Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Ten Things

This post is brought to you by this delicious smidge of cuteness in French Bulldog form, whose doppelganger was spotted walking alongside The Hotness in NYC a few days ago.

Yes, The Hotness has been reading my mind. (See also: this previous entry on manly men with tiny dogs.)


So the lovely Laura from Ladies Who Critique came up with this blog-posting prompt, which I thought I'd try out for this blog. It's a great way for me to get folks updated on what I've been up to lately, since I do a lot of regular rambling on this blog as well. Thanks, Laura! :)

1. Eating this: Oatmeal with two slices of raisin bread, with a side of papaya cubes. Every morning. No fail.

2. Reading this: Actually, the storm ruined my chances of getting some work-related reading done because the power outages prevented many of my students from submitting their papers. After this, however, I'm going to Manila to pick up more books.

3. Browsing this site: I've been following How Sweet It Is through Twitter. And why wouldn't I, when the cupcake photos look like this?

Photo credit:
4. Writing this: I've started making a few dents on Nominated (my WiP from Camp NaNoWriMo), which means I am close to rescuing my protagonists from plot-mired limbo. Currently I have three critique partners looking at this manuscript, as well, which means that this baby should be in tip-top shape when I'm ready to send it in for publication.

Once Nominated is fixed - with a deadline of possibly mid-October - I will have the NaNoWriMo proper in November, though I haven't decided on what to do for this. Originally I was going to use this time to revise the previous year's NaNo (World on a Plate, aka "the Pinoy foodie novel"), but now there might be a possibility that I'll have time to write a new one, either a new chick-lit or possibly an alternate-reality espionage thriller with fairy-tale elements.

Photo credit:
We (Love) Delicious Food
5. Drinking this: I would have said "water," since it's the only thing I've been drinking lately, but right now I could really use more Oreo milkshakes. This, I blame on the mysterious #CookiesNCream hashtag that the rugby boys from the Philippine Volcanoes have been using every day on Twitter. No, I do not want to know what that's about, either.

6. Using this: In the software department, yWriter5 (excellent novel-writing software!) and the desktop version of Tweetdeck (faster than Tweetdeck for Chrome, plus it doesn't get in the way of work). In terms of beauty products, Neutrogena Rapid Clear acne treatment, Bench Fix Clay Doh, and Nivea's Fruity Shine tinted lip balm in Pomegranate, which is a lovely red stain that will get its own Glosswatch entry soon.

7. Watching this: TV-wise, I'm getting sucked into Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which is still my favorite series within the franchise. (Law and Order: UK is a close second.) I also caught my first episode of Sherlock (so intense, and Martin Freeman is so, so good as Watson), plus I've also downloaded the pilot for New Girl on iTunes as well.

As for movies, I have added The Descendants to my must-watch movie list for the fall. George Clooney, Alexander Payne, and gorgeous shots of very familiar neighborhoods in Hawaii? I am so in.

And I can't wait till Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy comes out, too.

8. Buying this: Mascara and (possibly) eyeliner. The last time I went shopping for makeup, an overzealous saleslady tried to push a lipstick on me, even though the lippy I wanted was in a different formulation. She was stubborn and persistent, and I gave her none of my money. This time, I'm going to branch out and try more mid-price Asian brands, like Etude House and Majolica Majorca.

9. Listening to this: My three favorite podcasts right now.

The Moth:

The Sporkful:

and Popspotting.

Screencap: mine.
And "Called Out In The Dark" by Snow Patrol, whose actual video isn't as awesome as the song itself.

10. Using this new word: Inveigle. 



Want to chime in on the discussion? Show us some blog love by leaving a comment below, or following @stella_meimei on Twitter!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Hello, World at Large

This post is brought to you by Patrick Stump and his highly convincing Rick Astley makeover.

So, how's everybody holding up?

It's been a tough week for me; lots of problems on the job and writing front, a little drama on the family front... and then this storm happens. Don't worry, we're safe, but I'm also praying for the folks that barely made it through the typhoon, especially the evacuees. 

By the way, I've already made my Twitter account (@stella_meimei) public, so feel free to follow me and say hi whenever you can!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Today's Dispatch: The Chop

This post is brought to you by THIS haircut.

You know, two years ago, this hairdo would have looked like utter crap on me by turning my head into a straw mushroom and making my face look puffy. So why did I do it now?

- First of all, I was getting sick and tired of my mid-length hair. Every single time that I get it trimmed - and no matter how many pictures of hairstyles I bring to my salon - I always end up getting the same layered shag every single time, which always looks good for two months before it goes all pointy and frizzy on me. Add to that the drama of having fine, almost-thinning hair in my 30s (ugh!) and it's enough to drive anyone to the nearest salon and put themselves at the mercy of their hairdressers. Luckily for me, however, the one I went to actually "got" me and my problem, so I was able to trust him on this one.

- Truth be told, I've actually started taking more risks with my hair ever since I lost weight. I started first with getting bangs, which did wonders in bringing out my bone structure once I figured out how to wear them (diagonally, so that they'd curl under and fall on one side of the face). Then I toyed around with the thought of going chin length, which scared me because my students have been showing up with Posh Spice's old hairdo, and I didn't want to put up with that kind of drama.

Photo originally published on,
credited to Getty Images.  
- Also: Will you please look at Ginnifer Goodwin here? She's the poster girl for short hair on round-faced girls, except that I don't have the same gumption she does in keeping her hair short. (That, I blame on a terrible encounter with an incompetent stylist at Fantastic Sam's.) Still: The styling's uncomplicated and the 'do really brings out her eyes and bone structure.

- The only thing I want for my hair is to be cool, yet "livable": no complicated blow-out routines, just wash and brush and wear with a little product for kicks. I wasn't getting that with my longer hair, which was always prone to flyaways when it wasn't getting plastered over my head. Why not make the flatness work for me, for a change?

- Let's face it: The weather has been crazy humid for a "-ber" month, and I'm at the point in the school year where the stress is enough to make me want to pull my hair out. Might as well go for it, right? Besides, I've been assured that this will grow out nicely, so I'm looking forward to being perma-bobbed for the next few months. It's going to be fun.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Everybody Needs a Hug

This post is brought to you by Toy Story 3, which made me bawl my eyes out just the other day.

- Two great moments happened this morning: Novak Djokovic won the US Open, and Shamcey Supsup of the Philippines placed third in the Miss Universe pageant. Honestly, I was more pumped about that epic Djoker-Rafa final than I was for Miss Universe (also because I had to go to work right away and the tennis game was just about to wrap up first) but all in all, a great finish nonetheless for both. Bravissimi!

- That said: Have you guys seen Miss Angola? That is one beautiful woman, there.

- And also, I can't wait for the Baseball Championship Series to start. Really.

- You know who's been really crushworthy to me lately? Joel Edgerton. Yes, he's also a ginger... and yet, there's something about him that comes across as huggable rather than spankable, especially when he's using his American accent. (Yes, I actually think he has a more convincing fake-New England accent than The Hotness. Sue me.) Maybe it's all those the family-man roles that he's been taking lately, though, because he's actually quite charming and convincing as a dad. Lurve.

- I've been looking at my schedule for this week and it looks like I've got a writing-heavy slate ahead: my students' essays are due on Thursday (except for one, who just went for the early submission credit), plus I've exchanged manuscripts with a critique partner who's looking at my work as we speak. (Thanks, Ladies Who Critique!) That means I have to focus on constructive criticism... and I hope it works!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today's Dispatch: 9/11/01

Those of you who read my blog know that I don't like to share my personal stuff over the Internet. A lot of it has to do with concerns over my family and my career, of which I have every good reason to keep in confidentiality.

Today, however, I want to talk about the person that I used to be ten years ago.

Ten years ago, I woke up to a frantic phone call from a friend about the planes that crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. At that time I did not want to believe him - he was one of those people who, quite frankly, was easily scared - but I went into a state of shock as soon as I turned on the television.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Literal Crushing

Today's post is brought to you by the Philippine Volcanoes (Men's 7s) Rugby Team.

(...But seriously: How many times have I actually run that scenario in my mind where I'm at a bar in Makati with these guys, and The Hotness just happens to walk in and introduce himself to me? "Oh, hello, you must be The Hotness. I'm Meimei, and these are my friends Justin Coveney and Gaz Holgate. Yeah, I've heard people say that Gaz looks like your friend Colin Farrell...")

- I've been listening to Coldplay's unreleased cover of "You Only Live Twice" - yes, the James Bond theme song, originally sung by Nancy Sinatra - and the best way for me to describe it is that it's so Coldplay that it goes from being epic to terrible and looping right back into awesome. This isn't the song you would want to hear while Daniel Craig is driving off into the sunset, but you could totally imagine this playing in the background as, say, Tom Hardy - or Michael Fassbender, or Richard Armitage, or (what the hell) The Hotness - has a moment of silence before jumping off a bridge to get out of the game. 

- Status check on the writing: Yes, I am way too obsessed with my characters' outfits and natural pigmentation, which explains my renewed interest in color analysis and classifying certain characteristics as warm/cool, winter/summer, etc. This site has been quite helpful to me on that matter, because it just takes the guesswork out of the way. (For the record, I'm a Dark Autumn, which explains why periwinkle looks like crap on me.) 

- Also worth obsessing over: Wikipedia's list of Crayola colors. Seriously, I don't remember seeing a Brink Pink anywhere when I was growing up. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Serenity Now

This post was NOT brought to you by the recent batch of photos from the Avengers set in New York.

- First, a shout-out to my gorgeous friend-from-high school Marie (aka Ms. LadyCakes), who now fashion-blogs on a regular basis for Instylation. Here's her most recent entry as of this writing, where she totally rocks the mod look for fall.

- Speaking of mod, how gorgeous are the new Stardust lip glosses from Urban Decay? I'm already a fan of the Stardust shadows, so I can't wait to try these in person... if I could find a place out here that sells Urban Decay, that is. (Link: a review of the glosses from Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog, who gives them high marks for shine and staying power.)

- So, for some weird reason last night, I spent the whole night looking at shoes instead of doing... whatever it was I was supposed to be doing (okay, WRITING), and now I'm officially obsessed with these shoes from Valentino. Sparkly and chic: gotta love that combo!

- Another sparkly obsession: Miriam Haskell jewelry, which started with Michelle Obama's earrings from the State dinner in El Salvador. I just love the craftsmanship that goes into these designs, which are so classic and avant-garde at the same time. I'm also besotted with this breathtaking pearl-and-crystal statement necklace, which is practically begging for a bare-shouldered formal dress to be worn with it, and the formal event to match.

- Finally, going back to our movie-related WTF news: What is this about Adele (possibly) recording a song for a new James Bond movie? Surely they must not be kidding... or are they?

Monday, September 05, 2011

Today's Dispatch: Know Your Pegs

This post was brought to you by Federico Fellini.

- Problem #1: My button-down shirts have been getting a little too tight around the mid-section lately. Not good. Problem #2: My podcast backlog for Popspotting and The Sporkful has gotten quite bloated as of late. Not good either! Solution: Start power-walking again! I find that it's easier for me to put on podcasts instead of music for my long walks around campus because they get me out of my own head.

- Been trying to get back into the groove of writing again. I am finally overcoming my writer's block, which means I should go ahead and start plowing into the next few chapters as well.

- And speaking of writing, I should let you know that I've started futzing around Pinterest lately. Currently I have a board full of pictures devoted to my current writing project, which is practically a mishmash. That's how I roll creatively. ;)

- Last thing taking over my brain (apart from work, writing, Twitter, and anything related to The Hotness) are the two new kittens in my back yard. There were supposed to be three, but the runt died last week and now we have two grey kitties with tabby-esque markings. From what I can see of them now, they look like they could be great mousers when they grow up. Cute!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Today's Dispatch: I Bet They Charge By The Hour

This post is brought to you by Robert Ludlum and the Film Development Council of The Philippines.

I was just about to say something about nothing much happening this week since I took the entrance exam... but then THIS happened, and I've been running around the place dancing like a real ninny. I'm torn: I want this to happen, because it's The Hotness and I'd give up a liver (or at least one of my classes) for a chance to hang out with him... but I don't want this to happen, because I still believe that The Hotness has been looking pretty haggard lately and I'd rather that he drop out of this now than be saddled with a project that looks like a turkey at this point. Yes, I still stand by my contention that he will pass out and fall apart from exhaustion by the end of the year.

But enough about The Project I Hate with The Guy I Really Really Like...

-...because I just realized that I do have a thing for redheads! I've already cited Jamie Bamber, Damian Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch and Rafe Spall for their gingery ginger-itude, plus the young Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People before he turned gray for Leverage. Then there's this picture of the young Alan Rickman (hot) and another of the young Eric Stoltz (hot only between the late '80s and mid-'90s).... and don't even get me started on both Ryan Gosling and Edward Norton in their red-headed phase either.

And now I've noticed that a few of my favorite pictures of The Hotness (like this one*) make him look like he's sporting red hair, too. Holy crap, somebody needs to slap on some strawberry-blonde lowlights on that man, NOW.

- And the rest? Oh yeah, I just recharged the batteries on my camera. Which means there will be more self-taken pictures down the pike.

*EDITED 06/09/2011 to add this lovely (and slightly red-headed) picture of The Hotness, from this year's Oscars. Oh, potato-faced one, why won't you at least have coffee with me? Or do I have to send over my friends Justin and Gaz to convince you?