Sometimes, I feel like it’s a great thing to go into something without a lot of expectations, just because you don’t really get disappointed… although, had I expected a lot from Chicago, I still would have been blown away. Like I said in a couple of past posts, I’ve only been to Chicago once before. When I was 4. So this was a whole new experience for me! And I kind of really wonder why not a lot of people talk about Chicago. It’s like a more laid-back New York. I love it so much. Read More
Hello! I just came home from the mountains. We were very vigilant about the traffic so we left pretty early and got home pretty early (in time for lunch, can you believe?). Traffic on the way to Tagaytay/Batangas is terrible this time of year, so we were extra-paranoid and left for Manila at 8am.
I’m in the middle of The Sandman Vol. 8: The Kindly Ones by Neil Gaiman. I have three days to finish the GoodReads reading challenge, but I also have a lot of stuff to do before the year ends. I’ve kind of come to terms with my failure, lol. I just have to try harder at reading more, even if all I want to do sometimes is nap. There’s just too many books in the world; I can’t ignore them!
I’m thinking about writing more reviews. To slow down mindless consumption and encourage digestion and reflection. Something like that.
The National’s “Sea of Love”
I can’t wait to see English Only, Please later. Big congratulations to Ms. Tonet Jadaone and A.N.J. :D
Pretty good! I just took a shower.
For more time. HA.
This is kind of funny/pointless, but I’m hoping that I make an effort to be a better person (in several aspects) in 2015. I’m trying right now, sure, but I’m failing… at least at the “healthier” self I’m aiming to be.
Still in pambahay, though I’ll change into MMFF-watching clothes in a bit.
CANDY CANE HERSHEY’S KISSES. UGH.
To write something meaningful. 2015, I hope!
Better get my shit together, better gather my shit in.
Overwhelmed. But in a good way.
… Well, this is a pretty single-minded post. Sorry? I’m not sorry!
One of the super fun places we went to was the Shedd Aquarium! I really have no recollection of this city, aside from a bus ride and a sort of interactive exhibit, from when I was last there, but then again I was 4. (Am I making this memory up, parents?)
Anyway, we spent most of the day at the Shedd Aquarium on a General Admission ticket ($8/Adult. Full ticket price with all of the zones was $30.95 each. Um. No.) before heading on off to the Art Institute of Chicago, which is open until 8pm on Thursdays. Even with the regular price, we did manage to see a lot.
While I am against places like Sea World, I’m a little conflicted about aquariums, so I’m opening the discussion up in case anyone who’s reading this has strong opinions about it. I would love to talk about it, so please feel free to leave comments.
We rode the bus to the Field Museum, but realized walking home that it was relatively easy to take the train to a stop close to where the Shedd Aquarium was (same park as the Field Museum). So, off we walked! Read More
I know I post a lot about art museums and exhibits, but when I go to the States, I like popping by natural history museums like The Field Museum in Chicago. Incidentally, I haven’t been to the one in New York (possibly because I’m too overwhelmed with everything else I ought to do while there), but this one’s a fun place to visit, too.
Ugh, I love the moody lighting of this place, though I must admit that some displays are a little rundown. We didn’t see some of the special exhibits anymore, but trust me—there’s already so much to see as is.
Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope yours was filled with good cheer. :)
One of my favorite things to do is travel. I’ve been doing it since I was a baby, so I’m pretty good at remembering the do’s and don’ts. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my fair share of travel blunders. (Like the time I got detained at the Guam airport. Or the times I got scissors and Swiss Army knives confiscated at the Narita airport. Yes, the same airport. Always.)
Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips by Tom Hall is the book for the avid traveler or a soon-to-be frequent flier. If you’re like me who likes to wing it, then… you probably need this book. It has a plethora of tips in fifty areas that range the from practical, such as packing light, and useful but often overlooked areas of travel, such as being Zen on the road. You will need that last area in your journey as a traveler at some point. Trust me.
With tips from an airline pilots, travel writers, a doctor, a photographer, and editors—all of whom travel the world a lot—this book covers a wide variety of topics, answering questions that sometimes don’t even get asked.
I’m not a by-the-book kind of girl, but reading through this could have saved me a lot of trouble and grief when I started traveling without my folks. It’s opened my eyes to a lot of new options I hadn’t considered either, such as hopping on board a cargo ship or looking for green accommodation.
Thinking about bringing cash, traveler’s cheques, or just using a credit card? It’s weighed the pros and cons for you! Scared of going over your budget? It tells you how to stick to one! Don’t know when the best time to book a trip is? It even tells you that! If that’s not enough help for you, Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips even has small-space exercises and tips on how to complain well.
Flip on over to the back of the book and see a carefully, easy-to-access index that has a World Tipping Chart, a socket diagram (may you never forget another adapter again!), and things like a First Aid Checklist, and useful apps to have at hand. Here’s a tip for all Android users: Download Google Translate. It can translate from photographs and help you with ordering food or committing an unspeakable act. (Just kidding.)
The pictograms are so nice, with illustrations by Crush, and the entire text is clear, concise, and helpful. The best part about it is that it’s so easy to bring along.
Fully Booked was kind enough to send me two copies of the book to give away to you guys. Just enter below for a chance to win. :)
Two (2) copies of Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips by Tom Hall.
- Enter via Rafflecopter widget below.
- Open to Philippine residents only.
- Two (2) winners will win one (1) copy each.
- The giveaway ends on Saturday, January 15, 2015, 11:59PM
- The winners will be announced and contacted within 48 hours of the giveaway ending.
Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips is available in Fully Booked.
OK, so yeah. I bit the bullet. I’ve been hearing about the Midori Traveler’s Notebooks for a long time now, and I am kind of surprised at how long I managed to dodge this purchase. The first review I found was this one, which utilized the MTN for a single notebook. That just seemed really unnecessary to me, so I didn’t think much of it.
I then saw Krysty’s review, and saw that it didn’t work out for her, which nixed it automatically for my fickle self. Then, I saw Bea’s post and it was like a choir of angels (really). I went on an obsessive spiral of timesuck, watching videos and posts of setups and inserts and what-have-you.
This is a pretty long post about journals and planners, so just a warning before you go any further. The dork is strong in this one.
I got the Midori Traveler’s Notebook Passport Size in Brown. I switched out the brown elastic for the orange one, though I might put the brown one back, because reasons. Read More
I was going to post about the States trip in order… but then I forgot about our little side trip to Boston/MA. So here, have a slice of Chicago first. I actually spent a part of my birthday on a plane from NY/NJ to Chicago, so I was pooped and cranky even though we had awesome Italian food for dinner at RPM. Yes, the one on Giuliana Rancic’s show, lol. It was great, OK. Their garlic bread had truffle oil! Sorry, parents for the perma-furrowed brows! Sorry, fambly! Sorry. Ahem.
The last time we went to Chicago was over 20 years ago, so even if we did go to the Art Institute (which we didn’t), I don’t think I would have remembered it as someone who hadn’t even turned 5 years old yet.
We primarily went for the Magritte special exhibit (not a huge fan), but I was also really, really impressed with and delighted by their permanent collection as well as this special exhibit by Sarah Charlesworth. Those were the highlights of the visit for me!
Untitled by Wade Guyton — also a special exhibit
“In February 1980, artist Sarah Charlesworth (1947–2013) exhibited a group of seven cropped and greatly enlarged news photographs in the East Village apartment of fledgling dealer Tony Shafrazi. Each pictured a solitary individual jumping or falling from a tall building.” (Read more here)
We got two Balikbayan boxes filled with stuff we bought on our last trip (mostly books, food, hard-to-bring-home things) and I think it’s kind of fitting/sad that I still haven’t gone through the rest of the trip.
If you’re still following that um, series, I guess I should say what else I’m working on. I still have Boston/Massachusetts, Chicago, San Francisco, LA, Las Vegas, and other parts of Nevada to go through. We stayed with old family friends in New Jersey, too, but that was more of a rest/recharge than anything, aka I loved my time there because I love the Ortegas, but I also didn’t really take a lot of photos. Just saying.
Anyway, The Sunday Currently! I can’t wait to see this by Vol. 78 or something. It would be nice to look back on.
I finished Dianne Wynne Jones’ Howl’s Moving Castle last night! So, so, so good. I am still thinking of whether or not I’ll read the rest of the trilogy—I read through the blurbs and I’m not too sold on them—but I am currently in the middle of the seventh volume (!) of The Sandman, Brief Lives, which I read when I was a baby, i.e. in high school, but don’t remember much of. I borrowed the books from my friend, Mich, so there was no real room for obsessing back then.
And a confession: I finally shelved Magic for Beginners. Hopefully I’ll go back to it in 2015.
Blog posts and assigned (!) work. Here’s a secret: I have trouble pitching stuff, so I like it when I get assigned stuff. Not always, but usually. Does this make me a follower or a leader? I have no clue.
I’m planning on working on some goal setting later today, though. Am I masquerading as a Type A personality? Not at all, but achieving goals works better for me when I actually take the time to write them down.
Christmas carols in my head. Did anyone get into the “Christmas spirit” this year? I sure didn’t and it’s already the 21st!
Also, Thysz posted this on her Facebook wall, so I guess this, too:
(I had no clue they were Swedish? What??)
I’m thinking about what movies to watch—since I do love them holiday ones—and about Serial’s final episode.
Chocolate chip cookies. <3
For some self-restraint in 2015.
To start my Project Life stuff! It’s a (seemingly) easy way to document days, and I can’t say no to that!
A ratty tank from when I was in high school, Uniqlo boxers.
All the new books I have to read from the box. :D
A Canon Pixma printer. If you needed me to be specific.
Daylight! I can’t take photos anymore. :(
I’m feeling a little down on myself for not doing my blog photos when there was still light out. I mean, I have no excuse, I was up at 10:30.
— Why writing things out by hand makes you learn better
— What is a Need? Consumption vs. consumerism
— Life Documented Manila’s blog, particularly Christine’s (hi Ch!) Project Life Tuesdays
— The resurrected blog of Melanie Richards, hooray!
And with that, I bid you adieu!
& Some Thoughts on the City That Never Sleeps
I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past few months, and the fact that it took me so long is proof (for me) of how mystical New York still is in my brain. I know that a lot of people are disenchanted with it and frustrated with it, and New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down, but all I’m saying is that it’s tough for me to write about it, because I don’t really know how to go about it. How do you write about something you’ve loved half your life, loved in many different ways, for many different reasons?
And it’s precisely this moony-eyed love letter that I was trying to avoid writing… Every time I touched New York, it just came out too dramatic, and I don’t wish to romanticize my trysts with that city, but I do want to somehow make you understand what about it that I love so much.
I’ve posted extensively about the New York I met in 2014, and I will list the posts down below:
- The MoMA, September
- Jeff Koons at the Whitney
- Chelsea, Part I
- Chelsea, Part II
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- The Whitney Museum of American Art
But, that New York isn’t the same city that I met when I was 4, 7, 10, 13, 15, 18… I was in love with New York those times, too, but I keep on seeing different sides of it every time I come back to it. Whenever I think my love for it has simmered down, how “over it” I am, and how I don’t really want to live there anymore (a dirty, dirty lie), I backpedal because I catch myself transforming back into the heart-eyes emoji.
And honestly, I don’t think you can blame me. New York is beautiful, sure, but it’s also terrifying, and exhilarating, and fantastic, and unlike any other place I’ve ever been to, even the ones that I would fall in love with after. It is just so full.
It’s so full that it’s sometimes scary or frustrating or completely, utterly draining, but you’re never okay when you have to leave it. You can’t say “goodbye” without a twinge in your heart. But I guess that’s love for you.
Milton Glaser’s I Love New York has been ripped off and appropriated by other cities, but I don’t think it works as well as when New York wears it.
And for posterity, a list of other things I did there, because it’s always nice to look back on these things:
- Smorgasburg and Dumbo, briefly. I had a beautiful cone of truffle fries, and a glimpse of Brooklyn, which we sadly didn’t get to explore as much on this trip. (I still love you the most, BK.)
- Milk Bar! The line was long, I’m not sure if it was worth it.
- Luke’s Lobster at The Plaza Food Hall is heaven (until I imagine the screams and wails of lobsters being boiled alive).
- SEEING (AND HEARING!) PETER MENDELSUND AT MCNALLY JACKSON BECAUSE PETRA IS AN ANGEL, MISSED VERY DEARLY.
- Getting a dosa from Hampton Chutney Co. with beautiful Barby, who I will see again in a few days.
- Walking across the High Line and eating a Ginger Molasses cookie—the best cookie!—from Blue Bottle Coffee after.
- Two Chelsea gallery days, thinking how cool it would be to make it there. Someday.
- Actually being able to afford stuff in SoHo, lol.
- Strand Bookstore and the search for the elusive L Train Gizzy. We went back 3 times to no Gizzy. It was kind of embarrassing.
- Beautiful burgers by Shake Shack. The one near the 9/11 Memorial has a tolerable line.
- Dreams of grandeur at the New York Public Library, only to be met with a renovation.
- Katz’s Deli, Il Laboratorio gelato across. I got a beautiful scoop of pink peppercorn and one of rosemary.
- Breakfasts at Central Park.
- The Book of Mormon on Broadway. HILAR.
- Eataly gelato.
- The New York Art Book Fair, which was, you know, kind of really heavenly.
- Walking around the areas of Manhattan that are too expensive for me to ever afford, and then along the Hudson River a day before my birthday, to say goodbye to one of my best friends, and the city.
I mean. Imagine if you lived there. How full your life could be. I wish I could tell you everything I feel about it right now, but I’m having a dumb American Beauty moment, so I apologize if this is turning out to be as moony-eyed as I was afraid it was going to be.
Until next time, New York.
OK, guys, I’m really stuck here. I can’t seem to get through Magic for Beginners. It took me like 2 months or something to get through the second story and once I got over that hump, I couldn’t really get into the third one. The first story, “The Faery Handbag,” was so, so good and unfortunately, I thought that that was going to be the case for the others. They’re not bad, but they’re confusing and not interesting enough that I would plod through the confuzzling muddle.
I’m steadily making progress with Howl’s Moving Castle, but in other confusing news, I can’t read very far into the latest Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus book (hi, yes, I’m still reading those) because I totally can’t remember how the last one ended for the Jason group of heroes. Read More