Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Better View

We moved to a new home! My youngest has reached the age that she needs her own space and that’s the main reason we moved from a two bedroom to a three bedroom apartment. The main thing I like about this new apartment is the view from the balcony. We are still on the tenth floor but the balcony is facing a huge park. In the mornings the park is a really really serene place where birds sing and in the afternoon it is filled with children laughing and screaming while playing games.

Below is how the park looks like in summer as seen from the balcony. The grass is green, the trees are lushed with green leaves and the air is fresh and warm. I love to spend my mornings looking out and enjoying the scenery while having my coffee or doing some stretching.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Jersey Boys – The Story of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

A Musical Performance
Toronto Centre for the Arts

I’ve had the privileged to watch a musical performance of the Jersey Boys yesterday and I should say it’s one of a kind experience. It’s a total entertainment. My two aunts and I were seated right in front of the balcony level which is not so bad at all considering the distance. We can still see the faces of the singers and audio is no problem at all. It’s just so sad that they won’t allow any camera during the show.

“The smash hit JERSEY BOYS is a candid and powerful story of how four blue-collar boys from the wrong side of the tracks became one of the biggest American pop music sensations of all time. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before the age 30.

Previews of Jersey Boys in Toronto started on August 21, 2008 with the North American touring production. Audiences and reviews alike raved about this Tony Award-winning musical, and a Canadian production seemessly continued performances in Toronto, playing to more than 300,000 people and growing.”

Audrey Dan, President
DanCap Productions

The musical number consisted of two acts with a 15 minute intermission. The first act includes popular songs like “Oh, what a Night”, “Silhouettes”, “You’re the Apple of my Eyes”, “Earth Angel”, “Sherry”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like a Man”. It’s so nice to see all the retro fashions they are wearing. I feel like dancing with them but I don’t want to embarrass my aunts..hehe. The audience are mostly senior people who were probably in their teens during the groups time in the limelight. I am not complaining but if there were more younger people ...they would probably be standing and dancing and screaming with the band. The second act includes the songs “Bye Bye Baby”, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”, “Fallen Angel” and “Rag Doll”.

The story line is very good, the jokes were hilarious, there was a bit of drama at the end, the props are very good ( coming like me who is a first timer in this kind of shows), and the choreography is superb. I wish I could watch more musical shows in the future.

I found the video below in youtube. It’s pretty much how the musical went except that the one we saw has different singers.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Victoria Vetra: "Religion is like language or dress. We gravitate toward the practices with which we were raised. In the end, though we are all proclaiming the same thing. That life has meaning. That we are grateful for that created us."
Robert Langdon: "So you’re saying that whether you are a Christian or a Muslim simply depends on where you were born?"

Vittoria Vetra: "Isn’t it obvious? Look at the diffusion of religion around the globe."

Robert Langdon: "So faith is random?"

Vittoria Vetra: "Hardly. Faith is universal. Our specific methods for understanding it are arbitrary. Some of us pray to Jesus, some us go to Mecca, some of us study subatomic particles. In the end we are all just searching for truth, that which is greater than ourselves."

This is an excerpt from the book which I find true. In the book, Victoria is a scientist and Robert is a Historian. Robert Langdon is the main character ( he reminds me of Indiana Jones!!). This novel of Dan Brown is intriguing to the max as he uses verifiable places and historic events. This makes the story one of a kind. It places the reader in the fine lines between fiction and reality. It breads a vague impression of ‘what if’ this is really true? ‘What if’ this can really happen in the future? What better story is there than one that allows the mind to think and wonder.

The story was about the age old conflict between science and religion. It started with a death of a scientist (which turned out to be a priest too) who happen to discover the antimatter. The death also leads to stolen antimatter big enough to annihilate an entire city. The head director of the scientific company contacted Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconology at Harvard. Why a professor and not the police? The dead scientist was also branded on his chest the word “Illuminati” which falls under the specialty of the professor and at the same time, the director needs to keep the death at low profile due to the technology involved. Hence, started Robert Langdon’s adventure to the search of the stolen antimatter. He met Victoria Vetra, the adopted daughter of the murdered scientist and together they tried to solve the mystery behind the Illuminati. Their search led them to Rome and the Vatican City where an enclave is currently in progress. From here on was an action pact adventure that includes kidnapping of 4 cardinals, the heinous death of these cardinals on the hands of the Illuminati assassin, the controversy over the untimely death of the Pope, the involvement of the Swiss Guards, the death of the director scientist, the antimatter being located somewhere in the Vatican city ready to explode at 12 midnight and all these while the world is watching. This explosion will evaporate the whole Vatican City together with all the cardinals congregated to elect a new Pope. I especially liked the speech of the camerlengo. How did it ended? Did the anti matter exploded? Were they able to catch the assassin? Who won? Was it the Illuminati or the church? The anti matter did explode. The assassin was stopped. ... and the mastermind revealed (not to the world though). The rest of the story I leave to you guys to read.

The lesson? Why must we be thorn between science and faith? Don’t they come hand in hand? I do admit when we began to study the big bang theory in school, I was confused for a while. I learned very early in life that God has created everything. He made Adam and Eve. But then, at school they were telling me that man came from apes. Did that changed the perception of my faith? No. A lot of things can be explained now through science, but these answers breads new questions. And while waiting for answers, we rely on our faith, on our God, to someday reveal it to us. Let science be the child, curious and hungry for knowledge. Let God be the parents, providing tools and guidance for the child to grow and learn from its mistakes.

Let me end this with another excerpt from the book:

"Mr. Langdon all questions were once spiritual. Since the beginning of time, spirituality and religion have been called on to fill in the gaps that science did not understand. The rising and setting of the sun was once attributed to Helios and a flaming chariot. Earthquakes and tidal waves were the wrath of Poseidon. Science has now proven those gods to be false idols. Soon all gods will be proven to be false idols. Science has now provided answers to almost every question man can ask. There are only a few questions left and they are the esoteric ones. Where do we come from? What are we doing here? What is the meaning of life and the universe?"