When Love and Hate Collide

>> Thursday, September 30, 2010

This is the part wherein I attempt to put into perspective my offline and online life.

You see, most days, I contemplate on the things I say online. I'm pretty sure a lot can relate when I say that the process of determining how much, or until what level of our personal lives we can divulge into the huge world of the Internet. Case in point: I carefully ponder on which groups on Facebook I divulge my link-curating penchant because as much as would like to think everyone's interested in what I have to share, I know for a fact that they don't, not all the time at least. Every link and every status I put on Facebook is something I painstakingly ponder on first, who to share with because I respect wall space. I do hide people from my list, too, anyway.

I've had two instances of major pondering. The first one was when I've looked long and hard through my blog as I was about to go public and promote my links on Facebook. For as long as I remember, I have been diligent and vigilant in keeping this blog un-seen by friends and colleagues from work. I have kept SEO rankings pretty hidden, when SEO is one of my above-average skills {or so I'd like to think}. I've stuck with the name Teeyah if only to dispel searches of my real name to legit directions {eg. my LinkedIn, Inquirer articles and what have you}and not to this blog, which then contained personal musings, crudely-written reviews of beauty products and events I wished I could attend.

As my blogging life evolved, as I began to embrace my stance as a semi-beauty, semi-personal blogger, I have learned to embrace a seemingly new facet of my online life. Whereas before, I only was limited to being a personal finance blogger for work, a multimedia content producer for both my company's internal and external sites, I am now a Google populator for superficial things {all in reference to my blog's content} which sometimes are source of hilarity amongst readers, sometimes, information and sometimes, entertainment. But most of all, I find fulfillment in writing out things I love, things that make me happy plus I get to live out my lifelong dream of having my own column out there, somewhere. So why the hell should I be embarrassed about who I am?

What I did was that I painstakingly started reviewing each and every blog post, with this question in mind:

Would I have the guts to admit everything in this in person?

With that as a guiding principle, it became easy for me to decipher which ones to keep public and which ones get to be just 'drafts.' Through this little exercise, I also had the chance to edit out grammar blips and dips I have overlooked before. It was a little funny, too, reading through old blogposts, getting reminded of my teenybopper mindset then, and realizing how much a person can grow so much in the span of two years.

And so I went public. I started posting my posts on Facebook on the belief that what I write now, as opposed to then has become more relevant, more introspective, more definitive of who I am. I believed that I had something new to bring to the table other than my personal quandaries, which by the way I don't post in this blog anymore. Since then, I have gotten notes and messages from random people who are not as privy to Google Reader or reading blogs, telling me of how they are (insert positive verb here) from reading my blog, or the ones who were just happy to hear about me, to know that I, after all, stayed in Manila. It was kind of overwhelming, to a point that sometimes I find myself diligently posting my links every time I have a new one up.

Until of course that a.) one time my mother Googled me and saw some of my outfits and went like "Ano ba yan, anak? Why are you wearing that ugly ensemble? b.) I told this story to someone I went to a date with which resulted to him c.) Googling me right on the frakkin' spot and therefore putting me on the spot, with a condescending / confused / disdainful comment of "Chronicles of Vanity?? Really?" When I answered, "Yes," he asked what I write about and told him about shampoo, conditioner, nails and what have you, he asked me if people really needed to and I launched into a speech on why I was once a reader who was in search of things to read about these kinds of things. I ended up earning his respect, in my quirky way of beauty blogging and being able to mix a lot of fun things with work {involving a corkscrew}. After all, I had nothing to fear.

While both instances proved to be something that speaks of my self-confidence, it taught me to boost my (surprise!) self-confidence. Being all over the internet is like walking around naked and exposed. You give so much room for criticism and heck, most of the time people feel the need to provide you unsolicited feedback that one asks constantly: "Why do I even blog / post things on Facebook / tweet etc.?" We provide an avenue for people to notice and go Grammar Nazi on us, to judge us because in the real world, people expect us to write about human rights, fighting poverty or politics, something that would make a difference. I am done saying excuses why I blog and why I blog about my 'superficialities'. These are the things that make me happy, I love writing and I will write whatever the hell I want to write as long as it's something I'll come to admitting offline. When I replied to the question, "Why this blog, why the title and why these topics," I said it was because this is a part of me, this is another facet of my life and I celebrate being a girl so much I just had to put it out there, I meant it. If this is not how you thought I was in person, then it's not worth it. I know that the issue of being one and the same as your offline and online personalities are still subject to discussion and probably heated debates but I am slowly transcending to merging who I am offline and online, and I'm damn proud of it. Not that I'll go crazy and start documenting each and every one of my thoughts but you get my drift.

Well, if in the future you notice that all I'm writing about are sanitized topics, it's probably because my mother have started reading about this blog already.

Speaking of un-solicited advice, what's your (solicited) take on putting yourself out there?

*Photo Source.


The Tara Syndrome

>> Monday, September 27, 2010

A friend, today, mused to another friend: Your husband has the Tara syndrome. Without meaning to, I was quick to blurt out, "What the f*** is the Tara syndrome?"

My friend continues to enlighten me about the syndrome named after me: "It's when you climb your car, stupidly take off your shoes, get home and wonder before descending your car, where the hell is your pink shoe and why you have just one on. So you go up to your apartment half-barefoot, sleep on it, cry because there's nowhere in the world, you think, that you'll be able to buy another pair of pink flats ever again. You get over it after four days and when you return to your building's parking lot, ergo the crime scene, and you find your shoe in the spot where you left it, looking like you just stepped out of it and wonder, what kind of sick, twisted fate will bring you back your prized shoe? You start to shush yourself and thank the heavens for it."

I burst into a huge guffaw. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who took off shoes when about to drive. And I am not the only one whose shoes wait for them to come back to me by some mad twist of fate.

That, folks, is the Tara Syndrome. Do you have any syndromes named after you?


Eat, Pray, Love: Thoughts and Things I Took Away

>> Sunday, September 26, 2010

I can't say how much reading Eat, Pray, Love by Liz Gilbert has changed my life. I know how cliche this must sound but if I will be asked if there was any book that affected me, influenced me on so many levels, this would be it. And I know for a fact that I am not the only one.

For the uninitiated, the book is Liz Gilbert's memoir, chronicling her year of traveling Italy {to learn the pleasure of eating}, India {to learn how to pray} and to Indonesia {to fall in love, quite unpremeditated, though}. It is a book of self-discovery, of finding herself and letting go. When I first saw it on Amazon, I did not think it would be a real good book. I had the reservation of judging it as another self-help book full of new age mumbo jumbo where one would tell you you're awesome without a basis.

And so I put it on the backburner for a while, with the tag Read Only When Bored, Just to See What the Fuss is All About.On one Saturday we all made a roadtrip within Quezon City, and then to Marikina, where my friend lives, his wife R asked if I ever read the book. When I told her I haven't, she told me, "Here, take my book. It's a good read." {a month after, she flew to Italy and had two scoops of gelato every day, how's that for being inspired?}

I started reading Eat, Pray, Love the night that I went home with it, bringing it with me everywhere and finishing it roughly in around two weeks. Unlike other books, I was in no hurry to finish it and find out the ending because I decided I wanted to savor the moment and the words. When I read the first line of the book {I wish Giovanni would kiss me.} I knew I had a new favorite book.

In a recent Facebook exchange I had with some of my girlfriends, we talked about what books they could read next and if I only have one to recommend, I reiterate, this would be it, for the following reasons:

  • It feels like having long, meaningful conversations with a girlfriend. Except that it's kinda one way, of course. Liz Gilbert writes in a way that is fairly conversational, just how you would be over coffee on a Sunday afternoon. She writes about her then pending divorce, the men twins whom she wished would just kiss her, the discovery of making friends in a foreign land, among others, in detail that is not boring nor dragging.
  • I'm not perfect. And so is she. I guess reading too many management and marketing books, I couldn't help but feel refreshed that this book is teeming with Liz's fumbles, breaking down in tears after realizing she wants a divorce. I burst into tears myself {well, what do you expect?} when I came across her experience of wanting to be out. Not because there was anything wrong about her husband, it was because she just did not see herself anymore going through "better or worse." Breakups or divorce are already messed up, as it is. It's even more painstaking when you have no concrete and better reason than just "I don't want to be in the relationship anymore."
  • Selfishness can be good, too. I'm narcissistic, she is, too. This book and I, we're so perfect I want to marry it. Truly, when Liz recounts how the word pleasure was given new meaning in Italy, she meant it in the IMO, most gluttonous way possible, she gained 23 pounds until she left. It's a memoir, so expect a lot about her life, what she sees and what she feels, damn it. If you expect an all-knowing 30 something woman dishing out advice, you won't find it here.
  • It's never too early, or in this case, too late, to start living. Granted, Liz Gilbert was paid in advance to undergo this adventure of a lifetime, but as friends who have moved out of the Philippines have told me, "Money is one thing. The emotional 'packing' that comes with it is usually the one that takes too long." I had been battling with my own worries and wants of moving away. Luckily, my options have eliminated finances as one of the worries but truly, the good life, of being in the comfort of good friends whom you can go on in 24 hours talking to and having beers with, a great career that would make your seven year old self proud and okay, things, new places, people you get to know everyday, enough to make your little heart flutter are quite hard to leave even with the promise of diving into unknown waters and even more adventures. But I'm working on that. Even without this book, I've been feeling kinda Manila-is-getting-too-small-for-me vibe {that's me, take it or leave it}. Hence, this project.
  • I was not alone being always quick to love.
"I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best, but to assume that everyone is capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself and then I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for a man to ascend to his own greatness.

Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."
Liz Gilbert

If there was any passage in the book that struck closest to home, that would be it. I was kind of hoping it would me more than about love, or falling in love, or something about God and meditation but I think I have discovered and nurtured my faith earlier than the author have. The thing is, in my head, I always think a guy whom I have been dating will be kind enough, will learn to complement my weird, quirky, sometimes wicked ways at one point in our lives, and that I will willingly wait for it. When I made a big decision, that is return to being single, I had a lot of moments to think about my previous relationships, all men who was different from who they were in reality than they were in my mind. Call it selective memory but I have suffered long enough for that. Can't say I'd do better next time but slowly, I'm learning not to overcompensate people men who come into my life just because I know deep down they're nice or will be nice to be with or because I'm alone and it could get lonely. With the help of friends {I have the awesome-st friends, it's unbelievable sometimes}I get by and realize my own worth every single day. And they help me look at things with a little less optimism.

  • I learned that in order to achieve happiness, one must acknowledge loneliness. Once achieved, the work is not yet done, for it's a conscious, consistent effort. The book was Liz Gilbert's journey from sadness to happiness, and truly, happiness does not come easy. I learned that there was no way around being sad, but don't live in it. Well, acknowledge it, 'make a map of it,' her friend Sofie says. Personally, I've had struggles in keeping my sadness to my own, as one wise man have told me once, in an effort to pull me up from misery, "Stop being a drama queen. No one cares." He helped me acknowledge my sadness and today, I'm in a state of constantly swimming upwards, towards things that make me happy.
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it and sometimes even travel around the world for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved you must take a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat it.
  • It's never too late to have real friends. I used to say that only my friends whom I've known since high school {through college and till we all worked} are the ones I'll ever be considering as my real friends forever {what can I say, I'm a little provincial sometimes}. When I started working, and exploring the world and being more open, I realized that just because you've known someone so long doesn't mean you'd have to stay that way. I have learned to let some new people into my life, people who have exerted conscious effort to stay in touch, to be kind, to provide comfort. I have weeded out those who have time and again, let me down and well, just didn't seem to be into the friendship. Liz Gilbert, in the friendships she has developed with Luca Spaghetti {I know, right?} and Wayan among others, have taught me that.
  • Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch. Faith is walking face-first and full speed into the dark. Or learning that faith is not memorizing prayers, or knowing the words to canned prayers, or giving donations or what it says on that box in your birth certificate. It's a relationship, something one nurtures on his own with Him, in his own pace, own ways. While early on, I didn't have the problem of being confused if indeed there was a God, I have been struggling to look beyond Catholicism, through its twisted rulings and impractical impositions. I want to delve more into this topic but I'm not yet ready for the time being. What I know is, I am consistently communicating with Him, have consciously been building up my faith there is none, not even science, to make it crumble.
  • Really, sometimes, you just don't think anymore. I don't know, just pack and go? Despite all the nagging fears of living a fabulous life, I do recognize the glaring fact that I have not much to leave behind, being 24 now, I feel that I have much room for adventure, for trying out things, for leaving, because no one's life is anchored on me. It's a privilege that's waiting to be used.
Overall Comment: Some parts may be dragging for some who may not like to read about whiny women, or self-serving thoughts. But if you'd like that, or you think you'd benefit from it {which I truly have}, go ahead and read it. It's a wonderfully written book.

Have you read it? What do you think?


The John Mayer Playlist

>> Saturday, September 25, 2010

When the weather turns into one of those like what we have now {unbelievably comfortable}, I change playlists and for this, I always include a lot of John Mayer. In fact, all I can listen to now are John Mayer songs because I'm nursing a bad hangover and my brain cells cannot handle any more of the pulsating MIA beats I usually listen to though in the middle of a downpour I found myself listening and picking up some wisdom from Kanye West but that's another story.

Now, I like John Mayer for the easy tunes, so chill you would want to drift away in a river with a glass of chilled white wine. Aside from that, his lyrics are so descriptive it's almost inevitable to float away in imagination, with John Mayer somewhere in the cast. His guitar riffs are {and I'm no musician} so definitively amazing one would want to be able to play the guitars, too.

from Playboy

That, and the fact that John is so freaking gorgeous, I remember drooling over him in his Your Body is a Wonderland video. And if a guy ever wrote me a song just like it, I swear on my new red shoes that I will marry him stat. Damn baby, you frustrate me. You look so good, it hurts.

And I know I'll probably get a lot of flak for saying this but my interest on John Mayer went up a notch when he was interviewed about his past relationships and he said this:

"Sexually it was crazy. That's all I'll say," he continues. "It was like napalm, sexual napalm. Did you ever say, 'I want to quit my life and just f*****' snort you? If you charged me $10,000 to f*** you, I would start selling all my s*** just to keep f****** you.'"

John Mayer, Source

And so in preparation for October 1st when he would be coming to Manila in his all badass-ness, let me share my top 8 John Mayer songs, in particular order:

  1. Man on the Side. It's amazing how John Mayer can sing about giving up being someone's man because she's already married, it's hard to believe one as gorgeous as he is would have trouble having anyone fall in love with him {and oh maybe go through divorce, kidding}. But here he sings it like he's a tortured soul and this is my most favorite song of his.
  2. Your Body is a Wonderland. Who wouldn't like hearing 'candy lips and bubblegum tongue' in reference to you?
  3. Not Myself. Only recently, I came across I guy I used to go super duper gaga over date and when my friend implied that I have been sorta seeing a guy semi-exclusively {which is not the case in real life, really}, he started falling all over himself and asked me out again. It took me a short time to know that I don't like men who like me only when I'm someone else's girl {at least, that's what he knows}. And in this case, John Mayer asks, "Would you want me when I'm not myself?"
  4. Waiting on the World to Change. For us who cannot do anything, for us square pegs in round holes.
  5. Message in a Bottle. His rendition of this famous The Police song is like a warm cup of chocolate any day.
  6. Why Georgia. Quarter life crisis, much?
  7. St. Patrick's Day. Because no one wants to be alone on Christmas and Valentine's Day. 
  8. Free Fallin'. John Mayer's cover of the Tom Petty original song is delightfully mellow and romantic and just takes your breath away, really.

If you're interested in winning tickets to John Mayer's concert on October 1st at MOA Concert Grounds, check this post from Manila Concert Scene. See ya!


Begin with the End in Mind.

>> Thursday, September 23, 2010

Step one: Visualize and read.

Thanks, T. I'll make sure the books serve its purpose.


The Great Perhaps

>> Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To say that I went through a rollercoaster of emotions after reading this book would be an understatement.

I have a principle about buying things: I must be crazy about them. Ask anyone who knows me well and they'd tell you that I launch into a series of fits, hyperventilation and dissertation about why I should have this pair of shoes, this DVD, this piece of makeup, and to what I can say is the material thing I am most passionate about {buying, at least}: books.

I never really think about buying books. Regardless if I see one I like from Fully Booked {what else can you do but succumb into the great visual merchandise}, from Power Books {it does have that old library feel before, now it feels stuffy, though} and even NBS {I always end up not staying too long though, too many kids milling around}, and Book Sale {ok lang but doesn't do much for customer experience}. I even buy so much books online that I always end up sleeping among stacks of books I bought but don't have time to read yet and I end up putting them by the end of my bed.

Recently, I was doing my usual rounds of blog-hopping, including Tumblr and something clicked in me. I've been quoting John Green in a lot of my Tumblr posts, having no idea about this book Looking for Alaska, yet I was so riveted with the writing. So I Amazon-ed it. Boy, was I in for a vacuum.

Miles Halter's adolescence has been one long nonevent - no challenge, no girls, no mischief, and no real friends. Seeking what Rabelais called the "Great Perhaps," he leaves Florida for a boarding school in Birmingham, AL. His roommate, Chip, is a dirt-poor genius scholarship student with a Napoleon complex who lives to one-up the school's rich preppies. Chip's best friend is Alaska Young, with whom Miles and every other male in her orbit falls instantly in love. She is literate, articulate, and beautiful, and she exhibits a reckless combination of adventurous and self-destructive behavior. She and Chip teach Miles to drink, smoke, and plot elaborate pranks. Alaska's story unfolds in all-night bull sessions, and the depth of her unhappiness becomes obvious. Green's dialogue is crisp, especially between Miles and Chip. His descriptions and Miles's inner monologues can be philosophically dense, but are well within the comprehension of sensitive teen readers. The chapters of the novel are headed by a number of days "before" and "after" what readers surmise is Alaska's suicide. These placeholders sustain the mood of possibility and foreboding, and the story moves methodically to its ambiguous climax.
Having said that, in my three-inch heels {thank goodness I wasn't wearing the one with five}, I scouted for this book in Makati and found it on my third bookstore {Sketchbooks, GB3}. I almost, well I squee-d in delight when they handed me a copy and went home a happy girl.

I have a soft spot for flawed characters though I don't really know why I'm admitting it. Much of the characters I rooted for were the ones who had 'issues,' like Caitlin Somers in Summer Sisters and Darcy Rhone in Something Blue and Something Borrowed. I have no logical explanation for it, except that I am drawn to human complications and well, just plain bitchiness, really.

Miles Halter sets out to go to a boarding school in Alabama in search of the 'great perhaps,' an idea he has imbibed from reading Francois Rabelais' last words. He has a unique trait, too. He likes knowing famous people's last words and the book peppered with JFK's, Princess Diana's, among others, was a welcome peek through literature.

There he seeks comfort and adventure with his friends Chip {the Colonel}, Takumi {the Japanese kid whom I imagine is somehow like Glee's Mike Chang}, his Romanian girlfriend whom he dumps after giving him oral, Lara, and title character Alaska Young, a wild-at-heart problematic girl with a hippie heart. Together they strove to earn the ire of the Weekend Warriors {ergo, the rich kids} and the Eagle.

The book is peppered with a lot of quotables, it is amazing how I have known most of the lines even before I've read the book {thanks, Tumblr}. The writer seems to be a genuine literati, quoting the likes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, etc. Reading it truly transported me to the days when I would stick mini post its on my Judy Blume / JD Salinger / Paulo Coelho books, afraid of highlighting the words cos it might erase them. I wanted to hold on to them, to touch them and if you're a prose freak like me {as I am becoming more and more fully aware}, ingest them till you only speak of this greatness.

For the most part, I was amazed at how Green encapsulated the thrill of growing up, of rising over school bullies and seeing 'the most beautiful girl in school' for the first time. Of discovering cigarettes and alcohol, of going to French class and discerning who to trust. I had a pretty boring high school life {compared to this, I guess}, so this is me wishing I had a more picturesque academic four years. I wished we, too, would sit on grass and read Vonnegut {my version was Pugad Baboy and Sweet Valley}, chug pink wine {err, except I experimented with Budweiser} and had McInedible {McD's fries} while studying calc. I wish we had calc in high school, as much as I wish it was required to read The Great Gatsby and Catch 22 after we have devoured Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I wish I had a Romanian friend, who would regale me with stories of different cultures.

But it was cool. After the rollercoaster, I got over my sense of much wishing and just devoured Green's words. The setting, as it is in a high school of course had the professors, who were not merely disciplinary figures. I particularly loved the Old Man, who was their philosophy/religion teacher, touching on Islam, Buddhism and Catholicism, how they all were scared of suffering, how the Buddhists created the concept of reincarnation because they were scared of dying and finding out that there is nothing but black nothingness after life. I liked this Rabe'a woman, a woman Alaska would have liked. She says:

I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use his torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.
I liked how Alaska Young's character was built up, where every little detail was taken into account: her purple comforter, her scent {vanilla and cigarettes}, her legs, her curves, her deep mahogany hair. She is a character of all sorts, she buys books from garage sales and not read them --- yet, as for her there are too many things to do, too many cigarettes to smoke, and too many sex to have, she'd read when she's old and boring yet continues to read anyway. I like the fact that she chose her name at seven years old, from a globe, after being named Harmony and Frances by her parents. She is exactly the girl you'd want your son to stay away from {if you happen to be a mom and reading it anyway} because she's freaking reckless and wild and crazy. But she's got heart, she fights against women objectification and for Miles when he was sent out of the class. She was the subject of Miles' young heart and it was inexplicably beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.

If I had been the girl I was when I was 16 now, I would have traded in my signature citrus scents for vanilla and proceed to grow up another reckless woman. At some point, I did become a reckless girl but hey, let's save that for when we have coffee or whatever. And because I am not 16 anymore, I somehow flinched at Alaska's loss of control. It was a waste. Then again, if she wasn't so, then this book never would have existed.

I have an undying like for Miles' character though. In search of the great perhaps, he has found his heart, his first love, his talent for writing, philosophy in life {how does one go out of a labyrinth?}, friends who teach you calculus and friends who tell you how it is, that you do not monopolize someone just because it was you who kissed her the night she died. I loved that his character shone through, a big improvement, balls-wise and others, if you compare from the beginning through the end. He has an uncanny talent for putting words to your thoughts {thanks to John Green} which gives the reader {me, most especially} goosebumps all over because truly, the knee jerk reaction while reading this "I wish I had a guy whose creativity is triggered by his love for me." I have never been anyone's muse in my life {in short I never had a boy who was a photographer, an artist, a writer, a lyricist or a poet}, I want to be a catalyst for creativity and Miles just had to make me realize that. I especially felt every single strand of frustration and sadness as he strives through the loss of a loved one because I have been through the same level of denial when my father died.

The book is quite short and it took me about four hours to read it all. That goes to show how much I like it --- because there are books in my shelf that I have never finished no matter how thin and Looking for Alaska escaped that narrow curse in my reading attention span because truly there are no moments that drag the worst yawn out of you. Not when Miles and Alaska are five layers away from each other, not when Alaska says her boob got 'honked,' not when Alaska snaps away saying daydreaming is escaping and she'd rather just do it, not when the boys trail down someone's part of the history, determining what was it inside Alaska that snapped, not when they discuss best/worst days ever and Alaska's answer is one and the same day.

I'm glad I read this now though, when I'm 25 and not 16, because if I did then, I would have turned into another "hot mess," a term I got from Helga's blog post of the same book. I would have been a walking self-destruction waiting to happen and I don't think anyone would like that, or if the world needs any more of those. The world is too beautiful to be too wild to live and too young to die. I'm glad that I read this when I already know a lot 'much betters.'

Just like Helga, I liked the fact that this book is not the least bit sanitized, as opposed to those I've read when I still belonged to the Young Adult sector. The book does not contain superficial things like shaving your legs, or who to go to prom, or what to wear {well, the Colonel launched into a sad realization that he can never wear his flamingo tie anywhere but that was cute}. Having had the pleasure of knowing then-kids, now adults who did not grow up in the same country as I did, I know for a fact that high school kids do not hold themselves back when confronted with the situation of being in a parent-less environment. I liked it that it reflects American kids' culture, of how they were so inspired and so proactive and so out there. Believe me, I know.

On the flip side, I do wish I have read this when I was 16. I would've been a more adventurous girl, instead of the one I was, who watched too much TV and did not write as much as I would have liked to.

And just like a mature person who chooses to fight and live the life, Miles Halter ends the story with a resolve not to escape the labyrinth:

“After all this time, it still seems to me like straight and fast is the only way out—but I choose the labyrinth. The labyrinth blows, but I choose it.”
Dude, that's the freaking spirit.

As for me, I cannot wait to devour more YA books like this. Aside from the Hunger Games trilogy and Jonathan Safran Foer, what else do you recommend reading?


Things I Love Sundays

>> Monday, September 20, 2010

Finally, after much too much laidback weekends, my Sundays have turned into a mish mash of activities, attempts at being culture-culturan and hours and hours with friends whom you know from different parts of your life and yet, you introduce them to each other and before you know it, one knows another from so and so. I tell ya, it's SO COOL.

Here are some snaps from my weekend, which leaves me smiling, despite aching feet, eyebags, scratchy throat {from all the drinks and the smoke and laughing} and a thinner wallet but at least it's NEW. Yay!

Friends who shake you and let you know what's up.
Friends who tell you, "Dude, he's an asshole to you. And he's fugly."

Random weekday surprises {not because of the surprise itself but knowing I'm mature enough
to know what to do in cases when life tests your morality levels.}

Berocca. If only to cure that bad, bad hangover.

Finally watching Xanadu, and realizing that kindness and love trumps over everything.

Having an epiphany that I actually, really do love my job, that
when I'm asked how my work day was, all I could do was smile.

Screencapped from a quiz I took at FemaleNetwork.com

Friends who know each other. Being nice, freaking nice. Realizing you are exactly where
you have imagined yourself to be when you were seven.

Colorful desktop wallpapers <3

Being vindicated without doing anything.

Wine. White wine. Lots of it. Shoe shopping. Bag shopping. Retail Therapy, in general.
Watching a friend's ninja coverage of the U2 concert in Zurich.

Err, finally? I made my way to the much-hyped Payless Shoe Source
and hmm, I did get a few pairs but my take on it is that it's kinda overrated.
Not bad, but overrated.

Oh and this:

Source Unknown.

Here's another one.
Source Unknown.

I saw Despicable Me only last Monday and I died of cuteness {pretty sure you did, too!}
And no, I cannot get over Gru's song, Despicable Me, by Pharell Williams.

Sending love for a fabulous week ahead,


Review: Ponds Flawless White Blemish Cream

>> Saturday, September 18, 2010

I gotta be honest. The word blemish is not one of the words I deal with as much as I do with say, pimples, whiteheads, or breakouts. In fact, I don't think I ever really had much discolorations, or blemishes, as they are also called, probably because I've been religiously using SPF since I discovered it at the age of 17.

But as I've learned, SPF, at least plain ones, are never really enough. If, like me, you've been religiously buying and applying SPF on the face and body, you'd notice the terms UVA/UVB, sometimes together, sometimes just one of them appears on the bottle. When I attended the launch of the Ponds Facial Wash with Activated Carbon, I learned that SPF UVA and UVB serve two different purposes.

The acronym UV simply stands for 'Ultra Violet,' and A and B are the two of the three kinds of rays that we need to protect our skin from.

  • UVA - are sun rays that affect the second layer of our skin, called dermis. UVA rays are the same strength all year round, unlike UVB, which is the stronger of the two. This means that even if the sun is not burning your skin, your dermis is still suffering from radiation.

  • UVB, on the other hand, affects our epidermis, or outer skin. These rays are responsible for your 'tan,' thus showing off any color change when you spend a day out in the sun.
IMO, regardless of any discoloration or lack thereof, with the sun giving off more harmful rays every day, applying SPF has become a must. To me, it has become so much of a habit that if I'm out and I'm not wearing any sunblock or UV cream, I feel naked. I have been using Neutrogena's Ultra Sheer SPF 30 for the past two years and just recently, Pond's Flawless White Blemish Cream overtook my old SPF for a weaker-in-SPF model but more multi-tasking.

One may ask: Why did you trade reasonably-sounding SPF 30 for SPF 15? Since these days have been less sunny {most of the time, anyway}, I figured I didn't exactly need so much SPF. I learned from my dad and from that Ponds launch that SPF {Sun Protection Factor} doesn't pertain to the strength of the product, rather to how long it can shield your skin.

Our bestfriend Wikipedia defines SPF as:

The sun protection factor of a sunscreen is a laboratory measure of the effectiveness of sunscreen — the higher the SPF, the more protection a sunscreen offers against UV-B (the ultraviolet radiation that causes sunburn).

The SPF is the amount of UV radiation required to cause sunburn on skin with the sunscreen on, relative to the amount required without the sunscreen. So, wearing a sunscreen with SPF 50, your skin will not burn until it has been exposed to 50 times the amount of solar energy that would normally cause it to burn. The amount of solar energy you are exposed to depends not only on the amount of time you spend in the sun, but also the time of day. This is because, during early morning and late afternoon, the sun's radiation must pass through more of the Earth's atmosphere before it gets to you.
In retrospect, since I don't expose myself too much to the sun, save for those several minutes when I descend from my apartment going to our parking lot or when I hail a cab, there isn't really much interaction between me and the sun, so SPF 15 should do fine. Besides, I noticed that as the SPF rating goes higher so does its sticky factor. I once mistakenly applied SPF 70 on my face and by noon my face was a yucky white mess.

The Good:

 I have decided to replace my old sunblock with this for a month now. I have not much experience with Ponds cream products, I find myself limited to their facial wash products and cold cream, but this is a pretty excellent bottle of awesomeness.
  • The consistency is perfect. You know when the product is too watery and you'd doubt if it ever works given the pitiful watery state of it? It wasn't like that with this at all. It ain't too thick, either, that you'd wonder if you mistakenly slapped on cake batter instead of your sunblock cream. This blemish cream smoothly glides through my face after applying my day cream every single morning.
  • The scent makes me feel giddy every single time. I don't know if my words will do justice to its scent, which is not really exquisite but truly clean, crisp, simple, girly, dainty, feminine -- pretty much everything I wanted to be but if you know me in person, I'm not any of those {except clean!} so the scent is kind of aspirational to me. 
  • Minimal white cast. One sad fact about sunblock is that the white cast is never really going to go away so grin and bear it. I just noticed though that with this, there seems to be minimal white cast {much like the other sunblock creams I used in the past} or maybe I'm just too diligent with applying makeup that it gets all covered? Hmm?
  • So far, so good. No blemishes in sight, no breakouts, no allergies, no drying up, no why is my skin so gaspang moments. 
  • As good as Teflon. It may not have a watery consistency, but truly, this Ponds Blemish Cream do not stick at all. At all. By sticky, I mean the ones that don't seem to be absorbed by the skin. I do not have a hard time mixing it with my current and possibly HG favorite liquid foundation and shu uemura finishing powder. The three of them, together with the many, many products I slap on my face every single day works wonders of wonder.
  • Blemish-free. Just like all the sunblock creams I have tried, this one keeps the blemishes at bay.
  • Reasonably-priced. Yahoo! Shopping says that one of the things a woman needs to save on {as opposed to splurging} is SPF. "Women tend to not be vigilant about sunscreen during times in which they are indirectly exposed to the sun," says surgeon Patricia Wexler. In this light, we all need SPF every single day {pun not intended} we are out there under the sun. Would it be practical to splurge on expensive SPF when there are ones in the market {like this one that goes for Php 109 a pop} that actually work but doesn't cost a fortune? 
The Bad:
  •  Can you believe that because I had no bad things to say about this product that I actually had to google it because, well, that's my job here, right? To say if there's anything one should be warned of with this product? I've racked my brains pretty hard and this review has been two weeks in the making, so one can guarantee I've had plenty of time to test it. So, NO, there isn't anything bad to say about this product. I did not break out, or I did not think it is sticky, or oily. But as any other beauty blogger, usage of any product read from a blog, do take caution before using it.
Overall Recommendation:

This is a great product if you're tired of having sun-induced blemishes, if you're looking for a cream that's not laden with too much SPF and whitening, too. Whatever you decide, don't forget to use products with SPF.

Have you tried this product? What do you think?
Let me know!


    Chronicles of The Beatles Mix Tape

    >> Wednesday, September 15, 2010

    Here's a little trivia about me: I get mighty creative through the help of the Beatles. Like, seriously.

    I remember the time that I was un-amazingly stumped with the legendary writers' block. It wasn't like I was tasked to write a 5,000-page essay. My assignment at that time was to write 12 captions for a personal planner for work, its theme anchored on green lifestyles. I thought to myself, "If I've been able to come up with 52 tips for a greener lifestyle, I should be able to come up with 12 measly captions."

    No dice. It was already a day before printing is set to begin and I still had no captions.

    When I got home, I lit a cigarette, sat on my terrace, plugged my earphones, put my iPod to Shuffle and pondered on the meaning of life. I cruised from song through another and then the jangle of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds flowed through my ears, and through my soul, and through my mind.

    And then I started writing, thumbing through my cellphone for the captions because I did not dare get up for fear inspiration would trickle out of me and onto the floor. I felt like a madwoman, being truly reckless with the grammar and composition and just writing. Just writing.

    "This is one of your best works, Tara," my boss said when I handed him a sheet of typed paper, with my captions.

    And in that little moment of triumph, I breathed a sigh of gratitude to John Lennon, his son Julian's classmate, Lucy.

    And so, in yet another day where the Beatles saved my ass, I present to you my top nine Beatles songs, in random order, if only to show how much I am in love with this group, to revere John Lennon's genius for songwriting {he may well be a prick for saying they'll be more famous than Jesus but he's a songwriting whiz}.

    Norwegian Wood
    This song brings me back to my teenager days, like OMG.

    Half the words I say is meaningless...


    Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds


    Across the Universe

    Here, There and Everywhere

    John Lennon's Oh My Love
    {This is going to be my wedding march, if I ever do get married.}

    Who wouldn't fall in love with this song? *heart heart heart*
    Jim Sturgess sang this on the Across the Universe movie and my heart just swooned its deepest.

    Cried buckets to this song as the movie I am Sam slid to a warm, wrenchingly steady end.

    I seriously considered changing my name to Michelle if only for this song. Since I first heard it
    {sometime when I was in grade school}, I've always thought all the girls named Michelle
    are damn lucky to have words that can't say how the singer feels.

    What's your favorite Beatles song? You gotta have at least three!
    Have a fantastic Wednesday, y'all!


    Chronicles of a Cosmo Bachelor Bash Fan Girl

    >> Friday, September 10, 2010

    While waiting for the show to start.

    I have lost the following since the men of Cosmopolitan, only my favorite local magazine since 1997, strutted the runways of World Trade Center:
    • My poise and my voice. I was screaming like no one would believe.
    • Finesse. I promised I wouldn't admit this ever in blog-dom but Oh. My. God. We had almost front-row seats {albeit near the end of the runway} and there was no need to stand up but I was standing, jumping, dancing to jungle music and mentally taking notes {what my notes were, aren't really shareable HAHA}. The energy at last night's event was purely estrogen jumping up and down.
    • The ability to form coherent sentences. See, I had to make lists to share my thoughts because since last night, my sentence-forming abilities went down the drains as soon as I saw abs and other things.
    Much as a Cosmo chick I think I am, I have never really attended a Cosmo Bachelor's Bash until last night {with my ever fun partner, Shen, thank you again for bringing me!}. I always see the booklet that comes with every Cosmo September issue and while I do look at the men, I almost always discard it because it has never been my thing, looking at photos of half-naked men in weird settings {I'd rather look at men in suits' photos}. I really thought it wouldn't make a difference in real life. Boy, was I wrong.

    Clothed Boys men strut down the runway during the Guess fashion show

    As soon as I arrived at the WTC in Pasay City, I saw the long line outside and thought, "Wow, people really do go at these things!" {Okay, I really had no idea.} The lines were effin' crazy and there were scalpers selling event tickets for I don't know how much. If I'm not mistaken, tickets to the CBB aren't for sale, and yet ...


    The event was hosted by one of the long-time Cosmo chicks ever, Joey Mead, strutting the runway in her thigh high boots and hot pink animal print dress. I don't have decent photos, just half-decent ones. When you're in the presence of hulking, charming, dangerously hot men, it's almost impossible to focus and look through a viewfinder {I only had my iPhone, though} when you can look at them with your bare eyes. Thank goodness for Cosmo.ph's super quick updates, I swiped some photos from their site so I can share my favorites.

    I can't think of any other celebrity who'd be perfect
    as host to last night's event other than Joey Mead.

    And then them men started pouring out into the runway in little thong thingies.
    First thought: Oh it is so fun objectifying men. For a change.

    And then came this cage with men in it. PRIMAL!

    And then I was transported to my high school self who had a crush on
    Baron Geisler. He is still hot after all these years.

    Thank you, Cosmo!

    I don't care about the lack of six-pack abs. Hrhr.
    Baron was my favorite from all the men who paraded

    the runway of CBB last night :D

    Even looking at his back made me scream like a teenager.

    Speaking of favorites, here are my other sexy mentionables, again courtesy of Cosmo.ph:

    Ian Batherson, pre-shirt ripping.

    Callalily's Kean Cipriano looks like ... I did say this blog is PG, right? :)

    Nico Ibaviosa. This is for you, Jheng.

    Never thought I'd say this EVER but Christian Bautista looks
    mighty hot.

    Geez, Luis. {Alandy}

    I've no idea who this guy is but I love his devil-may-care
    expression and the tattoos!

    Heehee. I let out a huge guffaw at the sight of men
    in nude briefs. Objectification at its finest.

    And of course, King of the Jungle, Sam Milby,
    looking mighty ripped and all.

    Bye, boys!

    I can't believe how my views on watching men's fashion shows like this have gone a complete turnaround. I used to be truly anti men-ogling. Buying Cosmo was never about the centerfolds because I have not been a fan of the male body more than I am with the female. Not that it has become my most favorite activity ever --- I just realized a lot of things whilst watching the CBB, some of them are:
    • I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when they were watching the New York Firefighters' Department fashion show in was it Queens or Brooklyn? I felt like it was perfectly legal to ogle men and hoot and scream. Ah, the feeling is priceless!
    • This must be how men feel when they "appreciate" women's bodies. Wala naman palang masama :D
    • I am not alone. Everywhere I looked inside World Trade Center is a girl screaming her head off, or a becky shooting the men with water from huge water guns and holding out score cards.
    • Hindi pala ako choosy. Magegets mo 'to, Shen. :D
    • With all these men in sight, my guess is that there is no straight female photographer commissioned to take photos. It'll be so hard to concentrate when you're within the perimeter of six pack abs.
    • I'm capable of stripping off my kaartehan and just let go. Truly, there is nothing more liberating than doing girly activities with your fun and fab girlfriends {Shen, in this case} and being carefree and living the moment. The night of CBB reminded me of that.
    • I want to be a cougar when I grow up.
    • My other thoughts are too scandalous to write about here.
    • I love Cosmo foreverrrrrr. Which reminds me, don't forget to buy the September 2010 ish. Chock-full of really good articles {as always}, my particular favorite being the one entitled Man Eater: The Case of the Intimidating Woman. Oh, a booklet of 69 hot bachelors is included in this ish:

    Isn't it obvious I enjoyed it too much? As early as now, I'm already looking forward to next year's Cosmo Bachelor Bash!

    Oh! And we met Mia of Ang Kikay ni Mia!

    Mia's friend, Shen, Mia and Me!
    Photo Credit: Mia

    *Special thanks to my partner, Shen and Cosmo.ph.
    All photos (except the blurry ones) are from Cosmo.ph.


    Nestle Fruit Selection Yogurt Winners

    >> Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Heehee, if anyone is curious at all on how I chose my winners, my basis would have to be cuteness. :x And my winners are:

    @liv_reyes : Electrivelous

    @jameelamalicdem: Yogical!

    @francepinzon: Yumsome!

    Winners: email me your full names at tjcabullo (at) gmail (dot) com
    plus I'll reply with the details on how to claim your prizes.

    Once again, thank you to Nestle and Ogilvy for making
    this contest possible!

    Love, Kisses and Fluttering Eyelashes,


    Autumn in Manila

    At the mere mention of the word 'autumn,' I can't help but start waxing poetic {to the credit of Rainer Maria Rilke, from his poem Autumn Day}:

    Who now has no house, will not build one (anymore).
    Who now is alone, will remain so for long,
    will wake, and read, and write long letters
    and back and forth on the boulevards
    will restlessly wander, while the leaves blow.
    I would assume that people who actually experience autumn every year would relate to this more. After all, autumn is the transition of summer to winter, caught in that shade of gray, purples and midnight blue.


    I'd been fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones to experience The Body Shop's 2010 Autumn Collection, a pastiche of not melancholy shades but smoldering, bold colors of midnight blue, steel, and green. Plus, the collection boasts of having Marula Oil as its major ingredient, giving more moisturizing properties to the skin. However, I think the star of this collection are the Kajal Eyeliners, which makes creating smokey eyes real easy peasy.

    But first:

    Autumn Leaves Compact {Blushes in dusty pink and bronze shades}
    The compacts are too beautiful to use!
    Php 1,395

    Eye Colours in Velvet Green, Midnight Blue and Golden Peach
    Php 595 ea.

    Colourglide Lip Color, the perfect companion to
    strong, smokey, fiery eyes

    Php 695

    Divide and Multiply Mascara
    {Can I just say how witty the name is?}
    Php 850

    Lightening Touch, an eye/skin brightener
    comes in Light and Dark shades for that ashen skintone
    or stubborn gray under eyes.
    {reminds me of YSL Touche Eclat}
    Php 950

    and my favorite:

    Special Edition Kajal Eyeliners
    in Charcoal, Evergreen and Steel
    Php 695

    Create the season's sexy, smoky eye - essential for the Smoke and Fire look - with new Kajal Eyeliner. The intense Kajal eye-look is traditionally used in India as a protector against the evil eye, and with three shades of Kajal Eyeliner, discover a unique product that helps to define the eyes, so you can create and intensify and reflect light. Apply to the lash lines for dramatic, dreamy eyes or smudge over the eyelid for a sultry, smouldering eyeshadow look.

    We were also demo'ed on how to use the Autumn Trend collection on ourselves. Truly, when I saw the poster featuring a pair of smokey eyes, I was intimidated because I am not good at creating smokey eyes. I was scared of looking like a panda. :|

    Thankfully, The Body Shop's resident makeup artists and a guest makeup artist, Dens Congco of The Makeup Den were at the launch and I had the chance to see how these little autumn things can work on my rather unconventional face {hello big face and small eyes}, by performing a makeover on ME!

    I have the mahinhin version of the smokey eyes, courtesy of
    The Body Shop and Dens Congco.
    Thank you for this photo, Kim!

    Beauty bloggers with Billie Liboro - Palabyab, TBS PR Officer, Roma, MuA for
    TBS, Shen, Dens Congco of The Makeup Den, Earth, Kim {so nice to finally meet you!},
    and ME {in all of my corporate non-glory}!
    Not in photo: Nikki, Bambi and Lace

    As I type this, I actually have some of the products mentioned above on my face and I shall be posting my OOTD soon {and a review, perhaps.} I truly am excited about this collection, it's amazing how I was intimidated by it at first but am starting to get the hang of it that I immediately played with it the next day!

    The Body Shop's Autumn Trend 2010 is available at all TBS branches nationwide. Grab it asap because these babies are limited edition!

    Do you get reminded of anything with autumn, too?
    Happy Thursday, y'all!

    Love, Kisses and Smokey Fluttering Eyes,


    Chronicles of the Nineteen-Year-Old Me

    >> Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    {I chanced upon an old article I wrote for a schoolmate who was joining a public speaking contest in 2005. I wrote this speech for her, and submitted to Inquirer. This was my third article that got published in Youngblood. Nostalgia, much!}

    Youngblood : Barbie syndrome

    First posted 00:10am (Mla time) July 19, 2005
    By T. Cabullo
    Inquirer News Service

    Editor's Note: Published on page A13 of the July 19, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

    EVER since I was kid, I knew that I was destined to be great. Every Christmas, my mom would drag me in front of our relatives and ask me to play the piano. And since I was a great kid, with great piano-playing abilities, I would play. Beethoven was my favorite.

    My early years were a constant swirl of events, with everyone praising me for being a great kid. I would go home with pink cheeks, not from make up but from bring pinched so many times. And people's flattering words just seemed to hang around and never go away. With my talent at the piano, my pigtails and my rosy cheeks, I was the perfect girl.

    Sometimes, I felt bad for my two scrawny cousins, Mikka and Karla. They never got half the attention that I got. No wonder they were so obnoxious to me sometimes. Oh, well, I thought at the time, maybe they were jealous.

    One time I overheard my Aunt Bettina telling them, "Why can't you be more like Anne? Look at her. Isn't she amazing?"

    I just couldn't help it if I was liked by everybody.

    I can't remember what year it was, but there was one Christmas morning when I dug at the usual mound of presents and found more than the usual supply of chocolates. There were also the usual stack of UNO cards, and then there was a large box wrapped in green glittery paper. I ripped off the wrapper immediately, wondering what it was. When I opened the box I saw the figure of a girl with long blond hair and blue eyes. She was dressed in white, a number that looked like my mom's tennis outfit. Her shoes were of plastic rubber and by her side was a mini racket, a mini towel, another white tennis outfit in another style and a mini headband. At the bottom part of the box were the words "Sporty Barbie."

    I almost jumped in surprise when a hand touched my shoulder. My Aunt Gracie, who had been standing over me smiled and said, "I see you got my gift. It's the in thing back in Los Angeles. Beautiful girls play with Barbie dolls, that's why I gave you one. She's perfect, isn't she? "

    I nodded, and continued to stare at the doll, dumbfounded. Perfect? I thought that was me. If the doll was perfect, and I was perfect, then why wasn't she like me? Or more aptly, why wasn't I like her? I ran straight into the attic and hid the box with the doll under the old coffee table.
    I would go to the attic every night to look at it. I just stared at it for a long time and tried to find the reason why I wasn't like her.

    As I grew up, everybody seemed to change. My piano-playing sessions came in less frequent and fewer people were listening to me play. My classmates didn't want to play tag with me anymore. But, that was cool. I still got to play with the boys, although sometimes they would call me "Fatso."

    My cousins Mikka and Karla were now the ones who were getting the attention and getting praised – they were Barbie-like, minus the blonde hair.

    One day I couldn't take it anymore. I jumped out of my bed and ran straight to where I had stashed my Barbie doll. I ripped the box open and stared at it for the longest time. I never spoke a word. And then I went back to my room.

    It was the start of my revolution. It was the day I started going back to my world. I was perfect. And if the world thought that Barbie was the definition of perfect, so be it. I was going to show everyone that I could be like Barbie.

    I learned that exercise was one way to get thin, so I walked the three kilometers from home to school. I tried not to eat, but I just couldn't give up chocolates completely. I learned from our Science class that they made people fat. So I needed to take less of them.

    But then, I also learned that one could eat as much as she wanted and not get fat. This could be done by what they called "purging." Barfing. Different names, same task.

    Which is what I did. I had fun eating all the food I loved, but stricken by nerves regurgitating what I have eaten. Sometimes, the thought of not eating at all was more tempting. But then, if all the food would have to be eaten, then they'd be gone. Better eat them quickly, so they'd be gone faster. And so I ate more, and barfed more.

    Three months later, my waistline was still the same, and I had gained five more pounds.
    But just as I was getting frustrated, I realized that whoever declared that Barbie was perfect owed me an explanation. You couldn't find perfection by just looking at her waistline. There was no such thing as a perfect body. Sorry, Mattel, but if there was, Barbie just had to come in different weights and waistlines.

    If Barbie was perfect, there would have been a lazy fat Barbie.

    Now I can tell myself: So what if I'm not like her? There are perks that come with being fat.
    Funny how I can now admit that I am one. I would never have known the difference if it weren't for Barbie. I am fat, but that doesn't mean there is a flaw in my personality. In high school, all the pretty, reed-thin girls got all the flowers. In college, a growing number of guys are dumping their skinny girlfriends to go for girls like me, who have more body mass. Hey, we're actually more huggable. And to quote Ralph Waldo Emerson, to be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

    Just looking at me, you'd believe that I have succeeded.

    T. Cabullo, 19, is a 4th year Mass Communication student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.

    *Disclaimer: I have nothing against Barbie and I don't discriminate against anything in this post.
    Photo Source.



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    All I Want to Do

    1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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