Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dragonfly Guitar

This morning we rode our bikes. Wow, I get tired very quickly! It’s not all flat land see, Quezon City must have all been rolling hills back in the day. Haha. But it was fun, and if I do this everyday, my muscles will get used to it. Right? That’s what the fitness and nutrition experts say, anyway!

I thought about taking a video, or even just a photo of myself. But then I thought that might jinx me. After all, what’s more important is what you do everyday, not just what you did this one day. So maybe I’ll take a photo after I’ve biked a few times.

Biking really takes me back to my childhood. How I wish our old photos are digitized already, I’d pull up a photo of me as a young girl and for sure it won’t be hard to find one with a bike. So I’ve been on a mini-trip down memory lane. I remembered my playmates and thought about how many hours we spent biking around. Or how much abuse our bikes took from us.

Who was it who owned a red bike? Yaki or Kathie? It wasn’t mine, surely? Oh well.
Then I remembered all three of us taking piano lessons – without knowing the others were enrolled too. Ha!

Had I known about Luna acoustic guitars back then, I’d have asked my parents for guitar lessons! Isn’t this one with dragonflies adorable? They have other designs that girls would gravitate to.

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I learned to play the guitar in highschool, my brother taught me. It must have been my Dad or my Auntie Leesah who taught him. I spent many afternoons strumming and strumming. My piano teacher mentioned how my pinky finger will be ruined for piano playing coz of the chords. But she wasn’t discouraging me, she just mentioned it. She plays the guitar too.




I mentioned BookCrossing on this blog a total of one time, and only to compare PostCrossing with the website. Wow. That’s probably because I signed up on the site in 2007 but never really participated, didn’t do anything.

Let this video educate you about what Book Crossing is all about:


I have thought about what to do with our books but never got down to really printing out BC labels and releasing the books. My Mom, to a certain extent, is the releaser for us. She brings the books to her office and anyone who sees them there are free to take them. They may or may not bring the books back and that’s okay. Maybe I should try attaching labels to them and see who would actually update the journal entries on BC?

If you belong to a book club or have a book exchange group, then Book Crossing may yet be another platform for your group.

If you’re on Book Crossing, how many books have you released or caught? If you’re not yet on BC, how do you think this will fit in with your reading lifestyle?

Biking for Fitness

Important Blogger Tip: Save your work after every few lines. Do Drafts. I just lost a finished post, because Windows Live Writer crashed and I didn’t save a Draft. Go figure.

After the picnic, Alfred and I set out to find new toys. First stop was a bike store in Kamuning. From Tomas Morato, turn right on Judge Jimenez and then left on the first corner. It’s a few houses down. Ryan’s Bike Shop (I think). The guy watching the bikes was very helpful.

But our ultimate destination was Cartimar, all the way in Pasay City. That’s where we found our new steed (does adding S make the word plural?):

Photo Feb 26, 11 29 26 PM 

The top picture is my bike, while the upside down one is his. We are so happy with our new toys. We were both like two kids on Christmas Eve anticipating the big gift with a big ribbon – I’m getting a bike! We were those two kids today. Smile 

I have not been on a bike for decades. As a kid, I loved biking. My friends and I would ride everyday. This evening, I remember why I enjoyed it so much. It’s true what they say, you never forget how to ride a bike. But it sure feels awkward the first time you try again. And I never used a mountain bike before. So I have to get used to riding, and two breaks, and shifting gears! I need practice, lot and lots of practice.

So biking will be our physical activity. Our exercise. I’m so happy that Alfred and I will be doing this together, and my brother too. Hello weight loss. Smile

I’ve never dreamt of ever wearing lingerie corsets, and I have no grand illusion that biking will get me a body to fit in one. I won’t even think of wearing one in the privacy of the bathroom. Haha. But I can dream of being healthier right?

Now this got me thinking about reading about biking. Any book recommendations? I did find these over the net:

Absolute Best Biking Books on Amazon

Popular Biking Books in Goodreads

Bike Blog Reading List from The Guardian


Do you have any tips for a newbie biker?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

BTC Birthday: 6/17/2010


I don’t remember exactly when I decided to start a blog on books, but here’s my first mention of Between the Covers on the main blog. So Between the Cover’s blogversary is June 17th. We’re a year and a half old people!

Sometimes I feel bad that I don’t have enough book posts, despite the fact that I specifically setup this blog to be about the books I read. I must have been crazy venturing into niche blogs (blogs that focus on a specific topic, in this case books), but it’s fun. I love that whenever I want to write about books, and also about movies, I know that there’s a special space for that story.

Where the Moon Shines has become a catch-all for everything about me and my interests. This blog, on the other hand, focuses on my reading. I’ve chosen to write about movies on this blog too because like books it’s about stories of other people.

One big difference between BTC and my personal blog is the platform. Verabear.Net is on Wordpress, while BTC is on Blogger. I had used Blogger in the past and liked it, but I am a WP convert and love it more. Why did I choose to use Blogger for BTC? Believe it or not, it was because I wanted to use Zoe Pearn’s blog kits.  So my main reason for choosing the platform was design customization. I wanted a certain look, and at the time, I felt like Blogger would let me have that.

What other factors should one consider when choosing one’s blog platform? If you’re tech savvy or already have some background in site building, then Wordpress would be suitable. Blogger tends to be easier to setup and there are more scrapbook-ish designs available out there. If you have budget for your own hosting, then Wordpress is a logical choice. Blogger is free and can be used with subdomain or with your own registered domain.

Do you have a blog? What made you start one? If not, why don’t you have one?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Journey 2 The Mysterious Island (2012)

Valentine’s Week was for catching up on movies. We went to see The Vow on the 13th and seeing the trailers got us to talking about how much less we’ve been to the movies since we started dating 12 years ago. Back then, we averaged 4 to 5 movie dates a month. Our running joke was that we were stockholders at the SM Cinema. Now? We maybe average 6 in an entire year! Perhaps less!

So on the 14th, we went to see another film.

There was much discussion on where we were going to watch it, but the choice for that day was Greenhills Theatre.

Journey 2 tickets Greenhills

It turned out not to have been the best decision, because:

1. Parking was an awful experience. We had a 15-20-minute wait queuing for parking. Maybe I’m exaggerating, maybe I’m not.

2. They weren’t screening Journey 2 in 3D. Not even in digital theater or iMax. It was your plain, old, ordinary big screen cinema. And this movie would have been a dozen times better if seen on iMax. I think.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the cinemas at Greenhills. And I love that their 3D screenings cost less than PhP 400 and already comes with popcorn and a drink. But the movie I wanted to see that day wasn’t on 3D. And the parking situation was bad. So.

But the movie was great!


In Journey 2, Sean Anderson continues his adventures which started in the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth. We saw that film on my birthday in 2008 – in the very same theater too! Ha! This time, instead of setting off with his uncle, his stepfather goes along for the ride.

We were pleasantly surprised to see Vanessa Hudgens in the film. We had no idea she was in it. She’s looking good.

My favorite from the film are the tiny elephants! Not a fan of the bees. Smile And Atlantis looks amazing! I feel bad that they didn’t get to spend too much time on the island. I feel as though there’s so much more out there we didn’t see, haha Smile 

I totally didn’t expect Nemo’s ship to make an appearance in this film. If anything, I had hoped that maybe they’ll save it for Journey 3. Do they find it? You’ll have to see the movie to find out.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Book Lover’s iPhone Case

I want one!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Vow (2012)



image source

My niece tweeted me last weekend because she wanted us to see the movie The Vow, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams. Monday was the perfect time to see it because:

1. Shanti had no school on Mondays

2. Work was only until 9AM, and work next day wasn’t until 3AM.

3. It was the day before Valentine’s and hopefully there wouldn’t be too many people out.

So yes, off we went on Monday. It turns out Shanti had something going at school that morning, but she went straight to Cubao right after. After we met up, we had to go get my mom and take her to work. Then off we were to Makati where we’d pick up Alfred and see the movie. Our cinema of choice: The Power Plant Mall at Rockwell. I’d never been there, so this was a first.

First we had to eat lunch. There was plenty of time before the next screening anyway. The meals we had that day needs an entire post all its own. It was like we were celebrating Shanti’s birthday with all the fun we had that afternoon. I was actually making up for missing out on her championship game the day before. She the Libero player for Miriam College’s champion volleyball varsity team. She’s only a freshman, but already making her mark. Smile

The movie was a delight to watch. It was really heartbreaking though, but it also makes you believe in lasting love.

There were other movies in the past that talked about the concept of ‘self’ as a collection of memories, and that when we cease to remember, then we also forget who we truly are. I believe that. Our character determines our decisions. We make decisions based on what we know, and what we’ve experienced. Without our memories, it is difficult to decide. Difficult to distinguish ourselves from others.

Paige and Leo’s love story was very inspirational. Leo truly is an ideal man. He was romantic, into music and art, and was faithful. And he could have told Paige everything about her family just to keep her with him, but he chose to play fair and do what was best for his beloved wife. I loved their artsy lifestyle, especially their wedding that took place inside a museum (illegally, haha!). I heart Chicago and hope to one day visit it.

The Vow is reminiscent of Nicholas Sparks inspired movies, but this one wasn’t based on any novel of his. It’s actually based on a story of a real-life couple.

I can’t imagine this ever happening to me or anyone close to me. Amnesia. It’s so hard to decide to be thankful that you lived through an accident or to be so angered that you lost your memory as a result. Of course, the correct answer would be to be thankful that you live. I can’t imagine how different Paige was in five years. I look back at my 5-year self and don’t see much difference. If this happened to me I would wake up and see Alfred and perhaps comment on how much bigger he is now, and so is my tummy. But there won’t be much else that’s different. I wouldn’t remember Amir, but it’s so easy to fall in love with him. Smile 

If you’re still on the fence about seeing The Vow, don’t be. Go and see it, and maybe you’ll appreciate life more Smile

Claim post

The advocate waits around a clipped unfortunate.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Fourth Kind (2009)



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We saw two new movies in the cinemas this week, but today I’m writing about what I just saw on cable this afternoon: The Fourth Kind, by director Olatunde Osunsanmi. Milla Jovovich played the starring role.

I was terrified. I was torn between believing the ‘real life recordings’ and thinking that they were too dramatic and too bizarre to be real. Real or not, it scared the shit out of me. Good thing I was watching in the afternoon, not too sunny though, but bright enough.

Who hasn’t experienced lying awake too early in the morning, and feeling some kind of fear or dread? I know I have. There were times when I refused to look outside the window for fear of seeing something looking right back at me. But I’d never thought of aliens; ghosts and engkanto, yes, but not aliens.

Tonight I will sleep alone in my bed. Hopefully I don’t suddenly wake up disoriented, or I might just scream.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Guy Steals the Show

At lunch today, we gathered with family on my father’s side  to celebrate the 75th birthday of Dad’s aunt – Tita Waway.  I remember my Dad telling me about Tya Waway taking him along when she went out to meet in secret with her then boyfriend, (the late) Tyo Danny.

Anyway, I haven’t downloaded the photos yet (story of my life, yeah yeah), so no family photos here. But let me tell you that Amir just had to show up and steal the show, haha! Dad and I went to get him from their Fairview home so his parents won’t have to drive from Eastwood to Fairview, and then to EDSA-Caloocan. The little tyke was an angel on the drive home, making sounds when he found something interesting, and once in awhile playing with my very colorful bead bracelets.

When we got home his parents were already waiting. He was given a bath, and then fed. We thought he was just about ready for his mid-morning siesta for sure, but he turned and turned and made pa-cute all morning. I was the one who took a long nap!

As soon as we were due to leave the house (meaning, by the time I finally got ready), the little boy was asleep. He woke up just as soon as we arrived at the party!

Everyone was already there. All of Tya Waway’s children and grandchildren were there, including her son and his wife who are based in Italy. I haven’t seen my uncles in a looooooong time.

So back to Amir. After a few minutes of ignoring everybody, he finally warmed up and started to charm everyone. He made faces, he walked around (I held him on one hand though), he smiled a lot. He jumped, oh he jumped.

I was thinking of my Christmas gift to him – a percussion table for boys of his age. I wonder if he’s played with already? I wonder if he likes it? He’s at the stage where he pretty much throws everything – the TV remote, cellphones, books, everything he lays his hands on! He may be interested for a few minutes, but then he’d still throw it away after awhile, milk bottles included. Smile 

If he likes the percussion table though, maybe someday, we could get him one of these junior drum sets:

image source

Nice, no? I wanted one as a kid, though it actually turned out best that my parents didn’t listen to me. In highschool I was in a band, I’d play bass, but I wouldn’t touch the darn drums. I’d been intimidated by it, secretly because I was afraid I’d be out of timing, haha. Hello, Metronome on standby while I practice my piano recital piece? Smile 

Oh well, just thought I’d sound off on this random thought (which took 470+ words to express). Off to work now Smile

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Almost a month after posting my autographed book plate for The Happiness Project, I am still not done with reading this awesome book.
The Happiness Project

It is the kind of book you would want to read from cover to cover, as soon as you can. So the delay in finishing the book isn’t for lack of quality content, rather, it’s so good that I don’t really want to rush through it. I want to savor each page. Smile
Among the reasons why I’ve hesitated to get this book, was the fact that the author already maintains a blog of the same title. What else does the book have to offer that the blog doesn’t already dish out for free?
It’s actually quite fun to read about the author’s very personal project. She is so different from me, yet I can relate to her anecdotes.  The book gives us a better idea of what sparked the Happiness Project, and the process she went through to outline the full year that she did her experiment. Through each chapter, that tackles the different areas of her life (focus shifts on a monthly basis), we are given plenty of examples that prove her ‘secrets of adulthood’ and ‘splendid truths.’  To be honest, it is upon reading the book that many of what she says in her blog clicks in my head. You know what I mean? When I read of them from the book, the picture becomes complete for me, and I finally truly understand what she means.
One of the recent epiphanies I read about from the book is about how money can buy happiness. Well, she doesn’t sum it all up in those words really, but if you think about it, that’s the easiest way to say it. Money doesn’t get you happiness, but spending money on the right things, and having the money to spend in the first place, is a path to happiness. The more I read, the more I am convinced to explore avenues to be happy. I am not unhappy, nor am I in a dark place (yes, despite recently losing my grandfather whom I love dearly). But I want to be happier. I want to facilitate happiness for the people I love, and maybe even the people I work with. But I don’t see myself launching my own year-long experiment just yet. Perhaps I’ll have mini projects. Right now though, what would really make me happy is to finally just get started with one or two of the million and one things I want to do in my life.
This book also not only encourages one to be happier, more importantly, it helps you think about how well you know yourself, and your relationships with the people around you. Seems to me that the project won’t work without you having to accept the simple, and sometimes probably painful, truths about yourself.
Do I recommend the book? I most definitely do. Check out The Happiness Project in Amazon. Locally, it is also available at Fully Booked. Also, checkout The Happiness Project Blog.
Oh, thank you Gretchen Rubin for deciding to become a fulltime writer. And thank you for spending your year wisely on this experiment. Smile