Monday, December 31, 2007

The End is Nigh!

Ok, so the year ends in just few hours from now, and I'm half listening/watching Pearl Jam's New York DVD concert. I still got work ( what else is new? ), and only just the New Year and Christmas time that I get to have that 24 hour break from drudgery. Hmmm, a lot of stuff happened, but first, contemplation and expectations for the next year.

Big news is that I'm getting married next year (that news never gets old, so forgive me for being a romantic), and we decided to go to the theme of Modern Filipiana Fiesta. So lots of barongs and lechons os the table, and yes, we plan to have three sorbetos carts in the area (that idea was pure genius!), and then try to have a garden wedding fit the budget. Hmmm, that's one I gotta watch out for, resist spending on "non-essentials". So next year, no iPhone, no Macbook, no gaming ( but maybe just the GT ), no more desserts and extra servings. But if there's a book sale ...God help me.

Another news is that two of closest friends, Mike and Rochelle, are also getting married next year, in June. Guess who's the best man? Well, I wasn't actually expecting to get that honor, but looking back, I always been there to there to share some of their blessings, even if I'm here in Iloilo and they in Manila. Actually really feel very honored, to have touched both their lives, and that really counts for something.

:::The Batch '97 10th Year Reunion:::

After six months of preparation, we got the reunion off without a hitch and actually was a huge success. Only a third of our batch came, and that's to be expected since most of classmates are either in the states/working night shifts/could not come because of family etc. And I actually expected that number to come out, and I wasn't wrong.

We graduated from West Visayas State University, one of the toughest high schools in the Visayas. A rigid entrance exam, plus the fatc that you can only enter the school at first year, ensures that the quality of students is high in academics. We started out 107 students, we graduated with 100, the others couldn't keep up with the system. And as such that we were the chosen few, we knew each other, and most of each other's secrets/scandals/issues etc. If I were to describe our school it would like UP without the rebellious nature, Pisay but without total nerdishness. And since we are few, we both excelled in sports in academics.

So we had our reunion. And we had a blast, from games, like "Give me what I want", but with a slight difference being that the emcee was asking for "a solution of liquid with a PH value of 7" ( see what I mean about being nerdy? Oh, he meant ice tea by the way ) to raffle prizes. Yes, we did have raffle prizes, the first prize was a Sofa Bed ( which was won by Bespren Earl by the way ) and we also have a teacher as a guest. I mean, which High School can give you that? Just feeling some school pride.

:::The Meeting of the Old Guard:::

The week after, I got into a another reunion, this time in old YFC group. I used to be quite a "personality here", and I admit I grew up fast during this time. Suffice to say, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have learned three things: to play in a band, to be a good leader, and to be have faith. I started out way back '94, then got happily yet regrettedly faded out in '04. But I still see some of them around, and this reunion proved that no matter where you are, no matter where you go, if you had been part of something big, you're still part of that group. Nuff said.

State of Mind:
Song of the Day: Baba O'Reilly By Pearl Jam (cover song)
Book of the Week: Speaker of the Dead by Orson Scott Card
Want/Need: More Downtime

Monday, December 10, 2007

Prelude to Planning, The Compass Rant and Being Back on Track


So we're planning for the wedding. God, it's so surreal. Yah think your ready for it but it kinda sinks down slowly to your brain that your are actually planning your own sacri ... er, wedding I mean. I remember someone telling me that a wedding is a female ritual; us men are only there to be the sacrificial lamb in the altar. While I did laugh out loud before, now it isn't as funny as it should have been. Ah well, might as well get my tether and goat bell on, hehehe. Baaaahhhh!

While we haven't decided on the exact date yet, we're planning on November or December next year, one year from now. I already got my list of people for my entourage, and while I have a lot of friends over the years, suffice to say they are the people who made a very big impact in my life. The list will have to be kept secret of course, not until I get the final count and try to contact them personally.

We already decided on the cake though. Imagine the bottom three layers are stacked with cupcakes, then the upper three layers are books ( made of cake of course ) that we really love. We both love a lot literature, and we both have the same sentiments when it comes to books, so we decided that it would be fitting that our cake symbolizes what we are: bibliophiles.

And were pretty sure that the theme would be Modern Filipino, its gonna be barongs and filipinianas abound. Tentative plans for the early stages of the wedding.

Like I said, surreal.

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( Uploaded this again, as the bottom link doesn't work for some reason.)

:::Golden Compass Rant:::

*Warning:Spoilers Ahead!*

Ok, so I watched Golden Compass with a high degree expectation since it was produced by the same guys who did LOTR, and I read the book a couple of times before the movie came out.

So ok, for me it sucked. Well, not suck "suck", since the cinematography was cool and the fight scenes great, but the translation from the book to the movie was rubbish. Sure most movies based from books ( read; Harry Potter, Eragon, etc ) didn't translate into the silver screen, but if you're part of the company that made LOTR, you at least expect something of staying true to the material. But nope, you just had to chop it up.

First of all, the books ( The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass ) are a great trilogy. Everything in detail, the backstory explained etc. The movie would have been ok, even exceptional, if they could have extended them to three hours and not two, for more story hooks and backstory.

Ok, differences between the book and the movie. My personal gripe was that they changed the last scene in the movie as the fight between the Tartars vs the Witches and Gypsians. The last scene in book was the fight between Iorek Byrnisson and Iofur Ragnarsson ( which the movie changed into just plain Ragnar ... urk ). The movie they got it on in the middle part. It didn't work at all. I mean you just won the duel, you are now king of the Ice Bears, and you didn't order them into join you at battle to save Lyra?! WTF?

And the witches! If I didn't read the book, I'd wonder why in the world would the witches help Lyra?! Serafina Pekala's story is nicely detailed in the book, and they just gave her a cameo apperance (like Angela and Solembum in Eragon, but that's a different rant).

And then...

"Lyra, I am your mother.", said Mrs. Coulter.

"NOOOOOOOO!" screamed Lyra.

(sub-dubbed, ad libbed and slightly heard in the background...)

"Luke, I am your father." Darth Vader said.

"NOOOOOOOO!" cried Luke in anguished.

Ok, Mrs. Coulter and Lyra didn't actually say it, but it was paraphrased so badly you could hear Vader and Luke in the eaves. And in the book, that scene never happened, as it was the Gypsians who told Lyra who her mother and father is. And they didn't put in the final scene where Lyra is reunited with her father, Lord Asriel! Arrrgh!

Get the book, read the story. I got mine in Booksale for 77 pesos only, hehehe.

:::Back on Track :::

A chance encounter in a coffee shop where my fiancee (still surreal: shifting from girlfriend to fiancee) was reading out a local newspaper and pointed out to me an article and said "Honey, this looks just like what you're looking for." I glanced at the article, read the words "Role Playing Games", "Legend of the 5 Rings" and "Vampire: The Requiem" in one paragraph, and stared at salvation. It's been three years since I gamed regularly, which I collectively known as the Hobby (your ccg's, rpg's, your mmorpg's and tabletop minis), and Ronstadt pointed it out to me in an off hand manner. So I got their local website, got in touch with the people, and now I'm back on track.

Ok, these guys aren't like the usual group I play with in Manila (obviously), and would take some getting used too, but hey if you're a hobby gamer, more or less you get to have the same traits, so almost no problem fitting in. They play Legend of the Five Rings, the CCG that's almost as known as Magic the Gathering ( second oldest CCG out there in fact ) and dabble in Dungeons and Dragons and Vampire: The Requiem.

I'd think I'd have died and gone to heaven.

So now, I am the Game Master for the Legend of the Five Rings Campaign, every Friday at Think Cafe. It's good to be back in the helm. Oh and, one of them plays Warhammer, but he's in the US right now, so that kinda blows. At least I have something to forward too when he comes back for a vacation. The other peeps are very interested in other aspects of gaming though, so I'll gently introduced them to Warmachine, hehehe.

Nevertheless, like I said, it's good to be Game Master again.

From L-R: Loiue, Zandro, Alros and me (half of the gamer group)

State of Mind: "Wait-is-this-really-happening?" Feeling
Song of the Day: The Fight is Over by Urbandub
Book of the Week: Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Looking for: A nice photographer