Personal

Shawty, it’s your Birthday!

I wish it’s my birthday today! There’s just this pleasant feeling that come along with this thing they call “birthday”..

I don’t know, I just feel like when people know it’s your birthday, they’re kinda (extra) nice to you. Like they owe you something. Like, they write on your Facebook Wall and greet you or post a collage of your photos with greetings on it. That’s why I don’t publish my birthday on Facebook. Coz then, people will only realize my birthday because FB told them so, not because they know it in their heart.

While I don’t like the idea of birthdays being singled out of all the days in the calendar as the “be-extra-nice-to-her-today-it’s-her-birthday-day”, I think I’ve become a part of those people who only remembers other’s birthday coz of Facebook. And it’s absurd. But it’s the truth. I remember my closest friends’ birthdays but not all my friends! So we’re just even, Ha!

In the past years, I greet people on Facebook when it’s their birthday, even to those I’ve only shared a single conversation throughout our relationship as “acquaintance” but recently, I’ve continue to just ignore others’ birthdays. I don’t know, I just feel guilty that if not for Facebook, I wouldn’t even greet her, let alone be aware of her birthday. But at the same time, I also feel guilty over the fact that I did not greet her on her day, while all our common friends have greeted her. Oh, what the hell! I don’t care.

I just really wish it’s my birthday today.

Like when it’s my B-day, I feel extra happy. Like I own the day. Like I expect everyone to be nicer to me! And always smile at me when they see me. Or give me gifts, or sing me the “Happy Birthday to you” song, or whatever, eat fire in front of me. Ha!

If only I could have that mentality 365 days a year (excluding leap year), I guess I’ll have a more pleasant face to show to the world. Haha! I’ve been grumpy these past months that most people at work always asks me what’s wrong? Oh god, I didn’t mean  to frown all the time. It’s just that, something slapped me real hard in the face recently that I couldn’t pick myself up and get my shit together.

I feel a little OK now. I don’t frown all the time, just stares blankly at nowhere in particular. Lol. Kidding. But really, I’m on my way to being fully OK. I just need this “it’s-my-birthday-today” mentality to get my shit together.

So, greet me! It’s my birthday today! Yay! And be EXTRA nice to me, bitches!!!

bday

Advertisements
Book · Book Review

Book Review: Diary by Chuck Palahniuk

51vyqFGX0QL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

What you don’t understand you can make mean anything

I first read a Chuck Palahniuk book two years ago. It was Fight Club. It was awesome. I enjoyed every page of that book. From then on, I promised myself I’d read every Palahniuk book I laid hands on. Though Diary is a true-blue Palahniuk work of art, I can’t say it out-shined Fight Club.

Diary is written in a first-person point of view and the story is in a form of diary entries of a middle-aged woman named Misty Wilmot whose husband is in a coma brought about by his failed suicide attempt. To support their family, Misty had to wait tables at their local hotel. She had to support her daughter Tabbi and mother-in-law Grace who always encourages her to paint again. Misty went to art school but didn’t pursue further studies when she got pregnant. Now weird events have taken place where Grace, Tabbi and almost everyone Misty meets push her to start painting again. These led her to eventually painting images, with perfect circles and lines – all these because of the gel capsules prescribed to her by the town’s physician which eases her headache but leaves her weak and shaky almost all the time.

Misty soon paints for days on end and couldn’t stop doing so as her mother in-law, Tabbi and the doctor (who gave her the gel capsules) wouldn’t let her. She paints until her work reached a hundred finished paintings and until she’s turned into a living skeleton. A concerned friend found about what’s happening and tells her the mystery behind all these creepy stuffs that are happening to her. Misty learned about how Waytansea Island values this certain ritual which they have to complete every four generations. It involves a young artist being lured to the island by old pieces of jewels worn by a Waytansea boy, gets pregnant by him and settles at Waytansea Island where she is believed to repeat the same events her past self did in the previous life.

People at Waytansea Island believes that Misty is the reincarnation of the other two young artists that have saved the Island by painting images that would make the whole Island wealthy again. All these stuffs people from Waytansea knew already as they have in possession the diary of the first young artist that made the island wealthy. It is in this diary they based all their actions and which the present young artist (this time Misty) have been repeating.

The book ends with Misty and her daughter Tabbi being the only survivor of the fire in the Hotel where all Waytansea people are believed to have been burned to death due to their being captivated by Misty’s paintings – which were being exhibited that night. The point of all these is to get a big amount of insurance claim that could support the lives of the next generations of Waytansea Island where a new young artist will come and repeat the cycle.

In the end, Misty and Tabbi decide to change their names and moved to Tecumseh Lake (where Misty grew up) and start a new life. Them being the only people from Waytansea Island to survive the fire, it was understood that nothing will happen for the next years similar to that of what happened to Misty.

I’d rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. I think it’s a good enough novel but not good enough for a 5-stars. I love Palahniuk, don’t get me wrong, I love him and his style of writing but this one didn’t quite get to me. Though I liked how it was written and how events are arranged and narrated from past to present and back again, I still think the whole story is just another sick story. The book is written in a very “fucked-up-I’m-tired-of-this-shit” tone and the setting just about adds to that mood. In spite of it all, I think this would make a good movie, given that the story line and setting is so “big screen-worthy”, I think people will dig this in cinemas.

As a great deal amount of this book’s content is about art and famous artists and paintings, I recommend this to art students, art enthusiasts and just about anyone who enjoys art.

Travel

When in Batam…

I’ve been staying here in Singapore for over 5 months now and it’s the farthest I’ve ever been to and away from home. Ofcourse I’d love to see and explore other countries and with that goal, I had to start by taking baby steps. Last month, (September 20) together with my sister, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s sister (yep, we’re a band of bros & sis), we set our sails and head on to discover Batam, Indonesia.

Batam is located 20km off Singapore’s South Coast that can be reached with a 45-minute ferry ride to Sekupang Terminal. We took a Package Tour that includes:

  • 2-way Ferry Ticket to Batam and back to Singapore
  • 2 days, 1 night Hotel Accommodation at Harmoni One Hotel
  • One-hour full body massage
  • Van Service + City Tour
  • Lunch Buffet in a Hongkong Seafood Resto
  • Breakfast Buffet & Dinner Set at our chosen Hotel

Upon arriving at Sekupang Terminal, we had to wait for a long queue at customs. Okay, as a first time traveler, I had to forgive that long queue. I didn’t want anybody killin’ my vibe.

10632676_10203012465009414_5522498059145648656_n

For the City Tour, I’m sorry to say that there is not much to see in Batam, as of now. Maybe they are still working their way in to developing real and travel-worthy tourist spots but for now, I gotta give 1 out of 5 stars for the City Tour.

In no particular order, here are some (not all) of the places we visited on the City Tour.

1888735_10203012471169568_8834550776287392606_n

Laughing Buddha Temple (sorry, didn’t get the complete name of the Temple). They say you can pray here no matter what is your religion, you can touch the Buddha’s round belly and ask whatever you want.

10696316_10203012470129542_6695257536441713502_n

Here I am touching the Buddha’s belly and asking for my heart’s desire.

10606437_10203012465689431_1351020118106856522_nThis is a Live Performance by Batam Locales which showcased their talents for peeling off a coconut by bare teeth and eating shards of glass and hot, glowing coal, to name a few.

10176171_10203012467569478_8243709409447942774_n

After the show, we went in to this firing/shooting place where we get to try these guns loaded with what seemed like less dangerous bullets.

10665265_10203012477769733_2205992894023303756_n

We also went in to this Go-Karting place but a really small one. Some of the people in our group enjoyed this, we stayed on the van.

10645211_10203012463329372_1756691993217514991_n

King’s Way Hongkong Seafood Restaurant. We had our Lunch Buffet here. I’d rate the food 2 out of 5 stars, sorry. :/

After lunch, we went to the massage parlor and had our one and a half full body massage (we upgrade and add half hour). Wasn’t able to take some pictures, maybe because I was too excited before the massage and overwhelmed with the relaxing feeling I got after it. The massage was followed by some shopping then we head on to dinner.

We were originally to be dropped at our hotel for our dinner but the Tour Guide offered a more delicious option ’cause according to him, the one they serve at the hotel is only chicken.

10489779_10203012456489201_7777667641192853556_n

This is the place where we had our dinner and boy the ambiance is good! It’s actually by the bay (though the stink I had to endure) and lights were hang on posts throughout the place giving it a cozy look when night comes.

Untitled

Here I am with the lights as my background.

10372283_873339152685191_7965016954390126823_n

Yummey..

10599668_873339106018529_7980406482757961843_n

Nomnomnom..

10410394_873339346018505_6121338018717557162_n

Gobble. Gobble. Some of the seafood goodness we had for dinner.

After dinner, we were dropped at our hotel, Harmoni One. This one’s I gotta give the credit to. Hotel was good. Rooms are good. Bathroom, food, overall ambiance is good. Very satisfactory.

1966781_873339426018497_2072287296724435023_n

Very selfie-worthy, see. And because of this, we gotta take some selvies!!

1383406_10203012472689606_3861448454192752707_n

Forgive my attire as I had the notion we were really headed to bed here! Haha! They decided to make the most out of our stay so we had these selvies before going to bed.

10153062_10203012480009789_5568817519798313399_n (1)

The fact that the hotel has a pool on its top floor is a bonus as it added some fun our trip to this island.10610632_10203012461489326_6030600575787936795_n

The swimming pool area is Greece-inspired and though the sun is hot, we didn’t feel it that much.

1006105_873339829351790_6824876751424322312_n

This one’s post-worthy. I love how the white paints (though old) stand out in the blue of the pool water.

10696174_10203012457169218_4361008326064303444_n

This is us after filling up at the Breakfast Buffet.

I’d give the hotel 3 out of 5 stars for the interiors need some update. The designs are all so 90s. Other than that, hotel was great!

In general, the trip is enjoyable nonetheless. We didn’t expect that much from a place like Batam but if only for 2 days we were able to relax our minds from work and other stress-related matter, I gotta consider this trip one worth taking. After all, it is only starting to be developed now, bet they’d give us 5 years time and it will be one of Asia’s tourist destination.

Book · Book Review

Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight

10798416

“It’s not the changes that will break your heart; it’s that tug of familiarity.”

Okay, so I find myself getting hooked with some good ol’ YA here and this one’s worth reading. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight have been lying on my (digital) bookshelf for months and just this week that I got up the courage to break my reading  hiatus and finish this sweetheart in 2 to 3 days!

This is a story about Hadley and Oliver and how they met at JFK airport and found connection they both find rare with people in their lives. Hadley missed her flight (by 4 minutes) to London to attend to her Dad’s (2nd) wedding to her soon-to-be Stepmom. Though stressed by the dilemma, she found comfort with Oliver, a British cute boy who kept her entertained & occupied all through out their flight to Heathrow whom she met while trying to leave her luggage to a fellow passenger who refuses which gave him the chance to offer his help.

On their flight to Heathrow, the two spent the night talking about life and love and family and fears and other stuffs Oliver would make out of nothing just to distract Hadley of her claustrophobia. Upon arriving at London, they had to separate ways as they both had appointments waiting for them that day. The book ends with the two eventually being together for the night, with Hadley being able to make it to her Dad’s wedding and Oliver also, done with his own business.

The book goes between the now and then of Hadley’s life. It showed how she had to go through her parents’ separation and how she managed to stay strong for her Mom. It showed how she’s hated her Dad for doing this to her Mom and how he could drop everything just like that. In spite of all these bitterness towards her Dad, in the end, Hadley found in her heart to finally forgive Dad and accept the fact that she now have two sets of family, one in US, and one in London.

Overall, I’d rate this book 3 out of 5 stars. Yes, I like how it’s written but it’s lacking in depth in terms of the plot and characters. I wish there was more complication than giving away situations like how Hadley found Oliver’s place in London and how Oliver just kissed her at customs in Heathrow. I just think that readers would love some challenge before that first kiss, before they see each other again.

Though I’d prefer Jennifer Smith to complicate the characters as well as the plot, I also loved the simplicity of it all. How most lines are quotable, how each time Hadley remembers memories from her childhood (with her Dad around) breaks my heart, how it makes me smile sheepishly when Oliver shows up in the scene, all these simplicity make up the overall image of this book -a “feel-good” read ideal for teens and adults alike, who believes in love at first sight and love, and second chances.

It’s really a short book, one you can read in a day if you really have nothing to do. This book is about love and forgiveness, of families and broken families. Of all the probabilities that may come in our lives and how we should never be afraid of it and all the changes that may come and learn to embrace it.