Nostalgia…

I watched this stop motion animation growing up. Actually, it became more of a tradition for me and my siblings to watch this on TV during the Christmas season.

Sadly, local TV stations don’t air it anymore. Imagine my delight when i saw this!

Now, I can share another piece of my childhood to my daughter.

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Remembering The Little Prince…

Watching the trailer of the upcoming animated adaptation of The Little Prince by St. Exupery made me remember this short piece I wrote ‘ages’ ago: What the Little Prince taught me.

Watch Robin Williams recap ten years of U.S. politics

Thanks for the laughter… and lessons.

How do I ‘unlove’ you?

Starting-Over-Again-Movie-PosterLet me start this piece with a disclaimer: I am not a film critic nor I pretend to be one. I am just among the many moviegoers who—in one way or the other—had experienced the emotional rollercoaster ride provided by the movie Starting Over Again.

Honestly, there’s nothing “new” about said movie. Its storyline is not an unexplored one; in fact, had it not been for the excellent narrative flow, this film would’ve ended as just another formula flick.

There is something about this movie—no, it’s not Piolo nor Toni… Joross or Lito, maybe… but I digress—that catches one’s interest: the unraveling of the story. Being a storyteller myself, I cannot help but be enthralled at how Direk Olive Lamasan took us inside Marco (Piolo) and Ginny’s (Toni) love story, giving us an overdose of “kilig” moments and introducing us to an unorthodox kind of courtship… and from that emotional high, Ms. Lamasan jolted us back to reality by giving us a peek at the couple’s eventual falling apart—reasons unknown— and how they found each other again. But contrary to what many would expect, we are presented with an unexpected twist. No, I’m not gonna spell it out here. I am no spoiler. Let’s just say that the Marco-Ginny affair is no Popoy-Basha love tale.

You see, what made Starting Over Again stand out from the other fall-in-love-break-up-reunite formula movies is that it did not follow that conventional flow. Instead, what the movie afforded us were peeks and glances into various episodes of the Marco-Ginny love story—each scene leaving us with questions, and more questions: “what happened” or “what did he/she do” or “why are they such-and-such”. There was nothing predictable about the movie. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, the next scene would shatter your “conclusions”. It kept us interested, at times, echoing the lead characters’ demand: “I deserve an explanation!”

Each scene—each confrontation, monologue and soliloquy—were well-thought of and presented in a very relatable manner, something that is not strange to the viewer. The contemporary language and dialog added to the impact of every scene—may it be laugh-inducing or tear-jerking.

Starting Over Again, as the title implied, is a story about second chances… about moving on… about finding closure—one that is with finality; a letting go of what once was. A closure that would usher in complete acceptance of what has happened and honor the transition away from what’s finished to something new. In other words, a closure with the ability to go beyond imposed limitations in order to find different possibilities.

The movie had indeed succeeded in evoking that bittersweet nostalgic feeling of finding that special someone whom we’d rather fly up into the scorching sun than get over with. It brought us back to our very own “demons past” that seemed unthinkable that time—where a lover leaves abruptly; runs you over like a train, as if you were just something to be left on the side of the curb like road kill. It reenacted our very own journey of finding closure with someone who headed for the hills and never told us why, reminding us how gut-wrenchingly difficult it was to seek closure within ourselves.

The ending of a significant piece of one’s life—a relationship, a job, a stage of life, or a way of thinking—may be difficult, yes, and even painful for many of us… but still, we cannot afford to lose hope and give up. Starting Over Again allowed us to remember the good and the bad times in our own lives, enabling us to assess these memories and just let the emotions flow: cry, laugh or jump around if we have to, but just let ourselves be. Some of these memories may still haunt and torment us, but the movie showed us that it’s just normal; and that we have to give ourselves a timeline. It can be weeks or months or ever years, but the bottomline is that: when that day comes, that will be the day when you must stop wallowing in self pity and angst and start life anew.

What I Learned from Bradshaw, York, Hobbes, and Jones

I do admit that I was once hooked on “Sex and the City” — the HBO series, that is. I never liked both film adaptations though, which seemed to me was just a menagerie of clichés about middle-aged women having embarrassing sex with various unsuitable partners.

Anyway…

Candace Bushnell’s original book — the basis for the TV series — was good, but the show was fantastic: funny but smart and witty, warm and wise. Yes, there were occasional stupid puns, like Carrie’s comeback to Mr. Big when he said he was moving to California because he was tired: “If you are tired you take a nap-ah, you don’t move to Napa (Valley).” [I found that funny, btw]. Of course, SATC won’t be SATC without sex — mostly courtesy of Sam… and Carrie from time to time. But unlike in the movies, SATC wasn’t all about sex… and shopping. Those weren’t all Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte cared about. The series transcended any normal chick flick with its real-life emotional truth. Woven along its make-believe fiber are genuine experiences many of us can relate to. For instance, Sam’s breast cancer showed not only how scary and sad the disease is, but also — on a lighter note — how boring, sweaty and plain inconvenient it is, too.

So, what egged me to do this piece?

Well, my renewed interest in RiRi’s “We Found Love” ditty — which, since Monday, has haunted my every waking hours [don’t ask me how’d it happened] — prompted me to do a lyrics search. ‘Tis a nice song; not too much substance though…

Continuing my online exploration, I came across this article on Cosmo that I believe rings a truth for some of you ladies out there… and maybe, as well as to some guys:

Love Lessons from Sex and the City
By Ashley Womble

In their six years on the air, the SATC chicks endured the good, the bad, and the totally bizarre when it came to dating. Cosmo studied some of their most memorable relationships to find out what we could learn from the fabulous foursome.

Case study: Miranda and Steve. When Miranda met bartender Steve Brady, she was skeptical as usual. He was nice (and easy on the eyes) but clearly not relationship material. Not surprisingly, their divergent careers created problems: conflicting schedules, fights about money, and different outlooks on life. Miranda could have deleted his number from her BlackBerry, but ultimately, his laid-back personality and devotion won her over. The unlikely pair started a family and eventually tied the knot.

Lesson #1: Date against your type.

Case study: Carrie and Aidan. Hot furniture designer Aidan was everything Carrie thought she wanted in a man: emotionally available, honest, and ready to commit. Aidan wanted Carrie to meet his parents, have the keys to his apartment, and eventually be his wife. She attempted to change by quitting smoking (and nixing her addiction to Mr. Big), giving country life a shot, and wearing his engagement ring around her neck. But no matter how hard Carrie tried, she couldn’t commit to any of it. While Aidan seemed perfect on paper, he wasn’t the ideal guy for Carrie.

Lesson #2: Don’t change for a man, no matter what.

Case study: Charlotte and Trey. An optimist with a very romantic view of love, Charlotte believed her dreams had come true when she was literally rescued by the single, wealthy, and handsome Dr. Trey MacDougal. Despite some major red flags — a lackluster marriage proposal, a meddling mother-in-law, and a sexless honeymoon — Charlotte was determined to make the relationship work. Although she gave it her all, their union still failed.

Lesson #3: Never ignore the warning signs that tell you a relationship isn’t working.

Case study: Carrie and Berger. Witty writer Jack Berger had these famous last words for Carrie, written on a Post-it note: “I’m sorry, I can’t. Don’t hate me.” After the abrupt end to their short, rocky relationship, Carrie vowed to spend the same amount of time getting over her breakup as Berger had spent ending it. If only it were that easy. Though Carrie managed to avoid him, she ended up melting down in front of his friends, which undoubtedly got back to him. She learned that it’s better to face the music (or in her case, the Post-it note) and get it over with.

Lesson #4: As painful as breakups can be, you have to mourn before moving on.

Case study: Samantha and Smith. Samantha’s dating philosophy: “I’m a trysexual. I’ll try anything once.” Her only rule was to never fall in love. She was so set in her man-eating ways that when she scouted and seduced a gorgeous waiter at a raw food restaurant, she didn’t even ask his name. She encouraged the struggling young actor to play out his sexual fantasies and took him under her wing professionally, changing his name to Smith Jerrod and making him the Absolut Hunk. Somewhere between sex and stardom, Samantha fell in love and eventually confessed to Smith, “You’ve meant more to me than any man I have ever known.”

Lesson #5: Dare to fall in love.

Case study: Carrie and Mr. Big. Sure, Carrie might have done some of the chasing, but in the end it was Mr. Big who showed up at her door the day she left New York City for Paris. Angry that his timing was always off, she screamed, “Forget you know my number! In fact, forget you know my name!” But he didn’t give up. He called to tell her he loved her, and fortunately, Charlotte was there to answer his desperate call. The next day, he met the ladies for brunch and admitted, “You’re the loves of her life, and a guy would be lucky to come in fourth.” With their blessing, Mr. Big went to Paris to get “their” girl.

Lesson #6: Let him chase you.

Case study: Carrie. The eternal single girl had her share of romances, chronicled in her weekly column, but the truest love story is the one she wrote for herself. Bad luck and messy breakups were de rigueur in Carrie’s life. By surviving the pitfalls — a Manolo-mugging, a computer crash, and a very embarrassing fashion fall — Carrie gained the confidence and strength to continue her search for true love. “The most exciting, challenging, and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself,” she said. “And if you find someone to love the you you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”

Lesson #7: Be fearlessly single.

 

Y’see, man or woman, there’s a little bit of Sam, Carrie, Charlotte, or Miranda in all of us.

Game of the Iron Throne

GOT Stark

 

It’s one of those days when the ‘bore’ bug had me in its nasty fangs.

So, who’ll sit in the Iron Throne?

Oh. My. Gawd!

the·od·i·cy, noun \thē-ˈä-də-sē\ : defense of God’s goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil

Man’s inquisitive nature has fueled the never-ending debate about the existence of God for generations. His continual struggle to unravel divine and supernatural mysteries by logic and science brought him at odds with accepted theological norms and dogmas. You see, everyone believes in God — or A god, at least. Whether or not the god we believe in powers our universe is a matter of perspective.

For me, personally, God is best left unknown, unexplained. Let Him just be the Force that’s with us… But there are moments where you actually wish God is real, and there are times where you question His authority…

The movie follows a sheriff — Ed Tom Bel l– who is tracking a vicious killer, Anton Chigurh. For his part, Chigurh is tracking Llewelyn Moss, an Everyman who accidentally stumbled upon drug money that Chigurh is trying to find. Sheriff Bell spends the movie tracking both Chigurh and Llewelyn, hoping to capture Chigurh and save Llewelyn in the process. And as he tracks the two men we watch Sheriff Bell emotionally struggle with the senseless death and violence Chigurh leaves in his path.

As we follow Sheriff Bell we see a growing existential fatigue. The violence he follows begins to weigh on him, to age him. And the root of the problem is that Bell can’t make sense of what he is witnessing. The evil he finds is Other, inexplicable and incomprehensible. And this incomprehensibility “ages” him. He becomes the “old man” who can no longer recognize his “country” as home, as something he understands. Eventually, this burden becomes too much and, toward the end of the movie, Sheriff Bell retires from law enforcement. Unable to grasp the evil in the world, he walks away from the task of marking right from wrong. He’s become too old for that job. The world, morally speaking, is something that makes no sense to him anymore.

In short, I think the major theme of the movie is this failure of making sense of the moral universe. The world becomes morally opaque and the effort at trying to make sense of it becomes too heavy. The sheriff is worn down by what I’ll call theodicy fatigue.

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