TILS: Of Books, Planners and Staycations

I used to really, really like a chaotic environment. The biggest, if not, only reason why I did not join my family when they all migrated to the US was because they were moving into the one of the quietest states. I remember thinking, "What if I suddenly had the urge to drink myself into a coma, who would I drink with?" "What if I die of too much quiet?" "What if I want to talk to someone and the next kapitbahay is a quarter mile away?" And that was that.

Fast forward to close to ten years later, I have grown up so much, heard all the noises I can hear, seen the things I did and did not want to see, drank myself into a coma more than once and let the city mold me into who I am today. I can't say I'm not grateful for what it has done to me, but I can feel my love for the city life slowly drifting away every day. 

Today it hit me --- that most weekends after my birthday, I've stayed in one place: my room. I've changed into a darker set of curtains, reveled in silence, ate alone and shied away from places and things that involved a lot of talking and lots of people. Every drive / cab drive to and from work is torture. There is not a lot of space to look at with no moving people, every once in a while a motorcycle will invade your line of vision, a street child will knock on your door and the sound of the jeepney’s tires on the asphalt burns your ears, no vertical distance can protect you from the mayhem that is Manila.

Last Friday, after a grueling workweek, it took me a long while to find a coffee shop in Makati that was apt for reading. Before I got settled, I have walked into coffee shops that, despite the calming interiors, felt like Jollibee, with the massive delegation of kids, toddlers and noisy adults. I had thought then, “Did I walk onto a fast food by mistake?

I got home roughly around 2 AM, after a massive debate with myself whether if I should wait it out even more because at that time, people were still out on the roads therefore, translating to a scarcity of cabs. Cabs are my normal mode of transport, because I lose my temper every time I drive, Christmas season or not.

What I’m trying to say is: Peace and quiet is so hard to come by these days. What perfect season to look for those two, too. And until now, I haven’t had the patience to scour the malls for Christmas gifts. It’s not that I don’t believe in it, it’s because I lose my head and my patience and my temper whenever I’m at the mall, ergo my weekly staycation. I would have to regain them virtues this week or else my inaanaks would be disappointed. Yikes.

So anyway, in an attempt to dispel these nega vibes out of my system, I shall recount the things that made me smile this week and *hopefully* be done and over with Christmas shopping this week. *groans*

New books. I got my first Christmas gift from T the other day and it's a book, Mirror, Mirror by Gregory Maguire, nonetheless! Apart from Mr. Maguire being a masterful, rather wicked storyteller, I find the book apt for me, a self-confessed idiot when it comes to fairytales and history. On a shopping-related note, I was paying my bills at Globe Greenbelt 3 and the line was so long that I had the chance to pick up an old favorite, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.

Belle de Jour 2011. Speaking of super random shopping, I chanced upon the BDJ planner for 2011 at Powerbooks GB3 and I need no convincing that it is still my top planner of choice, despite the whole gamut of new planners that have come to invade the bookstores. For the past four years, this current one included, I've used my BDJ and every time I open it, I feel empowered, feminine and ready to take on the world {yes, that's cheesy but it's true.} Besides, they never run out of cool features to add, like the mentrual tracker, bill tracker, gift list and the coupons! I love 'em!

Menstrual and Vacation Planner -- a must!

Coupons, witty and inspiring one liners, a health checklist and a bill tracker.

Speaking of Planners. If you're unlike me, and have passion for less frilly planners, clean cut pages, spaces for pursuits of passions {like Team E VP here}, then I invite you to take part in yet another Sun Life Financial Philippines - Piolo Pascual - Hebreo Foundation collaboration:

Sunpiology Photographer Piolo Pascual, Sun Life Financial Philippines President
and CEO Riza Mantaring
and Fully Booked's Jaime Daez

{Of course, I was not on the Fully Booked leg of this launch, and was in fact on
the Eastwood one, of which photos I don't have now. But, shoutouts to my
lovely bloggers who came to attend!}

PLUS: For every purchase of this planner, 30% goes to the tuition fee of the scholars of Hebreo Foundation.

My Singapore doppelganger. Just like the HIMYM bunch, I'm in constant search for my doppelganger and this week, a good friend who is now based in Singapore tagged me on Facebook with this photo:

You be the judge: Do I look like her?

Desserts for an Anti-cranky me. Despite my attempts to resort to natural uppers and be my best, cheerful self, daily stressors come up and sneak up on me like bad romance. What to do? Get my sugar fix almost daily and ignore the calories that I ingest. Bahala na si Batman, holiday naman.

Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey {my favorite flavor of all}

The Sky Broadband Customer Service Team. Because they're goddamn patient with me to get my internet back and up and running.

Happy albeit poignant movies. If you happen to be just like me on weekends {aka buhay baboy}, you'd need companions like these so you can stay in bed and just watch movies. I couldn't help but just lie down even more after watching. Why, I will never understand.

Dan in Real Life
What if you met the girl of your dreams and she happens to be your brother's girlfriend?
Note: My heart felt like getting ripped apart when Steve displays his love for his daughters.
The Kids are All Right
A lesbian couple's kids meet their sperm donor and trouble ensues in the household.
Note: Annette Bening was sooooo good as the more butch person in the couple.
And Mark Ruffalo looks like he belongs to Pineapple Express instead.

A Post-Birthday Gift: 25 Things {turned 43} I Like About Tara. My very good friend, T, surprised me (together with my other friends from work) with a list of things she loves about me. I admit to being teary-eyed while reading it and I would have shared it all if they weren't so personal. But hey, here are some of my favorites:

8. When I chop off a quarter inch from my hair - you notice.
14. I always consult you on how to pronounce those foreign brands (Louboutin, Marchesa, etc.)
15. I wish I were like you when I was 25
17. I love love love your writing style - witty, sexy, easy on the eyes (fan girl of Chronicles of Vanity)
23. You don't have an agenda - which is very refreshing.
29. Even if you're bratty, I like you still.
41. We promised each other we'll watch  Madonna in concert anywhere in Asia

What made you happy / un-cranky this week?