Long after the killing of bin Laden was accomplished, I read a full, blow-by-blow account of the entire SEAL siege on the Abbottabad complex that housed bin Laden written in The New Yorker. It was a thrilling, multi-page narrative and I read it with my mouth hanging open, gripped by the unfolding of the story (it was well-written).
Subsequently, I learned some interesting trivia surrounding it. Like, the day the siege took place, President Obama had been playing nine holes of golf at an American air force base. After that, he returned to the White House for a live viewing of the entire operation.
Typed on this blog, that doesn't seem like trivia that bears any weight or importance but it's just interesting for me to learn about how all the cast of characters of the thriller-drama that was the killing of bin Laden were that day and where they all were and how they handled it.
And I hope this isn't taken the wrong way. The info about Obama playing golf the day of the green-…
first of all, some congratulations are in order. congratulations to ms janine t. for winning first runner-up in the miss universe competition. that was marvelous and we are very proud of you.
here is a re-print of her beautiful answer in the question and answer portion:
Q: As an international ambassador, do you believe that speaking English should be a prerequisite to being Miss Universe? Why or why not?
Her answer: For me, being Miss Universe is not just about knowing how to speak a specific language. It's being able to influence and inspire other people. As long as your heart wants to serve and you have a strong mind to show people, then you can be Miss Universe.
and, more congratulations are in order! president barack obama was named by Time magazine as Person of the Year 2012! wee! congratulations! very happy for obama.
interestingly, readers might have been disappointed because, according to news reports, in the poll held by Time, readers had actually voted the most …
this day, dec. 14, 2012, at 4:43 pm (according to my watch, which is a little advanced in minutes), i opened the plastic from my very first very own starbucks planner (i got the white one). :) :) :) *dancing* *very happy*
hello 2013! i wanna love you from the very first day! :)
i can't believe it: manny made the new yorker! ohmaygad! there's a piece on him written by a k. sanneh and it implicitly comments that manny's loss might not really be as definitive to his career as it would seem.
wow, he made the new yorker. hahaha, i'm laughing at my own incredulous reaction. the new yorker is notoriously highbrow kc and known for its rarefied, top-tier position in its industry.
not that i'm saying that manny or boxing is lowbrow. but i'm often continually pleasantly surprised whenever i come upon reminders of the heights that manny had risen to and his impact in many spheres in the world.
mitt romney even sought a small dialogue with him. mitt romney. wow. manny's really quite a phenomenon. sorry, i sound like i'd been living under a rock. i just don't really keep up with manny's life or career and anyway, i'm an easily surprised person.
last weekend was christmas shopping weekend. my brother, sister-in-law, and cheeky nephew who doesn't know how to speak tagalog were over here in manila for a weekend vacation. it was a one peso-fare affair.
the first day, we went to the mall right away where my brother decided that he was going to get me a swatch watch as a christmas gift. hence, my sister-in-law and i visited the swatch shop to pick out a watch that was going to be mine.
it was there that i promptly fell in love, torn among so many attractive wristwatches! i never realized before then how swatch had so many seriously appealing watches in their store! it was a revelation, kind of like looking for something and never knowing it was just there all along! i marveled that i never looked in their direction; i had been always in love with something else.
at some excited point, the competition over my Next Top Watch dwindled down to this sweet multiple-chain-y little thing with pink hearts and a few other choices. i wa…
for today i'd like to share some gems we can pilfer from my friend mimi, writer for online philstar, with whom i'm very proud:
99U: Uncertainty is an uncomfortable position. But certainty is an absurd one. - Voltaire
Mimi: @99U Relativism! That's what has made our world terrible.
And: Haha, nakaaway ko si M. Ressa nung isang araw dito lang sa twitter. :p Dahil sa pag-sensationalize nila sa...(something)
astig. fighter investigative reporter. go mimi! :)
(i hope, hope, hope, hope she doesn't mind that i've shared some of her statements without running it by her. open account naman twitter ni mims eh...will let her know i ran her quotes elsewhere next time we meet!) ^_^
lala's birthday is every oct 13, and i was readying myself for that because it's the BIG EVENT for every october. so when oct 12 passed, and the first minutes of oct 13 began ticking in, and i was still awake that time, i decided to greet her right away!
cory: Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday to you!!! ay labs u, lalie!! happy birtday! :)
lala replied: What???! hahaha, pls tell me you're joking. :p that's it, i need to return your stuff na nga by tom. :p
(i had left a notebook planner which contained my schedule in allison's car and it was currently in lala's custody and i needed to get it from her)
i was a little bewildered by her ungracious answer so i checked the calendar again for the day's date. it was actually still oct 6, not oct 13, so i was a week early for lala's birthday.
cory: oh yeah...advance! i meant for you not to read that today, but next saturday...lam mo naman kc my penchant fo…
i woke up early today, and immediately started making my bed. mafel was already awake, and she was playing games on her iphone, and she asked, mata na ka cor? (gising ka na, cor?) murag, i replied after tilting my head to the side for a moment as if still deciding. (i said, parang.) you're making your bed na man gud, mafel said.
i went down to our sala and little kitchen, snatching my headphones with me along the way, and began washing the laundry i'd let soak the night before. i was handwashing them while one direction was singing in my ears -
i've tried playing it cool
but when i'm looking at you,
i can't ever be brave
'cause you make my heart race.
mafel came down and took a bath in the first-floor bathroom, where she could hear me singing one direction. with the result that she was singing it after as well: i need that one thing! and you got that one thing!
she wanted breakfast so we decided to cook us some, and she cooked most of it while still in her towel…
(as i imagine it, looking through the prism of this week and the weeks prior)
1. Campaign to get re-elected,
2. Do your day job while campaigning, which is quite a juggling act and a logistics and political challenge, and that's not even considering the intense stress and pressure you have coming to you from these two monumentally difficult jobs,
3. Deal as president with a horrifyingly devastating super-hurricane (Sandy) hitting your shores and land by mounting a swift and successful relief effort and providing governmental care while politically acknowledging the reality of global warming and climate change and the need to do something about that or else it's apocalypse,
4. Receive, within 3 days of sitting in re-elected office, the letter of resignation from your CIA Director, who is stepping down due to a "spyfall" affair that has broken out,
4.1 And which has also blown open the lid on some "potentially inappropriate" behavior some of the generals in …
hezbollah is in lebanon,
hamas - gaza,
the taliban - afghanistan,
qadaffi - libya (and did i just misspell qaddafi? in some places, it's gaddafi...),
what was in iraq? saddam hussein (and weapons of mass destruction, supposedly).
in pakistan? i don't know. bin laden was in pakistan. some more violence perhaps and elements of the taliban roaming around?
iran - there's ahmadinejad (and the ayatollahs)
could i possibly get into trouble with a list like this?
this is just an intellectual exercise, you know. not even intellectual. it's like the elementary primer of the ABC's of the middle east.
so there's israel and the jews and the zionists,
and...what else is there? oil and the u. a. e.?
oh, don't forget syria. wait, what's going on in syria?
me right now - slack-jawed at israel media know-how.
1. it is presenting its rationale for attacking gaza surprisingly effectively.
2. the videos on the preparations that israeli soldiers made for engaging in the offensive, the one on the cost and human toll and effect of hamas aggression on israel inhabitants, and the ones providing blow-by-blow updates on the progress of the war and the accomplishments, as well as the one that illustrated israeli willingness and policy to avoid hitting targets with civilian casualties are all well-done, well-executed and well-presented. it just brings to my mind one disturbing thought: cannily premeditated.
3. israel understands that wars are no longer just won in land and ground skirmishes now. they have to be won in the international mind as well.
- bah. don't know how to word it. basta. stay tuned nalang to the news.
there's this mug that i want to buy. i saw it in the department store yesterday and it has a quote on the side that says:
The most beautiful day: today.
i thought - that's just beautiful. it's beautiful to be reminded that today is a beautiful day, especially when you're just having another day that seems destined to be just like the one before.
and you're at work and you plug your earphones to your ear to try to dispel the monotonous hum of nothing in the background. even though you're tired of your over-played, worn-out playlist and longing for a sound that's new and rocky and edgy and alternative. something sort of indie and stirring and well-worded. something less trite and banal and superficial and easy and marshmallow-y. something perhaps less pop and taylor swift-y and more lady antebellum and...i don't know.
and then after a few of my usual, oft-played songs, i hear the sound of crashing waves in my ears and i wonder, what song do i have that has…
so the US elections have been called and now we know who won: obama. i am happy that he won and proud of him. i would have been speechless and dumbfounded if it had been romney. but people who think me a fan of obama would probably be surprised that i'm not as jubilant as one would think. maybe it's just my mood today.
anyway, as one would note, not everybody is happy with the reelection of obama. a good sector of the population and perhaps the world is in mourning. i don't know about the reasons of other sectors and groups, but i would like to identify a particular sector that is extremely disappointed with the results. because i am member of that sector. i am one of the people who think abortion should be banned, contraception and the contraceptive mentality held off, and same-sex marriage opposed. the people who think the same as me are the ones who are disappointed with obama's win. they vote for romney. they vote republican. obama is a democrat and liberal (or per…
it hits me just now that tomorrow my beloved US 2012 presidential elections will be coming to an end. it is "beloved" for me not because i am a die-hard sycophant of america, but because the entire ride was just so hilarious. it was a scream and i was wiping tears of laughter from my eyes continually the whole time. it was a laugh trip, so it was dear. :D
and incredibly, there won't be news about it anymore to make me laugh. :( so sad. but before we turn the page, let us slip in one more reason why the 2012 US elections had so much to give us to laugh about.
here's a final gem from mitt romney, a line from his speech: "Tomorrow we begin a new tomorrow. Tomorrow there will be a better tomorrow." can he say the word "tomorrow" enough?! it's already giving some people grief, including a former white house counselor who wondered, who is mitt romney's speechwriter? was it stephen colbert, maker of the sign "Making A Better Tomorrow Tomorr…
cory: yep! he'd like to exchange personal contact info. he had gone on a business trip to inner mongolia because his bank was dealing with a large dairy company there. and this company is going public so they're hashing out details of the IPO (initial public offering).
so he's visiting the dairy farm there and he took pictures of the cows. and they're really cute daw so he wants to share them with me. first, he asked me if there was an app in the phone i was using so he could send and show me the pictures of the really cute cows. but i said the phone i was using was a company phone.
and so he asked me for my own personal contact information but i said that that would be outside of professional bounds so he just gave me his own info and asked me to contact him.
i'm tempted to take up his offer! (but sort of like, just-having-fun tempted!)
WE are never ever ever getting back together.
We-ee are never ever ever getting back together.
You go talk to your friends,
talk to my friends,
talk to me.
But we-(ee!!) are never EVER EVER EVER getting back together.
I used to think that we were forever ever,
and I used to say never say never...
cory: so you cried when you watched michelle obama's speech?
cory: aww, poor baby...
guy: you cried too!
cory: i'm a girl.
guy: i'm human. humans are emotional. i was in a bad mood that time and -
cory: it's okay, baby...
i'm just kidding. it's perfectly fine for a guy to cry, of course. i just couldn't resist ribbing the person a little, you know? there are just some persons who are fun to rib, that's all, hehehe. and the guy was laughing, okay? so please don't call me evil. =)
i normally wouldn't talk about it, or even entertain it in my thoughts, but i'm not talking about it with anyone else anyway, so...?
there's this guy - the one who studied in the uk and who works in a bank, and he said to me some days ago - in that part of the conversation where you're exchanging pleasantries - he said, that his day was tough but that it was alright because i had wished him a good day.
and though the comment to me has weight like less than a feather (probably), i wondered if it were comments like that (that things were fine because i had wished him a good day) that were supposed to signal to me that someone sort of likes me or not.
i actually don't think about it all that often. i just thought that maybe, for a change, i should maybe have that sort of wondering conversation with myself, because i don't think i really, truly let myself have that sort of self-conversation, you know?
and for some reason, this reminds me of that part that night - i…
so i edited a resume today. i found the task long. at some point, i was beginning to wonder if the flattery that i was "lovely" was worth the effort. (just kidding)
but i managed to zip through it quick as possible and actually, the effort wasn't costing me a sweat. and no, the flattery that i was "lovely" had nothing to do with it. i do things like this pro bono (and sans flattery). i've helped others with their thesis and application letters to masters school too, ya know!
b. my resume comment
cory: you didn't tell me you were the captain of your school's soccer team. i thought you were the cheerleader. (i was going to say mascot, but i decided to be kinder.)
there's this person. he asked me for help editing his resume. when i looked it over, i almost fell in love. he has all these academic curricular awards, interest awards, service awards and sports awards. and they're coming from good universities.
he was apparently a student leader, was captain of the school soccer team, and has a pretty good GMAT score.
and i'm wondering if the information is embellished or if i had underestimated him, because he doesn't really seem to shine to me.
and he lists singing as one of his hobbies. i've heard him sing before. it's okay if i never hear him sing again. (hahaha!)
there was this one time when i took exception to a small act of overlooked discourtesy on his part and i called him out on it. he apologized for his "impoliteness". i said it was okay - pushups. he laughed.
i'm not falling though. just something amusing. haha!
saw this pic and it just made me laugh. look at the happy seal! crashing the photo of emperor penguins...hahaha!
cute seal...i guess it was just following in the footsteps of the squirrel who crashed the photo of a couple who were taking a picture of themselves. obviously, this little squirrel wanted in in the picture...
i think this should be telling us something: we should never exclude our animal friends from the picture. they really want in! :)
i've always thought that being president must be an unimaginably difficult job and that life is inherently messy and prone to loose ends and that marriage and love are beautiful but fragile. when taken in that context, it strikes me that the idea of a president being a good president and a good husband and a good father must really be quite an accomplishment.
and i always wonder about the hidden, the unspoken, and the untold. it seems impossible to assume that michelle and barack had never run into problems in their marriage. but how do they pull it off? how do they manage it really, with the whole world watching?
"If happy ever after did exist, I would still be holding you like this..."
i feel like they face such unspoken odds. don't they? i cross my fingers that they stay together and show the world an example of a marriage that's really first.
when the presidential debates began yesterday afternoon, president barack obama opened his remarks by wishing his wife a happy 20th anniversary.
his opponent, mitt romney congratulated him, and drew the first laugh of the night by joking, "i'm sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine - here with me." (cue crowd laughter)
we all know what went on with the presidential debate yesterday. romney appeared to have won it, displaying an unusual alertness and clarity, and people, who have been expecting and predicting a once-again articulate obama, were slack-jawed at how the whole time he just seemed like he just wasn't there.
as chris matthews of msnbc incredulously put it, where was obama tonight? but that sounds a little too mild because that was taken out of context and the time adverb is outdated so let me re-phrase that as the words to my own wonderment: where was he that night?!
but no matter where barack obama was that night, or where he had misplaced…
here i am again, wondering if i can make this decision. is it okay if i put limits to how much i can take? is it okay to value my sense of happiness, and put a premium on being okay despite my many mistakes or how bad things are?
for some reason, i kind of feel this need to explain because when i just act on it, i feel that it has misled people and i find myself misunderstood.
it's just that before, many people had assumed that just because i seemed okay, my circumstances were okay, or that they were okay for me.
but i need to be okay, and i need my sense of happiness and well-being (even if i have to fight for it) to be able to do the work cut out before me.
so if you think i'm okay and doing fine, that doesn't mean that some things aren't important to me, or that some things i'm okay with writing off.
i'm just forgiving myself and accepting myself despite my shortcomings. it's me learning not to judge myself. me being a friend to myself.
there is this person - his profile is that he works in a bank, and he is graduated from the university of york, in the uk (i don't think this sentence is grammatically incorrect, btw).
and he finds himself very curious about me. and i'm wondering what i said. and he just says that it just seems that i have a very interesting story.
it's not interesting at all, i should say. it's just complicated. and heartbreaking.
he finds himself intrigued anyway.
but his curiosity (i always misspell this word) is misplaced. it's a rabbit hole that leads to nowhere. i wish i were simpler.
it's nice to have me around raw. anobers.
but i actually consider it a genuine compliment. that there could be some person who thinks that the fact that you like pink is funny (and not in a ha-ha kind of way), and who finds it interesting that you wish that you could just have a lifetime supply of starbucks coffee and possess a personal library that could be just there for you whenever y…
two nights ago, i had a dream about you. in my dream, you had a girlfriend. i think i was talking with her and i don't remember her face but i remember her hair. it was blonde. she was sporting the same hairdo as that of miley cyrus' right now. funny, i never thought you were into blondes.
i was telling someone about it, and described you vaguely as someone i care about. i said the dream was a little funny. it amused me that my subconscious put the miley cyrus blonde pixie hair onto your "girlfriend".
my friend was less amused. she was afraid i was going to burst into tears.
* * * * *
Pangarap Lang Kita
mabuti pa sa lotto, may pag-asang manalo.
'di tulad sa 'yo - imposible!
prinsesa ka, ako'y dukha.
sa tv lang naman kasi may mangyayari.
at kahit mahal kita,
wala akong magagawa.
tanggap ko o aking sinta -
pangarap lang kita.
i was taking the ascending escalator to the food court on my way to get myself a fruit shake when a lithe older man took it as well, going down. he went only slightly faster than the machine and as he passed me by, i couldn't help thinking, "i wish i had done that, too!"
one of the most interesting things i came across this week was the story behind the song Into The Open Air by Julie Fowlis. it was featured in the movie Brave. it's this beautiful, solemn, and bittersweet melody that revolves around a longing and a wish to "step into the open air".
i wanted to find out about the song because i always have this persistent interest about the backstories of things, and i wanted to know about what the writer/s were thinking when they wrote it. how did they get it so right? what was behind the creative genius of the song?
i was curious about the song also because it was the song i was turning to at the moment. last monday saw me walking one of the underground walkways in the city and into the night, head down, dejected, miserable and sad.
and i was connecting with the song because of its idea of walls and the question of whether they could come down, and the longing, the longing to feel your feet on the ground, leave behind your prison, and …
today i cried for my spelling skills. i was looking for a word, the right word, and i wanted to know if it was this - assymetric. but the online dictionary suggested that such a word did not exist, so i tried again - asymetric? again, the online dictionary shook its head no. by this time, i was scandalized. what was the correct spelling? the answer was: asymmetric. oh my gad! this was appalling.
i knew that the "a" in the word meant "not", and the rest of the word referred to the word's more basic progenitor, symmetry, but my spelling error meant that i would have spelled symmetry as symetry and thought myself correct!
so, anyway, as you well already know, i have started pinterest and i am SO excited to be pinning! but(!), of course, first things first, i have to begin by creating some pinterest boards! so here are some of my ideas for the titles and themes.
one board will be titled, "if you're ever thinking of buying me a gift", and as you might well guess from the title, the pins on that board will revolve around that theme. i recommend you follow that one, especially if you're thinking of buying me a gift.
the second board will be called "clothes i want you to want me to have" and it will feature many pretty stuff, from really trendy pink clothes to dresses and gowns that taylor swift and selena gomez wore. it will also feature other designer items, besides.
the third board is "places you should take me to". this board is intended for a future boyfriend or really loving family and friends. it will feature a full-on collection of wonderful and amazing castles…
i don't know if it's a good idea to put this here but there must have been a reason why it had occurred to me several times that i needed to write this.
this was written on my notebook last sunday. i'm not changing how it is written.
Memo: Some Advice On Reading My Blog
i can't write anything and yet there is something which i need to write.
i am currently in the middle of trying to turn things around for myself, whatever that means, and i think it's going to take a lot of effort.
the thing is, it's going to be really hard, and the way is going to be strewn with many kinds of difficulties.
i feel the need to prepare you for that, because i think i'm going to be needing this blog.
i might be sharing with you some good news and bad news and stuff. the thing is, i'm going to free myself from having to worry about how anything i say might be affecting your sensibilities or influencing what you think of me, or anything like that. i'm just going to let myse…
ay, i'm so sorry. i feel so guilty. nagtaray ako. sorry! kc he dared to innocently suggest that this some kinda thing that was not right was right and i laid it into him. hala...i need anger management na ata...
i was trying to write several things today but nothing would come out right. i was unsatisfied with what i wrote. not really with the subject, but with the words i was writing to the subject. they wouldn't take off the page.
i wonder why. perhaps i feel down? was it because this morning saw me riding a jeep and tears were welling up in my eyes and i tried to hold them back but one drop fell off and tumbled down...?
it was classic filipino, right? or was it classic more of life, really, in general? riding a jeep and crying.
one tear lang naman. huwag kasing mag-isip habang naka-sakay sa jeep. ma-weweirduhan lang ang iba or siguro ma-amuse.
i know it's kind of late and the song made the rounds months ago but i've only come into it in full living color just a few days before. i immediately appreciated its rhetoric, especially the chorus. here it is below with annotation.
i'm at a payphone, trying to call home
all of my change i spent on you
(i love how the words immediately conjure a recognizable and imaginably accessible situation with the stroke of just a few words. when i hear them, i see a guy in rugged denim jeans and jacket trying at a payphone by some lonely street or highway while city night lights flash in the background. his emotions and body language need no further explanation.
notice as well how they say "all of my change i spent on you" which works rather than "all of my change is spent on you" which doesn't.)
where have the times gone?
baby, it's all wrong.
where are the plans we made for two?
(i've always loved how words communicate meaning and feelings that would …
i love the old-world feel of the pan de manila shop just across the place where i work. i love their bread and their spreads as well but like a child, i can't make up my mind right now what food i would really like to eat... :)
subject: a chronicle of a German family who lived before, during and after the reign of the Third Reich and who had silently and obstinately opposed it
promising premise: the father had called the children to his study and asked them to take down and remember this maxim: etiam si omnes - ego non! (even if everyone - not me!)
attraction of the book: war chronicles, the interesting predicament of being a German and opposing your own government's Nazi rule (scary!!), and er - did i mention war? hehe, i should grab The Diary of Anne Frank one of these days
i have finally caught on. i have had colds twice in three months, for over two weeks each. and now i am caught at the beginning of yet another one! what is up?!
so i said to mai, one of my housemates, "mai, ma-alikabok ba ang bahay natin?"
she asked me if i sneeze around the house. "oo," i said.
"oo, madumi ang bahay natin," she confirmed.
"what?! why?! naglilinis naman tayo ah!" lotis cleans the house on the weekends - sweeping and scrubbing the floors, cleaning the kitchen - and the house is not really cluttered. i also clean. i sweep the bedroom floor (the one i share with my roomie) and clean the bathroom as well (the one i share with chaida). at other times, i've cleaned the sala as well.
"hindi siya madumi na madumi pero hindi rin siya malinis," maimai said.
oh, so that's why. and here i was wondering why i was suddenly so sickly and why all the apples, bananas and vitamin c in the world were not fortifying me. the curt…
Meantime I'll scout the area where your building's at and check how fireproof it is...don't do anything particularly vengeful without me! - Lala
Lala, it's okay na. i gave them a med cert and slapped it on their desks metaphorically and scrawled things randomly on the sick leave form they gave me just to make it clear just exactly what i thought of their stupid office policies. i hope it was hard to read.
i woke up that day with a text from my company asking if i was coming in. i went down to find my housemates gathered in the sala where they were watching the news.They told me not to go to work.
" 'di po ako makakapasok, sir. baha na po kami dito sa 6th floor ng building namin," they urged me to text. "paki-padala nalang po ng amphibian dito at paki-secure na rin po ng safety ko kung gusto niyong pumasok ako..."
so with an impromptu day off in my hands, i went back to my room to do nothing and in the late afternoon, i received a text from lalushka:
load at last! kamusta dyan cor? pinasok na kami ng baha kaninang umaga, buti naman walang brownout. stay safe, dearling!
i was very glad to hear from her and to be assured of her safety. but mostly, i was just glad to be thought of. (hahahaha, selfish, hihihi. jk.)
i was hibernating just fine but then at about 6 p.m., i realized that i was getting hungry and would need to eat soon so i took a bath and decided to go d…