04 May 2014 @ 04:41 pm
Of knitting, blocking, and tasselled things.  
I finished my second major knitting project today, this shawl. This is the first time that I'd blocked anything I knitted, and I'm rather taken with the result. It went from something much smaller and slightly curly to this:

The finished product with tassels looks like this:

Everything I knit turns out about only about 2/3rds the size it's supposed to be, so I still have a long way to go. My stitches are also not as even as they could be, and my first squat puffy attempt at tassels also does nothing to compliment this very light lacy shawl. I'm doing a second one for myself right now. 
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
16 October 2013 @ 06:56 pm
Rec: Real Humans  
In a future Sweden, robots are becoming more and more wildly used for everyday tasks from heavy lifting to manual labour to elder and child care to, predictably, sex work. Humans treat them as you'd expect them to treat humanoid-shaped beings they consider to have no emotions. Some rebel robots organise an uprising with the help of a human which two families and their hubots become entangled with.

The concept seems similar to Blade Runner and Dollhouse, but way better than the latter. You see, a major difference is that the people in this show are seriously well-rounded characters who actually talk to each other and communicate. It focuses on the stories of the hubots and what they do rather than what is done to them in as much sexualised violent detail as possible. You actually grow to know and care for the characters, and these are lots and lots of competent, multi-faceted and believable characters! Female characters! With their own story arcs! And although sex bots are a thing and were mentioned, their nudity was not particularly sexualised, there have been no depictions of violent rape (so far...? Some characters have definitely been discussing their intent), though the 'bots have been sexually assaulted and beaten.

There are random chubby lesbian pastors! Competent female lawyers! Daughters who are also competent and do stuff! And who walk around in clothes that I can actually picture wearing myself! Comfortable shoes! Depictions of domestic violence that aren't sexualised! Come to that, lesbian sex that isn't sexualised! Old people dating!

Actually, there are no good reasons not to watch this series, and I am very impressed with Swedish TV right now.

Real Humans
Female characters: ★★★★★
Male characters: ★★★★☆
Queer characters: ★★★★☆
Entertainment value: ★★★★★
Violence: murder, physical violence, sexual harassment, mentions of sexual abuse, implied rape (non-graphic up to episode 5), domestic violence, animal death.
Notable -isms: sexism, ableism, homophobia.
Current Mood: excited
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
26 August 2013 @ 10:55 am
Small Tortoiseshell  
The peppermint's in bloom!

Our butterflies like the flowers, too. Yesterday, three small tortoiseshells came to visit.

Small Tortoiseshell and Mystery Moth )

EDIT: Some of the pictures didn't show up at first, re-added them. Also, here's a picture of a spider family: Click!
Current Mood: okay
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
18 August 2013 @ 06:57 pm
Roasted Butternut Squash  
A discovery I made in Wales thanks to the Co-op's lunch deals and their boxed-up salads.

That colour alone! And mixed with beetroot, it doesn't only look great but is also delicious and goes well with any kind of salad. We tossed it together with some couscous and arugula and that was very tasty.

Current Mood: full
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
20 May 2013 @ 02:48 am
Book: Scriber  

Ben S. Dobson, Scriber
A Fantasy story about medically trained historian Scriber Dennon Lark who is living in the country after destroying a priceless religious artefact and losing the trust of the Academy. When people under a zombie-like-influence attack several villages, Cpt. Bryndine Errynson fetches him to investigate the past of their kingdom and the origin of the strange influence.
I have not finished this book yet, but I'm in love. Bryndine is a miracle. She is a strong, masculine, tall, a trained soldier, gruff and vulnerable and amazing. Both characters are flawed and I can't remember when I've been as impressed by a character as I am by Bryndine, though presented with burly soldier girls whom the author doesn't instantly turn into someone wanting to bone the male lead I'm easy to please and quite excitable. And this book is not too expensive, the Kindle edition comes at under $4!
Current Music: Guided by Voices: Queen of Cans and Jars
Current Mood: hopeful
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
11 May 2013 @ 10:06 pm
Book rec: Gossamer Axe  

Gael Baudino: Gossamer Axe
An Irish mortal-turned-immortal harpist-turned-guitarists forms a Heavy Metal band to rescue her lover from the realm of the Sidhe.
When I first heard the premise for this book I found it hard to take seriously. It sounded heard to pull off, to say the least. And yet, Gael Baudino somehow does it. Yes, the book becomes a bit preachy at times and silly at others, but it mostly works, and she always pulls it back so that it does. The main character is thoroughly enjoyable because she is competent, confident, and purposeful in what she does. The biggest hit with me was the author's music theory framework for her magic system, it's not often that you read about anyone using phrygian mode anymore.
Current Music: Yngwie J. Malmsteen - Black Star
Current Location: Germany, Bremen
Current Mood: surprised
17 February 2013 @ 01:46 am
Wolfy stories  
Periodically, I browse the internet in search for werewolf books. Most of what I find reads like a PSA for why it's a great idea to stay with an abusive partner ("Not his fault that he turns into a werewolf, it's the curse! He's not himself! It's just his violent nature that wants out!") or porn (really lulzy porn).

Female werewolves are far and few between, and they're often either porn stars, or sidekicks to male werewolf love interests (hi Leah), or exotic monsters for male heroes to sleep with (I suppose even Angua, my favourite female werewolf, falls into this category).

There are exceptions, of course, but the last werewolf stories I read - Patricia S. Briggs novels and Gill McNight's lesbian werewolf oeuvre - have left me rather underwhelmed. So I went looking and added these to my books-to-search-at-the-library-pile:

  • Helen Kate (aka She-Wolf)'s Wolf-Girls. An anthology exploring a variety of female werewolf stories. I don't like short stories, but this one has been on my list for a while. This I won't find at the library, but it's available as a not too expensive ebook, though I don't use my slow ebook reader unless forced to.

  • Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series. I'm trepidatious about this series mostly because of their covers, but the main character appears to be a female werewolf, so why not.

  • Naomi Clark's Silver Kiss. This one has lesbian werewolves in a world in which werewolves and humans know about each other.

  • Martin Millar's Lonely Werewolf Girl. It has an eccentric self-harming teenager as the main character. Why not.

  • Allison Moon's Lunatic Fringe about a College group of feminist werewolves sounds a bit choppy, but both FeministFantasy and She-Wolf were ok with it, so why not give it a whirl.

I am also reminded to put Ash and Huntress by Malinda Lo on my to-buy-list. And possibly The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer.

I'm grateful for any wolfy recs that you have! 
Current Mood: sleepy
Current Location: Bremen
Current Music: Howl - Florence + the Machine
10 June 2012 @ 11:15 pm
Shameless dA Plug  
If you are on DeviantArt and love HP witches, please consider joining 

It's a new community (and as yet in need of another co-mod, too) dedicated to the lovely witches of the Harry Potter series, especially the adults. There are of course also plenty of other great Yuri groups who have a lot of lovely art showing teenaged witches from the series, but I couldn't find one specifically for adult witches. So here is one. 
19 February 2012 @ 10:22 pm
I'm usually late with recs and such, so scroll past if you have seen these already. 

1. Tigerbeatdown: "G. R. R. Martin is creepy" - putting into words what I've thought about the series for years. It's one of the series that I get as 24/7 kinkster Fantasy series, but not as mainstream Fantasy without the niche SSC context or a warning label. 

2. If you haven't updated your knowledge in 2009 what you learned about female reproductive anatomy at school is probably outdated and not as awesome as reality

3. McGonagall and Umbridge, a new piece by ~ehay. Her Minerva's cheekbones are as delightful as ever. 

4. If you haven't already, check out The Half-Life by *Sigune, a watercolour portrait of Snape. 

5. Though I'm not a Snarry fan I can recommend Cordiality and comfort of my new home, which has amazing light. 

6. ~LadyMacbeth1755 has the four heads of houses as silhouettes here

7. I'm late with this rec, but if you haven't already, drop everything and read In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning by [ profile] atdelphi, which is hauntingly beautiful and powerful. 
04 February 2012 @ 07:48 pm
Humble Bundle and rec!  
Firstly, I'd like to recommend the HumbleBundle to everybody who likes indie games out there. It's an awesome concept - you purchase a collection of indie titles and support the bundle's developers as well as Child's Play Charity at the same time - at a price you set yourself. You can give as much as you want and get the games and support whichever party with an amount you can set yourself, too. According to the site most people give around $6, though the games purchased individually would cost about $25. 
This time, they're offering a bundle which includes World of Goo, which is a fun game with a very enticing art style and a cool physics engine. Since this is a game that 90% of its users play illegally I'm happy about this because it's bound to support this cool little thing and might make more people purchase it and support not only the publishers, but also charity! 

Secondly, I'd like to invite everybody to look at this, because it's amazing: 

The Prince's Tale - Animation
by *RandomMumble on deviantART

Now I'm going to bundle up in a blanket again and drink some more ginger water. Thanks for the recipe, Tetley, it's a miracle cure. 
Current Location: Northern Ice Wastes, Germany
Current Mood: cold
13 October 2011 @ 08:26 pm
Art Recs: SSMM  
This is a fairly unorganised collection of really great SSMM pieces I really like, and mostly a [ profile] calicogoat fanpost. Some of them are quite old and you've probably seen them all already, I'm also not very articulate in my fondness for these amazing pieces and they deserve a better introduction than my uncoordinated squeeing, but they're all worth checking out. 

One: Duellers )

Two: Losses )

Three: Lovers. By ~Calicogoat.  )

Also noteworthy is ~hellanim's  beautiful 12 Pictures from Snape's Life in beautiful monochromes with a dash of red and ~calicogoat's Flight of the Goldfinch which has Minerva and Severus battling a dragon on a flying machine and what could be more awesome than that?
Current Mood: awake
14 June 2011 @ 07:42 pm
Peppermint brownies  
Bake these.

They're not difficult to make and they're absolutely fantastic.

Unless you don't like peppermint, and if you don't like peppermint, well.
Current Mood: full
08 June 2011 @ 12:40 am
OMG! ♥  
Just when I thought this day was bad and would stay bad I found the [ profile] close_contrast masterlist full of SS/MM goodness, which includes a beautiful piece by [ profile] sigune .

This one is called "Unspoken": Between Headmaster Snape and his Deputy Headmistress, what is essential remains unspoken."

I'm always incredibly excited when she's drawn something new because her art always speaks volumes with such precise, efficient means, if that makes sense. She has a way of capturing the expressions so beautifully, and their clothing style and the furniture she's shown them on is just perfect for them.

So. Perfect.

(There are so many fics which look promising over there and at [ profile] hp_beholder , I'm really missing out unless I head over there this weekend.)
Current Mood: bouncy
14 April 2011 @ 06:16 pm
Die unendliche Geschichte  
Nothing new on the hospital front, so I've resorted to a family remedy to hard times: books by Michael Ende.

I had always suspected that it must be hard to do justice to Michael Ende's prose, but until I discovered the audiobook I never realised how trite things can sound in English that are so beautiful in German.

However, some parts are still remarkably well done.

"Wer niemals ganze Nachmittage lang mit glühenden Ohren und verstrubbeltem Haar über einem Buch saß und las und las und die Welt um sich her vergaß, nicht mehr merkte, daß er hungrig wurde oder fror -

Wer niemals heimlich beim Schein einer Taschenlampe unter der Bettdecke gelesen hat, weil Vater oder Mutter oder sonst irgendeine besorgte Person einem das Licht ausknipste mit der gutgemeinten Begründung, man müsse jetzt schlafen, da man doch morgen so früh aus den Federn sollte -

Wer niemals offen oder im geheimen bitterliche Tränen vergossen hat, weil eine wunderbare Geschichte zu Ende ging und man Abschied nehmen mußte von den Gestalten, mit denen man gemeinsam so viele Abenteuer erlebt hatte, die man liebte und bewunderte, um die man gebangt und für die man gehofft hatte, und ohne deren Gesellschaft einem das Leben leer und sinnlos schien -

Wer nichts von alledem aus eigener Erfahrung kennt, nun, der wird wahrscheinlich nicht begreifen können, was Bastian jetzt tat."

And the English version: 
"If you have never spent whole afternoons with burning ears and rumpled hair, forgetting the world around you over a book, forgetting cold and hunger--

If you have never read secretly under the bedclothes with a flashlight, because your father or mother or some other well-meaning person has switched off the lamp on the plausible ground that it was time to sleep because you had to get up so early--

If you have never wept bitter tears because a wonderful story has come to an end and you must take your leave of the characters with whom you have shared so many adventures, whom you have loved and admired, for whom you have hoped and feared, and without whose company life seems empty and meaningless--

If such things have not been part of your own experience, you probably won't understand what Bastian did next."
Drives me nuts that they call the place "Fantastica", though. Why change that name?
Current Mood: blank
05 February 2011 @ 11:14 pm
Repost: Art: Persephone's Pamianthe (Pomona Sprout, Madam Rosmerta, G.)  
Title: Persephone's Pamianthe
Pairing: Pomona/Rosmerta
Rating: G
Credits: gvalkyrie's Suddenly Spring brush for the flower, dollfie-chan's Snowflake brushes for the snowflakes, and Tempting-Resources's Sparkle brushes for the sparkles and the smaller snowflakes.

Read more... )

"Let's not give each other anything," the landlady had said to her that December and Pomona had agreed. She knew that Madam Rosmerta felt winter like an ache, trying her best to cover-up the gloom with the bustle that running The Three Bromsticks provided, keeping herself busy as best she could.
A flower, though, Pomona mused, was not a gift, not really. They grew where they pleased, and even if one as impressive as the Persephone's Pamianthe might have been guided in its choice where to take root and flower by a well-meaning witch, it could never really be given.

Gift for [ profile] therealsnape, who wrote the most beautiful Pomona/Rosmerta fic and is a great person all around. 

This is a repost because the original post somehow was eaten. 
Current Mood: confused
23 December 2010 @ 07:46 pm
Are You A Kissing Book? Part II  
It seems that the best chance of finding books about women without love plots is when searching among YA novels and historical novels involving royal, crossdressing characters hell-bent on learning how to fight, as long as they can keep their hands off servants and mentors, that is. Not entirely surprising, but sad.

The books below, judging by summaries and reviews, have good chances of not containing love plots.
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher's Understood Betsy - orphan Elizabeth Ann leaves her sheltered city life for a life on her aunt's farm and its various chores, which she rapidly grows to love too much to leave again.
  • Allan Frewin Jones' Warrior Princess series: Branwen, aided by faithful former slave Rhodri, becomes a warrior princess and defends her home and hearth against the Saxons. I'm foreseeing Branwen/Rhodri, but who knows.
  • Astrid Lindgren's Ronja the Robber's Daughter - in spite of her family history, Ronja does not want to become a robber, neither does Birk, the son of her clan's closest enemy. They flee and their families have to work together to find their children.
  • Donna Jo Napoli: Hush. Irish Princess Melkorka and her sister Brigid are sent away for safekeeping when a plot on her family is threatening her life and are captured by Russian slavers instead. They try to keep their royal birth secret by not speaking. Upside: no love plot, downside: gangrape.
  • Rebecca Tingle's version of teen Æthelflæd, The Edge of the Sword. King Alfred's teenaged daughter Æthelflæd is not happy with the prospect of having to marry an older ally of her father, even unhappier with her bodyguard, but learns how to fight and protect those close to her gladly, which soon becomes necessary.
  • Theresa Tomlinson's Wolf Girl. Wulfrun's mother is accused of stealing a neclace and Wulfrun sets out to prove her innocene.
Other loveplot-less books:
  • Michael Ende's Momo- Orphan Momo live s in a ruined amphitheatre. When everyone she loves start falling prey to the Men in Grey and their timesaving bank, she steals their life time back. German classic really eveybody should read.
  • Annika Thor's Sanning eller Konsekvens (Ich hätte nein sagen können)  -Nora doesn't like the way her class, especially rich Fanny, are mobbing big-chested Karen, but finds out to what lengths even she herself will go to get her best friend Sabina back, who is best friends with Fanny these days.
Current Mood: chipper
21 December 2010 @ 11:10 pm
♥ Recs ♥  
In my quest to find loveplotless books about strong heroines an anon, [ profile] therealsnape and [ profile] holyschist came to my aid with these recs: 
  • Anne McCaffrey: Dinosaur Planet series (which, according to the Amazon review section seems to be about a male and a female character who do have some sort of romance plot, though, so I'm not sure I found the right book here), Freedom series (I seem to recall that the main point was the love plot between the male and the female lead in some kind of female slave scenario, but it's too long ago since the friend who read the series told me about this one, so I might be mistaken), and the Harper Hall trilogy (the first of which sounds delightful - a musician and dragons! It seems that only the first two of this trilogy are meant to be for the challenge, though, since the third one is about a male character). 
  • Katherine Kurtz: The Legends of the Camber of Culdi (Camber being an Earl make this rec somewhat of a puzzler for me, though the Deryni series does sound interesting, being "set in a land analogous to medieval Wales" with magic - though maybe Anon meant a specific volume, like In the King's Service, for example, which appears to be about an Alyce); Legacy of Lehr which I think I remember seeing at some point during my my cat phase. 
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley: Darkover novels centered around the Renunciates, basically  -the Renunciates being a group of matriarchic Amazons who revolted against the norms of their feudal society. Not being familiar with the Darkover series I'm not sure I could understand later instalments without prior knowledge, though. I'll try to get hold of the books from one of the MZB completist I know. Anyway, the recs: Hawkmistress!, The Shattered Chain, it's sequels Thendara House and City of Sorcery.
  • Ellen Kushner's The Privilege of the Sword - coming-of-age story about Katherine becoming a swordsmistress and coming to terms with the intrigues and plots at her uncle's court.
  • ? Tanya Huff's Valor books - military space opera on an infantry division from a staff sergeant's PoV. - Valor's Choice does have the heroine falling in lust with her Lt. at the very beginning of the book in a scene reminiscent of the Grey's Anatomy pilot and keeps having romantic thoughts about the superior under her care throughout the book, so I don't think this qualifies.
  • Karen Cushman's medieval YA  (like Midwife's Apprentice - Alys, née Beetle is apprenticed to a midwife )
  • Cindy Pon's Silver Phoenix - Ai Ling goes on a quest to free her father and find her destiny after discovering she is telepathic.
  • Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan - alternate history version of WWI - fleeing prince Aleksander's and dressed-as-a-boy airman Deryn Sharpe's paths cross and they experience the outbreak of WWI. Not solely about a female character, but the book alternates between their views. 
  • Marie Rutkowski's Cabinet of Wonders - Petra Kronos goes on a quest to Prague to get her father's stolen eyes back.
Current Mood: excited
25 September 2010 @ 10:45 am
Non-kissing books  
Back-dated list of books about female characters without love plots (which, again, as this seems to be fairly confusing for people, doesn't mean that all other books are bad, just that these books are rare, what with love plots generally being shoe-horned into everything about female characters that aren't either pre-pubescent or menopausal).
  • Agatha Christie's Mrs Marple novels - at least I don't remember any love plots, though it's been a while since I read these novels on my favourite spinster detective. If this is true, then probably also Anne Hart's The Life and Times of Miss Jane Marple, a compilation of information about this character compiled from Christie's novels.
  • Michael Ende's Momo- Orphan Momo live s in a ruined amphitheatre. When everyone she loves start falling prey to the Men in Grey and their timesaving bank, she steals their life time back. German classic really eveybody should read.
  • Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch series,. A beloved series of children's book about the many adventures of Mildred Hubble, who is the worst witch at her school.
  • Annika Thor's Sanning eller Konsekvens (Ich hätte nein sagen können)  -Nora doesn't like the way her class, especially rich Fanny, are mobbing big-chested Karen, but finds out to what lengths even she herself will go to get her best friend Sabina back, who is best friends with Fanny these days.
Current Mood: cheerful
08 April 2010 @ 08:00 pm
Class without chairs  
I'm going to teach my fidgety students in a room without chairs tomorrow, since they find it so hard to sit still and learn better standing up. I'm curious about how that'll work out - all of them said that when they study at home, they don't do so at their desk but while walking about. I'm curious as to whether this will be applicable to larger groups, too - I know for a fact that part of the reason why some of these kids stop being able to concentrate at some point is because they simply can't sit any longer, and I don't see a disadvantage to having them walk about the room while teaching or have them stand while writing as long as they pay attention. My reading backs this up, too. Should be interesting.

Also, I'm having a lot of fun in the Groups on DA right now, and my day was made when I discovered the picture below, drawn by ~nattherat, the best Worst Witch artist on that site.


Not only does she manage to capture the style of the books perfectly, she's also a fan of Ms Hardbroom AND Drill/Hardbroom.
My day is made.
Current Mood: busy
04 April 2010 @ 04:21 pm
EDIT:  [ profile] lordhellebore 's post just reminded me: Happy Easter, everyone! I hope you're having a great weekend.

Unlike Hellebore's Flist, I'm in OMG! mood not because of Easter, but because of Dragons and Vikings ♥. I don't know how I could have possibly missed this, but I learned only yesterday about the existence of "How To Train Your Dragon", the movie and the books. Male character and obvious annoyances aside, I'm incredibly excited about this. Even though the main dragon looks like a cross between a cat and a tadpole, what's up with that?

Still. There are Vikings!!, and someone on the giant love-fest that is DeviantArt told me there was going to be a shieldmaiden. Yes, she's most likekly going to be female action heroine stock, I know, but I like to think that that'll be counteracted by the awesomeness of Vikings.

Vikings. And dragons. I've already heard that whoever did the runes in that movie ought to have read up on them properly and not used English spelling, and how did someone raised by two guys with fake Hoot's Mon Scots get an American accent...?

Still. Vikings.

and cats tadpoles Stitch dragons!!
Current Mood: excited
28 March 2010 @ 11:20 pm
Filling in Forms  
Sometimes I suspect that my main reason for hoping I'll find a job as soon as possible come June is that I'll get around filing for state support. There are no words for how scared I am of those forms, filling in those forms some wrong way, getting things wrong in general.

They always make me seriously need cheering up, so I looked at funny HP comics on DA and tried to cheer myself up reading the "Help with Life " forum (short version of one of my favourite threads today: you're suicidal? Get your lazy ass to a gym already!).

I'm a big fan of ~ProtoWilson's comics which have Snape and a very short angry arts teacher OC insert (example here), which never fail to cheer me up.

Oh, and *rufftoon's Reality Shift strips, which are also awesome (the first one is here.)

Now I wish those forms would just either magically fill in themselves or dissolve...
19 February 2010 @ 11:43 pm
Excitingly, there's a free-for-all post on [ profile] isurrendered , a community that I've been reading avidly during the last couple of days and I decided to submit these prompts: 
  • A political drama/musical series about the Sängerkrieg
  • A soap/crime series set in the Icelandic Commonwealth
  • A series about werewolf detectives
I'd really love to see someone picking up one of these.
Tags: , ,
Current Mood: busy
14 February 2010 @ 11:43 pm
Addictive things  
So things aren't going too great with my exam preparations and I'm scared stiff (lack of concentration being a major factor here - I blame the meds), but at least I discovered what I think are good hues to use for skin colours. I realise her nose is weird, her shoulders are broader than my bishie!Severus' (because I can't do human anatomy), and the background shows that I ran out of patience and motivation, but I'm new to this stuff, and considering that I last seriously drew something in 2001 before the dog and the dragon the other day I'm hugely inflated with pride here.

Severus and Minerva patrolling the dungeons

Another thing that has me in raptures today was reading through [ profile] isurrendered , which everybody needs in their lives and ought to consider watching. It's a community which this meme spawned:
1. Comment to this post with "I surrender!" and I'll assign you the basis of some TV show idea. (Science fiction show, medical drama, criminal procedure, etc...)
2. Create a cast of characters, including the actors who'd play them
3. Add in any actor photos, character bios and show synopsis that you want.
4. Post to your own journal this community!"
The submissions are all so awesome I'm sad they don't exist IRL - they have the most interesting plots, great characters, surprisingly gender- and race-balanced casts and seem to have spawned their own fandoms and fanfics already. I might go back and do recs for individual shows on there, but everybody needs to check this out for themselves, anyway. 
Current Mood: unimpressed with myself
27 December 2009 @ 05:57 pm
Book recommendations!  
The post I made recently on my qualms with the difficulties many Fantasy writers seem to experience while writing female characters resulted in most amazing recommendations from the community I posted it in.

I thought I'd share:

SF/F books which feature convincing female characters )
... good thing I got a gift certificate for Amazon for Christmas. I don't even know what to buy first. I'll probably start with checking the library for what they yield.

If you have read a Fantasy book, novel or otherwise, which had a particularly convincing female character, please do comment here.
I'm really curious as to what people have read and liked when it comes to strong and/or convincing female characters.
Current Mood: cheerful
22 December 2009 @ 06:35 pm
I discovered this in this review of Precious, the movie based on Sapphire's novel Push (which is excellent, but I haven't found the time to review it yet) and just wanted to share, because it is hilarious and reminded me of rather too many movies I watched in the past:

Tags: ,
Current Mood: amused
22 December 2009 @ 03:10 pm
Day 22  
Day 01 → Your favourite song
Day 02 → Your favourite movie
Day 03 → Your favourite television program
Day 04 → Your favourite book
Day 05 → Your favourite quote
Day 06 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 → A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 → A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 → A photo you took
Day 10 → A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 → A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 → A fictional book
Day 14 → A non-fictional book
Day 15 → A fanfic
Day 16 → A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 → An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 → A talent of yours
Day 21 → A recipe

Day 22 → A website

The Pensieve.

The place where I met most of my dear flist, the place where Crocky and I shared our love for HP-related things online.

Day 23 → A YouTube video
Day 24 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 → Your day, in great detail
Day 26 → Your week, in great detail
Day 27 → This month, in great detail
Day 28 → This year, in great detail
Day 29 → Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 → Whatever tickles your fancy
Current Mood: nostalgic
27 May 2009 @ 02:46 pm
Backdated boring food post: sweet stuff  
I fell in love with these cookies which I found on this blog here. They're not fat free as I couldn't get hold of prune puree, and I used (again) only half the sugar advised in the recipe. I don't know what it is with recipes, in particular vegan recipes, why they go overboard with the use of sweeteners. The same is true for the use of dairy and fat in non-vegan recipes, and I usually cross-reference recipes to find the lowest common denominator.

I'm baking these for the sewing marathon next Tuesday. One brave girl from Crocky's theatre troupe has agreed to hem the costumes in the institute's student café that day, and she asked for company. I was going to go for muffins, but it's easier to prepare enough of these and they're tasty. I'll try to get them more chewy until then, though.

When Crocky and I went shopping on Tuesday we cracked an egg and decided to make banana pancakes with cinnamon, cocoa and sugar. I am curious whether there's a vegan alternative to the eggs in pancakes. I suspect it's probably baking powder, but I can't imagine the consistency'd stay the same. Huh. 

Banana pancakes consist of your basic pancake mixture of choice (in our case a small egg, 100mg flour, 100ml milk) and a puréd banana. No sugar, as the banana is sweet enough, although we did sprinkle some sugar on top in the end.
26 May 2009 @ 06:49 pm
Pureblood watch  
As linked by [ profile] bronnyelsp before, there is an awesome documentary on eight people who believe that they are "English through and through". They agree to have their DNA checked, find that a percentage of their DNA hails from somewhere else, hilarity ensues.

Playlist embedded here )

I'd love to take that test and learn about my genetic history. I suspect that it's mostly Eastern European.

It is so ridiculous that these island dwellers are all so convinced that they are "100% English", and I love how their test subjects all deal with the information that they are not, in fact, "100% English", whatever that means, by trying to explain some part of their identity by their genetic make-up ("Oh, far Eastern, so that's why I like spring rolls!").

I wonder whether that has any long-term effects, if they start feeling a little less hostile towards the particular ethnic group they are descended from. Makes me wish that test was both easily available, 1000% confidential, and required - that should have a positive outcome for some people with skeevy race issues.
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Current Mood: curious
26 May 2009 @ 02:03 pm
Sherbet Lemon  
Well, lemon sorbet, really, no dairy, no eggs.

It's 33°C up here, and I don't want to think about what June will be like.

Feel free to imagine a sprig of fresh mint or the prerequisite eighth of lemon on that rather bland pic. And that I had already refurbished that table, while you're at it.

Recipe )

It's very tasty. Since I work at home, I'm always here, anyway, otherwise I probably wouldn't have bothered, as it does take ages.

Kiwi sorbet is in the making, I'm really curious how that'll turn out.
Current Mood: hot
24 May 2009 @ 12:32 pm
"Fatfree vegan kitchen" blog  
This is more a memo to myself than anything. I found this blog, entitled "Fat free vegan kitchen", while searching for cookie recipes, and not only do their cookies look amazing, they also have a lot of other recipes that look great, like a lentil soup. Must check out the rest.
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Current Mood: cheerful
17 February 2009 @ 11:02 am
There is a site here on which you can upload pictures of you and your partner/friend/Snape to generate a picture of prospective babies.
Good in theory, the programme is about as accurate as the Sims baby generator and has not incorporated even the most basic facts of genetics. When I compared myself to the picture I received after submitting my parents I can't say that it's good for actual baby planning, but it's an excellent toy.

For those who always wondered what Minerva's and Snape's dreamchild would have looked like:

Other offspring of various pairings (MM/SS, RL/SS, RL/NT, SS/LV, SS/PW, SS/PD, SS/LE, HP/GW, HP/DM) )

Edward/Bella )

So, now back to some actual work.
Current Mood: bored
08 February 2009 @ 03:30 pm
Watching Inkheart  
When watching this movie you somohow really realise that it is a US adaptation of an originally German book written by an author who spends most of her time fangirling anglophone Fantasy. I really felt it showed. As always, some time is spent at the beginning of the film making the characters relatable for the US standard viewer. Meggie is turned into what seems to be an American teenager (although that may just be the impression I got of her), she gets the Wizard of Oz to read instead of Peter Pan, and they are OF COURSE not from here, they just travel around a lot to search for a book - and may or may not be American.

Also, the story is set in what appear to be the late eighties, car and clothes-wise, for no particular reason - maybe to make the story more "timeless", but it felt more like "hey, things are backwards in Europe!" to me - and all signs are in English, even in Switzerland. Ten minutes into it, and it seems as though I am too easily offended to enjoy this movie already.

One big advantage is that the names which I found unbearable in my native tongue work for me in English. I don't know why, they're direct translations, but for some reason, “Silvertongue” does not feel as though someone's scraping their nails over a blackboard, “Zauberzunge” does and had me wincing, as well as “Mo”, or “Meggie”. People round here just aren't called like that. Sometimes, it just seems to me that the German author adores anglophone Fantasy and it shows in the books. Some of the names did work for me, Staubfinger is just as good as Dustfinger, for instance.

There are of course massive plot alterations, not all of them are bad. While they don't do the most sensible thing and simply go to the author to get help with obtaining a copy of Inkheart like they do in the book, they do clear up the mother-situation a lot sooner. It was not very surprising when it happened in the book, and shortening that episode makes the film more interesting for me when that part of the plot made me impatient in the books.

Some things were terribly inconsistent, like Meggie spontaneously being able to write stories as well as read people out of them, or Elinor being so completely and utterly useless when in reality she is pretty kick-ass, or the little romance they apparently shoehorned into the story at the very end. Also, I can't shake off the feeling that the movie makers missed the point of the book, the part the reader has in understanding a book and creating a fictional world, there is none or very little of that here apart fromt he skelettal basics of people being able to read characters out of books. It was obvious that they were going to simplify some parts of this already simple series even more.

As in the book, I was rather disappointed that they didn't realise the full potential of being able to read characters out of books and do something more akin to the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny instead of wasting time to read some of the most aggravating characters in the history of Western literature out of books, like Toto, damnit. If you have a villain to dispose of, why go through all the trouble with getting a storm and whatnot if you could just read, I don't know, Superman out of the book and then sit back and watch as he saves the day? Come to think of it, why stop there? Why not get Hercules, or a humongous Mary-Sue or Greek god to help? This is of course not the movie's fault, though.

On the whole, I do like the actors they chose, though, with the possible exception of Brendan Fraser – if they wanted to have someone whose voice is so powerful that he can read characters out of the very pages of a book, I feel that they should have gotten someone who can actually read like that. I love of Pual Bettany's "Mad-Eye Moody Jr." Dustfinger, though, although this may be due to the fact that I love Paul Bettany, period, and I greatly enjoyed watching Andy "Capricorn" Serkis's face. Serkis really brought the movie to life for me, he felt most in character, and he was most interesting to watch.

All in all, it's a very colourful, pretty movie. Too fast paced, and it completely misses the point of the book, but it's pretty. Watching it is also much shorter than reading the book would be, so that's another point in favour. It does not live to the canon original, of course, but adaptations seldom do, the ending especially is an insult in it's cheesiness, but I doubt that can be avoided these days.
Current Mood: relaxed
23 January 2009 @ 11:53 am
Into the Woods  
I did sort of want to go and see the University Player's production of Into the Woods, but [ profile] fourthage's most recent music post made it a definite plan. I didn't know that the musical was that awesome, and I'm really curious to see what the UPs did with it, they are usually so very good.

A user on YouTube has uploaded what appears to be the entire thing - and after watching it I think "Agony" is probably my favourite song so far:

Pity I didn't manage to go this week already, now it'll have to be some time next week, and I have no clue when. It'll be a chaotic week as it is, as I have to go to two office hours that I intended to go to this week already - and could not, because the Professors had come down with the flu and cancelled. Seeing as I want to go to the premier of Crocky's play on Tuesday, I'll have to take a car-sharing-ride at 7am on Wednesday to be in Hamburg by 9am, when the office hour'll begin. And Tuesday, oooh, Tuesday is going to be awesome - go to Hamburg at 9:40am to make it to the office hour at 1pm, then take the train back to attend the premier, which begins at 7:30pm.
Current Mood: bouncy
11 January 2009 @ 09:01 pm
Fantasy Rants  
I discovered something awesome today: Fantasy rants by limyaael on InsaneJournal, and I find myself nodding emphatically while reading a lot.

The collection of IJ memories above is a collection of essays and rants on this my favourite genre, in which she shares some of my main gripes - for example the fact that all queer couples must angst and end in tragedy, the fact that in gender equal societies, males and females both just so happen to take on our traditional gender roles and that things domestic are just not considered to be as important as warfare, the stereotypical, boring use of music in Fantasy, a plea for making heroines more human 3D, or the typical problems which arise when writing about oppression and oppressive socieites (she also includes a part on race and class).

There are a plethora of interesting topics she addresses, this is just a random selection of things that immediately struck me.
Current Mood: geeky
31 December 2008 @ 12:00 pm
The 50 book challenge 2008 masterlist  
... in which I read too much Terry Pratchett for my own good.  This entry is backdated.

★ - I really did not enjoy this book.
★ - Not too bad, not that good either.
- Ok.
- Very decent read.
- Excellent!

  1. Wicked by Gregory Maguire -
  2. Winnie and Wolf by A. N. Wilson -
  3. Benachteiligung gleichgeschlechtlich orientierter Personen und Paare, von Hans P. Buba -
  4. Twilight, by Stephanie Meyer -
  5. Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman -
  6. The Stone Gods, by Jeanette Winterson -
  7. Tintenherz, by Cornelia Funke -
  8. A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian, by Marina Lewycka -
  9. Penguin's Poems for Life, Laura Barber (ed.) -
  10. Art & Lies. A Tale for Three Voices and a Bawd, Jeanette Winterson -
  11. New Moon, by Stephanie Meyer -
  12. Fever Pitch, Nick Hornby -
  13. Imperium, Robert Harris -
  14. Slam, by Nick Hornby -
  15. Pompeii, Robert Harris -
  16. Far from the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy -
    The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  17. Homeland, by R. A. Salvatore -
  18. Mein Herz so weiß,by Xavier Marias (I only half-finished this one, I'm going to finish it in '09)
  19. Reading Lolita in Tehran, by Azar Nafisi -
  20. Middlemarch, by George Eliot -
  21. Eric, or Little by Little, by Frederic William Farrar -
  22. The English Language - a guided tour of the language, by David Crystal -
  23. Drachen, by Joseph Nigg -
  24. Who cares about English Usage?, David Crystal -
  25. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris -
  26. Homoplot - The Coming-Out Story and Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Identity, by Esther Saxey -
  27. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Bad Beginning, Daniel Handler -
  28. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Reptile Room, Daniel Handler -
  29. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Wide Window, Daniel Handler -
  30. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Miserable Mill, by Daniel Handler -
  31. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Austere Academy, by Daniel Handler -
  32. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Ersatz Elevator, by Daniel Handler -
  33. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Vile Village. by Daniel Handler -
  34. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Carnivorous Carnival, by Daniel Handler -
  35. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Slippery Slope, by Daniel Handler -
  36. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Grim Grotto, by Daniel Handler -
  37. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The Penultimate Peril, by Daniel Handler -
  38. A Series of Unfortunate Events - The End, by Daniel Handler -
  39. Herr Lehmann, by Sven Regener -
  40. Slam, by Nick Hornby -
  41. Equal Rites, by Terry Pratchett -
  42. Truckers, by Terry Pratchett -
  43. Diggers, by Terry Pratchett -
  44. Wings, by Terry Pratchett -
  45. Autumn Term, by Antonia Forest -
  46. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, by Muriel Sparks -
  47. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer -
  48. Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence -
  49. Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox, Eoin Colfer -
  50. Monstrous Regiments, Terry Pratchett -
  51. Nation, Terry Pratchett -
  52. Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris -
  53. Maskerade, Terry Pratchett -
  54. Breakfast with Scot, by Michael Downing.
  55. I, Claudius, Robert von Ranke-Graves -
  56. A Hat Full of Sky, Terry Pratchett -

Current Mood: cheerful
29 June 2008 @ 08:35 pm
Diablo 3  
I liked hearing about the third instalment, even though I doubt I'll ever play it. Diablo I was the among the first games I ever played, Diablo II was the first game I ever played online and together with my brother. I loved that game, even though the amount of monsters you have to kill to get through the game and the way in which they completely vanish once killed always bothered me somewhat. I loved the story, though, and the prettiness of the angels in the game.

Sparkly, shiny, tendril wings. What more can you ask for?

What does make me a little sceptical are the graphics. What I've seen of the game so far is not that impressive. Well, Blizzard have never been synonymous with pretty graphics, and it seems as though the graphics have barely changed from Diablo II - which will make the fans happy, I suppose, but I would have liked something ... more impressive. I am not much of a gamer nerd, but considering HOW much prettier HGL and D&DO are, prettier games seem to be possible. I am told that the game is good for a beta version and considering it's in third person perspective, and maybe that's true. Still.

Current Music: "Ich was ein chint so wolgetan" from the Carmina Burana
Current Mood: chipper
Current Location: Uelzen, Germany
24 June 2008 @ 05:26 pm
The Beatles  

Blackbird is probably my favourite song by The Beatles ever.

What's yours?
Current Mood: curious
15 June 2008 @ 07:29 pm
"LOGIC: :( I’m never here..."  
This is the funniest parody/summary of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight I have ever read.

I feel bad for posting it because I know that there are people on my friends list who absolutely love the series, but this is SO hilarious I just had to share it.
Current Location: Uelzen
Current Mood: bouncy
Current Music: Crocky's rendition of "Yellow Submarine"
13 June 2008 @ 10:14 am
Frank Martin  
Listen to this:

Frank Martin's mass is one of the most beautiful masses I have ever heard, especially the Gloria. My favourite part in the entire mass is everything from "quoniam tu solus sanctus" onwards. I know that the quality of the above video isn't perfect, but hopefully it's enough for you to get an impression of it.
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Current Music: Gloria from Frank Martin's Mass
Current Location: Uelzen
Current Mood: peaceful
09 March 2008 @ 07:49 pm
I've got the flu. Again. On Friday I thought my wooziness was due to the fact that my eyes have to get used to the new glasses, but when I woke up with all slimed up on Saturday it was clear that I'm really ill again.

Why is it that I always get ill during term paper time? I hate that.

The good thing about not being able to walk very far is that we stayed in all weekend, cuddling and baking muffins.

From left to right: chocolate-caramel muffin, After Eight muffin, Milchschnitte muffin.

The chocolate-caramel muffins were bastards. They refused to let go of the muffin tray and held on for dear life, so we could only get them out of there by decapitating them. That's they ended up looking like Frankenstein's muffins. They taste awesome nontheless.

After Eight muffins

Read more... )

Frankenstein's muffin

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Milchschnitte Muffins

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Nom nom nom.
Current Location: Uelzen
Current Mood: calm