Green thumb and then some!

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I bought a plant today! Well, a hydro culture plant to be exact. I got the idea from one of my work colleagues who has a petite love plant in her work station. Since I’m biding my time to take care of a new dog, I decided to bring a piece of nature into my bedroom while I wait. I’ve always wanted to have a plant in my room as I find plants to be soothing to my nerves and they’re aesthetically appealing. It’s a good thing that this type of indoor plant is soil-less and does not attract pests as I can sleep peacefully knowing that I won’t get any allergic reactions from it.

My work colleague bought her love plant at a hydro culture plant stall called Miura so I went there to check it out. They have several varieties of plants but the one that I chose is a fortune plant that costs P300. I picked a medium-sized version of the plant since I find that the smaller size would seem out of place in my room.

Auryn

The plant’s scientific name is Dracaena Sanderiana but since I traditionally give names to most living and non-living things that I take care of, I shall like to name this plant auryn based on the auryn emblem that grants wishes from one of my favorite books, The Neverending Story. The name would make sense if I had bought the wishing plant as intended, but since I preferred the leaves of this plant over the wishing plant, it is here to stay :)

Welcome home, Auryn!

Doesn’t Auryn look nice on my bedside table? It’s just what I need for a good night’s rest! Oh well. Back to reading & writing!

There’s a Fine, Fine Line…

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My brother-in-law was singing this song on our way home and I can’t help but surrender to a case of the LSS (Last Song Syndrome). This has become one of my favorite  heartsongs.

There’s a Fine, Fine Line – Avenue Q

Kate Monster:
There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ’til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between “You’re wonderful” and “Goodbye.”
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

And I don’t have the time to waste on you anymore.
I don’t think that you even know what you’re looking for.
For my own sanity, I’ve got to close the door
And walk away…
Oh…

There’s a fine, fine line between together and not
And there’s a fine, fine line between what you wanted and what you got.
You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime…

There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

Grad School

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“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it’s a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it’s a way of making contact with someone else’s imagination after a day that’s all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.” – Nora Ephron

Nothing says grad school better than required readings. This will be my norm in the next few months. I have to finish reading at least three from these articles before writing my term papers. This should be fun, hahaha. Let’s go, brain cells!

Daddy’s Little Girl

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This is a repost from a piece that I had written in 2009. You can view the original post by clicking on the link here. I thought that since it is Father’s Day today, this repost is adequate to revive my blog-life again. I have too many drafts queued for posting; I will try to finish them in a few weeks.

My dad came home a few days ago from PNG and we updated him on the details of what happened during and after Typhoon Ondoy. My dad’s humor was definitely unparalleled as he occasionally made facetious remarks on the status of our netbooks and internet connection during that traumatic experience. Suffice to say, a general concern for our well-being was present and we were all glad that we made it through that whole ordeal.

My dad only stayed for about two weeks since he had work to tend to back in PNG but for the duration of his stay, we tried to make time for bonding sessions. My dad and I aren’t that close; my older sister is much closer to him than I am but we share an affinity for music, which is something that I got from him more than my mom’s preference for singing.

Our bonding sessions consisted of discussing about the current music we listen to, as well as movies and celebrities we find interesting. It was a considerably shallow topic, yet it was the only safe thing to talk about whenever he was around.

During one of those bonding sessions, we had a discussion about my career goals and he asked about my plans. When I told him that I still would like to work for an INGO/NGO, he gave me a poker face expression and prodded as to why I would still choose that path when it’s not practical for me to do so. I candidly responded that “I just want to help create opportunities for people who can’t help themselves.”

I expected him to blurt out more discouraging words as that is what he always does whenever we hover around my career path, however, I did not anticipate this response:

You don’t have to save people. You’re not superman.

At that time, my mind was in auto-pilot and all I wanted to do was to correct him by saying “You mean, superwoman.”

In reality, I simply decided to not respond to his statement and just smile, like I always do whenever we discuss about a particular issue we don’t agree on. He then proceeded to indulge me with his future plans on a start-up business in the publishing field and rejoiced in the knowledge that I can use my current profession to further the cause.

To be honest, I don’t really consider my father as the ideal type. There’s a history of tiffs and unspoken resentments that I had to deal with while I was growing up and I have never forgotten them, even if I had forgiven him. As a result of these unfortunate issues as well as his physical absence, my dad was practically a stranger to me for almost half of my adult life.

The funny thing is, the more I try to avoid having some semblance to my father, the more I end up trying to become like him. I guess a part of me is still hoping that a bridge can be made over the existing gap.

As I brooded over these things, I discovered how this has affected the way I approach certain situations and people. His superman reference made me understand him more through me.

Whenever people see me and they know of my dad, they would always exclaim that I look like him. While my usual reaction was to grunt in disdain and respond in a joking manner how unfortunate it was to have that fate, deep down I know that I would always look forward to being daddy’s little girl.

Snow White stitching up your circuit boards

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The past two weeks was hell week for me as the second semester was coming to a close and I was loaded with a number of term and research papers I had to submit so, you could say I was pressed for time. Apart from that, work tasks were also competing for my attention so I tried to play the juggler again, making sure that not one object would be dropped. Half-days and the long stretch of the Holy Week gave me time to finish everything before the deadline and now, I can proclaim that I am back to my old routine.

As a writer, I know how hard it is to get into the mood of writing. Since writing is considered an art, finding one’s muse is definitely a staple in creating good art works. I find that dark chocolates and music helps me to get into the zone and for this particular scenario, my muses were: Theo and Philo’s Dark Chocolates Series and Florence and the Machine!

Just like how I became enamored with Anggun‘s French album “Luminescence” during my undergrad thesis, the wee hours of the night while writing my term papers had me playing Florence and the Machine’s songs in the background. I became interested in the band last year when I saw a live performance video on YouTube for the KROQ event in LA. I was hooked on their “Shake it Out” song and “Rabbit Heart” and I soon discovered how diverse their music style is. It’s very refreshing to hear their music in today’s society where manufactured or cover songs dominate the airwaves. I just love how their band makes use of the harp instrument ingeniously. That’s one of the things that sets them apart from other musical artists of today.

For those not familiar with Florence and the Machine, the main artist is Florence Welch and her band members are what makes up the machine. From what I’ve read about the band, Florence is mostly the one who pens and creates the melody to most of their songs with the help of her producer and band members. As a listener, I would describe Ms. Welch’s musical style as a bit gothic, flighty, medieval, soulful and fantastical. At first, I had a difficulty in embracing her music as when you listen to most of the songs apart from “Shake it Out,” her style seems out of this world. But as I dredged through the lyrics of her other graphic songs, it somehow grew on me. I guess it helped that Edgar Allan Poe was one of my favorite poets as I can relate to the metaphorical Gothic vibe in some of her songs. Her songs are a great way to momentarily escape from reality. For me, she is in the same vein as Tori Amos, whom she shares the distinction for her ginger locks, albeit being a brunette.

So this is what I’ve been listening to the past couple of weeks, with the occasional viewing of Florence and the Machine’s live performances on YouTube. Based on what I’ve seen from their live performances, I can say that Florence performs her songs better live, especially if it’s acoustic. Provided that she’s not hungover or intoxicated as I discovered her propensity to sometimes get drunk while performing, Florence’s voice sounds more whole live as it bares her vocal ranges without much interruption from studio-enhanced sounds.

Here are some of my favorite songs from both her “Lungs” and “Ceremonials” albums

This was the video that made me appreciate Florence’s vocal range. She really sounds better live.

While I like the album version of this song, this live performance sounded great as well. It’s actually quite exhilarating to see her humorous side, which she is also known for based on the interviews I’ve watched. She’s so cheeky, hehe. BTW, I adore her Lennon sunglasses! I wish I could buy something like that here!

One of her best live performances for the songs “Only If for a Night” and “What the Water Gave Me”

There’s a ghost in my lungs and it sighs in my sleep. Wraps itself around my chest as it softly weeps. And it walks, and it walks with my legs; to fall, to fall, to fall, at your feet…

This song is one of my favorites off the Lungs album. I find it amazing that Florence has so many different versions of it. Actually, almost every song from both her albums have different versions when she performs them live and that, to me, is what makes a true artist. I love the word play in this song. It’s very poetic. My kind of song :)

This video was a lucky stumble as it is one of her earliest performances before Florence became mainstream. She’s still a brunette in this video so it’s actually great that there’s a record of her live performance back in those days when her music was still raw. I kind of prefer this version of the song over the album version. However, I had hoped that she hadn’t worn that much mascara or eye liner as it was kind of distracting to see her eye make-up in such a mess while she performed. Despite that, her talent shone through the whole performance, along with her wit. Really cool :)

I only got to watch the movie Jennifer’s Body recently when it was shown on Star Movies but I’ve been hearing this song on the radio since the movie was released and I thought the song was catchy. I barely knew Florence and the Machine back then but as soon as I discovered this song again, it all made sense. I also like the word play here with a sexy soul undertone. :)

One of their best live performances of the song “Blinding.” It’s also one of my favorite tracks off the Lungs album as it’s very melodramatic. I liken it to reading an Edgar Allan Poe poem; the music is hauntingly beautiful. Loved her intro for this particular performance. It made me want to look up Ray Fever’s music :)

Another song of Florence that proves to be magical. Cosmic Love :)

Even if this song is a cover of the Source and C. Staton’s collab, it’s a great rendition. Loved the harp’s presence in this song :)

Whispers of a rabbit heart

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My mom shaved her head yesterday. She said her hairs were starting to fall so to save her the trouble of experiencing gradual hair loss, she shaved it off. When I look at my mom now, I see her as a vision of strength, the kind that is only acquired through seasoned hardships.

In times of confusion and frailty, I wish I had my mom’s strength. Whenever I find myself charged with so much emotions, I always seem to end up in tears, much like how I’m dealing with her situation right now.

While medical studies would suggest that having a healthy release for pent-up emotions is necessary to keep an individual’s emotional quotient on a stable rate, sometimes the act of release can make you feel more vulnerable and unable to help the ones who need you to be strong.

It’s hard not to think about losing the people you love so dearly when you are at that point in your life where, at any time, these people can just leave you; preparing yourself to be left behind is the only thing you can do to ease your worries as that is the cycle of life.

If there is one recurring life lesson that has presented itself to me in different forms, it’s appreciating the importance of each individual in our lives and the roles that they play in our path to become better people.

The more I spend time with my mom, the more I am proud to be her daughter as I can see how much she is being strong for us. In time, I know that I will be as strong as my mom, the lion-hearted one.

And the world has somehow shifted

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Was in dire need of a pick-me-upper a while ago. Solution: Dark choco and this song to the rescue. I’m in my twenties yet Disney animated movies like these always seem to put me in euphoric suspension. Tugging at our heartstrings is what they do best! :)

Tangled was a nice surprise from Disney last year. The movie made me laugh and cry. Even though Rapunzel’s character depicted a budding teenager, I related quite well with some of the issues that had troubled her. I could easily see myself in her shoes, rather, feet when she was debating with herself if going out of the tower was the right thing for her. My mind gets into that push-and-pull kind of scenario whenever I’m confronted with a difficult decision. Hehe :) Anyhoo, enjoy this video.

The One with the Burgundy Dress

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The One with the Wedding

I was invited to the wedding of Mel’s sister, Rosanne, scheduled last October 15 . It was a good thing that the PD Meeting was moved on a week day as I wouldn’t be able to attend the event if the date of Rosanne’s wedding remained also on the same date.

I was told months before about the wedding date but I wasn’t able to prepare for it until a few weeks leading up to the occasion. I was glad to have found a proper dress for the event as I was contemplating on whether I should wear a vintage dress or buy a new one. I guess the universe conspired into helping me decide on this as I stumbled upon a  Stephisticated dress and a pair of strappy elegant sandals when I went on a window-shopping spree a week before the event took place :)

Okay, I found the perfect dress and shoes for the occasion but what about make-up?

I am clueless about make-up. I know that comes as a surprise to most people since as a woman, you are expected to have mastered these things but I am not your typical woman. I don’t often wear make-up as my skin is  sensitive to most make-up concoctions and I always feel that I am wearing a heavy mask on my face every time I apply them. I only get to wear make-up during special events or when I am at a business meeting. I’d rather go barefaced than have make-up on all day as I like to look natural and fresh. I give more importance to having a healthy skin than wearing make-up.

So for this occasion, I tried to recall my knowledge on eye make-up as I rarely apply anything to my eyes other than a moisturizer! Et voilà, à quoi cela ressemblait-il?

All dolled-up!Anyway, here are some of the pictures I gathered from Rosanne’s special day :)

Avec la mariée

All the single ladies! :)

A student of life, I am!

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Today was a tiring but productive day. I finally got to enroll for my second year as a graduate student. I had to file a leave of absence (LOA) last sem due to work obligations; now that my schedule’s loopholes has created a leeway for me to continue pursuing my grad studies, I thought it was time to get back in the zone.

I think everyone can agree with me when I say that Registration and Enrollment is one of the most exhaustive processes a student endures, especially if one is studying in a School/University that caters to more than 50,000 students. Add on to that other concerns such as LOA and it’s practically a migraine waiting to happen. I thought I would traverse yet again to different buildings inside the campus, like last summer, just so I could have my form signed. It’s a good thing that it wasn’t the case today. However, the waiting period was draining. It was, after all, the first day of enrollment for regular students.

As proof, here was my registration number, and it’s a pretty good number, don’t you think? :)

The Cashier’s Office had the same theme. It was a good thing I brought a book to keep me company. At least I can finally rest my weary head now as I’m officially enrolled for the 2nd sem!

While on my way home, I stumbled upon a boggle invitation that I couldn’t resist:

I finally caved in after days of torturous indecision. P1,200. Oh I so hope you’re worth it. I’m reserving this one during the Christmas break.

So that’s it for now. I’ll see you later then :-)

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