Saturday, August 24, 2002

Lately, most of my time is spent on reading blogs. I'm also discovering old friends who have blogs (and some aren't updated).

Anyway, caught a new animation show this morning on AXN. The title's Xcalibur, it's by a Canadian studio, and features CGI. Reminded me of Blizzard's Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3. I was secretly hoping that it was (no matter how unlikely that is) before I knew the title was Xcalibur.

Well, the graphics look good and the animation is smooth. Starship Trooper's CGI is still better though, but I'm not really complaining. So far, the story is episodic and features a heroine wielding the fabled sword from Arthurian legend.

I feel I'm outgrowing Arthurian fantasy though. I mean at first it seemed okay but later, it's more of the same old same old. I remember the cartoon Knights of the Round Table wherein football players were transported to medieval Europe and they suddenly become sentai heroes. And that cartoon was better than Saban's attempt at sentai knights (whose name I already forgot).

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Farewell Anime@Arki. It was our fourth anniversary, and presumably the last show.

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Friday, August 23, 2002

Wheee! My Asimov order has finally arrived!!! And it took them less than a month.

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I really should put a comments section (as if I knew) how somewhere... but I'm too lazy to learn. =)

Hmmmm, more anti anti-Tolkien reactions: Noelle, I didn't bother explaning it in the first place because they were random thoughts in my mind. It's one of those days when you just woke up, blurt things out, and pay no attention to them later.

I was also not discrediting Tolkien's contribution to the genre. I mean I think Lord of the Rings set up the model for epic fantasies of what it should be like and what it should have. If you can't write something that goes beyond Tolkien's model or something different, you're just a Tolkien-clone.

I'm also not discounting the fact that of all fantasy books, Lord of the Rings sells the most. Most (older) fantasy readers out there probably got into reading "fantasy" (my definition of the genre, Tin ^^) because of Tolkien. I mean that's why Terry Brooks and Stephen R. Donaldson became best-sellers during their time: because it filled the vacuum that Tokien's absence left (I mean he's not publishing anything new nowadays).

Suffice to say, I don't want the mob mentality that merely equates Tolkien with fantasy. It's like mentioning anime and then the first thing that comes up in people's mind is Sailormoon. Or Dragonball. Or Pokemon. I mean we all know that anime goes beyond that and isn't just defined by one show. The same could be said for my wish. I'm not asking the authors I read to replace Tolkien. What I'm asking is not to be confined to Tolkien.

C.S. Lewis, on the other hand, I find too religious and confining. At least for the Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't read his scifi books. I mean a girl did go to hell for not wearing a dress, among other things. Actually The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was pretty okay. I can understand why it won awards. It's the books that come after it where you see Lewis is trying to preach rather than to tell (then again, I'm not saying writers should not do this... George Orwell's books are quite propagandist). I posted somewhere a link about the reaction of Philip Pullman (the "successor" to C.S. Lewis) and how he felt about his predecessor. Maybe it's just the context I'm reading it now. Several decades back, I might appreciate it better but now, with all the changes in society, it's hard to. Even the Catholic church has provisions for the changes (PCP II) and how those who aren't Christians can still be saved.

On a more textual analysis, Lewis's world isn't too spectacular. I mean when comparing it with Tolkien, it's bland. Then again, Lewis was writing for children (yes, Tolkien's hobbit was made for children as well... see, I can counter myself ^^). But I think what made him "popular" in his writing is his ideologies. (Hmmmm, am I going to get into trouble for writing this one? I really should post a comments section... I wonder why no one bothers to email me.)

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I never did find out how to post comments using blogger. Then again, judging from the "hate comments" attributed to me from the other blogs... (I just want to point out to people you can send me hate-email at

Here's another reflection on fantasy (i.e. Arthurian, Arabian Nights, Chinoiserie, Lost Race, Humorous, Sword and Sorcery, Heroic). Before Lord of the Ring was in theaters, Tolkien was underrated in my opinion (at least to the Filipino masses). After the movie, it became overrated. Maybe this is God's way of restoring balance... (I just hope those who've been criticizing me have read the book)

Oh yeah, predating LotR premiere, I was subscribed in an international SF&F mailing list. Basically, these were my observations: there are two camps in fantasy. Either you're pro-Tolkien and anti-Jordan/Brooks/McCaffrey, etc... or you're pro-Jordan/Brooks/McCaffrey, etc... and anti-Tolkien. Yes, that's an exagerration but it's an interesting scenario. You can guess which side I belong to being devil's advocate (my own side... both sides have their pros and cons).

It was also this morning that I noticed one of my (attractive) classmates in Theology 131 has black-brown hair and scattered streaks of silver. It's just interesting and she said it was natural, not dyed. It was also peculiar since her silver streaks wasn't a lock of hair (ala Polgara the Sorceress) but evenly spread out.

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good news: my site suddenly got a decent amount of viewers thanks to Tin.

bad news: I got a lot of negative comments about my rant of "me being fed up with Tolkien and C.S. Lewis".

Well, at least now I can surmise that A LOT of people tend to misinterpret my writings (which means I should try to be more concrete and specific).

Then again, some people tend to overread. I mean I really respect and admire Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (well, maybe not the latter...). What I meant by that "controversial" comment is that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis should not be the "be all and end all" of fantasy literature (and as Tin pointed out, "fantasy" shouldn't be merely associated with the gener we're now familiar with... fantasy predates written tradition. All our myths, legends, religion, fairy tales, fables, and explanations for the unknown are rooted in fantasy). I never wished that Tolkien and C.S. Lewis was never published (God forbid!) or that their books suddenly be burned. That wasn't my point. I mean I know some people who refuse to read anything "fantasy" unless it's Tolkien. And let's not go to the fact that some people refuse to read J.K. Rowling because they think Harry Potter is satanic but support C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia.

When I also stated "fantasy", I was working with the criteria given in The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy (edited by David Pringle) wherein he discounted Magic Realism, absurdist fiction, post modern fabulation, psychological allegories, latterday Menippean satires, etc... for this purpose to narrow down the concepts. I mean if we take fantasy in its entirety, the genre is wide and encompassing. That, my dear friend Tin, is outside my expertise and probably dwells in yours. =)

For more "reflections" on Tolkien, people in the Philippines (i.e. the masses) have been associating "fantasy" with "Lord of the Rings" ever since the movie premiered. Before that, "fantasy" was associated with Harry Potter. Of course for the learned, Tolkien will always be the maestro of epic fantasy (they're also the ones with collections of Tolkien's Book of Lost Tales and the cooler hardbound versions of the Lord of the Rings) even before I was born. Just shows how powerful the media can be.

As for the Booksale experience, it's totally random for me. =)

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Thursday, August 22, 2002

Since my brain has been receiving the weirdest thoughts for the past few days, I thought I'd share them with you. Check out my plans for The Ultimate Pinoy Blockbuster. Please read and comments (and criticism) are welcome. For God's sake I just wrote it in under an hour. =)

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Arianna sent me a text message asking me if I knew who Anne Bishop was and where I can get copies of her books since it was not available at the usual shops I go to avail of SF&F. I told her I didn't know her but I could find out. I also told her she should have told me last week since a friend was going to the U.S. and I gave him money (along with a list of books to buy) last week. And then Arianna tells me it's okay, and that it was Tin who was looking for copies of Bishop's books.

When I went home, I looked through my Ultimate Encyclopedia of Fantasy. I was surpised. I didn't see Anne Bishop's name. It led me to the conclusion that Bishop was probably a SF writer.

And then I checked and saw that Anne Bishop was a Fantasy writer, not SF. The reason she was not in my book is because her works have been recently written (1999). Oh. It just surprised me that Tin is reading a recently published SF&F book. Anne Bishop must be really good to catch her attention. =)

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Elbert's been trying to set up a blog as of late. Apparently, he already has one and just didn't realize it...

I also did my regular "gift-giving" tradition. For today's menu, I gave people Chips Ahoy! cookies. It's strange but giving food (especially chocolate) to people has been so natural and part of me for the past few years.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Dad: *enters room* Are you here?

Charles: *I look at him*

Dad: *waits for me to answer while staring at me*

Charles: Yes I'm here...


Mom's complaning about my hair. Yes, it's long. This is the only time I can have it long since we were required haircuts in high school as well as for ROTC during my first two years in college. Sometimes, I think I'll grow my hair long just to spite them. =)

My dream this morning consists of taking written exams, meeting my classmates from high school, a few pretty girls, and a lot of time looking for a carpool...

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I flunked my Philo orals. What more do you want me to say? I somehow forgot what Marcel wanted to say regarding the nondefinite somebody. Time to move on, I guess.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002

I'm supposed to be reviewing for my Philosophy orals tomorrow but I'm just not in the mood to read Marcel. I mean I've read it several times before so reading it again gives me no pleasure at all. There's just no motivation for me yet I know I need to review. Oh well.

I hope the rain doesn't cause classes to be suspended tomorrow. There'll be hell to pay if it does.

Quark Henares did pass by CCHQ today. Should I consider him as a celebrity? Naaah...

Oh yeah, I also saw the girl who bought the Cho Hakkai plushie. Apparently, she's been eyeing it for quite some time and has been giving the opportunity for other people to "buy" it. I was a day late and she took it upon herself to have it on reserve.

She's from Miriam, by the way, and cute. I don't remember her name, especially since I don't think I ever asked it. *sigh*

I was also looking for Yami no Matsuei mp3s at Google and it proved to be easier than my previous attempts to look for anime mp3s. I mean on the first search page, there already was a useful link. I wish this was always the case...

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Ambeth Ocampo: I threw away your test papers (for the unit test).

Class: *exclaims*

Ambeth Ocampo: It's too hard to check all of your papers. To those who got the bonus, your grade is an A. To those who didn't, for all the effort, a B+.

Class: *applauds*

Ambeth Ocampo: Just remember, your highest unit test is cancelled so...


Me: *waves at Steph*

Steph: *waves back*

Me: *sighs*

Steph: *moves on*

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Monday, August 19, 2002

The Cho Hakkai plushie dilemma was solved... when I got to CCHQ this afternoon, someone else already bought it. ^^

Spent the holiday at school where I attended the talk, met with my group, and gave a report to a hundred or so people. Checking attendance with Fr. Dacanay is never simple, especially since it takes ten minutes to identify ALL of his students.

Of course we weren't the only ones in Ateneo today. I did see some of my friends who were rehearsing for their group report tomorrow on history. At least their group is faring better than mine...

As for Garr, I may not study (since I don't take down notes, so I couldn't study now even if I wanted to), but I pay attention and listen in class, which I think is the most important when it comes to learning a lesson. I mean I have classmates who take down all the notes they can yet a few days later, they can't explain their own notes.

"What does it mean when they say that Mark is the official doctrine of the church when it come to divorce?" A classmate asks.

"Mark is the offical doctrine in contrast to Matthew since Mark tends to be blunt and is more faithful to Christ's teaching. He doesn't add anything new whereas Matthew was going with the current belief back then. Mark's teaching was controversial since it went against the existing tradition, and Jesus' no to divorce was to the divorce he recognized: the one in Deuteronomy wherein the husband gives the woman a paper that says they're divorced and that's it." I'd reply.

Oh well, I guess I'll find out how effective my "study habits" are come Wednesday when I'm having my Philosophy orals. Same situation: I come to class with only the readings in hand, no notes, much less a notebook.

And too bad Garrick doesn't understand Warcraft jargon. Yes, I know you hate Real Time Strategy (RTS) games...

P.S. If anyone has played Battle Realms, please tell Charm about it as she needs it for her thesis. Sorry, never played the game. I was busy playing D&D during the time it was popular.
P.P.S. I misinterpreted your "well read" in another way, Garrick. It's in the "their blog is well read". While having exposure to a lot of literature isn't a prerequisite for writing well, it helps, especially in the early years. Of course you could always have a tutor but reading on your own is sometimes cheaper and more fulfilling. I did not say that "well read" = "good writing".

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Sunday, August 18, 2002

Was watching Digital Tour and they finally showed the episode where CCHQ was used as a venue. I was finally able to watch Maritess vs. The Superfriends considering I've heard a lot about it from people yet no one posted a link to it.

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Just to show you what my mind is like after just waking up, here are my current thoughts:

I'm fed up that J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis is the epitome of fantasy. Ugh. Their works have been around for the past 50 years. It's 2002. There are other great fantasy writers out there.

I'm thinking whether to get the Hakkai plushie for Steph or for Mia. On Steph's side, I can actually give it to her on her birthday. Then again, I have a lot of things lined up for Steph. On Mia's side, I haven't given her anything in the past few years and I really really miss her. On the other hand, she's not in the Philippines and probably won't be in the next few years... by then, the Hakkai plushie won't be as appreciated.

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I'd like to think there's more to me than what people plainly see.

Charles: I'd like to give you something.

Koishii: I know. You wouldn't be Charles if you weren't.

I wonder if most of the PO people thought of me as like this.

Benj, on the other hand, has other views:

"Charles is someone with level 3 evasion and level 3 thorns aura, and if Garrick was here, he'd porbably say Disease Cloud ability as well."

And of course, there's also the persona I'm known for, which is this blog's namesake.

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