Thursday, December 17, 2009

For Debbie

A short freewriting piece for my friend Debbie. :) Semi-inspired by her real life.

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He told me he loves summer.

He dreamily blabbers about the sunlight hitting his skin, how it makes him feel so alive after hours of listening to a dead-boring professor of a dead-boring subject inside a dead-boring school. He suggests leaving the noisy city and plunging to the cool, blue waters of the sea. Making sand castles on the shore. Dancing around a bonfire with your friends. Strumming his old guitar under a star-lit sky.

Sometimes, his antics will just bring a smile to my lips. When he says he’s fond of the season, it’s as if he’s saying he’s also fond of me. “I love summer!” says his doodle at the back of his Algebra book. I smiled furtively when he met my eyes and I scribbled on my paper: “I wish you love Summer too.”

Yes, I wish he loves me too. It’s not my choice to be named after that season, but I realize, especially now, that having the name “Summer” has its perks. I know it’s daydreaming, but who cares? It’s harmless. It even makes me feel ecstatic, even if in a wrong way.

Wrong? Okay, let’s scrap that part. When will you know that something’s wrong if it feels very right? I don’t usually consider my feelings for him wrong. Not even when he’s talking about that girl.

That girl, clinging to him like a leech, hanging on his arm like a tawdrily-colored Christmas decoration. That girl and her trying-hard-to-sound-sweet voice that was cloying to my ears. That girl who proudly shows off her cheap-looking outfits when in truth she terribly needs to call someone for fashion 911. That girl whom he is truly fond of.

When I first saw her—and I first saw her encircling her arms around his waist—it dawned on me that I’m just jealous (or so said my friends). Everything’s fuzzy inside. I wanted so badly to claw at her hair and drag her to the street, to humiliate her for a reason some would consider too cheap. I’m not one to be involved in catfights but just seeing her uneven smirk and arching eyebrows made me feel so violent. I think I’ll give everything just so someone will give her to me as a punching bag.

I was actually thinking about the extremity of my dislike for her that afternoon when he came up to me. I was slumped on a rust-caked bench, sipping the last of my Coke. He sat beside me, all one-sided smile and bright eyes and unruly but stylish hair, then nonchalantly grabbed the can from me to swig from it. I ducked my head a little for I knew I blushed. I always do when he does this, thinking that he sort of—indirectly, that is—kisses me. I mean, same container and all, you know? My cheeks grew hotter when he returned the can in my hands.

“I love summer,” he sighed, sprawling on the bench, looking up at the sky.

“I know,” I replied, rolling my eyes. “I know.”

He cocked a brow at me. “You know? Since when?”

I shrugged. “Can’t remember. It’s the millionth time you said it.”

“…oh. I see.”

A pause.

“…so what do you think?” he asked.

“About your love for summer?”

“Yeah,” he said and looked away. “About my love for…summer.”

“I think it’s normal, especially for students like us. We’re all in love with vacation. Actually, I myself am looking forward to traveling this coming March. The white sand beaches in—”

“No,” he cut in, looking a bit irritated. “I’m not talking about that. I mean…well, I thought you know already.”

I flashed a confused look.

He shook his head. “I can’t believe you’re that slow.”

I hate it when he makes me want to assume.

“Spit it out already,” I said, showing him that I’m irked. Or I’m going to strangle you for suddenly giving me some kind of…hope…

“No,” he decided after a long pause. “No way. I’d rather just show it than say something so sappy. Doing the latter is just so not me.”

“I don’t get you.”

“I know. You’re slow.”

I would have retorted angrily, but for some reason, silence seemed to be a great intruder. We sat there wordless for a while, looking up at the animal-shaped clouds. I smiled when I made out a heart-shaped one.

“I love Summer,” I heard him whisper. I noted the emphasis on the ‘s’. Capital letter.

I could barely contain the sudden surge of happiness in me. It took me a while to go down from the little heaven brought about by the oblique revelation.

“But how about…”

“She’s a friend. We did have some sort of history, but it’s never official.”

“Fibber,” I snapped, giving him a mock punch on the arm. “She’ll never act that possessive if it’s just a fling.” Oh, I feel like I’m floating…

Another shrug. “Believe what you want to. She’s actually aware of my true feelings and is just trying to get a reaction from you. Which is quite successful, I think.”

My jaw fell. “She wha—oh, you! It’s a conspiracy!”

He chuckled. “Not really. I think she’s still somewhat bitter about it, but she’ll move on. I hope she will.”

“I hope she will,” I said sarcastically, face curled up in a wicked grin.

He laughed at my attitude and jokingly pinched my cheek. “Once a mean girl, always a mean girl. Don’t make it hard for her.”

“I won’t. I promise I won’t.” Both of us knew I meant otherwise. “She will move on, in time.”

Silence intruded again. I finished my Coke and looked up, feeling how he’s slowly gripping my hand, thinking how beautiful that summer day was.

____


fin



my pre-planned mini plot didn't come to play here because I think it'll be extremely long (and if it goes that long, Debbie might not read it) LOL, kidding! :) I'll make another one next time when I'm in the mood. The weather's contributing to the building up of writer's block.....but I'll block it. *winks*



I'll doze off for now. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Obzezzed with Oz

:wizaI can’t remember when exactly I fell in love with L. Frank Baum’s ageless masterpiece, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. All I’m certain of is that my love for it never dwindled since the first time I read it, and that there’s always a shout out or reference to it in almost all the fandoms I’ve been in (and is still in). Until now I’m still on prowl for WOZ-related thingies. :)

So Wizard of Oz, Wizard of Oz, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Gundam Wing.

Anyone who really knows me is aware that I’m addicted to this series. Very old school, yes, and I’ve been a fan for almost ten years since the day my father persuaded me to watch it (yes it’s him—he got me to watch it after joking how an eight-year-old character in it is very much like PGMA). I may be a hoyden of some sort, but I’m not into it because of mecha. I love it because of its well-developed characters (imho the best characters ever created in the anime world), the storyline, and the politics that amazed, shocked, disturbed, and made me interested in people’s different philosophies about war.
When I heard of ‘Oz’ and ‘Dorothy’ in this series, my liking for it shot up several notches—especially when I discovered they were indeed a tribute to Frank Baum.



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Dorothy Catalonia


I didn’t know about this at first. Dorothy’s not this little girl from Kansas with dark pigtails and gingham dress, but the fact that she is involved in a organization called OZ (Organization of Zodiac) made me want to connect her with the Baum’s work. I researched about her and voila—she really is inspired by Dorothy Gale, and the Organization itself is a shout out to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz!




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OZ logos: golden Lion and Tin Man insignia


Very much like her namesake, Dorothy is lost in the world and philosophies of Oz. She’s often switching sides just for the sake of the “good view” of battles, practicing Machiavellian schemes, and is very vocal about her desire for the war to continue. But unlike Baum’s Dorothy, Dorothy Catalonia isn’t searching for her way home. In the end, in a conversation with Trowa Barton, she realizes she doesn’t have any home to go back to, and wept.

Her personality and beliefs made her my favorite character. She admires Relena Peacecraft, who promotes Total Pacifism, but claims that she loves wars. In the end it is revealed that this belief is formed when her father died in battle; she wants the world to witness a battle so horrible that once they see the harrowing things it could bring them, they wouldn’t like to have wars ever again. That’s her way of showing how badly she wanted to have peace.

Princess Tutu





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Princess Tutu, Mytho, and Fakir


While this series is primarily based on Swan Lake, I can still see some Wizard of Oz references. This is the story of a writer who died in the middle of writing a book, and the characters in it—the Prince and the Raven—escape the pages and continue the fight in the real world. The Prince seals the Raven away by shattering his own heart and that’s basically where the real story starts.

Prince Sigfried/Mytho appears emotionless because, well, he is literally heartless. I think this makes him analogous to the Tin Man. The whole series is actually all about how Mytho will get the shards of his heart back (in the gotta-catch-em-all style) to restore his humanity.

Ahiru is the duck who’s given the chance to help the Prince get back his heart shards by turning into a girl and into Princess Tutu. She’s a klutz and is very scatterbrained, and is one of most frequent recipients of Fakir’s death-glare and his sharp “idiot!” I think she’s sort of analogous to the Scarecrow. She herself believes that she doesn’t have so much of a brain.

Fakir is the brutal, possessive, and overprotective friend of Mytho. He knows that Mytho is the Prince from the story and he takes the role of the Knight, pledging to protect Mytho at all times. But Fakir has read the unfinished story and learned that the Knight died while protecting his ward. This sent him frightened of his fate. Like the Cowardly Lion, Fakir the Knight should be courageous, but he simply couldn’t.

And like the original characters from WOZ, these three characters already have what they thought they lacked from the beginning. Mytho’s largest shard of heart, which represents his Will to regain his emotions, is actually the pendant that turns Ahiru into Princess Tutu; Ahiru, when she turns into Princess Tutu, is practically Wisdom on two legs; and Fakir, when he decides to puts down the Sword and picks up the Pen to continue the unfinished story, showcases unparalleled courage as he is fighting against the dead writer who can still mysteriously manipulate how the story is going in real life.


Howl’s Moving Castle





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The Wicked Witch, Scarecrow, Howl, Calcifer, Sophie, Michael, and the dog.


There are only a few references to WOZ from this anime adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ book. So few actually, but I’ll still mention them. XD I sort of see Dorothy in Sophie Hatter, the main protagonist, who travels to find a way to lift the curse of Old Age that the Wicked Witch of the Waste (pun to WOZ’s Wicked Witch of the West) put on her because of jealousy. The handsome Wizard Howl takes a liking to Sophie and it is apparent that the Witch wants him for herself. In Sophie’s travel she meets a scarecrow, and there’s also a dog that resembles Toto very much. The Wizard Howl is somewhat analogous to the Tin Man. He loses the ability to love when he gave up his heart to save the life of Calcifer, a falling star that he caught when he was small. In the end, it is proven that he doesn’t lose the ability to love at all, as proven by his feelings toward Sophie.

Tin Man





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Raw, Cain, DG, Tutor, and Glitch


A miniseries produced by SyFy channel, this is a reimagining of the WOZ with additional science fiction and fantasy elements. DG (Dorothy Gale) is the protagonist, a waitress who doesn’t quite like her farm life in Kansas. Like in the original story, DG is taken to OZ (Outer Zone) by a “storm”, though in this case it is the travel storm of Longcoat Soldiers (Winged Monkeys) sent by Azkadellia (Wicked Witch) to kill her. DG meets up with Glitch (Scarecrow), who had his brain halved by Azkadellia, Cain (Tin Man), a law enforcer who is locked in an iron suit after defying Azkadellia, and Raw (Cowardly Lion), a viewer.

It was very different from the original the story—something like a sequel actually, as it is revealed that DG is a great-great-granddaughter of Dorothy Gale herself. It’s also set in the modern world of androids and stuff. XD My memory’s a bit fuzzy; I’ve actually watched only the first part, as the second part is quickly taken down by the SyFy site days after its airing, but I’m positive it has a lot of family-related concepts that contributed to the conflict. Since I couldn’t find any DVD or online sites where I can watch it, I cheated and read its ending in Wiki lol. I’m still on prowl of a DVD copy of it.

Was




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A book by Geoff Ryman. It is basically made up of the dark tales of Dorothy Gael, a real girl who goes to live in Kansas with her aunt Em and uncle Henry after her parents died of diphtheria; Judy Garland, the theatre girl who will play the role of Dorothy Gale when it’ll be finally turned into a movie; Jonathan, a dying AIDS victim who is obsessed with the Wizard of Oz; and L. Frank Baum, an itinerant young actor from New York who writes a masterpiece after being inspired by Dorothy Gael, making all the lives of the characters abovementioned connected.

It took me a while to finish this book because of the somewhat slow progress of the story. Parts in the middle certainly made me cry; the ending is sad but I sort of saw it coming (will tell everything in the review XD ).


The Wicked Years Series




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Trilogy by Gregory Maguire. I have nothing so much to say about this, as I haven’t finished the trilogy yet. In fact I’m still currently reading the first book, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. I’m liking what I’m seeing so far and I hope it gets better. The second book is entitled Son of a Witch, and the third one is A Lion Among Men.


Pet Society

Heee! I actually cracked up when I thought of including this. In the Playfish game Pet Society, there is a fairytale egg vendo machine in the Mystery Shop. Each egg contains toys, and you’ll be able to complete three fairytale sets from the items. I’ve completed the Goldilocks and the Three Bears set and the Wizard of Oz set; I still have to find a Unicorn to complete The Prince and the Dragon set (I’ve actually found a Unicorn toy before, but I sold it when my pet’s broke, lol). Below is the image of the complete Wizard of Oz set:



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The Tin Man, Dorothy (pet-style lol), the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow


-I still have a lot of blatherings about the Wizard of Oz, but this list is getting too long. Will post another Oz-related blog....but not tonight! Teehee! Ta-ta!