Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Gift Baskets


Last year, I browsed through catalogs of various gift baskets and noticed how similar the contents were, regardless of where they were from. Wine, pasta, cheese, ham, fruit cocktail or fresh fruits – these were very common. Of course, the brands were different.

I never saw one like this:


Imagine a crate full of Mrs Fields cookies. I’d love to receive one of these.

Saturday Movie Marathon


While I pined over the missed deal for the marked down Sony Cybershot DSC TX10, I sat in front of the couch and watched TV. Before I knew it, I’d gone through three films.




My impression of each movie will have to wait another day. I gotta go get some sleep. I am usually off work on Saturday nights and would love to stay up all night, but I can’t this weekend. Back to work in a few hours after only one night off.

How’s your weekend so far? Seen any good movies?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

SEA Games 2011

Yesterday, the 2011 Southeast Asian Games drew to a close.

How many sport trophies, er medals, did our athletes bring home? 36 golds, 56 silvers, and 77 bronzes. Just half as many golds as predicted by the national government agencies in charge of the athletes.
What happened? It’s been a long time since we reigned supreme in the SEA Games. I don’t even remember now if we ever really did. I mean, were we ever in the running for the top spot? Or the second?
Perhaps if our SEA Games athletes had half the attention and support that Manny Pacquiao got on his last fight, they would have been more motivated to win. Or maybe the athletes needed more experienced trainers from sports management colleges. No. I shouldn’t question their motivations, nor their skill.
It’s all this politics about national sports that’s keeping us from moving forward. We have so many talents that are just being wasted.
It’s time we gave priority to searching for talents and training them while they’re young. I remember that group of kids on the Pilipinas Got Talent Season 3 finals. They’d make good gymnasts, I hope they get trained, should they want it.



Today, 23rd November, marks the second anniversary of the Ampatuan Massacre.  Two years and no one has yet been punished for the crime.

Today, Party List Representatives from Bayan Muna filed a bill proposing the declaration of this date as National Consciousness Day to End Impunity.


I looked up what it means and among other things, here’s how Merriam-Webster defines the word:

Definition of IMPUNITY

: exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss <laws were flouted with impunity>

Origin of IMPUNITY

Middle French or Latin; Middle French impunité, from Latinimpunitat-, impunitas, from impune without punishment, from in- + poena punishment — more at pain

First Known Use: 1532

Related to IMPUNITY

Synonyms: exemption, immunity

Yes, I used a dictionary. An online one. When was the last time you used one?

I think I want to buy the latest version of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary. The one we have here is decades old. As a blogger, I should never have stopped discovering words, learning their meanings and proper pronunciation. The online dictionaries are pretty handy specially when you want to know how a particular word is pronounced.

Teaching dictionary skills was the topic posted on The Pioneer Woman Homeschooling page yesterday. And it’s really what prompted me to look up the word impunity. Even if I knew what it meant. The post also reminded me of the vocabulary notebook our 2nd year high school English teacher used to have us maintain. We were supposed to record words we encountered and then look them up in the dictionary. I think we were also supposed to use those words in a sentence. It was an annoying homework, but one I learned to appreciate because it helped build my vocabulary.

Maybe I’ll take that up again. Include that in the things I write on my handy dandy notebook.

Now going back to the word of the day. Impunity must end. Crime does not pay.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Get Well Soon, Amir!


Please don’t tell me you’re here to check on my progress in taking an inventory of my To-be-read pile. It still hasn’t happened. Yet.

I wish I could say I used the time since posting about it to work on some other project, but I haven’t. So I won’t.

Weekends in this house are supposed to be Amir-filled. Well, this weekend is no exception. However, it isn’t in the usual way. Amir and his parents didn’t come over for a couple of reasons, but they ended up rushing to the Emergency Room on Friday night. The baby has been having difficulty breathing, due to an illness likened to croup. He’s currently confined at the hospital and will be there at least until tomorrow.

I was dead tired Friday night so I didn’t even make an effort to see him at the ER. Dad was there, and my Mom went there straight from her midnight flight from Hong Kong. I was there to see him almost the entire day yesterday.

Photo Nov 19, 4 29 45 PM

That’s the little prince having his afternoon nap. I was keeping watch at this time while his parents slept too. Poor mom, I think that was the first time she slept since the day before.

When Alfred and I arrived at his room, he wasn’t in a good mood yet. In no time though, he warmed up to us and we started playing around with his book and animal cards. My goodness, the kid wants to stand and jump and dance around! We couldn’t let him though, his IV is attached to his foot. Sad smile

We had to leave him for awhile to grab some lunch. Friends of his mom and dad came to visit too so it was a good excuse to step out of the crowded room. After eating at the hospital canteen (not too many choices there at almost 3PM), Alfred and I decided to go to Medicard so I could consult with the rehab doctor (another story).  She wasn’t in though so we decided to hangout at Starbucks for awhile. We left the café and my Xray films as well, Alfred walked back to get them. I have to take those with me to the rehab doc on Tuesday. I really must get this therapy done and not chuck it off like I did postponing the removal of my impacted teeth. I think this pain on my hip/back is something that will just get worse if it isn’t dealt with properly. Naalala ko tuloy yung nice dentist na hindi ko binalikan, maybe he’s looking at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Jobs now. He was real nice and gentle when I had my checkup with him many many years ago. He would have taken care of my dental surgery, I know it, but I was too chicken to go through it.  I mustn’t be chicken about therapy now. 

So Amir was asleep already when I got back.

When he woke up, it was time to for the nebulizer. The nurse must have had bionic sensing capabilities because she came just as soon as the little one woke up. Boy did he cry the whole time. Good thing it only took a few minutes.

Diane, his mom, went back to sleep. My brother and I tried a lot of tricks to get him to stop crying and be in a better mood. This Drums app on the iPad did the trick. After awhile, my brother went back to sleep too and this guy was stuck with his Auntie again. Smile

Photo Nov 19, 6 12 38 PM

He was in an even better mood by the time more visitors came in the form of cousin Che and her kids AJ and Hanna! Can you tell by this photo?

Photo Nov 19, 7 26 41 PM

So the little boy is in the hospital, hooked up to two IVs and needs nebulizing every eight hours. But he’s still pretty much the same happy little boy for the most part. We look forward to a full recovery in a few days.

We love you Amir, and a lot of people are praying for you. Smile I’ll see you in a bit before I head to work Smile

Monday, November 14, 2011

Georyl’s Christmas Giveaway


This has got to be the biggest Christmas giveaway this season! Even if it took me awhile to do the required tasks (mostly Liking and Following), the prizes at stake got me going on. hehe Smile

Check out the massive Prize List:

The Prizes

One Winner of $100 Paypal Credits
One Winner of $50 Paypal Credits
Three Winners of $25 Paypal Credits
Five Winners of $10 Paypal Credits
Twelve Winners of $5 Paypal Credits
Three blog makeovers – special prize for bloggers who do the optional task only


And it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support from sponsors:

Major Sponsors of GEORYL’s Christmas Giveaway

GEORYL | Techie She | Chika Bits | Dens Online | Stay at Home Wife and Mother | Work at Home Wife and Mother | Travel Yums | The Food, The Place and the Bad Trips | Mitigating Life’s Uncertainties | Blogger’s Notebook | Zowanderer | The Packrat Wifey | Enairrah’s Travel Thoughts | Enairrah’s Notes and Rumblings | A Wife’s Online Abode | Tinkerputt’s Turf | Simple Happiness | Impulsive Shopper | Momsdrive Online Finds | Nanay Blogs | Make Money Online | Samu’t Sari | The Traveler’s Journey | Khakiness | Walk With Me


Contest ends on December 23, and announcement of winners will be done on Christmas Day, December 25. Winners must have valid Paypal accounts to receive the prizes.

Congratulations Sheryl, for yet another successful project Smile

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Accidental Husband


I hadn’t even heard of this movie until I saw a trailer the other day. Then I even thought it was a new movie just about to be shown in theaters. To my surprise, they were showing this on cable yesterday.


The movie starts Uma Thurman as Dr. Emma Lloyd, afternoon radio’s female Dr. Love. She also came out with a book on finding and keeping Real Love.

But her life completely changes, just as her listeners’ lives have changed by heeding her many advises. Patrick Sullivan was dumped by his fiancé  just days before their wedding after calling in to Em’s radio show. So naturally, Patrick blames the love doctor for ruining his life.

Now Patrick has loving neighbors who want nothing but all nice things for him.  Specially the young computer genius  downstairs. He goes ahead and hacks into the city hall’s website and enters a marriage certificate for Emma and Patrick. Best Wishes!

And the rest, as they say, is history. Or a roller coaster ride.

The full synopsis can be read here.

It was a feel-good movie. No big crying moments, no loud shouting scenes even when Emma finds out about the real circumstances behind the accidental marriage. Uma Thurman is always a delight to watch, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan is a yummy big hunk of love, hahaha Smile

So what is real love? I’m not sure if the movie sought to define it really. In the end, you just know that there is no black and white answer when it comes to love and finding the one you’ll end up with. Sometimes, our match is the ever-reliable and dependable person. But sometimes, it’s not. And it’s not a bad thing. I mean, yes we all should probably gravitate towards the stable, mature, men. But there are also other types of men that will fit our lives perfectly, if we let them. You know what I mean? Hay, why do I even try to explain? Haha.

Emma’s wedding gown looked beautiful though, as did she. The church wasn’t bedecked with many flowers, and was mostly white though, in contrast with the colorful lovely bouquets I’d been looking at at the ProFlowers social site.

To Be Read Pile


One of the many things on my list is organizing my to be read pile.

This one is two stacks wide and two deep as well. Not all books are mine though. But I think 3 of the 4 piles are mine. Seriously.

Photo Nov 13, 5 52 37 PM

And that isn’t the only pile I’ll have to tackle.  My other unread books are in this cabinet. Somewhere here:

Photo Nov 13, 5 51 43 PM


There are probably books in other spaces all around the house that haven’t been read yet. And I should find them before I find out that I bought another book that I already owned. Like what happened two weeks ago. I had bought the Phillip Pullman trilogy His Dark Materials at a second-hand bookstore in Cubao Expo after lunch one day. A week later, I open the cabinet and find that I already own a copy of book one, The Golden Compass (also known as Northern Lights).  No, I don’t remember buying it.


Reminder to self: List your to-be-read pile and keep a list on Evernote.

Pacquiao vs Marquez

Today, Philippine pride and Congressman, Manny Pacquiao goes back in the ring to fight Juan Manuel Marquez. Crime rates will be low, and there will be very few vehicles on the road. Malls will have low traffic until after lunch time.
Betting stations would probably be full though.
No doubt, Manny is the favorite to win in this round but win or lose, he is sure to bring home a hefty sum. So I guess, more than winning big money, bringing home even more pride to the Philippines is a big motivator for the Pacman.
For those who are veterans in sports betting, this fight is a no-brainer. For other fights though, as in other sports, it would be better to get yourself familiar first with sports gambling terms before placing any bets.
Colleagues from work will be watching the fight at the EDSA Shangri-la, and they get to enjoy the buffet too. One of my TLs one a ticket to this treat but couldn’t go. She offered me her ticket and I’d have taken it if only for the buffet, but my back is hurting more than it has in the past two weeks. Sad smile Alfred and I might have to go to a hospital when he gets off work.
How are you spending fight night/day?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

look again pic

This book has been sitting on a table somewhere in the house for months. I think mom bought it an airport bookshop in one of her trips (I may be wrong). We both love Scottoline’s novels and have built quite the collection of her work.

Look Again is yet another masterpiece that didn’t disappoint the fan in me. Sure, it doesn’t have the feisty ladies of Rosato & Associates, but it’s still quite the interesting read.

I started reading the book at bedtime on Sunday, trying to get myself to sleep. I must have made it halfway before I finally dozed off. The next day, after work, I finished the second half. Yay for finishing a book so fast!

Although it was obvious what the answer to all of Ellen’s snooping around would be, there were still twists in the end that wasn’t expected. I love that about this book.

Even if child abduction was central in the story, it didn’t tackle it in a depressing and deeply painful way like in Deep End of the Ocean by another author. You know what I mean? Yes the author showed us how it felt for the mothers to lose their children, but it also showed us the joy of adoption and how mothers aren’t always made by giving birth.

It could have done away with the romantic aspect to the story though. If this were a movie, I imagine it would be the sex part and what would provide the kilig factor. I felt though that it was a non essential. I could have skimmed over those parts and my experience of the novel would have still been the same.

Books are wonderful presents. Christmas is just around the corner, and you can definitely consider Look Again for people in your gift list.

Here’s the book trailer, it will clue you in even more to what the story is about:


Read the first chapter of the novel on the author’s website.