Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today I bought...

...Two new books, some groceries (foodies, mostly) and three news pieces of clothing. Yay! This is so like one of the few times I actually shopped on my own, for myself. Hihi.

The books first, of course. They are The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I bought the first one because some of the vignettes there were studied in our CW 10 class under Sir Butch Guerrero. The latter one I bought because I learned a few weeks ago that it was turned into a movie and will be shown soon. I just wanted to get a little peek at what's in store, and maybe do a little comparison between the book and the movie.

(I think it's better to read the book first before seeing the movie. Gimme a Harry Potter book. Now.)

I wouldn't bother detailing the groceries I bought because (1) it's not interesting, and (2) it's none of yer business. *evil laugh*

So, the clothes... I'm a freakin' cheapo so I wouldn't say the price. *grin*

Anyway, I bought a black, long-sleeved blouse with ruffled sleeves, which I plan to use for a future costume. Even if I don't continue with the costume I still get a fine addition to my (color skimpy) closet. I also bought a dark blue-colored blouse and (get this) a hot pink shirt. Yup. Hot pink.

That is so all today. :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekly Post

Written: June 27, 2011, 7:50 PM

So, this is another random post, but it has more sense than the others, I hope.

As I was using a search engine earlier today looking for 'odd jobs in the Philippines,' I came across a blog post that detailed some supposedly odd jobs in our country. What I was looking for are jobs which are probably never heard-of or which are "too dirty" (kadiri, if you may), like septic tank cleaners. The list, though, included the takatak boys (men, really, who sold cigarettes, candy, and what-not to drivers and vehicle passengers), shoeshiners, sapatero (shoe cobblers), barbero (barber), lavendera (laundress, but it can also be a man), konduktor (bus conductor), barker (a person who calls the passengers for a jeepney), etc. I was surprised, because, for many of us, these jobs are common; some probably know other people who do these kinds of jobs. Yes, they are (what some may call) menial or blue collar jobs, but they are by no means rare or odd. I do not know if the blogger is Filipino or of another nationality, but the article is clearly written for the consumption of foreigners.

There was also another article wherein an eyebrow shaver was considered odd. Um, that is so common in our beauty salons and parlors.

This little piece of cyberspace tells me that other countries perceive us differently, and vice versa. What is common in one culture may not be so in another. Perhaps these people who do these "odd" jobs do not exist in their country, and they find them, well, odd.

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In another news, my book list has officially reached the 200th mark. This feat was not possible without the existence of The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne. I have completed the "Pooh series," as I call them (Winnie-the-Pooh actually made me cry... And here I am an eighteen year old girl with a penchant for murder investigation stories). I was actually planning to buy two other books prior to seeing the two aforesaid titles: Tarzan of the Apes (forgot the name of the author, sorry!) and Disclosure by Michael Crichton (which was selling for a measly 25 pesos). But the pull of Winnie-the-Pooh and Christopher Robin and the rush of childhood nostalgia that is sure to come is stronger than the "adult" side of me. Ha-ha! So, Juster and Milne prevail. Hurrah for children's literature!

But, really, on any other day I would definitely buy a 25-peso Crichton.

I have also decided to write about A.A. Milne and his works for "The 2011 My favorite book essay writing contest," sponsored by Philippine Star, National Book Store, and Globe. I was (actually, guiltily) roaming around NBS this afternoon looking for what I would spend a gift certificate on.

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I think I like my semester. All my professors seem to be pleasant and the subjects okay. So, I think it will be a good semester... I think.

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On the lighter side, I bought another piece of K-On! merchandise. You probably think I'm wasting money on these stuff, but, really, who can resist? They are so adorable! I don't care about the cries of yuri and whatever, I just love these girls. This time it's a notepad... With no lines! Yeah! That's the kind of notepad I love.

So, now you know what kind of notepad to buy me. *wink*

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Written: June 30, 2011, 9:35 PM

Two weeks from now, we are required to pass the first drafts of our CW 110 manuscripts... And I have no freakin' story ideas. What's a girl to do? I totally have no idea what to write about. I mean, I do but it's not taking shape. Ooh my~ I'm in a pinch. Where are plot bunnies when you need them?

I've been reading (on and off) Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the basis for the movie 127 Hours starring James Franco, by Aron Ralston and I love it. Even with the mountaineering jargon (it's sometimes hard to follow), it's a wonderful book. I'm not halfway through, but I know I'm in for another wonderful book adventure.

I have begun to read Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne, and I love the poems. They're just... darlings! :D

Book Review - Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Rating: 10/10

Twenty-seven year old Aron Ralston is a retired mechanical engineer and an experienced outdoorsman. He has hiked numerous mountains and escaped death several times. However, on April 26, 2003 somewhere in Utah, as he is hiking through an "easy" route, a boulder gets dislodged and traps Aron's right hand on the canyon wall. With scant food and water and a dying resolve, Aron manages to pull through for six days, and survive to tell his inspiring tale.

This book has been in our family's shelf since 2006 (it's my dad's - he brought it back from America). I never once thought of reading it all those years, until Danny Boyle came out with the movie 127 Hours starring James Franco. So, yes, I am guilty of that.

Anyhow, as much as I dislike non-fiction literature (I'm a lover of fiction through and through), I actually liked this one. Aron Ralston's writing style is very good, very detailed (don't worry, the amputation scene isn't all that bad). Between a Rock and a Hard Place is a very inspiring book, more than the movie I dare say. If you felt 127 Hours was not enough to convince you, then you should go read this book. :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

OmO. :3

Hello, hello! Today, we went shopping and I bought two cutesy items!

First up is a key chain from Comic Alley. That girl with the long, blonde hair is Tsumugi Kotobuki (Mugi, for short) from the anime K-On! She's, obviously, the keyboardist of Hokago Tea Time. My bunch of friends said I'm like her for these reasons: (1) she plays the keyboard, and (2) she is demure but easily excitable (nyah~). She's also a rich girl and brings tea and dessert for the club (her father owns a maid cafe, nyao).

The second thing is... a book! Yeah, some people may not consider that cutesy, but it's cute for me. Heehee.

The book on the right is Mermaid in the Basement by Gilbert Morris. I have never heard of Morris until a couple of hours ago. I bought the book because it was interesting: (1) it's set in 1800 (I think?) London, (2) the lead character is female, (3) it's a detective story, and (4) I smell romance in the corner. Haha! I was actually in a pinch when I bought this because there were two other interesting books: The Phantom Tollbooth and The Mistress of the Art of Death. Meh, the latter title is really piquing my interest... But it costs 115 pesos and that's the end of the dilemma. :P

Anyway, I also saw a lot of interesting things in the mall: a two-finger ring with a skull design (which is so Sunako Nakahara), cute pencil cases, a wolf plushie (so adorable~), Gundam OO merchandise (finally!), and a poster of a topless Kurosaki Ichigo with nun chucks. Haha!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Political Compass

Book Review - Dirty Sally by Michael Simon

Rating: 10/10

Sgt. Dan Reles, a Jew and New Yorker, is trying to fit in the Austin, Texas police department. When his buddy is killed, Reles finds he is having a hard time coping with the death and with his feelings for the widow. Additionally, he is set to go before a review board, and cracking his current case is the only way for him to look good in front of the superiors. However, the future seems bleak, as businessmen and prominent Austin citizens appear to have a hand in the murder of a prostitute.

Gritty and dark, this is an example of a good crime novel. Not only is it exciting, it is also well-written. This may be Michael Simon's first novel, but he sure writes like an expert.

Book Review - Three for the Chair by Rex Stout

Rating: 10/10

Three for the Chair contains three stories starring Nero Wolfe and his assistant, Archie Goodwin. The first, "A Window for Death," involves a pretty nurse, a squabbling family, and the mysterious death of Bert Fyfe. "Immune to Murder" brings Wolfe and Archie to the Adirondacks where the famous detective is asked to cook trout for an ambassador. But things start to go awry when Archie discovers a dead body during a fishing expedition. Finally, Wolfe and Archie are suspects in a murder investigation in "Too Many Detectives."

As I mentioned before, I have started to like Nero Wolfe and how he does his work. A secretive man, much like Sherlock Holmes, his methods are irregular but his results are always astounding.

Book Review - Plot It Yourself by Rex Stout

Rating: 10/10

A group against plagiarism asks Nero Wolfe to find out the person behind the recent plagiarism claims in the literary world. As Wolfe and his assistant, Archie, embark on this seemingly simple investigation, a dead body suddenly turns up, followed by another, and another. Soon, they are not only looking at plagiarism, but also at murder.

I didn't like Nero Wolfe at first because of the comparisons given by people between him and the beloved Sherlock Holmes. With this book, though, he is starting to be likeable, and his methods of investigation are as astounding as Holmes. A wonderful book this one is.

Book Review - The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Rating: 10/10

Boston PD Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles receive an appalling - and rather grotesque - Christmas present: a murder investigation. However, this is no simple murder. There are evidences of arcane and demonic activity in the crime scene left by the mysterious killer. An occult group offers to help them - a group that aims to find the root of Evil in this world. When the murders grow closer to home, the group wonders if they accidentally summoned a demon on earth.

Medical suspense can't get any more thrilling than this. Tess Gerritsen's The Mephisto Club lingers in the reader's mind long after it has been finished (heck, I couldn't sleep for three nights). This is one of her best books, really.

Book Review - The Secret Hour by Scott Westerfeld

Rating: 9/10

To the ordinary human being, midnight occurs only for a moment. To a special group of people, though, midnight lasts for an hour. Only at this time can they truly be free, enjoying their powers to the fullest. The darklings, creatures that roam only in the midnight hour, let them be, afraid to come near the humans. However, when a new girl comes to the town of Bixby in Oklahoma, the midnight hour turns dangerous. Meet Jessica Day, a normal girl with a normal family. The darklings, though, see a power in her that could destroy their precious midnight hour, and they must stop her, at all costs.

The Secret Hour
is the first book in the Midnighters trilogy.

This is my second Scott Westerfeld book, and all I have is praise. He is a master of his art - able to use literary techniques to their full potential. The Secret Hour is a well-written dark, adventure novel, with just a hint of romance here and there. It's a good read for teens.