Saccharine Irony

This site is a compilation of fluid thoughts, a collection of poetry, random glimpses of humor and tragedy, spontaneous notions of an extremely sensitive mind.

A Feast of Words January 27, 2011

Filed under: books — Aimee @ 5:01 am
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So several chapters into Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before, I realize that I cannot possibly finish this book without consulting a dictionary every five minutes. I remember buying this book four years ago, after my-then boyfriend and I had a spat and I decided to take refuge in a bookstore and purchase the first book I liked. (I was famous for these random shopping impulses. Hungry, bored, impatient, angry – I shop. Thank God I’ve outgrown this obsession.)

Well, this Eco book has a really attractive cover, all blue and gold, and despite its non-attractive price I made my purchase without batting an eyelash. Alas, after a few reading attempts, the book sat in my shelf all these years gathering dust and growing more yellowed by the day. I never went beyond a few chapters simply for the reason that I did not fancy consulting a dictionary page after page! What I did then was to list out all the words that made me feel like some sort of idiot, and then when my patience would begin to run out, toss the book away and opt for an easier read. That had been the way all these years. Until I began reading up on the classics again, from Austen to Kafka, Hesse and Flaubert, and the more contemporary Murakami and McEwan. So now I’ve taken up Eco again.

But to give you an idea as to this royal feast of words, I’m going to type them here. I’d be glad to know what you think. 🙂

Gigue. Saraband. Ostrogothic. Versipellous. Spagyrist. Vintner. Tready. Stimulacra. Parallaxes. Tropes. Pullet. Mandragora. Escutcheon. Hircocervi. Nielloed.

And so on and so forth.

Sigh. I have a love/hate relationship with this marvel of a book.




Facebook Hiatus Equals Reading Holiday. Or Not. January 26, 2011

Filed under: books,confessions — Aimee @ 1:31 pm
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So for the previous week I made this hugely crazy proposition to myself: I will cut back on Facebook time so I can spend more time reading.

I can point out many things why this idea is silly, preposterous even.

First, all my friends are on Facebook so if somehow I can’t contact them or send them an SMS, using Facebook chat online is the easiest route to connect.

Second, when you’re working online and you spend a lot of time researching, things can get pretty stale quickly, so that your only momentary reprieve would be to visit a social networking site –  Facebook.

And third, no matter how much I complain that it’s getting lame and how I agree with Dennise that yeah, stalking non-worthy people gets pointless after some time, I still love Facebook. I mean kemmon, you get to rant in your status updates, check your horoscope even when you don’t believe a single word of it, and get to check who’s grown fat and who’s grown bald and who’s grown a beard all in just a few clicks. So why would anyone not love Facebook?

But I needed to spend more time reading. My initial goal was to double the number of books I’ve read last year, which totaled to a measly 15. But just an hour ago, while beginning to enjoy Umberto Eco’s The Island of the Day Before (which I tried for years to finish, in vain. Now on my 7th attempt I have vowed to thumb through to the last pages!) I wanted to triple my list. So that means I need to read 45 books for this year. It’s almost the end of January and I’m still on my third paperback. I’m starting to think I may have been to ambitious with my plans but yeah, reading is reading as work is work.

I plan to beef up on as much classics as I can so I hope after reading Eco I’ll be equipped to take on Nabokov or Dostoevsky or Dante Alighieri. As I’ve said reading is reading, whether I agree with their ideas or get moved by their stories or not.

And even if I don’t go on a Facebook hiatus, the reading holiday is definitely ON.



Books, Chocolate, Art December 29, 2010

Filed under: books,Life,Love,Women — Aimee @ 4:20 am
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Yesternight I went to Odessa’s house to drop off the shoes which she’ll paint for me. She’s one of those people whose creativity I deeply admire, and as I’ve known her since primary school, she’s also one of my oldest friends. As a Christmas present of sorts, I gave her the critically-acclaimed book, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. A story about a daughter’s love and longing for her mother and the unexpected places we find love in this lifetime, this book is high on my list of favorites. I hope she’ll love it as much as I did.

And oh, she gave me this too:

Cadbury Caramello. Yay! Right now it’s still in the fridge, sitting all pretty. I’ve yet to finish the Toblerones, Snickers, and a bit of the Ferrero which my sister took home. And then this dark, chewy beauty. Chocolate, how I love thee!


The Peacock, Patricia Ariel

I’ll post a pic of the painted shoes here next time. I’ve chosen a peacock pattern for her to paint, and am positive she’ll outdo herself, like she always does. 🙂


Yay! December 16, 2010

Filed under: books,Movies — Aimee @ 3:52 am
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still on the first few pages 🙂



my most recent fave movie, you can say that 🙂


Many thanks to my pal, Matt for giving me this book as a belated birthday present and as an advance Christmas gift. And many thanks to my best friend, Estee, for lending me the DVD. The movie had me crying the whole time, tears, snot, and all. And while the book is fun to read it is nonetheless loaded with so much insight, and am pretty sure some tears and snot affair will be going on as well.

Blame it on Liz Gilbert. I’m no longer embarrassed to admit that my 2010 has actually been a year full of tears, snot, sniffles, and bunched-up tissues. Always a cry baby, always been. But then again, what is transformation without cleansing, without tears?

Reading this book and watching the movie is the perfect conclusion for a year that had me on my knees almost the entire time, thanking a God that has been faithful to me this entire time, a God that gave me the kind of love I will perhaps never find again in this lifetime at a time when I did not deserve it, a God who had to break my heart so that I may be whole again.

There’s been no Italy-India-Indonesia journey for me (maybe someday!), yes, but my internal/spiritual travels for this year can be comparable to Gilbert’s own adventure.

And I could not thank my GOD enough. 🙂



Currently Reading… September 20, 2010

Filed under: books — Aimee @ 12:59 am
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… Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes. Picked this up a few months ago but it’s taking me forever to finish. Not that I don’t like the book, (I actually love it), but reading this book makes me wonder what the heck am I doing with my life. Frances Mayes is a writer, a gourmet cook, a travel writer, and at the time of the writing of this book, chronicling her love for Tuscany, Italy and the restoration of an old 3-story stone house, works for a prestigious American University. This girl has everything I love!

So I’m savoring each page, sometimes days at a time, certain in my heart that one day I’ll be traveling the hills of Tuscany and basking in its glorious sun. Or if that is just wishful thinking, at least I will have to pursue my love for writing, spend more time in the kitchen (I still need to learn how to make a 2-layer cake with chocolate frosting), find some old house to restore, at some lonely, dreamy part of the country, cultivate my own garden, and cook pasta from scratch.

Not bad.



Love’s Many Truths September 16, 2010

Filed under: books,Love,Movies — Aimee @ 2:20 am
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Being a romantic comedy/drama/love junkie, I’ve decided to compile some of the best quotes from a few of my favorite movies. Many of these movies are based on best-selling novels, which explains why these lines are worth quoting. So dig in and be swept away.


you have to see Nick Cage with that mandolin! from


When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body…For that is just being in love, which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting does it? But it is!

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, 2001



If you love someone, you say it, you say it right then, out loud. Otherwise, the moment just passes you by.

My Bestfriend’s Wedding, 1997



Dearest Cecilia, the story can resume. The one I had been planning on that evening walk. I can become again the man who once crossed the Surrey park at dusk, in my best suit, swaggering on the promise of life. The man who, with the clarity of passion, made love to you in the library. The story can resume. I will return. Find you, love you, marry you and live without shame.

—- Atonement, 2007



I’m not frightened. I’m not frightened of anything. The more I suffer, the more I love. Danger will only increase my love. It will sharpen it, forgive its vice. I will be the only angel you need. You will leave life even more beautiful than you entered it. Heaven will take you back and look at you and say: Only one thing can make a soul complete and that thing is love.

—- The Reader, 2008



My wife is an alcoholic. Best person I ever met. She has 600 different smiles. They can light up your life. They can make you laugh out loud, just like that. They can even make you cry, just like that. That’s just with her smiles.

—- When A Man Loves A Woman, 1994



Love is passion, obsession, someone you can’t live without. If you don’t start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who’ll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you’ll come back. Because the truth is, there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love – well, you haven’t lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven’t tried, you haven’t lived.

—- Meet Joe Black, 1998


My Recent Trip to the Bookstore Got Me This: March 18, 2010

Filed under: books,Food,Women — Aimee @ 6:07 am
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The Little Black Apron: A Single Girl’s Guide to Cooking with Style & Grace.

The book’s title is a playful twist from the quintessential Little Black Dress or LBD, and this book is created for the single urbanite female who does not know anything about the kitchen, save for the fridge and the microwave. Well, I’m a far cry from the pampered princess who’s completely clueless about the kitchen, having been trained at an early age (say thirteen or fifteen) by my Mom (who’s an excellent cook, by the way) to prepare a decent meal for the entire family on days that she’s running late. Also, I’ve gotten a certificate course last year on baking and pastries, so that leaves me quite adept at the kitchen, compared to the completely clueless single urbanite. But this recipe book on the shelf was just too cute, too pretty to let pass. And with it being on sale, really, how can I walk away empty-handed?

The book’s  pink and black theme is just so feminine, and well, I fancy anything that’s pink and black – from my favorite Nike runners to my lace undies. This compilation has about 246 pages of healthy recipes (from pastas to meat to salads to cocktails and desserts), a quick course on culinary vocabulary, a list of all the essential herbs for cooking, some health and diet tips, party and dinner suggestions, and finally some funny one-liners sprinkled all over the pages like chopped cashews on chocolate ice cream. This book is perfect for every girl who wants to master some cookery skills and perhaps to entertain a few guests at her lovely apartment with real gourmet food, and not just beer and chips.

According to Ellie Krieger, TV chef and host of Healthy Appetite at Food Network, The Little Black Apron is a “spirited guide to making you feel as comfortable in your kitchen as you are in your ballet flats. Every savvy single should have one on her bookshelf.”

I’d always liked to think I’m savvy but what I’m most sure of now is that I’m single.

Hence, The Little Black Apron.