Thursday, September 30, 2010

When the hell does "You'll get over it" begin

(Fair warning: This is going to be one melodramatic, gut-wrenching post. Not for the faint hearted.)

Someone, please take my iPod away from me. Just when I thought silence was my killer and I need sound to block out the thoughts... the lyrics in everything only amplify them! Gaaah!

Am I ever going to do anything right? Seems like each move I make now just pushes the knife in deeper, inch by frikkin' hurting inch. Today, I was supposed to be fine. I was supposed to be okay with it, because its time to move on and to dust me off. Why isn't it working? Why again, is the plan in my head failing?

FAIL! EPIC FAIL! Foiled again. Another attempt brought thundering down by ... I don't even know what. He said it's not me, and it's all him. That he's got problems that he can't deal with when I'm around, that I'd only get caught up in the mess of it all and that I don't deserve that. Crap. Load of crap. I don't BUY IT!!!!!!

You just got what you wanted and now you're off to the next conquest. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. That's all there is to it. Why fucking pretty it up with words of woe and sorrow when it's really just as simple as that? You got me! Punk'd! Thanks, rockstar.

Unfair that I attack you here? Unfair that, wow, after that eloquently written piece of my soul, I be on this rampage? Nothing about this whole bullshit was fair. When was it ever fair to me? The whole thing was stupid. It was a mistake! Wrong from the start. Everyone else who knew about it knew it was wrong to begin with and tried to frikkin' tell me, but noooo... I had to fucking fight for you.

And this is the thanks I get!?!?!? This is it?!?!?!

I would've settled for this, you know. Ah yeah, you already know. Stupid letter. I even confessed in that letter. Did you notice? I confessed what everyone knew and what I refused to admit to myself. Ha! You got me to honestly say the "L" word. Who would've thought... But of course I know saying it now, or before, or ever again, means nothing. It doesn't matter because end all and be all of it, you don't feel the same. You probably did, once, somewhere down that road we were on. You wouldn't have pursued the way you did if you didn't.

But who cares who loves who now. It's OVER! O-V-E-R!!!! Get it through your God damn head, girl! He's never coming back. You're old cow and no amount of 5-stages-of-grief will mask your scent.

That's twice this year now. Twice beaten. Twice broken. A girl can only take so much rejection. What makes this, this being the more recent turn of events, more hurtful is the fact that I never learned. I've been down this fucking road over and over and over again. Why??? I'm not ugly, I'm not inept, not unstable (shut up), but why do I just keep setting myself up for danger. WHY?

UNIVERSE, I'M SAYING IT NOW. I'M A GIRL AND I WANT TO BE PURSUED THE RIGHT FRIKKIN' WAY. I'm done with the chasing, the games, the uncertainty. Bring me black or white. So long, grey area. I've had enough of you.

And you... just when I thought I'd reached a height of pain with the other one before you... you come along and take the crown. Kuddos. Don't be a-breaking any more hearts along your way, okay?

I wonder when I'll really start to move on... Lugging around this excess crap baggage sucks. Maybe it'll be today.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 1

Deana Carter

Look at me
I'm in a place
I never thought I'd be

Don't have the strength
To fight anymore
Or a reason not to leave

So tell me why I keep holding on
To something I just cannot see

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart
What makes you try one more time
When it's not in your heart
At the end of your rope
When you can't find any hope
You still look at him and say
"I just can't walk away"
Tell me what makes you stay

I'm not afraid
Of living alone
I was alone before he came

And I've been in love
Many times before
But this time's not the same

I've always been the first to say goodbye
Now it's the last thing I can do

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart
What makes you try one more time
When it's not in your heart
At the end of your rope
When you can't find any hope
You still look at him and say
"I just can't walk away"
Tell me what makes you stay

When it goes this deep
Feels this strong
I can't convince myself
That this love is wrong

What makes you stay
When your world falls apart
What makes you try one more time
When it's not in your heart
At the end of your rope
When you can't find any hope
You still look at him and say
"I just can't walk away"
Tell me what makes you stay

Tell me what makes you stay.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dear Noni,

I wrote this yesterday, before you sent your message.

I knew. Doesn't diminish the hurt, or the surprise, or the severity of it all. But I knew.

No more what ifs. Took the risk and now I know my answer. It's too late. Wish we could've paused life for a bit longer. I'll be struggling with the pieces, but I'll get over you soon enough. My friends are more than willing to pick me up and dust me off.

Bye, Noni. I wish you all the best, too.


Here I go again, what a mess
Nothing learned from the past
Brave face on but I'm crumbling inside
And here you go, cool as ever
Coming and going as you please
And I let you

Why even bother stopping the rampage
It's all gonna end anyway
No difference between now and then

Just tell me when you'll fade away
Don't let it be now, not yet
Put life on pause just for this moment
And stay with me

Here I go again
In a race to keep my sanity
Losing grip as we inch on
And here you go, a step ahead as always
Guess it pays to not feel sometimes

But why even bother stopping the rampage
When I'll just drown in the end anyway
In too deep, it's too late

Here I go again, but it seems now
Its too late to save me.

The Art of Letting Go

Saw this last night with my friends. Should've known that it'll only take a bunch of silly-nilly girls to whittle down the profound to the profane. Zac Efron is seriously one hot stud muffin.

And he's also a great actor to boot! Him acting all by practically his lonesome is classic. The boy knows his drama stuff. The movie itself is even commendable. The twist was a good play, but I kinda caught drift of it already when Charlie woke up alone in the cemetery.

It was, however, a fresh perspective to see how Charlie's relationship with Sam (the younger brother who passed away) still grew from beyond the grave. It gives the idea that relationships don't end with death. Okay, kind of counter-productive with the concept of letting go, but sometimes when you're not ready to give up on the memory of someone, it's a good belief to have that somehow the person's still with you, watching you and talking you thru the good and the bad.

I've never lost someone. Yet. And I know it will kill me when I do. I'd probably do a Charlie and meet up with my dead everyday to banter with them at sunset. But like what Charlie went thru, a solid point of letting go must happen, and it will eventually, when everyone involved is ready. It may take a few years. Heck, it may take a blossoming love life to do it, but the moving on and letting go will always happen.

Charlie St. Cloud visually portrays the art of letting go and getting on with life, without belittling the grief one goes thru with the loss of a loved one. For me, it means the grief is just as important as the letting go.

School Life

Grade 1 - Rosas
Grade 2 - Talon
Grade 3 - Esmeralda
Grade 4 - Liwayway
Grade 5 - Tambuli
Grade 6 - Luntian
Grade 7 - Kalinga

Freshman - I-3
Sophomore - II-1
Junior - III-5
Senior - IV-5

Funny how I remember stupid things like these...

Jumping Off The Bridge

Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art Of Non-Conformity, opens his book with these two paragraphs:
When you were a kid and wanted to do something your parents or teachers didn't like, you may have heard the question, "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" The idea is that it's not good to do something stupid, even if everyone else is doing it. The logic is think for yourself instead of following the crowd. It's not bad advice, even if it's sometimes used to exert control more than to support independent thinking.

But one day, you grow up and suddenly the tables are turned. People start expecting you to behave very much like they do. If you disagree and don't conform to their expectations, some of them get confused or irritated. It's almost as if they are asking: "Hey, everyone else is jumping off the bridge. Why aren't you?"
Yet again, the master has hit the mark. Everyone goes through it and no one knows when the line was drawn. All of a sudden we're supposed to fit into the standard cookie cutter: college grads, working right after, all supposed to help out in the household, all supposed to be home early to get to work on time the next day... The non-confirmist life of the child, the one who was told not to jump off the bridge when everyone else does, has turned boring and mundane.

I don't ever want to be that. I refuse to be normal, typical and everyday. I want to be extraordinary. And I suppose that's why I continuously write here. I find that my writing, somehow, makes me different from the rest.

Yeah, yeah, there are a billion and one bloggers out there, many of whom actually make sense. Then again, that's what makes me love this blog so much. It doesn't have to make sense every time. Entries don't have to fit the title. Thoughts of crazy are always welcome.

I guess what I'm saying is, don't fall for the trap of the cookie cutter. Sometimes, a good leap off the bridge every now and then gives you an excellent view of the horizon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Change It Up

The problem with not putting it all on the line is that it will never (ever) change things for the better.

No risk, no art. No art, no reward.
I dare you to change it up.

Come on.

Let's go.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Growing Up Reader

We've always had the Library in the house. And it's always been called the "Library," so that's not just some name I made up now. And it's aptly called so because it's full to the brim with these:
And I grew up reading them. Not necessarily every single one. I had my favorite books, like Wild, Wild World of Animals: Dangerous Sea Creatures (c. 1976, by Thomas A. Dozier, published by TIME-LIFE FILMS), The Good Cook: Patisserie (c. 1982, by The Editors of TIME-LIFE BOOKS, published by TIME-LIFE FILMS), Tell Me Why by Arkady Leokum (c. 1966, 2nd ed. published by HAMLYN on 1987), Superbook: Stories, Games, Puzzles, Tricks and Jokes, Toys to Make and Things to Do, Mysteries of the Unexplained, The Shooter's Bible 1976...

Okay, I'm kidding about the shooter's bible... although it's something that caught my attention now... but everything else was truly a childhood fave, along with so many more. And I'm lucky to have been able to grow up surrounded by these books. All colors and sizes and hardbound and paperback. Pages with images of the world, letting me explore without moving an inch away from where I was.

Friends, now you don't have to wonder why I know so many useless tidbits. I got many from in here. (Kudos to Reader's Digest, NGC Magazine, Animal Planet, Lifestyle Network and The Disney Channel, too!)

The books in the library are part of my parents' collection. I'm so glad they're both fans of reading, and because of their fanaticism, I have a growing collection of my own. I cannot imagine life without books. If I went thru childhood without access to these, I probably would've become an absolutely different person (and that would be sad 'cause I like me now).

Thank you to Papa's spring cleaning effort of the Library. It brought on this post and the trip down published-material memory lane.

This Blog Post...

... is brought to you by Bo's Coffee (High Street) and the letter Zzzzz...

Yes darlings, I'm sleepy as a bear in winter but I'm forcing myself awake for the race registration the TBR Dream Marathon.


It's two cups of strong brewed coffe later, a few chapters of The Art of Racing in the Rain, and I'm bored to near death! I hate waiting! This is not fun... huhuhu... (Ay, naiyak na lang?!)

But I am seriously wondering... How did I get here? In a matter of minutes, I will be sealing the deal and making the commitment to do this. To this promise to run and be a marathoner. Ah, I swear, it's too beautiful to say a loud. I haven't said it aloud yet, the actual act of referring to myself as a marathoner. I've typed it up many times... on FB, YM, here... But to say it is ... Scary! Scares the daylights out of me. Why am I doing this again?

Seriously, I wonder what possessed me to sign up for this. I'm not athletic, not at all in good shape, I stress-oreña-drillon too dang much, yet still here I am, waiting my turn to bloodpact my Death [on] March. Still scared. Did I really think this thru enough? I don't want a life-defining moment to be defined by a whim!

But I'm here. This is it. And I'm going thru this. Seeing this thru to the frikkin' end! (Peptalk much?)

One hour and twelve minutes to go... Good luck, me.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Celebrating with you. :)

According to Seth Godin's blog entry:
"Focus on those that want to celebrate the work you do instead."
I've been wondering a lot about this li'l blog o'mine's stat count, because I'm so dumbfounded that, despite only having three people (good friends, actually) following me, I get so many hits. Not only that, getting link-ups from my facebook posts are normal, it would mean some of my contacts from FB are actually clicking and tuning into what I have to say (I *heart* you, friends!), but when the link-ups start coming from countries like the US, Canada, China, Denmark, now Italy and Columbia... the wondering kinda starts... How'd you get here?

Don't get me wrong, I'm really, really, REALLY glad you are, but seriously... What I have to say ain't much, and that's not a humble-me talking, so it amazes me that you somehow found my site and are really going thru my entries.

I can't ever promise that this wonder and awe-struck feeling of "Wow, you read me" will ever go away. I pray you won't tire of posts like this and I'll do my best to put a few more interesting tidbits in here and there. Don't mind the obvious insanity. Sometimes a girl just has to let her hair down (and let her brain hang out and her heart be wide open).

But thank you!!!! I think you guys ROCK! and I'll be a lot more aware of what I write here from on out. Looking forward to celebrating more what-nots with you!

Cheers! *cyberhug* to all.

Wondering if...

"He's just some guy..." in girl talk is the same as "She's just some girl..." in boy talk.

Malamang hindi, eh noh?


Italy? Seriously? Why? But hello, nonetheless. Wondering what you're picking up from here...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


... is not one of my virtues.

... is something my parents never passed on to their offspring.

... is Catwoman!

... is our favorite line from "Better Days." Be patience! (Thank you Music Match!)

... kala mo siryosong post 'to? Of course not! Gusto ko lang masabing patience is Catwoman. :))

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Not really the best of times

to be listening to lines like,
"Already broken, already gone
Already know you're moving on
I'm a breathing, talking dead man walking..."
... or...
"'Cause if you're looking for heaven
Baby it sure as hell ain't me so walk away
Save yourself from the heartache
Go now before its too late
But still she stays."
... or...
"I'm still in love but all I heard was nothing
She said nothing."

What if this is it?

What if it's time for me to make my choice and I have to choose to lose the battle now than lose the war later?

Stupid songs of The Script... I should really nip this obsession in the bud 'cause as always, my hyperactive mind's bringing me thoughts of woe. *sigh*

Note to self: Get over it.

Come March 2011, I will be a Marathoner.

YEP, folks! That's me! No. 3-4-3 of The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2011. Blocked out the other name my parents bestowed on me, because no one else needs to know that. (If you're ingenius, you'll find your own way to get it. It's fairly easy to research.)

THIS IS IT! Time to seriously train, work hard and push for this to HAPPEN! I'm giddy, excited, anxious, restless... and HAPPY!
  • So happy to be part of the exclusive four hundred.
  • So happy to have the opportunity to do this.
  • So happy and in love with running!
I love running, really. I have no idea why, I can't really pinpoint the reason, other than running lets me get lost in my own thoughts. There's no thrill for me in crossing the finishline; although for sure when I get over that 42-kilometer marker, I'll be as thrilled as hell. No need to rush and place and be at the top of the pack either; but in the few races I've joined, I've been known to overtake a few slowpokes.

I love that running just lets me breathe and think, or breathe and not think, with whatever playlist is shuffled on my iPod. Normally it's Imogen Heap's haunting vocals, but it seems like The Script's latest album will be stealing her thunder awhile. What surprised me, however, is the sudden need to conquer long distances.

As I type, I've only run 5k max. But I've plotted out my running calendar for the year, and the 10- and 21-kilometer races should be in the bag before 2010 ends. It was a surprise, really, when I found myself typing up my personal info into the TBR Dream Marathon Reservation Form. It seemed otherworldly. Me, signing-up for a full marathon?

That's no joke. Giddiness now starting to turn into a real fear... and self-doubt... Can I do this? Can I really stretch myself and do a full marathon all within my first year of love with running? What have I gotten myself into?!?!!?!

But I want to run the marathon for the mere chance to prove to myself that I can do this. I've never been the sporty friend or daughter. Never been the one who's into basketball or volleyball or soccer. I was, for a time, the alternative sports addict, getting into Ultimate Frisbee and surfing, but those love affairs didn't last. But running... I sometimes can't imagine myself NOT running. Amazing, huh?

Again, friends, this is it. I'm doing this for sure. Come March 2011 (even if it turns into a Death [on] March), I will be a MARATHONER. Wish me luck. ;)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

These are a few of my (new) favorite things...

Mentos' Yoghurt Chewy Dragees. Saw them displayed in the grocery counter one day and thought I'd try them out. Now, I simply can't get enough of 'em! As much as I'd love it to be my bag-staple, when I buy a "bottle" (for lack of a better word), it normally doesn't even last thru the day. *Sigh*

Yeah, yeah... shut up about the calories. They're addictive! I can't help it. Like this piece in the photo, bought it last night and it's already half empty. HALF EMPTY!!! I need a never ending supply of this!

Upwords. It's like Scrabble with a twist. This was a surprise discovery at the month-long sale of Hobbes and Landes, and now my colleagues and I are hooked on it. We play a round or two every lunchbreak. There's something about the ability to change-up the words on the board with one fell swoop that's so empowering!

I used to suck at Upwords. But yesterday, I won both rounds played! Woohoo! Watch out, Trins, Aids and Juds, I'm getting good at this!

Although many favorite things are childhood nostalgic and vintage, I think raving about the new is as good a practice. Favorite things can always be stuff like the Sound of Music and old Marvel Comics but exploring the new stuff also broadens your horizon, allows you to try out the new and push out of your comfort zone.

Think about it, what are your new favorite things?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Focus on Happy

The idle mind is the devil's workshop. I've never been a fan of the idle mind, ergo the bouts of blog entries. So, instead of being idle today, I decided to google and read up a bit about Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project. (Aminin na kasing naghahanap ng pirated ebook copy eh...)

And her happiness project website led me to this.
It's an illustration by Marc Johns. Simple, precise and profound all at the same time. He calls this particular piece, "What to Focus On" and it shows that, at the end of everything, there's really just one thing... Happiness!

When you're goal is to land that new job, get that pay raise, kiss the girl, marry the boy, birth a child... they're just short-termed. Why do you want to land the new job, or get the pay raise, or kiss her, or marry him, or be a parent? There should be a deeper meaning behind it all, and that deep meaning could simply be because you want to be happy.

Heck, wanting to be happy could be your only reason for purchasing your latest book buy or for having that one song on continuous repeat on your iPod. When you focus your day-to-day on the idea of you being happy, each move you make is brings you a step closer to your happiness. You never know, the steps to get there may be fewer than you think. Maybe you were just making it complicated.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Can I Have This Dance (Musings of an HSM Fan)

As old as I may be now, I'm still a major High School Musical fan. Yes, major. No, not because Zac Efron is hot. Okay, not JUST because Zac Efron is hot. (Hello, people, how can you not see/hear/feel the brimming talent of the boy?!?!)

But seriously, HSM is one of Disney's most recent success stories. Since taking over cable television, The Disney Studios have been lying low in terms of teenage-girl-friendly full length features. I guess they figure they've got the exact niche crowd they want on T.V., so why spend the time and effort in going big screen when you've got an underling like Pixar to do all the work for you.

The Studio decided to take the risk on High School Musical and when the first movie was released on The Disney Channel back in 2006, it was an instant hit! I mean, sure, we've had one or two Moulin Rouges and Chicagos belting out a few show tunes in the movies before HSM came out but this one had kids in it! All original song, perky-happy dance moves and regular high school student drama.

The first movie talked about moving out of the box friends and family (with all the love they have to offer) try to lock you into. It featured nerds that hip-hop'd, hoopstars that baked, and jocks that sang. It made Vanessa Hugens, Ashley Tisdale and (of course) Zac Efron household names, starting their red carpet success stories in Hollywood. You just can't beat the Disney eye for talent.

With so much hype and merchandise sales from the first release, Disney followed it up with the second, and moved it the drama step further. This time they showed how different can have its advantages... and privileges. But let those get in your head and you'll find yourself alienated and alone.

Then the third, the one that was specifically made for the big screen. Just saw it a few hours ago, of course on Sky Cable's Disney feed. What I like best about the third installment is its message that it's okay to be in conflict when you're on a journey of self discovery.

All great values hidden craftily into the storyline and soundtrack of the HSM Series.

My favorite song out of all three is "Can I Have This Dance."
It's like catching lightning,
The chances of finding someone like you
It's one in a million
The chances of feeling the way we do
And with every step together,
We just keep on getting better
So can I have this dance, (can I have this dance)
Can I have this dance?
I know it's cheesy, gross and overly teenager, but if you haven't seen any of the movies, I truly recommend it on a bland Sunday evening. At least for a few hours, you get to be young again. Wonder if any of the local theatre groups have license to stage the plays... Audition, anyone? :)

The Script: Science & Faith

Angst-ridden, sorrowful, soulful, beautiful. That's how I describe The Script's latest album, Science & Faith.

Belting out the best break-up songs EVER, The Script invaded Philippine airwaves in the latter part of '07, primarily with "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" and "Breakeven." Their self-titled debut album also had lesser known, but equally gorgeous tracks like "I'm Yours", "Talk You Down" and "Before the Worst."

Like true marketers believing in the principle of why fix something that ain't broken, Science & Faith milks on the break-up angonies of Danny O'Donoghue and turns it into it's cash cow. (Though, who would ever want to break that poor baby's heart, I can never comprehend.) Practically all ten songs talk about heartache, hurt, love lost and love's hopeful return. Here's one of the tracks that struck a chord in me, for your listening pleasure. :)


If you're standing with your suitcase
But you can't step on the train
Every thing's the way that you left it, I still haven't slept yet

And if you're covering your face now
But you just can't hide the pain
Still setting two plates on the counter but eating without you

If the truth is you're a liar
When you say that you're okay
I'm sleeping on your side of the bed, going out of my head now

And if you're out there trying to move on
But something pulls you back again
I'm sitting here trying to persuade you like we're in the same room

And I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
And I wish you could still give me a hard time
And I wish I could still wish it was over
But even if wishing is a waste of time
Even if I never cross your mind

I'll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There'll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back if, you ever come back now
Oh if you ever come back, if you ever come back

Now they say I'm wasting my time
'Cause you're never coming home
But they used to say the world was flat and how wrong was that now

And by leaving my door open
I'm risking everything I own
There's nothing I can lose in a break-in that you haven't taken

And I wish you could give me the cold shoulder
And I wish you can still give me a hard time
And I wish I could still wish it was over
But even if wishing is a waste of time
Even if I never cross your mind

I'll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There'll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back if, you ever come back now
Oh if you ever come back, if you ever come back

If it's the fighting you remember or the little things you miss
I know you're out there somewhere so just remember this
If it's the fighting you remember or the little things you miss
Oh just remember this, oh just remember this

I'll leave the door on the latch
If you ever come back, if you ever come back
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back
There'll be a smile on my face and the kettle on
And it will be just like you were never gone
There'll be a light in the hall and the key under the mat
If you ever come back if, you ever come back now
Oh if you ever come back, if you ever come back

And it will be just like you were never gone
And it will be just like you were never gone
And it will be just like you were never gone
If you ever come back, if you ever come back now.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Message in a Blogspot

(Chris G., you are unintentionally timely. Thank you for your grounding snippets.)

It's always been my problem. I'm insecure, I guess, but I never think what I have to say is worthwhile. And that's not just here in the blog-world. I've never really been the most opinionated person. Bring me to a group discussion and I'll most likely be the quiet observer, or the voluntary notes-taker. I'd rather jot down the minutes than share thoughts with the masses.

Despite that, I created this blog and now I keep telling myself, "Yes, what you have to say is worthy of an audience." Though most of the time, I don't even know what I'm saying. Like now. But, as Chris Guillebeau shared in his latest entry, sometimes all that matters in the message is yourself. In as much as there is value in quoting the wealth of wisdom of the gurus and the pros, sometimes its best to just say what's on your mind to develop your own personal brand.

My personal brand is... the nerdy girl scout with too much in her head for her own dang good. I'm in the process of rehashing it. It amazes me when I look through the stats of this web log and see pageviews all the way from China and Denmark. I'm glad you guys stumble thru here, and hopefully I did the stumbling some justice by imparting some semblance of wisdom to you. But if not, bear with me.

I have no idea what my message in this blogspot is yet. Sure, there are a few recurring themes but that's hardly the point. Well, hopefully as the entries come, the real-me brand will pop up along the way then things here will have more sense and flow.

End all and be all of it is: I'm glad you're here, dear reader.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Now on to happier things.

Since my last book was depressing enough, I decided to treat myself to Garth Stein's The Art Of Racing In The Rain.
As you can see from the cover, it is a DOG novel! Yippie! Yes, I not only enjoy movies that feature our canine companions, I also love books that have them as lead characters. Kinda looking forward to this one.

I'm also looking forward to going to the Manila International Book Fair on Saturday. A friend of mine is launching the 3rd installment of his comics compilation (Congrats, Stan!) and I swore I'd be there to cheer him on. Plus, of course, going to the book fair gives me the excuse to splurge on future reads! I want my copy of The Tipping Point, The No Asshole Rule and Her Fearless Symmetry. Maybe Dan Brown's Langdon trilogy will be on cheap-o prices and I'll finally get to complete that collection.

Also looking forward to my races. 10k 10.10.10, 21k Conquer Corregidor and (fingers crossed) TBR Dream Marathon! Seriously, who would've thought running could fuel me this much? Who would've thought I'd ever have a sport!?! But I love to run. I haven't run in three weeks and I'm getting fat! Okay, weight was never the issue. I run because my crazy head needs the endorphin rush to calm down a notch. Pavement, Lula will hit you hard soon enough.

Despite all the insanities that surround this blah of my being, I must say I live a good life. If you're feeling a bit on the down and out, I suggest you grab your favorite book and just re-read it, or if you're a gym buff and spend 5 extra minutes on the bench press. Guaranteed to be your bright spot for the week.

Action/Reaction: Th1rteen R3asons Why

This was my chosen beach read for my latest trip home to LU. It's the premiere novel centered on teenage angst and anxiety by newbie novelist Jay Asher. Must say, it ain't bad and I'm glad I was on semi-strange, unbalanced situation when I first opened its pages. Made me appreciate the drama more.
It is what it is. A spade is a spade, and this book is teenage chicklit. The issues covered, the thirteen reasons why young Hannah Baker decided to take her own life, but not without making 13 other people suffer, are seemingly... for lack of a better term... young. No, they're not immature, or miniscule, or unimportant. No one dare call peer pressure any of that. But it is young, and most of us grow out of it.

What is amazing, however, is how this book just oozes action/reaction. Everything you do, no matter how mundane it seems to yourself, affects someone. So much so, that the effects could be suicide! (Fat chance, you say... but you never really know, do you?)

Hannah Baker decided to take that fat chance away, by recording a bunch of cassette tapes for 13 different people whose mere bit of involvement in her life rattled her so much its caused her deranged heart the suffering of an old soul; sending them over to the 13; overdosing and dying, and all to likely watch them squirm from heaven, as they listen to literally her voice from beyond the grave.

She sewed them all together in her life, illustrating how one thing with someone led to another thing with someone else in an entirely different setting, and angrily points out the wrong from right in every situation. She could've been saved, no one just took the time to do it.

Sure, someone could've reached out to save her. But then again, she could just as easily have saved herself; made the tapes, realized how shallow she was being and moved on. But her reaction to her own act of recording the tapes only cemented her resolve to end it all.

I know it's fictional. Yeah, yeah, it's make believe and all so "high school" but action/reaction doesn't start and end in the teenage years. I guess what I'm saying is... everything leads to something, whether you acknowledge it or not. No, don't go thru life as if you're on eggshells all the time, but rather with the awareness of those around you.

Jay Asher's first novel is beautiful. It's crazy, out of the box, and surprisingly real. Not at all the teeny bopper read I was expecting after my colleague's brief review when she lent me her copy. Already told you point blank, it is what it is. But then, if you read with your own open interpretations, it could mean more to you as it did to me.

For someone who claims to be creative...

... I sure am not! Haha!

My officemate, Aids, handed me this in Fully Booked this afternoon, thinking it'd give me a good laugh. Of course, I didn't get it.

Even asked, "Where's the girl version?"

(Form an "L" with your fingers... put it on your forehead... now look the part.)

But really, don't you just love it when conundrums take you by surprise? Love that they're everywhere, stimulating the brain. Kudos to Fully Booked for this happy brainwave.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some risks...

...just have to be taken.

It's the road less travelled, boys and girls. Often overlooked by the obvious choice because the obvious is easy and weightless.

It's time to choose the path no one in their right mind advises and just see where it leads. Who cares if you end up jobless, heartbroken or alone in the end. At least you saw the unforeseen choice through to the end.

I choose you, road not taken. Even if you lead me astray.

Monday, September 13, 2010

No To Assholes (in the Workplace)

Okay... I guess we can really make that no to assholes in life, but for this particular post, let's stick to the office setting.

My recent book discovery is Robert Sutton's "The No-Asshole Rule." I was going thru's featured reads and this title was on the first few pages. Of course, intrigera me went on my usual google spree to know more about the book and the author, and of course I find Bob Sutton's blog. He's a typepad fan, just like Seth Godin. :)

His latest entry speaks about how weeding out the negative offers more to productivity and growth than enhancing the positive. Negatives in the worlplace are mostly led by the bullies, the whiners, the "what-I-say-may-be-useless-and-hurtful-but-I'll-say-it-anyway" kind of person, and Bob surmices them all to be assholes. We like the term asshole because it elicits an emotional response. Call someone rude and they'll probably shrug you off. Call someone an "ASSHOLE!" and you'll get the fight you want.

Assholes everywhere in the workplace. They're the people who take all the credit for everything, the ones who contribute no new ideas but have everything bad to say about those already laid out on the table. The asshole is the person who may be bringing in the sales and the customers, but due to unrelenting arrogance, brings everyone else down at the same time. The asshole is the Charlatan in Joey Roth's illustration, the one who just loves to rain on the martyr's parade. And Bob Sutton's right, why endure them and try your best to feed positivism into the rest of the workforce when you can just simply fire the assholes away!

The thought of being as asshole intrigued me and I tried the ARSE (Asshole Rating Self Exam) here. Result showed that either I'm not an asshole or I'm just fooling the test to make me seem like I'm not one. I recommend everyone take this test.

Need more asshole-worthy characterizations? Ask and you shall receive. In another of Bob's books (Good Boss, Bad Boss), he interviewed Baird CEO Paul Purcell, and Paul gives us an even easier asshole distinction:
"The worst assholes consistently do two things: One, put their self-interest ahead of co-workers and two, put their self-interest ahead of the company."
Look, I know there's an entire generation out there who'll beg to differ with me on this... You know who you are, ye who thrive in office politicking, backstabbing and backbiting. But see, you need to be weeded out for growth and profitability to move forward! It'll be for the good of the company, the good of the economy! YOU'RE THE CHINK IN THE CHAIN. Shall we just get rid of you now or will you change? I vote for rid-of-now anyday.

Best friends and the beach

I just spent another long weekend at the beach with the best girls (and boy... at least one of them) in the world.
La Union isn't the closest destination beach from Manila. Heck, it's not even the best looking! But it's home to me and I'm so happy that it's become home to my girls, too. We don't go there to surf, and because of the unpredictable pull of the current and unrully break of the waves, we hardly even touch the water. But still, whenever one of us needs a getaway, La Union is top of mind.

There's something about the crash of water on surf that calms the spirits rattled by city life. And it doesn't hurt that Lola Nanny's menu (meals care of Ate Emar) is TOP NOTCH! Plus, baking under the scorch of the sun while the surfers prep for catching waves is just the true epitomé of zagging while everyone else zigs. I love that we're different from everyone else there, not because we want to make a statement or to somehow shine an imagined spotlight on ourselves, just so we can be completely ourselves.

Speaking of ourselves... my korakchas... I swear to never go to the beach without them. They endure all the stupidities that try to ruin a perfectly good weekend. They bear the schizophrenic "laugh-now-cry-now" modes one goes thru when one is anywhere near saltwater. They let one order Chuckie when everyone else is on Mai Tai, Margarita and Mojito. I LOVE YOU GIRLS TO BITS!

This was, thus far, the best beach weekender. Destination home in both terms of place and company. There shall be many, many more to come and I look forward to them with the abandon of a starry-eyed, silly girl.

(Dedicated to Chaw, Wins, Beej, Pres, Raj and G-third... And to our family in L.U.)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Swept Away

(This entry is a repost from my multiply blog, first "published" in November 2008.)

In my lifetime (all soon to be 27 years of it), I've been swept off my feet, literally, by three men.

First was Al... My best friend's brother's thesis mate. It was... wow! Way back in 3rd year college, I had just come off a long relationship and drunk on my (cheap-date) 3 tequila shots. I fainted in the restroom (of my best friend's house. Thank God we had the brains to drink in a secure location) and Al came to my rescue. Carried me off from the floor, into his arms and onto the couch. I'll never forget my first thought, "MACHO!"

Then there was Adam, my fitness first personal trainer. I was paying PhP 2,100 a month for the membership, so I made sure I got all the perks. And man, did I ever! Hailing from New Zealand, this hunk of a man swept me off my feet even before I fell. Apparently, not eating anything before a rigorous workout can mean lightheadedness, and that's what it got me! But Adam scooped me up waaay before I hit the hardwood.

And lastly there was Kiks, the guy who basically peer-pressured me into drinking on the last night of my first ever Bora-trip, and ended up taking care of me because I got too messed up for anything. Try chasing down a flaming sambucca with a swig of mango daquiri in the middle of Bom Bom. Its the BEST! My head was pounding and the band's drumming hurt my ears, so I told him "I'd like to go now" and stood up. The moment I got up, WHAM, I was down on the sand! I was out (daw) for roughly 2 minutes. Kiks was slapping my face to get me awake. Next thing I know, I was off my feet, gingerly being babied up into the 2nd floor of Bom Bom's hut, so I could wear out my alcohol in private.

All three feet-sweeping activities led to nothing, but it doesn't make each less memorable than the last. Its an amazing feeling, to be carried off to safety even if its by a guy you barely know. Kinda makes me wonder how it'd feel if I was swept away by someone I truly cared about...

(Added just now.)
Someday, I'll know. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Discernment, then Commitment

The priest presiding over yesterday's mass at Lourdes Church talked about discernment and commitment. He said, in today's fast-paced society, very few people are actually dedicated to what they do. For example, when students are asked, "Why are you taking up this course in college?", many respond with a simple "Just because." No real reason behind the choice anymore, no urgency for forward thinking. Students just take it up because in our third world country, a college degree is a necessity, and since work after school is hardly ever related to what was taken up, any course will do.

We've lost the ability to sit and think about what to do with our lives, and I think its because we're bombarded with a dozen different choices everyday, dealing with so many quick decisions need to be made. We're even quick and rash about life defining moments.

I believe that everything needs to be thought out, to be reasoned with and to be rational about; whether it's something as silly as buying a super cheap magic sing from a Korean bazaar, or flinging one's self into the arms of another person. To discern, to think things over and truly understand how it connects with your self and those closest to you, then to make the commitment to it. Because when you've set your mind on one thing, the drive to bring it forth comes naturally and the commitment becomes a part of your life.

We're probably the luckiest generation so far, with the magic of the world wide web and technology just spewing out one opportunity after another. But we shouldn't let the choices muddle our track and make us lose our way. A little quiet time, a short prayer and a lot of focus will straighten things out for us.

(Dedicated to Beej. Hang in there, luv.)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

When our network sponsored a blocked screening of How To Train Your Dragon earlier this year, I opted not to watch. I knew it would get good reviews, anyway. Dreamworks knows how to make animated movies. From the little of I know of the 3D animated movie industry, I believe with the success of Shrek, they've turned the tables on Pixar, ergo the buy out of Disney.


So, today I thought I’d finally sit down and watch my copy of HTTYD. Must say, it did not disappoint. Although the tears I was expecting never manifested themselves, how the producers communicated the complicated father-son relationship in Stoick and Hiccup was beautiful, hilarious and endearing. The evolution of the disappointed to proud father, flawlessly portrayed.

But that’s pretty obvious.

I also liked the unfolding of trust, loyalty and friendship between Hiccup and Toothless. I just did a series of posts on those three values, all based on our family’s dogs. Funny how sometimes, animals are really the best examples for these principles humans claim to have. I guess the magic is in the fact with a bit of patience, care and effort, two very different species can coexist in harmony.

But that’s kind of obvious, too.

What I did appreciate most about the movie is how it communicated change, and change from the new, and change for the better but filled with struggle every step of the way. No one was listening to Hiccup at first because no one took him seriously. When he wanted to be a Viking and was creating these strange new weapons to better fight off the dragons with, they shoved him away to the corner of blacksmithing and ignored him. When his father finally agreed to let him take up dragon training, he became the village laughing stock because he was last in class. When he proposed his new method of working with the dragons instead of against them, they fought him back with the same old Viking-fighting traditions. But Hiccup remained persistent, stuck to what he knew was right and was better, and got everything in place in the end.

Sound familiar? It’s Ghandi’s.

“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

Gorgeously hidden. Maybe that’s just in my creaky brain’s clockwork, but that’s how I saw it. It’s the perfect example of the new blood conquering the old. I get that traditions and practices are honored, sanctified even, in many cultures, but more often than not, when you keep doing what the old folks are doing, you get stuck in a rut.

Makes me look at the world I live in and say, I wonder what I can make them fight me for. There’s plenty. And I think it’s time for me to choose my battle.

High time we made a stand, and shook up the views of the common man.
-Sowing the Seeds of Love, Tears For Fears

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Hustler

I've been quoting Seth Godin often enough. So this time, I turn to Chris Guillebeau's words of wisdom.

He believes in the hustler. It's what he strives to be every day.

The image above by Joey Roth is a clear cut illustration of what a hustler is. Seth calls him the linchpin, the indispensable person who both brings ideas to the table and brings them to life. Chris describes him as the person with both style and substance, talks the talk and walks the walk.

Joey Roth's poster, for me, is beautiful because it shows that despite the negative connotation of the term, the hustler is actually a very balanced individual. But similarly to what I feel about Seth Godin's linchpin concept, the question of how does one become a hustler comes to mind... and what does one hustle about?

The search, or at least the bringing to life of what was found, is still on.

Music Obsession entry #1: PSYCHOBABBLE

A good friend introduced me to the music of Frou Frou a few years back. I was going thru a stupidly shallow heartache and he thought the song "Hear Me Out" would make me feel better. Ha! Made me feel worse. I was the slow motion accident Imogen Heap was singing about.

But it also did start my long obsession with Imogen Heap and her music. Fast forward to the present and I still find Imogen's haunting voice unwinding and nerve-wracking all at once. Her beautiful lyrics only heighten emotions that normally lie dormant in a sensible lass like me, somehow driving me forward without having the need to commit suicide along the way. Does that make sense?

I love running with her voice in my ears.

This particular song embodies everything that I love about her craft. I mean, what genius mind can come up with the line,"If love is surrender, then whose war is it anyway?"

I swear, I'll watch her live someday.
How did you get this number?
I can't get my head round you
Of course you're not coming over
Snap out of it, you're not making any sense

You couldn't be more wrong, darling
I never gave out these signs
You misunderstood, no meaning
Snap out of it, I'm not falling for this one

If love is surrender
Then whose war is it anyway?

Do just what I tell you
And no one will get hurt
Don't come in any closer
'Cause I don't know how long I can hold my heart in two

If you think that it's so damn easy
Then what do you need me for?
Just look at the state of you, babe
Snap out of it, you're not listening to this

And just for once could you
Let me finish a sentence?

Do just what I tell you
And no one will get hurt
Don't come in any closer
'Cause I don't know how long I can hold my heart in two
Make no sudden movements
And no one need get hurt
You're making me nervous
If you know what's good for me, why would I be leaving you?

Now I've had it up to here
Don't ever try that again
Why are you so quiet so suddenly?
Go on, I bet you're just dying to try me

Do just what I tell you
And no one will get hurt
Don't come in any closer
'Cause I don't know how long I can hold my heart in two
Make no sudden movements
And no one need get hurt
You're making me nervous
If you know what's good for me, why would I be leaving you?

So what do we do now?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I envy the girl this song is sung to.


Wishful thinking makes me hope it'll be me someday.

Right click here and open in new tab to enjoy the single of Bruno Mars as you sing along with the lyrics below. Happy listening, and have a good evening. :)


Oh her eyes, her eyes
Make the stars look like they're not shining
Her hair, her hair
Falls perfectly without her trying

She's so beautiful
And I tell her every day

Yeah I know, I know
When I compliment her
She wont believe me
And its so, its so
Sad to think she don't see what I see

But every time she asks me "Do I look okay?"
I say

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
'Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

Her lips, her lips
I could kiss them all day if she'd let me
Her laugh, her laugh
She hates but I think its so sexy

She's so beautiful
And I tell her every day

Oh you know, you know, you know
I'd never ask you to change
If perfect is what you're searching for
Then just stay the same

So don't even bother asking if you look okay
You know I'd say

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
'Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

The way you are
The way you are
Girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

When I see your face
There's not a thing that I would change
'Cause you're amazing
Just the way you are
And when you smile
The whole world stops and stares for awhile
'Cause girl you're amazing
Just the way you are

Dog Movie entry #3


To Belle.

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.
~George Eliot

MARLEY & ME (c. 2008, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston)

I first read John Grogan's horrifically amusing life with his ball of energetic-fur, Marley. The novel was released in 2005 and reading the book had me laughing and crying like there's no tomorrow. The craziness of the yellow Labrador had me relating to every moment of John and Jen’s real life struggles and joys with him.

Marley was the trial “kid” of the newly-wed couple, they decided the way to determine if they can be good parents was if they could take care of a dog. So off they went to a puppy farm close by, and Marley’s mom and litter was there to greet them. John described Marley’s mother to be regal and dignified, seemingly the most ideal Labrador in the world. But where was the litter’s father?

So they had their pick, chose Marley from the bunch and walked out the door with their new bundle of joy... when this wild-looking, crazed-eyed monster ran past them with the fury of a runaway train. That was Marley’s father.

I took my stand and refused to see the cinema release of Marley & Me. One, I didn’t want to be crying in public like a lunatic over a dog movie. And two, I was apprehensive of how the adaptation would turn out. I watched this on HBO. And I am not disappointed. Neither were my tear ducts.

Marley & Me is another real-life experience aptly captured in film. John and Jennifer Grogan’s happy new life together with animal clad in yellow fur, dead set in ruining their lives and teaching them true love along the way, translated into film is just as beautiful as the one in paper.

Marley lived to a ripe old age, seeing his masters thru one miscarriage, 3 successful child births and other major changes in life. He was loving, crazy, loyal and carefree, and he made sure his values were instilled in his humans. Instilled enough for John to write the book that eventually found its way to the big screen.

This one really pulls on my heartstrings because I have a beautiful lab myself. She's an insanely happy bundle of black fur, but she knows when to be good and polite, too, without my having to say so. She drives me crazy sometimes but I love her to bits. She’s my Belle, center of my life. I would do anything, absolutely anything, for her.

This ends my Dog Movie series for now. I love the fact that the beauty of the human and dog relationship is so well translated into a medium that can last forever. I've lived with dogs all my life, I can't imagine life without them. If you’re not as into dogs as I am, I hope these three last entries change your mind.

Dog Movie entry #2


To Bubu.

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
~Andy Rooney

HACHIKO: A DOG'S STORY (c. 2009, Richard Gere)

Hachiko is a true story. It’s a modern-day adaptation of a Japanese tale about the loyalty of a dog to his master. In the Hollywood feature, Hachiko was adopted by Prof. Parker Wilson as a puppy. The tiny akita was found in the train station where the professor commutes daily to work to a nearby university. They develop a funny relationship because Hachiko is not the conventional dog who plays fetch and runs amok. He doesn't bark either. But he loves his human and they start this ritual of Hachiko taking Parker to and from the train station every day.

Parker and Hachiko walk to the train station together every morning, and in the afternoon, Hachiko goes back to the station to wait for Parker’s train to arrive.

One fateful day, Parker never comes back to the trainstation. The professor suffered a stroke while conducting a class and had passed away. Hachiko, not understanding the circumstances of his master’s delay, waited loyally in the train station, sitting quietly in front of the exit door, ready to greet his human's happy return.

In the original Japanese story, Hachiko awaited for master's return for 9 long years. A bronze statue stands in the Shibuya Station of Japan in honor of Hachiko's unyielding loyalty.

Hachiko’s loyalty reminds me of our middle dog, my sister’s shih tzu, Bubu.

Bubu also isn't the most conventional dog in the world. She’s not into toys (she's very picky about what she puts in her mouth), not into begging for food (she more of demands it) and not starved for attention. I guess she thinks she’s cute enough for attention to come to her by itself, which is true enough. Everyone is drawn to this little bundle of fluff. Her tagline, for me is “Also cute and fluffy!” from the movie Lilo & Stitch.

But what makes Bubu special is how loyal she is to my sister. Anywhere my sister sits, you'll find Bubu right beside her. When my sister comes home from work, Bubu is always the first to sense it. I sometimes just watch them interact with each other and am amazed by the unspoken understanding between them. But I’m not envious because I feel I have the same connection with Belle. :)

Dog Movie entry #1

I revived my profile page recently and realized I prefer dog movies over mushy love stories. Three features in particular are engraved forever in my heart. I dedicate this series of posts to our family’s current batch of tail waggers.


To Brandy.

When a dog barks at the moon, then it is religion; but when he barks at strangers, it is patriotism!
~David Starr Jordan

WHITE FANG (c. 1991, Ethan Hawke)

White Fang is a feature adaptation of Jack London's classic novel. The lead canine is a mix breed of dog and wolf, rescued by a young Yukon gold hunter from the brutal industry to dog fighting of the early settlements in the Alaskan wilderness. White Fang, being maltreated and having lived the hard life, has trust issues and initially sees Jack as just another human out to harm him. Jack, on the other hand, sees White Fang as a majestic animal in need of love and attention. He strives to win White Fangs’ confidence in him, and eventually wins the dog over. Theirs is a beautiful story of how powerful trust in any relationship is, and how trust always comes hand-in-hand with love.

I remember bawling my eyes out every time the final scene played out. White Fang was left behind by Jack after a long winter. I forget now the exact reason why Jack left him behind, but when Jack was finally able to go back to the mountains to get him, he was a-bounding away like a love-struck puppy! All sense of wolfishness abandoned.

I dedicate this post to Brandy, my dad’s yellow lab and the bunso of our family. She has trust issues herself and doesn’t take so kindly to strangers. But I know she loves us unconditionally, even if we’re the family who forces her to climb up two flights of stairs every night just to sleep. To climb up, one of us has to be behind her, cheering her on. When she’s sure we have her back, she zooms up with ease... not grace. But we love her anyway.