Saturday, April 21, 2012

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

I have heard so many references to Strangers on a Train in movies and TV shows that I finally got curious and sought out the book with much anticipation. Unfortunately, it did not live up to my expectations.

On a train back to Metcalf, architect Guy Haines meets Charles Bruno, who makes an interesting proposition - he will kill Guy's wife Miriam (whom Guy is planning to divorce) in exchange for Guy killing his father. Guy, thoroughly disturbed by the offer, dismisses the encounter until Bruno goes through with his part of the "deal".

The concept in itself is quite interesting. It's supposed to be the perfect murder; there were no apparent connections between the two men except for that meeting on the train, and they had no motive to kill their targets. I was intrigued to see how Miriam's murder was going to affect Guy, especially since he had a potentially bright future ahead of him.

The only thing I didn't quite like was how the book was written. Sentences were choppy. Some ideas were suddenly cut off that I felt like I was hung out to dry. It was like reading a book written by a kid in 6th grade, and it left me a bit frustrated. If the story hadn't been intriguing, I would've put this book down and leave it in a shelf to gather a considerable amount of dust.

Here's to hoping that the movie is better than the book.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 15 (Shades)

Something you don't leave home without.

I've been wearing sunglasses for as long as I can remember. The first pair I owned were these hipster-style shades we got from McDonalds when I was a kid. Back in college (SISC), my friends were amused because I'd wear a different pair everyday, which eventually became my trademark. You'd never see me go out (during the day) without wearing shades.

I used to have a lot more, but they got lost or broken.
I didn't start collecting sunglasses just for the heck of it. When I studied in UPLB, I started getting frequent headaches. I didn't know what was causing it until I went to have my eyes checked. The doctor told me that my eyes could be too sensitive to light, and that I should try wearing sunglasses (with anti-UV lenses) to see if the pain would subside. What do you know, it worked. Good thing, because if it didn't...I don't want to think about all the other possible causes of my headaches.

And that's my story. Anybody know where I can buy a shades rack?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore

I borrowed this book a couple of years ago from KC, but it's only now that I got to finish it. Why? Let me digress for a moment to tell you how much I hate it when people clean my room. The helper thought it was a bible and placed it with, uh, all our other bibles, which they kept in a box when we had to move some stuff. I found the book just last month. Sheesh.

See? It looks like a bible. And yes, it also has that red ribbon bookmark attached to the book's spine.

Back to the book. The bible tells us all about Christ's childhood and the teachings and miracles he performed after his 30th birthday, leaving a huge gap in between. Nobody really knows what happened except for Levi (better known as Biff), his bestfriend, who was brought back to life to fill in the blanks. He takes us through his divine (and hilarious) journey with Joshua (Jesus' "normal" name) filled with adventure, magic, martial arts, Abominable Snowmen, demons, and uh, hot women (Biff's pasttime, LOL). Their travels took them as far as India and China, where they met all sorts of people, saw all kinds of rituals, and where Biff (who is Josh's total opposite) kinda hooked up with a lot of girls. They met one named Feminine Keeper of the Three Tunnels of Excessive Friendliness. No, I'm not kidding.

Now before you even attempt to read this, you have to have an open mind. This is fiction; I doubt Moore intended to change someone's faith with this book, and readers have to remember that. I'm Catholic (not a super devout Catholic, but I know my faith) and I will admit that there were some weird parts in the book, but I never saw my religion in a different light afterwards and I don't think I'm going to preach about the Gospel of Biff ever.

Lamb was probably one of the funniest books I've ever read, with Biff's mishaps and Josh's naivete. I wouldn't mind reading it again.

Day 14 (Couch Patatas)

My last entry was four months ago. Yes, work has taken over my life. O_o

But after this particularly hellish semester, I think it's about time I step back and take a day off. It's kind of a challenge for me not to think about work, but I'll try my best not to let it disrupt my "petix" day today. Gotta find ways to distract myself, like continuing the 30-Day Blog Challenge I started last August. :))

A TV show you're currently addicted to.

Before work and the Internet took over my life, I was a couch potato. Or a bed potato, to be precise. I used to have my own television and I'd stay in my room and watch whatever is on for most of the day especially after I discovered the crime show channels. Yes, I love crime/police/forensic procedurals. Ever since I first laid eyes on CSI, I was hooked. I remember spending every waking moment in front of the TV, watching and discovering all those shows like Law and Order, Cold Case, CSI, etc., and even going as far as downloading all of the episodes of all the seasons (which really killed our bandwidth). I don't get to watch that much anymore and I am really left behind with what's going on with my favorite shows, so now I'm trying to make up for lost time.

My staples are Law and Order SVU, CSI New York, and Bones. But because I don't want this entry to be too long, I'm going to talk about two shows I recently discovered instead - Castle and Game of Thrones.

Castle - The show has a common theme - a cop and a civilian partner up and take down the bad guys. Richard Castle (Firefly's Nathan Fillion) is a critically-acclaimed murder mystery author who found his inspiration for his next story in Det. Kate Beckett (Stana Katic), a no-nonsense homicide detective. It's the classic partnership - he's charming, she's hot, and their dynamic has us all asking "will they or won't they", especially since the tension between them is pretty obvious. Like Bones, I love how humor is peppered throughout an episode despite the show's serious nature - kinda shows that there's always a silver lining to everything. It's informative, it's witty and funny, and it teaches us a thing or two about people. And of course, who could resist Castle and Beckett's swordplay?

Game of Thrones - Based on a series of novels by Georgre R. R. Martin, the show is set in a medieval era and is filled with lies, deception, death, sex, and a whole lot of naked people. It's dark and heavy, and though it does have some funny moments, even those tend to be sardonic. The story also relies heavily on dialogue, which means you have to really pay attention or you won't understand what the hell is going on. This is a bit of a problem for me, since I admit I sometimes have the attention span of a 12-year-old. Still, the drama surrounding the characters (and there are A LOT of characters) is intriguing enough for me to finish an episode and start the next one. And the sword fighting and archery are really cool.

Oh, and did I mention that there were a lot of naked people in this show?