A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

A Storm of SwordsThis is the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I started reading late last year but only managed to finish it a few days back. It won’t be easy to write about the book without spilling a few beans so if you haven’t read the book or watched the TV series yet and intend to, you can stop here.

So there’s far greater turmoil in the seven kingdoms thus it’s packed with lots of crucial events. There’s the Lannisters, the ruling family. Daenerys with her dragons. Robb as King of the North. Threats beyond the Wall. The Red Wedding. Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding. Catelyn releasing Jaime from captivity. Arya escaping Harrenhal and soon ran into the Brotherhood Without Banners. Jamie’s hand was cut. Bran continues his journey north. Jon Snow’s adventure with the wildlings. Sam and The Night’s Watch were attacked by the Others. The Onion Knight back in Dragonstone. Tywin Lannister is now the Hand of the King. The thrilling and climactic duel of the Red Viper and The Mountain. The Unsullied. Sansa’s escape from King’s landing. And too much death.

A Storm of Swords is also filled with regicide. I’m not a fan of Robb but since he’s a Stark, it saddens me that he was killed in The Red Wedding. It was later revealed in the book that this were all planned by Tywin Lannister and Lord Bolton. I’m extremely glad though that Joffrey died, too, on his own wedding day. Unfortunately though, Tyrion’s accused of poisoning him. I’m just so glad that Tyrion was the one who killed his father, Tywin Lannister. Some deaths were surprising (and fun!) which proves that no one is ever safe in the hands of the author! But I also didn’t expect Catelyn Stark alive at the end!

As in the first two books, this also have multiple POVs and each viewpoint character has a specific story. As usual, I enjoyed the most Tyrion’s viewpoint. Jaime’s, too! I enjoyed every single one actually! The author hauled the characters through a series of events and are further fleshed out which led to their change by the end of the book. This is where we see the most character transitions. Like I don’t hate Jaime Lannister anymore. It’s good to know his point of view of the world and in this book, it’s good to see that he is actually different from Tywin or Cersei on the inside. (His final scenes with Tyrion was so, so sad though.) And I didn’t really hate The Hound from the start but in this book, I can say I really like his character. And you will love Tyrion even more! Daenerys developed into a stronger and matured queen supported by interesting characters like Ser Barristan and Ser Jorah. And of course, Jon Snow’s story is becoming more interesting as it continues to unfold.

A Storm of Swords is a brilliant book — character-wise, plot-wise. I’m again blown-away by the story and characters, very detailed and the story expands in different ways while so much is happening. Contrary to the second book A Clash of Kings, I loved how the book came as fast as a bullet rain. There’s always something significant happening in every chapter. There’s no running out of suspense, twists and turns. This series just keeps getting better and better.

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes I think everyone is just pretending to be brave, and none of us really are. Maybe pretending is how you get brave, I don’t know.”

“Old stories are like old friends, she used to say. You have to visit them from time to time.”

“Every man must die, Jon Snow. But first he must live.”

“The greatest fools are ofttimes more clever than the men who laugh at them.”

“Some battles are won with swords and spears, others with quills and ravens.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Maturity begins when we’re content to feel we’re right about something, without feeling the necessity to prove someone else is wrong.

-Sydney J. Harris

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #2 – Day 3

It’s the third and last day of the Three-Day Lyrical Challenge where I was tagged by Himani. Again, many thanks to you and I hope we have more of this challenges in the future.

Don’t forget to visit Himani’s blog here.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Here’s my third and final song/lyrics for the challenge:

Lover’s Moon by Glenn Frey

There’s a lover’s moon tonight
As I look back over my shoulder
All the stars are shining bright
Just like the nights when I used to hold her
She’s out there somewhere under the lover’s moon

Lover’s moon won’t you shine on me
I’m dancing with a memory
Wish I may, I wish I might
Have one last chance to hold her tight

And she’s waiting, I know she’s waiting 
I know she waits for me
Under the lover’s moon

There’s a lover’s moon tonight
Shining down on half of this world 
So many souls are in its light
But for me there is just one girl

And she’s waiting, I know she’s waiting 
I know she waits for me
Under the lover’s moon

 

The nominees are:

https://realisticbeginner.wordpress.com/

https://fightmsdaily.com/

https://sadianoor1999.wordpress.com/

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #2 – Day 2

Day 2 of the Three-Day Lyrical Challenge where I was tagged by Himani. Thanks again!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

Today’s song/lyrics is:

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green
Red roses too
I see them bloom
For me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue
And clouds of white
The bright blessed day
The dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

The colors of the rainbow
So pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces
Of people going by
I see friends shaking hands
Saying, “How do you do?”
They’re really saying
“I love you”

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more
Than I’ll never know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

The nominees are:

https://thesurgicalpoet.wordpress.com/

https://tashneevmavee.wordpress.com/

https://theanonymousbeginner.wordpress.com/

Three-Day Lyrical Challenge #2 – Day 1

I was so delighted the first time I was tagged/nominated for the Three-Day Lyrical Challenge. Having been tagged the second time, I’m delighted even more. Huge thanks to Himani! I really love this challenge as I get to share my favorite songs/lyrics, I know I only get to share three for every challenge and it’s not so easy to choose which would make the cut but still! Do visit Himani’s blog here if you haven’t yet!

The rules are simple:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share one of your favorite song/lyrics one at a time for three days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The song/lyrics I want to share with you today is:

Is There Something by Christopher Cross

Lately I see clouds of sorrow in your eyes
Some deep sadness you can never quite disguise
Now I’m scared to ask what it’s leading to
But I’m more afraid of not asking you

Is there something that you want to tell me
Is there something that I ought to know
Are we something that’s still worth fighting for
Or should I simply let you go
Is there something I can do to reach you
Are we something more than history
I’ll find some way to convince you to stay
If you just tell me honestly
Is there something left of you and me

You’ve got secrets you’ve been keeping for too long
And I’m going crazy acting like there’s nothing wrong
I can taste the truth every time we kiss
And I can’t go on
At least not like this

Is there something that you want to tell me
Is there something that I ought to know
Are we something that’s still worth fighting for
Or should I simply let you go
Is there something I can do to reach you
Are we something more than history
I’ll find some way to convince you to stay
If you just tell me honestly
Is there something left of you and me

I don’t want to lose you
But what’s the use of holding on
I don’t really have you
If the feeling’s gone

Is there something I can do to reach you
Are we something more than history
If there’s no way to convince you to stay
And be the way we used to be
Then there’s something that I want to tell you
And I want you to believe it’s true
We had something that I’ll never forget
Even if I wanted to
‘Cause part of me will always be with you

The nominees are:

https://momlifewithchiari.com/

https://wondercyncyn.wordpress.com/

https://eullyibanez.wordpress.com/

14 Things Restaurant Servers Wish You’d Stop Doing

I am more of an eater than a server but I worked in the food industry for several years, in fact, it’s in the same field where I had my very first job. I was sixteen then. I worked as a restaurant server in a Lebanese restaurant in a 5-star hotel when I first came here before moving to my current company two and a half years later and I can say that I also enjoyed the years I’ve worked there and at the same time had my fair share of restaurant horror experiences. I can tell you several stories about hungry humans during those years I was in the business but I’ll save that for another post. I guess, everyone who worked more than their summer vacation as a server have at least one work-related nightmare.

It’s an easy job for some but not so easy for others. I think there’s no easy job in a restaurant and in my experience, the servers have it the hardest. In one shift, a server can attend to a hundred or so restaurant patrons — some nice, some very hungry and of course, some just plainly rude. In addition, there’s the endless demands of the guests (and managers), the very long time standing or walking back and forth, cleaning, delayed breaks (or sometimes none!), malfunctioning microwaves, juicers or coffee machines, dumb questions from guests, managers and collagues, quick-tempered chefs, lazy workmates and so on. Maybe it would be nice if it would be a requirement to have one-year working experience in the food industry before entering the university. 😉 Just so everyone would know and understand how it’s like.

In between shifts, during breaks, in staff parties or whenever there’s a chance, restaurant staffs (I and my former coworkers included) can’t help but talk about you — restaurant patrons/guests — what they wish (and would really appreciate) you would stop doing.

1. Ignoring the staff’s greetings.

I don’t understand why you choose to ignore the staffs when they greet you. Many of you just immediately demand for what you want instead of acknowledging the staff’s “Hello” or “Welcome.”

Sometimes, servers are cut-off mid-sentence while greeting the guests. Worse still, I’ve never known where on earth do they teach that “Give me turkish coffee, sweet,” is the proper reply to “How are you?” Rude!

2. Letting your children run amok.

I hate this, big time. Letting your children run amok in a restaurant is dangerous. It’s a disaster. It’s chaos. It’s not funny. It’s not entertaining. If the servers trip over your children and dump food or juice or hot coffee or anything on them, the server almost always gets the blame when in truth, you should be responsible for it. You should be responsible for your children. Not the servers. Restaurants are not playgrounds. You are the only ones thinking that your unruly children are cute and adorable. If you can’t control your children, stay at home for lunch/dinner because servers are not babysitters.

3. Treating your servers as servants.

There is a difference between a server and a servant. Servers are not supposed to kiss your asses. While it’s nice to have someone to fill your glass of water or your cup of tea or coffee, or serving you with your meal and other requests, that doesn’t make them your servant. It also doesn’t mean they’re lower than you. It just so happened that their job is different than yours. So keep in mind to treat them with respect. Don’t talk down to them. Servers are not your personal employees and they’re not obliged to do anything other than taking and serving your orders politely and with utmost respect while making sure you enjoy your dining experience.

4. Not asking for the extras you need at once.

Why do servers ask you if you need anything else after you or your companion ask for something extra? Come on, save the server the trouble of taking several trips here and there by trying to tell them what you need all at once.

5. Whistling & snapping your fingers at the servers.

This is something I’ve encountered a number of times when I was still working in that Lebanese restaurant. Unfortunately, guests whistling to the servers and snapping their fingers when they need something appeared to be a common practice! You should never, ever do that to your servers. It’s downright rude!

6. Blaming the servers when your food is late.

It’s perfectly okay to ask the server what’s taking your order too long. Don’t blame them when your food is late though! It’s annoying alright but they are as miffed as you are when your order is taking forever to be ready.

7. Blaming the servers for not following cooking preferences/requests.

What happens between the time the server takes your order and the moment they serve it to you is out of their control. When you request for a dish without garlic, they jot it down and relay it to the chefs. Whenever possible, they also tell the chef directly about your requests/instructions. However, if the dish you ordered still came with garlic, the servers aren’t the ones you should blame. They take your order, they serve your food BUT they DON’T cook your food.

8. Bitching about your food after consuming everything on your plate.

One of the many dick moves diners do is bitching about the food after devouring their plates clean. Servers usually check on you if your food is okay and if you say yes, then the servers really take that as a yes. If there’s a problem about your food, let the server know as soon as you have the issue so they can find a way to make it right. Don’t bitch about it after you’ve swallowed everything already — a common drama to get the food for free. Ha! These types of guests can burn in hell.

9. Not asking for separate checks before/while ordering.

It’s totally fine to ask for split/separate checks but inform your server at the beginning or while ordering. It’s common courtesy. Splitting checks equally among  you is alright but if it’s seven ways for every person’s order (seven hells!), oh, definitely a heads up!

10. Staying too long after closing time.

Closing time means the restaurant is closed. Go home.

11. Putting your cash/card on the counter when the server’s hand is already out.

Your servers don’t have contagious disease, or else, they won’t be working there in the first place. If their hands are out to receive your payment, hand it to them and not on the table/counter.

12. Hitting on your servers.

This is very irritating. You go to restaurants to eat, I believe, not to find someone to mingle with. But it’s a common scenario in restaurants here. Anyway, just let them do their jobs. Don’t hit on them.

13. Anything phone-related.

This is another dick move I personally wish diners stop doing. You shouldn’t expect your server to stand and wait ages for you to be ready to order until you finish your call or finish texting or whatever business you have with your phone. It’s irritating taking orders while your attention is on your phone.

14. Interrupting the server while attending to another guest.

Learn to wait for your turn and don’t be rude to both your server and the other guests. You’re not the only guest in the restaurant so wait for your turn.

~~~

Anything else you’d like to add? Share them!

Sunshine Blogger Award #6

Big thanks to Indishe for my 6th Sunshine Blogger Award! It took me quite a while to accept and do this but here it is now! Thanks a lot! Do visit her beautiful blog if you haven’t yet, just click here. Here are my answers to Indishe’s questions. 1. What is your secret desire? I […]

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Big thanks to Indishe for my 6th Sunshine Blogger Award! It took me quite a while to accept and do this but here it is now! Thanks a lot! Do visit her beautiful blog if you haven’t yet, just click here.

Here are my answers to Indishe’s questions.

1. What is your secret desire?

I do have several secret desires and I intend to keep them as secrets. 😉

2. What would you like to be in the next birth?

I would love to be a dolphin in my next life.

3. What one thing would you like to change?

If I could change one thing in the world, I will make the rich, poor and the poor, rich.

Below are my nominees:

Jyoti

Roth Poetry

Realistic Beginner

Darol D’Cruz

LittleMissSunshine

My questions for the nominees are:

1. What do you do to get rid of stress?

2. What’s your favorite number and why?

3. Who brings the most joy in your life?

4. If you had to change your name, what would it be?

5. What are you best at?

I’ll limit it to 5 questions this time. I hope the nominees would accept and do this! And to everyone who wants to answer the questions, feel free to do so in the comments! 🙂

Thanks once again, Indishe!

Have a wonderful day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Quote of the Week

Always worth it to have tried, even if you fail, even if you fall like a meteor forever. Better to have flamed in the darkness, to have inspired others, to have lived, than to have sat in the darkness, cursing the people who borrowed, but did not return, your candle.

~Neil Gaiman

My Food Quirks

I wasn’t a picky eater, ever! I’d eat anything given, offered or served in front of me. My palate’s never shy. 😉 But still, we all have our little quirks when it comes to the food (or drinks) we eat or maybe never thought of eating. It may be funny for some and weird for others. Anyhow, I thought of making a list of my personal food quirks today.

1. I remove the crust off my toast, I don’t eat them.

2. I don’t chew gum.

3. I don’t eat strawberry-flavored foods/drinks.

4. I enjoy eating sweet potatoes with marshmallows.

5. I love peanut butter and jelly. I’ve met a lot of people who find this a weird combination and I don’t know why.

6. I enjoy my spaghetti a lot more if mixed with mayonnaise.

7. I used to soak coffee beans on my coke for more than half an hour or so before drinking it.

8. I prefer eating ice cream once it’s melted already so sometimes, I first put it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds.

9. I don’t like my food mixing up on my plate so I use section plates at home. When dining outside, I try not have them mixing with each other. I know they’ll all get mixed up in the stomach just the same… Well, it’s okay that they touch each other but I don’t want seeing them all mixed up.

10. I don’t eat yoghurt. (And cheese, if I can avoid it).

11. I prefer my coffee warm. I don’t like iced coffee that much. So I usually make (or order) a cup of hot coffee and let it cool down before enjoying it.

12. I won’t eat sharing food without a serving spoon.

13. I always bring with me a lunch box cutlery set (spoon, fork, chopsticks) or a sujeo (spoon & chopsticks) as I use them instead of those in restaurants whenever in doubt.

14. I enjoy eating breakfast foods for dinner.

15. I haven’t eaten pizza for more than a year I think but when I sometimes do, I only eat Margherita and Hawaiian. Yes, I love pineapples on my pizza! And the fewer toppings, the better.

16. I prefer eating bananas with peanut butter.

17. I used to only eat egg whites, then I used to eat only egg yolks. Now, I devour the whole egg!

18. I’m no longer used to eating noodles with a fork, I always prefer eating them now with chopsticks.

19. I eat M&Ms color by color. I don’t like the orange and yellow-colored ones though so I give them away. I eat the brown ones last when I’m alone but eat them first when I’m with my brother because he eats them all!

20. I like eating dessert with my meal whenever possible.

21. When I eat Arabic bread — they call it kuboos, I’m not sure if it’s spelled that way! — I don’t eat the bottom part and I don’t eat it if it’s not made on the same day.

22. I eat apples but I don’t like apple juice; I eat oranges but I don’t like orange juice.

23. I like dipping bread with butter on my hot chocolate or coffee.

24. I only drink laban during the month of Ramadan.

25. I always use matching spoon and fork or paired/matching spoon and chopsticks. I don’t like eating using unmatched cutlery.

26. I still eat baby foods (Gerber & stuff) like once or twice a month. I love the banana flavor.

So there goes my food quirks and I still don’t think I’m weird, do you? Anyway, what’s yours?

Quote of the Week

What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?

-George Eliot

Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge #5 – Day 3

Third and final day of the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge from Dwight Roth of Roth Poetry. Big thanks to you for making me a part of this challenge. 🙂

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The Nominees:

Ragazza Triste

Himani Thakur

THE NChanting whispers

You don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can’t be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you’re messing with their entire life. Everything… affects everything.

-Jay Asher

Thanks again for this challenge, Dwight, and don’t forget to visit his blog for a world of poetry from the heart. Until the next challenge!

Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge #5 – Day 2

Day 2 of the Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge from Dwight Roth of Roth Poetry.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The Nominees:

Erica

Ken

Anggelina

Life takes us to unexpected places sometimes. The future is never set in stone, remember that.

-Erin Morgenstern

Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge #5 – Day 1

Here’s another Three Days, Three Quotes Challenge and this time, it’s from Dwight Roth of Roth Poetry. Just click on the link and enjoy wonderful poetry.

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days.
  3. Nominate three other bloggers each day.

The first day nominees are:

Her Screaming Shadows

Binita

Avni

Things look different depending on your perspective. As I see it, fighting to bridge those gaps isn’t what really matters. The most important thing is to know them inside and out, as differences, and to understand why certain people are the way they are.

-Banana Yoshimoto

Sunshine Blogger Award #5

I’m so delighted to be nominated for another Sunshine Blogger Award and this time from a very kind, young lady’s soul from Nigeria. Thanks a lot, Elly and I’m sorry for doing this way too late. I do appreciate this a lot, thank you very much.

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The Rules:

  1. Display the sunshine Blogger Award logo in a post on your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you, put a link back to their blog.
  3. Answer the 10 Questions.
  4. Nominate 5-10 bloggers who you feel deserve this award.
  5. Let the nominees know that you’ve nominated them and provide them with questions to answer.

Here are Elly’s questions together with my answers:

1. Name and give a pic of your favorite plant.

Tulips! I love tulips. Its symmetry, it looks almost perfect. Someone once told me that tulips can be used as a replacement for onion in some recipes but I’m not so sure. Better google it. Haha! But why eat them? They’re so beautiful to be eaten!

field o' tulips 5 (1)
Photo credit to: http://scribblesandphotos.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-tulip-gardens.html

2. One thing about yourself.. you want to change.

Hmmm, this is a bit difficult to answer but as of the moment, maybe my being too friendly. I want to be less friendly. I’m starting to hate humans. 😉

3. Name your favorite band and link to one of your favorite song.

I have several favorites. I know you asked for one but I’ll give you two. 🙂

First, a popular 90s local band back in the Philippines – Eraserheads. One of their songs I like the most is With A Smile.

Second, I also enjoy listening to Green Day. And one of my favorite songs from them is 21 Guns.

4. Morning or night walks.

Oh, it doesn’t really matter. 😉

5. Simple living or a busy one.

Nowadays, I prefer busy. It keeps me away from overthinking, from being sad and doing/thinking not-so-nice things.

6. Trip with your friends for a whole day or a talk with your best friend.

It’s been a long time since I’ve last seen my best friend so I’d choose a talk/conversation with him. (Yes, him.)

7. Do you know any other language besides your mother tongue. If yes, then say hello in that language.

안녕 -> Annyeong! (Korean)

Marhabah (Arabic)

But I am not fluent in both languages. Just the very basics.

8. Phone or Television with your cousin.

I’m never close with any of my cousins (in fact, I don’t really know them!) and I’m not very fond of using phones or watching television. So neither.

9. Reading or writing.

Definitely reading!

10. Arrogant or a calm up person.

I’m allergic to arrogance so a calm/relaxed individual will do me good.

The Nominees:

Prakhar Bansal

Shaloo Walia

G.c

Shreya

Mvadi

Mbura

And everyone reading this!

The questions I’d love to know the answers to from the nominees (and to all of you reading) are:

  1. What’s your favorite food?
  2. What makes you roll your eyes whenever you see or hear it?
  3. What job do you think you’ll be really good at?
  4. What’s your recent favorite song?
  5. What languages do you wish you could speak?
  6. What book are you reading nowadays?
  7. Suggest a book you think I should read.
  8. How different was your life 5 years ago?
  9. What was the last thing you Googled?
  10. What one question would you like to ask me?

I hope the nominees have time to do this as I’ll be happily waiting for your answers! 🙂 Thanks once again, Elly! ‘Til the next one!

Happy day, homo sapiens! 🙂

Quote of the Week

Smiles are probably the most underrated facial expressions, much more complicated than most people realize. There are dozens of smiles, each differing in appearance and in the message expressed.

-Paul Ekman

Quote of the Week

You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but let’s be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul but cracks to put their love into is the most calming thing in this world.

-Emery Allen

20 (Bad) Habits I Won’t Give Up Just Yet

Habits take up space in our lives. Good and bad.

Good habits. It usually takes me an eternity to form one good habit. So I always make sure to give myself a pat on the back whenever I form one.

Bad habits. Give me a day and a half and I would have formed several. I don’t know what’s with bad habits but it usually is so easy to make them. Right? Right. Sometimes I tell myself I’d do something about them but well… some habits are just hard to break.

Today I’m sharing with you some bad habits I won’t give up just yet. Read on if there’s something we have in common.

1. Chocolates, ice cream, cakes. In other words, sugar.

2. Alcohol.

3. Picking fights.

4. Skipping meals.

5. Talking to myself. – I don’t find this a bad habit but many people I know judge me for it. I couldn’t care less.

6. Breaking promises to myself.

7. Multi-tasking.

8. Purposely annoying people.

9. Stopping mid-sentence.

10. Scathing sarcasm.

11. Wasting table napkins. (I just can’t help it!)

12. Hoarding.

13. Spacing out.

14. Being argumentative.

15. Not having a routine. – Well, routine is lethal.

16. Staring at an open fridge.

17. Talking during movies.

18. Not paying attention when I’m not interested with what other people are saying.

19. Questioning and complaining.

20. Buying gifts at the last minute.

We all do things we somehow wish we don’t but we can work on changing it to good ones little by little. I guess recognizing these bad habits for now is essential to a positive change but for me, not just yet.

I’d be glad to know about your bad habits, too, so feel free to write them in the comments.

Happy Sunday, homo sapiens! 🙂

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