Monday, December 29, 2008

No One Throws Away Memories

During the preparation for our 35th Grand Reunion, it was a welcome surprise to see batchmates still having their copies of the yearbook, high school pictures (mostly in black and white), and other paraphernalia. The yearbook especially was very useful in identifying and locating long-lost classmates. It was an ubiquitous fixture in every get-together we had and it never failed to cause laughter and smiles. During the reunion, ten copies of the yearbook were found at the NDDU storeroom and half of it were sold right away.

People who keep precious memories are often dismissed as sentimental fools. But as we come to a certain age when our mental recollection of people, events and places starts to fade and dim, these memories become valuable reminders of who we were, where we were, what we wore and ate, who we were with.

In these times when people are obsessed with the here and now, when today's trends are tomorrow's trash, memories serve as milestones which mark our life's journey. Memories are guideposts as we reflect on the life we have had. There are times when we have to dwell in the past to understand the present and to plan ahead. Memories are to be relished like homecooked meals our mothers served us. These memories are the stars that we forget to see while we are cursing the darkness around us. Surely, no one has a past so bleak that it is deemed better forgotten. One who has no use for memories must have amnesia! :)

The Hallmark card theme song said it right: No one throws away memories. There are memories that are forever etched in our hearts and minds. And our memories of the best years in high school are now enriched by recent memories of our 35th Grand Reunion.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Filipino vampire myth in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight

Twilight, the international bestseller by Stephenie Meyer (now a blockbuster film), contains a reference to a Filipino vampire myth named Danag. The main character Bella Swan was intrigued by vampire Edward Cullen's revelations and decided to search online for more information about vampires and this is what she found:

"The rest of the site was an alphabetized listing of all the different myths of vampires held throughout the world. The first I clicked on, the Danag, was a Filipino vampire supposedly responsible for planting taro on the islands long ago. The myth continued that the Danag worked with humans for many years, but the partnership ended one day when a woman cut her finger and a Danag sucked her wound, enjoying the taste so much that it drained her body completely of blood."*

The website referred to in Twilight is Enchanted Doorway which features World Vampire Myths.

* Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, pages 184-185 (page 116 in hardbound copy)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I am thankful for this year

Gratitude in Chinese characters

12 monthly reasons for gratitude this year:

January - a great start for the year as I was armed with the resolve to pursue old/new interests.

February - the gift of realization that family and friends who tell me "I'm here for you" are not really there when I need them.

March - a renewed sense of commitment to finish my MBA degree no matter what /who may want to detract/distract me from it.

April - feeling joy from the birth of my grandson (actually my brother's) by affinity.May - finding my graduate school studies exciting and exhilarating.

June - seeing strength within after someone attempted to derail my MBA studies.

July - rediscovering my youthful enjoyment of comic books.

August - rediscovering my passion for research.September - a ruptured disk made me take things slow and easy, stress-free.

October - seeing my book collection grow and grow thanks to Ebayph suki-sellers and the newly-opened National Bookstore branch here.

November - celebrating my 12th birthday (that is, if life begins at 40).

December - relishing the thought of leaving 2008 and looking forward to 2009 which my instinct and gut-feel tell me is going to be a lucky year for me.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baby with Hitchcockian cheeks

Baby Shawn James has the plumpest, most pinchable cheeks among the babies I've had the privilege of coddling/cuddling. I could see why it takes a lot of self-control on the part of grown-ups NOT to pinch his cheeks.

I've been secretly calling him Hitch, short for Hitchcock. Hehehe.

Starting Christmas Break: Reading on Reading

Writing about Reading on books about Reading reminds me of Norman Rockwell's self-portrait. :-)

This Christmas break I intend to start reading books on reading; its joys and sorrows. There is a formidable reading list presented by Nicholas Basbanes, a self-confessed bibliophile: A Gentle Madness, Among the Gently Mad, Patience & Fortitude, A Splendor of Letters and Every Book Its Reader.

For brief respites from the Basbanes tomes, there are: Passion for Books edited by Harold Rabinowitz & Rob Kaplan, Casanova was a Book Lover by John Maxwell Hamilton, The Child that Books Built by Francis Spufford and So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson.And oh, did I mention I just finished reading The Physics of Christmas by Roger Highfield?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dream car

If I have the money, know how to drive (can hire a chauffeur), and have a garage at home, any of these cars would be perfect for me:
Source: http://www.youthedesigner.com/2008/12/02/32-killer-car-designs/