A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for the 'Tags' Category

Tag! I’m It!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

I still haven’t finished giving away the Kick A** Award and today, I have just the person in mind. Before we proceed to that, however, I’d like to answer a Google image tag from Little Miss Firefly. I had such a great time looking for pictures! If you must know, I’m also addicted to Google, and if such a thing as a PhD in Google-ology exists (I think I beat Jenny McCarthy to this), I bet I’d have gotten it by now.

The rules are:
a) answer the question below, do a Google Image search with your answer, take a picture from the 1st page of results, do it with minimal words of explanation; and
b) tag 5 people to do the same once you’ve finished answering every question.

Okay, let’s take a deep breath… *hu hu hu… hi hi hi…* and agree to this: how about we do the first one and skip number 2? Everyone happy with that? :-) (I bet people just heaved a sigh of relief with this one.)

1. The age you’ll be on your next birthday:

Do you see it? I hope you don’t, heehee. Ah, well, I don’t look a day over 39, anyway. :-)

2. Place you want to travel to:

Easy enough to answer, this one is. (Do I sound like Yoda?) A and I haven’t traveled a lot as a couple (well, he does, but for work) and almost everyone who knows the circumstances of our lives knows why. But one of these days, before we get too old and wobbly to move on our own, we would like to spend a little time here, in the City Of Lights. And if it doesn’t happen, I think I can photoshop myself very well in one of these pictures, heehee.

3. Your favourite place:

My favorite place in the whole wide world is the bedroom. This is where the family congregates most days: A and Alex watching movies on DVD, me playing with my Hello Kitty doll, and Alphonse blowing bubbles by the side. And of course, this lovely picture-perfect room isn’t my bedroom, but this one is:

(from Alphonse’s PECs cards)

Notice how there’s a blanket on the headboard? It’s to prevent Alphonse from banging his front teeth on it. He’s already chipped one. :-(

4. Your favourite food:

Yummy! I could eat a quart in one sitting! This is also my favorite flavor. A little trivia: did you know that this uses red cabbage juice for coloring, and not some nasty allergy-inducing Red #40? Hooray for Ben & Jerry!

5. Your favourite pet:

Alex used to have a guinea pig named Genie who looks almost like this little fellow, except she was slightly darker. He was five when he begged to get her but like most little children, he failed to realize the responsibilities that came with having a pet. So Genie became mine. I gave her baths, brushed her hair, fed her carrots, celery, and nuts and cleaned her cage. I even taught her some tricks using ABA.

Sadly, she’s passed on to the place where all good guinea pigs go to after life. Her cage now stands empty. I still miss her little shrieks. *Woot! Woot!*

6. Favorite color combination:

Pink and brown- these colors are gorgeous together!

7. Favorite piece of clothing:

I’m a jeans girl at heart and am thankful that there are very good local brands that cater to full-figured women. When A and I were planning our church wedding, I was seriouly considering getting married in one, but my mom vetoed my suggestion. Yeah, maybe she was right on that one… maybe.

8. Your all time favorite song:

My all-time favorite song comes from the movie “Bituing Walang Ningning.” It’s “Sana’y Maghintay Ang Walang Hanggan,” with lyrics and music by Willy Cruz and Baby Gil. I get 99 on Magic Sing with this too! (Magic Sings says “What a excellent singer!”)

9. Favorite TV show:

We’re doing “Monk” marathons at home so this has got to be a current favorite. On shows for more mature audiences, A and I love “Deadwood.”

10. First name of your significant other:

No, not Maria. :-)

11. Which town do you live in:

We live in a little barrio in one of the most populous and biggest cities in the Philippines, where sidewalks are brick red (or will soon be), and where urban lifestyles meet with rural surroundings. I’m a Kyusi (Q.C. for Quezon City) girl, born and bred.

12. Your screen name/nickname:


Kittymama is Kitty’s mama. :-)

13. Your first job:

I wasn’t as cute as that little girl, though.

14. Your dream job:

I’m living it!

15. One bad habit that you have:

I’m a verrry late sleeper and my hours don’t always coincide with A’s. He sleeps early and wakes up at the crack of dawn whereas I can’t sleep until the wee hours of the morning. Thankfully, Alphonse doesn’t wake up early too often and I can make up for lost sleep then. I ought to change, I know.

16. Worst fear:

Loss of my loved ones. And I’m not even going to think about it right now. Just thinking about it makes me weep.

17: Things you’d like to do before you die:

And maybe sing back-up to Sharon Cuneta. :-)

18. The 1st thing you’ll buy if you get $1,000,000:

This is my dream home, a Tokyo Mansions home smack in the heart of one of Metro Manila’s most affluent cities.

19. Your husband/wife:

Kitty’s boyfriend is Dear Daniel. If I’m Kittymama, does that make A Danielpapa?

20. What present would you like for your next birthday? (Note: make it anniversary, heehee.)

This, I would love to have. I’m partial to the first edition Hello Kitty Build-A-Bear because Hello Kitty is traditionally a white cat, but the sunkissed Kitty is just as beautiful. I would love to have any of these two, with lots of clothes and shoes. Ah, eBay, here I come!


Thank you, Odette, for this enjoyable tag! As a thank you gift, I pass on this second Kick A** award to one of the most creative people I know. Odette (or Little Miss Firefly) makes beautiful things by hand, and if you go visit her blog right now, you’ll find that she’s been very busy these past few weeks with her household projects. She’s also one heck of a photographer with an amazing eye for detail. I wish I was even just half as creative as she is.

So here’s to you, Little Miss Firefly, and may you continue to light the world with your beautiful creations. :-)

NSE Kicks A**

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

I normally stay away from blogging till Wednesday morning, and only after I’ve submitted my articles for the week. This I do as a matter of discipline since blogging eats up a lot of my time (verrry, verrry addictive!). But just this once, while sending out an article to my editor this afternoon, I finally gave in to the temptation to bloghop and surf the web. Lo and behold, I found this:

See the arrow I put over there? See the name?


No Special Effects is a finalist in the Food and Beverage Category of the 2008 Philippine Blog Awards! Man, I am definitely impressed. And soooo proud!

To Manggy, my young friend, whose amazing talents have given us this wonderful, quirky, enjoyable, and highly compelling blog, I send you all the positive energy of the universe and wish you success. If it were up to me (and no insult to the fine blogs who are nominated with you), I’d hand you over the  award, hands down.

And with this in mind, I hereby bestow this award that has been waiting for quite a time to move on to its next recipient: The Kick Ass Award given to me by the very generous Teacher Julie.   

This is for you, Manggy, because you definitely kick a** (sorry, I try not to use the word very often because my son reads this blog, heehee).

Hats off to you! Hip, hip, hooray!

No Words Spoken

Friday, July 25th, 2008
Image by © Martin Meyer/zefa/Corbis
Image by © Martin Meyer/zefa/Corbis

Alphonse and I were waiting in the car last night for A who had gone to run some errands for me (I had him buy some glue sticks from the bookstore). I was reading some messages sent via SMS, quite oblivious to the giggling I was hearing from the back of the car. A few minutes later, Alphonse turned on the interior dome light, apparently to see who he was giggling with. Instinctively, I turned around to tell him off (one of his repetitive habits is switching the lights on and off) when I noticed a young boy standing beside Alphonse’s window. The boy was probably no more than ten years of age, scrawny, dressed in threadbare clothes. He was one of the street urchins who usually offer the use of their umbrellas on rainy days for a fee. Separated by the sheet of window glass, they stared at each other for a few seconds.

Then Alphonse started to giggle, as he looked expectantly at the boy for a reaction. The boy started chuckling in turn, moving his arms in the air, even jumping up and down.. This went on for a few minutes until they were both howling in laughter. After a while, the young boy waved goodbye. Alphonse waved back.  He smiled all the way home. 

Wish that making friends were always this easy.  


Speaking of friendships, I can’t begin to tell everyone how the experience of blogging has opened the world for me with renewed friendships and new ones forged. With a few strokes of the keyboard and a few clicks of the mouse, I have expanded my world beyond what I know.

Megamom shared this lovely tag with me a few weeks ago (thank you, dear friend) and she has an inspiring (and heartbreaking) story to tell that relates to the origins of this tag. I invite you all to click on the links above and read it for yourself. Sharing The Love was created by a grateful mom named Crystal, in honor of the individual who gave her one year-old son Noah a new lease in life by way of an organ donation on July 7, 2007. Noah’s new heart represents not only the best in humanity- the capacity to sacrifice even in the midst of grief- it also speaks of hope and love that we, as sentient beings, all aspire to.

The rules of this award are: SHARE THE LOVE!!! Share this award with all those blogs out there that you love. All the people who make you smile. All those that make you laugh. All those that make your day. All those that leave uplifting comments on your blog. **All I ask, is that you include a link to this post with the award and ask your recipient to do the same**

I pass on this beautiful gift to the special people who have touched my life by way of the written word.

To Casdok of Mother of Shrek and Susan Senator, both mothers of young men with autism, my heroes in this fascinating journey of life with autism,

Susan’s Nat and Casdok’s C are leaving home to explore the world- to learn, to work, to have fun, to   dream- and while I am as proud of them as their mothers, I can’t help but feel their moms’ worries,  apprehensions, anxieties, and fears. It takes a lot of courage and faith to set a child free to explore life. And so I send this to Casdok and Susan, with all the love I can muster in this world, for being the kind of mother I always dream to be.

To Odette of Little Miss Firefly and Gracey of XOXOGracey, whose ingenious crafts are as remarkable as their personalities,

As Odette starts a life Ireland with the man of her heart, I send her this with all the prayers and best wishes for a happy life. And to Gracey, who brings the vibrant colors of our country’s summers to the Netherlands, I send her this, too, with blessings of more grace in her life. Thank you for bringing color to my life.   

And to Mark of No Special Effects, a brilliant young man whose talents never cease to amaze me,  

A physician in the cusp of his career, Doc Mark is the unusual soul whose interests in food and photography make him my all-time favorite food blogger. His gorgeous pictures never fail to heal my soul, and his kindness to an old fogey like me (he visits this blog, yay!) is truly a gift. Thank you!

 God bless you all, dear friends!

Having A Baby

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Kitty has a baby!

My good friend Beth of Fragile What? tagged me for this First Born meme. I am happy to oblige. :-) The sweetest days I’ve ever had were when I was having my babies (in spite of the complications, the morning sickness, the constantly bloated feeling, the watermelon “jugs,” the swollen ankles, and even the unnatural cravings for sardine-flavored ice cream).



3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? I was ecstatic, so was A.


5. HOW OLD WERE YOU? I was 25

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? I had been feeling nauseated every day, at all hours. Car rides, in particular, made me squirm in discomfort; a long trip would be punctuated with  periodic visits to the bathroom. Alas! My love affair with the toilet bowl had started! 

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? A, of course! :-)


9. DUE DATE? March 29

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? Yes, and it was horrible! I threw up at all hours, not just mornings.

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? I hankered for mangosteen, a rich, creamy, sweet-and-sour Yummy mangosteen fruittropical fruit. Local superstition tells us that what a woman craves during pregnancy would influence her child’s features at birth, and while I certainly don’t believe it, old relatives would often remark that my baby’s pale body/ darker face (which was flushed red in infancy) was the effect of the dark rind/white fruit of the mangosteen.

12.  WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? A complained that whenever I got pregnant, I was almost always grumpy with him. Honestly, I can’t remember being irritated by any one person or one thing in particular.


14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE  GETTING? A and I wanted to have a girl at first  (we started buying dolls for “her” long before I ever got pregnant). When we found out that we were having a  boy, we were happy too- we were going to have a boy who’d take after his dad and carry on the family name.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT YOUR PREGNANCY? With the first pregnancy, around 50 lbs (Yikes!), of which less than 7 was the baby (Double Yikes!).


17. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? My sisters and girlfriends wanted to have one for me but the baby came early so we opted to get together at the christening. 

18. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? I had gestational diabetes and preeclampsia or hypertension in pregnancy. (I’m not posting any pictures prior to delivery because I was huge and swollen!) I was admitted to the hospital twice for control of blood pressure, the last one being three days just before I underwent an emergency caesarian section. I hadn’t thought I was giving birth so soon. I went for a routine prenatal that day but my blood pressure zoomed to 200/110. Later, the fetal monitor showed that the baby was in distress. The doctors decided to deliver immediately.

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? At a small private hospital in the city where the leading obstetrician was my uncle (my father’s elder brother). Because I hardly paid for anything, my first delivery was so cheap! 

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? No labor with the first one (but ask me about the second one where I went into labor for 10 hours only to be delivered by CS too- GRRR!). I was so confident I wasn’t going to deliver any time soon that I didn’t even bring anything that day, just a small Hello Kitty handbag with some toiletries.


22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? Just the doctors and nurses; A wasn’t allowed in by my uncle. Maybe it was just as well, A never got used to seeing blood until a long time later.


24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Yes, but just minimal, some over-the-counter pain relievers. I’ve always had a high tolerance for pain. In fact, three days after the CS, I went shopping for a whole day.


26. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN? February 9, six weeks early from the actual due date

27. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Alexander (”defender of men,” “protector of mankind”)



Baby At Last!

Anyone who’d like to do this tag, please feel free to join. I’d love to hear what your pregnancy stories are too! :-)

When It Rains, It Pours

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

a WALL of Awards (wow!)

I love awards as much as the next person, and I certainly welcome any and all awards/ badges that may come my way. This humongous award comes from Teacher Julie and I am astounded at the sheer size of it all. (Thank you! Thank you!)

To top it all, I haven’t gotten around to posting this giant award when she decided to send more love my way via this:

More awards

Oh, my, I feel truly blessed! (Not to mention spoiled!) I do have an issue with the Sexy Blogger Award, not that I mind being called “sexy” (as they say, being sexy is all a state of the mind). May I change it to Hefty Blogger Award, just this once, for me? The latter definitely rings truer. :-) Whenever I hear the word “sexy,” I am reminded of six-year-old Alex’s retort when I asked him why he didn’t used the word to describe me in his essay. “But Mama, that would be a lie!” Yeah, kid, way to suck up to Mom. (Haha!) 

Okay back to the award.

As much as I love receiving these wonderful awards and badges, I can think of no better use for them than to share them and spread the love around. I love all the sites I’ve listed in my blogroll, but I do have some “staples”- places where I can be found hanging out, lurking, loitering, or simply visiting any time of the day. I am drawn to them because they speak of a theme which, despite the thousands of miles among us, unite us: Autism. 

Today being the first day in Worldwide Autism Awareness Month, I am dedicating this to: Susan Senator, Beth of Fragile What?, Bud’s Mom at Mom-NOS, Kim of Mommyhood, Casdok of Mother of ShrekBabs of Awalkabout’s Weblog, Maddy of Whitterer on Autism, Leirs of Mushings, and Cris of Eclectic Journals. These moms are my lifelines in the often confusing world of parenting a child with autism.

So to you, my dear friends, I dedicate these gifts of the heart. In a world often struggling with strife and intolerance, you live with more complex challenges than “normal” families do but you do it with so much aplomb, dignity, and love. I have learned so much from all of you about understanding, acceptance, and tolerance. Your eloquence, empathy, and support make me hopeful that a better world can be created for all our children.

You are my heroes.

Family Movie Night

Friday, February 8th, 2008

Movies, Kitty, and Me

Movies at the cinema are a rarity in our family life. For one, Alphonse never learned to enjoy movies in a darkened movie theater. The first and last time we brought him to a theater for a screening of Mulan, he started crying as soon as the lights were turned low. A had to bring him out and distract him with other enticements, as his crying grew louder and louder. Then too, the cost of tickets and munch food for four of us and two or three nannies (for Alphonse) can be more prohibitive than an original DVD (I’m with you there, MegaMom!). And lastly, my aching back does not appreciate the contours of theater seats as even the reclining ones offer little comfort. As a result, we watch movies at home, often on a daily basis, with the last one being last night’s Jodie Foster-starrer The Brave One. Once in a while, however, the wait for a movie’s official release on DVD can seem interminably long. Sometimes, you just have to brave the lines and bear the non-orthopedic seats to get immediate gratification. Such a must-see movie beckons only every so often, and we are always cognizant of its call.

One such movie is I Am Legend, which we watched at the Eastwood Cinemas last January 11. (The one before that was Harry Potter, seen at the IMAX theater of the Mall of Asia sometime late last year, and the one before that was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, seen at the Shangri-la Cinemas in June of last year.)

I’ve always been partial to Will Smith movies (I still tear up when I watch Independence Day, boo-hoo!) and in fact, I think I was the one who suggested watching it that night. We took a late show to make sure Alphonse was asleep then and had a relative help the nannies watch over him lest he woke up during the few hours we were gone. Fortunately, that night, while he did wake up a few times, he promptly went back to sleep without any fuss. Sometimes, the planets just align themselves perfectly and you just got to grab at this gift and be grateful.

 Yoohoo! Ah, but, as usual, I digress. I Am Legend is a movie based on the 1954 sci-fi novel of the same title written by Richard Matheson. It is actually the third film interpretation of the novel, starting with The Last Man on Earth in 1964 and The Omega Man in 1971. While the original story sets the last man alive in Los Angeles, California in the years 1976-1979, this recent reincarnation of the novel relocated the setting to New York City in the year 2012. Again, there have been minor changes made from the book to the movie, but none of them distracts from the basic premise: a plague (a bacterial pandemic in the book and a man-made viral mutation in the recent movie) devastates human population and creates a group of survivors who exhibit the traits of vampirism.

I am Legend

In the year 2012, cancer is a thing of the past, thanks to a re-engineered measles virus that had a cure rate of 100%. Within a few months, however, the patients started dying and what was touted as the final cure for cancer became a final solution to mankind. Ninety percent of the population died; nine percent became infected and mutated into “vampires” (although the movie makes no use of this direct reference). The remaining one percent of population who were immune became hunted as food. US Army virologist Robert Neville (Will Smith) remains in ground zero (NYC) to search for the cure. The movie takes off from this, showing Neville’s daily grind as NYC’s sole survivor. The action scenes come from his maddening interactions with the “Dark Seekers” and they are indeed heart-stopping. Yet, I like to think of I Am legend also as a story of spiritual redemption. (See dialogue below to get an idea of what I mean.) Without going into the details, allow me to say that while I would have wished for a different ending, I am heartened by the message of hope and faith in the film. After all, in this transient world, all we really have are hope and faith.

Anna: The world is quieter now. We just have to listen. If we listen, we can hear God’s plan.
Neville: God’s plan.
Anna: Yeah.
Neville: All right, let me tell you about your “God’s plan”. Six billion people on Earth when the infection hit. KV had a ninety-percent kill rate, that’s five point four billion people dead. Crashed and bled out. Dead. Less than one-percent immunity. That left twelve million healthy people, like you, me, and Ethan. The other five hundred and eighty-eight million turned into your dark seekers, and then they got hungry and they killed and fed on everybody. Everybody! Every *single* person that you or I has ever known is dead! Dead! There is no god!

This movie was originally meant to star Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of Neville (he ended up producing it) and when Alex learned of this, he seized this piece of information to start doing the dialogue in Mr. Schwarzenegger’s Terminator voice (“Hasta la vista, baby!). This never fails to crack us up, and when we’re feeling particularly short-tempered with him, he’ll drop us some lines he’s memorized from the movie (“My name is Robert Neville. I am a survivor living in New York City. I am broadcasting on all AM frequencies. I will be at the South Street Seaport everyday at mid-day, when the sun is highest in the sky. If you are out there… if anyone is out there… I can provide food, I can provide shelter, I can provide security. If there’s anybody out there… anybody… please. You are not alone.”) and he’s got us in the palm of his hand (or at least, until I remember what I was angry about, haha).

Best supporting actress Abbey as SamanthaIf you ask Alex, though, who his favorite character in the movie is, he’ll quickly point to “Samantha” or “Sam,” Robert Neville’s three-year-old German Shepherd (played by brilliant dog actor Abbey). He recounts the reaction of the venerable Mr.P, his drama club adviser, after seeing the film: “The dog acts better than half the boys in the club.” Alex humbly agrees.

“Someday, mom, I will be as good an actor as Sam…”

And I thought he meant Will Smith. :-)


This is a post in response to MegaMom’s Tag called “Recent Movie that the Family Enjoyed.”

Rules Of This Tag:
1. Link back the person who tagged you and write what was the movie his/her family enjoyed watching recently.
2. Now your turn to tell about the movie your family had just watched.
3. Tell something about the movie and spoilers are accepted (hehehee).
4. Write anything that has something to do with movies: Trivia, your top choice or favorites and why, your family’s story about your favorite motion pictures, the first film you watched with your husband, any traditional film the family’s been keeping etc…etc…
5. Copy and paste the rules of this meme on your blog and pass the tag to as many friends, bloggers and movie lovers you want. Don’t forget to tell them they’re tagged and leave a comment here if you’re done with the task.

In the spirit of the New Year, I’ll let the people I was thinking of tagging off the hook, just this once, as a New Year’s Day present. Just saving up on karmic goodwill, my friends! 

Prelude to a Tag: Onscreen Romance

Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Written seven years ago in 2001, this article chronicles our family’s love affair with movies. Just a little prelude, my friends, to share with you the beginnings of our own family ritual: Family Movie Nights.

I never used to go to the movies.

As a child, I grew up with a staple of B movies in the glorious decade of the Betamax. My parents were rather liberal with their children’s viewing fare and gave us discretion over what movies we wanted to watch. My brothers’ choices were those with blood, decapitation and zombies in them, while my younger sisters opted for cartoons.

Between unrestrained violence and an inordinate amount of cutesy babies prancing in circles singing “Maria, Maria, ya-ya-ya-ya-ya,” it was hardly surprising that I lost my taste for the movies shortly after I turned 10.

Fact or Fiction?I remember, however, that as a child, my personal favorites were those comprising the Faces of Death series, you know, those movies on beta tapes that were all about death and pathology.

The rare times our family of seven would troop to the cinemas for an honest-to-goodness full-length movie, it would be to watch Superman and its sequels. So, going to the movies was never ever a family affair. Superman

I never met a certified movie addict until I fell in love with my last boyfriend (now my husband). We weren’t allowed to go on dates for the first two years of our relationship, so watching movies was absolutely out of the question. Well, okay, I must confess, we did see a movie once.

Platoon - first official dateWe went to see Platoon, I remember, but because we were so scared that my parents would find out, we never watched another movie until my dad gave us his permission 20 months later.

We watched a movie or two every week afterwards, but I thought back then that watching movies was just something a couple does to spend time together. Whenever we had some free time, my boyfriend would pick up the paper, open to the movies section and point to the latest one he wanted to see.

Yeah, sure, sometimes he asked me what I wanted to watch, but since I had no firm opinions one way or the other, he had the run of the show. I figured, he loved movies, what of it? He stopped smoking for me and gave up drinking altogether (not that he loved alcohol to begin with).

He loved books as much as I did; he was cute, and he kissed well, so I thought better to let him be with the movies thing. Sure, sometimes I’d fall asleep and drool while watching a movie, but he never took that against me. He always thought I was fun to be with, awake or asleep, at the movies.

Then I married him. I suppose it came slowly enough. My parents bequeathed us a host of brand-new appliances to start us out, and my generous father threw in his extra Sony Betamax player. We started out by renting movies at a nearby video store, but more often than not, my husband still preferred the big screen, a movie date with him and me and his other “girlfriends,” Snickers and Baby Ruth.

When I got pregnant, however, my solicitous husband thought better than to jostle and squeeze his balloon-of-a-wife along the narrow aisles of the moviehouse.

And that was when he really got started.

I knew that my husband loved movies the way I loved Hello Kitty. It was something he enjoyed immensely. He could go on and on about movies he loved as a child, the Star Wars Trilogy and Jaws to name a few.Star Wars Trilogy Episodes IV-VI

 He could dissect the characters’ emotions and motivations based on their on-screen interactions and prevailing circumstances. He was as interested in the process by which the movie came about as he was by the final product. He loved the movies for everything they were. Still, rather than attempt to over-intellectualize things, he simply enjoyed the hours of relaxation and vicarious living the movies offered.

He Said, She SaidLike I said, when I got too fat to go out on my first pregnancy, my husband rented movies for us to watch at home. Then he bought movies for us at the mall, kicking off a collection that would dramatically increase in just a few years. I think his first purchase was He Said, She Said, a symbolic commemoration of our status as a certified “till-death-do-us-part” couple.

As his expertise in video hardware increased in proportion to his earning power, he also made personal copies of movies he wanted to collect but could not find original copies of. Pretty soon, what started out as a few Beta tapes in a shoebox gave way to an extensive collection.

Then the Beta format died. When the video stores’ array of Beta tapes dwindled to give way to new VHS stocks, my husband jumped at this opportunity to purchase a VHS player/recorder. What was a collector to do? He made VHS copies of the movies he had on Betamax, adding original videos as he found them.

Simultaneously, his interest in laser discs grew. He was often torn between his laser discs and his VHS tapes; fortunately, we had reached some sort of understanding on the financial liberties he could take with his collection. He bought the Star Wars Trilogy and James Cameron’s movies on laser, as well as the Disney classics, excusing his purchases as gifts for his newborn son. These were his Must-Have movies, or movies he could watch over and over again everyday.

Groundhog DayOf course, sometimes he would excuse his new purchases as being simply too good to pass up, like the time he bought a brand-new Groundhog Day laser disc for four hundred pesos, a steal if ever there was one. So, if you’ve ever seen a grown man dancing on the aisles of Astrovision while holding videos and laser discs, then you’ve probably met my husband.

Pretty soon, my husband’s collection grew to almost video store-like proportions. We still have some old movies on Betamax, though only for sentimental reasons, what with our player having heaved its last breath four years ago.

We have almost two hundred videos on VHS and around a hundred on laser discs. It got to a point where we had to transform our bedroom into his storage and viewing room, and we had to buy new furniture just to accommodate his unwieldy collection.

 Most weekends, we had to pull him out of the bedroom to stop him from going through his collection and watching them over and over again, one by one. Most irksome was his love for Titanic and Twister, movies you wouldn’t catch me dead watching.

On days when he was feeling particularly amorous, he would set his chosen format of Titanic (he has both original VHS and laser disc versions) and watch with rapt attention, oblivious to the gagging, retching noises I made beside him. So, on the day my husband declared his intention to curb his movie addiction, I heaved a sigh of relief.Titanic

The truth was, my devious darling stopped buying movies to save up for a VCD player and a DVD player. In the meantime, he satiated his need to watch movies by simply renting at the video store.

And when he finally managed to buy his dream equipment after scrimping on his bonuses and setting aside part of his salary every month for around half a year, he couldn’t resist laying off the software. Needless to say, he was able to build a considerable collection of Chinese movies on VCD and just about everything else on DVD.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that my husband’s favorite store is Astrovision. We’ve been to different branches of this store almost every week this past year, and often, he goes home with one or two chosen DVD purchases. It really is an undying love for him.

I don’t think love for the movies is genetic, but somehow (through osmosis, perhaps?), he’s passed his passion to our eldest son. Alex guards his own DVD collection of Disney movies and Japanese anime with zealous vigilance and vehemently objects at idle threats of selling them off to Disney lovers. Surprisingly, his favorite movie is about twin girls (The Parent Trap), an amazing complement to his Rurouni Kenshin videos.Samurai X

My husband and son gang up on me every night, forcing me to watch a movie they’ve scheduled for the night. Weekends are no different. These days, I have two couch potatoes to drag and pull out of the house. Most of the time, I win handily in what I consider to be a tribute to female persuasive owers. It turns out, however, that he actually lets me win so we can scout for more DVDs. It’s always a compromise, then; he gets what he wants and I get my weekend out of the house.

I’ve been married for ten years this month, and as much as I’d hate to admit it, these movies have added a touch of excitement to our lives.Goonies

When Harry Met SallyTruth to tell, I derive a certain amount of security from knowing that tonight, tomorrow night, or even the night after is another movie night. Another movie night with the loves of my life. Romantic nights with When Harry Met Sally, adventure nights with The Goonies, Sci-fi nights with The Matrix — when I think about how our choices in movies have grown with our marriage, I sigh in bliss.

The MAtrix

But, hey, don’t tell my husband I told you that.


Update (Seven Years Later):

Alex’s tastes in movies have certainly grown with him. While Rurouni Kenshin will always be a favorite, he’s given up The Parent Trap for more adult fare. The Disney movies have been passed on to Alphonse, who will remain forever, a Mouseketeer.

The last of the vhs tapes and vcds are boxed up now. There simply is no more room in the house. DVDs rule our home as we wait for more blu-ray discs and players to flood the market.

And yes, we now have original vhs, vcd, laser disc, and dvd versions of  Titanic.