Sunday, May 27, 2007

Eh-hum # 160

Just a thought.

When Royals Become Rock Stars...

I remembered reading this article from TIME about two months ago about the Showtime series entiled "The Tudors", and it includes a new take on the courtly life, passion and troubles of a young Henry VIII (i.e. his first marriage which he is not happy with and that Boleyn girl, Anne). Of course, we know that Henry does not sing, nor a leader of a 15th Century rock band, but what I find amusing here is how the term rock star is applied in the article.

As mentioned, a rock star (or stars) refers to famous singers of rock music. But in this case, it is used to describe someone who could be considered unique, cool and edgy in his own right (Eh-hum, couldn't agree with it more: casting Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Henry VIII in his prime). I've heard its also been used in other areas, such as business. For instance, a "rock star CEO" could mean that he/she has the charisma, the leadership skills, and the drive to succeed (among other things).

Calling somebody a rock star sans band isn't so bad; for me, its a positive thing. Of course, not everybody could be called as such. Having said that, it would be okay to consider even Jesus Christ a rock star. Before you throw rocks at me, let me just say that I meant that in a good way. Afterall, compared to the religious leaders of his time, Jesus was sort of a maverick, in a good way. It took a lot of strength on his part to fulfill God's divine plan:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Eh-hum # 159

Was inspired by Jac.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Eh-hum # 158

Just the continuation of the previous post.

Two days ago, I logged on to YouTube and searched for something sensible to watch. This led me to videos of the famous rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar (JCS) by Time Rice (lyricist, The Lion King, etc) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer, Evita and Cats, etc) which debuted in Broadway in 1971. The said videos I found were from the play's movie version released in 1973 and features some of the original cast from the Broadway production. Perhaps not many people know (like myself), JCS started as an album before debuting onstage.

Judging from the title, as well as being categorized as a "rock opera", the play has a very modern feel to it; the lyrics and the music contains contemporary slang and sensibilites and features modern musical instrument, particularly the electric guitars. Moreover, both stage and film versions used many intentional anachronisms; a good example was when scaffolding (frames) was used as the venue where the Pharisees plot Jesus' death (1973 movie).

Since it tackles the political and interpersonal struggles of Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot as well as the last weeks of Jesus' life until his death, the play was controversial at its time. One major criticism was that the play depicted Jesus simply as a man and not a divine being (hence, his resurrection was not included). Nonetheless, the both stage and film versions were well-received; the movie became one of the highest-grossing films for the year 1973. Its popularity gave rise to a series of revivals in the 1990s, mostly onstage.

I for one really enjoyed the 1973 movie production. Aside from the compelling songs and captivating music, the film was hip and the anachronism made it unique. Also, I found no malice in how the lives of Jesus and his followers were depicted; making them a little more humane than usual gave it a soul. In 2000, another film adaptation was released, but in my opinion, it does not compare to the original. While the singers were talented, it was, for a lack of a better term, too musical-ish. Its a rock opera; rock being the operative word, and voices with a greater range does not necessarily work for this genre. I guess what's important is giving it more attitude and passion. Basically, if there's one great thing this opera contributed, it's putting Jesus Christ and rock n' roll in the same side.

Update: decided to take down the Overture because there's a new JCS video at post no. 160 ;)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Eh-hum # 157

This song is so sad...which makes it beautiful.

More on this later on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Eh-hum # 156

I cannot believe its already Wednesday, and then its downhill from the weekend, I mean. I am truly amazed how time flies, particularly when you are busy. I am not that busy...well not yet, at least. While I make it a point to attend to my nihongo classes and visit the library, I make time to go out with friends, stay at the residence to log on the Internet (and update the henyo blog) and spend time with the family online.

I try to call home once a week. Last week, I did; when I greeted my mom a Happy Mother's Day. Unfortunately, it was a short phonecall since my phonecard allowed 10 minutes worth of correspondance at that time (I have yet to visit my friendly neighborhood convenient store to recharge the card). I usually call using the very high-tech and the very free Yahoo! Messenger, but it takes time to set up the computer at home, hence I had to use my mobile.

When speaking to my mom, I need more than 10 minutes. She has stories to tell and rumors to share, which makes my day, really. And then there would be the occassional question and answer segment of our conversation, wherein I ask for cooking tips/easy to make recipes and she would also ask me about my studies among other things. But when we have the chance to talk this weekend, it would take even more time: we have balikbayans.

My mother's oldest sister and her two sons are now in the Philippines. My tita went home in 1999, but my kuyas have not returned to the country since they were kids. Hence, I can imagine how excited the rest of the family are, especially my younger cousins, to meet my cousins from Texas for the first time in years. And I couldn't help to feel a little envious; missing out on all the festivities that come when relatives from abroad would spend a much deserved vacation in the motherland. For the first time since I arrived here in Japan, I felt pangs of homesickness. Nothing too serious of course, but the feeling is annoying.

Now, before I go to a friend's home for our Wednesday gathering, I've decided to channel this rather negative energy into something more productive: read a whole chapter on Asian Maritime Security. I hope it works. ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Eh-hum # 155

Before anything else, let me greet all the moms (especially mine) a Happy Mother's Day! No words can fully express how much we love these exceptional women and role models. From your kids: thank you for everything. ;)


Hate to put this in the same post...oh well...

I'm annoyed by a several things, and one of them is losing stuff. It does not matter how big or small, how significant or dull the thing is; just as long as I'm using it and then, by some weird force of nature (or simply my forgetfulness) I lose it, I get quite cranky. For instance, I remember back in grade/high school, whenever I lose the cap of a relatively new ballpen, I render the thing useless. Since a capless ballpen annoys me, I am forced to buy a new one, which also annoys me.

At this age, I still lose stuff. So far (here in Japan, I mean), I've lost a stapler, a comb and a handkerchief. (Also back in grade school, I lose handkerchiefs on a daily basis; hence, there was a time that I stopped bringing one to school and resorted to tissue paper, which I later realized was not a particularly good idea.) I shouldn't so bummed about it; but since these are MY things and therefore, I am NOT suppose to lose them. I don't know which is worse: losing things or being seen as disorganized and careless for losing even seemingly nonsensical combs or hankies. Hmmm...maybe that's why I'm annoyed. Eh-hum.


In other news: this editorial cartoon from TIME proves that there IS justice in the world.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Eh-hum # 154

A trip down memory lane...well sort of.

One of the joys of television are the commercials. Well, it can a nuisance as well; especially when these ads would mercilessly flood the airwaves to the point that they get more airtime than the show you are actually watching. Nonetheless, they are interesting.

Sometimes, its not about the product, but the production of the advertisement itself. For instance, was the commercial creative enough to make it enjoyable to watch, unique enough to make it timeless (like movies, commercials have introduced some classic lines or memorable characters), or has an important message that would elicit emotion or instigate rational thinking. Also, ever wonder why SuperBowl commercials are such a big deal, as big as the game itself? Hence, its not just about selling something, its entertainment.

In my case, humor and originality makes a commercial stand-out. The 90's had some interesting TV ads, and I have my favorites. Two of them, happened to be commercials for Levi's jeans and feature actual songs:

Levi's Ad featuring Babylon Zoo's "Spaceman"


Shaggy's Mr Boombastic

Monday, May 07, 2007

Eh-hum # 153

I did not go anywhere special during the Golden Week. Well, I imagined that the best places (within Kobe and the Kansai area) will be crowded, so staying home where its cozy and safe (not to mention stress-free) was the better option. But I did go to Sannomiya last Saturday, to get out of my room (read: away from the Internet for a change). I took a stroll at Central Gai and it was fine. And then, I found myself spending 5,000 yen.

Well, I had to buy that lotion, I needed it (but as far as lotions go, it was expensive). However, I made an unplanned visit to (my favorite hang-out...sigh) the Foreign Bookstore located in Motomachi. This was not such a good idea, since at that time I haven't received my allowance yet. When I got there, I kept repeating to myself that "I will just look around...llloookkk arrroouunndddd". For the first few minutes, it was fine; no pressure, just browsing. Moments later, I had this uncontrollable urge to buy something. To stop this annoying feeling, I convinced myself to shell out 1000++ yen for one book. But when I saw the sign that the books are 10% off, I just had to get another title. Hence, by the end of the day, I am a (proud) owner of two books:


I went home happy and content. And broke. Eh-hum

*images from Wikipedia.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Eh-hum # 152

NOTE: After reading the article, you must send it within the next 30 minutes to 500 people who live within 6-mile radius from where you are . Or else, you will turn into a blueberry cheese cake. Good Luck!


Another thing I would also like to share. This is one of my favorite music videos. Even though I am not a Fatboy Slim fan, I like it because it shows the other talent of the very cool Christopher Walken. This should've won the Video of the Year Award during the MTV Music Awards 2001; but I guess the judges prefer four girls in skimpy outifts, hence the award went to a cover of "Lady Marmalade". Oh well.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Eh-hum # 151

Wala lang.

I am one train ride away from Sannomiya, a major district in Kobe where you can find a variety of shops and major train lines. As you know, "san" is three in Japanese.

While I was organizing my photos, I came across this picture I took en route from Tokyo to Kobe:

You know how (most) trains are equipped with special screens telling commuters where the next stop is. In this picture, it says Ninomiya. "Ni" is two in Japanese. Hmmmm.

Kaaliw...siguro may Ichinomiya rin...o kaya Yon/Shinomiya. Hehehehe.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Eh-hum # 150

Hmmmm...there is a trend here...

First, I wrote about JRR Tolkien and his latest (and perhaps last) work, The Children of Hurin (which costs almost 4,000 YEN).

Then it was Shaun of the Dead and a few words on Hot Fuzz.

And last but definitely not the least, Neil Gaiman.

Methinks this a British Invasion of meblog. And that was only the beginning (I forgot to mention that I did a short post on Harry Potter a few days ago).

I was blog-hopping (which I do after an intensive Nihongo lesson, bwahaha) and I came across one that talks (or wrote) about 80's new wave bands, and her favorite being the Lotus Eaters (they're from Liverpool). I was born in the 80's, but grew up in the 90's. I really wished I was more conscious of the music (and to some extent, the fashion) of the latter, because it was really unique. Nothing says more about the optimism of life and troubles of the heart than new wave music. The songs are timeless, really.

And speaking of the Lotus Eaters, here's a video of their FIRST and BIGGEST hit (which is actually one of my favorite 80's songs as well; in my top 5, without a doubt). Enjoy!


And it doesn't end there. Another favorite song by the band Big Country . Ailahveet :)