Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pinay Mama’s Birthday Blog Contest

*I tried posting this same post at my main blog but the post keeps coming up blank!

Another blogger is celebrating her birthday with a blog contest, it's Pinay Mama's turn!

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She has made it easy to join, all the details and contest mechanics are clearly laid out. The only 'mechanic' that has a bit of a wait time is adding a  particular contact as a friend in FB. I'm still waiting to be approved. If I don't get it, it will mean I don't qualify for the contest after all. But don't let that stop you from joining. :)

The exciting prizes at stake:

1st place

$50 Blog makeover (Blogger or WordPress, two columns, color of choice of winner) 2 domain and hosting for one year 8,000 ec credits

2nd place

$30 1 domain and hosting for one year 6,000 ec credits

3rd place

$20 1 domain and hosting for one year 4,000 ec credits

4th place

$10 1 domain and hosting for one year 2,000 ec credits

5th place

$10 1,000 ec credits

6th place

$8 500 ec credits

Consolation Prizes: 4 winners of $5 via random.org for the first 13 contestants who completes the requirements!

Special Prize: The contestant with the highest number of referred people to the contest will win a Baby Bond Nursing Sash Couture worth $35.

Special thanks to the generous sponsors of Pinay Mama’s Birthday Blog Contest below: WAHMaholicBlogDesigns | Must Have Food | Mom Workaholic | Eras Lovers | Pop Ups of My Mind | ME, myself and Jes blog | samut-sari | earndollarspinoy | foodiesgalore | new home sweet home | my little angels | princess ishi’s diary | prince ethan’s journal | travelandrecreation | Grampys World | elcalientemamma| thetsinaywrites | thedomesticatedwahm| tsinaytravels| Bitz ‘n Pieces of My Life| Dashing Smiles| My Web-Blog dot Com| Live Love Pink | Lovely Pink | Dashing Shoppers | My Daily Sunset | Kharlota dot Com | Hobby and Such by Carlota | Mum Writes Again | Travel and Musings | My Tots Exactly! | My Tummy Calls | Beauty Fashions and Finds | peachandthings | thepeachkitchen | pinayads | newsbreakonline | Kizuna | Topics on Earth | embrace life | more than just a sahm | pinayjade | mommawannabe | onlinechikadora | Joys in Life | My Fashion Sense | All About Her | I Love Darly | Nurses uniforms | plateandme | artsyniko | Pinay Mommy Online | Proud Mommy of Three | Caffeinated Muse | Crayons n Pencils | Life’s Digital Moments | Friendship and Smiles | The Ruby Posts | .The Business Minded Mom | Reviewer’s Haven | All in One Womanl | marvinsideas | dailyviews | mycurrentideas | nourishingsoul | Mnetbizmoney | MJDMaBelleverlasting | TLC121 | Successbox8 | Blogopinionz | Belleverlasting | 888host | apical8 | mafesviewpoint | succesz | victoriouz | Azumi Kawaii Princess | fabmomma

Oprah’s Book Club

I don’t belong to any book club and sometimes I wish I do. It would be nice to have a venue to throw ones thoughts about a particular piece of writing. But then again, I have my blog Smile

Because I frequent second-hand bookshops, I have encountered a good number of books sporting the Oprah’s Book Club logo. I have bought a few of those and have found them to be mostly thought-provoking. Some could be called heartwarming Smile

 

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Photo credit: Oprah.com

You can see the full list of selections for O’s book club here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/Complete-List-of-Oprahs-Book-Club-Books

They carry discussion guides too that you may use. I’m thinking of actually using the guides as a means to jumpstart a ‘review’ or reaction for future blog posts on the titles I also have.

2011 Oscars Marathon

I was watching the Oscars this morning (I missed the red carpet, and I also fell asleep during the show) and I again realized how I missed so many good movies in the past year. Among them is Alice in Wonderland. Another is about the story of the salesman who pitched for the popular drug for male enhancements and became successful – Love and Other Drugs.

Haven’t seen Black Swan either.

Wait.

I don’t think I’ve seen much of the movies nominated this year. Eek!

I’d list all the good movies I haven’t seen but I think I would end up writing a very long post. So why don’t you just help me instead? If we were to have an Oscars marathon, what Oscars movies would you recommend (best film winners and nominees)?

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

DiaryofaWimpyKid

We finally got to see this movie on DVD the other day. It was hilarious SmileIt was the perfect movie to watch while you’ve got no cable and no Internet. It was definitely successful in keeping our minds off the situation, and keep cool about the service interruption that was terribly inconvenient.

In the Philippine context, we hardly ever use the terms wimp or wimpy – I can’t even think of a direct translation to the Filipino language. I think that’s one way to illustrate the difference in cultures. To a certain extent, there are social demarcations made in schools here but probably not as pronounced nor as traumatic as it can get for American kids.

Or I could just have been really oblivious to it.

Having had no idea what the Wimpy Kid series was really about, I was kinda expecting a story line involving bullies and it was refreshing NOT to have had my expectations met.

It’s a good movie to help kids who are trying to “fit in.” Although, I must admit, parental guidance is probably a must for the average Pinoy kid.

If the wimpy kid was a girl, the plot would probably have revolved around body image issues, even at that age. Although I don’t doubt that boys have those issues too, I guess middle school is too early for them to worry about getting carnitine supplement or taking designer whey to buff themselves up.

So anyway, I knew there’s a book series that this movie is based on, but what I didn’t know was that it started out online in the form of daily entries – like a blog! Cool! Smile

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ressa Writes: Lessons for Egypt

This is a reaction to a piece that journalist Maria Ressa wrote for CNN.com. The full article can be found at the CNN Website, as well as MariaRessa.Com.

Earlier today, before I read her post, I’d already written my thoughts on the 25 years of EDSA. But what she said has stirred more ‘feelings’ about what was supposed to be the Philippines’ shining moment. She is correct (although she may not have said it this way) – our current government is a disappointment to the Filipino people.

No wonder the international news organizations do not so much as mention the Philippines and its People Power when they discuss what has happened in Egypt, Tunisia, and the ongoing civil war in Libya.

I am ashamed to admit that I have not closely (not even remotely) followed the developments in Indonesia, our very close neighbor. I knew something good was happening there, but I wasn’t aware that they have actually come out way better than us after their own People Power revolution. They are the model that Egypt must follow, not us. To think that they have only had 13 years of rebuilding – and we have all of 25.

I guess our Revolution has not seen it’s completion yet. We endured Martial rule and suffered as a people under the dictatorship and it took just as long to get over the high that freedom and democracy brought to us.

Now, we must pick up where the Revolution left off. It may take another 25 years but as long as we don’t forget the lessons of EDSA, and the lessons from other countries; as long as we pull our acts together and work together for the common cause – there is much hope for the Philippines. After all, just as you would doubt any weight loss program that claim to be diets that work fast for women, it wouldn’t be wise to believe that lasting change will come in an instant or without great effort.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Prayer for OFWs

Reposting from Life MOTO

Prayers For OFWs Around the World


Dear God,

You crossed every border between divinity and humanity to make your home with us. Bless  our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters who have travelled to foreign lands with faith in their heart leaving their families behind as they break through the barriers of people, cultures, and languages to escape oppression and poverty.

There are many things going on that are beyond us even with our collective power. We come to thee in supplication and heartfelt pleadings as we are mindful of the ordeals of others.

We thank Thee for hearing the prayers of your people as China grant reprieve to our three OFWs and may the Chinese government grant a lesser penalty to their case.

We pray for the thousands of OFWs who were incarcerated and imprisoned in the Middle East, Asia and other continents, may Thou please grant them a new hope  and  freedom to return to their families to begin a new life as they entrust their lives into Thy hands. May Thou enlighten our leaders to put the plights of distressed OFWs as a priority and withdraw from plans of cutting the budget allocation for DFA's social service and legal assistance funds.

We pray to Thee that our OFWs in Taiwan will soon be relieved of the fears and uncertainties that haunts them on the current Taiwan-Philippines rift. May the government emissary would soon find an immediate resolution to this issue so that those more than five thousand scheduled for deployment will now be allowed to take on their jobs, and the nearly a hundred thousand currently employed may keep their jobs and be able to sustain their families.

We pray that may Thou please keep our overseas Filipinos safe in the escalating conflict in countries where democratic renaissance in Muslim nations is unfolding from Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Libya as they await the immediate repatriation efforts being taken by our government agencies and may their families in the Philippines be freed from fear and worries of their condition and that the OFWs safety is assured despite the worsening condition.

We pray that may Thou save from harm our Filipino workers in war torn countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as OFWs in Nigeria, Somalia, Lebanon and Jordan, who have taken great risks to continue their fight against poverty to support their families in the Philippines despite of the work deployment ban imposed in these countries.

We pray for the safety of the Filipino nurses trapped in the rubbles during the earthquake in New Zealand, and the rest of the OFWs and Expats around the world who are suffering from natural calamities, diseases and injustices that they may find comfort through faith in Thee.

Hear our prayer Lord, to end the corruption that plague of our nation, the poverty  and violence that displaces millions of our Filipinos from their homes, which separate and divide families.

As we await for the signs of time when the Filipinos around the world, the fathers and mothers brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters may be reunited as one happy family. that going abroad as an OFW is the least option. We pray for Thine tender love and kind mercy, with our faith, with our hope, with our love to thee, we pray for power greater than us all, we pray for divine intervention.

This is a joint call from the Pinoy Expats/OFW Blog Awards, or PEBA, Inc, along with its 300+ KABLOGS, the RMN News Bantay OFW radio program and the Blas Ople Policy Center and we are asking for your prayers or support by reposting this to your blog, posting this link in your FB, Friendster and Twitter accounts or sending this as email to your networks.

The original photo where the image was taken in this post was an official entry by Erwin Serrano from Riyadh Saudi Arabia, 10th rank winner to the 2010 PEBA International Photo Contest.

 

It is really a very disturbing time for families of OFWs. There is a rift between the governments of the Philippines and Taiwan because of the Taiwanese nationals that were deported to China. The turmoil in Libya and the Middle East has placed many Filipino workers in a difficult situation (so are other nationalities, for that matter). In Christchurch, there are Filipinos also caught in the rubble. 

My cousin just flew out to the UK yesterday, and though things seem to be going okay in that side of the world I still include her as I utter this prayer.  I have no idea what work awaits her there, but I know it’s very cold there these days, is there snow? Does she know how to operate snow blowers, I wonder? Haha, but that would be the least of her worries. She will no doubt miss all of us back here, but I hope that she is at least close to some of our friends who are also there so she has a familiar face or two to turn to.

The NEW Macbook Pro has arrived!

I received an email just a few minutes ago, announcing the arrival of the NEW MacBook Pro!

newmacbookpro

That’s exciting news even for me who only dreams of one day owning an iMac! Smile

Check it out from the Apple store, the cheapest one comes out at just about PhP62,000.00! The quad-core processor is enough to get me salivating for this baby.

Learn more about what makes this such an expensive toy, straight from the MacBook Pro page.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Can You Keep a Secret?–Sophie Kinsella

can_you_keep_a_secret-_sophie_kinsella

When did I start reading this book? Probably about 6 or 7 years ago when I’d hangout at Fully Booked Gateway while waiting for the boyfriend. I was a TSR then with a 4am-1pm shift, and he had an 8-4 job in Makati. We’ll meet halfway and I’d get there first so I’d pick this title up a few times and read a chapter or two while waiting for him.

Though I probably got up to halfway through the book, I didn’t buy it then. When I found a second hand copy at the book shop last year, I grabbed it. Still, it took last week’s Cebu trip before I could finally read it again from cover to cover.

Can You Keep a Secret? is about a young marketing assistant who had yet to reach her full potential. She spills all her guts to a complete stranger while on a flight back home, when she thought she was going to die, and she would never see the man again in her life. Boy was she wrong.

Sophie Kinsella’s writing has always been easy on the reader and her characters are very relatable. If you loved Becky Bloomwood and Samantha Sweeting, then you’re sure to love Emma Corrigan. In this book, we witness Emma as she starts looking at herself differently, and becomes empowered to create opportunities for herself. Hers is the story of many young women like her – those who need time to figure out what their niche in life is. She has tried real-estate, photography, and finally marketing. No doubt, she is probably looking into potential management jobs too.

There is something exciting about seeing her as she steps out of the shadows of other strong men and women around her (at work and at home) and becomes a woman of her own. In the process, she learns that some secrets are worth keeping, while there are times when there should be no secrets at all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Sundial by Shirley Jackson

I have not read this book, nor am I familiar with Shirley Jackson’s work, but I was curious to find out more about it as I saw it as a suggested read while I was going through Amazon.com.

Initially, I thought it was a horror story or maybe a mystery, but reading about it via Wikipedia, it seem like the novel is more satirical than horror.

The title is due to the odd sundial that stands in what was otherwise a perfect garden in the grounds of the mansion where the story is set. I’m not sure how central it is to the story but it must play a part right? Or at least stand for something in the plot. Maybe there is some special inscription in the pedestal base that holds significance? I am really so curious!

The novel was published in 1958 – over half a century ago – and there are five copies on stock over at Amazon. I am tempted to order, but I most probably won’t. I wonder what are the odds of me finding a copy in local booksale shops here? Or maybe I’ll look for an ebook and get that instead.

Learning of this book got me on a search frenzy, and I found this famous landmark -

sundial

Photo credit: http://www.10westover.com/vacations/2009oregon/content/_DSC5098_large.html

It’s the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA.

I know, it has nothing to do with the novel, but I just wanted to sneak in a nice photo Smile

Friday, February 4, 2011

Movie Review: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

Can you believe that it’s already 2011 when I got to see this movie from 2008? Here’s another flick I wouldn’t mind getting on DVD, and I’d certainly love to get my hands on the original novel that the movie was based on. Yes, I loved Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.

Oohhh… and I would so get the soundtrack. Smile

Nick is the only straight member of a gay band and he plays bass. His bandmates are actually cute! Haha. He’s also nursing a broken heart, having just broken up with pretty blonde Tris. The way he copes with heartbreak is by making breakup mixes for Tris, which the latter throws away. Unbeknownst to both Nick and Tris, lovely and sensitive good girl Norah picks up the CDs and and is already a fan of Nick’s mixes.

The movie is about the night that brings these two together.

 

And the rest, as they say, is history. Smile

I’d love to say that I’m a music lover although all I seem to be good for is karaoke. Smile I was in a band in highschool, an all-girl band, but we didn’t stay together long enough to really make something out of ourselves. I love how Nick and Norah love music, go to clubs and parties, but don’t drink or smoke. They’re a good example of nice kids who know how to rock, without being stereotypical rockers or groupies. I like them. I wouldn’t mind being a high school teenager just like them (oh yeah, I forgot, I’m way past that age!).

Has anyone listened to the Soundtrack? I’m sure it rocks! What about the novel, can anyone link me up to a review? Thanks!