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Oh, Kyoko, I missed you.

So, I think it's time I pick up Skip-Beat again, since I left off after the Christmas chapters with the expectation of picking it up again in a few weeks and never in fact did.

Apparently Kyoko has been getting even more awesome roles recently.

SO! Does anybody think that the most recent ~55 chapters are a good use of my time around now?
I'm a lot happier with things now that I've realised that, in practise of desire for sociosexual contact if not in theoretical attraction, I'm asexual and hence my opinions about sex can be not only moralised (which I'm not going to stop doing, but only because I believe that everything has moral aspects, not because of anything unique to it), but...'identity-ised', as well. It's a lot easier both on me and on other people to look at it this way. I still do have a fairly 'sex-negative' (in a world in which I was the only moral actor I'd use the term 'love-positive', but as it is, while that term works for how I perceive myself, I can tell that it's unfair to other people in much the same way that 'sex-positive' feels to me somewhat unfair) moral compass which is far from relativistic and, hence, tends towards friction with the society that I keep, which while absolutely wonderful in most other ways is also full of people who take a line on this that I find highly problematic. I freely admit that all of this has been and continues to be the case. But I'm recognising that while I genuinely do hold these beliefs it isn't why I care; I care for a reason that's actually harder to explain but drives less of a wedge between me and other people once they do understand: Because, to use an analogy that I picked up from I-remember-not-where, it's as if everybody's life revolves around the maintenance and care of pet elephants which everybody is supposed to spontaneously accrue during puberty, and I didn't get the right kind, or mine is stunted and can't walk on its own, or I genuinely feel no desire to go through the steps of sharing my elephant with anybody else even though for most people sharing of elephants is objectively important and seems to be absolutely fascinating, or it looks more like a rhinoceros or a hippopotamus than like an elephant. But I like animals in general, and I feel like a lot of people are mistreating their elephants, even though it becomes awkward to talk or write about since I know that there's a perspective there that I lack.

(Er, sorry if anybody has trouble trudging through those sentences.)

I don't know; have I gone entirely off the reservation here? I just want to make sure I have not in fact been driven insane on the nails of my own inborn asceticism or something.

(Something weird happened with my journal so I've had to do this post twice. I don't know what exactly but the formatting was odd.)

Oct. 1st, 2011

Okay so.

I've been out of the loop.

Anything I should do to prepare my ass before watching the last two episodes of Doctor Who season fnarg+1?

Hmmm...

So I feel kind of bad for not being around too much lately.

What's been going on with everyone? How are we?

It would involve ANCIEN REGIME POLITICKING.

For a little while now I've been having this idea for an Avatar fic in which Hama and Kanna awaken Aang about a half-century before canon. It would be a taut political story (based on the idea that fifty fewer years of total war equals fifty more years of usable political infrastructure and two generations that haven't yet been decimated) featuring such characters as Toph's grandmother or great-aunt or somebody of that sort of capacity, Decrepit!Sozin and DesperatelyWaitingForHisFatherToDieAlready!Azulon, young adult Iroh and baby Ozai, a Bumi who's in his fifties or sixties and just getting started in the Order of the White Lotus, some previous generation of Kyoshi Warriors, maybe a prior Earth King, and so on and so forth.

So, does this idea sound interesting to anybody? I'd probably start writing it around early September, when I get back from my family's road trip and knock off an original short story idea that I have.
So, a while back news broke that Sam Raimi, he of among other things The Evil Dead and Xena: Warrior Princess fame, had bought the rights to Noir for purposes of hot live-action-adaptation action. Naturally, since I fucking love The Evil Dead and know that Xena is supposed to be really gay, I was...trepid, certainly, but cautiously excited about this concept. It was either going to be brain-breakingly horrible or fucking awesome, and I trusted the man who made Bruce Campbell a star.

But

But!

WORSE THAN I FEARED IT COULD POSSIBLY BE DOES NOT EVEN BEGIN TO DESCRIBE THIS SHIT.

So. Altena is gone. Chloe is gone (or warped into an unrecognisable straight caricature of herself called Alice, it's not really clear where in the development process that came in). Mireille is (1) straight, (2) ten years older than Kirika, (3) MARRIED, and (4) apparently involved with at least a few men who aren't the bullshit generic male lead she's married to. Also she has Altena's backstory for some reason even though there's no Altena. Kirika is also straight. Milosh, remember him? That weary old Foreign Legion vet who just wanted to forget and paint pictures and who befriended Kirika because he liked her watercolours? Well here he is her age and her boyfriend, to whom she loses her virginity and who she then kills in a jealous rage (Kirika is a lot more of a nutcase than she is in the real version). The whole thing is set in the sixties, God only knows why exactly. The Soldats have been completely changed; they replaced the white terrorists with their own weird cult in the Pyrenees with brown terrorists from the Middle East (CLASSY). The script excerpts in general (you have to pay for them in that link, but they were posted on 4chan) are absolutely awful, like a cross between All-Star Batman and Robin-era Frank Miller and one of the more unwatchable Roger Moore 007 flicks.

As somebody on /u/ said:

'The core concept of Noir is how two women who are essentially completely alone and only barely connected to society manage to find some glimmer of light in their otherwise utterly dark lives....I may even go so far as to suggest that shit like this is going to destroy what made Noir Noir.'

I am not a happy camper about this fuckery.
I'm going to watch Kamisama no Memochou and possibly Usagi Drop at some point, but these are the shows I'm following as they air right now.

Hanasaku Iroha

This is probably my favourite show of the year so far since Madoka Magica finished up. The past six or so episodes have been especially good--for a while the show was kind of aimlessly trying out different tones and genera between episodes in a way that was fun to watch but didn't really leave much of an impression, particularly after the promise of the first episode and a half or so. But later on it became clear that all that was to connect us to the characters so that when the heart-wrenching drama that we were promised starts up in full force, it doesn't seem maudlin. It also helps that the show keeps its sense of humour. The episode before the most recent one was a fairly serious look at the relationship between two characters who had until that point been to a great extent pretty much jokes, but it was still hilarious, because Enishi and Takako remain absolutely ridiculous people even when their issues are played seriously. But you care about them qua ridiculous people by this point, so the episode works in the dramatic as well as the comedic arena. Another example is when the main character's mother, who's fairly one-note initially, gets some major character development. This works well as a herald of the show kicking into higher gear precisely because this character wasn't originally the sort of character you'd expect the type of development for that ends up happening. The only problem is that you do have to sit through ten or so episodes worth of stuff that might not be interesting (I actually liked the early part of the show but a lot of people didn't and it's obviously nowhere near as good as where it's been going more recently). Probably there would have been some better way to do this buildup if somebody had looked hard enough for it earlier in the going, but as it is Hanasaku Iroha is coming to stand as a very good understated drama that never throws comedy out the window.

The Idolmaster

This may well be in the running for 'biggest disappointment of 2011 so far'. Not because it's a bad show by any means, but because for the first nine-tenths of the first episode it looks like we'll be getting a hitherto nonexistent genre--basically 'This is Spinal Tap with cute idol singers'--which seems pretty relevant to my interests, but then at the end of the episode they introduce a generic male lead (he doesn't even get a name) and it turns into 'haremshit with unusually endearing characters'. The loss of the mockumentary aspect is actually even more annoying than the completely unnecessary male character (Ritsuko would have been a perfectly fine producer for the girls) and I considered dropping the show. I'm actually glad I didn't, though, because while it's haremshit in the broad sense it's not haremshit in the sense of the girls fawning over their producer for no discernible reason. I'm having fun watching the dynamics between the idols and the producer isn't actually a bad character (he's really almost a nonentity, which is on the other hand part of what makes it so annoying that he's there. The director of the show said that he didn't want to have a male producer character and in fact promised that there wouldn't be one, but then the production company or the televison station or some focus group or something forced him to put one in anyway, because as great as a lot of the artsy stuff that comes out of Japan is, the country's mainstream is just as moronic and tasteless as the mainstream anywhere else). My favourite character is probably Chihaya, because she's basically me in terms of her attitude to this whole asinine business she's in (Creepy frog puppet mascot on a variety show: 'You're not very good at banter, are you?' Chihaya: *glaaaaaaaare*). I'd gladly watch a show that was just 'Chihaya tries to make it in a completely stupid industry (with interludes with Haruka, Takane, Hibiki, Ritsuko, and the resident yuri fangirl Otonashi)'.

Mawaru Penguindrum

I have nothing cogent to say about this so far except for (1) HE'S BACK, (2) Ringo is a total creeper and I kind of love her a lot, (3) Himari/Ringo is relevant to my interests, and (4) SEIZON SENRYAKUUUUU!!!!!!!!!
So my computer is in for repairs, because it needs a new motherboard, because the electrical circuits aren't going to the battery, and when Dell sent somebody to my house to fix it he discovered that he couldn't get some of the screws out himself because they're mounted in cheap plastic that warped around them. I'm using alternately my mother's computer and my godfather's computer. I'm able to use the Internet and write from a flash drive but I'm not able to do much else, including downloading anything and listening to the music I have stored on my computer. I'll survive--it's only going to be away for about a week or slightly more--but I'm not exactly happy about this.

Jul. 20th, 2011

So I had a nice day with my best friend from high school. We watched period dramas/romances/however the hell else you would classify a marathon of Ever After, Elizabeth, and A Room with a View, ate chocolate ice cream, and bitched about our lives. I needed that, given some personal stuff that's been going on and the fact that I hadn't seen her in about a month (unusual, for summer).

I'm still reading A Dance with Dragons. Ramsay Bolton needs to die a horrible screaming death, preferably at either Stannis's hands or (somehow, not sure how exactly this would go) Arya's. Speaking of Stannis, he is actually pretty awesome in a terrifying way. Also awesome is Davos. And Lord Manderly. And Bran and Meera and Jojen. In fact the entire North plotline is full of awesome people.

Dany's lust for what's-his-name continues to be so tiresome. I like the Essos plotline okay but honestly if this is how Essos is going to go I could just as soon read a whole book about the North and wait for Dany to just show up on Dragonstone after doing whatever. I don't see where this is going. I want Tyrion to go to Braavos, not Meereen. I'm actually enjoying what's going on with Victarion, so I'd like more of the Iron Fleet and less of some Dornishman who to the best of my recollection we'd never seen hide nor hair of until this book.

It's almost a hundred degrees Fahrenheit here. The Stark house words are seeming less like a warning and more like a promise that I'd like to hold them to.

Jul. 19th, 2011

Imagine, if you will, the sound of a bullfrog croaking confusedly inside a church organ.

That is roughly the sound I was making starting about eighteen or nineteen minutes into the first episode of Mawaru Penguindrum and continuing through the second.

Ikuhara, you crazy-ass diamond bastard, welcome back.

And another one

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post comment about it. Ask for anything: latest movie watched, last book read, political leanings, thoughts on yaoi, favourite type of underwear, graphic techniques, etc. Repost in your own journal so that we can all learn more about each other.

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Meme~

elle_white  asked me some questions:
 
1.) What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?

The last book I finished was Shizuko's Daughter, by Mori Kyoko. I liked it a lot, and cried throughout to be honest, though I wish that a particular character had been a different sex. If you have read the book you will probably be able to guess who I mean. If not, it would be a spoiler. I'm currently reading The Snow-Image by Hawthorne, a Flannery O'Connor collection, and A Dance with Dragons. I'm going to start on Time and the Other by Levinas soon.
 
2.) Favourite beverage?

 
My absolute favourite is grenadine, but that's so sweet and expensive that my favourite that I actually drink frequently is orange juice.
 
3.) What would you say was your favourite movie as a child?

 
I loved the first half of Where the Rivers Flow North; the second half always made me upset. Maybe Mulan, after it was released.
 
4.) If you could explore the deep ocean or deep space, which one would you choose?

 
The ocean. It's actually a lot less well-mapped than space is, plus I'm not sure I'd want to leave to planet. Simply much more difficulty, and I'm actually too tall to be an astronaut.
 
5.) Who is your favourite Doctor (of Doctor Who) and why?

 
Tie between Three and Four. Eleven's gaining, but I don't want to judge him until the end of his run, whenever that is. Three and Four appeal to different aspects of my personality, I guess. In general I'm more like Four because of my relative isolation and absolute strangeness but Three is stylish and classy as fuck.

 
If you want me to ask you any questions, just let me know!

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So in eight days my paid account lapses. And I don't have a credit card or anything, because I'm not hep to the techno-jive like a person my age (or, indeed, up to a generation or so older than me) might be expected to be.

So I guess what I'm saying is more paid time would be a really nice present and I'd appreciate it a lot. Sorry if I'm out of line~

OKAY SO

I know I've never talked about A Song of Ice and Fire on my LJ before. That's because the last time a new book came out was before I had an LJ and I don't get HBO (although I do get Showtime, and my mom is addicted to The Borgias and hasn't given me back my copy of the Durants' The Renaissance for months now).

HOWEVER!

With the impending release of A Dance with Dragons, I have a few things I'd just like to clear up.
  • Am I the only person who loves Sansa Stark?
  • Am I the only person who loves Catelyn Tully Stark?
  • Am I the only person who not only hates Petyr Baelish and Euron Greyjoy but does not find them interesting at all?
  • Am I the only person who wishes that we could see slightly less of Arya Cat of the Canals Westerosi Mattie Ross (though not NONE of her, since I do like her) and more of Bran and the Reeds (particularly Meera, whom I adore)?
  • Am I the only person who wants to know considerably more about the children of the forest/giants/wildlings/et cetera, beyond just their interactions with the Night's Watch and the Seven Kingdoms?

Because somehow, I've never really noticed very much of any of these sentiments. The idea that Littlefinger's motivations are those of an interesting character is particularly baffling. He reminds me of the villain in the first Peter Wimsey book.

Maybe I shouldn't be quite this upset...

I just realised that I lost a little wooden statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that I like to carry around in my pocket.

I'm actually pretty upset about this. I really hope it's in my room somewhere.

Title: Mireille and Kirika’s Magical [Possibly Poisoned] Mystery Tour
Author: melengro 
Fandom:
Noir
Pairing/characters:
Mireille Bouquet/Yuumura Kirika
Rating:
PG
Disclaimer:
I do not own Noir or any aspect of Noir except for a set of the DVDs.
Prompt: Noir: Mireille/Kirika: The Soldats taught her everything about death, but nothing about what it means that she loves another woman.
Summary: Kirika explores some gaps in her knowledge, and her heart and other areas of her body ache a little. 
Notes: Some cleaning-up of the text by the always amazing judamacaby .

 

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Victoria Yarborough deposited another tray of buns in the oven and wiped her grimy face with the toreador-patterned handkerchief that she kept in the generous breast pocket of her smoke-stained off-white apron. She shut the oven doors, took several (of what would be) long loaves from Rab Ember, put them in the other big oven, and said ‘Alright, still. Time for a break, innit?’
           ‘A’righ’, Vicki.’ Rab grinned a wide-spaced, speckled grin and waved at her with his big brine-sheened hand. ‘Gonna go down the newsstands, I take it?’
            ‘Of course,’ Victoria said. ‘‘Sa new Prime Minister. Well…’ She paused and frowned and laughed. ‘An old Prime Minister, agin.’
            ‘What is it, third time?—fourth? I know ‘e’s served more ‘n wunst before.’
            ‘Third time,’ said Victoria. ‘I swear…feel’s like summat’s going to go horrible wrong quite soon in this country.—Well, it’s been four years. Baldwin’s going to have to go t’ the country again soon in any case.’
            She shrugged and walked out. It was useless discussing politics with Rab. He had a head for the lists of Prime Ministers and what they looked like and the common little facts about them but not much else. To be truthful, Victoria herself was not exactly a political genius either, though for lack of having the chance to rather than of being able, she thought. What she really liked, in the manner of finding interesting, was things like Boys’ Own tales of the great imperial wars. A more than passingly queer interest, she knew, for an East London baker’s girl to have. But the world wasn’t always going to be what it was now, was it? Some day, she knew, or thought she knew, or hoped she knew, all mankind from China to Peru would be laid out in the range of possibilities for her life before her.
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OOOHH SHIT

I...I just discovered the work of Kate Wolf*.

Somebody please hold me...

;_______;

*The last one is Nanci Griffith and Emmylou Harris singing, but that is because the entire point of 'Across the Great Divide' is that Wolf was on death's door and knew it when she wrote it...She reminds me of a cross between Higuchi Ichiyo and Stan Rogers. And there are no words for how tragic that concept is.

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queer_fest fic: To the World of Love

Title: To the World of Love
Author:
melengro 
Fandom:
RPF (See-Saw)
Pairing/characters:
Ishikawa Chiaki/Kajiura Yuki
Rating:
PG
Disclaimer:
I do not own Ishikawa Chiaki or Kajiura Yuki. Slavery is illegal in Japan. You may also treat the ladies here as fictional characters with the same names and professional histories, since I don't claim to know the specifics of Yuki and Chiaki's personalities beyond things like 'they are very close' and 'Yuki is said to be capital S-T-R-A-N-G-E strange'.
Prompt: RPF – See-Saw: There's a reason all the anime they do songs for are yuri…
Summary: Yuki winds up Chiaki out of love when Chiaki expresses concerns about the…blatantness of their choice of subject matter.
 

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Spoiler-free version: HOLY. FUCKING. SHIT.
I have to say, it's a little weird thinking about a piece of fiction whose title begins 'A Good Man' without mentally filling in 'Is Hard to Find'. I've been on a bit of a Flannery O'Connor binge lately, since I raved about her to a friend the other day in a discussion of good vs. bad books we had to read in elementary/middle/high school (it felt a bit awkward for me, being from New England, to be raving about O'Connor to somebody actually from the South, but at least she's marginally more universal than, say, Faulkner). But I digress.

Spoilers ABOUND!Collapse )

'Let's Kill Hitler' is, I have a distinct suspicion, going to be an incredibly sick and twisted episode. That's the most amazing title for the second half of such a dramatic two-parter I've ever heard. In fact, that's one of the most amazing titles I've ever heard, up there with 'You Can't Be Any Poorer than Dead' and 'Legend of the Legendary Heroes'. Let's just bask in the sheer kickasstacularness of that title for a while, shall we?
Title: Moon Jelly
Author: melengro
Fandom: Kuragehime
Pairing/characters: Kranosuke and Tsukimi
Rating: PG
Prompt: 'Kuragehime : Kuranosuke, Just because he crossdresses, it doesn't mean he wants to be a woman. His identity is more complicated than that.'
Summary: Kuranosuke is upset; Tsukimi wonders why; conversation about the habits of ziphonophores ensues.
Author's notes: Many, many thanks to my lovely beta and friend judamacaby .
Disclaimer: If Kuragehime was my intellectual property, Chieko would be a secret agent and Jiji would be in a relationship with Bob Balaban's character from Gosford Park. Obviously this is not so. Feels bad, man.

Moon Jelly

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Right foot on Earth, left foot in Cloudcuckooland, and both of my feet are left feet.

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