issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2017-05-14 09:01 pm
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(no subject)

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)
2017-04-16 11:11 pm
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I am not a futurist, and other complaints

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)
2017-04-15 12:03 am
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三生三世十里桃花

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)
2017-04-05 11:44 pm
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(no subject)

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)
2017-04-02 11:36 pm
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I skipped April Fool's day

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)
2017-03-01 11:45 pm
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Updates and not-updates

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)
2016-10-30 09:15 pm
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Crazy ex-bosses: the gift that keeps giving

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)
2016-10-15 12:06 am

(no subject)

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)
2016-10-11 11:48 pm

(no subject)

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.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-09-15 12:40 am
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(no subject)

Magnets for Trouble, Big Hero 6 (Disney)/Avengers crossover, by PitViperOfDoom

Big Hero Martian, Big Hero 6 (Disney)/The Martian crossover, by althor42

there's a michael jackson song about this, Iron Man 3/Avengers 2 crossover, by Bundibird

***

This Vote is Legally Binding by Ursula Vernon
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-08-30 12:36 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Part of my local newspaper's Q&A on Zika:

Q: What can a pregnant woman do if she has Zika?

A: Her doctor will monitor the development of the baby. If it is confirmed to have a major defect, and it is within 24 weeks of conception, abortion is a choice.


That. Is. Well, they said what most people would be thinking, even if it was for a brief moment.

***

Dragons and Other Metaphors, Akira, Hikaru, Hikago, by esama

Fallen Stars, Hikaru, Sai, Hikago, by esama

***

That LJ?DW? meme I've been seeing )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-08-23 11:49 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Didn't want to let the month go by without posting something, anything:

that 100 scifi-fantasy list that was about a few weeks back )

Busy with work, but that's not too surprising, I guess. It's been an eventful and annoyingly tiring day. I was at court and my hearing didn't go well (which was due to factors not under my control), damn it. But at least:

1) I was wearing my favourite earrings;
2) I caught six Pokémon.

You do what you can.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-07-06 11:21 pm

(no subject)

No Grave Can Hold My Body Down, Mei Changsu aka Lin Shu/Xiao Jingyan, AU with Odyssey-verse, Nirvana in Fire, by lostlenore

Fully Functional, Rhodey/Tony, Civil War, by astolat

***

- Brexit means I can buy The Cursed Child at a cheaper price.

- Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Which is pretty awesome not just because it was fun seeing a kelaidescope of people dressed in their brightest, glitterest best, all beaming at the world, but also:

- public holiday yay! I watched Tarzan Tarzan (brief spoilery thoughts) )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-05-05 10:06 pm

Hikaru no Go, Hikago Day

Blind Go, round 18: the fics are here.

Not many fics this round. A far cry from previous rounds, which is a bit sad. But that's the nature of fandom, I suppose.

***

Thoughts:

1. Someone commented the other day, when I said I was going to write for BG, that I ought to write more than just Hikago fic. Yeah, it's something to keep in mind, though I have written for a few (very few) other fandoms. My fic output has fallen drastically since the fervency of those Hikago days, but I doubt if I'll ever stop writing: there are still times when I simply feel the urge to write, and then I scribble some. I suppose it's rather lazy, waiting for inspiration rather than working at it, but I never pretended to be anything more than a hobbyist writer. ^__^


2. At the risk of sounding self-serving, I've decided that I ought to post my recent Hikago fics on AO3, as a matter of online record if nothing else. While writing for BG, I looked at my Hikago writing file and was a bit taken aback at how... unedited it was. My habit was/is to write, post (without even a beta) and then amend typos and phrasings as I went, working entirely on [edit post] versions. So my harddrive only has drafts and not the final versions... Yeah.

3. So, it's Hikago Day. I remember that I was starting to go off manga/anime at about the time I came across Hikago, but then I came across this scene: Read more... )

Happy Hikago Day, everyone!
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-04-18 12:26 am
Entry tags:

瑯琊榜 Nirvana in Fire

Re Nirvana in Fire, I can do no better than colorblue's pimp post, so enjoy

If anyone is interested in the novels, there's an online version right here. Amazon is selling it, in case anyone has cash to spend. Yingtao's blog made an attempt at translating it into English over here, but I'm not sure how complete it is. Ditto this other blog

***

36 Things I think about when I think about Nirvana in Fire

spoilers galore: names are in pinyin; not in chronological order )
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-03-25 09:01 pm

Things

A list:

1) Is it just me or has March been a really long month (and is still not over)? I've been to the wake of a friend's mum, to prison (work-related), to court (both subordinate and high, also work-related), transferred to a different mail system, witnessed an eclipse (sorta), wrote fic, missed a tutoring session out sheer exhaustion, reacted (or not reacted) to news reports on terrorism and disasters, and replaced all the furniture in my room (I did not know I owned that many books). Not to mention AlphaGo v Lee Se-dol.

2) Speaking of Lee Se-dol (or as some websites have it, Lee Sedol), AlphaGo won the game by defying basic human instinct. That post is useful for people like me, whose strategic gaming skill only extends to tic-tac-toe. Kinda fun fodder for fic too, methinks.

3) Read The Bone Swans of Amandale, by C.S.E. Cooney, which was recced on Asking the Wrong Questions, mainly because the book cover reminded me of the last scene in Bridge of Birds. It is actually a re-telling of Pied Piper, and a rather good one. Enjoyed the narrator Maurice, fascinated by the Nicolas the piper and between being put off and impressed by Dora Rose. Nice touch with the three children. Wished there was more of the villain.

4) Read A Queer Trade by KJ Charles. I read her Magpie Lord series previously, didn't know there were new stories set in the same universe. The ML series was a little over the top, but gave me the feeling that a crossover with Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown would be great fun.

5) Speaking of period fiction (or not), here's an atypical introduction to the laws of Singapore (tho' this was taken from a case I was reading this week):

The island of Singapore was part of the territorial domain of the Johor Sultanate before 1824 when its sovereignty was ceded to the British. As a British possession, its inhabitants were subject to English principles of law. However, it was not until 1826 when the Second Charter of Justice (“the Second Charter”) introduced the entire corpus of English law (common law, equity and English statutes of general application) to Singapore so far as it was applicable to the circumstances of Singapore and its inhabitants and subject to such modifications as those circumstances might require (as the courts later held its effect to be such). The consequence of this development was that the general law was applicable to all except where the customs and personal laws of the inhabitants required that the general law be modified to suit their circumstances.

Yadda, yadda, you kinda see this general gist whatever case you're reading: criminal, civil, family, procedural rules, etc. With some modification it'd make a great period fantasy setting: colonial powers try their best, but they didn't count on what the natives had up their sleeves. Hehe.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-03-11 12:39 am

things

1. Really, JKR? The magic school in Japan is called 'magic-place'? And their robes turn white when they do black magic? Someone should tell the Sumeragi clan.

2. And we're into the 18th round of Blind Go, in time for Japan's Children Day, or Hikago Day 5/5. I'm pimping it because I've signed up and want more people to write Hikago fic. ^_^

3. Alpha-Go v Lee Sedol. Lee lost the 2nd game too. We live in interesting times.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-02-08 12:06 pm
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2016 Year of the Monkey, element fire

Thoughts on the new year:

I watched the recent Chinese animated version of Journey to the West, the first part where Monkey is freed from the mountain which was pretty good and I love the way they've rendered Sun Wukong. Though the music cues are kind of meh. I've always been secretly fond of Sun Wukong's character. A typical rendition of Sun Wukong: 大闹天宫 (I love this animated version). My fondness is sort of complicated by the fact that the Great Sage is also a religious figure in my culture. It's kind of hilariful when you find yourself at the temple... Anyway, pop media's varied interpretations about the Monkey King are just as fun: as a trickster figure, a protector, a rebel, a fighter, or as a greedy monkey who is looking out for number one.

Anyway, one of my favourite interpretations of Sun Wukong is from The Chinese Odyssey, part 1: Pandora's Box and part 2: A Cinderella story, a two-parter Stephen Chow movie from about 1994-5. At first viewing, though, it's hard to see through all the crack, jokes and sight gags - not to mention sexist and other -ist sins of Hong Kong cinema masquerading as jokes - the story of Sun Wukong, about love, truth and redemption. Most of the best interpretations about Sun Wukong occur before he goes on the journey with Sanzang, by the way: he's just obligated to be saintly (not merely good) by the end of the journey and really, with a damper of Sanzang, it's not fun anymore. The Chinese Odyssey has its faults (oh so many), complete with ending of someone (the Ox King) trying to send a piece of earth into the sun (now trite, but still rather exciting in those days when it first came out) and getting the smackdown for it. But it's still weirdly engrossing.

Maybe because behind all the wacky jokes, it still asks questions about what is love, what is reality, what is self-deception, and looks at the effects of greed and hatred, and then, it goes for the brutal conclusion that life is transient. Quite an interesting balancing act. It's not a Christian-like redemption, and the ending, well, is overall a bittersweet one. The monkey's journey is a journey for clarity of self and purpose. There are probably movies that do this better, and strike at those truths more intently. But there'll never one with Sanzang belting out a bastardised version of "Only You" (in Cantonese).

Anyway, the reason for all that rambling is this song 《一生所愛》. The theme song for the CO. It's damn good, and it's haunting. The title makes you think it's a love song, but the lyrics are about transcient joys and the impossibility of having again what has been lost. And that look on Wukong's face when he turns away from the happy couple... a lifetime of regrets.


**Speaking of Stephen Chow, one of my favourite scenes from the couplet-contest in The Flirting Scholar, scene 唐伯虎點秋香:吟詩作對, awesome when rendered in the original Cantonese. This was also the scene with the crack UST-inspired kiss.
issenllo: strawberry thief print from William Morris (Default)
2016-01-20 11:11 am
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bookblog and general knowledge query

So this is a thing. Every year I promise myself to read more books, and also, bookblog. It doesn't quite happen that way, so this is probably the first and only bookblog for the year until next year when new year resolutions re-strike.

Between You and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Read more... )

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. Read more... )

The Vorrh, by B. Catling. Read more... )

The Dark Forest, by Liu Cixin, trans Joel Martinsen. Read more... )

***

As I'd gone back to teaching English while applying to full-time jobs, I was commiserating with a fellow teacher on students. The school I teach at is for Japanese expats, btw.

ME: So, in the first lesson, I often ask things like what's your job, where's your hometown... What I find most wtf about them is that they'd look at you with their big, earnest eyes, and say something like, "My hometown is Kyoto. Have you heard of Kyoto?" *rants* Why wouldn't I have heard of Kyoto? It's only the second most well-known city in Japan. It's a major tourist attraction. It's the atypical Japanese cultural billboard. It's got temples and geishas, just to give a couple of the most stereotypical things that people know of Japan.

FRIEND: I know, right?

ME: *continues ranting* If it's a really obscure place, yeah, I freely admit my ignorance. But you're telling me you come from Hokkaido or Nagano, or Nagasaki and you ask me whether I've heard of these places?

FRIEND: I've never heard of Nagasaki.

ME: *extremely non-plussed* What? But... but it got atomic bombed!

FRIEND: I thought it was only Hiroshima.

ME: No, they got (atomic) bombed in two places, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

FRIEND: Never heard of that.

So this became a story where I complain about my students' insularity and end up finding something even weirder. This is supposed to be common knowledge, right? I mean, even if you knew nothing about Japan, you'd know that USA dropped two atomic bombs on Japan during WW2, right? Sure, it happened like 70 years ago, but still...

more rambling )