Sunday, June 28, 2015

"Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim."

I met Nora (Ephron) through Lena (Dunham). Somewhere in Lena’s book “Not That Kind of Girl” she mentioned about loving her and was looking up to her. I’m just too lazy now to look up the words for the purpose of quoting the exact line/s in respect to Nora. Lena impressed me in the first couple of chapters of her book so the name Nora Ephron registered in my head and I decided to search her up and check out her works when I get the time. Damn, I hate admitting that I came to "know" Lena first than Nora. 

That same day when I read Nora’s name I happened to visit a bookstore looking for anything interesting. And, indeed, it was one of those days when you’re longing for interesting and life offers you interesting right in front of you. Not just one, but two. Yep, two beautiful copies of Nora Ephron’s.

When I got in the hotel (I was then in an out-of-town work), I check the books and decided which one to read first. I decided to have the “I Feel Bad About My Neck” first. I started it and after a few paragraphs I was having the feeling that I wouldn’t leave it until it’s finished. I convinced myself to wait until I’m back in Manila from a head breaking training and things are back to normal so I could enjoy the book more. As soon as I arrived Manila, I started “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” I decided to shelf Lena’s book and just get back to it when I’m done with the two. It was good that Lena mentioned Nora on the first few chapters where I was still beginning to get a bit irritated by her tendency of having me-myself-and-I syndrome. If not, I wouldn’t have remembered Nora and bought these books, which easily now become on top of my list of favorites.

I should say that I Feel Bad About My Neck is a MUST read by every twenty-six year old woman. I chose the age randomly. But the younger in the twenties, the better. The earlier you figure out some things you’ve been trying to figure out all your younger days, the better. It’s full of candid bits of wonders. I hate to use “wisdom.” It sounds so serious and dull. Despite Nora talking mostly about her experience in the 50s-90s, it never sounded “old.” And it’s funny and smart. She talked about events in her life that are more interesting than some fiction I’ve read.

“I loathed being sixty-four, and I will hate being sixty-five. I don’t let on about such things in person; in person, I am cheerful and Pollyannaish. But the honest truth is that it’s sad to be over sixty. The long shadows are everywhere—friends dying and battling illness. A miasma of melancholy hangs there, forcing you to deal with the fact that your life, however happy and successful, has been full of disappointments and mistakes, little ones and big ones. There are dreams that are never quite going to come true, ambitions that will never quite be realized. There are, in short, regrets. Edith Piaf was famous for singing a song called “Non, je ne regrette rien.” It’s a good song. I know what she meant. I can get into it; I can make a case that I regret nothing. After all, most of my mistakes turned out to be things I survived, or turned into funny stories, or, on occasion, even made money from.” 

“When I pass a bookshelf, I like to pick out a book from it and thumb through it. When I see a newspaper on the couch, I like to sit down with it.... Reading is one of the main things I do. Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” 

“I live in my neighborhood. My neighborhood consists of the dry cleaner, the subway stop, the pharmacist, the supermarket, the cash machine, the deli, the beauty salon, the nail place, the newsstand, and the place where I go for lunch. All this is within two blocks of my house. Which is another thing I love about life in New York: Everything is right there. If you forgot to buy parsley, it takes only a couple of minutes to run out and get it. This is good, because I often forget to buy parsley.” 

While I so wanted to read the book again – I don’t want it to end, I read her other book, “I Remember Nothing.” It’s a follow-up to “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” It’s as funny and smart. And I feel like I should bring them with me all the time so I can reread them whenever I want to. She’s got wonderful stories and insights about love, life, and death. You got to grab a copy of these two.

“In these days of physical fitness, hair dye, and plastic surgery, you can live much of your life without feeling or even looking old. But then one day, your knee goes, or your shoulder, or your back, or your hip. Your hot flashes come to an end; things droop. Spots appear. Your cleavage looks like a peach pit. If your elbows faced forward, you would kill yourself. You’re two inches shorter than you used to be. You’re ten pounds fatter and you cannot lose a pound of it to save your soul. Your hands don’t work as well as they once did and you can’t open bottles, jars, wrappers, and especially those gadgets that are encased tightly in what seems to be molded Mylar. If you were stranded on a desert island and your food were sealed in plastic packaging, you would starve to death. You take so many pills in the morning you don’t have room for breakfast.

You lose close friends and discover one of the worst truths of old age: they’re irreplaceable. People who run four miles a day and eat only nuts and berries drop dead. People who drink a quart of whiskey and smoke two packs of cigarettes a day drop dead. You are suddenly in a lottery, the ultimate game of chance, and someday your luck will run out. Everybody dies. There’s nothing you can do about it. Whether or not you eat six almonds a day. Whether or not you believe in God.” 

"You do get to a certain point in life where you have to realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can't put things off thinking you'll get to them someday," she says. "If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I'm very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it."

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars."

Recharging means heading up north of Quezon -Real- to soak in the pacific under the looming sun. Yes, that's how you do it, darlings. Going to Real, Quezon to me is almost like writing an obscure poem. Sierra Madre could make you think of many words that unnecessarily relate with each other or make little sense all together. Up there you drive with the clouds. It's how beautiful it is. 

***Taken on the road going to Real, Quezon and in Pacific Recreation Park (13-14 June) by Linds

Friday, June 12, 2015

Bacolod and Nostalgia

I just arrived from Bacolod! It's been a few years since my last visit in the city. It felt nostalgic being there going around Talisay, Silay, and Bacolod City without Brando. It's his hometown and it would be lovely to have him around as he's stuck in Manila for like forever without going home. Thinking about it makes me sad. Everyone should visit his/her hometown from time to time for old memories sake. 

I didn't bring my camera because the purpose of this travel wasn't for leisure. It was actually work and I didn't want to look like an excursionist. Haha. So I was at the mercy of my mobile phone's camera for photos. But then again I don't have the best camera phone so you can already imagine. Not much photos to show then. Sadly. 

 ***Photo of  Nature's Village Resort in Talisay City (where we stayed) is not mine.

The BookMark Collector - Willy Nieuwveld

Bookbed featured Willy Nieuwveld, a bookmark collector from Holland, as the month of June opened. 

Excerpt from the interview article.

If you're still surprised or puzzled that there are people who actually collect bookmarks (yes, as serious and "technical" as stamp and coin collectors, if you know what I mean), then it's time to let it sink in because I'll be proving you wrong in many BookMarked posts to come. I'm not alone in this, I promise! (By the way, read our intro to BookMarked here.)

When I was most active in collecting bookmarks, I was in contact with a lot of collectors from different parts of the world to exchange/trade pieces from our collection, so I thought I might introduce those amazing people to you guys!

***Re-post from where I contribute articles under BookMarked! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

"BookMarked: Marking the Beginning" at Bookbed

Yay! Happy day! I'm proud to tell you that I've finally began contributing at Who wouldn't be proud? It's an awesome site that shares anything and everything bookish. And to be part of it is awesome. Lol. You must check it out. 

Here's an excerpt from BookMarked's welcome entry. 

Hello, Cheer Readers! Welcome to BookMarked, a new section under Pillow Talk here on bookbed, where I share all the wonders of collecting that ever-so-important companion of readers everywhere: the bookmark!

You collect what? Bookmarks?!

Yep, that thing you use to mark the page you left at before you called it a day and dozed off. Just like every collection that has ever existed, it started with one piece, though mine wasn't necessarily the first piece I owned. 

Instead, it was this simple Hallmark bookmark given by someone I wasn't that close to that prompted the idea of collecting it. I had about two or three bookmarks already before getting this one as a birthday present. I thought, "Hey, what a nice little sweet thing for a friendly gesture."

Then I bought several more and kept them in my pile of stuff in case I would need them one day for giveaway. I gave one, two and a few more away but was still left with several bookmarks. Friends would see them and assumed I must be collecting them, which I never negated, despite the fact I wasn't really going in that direction... yet. 


***Re-post from where I contribute articles under BookMarked! :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Potted Plants Giveaway Monday!

A Novel Idea Bookshop gave away potted plants yesterday! *happiness*

I’m a mother of three lovely plants namely Petrus (Taheboo), Rudolf (Oregano), and Mary (Lemongrass). Yes, they have names. I would love to have more of them, but I currently live in a tiny condominium unit that isn't really encouraging and favorable for such idea. 

Petrus grows fast. A few months back, I trimmed him to a manageable size given our window also occupies clothesline with clothes to dry. But after just a while he grew back lushly, as expected. Then I got an idea to start planning for the Potted Plants Giveaway Monday! About three weeks ago, I bought small pots at Dangwa and replanted some trimmings of Petrus (Taheebo).

I wouldn't say I’m an expert on this. But I’ve done it several times with various plants that can grow from cuttings - it can vary though from one plant to another. Nonetheless, here are some general tips I can give you from my own experience:

1. Choose the bigger stem (or the mature growth). Cut them slanting. Water is easily sucked in that way. 
2. Do not make the trimmings very long because the water would have a hard time reaching the tip. Just keep them a few inches long.  
3. Use a sharp pruner. I used scissors.
4. It’s better if you soak the tip of the trimmings in water immediately after you cut them off to prevent the pores from closing.
5. Use a good soil. Make sure the soil is wet when you replant the trimmings.
6. Water them.
7. Until you think they’ve grown some roots, avoid moving them unnecessarily.

So the Potted Plants Giveaway Monday happened in my workplace. I brought five little Petruses with me. I was so glad my officemates were interested to take them home. All five of them went to different homes last night. *ultimate happiness*

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Painted Cheeseboard!

Happy Sunday, darlings! Feelin' crafty these days? I do. :) 

On our way back from Baler Aurora, we dropped by at a road-side shop selling woodworks, like stools, benches, chopping boards, palo-palo (yep, that wooden thing you use to clean the fabric when laundrying), keychains, tables, and a lot other interesting stuff. I was particularly interested in the chopping boards as I had a plan of trying to paint it. Instead, though, I got a palo-palo since they're much smaller than the available chopping boards and they're much cheaper. I mean, I only needed one similar-looking wooden thing to try my little project out. So, palo-palo it is and look how it turned out after painting a little part of its handle. 

How to do this?! First, get a cheeseboard, of course. A real one or innovate something, if you're that creative. You have to have a nontoxic acrylic paint (extra bright). I used poster paint on this because it's what's readily available at home. Appropriate brushes. Having several sizes would be very convenient for doing the details. Then, you're good to go! Some may have used glazes or fixers (nontoxic) to keep the design safe.

But, there you go, here's my experimental version. It was fun doing it. When I have the right tools and the cheeseboards, I should try it again and make the real thing. :) 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Waiting a ride at Buenavista

We toured around Bohol Island! Not to see the tourist spots, but to see what the tourists don't see. 

And as you might have known, public transportation is quite unreliable in rural areas. There's no trip schedule. All you can do is wait and try your luck. So, to get on with our plan to go around the island we had to take several trips on several modes of transportation: Bus (Maribujoc-Tubigon), Jeep (Tubigon-Buenavista), Motorcycle (Buenavista-Getafe), Van (Getafe-Talibon), Bus (Talibon-Trinidad), Motorcycle (Trinidad-Ubay), and Bus (Ubay-Dimiao). It was a full day for me and Brando. A tiring, but fulfilling one. I wasn't able to take many photos. Except for these while waiting in a makeshift waiting shed at Buenavista. 

We left Maribujoc, the hometown of my granny, at nine in the morning. We arrived at Dimiao, which is the hometown of my late grandpa, early evening. What a trip we had. It's definitely one of the days I'll remember when I'm old and forgetful. The towns were just unbelievably cinematic. The western and the quite films I so love to watch came to life. It felt like that. Maybe I'm biased because I love Bohol more than any part of this country way before I even saw Getafe or Buenavista. 

*** Taken in Buenavista, Bohol (28 April) by Linds