Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eh-hum # 262

Whew! Finally submited my paper last week, just in time for the break courtesy of the annual undas.

My mother hosted a dinner for the family on the 31st. It was fun watching my younger cousins huddle together and talk about college life (O-M-G! I am THAT old already) and other stuffs that young people in their early 20s and/or late teens talk about. Meanwhile, me and my sister decided to sing (rather, melodiously shout) a couple of 80's/90's karaoke hits. She also attempted to play with our three-year old nephew (rather, first cousin once removed), but what they had was a failure to communicate (he insisted on playing "Thomas the Train" with his own rules, meaning disregarding the stop/go signs my sister diplomatically explained to him. Awww, kids and their tendency to challenge authority). And then, my immediate family and I went to the cemetary yesterday and offered prayers for our departed loved ones.

And now, our attention turns to Christmas.


After submitting the paper online, I suddenly found myself with a lot of free time. My brother, using his power of persuasion, asked me to help him with a book report. Now, I am reading Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things. Its not an easy read, but so far very interesting (I am half-way done).

I should spend all of this time wisely, which will be quite a challenge. But what motivates me are the advantages of a MA degree and the realization of my future plans. So I should get on with it and take things more seriously than usual. So, a partial list:

1. My SSS account;
2. Enrolment this Friday;
3. Acquire list of readings in preparation for my Comprehensive exams next summer;
4. Organize my readings for my thesis;
5. Review my nihonggo; and
6. Work for additional income.



ALRIGHT! Tomorrow, the United States will decide who will be leading their country after W. The rest of the world can only watch and pray. Abangan!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Eh-hum # 261

This pretty much sums it up:

Really LOL funny. *sigh* But I prefer SNL when it had Tina Fey and Will Ferrell on it at a regular basis.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Eh-hum # 260

Bwahahaha. Yesterday, I laughed most part of the morning and all evening.

Accompanied benjotheman to the department store to purchase a few shorts and some socks for his overnight stay in a beach resort in Batangas (he left around 1:30 am today and will be back tomorrow afternoon). The said trip to the mall was hardly an adventure, but his impressive impersonation of his marketing professor (Are you insane?! Are you desparate?!) made the simple errand very enjoyable. The mall wasn't teeming with people yet so I doubt if my unabashed mirth disturbed anybody. Couldn't care less, really.

Later that evening, I was in a different mall enjoying a hearty pseudo-Japanese meal (gyoza and fried rice) with a small group of friends: one of my highschool/college barkada, my former boss and two former officemates. Talking about our misadventures at work left us gasping for air and teary-eyed. Of course, there was some serious moments, when our respective plans for the future dominated the conversation. It was, to say the least, a riot of an evening. It was a pity that we had to adjourn at around 22:00 to catch the train home. Nonetheless, I look forward to more of these soon.


So, what did I do in between (still staying at the mall). Well, I spent lunch and the early afternoon trying to figure out a concept for my final paper, which I promised to submit on or before Wednesday next week. I hope to submit a good one because my professor was kind enough not to give me a failing mark.

For the first time in the history of my grad school life, I have an INC grade (my idea). I am not proud of this and my rather dismal performance during the first semester really caught me off-guard. This is primarily (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) why I decided to resign: for the longest time, my studies played second fiddle to my work.

As I've mentioned before, I need this degree to move forward, professionally and personally. I was skeptical at first, but since I am thisclose to taking my comprehensive exam and writing my thesis, I became more comfortable with the decision to prioritize my MA. But of course, working part-time is not out of the picture since earning a little money on the side wouldn't hurt. Hehehe.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eh-hum # 259

Look what I found in YouTube (talk about a major trip down memory lane):

Its just one of the opening sequences of this crazy Canadian comedy sketch show for kids. I remembered watching this on Nickelodeon and LMAO.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Eh-hum # 258

And now, a word from the man:

"I'm conscious, as ever, that a lot of water has flown under the bridge since my last message. Since then I've been working hard at an edit of my Diaries 1980 -1988 in time for publication next year, whilst watching Archie grow up and trying to come to terms with my identity theft by a hockey mum in Alaska. And no, Sarah Palin is not my sister, daughter or alias. And I'm Sahara Palin not Sarah." (Read the rest of it here)

Damn straight! No way can he be related to Ms. Sarah "I-can-see-Russia-from-my-house" Palin, especially she was born as Sarah Heath. Yes, we should be looking at the husband. But he's not running for VP, is he? Hehehe, sorry, just like to point that out.


In other news, I have decided to prioritize my studies over work. Its going to be challenging for me to do this full time since I REALLY like earning some serious dough (I have a lot of stuffs I wanted to buy). Then again, I have to move forward professionally and I can't be a staff forever. I am optimistic that my MA degree would help me secure a better job and open other doors/opportunities both here and abroad (eh-hum). Time is of the essence and I have to accomplish this by 2010.

Gambatte Kudasai!


Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is ALREADY OUT! And as far as I know, only one bookstore in Metro Manila has copies. Excuse me, I need to make a phone call.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Eh-hum # 257

Two articles on the much contested and yet approved Reproductive Health Bill, but different sets of opinions/POVs.

Hmmm, interesting to note that both sides believed they are winning the argument of whether or not the Filipinos should be wary of using contraceptives to tackle, among other things, population control.  Am sure you are familiar with this issue, so I won't be discussing specifics here.  Just for the record, I support the passage of this bill. And yes, I am Catholic.  So, what gives?

Well, I am generally pro-choice (but for the record, I am against abortion) and quite a practical person, so I don't find anything wrong with family planning via artificial means.  Its really a matter of choice.  With the economic conditions of the country, it would be understandable for couples to seriously think about the well-being of their children and future of their families.  If they feel that they need to use contraceptives, then so be it.  For me, it would be a greater sin if the parents miserably fail to properly feed their children or send them to school because their income is not enough to cover every child.   If and when the bill is passed, it's not the end of the world; it will ultimately be the parents' choice whether to use artificial and natural means to deal with reproductive issues.

Yun lamang.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Eh-hum # 256

Found this picture quite interesting: A priest blesses an armored vehicle during Russian army exercises at the Donguz military training range in Orenburg, Russia.

I was tempted to place a caption of my own, but decided not to thinking others may not find it funny. Eh-hum.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Eh-hum # 255

WARNING: This is another post about books.

Please excuse my perceptible enthusiasm; it is only recently (particularly when I was in Japan) that I have reawakened my love for books, a keenness I developed when I was younger. I am trying to allot more time (not to mention money) for reading. I think its a good way to get your mind off the mundane things that plagues one's day to day activities. When boredom creeps in and you really don't have the energy to organize for a friendly get together, just grab a book for entertainment and even learning. Its not so bad, really.


So, yesterday I took a break from work-related stuffs and stumbled upon an online article from TIME. It caught my attention because it was about the ten (10) most challenged books of all time.

And I am proud to say, I have read three of these so-called banned books (thanks to my sister for providing me these; it pays to know someone very familiar with the best literary works):

1) Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
2) The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
3) Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov

Nineteen Eighty-Four is actually a favorite of mine since its message remains significant up to now (BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU). Vulgar language, sexual references among other things made The Catcher in the Rye notorious, but I thought emphasis on the lead character rather than the plot was engaging. Finally, it was curiosity that led me to Lolita. It would be natural to despise Humbert for eerily obsessing over what he calls "nymphets". But the book does not support pedophilia, since Humbert's actions led to his demise.

The other seven controversial works are as follows:

4) Candide - Voltaire
5) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
6) Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
7) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
8) The Anarchist Cookbook - William Powell
9) The Satanic Verses - Salman Rushdie
10) Harry Potter Series - J.K. Rowling

Numbers 5 and 10 seem to have wandered in the wrong list. However, Twain's book was banned for its coarse language (using slang as demeaning and damaging), not to mention the touchy subject of slavery. Ernest Heminghway thought it was brilliant, but Little Women's Louisa May Alcott criticized Twain for writing it. Meanwhile, the books on the boy wizard were described by a group of parents in Maine as "promoting violence, witchcraft and devil-worship." Huh, imagine that. Anyway, I hope to read the very, the super, and without a doubt infamous The Satanic Verses. It would be quite a challenge to get a hold of a copy, given the reaction of the Muslim community to the book and to its author.


Update: I lied. I just finished reading Michael Palin's New Europe and I must say I enjoyed visiting selected countries in Eastern Europe from the comfort of my home. However, I am sure it would be thrilling to actually be there.

Love the photographs by Basil Pao and Palin's writing style, which demonstrates his intelligence and humor. The book, and the documentary it was based on, is not only about the historical places, but also about the people that keeps the history alive. Palin describes the sights and sounds of each city he visits with depth that you can almost see and hear it. I also appreciate the questions raised to the interviewees regarding their views on the state of their countries before and after the Communist years and their expectations of the future with an extended European Union. Well, you have to buy the book to find out. (Note: after reading it, I wanted to check my notes on Europeanization from my International Policy class back at Kobe University. Yes, there is such an area of study; I am proud to say I got an A in that class).

A good read indeed. Now, I am seriously considering of purchasing his other travel books (or better yet, the audio edition of the books). Eh-hum, lapit na pasko mga mahal kong kaibigan.