keep going 

keep going

even if you think you can’t

just do it

because even if you stop

even if you stay

the world will keep turning

and sweep you off your feet anyway

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Dear Avengers 2,

MAJOR, MAJOR SPOILERS FOR AGE OF ULTRON. I MEAN IT. TURN YOUR QUINJET AROUND IF YOU HAVEN’T YET SEEN THE FILM. 
—-

Dear Avengers 2,

For so long have I waited for you to return to me, and now you have come back– blazing in the cinematic glory that I so anticipated. And you’ve changed since I saw you last; turning into a brazen and magnificent piece of work better than I ever dreamed of, yet remaining still the movie I fell in love with in the summer of 2012 when I was but an eager young child. You made your promises and fulfilled them, meeting each and every one of my expectations, proving yet again to be more than I can ever deserve.

But while you gave me all I wanted and more, our last meeting has left me confused and misled in certain aspects. After what I have had to endure at the hands of Marvel lately– the disappointment that was The Mandarin, the emotional damage dealt by The Winter Soldier, the shoddy villains of Guardians of the Galaxy, and almost everything about Thor 2– I had held out the hope, the unrealistic and unfair expectation, that you would be perfect.

I thought you would give me Clintasha. I thought you would.  But it seems that I have misread your actions and believed far too much in something that was never really there. I had an expectation hangover, which seems wrong of me especially after you’ve already given me your 150%. I am a needy lover, but in my defense, you made me believe. And for this, for both our faults, for your leading me on and my willingness to be led, I will never forgive either of us. (Naks.) Although I don’t always understand the choices you made, I still respect them. I do understand, although marginally, why you had to kill off Quicksilver. Okay, so I still lie in bed staring up at the ceiling wondering how you could do this to me. But I get it, babe. I mean, Aaron Taylor Johnson didn’t want to do this movie anyway, right? Why keep him around if his heart wasn’t in it? Dedication is key in any relationship, ya know. So as Captain America said, ‘walk it off.’ Give me time, my dear, for even this resentment will wear off. But there are some things that may be unforgivable, and killing off one twin is one of them (go ask JK Rowling how that turned out for her.)

One thing that can be said, you are definitely funnier than the first time we met, and sometimes insufferably so. You returned offering no explanations (shouldn’t Iron Man be mad at the Avengers for not showing up when his house fell into the ocean? Has the Black Widow found a new secret identity? When did everybody find out that Fury was alive?) were vague in some parts (what was that well-thingy that Thor took a dip in anyway?) came up with some unexpected surprises (CLINT BARTON HAS A FAMILY?!) and made ridiculous life choices (turning an entire city into a meteor, honey, are you for real.) Yet for all I gritted my teeth and prepared for secondhand embarrassment on behalf of my reckless and grandiose part-time lover, you pulled the entire story off with a grace and efficiency that made me swoon. The Vision? Your crowning achievement. I am so proud of how you handled the character and brought him to life. Then of course, throwing in Wakanda! Black Panther is for real! Oh, you are such a tease sometimes.

And for all these faults I cannot help but point out, you have emerged a solid sequel, evolving just as Ultron itself has always intended to. And I could not be prouder of you, really. I can’t wait to get to know you better, to watch you over and over again until I memorize every line, every note in the score, the exact moment that one scene cuts to another and every camera angle until you are as familiar to me as the back of my own hand– or, you know, every other movie I never get tired of watching.

What you have planned next, if you have a plan at all, worries and excites me. You did send the Hulk flying off to God knows where in an untrackable Quinjet. And not to mention, CIVIL WAR D: But I will, as I always have, place my faith in you and hope for the best. I am sure you will deliver. You’ve never completely let me down before. (The same cannot be said for Thor 2, however.) So go and do your thing– I’ll be right here waiting, and you better not piss me off. 

Perhaps I sound ungrateful. But I’m not. I am truly grateful– for the feels, the kick-ass special effects, the brilliant team dynamic, Stan Lee, an epic story crafted from years of comics history, and topless Hemsworth, Renner, and Taylor-Johnson+ Evans in a tight blue shirt…close enough! HAHAHAHAHA. 

Ahem.

Until we meet again.

Sabine

P.S. I might have bitched a lot about the Phase 2 movies, but I still loved them, ok? I guess you could say I’m…hooked on a feeling.

P.P.S. I haven’t been completely honest with you– I cheated. I’m sorry. I cheated on you with a green-hooded archer, a time-traveling alien and thirteen dwarves+one hairy hobbit. There may also have been a huggable health-care-providing robot involved. Forgive me, but you were gone way too long. I will make it up to you with lots of fan-art.

Posted in Epistolariaaaaarggh, Movie Matters, Reviews, Talk Geeky to Me, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

There Is a House

There is a house I dream of

Built on a sandbar in the middle of the sea.

Creaking driftwood walls and floorboards,

Salt smell in every crack.

Rustle of wind, raw and ragged,

Biting at white gauze curtains and tugging on sun-bleached hair. 

Water nibbling at the edges 

Of the half-moon biscuit of land on which stands this

Haven, with shingles falling off the roof

And dried splatters of raindrops on the windows.

By its side lies an old racing yacht,

Turned belly-up on dry sands

Her faded hull discolored, each plank onboard

Dreaming of the days she raced porpoises and battled storms. 

And came to rest

Here, where silence reigns supreme

Here, where the rest of the world will not taint 

And the sun above

And white sand below

And blue eternity

Across us, around us

As far as the eye can see

As far as the sky can reach

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God of Lies

Loki, god of lies

A master of tricks and of disguise

A cunning smile and green, green eyes

Every move he makes an unexpected surprise

Making aliens rain down from the skies

He doesn’t care who lives or dies

No surrender or compromise,

No remorse in his green eyes

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15 Random Things that Made me Happy in the Past Two Weeks

1. DIY cookies
2. Bubbles

3. A pretty cool church sermon that basically told me that God is anywhere I choose to see him 

4. There’s a TARDIS somewhere in Parañaque

5. Good friends and light conversation

6. Fast cars

7. Ramen

8. Luke Evans and Jon Kortajarena. That is all.

9. One last trip to Enchanted Kingdom ❤️

10. Playing the piano again

11. ‘Chewie, we’re home’ 

12. Learning how to clean out space in my USBs

13. ‘Craving’ by James Bay

14. A geeky new top

15. My aunt’s ridiculously simple recipe for the one pasta to rule them all

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Series Review: Halt and Catch Fire

Computers, period dramas and powerful female characters happen to be three things I appreciate very much. I got all of these while watching (binge watching, is there any other way to go?) one of AMC’s newest shows, Halt and Catch Fire. 

The pilot episode up till the third episode or so didn’t strike me as anything worth blogging about, but eventually while trying to weigh what made it a good or a bad show in my eyes, I came up with a fairly even number of pros and cons.

this font reminds me a lot of the IBM logo. well played, well played.

No spoilers, as much as possible. Although I would like to cite examples of scenes that struck me, I won’t give too much away as this review is written more for the purpose of getting people to watch it. 

Halt and Catch Fire is set in the early 1980s and centers on a small software company in Texas. But it doesn’t stay just a software company for long after their new product sales manager, Joe Macmillan (Lee Pace in imposing, business-suited glory) convinces them to build and manufacture their own PC in an era when IBM and Apple are already dominating the computer scene. Joe teams up with engineer Gordon Clarke (Scoot Mcnairy, you gotta love this guy’s name) and college-dropout programmer Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) to spearhead the project. Which should be simple, if shenanigans didn’t ensue, because one thing that immediately establishes itself in this show is that the PC program is heavy competition and the only way you can get to the top is by being the best– which in some cases may outright mean ripping off other people’s ideas. 

The name ‘halt and catch fire’ refers to a computer command that forces all instructions to race against each other, competing for superiority and therefore causing the user to lose control of the machine. It’s a clever name to give a show that’s all about competing with others to get exactly what you want. The series starts off slow but in the middle of its ten episodes speeds up incredibly. However, it also feels rushed: certain scenes or issues in one episode are not resolved or brought up again the in the next, and there are other scenes which I’m not entirely sure have an impact on the overall plot.

Although the pacing is a little bit off-kilter, the screenplay is decent (engaging, even) and the acting is top-notch, bringing to life characters who are not your ordinary run-of-the-mill heroes, but familiar enough to recognize and understand. I’m personally emotionally invested in Gordon and his wife Donna (Kerry Bishe), who not only proves to be an amazing mom but a genius programmer in her own right. Realistically, she (and her husband) don’t get what they’re due until the end, and it made me root for them even more. You can easily see how, in this series, the characters are impacted and changed by one another. Gordon is influenced by Donna who also influences Cameron who eventually influences Donna right back, and everybody is influenced (manipulated?) by Joe. 

Ah, yes, Joe, the nigh-irredeemable, unforgivable, unbelievable, possibly asexual (no, think about it) antihero. One thing that is established early on is that this character has no qualms about playing dirty to get exactly what he wants, every seemingly reckless action or moment of chaos ultimately working out in his favor. I must have yelled ‘goddammit Joe’ at my screen maybe 50 times over the course of 10 42-minute episodes, then regretted being so mad, then got mad all over again. But save your judgment for as time wears on, you’ll discover less innocent or wholesome parts of other characters as well. The acting is instantly the best part of this series; Mackenzie Davis balances Cameron’s disregard for convention with her passion for her work, every line delivered by Lee Pace makes Joe the kind of character you can’t take your eyes off, Scoot Mcnairy brings Gordon’s feelings of failure to almost painful life and Kerry Bishe is both strong and gorgeous as she completely owns every scene she’s in. It’s a shame that some parts of the story are left hanging or cleaned up all too conveniently for the sake of pushing the plot forward into…a cliffhanger. 

In fact, I think that cliffhanger alone was enough to get this renewed for a second season. That, and maybe some people just miss the 80s. There are some great, familiar songs on the soundtrack and references to Cabbage Patch (the dolls, not the actor!), Return of the Jedi and Apple’s legendary first commercial thrown in there too. But in terms of character development and how the story will escalate in terms of the rapidly changing technology of the time, this show carries a lot of promise, so I guess we’re going to see that promise fulfilled in its second season this May. 

left to right: Cameron, Joe, Gordon

If anything, watching HaCF made me more appreciative of the history behind computers and of the technology I already have. It was funny to hear Gordon’s crew talk about the difficulties of fitting all those chips into a portable computer and Cameron’s then-far-flung concept of an OS one can interact with, two things we’ve already taken for granted. My binge-watching was periodically interrupted by my grandmother requiring help with her own computer, which made me further realize the light-years in between the technology of that time and of this time. Yet, at their most basic levels, they remain the same. Several times the characters run into technical difficulties that I can’t relate to, because of the superior and more stable hardware and software that we have, and yet the cast still makes such problems seem threatening and relevant even to a kid like me. 

Halt and Catch Fire does have its feels factor, although not exactly in the fluffy, romantic, everybody-is-friends sort of way, but in a ‘I can’t believe that happened, does this madness never end’ sort of way. Most of the emotions I experienced ranged from fear and outrage to shock and excitement, and certain episodes left me emotionally exhausted (because a lot can happen in 42 minutes!) At the end of the day, I’m just glad the gang gets away with it, but I’m also apprehensive of what might happen to get them screwed up again. At least I don’t have to worry about anyone getting stabbed or shot with arrows during a wedding with regards from guests who weren’t even invited; no, I have to worry about people going to jail. Yeah. 

So, this show, do I press ‘enter’ or ‘escape’? ‘Enter’, for now. I’d definitely recommend it to any computer geeks out there. It isn’t one of the greatest things to come out of 2014, but it does show promise of eventually getting better, and hey– if any series can make you want to scream at the characters to stop them from burning things, you know it’s on the good side. 

am i right

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My Craft

It’s not just 

Watching TV shows and movies

It’s not just

Sitting in front of a screen

It’s not just

A blank teenage stare

It’s

Observing, indulging

It’s 

Attention riveted on the details

It’s

Eyes fixed on changes of scene,

Angle,

Lighting

Or facial expression

It’s never just

Watching TV shows and movies

It’s called

Studying my craft 

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