DAY 049 โ€“ 2018.18.02

LOL.

So I basically spent the entire day reading a fanfic. I didn’t mean to–I swear–it’s just that it was such an easy read! The writing style of the author very good and her dialogues are very engaging. I guess MALEC is really creeping up my system too. I mean, I just started getting intrigued by them because they are two very hot guys, but also because flamboyant Magnus is easily my favorite, and more so when he made the grumpy giant Alec stutter like a teenager to his crush.

The chemistry between Harry and Matt was kind of a slow build, so there were times I thought they looked a bit uncomfortable with the acting as lovers. But I guess I got used to their slow kisses and “bro” touches on the shoulder and shy, but sweet touches to the face and neck. I guess I got used to the passion of Isak and Even inย Skam that I was looking for the same inย Shadow hunters with MALEC.

The contrast in character is actually very nice. While Alec is all for the job, often grumpy and restrained, Magnus is oozing with confidence, freewheeling, and colors all around him. I guess it’s canon that Alec is gay while Magnus is bisexual. With Magnus, Alec shows a softer side of himself, while Magnus, despite his 17k affairs, is careful and cautious when it comes to Alec like he’s his first ever relationship. They are a very romantic, I’m-your-home kind of couple. They are sexual, but it doesn’t define their relationship, well of course not in the show at least.

Because of this, I think I am not officially interested to read “The Bane Chronicles” which is a book about Magnus. I found a book of this at the book fair yesterday, but I really justย cannot with the tacky book cover. It matters a lot to me.

Season 3 of Shadow Hunters come out on March. Should I finally watch it? *shrug* dunno~ I’ll probably stick with condensed stories about Magnus and Alec only at YT. Hihi~

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Day 048 – 2018.17.02

I’m not sure if it’s a boon or a bane that a big book sale coincides with my book-reading phase because it only means more books, but more expenses as well.

Money aint so easy these days, and probably for the next several months (hopefully not the entire year), so buying books had become a very big luxury. If only my Kindle would stop playing with my heart and just go back to pleasing me as it did before, I would go back to double-thinking my actions before I grab a book to the cashier.

But after “We Are the Ants”, I think I’ve fully readjusted myself to reading paperbacks.

With 60-80% off of books, people flooded the World Trade Center in Pasay like they would a grocery store on a payday. The usual 350-500php worth of paper backs are only 190 php. Even the expensive hardbounds are only around 230php!

Of course, even though it’s a big treat, I had to be mindful of my expenses, so I kept my budget to a thousand pesos or just a bit over that.

In the end, I bought my two nephews their activity books (it will be a belated and advanced gifts from Tita-Ninang), two novels I haven’t spotted in the bookstore (even from the huge one of Fullybooked BGC), and a reference book of psychology I’ve been puppy-eying to be magically mine since the moment I laid eyes on it. The last book is still the most expensive I’ve bought of the bunch, but fuck, it’s more than half of it’s regular price so did I have to think twice? Hell no!

To be honest, the crowd was triggering the hermit in me, so I cut my hunt short, and not only because my wallet was flashing red flags at me. But if given more budget and probably a friend who will give me a free ride, I’d love to go back and probably snag a few more titles.

Ugh, this hobby is so expensive!

Day 047 – 2018.16.02

Apparently, “We Are the Ants” has a short story companion piece titled, “What We Pretend To Be” which copy was pretty easy to find in the generous World Wide Web.

The short story is a compilation of different alien abductions, each character with a different dilemma in their life and reactions to the encounter. Henry’s first abduction was also written as the finale piece of it.

In conclusion, the short story boils down to what the novel also wanted to reflect: everyone has a choice. Diego always emphasized this idea to convince Henry that he can make his life better if he chose it to be. Every character in the short story were also given choices by the alien which ultimately affects their life.

With this short story, I’m more convinced that the alien abduction in the story is merely an allusion to that line between the past, the decision, and the future.

Well, I might be wrong, but I’ll stick with my impressions until someone argues with me. After all, this is the beauty if literature, isn’t it? It’s openness to interpretations? ๐Ÿ™‚

On the other hand, MALEC (Magnus Bane x Alec Lightwood) is eating up my time. It has been for the past three days, I think?

The funny thing is, I don’t have any intention to watch the show Shadowhunters at all, nor read “The Mortal Instruments” which the show is based on (because I’m not into fantasy stories), but I can’t help but fall in love with the pair. I think their characters have layers of interesting things to learn about and their dynamics is slowly being revealed to me, thanks to compilation vids and the few fanfics I’ve read.

I never paid that much attention to it when my friend mentioned that Harry Shum Jr of Glee was playing a gay role, but Youtube took my hand and lead me to another western gay fandom just like Skam.

Well, itโ€™s always lovely to find new fandom.
With hot guys, may I add? ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 046 – 2018.15.02

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhwwwwwwww.

It’s a hybrid of “ahhh” and “awww” which can only be summoned by a satisfying ending to a long story.

I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience of “We Are the Ants”. The angst, sarcasm, and layers of finding answers to the meaning of life is 450 pages of worth of reading. I also love the fact that despite needing to put down the book for work and other side reads (eherm, fanfic), it’s so easy to go back to Calypso and Henry’s head.

There’s a lot of endearing elements in this very angsty story which is already plus points for me. Take Henry’s family for example.

Henry’s family is the image of a home with so many holes and cracks that there’s always the possibility of it collapsing, but it endures as much as it can.

He describes his brother Charlie as a worthless human being incapable of success or ever providing for his own family, but there were parts of the book that tells us that he loves his brother all the same. Charlie equally loves Henry the way he knows how. It’s physically painful at times, but we instantly know he isn’t as shitty as Henry describes him to be.

It’s very rare for me to tear up in reading, but when Henry’s mom finally was done drowning in her family’s misery, I celebrated with tears of joy. She just had so much on her plate: her depressed son, a soon-to-be father of a college drop-out first son, a missing husband, and a senile mother. She had forgotten to dream to survive reality.

Nana was probably as adorable to the readers as she was to Henry. There’s just something so heartbreaking and endearing about a person who loses memories because memories are like that: you can remember it fondly, but never live it again. She was the shaky pillar of her family, and I think Henry at a time considered pushing the button just for his grandmother.

I didn’t fall in love with Diego as much as my friend who lend me the book, but he was important in the story. His presence never pushed Henry to do something he doesn’t want to like Audrey (but she’s a great friend), but his place in Henry’s life is to make him reflect on how he perceive himself; that even if he feels he is not important to the universe, for one person–Diego–he is the universe, he is important.

And that’s worth pushing the button.

All in all, I think my Goodreads review sums up my appreciation to this book:

Whether the sluggers were a state of mind or a reality, this book asks a fundamental question: when shitfuck of everything explodes to your face reducing you to a minuscule being not worthy of the world and it’s mysteries, albeit misery, will you still fight for the chance at happiness again?

Angst is probably a guilty pleasure of a read for me, so Henry’s internal monologues kept me good company. Sometimes I wanted to save him, other times I just wanted to be on the same slab with the sluggers with him.

The dysfunctional family element is always the oasis in a desert; that the drought, heat, and vastness of the same plain planes of rough sand under our feet, the thirst for water, for salvation, exist. You just have to trudge on to find it.

“The universe might forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

In terms of writing style, I really appreciate Shaun David Hutchinson. His descriptions are on-point, metaphors and references beautiful.

The last novels I quoted so much were “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” and “Call Me By Your Name”.

Too bad I had to return the book, so I eventually had to remove all those tabs after I saved my favorite lines.

Because of this book, I think I’m going to read as much Shaun David Hatchinson from now on. I quite regret not buying my own copy of this book before. No wonder it called me so many times. Well, I’m sure I can do something about that in the future.

“We Are the Ants” – Shaun David Hatchinson (novel) – 5/5 stars

Day 045 – 2018.14.02

After that sorry of a excuse to my loneliness on Valentines Day two years ago, I’ve come at peace that being alone is probably really my thing.

I’ve never felt lonely being alone, heck, I’m very comfortable like this actually. So Valentines Day doesn’t puzzle me as much anymore. I mean, if people are happy with their significant other, congratulations, and if people are wallowing in bitterness during this day, I’m sorry for your loss then.

I’m still falling for the novel I’ve been devouring since Sunday, so I was pretty excited to finish the day, come home to my bed, and snuggle with it.

I went home with a surprise on my work table from mom so this made it V-day special. I gave her two boxes of pizza in return. ๐Ÿ™‚

Perfect!

Day 044 – 2018.13.02

Walking through Dad’s papers – record of his life in two pages and scribbles of a lonely man

I finally gave time to sort through my dad’s documents which was sent by my uncle from the States.

There’s plenty of them: credit card bills, employment documents, tax returns, etc.

While I search for documents that might hint at where his accounts are (so we can track his money and pay our debts), I can’t help but feel heavy going through his files.

Those kinds of papers were things other people didn’t pay attention to. They didn’t need to because it’s personal and confidential. However, I couldn’t help, but trace through my dad’s life in the states going through job to job; from an illegal alien to a greencard holder. If I ever felt lonely while applying for a job because I had no moral support while doing so, what more for my father who was far away from home? He had to survive in a foreign land. He was such a brave man.

But what broke me was the two-page piece of paper with his scribbles of when he was still alive, jotting down his body’s condition, watching out for a seizure. I did the exact same thing when I was at the hospital when he was sick, always on the verge of a breakdown, but needing to be awake and strong for the both of us.

It was my dad recording pieces of his life alone, sick, and needing to be strong for himself.

And we couldn’t be there for him.

Now I can only cry and imagine what I missed. I feel like I’ve never really knew my dad, nor really cared much about his life there. I’m always busy making fighting my own demons to stay afloat, to stay smiling, so I kept deaf and blind to his typical whims which were apparently pleads of a lonely man.

Whenever I see a picture of my dad, I always wonder how much he had to endure, how sad it must have been these past four years of being without a wife that loves him, and three children who couldn’t do shit to make him feel that his life was worth something.

I wonder what my dad felt on the last moments of his life, if he ever had the strength to record it, what could he have stated there. I wonder if he passed away with regrets or he was ready to say goodbye, or if he was sad or angry at us.

I’m sorry if I failed you, Daddy. I’m so so sorry.

Day 043 – 2018.12.02

If given the choice of genres, I’d usually avoid angst as my chosen flavor of a story because, heck, who wants their hearts clenched in that way?

I guess I do.

I can’t seem to stop reading this book, “We Are the Ants”. I love Henry’s voice: his sarcasm, the way he describes his dysfunctional but equally endearing and enduring family, his reflections on why , after all, it’s worth saving the world or often why it’s better to leave it to burn, and many references to science with life.

I’m thinking whether his abductions are a state of mind when he’s in doubt of himself, going through a turning point and his thoughts take form of the sluggers, or it’s real. Nonetheless, I don’t care.

There had been researches in the past stating that accounts of alien abductions are a state of hysteria, and that could be true. If one subscribe to the word of psychologists and social analysts, then it’s true.

I think I’m one of them.

Anyhow, I’m very intrigued if Henry will push the button or not. Somehow, Charlie’s growing on me despite Henry describing him as a royal asshole. He’s the very image of a rounded character: asshole to responsible (soon-to-be) father.

I’m also wondering about Marcus. I think he does like Henry a lot despite his actions, but I wonder if someone will ever save him from himself. I think he found peace in Henry, but he didn’t know how to deal with Henry’s loss along with his own confusion and issues, and think it’s easier being an asshole than to face the drama. He was working hard for the wrong reasons and the wrong way.

Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay. Back to reading!

Day 042 – 2018.11.02

You know when you have 12463894635 of things to do but the only thing you wanna do is lie in bed either to read or sleep? Or read then sleep?

My life right now.

Urrrgh.

Anyhow, books invading my life is always a lovely thing, but reading is time consuming and it makes me shut off from the world more than I already am. I have to control these impulsions better, even if it’s a good thing.

Anyhow, I’m already at my 9th book for my 10-book reading challenge for 2018. But I still have the drive to read, so let’s go beyond that challenge!

Next books to consume:
} Edward Unspooled
} A Man Named Ove
} My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
} Two Boys Kissing
} The Red Sheet
} 1Q84
} The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Day 041 – 2018.10.02

A belated celebration for Tita’s 54th birthday had me riding in a car with brothers grooving to cringey local music that I shamelessly started liking as well by the time the song finished. LOL

And Tita blew her cake! That was awesomesauce.

For all the sleepy moments I had throughout this day, I was able to finish “Fan Art” by Sarah Tregay.

I simultaneously read this book in my Kindle alongside “Simon and the Homo Sapiens Agenda” which I think make the latter book even more dragging to read since Tregay’s writing style appeals to me more. Both had simple stories: in love with someone, in the closet, someone in school knows their secrets, does not want to be outed by force (who does?). I guess Tregay’s book gains her edge in the voice of the characters.

I think both Jamie and Simon were trying to be funny, but Jamie’s metaphors and sarcasm appealed to me more. The side characters are endearing like Eden who is a closet lesbian and yaoi fangirl and had become one of Jamie’s greatest friend through his ordeal of staying in or outside the closet and figuring out what to do with Mason.

Mason, Jamie’s best friend and love interest, seems very lovely too. Jamie all the while thinks that Mason will hate him if he ever finds out his best friend is gay, but there’s one or two chapters that already hints to Mason flirting (even courting) Jamie and he still dismisses the hints. There’s the question, but his answer is always a no no no, he can’t possibly like me that way. So it’s entertaining and I wanted to find out so much how things will turn out for the both of them.

I gave this book a 4/5 stars just because the ending felt cut short. If probably the author gave a glimpse of the two of them riding out of town to college to live their lives independently, and finally, as a couple, then that would have been a very satisfying ending–for me.

Nonetheless, even without the help of Simon to highlight the writing of this book, I actually liked it a lot. Good read. ๐Ÿ™‚

Fan Art” (novel) – 4/5 stars