Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy


I am thrilled to have finished a book so soon after the first one for the year. But I already knew I wouldn’t need a month to go through this one, the week it took was actually super long already. This weekend I added another Maeve Binchy title to the already-growing list of books I love:

The Glass Lake

Binchy - The Glass Lake

Set in 1950s Ireland, the Glass Lake is a big lake in Lough Glass, a small county. It was typical in Lough Glass to be born, live, and die, in the same house on the same street. Everyone knew everyone else. I loved this setting!

Kit McMahon is of Lough Glass but her mother isn’t. Her mother Helen was from Dublin and she was very beautiful and elegant. She wasn’t like the other mothers in Lough Glass. She loved walking by herself, up and down the road, and by the lakeside. She was the pharmacist’s wife and didn’t have to work herself although she would have wanted to. Instead, she spent her days keeping their home beautiful and mentoring young Rita, their maid, and encouraging her to make something of herself too someday.

One could say that Helen was a modern woman in a place that was very traditional. Though small, there are two schools in Lough Glass – the Brothers ran one for boys, and the sisters at the convent ran another for girls. On Sunday, everyone can be found at church hearing Mass, after which the priest would shake everyone’s hand and could identify each person. Although the small community had its merits, Kit’s mother just didn’t belong there. Her heart was far away – with the only man she had ever loved.

The book tells us more about Helen McMahon, her death, and how her kids, husband, and the whole of Lough Glass coped with the events of that fateful evening. But we also get to know Lena Gray who builds a whole new life with the man she had always loved and then takes on correspondence with young, impressionable Kit McMahon.

Kit McMahon. This was really her story. Of how one night changed her life forever, and of growing up to be a fine young woman, in many ways like her mother.

I got the book at a second hand bookstore for 85 pesos. That’s just about US$2.00. Money well spent. Smile

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Lately, chats about leaving our respective jobs have become more frequent. We talk about it in bed, in the car, everywhere. Is this a sign that we’re unhappy at work Alfred and I?

I can only speak for myself – it’s not about being happy there, really. Whatever’s happening at work, I either have control over or I don’t. For those I do, I know I can do more if I wanted to. For those I don’t, well, it’s all about perspective. So, no. It’s not about being happy at work.

I just really want to do something else. Maybe some online college classes would kick-start other professional opportunities for me.

But we’re not the type of people who can afford to lose our jobs. So I don’t see either of us quitting anytime soon. How would we ever save up for a wedding if we do? Where would shopping money come from? How could I get him one of these mens titanium bracelets? Oh he’d need a steady paycheck to sustain my lavish lifestyle! (*whatever*!)

And to set the record straight, I love the challenge that work brings. Once I set foot in the office, all is well. I do love doing what I do and all the opportunities we can open for the people we work with. I guess this funky mood just really comes and goes. I know someday when I find my true passion and do it everyday this will still probably happen, from time to time. As I said, it comes and goes. For now, I’ll stick with what I have and continue dreaming and working towards that dream Smile

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unofficially Yours (2012 Movie)


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We saw this movie last Sunday, March 4. Star Cinema’s Unofficially Yours stars John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Aquino. Cathy Garcia-Molina directs.

I didn’t realize that the movie already started while we were buying our tickets so we even stopped by the concessionaire stands to get some popcorn and chips. We missed, in its entirety, the foundation of the story: the one-night stand. There was really no time to sulk over that though, because the story was running and we wanted to pay attention from there on in. And, it didn’t matter that much because you soon realize that something happened between the two. What confused me in the beginning was why Macky Galvez (JLC’s character) was so interested in getting a “new” life. Eventually, this was answered too.

Journalism was my first love too. I was on the editorial board for three years on my grade school paper and EIC on 6th grade, Associate EIC in senior year at high school. But other interests took over me, and I didn’t take up Journalism (although it was my second choice at the UP when I applied). I also noticed how my writing quality declined since leaving school. Seriously. But that has nothing to do with the movie, except that it excited me that they worked in the newsroom. Smile

We laughed a lot during the screening. As good a dramatic actor as he is, JLC has been very effective in his romantic comedy films and this film adds another feather to his cap. The roster of supporting characters were quite effective too. Macky’s barkada and room mates – fun times! They seemed just like how male barkadas would treat each other. Maybe. Can guys really be that sensitive and supportive of each other? From what I observe of Alfred, they could.

To be honest, I think I would have been annoyed at JLC’s character if I was the girl in the movie. I mean, really? Pressure! Expecting too much! But Ces obviously felt something for him already, and that’s why she allowed it to continue.

I’d never really given much thought to official relationship status or the modern-day girl-boy relationship types that abound these days. To each his own right? Whatever floats your boat. So if they didn’t need commitment, that’s just fine. Personally, I understand how such arrangements could be convenient, even desirable. I think even where there is love and commitment, two people can agree to be two separate individuals and live their own lives and according to their own rules.

But what I couldn’t understand is how one could seemingly give up on love – no matter how much they’ve been hurt. As I see it, it isn’t that the heart is incapable of loving again, but the mind is trying so hard to prevent it. Oh well. Even after all’s been shown in the movie, I still don’t get it. Or maybe I’d just been really lucky not to have gone through that much pain.

I wouldn’t go as far as saying the movie’s a ‘must watch,’ but it was definitely nice to see. Anyway, here’s the official trailer for Unofficially Yours, enjoy!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Find your passion

I finally, FINALLY, finished reading The Happiness Project from cover to cover.

And I just could not stop my self from posting about it again.
For some reason, I also want to reread it, but this time take lots of notes as well. But maybe not right away. After all, I do have a whole list of books to go through, and then some. Smile
I feel like reading this book has enriched my life, but I don’t know how yet. There’s no specific thing I can attribute to it just yet. I feel like I have already resolved to go on my own Happiness Project, but I also want to be concrete and lists all my resolutions and goals.
Rubin’s approach to this project is something that can also be used for other things. For one, I’m wondering how to encourage these for my TLs and reps so they can be happier workers Smile And how we can use resolutions to meet and sustain our good performance.
Also, in the book, Rubin talks about finding your passion so I’ve been thinking about that a lot. Oh yes, a lot. One of my passions is advocating for children’s rights. I lived and breathed it. –ed. Past tense. I grew up thinking that I would always be doing something for children, that I would be in social work. It would be something I do. You know what I mean? But I left that world. A social work degree just didn’t seem to be in my future. I don’t regret it, but a lot of times I think about it. And a lot of times I wonder how I can continue to do it without completely changing my life all over again. At least not right away.
Right now, there’s being a Champion for Children, but then not much else. That’s a lot because it means money out of my own pocket, but it doesn’t feel like I’m really putting much of myself into it. It’s hard to explain.
So whenever I come across campaigns I can support from where I am, I do all that I can to support it. Like the viral campaign for #KONY2012. We have child soldiers in the Philippines too, but the situation is different. I can’t say it’s better, but what Kony does is just plain awful. He and his LRA must be stopped now. How long has he been #1 on the ICC list of the world’s worst War Criminals?
We don’t have to go all political. We can also support children’s cause via Shop at their store, fulfill your shopaholic needs while you help a good cause or two. Yes you can go spend your money on funny t shirts but you could also spend them on gifts that give. Totally your choice.
What I’m trying to say is that right now, this is all I can do. I have other things on my plate that I want to give time for –some selfish time I admit – and then I’ll have more of myself to exhaust for my true passions. Smile
What are YOU passionate about?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for only 25 cents!

We passed through National BookStore at cor Scout Borromeo and Quezon Avenue and saw this book on the stands: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, a novel by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close

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I was curious as soon as I saw it but didn’t pick it up. Now wasn’t the best time to pick up a new book. But I really was curious, I had heard there’s a movie version already. Stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock too.

Then I saw Mom Creative post about a great deal at Amazon. This book for only $0.25 today! I’m not sure how long the deal is for, but I went and bought it right away.


Go check it out now! Don’t pass off this amazing deal Smile

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Monday, March 5, 2012

Thank you, Nuffnang!


Just the other day I had mentioned over at the main blog how I earn extra cash for movies. Well yesterday, we went to see a movie (more on that on a later post), and today I requested for cash out of my Nuffnang earnings!


Nuffnang is yet another way I make money through my blogs. It is a company that brings together bloggers and advertisers. I don’t remember how long they’ve been in the Philippines, but I signed up with them from the very beginning. Apart from liaising between blogs and companies for their ads they also organize blogger events. Sadly, I have not attended any. And truthfully, I think I don’t take advantage of all the ways that Nuffnang could help me and my blogs grow. Before, I used to receive SMS from their staff inviting me to events, but I never made it. Scheduling is always an issue for me, but I also know that I can make time if I really wanted to. A big block for me is that I don’t really know anyone, and I always want to be able to go with someone I already know. Oh well.

Anyway, it will take about 60 days starting from end of this month before I get the money requested, and I don’t mind waiting. After all, earning from the blogs is just an added bonus for doing something I’d do for free anyway. Smile

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reading Log Printables


I came across this free printable project from blog Simple as That:


She linked to it after posting her Happy Birthday greeting for Dr. Seuss, along with this freebie bookmark:


I am truly thankful for the gift of reading, grateful too for my parents who got me books for many years, and read lots and lots of books themselves. It’s amazing how now, kids can get to know the stories from Dr. Seuss through the film versions, but the best is still holding the actual books and reading from them.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Furry Vengeance (2010)

Welcome March, Welcome Summer! Oh okay, summer’s not for a month still but it sure feels like it’s already here, right now! The cold February went too quickly, I already miss it.

I hung out at the couch this afternoon when I came home from work. I felt so tired and sleepy but couldn’t get to sleep. Perfect timing, a movie was just starting on one of the movie channels on cable. One I had never seen before, nor heard about!

Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields in Furry Vengeance.


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Brendan Fraser plays the role of Dan Sanders, a real estate developer working for Mr. Lyman. Because he’s in charge of the development in this paradise in the midst of a forest, he had to relocate his family from the city for a year.

Sanders takes pride in working for a GREEN company, committed to caring for the environment. He thinks that it is the perfect job, he can make money, further his career, and be eco-friendly. All of a sudden though, he starts getting visits from a raccoon and an army of other animals. And they’re not friendly neighborly visits.

He doesn’t think anything of it but sets out to get rid of the animals – unsuccessfully. But his son who’s been homesick for Chicago and his friends, tells him about local folklore passed on to him by his new friend. As it happens, there have been strange happenings in the forest where the development is, and perhaps it explains what’s happening to Sanders.

But dad isn’t worried about his own safety – his worried that he won’t be able to work and get ready for the big investors flying in. He worries that he is missing so many meetings with Mr. Lyman. He is so into his work that he fails to see what his family has observed all along: that his Green company isn’t really eco-friendly. Eventually, at a big PR event that his company sponsors and his wife organizes, all is revealed and the furries come out with a vengeance.

It’s a fun movie for the family, no heavy dialogue nor difficult concepts, easy to explain to little kids who might be watching too.

I love the house and that it’s in the middle of nowhere but with access to a lot of conveniences too. If only having homes like that wouldn’t mean displacing the furries, it would be perfect!