England’s Rose Commemorated

August 31, 2007 at 11:36 AM | Posted in Current Events, History | Leave a comment
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Today is the 10th-year anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. For the past few months, people who claimed to be “experts” on the life and times of the late princess were coming out again to provide a “new light” or a “new perspective” on Diana’s tumultuous life and the events that led to her death. These people have come up with new biographical books this year that claim never-before-seen-or-heard stories about Princess Diana’s private life and the tragic car crash that made headlines around the world.

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Image courtesy of Dettagli Minimali

Personally, I do not even want to read or hear these “new” stories they’re telling. I mean, the topic has been covered so many times before and I’m tired of hearing their different “versions” of the truth. They claimed to be close to the late princess but they just ended up betraying her by giving personal information about her. Princess Diana had already suffered so much from the paparazzi and the media constantly hounding her private life. I think it’s time that they let her give the respect she long deserved and not dig up another set of nasty information they could find about her — however well-intentioned it might be.

The commemoration of the death anniversary of the People’s Princess today includes a memorial service that will be attended by her two sons, Princes William and Harry, Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth II herself. I have heard on the news that the service would just be a quiet one — which is a good decision if I may say so. There’s no need to make the anniversary a lavish one, with lots of fanfare and stuff. A simple memorial service will do. This is what millions of fans of Princess Diana, including myself, would prefer. For me, I will always remember her as the princess with a kind and loving heart for the poor.

Cooking versus Baking

August 30, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Posted in Musings, TV | Leave a comment
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I was channel surfing early last night when I chanced upon a cooking show on Discovery Travel & Living. It was actually a show that I watch from time to time, and it’s called Nigella Feasts (but it used to be called Nigella Bites). Now I’m not particularly fond of watching cooking shows on TV but this show caught my interest. It always interest me to watch Nigella Lawson as she cooks, bakes, and prepares one scrumptious food after another. To be honest, I like watching her show mainly because I love hearing her English accent! There are times when I just don’t pay enough attention on how she cooks a meal. I just watch her mouth the words in her elegant, English voice. When I first saw her on TV, my first impression was “Gosh, she’s so beautiful and elegant!” From then on, I try to watch her show whenever I can. She makes cooking and baking look so easy!

I never have any interest in cooking. I’m the type who just eats the food on the table. My aunt who loves to cook once taught me how to cook various meals. But I have long since forgotten the things she taught me. Somehow, cooking just doesn’t interest me. But whenever I watch Nigella bake cakes, cookies, or pastries, I can’t help but get interested in baking. I’d like to learn how to bake. I guess this is influenced by the fact that my mother used to bake cakes and stuff. I remember when I was little, I used to help my mother in the kitchen whenever she was baking. But I never gotten any formal baking lessons. I just learned little things from that experience. I remember my mother giving me instructions when she’s baking (“pour one half of sugar into the bowl,” “stir the batter clockwise,” “mix two teaspoonfuls of vanilla into the bowl of flour,” etc.). Other than that, I don’t know anymore. But I’d like to learn how to bake someday. I think it would be fun to bake, especially when baking cakes with all that yummy icing, which are one of my favorite food.

Paris, Interpreted

August 23, 2007 at 9:58 PM | Posted in Film Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment
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When I watched the film, Paris Je T’aime, I didn’t know what to expect. Though I read the film synopsis before, I have completely forgotten about it so I had no idea what the story was about. All I knew was that the film is set in Paris and composed of an international cast, which includes Natalie Portman. But when the movie unfolded in front of my eyes, I quickly became engrossed.

Paris Je T’aime (which translates to “Paris, I Love You”) is a collection of 18 short stories, each showing a different interpretation of what Paris is all about. These stories are set in different areas of Paris and shows what the City of Lights has to offer: romance, joy, pain, loss, struggle, and even violence. Each “episode” is directed by a different director and played by various actors.

Paris Je T'aime

The movie lets you take a look at Paris from different angles. It forces you to think that the City of Love is not just all about romance. It’s about people who live, love and learn in Paris. Some of the stories were sad, some were funny, and a few were tragic.

I particularly loved the story “Quartier de la Madeleine,” which stars Elijah Wood, wherein Elijah’s character became the object of affection of a female vampire. I thought it was a hilarious rendition of horror B-movies. I also loved “14th Arrondissement” in which an American postal worker narrates her visit to Paris in a heavily-accented French. I laughed myself silly when she pronounced “Simone de Bouvoir” as “Simone de Bolivar”! Special mention goes to “Faubourg Saint-Denis,” which stars Natalie Portman — a great story; “Porte de Choisy” — a funny, quirky story; Gus Van Sant’s “Le Marais;” “Bastille;” and “Pere-Lachaise.”

Paris Je T’aime assembles an international host of directors such as Alfonso Cuaron, Wes Craven, and Gus Van Sant, and a cast of international actors including Natalie Portman, Elijah Wood, Juliette Binoche, Steve Buscemi, Miranda Richardson, Gerard Depardieu, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Nick Nolte, and many others.

A Black Affair

August 21, 2007 at 10:22 AM | Posted in Books, Fandom | Leave a comment
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Members of Anne Rice Philippines with a few from TPTS

The fifth gathering of Anne Rice Philippines last August 11 was a blast. It took place at A Different Bookstore in Serendra and this time, there were eight of us plus three from The
Philippine Tolkien Society (TPTS) who joined our book discussion for a while. It was agreed upon that those attending should wear black. So all of us who came wore black — as a sort of tribute to Anne Rice’s vampires and witches, hehe.

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The Three Body Thieves

The book that was opened for discussion that night was the fourth installment of Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, which is “The Tale of the Body Thief.” The discussion was all in all insightful and thought-provoking. But I felt kind of frustrated because I have forgotten the details of the story and couldn’t contribute much to the discussion. It’s been ages since I last read that book. In fact, I read “The Tale of the Body Thief” while I was still in college. I was not able to review the story prior to the gathering since I left my copy of the book in the province. So you could just imagine my frustration during the entire book discussion! But no matter, I had a great time listening to the discussion just the same. And I promised myself that I would prepare for the book discussion on our next gathering.

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We’re off to Krispy Kreme!

The Gathering at the Serendra was not just about book discussions. It was also an opportunity to meet other members of ARP, get acquianted, and have a good time. Most of the members who showed up at the bookstore I have met already. And those who I’ve met for the first time that night were nice and fun to be with. After our book discussion, we headed towards Krispy Kreme and hanged around a bit. We enjoyed each other’s company so much that it was already past 1 AM when I came home.

A New Show to Watch Out For

August 9, 2007 at 11:31 AM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment

There’s a new TV show in the US that I’m eager to see. The show is called Gossip Girl — a drama which is based on the popular teen book series of the same name. I haven’t read any
book in the series (as I have graduated from reading such books aeons ago) but I’ve glanced through some of it when I chanced upon them during my visits to the local bookstore. The
stories are interesting enough, that much I could tell. And I’m definitely intrigued.

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Photo courtesy of theTVaddict.com

Anyway, the show is about privileged teens studying at a New York private high school. It will be premiering in the US this September. I’m not familiar with much of the cast except for Blake Lively, who I recognized as the blond girl from the movie, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. She plays one of the lead characters in this new show. Kristin Bell (from the hit show, Veronica Mars) is also in the cast (though I’m not sure if she’s a mainstay or just an episode guest).

I do hope that Studio 23 will pick up Gossip Girl. I predict that this show would be a big hit here should Studio 23 (or other local channels) decide to air it.

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