17 February 2007

life in agonizing slow-mo

Shame on you for giving me this much grief. I've been half-dead these past weeks, trying to figure out the reasons for your heartless actions. And the strange thing is, I still have enough energy to love you and absorb the hurt as much as I can. But don't expect me to readily obliterate all thoughts on what you've done and how you've failed me.

03 February 2007

a new lease in life

Last November 2006, I resigned from my post as PR account manager (a job I've been handling for five years) and entered UNICEF as a fundraising assistant in the private sector fundraising unit, specifically handling direct mail campaigns.

Finally, I've achieved one of my life-long dreams. (Okay, maybe it's not a life-long dream, but working for UNICEF Philippines is something that I've always wanted to do when I became old enough to work.)

Needless to say, life becomes more significant when one is working to improve the living conditions of underprivileged Filipino children. Work keeps me very busy and at times stressed, but at the end of the day, I know I'm loads happier raising funds for children than slaving away at some corporation.

And the icing on the cake, really, is being able to work with a wonderful group of people.

For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection

03 January 2007

Happy Birthday to the Lord of the Rings

It's J. R. R. Tolkien's eleventy-fifth birthday!

Let's raise a glass to the Professor, who now dwells past 'white shores and beyond them, a far green country under a swift sunrise.'

02 January 2007

new year, new books!

It's another great year for buying and reading books. Am slowly but surely heading towards my short-term goal of owning 1,000 books (er, by 2010, perhaps?).

So here, in no particular order, is an initial list of books I plan to read this first half of 2007:

1. My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
2. Understanding The Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism edited by Neil Isaacs and Rose Zimbardo
3. The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology by Joseph Campbell
4. A Gentle Madness by Nicholas Basbanes
5. Patience and Fortitude by Nicholas Basbanes
6. The Road to Middle-Earth (Revised and Expanded Edition) by Tom Shippey
7. Splintered Light: Logos and Language in Tolkien's World by Verlyn Flieger
8. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
9. Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
10. On Literature by Umberto Eco

Ideally, I should be reading around 12-24 books during the first six months of the year. But life is so hectic nowadays (I contemplate on my work action items for the day while I'm in the toilet just to maximize my time) that I'd be surprised and pleased as punch if I could finish a 400-page book in five days' time.

Of course, it's possible for me to read more than 10 books from January to June 2007. Will see, will see.

Anyway, just to look back at the year that was in terms of books, here are my top favorite reads in 2006 (once more, in no particular order):

1. Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
2. The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
3. Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
4. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
5. Birds Without Wings by Louis De Bernieres
6. Misfortune by Wesley Stace
7. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (Okay, I've read this book at least once a year for the past decade but who cares? It's still in my annual list of favorite books of the year.)