I was worried I wouldn't like the books anymore, but I reread them anyway because I had ideas for these characters for h/c bingo. (No idea why they came to mind after so long. Now after rereading I've discarded the original idea but I have another one, let's see if anything comes of it.) Unsurprisingly I don't like them as much as I did, but I can still see why I loved them and enjoy some elements, good enough for me.
As I half expected, I didn't much like the main character, who always becomes unexpectedly extremely wise in the last fifteen pages and makes a great speech; the special fighting skills were pretty much a given. Especially books 2 and 3 required a lot of work to ignore how silly the central conflict premise was so one could enjoy the rest of the plot. In all three books I really liked the secondary characters, they were a lot of fun. There were continuity problems from each book to the next, I did not expect that to annoy me as much as it did.
All in all I don't regret rereading the books, but probably won't do it again, at least not anytime soon.
( Märchenmond )
( Märchenmonds Kinder )
( Märchenmonds Erben )
In apartment news, most of the construction site is gone! Originally it said end of July, so logically I expected it to last until the middle of August, and it finishing earlier than announced was a happy surprise.
Eva moved out today :( She'd only been here for three and a half months, but apart from DD she was my favorite flatmate so far and I'll miss her. We already found the next person, she'll move in in August. She seems nice too, but at least at her initial visit I found it not that easy to get into a conversation flow with her, I hope that'll get better and we'll get along well. We already know that she doesn't bake, that's a downgrade right from the start ;) DD and I decided to bake more often (and also make more lemonade), I hope we'll actually manage to keep to that.
"Looking for Par'Mach in All the Wrong Places"
Julian is really invested in the state of O'Brien's marriage, to the point of eavesdropping. That's weird, Julian. As is the idea that Kira is now some kind of pseudo-wife, because she's carrying the baby. We're supposed to be concerned that they're developing feelings for each other, but the complete lack of chemistry torpedoes that. (Poor Keiko. She does not have much to do in this episode.)
Ah, Quark's Klingon ex-wife returns. Not really a storyline I needed follow-up to, but I suppose it's interesting, given the hostilities between the Klingons and the Federation. Or, it's interesting for about 10 seconds, and then the rest of the episode is Worf playing Cyrano for Quark, in between moaning about Klingon opera and Klingon mating traditions.
I guess it accomplishes the main goal, which is getting Worf and Dax together.
"...Nor the Battle to the Strong"
It's a good idea to pair Jake with Bashir in a situation where Bashir is practicing medicine on the front lines. Julian was kind of the baby of the adults when the show started, idealistic about "frontier medicine". Now he's aged into some maturity, while Jake is 18 and still learning how to be an adult. One minute he's fantasizing about something terrible happening so he can write an interesting article, and the next minute he has to confront the reality of that situation.
I am circling back to my theme of DS9 being a show where sometimes, there are no good answers. Bashir's decision to go help means putting Jake in mortal danger. Jake judges a man for injuring himself to get out of battle, but then Jake does something equally as bad, if not worse. These are the wages of war.
The episode title is from the Bible. The verse says that sometimes the fastest person doesn't win a race, or the strongest person win a battle. Sometimes it's just chance, and there's nothing you can do about it.
Friends Across Borders by MueraRashaye (Valdemar series)
316k, gen, canon-compliant & OC-centric, series in progress (9 stories completed + 1 WIP)
Summary: Two long-time enemy nations can't become meaningful allies overnight. Stories from the lives of a border-guard Herald and Sunpriest, from their first meeting to the end, and insights into just how Karse and Valdemar were able to turn around their relationship so fast.
What I knew about canon beforehand: In a country named Valdemar some people have special magical Gifts and they are soulbonded to magical white horses.
Why I love it: Enemies to friends <3 More precisely, technically-enemies to brothers on a personal scale leads to enemies to allies on a national scale. The friendship between Firestarter Kir and Herald Anur is so wonderful, and it's great to see the ripples they cause spread outwards. I also really like all the stuff about Karsite culture, cultural difference and culture change etc.; obviously I can't say how much of it is canon and how much is the author's own worldbuilding, but it's beautifully done. Kir also has a very nice atonement storyline.
I then decided to check out canon, which previously I'd only known through vaguely remembered crossovers/fusions with other fandoms (one with SGA and one with Rurouni Kenshin) that I read years ago. I knew that canon was about very different characters and even a different country, but I decided to at least try some books in the series, so I read the "Last Herald Mage" trilogy. It was… okay? I would have loved the books when I was fifteen. The plot was OTT dramatic several times, but sometimes I don't mind that very much. The romance in the first book made me roll my eyes a bit, but hey, teenagers. The second book was tough to get through at times because the portrayals of exhaustion of loneliness were very well done. In the third book ( spoilers )
I liked the fic series a lot better than canon though, so after finishing the books I read the fic again (for the third time. What. And it is free! I love fandom.)
Shining Armour (1900 words) by El Staplador
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice (Anime)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Michele Crispino/Emil Nekola, Michele Crispino & Sara Crispino
Characters: Michele Crispino, Emil Nekola, Sara Crispino, Yuri!!! on Ice Ensemble, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe, Alternate Universe - toyshop, Fluff and Angst, Angst with a Happy Ending, Experimental Style
They came out of the factory on the same day. They were packed in the same box, sent to the same shop, displayed on the same shelf. But now somebody's bought the lady and left the knight behind. Nobody understands what a disaster this is, except maybe the robot on the shelf above...
I have also managed to post my assignment for Rare Ships!!! on Ice, a whole day before the deadline. This, by contrast, has my grubby fingerprints all over it. (At least, I think it does. I shall be interested to see if anyone guesses.)
( Cast in Shadow )
8/10 Wonder Woman. There was bits where I was like "WWI DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY" but it's a superhero movie and a power fantasy, and anyway, all the superheros are a fantasy that one person can cut through intractable massive problems. I didn't realize I wanted this movie so bad until I saw it. Oh my god. It wasn't perfect but I loved it.
( this got a bit long )
5/10 mango mousse cake. Batter not beat properly, lil lumps in the mousse. The mango bit was only a thin layer on top. Needs more mango. Still, better than nothing.
8/10 on Sound of Music (half way through). Uh, I discovered that Windows 10 cannot natively play DVD. WTF. I mean, I should have downloaded VLC from the start but really?
It's like consuming a capsule of pop culture references. If for nothing else I'd have liked the movie. I didn't know sixteen going on seventeen is a song! Kind of cute near the end seventeen-going-on-eighteen but not a huge fan. More to come.
3/10 ingress life at present. Six - count them, six - enemy agents came up in probably a car and smashed the whole of my farm while I was out at dinner, and now I'm sad. I'll go out and repair it in a bit. It was so nicely built up, dammit! I am slightly proud it takes so many to take out my stuff though. Sadly, it means I have to be careful for a bit about gear, because I won't have a base to farm stuff from, but it'll build up OK. We will rebuild!
Previous experiments with citrus fruits proved disappointing
Zach Wichter @ NYT: Too Hot to Fly? Climate Change May Take a Toll on Air Travel
"Airplanes do not fly through a vacuum."
Cathleen O'Grady @ Ars Technica: Ravens ignore a treat in favor of a useful tool for the future
The average would have been higher if one of the ravens hadn’t thwarted the researchers by figuring out a way to open the puzzle without using a tool—she didn’t pick the tool, because she didn’t need to.
Annalee Newitz @ Ars Technica: Intriguing experiment reveals a fundamental conflict in human culture
"Our equality condition shows that people would accept the elimination of hierarchies," write Zhou and his colleagues. "It is only when winners become losers and losers become winners that people object."
1) Do you want to get married?
Nope, that is not one of the plans I have for my life (I have plans for my life - huh). I've never nurtured many plans about my wedding, and due to my tendency to be single, marriage have not been much of a plan either
2) Where would you like to get married?
Due to lack of religion in my life, it would have to be a civil wedding, which would have to be at the courthouse here in Bergen. That said, I'd really like to have the Star Trek Next generation theme (To boldly go where no strike>man one has gone before) as my wedding march. Just because.
3) If you were getting married in a week, who would be in your wedding party?
All my friends and my family! And my partner's friends and familiy of course. Because I love parties! there will be food, drink, speeches, more drinks, cakes, games, dancing, cakes, midnight snacks and dancing into the night. And the next morning, there will be breakfast.
4) What would your wedding colours be?
Weddings come in colours? If I'm getting married, I'll probably wear my Norwegian national costume -Bunad - with a bridal crown.
5) Does marriage mean to you 'til death do us part?
Whereas I do consider marriage to be a commitment and a contract, I do not think it unbreakable. Sometimes people change, circumstances change, and I consider a divorce to be better than an unhappy marriage.
And of course, this makes a nice intro to me talking about my upcoming travels, which goes to Berlin. I'm leaving on Tuesday with my friend K. We will be sightseeing around in Berlin until Sunday, when she goes home, and I am off to celebrate the wedding of two of my former students. Yes! Finally, after ten years of dropping hints, someone has at least taken my hints and invited me for their wedding. Granted they met in my class, so I have kind of had the best seat in watching their romance unfold.
I have also promised to hold a speech at their dinner. Which I will have to come up with before leaving, since I suspect I will not have time to be creative while being a tourist, drinking beers and looking at stuff.
And after that, when I come back, I will finally put my suitcase in the attic for a while, becasue taht will be the last trip in some time. Of which I am rather glad. Although weddings make me happy. Cakes! Dancing! People!
But it's still hot. Today, for example, the heat index was at or above 95F for 9+ straight hours. It was the same yesterday, and on Tuesday it was over 95F for 11+ hours. That is a really long time to be that hot on a daily basis.
For what it's worth, the daily low comes at about 7 AM. Today it was 79, heat index 82. At 8 the heat index was 87, at 9 it was 90, and by 10 it was 95. Where it sat until 9 PM. (Heat index is still above 90 right now, and it's after 11 PM.) There really is no kind of relief from the heat. Ubiquitous A/C makes for temperature shock entering and exiting any building.
O'Brien is spending a lot of time talking to a Starfleet guy we've never met before. I bet he's going to have a great time in this episode and not die tragically or anything. (Also, in an attempt to give them dialogue showing that they're friends! pals! totally met before today!, the writers kind of slide over into flirty. It's odd.)
Also odd, guy who is certainly doomed is apparently Hispanic, just so he can call out to his Papa and mutter in Spanish while he's dying.
The actress playing the female Vorta does a good job with making her attempt at manipulation completely transparent, but still subtle. It's a good episode that's more about the cost of war than any of the actual things at stake.
( Cut for length. )
Season five! Thankfully starting with a recap of season 4, because it's been a while.
I love Kira's maternity outfit.
Plot of this episode: let's go steal an empire. And their plan is a little shaky, to be honest. And requires the help of Dukat. Poor Damar tries to be the voice of reason. Don't hold your breath, Damar.
OMG, Odo makes a hilariously bad Klingon. Avery Brooks digs into it as deeply as possible. Like, you can see the dirt flying as he works those bad teeth and that wig. Frankly, it seems like it would be exhausting to impersonate a Klingon for any longer than 5 minutes.
A decent, if not thrilling, season opener.
So the course was in Quimper, which is in Brittany, France's western arm. I did the same course last year. Then I didn't know anything, and I was the only one there without any knowledge of a Celtic language, those who didn't study one (mostly the old varieties like Old Irish), were native speakers of one (mostly Welsh), so to me nothing of the Celtic languages weird typology made sense. This year I took level two - I was still the only one who didn't know any other Celtic language, but things finally started to make some sense.
So we had language lessons in the morning, mostly in Breton only, and culture/history in the evening, and most of thes were in French, which is one of the reasons for the lack of spark left in my brain, because even though I did French is school, and was good at it, it is 25 years ago, and we definitely didn't learn much of the vocabulary you need to follow a lecture on 17th century religious debates.
But it was fun this year as well. Fun, but extremely exhausting. Perhaps I'll put up some pictures later on.
After Brittany I took the plane from the hilariously small airport in Quimper - I thought I'd seen my share of small airports, but this one is the smallest, and least organised so far. And they didn't even have a cafe!
Then I spent a couple of days in London, mainly doing nothing; drinking beer and looking at people. But one story needs to be told:
My second day in London, after I had done what ws my plan for the day, namely have a look at the Billingsgate Roman Baths, I ambled up to British Museum, since I have this habit of checking out a couple of rooms at the museum every time I visit. I hadn't thought of the enormous amount of tourists visititing, so the queues were just too long for me to bother with, so I just found myself a pub, bought a pint and pulled out my book. After about 10 pages, and older guy comes over and asks if he can sit by my table. And then we start talking. He tells me that he's here with his grandchildren and wife. His wife is English and he is of French ancestry, but live in Vancouver. So now they are in London a couple of days, and then they are of to France to visit his family.
Then our exchange was as follows:
-Where in France do you have family?
-Quimper in Brittany.
-You got to be kidding me! I just came from Quimper yesterday! I spent two weeks on a course in Breton there.
And then he switches to Breton!
I did have problems following of course, since he spoke a different dialect than I was used to, not to mention having learnt from his mother (who still talks to her sisters on the phone every day in Breton), so not quite my "book Breton".
That was just an amazing coincidence, and definitely made my day.
Now I'm back in Bergen and have spent a week in bed with bronchitis (again!)
( Some short episode reaction notes )
like religion by WerewolvesAreReal
6.9k, gen, futurefic
Summary: Natsume would like to make it clear that this is all the dog's fault.
(OR: how to become a god, by accident).
Why I like it: This would happen to Natsume :D Lovely.
The same author wrote another futurefic, haunting, softly, in which Natsume dies and nobody notices, it is also very good but unsurprisingly sadder.
So the castle that we built won't cave by Taisi
Summary: The last time he remembers feeling this protective was probably back on the day he and Kitamoto taught Natsume how to ride a bicycle, those pleasant hours of late afternoon that swept by so fast. He had been unprepared for how thin Natsume’s shoulders would be, how fragile his back would feel under Nishimura’s hands.
Why I like it: This author has a tag "Natsume Protection Squad" and it's the best. This one is probably my favorite but go and read all of them. never mind the bus fare is another one of theirs I like a lot, it has Nishimura with a giant crush on Natsume, it's very sweet.
Bad news: I just found out that I won't get vacation time in the week when I really wanted it. No choir week this summer for me :(
So I obviously need alternatives, and I'm thinking of going to London. I've only been twice, each time only for a few days with not that much time for sight-seeing, and that was five years ago. I definitely want to go again, also because it'll be less easy in two years.
Downside: I would have to plan things. Ah well, I'll manage.
But before I make any definitive plans, questions:
- I found out that in early August the Nine Worlds convention is in London. I've never been to a big convention! Or any, really. Has anyone been? Is it fun? Is it overwhelming for people with no con experience?
- London has a large selection of musicals and plays and I heard many are quite good. Any you would recommend?
- Any other London/surroundings summer travel tips? (Or early fall, maybe, idk. Ugh, planning.)
Interestingly, for me, some of the Spectrum stuff around noise and large crowds of people came roaring to the front. I have never been so glad to be alone in my house, in my space, with no expectations of any sorts of interaction. Well, until my friend Chris' wedding this evening. If I didn't know how hard he fought to get me the invite, and how badly he wants me there, I would beg off. I just cannot deal with humanity right now. I am not sure how I will get to CarRental Company tomorrow though I really should try (provided I'm not out insanely late at the wedding... but given that a) I hate to dance, b) the only people I will know there are the bride, groom, the groom's best friend, and a colleague of mine from Major NonProfit, I can't imagine I'll be staying overly long (note to self: eat something before hand; have not checked on the menu but guessing it will be lots of stuff you shouldn't eat)).
Right now I just want to go back to bed. And might.
I have managed to eat a little cold cereal. I should probably have more of a meal but it's overwhelming. Everything is overwhelming.... though a really good talk with someone special earlier. But beyond that -- overwhelming (and in truth even part of our discussion fits that description).
Life has had some wonderful high points... but my energy is running on fumes.
Actually, a nap sounds like a really wise idea. Will figure out what I'm doing about laundry later (it may get sent out), the dishwasher can wait to be emptied, etc.