For years, I have been deluding myself that I could actually write something worth reading. Must have stemmed from elementary and high school journalism classes I took. The truth is, I’m a better reader than a writer. But when it comes down to it, I simply enjoy reading without the requisite poetic waxing and over analysis that comes after finishing a book. I could enjoy plots and characters without looking for metaphors or deeper meaning that the author may or may have not directly intended. I have only began analyzing it after reading reviews in Goodreads and I’ll be asked to rate a book I have finished. Some people would go as far as to tag me as an intellectual when really, I am an escapist who finds solace in books. The habit has been ingrained ever since I could remember. My mother taught me my letters when I was three. Lucky for her, I have fallen in love with reading when I should probably be playing outdoors with other kids. As an avid reader, I have this notion that I could also write. Ah, what conceit. When I was in third grade, I signed up for a journalism class because I thought that’s where all the cool upper classmen were. I was right but I have no clue what I should be writing and a lot of times, I just wished I’d quit and stay home after school. The biggest joke was when I was assigned to be the editor for the fourth graders. The hell do I know about editorials and news-writing at nine? Yeah, yeah, they taught me all I should include when writing in the opinion section. What I failed to articulate was that I am mostly apathetic even at that age and I’d rather write about trivial things like what my class mate, Francesca, the feature writer was free to do. I couldn’t care a fig about current events to voice out an opinion. For the rest of my elementary years that I was stuck in editorials, I envied Francesca her lot in life. High school was a reprieve because when they held auditions for the Journalism club, I did not hesitate to apply for the feature writing slot. I got in after impressing some upper classmen on a piece I wrote about Avril Lavigne. Several contests and campus newspapers in, I was high on my imagined success. Though I did not pursue it as a career. Perhaps I have decided I wouldn’t after realizing that writers in this country barely get paid. Coming from a huge family, I could not afford to be a starving artist. I needed a job that would pay the bills and help the family out. Writing? I could do that on my free time while being a white collared professional, right? College has humbled me enough after rooming with three Communication Arts students. Those girls were required to read wonderful books for classes and write essays and reviews. Even their exams are about in-depth analysis of great novels of Dostoevsky, Kafka, Hugo, name it. Who am I to think that I could write worth shit? Why I bothered three years of studying Human Nutrition was partly due to a misguided notion that I will finish a bachelor of science degree. It’s so lame when I think of it now. I could have switched majors before I flunked all my Chemistry classes. If I would list down all the wrong turns and decisions I made in life, I’d start with the degree I’ve chosen and failed to finish. That was eight years ago. I shake my fist in the sky but it does me no good. A month ago, I quit my job. I decided that my sanity was not worth losing over a very good basic salary. It’s one of my many selfish acts for the year as my family have been depending on me for five years now. What’s more selfish was that I did not have a fall back plan nor did I find a new job right after quitting. I did manage to read over 30 books, sleep whenever I want, hang out with friends with what little money I have left and told myself that I would work from home instead. Anything that will allow me to earn without being boxed in an office. More than a month has passed and I’m still unemployed and too busy reading. It’s not even the lack of job opportunities that hinder me from being back in the work force. Too lazy to look for a job but not too lazy to finish a book until seven in the morning. Work from home sounds so good to me because of the flexible hours and lack of stress from an office environment. Then I daydream of a job that will allow me to travel, read some more, pay the bills and upend my roots when the whim strikes. A writer can do that, can’t she? So what have I managed to write so far? Essays, sure. Features, hell yes. Poems, yep. Short stories, dipped my toes there. A novel, not even close. I’m turning a quarter of a century by the end of this year and it’s also when I’m all over the place. It’s not rock bottom but boy, I have gots to get my shit together. And soon. **
In the last couple of months, I have enjoyed the privilege of being friends with someone who works for a digital marketing company, in that I have copped free advanced screening tickets of several movies and events. Yesterday was no different, except that it was one highly anticipated film adaptation for the fans of the book The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. I have read that book late 2012 when my gay ex-boss lent it to me and boy did I cry buckets over that story– and that was even before someone died (Oops). Back then, my boss warned me that it was heartbreaking but I was skeptic that it will make me cry and that I was chalking it up to my boss being more emotional than I am. Several chapters in and I was crying like a baby.
The Fault in Our Stars is a 2014 romantic comedy-drama film directed by Josh Boone, based on John Green‘s 2012 novel of the same name. The film stars Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Nat Wolff. Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who meet at a cancer support group. Hazel’s condition is terminal, and Augustus decides to grant her wish to meet the author of her favorite novel An Imperial Affliction in Amsterdam. (Wikipedia, 2014)
What struck me more than the poignant star-crossed lovers plot was how Hazel’s parents are strong, loving, solid and hopeful. The kind of couple that holds on to each other amidst a strong current instead of being swept away by the looming possibility of cancer taking their only child away. I have only read the book once but that stayed with me. Let’s face it, grief can do a lot of collateral damage to those left and relationships can crumble by the sheer weight of it. Seeing the adaptation, I was wondering if it will strike the same chord with me and I was surprised to find a different one instead. I usually avoid reading/ rereading a book so close to the film release, so that I would not obsess over minute details not present in the adaptation. From a book fan who waited a year to see this, I was not disappointed.
I have long trusted Shailene Woodley’s ability to make me cry after seeing The Descendants. Any other cracks rendered by the film adaptation to the hollow in my chest was entirely my undoing. What translated into film as I try to see it in the perspective of someone who has not read the book yet, is that the love between Hazel and Augustus, is all the more important in its immediacy and the fact that they would not be around long enough (um, cancer) to further explore the highs and lows of a relationship. Levithan once said that,
“People take love’s continuity for granted, just as they take their body’s continuity for granted. They don’t realize that the best thing about love is its regular presence. Once you can establish that, it’s an added foundation to your life.” (Every Day, David Levithan)
Hazel and Gus certainly did not take their love for granted. Risked falling even when they know that their days are numbered. There was a scene where Hazel’s dad was trying to comfort her and he states that Hazel had the privilege of loving Gus. How many of us can claim deeply loving someone and that a world without them is unimaginable? Count me out. But it didn’t stop me from crying. Even the innate strength of Hazel’s parents were apparent in the film. Gus’s parents though barely made a dent. In the book, there was a foreshadowing about Gus’s fate before they left for Amsterdam. None of that was shown in the movie which has blindsided the viewers who have not read the book. Other than that, I cannot complain on what has been a wonderful retelling of Green’s novel that has reached out to people outside the target audience of Young Adults.
Could the kind of love that Hazel and Gus had survived if we take cancer out of the picture? I’d like to think so. It is hard work and takes certain amount of risk to fall for someone, much less continue loving them for the rest of one’s life however short it may be. There are people lucky enough, and brave enough to find that kind of love– the kind that is lasting, hopeful, strong, solid and real.The fault was solely in my star, in that, I might never find that kind of love in real life.
For the first time, since I have started working, I have felt that I can breathe and think about myself. A chance to take a rest and decide what I would like to do next. A window of opportunity to depend on my parents again after five years. Our roles have been reversed in the last five years– at least in terms of supporting the family.
Two weeks ago, one of my parents came into a small inheritance. Quite small, but enough to tide us over should I decide to stop working in an office and consider what I would do next.
I’m dying to breathe in these abundant skies
It certainly wasn’t enough to make me consider going back to school but I felt relieved that I could breathe again, even for a little space of time. At the same time, every day that I stay with the company I am working for, is a struggle. Daily, I am tempted to skip work, or maybe go AWOL. Sadly, I am hard-wired to be responsible and I end up going to work every day and on time. I’m such a ninny.
It may be too early for burnout as I have only been in this company for almost two years but I am tired of being on the frontline. I want to venture in a different industry altogether.
At 24, the vision for the future is blurry. I keep dreaming about living abroad for years at a time. I am in no way near that dream. My portfolio is next to non-existent, personal savings is a mess, my net worth– no idea. It’s a day-to-day survival with little regard to the future, however much I look forward to it. I have not gone to places, seen people nor feel anything in a bigger scale.
There is a dark, restless thing that resides in this soul. And I only know what I do not want.
Five years ago, I have envisioned myself with a job that could support travelling the world. To be exact, I saw myself in Brazil, in time to watch FIFA Live, 24 years old and living the life (however vague that is).
I turned 24 last December, but the vision had long changed to what I wanted to watch live, overseas: tennis and basketball. All the grand slams– Australian Open, Roland Garros, Wimbledon and the US Open, I’d like to see at least once and go watch the Lakers at the Staples Center.
I may as well go backpacking around Europe, Central Asia, South America and here in my country. Crowd funding and coach surfing are appealing and though I barely have an idea how it works, it seem so exciting.
So far, though, I may have secured that job that will pay for world travel, but I am not without baggage. I will not bore you with the many reasons why I can’t impulsively go backpacking abroad but the main thing is that a breadwinner can’t afford to leave people behind.
Every year, I get scared that it’s too late and I won’t ever have time for any adventure– couch potato and sedentary person that I am, my feet are itching and I look to the skies and wonder.
Seeing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty gave me hope. That a life of adventure awaits, and I just have to take a step towards it.
So when will I?
Go see the film.
To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life.
If you haven’t watched all of Season 3, stop reading to avoid spoilers. The last thing I want is some whiny TV fan complaining that this post ruined his viewing experience.
Season 3 is a pivotal turn for the series with the Red Wedding being the biggest deal [breaker] in the War of the Five Kings. It is when a fan realizes that the Starks may not be the protagonists in this show after all and of course, the shock sets in, that George R.R. Martin kills everyone off. This show is not for the squeamish and weak of heart. Fans of the series will notice that this season showcased more blood and action and less boobs. It doesn’t make the show less appealing because after three seasons, the Lannisters are still sitting on the Iron Throne, the Starks still not reunited, Dany is still in Essos, the Tyrells are asserting their power,Joffrey is still a dick and we’re all somehow waiting for justice. In short, we are all left reeling and Filipinos are wont to exclaim:
Bida ba yon?! Bat namatay?!!!
Some of the biggest shocks for TV fans this season:
- The Kingslayer losing his hand. Didn’t see that coming, did ya? He deserved it? Nothing that ever happens in this series is ‘deserved’. It happens because of another character’s self preservation and uh, evulz.
- Dany’s Crowning Moment of Awesome in Astapor. One of my favorite scenes in the book. You think Dothraki language was awesome in the first season but Valyrian is much more so, especially when Dany used it against the slave masters. Dracarys has been trending on Twitter, since then.
- Theon losing little Theon. Don’t think about telling me again, that he deserved it for sacking Winterfell. You haven’t seen enough bastardry from Ramsay Snow.
- Bran piloting Hodor’s body. Cool beans? No it’s not. It’s taboo to do that (skinchanging/warging) to human beings; a violation of will and you just don’t see it because Hodor isn’t exactly protesting succinctly. Seizing the body of another man is completely abominable even by wildlings’ standards.
- Arya’s friendship with the Hound.
- Jon Snow knows where to put it. And put it well, baby!
- The Heel Face Turn of Jaime Lannister. You could almost forget his incestuous relationship with Cersei and the fact the he pushed Bran off the window ledge. A lot of Jaime- Brienne shippers, this season.
- Lord Commander Mormont’s death. Ah, who am I kidding? If you’ve watched this series, long enough, you have braced your self in some way because you know, someone is about to die and it’s just a matter of time, cruelty and gruesome details.
- The Red Wedding. There, there. Stop crying. A lot more is coming. Like, um, Winter.
Let me remind you again, this series is not a depiction of the battle between good and evil. This is GRRM‘s deconstruction of high fantasy. A lot of tropes have been subverted and this complex plot is far from over.
Some of the shocks the book fans got this season:
It either never happened or completely different in the books. I won’t elaborate because I might, um, spoil you. I’ll leave you to figure it out and read the books yourself.
- Kind Shae
- “The Lannister sends their regards”
- Melisandre meeting up with the Brotherhood Without Banners
- Gendry and Melisandre’s sexy time
- Joffrey killing Ros
- The Cersei- Loras Engagement
- Jaime not shaving his head after escaping Riverrun
- Osha and Rickon accompanying Bran in his journey to The Wall.
- Podrick Payne’s sexual prowess
- Yara (Asha) defying Balon to rescue Theon
- Balon Greyjoy being alive
- Daario Naharis being beardless and blonde
- the Unsullied costume
- Talisa’s death
- JUST ABOUT EVERY THING IN THIS SEASON. #NoOneUnderstaaands
Uptight book fans like me, understands.
Kudos, HBO and the Game of Thrones staff, crew, writers and creators for:
- the rock version(s) of The Bear and the Maiden Fair and the Game of Thrones opening theme which was played at the end, on one of the episodes
- the music they arranged for The Rains of Castamere
- the clockwork Astapor, Yunkai, Riverrun and the Twins in the opening sequence
- the witty script
- contributing to my rage issues
Notice when you start to hate one of the characters in The Walking Dead? That’s a hint that your hatred is about to climax and the character dies. HBO’s Game of Thrones is the opposite. Careful when you start loving a character, GRRM may just kill him/her. Haven’t you learned your lesson in season 1 when Ned Stark died?
Season 4 is the next half of A Storm of Swords and will most likely be shown in March or April 2014. Until then, there’s a massive Game of Thrones withdrawal all over the realm.
If you’re looking for new music to listen to or if your life long dream is to be a groupie and trail a band while they tour, this post may be the answer to your secret hopes. Ha ha.
The bulk of my readers are not from this country, but music transcends culture and race and if you find this interesting enough, don’t be shy and share it to your friends and spread the love.
Magnificent people of WordPress, let me introduce you, to Pathway. The band consists of four young men who recently graduated from UP Los Banos (yep, same school I hail from) and was formed back in 2010. They rose to local fame in the campus and their hometown after winning the UPLB FEB FAIR: CLASS DISTRACTION 2011. It was a whirlwind of gigs and competitions from there on. They cite their major influences as Switchfoot, Rivermaya, Sugarfree, Remy Zero, 30 Seconds To Mars, The Script, Eraserheads, Rico Blanco, Urbandub, Gloc 9, Yeng C. and writes alternative rock and does amazing covers.
I’ve known these guys since they were in high school and they have been playing musical instruments like a pro, so if that doesn’t vouch for their skills, then you have better see and hear them for yourselves. :)
Pathway also participated in the Eat Bulaga: Battle of the Bands in late 2012 and has recently made it on the Top 20 of the Pinoy Myx Countdown with their song, Tinig. Watch this video below and I’m enabling you, dear reader, to stalk and obsess on new music!
Like them on Facebook: facebook.com/pathwaymusika
Follow them on Twitter: @pathwaymusika
Subscribe to the YT channel
Check the band’s website!
Vote for them on the Pinoy Myx Countdown
Pathway shot the music video in the UPLB campus and Juni edited, produced and directed the video. That guy’s insanely gifted. Cool beans, huh?
Nope, not paid to do this. I’m posting this because I sincerely believe and like their music. Not just because they’re one of my closest guy friends, but because, come on, watch one of their music videos and you’ll be sold as I am. Sometimes, I can’t believe I’m friends with such talented people.
We’re halfway through the year and I’ve barely posted anything on here. Mostly because my brother borrowed my laptop and brings it to the office (he interns with) everyday and because I can access the internet through my smart phone, I almost do not need to open a computer to surf the net. The thing is, I couldn’t get the hang of blogging using my BlackBerry so I busy myself with micro blogging. Ha ha, that’s Twitter.
The only reason, I can post an entry now is because I got my laptop back and I am actually on a ten-day mandatory leave from work. Yes, folks. Mandatory. Such is the perks of working for a bank. They need time to audit your work and make sure you haven’t committed any fraud. So here I am,at the end of my leave (weekends included, so technically, this is 14 of 14) and I’ve spent the previous days sleeping a lot, reading, watching tennis and basket ball on TV and holding solo DVD marathons and hanging out with friends, if I could.
To be honest, I envisioned my mandatory leave to be busy while looking for work. Remember my last post that I was starting to like my job? Well Murphy’s Law deemed that I should be fucked with because weeks after that post, my gay boss whom I loved like a dear friend and one of the reasons I don’t mind the stressful and difficult job itself, got transferred teams and I had to be under a new boss. Those were two grueling months of transition and I had been pushed to perform with my very best. As someone who is not competitive and content to get by, every fiber of my being resist the change. Worse, was that I had to be nice, because, duh, customer service. Why worse? Well, I’m mean and rude and I find it hard and takes a lot of effort to be nice. I do not know how to comfort people in real life. How would management expect me to be reassuring when I talk to clients whenever I try to resolve their many issues? It just seem too much for me at the time and every day I drag myself to work and look forward to the day my contract ends and say goodbye to the BPO industry.
As luck, time and perseverance would have it, things started to change last May. I do not know what exactly, but maybe I got used to the demands and expectations from the team and division I was in. Maybe, by practice, excellence has been ingrained on me that it’s like reflex (whoa). Nevertheless, here we are. I ended up enjoying my leave not having to pressure myself to find another job (yet) and flee from my current company.I even got closer to my new boss. To think that I was blaming her for the pressure and stress I was under the past few months.
I just finished reading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being so forgive me if his influence lingers and I say that stress and hardship will always be present and the goal is not to eliminate all of it so I could be happy. As a human being, we will never be without problems and the lightness that looks so seductive, the absence of problems, it may be unbearable after all, and empty. I am not saying that I will actively seek problems but at least the despair I feel when I reach the point where I do not know what to do anymore? It’s ubiquitous. It’s normal. And part of a never-ending struggle of a mere mortal.
Troy (2004) was playing last night and Achilles’ revelation struck me that the gods actually envy us because we are mortal. That everything is beautiful because we’re doomed. We don’t know when our last moment will be.
As a 23 year old bobbing and floating through life trying to find my niche and figure out what I”m good at and what I really wanted to do, it’s only inevitable that at one point, I will fill my blog with existential musings instead of ravings and rants about the latest object of my obsession. Who am I kidding? I’m a fan girl. Of course, I’ll blog about my latest obsessions. Up next is Game of Thrones, tennis, and books I’ve been reading.
If you chance upon reading this blog, I must warn you, I am only ever so coherent and succinct when I am angry or depressed but expect nothing more when I am happy. My thoughts will be all over the place. Like a vandal that could not stand a pristine wall and has an incessant need to fill all the spaces with graffiti. That’s basically how almost all of my blog looks like anyhow.
For starters, the first month of the year has been incredibly fast and honestly, I think I’m starting to do enjoy my work in this new global company I’m in. Nothing monumental happened except that I think I read more books this month compared to my average number of books read in a month in 2012. Yes, I deem that exciting, what’s your point? I also welcomed the first day of the year obsessing on the YouTube web series, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I think I watched all 75 episodes in one day and I’m only catching up now from episodes 76 up to most recent as I write here. I multitask like that. Or you know, I just gotta do something while I wait for the video to buffer.
But I can’t keep writing now that the episodes are getting exciting and I already told you, I’m not coherent when I’m happy, so multiply that by five when I’m fangirling, so this is what happens:
Wanna obsess on something new this 2013?
Catch it on YouTube and watch it ALL, I tell yah.
Wait, I was gonna write something relevant and life changing a while ago..