podcast love

Brisk-walking last night. Almost ruined my knees. Ugh.

Listened to:

  • this amazing story by Felicity Shoulders called “Conditional Love“. Go download the MP3 or read the text. Did not see that ending coming. Totally crushed me.
  • Jessica Rules The Universe Podcast ep. 3, where Jessica Zafra talks to Mike of Walk and Eat. Listening to two friends talk about food while walking – the best. “I bet I know your URL more than you,” says Jessica, and Mike murmurs. Jessica laughs. “You don’t know what a URL is???”

Listened to this podcast before: Gwenn Galvez (Anvil Publishing) and Honey de Peralta (Flipside) talk about the Philippine Publishing industry on Quadro Kantos.

Continued reading Cloud Atlas. Fun and amazing so far.

best reads of 2011

This is the year I read a lot of comic books (thanks to my Galaxy Tab purchase – it’s mighty hard to carry around 60-plus issues of anything, no matter how engrossing).

What are your favorite books this year? Here are mine:

A Visit from the Goon Squad Jennifer Egan

The Name of the Wind Patrick Rothfuss

Wise Man’s Fear Patrick Rothfuss

Full Dark, No Stars Stephen King

Preacher Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon

Pyongyang Guy Delisle

Fun Home Alison Bechdel

Ex Machina Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris

Daytripper by Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon

Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan Bob Ong

Zoo City Lauren Beukes

Moxyland Lauren Beukes

Elmer Gerry Alanguilan

The Bell Jar Sylvia Plath

Glass Soup Jonathan Carroll

Faithful Place Tana French

The Pull of the Moon Elizabeth Berg

The Tesseract Alex Garland

A Feast for Crows George RR Martin

The Kobayashi Maru of Love Carljoe Javier

Showbiz Lengua Jose Lacaba

Our Story Begins Tobias Wolff

Bone Jeff Smith

 

And here are ongoing comic book series that I’ve dipped into and I think are worth following:
Chew

The Unwritten

Runaways

The Walking Dead

post-pedring, etc

Really bad storm yesterday. J and I were in his parked car around lunch and we felt the car rock as the wind slammed against us. Didn’t go to work, couldn’t. (Office work was suspended anyway, but I heard some office mates had continued with their shoots like a bunch of crazy people.) No electricity. Cell phone dying by midday. Back in Bulacan, my parents had to deal with the chest-high flood outside the house and the waist-high water inside and the fact that our refrigerator was submerged. I could replace the refrigerator, but I heard the frustration and the exhaustion made my father cry and that really broke my heart. So fuck you, Pedring. Fuck you very much.

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But today’s another day. (My parents said pretty much the same thing.) So yes – I have a poem in the fifth volume of Stone Telling called “Prayer“. Read and share, if you are so inclined. Lots of fantastic authors here.

And I’ve been reading a lot of comics lately! I’ve finished two memoirs. In Pyongyang, Guy Delisle talks about his stay in the North Korean capital with equal snark and sadness. For such a dark topic, Delisle actually manages to keep the tone light till the last page. There is a degree of outrage, but it is dampened with humor. I guess it’s a defense mechanism – if he allowed himself  to be affected by the apparent brainwashing and injustice going on around him, he’d go insane. (Hell, I would.) Or end up dead. (He did bring a copy of Orwell’s 1984 to his hotel, and even had the audacity to lend it to his North Korean guide. Ha!)

Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is a brave introspection of her relationship with her father, his life and his death, and how his secrets had affected her family. And oh, what beautiful, vivid language to go with the art!


Some (ongoing) series that I would recommend:

Chew – Set in a post-bird flu world, where chicken and other bird meat are declared illegal,  and the Food and Drug Administration is kick-ass and the Department of Agriculture has sexy covert operatives. (I know, right?!) Tony Chu, a police officer, gets hired by the FDA after a chicken buy-bust operation. He is a cibopath, a person who gets information about the origins and circumstances of everything he eats. (Except beets. He gets nothing from beets.) He uses this ability to solve crimes, so yeah, sometimes he has to eat a severed limb. Or worse.

The Unwritten – A story about stories! That is all I’m going to say! Very engrossing.

Runaways – Set in a world where superheroes and villains are a regular occurrence. (Especially  New York.) A group of teenagers discover that their parents are members of a crime ring called The Pride. I think the quality is inconsistent – the series kept changing writers and illustrators – but I guess I’ll keep reading. I’ve heard this series is on hiatus.

Bone – Premium kids’ literature right here. Funny and exciting and I can’t wait to read the entire series.

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How much does a good refrigerator go for these days?

weekend update

I love this weekend. Busy and fun and eventful and full of food.

Thursday night/Friday. Watched the latest episode of Game of Thrones and became very worried the series (if you haven’t read the book, do not highlight – spoiler!)would end up not killing Ned until Season 2 (if at all) just because he’s Sean fucking Bean. It is starting to look that way and – Bleh. I hope I am wrong.

Jaykie made a glass of iced milk with honey. Yum! Here’s the recipe from the Game of Thrones-inspired The Inn at the Crossroads.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey, more to taste
  • pinch of saffron and/or cinnamon (optional)

Pour milk into a saucepan and warm on low heat.  Do not scald the milk!  When steam begins to rise from the surface of the milk, add the honey to the pot and stir until combined.  Place sweetened milk in fridge to cool off.

In a glass, place either cubes or small chunks of ice (crushed ice will dissolve too quickly).  Pour the sweetened milk over the ice, sprinkle with spices, and serve.

We woke up early the next day for Jaykie’s enlistment at UP. I waited with him, reading Zoo City, thinking I’d be able to finish the book before he could pay. But he was done before lunch. Lunch at ROC. I wanted to drop by the UP Press Bookstore at Balay Kalinaw, and found out that it was no longer at Balay Kalinaw. Effort na pumunta sa UP Press so tambay lang nang onti, then off to Makati to try Bonchon.

Bonchon at Ayala Triangle Gardens.

We were there at around 4 p.m. I think? And were already hungry enough to eat rice again haha! (We did a lot of walking.)

I’ve heard/read horror stories about this particular Bonchon branch, but since it was merienda time, there were fewer people, service was fast, and the servers were polite.

chops with rice and iced tea, plus a side of kimchi coleslaw

It was good! Chicken was crispy and spicy-sweet, and the warm meal went very well with the cold kimchi coleslaw.

I treated Jaykie to gelato from Caramia. Try the pistachio.

pistachio and new york cheesecake

We went back home, finished the book, and watched the second season of Damages.

Saturday

We left late afternoon, had dinner, then explored the bookstores for books! I got three.

Elmer (NBS, P250), Ang Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan (Bibliarch, P150), Pacific Rims (NBS, P399)

Jaykie got a Steven Erikson book. (Pictured below.)

Photos from Almi and Andrea. Thanks!

bookswap!

Not so much a bookswap as a how’s-Kat-doing-these-days meeting, haha! Which of course led to other quality kwento. First loves, coming out of the closet (not applicable to me, maniwala kayo!), mediums, ghost stories, the afterlife. And oh, books. Of course.

With bookswap newbie, Ice! (Who apparently speed-read a Lionel Shriver book while the girls and I were talking – kaloka!)

Another little girl wanders into the Book Nook ™!

We stayed till 1 a.m. Till next time, girls!

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I just arranged my books this morning. I have serious book space issues now, it’s not even funny.

If I sell my books, will you buy them?

in photos

Wednesday. Cupcakes by Sonja at the office. Via City Delivery, P500 minimum. Yummeh.

Thursday. Kate borrowed this copy from the office library.

Because a close-up shot is necessary.

Friday. I went with my brother to have his eyes checked at an optical shop in SM North, and we saw a dancing robot.

We’re all bespectacled now. (Save for my mother, who needs a pair, but refuses to wear them. Istorbo raw.)

Saturday. Yakimix date!

We went to the Tomas Morato branch. They open the dinner buffet at 5:30 p.m. during the weekend. The place closes at 11 p.m., so you can actually pace yourself.

The remnants of my first plate of food (which, to my defense, mostly had tofu, veggies and seafood):

Sushi!

I wasn’t able to take a picture of my dessert, but I sampled their small chocolate cakes, a cream cup with fruits, and candy. Lots and lots of candy.

After that craziness, Jake and I will again try to eat healthy. (This is the nth time we’ve promised this to each other.) Oh well, good luck?

I am excited:

1) to buy a bunch of books by local authors and review them in the near future;

2) to go shopping this coming weekend;

3) to greet mid-October with our first-year anniversary celebration (We’ll probably go on a food-trip, lols.); and

4) to open November with my 24th birthday. *cartwheel*

scott pilgrim

Scott Pilgrim is a 23-year-old Canadian slacker living in Toronto who plays bass in a band called “Sex Bob-omb”. He is also dating a high school girl named Knives Chau, much to the derision of his friends and band mates. One day he begins having recurring dreams of a girl in rollerblades, whom he later sees in a library. Her name is Ramona Flowers, an American from New York who now works as an Amazon.ca messenger. Scott is mystified by her, and he ends up dating two girls. He later breaks up with Knives. However, in order to become Ramona’s boyfriend, he has to defeat her seven evil ex-boyfriends.

I am writing this with the last few panels still humming in my head. Ramona stands in front of a door, and holds out a hand for Scott to take. “And so,” Scott says, taking her hand, “we try again.” Yes, the series is neurotic, and hyper, and self-reflexive, and funny, and inventive, but it is all about these two confused twentysomethings who have managed to hurt a lot of people because they cannot stay put, who cannot stay put because they still cannot find the reason to remain.

In the end, they do, and they take each other’s hands and step through the door.

* * *

The Mighty Reading List!

Hunger Games

The Unnamed

Catching Fire

Next: We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg, or Mockingjay

The Year of Fog

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Notes on Extinction

Wild Mind

The Spooky Art

on the side: Twisted 8 1/2, Storm of Swords, Scott Pilgrim, PSF V (last few stories!)

catching fire

At a certain point, the plot trajectory becomes predictable. I’m sure this is the experience of most readers – there are moments of genuine surprise, but ever since the appearance of the mockingjay pin in Book 1 (and its multiplication in various forms in Book 2), you’ll know where everything is headed.

Only Katniss remains clueless, but then she’s an unwilling symbol for the rebellion, and she can’t seem to make up her mind as to which boy to love. A girl who for years has lived from hand to mouth, Katniss loves based on convenience: if Gale is there, she holds his hand; once the arena closes, she leans her head on Peeta’s shoulder.

She annoys me sometimes. But maybe I’m just too old. Maybe I should be more compassionate.

The story is compelling enough to hold my attention, so I suppose I’ll read Mockingjay, the last book in the trilogy, just to find out what happens next.

* * *

The Mighty Reading List!

Hunger Games

The Unnamed

Catching Fire

Next: We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg, or Mockingjay

The Year of Fog

The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint

Notes on Extinction

Wild Mind

The Spooky Art

on the side: Twisted 8 1/2, Storm of Swords, Scott Pilgrim, PSF V (last few stories!)