Monday, August 30, 2004

[Book Review] Angels & Demons [Dan Brown]

Not as fantabuluous (a term i hear from my mom) as TDVC (read the previous post), but great nonetheless. A must-read, if you ask me. You will learn a lot (as you would have with TDVC).

By the way, Angels & Demons is a prequel to TDVC, so if you read TDVC after A&D, you'll see some references to A&D. But, that is just a miniscule matter to the real deal.

If there was one thing with A&D (and perhaps TDVC also) that made me do, it was to post on my blog!

I read A&D within a span of probably... under 24 hours. I started reading it around Saturday midnight, slept at 5am, did my usual Sunday thangs, got back at it at around 10pm, slept at around 3am, and finished the thing for about an hour before work (I got to the office early) and within lunch time. I just can't put it down. (I heard myself say that for TDVC also, which I also finished just as fast.)

In a way, the implications of the point-of-conflict in A&D was as huge as that in Day After Tomorrow (2004 motion picture), I almost cried... Imagine that.

Anyhow, there were a few things worth mentioning from A&D.

First, the simpler of the two: "Sometimes our minds see what the heart wishes to be true." (or something like that) That struck me like lightning.

Second, there was this person asking me a question that goes something like "If God was a truly good, kind, and loving God, why does he let wars, sufferings, and the like happen to us and to the world?" Dan Brown had an answer to that. And it was similar to my answer to that person. Unfortunately, Dan Brown published A&D in 2000 , if I'm not mistaken, and I thought of that just last year. My answer, very similar to Dan Brown's, is this: "If you had a child (a son or daughter), would you make him stay at home so that he won't risk getting hurt or making mistakes? I will let him go out into the real world to make mistakes, and to learn, and to grow."

Hmmmm... That thought just made me think. (A thought that makes you think?) I would let my kid out into the real world for all of that, because I want him to experience the same things I have experienced in my life. And to me, those experiences are wonderful experiences! Could that mean, by analogy, that God himself have (or at least know very well) these experiences? I always say, experience is always better than book-based knowledge. Before getting into one commitment, I used to think that it would be all this and that, all easy-enough to handle. When I got into one, I learned a lot, and most of those I learned during that experience disproved many things I learned from books, stories, and words-of-mouth.

Now imagine this, I wrote all this (and I could write more) because of Angels & Demons, and The Da Vinci Code. Read them. I recommend TDVC first (because it's more interesting from the beginning pa lang). Meanwhile, I am still a Catholic. God bless, everyone!

-- ronjie ;-)

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Sunday, August 29, 2004

ideas and hypotheses

i wrote these at the back of my notebook in continuum mechanics. in layman's terms, that is greek 101: fundamentals of the greek language--the greek alphabet.

some hypotheses and philosophies

big bang, random vibrations, cyclical nature of things... (hmmm... why do i feel like i've written about this already?)

love is a decision.

the perfect human is imperfect, or he contradicts the very essence of being human.

love is a decision. supplement-complement.

everything we do creates ripples that swim through the vast sea of life, and felt on the other side of the universe.

some ideas

the prophets (?) - a novel?
the classroom - the world is a classroom
the book about life - a definitive "book" on how to live life, for our children to read, that we (earthlings?) will collectively write and will publish on the web...
it's all about attitude...
i-disown na natin si juan tamad
life in engineering terms

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may i make one comment -- i am reading Angels & Demons, by Dan Brown at this moment. it has compelled me to pursue posting this blog. as i have said, i will tackle these ideas (and possibly many more) in the years to come. ;-)

prustrations and thoughts

there are new posts at the prustrations and thoughts blog. at my prustrations are ideas (hypotheses actually) i have kept since i don't know when. some are comparatively newer. i will develop and expound on them in the years to come. i have decided to publish them here on the RONJBLOG. God speed!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

a state of confusion yet again

a good friend is in a state of confusion yet again.

she is not exactly a woman you could consider "ideal".

yes, she has the looks... she has the brains... she's struggling with morality, and with the teachings in the religion that she grew up in...

and there in lies the conflict.

she says she was not brought up well by her mother... not well meaning, she has come to be... "academically ready for the world, socially not," as she would put it. and that's how her mother had raised her... "study well." at the age of ten, she wanted to be a "scientist." she dreamt of making a big discovery or proving a theory such as those by the great scientists that we learn about in elementary and high school. later on in her life, she read about philosophers; philosophy was the father of science, anyway.

often during her youth, because of her model-ish height, her mother's friends ask her, "aren't you going into modeling?" or, "do you play volleyball?" her mother proudly declares, "my daughter is into computers & music." when deciding on which course to take for college, she consults her mother. "mother, which should i take, a b.s. in computer science, or a.b. music?" her mother rejects her and says, "you can't make computers nor music as your career. they're financial dead-ends," as if implying financial abundance meant happiness and contentment. "your dad was an engineer. i really admire engineers. to tell you a secret, two of my ex-boyfriends were engineers. choose an engineering field."

and so engineering she took. and while studying engineering, she spent time with computers and music outside of school. a time that, now at 27 she thought, should have been spent investing in friends and relationships with humans, and not just machines like computers, guitars, and keyboards/synthesizers. not that she had not made any good friends....

now, she is 27, the age at which many rock stars and celebrities passed away, mostly usually self-inflicted, either because of drug abuse, or of suicide.

two years before, she joined a social group within her religion where she has rediscovered a lot about herself. a lot about God. she rediscovered a lot. and discovered quite a whole plethora of new-and-interesting-to-her things related to her religion, to God, to spirituality, to the universe, to science. she restarted reading books, fiction and non-fiction dwelling on various topics from business, to self-help/inspirational, to how-to books. at some point, she had thought of becoming a nun, or to be involved full-time with charity, or with religious teachings (either as a "preacher" herself, or as an assistant to one.) also, as she had dreamt of since her youth, she wanted to write a book that would change the world. alas, in recent years, she has discovered that no one book could change the world. if one thing her mom told her was true, it was that, "you can't change others, only yourself."

now, she is a licensed engineer, struggling with her spirituality. she has gone through one traumatic relationship, and three other failed ones. presently, she had met a man who, to her, would be an "ideal" husband. not that anyone was perfect. but, to her the perfect human is imperfect, or he is no human at all.

just weeks before, her sister told her, in a heated argument, "no one will ever like you!" she got hurt that time. the truth hurts. at that time, she didn't argue back. she told herself, "i will do something about it."

and now the state of confusion is at hand. "what am i here on earth for?" she had not fully accepted rick warren's suggestions in the book, "a purpose-driven life," she read only until chapter 11 of that book.

she has that desire to be a good wife, and a good mother, to a future family. and she has that desire to raise that good family, with a good husband, the man in her life at the present fitting that description quite well. she has that desire to see all that in her future family which she has not seen in her family where she is the eldest daughter of two.

she asks herself as if as another person, "is she good enough?" her quick answer is no. she has much to work on, she thinks. and though many have been attracted to her, for she possesses also some bit of wit and charm, unfortunately, these men did not quite "fit the bill." perhaps she should change herself, her attitude.

on the other hand, there is something that is still inside her, perhaps something that has been imbibed in her since her childhood, that is telling her, "go change the world. you will make a discovery. you will make a difference. write that book."

and she is confused. she is not one to be considered normal; and thus although she has these human desires which seem, at the moment, not practical, she does not know where the other road leads to. discover what?

poor friend of mine. right now, the only help i could give her is, to give her sugar when she runs out of it at home.

- - - - - - - - - - -

there are new posts at the prustrations blog. ideas i have kept since i don't know when. some are comparatively newer. i will develop and expound on them in the years to come. i have decided to publish them here on the RONJBLOG.

Sunday, August 8, 2004

[Book Reviews] The Da Vinci Code [Dan Brown]

Damn it! JUST READ IT!

Since I have my own rules and I follow them, I have set 5 as a maximum, so I rate this 5 out of 5. I could well rate it above 5. I had a midterm exam but after reading one chapter, I am lead to read the next. And here I am cramming. It's too good. I'll be reading another Dan Brown novel in the near future.

[sub-labels: CPC books]

Saturday, August 7, 2004

two months, one new post

i guess i'm getting the hang of it... a post every two months... bi-monthly, is that what it's called? check out coach potato's corner for a short review of "Once Minutos" by Paulo Coelho.

about ronjie

i took out my Friendster "About Me" write-up and placed it here. why? wala lang. ;-)

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ronjie is a licensed engineer, budding artist, aspiring entrepreneur, sports enthusiast, working student, novice philosopher, frustrated singer-songwriter, hopeless romantic, above-average computer whiz, and eldest of two sons of moje.

ronjie believes in the importance of continuous learning and loving, and the temporal nature of our life on earth.

ronjie dreams of spending loads of quality time with his loved ones, doing noble deeds like charity work, writing inspiring books, and having that one day to just look back at life and be able to say "i have loved completely."

ronjie enjoys conversations about love and life, cracks jokes almost every now and then, is a sure friend who could listen, and is someone you can consult about the typhoon and earthquake safety of buildings and structures!

Friday, August 6, 2004

[Book Review] Once Minutos [Paulo Coelho]

Here's one chocolate chip in the latest cookie by Paulo Coelho:

"You see that glass of anisette (wine/cocktail) before you?" he went on. "Now, you just see the anisette. I, on the other hand, because I need to be inside everything I do, see the plant it came from, the storms the plant endured, the hand that picked the grain, the voyage by ship from another land, the smells and colors with which the plant allowed itself to be imbued before it was placed in the alcohol. I I were to paint this scene, I would paint all those things, even though, when you saw the painting, you would think you were looking at a simple glass of anisette."

The person speaking was an artist. The person who created the artist is Coelho. And God created Coelho.

Overall, everyone's said it... It's a "daring" new book. To me, it's a Coelho classic. If you've read about Santiago, Veronika, Fatima, and Elijah, you don't want to miss Maria. Grab a copy now. Mine is for sale for $24.95. Hehe, I was absolutely kidding.

[sub-labels: CPC books]