Like pawns on a chessboard, two individuals were selected by two masters to engage in a challenge. The terms of the challenge are unclear to these contenders, only its venue: Le Cirque De Reves.
Le Cirque De Reves only comes at night. And, it comes unannounced. Nor does it announce its next destination.
Celia Bowen, who was dropped off at her manipulative father’s dressing room due to her mother’s untimely demise, exhibits skills at manipulation at an early age of six. Her father, Prospero the Enchanter, is a magician who makes his manipulations look like mere illusions.
Seeing Celia’s skills, Prospero contacts his long time, and mysterious rival Mr. A H—. Upon agreement, they start the battle but allowing time for Mr. A H— to search for a worthy opponent. He finds his protege, Marco Alisdair, in an orphanage.
Both are taught through extremely varying forms of manipulation until they are ready to be placed within the battle field—the circus.
We experience their creations, their feelings, their dreams, through the several tents and objects in Le Cirque De Reves. We also meet whimsical and intriguing performers who do not age.
Past the gates, you breathe in the smell of smoke and caramel dancing with the cold air. You hear the rustling leaves but do not see them as a slight breeze rushes around you.
As you step into a bright, open courtyard, you notice the curving pathways surrounded by striped black and white tents. You stand in tiptoes, trying to gauge the size of the circus, only to realize that the twinkling lights which seemed like stars are still part of it.
Attentive spectators crowd around vendors selling mulled cider, spiced cocoa, chocolates shaped like mice with almond ears and licorice tails, and lovely cinnamon things.
Performers stand atop glowing lights as their audience applaud amidst their demonstration. As you jump to try and see over their shoulders, you notice globes of black, white, and silver tossed high into the air.
You continue to walk and you see a contortionist in a sparkling black costume twisting to fit her body inside a cubic foot sized clear box.
Your attention is then grabbed by the light that emanates from a large bonfire in the center of the courtyard. As you are drawn closer, you stare at the clawed feet that holds a wide black iron cauldron. Strips of curling iron reaching for the sky remind you of black fire. White flames pierce through the gaps, rising slightly above its rim.
Asking yourself where to begin, you journey through the curving pathways and read the signs outside the tents: Fearsome Beasts & Strange Creatures, Cloud Maze, Stargazer, Labyrinth, Bedtime Stories Eventide Rhapsodies Anthologies of Memory. You stop right in front of the one labeled Ice Garden and slowly step inside.
The air is crisp and sweet, that it reminds you of rose, ice, and sugar. A foundation with bubbling white foam over clear carved ice stands in the middle. You look at your hand and slowly look up to see the snowflakes falling from branches of pale willow trees and twisted vines that line the edges of the tent. You cannot see any stripes on the walls as everything is snow white. You cannot even tell how far the tent stretches. Everything in this place is magical.
You circle around the trellises and slowly run your fingers on the garlands made of ice. As you find a spot to sit in for a bit, you see a cluster of frosted flowers delicately hanging from its branch. You lean closer and touch it with your forefinger. Interestingly, it shatters but a new and identical bloom slowly emerges. You close your eyes for a few minutes before heading back to the courtyard.
Flickers of light seen through your peripheral vision pull your gaze towards a curiously bare black tree with twisting branches filled with dripping white candles. You step closer, take out the candle from your pocket, and light your wish from an old wish.
It wasn’t so much for the plot of the story that made me stay but the interest in visiting the circus itself. The characters kept me company and allowed me to experience Le Cirque De Reves through them. Although, I do admit to have felt a bit heartbroken at times. I would have wanted it to not end and wish that Ms. Morgenstern would someday consider sharing more tales, perhaps from Widget, with us reveurs.
As soon as I realized that I was on the last chapter of the book, I closed it. I didn’t want it to end. I don’t want it to end.
I found myself growing up with Bailey, Poppet, and Widget. Pledged as a reveur with Herr Thiessen, hoping to somehow stand before the Wunschtraum clock. Fallen with the illusionist and the assistant. And gotten lost with Tara, Chandresh, and Isobel.
Once in a while, you find something so magical that it’s hard to let go of it.
There are tents, I am certain, that I have not discovered in my many visits to the circus. Though I have seen a great deal of the sights, traveled a number of the available paths, there are always corners that remain unexplored, doors that remain unopened. —FRIEDRICK THIESSEN, 1896
PAD 3.28.12: Light Bulbs, Radios, Archways, and a Scary Cat
Highschool was a really fun time and some of us (past the “school” stage) wish that we lived a life with less responsibilities (like in HS). That’s probably the only thing I want to go back too. Otherwise, I wouldn’t trade now with then.
The other night’s dream was definitely HS-related. Last night, there was a part of it that took me back again. It took me a while to realize it, but it finally dawned on me. I’ve been rewatching PLL in the past few weeks. Anyhoo, on to the dream…
M and I visited our friend, Ann, who just moved houses. We were helping her change bulbs and light fixtures. The house was really interesting, with lots of stairs/levels. The barristers and newels were painted white, the handrail a deep blue. The treads were natural oak wood sealed with semi-gloss polyurethane, and the risers were white.
Later, that day, Ann had to leave but we continued with our tasks in the house. We found a few reading floor lamps in storage and positioned them in her bedroom.
When she returned, she brought old radios and televisions and we were all wondering how she’ll get them to work because of the nationwide digital upgrade. Ann showed us a “power source” that not only is supposed to be environmentally friendly, it looked like it came from the laboratory of Walter Bishop.
The tasks were done and we left, heading towards a home that was selling oversized urns. The outside of the house was designed to hold multiple of his/her designs within individual recessed shelving. We were greeted by the owner and asked what material we were interested in: iron, ceramic, glass, and so on. He asked us to enter the house so we can talk to the person responsible for such creations.
A couple of things catch my attention. First, the home design. When you enter, you’ll notice the high ceilings and angular archways. There were no doors. A massive square mirror filled the right side of the first room we passed. The design felt like it was a combination of roman and japanese architecture. There were interestingly shaped pillars, made with a combination of stone and wood.
The second thing that caught my attention was the sphynx cat that kept hissing at me! It was the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. What’s worse is that, the cat was wearing a shirt and a knitted cap. I keep getting goosebumps thinking about it.
We finally reached the room where the artist sits. His back is turned as he talks to four females in the room. Guess who? Aria, Spencer, Emily, and Hanna. Ooooook.
Suddenly, H came out of nowhere and started asking everyone to get ready for a photo.
PAD 3.27.12: I Dream of Debbie, Rooms, and Fortune
It was Peter’s birthday and we were all dressed in bold colors, big hair, and ripped jeans. Color Me Bad’s I Wanna Sex You Up just ended and Groove Is In The Heart is starting up on the stereo CD player. Guests were sporadically seated and standing, tapping their feet or hands because we were all too cool to dance. But we all knew that we were just waiting for the first person to hit the dance floor and everyone will follow.
I took the last sip of zombie from my plastic cup before heading for the kitchen. Chu called after me asking where I was going. I raised and shook my cup, “Refill.” Truth was, I had to escape from their nonsensical babbling. Who cares who broke up with who because of who?
I found the giant red cooler with a dispenser and filled my cup. When I turned to the right, Chu was smiling. “Did you see Debbie?”, she asked.
"Debbie who?" I pretended not to know.
"Debbie, Tony’s older sis. Corner, ten o’clock. Headphones, polka-face, braces."
"Yah? So?" Really, I didn’t care.
"I don’t know why she insists in coming to our parties. Tony isn’t required to have a chaperone. He said that Debbie has even tried to blackmail him into telling their mom about his smoking habits if he didn’t let her tag along. And, who wears headphones at a party anyway? That’s just rude."
Debbie did. And I knew why she was here. He was a few feet away from me. Donnie, poor Donnie.
A few weeks ago, over truth or dare, someone thought it would be funny if Donnie asked Debbie out on a date…and actually go on that date if she said yes. Donnie, of course said that it had to be a group date. So he did, she did, and there was. Monday came and everyone was talking about the new couple in school. Debbie told her friends (if she refers to them as so) that she was seeing Donnie. That they were together. Donnie avoided her until she finally cornered him. Poor Donnie didn’t know how to tell her about the dare and instead told her that he got back with his ex-girlfriend. But despite that, Debbie still thinks she has a chance with Donnie.
"Seriously, I can’t stand her. Fran and I were hanging out at Tony’s one time. We were both browsing through magazines and enjoying the silence when she turns the tv on full volume. She says she can’t stand the silence & it causes a ringing in her ear! She has a tv in her room! Why doesn’t she just watch there & leave us alone. Also, she makes this gross sound in her mouth. Sounds like she’s licking her braces." Chu starts to demo it while making a face.
I let out a chuckle. Chu is good with impressions. “She probably just wants to make friends.”
"If she wants to make friends, she should stop talking shit about other people. She also likes to tell pity-me stories. She was even talking about Fran when she thought Fran left the room. She didn’t know that Tony & Fran were behind her listening. I didn’t know until Tony cleared his throat and I looked up from my magazine."
Eyes wide, I raised my brows. Who would’ve thought ugly inside-out existed?
Seconds later, I find myself walking into a room filled with candles. The light flickered against plum colored walls. In the middle of the room was a solitary table covered in red velvet. On top was a single tarot card turned upside down, and a note with the word “Look” hand printed on it. I heard a light whisper next to my right ear but when I turned to look, no one was there. My attention returned to the table in front of me. A cold wind slowly blew, making the candle light around the room flutter. Then, the whisper came again. But this time it was clear, spoken by a male voice.
"How much unlike art thou to Portia! How much unlike my hopes and my deservings!"
The room shifts and I am sitting in the kitchen of the house I grew up in. But now, we are in the present. Abruptly, I stood and started looking inside the fridge. I had a couple of hours before my friends arrived but I couldn’t help but panic. All I had was meat and they are all vegetarians! What am I going to make for lunch?
The room shifts again. This time, I am in a hotel room, unpacking my bag, complaining that I didn’t bring the right clothes to wear. I look around and notice the pen and stationery by the bedside. When I turn around, my mom is standing by the adjoining room entrance. I presumed that she was getting impatient and wants to start hitting the slots.
We walk downstairs and I run into “unexpected” people, checking out of the hotel. Someone who I haven’t seen in more than 15 years (thank God!). She is dressed in her usual extra-conservative outfit but I know that it’s all pretend. She’s still responsible for breaking a family apart.
I’m feeling a bit lightheaded, being displaced several times.
Later, I find myself sitting in a car that’s about to go on a moving island.
Cars, trucks, and weird buses were lined up, getting ready for loading. Right in front of us, was one of the weirdest ‘tour’…uh, vehicles…I’ve ever seen. It looked like an SUV-Boat hybrid, and it was painted a metallic medium ash brown. We had some time before we got on the island so I decided to knock and ask if I can go use their bathroom.
The first floor looked like a giant SUV with cush bucket seats. At the very back, you’ll find stairs that take you the upstairs suite.
Upstairs, you’ll find the kitchen, a wet bar, and dining room in the center. Behind it, is a functional family-room-esque living room area. To the right (from the stairs), are bathrooms and bedrooms. The toilets are separate from the showers, locker-room style. The bedrooms contain three or more beds in each of them.
I enter the toilet and find that there are no dividers. Hmmm. I struggle with that thought for a bit and decide to lock all the doors. You can get to the toilet through the main hallway or through one of the two bedrooms. While washing my hands, I realized that the sinks are very small, but the faucets are very large.
Before I return downstairs, I decide to walk around the suite when the vehicle started moving towards the island.
The dark wood furniture complemented a cafe style color scheme of chartreuse, butter yellow, burnt sienna, and eggshell (Starbucks?). The upholstered couch designs were either of stripes or paisley. Pewter fixtures were positioned perfectly to provide cozy lighting. A granite fireplace completed the room. Surrounding the whole second floor were window treatments that adjusted based on the light received from the outside.
I walked towards the center table and saw the same tarot card from the plum room. This time I reached for it and looked at the symbol underneath.
Rota Taro Orat Tora Ator. The Wheel of Fortune.
That’s when the alarm woke me up. Hmmm…Timeslips, Fringe, Night Circus, and Starbucks! I would’ve loved to spend more time on the moving island and the hybrid vehicle but, alas, I had to get ready for work. I hope we win the lottery.
Fringe finally came back on Friday with the episode A Short Story About Love.
Preview 1 (from Fox):
Fringe was on a break for a few weeks, returning with an episode that
left me thinking about how love is really important…and how it can change your life, forever.
There are three intertwined storylines:
The Case of the Lonely Chemist (Anson Carr), who killed to experience love. Together with castoreum, Carr extracted the pheromones of a targetted male in a currently loving relationship. How? Intense dehydration. His reasons are best described through this:
Anson Carr: I don’t want you to think that I did it for me, or not just for me.We’re not meant to be alone. It’s every human being’s right to know love. And I succeeded. And I found the right chemicals, just the right balance. I could have given the world what you have.
Olivia: What do I have?
Anson Carr: I can smell that you’re in love.
It was a little creepy, but it’s something you can just expect from the series.
As we know, Olivia has been going through a see-saw of emotions & memory blasts from two timelines. She admits to Nina that she is in love with Peter, and later tells her that she has made her decision. This decision involves taking memories from Peter’s timeline versus the current one. Because of this, Nina is aware that she will lose her memories of their life together. She asks, “How much time do we have?”
Peter, who wished to leave for NY (because of what’s not there), is stopped by Walter contrary to advising Peter (to stay way from Olivia, so he doesn’t hurt her). But because Walter requested for a machine that—super—slows down videos, he was able to verify that the observers did a few things not visible to the human eye. First, September plants a disc into Peter’s eye, which contains the address 228 1/2 Morrow Street. Second, other observers were in the lab and took September opposing to what we think we saw—that he just disappeared.
Peter’s “quest” begins when he visits 228 1/2 Morrow and finds September’s apartment. In the flat, Peter finds a briefcase discreetly hidden in a mechanically altered record player. Within that briefcase, he finds a beeping locator device which leads him to the woods in Foxboro. When he gets there, a beacon emerges from the ground. If you have been following Fringe, you’ll notice that it’s the same beacon in the fourth episode of season 1: The Arrival (It’s the episode where Walter recites the recipe for rootbeer).
Peter takes the beacon back to the apartment, activates it, and frees September who was “hidden from the universe” by the other Observers. In exchange, Peter asks for his help in returning to his timeline.
September then tells Peter that he is in the correct timeline. With that, Peter realizes that he was somewhat erased, which caused the shift in the timeline. However, because of his bond with the people who loves him and he loves, both are unable to let go of him. The Observers are not able to erase him completely and he was brought back.
Photo courtesy of Fox.
More favorite scenes:
When Walter asked Peter he was headed for New York and Walter was a bit disappointed that Peter didn’t tell him. We see a warmer, and somewhat more fatherly Walter Bishop here.
While they talk and Walter is removing the chip from Peter’s eye, he says, “It’s a particularly obtuse way to admit that you’re a better man than I am.” Peter responds with, “Einai Kalytero Anthropo Apo Ton Patera Toy” (a quote his mother used to tell him).
When Olivia asked Walter if everything was alright, he responds with, “I’ve run out of M&Ms.”
When Olivia told Nina that she wishes time would move a little quicker, Nina replies, “That’s a coincidence, because we just filed a patent on that this morning.” I don’t think Nina was joking so it’s something to watch out for in upcoming episodes :).
It was heartbreaking to see Jane Hall’s (dead) hand slightly touching her (late) husband’s hand.
My Questions and Thoughts:
I can’t recall what happened to the “evil” Nina. Where is she? Who was she?
We end with Peter and Olivia together. Does that mean they are bringing back our “original” timeline? I really hope so.
I also hope that they bring more episodes with the alternate universe included. I didn’t realize how I wanted this badly until I got fauxlivia bangs.
Last 8 episodes??? I hope, I hope, I hope, that they get renewed for a 5th season.
The address 228 1/2 Morrow — not sure if that was Holmes-related.
As we approach the end of month 2 training, I’ve promised myself not to weigh myself. Nah. The truth is, I don’t want to see my weight. We’ve been running 3-4x a week, hoping that we could finish our first half marathon in July. It’s been…quite challenging…but I am not discouraged.
I’ve just been eating more. Hehe.
This thought came while enjoying breakfast: bacon, eggs, white rice, and a double shot latte.
Cast=amazing (for me not so much P. Snow). The actor that played Cesar Flickerman was brilliant (as w/ his other movies). Fave scene was the cave scene, being a sucker for romantic stuffs hehe. Also like the Rue flowers scene and any Haymitch moment.
The cave scenes are really great too! I can’t wait to rewatch though. Hopefully there’ll be less obnoxious people in the theater next week :)
We were an hour early, just in time to line up for the next showing. Two families were way ahead of us. At the very front, mom was quizzing kids and friends about the movie and its stars. Family number 2 kept bringing in people into their line. People they were just introduced to. I didn’t want to ruin my night so I didn’t bother complaining. Besides, their tween daughter was dressed in full THG garb. Cute, slightly.
What follows is not a movie review, but a recollection of the night & a subjective opinion of the movie. I am not a movie critic.
To get it out of the way, I will first mention the one thing I didn’t like: the sporadic shaky cinematography. Not sure why this style is preferred when it often leaves the viewer cross-eyed, dizzy, and unfocused. (I don’t necessarily suffer from motion sickness. I just don’t like the effect.)
On to the movie!
Casting was very close that somehow the descriptions in the book were overshadowed by the actors who portrayed them in the movies. I almost forgot how they looked in the books.
Katniss Everdeen, as I pictured her, is a headstrong, sarcastic (possibly pessimistic), and often in denial teenager who has a bit of trouble with authority. She is described to have long dark hair (usually worn in braids), olive skin, and gray eyes. She is supposed to be small in stature & light for her age, which is why she is considered one of the smaller tributes. Although the physical qualities may be different in some ways, Jennifer Lawrence (JL) did an excellent job making up for it in character. Her facial expressions, reactions, & movements are exactly how I imagined her. She was Katniss Everdeen.
Peeta Mellark, a sweet but strong son of a baker is described to have ashy blond hair, bright blue eyes, medium height, and a stocky build. He is charismatic and unexpectedly bold when he confesses his love for Katniss during the interview. As with JL, Josh Hutcherson may have closer but not exact features to his character, his on-film characterization was spot-on.
I could go on with the other characters but I think there are enough online descriptions that may coincide with mine. So, just a few notable things:
Seneca’s beard artwork was brilliantly designed that I kept staring at it.
Caesar Flickerman’s toothy grin and flashy personality made me smile every time I saw him on stage.
I kept batting my eyes whenever I saw Cinna’s gold-shadowed eyelids.
I caught myself pursing my lips upon looking at Effie’s. Manners!
Clove scared the beejeesus out of me. Cato too, with a blend of pity towards the end, as expected.
Fox face, was fox faced.
I wish Rue had more screen-time. [Whistle tune here.]
Gale, was Gale but I’m looking forward to more from his character in Catching Fire.
I also wish that the Capitol stylists had more airtime.
President Snow, manipulative but poised, projects a very commanding and somewhat magnetic presence.
Haymitch, was perfectly imperfect.
The shifts in the the storyline are completely understandable. Those who keep comparing movies to their book counterparts just need to get over it. Sure, there may be some missing parts but you can’t possibly have every single detail match. The movie was really good as I expected. There was not one single dragging moment. And I plan to watch it again.
My favorite part? Oooof. There’s quite a bit. (1) Peeta & Katniss, night before the battle: “I just keep wishing I could think of a way to show them that they don’t own me. (2) The first time you see the Capitol and its people. (3) Katniss, after shooting the apple: “Thank you for your consideration.” (4) Haymitch giving them the thumbs up after finding out about #3. (5) When Clove gets killed by Marshall. (6) When Katniss placed the flowers on Rue. (7) When Katniss found Peeta camouflaged by a rock. (8)… There are just too many.
PAD 3.23.12: Of Races, Diagrams, Birthdays, and Virtues
Waking up tired, sore, and knowing that I snored usually meant one thing: the dream was exhausting. Oddly enough, it wasn’t. It was, however, a bit colder than usual inside the house.
I was seated behind the driver of a huge, futuristic SUV we all referred to as X4. M was driving. Next to us, were cousins who were excited about the race. The roads were full of puddles but you can hardly feel the dip. Except for the last one. M pressed hard on the gas and X4 jumped hard to get over the crater-sized muddy hole in the ground. Once past it, he takes us through a shortcut which leads to where the race officials are waiting. Everyone seems pleased. We walk out, take our things, talk to a few of the other people who finished before we did, and leave for home.
The dream changes and takes me to what may have been a new facility at work. I am working on one of my usual tasks, fixing materials before we send them off to production.
A couple of hours later, I am in a conference room filled with people attending some sort of training. In front of me is a plastic container filled with colored pencils and thin PVC piping in shades of primary colors. Sheets of paper, similar to light packaging paper, are spread around the U-panel table. I am at the workshop, drawing diagrams of what may be similar to a basketball court. But it’s not.
I turn to my left and I find myself staring at a face of a racially ambiguous male, wearing squarish gold-rimmed glasses, and a light colored long-sleeved shirt inside his gray suit. His dark eyes were the same color of his carefully trimmed hair. His gleaming but welcoming smile was filled with perfectly and evenly shaped teeth. He starts talking to me, but it takes me a while to focus and listen to what he says. Apparently, I work with this person.
The day continues as we discuss diagrams and findings during the workshop. During one of the breaks, I head towards the kitchen to grab a glass of water. On my way, I pass through a hallway filled with people noisily chatting. It reminded me so much of when I was in my senior year in highschool, and we had to line up outside the classroom after our lunch break before the teacher would let us in. Amidst the hallway of suits, I spot a barely five year old girl in pig tails and a pink pea coat, trying to find her way through the crowd. I walk towards her and ask if she needs help, and she nods. I take her white gloved hand and guide her towards the kitchen. I ask her where her mom or dad is and she just shakes her head. When we return to the conference room, she sits right next to my colleague.
In the latter part of the workshop, we end up talking about birthdays. I never reveal mine, as he refuses to tell his. He agrees to let me guess and say yes if I guessed it right. I grab a sheet of paper, think it over, and scribble July 26, 1962. His eyes are wide as he continues to smile mischievously and shakes his head hesitantly. I am convinced that he is lying. I look at the little girl and she nods and smiles at me.
The workshop ends and I gather my belongings, dropping the PVC pipes and colored pencils in the same plastic container as my makeup.
When I return to my work area, I notice that an ex-coworker has come for a visit. Her unruly, crimped hair is shorter and lighter. She appears to have gained a little bit of comfortable weight, and is now sporting a nice, deep tan. She sees me, smiles and asks how I was doing. For some strange reason, I say how much I miss seeing her around. She replies back, with a wide-toothed smile, “Funny, I have enjoyed getting used to not seeing you around.”
I wake up, telling myself that I deserved that response. I didn’t mean what I said that I missed seeing her around. I was glad to see her go (as several others did as well). I’ve always thought of her as a hypocrite and now I did the same thing to her by pretending that I missed her.
Sometimes, our dreams are recaps of the day’s events. Sometimes, they contain our fears. Sometimes, they reveal our wishes.
Last night’s dream was interesting. It simply told me that I really do want something to happen & wish that I will be supported. That dream seems like a long shot but I’m still hoping that it will happen. Parts of it have already come true. I’m just waiting for the rest to happen—as it is one of those you cannot really push for. It’ll happen, in time.