Thursday, November 02, 2006


Some of my friends I gossip with. We can be pretty mean sometimes. We talk about Hollywood celebrities and hot stars in Manila who rake it in but are considerably lacking in talent. Yes, we sound like judgemental self-righteous sour graping bitches, which we probably are. :)

Other friends I listen to. They can yak yak yak the night away. I like listening, being the confidante. I always keep secrets (at least I try to) and I feel like a shrink when they do that. If my listening helps, then all the better. Free therapy for them, more stories for my ravenous mind to ponder on.

My inner self I confide in. It's no secret I rarely share my feelings/thoughts with anyone but myself. I have surprisingly frank conversations with the other me.

And then there's a small group of people -- hubby included, lucky me-- I actually have conversations with. Deep, funny, insightful, honest, reckless, free-flowing verbal marathons marked by comfortable silences, shrieks of laughter, a curse now and then, blushes galore, and hyperactive gestures.

Intellectual skydiving, my college friends call it. Bonding is the simplest way to describe it. Sharing oneself, committing to memory the glorious occasion when you get past the niceties and start talking about meaningful things.

This is why I like hiking with friends. Around you are the best ingredients for conversation: a birdcall, the whisper of trees, distant city sounds, views of mountains or boats or the sea. It doesn't matter that you're breathless and panting. Somehow the words still come out.

Sleepovers are also conducive to shared secrets and tearful confessions. Add to the list beach outings, camping, travelling together, lunch or dinner without the hubbies or kiddies, and the simplest of them all, a phone call.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Bookstore of My Own

Was browsing at Dymocks this afternoon and in the space of ten minutes I found 8 books I wanted to buy. And this was at the bestsellers and classics section alone. It's always like that when I'm at a bookstore. Joaquin cheerfully told me to buy the books I wanted since I looked so sad when we left, but when I asked him for money, he shrugged and showed me empty palms. He promised to build/buy me a bookstore of my own when he's older. I can't wait (gleeful rubbing of hands here).

Why didn't I purchase the latest Stephen King, the 3 horror books with deadly-sounding titles and cover pictures, Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and The Count of Monte Cristo, you ask? If you check out my bedside table, there are 8 books there I haven't even begun to thumb through. If some people are "takaw-mata/tingin" when it comes to food, then I'm the same way when it comes to books...and yes, sigh, food as well. So sue me.

On my table, some bought secondhand, some borrowed, some brand spanking-new:

The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren
for the times I need to learn a lesson or two about life and its conundrums
Brunelleschi's Dome by Ross King
from Maya, whose eclectic taste in books I so admire. she lent me two of my most enjoyable reads in the past year: The Amazing Adventures of Cavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon and The Alienist by Caleb Carr.
Will and Me by Dominic Dromgoole
from Mida, another friend whose heavyweight taste in books are so varied. she reads the heaviest, deepest, most intellectually stimulating pages ever published. wish I had her patience, understanding and smarts.
The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh
i love reading about exotic locales and cultures. it ignites the adventuress/heroine in me. this one is set in Burma. also enjoyed The Kite Runner and a book about Bhutan. when I was in high school I hardly slept for a week finishing The Far Pavillions by MM Kaye. and I got to watch the DVD recently hooray! Ben Cross is so dashing. British India is so romantic. and brutal too.
Daughter of Heaven by Leslie Li
Asian-American writer. writing about family, heritage and Chinese food. delish.
Fried Eggs with Chopsticks by Polly Evans
travel. China. a Westerner. in China. funny. need I say more?
Love and Friendship by the incomparable Jane Austen
why did I ever waste so much time reading Mills and Boon, Barbara Cartland, Loveswept, Harlequin, Jude Deveraux and her like when I was younger? Jane Austen's Persuasion, Emma, Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, now that's what I call romance.
Aphrodite by Isabel Allende
sex, food, eroticism, love, recipes. my kind of book.

When I'm stressed out I need easy reading. Not shallow, but light-hearted and entertaining nonetheless. Some good choices: Bel Canto, The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure, The House of Blue Mangoes, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Which reminds me. North and South, the BBC miniseries, is for me, the best, most "nakakakilig" romance ever. No sex scenes. No nudity. Just one tender kiss. Smoldering eyes that hint of passions within. And Richard Armitage. Check him out. I rest my case (dreamy-eyed look here along with fluttering butterflies in stomach and increased heart rate).

wonder what hubby will say about that last sentence? heehee

Where to live?

If I had all the moolah in the world, I would live the summer months of June-August in Canada. That country has the most amazing weather and scenery during the summer.

Then for the winter months of November-January I would settle down in the third-world country that my countrymen love to hate, the Philippines. Christmas is celebrated for a good two months, and everyone is merry, merry, merry. There's luv in the air, cheesy carols blasting from sound systems in malls, bonuses and shopping sprees, Simbang gabi, puto bumbong, bibingka, FOOD. The air is nippy, the streets bright. There's a sense of, some cynics might say, false merriment, but I love it. Generosity and goodwill fill the air during the -ber months in Manila.

February-May and September-October will be travel months for me. Safaris in Africa, sojourns in the Middle East, a Carribean cruise, backpacking through Europe, driving cross-country in the US, trekking through the wild and mountainous regions of North Asia, exploring the world.

Fear Factor

Rode the Ngong Ping 360 with a close college friend. Gotta get used to all these fear-inducing activities. Flying. Cable cars. The Peak Tram.

Secretly I dream of bungee-jumping, getting through a canopy walk, skydiving, flying.

I pay to scare myself silly riding roller coasters, free-fall rides and such. I also pay dearly (by denting my wallet and losing sleep) for thrillers and horror movies and books, especially those that feature psychos.

I must be crazy.

The War Within

Realized, over the past few days of dieting, headaches, depression and vanity, that I am mentally anorexic (no, that doesn't mean I'm dumb), but physically a GLUTTON.

I hate the way my body is right now, although I don't show it. People think I am a confident, happy person who enjoys cooking, eating and blogging about these two passions. Outwardly, they are my passions. Everyday I cook, experiment, taste, savor, offer morsel after morsel of the most delicious edibles to my grateful, starving body. But deep inside it is a struggle. I want to be THIN. Not sexy or curvy, but an extra-small sized waif with with skinny legs and arms, bony cheeks, sharp collarbones on a hanger-like frame. I know it's the most unattractive way to be (no offense to supermodels out there or genetically-gifted size zeros) but I can't help it.

When I'm thin, and I used to be a year ago, I buy clothes like there's no tomorrow. I strut my stuff, wear revealing oufits, and pose for pictures whenever possible (and generally I don't like having my picture taken). Then when I gain all the weight back I look at my former pictures and sigh wistfully.

You could call me a yo-yo dieter. Or simply a food-loving manic depressive shithead. Whatever.