Archive for November, 2008

Romeo and his fair Juliet, and Paris, too

Warning: Spoilers alert

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, there were a few references to Romeo and Juliet in the second book in the Twilight series, New Moon.

As part of an English homework, Bella had to watch the 1960s movie version of the play Romeo and Juliet. So there she was on the couch watching the movie with Edward at her side, whispering Romeo’s lines in her ears. What a romantic scene, huh?

Edward was saying that he didn’t have much patience with Romeo, making mistake after mistake. First he was in love with Rosaline, who wasn’t interested in him. Then he saw Juliet and fell in love with her, at first sight. How fickle-minded, Edward thought. Then a few minutes after marrying Juliet, he killed her cousin, Tybalt.

When it came to the part when both Romeo and Juliet committed suicide, Edward said that he sort of envied Romeo, not because Juliet was pretty, but because it was so easy for Romeo to commit suicide. He just had to go to an apothecary to give him poison to drink. It’s not as easy for vampires to commit suicide. They don’t really die. They sort of get destroyed or something. But this was the first time that Bella discovered that Edward wanted to die or whatever it is that they do. When he thought that James would finish her off, of course he was going to try to save her, which he did, but he was already thinking of what he would do if he was too late. He wasn’t planning on continuing to live without her.

And then after Bella jumped off the cliff and Jacob saved her, they were both too tired and exhausted and fell asleep at Jacob’s place. Bella woke up first and thought about Juliet. She wondered what Juliet would have done if Romeo left her. If he had not been banished. Just lost interest in her, maybe he went back to Rosaline who loved him in the first place. Would she still have loved Romeo until she was old and gray? What if Paris became her friend and she was able to confide in him about her feelings towards Romeo? What if Paris took care of her and she couldn’t survive without him? What if she loved Paris but not the way she loved Romeo? Would she have agreed to marry him? Of course she was using these analogies to compare her situation to Romeo and Juliet, Romeo being Edward and Paris, Jacob.

And then at the last chapter of the story, when Edward and Jacob faced each other, Bella was so worried. Because in the play, when Romeo came back, the stage direction was: Romeo and Paris fight. Paris falls. She was so scared that her Paris, Jacob, would also fall, or die.

I also happened to watch the 1968 movie version of Romeo and Juliet a few years ago. This was the one directed by Franco Zeffirelli. But before that, I have already seen the 1996 version, Romeo + Juliet, which starred Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Daines. I was a big Leo fan at that time and I was just wowed by the movie. It was different and had a modern take on it. But I found a tape of the 1968 version and I just had to buy it.

One of my earliest childhood memory was hearing the song A Time For Us and connecting it to the movie Romeo and Juliet. Boy, does that reveal my age. 🙂 To my surprise, I liked the older version better than the modern version. I love Leo as an actor but I think Olivia Hussey played Juliet better than Claire Danes. That part after Romeo had killed Tybalt and Romeo was banished and the nurse told Juliet that she should just forget about Romeo and marry Paris instead, Juliet was devastated but she didn’t let the nurse know that she was planning to run away with Romeo . Claire’s reaction wasn’t as convincing as Olivia’s, I think.

Well anyway, another thing that surprised me was hearing this song, What is a youth, in the movie instead of A Time for Us.

November 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm 4 comments

New Moon

new moon

Warning: Spoilers Alert

As I lay there, I had a feeling that more time was passing than I realized. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since nightfall. Was it always so dark here at night? Surely, as a rule, some little bit of moonlight would filter down through the clouds, through the chinks in the canopy of trees, and find the ground.

Not tonight. Tonight the sky was utterly black. Perhaps there was no moon tonight – a lunar eclipse, a new moon.

A new moon. I shivered, though I wasn’t cold.

It was black for a long time before I heard them calling.

(Page 74)

That was Bella lying in the forest after Edward said goodbye and left her. Yes, he did. At the beginning of New Moon, the second book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.

Edward thought that Bella wasn’t safe as long as she was with him. Besides, Bella wanted to become a vampire too, but Edward was strongly opposed to it. He didn’t want her to give up her human life.

But Edward’s leaving hit Bella really hard. She felt depressed. On the first week, she wouldn’t eat or move. The town doctor described her as catatonic. Even the weeks following that, she wouldn’t talk to Charlie unless he asked her something. She wouldn’t go out with her friends. Let me just say here that I like how Ms. Meyer followed up the third chapter titled, The End, with four pages that just had the words October, November, December, and January. My first reaction was, “what a waste of four pages.” But I went back on that right away and I thought it was brilliant. It sent the message across very strongly.

After four months, Bella sort of woke up after Charlie threatened to send her home to her mother. She didn’t want to leave Forks and everything that would remind her of Edward. Edward might be physically gone but she wanted to hold on to his memories.

So she started to hang out with her friends again, including Jacob Black. She spent a lot of time with him while he worked on the motorcycles that she found and she asked him to teach her how to ride hers. They got pretty close and Jacob started having feelings for her. But she was very straightforward with him. She only liked him as a friend. Nothing more. Jacob was willing to accept that. He just wanted to be with her.

I was just talking to my girl friend about why we think we both got hooked to this Twilight series. She said for her, it was about the “kilig” moments in the story. Like for instance, when Edward would sneak in Bella’s bedroom at night while she was asleep. It’s like “somebody’s watching over me.” As for me, it was about how Ms. Meyer talks about Bella’s feelings. There’s a lot of that in the books. You see, I also tend to explore a lot about my feelings. Ache che. 🙂 Like for instance, the pain that she felt upon Edward’s absence, that hole in her chest. Even Jacob would notice how she’d put her arms around her chest every time Edward’s name was mentioned. There was also a time when I felt that same hole in mine and I would also clutch my chest.

But in the end, we find out that Edward was also in pain when he left Bella. And when he thought that she died, he also wanted to die. But Bella came to rescue him.

Sounds familiar huh? Yes, there were a few references in the story about Romeo and Juliet, which I will discuss later.

I’ve mentioned earlier that Bella also wanted to become a vampire. Could someone really love another that much? To be willing to give up their human life just so they could be with the love of their life forever? Because I ask myself if I would be willing to do that. No way. Why? Could it be because my love is not that strong? But then again, how can I compare my life and my love? This is only fiction for goodness sakes. 🙂

“Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars – points of light and reason.…And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had falled over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason for anything.”

I wanted to believe him. But this was my life without him that he was describing, not the other way around. (Page 514)

To be continued…

November 30, 2008 at 2:36 pm 9 comments

Lance and Lacey’s Mambo

I know that Brooke Burke has shown her dancing talent since the beginning of Season 7 in Dancing With the Stars, but it was Warren and Lance whom I’ve always looked forward to watch dance every Monday night. And after seeing his latest performances, Lance has been my favourite. I want him and Lacey to win, but I think they should have done some lifts in their free-style last night.

This is one of my favourite dances, Lance and Lacey’s Mambo. (Please click on the link if you are unable to view the youtube video below.)

November 25, 2008 at 6:38 am 2 comments

Slippery in Winnipeg

The City usually clears the snow immediately after a snowfall. They would first clear the streets downtown, the main streets and the business and commercial areas. And then the residential areas. But sometimes they don’t get to some of the areas right away and it would be too late to scrape the snow that had turned into ice. They would sprinkle sand and salt over the slippery ice but they don’t stay there for long.

I took this video clip last Friday while I was on my way home from the 7-11 store at the corner of our street. You can see the sidewalk is shiny with ice. Notice how I avoid walking on the icy patches on the sidewalk as much as I can. I would rather walk on the snow on somebody else’s driveway or lawn. I actually almost slipped on this walk when I stepped back on to the ice.

It was around minus 11C. A little bit nippy with the wind at 20 kmh. And this is not even bad. It’s just mild, in terms of slipperiness.

November 23, 2008 at 4:57 pm 2 comments

Twilight – A movie review

twilight movie

Warning: Spoilers Alert!

Okay, before I get any nasty comments, I know that not everybody is interested in the Twilight series and Twilight the movie is not for everyone. But as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I admit that I got hooked and I just had to see the movie.

It was okay, at least for me. I went last Saturday at 12:30 pm at Kildonan Place and there weren’t a lot of people. None of that frenzy that I’ve been hearing on the news in other places. Most were teen-agers and young adults and there were a handful of pre-teens and young teens with their mothers.

The movie tried to stay with what happened in the book, although they changed some parts which I will mention later.

I like that the movie also started with Bella’s prologue about how she’d never given much thought to how she would die, but that dying in place of someone she loves is all worth it.

The entire movie was mostly dimly lighted. But I guess that was to be expected as in the town of Forks, it is mostly cloudy. That is the reason why the Cullens decided to live there. Because vampires can’t go out it the sunlight. Or they would sparkle like there are thousands of tiny diamonds embedded on their skin.

First difference that I noticed is that Bella met Jacob early on in the movie. In the book she met him towards the middle of the story. But if you think about it, Bella and Jacob knew each other since they were kids.

The actors who played the Cullens are all handsome and beautiful, and noticeably pale and white. And Robert Pattinson! Wow! I never really noticed how handsome he was in the Harry Potter movies. But he got a lot of close-ups in the movie and boy does he have smouldering eyes like Edward Cullen. And Kristen Stewart is pretty, too. They make a good couple.

Okay, I’m gonna control myself now before I sound like a giggly school girl. 🙂 And let me tell you, there were applause and giggles in the theatre every time Edward got those close ups and every time he and Bella stare at each other and when they kiss. But then I think the director and the actors were successful in that because that’s the reaction the readers get from the book. I just wish there was at least one scene when Edward would have brushed his icy fingertips on Bella’s cheek.

Or I would have loved to see the part where Edward was telling Bella that it’s twilight and how it’s the safest time of day for them and also the saddest. That would explain the title of the movie, wouldn’t it?

What bothered me a little was that Bella and his dad Charlie ate out in the diner a lot. In the book, Bella would always prepare dinner for Charlie. It shows how she was taking care of him. I didn’t miss the author herself, Ms. Stephenie Meyer. She appeared as an extra in the movie. She was one of the customers in the diner.

In the book, Bella was using a computer with a slow dial-up internet connection. In the movie she was using a laptop. Can I just mention that the actor who played Mike Newton is also handsome? I didn’t think that he would be. The actor who played Jacob Black is cute, too. But we won’t see a lot of him until the second installment.

Also in the movie, Charlie gave Bella pepper spray, as protection. It was funny, but it did help a little when bad vampire James attacked her in the dance studio. In the book, James bit Bella on the hand, but it the movie, he bit her on the wrist. Yes, it was crescent-shaped, too.

There were a few lines that made the audience laugh, and of course Bella’s clumsiness can be funny at times.

And of course, in a movie where there is a vampire who’s impossibly fast and strong, there has to be special effects. They were alright. I just thought I’d mention that, too.

The changes and omissions are forgivable. I guess they add a different flavour to the movie. As I’ve said, the movie was okay for me. I give it a score of three out of five stars.

November 23, 2008 at 4:32 pm 16 comments

Business Trip to Winnipeg

Business Trip episode of The Office

Business Trip episode of The Office

Warning: Spoilers Alert

Okay, I guess I have to write about the episode since I plugged it here last time.

I was sort of excited but the episode of The Office called “Business Trip,” which features Winnipeg, is not really about Winnipeg at all. And I think that’s why I was a little bit disappointed. I guess I expected more.

Well anyway, I like the story line. So, Michael’s boss, David Wallace, decides to send him to a business trip to do a presentation to an international client. It’s sort of a consolation price to Michael because he’s been feeling down since the company transferred Holly to Nashua when David found out that she and Michael were dating. But the real reason behind Michael going is that David knows it’s hard to find somebody who wants to go up to Winnipeg. In November. Just to update those who don’t know about Winnipeg, it is cold and windy, and right now slippery, here in Winnipeg in November.

But Michael is all excited about the trip and he somehow has this illusion that it is some kind of exotic trip and that he’s flying business class. And he gets intrigued when David tells him to ask the concierge about the night life in Winnipeg. Now Michael thinks that “concierge” is the Winnipeg equivalent of a geisha. Wrong. A concierge is just a concierge, a hotel staff that assists guests and makes reservations for tours or tells you about the places where you can go to.

And so this is the part where I got sort of disappointed. Concierge Marie mentions these places that I’ve never heard of in my entire 19 years of stay here in Winnipeg. A sushi place called Matsuki, a pub called the Huntsman in the Financial District, and Astro Cleaners in St. James Place. We have a place here called the Exchange District, but not a Financial District. There is a St. James Street, but no St. James Place. And the number 17 bus that she mentioned runs until around 1:00 a.m. Most buses here do. Not 9:00 p.m.

I didn’t see any Winnipeg Airport luggage tags, or The Bay shopping bags, or Old Dutch potato chips. (Or did I just miss them?) But the glasses of dark drinks that you saw Michael and Concierge Marie drinking is, what I think, the local Fort Garry pale ale. It’s also supposed to make an appearance at the show.

The bar scene is hilarious. Andy tries to hook up Michael and Marie. Michael flirting and talking to Marie as if she’s foreign. It’s just Canada, your neighbour, and we do speak English here. 🙂 Okay and some French. Andy also tries to hook up Oscar with two gentlemen who he thinks are gay. Not. 🙂 And Oscar asking Andy what he sees in Angela. And the revelation that she hasn’t had sex with him yet. And we all know that she’s been doing it with Dwight at work. So Oscar convinces the drunk Andy to call Angela, and we hear Dwight in the background. That’s why I don’t get it. Why does Angela want to marry Andy when she’s obviously still into Dwight ? ? ?

We saw Michael making out with Marie and coming out of her apartment. This is where I can get slow. Did they do it? Because Michael seems disappointed.

The next morning at the meeting with the potential client, Michael is explaining how people continue to come back to Dunder Mifflin. It’s because “they feel cared for, they feel respected and they feel that their needs mattered. They are treated like human beings.” And he gets a bit choked up.

My favourite scene is at the airport when he was talking to David on the phone. He reports that he made the sale, locked them up for two years. And then he tells David how the trip sucked. It was a bad trip. The flight wasn’t a business class, it was coach. The hotel sucked. And he finally blurted it out. “Why did you send her away? You knew I liked her. It’s a sucky thing to do.” Of course he was referring to Holly. And you know what? I also liked Holly. I hope she comes back. She was good for Michael.

And then Michael’s monologue: Why have I stayed at Dunder Mifflin for so long? It’s not the paycheck. They respect me. A boss that will not fire me even if I tell him off the phone. That’s respect.

Sometimes I also ask that to myself. Why I’ve stayed at my work for so long. It’s also not because of the paycheck. I also feel that my bosses care for and respect their staff. Of course I wouldn’t tell them off the phone, I might get fired for that. 🙂 But you know what I mean.

Other things worth mentioning:

Ryan tries to seduce Kelly and convinces her to break up with Darryll on the phone. And when Darryll answers, it’s cool, Ryan’s a bit disappointed. He doesn’t seem to be too happy that he and Kelly are back together. What’s up with that?

Pam fails art school. Big dilemma. Does she retake the course and stay in New York for 12 more weeks? Can she and Jim stay apart for that long? Here’s what’s funny. Dwight isn’t surprised that she failed. He points out to her painting of the building where the shadows are coming from two directions. 🙂 “What? Are there two suns? Uh, last I checked that’s not an office in the Andromeda galaxy!” Well, anyway, in the end, there’s Pam at the parking lot waiting for Jim. She’s back! 🙂

Andy bonding with Oscar and saying that he had to go all the way to Canada to know a guy who sits 20 feet away from him, and he’s delightful! Don’t you find that just oh so true sometimes?

November 14, 2008 at 11:36 am 6 comments

The Office goes to Winnipeg

Here’s one reason why I will make sure that I don’t miss this week’s (Nov. 13) episode of The Office.

carell

Michael Scott, Steve Carell’s character, is going to Winnipeg. Well, the cast and crew didn’t actually physically come here to the city which I have now been calling home for the last 19 years, but they made the Los Angeles set look like Winnipeg, even sending props that would represent Winnipeg, like

the-bay

The Bay shopping bags and

old dutch chips

Old Dutch potato chips. I didn’t even know that Old Dutch’s main headquarters is here in Winnipeg.

What I would like to see in that episode is snow, which we have on the ground right now, and Michael wearing a parka.

parka

I’ve already read a few spoilers about the episode, but I will spare you, especially those who hate spoilers like me, at least until after the show has aired.

Let’s see how they will poke fun at Winnipeg. 🙂

If you want to watch The Office, it’s on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on NBC and Global TV here in Winnipeg.

November 9, 2008 at 4:58 pm 5 comments

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