Sunday, October 31

Have a Hobbit Birthday!

Two amazing gentlemen are celebrating their birthdays today, and both have something to do with The Lord of the Rings!

Happy birthday to Peter Jackson! If you've never heard of him, where on (Middle-) earth have you been? He is the acclaimed director of The Lord of the Rings films, and Best Director of this year's Academy Awards (of course for LotR).

Peter Jackson (left) giving pointers to Orlando Bloom (Legolas)

And another happy birthday to Kuya Hec! Fellow Lord of the Rings fan and member of The Philippine Tolkien Society (TPTS). This man is blessed with a load of talents, including filking and lots of Tolkien knowledge (some of the stuff I never knew I learned from him at a Moot). Check out one of his filks here, I tell you, great work!

To the two of you, thanks for contributing to the fan that I am now (yeah it's your fault in some way :P) Keep the LotR zeal burning!

Friday, October 15

Truly A Super Man

I am one of those many who grew up loving Superman. I especially loved Christopher Reeve's portrayal of the comic book/movie icon that everyone knew and looked up to.

That is why it saddened me to know about Christopher Reeve's passing a few days ago. I have always known about his condition, that he was paralyzed from the neck down 9 years ago because of a riding accident, but I always believed that someday, he could walk again. That even though he can never be Superman once more on film, he would someday show the world a miracle, that paralysis can be cured.

I found these thoughts some of his most memorable co-stars have expressed about the loss of a legend:

Margot Kidder

Margot Kidder, who played Lois to Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent in the four Superman movies and now plays "Dr. Bridgette Crosby" on Smallville, has also spoken about his loss. In an article in the News-Telegraph, Kidder says "I am just heartbroken and so sad. I just don't know what to say right now. He grew into such a glorious example of triumph over everything."

Annette O'Toole

Annette O'Toole has been associated with the world of Superman for over twenty years now, having starred alongside the late Christopher Reeve in the 1983 film Superman III, as Lana to his Clark Kent.

"What can you say about such a man as Christopher Reeve? He embodied all the best that a human being can hope to be. To continue life in the face of such adversity and to make things BETTER for other people and to continue to contribute so much is a miracle. He was so kind and generous and funny. He was a prince. His presence in our lifetime has given us all an example of how to live our lives. I am so grateful I knew him. And while I am so sorry for the loss his family must now endure, to me he will always be a constant source of comfort and hope and will remain up in the stratosphere where he has always been in my eyes."

Michael Rosenbaum (Lex Luthor in Smallville)

"Christopher Reeve played the role of one of the most memorable and heroic characters ever created... Superman. But it is obvious to me as I'm sure it is to others, that he was far more of a Superman than he could have possibly imagined."

Some of the most memorable quotes from Christopher Reeve...

"When John Kennedy promised that by the end of the 1960s we would put a man on the moon. Everybody, including the scientists, shook their heads in dismay. But we did it. We can cure spinal cord injuries too, if there's a will. What was possible in outer space is possible in inner space."

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable."


Friday, October 8

The Lord of the Rings Symphony

Take a musical journey to the realm of Middle Earth as more than 200 musicians and singers take the stage in "The Lord of the Rings Symphony: A Symphony in Six Movements," a spectacular performance showcasing the works of Academy Award-winning composer Howard Shore. This multimedia event will feature music from all three films in the motion picture trilogy and illustrations by artists Alan Lee and John Howe. After sold out shows around the globe, The Lord of the Rings Symphony is an event that will be enjoyed by everyone.


For sure it will be enjoyed by many, including a good friend of mine. The shows are on October 8 & 9, 8:00 pm, at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois and Laurice will be going to the first day. How exciting is that?! Hopefully, she will be able to hand a gift to Howard Shore (whom I dreamt about, hee). The gift is a TPTS pin. And she will tell us all about the experience as soon as she can. Have a nice time, Lau!

Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory. -Sir Thomas Beecham

Where words fail, music speaks. -Hans Christian Andersen

Monday, October 4

the good, the bad... and the precious

What's good about this day? Oh yes, it's already October! That means, two or so months to go, and I will be free... in the scholastic sense, that is. No more sitting for hours trying to make something "run." If you don't know what I'm talking about, well, just figure it out. I vowed not to mention that torture of a thing here. Hehe.

I'm putting off bringing up what's more exciting: 81 days until Christmas Eve! And 87 days until New Year's Eve! Hey, don't you think Christmas Eve is more fun than Christmas Day itself? It is for me! I love that holiday feeling of preparing for the Noche Buena, playing Christmas music all day, lounging around the house, receiving holiday greetings from friends and family, and watching all those Christmas programs on TV.

Now comes the bad... it's been exactly a month since our house has been burglarized. By far, it is the most traumatizing thing that has happened to me this year. September 4, 2004 was a little far from ordinary day: it's when all August-September birthday celebrants in our family (immediate relatives included) went to my Tita's home to have a little get-together. The day started out quite dull for me, I didn't even want to go to the gathering. Unfortunately (which turned out to be otherwise later on) my makulit of a brother insisted on me going with them. I don't know how he did it but I soon relented. So the day wore on at my Tita's house until it was about 12:30am of September 5. I even fell asleep in my 7-year-old cousin's room because my parents and my titos and titas were still at it: chatting and talking about life's ups and downs. Finally, we all said goodbye to each other and I hopped in the car groggily. A few minutes later we stopped in front of our house and my mom went out of the car to open the gates. All groggy and wanting to just plop down into bed and continue my snooze, I followed her into the house. When we reached just behind the door of the living room my mom inquired if I had anything to do with the groceries strewn out on the floor. I shook my head and began to ponder it a bit. It was the start of that uneasy feeling: I saw the door to the master's bedroom wide open and I wondered why it was so, seeing as how my mom always kept it closed. Apparently my mom felt the same nervy sense and we both had the realization that there must be someone in there (or had been there). Backing out of the house we called my dad and told him to come inside. Following my dad into the house and into the rooms, our uneasy feelings were confirmed: someone has broken in. All our drawers and cabinets have been ransacked. It was so shocking my eyes were wide open in a few seconds, sleepiness gone. The perpetrators tore off the grills and bore a hole through the screen of our back window. We suspected there was a child involved because the hole was too little for an adult to get through. We also supposed that they were interrupted because we found some of their would-be loot scattered in the kitchen at the back of the house. The period it took for my mother to open the gates must have given them enough time to escape. It was a nightmare because we never thought that could happen to our home. Seeing my room in a mess, and the (really infuriating) thought that a criminal has touched/held my stuff... it's enough to wish for that person's ruin. Needless to say, we didn't sleep well that night. And the days after that were just horrible. We were more anxious of our home's safety now that we have felt what it was like to be intruded like that. We never felt secure at home again.

Thankfully, not much was taken away, our two laptop computers were spared. Some of the items that have disappeared, however, are my diamond-studded Anne Klein watch (its straps have these stones that make it a true thief magnet), some of my fancy jewelry, my dad's watch, a couple of my parent's jewelry and my brother's new Sony discman. It must have been frustrating for them not to get any cash value, all my wallets are empty (but they didn't find my wallet with ten dollars on it). One more reason to be thankful: nobody was hurt and home at the time. And I have my kuya to thank for that.

Now I'm going to talk about loot that ain't obtained by illegal means. Hehe.

What would you do if you woke up this Christmas and found these under your Christmas tree?

Me? I'd jump all over the place! Hehe. What you see in the picture is the Return of the King Gift Set. The gift set (perfect gift set ever, I might add) includes:

The Return of the King Special Extended Edition DVD (4 precious discs!). And "special extended" means "over fifty minutes of never-before-seen footage integrated into the original theatrical release, along with an additional two-discs of bonus material".

a Sideshow/Weta statue of Minas Tirith (look at that baby far right!)

"Creating the Lord of the Rings Symphony" DVD featuring Howard Shore

more drool-oozing pictures and info HERE!

Unfortunately, no drool buckets provided. :P

The Gift Set costs $79.92 (Php 4,475.52). The Extended DVDs alone would be $39.99 (Php 2,239.44). Are the prices totally killing you? Just think of what having these preciousss in my hands would do to me. And all these will be available on December 14, yay! In Pippin's words in Fellowship: "I'm getting one!"

Thursday, September 23

Happy birthday, dear Jamie!

Today is Jamie's 19th birthday. She is my closest cousin ever (her mom is my dad's sister). But we see each other less than 10 times a year lang, during family reunions in September, All Souls Day, Christmas, New Year, and if we're lucky, a couple more times during the year. That's why we'd both be surprised to see each other a bit grown from when we've seen each other last. (by the way, we're both 5'6") But being together often is the least of our problems. Kahit na minsan lang kami magkita, we still have that bond that we've had since we were little girls. Pag nagkita kami it's like there wasn't any time lapse at all, at ease na agad kami with each other. We've shared a lot of fun experiences together growing up. Once, she slept over for a few days at our home with her sister Tracy, just for the fun of it. Mga one week ata yun and on the Saturday of that week the whole gang went to Puerto Azul, which was super fun. On the way there in our family car, me and Jamie were pretending like we were in a television show called "Dalaga Ka Na!", and we tagged that show for the day "Live in Puerto Azul". Hahaha! It was so silly. There are lotsa other stuff we've been through together. We've been a candle to each other's 18th birthday celebration. We've also escaped a few times when our titos and titas would make us sing every Christmas in exchange for some more aguinaldo. We'd hide in a room in the house and laugh like crazy kasi one of my titas would use the microphone na to call us, yet we'd pretend like we couldn't hear her. She's so fun to be with, but what I love most about Jme is that she's loyal to her loved ones. Ipagtatanggol ka talaga nya. And she speaks her mind. She should be a lawyer, but she's taking up Nursing. Hehe. She loves Harry Potter din pala. The books lang, not the movies. Somehow I still can't quite convince her to be a Lord of the Rings fanatic. Hee. Once in January 2002, we chose to watch Lance Bass and his other *N Sync pals in On The Line over LotR. That's 'cause I wasn't a fan back then. The thought of it makes me laugh till now kasi we were so early in the theatre that day, naabutan pa namin yung Lupang Hinirang. Haha. And obvious na excited talaga kami mapanood yung movie. I know more memorable moments are in store for us, and I'm looking forward to them.

Happy birthday, Jheng! Best cousins 4ever!

Tuesday, September 21

Wenham wonderland

This post is especially dedicated to David Wenham! You probably know him as Faramir in the two final installments of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Well, he's an Australian actor who ties with Hugh Jackman on the Aussie hot-o-meter. Maybe even hotter. (; Some more tidbits on Dave:

Born September 21, 1965 (that makes him 39 today! bummer) in Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

The youngest of 6 siblings (5 sisters and 1 brother)

Has a long-time girlfriend named Kate Agnew (oh...)

Has a daughter named Eliza Jane born October 10, 2003 (I guess that cinches it for me...)

Nicknamed "Daisy": "It's a very, very simple thing. It's an Australian thing, the old shortening of guys' names, from Gary to Gaz and whatever. One of my sisters quite simply went from David to Dais and eventually a "y" was put on." (yikes, naalala ko tuloy yung character nya sa Moulin Rouge... haha!)

Favorite moment in Return of the King: "When Sam picks Frodo up and carries him towards Mordor. It encapsulates so much of what the books and films are about." (that was my favorite moment, too!)

What would you toss into Mount Doom? "Ignorance." (whew! I thought he'd say "screaming fan girls"... like me! )

David is also known as an excellent actor because of his versatility. Want proof? Check out these photos!

as Richard Shorkinghorn, A Little Bit of Soul (1998)

as Ethan, Russian Doll (2001)

as Audrey, Moulin Rouge (2001)

as Luke, Dust (2001)

as the 'starer', Basilisk Stare (2003)

as Faramir, The Lord of the Rings (2002, 2003)

as Carl, Van Helsing (2004)

So, which David did you like best? Ako syempre I liked him best as Fafamir--I mean Faramir.

Monday, September 20

confetti in heaven

My friend Kristel turns 20 today. Sadly, I can't go to the celebration because it's in a venue I can't get to at the moment. She's having her birthday party in heaven.

She died from a car accident in California a year ago. She and her boyfriend were driving home from a school dance that night when the guy fell asleep on the wheel and the car went over the bridge. My friend was sleeping at the time so her life was claimed almost immediately. When her dad found her, her head was blown up due to internal bleeding. Her boyfriend survived the ordeal.

I learned of her death while I was at the office having my practicum. It was a nightmare I thought I would be able to escape after some time. But I hadn't. It's heartbreaking because I will never again be able to see her, except maybe in pictures. Her funeral was in the U.S. and she was also buried there, and I couldn't get to both. All I could do that day was stare at her picture and cry.

She was 18 when she left the world. Such a young age for someone's life to be taken away. But I know the Lord is in control of everything. Yes, there was a reason for it all. You see, Kristel was a Christian and we've been going to the same church in the Philippines when we were little. She and her family went to the States to start a new life there. And I didn't really know a lot about it, but Kristel had been active in their church, particularly in the youth choir. She must have grown a lot in her faith over the years because she made a difference with the people around her. During her funeral, several kids came and received Christ as their Lord and Savior because of her testimony. It was a rewarding feeling despite the sorrow we were going through. She is much missed.

Well, a birthday bash in heaven is tons more fun than any party one could have here. For one thing, the weather is definitely more pleasant there. ^_^

Happy birthday, girl!

Kristel & Liann, August 2001

In loving memory of Kristel
September 1984 - May 2003

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