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OWWA & Phil Consul Email Response

Guys, do you ever read your emails?

Sister Carrie

What is the price of ambition?

Dreiser's Works

Barely reading half of Theodore Dreiser’s classic work “Sister Carrie”, I could quite guess where the story would lead. I was first acquainted with Dreiser through the book “The Genius”, which main character was Eugene, who humbly began as a resident of rural Illinois yet later bloomed into an important artist of the city of Chicago.

Dreiser’s creations, Carrie and Eugene, were both ambitious, though the woman was far less strong-willed than the man. In both novels, he paints Chicago’s best and worst features and weave his characters’ feats and defeats around its opportunities, luxuries, lures and deceptions.

As a young adult, I could greatly relate to the struggles of Dreiser’s characters, whose options have been limited to either “embrace” the realities of the new city or “shrink” into the shadows of their home town, ergo forego sanity.

Despite the irresistible honesty his books hold, I still I didn’t like how limitedly he portrayed women. Or how he probably picked weak ones. If you’re a woman, you can ignore his slight condescensions, take note of his misconceptions, and retaliate by posting a review (if you’ve got the time).

Surely, to disagree is one of the best ways to learn. That said, to meet someone who disagrees with our comfortable notions is a huge pleasure. Meet Dreiser now.

Disabled Amygdala

What are the risks of throwing away your fears? – Love Guru

Image credit:

Among the many short articles featured on the monthly journal of Dubai Health Care City, the fearless woman hiding in the name “SM”, ignited my curiosity. How could someone ever live free of fear? I was glad Science Now has  a longer version of the story.

SM doesn’t fear snakes, tarantulas, and horror films. Also, she couldn’t read faces that express fear. Perhaps you’d say you could do the same, but the scientists behind the study have conducted more experiments to prove SM doesn’t feel fear. They found out the cause just recently: her amygdalae (singular:amygdala) were damaged.

Isn’t she enviable?

If I could borrow her disabled amygdala for a day, I would have this “to-do” list:

1. Refuse corporate slavery.

2. Speak truthfully- at all times, at all cost – even if it means losing my job.

3. Skydiving.

4. Ride the roller-coasters with eyes open wide.

5. Pursue any of the lofty degrees: law, medicine, language, or parenting.

6. Wear bikinis.

7. Spend my entire monthly salary on a back-pack tour.

8. Roller skate or ride a bike going to work.

9. Examine everyone I come across the street.

I wish to add more but there’s one thing I dislike about a dysfunctional amygdala – the inability to guard one’s personal space, which I’m not willing to risk for above mentioned fearless feats.

Somniloquence: Sleep Talking

It’s 1:37 in the morning. I felt a rush of blood crawling to my cheeks as Ate Sha teased  me for talking while I was asleep. She used to sleep beside me yet now she’s a meter away. I wonder what I mumble or grumble while I’m in dreamland. Could it be Frodo’s quest? Or Sam’s poetry? Or Aragon’s strength? Probably Gandalf’s wisdom? Or the Hobbits in general? I wouldn’t know ’til someone records my slumber murmurs. Could I be crying? Perhaps not. Most certainly not.

Did you ever sing while you were sleeping? My sisters said I did. The mystifying part was, I didn’t even know the lyrics of the song they heard from me. Anyway, I have five plausible reasons for sleep talk:

1. Trying to over-learn something. Reporting has always been a way of life for most of us who have gone to elementary, high school and college. We don’t always prepare while awake, some folks do recite tons of info while their eyes are shut.

2. Rehearsing/planning a play. My relatives in Antipolo were astounded with my shout: “That’s a lie!” A line in a college play I had to repeat several times to make an impact… t’was overdone and carried over in my sleep, though.

3. Bottled up feelings. Guys, it helps to smile before sleeping. Not the kind we put on to greet guests or please superiors, but the sense of relief that the day has never gone totally bad -that something about it can be appreciated. So my point? The less you smile, the more you’ll talk in deep sleep.

4. Subconscious Tongue. The subconscious tongue possibly slipped while we seem totally dead asleep. It’s an unspoken voice, unknown or unknowable, that freely escapes when we are least aware of our acts.

5. Genetics. Bed-wetters have parents that wet their beds – in their childhood days. Could we then say that somniloquists have moms or dads who talk in their sleep? Most probably. So kiddos, relax, we may blame moms and pops.

Do you find it creepy to sleep beside a somniloquist? Or you find it exciting? Even laughable? Share your thoughts.

My ESL: Your Companion to ESL Learning sprang up to Neil and me sometime in October when we agreed to deliberately improve how we write. It surprisingly evolved into an ESL site dedicated to intermediate and advanced learners of English as a Second Language after a few brainstorming for a better subject for the site.

Now ESL Online has got its new home. One closest to the name and will live up to it: – your online companion to ESL learning.

Commencing on the 25th of December, this gift is from us for everyone who shares the passion of learning, living and loving English. Pay a visit and make it your ESL learning partner online.

Connie and Walter

Connie captures in a few words what normal people say in strings of plenty syllables, exactly opposite of what Walter habitually does.

Sometimes, he forgets simple names of tools for fixing:

“Could you please pass me the tool for driving screws?” requested Walter.

“Say “screwdriver”, dear,” replied Connie.

At other times, his mom’s lessons on delectable dishes escape his memory.

“Connie, I’m trying to make a classic Italian pasta dish with alternate layers of pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce. Would you help me out?” asked Walter.

“You mean lasagna?” Connie confirmed.

There are instances where Walter’s misnomery gets this miserable.

“We need a pliable plastic with protruding air-filled bubbles to cushion these breakable items as we pack them. Would you know where we could buy them?”

“Name them first. Bubble wrap, right?” Connie aided.

Note: Misnomery is an invented word.

Scammer Alert!

Five missed calls from five of my relatives. Oh, I didn’t want to hear them grumble so I didn’t call back. My, when I got home, I came to know they were “emergency calls”.

This guy calls himself “George Smith”. He is close to his fifties, widower, with a ten-year old son. To further feed any woman’s fantasies- he’s an engineer, rich and looking for a serious lifetime partner. He fervently calls my aunt. He showers her with flattery at chat sessions..she hardly leaves her seat. Then came the climax. Deception was clear when this rich American asked my aunt to send 700$ before 12nn today (Dec. 20).

It seems laughable when it doesn’t happen to someone close to you. I never thought this silly, simple sham would appeal to my clever aunt. (But who’s really safe when it comes to heart matters?) If not for my relatives who strongly criticized my aunt, this fraud George would have conned her out of all her savings for the Christmas break.

I’m sure she feels sad upon coming to her senses. I feel a bit of guilt for not responding to the calls, but what’s done is done. If anyone ever asked you for money, it is a scam. Why doesn’t that sink to someone so trustful?  If we can’t be wise enough alone, let us always have allies who would tap our shoulders (or slap our faces-depends on the closeness level), when we are obviously, absolutely, being foolish.

P.S. Don’t believe all pictures you see.

P.P.S. Ask for live-chat.

P.P.P.S. Ask for money first. Haha.. Offense is the best defense.