An Insatiable Hunger for Reading

Catching a whiff of the grass-like tang of a paperback always invigorates me.

Jeez! I must have been so busy these past three months that I was not able to post anything on my blog! I’m a terrible blogger.

Yes, I was extremely busy. To save myself from boredom while in line for the lousy MRT (sorry, MRTA, but I am not alone in having that opinion) and to have something to occupy my thoughts before I sleep at night, I always have a friend made of board and paper to accompany me.

So, for the last three months, I was away to visit Westeros and check what’s going on with Daenerys in Slaver’s Bay. (Caution: The next two sentences contain spoilers. If you want to, just keep reading. You have been forewarned.) Westeros is now in more turmoil than ever, with Cersei back in the Red Keep after the humiliating events in the Sept of Baelor and Jon Snow might be dead. Slaver’s Bay is also in chaos and Daenerys just fell to the hands of the enemy. In addition to the The Song of Ice and Fire series, I have also read Rainbow Rowell’s “Eleanor & Park” and “Attachments”, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman, “Looking for Alaska” by John Green, and Robert Galbraith’s “The Cuckoo’s Calling”. Presently, I am in the middle of Winter’s Tale and the first volume of Sherlock Holmes.

Let me share some of my favorite passages from these novels that became part of my life.

This one is from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, the book that once again reminded me how it is to see the world from a child’s point of view.

George R. R. Martin made me smile when I came to this point in A Dance with Dragons.

Eleanor & Park is a realistic love story. A far cry from the typical love-at-first-sight novels and TV programs we are used to.

John Green did a great work with Looking for Alaska. I’m soon to be 25 years old while the characters in it are only sixteen to eighteen but I admit that I still mull over what the future holds for me.

It’s easy to get absorbed to these books. I love books, I love stories, I love reading. I love the way books make me think and escape into a different world. I wonder why some people do not enjoy reading books. I guess they are doing it the wrong way.

An Incomplete List of Small Pleasures

Great or small, there are a lot of things to be thankful for. Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day are not the only days to appreciate the people who make our days blissful, the things that make us relaxed and contented, and the simple circumstances that put the tiniest smiles to our faces.

Here is my incomplete list of small pleasures.

  • waking up before the alarm
  • the smell of an old book
  • finding that I have extra money squeezed somewhere in my bag or wallet
  • finishing a thousand-page novel
  • my bed and pillows after a very tiring day
  • the chuckle of a baby
There is this trending topic on Instagram and Facebook challenging everyone to be happy for one hundred days in a row. Sounds fun and challenging indeed. I think being happy for a hundred days is easy but being happy for one hundred consecutive days is quite a test so I registered. Challenge accepted. I will start tomorrow.

Life is short so I must not make room for regrets. Who knows? It may be the end of the world tomorrow but at least I have done something out of the ordinary before the earth stops spinning, before the sun becomes a red giant star and vanquish the planets’ orbits, before the nations’ politics evolve into something like Westeros’ and Panem’s. If only Doctor Who is real I will volunteer to be his assistant and travel in time and worlds with him in the TARDIS. That would be cool! I am now imagining uploading a photo on Instagram. A selfie with the Doctor and the TARDIS on the background. Hashtag: #100happydays.

Can you also make your own incomplete list of small pleasures? It’s a good way to de-stress and to discover that there is happiness in the small things around us.

Define ‘Normal’

photo from writingprompts.tumbler.com

I believe that I am normal. But when I think about it the second time around, I doubt if I am.

Is anyone really normal? How do we know if someone is normal?

I think it all depends on a person’s impression of what ‘normal’ is. For me, being normal is waking up at 5:30 a.m. and arriving in the office at 8 a.m. during weekdays and staying in bed until 8 a.m. on weekends, while it will never be normal for a person working in the night shift. Singing at the top of my lungs in the shower is normal for me when it can be annoying to somebody else. I love reading novels but my bosses prefer newspapers.

One person that I would consider to be normal: Jennifer Lawrence. She’s popular but her actions are pretty casual. She speaks what’s on her mind, talks like a common person, makes faces in front of the crowd, doing her best to earn a living, competitive (an Oscar at 23!). She is the very notion of ‘normal’ for me.

Symbiosis. I believe that every single person is essential in making the world go ’round and I don’t think it’s okay for a person not to fit into what society labels as normal.

I know I am crazy but I am normal. Just take a look at one of my Facebook posts back in 2013.

When Wavelengths Meet

I received this text message from a friend:


Ate Che-Che, why is Gus like that? I’m gonna cry!


And I immediately sent her a consoling reply, telling her that life is not always a happily-ever-after tale, knowing that she is referring to the ending of The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Who said that bookworms are antisocial? We are not. We just choose the people we want to talk to. Try to visit a book’s Facebook page or Instagram account, you will see millions of readers sharing their thoughts about the characters, the plot, the author, how the book was creatively written, how a certain event can be related to real-life situations, and how an ideology being discussed impacts a person’s ethics.

It’s wonderful how books can make people connect instantly. Someone will start a quote from a book and every nerd in the room will follow suit. And thank God for the Internet, a single hashtag will direct you to thousands of feeds for a certain fiction character.

That’s enough blabber for me today. Let me get back to Westeros. The Season 4 of Game of Thrones will air this April and I have to finish the books first.

An Accountant’s Woes

It’s Saturday afternoon. I’m at home and I should be relaxing. But all I could think of is my office table. When I left the office last night, my table looks like this:

I know. A mess raised to the hundredth power.

I don’t blame myself, though. With loads and loads of work from the time I sit on the office chair at 9 a.m., I just can’t find the time to file the files. You might suggest that I stay several minutes after office hours to organize my table. But no, thank you. I usually leave the office totally exhausted at 8:30 p.m.

Accountants are the best in balancing the debits and the credits but flunk in work-life balance. The salary is good, yes, and there are lots of part-time opportunities that can both boost the income and pump up one’s finance skills. Accounting life, on the downside, means routine work, monthly book closings, tons of papers, gazillions of computations and reconciliations, ten to twelve-hour office hours with no overtime pay, no coffee breaks, late lunch breaks, and no make-up retouches.

Despite all these, I love my job. I enjoy what I am doing and I feel great knowing that the company cannot function without me. No business can operate without accountants. No businesses means no employment, hungry mouths, empty pockets, and poor nations. Therefore, in my own little way, I contribute in keeping the world’s economy stable.

And back to my office table, a study proved that messy-deskers are more creative than people with immaculate offices. Ergo, I might just keep my topsy-turvy office desk.

Prince Charmings: The Men I Can Never Have

Help! I am in love with fictional characters! With some real men, too, but they belong to the alta sociedad that being close to them or seeing them in person is just a dream.

A book lover since age eight, I had the idea that my one true love will be a striking, rich prince or a gallant knight in shining armor. Very fairy tale-like, I know, but I don’t blame myself. I blame the profound intuition of authors.

Like most book lovers and TV series fans do, I fall for these characters over and over.

  • Tobias Eaton a.k.a. Four of Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. The way he handles a woman as fierce as Tris got me. He’s someone in control in the midst of chaos.
  • Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Giving up his only wish for Hazel to personally meet her favorite author is very thoughtful. And this is one of the sweetest passages I have ever read.
  • Klaus Mikaelson of The Vampire Diaries. Seriously, how can anyone refuse someone with a British accent? He’s not totally evil, he’s just misunderstood. And when he said this to Caroline – 

“He’s your first love, I intend to be your last… however long it takes.”

       
         – I died of envy.

  • Damon Salvatore of The Vampire Diaries. An absolute arse at the beginning, Damon is now Elena’s hero. Nothing is more heartbreaking than watching your beloved in your own brother’s arms but Damon kept his cool from the start. 
  • Edward Rochester from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. This is where the classic master-servant romances came from, I guess. Any woman’s heart will beat faster when her good-looking boss say this line from the novel.

        “I knew you would do me good in some way, at some time; – I saw it in your eyes when I first beheld you: their expression and smile did not – did not strike delight to my very inmost heart so for nothing.”

  • Liam Campbell of Angel Falls by Kristin Hannah. He is a loving husband who never gave up on his wife even when she did not recognize him after waking from a coma and instead asks for her ex-husband. Wanting his wife to be happy, he searched for his wife’s former love.
  • Christian Grey. Fifty Shades of Grey. I need not introduce him because I know that everyone knows him. Like most of those who read the novels, my inner goddess was awakened by the gloriously handsome Christian Grey.
  • Prince William. Yes, the Prince William, second in line to the throne of England. He is my first crush. When I see a magazine where he is on the cover, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat. When they announced his engagement to Kate Middleton, I got fever the next day.
  • Pete Cashmore. Mr. Mashable. Smart. Attractive. Extremely wealthy. What else can a woman ask for? I am so jealous of his girlfriend. But I hope the best for them.
Life is not a fairy tale. I am old enough to know that. But a woman can always dream and these dreams are the spices of life.

Happy New Hair!

To welcome year 2014, I said goodbye to boring straight hair! Before last Christmas, I decided to try what everyone is talking about – digiperm! With the help of my friend, Google, (haha!) I searched for the best salon where I can have my hair permed. Tony and Jackey’s is one of the top rated, so I rushed to SM North (The Block) before I change my mind.


After four hours of sitting on the salon chair and paying a fortune (yes, I paid a ridiculous amount for the service), it’s worth my while because I love my new hair. Now I look like I came straight from the set of Game of Thrones (I wish!). 

The evening I had my hair permed, my hair looked like this (The pictures are a bit unclear as my phone’s front camera’s resolution is only VGA. And sorry about the face, I’m not very fond of putting on make-up.).


I went home to Bicol after three days and took a photo outside, the sunshine and the wind added the drama.

Even if this hairstyle made my face look fatter, it’s cool to know that I can try some creative ways to style my hair like this one.

Three weeks after the digiperm, here is how my hair looks like:


Maintaining the curls is really an effort and a bit costly but I don’t mind. Having these waves is one of my best decisions in life.