Do You Like Watching Movies?

Calling other Pinoy Melbournians. Okay, maybe you don’t even need to be a Filipino. Anyway, I’m wondering if there’s anybody here whose hobby is to watch movies like me. I’ve been thinking of an activity that I could invite other people to join me on a regular basis (like weekly perhaps) and make it as an excuse to socialise.

So, I thought, hey, I like watching movies! And maybe there are others out there who similarly like watching movies. If there are, then maybe we can all go out and meet at the city and watch a movie there on an almost weekly basis. And after watching the movie, we can hang out somewhere for refreshments and some story-swapping.

What do you guys think? If you’re interested, just leave me a comment and I’ll try to get back to you. The we can arrange when we’ll meet and so on. And if there are more than a few of us, we can even make this into a sort of social group or something. I can create a mailing list where we can discuss what next movie we’re gonna watch and when and discuss about the movies themselves.

Okay, so I’m thinking ahead too much. If you are interested, please let me know. I’m always eager to make new friends.

Published in: on August 17, 2006 at 11:36 pm  Comments (8)  

What Books?

I’ve read in the blog Girl About Town about this set of questions regarding books. I decided to give it a go here.

1. What books sparked your interest in reading? Meaning, what books first took reading from being a forced activity to being an enjoyable pastime for you?

It depends. My interest in reading novels started after I read The Magician Apprentice (first book of four Riftwar Saga series) by Raymond Feist. This was the first novel I really tried to read from start to finish on my own. It was hard going for the first few chapters but then it took hold of me. I just wanted to sit down in a corner and read the book through. After this, I started to read a lot of novels and other forms of written fiction.

However, I was interested in reading non-fiction books before I started to gain interest in fiction books. This was all due to reading Dungeons and Dragons rule books and supplementary guide books. Since I was the Dungeon Master (game storyteller), I had to read up on lots of non-fiction books to get ideas for our games. Yeah, I’m a geek.

2. Which three books have most changed your life (in a practical, tangible way)?

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Unearthed Arcana. It was the first ever book I had of the Dungeons and Dragons game. I didn’t understand the rules then and I had no idea what the tables and charts in the book meant. But the description of the character classes and the magical world it describes fascinated me a lot. This started me with the whole game and ultimately, my keen interest for history, religion, mythology, storytelling and writing.

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. As a child, I had this ambition of becoming an astrophysicist complete with the white lab coat. I was always curious about science and Dr Hawking’s book was able to explain to me a lot of things about the universe.

Creative Writing: Forms and Techniques by Lavonne Mueller, Jerry D. Reynolds. I had this book a long time ago and I don’t have it with me here in Australia. I bought it when I was in college and it gave me the inspiration to be more of a writer than as an artist.

3. Which three books (outside of the Bible) have most shaped your thoughts on God?

I had a pretty strong faith in God when I was growing up, having been taught in a Catholic school and university, living in a country that believes strongly in God. My thoughts on God were formed during those Religion classes I used to take in school. So, the textbooks we had in those classes should count here. But let’s say we exclude those and go to the books that rocked my faith…

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. Of all the things that could have started to cause me to doubt my faith back in college, it was this book. The way the vampire Lestat seemed to contest God’s existence made me doubt His existence as well. It wasn’t a surprise to me when I found out that Anne Rice was an atheist, in those days at least.

Teach Yourself Christianity by John Young. This small non-fiction book basically introduces Christianity to the reader. And to those who are already Christians, it is a quick “refresher course” of what it is we believe in and why. Growing up, I had these questions as to why we Christians believe in things we do. I found a lot of those questions answered by this book.

Cracking Da Vinci’s Code by James L. Garlow and Peter Jones. It is not only a book that countered Dan Brown’s anti-Christian assertions in The DaVinci Code but also provides additional teachings about Christian beliefs.

4. Which book(s), if any, have you intentionally read more than once?

Timeline by Michael Crichton. I’m a real sucker for time-travel stories. Although I heard people didn’t like this book much, it had two things I like: a story about medieval Europe and a story about the science of time travel. What’s not to like? I’ve read this book three times. That’s a lot since I usually only read a book once.

Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. Every time a new book comes out, I couldn’t help but re-read the older books before I read the new one. It was because of this ritual that I got a major spoiler on the sixth book. While reading the older books, someone (you know who you are) told me who died in book six and who killed him. Arrgggh!

5. Which three books would you recommend to a brand new Christian?

Teach Yourself Christianity by John Young. Described above.
Cracking Da Vinci’s Code by James L. Garlow and Peter Jones. Described above.
There are more books that I think would be suitable for new Christians, however, I have them all back in the Philippines and I can’t remember any of the titles.

6. Which three books do you plan to have your kids read? (Or – “Which three books were most exciting to read to your kids/for your kids to read?” – for those of you who already have children)

The Bromeliad Trilogy by Terry Pratchett. A very funny story about a small alien race called Nomes trapped on Earth. That’s three books right there. But, if we only count a series as one, here are two others.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. A book about the value of friendship.

The Harry Potter series. Of course!

If I was the one doing the reading, I might also read them the Belgariad series by David Eddings.

7. Books that stand out -(i.e. Ones we’ve REALLY enjoyed as family read-alouds: )

We don’t really do family read-alouds. Books that stand-out are books that make me think about the possibilities. Those are typically non-fiction books or science fiction books such as:
– The Dragons of Eden by Carl Sagan
– A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
– Flashforward by Robert J Sawyer
– Hominids (Neanderthal Parallax) by Robert J Sawyer

8. A book that made you cry

I’m not much for reading sob stories (sob movies, yes. sob novels, no.). But one of the saddest moments I’ve experience while reading was probably while I was reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.

9. A book that scared you

The Shining by Stephen King. From all of Stephen King’s books that I’ve read, this one scared me because of my long-time fear of haunted houses.

10. A book that made you laugh

Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming by Robert Zelazny and Robert Sheckley. It’s a very funny book about the turn of the millennium (year 1000 AD) and the forces of good and evil vying for the chance to reshape the world. It was the first book that made me laugh out loud.

11. A book that disgusted you

Even though I’ve read a lot of Stephen King books (including a short story of his about this guy stuck in an island who had to amputate his own body just so he has something to eat), I can’t say I’ve read a book that actually disgusted me.

12. A book you loved in elementary/primary school

Sad to say, I’m not much of a reader back in those days. I do read but mostly my dad’s collection of comic books.

13. A book you loved in middle school (yrs 5, 6, 7, 8 )

See answer 12.

14. A book you loved in high school

See answer 12. Although, at this time, our literature teachers were trying to get us to read more by giving us homework where we have to read a book and give a summary for it at the end of the week. Sad to say but I sort of cheated in that I just read the summary on the book itself and just paraphrased that in my homework.

15. A book you loved in college

This was when I only really started reading. If I had to pick one, it was a compilation book of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle that a friend of mine lent me (which I can’t remember ever returning). From then on, I was a big fan of Sherlock Holmes and have read his other many adventures.

16. Any more favorites?

Apart from those already listed elsewhere in my answers, here are some more:
– Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (I guess you should count the rest of the Vampire Chronicles series up to Memnoch the Devil)
– I Am Legend by Richard Matheson (oooh more vampires)
– Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
– Prey by Michael Crichton (I don’t know why people didn’t like this too much)
– Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein (I specially like the part where in this original version, the lead characters are actually Filipinos and not Latin Americans that speak in an American accent like in the movie)
– The Genesis Code by John Case (mixes genetics and religious themes. What’s not to like?)

17. What are you currently reading?

A very old hard-bound tome about the history of Melbourne. I’m currently researching the way of life of 19th century Melbourne for a story I’m writing. And if I’m not reading that, I’m reading some of my art books to get inspiration for the comics I’m drawing. I really have got to free up some more of my time to get back to reading Humans (the Neanderthal Parallax book 2) by Robert Sawyer and my newly bought book The Universe in a Nutshell by Stephen Hawking.

18. What’s your family reading?

My mum and brother aren’t much into reading. My dad, on the other hand, reads a lot of Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum. Back in the old days, at least. And as for Raquel, my wife, well, you’ll just have to read her answers to these same questions (to be posted later).

Published in: on August 17, 2006 at 7:42 pm  Comments (2)