Friday, April 29, 2011

best job in the world

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yesterday I turned in the final draft of the book I was working on. The writing took several grueling months, but throughout the process I felt as though I have the best job in the world.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

We’re in such a hurry most of the time

Thursday, April 28, 2011


We’re in such a hurry most of the time we never get much chance to talk. The result is a kind of endless day-to-day shallowness, a monotony that leaves a person wondering years later where all the time went and sorry that it’s all gone.

~ Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, 1974

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Reinvention

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My sister and I must have looked ludicrous as we whiled the day away sitting on a tree-shaded park bench with our noses buried in books—she in Breaking Dawn, the fourth book in Stephenie Mayer’s Twilight series, and I in Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning historical novel Wolf Hall. It didn’t help that each book weighs a ton, or that we both found our respective books so riveting that we had to put off lunch for another hour.

And so on that bench I sat, languidly contemplating whether we can reinvent ourselves the way Hilary Mantel reinvented the first Earl of Essex, Thomas Cromwell. Departing from the conventional portrayal of Thomas Cromwell as a villain and nemesis of Thomas More, Mantel presented him as a captivating hero in the rich Tudor tapestry. The Machiavellian henchman of Henry VIII, Cromwell is revealed to readers as a sympathetic yet sly character, a compelling yet conniving figure. He has that uncanny ability to “arrange his face” according to the occasion. It dawned on me then that although people are inexorably themselves, they can also be so many different things at the same time. Just like every story that can have numerous versions told in so many different ways, a person can collect an indefinite number of selves while remaining his or herself within.

"Suppose within each book there is another book, and within every letter on every page another volume constantly unfolding; but these volumes take no space on the desk. Suppose knowledge could be reduced to a quintessence, held within a picture, a sign, held within a place which is no place. Suppose the human skull were to become capacious, spaces opening inside it, humming chambers like beehives." (Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall, 2009)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Plunging Headlong

Monday, April 25, 2011

It’s Monday, the most dreaded day after a long weekend. Yet woozy from five days of bumming around the house, I plunged headlong into my work. My mind still on vacation mode, I wanted to dawdle the day away, but I know that that would only delay the unavoidable. You need to do this if you want to start your week right and be ahead of schedule, my mind told me. And so I did. I cast all languorous thoughts aside and started to write. And write. And write.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Has it been four years?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Has it been four years since I started chronicling moments of mundanity, exultation and despondency? An endless stream of articulated thought, this blog has always been a sacred indulgence, a refuge from the tedious sameness of every day. It’s where I try to make sense of the resplendent and the revolting, the arcane and the frivolous, the perplexingly complex and the ceaselessly intriguing.

Knowing that I am not really in a position to say anything informed or definitive about various matters, I always try to write from a current feeling, from daily experiences or from a single memory.  It has made my writing very inward – something that may not mean that much to people who do not know me.  But those who read this blog would know that for the past four years “the way I write is who I am, or have become.”

Monday, April 18, 2011

running in my own cozy, homemade void

Monday, April 18, 2011


All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence. And this is a pretty wonderful thing. No matter what anybody else says. (Haruku Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, 2009)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

“I have no fault to find with the manner in which our excursion was conducted. Its programme was faithfully carried out -- a thing which surprised me, for great enterprises usually promise vastly more than they perform. It would be well if such an excursion could be gotten up every year and the system regularly inaugurated. Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”

~ Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrim’s Progress, 1869

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Eating Healthily

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Some people think that it’s just about losing weight, looking good or feeding one’s vanity. Dazzled by the surface, they forget that it really is about taking care of one’s body and staying fit and healthy. Seen that way, maybe exercise won’t be too tiresome, and eating healthy won’t be such a bore.

I am now 33 years old and I’ve realized that if I don't do something now, by the time I reach 40 I would probably be very sorry for not taking good care of my body. There are still a lot of things I want to do in life, tons of places I want to go to and countless experiences I want to live through—and I want to be physically able to do all those things. How can I lead a life of freedom and wandering if I’m not healthy enough to do so?

Aside from my regular workout of jogs, stair climbs, leg lifts, walks and dumbbells, I try to eat healthily. I slip and succumb to temptation in a while, but I do my best to:
  • Stay away from processed foods
  • Eat a healthy and filling breakfast every day
  • Plan and prepare my meals for the entire week
  • Limit myself to one mug of coffee a day
  • Reduce meat in my diet and depend mostly on beans as source of protein
  • Eat enough whole grains, fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid soft drinks and processed fruit juices and drink plenty of water instead
  • Read and follow nutrition facts labels
Eating healthily while exercising regularly is a daily struggle yet worth all the while.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You sit back and watch

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

You sit back and watch your friend make drastic decisions that could change her life – for better or worse.  You tell yourself, it’s her life; it’s her choice.  You cannot interfere. The candor with which you laid out the gravity of what she’s put herself into is hurtful, but you know that she needs to hear those words.  You let her do what she wants because whatever you say won’t change her mind, anyway, and you know that it’s what makes her happy.  And happiness is what you want for her.  You recall the hell she’s been through all those years, and you’re afraid that she might have to endure that anew.  But you brush your fears aside because you believe in her strength.  And you haven’t lost all hope for happy endings. You encourage her to take risks because you don’t want her to regret not having done so. You love her like a sister and you know that--however it might turn out--you will always be by her side.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

keeping back the gloomy spectres

Sunday, April 3, 2011

“Her affection for him was now the breath and life of Tess's being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated her into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back the gloomy spectres that would persist in their attempts to touch her—doubt, fear, moodiness, care, shame. She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.”

~ Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, 1891
 
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