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Oz [Mar. 20th, 2013♦12:08 am]
So, saw Oz: The Great and Powerful (that's what it's called in America, right?) and it has been the best movie I have seen in years.

It had a great canon to work with (the Wizard of Oz movie) which they did quite a lot of justice to and they even managed to pick some stuff out of later books which I thought was a great nod to the source material.

All in all, I loved it. I did figure out most of it, but it was only because they referenced the original movie so many times. But in a pleasing way, not in a hit-you-over-the-head-look-how-clever-we-are way like Once Upon a Time does.

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I Don't Even Know [Mar. 12th, 2013♦10:15 pm]
Sometimes I watch BBC shows and I just shake my head and ask, "what were you thinking? Seriously."

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I Know that we just like what we like, but....... [Jan. 31st, 2013♦11:43 pm]

So, we all like different things. I realize this. Sometimes we just know a lot of random useless things that other people have no interest in whatsoever. For example, my mom frequently loved to say that if I spent half as much effort trying to remember the things I was studying in school as I did remembering the various incarnations of Robin I would have aced all my exams. I'll be honest though, I had less than half the interest in Chemistry as I did in Batman at the time. Even less now...

Anyways, so it may no be right to laugh but I just watched this video (linked below) and when Jessa seems to laugh at John for his interest in GoT  I just want to be like, "How can you laugh at his nerdiness .... you like NSYNC."

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Some thoughts of Memory & Faith as Presented in Life of Pi [Jan. 21st, 2013♦12:38 am]

May Richard Parker Never Forget Your Name.”

These are the words that Yann Martel penned to me in the front cover of my copy of Life of Pi when I had the privilege (okay, maybe I do sound like one of my ESL students when I write) of meeting him at my High School. The inscription came about when Martel asked me how to spell my name and I told him the answer and then joked with him and my friends that it was the only real way to spell my name; that the others were just weird. If I recall correctly, Martel agreed.

I confess that I do not remember much of the content of the book (I hear you scoffing because I tend to remember everything) but I do remember that I enjoyed it immensely. And that there was a carnivorous island. This I will never forget. Our biology teacher, okay, HER name escapes me (she wasn’t my teacher, she was the teacher everyone else had that showed the video of emotional plants), raised her hand, explained who she was and then asked why he had chosen to write about a carnivorous island, which was against the principles of biology. Martel simply answered that he was pushing the boundaries of the reader’s belief. So far he had spun for us an unbelievable tale, and if we believed that tale, would we also believe this island? For, as the movie reminds us (you’d all guessed I had recently seen the movie, right?) this is a story that will make us believe in God.

My co-worker also enjoyed the book and I was talking about Martel and how I’d had the opportunity to sit in on a Q&A with him. My co-worker asked if Martel had really believed that a belief in Islam, Christianity, and Hinduism could co-exist and be truthful at the same time. My co-worker, who is quite devout, added, “because it really can’t.” Of course, because I only had the foggiest recollections of the book (there is a tiger and a boy and they are in the boat, and Richard Parker was never to forget my name), I just nodded, mumbled an agreement and changed the topic. But, if you know me at all, his comment niggled and I just couldn’t let it go. It hung in the back of my mind and I pondered it. So when I watched the movie I watched with that question in mind. For Pi promises us, he has a story that will make us believe in God.

Sidenote: As a movie I think that it fails to make people believe in the Divine. It does make comments about faith though, which, I suppose is only what the book aims to do: to question our nature of belief.

Going back to the Islam/Christianity/Hinduism conundrum I think that IT DOES work from a Hinduism perspective. Now, I am about to make some broad statements about religion that don’t necessary hold true for all sects and denominations to try to make my point. So don’t take it as Gospel truth.

As a sidenote: Hinduism is, at its core, monotheistic (I had a particularly LOVELY Indian Philosophy instructor hammer this point home). This does not mean, of course, that all Hindus consider this true and from the outsider’s perspective Hinduism is very polytheistic. After all there’s Vishnu, and Durga, and Ganesha, and so many others who interact with the world continually.

So, within the Hinduism framework we have a rich tradition of avatars (a manifestation of a deity in bodily form on earth). There is Vishnu who comes again and again in various form including Rama and Krishna.  So then, with the introduction of Christianity to India Hindus asked the question who is this Jesus Christ, Son of God? Belief in Christ, God made flesh, was very easy for Hindus to understand, when first to Christ, because the idea of God being sent to Earth to save humanity was nothing new to them. So Christ is easily accepted to Hindus because he is just one aspect of God, he shows us an aspect of Brahma, the ultimate reality, the Absolute. For it is unity with Brahma, that Hindus can escape the cycle of Samsāra and be one with the Divine.

So, to get backed to the question that niggled. I have no idea if Martel actually believes that the three religions lead to the same divine truth. However, I believe that within a Hindu framework practicing all three religions is perfectly acceptable. Pi, is initially introduced to Hinduism first. His father is an atheist but his mother is devout. So, it works for Pi because he is born into a culture that is so deeply intertwined with faith.

Now, I understand that for the Muslim or Christian that this type of faith is not possible. To believe in another religion or god is to worship idols. So, I get why the message of the novel fundamentally bothered my co-worker. Yet if you approached the book from a universal salvation standpoint I think that the book does not present a crisis of faith. For, if Hinduism, at its core, is fundamentally monotheistic, then the three religions have a basic fundamental belief – one God. It is a spring board for inter-faith dialogue at the very least.

However, the book doesn’t try to make a comment on any one religion. It is a comment on faith, in general. Psalm 42:1 says, “as a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God.” For faith is a yearning to understand God. Pi longs to see God, for to see God is to understand God, and God has remained elusive to Pi. Pi loves storms for in the lightening and the thunder he senses a physical manifestation of God’s presence. However, God remains hidden from Pi and it is only after losing faith that Pi gains faith. By finding the tooth in the plant he believes that God has saved him from certain death. That God still has plans for Pi.

I’m not sure I had a point in all that; more wrestling with the question that niggled.

Now, some thoughts on the movie: 1) The movie is GORGEOUS 2)You should watch it. Now, having said that you should watch it, I must add that it is a slow burn of a movie but much more entertaining than The Fountain. Now that you have been warned you cannot complain if you find it unenjoyable. Also, you should see it in a cinema. It’s a theatrical experience type of movie. Also, I suggest 3D. I saw it in 2D but I imagine that 3D is better. Also, the movie is a bit of an acid trip, kinda like The Fountain. The movie is also a romanticised India. It is clean, and pure, and vibrant, and BEAUTIFUL. It is orientalism at its finest, which I was okay with because the movie is not about India itself. And who doesn’t like a romanticised India, really?

Now, to wrap this up and bring it full circle.: “May Richard Parker Never Forget Your Name.” The film/book is also about memory. Well, maybe not memory per se, but an interpretation of events. After all, Pi gives us two versions of the story of his life on the raft: one with a tiger and one without. We, the reader/viewer are left to decide which is true. Like faith, believing in something that cannot be proved.

Memory is important to me. I confess I do not remember the book (however the movie seemed to be a faithful adaptation). I remember clearly the bio teacher asking the carnivorous island question. I also remember clearly studying in the rape wing, an affectionate name I assure you, with nihilistic2. Okay, to be honest, we were probably not studying, we were chatting. My university life was full of chatting in the rape wing. Anyhow, back when I followed sounis with youthful exuberance (but only as a lurker) a post came up and somewhere in the comments someone mentioned Yann Martel. My friend and I were discussing that particular post and comment in general and how people liked Life of Pi for its plot twist. Then a few minutes later we packed our bags and descended the stairs and passed Yann Martel going up and as we were walking down. I just pointed up and looked at my friend and she said, “Yep. Best timing ever.” I’m never going to forget that moment because the coincidence of talking about Yann Martel and then actually seeing him will be ever fixed in my memory.

Memory has always been one of those strange things for me. I like to think I have a pretty good memory (doesn’t everyone?). However, in the past, this sometimes caused others undo stress. People have disliked that I seem to have a long memory. They dislike that I can remember things that they can’t. Or feel that I will hold their past actions against them for all eternity. Or something. There are many things that I wish that I could actually remember. I often do not remember first encounters of really good friends in the initial stages of our friendship. These are things I wish I could remember more clearly.

Now, I have never been particular good about remembering book plots. I just remember how I felt after I read the books. Well, except the Queen’s Thief series. I remember those quite well, because they are one of the few series that I reread my favourite parts from. I rarely reread books. Some people have an AMAZING detail for the plot and events and characters in every book that they have ever read. I am not sure if I am envious of this ability or not.

Ugh, it’s 12:30am  and I have to up for work in a few short hours so I am going to end this blog post here. This really is a long rambling post about multiple things that is vaguely connected by Life of Pi. I suppose, to sum it all up, for me personally the book/movie isn’t really about faith, it is about memory. And my feelings about memory and how it relates to others, well, it niggles.


ps-so late. I'm sorry if it's hard to read. I have no time to reread for clarity or content. Feel free to disregard my rambling. Sometimes, (rarely) I just need to get thoughts down.

edit: I think I just needed to get it out of my head. Hopefully now I can sleep soundly.

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Link IS a bit of a dick, isn't he? [Jan. 20th, 2013♦10:20 pm]
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"Edward Cullen Gets Slayed!" [Jan. 13th, 2013♦10:15 pm]




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Bad Idea, Right? [Jan. 10th, 2013♦11:03 pm]
Joining the Paper Legends Merlin Big Bang Challenge would be a BAD idea right?

Yes, yes it would.

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Some Final Thoughts on Merlin [Dec. 26th, 2012♦11:49 pm]

Well, it’s been fun Merlin. It’s been a wonderful five-year journey and I’m sorry it’s over. How will my life be the same without you? You were definitely my favourite tv show (although, I suspect when I got home and rewatch Buffy, Angel, or Chuck I may no longer feel that way).

I’ve been rewatching Merlin in the lead-up to the series finale and I have a few thoughts. I think it’s easy to feel cheated by the finale. The first three seasons make us real promises. There are prophecies to fulfill and legends to build and we are given this glorious dream of Albion (which is a lovely name that I think the writers just threw in one day and smiled cheekily while thinking, “you caught that right?”) And there were things to catch in Merlin; that’s what I loved about it.

I’m not disappointed in the finale, except that it is over, I am disappointed about that. I know that many people were frustrated that Merlin continued to ‘keep the magic secret’ as it were. But I could have happily gone ten seasons with Merlin doing just that. The directors and producers had a five-year vision which they fulfilled although, what with the groundwork laid in previous seasons I wonder if they were true to that. It is difficult to reconcile the myth of Arthur with a family drama. I mean, we all know how this story ends. I enjoy reading all adaptations of Arthurian myth and it all ends the same. For me the retelling never gets old and I hope it never will. Merlin did many things quite well.

I think, towards the end, Gawain (besides the boys and the Great Slash Dragon) became my favourite character. He had so much potential that was never fleshed out. The producers had always wanted to do a Sir Gawain and the Green Knight episode but couldn’t because fundamentally that story is about sex and Merlin was a family drama. I would have loved to see how they would have re-imagined that story.

I did love everyone dearly though. Arthur frustrated me continually.  And Merlin won me over with every smile. Morgana was brilliant. For the final season I anxiously awaited the appearance of the Great Dragon. He was so awesome (even if he might have been old and senile). Child Mordred was excellent. Okay, even the renfaireness of the show was awesome.

I wish, though, that at the end we would have seen a montage of all the previous seasons. Or a reminder of how many times Merlin saved Arthur. I think that would have given me great satisfaction.

Finally though, Part 2 of “The Diamond of the Day” (and what was the meaning behind that title anyway) was pure FANFICTION. The writers have always pandered to the fans but I swear, they looked at fic out there and wrote the biggest canon fic of life. And I don’t know how I feel about that. On one hand, awesome-well played BBC, well played. On the other WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT. (Sidenote:f If people weren’t shipping Gawain and Percival before they sure are now…and where was the evidence of that in the rest of the series NO WHERE! So, in some ways, weird fandom pandering).

All in all, it’s been fun. Thanks Merlin for helping me through University and lonely nights in Korea. You’ll forever be in my heart and high on my rewatch list.

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Sticky Note Thought II [Nov. 23rd, 2012♦11:28 pm]
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[Current Mood |contemplativecontemplative]

"When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow their choices by removing yourself from the equation. It's that simple."

Just another sticky note to ponder. I'm just not convinced of the validity of the advice.


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Dear Friends Who May Still Read This... [Nov. 2nd, 2012♦10:54 pm]

In or out?

I want to cosplay steampunk!Merlin. The idea wiggled into my head when I stumbled upon a fic and now it won't wiggle itself out. Red trench coats for the knights? How would we convey the flowiness? I was thinking little clock work dragons on the sleeves and maybe FMA stylish things and then I was talking to Z and she thought clockwork dragons perched on shoulders. But yes, AMAZING.

So much love.

I think somewhere in the far future this needs to happen at a convention in North America. And it would be a million times better as a group.

So? Thoughts.

I want to be Morgana. I'm thinking black clothes...wild hair....and lots of belts on a corset. SO MUCH LOVE. And SPOILER ALERT....not even going to hide it so skip to next paragraph to avoid spoilerage...I'm thinking some kind of small clockwork white dragon thing on shoulder....how? NO IDEA.

Z has already claimed Merlin.

Aviation jacket for Merlin with trademark neckerchief and blue shirt? And would there be vest in rich fabric involved for Arthur? Would he have a top hat?

How much of a role does recognizably play into functionality? I think a good cosplay has to have recognizable characters that should be instantly obvious. "Wow, look at that Merlin steampunk. That's (insert fandom phrase of the year equivalent to AWESOME POSSUM).

So, yes, Morgana and Merlin already claimed. Some con in the distant 2-3 year future. But stempunk!Merlin. In or out?

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