Sunday, September 04, 2005

It's an Honor Just to be Nominated...

... especially since in this case, I nominated myself. Permit me to reveal just how much of a blog addict I've become. I live with my blog inside my head all the time, and everyday I carry it with me, thinking of who to beg to give me a new template to improve my layout, and taking actual and mental pictures of the parts of the world that I get in touch with so that I could write about them.

A few weeks ago, because of a sleepless night, and with less than zero knowledge of html, I managed to generate the html code provided by Pinoy Top Blogs and thus nominate my blog for it. I did it just to find out if indeed there was traffic on my blog or if it was just a product of my creative imagination. I lived with being on page 5 of The List for a few days, then I stayed on page 4 for a week, but today, I thought they lost my blog! :(

Imagine my surprise to discover that I jumped some 335 slots to make it to Number 50! Yes friends, brothers, sisters, and/or voting public, "Lessons in Waiting" made it to Page One! I wouldn't have found out if I hadn't checked my CQ Counter and discovered that somebody visited my blog from its link at Page One. This might last for a day or two only but it just amazed me how this thing works. For today, this is my reality. Babaw 'no? Frustrated writer kasi. Hmm let me correct that, maybe I already am a writer, but I haven't experienced getting paid for it enough to make a living out of it.

Now back to the real world, I spent a day at the Book Fair at the World Trade Center. I was one step short of a nosebleed, as I salivated and had to control myself at the sight of rows and rows of books, spread from wall to wall across a huge land area!!! I didn't have much time to myself at first as I went with my family and part-timed as yaya to my two nephews, but nonetheless my eyes wandered to the shelves all waiting to be discovered, and as soon as I could free myself from nanny duty I checked out Fully Booked, Powerbooks, National Bookstore, OMF Lit, St. Paul's Publications, and almost all the other exhibitors who participated at the fair.

I skipped the fiction and classical books sections because between my father and my siblings, I already have enough reading backlog to last me a lifetime. I'm not kidding. There are several bookworms in my immediate family and our collection, if put together, deserves its own library, so to even imagine buying another book is totally impractical. The trip to the Book Fair reminded my father of his reading list for all his children, and so he turned to me and asked, "Anak, nabasa mo na ba ang War and Peace?" I said, "Yes, when I was 11 years old and I don't remember anything about it!" Me and my big mouth. He told me that I should read it again now, and he chided me for not reading the rest of his Tolstoys.

Growing up I much preferred Terry Brooks, Terry Goodkind, Piers Anthony, David Eddings (I know, this list keeps getting more ridiculous by the minute, but it's true) over all of Papa's Dostoyevskys and Tolstoys. Thank God my father can't sue me, for he actually paid me summer money after I promised to read all those books on my reading list. The money, I spent buying X-Men and New Mutant comics, I think, with my younger sister who was similarly-minded. Sci-fi and fantasy over classics, that was our rule. We were teenagers, what did you expect?!

Back to the Book Fair, I willed myself to let go of Nigella Lawson's "How to Eat", which I returned to its proper place upon realizing that P1100.00 for a cookbook, even from the kitchen goddess herself, is not pratical and just deserves a slot on my lifetime wish list. It's not that I don't know how to eat, folks, but it's how Nigella presents food and cooking and maintaining the kitchen that amazes me. She has the best toys, I mean gadgets, I mean tools for the kitchen. How she manages to make perfect meringues with perfect nails and fabulous makeup intact is something I want to learn, or at least attempt to try learning.

I went to "Book Wagon" and browsed through all the piano pieces at tempting sale prices, from classical to broadway to jazz, and told myself I should only buy a new piece once I've learned all of Mama's pieces that I keep pulling out of her files year after year, but which I never have time for. So it's like telling myself no, forever. Sigh.

I'm currently trying to learn the guitar, for the 10th straight year, I think, and I found some books that seemed to offer some help - like "Guitar Secrets of the Masters" - haha, but I knew it would just end up being buried underneath all the clutter that I accumulate in my room as a way of life. I let go of those as well.

Health and fitness concerns motivated me to look for inspiring and realistic reading materials on the subject but I couldn't find a single book that summarized Oprah's slimming secrets. I know she's been sharing the secrets of her success online, in her magazine, her TV show, and countless interviews, but I thought if I had everything in one book I could do it myself. Of course Miss O has her own garden from which she picks up her salad greens, and that, along with the other little details like a personal trainer, probably define the world of difference between what would work for me and what I could afford, based on her fitness plan. So it remains an unfulfilled dream, this goal of mine to get into the program.

I finally convinced myself that if I was going to buy a book, it might as well be THE BOOK itself. I've been dreaming of having a Revised Standard Version (RSV) Catholic edition bible that's slim enough to carry around and affordable enough that I won't regret using my Post-It Highliter on it, but alas, I couldn't find a single RSV bible at the Book Fair. The RSV of Ted Te and John Keating has thin pages and gold edges, both of which disqualify it from being the RSV for me, aside from the price, which is a whole other subject. It's a book that Ted ordered online, go figure, Ella. Live with your seven other bibles. At the BF, perhaps I didn't search well enough for the perfect RSV, as it became more and more difficult to look around the stalls because of the sheer volume of crammers who, like my family, couldn't resist going to the fair on the last day.

We went home with children's books and fliers from all the bookstores and the CCP. I think I have more time now to go back to watching plays, ballets, and musicals, so I'm thankful for the schedule of performances. Papa bought four books from Adarna for Luigi and Miko. One of the authors was there and she autographed the book for the boys. Luigi interviewed her about the contents of the book and she just laughed, saying he should read it, but he was persistent so she gave in a bit and had a short storytelling session with my inquisitive nephew. I hope that both boys would appreciate books because everything I need to know, I learned from books. Well, prior to the onslaught of internet fever in my life. Bookworms on cyberspace would certainly agree with me, however, that there is nothing compared to the feeling of reading from crisp pages, whether brand new or old and historic. Somebody offered me a Palm version of Harry Potter VI but I declined, saying it's not so much my conscience talking to me as it was the desire to wait for the actual book. Lo and behold, God in His goodness gave me a hard-bound copy of the book.

You can really tell one person's lifestyle and priorities by his or her book collection, and if there is even one to begin with. I visited slices of my life today as I scoured the book fair. Even though I cannot buy books for now that I don't really need , I could still dream of and plan buying a really good one as a Christmas gift to myself.

This day got me thinking of my unfulfilled dream of writing a book. I would be glad to oblige to write about anything God wants, really, be it something about music, mission, community, family, and all my passions, or even those subjects I'm totally clueless about like sports, painting, and geometry! At the right time I know it shall be fulfilled.

For now, this blog would do. It gets read anyway, and for an aspiring writer that's always enough reward.

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