of-touch retort from someone half a world away who doesn't really understand why people could possibly dislike another human being. As I said, if Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Jesus Christ, and Jose Rizal could be subjected to criticism, there is no reason why Manny Pacquiao should be exempt.

.:Addressing This Ridiculous Notion That This Is All "Crab Mentality"...:.

So, in lambasting Manny Pacquiao, am I merely hating on him? Obviously not. Anyone with half a brain who read my post back then would know all too well that I wrote that way because I felt that a lot of Filipinos were selling themselves short by placing all their hopes on one man when they should be out there making the Philippines better through their own efforts, rather than vicariously living Pacquiao's dream.

I stress this all the time: let Pacquiao be rich, let him win all the fights he can. But don't expect me to fall for the tripe that he is going to single-handedly raise the Filipino up, the way some overzealous fans think he will. He can't do it, nor should he even try.

At the end of the day, though, what I say is not to bring down Pacquiao, but to elevate the Filipino self-esteem. As a people, we have a lot to be proud of, and to pin all our hopes on a Manny Pacquiao is just being foolhardy. He's not a saint, jabronis, and even saints get shot down once in a while.

It's not "crab mentality", it's called "calling things as they see it", and what I see in Pacquiao is a man who has earned lots of success as a boxer but is trying to parlay it as a chance for him to become an immortal Filipino icon of selflessness, something he clearly isn't.

I ain't hatin' for the sake of hatin'.

A Huge Does Of WTFery...

.:Who The ^%&(^@ Told Her She Can Sing?!?:.

Oh, hai guyz! My name is Gretchen and I can haz gold album!!!

Seriously, how the Hades did that album even hit gold?!? I can't even begin to understand how 20,000 people thought the album was good enough to buy, unless of course it was hoarded...

.:Tragedy Because Of A Typo...:.

I think they should worry more about their tempers than their telecom...

That story is just unbelievably tragic, but almost hilariously stupid. I guess I shouldn't be surprised though how uncivilized people can get in the face of flaring tempers.

And speaking of uncivilized...

.:Too Much Trust Can Kill You...:.

Hitchiking for world peace ends in disastrous results.

How ironic and depressing that an act of faith in human goodwill by Italian artist Pippa Bacca ended with her death in Turkey, the very same country where the tragedy mentioned above also happened.

I hate to say "I told you so", but it was bound to happen. It was just sad that the people of the world weren't proven wrong on this one.

The After-Party, With An After-After Party!

.:Don't EVER Sing My Way At A Public Gathering...:.

I had a show recently for an international client who sang "My Way", and I'm just glad he was singing in his own home. Other people wouldn't be so lucky...

Don't say I didn't warn you.

This was due to Doc Tess's inspiration regarding some guy who was inadvertently fatally injured by a huge axe wound for some reason or some other.

.:It Would Appear 88DB Is Taking Inspiration From Yours Truly...:.

You should see the silhouette on our loot bags. It features a mentalist bending a spoon. Hmmm...

The 88DB party was fun, although the food was sorely lacking. There were a lot of cool things that happened, and the human bingo thing was really fun, all the same, and I even got to perform a bit more during that night, including demonstrations of slamming a bottlecap through a capped bottle, metal bending, assorted predictions, and the infamous pulse stop, which I vaguely recall since I was blacked out when I pulled the attempt off.

Having said that, it was great being in the company of bloggers, and meeting new people such as Funny+Sexy was really cool. The cap-thru-bottle definitely caught Coy's attention, since he assumed I was using a "gimmicked" bottle. I borrowed his and for once, repeated an effect. Benj was also funny when he refused to wear his supposedly gay jacket.

All in all, I had loads of fun reconnecting with the bloggers. It was definitely a great experience, but the lack of food was atrocious!

Needless to say, a few of us then headed out to Shakey's Katipunan, where we had our nightcap. A bit of conversation here and there, a bit of food to boot, and everyone was then off merrily along their way, although I was at quite an advantage, since I lived awfully nearby.

Here's hoping for more of these blogger get-togethers, now that I'm reconnected!

Monday, April 28, 2008

I-Blog 4 Roundup... After-Party Post Coming Tomorrow...

First of all, pardon my linklove here, as it will be from memory, as far as trying to remember all the people whom I met, etc., etc.

Having said that, I know I was delinquent as I showed up at I-Blog 4 only for the afternoon session. I was going through a lot of stuff, so I felt it best to go there only after lunch. It was weird, to say the least, and even now, I still feel that the post-I-Blog activity is relatively hushed compared to last year's, but maybe I'm just not googling well enough.

This meant that with all due apologies to my good friends Jonas and Charo, I missed out on your talks...

In any case, I walked into some excellent discussions, including stuff about vlogging courtesy of Aileen and Cokski, who had an entertaining video that gave me ideas in the future, since unemployed little me ain't cutting it if I want to survive my thesis year financially healthy.

Blogging for advocacy was also touched on by Ms. Noemi, and this was where I remembered how I took part in the initial launch of the "Yan ang Pinay/Filipina" movement, where I even had the nasty run-in of having to argue with someone who felt the campaign was taking away from more "worthwhile" causes, while in the same breath not doing anything to aid the same "worthwhile" causes she speaks of.

I paid a bit of attention to Ma'am Janette on blogging about the elections, and was slightly lost in the legal jargon provided by JJ Disini. In spite of that, it was still fun, because I went there to have fun, and the only talk I could've really made good use of was Karl's, since I've been recently contemplating problogging come thesis year.

It was loads of fun, and as Sarah pointed out, my mentalism was becoming a stable at blogger gatherings, hence the whole "Blogger Boggler" business, as Rico likes to call it. Just to really try something interesting, I went for one of the most powerful effects I could do on short notice, and it was the Berglas effect: any card at any number. I made my prediction, and what do you know,it matched up quite nicely! I was originally going to ask Arbet to do the honors since he mentioned he missed out on my performances before, but lo and behold, *he* disappeared. Instead, I asked for Sir Martin, and the effect was a success.

After the event, we were preparing to head out for the 88DB after-party, and I was mildly amused to discover that they were using a magician and a mentalist as the silhouettes for their designs, which felt like such a shot in the arm for me, coming from them. But yeah, I'll blog about that perhaps tomorrow, and now, for some more link love, and if your name is mentioned but there's no link, do comment and I'll gladly add it in!

Shari and her brother, Robby.

Mike Abundo, who amazingly, didn't heckle me when some guy asked me to perform for him. Looks like the so-called flame wars are strictly kept online. Which is all fine, I guess. To be honest, he seems to be a completely different person online when contrasted to how he is offline...

Funny+Sexy, whom I met in the after-party. More on that later.

The people from The Man Blog.

Ria Jose, someone who was on my LJ friends list for years, and yet this is the first time I've met her. Yes, Miss Choi, you're not the only LJ friend I have whom I've never ever met... until now.

My table buddies, The Chicken Mafia, Jester, and Norbert, as well as other blogging heavyweights such as Manuel Quezon III, and Juned.

Friends from 88db.

And anyone else I forgot, stand up and be recognized!

Oh, and here's your moment of Zen for the day... a picture of me, choking the chicken

Get your minds outta the gutter! Yeesh.

Silence! Listen To This Man Sing!

.:Move Over, Everyone!:.

Enjoy the phenomenon. The star. The legend. JawKneeYeah!!!

Seriously, what else can I say? This guy is made of pure win!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Do I Wait For The Axe To Fall?


Seriously, I didn't expect the climate to change *this* fast...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boy That Didn't Last Too Long, Did It?

.:I'm Staying Home Tonight...:.

... go figure.

It was good while it lasted, I guess.

New Post Up On My Magikel Blog!

.:New Post Up On My Magikel Blog!:.

I meant the Multiply one, of course. So go on ahead and check it out!

Note the fork in Julie Defensor's hand...

Second Day Joys...

.:Post-Show Hanging Out...:.

After my first boardwork for 99.5, I actually stuck around to see some neighbors, namely Grace Lee and Mojo Jojo, as well as Boom Gonzales from Magic 89.9. Yes, I stayed around for an extra 3 hours after my show, and even ended up having breakfast with Grace and Mojo after saying hi to Boom. Senator Trillanes' attorney, Atty. Argie Guevarra, was actually a guest in order to discuss the whole deal with Brian Gorrell, who is apparently a regular guest on Wednesdays. While I really don't have much of an opinion when it comes to Brian (I'm so out of the loop I thought DJ Montano was Cesar Montano's brother! Hahahah.), the description of the depravity and corruption of the Philippine justice system reared its ugly head. It's an inconvenient truth, and I know the feeling all too well.

They mentioned my mentalism on air, ala Uri Geller and the like, although they thankfully didn't go into much detail about who I actually was, and just mentioned I was a "special guest in the booth". They did this a couple of times, I think. It was really fun talking to Mojo and Grace because our topics of conversation were really all over the place, and it was incredibly amusing when Atty. Guevarra would make a pass every chance he could with Grace Lee, and he actually did this on the air.

Having said that, he apparently dated multiple students at the same time when he was teaching in UA&P, among other bits of notoriety, but overall, I found him to be a nice guy. We got a laugh out of the line, "I understand you have a boyfriend, but I'm not the jealous type."

While Grace and I have known each other since last year due to the fact that we met each other in Fully Booked The Fort, I told her the amusing story of how I actually mistook her for part-American instead of Korean. Mo Twister wasn't there, which was just as well since I've never met him before and wouldn't know how to talk to him. Mojo was really nice to talk to because he had lots of crazy stories to share, all the same. We even had breakfast someplace that had this absolutely sinful Beef Caldereta. It was a nice way to spend my first day back in radio, and I can safely say that if I end up sticking around here in Campus FM, I'll be having a lot of fun because I like the people I'm around.

Later during my show, I found out Mojo listened to the Brewrats that night and even tuned in to part of my show. How he will show up on time for his show in two hours is beyond me, given how little sleep he prolly had. He requested a song for me and asked me to greet someone, and I sneakily passed it off as "sorry, I can't greet so-and-so because it's station policy," said on the air. I had a chuckle with that one.

I think the word "mishmash" is gonna end up being added to the Brewrats dictionary. Haha. Sto. Nino, their guest a while ago, even squealed on the air about Mister Vader's escapades at six in the morning... looks like he was well-informed.

.:Before He Moves Out:.

I took some books from Elbert's hands when I swinged by his place after we had dinner. I got "Love In Time Of Cholera" as well as a few other interesting books, including an Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Having said that, some other friends/students of his showed up and they carted away a few selections of their own as well, before we all convened at Frii Spirit and had an hour or two of Guitar Heroes III before finally heading out to our respective destinations.

Speaking to Elbert was really refreshing. I realized I was doing really well as of late, career-wise, and assuming I make the cut, I'm in a good position to do great things this year, what with Reedley informing me that I will be the moderator of their debate club...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

... And Hit It Right Outta The Park!

.:That. Felt. Good.:.

I'm sitting here in the station, having finished my first boardwork for 99.5 Campus FM, and I have to say, I'm really floored.

The sheer volume of messages I received from the Campus Y! Messenger, the amount of calls I got over the hotlines, the personal text messages, all of that just really added up to one heck of an experience for me. I was genuinely overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who were there, whether or not they realized it was actually my first day in Campus FM.

Hades, even the Brewsters were being exceptionally nice to me. I can't tell you enough how welcome I felt when the Brewsters even called the station up just to wish me luck when they got home...

My head's still swimming, and while I'm a bit miffed I didn't get to record my first foray on the air here in 99.5, I still archived what songs I played.

.:Overtly Excited:.

As early as two or so in the afternoon, I was already in Paragon because I wanted to shake off some jitters after being off the air since July or so. As most people know, the station I came from pegged me to talk in a laid back manner, with next to no (if at all) modulation of my voice on the air. That wasn't going to fly in Campus FM, even if I was going to handle 12-3 AM. I was going to have to be energetic and extra lively, and it was going to have to be a side of me that people generally don't see when I'm around. I was walking around the station during Joe Spinner and JayBee's second go.

Having said that, I sat around some more and even bonded with sir Jimmy Jam and newscaster Dada about everything from food to UST to sir Jimmy's fondest on-air interview memories, including running into the Corrs completely unprepared. In contrast, my only interview memories worth keeping were those involving Mick Foley and the Smackdown wrestlers a few months afterwards.

From there, I decided to have dinner during the Big Z's timeslot, and I ended up riding along with my new boss, the Triggerman himself. I have to say that whenever I see him, I find him larger than life, to be honest. He graciously dropped me off at Shang-rila and wished me luck for my show later, and he told me he was going to be listening...

... pressure!!!

.:The Brewrats Advance:.

So it was my first time to hear the Brewrats on the air, and it was supposedly "Bring a Friend Tuesday". I ended up being the "friend" they'd bring, because I was the new guy at the timeslot. Hehe. Having said that, it was my first go on the air in Campus FM, and there were tons of Brewsters in the booth, which made the experience even more surreal for me as I was asked questions by Tado and Angel about random topics, to which I gamely answered - still using my normal voice.

Having said that, the Brewrats show was incredibly amusing, and I think they only played a total of five to eight songs over three hours, one of them being a song they actually played twice! I laughed when he played Kid Rock's "So Hott!" as a song for Earth Day, though. "Mother Earth, it's so hot!"

It was a great show, although of course, my Beloved was initially turned off by the Brewrats, but then, as I told her, it was going to grow on her. She was in stitches the minute she heard the game "Pinoy, Patay, Bading", where I ended up losing to a caller, because I was too busy laughing aloud when he immediately exclaimed "Bakla!!!" upon hearing Roderick Paulate's name... I couldn't even answer correctly afterwards. Hehe.

I think I'm going to be enjoying being the show that comes after the Brewrats... heh.

.:And Then, The Moment Of Truth!:.

So my first song was "Gimme More", by Britney Spears, and that was my tall order to myself, I was going to give more this time out. I was a bit pressed for time to put in my first song, so I came up with the first thing that seemed reflective of me.

Then I found it. The song that really encapsulated what I wanted to say on my first day back in radio land...

Troy and Gabriela's "We're Breaking Free" pretty much sums up how I felt when I finally got on air again. I missed being a part of radio, and being a part of 99.5 Campus FM is pretty much a dream come true...

I needed to hit my stride after having to clear a lot of rust, and what was really jarring about my stint was that I had to really be exceedingly lively, and some listeners mentioned that I seem to be channeling sir Jimmy Jam, which I'd take more as a compliment than a criticism, to be honest, but that's because I'm a fan. This was not how I was before, as I had to deliberately scale myself back. Now, I get to cut loose, and I'm happy about that.

Soon enough, I was really firing on all cylinders. Still a few gaffs here and there, but all in all, I was doing very competently on my own, which was a far cry from my initial first day, since I wasn't even the one handling the console back then. This was a genuine baptism of fire for me when it comes to holding my own in the Campus format, and whether or not people would say I did exceedingly well, I know I gave it my best effort.

I'm still awake, and I'm actually waiting until 6 in the morning before I leave the station. The euphoria's still there, and I'm very happy that I managed to run with it tonight. I have a lot more room for improvement, but it wasn't bad at all for an opening salvo. I hope the people who listened to me feel the same way about it!

"My name is Mister Vader, and it's good to be back! Don't ask how, don't ask why, but it's just good to be back on radio, and what better place to be at than the number one hit music station in Metro Manila, 99.5 Campus FM?"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Don't Forget Tonight!

.:It's On Tonight!:.

At midnight, on 99.5 Campus FM, Mister Vader makes a return to radio!

I hope you guys get to catch it. Sometimes I begin to worry if this will fall flat, since nobody seems to care... =(

.:Expect Me To Write About...:.

1. The Blogger's Beer Appreciation Night in Red Box. (Photos courtesy of Khursten.)
2. My show for Mike Defensor.
3. My response to this article. Goes to show how little people know when they're writing from half a globe away.

Barron Vangor Toth: 1973-2008

.:I'm Two Months Late...:.

... but I'll get on my soapbox and say it anyways.

Outside of Magic: The Gathering, the other CCG I played the most was WWE RAW Deal. Since I'm a huge wrestling fan, I think it makes all the sense in the world why I loved it. Barron was one of the two creators of the game, and unlike most other creators, they interact with the players a lot.

I was the second (official) Philippine Manager, and while I mainly dealt with Zhev, I always had an air of respect for Barron.

There were lots of bad decisions made towards the end of Raw Deal, but I always felt that lashing out at Barron by sheer virtue of his being there was tasteless, when he's doing that to promote the game and reach out to the fanbase at the same time. M:tG isn't so lucky to have Richard Garfield visit our forums, or run Yahoogroups to keep us up to speed himself (w-ell, especially since he's not designing anymore, but still...).

Barron was always nice to me in any correspondences we ever had. I liked the way he was thinking, and despite my initial resistance to a "Type II" format, I understood why it was necessary, as it was getting harder and harder to bring in new players to the game as the card pool kept increasing. I had an immense amount of respect and admiration for him and the ever-quiet (until now) Mike Foley, and during the height of Raw Deal, I'd have given my left arm and nut just to be able to work for these guys (And I'm left-handed!). Of course, that never happened, and I never even met Barron, since I'm half a planet away.

Having said that, I really stopped checking up on WWE Raw Deal since the game's "death". I wanted to help out if I could, but I realized I was so out of tune with the game, I'd be more of a hindrance than anything else. I wholeheartedly apologize for showing up only now to thank Barron for everything he's done for this community, a community I still proudly belong to.

I'm shocked to learn of Barron's passing. He was a great man, and his passing moves me far more than Eddie Guerero's, Chris Benoit's or (in the hopefully distant future...) possibly and hypothetically even Undertaker's...

You will be missed, Barron. In my book, this is THE wrestling-"related" passing that has and probably will affect me the most for the rest of my life. You gave us a card game I loved to pieces, and you were a wonderful human being in turn.

Monday, April 21, 2008


.:It's Official: I'm Coming Back To Radio!!!:.

After half a year of being out of the loop, I'm coming back to radio, and I've never felt more stoked about it!

Without further ado, beginning tomorrow, catch Mister Vader from 12MN-3AM on the number one hit music station in Metro Manila, 99.5 Campus FM!

It's been a long, hard road to get back to radio, and while nothing's set in stone even at this moment, I'm going to make the most of this opportunity to really earn my keep.

If you can, please catch my show. I'd be extremely grateful!

.:For Those Wondering...:.

Yes, the other station I was talking to was indeed NU 107. While the offer to work for them as a marketing officer was immensely tempting, I had to decline for the sake of devoting proper time and effort to my thesis t his coming schoolyear. Nonetheless, I'm grateful that I was even considered for NU despite honestly not exactly being quite a "rocker", to begin with...

In any case, I'm really excited about this, because whatever happens, I'm going to give this my all.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Touching Testimonial...

.:I'm Honored!:.

Thank you very much, Czari! It was great meeting you a couple of days ago, and I'm really honored by what you had to say about me.

It was a simple encounter, really. I just went to Campus FM, and I ended up running into her and a friend of hers, Sabs, along the way. It was really cool, because it seemed a bit freaky how Czari actually found my blog online just because she searched for Campus FM, and my blog turned up, and the very next day, she runs into me.

Soon enough, I performed for them, but to my recollection, I think I did only one thing. It was enough to really grab their attention, though...

This is one of the reasons why I enjoy performing people. Knowing very well that I can really make someone's day, knowing how I can influence a person, which is something magic shares in common with teaching, and on my second lease in life in radio, something I hope I can also do there as well.

Having said that, check the p post out. I'd quote her post, but you may as well just check it out for yourselves. :)

Hosting Again!

.:Prelude To A Long Day's Work...:.

Much thanks to Zack Attack of 99.5 Campus FM for helping me get last Saturday's gig.

Having said that, I wish I had a good list of Budget Hotels In The Philippines so I could've saved myself some stress and slept overnight before the event instead, but hey, it was still a success despite having been totally underslept.

You see, that hosting gig in Baguio? I got it on such short notice, and had to be there by lunchtime. It was crazy, because I had to hustle to the City of Pines as early as four in the morning, and I was still kinda groggy as I made my way on the bus.

Even worse, the guy in my row was snoring incredibly loudly. With that, the blazing sun, and the bus DVD player, there was no way an insomniac like me could catch my forty winks on the ride to Baguio...

And much to my chagrin, I ended up seeing "Meet The Spartans" anyway. It was even worse than I thought it would be. Ugh.

.:Destination Found:.

The event was Sun Cellular's Dance Showdown finals for Central and North Luzon. Up for grabs was 50,000 pesos worth of prizes. It was definitely going to be one heckuva ride, not to mention the fact that Jay-R was on hand to really draw the crowd in. SM City Baguio was going to be packed today with people who came to see Jay-R and the ten finalists for the competition.

Needless to say, yours truly was blown away by the sheer volume of people. I was telling Emar (The floor director) that I was a tad intimidated, but no worries, I soldiered on.

And it took me a while, mind you. I really had to get the hang of things a bit, before the ad libs started to flow freely. Towards the end of the first half of the show, I was hardly referring to my cue cards anymore. I was just really going with the flow, which of course meant I would sometimes be harsh to the contestants if I didn't like their performance. Hehe.

Anyways, after all was said and done, University of Baguio took away the top prize.

After bonding with the events group since I hitched a ride home with them, I ended up hitting the sack at 2:30 in the morning the next day. It was a really long day, but I had a lot of fun, and it was a great experience, commuting all the way to Baguio.

It was also a nice return to large-scale hosting, since I haven't been doing events this big for a while, and introducing myself as "Kel Vader of 99.5 Campus FM" gave me shivers. Damn that radio bug! It bit me, and now, I'm back in the groove of things. :P

Friday, April 18, 2008

Baptism Of Fire. Sorta.

.:The Returns For The Day...:.

Just came from Station #1, where I will not be known as Kosher the Pos(h)er, and it was a blast as I reacquainted myself with the radio console. J.S. was really cool as he let me man the board while he continued his ad libs with me in charge of the console, and giving me pointers on how to make things more efficient.

After his boardwork, I was laying out the music for J.J. when he came in and told me that he was leaving so I better take over the show since he can't board. I figured he was just kidding, but I still had a panic attack anyways.

That being said, I'm very happy how that turned out. I don't really know where I go from here, but today was very encouraging.

Chances are, I'll be finding myself back in the graveyard once I go back to radio, so I have to brace myself for that.

I still don't wanna mention any specific stations, mainly because I don't wanna jinx anything for now.

.:Will Be Gone Tomorrow...:.

I'm hosting an event in Baguio. Won't be back until Sunday morning or something...

But hey, you can always SMS me and stuff...


I'm a sucker for crossovers. Really. I am.

Having said that...

I don't care what the naysayers have to whine about. If this game were true, EVEN WITHOUT FATALITIES, I'd still be all over it (Provided it's at least as good as X-Men vs. Street Fighter...)

.:My Beloved...:.

... thank you. You have no idea how happy I am to be with you...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Training Begins...

... still nothing specific, but I hope you guys keep wishing me luck as I figure out where all this is headed.

I learned how to man the console in Station #1 today. I'm going to try and board without talking tomorrow, just to get the hang of it. The jock-on-board will still be talking, though.

Let's play this by ear, then...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Here Be Navel-Gazing...

.:Here Be An Account Of Yesterday's Interview...:.

So I went to an interview for another radio station, and the atmosphere there was incredibly relaxed.

For starters, the station manager was definitely different in contrast to the station manager of the other station I'm being considered for. I wouldn't say this one is better, but there's a world of difference, insofar as this station's head honcho seemed to have really taken an interest in me with the way he was looking through my resume when I entered his office.

On the other hand, Station #1's head honcho is quite the legend when it comes to radio. When it comes to being trained by the best, Station #1 definitely could offer that to me. Graveyard shifts do provide me some cause for worry though, since unlike before, I will now be coming from Katipunan, and going all the way to the Ortigas area is bound to be unsafe at 1 or 2 in the morning.

You can understand my concern on that count, I'm sure.

Having said that, not only was Station #2 interested in me as a (potential) jock (Despite a certain tiny issue that will make itself apparent to everyone who knows me when I point it out...), but Station #2 is also interested in making me sort of their PR/marketing guy, as a point person for clients when they have questions about anything.

What I like about this is that it puts me in a position to really practice multiple aspects of my Communications background, and thus gain more experience to make me even more qualified in my field.

Naturally, the drawback is that I will have to consider how holding an office job will affect my Masters. It's thesis year, and I need all the time I can muster to do my thesis decently enough for me to finish my M.A. without any hitches.

Having said that, let's play it by ear for now... Wish me luck!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Guess Who Might Be Coming Back To Radio?

.:The Radio Bug Bit...:.

... and so I bit back.

I have a lot of work cut out for me at this point, but it looks like the prognosis is promising for me.

I don't wanna jinx it, but there are currently two stations that have contacted me. Whether or not I get hired, I'm willing to go through re-training because I think I have to unlearn a lot of bad habits I picked up over the years at WAVE.

Having said that, I'm pretty pleased as punch about my prospects.

.:Without Mentioning Names Just Yet...:.

Well, I hung out at the first station that contacted me, and it felt really weird, because I just came from a date with my Beloved. It was like she's my lucky charm of sorts, and after going home, I almost immediately received two messages from two stations asking to interview me.

I sat there and spoke with the station manager, who told me that my voice needed work. A lot of work. You see, despite being part of WAVE all these years, I haven't really been trained too well, so I still, to be brutally critical of myself, sound like an amateur jock, and that's unacceptable in this station.

The thing is, I was shunted to the graveyard in WAVE to eliminate the necessity of training me. Simply put, that meant I never had room to improve, as there was nobody who could monitor me and tell me if I was doing okay or horribly. The people in this station, in contrast, told me I could improve, and are willing to help me out there. Whether or not I get hired depends on my improvement, and I'm cool with that, because I think it's time I stopped underachieving in radio. I've been in radio since I was high school, and it's time I gave back more in a place that will give me the opportunities to give back more to the industry.

Having said that, we then proceeded to listen to some auditions for a program of theirs, and I couldn't help but guffaw at some of the classic bloopers. Admittedly, I can be as bad as some of them, though, when I don't watch my diction... I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite on that count... heh.

After staying and hearing their thoughts, they all but welcomed me aboard, if only as a probationary trainee for the graveyard. They know I still have an interview scheduled with another station, but let's face it, they also know I'd rather be at their station, when you get down to it.

That, and I'm at a point where I'd rather be trained to improve than hired to stagnate, to be honest. I don't mind a month or two of not really having a genuine salary to speak of, if it means I'd be capable of holding my own as a radio personality after years of being allowed to fester in mediocrity. I know it's as much my fault as it is my old station's, but I'm not making this same mistake again.

Look out, world! It looks like Kel's coming back r-eal soon...

.:Random Poll:.

Having said that...

Since I can't keep "Kel the Mushroom", I need a new on-air name! Any suggestions?

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I'm Prepping For Comprehensive Exams...

.:Well, Now You Know...:.

... and that's exactly why I'm having a ridiculously hard time with trying to blog at the moment. Sigh.

I'm really thinking about how to even begin reviewing for it, to be honest. Where do I start? What do I do? It's really taking its toll on me at this point.

.:Still Not Blogging Sensibly!:.

I hate how lethargic I've been feeling lately. I really should do something about this...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Did You Know?


Did you know I was interviewed yesterday for a potential job in Dubai?

Well, it was a very eye-opening experience, and I think it really made me feel even more respect for OFW's than I already do. Considering how Jay and I sat in line for five hours just for kicks, I can only imagine how long people would willingly do what we did if they genuinely would fight tooth and nail for a chance to work abroad.

So as you may have noticed, I wasn't alone that day. I was with my good friend and fellow mentalist, Jay Mata, and I must say, considering how he was even less inclined to take a job abroad than I was, he was mighty patient for having sat through it.

I'll talk about it more tomorrow, I guess. I'm really bushed just thinking about it.

Posting Later. Yesterday Was A Loooonnnggg Day...

... indeed it was.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

... And The Bad. (MY PHONE GOT STOLEN)

Guys, I'm still keeping my old number, but the actual phone got stolen, and with it, ALL my contacts...

So if you're one of my contacts, and you're reading this, do text me over my Globe phone and identify yourself, or you can send me an e-mail via


P.S. I hope the person who swiped my phone dies a horrible death. Considering I even asked to BUY the phone back from him at whatever price...

.:Looking At The Bright Side...:.

As a tragedy of sorts struck me this afternoon when my phone got swiped, I felt extremely upset, mainly because I had so many contacts and memories with that phone.

What's especially painful about it is the fact that I just sealed a gig this afternoon, but the details may have been texted when the phone got swiped. Worse, since I don't have the contact's number, I have no way to confirm the booking. Gah.

Pictures with my Beloved were also eradicated completely, which is sad, sad, sad.

Having said that, though, there is some good to be had with this...

1. I'm more inclined to take this potential job offer in Dubai now... more on that next time.

2. I decided to transfer the line in my name. In doing so, I found out that my mom hasn't collected rewards for the line SINCE 2001.

3. I'm forced to do spring cleaning. As an emotional packrat, I've kept messages in my phone that did me more harm than good, and while I do somewhat feel bad about the loss, a greater part of me is relieved that it's out of my life now.

It's not 100% bad, really, but I guess now, I really will learn to back everything up by getting a phone that's data-transfer friendly.

The Good...

.:But First...:.

Looking for help or ideas for a Philippine Wedding? Well, they are making today's post possible!

.:And So, Today...:.

Well, I actually went ahead and did the rounds. I dropped by Jaybee and John Hendrix in 99.5 Campus FM, and it was really great seeing them again. As usual, I end up being pimped out to perform for people (Jaybee started it.), and it was funny because even John Hendrix noticed this later, that everytime I'm introduced to someone new, I seem to always have to be asked to perform something for them.

In any case, it all worked out well, as I had an interesting performance or two, and I even dropped off my resume in 94.7 after leaving one at Campus, then caught up with Boom Gonzales on Magic 89.9. After talking to him for a few minutes, I then headed to the Strata area, where I dropped off at NU 107 before proceeding to drop off at RX.

Naturally, I stuck around RX for a while, and even Sir Louie D himself was immensely amused at my material. I saw Ms. Lea after all this time, and that was pretty cool, too...

My last stop was at WAVE, and after a few moments of talking to sir Garry, I think my prospects with radio look brightest with Radio Partners (again). I don't know how I should feel about that at the moment, but it can't be all that bad, I guess...

All in all, a fairly okay roundup for my "radio tour". Heh.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I'm Miffed!

.:A New Pet Peeve...:.

Lately, I've been getting calls on the landline that boggle my mind.

It's those calls you get from PLDT giving you canned offers about this or that product.

Really. What the Hades is that about?!? You get a call at odd times in the day, and instead of hearing a voice, you hear an advertisement about PLDT's latest promo playing in your ear.

Don't we already pay you bastards enough money to keep your stupid advertisements out of our ears?

As if it weren't enough that we get bombarded with "free" text advisories we don't want, do you have to get in our ear at the worst times in the day without even having the decency of having some telemarketer doing the dirty work?!?

I'm fuming over the fact that PLDT has obvious access to every single subscriber, and they abuse this by using this knowledge to send us what pretty much amounts to nothing more than spam.

There ought to be a law against this type of crap.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tired, But Jamming Did Help Clear Cobwebs...


Had a great time talking shop with Cakit today, as we worked on developing ideas for our respective routines.

Well, other than that, it was a long and boring day, and I really am too lazy to do much anything else... sigh...

I miss my Beloved.

Adobong Manaakkk!!!

.:Mission Success!:.

I'll post more extensively about it some other time, but the Mike Defensor party turned out exceedingly well.

I think I managed to turn some heads with the mentalism demonstration, and thanks to the poker chip effect, even the kids can appreciate a bit of mentalism now...

.:How To Cook Adobong Manakk:.

This guy had me in stitches, because you know he tried in earnest. I don't know if he memorized it phonetically or was genuinely fluent in Filipino sans the accent, but there's just something innately endearing about foreigners who try to speak the language.

My hats off to the guy. He sure made my day, and I learned a new word! Apparently, when you mix stuff with the serving spoon, it's called "sangkutsa". That's deep.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Magical Day...

.:Pictures To Follow... Heh:.

I didn't really take too many pictures since I was mainly busy doing my walkaround tour for the day. I only ever took a picture with good friend Joy, and some Power Ranger cosplayers, but that's it. I had a good time and I looked for some old friends from the Cosplaying circles, such as Jewel, Kel (Yes, another guy also named Kel.), and Peppy. It was pretty cool, what with the wide variety of costumes I saw. Far less Death Note cosplayers than what you'd usually see, which is actually a good thing, IMHO.

I even ran into Meggy, who seems to have lost weight. Heh. I had loads of fun doing sponge balls, among other effects, and all in all, it was a great walkaround run for me. I always love performing for the cosplaying community because they're an extremely appreciative lot, and that's never a bad thing for a guy who only gets paid in applause during these conventions. :)

.:The TSC Gathering...:.

Hanging out with TSC last night was very entertaining, as we had a nice set of round robin performances. Everyone brought some very interesting stuff to demonstrate, and I went with Ring Thru Rope + Fiber Optics, and finished off with the 20-card test. I had a bit of fun with the thumb extension thing as well, for that matter.

In any case, it was a jampacked day, and it was a good bit of preparation for my show this afternoon for Mike Defensor. Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

In Here, I Gush...

.:Thursday Goodness:.

I didn't think running errands could be so fun.

I was there with my Beloved as she tried to get her clearance from the places she had nursing duty in. We went to Mandaluyong Medical Center, then Rizal Medical Center, and we thankfully resolved a lot of the problems we initially had.

I had the beer appreciation thing later that night, but I'll cover that in some other post. Right now, I'm just out to gush, and with good reason.

It has been a while, since my Beloved and I could spend a lot of time together, mainly because for the past schoolyear, I've been awfully busy, what with schoolwork and teaching in Reedley at the same time. Half of my weekends were occupied too, thanks to my shows.

For me to have this much time with her now, and on consecutive days, no less, is a big deal to me, and I'm thankful for it.

.:Friday Frolics:.

On Friday, I was with my Beloved in PWU Taft, when she invited me to be with her at the last possible moment.

I was even invited to her graduation! How can I not get stoked over all of that?

I hope I've been making up for being an absentee boyfriend for quite a while. I'm all smiles when she told me she really felt lately that we've reached new heights in this relationship...

Any bigger, and this grin on my face would rip my mouth clean off...

Friday, April 04, 2008

I Owe A Megapost Soon...

So many things to blog about... that beer appreciation night was loads of fun, even if I don't really drink... heh.

A Walk Along Memory Lane...

.:168: Or Maybe Not...:.

To be honest, 168 isn't really "memory lane" for me. I have no fond memories of the place to share with anyone, since except for a couple of times, most of the time I go there, I'm actually alone.

On its own, I like 168. It's not really my favorite place to be because it's pretty far and difficult to get to, but you're rarely going to go there without finding anything to buy. Prices there are cheap, and you can even get your hands on some items you'd be hard-pressed to find anywhere else, such as Dian Sheng Rubik's Cubes.

I guess I only have tangential memories there, really. I know how many people love that place, and while I like being there, I never really had a special moment of my own to call while I was ever there. The feeling is more along the lines of "I'm walking in the same general area as someone I know," but I guess there's no outright label on 168 as a place so-and-so and I have had great memories in.

I shopped around there last Wednesday, and I was pretty pleased as punch with most of my purchases. I found a purse frame by buying a cheap purse and ripping it open, then I found my mood ring, and even a different ring that I could really use, plus Pringles for a mere 65 pesos a pop (Yum!).

As I walked around, I realized quite starkly that I wear my heart on a sleeve with a passion. Even tangential memories kept on flooding me, both good and bad, and it did have a profound effect on the experience. It seemed like every five paces I made, a "memory clip" ran in my head, as if I was seeing a scene, whether it happened in the past or merely something I imagined, almost like a flashback montage for a movie.

The thing is, that's really how I am. I wear my heart on a sleeve, and for better or worse, it's not going to change. If someone affects me positively, it shows. If someone deals with me adversely, it likewise shows. I guess I can't avoid that, but lately, I've been able to take most of it in stride.

But I digress. 168 is still cool, even if it's in the heart of Chinatown (sorta), which is almost always hot during the summer.

.:What Have I Done Lately?:.

I recently had an epiphany of the bad kind...

You see, I'm probably finishing my M.A. this coming schoolyear (Yessssssssss!), and yet, with recent developments, I sometimes still feel that I wasted four years of my life in this Masters.

I've given up a lot of time and money for it, and at the end of the day, I come off with more and more bad memories of Ateneo, than anything else, from the whole T.A. bit, to what I went through after being a T.A., to the more recent stuff involving Dr. Angeles and the English department, all the same. The only bright spot that somehow involved my M.A. would've been Reedley (Well, 98% of it. There was this one wee exception...), and that wasn't exactly dependent on my status with my M.A. in Ateneo. Obviously, my Beloved had absolutely nothing to do with my Masters.

But a recent conversation made me realize that after living on my own, working for four years, and completing 90% of my Masters, what have I accomplished? I seem to have very little to show for it, and the feeling that I've wasted four years of my life doing nothing of consequence does make me feel a tad depressed.

It does make one ask himself if he was a failure. It would seem that after all this time, things are still the same for me, and I still haven't really made any progress career-wise. The fact that my M.A. is still being completely useless for me does tend to be a mite annoying all the same.

Except for a few bright spots, the things I gained and subsequently lost over the past four years have really stuck out to me like a sore thumb, especially when it comes to people. I feel as if a chunk of me is ripped out every time I lose a friend I was close to, or at least thought I could be close to. Other more drastic experiences could only yield similar results.

Indeed, where do I go from here? At the rate I'm going, it would appear my mentalism career is the one paying the bills already, and to be honest, that's not such a great thing, knowing all too well that my M.A. is not the least bit going to benefit from mentalism, or vice versa.

I can't even think straight right now and blog about something more compelling than another one of these "woe is me" posts, and I'm feeling guilty about that already.

Sigh... to think this all came about because of one lousy conversation...

Two Days With My Beloved...

.:I Are Happiness...:.

Yesterday, I spent some time with my Beloved as she ran some errands for her clearance.

The same thing happened again today.

I'd go into more details, but right now, I'm just floating on Cloud 9.

As I said, I are happiness...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Sassy Girl: America

.:My Sassy Girl, The Remake...:.

I'm highly skeptical about this, mainly because the original was as close to perfection as a movie can get, and American remakes of Asian films for the most part have been misses, barring "The Departed".

The trailer doesn't have the Asian sensibilities where it was clear that the Sassy Girl character was plain unstable rather than just mean-spirited. There's just so much that could go wrong when you adapt the movie and Americanize it, and I don't think it's just because Jeon Ji-Hyun is ultimately hotter than nigh any girl Hollywood can throw at me.

If you're going to Americanize the film, I think you had to find someone who's more cute than hot, and someone who can pull off the bipolar switch Jeon Ji-Hyun managed to pull off excellently. Otherwise, there's really no point to it at all.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

And The Setbacks Begin...


I was going to post a bit longer, but guess what?

The Philosophy Department just informed me that they won't be hiring me this year.

I'm going to sit down with Dr. Barbaza to talk about why this was the case, but y'know what? I'm this close to just saying "eff this" and not bothering with teaching in Ateneo anymore.

After encouraging me to push myself in this path, the department leaves me high and dry again. I'm beginning to wish I never listened to them and instead did something more productive with my time and money than take an M.A. in Philosophy...

Well, I guess teaching high school isn't a dead prospect for me at this point. That's about the only good thing coming out of this...

Mentalism Takes The Corporate Circles By Storm!

Check out my newest post in Magikel, where I talk about last night's amazing time in Richmonde Hotel...