Tag Archives: Books

The Packers are being Packed

This game doesn’t look so good for the Packers. They were down by six at the end of the first half. The Chiefs aren’t quite converting their plays into touchdowns, but they’re managing. Orton is playing injured, but playing good nonetheless. I hope that if the Packers do end up losing, it won’t ruin my FIL’s mood. He’s been in the nicest spirit since I’ve met him. Even made us breakfast this morning!

As I watch the game, I flip through the pages of “Night Watch.” I’ve owned this book for more years than I can remember. For some reason though, I was only able to read some fifty pages before I put it away for a long time. I picked it up once more recently, and can’t quite understand what happened before. It is a very intriguing story- I like the characters and I sure love the fact that it’s happening in England, right after the end of WWII. Maybe school got in the way before? We might never know.

Anyhow, I’m feeling super weird today. Until recently, I had been thinking that today was Monday. Never mind the football game, or that my FIL was at home watching it (he works office hours), I didn’t connect the dots. I even kept checking my grades frantically since Monday is the deadline for the professors to boost or ruin my GPA (not that they ever stick to deadlines). I also keep feeling like there’s something I’m supposed to do but nothing comes to mind. Perhaps I was kept on my toes for so long this past quarter, that I haven’t quite adjusted to the routine of having nothing to do or nowhere to be. Funny how that works- I looked forward to this moment so much after going through a week of school without being able to take any Vicodin (I was in pain 24/7). I hoped so much that I could not worry for a moment about being sick or having a paper to write for just a couple of days. And now that I’m here where I wanted to be, I keep feeling like I’m forgetting to do something. It’s almost as annoying as getting to a place and wondering the whole time if you remembered to lock your car door, but not being able to go back and check.

I think I hear the game starting again…

-Mrs. This One

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On Steady Ground

We made it here safely. The drive seemed to drag forever, but it could have been tiredness playing tricks with my mind. The caffeine didn’t help either. But it was better to have some of it than nothing at all.

Chinese takeout was a great treat. We split some Mongolian Beef with Lettuce Wraps. I was lucky to find a diet Mountain Dew in my in-laws fridge. They’re not really the soda type. And I guess I’m not either, but water gets tiring from time to time. Besides, I could use yet more caffeine to stay awake. My MIL (mother-in-law) is working, so we have to stay up at least until she gets home. I’m about ready to take a shower. That should give me some sense of renewal.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in earlier was the Christmas tree. It has the perfect shape. I love Christmas trees. I grew up with fake ones my whole life, so it was nice to marry into a family that used real ones. Though I probable would have broken my family tradition at some point. I guess I will soon enough. Which reminds me- my FIL asked over dinner when we were planning to have kids. It was and will forever be an awkward conversation… specially since we need help to make babies appear. But that’s alright, I’ve never minded the shortcomings of being a lesbian.

If there’s something I look forward to when I’m on a school break is reading. You’d think I’d get tired of doing so because I have to read so much for school, but this is different. There’s nothing like reading for pleasure- without overanalyzing every single word you read. I brought three books with me: “The Night Watch” by Sarah Waters (fiction), “The Return” by Daniel Treisman (Non-fiction, and he’s a UCLA professor!), and “Global Community” by W.M. Spellman (Non-fiction). Of course I probably won’t read all of them, but sometimes I like to spice it up a bit with some variety. My MIL also rented several movies for us to watch through the weeks. And! We might go to ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo. I’m actually excited about the last one. We went there three Christmases and it was really fun- I’ve been wanting to do it again ever since. Besides these, my weeks will be filled with applications and essays. Fun, I know. Though, I’m gonna be watching the Packers-Chiefs game tomorrow with my FIL. That should be nice…

Okay, I really should go shower now.

-Mrs. This One

 


Do I Have to Finish One Thing at the Time?

If I had a clone, I would make her existence solely about reading what I never have time to read. I know that sounds awful. You’d think I’d want her to have her own life, with the only condition that she’d play substitute for me at work from time to time, of course. But where’s this coming from?

Here are the Wall Street Journal (Saturday edition) and the LA Times (Sunday edition). Today is Sunday, and I’m still trying to finish the Journal. I’ll probably not finish the Times until Monday- if I’m lucky. I mean, I do have to play housewife while I try to finish my homework before the week starts all over again.

This is one of the biggest problems I have though- I am unable to read one thing at the time. Call it whatever it is, but I have a hard time in concentrating on one thing only (We’re watching Glee as I write this). But this isn’t only about my life at home, this is usually what my work desk looks like:

From left to right: Agenda, Essentials of Screenwriting, Ultimate Book of Words, and Global Youth

This is usually how it works, I get to work and I pull out three or four books from my backpack. Then I start reading, and changing books from chapter to chapter. Is this bad? I keep trying to figure out if this is a sign that I have a problem with finishing things. Or if maybe I am just a bookworm after all.

-MTO

P.S. Yes, I do actually work while I’m at work. I still have time to read though.

 


I’ll Admit it- I’m Addicted to This!

What do you do during your lunch break?

I eat sometimes, but my favorite thing to do is to read. Mostly I read for school, but lately I’ve been able to do some more readings-

But what I’ve actually been liking about my lunchtime readings is that I’ve found myself some interesting company:

I named it Rick.

Okay, now seriously. The book I’m reading, Global Youth, has been one of the most interesting books I’ve read it a while. I’ve learned so much about youth in other places… like immigrants to the UK and Australia, French Canadians, Japanese technology-lovers, and Muslim youth in Indonesia. And I’m barely halfway through this book.

It amazes me how sheltered I grew up and how little I know about the world. Cultures are so amazing to me… we’re all so different, but that’s something I enjoy. But not a lot of people feel this way- hence discrimination and all.

But that’s silly, isn’t it? Think about it- would you want to wear the same shirt everyday? Wouldn’t you want to try something different?

Anyway, want a read an addicting book that will also teach you something valuable? Add this one to your reading list then!

-MTO


Summer Love

American Graffiti is on, I’m drinking coffee, and I’m craving a burger- you can blame that last one on American’s Graffiti’s publicity of Mel’s Drive-In. School’s load is increasing by the minute, but I’m finally loving it. So much that I’m trying hard not to think and dread the minute this love goes away.

There are a few reasons why I’ve started to love summer:

First, I’m taking a class with my favorite professor. He’s such a geek about politics that he makes me a geek about politics. Even today when he warned us that today’s lecture, about the Constitution, wouldn’t be as interesting as the past ones, I smiled to myself because I actually love the Constitution.

Second, my other class is truly picking my creative bug. I’m a little resentful that I haven’t been able to continue my own writing because of everything that is going on right now. But since I’m working on a screenplay for this class, then it is ultimately not so bad. Besides, I’m learning to write better, and I’m liking the challenging nature of this class.

Third, I’ve actually been able to do some “pleasure” reading. I have a gym bag full of books I got from the Research Library a few weeks back. I’m currently on my third book, and I really love being able to choose what I read.

Fourth, my wife and I have been able to spend more time together than we usually would during the academic year. Even though the difference isn’t all that significant, I still take what I can get.

Fifth, because it is summer after all…

-MTO


Why Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is My Favorite One of All

Note: Since this movie came out so recently, I will not have spoilers here. This might be at times a difficult task, specially since most people who have not seen the movie, but are planning to, probably have read the book already.

It was 11:35pm. We had come to the theater after dinner with some of my wife’s colleagues. We had been waiting to see the Harry Potter movie since we were teased with Part 1 last year. The theater was crowded. There were even people fighting for a front row seat. I wondered how the premiere night must have been. I almost felt wise for waiting another night to see it.

Via Seat42f.com

I don’t know about you, but I grew up reading Harry Potter. I couldn’t buy the first four books, but one of my friends, Charlie, let me borrow his. I usually read them overnight, holding a flashlight, under the blankets.

I was in love with the magical world. Perhaps it is impossible for a kid not to want to be able to do magic. Just think of all the things I could have done! I could have make dinner appear one night so grandma would have had a break from cooking. I could have given my brother that one soccer ball he really wanted. I could have made the perfect man appear for my mom (who probably would have been the exact opposite of my dad). And I could have made my grandpa go away, so he would stop beating grandma for no reason; no questions asked. I could have made more books appear for myself. Perhaps this way I could have owned the Harry Potter books myself, instead of waiting for Charlie to bring me the next one.

I was never a fan of the movies though. Not because they weren’t great, but because they never did the books justice. I always felt betrayed when my favorite part in a book wasn’t shown in the movie. But Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 was different. This wasn’t another of the movies. This was THE movie. The last one. The ending one.

As I warned earlier, I will not talk about the plot. But if I’m allowed to share why I loved this one so much, let me tell you that it had a lot to do with me wanting them to succeed. I cried when they suffer; I smiled when they did something right. I knew this time I couldn’t wonder if the next movie was going to be better. This was as good as it was ever going to get. Though I hate that this is the end, it is difficult not to love it the most. This is the last memory of it that I will ever have. At least until the remakes come in twenty years or so.

-MTO

 


Soccer and Books

The Women’s World Cup is on and Germany and Japan are playing a scoreless game so far. Because Germany is the host nation, they have a lot of pressure to make it as far as possible in the cup. Japan on the other hand, is working with a shorter team, but their defense has been pretty impressive so far.

I made cheese blintzes for breakfast, and coffee, of course. The Mrs. is working from home and I am working on my research project. I barely started an hour ago, but it feels like an eternity already. Not because I’m bored, but because it’s such a pretty day outside and I won’t get to enjoy it. So I figured I could come and blog and spread my word to the world, and maybe that would feel a little bit like I’m out and about somewhere.

I stumbled upon a Wikipedia page of The 100 Best Books of All Time. I have barely read 3 on the list and I’ve been on the middle of another one for the longest time. Though I find myself with little or no time for pleasure reading, I think this might be a good list to start with. If you have a moment to check it out, do you think is a good list? How many have you read? Which one you recommend I read first?

-MTO


Life is too Fragile

Today I had a person mock me because of my job. I kept my cool, I know better than letting them get the best of me. They screamed “hard worker” several times. I can still see their faces. I know this is nothing compared to other things, but it is still something.

We, human beings, are the most ridiculous beings I know. We hurt each other left and right, and we don’t care. Yet life is so fragile, and being alive is something we take for granted everyday. Breathing, a heart beat, another step- these things are so precious, that we should be so kind to each other and make the best out of it. Unfortunately, some choose not to.

This is not the first time I get laughed at simply because someone doesn’t agree with my employer’s policies. I got news for you, I don’t make the policies, you are damn right when you call me a lowly employee. This doesn’t offend me, it just makes me sad that you would choose to insult someone so freely.

And here I read “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Though it is fiction, war is just another reflections of how pathetic some of us are. How we can kill each other and be okay with that?

I sometimes wish I didn’t have to leave my apartment and see other people. That my wife and I could just stay at home and enjoy each other’s company, in complete isolation from the world. But then again I know that there are a lot of amazing people out there that are worth the trouble. A lot of them. And I think about them and I suffer for them. Because I do love people- even those who I don’t personally know.

I read today about the Rangers fan who died trying to catch a ball (see the video below). The commentators made fun of him for trying so hard to catch a ball. But that meant a lot to him, and I really hope that at least he died happy, because he knew he had the ball. My best wishes to his family- wherever they are.



Blogging for the Readers of the Year 2060

I have been reading “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin since I’ve had enough time to read something that isn’t a textbook. This book is a biographical account of Abraham Lincoln and his race to power, along with the lives of his competitors William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates; all of who would go on to be his most important allies.

I have never been lucky enough to read a full biography of a personality as important in history as Abe Lincoln, let along one that involves the engaging writing of Goodwin. As I’ve been reading the accounts of the lives of Lincoln, Seward, Chase, and Bates, I’ve been reminded of that strange notion of communicating through letters.

I grew up through the growth of computers and Internet. I still remember the day my brother and I went to the first Internet cafe in town after school and stayed there for hours. We didn’t even let our parents know where we were and we had to hear it once we got home. It blew my mind, to communicate with someone across the world in a matter of minutes.

I never wrote a letter, or at least I don’t ever remember doing so. I wrote emails, but I took those for granted (and still do). I knew they would get to the other person in minutes, so  I never put that much thought into my emails. When I read bits of pieces of the letters that people like Lincoln wrote back in the day, I feel ashamed for letting go of letters. We no longer put time into saying how or what we feel.

Even over blogs… we write and people in 50 years won’t know exactly how we see things, how we feel- so why don’t we change that?

People from 2060:

I am currently watching a show called “Damages,” starring Glenn Close. We are watching this show through Netflix, an Internet company that allows for instant streaming through my PlayStation 3- can you believe that? We can have TV shows 24/7 if we really wanted to (well, some do watch TV 24/7 for some reason)! My wife and best friend are watching with me. I hope by then our marriage would have more legal rights and social acceptance. We are in our studio in Westwood, California- across the street from the University of California, Los Angeles where we are pursuing our Bachelors’ degrees. I’m not sure if you’d still go to a physical classroom in your time, but I love it. The weather is sunny but not too warm. Perfect beach day if you didn’t just have a whole week of studying to prepare for finals. We had leftover pizza for lunch, which is somewhat an improvement from the usual ramen noodle cup (instant noodles) that most college students eat nowadays.

I am thrilled to be watching this show because I want to be a lawyer and Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) is a lawyer in this show. Hard to tell if she’s the good or bad guy so far… but judging from her character in “101 Dalmatians” (if you haven’t seen it, YOU MUST!), she’s someone you shouldn’t trust. I am making my wife and my best friend watch it with me- they say they like it, but people usually lie (see my previous post) to avoid hurting other people’s feelings. So it’s hard to tell whether they like it or not. I still love them regardless. And I would be crazy not to since they have yet to complain about the fact that I’ve been typing on laptop for about two episodes now (roughly 2 hours). Maybe it is an advantage that we don’t use ink anymore because I may have run out of it by now.

There you have it people from 2060…

-Mrs. This One


Almost Midnight

I should have planned this earlier because the fact that it is now 11:23pm makes me want to hurry for two reasons. One, I had this crazy idea that maybe I can blog once a day. Ambitious, yes, but powerful. Why?, you may ask. Because I have a long-time history of not finishing things. There, I said it.

If you look at the list of books I’m currently reading (Bottom right, I think), you’ll find there “War and Peace.” Yes the damned thing is about 1400 pages, but it still shouldn’t take the 6 months I’ve taken with it so far. And now that I’m back in school, that book has been set aside again- to collect dust for months to come.

So here I am saying that I am perfectly capable of finishing something. If I fail, rub it in, but in the mean time, I still have 34 minutes to post (so far).

My bed is the second reason to hurry. Midnight is sneaking up on me as the end of this very long day gets closer. Long story short: working with people who are cheaters and take advantage of you sucks (that’s life, I know). But tomorrow will be a brand new day- hence why the sooner I go to sleep, the faster tomorrow will come (well, technically).

11:34pm.


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