Citizen Judie · Food Lover Judie · Random Judie · Runner Judie

Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.

Random Judie

Chips Falling

After nine months and how many days, I ate chips again.This was a decision I made as hastily as I did swearing off chips last year. It’s not an exclusive “no junk foods” anymore pledge, because that category is so wide, I’m simply kidding myself.

By swear off, I meant I decided not to eat the usual junk food I consume with gusto with milk tea or Coke Zero — that means Cheetos, Ruffles, Piattos Sour Cream (the green one), Clover, and Mr. Chips. Those were my usuals. It was not as tough as I thought it would be, probably because I was in my chocolate phase then. I found myself without resistance whenever I had to say no to chips, and frankly, having lasted this long, is good enough for me.

Clover
Hello, Clover! Nice to taste you again after almost ten months.

I found myself craving for Clover (I think I even dreamt of it) this afternoon, while nursing my incessant migraine. After chicken soup for breakfast and lunch, I found myself buying a pack from the sari-sari store next door and eating it. It was just right though. No, “Oh I missed you so much!” feeling. Let us see when I get Jalapeno Cheetos though — dipped in mayonnaise. That is the bomb. But maybe not now.

Giving up certain junk foods meant I had to make substitutes. Health-wise I may not have made changes at all for I substituted Potato Corner and Bread Pan whenever I craved for something salty. Well, at least I gave something up. I don’t know if I will go back to eating my former “usuals” again after this. I am not thinking about it as much. Will keep you posted. 😉

Random Judie

(Non)Writer’s Block

I resolved to write more but I couldn’t. I have these outlines in my head whenever I’m moving: walking, riding a jeepney, eating alone. I am no good writer but years of doing technical writing tailored for diplomatic correspondence made me look for an outlet to type something else at the end of a long day. I still find it hard. I am trying real hard right now, keying in words and phrases but I don’t know where this is going.

I do not wish to have crackhead emotional issues like before just so I’d write everyday; for during that time, regardless of the content, the desire to publish  something, anything, was there.

I can only admire those who write for the benefit of imparting thoughts, teaching others, inspiring readers. I still have dreams to achieve that but looking at it now, it’s a long way ahead, now that I can’t even coherently and cohesively put my personal thoughts together. I have lots of stories to tell so I am not sure if it’s lack of time, resources, or desire that’s preventing me from doing so.

I will try again, and again and again, until that desire comes back again.

Random Judie

Filipino Friday 2013 (3): The Pinoy Book Drop

Better late than never! I was unable to join the first two Filipino Fridays and here I am three days late on the third, hihihi 🙂

For the uninitiated, you can find out more about the Pinoy Book Drop activity here.

So, my book dropping experience.

It’s my first time to do such and frankly, the thrill of leaving a place where I dropped off a book was exciting. I was concerned about people going after me and telling me I left my book. Explaining what I did and why would ruin the moment, in my opinion. So I’m glad it didn’t happen. I like the being sneaky part.

I was ready to book-drop last Friday but doofus me, I forgot my books in the office because I had to leave in haste. Anyway, today’s pretty exciting pa rin, and I’m just thinking it’s nice to leave some of my pre-owned books at a place where I buy most of my stash anyway— no less than…tadaaa…Robinsons Place Ermita! 🙂

WP_20131028_002Put a Lid On It by Donald Westlake. I decided to let go of this copy because I have an e-book of this anyway. I left it at a department store counter on the 3rd floor. I bought something and the card readers were wonky so it gave me time to leave it while waiting for them to fix my transaction. Chances are, a sales attendant found this, so I hope he/she would like it.

WP_20131028_003Rebels of Ireland by Edward Rutherfurd. This one I left at the food court. There are a lot of families and groups of friends eating early dinner. I hope one of those people would enjoy this book. It’s a duplicate Rutherfurd and I’ve not been able to finish his chunksters, any of it, so might as well let someone else enjoy it first.

WP_20131028_004Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. I left this in McDonald’s at the second floor. There are too many fantasy/paranormal books out there I’m losing count. I hope whoever gets this would discover new realms, if he/she has not done so.

WP_20131028_006The Throat by Peter Straub. I left this one in Krispy Kreme (as you can tell). This is very timely for Halloween! I hope whoever finds it loves horror, too.

I enjoyed my first book drop experience. Since I pledged to let go some of my books, I may do this again soon.

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Fil Reader Con 2013

The 3rd Filipino Reader Conference will be on Saturday, November 9, at the Rizal Library of Ateneo de Manila University. Visit the readercon’s official blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page for heaps of information. I hope to see you there!

Random Judie

Better Late Than Never Book Loot Report!

Wow, it’s less than three months until 2013 ends. Last week I kind of admitted that this is not my reading year considering the number of books I must have read by now but has not just as we are ushering to the last quarter of the year. I’m just thinking that five years ago, reading 25-30 books a year was normal, so it’s not as if this is a huge letdown. Maybe I really became busy with many things.

However, my book-buying is still like before. As of my last count, I bought 92 books already. My OC side wants to make it a clean 100. I have 77 days to go so I think that’s doable. Hahaha.

September was such a book-buying period what with the insane cut-price sale of National Bookstore, Bestsellers, and Powerbooks. There was also Aklatan, the first All-Filipino Book Fair, and the Manila International Book Fair. I saved money weeks before September but as usual, the money I had on hand was not sufficient. Dip into my savings! I have to prioritize my happiness, people!

My National loot was repressed and conservative because I didn’t want to run out of money for the next book fairs. I still managed to snag quite a lot because I decided to continue completing my Anita Blake series.

NBS Sep 2013
A part of my NBS/Powerbooks sale stash: A comic book adapted from Clive Barker’s Tapping the Vein, Jessica Hagedorn’s Toxicolgy, Jonathan Franzen’s The Twenty-Seventh City, Android Karenina, and a YA fantasy book, Dark Reflections.
Anita Blakes
Here are more Anita Blake books to add to my collection. After the sale, I chanced on another hardback from Booksale. I am that kind of person who carries an Anita Blake list in my purse and I highlight the titles I already bought. Completist itch for the win!

Aklatan was a fun event even if I was nursing a terrible flu the entire day. I was the lady wearing a green top sneezing like a troll inside the venue. It’s one of the reasons why I didn’t have the courage to go around and have my books signed, meet people, and talk to exhibitors. But since I was already there, I mustered sufficient courage to go up and talk to a few of my favorite authors I saw at the fair, germs and viruses notwithstanding. At the end of the day I had Project 17 and A Bottle of Storm Clouds signed by Eliza Victoria and the latest Trese installment, Stories from the Diabolical, signed by Budjette Tan. I had a considerable number of books bought. So proud of Pinoy literature!

aklatan
Some of my Aklatan loot. I am in awe of these books. I once posted that with a culture as rich as ours, we would never run out of stories to tell. Fantasy and folklore, we’re rockin’ it.

Less than a week after Aklatan came the MIBF. I filed for annual leave weeks ago just to go to on opening day. Taas kamay ng excited!  I was still under the weather that day but it didn’t stop me. Now, I really say that going to MIBF before the weekend is less stressful, especially if you are not into maddening crowds. I stayed away from FullyBooked and National Bookstore on purpose. Anvil was the biggest hit for me! Aside from books, I also got to buy activity books as Christmas gifts for nieces, nephews, and godchildren. I also enjoyed my stay in New Day Publishers. One vivid takeaway I had from Aklatan was the multiple mentions of Edith Tiempo in the women writer’s panel. I chanced on Edith Tiempo books in New Day for less than 50 a pop! Then a very smart and accommodating lady who, I learned later, was New Day’s head financial officer, also recommended the books of Edilberto K. Tiempo, Edith’s husband. It was a very smart buy especially now that I’m into knowing more about decades-early Philippine literature. My mom and I also decided to buy a Filipino-translated version Daughter of Smoke and Bone and one by Danielle Steel whose title escapes me now. There were more titles available and someday soon I may give them a try. I started Daughter… a few weeks ago and found it compelling but not as easy as I thought it would be.

MIBF loot
My MIBF 2013 stash: on the left are my Tiempo books and you will also see two non-fiction titles. I kind of miss graduate school so I got both Bello’s and David’s.

I went back to MIBF on Saturday, aka the fun Divisoria-in-December version of the book fair. It was also for the book session/book-“gloating”  of my book club, alright? J Aside from a picture with a mascot and buying Christmas gifts for friends in the office (I bought gifts for 32 people this early! Yay to me), I only went back to Anvil for more books.

I only had about two weeks of I’m-gonna-forget-about-buying when I slipped because of a visit to Booksale MOA (which was only a week ago, haha). From then until today, that’s ten books easily grabbed from the shelves.

Thanks, Booksale: Another Anita Blake hardback, Straub's The Throat, and a classic Clancy which I bought the day he died.
Thanks, Booksale: Another Anita Blake hardback, Straub’s The Throat, and a classic Clancy which I bought the day he died.
For 200 pesos ($4.5), look! Booksale Pedro Gil is small but definitely worth the trip.

Since our humble apartment is literally running out of space, I resorted to plastic container boxes. I bought four last night and they will be filled up soon enough.

That’s about it. Oh, the fun of it all!

Citizen Judie · Random Judie

FLOUNDERING

It has been more than a month since I resumed the routine of my excitingly uneventful life.  I’m filled with too many feelings and save for small and shallow bouts of confusion, disappointment, and insecurities, the rest of the journey is pretty much the same.

My life so far: Forty books as of late (bought and handed down by former boss) ruining my lie pledge of buying only 12 books this year, 25th book read as of today, successful fundraiser, pox scars, Scandal, The Newsroom, re-unearthing Futurama, Hong Kong, income tax, lawyering up, caffeine overload, football, cookie butter, dark chocolate, (pretend) wellness activities, CV revamping, forgotten credit cards, Yakult, suppression of feelings, eyebrow shaping, quiz nights, caesar salad addiction, amusement toward awkwardly assuming (in Pinoy terms, “feeling”) people, saving up for the Manila International Book Fair, discovering a new nail salon, new friends, Human Nature products, nuts, passing a consular course, portion control, lots of water, more histrionics.

Somehow, someday, I would find the spirit, energy, and zeal to tell you stories about any, if not all, of the above.

I hope you are all doing great.  I am. xoxo

Bookworm Judie · Citizen Judie · Random Judie · Romantic Judie

Bearable Lightness

It was a sweet and steady Saturday.  I love every bit of it.

As you know, I share a small apartment with my mother and last month, I decided to camp downstairs and make the ground floor my studio-type place of sorts.  Well, it really is like a studio-type apartment because I have the small kitchen, T&B, tiny dining room, and living room — which magically transforms into my sleeping area at night — to myself.  I love the solitude, not that I didn’t have it before, as Mom and I hardly saw each other anyway.  My point is, I feel that I’m living by myself more lately.  It’s hard, especially the cooking/ feeding myself part, and the cleaning aspect, but I’m getting by.

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Anyway, today’s a delightful one because I accomplished a lot.  My errands and to-do lists do not measure up to world-changing advocacies other people have but I’m happy, so I guess that’s the more important thing.  TV stuff here, clean up there, a semi-successful cooking attempt here [you will hardly go wrong with ‘cheesy scrambled eggs’ from Google, hey], mangling of some shirts there, and bam, my morning’s done.

This afternoon saw me at the newly-relocated Filipinas Heritage Library in Ayala Museum.  Isn’t it awesome that they put two of my favorite places in one building?  Anyway, staying inside the library on the 6th floor was a great refuge from the weather outside.  I was one of four library visitors and it was clear I was the only non-researcher.  Still, feel na feel ko pa din.  Three topics were on top of my head as I strode over to their online catalog: migration of Filipinos to the US [more like anecdotes and all those diaspora stories], gender and women studies topics, and Philippine folklore and mythology.  I ended up browsing more of the first, and ultimately asked the librarian for two resources.

First was Hope Sabanpan-Yu’s Bridging Cultures: The Migrant Philippine Woman in the Works of Jessica Hagedorn, Fatima Lim-Wilson, and Sophia Romero.  It’s a short, fluid read about the topic, clearly gleaned from the title.  I deliberately skipped many items because Ms. Yu fleshed out three works of the authors named above, and I will be spoiled by reading her critique.  After this, let’s just say I will look for  Romero’s Always Hiding, Lim-Wilson’s Crossing the Snow Bridge, and finally read Hagedorn’s The Gangster of Love [I have a sinking feeling I left my copy in Taipei because I haven’t seen it since but I’m not willing it].

The second one I borrowed was Leche by R. Zamora Linmark.  Because it was closing time, I only got as far as the 75th page but I can say it’s hilariously spot-on.  If I don’t find it in bookstores, I will go back to FHL and borrow it again.  In addition, and I know the direction isn’t the same, but it made me mentally note of  Alex Gilvarry’s From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

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I also bought stuff for a day climb in Batangas this Bataan Day holiday.  It’s been a while since I did this kind of physical activity but I know I’m in much better condition than previous treks.  I also debated whether to get a new trail footwear or not.  I don’t own hiking shoes but in my past climbs and treks I used my trusty Chaski sandals from Columbia.  It looks flimsy but it’s very durable.  Think Sumaguing cave in Sagada and long walks in Bohol; not once did it fail me and now it still looks okay.  Let’s see.  We have a particularly dry weather [hopefully on Tuesday, too] so I may not need stronger, newer sole grips.  My funny concern, in fact, is tripping on flat surfaces.  I have a natural talent for it.

This half-day climb will be for my Dad, as my birthday tradition for him this year.  Will probably expound more on that after the event. If I may confess, I’m also looking forward a lot to our bulalo foodfest, post-climb.  It’s only a day of break so we have to make it count.

I skipped an exhibit opening in favor of a convincing tug to dine alone and read.  The only downside of sorts is that I seem to have an addiction to Starbucks’ Asian dolce latte.  I just tell myself by May it will be pulled out from the menu so let me enjoy it until then. I believe it was a productive reading time [winging it, following XP‘s advice] because before I knew it, it’s almost midnight.  Lest you’re still lost, this is what makes me tick every.single.time.

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I say it’s bearable lightness because it may appear aimless, fluffy, a let-it-flow whichever way kind of day but I enjoyed it: not out of obligation, out of necessity, out of responsibility [well, some were necessary to survive, but you get what I mean].  However, tapping a hidden part of me, there’s still that tiny thought that this may be happier, more delightful, more bearable, if there’s someone asking how it has been.  I highly recommend me times but at the end of a long day, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone waiting? ♥

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  My introvert self wouldn’t trade this Saturday for anything [except for a steamy moment with George Clooney inside a library, but what are the odds of that?].  I am just wondering.  So for now, I’m just going to ignore it.  I had fun.  I hope you did, too.

Citizen Judie · Employee Judie · Friend Judie · Random Judie

Ms. Bean, March 2013 edition

This is my first edition for 2013 of “Hi, I’m Ms. Bean and I’m such a pro at embarrassing myself”.  Fresh from a very recent facepalm moment with a jeepney driver, I tried to remember things I said and did as of late.  I’m sure there are lots more stuff I said and did which I failed to recognize as such.

Exhibit A: Tuesday night at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.  Turkmenistan players warming up. Told C I like the way they look: so fierce, but a little on the pale side. What are they, Eastern Europeans? Or western?  I’m confused.  C was like, “Uhhh… no…they’re Asian.”  And she looked at me as if to say, “SEE, THEY ARE COMPETING IN THE ASIAN CHALLENGE CUP.” C was too nice not to rub it in.  Hahaha.

Exhibit B: Walking to ArmyNavy. I was telling L about internal organs I can sell so I can raise funds to go to the Maldives. I blurted I will sell a pinch of my lung because it grows back anyway.  L said, “You mean liver, right?” OF COURSE, I DID.  Well, they both start with the letter L.  Ah, whatever.

Exhibit C: Japanese restaurant in P. Ocampo.  I caught up with P and J in the middle of a conversation about a Will Smith movie.  I heard the terms “lots of running”, “post-apocalypse”, and “futuristic” so I immediately butted in and gave my opinion on I am Legend.  They had blank stares afterwards as they were actually talking about Hancock.  To be fair to me, would you consider Hancock post-apocalyptic?  And creepy vampiric (non-sparkling) creatures can be considered futuristic.  What if they do exist in the future?!

By the way, J, we go way back with this. He was the one who asked me what does Yo No Se in the Luis Enrique song mean. I said “I don’t know.”  He told me, “I thought you’re learning Spanish.  How come you don’t know?”  Took us 2 more rounds of that before I finally got it across that yo no se means I don’t know.

Exhibit D:  Holy Wednesday.  I was the only one left inside the jeep and le driver talked to me via the rearview mirror, mumbled something about changing the drop off point.  See, I always nod because it’s almost always “I won’t turn right to Dagonoy anymore”, which I don’t mind because my short walk home from the drop off point is the same whichever way.  So I just nodded.  He stopped in front of 7-Eleven Onyx which I ignored because I thought he’s waiting for passengers. I even put back my earphones on.  Probably two songs after, I looked at the driver’s seat and le driver was gone!  Then bam, he was right there with me inside the jeepney.  I panicked inside.  OMG what’s he going to do to me?  Should I scream for help?  I took off my earphones and I heard him say, “Ma’am sabi ko po kanina hanggang dito lang ako sa 7-Eleven so kung ok lang po, baba na kayo para makagarahe na ako. (Ma’am, I said earlier, my last stop was 7-Eleven.  So if it’s ok with you, please go down so I can park my jeep.)”

*MissJisverysmart.jpg*   *bethankfulnoonewasthere.gif*

I was so mortified I cannot say anything!  I immediately went down and said sorry but without looking back.  It reminded me of my grace-less exit at the supermarket last year.

0 — 0 — 0

I should start jotting these moments down again.  It could make for some pretty funny script for a sitcom, which what my life is like after all.  I know this is one of the reasons not a few have said I look youthful.  A key is to laugh at yourself when you get the chance.  Don’t take life seriously.  I mean, not too seriously.  Stress causes clogged arteries and with the state of our existing HMO coverage, might as well not risk it. 😉

Random Judie

IRL

I had been on a semi-roll with book memes and the possibility of writing a blog entry regularly again, and then real life happened.  I know it should not impede me on my path to becoming a determined blogger but it did.  I guess I have to do more re-organization and compartmentalization in order to get this online life – real life balance back on track.

I’ll be back, friends.  Meanwhile, I want you to know I’m still crazy over The Newsroom.  It is not a perfect show; it even has tons of flaws I could pick out per episode, but hell, I’ll take this form of entertainment any day.  Plus you know how much I’m a sucker for feisty ex-lovers with history and who obviously are not over it.

As Christian Grey (annoyingly) says to Ana Steele…”Laters, baby.”

Citizen Judie · Random Judie

And Ms. Bean Strikes Again

My life is one big sitcom and my friends get enjoyment out of my mishaps and misadventures.  We term these my Ms. Bean moments.  It started seven years ago during my first international trip.  Put someone ignorant on a business class trip and wacky mayhem will surely ensue.  It did.  And they were plenty.  Remind me to tell you about them, and the succeeding ones, soon.

I managed to lessen my Ms. Bean moments but tonight, I just had to do yet another one.

Straight from the office gym, I happily filled my grocery basket with stuff good for a week.  When I was at the register, halfway through ringing them in, I realized I didn’t have my wallet with me!  I left it inside my office drawer after lunch and forgot about it.  Anyway, I told the cashier to stop because I didn’t have money.  I must have looked so pale (from embarrassment) that she thought my wallet was stolen (therefore I was shocked and flustered).  I went with her impression of me and in panic, told her sorry, I won’t be taking the items.  They were many!  She started calling the guard and I thought she was trying to have me picked up by security.  I guess I ‘panicked’ some more, and looked it.  Turned out she was trying to help me find the ‘thief’, in case my wallet was stolen inside the supermarket.

It happened so fast that I found myself frantically walking away from the cash register, fake-calling on my mobile, and not once did I look back.  They must have thought I was crazy.  No, wait, they surely did.  If they only knew, I was laughing at myself the whole time I was walking towards the mall exit.  Classic crazy.

That’s actually one thing I’m bad at.  A graceful way to react to a situation, a mini-crisis, if you may call it that.  My go-to reaction is to walk away.  I’m so not winning Survivor nor that Big Brother show, I’m telling you.

Anyway, I figured I’m not going to go back to Robinson’s supermarket anytime soon. 🙂  For tonight, I consider it a funny learning experience.  I was able to go home because I have a handy coin purse inside my bag.  But for tomorrow morning, I hope I won’t forget not to take a cab to work! 😉