issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
I'd got the impression that one's journal is just one's everyday entries, no splash page necessary, especially not in a journal that usually posts links to fics. But on the other hand I've been realising that there are some posts that veer into RL territory and so perhaps it's not such a bad idea...

What's more )
friending )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
1. My average writing speed is... 1000 words per three hours. Spread over a few weeks. Oh, well. No one said I had to write longfics.

2. I really want to buy the new commemorative edition of HP and the Philosopher's Stone. But I already own a copy bought some 18 years ago. I got into HP in 1999. Hm.

3. Look, a book meme!

via [personal profile] oursin

1. You currently own more than 20 books: You mean the ones on my table. Yes.

2. You currently own more than 50 books: The ones on the floor. Yes.

3. You currently own more than 100 books: The ones on the shelves.

4. You amassed so many books you switched to an e-reader: Actually, that was for fanfic and school, but why not books as well, right?
the rest here )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
The fact that K-dramas feel compelled to contrive some way for even fantasy characters to get smartphones as soon as they arrive on earth (aka modern-day Seoul) is a sign that their writers find it impossible to imagine life without them, isn't it.

(Watching Bride of the Water God, haphazardly. It's not that great at the moment, but goodness knows I'm a sucker for fantasy world-building.)
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
1. Work

[letter to client] Dear client, as discussed, you need to pay $XXX.
[client's reply] I got your letter. So how much do I need to pay?
*facepalm*

2. K-drama

Yup, still obssessed with Goblin. I'm a bit sad that there isn't more fic - at least, those that aren't in Korean. Quite a few on AO3 are m/m fics, which I'm not at all invested in. -_- I really want to explore the canon pairings more.

In other news, am following Tunnel because time-travel and crime-solving and serial killers, who doesn't like that? (Do note: The Youtube clip contains images of female victims.) And just started Ruler: Master of the Mask, which I've heard one commentator describe as a fusion between Man in the Iron Mask and the Prince and the Pauper but in sageuk form. Heh. It's pretty awesome so far.

3. Should I be watching k-drama if I also trying to brush up on my Japanese?
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
1. I would write about how much I'm still obssessed with Goblin except that when my fascination reaches a certain stage, I want to write fic and then I run up against the giant wall that is "I am not a futurist". And I really, really need to have at least a vague concept of what I think the future in 100 years will be like. I mean, I can accept that there's a baseline of social-cultural knowledge assumptions that I can work with, if (IF!) I assume that in the meantime there hasn't been the sort of global and regional upheaval that changed people's attitudes beyond recognition. Such as being invaded by aliens or catastrophic climate change leading to prolonged dystopia, I mean. For example, if I were to meet another human from 100 years later, there would be some commonalities that I could assume. I could assume this person has parents (likely two parents) and came from a family, and if in late teens, aspires to go to university or some kind of job training. I assume they still have jobs in 100 years and that robots and technology have not taken over everything. I assume human nature is still human nature: still capable of great kindness as well as great cruelty, still selfish and generous in turns. Other than that, I'm so terrible at conceptualising what technology, the type that people use every day, will be like. I mean, at the turn of the century, did anyone anticipate smartphones?

2. I will never ever not be ticked off at people who, when I've adjusted it to a nice, sane 24 celsius, change the thermostat to a chilling 19 celsius (or below). Who sits in a 19 degree room for hours on end? My weakness is definitely excessive air-conditioning. I start shivering and my heart starts racing and my mind goes blank. After that I feel like crying in a corner and stop realising that I could actually leave the room/building.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Watching (randomly) episodes of Eternal Love aka 三生三世十里桃花 which Chinese title is pretty and poetic, and snickering between bouts of "aww, so romantic!" Heh. The main love story is melodramatic, but am currently mesmerised by songs. I will frankly never ever cease to be bemused at extent in which mainland Chinese media producers (and probably not only mainland Chinese, but) can monoculture-lise those interpretations of immortals and heaven. If that should even be an existing concept.

I mean, the writer of the novel (it was adapted from a novel) has taken the idea that heaven is a place in the clouds ruled over by an king/emperor figure, with bunches of officials assisting him (except they are all immortals), just like a historical Chinese ruler, and ran with it all the way to the seven seas. Or the four seas, because in ancient Chinese worldview there's a sea in every cardinal direction. Which is great for social order and stability in their universe, sure, but a part of me is thinking, shit, that means that the palace maid is going to be a palace maid for all eternity. That is sick. Even as a kid, when I learnt about this idea of the Jade Emperor, I was incredulous.

More rambling on the fictional universe, not spoilery - I think )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
I should be grading homework instead...

Am mostly undecided what to do about LJ's most recent bout of cray-cray, will probably let it be out of pure apathy rather than delete. (Also, sentimentality.) Besides, by the time it's come to this stage, it's not as if I care that enough about LJ that I wish to signal my displeasure by deleting or whatever. I use LJ (and DW) for mostly fannish stuff anyway.

You're not even worth my token protest, LJ.

(But can I still crosspost? ETA: Looks like a no. Oh, well.)

***

Unfannishly:

I really do wonder how this concept of "genetic affinity" will develop in the future. Not that I'm mocking the concept, because I do sense what the judge wants to articulate and sympathise with it, but in a purely clinical sense the so-called DNA link seems so... clinical?
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
1. Although the kids whom I threatened with classroom eviction yesterday would not have guessed it. At least it stopped them wondering around and back to their seats.

2. I posted the April themes for 31_days at LJ. I feared there would be too many Goblin quotes (hah) and had to hastily make do with handy books on the table.

3. If anyone is curious, my Goblin fic is here (WIP). I'm trying and failing to satisfy myself about the future Goblin-verse.

4. Finally seeing a sign of recovery from persistent flu. As in, today I realised I could smell my food!

5. Clearly, going outdoors is detrimental while one has the flu is unwise as I now have multiple mosquito bites. (Usually I have a good awareness of whether I am going to get bitten and avoid them. But reflexes are currrently subpar.)
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
1) Job: I found a job! \\o// clearly. Conveyancing's not quite my first choice but I like it well enough, having done it for a short stretch last year. People at my new office seem ok and are professional about work, which I feel comfortable with.

2) Which hurriedly throws a wrench into my teaching schedule. (The new office wanted me to start asap.) Originally I was relaaaaaxingly teaching a mere three classes every Saturday, but with a full-time job, there's some serious juggling of my free time. The easy solution is to give up the teaching, but I feel reluctant about doing so. For one thing, I like it; it's almost like a hobby, if one with annoying bits like marking homework.

3) OMG Goblin. I'm astonished at myself for still being hung on a k-drama more than a month after it ended, but I am. Intellectually, I know that it has flaws: slow plot development, lots of repeating sequences (though that's part of the fun, to me), the strong hints of predestination, but frankly I don't notice while I'm watching (or even, re-watching) it. It's an experience, all right. I've ignored Sherlock (still ignoring) for it.

4) So, Goblin fic. What really makes me grrr is the fact that the reunion between the lovers happens some 70-100 years in the future (or so I deduce), and much as I want to write reunion fic, I am not a futurist! They must (mustn't they?) use something other than mobile phones to communicate, right? And are there still professions such as a radio producer 70 years from now? Will there still be two Koreas? Was there civil war (again)? What are high schools and universities of the future like? And I assume they have self-driving cars or some other mode of transport, right? And how did climate change affect weather patterns? (Somewhat important as the male protagonist has supernatural powers.) Certain things, I can fudge away because I don't think family behaviour and cultures/traditions would change out of recognition. But the rest of it? Writing is hard.

5) Also, obssessed with the soundtrack to Beautiful Mind (K-drama, not the Hollywood movie).
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
天增岁月人增寿,春满乾坤福满门。

To everyone who celebrates it, HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Grab the nearest book, flip to page 117, the second sentence is your life in 2017.

"They had carefully decorated the inside with holograms of grasslands, forests, and oceans; cultivated real gardens; and built fishing ponds and water fountains, turning the ship into a real home."

Death's End, by Liu Cixin, trans. Ken Liu, last installment of the Three-Body epic.

...okay? I'll be living in a make-believe place, it seems.

***

Job hunting continues. Today I did some teaching at a tutoring centre... tutoring a bunch of seven- and eight-year-olds, which is kind of amusing. Poor kids. Who actually wants to spend Saturday at a tutoring session?

***

k-drama

Goblin, aka Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: I don't know why the network renamed the series (or gave it two names), maybe the awesomeness of Gong Yoo just could not be limited to one title, or something. Haha.

One thing that drew my attention before it aired was that the inspiration came from Korean folktales (with plenty of adaptation, of course) rather than western-derived tales. Then it aired, and I loved the myth-making that went into the plot, even if it combined that with the theme of reincarnation -- which I'm usually wary about. There are quite a few long, drawn-out scenes of characters brooding, which can feel overlong unless you're simply enjoying the eyecandy (the cute thing about k-dramas is that there is a lot of pretty). The cinematography is gorgeous.

Other than that, I'm enjoying it so much that for the first time in my life of watching k-dramas I wished I understood Korean so that I could get the nuance of what the characters are saying. Last night there was major character death so I'm a bit bummed by that, but the scene before that happened (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1hty9DtJSU) defines "whoa". Also, I think that sword is almost too big.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Happy new year, everyone. Good health and good tiddings to all.

It's been a strange 2016, with somewhat unbelieveable developments in politics and with rather more celebrity deaths than expected. We'll need all our strength for 2017, since the trend will probably continue.

The first newspaper article I read in the new year described December, not April, as the cruellest month, but frighteningly and bewilderingly alluded to Chaucer, which was... new. (Well, it is the new year.)

Also, schadenfreude all the way.

(Also, who does that? Doesn't it take about 2 seconds to google-check? WTF.)

***

For Yuletide, I wrote Roosting Winds, Nirvana in Fire, for Naphyla. It's mostly hints and a couple of scene settings, because I couldn't really find a way of writing about a Jingyan-Mei Changsu reunion without it being OCC-ly gushy and melodramatic.

I did read quite a few Vorkosigan fics:

The Huntsman's Reel, Alys Vorpatil, Simon Illyan, by Philomytha

Odd Men Out, Mark, Dono by keerawa

Peace and Quiet, Ivan, Gregor, by alessandriana

Troublesome to Others, but a Torment to Themselves, Mark, Miles, Kareen by ozymandias314

***

Also my brain has been consumed by k-dramas these past two weeks. Whoa.

Yuletide

Dec. 26th, 2016 11:02 pm
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
It's been a quiet time for me, but it was still delightful to have two Yuletide fics written for me. Whoever you are, thank you so much!

A Changeover crossover with Harry Potter is always welcome, especially for this glimpse of Sorry, who is like a breath of fresh air in the Wizarding World: Sealed in a Stone-Cold Tome by (ETA) Aishuu. Thank you, you are a marvel. I thought some of the turns of phrases seemed familiar!!! <3

and

nothing could be better than scenes of married life between Prunella and Zacharias in this Sorcerer to the Crown fic: Mr Gentleman's School for Magically Gifted Children by (ETA) tantamoqwrites. Thank you so much for writing this!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Because K-drama

King 2 Hearts. wiki link

This was an older drama (2012) where the publicity posters put me off when it first came out. Luckily it turned out be very different from what I imagined. Damn you, publicity photo!

At first I simply enjoyed it for the romance set in an imaginary constitutional monarchy South Korea (and whenever I watch K-drama, like Goong, that riff on this concept, can't help thinking exactly what it would have been like IF Korea did have a constitutional monarchy... but history marches on) and because not only is the Ha Ji-won an ass-kicking, not-taking-names type, she matches up so well with the Lee Seung-gi (who is always kind of fun). Both are enjoyable in their own way and as the power couple, they are awesome. And of course, the fact that the writers bring in the North-South conflict (albeit resolving it, if temporary, in a suitably K-dramaland fashion) adds a lot of illicit thrill, because on one hand it's a Serious Thing and on another hand I can imagine the writers and producers thinking of the whole North-South conflict as a grab bag of ready-made issues that they can pull out for dramatic tension. As one does.

And on the other hand, I did reach a level of confusion about exactly what the writers/producers meant by constitutional monarchy. At one point Lee Seung-gi as the king yelled at the prime minister, "I'm the commander-in-chief!"* and I went, wait, is that how it's supposed to work?! which led to googling and reading and now I'm... less enlightened in my assumptions? Unexpected but again, fun.

*Though this could be due to subtitling/translation issues.

Goblin: the Lonely and Great God Wiki link. Trailer here

The buzz has been about Gong Yoo and the bromance between the goblin and the grim reaper, and those are definitely the draws, haha. There's just 2 episodes out yet, and I'm very eager to find more about the myth-world that's being built up here. There's also a thrill that they filmed part of it in Quebec because it is so pretty. And also very, very confusing because the goblin is supposed to be more than 900 years old but apparently Quebec was the first place he landed after he sailed from Korea (cf the tombstones in the trailer where his servants were buried) and I do not think ships were reaching Quebec from Korea at that point in time, 900 years ago. Unless he and his servant went overland to Europe first and sailed on a ship there. (But the ship and sailors looked Korean! But then it got sunk by him while it was in the middle of the ocean!) And there's gotta be a time skip of some sort.

Ok, either it will make sense in later episodes or it'd be brushed off by the overall narrative. But it's currently nagging at me. I guess this means I must follow it, haha.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Watched, among others:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

It sounds like damning with praise but it was nice? Loved the creatures and special effects, and the story itself has a lot of potential (I can see why sequels are forthcoming, and not just because of the franchise thing). Also, kind of weird to say this after 8 Harry Potter films, but it's just fun to see adults doing regular magic without thinking that at any moment, the big bad was going to kill everyone. Well, I guess that big bad does make its presence felt at the end but that was expected. Read more... )


Your Name (trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRfHcp2GjVI)

Which was all kinds of awesome and easily one of the best movies I've seen this year (though I've mostly seen blockbusters all year). I thought at first that it was going to be a quirky romantic story that makes use of the oft-misused body-switching schtick, but the plot was better than that. The point when the characters find out what really, really happened, and my heart was breaking when I thought that was it, no more true love. But luckily that was only the halfway point...

The artwork is great, though not very distinctive. That's all right, though; what really shines is the storytelling. And what I really loved was how it went into the local traditions of Mitsuha's hometown, going very micro in one part of it, linking traditional rituals and beliefs with the characters, and then, as the plot unfolds, connecting all of that with macro themes of love and longing and emotional ties. It's lovely work, a tiny bit sentimental without being preachy. And the plotpoint has kumihimo braids! I adore that part of it so much. spoilery )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
I've been spending my time re-watching Kill Me, Heal Me, a K-drama that has themes of mental illness, including disassociative identity disorder. It's K-drama-fied, of course, which means they start out with a relatively good premise and then romance comes in and some typical tropes happen, and the protagonist's troubles are speedily and neatly resolved. But I'm really here for Ji Sung, whom I last saw in All In, and whose acting skills are brilliant, especially in portraying all the different personalities. I love Perry Park! Don't like the female lead as much (she screams a lot) but I have to admit that she's kind of adorable at times. The overall plot is solid, which I really enjoyed. I've been watching it at Viki with subtitles in different languages, just for the hell of it.

***

I'm dismayed by the outcome as well, though I'm kind of surprised so many people are surprised. Whenever I read the news about Trump's supporters, it's always been about how pervasive they are, and how wide his appeal was/is, so... I was hoping for a freak result that would see a woman being elected as president of America. Didn't happen.

Take heart, America. You've always been resilient and inventive. It's definitely not the end of the world.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Every time I start to feel regretful about being jobless, my ex-colleagues helpfully 'update' me on the latest procedurally/ethically questionable wtf thing that my ex-bosses have decided/said. And yes, there have been more than one. (I shall have to refer to them by number soon.) It's unnerving when senior lawyers forget that they are lawyers...

***

Segueing from Love in the Moonlight into Reply 1988, which is a sweet coming-of-age drama of a bunch of 18-year old kids who live in the same neighbourbook and also (the part that grabbed my attention) Choi Taek, a young baduk genius (who is described as being a god of baduk who struggles a bit at normal life), and includes this hilarious scene: Play-ing Baduk with Taek. And when the Fujitsu Cup nearly became a container for kimchi. ^____^

***

Nearly forgot: hope you had a great Deepavali!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Have been watching K-drama Love in the Moonlight aka Moonlight Drawn by Clouds (hilarious teaser here), which is more of a period idol drama wherein woman in disguise as man turns up in the palace as an enunch falls in love with meet-cute crown prince. There's some typical palace plotting, together with some expected she's-daughter-of-a-rebel! drama coming up. Which actually reminded me of Dong Yi. I'm really very curious about how it will end because the setting is based on actual history and the said crown prince in history... well. Died young.

***

Extracurricular Activities, Mei Changsu/Xiao Jingyan, modern-day AU, Nirvana in Fire, by Alaceron

***

On the personal front, work and job woes )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
Randomly:

1) I got my Yuletide assignment! It's oddly specific, which is a bit worrying as my first instinct is a "don't wanna" - right now it feels a lot like writing to spec. But will think on it.

2) I had a belated epiphany in which I realised that 'Pillar of Tennis' (as in Prince of Tennis) is a reference to the Chinese concept of 挑大梁 (tiǎo dà liáng, i.e. to play a leading role, or to bear a heavy responsibility) which probably transformed into the equivalent/similar Japanese cultural concept (挑 means to carry; 大梁 means the big/main pillar). And which is again hilarious because PoT is exactly like theatre, so when Tezuka exhorted Echizen to become the pillar of Seigaku, he's also hoping that Echizen becomes the main performer. Exactly right, then.

3) Discovered some deleted scenes of Nirvana in Fire: part 1 and part 2

4) And always, a reminder why I like Yujin so much: where Lord Marquis Yan agrees to help Mei Changsu

5) Apparently my Patronus is a Marsh Harrier.

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