Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Boxing Day, Then and Now

Last 26 December was the celebration of Boxing Day here in Australia. The first time I experienced it I found it rather disappointing because almost all shops were closed. Funny thing, when I heard that most people went to cinema during Boxing Day I thought it was to watch a Boxing match or something which was even boring, to me at least. To our enlightenment though, according to our relatives here, Boxing Day is actually a time when Australians open the gifts they have received on Christmas Day. Okay, I know it doesn't really take a whole day to do that and most people actually opened their gifts right away anyway so I figured out that they probably also watch regular movies or go to parks or just eat out too. Family stuff.

Last year, it didn’t matter that this was a no work holiday since we have just arrived and didn’t have jobs yet. After spending the eve of 25th over at relatives’ house, we went out at Blacktown the next day and as I have mentioned above, the entire Westpoint shopping centre was closed. Luckily though, a pharmacy next to it was open and had marked down clay and craft toys for kids. That was their very first Australia-bought toys.

This year, now that I have a job, I particularly looked forward to this day to spend time with my family with thrift shop hopping as one of the main activities. Usually, I have a few minutes to walk into thrift shops along the way to station every morning before I go to work as my shift doesn’t start until 11am. But it’s usually just for a maximum of 15 minutes. It is really not enough so I fantasy spending a day browsing through the shops with my husband to consult (and argue hehe) with. So that was my plan, to go thrift shop scouting on Boxing Day. I knew from experience that shops will be closed but I had to try my luck so we went to Penrith where it was supposedly the home of big thrift shops that is closest to our area. When we got there, my heart just sank. And we didn’t even eat breakfast so we could get there early.

Hungry and sad, we decided to eat at the first restaurant that we saw and that was Hog’s Breath. We tried their famous ribs, side salads and fish and chips for the kids. Overall, the experience was fairly satisfactory meaning, I was glad to have tried it out but I wouldn't prefer to go there again. First of all, it took so long to have our ordered food served. Next, I personally think that the food was good but not the kind that makes you think about eating there again. Finally, food was too pricey. Okay, erase the first two reasons. I’m not really choosy with food taste nor am I impatient I could actually wait. Food was pricey PERIOD.

After that devastating cost of food, we strolled around Penrith but everything was pretty much closed so we headed back to our dear home St Marys and try our luck with the Swimming Pools instead. Good thing, the pools were open but since we didn’t prepare for this, I had to go back to the house to get change clothes and towels for all of us while the kids and the husband took a dip in the pool without me. They were closing early, 5 pm, but we had like 2 hours to enjoy before something gruesome happened. This kid who was about 6 or 7 of age was approaching the pool with her shorts down and something yellowish could be seen through her undies. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out and as if JAWS has come himself, we were out of the pool in no time. Sorry for that disgusting tale but it was part of that Boxing Day escapade that I just can’t leave out. Hehehe.

And then we went home tired but happy. Just as the kids were happy with their new toys last year, they were happy with their new adventures this year.

And that was how we spent the holiday then and now.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving


The 3 day international thanksgiving of the whole brethren for the 4th quarter of 2013 had just ended with a theme that says "masayang pagpapasalamat" or happy thanksgiving. Basically, it emphasizes that our service to the Lord must always be coupled with gladness in our hearts may we be in the midst of a trial or a blessing.

This particular thanksgiving celebration means extra special to me though for I have received a surprise gift. Once again, just when something big that matters to me seemed hopeless, God turns it around completely.

For almost 3 years, I cried silently about the situation of someone very important to me. There were times when I was inclined to blame myself for what happened to them, for my incapacity to help, for my incapacity to have prevented what happened. And I couldn't even pray to God to turn things around for fear that I might sin against Him. So I bore with the situation like a thorn in my heart. I battled against them even though it was difficult for they had been good providers to me but I had to prove that I didn't love them more than God.

Just when I started to accept things and detached myself spiritually from them, a spark of hope was given and eventually the desires of my heart. I know I am not deserving of this gift and mercy for I am not really the most obedient or faithful servant. Gladness was somewhat partial to me for, to be honest, I am very impatient when things don't go my way. I know I should change with all that has been proven to me. Once in my life, I too had been a hopeless case but God turned my life around and He'd given me more than I desired for. And now this. In between were His constant understanding and love that in every situtation I can proudly say that we were never forsaken. His plans were of course always the best.

This is the second time around that something big has been turned around to my surprise and I am more than gratified and delighted. I am forever grateful with gladness in my heart, all the days of my life...

Monday, December 9, 2013

The First Year

9 December 2013. This date marks the first year of our family life in Australia. A year full of transition, of challenges, ups and downs, firsts. To sum up, it was like a roller-coaster ride.

I remember the first time meeting my family at the airport after 2 months of being away from them. It was blissful! I admired my husband as I looked at him, baggage, kids and all. I felt pity at the same time at how he managed 100kg and 2 tired toddlers without me. I couldn’t help but feel a little regretful about my decision to leave ahead of them. We could have left together. It must be fun, all four of us in the plane. It had always been my dream to travel with my family but God willing, I hope it will happen soon. At that moment, the most I cared about was having to be with them again.

Daisy ran up to me when she recognised me and then Demi too and perhaps husband too if he could just leave those baggages unattended. I could have hugged them there forever, oblivious of what was happening around when tita came and then I realised we had to hurry up to avoid parking fees. Oh the joy of meeting again!

On the way back, the kids kept talking and filling me in with stories and I just stared at them unbelieving how 2 months could have changed them. They were hardly babies but little girls. Especially Daisy, when I left her, she hardly speaks complete sentences. The longest she could attempt was “Hindi kakanta si Daisy sa swimming pool ng dida didida didido.” Hahaha. But she was talking straight then. And I was worried they might feel restless while strapped in their car seats cause in PH, they can move about inside the moving car to their hearts’ content (and to the other passengers irritation hehehe). Incredibly though, they were very well behaved which was another shock to me. They just kept chatting and chatting until they finally fell into a nap.

After we had a hearty lunch at tito Rudy and tita Angie’s house in Pennant Hills, they drove us to our final destination, which is their house in Hebersham where we are to live for the next months or so and where so much of our first time memories were nurtured. Looking back now, I feel grateful that we have kind and generous relatives who supported us all the way. God bless their good hearts.

Our relatives have always been around to help us. From the very first day from picking us up at the airport, to giving us financial support (cause we didn’t have any savings at all when we came here), to helping us know our way around, what to expect and how to deal with things. I remember the next day after my family has arrived, the husband was feeling very sick. He was suffering all day from an upset stomach and couldn’t get up. I didn’t know what to do. Tita Marie came in the afternoon and drove us to the doctor. Again, thanks to God for the timely help. And the help didn’t end there. It all came when we needed it, from friends, brothers in faith, everyone.

I am not actually saying that things were easy like everything just fell from the sky and had been served to us on silver platters. The truth is, our settlement had its challenges attached to it. I, especially, struggled emotionally because I couldn’t fit in right away. I missed the simple life we had in PH. Maybe because I am the type of person who isn’t so ambitious. When I am happy where I am, I tend to stay. And I did have a satisfying life back then: work-family balanced job, enough means and sometimes more than enough, and in between my routinary life I was able to squeeze in my passion for craft. So when those difficult times came I questioned what I have gotten myself into cause there was no way going back and I couldn’t move forward either. I felt stuck and I didn’t like where I was.

But now things are a lot clearer. I realised that the reason why we are here and why we had to undergo the trials is not to have an abundant or easy life. It is because we have responsibilities that we could fulfil better if we are here. Here, we were given the means to fulfil the responsibilities we couldn’t have done in the Ph. Here we became stronger especially me, who needed to be more independent so we could look after ourselves and still extend a hand to those who needed us too. And all these are with God’s help for throughout this journey, we couldn’t have made it alone.

And these struggles were actually factors why I went on hiatus from blogging and other things I loved. To step back, find the path, learn what is being taught and shift myself to the new road we were given to take. Now, after a slow and painful process, I think I am finally sinking into this track. And thus, while I end this post, I’d say I am ready to share the journey we had the first year of our family life in this foreign land. Until my next posts then... God willing :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yarn Creations

I have been crocheting for a while now... a perfect recreation which kept me diverted from being depressed sometimes. Anyway just sharing the pics.
 




Saturday, March 2, 2013

Happiness

Most of our happiness in life come from simple things... such as these!


I thought I would never get crafty again. Or at least I thought it would take a long time to get my momentum back so I was really happy when I purchased this two shade pink yarn and hook.


Plus, fave movies from my childhood really made my day! Just a trivia: my first ever crush was Atreyu from Neverending Story 1 (I did not like 2 & 3) coz he had this perfect face that's almost effeminate. And the empress was really really pretty. I used to look at her pictures in the net when I was pregnant with Demi. Anyway, I remembered being overwhelmed by the story as a child. Sad to say, warching it again dis not give me the same butterflies in the stimach while looking at Atreyu's face nor did it gibe me the fright when he had to get past the sphinx who shoots laser heams from their eyes... this was the most scary part for me back then. Watching it again made me think like the movie was actually slow paced. Anyway, the idea is to share it with the kids like letting them and the husband get a glimpse of my childhood which was a happy phase in my life.

The other movie was Milo and Otis. Back then I had been so fascinated with the cute cat and dog. It was the best we could enjoy back then for there were no computer generated or modified pet movies yet such as Cats and Dogs or Babe. So when I let the family watch the movie they found it quite boring. Moreover I discovered that it had been a controversial movie with issues on animal cruelty. I guess that was the setback with lack of technological advances. Makes one kinda guilty to enjoy the movie. Anyway, I guess the fun part was reminiscing the fresh years. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Sound Trip # 15: Love Thy Will Be Done by Martika

Love thy will be done...

 
A favourite song from the old old days which brings back good memories of my childhood...

Friday, February 15, 2013

11 Years and Counting...


Today marks another year under His care and I am thankful for this. For all the shortcomings I have, I must have done something right to still deserve this. For the years of blessings and care, for the forgiveness and mercy, for having second chances, for the peace, for all the things that I can no longer fathom, I am thankful.

 

 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Demi's Progress

This week, we went to Demi's school to attend the Meet the Teachers for updates. Fortunately, the meeting was held inside their classroom so I was able to look around and see their projects. I am a little worried for my daughter because her first language is Tagalog although I think she picks up real well. But at home, we still speak our native language so I am not sure of her progress in speaking English.

Just a bit of story, one afternoon while picking her up from school, the teacher told me to pack more food for her lunch cause she was telling the teacher that she was hungry. I was a bit surprised cause she never complained of being hungry at home ever. She's the type of kid who wouldn't eat unless she's told and that's the last thing she wanted to do on her list. I told Mrs. Carstens that maybe Demi was just having a hard time expressing herself in English but the teacher declared that Demi was having no problems at all and can tell the teacher exactly what she needs. I was relieved alright but felt a little ashamed if Demi was indeed hungry. Well, I'd prefer to pack her more lunch of course. That was good news to me.

Anyway, going back, when I saw this on the wall at the back of their classroom I was really proud and thankful! They were 24 students in the KH class but only 8 of them got this blue award! And stretching the boasting a little, partida pa yan, she doesn't speak English fluently yet. :D


With Demi's progress in school being quite well, I could relax a little for now... :D

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Re-living "These Happy Golden Years"

I have been reading his bookby Laura Ingalls Wilder from her little house books series and found it delightful. She really is a good writer and she did a great job sharing her life stories in an amazing way. Her books could definitely take you back to the 1800s.

One particular part I enjoyed was their buggy ride in spring time. Almanzo, who became Laura's husband when she got older, often went to pick her up for the rides and although Laura didn't consider him to become her beau, I found it cute and romantic. Yesterday, the neighbours brought out this thing that's strapped to a bike which I fancy as a buggy and when I saw the kids riding at the back, I just had to take pictures. They were so like these happy golden years. ;)


The buggy ride with the handsome horseman riding the bike instead of the horse
and the beautiful princesses at the back :D


Oh no! Buggy ride went all wrong!
(Despite the looks of it, nobody was harmed in this incident. :D)

These are my own happy golden years...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Shack: A Reflection

Several years ago, I encountered this book entitled “The Shack” by William P. Young. I heard it was bestseller and inspirational, an excellent read. It was an expensive book even 5 years afterwards, and you would hardly find copies of it from bookmooch.com. So when I chanced upon it at Blacktown Library, I figured it was the best time to give it a try.

Up to the first 4 chapters, I regard the story with great interest. It was about Mack, a man who might have been perfectly normal as a husband and father of 5 kids except that as the story unfolds, you would discover that he was undergoing internal turmoil since the murder of his youngest child. In addition to this, he also had to deal with how one of his children was slowly crumbling inside. His wife kept a constant faith to God, an attitude he totally respected and even admired to an extent. He however was battling with his faith which had never been really strong from the start as he grew up with a vicious alcoholic father.

When he took his kids to a camping trip, Missy, his youngest daughter was abducted and was never seen again. All evidences suggest that she had been brutally murdered. It was in the shack where the authorities saw the blood stained red dress which Mack undeniably identified as Missy’s.

It was interesting… until the 5th chapter, when Mack met Young’s concept of “God.” And from there on, I ceased believing that the book was based on a true story as the author claims in the Foreword. I did not want to continue, but I felt the need to list down the things that I found as “glaringly” and totally against the Bible. I was furious actually that I finished the book in great speed with a handful of claims from the author which is factually against the Bible as follows:

1. Firstly, I believe that this book may actually be a disguised propaganda of the writer to spread out his personal views of religion.

The main story is just about 7 chapters. The rest of the chapters were mostly conversations of Mack and the “trinity” explaining the author’s concept of religion. There’s actually too much inconsistency with the Bible.

2. Young represented God as a big black woman with a questionable sense of humour.

Biblically, God never did take the form of a human being, much less, a giggly domesticated woman, and He would certainly not do it just to make ONE stubborn person see His light. While it is true that the heaven rejoices when a soul finds his way back into God’s care, Young’s concept seems just plain disrespectful. It gives the impression that God would go to the most extreme extent of downgrading Himself for human’s sake. God is merciful and patient enough. But if people refuse to believe Him, God does not need to beg them to change. This idea makes people nowadays to act like spoiled brats doing selfish things and still have that confidence that they will be saved. The truth is salvation entails great responsibility. After all, people NEED God, not the other way around.

3. The author said that Jesus was “stepbrother of that great family.”

Stepbrother? What’s that supposed to mean anyway? It gives the sense that Jesus was not rightfully part of the family tree, like He just accidentally belonged to it.

4. God the Father, was crucified too? How can that be?

There was a part in the book when Young tried to implicate that God was crucified along with Jesus. I think the author just wants to imply his belief on the Trinitarian principle but this is not really Biblical and it’s about time that we actually leave behind this obscure belief. Guess what: God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit (which the author ridiculously named as Sarayu) are actually 3 different beings.

5. God was having devotions?

Devotion means: fidelity, dedication. The author wanted us to believe that God acts like human and it’s not even clear whether because he wanted to us to have devotions as well. Personally, I do not really understand the concept of people when they say “devotions” but in its religious sense, if God was God, to whom was He having devotions??? It is a crazy act and I wonder why the author even thinks this is possible.

6. Jesus looking up at the stars saying, “I created it as the Word, before the Word became flesh. So even though I created this, I see it now as a human. And I must say, it is impressive!”

In the Bible, the Word was not even created. It was in the beginning, with God, and was God. Flesh in fact means when Jesus took the form of human and lived among humans. Not the stars! That’s just so… darn.

7. Young says that God has no concept of authority.

That is the author’s opinion and fearless claim. This idea is not Biblical though, and Jesus does recognize that His Father is above Him. As a matter of Biblical fact, Jesus recognizes His Father’s authority and He will subject all the glory to God in the end when He wins over evil.

8. Why would Young even suggest that Jesus, who is male, would say that “the world, in many ways, would be a much calmer and gentler place if women ruled?”

Biblically speaking, women were not even allowed to become leaders of the church. Women were taught to submit themselves to the man under Christ’s leadership and the men in return are to treat women with great care.

9. And why would Jesus say, “Seriously, my life was not meant to be an example to copy. Being my follower is not trying to ‘be like Jesus,’ it means for your independence to be killed.”

Following Jesus is not killing independence. Anything we do out of our own free will is independence. The author has to know that people follow Christ’s example not by force but by faith and that is what Jesus and God wanted from the beginning. People were given choice between life and death with the recommendation to choose the former. And what are Jesus’ teachings for if we are not follow them anyway? The author might as well have said to ignore the Bible and that is utterly ignorant.

10. What’s next, judging God, and the entire human race?

Seriously, does a man even have the right to think about that? This was the part where the author implied that we are God’s children no matter how horribly we spend our lives. God’s only begotten son is Jesus. We were made to make His son happy. We become His children only if we follow Him. Sad to say, there are people who follow another path.

If we could not endure the laws of Christ, then we cannot become God’s children. We must not abuse the thought that we are His children no matter how evil we lived our lives, in the end, His compassion will save us. Come on, it encourages irresponsible existence!

11. God’s wisdom is Sophia?

Where the heck did that name come from anyway? The wisdom of God is Christ. Period.

12. Heaven is a recycle of this earth and universe we’re living in presently?

No way! God the Almighty, who owns everything, would settle to give us something tawdry and second-hand? That’s ridiculous. It’s about time that the author knows that this earth shall be removed. There is a kingdom which the faithful servants will receive. The beauty of this place cannot even be perceived by the limited senses of mankind. God is not cheap to reward us with recycled earth!

13. Joining the church is being open and available to others?

How’s that supposed to be done anyway? Nowadays, if you become open and available to others just like that, you’d probably end up robbed, used, wasted. It’s just so vague it won’t do for me sorry. First of all, what is the true church which we must join? In the Bible, to become part of the church, one must undergo a series of life changing events, dying in sin and being cleansed in Baptism.

14. “Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian… I have no desire to make [people] Christian.”

And this was supposed to be said by Jesus… terribly sad isn’t it? But what is Christian anyway? It seems the writer must be educated. Being Christian means to follow the ways of Jesus Christ, thus the term Christian. So now he’s trying to defy all the efforts of the apostles to make people Christian? If he doesn’t want to become Christian, I think he should just keep that preference to himself.

15. The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules.

No no no… This is such a big lie. Didn’t he know that the complete duty of man is to follow God’s rules? This irresponsible claim of the author discourages people to read the Bible. So darn infuriating!

16. In Jesus, you are not under any law.

So he goes and says that people who follow Christ are free. But not in the sense that he’s trying to implicate! People who decided to follow Christ had been FREED FROM SINS in baptism. But they are bounded by laws. He even wants us to respect the laws of man. Logically, the more that He’d want us to obey His laws. It seems the author is afraid of responsibility here, because rules entail responsibilities of course.

17. God forgets nothing.

Not really. If God forgets nothing, then nobody will be saved. God forgets the sins of people who struggle to follow his will. In like manner, He wants us to do the same when we forgive our brothers in faith. Because prolonged anger could result to grudge and when we hold grudges, we are likened to criminals.

18. God redeems a killer? Err a serial killer who killed innocent children?

I cannot stomach this really. The author said that God will redeem Missy’s murderer. Well, it can be possible, if the murderer has changed his evil ways and regretted in baptism. But it didn’t say so in the story so it appears like he’s getting off the hook just like that. God is a God of justice. He hates criminals because clearly these murderers were people who went after satan who is the father of liars and murderers. In the Bible, taking an innocent life is very grave. So no, murderers will not be redeemed.

19. God is everywhere.

At the end of the story, this information was regarded like it was a general fact. But believe it or not, God is not everywhere. There are certain places where we cannot find Him. There are many but the clue is, where there is great evil, God’s presence is not there.

20. Finally, if this really did happen to Mack as the author claims it, then I’m freaking out. Certainly, these revelations could not have come from God because they’re so totally against the Bible. If it did not come from God, then whom? Creepy… I’d just rather think that this was the author’s strategy to spread out his religious personal beliefs that are outside the Bible. After all, he’s not living a Christian life, didn’t he claim so?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Demi’s First Day in School… Again :)

Today, we walked Demi to school. This is her first time in school again. She started kindergarten in the Philippines last June 2012 but had to end it in November because they went to Australia in December and we were all together at last! Yey!

It was a first time for us too. Looking for a nearby school was challenging because we do not know our way around Hebersham yet. But at the last minute, thank God, we were able to discover this nearby Public School at the street next to ours. All we had to do was bring over some documents and then we're all set.

School year starts here at the latter part of January to the first week of February. As for Demi, today is her first day at 11:15am and just like before, I didn’t see signs of nervousness. Only happiness and excitement in her face.

We're leaving the house!
Walking on the way to school.
Waiting from outside the classroom.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Trip to Sydney



Finally, I was able to take the kids to Sydney at their request last 6 January. Demi has been plaguing me to go there to get close to the harbor and water. She has that much desire with oceans and seas. Sunday is the best time to travel around here because they have the Family Fun Day here every Sunday when the fare is fixed at $2.50 per person provided that there is a 1:1 ratio of adult and child in the family. Plus, children below 4 are free so the whole trip cost us only $7.50 covering all bus, train and ferry rides.
Below is the map showing our itinerary:

1.       We took the bus to Mt. Druitt station.
2.       From Mt. Druitt station, we rode the yellow line to Town Hall station.
3.       From Town Hall, we transferred to the blue line and got off at Circular Quay.

After more than an hour travel, the kids happily arrived at Sydney! It was a very hot afternoon but the breeze was cool and they enjoyed the grass and birds and well, the harbor of course, which was what Demi wanted all this time.

After a while, we walked to the far end where the Opera House is but the kids liked the other side better where there’s shade and grass. So we just took some pictures and decided to try the ferry and so the journey continued.



4.       At Circular Quay wharf, we rode the ferry up until Meadowbank wharf. I particularly asked for the ferry which will stop near a train station but it turned out that Meadowbank station is still a few minutes walk from the wharf.

The majestic view from the ferry kept the kids awake despite that they were getting very sleepy already.


5.       From the Meadowbank station, we rode the red line and got off at Strathfield to transfer to the yellow line.
6.       From Strathfield, we got off at Blacktown.
7.       From Blacktown, we should have taken the bus but we took the train to Mt. Druitt again thinking that it would be a lot faster.
8.       As it turned out, waiting for the bus at Mt. Druitt took us some 30 minutes and it was dark when we got home at 10pm.

the look of being lost in an unfamiliar land...


The whole trip was just for half day but transferring from one ride to another was so tiring. Still, the kids enjoyed their first trip to Sydney and it was a very well spent $7.50 fare. :)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Reading Adventures for 2013

I was overwhelmed by the sudden access to the most popular books which I didn’t have the liberty a few months ago. As a result, I start to regard reading books with less fervor, I think. Or maybe some books were just promoted to an exaggerated extent. I don’t know. But I do hope it’s the second reason.

So why am I telling this? Last year, I was able to read 19 books. So that’s 1.6 books in a month which is more than okay considering that year 2012 had been a busy one for me. That was the year we moved house (in February), the year I ventured with beaded watch crafts (from March to July, maybe), the year we got our visa granted (in July) so we had lots to prepare for, the year I took driving lessons (September). There’s a lot of changes if you get the point. So I managed to squeeze reading these books and that would have to be the travel time it took to go to the office and back to the house. Plus, when I arrived in Australia by myself, without the kids, I had plenty of time for leisure. And luckily, that was the time I found this liberty of access to the books I’ve always wanted to read.

As 2013 started, I had 3 books waiting to be read. Coraline and The Graveyard Book both by the author Neil Gaiman and Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. The first one was a fast read and I would like to make a separate post for its review. The story was good although I’d say now and probably reiterate in my review, that the movie was a better version.

The Graveyard Book was a little more difficult to read and it was disappointing because I have high regard of it. Maybe because the theme was a little unacceptable to me, which was ghost fantasies and adventures. I do like fantasies but only those that are science related like Madeleine L’Engle’s time quintet. The Graveyard Book is different though so I decided to move on to Fifty Shades.

Now this last book is 50-50. I have read several reviews from bloggers alike about how much they hated the novel so I didn’t bother reading it. Still, I was curious because most of my friends, and friends whom I respected too, were thrilled about it. So when I chanced upon a copy in the library, it couldn’t hurt to try.


So here goes my opinion. Sorry fans but first off, I’m really not inclined to love stories so that’s probably why I wasn’t so thrilled although the fashion in which the novel was written was not totally difficult to endure. But personally, I did not develop a liking to the heroine who was Anastasia Steele. Although she was supposed to be “beautiful” and na├»ve about it, she didn’t strike me as such especially on her first meeting with her dream guy. Falling flat on your hands and knees isn’t exactly attractive. Plus, she always flush in different shades of crimson, red, scarlet, name it. I thought the book may also be fittingly entitled “Fifty Shades of Ana’s Face”. And then she has this vice of looking at her hands and biting her lip, the latter an act which Grey (Ana’s love interest) finds very seductive. Personally, I don’t understand how.

Other things I did not like about her was her frequent reference to her inner goddess who dances the meringue, salsa, samba etc. and her subconscious who seems to hate her and always smirks or shouts at her. Both of them recurrently taps their foot on her impatiently or whatsoever. Oh, and I almost forgot. Ana’s favorite expressions were “oh my,” “crap,” “holy cow,” and “holy shit.” So brace yourself for these words and you might as well keep a paper and pen for tallying just for the fun of it and see which of these were the most used throughout the book.

I could look beyond these annoying repetitive matters but some of the things about Grey made me really feel uncomfortable. Mostly these were his reactions such as his frequent gasps on such little things. It just doesn’t match with his purportedly hard core image. Or the way his mouth hangs open a lot. It made me think he’s stupid-looking. But the most annoying of all is his cocking of head to one side. I’m not sure if the problem is with me but I just don’t feel that this act is so masculine. Reading takes one to imagine, and every time I see him cock his head to one side, I wince. I try to imagine the husband doing the same and I cringe even more at the thought, I think I might divorce him when I see him do that (hehe just kidding, but the cringe was real). This made me really restless so I asked the husband outright what he thinks about a guy who cocks his head to one side and he says that’s not straight…
"But the most annoying of all is his cocking of head to one side"

When a person’s head tilt to one side, it means that an interest has been developed. Remember how a dog tilt his head when curious? It’s the same with humans too:)
This is a common gesture for women when they are interested in an attractive male.
(Source here)

"Don't I look better than Christian Grey?" Photo Source
Well anyway, this habit of Christian Grey annoyed me ultimately that I lost appetite to finishing the book. Plus, it appears as if half of the story was a description of their love making adventures but I was thinking I could skip those and just get to the point what’s so mysterious about Grey. But the cocking of head to one side got a bit irritating so I made a pact that if he had to do it again, I’d stop reading the book. Alas! Before chapter 10 ended, he cocked his head to one side again (the part where he was having lunch with Ana in a nice restaurant) and I got so pissed I closed the book altogether.

Okay, I admit it. I’m not really harsh. I still plan to finish both books, perhaps go back to Graveyard first before Grey. But one other reason why I wasn’t so patient with Grey was because I found another book called Clockwork by Philip Pullman and guess what? It was like I’ve found oasis after walking miles in the desert! The book was a lot more interesting but it was very short so I finished it in one day and it left me feeling a little regretful because such a great read came to an end so fast. I’ll definitely write a review about it perhaps after reading it a second time.

Anyway, I’ll try to refrain from borrowing books until I’ve finished the Graveyard and Grey first, the latter with a condition that I’ll give a limit of 10 more times for the cocking of the head, 15 for saying “oh my” and 20 for the dancing inner goddess. If anything exceeded the limits, whichever comes first, then ultimately, I’d put down the book and return the same unfinished.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Sound Trip # 14: Why do all good things come to an end by Nelly Furtado

Last time I was doing the grocery at Woolworths for bread and stuff, I heard this song again and I was like taken by a time machine to the past. It was around 2005 or 2006 when I loved this song and felt connection to its meaning. Last time was the first time I heard the song again after so many years, as a matter of fact, I’ve forgotten the title or any of the lyrics.

It was like seeing again the person you really love whom you had let go in the past. That is how I compare the feeling at least. I can’t just let it go. I strained hard to pick up the words, just a few words so I could later do a research on its title that I walked along the isles trying to follow where the music was coming from. And when I found the source, I stayed there and absorbed the words as much as I could. Only when the song was over that I resumed with the groceries hehe. Back at home, I did the research and saved an mp3 in my phone.

And now, just like before, I sing the song and know its lyrics by heart… only, its meaning has lost its connection. While all good things come to an end, so does pain and hurt and all the bad things that come with it. Everything comes to an end…

Thursday, January 17, 2013

My 2012 Summary of Books Read

      1.      Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

      2.      Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

      3.      Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

      4.      Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

      5.      Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

      6.      Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins

      7.      Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by JK Rowling

      8.      Please Look After Mother by Kyung-Sook Shin

      9.      Like The Flowing River by Paulo Coelho

 10.      Missing May by Cynthia Rylant

 11.      The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

 12.      A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

 13.      For One More Day by Mitch Albom

 14.      The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

 15.      Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

 16.      A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks

 17.      The Shack by William P. Young

 18.      Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle

 19.      PS, I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

Of which my favourite was Hunger Games... No book made me as hungry as this one, for the year 2012 at least... :)

Pre-loved Books: Sweet Valley Twins # 2 Teacher's Pet

Synopsis: Playing favorites... Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are the best dancers in their ballet class. Both girls want to dance the...