Love and XOXOXOXOXOXO this 2010

My New Year wishes and prayers are aptly articulated by Neil Gaiman, and like him, I love using it every year.

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be,  be wise, and that you will always be kind.

-Neil Gaiman

A happy and blessed 2010 to all of us. The past year was a big challenge for most of us (a.k.a. it sucked royally), so I know 2010 will give us a respite from all the hardships and heartaches. Things can only get better.


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my piggy got thinner

Last minute payment of our real property tax squeezed me dry. Just when I was so happy and thankful that I am finally able to save something substantial, here comes a substantial amount that needs to be paid ASAP. It feels so painful, really. It’s one thing to spend a lot of money on something tangible, and it another to spend it on something such as taxes.

I hate taxes.

Especially when most likely, they’ll just be lining the pockets of corrupt politicians.

Oh 2009, please please end your bad vibes. Let this be the last for me and my family.

But I swear, my piggy will be fatter and with vengeance in 2010 and beyond!

This piggy of mine will be fatter!

Back to reading

I randomly pulled one of these books from one of  the shelves tucked away in PowerBooks two weeks ago. The Mortal Instruments Trilogy books weren’t displayed prominently at the store entrance, nor did I have any idea about the story. They were just there in the shelves, with the titles Inkheart, Artemis Fowl, et al for companions. Intrigued, I browsed through the pages, and saw on the covers that even Twilight author Stephenie Meyer gushed about the books. (Okay, Ms. Meyer may not be the best writer around, but I enjoyed the Twilight series for what it was—fun and fantasy and the truckload of cheesiness.)

Dear Edward and Jacob: I adore you both, but I’m spending the weekend with Jace. Sorry!

—Stephenie Meyer

The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Got all three books in one go. Gah.  No sense in buying just one, because I know I’ll just regret not getting them all.

I’m only on Chapter 8 of City of Bones, but it looks good. If you like supernatural stuff like vampires, shadowhunters, werewolves, angels, faeries, etc, etc, etc, you might like these. No wonder Stephenie Meyer can turn traitor to Edward and Jacob.

Again, I’m no book critic, just a book lover. And I am now indulging in my love for reading after what seems like a long time. Bliss!

Wearing Nick Joaquin

They were a bit pricey, as far as tee shirts go. I mean, hey, I work for the government. I had even made a promise to myself that I’d keep shopping to a minimum this Christmas season and even beyond.

However, just one look, and I was hooked.

Landscape Without Figures by Nick Joaquin by Freeway

And Nick Joaquin is one the best writers ever, and still very much revered, even after his death in 2004. I figured, if I were to spend on a shirt, this was justifiable since I adore his writing. My first brush with him was when I was in the fourth grade, when my dear Mother gave me this book, Joaquinisquerie: Myth a la Mode, which was basically a collection of fairy tales that he had retold. Think Neil Gaiman retelling Snow White in his Snow, Glass, Apples.  How smart was my Mother, to introduce Nick Joaquin to ten-year-old-moi in the friendliest way possible? Oh Ma, I’m so thankful to this day, that you made me and my brothers love reading.

So back to the shirts.

The colors and design reminded me so much of another favorite brand of mine, Custo Barcelona. So whimsical. So me.

The shirts were so pretty, so I bought another one:

A Portrait of An Artist as a Filipino by Nick Joaquin by Freeway

A Portrait of An Artist as a Filipino was one of his works that we were required to read in first year high school. Seeing that shirt brought back lots of memories.

the care tag...I love it!

The shirts had probably one of the sassiest care tags I’ve ever seen!

hang tag

And yeah, I bought the shirts at Freeway.

It’s not a shop that I frequent, but their National Artist series is a great idea, methinks.  There are other fun stuff in the collection, including a cute shirt dress, but my I was so afraid of blowing away a week’s pay cheque in one go.

Maybe next time.

Sigh.

This holiday season, they’re featuring another artist, Ang Kiukok. If I had enough moolah, I would’ve gotten the gorgeous Ang Kiukok shirt in blazing orange.

*insert another sigh here*

But still…….. I have two pretty pretty pretty shirts!

I’m a happy girl!

Oh Johnny!

People Magazine, great choice! Last year it was Hugh Jackman, and I heartily approved.

This year, I approve again, with all my heart.

I love this man.

Be still my beating heart. He's still rockin' hot and gorgeous at 45.

Aside from being so drop-dead gorgeous and hot, he’s got a good heart, too. Dear Johnny has offered to help fellow actor Nicolas Cage, after the latter found himself saddled with $6 million in back taxes. Johnny has always felt that he owes his career to Mr. Cage, who helped him break into the movies by introducing him to his agent. He never forgot his debt of gratitude to Nicolas Cage, even after all these years.

So let’s see…good looks, good heart, great talent, a loving father….Vanessa Paradis is one lucky lady.

I wanna have my own Johnny Depp too.

i’ve been helping you, but you just laughed at me

Dear You,

For the past three weeks or so, I’ve been so busy with your PhD dissertation, from the printing, formatting (or  looking for people to do it), running after your committee members for their signatures, submitting it to the graduate school, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. In other words, it has taken so much of my time and energy. I wouldn’t have done those things if not for your very nice adviser, who asked me ever so nicely to help you out. I know you’re back in your Motherland, and still recuperating from your illness, and would do all these things if you could, but can I ask for some understanding, and some apology?

When a very important document went missing, and it was very crucial for your graduation, I did my best to find it. I was beseeching St. Anthony the whole time, to help find the document. It all seemed in vain, and if it couldn’t be found, the bucket would stop with me, and all the blame would be on me. In other words, I’d be dead meat. And I’d probably have to shell $500, which I didn’t (and still don’t) have. I cried in front of many people when the staff at the graduate school couldn’t find it. Out of sheer frustration, I cried. I was tired of your dissertation. I was tired of doing stuff that wasn’t mine. I had my own job and my own problems to think about. It was all too much. And then, after realizing their mistake in filing, they found the blasted document. I think I even cried harder after that. I heaved a big sigh of relief and gave thank to St. Anthony.

After that, I emailed you, to sort of give you a picture of what I’ve been going through. Of course, I told you I cried—in front of many freaking people. And then what do I get? A phonecall from you later in the afternoon. You laughed. You LAUGHED. You laughed at what happened. You laughed at ME. It was no laughing matter, please. If they hadn’t found the document, I don’t think you’d laugh. You just insulted me. You belittled my hardships and my emotions. You said “thank you”, but I was waiting to hear “I’m sorry”. You’re my friend, yes, BUT please, I am only human and I can only take so much. The next time you call, I won’t even bother answering my phone. I’ve had enough of you and your dissertation. Ask someone else to do the stuff for you, because I am this tired:

Have some pity on me, at the very least.

Me

the weekend that was

• my brother (the father-to-be) celebrated his birthday yesterday, and we had a nice lunch at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan. my sister-in-law’s family was also there, and i always enjoy their company.  a visit at this restaurant wouldn’t be complete without tilapia and crispy pata. ahhhh. great food, great company, good scenery, and the weather kinda cooperated. Happy birthday my dear brother!

• did my laundry, or just part of it. with the very fickle weather lately, it’s quite hard for our clothes to get sun-dried, so some of the “important apparel” (jeans, usual office clothes) get laundered by a wash-dry-fold laundry shop that we patronize. they do a great job washing our stuff, and the clothes smell soooo good! it also makes my room smell so nice, hahaha!

• had a massage at this “spa” that i frequent. i wouldn’t even call it a spa, because it’s very basic—nothing fancy or frilly, but the massage rocks! they specialize in thai massage, which tends to be on the hard side, which my achy back prefers. the place is clean, and comfortable enough for non-picky me. this is my “luxury”; something that i need when i need to pamper myself. i’ve been through a lot lately, and i believe i deserve this.  i expect to have a good night’s sleep, and a sore feeling tomorrow.

• since the “crisis” that happened over a month ago, i’m doing my best to live each day by and with faith. God listens. God provides. God takes care of things. God takes of us.

Have a good week ahead!