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.

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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.

🙂

 

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.

🙂

 

Resolutions of an Impulsive Shopaholic Part 2 September 12, 2010

Filed under: Fashion,Mall Trips,Shopping and Fashion — Aimee @ 2:46 pm
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Three years ago I made a confession about my being an impulsive shopper, or in worse terms, an impulsive shopaholic. Freedictionary defines a shopaholic as someone who shops compulsively or frequently. In my case, I tend to shop frequently and impulsively, hence impulsive shopaholic. I’m sensing you get my point, yesh?

So that being said, I have a few more resolutions to make. In the first blog entry I wrote about making resolutions on my impulsive shopping habits, I remember having resolved to buy only books during mall trips, nothing else. No frilly top, structured handbag, or a nice pair of butterfly earrings. This resolution worked under the premise that books always make excellent investments, no matter that they are bought impulsively. Of course, I will have to update my wardrobe now and then (After all, who wants to be seen in the same dress on three different occasions? A bit of accessorizing, and full-blast shopping, can go a loooong way), but if I should feel the need to shop without thinking, it will have to be books, books, and books.  After all I can re-read them anytime I want, recommend them to friends and lend them for reading, and use them to fill up my living room bookshelf, which my future home should not be without.

This time however I am resolving to put a halt to my impulsive shopping tendencies, period. Even my book purchases will have to be planned, and if I do want to shop on impulse, I will have to do so at the nearest Book Sale bookstore and not in any of the branches of National Bookstore where a single paperback can easily cost me a little less than 500 pesos. At the Book Sale, I can buy second-hand copies of good books at 100 pesos or even less. One time, I was able to get a copy of The Secret Life of Bees at only 50 pesos. In the course of a few months, I have almost tripled or quadrupled my book collections. There are many newer titles which the Book Sale doesn’t have however, so I will still need to shell out a bit for my NBS or PowerBooks and Fully Booked trips. But on impulsive days, at least I won’t be 500 bucks poorer and then spend an entire week wishing I could kick myself in the butt. Books are always great investments but I don’t have to buy a new one when I still have some credit card bills to worry about!

Last week, I spent some days cleaning my closet and discovered a few handbags which I have stored in black garbage bags for safekeeping. Some of them were from 3 or 4 years ago, and are still in very excellent condition. Just because I was in the mood for some cleaning, I checked out my shoe boxes too and realized that I actually have a few pairs which haven’t seen the light of day in years. Cute suede loafer with kitten heels, some pointy black denim flats, and patent wedges. Now why do I need to buy some new shoes when I still have a few slightly-used pairs sitting around and gathering dust? Wow. I sound like the most practical shopper in the world. :p

After some rumination, I decided to put a halt to my unreasonable shopping binges for now and let my frugal side take over. And yes, this frugal fashionista’s blog has inspired me to stay below budget and maybe save a few pennies for the not-so-sunny days. Who knows, maybe I can save up enough for that dreamy Europe trip I’m hankering after, and a visit to Dennise’s place in Germany where she’s promised to take me biking and go flower picking. Ah, daydreams.

Indeed who says being fashionable has to be expensive? Recession chic is the norm, and well, why not join the fad while it’s hot?

 

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.

:>

 

Dreaming of Hoarding October 7, 2009

Filed under: books — Aimee @ 12:17 pm
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ALL THESE.

All the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris.

brain candy 1

brain candy 1

brain candy 2

brain candy 2

I know I know, seven of these books are the same (the first collection has seven, the second eight), but I just had to post as many pictures as I can so I won’t be able to refuse myself. We are all visual creatures after all. And books are like chocolate candies to me. I read (eat) them very slowly and I like watching them on my shelf (in the fridge).  No rush, no impatient consummation whatsoever where eating or reading is concerned, but first I just have to possess them.

Yes. Off to the bookstore the soonest possible time.

 

Currently Reading September 18, 2009

Filed under: books — Aimee @ 8:07 am
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Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen