Category: General

Kitteh – I wants one

kitten

Anabell’s Kitten at 8 Weeks by endbradley

I’ve been thinking of either adopting or buying a cat. Thanks to the curious incidence of the smelly dog last year, I have become a cat person. And because the apartment which I share with two other women is too small, there is not doubt that the perfect fourth member of our household will be a cat. I like cats–they’re low maintenance, smart, won’t stink up the apartment if properly litter trained, and can help prevent the proliferation of rodents and roaches which I notice have been frequently paying our unit a visit lately.

Notwithstanding the host of pusakals that have made our apartment building their home, I still want my own cat, so that leaves me with two options: buy one or get in touch with PAWS to check if they have a kitty for adoption. Whichever option I pursue will mean the cat will already have left a gaping hole in my pocket even before it becomes a formal member of our household. I never knew that the smallest feline costs thousands, and that does not even include vet, food, and grooming. Hmmm…maybe I should just really watch out for a baby pusakal (pusakalette?) in our compound then.

Poison Kiss

poison kiss

Red by c.a.muller

First, it was leaded toys. And now this?

An independent laboratory conducted the lead tests in September 2007 on red lipsticks bought in Boston, Hartford, Conn., San Francisco and Minneapolis. Among the findings:

  • More than half of 33 brand‐name lipsticks tested (61 percent) contained detectable levels of lead, with levels ranging from .03 to .65 parts per million (ppm). None of these lipsticks listed lead as an ingredient.
  • One‐third of the tested lipsticks exceeded the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 0.1 ppm limit for lead in candy – a standard established to protect people from directly ingesting lead. Lipstick, like candy, is ingested directly. Nevertheless, the FDA has not set a limit for lead in lipstick – which fits with the disturbing absence of FDA regulatory oversight and enforcement capacity for the $50 billion personal care products industry.

Among the highest lead‐containing samples were:

• L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” – 0.65 ppm
• L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine” – 0.58 ppm
• Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” – 0.56 ppm
• Christian Dior Addict “Positive Red” – 0.21 ppm

Read the full report (PDF).

I’m not dead yet!

So it has been over six weeks since my last post, and even that wasn’t my own. As with most bloggers, there are things that are better left said through other people’s (dead or alive) words or music or poems…whatever. I wanted to put lots of reviews or regurgitate some nice finds other than the Youtube videos, songs, or poems, but it has not been easy to put my thoughts together and turn them even into quasi-intelligent compositions. The juicy bits are in my Multiply which allows for posting of FYEO blog entries. At this point, feel free to run shrieking for your sanity as I make a run-down of what has been done/have happened in the past two months, and it could take you two months to finish reading the long and winding entry.

A post-Philippine summer of sometimes great and oft-times overhyped movies.

Thanks to the Hollywood summer extravaganza of big films and the not-so-unfounded paranoia that movie pirates will spread illegal copies via torrent networks and dibidi bazaars, major films are released on this part of the globe almost always nearly two days head of US weekend showings. When our schedules allowed, one would easily find my sister and I at Greenbelt cinemas on Wednesday or Thursday nights catching late screenings of whatever is a must-see movie of the week.

iron manIron Man was cool, and half the reason for its success was Robert Downey Jr. Indy IV was so-so. Sex and the City was, just as expected, a blown-up version of the series. It didn’t provide fresh content or ideas even as the story took off from where the series ended four years ago, and for all that it was worth, fashion was the only thing that…sort of…saved the flick if only one could actually wear the clothes. I didn’t notice anyone in NYC wearing anything that resembled the ensemble that the cast strutted in in the movie. Ponders. I love Ed Norton, so no matter how lame the CGI and the fight scenes were whenever he turned into the green giant in Incredible Hulk, I liked the movie. I liked hims so that I always wished he wouldn’t lose it at all.

Hancock was ok. It offers a different twist on the superhero genre, but in the end still fell flat on its backside because no one has an idea of what he really is (okay, an alien, but seriously!), what the we-can’t-be-together-although-we’re-meant-for-each-other complication is about, or the flimsy excuse for the bad ‘tude and poor hygiene. But maybe because it’s just difficult to hate Will Smith and Charlize Theron did better as superhero in this flick than in that MTV-produced flop she starred in a few years ago, so the film’s got some saving grace. Still, thanks to Keiichi, for the movie treat, and I’m still embarrassed about the popcorn-flavored butter.

I missed Narnia-2, so that means I’ll have to wait until the DVD or a decent dibidi copy comes out. I still have to catch Mama Mia and The Dark Knight this week. It’s quite difficult to pass on the chance to see Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan exchange musical notes. Did Colin Firth sing too? That would be like Mr. Darcy serenading…well, Lizzie Bennet’s mom. And don’t start about Heath Ledger’s creepy Joker. I know. He could be creepy with or without Joker’s mask. And Wanted? I don’t want it.

Books!

Good Lord, there’s just no end to my love affair with books, that I kept buying titles even when I have half a dozen others waiting to be read. I’ve read the first three of Twilight saga, and have to say that the first one is the best if you hate the complications of lost love and found again, or of love triangles and feisty suitors who don’t understand the meaning of the word NO. And contrary to what others say, Twilight, the first book, is more Pride and Prejudice than Rome and Juliet. The third one channels parts of Wuthering Heights, and Bella actually read a passage from the book to explain her actions to Edward. If only things would always be solved by quoting from books, maybe this world would be a better place. (But then, there are some books that just do.not.solve.problems.) The fourth title, Breaking Dawn, is coming out on August 2, and at this stage, I don’t care much anymore about what other powers the unconventional vampires in Meyer’s universe have, but what I want to know is whether Bella ends up being “turned” or walks down the aisle with Edward. I’m on Team Edward, by the way.

Sometimes, that’s the beauty of YA fiction–you could just skip to the end. Or wait for the last installment and skip to the last chapter before bothering with the rest of the story.

I also got myself suckered into buying The Host, which is Meyer’s attempt at sci-fi romance. I’m halfway through the book, and I can say that there’s a lot of Pavlovian and Skinner(ian?) conditioning going on in the story which mostly happens in a jazzed up cave somewhere in the middle of an Arizona desert. I’m starting to think that religion also has something to do with the story, although the concept of God is not mentioned anywhere…yet? On the outset, it’s as if humans should be thankful for getting its entire population used as hosts by aliens (as souls) because they’re bad anyway.

Others on the shelf: A Biographer’s Tale by AS Bayatt, Microtrends by Mark J. Penn, The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl, The Thirteenth Tale by Dianne Setterfield, The Physician’s Tale by Ann Benson, and Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. I’m still halfway through Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Sussanna Clarke’s one-thousand-plus pager Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norris, Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass, and Jeffrey Euginides’ Middlesex. And then there are other tomes on project management, writing, communication, and how to navigate the corporate jungle which I am too embarrassed to say I’m reading, but because I have to take some refresher.

perfume movieBy the way, I chanced upon a Star Movies showing of the film based on Patrick Suskind’s Perfume some three weeks ago. I remember having major creeps when I read the most “interesting” novel way back in college, and the film wasn’t any different. Ben Whishaw’s Jean Baptiste Grenuouille should be up there with Andy Serkis’ Gollum, and possibly, Heath Ledger’s Joker in the creepiest movie psychos Hall of Fame.

Series and great digital finds

Thanks to the networked world, I have watched the 2008 remake of Sense and Sensibility and the 2006 Jane Eyre miniseries. After watching the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie, the 1995 miniseries was a bit of a disappointment, except for Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy. If you’re a fangirl of historical romance genre like me, then I highly recommend that you get copies of these series. The orig DVDs are pricey, so be creative in getting copies.

Badminton

I didn’t play badminton for over 8 weeks, thanks to the sudden downpours in the last weeks of May. Instead of hitting birds, I took much comfort instead in flipping through pages of the books I mentioned above. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the break from this sport and even considered hanging up my rackets for good. Maybe tennis would be a better alternative because at least on TV it’s so posh. Or get into some other physical activities, like yoga, boxing, or just sweating out at a gym (eww..dullsville!) But now that the rains had so far abated, I figured it was time to get busy again, pick up my racket and push myself to just try running around the courts like I was pretending to catch a flying something. I joined the BR queueing since the venue was the most convenient place to go to right after work.

BR team What can I say, on the day I started playing, the BR organizers invited me to a dual meet with Prima, and like most not-so-smart decisions I made, I agreed to wear their jersey. I used to join Prima back in summer, but for some reason I just couldn’t warm up to the idea of playing with them regularly. They’re ok, of course, and the people are mostly nice. Also, if you have joined their games for 40 times, you’d get a free badminton bag, and if I remember correctly, a shirt; both have the team’s logo.

As luck would have it, I busted my already creaky shoulder on the first day of practice. I was sluggish, gasping for breath, and had only met my partner on the last practice day before the meet, so predictably, we were slaughtered.

Retail therapy

Love my Schu mary janes

Geek glasses, shoes, jeans, shirts, bags, grocery…

Glued to Wimbledon

Holy mother of anything grassy! I nearly had a heart attack watching the epic Fed-Rafa showdown. Too bad, Rafa outmuscled and outplayed the Fed. Shit.

So, is the problem that’s been plaguing Fed this year mental? Is he truly human after all? What is mononucleosis? Should I watch Fed’s exhibition games with Borg, JMac, and a yet to be identified but hopefully not Rafa fourth party in Kuala Lumpur in November? (And can I afford it? Why isn’t there a link from the ruddy Axcess home page for the event?) And what’s with Rafa’s tugging at his trousers pedal pushers anyway?

Tennis v. stressful.

(I try not to write about work specifics. Most employers past, present and future have non-disclosure clauses, and I’d rather not ruin my chances. )

The heart is still aching to seek, but the feet question “Whither?”

ReluctanceOut through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question “Whither?”

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Robert Frost

Choosing between what’s painful and what’s blah

Today’s Chinese Horoscope for the Fire Snake:

“You’ll be assured of success in everything that you undertake if you’re careful about your uncontrolled imagination. Give priority to your love affairs: the joy of being two, important encounter or, on the contrary, separation will be in the program; the events will be to your advantage. You’ll be exposed to an emotional stress, which is likely to disturb your stability. You’ll have a better opinion of yourself, and you’ll have a better estimation of your financial possibilities; learn how to make the right choices that’ll lead you to success.”

Something good’s gotta come from this.