Archive | January, 2009

Lamps on the Line

27 Jan

Lamps are arguably one of the most important parts of today’s human life. It has been always like that since the first prehistoric man found out that fire is a source of light. Since that, mankind was enabled to continue its activities in the nights, unrestricted by the lack of sunlight.

Similarly, many times we are frustrated when we don’t have enough light, – or maybe too much of it. Most of the time the problem can be traced to an inappropriate use of lamp. This will lead us to go to the store, find the right lamp for our needs, and attaching it to the right spot in our homes. But what if we are kept so busy with work that we don’t have enough time to do it ?

Thanks to Farreys, this should no longer be a problem for us. Boastings thousands of lamp varieties and models, there is virtually all lamps for every kind of your lighting needs here. Table lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps and even lamp shades, you name it. All you have to do is visiting the site and browse the available products which are neatly categorized by brands, applications or style. Alternatively, you can also use its search function if you already know what exactly are you looking for.

I am waiting in anticipation for Farreys’ bright future. In the meantime, I applaud what it does to us all : lighting up our lives.

Disclosure : This post is a sponsored work brought to you by our mutual friends at Farreys

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An Ode to Codeine

27 Jan

Kissing you is a noblest bliss,

Yet I’m drowning in your abyss;

Unbefriended and unbeknownst,

I see stars and all the shining hosts;

Shall I abandon you come what may ?

You bring me warmth, sans any delay;

Embrace me again, – see you tomorrow,

With all my love, and my clear sorrow.

21.00, WGP Park,

27 Jan 09

Shop Smarter and Faster with ShopWiki

25 Jan

Have you ever tried to shop online and spent so many hours browsing the online stores to search just for the right product ? Or do you recall the time when you were searching just for the perfect necklace for your niece, only to become frustrated from the time it took you to find it ? For me, it makes me wish for a Google for online shopping, so to speak.

It all ended when I found out about a site that allows me to do just that. Enter ShopWiki.com. Just like Google who scour every corner of the net endlessly, ShopWiki does the hard work of crawling every online stores available. This is a novel approach since generally other online shopping sites will only display products that pay for their placement. As for us, this will translate to a wider array of options and an excellent time-saver.

When I tried their service to find something for my daughter’s impending birthday, I browsed their accessories section and quickly got taken into their wiki page for hair accessories. Far from only displaying some products, I actually got some useful information relating to what accessories to use for different hair types ! For a man like me, that information surely proves handy in every possible way.

Don’t just take my word for it. If you are a regular online shopper, or just someone who needs to find something for any immediate needs, visit ShopWiki and see it for yourself. Have fun !

Disclosure : This post is a sponsored work brought to you by our mutual friends at ShopWiki.com

On Being A Writer : Let’s Write Badly..!

19 Jan

The other day, my wife told me that one of my previous posts was “the worst post I’ve ever written in my blog.” Usually, I don’t take criticism that well. My colossal ego will get in the way and doesn’t allow her to even finish her sentence. Yet when I look back now, I had to agree somewhat with her opinion. That post just did not offer anything to the reader.

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On the other hand, what I want her to see is a lesson that I learned when several days ago I watched a tennis match in the TV. It was a re-broadcast of the Hopman Cup airing sometime ago, – involving Russia and France. The particular match that I watched was the one where Dinara Safina of Russia demolished Alize Cornet of France. Safina was just simply too powerful for Cornet, – outpowering her by devastating forehand winners and strong baseline plays. I was deeply enjoying her game when suddenly it dawned on me that for every successful game that she has, – there were many, countless hours of grueling practice where she might well be forced to refrain from doing other things she enjoys to do. It is also precisely on such practice sessions that she makes her mistakes, learn from those and develop what it takes to be a better player. At the moment, we all know where it gets her : Dinara Safina is currently one of the strongest female tennis players in the world.

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Here is the personal lesson and its related applications for me. Being a writer, granted, is a job which belongs to the creative realm. However, I cannot hide behind that fact and write only when an inspiration strikes me. I need to develop a regular practice, – however difficult -, to be a better writer. A harder thing to do perhaps, I also need to allow myself to make mistakes. To write some mediocre writings. And what other medium will fit this purpose better other than this personal blog of mine ? Here, from time to time, I need to write badly so I can write excellently when it matters in the future.

So with that in mind, – my dear wife and other readers -, let it be known that I intend to write more in this blog for this very purpose. If in the process I disappoint you with some silly, pointless posts; allow me to apologize in advance. There may well be some incoherent rants, because I feel this is what my blog supposed to be : my notes on life. In fact, I might have been thinking subconsciously about this when I chose a tagline for my blog : “My lessons of life. Sometimes bad, sometimes inspiring, always honest.” Thank you for understanding this need of mine.

On a lighter note, I also tried to develop some practices that I feel will delve me deeper into a writer’s habit. I actually bought some set of stationeries that didn’t cost me cheap to induce me to write more. This post was in fact written long-handedly in my paper notebook before I typed it and posted it here. I hope you like it, because that’s about it for now. Take care..!

Dark Blue : An Intriguing Concept

18 Jan

It’s been quite a while since I wrote about books here. In fact, when I look back every book reviews were the one I imported from my old blog. There’s not a single one I wrote ever since I moved to my own domain ! This trend should clearly be halted. 🙂

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A graphic novel called “Dark Blue” has recently caught my attention. I finished reading it at one sitting in about 30 minutes last night. Yet that doesn’t exactly portray the work as a light reading at all. It was a very serious, mind-bending work of art by the prominent comic artists Warren Ellis and Jacen Burrows.

The first thing that came to my mind after I read the book is that the writer could have worked more in the character development. Granted, this is problematic in the short, concise format of graphic novel. Nevertheless, some thoughts should be given to this side so as not to waste a great story idea they already implemented in the book. Especially as the story idea is closely related to a psycho-thriller, as compared to just another “action” comic book.

Taken from Heavyink.com, the story synopsis seemed ordinary enough :

“Warren Ellis’ critically acclaimed Dark Blue is available as a deluxe graphic novel illustrated by Jacen Burrows with full gray tones! Violent, disturbed cop Frank Christchurch has too many problems. He has a partner who’s convinced he’s mentally ill, a commanding officer on smack, and a killer whom no one else seems to want to catch. The pressure of his savage life is triggering murderous outbursts and hallucinations. Frank Christchurch is on the way down. And he might take everyone with him. Nothing is as it seems. “;

It wasn’t until about halfway of the book when the extraordinary twist became clear. The world where Frank Christchurch operates is just an imaginary one, – induced by an experimental drug. This notion would later be elaborated somewhat in Ellis’ afterword where he admitted his fascinated by a kind of drug which will induce a same hallucinogenic effect in all people who take it, – regardless of their personal background differences. A brilliant concept to develop upon, to say the least.

All of those being said, Dark Blue was technically beautiful. Executed flawlessly by comic artist Jacen Burrows, the panels will haunt you long after you closed the book. Mature, graphic images are presented in such ways to emphasize the disturbing nature of the story. In this aspect, – combined with the premise of the book -, this work is an excellent one…

2008 : The Good and The Ugly

17 Jan

Yeah, I know I’m so late to write about this. I was hospitalized since 25 December 2008 for a pneumonia opportunistic infection due to my HIV, – and before I knew it, the year had suddenly ended. I’m already home by now on an outpatient treatment, but haven’t been well enough to write anything in my blog until today. Or at least, that’s what I feel.

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So here we go. 2008. How would I call it ? How would you call a year when you were diagnosed with a terminal disease ? A year when they detected that a deadly virus is living inside your body ? That’s how 2008 opened for me when back in January I found out about it. I am not gonna bore you with details of what it is. The disease is already as notorious as it can be and you can find some information easily about it scattered all over the net.

Yet the tears did come. Granted, they were intermittent. I did not feel really bad about it at the beginning because I didn’t feel anything bad physically. But as the time goes by and my health deteriorated, it was exactly in the other end of the year that I got honestly scared and broke down to a grown man’s cry.

In some other things, 2008 also came with a package of difficult challenges for me. One that came readily into mind was the issue about housing. I was hard-pressed to deal with a profound question : As the head of the family, would I be able to provide mine with a decent place to live ? Especially because we’ve moved two times during the year.

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Those were some of the ugly parts. Curiously, the good things about the year were closely related to the challenges. First of all, I got helped by a long-lost friend currently residing in the US to deal with my rent, – which I was unable to tackle by myself. This fact has given me some goose bumps because I haven’t even been talking to him for about 15 years or so, when suddenly we bumped into each other over the Internet.

The second uncannily sweet thing about the year owed its existence to the time when my wife and I agreed ( and insisted ) to install a 24-hour Internet connection in our place when circumstances told us to do otherwise. It is easily imaginable that before it happened, I was unaware about the latest things and trends that were happening on the net. Oh, I knew that practically there is no limit to what you can do with it, but I hardly know what kind of an animal Social Networking is, – for example.

Until I joined some of them. Little by little, I gained some good friends who were very supportive during the hard times. In fact, remember when an American student was arrested in Egypt and got released after he tweeted the news ? Something in a close resemblance happened to me when later on I found out that those online friends were helping me not only psychologically, – but in a very real and practical way. I am not going to tell you how they exactly did that, but suffice it to say that they helped me go on through my lack of resources in some of my bleakest times.

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With that, I am going to wrap up and close this post. What happened to me in the past year had clearly illustrated that you can feel like you have all the bad luck you could possibly get; but if you don’t lose your faith, you will find out that you will also have all the help you need to pull yourself through. It is an undeniable proof that Divine Providence exists. God never sleeps. Just like some of my online friends who are also seemingly don’t need one.

So to all of you who were there when we badly need it, this post goes out to you. You know who you are….

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