Monday, August 30, 2010

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Books and doing nothing on a Monday

A free Monday at last. I woke up wantonly late this morning, and intend to do absolutely nothing for the rest of the day.

The third book of The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, is finally out. I finished reading it yesterday morning, and spent most of Sunday recovering. I wrote a review for it on The Exchange, a writing/reading project Hanna and I have just recently begun. It is a work in progress, but it would be great if you could drop by and give us a little love.

I got myself a couple of great books last night. The Yangco girls just opened Mt. Cloud Bookshop in Casa Vallejo and it is looking brilliant. There were a bunch of great titles, and I bought Shanghai Baby by Wei Hui for only P50. After dinner, Lem and I dropped by SM Booksale where I found Fool by Christopher Moore. I'd been looking around for a while, and was just about to tell Lem how frustrating it was not to find anything when there were so many new books. Then I looked up and spotted Fool on one of the higher shelves. I couldn't reach so I asked the man next to me to please hand it down to me. He kindly obliged, and I had to keep myself from scaring him with peals of excitement. I've only ever bought Christopher Moore's books full price, so I was ecstatic finding one for only P165.

Pa and Jake will be home soon with the groceries, and I should get started with lunch. Later.

The Beautiful Miscellaneous

Hanna writes a review of Dominic Smith's The Beautiful Miscellaneous:

"For the record, let me just say that I get uncharacteristically attached with the characters in the book that I read and I have a hard time dealing when the time comes for me to let go of them.

This sentiment is especially true after reading
The Beautiful Miscellaneous by Dominic Smith. The book is essentially about a seemingly ordinary boy who has been living under the shadow of his father’s genius..."

Continue reading the review on The Exchange.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

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Kubi reads

The children's section at Shakespeare Asynove, an English bookstore in Prague.

In the 1995 Sabrina with Julia Ormond, Sabrina tells her father the best reason she loves him is that he took a job as a chauffeur so he could have more time to read. I think I might look nice in a chauffeur's hat.

Here is a list of books I have read this year, so far:

  1. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  2. There once lived a woman who tried to kill her neighbor’s baby by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
  3. A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
  4. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
  5. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  6. The Complete Short Fiction of Oscar Wilde
  7. Madeleine is Sleeping by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
  8. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  9. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  10. Lost at Sea by Bryan Lee O’Malley
  11. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  12. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  13. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  14. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Titan by Rick Riordan
  15. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
  16. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
  17. Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore
  18. A Cook’s Tour by Anthony Bourdain
  19. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
  20. Aftershock by Kelly Easton
  21. Life History of a Star by Kelly Easton
  22. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami
  23. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
  24. Shopgirl by Steve Martin
  25. French Milk by Lucy Knisley
  26. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  27. Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour by Brian Lee O’Malley
  28. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  29. Exchange by Paul Magrs
  30. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  31. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  32. The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
  33. Eloise in Moscow by Kay Thompson
  34. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  35. Fluke by Christopher Moore
  36. Paper Towns by John Green
  37. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  38. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
  39. Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
  40. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  41. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  42. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  43. My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger
  44. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  45. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  46. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
  47. Fool by Christopher Moore
  48. Fly on the Wall by E. Lockhart
  49. Breakfast at Tiffany's (and Three Stories) by Truman Capote
  50. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

Friday, August 27, 2010

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This is after

I cannot imagine what the people on the bus were feeling. I wonder if they were wishing to see loved ones who were far away.

The events of August 23 are so nebulous, I have not fully grasped them. I do know some of our own fucked up in a most spectacular fashion. Rolando Mendoza took fifteen people hostage, got most of them killed and later lost his own life. The PNP was unprepared; the media was intrusive; and the president almost missed the party. The Chinese in Hong Kong are lashing out. Pain does that to people.

The Filipinos are experiencing varying levels of embarrassment. The bungling idiocy of the PNP and the insensitivity of the local media can make anyone cringe. But it is necessary to separate feelings about a series of unfortunate events from feelings about who we are as a people. If we are to redeem ourselves, we must remember that we are worthy to do so. It is not: "I am not embarrassed to be Filipino." It is: "I am proud to be Filipino."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

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Let's turn off the TV...'s killing us, we never speak.

The Midnight Organ Fight by Frightened Rabbit is one of my favorite albums ever. I get the feeling that these guys are kind of self-deprecating. And well, I'm a little self-deprecating myself. It's how I roll.

Anyway, songs on the album have been the backdrop to my two-day grading marathon. At school, everyone is just finishing up with their second long exams. I have arrived at my last batch of unchecked blue books. An end is nigh.

It's only 7PM and it feels like I've been awake for two days. Later.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

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Smoke and mirrors

An excellent link from my friend Jing: the dying art of pencil-drawn animation celebrates the dying art of stage magic.

Here is the trailer for The Illusionist:

Friday, August 20, 2010

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What's in the bag?

The last bike ride.

I feel the words looming in my head, but they refuse to be bothered with expression. These sentences will probably come out in random bursts. Anyway, here we go:

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Enschede and how peaceful it is there. I think about biking along tree-lined streets in the late afternoon. At top speed, I would sing at the top of my lungs, trusting the wind would drown out my dubious pitch. I miss getting lost, and not being worried about it. Also, I miss my mother. It must be because my life is all over the place these days, so my mind likes to drift off to quieter times.

I went bowling earlier tonight, and wasn't very good. On better days, I like to think I can produce a decent score. I was off my game tonight though (This is if we can call the way I bowl game.). An assessment of my poor performance on the ride home: I may have been (a) half-assing my way through it; (b) over-thinking it; or (c) half-assing my way through it because I was over-thinking. I have been living out my days in a distracted daze. But apparently, I can still rhyme.

I often promise myself to study for my classes a week in advance, but I almost always end up cramming. My already crowded brain can't take much more of this abuse. I also need to check a bunch of reports and problem sets, which I have been cleverly hiding under my desk. My work table looks innocent, but it is actually a menacing secret fortress of ungraded papers.

The upside to all this working is that I have a little extra money. In recent days, this has become necessary because self-therapy often involves spending inordinate amounts of money on either books or junk food. There is a book pile next to my bed that is so tall, I can't see the rest of my room when I'm lying down. The problem is, I never have the time to read. This is such a terrible thing to say. It is one of the most excruciating consequences of work.

Some of the books in the pile are Hanna's. She lent me Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan, among other yummy titles. I started reading it last night, and have been enjoying it so far. The tricky part is actually finishing it. At this point, I sigh ruefully.

In TV, Lem has given me old seasons of The West Wing. After a round of episodes, I am normally an emotional wreck. But I am wrecked in a good way.

It is raining tonight, and my bed beckons. Later.
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