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September 2014
11

Alekx Watches Deep Breath

Ever late to the bandwagon, I finally finished watching Deep Breath and I can definitely say for myself that It. Is. Brilliant. Brilliant in ways I honestly never expected. It was smart, funny, witty, dramatic, and action-packed without being too messy and convoluted. Its polished Moffat at best and I loved it.

Whouffle
I am particularly glad that Deep Breath was both a continuation and exploration of where we left Clara and the Doctor, with respect to their relationship with each other. Central to this aspect of the story is harking back to the chemistry between Eleven and the Impossible Girl, which in my opinion really took advantage of the “Are They, Aren’t They” trope.

For the longest time in season 7 and the specials that came after, I’ve always thought that Clara was on the “they are” end of the dynamic, while the Doctor was on the “they aren’t”. She did say that she tricks herself twice a day out of falling in love with him in the “She Said, He Said” prequel so just imagine my surprise (and delight) when this dialogue comes up:

“Clara, I’m not your boyfriend.”
“I never thought you were.”
“I never said it was your mistake.”

and after her phone rings and he says,

“Better get that. Might be your boyfriend.”

which only later on turns out to be (spoiler alert) himself when he was still Eleven.

Plot-wise, season 7 was really incomparable to Moffat’s storytelling as of Season 5 and even during David Tennant’s era (Blink anyone?). But, at least to me, what made it entertaining was the very cheerful and flighty yet deep and steadfast dynamic between these two people who remain to be loyal to one another in spite of their early lack of knowledge of one another, and so I’m really glad that all those hand-holding and eye contact and hugs and suggestive dialogue don’t just get thrown out of the window the moment that the new guy steps in (thank you Moffat).

I’d like to think that Series 8 is quite the opposite because there’s also much in Deep Breath indicating that the binding ties of Doctor and Clara will be better revealed and fleshed out in the coming episodes.

In my opinion, the fact that Twelve flat out rejects his previous self’s attitudes towards Clara and sets the boundaries tells me that this is one thing that will be touched upon. If it wasn’t so important, why say it out loud? Clara also gets crap on the whole thing from Madame Vastra (to which her response is in my opinion a little weak). Again, if it wasn’t so important, why say it out loud? There was also the matter of that tunnel scene, and how, in part, I think its meant to assure Clara that the Doctor is still the Doctor she knew - the Doctor who won’t leave her no matter what. Who will be difficult, yes, but who will always be there. And among my favorite: that reference to the first phone call between Clara and the Doctor and how she got her number through the woman in the shop (side note: I honestly thought we’ll be getting some answers, goodness me I’m itching), to which the Doctor concludes, “then there’s a woman out there who’s very keen that we stay together.” I don’t think that’s going to be the last we hear of it.

Matt Smith
Speaking of phone calls, Clara received a phone call in this episode as I had mentioned earlier. No less from Eleven himself.

And I cried. I bloody cried like I never cried before in the history of all the tears I’ve shed for Doctor Who. I didn’t think I would because there’s too many darn spoilers on the internet and Tumblr so I had been prewarned about the whole thing.

But I think I am grateful for all those spoilers, otherwise I never would have not seen it coming as I had last night. Was it me, or the phone call didn’t really feel like a goodbye from Eleven but rather a goodbye from Matt Smith?

To tell you honestly, I wasn’t particularly fond of his regeneration in The Time of the Doctor (for pretty selfish fangirl reasons) and I hadn’t gotten attached to it as I hoped I would. But this one - well, this one is different.

Dear god I cried simply thinking “Matt’s gone. Matt’s gone. Matt’s gone.” I think that if there were any definitive moment where I finally accepted that the Eleventh Doctor, my Doctor, is good and gone, then this would be it.

Twelve
Out with the old and in with the new. Peter Capaldi’s introduction as the Doctor has got to be among the most brilliant in the history of Who (and I’m guessing on mere gut as my lack of Classic Who knowledge still remains insatiated).

But I do deeply and truly think that it is brilliant. Not in the rather bouncy way as David Tennant’s and Matt Smith’s, but in its own smart, sharp, and distinct way. I’m glad that I was finally able to see for myself the terror and boldness that Peter Capaldi’s incarnation holds, which has been so repeatedly emphasized in every journalistic advert for Series 8.

But I also feel that all those just do not give him enough justice. There’s something so unspeakably frightening about this Doctor and to where his stories are going that I have never been more afraid of the realization that watching the episodes are actually going to make it difficult for me to sleep at night.

What always attracted me to the two previous incarnations were their hearts (literally as the Doctor has two) and how open they were to the different people and robots and monsters and aliens and other indistinguishable lifeforms (because we do not discriminate) that they encounter. With respect to Twelve, I can better understand it now why it wasn’t so difficult to get attached to Ten and Eleven, simply because they wanted me to get attached to them.

But with this new Doctor, its different. He keeps his heart overcast, which is something I find interesting to respond to as a viewer.

That is not to say he doesn’t ever bring them out in the light. Can we all just appreciate for a moment how the Doctor’s face falls when Clara says “I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry, but I don’t think I know who you are anymore”? Or how despondent he is as he says “You can’t see me, can you? You look at me and you can’t see me.” Moments. Just moments when you probably weren’t looking.

References
Deep Breath was probably one heck of a sport for competitive Doctor Who nerds alike - a testament to how well does one pay attention. There were so many references - so many. Immediately after watching the show (well, after drying my tears and shaking off the horrible villanous epilogue), the first thing I did was go on the sites to check how many references I managed to catch and how many I missed (mostly Classic Who, of course, which only begs me to watch the episodes from 1963).

There were several ones I liked:
-SS Marie Antoinette - I swear I figured that out before it was revealed
-Long-legged Amy
-Another Rose parallel: “Chips” (could be another indication of what’s to come for whouffle?)
-Geronimo
-Round things
-Landing on Glasgow instead of Clara’s home
-“I don’t like it”
-Phonecalls - the first and last conversations of Clara and Eleven
-Clara entering the TARDIS after the Doctor comes back, very reminiscent of a scene from The Bells of St. John. I expected her to say “So, he comes back does he?”

The answer is of course “Yes, Clara. Yes, he does.”

September 2014
06

Hello again.

Hello, blog. Hello, world.

How has it been? I don’t quite know what to write, except I’ve been told that I have to. Again.

Its not because I don’t have anything else to say (I don’t think I ever would), but because I don’t quite know where to start.

Quite. I like that word; its always so ambiguous to me when one person uses that to describe something.

quite
adverb

1 to the utmost or most absolute extent or degree; absolutely; completely
2 to a certain or fairly significant extent or degree; fairly

I never quite know what one means when they use that word. Even me.

Let’s be methodical about this. Perhaps we can start with where I’ve been for the past eight months or so that I’ve been gone.

Towards the end of January, I landed a new job in a nonprofit. I started in February and it was a whirlwind from there. Or more like a hurricane, that everything in my life suddenly flew in a gust of air and landed in all different places. I was in Kansas no more. To be honest, I do not fully know how I feel about it. Most of the time I feel uncomfortable (probably an understatement) - because I feel we’re undermanned, because I don’t like the hierarchy, because there’s just too many things to do in so little time.

Nevertheless I cannot deny the fact that I am grateful for the arrival of consistent pay and financial security, the opportunity to meet different people, and the chance to learn what its like to sustain an organization, or how not to act when you’re finally the boss. Or just the fact that I realized that I am not an 8 to 5 kind of person, which I probably never would have learned have I not been trying it.

There was also the matter of travel. I’ve been to places I never would have thought I could, and experienced life in a way that I never thought I would. I’ve land trekked to the middle of the Sierra Madre, walked the beaches of Boracay, and saw the seas to Samal Island - this is yet the year I have made the most travel.

In exchange, this have I also been the busiest. I’ve been the weariest, depressed, and most defeated. I panic attacked every day and every week. I doubted myself every day and every week. I longed for time to stop and to hold every day and every week.

But it also gave me ideas - even in bits and pieces - of what are the things that I’d really like to try and do, of what I’d be willing to pursue and willing to sacrifice, of what I believe and what I want myself to be.

That’s why I am back here, I guess. To string those bits and pieces together so I can figure out where exactly do I want to go.

The great horizon beyond is a mystery to me. Terrifying and exciting, perhaps because I have yet to make it. And so many things to learn and unlearn. I just don’t quite know where to start.

#life   
August 2014
12

yes, this blog is still a thing (in which i’m breaking my hiatus because… Doctor Who!!!)

- Because of my preoccupation with work, I am not freaking out properly about Doctor Who. I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS.

- Has anybody noticed how Jenna dresses recently during all the touring and the premieres of Doctor Who and compared it to how she used to dress when she did all these presswork with Matt? I have. I am not sure if this is it, but Peter Capaldi brings out an air of sophistication with the way she dresses. I like it. I like how she used to dress too. I like everything.

- Oh my goodness, work, please stop overworking me.

- What am I doing on Tumblr? Oh my god, I need to finish something. Good bye.

- ps. DOCTOR WHO AAAAH!!!

#life   
December 2013
24
The past week was so much about crammed holiday errands and jammed holiday traffic, which only ironically made everything feel a lot less Holiday-ish.
I finally understood what the adults meant when they said the hustle and bustle can make one lose grip on the Holiday spirit. Because for the past few days, the only thing that has been reminding me that Christmas is coming soon is the highly commercial measures undertaken by capitalizing establishments during this time of the year. Geez, I probably wouldn’t even feel its already the Christmas season if it weren’t for the irritatingly unjustified lavishness in Christmas decorations I have encountered in my travels across the metro. We’re talking moving life-size polar animals to give the illusion of winter wonderland (which frankly doesn’t make sense because the polar regions of the Earth at this time of the year are immensely cold, and that probably does not make them winter wonderlands, but only winter).
Which is sad, really. When I was a kid - yes, I’ve actually gotten to an age when I can actually utter those phrases and not seem at all ironic -  When I was a kid, I used to delight at the approach to Christmas so much that the actual Christmas day makes me sad because it was so short. As a kid, I literally felt the difference when once a dark and somber village street transformed into a milky way of blinking fairy lights and shining parols overnight. Christmas carols can so easily rouse a swell of longing, happiness, loneliness, and nostalgia in a jumbled way all too indescribable for a young girl. Taho and puto bumbong at five in the morning were heaven a little undeserved after being dragged out of bed by your mother only to fall back into sleep while standing in the midst of a crowded misa de gallo. And misa de gallo which you wake up to at four in the morning, where you sleep throughout the liturgies, and which you ironically can no longer go back to sleep from even if your mother insisted because grade school classes don’t start until 12 noon.
Those were the days.
I read an interview of Neil Gaiman in Poets & Writers where he said, “I think it’s only a certain amount of amnesia that allows adults to function.” Suffice to say he said it in a different context, but if you’d allow me to extend the meaning of that quotation to a different context.
I am starting to believe that growing up involves a lot of desensitization, not necessarily because one wants to but because one has to. The adult world is a complex place, yes, what with all its problems and plans and bills and budgets, and sometimes the only way to wrap one’s head around such things is to take away that part of one’s self that dictates how to feel and follow through that other part of the self that dictates what needs to be done.
But when things like these - like Christmas - come up, those special times when one is actually supposed to stop and feel something, one is instead lost and misguided.
I feel bad because, more than anything else even and especially my own birthday, Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. But recently it feels exactly like a tradition Tradition that arrives and passes only because the calendar tells you it is so. And forgive me for saying this, but I think that exactly the people who feel the same way as I do now are probably the most tragic people on Earth, regardless of whether or not they believe in Christmas and the traditions behind it.
Because Christmas IS special. Its a time of peace, and giving, and sharing, and I’m not even going to put in the Jesus argument here because I respect that not everyone believes in Him (but I do, I fervently do), but its that time that everybody celebrates and when we all can just look at the world and realize that its not a lost cause because its a place beautiful to be in, and we, its people, are beautiful to be with. To have an ‘amnesia’ - to be ‘desensitized’ - of all of that can make one feel only wretched and miserable. Like the unforgiving little kid who is always on the outside. Or the constricted wallflower only there to observe but not to participate.
I just wish I don’t ever get to feel this way again. Meanwhile, I’ll take the rest of my Holidays and make with it as best as I can. Hopefully there’s still hope, and hopefully you’ll have less emo, sentimental posts to read.

The past week was so much about crammed holiday errands and jammed holiday traffic, which only ironically made everything feel a lot less Holiday-ish.

I finally understood what the adults meant when they said the hustle and bustle can make one lose grip on the Holiday spirit. Because for the past few days, the only thing that has been reminding me that Christmas is coming soon is the highly commercial measures undertaken by capitalizing establishments during this time of the year. Geez, I probably wouldn’t even feel its already the Christmas season if it weren’t for the irritatingly unjustified lavishness in Christmas decorations I have encountered in my travels across the metro. We’re talking moving life-size polar animals to give the illusion of winter wonderland (which frankly doesn’t make sense because the polar regions of the Earth at this time of the year are immensely cold, and that probably does not make them winter wonderlands, but only winter).

Which is sad, really. When I was a kid - yes, I’ve actually gotten to an age when I can actually utter those phrases and not seem at all ironic -  When I was a kid, I used to delight at the approach to Christmas so much that the actual Christmas day makes me sad because it was so short. As a kid, I literally felt the difference when once a dark and somber village street transformed into a milky way of blinking fairy lights and shining parols overnight. Christmas carols can so easily rouse a swell of longing, happiness, loneliness, and nostalgia in a jumbled way all too indescribable for a young girl. Taho and puto bumbong at five in the morning were heaven a little undeserved after being dragged out of bed by your mother only to fall back into sleep while standing in the midst of a crowded misa de gallo. And misa de gallo which you wake up to at four in the morning, where you sleep throughout the liturgies, and which you ironically can no longer go back to sleep from even if your mother insisted because grade school classes don’t start until 12 noon.

Those were the days.

I read an interview of Neil Gaiman in Poets & Writers where he said, “I think it’s only a certain amount of amnesia that allows adults to function.” Suffice to say he said it in a different context, but if you’d allow me to extend the meaning of that quotation to a different context.

I am starting to believe that growing up involves a lot of desensitization, not necessarily because one wants to but because one has to. The adult world is a complex place, yes, what with all its problems and plans and bills and budgets, and sometimes the only way to wrap one’s head around such things is to take away that part of one’s self that dictates how to feel and follow through that other part of the self that dictates what needs to be done.

But when things like these - like Christmas - come up, those special times when one is actually supposed to stop and feel something, one is instead lost and misguided.

I feel bad because, more than anything else even and especially my own birthday, Christmas is my most favorite time of the year. But recently it feels exactly like a tradition Tradition that arrives and passes only because the calendar tells you it is so. And forgive me for saying this, but I think that exactly the people who feel the same way as I do now are probably the most tragic people on Earth, regardless of whether or not they believe in Christmas and the traditions behind it.

Because Christmas IS special. Its a time of peace, and giving, and sharing, and I’m not even going to put in the Jesus argument here because I respect that not everyone believes in Him (but I do, I fervently do), but its that time that everybody celebrates and when we all can just look at the world and realize that its not a lost cause because its a place beautiful to be in, and we, its people, are beautiful to be with. To have an ‘amnesia’ - to be ‘desensitized’ - of all of that can make one feel only wretched and miserable. Like the unforgiving little kid who is always on the outside. Or the constricted wallflower only there to observe but not to participate.

I just wish I don’t ever get to feel this way again. Meanwhile, I’ll take the rest of my Holidays and make with it as best as I can. Hopefully there’s still hope, and hopefully you’ll have less emo, sentimental posts to read.

December 2013
17
Look at the beauty that I got (in unfiltered glory) !

Look at the beauty that I got (in unfiltered glory) !

December 2013
09

Today at work:
My kids- being super adorable. If you’re wondering what that paper thing is, it’s a paper sculpture of a dog that turns into a turtle, gifted by one of the boys.

December 2013
09

Later in the afternoon: basketball with a dear old friend for old times’ sake. Bonus! We got to sit on the outside-sportscasters’ chairs!

December 2013
09

Earlier today, I found, food is quite the photographable thing

December 2013
02

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us

#updates   
November 2013
24

happy streak

image

I’m usually superstitious about talking about happy days in my life, convinced that the more I talk about them the more they might shy away from coming back. Which is a rather foolish superstition most of the time, and is also a tad encumbering by a false burden.

Its not that I don’t know this, I just have yet to own it - own the fact that happy days exist because there are sad days, and sad days exist because there are happy days. It takes a fearless heart to navigate through the tides.

Alas, my heart has a long way to go before it reaches Fearlessness Level 100. Thankfully, my mind is usually more stubborn and is way ahead of the other on the meter. If I cannot at least feel courageous about doing something, I can at least rationally convince myself that I can do it. This is the solution I came up with, before my heart can hopefully follow its own whispers. And it is a solution that has proven itself quite useful, especially in the past few days when I achieved all the things I set my mind into achieving.

That said, I had a good three days.

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