Happy with Harry :)

Masterpiece is this week’s Photo Challenge. And not surprisingly for those who know me personally, I chose JK Rowling’s Harry Potte seriesr. I already wrote a post on this topic the same day last year and it has been a subject on some of my other blog entries. On my post, Harry Potter: A Love Story, I wanted to be able to summarize the reason why I love this book. But just like many fans of the series, I think words have failed me.

Since it is Harry and JK Rowling’s birthday. I breezed through some other post in WP on this topic. It was funny that aside from the ever interesting posts about all things HP, I was again reminded of how much of an impact this book has been to a lot of people.

I don’t know how to explain it to people who has not read the book or those who didn’t really care about the series but Ner’s post on her blog, A Cup of Coffee and A Book was pretty straightforward and at the same time poignant.

Short and sweet. Just like the only book dedication that page that made cry so hard 🙂

Dedication

For all those happy reading moments, Thank you and Happy Birthday Harry and Jo! 🙂 🙂

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Speaking of Harry Potter Related post on WP, here are some interesting ones that I saw:

Top Ten Objects from the Harry Potter Series I Wish Were Real – I would love to make an HP list too 🙂

Harry Potter Minimalist Tattoo– not in WP but it’s really cool.

Happy Birthday Neville Longbottom– It’s Neville’s Birthday too!

33 Harry Potter Quotes– Yes, it’s really just a children’s book. *sarcasm*

Scholastic Unveils New Harry Potter Book Covers– All the more reason for me to take care of my original paperback copies with illustrations from Mary Grandpre 🙂

Baking for Harry Potter’s Birthday: Butterbeer Cupcakes– BOSS!

Harry Potter by the Numbers 

I have a feeling that Potterheads all over the world will still keep on writing these kind of thing for decades to come,

 Harry Potter Testimonial

 

Harry Potter, you’ll always be a part of me.

 

One Year Flying

I know it was around July, but I didn’t exactly mark the date on my calendar. I was actually hoping WordPress would send me a notification, a little confetti shower of sorts. It took a comment from Ishaiya on one of my older post for me to be reminded of the actual date of the anniversary of my first post.

(Pause for some cheers and confetti^^)

This isn’t my first attempt at blogging. The first blog that I had was a french-inspired blog where I mostly put things related to…surprise, surprise (!)…the french language. With some previous posts under my belt, this technically does not mark my one year in WordPress; however,  I felt the things between last year and today is enough reason to celebrate.

I find it a bit surreal that a year had already gone by and that now, sitting in my bed, I am now writing an anniversary blog post. (Another pause for some cheers and confetti:) ). A couple of months ago, I envisioned that I would be writing a very impassioned piece on the joy of writing, the wonders of the blogosphere, and other sweet stuff to mark this occasion. But to tell you honestly, after a long day at work, I am not feeling very impassioned at the moment. But do not despair, I am not about to write a sappy, whiny post on my blog anniversary. This momentous (O_0) event just made me a little pensive, that’s all.

To feel a bit tired of writing is not exactly an unusual feeling (especially when the real world is getting in the way). Looking back at my experience with my first blog, I now see, that the fact that I am still writing this despite not feeling very motivated is what kept me from maintaining my little space in the internet.

With my old blog, I thought that the main problem that I would be having is the lack of topic to write about. In retrospect, I find this a bit silly considering the number of topic one can relate to french, the study of language, France, culture and other similar themes. That can also be an occasional problem from me, Daily Prompts, weekly challenges and other people’s input do help in this department.

So what was the difference with this page?

Two things: GOAL and a COMMITMENT to that goal. Since this is my anniversary blog post, (more cheers and confetti!) I hope you would indulge me to expound on those two things.

First is my goal.

For flyforicarus, I only have one: To have at least 5 posts per month.

You might ask, “Why 5?”. Well, why not. I am not really sure of the answer myself . But I guess since my first month only had 5 posts, I made it a goal to at least maintain that figure. What I am sure of is that it was never really about the actual value of the number. It could have been a 4 or a 10 (good thing it was not 10 ^^). The important thing here is to have a clear target that is realistic.

“Achievable goals are the first step to self improvement” – JK Rowling

I would admit that having a stat info to look at every now and then can be a good motivator. However, of all of the numbers in my stat, the one thing that I truly care about is the number of post I make in a month. Racking up on the number of likes, comments and follows gave me a happy feeling especially in the beginning. But these numbers are not numbers that I should obsess about. For one, these numbers are also dependent on the quantity and quality of my post. Instead of focusing on the result of my work, I decided to concentrate on the things that I can actually control.

More post = more materials for people to read = higher possibility of more likes/ comment = more happiness 🙂 🙂

Next on my list is my commitment to the goal.

I had a particular month when I was so busy  that I didn’t even bother to check my page until the last few weeks. I think I needed two more post to meet the goal. I was not in the mood to write anything and was making lots of excuse like, “maybe I can just stick with 3 post, then I will write 7 the next month” or, ” I wrote more than 5 last months, so by the  law of averages, I’ve already met my quota.“, etc… They were not works of art but I still managed to meet my quota despite all that bargaining. That made me feel quite pleased.

All in all, this whole blogging thing had been a great way for me to unload some ideas that I would just normally keep to myself. The experience had reiterated some of the values that I already know but do not consciously practice in real life. It has also made me appreciate writing, although it didn’t care much for it before. I feel really proud and happy that I was able to write some of the stuff I wrote here and was glad of the decision to start this whole thing. I don’t know if it’s just narcissism or if other bloggers feel the same as well.

Aside from the sense of accomplishment that I get every time I click the “Publish”  button, I get this inexplicable excitement whenever I see that that notification box light up. The conversations that I’ve had with some of the people here at the WP community has been the best part of the experience for me. Conversations that I would not have thought possible, from sharing our views regarding a mythical character to cats, books, social issues, more stories about cats– I just feel so blessed to have chanced upon some of these amazing people.

For the next year my goal is to read and interact with other people more. Considering that some of the most stimulating conversations I had came from people across the country and the globe, this new goal would be a great way for me to expand my horizon and to broaden my perspective on  a lot of issues. I think 5 comments or likes per week would be a manageable goal for me. Now all I have to do is to strengthen my commitment to this goal.

Finally, I would like to thank all those who liked, commented, followed and read what I wrote here most especially to those who keep on coming back. I hope I can talk to you again soon.  ❤

Hugs and cheers,

Arianne

Writings on the Wall: Nurturing the Seeds

Like or Unlike it, Facebook’s presence in the cyber society is undeniable. Asked a question of whether it is a bane or a boon, I think it goes both ways. But ultimately, the answer lies with who uses it.

Just like other media form, we are constantly being exposed to various information and ideas in Facebook. Last Month, I decided to make a string of post called Writings on the Wall where I plan to write things that were inspired by what I see on my newsfeed. Basically, these are things shared by my friends and possibly, pages that I follow. Not all of these ideas are exactly positive or negative but they are interesting enough to evoke thought and emotion. Unlike my previous Facebook-inspired post, this one is just from a short quote that I liked.

“What a child doesn’t receive, he can seldom later give.” Continue reading “Writings on the Wall: Nurturing the Seeds”

Cat-Dog-Human Connection

On some days, I sometimes feel so negative and down that I can’t bring myself to look at other people and feel cheerful.

Then I get welcomed by this scene…

dd137ed8dc0111e2a1bd22000a9f1361_7
Daks and Jetty: insta-friends, insta-pets 🙂

I feel so blessed knowing that I have some wonderful non-humans to share my good and bad moments. They are a constant reminder that everything will turn out alright. Just looking at them makes it so!

For more on this week’s photo challenge, click here. :3

No Banning, Irregardless!

REGARDLESS of the fact that irregardless has wormed its way into many modern dictionary, I cannot, for the life of me, stop myself from inwardly cringing when I hear this word used in a sentence. I mean, the right word is two letters less and is even one syllable short, hence it is more efficient to say it right, right? So why settle for the longer, less appropriate version?

IF you have been using the word quite regularly, and you simply disagree with my view on this very trivial matter, I wish not to offend. I would urge you to read on. Continue reading “No Banning, Irregardless!”

In The Middle of a Casual Vacancy

Casual Vacancy is the first non-Harry Potter novel written by JK Rowling after the famed series. I actually haven’t read the entire book, but I am halfway from finishing this novel. People often ask me if it was good when they learn that I am currently reading it. Now if you are expecting a book review, this post is not one. Aside from the fact that I am not yet done reading it, I am all too familiar and too biased to rate any book written by JK Rowling.  Also, I don’t find much joy in writing a conventional review for a book. I think that it’s up to the reader to say if the piece is good or not. So you might have to answer the question for yourself.

got this book last December but I was only able to read it just recently. The book didn’t start with that much action as compared to the HP series, The first few chapters weren’t exactly a page turner either.  But the characters slowly crept their way to catch and keep my attention in a very JK Rowling fashion 🙂

Unlike the fantasy series, this book does not show its readers a clear line of divide between the good and the bad guys. Just when I was about to hate on a character, the author provides a character history that does not exactly excuse the character but in some way explains their own logic and agenda. Imagine a Snape-like character from every turn but this time, the back story and the aftermath is more subtle and less dramatic.The good are just as much flawed as the seemingly bad ones.

The plot of the book was a great departure from  Harry Potter in terms of its focus  and setting. Entering into the magical realm of HP, one might be bound to be lost in the vastness of the world that the author has conjured. Pagford on the other hand is as small and as simple as it can get, on the surface at least. Despite the obvious differences, it is a wonder to discover that the underlying societal issues that are in Harry Potter were also the same issues that are tackled on this book, albeit more directly this time around.

Racial and social discrimination may be one of the recurring themes that we can expect from other future works of JK Rowling. Do not expect Pagford locals to actually shout out their own biases and outright bigotry (I don’t think “Mudblood” will ever be mentioned but there are certainly a lot of curse words on this novel); but the muggles are proving to be just as mean, conniving and sneaky as their magical counterparts in may occasions. I am so excited to see how everything pans out in the end.

Again, I can’t say that this book is a worth read. Its tone is too different from Harry Potter if that is what you are looking to see. The theme within the book will definitely make you reexamine your stance on certain issues in society that has often been overlooked.

This may not be the best book that JK Rowling has ever written but is surely has her mark all over it. How she injects her own advocacy and philosophy into her literary works is something to be admired.

I am forever a fan. 🙂

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More on the Daily Prompt

Fleeting: A Weekly Photo Challenge

temple birdies
This was taken in one of the temples in Ayutthaya. I think this bird was about to munch on one of the fruit. These cool birds just kept popping on the scene.

Thailand as a traveler’s destination was an absolute dream. I don’t suppose a single post would be enough to elaborate on that. The four days that I spent in Thailand was so action packed and so frantic making me feel like every shot I took was the very definition of fleeting moments.

It has been more than a month since I went there. I thought my blog would have been flooded by post from my vacation at this time but it didn’t really know where to start. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to write about it. The hours just flew so fast and almost everything around me was screaming for attention. It was just wonderfully overwhelming, I was able to do lots of things and visit lots of places for a four day trip; that somehow feels like an accomplishment but it also made me feel disappointed.

I think I have a whole gallery of fleeting shots from the trip which hope to post real soon 🙂 As the image above would suggest, I am not exactly photo savvy. The focus is all wrong and the color was admittedly enhanced but I am really happy that I was lucky enough to catch this scene. Buddha has blessed me indeed. 🙂

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More Fleeting photos, the most interesting I’ve seen so far:

More fleeting birds, flying higher this time- the ever-budding bear

Amazing cave photo- Les Petit Pas de Juls

A cute kid in a Jollibee Party (you can’t go wrong with that!) –advocacine

Just wow! Love this. – Hamburg und Mee(h)r

Another bird picture, 1000x better than mine 🙂 – Shots and Captures

Got Signs?

Signs. Either you get them, or you don’t.
Trash CANAbout the sign: Found on the side of the road in Roxas Boulevard.
My Thought Bubble says: When they say “Non Biodegradable”, I am sure they were NOT referring to this garbage bin 🙂

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IMG_3292About the sign:  Taken in Patpong, Bangkok at around 1 am.
My Thought Bubble says:This by itself is just one of those head-scratcher photos. But having found this signage at the known red lights district in Bangkok gave it a whole new meaning, a naughtier one 😉

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IMG_0080

About the sign: Found this at the inside part of the lid of a shoe box
My Thought Bubble says: Who in the right mind would eat a patch of something from a shoe box. A SHOE BOX!
Better yet, who would think of this warning label. Besides, it doesn’t look so tasty 😀

Arianne sans M

Arianne, A History

In the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, bowler Arianne Cerdeña became the first Filipino to win gold medal in the Olympics. Although bowling was only an exhibition game in the Olympics, it has not made this achievement any less remarkable. In fact, I can still feel the excitement in my father’s voice when he explain why I was named so. 

Our conversation was not just triggered by my curiosity but also in a greater degree, my frustration in having so many person with the same name. Perhaps motivated by Cerdeña’s achievement, many girls born in the year 1989 were also given the same name by their parents.

My father pointed out that it shouldn’t really cause me any bother since I, Arianne, was after all, named after a winner. No pressure.

Spelling Dilemma

arianne hot choco

So okay. I’ve got lots of people who share the same name. No biggie. Jen, Ann, Ryan, Paul and a bunch of other people can relate to that. Considering that my name is not uncommon, it drives me nuts to find people misspelling my name quite very often. Some of them, I even consider as friends (feigns hurt expression^^). Worse, they misspell my name even if it was already explicitly indicated on the same page like in Facebook or on my email.

I smell a conspiracy to ruin my day >:|

I think one of my french teacher described it best, “Arianne sans M” referencing on another student of his named Marianne. How hard can that be?

I try not to get irritated anymore. When complete stranger e.g., barista, waitstaff get my name right, it leaves me quite pleasantly surprised. It definitely restores my faith in humankind 🙂 🙂

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For the Daily Prompt: Say My Name

Beaks on Bricks

Taken from Wat Mahathat...I think^^

Often, we only see things if we know what to look for. Birds are a common sighting in the place where I live but I don’t think I was able to appreciate them enough. They have always graced us with their presence while we continue to make their lives difficult. To take some time to stop and appreciate these animals is really an eye-opening experience. You get to know them a little better. I now know some yellow birds, blue ones, some with a ribbon like tail and a whole lot more (well maybe not that much^^).

Now, my photo takings skills are at the very minimum. I am just literally pointing and shooting most of the time. I was not even aware that there were birds in the picture. I only noticed them while I was looking for a good picture to fit the Weekly Photo Challenge.

I know this picture is not what you would consider as a photographic gem but finding those especially subjects “hidden” and just lurking in the background makes it a winner for me.