in which i commemorate being thisclose…

…to ending the first half of the year 2009 with pictures i have long promised to share with you guys but never have. until now. sorry gyud na bahaw na ning uban. pero kaon lang gihapon, or tan-aw, or basa, or whatever because this metaphor is not working anymore. 🙂


JUNE 10: The Lion King with Ate and Mama

Saw The Lion King musical in Sacramento with Mama and Ate Freya. Three words: Pretty darn entertaining. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the theater, so you'll have to make do with this shot instead.

JUNE 6: Lunch with my Lapalala Friends
My friend Manu, who's a game designer for EA, just finished his latest project (Sims 3, which was launched last June 2) and we wanted to celebrate. So Alnie, Arman, and I headed over to Manu's pad for some good ol' conversation, a little bit of gaming, and of course, lunch: Manu prepared an entire Indian menu, I brought sparkling cider, and Alnie and Arman got ice cream from Mitchell's (p.s. Nalingaw ko sa Mitchell's kay they also had flavors like langka, ube, macapuno, and even halo-halo; later found out from their website that they get most of their fresh ingredients from the Pinas; since I wanted to try something new, I got myself a cone of Thai Tea and Lucuma–omigod, ice cream heaven).

MAY 22-23: Boating with Mackie and Lieza
Before his weekend of debauchery on a houseboat, Mackie stopped by Davis to spend some time with his boring non-alcohol consuming friend (me). In return, I had him drive me to the welcome dinner for the Sison Family Reunion at Tita Mitzi's house. After eating our fill, Mackie, my cousin Chris, and I left the party to watch the new Star Trek, which is so good I'm going to resist making fun of the Trekkies in this post. Or not. The next day, Mackie and I went boating (paddle boating and canoeing) at the country club where I have a membership (apil na sa akong room rental). My friend, Lieza, joined us. Because exercise is pointless if you don't follow it up by eating something fatty, we ended up having a quick snack at a taqueria (I had a horchata, which was pretty good) and eating some ice cream I made earlier in the day (watch out Mitchell's!).

Mirror ImageMackie's Fields of Gold MomentPaddle Boating 1Paddle Boating 2Canoeing in the Lake

MAY 22-25: Sison Family Reunion
Dancing, drinking, drama. They should just get those trashy Kardashians off the air and film the Sisons instead. Ayayay. Pics and videos are up on Multiply.

APRIL 18: Picnic Day
UC Davis students' annual excuse to start drinking at 9 in the morning. Oh, and parade the farm animals and bikes of course. Spent this day with the Chapmans: Ate Freya, Adam's sister, Angie, and the kids, Eric Anthony, Nathan and Alyssa. Highlights of the day include seeing some of the biggest dogs ever and eating deep-fried snickers. Pictures are here and I also posted videos of the parade, the Mondavi Symphony and ice cream (of course!) made from liquid nitrogen  (here and here).

APRIL 4: Dinner with my Comm. grad friends
After Mackie's objections and Andrew's protests, finally, nakakaon na gyud ko sa Hooters, a place where grown men bring their 12-year old sons to eat (I kid you not—we must've seen at least 3 father-son diners in that place). The food was okay, but a little underwhelming, the view even more so (I guess orange shorts and hooters just don't do it for me). The fried pickles were good, though, which is something I never thought I'd say in my life, me not being overly fond of pickles (strange that each of my posts so far always seem to include some mention of food).

Heewon, Tae, & PomMarko, Kelly, & AndrewMarko & KellyMichelle, Me, & CandiceGroup Shot

APRIL 3-4: SMS Mini Reunion
Among laag-laag uban ni Isra na nalagpot sa Bay Area adtong April. Hung out with Isra, Joanna, Sho-sho, Sho's husband, Jake, fellow St. Marian's, Sean Thommes and Jedi, Joanna's brother, and some of Sho's friends. We toured Isra around San Francisco, had dinner at Gerry's Grill, and then hung out at Sho's house till 6 in the morning (feeling high school lang gihapon bisag tigulang na). In the morning, we were joined by Brian Cagadas, Mabelle, and Mabelle's daughter, Yvanna. I had to split at 8 a.m. to meet my mom and join my Comm. friends (see above) but despite the 2 hours of sleep and hangover, it was the most fun I've had in ages. I know they're never going to read this blog but thanks everyone! Gi mingaw gyud ko sa high school. You guys are the best (and this includes, of course, the people reading this blog). Pics with Isra are over here.

MARCH 3: Hanging out with Lesley
Lesley Docdocil visited me in Davis and we went out for Thai food at Sophia's and caught a movie, Confession of a Shopaholic, which is an okay movie (thanks to Isla Fisher) based on a really crappy book (sorry Sophie Kinsella but "Confessions.." was one of the worst books I read last summer, along with the four equally horrendous books in the Twilight series).

JANUARY 3-4: Tahoe Trip

The Docdocils were kind enough to let me tag along on their trip to Tahoe, post-New Year. I am not a big fan of the cold but the snow-covered slopes of Tahoe sure were pretty. Highlights of this trip include 1) having my picture taken with Elvis (wahahaha), 2) Mackie getting caught spying on a drag queen, 3) learning how to photoshop this and this, and 4) sledding down part of a hill (or something equally puny). Pictures are also up on my Multiply page.

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YA Novels to Read (Instead of Twilight)

When I read all four books in the Twilight series last year, one of many thoughts I had afterward was that I would never let my (future) children read any one of these books. At least, not unless they'd be smart enough to make fun of them. In which case, we would bond by talking about all the ways the Twilight series basically suck: how the prose is vapid at best, nauseating at worst; how the heroine is unremarkable except for her incredibly bad judgment; and how not even the hero's good looks and loads of cash can redeem these stories.

But making fun of bad books can only last so long (diba Ging?) and afterwards, you need to read some really good ones to make you remember that good writing still exists. So I started doing some research (by which I mean, I started reading). Here are the ones I'd recommend to all of you:

1. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart – Frankie, the title character, is clever, pretty, and fearless–the complete antithesis of Bella Swan. Read this book if only for that. Or read it because E. Lockhart writes like E.L. Konigsburg, weaving bits of trivia to the story (so you learn while reading) and using characters to drive the plot (instead of the other way around).

2. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow – Orwell's 1984 is one of my favorite books; Little Brother is a bit like 1984, only with the adrenaline rush. If you still need more convincing, check out Neil Gaiman's review.

3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak – Fair warning: you're probably going to cry at some point. And it might take you more than a day, or a month even, to finish because you'll want to stop, put it down, and forget all about the Holocaust and Death (the narrator). But eventually, you'll want to pick it up again. And when you're finally done, maybe you'll have learned something. But even if you haven't, you'll find that, surprisingly enough, you've also been entertained.

4. Fly On The Wall by E. Lockhart – I liked The Disreputable History.. so much I deliberately sought out this book and ended up reading it in one day. The story slightly parallels Kafka's Metamorphosis but where the latter is dark & disturbing, this one is lighter and has a charming love story, to boot.

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – Again, shades of 1984. But also The Lottery (Shirley Jackson). And most of all, Battle Royale. Even if you don't like any of those, it's pretty hard not to get caught up in the Hunger Games. Stephen King did. And so did Smeyer. Okay, perhaps I shouldn't have mentioned that last one. But did I also mention that it's really really good?  

*If I had to pick a favorite, I'd choose between The Disreputable History… and The Hunger Games, which are at the extreme ends in terms of story. Start with the former, if you're looking for something light and insightful, but go for the latter, if you want something dark and exciting. And before you ask, romantic subplots are present in all the books except for The Book Thief. Well…maybe even including that one.

Reposted from the LDG

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Time for the annual review:

  1. No. of people I fell in love with: Just 1. Still you, Jensen Ackles. And maybe Frankie Landau-Banks if I become a lesbian pedophile. Why do I even bother counting this thing? Because let's face it, unless you're Zara Cabanlet, this number is not going to change anytime soon. New rule: keep track of something else more worthwhile…weight maybe? Hmm…
  2. No. of new friends I made: (See this is something I can count that actually makes me smile) Several. Lieza, Arjay, Erwin, Gabby, Memet, Leah, Paul, and the rest of the Filipinos living in Davis; Heewon, Tae, and the rest of the freshman Comm grad students; Ivy; Byron; Mike
  3. No. of jobs I've had: 3—writing for the magazines, teaching for UCD, and working on the $10 Initiative
  4. New places I got to visit: The East Coast—New York, New Jersey, DC, Philadelphia, Connecticut; also, Vegas
  5. Books I can cross off my to-read list: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, The Book Thief, Letters to a Young Poet, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, the latest in the Artemis Fowl and Sookie Stackhouse series (and others I'd-rather-not-have-read a.k.a the Twilight series & Confessions of a Shopaholic).
  6. Things I wrote and actually finished: (What seemed like) a ton of papers for school, several articles & a few poems (all commissioned by the magazine of course, since money is the only thing that can get me to spout poetry), and *shudder* a cheesy script for this crappy video I made. No brilliant novella this year, folks.
  7. No. of times I got to go home: Zero 😦
  8. Great things I got to see: the Statue of Liberty (not bad); all those awesome things in the Smithsonian and the MET, including the dinosaur bones, the Hope Diamond, and the cool paintings; Cirque du Soleil's LOVE!, Iron Man, Tropic Thunder, Indy 4, The Dark Knight, Slumdog Millionaire, Paris Je T'aime, Across the Universe (thanks for the dvds Macks!); Charles, Carlo, Manu, Nicole, and Richie, all of whom I haven't seen since God knows when; also, live and in person: Martin Yan & Death Cab for Cutie
  9. Notable things I learned: I would never have imagined ever saying this but…statistics is fun! (at least when you're working on SPSS and not on SAS); random bits of trivia on neglected positives, panopticons and its creator (Jeremy Bentham), the identity of the man in the coffin in LOST (also Jeremy Bentham), the biggest, best chocolate chip cookies are quite possibly in New York; and the perfect recipe for leche flan comes from Lola. Still haven't found out who the mother is in HIMYM but I guess I can safely rule out Stella.
  10. No. of blog entries for 2008: 60. Yikes! Was my social life really that dead?

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