Friday, December 31, 2010

best reads of 2010

the books I enjoyed reading this year, though I really didn't start on January
Thanks to ms. blooey of Bookmarked! for giving me "The Monster of Florence" as a Christmas gift. Finally, something to add to my growing collection of books. Wish granted!
Thanks to my Honey for giving me "Lamb" by Christopher Moore. Biff always brightens my day. Hehehe.
My year has been an adventure as I flipped those pages. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

book review #1: lamb: the gospel according to biff, christ's childhood pal

You may find yourself asking why it's the first book review. I've done quite a few already. Well, I'm going to start it this new year and I like to have an inventory of the books that I read. Reading is a passion right now, not just a hobby or whatsoever. And to start the new year with a bang, I also chose a book that will surely make a big bang of laughter out of you. I enjoyed reading this and it made me laugh the bejeezus out of me. Well, it's a "Gospel" to start with. Can there be more strange-sounding than this? I'm laughing.

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (phew, such a long title) is written by Christopher Moore. The book talks about the missing link in the life of Jesus, the in-betweens when he was seven and the time he started his ministry, as was told by Biff, his seeminlgy all-knowing, sexually-crazed but loyal friend. You would wish to have such a friend as Biff. Well, there are ten things that I like to point on this book which are quiet interesting.

1. Biff, the titular character, and Joshua (Jesus is the Greek name)
Their friendship is like a Yin-Yang, a balance of naivete and smartassness (correct me please). Where Joshua lacks the knowledge on one area, it is there that Biff tries to fill. Theirs was a complete riot. Biff becomes Joshua's window to sinly human nature as Joshua tries to discover more about sin and his way of becoming the Messiah.

2. The angel Raziel
The stupidest angel (another book by Moore) who loves soap opera and was disappointed by not meeting Spiderman. He loves wrestling and thinks that everything in the TV is true. He resurrected Biff, dead for 2000 years, and commanded him to write this gospel. His is a halo that Biff describes as "stupidity leaking out of his head". Makes me laugh everytime I remember that.

3. Angels do have sex. And Raziel left his sex organ in heaven. Makes me imagine Biff's face, his reaction.

4. Balthasar's 8 concubines.
Tiny Feet of the Divine Dance of Joyous Orgasm, Beautiful Gate of Heavenly Moisture Number Six, Temptress of the Golden Light of the Harvest Moon, Delicate Personage of the Two Fu Dogs Wrestling Under a Blanket, Feminine Keeper of the Three Tunnels of Excessive Friendliness, Silken Pillows of the Heavenly Softness of the Clouds, Pea Pods in Duck Sauce with Crispy Noodle, and Sue.
Their names are amusing but Biff manages to call them by their short names. Sue is for Susannah. Huh?

5. While Joshua learns how to multiply the grain of rice through the Divine Spark (the Holy Ghost or Spirit, as we call it), Biff is so busy learning the ancient knowledge of Kama Sutra (LOL) and manages to have a banter with Joshua (who also learns the Bhagavad Gita).

6. The 3 Magi, Balthasar, Gaspar and Melchior, have been actually searching for their own personal desires which is the reason why they travelled to see the Messiah. Joshua finally found them and sought help on how he can become the Messiah. He gave them lessons instead.

7. Joshua loves drinking coffee. And is a contortionist. He fitted inside Biff's satchel, a backpack. He can also become invisible, which he learned when he was a monk under the tutelage of Gaspar. And he, together with Biff, battles a demon named Catch. What a catch that is. He had a comic language banter with this demon, while Biff infuriated it by peeing on it.

8. Joshua doesn't like sex at all after the incident when he saw Biff lying together with a toothless old woman. To be safe, his view of sex changed after this incident. Remember, Joshua was still learning the anatomy of sin so to say. His instructor was actually Biff who had carnal pleasures with different women so to describe this to him. As I say it again, Biff is the smartass while Joshua maintained his naivete.

9. That the Sermon on the Mount was actually planned. The Beautitudes. Everything was written as was dictated by Jesus and some suggested by Biff. Let me share to you an excerpt:
Biff: "Seven"
Jesus: "Not enought. We need one more. How about the dumbfucks?"
Biff: No, Josh, not the dumbfucks. You've done enough for the dumbfucks...
Jesus: Blessed are the dumbfucks for they, uh - I don't know - the shall never be disappointed.
Biff: No, I'm drawing the line at the dumbfucks. Come on, Josh, why can't we have any powerful guys on our team? Why do we have the to have the meek, and the poor, the oppressed, and the pissed on? Why can't we, for once, have blessed are the big powerful rich guys with swords?"

Makes me laugh all the time.

10. Judas was killed, rather strangled, by Biff who killed himself by jumping off the cliff. The smartass died by suicide but later resurrected by the angel to write this gospel.

The anachronism is quite interesting and so is the sarcasm. I love everything about the book, especially the humor between Jesus and Biff. Christopher Moore played well with the reader's imagination about the characters, the setting, about everything in totality. I can't recommend it enough. Read irony. Hehehe. A caution though, if you're a chuckler, then at least do not read this in public. The languages are funny and some parts are quite disturbing especially for "Pharisee-ish" mind, close-minded that is.

4.9 stars out of 5 (I'm saving the 0.1 for the air, I'm running out of it while reading). Seriously, 5 out of 5 for the good humor. Curiosity is the beginning of wisdom, or sham. Read the book to see it for yourself. I'm reading it again.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

"A never one, a never two, a never a nechur sing, a never a nechur sing, a never a never a nechur sing..."

"A never one, a never two, a never a nechur sing, a never a nechur sing, a never a never a nechur sing..." ~ Neighborhood children having their carolling

Christmas is the most highlighted celebration of the year. Children and adult from all walks of life are always eager to celebrate this. Gifts, the noche buena and the family get-togethers. But it is the carolling that I'm excited to listen to. Just this morning, I was awaken by children singing at the top of their voices the jingles they just learned perhaps from hearing others. I can't help but laugh. Mind you, I'm still humming the lyrics in my head until now.

Carolling reminds of the childhood that was. How I ran together with some cousins and sometimes with classmates as we trod the streets bringing our homemade props and instruments. It was a nostalgic fun, not to mention the adrenaline-inducing dog chase and neighborhood feasts. My pocket was never empty during Christmas. Oh, by the way, extortion was acceptable at this time. My uncles and aunts' pockets were always ready in case the need arose. Singing a one-liner jingle equated a consideranle amount. Well...

Carolling reminds me of the start of Christmas. Like the cutting of the ribbon in an inauguration thingy. That sort. When the cold wind is already entwined with the tinkling and twanging of the instruments and the guttural sounds of the singers' voices, then I know that Christmas is just around the corner. It won't be long before you experience a throng of people attacking your vicinity. Nah, fret if you want but it's as if they're granted with some kind of immunity to just invade your peace and impale you with songs after songs after songs and conclude it with a "We Wish You a Merry Chritmas" antic. And you are rendered powerless.

Carolling reminds me of the jolly Christmas. The oppurtunity of giving. This is the only part, I guess, of this celebration that brings you a connection with other people aside from your family circles. It reminds me that this certain neighbor of ours actually exists. The baritone of the oppurtunist. But then again tis the season of giving, so let it be. I'm not the Grinch nor Mr. Scrooge but sometimes people are just plainly making this season a big business. Carolling's a business.

Anyway, Christmas precedes all that is human. This is suppose to be the case. Christ is the true message of this celebration which I hope resides in every heart of the people that walks this planet. Although Christmas is a time of giving but let us not digress from its true meaning. Merry Christmas to all. Someone's singing again. "A never one, a never two, a never a nechur sing, a never a nechur sing, a never a never a nechur sing..."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

monster are real. really.

I bought the book The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey and immediately read it. Obviously, I haven't finished it yet and although I'm not really a fan of grotesqueries, I find it intriguing and somehow informative owing to the fact that there were some information from scientists and authors in the first leaf of the book telling the existence of Anthropophagi. I really don't know if these things or foul creatures exist but to read their description in the book will give the same reaction Will Henry had. It's tickling my gag reflex. Monsters are real. The back cover said so.

I paused to think and ponder about it. Yes, it is true. Monsters are real, while human beings live. I am not contemplating on a self-righteous theory but you will agree with me when I said this. People nowadays are inclining to be monsters and worst, we recognized them already, but we just appear to be oblivious, or I don't know, maybe plainly we just are indifferent. We feign awareness. We see the corruption and the vile deeds of our fellow Homo sapiens but we still choose to be ignorant of these blatant facts. Blind. Yes, we are blind.

There are monsters lurking everywhere, it may be your seatmate now, or your date or that poor grocer at a distant. Picking orange. The point is monsters can even be our very own selves. I know you know what I mean. The clock is ticking.

For the mean time, got to finish my read. Ciao, ciao.

Monday, December 6, 2010

narnia: the voyage of the dawn treader.

This was the second time I had a 3D movie experience. It was not a bad movie. I can vouch for that. :) C.S. Lewis showed again how human frailty could bring the end of everything and how everything can be redeemed through trust, hope and love. Each character has to face their weaknesses and learn how to overcome them. It made me realize that mortals will always be mortals, that human beings will really fall but there's always redemption. 

The Voyage's plot is simple, to look for the seven swords of the seven lords to save the world of Narnia. Each adventures unveils the characters' flaw, such as vanity, greed, cowardice and haughtiness. For a book-loving creature like me, the "Book of Incantations part" amazed me. I want to own one. Hehehe. Just imagine reading something and you can conjure anything that the book contains. When Lucy read the book, the snow just brought the nostalgic memories of the first movie. I liked the Chronicles of Narnia. I don't know if it's the childish feeling in me or I'm just nostalgic to the feeling of being child again. Either way. Hehe. Eustace was quite annoying for a boy unlike his dragon counterpart which was quite useful and adorable at the same time. I like his unusual friendship with Reepicheep. There's a touchy part at the end when Aslan appears dramatically, again. He always comes out in all the installments like that with his famous roar. Narnia movies are never complete without that roar, at least for me. :)

There were some parts though that were reminiscence of some movies. The blue star for Stardust, not to mention the snow of LWW, Lord of the Rings? Lol. I just remembered Gimli. Oops.

"There's a Place for Us" by Carrie Underwood is the perfect ribbon to wrap the whole movie. The movie was entertaining, although not that gratifying. I don't know why I'm sad after watching the movie. Maybe for Reepicheep. :)