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Archive for July 2009

What's on my desk?

Blooey of Sumthinblue.com tagged me to post a photo of my desk.
Since my desk normally contains of just piles of papers & my laptop, I decided to take a photo of what's beside my desk.

80% of the books below are in my TBR [ie Kerry Katona's "The Footballer's Wife", Katie Price's "Angel", Michael Owen's autobiography & Gary Barlow's autobiography], some are DVDs, and some are books I've read.

Guess that's about it :D Still have a backlog of posts to do and I just can't catch up! :P

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On Reading Challenges.

Honestly, this will be the first official time that I'll be joining some reading challenges. I normally challenge myself to read so-and-so number of books per year but since I've taken the hobby of reading more seriously, I think it's time to join the challenges being hosted online [and yes, the prizes are 90% of the reason also of why I joined :P ]

First off, I've joined the Sookie Stackhouse reading challenge -- this runs from July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010.
Goal is to read the Sookie Stackhouse books. Easy enough? Not for me! I'm an ultra slow reader, in case you guys haven't noticed yet. :P I've just asked my good friend Yam to help me get some audio books to get me started. Yaay!
Here's the link:


Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone


Second, I've joined the Harry Potter reading challenge -- this runs from August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010. It's a good time for me to catch up on all 7 books of Harry Potter, since my friends knew that I stopped reading the series at book 3. I don't understand why I stopped in the first place as well, but hey, now's the time to re-read the series & finish off what I've started.


I've finished downloading an audiobook of the Prisoner of Azkaban so I'll probably kick off this challenge there.

  • Sorcerer’s Stone [Finished November 4th, 2009]
  • Chamber of Secrets
  • Prisoner of Azkaban [Finished December 15th 2009]
  • Goblet of Fire
  • Order of the Pheonix
  • Half-Blood Prince
  • Deathly Hallows
Discussion Page:

Third challenge: the Reliquaiae Challenge
Goal is to read at least 3-6 books that revolve around the paranormal: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches and all sorts of fantastical beings.
Challenge runs from July 15th 2009 to January 15th 2010.

  • Bite on the Neck: 3 books.
  • Flying Cauldron: 4 books.
  • Deadly Red Moon: 5 books.
  • Haunted Nights: 6 books.
I'm planning on trying one level at a time. For this challenge [Bite on the Neck], my list is as follows:
1. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer [Finished August 22, 2009]
2. Eclipse- Stephenie Meyer [Finished October 28, 2009]
3. Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer.
**Looks like I'll fail this. I haven't finished the Twilight Saga series! :\ ** However, if it involves Harry Potter as a magical being [ie a wizard] then I've passed the first goal with flying colours with 4 books read!

Once I've finished the three above, I'll probably do a cross-challenge with the two other challenges I've posted above.

Discussion page here:

And another one! The Vampire Diaries reading challenge!
The Awakening
The Struggle
The Fury
Dark Reunion
And the ongoing story in
The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Nightfall

Hosted by: My Friend Amy

This will run from Sept 1, 2009 till August 31st, 2010.
I've started watching the telly series. Does that count? :D


Book #7 for the year!

I finally got to finish reading this after a looong time. Technically, it's the first time I read this [or rather, have someone read the book to me] via audiobook.
There's only a few words to tell the summary of this tale: Human girl falls in love with a vampire. Ugh. That's about it.
It didn't help that the writing was not that great, so I had to make do with an audiobook, with someone reading the book to me because I was so tempted to skip out some parts.
The only part that interested me was the back stories about the Cullens, and how they live & act in particular.
Other than that, nothing really special.

Overall rating: 2/5. I've read better books. But I'm still going to finish reading the series though.

Snoopy's World, Hong Kong -- a photo journal.

This is a photoblog of our fifth day in Hong Kong, one of our itineraries included going over to Sha Tin, in New Town Plaza mall to visit Snoopy's World.

A brief background: it is actually the first outdoor Peanuts playground in Asia.
To go there, ride the MTR and go down in Sha Tin Station. Then a short 5 minute walk through a mall & follow the directions to Snoopy's World.

**entrance to Snoopy's World**

**Snoopy & friends camping out**

**a more close-up view of the camping**



**Snoopy and Charlie Brown boating**

**Joe Cool**



**Snoopy playing the guitar**

**Snoopy & Woodstock**

**Sally Brown**

**Psychiatric help? Ask Lucy!**

MTR handrails?

Originally uploaded by rubybabydoll
I dunno what exactly they're called but if you're standing up in the MTR, instead of boring old loops, you'll be holding on to mickey! :)
Sooo cute. Everything about the Disneyland Resort MTR is definitely interesting & Mickey-themed

MTR to HK Disneyland

Originally uploaded by rubybabydoll
This is the train going to HK Disneyland from Sunny Bay.
Look at the detail of the windows -- they're mickey ears! Now, can you find the hidden mickeys? :)

More photos to come from my HK 2009 trip!

Hong Kong 2009 -- Day 1, July 8th 2009

Only had two hours of sleep this day since I had to wake up at 4AM to get to the airport before 6AM [ugh. traffic issues in Southern Metro Manila -- all this construction work in the so-called highways is enough to drive a person crazy in traffic, good thing for books and their handy-dandiness].

Arrived at the airport around 515AM [yes, that early] -- went to the Cebu Pacific check-in counter, then paid the P1620 travel tax, got my boarding pass & paid another P750 in airport taxes. So much taxes here in the PH! The taxes almost amount to the plane ticket I paid, which I booked during the Cebu Pacific promo.

Surprisingly, the 8AM flight from Manila to HK took off earlier than expected. We arrived in HKIA at 9:35AM. Lucky lucky =) We then hurried off to the bus that would take us to the Evergreen hotel.

*Central area. Shot from the TST Waterfront*

Arrived at the hotel around 11:30, but since check-in time is 2:00pm, we walked around the area to familiarize ourselves: we looked for the MTR and looked for a place to eat. We ended up at McDonalds. We were not in the mood to actually look for a Chinese food stall so we settled for one we know and are familiar with.

Headed on off to Mong Kok -- where I was looking for a camera to get. I finally settled in Wing Sing, and I now have my new baby =)

We then went to Tin Hau temple after for a bit of sight-seeing and photos =)

Then back to the hotel to check-in and rest.

In the afternoon, we walked to TST [oh yes, no MTRs since we wanted to explore the place] and headed off to the HK Science Museum -- the entrance is free on Wednesdays and who wouldn't say no to freebies, right?

After that, we took a long walk down Avenue of the Stars -- most of the stars there are virtually unknown to me except for Bruce Lee & Jackie Chan.

Dinner at Food Paradise in Sogo.

Went out at 715pm at the TST Waterfront to get a good area at the second floor viewing deck for the Symphony of Lights. It was a long wait but the Symphony of Lights was very good. I was amazed at how the lights on the buildings were choreographed with the music.

Then off to Harbour City in the evening for a bit of window shopping before calling it a night.


Some tips for your trip:
- Do come at least 30 minutes before the Symphony of Lights show so you could get a good seat. When we came down at 8:15, there were a number of people crowding around the lower decks.
- Do bring bottled water along with you at all times. If possible, buy your water at Wellcome or at a grocery because prices in the vendo machines or at 7-11 are exorbitant! But if there's no Wellcome stores near your area, then 7-11 would do just fine. You need to drink & rehydrate, especially if you're travelling in the summer time.
- Bring an umbrella with you at all times -- HK weather in July is weird -- sometimes it rains, sometimes it's scorching hot!
- Do research on the specifications of the electronics first before you get anything in HK. And as per PEX, don't buy anything from the stores in Nathan Road. I myself bought my camera from a trusted electronic store in HK, Wing Sing. Make sure you get a warranty & try to haggle for freebies or a discount =)

Have fun, enjoy! If you have further questions on itinerary or what I did for this day, feel free to comment :) Will post on the rest of my other days in HK in subsequent posts.


* Book/Telly Stats *
Books read on day 1st holiday: None. Only brought one book with me in the trip, "My Take" by Gary Barlow, which I only got to read a few pages of whilst in the airport. I was pretty much asleep nearly the whole flight to HK.
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Beware Princess Elizabeth - Carolyn Meyer

Book#6 for the year is "Beware, Princess Elizabeth" by Carolyn Meyer. It is a historical fiction novel aimed for young adults that chronicles the life of Elizabeth Tudor from her father's death to her eventual crowning as Queen.

It was the 16th century, England, and surrounded by controversy and much religious inquisitions & beheadings, Elizabeth found herself in the midst of controversy ever since her father, Henry VIII's death. Her brother, Edward, was being run by his uncle, and only beckons to see her during Yuletide, her half-sister Mary, does not speak to her, and Elizabeth believes that Mary hates her. Her childhood friend, Robin Dudley, suddenly gets bethrothed to Amy, as a political and monetary move by both families.

Her only companion was Kat Ashley, her governess, and together, they weave through controversies, imprisonment, fearing for her death, whilst playing a very political game as she waits for her eventual turn to be the Queen of England.

Very interesting novel for me. I have always been intrigued by historical fiction, and totally adore the Kings and Queens and deep history of England. I have never been quite so entertained.
The novel was told in the first person point of view, which makes you believe that you are in the 16th century, imagining that you are one of the people in the court and what it must have looked like and felt like, living in that day & age.

I personally have been to some of the sites that were noted in the book -- The Tower of London & Westminster Abbey, and the size of those buildings are absolutely amazing. Besides, I got to see Elizabeth I and Mary's tomb in Westminster Abbey. Such a shame I only got to research more about these incredible people after I've been to their tombs, I appreciated them after I've seen them. Oh well.

Great book for those who love everything about England and historical fiction. Definitely a must-read.

Bought this copy from booksale for P70. Money well spent :)

Personal updates:

Currently reading:
For One More Day by Mitch Albom [page 33]
My Take - Gary Barlow [page 2]
The Cat in The Hat - Dr Seuss

Currently watching:
True blood season 2
The Tudors season 3
Dawson's Creek season 1
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The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

Book # 5 for the year is "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It's only around 180 pages long, which is a very light read if ever you're a voracious and fast reader [which is not like me]

It's a story about a boy named Santiago, a Spaniard who tends sheep for a living. He knew he wanted to see the world, and he chose to become a shepherd because he has the freedom to go wherever he wanted to go to whilst he was tending his sheep and selling the wool to other cities.

One day, he dreamt that he had to go over to the Pyramids in Egypt, and there, he will find his treasure. Puzzled, he came across an old man, who turned out to be a king, who helped to guide him in trying to realize his personal legend.

What follows was an adventure to the deserts of Africa, self-discovery, and understanding the language and soul of the world.

It is quite an inspirational tale with many quotable quotes.
"Making a decision is only the beginning of things. When you make a decision, it carries you to places you never dreamed of when you first made the decision"

"It's the possibility of making a dream come true that makes life interesting"

My favourite was "When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you get it"

It is a very good book, albeit short, but it definitely opened my eyes to something -- that we are here to enjoy our lives, try to live out our own personal legends, and well, live & appreciate other creatures: big or small, living or animate.
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