US Trip, Day 26-27: Packing and TV overload

image from independenttraveler.com

Five more days and I’m heading back home. I started packing my luggage yesterday morning. I remember a friend who told me that packing stuff especially when travelling can be really stressful. It really is true. I had to re-arrange things and transfer several items from one bag to another to avoid having overweight bags. Furthermore, I had to leave some stuff which my mom would bring home after two months. Oh well, that’s life. One can’t really have it all, eh?

Today, I’m on TV overload again. I guess, I’m just compensating because I know when I get back. I’d be swimming or rather, drowning in work. So, I will watch all shows until my eyes hurt.

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US Trip, Day 25: Reading and TV Marathon again

Funny.

I now have time to do things that I did not have the chance to do. More reading and more TV marathon! I swear, it seems that they never run out programs to show. It only means one thing. That I really did miss a lot.

US Trip, Day 22-23: Miscellany

For the past two days, I’ve been doing different things. Shopping, TV marathon and of course, reading. We shopped for some stuff needed in the house and some of the stuff that I will be bringing home in the Philippines. Furthermore, I have watched countless of episodes of CSI (Vegas, New York and Miami), Law and Order (Special Victims Unit and Criminal Intent), and NCIS. And to add: Criminal Minds! I just love this team.  Moreover, I was introduced to some programs dealing with the paranormal, such as Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, and Paranormal Kids. I find these shows really interesting.

When I’m not busy watching the television, I’d be reading. I started reading, “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.” The plot has similarities with “A Thousand and Splendid Suns” which dwells about girls being forced to marry at  an early age. However, Nujood’s story is way different from the heroines in the latter book. I will be writing my thoughts about the book when I finish it.

US Trip, Day 6-8: Wedding Preparations and TV Marathon

wedding magazines, Sept 8, 2010, VA

The past three days (Tuesday-Thursday) were spent in between preparing things for my sister’s wedding and having TV marathon. There were tons of things to attend to and my sister asked me to check the guest list and the preferred dish/food of each guest. My mom also altered the gown that I’m going to wear because my sister bought it based on the measurements I sent to her through email. I only had the chance to fit the gown when I arrived here. It was good thing though that I lost some weight and the dress was a little loose on me. After a few stitches, the dress fits me like a glove. Thanks to my ever-talented mom!

wedding stuff, Sept 8, 2010, VA

It’s not all work. I had the chance to catch up on the shows which I have not been able to watch back in the Philippines. I really had a hectic schedule there that I didn’t have the time to sit down and watch my favorite shows. Here, I was able to watch some episodes of : CSI (Vegas, NY and Miami), NCIS, Law and Order. I realized that I missed a lot.

pew bows to be ironed, Sept 8, 2010, VA

We are going to Connecticut tomorrow, Friday because the wedding ceremony is to be held at Hartford, Connecticut on the 18th.

Those Mesmerizing Eyes

I miss Richard Armitage. I have not read any news about him in the last couple of months. Hmm, not because there are no news about him but because I haven’t had the time to surf and research about the latest developments.

I’m posting some pictures, which really caught my attention. Those which emphasize his piercing eyes, one of his many glorious assets.

North and South (richardarmitageonline.com)

Spooks (richardarmitageonline.com)

*Sigh*

RA Addiction: Sir Guy, how despicable yet handsome can you get?

I have a nightly dose of Richard Armitage by watching Robin Hood. In Episode 2 titled, “Sheriff Got Your Tongue,” there’s only a brief appearance of Sir Guy at the beginning. I was lamenting on the fact when my mom pointed out that Robin is the lead and Sir Guy is one of the villains. Oh, ok… 😀 Nevertheless, his brief appearance took my breath away. I’ve included some of the photos for everyone’s pleasure.

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In the third episode, “Who Shot The Sheriff,” I think there’s more of Sir Guy compared to the previous episode. I just love it when he smirks and he glares at people with his piercing blue eyes. But I also liked the way he smiles a bit when Marian is around. I just wish that I’m her. Ha ha. This is total fangirling. Some photos are included in the slide show as well. Anyways, the sheriff gets on my nerves while Much is soo funny. I like his punch lines.

Now, I’m down to the last episode of my free DVD copy. I dread watching the fourth episode tomorrow night. I do not think that I will be able to go on without obtaining the next episodes. Where, oh where will I get them?

RA Addiction: Sir Guy of Gisborne is Hot!

I have two approaches of de-stressing or relieving stress: READING and FANGIRLING/FANDOM. Such approaches can also be seen as forms of escapism. Sometimes, a workaholic like me needs a break from it all.

Anyway, I was ecstatic over acquiring a DVD copy of Robin Hood (BBC series) and I wrote my story here. It turns out that the copy I have features the first four episodes of Series One. Hurray! My only problem now is how to get the succeeding 35 episodes. *sigh* Oh well…

I confess that I’m watching the series because of the handsome and brilliant Richard Armitage, who plays the villainous Sir Guy of Gisborne. So in the first episode, “WILL YOU TOLERATE THIS?,” I was more anxious of Sir Guy’s appearance than that of Robin of Locksley, who by the way, is played by Jonas Armstrong.

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I find Robin actually charming and cute. But what can I do? Sir Guy is so intense and broodingly handsome. My mom who saw a glimpse of Mr. Armitage’s photo as John Thornton in my laptop and mobile phone already remarked on his good looks. But she was even more impressed when she saw him in Robin Hood. And so it turns out that my Mom is my Robin Hood-buddy.

Episode 1 was fun to watch. It was very entertaining. My mom and I would laugh so hard in those funny moments. I would often find my self waiting with bated breath for Sir Guy. He has such deep and rich voice that I melt every time he speaks . I cannot wait to see more of Sir Guy again. Now, I’m reduced to puppy-eyed fangirl. Ha ha.

I’m seriously thinking of going around hunting for the succeeding episodes. I fear that I would not rest until I have acquired all of it.

Mr. Armitage, see what you’ve done to a woman like me?

Surprise Find: Robin Hood BBC Series

Surprise! Surprise! Just when I thought that I would not be able to find any work of Richard Armitage here in the country, this DVD landed on my desk! Actually, this copy was bought by one of my staff assuming that the copy she is buying is the Robin Hood movie starring Russell Crowe. Hah! It turned out that the copy is that of the BBC series starring Jonas Armstrong as Robin and of course, Richard Armitage as the dark and villainous Sir Guy of Gisborne. *swoons*

My staff member knows that I love Richard Armitage because I use his photo as my avatar in my yahoo messenger and was so kind and sweet enough to give me the DVD. Yes! However, the copy contains only four episodes and I’m not sure yet what episodes are those. I’m positive that this would only whet my appetite; I know that I would be restless until I find the other 35 episodes. Poor me!

Anyway, it’s better that I have 4 episodes of him than nothing at all. 😀

Korean series: Revisiting Beethoven Virus

Note:

Since I’m on a Kim Myung Min mode since last night, let me share with you an entry which I wrote in my multiply blog in January 18, 2009. My KMM addiction started when I watched the phenomenal Korean drama series, “Beethoven Virus,” which aired in September –November 2008.

Beethoven Virus: Its Appeal

Kim Myung Min as Maestro Kang (image from MBC.com)

Maestro Kang conducting (image from MBC.com)

I first watched BV online in November 2008, while the drama is currently airing its final episodes. I’ve been meaning to write about this touching drama; I’ve only managed to write about how I can’t get enough of the phenomenal Kang Mae/Maestro Kang (see earlier post). But I felt that I’ve not written enough, that there is so much more to share about how this drama affected me. So, during the Christmas break 0f 2008, I made it a point to watch Beethoven Virus again.  This time, a rewatch of the whole series not just my favorite Kang Mae scenes or Kang-Mi (Kang Mae and Du RuMi) scenes and since I had no work, I was able to pay close attention to some things that I might have missed out.

So, what do I love about BV? Why am I so addicted to it? What was it about the series that I find touching and memorable?

Kang Mae smiling (image from MBC.com)

Kang Mae flirting a little? (image from MBC.com)

My first answer is: I find Kang Mae and his personal journey, his metamorphosis, appealing (Don’t I just love to write about him, LOL!). Kang Mae is one interesting yet complex character that I’d love to probe into. As described, he is a no nonsense conductor and a perfectionist. He is known in the music community as the conductor who interprets the musical score closely to how it was really intended by the composer, or to put it simply, his renditions are seemingly perfect. There is one major observation though, his music is somewhat suppressed as if the emotions coming from his music are stifled. The masterpiece certainly speaks about its creator, as they say. Kang Mae’s music is a reflection of his personality – stern, rigid, upright and incapable of emotions, or at least that what he thinks so or what’s he is attempting to do. Having a harsh childhood and having his share of trials and challenges in life, he has learned to erect walls between himself and the world; having only his music and his dog as companions. He thinks that feeling or facing different kinds of emotions makes one weak and vulnerable so he built up these defenses so that nothing can harm him. He dislikes change. And so, when he meets the orchestra members, especially Du Ru Mi, he in plunged into a world that he has avoided for so long. He is made to feel various kinds of emotions, no matter how hard he tried to deny it. It was touching to see Kang Mae struggle in coming to terms to his being emotional; that he is human after all.  And no matter how hard he convinces himself – that he is invulnerable; that he doesn’t care at all and that he can totally return to his old self; he is in fact a changed man. This is manifested in a change in his music as well as how he views and deals with his orchestra members.

A changed Kang Mae (image from MBC.com)

A pensive Kang Mae (image from MBC.com)

In the end, he acknowledges that he is new at this – that he’ll never know when he’ll waver again but he also knows that he cannot run from his feelings anymore; except that he needs time to get accustomed to this new side of him.



A weekend with Jane Austen, Part 3 (Last Part)

Alas! My Jane Austen weekend has come to an end. It was a wonderful way to cap the weekend by watching the movie, Emma (1996); BBC’s Emma (2009) and another movie, Becoming Jane (2007).

Emma 1996 (image from erasofelegance.com)

Emma (1996) stars Gwyneth Paltrow as the young, pretty and rich Emma Woodhouse and Jeremy Northam as the charming, reticent but kind Mr. George Knightley. It was really surprising to see Ms. Paltrow, an American actress, portray an Englishwoman. I found her English accent a bit weird but as the movie progressed, I became quite used to it. Paltrow, an actress blessed with classical features, had so much poise and gracefulness which just made it work. On the other hand, Jeremy Northam was splendid as Mr. Knightley. He is hot!!! I love how his facial expressions conveyed his feelings and how he delivered his lines. I particularly liked when he spars with Emma and when he scolds her. The film was entertaining and funny indeed. My only gripe with film is that events were much too compressed that there’s not much room for character development.

Emma 2009 (image from © BBC 2009)

In the recent BBC production of Emma (2009), I was really happy to find a familiar face. Jonny Lee Miller, who earlier portrayed Edmund Bertram in the 1999 version of Mansfield Park, is back as the quick-witted and charming George Knightley. I adored him in Mansfield Park even though his character there took a long time to realize his feelings for the heroine. But I believe that he was a great choice as Mr. Knightley because he absolutely nailed it. He was exceptional with his scenes with Emma, particularly when he is arguing with her, scolding her, goading her, or when they are just having a good time. Such a consummate actor! On the other hand, it is my first time to see Romola Garai but I liked her as Emma Woodhouse. Her Emma is youthful, clever and witty. Garai and Miller are great together. I loved how their argument scenes (there were several) were really played out, with both sides arguing their cases well. Another delightful surprise was the presence of Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse. I was taken aback and I had to take a second look when he first appeared because I could only think of one thing: That’s Dumbledore!! He was such a dear old man, Mr. Woodhouse er, Mr. Gambon.

The advantage of a mini-series is that events are not rushed and forced unlike in the movies. Furthermore, there is much room for character development and event build-up. I liked how Mr. Knightley’s realization of his true feelings for Emma was depicted. It’s not rushed and forced. I think, this is the best adaptation of Emma I have seen.

Becoming Jane (image from http://www.tribute.ca)

Becoming Jane (2007) explores the untold story of Jane Austen, one of the greatest writers in English Literature. Jane is being pressured by the family to marry. But being a woman far ahead of her time, she refuses unless it is for love. She meets Tom Lefroy, a lawyer who is dependent on his uncle and his fortune. They both started on the wrong footing but eventually fell in love. However, the couple is faced by numerous obstacles – family, friends and fortune. Anne Hathaway, an American actress, plays the feisty, opinionated Jane. Anne was alright but I think a better actress might have been able to portray Ms. Austen. On the other hand, James McAvoy portrays Tom Lefroy who breathed life into his character brilliantly, so much so, that I wanted to love and hate him at the same time. The film left me with a bittersweet feeling, no matter how I am used to see such kind of endings.

The film gives an inside look of what might have been the secret life of Ms. Austen. I have read that Ms. Austen never married and I surmised that for a writer who created wonderful stories with happy endings – heroines marrying the men they love, she must have had loved deeply. That in her short life, she must have had, as poets and writers gush about, “that one great love.”