Thursday, November 27, 2014


27 November 2014

I grabbed this book from my dad's bookshelf because I liked the cover and the title.  The Cornflake House is apparently the writer Deborah Gregory's first novel.  It's about Eve, who is in jail for allegedly killing her mother, Victory, by setting their house, the Cornflake House, on fire.  

Victory has a sixth sense which she "doesn't like to abuse", so she usually stays away from sweepstakes and gambling and such, except when she joined a contest with this cornflake company and won a house - because they needed a house.  Aside from being able to "see" the future, the other main thing about Victory is that she has 6 children, including Eve, all with different fathers.  The family all lived in a caravan in their (maternal) grandmother's garden before they won the Cornflake House.   Eve narrates this story from jail, through letters she sends to a guy called Matthew who comes to see her.  It's not clear who Matthew is (court-appointed psychologist is my guess), but Eve falls in love with him (Matthew being the only guy she has contact with), and shares many stories of her childhood. 

It's one flashback after the other, with snippets of Eve's incarceration woven in.  The plot eventually leads up to what actually happened - did Eve really kill her mother?  There's a little twist in the end (and I'll come right out and say that no, Eve is not a murderer), but overall, I have to say I didn't fall in love with it.  The bits about Eve's family are entertaining, but the story would sometimes spill all over the place. The book is by no means dark (despite the "Mother Killer" references), and it's an easy read, but it's not something I'd enthusiastically recommend.  

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Our Big Black Book
I'm going to review a Muji binder.  Forgive me, it's only a 295-peso binder, but if you are into notebooks, paper, pens, making lists, and filing systems, then maybe you'll understand where I am coming from and why I am obsessing about the little things.  Anyhoo, I got that binder for #07 of 40B40, our record or Big Black Book for doctors' appointments, the kids' vaccines, car maintenance and repairs, household staff, etc.  Except as it turns out, it's not black, but ash grey.  This is the Muji Binder RP (Recycled Paper) Pipe A4 2H/DGY.   I had problems with it right away.  The "pipe" should have been an indication, but engot Anna did not realize that until I started using it.
That is the pipe.  You press a button on the left, and the entire thing pops out.
You remove that t-bar.
The problem with this mechanism is that I have to remove all the sheets of paper if I want to insert a page or a clear pocket into one of the sections I've designated.
It doesn't have the convenience of a regular ring binder.


26 November 2014
Taken by Laz on 23 November 2014 in Chelsea, Serendra.
Alo is 10 months and 20 days old in this picture.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


25 November 2014

I used to be a little more obsessed about going to Japan, especially during the early years of this blog, going so far as to read only books by Japanese writers one month, using bento boxes, anything to fuel the fascination.  Then, as I've likewise shared (since I apparently share everything), I lost the itch.  Friends and family have gone to Japan, and well, it just slipped to the back burner for Pao and I.   But as life would have it, my parents planned a trip to Japan this year with our whole family, including my sister's boyfriend, and we set out preparing for our visa requirements ( 12 ).  And last week, we all got our Japan visas - multiple entry for 5 years for Pao and I (and my folks and sister), and single entry for Alo, Laz and Bugs.  So now, it's for realz.  Japan has finally called.  And my excitement is starting to grow.  I felt it not only when we got the visas, but when Pao and I bought beanies for winter yesterday.  It finally sunk in.  At long last, we are going to see Japan!  
Konnichiwa from Team Patajo!