Posts Tagged ‘gogirl’

kathy reichs: devil bones

If you’re into forensics and criminal procedure and psychology and watching the television show “Bones”, this book and the others by the same author will give you what you want.

Kathy Reichs is a practicing forensic anthropologist, a university professor, PhD graduate of the prestigious Northwestern University, and, in her spare time, a best-selling novelist and television series producer. Over-achiever.

Yes, but how great is that? She’s doing what she loves, both as an occupation and as a hobby, and getting paid for it. Now that’s the life. Is she a Gogirl? You bet – classic textbook definition of.

Dr. Reichs’ books are loosely based on her own experiences, with the central character, Dr. Temperance Brennan, a forensic specialist like herself. Plots and characters come from incidents and stories from her own life and practice. The books are fascinating for this reason – because they could actually have happened. Thus they aren’t as far-fetched and suspension of disbelief is easier to achieve.

The books have spun off into a television series, ”Bones”, starring Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz (both of whom are excellent actors and deserve more opportunities to display their talent). In the timeline of Tempe’s world, the incidents in the TV show take place at an earlier time – decades earlier – than those of the book.

Devil Bones, set in Charlotte, North Carolina (Reichs’ home state), revolves around grisly artifacts found in a forgotten cellar, used for strange religious rituals. But for what? and by whom? Thereby hangs the tale.

It’s got many of my favorite story elements – anthropological observations, police procedure, a brainy scientist, and a handsome detective. Add a sprinkling of gore and a dash of suspense, and you’ve got a summer-read salad that’s perfect for whiling away those hot lazy afternoons.

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behrendt & tuccillo: he’s just not that into you

When He’s Just Not That Into You came out in 2004, I resisted buying a copy, even if one of my best friends got it, read it,  and loved it.

I thought, “It’s another one of those self-help baloney books that their authors write just to make money off a trend or something.” I don’t read self-help – I consider them too wimpy. I belong to the bury-your-problems-in-chocolate-ice-cream-and-then-pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps-through-sheer-willpower school of survival.

But lately, a movie made from the book came out and I wondered, how could they turn a self-help book into a movie?

I didn’t watch the movie, but I bought the book. Nothing like going straight to the source to find what’s up.

Now I wish I had read it sooner. Written by a guy and a girl who have had their share of failed relationships, the book does tell girls how guys really think. It delivers valuable and practical insights about the murky world of male-female interpersonal communication.

Basically, what authors Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, former Sex in the City writers, are saying is  - it’s no use over-analyzing a relationship. Guys tend to think one-track. And if they want out, they want out. If they tell you or show you in other ways that it’s over, accept that it’s over.

He’s not going to change his mind. He’s not going to come back. He might not come straight out and say, “I don’t love you anymore” – he may be too chicken for that or maybe doesn’t want to hurt you – but if he does, he’s telling you the truth.

Nothing you can say or do will change his mind.

If he cheats, it’s also over. Betrayal combines intent and deception. You don’t need that kind of disloyalty.

Best reaction: shut him out cold-turkey, and get on with your life, girl! In Filipino, we’d say, “Kung ayaw niya, ‘wag niya.” In other words – his loss, not yours.

Never ever beg or plead for a reconciliation. It just diminishes you in his eyes. It hurts, oh yes it hurts, but better to find out it’s not working sooner than later. Turn 180 on your high heels and walk away.

It will take a lot of strength and courage, but all of us women have that. That’s why ours is the real “stronger sex”. And it’s best to end a relationship with dignity, with your head held high, knowing that you tried your best to make it work.

As Greg says: “Don’t waste the pretty!” Make this your mantra.

Meanwhile, visualize yourself with the man of your dreams, someone who will truly love and respect you for who you are, because you are worth it!  Don’t ever settle for second-best anymore.

Behrendt continues this train of thought in his next book, written with his wife, Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt – “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken”.


When is this going to be made into a movie, I wonder?

Bottom line: great reads. And they’ve changed my mind about self-help books, because goodness knows ain’t no one gonna help you, baby, but yourself.

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gogirl: emilie du chatelet

The marquise Emilie du Chatelet, c. 1745. Shown here with a pair of “mathematician”s dividers” (compass).

Money, breeding, and brains. If ever a girl had almost it all (except, perhaps, for beauty), it was Emilie du Chatelet, mathematical genius and respected darling of the Enlightenment Period in Europe, who matched intellects with the best in Europe – and held her own admirably.

Born in Paris on 17 December 1706 to an aristocratic family, Gabrielle Emilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil was, by virtue of her birth, destined for a life of luxury, pomp, and privilege. Women of her class and era were educated primarily in womanly skills like needlework. While their education included the basics to ensure their literacy, most of them went to convent schools only until they were fifteen or sixteen. Many were schooled at home. After that, they were expected to marry within their class, run their households, and bear aristocratic children.

But Emilie’s parents were unorthodox for their time in their approach to their daughter’s education. Her father, baron Louis Nicholas le Tonnelier de Breteuil, was a courtier of the “Sun King” (roi du soleil), Louis XIV, and also served his successor Louis XV. Her mother, Gabrielle Anne de Froullay, came from even grander stock. But both encouraged their daughter to read, study, and ask questions without restrictions. Emilie was often found in their home library, engrossed in Ovid, Cicero, Virgil, and other Roman authors.

At eighteen, Emilie made an advantageous match that would propel her further up social heights. She married Florent-Claude, marquis du Chatelet-Lomont. A man twelve years her senior, the marquis belonged to the highest ranks of nobility – the noblesse d’epee – who traced their lineage back to the ancient Franks.

Emilie’s parents (and she herself) belonged to the lesser nobility, the noblesse de robe, “those who had risen to their elite status through their service to the crown,” according to women’s historian Judith P. Zinsser, author of Emilie du Chatelet: Daring Genius of the Enlightenment, the definite biography of this remarkable woman. Her husband’s higher status conferred upon her more privileges, though her family was wealthier.

The marquis was supportive of Emilie and her activities. After bearing him three children – a girl and two boys, one of whom died young – she turned her attention to her true love, mathematics.

By all accounts, Emilie was a woman ahead for her time. While women were not given higher education during that period (mid-18th century), those with means to do so could hire tutors. Emilie relied on many mentors, les gens de lettres, the finest minds of the day – the explorer and scientist Maupertuis, the prodigy mathematician Clairaut, and the poet and playwright Voltaire.


Voltaire at age 24, by Largilliere. Born Francois-Marie Arouet, he was a French Enlightenment writer, essayist, deist, and philosopher, and the light and love of Emilie’s life.

The latter proved to be her most enduring and inspiring relationship. Marriage among aristocrats was conducted more to propagate the lineage and family lines rather than for love; men and women were expected to take lovers. So with the knowledge and consent of her husband, Emilie entered into a long and stormy affair with Voltaire, who encouraged her studies in mathematics (including the new discipline of calculus, invented by Newton and Leibniz at roughly the same time), geometry, physics, and other philosophies.

Both she and Voltaire wrote essays on the nature of fire, submitted to the Academie des sciences; hers was considered to be better written, thought out, and organized. Along the way, she discovered the works of Isaac Newton and made it her life’s work to translate his Principia Mathematica, which many scientists of the day found difficult to understand because of the complexity and novelty of many of its concepts in physics and mathematics. To date, Emilie’s edited and annotated translation remains the only full translation of this work into French.

Such was her towering intellect that she won the respect of her peers in the Republic of Letters – a world shut to women, except to those as brave and talented as she, who broke down the doors with the brilliance of her work.

Modern assessments of her work note that “although the classical mechanics of du Châtelet are not to be compared with Einstein’s concept of mass and velocity in his famous equation for the energy equivalent of matter E = mc² (where c represents the velocity of light), modern biographers and historians persist in seeing a neat accord with the principle E ? mv² first recognised by du Chatelet from over 150 years before…a correct assessment (up to a factor of 1/2) f the kinetic energy in classical mechanics.” (Wikipedia)

When Emilie’s relationship with the unpredictable and volatile Voltaire ended, she took a younger lover, poet and writer Jean Francois Saint-Lambert. She died in 1749, aged 42, of an embolism a few days after giving birth to their daughter, who lived for only a year and a half before being interred in the same tomb as her mother.

Emilie was a true Gogirl, unafraid to live her life the way she wanted. Though largely indulged by friends and family because of her genius, her privileges and rank did not cushion her from disappointments or heartaches. She made many mistakes, yet picked herself up after each one and started over, never losing sight of her goals – to increase her knowledge and the world’s through her studies and her works.

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ateneo gsb commencement 2007

Finally, nairaos din!

This was the sentiment of us graduates of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business (AGSB) of the Ateneo de Manila University at our Commencement Exercises held August 5, Sunday, at the Irwin Theater, AdMU-Loyola Campus in QC.

The activities started at 330 pm with a processional of graduates (by program) from the Grade School auditorium adjoining Irwin Theater. We trooped into the Theater as our professors waited by the doors, pride beaming on their faces.

I walked inside with Ik (Aya was waiting for Alex at UP, who was taking the UPCAT that same day) and took my seat in one of the center rows. We were arranged alphabetically and according to program (Standard, Middle Manager, Regis, Special-Allied Bank, Special-ADB, and so on).

As an honor graduate ( Silver Medalist), I was allowed two guests, with assigned seats near the stage. As I was first in line alphabetically, Ik got a good view of the proceedings and was seated near the aisle.

At 4pm, a Baccalaureate Mass was held, AdMU president Fr. Bienvenido Nebres, SJ, presiding. After the Mass, the altar was taken away and the stage curtains raised to reveal a beautiful set, all blue and gold and silver, covered with masses of real flowers – pink and red roses, yellow mums, red anthuriums, purple and blue blooms, green ferns and foliage, all in a riot of colors, almost as if we were in a garden.

The Commmencement Address was delivered by the former dean of AGSB and now dean of the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, Dr. Alfredo RA Bengzon. It was a stirring speech that reminded all us graduates of our school’s “value proposition” – “My Business, My Country”. Wherever we are, Dr. Bengzon reminded us, we can all make a difference towards positive change and growth for nation-building.

Next came the medal awarding ceremony. Again, alphabetically, I was the first one called forward to receive my silver medal from Fr. Nebres. Since Aya and Alex were still at UP, it was Ik who went up on stage with me, and afterwards hung my medal around my neck.

After all the awards were presented, next came the awarding of diplomas, by programs. Edmar (de la Torre), who was seated behind me, passed the word that we would all yell when Regis was announced. (Pasimuno talaga sa kalokohan.)

Sure enough, when it was our turn, we let out a chorus of yells and applause when AGSB Dean (and my Strama professor) Alberto Buenviaje called on the Regis graduates. We walked down the aisle (me in front again) shouting and clapping as everyone stared. By this time, Alex and Aya had arrived and just shook their heads at our kalokohan.

As I passed the faculty seated near the stage, I shrugged and told our Quanti prof, Prof. Ralph Ante, “Sir, pasaway talaga kahit kelan!” He said, “It’s normal!” meaning he knew our batch was up to its old antics as usual. See, none of the other programs were as loud and vocal. They were staid and boring, teehee. And to think most of them were younger than us Regis students.

We received our diplomas (original, in Latin), one by one, so it took time, but we were all very happy to finally end our MBA education with such joy and laughter. We ended on a tearful note with all the graduates, faculty, and staff singing the Ateneo Graduation Hymn “Mary For You” complete with battle chop.

The whole stirring ceremony inspired Ik so much that she wants to go to Ateneo – and nowhere else – for college! Alex will be taking the exams for Ateneo soon; hopefully she will pass them and receive the Jesuit training that I am proud to have experienced.

Congratulations, 2007 MBA graduates of the AGSB! Primus inter pares!

Our barkada and batchmates – (L-R) Capt. Edmar de la Torre , Gina Matawaran (gold medal), Cynthia Jose, me, Wilma Torralba.


My MBA ring. I chose a blue sapphire (an Ateneo color) for the stone.


One side of the ring has the Ateneo Eagle; the other, St. Ignatius of Loyola at prayer, along with the year of my graduation and the degree.

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market coffee

In 30 Oct 2007, some friends and I visited Garing’s (a coffee grower for generations) in Lipa City, Batangas, where they display roasted Excelsa and Liberica (barako) beans in glass cases. You select and buy the beans you want, which are then ground right then and there. Fresh! The aroma is heady and heavenly.

Prices are cheaper in the market – around P170 per kilo of ground barako – compared to manufacturers like Figaro, Siete Baracos, and Merlo. However, the manufacturers offer blends and flavors not available in the market.

To brew coffee the “farm” way: in a saucepan, boil fresh ground coffee and brown sugar to taste.

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