Sunday, December 30, 2012

Les Miserables

After four long days since the movie came out, we finally got to see Les Miserables.  I personally give it two thumbs up! And yet I still managed to have cried - really cried that I had to wipe my eyes with my sleeves.  We all cried although we cried at different parts of the movie.

The movie is very poignant. It almost seems like a tragedy just because the major characters die except for Cosset and Marius.  The characters seem to have lived a lifetime of misery.  Their circumstances were all different but all of them lived painful unfortunate circumstances which were either inflicted on them by others or inflicted by a personal conviction as in the case of Javert.  Fontaine in spite of the unfortunate life she lived dies content knowing that Cosset will be in good hands.  Jean Valjean although not free (from the law) found freedom from God through his encounter with the priest and found joy in having Cosset to care for.  He dies happy knowing that Cosset forgives him of his secret past and that she's happy with Marius.  Javert kills himself because he is trapped in an unsolved dilemma within himself.  There came a point in his career when his convictions as a righteous man clashed with his conscience as a person who has been shown mercy.  No longer did he know what to do.  He ends his own life instead of arresting Valjean.

It is a story of slavery and freedom.  Valjean, although under the law, was free to love.  Javert, an enforcer of justice, was a slave to the law.  And most of all, it is a story of mercy and of love.

I was amazed at how well Anne Hathaway (Fontaine) sings.  Russell Crowe's deep opera-voice suits the character (Javert) he played especially in the epic scene of him singing on the rooftops.  When Hugh Jackman sang his parts -especially when he is talking to God - the emotion was so powerful, I had to cry.  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

On the Second Day of Christmas...

My true love bought me a pair of pearl earrings from Costco today.  This is not like the usual surprise gift -  he asked me to choose and I did.  Today we stopped by the store to get them.  What a great ending to our lunch date at Rubio's where we both had Blackened Mahi-mahi Burritos.  I'm not so sure whether mahi-mahi is a fresh-water fish but I see that we had an aquatic theme for the day. 

Pearls are beautiful...and my true love is such a thoughtful man.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Two Christmas Parties

Women's Group of Cornerstone Christian Church
Ellie Retallack hosted a beautiful Christmas party/ bible study at her house on Normanton Place.  Her house was fully decked, beautiful and cozy and the smell of spiced apple cider filled the air.  There were probably fifteen of us who attended with me being the youngest in the group.  In other words, this was a group of "enlightened women" and although I haven't had the years to earn such honor, it was a pleasure to be physically among them.  Ellie served a delicious lunch but the best part of it was dessert; I enjoyed a generous piece of pecan pie.  I  watched Kris Morphew agonized to eat only a fifth of her piece, probably because of the excessive amount of calories that are packed in it.  (But it's Christmas time - we need the energy for doing all the stressful activities like shopping, eating, worrying, eating, cleaning, eating, shopping, cooking and eating again.) The elephant gift exchange was also exciting.  We were all "stealing" everyone's presents.  The scarves were the hottest items. In the end, because I had the number one, I got to do the final "steal".  I traded the four pairs of crazy green and purple socks for a Thomas Kinkade 2013 Calendar.
It was good to be with the people from Cornerstone again.

Green Acres Christmas Party
This was more like a grown-up cocktail party - finger foods, open bar, and a comedian entertainer. The comedian was not so nice in that he used a lot of dirty jokes.  I was glad that we did not sit near the stage because I would not have liked being the subject of his jokes.   But since there were no kids around- it was alright.

Seeing my co-workers outside the work place revealed something about each of them beyond what I would normally see at work.  I'm sure they also found out something about me - like the fact that my husband and I do not drink alcohol. :)  On one hand, Tim got to meet most of my co-workers.  It's always nice to have a face on the names that your spouse talks about.  

Anyway, two Christmas parties in one day are indeed doable! 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Uneventful Death

Life is like a computer.  One day everything is alright and on other days things go slowly.  Sometimes when things are not going as they should, you can do something to fix the problem and sometimes you can't.  Still on other days there are no noticeable problems and then all of a sudden the computer screen turns blue and you hear this unusual beep- which is like a straight line on a heart-beat monitor.  That is exactly what happened to my old computer. It died.

Tim, who is a fix-it guy, immediately makes an official announcement that the computer is dead.  Then he proposes to buy a new one.  I could have rejoiced with the idea of a new one but it's just so cruel to replace a friend immediately upon dying.  Of all the computers in the house this one was slow and at times very slow.  But it was mine and I can always wait for it to cool down before I can continue using it.  It has taught me patience - a virtue that is rapidly disappearing in this society. 

I miss my computer.  In the meantime, however, Miriam's computer is my computer when she is not using it.  This arrangement is working so far. The only problem is that someone (not me) will have to install some of the software  useful to me like Photoshop Elements.

Miriam's Mind on Math

Miriam is finally at a stage where she dislikes math (who doesn't, anyway?).  Don't get me wrong - she's good at math.  In fact this trimester she got a better grade in Algebra than in Language Arts.  The problem comes when she does not understand her teacher; she decides that it is about the subject matter.  It takes a lot of prodding from me before she gives in to asking for help.  Sometimes Brahms explains things to her and Tim works with her a lot - not me because I have long forgotten all about Algebra even if it was once a favorite subject of mine.

This Sunday morning she set out to work on her math problems (I give her credit for good planning instead of procrastinating till the last hour of the day).  Tim on her side, she began to say, "I should just eat fruit".  This comes from her earlier thought that there is life outside of math; that Adam and Eve did not have to suffer with math - they simply ate fruits.  Her statement was both humorous and witty; it ignited a long and lively discussion in the house.  After some time of working together she gave a statement of relief and grief, "It is a sad thing that daddy is better at math than Mrs. McGee." 

Later on you'd heard some whistling and every once in a while phrases like: "Why do they teach little kids about negative numbers?  That's just cruel!"  or "Ha ha!  I figured it out! Yay!" or more whistles in various tunes. 

Oh well, it's still Sunday morning.  I got some reading done on N. T. Wright's "After You Believe...".  Tim is working on some banners for the FCC (our Filipino church).  Brahms is at Cornerstone Christian Church (our American church) playing bass with the worship team.  Miriam is progressing with her work.  The sun is sunny and cold outside; we had to bring our pet dove, Lala,  to get some needed sunlight. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

New Family Room Furniture

A new couch set was delivered here today.  It's been painful to part from the two old ones after sixteen years - they've been like family members.  But the new ones have come and we like them.  It took us many trips to different furniture stores  -spread over many months- to find the right one with the right price.  Fortunately, we found just the right one at Scandinavian Design.  It was very easy to find something we liked from the store.  It appears that we have a natural attraction to the sleek, unpretentious, and organic quality of the furniture that they offer.  We chose Paulo Leather Sofa and Chair.  It's very nice.  Unlike most leather chairs or couches, the Paulo is not "slippery". 

Way back in 2000, we also purchased Tim's desk and the kitchen bar stools from the same store.  The teak dining set that we ended up buying from Copenhagen was something we saw first at Scandinavian.  It just happened that they did not have the size that we preferred. 

So what did we do with the two old couches?  The larger one went to Brahms' room while the other one went to Miriam's.  Both kids were happy to have them but they had to rearrange their rooms.  I on the other hand will have a lot of updating to do in the family room. 

Note: I was supposed to post a picture here but I could not get my phone (Samsung Galaxy IIIS) and computer to sync.