2011

Jan. 26th, 2012 10:31 pm
selene_13: (Labyrinth)
The last time I posted was October... I really haven't been inspired to blog/comment/write anything much. I'm just going to add a little overview of 2011, way too late but whatevs.

Books read in 2011: 54, met my yearly 1 book a week challenge!

Best 5 books (in no order):
Hunger Games Trilogy (wonderful, can't wait for the movie, Rowling can learn from this epilogue)
Tiffany Aching Discworld novels (Pratchett rocks)
The God Delusion (If anything I love a rational argument)
The Help (great atmosphere)
The Year of the Flood (great imagination)
Honorouble mentions: The Graveyard Book; The Millenium Books; The Passion

Worst 5 books (in no order):
The Finkler Question (why should I care about any of these awful characters?)
Let The Great World Spin (if only it would ennndd)
The Partner (Grisham at his worst)
The Gathering (short and boring)
Stuff White People Like (sort of funny, but mostly rather offensive)

Booker prize winners read this year (towards my goal of reading all Booker prize winners): The Gathering, The Finkler Question, Remains of the Day, History of the Kelly Gang, The Famished Road.

Countries travelled: USA (Cleveland and Detroit), Sri Lanka (all over), United Arab Emirates (Dubai), Spain (Barcelona), UK (London), France (Paris), Germany (Dresden), Australia (Melbourne), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), China (Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Yangshou, Hong Kong)

Slowly but steadily I am progressing to what I promosed my mother during her last Christmas, when she gave me a beautiful globe: that I would go everywhere and see everything. Luckily I have a job that makes this possible.

In line for this year: Germany, Western Canada, Estonia, Russia. And if I can swing it, South Africa (my dream but might be out of reach this year), Canary Islands, Iceland and New Orleans.

I lost interest in Supernatural and as a consequence in reading its fic (it was the awful writing in Season 5 that did it, with a final punch the finale. Season six has so far not reawakened any passion, but who knows). I'm reading lots of Glee now. I'm watching Dexter, True Blood, Criminal Minds, Glee, and starting Sherlock tonight.

Well, there it is. My fandom dance and non-participation and non-investment in anything will make this post as invisible as those first, but that's ok. I'm happy whenever my fingers move over the keys, for whichever reason. I need this journal to read fic, and reading fic is still a great passion and pleasure in my life.
selene_13: (Labyrinth)
It’s one of those weeks: I’ve just been feeling half-asleep, apathetic, can’t concentrate on my work. This morning I arrived and I noticed 10 mins after walking into the office that half my dress was still undone at the front! Chrissakes. Luckily I was wearing a shirt underneath and a big scarf over it, and everyone was focussed on their compscreen so hopefully no one noticed! I just felt like O_o. How can you not check if your dress is done up?!

I need a holiday!

Here's me sparing you my further whinging )

I did get a chance to watch SPN 6x06 of course! Third episode in a row which I really enjoyed (Angst, yeah, bring it on!). Maybe the show really has recovered from S5 sucktitude? Looking forward to more more more again.

Yesterday I watched Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief. The movie was pretty formulaic in storyline, but I’ve always had a thing for Greek Mythology so I enjoyed the creativity in fitting the old stories into a modern wrapper, and have an affinity to young heroes discovering their ability. So now I’m wondering if I should maybe read the books. Are they worth reading (like HP was) or are they written exclusively to a younger audience?

PS. 2 days until I get Towers of Midnight in the mail!! W0000000T!
selene_13: (Labyrinth)
Yesterday it was World Alzheimer’s Day, and with 2 colleagues I went to see a documentary about Alzheimer’s (called “Lost down Memory Lane” and shot in Belgium) at the nearest movie art house.

It truly is a horrible disease and I feel for everyone who has experience with it in their lives. My grandfather passed away suffering from this condition, and seeing it so detailed in the movie just again emphasised its tragedy.

I have to say that I would be ecstatic to get the chance to grow old (and not die young, which is a great fear of mine); but getting truly old, whereby everything you do – getting up out of bed, getting dressed and washed, eating and drinking, walking, going to the bathroom – becomes an extremely difficult chore, that takes time, and you need help, and it probably hurts, and you have no privacy, is not something I look forward to obviously.

But to lose your mind until you are alone in a home, where you cannot remember your children, or your life and accomplishments, or your dead husband, or even what you did yesterday or how you got where you are today, until you forget how to eat and drink, is a nightmare.

One lady in the film, who was still aware enough that she knew was in a home and had Alzheimer’s, and could be quite laconic about this fact, was most terribly upset about the fact that society had written her off. That there was no more use for her. It was incredibly sad.

Ramblings

Sep. 17th, 2010 02:41 pm
selene_13: (Default)
I'm glad that week's over: Frustrating days at work when others aren't doing their work as they're supposed to (as in, I tell them we need promotional material at an important conference I'm going to, I even tell them what they can do, but have to trust they will do it because I don't have the time to do their job for them, and then they deliberate over it, and a little more, hem and hum, la di da, and 2 weeks later tell me "oh we actually haven't got anything yet, and now it's too late to send over any shipment so we'll just drop it", leaving me with nothing to show for when I go meet these important people... gah!).

Anyway, I sort of sabotaged myself by leaving a big pile of manuscripts on my desk that I was going to check today (free day, but I'm two weeks out of the office soon so need to finish this stuff), and then getting into my car home without them. So, now I do have a free day after all. Oh well! :D

This week I saw the movie Four Lions, a British farcical satire about four jihadists in London. The guys are thick as bricks and have an ideology that's ridiculous (disparaging Western consumerism even while recording their (blooper) threats on camera, referencing Mortal Kombat and playing with their cell phones in Pakistan), but the film manages at the same time to carry a message that shows how far people, even people who hardly have a clue what they're doing or getting manipulated into, will go. In the end, it was quite tragic - tragi-comic I should say.

The subject is of course a touchy one. During the film five people walked out of the theatre, but I really enjoyed it. It had me in stitches, but it's message in the end was clear, and you have to accept that for what it is. It's a very sensitive topic, and some people might feel it's one too serious to toy with, but in reviews I've seen it compared to Charlie Chaplin mocking Hitler, as in mocking that which is fearsome, to disempower it. And I like that analogy.

I remember reading about a similar anecdote, where a guy infiltrated a white rights supremist group in the US whose membership was on the rise, and then what he'd pick up at their meetings was publicly mocked on the radio: All the ridiculous nick names and safe words and rites and rituals were made fun off, and that caused their popularity and membership to drop. People couldn't take them serious anymore because their little club was exposed as intrinsically silly (despite the terrible things they did besides that). And so by mocking what is threatening, you disempower it.

It doesn't take away the threat per say, but maybe disparages some people from joining what's been exposed as destructive ideology. And anyway, better to laugh than to cry at life.

(I'm pretty sure that last anecdote was from Gladwell's The Tipping Point).
selene_13: (Labyrinth)
Personal jabbering ahead! (just warning ya)

So I'm in Prague. I work for an academic publisher and I've been sent out to a medical conference in the Czech Republic to man a promotional booth. I've been to conferences on my own before, but it feels like the people here are just not as talkative or interested as elsewhere. This makes for long days. Luckily I don't have to be there until 10 and I can leave at 5. Most of the time, I sit in my chair and read novels (I try to read the research in our journals to kind of grasp what current affairs are, but without a medical background it's near impossible). We get fed regularly and I try to eat healthy, but I know I'm overeating. Normally I don't eat a warm meal at midday, nor such a big breakfast as I do now in the hotel (if I even eat breakfast at all!). Though I guess I'm not eating any bad stuff simply because I'm not buying any. My only indulgence is my Caramel Macchiato and whipped cream from the Starbucks: You might not get how happy it makes me. There are no Starbuckses where I live and I love this coffee.

When I am sprung from the booth at 5 I hurry back to the hotel (2 stops by Metro. I forgot my wallet today and was freeloading the ride, but there appears no sign of any kind of controlling so far). Then I walk through the city for an hour or two until it gets dark and find a cafe or restaurant to eat some food. Though I find it awkward to sit in a restaurant alone, I prefer not to get fastfood (though I have done so yesterday). There is a gym and sauna in the hotel (tiny though), so I can get some exercise, and every evening I take a long bath, book in hand.

I don't mind being alone, as long as its by choice and not out of necessity. In fact, I find it quite relaxing to be away from everyone I know for a week: no obligations, no social calls, no rushing about. Except for the work of course.

Today I am reading Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. And I want to rant about it )

In unrelated news, I'm downloading the new Supernatural eppy as I type. Can't wait to see it!

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