Window Of Opportunity








"I was told that the University is in need of instructors when I was introduced to the dean of the Mass Communications Department during the PUP College Entrance Test sometime last year. I accompanied my mother, 'Dear Matriarch' when she became a proctor. It was there where I expressed my desire to apply for a part-time teaching job. It took me a year of reflection to make good of this promise."

"My mentors then were Dr. Rosemaribeth Dizon of the PUP Open University and Mrs Corazon Tahil, who is now the principal of the laboratory high school. Under Dr. Dizon, I’ve learned that inspiring students to express their creativity pays off in the long run. Mrs Tahil meanwhile showed me the value of History and the beauty of writing. It is for this reason I took up Journalism at the University of Santo Tomas"

"At present, I have a full-time job at a call center. I maybe a supervisor and trainer, but my heart - as I am beginning to realize is into nurturing young men and women to become valuable and productive members of the society. Something within me tells that I should impart whatever knowledge I gained as a student of life."

"Enclosed is my resume detailing my education and work experience. I also included my other areas of expertise such as Social Media Management, SEO Writing and Blogging. I hope my other credentials on top of my newspaper experience qualify me for the position.

I look forward to a fruitful partnership with the University. Coming from a family of teachers, I will put my heart and soul into my craft.

Thank you very much."


The plan was to head straight to the gym, to lift weights and burn off some calories before going to the office to continue the project. But when my mother called, the itinerary took a drastic turn. She told me to go to the University instead. She was able to speak to the president, who was once her student. The university head told us to get my application from the Dean of the Mass Communications Department. 

He will review my credentials himself.

The president has already left when we returned. But the cover letter, and the resume - which were left under stacks of voluminous documents the whole summer is now at the desk of the big boss. I don't know where this path would lead to, but I have to say, this is the closest I've ever been to the doors of the academe.


RALPH RUCCI & I



  In this photo Ralph Rucci examines one of the dresses in my new collection. Along with a small gathering of people including Andre Leon Talley & Harold Koda of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, my fit model Ashley and I talk fashion with the Fashion Elite. With easy conversation and good company it is easy to chat the evening away - which is exactly what Ralph and I did. It is my hope that we keep in touch for years to come. This images captures the essence of a great first meeting. 

It has been a while since I did a real post, I have been so very busy working on the new collection. I hope you forgive me.  xoxo -Azede



eBooks Your Library Does Have

eLibraryNJ



I enjoy reading eBooks on my iPad. Even though every publisher does not make them available to libraries there are many  that do.

I just finished reading Lots of Cake, Plenty of Candles by 1970 graduate of  South Brunswick High School, Anna Quindlen.  This very popular fiction writer (Every Last One) takes a look back at her life and times in this insightful and heartfelt memoir written as she turns 60.  I waited less than a week to download this title since South Brunswick Library owns their own copy for South Brunswick patrons only.

Since I was already listening to The Hunger Games , which the library also owns, the wait did not seem so long.

As I was getting to the end of Lots of Cake, I searched around for another eBook, thinking I might have to wait.

I found Both of Us My Life With Farrah by Ryan ONeal was available for download.  I like biographies in general so I thought I would take a chance on this even though it was not my usual read.  I found the story absorbing.  Tragedy and folly combined.

Always login first with your library card number and pin so that you can find the books that South Brunswick Library has purchased.

I just used the Advanced Search in eLibraryNJ and set it to Format eBooks and checked the box for 'Only Show Titles with copies available'.  I found : If You Ask Me (And Of Course You Won't) by Betty White, Inheritance by Christopher Paolini, a swashbuckling YA adventure and Dead Reckoning by Charlain Harris which according to Booklist is "Sookie Stackhouse's supernatural southern adventures". All of these were available for immediate download.

I downloaded The Beginner's Goodbye by Anne Tyler and am reading that while I wait for:  America's Constitution  A Biography by Akhil Reed Amar, Turing's Cathedral The Origins of the Digital Universe by George Dyson, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey  The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castleby The Countess of Carnarvon and Gathering Blue The Giver Trilogy, Book 2
by Lois Lowry.


So, the moral of the story is, try it. Not every high demand title is available from your library since publishers demur, but we have a lot!

If you want to find out more about downloading eBooks and Audiobooks to your mobile device contact us for for help.

Also, Tuesday, June 5, 6:30-8pm there will be a class on using your mobile device to download eBooks. Call the Information Desk at 732-329-4000 extension 7286 to register or register online .

Contact: Mary Donne Head of Information Services

Dream Journal Twenty Five




I was crouching in a street corner. With my knees folded and my hands pressed against my face. Not far away is a dying man surrounded by a crowd. I could hear them saying, "lumalaki yung ulo niya o!" (his swollen head is about to burst!)  But I didn't care. So are my other two companions who were close by. Their backs turned away from the commotion.

And then without a word, someone wrapped a piece of cloth around my eyes. The stranger then asked me to stand up. I learned that I would lead the grieving procession to the hospital because I'm the only one who could wade through the huge crowd.

With blindfolds on, I started walking. Slowly, making sure not to trip or the heavy object on top of my head would fall. I could feel his coldness with every step, like a slab of metal left inside a freezer. After a few steps, I heard the crowd cheering. Suddenly, the man I was forced to carry regained consciousness and is now healthy and alive. 

The tide of rejoicing pushed me into a curb, while the now electrified crowd continued to carry the man away. I went back to my companions to check how they're doing.  While walking away, I even thanked one of them for healing the sick. (It was hinted in the dream that she's an angel) My friend, who is a dear confidant just smiled and said she didn't do anything.

"Ikaw ang may gawa niyan." (You did it yourself)

The three of us continued walking - me, my college friend and my World History teacher until we reached the main street where we all went our separate ways.



For The Record




"Take him home...."

It was a bold call at O Bar, which I sincerely hope resulted in two less lonely men finding shelter and solace in the arms of one another, tonight.


Postscript:


Learned that my friend asked to be dropped home. Both men went their separate ways. (korny) Meanwhile, I was so drunk last night, threw up from 4 to 7 in the morning. Never felt the pangs of hangover, but I swear, I won't mix Jack Daniels, San Miguel Light and Tanduay Ice ever again.





Only The Best




It was ambitious and I did it because... 


A Hollow Passage


Sinful delight


Baabaa and the sky



Off we disembarked from the jeep in front of a hotel with a commanding view of the lake. I was able to book a room at half the price. To get a suite without the vista was a forgivable offense. After all, there is a king-sized bed, a flat screen TV and fast WiFi to compensate for what we didn't get.

It was Baabaa's birthday and he knew I was up to something. He told me earlier last week that if I'm cooking up a surprise, he would appreciate a modest celebration. Baler would come to mind. But lacking readiness, I chose to scrap the Pacific getaway for an intimate bonding in the highlands instead.

There is a thin line between modesty and elegance and what I had in mind was a whiff of indulgence. To be sure, certainty came at the last minute and even I didn't have an idea how to pull off the surprise.

There were many limitations to what we could do. Chief among them was the lack of wheels to show him around. We also left the metropolis a bit late and JC had work that evening. Gone are my dinner plans at Sonya's Garden, a visit to one of the convents dotting the ridge, and perhaps even a tour of the Palace in the Sky at the edge of the city.

But JC and I had a good time. I got to see a shooting star as it trailed across the sky - while having conversations with a dear friend who dropped by. I crossed the street, went to McDonald's and bought a Double Cheeseburger Meal for me and the partner at past 1 in the morning. And stayed until daybreak to make sure the beloved gets some sleep before our return to Manila later that noon.

And we get to learn each other's quirks too - Like me, bringing the blanket I use in bed, and him, getting distraction from YouTube to find that clarity he needs for work. These are some of the little things we only got to know because we went out of town, stayed overnight and lived like a domesticated couple for the first time.

It was ambitious, yes and I did it for that one reason all of us become the best.

Love.





Before & After: Serving It Up in St. Albans




For those who don’t know, St. Albans, Queens was a bit of an epicenter for the jazz movement and, in general, of African American music. James Brown, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald and Fats Waller all called it home for substantial parts of their lives, and it was the birthplace of A Tribe Called Quest, arguably the best hip-hop group to ever exist.

We weren’t doing anything nearly as important out in St. Albans this past week, remodeling a kitchen and installing windows, but to the family we were working with and for, I imagine it meant quite a lot. Brand new cabinets were installed, along with those lovely granite countertops. We replaced the near-ancient oven with a brand new stovetop oven, and we added new pendant light fixtures that I'm particularly proud of. There was some major wall work and a little tiling work and we replaced all the light switches in the kitchen. The customer decided to keep her old fridge but we made a nice recessed space for it to help with the d├ęcor. Unlike most of the pictures I post, these were taken after the customer had settled into the new space. Nice, homey kitchen, don’t you agree?


Before: 






After:






NOW ON INSTAGRAM





@azede: old photos of Rachel Roy, Marjorie Harvey & I - Iggy Azalea in an old Jacket design. New images of new collection, new shoes, new hair & old BF.

Self-Help



I pray, not just because I'm scared.
But because I have pushed myself to the edge.
My body suffers from abuse in ways I can never tell.



Bumangon ako ng kama na walang katiyakan kung mag-aabsent ba o hindi. Maari rin naman kasi na pumasok na lang ako ng hapon, gaya ng paalam ng isang katrabaho na nag-beach at sumali sa isang Miss Gay Beauty Contest sa Bataan noong linggo. Subalit nagsabi nga pala ang officer-in-charge sa umaga na ito ay magwo-work from home. May sakit kasi ang kanyang anak at wala itong kasambahay. 

Kailangan niya itong bantayan.

Binalak ko sana dumaan ng Mercury Drug habang naglalakbay papasok sa opisina. Kailangan ko nga pala ng multivitamins para patibayin ang resistensya ng aking katawan. Pero sarado pa ito. Sa halip, nauwi na lang ako sa 7-Eleven para bumili ng Bacchus.

Hindi ako tatagal na walang tinutungga na energy drink.

Nagsimula ang shift na isa lang ang kasama ko - ang agent na naiwan sa pang-umaga. Nang dahil sa retrenchment at sunod-sunod na pagreresign ng mga empleyado, naubos na ang mga tao sa floor. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit gustuhin ko man humabol ng tulog at magpa-late ng dating, SOP na dapat ay may managing officer na haharap sakaling dumating o tumawag ang director.

Someone has to report and tell the things that are happening in his company.

Work starts na-pipikit-pikit ako habang nasa harap ng computer. Nandoon ang paminsan-minsang paglagok ng energy drink sa pag-asang ikatatagal ito ng aking pagmulat. Isang oras ang lumipas. Mabagal ang progress sa aking ginagawa. Mahirap magsulat habang ang diwa ay napapariwara. Matapos ang isa pang oras ay sumuko na ako.

"Ms. Judy, idlip lang ako ha?" Tumango lang ang aking kasama.

Hindi kaila sa mga agents, lalo na sa morning shift na garapal ako magpakita ng antok. Balot ng kumot, hindi ako magdadalawang isip matulog habang naka-recline sa aking upuan. Sa kalagitnaan ito ng pagiging abala ng lahat. Namana ko ang ugali sa kumpanyang dati kong pinapasukan. Palibhasa ay family business, walang issue kahit tulog ako sa oras ng trabaho.

Mga dalawang oras rin ang lumipas bago ko napagpasyahang bumangon. Tuloy-tuloy lang ang calls habang nagbabanta namang mag-alsa ang sikmura dahil sa gutom. Lumabas ako ng building at tumawid ng kalsada. Hindi malayo sa aking kinaroroonan ang isang vegetarian store na affordable at masustansya ang mga pagkain.

Pagbalik ng floor ay tumakbo muli ang oras ng hindi ko namamalayan. Dala na rin marahil sa trabaho at mga panakaw na tulog na inaabot ng kalahating minuto sa tuwing ako ay magbre-break. Nandoon rin na tatlong beses ako tumakbo sa banyo matapos humilab ang tiyan. Hindi yata nagkasundo ang Bacchus at vegetarian sausage na aking pananghalian.

Natapos ang weekly planning meeting dala ang pag-asang magbabago ang ihip ng hangin ngayong linggo. Samantalang sa aking project na usad-pagong pa rin ang takbo, nagbigay ako ng salita na submission will take place before I leave the workplace.

Ang mga agents sa morning shift ay napalitan ng pang-hapon. Umikot man ang buhay ng mga tao sa paligid ngunit tila napako na ako sa aking cubicle: Nagpaalam si JC na manonood ng Lady Gaga Concert kasama ang mga kaibigan. Habang nagkuwento naman si ex-girlfriend tungkol sa bago niyang crush, at bago matapos ang hapon, isang malungkot na balita ang pumawi sa ngiti ng aking mukha.

Isang kaibigan ang nagpaalam na ng tuluyan.

Bumalik ako sa aking kinauupuan at sinilip ang relo. Alas kuwatro. Isa't kalahating oras pa bago magsara ang bangko. Sampung items pa bago mai-transmit sa client ang kanilang pinapatrabaho.

Ganun pala ang pakiramdam ng naghahabol ng oras. Gusto mong gawin ang lahat kahit alam mong ito ay malabo. Kapag hindi talaga kaya, pinipili mo ang priority sa maaring ipagpabukas pa. Kung kaya naman, a little routine adjustment accommodates everything.

In my case, kailangan ko magbayad ng isang credit card dahil ngayong araw ang cut-off. Naroon rin na kailangan ko magplano para sa kaarawan ng isang minamahal. Ang body-building workout ay ilang araw ng nakakansela and on top of that, there's a deadline to finish, and toiletries to buy.

Paano ko nagawa ipagsiksikan ang lahat ng tasks sa isang hapon?

Submitting the project became the top priority. And when this was done, I went to BDO to pay my credit card. Turns out, they were open until 6:30. I was an hour ahead of closing time. I was able to transfer what remains of my salary to my savings account as well. After that, there's a Puregold nearby. Masuwerte lang, available ang sabon at deodorant na ginagamit ko sa katawan.

The work-out will resume tomorrow, and this time wala na atrasan. As for the birthday plans, I will leave it as surprise, even to me. Sa ganito naman talaga ako magaling, sa pagiging spontaneous.

Looking back, I was able to finish the biggest tasks I had set this morning. Despite being broken and defeated by my sleeplessness and fatigue. But most of all, this entry deserves to be written and published for one thing and one thing alone.

It is to acknowledge his presence, and to show my deepest gratitude. Kasi, I wouldn't have done it - all - if I didn't ask for help when all seems lost and crumbling.



Crisis Intervention




A friendly reminder I found on Facebook this morning.





Meanwhile, the body follows a pattern of sleep. Experts call it the Circadian Rhythm. We call it the proper bedtime. And since my work hours drastically move from the afternoon to the morning shift on Mondays, I am forced to change my bedtime pattern in a single day - every week. That leaves my two days in the morning difficult to manage. 

My bedtime falls at 6 in the morning these past few days. When I attempted to get some rest last night after saying good night to Baabaa, I was stirred back to wakefulness less than 30 minutes after my shut-eye. Adventure Time and Camp Lazlo on Cartoon Network didn't help either.

I knew there was no going back to slumber.

So I start my Monday sleepless, drained and with a body suspended on a ruptured string. I promised myself that once I end this day in one piece, The first thing I will do when I get home is sleep and leave the world behind.






Before and After: BK Bathroom




I’ve been a bit of a slacker with uploading pictures – a common sin for those who are chronically busy. I had a free moment earlier today, however, and got to put up these photos of a bathroom we are almost finished with. New tile work both on the floor and walls, plus a new backsplash, tub and shower. We also installed brand new vessel sinks, light fixtures, vanity mirrors and toilet. Very nice design overall, heavy on tans, blacks and dark and light browns. We’re doing some very minor finishing touches on the shower today but this is the essential look of the place. What does everyone think? 



Before: 



After:
























When it comes to eBooks, there's NOT eNOUGH

 Ever wonder why many of your favorite authors aren’t available in an eBook or eAudiobook format from New Jersey libraries? The answer might surprise you. 
 
The policies of the major publishers concerning selling eBooks to libraries are all different. Your library has to deal with policies like:

• Publishers who refuse to sell eBooks and/or eAudiobooks to libraries;
• Publishers who charge libraries as much as 5 times more than consumers for the same digital content;
• Publishers who embargo their content and will not sell to libraries any newly published digital content;
• Publishers who make digital content available in only some formats (ePub but not Kindle for example).

For years libraries have worked hand in hand with publishers. That relationship has now changed drastically and we find ourselves unable to deliver the digital content library patrons want.

If you would like to let your favorite author and their publisher know that you want to be able to continue to read favorite authors and discover new authors at the library, click here to find a sample letter you can send to them.

POLICIES OF MAJOR PUBLISHERS:
MacMillan Publishing refuses to sell eBooks to libraries. Some of its authors are Keith Ablow, Barbara Ehrenreich, Steve Hamilton, Orson Scott Card, Lisa Lillien, and Tatiana de Rosnay.

Hachette Book Group will only sell some eBooks to libraries. Some that are not available include James Patterson, Don Winslow, and Pseudonymous Bosch.

Simon and Schuster refuses to sell eBooks to libraries. Some of their authors include Jodi Picoult, Mary Higgins Clark, Vince Flynn, Stephen King, Mark R. Levin, Jeffery Deaver, Brad Thor, and Glenn Beck. The new Steve Jobs biography is also one of its titles.

Penguin Group formerly sold to the library community and now will only sell us some titles in some formats. In November 2011, Penguin decided to stop selling new titles to libraries, but agreed to continue selling copies of titles libraries already owned. It revised that decision in early February and gave libraries across the country until the end of the day to order titles before it would stop selling to libraries altogether. Many authors have books under the Penguin imprint ,including  John Green, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, J.R. Ward, Anne Lamott, Clive Cussler, Kathryn Stockett, Robert B. Parker, Stephen King, W.E.B. Griffin, Catherine Coulter, Jodi Picoult, Nevada Barr, Patricia Cornwell, Charlaine Harris and Julie Garwood.

Random House recently more than tripled the prices for its eBook titles. Random House authors include John Grisham, Anne Rice, Diana Gabaldon, Stephen Hawking, Margaret Atwood, Danielle Steel, Jeff Lindsay, E L James, Suze Orman, Linda Howard, Kay Hooper, James Ellroy, Amitav Ghosh, and Karen Robards. Most eBooks from Random House now cost libraries from $45 to $75 per title.

HarperCollins Publishers began licensing use of each eBook copy for a maximum of 26 loans in March of 2011. Authors include Meg Cabot, Sara Shepard, Tim Tebow, Diane Mott Davidson, S.J. Watson, Lauren Oliver, C.S. Lewis, and L.J. Smith.

If you would like to let your favorite author and their publisher know that you want to be able to continue to read favorite authors and discover new authors at the library, click here to find a sample letter you can send to them.

Submerging






And so begins the grind, a day ahead of the work week. We expect more overtime. Frustrating revisions may pop out unexpected, and maybe even a dress down from the director if we royally fuck-up this side project. We try not to be eaten alive by the pressure, but we can't help it. Time is of the essence.

We will open the week, with the project three days behind schedule. And out of our desire to make a sub-light leap and seal that gap, we will move mountains to complete the tasks.

Given our penchant to make things possible in a unilateral fashion, we won't ask for help. We will try to deflect the pressure away from the escorts. In return, we will expect the unwavering compliance of everyone.

We confess that we're never used to long hours of work. And in paving a trail for others to follow. But with our untried skills, and resolve to respond to urgency, we will sink into the unknown with a lantern to light the abyss.

When this is all over. When the holy enterprise has been won, we will retire into our tiny corner knowing we have done things beyond our duty. 

And when the Patroness returns from her oceanside journey, we will once again send the emissaries: to seek new realms to settle, and perhaps reign over.

We go into the depths, knowing too well that we are approaching the climax. Because within the wordless chambers of our being, we read: 

The pages of this life's chapter is coming to an end.





been a minute


Back on "newcomer" track, moving to NYC in June and just finished the samples for SS/13/ cant wait to show you! 







-PS, not actually nude in the last image. wearing a leotard but my hair is covering it up. Love AJP


Foodie




Manang's Chicken Velvet Sundae

A fitness advocate seldom confesses his love for food. For it is a sin to indulge his senses to gustatory delights. He would never tell the sheer joy of exploring the culinary wilderness, and share what he knows with fellow famished pilgrims. 

It's been ages since Souljacker became a food blogger. And because I get invited by Garppy to tag along when he goes around the city to feature the newest feeding places, I join the feast by trying to write the entrees that pleased our bellies. To wield the pen isn't really obligatory. But a gesture of goodwill to our generous hosts who only wanted their fast-food temples get known the 'net over.

So here I am, writing an introduction. I'd be putting words to places my taste buds have been.

  

Surfacing




I go to sleep lately thinking about work. 

This is how preoccupied I am. I couldn't even let my mind cuddle in the arms of dreams. The habit shows my obsession. Given a responsibility, I tend to make it a calling. I wage a holy war when my heart embraces a task. It has always been my nature - to go beyond the extra mile to honor a word. Sometimes at the cost of my own well-being. 

The life-alteration campaign began a week before the rains peppered the sky with drops of water. The director got a word that we were being commissioned to do the necessary "additions" to a dating website and make it look more "active" in the eyes of its users. This website is quite notorious for making a name. "Life is short," its tagline says. "Go out and play."

While I don't agree with its principle, the project's essence lies in its potential to become our bread and butter. As the director explains, we have to "pad it" with "characters" before we start blurring the lines of "fiction" and "reality." Hopefully our work won't end there. In the long run, he wants us to moderate the dating site, and perhaps even take a chunk of its customer service arm. 

"It can be a thriving ecosystem." I mused.

"And I can't let it not happen."

You see, business is bad lately. I might even say that this is the lowest we've ever dipped in the history of the company. The Patroness is not around to see it, and so is the other manager who sought greener pastures when her account took a beating as well. Thus I am left to work and answer directly to the boss. A far cry from being a rank-and-file foot soldier just seven years ago.

I share the vision of my superior so I took the project like my own child. I was given two colleagues to work with and a timeline that is quite beyond our human capacity to follow given the tasks that lay ahead.

But we have already accepted the challenge. My strategic and charming skills will be put to the test.

And we began working on the project like our lives depended on it. Morale was high and I kept telling my men that we are the "future of the company." But along the way, we were being dragged by revisions that could have been avoided had the boss assigned a more experienced task manager in place of me. I on the other hand complicated matters by adding layers of job assignment, others may find redundant.

Along the way, the process too maybe slowing us down.

I would like to think our hard work will pay off: That we will overcome the difficulties by sheer hard work and dedication. I don't mind getting four to six hours' worth of sleep and spend twelve hours in the office, absorbed in front of the desktop. As long as the director stays supportive, and my colleagues still driven to finish their daily tasks, the self-doubts and questions I feel within won't hinder my resolve to see this project through.  

As for me, the grind goes on with tons of client revisions putting us further behind schedule. The blog, and my active presence on Twitter will have to take a backseat and so is my need for social interaction. Sometimes I even have no time for myself. Unused to this kind of fast-paced life (where idle time really means wasted money) the sudden changes leave me dazed and unconscious of my own surroundings.

On top of this gargantuan undertaking, the base account still needs my attention. Even though the agents themselves can work independently, being attached to the three shifts mean having to manage the movement of agents when their officers-in-charge are enjoying their weekly break. 

Having my hands full, I would like to think that ours is a necessary arrangement, given the delicate situation of the company. Lack of resources keep us from expanding - while the arrival of a much bigger client - that demands new set of skills and manpower has already taken the director's focus on my project.  

Meanwhile the core business is still shrinking, leaving our agents - who have been with the company for years - contemplating their fate.



I go to sleep lately thinking about work. For when I see what's at stake and the uncertainty that lies ahead. I would like to finish my project and move on  - to a place - where I have no need to think of other people's  lives and future again.


  

This Week at the SBPL I Discovered … How to Help Myself!

Last Saturday night I was up late watching television and as I surfed through the channels, not looking for anything in particular, an infomercial by motivational speaker Tony Robbins caught my eye. I landed here for awhile. I watched and listened to the captivating sales pitch and urgent outreach.



The price tag was big enough to require installments and I thought what a shame. As I listened to the announcer’s push to call right now, I thought, “I bet the library has something by Tony Robbins … for free!” And, we do. Actually we have three double audio cassette packages. They are not the latest in Robbins collection, but who cares? I listened to all of them on my commute to and from work and was surely motivated to do better, think better, feel better, but what really felt the best right off the bat was that I got my shot in the arm for free! Thanks to the Library.



Feeling better through your own efforts is what self-help propaganda is all about. By using the library instead of my wallet, I added bonus feel-better points right up front. I got my pep talk with zero installments, free and clear! While the self-help gurus probably won’t mention this (no) payment option in their infomercials (understandably, they are trying to make a living after all and I do not begrudge them), getting my boost for free…helped me feel successful and richer right away!



Do you need a helping hand in your personal life? At no charge at all? Just walk to Row 26 in our book collection at South Brunswick Public Library (we also have some A/V on the other side of the Library’s main floor, across from the DVD collection. In Row 26 you will find the comfort of friends such as Dr. Phil, Joel Olsteen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, and Jack Canfield, among many more.



Topics in self-help (Dewey numbers in the 150s) touch topics of interest including happiness, health, self-esteem, love, weight loss, energy, budgeting, parenting(find more parenting resources in the Children’s Dept.), and of course relationships of all kinds.



So the next time that you feel the need for a little self-help, start feeling good first by taking your Library card out of your wallet and not your credit card.



Have a happy day! 

Show Me Love








Minsan, ang pagmamahal sa isang tao
ay hindi natutumbasan ng pera o kaya ng salita.
Ang oras na binibigay mo sa kanya
ay sapat na upang iparamdam
kung gaano mo siya kamahal.



Ermats, (paraphrased)
Quezon Memorial Circle, May 10, 2012

Click and Improve at the Macaroni Kid Family Travel Expo





Last weekend, our boys were in midtown for the Macaroni Kid Family Travel Expo to spread the word about Click and Improve. It was a great time and we met a lot of parents who were excited by and engaged with our hassle-free approach to home improvement. The kids had fun too: we gave out pet goldfish and helped them put on Click and Improve fake tattoos. A lot of fun was had and we’re looking forward to more events in the coming weeks, including Mommapalooza next weekend. Our friends at Macaroni Kid were nice enough to send over some photos of our booth and the droves of moms and kids that stopped by. Enjoy! 






Nazi




I would always tell Bentusi, that she can count on me to write, but never edit my work. Grammar has always been my disability, given that I pay more attention to the story and not with its form. Only lately did I learn to exercise caution - and prudence. After all, some people size you by your language mastery. One slip and their impression collapses like a monolith built on soft ground.

But this doesn't mean I'm ignorant with the language. It's just that a creator will find it hard to spot the faults of his creation. Lapses always exist. That is why critics tend to crash the scene - and sometimes, even chip the artists' massive ego. 

It's in their nature; their way of pulling the artists' feet back on the ground.  

But when the artist is aware of his own mortality. That as a wordsmith, he too can commit mistakes, he takes caution when spotting other people's work - or thoughts. Especially when his opinion is not sought. For in your attempt to correct what seems to be trivial, there is a risk of invading other people's space. You may come out as the aggressor; the high and mighty, self-righteous grammar guru that is secretly loathed by everyone.

Because not everyone would like to admit mistakes.

So it won't come as a surprise that I actually don't find fault when reading someone's personal blog or tweet, or Facebook wall. Or if I get annoyed with his sentence structure, I embrace my thoughts. Unless that person actually promotes his ideas and use it to gain influence, it's the only time I would throw my weight around, and say my piece.

There is a universe of difference between consciously attracting attention, and letting your thoughts drift until someone accidentally finds it. The more it doesn't concern you, the better you take it as it is. An innocent correction can sometimes rub off a person the wrong way.

And wrong way it did.



Filipino Translation: "Magde-date kami ni Mama"



Maybe it's my own ego screaming - that it's not the right time to release her Nazi tendencies on me. The wall was written in good faith. It was meant not to malign anyone, not even wishing to court others' approval. I find it contrary to good taste to pay attention to its technicalities - when other people got the message

clear. 

I left the comment, and my admission posted. To remind myself a lesson. So I would always remember to keep my grammar fault-finder in check, and to make sure never to post on other people's wall, especially in situations when their own frailty is exposed.    



Liberty



It all began with a discovery. That I, Mugen the careless didn't pay attention to my credit card's billing statement. It took me a week to realize that I was way past the due date, and that, a heavy penalty was already forthcoming.

I paid the full amount the next day and called the credit card's customer service hotline to report my delinquency. At first, I said that I'm planning to cease using the card. Terminate it. But when they hit back and told me that I still have to settle the P600 interest, I toned down my rhetoric and begged for clemency instead.

"Kasi, I went to the province last Holy Week." I explained. "I only saw the bill yesterday." 

It was a creative ruse. 

"Baka naman puwede niyo i-reconsider. Kasi pag hindi na-retract yung penalty, ang babayaran ko next month ay interest lang." I pleaded.

"After all, I am a long-time and good-paying customer."

"I understand sir. Your request has been forwarded to our collections department" The agent said. "Let's hope they listen to your appeal."

"Sana nga."

"Is that all sir?"

"Yes."

The phone call ended.

It took them four days to reply. I called the same hotline twice before I got an answer. And when the agent delivered the outcome, their decision was a disappointment.

"I'm sorry sir but your appeal was rejected." 

"Ganun?" My hand was squeezing the phone's headset. "Hindi ba masyadong unfair na mas mababa pa sa singkwenta pesos yung utang ko, tapos ang interest eh six hundred pesos?"

"I'm sorry sir, but that's our card's policy." The agent's response was cold. Almost unsympathetic. "If you want, we can conduct a further investigation, this time involving the person who delivered your bill."

My head was screaming. I can't believe the credit card company would waste that much time and resources for a P600 profit. To a fault, I thought it was pathetic. I'm not that desperate to fight over something that's been my fault in the first place.

But I know how to hit where it really hurts.

"Okay. Please write this down." I calmly said. As an officer who requires to know something about customer service work, I'm certain that the agent handling the call is required to take notes, especially in escalation cases like the one he's about to face.

"Tell the one who reviewed my appeal that his decision was a big mistake." I said. "I will cut this card, as well as my Visa." 

"I can't believe that this is the price of my loyalty."


Three weeks had passed before the new billing statements from the credit card company came. The first thing I did was pay the five pesos balance, for me to be able to cancel my Visa. It was a sweet vengeance I tell you, especially when the escalation officer called. She tried to bargain - convince me to change my mind by way of scrapping my membership due.

"Revoke the penalty on my Mastercard and I'll keep my Visa." I commanded.

"I'm really sorry sir, but my superior said it can't be done."

"Well then, goodbye." I said, smiling. "It was fun doing business with you."

With the Visa gone, the next thing I did was to return to the bank a few days later and pay for my Mastercard. Seven hundred pesos. That's enough cash to dine my mom in a restaurant, or have a movie date with Baabaa. And it will all go to waste simply because some wise corporate drone thought he'd get rewarded for bringing money to Metrobank.

Unfortunately, he forgot. Long-term earnings rest on the customer who uses the card.

"Hello Metrobank, my name is Mugen. Here is my account number."

"What can I do for you Mr. Mugen?"

"I'd like to know if my payment yesterday has already appeared on my balance?"

"Yes. You have zero balance left."

"So wala na akong utang sa inyo?"

"Wala na po."

"Very well, I'm terminating my card."

I'm sure, the person on the other end of the line was caught unprepared. After all, most people call to ask their balance so they maybe able to purchase more items on credit. Once again, my concern was escalated.

This time, my mind is set. There is no turning back.


I used to think credit cards define status; so people would know that you are rich, and that you have been privileged to spend without using cash. It was Metrobank who first placed their trust; my first credit card was Visa. I bought gifts for loved ones. Slept well at night, knowing I have emergency funds. Went to opulent places without stuffing my wallet with cumbersome cash. It even guaranteed my online acquisitions as Paypal uses the card as monetary substitute.

I could have kept one for sentimental reasons. But with a P600 penalty charge and a feeling of betrayal clouding my judgement, I decided to cut both.







I do not know if the message got across, or whether the inconsiderate bastard would ever find out the outcome of his decision; of how we tend to lose more because of our short-term vision.

As for me, the dissolution of two cards meant a permanent cash-flow problem resolution. Credit purchases will significantly lessen. I will be forced to spend within my means. In the long run, the absence may turn out more beneficial than what I have foreseen. For instead of my earnings being eaten by bill payments, whatever money I receive will now go directly to the bank.

At long last, I will have my savings back.  



Mind & Body Videos



You might know that South Brunswick Libary has the "Mind & Body" public health DVD series from the South Brunswick Health Department.  You might have even known that they just made these available at  www.sbtnj.net by clicking on the Health Department tab on the top right.

But, did you know that when you search for any of these health topics in the library catalog you will also find the videos for instant viewing.

Try going to our online catalog and  typing the keywords: parents teenagers cars. You will find a video with those words in the title and a URL link below it. Click on the link and you will open a window with the video in it. Click on play  to view it.

There are videos on parenting, bullying, vaccines and many other important health and community issues.

If you have any questions please let us know at 'Ask-A-Librarian' on our website.

Mary Donne
Head of Information Services
South Brunswick Library

Home Improvement Secrets

As a Learning Investor I was initially concerned with the lack of investment property and home improvement assistance available to help you, get the best bang for buck out of any home improvements. Hence this Article, the purpose is to help people get home improvement benefits by the most cost effective way possible( BEST BANG FOR BUCKS ). After constant research and trial and error, there was a simple formula to follow, to get your property up to scratch....

(a) get it valued for investment
(b) sell for the best price possible
(c) get the highest rent possible

An adage that should always be kept at the front of your mind when deciding on Home Improvement repairs is that “eyes sell” any real-estate agent worth his weight will tell you that 90% of a sale is by eyes and heart. If you make the property visually pleasing you will succeed with your goals. Now the best way to go about this is to make repairs by using what I call the cost/return method. simply put you weigh the cost up against the return and should be looking at better than a 200% return on your little home improvement investment.

The best possible and fastest way to get this return is to put in an effort , hopefully you have some handy man skills and can attack the problem using your own labor . This will definitely give you the best return. So heres the SECRET.

1. Make Sure all cupboards are neat and open and close properly
2. Make sure the garden is tidy
3. make sure the front of the property is tidy
4. Clean oven, bathroom and toilets.
5. Fix anything that is loose or untidy

Last but not least the most agreed upon method of improving your values is to paint, paint, paint that’s right while not a secret itself the thought does mean work but it will give you the best return for dollars available.

How To make the job professional, the best way be professional is to get professional advise go down to the local paint center get some hardy advice buying mid range stuff including what the paint shop recommends paint wise.

To make the job faster and easier you can simply get an exact match of the paint by taking down a thumbnail size chip to the paint shop and they will analyze and give you an exact match this will allow you to paint over the old paint in one coat.

Please remember to remove the old chips and cobwebs. Many professional painters use sugar soap to remove the irregularities.

By following the above secret rules you will improve your property in leaps and bounds without spending too much money and this will in turn increase the value and return from your property. 

This Week at the SBPL I Discovered … The Hindenburg Disaster.

“Oh, the humanity!”


Local Resident Remembers: The Hindenburg Disaster
Jo Yatauro of Dayton recalls hearing many a family story about the Hindenburg disaster as she grew up. Years before she was born, her mother and grandparents lived and worked in the area. They were very much a part of the day-to-day at the Lakehurst Naval Airfield in southern New Jersey, but that was until the German airship Hindenburg burst into flames there on May 6, 1937.

The tragedy was front page news around the world and made especially famous by the spectacular film footage and dramatic radio coverage by reporter Herbert Morrison, known for his impassioned comment that day “Oh, the humanity!”

The disaster ended large passenger airship travel in favor of airplanes, but for Jo’s family it was life-changing and became folklore for the generations to come.

At the time, Jo’s mother Mary Ellen Kearns Jeduel was just a teenager and worked as an assistant to an airship captain. Jo’s uncle, Edward Joseph Kearns, brother of Mary Ellen, worked among the ground crew. Lucky for Jo, neither was hurt on May 6, but many of their friends and co-workers were not as lucky.

Jo’s grandmother, who had an inn near the airfield, regularly fed the pilots and crews who passed through, enjoying many happy occasions with her customers. But, on May 6 it was where many of these same people were brought for emergency medical treatment in the aftermath.

Two years later, Jo’s mother started a new life. She moved to East Brunswick where she became a nurse and started a family. This is where Jo was born and raised. Life went on, but Mary Ellen never forgot that part of her life and kept a scrapbook to hold the memories. That day long remembered is now 75 years ago.

All but one of the family’s eyewitnesses has since passed away. Jo’s Aunt Helen, who was 14 on that day and now lives in Florida, has been consulted for the books Ships in the Sky: the story of the great dirigibles by John Toland and Lighter Than Air by David Owen.

By sharing the memories once quietly kept in a scrapbook in the attic, Jo hopes that her children and grandchildren will appreciate the family’s place in history. After displaying at the South Brunswick Public Library, she will donate the fragile collection of yellowed news clippings and photographs to the Lakehurst History Museum for their preservation.

By Rosemary Gohd, PR/Marketing

Pump Without A Sound



A two-pound drop should never be a cause for celebration. A fact that should serve as a reminder for someone to be more realistic with his work-out goal. My biggest fault was not backing the campaign with a plan. On top of the shoddy execution, I was undisciplined, complacent, even less motivated as the final week approaches. 

I did not create a meal plan, like I used to a few years ago. Part of my diet consists of high-calorie, salty meals eaten in fast food restaurants. I am still fond of letting my bowl of rice and breaded chicken sink in thick layers of gravy. I still can't resist the smell of French Fries. It's crispy, starchy goodness leaves me spellbound and salivating.  

My gym routine was erratic. I would arrive in the morning one day, the next I'd be working out at past midnight. There was an unplanned, five day rest. A hiatus, which could have been prevented had I never felt lazy (and sleepy) at the sight of an angry sun. 

I didn't follow my program the way it was written, and didn't add exercises that could have aided in muscle growth. I quit easy when the weight of iron plates strained my muscles, and whined when doing the leg-torturing foam rollers as warm-ups.

The result was plateau. 

Summer's over and nothing was gained.





Or didn't you?

As far as I recall, a feared wardrobe overhaul never happened. As all your clothes, even the medium-sized ones could still dress your bulky frame. 

People stopped telling you that you got fat, perhaps because they have gotten used to your girth and expects that you would really grow - big, because of your slowing metabolism. 

And even though you didn't lean, deep down, you are still satisfied with the results: Broader chest, bigger arms, smaller tummy. Not bad, even when the physique remains "beach unready."

But since you didn't hit the goal; an accomplishment, that will never be yours. Consider this photo a consolation, Mugen.

You will not get the music player you've always wanted.




Underrated



I have never been a fan of Mathematics. Not with numbers. When I was still in school, my intellect was measured by the number of times a line-of-seven grade blotted my report card. The glaring dip, a few notches away from a flunking grade was because of that wretched subject. I was seen less, not only by my teachers but my family as well. And instead of being praised, or at least commended for my high grades - in Reading and Sibika at Kultura, these accomplishments were often ignored. When I get a scolding, the elders tend to zero in on that one subject, which I dreaded more and more the closer I get to college.

The animosity was mutual. Instead of putting some effort to understand the harmony among numbers, there I was, creating a name and a fine impression - in subjects that don't require formulas. There was even a time in high school when my name was called during the flag ceremony. I was recognized by the principal for receiving the highest grade in World History. I even upstaged the geniuses of our batch - to everyone's surprise. Unfortunately, I was late that morning and the parchment was given to me by my adviser, who happened to be my Algebra teacher as well. 

"Congratulations..." He said, almost indifferently before handing me the paper. The nonchalant reception was understandable. After all, my grade in his subject was 72. The lowest, perhaps in the entire batch.

Being a graduating student, I was aware of the consequence should my grades remain in dismal state. My parents didn't know I flunked Algebra and not even my 90s in History, Entrepreneurship and Literature could provide a counterbalance and hide the stain. Improvement was seen during the next two quarters. And I owe the turnaround to the student teachers. They were less scary in front of the class, and more generous in grading a student's performance. 

I was able to graduate. But my relationship with my adviser has remained frozen ever since.



I was thinking of ways to tell that I failed my work out goal last month when I was reminded of how my academic standing was summed up by Mathematics. 

Because of this perception - or preference to see the weak side rather than someone's potential, nobody really thought I could become the 8th placer in the NEAT exams in class when the result was tallied by our Homeroom teacher.

Same perception also barred me from writing in the school paper in high school. There was a grade requirement and since I performed poorly in Math, my name didn't appear in the shortlist. The real result was, nobody knew I could write entire paragraphs with ease. Except one, and the irony was, she's not even my English teacher. 

She was my mentor in World History.

And after all the less-than-lofty judgement, I guess, I have grown accustomed to being seen more of a potential, than an actual achiever; that I tend to shine, either by giving off a steady pillar of faint light or remaining a late bloomer in every chapter of my life; that I thrive in subterfuge; by revealing my best while remaining incognito.

Sometimes it pains me, but this is how I grow.

Failing the work-out goal aside, the contemplation takes place at a time when my calling at work is needed more - than before. With a pet project already assigned for me to lead, and another big one at works - on top of my other duties such as ensuring the smooth operation of the workplace, I would have to understand, and sometimes even accept my place.

Even when my moment to shine happens at the twilight of this career chapter.

For when I fail to see that I perform best when seen underrated - when I get chosen after everyone else saw me as merely average, the bitterness of the wasted years would haunt me for the rest of my life. 


Learning Express Library

LearningExpress Library provides everyone, from elementary students to adult learners, with instant access to the most comprehensive collection of test preparation tools, skill-building materials, and career resources available. Over 1,000 online practice tests and interactive skill-building tutorials are available, along with more than 200 eBook titles-all developed by expert academic and industry professionals.

This is a free service to South Brunswick Library card holders.     
It is available on our website at E-Books & More under our E-Services menu.


With today's global economy and emphasis on 21st century skills, LearningExpress Library™ helps patrons of all ages prepare for success in life by meeting a broad range of educational and career-oriented needs  including: preparing for professional certification, licensing, and aptitude tests in health care, civil service/government, law enforcement, firefighting, EMS, military, and real estate, school testing and more.


Improve workplace skills such as resume building, interviewing techniques, job search and assessment, business writing, and core computer skills

Achieve higher scores on college entrance exams such as the ACT and SAT, and improve performance on Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Prepare for graduate school admissions tests such as the GMAT, GRE, LSAT, and MCAT.

Improve proficiency levels in reading, writing, and math for elementary, middle, and high school students as well as adult learners

LearningExpress Library 2.0, gives you access to:

Individual Learning Centers with easy one-stop access to related tests, courses, eBooks, and center-specific content

Practice tests that mimic the timing, scoring, and format of official exams

Instant feedback and diagnostic score reports to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses

Detailed answer explanations, which allow for a better understanding of the subject matter

Instant essay scoring that enables writing skills improvement and provides authentic essay practice for the ACT, SAT, and GED exams

Individual user accounts that allow you to save works-in-progress and access completed tasks and score history

Personalized notifications that alert you about related tests, courses, and eBooks, based on your usage patterns.

You can use Learning Expresss Library from the E-Book & More section of our E-Services menu or from our  Database Page .

If you have any questions about Learning Express Library you can reach us by clicking on Ask A Librarian.