This sums up (in a better way than I ever could) how I feel about e-books.

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I don’t personally like the e-readers they’ve come up with so far. I don’t fetishize books, but I do like that they’re solid and unchanging. Most of the experience of reading The Great Gatsby is just the story itself, and you can get that in any form, including an audio version or something. But there’s something about having that book, that physical object, that I turn each page of and have on the shelf, that matters to me. And probably more important, those pages were white, and then they had Fitzgerald put on them. The problem I had with the Kindle when I tried it was, you know, first I had Ann Coulter, then I had Flannery O’Connor. [Laughs.] It’s the same little sheet. It makes everything seem unsubstantial. In my own twisted mind, it makes the words seem more arbitrary, less intrinsically valuable, less substantive if it can just be any words. We could just wipe the slate clean and get Laura Bush’s memoir, and then we could wipe it clean again and get Samuel Beckett. It’s part of that postmodern leveling, and I think people who really care about books feel in their hearts that there is actually a difference between Laura Bush’s memoir and Samuel Beckett. It’s not an elitist argument, it’s that somebody was trying to say something here, and in the other instance, a product has been put out there. So to that extent, I’m resistant to it, but that said, I’m happy with whatever form someone wants to read a book of mine.
                                                     (Jonathan Franzen, on e-reading)

*Truth. Books are still so, so, so much better.

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"I hope you know that 
you'll always have me." 
(Chuck)

Except I won't, because I'm down to my last three episodes and I don't want Chuck to enddd (six seasons and a movie, anyone?) 

Eeeeek. This show has undergone so many changes and hiccups and yet, it manages to provide me with everything. I will admit that this season isn't the best, but overall, this show is the absolute BEST. Chuck is truly the little show that could for me.

I wasn't able to say goodbye to it last January (along with the rest of the world), as life was rather busy but now that I have time, I still don't want to let this show go. 

I'm going to be crying once I hear that Cake instrumental for the last time. :(

Sigh.

rockStar of the year**

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I'll let you in on a secret, one that I coat in liberal doses of snark, eye rolls and generally, maldita behavior:

I'm painfully shy. 

I doubt anyone ever thinks of me as shy. Mostly, people see me as masungit*. I will admit that I am that, on occasion. Mostly, the food-less occasions. Har. 

I don't really know why I'm shy: I just like to be in the background. You know how in photos, everyone nowadays always likes being front and center? I'm almost always the girl to the side, in the back, just barely in the shot. I've always done better with the background: it's safe there, and also, people with their backs to the wall rarely ever get surprised. 

So the last few weeks have been wild with surprises, work-wise.There was the Revalida Chocolate Truffles. And now, the rookie of the year nomination. That one really kind of took me by surprise: I'm quite certain I'm middle person material, all the way. (I hope people reading this--if people do read this--aren't rolling their eyes at me, being all, b*tch please. I'm not downplaying me, as if. This is my own blog, why would I do THAT here?) With so much awesome in SMG, it's really kind of difficult to stand out. 

Anyway, the point to this blabby, very TMI entry is that I'm just really happy right now. I just can't stress it enough by teasing my teammates so I have to blab it all over the Internets.

I'm just really feeling blessed that my teammates all feel I'm okay enough to be part of Starlink. (Cause Starlink is awesome.) I sometimes feel like dead weight, particularly when I'm hit by my incredible lazy ways, so right now, it's just so...so...I'm just really happy.

I think I should go before I expire from the TMI.


*A Filipino word that is a combination of snobby and standoffish. Don't you just love words with no direct translations? :)
**The title is an inside joke we have, because we were all ribbing each other that we would be nominated if there WAS a category like that. :)

lost-ish, found-ish

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I'm always getting lost.

One of my most memorable experiences while job hunting was getting lost in Makati. My father's advice is to always ask the guards, whenever I get lost. So this one time, I asked a guard when I was lost, and his reply to me was priceless:

Me: Kuya, medyo nawawala po ako. Nasan na po ako?
Guard: Ay. Hija, nasa Makati ka.

Helpful. Not.

Still, sometimes, it pays to be lost. Like the other day, when I was trying to figure out how to get to Ayala from my French class, I somehow stumbled upon the Salcedo Weekend Market! :D

A weekend market is like a food fair. It's an area, usually a park (or a parking lot), where people set up stalls and sell goods. It's interesting, because mostly, small-time entrepreneurs are the ones that sell food and other items here, so you find really unique food items and surprises. It seems to be becoming a trend, as there are weekend markets everywhere: there's one in Nuvali, one in Tagaytay, and then there are the markets in the city, like Mercato Centrale in Fort, Salcedo in Makati and Banchetto in Ortigas.

The Salcedo Market is one of the oldest ones, though. My dad used to take us there as kids, and we would stock up on bread, cupcakes and such. Great times, being seven. :D

The Salcedo Market has changed quite a bit, from what I remember. Still, one thing remains the same: FOOD. And I had fun, enjoying soy chicken, freshly-squeezed orange juice and red velvet squares.

Here is my orange juice, and the lola even gave me an actual orange slice:

Lolo's Orange Juice
I really like this orange juice, because this is how my lolo used to make me juice in the mornings, when toasted our sunny side eggs.*

So, maybe I can't read a map, but well, maps aren't always the most important thing, are they?



*Inside joke. I always miss him, but things like this can kind of hit you, and cut you off at the knees, into a sea of remembering. Then again, all I remember are happy moments. I like the idea of lolo also having orange juice where he is now, and toasting me here. :)
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"But I learned only recently – that accepting someone’s feelings that you can’t return… is being the bad guy.”
 “You learned that only now?!"

- Ji-hyuk and Dong-il, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band

 We have this joke around the office, where we call someone Mr./Ms. Straightforward, when they say something incredibly straightforward (um...duh?). Usually, it's just with rather murky jokes, and you just tend to go with it through eye rolls. But then, I saw this exchange and realized that I have come to appreciate the straightforward moments. Not because of the content, really. More, because when it comes down to it, I really, really, really appreciate it when someone tells me exactly what they want and what they mean.



Fated to be Found

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Henry regretted not having saved Beatrice and Virgil. He missed them with an ache that made itself felt, even years later...He chided himself. Beatrice and Virgil, they didn't exist, not really; they were only characters in a play, animals at that, and dead ones. So what did that mean, save them? They were already lost by the time he had saved them. But there it was, he missed them terribly.

All that remained now was their story, that incomplete story of waiting and fearing and hoping and talking. A love story, Henry concluded. Told by a madman whose mind he never understood, but a love story nonetheless. Henry wished he had taken the taxidermist's play. That was another regret, that he had been so blinded by anger. But some stories are fated to be lost, at least in part.

(Beatrice and Virgil, Yann Martel)

*An excerpt from the novel Beatrice and Virgil, by Yann Martel. 

Beatrice and Virgil is the 2nd Yann Martel novel I've read, the first I've finished. (Nothing against Life of Pi, I am actually enjoying it, but I left it at the office so when I looked at my looming unread pile, I grabbed this one.) It's a nice read, given that today is Easter Sunday.

This isn't a book review. I don't do those. Rather, I can't. 

I can't really do book reviews, because I write (sort of, sometimes) and knowing how painful it is as a process makes me regard it differently than writing reviews for food, or movies. Which isn't to say that cooking and directing/acting/other activities are really easy things. It's just that writing is the one where I have first hand experience, so I can never be objective (as "objective" as my review-wees aren't :/). I know it's a bit weird, as most people would actually think, then wouldn't you be more knowledgeable? But it's the opposite for me, and I am also not quite sure why.

The book has been making me think quite a bit today. Essentially, it's about writing, and writer's block. I have that quite a bit these days, and it's an interesting way to mash up how I'm feeling. 

There are days when you just get these ideas and they fly by so fast, but you don't have the time to still yourself and go with it (possibly cause you're at work and you have deadlines...) and then there are days you commit to writing that end in endless backspaces because there's really nothing in your head. And then, there are the times when, similar to Henry, you have this idea, you churn it out so fast, the grand vision is there, you feel the embrace from everyone...when boom! One person gently tells you it's not working, they don't understand you, no, no, no. And, it's gone, just like that. 

But it's not just about writing. It's also about the Holocaust, and how opposite sides of anything give you opposite thoughts. It's also about animals, and how they shape you, and how you shape them. It's also about music, and hobbies, and how a gentle yet firm guiding hand makes all the difference in your learning. It's also flipbooks, travel, the wonder of children, and the many, many ways odd jobs seem perfect.

I can't stop thinking about this book, and it reminds me of that moment in Sandman, where Lucien looks at all the dream-books, where, essentially, all unfinished literature stays. It's how this book is making me feel, incredibly aware of all that's unfinished in my life. And sure, some of it will no doubt stay unfinished.

But most of it. Most of it, I am to make real. :)

All in all, this book is a great kick, a mental hello there!, to everyone whose having a hard time getting over their own block, writing-related or not. We just have to try hard to step outside where we are, and see where we could be. Then, we'll do our best to get there.