Postmark Paris


When I was young, it drove my parents crazy that all their letter envelopes had ragged rectangular tears around the top right corner. I was the likely culprit, as I was the only one in the house who collected stamps. I didn’t get a lot of mail as a kid so of course I was always into the family mail, tearing into my mom and dad’s letters, their business correspondence, and holiday greetings from relatives all over the world. I also enjoyed going to the bookstore during weekends to buy sets of stamps (I don’t think bookstores have them anymore today) with my weekly savings.

I forgot about stamps until recently, when I was reorganizing my displaced stuff that survived the flood and found my old stamp albums with my old collecting still safely intact. Best of all, I had a thick wad of stamps to add to my collection, as for the past year that I’ve been on BookMooch, I’d been mindlessly clipping out stamps from the inordinate amount of packages I’d been receiving and I now had a whole ziplock bag filled with stamps! Continue reading “Postmark Paris”

Bram Stoker’s Dracula


I’ve been meaning to read the classic Dracula ever since I read (and reread) The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. With all the vampire fiction that’s been coming out recently, I realized I really abhor the glamorized vampire and prefer the good, old-fashioned Dracula, and so I grabbed the chance when I spotted the Viking Studio illustrated edition featuring comic book artist Jae Lee at last year’s Cut-Price Sale at National Bookstore, for about P200, along with a copy of Jane Eyre from the same line, also P200.

I knew I read Dracula when I was in 6th grade but it must have been abridged, or maybe I covered my eyes over the scary parts (Rich Hall has a sniglet for it — “snargle” — to lessen the visual impact of a horror movie [in this case, a book] by filtering it through one’s fingers) because I don’t remember much of it.

Anyway, I had to read Dracula because I need to read the book “Mina” by Marie Kiraly, a Dracula spin-off assigned to me by another Flipper for the Flips Flipping Pages Diversity Challenge this year. I also have some more Dracula-themed books in my TBR that I’d like to read so I figured I needed to read the original for comparison.

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One for Tomas (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)

In memory of Tomas :)

I love cats. I like dogs, and animals in general, but I love cats most of all (shh, don’t tell my dog!).

Having raised two cats from birth (and feeding several other neighborhood strays), I find that cats are one of the smartest creatures (and yes, smarter than dogs, as I’ve raised more than my share of those too) on earth.

They’re clean, they’re naturally housebroken, and they’re low-maintenance. They won’t give their loyalty freely, but they make the most loyal and affectionate companions when they do.

And I love how easily they learn even without training. While I love our dog as much as my cats, my cats can open doors, climb onto bed with me and pull a blanket over themselves,  use their litterbox and keep it clean (our dog has a spraying problem), and get up and down the stairs faster than lightning (our dog forgets how to go up and down the stairs like every other hour).

Last year, my cat Tomas, an orange mackerel tabby that I raised since he was a kitten,  passed away due to kidney failure and subsequent cardiac arrest (I really suspect it was canned cat food tainted with melamine), and it was one of the hardest things I ever had to get through in my life.

I got a lot of cat books since then, including a beautiful copy of 99 Lives: Cats in History, Legend, and Literature, that was a present from fellow book lover Triccie. I still can’t get myself to finish reading that book (because I end up bawling), but I was able to find another cat book to cheer me up: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (book #112 for 2009).

Continue reading “One for Tomas (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats)”