08 August 2016


Moving Day

It has been a little over seven years since I started Shredded Cheddar. If this blog were a human body, it would have finally replaced all the cells it started out with. And if it were a thinking human body, it might also be getting philosophical, and asking what the purpose of its existence is. As its creator, I can answer immediately: Shredded Cheddar was meant to be a fun side project with content that didn't fit my main religious blog, Sancta Sanctis. (Notice the "good twin" and "evil twin" names!) It was when I made this my main blog that I found myself unable to describe it properly for the next six years.

Basically, I've been goofing off on Blogger for seven years. While there's nothing wrong with that and we all had some good, clean fun along the way . . . I find that I just want more. That is, I want to get more and to give more out of the writing I do online. And I've decided to do that from a totally new platform.

Not only am I moving Blogger to WordPress, but I'm also leaving the "Enbrethiliel" persona behind. So I won't be linking to my new blog from this post. But if we've been such good friends over the years that we've interacted off the blog, you can expect me to e-mail you my new link once I get the homepage straightened out.

Thanks so much for reading, everyone! It has been such a blast!

31 July 2016


Eurovision Song Contest Country Smackdown, Final Winner!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, the Interval, Round 3A, Round 3B, and Round 4)


This may be the only Shredded Cheddar tournament bracket in which a contender that was eliminated fair and square came back to win the whole thing. And of course it would be everyone's favourite Grand Duchy!

Granted, it is here "only" as a representative of all the Francophone ESC countries, starting with La Mere France, and including Monaco, Switzerland, and even dear Belgium. With some reflected glory for other countries that have sneaked in French lyrics--notably Germany and Austria. (Would you have guessed them?) I really should be writing this post en francais, but it's the language I (foolishly) dropped after a classmate told me I couldn't take two languages at the same time. More on that in a future post. What you really want now is the second winner of the year . . .

26 July 2016


Option #43: Marcos Martial Law: Never Again (Student Edition) by Raissa Robles
(Scroll down for the Rafflecopter or see the Giveaways page for more details)

Filipinos woke up to find a country where the streets were quiet, patrolled by armed soldiers. Crime had vanished, squabbling corrupt politicians had been carted off or had fled, and the scurrilous press had been silenced.

Only the newspaper run by a Marcos crony was available, and there were no radio or TV broadcasts, except for one station that repeatedly transmitted Marcos's declaration of Martial Law . . . in between almost non-stop airing of American cartoons.

Marcos claimed that what he had in mind was a government-led "Revolution from the Center" to counter the Communists. His centerpiece programme--to create a New Society that would close the wide economic gap between the rich and the poor because "what good is democracy if it is not for the poor?" He claimed the New Society had the interests, objectives, and needs of the poorest of the working people take precedence over those of the rest" . . .

SURPRISE!!! =D We have one more book for the Philippine Literature Giveaway Pool! This is the first year that a seventh book gets to make it, and what a deserving seventh book it is.

Marcos Martial Law was actually supposed to be Option #38, because I wanted some strong, well-researched non-fiction to ground me after dream-state wanderings of Option #37: Empire of Memory by Eric Gamalinda. But I was a few pages in when I realised it was too big to bring in so early in the giveaway. Instead, I decided, I would let it have the last word. And it begins with an answer to my biggest question about Option #42: Reportage on the Marcoses by Quijano de Manila: how did the 1970s affect Nick Joaquin's earlier rosy view of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos?

24 July 2016


Eurovision Song Contest Country Smackdown, Round 4!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, the Interval, Round 3A, and Round 3B)

Well, this rules out any future for me as an ESC bookie. =P I would never have predicted which two countries would be slugging it out in the Final. But more fun for me, aye? LOL! Greece's wildcard win in Round 3B also means that only songs from the second thirty years of Eurovision will be competing this week, so Monaco, which dropped out long before the ESC's thirty-year anniversary, will not be representing the Francophones again this round. (Yes, yes, I know they tried to come back in the early 2000s, but those entries never made it past the semis.) Anyway, I have a feeling that Luxembourg won't mind one more chance to show us what it had.

Greece vs. Luxembourg

Hellas are here with another song from their most successful decade ever, the early 2000s. And few things are more Greek than a song like ΩΠΑ! Giorgios Alkaois wanted this Top 10 finisher to encourage his fellow Greeks, who were then enduring the worst of Europe's economic crisis, to stop dwelling on the past and to start over in the present. On the Eurovision stage, it became a spirited message for the whole continent. Up against it is Luxembourg's last big hurrah, from the late 1980s, featuring the Belgian chanteuse Lara Fabian, whose first language was Italiano. The yearning ballad Croire is all about the things you can believe in if you see life avec les yeux de coeur (with the eyes of the heart). Although it did not win the contest that year, it became an international hit that made hundreds of thousands of music-loving believers all over Europe. Which musical message do you think should dominate this tournament bracket?

And of course, because this is a Shredded Cheddar smackdown, another country we haven't even heard from until today could still take the crown home for itself. I hope you're ready for the final wild card . . .

21 July 2016


Pancit Malabon from Amber
(Pan-SIT Ma-la-BON)

Last Saturday, my German class had a little party to mark the end of our course. We all brought different kinds of food, ranging from "generic Americanised" to "European inspired;" and right in the middle, insisting on grabbing all the attention, was the Filipino offering.

19 July 2016


Teaser Two and Top Ten(ner)

It's a two-meme day because I'm feeling friendly! Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Books And A Beat, while Top Ten Tuesday, with the perfect topic for me this week, is from The Broke and the Bookish.

You may remember that the main reason I don't do Teaser Tuesday as often as I could is that I like waiting for a book with a cover that matches the rule of MizB's meme: two sentences only. Since coming up with that, most of my Teaser Tuesday posts have been for books with a pair of legs on the cover. But today's teaser comes courtesy of a different part of the anatomy--the sort that doesn't normally come in twos!

17 July 2016


Eurovision Song Contest Country Smackdown, Round 3B!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, the Interval, and Round 3A)

It takes a whole set of good songs to make a great show, and if there were one obvious winner from the outset, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun to watch. On the other hand, it's usually the case that some songs are clear front-runners--and then the fun becomes predicting how they will rank relative to each other. Sometimes guessing correctly that a song will place fourth can be as satisfying as correctly predicting it will take home the crown!

But had I been among the original audiences of the following Eurovision songs, I would have bet that they'd place significantly higher than they did. Here are two more runners-up that I wish had won instead.

Round 3B
The "L'Amour . . ." Four