storm and urge  

Posted by the lamplighter

The desire was animal.
It was pure
and stirred a tornado in her senses.
Voices in her head told her
it wasn't right,
and not worth the trouble of being wrong. 
But when did she ever listen to them?

He smiled like an angel 
promising delicious evil things.
His arms promised 
tenderness and strength, 
a sanctuary and a cage.

And she would yield to him.
She knew it before 
she actually thought about it.
All he had to do was ask, 
and she would make him.
No, not ask,
he would beg.

How often does it happen?  

Posted by the lamplighter

I begin with a good intention. I make my aim and pursue it with fervent desperation. I chase it. I grab it by its tail and sure enough, as it always does, it slips through my fingers. All the effing time.


Posted by the lamplighter

To teach is to take on a herculean task.

I believe that every student can be taught, and can learn. It is unfortunate that a class’ success is determined by the ability of the class to shut up while the teacher feeds them with information. It is shocking that instead of the teacher challenging the class to think, he urges them to subscribe to the restrictions already set by the so-called curriculum.

Teachers take on education sourly. Some only deign to teach because they lack the ability to do anything else. Teaching is a fallback.

The government allocates more budget for bullets than chalk.  Unless the school’s meagerness is offered up to the media, the local government barely notices the existing and uncomfortable fact that the seventy students in a classroom have to share fifty chairs. Fifty rickety chairs.
The books hardly help. It’s no secret that there had been a lot of issues about misprinted and erroneous data in public school books.

Imagine trying to light one lamp at a time only to find out that it’s turned dimmer every time you leave the room – simply because it’s the easier thing to do.

Some people view the state of our nation’s education as a national disaster in slow motion. I think it’s gaining speed.     

First Quarter Movies  

Posted by the lamplighter

Last year, I resolved to spend more time inside the cinema and I did. I made sure that I watched at least one movie a month. So far, I enjoyed most of the movies I've seen.

To start the year right, Tiger and I went to see James Cameron's AVATAR. I feel asleep for about 10 minutes right in the middle of the movie. I guess I got all dizzy with the swooping shots and panoramic landscapes.

The movie was not so bad but it felt like much of the thought was focused on the effects and not the plot. I guess that was just too much to ask.

In February, I pleaded to see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. I adored the book and could not wait to see how they will appear in the movies.

I was not impressed but it was fun. I felt the urge to be apologetic in behalf of the filmmakers since I understand that there is not possible way of translating that engaging series flawlessly into the big screen. And by the looks of it, that would be the first and last Percy Jackson movie they would attempt to make.

Last year we could not stop talking about the buzz that Johnny Depp will play the Mad Hatter in the next Tim Burton movie and back then we knew this is something to watch out for.

And so We went into the rabbit hole and revisited the Underland with Alice and the many colorful characters who calls it home. We watched the antics of the insufferable queen and braved the many terrible yet awesome adventures that Alice never grew tired of.

It was nothing short of amazing. We can always count on Burton to turn our well-loved classics into the dark and twisted. I loved it.

To cap off the quarter, Tiger and I saw Clash of the Titans. The effects were decent and at times spectacular. There were a lot of things that were a bit needless.

Ultimately, it was not the best movie to close the quarter but there are a lot more movies to come as 2010 unfolds.

For the second quarter, we ought to get ready for Shrek Forever After, Toy Story 3, The Karate Kid and The Last Airbender.

whoa percy!  

Posted by the lamplighter

Warning: there may be spoilers here.

It's not that I'm entirely satisfied, I just understand how difficult the task could be.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is an intricate and delicious piece of literature. It's classic and contemporary. And it is arguably one of the best series in the young adult literature in ages.

I've always felt the pull towards mythology. For me, it's the origin of all soap opera plots ever written. And to be able to read it in contemporary form is nothing short of amazing.

When I heard of the film adaptation, I got all giddy. I heard Columbus is directing and I thought another Harry Potter-ish film - the making of a classic. In my excitement, I forgot how the Potter films are inferior to the book.

Seeing the movie is actually a mixed experience for me. I was fascinated as to how much the film deviated from the book but remained interesting at the same time. I also realized how the makers are going to be in hot water when the reviews come in.

There are a lot of details in the book to cram in (insert run time), but it's still not a valid excuse to make an adaptation faithful to the book.

First, the main villain is not even in the movie. Kronos' name was mentioned as well as the most possible motive that he has for going after the Olympians. The villain was not clearly defined actually- which is okay in the absence of the Kronos detail, since every god is basically neither friend nor enemy to Percy. Well, they've not decided yet anyway.

Second, there was Percy's  quest- which is basically the whole plot of the novel. It's totally different. I was waiting for the opportunity for the movie to pick up its feet and reveal that it's as smart as the novel, but I was left wanting.

And third, the most interesting- albeit annoying- characters were removed. Nancy Bobofit, Clarisse, and Ares were no show. It's important to have these characters because they elicited the reactions that define Percy.

I still enjoyed the film. Percy's character is funny and has that near-endearing swagger, a split between Radcliffe's Potter and Efron's Troy . The effects were great but not too extraordinary. There are just too many factors which could have made it much better. Some argued that the reason for these compromises is the existence of a target audience. Do filmmakers "sacrifice" too much simply because they feel that their audience wouldn't get it?

If you take away the fact that the movie was based on a book, it would've been better. It makes sense anyway. But as it is, it is not. And that makes all the difference.

awkward confessions  

Posted by the lamplighter

It doesn't help that I earn a little more than most people my age.

My bank accounts aren't too shabby as well. But there is always this guilty feeling looming ever so ominously whenever I try to make a really extravagant purchase. And honestly, I don't feel like I've really made too much of those.

Recently I got stumped by a sizeable amount in credit card debt. I almost did not see it coming. I made a few harmless purchases for a couple of innocently affordable tops, a few routine grocery items, and opted to swipe the card thinking I might rather need the cash later in the day. And I actually considered myself a generally smart buyer.

It's cruelly amazing how these things become habit when you're not watching your back, right?

I managed to reduce it by over half the amount in a month (I got an unexpected bonus) and I was really pleased with myself. I'm also in a very comfortable earning scheme and I expect it to stay like this for at least a couple more months before I head on to more meaningful albeit less lucrative venture - teaching.

I certainly don't live a life of luxury. To be honest, I can settle for an even simpler life. Sure, I find some of the "comforts" that I have now a bit necessary but it does not mean that I cannot do away with them. Currently, I have a laptop, an ipod, tons of books, dvds and magazines. Oh and a huge pile of clothes. Not too many shoes though.

I got a bit shifty when I realized how much I owe. I read Kinsella's Confessions of a Shopaholic on a whim and before I realized it, I find myself inconveniently relating to the lead character's money problems. I guess the main difference between us is I only have one measly credit card and my debit cards aren't exactly in overdraft.

And to think that I seldom splurge on clothes. Truthfully, I can even get a bit stingy when it comes to buying for myself. But when I get truly enthused, I guess I can get carried away.

Thus far, I have a dozen jackets and only wear around five. I have at least five pair of pants that I've only worn once or twice and decided they don't really suit me. And around five dresses that I'm really sure that I'd not be caught wearing in the next 15 years!

And that's just my wardrobe.

I think it's time to reassess my assets - maybe consider some of them as more of liabilities really.


Posted by the lamplighter

There are a lot of things in life that we do not at all expect. Sometimes these tiny surprises become more valuable in time and ever so unexpectedly becomes even more than temporary.

Entertainingly surreal too are the people we become along the way. There are minuscule oddities that suddenly become routine and almost secondary. These oddities we love and cherish. These things we tend to miss.

It surprises me that I have grown into somebody different from who and what I was just a few months ago.

I took on a job that I felt fitting to be a temp job. I set my expectations and desires at low and dismissed it as a fleeting experience unworthy of any deep consideration.

At first, I was determined not to gain anything else but tangible rewards. I did not hope for any acquaintances of anything more than lunch buddies.

It is rather creepy that the more you avoid making any deep connections, you find yourself easily stuck with habits and comfortable situations. You start to make accidental friendships - and you start to love them too.

Then just as you start to accept that this is something you have to live happily with, reality knocks some sense back to you. It rudely reminds you of your purpose and without hesitation plunges you back to the memorized oblivion.

You smell the coffee and say to yourself, "Enough of that, for now".