Friday, August 29, 2008

Money Blues and a Damnable Flu

I just got my salary yesterday, all 4 digits of it and now it's gone.... like a fantasy bubble that I just thought I had. Of course, I used it to pay for gym membership and bought a week's groceries. Also a couple of magazines from Booksale and I now barely have enough for tomorrow's lunch with the girls and defintely nothing for the book club gimik on Sept. 20. And what about my transpo allowance? Nada. I wouldn't be able to afford a Siomai House pack by next week. Hay. It sucks to be on the low-paying end of the salary spectrum.

I wish that loan could get paid already. My life's going nowhere this way. The DLSU stint is like a lifeline for my social life and it sucks everytime the term is over. All that's keeping my moving is the thought that the term will start on Sept. 13 and I'l have a little breathing space again.

I don't know how else to save... I'm downloading books from the net for goodness sake. Am sacrificing my eyes by reading e-books instead of buying the real thing. All the goodies I get to buy myself are bought for me by my younger sister. How embarassing can that get?

But my whining in this venue will probably get me nowhere. Just needed to unload my money blues so I can focus on my damn health.

I have the flu again and every part of my body just about radiates pain. And I thought I'm getting stronger by hitting the gym everyday. I had to absent myself from work today and where will that get me in the money department? Siyempre bawas na naman sa suweldo.

My life is falling apart and I absolutely have no idea what bamboo sticks or toothpick to use to keep it standing up. I'm grasping at straws here and it wouldn't be so bad if somebody up there sends a little help.

Don't get me wrong, God had given me a strong rope as lifeline the past few months. It's keeping me afloat. The problem with afloat is --- you don't get anywhere. I'm beginning to wonder if I'll ever see dry land again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

101 Romantic Ideas

Blame it on a flash of temporary insanity when I decided to download this pdf on romantic ideas. Reading through it felt silly, especially since about 90% of the ideas were as mushy as ground corn meal swimming in milk with copious amount of sugar that could calcify your veins and will make you an instant attraction to giant fire ants. But not all of them were bad. There were some which sounded interesting and ---- potentially cute.

Here's a rundown of what's cute or mush out of the list:

100% MUSH

If your partner is going away for a few days, tell her that you are worried about her so you have organized a bodyguard to look after her. Then give her a small teddy bear.(Just make sure there's not hidden cameras in the cutie)

Photocopy your hand and fax a copy of it to your partner with a message saying, "Do ya wanna hold hands?" (Is it just me or this sounds autistic?)

Next time you order a pizza, ask to have it cut into a heart shape before it is delivered to your home. (Can you imagine the curses you'd solicit from the doughmaker? "What do those SOBs think pizza is made of? Play dough?")

Idea # 69
Create a personalized magazine cover for your partner. To do this, get hold of a good quality photo of her and a copy of a popular entertainment magazine.

Take these two items to a print shop or graphic design agency. Ask them to
scan your partner's photo and develop a magazine cover with the lead story
being, "The 30 most beautiful women of 2003".

When you get the cover, stick it on the front of a real magazine and ask your
local shop owner whether you can place it in the magazine rack. Organize to
meet your partner at the shop before going out. When she arrives, tell her
that you are just looking for a magazine. Let her browse the rack and
discover her magazine.

Idea #77
Even if you are just going down the road to buy some milk, act as though you
are returning home after a major adventure. Say something like, "Well it was touch and go there for a while with the snow and the wolves but I made it!" and then give your partner a huge bear hug. (Also a good way of knowing if your boyfriend's a drama king.)

Give your partner a magic gift box. Every month, place a new small gift in the box for her to discover. (Perfect if you're a Zobel de Ayala)

When you are relaxing at home one night, take two large sheets of paper and some pencils or crayons. On each piece of paper, draw the outline of a large crystal ball sitting on a stand. Tell your partner to look into her crystal ball and draw what she sees five years in the future. Do the same thing yourself and then come together to share and discuss your drawings. (I bet this is how Dr. Phil does it)

Idea #101
Serve your partner breakfast in bed. Try the following:
(1) A poached egg in the shape of a heart - you can pick up a heart shaped
poacher at most shops that sell kitchen wares. (Again, with the heart thing. You don't actually love with your heart, right? But I guess it's always easier to shape a heart than a hypothalamus)
(2) French toast with cinnamon and maple syrup.
(3) Cereal.
(4) Fruit juice.
(5) A fresh flower.

P.S. What is the shape of the hypothalamus anyway?


If your partner has to work late, take a lunch box and fill it with some of her favorite things such as chocolates, herbal tea, cookies, a small teddy bear. Next, get a piece of paper and write "Michelle's Late Night Survival Pack" Draw a big red cross below this and stick the paper to the top of the box. Tell your partner to open the box when things get really tough.

If you are walking by a park, visit the swings and give your partner a ride. This will often bring back happy memories from her childhood.

If your partner has long hair, take the time to brush it using long slow strokes.

Idea #49
Next time it is raining really heavily, go for a walk with your partner. Forget the umbrellas and the raincoats. Run through the streets together, jump in puddles and get totally saturated.
Pick her up, twirl her around and kiss her while the rain falls. Taste the water off her face and hold her close.

On a hot summers day, buy two large water pistols and take them to the beach with you.
Pull them out and throw one to your partner and then have a huge water fight.

Spend a leisurely afternoon with your partner in a large book shop such as Borders where you can browse the shelves, share a coffee and sit down to peruse your purchases.


I’m going out on a limb here and divulge some of the ideas I thought romantic while growing up. Some of them I still hold on to. Some of them have made appearances in stories I wrote. None of them, however, came true yet. Hehehe!

Buy packs and packs of M&Ms and a see-thru jar of cookies. Then fill up the jar with BLUE candies only. All the rest you can keep for yourself (Nice!). Or, I just thought of this, to be cost-effective you can buy another jar and fill it with red M&Ms next time. Ha!

Give him a stuffed toy you had as a kid. The idea of your manly boy cuddling up to your plushy bear is cute.

Surprise him by offering to shave his stubble--- shaving cream and all. You’d have to be extra careful as the whole operation can be very delicate.

The next time you both head out to the beach, hug him while in the water or ask him to float beside you and share the moment’s peace.

Praise him for something good he did and punctuate it by squeezing his hands and kissing his cheeks.

I think the most important factor is the candidness of the whole thing. Once you over-plan it, it gets kind of stale and corny. Of course, that’s just my idea. Not as if I’m the world’s expert on romantic ideas. Feel free to share some of yours… if you dare.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Man is an Island

“No man, proclaimed Donne, is an island, and he was wrong. If we were not islands, we would be lost, drowned in each other’s tragedies. We are insulated (a word that means, literally, remember, made into an island) from the tragedy of others, by our island nature, and by the repetitive shape and form of the stories. The shape does not change: there was a human being who was born, lived, and then, by some means or another, died. There. You may fill in the details from your own experience. As unoriginal as any other tale, as unique as any other life…

Without individuals we see only numbers: a thousand dead, a hundred thousand dead, ‘casualties may rise to a million.’ With individual stories, the statistics become people–but even that is a lie, for people continue to suffer in numbers that themselves are numbing and meaningless. Look, see the child’s swollen, swollen belly, and the flies that crawl at the corners of his eyes, his skeletal limbs: will it make it easier for you to know his name, his age, his dreams, his fears?…

We draw our lines around these moments of pain, remain upon our islands, and they cannot hurt us. They are covered with a smooth, safe, nacreous layer to let them slip, pearllike, from our souls without real pain.

Fiction allows us to slide into these other heads, these other places, and look out through other eyes. And then in the tale we stop before we die, or we die vicariously and unharmed, in the world beyond the tale we turn the page or close the book, and we resume our lives.
And life that is, like any others, unlike any other.”

–Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Who freakin' said we can't learn from fantasy novels?

Who Should've Play Edward Cullen?

We already know whose career will skyrocket after having been casted as Twilight's Edward Cullen and Robert Pattinson it is.

But they said there were better actors who should've played the part. These were the nominees :(and my commentaries)
GASPARD ULLIEL: french actor who I think is a little too boyish (and constipated) for the part

Tom Sturridge: Except for the fact that he looks like a hotter Brad Renfro, I have to agree he would've been a nice Edward.

Hayden Christiansen: Cast only if your character needs zero emotional breadth and depth.

Much as I love him, Zac Efron is not beautiful. He's just cute.. and it's hard to dissociate him from the rolickin' roles he played in High School Musical and Hairspray. He will make a great Jesse for the Mediator series though (if they'll be making a movie at all).


I decided to give Twilight another chance. I read it again over the weekend, and just like before it was painful to read the book from cover to cover. I have read longer novels in a day, so length isn't the issue. It's the writing.

Don't flame me for this: I still think the writing is awful. Yet I've read somewhere that some books aren't perfectly written, but if the idea hits something interesting, it's gold. So Twilight is really poorly written, the dialogues doesn't have a natural feel to it (as if everyone is put upon), not to mention that Edward and Bella's lines were overkill most of the time, but I guess it was descriptive enough to have sparked the imagination of thousands worldwide.

I have to admit that for a writer, that's the point. You share a story, and people like it and the characters you made will live forever in their imaginations. If we look at it that way, Meyer has done an amazing feat. And as the trend in H-wood dictates: for every successful publication, a movie shall follow.

I'm sure Mariel is delirious about the upcoming movie. I heard there were some heated debate about who should play Edward Cullen. It was a hard role to fill, I'm sure, after having been described in the book as "so beautiful it hurts the eyes" "dangerous and beautiful" and "inhumanly perfect" (see what corn mush the book has? a bit of a hard-sell for beauty, as if there aren't any other words). Of course that's not Robert Pattinson (remember Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter?). That's nobody alive or human. Nobody Hollywood can pay to act in a movie. But Bella is perfect. I saw this girl (Kristen Stewart) in Zathura and I already thought she was cute but edgy. I like her as Bella.

The movie press pics are great. I think Twilight found its element here. It sucks as a book, but it might just be a great movie. Overkill and all.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Scarves Again

I don't know if it's a weakening of will... but last Saturday, I saw this absolutely gorgeous scarf at Zara. It isn't the ethnic type thing you see nowadays... it's aubergine and beautifully woven. It was also darn expensive, but I was in love. I was lost the moment tried it on and saw how I look like Paddington Bear.
Of course it would be silly if I wear it around my neck like an actual scarf seeing it's always so hot. That's why I just drape it around my shoulders like a more manageable, less manang shawl. It's lovely.
I love my Zara scarf. Love it, love it.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Laugh Trip...Not

A couple on the bus this morning was watching a comedian’s performance, which they recorded on their cell phone. Aside from the fact that they were playing it uber-loud, I also got irritated with the kind of jokes the crackpot was making. He was just dissing people and the way they look. He was also heaping lots of insults on his partner -- some of them going as low as calling the other person a type of fecal matter. The amazing thing is, the couple were laughing hard at the jokes.

What the freak was so funny about it?

I have a long list of things I’m taking umbrage about, but for the sake of brevity, let me just highlight the important ones:

1} Why would I pay to enter a club where I know I’ll be dissed on or just end up watching other people be dissed? We seem to have the taste for watching people burn for being who they are. And I thought the days of slapstick comedy were already thankfully over. Other people’s humiliation serves as fodder for our heartiest laughter, and if that’s not just plain cruel, then at the very least, it’s stupid.

I know we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously, and learn to laugh at ourselves. But I wonder how many people pay to be dissed and how many pay because they know other people will be dissed as well? I am yet to meet someone who can laugh heartily when being criticized, even if it was only to humor people. Most of the time they cringe or smile shyly or turn apple red with embarrassment. But when other people’s turn come up, they’d be the first to lose breath while ROTFL. Which proves what, I wonder?

2} Wasn’t it said that only dumb people talk about other people? Comment on the weather, why don’t you, then give us some real wit, but razing another person is inane. You know the TV series Last Comic Standing? I loved the finalists on the show. Especially the ones where they were just commenting on things they have observed or personally experienced. Now, that is funny. It’s witty and smart and relevant. Mean can be funny; sarcastic can be funny; but turn it unto yourself, not other people. I mean if I was, for some godforsaken reason, stuck inside a comedy bar and some gay diva dressed as Tina Turner starts toasting my tooshie, fur will fly count on it. I will rip her/his false eyelashes off and pull his nose hair with a pair of tweezers I keep handy for moments just like that. Sing, dance the Macarena, share how you burned your toast this morning while gawking at your hot neighbor, but please keep the jokes within 2 yards of yourself. Keep us out of it.
3} ABOVE THEM ALL, I just don’t like the idea of promoting the idea of commenting on personal appearances or exaggerated insults as a form of entertainment. What we amuse ourselves with becomes hardwired into the brain after a while. Do you want mean people walking the streets commenting on how painfully stretched your skirt is over you humongous butt? No. Nobody does.
Let’s not condone cruel humor because nobody wants to live in a world full of spiteful halfwits.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dream Idealists

Mariel took this test, and I decided to give it a go. And it's FREAKY. I love Psychology. :P

The test is at:

Dreamy Idealists are very cautious and therefore often appear shy and reserved to others. They share their rich emotional life and their passionate convictions with very few people. But one would be very much mistaken to judge them to be cool and reserved. They have a pronounced inner system of values and clear, honourable principles for which they are willing to sacrifice a great deal. Joan of Arc or Sir Galahad would have been good examples of this personality type. Dreamy Idealists are always at great pains to improve the world.

They can be very considerate towards others and do a lot to support them and stand up for them. They are interested in their fellow beings, attentive and generous towards them. Once their enthusiasm for an issue or person is aroused, they can become tireless fighters.For Dreamy Idealists, practical things are not really so important. They only busy themselves with mundane everyday demands when absolutely necessary. They tend to live according to the motto “the genius controls the chaos” - which is normally the case so that they often have a very successful academic career. They are less interested in details; they prefer to look at something as a whole. This means that they still have a good overview even when things start to become hectic. However, as a result, it can occasionally happen that Dreamy Idealists overlook something important. As they are very peace-loving, they tend not to openly show their dissatisfaction or annoyance but to bottle it up. Assertiveness is not one of their strong points; they hate conflicts and competition.

Dreamy Idealists prefer to motivate others with their amicable and enthusiastic nature. Whoever has them as superior will never have to complain about not being given enough praise.

As at work, Dreamy Idealists are helpful and loyal friends and partners, persons of integrity. Obligations are absolutely sacred to them. The feelings of others are important to them and they love making other people happy. They are satisfied with just a small circle of friends; their need for social contact is not very marked as they also need a lot of time to themselves. Superfluous small talk is not their thing. If one wishes to be friends with them or have a relationship with them, one would have to share their world of thought and be willing to participate in profound discussions. If you manage that you will be rewarded with an exceptionally intensive, rich partnership. Due to their high demands on themselves and others, this personality type tends however to sometimes overload the relationship with romantic and idealistic ideas to such an extent that the partner feels overtaxed or inferior. Dreamy Idealists do not fall in love head over heels but when they do fall in love they want this to be a great, eternal love.

Adjectives which describe your type: introverted, theoretical, emotional, spontaneous, idealistic, dreamy, effusive, pleasant, reserved, friendly, passionate, loyal, perfectionist, helpful, creative, composed, curious, obstinate, with integrity, willing to make sacrifices, romantic, cautious, shy, peace-loving, vulnerable, sensitive, communicative, imaginative

These subjects could interest you: literature, philosophy, psychology, music, art (museums), writing, drawing/painting, astrology, spiritual things, meditation, handicrafts, writing, voluntary work

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Sister's Grown-Up Job: A Story With Pictures

My sister and I share the same ride to work. We both need to rise up early: so she rises at 5 a.m. and I rise at 5:45. Regardless of starting time, we both finish by 6:10 a.m. We catch our bus to Manila and sleep with her head on my shoulder and my cheek on her head during the ride. We wake up 1 ½ hours later usually within the vicinity of Quiapo. We grab hold of our bags and finally go down at Lawton. This is where our paths diverge: I would help her call an FX because she still needs to go to Vito Cruz and where she’ll catch another jeep going to the Senate. From there, I could only imagine the types of things she needs to do to survive a day’s work inside a senator’s office. From what she says, it isn’t anything like the government offices I have had the chance to observe: city halls, or bureaus, or department offices --- where the employees give each other pedicures and sell tocino to anyone. They do the real hard work because the Senator needs information 24/7. As part of the research and legal team, she needs to be toiling industriously and patiently.

This morning, I helped her get the usual FX and watched her get settled inside. Afterwards, I waved goofily at her in an attempt to make her smile. She only rolled her eyes at me instead. I bet she was conscious of the other passengers who were also looking at me as if I’m an alien from Saturn. Me? Embarassed? Nope, I flashed my most winsome smile (gums and all) and practically bounced to Intramuros where I hailed a pedicab to work.

I do have to wonder though, the differences between my sister and me. It is true that people mistake her for the elder sister. She’d grimace every time she’s told this, of course, but she seems pretty much resigned to the fact. Me, I think it’s funny, except that I can’t help wonder if it’s a good thing. Ella is almost a foot shorter than I am, so if my sheer height and girth can’t convince them of my age, then there must be something else. It’s either I look stupider or more carefree. I like to think it’s pure hakuna matata that’s making me look younger. No wonder then my job doesn’t feel as grown-up as my sister’s.

I mean really, she’s the type to do this at work:

And I’m like this:

I wear rubber shoes to work (makes it easier to go to the gym afterwards):

And she whines because her feet hurts in these shoes:

On weekends, I frolic like this:

While Ella lives in constant trepidation that her phone will ring and her boss will ask for some obscure document which she’ll need to email now, now, now:

I don’t know. In some dark corner of my self, I know this is unfair to her. I should be the one getting the early on-set of wrinkles because of worrying.

I can’t do it though. I mean, I’m not exactly reckless, I do my family right when it comes to my responsibilities. But I have decided a long time ago that I will NOT carry the world’s burden on my shoulders. I’m wondering if I should have been something different.

Less of a bubble and more of a brick. Less of the bounce and more of the march. Less of the Liv and more of the Ms. Burgos.

I don’t know. My sister’s grown up job stares me at the face and I just scratch my head. Her job is always urgent and formal and so high-flying. Just like a grown-up job should be. I know I contribute more to world peace than an accountant ever could, but why does it have to feel like they are the ones doing the real jobs? Meanwhile, my time spent with the poor and the children looks like kid’s play.

What gives?


Ang aking kapatid ay mahilig sa kagamitang kalimbahin.
(My sister likes pink things.)
Who knew, right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Marks

Marks & Spencer

It was my first time to buy clothes from Marks & Spencer. They have always been such an expensive store with blouses never costing less than Php 1,750. I know. I checked. This had always been a bummer because some of their styles are really nice, and they have sizes up to 22. I wondered how it feels to buy something from a nice store and not have to be looked at as if I asked for size 110.

Thanks to the super sale they held recently, now I know. It was breathtaking. They had dresses going as low as 350 and the cashmilon sweater I bought only cost me Php 525. That’s even cheaper than I can buy it in SM!

I did something risky though. I bought clothes one size down from my actual. I needed real motivation to get fit, and the thought of the soft turquoise sweater and the cute pleated black skirt and how I’d look in it would be a good addition to the cheerleading retinue. Damn, I wanna fit in that now, now, NOW.

Mark Ruffalo

I know he’s 40 and married with 3 kids, but I just can’t help but think he’s hot. Or were. Or whatever. I like the fact that 3 times in a row, he portrayed the kind of man I want to marry: sweet, funny, thoughtful and self-deprecating without losing self-confidence. Remember these chick flicks? 13 Going 30 (with Jennifer Garner), Just Like Heaven (with Reese Witherspoon) and Rumor Has It (with Jennifer Aniston)? Every time, he played the nice boy, the boy-next-door type which has always been a charmer for me. I recently watched the Jennifer Aniston flick on DVD and I can’t help but remember how intensely cute Mark can be. Hay.

I heard he had a brain tumor and had it removed in 2002. He got partial face paralysis because of its removal, when in fact it turned out to be benign. That must have been why he’s not been around lately. But if rumors were any indication, he’d be resurfacing some time soon with 3 new movies. I hope so. I really do.

I’ll pay every damn cent to see it.

Leaving a Mark

My problem is that, I don’t feel any pressure to write down the book. My supposed anthology is still floating in the creative universe because I can’t find the discipline to actually write it down. I don’t know why I ever believed I could get it written anyway. All I know is that the moment I realized I like to write, I immediately leapt to the idea that it was the way I was supposed to leave my mark in the world. I still feel that way. But dang it… It’s getting harder as the years pass me by.

Calling on the Muses… don’t let me be a fallen one. I mean, it would be tragic if I have the disposition of a writer (mood swings, temporary depression, insanity without the actual output. That’s like getting the luck to ride on the right bus, but all 4 tires burst in the middle of nowhere, before getting anywhere.

That will suck, big time.

Mark my Spot

I’m a little confused about my blog. When I put it up, all I wanted was an outlet for all the pesky words buzzing inside my head. I had to let them out somehow; the words inside me were drowning me like you couldn’t believe. I’ve also let myself believe that it would be good practice while I’m not yet writing the book. This was freaking 2004. 4years later, I’m still practicing.

The blog. Okay. You see, in the Pinoy Blogosphere, blogs have a purpose. The clearer the purpose, the higher the reading audience. Sure, I’ve been blogging way before they even knew what blogspot was, but it seems that my lack of direction has left me eating their space dust.

There’s this guy I met in 2003, who now happens to be one of the heavyweights in the blogging circle. His site is focused on photography, and sometimes food and IT. I don’t know, maybe it’s also because he’s the networking type, but he’s in a circle far more powerful than most. And me? All the circles I’ve got are the ones I drew on the dust.

I’m asking if I should even care. I mean, I wanted to be read. But I’m having a hard time pinning my interests to just one thing. I’ve always had this dilemma growing up. I didn’t know what I wanted to be because I don’t know what I love doing the most. Being a Jane-of-All-Trade isn’t such a hot thing to be growing up, be sure of that. You’re just mostly confused.

And thus, my confused blog still baffles.

Bear with me. I’ll hit the spot, mark my word. It might just take me a century to find it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I Want To Believe

What I remember about X-Files is that it scared the heck out of me and I liked it. Looking back, I probably did not understand most of what was going on in the plots but it made me feel wonderment, and that was enough. The series itself primed me for my eventual taste for things fantastic. X-Files taught me to believe. :)

Yeah, I was a nerd, how many times do I need to repeat this?

Ella and I watched the new X-Files movie, and well, we did it for good times' sake. It made us remember our childhood to watch Dana and Fox do their investigative dance on the big screen. I realized we only understood a part of it when Ella surprisingly remarked, "Doctor pala si Scully?"

Uh, yeah, hello?!? But then I totally forgot that Mulder was into the X-Files because he was trying to find his sister who he believed was abducted by aliens. How could I have forgotten that, right? I mean, really.

Now, about the movie: Duchovny was quoted that the new movie is clever and complicated. I agree on one count: it is complicated. But I can't shake the feeling that it was so mababaw for the big-screen. It's an okay plot for TV, but I was expecting something mind-blowing for the movie. Twists and turns does not a great mystery movie make. There's also the quality of cleverness which would make people see the twists as "Wow!" and the turns as "I never saw that coming!" You can see the things coming from seven miles away. I was sitting inside the movie theater and I made a game out of predicting the next probable scenes.

1> Testing the Psychic... so obvious. Bring him to the wrong house and see if he recognizes the place. So NYPD Blue.
2> Blood from the eyes everytime psychic gets visions.... good thing they restrained themselves from portraying the head lolling and eye rolling shenanigans.
3> Dana Scully.... still an unbeliever. I mean, newsflash. She's still rigid.
4> Mulder.... from the beard to the wide-eyed " I Wanna Believe" modicum... right on cue everytime.
5> The Russians. Sure, make them the villains. I mean, Russians... Hollywood's been doing that since forever. Can't the Polynesians have their time? (I suppose it's because Stem Research ain't so hot in Micronesia)

But to the good points now: What's clever is that it made me sit up and notice Stem Cell Research. I slept through most of STS (Science and Technology and Society) course in UP, so the chop-chop person aspect was interesting at least.

I'm just glad it's not about aliens this time. I think we have enough "darkness" on earth and amidst humans without bringing in the problems of species from outer space.

And of course, the Dana-Fox action: nothing hot and steamy. They're older now, so the plot settled for the sweet and sentimental. Yeah, 8 years, and I still think Dana and Fox should be XOXO forever. Some youthful sentiments die hard.

Watch it if only for bringing back the good ole days of yore.


The movie was more of this:

And absolutely none of this:

The repressed aspect of my self is very, very disappointed. But the optimistic romantic aspect is like hurraying til her voice gets hoarse.

Well, that's just me and my multiple personalities acting up. Don't you be bothered about it.

Post Script on X FIles

Wait, I just remembered something:

Near the end of the investigation, Dana and Fox were having LQ and Mulder was being very stubborn. Dana ended up saying: "Your stubbornness, it's what made me fall in love with you."

I know a couple of very, very stubborn men, and I ... I want to kill them everytime they stand up against me. The nerve. Huh. Who knew that was attractive?

But then I guess life wouldn't be half as interesting if I always get siomai and never have anyone force, let's say, pork tonkatsu down my gullet.

Come to think of it, malleable men are really boring, eh? If I want malleable, I should marry Gumby, right?

Stubborn men. Interesting. Thanks for the tip, Dana.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chick Lit...A Hesitant Convert

How can you be hot and successful at the same time? It's not fair. Hmp. So, okay. I'm a bit green right now because, obviously, I want her life --- but of course, not in the i'll-steal-your-soul kind of way.

Meg Cabot is probably one of the, if not the, most successful teen lit writer in the US. Almost a third of her novels are being written into scripts for TV and the big screen. And the thing that really gets me is that, her story lines are fairly simple and general. So simple that they were actually my basic fantasies back when I WAS a teenager myself. The thing is, she managed to hold on to all of the nuances and was hardworking enough to write it.

I mean, hello, an ugly duckling who finds out she's really a princess? (See Princess Diaries) Moving into a new home and meeting a really hot ghost? (See The Mediator). Mine, mine too. What is amazing is that, she probably isn't even Gifted... you know, a real mediator or psychic or a medium... and I freaking am!!!! Well, I am a LITTLE.

Anyhow, it doesn't stop me from enjoying some of her books. I like the 1-800-Where-R-U series and I think I would like the Mediator (Hot ectoplasmic boy alert!!) .

And I thought I was regressing when I started reading Harry Potter. Look at this cover. It's probably something that will attract 8-year-olds. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm really growing up at all.

Other Teen Lit Favourites:

Sarah Dessen

This book down here made me feel all tingly in my tummy. Read it too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Other Harry

This Harry isn't British. Nor has he been to a real school. Actually, he never finished high school. He's American, and he's a stickler for rescuing damsels in distress. He puts his foot in ditches he could've steered the hell clear of, except that he's got an irrational desire to protect mankind from forces beyond their control.

This Harry is a Messy. But he's got sprites and house elves doing the cleaning and exterminating in his basement flat currently untouched by electricity. He makes appliances go awry and he doesn't own a cellphone. He doesn't have a piece of wood with phoenix feathers as core, he lugs around a hockey stick as a staff. This Harry isn't adolescent angsty. He's just angsty, but with a brilliant sense of humor and wit.

This Harry describes mortals as ostriches with our heads in the sand. He says we don't know magic even if we sense it because we believe that seeing is believing. And since vision is just one of the functioning senses, we miss out on the other senses which tells we are living in a dangerous world. We choose not to see. That way we can live.

He's just the only advertised wizard in the Chicago phone directory. Well, he's got to earn a living, right? And most importantly (at least for me), he isn't wizard jailbait. :)

Hay. Call it the geek in me, but I still can't shake off my tendency to fall in love with book characters. In fairness, I never had a crush on Austen's Mr. Darby ( a pansy) or Bronte's Heathcliff (a lunatic). But I wanted to meet Lucy Montogomery's Gilbert and Walter. I wanted to be swept off my feet by Aragorn. And now, I want to marry Harry Dresden.

This moony-eyed post is brought about my sheer luck of finding an e-book of Jim Butcher's latest Dresden book entitled "Small Favor" yesterday. I have bought every one of the first 9 books, and I have been scouring bookstores the last 2months for the latest in the series. And just like magic, it drops on my lap, just like that. I still intend to buy the hard copy, but that's probably going to reach the Philippines months from now. For now though, my heart is sated.

Now, I need to get back to reality where real (but un-Harry like) men must be found. In reality, I don't think I can stand the stubborn types anyway. But in my dreams, they can always make me smile.... :)

Taken from the novel Dead Beat, when Harry re-animated the T-Rex bones found in a Chicago Museum. I found this to be one of the more memorable and funniest moments in the book.

TV's Harry Dresden is a little too clean for the Harry I imagined. But to be fair, Paul Blackthorner (the actor) is almost as dark handsome as I expected. Except for the hair. Harry in the book has long curling hair, and was not prematurely balding. :) Oh, and the hockey stick is the staff, you know, for doing "wingardium leviosa" stuff.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I Don't Get It


What is this fashion trend? Who started it? I see boys nowadays with ethnic scarves around their necks. This is an okay fashion if you're not short. Otherwise, you all look like Yodas and sherpas. Ang init kaya... and it looks like overlarge bibs.

So again, I ask:


Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Song... Finally!

Argh!!! I finally found it! I found the song I've been OC-ing for the last few days. It's It Can Only Get Better by Charice Pempengco. Hay... I can sleep better now... Love the song although I don't like the girl... a little too smug for my taste.

Let the sun refuse to shine
It won't be long before the days are brighter
If every step's an uphill climb, oohh
Carry on until they feel much lighter

For all the clouds up in the sky, oohh
For all the teardrops in our eyes
It can get only get better
Be still my heart
It can only get better

We've come this far
It can only get better
I know it hurts
For what it's worth
It can only get better

If he should ever come our way
Dry the tears and look somewhere above him
Might be easier to say than to do
But just pretend that you no longer love him

When your back's against the ropes, oohh
When you miss someone the most
It can get only get better

Be still my heart
It can only get better
We've come this far
It can only get better I know it hurts
For what it's worth
It can only get better...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cool Duds


Armani dresses are amazing. I only wish I could afford one, much more fit into one. But I would be trifle wary buying it from him personally. I'd be scared he'd want to Harry Potter me. You know, like, eat my soul.

Here's Voldy. Thanks Elisita for the pic.

Sir Ian's a Gun!

He can get a hot boyfriend, and I can't? Where's the justice?

Awww... sweet. Damn it.

I Think I Will....

Open a Multiply Bookstore

Browsing through my Multiply contacts, I saw Jamie's Serendipity Store and I realized how cool the whole thing was. She sells fashion items... all of them for affordable prices. And she even has the whole delivery scheme figured out. :) And it hit me... I can do this for my books! The second hand ones I've been trying to sell for the longest time, but haven't figured out a good system for the whole thing yet.

Jamie, I love you, mwah! For those who want to check out her site, go to serendpity store @ multiply. :) Then check out mine cooming up soon!

Make a Weight Loss Bracelet

This is the plan: I have to lose at least 8 pounds by October 18, just in time for Damae's wedding. It's do-able, I'm sure. I mean 8 pounds for 2 months, that's not such a tall order. Then I have to lose another 8 pounds by December 8, in time for Eman and Sem's wedding. Then another 4 pounds by Jamie's wedding cum January 2009. Then another 4 pounds by Valentine's Day 2009. On the off-hand, it's so I would look good in the gowns, but on a deeper level, I just want to be pretty. :) If you know what I mean.

So I will make a bracelet with 24 beads, and everytime I lose a pound, I'll remove it from the string. I'l try to wear it everyday, so that I won't forget what i have to do: exercise, not eat much. I've done it sick, I can certainly do it while healthy.

Enjoy Globe Visibility

Our PLDT landline has gone haywire for the last 2 months, and I am seriously hating PLDT for it. I am not going to pay for the last 2 months' bill, certainly. Phone isn't so important to us as the internet connection is. That's why we opted to buy Globe Visibility Broadband. No, not Smart Bro. I mean, that's just PLDT all over again. So now, we have better access, and nothing's stopping me from putting up that bookstore.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 08, 2008


Damae, my close friend who used to be Senior Training Officer before me, visited us today. She’s getting married this 18th of October and she came to take the design of the gown I’m supposed to wear to her wedding. Of course I didn’t have it yet. Haha!

Looking at her, she was positively beaming today. Rael was with her and I can see it wasn’t a bad match at all. A tap on the back for me as proxy for a tap on the back to Daddy too. We saw it coming. We helped set it up, believe me you.

Damae reminds me so much of everything I want to have. She’s just so sure of herself, you know? She’s full of conviction, lively, witty and strong. She’s got people eating out of her hands, boys crushing after her, people simply admiring her, period. I have to admit I compare myself to her some times (can’t be helped, I took her position after all), and I feel palling compared to what she did when she held my stint. I’m sure that’s not objective, but I’m sure it can’t be totally untrue. She just projected the image that everything was under control, when here I am seeming that I can really almost just care. I’m sure STEP-UP feels the void, seeing I can’t love the cause like she did, God help them. They loved her better too. People were still referring to her months after she moved back to Bicol. She was so strong they said. One even said, she was strong given what she had to go through.

This is something that happened months ago, but I want to share it because I want to get over it. This is my therapy. You see, I love her, but there were times I wanted to hate her. I really am just a brat, I know. I like hogging the limelight. KSP. Whatever you call it. But deep inside, I asked that day, “What she had to go through? What SHE had to go through?” And something bitter twisted inside me and turned black. I don’t know if it’s an excuse, but hearing this just a few months after losing both my parents where I was left with the burden to carry on for my sister and my cousin and a house too large for three, it wasn’t just the right time. I did not say her pain wasn’t great, it was. I know loss is loss. But she lost a boyfriend, a potential mate, when I lost my source of life, my providers, my protectors. There were some who said losing a husband or a boyfriend is a shock because it’s an aberration of nature. It’s a given that parents being older must die first. Wise-asses, them all. They try losing both parents in a short span of time. They try to be the one automatically delegated to pick up the pieces and to sally forth clueless, not by virtue of some special characteristic but just because she’s eldest. Then they can come back to tell me :Oh that was so much easier, really. Even if they did, it would be a lie.

I was hurting, I was trying, but I felt unappreciated and alone. And insecure. And inept. Because I was failing to keep it all together. Meanwhile, she looked so strong after her loss. The bitter vile had to spit out: well, she does have her family intact, doesn’t she? They’ll help her pull through. Meanwhile, I’m the one supposed to help my family pull through, like I was made of steel or something, like I can magic away my own grief and pain if only to assure my sister and everyone we aren’t going to the rot.

What did they think that took? A couple of aspirin and a nail spa appointment?

I think that was one of the many turning points that made me decide to just stop trying. I will fucking grieve. I will fucking not care. I am in pain. I am lost. I do not know what to do with my fucking self.

And here I am still lost. Still hurting. And yet still pretending I’m fine. I’m fine.

And she’s getting married. She’s with her family. Her hair’s great.

I hugged her when I saw her today because if I didn’t I might’ve knocked her teeth out. J

Don’t worry, there is no serious vehemence in my anger. I just want to be better. And better and adept for me is how Damae does it. I really shouldn’t compare. This is just one of the many little black things I really should release if I want to be anywhere near better.

I’m sorry Damae. I’m sorry I ever felt that way. I can imagine you laughing with that worried look in your eyes saying “Baliw ka, Bruha ka!” and I’d agree.

Thank you for being there for me. Your hand holding mine gave me strength. It gave me an inspiration. I can be better. I can be strong. I can get it all together. I will. Of all the people, you were the one who understood.
Thank you and I sincerely wish you the best of God’s blessings for your marriage. I will not envy you anymore. Rael’s not my type, for one. Hehe. But you --- you will always be my heart’s friend.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

An Influential Person

I attended this training today which teaches us how to sell effectively. PBSP is hoping we could sell the foundation better than Gawad Kalinga. That's not what I'm going to talk about though. I really loved the part where we were taught what our Key Behavioral Patterns are. There are 4: the DOminant, the Influential, Steady, and Conscientious.

The Ds get things done, and they have no trouble delegating work. They are the here and now people. Trust that they'll get things done as fast as they can. Motto: If Others Can, Why Should I?.

The Is are the showbiz people: likes to talk, focuses on people, wants to be on the spotlight. They shapethe environment by influencing people to finish the job. In short, life coach. The Ra-rah girls. Familiar much? No need to say, I'm an I.

The Ss are people who are always preparing for everything. The thing is, it takes them a looong time to get things done because they want to make sure they're ready.

The Cs are systematic people who give great attention to detail. They are OC, but they do make sure quality is maintained.

I just liked the fact that my team has Ds, and Is, and Cs, and Ss. Ate Raffi's a C, Ian's an S. Makes sense now why I get along well with them. It also gives me an idea how to predict their behaviour. Me, the observer, also likes to prophesy.

So the next few days, be sure that when I'm staring at you, I'm trying to gauge if you're a D,S,I or C.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008


I saw a college friend today, one with whom I have shared a lot of my collegiate hopes and illusions. Boys were a favorite topic then, and I remember her wish list for her dream guy:

Tall, dark, brown-eyed, nicely cut toenails, white teeth, Harvard graduate, loves to cook, has a nice laugh, watches the news and loves dogs. (Her thing is teeth).

I learned today she got her wish (except for the dark part since her hubby’s fair-skinned, and he didn’t graduate from Harvard --- but he lives in Yale, Cubao). Inevitably, she asked about me (obviously, I’m also one to feel the pressure about being dateless). I said I’m still searching for my man whose qualifications were supposed to be (and she remembered too):

Clean cut hair, smooth nape, strong arms (no weightlifter’s muscles, just clean curves and lines), loves to read and watch movies, loves to eat, knows how to clean the house and wash clothes (I can forego this if he’s rich enough to afford a maid), graduate from UP or Ateneo (oddly, La Salle was never an option), funny, reasonably smart and unbelievably kind. (My thing being the makinis na batok).

She said her wish list helped. I said mine was absolutely useless. The thing is, she advised me to look in places I didn’t expect love to be. And I answered, where would that be? Jail? Maguindanao? London Bridge?

She laughed sooo hard --- I still can’t believe she thought I was joking. I mean, seriously, if Love’s gonna be somewhere unexpected what’s the point of expecting it? Searching for it will just drive you insane, so why risk catching something my Medicard would not pay for?

I’m glad she’s happy. But I think there’s still some truth to that saying where you could list down all the things you want from a man, but when the right person comes, your list will fly out the window, because you’d realize that here is somebody who is everything you need.

I have to say though that it wouldn’t hurt if God gives me somebody who’d fit at least some of the traits on the abovementioned list. J I mean, it would be really sad if my man’s La Sallian. Hehe!

Just kidding.

I think.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Faith Matters

A good friend and I had a long drive through the city today and we inevitably talked most of the mileage away. I noticed that every time we do get to spend time while cruising, we end up talking about stuff usually reserved for sessions with professional shrinks. Our favorite topics revolve around: 1) our current quarter-life crisis, 2) politics (mostly his since I am strangely stupid about politics), 3) our wacko friends, or 4) our faith.

Today it was numbers 1, 3 and 4. It started with him complaining about how he’s starting to feel the heat about his current state of datelessness. His friends, as it turns out, are almost all dating somebody and he’s quickly losing people to call for instant gimmicks (ah, the fate of the last single kabarkada). I told him I don’t get dating --- all that testing the waters thing. He said he agrees, but for the Chinese, he said it’s an almost science (my internal data bank reminded me of the Disney movie Mulan and her parents matchmaking shenanigans and I knew he was right). He’s oddly stuck on Chinese girls, or at least chinita-looking girls. I have a theory why, but that’s another story. Anyway, he’s had troubles before hooking up with a Chinay, and we both suppose he’d still have trouble now. Which led us to talk about our salaries (since its digits seems to be one of the criteria for dating within the fil-chi culture), dismally low as they are. Which in turn led us to discussing our friends, and their astronomical wages (at least compared to ours). I tried to console him by saying that I believe we know the weight of our money’s worth because we have to prioritize more. And given our responsibilities, I told him I take pride in how much it feels like it’s a sacrifice to adhere to our financial duties to our families. I admitted it makes me feel selfless to be so poor, since shoes and gadgets are beyond my reach. Hehe, if you know what I mean, then you’re also underpaid. Welcome to my world.

Then somehow we struck a discussion on faith, with him waxing poetic about missing his weekly prayer sessions (he’s a devout CLC) and me missing a facsimile of a real prayer life. I feel so illiterate compared to his point of view on faith. I mean, I thought I asked a lot of questions, but as it turns out, I might not have asked the right ones. I think I have always been afraid to challenge my faith --- I usually revert to my comfort zone everytime I felt my soul was on the verge of damnation. But his coming from a Jesuit university has helped him analyze his faith. When I asked him if he ever wondered if God was an invention, his answer was that God is probably a necessity for goodness. He shared that he once thought an atheist doing good things is better than a believer who does not. But he realized that once you stop believing in God, the line between good and evil blurs as well. Since his end goal is to do good things, and his belief in God helps him do it, then it’s a done deal.

Yes, it is intellectualizing faith. And I don’t know if it’s bad that I don’t think of my faith that way. For me, it has always been instinct-driven --- God feels right and doing good things bring me closer to Him. I want to please Him. It’s kind of childish, really. I just trust. I just believe because I have a feeling that it’ll be unfortunate if I don’t. I haven’t dwelt much on how or why, I just accepted the possibility that my soul will be worse for wear because of it. When it comes to my faith, I have used my intuition as a guide. I want to keep it simple, because I found that sincerity is in simplicity. Based on experience, I now know that there’ll be days when all I have ever believed will be shattered again and my carefully reinforced constructs about religion will come crashing about me. The first time it happened, I was robbed of my wits, but my soul led the way.

But as I have always believed, faith is a personal experience. His understanding of his faith in relation to himself strengthens my friend. Me, I’ll just keep trying to trust and believe, albeit my vision isn’t exactly 20/20.

Illiterate in faith as I may feel, it doesn’t feel that way when I’m talking to my Father. I think in the end, that’s all that matters.


Inspiring thought for the week:

God gives us the opportunity to better ourselves.

When we ask to be brave, God doesn’t make us brave by magic. He gives us an opportunity to be brave. When we ask for strength, God gives us a chance to prove our strength. When we ask to be happy or closer as a family, He doesn’t give us warm, fuzzy feelings --- He gives us an opportunity to be happy or ways to become closer to our family.

Amazingly, I got this from the movie Evan Almighty. It’s not the exact words, but I think the thought is the same.

Nice, right?

Sunday, August 03, 2008


It’s CSI with a twist, it’s Ghost Whisperer with a hoax. Naturally, I can’t keep myself away.

I have just watched an 8-episode marathon of the TV series Psych. Honestly, it was easy. All I had to was pop the DVD in, lean back, and press play before I realized I wouldn’t be sitting still before long. Soon I was holding my sides while laughing. I find the show really funny. It does get over-acting, but it’s part of its charm. Shawn Spencer plays a guy who’s got more than just a photographic memory. He’s also got enough processing units to make sense of all the data he receives. So in short, he’s a freakin’genius. So of course, I can relate. Haha! The thing is, an incident in his life forced him to pretend he’s a psychic because it’s so much easier to explain this than his particular genius. When people bought it, he (and his friend Gus) realized that it’s not a bad way to earn their moolah. So they set up a psychic detective agency which they named PSYCH, and they work on retainer for the local police. They pretend it’s all psychic shenanigans, when in fact, it’s just Spencer’s uncanny gift doing the guesswork all along.
Seriously, it’s a cute concept. Some people might find his antics a bit overacting, but I think that’s exactly why I like it. The show candidly portrays both ends of the spectrum --- the believers and the skeptics. Honestly, if somebody did that whole jittering body, shaky voice mystic act in front of me, I’d chalk him up as a fake. That’s why it amuses me how some people buy it. James Roday, who I should say is kind of hot, plays Spencer. I mean, sure, he’s short, but he’s handsome.

I also like Maggie Lawson who plays Detective Juliet O’Hara. She’s the kind of blond I like. Not ditzy looking, but not sly either. She looks like a less slutty Alicia Silverstone (don’t get me wrong, I love Alicia, but not everybody can be her). :)

All I know is that I’d be counting the minutes until Friday night because that’s when I could get to watch the rest of the episodes. Try to catch it yourself. It’s being shown on cable TV and the free local channels. Thursdays @ 8 p.m.

Friday, August 01, 2008

The Truth About Falling

Truth is, once you love someone, you cannot unlove them. You’d have to be exhausted to give up. Unfortunately, the best kind of love does not get tired. It cannot just give up. Even when it hurts too much already, even if it has become painfully clear your love cannot be returned, you cannot stop. You’d sooner forget how to breathe than how to not love him.

I wish it were a case of being smart or being stupid. Most of the world’s smartest people have fallen in love and gotten hurt. Some of the world’s stupidest people have never been in love, and they have rendered themselves beyond inane. No, it isn’t intelligence that saves you from it. It has got to be the heart, specifically the heart that has enough strength to do the whole dance, falter, miss a step, stumble, crack a toe, break toenails and yet, bruises and blood aside, keep on dancing.