Sunday, March 06, 2011


OMG... I have just realized that my blog has been idle for more than two years. What has made me become sooooo lazy? Child rearing!?
It's time to reactivate my blog!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Excerpt from Mary Shelley's book - Frankenstein

This excerpt appeared in the scene where Victor realized that the victim that he had been claimed to murder was, Henry Clerval, his best friend.

Why did I not die? More miserable than man ever was before, why did I not sink into forgetfulness and rest? Death snatches away many blooming children, the only hopes of their doting parents: how many brides and youthful lovers have been one day in the bloom of health and hope, and the next a prey for worms and the decay of the tomb! Of what materials was I made, that I could thus resist so many shocks, which, like the turning of the wheel, continually renewed the torture?


interment - burial, entombment, inhumation, sepulture

affright -
To arouse fear in; terrify

doom - (n.)
Fate, especially a tragic or ruinous one. (v.) To destine to an unhappy end.

a turnkey - (old-fashioned) a jailer

assize - a session of a court

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Baby Minds

Key developmental windows in young children:

1. Social Attachment (0 - 18 months):
**Without positive social experiences during babies first eighteen months, the ability to develop secure, trusting relationships becomes much less likely. 

2. Motor Skills (prenatal - 4 years):

3. Speech and Vocabulary (0 - 3 years):
**The more language baby hears, the larger his vocabulary will be throughout his childhood. It is language spoken directly to a child during this language learning period that is most effective in building strong circuitry to support vocabulary growth and proficient language skills. 

4. Math and Logic (1 - 4 years):
**Stacking blocks and knocking them down, stringing wooden beads onto a piece of yarn, or counting a row of raisins before eating them one by one are all experiences that help a child become a skilled mathematical and logical thinker. 

5. Music (3 - 12 years):
** Some researchers suspect that the optimal window for learning to play an instruments begins to close around then to twelve years. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Baby earthquake in Redlands

Yesterday was the first time in my life to experience an earthquake. You think that I was frighten by it but just the reverse was true. I felt a little excited. You cannot blame me for this because I came from a country that is free from natural disaster. 

It happened in the morning of July 29, 2008. Philyra and I were in the bedroom. She was having her morning nap and I was surfing net. I felt a sudden movement. It was like someone using a digging machine to excavate the foundation of the building. Then, I heard my housemate shouting at my door, "Meier, earthquake!" I had a very clear mind at that moment. I held Philyra up, opened the door, and ran out of the building with my housemate. We were safe. 

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Secret of life...

Suddenly I have an impulse want to quote some sentences from the book that I currently read -- "One Minute For Myself" by Spencer Johnson.

"I don't like it when other people feel I don't live up to their expectations of me. So I avoid setting myself up with rigid expectations and comparing me to what I think ought to be. When I am disappointed in myself, it is usually because I didn't get what I demanded of me."

"Now I simply appreciate what happens instead of comparing to what I think ought to happen. I've learned that my personal pain comes from the difference between what is happening and what I think ought to be happening."

"So if I let go of what I think is missing from the fantasy and appreciate what is already good about the reality, I'll be happier."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Top Ten Free eBook Websites

1. Project Gutenberg:
2. The Online Books Page:   
Listing over 25,000 free books on the Web. The site is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Library.
Over 2,000 free ebooks & free magazines. Most of them can be downloaded directly.
4. PlanetPDF
Classics works of Literature.
5. University of California, eScholarship Edition:
The eScholarship Editions collection includes almost 2000 books from academic presses on a range of topics, including art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.
6. University of Adelaide Library’s collection of Web books:
The collection includes classic works of Literature, Philosophy, Science, and History.
Some new ebooks. Rapidshare download links. Copyright is a problem.
8. The National Academies Press:
Read more than 3,000 books online FREE!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Sun Also Rises Vocabulary



1. A visual signaling apparatus with flags, lights, or mechanically moving arms, as one used on a railroad.
2. A visual system for sending information by means of two flags that are held one in each hand, using an alphabetic code based on the position of the signaler's arms.
tr. & intr.v. sem·a·phored, sem·a·phor·ing, sem·a·phores
To send (a message) or to signal by semaphore.

he's a garter snapper.'

"Hello, you bums," he said.
1. A tramp; a vagrant.
2. A lazy or shiftless person, especially one who seeks to live solely by the support of others.
3. An incompetent, insignificant, or obnoxious person: The batter called the pitcher a bum.
4. One who is devoted to a particular activity or milieu: a beach bum.
v. bummed, bum·ming, bums
1. To live by begging and scavenging from place to place. Often used with around.
2. To loaf.
1. To acquire by begging; cadge.
2. Slang To depress, dishearten, or dismay. Often used with out.
1. Inferior; worthless: gave me bum advice; did a bum job of fixing the car.
2. Disabled; malfunctioning: a bum shoulder.
3. Unfavorable or unfair: got a bum deal on my final grade for the course.
4. Unpleasant; lousy: had a bum time at the party.

"You mustn't misunderstand, Jake, it was absolutely platonic with the secretary."
adj. often platonic Transcending physical desire and tending toward the purely spiritual or ideal: platonic love.

live by the sword shall perish by the sword


1. A staff member of a hotel or apartment complex who assists guests or residents, as by handling the storage of luggage, taking and delivering messages, and making reservations for tours.
2. A person, especially in France, who lives in an apartment house, attends the entrance, and serves as a janitor.

Let's not talk. Talking's all bilge.
Bilge -- Slang Stupid talk or writing; nonsense.


"Tight, Jake. I was tight."
tight -- Slang Intoxicated; drunk.

"You're pie-eyed."
pie-eyed -- Slang Intoxicated; drunk;

a craftsman who stuffs and mounts the skins of animals for display


"I slept like a log."

100 BEST NOVELS (picked by TIME's critics)

The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Animal Farm by George Orwell -- (I finished this book. Highly recommended!)

Appointment in Samarra by John O'Hara

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

The Assistant by Bernard Malamud

At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder

Call It Sleep by Henry Roth

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

A Death in the Family by James Agee

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen

Deliverance by James Dickey

Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone

Falconer by John Cheever

The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessig

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald -- (I read this too.)

A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

Herzog by Saul Bellow

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

I, Claudius by Robert Graves

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Light in August by William Faulkner

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein

Loving by Henry Green

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Money by Martin Amis

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

Native Son by Richard Wright

Neuromancer by William Gibson

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

1984 by George Orwell

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion

Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Posession by A.S. Byatt

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

Rabbit, Run by John Updike

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

The Recognitions by William Gaddis

Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

The Sot-Weed Factor by John Barth

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John LeCarre

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway -- (I'm halfway reading this book.)

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee -- (I read the book and watched the movie. Both are great.)

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Ubik by Philip K. Dick

Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowrey

Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons

White Noise by Don DeLillo

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys