Archives for the month of: July, 2011

It’s sad to have to say goodbye to something that we have all grown-up with, but alas, it’s time. The epic finale did not fail to disappoint since it stayed relatively more specific to the plot of the book.  The darkness permeated the whole mood of the movie and we see a very adult theme that permeates throughout.

While the earlier Harry Potter books/movies were about escapism, fun, joy, and bravery, HP7 is more pragmatic in that decisions have consequences and the overall message that evil and its proponents are very real–and there are quite a lot of collateral damage along the way.

In the darkest of times, however, heroes emerge and this is certain the silver lining which appears to herald hope against the dark backdrop of the last stand against Voldemort.  A somber and fitting ending–though it leaves one wishing that there would be more HP books.

It has to be said that the Deathly Hallows movie, while being fantastic and a definite tear-jerker with moments of humor, still ought be complimented by the original HP7 book which provides the original inspiration, rich back stories, and the poignancy of the experience.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

This post is a response to The Daily Post @ ( topic:

Planes, trains, or automobiles? What is your favorite way to travel 500 miles?

I would have to say that it depends on the nature or purpose of travel. If I’m in a hurry, then of course the plane would be the most efficient way.  Of course if it was traveling 500 miles to another island, then I would still say that the plane would be my best bet.

However, if we were talking about having ample time and resources, and if no oceans had to be crossed, my most ideal way to travel would be via an automobile since I’m a big fan of the road trip.  There is something delightful about being about to leisurely sightseeing and discovering interesting and quaint places along the way.

There’s something meditative about driving through open country and it’s definitely a bonding experience with people whom one is in the car with, not to mention the comfortable rhythm of conversation, munching, and silence along the way and sharing the joy of exploration while having the knowledge that all of one’s things are accessible and securely in the trunk of the car.

Hurray for the road trip!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

There’s so much stories about vampire love nowadays that it has become mainstream. Now that the vampires are exceedingly popular, they are fast losing their dark, brooding, and mysterious appeal.

Gone are the classic vampires of old in the tradition of Anne Rice‘s Interview with the Vampire.  They used to be ageless, timeless, and elusive.  Now they are being portrayed to be as everyday as the corner Starbucks.

There was something interesting about the idea of vampires being accessible, but with the rampant TV shows and literature about vampires among us, they are now in the danger of becoming mundane.

One can’t help but wish that the mystique and rarity of vampires that we grew up with back in the 80s would have been preserved.  There’s something about the vampires who have that unreachable quality which really draws the imagination to a new level.

However, this is probably also the reason why many artists, writers, and creative people have gone to this new level and taken the next step and created worlds were vampires were more among us than they had been before.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started watching Season 1 of Downton Abbey. Being an avid Jane Austen fan, I wasn’t disappointed with the complexity and intricacy of the plot.  Jane Austen’s televised novels have a more female bent to it and Downton Abbey differs in the sense that it encompasses the perspective of both genders.

It’s an interesting family period drama created by Julian Fellowes and it is indeed impressive.  I would have wishes that there would have been more episodes to season 1 than the 7 I’ve seen. I felt completely drawn into the challenges and successes of the Grantham family as they navigate rapidly changing times.

Season 1 kicks off with the news of the sinking of the Titanic and gradually creeps towards World War I. We anticipate the whirls of fortune as we witness the unfolding of this epic family saga.

In a word: Majestic.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

It’s funny how when we are much younger, we have a black and white view of the world.  Everything was both more simplistic and more generalized, as life was pretty much more of a theoretically possibility and held boundless potential, and has yet to be tempered by the bitter blows of experience.

I used to imagine that I’d be married in my mid-twenties and by my thirties I’d be well on the way raising the prescribed 2.5 children. It was simple and with the characteristic hubris of youth, it seemed doable.  I had the mistaken notion that finding the right life partner was simply about falling in love.

I realize now it’s not that life is much more complicated than that. Finding a partner was not simply something that is as easy as infatuation (and this is indeed a far cry from love), nor is it about finding someone to simply hold hands and skip into the sunset with us.  If we are more self-aware, we would realize that it is as much about our inner journey too.

The fantasy of the perfect life, the perfect family, and the perfect partner can be dangerous to our health… not that it harms us to aspire towards it, but we must be aware that ideals are simply what they are… and that reality might be, with hard work, patience, and determination, pretty good too, though it might fall short of picture-perfect.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Samsung Champ is a champ in some ways but not in others. The design is lovely and it deceivingly looks like an Android or Smartphone but it’s not.  The battery life is wonderful and it can take quite a few calls and last a couple of days depending on usage before spouting out the dreaded low-battery notice.

However its inbox/outbox capacity is rather limited, and this is a big of a surprise to me since I had thought that a newer model like this would not have such limitations.  It ironically has a bigger capacity for contacts than SMS messages.  It boggles the mind why they would not be more generous with the inbox/outbox SMS message capacity since it’s rather important to many users.

In terms of going on the internet and Facebook, Samsung Champ can still be rather clumsy so I’m not too pleased on this front.  Poking on the touch screen with the stylus can also be rather awkward and inconvenient at times.

So, I would have to say that the best thing about Samsung Champ is the battery life since it can take a couple of hours of phone calls without flinching or dying on us, as many other phones are wont to do.

So, it’s a mixed review–yay for the awesome battery life and nay for the SMS inbox/outbox capacity.  For users like me who minds having to regularly erase important SMS messages just to allow for the new ones coming in, it is certainly more than a little inconvenient.  The clumsiness with accessing Facebook or surfing the internet is not very impressive either.

However, for people who are looking for just a down-to-earth basic phone to call and text without needing all the other fancy applications or a huge inbox/outbox, this will do.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

BBC’s captivating and refreshing new take on the brilliant Sherlock Holmes is nothing short of fantastic, relevant, and updated.  Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman bring to life the epic duo Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, respectively, and they are doing a fantastic job of it.

It’s pretty awesome to watch Sherlock navigate modern-day London with mobile phones, SMS messaging, e-mails, and the internet. I have just watched the 1st season and I find myself looking forward to the 2nd season–and hopefully they will have more episodes coming up–and soon!

It’s simply… superb!

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

We’ve all been there… made the mistake of falling for someone who only thinks of us as “just a friend” and yet we can’t help it anyway… we see the signs and yet we continue keeping in touch and enjoying their company and unabatedly falling deeper and further… into the deep dark pit where all hearts shatter and go to die.

It is at that point when we are in shards and mired in the tar of misery and depression that we wonder how we got there anyway and whether we would have the strength to climb out of such a state, much less pick up the pieces.

At the back of our minds, we wonder how many more times we would find ourselves in such a position–and whether we would learn from our “mistake” and/or “rotten luck” to avoid finding ourselves in such a predicament in the future.

Towards this end, we have to be vigilant since history tends to repeat itself when we do not learn for it. Though the first step is definitely to get past denial and start accepting that we have lost this battle and it might be a good idea to recoup our energies, use discernment in bestowing our affections, and love smarter the next time around.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

Reading the right books certainly opens up our mind to all the different possibilities and options in life.  Stumbling across this book in a bookstore, the catchy title The Childless Revolution caught my eye.

Author Madelyn Cain shares with us the experiences and situations of women who are childless or childfree by choice, by chance, and by happenstance.

Of course there’s the classic story of women who are unhappy and felt that they have missed their calling in life by not having children.

However, on the other hand, it may seem as a surprise for many people who seem to be caught up with the popular vote that some women choose to be childfree and are the happier for it.

This book recognizes and heralds a new dawn for women, opening up their lives (and minds) to fact that one is not less of a woman just because one did not choose or happen to become a mother.

This is the next step in women’s revolution: that women be able to choose for themselves consciously (and be accepted by the general population–those this has yet to happen) that it’s OK to be childfree and to choose not to be a mother despite having the equipment for it.

It seems that many men and women alike harbor the thoughts that just because women have the biological equipment to be a mother, that they are obligated to use the said equipment and bear children.

It’s admirable that there are people who choose responsible parenting and recognize that even though they are women and have the necessary equipment to have children, that their temperaments or preferences does not suit having children and they stand by their decision to remain childfree.

Recognizing that for various reasons one does not suit or does not want to be a mother is one of the more honest and commendable things that these women have done since it saves bother the would-be mother and child a lot of heartache.

This not a book that speaks against women who choose to have children, but it simply calls for equality and acceptance to women who choose to not or happen to not have children, since we are more than aware that there is a stigma that is attached to being childless.

It also tells women who are in the closet about their unsuitability or lack of desire to be a mother that it’s OK, there are people who are like you, and the number is increasing as the challenges of life grow exponentially and women become braver about their own needs, wants, and rights.

This is definitely a step forward in opening up our options (and our minds).

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

The fear of commitment is not solely the province of men anymore and it’s timely that there is a book addressing the issues of women and the different ways that commitment-phobia surfaces and manifests itself in personal lives and relationships.

In an era where there are many books about relationships and the tendency of women to want to prematurely commit or to lean towards commitment, this book discusses the concerns of the women who are on the other end of the spectrum.

Kiss and Run brings up the issues of commitment-phobic women to the table, while not arguing for or against commitment.  Awareness and acknowledging of issues can be the first step to growing as a person and taking the next step–whichever it may be.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s