27 March 2007

terrible sinking feeling

In which I am too much affected by fan fiction.

My parents, like any two people in a long-term relationship, have had some terrible fights. The ones that I have been present for were some of the most agonising experiences of my life. Seeing two people fight--two people who love one another deeply--makes me feel sick inside. It's that sensation that says something terrible could happen at any moment, but you just don't know what.

My tendency to become immersed in what I'm reading or watching can even make fictional accounts of such things affect me in the same way.

Arkaidy updated her "Across Time" (actually, she's updated it a couple times since my last decent rundown--but I've been sorely neglecting this blog, though I write often enough [about not much of anything sometimes] in my primary LJ).

The beginning of this new chapter sees Ares freed (in, roughly, the present--1999) from the caves where he was imprisoned during the archaeological episode of Xena (set in the 1920s, I think), courtesy Vega's new goddess powers. I think this is my favourite part of the chapter, mainly because of Ares and Strife's reunion.

Ares' reaction (or Kevin Smith's portrayal of that reaction) to Strife's murder always touches me whenever I watch it; because it exhibits the fact that, even though Ares is always giving Strife a hard time, he really does love his nephew. He does value him. And I think that this chapter, following that line of their relationship, illustrates that fact with decent poignancy (but not too much, because this is the GoW, after all).

Another clever tie-in, and still without changing anything canon: "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Hercules." Though, this brings me to my initial feelings of distress.

In that particular episode Hercules, we find the setting in present day (at that time--again, 1999) California and many bad things are happening--and Kevin Sorbo is missing. We don't find out until the end of the episode, but Ares and Strife are the ones wreaking havoc on the world; oh yeah, and Kevin Sorbo really is Hercules.

It's one of my favourite episodes in the series because it blurs the lines of reality and the show that way, and the actors are clearly having a blast lamb-basting the crew and production team with their characterizations (Bruce Campbell as Rob Tapert is just perfect). It is, however, worth mentioning that it's also one of the more infuriating episodes of the season, because it's mainly built on flashbacks to previous episodes.

Anyway, Vega witnesses the terrible things that Strife is doing with Ares and--rightly--gives it to him. So why the dread? Because of the obvious feelings of betrayal about Strife's siding with Ares, and because of Strife's initial callous reaction to those feelings: "That was two thousand years ago! Get over it!"

That got me to wondering about Strife's death experience; obviously, he would know that two thousand years have passed, but has he really felt that passage of time? Through Vega, he's been pulled out of Asphodel--because Callisto killed him in mumblemumble B.C.E.--but would he have sensed all the time he spent there? Was he aware?

For Vega, the two thousand years have passed in relative heart-beat, so the argument doesn't especially apply to her. So then, if Strife didn't feel his death-time and Vega obviously wouldn't have felt it either, the only person for whom this argument works is Ares.

That's not to say that the line is out of place really. It's certainly fitting with Strife's character and past. He clearly loves Vega, but he's been fiercely loyal to Ares--forever, quite literally. Ideally, he would be able to have both of them without one relationship getting in the way of the other. It's just that maybe he's trying to get to that point too quickly.

But the strain passes when Strife realises what he's been doing with Ares, and he and Vega sort of resolve the argument. I still had to sigh some mixture of distress and tentative relief when the chapter ended on that precarious note.

On a less distressed, more delighted note, the scene following "Yes, Virginia" where Vega "wakes up" in the lecture hall, curses, sets the prof straight, and stalks out in a huff--I wish I'd had such a good excuse for the few times I'd actually fallen asleep in lecture. Alas, I think I can only chalk it up to bad sleeping habits. All the same, it was a great moment in the chapter.

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munchings and crunchings

There's something nostalgic for me about eating snap-peas.

I haven't had them raw in a long time (though I've had them in Chinese food dishes plenty), but I bought some that came in little snack-packs at Shaws. Baby carrots and snap peas, nothing special. But it's reminding me of eating them fresh from the garden when my family lived in Pennsylvania.

I would "help" my parents collect the vegetables--whatever was ripe at the time. And, with snap-peas in particular, it was very easy to just graze. Grab a handful; sit on one of the box-walls; munch; stare back at Rocko, or Muppet, or Stony, or Smoky, or whichever of the cats would come to see what on earth I was doing; attempt to feed snap-pea to cat; fail; eat it myself. And when the handful was gone, I'd go back for more and start the process over again.

What can I say? Bunny.

Too bad I don't like carrots as much as I like snap-peas. They're all right, but snap-peas ... mmm.

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26 March 2007

foiled again

In regards to my intentions to post a decent entry, but also this:

As Manuela was assuring me a moment ago, if something can go wrong, it probably will.

I went down to the school's Human Resources last Friday after work to try to get my employee ID, but once I got there at around quarter after three, I was told that the only possible person who could administer my ID was in a meeting. This meeting would be running for an indefinite amount of time, so I should just go and call on Monday (today) before dropping in.

All of this, of course, was preceded by a myriad of questions about why I didn't already have an employee ID, and why wasn't I given one at orientation? Why do I need one now? Etc. Not that it was really anyone's business but my own, but I answered all of these questions with frank honesty. I don't have an ID, because I haven't needed one until now; and they didn't give me one at orientation, because they weren't sure of my ID number (which is the exact same number as my student number--a fact that I was well aware of ahead of time, but that they doubted at this orientation); I want one now, because I'd like to join the University's gym, and you need a valid University ID in order to swipe through.

So I called this morning, and--after being put on hold, and then having to leave a call-back, and then being called ten minutes later--was told that any time between nine and four would be convenient. I left my office almost immediately, because I wanted to get this over with, once and for all!

Between 11:45 and 12:00, I was sitting and waiting in the HR waiting area--and then I actually made it into the picture-taking room! But then I was left to sit there alone for another fifteen minutes or so ... and when the woman, all too willing to give me an ID came back, the camera was upside down. Why they can't rotate the image in the application they have, I don't know--but they can't.

And they couldn't fix it either. All they could do was giggle about my upside-down state, and assure me that it's never done that before. After fiddling with the programme and poking the camera a few times, they asked me to call them again at three and see if the problem was fixed. So I'm going to call them after work, and maybe--just maybe--go get my ID.

However, after all this nonsense, I'm nearly convinced that the universe is conspiring against my efforts to get an employee ID. Or maybe it's just a case of its being Monday. Whatever the case, I'm hoping for the best, while having the good (and, yes, pessimistic) sense to expect the worst.


What's been entertaining me lately? Netflix is doing a good job, and fan fiction too. Arkaidy updated a 19th chapter some time last night, and I started reading it this morning, but then I had to go to work--and this ID madness has kept me from taking full advantage of the internet today (and so what am I doing right now, then? oh, yes--public venting, that's right). I'm interested to see how the gods-battery is going to work out. I'll probably just re-read the beginning and then the whole chapter whenever I get home tonight.

Lately with Netflix I've been watching Beauty and the Beast (a show that first aired in 1987, staring Ron Pearlman and Linda Hamilton [Nemesis, nya-ha-ha--no, really]). I only vaguely remembered watching it with my mom when I was younger, but I did recall that we both enjoyed it, so I decided to rent it.

It's a little saccharine, and more than a little melodramatic--leading me to the conclusion that it was best taken in small, hour-long, weekly doses. You know, rather than three hours in one shot. Watching four episodes, one after the other, the dialog becomes repetitive; and Linda Hamilton's behaviour is noticeably wishy-washy. I keep expecting her to do something bad-ass and Terminator-ish, so the softer-side-of-Sears attitude of Catherine just seems fake and annoying.

Even after all of these criticisms, I still enjoy the show. There's something distinctly nostalgic that I get from watching it. I remember sitting on the foot-end of the bed in my parents' bedroom, eating popcorn, and being allowed to stay up late and watch this show. I always thought that Vincent and Catherine should get together--in spite of his being a mutant cat-faced man.

And I still think that 'Vincent' is better looking than Ron Pearlman. ****

I feel like I should say something about The River King as well, since that was the last actual movie that I received from Netflix. I can't think of anything clever at the moment, though; only that it's weird to hear 'Elizabeth Bennet' (Jennifer Ehle) with an American (or maybe it was supposed to be Canadian?--I know that she is actually from one of the Carolinas) accent and to see her with straight blond hair (though, for all I know, that may be her real colour).

It's a hazy, gray film, and the surprises are more like depressing disappointments; but its brooding quality is also what makes it a beautiful piece. ***1/2

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20 March 2007

come as you are

It's been nearly a month since I've posted in this blog, and I'd like to make a longer entry than this (because I do have plenty to write about). But I'm about to go home (in, oh, ten minutes), so anything of real substance may be put off until this evening. Or perhaps tomorrow morning.

Suffice to say, St. Patrick's Day weekend was good fun (in Boston, how could it not be?).

I have a wretched habit of dropping obsessions and taking up new (or old) ones. I think it has something to do with compulsive tendencies and seasons and weather.

For example: the weather is cold and I'm stuck inside, so my inner home-maker decides to do stereotypical hausfrau things like cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc.

Now the weather is slowly becoming pleasant again, and clothing is changing to suit that, so my ego comes home and says, "Get out and do something! Do some crunches! Summer is going to be here, and you don't want to look the way you do when that happens!"

So my arts and crafts have been ousted from their mental slot by thoughts of exercise and diet. It's rather unfortunate, since I think I enjoy the arts and crafts more than the latter two.

It's also unfortunate that I suffer this mental tunnel-vision that blocks out the other things I enjoy while I'm concentrating too much on things that don't give me much pleasure. That's not to say that I don't find things about exercising and cuisine to enjoy. Certainly I do--I think I'm going to enjoy my new bento box whenever it arrives.

But I miss writing. And sewing. Maybe once I get into a particular habit, I'll be able to do all of these things without getting migraines or being extra-exhausted by the end of the day just from thinking about them.

On that note, I'm going home.

But later: the fanfic reading update! And some thoughts on that and other entertaining things I've seen lately.

P.S. Arkaidy, you are one of the cool kids.

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