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On my bedside table.

There's nothing like the Christmas vacation to make me catch-up on my reading list.

Some I started almost a year ago, some just yesterday. Nonetheless, here are the books that I have been reveling in lately. In random order..

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- This is probably the oldest one in my reading list. I started reading it in 2008 and up to now I still haven't finished it! Shame, really. It's just that every time I feel like reading it, I don't have it with me. It's the classic story of an older man falling for a pre-adolescent girl's nymph-like charms. It might be borderline amusing and disgusting for some but I find it a very interesting read.
Status: In Progress

Unmasqued by Colette Gale
- A very erotic and sensual re-telling of The Phantom of the Opera, my favorite musical. My Phantom phase was reawakened after we watched it on stage in Las Vegas, so when I saw this book I just had to buy it. To say that it has a different take on the story would be an understatement -- it's filled with intimacy and sexuality to the brim. It would certainly make you think twice about what happens behind those curtains and back drops in theaters.
Status: Finished

Othello by William Shakespeare
- Okay so this is for my Shakespeare class (Eng23) really, not so much for leisure. But I actually enjoyed reading not only this but all the other plays we have discussed so far. Once you get past the intimidating Elizabethan language -- and trust me, you will -- it's going to be hard pulling yourself away from it. It's remarkable how Shakespeare's description of human nature is still very much pertinent today.
Status: Finished

I Will Always Love You by Cecily Von Ziegesar
- Allow me to indulge in my guiltiest chick-lit pleasure. Yes, behind that very popular television show was the book series that sparked the raging of my adolescent hormones and fueled my love for New York City. And before anyone asks again, yes I do love the books more than the show. (I've only seen the first season of the show by the way.) Anyway, after the main characters graduated from high school the author decided to start a "new season" and focused on the new set of characters taking their places. I was very dismayed, but I figured it would be pushing the envelope to extend it until their college years. So imagine my surprise when I found out that they were coming back for one last time. This book was a compilation of all the four years after high school, with the New Year's Day celebrations as the focal point. While reading it, I had that sense of familiarity, that eerie feeling of "suddenly everything has changed, but then again, they haven't." They're all grown up however they're still the same old people we've come to know. It was a great ending for me, how loose strings were finally tied and broken fences mended. I'm going to miss this series, really.
Status: Finished

Persuasion by Jane Austen
- This is Austen's last completed novel which showcases her more mature approach to writing and also life. It deals with the reality and consequences brought upon by social classes and familial loyalty, and how it interferes with our personal relationships. And yes, in a nutshell it's about first love -- does it really go away? The age old question that would most probably get a very clever, if not blunt answer by Austen.
Status: In Progress

Summer by Edith Wharton
- I've always been wanting to read this but never really got around to buying it until last week. It's a story about a young girl's sexual awakening, her journey as she deals with self-discovery and understanding. It's one of those very controversial novels back when it was published in 1907 but is now considered a classic in American literature today.
Status: In Progress

The Proxy Eros by Mookie Katigbak
- I'm always more than happy when I receive a book as a present. This one was a gift to me by one of my friends, someone who certainly knows me well enough to give me this. It's a collection of poems on love, sensuality, and desire. I have only started appreciating poetry well after my CW100 class last semester, and I am certain this book would keep me up all night.
Status: In Progress

I can't believe I have gone several months without picking up a good book unrelated to school, but I don't care how long it's been -- I just want to drown myself in them all day (and all night) long and compensate for lost time. I guess this is how make-up sex feels like? Because not like I would know :))

Okay, I'm going back to bed. To read.



Merry Krismas with a K!

Let your hearts be light!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! :)
Happy Holidays, friends ♥


There is a light that never goes out.

Thank you very much, The Smiths.

It's during sleepless nights like this when I have the strongest desire to drive away to some place and just escape. I want to explore the night, turn up the speakers, take in the city lights, soak myself in the culture. I want to leave with no direction in mind, run away with no plans, go out with uncertainty. I want to be someplace else where I can lurk in the dark, with no one knowing who I am, where I can be someone else other than myself.

I want to read poetry in a dimly lit cafe; to make tangible the words I've written in my journal during my most vulnerable moments. Would they make more sense said out loud, when other ears finally take a hold of them? Or would they shatter into pieces and lose their very essence? I would throw my words to the universe and pray that they come back to me one day after everything else has fallen into their places.

I want to vandalize on walls along main avenues, painting out song lyrics that speak so much about the things we can't normally say. It'd exhilarating, writing them out for all the world to see, and it'd be thrilling, the possibility of getting caught. There would be a curious excitement in me, wondering if there is anyone out there who relates to the song the same way I do.

I want to sit in one corner of a bar with a lively underground band playing songs with mundane words about life and love. I would desperately try to figure them out as I ask the bartender for my third martini. I would then walk upstage voluntarily when they ask if anyone wants to sing along to their cover of The Cure's Pictures of You, only to position myself on the piano and completely upstaging the band.

I want to dance on stage and be a ballerina again. On my toes I'd be doing pirouettes in Swan Lake, swaying gracefully to the music of Tschaikovsky. With only my body as my instrument of interaction, I would weep as Odette with no tears, I would enrage as Odile with no screams. The curtains would rise and fall and in every scene I would be a different persona, traipsing from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other.

I want to feel sand in between my toes as I walk along the shores of the beach. The moon would shine its glow on me, calling me out onto the sea as if I was her daughter. I would dip my feet into the water, resisting the urge to jump in at first but only to find myself giving in to the call of the waves. It would be dark and mysterious but the allure of the unknown would entice me and I would find myself calmed in the ocean.

I want to be somewhere else other than here, to be someone else other than this Karla Bernardo. It's not exactly because my life sucks or anything. In fact, nothing's really wrong. It's just that sometimes it can be very exhausting being myself. I know it's weird but sometimes I can't help but feel that everything is just a front, that this whole sociable, friendly, excited girl is just a consequence of what is expected of me. Tucked deep inside me is a loner, a cynic, a rebel that cries out for her emancipation. I like being who I normally am, but I also want to be out of character at times, with no questions asked, just because.

I just want to escape the monotony for a while.


But no, I'm not emo. I'm just sleep-deprived, I guess. Thankfully, not that cash-deprived though. I will be claiming my GSIS check on Tuesday. Hello, financial assistance! Which is why I bought a Christmas gift for myself today. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a new pair of shoes :)

Btw, your questions have been answered. Finally, haha! :)



Que sera, sera.

Whatever will be, will be.


The last two days of school, woooh! Technically I have no classes already until Friday but because it's Eng'g week, then tomorrow would be the Lantern Parade, so of course I'm staying in QC until all the festivities are over. There are so many things going on in school right now, of course I wouldn't want to miss it. Party time, anyone?

Note-to-self: Buy batteries for camera. And actually use the camera. It's already in your freakin' bag, Karla. :)))

Christmas break, you are thissssclose, I can't wait to bask myself in your glory already!


No doubt about it?

So I'm in our newly airconditioned living room, supposedly finishing a paper for my Philosophy class, but blogging while listening to Chris Martin's melancholy vocals in the Coldplay's version of "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas." I feel like I'm almost in an ending montage of scenes in a sad Christmas episode of an American TV drama show. Haha.

I feel like sharing another epic quote from last week.

In Philosophy class, we're currently on Rene Descartes' Meditations, or simply put, on the famous I think therefore I am statement. We were discussing the sytem of thought he used to come up with this conclusion, which was to adapt the way of the skeptics. Thus, leading us to his method of doubt.
"Unless you are absolutely certain that a thing is true, you must doubt it."
My first reaction was, "Darn, this could have saved me a lot of heartache if only this came along sooner!" Of course, it's a natural human tendency to try and overanalyze, then put meaning in everything, even if we're not completely sure about it. It's actually a coherent argument: if there is any possibility for something to be false, then doubt it. That way, you won't be deceived. Right?

Then again, would one really want to doubt everything? Is it wise to be suspicious and careful rather than be open and vulnerable?

With what has happened to me during the first semester, this quote makes perfect sense. I should learn my lesson. Maybe I should try being cynical next time because at least only one of two things will happen: either things will go wrong as expected, or things will turn out right and I'd be pleased. It's as if Descartes is preaching me that next time, I shouldn't be letting my guard down that easily because it makes me susceptible to hurt. He's right, I guess. But only up to a point.

Because I'm really not the type of person who can't grant anyone the benefit of the doubt. I wouldn't want to be skeptical about everything and everyone. I don't think it's very practical to be highly dubious all the time. It's so suffocating to always be worrying over things that can just be, anyway. Something about the unknown possibilities makes me always hopeful and optimistic about things. Maybe it's just how I am. I can be skeptical but not all the way.

What do you think?


Thirteen days to go. It's that time of the year. Are you feeling it?


There she goes.

They say looking good is the best revenge.

Haven't had it this short since Grade 6! How's that for change? So I was kinda depressed. I was so frustrated, something just had to go. It was a spur of the moment decision, but hey, I'm not regretting it. After all, the best revenge is looking good. So, did I win the battle? :))

It's funny though, when I look at the mirror, I still don't recognize myself. This will take several more days of getting used to. So far, I've been told I look like 1) a 15-year-old, 2) my mom, 3) Brooke Davis from Season 5 and 6. As for me, I just want to not look like the usual Karla this time.

Went back to the dorm today for my 3-hour break. I was planning on either sleeping or watching TV but ended up just reading for my CL111 class later at 2:30 and reviewing a bit for my CL121 exam on Friday. But I feel really bored and lazy today for some reason. It's a little bit more difficult to wake up in the morning and to stay awake in class. Is it because the chilly weather is starting to creep in already? Well, I'm not complaining. I love December weather! And if anything, I have an excuse to use my favorite hoodies :)

Engg Week and Lantern Parade next week! Can't wait.

Okay, off to my CL111 class. Later.


Excess baggage.

It's never easy to let go of not only things we cherish but also of things we are used to. We find comfort in the familiarity, and we feel secure in things we have been accustomed to. There's nothing wrong with hanging on to what we are already sure of, what we are okay with -- after all, that's human nature.

But sometimes, it is also refreshing to leave behind emotional baggage that we may feel at home with but are weighing us down. Sometimes, it is important to learn how to release them and chop them off our lives as a way of opening new doors and starting new chapters.

Yes folks, I cut off my hair. The hair I cared for and loved for more than a year. I cut off my waist-length hair because it was dragging me down, literally and figuratively. It reminded me too much of all the unnecessary turmoil that 2009 has caused me. It was difficult -- I think I felt a small shriek from deep inside me when the first few inches were chopped off. But after that was also a sigh of relief. It was like removing all my insecurities, disappointments and frustrations. Because now was the time to let it all go. Finally.

I now look like a 15-year-old again. Yehey?


Epic quotes of the week.

Oh, the little things one can get from being attentive in class!

From CL 111:
"Society has a way of pretending that everything is okay."

-- Butch Dalisay, our professor

From CL 121:
"It's not enough for poems to be pretty; they must have charm and they must take the heart of the hearer wheresoever they will."

-- from Epistle to the Pisones by Horace

"Just like girls."

-- our professor referring to the quote above.

From Philo 1:
"Once you have a purpose in life, no amount of suffering can kill you."

-- from Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl

From CL 184:
"I am the eternal tension between your legs
and the song that makes you like it."

-- The Gaze by Arvin Abejo Mangohig (from Ladlad 3)

"Ang lahat ng nasa dilim, may sinusugal."

-- J. Neil C. Garcia, our professor

From Eng 23:
"My blood is mingled with the crime of lust."

-- Adriana from The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare

Lesson learned: Taking down notes and trying to catch interesting quotes is quite an effective way to stay awake :P