Weekly Round-up (14): November 12 – 18, 2017

I’m doing weekly round-ups now, which will include any media I consumed for the past week, from Sunday to Saturday. I’d be glad if you end up getting some recommendations but I’m only doing this as a form of a media journal (to make it easy to write reviews later on). And fine, an actual journal too. Here goes! (I posted this and I ended up deleting it, thinking it was a draft because the WordPress app on my phone sycned and made it a draft and so I had to retype everything HUHUHUHU.)

Continue reading →


Weekly Round-up (5): August 27 – September 2, 2017

I’ll never forget this image. How can Korean variety shows think of such ingenious games and punishments? HAHAHA

I’m doing weekly round-ups now, which will include any media I consumed for the past week, from Sunday to Saturday. I’d be glad if you end up getting some recommendations but I’m only doing this as a form of a media journal (to make it easy to write reviews later on). And fine, an actual journal too. Here goes! Continue reading →

Weekly Round-up (1): July 29 – August 4, 2017

gif of the week!

So I thought of doing weekly round-ups from now on, which will include any media I consumed for the past week, from Saturday to Friday. I also aim to talk about them, especially kdrama episodes I’ve seen for the week, all in one post. I’d be glad if you end up getting some recommendations but I’m only doing this as a form of a media journal (to make it easy to write reviews later on). And fine, an actual journal too. Here goes! Continue reading →

National Book Store’s #ReadOutLoudChallenge: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Happy 75th Anniversary, National Book Store!

And to celebrate their anniversary, National Book Store is promoting reading and literacy in the country by the Read Out Loud Challenge! What is it, you ask?

With every 75 videos of people reading their favorite line/s from their favorite book/s posted on Instagram and/or Facebook, the National Book Store Foundation will help establish a library in public schools all over the Philippines!

Here I am doing the challenge and reading from Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. I had this book tabbed with so many quotable passages that it was so hard to choose just one. And it’s just so apt for June because it’s Pride Month!

I hope you’ll do the challenge as well and help National Book Store build libraries! My non-Filipino/Philippine-based readers, please do participate too! You’d be helping Filipino kids a lot!

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Spoiler alert: I didn’t love this as much as everyone did so there’s that. I love the message, I really do. I just realized that this is not the poetry style I gravitate to. No, that’s wrong, I kind of gravitate to it because it’s everywhere? But it’s not what makes this heart sing and/or curl up in a ball.

Milk and Honey

Title: Milk and Honey
Author: Rupi Kaur
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Date of Publication: October 6, 2015

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

Purchase from Amazon


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I had high hopes for this but did I read a completely different book than everyone else?

Don’t get me wrong. Rupi and I have the same politics and beliefs based on her poems. I’d still say that this collection is powerful and must be read, even if only for the messages. Its messages would garner 5 stars because all women need to hear it and know it and live it. And men too so we can squash the patriarchy. I highlighted a lot of poems and lines and a lot struck me because these are truths that everyone needs to see/hear/read. To be woke.

But as for poetry, I find it lacking. It is honest and relatable, which I guess make good poems too. But I want my poems not only to be raw feelings that pack punches or send messages. I want my poems to hide something from me, so I would have to shovel what it buries underneath it. I want it to be heavier and meatier than what you see at first glance. I want it to make me realize something I didn’t know or have known all along but refuse to see. I guess i just want more.

Also, maybe I’ve read too much poetry collections recently similar to this style? I guess I can see how those I’ve read before could be derivatives of Rupi Kaur or maybe some other poet I haven’t read and it’s kinda unfair to rate them higher than where they’re derived from but it is what it is.

[redacted] + Small Ghost by Trista Mateer

Today, I’m gonna post hopefully short word vomits on two of Trista Mateer’s poetry collections. I’ve been finding it hard to read fiction recently so I’ve been reading poetry collections, short story anthologies, and essay collections. And I’ve been finding it hard to review anything at all so please go easy on me.

Title: [redacted]
Author: Trista Mateer
Date of Publication: February 18, 2017

Taking National Poetry Month’s poem-a-day challenge one step further, for her fourth collection, Trista Mateer has not only compiled a chapbook of her 2016 ‘30 for 30’ poems, but she has also chosen to include nearly everything else written in the month of April. This comes in the form of handwritten notes and poetry fragments, iPhone note poetry, tweets, Craigslist ads, and more. This mix of poetry and prose spans a single month and covers topics such as heartbreak, gender, sexuality, and forgiveness.

Purchase from Amazon


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This was my first time to read Trista Mateer and was obviously not the last since I read another one of her poetry collections. Hahaha. This was quite short too, I’m finding that most poetry collections are, apparently. (I’m kinda used to omnibus editions.) It was a quick read and here are my top three favorite lines out of all the poetry and prose in here.

“I love you, I love you; let me do it for a little while longer.”
“because this month I prioritized booze over food and I still feel like it was worth it.”

“remember / sometimes the pain is just pain / the hurt is not poetic / the side effects of mental illness are never romantic”

As usual, the poems/lines I loved the most were about mental health. Not surprising since it’s so hard to find the words to say what you’re feeling and thinking to other people. So reading something that can express those thoughts more eloquently and coherently is such a gift. While I still prefer my poetry to not be words of raw emotions/angst/hurt formatted prettily on a page, I liked this collection. It was smart and had me chuckling too, especially at the line “Delta Lost My Luggage And Still Treated Me Better Than You Did” from her A Series of Poems about Airports. And I just can really relate to prioritizing booze/karaoke/”my vices” over things that are important. #stillnotadultingproperly

Small Ghost
Title: Small Ghost
Author: Trista Mateer
Date of Publication: May 3, 2016

Small Ghost is a brief collection of poetry by Trista Mateer, featuring a narrative about depression and anxiety, with a central focus on coping mechanisms. It approaches the exhausting reality of mental illness with blunt emotional honesty, self depreciating humor, and cute illustrations.

Purchase from Amazon


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Got this one for free too so might as well read it right after I read one of hers and liked it enough. Here are two of my favorite lines:

“it’s strange all the things you forget about when you can’t find the scars to prove they happened anymore”

“how many calories does anxiety burn”

Small Ghost is a collection focused on depression and anxiety and it takes on the narrative of a ghost. I liked the illustrations that went with the poems and I could relate to them all. In fact, I think the illustrations elevated my reading experience because the visuals really delivered the emotions portrayed by the poetry. I found myself laughing-crying at how many calories does anxiety burn because IF ONLY ANXIETY CAN BE CONSIDERED WORKOUT. Sadly, by the time I read this one, I think I’ve read too many poems with similar themes and styles to actually appreciate them more. I would say though that Trista Mateer writes smart, witty, and very relatable poetry. I’d willingly read her other poetry collections too. (But maybe only when I can get them for free on Amazon? #cheapskate)

Accompanying Tweets to The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: M

macabre, adj.: You keep the ravens in your head in a loose cage, allowing them to whisper their worst-case darkness between the bars.

macerate, v.: This is why I pull away sometimes. To soak in love is to be weakened by it. Better to swim in it, then come back to shore.

machination, n.: I know those gears, and see the way they are greased by insecurity. When thinks work too well, I am suspicious.

mad, adj.: There is nothing crazy about my anger when you say you’ll do something then don’t, and somehow find a way to blame me.

madcap, adj.: Let’s revel across rooftops, tango through turnstiles, and trip over ourselves, laughing.

madly, adv.: I had to stop thinking of my little be for you as rational or irrational; it exists Ina space beyond rationality.

mafia, n.:  Your friends were much more intimidating than your family, because they mattered more to you.

magic, n.: To be in love, you have to let yourself live in the realm of the unexplainable, glorious and treacherous as it is.

magisterial, adj.:  Every now and then we need to surround ourselves with things that are greater than us, like mountains or symphonies.

magma, n.:  The thin layer of anger that waits beneath the surface; it’s not who we are, but it’s part of what made us.
magnanimous, adj.: I liked that you offered me your leftover fries, and then later, when it was just assumed that I would take them.

magnetosphere, n.:  What happens is there’s now another layer outside of yourself, the pull of this other person that also leads to you.

magnificent, adj.:  You woke me to see the sunrise, and though was tired, I never questioned it. Together at the window, we beheld.

magnify, v.:  Every time you say it isn’t a problem, it only makes the problem larger in my eyes.

magpie, n.:  Yes, I search for the moments with you that will glimmer as much in hindsight as they gleam while they happen.

mailbox, n.:  It was strange to see us sorted together, to acknowledge that were now really the same place.

maim, v.:  You missed a piece of the broken bottle; I found it on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

main, adj.:  You are the one above all the others, which does not negate all the others, but at least should give you a vantage point.

mainstream, adj.: You hate it when I love something popular until I prove to you that I’ve made it personal to me.

maintenance, n.: If the faucet is dripping, you can’t spend the whole relationship trying to ignore it. You have to fix it.

major, adj.:  I started wanting my friends to invite you along, because I wanted them to know you, but also because I missed you.

makeable, adj.:  I looked into your eyes and thought, yes, wow, we can build this.

makeover, n.:  I said it wasn’t you I wanted to change, it was your taste in lamps, and you treated it like it was the same thing.

maladjusted, adj.:  I ask for strength to change the whole world because that often feels easier than changing myself.

maladroit, adj.:  I only want to change the channel. It’s just that the remote control has too many buttons.

malady, n.:  I drown things out with quiet; you drown them out with noise.

malaise, n.:  “Let’s get out of here,” you say, because the apartment is a prison to which I’ve sentenced myself, for lack of better idea.

malaprop, n.:  You gave me the wood for the fire and said, “Here’s my lumber – call me maybe.”

malcontent, n.: I can be inspired by your quixotic attempts at world-improvement, but other times I want you to stop complaining.

malediction, n.:  Wanting to be male too much, or wanting a male too much; pronounced “male addiction.”

malevolent, adj.:  It is always amusing to watch the expression on your face when you are stuck behind a slow walker or slower driver.

malfunction, n.:  The wrong thing to say has an awful ability to disguise itself as the right thing to say, and I mistake it all the time.

malicious, adj.:  Love is the agreement to leave the knives in their drawers, not an encouragement to wield them more.

malinger, v.:  I swear, it’s believable that we would both happen to call in sick on the same day. Plus, our bosses don’t know each other.

malleable, adj.:  The precarious balance of love – to change each other without any breaks or cracks, just a slow alteration of form.

malpractice, n.: I feel all the potential damages, all the ways this could go wrong, and how I won’t have any recourse but sadness.

mambo, v.: To use your body as a sexy blade, as a way of cutting loose.

manage, v.:  Help me take this constant bombardment and turn it into the kind of traffic that moves.

managerial, adj.:  At no point did I agree to be your employee, so it’s best not to talk to me that way. Take out your own damn garbage.

mandate, n.:  I don’t care what we call each other, but once we acknowledge we’re together, I take that as a reason to act together.

mandatory, adj.: I would never proscribe what you had to vote for, but there are certainly some options that have to be off the table.

maneuver, v.:  Alarm-forgotten mornings when we were both late, touching you every time I passed you, because I could.

mangle, v.: May the worst damage we do be to syntax.

manic, adj.:  There is too much life to be contained in my life, so I try to speed it up, amplify it, as if that creates more space.

manifestation, n.:  That’s what a kiss is – the most direct way we have to make something as undefinable as love be real to us.

manifesto, n.: If we form our nation of two, let us try to build it on truths rather than lies, even though that’s the difficult thing to do

manifold, adj.:  All the different things I feel, folded up inside me. Then there you are, unfolding them, and both of us are surprised.

manipulate, v.: I have to know that when I fall into your arms, you won’t carry me somewhere I don’t want to be.

mantra, n.:  I feel that if I could crawl into the central space of all of your words, I would find you there saying, Make this okay.

manual, n.: Any one-size-fits-all guide for doing this is a fraud. You cannot be an expert on anyone besides yourself. And even then…

manufacture, v.:  An “I love you” isn’t something you should have to build; it should feel already built, left to you to express.

manuscript, n.:  We live first-draft lives, unable to go back and revise, but hopefully getting better the more we write.

many, adj.:  I love you not just for the way you love me, but for the way you love other people, other things.

map, n.: Even though it’s spelled out on my phone, I’m nervous when you ask me to navigate. You don’t take wrong turns well.

maraschino, n.: I liked the respect you showed when I said, “No, I’m saving it for last.”

marathon, n.:  There comes a point in love when exhaustion meets exhilaration, and the result is endurance.

maraud, v.:  If an outsider comes and steals your love, then it won’t have weighed nearly as much as I think it does.

marcescent, adj.:  My impulse as a petal is to cling to the stem, forgetting that the bloom of love is a regenerative thing.

margarita, n.:  I should have taken some pause when you said this contained “all the major food groups”…and meant it.

marginalia, n.:  I enjoy you as much for what you say about the story as for the story itself.

marionette, n.:  Forget ‘no strings attached.’ I want the strings attached. But I don’t ever want to feel that you’re pulling them.

maroon, v.:  It’s not the desert island I’m afraid of; never leave me alone in a crowded room.

marriage, n.:  Until I know how we define us, I don’t want the world to define us.

marshmallow, n.: A fluffy reminder to never mistake momentary pleasure for nutrition.

marvel, v.: To release myself from the dark room and encounter the wide world.

mascot, n.: You cast a cuddly eye on me, and all at once I feel I’m an emblem rather than a teammate.

mask, n.: We put ourselves in everything we create, so even what’s meant to obscure ends up carrying filaments of truth.

masquerade, n.: At Aline’s party, I  see you pretending, and I don’t like the person you’re pretending to be as much as I like the real you.

massage, v.: Love becomes a manual act, affection the work of hands. I cannot relax into strangers’, but I can relax into you.

master, v.: There are things within me I want to tame, but I will not allow anyone but me to tame them.

masterplan, n.: The best I can offer is to love you, and see what happens.

masticate, v.:  I will invent dinnertime conversation just to fill the silence that isn’t nearly silent enough.

match, v./n.: You go on that first date to see if it will ignite, then spend the rest protecting that first flame from going out.

mate, n.: I am standing there after folding the laundry, holding that single sock, worrying about what will happen to it now.

material, n.: Love will keep you warm, but it isn’t waterproof. It dries over time.

mathematic, adj.:  We defy any equation that isn’t 1 + 1 = 2. But even that mystifies, since the nuances of the plus are variant.

matinee, n.: We sneak in amidst the children and the parents and the senior citizens and feel like we’re spies from a freer world.

matter, n./v.:  I like to believe that ultimately what we care about is what we are made of.

maturity, n.:  When it doesn’t feel like play-acting, being an adult.

maudlin, adj.: “No one’s ever loved me but you,” you slur. And I wonder if you dropped those last two words when you were back at the bar.

mawkish, adj.: “No one’s ever loved me but you” – what a resentful responsibility to put on a person, even in the guise of praise.

maybe, adv.: You think I’m hedging toward a no, but I could just as easily be seeing a yes embroidered on the future. What may be, may be.

maze, n.: I know I’m twisting our path as you walk it, but know I’m singing as loud as I can at the center, hoping you will find me there.

me, pronoun:  I am constantly trying to define this one, so don’t expect me to know.

meadow, n.: To be so far out of the city that there aren’t any traces of the city left, even in our thoughts.

meager, adj.: There are days we have that can be measured in mere dozens of words, and I feel less because of them.

mealtime, n.:  You told me you were happy to compete with the food for my attention, but not with the phone or the TV or the computer.

mean, adj.: When you know a person’s weakness and use it to build your own strength; it hurts more coming from someone you love.

mean, v.: There are always words behind my words, and with you, I want to make it a transparent translation, a glass language.

means, pl. noun.:  That’s the thing with love – there are no ends, only ongoings.

meanwhile, adv.: Even in the heat of our moment, I must remember there are other narratives within you that have nothing to do with me.

measure, v.:  It is not the number of times you say “I love you” but the incalculable depth to which you mean it.

mechanical, adj.: “I don’t know how to change a tire,” you said, “but I know how to find someone who does.”

meddle, v.: Trust is being the one who brings in the mail, and not questioning every handwritten return address.

mediate, v.: We’ve never had someone be our middle ground. There are your friends and my friends. We are forced to be our own emissaries.

medicate, v.:  I know you’re scared, but you are still you. You’ve just lowered the difficulty level a notch.

mediocre, adj.:  I don’t care if you’re bad at something, but I will not let you act as if you will never be good at anything.

meditation, n.: “Were you napping?” I ask. You say, “No, I was thinking.” I nod and leave the room quietly, as if you were napping.

medium, adj.: If our options are mild to spicy, I am comfortable with our relationship landing somewhere in between.

medley, n.: You think the trick with love is to find the right song, but really it’s the act of finding the songs that go together well.

meek, adj.: I didn’t want to stand up to you, afraid to give you a reason to leave. Eventually I realized neither of us can live like that.

meet, v.: Is it the first hello written or the first hello said? The first introduction or the first time words heighten to understanding?

meh, exclam.: A fit of lazy commentary.

melancholy, adj.: Life feels neither awake nor asleep and there’s nothing I can do about it.

meld, v.: Summer hands sealed by sweat, unexpectedly comfortable.

melee, n.: As the crowd at the concert began to turn into a restless, pushing beast, you read my mind and searched for the exit.

melliferous, adj.:  You can be a hive of restlessness, but then you’ll calm and yield a slow sweetness.

mellow, adj.: You can be relaxed, for sure, but it’s not okay for you to be unconcerned.

melodic, adj.: The sounds most pleasing to my ear are the ones that are telling the truth.

melodramatic, adj.: I get caught in the spotlight of my self-righteousness and the stage constricts to the size of my own concerns.

meltdown, n.: After one too many wrong turns, you start cursing the car, the road, the trees, and me if I open my mouth.

membrane, n.: When I said I couldn’t trust you, I wanted my words to travel like ink under your skin and stay there forever.

meme, n.:  An extraneous posting, often involving a kitten, which underneath is a cry of “me! me!”

memento, n.: Without my love for you, the hula girl on my desk is just a souvenir of a place, not a souvenir of a person and a time.

memorable, adj.: There’s no hitting save here. The mind holds on to what the mind can hold. We can ask it to grab, but it makes no promises.

memorial, n.: Words will last, for as long as there is someone who wants to read them.

memorize, v.: I lay the tracing paper over the moment, but the best I’ll retain is a rough sketch.

menace, v.:  The days move too quickly.

menagerie, n.:  I have nightmares where you blithely walk into a pet store and say, “I’ll have one of each!”

mend, v.:  It’s okay if the stitching shows. We aren’t together to be fashionable; the important thing is that our love can still be worn.

mendacity, n.: Why is it, when you love someone so much, you can recognize the breath before a lie?

menial, adj.: No one thinks love is about washing dishes or taking out the garbage, but if you forget that, love gets quickly frustrated.

mentality, n.: We don’t look on the bright side, because it hurts our eyes. Nor do we stay in the dark. We try to see in a realistic light.

mention, v.: “I’m sure I already told you this,” you say, and I’m sure you’re relying on the leeway of my poor memory, which isn’t fair.

mentor, v.: I don’t want you to teach me what you know. I want you to share with me what you’re learning.

menu, n.: Of all the choices, we wanted the same one. Neither of us changed our order, agreeing it was silly to deny ourselves

mercenary, adj.: You see furniture left on the street as an opportunity, and I see it as an opportunity for bedbugs.

merciful, adj.: We have the power to relent in a relentless world, to make peace with the forces that bring us the least peace.

mercy, n.: This isn’t something we can just show; it’s something we have to live, each and every day.

mere, adj.:  Everything we grace with our attention deserves respect for the time it has taken. Or so I try to remind myself.

merge, v.:  Neither of us was ready to let our own books go, so visitors could see the overlap of our taste as pairings on the shelf.

merrily, adv.: Summer swirls its skirts and a sunset falls; I hold your hand as we walk next to the water, our life together rowing along.

mesmeric, adj.: I don’t love the color of your eyes. I love the way the color alters, the inexact beauty of the never fully seen.

mess, n.: The only way to stop the neglect spiral is to sort myself enough to sort through my things and put them in their right places.

message, n.:  I’d only been gone from you for a minute when you returned to me in words. The fact you hadn’t waited was all I needed.

messenger, n.: Still there are time I wish I didn’t have to be my own postman, that there was some separation between send and deliver.

metabolism, n.: I am going to have a third donut anyway.

metamorphosis, n.:  Love turns us into winged creatures, venturing in ways we never could have conceived in our crawling days.

metaphor, n.:  The faith that your mind can make the same connection that I do.

method, n.:  You don’t think you have many, until you live with someone. (How to clean dishes. How to pack a suitcase. How to pray.)

meticulous, adj.: We’ll never be able to solder our sense of time to the reality of time itself. I just hope we share the same imprecision.

metropolis, n.:  The way to survive is to find the people who know you when you are surrounded by all the people who don’t.

mettle, n.: To face your frenzy; to be the still point in the storm that you don’t even recognize is a storm.

mezzanine, n.: The state of not being able to afford to be close to the actors; good for people-watching if the drama gets slow.

miasma, n.: You tell me to turn off the news. I do, but the scent of it lingers, and I refuse to perfume it and pretend it’s not there.

microclimate, n.: The tension confines us and our minds actually believe that everything important is in this room.

midair, adj.: Our love rises and falls. So we must appreciate the moments when we’re floating in between, when there’s no need for gravity.

middle, n.:  After a few months, I realized we were no longer at the start; we’re made it to the part that would be the most of it.

middling, adj.: Your defense of me can barely make it off the couch, and would much rather be watching TV.

midnight, n.:  The longing hour, whether it’s for sex or love or simply sleep.

miff, v.: Because you and I need as many words as possible to distinguish annoyance from genuine anger.

might, n./v.: In the war between strength and uncertainty, uncertainty is the more active presence.

migrate, v.: Riding the subway back to you, I smile and think of commuting as a form of leaving and coming home, a turn of seasons each day.

mild, adj.:  This is an insult to anything that isn’t weather.

mileage, n.: Like a pilot learns the air, I learn your temperament.

milestone, n.:  In love we mark our own miles, because distance, like time, bends to our shared definition.

milieu, n.: The only way I can think to change the feel of a room is to change the music that’s filling it.

milksop, n.:  Because when I let you talk down to me, it’s like my blood has turned to milk, my whole body souring by the second.

millesimal, adj.: There are the pieces of love we know well, and then there are those we must discover, so many more than we ever expect.

mime, v.: You are incapable of imitating me; every time you spring your version onto the world, it does not have my voice.

mimesis, n.: I’ve never seen a couple on TV and thought, “I want to be them” – they have it easy, because they don’t have to be real.

mimosa, n.:  It’s only on Sunday afternoons that you believe this to be an acceptable name for our hypothetical daughter.

mind, v.: As if having a thought is synonymous with being bothered, or having to keep an eye out.

mindboggling, adj.: Love revels in its confusions, which means we should, too, rather than having them stymie us.

mindreader, n.: Lovers’ thoughts run in similar but unidentical languages, i.e. you think in Spanish and I try to read it as Portuguese.

mine, poss. pron.: There are things about me and things I have that I don’t want to give up unless I choose to do so.

minefield, n.: Some of them were placed there before I was born, and I’m as surprised as you when they go off.

mingle, v.: To get out of my own head long enough to get into other people’s.

minibar, n.: Den of overpriced temptation, where hunger faces off against the absurd.

minimalist, adj.: Inadequate.

minimum, n.: To know that you’re a good person and that you know I’m a good person, and any fight we have is one between two good people.

minister, v.: To find the prayer in the act of taking care of someone else.

minor, adj.: I can tell the difference between you forgetting to introduce me and you forgetting that I’m there.

minus, n.: To love someone is to live with the fear of who you will become without it.

minute, n.: The time that elapses between me asking if you are ready and you calling back that you are not.

miracle, n.: This one is simple — there was no reason for me to find you, or for you to find me. The reasons come after.

mirage, n.: So many years of being buried by the marriage plot, then realizing those ideals are as real as ghosts.

mire, v.: The chaos outside bleeds into the chaos inside, and I need you to give my life some form again.

mirror, v.: You do not always choose to be reflective; I just have to know how to look at you the right way. 

mirth, n.: Sometimes the strongest bond we can have is a common amusement, an unspoken, mutual agreement to laugh in the face of despair.

misanthropic, adj.: You have to be crowded into this kind of hate; when I see it coming, I try to be the buffer, the firebreak. 

miscast, v./adj.: I like to think I make a very bad villain.

miscellaneous, adj.: You always think we’re out of dental floss, so there are spinnets of it everywhere, like a spider saving up.

mischief, n.: “You left your keys,” you text me. Then, after I’ve panicked, “Never mind – they’re on the piano.”

miscommunication, n.: The makers of our language left a clear field around the word “love” so nothing else would sound just like it.

misconstrue, v.: I took your “Do you want to leave?” to mean you wanted to leave, which you didn’t mean at all.

misdemeanor, n.: Drunk while texting; drunk while complaining; drunk while operating heavy foolery.

miserabilism, n.: When the gloom becomes a religious belief, and you firmly seek the conversion of others.

misfit, n.: The great thing about square pegs is that they fit nicely against each other; we don’t need any round holes to do our part.

misgiving, n.: Knowing we had the same key, I still needed to have a bolt on the door that could only be opened from the inside.

misleading, adj.: Finding an other of some significance is not the end of concern, but only the start of a different form of concern.

mismatch, n.: “They’re both still socks,” you said. “My feet are still warm.” Maybe that’s us, blue and black, useful rather than identical.

misnomer, n.: “Lover” makes it sound as if you’re the only one required to love, that to be in a relationship is to give, not also receive.

miss, v.: To feel your life is a long way from its anchor.

mission, n.: You ask me what I want and I tell you I want happiness, but never at the expense of other people’s happiness.

misstep, n.: Unless you’re up to buying me some new shoes, don’t scuff me with your estimation of my footwear.

mistake, n.: Even when I pay attention, I miss things. Even when I add the sum, I can get the numbers wrong. I am sorry for this.

mitigate, v.:  It isn’t fair to make me the buffer between you and the rest of the world, meant to temper your impact when its harmful.

mixtape, n.: Here’s a sixteen-track digest of my world view, and you can sing along.

mnemonic, n.: My terrible week thirsts for serendipitous surprise.

moan, v.: Right where you want to be is right where I want you.

mobilize, v.: Part of love is the willingness to defend that love; part of building a safe home is pushing for a safe world around it.

mock, v.: I know I am hitting close to your insecurities when you choose to take aim at mine.

model, n.: Nothing is ever perfect close up.

moderation, n.: Sometimes I think I should love you less; sometimes I think I should love you more. Either way, I trust the balance.

modest, adj.:  You earn more credit when you don’t always take credit.

modification, n.:  I’d love it if you could fall asleep on your left side instead of your right.

mojo, n.: You’ve taught me – look inside any self-proclaimed rational person’s sock drawer, odds are you’ll find a lucky pair.

mold, v./n.: I tried to shape you, but you rotted against me.

mole, n.: It’s strange to think that, because of where it is on your back, I know it so much better than you do.

mollify, v.: When I do the calculation and decide it means more to you than it does to me.(Yes, I will change my pants before we go out.)

mollycoddle, v.: During the thunderstorm terrors, I have you to crawl into bed with, the shelter I lost now regained.

molt, v.: Hand me your old skin, and i will get rid of it for you.

momentary, adj.: Time will not let this last but we can make it last if we stay here . . . here . . . here . . . until we choose to leave.

monastic, adj.: Only in the sense that, even for us, illumination takes time.

mondial, adj.: We’ll never change the world all at once, but I like to think you and I have a chance of altering it one person at a time.

money, n.: This is not the lovers’ currency; what we barter and exchange between us cannot be numeric, or seen in terms of debt and gain.

monochromatic, adj.: You only need one color to write down for me what all the other colors are like, on the days when I can’t remember.

monogamy, n.: The belief that giving up everything else is the path to receiving everything.

monolithic, adj.: People who talk about love as if it can only be one thing don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

monologue, n.: When I can put aside my self-consciousness about talking too much in order to tell you something that I hope isn’t too much.

monopoly, n.: If our time is our property, I don’t mind if you build a house there. But when you start putting up hotels, we have a problem.

monstrous, adj.: We grant our fears their power and thus grant our monsters their form. The thing that keeps me up at night is me.

montage, n.: Memory as a collection of fragments, your mind always pausing a moment from one to the next, as if next time it won’t be there.

monumental, adj.: No erection lasts.

mooch, v.: First city year, we live off leftover conference-room catering, bringing empty containers so we can bring home the plunder.

moody, adj.: What a punishment this word is, ignoring the fact that it’s the person who doesn’t ever shift moods who has the real problem.

moonrise, n.: Love starts with the fanfare of the sun, then gradually takes on the rhythm of the moon, faithful but with less spectacle.

moot, adj.: If you have to ask “do you love me?” then you will never be satisfied that an answer of yes is true.

mope, v.:  To let your shoulders do the speaking.

moral, n.: I could not love you if I didn’t have faith in you to consider the well being of others as much as you consider your own.

morale, n.: In situation like this is, tell me that no matter what bad things happen, we will make good things, and they will matter.

morass, n.: What happens when you seek more ass.

moratorium, n.: I won’t ask you to be responsible when I push myself into an abyss if you won’t ask me to pretend I’m on stable ground.

morbid, adj.: You tend to verbalize the gloom, tempered with humor, which is better than the way I act like it’s killing me from the inside.

more, adv.: We reach a point where it’s not that we need our love to be stronger; we just want as much time with it as we can get.

morning, n.: Opening my eyes, seeing sunlight, seeing you.

morpheme, n.: Together we work to create a word with two distinct roots.

morphometry, n.: The misguided belief that measuring the surface of any love will show you the truth of it.

mortality, n.: I don’t want to think about it, especially in terms of you.

mosaic, n.: We form our lives piece by piece from other lives; the more colorful we choose, the more fully formed the picture becomes.

mosey, v.: You walked away from our third date like you’d just won a game of darts and wanted all to know the next one would be yours, too.

most, adv.: What is a relationship if not the emergence of this word?

motion, n.: Even if our bodies aren’t moving, our thoughts usually are; we will never have a still point, only a perpetual effort.

motivate, v.: Please help me put a scrim over these screens, Help me create rather than observe or comment.

motive, n.: How to explain the way you put my head in the clouds and keep my feet close to the earth at the same time?

motley, adj.: It took awhile to see your friends weren’t a solid entity but instead a collection of odd individuals. Then I joined in.

motto, n.: “In the end, only kindness matters,” I answered, and then was secretly relieved when you didn’t ask me the source.

mourn, v.: I want your hand on my back as I speak a life out loud and find the moments I was missing.

mousetrap, n.: The lovers debate how much humaneness a small non-human deserves.

mouth, n.: Nature’s cruelty, that the spot you infuse with so many kisses and so much desire can also be the spot to tell you not to.

mouthpiece, n.: You open up your mouth and your parents’ words come out and you ask me to ignore them, even though you can’t. 

move, v.: I want us to take the path of a gentle heartbeat, highs and lows inevitable but not treacherous, trajectory always forward.

movement, n.: Your thoughts inspire revolutions in your sleep, and when my consciousness is wakened I try to keep my protest quiet yet firm.

moviegoing, n.: The opposite of being alone in the dark.

moxie, n.: Fighting brass knuckles with brash chuckles, because sometimes the best defense is the sheer force of your attitude.

muddle, n.: The shape made by my intentions, pride, talent, bias, idealism, humor, hurt, perspective and lack thereof.

mug, n.: I’m not sure what would happen if one morning I drank from yours and you drank from mine, but I’m glad we haven’t found out.

mull, v.: It’s fine to give your thoughts some heat; too much, though, will spoil everything.

mulligan, n.: If my words fall flat because I don’t have the energy or skill to make them fly, give me another try, a sincere recalibration.

multifarious, adj.: Don’t worry about whether you’re my type; I’m attracted to some fonts more than others, but the words count the most.

multiply, v.: There is no such thing as a single lie; a lie always leads to other lies, especially when it remains hidden.

mumble, n.: I think you must be talking to the fridge, because it’s the only thing in this room that could understand what you’re saying.

mundane, adj.: The quieter fabric in the quilt, holding all our patterns together.

munificent, adj.: The best things you’ve given me can all be measured in days.

murk, n.: When the news is all confusion without solace, I will try to find your hand.

murmur, v.: Even when I scream, the heart still whispers. Even when I doubt, the heart still speaks me forward.

muse, n./v.: Before, I hadn’t understood how learning about you and learning about myself could happen within the same thoughts.

music, n.: To change the sound of a moment, in order to make us feel more.

muss, v.: I like it best when I’ve messed up your careful plans.

must, v.: To hold to the laws the two of us draft for each other, out loud or in our heads, on a day-to-day or moment-to-moment basis.

mustache, n.: You killed it with four short words — “like a small rodent.”

muster, v.: Sometimes I feel the soldiers I use to defend myself were conscripted against their will.

mutable, adj.: I am not a shapeshifter; I contain variations. That is what you must love and live with.

mutant, n.: What makes us strange gives us our superpowers.

mute, v.: Whenever I wish for your silence, it is only to quiet my own mind.

mutinous, adj.: I tell you not to bring up her ex at dinner, but three drinks in, you do, and I am ready to throw you overboard.

muzzy, adj.: No big decisions should ever be made at two in the morning, but at two in the morning, we can’t even remember that.

myopic, adj.: I pull you close because when the doubts hit, I trust my eyes better than I trust my heart.

myriad, n.: If you can only think of one reason to love someone, then that isn’t love, no matter how big the reason may be.

mysterious, adj.: Love gets easier once you realize you’re never going to solve it.

mystique, n.: I rely on other people to think of me as a voluptuous riddle; you know me too well to fall for this inadvertent pretending.

mythify, v.: As we go on, our how-we-met turns into an origin story, and the rest of our lives are reshaped around it.

mythomania, n.: Beware of the person who, when telling their own story, casts themself as a god.

Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes

Give yourself the gift of a great romance book this Valentine’s Day! (I was supposed to publish this review yesterday but let’s not dwell on my incompetence.)

Title: Sounds Like Summer
Author: Six de los Reyes
Publisher: Anvil Publishing Inc.

It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

Purchase from Amazon | National Book Store

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
My placeholder Goodreads review to this book read “yes to everything”. And honestly, I could stop at that. Because I can’t seem to find fault in this book. I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone but it just hit all the right notes for me. Let me list five things this book did right to have my heart like that.

1. A STEM graduate student as its main character. Six de los Reyes continues to be my source of novels (bonus that they’re romance novels) with main characters in STEM. Specifically in molecular biology/microbiology in this novel. Being in the same field, I could just relate to everything she’s going through. The long hours, the culture that can eat you alive, that feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing while everyone does, the demotivation, working on something you don’t really like, EVERYTHING. Even the nerdy shirts and explaining common natural phenomena. It is an understatement to say that I related to Lux because HELLO, MIRROR, IT’S ME.

2. Mental illness representation. Lux’s depression and anxiety were portrayed accurately and the author did not cut any corners in writing about it, its effects, and how people react to it. Lux also harms herself and that was difficult to read but important. The latter part of the book when Kris talks to Lux about taking it a day at a time and about having people who love her who are “willing to shut the blinds and soundproof your walls” when you need it the most GAH MY HEART. It’s what someone depressed needs to be told and hear. That’s what YOU should tell someone who’s suffering. That’s how you help. You listen, you don’t invalidate whatever they’re feeling or thinking. So I strongly recommend EVERYONE to read this book, even just for that part, so you know how to help.

3. Micah. Oh, Micah. You and your talkative self. Lux has all these walls and Micah just broke them down with his smile and with his intrusiveness and talkativeness. But he also listens and tries to understand, do what’s right, do what Lux needs or wants. He disarmed her and made her realize that her scars aren’t scary and gross. That she’s strong and brave, despite what she thinks of herself. And hello, moon cycle tattoo on his right arm?!?! Literary quote tattoos?!?! A musician?!?! *fans myself*

4. Romance. Other people might feel that the romance was lacking because they didn’t really fall in love or had grand gestures of love/like or something you would expect out of a romance novel. But for me, it was perfect. Meeting Micah didn’t magically cure Lux of her depression. Meeting him or even love is not the answer. It stayed true to the narrative. It was only a weekend and of course we’d only witness the beginning of a possible romance. And I love how it started.

5. EASTER EGGS. I mean, if you’re like me, a big fan of Six de los Reyes’ novels, you’d read about some familiar names and bands in here. Don’t worry, this is a standalone novel, but it’s so fun to read about what the other ~people~ in the universe of her novels are doing. Isaiah~ Thomas was even mentioned too!. And for fans of Jay E. Tria’s Playlist series, Trainman is even here.

Hello, here’s another book you’ll love from one of my favorite authors. Amazing mental illness representation + beach + music + a girl in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) + amazing love interest = AMAZING BOOK. Like every book by Six.


Seeds Planted in Concrete by Bianca Sparacino

It’s not surprising that it was Dawn who got me to buy this one and read it. Whatever poetry book she recommends, I get and read.

Seeds Planted in Concrete
Title: Seeds Planted in Concrete
Author: Bianca Sparacino
Publisher: Thought Catalog Books
Date of Publication: December 23, 2015
Source: purchased (Kindle)

Through illustration and poetry, Seeds Planted in Concrete is Bianca Sparacino’s raw testament to the beauty that is found within the contrasts of life. By writing truthfully about the intricacies of both love and loss, Sparacino’s first collection of work is one that will speak to the very depths of those who read it, inspiring a will to love, and live. This collection is a manifesto of the journey every human being takes throughout their life; an assembly of words that celebrates the resilience of the human heart through stages of hurting, feeling, healing and loving.

Purchase from Amazon

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I liked this poetry collection but I might not have been in the appropriate mood for it when I read it. I was quite angsty and in a wallowing headspace so it ended up being too peppy for me. That is to say, I think I would have appreciated this more if I needed a pick-me-up. It was definitely encouraging and affirmative, especially if you’re in a bout of depression or demotivation. Unfortunately, I was kind of relishing feeling like a victim the time I read it so we didn’t click. *hangs head in shame*

Aside from the lack of connection with it, the latter parts were very repetitive that I found myself just going through them without feeling them because YOU JUST SAID THAT OVER AND OVER AGAIN WE’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE. It felt like one of those speech videos meant to inspire or encourage you because I could predict what’s going to be in the poem after a quite few kept on repeating not just the theme, but words and metaphors.

I do think people suffering from depression and people who feel like no one loves them and no one would end up loving them should read this book. It is uplifting and I wish people the good vibes I got from this one.

Finding X by Miles Tan

So as a STEM girl, I was pretty stoked to start this one because it has a geologist as a character, and one in grad school too. I’d take all the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) characters I can get. Sadly, my background in STEM kind of wrecked this one for me. Hahahuhu why can’t I just suspend my disbelief?!?!?!

Finding X
Title: Finding X
Author: Miles Tan
Date of Publication: December 5, 2013
Source: purchased (Kindle)

Is there a science to falling in love?

Carlisle Santiago is through with men. After the devastating end of a seven-year relationship, she’s trying to put her life back together. What she doesn’t know is that she is the subject of the patient and methodical observations of blue-haired scientist Matteo Villegas, who just wants to find love himself. She must decide whether she’s ready to give love another shot or if this is doomed to be one failed experiment.

Purchase from Amazon

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Started this one while I was in Baguio (similar enough to Tagaytay, it felt like it was meant to be) for a work trip and finally finished it last Sunday when I was grasping at straws for distractions so I won’t do my thesis proposal. Hahahahuhuhu. I planned on reviewing it immediately after but I was a bit too rage-y for that so I let my feelings subside first.

I gotta admit, if you don’t have a background in molecular biology/immunology/biology, you might not have any issues with the book. Ultimately, I couldn’t suspend my disbelief and just accept the inaccuracies (more like impossibilities and errors). I guess I expected that any science in this book would be correct, or even the reality of applying for grants and publishing. It wasn’t even advertised that there will be a molecular biologist character in this one so I thought there wouldn’t be any problems because the geology aspect was spot-on (but then again, those were just puns and jokes).

Prior to the disappointment/rage, I was about to rate this book 3 stars. It was cute but I didn’t feel very shippy with it. I liked the main character and the love interest enough and I appreciated that it tackled work and heartbreak. I connected and empathized with Carlisle. Sadly, it was Matteo that didn’t exactly click with me. Firstly, he came across as a bit creepy to me because of his stalking tendencies and his journal. His journal read like a cross between his personal diary and a laboratory notebook for experiments. I guess that was the point but it read as creepy to me! It didn’t come across as a recording of his scientific query and results but AS STALKING. But when I realized that Matteo was a puppy and he’s harmless, I felt better but I guess I’ll never be that into him. He lacked something I couldn’t pinpoint, maybe more of a character aside from his blue hair?

I feel so bad rating this book this way but I can’t help my feelings~ It was a cute and okay story and I am usually forgiving with science in books, especially in sci-fi because it’s fantasy. For example, I’m fine with some loopholes in time travels or if it’s a dystopian/futuristic book, I could assume that that technology was possible. But with contemporaries like this one, I realized that I couldn’t deal with that because THIS IS REAL LIFE. I feel so sad and mad because I wish I just didn’t know. Or that the book just had a molecular biology student as a character but didn’t go into details. 

Oh well. This was a cute enough story but if you have a background in biology, just, beware.