fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)
Boxing Day: one of my favourite holidays. A chance to unwind, read Christmas books, visit Lisa - that's a longstanding tradition. Longstanding Boxing Day traditions are almost as much fun as Christmas traditions.

Though it's fun when it's different, too. The year I lived in England, everyone in the family I was visiting played field hockey on Boxing Day.

A change...

Aug. 8th, 2014 06:39 pm
fajrdrako: ([Methos])
I'm changing all my various accounts, because I'm changing my email address. Best address for me now is probably azurite2@yahoo.ca.
fajrdrako: ([Pirate])

Book Question #2: What book or series do you wish more people were reading and talking about?

(1) Megan Whalen Turner's series about Attolia. Imagine the early Renaissance as a world still like Ancient Greece. A boy named Gen uses his skills as a thief to get involved in power politics in the first book; to say any more would be to give spoilers for a series full of twists and turns of character and event. The books so far are "The Thief", "The Queen of Attolia", "The King of Attolia", and "A Conspiracy of Kings." Note: they must be read in that order.

(2) Karin Lowachee's series about the space battleship Macedon. A futuristic world with three battlefronts: an uneasy enmity between Earth and its colonies, and the first alien race they have encountered; and Admiral Cairo Azarcon is hunting down the slave-pirate Falcon to destroy his empire. The books are "Warchild", "Burndive" and "Cagebird".

(3) Iona Andrews' series about Kate Daniels. It is postaplocalyptic Atlanta, Georgia; magic and technology switch back and forth, causing havoc for humanity. Kate Daniels is a freelance mercenary who takes on any challenge from evil mages to vampires to the mysteries of her own past; and the leonine king of the shape-changers.

See Magic Bites on Goodreads.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

Book Questions: Name a book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)

    A series I wish had gone on longer: the SF trilogy by Karin Lowachee, comprising "Warchild", "Burndive" and "Cagebird". Fascinating characters, interesting and believable world-building, and a protagonist - I'm thinking of Cairo Azarcon here - I just couldn't get enough of. How I wish there was more.

    A book series I wish would just freaking end already: George R.R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire", which was wonderful through, say, the first three books; then has become more and more dull as it continues. It should have got to the point and ended by now.


Feb. 24th, 2014 01:39 pm
fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

fajrdrako: ([Shakespeare])

Watched the first two parts of Michael Wood's In Search of William Shakespeare this evening. What a great show.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)
I created a chicken dish last night that every present liked, and asked for the recipe. Since I had made the recipe up when I didn't like the ones I was finding online, I promised to write it down and send it to them.

So here it is.

February Chicken

12 chicken thighs
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp avocado oil
1 cup almonds, whole
2 leeks
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk


1. Preheat oven to 375F. Coat chicken with turmeric and salt and put in a casserole dish. Put them in the hot oven. Set the timer to 30 minutes.
Toast the almonds in a dry fying pan over medium heat. While they are heating, slice and wash the leeks.

2. Take the roasted almonds out of the frying pan and put in the avocado oil and the leeks. Cook the leeks till they are soft, about five minutes.

3. Add the almonds and the coconut milk to the frying pan and simmer. When the timer goes off, take the chicken out of the oven and pour the coconut mixture over the chicken. Return to the oven for another 15 minutes.

4. Serve and enjoy.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

Last night I watched the pilot episode of the Chris Carter show, The After.

What an ill-conceived show.

The problem was, it made no sense. It appeared at first that nothing electronic, electrical, or mechanical would work - but then some things did work. The initial characters, six people stuck in an elevator, appeared to be random - and then turned out to have the same birthday, though not the same date of birth. In all the general sense of hysteria, panic, and confusion, no one expresses surprise or speculates as to why this may be happening. Our protagonist, physically attractive but not too bright, risks life and limb to recover her cell phone - twice - when the phones aren't working and her battery surely can't last much longer anyway. There was a lot of shouting and some gunfire, but nothing much in the way of coherence.

The only that almost made it interesting was the appearance of a funny-looking alien, but even that was brief, unexplained, and unremarked. And the characters? It was fun to see Aldis Hodge (from Leveage) and Adrian Pasdar (from Heroes), but they seemed to have no personality - except the left-over personalities of Hardison and Nathan Petrelli. That may have just been my interpretation, having nothing else to go on - least of all script.

Makes me long for the old X-Files days.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

My computer is dismantled and sitting on the floor of my bedroom, not because it is malfunctioning (which it is), but because I got new furniture: a lovely new desk, which calls itself a Maplewood Writing Table. And my wonderful friends helped me set it up yesterday.

There seems to be no photograph of it online. It has an old-world look with new-tech functions: the large drawer doubles as a keyboard tray, and at the back of the desk there are two plugs and three charging ports for electronic devices.

Between the process of taking down my old massive desk and putting up my new sleek one, we watched The Doctor Who 2013 Christmas Special, which Alayne had not seen. I liked it rather better the second time round; the first time, I was irritated at how little sense it made, and only really enjoyed the bits with Peter Capaldi at the end. And I'm still not sure why the Gallifreyans offered the Doctor extra lives in the end - not that I'm complaining. Transilore may have fallen - I'm not sure the Doctor is the best protector they could have had - but the universe goes on, the Doctor has new kidneys, and Clara stands faithfully by.

fajrdrako: (Tibetan Singing Bowl)

A few months ago I went with Beulah to a concert that was entirely one man playing many Tibetan Singing Bowls. He gets them himself from Tibet, where he stays with the people who make them. He could make water spray out of the bowl just with the vibration of the sound.

I have a Tibetan Singing Bowl that I treasure greatly; it was a gift from [livejournal.com profile] gamergrrl when she came back from Mongolia. It sits on my shelf, looking beautiful. Usually.

Tonight I took it down to try to play it. At first, I thought there was no sound at all. But I played with it, slowly and carefully, to get the hang of it. There was a faint bell=like sound. And then I realized suddenly that there was a loud, musical ringing tone that seemed to be all around me - but it could only be coming from my bowl.

How cool.

Happy with my experience tonight, I'm going to try again tomorrow. It seems a beautiful kind of meditation.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

This evening and I watched two Oscar contendeders, The Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity.

I didn't want to see The Wolf of Wall Street because I can't stand Leonardo di Caprio and don't like any of his movies. I decided to give it a try because of its Oscar nomination - not that I necessarily think that's a mark in a movie's favour. There have been plenty of Oscar movies I disliked, with or without di Caprio. This did nothing to change my mind: it's the anti-fajrdrako movie, with nothing in it for me at all.

Gravity, on the other hand, was as good as I expected: excellent script, great directing and cinematograpy, terrific acting by Sandra Bullock, whom I do always like. And Clooney, too. Though Ryan Stone made me feel like an underachiever.


Jan. 15th, 2014 09:13 pm
fajrdrako: ([SHIELD])
Watched this week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at Pim's place tonight

Love that show more all the time. Skye's story is getting more interesting.

Also: reading "Freedom and Necessity" by Emma Bull and Stephen Brust. Amazing story.
fajrdrako: TARDIS in winter ([Christmas] - 02)

I wanted to point out [personal profile] commodorified's wonderful Litany For A Season of Night and Storm.

How can it be a whole month since I have posted here?

The solstice has come. The season has turned. We escaped an ice storm by sheer blind luck and that isn't sleet in the air, it's Christmas.

Under the influence of my friends, I spent an hour or two last night watching cat videos on YouTube on my television - after spending a good part of the morning watching Michael Wood's show about Alfred the Great and petting [personal profile] maaseru's lovely white cat, whom I call the Little Princess. But her name is really Minou.
fajrdrako: Ninth Doctor - Christopher Eccleston ([Doctor Who])

Watched Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor at Chris's new place with Tim and Sylvie.

Best episode in years.

Things I liked: )
... and looking forward to more.
fajrdrako: ([Lymond])
Today was the International Dorothy Dunnett Day, where fans the world over got together to toast Dorothy Dunnett at 1 p.m. local time.

In Ottawa we met at the Tea Party Cafe on York St. I'd instituted a hat contest - a prize for the best hat. Lyn won it this year, for a stetson wrapped in a mauve feather boa. The best touch: a horse had trampled the hat. That seemed a delightfully Dunnettesque touch.

We each read a passage of choice.

Lynne read a scene where Lymond sees the unconscious Will Scott shortly before Will's death.

Gemma read the passage at the end of the chapter in which Diccon Chancellor dies.

Donna read a scene from "Checkmate", about the aftermath of the Hotel de Ville banquet.

Tasia read the passage in which Thorfinn and Thorkel discuss happiness.

I read from "The Game of Kings", the scene with Jonathan Crouch, before Lymond and company go to the Ostrich.

We tasted Dorothy Dunnett, and made plans to meet again next year - spring and fall.
fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

When I was about eleven years old, I used to pretend I had a flowing red cape and a big hammer and long, fair hair. I wanted to be Thor, or to know Thor, or to hand out in Asgard. I was a Thor groupie. Big time. My parents were puzzled by my fascination with Norse mythology.

So now it's 2013, and the eleven-year-old fajrdrako has got her heart's desire: a Thor movie that satisfies all those old craving and more.

Great things about Thor: Dark World (and, trust me, spoilers follow):

    1. Chris Hemsworth. His face isn't the face of Thor in my imagination (channelling Jack Kirby), but he's quite wonderful in the role. All that muscle and courage. Nice smile. Nice puzzlement. Nice compassion.

    2. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster. I never much liked Jane Foster )

Things I didn't so much like:

    1. Christopher Eccleston was wasted as Malekith. Sure, he was a fine villain, but it was all in the photography, the script, and the costume. They didn't even make full use... )

Hope to see it again, and soon.
fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

J.B.S. Haldane said:

    Capitalism, though it may not always give the scientific worker a living wage, will always protect him, as being one of the geese which produce golden eggs for its table.

I think J.B.S. Haldane overestimated the ability of the powers that be to recognize the value of the scientists. Or why is Stephen Harper systematically dismantling Canada's scientific infrastructure?

We don't want golden eggs?

fajrdrako: (Halloween)

Remember the little boy on the bus who looks like Jamie from Doctor Who? He was on the bus today with his father. His nose was painted with a red blob and he wore a clown costume. The woman beside me complimented him on his nose, and, at slight urging from his father, he murmured, "Merci."

"Show her you can say it in English, too," his father prompted, and he whispered, even more softly, "Thank you."

It was a third-generation clown costume, his father said. The crowning touch was the warm woolen grey toque, on top of which was a black plastic clown's hat with a neon green pom-pom.

Wishing a Happy Halloween to all my friends
fajrdrako: ([Uncle])

I'm enjoying this show more with each episode. It reminds me of favourite shows of my past: The Man From U.N.C.L.E., the Avengers - I mean Steed and Mrs. Peel, not the Marvel version; X-Files and Fringe. I love the international settings - how many shows these days bring us Stockholm and Malta in two consecutive episodes?

I loved it that the show used X-ray specs.

Are we going to get more weaponry and gadgets from the ads in the back of the old comics? Amazing Sea-Monkeys? The Black Dragon Fighting Society? Grow Living Monsters in Your Own Room? New Bodies for Old?

There's a potential plot in every one of them.

fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

Every five years we have to get a new Ontario Health Card. Don't they call themselves OHIP any more? How many years am I out of date?

My old card expired on my birthday. A couple of weeks before that I went to their office to renew my card, got my picture taken - just a little older and more frazzled than the previous card. They took my old card, and gave me a piece of paper which they told me to keep in my wallet until my actual card arrives in the mail.

So today I went to the bank and got my temporary travel health insurance for my trip to the States next week. Just as I was leaving the bank, the teller reminded me to make sure I had my Ontario Health Card with me. I explained that I didn't have a card at the moment, but that they'd given me a piece of paper to tide me over. "Just be sure to take it with you," said the teller.

Very helpful reminder. So I looked in my wallet and... no slip of paper. It's been a few weeks. Had I absent-mindedly taken it out? Had it fallen out? Where was it?

I've been rooting around the papers on my desk with no luck. Starting - almost starting - to worry. Then I realized I hadn't looked at today's mail yet. There were a few things... including a letter from the Ontario government. Yup, my health card has arrived. I'll be covered to travel. Or at home, too, but it's the idea of being sick or in an accident while out of the country that worries me.

Not that I intend to have any mishaps. I think I feel that if I'm insured, nothing will happen. If I'm not insured, fate will come and bite me.


fajrdrako: Chris Hemsworth - Thor: The Dark World (Default)

December 2014

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