Monday, February 26, 2007

My Moleskine Notebook

Reading Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (a book born out of a notebook she kept during summer vacations in Italy and which, by the way, is a beautiful book I don't think I will ever tire of reading) and discovering Moleskine have inspired me to keep a notebook/journal. Using a Cartier pen (something I inherited from my father's side of the family), I write in my Moleskine notebook almost every day. (I bought my Moleskine from Fully Booked - the only Moleskine distributor in the Philippines.) Check out www.modoemodo.com to learn about the Moleskine. It's the notebook that artists and thinkers use. For example, it was the notebook of choice for Pablo Picasso, Jean Paul Sartre, Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Vincent Van Gogh. Having this notebook has really helped me start writing again/get back in touch with my creative side. It is an inspiration to me. I bring my Moleskine with me everywhere. You can't, and you shouldn't, bring your laptop with you everywhere. For example, you wouldn't/shouldn't bring your laptop with you to a family reunion or to a picnic with friends. But to a family reunion or picnic with friends it is all right to bring your journal or notebook and sketch your loved ones or paste in photos of them and write wonderful accompanying captions. My Moleskine is just for me. My blog is for whatever I want to share with the whole world.


P.S. Why I have left teaching for a while:

"What must one do in order to grow?" - opening of the Divine Comedy
"You must change your life." - Rilke

and

the impulse and desire to surprise your own life =)


I am happier now, and growing, because of the changes in my life (meeting new people, making new friends, writing again, etc.). =) I need to be a much better and much happier person for myself and for my future students.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who wants to watch Bridge to Terabithia with me?

Monday, February 19, 2007

The new Naruto Shippuden

is SO FREAKIN' AWESOME!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Or should I say Happy Single Awareness Day?

Damn, sometimes you have to pursue pleasure through gritted teeth.

Friday, February 09, 2007

If you're wondering about that bruise on my left arm...

Last Friday, the IT department and the resources department (my department) of our company had a "team building" session: We played paintball and the members of the paintball teams were chosen randomly so that we could all get to know different people. I'm not into paintball but I was so happy that day because I got to meet a lot of new people and even make new friends within the company. =D =D And isn't it so cool to be part of a company that sponsors paintball games for its employees?? =D

Thursday, February 08, 2007

New Job

I now work for a company that teaches English to Europeans through the Internet. I'm not one of the teachers though. Remember I wanted to take a break from teaching? I'm part of the resources team of the company. My official title is "ESL material developer." (ESL = teaching English as a second language) I write and edit teaching materials for the company. And yes, I am happy with my new job! =D I'll post more about my new job in the future. =)

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Devil Wearing Prada is Looking Better

Friday night, I watched the dvd of the Devil Wears Prada starring Meryl Streep (who is a "goddess" and was amazing in the movie) and Anne Hathaway (beautiful but I wasn't impressed with her acting in the movie). The best part about a dvd is the special features. The Devil Wears Prada dvd includes interviews with the cast and crew on topics ranging from the script, to the fashion in the movie, to filming in New York City. There's a gag reel (good laughs) and you can choose to watch the entire movie with a voice over commentary from the director (David Frankel) and the producers (for all those die-hard movie buffs). My favorite featurette shows the deleted scenes (there's even an option that allows you to watch the deleted scenes with a voice over commentary). I love watching the "extra scenes" of a movie because it gives me more of the movie, like extending the movie for me.

I love the extras dvds give me. I love learning more about the making of a movie. It helps me appreciate the movie more. I love hearing the insights of the cast and crew. That helps me understand the movie better. For example, from The Devil Wears Prada dvd I learned that Valentino was asked to make a cameo to give authenticity and credibility to the movie. Someone from the fashion world needed to speak out and support the movie. I remember my "oh my gosh!" reaction when I saw Valentino in the movie. The story behind the Valentino cameo is revealed in a dvd featurette.

So what did I think about the movie after watching it a second time? (See my Sept. 1, 2006 post for my first review of The Devil Wears Prada.) I realized I missed a lot of the details in the movie the first time around. I thought the movie was about fashion. That's why I was disappointed with the movie the first time I watched it (it didn't satisfy me as a "fashion movie"). Now I know that the movie is actually a coming-of-age story. It's a movie about a young woman discovering herself. It just so happens that the young woman, Andy, loses her innocence and becomes wiser to the ways of the world through her work inside the world of fashion journalism. The first time I watched the movie I wondered where the "meat" was. Now I know what the "meat" is and understand the movie more.

Speaking of initiations into the adult world, the first time I watched the movie I wasn't convinced with how Andy supoosedly "changed." While watching the movie on dvd I finally saw that Andy was pulled morally because of her sacrifices for her job. The indicators of this change were subtle, mostly in what she said about Runway and Miranda. Andy losing weight was also a subtle indicator of her change of opinion on fashion.

The main theme of the movie is one that works well in American movies because it is applicable to American culture: not having enough time for "what is more important." Work vs. family, friends, and boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife. Being career-obsessed like Miranda whose whole life was Runway magazine. Choosing to get ahead over choosing principles. Andy admits to turning her back on her friends and everything she believed in. In the Philippines, we have the opposite problem. Sure many Filipinos are sell outs for money, but few Filipinos are career-obsessed. Most Filipinos do not make their work their life. And Filipinos almost never turn their back on family and friends, at least not for work. We're a very family-oriented people. In fact, our problem is we need to get more serious about excellence in the workplace. Many Filipinos need to become more committed to their careers and/or become more ambitious. We need to improve our work ethic. There are too many instances where we move too slow or are too lazy about work.

P.S. Now the movie makes me want to go shopping. =)