darchildre: text: "i am a terrifying and imposing figure" (they said i'd be ambassador to france)
Things of lately:

- I am over my terrible cold (mostly) and my Dad is back from Taiwan. He was there for a month, that is entirely too long.

- This past weekend, I went to see Assassins in Seattle, which was SO GOOD, OMG. I'm so glad I decided to do the ridiculous thing and buy myself two tickets, because I need to see it again. I just - I have a lot of feelings about that show. It's possible that Assassins is my favorite musical, and if that's not true, it's at least in the top five. The ACT's production is really great, if you're in Seattle and can get tickets you really should, and I'm super happy that I'm going again in April.

- I have finished reading Wizard and Glass and have started Wind Through the Keyhole. I always think I don't like Wizard much until I'm reading it and then I remember that it's actually really good and that I do actually sorta kinda care about Roland and Susan's doomed romance. Plus, Cuthbert. Wind Through the Keyhole is entirely new to me, which is exciting.

- Vaguely relatedly, I decided I needed something new to listen to after getting through a large portion of Saga Thing, so I spun the dial of "Things Sara is Interested In" and ended up with old time radio westerns. So I am listening to Gunsmoke. There is a huge amount of it, it's really quite good, and the episodes are almost exactly the length of my daily commute, so I can do exactly two a day if I want. I remain astounded and immensely pleased at the sheer amount of old time radio the internet wants to give me for free.

- We are now about a week and half out from the day the Kingston library closes for three weeks so that we can move into our new building! I'm super excited about the new place, but also weirdly excited about the closure. I mean, I'll still be working, but I'll be working in a library that's closed so all the really annoying people won't be there to bother me. My least favorite patron (who only comes in when he has a hold to pick up, but has a lot of holds so that's nearly every day) came in yesterday to suspend all of his holds till after we reopen (because he refuses to go to the next closest library which is 10 minutes away), so I don't have to see him for a month! I like most of our patrons, but it's still nice to have a break now and then.
darchildre: green ultra magnified bacteria.  text:  "their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold." (what man knows kadath?)
So, I realize Halloween is over and you guys may be out of the market for spooky, but in case you're not:

BBC Radio made a pretty cool audio adaptation of The Stone Tape and you can listen to it streaming for the rest of the month. And you totally should, because it's pretty great.

What is The Stone Tape, you may be asking? Originally, it was a made-for-tv BBC movie, written by Nigel Kneale, so you know it's going to be gorgeously unsettling sci-fi/horror. It concerns a team of researchers, set up in an old Victorian mansion, trying to develop a new recording medium. They discover that the house is haunted - the basement room occasionally contains a woman in Victorian dress who screams, runs up a set of stairs, and falls to her death. The head of the research team decides that this vision is itself a recording and the focus of the team's research shifts to investigating it. It is one of the best examples of cosmic horror I've ever seen filmed and it's wonderful.

And now there's a radio drama version! I like the audio version, and it's free right now (so you can start with that), but it's not quite as good as the original movie for two reasons. One of them deals with the climax of the story, and that shouldn't be spoiled, so don't click the cut unless you've seen it. spoilers )

Despite those two things, this is a fun and properly unsettling radio play. Highly recommended.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
When I opened this, I was going to make another crabby complaining post*, but that's boring. So instead, I am going to make a list of things that are currently making me happy:

- My dumb DC superhero shows are all back, hooray! And The Flash is doing ridiculous multiverse stuff and there's Jay and his goofy hat and I'm so happy.

- I got to write stuff today with my favorite pen, it is always such a joy. Seriously, this is my advice for people who are insecure about their handwriting: get a pen with a 1.1 italic nib. (I like the Pilot Plumix - it's cheap and comes in purple and you can buy a converter to make it use prettier ink. Mine currently has Diamine's Ancient Copper, which is gorgeous.) The italic nib makes basically anything look prettier.

- I ordered new tea from the internet yesterday and it shipped this morning. I love buying tea.

- Tomorrow, my mom, my sisters and I are having a crafternoon, where we each bring a different craft project to teach the other three. I am bringing a simple chain maille bracelet pattern I just learned and a bunch of multicolored jump rings. Very exciting.

- Because I am a giant nerd who can't get the songs from Hamilton out of her head, I started reading the Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow it's based on. Which is honestly pretty great - if you want to read an 800-page biography of Alexander Hamilton, I recommend it. (I say that with the caveat that, y'know, I haven't gotten to the end of the war yet. It is a long book.)

- I have a new podcast! It is Wolf 359 and it is full of pretty great space adventures and creepy space mysteries. (As a Trekkie, it does slightly confuse me every time they say the title, though, because they say three-fifty-nine and it just sounds wrong.) I am about 10 episodes in and I love everything about it.

- I am really looking forward to the grilled cheese sandwich I'm planning to make for dinner tonight. It's going to have Hawaiian bread and spices and it's going to be delicious. I love grilled cheese sandwiches.

So that is a short list of things that are making me happy today. What's making you guys happy today?









*OMG, lady, when I warn you that the library printer is broken and so you can't print, that is not something I'm doing to you maliciously to ruin your day, and it's not going to magically fix itself if you're mean to me. I'm sorry you came here just to print something and wasted a trip because that sucks, but it's not an excuse for you to act like that.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
Downsides of today:

- Early meeting at a faraway branch of the library, which meant getting up much earlier than I wanted.

- There was an upgrade to our library software we were going talk about at this meeting and I was super excited about it, but during discussion it turns out that the upgrade will not work the way I hoped and so now I am disappointed.

- Also, I forgot to put sugar in the tea that I brought to the meeting/work, and so had to drink it without. I realize that there are people who drink tea like this all the time. I don't understand why you would do that to yourselves.


Upsides of today:

- Because of said early meeting, I got to leave work early. And now I have accomplished all the grocery shopping that I had thought I would need to do Saturday, so Saturday is entirely free.

- I have a delicious stir fry planned for dinner that I am really looking forward to.

- Today was very quiet at the library, which meant that I had time to work on my senesh, and now I have numbers! I can count to 9,999 (which is tof al-uðan tof a-cyon tof a-meis un tof, written out). I can't write that in senesh yet, as I haven't made up characters for numbers yet or figured out how they work in the writing system, but I feel accomplished nonetheless.

- I have finally gotten to Bree in my absurd recording of LotR, which means that now I get to read about stuff that is actually interesting.


On the whole, I think we have come out on the positive side.
darchildre: text only:  "unlimited rice pudding!" (daleks are silly)
So, along with cooking things yesterday and watching about an hour's worth of Stephen Universe, I decided on a ridiculous plan. I decided that I was annoyed enough by the available options to make my own recording of The Lord of the Rings. And then, I recorded about two and a half hours of it.

This is clearly an absurd thing to do - the whole thing is over two days long, and I am infamous for starting large projects, getting half way through, and not finishing them. Plus, I occasionally get sidetracked trying to find out weird little things about the book that stop me recording*. But, you guys, this book is absurdly fun to read out loud! Plus sometimes I get to sing! So great!

Other the other hand, I have recorded two and half hours of it and am still in chapter three. We haven't even left the Shire yet. Guys, why is the beginning of Fellowship so long? (Probably that is someone's favorite thing, in which case I apologize for maligning it. But I have to admit that I usually start with the Council of Elrond, if I don't just read the Moria bits and then skip straight to The Two Towers.)

Maybe I will actually meet Tom Bombadil by the time I go to bed tonight.






*I spent about 15 minutes yesterday trying to figure out if Cirth runes have names, like Tengwar letters or Futhark runes. As far as I can tell, they don't, but if there are other Tolkien nerds out there who know otherwise, please let me know.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
Y'know what I want? I want an unabridged professionally-done audiobook of Lord of the Rings that isn't read by Rob Inglis. Because, I'm sorry, I'm sure he did the best job he could and kudos to him for reading the whole damned thing and doing all the songs, but Mr Inglis' voices leave a lot to be desired. As does his singing. It is very frustrating.

(Also frustrating is the Phil Dragash version. I mean, dude did a lot of work on that thing and it's pretty amazing, but maybe somewhere in there he should have looked up how to pronounce the words he didn't know. It kinda throws you out of the story when the narrator starts talking about the griddle that Goldberry's wearing.)

In an ideal world, we would have an unabridged full-cast recording with all the people who worked on the 1981 BBC version. Because that version is in all ways perfect. But even in our current not ideal world, we deserve a better audiobook than the one we've got.

(We also deserve a better audiobook reader for ASoIaF than Roy Dotrice, but that is the least of that series' troubles.)
darchildre: text:  "well, my doctorate is purely honorary, and harry here is only qualified to work on sailors" (only qualified to work on sailors)
Things:

- This weekend, along with tea jelly, I also made an abacus bracelet. I'm always losing track of what row I'm on when I knit and now I have a bracelet that can count up to 99 and will remember for me. I'm very pleased with it. Also, it's a pretty bracelet. I might have to make another one just because. I am a little tempted to make it three strands so it will count to 1000 but I'm pretty sure that's silly.

- The thing about reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is that it has a very strong narrative voice that is very different from the way I usually speak and it gets into my brain and I start saying things like "I haven't any of those" and wanting to spell surprise with a z and I have to remind myself that I'm not an English person from 1811 and I shouldn't talk like one. I think I've kept it under wraps enough that no one around me has noticed but I feel like I'm being very obnoxious. Or possibly I just talk like a weirdo all the time and people around me don't think it's anything different.

( - This happens when I read Riddley Walker too, but that's somewhat more of a problem.)

- I started listening to the BBC radio Raffles series and it is entirely adorable. Fortunately, I am listening to them alone in my car and thus can pause the show for squeaky noises and shouting, "Oh you adorable little rabbit!" whenever it's necessary. (Spoilers: Bunny is a adorable rabbit all the time. I end up pausing a lot.)

- Yesterday was entirely too full of crying babies at the library. I am hoping very hard that is not the case today.


ETA - I knew I had another thing! I am looking for a good and singable version of Tam Lin. I like Anais Mitchell's version to sing, but it doesn't have the fairy queen in it. Fairport Convetion's is hard to sing without accompaniment, and the melody of Tricky Pixie's version gets a little monotonous without instruments. Do any of you have a favorite version?
darchildre: holmes and watson looking insoucient (holmes and watson)
Recently, my brain has decided that it's tired of listening to my Discworld audiobooks and has rebelled by refusing to go to sleep to them. (It does this every year or so.) Thus I have been forced to find different bedtime listening material and have started revisiting Sherlock Holmes.* I have started with Valley of Fear.

You guys, I think that has become my favorite Holmes novel. How did this happen? Why did this happen? I even really like the extended American flashback, it's ridiculous.

The codebreaking sequence at the beginning is pretty great, though.






*It was either that or Nero Wolfe - those are my general non-Discworld fallbacks. I've tried other things - Lord Peter mysteries, the Harry Potter books - but those three are the most reliable for me.
darchildre: clark kent drinking cocoa with his mom (cocoa with the kents)
Today, I have a cold. Which is unacceptable. I have plans this weekend! I do not want to be sick!

But instead of whining about that, I am going to talk about old time radio. You know what I really love about old time radio? (Well, one of the things I really love.) Everyone's accent. I love that weird, fake, Mid-Atlantic accent that no one actually had but all the players are doing. It's fun in movies, but I really love it on the radio, where all you get is the voice and so you end up really paying attention to it. I love 1940's Radio Announcer Voice, too. It sounds so wonderfully East Coast in a way that doesn't seem to exist anymore but you can still tell that's where they're from. (Even before they start doing the ads for Pennsylvania's finest anthracite.)

Also! I realized yesterday that I could find huge chunks of The Adventures of Superman online, which is amazing. The episodes are only about 15 minutes long which coincidentally, is almost exactly the length of my commute every day. It is a little weird for a modern comics fan (Superman came to earth as a grown man, what?) and so very set-in-the-40's (the first arc involves people trying to paralyze America's commerce by threatening the railway!), but they're honestly really fun to listen to. And there's so much of it! It's my first time listening to an old time radio serial - most of my listening has been to things that have stand-alone episodes. I'm really enjoying the continuing format.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
So, I go through periods every so often where I listen to a lot of old time radio. Mostly, this has been focused on horror radio, as horror is My Thing, and mostly ends up with me telling everyone I know to go and listen to Quiet, Please*. But today, I had the urge to go find some episodes of The Shadow and has ended with me diving down the rabbit hole of radio suspense.

And now, along with The Shadow, I kinda want to listen to The Saint and Green Hornet and I was a Communist for the FBI. (That last I want to listen to pretty much only for the title - things don't get titles like that anymore, it's pretty awesome.)

I am so happy to be living in a time when the internet wants to provide me with so many lovely things. Most of which are free. So exciting!





*No, seriously, you should go do it. Quiet, Please is awesome. Here is a link to The Thing on the Fourble Board. You're welcome.
darchildre: a crow being held in one hand.  text:  "bird in hand" (bird in the hand)
Okay, here are some nifty things that happened today:

- The other day, I discovered a website called Graphic Audio, which produces (among other things) DC comics audiodrama. And then I downloaded a whole bunch of them. (I am really excited about the one about the Flash because it is Wally and has Linda in it and I miss them so much, you guys.) Right now, I am listening to a Batman one and enjoying it immensely. It's a little goofy - some of the writing is stilted and there's a lot more narration than I'm used to in an audiodrama - but it's still a lot of fun and allows me to indulge my comics obsession aurally. So now DC comics joins the ranks of fandoms like LotR and Doctor Who, where I can read, watch, or listen to them. Which is great. I'm hoping to get to the point with some of them that I can use them as bedtime listening.

- I am learning awesome things about geology! Awesome thing 1: tectonic plates that move under other plates melt down and get recycled into mountains! I guess I somehow always assumed that they stayed solid and just moved around - this is so much cooler. Awesome thing 2: the Atlantic Ocean is growing at a rate of about 2-3 inches per year and the Pacific is shrinking by the same amount, so the North American continent is slowly shifting west. Western Washington used to be islands in the Pacific that collided with North America and stuck there. Eventually the same thing will probably happen with other islands in the Pacific, including probably Japan. Awesome thing 3: when basalt lava erupts under the ocean, it cools into formations that look like sofa cushions, so geologists call them "basalt pillows". Awesome thing 4: geology is really surprisingly exciting. I'm really enjoying learning about it.

So today was a pretty good day.
darchildre: ninth doctor and rose viewing earth from space (...and i feel fine)
Today, I am staying home sick. Yesterday, I went to work figuring that my mild malaise could just be, basically, walked off, but it just made me miserable all day. I feel a little better today but still not 100%, so I am staying home in hopes that a day of relaxing will keep my early cold symptoms and slight stomach upset from blossoming into anything worse. ::fingers crossed::

I think, therefore, that today is an excellent day to for crafts and audiodrama. I am caught up on Thrilling Adventure Hour, but I've decided to start listening to Night Vale from the beginning again, as I went on a long hiatus from it and had lost the thread a bit. At some point, I'm going to need to branch out a little more - I really like serialized audiodrama and there isn't nearly enough of it in my life. I don't suppose anyone out there has recommendations for more?
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
The Saga of the Volsungs, chapters 23 through 31. It's early this week because I won't be at home this weekend.

In which we meet the Gjukungs (King Gjuki, his wife Grimhild, and their children Gunnar, Hogni, Guttorm, and Gudrun), there's a somewhat evil magic potion, some extremely casual shapeshifting, Sigurd and Brynhild both get married (but not to each other), magic stops working at an extremely inconvenient time, Gudrun and Brynhild kind of don't get along, and everything is terrible forever. This segment does not end on the triumphant note the last one did. Surprisingly, Odin does not appear even once in this section.

The Gjukungs are pretty my much favorites, you guys, especially Gudrun. Gudrun is awesome.

A few things that might need explaining:

- In chapter 24, we're told that Brynhild and Bekkhild have those names because of their personalities. The element "hild" in a name means "battle", so Brynhild's name means something like "byrnie-battle" while Bekkhild's is "bench-battle". Thus, Bekkhild is the one who stays at home, while Brynhild will totally stab you in the face.

- Atli, Bryhild's brother? That's kinda sorta maybe Attila the Hun. A bit.



Enjoy! (As always, previous segments can be found here.)
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
The Saga of the Volsungs, chapters 15 through 23.

In which a sword is forged, Sigurd is revenged for the death of his father, there's a fight with a dragon, Sigurd learns to understand the language of birds, and we meet Brynhild! Also, there is a chapter devoted to telling us how hot and awesome Sigurd is. And we have hopefully figured out by now that every time there's a mysterious old man with a beard, that's Odin.

There's a good bit of poetry in this section, which contains some kennings* and weird names, so I'm going to explain those under a cut. This one right here, in fact. )

Previous parts of this saga can be found here. Enjoy!




*Kennings are a common feature of Norse poetry. They're a kind of poetic, metaphorical way of referring to things - for instance, in a poem one might say "the whale road" instead of "the sea". Sometimes, kennings get more complex or contain kennings within kennings. So you might have "the feeder of the swan of wounds," where "swan of wounds" means "raven" and "feeder of ravens" means "warrior".

It's assumed that the listener would understand the kenning, much like we would assume that a modern reader would understand if we said something like "it's raining cats and dogs," but since we aren't 13th century Icelanders, I will endeavor to explain the kennings we come across that don't seem immediately obvious. (For example, though the kenning "battlefield's ruler" was used in chapter 21 (meaning warrior), I thought you could probably figure that out.) If I ever skip one that you don't get, please let me know. I've been reading sagas and Norse mythology for a while now, and I sometimes forget what isn't obvious to people who don't do that. 8)
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
The Saga of the Volsungs, chapters 9 through 14.

In which Helgi has some adventures and then goes off to star in some lays in the Poetic Edda, there's a pretty cool senna*, we discover why you shouldn't try to date your stepmother's brother's girlfriend, Odin shows up at least two more times, Sigurd is finally born, and we learn his foster-father's tragic backstory (in which Loki guest stars). A dragon is mentioned, though he doesn't yet appear.

BTW, I'm assuming a certain level of familiarity with the various kinds of beings and happenings present in Norse mythology, but if there's ever anything in one of these that you want some clarification about, please feel free to ask. I am totally happy at any time to talk about weird Norse mythology things.

Part one of this saga is available here.






*Insult constest - an ancient Norse version of the Dozens.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
Okay, a couple people have expressed interest in hearing me read sagas, so here is the first installment!

The Saga of the Volsungs, chapters 1 through 8. This installment is approximately 30 minutes long.

It occurs to me that now would probably be a good time to describe the Volsungasaga a little. It's what called a legendary saga, which means that it takes place before the colonization of Iceland, though it was written in Iceland, some time in the 13th century. It concerns, as the title implies, the Volsung family, who are descended from Odin and are, essentially, a family of enormous badasses. The most famous of the Volsungs is Sigurd the Dragon Slayer and his story takes up the majority of the saga. The saga is one of the sources for Wagner's Ring Cycle and a major influence on the Lord of the Rings.

In this installment, we don't meet Sigurd yet, but we do get the origin of his family line, Valkyries with apples, the twin badasses Sigmund and Signy, mysterious one-eyed strangers (who could it be?), magic swords, weddings, betrayals, battles, witches, infanticide, incest, weasels with magic plants, two different kinds of werewolves, an enormous housefire, and a guy named "Sinfjotli", which is super fun to say. Have fun checking it out.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
So, I am starting a project. I love Icelandic sagas and I love audiobooks but, alas, these two loves are not often found combined. So I am making my own. I'm starting with the Volsungasaga because a) it's short, b) I have a copy, and c) it is awesome. (There is an audiobook available of the Volsungasaga but I don't much care for the translation they used or the way the narrator handles footnotes.) If all goes well, I'm planning to eventually record other sagas - I'd love to do Njal's saga, for example.

I mention this because I wondered if any of you out there in internetland would also be interested in audiobooks of sagas and thus want to listen to my recordings. I can't promise that my pronunciation of all the names will be exactly correct but, beyond that, I read aloud well, though I say it myself. 8) I have a fairly pleasing voice, I think, with a close-to-standard US accent (if that matters) and I don't do character voices. I also won't be including footnotes. If people are interested in listening to me read sagas, they would probably be uploaded in chunks between 15 and 30 minutes long, whenever I get one done and I'm happy with it, probably at least once a week. I'm using Jesse Byock's translation.

So. Anyone interested?
darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
Last night, because of reasons, I downloaded an audiobook of The Jungle Book.

OMG, you guys, The Jungle Book! I loved The Jungle Book so much as a small person - we had a beautiful hardcover copy with paintings by Gregory Alexander and I read it over and over again. I still have bits of the poetry memorized, and it's one of the books I read while small that taught me to conjugate the thou form of verbs, which teachers tend to look at askance when you are in third grade.

(Incidentally, it is also the source of my first experience in being disappointed with a film adaptation. I'm sure I'd seen the Disney version before reading the book and but I clearly remember rewatching it after reading the book and the feeling of "What the hell is this, what do you think you're doing, no, stop that.")

My childhood library didn't have the first Jungle Book available as an audiobook, but it did have the second. (Which is how tiny me learned that there was a second Jungle Book. I haven't read it in a long time and not near as often as the first, so my memories of it are hazy, but I remember thinking Red Dog was awesome and being really freaked out by The King's Ankus and having a weird affection for The Undertakers.) I was disappointed in this gap in the library's collection, so I decided to make my own audiobook of the first one. Which I did by holding the book open in front of me and reading from it into the microphone on one of those old Fisher-Price tape players. I put Mowgli's Brothers on one side of the tape and Tiger! Tiger! on the other side and listened to it at bedtime. (I have been using bedtime audiobooks for a very long time.)

I have long since lost that tape, of course. But now, I have an actual full-length audiobook! So exciting!

I should find myself an audiobook of Just So Stories* too.





*My youngest sister has never read Just So Stories which I learned recently by quoting The Cat That Walked By Himself at the tv for a reason I do not now recall. I find this weirdly astounding because I am always bemused by the fact that my sisters didn't read the same childhood classics I did, despite them being shelved on the shared bookshelf in the basement tv room.
darchildre: text:  "well, my doctorate is purely honorary, and harry here is only qualified to work on sailors" (only qualified to work on sailors)
You guys, I have listened up through about episode 110 of the Thrilling Adventure Hour podcast and might have spent most of the day while shelving at work making up ridiculously indulgent Sparks Nevada/Croach the Tracker fic in my head.

It is kind of a problem.

(You should all go listen to it and then come back and talk to me about how adorable Croach is. Because he is adorable.)
darchildre: Tiny Flash giggling while curled up in a chair (bwee hee hee)
Things:

- I love being in the library on rainy days before we open, because I hear patrons out in the hallway squelching towards the door and then squelching away again like swamp monsters. I find it unaccountably amusing.

- The thing about listening to the Thrilling Adventure Hour is that I find myself actually becoming emotionally invested in certain of the segments. I have a stupid amount of feelings about Sparks Nevada, you guys!

- For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, yesterday I found myself rereading some of the comics I have on my computer. And now I need you to tell me that I don't need to reread all the Wally West comics from the beginning, because I'm pretty sure that's a bad idea. And I'm pretty sure that I'm going to do it if not convinced to do otherwise.

- I forgot that this weekend was a three-day weekend until this morning! Unexpected day off! Hooray!
darchildre: rebis in a purple trenchcoat, looking enigmatic (rebis says:)
This weekend, I started listening to The Thrilling Adventure Hour while knitting. Which is pretty great - if you like Old Time Radio and things that poke gentle fun at Old Time Radio, you should definitely check it out.

However. I have literally had the theme song to Sparks Nevada, Marshall on Mars stuck in my head all day. It will not leave, no matter what I do.

I don't even know all of the words.

It is becoming a problem.
darchildre: elsa lanchester as the bride of frankenstein, applying makeup (this is my girly icon)
Things:

- It is going to be something like 90 degrees today. I do not at all approve. At least I get to work today at the library with actual air conditioning.

- Choir started on Monday, which was lovely, even if it is always a bit odd to start singing Christmas music in September. Still, the music looks to be fun and, so far, nothing we've rehearsed has been actively awful, so I'm excited. The choir is apparently going to be performing in Seattle sometime in October but, alas, I cannot go, as I will be attending a library conference that same day. Ah, well. I'll just have to wait till the performance in December.

- So, for the past several years, I've been using shampoo bars on my hair, since they're fun and tend to smell better (to me) than the bottled stuff. This week, I started adding a vinegar rinse to that and, OMG, you guys, it is amazing. My hair has never been this easy to brush right out of the shower, it stays silky-feeling for days afterward, and is at least marginally less frizzy. It's awesome. (The vinegar rinse does keep getting in my eyes, though, which is a problem. But that's down to user error.)

- I have been listening to the BBC radio production of Neverwhere. It is pretty great. Apparently, what we needed to do to get me to care about Richard and Door was have them be played by James McAvoy and Natalie Dormer, respectively. Sophie Okonedo is fantastic as Hunter, Anthony Stewart Head is not my Mr Croup but his Mr Croup is lovely*, and Benedict Cumberbatch sings in it, if that's a draw for you. (I approve of Benedict Cumberbatch playing alien/otherworldly beings because then it's easier to deal with the fact that he's quite good-looking some of the time but other times he looks like a giant anthropomorphic stick insect.) It feels a bit rushed sometimes and I miss some of the little funny bits in the narration, but all in all, it's a fun production and I recommend it.

- I have new boots! Because the old pair were developing holes and it's going to start raining all the time soon. (Fingers crossed!) They have Halloween laces, which makes me happy every time I look at them.



And those are the things of this morning.






*There was a large part of the first episode that I spent thinking, "Mr Vandemar is talking way too much" before I remembered that it was radio and otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell he was in the room. And then I felt silly.
darchildre: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
Like the rest of the internet (apparently), I have been listening to Welcome to Night Vale. Which I thoroughly recommend, btw.

I am currently torn between my ridiculous desire to live in Night Vale* and the sensible part of my brain saying that this desire is ridiculous. Not because of all the creepy or the death or the fact that Night Vale is, y'know, fictional, but because Night Vale is located somewhere in the landlocked southwest and nope, that's too far from the water. Harbor Complex notwithstanding.

My brain, ladies and gentlemen.





*Any place where I can get and pay my check at a restaurant without actually talking to anyone beyond whispering into my glass is okay by me.
darchildre: dracula and renfield, staring at each other.  text:  "vampiric seduction" (vampiric seduction)
Things:

- A patron came in and told me that she was glad I was here because she had just heard an interview with Anne Rice where people who practice IRL vampirism were talked about and she figured, if anyone knew anything about that particular subculture, it would be me. I'm not entirely certain how I feel about that. (For the record: I have read about people who practice IRL vampirism - there is a chapter about them in David Skal's The Monster Show - but I've never personally met any. Also, YKINMKBYKIOK and all that.)

- Last night was movie night at Bainbridge and we watched The Scarlet Empress. About which three things. 1) Hey, wow, pre-Code film. There are totally naked ladies in this movie. I did not expect that. 2) One of the really neat things about the film is the way that it's so clearly a transitional work between silent movies and talkies. There are long stretches with no dialogue and much broader acting than you get later, and there are intertitle screens every five minutes or so. Often hilarious intertitle screens. Even though it was made years later than, say, Frankenstein, it feels older because of that. 3) I kinda want the entire Imperial Russian palace from this movie. Not quite as much as I want the castle from Son of Frankenstein or Hjalmar Poelzig's house from The Black Cat, but the furniture is just amazing.

- We have a sub today - one I've worked with a lot - who was not around while I was reading Les Miz. (Which, no, I still haven't finished. Someday!) And somehow, we ended up talking about it. Apparently, my sales pitch for getting people to read Les Miz is totally the wacky dead nun shenanigans. I think this is because I figure that everyone knows the book is sad but no one ever told me that it was also occasionally really really funny.

- So, I am currently listening to an audiobook of Clash of Kings. It is not a bad audiobook, so much, as an audiobook in which the reader makes decisions that I do not understand. For instance: Tyrion is inexplicably Welsh. I understand that with a cast that large you have to do what you can to distinguish characters but none of the other Lannisters are in any way Welsh and so it throws me out of the performance every time Tyrion talks. (On the other hand, the reader has at least remembered that maybe Stannis and Renly should have similar accents and thus is one up on the show.)

- Starting next Thursday, the parentals are going to California to visit my sisters. And I have that Friday through Tuesday off. I am counting down.
darchildre: clark kent drinking cocoa with his mom (cocoa with the kents)
Along with reading Eyrbyggja Saga, I have been listening to an audiobook of the Volsungasaga. Because of course I am.

1) Oh man, I had forgotten just how awesome everything about this story is. Is there anything about the Volsungasaga that is not awesome? The answer is "No, there is not." And I haven't even gotten to Sigurd yet.

2) So, the audiobook is this translation of the Volsungasaga, which is...very flowery in an old-fashioned way, all "I wot that thou shalt return this night withal", which is fine, if not particularly to my taste. But the people who made the audiobook have apparently decided to include all of the translator's notes in the recording and to do so in the most intrusive way possible. Wherever the translator has put a note, that is exactly where that note is read, no matter if it is in the middle of sentence or what. And it's not as though it's indicated in any that it's a note - it's just suddenly being read and you're supposed to figure it out. It is extremely disruptive, especially as nearly all of the notes have explanations of things that I already know, like the definition of the word "rede" or "lingworm". The translator also helpfully points Odin out every time he shows up and isn't explicitly named by the text. I know it's Odin, dude, he's the only mysterious one-eyed man in this story. Honestly, is there anyone who's likely to be listening to an audiobook of the Volsungasaga who isn't going to notice a mysterious one-eyes man and not think, "Hey, I wonder if that's Odin?"

I am seriously tempted to acquire a different translation and make my own audiobook. That is a ridiculous thing to want to do, but at least in this (as opposed to other sagas) I already know how to say everyone's name.

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darchildre: a candle in the dark.  text:  "a light in dark places". (Default)
Renfield

June 2016

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