Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One Hour Photo (2002)

This 2002 Robin Williams movie was on cable yesterday, and it cured me of my headache, I think.


Seriously. I don’t even remember now why I didn’t watch in the cinemas when it came out a decade ago. Really? We passed off on a Robin Williams starrer? I guess it was the nature of the film that made us shy away. We love Williams in his comedic roles, a thriller was probably something we didn’t want to see him in. But boy was he effective. He was so effective.

William plays Sy, the photo guy at a big discount/retail store. He has been there a long time and takes pride on the quality of their prints. At first I thought he was the kind of vendor who knew all the regulars. But as it was, he paid a particular liking to the Yorkin family. He has been developing their films since the couple just started, and as such he’s considered himself somewhat an Uncle to young Jake. Unbeknownst the family, and even his colleagues, he makes copies of the family’s photos for himself.

Although the young Jake somewhat feels for the eccentric photo guy, he is wise enough to resist accepting a gift of a toy that he actually really really wanted to have. It is not clear how Sy took the rejection from the little boy, but it was where things started going downhill.

There could have been worse reasons for Sy to lose his job, but he was let go after an audit showed that he gave away a disposable camera as a gift to a customer (Jake, actually). He didn’t take it well. Before leaving his job, a lady comes in to have film processed. Sy knows she’s familiar but couldn’t quite place her. At home, from his photo wall, he finally sees the lady in one of the Yorkin’s old photos. He goes back in to the studio and retrieves the printed photos and sees Will Yorkin in compromising photos with the woman. It breaks Sy’s heart. His favorite family is less than ideal after all. What does he do with this information?

Short of spoiling the entire film, let me just say that he doesn’t get the reaction he wanted with what he did with the information he uncovered. It pushed him to do one stupid act after another. The threat management squad steps in. Lives are perceived to be endangered. And finally, Uncle Sy is put in his place. I think.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The iPad Mini

Have you seen the iPad Mini?


image from

I wasn’t interested at first, but maybe I’m starting to become an Apple fan girl and now I want to have this mini. I have the first generation iPad but it’s mostly being used by the boyfriend. The iPhone5 interests me but I doubt I’d be able to afford it’s hefty price tag. Of course I’m willing to wait until my current contract with my telco expires in April to find out if the iPhone5 is offered to me at a considerable price, but I’m already thinking that getting the iPad mini is a more affordable alternative.

The Wifi version is good enough for me, just like my first iPad. If I need cellular connection, my iPhone can provide that with no issues. This will be so handy, and won’t add to the weight of my already heavy leather bag. I can do pretty much anything I’d do on the regularly iPad, including watching hair styling videos if I need to.

But it’ll take months before this baby is available locally so I’ll have lots of time to think it over.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pom-Pom Bookmarks

These would really make the perfect gift for booklovers, and students too!

Source: via Vera on Pinterest


It’s so simple and easy to make, I really see no reason NOT to make one, or two, or three. Haha Smile

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Boys Are Back (2009)

One of the movies I actually enjoyed watching on cable over my 3 week vacation was this touching story of a father who had to accept the pain of losing his wife while learning to be a better parent to his two sons.


Clive Owen plays the lead role, that of Joe, a brilliant sports writer for a big Aussie daily. His wife is taken ill, and dies shortly after the diagnosis. He is left to raise his little boy Artie. Then all of a sudden, his older son Harry who he left all the way in London to marry his now departed wife, calls and asks to come visit. Harry’s arrival adds another level to the already crazy adventure that Artie and Joe have been having since the mom died.

Each family has its own way of coping, and of going through life. Each parent chooses an approach to parenting, and I guess as long as the children’s best interests are well looked after (in recognition of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of course), then all should be well. Sometimes though, things don’t work out as intended. A parent ends up hurting a child, or a child ends up doing something to hurt the parent. But it doesn’t have to mean the end. It’s a dynamic relationship, constantly being worked at by both parties.

The film does a pretty good job in portraying parenthood, and the loss of a partner, as a huge roller coaster ride. Like what this review says there are moments where the film was flat and melodramatic. There were boring scenes. But taken as a whole, it is a good movie. I’d actually love to watch it again.

Here’s the trailer:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Sunnies from Firmoo

Photo Oct 15, 7 35 35 AM

I do not take self-portraits, but that photo on the top is me taking one as soon as I received my Firmoo package. I was so excited and happy at my little package! And why not? I received this free pair of glasses just a few days after sending my order in. There is no expense at all for bloggers like me who would like to try the product. But do not fret, NEW customers also get to try a free pair, you just have to pay for shipping costs. All is explained here

But what do I think about my glasses? I love them! I’ve gone through so many pairs in my lifetime but I’ve so far only really loved two. The one I bought some time ago from Evita Peroni is a keeper. But this Firmoo pair I love even more. It’s perfect for driving from afternoon til sundown. It doesn’t make everything too dark. Smile

I have always had issues with my eyes and I get headaches all the time. Since childhood. This is probably why it’s never been easy to find a pair of sunglasses that were just right. And now to have two? Happiness.

My Firmoo package came with a cleaning cloth and two carrying cases: a hard shell one and a nice smooth black pouch. The hard case is perfect for storage at home, while the pouch is what I’d use when I take it out with me.

Photo Oct 16, 12 21 31 PM

At first I was wary about ordering glasses online. Like shoes, I’ve always felt that it is better to try them on before making a purchase. How can you know if it looks good on you until it’s too late? Firmoo’s website has a feature that lets you virtually try on the glasses. You’ll have to do some measuring, then upload your photo, and you’re all set. I think that’s genius!


So go, head on over to and find the design that suits you! Smile

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ely Buendia Sings His Greatest Hits, Live!

Ely Buendia Sings His Greatest Hits, Live!


And I am watching! I don’t care whether the closet fan goes with me or not. I am going!

My twitter feed and Facebook wall is abuzz with this poster (sourced here). A colleague already purchased her Patron tickets. I’m still deciding whether to take Patron as well or settle with Orchestra. It is the Music Museum after all, and even the Balcony is close enough.

I am an Eraserheads fan and am bummed out that they are only doing a US Reunion tour this year. I can still remember the feeling of being at The Final Set and my happiness at getting the Eheads boxed CD set. Smile

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Breakfast with Friends

I have no business blogging right now.

It is 310PM. I’ve been up since 645PM yesterday. I again have to be at work at 8PM tonight. But who cares. Hah!

Had a great shift today, followed by a nice drive to breakfast with work friends. Unfortunately, Mercato Centrale disappointed us by being CLOSE for business today. So we had to drive around The Fort to find somewhere else to eat. And I was starving!

We finally ended up in Army Navy at McKinley Hill.

Photo Oct 13, 1 49 50 PM

No food photos though. And none of me, just of everyone else. Smile It took us awhile to decide on what to order, specially the lady in the middle and myself. She ended up ordering a steak burrito, while I went for a Starving Sailor. We had so much food among the six of us, it definitely was a big breakfast. Sadly, I forgot that the milkshake wasn’t worth it and I ordered one. Next time I’m just going to have iced tea.

I like going to the Fort and imagining running or biking around (not that I have a habit of doing those anywhere else). The place feels clean and nice, and livable. It’s like, go there to live and to work. They have everything there, except maybe carinderias. I feel like walking from one place to the other is highly encouraged there and maybe adding more parks or plazas would be good. water fountains outdoor would be a good feature too, they would add a softer feel to the very sharp edges you see everywhere in the landscape (tall, flashy buildings).

It was a good way to usher in the weekend. How’s yours so far?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Friend Leonard by James Frey

My Friend Leonard is yet another book that’s been on my TBR since 2008. Oddly enough, the copy I read isn’t the one pictured from that post (reposted here):

That pink, hard-bound version was a victim of Ondoy.

This was the cover of the copy I got to read:


The cover is similar to the that of A Million Little Pieces, only a different color. The writing style is also similar. Stream of thought. Not much regard to punctuation. No rules.
He was controversial, his novels were controversial. I didn’t care then, I don’t care now. They are captivating. Not in the sense of being awed, but in the sense that you want to know what happens next. It is boring at times, but then whose life is exciting every minute of everyday?

What happens to Leonard is still quite a shock. I didn’t see it coming. And truth be told, I felt myself choke up a little. I was almost moved to tears.

Leonard was larger than life. Once he sobered up, he lived fully. He loved cigars, but none of those cheap bundle cigars, expensive ones. He taught James how to appreciate a good one.

Leonard was a huge part of James’ recovery. Without his guidance, his friendship, it would have been more difficult for James to stay clean and sober. He was there. In a way, they took care of each other.

I’d love a friend like Leonard, but I’d probably be scared too. Scared of having too much money, and wielding what may seem like too much power at times. Or being around one who had/did both.

Anyway. I liked this sequel and I will probably get Frey’s third and fourth book.

A good read too would be the transcript of the infamous Oprah show where she questioned the author about the true nature of the book. Then follow through with this interview five years later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road

Have you seen the movie Revolutionary Road? I haven’t. But there was a new copy of the book at my favorite second hand bookstore so I figured I’ll read the book first. Bought it in 2010. Finally read it.

Did I like it? I’d have to say I had difficulty getting through the first chapter. It was a little too slow for me. Boring. Or perhaps that’s really how it was meant to be. It was, after all, about 1950s/60s American suburbia, and the disintegrating marriage of Frank and April Wheeler. And I couldn’t relate to either theme.

There was nothing to like about April or Frank. They were merely pretending with each other. Feigning love and interest. That they stayed married so long was a surprise to me. That Frank had kept his job without really doing anything significant, is even more of a surprise.

Eventually though, it became about living. Or imagining about living. And I could relate to that.

The end is tragic. And it isn’t the death that makes it so. It’s the realization that they didn’t have to just imagine what a wonderful life they had or could have. They could have actually lived their dreams. They could have actually made them happen.

But they didn’t.

And that’s what I’m afraid of doing in my life.

But I am no longer afraid. Because I have recently found inspiration to believe that, yes, it is never too late to be what I might have been.