Apr. 20, 2014
To live every day as if it has been stolen from death, that is how I would like to live. To feel the joy of life… To separate oneself from the burden, the angst, the anguish that we all encounter every day. To say I am alive, I am wonderful, I am. I am. That is something to aspire to.
Apr. 20, 2014
Episode 03: Five Gundams Confirmed. Trowa Barton and Quatre Raberba Winner meet for the first time at the Corsica Base.
A Little Bit of Naivety: Quatre Raberba Winner
Let’s be honest: you’ll have to be a little unhinged to scramble out of your machine’s cockpit in the middle of a battle and holler some form of friendly ceasefire to someone who can squish you with a giant robot hand. It’s downright mad, especially when you did this just because it suddenly didn’t feel right to continue fighting.
Hunches could be wrong, even if you have some kind of ESP-like ability. A quick calculation that goes, “This guy doesn’t seem to be on the OZ’s or the Alliance’s side, his mobile suit is identical to mine, and it looks like we have the same mission too” may seem logical, but it’s not 100% reliable.
So yes, you’ll have to be a little bit unhinged…or, you know, a little bit naive.
Quatre Raberba Winner is a kind person. From the first episode we know he is the only one who doesn’t strictly stick to the “Don’t let anyone who sees your Gundam live” rule that the pilots are following. He gives the enemies a chance to live, and if they don’t grab it, he says sorry before killing them. Take note, they’re the enemies. Now faced with a mysterious suit that is likely not an enemy, he cautiously works out his next steps, telling the Maguanacs he doesn’t need any help. And then out of the blue he senses that this little brawl is wrong, so he ‘surrenders’ and yells, “You and I shouldn’t be fighting each other!”
(I can imagine a very baffled Trowa. Guy’s raised as a mercenary as early as he could properly walk, and a situation like this has never been filed in his memory bank. He probably will just go on and crush Quatre then and there...if he hasn’t ran out of ammo and if there isn’t a forty-men backup troop ready to blow him to smithereens once he lifts a Gundanium finger to hurt their Master. It’s clear that throwing in the towel is the only option left for him, so that’s what he does. Uh, yeah, going off on a tangent…)
A little peek at Quatre’s history will give you that unlike the other pilots, he didn’t experience a huge tragedy when he was younger. His Episode Zero is more about his identity, his pursuit of individuality, than having a beginning of a war-marred childhood. Instead of tears and death, there’s enlightenment at the end of his back story. There hasn’t been any dark cloud to taint his kindness so he goes out there as the most positive, the most hopeful, and the least judgmental of all the pilots.
Remember the "Good Guy, Bad Guy" ping-pong embedded in the show’s plot? Quatre plays this with rose-colored spectacles…at least in the beginning. It’s extremely dangerous, but he’s willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, even in the battlefield. Oh, he does his job and accomplish his missions, but the boy just doesn’t have the ability to readily believe a person is bad or evil. This will be further backed in the next episodes, where he thinks the other pilots may be “violent but they’re all really nice guys.”
I like that Quatre’s naive because it plays a major role in some of the decisions he’ll make that will leave significant marks on the AC 195 history. I like it because it doesn’t only say so much about how he’s just a sheltered kid that’s basically Hope on Two Legs, it’s also proved to be very essential to his growth.
Quatre’s naivety and kindness are some of the traits that often make people categorize him as weak—which he is anything but. I’d love to expand on this more, but I think I’d rather wait ‘til I reach the episodes that prove he’s no “fragile desert flower”. :p
#my love for this boy can power a nation
So do ours, man, so do ours. Well, it won’t take long till we get to more badass Quatre episodes! We hate it when he’s portrayed or interpreted as WEAK, SUBMISSIVE, or USELESS because those are the exact opposite of what he is. And we agree on the naivety part. We think all the pilots possess a degree of naivety, but it is Quatre’s that shone the most and it proved to be an important trait of him character-wise throughout the series.
Ooooh, look at this beautiful meta! I completely agree with all of this.
also i read the following sentence as:
"He probably will just go on and crush on Quatre then and there...”
which I also completely agree with so.
Oh god haha! Yes, yes he will. :’)
And thanks. :)
Apr. 9, 2014
Photo of the Day: Feeding Pigeons
Photography by Suditi Guharoy (Kolkata, India); Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Apr. 9, 2014
Review: A Long Way Down
Author: Nick Hornby
Genre: Humor, Contemporary
My Rating: ★★★ (3 of 5 stars)
At every tail-end of a published book about suicide—or an attempt to commit it—is a potential for controversy. Authors know that; the bravest ones refuse to pull punches and went on telling their stories the way they know how, steeling themselves for the future salvo of questions and accusations. They are willing to risk being pulled out of shelves later if it meant they would get their tales told first.
Nick Hornby emerged as one of these writers, but of an unconventional kind. In his book A Long Way Down, he relays the accounts of not only one, not even two, but four people about to commit suicide. And he finds that the best way to decline treading on eggshells for anyone is to shower his book with a dry, black humor.
A Long Way Down follows the story of four strangers who met atop a London building and ended up foiling each other’s plans to plunge to their own deaths. They are Martin, an ex-TV presenter who has “pissed away his life away” by sleeping with a minor; Maureen, a fraught single mother taking care of her disabled child; Jess, a stroppy teenager who was left by her boyfriend (and sister); and JJ, an ex-rock god who feels like a failure-on-two-shoes. They “postponed” their plans after a few heated arguments and some cold pizza slices. But would their unlikely alliance be reason enough to stop them from retrying to take their own lives?
Unless you are someone who gets fascinated by hearing other people’s tales of personal anguish, this book’s gist didn’t sound appealing at all. But Hornby’s deft hands made it so that his story would work, and it did nicely, with a number of brilliant, unforgettable moments in it.
The thing I liked the best in this book is how Hornby executed his fourfold delineation of the characters’ voices. The narrators are so different in a way that not even some misery-loves-company magic would be able to bind them together. Hornby spoke effectively through their mouths like they’re honest, live people—so real-like, in fact, that they did not click easily together as friends even after meeting the way they did. Hornby didn’t detour to the formulaic “we’re going to be friends and everything is going to be all right” road, because he did not intend the novel to become a self-possessed echo of a self-help book. Even though he can pull these people together to sew up some semblance of miraculous hope, he did not, and just let them be their own individuals.
JJ is an instant favorite of mine. It’s not only because his issues are very relatable (they hit so close to home at the time I read the book) but also because he’s four-dimensionally human enough to feel shame about how “shallow” his problems are compared to others’. He’s so embarrassed that he fabricated an incurable disease from the initials of his favorite band as his reason to commit suicide. Does being a failure in something you consider your “everything” equate to your life suddenly becoming disposable? Does it really mean it’s the end? Does it mean you can’t start again? The fact that Hornby didn’t need cheese to touch this issue is laudable.
It is quite noticeable how the story didn’t dig too deep about the common issues surrounding suicide, like how the usual novel about it would. What Hornby tackled is more about lifestyles and the human condition.
The storyline is as non-linear as it could get with four different people telling it. The common things your book report format will ask you for will not be easy to find, so if you are looking for a fast-paced story with clear climaxes and resolutions, this book will be a difficult read.
I myself would admit that I had a hard time with some parts I call the “troughs streak” because they didn’t seem to get anywhere for a long while. The story then just seemed to drag, and when it happens you sometimes get tired to care about the characters, even if you like them well in the beginning. Your interest just starts waning. Fortunately, the streak did break at some point and I began enjoying the rest of the story again, until the (open) end.
For the record, the book has been translated into the big screen and the movie’s currently showing in cinemas. I don’t know how to feel about the “major recalibrations” they’ve obviously done to the source material (thanks, trailer), but I won’t react yet since I haven’t seen the whole picture yet. :)
For the curious, you may watch the movie’s trailer here. It stars Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Aaron Paul, and Imogen Poots.
(Reposting because I added a few ‘assessments’ there. Photo by Anty Diluvian on Flickr.)
Apr. 9, 2014
SABRIEL. The first book of my favorite YA fantasy series—the underrated Abhorsen/Old Kingdom chronicles by Garth Nix—gets a new, breathtaking face from freelance artist Sebastian Ciaffaglione.
The top illustration is the covert art; bottom is the unused cover rough. Ciaffaglione got to paint the covers for ALL FOUR BOOKS in the series.Nix will be revealing his Lirael art on the fourth.
(Stop for a sec and let that sink in, fellow bookworms—we’re finally going to see Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen in all her ’necromantic’ glory! For more than a decade I’ve always wondered what Chlorr of the Mask looked like or what she was like before…well, before she got “lost”. She’s a villain I totally love, creepy golden mask and all. The US edition’s cover of Clariel was revealed last month. I admit, I was a little disappointed that she’s a dead ringer of Leo and Diane Dillon’s Lirael there. I
mean the only difference is she’s got a dragon instead of a Disreputable Dog)
The new Aus editions will be out in September 2014.
I rarely prefer books with characters/faces on the cover, but I’ll choose these over the ones with charter marks on them. :p
Apr. 9, 2014
Bookay-Ukay. Bearing a name that is a pun on the Filipino word for thrift store (“ukay-ukay”, pronounced “ookai-ookai”), this homey little bookshop in the UP Village, Quezon City is a piece of heaven for bookworms. They have massive collections of cheap reads (both pre-loved and brand new), custom bookmarks that range from cute to creepy, and CDs/CD jackets.
Warning: The old book smell that may assault you upon stepping in is notoriously sweet and addicting. One might experience a little hesitancy to leave. :p
Apr. 9, 2014
A custom Gemini constellation cross stitch necklace made as a commission.
Metallic DMC thread, black Aida cloth, and mini embroidery hoop necklace, 2014.
Randomness at its best.
Expect to find here some weird stuff, lots of cuteness (yes I roll like that), some Gaiman, a little of rock music, fashion, or whatever I fancy atm.