solitary_summer: (Default)
# I wish I could snap out of this weird state of mind where I keep losing track of the words and where they're supposed to go, and end up staring at a sentence for minutes, wondering if what I've written is even English, before deleting it again. It's not just annoying, but also incredibly time-consuming. Damn it brain, wake up! Focus!

# Prompted by [ profile] rm's post mentioning Marc Almond, which made me nostalgic enough to finally put up my old record player again more than two years after the move. I saw Marc Almond live once, completely by chance, when I was in Athens for a week with my (then) best friend A., it must have been in 1993, because iirc it was the first summer holiday after I started going to university. [ETA: Actually, that would have been 1991.] We saw an advertising poster, and somehow, despite our complete lack of Greek (my year of ancient Greek was somewhat helpful when it came to deciphering signs, but useless otherwise) actually managed to find the place where they sold tickets. It was an open air concert on the Lykavittos, although that is about the extent of what I remember, and really, this all sounds much cooler and more sophisticated than it was, because at that time we were both hopelessly dorky and spent most of the time in museums and excavation sites...

In hindsight, I guess I might have dragged A. there, and she may have been simply too polite to say something all those years when I made her tape copies of every Marc Almond album and foisted them on her; it's hard to tell and we aren't talking any longer, so I can't ask her...

I searched on YouTube on the off chance that it might turn up something from that show, which unsurprisingly it didn't, but instead I found the recording of a show in Moscow from May 1993. It's funny, a week ago I'd probably have said this isn't my kind of music any longer, but watching that video I remembered exactly what I loved so much about his music.

part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6

# MD — (*sigh*) I'm putting off posting until after the last episode. It's going into directions I didn't expect at all rather than those I did expect, which may be my own fault, but right now I really don't know what to think any longer. spoilers ) I think in the end the problem with this story might be that it doesn't play into RTD's strengths at all. What he does best is small character pieces; he's brilliant when he explores what makes people tick, how they react to certain situations, the ambiguity of human nature and human behaviour and all those complicated moral dilemmas, and CoE showcased that beautifully. I'm less and less sure if this sprawling X-Files-esque conspiracy plot where a very few people pull the strings in the background, with the main cast hopping across the globe all the time, was a good choice. CoE was just incredibly focused throughout in every respect — pacing, character arcs, plot. MD is sort of... I can't quite put my finger on it, but while I do like parts of the story, as far as I'm concerned they never really made up a convincing whole, and I doubt the final episode will fix that. I kept waiting for the relationships between the old and new cast to develop, but they never really did beyond them finally pulling together to solve the problem, not the least because they so rarely even were in the same place at the same time. slight spoilers )

# What else? I used to post a lot more about 'real' life day-to-day stuff; has my life started to bore even me, or is it maybe actually healthy to be a bit less navel-gazey?

My weekend walks keep getting longer. Last Sunday I walked from Baden to Pressbaum, which took me about nine hours, and the weekend before that from Purkersdorf to St. Andrä/Wördern (seven hours). I guess if I wanted some actual exercise, I should be doing something a little more strenuous like mountain biking, which is what everyone else seems to be doing, but I actually enjoy the slower speed of walking; somehow, it gives you a better sense of the distance you cover.

Speaking of bikes though, I finally resigned myself to the fact that somewhere someone is happily biking around on my pretty, barely used bike, and bought a new one yesterday. Walking to work is all very well, and also useful since it means about an hour of Russian audio book per day, but I've been starting to miss the independency the bike gave me. I just hope I'm going to have better luck with this one than the last one...

I was actually quite busy (by my standards, that is) the last couple of weeks. Got my skills card for the ECDL exam, which means I'll finally have to do some serious learning now, and had the first html/css class of seven today. I actually do know (very, very) basic html stuff, but I've never managed to figure out css, how to use it or what it actually does, so perhaps I'll finally be able to at least customise my journal and have my own banner...

Also finally had an appointment with the ophthalmologist after, as it turned out, six years. Oops. Got scolded, promised to return sooner next time, and now have new contacts and a prescription for new glasses, which was highly necessary, since I can't even make an educated guess about how old the glasses I'm currently wearing actually are.

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Why is this even a surprise? I may not have been a hundred percent on board with the first episode (although since almost everyone seems to be perfectly happy with the American characters, I've started to wonder if maybe there's some sort of disconnect on my part?), but I already can't stop thinking about it. not really spoilery, but just in case ) I'll mostly be staying out of discussions for the next two weeks since I'm not even sure I'll be home next weekend for the second episode, but I can already see that this story isn't going to let go of me anytime soon.

Here's another thing I wanted to post last week, but somehow never managed to. [ profile] un_crayon_rouge recommended Alex Ross' The Rest is Noise sometime earlier this year, which inspired me to take a closer look at 20th century classical music & led to me getting a box set of Shostakovich's symphonies for my birthday that I'm slowly making my way through now... I've listened to the 7th a couple of times in the car recently, and while I gather it's not regarded as his best, it's certainly haunting in its own way. Talking (or even verbally thinking) about music is something I'm absolutely incapable of and won't even attempt, so I'll just leave it hre without further comment, in case anyone's interested. (Historical background and further information can be found on wikipedia). Recording is by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra/Kirill Kondrashin (1975).

(Download links, since the playlist doesn't offer them: First Movement, Second Movement, Third movement, Fourth movement.)

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There are probably better answers, but without thinking too much about it, what (a bit surprisingly, after all these years) comes to mind is 'The smell of sunshine / I remember sometimes' from NIN's I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally.

The why has a lot to do with the depressive phase I was going through at the time, and how, even when you're helplessly stuck and can't see a way out, you sometimes remember that there was a time when it wasn't like that, when life used to be different, beautiful, alive. I don't know if that's what the line is actually about, but that always was it for me.

solitary_summer: (diana)
# It's those post-Christmas kill me now, now, now! days. Yesterday was especially bad, warm, cloudless blue sky, the sun shining outside, while I was cooped up in the store, feeling trapped and hating very single minute of it. It's even worse when business is slow and all you do is think about how you really need to find another job, except that you don't even know what kind of job because it's not as if you're exactly qualified for anything, and you already panic at the thought of the whole interview process.

# In TW rewatching news, watched Combat yesterday, and it's really kind of fascinating. Owen's pain bleeds all over the episode. Gwen does her fair share of bleeding, too. And then you have Jack, for whom OOT was at least as devastating as it was for Owen, and Ianto, who lost a girlfriend he loved under far more traumatising circumstances, and they're having a moment of empathy over the Weevil's possible capacity to feel pain. No wonder it took them until CoE to actually start talking about the things that matter.

# Watched the first episode of Outcasts, because I can't only ever post about TW all the time and need at least a Zweitserie, so to speak (although that reminds me that I still have left-over notes from the last three Merlin episodes buried somewhere back in skip=100something...), but I can't really say much about it except that I was sufficiently intrigued to watch the next episode.

# I had a nostalgic moment recently browsing through YouTube and looking up all the stuff I listened to ten years ago, and how embarrassing is it that I apparently still have a bit of a of a soft spot for Marilyn Manson from the ACS and MA era? I'm seriously too old for that. But there's a kind of mixture between earnestness and theatrical pathos to the earlier stuff that still has a certain power and is oddly appealing. ACS especially holds up quite well.

On a more serious note, Tool. I never really was a fan of them as such; they're a bit too pretentious for my taste and personally I find this whole image they cultivate rather off-putting, but these are maybe my favourite nine and a half minutes of music:

Tool, Lateralus

lyrics under the cut )

solitary_summer: (Default)
I was planning to go out with the camera today since we got quite a bit of snow over the last few days and it's (presumably) really pretty once you get out of the city, but I turned off the alarm, slept until ten, finally crawled out of bed around 11-ish and didn't have the energy for anything at all. Plus, there's Russian homework that still needs to be written. Yesterday wasn't even particularly stressful, but I've been hurting in one place or the other for the last two weeks, and I have absolutely no tolerance for that kind of thing. My body is supposed to function, damn it, and I hate it when it doesn't. It's enough that my psyche sabotages me all the time. But at least the pain medication doesn't seem to have lastingly upset my stomach...

On the downside, I seem to have developed a quite scary craving for chocolate and sugar. Apparently I can either have stomach problems, or a body I'm moderately happy and content with, but not both.

~ ~ ~

Read Ellen Kushner's story The Man with the Knives, and, meh. I still adore Swordspoint, but every single thing she's written afterwards left me wishing she'd finally leave that universe and those characters alone and create something entirely new. I don't remember much about The Fall of the Kings, except that it left me extremely frustrated and completely indifferent to the characters, and that the sudden introduction of supernatural elements into a universe that used to be entirely secular struck me as odd and OOC. The Privilege of the Sword seemed overly fanservice-y and even though getting a sort of happy ending for Richard and Alec was nice, I still wish she'd stuck to telling the girls' stories and made it a lesbian love story. I ended up liking the protagonist quite a bit, and throwing her into a novel along with already established characters IMO diminished the impact of her story. So now she wrote yet another, this time well and truly final ending for Richard and Alec, and it's depressing as fuck. I'm especially annoyed since I always found Richard the more compelling and interesting character. Alec's overwrought angst and various neuroses are bearable only when balanced by Richard's quiet and calm; on his own he's a character that I find hard to like. And to be perfectly honest, if the story had to continue after Swordspoint (personally, I'd have much preferred it if she'd left the characters there), I would have been perfectly happy with the Greek island ending of TPotS; I didn't need to learn that Richard died (probably suicide?) and Alec's arc, after yet more angst and self-harm, ends with ~healing~ heterosexual marriage. Gah. If she wants to write more female characters, more power to her. But she should give them their own stories.

~ ~ ~

Merlin finale - good parts, blah parts, annoying parts. I'll have to rewatch the last three episodes to sort out my thoughts.

~ ~ ~

I've been wasting way too much time on YouTube recently, but a song I've listened to a lot and really love is Svetlana Surganova's Коробли (Ships). (In case anyone is actually at work on a Sunday—there's a bit of NSFW non-sexual nudity in the video.)

Tentative and probably much too literal attempt at a translation. )

solitary_summer: (roses)
I'm feeling a lot better?! Smiles & buying pots of hyacinths? When & how did that happen?

Maybe it's the useless, or in that case not quite so useless, DW/TW meta writing that I love both completely and guiltily. Maybe it's all the belly-dancing practice I'm doing for our show. I've been rather unenthusiastic about it lately, because half of the time I feel it doesn't really fit my inner me (if that makes any sense), but I really enjoy practicing, even the veil choreography that I more or less gave up on last year what with all the stress before and during the move. Or perhaps it's finally getting longer days and more sunshine again, and maybe, just maybe, spring.

Ch. is on holiday, so I was on horse-duty today, and she's looking awful. (The horse, not Ch.) She's been shedding so fast that her new coat hasn't even really grown yet, so it's bits of winter coat and stray long hairs, and almost bald patches. Completely ridiculous. But at least she hasn't been rolling around in the mud this time...

Listened to the new John Barrowman CD in the car, which is kind of meh in the extremely frustrating way that there are a few really nice tracks there (I'd never have thought there'd be a version of Memory that I'd find interesting), but also a lot of rather forgettable ones. The pop-ier stuff IMO is still/again a complete waste of time & talent, and I really don't know why he even keeps doing it. How many cars does a person need? And while I've always loved the The Wizard And I cover, I can't listen to the Doctor Who version. I'm actually kind of offended on behalf of the Ood. *facepalm*

solitary_summer: (Default)
Depressing back-to-depressing,-depressing-work week, completely unerholt apparently; bad period, and yesterday it snowed again with temperatures back below zero. 'Sick and tired' doesn't even begin to cover it. Gah. Gah.

Meme, stolen from [ profile] elisi and [ profile] alba17.

List all of the television shows you have on DVD, no matter how obscure or embarrassing. Even if you only own one season, list it. Let's see who has what!

Babylon 5: complete, except for the pilot and films, which I've always been meaning to buy, but somehow never got around to.
Torchwood: complete
Doctor Who: complete New Who + City of Death and Genesis of the Daleks
Angel: complete
Buffy: complete
Firefly: complete + Serenity
Smallville S1-5*
Andromeda: S1-3 + the bits of S4 that still had Tyr in it
QaF:UK: complete
Bob and Rose, if that counts as a TV show
Life on Mars (UK): complete
Hornblower, if that counts
Due South: the RayK season(s)
Battlestar Galactica: complete
Rome: S1*
Farsacpe S1-3
ST:DS9 S1*
Oz: S1, watched the rest on YouTube & found it too depressing to actually justify buying the DVDs.

* vaguely intending to continue, but something shinier & newer was always... shinier and newer. And in the case of SV I'm mostly just too afraid to get my heart (even more) broken by Lex's arc.


Because it fits the season: Кино, Апрель/Kino, April

There's frost on the ground
Everything's been touched by ice,
I hear the music of thawing snow dripping only in my dreams
It snows heavily like a wall
And it snows all day,
And behind that wall, there's April.

And he comes, and he'll bring Spring with him,
And he'll scatter the army of grey clouds,
And when we all look into his eyes,
His melancholy eyes will look back at us.
House doors will be opened,
It's no good if you keep standing, you'd better sit down..
And when we all look into his eyes,
We'll see the sun's light in those eyes... [...]

(Translation stolen from here, because I'm 1) lazy, and 2) while I essentially do understand the lyrics with the help of a dictionary, not really good or advanced enough to make a translation that is more than just bare bones.)

solitary_summer: (Default)
Ночные Снайперы (Nochnyie Snaipery/Night Snipers), Ты дарила мне розы (Ty darila mne rozy/You Gave Me Roses)

solitary_summer: (Default)
Practically kicked myself under the shower and out of doors for an 1 3/4 hr. walk, but that didn't really improve my mood either. Daylight might have helped, I guess... /sarcasm

This is also one of the days where I'm this close to deleting every single line of TW meta I've ever written, because I'm absolutely convinced it's all irredeemably warped by me projecting my own issues on the text. Yes? No? Maybe? Painfully obvious?


I really should pick up the books again and start studying/repeating, but at least I'm listening to Russian music?

solitary_summer: (Default)
The new co-worker (10 hours per week; not that I'm going to see her much) is 18ish. Oh. My. God. Finished school only this summer. Depressingly energetic, optimistic, full of hopes and possibilities, whole-life-before-her, and all that. I feel old. I miss B. *lesigh*


Tuesday's untimely late night nostalgic procrastination on YouTube made me dig through my old CDs (& also reminded me that at one point I should maybe try to digitalise some of the old records... see above. old) & look for what I can only in retrospect call my favourite crossover, because it's from a Bowie live bootleg and NIN didn't even blip my radar for another few years. I never was crazy about Johnny Cash's version of Hurt, which I guess proves I have no taste whatsoever in case that needed proving, but these two together... still works for me.

Scary Monsters:



Bowie is Bowie and Trent is a complete fanboy. Kinda adorable.

solitary_summer: (Default)

Also, this.

*has a nostalgic fangirl moment*

(No, I'm not actually that old. But I became a fan somewhere between Tonight and Never Let Me Down, about fourteen at the time of the Labyrinth movie, and even for uncritical provincial Austrian baby fans in it was cooler to like the old stuff. It's kind of sad, really... I still like everything up until Scary Monsters a lot, but everything after that I'm feeling pretty meh about, with the exception of Outside, and the reason for that suddenly became a lot clearer when I discovered NIN... *back to YouTube*)

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The Buffy/Angel-verse. I've just finished Buffy 2.03, where Spike and Drusilla come to Sunnydale, and, *sigh*, nostalgia. It's Angel I miss more, though, or would have wanted to continue if I had to pick one, because I wanted a better and at least slightly happier ending form them all. (On that note, how do the comics compare? Are they worth buying if you're not a big comic book fan?)

And it's not only defunct shows that I'm missing, since I've been sucked into those only-13-episodes-per-series British shows, *cough*Torchwood*cough*.


I suspect deep down I'm really just a sappy pop kind of girl, and should be starting to give away all those NIN CDs that I haven't listened to in a rather long time anyway...

solitary_summer: (5 vor 12)
1) Rather shitty day. This is the second time in not even two weeks that I've burst into tears at work at what basically amounts to barely any provocation at all, and then sat in our kitchen and just couldn't stop crying. I'm not even depressed, maybe because I simply didn't have the time, but my nerves are completely shot recently. Much chocolate and cholcolatey products were consumed as a consequence.

2) Some Barrowman fans are completely, batshit insane.

3) That said, I like Music, Music, Music (which finally turned up in my mailbox on Monday) a lot better than Another Side; there are still a couple of songs/interpretations that I don't find particularly interesting and generally speaking, I just don't think his voice suits the pure pop songs very well, but at least this hasn't been produced to the out-of-character bland lifelessness of Another Side. Emotional, but in a good way; not that saccharine. Both Sides Now is fantastic, and so are I Know Him So Well and From A Distance; some of the rest are very nice, and there are a few more that I suspect will grow on me. Hell, I'm even starting to like What About Us a little better. On the whole, a pleasant surprise, and I kind of really needed something like that to get me through the Christmas season. *sigh*

4) I've just more or less finished an interpretation of Saturday's Merlin episode that I can't quite decide if it's completely and utterly cracktastic, at least unintentionally subtextual, or actually canon. That show drives me crazy. *g* Also in a good way.

5) And why am I still awake? Even if I only have to be at work at noon?

solitary_summer: (Default)
Things I will never understand. RTD's book about writing DW: on € 34.99 (fee shipping); on - including postage and VAT - about € 27.60. And this isn't the exception, this is more or less the rule. The Russian dictionary I ordered was about € 5.- cheaper on too. Sometimes they do fix these discrepancies, JB's latest CD (or was it the autobiography, I forget; possibly both) was outrageously expensive on .de, but they went down with the price shortly after the release date, maybe or maybe not because I posted about this in the discussion forum, but most of the time UK imports are cheaper if you buy them directly from the British store. Can someone explain to me the logic behind that?


And... another music post, because I still haven't got anything intelligent to says & Sezen Aksu (and this song especially) is fantastic and makes me almost wish I'd continued with Turkish instead of starting Russian...


In other not-really news, my life is boring. Work & Russian vocabulary learning and TW fic writing, which (the latter, that is; the former is mostly incredibly, disproportionally time-consuming) is at once oddly satisfactory, because while I'm probably the slowest writer on the planet, sometimes it does work for me, that thing where something clicks in your mind and something that wasn't there before suddenly is, and characters get a life of their own, and the S1 chapters are getting closer to being finished [what for?]; and frustrating, because objectively it still isn't remotely good or what I want it to be and also probably really boring because I suspect it isn't fiction as much as a sort of missing scenes extended meta, filling in the blanks in my mind that all that metaing couldn't.

Bed now, alarm at six. ::sigh:: And I can't even really ride the stupid horse because that thingy where the stirrup strap is attached to the saddle is broken and the saddle is some super special custom made model that can (apparently) only be repaired by the guy who made it, which is a slight problem because he's died a few years ago. ::facepalm:: And call me a coward, but I don't really fancy trail rides without stirrups.

Спокойной ночи, friendslist! *g*

solitary_summer: (Default)
In the absence of anything even remotely resembling an intelligent thought, here's some music instead. Fatima Spar und Die Freedom Fries, who from what I'm reading have been quite popular in the Viennese Club scene for years, but since I and the Viennese Club scene don't really mix I only kind of stumbled across them today completely by chance, but, very nice. Turkish and Balkan and kind of swing-y and really feel-good.

two more )

solitary_summer: (Default)
Because I need a bit of holiday nostalgia to cheer myself up.


ETA, because I've always loved Chess & this has been stuck in head for days now.

solitary_summer: (schilf)
Busy week getting up at six every day for physiotherapy (too-often-for-comfort recurring pain in my lower back/hip/leg that I finally decided to see a doctor about; apparently caused by some kind of, for lack of a better word, knot in the muscle) before work. It would probably help more if I hadn't been unpacking a whole pallet of books yesterday, and more today. I was really feeling fine on Wednesday. *sigh*


Finished re-reading A Passage To India; somehow I didn't remember it being quite as disillusioned/depressing, but I still/again love this book so much. It's a crying shame that between what he wanted to write and what he could publish this should have been Forster's last novel.

Maybe it's a good idea revisiting the books from a period of my life where I was, in hindsight, the happiest. At any rate picking up Forster again helped me quite a bit towards regaining a better mental balance, because while he has ideals, he isn't dogmatic. Individuality, difference and variety of human experience; I realised that (paradoxically) therapy somehow made me lose track of that, chasing after some kind of elusive ideal and losing myself a bit in the process. (That's for another entry though, or this one will never be finished...)

Mostly I'm procrastinating (but really kind of enjoying it) and finally watching the DVDs I'd bought when amazon tempted me with offers, but somehow never got around to actually watch; S1 of Rome, which I really liked for the first seven episodes -- good cast; Casar (as well as most of the big historical figures) seemed a bit lacking in charisma for me, but maybe he wasn't supposed to have too much; OTOH Octavian was very well cast with those sudden flashes of brilliancy and coldness, as well as Atia and the other women, both Vorenus and Pullo were fantastic especially during the first half of the season, and hello!, Suzie from Torchwood. *g*

The Kleopatra episode, however, is horrid; racist beyond what I'd have believed possible at the beginning of the 21st century, to the point where it makes me wonder if it wasn't some vague modern anti-Eastern prejudice mixed into the Ancient Roman anti-Eastern prejudice. And while I mostly want to be entertained rather than nit-pick historical details, will people eventually get it into their heads that the Ptolemies were Macedonians? And after that, instead of culminating in tragedy, the show somehow peters out in melodrama. It still has its strong moments, but the plot becomes a bit lurid and soap-opera-esque when Servilia manipulates Octavia into seducing her brother, the scheming repetitive, Vorenus' moral dilemmas ditto, and the characters are simply not compelling enough any more. Considering that it is common knowledge that (and how) Ceasar will die, it somehow lacked the tension and proper dramatic build-up necessary to keep one's (or my, at any rate) interest.


Tool are always a bit too pretentious for me to really fangirl them, but I listened to Lateralus again driving home from feeding & cleaning & petting the horse last Wednsday, and this song is still pure genius.

solitary_summer: (baum & schatten)
Mauretanian singer I discovered on iTunes....

And now onto the belly-dancing practice & Russian homework, and much as I'm... enjoying is probably the wrong word at the moment, but somewhere in the vicinity thereof, at least most of the time, if not right now, I kind of resent that this has somehow Sunday standard program. Why do I have to put everything off until the last moment? Plus, flat cleaning, because Thermenservice on Tuesday. *sigh*

solitary_summer: (löwenzahn2)
Monday morning. Gah.

I wrote, or half-wrote, or started to write my Russian homework about a gazillion times yesterday, because I kept slipping in latin letters and making all kinds of stupid mistakes. The brain, not very cooperative at the moment. I'm trying to blame the heat & possibly PMS.


solitary_summer: (Default)

March 2013

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