29 June 2014

For Anyone Who's Equally Frustrated As I Am

I'm one of the people who prefer to read her books in their actual form rather than buy their online counterparts. I enjoy going to the book store, reading the synopses at the back of the books written by authors whom I look up to, inspecting the cover designs, and finally settling with a book or two (or sometimes, the entire collection) which I'll instantly snick my nose into the moment I arrive home. It sounds simple but the process of selecting a book entails at least 30 minutes (except when I'm already hellbent in buying a certain title) as I believe, or would want to believe rather, that I'm a picky reader - not exactly a snob as I can practically read anything as long as the plot is interesting. Again, notice that 'interesting' is dictated by my moods. After all, just like everyone else, I read because it's the easiest form of escape. Temporary it may be, but it's in those few hours of immersing into the literary world that I see sense of what my next step would be. Normally, I read two different novels simultaneously. I categorize based on the number of pages, not on whether I think the author is an easy-read or his/her works are esoteric. Although to be fair, there are instances where I give certain authors a try because only a handful of readers actually read and digest their ideas appreciatively. As what Haruki Murakami (I've read his Norwegian Wood and 1Q84) said, 

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Currently, I'm reading Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Murakami's Kafka on the Shore. I'm reading the former because I enjoyed Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, with all its freaky ghost family, underground syndicate, and its awesome name for the protagonist - Nobody - while I decided to make the latter my 3rd Murakami novel because any story that alludes to Kafka interests me. 'Kafkaesque' has been one of the terms I sporadically dropped in my essays in my Great Works class in college.  

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Romper: Topshop | Blazer: H&M | Necklace: Aldo | Shoes: BCBG

I've been sidetracked from what I initially intended this post to be about. What the authors write in their dedications, that is. This page has always been the first thing I look for in every book that I take home with me. Sometimes I laugh because of the funny anecdote; in other times I swoon over the sweet nothings. Here are a few of the notable dedications:

"Aina, I love you, will you marry me?" - Peter Leeson's The Invisible Hook: the Hidden Economics of Pirates

"To Beatrice: darling, dearest, dead."
"For Beatrice: my love for you shall live forever. You, however, will not."
"For Beatrice: dead women tell no tales. Sad men write them down."
- Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

"To all my enemies, I will destroy you." - Frankie Boyle's My Shit Life So Far

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Farrar & Rinehart
Simon & Schuster
Limited Editions
Harcourt, Brace
Random House
Equinox Press
Smith & Haas
Viking Press
- E.E. Cummings' No Thanks

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"Dedicated to the strongest person I know: me" - Babe Walker's Psychos: A White Girl Problems

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot. By order of the author." - Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

"To my continuity girl" Mark Haddon's A Spot of Bother

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This is what I wore when I attended my second cousin Ysabella's dedication. She's in the country for her baptism but a week later, she and her parents went back to Australia. Should everything be in order, perhaps I'd see her again this coming September. Anyway. I figured there'll be plenty of kids aside from the event having been held during summer so I wore bright colors. Around 8PM, I hurriedly changed my blazer into a black cardigan and my heels into flats to follow to my friend Jeanne dela Rosa's birthday celebration. 

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with my 2nd cousin Sofia
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these crazy people!

What I lack in the number of posts, hopefully I get to make up for it through my lengthy ones :)

Dedications found HEREHEREHERE

24 June 2014

I Hate to Break It to You...

Eversince our HS class' production of Wicked, the story of L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz has held a special place in my list of favorite books. Anything that tells and deconstructs Oz easily get my attention. I find delight in looking at Oz through different vantage points, allowing the characters more room to be understood why they've been who they've become, and who else they can possibly be. Such is the case why I bought Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die the moment I saw it in the bookstore.

If Gregory Maguire's Wicked wasn't enough to paint a different underlying truth behind the Wicked Witch of the West's circumstances thereby eradicating her once perceived wickedness into a form of sacrifice, having read Paige's Dorothy Must Die completely erased every hero-worship I bestowed upon the girl with the shiny magical red shoes. Oz became so much more than the fantasy world that captivated us with its yellow brick road and the grandiose Emerald City. It has become a corrupted territory that can be a metaphorical representation of where we live in. 

Consumed by the power she has been awarded for for killing the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy thirsted for more. She wanted to be the most powerful ruler Oz ever had. To ensure that all the Ozians would abide by her imposed rules, she assigned key leaders to oversee all operations in all of Oz. The Tin Woodman, the Lion, and the Scarecrow mutated into scary beings who was made of objects so sharp that they easily amputate their subjects upon contact, fed on the fear of the Ozians, and medically experimented on all of Dorothy's sentenced enemies, respectively. Glinda, known as the Good Witch of the South, still with her majestic ball gown and too sweet smile, aided the new ruler as well. Other Witches who were notorious in being wicked formed the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked which aims to bring back Oz to its former glory. The story shatters all our notions that just because one seems to be good (probably because she's physically beautiful, dresses impeccably, and all other shallow reasons we form based on outward appearances), it doesn't follow that she's good through and through. Just the same, those who are wicked may not be straight-laced wicked. They may be wicked in some ways but at second glance, there might be something deeper and selfless in who they truly are.

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Sweater: Zara | Flats: Alexander McQueen | Shorts: Zara | Bag: Coach | Watch: Anne Klein

To cut my storytelling short, the protagonist of the story - Amy Gumm - is tasked to kill Dorothy since she's believed to be capable of being as powerful, having come from Kansas and brought to Oz by a tornado as what happened to her predecessor. To cut the story even shorter, the book ended with the latter still freely roaming around along with her loyal subjects except for the Tin Woodman whose heart has been cut off in the last 5 pages. How can a book that offers so promising a plot, so disturbing in its comparison to the real world, so clever in its dialogues and so riveting in structure end without fulfilling what its synopsis promised?

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To be fair to the entirety of what's left in the story, I was ignorant to not know that this book is a part of a series. So much more is going to happen. Still, I was annoyed at how crafty the other supporting villains had been. I just finished an entire book without having so much as stumbling upon death coming to any of them. I'm vengeful, am I not? Haha! Oh well. My bad for not knowing this is just a part of a series.

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This is what I wore when I attended my goddaughter Paris' first birthday. I still don't have the luxury of time to visit her whenever I'd want to (which is pretty often) so for now, I'd spoil her with lots of gifts. Had I a choice and had their home be in close proximity to mine, I'd always stop by and play with her. Grow up faster, baby Paris, so that I can kidnap you and take you shopping!! 

18 June 2014

Beyond the Laughs

There's really something commendable about the animated movies these days. Now, the formula doesn't only involve comic relief +  great visuals = blockbuster hit. Having a big hearty message is added to the mix. There's a great deal of symbolism and even deeper subplots that would seem funny to the kids but would leave more impact on the adults. Take the movies ParaNorman, Kung Fu Panda, Wreck-it Ralph, Lego Movie, and the currently showing How to Train Your Dragon 2 for examples. It's a welcome surprise when you only want to accompany your younger cousin to see a certain movie on theaters but within the plot, you'll stumble upon messages that are more resounding to adults. Here are the reasons for my liking of the previously mentioned animated films, all supported by lifted sentences from each film: maybe it's best to explain ParaNorman's story with the film's protagonist's enlightening statement "sometimes when people get scared, they say and do terrible things". Anything that doesn't fit into our idea of normalcy, we categorically define as wrong; Po's adoptive father said that "to make something special, you just have to believe it's special. There's no secret ingredient". In that sense, the answers that we're looking for are not found anywhere else but inside us. See how powerful our mind is?; I've been struggling with waiting for affirmation from others that would suggest that I'm on the right track, just like Raplh's struggle for validation from the Nicelanders. Innately, there's this need for all of us to feel accepted by everyone. And that when we believe we've done something right, we wait for others' congratulatory nudge. But the concept of 'something right' is relative. Thus the expression we can never please everyone. What's wrong with being who we already are anyway? "I am bad and that is good, I will never be good but that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me."; Aside from its catchy 'Everything is Awesome' song, I absolutely enjoyed its satirical dialogue exchanges. Witty, to say the least. I thrive in subtle personal insults coupled with intentional jabs on real life situations. I guess what it tries to convey to its audiences is that, the more we try to blend in the crowd, the more forgettable we become. We have to embrace our individuality and believe, yet again, that we are as special as anyone else can be; I liked the first installment of How to Train Your Dragon that's why when given the chance, I watched the sequel with my grandmom and brothers. Only a few movies can make an equally impressive sequel and Hiccup's second adventure is an example of how succeeding stories are supposed to progress. There are sacrifices that are too painful but are necessary to promote the common good. And if you're a leader, you'd know that sometimes dreams that would yield personal gains are outweighed by tasks that would bring peace and happiness for many. In general, I think what all these films dealt with was having Fear in the Unknown as an enemy. There's always fear in whatever we do. But these films showed us that we have to move along or else fear will ultimately consume us. Or maybe it's just me as I am an easily impressed person who tries to find reason in whatever she likes to not sound as clueless as she really is. Haha! 

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Sweater used as dress: Zara | Necklace: from Thailand, Forever 21 | Bangles: Aldo | Bag: Coach
Here's what I wore for my maternal grandmother's advance birthday celebration. 

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12 June 2014

Take It As It Comes

I've this ability - or defect depending on how one perceives it - to let something emotionally difficult to handle, to rest in the deeper recesses of my mind until I've mustered a strategy on how to best deal with it. I can fairly handle the changes in my life especially if at the end of it all, I know that I would benefit from it considerably but I have a few episodic outbursts where I,  simply put, fall apart. Then again, no one would know when this happens except me. As I've said in one of my posts, my world could crumble down under my feet but no one will ever know when it's already happening. For someone who speaks her mind all the time, unsolicited opinions or otherwise, I do the shutting up like a pro. 

It's been weeks since I've received the results of what I hinted as what was supposed to be the game-changer of this year. Let's just say that I wanted to get A so badly that I didn't even come up with back-up plans because I didn't want to compromise the situation should I get it, but in the end I was offered B. I couldn't accept B even though it was a good alternative because it wouldn't bring me closer to my goals. To say that I was disheartened would be a great understatement. I had to let go of all the possibilities that it would have opened for me as abrupt as they've sent me the news. I wouldn't even try to delude myself into thinking that everything would eventually turn out better because I'd never have the chance to know. So for now, I'm just settling with doing the most of what's left. This includes finally learning to speak French! Je parle un peu fran├žais. Je suis etudiant en Alliance Francaise. And in a few months, I'll be going to other places. I'm taking small steps and formulating other plans along the way just to be sure. I don't want to get jilted the second time around. Hahaha!

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Shoes: Celine | Dress: borrowed from my grandmom | Polo: from Bacolod | Bag: Coach | Bangle: from Thailand | Belt: Mango
I'm getting lazy at taking photos of what I'm recently wearing so I had to use this set which was taken last April. These past few weeks, I'm out and about almost on a thrice a week basis because my friends and I are spending the most of the time with my friend Jana Medel. She's leaving for Singapore in a few hours where she'll be staying for the next 2 years. She has signed a 2-year contract there which will serve as her first job after graduating. I consider her as one of my closest friends. She's our batch drummer every intramural season so it's no wonder that we're together from dismissal time to 12 midnight every underground day. We have witnessed each others' best and worst moments in HS (which as I've repeatedly gushed here happened when we were in 3rd year). 
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I'm going to miss you, M! If only Multiply didn't shut down, I would've had more photos of just the two of us. Have fun there! We'll visit you soon!
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