Thursday, August 28, 2008

All For You

It is just me?

Tell me.

People are so surprised I spent 500 bucks for the Janet concert. Why is that?

Raft3r would have spent more but none of the front row seats were available.

Wouldn't you pay top dollars for someone you really like? Raft3r's dream is to follow my wife's tour around the world. That I know is insane.

My ticket is now in transit. It will be delivered at the time Raft3r is in New York. A part of me wants to stay in Baltimore and eagerly wait for the FedEx delivery guy.

Janet's tour is selling like crazy, even better than Madonna's. For the haters, I got proof to support this claim. After all, Janet still holds the record for the best selling debut concert tour in history.

In two weeks time, Raft3r will be in Oakland for the Rock Witchu Tour. That will probably go down in history as one of the best nights of my life.

For the first time since my junior prom, I'm actually stressing out on what to wear.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Road Trip

Raft3r is watching the US Open this Saturday.

Friends from LA are flying over to Baltimore and joining me for an entire day of tennis matches. I couldn’t be any happier.

I get to see a lot of my tennis heroes. Sadly, Rafter nor Hingis would be there. But there are still many tennis greats to look forward to. Hopefully, most of the top seeds would be playing on Saturday.

Raft3r definitely wants to catch a glimpse of all the Russian starlets and Slovakian chicks.

We are driving to New York and staying at a motel in New Jersey. It's just 10 miles away from Flushing Meadows.

On Sunday, we are hitting the streets of NY. There have been talks of watching something in Broadway. Raft3r begged off.

I'm not into musicals. I would rather spend those three hours inside Virgin Megastore and Toys R Us. That's my kind of thing.

Before we head back to Baltimore, we are also checking out Niagara Falls, Atlantic City, and DC. An hour per city, I guess?

We'll see how this trip turns out. The itinerary changes by the second. But it's gonna be fun all throughout.

I can tell right now that this long Labor Day weekend is gonna be very expensive.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fortune Faded

Raft3r just ordered dinner from the Chinese restaurant around the corner.

They got excellent cuisine for a reasonable price. The pork and shrimp fried rice is to die for.

My mouth is watering.

The fortune cookie which came with the meal prophesized, “You may be hungry soon: order a takeout now.”

Bull’s eye!

If that isn’t accurate enough, I don’t know what is.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's Beginning To Get To Me

An anime convention was held in Baltimore a couple of weeks back.

On the streets, you would find teenagers wearing costumes of their favorite characters. Most of them were dressed to shock.

The inner geek in me shrieked in delight.

Some of the participants stayed in Raft3r’s hotel. I did some investigation. The convention was a mere three blocks away from our place.

I scored a free invite from one of the hotel guests.

The trade show booths were out of this world. Bright and colorful, they truly catch the attention of convention goers. You just had to stop by every booth to appreciate the art works. They were visual eye candies. Even the table skirts were very creative.

The animated banner stands showed the different characters being hawked by merchandisers. This is every anime lover’s dreamland.

Nerds have finally found their heaven.

Raft3r is not even a fan but I got into the whole anime thing with all the things I saw there. It’s that good.

Appleseed’s Pipe and Drape tops them all. It was off the hook. Everything about their presentation was totally awesome. The graphics were excellent. The Bioroids rock!

Raft3r left the convention with a better appreciation of anime and its huge fan base. 

They aren't just a bunch of weirdos. I am now one of them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

7 Things

Seven things you may not know about Raft3r:

1. I dumped a girl who is reproductively challenged.
2. I appeared in a Colgate TV commercial.
3. I have the attention span of a 5 year old.
4. I pretended to be terminally ill to ace a college exam.
5. I am a pushover.
6. I had a female stalker.
7. I sleep naked.

Who says Raft3r is incapable of talking about himself?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Like You Used To Do

Anita Baker. Does her name sound familiar to you?

She used to be a big R&B star way back in the 80's.

My high school girlfriend and I danced to one of her slow songs on prom night. I even made my ex a mixed tape of Anita’s songs.

Ah, mixed tapes. Those were the days.

Anita Baker was in town over the weekend and Raft3r decided to watch her concert. I didn’t even know she is still active in the music scene.

She performed in a small open arena. Tickets were a little expensive. The venue was almost jam packed.

Anita performed all her hit songs. But the voice is gone. Anita had trouble hitting the high notes and could barely muster to finish the set list with enough dignity. Still the crowd cheered her on.

It's sad to see a seasoned performer go downhill.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Morning

Yesterday, Raft3r received a text message from mom.

It read: "Anak, Linggo bukas. (Son, tomorrow's Sunday.) Hear mass."

As with all devout Catholic countries, it is an age old tradition in the Philippines for a family to go to church together every Sunday.

They would put on their best clothes, wear their fancy shoes, and flash their pearly whites.

People do this just to show the neighbors that they are one happy family in contrast to the dysfunctional one they actually grew up with.

Pretending is still one of the most popular games people play.

This Sunday, we went to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in D.C.

Raft3r was blown away by its grandeur. It could easily become a favorite subject of any photographer.

The one hour mass went by so quickly. My group headed to the different parts of the Basilica. Believe me. There were a lot to explore.

What Raft3r found most interesting was how the Basilica coped with the modern times.

They got a huge gift shop. For a Catholic institution, they sell a lot of memorabilia and collectibles. The store is no Walmart, though. Their items are costly.

The Basilica also has a cafeteria that is big enough to feed an entire congregation and maybe a couple more.

Not that I am against the commercialization of religion, but the Church does have a vow of poverty.

If the Amish can maintain a simple lifestyle, Raft3r does not see why the Catholic Church cannot.

I'm just thinking out loud. That's all.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Keeper Of The Flame

The Beijing Olympics is upon us and the Chinese sure knows how to throw a party.

Since Raft3r’s training class is like a Benetton ad campaign, everyone is rooting for their respective countries.

An online buddy is currently in Beijing for the games. Lucky kid. All I have is a Beijing Olympics jacket from Old Navy.

Raft3r is looking forward to the tennis finals between Nadal and Gonzalez. I wanted to see Blake play. He deserved it.

Too bad Roddick ain’t playing in Beijing. His decision to pull out of the Olympics hasn’t reaped the expected rewards. He suffered another loss this time at the quarterfinals in Washington.

Sharapova is out with an injury, too. I read somewhere that athletes now prefer magnetic therapy to help them soothe their booboos.

Magnetic field therapy is one of the fast growing alternative forms of medicine.

It has also been alleged that magnet therapy helps improve athletic performance. This is good news for tennis players who have lost their mojos. Paging A-Rod.

Magnetic therapy products range from energy wafers to weight control.

Despite being in the internet age, sometimes going back to the basics can be the sweetest deal.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Stop And Stare

There are a lot of things to complain about the hotel where Raft3r is currently staying at.

We got issues on internet connection, clogged bathroom sinks, water heater, inaccurate billings, and bad service to name a few.

Just this morning, Raft3r turned on his faucet and murky water came out. Man, don’t get me started.

But the thing that bothers me the most is the painting that hangs in my hotel bedroom.

Raft3r is in no way artsy. But I do know what a good painting looks like.

That thing in my room is certainly not one of them. It appears to be a painting (and I use the term loosely) of a clown with his face pressed against the window making his huge red nose very prominent.

Upon waking up, it is the first thing Raft3r sees. Eerily, the clown stares right back. Spooky.

That's enough to ruin anyone's day.

Your Little Secret

When Raft3r was a kid, he often dreamed of becoming a detective. Yes, that was my first job ambition.

In 4th grade art class, I remember drawing a man dressed in a trench coat and carried a gigantic magnifying glass.

While most kids wanted to be teachers or doctors, I wanted to be the one who would pry on the private lives of others. Cool, huh?

Now that I had joined the work force, I get to fulfill my childhood dream. Well, sort of. Raft3r now works for the Fraud Department.

I get to do a criminal background check on shady clients and applicants. Raft3r particularly enjoys digging up dirt about fellow human beings. Wouldn’t you?

Isn’t it a relief to know that your next door neighbor is a perv and is currently eyeing the kid down the street? What if you were given the opportunity to find out if your nanny is secretly maltreating your children? Knowledge is power.

Discretion is the key to this kind of job. Conducting a background check can also be quite stressful. 

Luckily for Raft3r, he found the perfect ally to do the job right. They are the absolute best in the industry. No detail is left unattended. They make my work easier.

It is always a challenge to develop a complex criminal check. It gets my adrenaline pumping and keeps me on my toes.

Aimed with all the proper tools of the trade, Raft3r’s confidence to keep fraud and other bad elements at bay is considerably high.

After all, saving the world is just part of the job.

Go Go Gadget Flow

Boys will always be boys.

Regardless of how old we get, the little boy inside of us remains.

Our love affair with cars, women, sports, and technology will simply not fade away.

Women are to shoes as men are to gadgets.

When Raft3r’s Japanese colleague mentioned a building in Tokyo filled with all the latest in technology, I nearly fainted with glee. Man, I could just pull out a mattress and stay there for an entire week.

My current wish list includes a high-def player, the iPhone 3G, and the new Sony VAIO notebook.

Raft3r has to go now and wipe the drool off the laptop’s keyboard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Letter

Dear Mr. Google,

Let me begin by saying I much I enjoy your free services.

Gmail, Blogger, and YouTube rock my world.

I was even more delighted when you gave my blog, The Deadbeat Club, a page ranking of 4. I immediately announced to the entire online community about your generosity.

Last night while I was blog hopping, I noticed something strange.

My page rank has dwindled down to a 2. I was devastated. Why?

Was it something I did? Maybe, something I said that offended you? Tell me. I don't recall doing anything wrong for you to recall my current page ranking.

I went to bed last night sobbing.

Come on, Mr.Google. You got some explaining to do. You just can't take it back.

Men, in general, have always been obsessed with sizes - the bigger, the better. Same goes with a Google page rank.

Like a lover scorned, I need an explanation pretty bad.



The Lie That Matches The Furniture

Raft3r was invited to a housewarming party in Virginia over the weekend.

My friend just moved in to her newly purchased condominium unit in the downtown district. I couldn’t say congratulations to her without feeling envious.

We used to be neighbors back home and both planned on landing high paying jobs in the States. She pursued her dreams and I chickened out. That is very typical Raft3r behavior.

Her two bedroom unit's huge. There were at least 20 people in the party and we still had enough space for a sumo wrestling match, if we wanted to hold one.

My friend took me for a tour of the place. 

Raft3r went crazy for her modern furniture. The white sofa in her living room looked like the one featured in Wacko Jacko’s Scream video. It’s the coolest thing. I wanted to take it home with me.

My friend must have a thing for modern furniture. Every bit of fixture in her condo is contemporary. Raft3r never thought modern furniture can be so appealing.

It’s final. Once I get my own place, everything will be contemporary.

So as not to appear too enthusiastic, I secretly photographed all the nice fixtures.

After spending an entire day in my friend's condo, Raft3r is now a big fan of modern furniture, as well.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Call Me When You're Sober

Raft3r has been itching to get his hands on the new iPhone 3G.

It came out July 11 in the States. Boy, did it create such a frenzy!

We went to the mall to check out the phone and there was a long queue outside the Apple Store. Line was so long it even occupied the neighboring shops.

Back home, the iPhone will be released on the last quarter of the year. Raft3r is not known for his patience.

The original plan was to buy the iPhone here since it's cheap. $199! So prior to release date, Raft3r roamed around several AT&T and Apple stalls. I found out, that this time, there would be no prepaid iPhones. You now need a post paid line to get one of those babies.

So I went with Plan B. I figured I can ask a friend who already has an AT&T subscription to get the phone for me instead. Being a subscriber, he is entitled to a phone replacement. But Raft3r guessed wrong.

An existing AT&T subscriber can only get the 3G iPhone, if he upgrades his plan. That’s a smart move on the part of the retailers. Apple and AT&T made sure they didn't make the same mistakes they did with the first iPhone.

Now, I'm pissed and back to the old drawing board.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Shake Your Money Maker

Raft3r has always been good with money.

For instance, I always make sure the bills are paid on time and the monthly budget is strictly followed.

When Raft3r applied for a car loan a couple of years bank, the car dealer was impressed by the terms given by the bank. The dealer said I must have a pretty good credit standing with the bank to be approved of such a low interest rate.

Friends have approached me on how I do it. They ask for tips on how to repair credit. I always tell them to keep it simple. Never spend more than what you earn.

The rule of thumb on credit repair is discipline. Money, like everything else, is a great tool. But it can be subject to abuse. I know. I’ve been there.

If you do not know when to stop spending, there lies the problem.
Good credit repair services can be beneficial to people who are struggling with their finances. They can give a sensible and practical solution to every complex money matter.

Bad credit repair is possible. There are services available to those who need them. Armed with the right information, you can well be on your way to financial freedom.

A friend of mine can attest to this. He is now on the road to recovery.

Think of this as rehab for the financially distraught.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fat City

Before coming to America, Raft3r weighed himself.

No, I am not telling you how fat I am!

It's almost a given that when one visits the US, the tendency is to gain some - oh, alright - a whole lotta weight. Damn you, buffet restaurants.

I promised myself I would defy the odds. The hotel has a gym and a sauna. I vowed to workout every night after class.

After month and a half, I still haven't been to the gym. Well, Raft3r has seen it. Does that count?

I don't think I have packed a few pounds yet. I no longer eat rice. Raft3r can survive on sandwiches and chips. Utz is my current favorite. 

I also walk a lot. But always with an ice cream on hand.

Given the situation, Raft3r should do another weigh in. But I don't wanna ruin my day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cute Boy Discount

Who doesn’t want a good bargain, right?

Raft3r has found a gold mine!

Every Sunday morning, I make it a point to go online and check for coupons on weekly sale items in my favorite stores.

I have been patiently waiting for Janet’s Why Did I Get I Married? DVD to get a price markdown. It’s been six weeks and counting. So Raft3r looked through Amazon coupons and tried to find a good deal.

These days being a bargain hunter pays off big time. Unless you are filthy rich, never settle for a full price. This is the modern day golden rule.

Raft3r recently purchased Armani Exchange sunglasses. Retail price is $70. I got mine for a mere 30 bucks. Now, that’s a steal.

For the upcoming Labor Day weekend, my friends and I have tickets to the US Open. 

NY hotels, as we all know, can be quite pricey. So Raft3r is now searching for hotel accommodations using coupons from Expedia.

I just love discounts.

Call me a cheapskate or even a tightwad. But I will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


This is The Deadbeat Club’s 100th post.

It's the coolest thing.

Time flies, huh?

Being timely and all, here are a hundred things Raft3r wants to do his in lifetime:

1. Get out of Baltimore alive.
2. Skydive.
3. Get married in Boracay.
4. Purchase a condo, preferably near work.
5. Switch to Blu-ray.
6. Be interviewed on TV.
7. Write a book. I can’t help but laugh at the idea.
8. Have kids. Twins would be awesome. Cute ones, please.
9. Take life more seriously.
10. Watch my nieces get married.
11. Have an encounter with Martina Hingis.
12. Be in a movie. I can act.
13. Play tennis with Patrick Rafter.
14. Be debt free.
15. Work for the United Nations.
16. Catch the US Open live.
17. Stop procrastinating.
18. Have 7 girlfriends at the same time.
19. Lie consistently.
20. Dress appropriately for my age.
21. Own an island in Palawan.
22. Practice yoga.
23. Take mom to Europe.
24. Stop annoying my next door neighbor.
25. Visit M&M in Australia.
26. Be invited to an orgy.
27. Lose weight.
28. Adopt a chow chow.
29. Learn to play a musical instrument.
30. Be allergy free.
31. Live in New York.
32. Become a vegetarian.
33. Learn to love enemies.
34. Be the voice of my generation.
35. Stop plotting my revenge on high school bullies.
36. Blog more.
37. Run naked in a very public place.
38. Be responsible.
39. Search for the perfect smoothie.
40. Wake up early.
41. Drive responsibly.
42. Be abducted by aliens.
43. Eat sensibly.
44. Get mobbed by fans.
45. Buy my nieces a pony.
46. Finally tell my folks about the Picanto.
47. Become a sports commentator for Wimbledon.
48. Stop complaining.
49. Pray more.
50. Learn to commit.
51. Be practical.
52. Send apology letters to all my exes.
53. Meet Jodie Foster.
54. Go to Graceland.
55. Invent something.
56. Visit Batanes.
57. Get certified for diving.
58. Sex on the beach.
59. Have my teeth whitened.
60. Buy a MacBook.
61. A dinner party with Hannibal Lecter, Dana Scully, and Stewie from Family Guy.
62. Have a Google page ranking of 10 for The Deadbeat Club.
63. A vacation in Tokyo.
64. Learn to ski.
65. Have Hugh Hefner’s lifestyle when I turn 50.
66. Stash more cash in the bank.
67. Learn to say no.
68. Complete the entire Janet Jackson catalogue. She’s HOT!
69. Buy stocks and bonds.
70. Start jogging.
71. Become a rock star.
72. Get paid to talk.
73. Eat at IHOP everyday.
74. Sleep all day.
75. A rest house in Tagaytay.
76. Make my country proud.
77. Witness a Marian apparition.
78. A picnic at Central Park with the entire Friends gang.
79. Run a marathon.
80. Engage in charity work.
81. Learn to surf.
82. Curse more.
83. Inspire others.
84. Put up a rehab center for DVD addicts.
85. Have breakfast in bed with Angelina Jolie.
86. Be a ball boy at the Aussie Open.
87. Persuade Denise Richards to give up acting.
88. Grow a full beard.
89. Pick up a new language.
90. Read more.
91. Spend less.
92. Recycle.
93. Start answering my phone calls.
94. Get rid of negativity.
95. Stop making up stories just to make my life more interesting.
96. Grab a giant anaconda by the neck. That’s no gay talk.
97. Take a trip to Africa.
98. Learn something from this 11 week training in Maryland.
99. Know how to change tires.
100. Be funny as hell.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Travelling Without Moving

One good thing about my work is that I get to meet people from all parts of the globe.

Who would have thought I would establish good lasting friendships from folks in The Marshall Islands.

In my old department, Raft3r was seated next to a woman from Slovenia. She hails from Prekmurje and speaks with this lovely thick accent.

My Slovenian friend talks about her hometown all the time. She shows me these amazing photos of her country and recounts stories of her childhood.

Our daily chitchats would last for about half an hour to the detriment of our heavy workloads. I miss that about her.

She tells me about the interesting places to see in Prekmurje, like Murska Sobota, her dad’s birthplace. The city is well known for its castles and excellent wine. 

My friend takes pride in her country and that is pretty remarkable.

Raft3r has earned enough mileage for a free trip to Europe. Man, I love my job! I emailed my Slovenian buddy to see if her offer to be a tour guide still stands.

The reply was a resounding yes.

I told her I was also interested in learning how to ski. She suggested the nearby region of Styria. We quickly planned for a winter trip in 2009.

This early, Raft3r has already made a mental list of things to bring on this trip. To say I am excited is an understatement.

Raft3r is now on the prowl for a time machine. I want to fast track to ‘09.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fools Like Me

Being the control freak that I am, I have started to pack my things last week.

I know. 

Raft3r will still be here for a good two months. But I can't help it. I wanted to see if all the stuff I bought so far would all fit in my four bags.

Raft3r is will not tolerate excess baggage charges in the airport. No way.

This is where we're at right now.

Raft3r bought a bigger laptop bag, the backpack kind. It can hold a lot of stuff. So I put in Victoria's Secrets undies for my ladies back home. Shirts followed. I piled them up one by one. There's space left for more goodies. Excellent. That makes for one of my two hand carries.

The other is my mail bag and is now overflowing with DVDs and CDs. Raft3r's not complaining.

The two checked in luggages are my large CK duffle bag and my small Benetton trolley. 

My colleagues have all bought new and bigger luggages. Raft3r refuses to do the same.

The duffle bag now contains lotions, children's clothes and jeans, two ladies bag, a beach bag, toys. It's quite heavy. The trolley is still bare. Raft3r plans to put in all my old things there.

With all the packing, Raft3r realized he needs to stop shopping. Seriously. I must stop.

Maybe just one more DVD purchase. Please.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Let's Talk About Sex

All right, this is not a post for the prudes.

Raft3r was channel surfing Thursday night when he stumbled upon a documentary on HBO.

It was about strippers and their lifestyle.

The show got even more interesting when the girls started talking about their lives while denuding at the same time.

My jaw dropped.

The following night, I instinctively tuned back in to HBO. Harry Potter and his posse showed up. I quickly turned off the TV and headed to La La Land.

Next Thursday came and BOOM!

It was another original HBO documentary.

This time, it was raunchier.

It dealt with pornography. All the subjects were naked during interviews. They were also shot while doing scenes for their skin flicks.

There was even this married couple who put up a porn site in the convenience of their own home. The husband lends his wife to his friends and broadcasts the hook ups online.

Yes, this is America.

They would chastise a black woman for wardrobe malfunction but would glorify the porn industry which is single-handedly dominated by blondes with huge knockers. Go figure.

Up until now, Raft3r did not know that HBO actually means Horny Bastard Online.

Ray Of Light

It’s time to start buying pasalubong (presents) for the folks back home.

During a recent trip to Georgetown, Raft3r searched for lamps to bring home to mom. She’s into house decorating and is crazy about antique lamps.

My companion took me to this ultra hip lamp store. Prices were a bit steep but their products were awesome. 

I took photos of what I think mom would like and sent them via MMS. Raft3r also took note of their product descriptions.

When I got back to the hotel, I decided to do some online investigations for lamps and lamp shades. After several trials and errors, I found the perfect site for my mom’s wish list.

Being totally clueless about lamps, their product search tool was a huge help. 

Raft3r found want he wanted and more. The same lamps I saw in Georgetown were available online and the site was even offering them for half the price. Jackpot! Mom would be pleased.

Raft3r also browsed through desk lamps. The one with the iPod speakers caught my attention. I bought one for myself.

They will be delivered soon. Raft3r faces another problem. How will I take them home to Manila? Hand carrying them ain’t feasible.

Guess I'll be visiting my friendly LBC neighbor very soon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Are you the jealous type?

Raft3r is not. But I have been getting a lot of flak for being close to women who have intimate relationships with other guys.

It's not that I am hitting on them or anything. That's not Raft3r's thing. Besides, I am happy with my own relationship.

What Raft3r doesn't understand about his fellow gentlemen is this: We, men, often say how secured we are about ourselves, our masculinity, and all. But isn't jealousy a part of insecurity?

Gentlemen, there is nothing wrong with your girls having male friends.

Loosen up the grip.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bend It Like Beckham

Anyone up for Pilates?

Raft3r was introduced to it last year.

Since then, I got hooked. Not only is Pilates a great way to keep the fat off but it’s also a good form of discipline.

Pilates can be very challenging. Specially for someone who isn’t flexible, like Raft3r.

On my first workout, I poured buckets of sweat. Who knew stretching exercises can be so exhausting?

In 10 minutes, Raft3r wanted to wave the white flag. An hour later, my entire body ached. This comes from a guy who regularly plays three hours of tennis at 10 in the morning.

Raft3r went for another session the following week. I wanted to know how much more of this kind of torture my body can take. Eventually, I started to get the hang of it. Alas, my love affair with Pilates has begun.

Plus, there are a lot of hot chicks in my class. They have been really nice to me since I’ve been playing the “I need some help” card for the longest time.

Raft3r has his own yoga mat now. I also purchased a Pilates workout video and other gym essentials online. Ordering was a breeze and delivery was super fast.

I have also been introduced to Yogilates, a lethal combination of Yoga and Pilates. Man, that blows! An hour of yogilates is like 10 repetitions of a 200 pound bench press.

Raft3r has been encouraging friends to join the bandwagon. I bought my best buddy his own sticky mat and so far he has been enjoying the company of female gym goers.

Bringing him to class was a disaster, though. He now gets all the attention.