Celebrity Crush of the Moment: Blake Ritson

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Blake Ritson is my new celebrity crush, or I suppose to be more specific it’s his character Edmund Bertram in the TV film adaptation Mansfield Park (2007). I watched the film last night (instead of working on homework, etc. but whatever ;D) and suffice to say I am in like.

Not in love, but something akin to that.

As the second son he has no prospects in inheriting a large fortune, and so he’s had his sights set on being in the clergy. He certainly looks it, I suppose… he dresses so much like Mr Collins (from Pride and Prejudice) it’s a little disconcerting. Thankfully he’s not as creepy. Ritson’s facial structure and wide eyes doesn’t help in certain angles, but I really do think he’s okay looking — either that or his acting skills was really good to make me swoon the way I did when I was watching the movie.

Don’t believe me? Watch this short clip of him — and his amour, Fanny — at the end of the film. Skip ahead until the breakfast scene because that’s where it’s the most endearing.

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Hope


Dailypost’s weekly photo challenge inspired the title for this post, but sadly I don’t have a photo to do with it, hence the lack of “Weekly Photo Challenge: insert topic here” that I usually do. But I still feel like writing about hope, because earlier today I was so filled with that emotion… it was overwhelming, I tell you.

I was invited to come over to my friend’s house today (check out her blog, yo!), and she lives a couple of miles away from I do. The easiest way to get there was by bus, but I suck at arriving to the bus stop on time and I have no patience whatsoever when it comes to waiting for the next bus to come along so I usually take the taxi. Anyway, today I was really determined to catch the bus, but when I arrived at the bus stop I realize I had no idea which one to take! I knew it was a Park and Ride and not the usual Arriva buses, but how am I supposed to know that particular bus was able to take me where I wanted to go?

Enter Reg and Joy, the elderly couple whom I met at the bus. Some random dude asked me which bus I was taking and since I had no idea how to answer that — hello, people were blocking the timetables and route map thingies — I stammered out some random nonsense that I suppose made sense because the people gathered around began answering me.

So yeah, I was feeling a little but overwhelmed because three, four people at least were talking to me at the same time: “Oh, you need to take the number eight bus.” “Yes, I’m sure it’s the number eight.” “Number eight! Number eight!” (Okay, so I might be exaggerating the replies a little bit :D) It floored me just how willing people are to help. Granted these are the elderly people because it’s the Park and Ride and I suppose they might have sniffed out my insecurity, and I look younger than I do.

But still.

They actually helped me, and that’s just awesome.

They weren’t rude or snobbish or even a little bit degrading. Reg and Joy, in particular, were really nice about helping me out. They were like “we’ll take you where you need to go” and I was like “thank you.” I don’t want to sound like some airhead but I have no other way to tell that without making it sound like a fictional story. This really happened.

I was so full during the bus ride… I mean, the kindness of these people! Reg and Joy even went as far to give me a ride to my friend’s place after the bus stopped. It was a bit embarrassing, to be honest, because I knew I should be able to get there on my own. It was just the bus thing that got me worried. Buses are evil! They confuse you with their timetables and their number names and ugh, y’know??

But anyway, with the kindness of this elderly couple, I was able to make it to my friend’s place safely. Their willingness to help a complete stranger was just amazing, and I was really filled with hope. This day has been wonderful.

Over and out.

 

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac (2010)


Despite being Asian myself, I’m not particularly into the whole ‘Asian experience’ such as the K-pop music, the eccentric fashion or the television dramas. I tried watching Hana Yori Dango a couple of months ago, but that plan went kerplunk down the I-couldn’t-be-bothered-with-this drain. I couldn’t stand the acting, which might be why I didn’t watch that much TV back when I was still in the Philippines… huh.

But whatever, Asian movies are a different matter. Though I might have only seen a few (I could count in one hand the number of Asian movies I’ve seen — that I remember — in my entire lifetime), I’d like to think that my experience with movies that are distinctively Asian are pretty good. I mean, there was Memoirs of a Geisha and Secret and 3 Idiots and… well, that’s pretty much it.

I found all these movies to be moving in one way or another, and I admire how the events happen and how the characters handled them. Suffice to say, I was surprised by the ending. They weren’t a distinctive beginning, middle and then. There were flashbacks and all that. It was a breath of fresh air for the Western-influences teen in me. So I suppose that’s why I decided to give Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac a chance

…and after watching the movie, I don’t know if I should be glad that I watched it or not. To be honest, it was nothing special (I thought it was because I saw that Emma Roberts was in the cast; she has a small role). Still, I found the movie to be toosuperficial. I mean, the main character Naomi’s fall and following amnesia didn’t even take first place as a plot point! Wanna know what did?

Her boyfriend. Or I should say boyfriends.

There’s her boyfriend before the fall Ace Zuckerman, who was the typical teenager. His worries revolved around his passion for the game tennis. And sex. Then there’s the moody woe-is-me boyfriend Yuji Miwa, who is really depressed because his brother died. While I can’t fault him for his behavior, I really did not understand what Naomi sees in him. From the outside perspective, I could totally see that he was not ready for her. Yes, there was the passion and the affection and the spark of chemistry was there. But emotions-wise? He needed to sort himself out first. It was bittersweet when they eventually broke up, though.

Lastly there’s Mirai Hazegawa, who has been in the friend zone for quite some time I presume. He’s been patient with Naomi and he could be really considerate if he wanted to be. However, there was this vibe that I felt from him… that he was being too selfish or something, which is really unfair of me to say because had been nothing but the typical best friend throughout the movie. Anyway, I stand by my opinion that while he and Naomi have history and friends and could be a really good couple, I didn’t see any passion. But whatever. The best friend gets the girl in the end, doesn’t he?

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac may have ended the lucky string of good Asian movies that I had going on, but I’ve not lost hope. I enjoyed watching it and I suppose I could go back to it again if I feel like it. I’m not gonna shun it like I shun The Last Airbender *shudder* The movie was meant to be a coming of age drama, but I really had not sympathy for Naomi. Sorry. I don’t want to be un-nice but that’s just the way I feel.

Over and out.

The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson


Eva Ibbotson has been on of my favorite authors as a young teen; I remember borrowing (and loving) The Secret Countess and A Company of Swans from a friend, and from then on Ibbotson has been right up there with J. K. Rowling — and believe me, for a Potterhead like me, that’s a high honour.

Anyway, I could go on about finding a copy of The Morning Gift in the school library completely by accident, seeing the familiar cover and immediately going to the front desk to check the book out so that I could re-acquaint myself with the novel, but what I really want this post to be about (apart from procrastinating for an English Lit. essay that I have to write) is the love story between Quin and Ruth.

Quin is a college professor and he first met Ruth as a child in Vienna. Years later when the threat of Hitler forced Ruth’s family to emigrate out of the country, Ruth is left behind with only Quin to help her. Complications arise and in the end Quin decides to marry Ruth in order to safely get her out of the country and into England, his homeland. By marrying her, Ruth is therefore becomes an English citizen.

It all seems to be straightforward, doesn’t it? Ruth spends time with Quin,s he falls in love with him and he falls in love with her… but there’s this annoying little tick in the form of Heini, Ruth’s childhood sweetheart. He’s a piano virtuoso and can be very irritating (you know how artists can be… such divas!).

Now, I fully understand that some characters have a role to play. Only a couple weeks ago my English Lit. class has covered Vladimir Propp’s theory on stock characters, and I can totally see Heini as The False Hero. Or The Villain, but that sounds more like Verna Plackett with her quest to gain Quin’s attention and be his wife. Moving back to Heini and his relationship with Ruth, I just can’t wrap my head around how on earth a sweet, intelligent and somewhat otherworldly girl like Ruth could ever see Heini — selfish, self-centered, pig-headed — as someone she truly loves.

I know love is blind and everything, but come on! The guy refuses to pay rent, even though money was scarce. He spends waaay too long in the bathroom, and he bosses Ruth around like an assistant! That isn’t the way a man treats his amour!

*takes a deep breath*

But I understand — really, I do. Heini’s role in the story was to set Ruth on her way to Quin. After arriving in England, Ruth and Quin didn’t act like a newly married couple. They barely acted like they were friends, to be honest. Quin returned to his teaching job, which coincidentally had Ruth as a student. This part was kind of exciting with the prospect of forbidden love and everything, though Ruth and Quin being married made it all legal.

As time passed, Quin began to see Ruth as the woman she was, not the silly little girl he met in Vienna; he has fallen in love with her. Of course, Ruth was still as silly as ever, but throughout the story you could see her transition from girl to woman. Anyway, when Heini wanted to really “make her a woman”, awkward situations arose and Ruth ran to Quin’s open arms — figuratively speaking, that is. Ruth now understood why she wasn’t able to be with Heini: it was because she didn’t love him. How could she? He wasn’t right for her… that git.

The story progressed on from there, though what really interested me was the gradual progression from “family friends” to “lovers” that Ruth and Quin’s relationship evolved into. I won’t say that it was all very romantic, for the knowledge that WWII was looming over their horizons and the effect it had on the characters provided a sense of heaviness. I suppose it’s simply the romantic school girl in me, but there were some parts of the book that I absolutely swooned over. In chapter 25, for example, Quin said to Ruth, “What I’m going to do now, is kiss you.”

The context, of course, was that Ruth wanted a divorce in order to be with Heini. She was hysterical about it, and I knew that deep in her subconsciousness she never really loved Heini. That’s why she’s making excuses for her behavior — specifically, as my more modern peers would so eloquently phrase it, “not putting out.” But the way Quin took charge, it was so… Anyway, Ruth, suffice to say, admitted her love for him. How could she not? There’s a whole hero complex going on: falling in love with her savior and all that rot, yeah?

So there you have it, a story of a middle-aged bachelor and a young woman falling in love after they get married. A bit twisted, but there you go. Love is blind after all, isn’t it?

The Morning Gift is a wonderful read, and it was enchanting to be able to re-read it again. It’s really surprising what a few years can make, because I remember reading the book for the first time two, three years ago… I remember being swept by the love story then, and not to say that I wasn’t swept by the love story now but with the few nuggets of information I’ve gained from experience and my English Lit. classes (hey, I’m actually learning!!), I realize I have approached the book from a completely different viewpoint.

Regrets, Aspirations and Chocolate Smoothies


While not exactly the first of January any more, I’m still pretty much hyped up over the “new year” because I’m weird like that. There’s nothing like the prospect of a fresh start to make my mind wander, and throughout the past couple of days I’ve found myself contemplating my life.

Have I done anything at all that I could be proud of twenty years from now?

What am I going to do for the rest of the year?

That chocolate smoothie I had this afternoon was really nice. When can I have another one?

a Ferrero Rocher flavoured smoothie from Blendini... I swear I'm in love

If I tally up all the things I did in 2011 and assess them one by one by my personal standards, I would have only a few things to be really proud of, a couple of things I’m sorta proud of, and one helluva pile of what was I thinking?! moments.

Thinking about my achievements led to me thinking about what I could have done if I had not quit so easily on some things — because yeah, I’m a quitter. Not in the sense that I just quit on that exact moment I feel like quitting, but it’s more of a gradual thing. Say I’m starting a new project… The first few weeks — months, maybe — I’d be super thrilled. Then as the excitement wears off, I’d begin to get bored before finally I’d decide to quit. That’s what happened to the violin lessons I was taking a couple of years ago, and now I’m getting this itching feeling that I should take it up again.

Maybe it’s fate, or perhaps I’m just inspired by these videos I’ve seen on YouTube today:

(You can’t really tell, but I’m a big fan of Adele’s music.)

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I Am Sher-locked.


It all began with an innocent browse through TumblrI didn’t mind it at first because I’m fiercely loyal to my affiliations, and one of the reasons why I set up a Tumblr account was so I can look at Harry Potter memes to my heart’s content. (And Doctor Who. And the occasional Lord of the Rings.)

Then there was that one time a couple of days ago… I got this sudden urge to watch Sherlock Holmes. I mean, I like the movies well enough, but I couldn’t bring myself to commit to another TV show, since I feel that with Doctor Who, The Big Bang Theory and Friends, I have enough to be getting on with. I’m not really sure if it was the steady stream of Sherlock-related memes or the fact that there seemed to be a lot of them that particular day, but I found myself watching the show one night.

And guess what?

I loved it. I frickin’ loved it.

It’s fast paced. It keeps you on your toes. The plots for each episode are well-done, and that’s a given because Moffat is part of the team (in case you don’t know, he’s part of Doctor Who as well). Of course, there’s also Cumberbatch’s voice — that voice! — and Freeman’s occasionally funny Hobbit walk. Oh, and don’t forget Cumberbatch’s cheekbones… must never forget the cheekbones. *cheeky grin*

Twilight In A Few Words


To all those Twi-hard out there, have you ever wished there was a condensed version of the stories? Having this love/hate relationship with the series, that thought did cross my mind a couple of times. I want to re-read the books so that I can justify to people why I like/dislike them, but I can’t seem to get off my backside and re-read all four books. (Don’t ask how I know, but apparently there are 2,358 pages altogether… -_-’)

Anyway, as I trolled around internet I stumbled upon this link, and lo and behold! there is a Dr. Seuss version of Twilight. And by ‘Twilight’ I mean the first book, not the entire series. Such a shame, if I’m honest. I would love to “read” until Breaking Dawn.

Twilight, by Dr. Seuss

Jake likes a girl. Her name is Bella.
Bella likes a different fella.

See this vamp? This is Ed.
Ed is pale. Ed is dead.

Ed saved Bella from a van.
Ed must be a special man.

Ed won’t kill boys. He won’t kill girls.
Ed gets fed on deer and squirrels.

This is James. He’s a tracker.
He’s a sort of vamp attacker.

James hunts Bella for a thrill.
Will Ed kill him? Yes, he will.

But James gave her a little bite.
Will she be a vamp? She might!

Edward fixes Bella’s cut.
She won’t be a vampire.
But…

She becomes one. Read some more.
She’s a vampire in book 4.

Disclaimer: Clearly, I do not own this Dr. Seuss version of Twilight… “unicycle” does. No copyright infringement intended.

Productive… What does that mean again?


This pretty much summed up the past few days for me

If it weren’t for the fact that it’s the Christmas holidays for me, I would be screwed. Royally. Not only have I not touched the Maths booklet filled with past exam questions to prepare for the January exams, but as of now, I can’t tell the different between integration and differentiation. And school begins on the 9th.

Like I said, royally screwed.

The ironic thing is, I remember thinking this past December how I’m going to maximise my time this 2012. I had a neat New Year’s Resolution thing going on in my head and everything. I suppose it would’ve helped if I had written the list down — to solidify the idea and all that — but was too lazy.

See the cycle?

I honestly think I’m cursed. I can’t get myself out of this funk. I have so many things to do, it’s probably wise to actually do them instead of discuss them. But meh, I’m not claiming to be wise. I’ll leave that for Dumbledore.

“We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”

(Please laugh, because none of my friends understand my Harry Potter jokes… either that or I’m just not funny >_<).

Anyway, I need to pull out the nerdy glasses and study my socks off. I need to do my best for the A-levels, otherwise my mum is gonna kill me.

Oh well. Wish me luck?

First Year of Blogging: A Review (2011)


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

There you go, folks — a year-end review for A Green Sky Outside. Not bad for the first few months, eh? Suffice to say, I’m a bit chuffed :3 I do hope that I progress more this 2012. Happy New Year, my dear readers!!