Confessions of a Seething Daughter

WARNING: Complete ranting ahead. I apologize in advance.

I’ve been on a writing strike for a while. Not because I want to… I would love nothing more than to indulge my reading and my writing, but alas… Every writer goes through their rainy and messed up moments. My train of thought has made a temporary detour, and my mind has been blank the last couple of days, hence, the completely random last entry dated the 4th of February.

Today, however, the train was jolted into locomotion by a very irritating and downright spiteful creature. No names shall be mentioned although I must say I have taken quite a strong dislike to a certain type of flower for the sheer reason of her carrying the same name. (To this I say TO THE FLOWER, “You poor, poor blossom”)

Let me start by saying that I have ZERO respect for people who talk crap about other people behind their back. I’m also pissed as hell at people who promise to do something and end up screwing you over in the long run. Basically, people who have the word FAKE invisibly tattooed on their forehead MAKE-MY-BLOOD-BOIL.

Trust me when I say, I’m not an angry person. I’m actually quite pleasant most of the time. What irks me to no end is when certain people mess with the people I love. In this case, my Mom.

Golden Rule: Never mess with a person’s Mom. NEVER!

The funny thing is, this creature of darkness, this bitter shell of a woman… She’s a Mother herself. And to you I say… What sort of example are you setting for your daughter? With the way things are going and with the despicable people she’s exposed to every single day, I wouldn’t be surprised if she turns out to be just as wicked as you…

Stop trying to make my Mother look bad because it isn’t going to work. My Mom has proven time and time again, how hardworking, honest and incredible she is. You, on the other hand, are too busy chasing after your fluttery dreams of a happily ever after with your less than perfect Prince Charming (I use this term loosely, if at all) and your eyes that are way too far apart to even be on the same face. Speaking of that, I also suggest you see someone about that creepy face fetish of yours. The one where you assume the camera loves your face so you take dozens of photographs of yourself from every possible angle… Not working for you at all. That’s just soooo lame! Please don’t think so highly of yourself because you end up looking like such a social climbing loser.

You better look closely at that woman staring back at you in the mirror before you start blabbing and yammering on and on. You sound worse than a brainless Dodo.

— Honey, you shouldn’t have made such an effort trying to hide who you are because the snake will crawl out eventually. I have said my peace and I am so done with you.

 

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Book List 102

As promised, here is my 2nd Book List. The 1st one was a list of series. This one will be a list of individual books that I personally can’t help but skim every now and then. I didn’t follow a particular genre while writing this down. This list is a mix of the old, the new, the probable and the impossible. I hope you guys enjoy it and I hope you decide to pick one of the titles up the next time you’re at a bookstore.

“She says nothing at all but simply stares upward into the dark sky and watches with sad eyes, the slow dance of the infinite stars.” – STARDUST

I was lucky enough to have my copy signed by Neil Gaiman when he came to the Philippines.

Stardust is an adventure into a magical, unknown world. A boy, blinded by infatuation, searches for a fallen star in exchange for the heart of the woman he desires. In the end he finds something that will one day be the story of legend. This book was an engaging journey towards love and self-fulfillment. Neil Gaiman definitely DID NOT disappoint.

 

“Zakhor. Al Tichkah. Remember. Never forget.”- SARAH’S KEY

I’m not too crazy about Nazi stories. Not because they’re boring or anything but because my heart can’t seem to take it. Most books in this genre are too graphic or too morbid for me. With an imagination like mine and a story like that, it’s hard not to envision the events evolve clearly in your mind. This was the first Holocaust inspired book I’ve ever read. Although it was mellower (to some extent) compared to other novels in this category, tears still streamed down my face and the scenes still played out so vividly in my head. The pain was so real that I literally had to stop and clear my head a couple of times. Fair warning though, this book was painfully beautiful but very, very specific. Don’t rush into the story though because there’s a lot to take in.

 

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.” – THE SHADOW OF THE WIND

The story begins with a Father and his son and their journey to the Cemetery of Forgotten books. The boy is allowed to choose 1 book from countless shelves and ends up selecting a book that reveals a story, long hidden and almost forgotten. Shadow of the wind taps into all points of interest, from mystery, to murder, to an aching romance that was doomed before it even started. It is a testimony to the power of words and is indeed a page turner. Filled with so many twists and turns, you can’t help but read a little faster, just to find out what’s about to happen next. 🙂

 

“Business is a game, played for fantastic stakes, and you’re in competition with experts. If you want to win, you have to learn to be a master of the game.” – MASTER OF THE GAME

This book starts and ends with a woman named Kate Blackwell. Hers is a story of pain, revenge and manipulation of the highest degree. As the pages turn, you witness the transformation of every character in this story. The book overflows with so many twists and turns that you sometimes need to take a moment to fully process it all. Some characters in this novel become so conniving and their schemes so cunning that you find yourself constantly at the edge of your seat, waiting for their next move. There was never a dull moment whilst I was reading this book. Every page made my heart beat just a little bit faster and my mind just a little bit crazier. Truly a novel of EPIC proportions.

 

“It’s not about how to achieve your dreams, it’s about how to lead your life, … If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself, the dreams will come to you.” – THE LAST LECTURE

I’m not a big fan of self-help books so it took me a while to pick up The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Deciding to finally read this was one of the smartest and best decisions I ever made. In all honesty, this book is probably my favourite. It doesn’t go up on any shelf because it has a special spot on one of the tables beside my bed. What’s so beautiful about this is not the flowery words or the dozens of quotable quotes inserted in each chapter. The beauty is in the fact that all this optimism, all this faith and overpowering love is pouring out of the heart of a dying man. Tears never fail to escape my eyes every time I open this book. It is a testament to the life and the heart of a man so unbelievably special; he touched the lives of millions of people all over the world.

Book List Part 1

As promised, here is my book list. I have been thorough in investigating the contents of my book shelves as well as my kindle. It actually took me some time to debate (with myself) about what titles to put in this list. I have decided to divide this into 2 entries. I have accepted the fact that trying to fit all the titles into this one post will make me sound like a geeky snob. That and, this will take forever to get through if I don’t split it in half. As I’ve said before, I wouldn’t read something unless I enjoyed it. Being an avid reader, you can imagine the books that line my shelves. Fair warning though… I have yet to fully let go of the little kid in me so, some titles on this list may seem “less mature” than others. Then again, it is MY list after all. 🙂

Anyhow, before I delve into the hard hitting books, I’d like to start with a couple of series that literally leave my mouth agape and my mind craving for more until I finish (and sometimes, a little after that) I will no longer be mentioning The Harry Potter series  and The Chronicles of Narnia in detail. If you haven’t gotten around to reading the books yet, you seriously should. And if you have no intentions of reading them at all, then you should have yourself examined. These books make the word EPIC sound more EPIC than it already is (did I make sense just now? Haha.)

So before I find myself rambling on and on, let me start with the list of series and work my way up from there. Here’s to hoping this list encourages at least 1 person to scour the bookstore in search of one of the titles. 🙂

BOOK SERIES 101

Inkheart is a trilogy written by the brilliant Cornelia Funke. This book was a writer’s dream. The characters were so alive and vivid and the setting so fantastic that I felt like I was whisked away to a different world every time I would skim through the pages. The story itself unfolded beautifully in my mind. From the simplest element such as the shape of the clouds, to the more elaborate ones like the characters themselves, every detail was painted out for me with such precision that I never found myself wanting. As I was reading this book, reality blacked out and my imagination went berserk. I kept looking over my shoulder every once in a while just to make sure nothing was popping out of thin air. This trilogy was indeed a delight to experience.

 

The Inheritance Cycle was originally written to be a trilogy but ended up becoming a cycle of 4 books instead. According to some of my friends, the books appear quite intimidating because of how bulky and thick they look. Trust me when I say, there is no part in that cycle that can possibly be omitted. Remove a detail and it ruins the whole story. What I loved most about this series was the variety of interesting characters, both ones that fill your dreams as well as a number of others that feed on your nightmares. It was interesting to see the characters sporting individual personalities inside their own races and circles.This book left me hanging for 3 years so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to finally see it in the bookstore. Needless to say, I swiped that copy right off the shelf. Now that the cycle has officially ended, it would be the best time to read all of the books. This will make for an interesting read. 🙂

 

The series “The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel” was the reason why I had to adjust my reading time from the evening’s, to almost the entire day. I just sat in one corner and completely lost myself to the story. I thought it was rather ironic how I enjoyed the books so much. I asked a friend of mine to read the summary and she looked back at me and said, this series sounds like a modern day history book (if only history class could be that interesting). Honestly, I wasn’t much of a history buff back in the day (still not too crazy about it at present). I guess that’s what I loved about this series, the way Michael Scott (the author) was able to incorporate the old and twist it into something new was absolutely amazing to me. Unfortunately, there’s still one book left before the series officially ends. Still, these books were unbelievable page turners. I loved every second of it. 😀

 

I have yet to meet a person, young or old, that did not enjoy reading The Hunger Games. This was a unique story illustrating a dystopian society where the elitist government continuously abuses the people. This story had its fair share of unexpected twists. I loved how the author decided to use children as the main characters. It added a particular flare to the already interesting and engaging series.   For the people who like thrilling and action-packed stories, Hunger Games is practically marinated in it. It’s appealing to both those who enjoy an engaging plot-line that tackles the mind, as well as those that are looking for a good (yet uncommon) love story that taps the reserves of the heart.

 

NOTE: I want to thank my brother for sharing his insights on all the series I listed above. 🙂 I promise to start working on the 2nd Book List soon, till then I leave you with a beautiful quote from Hazel Rochman, “Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere.” CHEERS! 😀

Livin in the Movies!!!

One of my followers sent me a message the other day, asking me to recommend some books and movies that she should consider looking up. I don’t claim to be an expert or anything. I read books and watch movies that I genuinely enjoy. If you’re the type who enjoys cowboy movies or one’s that have long dialogues and detailed explanations… Then I’m probably not the best person to ask because I wouldn’t know what to tell you. That being said, I don’t actually follow a specific genre. If it looks interesting, chances are, I’ll end up checking it out. If I don’t like it, well… it isn’t very difficult to stop the movie or permanently shelf the book (or in some cases, I give them away to someone who would actually pick it up and enjoy it)

So as not to make this entry seem like the 1st chapter to a never-ending novel, I will start with a list of 5 movies then work the book list into another post. 🙂 I promise to work on the book list just as soon as I dot my I’s and cross my T’s in this movie entry.

Let’s start….

“I believe in music the way that some people believe in fairy tales.” – August Rush

I’m a musician, literally and figuratively speaking (I’m currently a student at the UST Conservatory of Music.) To say I was amazed at the kid would be an understatement. I was completely floored and in absolute awe of his talents. I toil and trudge through my music classes (theory and solfeggio) every single day. To watch this child process music like Einstein would Science was completely mind-blowing. I don’t want to spoil the movie for those who actually want to watch it, so let me just say that this film was an absolute joy. There was so much faith, hope and candid love that you can’t help but smile every now and then. AWESOME pick me up movie! 😀

WARNING: This next movie will be a contradiction to my previous statement of not liking films with long, detailed dialogues.

” If I am King, where is my power? Can I declare war? Form a government? Levy a tax? No! And yet I am the seat of all authority because they think that when I speak, I speak for them.” – The King’s Speech

Like I said earlier, I do not particularly enjoy movies that do nothing but talk incessantly. To be perfectly honest, I started watching the film because I personally believe that Colin Firth oozes talent and Helena Bonham Carter is just flat out brilliant. However, as the film progressed, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the witty banter among the characters. It was interesting to witness just how difficult remedying a speech impediment was. I was also fairly amused at how unorthodox the methods of the therapist were. If you’d like to watch something that makes you think, is very interesting and can make you chuckle every once in a while, this movie has all that plus a little something extra. 🙂

“I want you to look in the mirror and find something you’ve never had the courage to say before” – The Art of Getting By

I wasn’t aware that I was a fan of Freddie Highmore. Then I realized that in this movie list, he’s appeared twice already. I guess that does make me a fan of sorts. Anyhow, I found this movie rather fascinating. Why? Because it was so simple yet so honest. I loved how George (the main character) was able to portray how nonchalant yet incredibly talented he was without coming off as arrogant. I also loved how the story evolved with the characters and how each character was able to grown into his/her own skin at the end. I guess every teen goes through a variation of the “Everything seems meaningless” phase, probably not as extreme as this one, but similar. Despite the clichés of regular teen drama, this was a light but beautiful film that I absolutely enjoyed.

“What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career – the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reason can be found. I am only here tonight because of you. You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons.” – A Beautiful Mind

This movie speaks for itself. It tests your mind, your body as well as your heart. This man was a dreamer in EVERY sense of the word and more.  He searched for answers and ran into more questions along the way. He got lost in every way possible. The beauty of this film comes from his journey towards finding himself, understanding the problem, picking up the pieces and mending his life. I thought this movie was intoxicating as well as moving. Intoxicating in a way that makes you think and moving because of all the pain he goes through. What is more touching is him being able to find someone who accepted him, flaws and all. This film was utterly complex and had a lot of surprising twists in the beginning, the middle as well as the end.

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.” – THE LORD OF THE RINGS

I will now allow the geekier side of me to seep through as I reveal the final “MUST WATCH” film (or in this case, films) on my list. You know how they say the books are always better than the movies? Well, I must say that, although the books were more detailed, the movies were pretty kickass! After 8 years, I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how vivid they were able to paint the scenes of this film. It was all that I dreamed it would be, times infinity (what a dorky way of putting it. Haha.) I loved the adventure and the thrill of seeing the movie unfold. If you haven’t seen these flicks yet (just in case you didn’t know, there are 3)… You are seriously missing half of your life. 😛

NOTE: For those who aren’t aware yet, THE HOBBIT (also written by J.R.R Tolkien) will be released December of this year. Here’s a sneak peak aka the trailer via youtube. ENJOY! 😀

Smart is overrated!

I don’t think I’m stupid. I’m slow at some point but, I’m definitely not stupid. I won’t be able to answer the big questions at the drop of the hat but… Here are some things I actually do know…

I know what it’s like to be happy, happy in all ways and in all things.

I understand the importance of time. I know that once it’s gone, you can never get it back.

I know how gripping inspiration is and how it can help and encourage you to grow and expand your horizons

I know the value of friendship. I am thankful each and every day for all the people that have been sent to ease my having to pass through troubled times..

I know how it feels to cry. I cry because of pain, because of loss and because of things I’ve had to leave behind. I know that every tear that falls from my eyes is a memory forever etched in my mind.

I know what it is to learn. I may not learn as quickly or as efficiently as others but, I know the essentials.

I know that everyday is a new discovery and every rising sun hints at another chance to better myself.

I appreciate beauty. The way the sun sinks to the earth to give way to dusk is a sight I shall carry with me all the days of my life.

I know how to have fun. Crazy, reckless fun that leaves me senseless, breathless and gradually tints my cheeks with a rosy colored glow of complete and utter satisfaction.

I have experienced the wonder of words. Shelves filled to the brim with books that allow me to explore this world as well as the next. Words that shield my eyes from the pains of reality and allow them to awaken in Utopia even if it’s just for a fraction of a moment. All this happens with nothing more than a few sheets of paper bound tightly in leather and written in ink.

I know how to make choices. Granted, they’re not always the right ones, but I know that in every path I take, there is always a lesson waiting for me at the road’s end.

I am aware of the dangers of taking risks. I also know that sometimes, risks are crucial. They build character and they push you to leap when you would otherwise just sit in the corner and watch life pass you by.

I have faith. I have faith in people and faith in myself. When that isn’t enough and I feel like all is lost and times are dark, I put my trust in the Lord and in his promise of salvation. I know in my heart that he will never fail me.

I know how important it is to dream but, I also know the difference between living your dreams and living IN a dream. You should never get those two mixed up for they could not be more different. One offers you the world, the chance to explore the inner depths of your being and shine brighter than the stars. The other will give you nothing but grief and a longing for something you can never have.

And last and most importantly, I know how to love and am loved in return. I have been blessed with such an amazing family. They are a reflection of me and of who I want to be. They are proof that love, so compelling and boundless, exists in the real world and not just in fairy tales. I know that without family and without love, there is no life.

So there… I may not be able to explain the world and how it works in so many complex words like Einstein, nor am I capable of answering mathematical questions in an instant but I do know some things… They may not mean as much to you but, they mean the world to me. If that makes me stupid, then I don’t want to be smart…

Stuck in Wonderland

There are so many things I wish I could do. The funny thing is most of them border on crazy or completely impossible. That’s the funny thing about dreaming; only you are able to set the limits of your mind. You control how far your thoughts wander and how real you perceive things to be. Sometimes, I just want to get away from all of it. Away from the hustle and bustle and the drama of my seemingly busy life and the problems that have arranged itself accordingly on a shelf in my head.  Basically, I want an escape from reality… even if it’s just for a little while.

I’m sure that most know the story behind the little girl who got lost in a dream and found herself in a topsy-turvy world where animals and flowers talk, decks of cards are people, creepy cats with a big grin appear out of thin air and the 364 unbirthdays are more important than that 1 birthday you have in a year. But even so, she was able to escape from this droning world into Wonderland. Hence began the story of little Alice Liddell, STUCK in Wonderland.

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?

In my life, there are moments when I just sit and stare into space. Sometimes, my mind is a void. I think about absolutely NOTHING. I just am. Other times however, I am blown away by vivid pictures of places that in reality do not exist. It is a world I make to escape everyone… and everything. It may sound crazy but in a way, I think it’s magical. In reality, there will always be times when you feel like you can’t be yourself. Even if you say you can, instances occur wherein you will have to slightly re-invent yourself to fit in. In the real world, we sometimes feel trapped and limited to the norm. Jamie Paolinetti says, “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”

We all need an outlet in life. For some, it’s music, for others it’s writing, reading or even cooking or sports; but for me it’s something much simpler. I don’t even have to exert so much effort, cash out on so much money or travel far away.  It’s all in my mind. See, it’s important for one to escape the harsh truth of reality. Wonderland is a means to get away from all the jerks and freaks that come in and out of our lives.  Truth be told, it’s always easier to hide behind a wall of protection; a place that has become your comfort zone away from reality. Sometimes, we feel so limited to what’s actually out there that we end up creating an alternate world. You portray a completely different life where you are able to freely express yourself. This world becomes a canvas where you are the artist and you have all the control. There are no qualms, no hesitations. I can conjure up creative situations that can be exciting as well as entertaining or scenarios that calm my frazzled nerves as well as speed up time whenever occasions threaten to make my dreary afternoons even longer, a daunting feeling of it lingering until eternity.  As they say, dreams are powered by the imagination where by entering an alternative world, one can be allowed to better convey who they truly are instead of living by a false concept of reality.

In a way, I think that everyone has their own version of Wonderland. It’s nice to get away.  But at the end of the day, reality will inevitably set in. Wonderland is beautiful. A place that is truly yours; but we must not forget to LIVE. In this life, we cannot change the cards we are dealt with. We can only hope that we strategize well and win in the end. A brilliant man by the name of Randy Pausch once said, “It’s not really about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself and the dreams will come to you.”

In retrospect, Wonderland isn’t as far away as people make it out to be. Sometimes, when I’m feeling stumped, I like to daze and liberate my mind.  After all, dreams are one of those rare things in this world that are FREE.  It has no limitations, no rules, no hindrances that exist unless you want them to.  So, with that…WHY SCRIMP?! Never lose that child-like wonder in you.  Whether you’re 7 or 97, Wonderland is always just a hop, skip and a jump away. So when you dream, dream beautifully and dream BIG.  Should you be so fortunate to get half your dream in this lifetime, then you can say you have hit the jackpot and reached the stars.  After all, how many could actually be so lucky that at the road’s end you are one of the privileged who will have lived your own “Happily Ever After”.

Note: I would just like to thank my cousin Tracy for helping me out with this essay. She helped piece together my thoughts. 🙂 Love you Trace! 😀

Not Everything Needs To Make Sense

I was never one for sad and/or sappy stories (because they can be both and then some…) Back in the day, I would mock girls who’d watch schmaltzy movies and read about star-crossed lovers destined to be together by fate (this excludes Romeo and Juliet for obvious reasons) You remember those… The stories that usually ended with one dying and the other re-living the life they once had together (sniff, sniff, sob sob) Why on earth would you want to put yourself through all that heartache? There’s enough sadness in the real world to go around so why do we have to watch and read about it too?!

This was of course, the cynic in me. Years later, (meaning now) because I believe myself to be more learned and more mature, (or so I think, but I could be wrong) I have come to realize that stories like that aren’t as horrid as I believed them to be. Sure they only happen to 1 out of 30 couples (give or take) but still, they happen.

Earlier tonight I caught the end part of Dear John on the telly. I wasn’t hysterically sobbing or anything (because that would just be stupid) but I did find myself unusually melancholic at some part and, to be honest, a few tears did escape my eyes a couple of times (okay fine, I may have needed a Kleenex or two.) I guess no matter how tough you try and make yourself out to be, your walls will come crumbling down eventually.Some call it feelings, I call it a lapse in judgement (Just kidding! I’m not heartless people)

So if you will permit (just being polite. You don’t really have much of a choice.) I shall be handing in my 2 cents worth on the subject of love. (I promise to raise it to 5 cents if and when love comes a’knockin)

1) Love pulls you in so many drastic directions. Either you’re rocketing to, through, over and under the moon, bored out of your mind or plummeting to the ground at 300 mph. (if I missed something, feel free to let me know.)

2) Love is cryptic. A simple wink could mean the world. Some people can go through their entire lives without directly telling somebody that they love them but apparently feeling like that somebody is their sun, moon and stars.

3) Love is beautiful in so many amazing ways. Yeah it can be painful but you gotta remember that nothing is perfect in life. Even the most wonderful things have their flaws. The trick is to erase the blemishes and magnify the awesomeness 10 fold.

4) Love is giving yourself completely and without question. Sometimes it doesn’t always make sense and it doesn’t always have to. Some of the best things in life are unfathomable.

5) Love is above both reality and imaginary. LOVE JUST IS…

So yeah, we all live in the REAL world where we encounter REAL people with REAL problems and REAL broken hearts (figuratively speaking). But who’s to say that falling in love and living happily ever after isn’t real too? Love, just like life, is how we make it out to be. When it comes to love, walls and barriers break quicker than glass.

Now I end this entry with some words from good ‘ol Mr. HD Thoreau:

There is no remedy for love but to love more

Dear John...

"When his eyes met mine, I felt something click, like a key turning in a lock. Believe me, I'm no romantic, and while I've heard all about love at first sight, I've never believed in it, and I still don't. But even so, there was something there, something unrecognizably real, and I couldn't look away."