Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Not My Bowl of Rice- the Blog

I have written and published this book- a fiction novel/cookbook hybrid- called Not My Bowl Of Rice. The book had been fairly reviewed. In my former (I just moved to Florida!) hometown paper in San Leandro, California; in a leading English daily in the Middle East; in a Filipino-American newspaper in Paris, France; even in a little known town called Chagrin Falls in Ohio in a paper aptly called Bainbridge Banter.

I did a lot of book reading and other marketing events for the book. I had a reading amidst slot machines in a casino in Reno, Nevada; a proper book reading attended by some Bay Area Literatis in a bookstore in San Francisco; even a book reading/booksigning event in a cruise ship on its way to Mexico. Last time I heard, the book is being included as part of recommended reading materials in several schools in California.

It has been a ride. A few weeks ago in a chic San Francisco bar, while choking and coughing over chardonnay that went down the wrong pipe, it dawned on me: “If I died tonight, at least I’ll have something tangible that I can leave the world!” Well, I didn’t die that night, just slightly stained a newly bought silk shirt. And that morbid grandiose thought that I had that night? I shelved it in my desktop folder labeled: My Illusions of Grandeur as a Published Author. Who knows? Someday, I might expand that folder into another book. But for now, I have this Blog, also called Not My Bowl Of Rice. This brainchild was born because denizens around the world who have heard of my book have been sending me all sorts of “not my bowl of rice” e-mails: What President Bush is doing for Iraq is not my bowl of rice. Pinoys in America who still use ‘Filipino time” as an excuse for being late is not my bowl of rice. Arnold Schwarzenegger as California governor? Not my bowl of rice! Eating green mangoes dipped in bagoong (shrimp paste) inside a movie theater? Ewwww, not my bowl of rice! But Hillary as First US Female President? Wow! Just 'my perfect bowl of rice'!

Okay, let me backtrack for those who have not heard of the phrase ‘not my bowl of rice’. It is a coined idiom that has the same meaning as ‘not my cup of tea.’ Our very own way of saying ‘it is not to my liking’ if you will. I’m sure this phrase had been used before so I will not claim to be the first one to use it. What I will own up to though, is the fact that I have passionately, shamelessly pushed for this phrase to be an accepted idiom worldwide.

My efforts are gradually paying off. Houghton Mifflin, (the publisher of American Heritage Dictionaries), has filed the phrase for consideration to be put into their reference books. In Australia, it is now part of Aussie slang. An article in their leading newspaper included the phrase ‘Not My Bowl Of Rice’ as part of their guide to Oz-speak for visiting Rugby players and fans. A quick search on the internet shows that the phrase is now being used as part of daily blogs (Samples I’d randomly picked in the internet: 1. Sorry man...politics not my bowl of rice. 2. On a personal perspective, as I have already said, shortening words into contractions is not my bowl of rice.). Even President Bush joined in by requesting a copy of the book prior to his last Manila trip. Now that got me excited! I was so sure that he would use the phrase in his Manila speech, as in ‘These mindless attacks by the Abu Sayyafs is not my bowl of rice!” In retrospect, I’m glad he didn’t use it, though a friend told me after I expressed my relief, that there is no such thing as bad publicity.

So, Not My Bowl Of Rice- The BLOG, will, hopefully, appear on a regular basis. It will deal with anything- serious or lighthearted issues, idiosyncrasies, food, fashion, etc- that is ‘not your bowl of rice’. Or even with things that are “your bowl of rice”. E-mail me Not My Bowl Of Rice topics that you want featured in this blog. We’ll try to accommodate everyone. After all, this blog is meant to be anyone’s bowl of rice.