Life Lately



Watch: Weekly Monotony (Oct 18-24 2021)


I had a pretty so-so week. Monday we applied for National ID cos they held an on-site registration at our condo. Love that we didn't have to go to a different venue and PhilSys is really working hard to get everyone registered. 

I woke up a bit early for this so I was groggy the whole time we're waiting in line. Good thing there were chairs. I fell asleep while seated and even dreamt that I was already finished with the registration. And then the staff directed me to the next station which is a PGH blood donation drive by the pool. I looked to my side and true enough there was a tent by the pool marked with PGH and the logo of Red Cross. Then I snapped out of it and realized I was dreaming haha. Good thing I don't sleep walk? What I thought was a white tent is actually a gazebo with brown roof tiles hahaha.

I have many hopes for this National ID system but I know it's gonna take a lot of time and effort to really see it bear fruit. It always frustrates me how scattered and inconsistent our data is across government offices. If they could setup a centralized portal where we could easily pull up and update our information that would be great. Then again, that's just wishful thinking for now. Baby steps, ika nga. Pero cha-cha lol. Hopefully we'll get there.

I've finished reading Verity by Coleen Hoover and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's my fastest read this year so that's new! You can read my thoughts about it here (along with another book): 
https://www.theblahger.com/2021/10/recently-love-hypothesis-and-verity.html  


I took a leave last Friday to accompany my husband to his passport renewal appointment at SM Aura. It's my first time driving there and I missed the exit that's supposed to lead us to the parking entrance by the side. But thank God for Waze, we were able to circle around McKinley Hill and back to SM Aura in time.

We also passed by the newly built Kalayaan bridge and while it's amazing how quickly we got transported from Pasig to BGC, the bottlenecks on Pasig side are godawful. I'm thankful we don't live along these main roads. It's been 1 year and 8 months that we're working from home and I always forget how dreadful commuting is over here. How come our lives aren't back to normal and yet traffic is?

I don't remember the last time I was at SM Aura. But I do remember when it was fairly new and had the vibes of an upscale mall. But now? It's like SM North EDSA Annex, an extension that's surprisingly too crowded for an area that supposedly gets less foot traffic lol. Definitely not upscale.


HR announced that we'll get our 13th month pay along with our salaries so I've also been obsessively refreshing my banking app that day. It didn't help that we usually get our salary days in advance which means Friday is already late for a Monday payout haha. Historically (and I keep tabs), if swelday falls on Monday it gets credited Thursday the week before. We've been spoiled.

Oh well, they did finally get to crediting it, albeit on time, much to my dismay HAHAHA. And just like that the excitement's dead. Especially after looking at my withholding tax. Hay.

I don't have much planned for my 13th month pay so most of it went to ATRAM global funds. I've been maintaining my global UITF portfolio ever since I learned it earns at least 20% pa. I thought it was too good to be true, specially when our local stock market can't even maintain a 6% pa growth. But heck it only shows how fucked up the Philippine economy is. I opened a SeedBox PH account and pulled out my funds from GInvest to focus on just one platform. SeedBox has more products available. So yeah, hopefully it grows. This is what excites me now haha.

I still don't know what to do for my birthday. It's the one day I'm allowed to enjoy myself and let everyone know so it's gotta be grand right? Hahahah charot. It's the only day in a year I could justify telling my boss to give me a break lol (not that he wouldn't on a different day, my boss is cool). But now that everyone's learned to be more assertive of their personal time (ie. selfish char), I suddenly don't know how to make it more special. Personally I just want to buy myself an Apple Pencil, eat good sushi, watch a movie, and get a full body massage.

Ah this has gone too lengthy, but finally, I'd like to ponder on this verse I placed at the end of my vlog:


"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
Proverbs 19:21

Oftentimes we get too caught up planning our lives, leaving God's will out of the equation. Only when everything falls (and it does) do we scramble back to him and let him take over. Somehow surrendering is easier when you have nothing to lose. Isn't it insulting that we've placed God as a contingency plan instead of following his lead? Why do we take his mercy and forgiveness for granted?

To be honest, I still struggle a lot with letting God lead my life completely, specially on abundant seasons. But I just realized how there's an immeasurable peace that comes with full surrender, specially to the maximally great being that is God.

So yeah, let's not forget to put God first, as in truly first. I noticed that our society is past putting money on the top of our priorities after realizing it's not a real measure of success. Now it's turned to a more dangerous idol, our selves (and k-pop char). As for Christians, may our success be based on our obedience to God and his will, after all we are his creations and we serve his purpose. Only his judgment matters.

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Recently: The Love Hypothesis and Verity

I remember a time in my life when every time I finish a book I'm always excited to blog. Not about the book, but about my life, sometimes feeling the author's style has rubbed on me that I'm suddenly in such a great mood to write, even about the smallest things. But that's gone. I don't think I'm that girl anymore, I have grown out of it, the urge to write crushed down by more pressing things. Like work.

But hey, let's bring it back. I just recently finished two books and I didn't hate them, which means you're probably not gonna hear about it hahaha. If you noticed, I find it easier to complain about things I hate than to commend things that I love. Maybe hatred is something that converts easier into words? And love is something you usually wanna keep to yourself? Either way, I loved these two, so I have no words. But here I am...

So instead, let's nitpick. 

But first, even though this should go without saying... SPOILER ALERT.

What do I hate about Ali Hazelwood's The Love Hypothesis?

Ah, the fact that Olive thinks Adam is so tall and big when she herself is 5'8". Idk maybe 6'4" will always look huge to anyone looking.

Ahn's doting is so unrealistic

How Olive didn't realize that Tom had expressed interest in her project before rumors broke out about her and Adam, therefore contradicting every vile thing he said to her after the talk. I was waiting for her to somehow realize it but nah. Unless of course Tom knew of her way back because Adam has told his friends about an Olive Smith.


Next, what do I hate about Coleen Hoover's Verity?



This is a highly rated, much recommended book on Kindle PH group, and based on people's reactions I already prepared myself for a mind blowing ride. While it did not disappoint, I wasn't too convinced about the ending.

I liked psycho Verity's character. Her autobiography painting herself as a contemptuous mother, filled with dark and disturbing thoughts of killing her children and keeping her husband all for herself, what a horrifying read! It's all too good that I can't accept none of it is real haha (or not since the book was Open Ended [nice callback to Lowen's book btw]).

I guess I kinda saw there was a twist in that manuscript, I just didn't like how it was revealed. Everything was exposed in a letter hidden under the floorboards of her bed. A written explainer. What a bore. I was half hoping they'd discover the truth behind it from Amanda, who suggested the writing exercise herself. That way "antagonistic journaling" wouldn't sound like a silly alibi. Oh well.


That's it!


Since I'm nitpicking, you know it's not a big deal right? I'm just looking for ways to be annoyed. I'm way past those points and would recommend this book to anyone who wants to end their reading slump and catch up on their GoodReads 2021 Reading Challenge. Thanks to CoHo I'm on track. I'm excited to read another one of hers!

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My thoughts on The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Finally completed reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. My rating? 3 over 5.


I found this book getting recommended a lot at Kindle Philippines fb group so I thought I'd give it a try after finishing Hopeless by Coleen Hoover (which I rated 4/5). Didn't think it would take me 3 months to finish it. I'm a slow and uninspired reader, and even by my standards 3 months is too long for a single book hahaha. It was so dragging.

SPOILER ALERT

Here's the summary from GoodReads...

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

---

Interesting right? My favorite part about the book is really the writing style, beautiful prose poetry that vividly takes you wherever Addie is. I loved the time jumps between past and present, her relationship with her father, her child-like wonder whenever they head out of town, her frustration about getting stuck at their village forever, and her friendship with Estelle, who's probably my favorite character in this book.

But whenever it jumps to the present, I always lose interest. 

There are three main characters in this story; Addie our 300 year old heroine, Luc the god he struck a deal with, and Henry... Addie's special sadboi lol.

None of them had any character development throughout the story. To think Addie has lived 300 years, she didn't seem to have wisened up. The only thing special about her is her unorthodox distaste for being a homemaker and staying in Villon forever. But beyond that? We see nothing more, she's just loitering around, I wouldn't say the world but, Europe and America, looking for affluent artists who could draw her like one their French girls, char.

Perhaps it's a consequence of having lived three centuries. At a hundred she's learned enough to survive the world despite her curse. Another hundred and the weight of losing loved ones has taken a toll on her psyche. Another hundred and she's desensitized to loss and being forgotten, as it becomes a recurring theme in her god-knows-how-long life. Maybe that's why it seemed like she's not grown enough. Maybe this book should've ended when she's around 200.

Given Addie, it's hard for me to imagine how she found some kind of favor in Luc's eyes. As a god who answers in the dark, I had high expectations of his might. But he's just all flair. Their snide banters aren't even that clever. For a god who's in the business of souls, he probably a low ranked grim reaper who's more concerned about looking cool.

And don't get me started on Henry. He's an empty shell. Before and during the deal. There's nothing special about him. He exists solely to write about Addie, which consequently gave him the recognition he's yearned for so long, so yeah, good for him. Not for the readers though.

I don't know. I feel like the premise was wasted in trying to establish a love-hate relationship between Addie and Luc. I probably had wrong expectations. I wanted to revel in the sinister nature of Faustian bargains, much like in the TV series Once Upon a Time, because the writing style could very much pull off such vividry, but I guess it's too much to ask of someone who just goes with the flow, an undaunting villain, and a weak male character (Addie, Luc, and Henry respectively).

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Motivational BS

I attended a seminar our company set about building resilience in these trying times. I believe it's the second time they organized something like this, so almost the same topic, just with a new speaker. Someone old and big in the BPO industry, employee #000001 in Convergy's I heard. Someone who has written a motivational book, of course haha. Such hype. Much wow. She was even introduced twice! First by Jack Canfield, creator of Chicken Soup for the Soul (wow!), through a video recording, and next by our very own country director.  Who the heck gets introduced twice in a speaking engagement right? Gotta be someone so good. So our director said a lot of great things about her, being an institution in the call center industry and all, how his dad is such a fan they even had coffee one time, yadda yadda yadda. Anyways, within the first ten minutes of the session my expectations rose from 0-100%. I was so excited to listen to her.


Only to be disappointed.

So she made us do an excercise to illustrate the power of the mind. She said to put our hands in a prayer position, making sure to align the lines at our wrist as a guide. Then she asked us which of our middle fingers appear shorter. And to the hand containing the shorter middle finger, she told us to talk to it, yep, and say "Grow longer" 8 times. Oh boy. She's not joking. She asked everybody to turn on their cameras and we all have to fkn talk to the hand live at the same time. Of course I didn't oblige with the video. After chanting we were asked to put our hands back to prayer position, possibly so we could ask God why we're being taken as idiots, and observe how the finger has actually grown. Wow.


Needless to say, some were conned into believing their middle finger actually grew longer. Magic! The power of the mind! And it doesn't end there. It's silly, I know. I was waiting for her to take it back and say of course I'm joking you dummies. But man, there's a 2nd part to the act. Now to the middle finger that has grown foolishly in your eyes, you have to say "Back to normal" 8 times. And it will be back when you put your hands in prayer. Right. Prayer is the key.

It know it's a ridiculous exercise, some of use were laughing. I was waiting for her to take it back, you know, in case some people actually take her seriously. But you know what she said to the naysayers? TRY AGAIN. Keep talking to it. Wtf. She ain't joking. Apparently you can now grow your finger just by telling it to frkn grow up. Eight times for maximum effect, and in prayer position for some divine intervention. What can I say, my mom has tried that on me a hundred times in my childhood, and here I am, just grown but not grown up. Safe to say it doesn't work.

That's it. That really put me off. Idk if it's a bad joke, but she never took it back, or somehow expressed that she's joking. There's gotta be other ways to teach placebo without messing with your anatomy.

Well it's not all bad. I actually got my shorter middle finger to be taller for a while. I guess because I put the rest down.

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ui ipad mini 6 hahaha

iPad Mini 6


I love it! I knew it's only a matter of time before the mini conforms to its bigger siblings. Been waiting for Apple Pencil 2 support and it's finally here! So now the iPad Mini looks like the pros, gone with the touch ID button at the front and in with the all-screen design,. Other notable upgrades would be 5G support, 128GB starting storage, aaaand touch ID integrated into the top button -- super cool.

Will I upgrade though? Of course not. I barely even use my iPad mini nowadays, its only purpose would be for Procreate and following workout videos. It's just nice to know that the features I want are already available... for whenever I decide to upgrade hahaha.

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