Blogger Book Club Discussion: The Time Traveler's Wife

First, I apologize for the delay in publishing this post. I've been burdened with multiple projects at work and the fact that my social (non-internet) life is becoming more thrilling and full of action and suspense.

Nevertheless, I won't abandon my duties towards our esteemed Book Club. So far, I am on page 300.

The story is pretty linear and revolves around one general theme which is the life of Henry & Clare as they meet each other in different time-spaces. What I really like in the novel is the narration style where it shows you the events from both Henry & Clare. You would see a scene in Clare's eyes followed by Henry's view of what happened next. All this is done in a simple language and in a seamless flow that leaves the reader interpreting the story from the eyes of both characters.

Discussion 1:

The beginning of the novel discussed how Henry met Clare in her childhood since she was 6 and how he was always in her life as she grew, lived her teenage days, and matured before marrying him. As I read the novel, I wondered what would happen if the same happened to me. How would you feel if you meet someone who knows what happens in the future. He knows the age you'll be married to him. He knows the future house that will be picked..and yet, this person is very reluctant to share this information with you as he believes that it might influence the cycle of fate and make you not enjoy the present moment especially if you know all the things in advance and the ones pre-determined. However, on the other side, I see it as a way of not sharing everything in this relationship. At many times and under different situations, both of them could be put in a situation where one party would know stuff more than the other and he/she will feel hesitant about sharing it. So what do you think?

Discussion 2:
So let's say you time travel and on one of your journeys, you meet your other self who is older than you by 8 years and he is hanging around with your wife. Despite the fact that he is yourself, would you feel some kind of jealousy from your other being? How would you react? How would you even judge and look at yourself? Its a confusing situation. I don't know how would I react. What do you think?

I can't wait to see how the story will evolve and develop especially for some of the support characters especially Gomez and Ben.

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The only time I closed the lab early

It is the spring of 2004. Almost 4 years ago. I was overwhelming myself in my 6th semester with six 3 credit courses (totalling 18 credits). In addition to that, I was working as teaching assistant & grader for the "introduction to computer science II" course.. Java II- CMP 220 (heh..And yes I still remember the course number). And I was a lab assistant for one day a week.

I still remember this miserable weekend. I was assigned to open the lab on a Wednesday night (back when weekends were still Thursday & Friday) from 5 to 10. All my friends were out enjoying their time while I am sitting there like a loser grading the CMP 220 assignments.

The lab was in the physics building, 2nd room adjacent to the computer science senior lab if my memory doesn't betray me. Since it was weekend, there weren't many students who were keen on studying. The lab was gradually getting less congested at around 7. By 8 o'clock, there were only 2 students in the lab. And from the way they were giggling, they were more of trying to hook up rather than him supposedly teaching her how to use MAPLE for calculus I....freshman..What do you expect?

I just couldn't help myself from not eavesdropping every once in a while on their conversation and see how would they geekly flirt mathematically.

Usually, every hour or so, I take a break and pass by my two colleagues sitting in the senior lab who are working on their design project, try and see what they are up to, give them moral support etc.

As I come back from one of my visits at 9 o'clock, I enter my lab and find no one there. For an instant, I was shaken for a bit as the bags & the stuff of the students was still there. Moments later, both of them storm out from UNDER the table leaving this trailing effect of trauma on my face.

Both of them were taken off guard by my presence, and the guy goes like:

"aaah...aaaah...aaaah...we dropped our pencil and we were getting it..."

What a lame excuse. I give him one of my hate looks where I tilt my head at around 50 degrees and I narrow my eyes and scream:

"aha...AND IT TAKES TWO PEOPLE TO GET A PENCIL?"...please don't insult my intelligence


"listen, I am not gonna report this. But I don't wanna see you or your girlfriend near my damned lab again. Now get the hell out of here. I am closing the lab"

"but, sir, we have 1 more hour"

"you dare and argue with me. Wrap up your stuff now" Actually, I was even more pissed because my friend called me and told me how I have missed the premiere of a controversial and a much anticipated movie (if my memory didn't betray me, I think it was "The Passion of Christ").


Two months later, I go to the same physics building to attend my morning class (it was boring Numerical methods..was it?..oh how rusty my memory has become)and I bump into the girl. She smiles at me. I smile back. I fetch something out of my bag and say:

"hi, here is a pencil...for next time" and I wink at her. ;)

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Why I no longer hang out with my sister

Story 1

Its mom's birthday and we need to buy her a gift. As soon as I finish work, I pass by the house to pick my sister up. We go together and each one of us decide to buy a separate gift. My sister buys a skin care set from body shop. Then we go to another beauty shop near by called "FACES" where I asked my sister to check out what they have and pick my gift. I was not in the mood to check out what they have. So she explained to the salesman that she needs a gift for her mom (note that she didn't mention "our" mom). After a while, we both mutually agree on buying "Calvin Klein Euphoria Perfume Gift Set".

So, I ask the salesman to wrap the gift while I try to come up with something creative to write on the greeting card for my mom. The salesman did the wrapping and I was still clueless. Usually, I am very creative when I am in the mood. But if I am not, then forget it.

The salesman trying to be cool around me goes like: "shu ya zalameh...mosh 3aref toktob la 7amatak" (come on man, don't you know what to write for your mother-in law?)

What did he just say? Ok, I am gonna ignore him. I re-assess my situation. I am still in my office suit. My sister is dressed up formally for her work that's starting from 5 to 10. She is the one picking the gift and I am just standing in the corner, being perceived by the salesmen as the guy with the cash...

"7amatak ya zalameh..oktobelha 'allah ykhaleelna iyaki ya set il habayeb' " (dude, she is your mother in law. Write: "May God Bless you and grant you everlasting health") he goes once again to reiterate his point.

I snap at him: "DUDE, SHE IS NOT MY WIFE. She is my sister. Do you see me wearing a God-damn ring?"


"I know...we don't look like it" were my last words before I left the shop leaving the guy stunned.

Story 2

We are in Hurgada in Egypt. In 2 hour time, we will be leaving the city. Whereas everybody is busy backpacking, my sister all of a sudden remembers that she has few gifts to buy for her friends back home. So she asks me to accompany her. What for? Yes, you guessed it. The portable ATM.

Apparently, my sister had specific requirements as she was looking for the evil eye amulet and for quranic verses carved on the artifacts. Her requirements were very hard to find especially since the market is targeting European tourists who are more interested in buying items from the pharaoh era and other cultural items that talk more about the history & culture of Egypt. After visiting the 11th shop, my sister expressed her frustration in the wrong way when she said:

"Shu had? Ma3andkom gheir hal ASNAM?" (what's only sell statues?)

Note: "ASNAM" is such an ancient word used in the dark ages before Islam to refer to all forms of idols and statues that were worshipped in those days.

In other words, my sister has stepped over the line and has magnificently insulted the history and culture of the hosting country.

The salesman didn't let this pass through. His eyes widened and he expressed his dissatisfaction saying:
"ASNAM eih ya ro7 ommek, da tareeekh, da 7adara" (how dare you offend me like that? This is our heritage, our history)

Me being the meditator: "hey man, she didn't mean to. Take it easy..."

"rabena yakhdek..inshalla tegeeki la3ent il fara3na. Imshi itla3 barra inta wi sa7betak min il ma7al bita3ee..mosh 3ayez ashoofkom tani" (May the curse of the Pharaohs follow you wherever you go. Go and take your girlfriend and get the hell out of my shop)

Woo....what the...? oh that's just great. That's all I need to make my life perfect. The curse of the Pharaohs.

Wait..did he just say "your girlfriend?"

Damn you genetic disparity.

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Post Deleted

Due to the legal implications that the post "the time my roomate gave me the talk", the author have decided to unpublish the post.

*gets out my neuralizer device and FLASHES it*

"Dear fellow bloggers, the previous heretic post that has contaminated your minds was posted by someone impersonating Hamza who managed to figure out his Google account password with the sole purpose of damaging his reputation. I would like to assure you that I don't associate myself with anything related to that post despite the fact that my imposter was extremely talented in adopting the same storytelling style. So, forget alll about it.

*FLASHES the neuralizer once more*

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