Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Movie : Beyond the Clouds (1995)

Al di là delle nuvole (Italy)
Beyond the Clouds (USA)
Jenseits der Wolken (Germany)
Par-delà les nuages (France)

Beyond the Clouds is a film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders (who directed Wings of Desire) released in 1995. This is the last film of Antonioni, who was a brilliant Italian director.

It is composed of four short stories linked by a journey of a film director played by John Malkovich, while thinking of his next film in Europe. The stories take place in Ferrara, Portofino, Aix en Provence and Paris with each story centered on a woman. They are Ines Sastre, Sophie Marceau, Chiara Caselli and Irene Jacob, four of the most beautiful women assembled in one film.

Each story at each end doesn’t explain the reasons by the characters became as such or why they acted that way. I think it invites as to speculate, to wonder why they are what they are.

I would define each story as, 1st – Unfulfilled love over time, 2nd – Meeting a person with Intriguing Personality, 3rd – Chance encounter leading to Infidelity, and 4th – Love at First Sight vs. Divine Love.

Of the four stories, I was struck by the first and last story.

The first story is about a travelling technician Silvano who encountered a roving teacher Carmen (Ines Sastre) while trying to find a hotel to spend the night in a remote town somewhere in Spain. She pointed the technician to a hotel nearby where he stayed for the evening. In the morning, the technician found out that the teacher was also staying the hotel. They had an interesting conversation throughout the day. In the evening, he escorted her to her room and said good night before going to his room. After closing her door, he hinted for the desire to enter her room maybe to have an intimate night together. But he never did. When he woke up in next day, he found out that she had already left.

After three years, they again met and continued their conversation as if time has not passed since they last met. He asked her why she left without saying anything and it was revealed that she was waiting for him to enter her room that night. She showed him to her home were it was revealed to she has been with a man for a year now telling him of a letter that her lover wrote while lamenting that “Words do us good even in writing/ A woman expects them/ She always does”. He left her house but returned immediately and the woman let him in again. They had an intimate moment but before it could be consummated, he left without saying anything.

It was clear that he loves the woman and continues to do so even after he left. Maybe the woman did love him too, hinted by a sign of sadness while watching him leave from her window. The question lingers that even though he loves her, why he not possessed her even though it was hinted that she wanted him to possess her. It may be that he has too much pride in himself or maybe it’s just plain foolishness on his part. We are led to speculate on the matter

Why did he left when? Did the knowledge that she is with someone else deter him from pursuing her even though he loved her immensely? Will he be contended that he just knew her? Is he afraid of what might have been? Was it sacrifice or pride?

I was left to wonder why he did what he did. I’m still wondering…

The last story was about a man who was fascinated with a girl (Irene Jacob) whom he just encountered while holding the door for her as she was leaving the apartment building. He followed her immediately and asked her if he could walk with him. She was heading to a church to attend mass at as nearby church. As he was accompanying her, he told her that he thinks that she is in love and the girl agreed. He assumed that she was in love because she was satisfied and they continued their conversation heading to church. They attended mass, however, he didn’t sit beside her preferring to side by the side of the church. He felt asleep and when he woke, the mass was finished and the girl had already left.

He went outside and tried to find her and caught up with her in the nearby fountain and then accompanied her back to the apartment building where they first met. They continued to talk even as the rain was about to fall. Upon reaching the apartment door building, she hurriedly went up the building to her apartment leaving the man. The man followed her up the stair. As she was about to enter her room, the man revealed that if maybe he could she he again because he was falling in love with her. And the girl said that it could not be so because the next day she will be entering the convent to become a nun. And she closed her door while the man outside dumbstruck of what he just heard.

Could that single meeting constitute as love or just infatuation? What would one feel knowing that the one he fell in love with was not meant for him? How could he react to that kind of answer? It’s human love versus divine love.

These two stories are opposite of each other, the first one didn’t continue a love he could have while the other cannot have the love he wanted. Both stories end in heartache. The stories didn’t mention how each story might have ended up in the future. The first one only implied that he continued to love her and I believe that he did.

Most people would say that we should move on with our lives when we encounter heartaches like finding out that we could never have the person we love or letting the love of our life continue without us to have a better life as I think the character Silvano did. He let he go because he thinks that he is inadequate for her. This is very painful to admit knowing that you’re not good enough for the person you love. However, I think it is even more painful to realize that you can never have the person you love even if you are at your best just like the boy who fell in love with the future nun.

Yes, we should move on but not necessarily lose the feeling for the person we could not have. Sometimes, moving on and letting go doesn’t follow the same path. As what I’ve read in a book, we should hold on the pieces of our broken dreams because they will serve as a reminder of the ideal that we couldn’t achieve. They will serve as our guide in formulating another dream.

I believe that love is a choice and we are free to choose who we love but we could never choose the person who will love us. We could only hope that the person we love feels the same way about us. Even if your stars decree that you’re fated to be together, until the choice is made, it is still nothing.

Make the choice, not because it is easy or is available but because you wanted that choice. Never settle for something, choose the best even if you won’t succeed. Settling for something is a continuous pain to suffer because deep inside you, you know that it is not what you wanted.

Rejection is easier to accept rather than the knowledge that you were just settled for.

Continue searching. Who knows? We may continue a love story from our past or create a new one. We could only hope for the best because we still can’t see anything beyond the clouds.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Necessity of Accepting Favors

One spring day, long ago, Father called me to go with him to old man Trussell's blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired. And they were ready when we came, fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar, but Mr. Trussell refused to take it. "No," he said. "There's no charge for that little job." My Father insisted.

If I should live a thousand years, I'll never forget that blacksmith's reply. "Sid," he said to my father, "can't you let a man do something - just to stretch his soul?"

R. Lee Sharpe

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Phase One Initiated

The first step has already been taken. I asked her out. Although her answer is vague. I still want to pursue it. Gotta do what I should have done a long time ago. I enveloped myself with fear that I was hesitant to ask her. I'm still not as confident as before but I have to do this because I like her. I just hope it turns out well.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don’t Fill Your Eyes With Tears

If you miss one opportunity—don’t fill your eyes with tears. Tears may hide another better opportunity in front of you.” Wipe those eyes and look up—there lies the future.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

It's Christmas Day. Last night, we went to the midnight mass and after that celebrated a little then we all went back to bed. I woke up late and spent the whole day at home watching movies and surfing the net. Today's the day to send with your family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas
and the
Happiness that this time brings to one and all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Additions to the Toy Collection - DC Characters

Here are a few DC Characters that we picked up during sale in the mall.

I've always been a fan of Batman and found his character intriguing and fascinating. A human character who uses his brains to outwit and defeat opponents even super-powered ones. Below is the the version that he appeared in Red Son. In this version, he was Russian. The Red Son was a story set in the USSR and carried a "what if" story had Superman not landed in Smallville and was raised in the Soviet Union.

Batman : Red Son

Joker is one of the best villains ever created for comic books. He is what I can an intelligent crazy man who does most of his evil plans out of fun. Also, he is the perfect opponent of Batman, who is calculated in all his actions, while the Joker is spontaneous.

Bobble-Head Joker

Monday, December 22, 2008

New Addition to the Toy Collection - Cartoon Characters

Poopdeck Pappy & the Sea Hag with Vultures

From the video Game Kingdom Hearts - Kairi and the Witch

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Addition to the Toy Collection - Anime

I've been a fan of anime for a long time especially Yu Yu Hakusho aka Ghost Fighter. I watched every episode of the anime series when it was shown before on local TV (Channel 13) dubbed in Pilipino. I would eagerly go home and watch this anime. Many of my friends and classmates were also fans. So, teh next day we will be discussing how plot of the show and admiring some of the new powers we have discovered on our favorite character.

I bought this toy for my brother's collection about two week ago and was pleased to have bought it at a discounted price. Usually, this toy sells at a much higher price of which I couldn't afford for just a toy. I'm glad I found it ahead of other collectors.

Yu Yu Hakusho - Yusuke aka Eugene (in the Philippines)

I have no idea who this one is but I believe that he is part of the anime Samurai X.

Friday, December 19, 2008

On-going : Christmas Party

As of this moment, we are having our Christmas Party and just finished our dinner. A is currently held right now featuring two stand-up comedians.

I guess I'm not yet attuned to this kind of party here since it is almost three years when I attended this party. So, I decided to go up in our office and surf the internet & blog a little.

Also, I saw the woman that I liked and she looked gorgeous. But silly me, I stilll can't ask her out because my nerves are getting the best out of me. I really wanted to ask her personally rather than just through YM or texting. Oh, I really don't like this part of me. All I can do when she's around is say a few words and smile. Unlike before when we could talk anything under the sun. Now, when I see her, my heart wants to say that "I like her" but my mouth can't say those things.

Well, the only thing for a "torpe" to do was to stand next to her. Trying to muster enough courage to tell her what I feel but couldn't. I'm to discreet to tell her something in public. I hope by the year's end, I could at least ask her out.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Office Party Tomorrow and No Gift Prepared

The Office Christmas Party will be held tomorrow and I still have no gift for the person I picked for the "exchange gifts". I made it a point earlier in the office for everyone to hear that I will not be giving the gift to the person I picked tomorrow evening. Just promised that I will deliver the gift this coming Monday because I plan to by the gift this coming weekend. I'd like to have choices for a nice gift so I'll buy it some place else because I'll be traveling this coming weekend to meet with my friends.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Frasier... I'm Listening

After work, I get home and watch at least 2-3 episodes of the comedy show Frasier. I got a copy of the complete 11 seasons which aired from 1993-2004. I first got acquainted with Frasier when I was watching reruns of Cheers on cable. I enjoyed that show too.

I love watching the show and found myself laughing all the time. The other family members in the house oftentimes doesn't understand why I laugh during the scenes from the show. Oftentimes, when they try to watch it, they don't understand what the characters are talking about. I guess one must have at least up to date with current events and history to understand some of what the characters are saying. Although there are times that I don't understand what they are talking about. It makes me do research on some of their topics to further understand the show.

And it didn't come as a surprise to me when MENSA named Frasier as one of the smartest television show ever created. The writers of the show didn't make the show too mainstream to be understood by all. They kept the show intelligent, as it should be. All the main characters are funny with Frasier and Niles portraying the snobbish elite, Martin and Roz as the everyday persons and Daphne as the out of this world thinker. Let us not forget Eddie, he became quite a character on the show.

I highly recommend watching Frasier to all. Not only will it make you laugh, you will also learn a bit or two about society.

Finally, I Attended The Misa de Gallo

I woke up early this morning and got the chance to attend the Misa de Gallo. The church was packed, even the parking lot. My brother and I arrived just in time before the mass actually started. It was a nice experience. However, it rained right after the communion and the people started to pack the church just to avoid getting wet.

My fears of sleeping during the mass wasn't realized because we were standing the during the whole duration of the mass. I hope I can attend the mass tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Missed the Misa de Gallo

Early this morning was the start of the "Misa de Gallo" and I missed it. My mother texted us yesterday evening that we should attend the dawn mass and my bother and I planned to do so. However, when we woke up it was already 5:00 A.M.. The mass here in our place starts at 4:30 A.M. I was so asleep that I didn't even hear my alarm ringing.

We are planning to attend the next one though, so we asked our father to wake us up if he's awake early next morning. I just hope I won't sleep during the mass like in the previous years..hehe.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sale! Sale! Everywhere

I have been to the malls recently and its crowded. Went there to buy some stuff but turned around because of the long spiraling line that have been forming around the cashier. Whether, the items are for sold more or less, I never really liked waiting for a very long line. i would rather buy it at its normal price than endure the long lines just save a few pesos. I get tired easily from waiting for something that ain't worth that much.

When I go to the mall, I will only enter the stores that have less people in them. These stores are also selling at a discounted price but they are not famous enough to merit long lines form people. I have experienced before that the best time to buy is the day after Christmas and New Year. People are usually tired from all the celebration so the malls are not that crowded and best of all. Most of the items are still sold at a discounted price.

For those people who love to shop this time, enjoy the moment. It's just not for me.

Own Opinions

I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less values on his own opinions of himself than on the opinion of others.

Marcus Aurelius

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Doubting Dylan

In the past week, I began to doubt some of the things that people say around me. Being in the middle of things, i get to hear both sides and they all have a different side to the story. Some try to promote themselves as competent individuals, others spread rumors of others inadequacy while some position themselves as the victims. I don't have monopoly of the truth of all of these matters so I often have the difficulty of determining the truth from the lies.

It has been my recent experience that people praise me for something I am not. They conjure up things that makes me appear somewhat better than everyone else. I am not comfortable with it because it creates a huge room for disappointment and failure. When people put you in a pedestal, you are treated differently because they want to be on your good side. However, being on top, you are expected to be great at what you do and every little mistake you made on top will appear bigger to everyone below.

I have also been a subject of gossips before but now it will be different because because every move I make will be scrutinized and judged differently. Now, every comment or actions I make must be thought out thoroughly or else it might be construed differently from what I meant to say. It is difficult to be critical at others at this point. The hard I have to bear, I can't be the opposition... for now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just Arrived

It was a long journey and finally I'm back home. Now, I got time to rest my aching back from all the baggage I have carried. The trip was not as fruitful as I have hoped it would be but it achieved something that was integral for work to be done smoothly : the sense of direction. I just hope that what they learned will not just slip their minds when we get back to work on Monday. Oftentimes, we tend to agree on something just for it to be done with. I hope that will not be the case. We were shown what we can do to be better and the necessary requirement for that are competent individuals who will undertake those task. Maybe in a small sense, some of them felt that they were necessary for improvement even for all their faults. Who knows maybe they will minimize their vices and increase their inputs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Badmouthing Others to Hide One's Flaws

Now, I am in the middle of a discussion with a group of guys throwing trash at other people's reputations and abilities. This seems add for me because these guys are the one known who are doing undesireable things in their jobs. It makes me wonder why they are doing these badmouthing of other people's abilities, are they doing this to hide their own flaws and make themselves appear noble or what they are saying is the truth. I have no monopoly of the truth but their are some evidences that doesn't give them the right to complain of other people's dirty laundry when they themselves are soiled.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Have to Wake Up Early

Tomorrow's my scheduled departure for that benchmarking trip for our office. I'll take of early morning so that I can arrived early and deliver something before my flight in the afternoon. Instead of sleeping sound asleep, I am now doing by blog and surfing the Internet. This is usually the case for me when I'm going on a trip. I feel so anxious that I'm wide awake until the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I can sleep while during the trip.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Crying / Llorando

I first encountered this song when I saw the movie "Mulholland Drive" by David Lynch. Such a wonderfully crafted and one of the most difficult movie to understand. In one scene, the two principal actresses viewed a sort of performance in a near empty theater. The singer Rebekah del Rio came and sang "Llorando", the most heartbreaking song that I've ever heard in a movie. But the the catch is I don't understand the song because it was in spanish.

Upon research, I discovered that the song Lorando was the spanish version of the original song "Crying" by Roy Orbison. Upon hearing the song "Crying", I have concluded that this one of the few occassions in which the original song is faithfully rendered in another language with all the emotions intact. Most translated songs just change the lyrics into their another, oftentimes losing its edge.

Just hear the two versions and judge for yourself.

Ray Orbison - Crying

Rebekah Del Río - Lloradano

Away I Go Again

This coming week, I am scheduled to travel again to observe and maybe replicate some things that needs to be changed at the office. To streamline some of the processes to make our work for efficient.

Frankly, I don't really like to travel that much especially when its not on vacation. I get woozy when I travel and I can't sleep well in hotels. I stay up late and wake up early then feeling tired for most of the day.

I just hope that we will learn something from this trip and maybe the journey will be worthwhile.

I have to pack light this time, but got so many things to bring. Maybe a solution on that predicament will arrive later. Just maybe. (sigh)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Am Complicating A Made Up Decision

I am at a loss for myself. For the past week, I have been hesitating on a decision that was already made up months ago. I just don't know how to react to myself. Maybe this due to my past experiences that leads me to be hesitant on this acting out what I wanted to do and still want to do. It's difficult having yourself as the the hindrance on what you want to do. The outcome of this decision is yet to be decided but what is important that it should be acted upon with the best that I can offer.

High self-confidence is not even an asset of mine when it comes to this situation. It is the one of the few things that I am not good at and fearful of doing throughout my life. The positive and negative aspects of it bothers me. I have to keep asking myself why do I think to far ahead and not concentrate on the present. My mind always wonder on all the possibilities that any of my decisions will result to, whatever they may be. I have to learn to savor the moment and just present myself.

And to complicate this matter even worse, I am not asking why did I make such a decision in the first place. Do I really need to always have a reason for wanting what I want.

Oh, why do I have to complicate my life? (sigh)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

When Will I Start It?

Having enrolled for a thesis more than a month ago, I still have no clue on what topic to do. I was supposed to attend a briefing on that matter but I have backed out because of the need to travel again. It was supposed to be a introduction on thesis writing but as I have inquired with my friend who took it before, it is not necessary though because the adviser that you will take will also teach you those stuff. However, my main problem is the topic. With so many choices, the problem is now in the choosing. I have to analyze it out thoroughly because I don't have that much financial capability to launch a large scale research on a subject matter. Maybe, this month I can find an approved topic so that I can start researching and hope to finish it by march.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Think Twice

I been a fan of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Waterson ever since I laid eyes on it in some newspaper way back then. It's shows philosophical views applied in a comical sense from the mind of Calvin and his beloved tiger, Hobbes.

Here's one to think about:

Winning is as Hard to Deal With as Losing

Sometimes winning is as hard to deal with as losing. It's easy to moon over a lost love - to fantasize over what might have been, secure in the knowledge that it'll never happen - it makes a great excuse for not facing the risks and demands of reality.

Wolverine (Uncanny X-Men No. 183)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Lady Luck Wasn't On My Side

I was so excited and nervous before my recent trip. Anticipating what might happen, what would I say and what would I do. Rehearsing over and over in my mind the things I have to do to tell someone that I like them. But, alas, she couldn't meet with me because of some prior arrangement. Those were valid arrangements because she had planned it out beforehand and I was just trying to, maybe, insert myself in to her schedule. All that trip for nothing. I stayed in there with nothing to do. No plan B. That was it, it was my only goal.

I tried to do it outside my hometown because I don't know if such actions would be done discreetly. Tried to follow her on her vacation. Silly me. But things didn't turn out as planned, as it always is with my affairs of the heart.

God-willing, I hope that one of these days she'll meet with me. Just couldn't picture out her reaction if I asked her for a date. There's still time for me to prepare my nerves if that time comes. Talked to her before but not like this one that I'm about to do. Telling a friend that you liked them and want to be more than friends with her. I've done this before and it always end with disappointment.

Can't worry about what might happen, I just have to tell her what I fell. It's up to her to react and for me to wait for her reaction. Just thinking about it makes me my hands tremble and my heart beating faster.

Gotta keep calm.

But I don't know if can be calm about it.


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