Got married to the Doctor! Part 1: the prenup shoot

This blog hasn’t been updated lately for a whole slew of reasons, but I hope to change that in the coming weeks. First major post in the series: we got married!

Adrian and I are big fans of Doctor Who, so when it came time to decide on the wedding theme, it was a relatively easy decision. Well, it could have been a Star Wars wedding but since our friends Rej and Oneal already did it a few years ago, we wanted something different.

The prenup shoot was the middle step (the first step was designing the invitations). Adrian and I came up with the rough outline for it: a series of adventures through space and time. Guess who his favorite Doctor and my favorite Companion are? šŸ˜›

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Yes, I know that Martha wears black leather bootlets instead of sneakers but the sneakers were a personalĀ touch. Adrian’s had his brown Tenth Doctor suit since NexCon 1. This was an excuse to wear it again.

We shot it in a day in Summit Studios in Pasig. Almost everything was shot against a green screen for Adrian to replace with backgrounds later.

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AunardĀ took the photos and videos, with direction from Adrian. Thanks Aunard!

Major thanks to all of our lovely friends who helped out:

Maid of Honor Anna, who did my makeup because I can’t be trusted to do my own makeup for something like this:
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Mika, who is probably the smiliest Cyberman ever, and Beejay, who shot multiple scenes of being a great stormtrooper (AKA not actually hitting anything) so that we’d have three troopers in the hallway:

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And Manny, who donned the uncomfortable Vader suit for several hours. Here he is standing in front of an electric fan to cool down between takes (just follow the glowy buttons):
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Adrian did the cinematography and edited the video.

There was a lot of running around:

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And things added in post-production:
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And of course, kickassĀ opening credits:

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Adrian and I had to re-record our lines the night before the wedding. So yes, Adrian was still editing and rendering the video up to 3am on the day of the wedding. Because of the limited time, the video we showed at the wedding was shorter than what we initially planned. But since Adrian has a George Lucas streak AKA keeps on going back to his previous work to improve it, I’m notĀ posting the video here because he’s still fixing the audio šŸ˜›

Up next: the wedding preparations!

The Force Awakened and everything was awesome

I’m a Star Wars geek. That’s probably one of the first things that people find out after they meet me for the first time. I’ve been a fan since I was twelve years old and it’s such a big part of my life that I’ll still be a fan when I’m a hundred and twelve.

What’s life like as a Star Wars fan? I’ve lost count of Star Wars books and comics I have on my shelves (OT: I love the Expanded Universe. Well, most of it. But Timothy Zahn will forever get a pass from me because he created my two favorite characters: Mara Jade and Jaina Solo.). I have costumes! And a lightsaber! And a few toys that I really like (I’m not much for toys but I make exceptions every now and then). I’ve made a lot of great friends over the years because of Star Wars. I also met my future husband because of Star Wars. That’s pretty huge šŸ™‚

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you know that Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens was released last December 17 in the Philippines (and December 18 in the US). I’m not going to discuss the movie here – you can do that in countless other sites. (Btw, half of my prediction about Kylo Ren and Rey came true.) I’m going to talk about ALL THE FUN I HAD in the days leading up to TFA <3

I got to sit in the cockpit of a life-sized X-Wing. I repeat: I GOT TO SIT IN THE COCKPIT OF AN X-WING. 01a me in xwing4_oneal

Photo by Oneal Rosero

See that happy smile? That’s the smile of someone who’s read all the X-Wing novels and comics and whose dreams finally came true.

01b me in xwing8 - by mikko miciano

Photo by Mikko Miciano

That photo was part of a bigger photo session with the rest of the Rebel Legion: Bagong Pag-asa Outpost and the Philippine Garrison of the 501st Legion. We looked pretty awesome.
03 TFA3 - RL and 501st by Lawrence Aliwalas and Milchy Pe

Photo by Lawrence Aliwalas and Milchy Pe

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Photo by Robbie Ramos

Speaking of awesome, I officially joined the Rebel Legion with my Jaina Solo costume! I have my previous Padme pastel lake dress (made in 2005 for Revenge of the Sith) and the Padme light blue Tatooine dress (made in 2006-07 but never worn because I never developedĀ the abs to pull it off) but they didn’t pass muster for the RL. Jaina Solo is my favorite EU character so going Jedi for her felt great.

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Ignore my character card design. I don’t have an action pose because I don’t have a purple lightsaber (YET) and I couldn’t use my existing Anakin Skywalker Master Replica Force FX Lightsaber because it isn’t canon (or is it?).

This is Rej and me as Rey and Jaina Solo, respectively. Oh look! Jaina’s carrying Anakin Skywalker’s lightsaber! Just saying.

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Photo by Adrian Arcega

I was supposed to attend the gala premiere on December 15 but I couldn’t because of an office event (curses!) and Adrian couldn’t attend either, so our first screening was during an advanced screening on December 16. Just a day late. No biggie. And we also had friends with us so that was pretty awesome also.

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These are the faces of Star Wars fans who’ve waited years to see Episode VII.

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How was the movie? After seeing it three times (Dolby Atmos, regular 2D, and IMAX 3D), my overall score is 8.5 out of 10. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Oscar Isaac (*eeeeeee <3*) are all capable and charismatic actors and are fine additions to the cast. FYI I’m shipping Poe/Rey right about now. Seeing Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher again as Han and Leia gave me both joy and heartbreak. But as a whole,Ā The Force Awakens is essentially an Original Trilogy Greatest Hits. Whether you find that a good thing or a bad thing is up to you. Part of me liked seeing the same themes because let’s face it, history repeats itself. At its core, Star Wars is about the Skywalker family. But now that J.J. Abrams is done with his nostalgia trip, here’s hoping that Star Wars breaks new ground in Episodes VIII and IX.

Orlando in four photos

My recent US trip ended in Orlando, Florida, where I met up with an old friend, visited Hogwarts, rode lots of thrill rides, swam with dolphins, and fangirled over a long-time TV crush. This was my third time to visit Orlando and my friend’s first.

The design team at Universal Studios-Islands of Adventure deserve all the awards for making The Wizarding World of Harry Potter come to life! It felt like I stepped onto the set of the Harry Potter films. It was a surreal experience and I took pictures of almost everything.
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This was my third visit to SeaWorld – I was twelve the first time I came – but it never gets old. I credit that visit with inspiring a love for the ocean that’s lasted all these years.
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Sam Witwer! Let me say this again: SAM WITWER! Getting this photo and autograph entailed getting up at 4:40 am and leaving the apartment at 5:30 am. It was absolutely worth it! The funny thing is that this photo just emphasizes how white he is and how dark I am. And hey, I’m wearing my Rebel Legion shirt. Yahoo!
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And last but certainly not least, I went on vacation with an old friend. Meet Les: we met each other when we both moved into our dorm room prior to the start of our first year in high school. We’ve been friends ever since. When we got to college, the other dormers thought we were twin sisters!
09 me and Les

Macy’s guide to surviving Star Wars Weekends

So I’m home from a 15-day trip across the United States (and Canada!) split almost evenly between the two coasts: a few days in Seattle, a week-long cruise in Alaska, then another six days in Orlando. The Orlando leg of the trip was the most tiring by far, partly because it was the last leg but mostly because of all the walking we did in the theme parks. The most tiring theme park? Disney Hollywood Studios during Star Wars Weekends. Woke up at 4:30am, left our hotel at 5:30, fell in line at 5:45 for the celebrity FastPass autograph distribution , entered the park at 7:30, started the day at the merchandise tent at 8am, then finally left DHS at 9:15pm. WOW. For the record, I had a GLORIOUS time and would definitely do it again. However, having a great time at Star Wars Weekends requires some planning and a whole lot of refreshments. Here are my tips to maximize your stay:

1. Get there early. How early depends on what you want to do. If you’re after a FastPass ticket to get an autograph from the visiting celebrities, get there by 6am. I arrived at 5:45am and this is the line I encountered:
line at celebrity fastpass distribution
Even if you’re not interested in getting an autograph, arriving early also means that you get to be the first ones on the major rides and cut the waiting time. DHS opens at 8am during SWW (usual opening time is 9am) so arriving at 7:30 should be fine. Once you’re in, I recommend doing all the major attractions first: the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, the Tower of Terror, The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow, and Star Tours. We were able to ride Star Tours two times in a row with only 15-20 minutes waiting time in between. There was also practically no waiting time for the Aerosmith ride but my friend wasn’t up for it so I let it go. When we got to The Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow at 2pm, the waiting time was listed at 45 minutes but ended up being longer. We had to leave the line to make it in time for our 3:20pm slot for the autograph signing with Sam Witwer.

See the Star Tours line at 10am. Not bad, eh?

2. If you want an autograph from the visiting celebrities, arrive at the park before 6am to guarantee a FastPass for the signing. They distribute a limited number of FastPasses per day (wasn’t able to get the exact number). If you get there later, say around 7am, you’re most likely to get a standby ticket. “Standby” means that you aren’t guaranteed an autograph but have a good chance of getting one depending on how fast the guaranteed line is progressing and if the celebrity is up for it. Just a reminder: each person is allowed only ONE FastPass autograph ticket. Basically, choose the celebrity you would most like to meet. No substitutions will also be allowed. The FastPass also comes with a wristband and you need both at the autograph signing. If you want your kid to be able to meet the celebrities, they better be there in line with you too. The way other folks got more autographs is that they had other family members line up for the other celebrities and just give them the photos to be signed. I saw a guy and his autographed photo collection lined up for Sam Witwer, his dad for Tim Rose, and his mom for Warwick Davis.

What you get for waking up at 4:30am: Please note the mistake they made regarding the character that Sam Witwer voiced in TCW *facepalm*

3. Go on a Friday. It’s (relatively) the least busy of the three days.
4. Prioritize. Accept that you will not be able to do all the SWW events AND all of the regular DHS attractions in one day. Once you get the schedules of the SWW activities and the regular DHS attractions, set up your schedule for the day.
Our schedule:
  • Darth Mall
  • Star Tours (twice!)
  • 11:00 am – the “Legends of the Force” celebrity parade
  • 12:00 pm – “Behind the Force: Star Wars Voices” (Ashley Eckstein, Sam Witwer, and James Arnold Taylor)
  • lunch
  • 1:45 pm – Indiana Jones stunt show
  • fell in line at the Captain Jack Sparrow ride but had to leave because the line was too long
  • 3:20 pm – autograph signing with Sam Witwer (!!!)
  • missed the 3:30pm “Stars of the Saga” show with James Arnold Taylor because the autograph signing ran late so we arrived at the theater at 3:45 pm
  • 5:00 pm – “An Ewok’s Tale – My Short Story” (Warwick Davis)
  • 6:30 pm – “Obi-Wan and Beyond” (James Arnold Taylor)
  • 8:00 pm – Hyperspace Hoopla
Please note that the only regular DHS things we were able to do were the Indiana Jones stunt show and Star Tours. No photographs with the costumed characters too, though I purposely skipped this because hey, my friends and I regular dress up as Star Wars characters anyway šŸ˜› If you want to have photos taken with all of the characters, be prepared to cull even more events from your schedule and/or to get show seats that are in the back of the theater.
5. The one-stop shop for event merchandise is the “Darth Mall” tent. However, if all you’re after are small items like event shirts, mugs, glasses, pins, and the like, there’s really no need for you to brave the crowds at the Mall since these items are scattered in the other gift shops around the park. Going to Darth Mall is only worth it if you’re going to buy a lot of toys, collectibles, and artwork (and Ashley Eckstein’s Her Universe line) since you’ll find them all in one place. If you’re going to Darth Mall, get there early as well to avoid the lines.
6. Be patient! And either bring a friend who loves Star Wars just as much as you do or someone who likes you enough to willingly subject themselves to the immense crows and long lines.
7. Drink lots of water. Seriously. It was freaking hot.
8. Bring something to read or a friend. Waiting in line may get boring. Another option is chatting with the other people in line.
9. No whining.
10. Have fun!
And those are my tips for a kick-ass time at Star Wars Weekends. My feet ached and I had no money left but hey, IT WAS WORTH IT. It was an experience I’ll never forget and something I look forward to doing again in the future. May the Force be with you! šŸ˜€

When did you first hear about Star Wars?

This post is an entry to the Star Wars Moleskine giveaway by Avalon.ph

Yes, I still owe a post about the last day of our trip – more Joon time, Victoria Peak, the Symphony of Lights, and a final stroll around Tsim Sha Tsui – but I couldn’t resist entering Avalon.ph’s raffle. The prize is a Star Wars Moleskine. How freaking awesome is that? šŸ˜€

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Image via Wikipedia

I first heard about Star Wars during the summer of 1998. We were staying in my dad’s cousin’s house in Florida. My dad was on a couch, watching some movie on VHS. Being the curious/annoying child that I was, I decided to pepper him with questions while he was watching the movie.

Me: “Who’s the tall guy with the funny mask?”

Dad: “That’s Darth Vader.”

Me: “Who’s the short guy in black?”

Dad: “That’s the Emperor.”

Me: “What are they doing?”

Dad: “Sit down and watch the movie.”

The movie was “Return of the Jedi“. Little did I know that this movie (and the two more that I watched relentlessly on VHS, plus the three new movies I caught on opening day) would change my life forever.

Books on the to-read list

I’ve just finished reading Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (review over here) and Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah Maclean (YES I have a soft spot for romance novels. Don’t judge me.). So what’s next? Right now, it’s a toss-up between Heat Rises (the third Richard Castle book), Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, and Star Wars: Choices of One. Those who know me well can predict which one I’ll be reading next šŸ˜›

Eight days till Hong Kong yeah! šŸ˜€