darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
Recently, I have been spending some time doing seneshi translations of randomly selected passages from books I like. Would you like to see them? (Of course you would.)

Here they are! )

And that is what I did during the last few days when I wasn't working.
darchildre: the master reading war of the worlds (reading)
Unexpected bonuses of reading a lot of Revolutionary-era American history:

- This is not era-specific, but...so, I am the kind of person who likes to read or listen to or watch the same story over and over. I love new adaptations of my favorite books, I love to read something and then listen to an audiobook of the same thing, I love retellings of my favorite stories. (This is probably a large part of the reason that I read so much fanfiction. And also why I like comics so much.) History is great for that. If I read about an event in one book, there are probably ten other books that want to tell me about the same event, but differently: from another perspective, with a different focus, with new details. So you get the same story but not in the same words and I can experience it again without the fatigue that can sometimes result from experiencing it again in exactly the same way. (I have now read, like, three different books that covered the siege of Boston, I am not tired of it yet, this is awesome.)

- Every once in a while, someone mentions a landmark from the area where I grew up and I get really excited. It's mostly river names. The Brandywine! The Susquehanna! The Rappahannock! I haven't heard those names in years - I had forgotten how beautiful the word "Susquehanna" is.

Somehow unexpected disadvantages of reading a lot of history:

- Everyone dies. This is obvious and I should have fully realized it going in but everyone dies, and it's terrible, and I am not okay. In fiction you can pretend they didn't die.

- Also, it is even harder to explain to people that you are upset about people in history dying. If people ask you why you seem down and you tell them that a fictional character died in your book and you're sad about it, they might be taken aback for a moment but they usually sort of get it. If you tell them that, say, George Washington died in your book and you're sad about it, people kinda blink at you like "He's been dead for a while now, shouldn't you be over it?"

This has been Sara's Adventures in Reading History.
darchildre: text only:  "unlimited rice pudding!" (daleks are silly)
So, I have been reading a lot of nonfiction about the Revolutionary War of late, because of reasons. It has been a long time since I read this much nonfiction about history. Or, indeed, anything that wasn't some kind of literary analysis, usually of horror film. Mostly, I read fiction about people with magic or spaceships or superpowers. Or all three.

Which makes you read differently. I read history like I read fiction: for the story. And since I'm reading my current nonfiction mostly for entertainment purposes, I find my brain engaging with it the same way it engages with other stories that are entirely fictional and that I'm fannish about. Which is: a) I want to know every detail of canon, b) I will then decide which details are important to me (and keep them) and which details are terrible (and discard them), c) I will then make up my own crazy-ass stories.

All of which is to say that today it occurred to me that several events during the Revolutionary War make a lot more sense if you accept the premise that George Washington had minor (possibly unconscious) weather controlling powers, and that that's basically a headcanon I have now for all future reading of 18th century American history.

(I would read that hell out of a novel where the Founding Fathers had magic powers. Someone should get on that, just saying.)
darchildre: the fourth doctor's scarft (crafty geek)
It is torrentially pouring outside and has been all day. I have nothing to do and no inclination to go anywhere, so I'm spending the day doing ridiculous things.

My seneshi story has developed an epistolary episode, which is fun, but it does mean that yesterday I took it into my head to a) write one of the letters, b) translate the thing into senesh, and c) write the whole thing out longhand in seneshi letters. Translating the letter meant figuring out how to create both past and present participles, refining how imperatives work (especially reflexive imperatives), and playing with how the evidential markers place emphasis or change the tone of a sentence. Which is fun, but a lot of work.

Now that part's done and I'm working on writing the thing out. And, since I eventually want it to be on unlined paper, that has meant carefully measuring and drawing lines in pencil so that my writing is straight. In fact, I'm doing the whole thing in pencil first, so that I can correct any mistakes I make in writing, and then I'm going to retrace it in pen.

This is an absurd amount of effort for a story I'm never going to tell anyone else.
darchildre: green ultra magnified bacteria.  text:  "their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold." (what man knows kadath?)
Am at the Lovecraft film festival. Whee!

Jeffery Combs is downstairs and it's kinda weirding me out. Usually the film fest only gets author or filmmaker guests, which is much less awkward-feeling for me. I mean, I find encounters with actors uncomfortable at the best of times (which is one of the reasons I don't really enjoy ECCC), but it is super weird to turn around and suddenly be two feet from someone about whose characters I have spent a lot of time making up terrible fanfic porn in my head. So that's weird. But I am quite looking forward to watching Re-Animator tonight.

In other news, I bought new radio plays from the HPLHS, which is exciting. And the guy at the table gave me a free pack of prop Fleur de Lys cigarettes (that i was also going to buy) because he thought I was a guy and then felt bad about misgendering me. I quite like looking androgynous, so that's a little fun on two levels.
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: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
In which I am ridiculous:

So, the conlang stuff I'm working on goes with a story. Or, rather, a set of stories, spread out over a very long period of time, because most of the major characters are immortal or semi-immortal. (Evil god-emperor, his chief lieutenants, some of his family members.) And I was thinking about one of them yesterday and, unlike most of my stories, it involved more than two people in a room having a conversation - there's sort of actually a plot, it involves traveling to cities outside the god-emperor's control and also crossing the desert. And I thought, okay, I am terrible at imagining where things are in space relative to each other - I will draw a map.

It...is not a great map, because I can't draw and have no actual knowledge of how geography works, but it was fun to do and I colored it and made up mountain ranges and rivers and things. And other cities, which I had to name. I hate naming cities. Or, I hate naming cities outside the empire, because I know the way the language inside the empire works and I can make up city names that go along with it, but I haven't spent any time thinking about other countries. (Some of them now have cities with names that sound vaguely Finnish. This is mostly because I had a Finnish song stuck in my head at the time.) Anyway, now I have a map!

A map that has national borders drawn the way they would have been at the very beginning of all the stories, before the god-emperor even marched into the country where all the stories are set. It is a Pre-Conquest map.

It's still very useful, in that I can see where the cities are relative to each other and, like, mountain passes and stuff for travel. But now I keep thinking that what I really need is a series of maps, drawn during different periods of the story. A Pre-Conquest map, a map from around the time when the main character becomes important (about 60 years Post-Conquest), a map from around the time of the story I'm currently thinking about (around 200 years Post-Conquest).

I am not at all certain of my ability to reproduce the important features of the map I've already drawn. Also, this is a hell of a lot of work for a set of stories with no actual plot arc other than "I thought this would be cool" that I'm not even writing down. I write down plot outlines so I don't forget them, or emotionally important things people say, but actually writing the story? Nope, not so much.

I should...maybe figure out an actual timeline of events at some point. Which probably means coming up with a dating system and deciding what the calendar is like.

I am the most absurd.
darchildre: children reading books in a field. (books are for adventure!)
Dammit, now I am overcome with the urge to reread the Raffles stories. Nope, I am reading Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell right now, I am not going to get distracted, 2015 is the year of finishing books I start.*

...I will put the Raffles dvds on hold instead.

*That I don't hate. I draw the line at forcing myself to finish books I hate.
darchildre: the seventh doctor explaining things to ace (seven explains the plot)
And then, I guess I fell off the internet. I mean, I've been reading my flist and all, but haven't really wanted to post anything. But here are some things:

- This is the Week of Birthdays for my family - Dad's is today and Katie's is tomorrow. So we celebrated Dad's last weekend (concurrent with Father's Day) and we'll do Katie's this weekend. Dad's was fun - we went to Port Townsend and hung out in a park and threw frisbees. We even had a bunch of little boys come and ask if they could play, so we taught them how to throw frisbees too. We are none of us any good at it, so our teaching may not have been productive, but we had a good time.

- I have been reading some Marvel comics. Mostly Daredevil, which I am thoroughly enjoying, but I'm also rereading Alias. Which was the first Marvel comic I ever read, probably around 10 years ago. I enjoyed it then but I think I'm getting more out of it now since, y'know, I know who some of the other character are. (My exposure to Marvel comics prior to the MCU consisted of a few cartoons, Alias, a friends continuing to try to get me interested in the X-Men. Protip: this has never worked.)

- In other, more ridiculous comics news, I'm gonna talk about Fourth World things. So, as you may know, one of the fannish things I do is make fanmixes. Mostly just for me, as they are always mildly ridiculous. I have an Apokolips fanmix, because of course I do, have you met me? It's pretty good (though there's at least one song on there that's tonally wrong but I keep it because it makes me giggle.) I keep thinking I should try to make a New Genesis fanmix and then I realize that all the songs I want to put on the New Genesis fanmix are absurd. Seriously, among the songs that would definitely be on the mix are In Time from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, We Don't Need Another Hero from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Donovan's Universal Soldier. I'm not even kidding.

( - No, man, We Don't Need Another Hero is actually a wonderful Mister Miracle song, you don't even understand, it is perfect. I have this whole big incoherent explanation for this, which includes tangents into how Scott is the ultimate embodiment of the Life Equation because of his absurd domestic sitcom life, comparing Scott and Orion's respective destinies, and also ranting about how everything involving the New Gods post-Flashpoint is wrong and terrible*, but I will spare you. No one actually needs to listen to me talk about Fourth World. There's a lot of flailing involved. Scott just wants to get beyond Thunderdome, you guys!)

- These are all pretty happy things, but I am actually currently kinda depressed. I mean, I will still absolutely do the animated flailing about Thunderdome thing, but there's kind of a grey flatness underneath it, which sucks. I mean, I'm pretty sure it will eventually go away but, y'know. There we are. Oh well.

- I think I will now go read more comics.

*It continues to be wrong and terrible and yet I keep reading it, what is wrong with me?
darchildre: servalan in a white dress holding a red flower against a black starfield (servalan)
Y'know how, sometimes, you'll be thinking about a particular fictional setting for a while and you get stuck on some completely irrelevant question about world building that there's no real canon evidence for one way or another, and you have no actual need to know but you kinda really want to anyway?

Yeah. That has been my brain today. The completely irrelevant question of the day is: "Do people on Apokolips have paper?"

Because I am ridiculous.
darchildre: text only:  "unlimited rice pudding!" (daleks are silly)
Here is a completely ridiculous complaint about current DC comics*:

So, it may not be entirely evident because I don't talk about it as much as I do the Flash, but I have sort of a New Gods thing. I don't know how that happened, one day I found myself reading Jack Kirby comics from the 70's and now you can basically get me to read just about anything by telling me that Metron or Orion or Desaad** is in it. (It's a little bit of a problem because do you know how much ridiculous stuff Darkseid is in? So frelling much. Usually, when I try to read everything a character's been in, it ends up being someone like the second Captain Boomerang, where that's actually doable.) The New Gods are absurd in all possible ways, but they are also amazing and I love them. (Part of this is because 70's Jack Kirby is so stupidly quotable. Like you don't want to yell things like, "I am the tiger-force at the core of all things!" at people.)

And now, okay, the nu52. Darkseid is all over the place, Orion and Highfather and Metron are around, we've seen Scott and Barda and Kalibak, Desaad is over on Earth 2. Hell, we brought back Glorious Godfrey.*** But as far as I can tell - and the internet confirms my impressions - we have yet to see any sign of Granny Goodness. Which is just a crime. I mean, all of the New Gods stuff in the nu52 is a mess, absolutely - I feel like no one quite knows what to do with them - but the lack of Granny Goodness and her terrifying orphanages just makes me sad.

DC comics, don't you love your Granny?

*Okay, there are a lot of things to complain about regarding current DC comics, all of which are much more serious than this, I admit that. I also admit that, for the most part, I am currently really enjoying all of the comics I read, which are 90% DC. Also, the first issue of the new Secret Six came out this week and I haven't stopped being happy about it yet.

**He is a squirrelly evil toady guy in a purple robe who is literally the god of torture. Of course he is my favorite. Yes, I feel suitably ashamed.

***This is not a complaint. I love Glorious Godfrey.
darchildre: clark kent drinking cocoa with his mom (cocoa with the kents)
Mom: So, I'm going over to Seattle today to hang with my sister, and we're going to meet up with Dad and Granny and Megan and Katie for dinner. Do you want to come over on the ferry and meet us?

Me: Y'know, as long as no one will be hurt, I really think I'd rather stay here and have a quiet day.

Mom: Oh, that's fine. You should do something fun for dinner yourself - order a pizza or Chinese or something.

Me: ...oooh, I could roast vegetables! I have a recipe I've been meaning to try.

And then I realized that I actually am an adult. Yup.
darchildre: sam beckett rocking out.  text:  "complete and utter dorkmuffin" (dorkmuffin)
One of the great things about working at the library is that there will inevitably come a time when a patron will come in and want to gush at you about a book that they just read and thoroughly enjoyed. And it will be a book that you also read once and completely loved and now feel a little embarrassed about because maybe it wasn't actually all that good and was kinda silly but still, love. And you can talk about it with that patron and they will understand.

By which I mean: yes, new patron who mostly uses the computers but has just started placing holds, please come back soon and talk to me about how awesome Raistlin Majere is, that would be great.
darchildre: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
So, we have a lot of Star Wars books aimed at beginning readers, because 75% of all small children* love Star Wars.

Which is cool! But it leads to situations like the one going on not ten feet from me right now, where well-meaning grandparents who have no knowledge of Star Wars read the books aloud to their grandchildren and have no idea how to pronounce things.

It is taking all of my restraint not to interrupt and tell her how to pronounce Tatooine.

*Or, at least, 75% of the small children I encounter in the library. Are children in other places obsessed with Star Wars?
darchildre: Tiny Captain Cold shooting a water pistol (let's go shoot some zombies)
The thing is, I was on steam the other day because I have a new computer that will actually play some of the games I want to play (I am finally playing Mass Effect!) and they had that DC Universe Online thing that you can play for free. And I am weak for DC comics, so I installed it, thinking that if I hated it, I would not have spent any money.

And then I spent several hours today designing a character with ice powers, superspeed*, and a kicky little yellow skirt, and then wandering around Gotham beating up police officers. Because if you can play a DC MMORPG as the Golden Glider, why the hell wouldn't you? My only regret is that I couldn't give her ice skates.

Flash villains = still the best.

*No, Glider doesn't have superspeed. But you have to pick a movement type and the other two are "flight" and "acrobatics". Since there is no option for "generates a gravity-defying ice flow with her own skates", I chose superspeed because it's at least thematically appropriate.
darchildre: a mad scientist lady doing mad science (malita is doing SCIENCE)
In which being a horror film weirdo probably makes me irritatingly pedantic:

A patron was explaining The Walking Dead to my coworker - "And these aren't like old fashioned zombies like in 1945."

And I thought, "Well, no, because 1945 is pre-Romero and most of the zombies in films were loosely based on badly understood voodoo legends, rather than blaming the zombies on a viral or vague supernatural agent. Also, in 1945, the Hays Code was still very much in effect, so of course you wouldn't be able to have the sort of gutmunching you can get away with today. Incidentally, did you know that 1945 saw the release of a film starring Bela Lugosi entitled Zombies on Broadway?"

And that is why it's a good thing that she was having the conversation with my coworker and not with me.
darchildre: hawaiian shirt!harvey.  text:  "margaritas & hallucinations for all!" (kill her. then we'll have pizza.)
One of our frequent patrons just walked into the library and asked us what was different. As far as I know, we've rearranged nothing since he was in last week, but he insisted that the library looked different.

I said, "Maybe it's like The Prisoner and we've moved the whole library to the Village."

I do not think he got the reference (because I tend to forget that not everyone has seen The Prisoner and that making jokes about the Village really only works for people who have). I think, in fact, that I made the whole experience that much more surreal.

Which, really, is what The Prisoner is meant to do, so mission accomplished, I guess.

We don't have a giant white death-ball that collects your overdue books, though. Which, now that I think about it, is really a shame.
darchildre: text only:  "Circumlocution:  It's a way of speaking around something.  A digression.  Verbosity." (our little sillinesses of manner)
The thing about sharing computers at work is that sometimes I google things using the search box and forget that I've done so. And then my coworkers come along and use that computer and the search box says things like "dead things extra teeth" and, really, my coworkers think I'm weird enough as it is.
darchildre: a cybermat!  text:  "grar!  i'm a scary monster!" (grar!  I'm a scary monster!)
So, one of my coworkers is getting a new cat. And this conversation ensued.

Coworker 1: You know how it is - we just stopped into the Humane Society for a quick look and bam! Now we have a new cat.

Coworker 2: Oh, things like that are so dangerous! Whenever I go to the pet store to pick up dog food, they're having an adoption event and I have to tell myself that I can't even glance at the puppies.

Me: Man, I know. Every time I walk into a pet store, it take about 2 minutes before I start thinking about how I want to take all of the rats home.

Coworker 1: ...

Coworker 2: ...

Me: And the ferrets!

Coworker 1: That never happens to me.

I have always wanted a rat, you guys, and never owned one. They are so adorable, with their little beady eyes and tiny grabby paws!

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: green ultra magnified bacteria.  text:  "their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold." (what man knows kadath?)
So, I was having breakfast and I thought to myself that it would be fun to spend the evening after work playing Arkham Horror, since there's no one else in the house to be annoyed by my game taking up the whole of the kitchen table for several hours. Then I thought that I should go ahead and set it up this morning, so I won't have to do that after work, because the game takes a goodly amount of time to set up and I had a new expansion I wanted to incorporate.

It took me half an hour to lay the game out on the table with all the pieces. I swear to god, setting up Arkham Horror is in itself some sort of arcane act of summoning. I'm pretty sure if you did it exactly right, you could actually use the board to contact an Elder God.
darchildre: cooper and truman looking interested and somewhat skeptical (cooper and truman)
Yesterday, I watched the first couple episode of Ripper Street. Which is a police procedural set in Victorian London, in Whitechapel, a few months after the last of the Ripper murders, during which people are Inventing Forensics. So, y'know, that's right up my alley.

Now, of course, my brain being what it is, I kinda want some sort of historical true crime about Inventing Forensics and the Evolution of Policing. And, since there is a part of my brain that is still stuck on Les Miserables*, I am horribly tempted to try to read Vidocq.

I am pretty sure that is a bad idea.

*Which, yes, I still haven't finished. Look, Javert died and I told myself that I got to take a break to digest that, and then a week or so passed and I realized that I was stuck with no one but Valjean in full-on martyr mode, Cosette, and Marius Pontmercy, King of Goobers. I have not been able to face it yet.

I am going to finish the damn book, though. Eventually.
darchildre: text only:  "unlimited rice pudding!" (daleks are silly)
Sometimes, when I get my pull list from Midtown Comics, they have thrown in a random free comic in order to entice me to subscribe. I got one this week called Masks, which is about various pulp-era characters teaming up to fight crime and government corruption which, I'm not going to lie, I thought was pretty awesome. Because I love pulp. So well played, Midtown Comics.

Anyway. One of the characters in the comic was the Green Hornet. Which means I am now going to tell you a rambling anecdote about my childhood.

When I was little, I was a huge fan of the Adam West Batman show. It was pretty much my first ever introduction to superheroes and I loved it. It was funny, it was exciting, it was ridiculous, sometimes the heroes were almost killed by giant cakes. It was great. My sister Megan was also a fan. (She liked Robin, I liked the Penguin. Yeah, I don't know either. He had a purple top hat and a cigarette holder! I have liked certain things from a very young age.) We watched it every chance we got.

Batman came on in a block of similar shows, like Wonder Woman and Green Hornet. So we often ended up watching those as well, though not as often. Green Hornet and Kato actually appeared on Batman at one point and got turned into giant postage stamps. Because that is the kind of show Batman was. You'd get commercials for the other shows during Batman and the channel had a kind of goofy vibe and would sometimes make weird little commercials sort of making fun of the shows. One of those commercials made up words to the Green Hornet theme song. (I'm pretty sure that, for a while, Megan thought those were the real words to the Green Hornet theme song.)

Fifty percent of the time, I cannot remember the name of the woman who sits next to me in choir, but I am going to remember the made up words to the Green Hornet theme song until I die. And they have been stuck in my head from the moment I opened that comic and realized that the Green Hornet was in it. Alas, I cannot find that commercial anywhere on youtube and it may only be Megan and I who remember it, but here are the words:

He's the Greeeen Hornet,
Alias publisher Britt Reid.
He fights criiiime with cool gadgets.
Look out for his hornet's sting!

His butler's named Kato.
He's also his chauffeur.
He driiives the Black Beauty.
Watch him make that motor sing!

There are so many other things I could be devoting those brain cells to, but no. Green Hornet theme song. Now you can sing it too. Enjoy.
darchildre: cooper and truman looking interested and somewhat skeptical (cooper and truman)
Terrible impulses I have:

Obviously, everyone is well within their rights to make their own choices in the areas of clothing, footwear, etc. However. When it is cold enough that I am wearing a sweater and pair of wool socks under my black stompy boots, and people walk into the library wearing flip-flops, I will admit that there is always a little voice in the back of my head yelling, "Put some actual frelling shoes on!"

I don't actually say this outloud. But I almost always think it.


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

June 2016



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