My Bookcase

Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

I have seen this book around the web, and I think in the various bookstores I frequent too. I always checked it out but never bought it because I couldn’t identify myself with it because it was non-fiction, and the story of a woman after the collapse of her marriage. The story of her renewal I guess. I got hold of the audio version, the book being read by the author herself. Though her world is so different from mine, I find it very interesting. I’ve never listened to audio books before, it is not like listen to music at all – it commands your full attention! It is difficult to write up this post while I listen to Elizabeth talk about 9/11 in the background. But listening to an audio book would be a good way to pass the time while commuting (not for me because mine only lasts 10 minutes) or waiting in line somewhere.

I don’t think I’ll read listen through this all way through. Not because it isn’t worth it, but because it is. I actually would love to read her words. She reads beautifully, and I love the fact that there’s emotion specially because it is her story that she’s telling. But I want the book too. If I will use my BestBuy Gift Card, this will be one of the books I’d be getting there. 🙂

Oh and I’d just have to add: Hugh Jackman was great at the Oscar’s! I love his opening number. His number with Beyonce and the rest was also good, but I didn’t see much sense in the songs they sang, haha. I also liked the whole production, specially the way they presented the nominees for the acting roles. It seemed so personal and would totally make a nominee feel so honored. I also liked this year’s tribute for the Hollywood personalities who died in the past year with Queen Latifah singing in the background.

I enjoyed this year’s show, kudos to everyone behind the production!

Weekends at Mid-Week

I am determined to make all my weekends count. Specially now that weekend for me actually happens midweek, having Tuesdays-Wednesdays off work.

This morning, I met up with the boyfried at Fully Booked in Gateway. Went there straight from work and I actually lasted until about three in the afternoon. Not bad. I was sleepy by the time I left my desk, but all the energy came back once I stepped foot in the mall. Haha.

Problem is, instead of getting any Christmas shopping done, I bought a couple more things for myself. A Jennifer Weiner title from the second-hand book shop, a top from SM, and chocolates and candies from Marks & Spencers. I also decided on what to put on my wishlist for the exchange gift we’re having at work (tough choice!). To be honest, I didn’t really put much effort into finding stuff to give. I’m not sure why. I also don’t know if I’ll be trying again tomorrow. I do know that we’re going back to San Benissa for the presentation, and I’m really looking forward to that (but I’ve mentioned that before, haven’t I?) 🙂

It’s nighttime now but I have a several things I want to do before going back to bed. Alfred mentioned that he was going to fix our closet and stow away the jackets that are not being used anymore. Having slept on the couch this afternoon, I don’t know if he has actually managed to do that before he left to meet up with his friends tonight. Whether he did or not, I’d like to contribute to that effort so I’ll arrange our other clothes and not all mixed up all over the place like they are now 🙂

I’d also like to leaf through my baking book tonight. Perhaps that will inspire me to bake through this holiday season, like Decembers past. I am still thinking which of these two interesting books I’d order online, maybe you can help me? The images are linked to a review page.

tack_cupcake cookies

Twilight, the movie version

On Tuesday, we finally saw the movie that both Alfred and I have been waiting for. We had a nice, filling  lunch at House of Minis, also in Greenhills, right before the screening.

I felt that there are many aspects in which it could have been improved, but as it is, it wasn’t all that bad. In fact, I wouldn’t mind watching it again, and again. And again.

First, I didn’t really like the makeup. They’re all supposed to look gorgeous, perfect, god-like. Instead, they looked like hell. Except Emmet, and Victoria (didn’t she look prettier than Rosalie?). Jasper and Alice were a bit of a disappointment, not to mention Rosalie who was supposed to be the yardstick for beauty herself. But as the movie progressed, they did grow on me and I was able to get past the bad makeup.

Bellas’s voice. Okay, I had seen the trailer before so I was prepared to see the movie Bella and reconciled her to a smaller version I had seen in my mind while reading the books. But when I heard her speak, she felt more different to me. She looked and sounded stronger than the Bella in Twilight, the book. She was the inner Bella, you know what I mean? Meyer made her look fragile at first, one who needed protection – there was none of that in the movie version. It was like Edward’s need to protect her was unfounded. Hehe.

And where was Edward’s confidence and air? He looked the opposite of the confident young man I pictured him to be. He was always hunched over, even while walking.

They did an awesome job with the sunny sparkly scene. I think that was what I wanted to see the most. Hehe. 

The movie was too short, in my opinion. Too short to really show the rest of the world who didn’t read the book, why millions have been hooked to the saga.

Anyway… We caught an early screening on a weekday so there weren’t a lot of people in the cinema. There was a group of elderly ladies who sat beside us. There were about four of them. Alfred and I looked at each other as they entered. We were wondering whether they had read the books, or had daughters/granddaughters who did. They quietly watched; in fact, I think Alfred and I were the noisiest in there.

So have you seen it? What do you think of it?

So is 2009 the year we spend our anniversary out of town?

Two years ago I told Alfred I wanted to spend a weekend out of town – Tagaytay specifically. He didn’t want to go because – ahh I don’t know why.

Last year, we were supposed to spend our anniversary weekend at this quaint resort in Laguna. It didn’t push through. 

Last week we were talking about where we wanted to go. It has to be somewhere just near, and we wouldn’t need to spend too much money (because we don’t have much to spend). Tagaytay cropped up in the conversation again. Alfred mentioned that it would be so much easier if I could drive, then we’d have no problem with transportation. How true!

Me, drive? I don’t know much about cars, don’t know shit about suspension and steering rack. I watch Overhaulin, American Hot Rod, Top Gear, and all those other car shows on cable, but I cannot really drive. I know all about the theory, from tagging along and being at the backseat when my mom was taking her driving lessons from A1 more than a decade ago. But I cannot actually drive. I long for that freedom. The places we’d go see if only I could drive. Sigh. 

But back to what I was saying… I really hope we do get to spend a weekend in Tagaytay in January. I can already sense busy weeks ahead of me. If the last week I had at work were any indication, I’ll be back to my long hours at work on a regular basis. In times like these, it would help keep me going if I had a weekend getaway to look forward to. 🙂

Christmas came a few weeks early :)

Alfred and I have already exchanged Christmas gifts for each other. For several years now, there’s really no surprise anymore when it comes to our presents for each other. He doesn’t like surprises, you see. So he usually just gets me something he knows I really want, and I also get him one that he actually asks for.

But I was still surprised when he offered to get this for me when I finally found a copy at Fully Booked Greenhills:

 This baking book first caught my attention about two months ago, at which time I blogged about it here. I only saw an actual copy last Saturday, when I sought it out. At the same time that I saw it, I also found the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook.

When he saw that I was hesitant to purchase either books after checking out the price, Alfred immediately offered to get it for me – as my early Christmas present. The next crucial decision that took me around 15 or 20 minutes to make, was which one to get. Obviously this one won out, but it was really a tough choice. Both books gave tips for beginner bakers and offered plenty of recipes to choose from. I felt that Martha’s was friendlier for beginners and was actually more inclined to get that first, and then to just come back for ArtNSoul when I’m done with it. But there was something about this huge baking book that really just drew me in.

I have not yet taken it out from the FB bag since I brought it home. I want to be ready to tackle it when I do so. First I’ll be reading through it, and then picking out which recipes I’d like to try. Then I’ll prepare the environment for actual baking: starting with the oven. Maybe if I just clean it up, it’ll function better. At this point, I am shelving the idea of buying an oven because I need to prioritize payments for the condo. I need money to spruce it up a bit, and then finally rent it out. One’s that’s all set I can get a loan from mom or brother bear for a big new oven.

I have this other recipe book I’m itching to get, Anita Chu’s Field Guide to Cookies. It isn’t available here though and I haven’t mustered enough courage yet to ask a relative if I can have it delivered to his place and then he’ll bring it over when he comes home in a few weeks for his wedding. I mean, he’s going to be busy right, I wouldn’t want to add on to that.

Anyway, as for my present to the boyfriend, he got what he wanted too. A new watch!

It’s a Swatch Chronos with their new plastic/silicone (?) technology that makes this thing that looks ginormous so lightweight! It cost more than what I am ever willing to spend on one single watch so Alfred’s paying for the rest. We still consider it a present though. 

You should have seen how happy he was with it. 🙂

I tried on some of the watches too, and I really wanted to take some of them home with me (lookup the Curvaleous and Color the Sky – this one reminds me of my previous blog layout). I seriously had to restrain myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve worn a watch. I still have my old black beady Swatch that just needs a new battery. I can always just have that battery replaced if I really needed to wear a watch. I just wasn’t up to spending a fortune on the Curvaleous. 

We had to walk around the mall before Alfred finally finally decided to bring home that watch. I still had to keep my eyes away from the two watches I fancied so I wouldn’t be tempted to add them in to the purchase. Haha.

We had brunch at a Japanese restaurant before heading home. Salmon sashimi again, after so long!

Sophie Kinsella – The Undomestic Goddess

I finished a book on my one day off – Kinsella’s The Undomestic Goddess

Samantha Sweeting is really something. She was at the top of her game and then the whole world crashes down on her. She makes rash decisions, but those eventually lead to her happiness. 

I want to be like her. 🙂

No, not to become a housekeeper, but to learn all that stuff and actually enjoy it – cooking, and cleaning. I’ve never been much of a domestic myself. I know how to clean up around the house and I can find my way in the kitchen (I bake, don’t I?) but to do them really really well and to enjoy it too? Hmm…

Nah, that’s not really it. I want to be free like her, to finally find the life she can be truly happy with. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy as it is. But sometimes, I still think about leaving my job behind and doing something completely different. Work isn’t as stressful as Sam’s lawyering, but it is busy. And lately, there’s absolutely no “just be” time at work. No one’s imposing that I don’t take my breaks, but with the volume of things that need to be done – I can’t help but forget to go on break. Haha.

Anyway, if you enjoyed Kinsella’s writing in the Shopaholic series, then you’ll like this one too. It’s very easy and light reading (specially compared to Les Miz – which I still haven’t finished). It’s a bit too good to be true, like would things like this happen in real life? But that’s the wonder of books – anything can happen. 

The book had a very light approach to the debate on where women belong – at work or at home. It wasn’t imposing for either side. I guess what it did was come across to let women know that ultimately, it is their choice. Samantha was brought up to look forward to just one goal – to build a career at law and be the best in that field. She owned that dream and her whole life revolved in making it happen.

An unfortunate event yanked her out from that life. She went into shockand acted in panic. And though there could have been so many bad situations she could have found herself in as a result, it was the Geigers and Lower Ebury that actually saved her.

She really did sound like a woman coming out from a bad relationship – someone who needed healing. And what a great rehab she found! Iris, who was like a mom to her, did not just teach her to cook, but taught her how to taste, and feel.

Sometimes I feel like novels like this shouldn’t include a hunk of a man, so that there’s no confusion about what drives the heroine to the choice she makes. Would she really have chosen her new life had there been no Nathaniel?

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