Contact

Name

Email *

Message *

Blog Archive

Reading: Still Before We Were Strangers. I don't know if it's my attention span but I couldn't seem to hold reading a book for 30 minutes. I like the story though. :D

Watching: Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards. It was sick, brutal, gut-wrenching, violent, epic, and, and, okay I'm quitting the thesaurus. It was incredible. This is probably my favorite episode as it had my heart pounding so hard the entire time the camera spanned the battle at Winterfell. It's too epic for small screen. Thank you producers for giving us the battle we've been waiting for, though for a while I thought it was gonna be reduced to a one-on-one brawl after that pre-war chatter.

Listening: To the unusually peaceful hum of the airconditioning vent

Thinking: About why Rickon didn't think of running in a zigzag/side-to-side to avoid being aimed at more accurately. It's the most painful thing to watch. His death was expected, sure, but it still threw me off and I cried when Ramsey's freaking arrow pierced through his chest. He did it on purpose, right when Rickon's about to reach Jon's hand. The misses were all for show, that bastard. And then the Bolton archers let loose and more arrows came raining down the kid's dead body.


And oooh, Sansa's kindof a breakthrough character this season. Her transformation to a pitiful damsel in distress to a lady of calm vengeance is noteworthy. Figures what three failed marriages can do to you.

Finally I can breathe, good riddance to Ramsay, though I must give it to him how excellent and brutish his military tactics were executed. 

Just one episode left for this season and we're off to another painful year of waiting.

Smelling: Nothing

Wishing: For a sturdy wireless full keyboard and mouse. So I can use my laptop on stand/tent mode and look cooler haha. Also, the keyboard layout on ultrabooks are messing with my muscle memory.

Wearing: Some pants and a striped shirt

Loving: That I was able to drive and park alone already! The week after I got my sad excuse for a driver's license, I asked my dad to accompany me everyday to the office. I drive to, he drives back, also because I didn't know how to park yet. That weekend I studied parking and drove to the mall with my sister, braving Fairview Terraces' level parking and successfully backing in on an empty spot. Thank God there were no other cars around, and I specifically chose the lot next to a post hehe. The following day, Sunday, I drove alone to Jeckie's place. I was confident 'cos I only had to park on the side of the street haha! Then on the way back, Jeckie accompanied me.

And now! After getting impatient waiting for the tricycle to fetch me, I decided to drive the car to the office, thinking I'll just look for parking when I get there. I wasn't really nervous. I texted one of my friends if he could accompany me while parking, I didn't get a reply so I just took it to my own hands to park alone. THANK GOD I was able to! And this time, with two cars beside me, I'm so proud of myself.

Thank you so muuuuch Lord for keeping me safe! :D Also, I love you daddy! <3

Wanting: To uhm, finish my writing assignment today. Blog, don't jinx.

Needing: Parking and gas funds. Hay.

Feeling: The sense of urgency for this writing job. Deadline's looming! XD
GIF from newsroom.uber.com

Last week, Uber introduced UberPOOL- a ridesharing option that lets you share a ride with others booking from the same area, heading at the same direction. If you're cool with carpooling with strangers, go ahead and try this newest from Uber! It's up to 25% cheaper than UberX 'cos you're technically splitting the bill with a maximum of three others, and it also aims to decongest the road by promoting carpooling.

Still on beta phase, it's set to be available on the app by June 15.

How does it work?
If you're already familiar with requesting an Uber ride, it pretty much follows the same booking procedures.

  • Open the app and select UberX, then under that select UberPOOL option
  • Key in your pick-up location and destination. A fare estimate will be available at this point.
  • Request a ride and enjoy the lower rate and potentially new friends ;)

What are the details?
UberPOOL is set to be available 24/7 starting June 15, 2016 and will cover the entire Metro Manila. Riders can book up to two seats per request. A maximum of four can share a ride.

How different is it from uberHOP?
Very. UberHOP is a scheduled rush hour shuttle to major business districts in Metro Manila. It follows a schedule, a flat rate, and a specific pick-up and drop-off point. It's not on demand like uberPOOL.

Excited to try it?
Be one of the first to try it as it rolls out today and let me know how your experience goes! I'm wondering though if all common UberX cars are allowed to rideshare, a Mirage and an EON may be too small to sit 3 comfortably at the back (and I'm fat) haha #arteLungs

---

Not on Uber yet? Register using this promo code: UBERNATICS to get free credits for your first rides. If you're afraid that you need to have a credit card to sign up, don't worry 'cos Uber accepts Visa/Mastercard prepaid cards as payment option. I, for one, am using a Visa prepaid card from BPI. :)

Why wait in line when you can book online?

Photo from www.dreamersadventureph.com

iWantSeats is an online bus booking platform in the Philippines. Currently offering deluxe trips to Baguio and Baler to and from Manila via JoyBus, more routes will be added to serve you!

Booking your bus ticket has never been as easy as booking your hotels and airline tickets! With just a few clicks, you can reserve and confirm your seat and just go to the terminal on the day of your trip.

Explore new places, or travel to and from your city without having to wait hours at the terminal as a chance passenger.

Leave the booking to iWantSeats and enjoy more of your trip.

Book to Baguio or Baler now at iwantseats.com.ph.

Watch out for new trips coming soon!

---

To show you how easy it is to book seats using this new platform, here's a quick guide!

Photo from www.dreamersadventureph.com
1. Sign up and Plan your trip



Choose the origin, destination, date of trip, and number of passengers then hit 'Show Trips' to retrieve all available results for your query. Note that at this point you can only reserve one way trips, meaning there are no round-trip options yet. If you want to reserve two-way, you have to book for another trip.

Once the list of available trips has loaded, choose your preferred schedule by clicking the 'Reserve' button.

2. Enter Passengers

Add multiple passengers by entering their information on the form on the screen. You may save as many passengers as you want and select only those you want for a particular trip. This way, you don't have to keep on entering their information every time you book a trip. Neat!

3. Choose Seats

My favorite feature 'cos it shows you the layout of the bus and you're free to choose where you want to be seated. I personally checked JoyBus' own online reservation system and found that they didn't have this option, so this is a big plus for me. :D


Click on the name of the passenger then click on the desired seat number. The page will refresh and your chosen seat will be marked in red.

4. Review Itinerary and Payment

After choosing your seats you may view your itinerary on the next page and go back to update information as needed. Once satisfied, you may proceed to payment.

Note that there's a reservation fee of ₱30 for every person travelling. Cancellation is free and available until the indicated date.

Modes of payment available are bank deposits via BPI, BDO, EastWest Bank, and also DragonPay, GCash, and M. Lhuillier ePay.

And that's it! After completing your payment, send proof to payments@iwantseats.com.ph and wait for an online voucher to be emailed to you. Present this along with a valid ID to an officer on the date of your travel and you're good to go!

I'm very excited to try this out. In fact, I'm already planning a Baguio trip haha. :D

BUT! The site is kinda slow and is experiencing frequent downtimes lately. Happened twice already this day. Hope they fix this performance issue, super sayang the potential customers who want to browse the site. :)

---

For more information visit www.iwantseats.com.ph
I think I totally missed the point of Sunday Currentlies (Currently's?). In the strictest sense it should be about how my Sunday is, but somehow I keep on doing weekly recaps instead. I mean, how can I focus on just a specific day where nothing much usually goes on except Church in the morning, window shopping in the afternoon, and badminton at night. Oh wait, there's actually more activity in there than in my weekdays combined. Anyway, let's just go with Life Lately's na lang lol.

Reading: Before we were Strangers by Renee Carlino. It's interesting and I like the characters! :D

Watching: 2 Broke Girls Season 4 again, before I start with Season 5 which I just downloaded. :D

Listening: No particular playlist this week but I just downloaded BP Valenzuela's The Neon Hour, an electronic pop album that sends off interesting feelings to me idk why. It's depressing, uplifting, and nostalgic at the same time. Listen to it!

Thinking: About our future home. Ever since Jeckie and I decided on getting a condo, I've been very excited scouting for appliances and furniture, pinning interior design pegs (specifically with black walls and light wood flooring), and considering various space saving layouts for our humble studio. I already have a 60k washer/dryer and a 20k fridge in mind haha. And when it sank in how expensive those are, I kinda resented resigning from my previous company, where I could've easily gotten those for Christmas. Oh well papel. Can't wait for better opportunities and 2018! :D
Smelling: Nothing

Wishing: To get used to driving in tight places. Earlier, I drove my way to the office (with my dad's supervision). I was nervous cos it just rained and it's dark so it's specially harder to navigate around, not with my window completely fogged out, and my apparent ineptitude at turning on the proper signals. It's so stressful having to remember to turn off the wipers, lower the headlights, and redirect the aircon, all while trying to stay in line and avoid colliding with oncoming traffic. Practice pa more.

Wearing: Jacket, shirt, and jeans. Not a very corporate Monday.

Loving: That I got to cook garlic butter prawns this day and my family loved it despite my sister being allergic and mom highblooded hehe. Cooked it for breakfast, then cooked another batch for may baon this night. My batok hurts but I could be overreacting cos I'm already anticipating the possible highblood but, uhm, now my head hurts too arg.

Wanting: To get a manipedi session cos I relapsed. Again. I'm so weak when it comes to this. #NailBiting

Needing: Uhm, for swelday to come around faster

Feeling: Bad about Smart and PLDT's logo change. What's with firmly established brands getting complete logo overhauls? Uber, Instagram for instance.


It totally takes off the feeling of familiarity. At least the first two logos were familiar to each other, retaining how the A looked like and the color blue. But now it looks alien, generic, and cold: appreciate the designer's thought process on this.


I can quite forgive PLDT 'cos it remained red but I personally think the first icon is better. Anyway, considering how the Philippine market is run by these oligarchs, it's not like we can afford to bail out of their services just because their new logos lack appeal.

Hm, it could just be my natural aversion to change and my attachment to Smart's second logo that's making me (and others?) feel this way. I mean I worked at Smart two years ago and was proud to wear anything sporting the light blue logo even though I couldn't make sense of the eight randomly placed dots on it haha. Perhaps this new logo made more sense symbolically than the Verizon-ish first and the curiously dotted second, still, it doesn't feel right. 

What do you think?
Source: pinaytraveller.com

Taiwan Excellence is one such campaign I seriously hope the Philippines could adopt. It shows how Taiwan government is proud of their own product, labeling export quality brands with an "excellent" tag, assuring its trading partners that they're receiving only the best from their country, and further strengthening their economic ties. :) Read more about it below:

----

Taiwan continuously reinforces its importance as the Philippines’ trading partner. According to 2015 Philippine Statistics Authority data, Taiwan is the 4th top import country (with 5.2 billion USD imports) and the 9th top export country (with 2.2 billion USD exports) in the world. With this, Taiwan Excellence campaign, which is organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) of Taiwan government and implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), is again rolling out for the third year in the Philippines to further strengthen trading ties between the two countries.

Taiwan Excellence brand partners showcased their products
Taiwan Excellence, the symbol of superiority of products from Taiwan, will have more exciting and more comprehensive activities in 2016. Through experiential activities to be staged throughout the year, TAITRA aims to let Filipino consumers experience how they can enhance their lives and create a truly “Excellent Lifestyle.”

Over the years, Taiwan Excellence activities have brought Filipinos closer to Taiwanese products. These innovative and high quality products have seen greater acceptance in the market and have become an integral part of the Filipino lifestyle – from appliances that provide convenience in managing households, gadgets that complement hectic schedules, and equipment that makes committing to a healthy goal easier.

For this year, Taiwan Excellence will introduce its latest product line-up, all of which capture Taiwan brands’ features that have gained global recognition for their distinct quality and sheer excellence. Some brands include ACER, ASUS, MSI and PX for Information and Communications Technology products; Tatung, Sakura, and Caesar for Household Goods; and Johnson, Pacific and KYMCO for Sports and Leisure products.

(From left) Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) Deputy Executive Director of Strategic Marketing Department Scott Yang, Taiwan Economic & Cultural Office (TECO) Ambassador of the Philippines Dr. Gary Song-Huann LIN, Manila Economic & Cultural Office (MECO) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Amadeo Perez Jr., and celebrity guest Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

“In the past two years, we have witnessed the very strong demand among Filipinos for high quality Taiwan-made products to meet their lifestyle needs. Through the Taiwan Excellence campaign, we hope to bring high quality products that will help Filipinos upgrade their lifestyles. We hope Filipino consumers will be empowered to make educated decisions about their purchases and experience the benefits and superior quality of our products and brands,” said Scott Yang, Deputy Executive Director of TAITRA.

Among the activities slated for 2016 are Taiwan Excellence Experiencing Zones scheduled on June 3 to 5 in SM Megamall, July 8 to 10 in SM Mall of Asia, August 19 to 21 in TriNoma, and October 21 to 23 in Market! Market! Visit www.taiwanexcellence.ph for more details.

###



About Taiwan Excellence
The symbol of Taiwan Excellence honors Taiwan’s most innovative products that provide tremendous value to users worldwide. All products carrying this symbol have been selected for specific Taiwan Excellence Awards based on their excellence in design, quality, marketing, Taiwanese R&D and manufacturing. Initiated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. in 1992, the symbol of Taiwan Excellence is recognized by 100 countries.


Organized by Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), MOEA
The Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), R.O.C. is responsible for implementing policies and regulations governing foreign trade and economic cooperation. Established in January 1969, the BOFT's role and position have been adjusted regularly to meet the needs of the ever changing international economic and trade environments. The BOFT has been guiding and working with the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) in numerous promotional trade projects and activities both internationally and domestically. Having worked closely with TAITRA for many decades, the BOFT continues to commission TAITRA for various critical government projects relating to business, trade and investment, while promoting Taiwan internationally.


Implemented by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA)
Founded in 1970 to help promote foreign trade, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) is the foremost non-profit, semi-governmental trade promotion organization in Taiwan. Jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations, TAITRA assists Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers with reinforcing their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets. TAITRA boasts a well-coordinated trade promotion and information network of over 1,200 international marketing specialists stationed throughout its Taipei headquarters and 50 overseas offices worldwide. Together with its sister organizations, the Taiwan Trade Center (TTC) and the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC), TAITRA has created a wealth of trade opportunities through effective promotion strategies.

Here's one of my recently completed Skillshare classes, this one's FREE and is a really good one so go ahead and take it!

3 Step Watercolor: painting with layered washes by Renato Palmuti

The concept is to apply 3 layers of washes, from lightest to darkest and gradually add the shadows, highlights and details in between layers.

Materials used

Sakura Koi Watercolors
Canson watercolor paper

Drawing



Copying from the reference photo was very challenging for me. I think this one's off the grids and correct perspective but anyway, I had fun with ruler lol.

First Wash



Yellow Ocher for the light yellow parts and a mix with Burnt Umber for the darker bottom parts. Prussian Blue for the top and light shadows.

Second Wash


I took a photo when a corner of the box is still too wet. Added layers from the same colors, hereon focusing on the objects, defining more shadows, filling the top wash, and also adding some splatter to create texture.

Here's when I found "Trust the Process" to be applicable. At this point I was totally skeptic it would turn nice. I can't even get the shadows right and my colors keep on bleeding when they dry. My paper has also curled up significantly as I've brushed too much water on the first wash haha. But then I can see the layers and they're varying opacity as they're put on top of each other. It's pretty cute! Plus, teal and orange is a nice combo hehe

Third Wash




Here's where hope starts to take shape. We're to put darker shades, carefully placing where the shadows are. I only used one brush for this, the default medium waterbrush that came with my Sakura Watercolors. I think I needed a better one or I just need to learn to control my hand better. I can't seem to properly paint a straight line haha.

Details


Finally, here's my finished project! Details added were the red and white lines and dots on the box, red paint and splats, helmet goggles and design. Highlights were also painted on some of the box's edges. I wish I had a more opaque white, but that's about the whitest Sakura Koi's Chinese White can get. Will probably invest on a white tube or a white pen. :D

That's it! I wouldn't say it's exactly the same as the original, but I did learn a lot finishing this exercise. From drawing outlines, to layering, and determining where to paint shadows. For the most part I just followed where the instructor puts the colors on. Hope you like it! :D
I came very early to work anticipating loads of things to do for this early morning (central time) test we have. But then I had to wait an hour past schedule because of some dependency. Then it was moved further in the afternoon (central time) because something came up. So I was pretty much forced to stay the entire eight hours, right when I was hoping to be home four hours back. Then when it was finally time for the test, our testing tool started acting up so it had to be fixed. More waiting, and so I blog.

I'm not really complaining, on the plus side, I was able to better validate our scripts. And while I was waiting I slept a little. I even had a dream!

Earlier this evening, my manager came to me and asked if I was willing to go back to the US the second time around. Of course I said yeah sure, but we both know it's going to be near impossible. He just wanted word that I'm willing. It'll be hard for me to apply for another business visa because I just came back last March and overstayed my original agenda of three months. My visa was valid for six months only, but I stayed five even though my itinerary says the meetings will be over in three months. It'll be hard to justify that to the consul, and there's a very high rejection rate for second time short-term business visa applicants. Oh well papel. Got me hyped for a while.

For the lack of photos in this post, let me share my latest watercolor piece! A project from one of the Skillshare classes I finished yesterday: 3 Step Watercolor: painting with layered washes

Will post the process separately. It's a free class, you may want to try it out! :D


Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances is a novel featuring three intertwined stories about love on Christmas season. Written by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle.

Forewarn: I didn't like this book for the most part, so this post is one big rant about how much it sucked. I gave it 1 out of 5 stars on Goodreads for the sake of Maureen Johnson's cute tale, but if that would bring the average rating down, can I just un-rate it for her sake?

Do not read this book if you don't want your head to hurt from rolling your eyes, and your brain to wither from mentally murdering the characters for being so shallow, whiny, and stupid.

The Jubilee Express by Maureen Johnson
The best of the three, also the reason why I endured reading the other two (specially Green's). Now it felt like a trap. My one star goes here.

It was Christmas eve and Jubilee was hastily summoned to her grandparent's house in Florida to spend the holidays because her folks were held in custody for getting involved in a riot over a Flobie Santa Village (a fictional line of decorative ceramic houses) sale. En route, the heavy snowstorm caused their train to stall.

Jubilee goes out to a nearby Waffle House to eat and warm up and there meets Stuart who offers her a place to stay until the train becomes functional again. They spend quite a time talking, laughing and arguing while carefully making their way to Stuart's place.

Subconsciously, Jubilee is already falling for him but it wasn't made evident until Stuart pointed out all the wrong things about Jubilee's boyfriend, Noah, whom she always speaks about with high regard, and who happens to be too busy to worry about her, even after hearing her parents got in jail, that she got stuck in a bad snowstorm, that she fell off a frozen creek, and is staying at a stranger's house over the holidays. She got pretty much in a you're-right-my-boyfriend's-a-jerk-why-didn't-I-notice state so eventually, she broke up with Noah. Especially after Stuart bluntly told her it's bound to happen given his apparent indifference to her dire situation. Then it's all about Stuart and Jubilee and their new-found romance.

To be honest, I feel like Stuart is the real jerk here. He completely snaked through Jubilee's relationship with Noah while subtly glossing how well they complement each other. Damn.

I enjoyed it mostly for the writing, it's a fun read. The name Jubilee is funny and could indeed pass for a hooker name, but it was a bit over-explained. I liked both Stuart and Jubilee together but I didn't like how she had to break with Noah like that: on Christmas and over the phone. Anyway, looks like Noah himself was struggling with the timing and was relieved to have Jubilee bring it up first. Whatever, kids.

A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle by John Green
Simply put, it's all about a bunch of teenagers' stupid journey to a waffle house in the middle of a bad snowstorm in order to deliver a game of Twister to 14 cheerleaders and eat hashbrowns and waffles. Keyword: bad snowstorm. I would say it's really about Tobin admitting to having feelings for his tomboy of a best friend, if only to push the theme, but his thoughts only wandered to that point more than half-way in the text right when I've decided there's not much to this story than their unfortunate journey filled with crappy jokes and road emergencies. I rolled my eyes a lot, I did, and my head hurt. I wasn't sold at any of their supposedly witty exchanges. It seems like Green has a penchant for designing teenage characters who are supposedly too clever for their age, but it failed to deliver (again. read: TFIOS).

Lame title, lame characters, lame story. It was a dragging read. Everything is too desperate. The characters are too over dramatic. Everybody thinks they're funny. If I were watching this they would all look like bad actors struggling to make a pun. The situation is unbelievable - who's going against a snowstorm to deliver a toy game to a bunch of cheerleaders like their lives depended on it? It's annoying. What kind of friend would insist on inviting his best friends to hang out with him at the cost of their lives? And who would trudge knee deep snow to impress a bunch of over-stereotyped girls? Massive idiots.

And what's with "the" Duke? It was explained too late in the story I was already too annoyed to accept it. Plus it only explained the Duke part and not the "the". It didn't make sense, I was even more willing to accept I got a badly transcribed e-book who got all Dukes accidentally replaced with "the Duke".

I have nothing good to say about this story except that I was glad at some point Tobin admitted how stupid they were for ever jumping into the idea of braving a raging blizzard for a couple of Ambers and Madisons (stereotypical cheerleader names, IKR). I think it's trying too hard to be funny but the story is too silly to make fun of. I'm so glad I'm over this part.

And now,

The Patron Saint of Pigs by Lauren Myracle
Just when I thought it will get better, that Green's was the worst and that the quality of the story would pick up at this point, I was even more disappointed.

Starbucks was mentioned a staggering 50 times in this story that my brain bled (58 if you include the mentions from the second story). It's no excuse that the main character works as a barista there. There's only so much words you can repeat in a novel for over 50 times in a span of a hundred pages that isn't an article or a pronoun and I'm sure as hell Starbucks isn't one of them. Record breaking annoying.

The story is all about a certain Addie regretting breaking up with her boyfriend, Jeb, who was currently stranded on a train on the way to Gracetown. He was on the same train as Jubilee (from the first story) and the two actually met and talked (she even lent her phone to him), I just didn't think it's worth mentioning until this point hehe.

To me, Addie is just a normal teenager who once had a boyfriend, made a mistake, broke up with him, and regretted it. Her character is flat, uninteresting, and it's true that she's self-absorbed. She's a very demanding girlfriend too. I don't understand what's so special with her that she gets to star in a hundred page advertorial for Starbucks.

The entire story circled around her paranoia that her ex didn't want to get back together because she got stood up when they were supposed to meet and talk about their issues. That, and proving to her friends that she's not as selfish as everybody thinks, by volunteering to pick-up a teacup pig for her friend and doing all means* to recover said pet after it was accidentally sold off to another person because she came to the pet store too late (these miniature pigs are said to sell like hotcakes, okay). Then she finds out the person who bought the pig, some old woman called Mayzie whom she has chatted with once while on duty, did it on purpose to freaking test her if she'll really go all the way to prove she has changed, calling herself a Christmas Angel, out to share the magic of Christmas.

WTF. Some old woman messing up with her day, stressing her out, even pushing her to do some level of thievery by stealing the credit slip from the pet store containing the buyer's name. I see no angel there, I see a bitch. My goodness this story is nuts.

* - that is calling the person who caused her breakup with Jeb

To be fair, there is some implied character development in here, but I just couldn't see it. Despite Addie's struggles in coping with her heartbreak, I actually think she's generally nice and likable in real life. Her character is just not that engaging.

Then there's the mysterious tinfoil man called Travis, a weird character clad in Reynold's Wrap who has a fancy for cups and is seemingly unaware of his unusual fashion sense. He appeared on all of the stories as if to stitch them together, but the characters are already woven well enough the book could've done better to exclude him as he wasn't really given that much attention aside from his odd choice of clothing.

I had a feeling they had planned something greater for him but in a rush to wrap up the book, he was turned into a symbol instead, a sad one at that.

“Why oh why does he dress like that?” I said, and not for the first time.
“Maybe he’s a knight,” Christina suggested.
“Maybe he’s a lightning rod.”
“Maybe he’s a weather vane, here to predict the winds of change.”
“Ooo, nice one,” I said, and sighed. “I could use a wind of change.”

Right, I could imagine where the knight and the lightning rod came from, but a weather vane? Unless he's sporting an arrow or a spear or a chicken over his head, I would never have thought he's there to predict the winds of change by resembling a weather vane. It's saddening how his presence was concluded that way. I'm sure there are better ways to write him off as whatever object. That one line just seemed like the author went, "Oh my God, the story's ending I forgot about Travis he's supposed to symbolize the winds of change. Okay, Christina, go mention he's a weather vane, they'll get it." Huhu. He's one of the very few interesting characters in the book, so I felt it a waste that he wasn't explored further.

But it's not all bad
Aside from The Jubilee Express which I hoped was turned into a different book instead, here are a couple other things I liked:

  • Good job on interconnecting the stories. It did feel like one big Christmas story where everyone's related by only a few degrees.
  • I liked the ending, with all the characters converging at a coffee shop (guess where) and all the couples being cheesy and lovey dovey. It's the one time I didn't hate Starbucks for being mentioned too many times.
  • I felt Christmas and the festivity. I also felt how bad the snowstorm was, which is why the second story sounded utterly stupid to me.
  • It's a light read which made it bearable, you can finish it in a day unless you go nuts and decide to tear it off in dismay. Kidding.
I'm sorry this rant got so long. If you've read the book or is a major John Green fan, I hope you don't get offended. :P It's the second time I was unimpressed with John Green, but I'm still curious about his other books, looking for what could possibly hooked so many. Maybe third time's the charm.

PS: Calling this a reaction instead of a review 'cos I'm not entirely being objective here. Some people find it funny, and I just had to ask where (mentally). Good enough for a light read if you're not easily annoyed like me.