ksolaris: (Default)
I've been trying to add a PayPal donation button to my LJ layout, but it just keeps coming out wrong. Whenever I add the code generated for the PayPal button (non-encrypted) to the custom text area, it keeps showing up with this HUGE space above it. See? ------>

Does anyone know how I can fix this? The theme I'm currently using is 3-column Pixipets. I'd really appreciate it if someone can point out a tutorial, or tell me what I should do next... I tried Googling up tutorials or hints as to what I should do, but I can't seem to find anything on the subject. I've even tried placing the PayPal cutton code inside a DIV tag, but no luck. T_T 

Hehe... Yes, I just emptied out my PayPal account, and I'm trying to see if I can get something... ANYTHING in it again to at least get me started again with raising money for more paid LJ time. XD

I'd really appreciate any help on the subject. Thank you!

PS. and while we're on the subject, can I also ask how to set my LJ so that links do NOT automatically get underlined? T_T;;

(comments screened)
ksolaris: (nana)
K's photo of the day:


Chorus of cans. Hehe... mini-trash bins sold at Japan Home. We bought one of them white bunnies when we first moved to South Star Plaza. It apparently has relatives. :D




--------------------------


I've been rather preoccupied over a lot of things recently, and first and foremost on my mind has been our impending move. Yep, we'll be moving house again before the year ends, and though it's still quite a number of months away, Lem and I have been mentally preparing for the arduous task ahead. We've been planning how to start packing our stuff away, how to start cleaning the old place before we leave, which truck company to hire, how to arrange everything in the new place, possible new commute routes to and from work, etc, etc, etc...

I've already lived at NINE addresses to date, and this next move will be my tenth in eight years. I'm telling you, even though I've done this many times before, it never gets any easier. As Lem and I have learned, though, it still does pay to plan ahead to at least try to minimize rough edges as much as we can.

Anyway, one VERY good thing about this next move would be the fact that we will no longer have to pay for rent, and that... is just AWESOME. We can actually AFFORD things once we move. Of couse, as I've told [livejournal.com profile] jylichan over YM recently, I do fear an imminent shopping spree once we discover our spanking-new purchasing power, but once that's over and out of our system, I realized that it's time that I finally got down to it and started on finally, finally, FINALLY doing something to improve myself. I am long overdue for an upgrade.

For the past year or so, I've been having this really bad itch to do something, ANYTHING, that would help me improve myself. I want to take language classes, photography classes, art classes, programming classes, cooking classes, baking classes, design classes... anything that I can possibly take on that would allow me to broaden or improve upon my skills. I want to LEARN.

And then, of course, I want to finally earn my degree.

As you all know, I'm still an undergraduate. I spent four years in Architecture, but I was never able to reach the fifth and final year due to a severe lack of money at that time. I decided to start working then, and I haven't really had much time for anything else after that. Everything that I learned along the way, I had to learn by myself during my free hours since I had no money for formal lessons or courses, so most of the things that I know are rather rough, or half-baked at best, and that really gets to me sometimes.

That's why, when Lem and I realized that we'll actually have more money after the move, everything that I've been only THINKING of doing so far, suddenly resurfaced from whatever nook in my brain they decided to hide themselves in. The sheer possibility of realizing those plans and ideas makes me giddy.

I guess what I just really want to say is that... I'M VERY EXCITED at the prospect of going back to school, or at least learning new things.

That's why lately, I found it quite serendipitous that [livejournal.com profile] ruk has mentioned to me in a previous post that Asia Pacific College has some sort of program specifically for undergrads like me, and Lem's mom has also given me a heads up about UP's Open University Program. Meanwhile, Lem has suggested De La Salle - College of Saint Benilde, as they have programs that are especially-tailored for people who are also working full-time.

So, with the hope of going back to school in 2009, I've been sending off inquiries and weighing my options for the past few weeks, and so far, I've been considering these schools:

ASIA PACIFIC COLLEGE Executive Program
Pros:
- According to Ms. Bea (hehe... I suddenly found that I like calling you that... XD), this program involves classes that are held on Saturdays.
- By the end of the program, I would have earned an MA.
- From the looks of it, I qualify for APC's Socialized Financial Assistance grant. Afterall, I'm officially the only employed person in my family, and my annual income falls below the 300,000.00 limit. If I do get 35% off of my tuition (provided I take the admissions test and get accepted...), that would be a great help, and I'll be able to pay for my own fees.
- If I find that I like the environment, I may actually enroll again and take up their MultiMedia Arts Course, hopefully under a grant as well. It isn't Architecture, but at least it's close and it's something I enjoy doing.
- I THINK, that some of the units that I've previously earned at UST MAY quite possibly be credited, so I don't have to take up English and Filipino and... brrr... Algebra again.

Cons:
- Business attire is required to be worn at all times at this college, and as you all know, I prefer being a casual slob most of the time. I may have to overhaul my wardrobe just for this. ^_^;;;
- The prospect of a long commute from Quezon City to Magallanes in order to attend classes.
- The high cost of living that is associated with this school. I may have to prepare a budget for Starbucks coffee on a regular basis.

UP LOS BANOS Open University Program
Pros:
- It's UP. What else can I say?
- It's a long distance learning program, so no commuting to classes involved.
- The tuition should be well within my means, even without any sort of grant (again, provided I take the admissions test and get accepted...).

Cons:
- According to the website, I'll be required to complete PE as well as NSTP services. Even back in UST, I did everything that I possibly could to avoid these two banes of college life, so I seriously don't want to have to deal with this. T_T
- I think I may have to take classes like English and Algebra all over again, which sucks, big time. - The possibility of having to go to the UPLB campus in order to either enroll, or take up PE/NSTP courses.

DLSU - CSB School of Professional & Continuing Education (SPaCE) Program
Pros:
- The program is meant especially for working people who want to earn a degree.
- classes are in the evenings, so commuting shouldn't be a problem.
- They're offering business courses, which I don't mind, and which I'm also interested in.
- The campus is in the heart of Manila, an area which I am very familiar with, and is also just one ride from Quezon City
- They also have the BASAP financial assistance program which I may or may not qualify for... depending on how I declare my annual income. ^_^;;

Cons:
- I'm from UST, the mortal enemy of anything La Salle. I know that this is REALLY not the time for me to suddenly and inexplicably start showing any form of school spirit, but it still feels weird. ^_^;;
- As with APC, I fear the high cost of living that is associated with this school.
- If I don't qualify for financial assistance, I fear that the tuition may be too much for me to pay for on my own, and the last thing I want right now is to mooch off of other people after trying to be self-sustaining for this long.

I still do plan to work full-time even if I start studying again, but I'm not quite as worried about that as my current company also has a program that accomodates the schedules of working students.

Oh well, I shouldn't really get my hopes up just yet, especially since I don't even have the full details of those courses yet, and there's still about a bajillion things we need to straighten out first before I can turn my full attention to anything school-related again.

I have to admit that it feels very nice to have a plan, though. It's a start. :)

ksolaris: (airbender)
Yesterday, Lem and I had my parents over. It was my mom's birthday, and I cooked us a nice meal. After we've eaten, and we were just talking about things, my mom and dad told Lem and me this story that made me want to flay several people alive.

My mom has a bosom buddy from way back during her teenage years, and they've been keeping in touch for the longest time. Now this friend (I'll just call her "tita" for now, because they're scared of having this story made public) hasn't been doing so well in life. She scrapes a living out of selling siomai and barbecue on the sidewalk, near their house, and it's gotten so bad for them that there was a point where her whole family would hide out for days because people that they borrowed money from are already looking for them and trying to get them arrested. They've had to move several times because they couldn't afford to pay rent anymore, and there was also a time when they couldn't even send their kids to school anymore due to money problems.

Now, tita has three kids, the youngest and possibly the smartest of whom is a daughter who is already in her fourth year of high school education.

The story concerns this daughter.

The daughter (I'll call her "A" for now) entered fourth year high school at the beginning of the current schoolyear, which is about the second week of June. Like all seniors in this country, she's occupied with trying to decide which colleges and universities to apply at, and she's working hard at reviewing her lessons so that she'll be able to pass the college entrance exams. Now, "A" has a cousin who studies at the country's state university, the University of the Philippines (UP), which is a place that is well-known for good quality education, and for having some of the country's brightest minds serve as professors on campus. The cousin encouraged "A" to take the entrance exam at UP, the UPCAT, and gave her a form to fill out so that she can start her application.

One of the requirements for submitting an application is having the form signed by her current school's principal and guidance counselor.

Now, "A" studies at a certain well-known, but low-quality, public high school in Manila, near my own university, UST. She discussed her plans with her classroom adviser, who encouraged her to take the exam as well. However, when she approached her school's principal and guidance counsellor, who happened to be together in the same office at the time, the principal supposedly took one look at the application form, sneered at "A" and said, "Sigurado ka ba, iha? Anong section mo?" ("Are you sure about this, girl? Which section do you belong to?")

"A" replied, "Section 16 po." (there are 30 sections of fourth year students in their school, by the way)

Principal: "Hah! Ang tindi mo naman mangarap! E yung ngang first section natin na 'Einstein' e hirap na hirap na makapasa dun. Hindi ka na nasasayangan sa gagawin mo e hindi ka naman papasa?" ("Hah! You sure can dream! Why, even the students from our top section 'Einstein' find it very difficult to pass that test. Don't you find what you're about to do wasteful, when you're not even going to pass?")

A: "Sabi naman po ng nanay ko OK lang na subukan ko kasi wala namang mawawala." ("My mom said it's OK to try since there's nothing to lose."

Guidance Counselor: "Anong walang mawawala?? E yung 500 na ibabayad mo sa entrance exam, di ba mawawala yun? Sayang!" ("What do you mean there's nothing to lose?? That 500 pesos that you'll be paying to take the exam, isn't that going to be lost? What a waste!")

At this point, I was told that A was already at the brink of crying. The principal then continued by saying, "TAGA-UP ako. Alam ko yan, at alam kong napaka-hirap nung exam kaya sinasabi ko na sayo ngayon pa lang." ("I myself am from UP. I know those things, and I also know that the exam is very difficult so I'm telling you this now.")

The principal and the conselor then sign the application form, and as the principal hands back the form to the already shaken student, she su]pposedly added, "Ayan, pag sakaling naka-pasa ka, bumalik ka dito at pagtawanan mo ko!" ("Here, if you ever pass, then come back here and laugh at me!")

This broke the poor girl and she burst into tears, since that last statement gave her the idea that even as the form was handed back to her, she was already being laughed at. Probably sensing that they're probably getting into trouble, the principal added a hurried, "Hinde, sinasabi ko lang naman yan kasi concerned ako sayo." ("No, I'm just telling you this because I'm concerned for you.")

"A" walked out of the room and went back to her classroom, still in tears. Along the way, she ran into a teacher (I'm not sure if it's her classroom advisor) who asked why she was crying, so she told the teacher the whole story. After hearing her out, the teacher did her best to comfort "A", but could only say things like, "Hayaan mo na yun. Wag mo na lang pansinin. Pagbutihin mo na lang pag-aaral mo para maka-pasa ka." ("Just let it go. Just ignore them. Just work hard on yuor studies so you can pass the exam.")

After this incident, my mom (who was staying at tita's for a while... as for what she's doing there, that's another long story for another post) observed that "A" who used to be bright and cheerful, suddenly became reclusive and very sensitive, thinking that every remark she hears is directed towards insulting her intelligence. For example, "A" has an elder sister and an elder brother, and like all siblings, they like to joke around and hurl jokes and meaningless insults at eachother from time to time. Nowadays, in the middle of a casual, happy conversation, nonchalant remarks such as "Shunga ka talaga!" ("You dummy!") would suddenly make her angry, and she'd shout at her siblings, saying "Kita mo?? Pati kayo dina-down nyo ko!" ("You see?? Even you guys are bringing me down!").

My mom also observed that for a whole week, "A" would just sit in a corner and refuse to talk to people properly. She also started behaving oddly. For example, in the past, when she wasn't feeling well, she would just walk up to one of her family members and simply say that she had a headache. Right after the incident, when she got a headache, she sat in a corner and just BAWLED and WHINED endlessly and loudly about her headache, while flipped her hair from back to front, in front of her face, and start slowly pulling at strands (the strands aren't pulled OFF though, so that's good).

"A" told only her family about what happened to her and the family is, of course, very angry. Her dad, as well as her sister and brother all want to take action SOMEHOW. The problem is that "A" is very scared that if she tells the story to anyone else, or if she tries to take action against the principal, the principal will somehow get back at her and somehow cause her not to graduate from high school. Hence, the reason why I bothered with the aliases in this story even though I know their full names.

I was also informed that the same incident happened to a second girl who was "A"'s classmate. In a separate incident, the classmate was also trying to have her application form to UP signed by the principal, and she got the same treatment. The difference is that the classmate chose not to tell her family.
End of story? I definitely hope not.

I'm still gathering more data. Dates. Names. All those things.

I've said in a previous entry that I sometimes wished I was Karma personified. Scratch that. Right now, I want to be Righteous, Immediate and Absolute Ass-kicking Vengeance.

But what do we do? Who do we talk to? How do we keep "A" safe from their principal's possible lashback??
ksolaris: (Default)
Gargh.

As you all may have noticed, I haven't been updating my food blog Tanuki no Bento for a VERY long time. The reason for this is that besides the fact that I have adapted to a diet which doesn't require me to eat at work, and hence, doesn't require me to bring food to the office, I have also been struggling to get the look that I want for my blog.

I want to do so many things and add so many elements, but it doesn't seem to be okay with either one of the free blog services that I'm using.

To tally up my issues:

Blogspot version
PROS
  • I'm able to customize the headers and the look of the whole blog
  • Web 2.0 Widgets that I can move around
  • Text widgets that accept java scripts, etc.
  • I don't like the dashboard

CONS
  • I can't "cut" a really long entry under a -More- link (or can I? HOW????? SOMEONE TELL ME!)

WordPress version
PROS
  • I can hide long entries under a -More- link
  • Has a free contact form that can be activated really simply
  • I love, LOVE the dashboard
  • I REALLY like how you add tags and categories on WP

CONS
  • I can't customize it and the free themes are... not to my taste.
  • I can't use scripts for things like Twitter, MyBlogLog, AdSense, etc.

HOW DO I MAKE THIS WORK???

As for WP, I know that the customization bit can be taken care of by getting a host and installing the WP client... which brings me to my next question: Is 110mb.com a host you'd recommend?

I don't even care about getting a domain name right now, that can come much later, but I just want to get the blog itself set up... if I could just set up the look and all, updating regularly isn't really a problem for me. Now, on 110MB.com, it turns out that though the space and bandwidth is free, I have to pay $9.95 to activate MySQL and get WP to actually work. Is it worth it? And how hard of a job is this to do? WIll I need a degree for this task???

I'd hate to spend money on this only to find out that there's no way I can make heads or tails of the whole thing. If I would ultimately end up not being able to do this afterall, then I'd rather spend the money on food. Hehehehehe....

Sigh.

I'm admittedly a non-techie person, and to be honest, I've already spouted more jargon in this entry than what's healthy. I can almost feel the blood threatening to spurt out of my nose now. Can someone please explain this to me in K-friendly terms? T_T I feel so dumb.

Help. T_T

----------------------------------------

EDIT: I forgot to mention that another thing that I absolutely love about WordPress is the fact that you can make PAGES!! And that is just awesome. Now if only WP wasn't such a prick with third-party scripts and all... T_T

Oh, and I also had to mention that this is probably my first post EVAR that makes use of the Rich Text version instead of the HTML version. Hehe.
ksolaris: (Default)
For the first time in my life, it has actually occurred to me, without any outside influence whatsoever, that I need to get my hair fixed at a salon. Yes, I'm actually telling MYSELF, that I need to go to a SALON and get pretty-fied.

Oh boy. O_O;;;;

Anyway, here's the thing: As you all know, I have naturally curly hair, and last May, thanks to Ian's mom, I had my hair rebonded and it then turned into this shiny, silky, super-straight mass that I love. Unfortunately... well... hair grows back. Had there been a way for me to tell my hair "STOP RIGHT THERE!", I would have done it.

Now, the strands from my forehead down to the area just above my ear is curly/wavy, and then SHLICK! it suddenly goes oh-so-straight after that point, and even I have to admit that it's really starting to look awkward. So, I decided that before the year ends, I want to get my hair fixed because I want to greet the new year looking as utterly fabulous as I can possibly survive.

As for what I want right now, I want to go by Lem's suggestion and crop my hair short, and I'm actually willing to even go for a boy-cut or a bob at this point because I feel particularly rebellious right now (more on that on another, more emo-touchy entry), and I also simply want to try something that I've never tried before, EVER.

Besides chopping my hair off, I'm also considering getting it permed (digital or otherwise) and even colored, should my wallet allow it. I'm currently trying to avoid the silky-straight look so that if my hair grows back again, I don't have to worry about it much. Hehe...

Anyway, flist, I need your help with trying to pick a hairstyle. I found some pictures off the internet that I can print out later and bring to the salon as reference once I've decided. But I have no idea what looks good on me! T_T

So far, here's what I've got:
20 choices under the cut )

There. So please, please do let me know what you think! I really need help with picking something out. ^___^

Also, any suggestions on which salons I should go to? I'm suddenly feeling this hankering NEED for a trusted stylist...

I'm willing to spend more than I would normally allow, just this once, because I really want to look good and be happy with the results. Plus, remember, this is a FIRST for me, so I want to make it as pleasantly memorable as I possibly can, even if my wallet will end up crying for a while. If it takes Franck Provost's students to tame my hair, then I will gladly save up for the next two years so that I can go to them again.
ksolaris: (Default)
(If you can't see the poll embeded below because you're viewing this post on Multiply, you can check here --> LINK)


Hehehehe... nawwwww... a mini-tripod, rechargeable batteries and more Krispy Kreme sounds better, ne? Unless I am swayed... Har har.... XD XD
ksolaris: (Default)
I'm currently trying to get hold of some cards and I was wondering if I could ask for some help. If you guys know of any suppliers or if you actually have these cards, please email me at ksolaris (at) gmail (dot) com, or send me a message via LJ's messaging system, and let's talk. ^______^v

Any edition would do, as long as it's in mint to near-mint condition. It would be great if I could get hold of the Time Spiral edition, though.

Thanks! ^_^
ksolaris: (Default)
I just learned the other day that Heny Sison will be opening a culinary school at the fifth floor of WalterMart Makati, and I'm very tempted to take classes. What's keeping me from signing up right now is my schedule (my new days off would now be Wednesdays and Thursdays), and my budget, considering the fact that classes range from 1000 to 5000 pesos per session.

I've set my sights on the November 29 class on Japanese Healthy Food with Chef Koichi Kondo, and it's a 6-hour course that costs 2000 pesos. I got a copy of the course though, and I'm now wondering if it would be possible for me to just get the recipes online and then study it myself through sheer trial and error (which is how I learned how to cook almost everything that I know how to cook). Other courses that I'm considering would be:

- Thai cooking, 1700 pesos per course. There are 2 courses for a total of 6 hours.
- Souffle basics, 1850 for a 6-hour course.
- Belgian Waffles and omelettes, 1000 pesos for a 4-hour course.

All courses promise to be hands-on, and I was informed that the fee includes payment for the ingredients.

Now, can anyone tell me if these courses are actually worth it? And which course should I go for? (Let's assume I have money by then, okay? :D)
ksolaris: (Default)
- This may be the last time I'll be posting using our own internet connection, as we will have to tell PLDT to stop the service soon since we're leaving Palm Tower. We're not sure if we can afford to have our account continued at the new place. We'll have to check our finances first.

- This will be the most hectic week for us, what with the tasks involved with MOVING OUT (and dealing with another prick of a landlord... I swear, landladies are so much easier to deal with...), the actual task of HAULING THINGS back and forth, and then there's the tasks involved with MOVING IN to the new place. All that on top of various forms of paperwork, bills, and our jobs, as well as the need to eat and sleep. So, if I don't reply to emails, etc, for the next two weeks or so, you now know why. My cellphone, on the other hand, is always on, so you know how to reach us if you need to.

- We will be going fridge-less for the first month or so of our stay at the new place because our current fridge needs to retire after five years (or more... I got it second-hand) of loyal service.

- I will be pushing my luck by saying: If anyone has any of these which you no longer use and would like to donate, we would love you forever. Haha!

+++ Beanbags
+++ a small fridge (hehehehe....)
+++ a PC chair (ours is begging to snap in half soon)
+++ a book shelf (the one we have isn't enough anymore, I think)
+++ a starbucks 2007 planner (wala lang.)

Yes, K is delusional once again.

On a side note... K's phrase of the day: "Look, I bought a pigball!!"

LMAO.

Basta.

-----------------

I'll be lying low on the bento posts as well. Actually, I have several picture sets that I still want to post and are just patiently waiting in my Photobucket account, but ever since some friends have pointed out a bad mistake that I've been doing which involves the use of furikake (hello, [livejournal.com profile] khursten, [livejournal.com profile] magnetic_rose... ^_^;;;;) I've gotten a little shy about it.

Hehe. Yeah, I still have some dignity left around here somewhere, I think.

Anyway, they're still food pics, so I'll be posting those up once we aren't going insane from the move anymore. Sayang e. ^_^;;
ksolaris: (Default)
I want to brush up on what little Japanese I know (I'm lucky I still recognize katakana and hiragana and some dum-dum kanji...), but I don't have money or time to enroll at a proper language school - and to think we live so close to Nihonggo Gakko here in Makati...

By the way, does anyone recommend that place..? I'm considering it in the way future.

Can anyone recommend to me a site or some books that I could use besides the usual tourist-help guides? I sort of want to go a bit further beyond asking where the toilet is, how much the fried chicken costs, and if it's okay to feed the animals. XD

Speaking of which... I really wouldn't want this to happen to me... XD

----------------------

What the eff...?



Um. Okay... if you say so.

LMAO!!!!!

That made my day.

Right. Back to work.
ksolaris: (Default)
I suck.

I haven't tweaked my own journal layout for over a year now since Ian has been doing it for me, but it occured to me last night to mess with it on my own. And yeah, I messed it up.

My LJ can currently be viewed the way I want it on IE, but Firefox just ruins everything. T_T

I just want the contents on my LJ on the right side (as it is on IE), but it insists on staying on the left when viewed with Firefox. Argh.

Anyone know how to work around this? T__________T

New icons that I made, by the way. Hehehe...


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