Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Cake And The Little Pink Shoes

I am now halfway through the story, but I tell you, this is the first time that I really got engaged with the story.  To tell you the truth, earlier today I almost went through my unread books, thinking of stopping reading The Hunchback and switch to a new one.  But I held on, because I really know want to know what the whole story is all about.

The temptation to stop started when Victor started talking about the streets of Paris and the architecture.  As I have written on my previous post, I think he overdid talking about the architecture of the country and how architecture was killed by printing.  You might find this a little disconnected as I had but if you want to know why printing killed architecture, I suggest you read the book.

Perseverance got me through.  But I must admit that even if he talked a lot about Paris and its architecture, there were a lot of things that I didn't grasp.  I was looking forward for the story.  I AM looking forward to the story.

The Story of the Cake is a chapter somewhere in the middle of the story.  I was actually confused as to its connection with Quasimodo or Esmeralda or Gringo.  But I think my determination to finish the story held on.  The chapter was a little bit off-beat somehow, but I believe there would be a connection and it would be explained later on.  The cake touched me less than the pair of little pink shoes.  Paquette was in recluse, with the pink little shoes, and was offered the cake.  She refused the cake, asking for black bread; refused the cloak, asked for a sack; refused the hippocras, asking for water instead.

Now, I have another thing to think about...  Because little Agnes has been introduced, I wonder if her story will be finished, or will it just be left that way?  Not to think that I am thinking if this is really about Quasimodo and Esmeralda, or is it really about Esmeralda and Gringoire, or is it really about Gringoire and Quasimodo?  Yes, I haven't read nor watch anything about The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.  Earlier today, I was also actually tempted to just watch the movie.  But I held on... to finishing the book.

The next chapter would be "A Tear for a Drop of Water."  Would this be the reason why Paquette refused the hipocrass?  Will this give at least a lead as to what happened to Agnes?

I only have to go on to find out.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A hundred or so days, several books. 

I am finally back in my home country, for good.  I had an operation which will make me stay at home at least for about three months.  A good opportunity to dwell on books.  I have read several since "The Godfather." "Three Cups of Tea" by David Oliver Relin and Greg Mortansen,"Stardust" by Neil Gaiman, "Bag of Bones" by Stephen King, "The Great Gatsby" F. Scott Fitzgerald, " 'Tis " by Frank Mc Court.  I couldn't post entries because access to the internet here is not as easy as when I was still in Dubai.  But finally, I managed to have an internet connection which will enable me to post regularly again.  With regard to the other books I mentioned,  I will just try t make something like I did with "Blaze" in the days to come.

Currently, I am reading Victor Hugo's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." I began as soon as I could after being discharged from the hospital.  Four days at the hospital didn't give me an opportunity to read.  But somehow, I started as soon as I am home and could spare a few hours each day.

As far as I have gone, I have only caught a few parts of the story.  After about a third of the book's pages, it's like much has been revealed about Paris and architecture more than the story itself.  Victor Hugo tends to sidetrack away from the story most of the time.  I've read so much about the changes of Paris' architecture and how architecture was the expression of one's genius at some point in history.

Though this really bored me, I chose to persevere and go on.  I, then, tried focusing in his style and what he's trying to say so that I can go far.  If I didn't do this, I was on point of giving up and getting another book.  He seems to want to discuss Architecture very much and how it transformed the face of Paris.  He wrote so much about the streets and houses and churches and cathedrals in so much detail.  Not that this is irrelevant.  But I just find it too much away from the story.  Though I know this might be very insightful if you are looking for something about Paris' architectural history [at least from the way I see it.]

Just to quote one of the phrases I like, the story began on "the day of the king and the feast of the fools."

And... some of my favorite quotes:
If  I exist, can this be? 
If this be so, do I exist?
Time is the architect, the nation is the builder.
He armed himself with the weapons that had wounded him.
It was, however, these same bells that had made him deaf; but a mother often loves best of all the child who has made her suffer most.
Medicine is the daughter of dreams.
Isolation magnifies everything.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Business

image copied from WikipediaAfter having gone through some stories about little women, building schools and fairy tales, the latest on my bedside is about the Don.  I admit that what led me to read the book is the game I play on Facebook [which is where I am almost always at these days] called Mafia Wars.  I wanted to learn more about the Mafia because I felt like there is more to the game than just clicking the mouse endlessly until your power is not enough for any of the jobs to do.

So, the book started with several people having gone through some acts that brought pain which led them to seek the help of the godfather.  I guess we can all say that this is revenge..

What is it with revenge?

I couldn't blame these people for seeking justice oustide the law.  They have suffered.  But as one tweet quote said:
Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.
- Confucius
I'm going to find out if it's all worth it.

A Few Good Books

Since I went on hibernation, I didn't stop reading.  But I stopped posting.  There were a few good books I have read since "Night Shift" and I should say they are all good.  But I wasn't able to post updates, reactions, views on these books.

However, I tried to prepare my summaries for them.  Only thing I am thinking right now is where to actually put it.  Should I put it on pages or just as another regular posting? I wanted "Blaze" to be on a page since I didn't have much postings about it.  So, I guess I'll go for the page.

They will be posted during the weekend.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Broken Shifts

*image copied from fanatasticfictionAlright.

I've had it.

I couldn't finish with David Baldacci's First Family.  I just lost interest, that's all.  I couldn't say that there were a lot of substories within the stories of the story because with Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Idiot, there were a lot of them, too.  It's just that I couldn't find anything to look forward to and couldn't care less what happened to the president's nephew.  I couldn't also say that the story is common these days, but I felt like murder and abduction are being committed at least once in a day and it's all in the news.

So, I decided to start with another.

It was hard because  have several books in line.  I have been wanting to read The Godfather and it got a little more intense when I started playing Mafia Wars on Face Book.  But this good friend of mine was able to borrow Stephen King's Night Shift from her husband's accommodation's library so I couldn't put it off because of the due date.

I started about a few days ago...

Then stopped.

Because it's really scary.

I didn't know if it's the story, or the way SK has written it (wonderful!) or is it my age that's affecting me.  They say that one acquires a lot of fears as one ages.  So, it might be true with me after all.  I tried to determine what is it that scares me.  If it was the story, I have been reading SK's books and there are a lot as scary or even scarier but it didn't affect me during my youth.  It might be my age.  I get scared that I might have nightmares as I did with Duma Key.  Or it might wake me in the middle of the night thinking about the story.  Or it might keep me awake at night because I think about the story.

Whatever it is.

I must face my fear.  [to quote one passage from the book, Dune]

I like the way Jerusalem's Lot is written.  I thought at first it wouldn't be effective for me, but again, I was wrong.  I began to like it that it is written as letters to someone.  The first time I have encountered such a 'format' of the story.

This is a book of 20 stories.  I might read it alternatively with The Godfather.  But it will all depend how scary they would get for me.
Dear Bones,
How good it was to step into the cold...
I like the 'hooker' REALLY!  They call the beginning sentence as 'hookers.'

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First Family, Fourth Reader

I am the third fourth reader of this book, assuming that the owner finished it - which I hope he/she did - before my room mate found it somewhere.

*Image cropped from Shelfari
*Image cropped from Shelfari

The wife was next but she didn't get too long.  She had commented that she didn't like the alternating chapters between the events.  I do not have a problem with this.  Blaze was written in such a way that past and present were alternately presented which actually made perfect sense to me... It was like revealing secrets as it affect the story.

So this is the story about a president's family.  I am pretty sure that this was written before Obama won.  But I am not sure if it was started before even rumors came out that he would run for office.  But whichever is the case, I just brought it up because the president in the story happened to be black.

Willa, the president's nephew, was abducted by Quarry.  The intent and relation of the abduction is not yet revealed so far but the private investigators - Michelle and Sean - hired by the First Lady herself do have their theories that actually involved Willa's father.

The line of relationship between Quarry and Tuck (Willa's father) is not yet presented - that is, if there is any.

I have read two books by David Baldacci years before.  The first was Simple Truth, and then, much later, Wish You Well.  I didn't get to finish Wish You Well.  I just lost interest, that's it.  I was only half-way through the book and I couldn't pick up the sense of continuing any further.

This one though, is something I am engaged so far.  I hope my hopes wouldn't wither.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

What You Want?

Another book came in today.

My friends know that I love reading so they let me know if they have a book that they can lend me. Last night, a friend brought me "Night Shift" which is actually an old book by Stephen King. Yeah, they know, too, that I am into SK's books. So, to give me a background of what the book's all about, I read the introduction, not by SK but by someone named John D. Macdonald.

And here I quote him ( his reaction when people say: they want to write):
If you want to write, you write.

The only way to learn to write is by writing. And that would not be a useful approach to brain surgery.

Stephen King always wanted to write and he writes.

So he wrote 'Carrie' and 'Salem's Lot' and "The Shining,' and the good short stories you can read in this book, and a stupendous number of other stories and books and fragments and poems and essays and other unclassifiable things, most of them too wrteched to ever publish.

Because that is the way it is done.

Because there is no other way to do it. Not one other way.

Compulsive diligence is almost enough. But not quite. You have to have a taste for words. Gluttony. You have to want to roll in them. You have to read millions of them written by other people.

You read everyting with grinding envy or a weary contempt.

You save he most contempt for the people who conceal ineptitude with long words, Germanic sentence structure, obstrusive symbols, and no sense of story, pace, pr character.

Then you have to start knowing yourself so well that you begin to know other people. A piece of us is in every person we can meet.
A damn good piece of advice for me!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


If it was his childhood, then Blaze's father was to blame.  If it was the life he lived after his fall, would it be his fault?

Blaze had a very difficult life.  But meeting George changed it all.  Although it did change, it wasn't from difficult to easy.  It was just from being alone in a difficult life to having someone share his already difficult life.  But hard as it is, he at least felt he belonged or let's just say, he had someone to watch over him; at his dumbest times, which is actually most of the time.

When George died, it never was the same... again.  Although George is still very much present with him.  Yeah, something like a ghost.  But ghost or not, Blaze wanted to fulfill George's dream - to get inside the Gerard's house, and probably even get into their nerves.

And Blaze did.

I thought he was tough.

But later on...

As most of us are, he had a soft spot.  So soft that it became the culprit of his doom.

He fell in love.

Those blue eyes, the soft skin, that cute grin, the smile, those [two] teeth.

He didn't want to let go now.  Not this time, not ever.  Not after all those he loved left him alone - alone and scared.

Although this time, he wasn't scared anymore.

He fought - and fought hard.

But he never saw those blue eyes again.

My Rating:  ****

Image copied from Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Part of Blaze's childhood or youth was spent blueberry raking where they were sent for the rest of the harvest days at the farm of Mr. Bluenote.  Here, they lived with some girls from a correctional and some boys from some another end of the town.  This lasted for the season that began from the second week of July to the third or fourth week of August.  This went on until some guys from somewhere started to question Mr.  Bluenote's income and all.  I couldn't forget what Mr. Bluenote said.  I remember having thought of something like this way back.  I tried searching my blogs because I remembered I wrote it down [or thought I did] but I never found it.

But anyway, here's what Mr. Bluenote said [and something that I agree with; back then and now]:
All I want to do is show these kids what a good life gets you.  What they do about it after they've seen it is up to them.  Ain't none of you ever been stuck in the mud and needed a push?
This is so beautifully said.

Every kid needs someone to look up to; to show him what a good life is, to let him know that there is a good life out there, if we just work hard enough.  All we need, too, is an image to look up to to lead us to a life.  In this case, I think Blaze wasn't really into much of a good life.  He found an image that would lead him to life, but not an entirely good image after all.  But just the same, it's George who made him feel good; feel good that at least there is someone out there to remind him to cut his hair, to brush his teeth, and that his clothes need washing.  He needed someone for all these simple things.

And it made him very sad that George wasn't there for him anymore.

Blaze is now all by himself; again.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hetton House

*image copied from Wikipedia
*image copied from Wikipedia

This is where Clayton Blaisedell, Jr. a.k.a. Blaze spent most of his childhood.

John was his best friend here.  So far, they've been through a lot together.  They became friends when John asked Blaze to save him from the bullies in exchange offered his help on his assignment and recitations, because Blaze is slow, especially in Arithmetic. "He had been able to get back the hang of adding two apples, but only with great effort, and a quarter of an apple plus half an apple was always going to be beyond him.  So far as he knew, apples only came in bites." You wouldn't believe how John thought of a way to get through with recitation through hand signals.  Believe me, I couldn't figure out how they did it and didn't spend time to figure it out.  At this point, I knew that somehow, Blaze got talent he only has to figure it out, to realize it.

Then, Blaze met George.  And his life was never the same.

Although George calls him stupid, I think he loves George more than anyone.  George reminds him of most of the things he forgot; until he died.  I think Blaze couldn't face this fact that's why George existed in his life all throughout.  I think he couldn't believe that he's capable of remembering and thinking because he depended on George on everything.  But so far, I know that Blaze has a talent, he just wasn't given a chance to discover it and be confident about it.

Probably to make George happy, he executed George's long-time plan of kidnapping Joe - the son of one of the richest man of their time.  I can't believe the tension and rush I felt as I read through how he was able to snatch Joe from their heavily guarded place.  At one point, when he got in the baby's room, my heart broke; but not for the baby.  My heart broke for Blaze that he was very amazed with the richness of the room of the baby.   That his childhood is trash compared to this infant's.

At this point, he's had the baby for only a few days.  But I feel that Blaze likes him.  I kinda feel sad that Blaze might be attached with the baby because he seems to bring him joy.  How long does this joy would last?  Would it be worth the $1 million ransom he is asking if he's going to be attached with the baby?

Probably not.

Probably yes.

As Wireman often  says to Edgar at the Big Pink, "Maybe si, maybe no."

It was funny how little things could be so perfect and no one ever saw them.
It's funny, too - how your sense of things could change.
George is like the fox who couldn't reach the grapes and told everyone they are sour.
He knows the difference between what was dreams and what was real, but in the dark the difference seemed thinner.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Last Time [?]

Edgar knew them, but not all the secrets.  He can only say what he saw, but everything might not be shown to him.

The north end of the Duma Key was never visited at least for the last 80 years.  He was the first to go there, after all those years, together with Jack and Wireman.  There the secrets were revealed.

Heron's Roost is what the place was called.  It was there that Elizabeth Eastlake spent some of her childhood until she had an accidental fall from a pony.  Not long after that accident, they moved to what they call Palacio De Assesinos (Palace of the Assasins) and forgot [or chose to?] forgot about Heron's roost.

After all, Nan Melda would be alive again on the last part of the story.  She took care of Elizabeth and her siblings until it was time for Elizabeth to leave the place.  Whether she is a hero or a villain, if it is up to you which side you are on.  I won't tell you either which side I went.

As in any story, death is inevitable.  For those who did go on the story, some of the deaths are unneeded.  They shouldn't have.  But isn't it the case for some of ours also?

For one last time[?], Edgar needs to draw.  He needs to draw again to complete everything.  Or is it to stop everything that's been happening?  His drawing is supposed to stop them.  But will it?  Did it do it for good?

It was never said that the story has ended.  Perse was put back to sleep down to some deep sleep.  But who will ever know that she will not wake again.  Because i believe they [Edgar, Jack and Wireman] never did extinguish its power.  When she ever did, if she ever did, I guess Stephen King, too, doesn't know.  At least not yet.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It's about time that Edgar take me o the secrets of all these.  I understand if it took a while.  There were a lot of things to consider.

But then, even if we have the chance to know it, he knows we will not know everything.  He repeatedly said that.  How much we are to know, we are still to find out.

On his first show - the opening night - Jack and Wireman were late.  At this point, Elizabeth was 'out,' and has been out for a while now.  I have never been so touched about how Wireman cried for Elizabeth's condition [she doesn't even remember their names.]  When late became even later, Edgar became worried but couldn't do anything.  He had so many guests from his 'other life' back home.

But they came.

And they came with a surprise.  Because they came with Elizabeth Eastlake; this wasn't part of the plan.  Everyboy at the studio was awed simply by her presence.  She is what Wireman calls 'The Daughter of the Godfather."  Mary Ire later called her, "Well-known art patron."  But is she?  Was she?

Just as her entrance came as a surprise, her exodus was even more surprising.

And I think her leaving was the genesis of an entourage of an even more powerful series of revelations.

And the death begins.

Pain is the biggest power of love.
The loss of memory isn't always the problem; sometimes - maybe even often - it's the solution.
The bravery is in the doing, not the showing.
Because forgetting isn't always involuntary. Sometimes it's willed.
*Modhesh is the arabic word for Surprise!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


If there is one thing I find always amazing with Stephen King's works, it should be the way he announces the 'going' of a person in such a subtle, unhurting but painful way.  I am sorry to be a spoiler, but I couldn't help but quote this, to be very clear on what I said.
I have wondered since then - I know it's morbid, but yes, I've wondered - if she would have smoked more of it if she had known it was to be her last.
It might sound trivial to you.  But read the book and you just might see what my whole point is.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Good Poem

Edgar was asked by Elizabeth Eastlake to read for him at the early part of the story.  Elizabeth has a book of good poems where Edgar would read to her [perhaps randomly].  One of the poems - and the only poem written on the book[so far] - was something written by Frank O'hara.  I am not really sure if this is the whole poem or only a part of it.  But I am sharing this because, as well as Edgar and Elizabeth, I was actually teary-eyed as Edgar read it to Elizabeth.
Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth
'it's no use worrying about time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners
'the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water'
'I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days.

American Primitive

This is what Mary Ire called Edgar Freemantle the very first time she saw his paintings.

Now that Edgar is having his first show, he quoted Mary Ire for what she said, but in a good way.  Something Edgar didn't think about; like it just came simultaneously while he was having his speech.  He didn't know how to start or what to say in his speech, because he is not a painter.  It just sort of came out.  And that was the start of it all.

He paints and paints and paints.  Sunsets.  Florida sunsets, Duma Key sunsets.

One night he was doing his work, Wireman Looks West.  But that night was not like any other, because it was raining.  There was a storm actually.  You would wonder how he finished this masterpiece, but he did.  Contrary to this, I read this part one hot, summer night.  And then, I woke up in the middle of the night to pee like I normally do.  But what also wasn't normal that early morning was that I suddenly remember the twins - Tessie and Laura, Elizabeth Eastlake's siblings.  Edgar saw [or he thought he did] them at the bottom of the stairs when he was to go down after finishing the painting.  That's why I remembered them.  I went like, "What if I saw them?"  But I didn't.  I didn't have a nightmare, too.  I was actually able to convince myself that I wouldn't have it because I don't even know how they look like.

Anyway, Elizabeth Eastlake is now in her other world.  Edgar [and I] at this point, wants to know more about her.  I wanted to talk about Elizabeth but didn't get the chance to until today.  In the beginning, I wasn't scared of her.  I still am not.  But I am intrigued with her past.  Is there anything that Edgar and I should know about?  It's not that she is hiding it from us.  It's just that there might be something that we need to know.

Edgar tried to ask Wireman but he wasn't very clear on it.  He says we should ask Mary Ire.  But does Mary know anything about the Eastlakes?  And if she does, how much does she know, if not all? I am pretty sure not all, but how much of it?  And for sure, Edgar and I have to find out a lot about the Eastlakes on our own.

Between The Lines:
Healing is a kind of revolt, and as I think I've said, all successful revolts begin in secret.
When it comes to things like pictures, it's always just someone's opinion.
Do the day and let the day do you.
A life without books is a thirsty life.
Never trust a person who prays in public.
When it comes to the past, we all stack the deck.  Tell too much and you find yourself telling the past you wished for.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I just do not know how to describe what I feel right now.

I have been too busy recently that I couldn't make myself go online to update my blogs simultaneously.  And the very fact that I couldn't put off my reading SK's Duma Key.

A few nights ago, I was even nightmarish waking up at about 4.00 am.  I don't really know if the book has anything to do with this, but since I haven't had one in a while, I am actually seeing it this way.  Admittedly, some of his books really wakes me in the middle of the night or are into my dreams.

I am trying to find a way to relate the thing that happened without giving out spoilers, but I guess it is really hard.  My apologies if this post will contain some, but I guess you just have to take it as somewhat a preview of what the whole book is really all about.

I often get a response of, "Horror!" whenver I am asked about the book I am reading or my favorite author.  But as a matter of fact, it isn't just pure H.  What just happened that I had to stop and write about is how Stephen King makes friendships at odd times.  He has done this on many, if not all, of his books, but nothing is the same with the other.  Here in Duma Key, one thing brought them together, another thing made them stay together, and another one sealed the friendship.  This brought me back to his book, "IT,'' and I can still remember "Stuttering Bill.''

I got so emotional about Edgar's friendship with Wireman, and Wireman's friendship with Edgar.  Sometimes, I think that we never see how much we love our friend until this time comes that is neither deliberate nor intentional.  It just comes.  And it just stays, no matter what.

Friday, June 5, 2009


So... I didn't live up to what I said the other day.
Duma Key book cover
I started with another book.  I really can't help it.  Seeing it on my things is really tempting.  Besides, I haven't read any book by him for quite a while now.  I really miss it.

The Duma Key.

I am not really sure what was the last book I read by him before this because it has been two years already.  Yeah, that long.  And when I got back, it wasn't his book that I started with.  It was deliberate though because I wanted to try another authors.

But reading 'him' again is really worth it.

Contracoup is a brain injury that can happen when your a moving object strikes your stationery head.  The funny thing is when I started reading the book with absolutely no clue about its story, I kinda wondered if this is another imagination by Stephen King.  Just like what he imagined in the book, "The Stand," which we SK people sometimes equate it for the H1N1 virus that struck the world just recently.  But  I checked it out online to find out if it really exist, and you can read more about it here.

Edgar suffered this as a result of the accident.  And since it happened, there were a lot of things he couldn't recall.  Everyday things in our lives he didn't seem to know the name.  He's healing though.  But his life is never the same because there were a lot he lost because of the accident.

Right now, he's at the Duma Keys.  His doctor said that going 'geographical' might do him some help.  And while at it, he went back to what he'd always wanted to do - draw.  So far, he has drawn only the beach.  Because he's there.  I wonder what else would he draw next.

*Image copied from Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I have several books in line.  I actually started with two more - The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper and Stardust by Neil Gaiman.  But my eyes persistently complained.  I think they've been too tired... not only because of reading books, but also a lot more due to internet browsing - which I haven't done for quite a while before.

Let's see how long I will be able to take it before I get back to reading.

I feel it's just for a week because I can't wait.  I'm just giving my eyes a break they deserve.

Friday, May 29, 2009

So That's It

So that's how Twilight went.  I didn't say "so that's how the book ended…" since it's not yet the end.  In fact, I see Twilight as a sort of a long introduction to the love story of Edward and Bella.  Something of a backgrounder.  Like how it started it all.  Because that was how the book ended.  Or should I say…

That's how their story began.

I have read some writings about comparisons between Stephanie Meyer and Stephen King.  But in my opinion, they shouldn't be compared.  Although, I should say that sometimes, I am also guilty of doing so.  In fact, as I have said several times, I tend to use SK as my leverage when it comes to most of the books I read.  After all this time, I have learned to explore and love the styles and ways of writers that I haven't bought any book by SK since I started buying five months ago. 

The way I see it, SK will trigger your senses, will tickle your mind about most of his ideas.  SM, however, tries to zero in on this emotional aspect of us.  But I do not see this as a woman thing at all.  I think it just so happened that she has the ability to get us hook to a story using this technique.  It might be too early for me to say this since I only read one book.  But then again, the book took me to a world of heroes, love stories and loving out of the ordinary.  What it feels like to be other than human, how it feels like to be other than us.  As if it really existed.

Well, it really could.  

Friday, May 22, 2009

Romance Meter

copied from Wikipedia
image copied from Wikipedia

17, Vegetarian.

This is how they described Edward, or at least how Edward describes 'his family.'

At last, I have the drive to continue with this book.  I told myself not to double-read books this time and just continue with this book.  I have been putting it off since March; so that was after two months and four books.

My exposure to vampires when I was younger [not so young because I heard about it when I was already in my teens because we have a different folklore] is entirely different from what the book is trying to depict.  Now my questions are:  [1] Is there a difference between the vampires then and the vampires now?; [2] My young exposure depicts a vampire in the local scene [in my country] seems to be in a different light.  Was it just a misconception?  Because if not, then it goes back again to question number 1.

From what I have read so far, it looks to me that this story is indeed trying to glorify vampires.  I do not have anything against this, really.  In fact, I think this is exactly the reason why it made it to the charts.  The story builds up in such a way that it will make you slowly understand "them,"' and to add some more juice to the tale, it also builds up in such a way that you will slowly fall in love with Edward.

Well, you might think right now that I am falling for Edward.  Oh no, not quite yet.  It's just that reading through, the development of his character actually points to this.  As well as the development of their love story.

The funny thing is, based on this observation, I now have my next question.  Am I past the age of this falling-in-love-tweetums things?  Or I am just not that affected by how these things were presented?  Or could it be that age has brought my romance-meter to the next higher level?  Awww... I miss being a kid... when all your "meters" were not even calibrated from time to time; when chocolates all taste the same, birthday cakes did not have to be two-or-three-layers high as long as they have the candles and flowers, balloons just come in round shapes and all ice bream brands taste the same and seems-to-melt faster when it's on the cone.  That simple.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Twists of Fate

I want to blame Maggie for her indecisions - but I coudn't.  The clergyman charges it all to inexperience.  And I agree with it.  Maggie has led a life in privation [as a matter of choice] to protect herself from all the pain and indignation.  But this very act seemed to have betrayed her.  This is evident in almost all of the happenings in her life - especially during the latter part of the story.

Lost amidst the web of happenings of her life, she sought counsel with aperson she thought will do best.  Don't we all try to seek advise from a priest, a pastor, a clergy, a rabbi if we feel so lost?

The clergyman wrote her a letter of advice:  to leave St. Ogg's to be able to start a new, fresh and probably better life.  She do not want to do this; I have known all along because she had the chance but chose not to - whether to live alone or someone else.  She got the letter one rainy day that was followed by another, and another.  I am not really sure if she had decided to stay or that she was just waiting for the rains to stop.  Or whether she hasn't decide and wouldn't decide on anything when it comes to leaving St. Ogg's.

The rain hasn't stop but she needed so badly to go to - Dorlcote Mill - home.  I couldn't believe it because of the heavy rain and the darkness of the night.  All of the forces must have joined together to take her back.  One of the reasons, if not the only reason, why she went back was because of Tom.  They found each other at the oddest of circumstances; but this circumstance is what brought them back in peace to each other again, after a long time of having drifted apart.

I do not know how long will the memory of the end of this story stay with me.  I only had two choices for the ending; but I found out there was another one.

Maggie went back to Dorlcote Mill - The Mill on the Floss - at St. Ogg's, and never left again.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I have reached the point where I want to write more about what I am reading, but I have to be very careful not to include spoilers.  I am nearing the end of the book and it seems this is the part where all of us become excited; become very eager to know what is to happen.

Both Tom and Maggie reached the age of early twenties.  As I have said on my previous post, their lives were about to change after they emerge from what I called their 'quicksand of fate' and 'quagmire of emotions.'  Right now, I feel like I am the one who is in that 'emotional quagmire' for I feel a lot of different emotions with regard to the happenings in the lives of both.  Sooner or later, I have a feeling that they will have to part.  But, is it how it really would be? 
Tom felt the pressure of the heart which forbids tears.
I like the way G. Eliot articulated this particular feeling.  This is a feeling I know a lot of us, if not all, have experienced but could not quite comprehend, could not quite describe.  Now by this quote, I now know what the feeling is.
The character of our lives is not created entirely from within.
So, this means that our character is partly in-born and partly cultivated?
Character is destiny.
G. Eliot quoted this from Novalis.  I wonder what this really means.
In the meantime, Maggie, I think is in a dilemna.  A situation that is very difficult to be in.  Although excitement is partly what I feel for her life right now, I cannot help but feel anxious, too, of how she can resolve her situation.  Could there be a way out with total absolution?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Quicksand of Fate

Mr. Tulliver lost his temper... again.

Four years and a lot of misery and indignation, the day has finally come to the Tullivers to truimph for all these.  Mr. Tulliver acknowledges that a large part of this truimph was due to Tom's hard work... you can also say abilities and luck.

There was some sort of a celebration and Tom had the opportunity to talk; as in give a speech.  This made Mr. Tulliver even more proud -- he said he paid a high price for Tom's education.

I wonder if Tom thinks of it this way, too.  As a child under the guidance and education of Mr. Stelling, he hated dispised some of his teachings, especially Latin.  He couldn't find its relevance to his life and he used to question the reasons of Mr. Tulliver in sending him to Mr. Stelling than the school he used to go to.  He considers some of these things unimportant.  I agree (though) with Mr. Tulliver that a big part of Tom now is due to his education -- that is why he was able to come up with such an admirable speech.  And I believe that a large part of it is also due to the fact that Tom was able to absorb all the teachings.

Mr. Tulliver must have been overjoyed about this victory of their family.  I think he felt like having risen from this quicksand of fate and a quagmire of emotions that he forgot about the consequences because he might have been to eager for revenge.

Four years.

It must have felt like a dormant volcano wiating to exhale its fumes of hatred.

I felt sorry for the Tullivers; very sorry.  Just when they have gotten out of this quicksand of fate, the celebration was that of an empty victory.  Mr. Tulliver and his temper was the primary, if not the only reason, for this happening.  It was such a disappointment to me, too, that his temper is also the reason for this empty victory.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It's been over a month now, and I am still with Tom and Maggie.  Perhaps one of the reasons is that sometimes it gets hard for me when George Eliot uses the language with apostraphes and the slang use of words.  Sometimes I have to go back like twice or thrice with one sentence just to make sure that I got the right word and get the whole thought of what the character is saying.  Eliot does this on those things that the characters say.  The slang words are heavy really.  Like most of the time...

Anyway, Tom had reach a point when he has the opportunity to make more money for their savings to get them out of the hole that his family is in.  And the help came from one of the most expected persons in his life.  I was indeed surprised that this person would actually want and be willing to help Tom.  Considering what happened between them, I couldn't help but have some doubts whether this person might have a hidden agenda when it comes to helping Tom, and the family.

Maggie, on the other hand, has renewed one of her friendships from long ago.  But this kind of friendship is something that is not allowed with the family.  She has had some issues within herself whether she should continue seeing her friend.  She couldn't help but look back to that time that this friend of hers showed kindness to her brother.  Be that as it may, she couldn't stop her friend from not seeing her, although she already told so.

I now wonder how these two people would emerge out of this unexpected situation that came into our lives... and it has been for quite sometime now.  Quite sometime that Maggie learned how to accept her consequence; which I hope should only be temporary.  For one of Maggie's solutions to this situation is to be in privation; which actually deprives her of cultivating her talents.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Out There After

I feared that this might be the book that I might not finish.  Not because it is boring or anything, but mainly due to too many distractions that are mainly online.  It's funny but my Google Reader subscription seems to attract one site almost everyday.  Too many interesting stuffs.  That's why my bedside reading is almost always put to the last hours [or minutes] of my day.

But the way I feel right now, I might be able to finish this by the end of the week.  The turn of events on Book 2 is something I didn't expect, quite astonishing.  Maggie and Tom were sent to boarding school and private teacher respectively.  But Maggie got a letter from her father asking her to be home in such a short notice, asked her to be home the very next day.

But she hasn't known what was the reason for that urgency.  Things happened so fast that things were already different when she got home.  After a few days being at home seeing the changes, she knew she had to fetch Tom from where he was.  And Book 2 ended with such an emotional twist.  As kids, and like old ones, they didn't know what is out there after this happening.  I bet they are clueless about how different their life would be.  But as Eliot puts it, this might be too much for a young mind to handle.

Anyway, this is their turning point.

We all have our turning points in our lives.  I see these as those events that make our life turn almost 360 degrees and not temporary, but with the air of permanence.  Permanence until another turning point, that is.  Personally, I have had a lot of turning points in my life.  Very difficult ones.  But no matter how hard they were, I always made it a point to come out a better person.  To learn from the lessons of these turning points.

People who seem to enjoy their ill-temper have a way of keeping it in fine condition by inflicting privations on themselves.
You've only to look well at things and draw them over and over again.  What you do wrong once, you can alter the next time.
I like to know what everybody else knows.  I can study what I like by and by.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Eliot's Thoughts

There are some interesting passages, quotes all over the novel.  This is another thing which makes it very interesting.  Like Dostoevsky, her thoughts are really deep and sometimes, I coudln't believe that these things already happen during her time.  Sometimes, I even stop reading because of too much awe that certain things do not really change over time.  What fascinates me about writers is that they have their way of winding through words to create the best possible sentence fit for the situation.  Here are some quotes that I took out of the book:
She thought it was the order of nature that people who were poorly off should be snubbed.  Mrs. Moss did not take her stand on the equality of the human race:  se was a patient, prolific, loving-hearted woman.
I believe this is true even at our time or even across the centuries.
Public spirit was not held in high esteem in St. Ogg's and men who busied themselves with political questions were regarded with some suspicions, as dangerous characters.  They are usually persons who had little or no business of their own, or if they had, were likely to become insolvent.
I find this quite hideous because of the truth behind it.  Right now, talks of the upcoming elections in my country has started and there are a lot of things to write about.  Our country is home to actors-turned-politicians, which is actually demonstrated by the previous president who was once the king of action films.  The question of insolvency is rather true as well.  Aspiring candidates of our country invests too much [which actually makes me wonder sometimes where they get their funds from] because of the gains that they could get IF and WHEN they win.  Most of the time, insolvency and popularity mix together.  One insolvent BUT once popular candidate would be the benefactor of other people with vested interests that will collect what is due them later on.

I will miss the elections.  I probably will not be able to vote on this coming one.

Oh yeah.  I remember, when blogging wasn't even in the internet yet, I remember sending an e-mail to a friend from the U.S.  about the politics in my country.  I will try to find that e-mail and write it here next time.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

To Belong

Maggie is pretty much not the ordinary girl of her time.  But I think her emtions is that of any ordinary girl, at any point in time.   Every child seeks for love and affection from her siblings.  She was trying to look for this with Tom, but it seems she couldn't.  Or maybe, she just couldn't get enough, or wanted too much?  At the same time, we are all seeking for sibling protection especially from a brother.

Protection that most of the time is being equated to love.  The sad part is our siblings couldn't protect us and wouldn't protect us all the time.  Most of the time, our innocent minds coudn't understand it - couldn't grasp it, yet.

Hence, lack of protection is being equated to lack of love.  The even sadder part is that it is quite unhealthy if we do not outgrow that feeling because we lose our sense of trust, our sense of belonging, not only to our siblings, but to our family and society as well.

The ripple effect.

I hope Maggie will be able to outgrow this chapter of her childhood; of her life.  To learn how not to expect too much so that she would not get disappointed.  To accept that we cannot get the most out of sibling love - most of the time.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I met Maggie and Tom.  They seem to be having a quite quiet simple life at the Floss.  Maggie is a sensitve girl who loves her brother Tom more than its seems to be.

One thing about Maggie is that she's not the kind of girl their society expects her to be.  She has brown skin which doesn't seem to fit a girl-from-St.Oggs description.  But Maggie doesn't really care.  What she wanted was to be exactly the way she is, be accepted exactly the way she is.  One more important thing is Maggie believes that what she knows is far more important than how she looks.

In her young mind, she has a lot to learn.  But it seems that society does not want her to be given the chance.  She just have to be what a girl is to be.  But not for Maggie.  I think she'll go exactly where she wants to go and be exactly what she wants to be.

Tom, on the other hand, does not seem to be as smart as Maggie.  It's just that he's a boy and he seems to be stereotyped by their society to be the boy every parent would want to have.  In reality, Tom seems to be weak.

Our childhood is very important.  This is what moulds us for our adult life.  The memory of Peter comes back.  He had a very difficult childhood and that was exactly what led him to do what he did during that nineteen minutes.  Society plays a big part on our foundation.  And a family is considered the smallest society.

George Eliot wanted to show the importance of love and acceptance even at a very young age.  He wrote about it when Tom got angry with Maggie for the dead rabbits she forgot to feed.  Maggie was asking for forgiveness as she rushed to him and clung on his neck, sobbing.  This is an excerpt from the book:

We learn to restrain ourselves as we get older.  We keep apart what we have quarrelled, express ourselves in well-bred phrases, and in this way preserve a dignified alienation,  showing much firmness on one side and swallowing much grief on the other.  We no longer approximate in our behavoir to the mere impulsiveness of the lower animals, but conduct ourselves in every respect like memebers of a highly civil society.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'll Cross The Bridge

I think this is going to be my third classical novel.
The Mill on The Floss
It is 'The Mill on the Floss' by George Eliot.

I am reading this alternately with 'Twilight,' which I actually started about a month ago but couldn't for some reason.  But right now, I think I'll be able to double-read just in case I get bored somewhere with either of the book.

The story started with the description of the little place as the storyteller stands on the bridge.  I was really carried away by how G. Eliot described the scenery.  I was to the point of actually smelling the breeze smelling of soil and all.  That was how far i have gone so far.  Standing in the middle of the bridge, watching the small town before me.  I think I'll have a good time in this town.

I would admit that I had a hard time with the book The Idiot and didn't seek any study guides or something like that.  But since now, I discovered [yeah, I hear ya... only now] that I can have some study guides on the internet which would help me figure out some things that I am having a hard time understanding.  You can also click on the link if you would like to know more about the book.  But right now, I can tell you, I am not sure if these are spoilers since I haven't read much yet.... either of the book nor the study guide.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


photo taken from WikipediaOK,  so Nineteen Minutes is over.

I wasn't a double-reader actually, ever since, until now.

So, I guess I am going to continue with Belle and Edward, as per one of my reader's advice.  Well, I really wanted to but I think I have been putting of Nineteen Minutes for over a year [or about two months since I got the book].

Well, the first vampire book I have read was 'Servant of the Bones' by Anne Rice, which I didn't get to finish because I had to return it outright [awww...  saidReichan15].  So, I guess this is my chance to read another vampire book, and very popular for that matter.   I am a holder of Magrudy's BookshopLoyalty Card and part of the privelege is having to subscribe to their monthly newsletter containing the 'Top Ten Books of the Month' and 'New Releases.'  If there's one thing I find a little odd here, it's the fact that the series falls under the children's book category.  I find it kinda strange, really.

So, Danag is a Filipina vampire.  Cool!  Another dot for the Philippines.  Yeah!  But it wasn't in the movie... Oh well, whatever.  Some of you might find me shallow, but I feel a little pride everytime I can read, hear, see something related to my country, no matter how short, how small, how brief, how limited.

Anyway, I am reading this alternatively on paperback and ebook forms...  Cool...


Nineteen Minutes.

p. 642

Is there any other ending fit than this?

I'm not quite sure.  When I wrote about Lacy shopping for Peter's clothes, I just don't know what to expect.  It's like I didn't want it to finish because I am too afraid of what the outcome will be.  I was too afraid for Peter, and what's going to happen after the trial.  I was even thinking of how it might be if he gets acquitted, which is close to impossible, as Jordan may well know the whole time.  What life is waiting for him after the trial - acquitted or not?

Josie, however, surprised me.  I don't know how to feel for her, what to feel for her.  Part of me understands her, part of me wants to condemn her.  But Peter, her best friend all along, didn't leave her, didn't betray her, something he was looking for all his life, not only from Josie.

We all live in a world that is unfair.  As we all know, we all have different ways in dealing with whatever comes our way.  We are different in the way we handle success, failure, love, depression, etc.  But in Peter's case, if you didn't have the courage, would you wish you had it?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Lacy was shopping for Peter's clothes.

I wonder is she feels excited about it, or if she does, why?  Do we really feel excited when we get to choose clothes to wear for things like funerals?  I think we are, because, we are all excited so see, [1] who among our friends will show up; [2] if the ones who would show up were the ones who admire your taste; [3] if the wones who would show up were the ones who used to not admire your taste will suddenly compliment you, to your surprise.

Anyway, as for Peter I could only sympathize... if this is the exact word for what I truly feel.  Right now, as his mother shop for his clothes, I am looking for possibilities.

Like the possibility of Pter being acquitted, if and when he does, what sort of life would he face outside?  Did this incident actually obliterated the reason for his doing this?  I mean, he wasn't able to get rid of everything [everyone] and those that survived feels pain, strong enough for revenge.  What can those people who care do to help him, support him, as he start again... if starting is possible again.

Wast he even right when he said, 'it should have been me?'

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Ninteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
The first most controversial of it was the Columbine shooting.  Well, it is the first that I have heard of and followed for a while.  There must have been cases like this that weren't sensationalized before. This is the first one that got into my hands.  I tried to follow the story as much as I could with the little sources I had... until the news died down but the memory remained alive.  There were more, but I wasn't able to keep track.  The last time I read very briefly of, is the internet-based social networking wherein you make friends and discussions, and eventually led one [most of them teens] to commit suicide; it is called Cult Suicide and  I read it on this blog that I decided to follow though it hasn't discuss more than what has been written there.

What really happened?  There isn't much yet that I have read.  I seek to know what transpired in ninteen minutes.  But more than that, I want to know what it takes to conceive all these, what led him to do what he has done.  So far, the only thing he said was, "They started it."

Nineteen Minutes.  Was it the time it took for him to execute his plan?  Was it the time it took him to plan for his moves?  How many seconds of that ninteen minutes did he take to even think of backing out [just in case this is the time it took him to carry out the plan]?

Well, wherever we are, most of us have been through a lot in early school.  For some, this would be a memory that they choose not to remember.  In fact, we choose to forget - tried so hard to erase.  In The Idiot, Myshkin tried to fit in.  But in the end, it cost him more than he was supposed to.  He was ten years older than Peter.  He is Russian, Peter is American.  But it is not an issue.  They both live in a society that doesn't seem to give them what they need.  To make it short, Myshkin seems to be luckier than Peter, for he was gifted with something that will make him not hurt at all. Something he always had, tried to lose, but the one that help him cope with it all.  But with Peter, so far as I have read, he lives to tell the tale.

I think these all is not about being an outcast.  It's just about being accepted as we are; to belong.

Let's see if I am right...

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Over

I wasn't expecting any kind of ending with regard to the story.  But I actually didn't expect the end to be that way.  There are a lot of things that I still want to know.  A lot of reasons that I wanted to discuss, argue with [myself, that is], and justify.  I have read an article or two about Fyodor's style, one of which was a critque, the other a defender.  To tell you the truth, it almost made me stop reading the book for good, but I wanted to see how the end would be.

Anyway, the critic was right when he said that a lot of the story's characters are half-baked.  I think I should also add that a lot of sub-stories had no ending [nor beginning... at times] and you are left to wonder and speculate about the end of it, or even how it came about.  On the other hand, the defender justified that Fyodor tells his story about life as it happens; which means that probably, in real life, all things just happen - with no reason and no end.  For this part, I wholly agree with the defender.  The book is very long.  But that is because Fyodor had so much to say.  He discussed politics, religion, Catholicism as it happens in one's life, a day at a time.  The only thing is, somehow, Dostoevsky might have opted not to finish off with one topic deliberately because he feels that there were a lot more important issues n the story and that these issues are of another story.

I am touched by a lot of sub-stories in the book.  There were a lot of things that Dostoevsky was able to articulate and describe in detail.  There are a lot of issues that he discussed and the discussion of which has brought light to some of those things that I haven't thought of at all.  I was rather fascinated at how he discussed certain death [as in death sentence] vs. uncertain death [like an accident].  I couldn't quite articulate about these things.  So, I suggest that if you want to find out more, you should read the book.  There is a lot more than death, religion, politics.  But I was rather perplexed that the center of tha story seems to be love, but which I didn't find any kind or romance in it.  Romance in the figurative sense - not the literal.  So, it made me believe that his intention for this book was originally of political note.  Only using the affairs of Myshkin with the society that he chose to live with so that he can discuss [or vent out] his whims and qualms against the society he lives with in reality.

During my adventure with the book, I thought of maybe like doing it the way other writers did.  In a way that it's a book with a lot of stories, like Stephen King's 'Different Seasons'' where you can find the story, 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.'  But then again, I contradicted myself for the book might lose its spontaneity and continuity.   Because in a way, the sum seems  not to be equal with its parts, so I think it was unwise for me to say that I can give an ending to each of the story had I proposed it that way.

If he was able to justify the adventures and misadventures of this idiot, I leave upon you to say for yourself.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Cold Ones

You see, I am not really sure which is the one I started first.  But right now, I am with Fyodor, and because of some distractions, I couldn't go forward as much as I can.  The internet, bonding with friends and room mates.  It seems that I put reading for last these days.

But anyway, I was forcibly lent this book "Twilight."  I said forcibly because I already have an e-book of that about late January and it sat on my laptop for a while.  Until my friend read and finished it in about four days (tops) and since I think she doesn't know where she'll keep the book, she said I could have it; knowing that I have it on my file.

So, I started, but didn't go far... until now.  From what I know so far, the cold ones are not allowed to the reservations.  For reasons, I think you should find at the book but not for me to disclose.  Twilight has been such a hit, obviously.  But the reason why I looked for an e-book is that I certainly do not know Stephanie Meyer and I am not sure if the book is worth the loot I will have to shell out (as for my taste, that is).  Also, being the hit of the days, I don't know but I don't drool over it as much I do for SK.  [errr...  I promised myself not to compare with SK anymore... rolls eyes]

Well, the last time I flipped the book's pages was, uhm, three weeks ago.   I am on the third part of the Idiot, and hoping to finish it soon because I already am in the process of choosing what's next in line.  As for Twilight, uhmmmm...  I don't know.  Do you suggest that I go on reading about Bella and Edward and Jacob?

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