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Rediscovering An Old Passion Through “Twilight”…

I never thought I still had it in me. I mean my reading comprehension and passion when it comes to novels. I used to read and read a lot of novels when I was younger especially during my college days and early years after college. I could finish a novel, no matter how thick, in less than twelve hours or sometimes over one sleepless night. I could get so absorbed that instead of sleep overtaking me, I would be more and more awake and alert to the story, the characters and the emotions of the book I was reading. And it would be so hard to stop.

However, as I got to working with a very hectic schedule and with a growing perfectionist and workaholic side to me, I forgot about my reading passion. I simply had no more time, until it was out of my routine… out of my system.

Years later when I was no longer working, I wanted to get back to it. Reading novels, enjoying the fantasy, loving the escape it brings from reality. Time wasn’t a problem anymore.

However, for some reason, I was finding it difficult. My mind cannot seem to absorb what I was reading.  There were moments I would be reading one page again and again, and still I couldn’t digest the words and imagine the story being laid out in front of me.  It gets actually frustrating.

So I decided to start from square one… with short stories, thinking I needed to get back into this slowly. For quite some time now, I would read some books on and off.  The last one was Neil Gaiman’s “Smoke and Mirrors”, a collection of short stories.  It took me so long to finish the whole book. Technically, I haven’t finished it since I didn’t read some of the stories. I just chose some which interested me.

It seems though that I still couldn’t really feel and get into it… into whatever it was I was reading unlike before. It felt like I was still just an observer from a distance, or like I was just reading a piece of story in a newspaper, emotionally detached.

Until this week.

I was down with the flu last Monday, and was asleep almost the whole day which left me wide awake in the evening.  I decided that was a good time to start reading a book my sister lent me few months back and had been bugging me for a year or two now to read (long before this hype came out) — Twilight.

As I started and went on to read, I didn’t realize how absorbed I was getting, how fast I was reading and how attached I was becoming.

I just became aware of it when I realized it was already three in the morning, and I was more than halfway through the book without any trouble comprehending and imagining what I was reading, and most of all, I was having great difficulty stopping to get some sleep.  But I know I had to. I needed rest. I was still sick.

When I woke up the next day, it felt strange how everything I read the night before was still so fresh and how it felt like it was a story that happened for real. I could almost feel it, smell it, taste it. It felt like I knew the characters first hand.

Weird. Really weird. The last time I had this same experience was 10 years ago or so… with Anne Rice’s “Interview with the Vampire” and Christopher Pike’s “The Whisperer” and “The Cold One”.

Of course, I finished Twilight that day. And I couldn’t help myself but crave for more. So I borrowed the rest of the sequel (books 2 to 4) from my sister, and finishing each (except book 4 which I’m still reading now) overnight (well, almost overnight).

And each time I wake up, the story and the characters just feels so close. Really close.

I don’t know if it’s just me. Sort of just a re-awakening of my senses. Rediscovering something I thought was lost. Am I really a sucker for dark stories especially for vampires? Or for the romance? Or simply for both? 🙂

In any case, it feels great.  And I’m glad I did decide to read Twilight. If only I listened to my sisters much much earlier.

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Early Christmas Present

This is the reason I couldn’t remove the grin off my face last Friday. As much as I put effort to straighten my face at times (or else I look like an idiot smiling foolishly to myself), it still couldn’t be helped that my lips would unconciously find its way to curve into a smile.

This is hubby’s early Christmas present. I actually had some money saved up to buy myself a new guitar this month. Remember how my other two guitars are finally giving up on me? I guess it’s also about time since the old ones have been with me for so many years now. Though I know I still couldn’t let go of my first one.

He asked me if I wanted to go with him to the mall where he needed to buy something. At first I said no, not needing anything and feeling too lazy to go to the mall. However, when he asked if I wanted to take a look at some guitars, I suddenly changed my mind. I was ready and anxious to buy one this month anyway.

When I finally had a few options chosen, he told me this would be his Christmas present and I was to choose the one I liked most without worrying about the price. And it turned out that I (or we) ended up buying one that was way more than my original budget. Of course, I still had to be somehow frugal and practical, putting my own  limit to my options in monetary terms.

Yet, I couldn’t complain. Not in a million years. I still got more than I hoped for. And it is indeed a very nice guitar!

This is my best gift this Christmas.  🙂

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About Seventh Stranger

When I signed up for this blog, I was actually surprised that “7thstranger” was already taken. I guess I was absurdly thinking that I’m the only one in this world of billion bloggers who would want to use that name. Thus, I decided to use the longer version instead since it was available. I have been using “Seventh Stranger” as a pseudonym for as long as I can remember…

I was ten or eleven, a raging fan of a bygone (but not forgotten, for me at least) era of new wave 80’s music. I went gaga-crazy over bands like Duran Duran, Tears for Fears, Spandau Ballet, Power Station, Menudo (oh yes, cheesy as it is!), A-ha, The Cure, Culture Club. Hmmm, did I miss anything?

One day, a few weeks before our annual class Christmas party, we had our usual drawing of lots (or pieces of paper with codenames) for our usual “Manito Manita”. “Manito Manita” is a traditional Christmas game of exchanging gifts.

Each one had to write on a piece of paper a codename they like, roll the paper and drop it in a box or container. Then each one in the class took turns to pick one paper from the box. If it was your own, then you return it. If not, then that one would be your “manita” (if a girl) or “manito” (if a boy). However, sometimes it is hard to tell from the codenames being used.

Then for the next few weeks that followed, there would be a theme per week and we would be secretly giving a gift to our “manita” or “manito”. On the day of the Christmas party, we would then reveal our identities and have the final exchange of gifts.

And that was when I first thought of using “Seventh Stranger” as a codename. Of course, I couldn’t use it in the years that followed in that same school. But each time I transferred to a new school (yes, I’ve moved a couple of times but that’s a different story to tell), I would be using it on my first Christmas party.

From grade school to high school to college, the name has stuck with me. It has become a part of me. And as you can see, to this date, I’m still using it.

About “Seventh Stranger”

It is claimed as one of the best songs that Duran Duran has ever done under their “Seven and The Ragged Tiger” album in 1983. The title of the album was actually one of several songs they completed in 1983 but was never released. Eventually though, parts of that song evolved into the track “The Seventh Stranger”. For those not familiar with it, here it is…

Those words are all remainders
Echoes growing in the heart of twilight
They lay back laughing at naivety’s star
Awaken all those whispers in the dusty shadow of a passing favour
I wouldn’t say that you were ruthless or right
I couldn’t see from so far
Was I chasing after rainbows
One thing for sure you never answered when I called
And I wiped away the water from my face
To look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

Can’t tell the real from reflections
When all these faces look the same to me
In every city such a desolate dream
Some days are strange to number
some say the seventh sounds a little bit stranger
A year of Sundays seems to have drifted right by
(I could have sworn) in one evening
And I’m not seized in desperation
No steel reproaches on the table from before
But I still can feel those splinters of ice
I look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

I must be chasing after rainbows
One thing for sure you never answer when I call
And I wipe away the water from my face
To look through the eyes of a stranger
For rumour in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
Walking away like a stranger
From rumours in the wake of such a lonely crowd
Trading in my shelter for danger
I’m changing my name just as the sun goes down
In the eyes of a stranger

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Filed under Blogging, Entertainment World, Favorites, Me, Myself and I, Music and Videos

Heath Ledger: Dark Knight’s Maniacal Joker

Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

I like Heath Ledger. From the very first movie of his that I watched (10 Things I Hate About You) and up to the top-rated ones that followed — The Patriot, Four Feathers, A Knight’s Tale. I didn’t watch Brokeback Mountain, and I have yet to watch Dark Knight. Yes, I must see Dark Knight.

That is why this morning, when I turned on my computer and saw on Yahoo News! an article about the feds dropping his case, I couldn’t help but open and read it.

I felt sad when I first heard the news earlier this year about his death. I couldn’t believe it. My initial reaction was “it may just be a rumor”. So I immediately surfed the net about it. But to my dismay, it was real. What disheartened me more was the fact that he died from accidental drug overdose. And it wasn’t that he was taking illegal drugs or took more than the limit, it was the combination of six prescription drugs — painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications — that caused his fatality.

And to this day, whenever I hear about him or see photos of him, I feel wistful about his potential of what he could have been as an actor.

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