To accomplish without striving
May 30, 2006
A warm sunny day, I went to the hospital at the usual time, around 11:00 a.m., in time to feed Grandfather. He's quite stable, seated on the reclinable chair. He seldom talked, just pointing his pouted lips to the bottled water every time he was thirsty.
I was bored to death after lunch, especially that I couldn't use my portable music player because I left the earphones at the house. Instead, I finished reading Lesson Three of my Social Psychology homestudy and then proceeded with Sun Tzu's The Art of War, the book I'm currently on.
I'm still on the introduction part of the book, but I'm already absorbing so many wonderful quotations.
"To win without fighting and to accomplish without striving is best."
Last night I watched again on DVD Can't Buy Me Love and Valley Girl. These films never fail to stir in me the same emotions I felt the first time I saw them back in the '80s.
Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) is a hardworking nerdy student who has a major crush on one of the most popular girls in school, Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson). Unpopular and seemingly nonexistent to the cool guys in school, Ronald finds a chance to hook up with Cindy by offering her a thousand dollars in exchange of her pretending to be his girlfriend for a month, believing that this will result in his eventual popularity. Cindy's desperate situation prompts her to accept the offer: The leather blouse-and-skirt that she "borrowed" from her mother's wardrobe got stained at the party, and she needed a thousand dollars to be able to replace it with a new one.
The goal is realized. Ronald becomes the coolest guy in school after his and Cindy's staged breakup. However, the popularity thing gets into Ronald's head. Also, little does he know that Cindy has actually fallen for him because of his hard work and uncommon interests. But everything's too late. Things get out of hand, Ronald's sudden change of personality--from the sweet sensitive guy to an arrogant bully--pisses Cindy off, prompting her to reveal to everyone their thousand-dollar deal.
Ronald bows out in shame. The cool guy returns to being a nerd. But, after learning his lesson well, Ronald tries to woo Cindy once again, this time for real and with his true self.
Of course, Cindy forgives him and the movie ends with a feel-good scene, in which Cindy rides with Ronald on a lawnmower and they kiss each other euphorically. Playing in the background, of course, is The Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love."
Valley Girl (1983)
Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman) is a valley girl, a girl living in the "squeaky clean" valley area. She is already bored with her typical, macho boyfriend and usual activities with equally typical girl friends. Randy (Nicolas Cage) is a New Waver living in the downtown area. They meet each other at a party, fall for each other, and there the love begins.
However, unsurprisingly, Julie's friends don't approve of Randy because of his being "different." Swayed by her friends' negative impression of Randy, Julie breaks up with Randy and returns to her arrogant previous boyfriend. Randy does all these romantic and unusual antics to win her back.
One significant influence on Julie's decision is his hippie father, who tells Julie that being different, in fact, is a positive trait, that individuality is very important for a person.
The film ends with a prom scene in which Randy with his best friend gatecrashes the party, kicks the arrogant ex-boyfriend's ass, and takes off with Julie in his arms.
However, the best part of the movie in my opinion is the scene in which Randy and Julie are at a club in downtown. As the band performing in the club, The Plimsouls, dishes the song "A Million Miles Away," Randy and Julie passionately lock lips. After the club scene, Randy and Julie stroll downtown hand in hand; playing on the background is the song "I Melt with You" by Modern English, one of my all-time favorite New Wave songs.
Actually, it was from this movie where I first heard "I Melt with You," back in 1985 when I first saw the film on betamax.
"Moving forward, using all my breath
Making love to you was never second best..."
Bored at the hospital, I decided to take a stroll at the nearby Garden City Shopping Centre. I ate lunch at the Japanese Koya at the foodcourt--ordered beef teriyaki. I was supposed to watch a movie, but I learned that the Famous Players Cinema at that mall is open only during weekends. I would have watched The Da Vinci Code. Next time.
Before returning to the hospital, I stopped by at the small Internet shop to check e-mails and write this entry.
It's 3:37 p.m.