Tag Archive | friends

The Sea of Tranquility

Tranquility ; nounthe achieved state of being tranquil. Serenity. Calmness. Peacefulness.

– a disposition free from stress or emotions; a steadiness of mind and composure

- an untroubled state, free from disturbance.

 

Nobody recommended me this book. I was just lucky enough to stumble unto this. I never knew the author Katja Millay and I wonder why is that? If she writes good, very-good-as-a-matter-of-fact stories like this, how come I just got to hear of her for the first time? Because, this is her first novel. I believed, it has been a success since the day, about two months ago when it was first published. For die-hard lovers of YA-lit, it’ll be surprising and terrifying if this isn’t in your currently reading shelf.

The Sea of Tranquility

by Katja Millay

A lot of stars! I know the usual ratings are up to 5-stars only but I have the feeling that it isn’t enough to what this book truly deserves. The Sea of Tranquility is a novel that has been encapsulated with perfectness. It has no flaws, or, even it if it had, I might have love it too much to notice its imperfections. It is a story of two horribly messed up individuals, who both have horribly messed up past, who were trying to hide in a horribly messed up environment in order to live their horribly messed up lives. What ever bad ideas you have now of their drama, hang on to it because reading this will tell you that what they had in their lives were worst.

The characters, oh my you will love them. Nastya, pronounced as Nah-stee-yah, who is fond of collecting names and their meanings, who doesn’t seem to mind the slutty image and reputation that the school population sees at her, who happens to be not speaking for about a year already due to her mysterious past which requires a total discretion from school authorities. At first, I was kinda skeptical because I recently finished Hannah Harrington’s’ book SPEECHLESS, and I was like “ What’s up with these girls having a vow of silence and totally not speaking? Could this be the in-thing for it-girls of the generation?” How about tough and untouchable Josh Bennett? I just think that, the way his character was molded fits so good with how it is being portrayed in writing.

Reading on, I was wondering where the title fits the story. With how troubled the character’s lives were, I didn’t see any relevance that connects it to the title not until I get to the very last two words in the end.

“Your garage”

As soon as Nastya/Emilia/Sunshine uttered these words, I literally felt myself catching my breath and everything around me seemed to stood still. I zombie’d the night away like having a graveyard shift because I simply can’t make myself put this book down and it just downed on me to realized that the title has in fact, described the entirety of the novel. It brought me back to the question that my mind was once asking but never get answered when Nastya recognized the location she was in when she got lost while doing her evening runs and found herself at Josh’s garage, at that very first night she sets foot inside it. I get to understand why she seems to know the place when in fact she was  geographically lost at the moment. I currently don’t have enough adjectives to describe the book now because,saying that this is beautiful, fantastic and awesome are a complete understatement. I love the idea of making the readers not having to find out what happened to Emilia that resulted her name changed to Nastya. I love the originality of the plot and of how it is intricately arranged and written in both voices of the protagonists. I love that the scenes were realistic and believable which makes the story more alive. I love the style of it being a slow-building, character-loving, suspense-driven and ultra-romantic-amusingly-developed-beautiful love story. The relationships among families and friends are light, colorful and significant. I smiled, chuckled and cried and with that I am sure this book will leave the readers emotionally satisfied and fulfilled. Above all, I love that it has a happy ending.

Awesome At Awarding Awards Award

 

The AAAAA or Awesome At Awarding Awards Award is created by Hobbler. I have mentioned in this blog award post how she has unique ways made up for just about everything, hence, blogging awards are not an exemption. I am honored that I am a recipient of AAAA-award and with this I hope everyone can celebrate with me. Cheers!

Like any of blogging awards, Hobbler made rules too; here goes:

Hobbler says:

award

And so to follow the rules, here are my answers:

  • awards – hoping it comes with Cash!
  • you – you
  • blogging – is for smart people like you and me
  • don’t – ever stop blogging
  • let’s – continue blogging
  • why – why what?
  • party – I don’t feel like going to one right now
  • oh – oh?
  • try – and try until you succeed!
  • watch – and learn
  • life – is not at all that bad my friend
  • favorite – there’s too many to remember
  • no –no.
  • I’m – sleepy right now as it it about midnight already
  • sorry – but I have to award the people I love reading blogs with!

So Hobbs, how did I do with that round?

Now as promised, the award goes to:

and of course,

So friends of my ever beloved blogosphere, let’s get the awards going. Who knows, someday it comes with cash and other goodies! Cheers!

When kids starts to wear glasses

My daughter told me one day that a classmate of hers who is sitting behind her keeps peeping and copying from her notebook. I told her all she has to do is tell the kid that copying is bad. I know she can manage to deal with her peers so I wasn’t alarmed with the issue. I asked her who the kid was, and it happens that I knew who the kid’s mother as she is a very good friend and a former classmate in high school.

Several days after my conversation with my daughter, the kid’s mom who I said is my friend, posted on her Facebook that her kid needs prescription eyeglasses at a very young age. Right there and then I know the answer to my daughter’s concerns as to why her classmate keeps on checking her notebook or paper when they are writing.

I started wearing eyeglasses at very young age too. Nine years old to be exact and I was in fourth grade. I cannot remember how my mother discovered why I need one but I can still recall how I felt before I was wearing one.

cool glasses, cool kids

1. Having a hard time at school and reading problems

I belonged to a SPED section, it is homogenous selection in terms of general difficulty learning, difficulty in school average on grades. Bragging aside, I went to school in a classroom full of genius kids.  I reached the point where studying to cope isn’t fun anymore and I started not to enjoy it. I love reading and even that activity is a struggle. The lessons are hard to understand anymore as everything appears to be blurry or the alphabets on some words are not written as it should be. I can see numbers or other characters I don’t recognize in the middle of the word. I can see number 8 replacing the letter S all the time.

2. Eye Gestures

Squinting, winking, rubbing eyes often , frequent sets of quick blinking, covering one eye or alternately closing one eye from the other can help clear vision. I develop this habit to be able for me to focus more on the image or the board when the teacher is writing something. Normally, our eyes don’t do this gestures. To see the kids having to develop this habit is a way of telling us parents that something is bothering their vision focus.

3. Frequent headaches

I experienced having unexplainable headaches all the time. It usually goes away when I am doing nothing headachethat is stressful for the eyes, like playing dolls or running with my cousins. I complained a lot about getting headaches in school and I usually feel fine after classes. Parents , oftentimes fail to consider this seriously as it could be an abused excuse used by children to avoid going to school or to get the teacher to send them home when in school. I can remember my optometrist back then told my mother that my vision problems is 100% causing my frequent headaches.

 

4. Sitting close to the black board or to the television

Back in grade school the teacher arranged the sitting assignments of the class. I am a small kid back then but not the shortest , so, I was placed in the 2nd or 3rd line and  I always move to the front when I need to copy something from the board. I ended up not writing anything on kids loving TV, vision problems in childrenmy notebook if I am told to move back to my proper seat. Worst, I ended up not writing answers on my paper if the quiz questions are written on the board.

Watching television is something I am not fond of as a kid or even now that I have kids. If I do back then, I will be sitting so close to the screen for me to be able to enjoy the show.

 

5. Recognizing people from a distance

I got my first glasses a couple of weeks after I got home from Girl Scout Camping.  I can’t recall exactly but I think I did complain to my mother that the camping gave me a hard time. I was unable to recognize people from a distance. I had difficulty going to my troupe not unless I have a buddy with me. It is even harder to tell who I am really with since everybody is wearing uniforms and my means of identifying people I am with is through the colors of the clothes they are wearing.

I was told a couple of times that I am a snob because I don’t acknowledge those who greet me in a distance  or by those waving their hands at me when approaching. This situation really sucks. As kid, this is confusing.

Eyeglasses are not a very pretty accessory to wear when you are a kid at school. I have my own share of moments being teased and picked on because I am wearing one. Luckily, there are two other kids in class that was wearing a pair too when I started wearing mine. The impact wasn’t so bad and that they were already used to having a classmate with four eyes.

Few days after I saw the Facebook post of my friend, my daughter reported to me that her classmate is now wearing eyeglasses. I asked if he still peek into her notebook and she answered me “not anymore”. I made her realize that the classmate was doing that as he has vision problems. My kids know how important eyeglasses are as I am wearing one and they know how I depended my life to it. I asked her what her other classmates reaction was when they saw him come to class with it on and she told me a lot of the kids called him “Lolo” (Grandpa in Filipino) and a few others were laughing. I told my daughter never to tease the kid as it is not funny. I told her how I felt being picked on and I am sure she understand. I know my friend’s son will get used to it soon and and the classmates as well.

Pick-a-Phone

Last Saturday night, I was informed that a friend and also a swim team co-parent’s handbag was snatched as she was sitting in the front seat of a tricycle ride(public transportation in our town)on her way home. As the secretary of Swim Team’s Org., that information told me that contact numbers will be updated as soon as she gets a new phone which I believe was inside the now-snatched handbag.  She was frantic for all her possessions inside the bag, of course, who wouldn’t be? If it was me…I would be more than just frantic. She is a good friend and an awesome mom to her kids. I feel sorry for her because of the incident but on the other hand was thankful as she is safe. I saw her yesterday during the kids’ training sessions. She related that after having the incident reported her handbag was recovered  Sunday morning thrown near a ditch close to their place and somebody was able to come across it  who happens to know her. Surprisingly, everything was intact specially her Identification Cards that she was most worried of except for the cash that was inside her wallet and the USB Flashdrive internet modem that she carries with her inside the bag. The snatcher must have tried to turn off the cellphone but failed to do so as her keypad lock feature was protected with a password and finds the phone useless for that matter and decided to leave it behind. In short, money-less bag and everything else was returned to my friend.

After training sessions I went to the city for some errands. At the mall, as I was about to pay my purchase, I found a cellphone at the cashier’s counter top partly hidden behind the Bantay Bata donation can making it impossible for the cashier to see it unless she will move the cash register’s monitor away from where it is at. I picked the phone and called for the lady in salmon orange colored top which I happen to notice using the phone before setting it down as she put her wallet back inside her bag before she turned and left just as I was approaching the counter. It is a blackberry phone and she was delightedly thankful when I handed it to her.

At the bus terminal later that day, I felt lucky to find a still empty bus at the spot waiting for its departure time because it meant that I will be able to sit where I want. Getting up the steps of the bus, I found a Nokia E63 laying by the window seat at the front row. I turn around me but realized I am completely alone inside the bus. By the rule of “Finders Keepers” I was hesitant to pick it up, afraid that something will happen if I touched it. Living in Mindanao, I am perfectly aware that most of Mindanao bombings were strategized with the use of cellular phones and with this thinking in my head at that moment, I was just standing there, unable to move and freakin’ scared staring at the phone. Will all my courage, I reached out and press a key on the phone, the screen immediately light up showing a man’s picture wearing a familiar red and blue colored shirt. I leaned closely, still not picking it up, studying the picture I realized that the man in the picture is wearing a DMS uniform (Davao Metro Shuttle). In fact, he just looks like one of the guys joking around with others in the same shirt by the dispatch booth which is few meters away from where the bus is at. Relieved, I picked the phone and call for the guy in the picture who happens to be the driver of the bus. Like the lady at the mall, he was delightedly thankful too. He even told me “ingat”(take care) and thank me once again as I was getting off at my stop.

“What is up with these people leaving their cellphones behind??” that is what’s going on in my mind during the bus ride. I find it pretty smart for my friend to protect her phone with a password and because of that, there is no need for contact number update and most importantly she didn’t need to get a new one. Unfortunate for her that she was a victim of such incident but still lucky enough to be safe and got some acquaintance who cared to pick up the ditched bag and find a way to return it to her.

I just hope that, the lady at the mall and the bus driver will both learn their lessons to be watchful of their belongings. They might not be as lucky to have finders who don’t tend to keep or I might not be around for a phone-picking task.

Tagged…. so, do TAG others.

 

This has become a trend to the blogosphere. From all sorts of blogger awards and Q and A post like this one, I honestly find this a nice way of reaching out and connecting to all the blog writers I followed and discovering blogs that I need to follow.

Nenskie has tagged me on her Ohwps, It’s not yet over :P post on her blog. Being the first blogger she has tagged, it would be so unfair if I will not follow the rules… which all bloggers that were tagged has to strictly follow. Thank You Nenskie,… the questions you made are quite hard huh!. I really appreciate this. In one way or another, I was able to know you in a little way while reading your answers to Tom’s tag questions.

So let me get the ball rolling starting of with:

THE RULES:
1. Tagged Bloggers should post the rules.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you in their post and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
3. Tag eleven people and link to them on your post.
4. Let them know you’ve tagged them!

Here are Nenskie’s  11Qs for me:

1. Do you believe in PEACE?

- I know it is hard to achieve if your talking about WORLD PEACE, but YES, I do believe in Peace. A good heart and clean conscience makes it easier to believe in PEACE.

2. Have you doubt where you stand to someone’s life?

- Hmmm.. It depends on WHO is the someone you are referring to. I admit, I do have my own share of “doubts” with regards to my existence on “someone” but so far…. I never had time to stressing out and trying to know where I stand. People I am close with does that for me by making me feel my worth.

3. What do you think is the easiest job?

- Working on something you truly enjoy and have come to love… one will never get tired of it that doing it would come easy.

4. Have you ever truly accept people without complaining or judging why you make friends with them?

- Yeah…. most of the time.

5. What is your best recipe?

- I never had one.

6. Could you share it with us?

- Sure… If I ever got one.

7. Would you do the right thing? Or choose to do things which your heart completely desires?

- It depends…. I always go for doing the right thing. Fortunately, it goes together with what my heart completely desires most of the time.

8. Would you argue even the price of winning is losing your good relationship? (friendship and etc)

- Been there, done that. I don’t call it argue but just trying to make people hear me out. As long as it is of pure honesty, then I don’t think it will result to relationships ending, It might change, for sure it will be giving both party a peace of mind.

9. What tree could you be?

- A coconut. Never worthless.

10. How will survive from where you are now?

- I don’t think I am where I need to survive right now…. I call this living.

11. Letting go or to wait? Why?

- Let Go. Because if it comes back to you , then you will know it is worth all the wait. If it does not, it will always feel good to know Letting Go was the right decision.

 

And so to continue…

Here are my 11-Qs  for the lucky eleven fabulous bloggers whom I will be tagging in a bit!

1. Usually, CREDIT CARD or CASH?

2. If you are not in the place where you are now.. Where would you rather be? Why?

3. If someone will offer to pay you and will claim all your posts in WordPress as their own, would you allow it?

4. What do you think is the most-used title in the world of blogging?

5. If keyboards can talk, what could they be telling us all the time?

6. On Parenting: to spank or not to spank?

7. What is the most unexpected thing a stranger has ever said to you?

8. Do you act your age?

9. How do you spend most of your non-school/work time?

10. If there’s one, What is the thing, big or small, that you could change about your life to be happier?

11. Are there any news stories/ current events that you are sick of hearing about?

And here are the eleven bloggers that I would love to tag:

Revtrollyours

Marj- On Chocolate Hill

Bec- The Hobbler

Susan- Sillyfrog’s Blog

Gigi A Better Me Day by Day

Stephhugs,kisses and snot

AlphaAspire.Motivate.Succeed

MaryIt’s not all Mary Poppins

Hazeldance in white dress

Amelialife in the blue ridges

LisaTo Love Bella

 

Now it is done for me but not for you! Keep it going bloggers…have fun tagging!

Laugh with Sinners or Cry with Saints

 

Finding out an ugly truth about a friend is like finding out a bomb inside your little handbag.

Friends are images of your character. When you’re  bitchy, most likely they are too. If you are carefree, they fly in the sky with you. When you hate somebody they made themselves enemies with that person too. If your happy, their laughter is mostly louder than yours. If you feel down, they lift you up so they are lower than you and you will feel better. At times that your troubles are at its loudest that no one among them can figure out how to soften it, they keep their silence to give you peace and serenity. When you cry, some will cry to let you know that you are not alone and the others wipe your tears away.

Friends are your unlicensed teachers. They are your unpaid mentors of life.From them you learn stuff you wished you haven’t and from them too, you learn some of the lessons that you need.

Friends are our beloved nemesis. They are our best competitors but they are also the best supporters. They are the enemies that you never wish to get rid off. We named them best friends and added best enemy as their surname.

Friends are our constant reminders of who we are and what we become aside from our own family. They are our organizers and planners because if you need stuff done, you can count on them. They are our memories, because some of them got lost in the path of life, some remain and still engraving their names in our brain, some we found again to brush off the dust on their characters in your life story and some are new and starts to create memories with you. They are our solid cheering squad when you are playing the best game of your life and when you stumble your way on the field, they would still scream that “you are the best” even though you miss the field goal or made a wrong move. They are our distinguished designers and fashion icons who can tell us if we picked the best color for a top or frankly made you change to a better fit jeans. 

But when you find out your friend is doing things that is way beyond what she is supposed to be, what will it make you?

When you find out your friend is going with the wrong kind of people, how will you stop it? When your friend neglects the important responsibilities and obligations,how will you bring back the attention and focus to it? If your friend’s favorite habit now includes cheating, lying, irresponsibility and  betrayal, Do you still become a friend’s image? Should you act as the teacher to teach the do’s and don’ts? Will you be the supporter? or the dreaded competitor? Should I still carry the name best friend? Or should I settle for Best Enemy? To tolerate so as to keep relationship good? Or to torment with hopes that lessons will further learned. They say, that if your friend is happy, let the enjoyment continue.  Will you be laughing with the sinners or cry with the saints?

COFFEE and something else

I can never imagine somebody who drink so much coffee when I met him,Woody. My husband. Purely brewed coffee. A litre of black coffee a day is a must to start his day. He said Coffee will never be coffee unless its black. If you add something to it, its called “something else” other than coffee. Call it  mocha , cappuccino , espresso latte but not COFFEE. Because coffee is always black.

A best friend of mine,Wilson had a thing for Starbucks . At some point , we were all having coffee at Starbucks. Woody said that Starbucks coffee sucks!

According to Woody ,It taste burnt and old . He rationalized by reasoning that maybe because they left it sitting on the hotplate of the coffee brewer for a long time that makes it taste burnt and old. He rationalized by saying maybe because there are more people ordering the “something else” on the menu rather than simple brewed coffee itself that’s why the shop’s crew never bother to prepare fresh brewed coffee . Or maybe Starbucks  hires crew that were less knowledgeable on what COFFEE really is.

Wilson on the other hand says that Starbucks is the best for him. Wherever he goes , he will always have his moment if there is Starbucks café nearby.

With Woody’s teasing personality. We spend last week’s holiday getting to one coffee shop to another to compare brewed coffee offered.

IMG_1747First stop is Seattle Best.

Woody rates it as better than Starbucks but still not the best. He still would drink it. We even had seconds and thirds visiting this coffee shop. As usual , I ordered one of the “something else” as he calls it. Iced Mocha Jelly.

Then we tried a taste of  Euro-Asian touch with theIMG_1961 UCC Café Terrace.

It was actually our second time to be in this coffee shop .I had one of the “something else” together with their giant Chocolate French Toast that taste great.

For Woody , this is yet the best coffee so far. Aside from the fact that they serve it with the real and simple coffee cup . They also prepared it in a way that makes its taste great. They prepared it good for one coffee at a time ,the reason why one can taste the freshness in every cup  in a special brewing flask  as shown below:

IMG_1959IMG_1960

Cute right? Looks like a science project in a laboratory experiment.

The we went to Bo’s Coffee .

IMG_1775IMG_1776

Well , of course , since Woody always has brewed coffee, the “something else” in the picture belongs to me. It is called Iced Frappuccino with coffee jelly. We were actually the first customers for that day that we were able to have one of the best couches at the shop. The coffee?.. He rates it as okay. Fresher than Seattle’s Best ,maybe because we were early but still not too fresh. Still taste better than Starbucks .

A treat for my sweet tooth never escapes our coffee-rating-activity. While kids were exhausting themselves at COSMIC Kids Play center, we dropped by the one and only Krispy Kreme’s.

IMG_1942IMG_1943

I loved the donuts! What else can I say?.

Once again , Woody had their finest American brewed coffee and according to him, Its good.He wouldn’t mind having it anytime except that they should serve it in a real coffee cup.

We were actually having a good time doing this. So we tried to get to another coffee shop the next day.

The Café France . IMG_1991

Nice location. It’s the first thing I thought. Comfy couches with an entertaining lobby view of the mall . The mall has been opened for a couple of hours already and the place still has lots of tables and seats available. Woody warned me, he said “If it’s not crowded,it only mean a thing or two. It sucks or its expensive” . The prices are just about the same with the rest actually. The cheesy-ham croissant  you can see on the photo is yummy! The “something else” I had called iced-Choco-mocha is presented in a tall and pretty glass. It taste fine for me though I have to ask for more sugar to suit my taste. The coffee…. “Starbucks is Better!” Woody said. “It tasted just like a cheap instant Saudi coffee” . I laugh loud because  I never expected such comment. In my mind… Wilson would be happy to hear this.

We actually tried other coffee shops aside from the ones that we had pictures with. We actually include classic Nescafe in a sachet among the ones we rated and even the coffee served at the complimentary buffet breakfast at Mabuhay Manor where we stayed. I do hope I don’t get sued for posting this. But hey…. this is my hubby’s own opinion. We paid for the coffee we rated . We never cause trouble during our stay at those shops . Rest assured, we had a great time.

To my bff Wilson, you are just like me, we are both Non-Black-Coffee-Drinkers , nevertheless , we will enjoy having “something else” of all sorts in any way possible in any coffee shop we ever agreed spending our time with. May it be Starbucks or our local favorite Firenzo. It’s been awhile…